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Da'Karro Misantri

I am not a good man, but what is good anyway?

0 · 436 views · located in Kingdom of Dafarzi

a character in “Just Before The Dawn”, as played by zeph_gm

Description

Da'Karro Misantri


Physical Description: Da'Karro is average hight and of lean physique, his hair shoulder length and dark, swept back out of his face and frequently tied up in beads and braids. His eyes are slate grey.

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Personality: Da'Karro is often cold and disant, seemingly uncaring for the lives of those around him. His dark history making him unfriendly and quick to anger, his history one of abandonment, death and rejection. He is pious in his own way to Ishka, the seven pointed goddess of Water and all flowing things, in that the spilling of blood is in its own way a homage to his Goddess. He is cordial and almost friendly with fellow warriors and followers of Ishkas faith, Isabella Mortarch and Ramas Kharbo, but to almost all others he is exclusively antagonistic to the point of hostile. He cares not for the will of his employer, but will follow their orders as long as they pay and he does not see fit to do something better.

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Equipment: His armour is made of dark cured leather, light and meticulously maintained, intricate patterns of swirls and spirals can be seen on the larger pieces. A leather mask of similar design that covers his nose and mouth is worn into battle, and on his left arm is a heavy plate gauntlet and shoulder guard, the only heavy armour he wears, which is used duly as both a shield for deflecting blows and a fierce close combat weapon, as its edges are bladed and the fingertips ending in sharp points.

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History: Sold when he was a baby into the slave trade, he spent the majority of his childhood performing both degrading and menial tasks, till age twelve when his natural athleticism revealed itself and he was sold again into the fighting pits. He trained, and fought and proved himself a capable and skilled combatant, becoming one of the stars of the gladiatorial arena, but Da'Karro always resented his status as a slave and how little control he had over his life. When he was 19 the slave trade in the West was abolished and Da'Karro was granted his freedom, for all the good it did him. Knowing nothing but combat he wandered aimlessly, working as a sell-sword and bodyguard for various people, before ending up at the temple of Ishka, Goddess of water and all flowing things, including wine, dance, semen, rivers and of course, blood. He saw the temple as a way out of his life of bloodshed and death, but was met with nothing but rejection. He was permitted into the faith as an acolyte, but on the cusp of being granted the title of priest, he was thrown out of the temple and banished for killing a member of the priesthood, a murder he has never confirmed nor denied he committed. After this he continued travelling and found himself in the lands of Modra, under the employ of King Decimus, serving as part of the kings military elite, The Harrowers. Dutiful and skilful service resulted in his swift promotion and eventual rise to leader of the Harrowers. Despite his rejection from the Temple, he continues to preach Ishkas teaching to those that wil listen, and has even attracted a small number of Harrowers to his faith.

So begins...

Da'Karro Misantri's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Scarlet Stark Character Portrait: Isabelle Mortarchs Character Portrait: Da'Karro Misantri Character Portrait: King Decimus Madror Character Portrait: Ramas Kharbo
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She was going to do it. She was going to pitch herself from the tower. She wouldn't marry him, she couldn't.

Scarlet Stark stood at the window of her chambers, which sat high in the keep's many towers, overlooking the garden. She thought about running away, but they would find her, besides where would she go. She knew no one. Had no one. Her family she was only a coin. Nothing more. She was the second born daughter of a King and Queen. They a daughter, a rightful heir, but they'd been trying for a boy, what they got was her to make matters worse, she was sick most of the time. Most of her childhood was spent inside, coughing up blood, hardly breathing, sleep only possible with milk of poppy to ease the pain. When she finally got better, by some strange miracle. They thought it best to make her someone else's problem and thus why she stands, contemplating her death.

A tear slide down her cheek, as the wind whipped around her legs, tugging on the wedding gown she wore. She was to be married today. To a horrible man, who wanted nothing more then her body and her dowry.

Was this really all she was?

She couldn't live like this.

She rose a foot, dangling it over the window, the cold wind like an icy grip around her skin, she closed her eyes and decided.

Just as she was about to let go, and end it all, did the smell of smoke enter her nose. She opened her eyes, and saw the Kingdom in flames. Why hadn't she noticed this before, she wondered. She watched as the dull grey sky being to glow orange. She moved her foot back to the ledge and watched with an odd amount of curiosity.

Screaming then. All she heard was screaming....then the clashing of swords, then chaos erupted outside of her door. She turned her head, as men burst through her chambers. She stopped caring already, and didn't bother to fight for her life, instead she jumped, only for someone to catch her before she felt and yank her back into the room.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Scarlet Stark Character Portrait: Isabelle Mortarchs Character Portrait: Da'Karro Misantri Character Portrait: Ramas Kharbo
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#, as written by zeph_gm
Night fell across the city of Whitecastle, and with it came more than the cold wind rolling from the mountains. Dark shadows swept through the city, flutters of black and grey in the night, leaving nothing but silence and the dead corpses of soldiers, guards, and any witnesses who spied their passing. No alarms were sounded, no fires ignited, the walls of the city as stern and silent as they had been, a lifeless corpse disguised as a vigilant guard. The shadows moved across rooftops, down alleyways and through any who barred their way, until at last, they came upon the gates of the great alabaster fortress that gave the city its name. Here the shadows paused, not hesitant, just observant. In the darkness of the sleeping city, they were invisible, darkened shadows in the night, but in the castle, their midnight cloaks would not hide them, once they entered the castle, the battle which had only one side was aware had begun would ignite into a furious war for victory.
Now was the time to sever the head of the snake before it even knew it was caught.
One of the hundred faceless shadows raised a bow and lifted a pitch soaked arrow to it. With the sparking flash of flint, the arrow ignited with a whoosh, its faint glow illuminating the armed and deadly Harrowers who stood like an army of ghosts at the gates of the castle. With a careful patience, the bow was raised, and with the flit of the bowstring, as one the army of phantoms moved like a shadow on Whitecastle. Disappearing through windows, doors, over walls and parapets, the ghosts infiltrated the fortress like wine into a cloth. As the burning arrow made its descent, torches were lit, spears were readied, swords drawn and horses spurred, as the army beyond the walls descended upon the helpless city, undefended, and unguarded, its gates open and flooding like the hearts of the men that guarded them.
The battle for Whitecastle over before it had begun.

Da'Karro led those Harrowers under his direct command through the portcullis of Whitecastle, its imposing metal lattice all but useless in the face of an opponent who could scale walls and open the gates from inside. As Da'Karro entered the central courtyard dozens of guards lay dead already, their throats slit or cries muzzled by gloved hands as blades pierced their spines. The only true resistance began when an alarm was sounded from one of the high towers. Guards poured out of the castle from various exits, disorganised and hurried, only to be cut down by the waiting Harrowers. The call to arms had been for the army approaching the cities walls, not the force already behind them. The Harrowers stormed the castle, midnight black cloaks and flashing steel against the ornamental plate and heavy shields of the palace guards. To their credit, once the immediate threat was recognised, the Soldiers reacted well, forming blockades and choke points in halls and passageways, slowing the progress of the hooded assailants, but they could only slow them down. The Harrowers had infiltrated through so many different points within the castle, that entrenched guards that would have easily repelled the lighter armed and armoured Harrowers were flanked and surrounded by more black shadows, leaving few places they could mount an effective defence. Da'Karro moved swiftly through the castle, avoiding the major battles between his men and the palace guards. They were not his mission prerogative. His fellow Harrowers would deal with them soon enough.
He rose higher and higher into the castle, those Harrowers with him slowly dwindling as they left his side to deal with the palace guards they encountered. He needed no bodyguards and they needed no orders.
He rounded a corner alone, the last of his men having left him long ago, and came face to face with a trio of armed sentries. They immediately formed a defensive cordon in the corridor, shields forming a heavy wall and spears levelled, refusing to budge an inch despite the screaming and sounds of battle that now echoed through out the castle.
Da'Karro barely slowed.
The centre guard, clearly the most senior, called for Da'Karro to halt , but it was too late for that. The leader of the Harrowers Curved Kukri flew clear of his scabbard and was flung with unnerving accuracy. Its heavy top end elicited a sickening crunch as it sawed through the centre guards face. The guard was blown back by the force of the blow, dead instantly, and leaving a wide gap in the guards shield wall. Distracted by their fallen comrade and faltering their defence, Da'Karro easily ducked by the guards long spears and entered into a vicious hand to hand assault. The guards immediately dropped their heavy spears and shields, drawing short, straight swords, engaging the seemingly unarmed assailant with renewed vigour. Da'Karro spun and struck, his gauntleted arm deflecting one sword as dodged the other. His leg kicking out and striking guard ones knee, eliciting a wet crack and a scream of pain. A vicious elbow with his gauntleted arm sent the second guard reeling with a broken nose. On the beck spin Da'Karro lashed out with his bladed gauntlet, eviscerating the first guards neck as he leaned against the wall to support his broken knee. The second guard returned, howling a vicious roar though blurred eyes and a bloodied face, but Da'Karro deftly diverted his sword hand and kicked his legs from under him. Still holding the Guards sword arm Da'Karro slammed an open palm onto the back of the guards elbow with a popping crunch, eliciting another howl of pain and causing the guard to drop his sword. With a single swift motion, Da'Karro collected the short blade and plunged it into the gap in the man's armour, between his cuirass and his helmet. The hall falling silent D'Karro collected his sword and continued on, sprinting to make up for the time wasted on the palace guards.

He was nearing his destination, he could tell from the way the corridors widened and the floors grew more luxuriously carpeted. Great paintings and statues sat on walls and plinths as Da'Karro neared his destination, only to be stopped short by the palace guards. Ten of them to be exact.
Da'Karros mission prerogatives were clear. Execute the King and Queen, and collect the royal children alive and unharmed.
He was lucky that his fellow Harrowers had mission Prerogatives as well.
There was gurgling cry as one of the guards had a long, broad dagger plunged into the gap between his pauldron and helmet, falling with a slump to reveal the veiled, midnight clad woman behind him, her dagger still firmly lodged a foot down in the mans torso. Just as the guards rounded on this new threat, a second sound, like a butchers cleaver through meat sounded, and the confused guard turned the other way to see a virtual giant standing before them, his skin as black as the cloak and armour he wore, and crimson blood still dripping from the viciously curved axe he had used to behead the unsuspecting guard. Both the woman and the giant leapt into the fray, with Da'Karro joining soon after, The veiled woman moving like a ghost, the various wrappings and cloaks fluttering about her, disguising her movements as her dagger flashed and pierced exposed flesh and armour joints. The Giant waded into the fray like a charging bull, blows from his massive buckler sending men flying and the heavy, sharp edge of his axe hacking through armour and limbs like they were wheat under the scythe. It was not long till all ten vigilant guards lay dead or dying.
"Good to see you my friend," The giant smiled, revealing his alabaster white teeth against the near pitch colour of his skin, "I was beginning to wonder if we would have to carry out our charge without you."
"Good to see you too Ramas." Da'Karro said curtly as he cleaned his blade on a fallen guard, he turned his head slightly and nodded to the woman, "Isabella."
She returned his nod but said nothing.
Da'Karro swiftly returned to the task at hand, "Ramas, get the two princesses, Isabella, keep watch and deal with any guards that come snooping, ill deal with the king and queen."
"Understood," Ramas said, all hint of his mirth gone in an instant, Isabella just nodded and walked back down the corridor the way Da'Karro had come.
Da'Karro turned and approached the door at the end of the hall, its ostentatious design and size easily denoting it as the king and queens bed chambers, where he hoped they would still be, ignorantly thinking that their guards could repel the invaders. Da'Karro kicked in the door and entered at a pace, revealing the gilded room within. In the corner, stood a man in fine robes, his sword in hand, and a woman similarly garbed behind him unarmed. It was only Da'Karros preternaturally instinctive reflexes that saved him from dying then and there. In the reflection of the gilded four poster bed, Da'Karro spied movement that was not his own, and dived as a razor-sharp blade flew over him and cut into the wooden door where his head had been but milliseconds previous. Da'Karrow rolled to a crouch and took in his assailant. The mans armour was of a much higher calibre than that of the other guards, more protective but more ornate as well, the stance of his legs and the way he held his long hand-and-a-half sword denoted a man used to single combat and skilled in swordplay. His place by the monarchs side would be due to his skill and loyalty, some champion or bodyguard to the King and Queen.
Da'Karro smiled with teeth like daggers, "Finally, someone worth killing."

Ramas Kicked in the bedchamber door and took in the dark room before him. A single large bed sat to his right as he entered, its sheets uncrumpled and unslept in. To his left was a large door to a adjoining room, no doubt a wardrobe of some kind, and beside it a vanity of obscenely ornate design, variously jewels and make-up items dotted the table, recently used. It was then he noticed the breeze rolling through the room. His eyes flitted to the window and the ethereal white figure standing within in. She had long flowing black hair stark against the bleached white of the wedding gown she wore. She seemed distracted by the unfolding chaos in the city below but turned slowly as he watched her, tears in her eyes and confusion written across her face. She began to fall backwards but Ramas moved faster than a man his size should be able to, and with a deft grab of hs meaty hand, took a hold of her forearm before she fell, yanking her small body back down into the room off the window and into his waiting arms.
"Careful little girl," He cautioned with his deep, baritone voice, "It is a long way down from here."

Da'Karro and the champion crossed blades again and again, their swords flashing the king and queen looked on. The champions sword was longer than Da'Karros and his length was keeping the Harrower at bay, while Da'Karros great speed and ferocity ensured that the Champion was kept on the defensive, unable to retaliate in any meaningful manner. The Champion was skilled but Da'Karro knew how to beat him.
He was going to use the mans duty against him.
Da'Karro manoeuvred his way around till he had his back to the cowering monarchs. He feinted a turn if to switch target and attack the king and queen, causing the champion to initiate a chase in defence of his charges, only to meet with Da'Karros mule kick to the gut, propelling him back in a stumble and openign up his otherwise faultless defence. A vicious flurry of strikes from Da'Karros Kukri ended in a slash that the champion was only just too slow to backstep, opening up his jugular vein and trachea. Blood spurted from the wound and over Da'Karros chest as the champion held a hand to his throat and gurgled out his last dying breaths. The champion sunk to the floor with a wet gasp and lay unmoving on the floor, his blood spreading and staining the plush floor in a spreading tide of crimson.
Da'Karro turned to the King and Queen.
They were dead before they had time to scream.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Scarlet Stark Character Portrait: Isabelle Mortarchs Character Portrait: Da'Karro Misantri Character Portrait: Ramas Kharbo
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ImageScarlet looked up with sad eyes at the man, skin dark as night, but somehow, he had a kindness in his eyes she wasn't expecting.
"Careful little girl," He said, his voice deep, but warm in a way, she wasn't sure how to explain. "It's a long way down from here." He said and Scarlet looked up at him with a confused frown.

"I know...That's why I chose it." She said, and while she didn't want to be in this man's arms. It felt oddly safe, despite this, she looked at him and asked. "Aren't you going to kill me anyway....Just let me fall, It's what I want." She said, suddenly, bursting through the door, in came a man.
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Him.

"Blackwood..."She peeped and she found herself holding on to the man who was clearly the true enemy, realizing this, she got to her feet, and moved to the wall again, while the dark man would be distracted, or at the very least, his attention was on Blackwood.

He pulled a straight sword from his hip and aimed it at the dark man.

"This one is mine, do what you want with the others here, this one is coming with me." He said, a dark look was cast her direction and Scarlet heard a whimper escape her throat.
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"I'll die before I let you have me." She said, while their was sadness in the voice, there was strength in it as well, and resolve, She meant what she said, and started stepping back toward the window, with every intention on greeting the ground below.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Scarlet Stark Character Portrait: Isabelle Mortarchs Character Portrait: Da'Karro Misantri Character Portrait: Ramas Kharbo
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#, as written by zeph_gm
"You said I am property of your King...why shouldn't I just pitch myself from this tower now?" She questioned. "I'll be no better off then I was with him."
Ramas sighed, why was this girl so eager to die?
"The King is not a bad man," Ramas began, unsure of what to say, "And death, death is so final, so absolute, while life? Well, life has so many possibilities."
He smiled at her as he did his best to coax her away from the window. The common tongue was not his native dialect, and although he spoke it very well, he was unsure whether he had unintentionally implied some other meaning or threat.
"Look," He said, exasperated and slightly embarrassed that he could not perform such a simple task when there was a coup going on, "You can either come with me peacefully, and we can find your sister, and you will be safe while in my company. Or, I could grab you, hurt you, and take you anyway. Your choice."

Da'Karro rose from the bloodied corpses of the King and Queen, their heads severed and held in a pillow sheet Da'Karro had acquired from the nearby bed. Their blood soaked through the makeshift sack and stained the white cover crimson, dripping down onto the floor at his feet. He took one last brief glance around the room, ensuring that no chamber maid or royal child lay in hiding, hoping to go unseen, before walking out of the bed chamber, leaving a trail of vermilion drops behind him.
Outside he was met by the sight of Isabella walking back down the hall towards him, fresh blood flecking her face and dripping from her long dagger. She sauntered up to him in a way that was both sexual and at the same time cold. Like she knew exactly how to move her body to get attention, but was indifferent to the whole effect.
"Objective one is complete. I trust you encountered little trouble?" Da'Karro said to the mute woman.
She lazily looked down at the bloody sack Da'Karro held, holding it in her bored, lifeless eyes for a moment before lazily returning her gaze to him, shaking her head in response to his question.
"Excellent, go see what is taking Ramas so long, I will rendezvous with you in the throne room, We will hole up there till the battle outside is won and the king arrives. Understood?"
She nodded dully before turning and walking off in the direction Ramas had gone, while Da'Karro walked the other way, back down the winding castle corridors towards where the throne room sat at the heart of Whitecastle.

Isabella drifted through the door that had clearly been kicked in by the large, dark skinned warrior and observed the contents within. A girl in a white dress, probably the princess, was edging towards the window, and it appeared as if Ramas had just finished talking. He turned as she entered the room but said nothing, only watched her glide across the floor until she reached his side, where she looked up at the man that couldn't be more different than her, barely level with his chest, and poked him in the arm, gesturing towards the door with her head.
"Ah," he said, his eyes still on the petite woman, "I have gotten sidetracked talking again yes? And now we are late." He turned his gaze back to the princess by the window, "Come, come with me now, or Isabella will take you, and she is not as sociable as me." Ramas said in all serious till he touched on Isabellas muteness and broke into a broad grin.
Isabella only narrowed her eyes at him but maintained her silence.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Scarlet Stark Character Portrait: Julia Stark Character Portrait: Isabelle Mortarchs Character Portrait: Da'Karro Misantri Character Portrait: Ramas Kharbo
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"The King is not a bad man,"The dark man said, struggling it seemed to find the right words. Scarlet watched him. "And death, death is so final, so absolute, while life? Well, life has so many possibilities." He said and smiled at her. She took a breath She didn't want to die, not really, she was just so sick of being the victim. Death....atleast this would be the one thing she could chose for herself.

"Look," He said. "You can either come with me peacefully, and we can find your sister, and you will be safe while in my company. Or, I could grab you, hurt you, and take you anyway. Your choice." He said and she swallowed. Fear back in it's place.

It was in that moment that a scarved woman entered, gesturing to the door with her head. "Ah," he said, looking at the woman with the pretty eyes. "I have gotten sidetracked talking again yes? And now we are late." He said and looked back at Scarlet. "Come, come with me now, or Isabella will take you, and she is not as sociable as me."

She really didn't have a choice one way or the other. She took a step down and away from the window and passed the two foreigners.
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"She is this way...." Scarlet said turning so they could hear her and then walked out the door.

Blood painted the walls, but Scarlet felt nothing. She locked her emotions anyway as best she could, so not to react as she moved through the halls like a ghost.

She pointed to the room.

"In there....With any luck, she won't be there." She told them, her voice as soft as a whisper.

It was then, her sister, Julia ran out and froze.

"Scarlet?!" She hissed, it wasn't the voice of a concerned older sister, it was the voice of someone who saw that their worst enemy yet lived.
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Julia then looked at the two with her and seemed to put things together in her head.

"Traitor." She spat and Scarlet sighed.

"I'm not a traitor, they are collecting us both..." She said, her voice was dull but held a hint of impatience before looking at two. "You've found her..." She said and looked away.

She'll find a way to end this...She was so tired...she wanted to sleep.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Scarlet Stark Character Portrait: Julia Stark Character Portrait: Isabelle Mortarchs Character Portrait: Da'Karro Misantri Character Portrait: Ramas Kharbo
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#, as written by zeph_gm
Ramas watched the exchange between the two sisters with a bemused smile, he had thought the people of Modra odd in their customs and interactions, but these two were outright bizarre. Eventually the younger princess turned back to Ramas, her eyes almost bored, "Ready when you are?"
Ramas slowly dropped his grin, the girl was slightly unnerving in just how nonchalant about the whole affair she was, "Yes, Isabella, watch the elder one, we are to make for the throne room."
The mute woman nodded and walked over softly to the elder princess, her beautifully dead green eyes boring into the girls with an implied threat, amplified by the long dagger Isabella drew from within the folds of her wrappings.
The threat was simple "Run, and I will catch you."
With that, the odd group made its way towards the throne room, now eerily aware of how silent the Castle had become.
The guards had been killed.
The castle was theirs.

Inside the throne room Da'Karro gave short, curt instructions to the Harrowers that ran around him. Corpses had to be moved, the dead amongst the Harrowers counted and identified, sentries posted, defences restored, etc, etc. Outside the castle wall, the battle for White castle still raged, but it wouldn't be long till someone realised that the castle had grown awfully silent. The Modran invasion force had every possible advantage, but war was never a certain thing. It was part of Da'Karros role as commander of the Harrowers to ensure that the castle remained in their control and left the defending forces nowhere to retreat to. Harrowers armed with bow and bolt lined the gate to the castle, disposing of anyone that came snooping, but it was only a matter of time till someone discovered what had happened and alerted the resisting Whitecastle forces.
"Tend to the wounded, use the supplies within the castle, torture a serf till you find out where their stores are." "No, we are not taking military prisoners, kill them." "Unless told otherwise, take all civilian hostages to the gaol." "Send some men to scout the lower levels, the last thing we need is a secret passage in or out of the castle we don't know about."
Da'Karro sent off the last of those hwo required immediate orders just as he spied the immense form of Ramas entering the throne room, side by side with the dwarfed Isabella. Walking in front of his comrades, were a pair of finely dressed women, obviously sisters, obviously royalty.
"Where in Ishkas name have you two been?" Da'Karro said, walking up to the group to greet them, "Ramas, go command the wall defences, you are relieved of your babysitting duty. Isabella, I am afraid that with such high profile hostages I cannot give this task to someone I dont trust, I need you to continue to watch these two, do not let them out of your sight. Tie them up if you must but ensure you leave no marks, the King will want his prizes undamaged."
Ramas simply nodded and with a wink at the younger of the two girls took off towards the gate with long, heavy strides. Isabella gave a single nod and raised her Dagger, herding the two girls towards the twin thrones.
Da'Karro had already gone onto other business.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Scarlet Stark Character Portrait: Julia Stark Character Portrait: Isabelle Mortarchs Character Portrait: Da'Karro Misantri Character Portrait: Ramas Kharbo
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The sisters were ushered into the throne room, where their parents were not present. THis would be where Scarlet would have gotten a sick feeling in her stomach, but right now she felt nothing. A fog had fallen over her and she was moving through the world in a haze. Soon. She told herself, soon it will all be over,and she could rest.
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"Where in Ishkas name have you two been?" Said a man as he walked up to them. Clearly the leader of the group, his skin was pale, his grey eyes dark, and his hair was long and brown, and a simple as that was, something about his as a whole shot terror through Scarlet. "Ramas, go command the wall defenses, you are relieved of your babysitting duty. Isabella, I am afraid that with such high profile hostages I cannot give this task to someone I don't trust, I need you to continue to watch these two, do not let them out of your sight. Tie them up if you must but ensure you leave no marks, the King will want his prizes undamaged." He said and was off. Scarlet's eyes watched him leave. Something told her that was not the last time she'd see that man.

Ramas, as the man called him, was off and Isabella rose her dagger, ushering them toward the throne. If Scarlet was in the proper state of mind, she would have thought the name Isabella pretty, and would have chuckled at Ramas' grin, but instead, she felt nothing. She did as she was 'told' and took a seat in at the throne only for Julia to pull her by the arm.
"That's mine,"

"It's fathers..."Scarlet said in boredom. Julia glared at her. "Is father here?"

Scarlet didn't respond, she just moved, she couldn't be bothered with her sister's pettiness.

"Our parents are likely dead, you do realize," Scarlet told her, her eyes watching the scarved woman.
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"Then it's for the best," Julia said, after a moment and Scarlet didn't say anything, she looked around, looking for a place to run. The throne room had large windows but no one them opened, they all had stained glass, and it would take much more than her tiny frame to break them.

"Perhaps the King means to...welcome us."
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Scarlet cut her eyes at her foolish sister.

"To his bed, I'm sure..."

"It's not so bad, laying with a man." Julia said and Scarlet's lips twitched.

"You would know."

"It can be quite fun, with the right man..."Julia said, and it was clear to Scarlet the Julia was trying to make herself feel better.

"Then you do it, and leave me out of it. I want no part." Scarlet said and the two were silent from then on.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Scarlet Stark Character Portrait: Julia Stark Character Portrait: Isabelle Mortarchs Character Portrait: Da'Karro Misantri Character Portrait: King Decimus Madror Character Portrait: Ramas Kharbo
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#, as written by zeph_gm
"Does this amuse you, Usurper?" The elder princess questioned pointedly at Isabella, whose green eyes narrowed at the petulant woman.
"Julia don't." The younger wisely cautioned but the elder sister was having none of it, clearly more pride than sense.
"Quiet!" she hissed at her younger sister before turning back to Isabella, "Do we amuse you? You haven't spoken a word since you've been, why is that, are you lame?"
"Julia, stop this, does she look friendly to you?" The younger, and clearly more intelligent sister, continued to caution, trying to save her sister from harm and Isabella from the attention.
The elder ignored her and continued, trying to degrade Isabella with her words, "You must be lame, as it is clear the men want nothing to do with you."
"You are going to get yourself killed, Julia..." The little one warned but otherwise did nothing to stop the foolish womans tirade.
Isabella said nothing, simply meeting the gaze of the spoiled brat and glaring her down with the assistance of her long dagger. There was the sound of horses and barking orders from outside, distracting the two hostages and giving Isabella a blessed reprieve from the princesses stinging remarks.
She would not give her the pleasure of knowing how deep her words cut.

Outside, the chaos of battle had finally died down to the crackling of fire and the bellow of orders, as the Modran army re-ordered itself and began the arduous task of regrouping, assessing the damage to the city and restoring order to the panicked population. Through it all rode the instigator of the invasion, the king of Modra and now, the conqueror of Whitecastle, King Decimus Madror, flanked by his personal guard. Decimus surveyed the chaos around him, his own ornate armour and weapons untarnished and unused. Decimus was no warrior, but he was a strategist. By spearing straight into the heart of Whitecastle, both through the country to the capital, and through the city to the castle, ensured that the head of his opponent was severed before the body even knew it was under attack.
The smell of burning hair, blood and smoke assaulted his senses and he wrinkled his nose in disgust. The smell was incredibly off putting, but He rose through none the less, surveying the destruction his actions had caused. A Modran Captain rose up her him, his armour dented and dirty, blood flecking his face and streaming from a cut on his brow.
"My lord, Captain Kalith of the 9th infanrty regiment, there are resistant military forces retreating to the south, Captain Regnald and the 4th mounted are in pursuit, otherwise, we have secured the city limits."
"Good to see your still alive Captain," Decimus said, reigning in his horse to speak with the officer, "Is the castle secure?"
"As far as we are aware, the Harrowers have delivered on their word and secured the castle. No reinforcements have moved out of the city and there are dead Whitecastle messengers piling up at the gate, all stuck with black arrows."
"Excellent, go tend to yourself and your men Captain, the battle is won, now we must consolidate. I will continue to the castle."

Ramas stood on the parapet above the castle gate, surveying the destruction in the city below. The Battle was all but won, burning buildings and the sound of organising military units had replaced the racket of clashing swords and screams. The Harrowers maintained their vigil though, ever watchful of any who approached the castle gate.
Modran and Whitecastle soldiers were easily distinguishable, but the Harrowers did not get their reputation from lax or half-assessed responses to orders.
Those wearing Whitecastle attire were shot on sight.
Modran soldiers were given a single warning.
A new group of individuals approached the gate, mounted on horseback and carrying the kings banner, their armour untarnished and pace unhurried. Ramas knew who it was who approached, but as said, Ramas followed his duty to the letter.
"Halt!" his voice boomed out over the gate and down to the grou below, "Who approuches Whitecastle?"
There was a temporary silence as the group came to a stop, before a single voice responded, "King Decimus Madror seeks audience with the leader of the Harrowers, Da'Karro Misantri, to celebrate their success in the taking of the castle and their part in the battle for Whitecastle."
Ramas was silent for a moment, listening intently to every word spoken by the young king.
"... Welcome King Decimus," Ramas boomed back, nodding at a nearby Harrower to open the gate, "The Castle is yours, and your twin prizes await you inside."
The gate opened with a grinding squeal of metal, and the group rode through, the Conqueror finally entering the castle of his enemy, as its possessor.

Da'Karro met the King as he rode into the castle, his armour still bloody and dirty, contrasting sharply to the kings immaculate ornamental plate.
"Your Majesty." Da'Karro said curtly, standing at attention with his hands behind his back.
"Misantri, I trust your infiltration of the castle went smoothly." Decimus said with a slight smile.
"Yes your Grace, minimal casualties received and maximum inflicted. The castle guard has been completely neutralised and both Princesses were captured without harm. They await you inside guarded by one of my best."
Decimus widened his smile and nodded, "Excellent, Come Misantri, this is your victory, not mine, I would like you to be by my side for this."
"As you wish, Your Majesty."


Isabella watched as the large doors of the throne room opened and in walked the now most powerful man in Whitecastle. King Decimus strode down the long hall side by side with Da'Karro, and flanked by his personal guard, his expression was cheerful and welcoming, as if he wasn't the man who had just lain a city to waste.
"Greetings! My name is King Decimus Madror," He said, stopping before the twin thrones and bowing a deep, mocking bow, "It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance."

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Scarlet watched as the woman turned her blade on Julia, her dark eyes glaring at her. Julia merely swallowed but held a look of pride. Scarlet shook her head. She just knew her parents were dead, she wasn't sure she wanted to see Julia meet the same fate.

Thankfully -as bizzare as it may seem- the door opened and Isabella moved away from her sister and all attention was drawn to group of men as they walked in. Scarlet did not move. She only watched him with darkness in her amber eyes, while Julia looked nervous, by the way she held her arms.
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They both knew that this man was their new king, but only Scarlet saw him as her new slave master
"Greetings! My name is King Decimus Madror," said the King. Julia moved to sit in her seat. "It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance."

"Your Grace." Julia said civilly. Scarlet sat nothing as was swatted for it. "Say something fool girl."

Scarlet shot a glare her sister's way but said nothing. "So help me, Scarlet Stark, say something." She hissed at her again with another swat in the arm.
Scarlet's eyes narrowed.

"Fine, you want me to speak." She said and stood up, looked at the 'King'

"You are not my King, I will not treat you as such, and I will be damned before I become your body slave." She said with venom in her words.

"Don't be so dramatic, Sca-"
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"Shut up, Julia...You asked me to speak so I did...." She said and looked around, her eyes found Ramas as she moved around the throne, and to the window ahead of them, nearest the window sat a candelabra on a table. She knew she couldn't throw herself threw into window but if she could just break it.

"I am property of no man..." She said and then in a swift motion, she grabbed the candleabra, smashed the window, took a peice of broken glass and began to drag it across her throat.

"Scarlet!?" Julia yelped, but that was all.

Scarlet was shaking, as blood trickled down her hand, and neck, she wanted to press harder but something seemed to be stopping her, the cut was deep, but not enough to kill her, atleast not right away...

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"Your Grace." the clearly elder sister said civilly. The younger said nothing and recieved a swat for her silence. "Say something fool girl."
The two shared a glare but otherwise the younger princess maintained her silence, "So help me, Scarlet Stark, say something." The elder said more forcefully, and this seemed to push the younger over the edge.
The Young princess stood and glared daggers at Decimus, the hight difference between them nullified by the raised dais she stood on, "Fine, you want me to speak? You are not my King, I will not treat you as such, and I will be damned before I become your body slave."
The elder sister tried to subdue her rebellious sibling but was cut off, "Dont be so dramatic, Scar-"
"Shut up Julia! You asked me to speak so I did." She snapped at her sister. Decimus only smiled, the young girl had great spirit and passion, and spoke her words with conviction. "I am property of no man..." she stated, before walking over to a nearby window and, using a nearby chandelier, smashed the window into shards of glass. She snatched one of them up, holding it tight and pressing it to her throat.
"Scarlet!" The elder sister exclaimed but was otherwise struck with inaction.
Blood began to flow from her neck but suddenly it seemed like she lost heart in the action and stopped, he hand stiff, as if fighting against her will.
Isabella was on her within an instant. One hand snatching away the glass from her hand and neck and tossing it to the floor. Her other hand went straight to the girls neck. Her surprisingly strong hand squeezed the girls throat, pushing back into the wall and both choking her and staunching the blood. The hand that had held the glass came back with a vengeance in a vicious slap that echoed throughout the throne room.
Quite out of character, Isabella leaned in to the stunned and pinned princess, viciously whispering in her ear, her voice distorted and raspy like she could not properly annunciate the words.
"Hyou, ah hweak! 'ethetic! Hyou hathz noh idea hwhat 'ain isss!" She hissed, struggling with each syllable, before pulling back and glaring at Scarlet, her hand still pinning the girl to the wall.
Da'Karro walked over to one of the flaming torches his men had lit, shoving a long thin dagger into the coals. Decimus looked on bemused. What an odd turn of events, she was a fiery one all-right. He wondered whether that would come in useful.
He turned back to the elder Sibling, a smile once again gracing his lips.
"You must be Princes- no, wait, Queen Julia I suppose now." He looked over at the mercenary leader, "Misantri, that was your role was it not? Do you have a gift for me?"
Da'Karro looked up from the blade he was heating red hot on the flames and gave a slight affirmative grunt before noddin g at one of his compatriots nearby, he swiftly strode over and upended a bloody sack in front of king Decimus.
The two heads of the king and queen fell to the floor with a wet thud, splatting blood and gore. Decimus smiled, pleased with the work, "Excellent."
Isabellas hand moved suddenly, and was replaced by the red hot blade of the knife, the sizzle of burning flesh drowned out by the girls sudden scream as the wound on her neck was burned shut.

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Scarlet knew not what to do when Isabella was on her. Her hand gripping her throat. She wasn't sure if she was trying to kill her or stop the bleeding.

Scarlet hoped for the forward. Instead, she since her hand across Scarlet's face, stunning the princess before she pulled close to her and whispered into her ear, her voice was nothing like Scarlet thought it would be, it was harsh, raspy and barely intellegable.

"Hyou, ah hweak! 'ethetic! Hyou hathz noh idea hwhat 'ain isss!" Scarlet choked , but her amber eyes bore into her. It took a moment for her to decipher what she said but she understood it.

"That...is what...I am...trying...to avoid...." She said, tears spilling from her eyes, though she wasn't crying per se, it was more reactionary.

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it was then that Isabella pressed a hot dagger to Scarlet's throat, causing the girl to scream out a gasp, her eyes wide, pain blinding her to everything around her. when it was over, scarlet dropped to her knees clutching her throat. it was then that she saw her parent's severed heads.

Exhaustion, grief and pain overwhelmed her and she dropped to the floor unconscious.

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Julia turned away from her baby sister's antics. This was so unlike her, Scarlet was typically so quiet, she hardly said a word, now she was screaming at her, and she just tried to kill herself.

before the wedding, she'd heard scarlet go on about how she would die before she married Blackwood, but Julia never believed it, she just thought her sister was being dramatic, but know she knew. Scarlet was quite capable....

"You must be Princes- no, wait, Queen Julia I suppose now." The King said, bringing her attention back to him. He smiled at her and a small smile tugged at her lips as well. she liked the sound of Queen in front of her name. She always knew she would be, but she didn't expect it to be so soon. "I am." she said, and he then looked over at the man that handed the mute woman a knife. The man was attractive in a dark sort of way, but Julia's interest lie with the King, and by Scarlet's manic display, she felt she wouldn't have to compete. "Misantri, that was your role was it not? Do you have a gift for me?" He said and the man grabbed a large sack and dropped it in front of them. Her parents heads hitting the ground with a sick thud, and tumbling to her feet. Her father's lifeless eyes gazed up at her and Julia wavered, covering her mouth with a hand.
"Excellent" the King said.
"By the gods..."Julia gasped at the same time.

Scarlet was right, her parents were dead. Julia had hoped that they were just prisoners of war or something. Unlike scarlet, she loved her parents, they never did anything wrong by her. They gave her everything she wanted
...

Even now, in death they were giving her what she wanted...

A King and a throne.
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"My liege..." She said, swallowing the bile that rose in the throat. "You have won my keep, and you've taken me and my sister...What is it that you wish from us?" she asked, choosing her words carefully, she jumped when Scarlet screamed. she didn't what to know what was happening to her, she kept her gaze on the king.

"I am yours to command." she said and gave a gracious curtsy. If she played her cards right, this could be painless, unlike her sister.

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The Girl collapsed to the floor, and succumbing to pain and shock, fell unconscious. Isabella and Da'Karro stood over the prone girl, silent. Da'Karro leant down and examined the girl, touching a hand to the side of her neck not damaged.
"She's fine. Unconscious." He said quietly to Isabella, who only nodded and handed Da'Karro back his hot, bloody dagger. He deftly took the hot blade and sheathed it, making a mental note to clean it later, before hefting the girl into his arms. He turned and walked towards the two royals who seemed in conversation, despite the circumstance.

"I am yours to command." Julia said sweetly, and Decimus had to admire the strength the girl showed in her façade of decorum. He had just presented her with the severed heads of her parents, and she had responded with an offer of servitude. Either this woman had incredible tact, or she truly hated her family.
"Winning the battle my dear is only half the war." He said with a devious smile, "You are now the highest ranking royal of Whitecastle. Go with my commanders and make sure that any further conflicts and destruction of property is kept to a minimum, I have no intention of ruling a kingdom of bones ad ash. Parley for surrender where you can, name them traitors where you cant. As of now, those who fight against my men, fight against you and the people of Whitecastle."
Da'Karro approached with the prone younger princess, what was her name? Scarlet? Yes that was it.
"Misantri, you and your comrades swift thinking and action potentially just saved the life of a royal princess and one of my own personal prizes. I am fully prepared to pay for your continued service and employment, and would have you, personally guard the young Princess, both form others and herself. I trust there is no issue with that?"

Da'Karro inwardly writhed at the concept of being a glorified nanny for a spoilt brat, but hid his distaste in the presence of the King, "Of course your majesty, my forces are at your disposal as long as you require them." He said, before tacking on the end, "And as long as you pay them."
He motioned to Isabella to follow him and walked off towards one of the many winding steps that led back up to the princesses rooms.

Decimus turned back to the princess, smiling, "I am sure she will be fine, Misantri takes his duty very seriously, your sister will be safe under his watch, have no fear."

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"Winning the battle my dear is only half the war." The King stated with a devilish grin. "You are now the highest ranking royal of Whitecastle. Go with my commanders and make sure that any further conflicts and destruction of property is kept to a minimum, I have no intention of ruling a kingdom of bones ad ash. Parley for surrender where you can, name them traitors where you cant. As of now, those who fight against my men, fight against you and the people of Whitecastle."
Julia smiled, she liked this, everyone will bow at her feet, for no other reason then because she said so. She needed to keep this power.
It was then that Misantri, approached with Scarlet in his arms. Julia arched a row but said nothing else. Scarlet needed to be gotten rid of. She couldn't be here. Everyone liked her, Julia knew that, she wasn't a fool, she knew that most of the servants, and soldiers, adored Scarlet, while they couldn't care any less about Julia. With Scarlet gone, then she would have no opposition...but then again, if she played this right, using Scarlet's clout, she could get them on her side....

"Misantri, you and your comrades swift thinking and action potentially just saved the life of a royal princess and one of my own personal prizes. I am fully prepared to pay for your continued service and employment, and would have you, personally guard the young Princess, both form others and herself. I trust there is no issue with that?"
The man while his face held little expression, couldn't have been thrilled. With Scarlet acting so out of character, she couldn't imagine him enjoying this.

"Of course your majesty, my forces are at your disposal as long as you require them." He said, before tacking on the end, "And as long as you pay them." He said and the mute woman walked with him.
"I am sure she will be fine, Misantri takes his duty very seriously, your sister will be safe under his watch, have no fear." The King said and Julia gave a flirty laugh. "Oh my liege, Scarlet is of little consequence..." She said touching her chest.

"The truth is, Scarlet...she is very ill, of body and mind." She told him, Julia was a skilled liar, and it helped that Scarlet looked far from stable at the moment. the truth was Scarlet was ill, when she was young, born too soon, yet she grew out of the illness.

"I'm afraid that she will not take the death of our parents so well, they were cruel to her yet she loved them so, she will not take their deaths well, I believe it would be best to keep Scarlet away from the public eye, we need not have her having another episode in front of men who will be loyal to me, and subsequently you." She told him, taking his hand. "With my help,My Liege, I can ensure that you can attain all that you desire...and more...."She said, everything about her statement dripped with sensuality, she knew she was beautiful, she just had to make sure he thought so to. With that, she brushed her thumb against the back of his hand, and gestured to the twin thrones. "Come...Take a seat beside me, and we can further discuss what it is you truly want, and how I may help you gain it."

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"Oh my liege, Scarlet is of little consequence..." Julia said in a way that was both flirtatious and dismissive, causing Decimus to raise an eyebrow. "The truth is, Scarlet... She is very ill, of body and mind. I'm afraid that she will not take the death of our parents so well, they were cruel to her yet she loved them so, she will not take their deaths well, I believe it would be best to keep Scarlet away from the public eye, we need not have her having another episode in front of men who will be loyal to me, and subsequently you." Julia said with seducing eyes, reaching out and taking Decimus' hand, he did not fight the gesture, but at the same time, did not squeeze her hand back. "With my help,My Liege, I can ensure that you can attain all that you desire...and more...." She said, her voice dripping with implied sensuality and the promise of ecstasy, she was a skilled politician and courtesan clearly, perhaps she would be more useful to Decimus than he had thought. She gestured towards the twin thrones, tugging on his hand gently, yet suggestively, "Come...Take a seat beside me, and we can further discuss what it is you truly want, and how I may help you gain it."
The king retracted his hand from the woman's grasp, not swiftly or with malice, but just with the cold calculatedness of a man who knew exactly how he would execute his plans, and required no allies, only servants.
"Your easy submission to my rule is unexpected, but welcome. Perhaps there will be a place for your skills and pedigree in my plans." He said, coldly, dismissively. He strode past her towards the two thrones, but did not sit, merely looked down upon the larger with a look of frosty contempt. He drew his sword for the first time that night, and plunged its length into the soft pillow and through the back of the chair. He left his sword there, the symbolic message clearly relayed. This was no longer the kingdom of Whitecastle, this was no longer anything more than a port city of historical value. There was no worth in anything remaining of the prior monarchy aside from what he decreed so. It was nothing but another province of the ever expanding, now Empire of Modra.
"Retire to your quarters, 'Lady' Julia. You will be busy tomorrow pacifying 'my' people. Ill not have your efforts be hampered by lack of rest." He walked back towards Julia before passing her again, and striding off towards the door, "My men will ensure you are safely escorted to your quarters. Goodnight."
He exited the great hall with a dark smiling curling around his lips.

Da'Karro entered the Princess Scarlets bedchamber, the unconscious girl still limp in his arms. He motioned for Isabella, who trailed behind him, to remove the bedclothes from the four poster bed and check for any hidden weapons or items. Finding none, she silently nodded to Da'Karro, he lay the girl down on the soft linen sheets. He rolled the girl onto her side and using his small dagger, made a long cut down the back of her white wedding gown.
Isabella looked around searchingly, seemingly looking for another in the empty bedchamber. She set to work searching the room as Da'Karro made short work of removing the girls bloody, tattered wedding gown. Seemingly pleased that no one else inhabited the room Isabella returned to Da'Karros side and helped him pull the last pieces of the girls gown from beneath her prone form. She lay in her undergarments, her skin prickling slightly at the cold wind that blew in through the still open window. Da'Karro pulled up the girls sheets and ensured the girl was kept adequately warm. The shock of the day would have an effect on her body, and sickness would come easy should he allow it. He turned to Isabella and nodded, his voice a low whisper, "Go get some rest Isabella. I will take first watch. Find Ramas and tell him the same. I cant have my two best people too exhausted to stand."
She nodded silently, and in the silent stillness of the room, where none could see, she extended a hand and gently squeezed his arm. She then turned and left as quietly as a ghost.
Da'Karro closed the door behind her and walked to the window, which he closed, watching the dying flames of the burning city glow softly as the first signs of mornings approach could be seen lightening the sky beyond the mountains to the east. He closed the blinds to the sight and turned back to the room. Grabbing a chair from the vanity and seating it by the door. He picked up a small hand mirror and snapped off the wooden handle, feeling its texture and weight in his hand. Sitting in the chair Da'Karro drew a small dagger and began using its sharp edge to carve into the soft wood.

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Scarlet awoke with a gasp, the morning sun touching her eyes, and pain erupted in her throat. She touched her throat with a wince, as the mirror of last night played before her eyes. A soft whimper escaped her lips, and it was then she found that she was dressed in only her undergarments, but having been covered in her blankets. She looked around confused before rising. It was then she noticed him, the man with the hot knife...in her bedchambers....while she was dressed in nothing but...

She gasped, scrambling for the sheets that had fallen, she pulled them up over her chest and sat back against the headboard. She stared at him for a long time. "Wh...Why are you...in my chambers...?" She asked, tentatively, though her eyes burned with rage, and fear, clutching her sheets against her nearly bare chest, her dark hair spilling down her olive shoulders.

(sorry so short)

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"Wh...Why are you...in my chambers...?" The girl stammered, having suddenly risen to wakefulness and sat up in her bed. Da'Karro had reduced the handle of the mirror to an intricately carved totem of swirling patterns and sparkling stars. He glanced up wearily at the girl on the bed, before looking back down at his carving.
"You feinted, I carried you here, Isabella helped me remove your dress, and I have been guarding you since." He looked over at the window and squinted at the light peeking through the cracks in the drapes. "You have been asleep for... Five? Five hours. I would suggest you continue to rest, the wound on your neck needs to heal, and you have had a very stressful night."
He rose from his chair and moved over towards the window, but did not open it. He picked up a small table and flipped it upside down, before breaking one of its wooden legs off.
"Apologies, I need something to amuse me while you sleep." He then returned to his chair, and once again using his small blade, began to carve into the wood of the table leg.

(Np, conversations are often short to accommodate banter)

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"You feinted, I carried you here, Isabella helped me remove your dress, and I have been guarding you since." The man said, and Scarlet frowned, but said nothing, her throat ached. She really tried to kill herself, she wanted to, but something stopped her. It was as if someone held her hand. You have been asleep for... Five? Five hours. I would suggest you continue to rest, the wound on your neck needs to heal, and you have had a very stressful night." He said and it was then she noticed what he'd been doing. Her mirror had been whittled down into a totem, she would have thought it was a beautiful...had he not be with the invading force.
He took a small table and broke off the leg, and began carving it as well. "Apologies, I need something to amuse me while you sleep." Scarlet frowned at him, holding the covers over her chest.

She didn't know what was about to happen, and frankly, it terrified her to the point where she wanted to pitch herself from the window, but apparently, it had been sealed shut for the reason.

After a long while, of watching him cut the wood, she opened her mouth to speak, her voice raspy and hoarse from her suicide attempt last night.

"My parents are dead, aren't they?" She said, and shook her head. "Of course they are....You don't occupy a kingdom and leave the king and queen alive..." She said ruefully, despite how cruel her parents were, she didn't want them killed...

"Your King...he called us prizes...my sister and I...He'll take Julia as a wife, I'm sure and she won't fight it...but me....What is he going to do with me?"

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"My parents are dead, aren't they?" She said after a long pause, before shaking her head, already knowing the answer, "Of course they are....You don't occupy a kingdom and leave the king and queen alive... Your King... He called us prizes... My sister and I... He'll take Julia as a wife, I'm sure and she won't fight it... But me... What is he going to do with me?"
Da'Karro did not raise his eyes from his carving.
"Yes, your parents are dead, I presented their heads to King Decimus last night." He said, using his knife like a peeler and removing a curled shaving of wood. "And he is not my king. I know not what he plans to do with you and your sister, though he is not one for courtship. Should he desire to marry your sister or yourself, it will be because he suits him as a tactical move and has some benefit to his strategy." He paused as his knife became stuck on a knot in the wood and he focussed on whittling down the know so he could continue unimpeded. "Once one of you bears him an heir I am sure you will meet with some unfortunate accident. Whichever one of you he doesn't wed will probably be used as some political bargaining chip. Undoubtedly married off to some lord he wishes to reward or bribe."
He looked up at the small girl quivering behind the sheets, "Either way, I know not what the future holds for you, I can only make an educated guess. I am just here to ensure that the kings investment does not damage herself further. I tied up two of my best people babysitting you and your sister when they could have been assisting the rest of my men. I have no doubt that you two cost me the lives of at least some of my comrades."

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"Yes, your parents are dead, I presented their heads to King Decimus last night." He said, his calm made her stomach turn. Her parents were dead and he killed them. The man that was sitting only a few feet from her. Scarlet clutched her sheets, trembling with rage and fear. "And he is not my king. I know not what he plans to do with you and your sister, though he is not one for courtship. Should he desire to marry your sister or yourself, it will be because he suits him as a tactical move and has some benefit to his strategy." He paused, working at the wooden piece in his hand. It made Scarlet twitch with impatience. "Once one of you bears him an heir I am sure you will meet with some unfortunate accident. Whichever one of you he doesn't wed will probably be used as some political bargaining chip. Undoubtedly married off to some lord he wishes to reward or bribe."
Scarlet's eyes went wide. He'll marry Julia, then kill her once she bares him an heir, knowing Julia, she only had nine months of life left...but she's be back in the same boat as she was before. Different King, Same Circumstances....She's be a coin again.
The man looked up at her, her amber eyes wide.
"Either way, I know not what the future holds for you, I can only make an educated guess. I am just here to ensure that the kings investment does not damage herself further. I tied up two of my best people babysitting you and your sister when they could have been assisting the rest of my men. I have no doubt that you two cost me the lives of at least some of my comrades."

"Why won't you just let me die....I could have bleed out last night, and you and your men would be on merry way." She said, speaking hurt, but she didn't care.
"Why bother?!....Do you really have no care?! Knowing what he'll do us...You've no compassion at all?....and would you please stop with the woodwork?! You're nonchalance to all this irritating!?" Scarlet said, breathing hard, until rationality came back, she closed a hand over her mouth, wide eyed, fear playing behind her eyes.

"I'm Sorry, Please don't hurt me..." She peeped behind her hand. She may want to die, but she didn't want anyone else to do it and she knew if he really wanted to, he would make her hurt.

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Character Portrait: Scarlet Stark Character Portrait: Da'Karro Misantri
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"Why won't you just let me die....I could have bleed out last night, and you and your men would be on merry way. "Why bother?!....Do you really have no care?! Knowing what he'll do us...You've no compassion at all?" she said, her tirade reaching a fever-pitch, "and would you please stop with the woodwork?! You're nonchalance to all this irritating!?" She stared at him breathing hard for a few moments before the reality of who she was shouting at seemed to return to her, "I'm Sorry, Please don't hurt me..."

Da'Karro sighed and put his face in his hand, pinching the bridge of his nose with thumb and forefinger. "Easy little one... Have you not listened to a word I have spoken? I am not here to hurt you, I am here to protect you, even from yourself. I have been given a task by my employer, so my own feelings on the matter are a moot point. I honestly couldn't care less if you flung yourself from that window, but I have been paid to keep you safe, and in the Mercenary business, doing ones task with the utmost integrity ensures future employment, not just for me, but for all my men."
He looked up at the frightened little girl, and in a strange way, felt pity for the helpless child. He knew what it meant to be a possession, just a thing to be bartered and traded, used and employed for various tasks.
"Look, with any luck, you have a long, healthy life ahead of you, filled with luxury and ease, which is more than I ever had. Take into perspective the fates of your soldiers, your staff, your parents, what will most likely happen to your sister. Your future no longer seems too bleak, yes?"
He sighed again and looked down at the woodwork in his hands suddenly feeling very tired after the battle in the night and the five hours of guard duty. "Go back to sleep, little Dove, Isabella should be here soon to relieve me. Enjoy my nonchalance while you can." He returned to the woodwork in his hands.

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Character Portrait: Scarlet Stark Character Portrait: Da'Karro Misantri
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"Easy little one... Have you not listened to a word I have spoken? I am not here to hurt you, I am here to protect you, even from yourself. I have been given a task by my employer, so my own feelings on the matter are a moot point. I honestly couldn't care less if you flung yourself from that window, but I have been paid to keep you safe, and in the Mercenary business, doing ones task with the utmost integrity ensures future employment, not just for me, but for all my men." He said and Scarlet looked down, chewing on her inner cheek.

He couldn't help her...he wouldn't. It was then she realized that she thought he'd feel something, pity, or sympathy, and maybe, just maybe...he'd help her...or just let her end it, but she knew one truth, men would do anything for coin...

"Look, with any luck, you have a long, healthy life ahead of you, filled with luxury and ease, which is more than I ever had. Take into perspective the fates of your soldiers, your staff, your parents, what will most likely happen to your sister. Your future no longer seems too bleak, yes?"

Scarlet looked up at him, with a slight frown. Was that supposed to make her feel better? Death would be gift, she wouldn't have to suffer at the hand of some man she did not know, nor love. He would take her, rape her, make her bare his children, and she would likely end up in the same boat as Julia...only it would last longer, she would fear each month when her moon days came, that one day it wouldn't and she would have but nine months left. He was wrong on that not, that her future seemed less bleak, no, in fact no, it would most certainly be a life of misery and woe.

"Go back to sleep, little Dove, Isabella should be here soon to relieve me. Enjoy my nonchalance while you can."

He said and Scarlet chuckled humorlessly. "Sleep has always been a fleeting friend, and I do not expect to befriend it this night....nor any night to come." She said though she lay down, oddly more obedient then she had been. Her eyes watched his hands, watching the wood chip off of the pieces and fall to the floor. The repetition made her eyes heavy, but a sudden chill ran up her body, keeping her awake. She wouldn't dare ask him to hand her her nightdress that hung in her wardrobe, so she pulled the covers tighter around her, her eyes still watching his hands.

"What are you making?" She asked, her voice a mere whisper, as her eyes began to close. "It looks lovely so far..." she said, but was asleep before he could answer.

Scarlet sat on the shores of White Harbor, watching as the water lapped at her feet. She smiled. The sun was warm and the water cool. Suddenly, something reached up in the water, grabbing at her ankle, it yanked her foot so hard, she felt it in her hip. She screamed out, pulling away as best she could, but to no avail, she was dragged into the water. The man, the mercenary stood on the shore, he watched her. Motionless, as if she was a piece of art he did not understand. She reached out to him, but water filled her lungs, she splashed in the water, choking and flailing, trying to get free but she was held there, just below the surface,

Scarlet still lay in her bed, choking, coughing and barely breathing as if she truly were drowning, yet she was dry as a bone.

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Character Portrait: Scarlet Stark Character Portrait: Isabelle Mortarchs Character Portrait: Da'Karro Misantri
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Surprisingly, the girl obeyed him and relaxed back into her bed, not sleeping, but just watching him slowly carve away piece by piece the wood of the table leg. She shivered slightly and pulled the covers closer to her, all the while watching the rhythmic motion of his hands.
"What are you making?" She murmured, her eyes growing heavier by the second, "It looks lovely so far..." She managed to make out, before sinking deeper into the pillow, the breath deep and slow, clearly asleep. Da'Karro made a slight smile, well, if this assignment wouldn't be particularly interesting, at least it wouldn't be tiresome either.
After a couple of minute, the sound of the door quietly opening and shutting purveyed its way into his mind but he didn't bother to look up, he knew who was there. Isabella silently padded over to him, looking down at the small pile of wood shavings at Da'Karros feet. She crossed her arms and put her face in her palm, shaking her head.
"What?" Da'Karro whispered, holding his handiwork up the the light to inspect it, "You sit here for six hours, you find something to keep yourself amused." He looked up at the veiled woman, who had changed her robes from the night before. Gone were the black and grey mottled cloaks that hid her in the shadows, and replacing them was a beautiful golden silk dress with matching headpiece and veil. Da'Karro could still see the long dagger artfully hidden within the satin folds but otherwise Isabella looked like any high-born lady from the west.
It made Da'Karro all the more concious of how he probably looked himself. Tired, haggard, still covered in the flecks of blood from last night and stinking of sweat and death. He sighed and rose from the chair he had been seated in for the past half a dozen hours and wearily sheathed the small dagger he had been using for his carving.
"She awoke, not long ago, I explained the situation, and that you would be coming, so hopefully she will sleep for another few hours and..." He trailed off as he heard movement from the bed. He looked over but only the girl was there, convulsing and gasping for air like she couldn't breath. Da'Karro and Isabella were on her in an instant. Isabella trying to hold her arms still while Da'Karro inspected the gasping girls mouth. She flailed wildly, choking as if she were drowning, trying to grasp onto anything. She awoke we a screaming cough, lunging out of the bed at the pair of Harrowers, one of her hands clawing away at Isabellas veil. Isabella shrunk back trying to cover her face with her hands and dress, frantically trying to put her veil back in place. Da'Karro left alone as the girl came gasping back into reality, clinging to him like a rock in stormy seas, her almost naked form pressed against him and she breathed deeply, recovering from whatever nightmare or fever dream she had been suffering.
"Easy little one, easy." He said, unsure of what else to do. Isabella rose from where she had retreated, her veil back in place and her eyes looking at scarlet with menace. Da'Karro saw the look and rolled his eyes, "You know she did not do that on purpose. Now help me." Isabella reluctantly moved to Da'Karros side, but like him, was unsure how exactly to continue.

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Character Portrait: Scarlet Stark Character Portrait: Julia Stark Character Portrait: Isabelle Mortarchs Character Portrait: Da'Karro Misantri Character Portrait: King Decimus Madror Character Portrait: Ramas Kharbo
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Scarlet blinked back to reality, her arms around the man, clinging to him, shivering from her dream. "Easy little one, easy." Her breath coming to her, short and shallow. She looked at him, watching his eyes, focusing on the cool gray of an overcast sky. Those eyes then turned to someone else that was in the room. "You know she did not do that on purpose. Now help me." He said and Scarlet looked at him, until the other person came into view. It was the woman who held the knife to her throat. The sight of her made Scarlet swallow, and the look in the woman's eyes made her shiver.

She didn't like her.

She blinked a few more times, before her dream came back to her and looked up the man again. "Wha...Something grabbed me....I was drowning...."She said, though she didn't know why. "You were there but you wouldn't...."She stopped and looked down, noticing how she was near naked in his arms. A blush reddened her face.

"C-can you set me down...I think I'm alright now, thank you." She said, her voice no louder then a meow of a kitten.
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Julia sat at her vanity, brushing her midnight locks, impatiently. The King's words dancing in her mind again. "Your easy submission to my rule is unexpected, but welcome. Perhaps there will be a place for your skills and pedigree in my plans." He said, after snatching his hand away. He then stabbed the throne with his sword, causing Julia to jump in surprise.
"Retire to your quarters, 'Lady' Julia. You will be busy tomorrow pacifying 'my' people. Ill not have your efforts be hampered by lack of rest." He said then and walked off. "My men will ensure you are safely escorted to your quarters. Goodnight."

He called her Lady...Not Queen as he had.

She would not let this stand, she would be Queen it was her birthright and she would not let him take that from her. Not when she was so close, all she had to do was charm him. She knew ways to a man's heart but she had to learn him first. She set down her brush, and turned to her 'Guard' and dark skin man with strange marks.

"You, Tell me about your King." She demanded, looking at him through the mirror, while she began to braid her hair. She would have typically had one of her ladies in waiting do this, but they've all gone or been killed, no matter, she knew how to do it. "What drives him?" She asked, whilst her nimble fingers dancing through her hair.

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Character Portrait: Scarlet Stark Character Portrait: Julia Stark Character Portrait: Isabelle Mortarchs Character Portrait: Da'Karro Misantri Character Portrait: King Decimus Madror Character Portrait: Ramas Kharbo
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The girl blearily looked around mumbling some almost incoherent ramblings about her nightmare before resurfacing to reality and seeming to take stock of exactly how few clothes she had on, and how close she was holding herself to Da'Karro.
"C-can you set me down...I think I'm all right now, thank you." The girl stammered awkwardly, it only dawning on Da'Karro now that this was probably the closest she had ever been to a man with next to no clothes on. He quickly set the girl back down into her bed, unsure of the parameters of his guard duty suddenly. Should he have done that? Should he touch her at all aside from so protect her? Was what he just did appropriate?
He had no idea. It didn't matter.
He turned to Isabella, sighing exasperated, "I need to sleep, she is yours for the next few hours. If she wishes to leave her chambers, fine, but she cannot leave the castle grounds and you must accompany her at all times. Oh, and um, make sure she wears something suitable." He finished his instructions and Isabella responded with a pair of rolled eyes and and a nod.
Good enough.
He wearily bid farewell to the still recovering princess, and left the room, making his way to where he assumed the guest rooms must be. Finding a suitable room he quickly stripped his armour and collapsed into the soft bed, blessed sleep claiming him the moment his head hit the pillow.

Ramas was unsure who drew the shorter straw, him dealing with the vain, indignant elder sister, or Da'Karro and Isabella dealing with the suicidal younger one. He stood quietly near the door, having taken over from the man who had watched her throughout the night. She sat by her vanity, having only woken recently herself, and she didn't look like she was taking the Modran occupation quite as well this morning as she had the night before.
"You, Tell me about your King." The woman demanded suddenly, stirring Ramas from his reverie, "What drives him?"
Ramas was slightly taken aback by the question and for a moment was unsure of how to answer, "He is... Not my King, for starters, I am part of the Mercenary force know as the Harrowers. But as to his own temperament? I cannot say I would know the man enough to make an accurate summary of his personality." He adjusted the buckler on his left arm habitually, before running a hand over his shaven head, the first few bristles of hair beginning to sprout along his scalp. "On the one time I met him at the strategy meeting, he seemed... Intelligent, incredibly intelligent, and ruthless. He cared not for civility or etiquette, he was pragmatic in the extreme, and clearly inspired utter loyalty in his men." He cleared his voice and looked the woman in the eye, "He is one of the most strong willed men I have ever seen, and is possibly one of the greatest military and political strategists alive."