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Marie Jansen

"Prepare to be burnt if you touch the flames."

0 · 98 views · located in Ivier, Continent of Dahearm

a character in “Kings of Elements”, as played by AceofSpade

Description




Marie Jansen





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Name: Marie Jansen
Age: 26
Description: Though athletically fit, Marie’s appearance often downplays the extremities of her personality. Few would ever suspect the faded jewel of the fire empire to be the danger she is on first impression, for a faded jewel is precisely what she is. Marie is neither particularly flamboyant nor daring in looks. Part of this can be attributed to a collection of scars, accumulated from a lifetime of fighting. Part of it could also be down to the fact that she sees little reason for cosmetics on a battlefield. Often she keeps her dark brown hair in a tight bun or short for purely functional reasons. That said, perhaps there’s some natural beauty to be found in her looks, provided she ever let her guard down long enough for it to show.

She isn’t particularly intimidating either, though with a lithe build and 5’8” of height on her one could hardly blame the woman. Marie prefers to her personality and skills do most of the talking instead, and close combat is precisely what she is built for. Long limbs give her the speed of a cheetah and the reach of a giraffe. Even unarmed they substitute for deadly weapons themselves as Marie is well trained in manipulating the body. Her sharp, almost violet eyes give her a hunter’s vision, imbuing her with the ability to track and follow her opponents without so much as batting an eyelid. She is the ultimate killing tool.

Power: Fire
Abilities: Marie’s fire magic is fueled by rage and bloodlust. The greater the power of her foe, the more powerful her abilities. Her magic is rather more innate as opposed to the common outward displays of fire. From Marie, you’ll rarely see a fireball or many of the more typical fire skills for that matter. Instead, she uses her flames to fuel her own attacks, creating fiery slashes from a single sword swipe or even burning tornadoes if she rotates fast enough.

Fire Within – By rapidly draining her own endurance, Marie can use her flames to drastically increase her own strength and resistance. The fire within is a process in which Marie harnesses the power of fire magic to actualize her inner-self. Excessive use of this power can eat away at even her life force, drawing her closer to the red thirst.

Mantle of Fire – Often used in combination with Fire Within, Marie is also capable of wreathing her body in flames. The flames add further protection from melee attacks and have even been known to melt certain projectiles before they could hit her. Anyone in melee range of Marie also has a chance of being burnt.

Feedback – A skill which disrupts an opponent’s magic spell. If an enemy is within 50m of Marie’s field of vision she can disrupt their casting process and instead set the caster on fire.

Protector or King: Protector
Personality: If Seth represents the dualities of fire, and Siya its comforting warmth, Marie is the wildfire. Uncontrollable, fiery, vicious and all things chaotic. Being a drugged induced gladiator leaves its marks like that, particularly when one has a natural disposition towards violence in the first place. Once unleashed, there are few things indeed which can stop her indomitable will and thirst for combat.

Despite the many doubts surrounding her sanity, Marie nonetheless possesses some small token of honor and control. Never has there been an occasion where’s she fully lost control to her urges, a fact that she prides herself on. Still, treading the line of a berserker is a fine one indeed and it is said that it is inevitable for every berserker to one day lose themselves to the red thirst. For Marie, that battle is a daily occurrence.

It is for these reasons that she can appear distant at times. Giving in to the red thirst means relinquishing everything and any bonds. It means devolving into a rabid beast, far worse than any animal and putting her allies at risk. Such a burden weighs on her shoulders heavily and Marie is often the first to openly warn her companions of her condition. To that end she keeps to herself for the most part, but give her a battle and she’ll be the first to leap in anytime. In all other aspects Marie is abrasive, obnoxious, and unashamedly rude. She’s even been known to attack allies in the heat of battle, or if lacking alternative adversaries. Life is too short to worry about the details, and Marie is undoubtedly the brightest spark soon to be burnt out.

History/Bio: Marie is a berserker, an ancient race of bloody warriors who came into existence over five hundred years ago. Despite their relative youth, they quickly established themselves as ferocious warriors, peerless and without equals in all things related to war. The berserkers carved a name out for themselves as sell swords and mercenaries mainly, travelling in bands of a dozen or more people. Though powerful, they lacked the experience and development of other more established races. They were nomadic by nature, and it wasn't until the fourth Great War that berserkers began to build any prevalence.

It was during these times that armies found a real use for these fearless fighters. Employed as highly effective shock troops, a unit of berserkers could clear any rampart or lay waste to a field of soldiers in minutes. They were renowned for their magic, strength and near limitless capacity for slaughter. Eventually, the race of berserkers saw a boom in population growth. In such times of war, they prospered where others declined. Those who survived the battle field lived to pass on their blood line and exceptional skills.

Fearing them, the majority of other races joined together and decided to curse the race of berserkers to a fate far worse than simple death. Every berserker would eventually succumb to what would one day be infamously known as the red thirst. Giving into their instincts meant utterly losing yourself and any traces of your former identity. Quickly, the race of berserkers dwindled, falling upon themselves in episodes of violent carnage.

In the modern era, there are few berserkers currently left in existence. They are an endangered species, and thus, highly prized by the gladiatorial arenas. Marie was never aware of her parent’s identities and her earliest memories are those of death and bloodshed. It's most likely that she was adopted by the arena's managers. Alchemical drugs were employed from an early age to heighten her killing intent, ensuring that she would only feel great joys from fighting. Marie became an arena spectacle, with a proven track record for winning. As she grew older, her abilities in combat would only increase, further facilitating her victories.

She never thought of freedom, only how to defeat the opponent she was next scheduled to fight. It wasn’t until Siya, the current Fire King, invaded the city and liberated her from its hellish practices that she gained a modicum of awareness. Through him she learnt that she was a berserker, a ticking time bomb. Marie pledged to protect the King for the remainder of her years, their bargain being Siya, and only he, would kill her if ever she should succumb to the red thirst.

So begins...

Marie Jansen's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brendon Stratos Character Portrait: Marie Jansen

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Brendon Stratos





The floating empire of Priscilla was tranquil, almost a quiet little eden away from the restless kingdoms below. Its beautiful vistas stretched over the snowy peaks of Staggered Falls, casting the mountain’s mottled granite in its permanent shadow. Brendon always found the history of their empire’s formation intriguing. He’d frequently draw comparisons whilst travelling to the other kingdoms as a child, citing the lack of efficiency, the fragmented nature of a different populace. Poverty, grime, conflict, everything seemed so vastly exacerbated in contrast. Why didn’t other simply adopt their ways?

Priscilla was an astounding jewel, one of the five man-made wonders of the world. It transcended the imaginations of common individuals because it was the calumniation of hundreds of years of work. If Brendon were asked to describe it, he would describe it as delicate, maybe weightless even. The capital’s architects had a wondrous knack for extravagance and optical illusions. As a tourist entering the city for the first time however, it was all too easy to become lost amongst the glittering towers. Often he’d be the one to have to remind them of the balance between form and functionality, but at the same time he loved their originality.

The city below never ceased to rest. They couldn’t afford to as a self-sufficient nation whose isolation hindered their ability to export and import. His people were hardy, yet just about everyone was an important cog in the machine. Like his father, and his father before him, Brendon shared the belief that everything in life needed a purpose. Should it not exist already, they only needed to imbue their own purpose within it. He represented those principles admirably as the newest air king.

Staring out over balustrade of his office balcony, Brendon reflected on his troubled thoughts. A bad wind was forming in the distance, almost like the dark sign of a coming storm. Such anxiety rarely, if ever, showed on the air king’s snow bitten expression, but he allowed himself to frown then if only because of his office’s promise of privacy. He couldn’t explain the sensation, others would call it a gut feeling he guessed. Whatever it was, there was no point in getting wrapped up in it yet.

Shifting his gaze back to the warm interior of his workplace, Brendon anticipated the call to business ahead of time and answered just as his assistant stopped outside of the closed entrance.

“On my way,” he said.

“Sire,” came a muffled reply.

Collecting a few items and papers, Brendon moved from his desk to the doors. “Are the others gathered? It’s time for our weekly meeting.”

“Yes Sire,” answered James as the air king seemingly passed through the closed doors like a ghost. It was both an awful habit and testament to his abilities as an air king. “Though you should really amend that habit of yours…”

“Good, let’s not keep them waiting,” Brendon said.




James hurried to the meeting room’s doors ahead of him in an effort to alert its members and prevent Brendon from walking through another wall unannounced. The assistant wasn’t the only one aware of his frustrating tendency to pass through walls. Appearing on cue, Brendon strode through the entrance properly this time and nodded courteously to the others before taking his seat at the head of the table.

“Excuse my tardiness. It’s nice to see you all,” Brendon smiled, “So, how is everything?”





Marie Jansen





Thrust. Defend. Attack.

Her movements were impeccable as they danced their circle of death. Not a second was wasted as she span about and directed her fifth strike in a vicious cross swing. The force behind it caught her opponent off guard and he stumbled away breathlessly. He was slowing now; she could read it in his body lines and heaving shoulders. An angry curse escaped his lips, voicing his frustration at having the initiative so swiftly stolen from him. Marie wasn’t even sweating. Fighting came to her so naturally that it the berserker made it seem like she was born for it.

She closed in for the final blow, plunging her sword forwards with blinding ferocity. In response, the man threw his sword forwards in desperation, hoping to redirect the course of her blade. It didn’t work. Marie’s arm moved in time to bypass his guard as she landed the would-be killing blow.

“I yield!” he cried, seconds from death.

Marie’s sword stopped inches from cutting his jugular before smoothly retreating into her sheath. She stepped back and bowed, duel completed. Her opponent did likewise, though it was clear that the thrilling effects of their contest had yet to wear off. “Nice work. I’ve never been so afraid in my life, and that was just duel,” he smirked, rolling his shoulders reflexively. “You should be training me instead.”

She smiled and nodded at the compliment, or at least she interpreted it as much. The slavers never taught her the art of speech as a gladiator, what was the point when most of them would die in a week or so? Of course Siya had taken some liberties in teaching her, but teaching Marie a new language was like trying to teach an old dog new tricks. The only words she truly understood were ‘kill’ and ‘fight’. She was getting better though, albeit slowly.

“No good,” she said, pointing at herself as an unlikely candidate for teaching. She wasn’t patient or understanding like Siya, or knowledgeable like Seth.

Misinterpreting her words as slander, the old knight laughed and sheathed his own weapon. “Indeed, someone of my age can't keep up with someone of your caliber. We'll resume training tomorrow shall we?” he chuckled before striding off. Marie quizzically watched the tall man leave before shrugging. Such was the nature of most of her interactions with Siya’s people.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Siya Ukomo Character Portrait: Kanan Thiyer Character Portrait: Hebi Irikisha Character Portrait: Eugene Van Goff Character Portrait: Brendon Stratos Character Portrait: Aeraki Character Portrait: Seth Caelholdt Character Portrait: Marie Jansen

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#, as written by Siryn
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“No need to bow Kanan. If you want to revere me help me reign in Aeraki’s behavior. That meeting was a disaster. I guess there’s no chance of awaking her again. Although, at least this time she’s not causing the building to shake.”

Kanan lifted himself up off the floor and stood straight before his King once the man had gestured for him to do so. He flicked his eye over to look at Aeraki for a brief moment before suppressing his sigh of annoyance. The girl was a problem to say the least, but Kanan never spoke it aloud. She had been the source of his getting into trouble with their new King nine times out of ten. The other few times were her own damned fault, but mostly he ended up being brought into the picture one way or another.

“I brought both of you here for a reason, but for the time being I’ll just have to be content with informing one of you. I was going to discuss this in the meeting before we were interrupted. But from now on, you two need to be alert. Which I know will be impossible for some of you.”

This time Kanan did sigh, his head bowing forward slightly as he knew exactly what Lord Brendon meant. Aeraki was the least 'alert' person on the planet. At least, that's how the air protector viewed her. An explosion could go off right next to her and she wouldn't care. He'd always wondered how she'd become a protector, especially since her view towards the job was far less than exemplary.

“The water king is dead. The orb is missing and their entire empire is in uproar. Currently we haven’t the slightest inclination on who did it. Rest assured though, everyone’s going to be pointing their swords at each other, but we have to be ahead of them. There’s a chance that someone will target me or the other kingdoms because we can only assume their goal is the orbs. So, for the time being, I want you two to investigate the murder.”

This snapped Kanan's attention straight to him. He felt a hard lump at the back of his throat and he was immeditaly on alert. Every sense in his body seemed to have been turned on and he could feel the cold presence of everything in the storage room. It came with his being a child soldier. Kanan had learned to feel the presence of others, and given enough time with being around some people, he could tell who it was. Aeraki he could feel right next to him without having to look at her.

Kanan watched as their King wrote on a pad that he'd produced : ‘Water king dead, be on alert’, and then attached the parchment to the girls forehead. An pale eyebrow lifted as the air protector watched. He wondered briefly if she would even understand the implications that were written on that little note.

“That’s it for now. You already know how I expect you to conduct yourselves.”

Kanan bowed to his King, "My Lord," he stated simply, having nothing else to say or comment on the situation. Even if he did, he wouldn't speak his mind unless asked to, or if he thought that it really needed to be said. Just as Kanan was preparing to leave the secluded room, he heard Aeraki giggle.

At that particular moment, he had curiosity running through him, but in actuality he probably should have just left the room without waiting to see what she was laughing about. Her pen was beginning to draw on the table, and soon an adorable little dragon had begun popping out of the table. He watched it with a faint blush for a few moments, at least until it started spouting random circular objects at him.

With a kind of half startled half shocked noise from his mouth, Kanan shied away and quickly took the handle of the door. Shoving it opened, he whirled around quickly and shut it tightly, hearing a loud popping issuing from the other side. With a heaved sigh, he closed his eye, shoulders sagging slightly. She was hopeless... absolutely hopeless.

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"Well, as much fun as this has been, dear Eugene," Hebi stated, still wiping blood from his upper lip and nose, "I must take my leave. With our dear Lady sending those notes out, we should prepare for just about anything. You never know what Lord Brendon or Lord Siya will do with that information."

He pushed himself off the table and straightened his clothes, his sickly green gaze never leaving Eugene's. As much fun as it was to torment the man before him, Hebi knew his limits. The man was much stronger than himself, and Hebi wasn't one for odds that were stacked against him. Give him the upper hand, well... that's a different matter entirely.

Hebi's grin hardly vanished as he turned on his heel and headed down the hallway, ignoring the other protector completely. He had better things to do than have a nice sparring match with Eugene at that moment. As he walked away and when there was no one around him, his smile faded to an awful scowl. The uppity bitch had certainly known where to prod. He would have to be very careful around her when she asked him specific questions.

Hebi hadn't really wanted to taunt her so much, but it kept her from pressing him further about the situation about her brother. So long as he wasn't around for the time being, that made things easier. Fool thy ally... fool thy enemy. Well... sort of, Hebi grinned at the thought.

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"You had best see what Her Majesty has to say, Sire."

Siya nodded and proceeded to open the note. He was already shaken by the news from Seth's servant. The Water King was dead? How? When, exactly? What did that mean for the rest of them? His fingers shook ever so slightly as he opened the document. Inside were only a few words, and much the same as what he'd just heard.

"Lady Bephat... she's sitting on the throne?" He said aloud, but brushed it aside. It was unimportant right then, "No matter, she says the same as your information," he said and folded the paper, tucking it into his clothes for safe keeping. With a shake of his head he sighed heavily, one hand reaching up and clenching the black cloth over his chest and heart. Just off to the left, deep inside his chest was the fire orb, pulsing it's power through him, though he couldn't feel it.

"I'll write to her, informing her that I wish to hold an audience with her," then he remembered that the following day was when he was supposed to meet with the nobles. Damn. With a heavy sigh and a roll of his eyes, he turned to face the dead tree, arms crossed over his chest, "I'll tell her that we'll see her in a few days. We have to deal with those damned nobles tomorrow first. What a bother," his breath released out of his chest and he let his arms fall to his sides.

"Thank you, Seth," he said and made his way out of the garden area. His thoughts roamed between what Seth had told him when they were alone, and the fact that the Water King was dead. The latter taking more precedence than the former of course. When he reached his study, he quickly sat and jotted out the response he had in mind. Attaching it to a messenger bird he sent it out his window and watched it fly out of his palace. Siya turned away and leaned against the window, deep in thought. He had a bad feeling about the coming days.






The following day / Morning

"Marie!" Siya's voice echoed down the hall as he hurriedly tried to find his other protector. He was rushing down the hallway, searching for her frantically. The meeting with the nobles was about to start and he wanted her there with him. She rarely attended such things, but he thought it was for the best seeing as she was not from their country. The more she was exposed to their language and the like, the more she could understand. At least, that's what Siya figured.

"Marie!!" He shouted, moving quickly down the hall. Then his halted in his steps completely. Of course! How could he have forgotten. Slamming the palm of his hand into his forehead he whirled around on his heel and headed for the training grounds. She was almost always there. He slid to a stop, leaning against the archway as he looked out into the area where his soldiers were practicing. With a beaming smile he spotted her and began to beckon her to come with him.

"Marie, hurry. Come with me."

Once the girl was in tow, Siya hurried down the hall to the council room that was hardly ever used. He opened the double doors and allowed her in before moving to take his seat. The last thing he wanted was to be late... again. With a heaved sigh of relief that he'd made it just in time, he relaxed himself in the chair and waited for the nobles to arrive.




Crystal blue orbs examined the shining, swirling blue stone in his hand. The round stone was warm in his hand, pulsing even. It was reacting to him. That was a good sign. Lifting it, he positioned the orb in just the same spot as to where the sun was shining. The golden light illuminated the blue orb between his fingers. After a moment, he slowly retracted his hand and pressed the orb to his chest.

At first the hard stone did nothing but rest against his clothes, the pressure sustained against his breast. Then something did happen, and the orb began to sink into him. His eyes closed, a deep breath filling his lungs as the orb passed through his skin and settled deep into his body near his heart. Finally... he'd been longing to find them. The orbs that belonged to him.

Opening his eyes, he reached out and flexed his hand experimentally. With a thought, water began to collect around his finger tips and swirl in little spirals around his wrist and hand. A slim smile crossed his features and he released the power, the water falling from his fingers. Looking over to his right and just a bit behind him, he watched the being known as Tarean.

"Get ready. Start where ever pleases you."




The meeting had progressed deeply. Well... rather it was getting into a heated discussion rather than a civil one. Some of the nobles made their standing rather clear that they disliked Siya entirely. Others seemed not to mind him so long as he didn't come crashing down on them with his power. There were only two that were keen on sticking up for the young King.

As the meeting deepened, it soon became apparent that Siya was never going to get a word in edge wise, and so he'd settled back against his chair with his head resting against his hand that was propped against the arm of the chair. As he sat there, he began to feel a little strange. He put it off as fatigue from the very boring and taxing meeting he was currently in the middle of. However, as the conversation carried on, his chest started to hurt a bit, giving him much discomfort.

He closed his eyes for a moment, a frown on his lips as he sat there, trying his best to ignore it. Even so, whatever it was, grew in intensity steadily. He could feel his body getting hotter, and a dull ache pulsing through his chest that increased as well. Breathing soon became difficult, coming in short pants of air. His eyes opened and he could barely focus on the table before him.

"My Lord?"

"Your Highness?"

Several voices echoed towards him. Siya couldn't tell who was speaking, but in order to keep his sudden condition under wraps, he flipped his hand outwards at them, feigning anger, "Enough," he panted, "I'm ending this meeting. We'll reconvene another time," his voice held a finality tone to it and he hoped it was enough to get them to leave. He kept his position as the group stood and ambled out of the room, whispering to each other. Siya hardly cared as he was struggling to keep his appearances.

Once the double doors closed, he fell forward, clutching his chest with one hand whilst the other slammed against the table before him. The orb, which he could never feel before, was burning in his chest. It was acting weird, almost as if it were reacting to some unknown element. Siya pushed away from the table and got to his feet. Turning, he started to make his way from the council room. He only got a few steps away before he collapsed onto the floor. It felt as if he were burning alive. Everything spun around him and he could do nothing but curl into a ball on the floor. Completely at the mercy of his own charge, he clenched his teeth and squeezed his eyes shut.

"Make it...stop...please," he muttered, though even he wasn't entirely sure if the words had slipped out of his mouth. Soon after he fell unconscious from it.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Siya Ukomo Character Portrait: Kanan Thiyer Character Portrait: Brendon Stratos Character Portrait: Aeraki Character Portrait: Seth Caelholdt Character Portrait: Marie Jansen

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Brendon Stratos





“Charming,” he breathed as the whimsical fairy proceeded to terrorize Kanan with yet another figment, a balloon breathing dragon on this particular occasion. Being the sole focus of her harmless antagonism, his other protector was non-too-pleased by the fact and promptly fled the room in the desperate bid to escape her machinations, offering an incredulous look as he did so. Brendon imagined it wasn’t the last he’d see of that look. Kanan wasn’t the first or last person to question the purpose of Aeraki, noting that her presence within the kingdom was an oddity itself. Some theorized that even Aeraki had a purpose within the Air King’s plans, in fact that was the only logical conclusion if one considered Brendon’s pragmatism.

Following Kanan’s example, Brendon left the room afterwards, leaving the slumbering fae to her musings once more. Ditching the drowsy giggles, there was a slight twinge as he worked the door knob, twisting the handle down before pushing the door out. Brendon wrote off the feeling as trivial as he started down a hallway, cheerfully waving to one of the executives still scampering down the staircase. The aging man, a trade delegate by the name of Foyster blinked in disbelief at Brendon’s appearance. It seemed they’d only just managed to work their way down to the third floor. Expectantly, James appeared shortly afterwards. Huffing breathlessly, his adjutant’s lips twisted into a slight pout upon noticing him.

“If you were going to fetch them yourself, you should’ve just told me,” he chastised, lamenting the wasted effort.

“Oh no no, I had other matters to attend to. They went that way,” Brendon gestured, indicating the next flight of stairs down.

James signed deeply. “Can you at least open the floor up for me, sire?”

“And risk frightening them again?” Brendon replied, showing clear concern which seemed not entirely genuine, “If an earthquake was enough to make them jumpy, I’d tremble to see what a ghost does. Quickly now James, you’ll never catch them at this rate.”

Visibly resisting the urge to groan, his assistant quickly vanished once more to pursue the startled officials. Brendon started in the opposite direction, heading up to return to his office. The distractions were a welcome relief, but he still had work to attend to. Facilitating trade routes, reviewing his spy network, deciding his response to the inevitable to the outcries and a whole list of proposed legislations just as examples.

Abruptly, a sharp pain lanced through his chest cavity. Brendon had made it no more than half way when his limbs gave out, staggering as the pain overwhelmed his senses and forced him to reach out to the railings for support. He didn’t scream, but his brown eyes grew dark before he fell to his knees.

“What…in the heavens?!” he gasped, retching almost to regain his lost breath. The uncomfortable ache had been so sudden that he couldn’t prepare for it. His mind raced to find a solution, even recounting his past steps in the hope of discovering a hint of treachery. When he couldn’t think of any he hissed out another curse, slowly sliding down the wall he leaned against. “If it’s the orb you want, I won’t let you have it!”

Brendon’s power activated on instinct as he reached into himself and drew out the orb. White and perfectly round, it glowed like a pearl in his palm as he prepared to drop it into the abyss which had opened within the staircase. Then the pain was gone, subsiding like a bad dream in the aftermath.





Marie Jansen





"Marie!!"

Recognizing his voice, the berserker dropped whatever she was doing and immediately bowed down. She had in fact been schooling another knight in the art of war when the King came running, but that hardly prevented her swift response. Her opponent was a fraction slower in noticing his highnesses’ entry and subsequently fumbled in his attempt to properly acknowledge Siya. Unlike many of her fellow gladiators, Siya’s knights had a propensity for ignorance and most ended up being poor game for her skills.

"Marie, hurry. Come with me," Siya said upon sighting her. The kings fair features materialized under an archway as he spectated their activities.

She tilted her head slightly as if not entirely comprehending his demands initially. Siya rarely, if ever, requested her personally unless the matter was of utmost importance. On those rare occasions she was called, it was usually to drag her along to some function or lesson which didn’t involve fighting. Siya had made great pains to accommodate her peculiarities over their short time together. However, if it was important enough to warrant her attention, she wouldn’t question her savior’s judgment.

She was swiftly led to a well-lit conference room, designated so because of its warm interior and long table surrounded by furnished seating. Marie had never seen one of these prior to coming here, though she had visited smaller variations intended for housing a one, maybe two people. The very idea of these elders resolving disputes verbally was alien to her. If they were back in the gladiatorial arena most fighters killed to resolve conflicts. Perhaps this was his wisdom, she couldn’t say. There was a vague feeling of not belonging as she stood to the right side of Siya, ears strained in a vain attempt to understand the complicated phrases spoken at regular intervals. Not that she’d ever think of voicing such trivial concerns to her master.

Gauging Siya’s expression however, the results were mixed and somewhat confusing. All traces of his prior enthusiasm had dissipated and he almost seemed dissatisfied at something. Had she done something to anger him? Upon closer inspection she noticed the king looked paler than usual.

“Your highness, are you oka-” she inquired before being cut off.

"Your Highness?" One of the other men asked.

"Enough. I'm ending this meeting. We'll reconvene another time," Siya stated, apparently fed up. The others nodded and followed his command as they exited the premises.

Abruptly, he doubled over. Fear seized Marie like a vice as she watched him tumble from his seat, rooted by terror. As she regained her ability to move, the berzerker emitted a cry for help, unsheathing her weapons almost simultaneously as she did so.

“Guards!” she screamed again, rushing forwards to receive him. It was all she could do to fend off the impending blood lust that risked taking over her senses.

"Make it...stop...please."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Siya Ukomo Character Portrait: Kanan Thiyer Character Portrait: Brendon Stratos Character Portrait: Aeraki Character Portrait: Seth Caelholdt Character Portrait: Marie Jansen

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#, as written by Siryn
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Siya Ukomo


The cold hard floor met his response first. Had he passed out just moments before? A soft groan filled his ears, and then other noises followed. Ah, right. He'd just been in a meeting with the nobles, during that meeting he'd felt his orb go haywire. It had burned in his chest and he'd felt like he was being cooked alive. What a terrible feeling. Even so, it was gone right then, that much he was thankful for.

Cracking his eyes opened, he looked upon the face of his foreign protector, Marie. She had her weapons drawn and looked as if she were about to rip apart anyone that drew near them. He really had to work on getting her settled down more. Well, maybe not... it's what made her a good protector he supposed.

Slowly sitting up, he pressed the palm of his hand to his forehead, "I'm alright," he told her trying to calm her. He hoped it worked, though he didn't think it did. His voice hardly held the usual confidence he had. He groaned again, this time in annoyance.

"Go find Seth," he ordered Marie and began to stand on his own. He stumbled slightly, dizzy from having fallen over. His hands shook too, the normal response to passing out. Leaning forward he grabbed the back of the chair he'd been sitting in moments before. Well, there goes the meeting... not like it was going good anyway he thought.

Taking a deep breath he stared at the floor, an eyebrow curling downwards as he thought back to the sudden attack. His orb had reacted to something, what that was though, he couldn't put his finger on. What he did know, though, was that no one was attacking his castle. It was something else entirely and he didn't like the feeling that it gave him. Maybe it had something to do with the Water King's death? His heart froze for a mere moment at the thought. One hand snaked upwards and clenched the cloth of his black robes tightly, just over his orb.

Whatever it was, it wasn't good. Siya concluded that he would have to rely on Seth's spy network more so than he wished. He would have to confide in the protector as well. He bit his bottom lip thoughtfully. He hoped that with Seth's abilities, things could be figured out rather quickly. Hopefully...

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Kanan Thiyer


Kanan moved swiftly through the hallway. His one good eye shifting from one side to the other. Lord Brendon's orders to investigate the death of the Water King still rung in his head. The first thought was to go there himself, but then he would have to leave Brendon's side for a time and he didn't trust Aeraki enough to do her job. If someone was out to kill the King's, then Kanan preferred very much to stay as close to his King as possible.

After all, the girl had just slept through a meeting, slept standing up when Brendon had dropped them through the floor to the basement and even drew a damned dragon in her sleep. A dragon that had launched colorful balloons at Kanan no less. His lips frowned and he moved down the hall at a brisker pace, feeling a bit embarrassed and frustrated at the situation. Did the fae take anything seriously? Probably not.

In his hasty retreat from the basement room, Kanan then realized that he'd gone the wrong direction. He'd originally wished to get up to the library and he had unknowingly taken the wrong hallway. He stopped, halting completely and sighed lightly. Running a hand through his hair, he turned and started back the way he'd come. Luckily enough, though, the stairs to another section of the palace were not to far behind him and a few detours would get him where he wanted to be.

It was several minutes later, but Kanan had finally gotten back on track, all that was left was descending another flight of stairs and then right down the hallway to the room he wanted. However, as he came down the stairs, Kanan found a peculiar sight. He noted the man sitting down in an awkward position on the stairs, but after a closer look, he realized it was Lord Brendon.

Immediately he was on edge. Something had happened and as he dropped down several stairs to get to his King's side, he also noted that Brendon had withdrawn his own orb. Kanan unsheathed his sword and with a bit of concentration, several pieces of metal on his person disappeared into a flash of blue particles that sunk into his body. A couple of chains that had hung from his neck and two rings around his fingers disappeared into the blue mass.

"My lord?" He asked softly, albeit urgently. He was about ready to start tearing through anything that moved close to them.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Siya Ukomo Character Portrait: Seth Caelholdt Character Portrait: Marie Jansen Character Portrait: Sagi Belphyre

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Fingers were still curled tightly against his black robes. If Marie had left, he didn't notice. The young King was still deep in thought as he stood in the center of the council room, leaning against the chair. His passing out led to his body shaking just slightly, but slowly it was going away. Siya was almost happy that Seth hadn't been there for the sudden episode. Of which he was still trying to figure out.

While Siya pondered his current situation the door opened. In walked a young man wearing a crimson colored cloak. Strange runes were woven into the hem and he carried a sword on his back. He approached the king and bowed.

"Sagi..." Siya startled at the man's approach but did his best to hide it. He hadn't been expecting the messanger. One of the few that knew the King's personally, and what they were actually on the throne for. He quickly unclenched his hand from his chest and attempted to straighten. Even so he still held the chair for support.

"Any news?"

"None, sire."

"I see," Siya looked off to the side. He supposed no news was good news though. Reaching into his robes, he pulled the letter from Queen Bephat, "Here. It's rather important that you know about this. To put it simply the Water King was killed recently. His orb is missing."

The man, Sagi Belphyre, looked over the letter. "I think it's important that we first know who the late King's enemies are."
Siya tapped a slender finger against his lower lip, "Yes. That does make for a good start. I know just the person we can go to," he sighed. He'd just sent Marie to retrieve Seth, but he supposed that it would be better for him to go anyway. It would certainly make things faster. Well... hoping he could walk properly anyway. The unpleasant feel of his orb was still a bit... unsettling.
"Come, we'll find Seth and speak with him. He may know something more than I do. Besides, I have need to speak to him anyway. There are things I wish to do," Siya said and tested his strength to leave the room. The first step was a failure, causing a headache and the room to spin ever so slightly. Unconsciously he reached up, wincing and pressed the palm of his hand to his temple, swaying dangerously. Damn he thought.

Sagi darted forward to help his King. He reached his hand out, steadying him. "Sire? Are you feeling all right?"

He groaned slightly, remembering why exactly he'd sent Marie and hadn't thought to go himself, "I... something happened a moment ago..." he muttered, leaning against the messenger for support.

"Were you attacked?" The tone of Sagi's voice sounded as if he had a mouthful of marbles for a moment. "Should I send for the guards?"

"No," he answered, shaking his head, "It wasn't that I was attacked... at least... not like that. The orb. It reacted... to something. It felt, so painful for a long while, almost as if it were trying to burn me alive," Siya released a heavy breath, almost a sigh but not quite. "The guards would not understand. Seth and Marie on the other hand... Help me find them. I feel this is far more pressing than what I think."

"As you wish," Sagi said. He bowed then turned to go, his cloak flourishing behind him. His brow furrowed, and his mind was reeling at the news he had received. Who would want to murder the Water King? He had arrived late in this play, and the lack of information he had was an uncommon thing for one who prided himself on intelligence gathering. Perhaps the King's protectors would know more.

He set out to look for Marie and Seth. He knew he could find the latter at the training grounds, so he decided to go there first.
Sagi found him where he thought he would be. Seth was nothing if not reliable.
"Seth, King Siya sent me to find you."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Siya Ukomo Character Portrait: Kanan Thiyer Character Portrait: Brendon Stratos Character Portrait: Seth Caelholdt Character Portrait: Marie Jansen

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Brendon Stratos





Brendon turned the glowing orb within his palm, carefully inspecting its smooth textures for any sign or cause for his pain. Whatever had just occurred certainly wasn’t ordinary, and after a few staggering seconds of careful observation, he resigned to resolve the matter later. Though dependant on their power, it was almost always frightening to realize how little he and his predecessors understood of the orb and its origins. Who created them? What was the extent of their power? And how did the orbs interact so instinctually with one another? For all of his invested efforts, and he had certainly invested a great deal into researching them, Brendon had come up with frustratingly few satisfying answers to his long list of queries surrounding the orbs.

"My lord?"

The questioning tone punctured his air of solitude, and Brendon’s head snapped up in response. Fortunately, the voice belonged to that of his protector, Kanan, and the tension in his shoulders eased, even if only a little. Bounding down the steps to reach him, the young man appeared armed and confusion, mixed with concern, radiated beneath the ruffled locks of white hair as the protector regarded their environment. His eyes scanned the stairwell in their vigilance, on the look-out for potential danger. Brendon had to resist the urge to chastise him right there and then, reminding himself it wasn’t an entirely unexpected reaction given the strange circumstances with which he’d been found in.

“Strange relics, aren’t they?” Brendon replied casually, taking the orb and depositing it under his armpits for the time being. Exposing the orb briefly was worth the risk if it meant he could avoid another…episode. “I’m always keen to learn more about them in the hopes that we may better utilize their power.”

The comment was intentionally offhanded and meant to prevent his protector from pressing the issue. Despite being perfectly aware of what the situation appeared like, Brendon was also certain he had the orb’s affects firmly under control for the time being. “Though I suppose if nothing else, they do serve as excellent bowling balls,” he smirked, “You’ve returned rather quickly after I told you to be on the lookout for suspicious activity Mister Thiyer, do you have something new to report to me already?”





Marie Jansen





Even if she were to be deprived of all her keen senses then, Marie would’ve still been able to tell his lordship was experiencing great pain. Siya struggled to stand on his own as his body shook from the effects of whatever ailed him. Her mind struggled at first, riding the line between panic and outrage as she tried to comprehend the danger, first bending close to check for wounds before drawing back to secure the meeting area. There were no physical wounds, at least none she could detect, but Marie knew that killing methods outside of magic and weapons existed. During her imprisonment, a few gladiators had even specialized in such understated skills, poison. She watched helpless first as he stumbled then groaned from the effort of lifting his own weight up to the back of his chair.

"I'm alright, he stated, unconvincingly. Marie shook her head stubbornly at first, refusing to stand down even if it meant denying his will. Though Siya looked as if he was fine, the sudden weakness was the perfect chance for others to strike, and Marie would never allow such danger to befall upon the fire king. Neither was he in the right state of mind to make such a call.

Siya seemed to pick up on what she doing, and after a second groan, prompted her to seek out the aid of another. "Go find Seth," he said, this time ordering her to fulfill her duty. Marie’s stern features furrowed in resistance, glancing doubtfully at Siya for the briefest of seconds before finally acquiescing to his command. Realizing she couldn’t help provide a cure if it was poison, she nodded slowly and then all but kicked down the doors in her haste to find the senior guardian.

“Protect King Ukomo, no matter what!” she hissed, threatening retribution to a squadron of guards located outside. Too busy worrying over the king’s welfare to think off enlist their assistance in locating Seth, she continued forwards without pause. Then again, she didn't really need the assistance either, she was perfectly capable of pinpointing the adviser's location provided he was still on premises. One of the first things she’d noticed about Seth was his uniquely metallic scent, and she was able to detect that strange aroma now somewhere within the arenas. Breathing out, Marie proceeded to run through the winding corridors at speeds which would’ve made even infamously agile air king jealous.

She appeared finally as a group of trainees dispersed from the tall, red head, her entrance punctured by the shattering of glass as she burst through a window.

“Seth! Please help! King Ukomo is hurt!”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seth Caelholdt Character Portrait: Marie Jansen Character Portrait: Sagi Belphyre

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#, as written by Ion


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The troops were doing well. Seth allowed himself a small measure of satisfaction at this—these lower officers were the younger part of the army, those that would eventually carry the burdens of leadership as they grew in experience, and if the events o the horizon were half as dark as he suspected they were going to be, it would be these that would have to grow into their strength most quickly. He was not concerned about the tactical aptitude of the Realm’s generals—he was one of them, and he’d handpicked the rest. But these men and women were where orders would have to be translated into real results, and for that, they needed every bit of training and attunement he could give them, and the rest, they would have to attain for themselves, as everyone must eventually learn to do.

If Seth had been a man with a more poetic sense of things, he would have thought the metaphor of a mother hawk an adept one: he could teach the young ones the skills they needed to hunt, but it would be by the strength of their own wings that they would fly—or fall. Perhaps fortunately, he was a bit too practical to be inclined to metaphor.

The approach of someone behind him was not something he failed to notice, but he let the person speak before he turned. The tone was one of some urgency, and the voice somewhat familiar. So Sagi has returned. Abandoning his eagle-like watch on the soldiers for the moment, Seth pivoted on his heel and came to stand neatly in front of the other man, a brow raised in inquiry. “Did His Majesty indicate the reason he requires my presence?” He was presently quite occupied, after all, though he supposed Siya would know that and not interrupt unless necessary.

The answer to this question came, not from Sagi, but from Marie, who in her haste to make it to him, had actually burst through a window. Had the situation not been so obviously urgent, he would have sighed. He still wondered how such a thing was really any more expedient than opening a door, but chose not to ask the question. Siya was hurt? His eyes flicked quickly back and forth between the two who had been sent to find him. Marie’s urgency was obvious, and while Sagi may as a rule be of a calmer demeanor, he did not think he would be so level if there was a serious injury at stake here.

So which one had been sent here first?

Glancing back briefly at the practicing soldiers, he made a hand motion to his second-in-command, indicating that the woman was to take over the supervision. “Well, then let us walk and talk. Exactly what happened?” He asked, and though his tones were perfectly calm, his strides were long and brisk. He would have run, but he doubted either of these two would have been so foolish as to leave the king without any protection whatsoever. Sagi’s calm also suggested that the immediate danger might have passed, though he knew not what to make of the contrast in their mannerisms. Either way, he desired an explanation, and he would have it. If not from them, then from the King himself.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Siya Ukomo Character Portrait: Kanan Thiyer Character Portrait: Hebi Irikisha Character Portrait: Eugene Van Goff Character Portrait: Brendon Stratos Character Portrait: Aeraki Character Portrait: Seth Caelholdt Character Portrait: Marie Jansen Character Portrait: Bephat Lellerium Character Portrait: Sagi Belphyre

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#, as written by Siryn
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He was seated on the floor against the back of the chair that had been his during the meeting. Only a few elite guards stood in the room, their hands on their weapons as they eyed the area. They had come after Sagi had left to go retrieve Seth and Marie. The young King didn't say anything to them as they stood guard.

His legs were pulled up near his chest as he sat there, eyes closed and head in his hands. Siya felt tired, shaky too. The orb wasn't hurting him, but the feeling of it still lingered, making him grimace slightly every so often. Finally, reaching down his hand clenched the fabric of his black robes while the other continued to hold his head. Hurry back.

The urgency in Seth's steps was tempered by experience, and the knowledge that his help would be of the same value whether it reached the King immediately or almost immediately. It was unbecoming to worry overmuch, and he did not make a habit of it, though certainly some concern was warranted by the present circumstances. In the end, it was perhaps only a minute or two from the moment Sagi had shown up on the practice grounds that the three walked back into the meeting room, Seth in the lead.

He immediately registered the details of the situation, noting that though Siya appeared uncomfortable, he did not seem to be in particularly egregious distress, though from the body language of all those present, it was clear that this may not have been the case previously. Frowning slightly, Seth moved to the king's side, kneeling before the young man's chair. Though the gesture was one of deference, he seemed to lose none of his consummate dignity for making it, a balance which was rather hard to strike in the learning but had become as second nature to him.

"Sire? What ails you?" His tone was even, lacking even the barest trace of panic, but all the same, it would be evident at least to Siya that the inquiry was genuine. Seth never spoke without a purpose.

"Seth," he answered with an obvious sigh of relief at the sight of his protectors back at his side. Glancing up towards the guards, he waved his hand at them to leave the room. When the door closed and it was just them, only then did Siya fully explain the situation.

"Something happened to the orb. I've never felt it before, and yet during the meeting it was like it was burning me alive. I couldn't contain it... I think I may have lost consciousness," he added a bit unsure of that fact, "In any case. I'm worried as to what it may mean. Any ideas, Seth?"

The guardian allowed none of it to pass from his mind to his face, but the news was a source of perturbation. He'd not heard of such a phenomenon before, and as he'd served every single monarch since the days of the realm's founding, that was quite the oddity. Pursing his lips, he gave the matter some thought, connecting what few dots he had available to him. The orbs were not of this plane, but another, just as he was. They were all connected to one another, and he had a conjecture on that, but he was not sure that now was the time to reveal it.

He suspected that the dead King's orb had fallen into ill possession, and that the other orbs were reacting to this. But he was not certain that they would do so, nor what kind of being would be malicious enough to cause such a thing. Mere excessive ambition or morally-questionable traits would not do it-- he'd served people with dispositions of this kind.

For now, he would leave it, and remain more conservative in his speech. "I think," he pronounced slowly, "that you should consider confirming that this event was not isolated, Sire. I believe that if your orb reacted thusly, those belonging to the Earthen and Air monarchs would have as well. Whatever the problem is, I suspect that it will fall to all three of you to solve it."

Reassuring as always, Siya thought to himself. He watched Seth closely as he answered the King's question, enjoying the soothing voice of his protector that always seemed to calm him no matter the situation. Of course the youth had also thought along similar lines, that the other two orb holders might have had a reaction as well. Which brought him to his next point of conversation.

"As I thought," he answered with a nod. Taking a deep breath he felt his shaking was reduced quite a bit, "Well then, as to my next request. We'll be departing to visit Lady Bephat tomorrow. I'll send a messenger bird ahead of us to inform her. From there we'll visit the Lord Brendon."

Seth nodded simply, rising from his crouch and regaining any trace of his composure that he might have lost earlier. "Of course, Sire," he replied quietly, inclining himself forward in a slight bow. "Please allow me to take care of the preparations. For the moment, I believe it would be best if you took some rest in preparation for the journey." Turning to Marie and Sagi, he addressed them next. "Marie, would you be so kind as to see to it that his majesty does not overtax himself between now and then?" Siya wasn't always the most receptive to the idea of allowing other people to handle things for him, but Seth did not want him trying to accomplish everything himself when whatever had befallen him might happen again.

"And Sagi, if you are not averse to the suggestion, it may be worthwhile to search the archives for information on this phenomenon." Seth had read everything there was to read in that library over his lifetime, but perhaps a set of fresh eyes with a purpose would find something that he did not remember. His powers of recall were considerable, but they certainly were not perfect.

"I'm alright," Siya tried to raise his voice to be heard over Seth's commanding tone to the other protector. However, that failed and he frowned slightly. With Marie under orders to make sure he didn't do too much, he figured the best thing for right then was to go to his chambers and sleep. Maybe I should eat too, he thought to himself wearily. Seth was much more stubborn than Siya ever could be, something he was learning rather quickly too. Not to mention that there was that tiny bit of intimidation from the tall, broad shouldered protector. Siya was rather small compared to him.

He blushed slightly as he sat there. The red haired protector was only doing his job, making sure that the young King was safe. Pushing himself up to his feet, he used the back of the heavy chair to steady himself, "I guess I will retire to my chambers, then. Something to eat would be most welcome. If it puts you all at ease, I'll rest there," he said softly, "Thank you Seth. Marie," he called her name and gestured towards the door as he made to leave the council room.

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“Strange relics, aren’t they? I’m always keen to learn more about them in the hopes that we may better utilize their power.”


Kanan watched his lord very carefully, an eyebrow lifting from underneath the eyepatch he wore. He didn't say anything as the Lord of Air put the orb underneath his arm and continued to make an offhanded remark. The young protector, on the other hand, was far from convinced.

“Though I suppose if nothing else, they do serve as excellent bowling balls. You’ve returned rather quickly after I told you to be on the lookout for suspicious activity Mister Thiyer, do you have something new to report to me already?”

Gah! He had a moment of panic as Lord Brendon faced him fully, his words questioning why exactly Kanan was before him again so soon. He sheathed his sword whilst doing his best to keep his panic from his features.

"My Lord," he started slowly, "I was on my way to research old alliances and possible enemies of the Water King. If I may, my Lord," he paused for a moment, "Send Aeraki to the water kingdom. I would much rather stay by your side. I would feel... better if you had someone here to protect you," he swallowed dryly.

Fairly sure that his words would be taken quite the wrong way, he couldn't help but express his worry anyway, rare as it was for him to do so. Something about this entire situation seemed off to him, and he felt it much better for him to remain by Lord Brendon than to be away from him. Sure Aeraki was strong in her own way, but she didn't take her duties all that seriously, at least that's what Kanan thought anyway.

Even so, should Brendon order him to go to the water kingdom instead, he would follow that order without fail or question. It had been worth a try to offer his suggestion, though.

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His face still hurt from where Eugene had struck him the other day. It was sure to swell and bruise. Even so, Hebi smirked at the thought of having gotten under the other protectors skin once again. As he moved down the hallway, he reached into his pocket and produced a glowing green orb. It swirled in a mixture of green's and a bit of black as well. The orb he'd taken from the brother and held onto all this time.

He thought about giving it to Bephat upon seeing her, but then thought better of it. Hebi would hold onto it until she finally came to get it from him, if she thought to get it from him. As he stared at it in the empty hall, the colors swirled together, mashing into each other and looking rather violent. He halted in his steps. The earth protector's lips pulled into a frown as he watched the orb intently.

Something was happening with it, it was reacting to something. What that was, though... Hebi had no idea. Humming softly to himself in curiosity, he pocketed the orb once again and continued on his rounds through the halls. The crafty protector avoided everyone as he went, but at the same time he knew exactly where most everyone was at. It was a specialty of his. All the while he thought about the strange phenomena that had just occurred, the Lady Bephat and the death of the Water King.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Siya Ukomo Character Portrait: Seth Caelholdt Character Portrait: Marie Jansen Character Portrait: Bephat Lellerium

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#, as written by Igari
Siya pulled the reigns of his horse as they approached the large castle that belonged to Queen Bephat. The preparations for the trip had been taken care of entirely by Seth and Marie, leaving Siya with nothing to do but rest. He sighed softly to himself. Since the attack from his orb, nothing had surfaced afterwards. The young King was beginning to wonder what it was exactly that had made his orb go crazy like that.

They were greeted by the servants and workers of the castle, taking their horses and leading them into the large palace that served as the home of the Earth Queen. The Fire King moved slowly, his body weary from the long trip. It was nearing evening by the time they'd made it to the castle. The sun set fire to the castles walls, an appealing look if he said so himself. As they entered the large hall that served as a waiting room for an audience with the Queen, Siya glanced around. It was most definitely a beautiful palace.

"I hope that we're not too late," he muttered softly, mindful of his tendencies of not being on time.

Marching closely alongside Siya as they passed the two-way entrance came Marie, scanning the guest room and decked in a near full set of battle gear. Near full because Siya had somehow managed to convince her prior to abandon the more blatant showcase of arms, heavily implying that doing so would be rude to their hosts. Unfortunately for him, the ex-gladiator took her guard duties entirely seriously and wouldn't be convinced of discarding her sword, not that she was already dangerous enough without it.

Catching his comment, she regarded him quietly with a face of confusion. She could sense his anxiety, something reflected of her own demeanor perhaps, but was otherwise incapable of thinking of a way to soothe his concerns. Perhaps Seth would know better, the aged advisor was always more attuned and capable of responding effectively to such issues.

Siya needn't have worried about being late. While it was certainly the case that he was seldom on time for anything, the same could not be said for Seth, who approached much of life with a certain kind of mechanical precision. He'd successfully accounted for all the delays they'd run into, and indeed, they had appeared at the palace right when the letter that had preceded their arrival here had said they would. "Be not troubled, Sire," he said to the king. "We are where and when Her Majesty was informed we would be."

He was marginally less impressed with the Earth Kingdom's delay, as generally when recieving such an important guest as His Majesty, a minimum of wait time was advised. Nevertheless, these were troubled times, and he wasn't entirely without the ability to make allowance for that. Seth went less armed than Marie, but this was deceptive. Though his armor was nothing more than what was traditional for a knight on light (but active) duty, he did not make a habit of carrying weapons even onto bloody battlefields. There was hardly a need. Still, he approved of his fellow guardian's choice to present herself as quite prepared for martial action. Given the circumstances, it could hardly be taken as an offense to their hosts. If the Earth Queen was aware of what was going on, he would expect that she, too, be marshaling her forces.

She was nervous.

The Earth Queen paced back and forth in the throne room, anxiously nipping at the skin of her finger and trying not to bite her nails. Eugene's words were coming back to haunt her, quite literally, and her doubts were causing a major delay. She had been notified that her guests had arrived fifteen minutes ago but she had yet to greet them. What if Eugene was right and maybe the fire king was behind the death of the water king? Siya had been polite enough to respond to her though... But then would that put blame on Brendon? It was all very confusing business and it was enough to make her feel nauseous.

Either way, she didn't have time to stand here and ponder over the possibilities With a deep breath, she composed herself. It would be better for her to personally greet her guests at this point, rather than have her servants lead them in. She walked over to the door and after a seconds' hesitatoin, she opened them with flourish.

She was greeted with the sight of presumably the entourage from the fire kingdom. She eyed the Fire King first, Siya--he looked like someone with a firm head on his shoulders, though a little young looking in the face. There was a fierce looking woman next to him. Bephat carefully glanced at the sword--at least the woman was doing her job properly. It was the man at the back that caught her attention the most. He just... smelled old. Not in an offensive manner but something like a musty textbook... or a rare artifact.

Perking up at the thought, she gave the group a kind smile and gestured towards the throne room. "I apologize for the delay. Please, do come in." She could almost sense Eugene's scoff at her politeness. This was going to be a difficult meeting.

Siya perked up as he heard the door open. He met the gaze of the Queen as she strode into the room briefly. She looked passed him and to both Seth and Marie. With a short shake of his head, he regarded her as she apologized for the wait. Offering her a smile of his own, he started forward, "No need to apologize," he said as he followed her where she'd guestured to enter.

The throne room was large with a full length table at it's center, the throne up on a dias above that and chairs along the wooden decor. Siya moved slowly and took a seat closest to the throne so as not to have to shout across the room. As he sat down slowly, he spoke, "I'm sorry for the sudden request to see you. This is urgent though, and I thought that it would have been better to get together with the others before doing anything on my own."

"With that in mind, I wanted to discuss the orbs and the Water King's death," he prompted, getting to the point rather quickly.

It gave her some sense of relief that her guests seemed to know where they wanted to sit. She had skipped out on lessons in royal etiquette regarding hosting. Oh well, maybe a bit of abrasiveness would serve her well. She took her seat at the head of the table as Siya spoke, narrowing her eyes gradually over mention of the king's death.

"Yes, a troubling turn of events..." She trailed off delicately. "Though might I ask before we begin--has there been any word from the other king, Brendon? He has yet to respond to my queries but perhaps he has made contact with you?" She asked as she peered over at Siya.

Siya lifted an eyebrow. Now that she mentions it... he hasn't responded to me either the Fire King thought to himself, "Uh... No, he hasn't my Lady," he responded slowly. Siya leaned against the table, resting his lips against his fingers. After a moment he gave a soft sigh and shook his head.

"We will figure that out when we get to it, I suppose," he said at the end of the sigh, "May I ask, have you experienced anything odd with your orb, Lady Bephat?"

At mention of the orb, her cheeks brightened in hue. She had completely forgotten to retrieve her orb from Hebi--well, if he even had it. Which she rather hoped he did. "Ah..." How was she going to explain herself? She shot a furtive glance over her shoulder, as usual, Hebi was nowhere in sight.

"Odd? How ah... so?" She cast another glance in the opposite direction, still not catching any signs of Hebi. She had to find a way to excuse herself and track him down. A task easier said, far easier said than done.

"Um..." Siya glanced over to Seth and Marie. It was hard not to miss her stuttering and nervousness. Maybe she was just overly exerting an effort to try to accomodate them. After all it was her brother who was supposed to be on the throne, not Lady Bephat. Siya took a breath and flicked his crimson gaze back over to her.

"W-well... Something happened to mine the other day. I was wondering if you'd felt the same... disturbance. If you had then I could make better conclusions about the whole situation but... S-seeing as you've no idea what I'm talking about it's rather hard," he groaned softly at the end and leaned his forehead into his hands, "You do have it, right?" He asked, curious now that the subject was breached.

This was when she was sypposed to lie, right? Tell him that she had it. Okay. She could do this. She readied herself, sucking in her breath. "Yes I..." Her body shook a bit with the effort of the lie. No, she couldn't do this. He would ask more questions, he would want to see it. There was no way around it, she couldn't pretend.

"... No, I don't." She looked down, unable to meet his gaze any longer. "I am unsure what.... what even happened to it... My advisor told me my brother... and he incited Eugene... it was all so confusing that in the midst of it all, I hadn't retrieved..." She trailed off miserably. She was making a horrible show of being queen. She only hoped this wouldn't cast suspicion on her in regards to the water king.

Siya leaned back his eyes wide as she spoke, her words almost a jumbled mess. She looked troubled, far more than he'd originally thought. She had seemed tense, but now it was even more apparent. Taking a deep breath, he watched her for a moment before thinking of something to say.

"It's alright, my Lady. It's rather late and you've only been on the throne for a few months at best. Perhaps there just wasn't any time for your protector Hebi to properly give it to you..." he tried his best to calm her down, "Perhaps we should try this again in the morning when you've rested?" He asked.

"He's no proper protector," She hissed out before restraining herself with difficulty. "... sorry." She said, working up the nerve to finally look back over at Siya. "But I don't think it's... it's that simple. I've been suspicious of Hebi since I returned. He skirted around any questions I asked about my brother and... he had a habit of disappearing." Part of her felt awful for dumping all these problems on Siya the instant he got here.

To be honest, she hadn't known who to go to. Eugene hadn't been of much help, given his isolation, and speaking of her doubts regarding Hebi to the court was like uttering words of slander against her father. It was as if they were all in this weird haze and blind to the obviously suspicious actions that her advisor carried out.

"I see," Siya muttered softly as he dropped his gaze down to the table top. Was it that Hebi really was so bad? Not that he would really know, he had both Marie and Seth. Maybe he'd just gotten lucky in those that served him. He frowned slightly, that wasn't a particularly good thing to think...

"My Lady," Siya started, looking up at her intently, "I'm sure there is an explanation to all of this. For now, get some rest. Tomorrow we can find your protector Hebi and question him," the Fire King announced. His own suspicions of this protector rising heavily. It was almost too coincidental for this 'Hebi' to be disappearing, the earth orb in his possession and the water orb missing. Could... could Hebi have the water orb? If so... that meant that he was responsible for the Water King's death...

Stop Siya commanded himself. He was getting way to far ahead of himself. He would think about all of this later when there was more time. At the moment, they were all tired from riding so long and he was sure that Lady Bephat was tired too, her anxiety was enough to guess at it.

She furrowed her brows but managed to smile lightly at his suggestion. "Perhaps that would be for the best..." She gestured to a few of the servants nearby, directing them towards her guests. "They will show you to your chambers. I attempted to prepare them in a way that resembles your kingdom." A part of her remembered what Eugene had said about the clashing colors but she chose to ignore that comment. Better to make her guests feel comfortable than out of place.

"I'll have someone fetch each of you in the morning and we can continue our discussion then," At least she was able to end on a more firm note. Far more securely than how she felt at the moment.

Standing Siya nodded to her with a smile, "Thank you, my Lady, I'm sure they're just fine though you did not need to go through all the trouble. In any case it is appreciated," he offered, "We'll continue this in the morning."

He followed after the servants who led them through the halls of the palace. He didn't dare say anything about the orb in front of the servants as he was fairly sure they were not privy to the information, just as his own weren't as well. He kept his thought to himself, musing over the implications about this 'Hebi' protector. He wondered what the story was behind the man who carried the earthen orb and hadn't given it to Queen Bephat. It made him nervous on the situation entirely. Not to mention that neither protectors were seen with her.

Siya released a heavy sigh as they came to the door that was to be his quarters. The servants opened it and he walked in, admiring the work that the Lady had done to make it feel like his own. A small smile creased his lips as he stepped into the room that had been done up in dark reds and oranges. Turning to the door he caught Seth and Marie before they were shown to the rooms right next to his, "Tomorrow, search this palace for the one named Hebi and bring him to Lady Bephat and I. Get some rest, both of you," he said and turned away to close the door.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Siya Ukomo Character Portrait: Seth Caelholdt Character Portrait: Marie Jansen

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#, as written by Siryn
Siya sat at the desk set up for him, deep in thought as he looked through a book. He hadn't gone to sleep, there was far too much on his mind to get any rest at all. The young King was still trying to piece everything together, but unfortunately he didn't have enough information, something he really wanted to have. Propping his head up against his hand, he stared at the book, fingers slowly flicking the pages over to continue reading.

His small flame that he'd conjured hovered over the desk, flickering around as it gave light for him to read. Siya didn't notice that he'd fallen asleep in that position, his firelight winking out of existance. However, he wasn't asleep for very long as a hand wrapped around his chin and jerked his head upwards. Shocked, he reached up to try to dislodge himself from the iron grip.

Gloved fingers slipped into his mouth and he winced, choking on whatever it was they'd put down his throat. When the hands withdrew from his mouth, he coughed and dropped to the floor. Whipping around when he got the air back in his lungs, he called for the fire in his orb.

Nothing happened.

His heart quickened as he faced off with the taller figure in full black. Eyes wide he opened his mouth to shout for Seth and Marie. A hard kick to his torso sent him stumbling backwards into the desk, knocking the air from him again. Siya fell forward, caught by something thick and hard twisting around his body. Dragged forward, he hit the base of the large bed and gave a grunt of pain. Sharp pin pricks cut through his black robes, piercing his skin beneath.

Vines... he thought frantically. Someone using earth magic was attacking him, that protector... was it him? he wondered with a gasp. He couldn't tell who it was, not in the darkness, only that they were tall and much stronger than he was. To top it off, whatever they'd given him had seemed to stop his orb from reacting.

Rough hands pulled him over and took both of his arms, stretching them up over his head so he couldn't use them. Siya kicked out, the cloth of his robes falling back to give his leg more room to move. The boot connected with the figures side, earning him a huff in response to his attack. The young King kicked again, harder.

Lifting him up easily, Siya twisted and turned before he was tossed up onto the bed and the thick vines wrapped around his legs to keep him from kicking the intruder. He took a deep breath and opened his mouth to shout to his protectors. The noise gurgled from his throat as water bubbled up into his mouth. His eyes widened in shock. Air couldn't get into his lungs and all that was getting in was water.

His eyes burned as he fought to get the water from his mouth. Twisting around, his body shuddered in an attempt to rid his lungs of the invasive liquid. He coughed, the warm liquid spilling out onto his face and neck, but it continued. Slowly he was losing the strength to keep fighting and when his struggling ceased, the water disappeared. He coughed, dragging air into his burning lungs and throat.

Too weak to try to do anything more, he lay there as the figure leaned over him. The gloved hand glowed a brillant blue color as it decended towards his chest. The swirling light alerted him and he shifted his body slightly. The fingers touched his chest and pressed down against his skin. The magic cut through him and he felt the hand sink into his body, reaching for the orb.

He gasped, coming forward and straining against the ties holding him down. The fingers closed around the orb as Siya grit his teeth, breath heaving between his teeth as he cringed. It wasn't until the figure began to remove the orb that he let out a sharp cry of pain, followed by a harsh, continuous scream. The orb was reacting, burning furiously against the one who touched it and was trying to remove it by force.

"S-Se-" Siya's voice cut, his scream interjecting his cry for the protector. He shut his mouth, grinding his teeth for a moment, "Seth!" he managed to shout between cries.

Without warning, the doors to Siya's appointed study room practically flew from their hinges as Marie burst through with a powerful screech, shattering the polished mahogany with the force of a raging rhino. The volatile protector had been on stand-by outside the entire time and needed no further prompting the moment his cries for assistance rang out. Locking eyes onto their mystery assailant, she spotted Siya strapped to his bed with a series of vines oddly. There was little time for such considerations however and she and was upon them in an instance, sweeping her sword around to push the dark figure away from her king.

"Die fiend!"

Seth was not a being that required rest in the same way that others did. He didn't sleep, and only rarely entered a kind of meditative state that allowed him to think of nothing in particular. Even so, he was not always at the King's side-- indeed, presently, he searched the palace for this elusive 'protector' of the Queen's, though from the sounds of it, the frivolous being hardly deserved the title. Hebi... that name meant snake in some dialects, and it seemed rather appropriate for the kind of guardian that would not relinquish an orb to its monarch. Seth had at times been forced to keep the Flame Orb in his possession, as the line of bearers in his nation did occasionally get interrupted, and there would be times when the next bearer was not known. But he had never desired it for its own sake.

He knew for a fact that Marie was presently guarding His Majesty's chambers, and so he felt confident enough to proceed with his search even before morning broke. Did not the more subtle and underhanded sorts prefer to do their skulking at night, when there was less chance of being noticed? He did not know if he believed this man responsible for the death of the Water King-- it seemed an unlikely thing for the type Hebi appeared to belong to. All the same, however, there was reason enough to seek him; the king had ordered it so.

His trajectory was immediately diverted, however, when he heard a shriek, and the sound of a door being hit hard and slamming open. The directness of both of these things was unmistakably Marie, and the direction was right as well. Seth was off like a shot immediately afterwards, arriving several seconds after his fellow guardian to see a hooded figure with his hand buried halfway into the king's chest-- seeking his orb, no doubt. Marie's sword endeavored to part intruder from monarch, and so Seth himself tore into the vines holding Siya in place, half shredding them with his hands, half sucking the life directly out of them, withering and browning them until they held vital strength no longer. "Cut off the hand," he told Marie, meaning, of course, the one that still held fast in the young human's chest cavity. After that, the next priority would be cutting off the head, though perhaps only after the one it belonged to had divulged the intent of this farce.

The blade came at the figure at an amazing speed. Right behind the fiery woman was a tall imposing man who took in the situation in a heart beat. The woman's blade hit the intruder, just barely deflected enough to keep from cleaving the person in two. Vines shot up just briefly around the area her weapon had attacked the intruder. The black attire split from her sword, drawing deep colored crimson to stain the fabric in a steady pool of blood. The force of the attack turned his body outwards from the King, though his hand still remained in the young man's chest, curled around the orb. The fiery ball of magic was just barely surfacing.

Hissing in pain from the gash in their side, they turned to avoid another slice. The tall man who was ripping apart the vines that held the King down, ordered the woman to cut off the hand in the King's chest. A slight growl issued from the person who was attacking and they withdrew rather quickly, preferring to keep their hand instead. Even so, as the woman obliged, the weapon sliced deep into skin again. The attacker leapt off the bed then, leaving the King to his protectors.

~

With eyes closed and his voice still screaming, Siya couldn't concentrate on anything around him aside from the hand in his chest tearing free the orb that was buried there. He wasn't sure how long it was going to last, or how much longer he could hold out. He heard a shout, then followed by another voice. Hands encircled his, ripping them free from the bonds that held him.

Then the agony faded away into a slightly bearable pulsing pain. He collasped on the bed, breathing heavily and hardly able to focus at all. The hand that had been in his chest had withdrawn. Opening his eyes, he watched the dark figure quickly leap off the bed and towards the window. The black intruders' steps were slightly off, telling Siya that one if not both of his protectors had injured the man in some way.

He reached down with one hand, freeing himself gently from Seth's grasp, though he kept the other hand in the man's very warm grip. Siya's slender fingers curled along the cloth of his robes, the area where the attacker had tried to remove the orb from. The orb was slowly receding back into his body, though rather painfully after having almost been forceably removed. For a few moments, Siya could feel the orb just on the surface of his skin, the cloth of his robes had been burned in a hand sized hole where the intruder had sunk their fingers into him. His breath was still heavy as he slowly tried to calm himself and get a hold on the uncomfortable feeling of the orb slowly moving back down through his chest.

The sound of shattering glass filled the room as the window was broken and the person in black was gone. A wall of shimmering water rose up from the floor and covered the broken exit that the intruder had just taken. Siya grit his teeth, remembering that water had been used against him just moments before. The water orb... it has to be, he thought faintly. Siya slowly turned his gaze to Marie who was sure to follow after the attacker with blood on her mind, "M-arie... don't," he said forcerfully, "I'm... fine, just fine. Thanks to you both," he said with a huff of breath.

His head rested back against the blankets of the bed, "That... they used water. The water orb... It has to be, there's no other explanation. Water and earth... Who ever killed the Water King is also after the other orbs? Lady Bephat's orb is still with her protector Hebi..." Siya rambled, his thoughts were a mess, all muddled together as he tried to peice the puzzle together right there. The young king's grip tightened around Seth's as his eyes closed, eyebrows coming down in aggrivation.

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