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Viliame Audica

The Preacher

0 · 267 views · located in Rhindeval

a character in “Fractured Kingdoms”, as played by TushoKa

Description

Image
Image

Alias: Benedicto Carama

Age: 22

Hex: #6565D1

Role Prince | Preacher/Herald

Appearance: Viliame's appearance is best described as slender. His height combined with his skinny posture makes him look like he is little more than a skeleton. He wears black tight fitting clothes only, neat, but dark. This is in stark contrast with his followers who wear monk robes. His black hair is long enough to put it in a pony tail. It looks sleek and greasy, not unwashed, but more like there is a ton of gel in it. His skin color is more grey than it is white. This only makes his piercing blue eyes stand out more, almost like they emit light by themselves. He stare is uncomfortable, but hard to look away from.
His hands as well as his fingers are strangely long and stretched, looking way too long for any normal human.

Personality: Cunning, vindictive, charismatic, calm, controlling
Although his appearance makes sure he is noticed, his personality is what keeps people engaged. His position as Preacher already tells people they have to listen to him. He will use lies and trickery to make people say things they don't mean or believe. Or they tell him the truth right away, which he then likes to use against them.
He is a very sore loser. If he does lose, he will go to the ends of the world to make sure the winner will regret their win. He thoroughly enjoys taking revenge on people and making them suffer.
He can make himself go unnoticed in a room, but with one whisper he could grab the attention of all people there. His calm demeanour and whispering voice will pull people to the edge of their seat in order to hear him. Although menacing when he speaks to a group, he could not be a friendlier person when you speak to him one on one. He will have you tell your deepest secrets, and then use them against you. Viliame likes to lie to move his own cause forward. He loves the surprise he can give people by turning their own words against them.
Viliame does not hate violence, but would never be violent himself, he'll leave that part to others.

From: The Stone Isles
Originally settled by fishermen, the Stone Isles don't look like much. That is until precious gems were found on the main island, and the mining started. Aside from gems the Isles turned out to be rich with marble as well. The Isles look like rocky waste lands, now with with quarry's all over them. The parts that could not be mined have been allocated to building the towns and houses for the workers. Since most of the materials were highly wanted by the rest of Rhinedeval, they were a source of trade, making the Isles rich beyond believe. The buildings on the Stone Isles themselves are all immense and build up out of the same stones as the ones they traded off.
The other thing the Isles are known for is their religious views. The rulers have always lived by the church rules and the cathedrals on the Isles are the biggest in the entire continent.

History: Viliame was always known to be a little shit, the killing of his parents just made him descent that much quicker. He was the kind of kid who would lie to be part of the popular kids. When he would be rejected simply for his unlikeable character, he would go crying to the adults and tell them all the bad things the kids were doing. He would enjoy seeing them punished afterwards.
His father was the Trader King. Coming from the mining families on the main island, he was a big burly man, muscles for days and a big red beard to go with his outgoing personality. His mother was the youngest daughter of the High Priest. A secluded individual, veiled until marriage. They got married as per tradition on the Isles. Viliame took completely after his mother, including the calmness and the lies she kept telling everyone. Although her veil came off after the wedding night, her mask never did.
Viliame was taught to dislike his father from an early age and the only aspect of the mining he enjoyed were the riches coming from them.
Although Viliame doesn't remember it now, he indulged in the suffering his new Queen instilled in the adults at the party. Knowing the church from an early age, he was instructed to keep going on the same path in order to serve his Queen. In his eyes, she was a Goddess, the Goddess. He rewrote the holy texts to focus on her and found explanation for all the texts to be about her. Anyone who would contradict would be corrected, by any means necessary. Being branded a heathen by Viliame could cost people their lives. Along the years, he kept on preaching. Everyone needs to believe in her and needs to worship her. Although people all believe in their own way (or pretend to) some people formed an extremist cult within the religion. Leaving behind all worldly possessions, they follow Viliame and act like his bodyguards.

So begins...

Viliame Audica's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roderick Haldic Character Portrait: Viliame Audica
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#, as written by TushoKa
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It was early morning when the young preacher had woken up from his sleep. He had put the blanket aside, drank some water and picked up the book from where he left off the night before. He crossed his legs while reading, his eyes going quickly over the pages of the centuries old scripture. The smell of the old paper was musty and Benedicto assumed he was the first one reading it in many years. He was having difficulty to concentrate, the carriage he sat in was luxurious, but the road was old and not kept up properly. I will talk to the next towns elders to make sure this is fixed soon.

The uncomfortable travel, the long distance and lack of any good food put him in a foul mood. He quickly made notes, but it was impossible to control the feather with this bumpy road. Taking another sip of water, he heard a loud crack. The carriage became unbalanced and Benedicto fell over, spilling the water over himself. ”BY IVELDA’S GRACE!” he swore, trying to help himself up. The door to the carriage opened from the outside and he stormed out. ”What incredible imbecile made me spill my water!?! he asked anyone who would answer.
When it stayed silent, he looked at the back of the carriage, seeing how a wheel had broken due to a massive hole in the road.
One of the riders came quickly, almost visibly shaking. ”We’ll fix it right away, Sir, we’ll be done in just a few minutes.”

Benedicto sighed. The whole caravan had come to a standstill. Aside from the carriage, pulled by 2 sturdy horses, there were about 20 riders in front and behind the carriage. All of them except for the carriage riders were dressed in monk robes, hood pulled far over their faces. These men were his most loyal fellow worshippers, each and everyone of them sworn into the servitude of Her Holiness. It was no coincidence that all the men were tall, muscled and aggressive. It was the kind of people Benedicto liked, not too smart and ready to lay down their lives for Ivelda as well as Benedicto himself.
He could not possibly remember all of their names and usually referred to them as ‘you’ or ‘hey there’. The men came from all over the continent and were not loyal to any one country more than the other. They acted as his bodyguard, and sometimes as his enforcers as well.

He towered over most of the men. He might not have muscles, but he had length and a brain. More useful than brute strength, although he knew many of the other servants of his Goddess would not agree with him. Looking at the wheel and the time the riders were taking, he could see this would be well beyond a few hours of delay. Standing with his arms crossed, he turned on his feet to take a look around him. The area was wide and it was easy to see over large distances. Some miles away he could see a settlement. The high peak of a church and the smoke coming from a fireplace.
”You there!” he shouted to one of the monks, ”Bring me a horse! We will wait in that village over there.”

Not a few seconds later the monk brought him another horse. The horse was black, only showing some white spots around its eyes. There was a small layer of fur around its ankles, indicating it would have come from the colder regions. The monk had been smart enough to anticipate Benedicto’s needs, as he would have refused a horse in any other color than black. He got up on the horse, now towering over the other travellers, now that he was sitting at their height.
”Five stay here with the carriage, the rest come with me.” he jolted his horse forward. The tempo was low and comfortable. The weather was warm and Benedicto rolled up his sleeves to reveal his under arms, still wearing the soft, black leather gloves on his hands.
He saw people working in the fields towards the settlement. Seeing the chains around their necks he could see they were slaves, and a slight smile played around his lips. They were in Angalais, and even though the lands looked nice, Benedicto knew the people might not be the same.

People stopped to look at the group riding towards town. Most of them kept their heads down when they saw the faceless men with their hoods tight over their faces. Benedicto’s hair was waving in the wind, the color of it as black as his clothes. People hurried out of the way, some of them receiving a push here and there as they entered the small town. He recognised the inn, but continued riding, only to stop at the small church. It was the newest building in town. The stones were still white and it would not be older than Ivelda’s rule.
”In name of the Goddess Ivelda, her most loyal servants have arrived. Show yourself and receive the mercy that only She can give.”

The words had barely left his mouth or the doors to the church flew open. An older, short, fat man came stumbling out. He clearly was not from this area, which made sense, as the churches usually send their own people to preach. The man was sweating profusely, it was literally running down his face.
”In name of the Goddess, I welcome you to Grainburough, my name is Antonio, the local preacher.” He bowed so deep, he was about to fall over in to the mud.
As Benedicto got off his horse, so did all of his men. One of the monks came over to take the reins of his horse.
Benedicto spoke to the monk, but so loud that the whole square could hear what he was saying. ”Bring us wine and food. Preacher Antonio and I have a lot to discuss. Our Goddess Ivelda is extremely displeased about the sorry state that this town is in, and I need answers.”
Benedicto walked past the preacher into the church, closely followed by 2 of the monks. From the corner of his eye, he could see how one of the other monks punched a small thin man hard in the stomach. ”You heard him. Bring food and wine for the true worshippers of Ivelda, you shit stain!”

Benedicto smiled as the monks closed the door behind him and the preacher. Maybe it’s a good thing the carriage broke down. This town looks like fun.





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Raiden was thrown on his back, the rocky surface made it feel like he was slammed down. He quickly rolled over and pushed himself up before the creature could attack him again. He had to jump back in order to parry the massive, sharp claws of the beast in front of him. The animal stayed close to the ground, getting ready to jump Raiden in a second if he saw his chance. He jumped from rock to rock, trying to stay one step ahead of the creature every time. He had it worked up, it had smelled his scent now and it would not let go until the 2 rows of teeth would disappear into Raiden’s flesh. Not today though Raiden thought.

He kept on moving, quickly. He made calculated errors in his stumbling backward steps, like the animal had him on the ropes. It was about 1.5 metres high and 4 metres long, excluding the rat-like tail trailing behind it. The sharp hairs on its back would have been enough to wound Raiden in such a way he would not be able to get up. Each of its 4 eyes was following Raiden’s every move, it’s reflexes far better than his. If it wasn’t planned out in every single detail, he would for sure not survive this encounter.
Even with the plan, it was still dangerous, proven by the fact that the Nexu just slashed through his pants, thankfully not hitting his leg. The creature did not suspect a thing, coming closer with each and every second, unaware of the trap it was being lead in to.

The Sun was working in Raiden’s favour. Since it was early morning it was shining bright. Thanks to the direction he was moving in, the light constantly shined into the Nexu’s eyes, making it effectively blind the longer they went on. Every minute they got closer and closer to the tree line, Raiden’s eventual goal. He sidestepped into the mud, almost slipping as the Nexu launched forward. ”SHIT!” In a reflex he moved his foot sharp forward hitting the bottom jaw of the beast in front of him, knocking it back for one moment. The creature looked taken aback. A low growl coming from deep down his throat. Oh no, now it’s really mad…
The Nexu came forward slowly, as if it saw the tree he was backing Raiden into. Raiden felt it too, the tree trunk was touching his back and there was nowhere to go.

”Any second now…” He grabbed his bow and put it in front of him. The animal was still closing in slowly. Raiden pulled an arrow from his quiver and laid it on his bow. The beast made the same stance it had done before, 2 seconds before it jumps. Raiden moved quickly, shooting the arrow almost straight up into the trees, leaving the Nexu a bit confused. It came closer, stepping onto the soft pile of leafs that separated the two. A small creak and snap was heard right above them. The Nexu looked up just in time to see a tree trunk falling down from all the way up the tree. It was not quick enough to evade it and as the trunk his the creature, the floor trembled and caved on the combined weight of the animal and the trunk. Right down into the hole Raiden had been digging throughout the night.

The hole was 3 meters deep. It might have been able to jump out, but the tree had pierced a part of its skin. Raiden walked over to the edge as he smiled. He pulled another arrow from his quiver, it was sharpened and had crooked teeth that would cause a lot of damage. He pulled the string of his bow at full strength, looking at the animal that was no longer able to move. He released his breath and let the arrow fly through the neck of the animal.

He waited till it bled dry and it was no longer moving. He then jumped down the hole, took out his hunting knife and cut through the skin in order to take the head off a few minutes later. He pulled himself and the head out of the hole and walked back to the camp he had set up 3 nights before. ”Strange that she only wants the head…. But then, Ivelda will is law…”
Back at his small encampment he put the large head in a leather sack. He bound the sack on the saddle of his horse, who had been waiting patiently for him to come back. The last necessities were quickly packed and he sat in the saddle to make his way back to Lostein.

A few minutes underway he traveled past the spot where he had just killed the creature. He could already see other carnivores coming forward to feast on something they won’t soon eat again. Travelling past the cave where he had spotted the animal first he heard a soft noise being echoed throughout the cave. ”That’s weird” he said more to himself than anything else.
He got down of his horse and took the bow of his back, walking into the cave slowly. The sound became louder and it sounded like a sort of crying. In the dark it was hard to make out, so against his better judgement he lit a torch with the tinderbox on his belt. The cave showed itself to him now that the flames were given of a soft glow.
In front of Raiden he saw a nest, in the middle he spotted 2 little Nexu’s who could not have been more than 2 weeks old. ”No wonder she put up a fair fight…”

The eyes of the little ones were still closed. Raiden could see 1 male and 1 female and he picked up both creatures. They were still furry and were about the size of a cat. As he walked out of the cave he thought it would be nice to bring one of them to Tyann, especially when it’s this young. He threw the female cub into the pit together with the mother, where he was sure it would be eaten very soon by the other predators in the forest. He put the male cub into one of the saddle bags and threw his leg over once again. He then rode over the nearest hill, to make his way back home…, to her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Viliame Audica
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#, as written by TushoKa
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6565D1

Benedicto was in his element. The atmosphere in the church was to his liking. It was mostly lit by candlelight. The only outside light coming in was through the stained glass windows high on the wall of the church. It depicted scenes from Ivelda’s rise to power, the scenes Benedicto had learned of, hardly a representation of what really happened.
The air inside was stale and represented the same smell as a cave. The dust was coated thick on the simple furniture inside the building. It was clear the building was hardly used. Certainly the day of worship was not celebrated as it should be. Benedicto had not said anything since he was inside the church. He had merely walked around the building, judging silently, while the preacher was almost constantly on his heels. He dragged his finger on the benches, silently looking at the dust he got even from the front bench.
Although the candles were burning, the chandelier was not, giving away that it had been done in haste. A clear panic move as soon as he had rode into town. Even a one day heads up would have made a huge difference.

The less Benedicto said, the more came out of the mouth of Preacher Antonio. It had started out as apologies, basically mentioning anything and everything the young man put his eyes on. After the apologies were done, the older man started his complaints, and not soon after came the accusations towards the other people in Grainburough. Although not responding with more than a soft mumble, Benedicto heard everything the man was saying.
”It’s the village elder, he is the reason no one sets foot in here. He cares nothing for his people, but only for the money he is making of the fields…. It’s not me, really, he doesn’t even let me do my work. And..and his son is turning out to be the same…, they don’t even thank Her Grace for the good life they have.”

The doors of the church flew open and with it sunlight lit up the space. The small gust of wind it caused saw the dust filling the air, Benedicto just being able to suppress the cough that was tickling his throat. In a hurried fashion a long table was being carried in by a number of slaves, clearly recognisable by the chains around their necks. With its entry, it was immediately the cleanest thing in the small church. Right after several dishes, pots, pans and pitchers were being brought in and placed on the table.
The smell was a welcome difference, but even though it smelled better, he could tell the food wasn’t much to write home about.

A small number of seats were being dragged in as well, all of them wide and cushioned. They were of good quality and clearly expensive. Probably dragged in from the village elder’s residence in order to impress Benedicto. Benedicto spoke to one of the monks. ”Get the village elder in here.” The monk made his way out hurriedly, when Benedicto remembered what the preacher had said. ”Actually… get his son too, there is enough food for all of us.”
While waiting Benedicto looked over the food and drinks and poured himself a goblet of wine. Instead of sitting down, he kept standing and now walked around, sipping from the wine.

Not much later the two man appeared inside the church. ”Take a seat gentlemen, please make sure to dish yourself some food, it’s not here to go to waste….” Clearly uncomfortable both of them sat down on the other side of the table as the Preacher. They started dishing up, while Benedicto was bale to observe them. The father was visibly nervous, probably having a better idea of the reputation of the young man observing him. The young man did not look particularly smart, his parentage the only way to a position of power. He was dishing like his life depended on it, a greedy look in his eyes. Both men looked physically fit, muscular men not scared of helping out in the fields.

They seemed to be honest men, at least as far as Benedicto could recognise. His mood had gone from amused by the prospect to make these people suffer, to annoyed at how these hard working honest men had a total disregard for Ivelda. He got worked up and every movement of the other men in the church annoyed him more and more. ”Don’t let the food go to waste, like you have done with this church.” The last words had come out like a whisper and with clear contempt.
Benedicto laid it on so heavy, the older two man stopped moving. The son had not caught on and continued stuffing his mouth with the stew he had dished himself.
”The Preacher here tells me, that you are stopping people from worshipping Ivelda like she is supposed to be worshipped.”
The temperature in the church seemed to go a few degrees colder as the man prepared to answer for his mistakes.

In a surprise move it wasn’t the father that started talking, but the son. ”Father always says that building the church had cost us enough profits that it guarantees enough of Ivelda’s blessings to last us well into my sons time as village elder.” It was hard to watch the confession as food kept flying from his mouth. His father’s jaw had just dropped at this stupid confession. The answer had been the most honest words Benedicto had heard so far.
Anger replaced annoyance and as he stood behind the table his appearance seemed to grow even taller, towering over the three man sitting at the table. His nostrils were flaring as he was inches away from an outburst. He let the words from the young man once again sink into him and replied in a way the older man had not expected.
”So you say you have a son…”
The man nodded, not looking up from his food, the other two men still sitting silently, scared to move. ”So you must be married then.”
The young man nodded again, not seeing the trap he was falling in. ”But your wedding ceremony was not fulfilled in church?”
Finally swallowing the last bits of his food, the man was leaning back against the cushioned backrest. ”No, not in church, father insisted we got married in the fields as per the old traditions. It was a lovely day, sunny too!” The man smiled from ear to ear, clearly still remembering the ‘best day of his life’.

The room fell silent, just small sighs filling the air. As the son was finally done with his food, he could see the wide open eyes of his father. The eyes that told him to shut his mouth for the last 10 minutes now. Finally, he got the clue and stopped speaking all together. Benedicto’s mind was thinking rapidly, going through all the options laid down in front of him. The confession he just received would normally only be dragged from a suspect after days of torture.
The silence dragged on, and Benedicto could feel the eyes of all others were avoiding his.

Abruptly, there was banging on the door. Especially the Preacher jumped 2 metres in the air upon this unexpected sound. The door opened and one of Benedicto’s monks put his head inside. ”Sir, your carriage has been fixed. It is here in the village, stocked to leave again upon your say so, Sir.”
The tall young man urged the monk to wait outside. ”Well…., it seems our precious time together has been cut short…, shame. Please all join me to the village square.”

Knowing they would follow, he put a heavy step towards the door. As he opened them, he welcomed the clean air outside as the sunlight pierced his eyes. He kept a steady pass towards the square, where people seemed to have gathered to see him off. He noticed how a young, pretty woman was carrying a young baby in her arms. He saw how pale she looked, and how she tried to get a glimpse of her husband behind the young tall preacher walking in the way.

He cleared his throat, while turning his body around to address the crowd. Any sound coming from them before seemed to disappear within seconds. ”Dear people of Grainburough, it seems our time together has been cut short already. For that I wish to apologise. Your work for this great continent and for the great Ivelda has been immense and worthy of such fine people.” He enjoyed their attention, the way they hang on his lips, waiting for every word.
”I also want to apologise for what has been done to you here. If only you were allowed to worship the great Ivelda as it is intended, her blessing upon you could have been that much greater. Instead, you have the rotten luck to live under the tyranny of a cruel and Godless man. He could not even stop his own quest for self-importance, so that his sons marriage could have been a blessed one.”
Benedicto could see the colourless tears streaming down the face of the village elder, almost as if an admission of guilt. They streamed into his beard as his nose started to water.
”It is my task to weed out the evil from this village. It must have been the will of Ivelda herself that my carriage broke down so close to your homes. She has been able to see the injustice that was thrown upon you, the evilness with which you have filled your homes. The lack of prayers causing you to live in sin, like you have. But… it is in Ivelda’s nature to forgive. It is upon her Grace that we are all forgiven, upon her Grace for us to live on, without sin, but with the sound believe that we can improve ourselves in front of her.
Ivelda will rid you of the disease that has been plaguing your lives. I, her most loyal disciple, will take your village elder to her, so she will be able to make her own judgement upon this vile man.”
The people reacted, a soft noise from each one, culminating in one short uproar. As soon as the sound began, Benedicto’s monks came to action and punched some of the attendees to their knees. The sound was quickly muffled.
”Pray for Ivelda’s wisdom. Pray for your village elder as he should have prayed for you. I can only thank Preacher Antonio for the leading task that is now thrown upon him. My hearty well-wishes, my brother. May this town prosper under your guidance. I am sure that together with the village elder’s son you will be able to turn things around. I only wish that I would be in attendance when the wedding ceremony begins.”
The crowd looked confused, thinking of the festivities they had only a few months earlier. ”As your father has misguided you, your wedding has never received the blessing it should. As I mentioned, Ivelda’s forgiveness knows no equal, and she will accept a new ceremony, properly celebrated.
All of our hearts are touched by the love we can see on your faces…..”
Benedicto turned to the mother with the baby.
”It is so sad that this child will never know the benefits of a blessed parentage. It will forever be a bastard in the eyes of the Almighty Ivelda. It is not a way for a young and vivacious couple you are to start your life together. I will accept the care of your son, albeit with a heavy heart. I will see to it, that it will repend for the sins of the father. I will see that his life is a life full of sacrifices to Ivelda, for him to be trained as a man of the cloth. ”
The young mother sank to her knees. Silent at first, but screeching as soon as her knees hit the ground. Benedicto snapped his fingers, pointing at the older man and the baby. His monks jumped into action, the first binding the older mans hands behind his back, while the second grabbed the baby away from the mother. Some villagers were about to rise up, but before they could do anything, the rest of Benedicto’s bodyguard was standing in between.
Not willing to stay behind for the show, he put himself back in the saddle, instead of stepping into the carriage. It was a good thing he was able to help out today. He would thank Ivelda in prayer later that evening for guiding his way so clearly.

Looking back after a few miles, he could see one horse with an old blind folded and bound man, and another with a monk carrying a baby. Looking forward again, he smiled. The young boy would make a fine monk in a few years. Seeing the size of his father, the little boy might be able to join his bodyguard and serve Ivelda in that way.
He spurred his horse forward and increased the speed of the small caravan of people, back to her Grace, back to Ivelda.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Garland Greywind Novax Character Portrait: Richard Livingstone Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Tempeste Ponce Character Portrait: Tyann Rebal Character Portrait: Rukaiyan Throntan Character Portrait: Roderick Haldic Character Portrait: Viliame Audica Character Portrait: Ari Hunt
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His back was towards Korgan when the living bulldozer made his comment. Raiden just smiled and turned around to face the human monster. Whether he was baiting with traps or with words, it always seemed to work. He stared up at the man towering above him, a mischievous look in his eye. ”If Ivelda would let me…” Before he could finish his response he heard a familiar voice coming near them.

”My boys! You're home safe and sound! Raiden, I take it you've brought me what I've requested of you?”

As if being forced by an invisible hand, Raiden turned again and instantly bowed to show his recognition for the empress standing in front of him. ”Naturally my Empress, I will bring it to your throne room at the earliest opportunity. ” She seemed to be in a good mood, which was a good thing. If she wasn’t she would have told him the earliest opportunity had come and gone already, but instead he was lingering about. He never had a knack for the ‘civilities’ that came with life at the court, hence him being away from the castle as much as he could. Ivelda always made sure he was back every 2 weeks though.
He always looked forward to receiving his drink. If he was too long away from it he had trouble thinking of anything else. It was like a homing beacon where he just had to return in order to take his drink. He had asked Ivelda to take some with in a flask for his travels, but it was never allowed.

As he kept bowing down a bit longer he was thankful to hear he could clean himself up first. His hand was still itching like mad and he needed to make sure to stop by the infirmary first. When he came back up he saw the stable boy depart to take care of his horse. As long as he doesn’t open the bags… Before long, Ivelda took her departure again.

When she was at a save distance he looked back at Korgan. ”As I said, if Ivelda would let me I’d decorate the dining hall with a nice scary-looking rug made from your skin. In that case everyone is happy, you’d still look scary, Ivelda could order you cleaned at any time, and we’d finally be freed of your obnoxious commentary.” He directed his attention to the masked man instead. ”Tyann, I’m taking one saddle bag, the other one has your present. Be careful, it’s young, but has some nasty claws.” He held up his red looking arm to prove his point.

He turned on his heels and walked fast towards the stables. He saw the bags were already off his trusty steed, and he picked the one with the biggest bulge, knowing the moms head was much bigger than the cub was. ”Thanks pretty boy, but as I got you away from the smell of rotten fish on an oxes breath, I’d still say you owe me big time.” Raiden put the bag over his shoulder as he made his way into the castle.

He had his own room, albeit very small. He did not mind much. He didn’t spend much time here, and secondly, he hated the apparent luxury. It just didn’t feel like it fit …. him. He dropped the bag on his bed and took his gear off of him. He kept on his boots, as he still wanted to get his hand checked out first. In the 10 minutes he spend in the room he did not see a single servant coming by. They are avoiding me… these bastards He shouted: ”Who do I have to hunt around here to draw me a friggin’ bath?!?!”
A few seconds later he heard someone scurrying in. It was an old man in simple clothes. My apologies Sir, I will do so right away.
Raiden looked at the man, observing him from head to toe. The man was balding but was still showing a full beard.
”Fine, get it ready in 20 minutes, I’ll be in the infirmary but should be back soon.” He stepped out the door, only to appear in the door opening again a second later. He saw the man had his back to him, closing the windows in the fairly cold room. ”..And don’t touch my stuff!” He saw the man jump in the air when he’d thought Raiden had been gone already. How many times do I have to tell that to people today?

He took one of the stairs to go up to the medical ward. He took 2 steps at a time, wanting to hurry up before Ivelda’s patience and good mood would disappear. Plus, I want my drink, I’ve waited almost 2 weeks for it. His boots made an annoyingly hard sound on the stone floors. In the forest they were silent as could be, another reason why he did not like the castle. Like he was trying to draw attention to himself.
He stood still in front of the medical ward and heard a lot of voices inside. Asher’s having a tea party? it seemed unlikely, even more unlikely Ivelda would allow it.
He opened the door and stepped in, his boots again betraying someone new had arrived. He saw a few beds with patients and some people attending to them. The room smelled sweet, clearly a scent coming from the tea that was steaming in the corner. He didn’t like the smell, he never had.
He aimed his attention at the girl standing closest to the tea set. After the stable boy, she too was Sereinian. Did we turn into an orphanage for these people or something? He walked up to her. ”Where’s Asher? I need my hand to be looked at.” He held out his arm, and almost scared himself at the sight. It looked worse than what he had seen before. But Asher was a professional, he should be able to fix it quickly.
”I need him quick, Empress Ivelda is waiting for me…”





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Days would pass on Benedicto’s way back to his Grace. Benedicto had grown to dislike his own decision to take the man and the baby back to the capital. He didn’t feel sorry for them, but he took them too far away, and he had to bare their company for such a distance. The man had complaint a lot and loudly, no matter the amount of times he was hit, kicked and thrown off the horse. He had been quiet for a while when they had dragged his body behind the carriage, but even that didn’t stop him from completely shutting up. Eike will be able to deal with that, I’m sure…

The man had especially cried and moaned whenever the baby had been crying. Viliame had found a solution to deal with the man as well as the baby. He had told one of the monks to remove the cap from the mans head. ”I told you I was done with your complaining, I only wonder how much complaining you will do when you lose a limb or two…” Benedicto added with a slight smile.
He turned his head to the monk holding the child: ”Take that kid and dump it in the nearest river. Maybe he’s complaining he does not appreciate that we are willing to raise it properly…well..then why raise it at all. Make sure yo sacrifice it as an offering to the great Ivelda.”
The mans cry turned into a howl and a load of curses in the direction of the young preacher. Benedicto made sure the man could see the monk riding away quickly. The cries of the baby died into the distance.
”Now put something in his mouth, I don’t want to hear him again. ” He watched as he saw a monk putting a piece of cloth in the mouth of the older man, just before pulling the cap back over his face. The soft mumbling sounded like music to Benedicto’s ears.

The baby was relatively safe. He had told the monk before to ride out to the capital at his signal. He didn’t care much for taking care of the new human himself. He had instructed for it to be taken to the orphanage, to eventually go into the church. Making sure there was no hope for family would only be a benefit. Benedicto did not know his parents, and he could only consider it a blessing. It gave him more time and energy to dedicate to Ivelda and praising her.

The trip had been a lot better since this. They passed a few more towns, but none of them as fun as Grainburough. At each of them they spend a minimal amount of time. Benedicto was ready to be home. He loved spreading the word, but he hated to be this far away. After the last town he got back into the carriage again. He had been reading at all opportunities, but knowing they would not pass any more towns on their way, he rather spend more time reading than presenting himself. The road was a lot better and it was a smooth ride. With a blanket over his legs his eyes once again went over the lines.

It was incredible how people could still doubt the true savior Ivelda was. The one to unite all kingdoms of old, to get rid of old rivalries and to steer the continent to a better time. He was baffled how people could not worship her like he did. Maybe it was just pure education. He had access to most of the holy texts. They might be copies in the capital, but the text had not changed from the original, whether they came from the Isles or from Emperia or from anywhere else for that matter.
Once you know the truth, it was so simple to recognise Ivelda was the prophecies come to fruition. He was dedicated to show the continent, to show them how they should be honouring her…, like he did. He thought back of Grainburough, to the older preacher. How awful must it be to know what is right, but not to be able to convince the people of this. With the treacherous village elder removed, he should have an easier job. Benedicto should have left two of the monks with him. Of course he did the town a favour, by placing the preacher as the head of the town, but his monks could have convinced the people more quickly.

Under the carriage Benedicto noticed the sandy road was exchanged to a stone road. They were close now, close to his Grace. My goodness, I have missed her. He moved the curtain and looked out the window. Home, this was his home, his only memories from childhood had all been from here. He knew the houses, the inhabitants, the traders. They were all coming to the church regularly. They did not have much choice in that.
The carriage stopped in front of the capitals house of worship. It was where Benedicto always stayed. Aside from the main building there was a small monastery. It was like an inn for preachers, but some rooms had more permanent occupants.

Despite his young age, after Ivelda the young man had the highest position in the church. He could see the fear in the eyes of the older men and women that had spend their lives worshipping. They were scared, since Benedicto had a nose for non-believers. He had snuffed out quite a few that were pretending to praise Ivelda, while secretly practicing the religion that existed before the savior had come.
Most of these people had died by hanging, a few of them had been brought to the dungeons underneath the castle, but Benedicto had not seen them come back from there. Even when at a later age he had been in the dungeons himself, he had not recognised anyone but Eike. Maybe the only person who could rival Benedicto in the love they felt for their Empress.

He stepped out of the carriage, stretching his legs and arms wide. He spoke to the nearest monk. ”You there, bring this man to the dungeon master…tell him…to enjoy this one.” People on the street hurried passed them, trying to avoid the gaze of the stretched young man.
The church doors were open, but there was no service at the moment. Benedicto walked in, right to the altar in the far end of the church. He looked up at the statue of Ivelda on the back wall. He looked at her smiling face, as always directly installing the feeling she is looking at him only. In the middle path on the hard stone floors, he drops to both knees. He silently bowes forward until his nose touched the floor before leaning back up. ”Your Grace has blessed my travel home, I can’t thank you enough.” For what is normally supposed to be a silent prayer, he cannot contain his appreciation. He continues his prayer out loud, his voice booming back echoes from the high walls.

When he gets back up, he turns and sees most of his monks following his example. On his way back to the door he touches their heads in appreciation. They showed him time and time again why they were his most trusted disciples. He felt his throat itching, he was ready to visit Ivelda in her castle. He felt giggly as he made his way out the church. He was excited, almost feeling a tickle in his stomach with every step he took towards Her.

While on his way he saw a welcome sight. He saw two other loyal Ivelda believers, although one just got on his horse to ride away from him. Keeping the same pace, he approached the other man, the leader of the royal guard. ”Brother Rock, praise to Ivelda for meeting you on this wonderful day. I was just on my way to seek Her presence.” He looked down on the muscled man. Benedicto was not as muscular, or more like the polar opposite of it. He placed his arms on his back as a relaxed stance. He didn’t notice it, but traffic stopped coming past the two young man, most people rather staying away from either one of them.

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Thaddeus turned to the sound of the approaching voice to see a man he respected and admittedly, admired. His devotion to Ivelda was unyielding and he was one of the few whose serious nature Thaddeus meshed well with.

"Preacher Carama,," Thaddeus responded with a small bow to the man. "Praise be to Ivelda, you are a welcome sight. I am sure Her Highness will be pleased as well."

Out of the corner of his eye, Thaddeus noted the lack of people passing by. Three of some of Ivelda's most loyal men (according to Thaddeus), on the same street, was making everyone nervous. It was a rare sight and the reasoning for it made everyone hesitant to even look in the same direction as the two conversing men. It made the corners of Thaddeus' mouth turn up slightly.

"I assume you have come back from your own travels as Adrian has?" Thaddeus paused as he looked at the sky, noticing what time of day it seemed to be. "Although it is nearly that time soon. Perhaps I shall join you to see Her Highness. By the looks of it, I doubt the people will so much as utter a sound today."

He said the last line as he looked about, referring to the sudden lack of foot traffic around them.

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Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Tempeste Ponce Character Portrait: Rukaiyan Throntan Character Portrait: Roderick Haldic Character Portrait: Viliame Audica
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"I'm afraid you just missed him. He's already left at Empress Ivelda's request.”
He looked down at the healer. He had half a mind to start shouting at her to then get him as soon as possible. But it would cost time, and if unlucky, Asher would have been send on assignment. He kept his eyes on her, even though hers seemed to wonder around the room. "I am Tempeste Ponce, his assigned head of medical staff. If you can entrust yourself to my care in his stead, please take a seat while I prepare.”
He didn’t much trust strangers. They all had an agenda, and usually it did not match his. As he tried to weigh his options in his mind, he felt it was hard to concentrate. The stinging and itching in his arm was now constantly there. He scratched it roughly as he walked over to one of the open seats.

As he sat down he looked at the other people in the room. All of them seemed to be busy with their own thing. Played… Raiden knew. He might not be the head of the guard or the preacher, but he was well known by the people in the castle and the surroundings. So either, they had forgotten who he was, or they wanted to show they were busy so they did not have to interact with him. He was fine with either. He could forget about all of these peasants the moment he left. He watched the girl who had introduced herself as Tempeste.

He saw her busy with instruments he had never seen. He wasn’t a healer, so he couldn’t claim he knew any better. He knew enough to fix himself up while out on assignment, the simple stuff. The shade of color on his arm could no longer be classified as simple stuff. He extended his arm when she indicated she wanted to take a closer look. ”Pain… or painless?”
He looked into her eyes. ”I don’t care, whatever’s faster… like I said, I am in a hurry.” He had a feeling which of the options he would end up with. Regardless, it had to be done. From his boot he pulled a spare arrow, always there as a precaution. He broke it in half with his other hand and put one of the pieces between his teeth, ready to bite down. He looked the other way before she would start any cut. He could handle the pain, but he hated the sight. ”Go wahed, Iwm weady” he said through biting on the arrow.





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Benedicto was happy to speak to the Royal Guard Leader. The city was as immaculate as it could be, no doubt the result of Thaddeus’ hard regime. He took a deep breath in through his nose. ”Yes, I just got back, but no place looks and smells better than this city, Brother Rock. It is unfortunate that not all of the continent can have such a close eye as this place.”
Benedicto looked around and could only agree on the quietness around them. ”It is indeed quiet. Let us trust that it is prayer that keeps the citizens busy at this time. I’d be honoured if you join me in visiting our Great Ivelda. I have missed her close guidance while being out on the road. It is sad that most intelligent conversation is no longer an option whenever your cross the bridge out of here. He laughed broadly at his own attempt of a joke.

He took a few steps towards the castle, hoping for the Royal Guard to join him in his walk. ”Even the other day, out on my travels I stumbled upon the most heinous of heathens. This man, if you’d believe it, had his entire village following the old religions. Even when a prayer house was built by us right there in his village. He had his son marry in the fields, and not even by a priest.” Benedicto shook his head thinking back about the ordeal he had had to go through.
”The poor priest in the village was at the end of his rope. I had to leave two of my monks behind to make sure the villagers will turn it around. Of course, I had the village leader taken back here, to earn mercy at the hands of our dungeon keeper. Now that I think about it, maybe I should pay him a visit. I need to make sure this man will be treated in the only way he deserves.”

He had always been known as a talker. As such, preaching came easy to him, the words laid in his mouth as if it was Ivelda herself. He felt a sincere pride to do her work, to spread her love and knowledge over the lands as she had done over his mind. His hands were still on his back as he passed through the castle gates. The guards seemed to salute their leader and Benedicto did not return the salute, as he himself was not very army-trained. ”I believe we might get our regular doses as well today. I can tell you I am famished for one of those. Being out on the road truly is a discomfort. If only it was as easy to keep an eye on things from here, but we can’t make these non-believers go rampant.”

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Character Portrait: Ishara Soli Eldiel Character Portrait: Euphemia Isadora Apolline Regana Lavorre III Character Portrait: Aurora Givens Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Lilith Evers Character Portrait: Meridian O'Donohue Character Portrait: Silvia Siria Shwetz Character Portrait: Sibylla Costrantina Character Portrait: Rukaiyan Throntan Character Portrait: Viliame Audica
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"...Sibylla."

Hearing the name out loud sent another small panic through Collette as she tried to savor it at the same time. Hearing it only confirmed what that hallucination had presented. It confirmed that at least some part of it was accurate since she had told no one of that name. Collette frowned. Her body, her heart, her very being had no repulsion towards the name either. If anything, it felt like some piece of her had finally come home and slipped inside as though nothing had happened. Collette knew however. She knew it had been gone and Professor Evans, or Lilith Evers as she had known her apparently, provided further proof that the newly discovered flow of memories was not wrong.

That the memory of her parent's deaths was not wrong.

The severance of magic ached in her chest. She had not seen it but she had felt it. The ache created when the little girl had tripped as the magic in her chest became cut off from that of her parents still hurt in the young woman she had become. It still felt like a gaping wound, hidden under bandages in the form of suppressed memories that were quickly unraveling. Her fist clenched. She would need both pouches of that Royal Highness later.

Eyes full of tears again as Lilith told them they had tried their best, both her and their parents, Collette... Sybilla? The young woman didn't say anything as the information sunk in for all of them. As the name 'Collette' began to sound more and more foreign as she ran all of this new information, these new memories, again and again in short bursts.

Sybilla...Constrantina.

"That's unfair..." Collette/Sybilla croaked without thinking as a rush of emotion rose within her. "This... is a lot... a-at once. Without warning. What are we supposed to do with all this... These memories? We have lives here! What is that... What are we..."

Her voice faltered and she could feel the gaze of the others, of the passing people who had come to enjoy the festival. Suddenly Sybilla was fully aware of the dress she wore and the irony of the event she was at. She tried to laugh, to think of some pun or joke, but the laughter got cut off and turned into a strangled sob. She was aware that perhaps she was being dramatic but it was nothing new to Collette. Sybilla on the other hand tried to restrain herself and she looked up, to the faces of the other young women, to Lilith herself.

As she did however, the faces of the boys resurfaced in her memories. She had few memories but Sybilla couldn't stand the idea of them being subjugated to the person who had murdered their parents, or at the very least, sent them down paths none of them should have gone on. Sybilla's clenched fists shook slightly. It was a lot for her to process and conflicting thoughts and emotions battled within her.

"What is it..." Sybilla began, trying to keep her voice level. The words came slower now, trying to choose them carefully even as anger and bitterness came through in her tone. "You're asking us to do, Lilith? If Ivelda was powerful then... what chance do we have now? And I'm sure at least some of us have a lot here... Are we leaving it all behind?"

Collette was trying to clarify, to make sure she knew of Lilith's intention even as memories begged her to not be so hostile. However, she needed more time. More to think, to sort out, as the realization of a life she had lost for many years reemerged without warning. As she realized there were some things she would never regain even if she got everything else back.

~*~

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Thaddeus nodded as he listened to the preacher, his men standing at attention once more as the two of them walked on castle grounds to the main doors. He wasn't much of a talker himself but he was fascinated by what Preacher Carama was reporting. The corners of his mouth turned down at the mention of the dungeon keeper but Thaddeus said nothing.

"Even here, Preacher Carama, I can assure you that we must be constantly patrolling to ensure the peace our Great Ivelda has built for these lands stays intact," Thaddeus said gently with a small smirk. "But I am grateful to you for I could not keep these lands as peaceful if you were not out there to ensure our Queen's word was maintained. It is a pity people resist so much however. I am blessed to serve Queen Ivelda but I cannot understand why there are those out there who do not believe in her. Makes my skin crawl, even."

Thaddeus frowned as they approached the main doors, servants opening the doors for them with a low bow.

"Where may we find Queen Ivelda today? We have come to report to her for our daily briefings." Thaddeus asked of the servants.

"I believe she is already with someone," one of them said with a slight bow of his head. "However, we can alert her of your presence and report to you immediately when she is ready for you."

The other servant left as Guard Captain Rock and Preacher Carama were informed of the situation. Thaddeus nodded and turned to Benedicto, "Seems we're not the only one here right now for our doses."

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Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Rukaiyan Throntan Character Portrait: Stephen Drimovir Cerenox Character Portrait: Roderick Haldic Character Portrait: Viliame Audica
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Ivelda Ever

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Ivelda listened as Asher described how the mission went. As he described what happened, Ivelda smiled. Poor pitiful people were still resisting her rule. She did admit she underestimate how strong willed the people of Rhindeval could be. Hudrefolk might have been one of the smallest kingdoms, but it's people were a force to be reckon with. She briefly thought of Roderick. Even now under her control, he was still one of the most independent of her servants. What Asher didn't know or that no one else knew was that Ivelda made an alliance with the trolls of Huldrefolk, giving them free roam of the kingdom and to do whatever they wanted as long as they didn't invade Lostein. She had done similar things in other kingdoms as well.

When Asher finished, Ivelda took the empty cup from him and using her free hand, gently caressed his cheek.

"You've done very well my boy. You deserve a break. I don't need you to take any missions for the time being, so go ahead and return to your regular duties, but don't overtax yourself. You are dismissed."

It was a knock appeared at the door and a guard appeared.

"Your majesty, Preacher Benedicto has returned to report in and Sir Thaddeus is with him."

"Wonderful! Send them both in immediately! Also, have a guard check on Roderick for me okay?"

When Roderick and Benedicto were allowed in, Ivelda beamed at them both.

"Benedicto, welcome home. I trust you're travels were safe? And how are things in town, Sir Roderick? I am done with Asher so you'll both have my undivided attention. Let me get you two something to drink first. I'll be right back."

It didn't take her long to return with two cups filled with her special brew and she gave a cup to each other them.

"Now, tell me Benedicto, did your trip to Angalais prove fruitful?"

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Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Tempeste Ponce Character Portrait: Tyann Rebal Character Portrait: Rukaiyan Throntan Character Portrait: Stephen Drimovir Cerenox Character Portrait: Roderick Haldic Character Portrait: Viliame Audica
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~ Aʂԋҽɾ Bσʅƚσɳ ~
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"Always be ready to be up to no good, makes life all the more enjoyable."
Hexcode: #DAA520



A feeling of pride bloomed in Asher’s chest at Ivelda’s praise and caress. Even still, a nugget of shame at his brutality remained in the back of his mind. ” Thank you, your Majesty. You are too kind to me. I will take my leave then.” he bowed deeply with a hand over his heart before turning on his heel to leave.

He passed Roderick and Benedicto on his way out, giving the two a curt nod before leaving the throne room. Any other time Asher would have struck up conversation with the two, possibly teased them lightly. But it was best not to interrupt anyone who had immediate business with the empress. The one and only time he had tried had left her disappointed with him. Never again.




Asher needed a pick-me-up. His stomach churned a bit uncomfortable. okay, food first, then fun. he smiled to himself as he made his way to the kitchen, a few of the minor servants he passed by knew all too well mischief was imminent seeing a growing grin on the royal healer’s face.

Basket in hand and a dozen stolen pastries later, Asher entered the medical ward once more with a smile on his face. Spying Tempeste, he quickly walked up to her with a bow chipper gait in his step. ” Tempeste! The Empress is pleased with my work and has no need of me for the time being.” he then pushed the basket of warm goods into her hands. ” Pass these out would you? I have nothing to do outside of our normal duties so I’ll be making some rounds.” he gave her almost no time to respond further as he kissed the woman on the check and practically skipped his way back out of the ward. The staff and patients present were left more than a bit stunned by Asher’s antics. It was safe to say he was pleased with his work so far. Now it was time to go visit the stables. It had been a good minute since he had Graced Tyann with his presence.




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Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Rukaiyan Throntan Character Portrait: Stephen Drimovir Cerenox Character Portrait: Viliame Audica
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The two men did not have to wait long for the doors of Ivelda’s throne room to open in front of them. A serious looking Asher stepped out of the room. Even though the healer was wearing a high heel, he was tiny compared to the size of Benedicto. As Asher nodded, Benedicto made a small bow to acknowledge his respect. ”Nice to see you, brother Bolton.”
It may have been overdoing it, but he would be a fool not to show proper respect to another of Ivelda’s servants while standing inches away from the room she was in. His bow was a short one, coming straight up to look into the room for the first glimpse of the Empress.

As Asher’s steps echoed through the hallway, Benedicto stepped forward, immediately greeted by his favourite person in the world.
"Benedicto, welcome home. I trust you're travels were safe? And how are things in town, Sir Roderick? I am done with Asher so you'll both have my undivided attention. Let me get you two something to drink first. I'll be right back."
Her voice was like the beautiful song of a rare bird. It stroke his eardrum, enticing him with the sound as well as the words she chose. Her smile was radiant and welcoming. Every moment with her was worth a painting to make it everlasting.

”My travels were very safe my Queen, I thank you for your concern to such a humble servant. ”
Ivelda left the room quickly. There was no doubt in his mind that she would return with the drink. He silently licked his lips, feeling that the drink was way overdue, something he would never tell Ivelda, of course.
”We were correct brother Rock, it does seem we can enjoy the brew we so desire. And I don’t just mean meeting our beloved Majesty.” He scampered a laugh, getting as close to humor as he ever would.
After less than a minute the door opened again, and they once again were in the presence of the highest, most intelligent and most beautiful presence in all the lands.

She handed Benedicto one of the cups in her hand, which he accepted with the deepest of bows. ”I am honoured once again, glorious Empress, with your presence and your gift.”
She had given the cup to Thaddeus and moved back to face the both of them before he got up from his bow. He put his lips carefully on the edge of the cup. He took the drink as he always had, with small sips, trying to savour the moment, savour the taste. At the same time he wished he could gulp it up in an instant. He could not forget the exciting, tickling, stinging feeling it left in the back of his throat if he would drink it quickly.
But no, he had learned to appreciate it as a fine wine. He stuck in his nose, smelling each of the separate herbs in the drink, although he had never been able to distinguish them. Even if I would be so unwise to try and recreate it, it will never be the same as hers.

"Now, tell me Benedicto, did your trip to Angalais prove fruitful?"
He didn’t know if it was the drink or because she was talking to him directly. His body filled up with warmth, a feeling like none other. His eyes closed for a second, savouring the moment.
”Your Highness, I must thank you again for your everlasting wisdom in sending me to Angalais. Your exemplary guidance is a gift straight from heaven. It is with the utmost humility a distinguished honour to do the work of a true Goddess.” Benedicto halted for a moment, making another bow and again taking a sip from the royal goblet in his hand.
”My trip commenced in a very pleasurable way. I made my way to the utmost South of Angalais. I can report that the main cities are thriving under your rule. I’ve held lectures to masses of people. All of the attendees felt compelled to make a financial donation to your Empire. The monks joining me in my travels were able to collect and bring it back here. I can only express the extreme gratitude I feel in spreading your word. The main focus of my lectures was on the creation myths. Many people seemed to interpret the holy texts differently and needed to be enlightened on the role you played in creating our existence. I must speak my heart, your Majesty, it is still a shock that I was one of the first to realise the true meaning of the holy texts and prophesies.”

Benedicto took another sip, trying not to show disappointment in his face when he realised he drank it till the last drop.
”Although I greatly miss being by your side, especially for these extended amount of times, it truly is valuable for me to travel the lands to educate the people.
Where the cities are thriving, I passed small communities where your word is not at all followed. I am ashamed and disgusted by this fact, but we went through a village where your superior state of being was not properly acknowledged. By your grace I have tried to remedy the situation best I could. The village elder has been arrested, and the village priest has been elevated and recognised as the one true leader of the community.
A sin had been committed which has produced an offspring. I had to take the infant. It will need to live a life in servitude of you in order to try and remedy the sin of the parents. My monks would have taken it to the orphanage. In a few years I might be able to adopt it into the church for proper education.”


He was truly disgusted by the parents and the village elder. The burden and guilt they had put on the infant was immense. Eventually the child would be blessed in servitude, but it would never be able to reach his level, due to the condition in which it was born. The injustice and stupidity made Benedicto mad all over again, his eyes getting watery in rage. He pinched his own hands in order to find an outlet for his anger, fighting back the tears.
”I weep for the non-believers, my immortal Empress. I weep for their soul.”

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Character Portrait: Garland Greywind Novax Character Portrait: Justice Chastain Character Portrait: Ishara Soli Eldiel Character Portrait: Euphemia Isadora Apolline Regana Lavorre III Character Portrait: Niklaus Viel Eldiel Character Portrait: Aurora Givens Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Lilith Evers Character Portrait: Meridian O'Donohue Character Portrait: Silvia Siria Shwetz Character Portrait: Tyann Rebal Character Portrait: Sibylla Costrantina Character Portrait: Rukaiyan Throntan Character Portrait: Roderick Haldic Character Portrait: Viliame Audica
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Aurora Givens~Cassie Peters~Lilith Evers
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Cassie was a bit relieved when Ishara stepped in, seemingly ending the fight. Well that was quickly short lived when the young woman merely pushed Reese back at Justice.

"Oh for crying out loud!" she shouted before launching herself at Reese again.

It was pretty obvious things were about to get out of control, but luckily Justice's bodyguard showed up to finally break up the fight. This relieved both Lilith and Aurora. Soon though Justice let out a huge tirade though, bringing up some very good points. Even Cassie had to admit that. After her rant though, the girl collapsed, obviously worn out.

Lilith finally stepped up. She chose to ignore the bodyguard's. He'd probably think Justice was out of it, but he really don't do anything about the situation.

"She's right. We're not suppose to be fighting each other right now. I know this is a lot for you to take in and all of you are feeling overwhelmed. Why don't you all take a break from this. Before you leave though, I will ask that all of you come to my place tomorrow since it's still the weekend. I don't think any of you have weekend classes right? I will email each of you my address. I plan on attempting to contact someone you all might remember. Her name is Queen Eowyn. Yes, I am still wanting you to return to your place of birth with me, but I am willing to let all of you think it over too. But I will be returning no matter what. Before I do, I want to try to find out about the current state of Rhindeval and the queen might be able to provide me with that information. But I am going to need help trying to contact her. Now that you girls remember your past, your abilities will probably start to surface so you'll be able to help me reach her. For now I'll continue to read legends about your homeland. You're more the welcome to stay and listen. Thank you ladies."

With that, Lilith returned to her booth and soon had people gathered around her again. It wasn't long before Ishara left with Euphemia, after stating this felt more real to her then their past. Aurora felt it wasn't right to deny they had a past and probably had people in Rhindeval still waiting for them. Could she really live with herself if she stayed here? She always felt she never fully belonged here too. It did help she had been dreaming of Rhindeval. At least she assumed she had been. But she knew she couldn't leave without saying something to her adoptive family either. That was one big issue that had to be settled. Still her instincts told her to return and she always trusted them. Turning to the girls that still remained, she spoke up.

"I . . . I am going back. I can't help but feel Rhindeval needs me . . . needs us. So I am going to help Ms. Evers as much as I can. I hope the rest of you are able to come, but I won't force you to. I don't have anything else I want to do, so I am going to listen in on those stories. Bye." Aurora said before going to listen in on Lilith's stories.

Cassie just shook her head before commenting, "How can she accept this so easily? We all have lives here too right? How can we just 'pick up and leave it'. Freddie did make a point, this feels more real to me then my own memories. I am not ready to accept all of this yet, but . . . I don't like the idea that our birthplace could be suffering. Justice did make a point, Ivelda did kill our birth parents. The idea she's still free rubs me the wrong way. Maybe I'll take Ms. Evers up on her offer for tomorrow. Maybe then I can come to a decision. What do the rest of you plan on doing? I do need a break from all this though."





Ivelda Ever

Code- #003300


Ivelda listened as Benedicto talked about his travels. When Ivelda originally became the new ruler of Rhindeval, she knew she had to think long term. And what better way to make sure her reign stay supreme than by raising the next generation to worship her? She knew she had to walk a fine line though for she knew very well that the true gods of this land were probably watching her. She knew from her own childhood that the gods of this world didn't interfere unless they had to. She didn't want that to happen. Thanks to her agreement with the Evil forces of this world, higher beings had strict rules to follow.

After Benedicto finished his report, Ivelda smiled and said, "You've done a fine job Benedicto. As much as I am overjoyed that the people of my land love me, all of you must remember that I am as much a servant as the rest of you. I want my people to to never be afraid of me for all I want is the land to prosper and for everyone to be safe and happy."

That was partially true, she did want this land to prosper, but she wasn't afraid to use fear tactics either. She had her own secret band of enforcement that no one else knew about, but rebels had heard of them, calling them the "Fangs of Ivelda". These loyal subjects were once the most dangerous criminals of Rhindeval, but Ivelda had recruited them even before taking over, promising them everything they could ask for in exchange for complete loyalty. In fact, each and every "Governor" of Kingdoms of Rhindeval was a member of this group. Calling the former kingdoms "Principalities", Ivelda knew she couldn't oversee every area at once, so she had loyal men in charge of the other principalities while she oversaw Lostein. However soon she would make a trip to visit each other principalities, at least the ones under her control. It was frustrating how kingdoms like Traumet had sealed themselves off.

"You are free to go for now Benedicto. You deserve some rest. Sir Thaddeus, you are free to speak now. Oh, Benedicto there is one last thing, I need a guard to go fetch me Eike. Could you have someone do that?"

Suddenly there was a knock at the door and a guard opened the door.

"Your majesty, Roderick is here."

"Wonderful! Send him in! Can you make sure that another guard makes sure that Korgan and Tyann are on their way too?"

The guard nodded and left to do his job.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Garland Greywind Novax Character Portrait: Niklaus Viel Eldiel Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Tyann Rebal Character Portrait: Rukaiyan Throntan Character Portrait: Roderick Haldic Character Portrait: Viliame Audica
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#8F4AB1



Not even the dull thud of his boots could bring the nervous guard comfort as he went down. Everything moved slow and thick through molasses here, even the sounds. A noise had to be of a particular frequency to cut through the humidity, let's say, for example, a piercing scream. But the guard could hear no screams, an observation that did not come as a relief as you'd expect. Like a canary in a coal mine, when the dungeon stopped singing the silence was often proceeded by death. Generally because the canary was looking for its next meal. Of course this was the place the preacher of death would send him to. Nothing ever pleasant came from the orders of that man no matter how delicately he wrapped them.

He pushed through the damp air down into the hovel his fellow guardsmen had congregated. Remarkably none of them even glanced up. That was very deliberate.

"... Will one of you deliver a message for Benedicto Carama?"

They moved in unison like cockroaches scattering, twitching their heads anywhere but his direction. "Hm?" "Huh?" The guard stared down one until eventually he broke out of their collective deafness and reluctantly stepped forward.

"I can escort you, but that's all I'm willing. Come," he sighed and beckoned the guard out.

"Thank you," the guard grunted with a sharp look at his colleagues as he was led. As they walked further, and the air grew thicker still, he wondered if he would have the breath to even speak upon his arrival. He looked to his guide. Might as well use his words before he started choking. His companion was bigger than him, and suffering for it, sweating out of every chink in his armor. "So is it a requirement for the profession or does one develop it to keep ones sanity intact? That deafness back there."

"Oh?" The guide perked up and chuckled, "Ohh, no, no, we hear the screams loud and clear, in waking and sleep." His brows furrowed in concern and the guard watched sweat catch between the creases. "The Master sent a woman up today. It's a... stressful process, for him."

The guard raised his brow. "Tantrum?"

"Only the one. They're not too often, but when they come, they're... you know of degustation? Well, uh, they're small, but they come in twenty courses."

The guard cracked a smile at the man. "With complimenting whines?"

His fellow guardsman didn't catch his bad joke. "My point is they're predictable, but right now there's... something foreign that was introduced to his environment, and we've been waiting a few hours for the other nineteen courses."

"And what is this foreign entity?"

"........"

"... What toy is the Master playing with right now."

"...
a child..."

"..."

"..."

"... A CHI-"




Eike worked in silence. His subject was very still, which pleased him. She was in fact petrified in fear.

"It's done." He announced and stepped back, tossing the measurement tape aside into an unraveled pile. The little girl remained very, very still, her arms stretched out as far as they can go. Her toes curled over the edge of her stool. Something tugged her hand down, and different coloured ribbons began to wrap around her forearm. "Your skin..." Eike murmured. His glassy eyes were fixated on his fingers. She had not seen him blink once since he'd propped her up like a mannequin and began his work. "... It's pretty when it's young."

The little girl flinched, but didn't let out a sound as the ribbons became uncomfortably tight.

"It's... disappointing, how it doesn't keep pretty when stretched over your bigger body." He tapped each of the ribbons on her arm settling on a lilac one. He began to unwrap the ribbons, one by one, leaving pink lines in their wake. His big eyes suddenly darted up to hers. His hand neared her face, and she held her breath, when he took one of her rosy cheeks between his finger and thumb and squished it. "One day these will rise with blisters and be carved out by scars." He informed her, deadly serious, "Their red will not be endeared then."

He glared at her so intensely, it was as though he was threatening her to grow up, right now, if she dared. Then he tied the lilac ribbon in a bow around her neck and lifted her off the stool with a vacant smile.

"But for now your skin suits the same pigment as your mother." He announced as he skipped to a basket and produced an armful of violet cloth, "I have enough fabric left over from your mother's dress for you!"

The little girl, staring right at the scraps of the dress her mother was sent to her death in, let out a noise like a little boiling teapot that then devolved into incoherent sound as her tears bubbled over. Eike clicked his tongue and looked down at the mess in his arms in annoyance.

"Don't... do that, it's not finished yet. It will be a dress soon," he comforted her, "It will be finished tomorrow evening, if..." his eyes slid over to the door, expectantly, "... I'm not interrupted."

Knock, knock.




You would assume that for one who spent their existence stewing in the rot and shadow that was Ivelda's dungeons, a trip into the sun would be a joyous occasion. For Eike, not so much. He breached the "above-world" like a prisoner being dragged up for execution. The light was too bright, the air was tasteless and the smells were - well, they weren't even there. He couldn't feel Ivelda's love here. It was all a white void. The only thing that he would ever surface for, and the only thing that kept him braving it, excluding the stuffed bear he held, was the promise of Ivelda herself.

Upon reaching her throne room, he kept his mouth shut, and fell to his knees in a bow before her. Her perfume carried to him like the sweet rot in her torture chambers. It was a caress compared to the embrace from her he felt below, and it was t a i n t e d by the p A R a S i t E S in their presence, here to suckle at the same golden teat of which HE was moST DESERVING -

Eike shut his eyes with a sigh, and let them fall back into the white void until only he and Ivelda and their love remained.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Garland Greywind Novax Character Portrait: Niklaus Viel Eldiel Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Tyann Rebal Character Portrait: Rukaiyan Throntan Character Portrait: Stephen Drimovir Cerenox Character Portrait: Roderick Haldic Character Portrait: Viliame Audica
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#12513



Thud. Thud. Thud.

Heavy footfalls came from outside the throne room. They grew louder, closer, as if the earth itself quaked underneath the approaching presence, until..

THUD!

The main door flew open, then rattled back and forth and scraped at the floor. A jester rolled into view, stood to his feet, and whipped out an over-long, overcompensating brass trumpet. He inhaled deeply and blew into the mouthpiece. His cheeks turned puffy and pink as he tooted a triumphant song, high in notes and spirits, to herald the arrival…

”GYAHAHA! I’m impressed, Asher. You may be a midget, but you can hold your liquor!”

...Of Korgan the Outrider. His hulking form was wide enough to stand out in the doorway, clad in a fuzzy bathrobes dyed a bright, electrifying pink. His arms, long and thick as oaken logs, were looped around Tyann and Asher’s shoulders. An empty bottle jiggled within his robes, trapped between his rock-solid, sculpted pecs. The two princes seemed like gnomes underneath his mass, dragged around with little need of force or coercion.

The jester bobbed, and shook, and tapped away as his trumpet crescendo’d into a solo, until Korgan let go of Asher and held one hand up.

”Thank you, Francis! Thank you!”

Francis the jester straightened, took a deep bow, and retreated into the corner. The merry man was barely taller than a child, yet his face was that of a middle-aged man, with a mustache to match. Korgan cleared his throat, patted Tyann twice, then strode forwards. His chest bumped against the recently-arrived Roderick’s shoulder with a loud smack, and he looked back with a mocking smirk.

Despite his bulk (and the questionable state of his sobriety), Korgan moved with the grace of a lion in his domain. He held his head high, and his steps were swift yet steady. Powerful, yet soundless. He nodded to greet the rest of the Queen’s Hands as he passed them. Roderick. Thaddeus. Benny.” The Raid-King stopped, then leaned close to the latter. Far too close to be courteous. ”Strung up any poor children, lately?” He asked with a grin, with a tone that was less a question and more a jab. Korgan scoffed and cackled as he walked past them.

Eike was already at the Empress’ toes. Not a surprise. The Queen’s Inquisitor. Her most ardent supporter. As much as Benny tried his best to compete for that ‘honor’, the little runt’s made for stuffing his face into the Queen’s backside. The Raid-King thought about calling out to him. Images quickly flashed before his eyes. Of sallow skin, snapped bones, and pale faces drenched in tears, staring with eyes reddened with despair.

Korgan’s grin disappeared. His stomach churned. He swiftly turned his attention back to Ivelda.

”My Queen!” He greeted her, with arms spread wide. ”As always, the radiance of your dark splendor glimmers brighter than the finest black rose!” He placed one hand on his chest, and gestured towards Francis with the other as he bowed. ”I’ve trusted my report with Francis, my first mate. He will leave it for you to peruse later, at your leisure.”

It was then that Korgan heard a rattle, and looked down to see the bottle jiggling in his bosom. He glanced left and right, and slowly, his lips curled upwards into a sheepish smirk. ”Excuse me.”

Korgan flung the bottle away. It zipped through the air and narrowly missed Thaddeus’ head, shattering into a million pieces as it struck a column.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Garland Greywind Novax Character Portrait: Niklaus Viel Eldiel Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Meridian O'Donohue Character Portrait: Tyann Rebal Character Portrait: Sibylla Costrantina Character Portrait: Rukaiyan Throntan Character Portrait: Roderick Haldic Character Portrait: Stephen Drimovir Cerenox Character Portrait: Viliame Audica
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Thaddeus Rock

Code #0F569C


"...and I can assure you, my men and I will be vigilant and dutiful to ensure your everlasting reign," Thaddeus finished his report with a bow, empty cup in hand. It had been a short one this time since there had been little trouble lately. He found it odd, noting he was increasing patrols in case the people were plotting.

His report was wrapped up as the dungeon master, Eike, came into the room. Thaddeus quickly got out of his way though it wasn't out of fear. Eike did make him wary however. He rivaled Benedicto for the most devoted but even Thaddeus had to admit his methods were... a bit extreme. It was why Thaddeus was so insistent his men keep order and only send those who truly deserved it into the dungeons.

It was shortly after that the heavy thudding was heard. Thaddeus frowned for he knew the only one who could make those thunderous footsteps. A few moments later, his suspicions were confirmed as Korgan the Outrider appeared, dragging along Asher and the beastmaster. Two more uncouth devotees who Thaddeus had no patience for already. All three were of the disruptive sort who never seemed to fail at offending Thaddeus when he came across their presence.

Gritting his teeth, Thaddeus resolved to bear it quietly as he always did as he watched Korgan stroll into the room. The loud entrance, the loud outfit, the loud being of Korgan himself made it difficult however. He was already restraining himself, fists clenched, when a bottle broke against the column he was standing by. Thaddeus' eyes went wide and he looked to the slightly wet spot on the column and then down to the pieces on the floor.

He was livid.

"How kind of you to join us, Korgan," Thaddeus called out, stepping forward, one hand on the hilt of his sword. The other hand was clenched at his side. "I apologize, My Queen, but I feel compelled to say this. You, Korgan, sing Ivelda's praises but do not grace her with your best self. Instead, you come into this room of civilized men and make a fool of yourself, the stench of drink on you. You can run around in the filth out there all you like but you cannot act like it in here in front of our Queen. I know it is your nature but our beloved Queen Ivelda has given you an opportunity above your station so I suggest you act like what you're supposed to be or I will have to remind you of it myself."

~*~

Collette Smith

Code #E35D9A


Everyone was leaving and Collette stood there, not really listening as the others made their resolve. There was a mix of emotions threatening to break out of her and memories of her past and present collided ferociously in her mind. She took in a deep breath and pressed her fingers to her temples, a headache forming from her crying fit earlier. Her glasses were also smudged with tears and there was a weariness she hadn't felt earlier.

"I'm going hom-" Collette's eyes widened and she looked close to tears again. She cleared her throat and said, "I'm going back to the dorm thing whatever."

She headed off without saying anything else, her fingers searching for the two pouches she had gotten from Freddie earlier. She clutched them tightly in her pocket, still mindful of the fact that she probably shouldn't have them on the festival grounds. Collette was desperate for Freddie's promise to be true of the Royal Highness taking the stress off. She paused in her stride and snorted. Another irony, she thought bitterly.

It was a lot though. Collette knew Justice was right about needing to take responsibility and even about how Ivelda wasn't simply throwing tea parties in their absence. She could see all the boys' faces as well, particularly Stephen's. While Ishara had a real brother, Stephen had been like a surrogate older brother to Sibylla. The thought of him stripped of his freedom, to serve the same woman who destroyed their childhood... It was painful to think about.

Her.. Well, her family's kingdom also had many kind people. She had been their princess and had been adored just as much as she had adored them. But now, their faces seemed so distant, like those on a television screen. That didn't mean they had to suffer however. A thought struck Sibylla and she felt the tears well up again. That was if Ivelda hadn't gotten to them already.

She could remember the little girl she had been and remembered how much pressure and responsibilities her parents had pressed upon her. She was older now but she didn't know the first thing about running a kingdom if she even had one left. Collette felt the pressure in her head increase. There were so many unknown factors and she had struggled so much to make a life here. How on Earth would she make a life there when so much more was involved? If Ivelda didn't destroy her kingdom then Sibylla certainly could through her inadequacy and ignorance.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Garland Greywind Novax Character Portrait: Niklaus Viel Eldiel Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Tyann Rebal Character Portrait: Rukaiyan Throntan Character Portrait: Stephen Drimovir Cerenox Character Portrait: Roderick Haldic Character Portrait: Viliame Audica
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Tyann Rebal :: #F47206




The world swam as Tyann moved with both Korgan and Asher. Korgan had asked Tyann, once the Beastmaster had returned from his quick jaunt into the nearby forest to scream his wrath at the 'present' that he was thoughtfully-thoughtlessly given, to join him on 'an excursion'. He had accepted, having thought nothing of it, and soon found himself in the company of both The Outrider AND The Healer. How this happened? Tyann couldn't tell you! Hell, he couldn't even tell himself much less you!

So now he was standing before Her Majesty, sloshed beyond belief, and trying his hardest to stay upright much less stay in proper decorum. His skin was too hot! The clothes he wore were too constricting! And worst of all he could just tell that that thrice damned, uppity, misbegotten, judgmental, snobby, high on his ever blessed horse PRIEST was just... Absolutely thinking he was a mess! So what that he worked with the animals? Name one person better to handle the requests of Her Majesty when it came to the matters of beast and monster! Go ahead! Try!

And then there was Thaddeus! ... Or was that Roderick...? NO MATTER! Good glorious Grace of Her Majesty above was there THAT. MAN. Already! He was being a JERK! Such a pompous, overdone, absolutely baselessly holier than thou, completely irrelevant, and totally "RUDE, USELESS, KNIGHT! What did ANY OF US EVER DO TO DESERVE THAT IRE?! Hm!? Where do YOU get off being all HIGH AND MIGHTY! HMM!?"

Tyann blinked as the words roared out from his mouth, his legs stumbling him to the right as the world tilted violently. His mask, thankfully, was secured tightly to his face. The guilt, shame, and mild surprise, finally caught up to his thoughts as he listened to his words echo around the room once, before they faded. There was a heartbeat, a pulse of confusion and anger at the confusion and shame, before his voice once again rasped out into the room, quieter now. "My ah, my apol'gies... I'm ah, l'il bit uh... Gone... Yeah... Ahm... Gonna have a si'down in a secon'. Dammit Korg'n I... Mmm." His words trailed off, the mind slipping along with them as Tyann found himself leaning up against a nearby wall just to keep himself from slumping to the ground in a heap. Shame kept trying to boil up in his chest, and he kept pressing it down.

He would be DAMNED if he let himself feel shame for speaking his mind, though Her Majesty deserved not to hear such thoughts. Nor to see him in such a state... Why did he smell so clean?! His nose stung with the unkind scent of bathwater and... Roses? Maybe. Tyann was NOT a gardener. He tilted his head up until he locked eyes with Her Majesty, and then bowed his head once again in shame and embarrassment.

He thought to pray to Her Grace, the spirit that resided within the flesh of Ivelda but... Mayhap that would only bring more ire unto him. So his thoughts went quiet, and he stilled himself as best he could. And then, Tyann chose to just breathe.

And hope that he gave Ari that damn Nexu...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Garland Greywind Novax Character Portrait: Niklaus Viel Eldiel Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Tyann Rebal Character Portrait: Rukaiyan Throntan Character Portrait: Stephen Drimovir Cerenox Character Portrait: Roderick Haldic Character Portrait: Viliame Audica
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~ Aʂԋҽɾ Bσʅƚσɳ ~
Image
"Always be ready to be up to no good, makes life all the more enjoyable."
Hexcode: #DAA520



Things were . . . kind of blurry. He didn't remember when he had started drinking but when he did it was to try keeping up with Korgan . . . again. When did the outrider show up? Asher couldn't recall. Something told him the hog had snatched up Tyann and him at some point between Asher going to the stables to bother Tyann. Everything was fine anyway, he felt great and still had his balance! He had years of training to help stay physically sharp when intoxicated. it was that or punishment from his old teachers. Lousy murderers . . . glad to have been rid of them. Cold bastards the lot of them. Asher hiccupped and giggled as Korgan helped Tyann and him along through the castle.

Why are we in the throne room again, wasn't I just here? Asher swayed in place but stayed on his feet. His face was flushed and a goofy grin was plastered across his face. Her majesty was still here and was probably going to be mad. But that was okay, the big problem was all the fussy pricks were present in the room as well. Who let the torture rat out of his hole? and why did the Priest always look like he had to relive himself so badly all the time? Asher hiccupped again and rubbed at his face. "Wooooooooow . . . This, I think I need more drink if I'm going to be here with a few of you." He squinted and pointed at Eike, his voice coming out as a raspy whisper. "Especially hic Yooooou of All people . . . hold on." He quickly rummaged around his person before, miraculously, pulling out a half full smoky blue bottle. Asher then proceed to practically flick the cork out of it and unceremoniously down the remaining contents of the body, letting out a drawn out breath after swallowing the last drop. "Aaaaah . . . okay that better."

He blinked before his entire body went stiff, as the situation finally registered in his plastered brain. He was drunk in front of her majesty right now and one step away from saying plenty that he shouldn't. That didn't seem to be stopping Tyann much though. Still wasn't good though. Even if he was just "The Healer" to just about everyone else in the room, there was a good chance of him getting chastised for this. "Spirits be damned Korgan . . . Just had to drag me back here hic Didn't you?"




Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Garland Greywind Novax Character Portrait: Niklaus Viel Eldiel Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Tyann Rebal Character Portrait: Rukaiyan Throntan Character Portrait: Stephen Drimovir Cerenox Character Portrait: Roderick Haldic Character Portrait: Viliame Audica
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#, as written by TushoKa
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6565D1

The tears in Benedicto’s eyes dried quickly as Ivelda praised him for his work. He felt her heartfelt humility towards her subjects. He was convinced by her wish not to be feared and for everyone to be happy.
”Your words only underline how lucky we are with your guidance and everlasting wisdom. I will send for the Dungeon Master. With your permission, my lady, I’d also like to hear Master Rock’s progress in the capital. And any moment I can spend further in your presence is a gift from the heavens.” He emphasised his words with another deep bow.

As Thaddeus started, Benedicto walked over to the guard waiting outside. He whispered as not to disturb the report of the leader of the Royal Guard. ”The Queen would like you to call up the Dungeon Master to the Throne Room. Do not delay, the Queen insist at his immediate presence.” he urged the guard. The man looked with wide open eyes, and a small droplet of sweat started forming on his forehead.
I Will inform the guards in the Dungeon, Preacher Carama. the man tried to shove his duties to others.
”Do what you must, but I’m holding you responsible for the Dungeon Master’s imminent arrival. I pray for you that it will not be long” Benedicto said threatening.

The man rushed away, and before Benedicto went back inside to close the door he saw the hunter. ”I assume you have been summoned as well.” He asked with his head high up in the air, trying to emphasise how much better he was than a guy who preferred to sleep in a forrest and roll in the dirt.
”For once you assume correctly. Just please tell me you have given your report, so you’re done talking…” the Hunter said irritatingly. Before Benedicto could answer however, the man continued.
”Who am I kidding…. You’re never done talking, are you?” As the man finished he pushed Benedicto out the way and stepped into the Throne Room. He closed the door and took his spot in the room to listen on to Thaddeus’ report.

”..and I can assure you, my men and I will be vigilant and dutiful to ensure your everlasting reign,” The guard had just finished his interesting and enlightening report when the doors to the room opened once again. Looking over his shoulder, Benedicto could see the Dungeon Master walking straight to the queen. The man child fell on his knees, bowed his head and did not utter a word. A few metres to the right the Preacher could hear an audible sigh coming from the pink-haired man.

Benedicto smiled upon seeing him. The Dungeon Master was but a tool, but a highly effective one. He himself was not a great fan of inflicting torture personally, although he did so when needed. Eike had turned it into an art. A great knowledge of the human body and its pain points, most probably rivalling Asher’s knowledge, albeit in a vastly different way.
Although definitely a favourite of the Queen, Benedicto believed she only saw him as the tool he was, regardless of how she acted toward him. If the Queen was looking for leaders she could turn to anyone of her Royal subjects. All young man had a way of influencing people and leading them to something better. Not Eike…, as skilled as he was in his Dungeon, he would be nothing outside these castle walls. A pity, that someone so devoted is so stunted in mental growth. I could teach him…, if only our Goddess would let me.

Benedicto cleared his throat, ready to great the young man when he heard the footsteps. His eyes rolled back in his head so hard, it nearly made him dizzy. Not this one…not now he thought a second before the door slammed open again.
Of course he has to be announced by a herald. Putting your own importance over she who most deserves it… BLASPHEMY! He was ready to shout it out, but he would not be dragged down to the same level of civility as the beast man and his unlucky companions.
”Roderick. Thaddeus. Benny.” The pig said confidently. He continued in a small whisper as he walked past Benedicto.
”Strung up any poor children, lately?”
Benedicto answered through his gritted teeth: ”Only those that have been irreversibly taken over by demons, in order to thwart the ruling of the one and only true Empress and Goddess this world has ever seen. ”

The Healer and Beast Master were following in his wake. The smell coming from the three was unmistakably laden with alcohol. This must be enough reason for our Queen to refuse them the drink… the drink that is as nectar for me.
Before long a bottle flew through the air in the direction of Thaddeus. Benedicto held his breath as he saw it fly past the guard and smashed to a thousand pieces against the pillar behind him.
”You absolute monster…” Benedicto started before being shushed by Thaddeus speaking up.





Image
18D10A

Raiden was still rubbing his shoulder when he saw the bottle flying through the room. Fish breath had bumped into him as he came in, sloshed as they come. A soft whistle escaped Raiden’s lips as he was impressed with the aim, even though the beast would not be able to keep his eyes from getting crossed, drunk as he was.
Unless he didn’t aim to miss poor Thaddeus.
He noticed how the Dungeon Master had still not moved, and was still sitting bowed down at Ivelda’s feet, as if he was a well trained pet.
Not even the Beast Master would be able to train something that well, especially not in his current state.
Raiden got a bit upset. After he had given Tyann a very rare and interesting present, Raiden had had to deal with a level of incompetency amongst the staff as well as heaving surgery on his arm. And here he shows up…, drunk as a skunk.

Ivelda would be pissed. Not only showing such a level of disregard, but then also doing it in front of her other servants is reaching a new level of stupidity. As Raiden could have guessed, it was Thaddeus who spoke up, acting as if he was all-that.
”"I apologize, My Queen, but I feel compelled to say this.” The pompous ass continued with his pomp-assery, although Raiden had to admit, the man wasn’t wrong.
He stepped forward, his saddle bag with the adult Nexu head still in his hands. ”Dear Thaddeus…, it may walk like a man and talk like a man…” Standing next to Eike, in front of Ivelda, he let go of the bag. The bag fell to the floor and as the flap opened a little, the Nexu head came rolling out, it’s empty eyes looking at Eike directly.
Raiden bowed in front of his Queen. ”It was an honour to retrieve this for you, my Queen, I can only hope it pleases you.” he said well rehearsed.

He turned around again to walk back to where he had been standing. ”… but never forget, he is not a man. He is not more than the filth that comes out of his mouth.”
He had a grin on his face, knowing the lashing that would follow for Korgan’s behaviour. The hunter lifted his hand to scratch his arm, while he remembered the Serein woman that had helped him. His grin quickly gone he lowered his hands.

”RUDE, USELESS, KNIGHT! What did ANY OF US EVER DO TO DESERVE THAT IRE?! Hm!? Where do YOU get off being all HIGH AND MIGHTY! HMM!?”
Soon after the Beast Master fell and leaned on the wall he was standing close to. Raiden walked over to him, feeling sorry for his friend.
”Calm down Tyann, it’s better not to speak in your current state.” He held his shoulders, trying to make him stand up straight. Trying to preserve any dignity still left in the boy. This is all Korgan’s fault. It’s bad enough he is allowed to come here at all, but even worse that he is dragging others down with him.
He sniffed as he smelled something strange. Looking at Tyann’s hair he saw little branches of green and rose petals sticking out. ”Unless you have a sudden fondness for gardening, I believe you fell over in the rose garden, my friend.”

Asher did not seem to be doing any better. ”This, I think I need more drink if I'm going to be here with a few of you. Yooooou of All people” he aimed at the Dungeon Master. As the Healer drank another bottle, Benedicto could no longer contain himself.
”You ungrateful lot. Can you not see all of the abundance in your life is thanks to our Empress? Our lands and lives are blessed by her Grace. We are privileged over so many servants, that we are allowed to be in the same room and breath the same air as our Goddess. She guides us, she rewards us… and this is how you choose to pay your respects. I urge you to seek forgiveness. I urge you to seek repentance for your misdeeds.”
He turned to Ivelda herself, finding himself kneeling in front of her again.
”Your Grace, we can only humbly ask for your forgiveness towards us. The fact we disappoint you is a punishment in itself. Your deeds and actions have brought so much prosperity to the people in these lands. I will pray for them, I will pray for their repentance and I will pray that we may enjoy your teachings for the rest of our lives until the end of time.”

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Character Portrait: Garland Greywind Novax Character Portrait: Niklaus Viel Eldiel Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Tyann Rebal Character Portrait: Rukaiyan Throntan Character Portrait: Stephen Drimovir Cerenox Character Portrait: Roderick Haldic Character Portrait: Viliame Audica
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Ivelda Ever

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Ivelda didn't have to wait long for Eike to show up. The boy immediately bowed to her. She could tell he was uncomfortable in this situation, but Ivelda figured that if he could handle messing with others, he could stand a few minutes out of the dungeon. Ivelda wondered if she did too good of a job of messing with his mind. Oh well, what is done is done and she'd rather keep him loyal to her then be social.

"My sweet boy, it was so good of you to join us. I won't keep you long," she cooed as she pet his head.

It was then she saw Roderick come in. Ivelda would have greeted him immediately but she suddenly heard loud footsteps. Obviously it was Korgan. She was use to his loud noises by now. But what happened next she wasn't expecting, three drunk servants in the form of Korgan, Tyann, and Asher. What followed next was Korgan delivering the report, then throwing a bottle, which nearly missed Thaddeus and then a sequence of shouting. Somewhere in there she heard Roderick deliver the head of a Nexu she asked for. Still it wasn't enough to appease her as her temper boiled over.

"ENOUGH!!! Benedicto and Thaddeus! I am QUEEN here! You're NOT give out orders when I AM here! You're both done for now so you're both dismissed! You too Asher, you're lucky I am not blaming you for your current condition but make no mistake, don't you ever come into my quarters in such a state AGAIN!"

After they left she turned her full fury to Korgan. With a flip of her hand, she magically grabbed a hold of his ear and slammed his head into the ground with enough force that would give him a headache, but not enough to give him brain damage.

"Korgan! I asked you to clean up then come to me straight away and THIS is how you present yourself to me?! Drunk and nearly hurting one of my other servants!? I ought to take away your ship for a MONTH! I can find other replacements you know. Now stay there until I address you again, your pig!"

Taking a deep breath, she turns to Roderick.

"Thank for doing the tasked I ask for. I hope you're arm is a bit better. All of you have done well. Korgan if you ask nicely, I'll give you the drink I plan on giving the others here. You don't want me to take away your sea legs for a month right? I shall be back. BEHAVE all four of you."

After making four drinks of her special brew, Ivelda came in with them on a tray.

"Now then please drink and then all of you are dismissed. I don't have a need for any of you for the time being. Oh Roderick, please take my new treasure to the trophy room where all the other collectibles are. Thank you."

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Character Portrait: Garland Greywind Novax Character Portrait: Niklaus Viel Eldiel Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Tyann Rebal Character Portrait: Rukaiyan Throntan Character Portrait: Stephen Drimovir Cerenox Character Portrait: Roderick Haldic Character Portrait: Viliame Audica
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Ivelda's hand touched Eike's head. Immediately the white void he perceived the palace to be was swallowed up by a bubbling darkness, hot and thick like tar, and so sweet. Her fingers tickled his scalp and he was overcome by light-headed euphoria. His eyes rolled back behind their lids.

"Thank you, your Majesty..." he barely whispered. Suddenly he was back in the white void, and all around him was this ear-splitting CLAMOUR of overlapping voices, bravado, and directionless noise. He tried to hold onto his moment with Ivelda and meditate on it to block the chaos out, but when Korgan wanted an audience, by Ivelda's Grace he'd take one by the throat. Though Korgan succeeded in preventing Eike from escaping into his head, Eike remained on the ground in his position of submission, refusing the trio his gaze. These theatrics were impermissible by Ivelda - by extension, it was impermissible for Eike to acknowledge them.

One day, that unruly boar would end up feeding his underground garden. It wasn't a day Eike awaited with bated breath. He wasn't interested in the expressions of a pig. Asher's pointed remark drew a side glance from him. Another reason he despised being dragged up here. It was... difficult not to notice. How he got looked at the same way he saw the guards look at the roaches in the dungeons. It wasn't difficult to be looked at like a bug, no, but there was another expression that some of them regarded him with that Eike couldn't put a name to. A sort of soft, pained look with bright eyes he hated seeing himself reflected in.

Eventually Ivelda raised her voice, and Eike kept his head down. He didn't think to blink back the tears that appeared whenever she yelled. Even if her anger wasn't directed towards him, it always made his body clam up with anxiety and guilt. He watched her feet leave. Silence was left in her wake. Slowly he shed his guilt in favor of adopting Ivelda's anger. Maybe being looked at like a bug is difficult, when...

"... If you resent myself and my work," Eike spoke up to the quiet room. It wasn't certain who he was addressing at first. There were certainly many unspoken thoughts in the room that he could have somehow dragged to light. "... then you don't know Ivelda's heart. These hands bestow Ivelda's mercies no less than yours do."

Eike lifted his head and turned it, looking over his shoulder to stare the object of his ire straight in the eye, with an unnerving... deliberateness.

"They are mercies, Asher Bolton."

Ivelda's heels clacked back into the room and Eike kept his stare going before slowly moving back into place as she came before him. He graciously accepted the potion, drank it without tasting it, then lifted himself up unnaturally - like a puppet being lifted by strings - and bowed. He gave Benedicto and Thaddeus a grateful, albeit Eike-like, smile on his way out and completely ignored the others.

Outside, Eike giggled.

Benedicto got in trouble.

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Character Portrait: Garland Greywind Novax Character Portrait: Niklaus Viel Eldiel Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Tyann Rebal Character Portrait: Rukaiyan Throntan Character Portrait: Stephen Drimovir Cerenox Character Portrait: Roderick Haldic Character Portrait: Viliame Audica
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Korgan laughed. And laughed, and laughed. He laughed at Thaddeus' condemnation. At Tyann and Asher's harsh words for their rivals, brought to the lips by drink. At Benny and Eike, who… looked as if the sticks up their arses had gone just a little deeper. And of course, Raiden, whose mere presence left the Raid-King in stitches.

He laughed so hard, he missed Ivelda's first few words… until a thundering thud cut his cackles short, and his temple felt the cold kiss of stone.

Korgan winced. Pain throbbed through his head. Thud, thud, thud. So loud, so close. He felt his inebriation end in an instant, replaced with the wide-eyed fear of his Queen. She was furious.

He kept his head down and his mouth shut. He deserved this tongue lashing. Protesting or arguing would just make it worse. He knew this. Personally. However, she threatened him with the unspeakable, and his heart skipped a beat. He looked up in an instant, his ears wilted, his eyes big and yellow.

"NO! My Queen! Not my sea legs…!"

He begged of her, with a voice higher and more desperate than before.

The Queen departed for a bit, and left Korgan with time to reflect. To take a Kymeran's ship was to take their freedom, their very way of life. She would leave him stranded in a prison of stale air and clumsy, uneven earth. Away from the endless stretches of the ocean, full of never ending possibilities…

Ivelda soon returned, with her special brew on a tray. Korgan shuffled, placed his palms on the floor, and prostrated himself before her. "Forgive me, Queen Ivelda. I… I was a fool, and now, I am at your mercy. Please, grant me your kindness. Let me sup on your wondrous brew." There was shaking to his voice. Even as a beast, the Raid-King felt fear like any man.

Korgan got to his feet, snatched a drink with one hand, and downed it with three swift gulps. He kept his head low as he departed, tossing Tyann a puppyish, apologetic look on the way out.

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Character Portrait: Richard Livingstone Character Portrait: Rukaiyan Throntan Character Portrait: Viliame Audica
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Yesterday had been an embarrassment.

Thaddeus still found himself cringing every time he remembered, placing his head in his hands as the memories replayed in his head. He paced frantically in his room as he groaned loudly. How could I have allowed myself such an outburst in her presence!? Another groan and he could have sworn had he less restraint, he would have slammed his head on the wall.

He wasn't those idiots though. If they had just been civil for once, the whole thing could have been avoided... His cringing turned to annoyance and his pacing slowed. He had considering the idea of taking a break thanks to Adrian but sitting about in his room, wallowing in these thoughts, was too much for Thaddeus. The worst part was that those three occupied his thoughts. Thaddeus ruffled his hair in frustration.

And then, he got an idea.

He ran to the door of his room, about to call out to one of his men... When he paused, reconsidering the idea. He slowly closed the door again. ...Is this a really good idea? He frowned and went to his desk to prepare a letter for Preacher Carama and Adrian. A letter asking for advice on whether a truce with the three degenerates from yesterday would be a good idea... and perhaps a small meeting to discuss the terms.

He began on Benedicto's letter first.

Dear Preacher Carama,

I continue to ruminate over the events of yesterday, as I am sure you are as well, and I cannot help but think there could have been more done. We have our disagreements with the others, sure, but I do feel that perhaps there is more tension beneath the surface. I have an idea in mind but since I feel that you are one of the two people I can trust, I have decided to write to you first for guidance.


Thaddeus paused in his writing. Roderick was a good man but he tended to veer on Tyann's side more often. Eike only obeyed Queen Ivelda so he didn't think he would have any luck there. He got along well with Benedicto and Adrian was probably the kindest to him. Those two were the only logical place to start with.


I do not wish to repeat the events of yesterday. Queen Ivelda is merciful and her wrath is justified but I dislike the loss of control exhibited yesterday.


He gripped the quill tightly, Thaddeus' hand shaking slightly. He took a deep breath in and continued.

It is unbecoming as Queen Ivelda's loyal servants.

Therefore, I propose that perhaps we all could have a little meeting. We could all vent our frustrations and come to some sort of truce. There should be some sort of conclusion such as all of us agreeing to be civil in our Great Ivelda's presence?


Thaddeus paused and scratched his head. Perhaps he had been overthinking the situation? Sure, they grated on his nerves but it was his outburst that really set everything off. He had to take responsibility somehow. Just like his men, should Ivelda's servants be divided, it would mean a weakness in her forces.

I do not think I am thinking with a clear head still. Perhaps we could discuss this in person. I would be interested in your thoughts in this matter. I will also be consulting Adrian as he was removed from the situation yesterday. A fresh pair of eyes will help me take hold of this situation. With the three of us on a united front, I do believe our show of force will be enough to have the others make some sort of resolution of this all.

I await your guidance,
Thaddeus Rock.


Thaddeus sighed as he sealed the letter. His face was flushed and his hair seemed even worse than when he woke up. Writing to Benedicto was a bit nerve wracking as he did give a lot of weight to the fellow man's words. It could be anyone's opinion and I would be almost as concerned, he thought miserably as he worked on the second letter.

Adrian,

I am unsure if you heard of the events of the day before but I shall give you quick summary as to explain why I am writing to you today.

Preacher Carama and I went to do our daily routine with Queen Ivelda yesterday. I was finishing up my report when Tyann, Korgan, and Asher came into our gracious Ivelda's hall, drunk. That pig Korgan threw a bottle and I lost my temper in a moment of utmost foolishness and weakness in the face of temptation.


Thaddeus gritted his teeth and he hesitated, wondering if he should rewrite the letter. Adrian need to know all the events however. Even the most shameful parts, Thaddeus sighed.

I am ashamed but it led to much a quarrel and words were said. Even the dungeon master had some words of reprimand, though they were rightfully directed at Korgan. Our beautiful and loving Ivelda gave me my own tongue lashing so I left soon after. I am unsure what she said to those remaining.

I thought that perhaps we could all have a meeting. I have written to you and Preacher and Carama for advice, maybe even a show of force should we decide to go talk to the others. I know I do not want a repeat of the shameful events that have transpired the day before, even more so since we will have a possibility of meeting once a day. I may also be thinking too much about this as my hands are a bit less busy today so I am also asking if we should even speak to the others. Would it be a fruitless cause? Would asking them to a conversation even be necessary?

We are all Queen Ivelda's subjects but I feel such a divide is unnecessary. I wish to take responsibility for the reprimands we all received but perhaps that is due to my duty as Royal Guard Captain. We can discuss this more in person if you wish as well. I know we must have another drink today.

I will await your wise words,
Thaddeus Rock.


The wax cooled and he removed the wax sealer. Thaddeus grabbed the two envelopes and walked towards the door, ready to send them off with his guards and soon, a messenger.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Richard Livingstone Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Rukaiyan Throntan Character Portrait: Stephen Drimovir Cerenox Character Portrait: Viliame Audica Character Portrait: Apollyon Rowan Evergreen
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”The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”




The early morning rays shone brightly through the slotted windows etched into the castle walls, glinting mesmerizingly off of the slightly-pink tips of hair peeking out ever-so-slightly from the top of the covers that hid a mound on the single bed that sat within the room that one were to look upon. The mound stirred, followed by a small, muffled sound of annoyance, and for the briefest of moments the pink tips disappeared before reappearing again, followed by the rest of the light orange tufts attached to them. This also revealed a boyishly charming face and large, interesting eyes, mixed with hues of both green and orange, that were currently blinking blearily against the morning light that filtered so brightly into the young man’s eyes. Lifting a hand, he rubbed at his left eye and yawned slightly, adding to the boyish charm that was already held within his features, and then stretched in such a way that an onlooker would be reminded of that of a cat.

Scratching his lower back, he threw back the covers and moved his legs over the side of the bed, shivering slightly as the room temperature hit his bare skin, goosebumps and hairs rising at the sudden change from warmth to chill. As he rose, he stretched once more, lithely, letting out a soft groan as he did so, his bones cracking slightly in the process, before he sighed and relaxed, dropping his arms once more to his sides and scratching his back again. It didn’t take him long to dress, ensuring to don his ever-present broadsword in its sheath at his hip, and with a quick splash of men’s perfume and an equally swift brush of his teeth and hair, the young man retrieved his shoulder bag, slipped it over his head, and easily made his way from his room.

This routine was not an uncommon one for young Ryder Veldine; in fact, this was quite literally his daily routine. Unless his Queen requested otherwise, he was generally awake with the early sun’s rays, readied fairly quickly, saw to any business that required his attention, and was outside of her chamber doors ready to assist her as soon as she awoke as well. ‘Tis the requirement of the Queen’s Royal Advisor, he presumed. En route to the kitchens portion of the castle, he detoured slightly to make a stop by the royal accountant's offices and have a brief word with the older gentleman who handled the finances in there, simply to go over the papers that Ryder had submitted the day before. After ensuring that everything had been in order and nothing was out of place in his calculations, he accepted the finalized reports from the accountant, gave him a respectful bow, slipped the reports into his bag, and retreated from the man's office. Making one last deviation in his route, Ryder slipped into the royal library, his chin dipping ever-so-slightly in greetings to the librarian currently organizing a stack of books. They nodded absentmindedly in return, clearly more than accustomed to his presence in that room, not missing even a single beat in their movements as they did so. It was quick work for him to retrieve the book from his bag and return it to its proper place on the fifth shelf up, the third row down, only to snag a new book from the second shelf up in the same row. Scrawled neatly across the leather front of it were the words Quae astris praesentiuntur Astronomia, and with a satisfied smile, he slipped it into his bag and made his way easily from the library, his little side trips complete.

Stopping by the kitchens along the way to retrieve his breakfast, as well as the maid who was to deliver Queen’s morning meal, Ryder nodded hello to the cooks. He noted with piqued interest that there was a new face in the kitchen, and reminded himself to ask the Queen about the new staff member later. He nibbled on his bread and mutton as he walked, giving a slight tilt of the head in greeting to servants as he passed them in the large halls of the castle on his pathing to the Queen’s chambers. The maid did not attempt to chat with him, as she was well accustomed to not only his own personally quiet nature but also the kingdom as a whole’s tendency to note speak to many of the men who were in service to the Queen - something that someone as astute as he had not failed to miss. Why this was so, however, he hadn’t a clue.

As Ryder walked, he reviewed the previous day's events in his head, in case his Queen was to inquire what he had accomplished, although he had already given her his reports before retiring for the evening before.

The day had been a simple one, as the tasks that his Queen had entrusted to him had been few and easily done, and his job generally entailed advising the Queen when she requested his input on situations as she seemed to value his opinion given his educational background. However, he did frequently offer to assist her with other tasks, in an effort to lighten the load on her shoulders, and would often be seen out and about performing duties on her behalf that she either did not have the time or the inclination herself to do.

Ryder had been sent to the local orphanage to gather documents on their current orphans, for what the Queen explained was an effort to find homes for the children in need. He then was sent to collect taxes from the shops in the northern shopping district of the city, followed by delivering the monthly royal donations to each church that was currently within city limits. Following that, he was to document all funds that were transferred between the shops, his hands, the castle, and the church, and submit these all to the royal account for filing, before reporting the final profit directly to the Queen herself.

Polishing off the last bite of bread and mutton, Ryder took a swig of water from his canteen on his hip opposite his sword, cleared his throat, and paused outside of the Queen’s chambers alongside the maid as well as the two ever-present guards who stood on each side of the large, ornately designed doors. Jerking his chin up a bit in greeting to them - it was clear that he was a man of few words, and this was a common way for him to say hello - he leaned slightly to the side to listen, noting that he could hear the slightly muffled voices of the Queen and her Lady in Waiting. It was obvious that they were still readying the Queen for her day, so he straightened once more, hands clasped behind his back, and prepared to wait until she was dressed and had beckoned him inside.

It was around fifteen minutes later that he heard the voice of his Queen call his name. Smoothing back his hair in an attempt to somewhat tidy the mess that it always was, Ryder pushed open the heavy doors to her bedchambers, a small smile on his face, as large of a smile that really anyone could get out of him anymore, other than his books. He strode directly towards Ivelda, immediately dropping to one knee before her and taking her hand with his, his other arm behind his back, and gently placed his lips to her fingers.

”My beautiful Queen; as always, it is a glorious morning that I am truly blessed to be given the opportunity to awaken and arise, to immediately see your beautiful and youthful face,” he practically purred, his voice dripping like fresh honey on honeycomb. Finally turning his soft, unique gaze up to hers, that small, impish smile remained on his lips as he rose to his full height before her, only to bow forward at the hips, one arm cast out at his side and the other folded around his hips. ”I come with one of the servants, bearing your breakfast. Please, eat and be nourished, as the kingdom requires you to remain strong and healthy in order to lead and prosper.”

Straightening once more, Ryder stepped slightly to the side to allow the maid access to the Queen and the desk that she was to eat her breakfast at. As she approached, Ryder kept a watchful eye on her, his gaze wary and alert, yet his stature giving off the appearance of someone relaxed and unprepared. The girl, no older than possibly thirteen or fourteen years old, set the food down, clearly too fearful to even raise her gaze and look at the Queen, cast a dutiful yet quick curtsy in regards to the higher up, before quickly scurrying from the large chambers.

After watching her leaving and ensuring the doors shut behind her, Ryder returned his gaze to his Queen as she lifted her fork. He studied her as she began to gather a few bites of hard-boiled eggs mixed with several salad mixes as well as an odd, flowery white substance that seemed to almost stand out against the green and yellows of the rest of the dish. As she begins to lift it to her mouth, before it could even touch her lips, Ryder’s hands both flew out, smacking both the fork and plate out of her hands and causing them to fly across the room, clattering loudly across the floor and sending eggs and greens everywhere, as well as glass from the plate as it shattered into a million pieces.

Before she could grow angry with him, he rounded towards the Lady In Waiting, who stood in shock, frozen in her spot. The doors to the chambers flew open as the two guards that previously stood outside rushed in, swords drawn and readied. When they took note of no immediate threat, they lowered their weapons slightly yet kept them readied, their eyes darting throughout the room to search for any and all possible threats.

”I want you to gather all of the kitchen staff, now!!" he snapped at the girl, who was no other than eighteen. Spinning on his heel and approaching the guard on the right, he threw out his hand, finger extended. "You! Ring the bells to lock the castle's outer walls. I want this entire castle on complete lockdown immediately! There has been an attempted assassination on the Queen, and we will not allow the would-be assassin to escape! Then send two of the servants to fetch the healer Asher and Sir Adrian!" Striding to the other guard, he thrust his hand at this one in turn as well. "As for you, I want you to send a servant to find Sir Thaddeus with strict instructions to gather the royal guard, and one for Benedicto, as well as one to fetch the royal artist brought immediately!” With his eyes darting between both of them, he barked out one more instruction, giving no room for arguments or questions, "I want all of these people in the throne room in under fifteen minutes. Now go!". The men gave curt nods and both of them, along with the Lady in Waiting, took off at near-sprints out the chamber doors, and almost immediately a loud tolling could be heard, the bells echoing throughout the entire castle. In turn, more bells began to resound throughout the kingdom, as the servants hired to work at each belltower were instructed to repeat the bell toll in rhythm with whatever alarm was issued so as to alert the entirety of the kingdom. This specific pattern alerted the kingdom of an attempted assassination on the Queen, and would alert the guard working the castle security to go into full lockdown.

Turning back to face his Queen, he dropped to his knee before her, his head hung in shame. ”My Queen, I know you did not have enough time to ingest anything, but please assure me that you are well. Please, I beg of your forgiveness. I did notice an unfamiliar face within the kitchen this morning but was going to ask you of it once we had more ample opportunity for conversation. This was a clear oversight on my part, and it nearly cost you your life, for in your breakfast I saw one of the deadliest of herbs known to be in existence - water hemlock,” he practically choked out, his voice dripping with sorrow and guilt. Tears pricked his eyes and his shoulders slumped forward, his jaw clenching with regret. ”Please, punish me as you see fit, my Queen, so we can then punish the one who dares attempt to hurt you! I know their features - I know their face! I beg of you, please punish me, my Queen!”

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Character Portrait: Richard Livingstone Character Portrait: Niklaus Viel Eldiel Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Rukaiyan Throntan Character Portrait: Roderick Haldic Character Portrait: Viliame Audica Character Portrait: Apollyon Rowan Evergreen
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”Preacher Carama, breakfast is ready.” said an invisible voice on the other side of the door. The young mans eyes opened and immediately closed wincing in pain. He didn’t know how he had eventually fallen asleep. As soon as he had removed himself from the Throne Room he had gone back to the church. He was ashamed of his brothers, but most of all of himself. It had been a long time since he had felt the Great Ivelda’s wrath aimed at him, and he had not missed it. He couldn’t believe how he had lost his patience in front of her. She had been right, and he was not worthy of being in her presence after that.

He had left her Throne Room feeling uncomfortable, not speaking to the others. He didn’t know it was possible, but Eike had looked at him with smugness in his eyes. The child had been right, Benedicto had screwed up, badly. Back at the church he had prayed in solace for hours. He had asked for forgiveness even though he did not deserve it. He was unsure what he could do in order to get into Ivelda’s good grace again. Back in his room, after his prayer session, he had felt undeserving of sleep. Why should he enjoy these luxuries when his Goddess was disgusted by him. He had settled on a compromise and had removed the straw from the wooden undercarriage, causing him to sleep on top of the wood only.

It was for this reason his back was in spasms at the moment. He tried to stretch to make the pain less, but reconsidered. He deserved the pain, he deserved to suffer as he had made Ivelda suffer with his actions. It was not just justified he had to be in pain, it was necessary. He washed his face in the bowl of water before he left his room, dressed in his modest Preacher robes. The only difference between his clothes now and the monks robes was the color. His garment was pitch black, as he always preferred. This was the garment he usually wore while stationed in the capital.

He sat down for breakfast with the others. He ate with all of them, as they were all servants of the Great Ivelda. He led the prayer before they started with their simple meal. He would wait until after dinner to announce his plan of a 40-day fasting in honour of their Goddess. It was not an uncommon occurrence, happening about once or twice a year. He always felt it was a good test of the loyalty of the church members. The fasting was meant for the preachers and monks and any others employed by the church.

Before breakfast was over, a messenger came to Benedicto’s side. ”Honorable Preacher Carama, I have a letter for you from Master Rock.” With a steady hand the messenger handed over a letter. The wax still felt slightly warm to the touch, but no doubt came from the Guard Commander. It was his seal that had closed the letter. He thanked the messenger for his prompt delivery and opened the letter immediately. If it came from Thaddeus it had to be urgent.

Benedicto read the letter with much attention. The monks around him only heard the sounds of loud uttered ”hmhmm” and ”yes!” and ”exactly!”
The words on the letter were controlled, but Benedicto could still feel the frustration behind them. The same frustration he had been feeling after being send out. ”Fellow believers, please excuse me from breakfast. I must write back to Master Rock without delay.”
He shoved the wooden bench back violently as he got up from the table. He clenched the letter in his hand as he hastened back to his chambers. Whence inside he was happy to see someone already prepared his writing materials. He sat down behind his desk and started to write a letter back.

Dear Commander Rock,

I was relieved to receive your letter concerning this. I cannot properly rest or do my duties while thinking about yesterdays upset. Indeed it can be expected for the others to act the way they do, but we should be able to control our responses at all times. We are once again privileged with the grace of our Goddess Ivelda.

It will be a test of the mind to see this through. Our alignment with the others has been off since 10 minutes after we were all in a room together. However, it is more imminent than ever that our priorities are all set on Ivelda’s needs instead of our personal needs.

I avail any time any place for this meeting to happen. Moreover, we can indeed discuss this today. I hope brother Adrian will be able to offer his guidance as well. He is a sharp man with a good eye for compromise. Until we meet I will pray on a successful outcome. Please note I will be available in our church, unless otherwise needed by our Grace.

With patience and sincerity I await,
P. Benedicto Carama


As he finished the reply he called in one of the monks close by to take the message back to Thaddeus. His own personal wax seal was still cooling down as the monk went on his way already. Next he left his chambers to conduct meetings and continue the comings and goings of the church. He often received requests for advise from people throughout the lands, and he spend a considerable amount of time responding to them. He had to keep ears and eyes open over the entire continent.

There was a loud knocking on his door, but before he could tell the person to enter the door already flew open. For the time that day a messenger appeared. ”Well, I have never seen such rude….”
The man interrupted before he could continue his sentence. ”There’s been an assassination attempt on the Queen, your grace, she requests your immediate presence in the Throne Room.”
Benedicto got up immediately, walking with the messenger towards the entrance of the church. He heard the bell from the Castle in the background. ”Hey, brother!” he shouted at one of the priests he passed. ”Sound our bells as well, amplify this misdeed and put fear in the hearts of all that sink to this type of travesty!”

When they came outside, only the messengers horse was waiting. ”You may find another one close by, but I can not delay!” Without another word, Benedicto got on the horse confidently and rode at speed to the Castle. The Castle gates opened on his appearance, and closed immediately after his horse passed through. He got off close to the entrance door, and walked bristly towards the Throne Room, arriving visibly sweating and out of breath. Walking in he threw himself at her feet. ”Oh great Ivelda, what injustice has stricken you this day. Are you well? Are you okay?”






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18D10A

It was halfway the morning before Raiden was able to lift both eye lids. Last days gathering in the Throne room had been uncomfortable at best, and they did not take dinner together. The bird he had asked for had been brought to his room, and its skeleton was now waiting to be picked up from the table in Raiden’s room. He still had a hard time believing that his brothers showed up in that state. It’s a level of stupidity he not much cared for. This is what you get when you’re around people.

His mind wandered to life outside the capital. He had been here for no more than a day, but he was longing for leaving already. Cold mountains, hot deserts, dark forests or rainy swamps, it all was better than this. However, unless Ivelda send hi on his way there was little he could do. He had a hard time deciding if this was home or prison. He was happy to see Ivelda, of course, but he would be happier to receive an assignment from her. He was like an arrow himself. Worth little in you hand, but highly effective when aimed at something.

He lifted his legs out the bed and spotted his clothes, neatly folded on a chair. The old man running his bath must have folded them after he fell asleep. After getting dressed Raiden made his way to the archery range, which was located near the city guards barracks. Nobody seemed to be practising when he walked onto the range. He did see a few of the guards sitting around a table, all with drinks in front of them that were strictly not allowed while on duty.
”A little early in the morning for disobedience, don’t you think?” he spoke loud enough for all of them to easily hear him.
Three of them had their backs to him. The biggest of them stood up slowly, and spoke back before turning around.
”Seems to me it’s early enough for you to fuck off, range is taken squirt.” The man finally turned around and slowly but surely Raiden could see the recognition settling in on the mans face.

The other men had laughed at the comment before, but they too seemed to realise there were not that many pink haired archers in the capital. The big guy seemed to be lost for words a bit as another one of them tried to paddle back in their rudeness. ”Master Raiden, our apologies…, we didn’t expect…we didn’t know you would be joining us today.”
”So, you need to know of my arrival before you fill yourself up with alcohol on a range where you practice precision. I doubt Commander Rock would be appreciative of this.”

”Master Raiden, we only drank a little. We promise it did not affect our accuracy. We…we still can perform in the same manner.” Raiden could see on their faces, they were scared their commander was about to find out.
”You’re sure of that, huh?” he asked them with a smirk on his face. ”Let’s put it to the test. Let’s have a match. One arrow per person, if my arrow is closest to the target, I’ll tell dear Thaddeus on you. One of your arrows is closer to the target, you will just promise not to do it again and I’ll be on my merry way. Agreed?”
The men looked at each other and nodded as one.

One by one they grabbed their bows and arrows and lined up at the shooting line. All of them visibly nervous. They did not have much choice in the matter. The option was a mere illusion thrown up by Raiden as they all knew he was a better shooter than anyone in the guard. But he did not have his fun yet. ”Hold on, gents. I don’t believe I have clarified what the target is yet.” He picked up one of their drinking mugs, and told the big guy to come with him. They walked towards the target line, about 30 meters away. ”You were rather rude to me earlier, were you not?”
The guy was shaking in his boots. ”I was not aware it was you, Sir, I…I do apologise, it will never happen again.”
They reached the line. ”We will see about that. Now stand up straight against the target. Put this mug on top of your head and be very very quiet.”
The man did as asked. As Raiden walked back to the shooting line he heard the big man whimpering. ”Like I said, stand very quiet. It really is your best chance.” he shouted over his shoulder.

”Okay, I think you get the picture. In case you need clarification, the mug is your target. That shouldn’t be a problem for a member of the guard, now should it. I mean…it’s only 30 meters and you’re all trained archers. Finest in the land….”
The first man put the arrow on his bow and took aim. His hand shaking and his eyes blinking ferociously to get a better look at the target.
”Any second now, please.” Raiden complained impatiently.
The arrow released and flew through the air. The arrow widely missed the target and flew over the target easily.
”Wow…, unimpressive….NEXT!”

The second man lined up. Much the same as the man before him, he aimed widely off the target and released his arrow. Clearly not wanting to put an arrow in his friend by accident.
”Disgraceful. Next man missing the board completely, gets to shoot again and again until he hits it. You put yourself in this position, now be man enough to get yourself out of it. A bad archer is one thing, a coward is completely different.”
The third and youngest of all lined up and pulled the string back. He was small in size and most likely was the furthest gone of all of them. He took a deep breath and on his next breath out, he released the arrow. Not a second later a loud thud showed he had hit the target board at least. It was too far of to the right to even be near the mug, but it was a decent shot.
”Not bad, we seem to be getting there. Last one, before I give it a try.”

The last man readied the arrow. He seemed confident, but Raiden could see the tip of the arrow moving around as the man tried to aim. The moment it came off the bow, Raiden knew it had been a bad shot. The cry of the big guy with the mug on his head proved it. The arrow was firmly lodged in his shoulder, went through the body and pinned the man to the target.
”Phew, remind me never to go out hunting with you. Let’s hope it didn’t hurt him too bad.” he laughed as the big guy still yammered on complaining.

”Fine, let me show you how it’s done, before I report to Commander Rock.”
He put the arrow on and pulled back the string. ”See gents, they say it’s the practice, the strength of your arm, and a keen eye. I won’t disagree practice helps, but what’s even better is not drinking alcohol before shooting.”
He let go of the string and the arrow flew straight for the target. It skewered the mug to the board, barely spilling a drop inside.

He looked at them smugly. Before speaking again the bell started ringing in the background. Raiden listened to the pattern in the same way the archers did. They all recognised it at the same time. ”An assassination attempt…. It can’t be…”
He turned his attention back to the archers. He pointed out the first three, making sure the young man was included. ”You three, report to the Southgate, it’s the closest one from here. And you..” grabbing the shoulder of the last one. ”You take your arrow out of your friend and guard the armory. There is too much ammo here to let it go unguarded.”

Before waiting if they all understood the instructions, he ran off the range. He know the castle would be going into lockdown, so it made little sense to make his way over. He was concerned, of course, but the alarm was of an assassination attempt, not an assassination. I better concentrate on getting the piece of shit that tried to kill our Queen.

After the Castle, the church was the building with the highest vantage point in the city. There was a small group of horses in the stall of the barracks. He jumped on the first one he could see and sped off to the church. It took him less than 5 minutes to arrive. The streets were in chaos along the way. People ran home and the guard was chasing people left, right and center.
As he arrived he could see the tall stature of the priest, heading in the direction of the Castle. No worries, I don’t need his permission to climb his church.
Without anyone trying to stop him, he ran up the stairs to the bell tower, the highest point. The bells were getting louder, literally giving him a headache along the way. He climbed up the small roof topping the building, finally in the spot he had been looking for. His eagle eye scanned the streets as he noticed most people fleeing indoors. He saw all the gates closed and patrols lining the city walls. ”Come out, come out wherever you are.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Silvia Siria Shwetz Character Portrait: Apollyon Evergreen Character Portrait: Sibylla Costrantina Character Portrait: Rukaiyan Throntan Character Portrait: Viliame Audica
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There was a ruckus outside the training hall. Thaddeus readied his blade as his fellow men did the same, all of them turning to look at the source. A servant burst into the hall, followed by several guards, talking over each other in an attempt to dissuade the servant from going further.

"Sir Rock!" the servant yelled as he batted away the hands of the guards. Thaddeus narrowed his eyes.

"Attention!" Thaddeus yelled, the guards immediately quieting down. The servant hesitated as well, thrown off by the force in Thaddeus' voice, before meekly bowing. Thaddeus lowered his blade and walked forward, seeing the servant quivering in his presence.

"I-I apologize for the intrusion!" the servant said loudly, unable to control the volume of his voice in his nervousness. "But the Royal Advisor, sir Veldine, has sent for the royal guard. There has been an assassination attempt on the queen!"

"Men! Prepare the wagon and the horses! Tell the royal regiment of the summons and get the first regiment to meet me at the wagons," Thaddeus commanded as the group of soldiers who had been following the servant quickly scattered. The men he was training came up besides Thaddeus. He turned to them and added, "Reinforce patrols today and if there are any suspicious characters, I authorize a search and seizure. I doubt this assassin would get off the castle grounds but I do not want to overlook anything. If the assassin had any contact with the townsfolk, I want to know. I do not want to see or hear about any of our men lazing about today or I will have their heads, personally. Understood?"

His men nodded and also made their way. The servant still stood there and peeked up at the enraged face of the Royal Guard captain. He glared down at the servant but did nothing more than wave him off as he stormed off to get suited up. The servant let out a sigh of relief and promptly ran off.

~*~

The carriage with Thaddeus and the first regiment sped off. The Royal Regiment were his best men and they waited for their leader to arrive as they scoured the castle. The first regiment were almost as good but Thaddeus had split hairs when making the two groups. He only wanted the best for his Queen after all.

The castle grounds were filled with activity and Thaddeus noted that all hands seemed to be on deck. Beasts and handlers were sniffing out the grounds and the bells had been ringing the whole way. He had no doubt there were also forces moving unseen and Thaddeus knew his visible presence was needed. The guards posted at the gate bowed but were unable to relay any new information. He thanked them before continuing onward.

As he made his way into the throne room, he saw two of his best posted at the doors of the throne room already. Neither one had new information but had sworn they were doing their best in hunting down the Queen's attempted killer. Thaddeus patted the man on the shoulder and bid that the two follow him, leaving two of the first regiment in their place. Him and his knights bowed in unison to those present when they entered the throne room, Thaddeus announcing, "My Queen, we are at your command."

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Sibylla nodded as Silvia pointed out the drinks. She reached for one as another princess came in, Artemisia. She wanted to say something in greeting but things were moving along. More talk of powers and soon Lilith was making preparations. She looked down at her open hand, wondering what powers she was capable of. In her childhood memories, she remembered there being a lot of water. Was that a clue?

She sat there, ruminating about it, when she suddenly looked up and over at Silvia.

"Thanks by the way," she said quietly with a small laugh. "You really lifted a weight off my shoulders. This already seems like a lot..."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Tempeste Ponce Character Portrait: Apollyon Evergreen Character Portrait: Rukaiyan Throntan Character Portrait: Stephen Drimovir Cerenox Character Portrait: Viliame Audica
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~ Aʂԋҽɾ Bσʅƚσɳ ~
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"Always be ready to be up to no good, makes life all the more enjoyable."
Hexcode: #DAA520



The sound of Tempeste's voice calling for him caused Asher's ears to perk up. Ask and you shall receive it seems. He would have to make sure to thank the spirits properly for this later. Without thinking much on it and only seeking to alleviate his boredom, The royal healer crawled out of his bed and padded to the door with a sly grin on his face. forgetting that fact that his cat ears and tail were not hidden even slightly and that he was without a shirt. Nevertheless, he opened the door to greet his head of staff . . . and found her standing at his door still in her sleep wear. His face turned a touch pink as his tail swished back and forth a from slight nervousness now. Oh spirits help me. Asher gulped but tried his best to keep his smile on. "Good morning my dear, here to save me from the clutches of boredom hmm?"

Unfortunate the Catfolk's current streak of luck flirting with his head of staff seemed to continue, as the sound of shouting and hurried footsteps could be heard coming to the medical ward. that and Asher could pick up the sound of the castles bells being rung. If matters weren't worse, The healer just then became painfully aware that his more beastly features were bare to the world as well as his chest. It was an understatement that the man was mortified. " So sorry!" He then proceeded to slam his door shut and scramble to get himself dressed. Hiding his tail in his baggy pants and adjusting his human ears that also held down his real ones the best he could in such a short time. He felt slight discomfort but it would have to do. whatever was happening wasn't going to wait for him even if he hadn't groomed himself as he normally would.


Asher threw his door back open just in time for an exasperated and frantic messenger to enter the ward and go straight to him. The poor man must have ran all the way here. "Sir Asher! Its terrible! Sir Ryder has called the castle into lockdown after a failed attempt to poison her majesty! your presence has been demanded in the throne room right away!! The servant spoke between gasps and didn't seem to have even notice Tempeste. Asher couldn't hide the look of shock and outrage on his face. How in the bloody hells did this happen?! And who would be stupid enough to do such a thing?!? After nearly a minute of processing what was causing the palace to be in an uproar a calm professionalism overtook Asher. He set a hand on the still winded servant boy's shoulder. " You've done your duty, rest now." As the boy thankfully collapsed into one of the empty beds nearby The healer turned to Tempeste. " Gather the staff and make sure everyone is accounted for, I have a feeling this wont end well. Now I must hurry, Pray the Queen is well."

After fetching a bag of essentials and tucking away a few of his hidden blades onto his person, Asher locked up and made his way to the throne room as fast as he dared and not bothering to move silently. He practically flew into the throne room in his urgency, only doing a quick glance of everyone else present before his eyes fell in Ivelda. Asher couldn't help let out a small sigh of relief before bowing properly. " My Queen, it relieve my heart and soul that you appear well. I came as quickly as I could." Inwardly a part of him hopped he didn't look as disheveled as he felt despite his mind racing and his emotions swinging wildly behind his current mask of calm and relief.



Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Richard Livingstone Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Tyann Rebal Character Portrait: Apollyon Evergreen Character Portrait: Rukaiyan Throntan Character Portrait: Stephen Drimovir Cerenox Character Portrait: Viliame Audica Character Portrait: Ari Hunt
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Adrian Wells~Ivelda Ever
Codes-#30660C~#003300


While everyone else seemed to be in a rush, Ivelda seemed to be the only one who was calm. In fact, she was. If anything she found it a bit amusing that there were still people who were trying to get rid of her. Now if it was anyone like her sister, Lilith, then she'd be more concern. Thinking about her younger sister brought a slight frown to her face. When she banished her along with those princesses, she honestly didn't know where she had sent her to. Oh, Lilith wasn't as powerful as she was, but she was still smart and clever. If she was still alive, she would have tried to probably stop her again. Unlike their youngest sibling, Ivelda never hated Lilith, but she had been a thorn in her side. Thankfully thorns could be removed. Not wanting to think about the past, Ivelda eyes lit up as Benedicto showed up, showing immediate concern.

"I am alive and well, Benedicto. You can thank Ryder for that. He spotted the poison just in time before I could consume it. Rhindeval owes him a lot for this day."

Like clockwork, Thaddeus was the next to arrive with his own legion of knights. Then Asher arrived not long after him. Both were ready to serve.

"I thank you both for arriving so quickly. Ryder here was the one who stopped me from consuming the poison. I just wished I had recognized it myself, but it was nicely hidden in my salad. Looks like all that's left is Adrian. Poor dear, I just sent him home yesterday too after he completed another mission for me. Seeing how he lives a hour away from here, I wonder how long it'll take him to get here."




Lucky for Ivelda, what normally took an hour to get there only took half that time thanks to Scarlett's speed and Adrian knowing a few short cuts. Adrian was a bit winded by the time he made it to the castle, which was on lock down. The gates were up.

"State your business! This play is on lockdown!" one of the gate guards said with his weapons out. Adrian looked up to see arrows pointed at him. The man sighed before turning to the guard who was just doing his job.

"I am Adrian Wells, her majesty summon me."

Finally recognizing the man, the guards allowed Adrian to pass. It was a good thing he was a frequent visitor of the palace. Seeing how tired Scarlett was, he dismounted and led her to the stables where he saw Tyann with several beasts, and it he looked like he was ready to hunt something. Nodding to the man, Adrian went into towards the horse stables and saw one of Tyann's workers, Ari.

"Ari, I had to return quickly and unfortunately I had to run Scarlett hard. Take care of her please. I know you can see to her needs. I need to report immediately but I don't know how long this is going to last. Thanks." he said before giving Ari the reigns.

With quick strides he rushed into the palace. It didn't take him long to get to the throne room. The guards recognized him and allowed him entry. Adrian, even though he was tired, knelt before Ivelda, relieved to see she was okay. He didn't even realize others were in the room.

"Forgive me for not getting here sooner your majesty. I got here as soon as I could."

"My, I am surprised you got here so quickly actually. I hope you didn't run your horse to the ground."

"Scarlett is fine. She's being taken care of. Now what do you need of me?"

"For now just stay here. Ryder, I want this would-be assassin found immediately. You said something about someone you didn't recognize in the kitchen. Summon the entire kitchen staff now!"

The last order went to the guards. Ivelda looked at her princes.

"The rest of you keep your eyes open. Ryder, you do the questioning. If this assassin is amongst this group of people. I want this person kept alive and sent to Eike immediately. I want to find out if he or she is alone. I don't want anything like this to happen again, so I will be talking with every person who works on the castle grounds. I want to make sure everyone here is faithful to me. For today we'll start with the castle staff, starting with the kitchen staff. Do I make myself clear?"

"Completely your majesty. No harm shall come to you while I am around," Adrian vowed.

Standing up, he went to the side of the room, his hand on the hilt of his sword.

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