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Briena

The Queen of Serenia. She commands attention with her appearance, every step graceful and elegant, and seeks to serve her kingdom to the utmost.

0 · 535 views · located in Skysong City | Capital of Kingdom Of Serenia

a character in “The Chronicles Of Galeia | Ballad of Calraida”, as played by BrienaSkysong

Description

  • Name: Briena Erani Skysong
  • Gender: Female
  • Age: 34
  • Alignment: Lawful Good
  • Race|Species: Half-Elven | Half-Human | Shifter
  • Breed|Subspecies: Serenian | Argohahnian | All Creatures except Vampires and Humans.
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 140lbs
  • Physical Description:Image
    [Image copyright to myself: TheCalraidanKingdoms at Deviant Art - BrienaSkysong Here.
    Since it would take pages and pages to describe every single form she can take, I will stick to her birth form, which is the one most often seen in roleplay, in any case.

    Standing at precisely six feet, Briena is a couple of inches taller than the average woman of her father’s race – the Serenian Elves of the continent of Calraida – and towers over the women of her mother’s race; that of the Argohahnian humans of Calraida.

    Her voice is a rich, warm caress of silk and velvet, carrying a highborn Serenian Accent (Educated English) mixed with inflections of her mother’s Noble Argohahnian brogue (Educated Irish), and the cadence of her speech is a lyrical, melodic Soprano, lilting and soothing.

    Her scent, when under control, is a seductive, soothing mixture of rich summer hay, wild Jasmine and Lavender, with sweeter inflections of Vanilla and roses, sharper hints of evergreen trees, and a sepulchral undertone of stone and earth, joined by moss and herbal notes. With it all, is her natural feminine musk—alluring, inviting, and warm, yet sweet and clean.

    Her scent when not under control, is an intensely powerful aphrodisiac. Having caused her no small amount of grief in the past, this scent has the capacity to drive a man to madness and fixation, and it isn’t limited to Humans or Elves, or even the living, as long as the male in question has a sense of smell. The reaction and type of desire is different between individuals, but once the scent is muffled, they may return to their normal state, though many might still remember the smell.

    This seductive scent is held under a barrier spell, contained within the necklace she’s worn since she was small—namely, the pendant hanging from the chain. Since the age of sixteen, when the scent began to surface, Amadeus – a Vulpaeni mage of great power and skill – enchanted the pendant with a spell that would remove the pheromonal aphrodisiac quality of her scent and leave her with what would be safe—her ‘under control’ scent. This spell must be replenished and recharged twice a year, or the barrier will begin to crack.

    This spell can weaken under high emotional stress or anxiety, letting wisps of the true scent escape and, if removed, the full force of it will be released without mercy.

    No one is entirely certain where she inherited or gained this strange scent from, though Amadeus maintains a theory that it may be tied in with the Gifts he gave her when she was a child. It could also possibly be attributed to her being a Shifter. While the men in her father’s line bore none of this pheromone-laden scent, she is also the only female Shifter of her line—thus, it may be unique to her.

    In looks, she took heavily after her sire, sharing his vibrant, rich fiery red hair, though hers is a shade deeper in color. Red as fresh blood, this luxuriant cascade of waves falls to just below her rear, curling in thick tendrils at the tips. However, this rich color is merely a base to paint upon. Glints of ruddy gold spark through, just a few strands at a time, natural highlights against the crimson backdrop. Sparks of flame-bright red add a fierce vibrancy to the wealth of locks, giving the impression under uncertain firelight of her hair being alive with its own inner blaze.

    Her hair, when soaked through, deepens to a similar color to that of dark, fire threaded blood.

    Not of uniform length, her hair curls about her face toward the front, stubbornly refusing to remain bound by a mere braid or pony tail, often framing or half obscuring her features in vibrant brilliance, while longer waves caress her shoulders. Not prone to tangling, her hair has the feel of the richest, highest quality silk. Smooth and luxurious to the touch, it defies the rigors of training and high winds, only small knots gaining a hold upon the strands, much to the relief of the head it grows from.

    This vibrant color reasserts itself in her lashes—thick, long fringes of burnished coppery red-gold frame her eyes, adding to the allure of her features, and a sense of mystery.

    Those eyes shine a deep, fathomless sapphire blue, the color vibrant and undiluted, save for fainter sparks of a slightly lighter shade of sapphire and ever fainter glints of sky-blue—the sparks of light upon a bottomless lake. They carry within their depths a wise gleam, vibrant intelligence, and a gentle tenderness toward those she cares for.

    And yet, when the height – or, perhaps, the depths – of her fury has been reached, these same warm, inviting pools of gentleness shift to a deep, feral frigidity. Hardening to frozen sapphire pools at these times, they maintain a strange calm that is no less terrifying for their beauty. At these times, she is at her most deadly, and on the killing edge.

    The height of her anger sees the opposite effect. High temper shows itself in a blazing blue glare—hot and temperamental. It’s not a true Queen’s Rage, but merely a fierce fire that will burn out far more easily than that chilling rage will thaw.

    Her face itself is one of regal beauty and serene countenance. From her mother, she gained the flawless, creamy complexion—pale, but lit from within by the gentle warmth of a soft pink blush, color that tends to grow rosier during exposure to crisp cold weather or lit from within by good humor and laughter.

    Gracefully slender, fiery red brows arch over those wide sapphire eyes. In shape, her eyes are almond-shaped; slightly oversized and exotic, slanting upward slightly at the outer corners. Her brow itself is wide, which is a feature often said to mean great intelligence. She possesses her father’s nose – long, narrow, and straight – but her mouth and lips are a mixture of both parents—her lips are full and inviting, much like her mother’s, but the width of her mouth comes from her father.

    A stubborn, pointed chin centers an angular jawline, triangular in shape, and high cheekbones give her features a sharp structure beneath the feminine beauty. It is often said that she looks much like her grandmother, the late Queen and Consort of Lionel, former Monarch of Serenia.

    Her father gave her the delicately pointed ears, perhaps half an inch shorter than those of Pure Serenian lineage at an inch and a quarter in length. They carry no piercings, and no curve breaks their straight edged appearance. Her neck is graceful and slender, belying the strength she possesses, and upon her throat, at the center, she bears a thin, white, horizontal scar that refuses to fade entirely, and shows starkly against her complexion.

    Her shoulders are pleasantly wide, elegant and strong, and at the hollow of her collarbone, where her throat melds into her hollow, another scar, fresher, makes its home upon her skin. In the shape of a small, tribalized ‘S’, this is her subtler announcement of her status as Queen of Serenia.

    Her torso and overall build are those of Elven slenderness; soft, creamy skin overlaying hard, lithe muscles. Despite this muscle, at a glance one might think she was a mere lady at court, untested in battle or labors of the body. Her strength can be seen in the subtle definition of her arms and flat stomach, and in the long legs. The body of a dancer, more than a musclebound warrior.

    Her bosom is pleasantly sized, but nothing dramatically large or small. A comfortable middle-ground, and often bound during battle under armor, both for protection and comfort. She, personally, has little care about her own chest, and rarely goes to any effort to flaunt her assets, preferring modest attire unless unable to avoid low cut clothing—a style her seamstresses do tend to enjoy seeing upon their Queen.

    She bears an hourglass waist, the right side marred by a thick horizontal scar a hand-span above her hip, spanning from her naval to the mid-point of her side. On either side, top and bottom, of the scar, smaller pinprick scars mark where the wound had been sutured shut by a healer.

    Her hips flow wide and feminine from her waist, her rear is shapely, and she could be called leggy. Her legs are graceful, the right thigh bearing another scar on the outer edge, perhaps eight inches long.

    Her feet are small, though proportionately correct for her body, and seemingly dainty. However, the undersides bear callouses from running barefoot in many different terrains throughout her life— though she will wear boots and slippers if she must. Her hands are graceful and well made, the fingers long and slender – and strong – with faint hints of callous from fighting, training, riding, and working with her people in the fields and orchards. They are as deft at playing an instrument or doing needlework as they are wielding a weapon or holding the reins of a horse, and are infinitely gentle with the injured, the sick, and the very young.

    She moves with a regal, fluid grace, steps calm and assured, rather than light and traipsing. Her shoulders are held back, her head high, and her back straight. She has the capacity to hold very still for long periods of time, or to move with startling swiftness, and can maintain a quick jog for quite a few miles, thanks to a life filled with training from an early age. Her eyes are keen and far seeing, often scanning her surroundings with interest, catching tiny details to store away in her memory.

    She is a Shifter, and the first female Shifter in the royal Serenian line. She has the ability to shift forms into nearly any living creature, and an incorporeal form, as well as an invisible, scentless, and soundless form that leaves no tracks. Since she has so many, it would take years to describe them all, or even list them. So, I will list only what she cannot become:

    • A Vampire
    • Fully Human
    • Fully Elven
    • Male (though there was a point in which I tried that out, but… eh. Neither she nor I enjoyed male Bri.)
    • And she cannot change her appearance when in her birth form, or dopplegang others.

  • Personality: The Queen of Serenia was born with a natural ability to lead. She was always mature for her age as a child, and with the massacre of her birth town, the murder of her parents, and the subsequent battle shortly after to avenge her family and home, she had to mature even faster; with the weight of leading that charge, and then leading the remaining survivors of Elvenwood’s citizens, the Dire wolves of the forest, the Alaarri Tribe, and the wild herd of forest horses away from the devastation of what had been their home.

    As well as this, she had to become a surrogate mother as well as a watchful older sister to her little sister Grace, a two-year-old toddler at the time of the attack. So, it is no surprise to anyone who knows her or of her, that she is that natural born leader. She is a woman that others tend to gravitate to for guidance and protection, and a leader that can be trusted to be just and fair, but still be able to deal harsh punishments and executions of the law.

    Growing up, her parents and godfather Darenello all strove to instill a code of honor and protocol into their daughter. The men worked hard in those early years and late childhood to nurture a tactician’s mind, quick wit and sharp thought, and the ability to make good, snap decisions when fast thinking was needed.

    They were successful in laying this foundation. Briena is a fast thinker, strong willed and an apt tactician, and deliberate in her plans and the execution of them. She is patient, able to wait out a siege as long as needed during wars to ensure the safest, most efficient attacks on a fortress. She is a logical thinker, and an innovative woman, and unafraid of hard work and toil if it betters her Kingdom.

    Her keen interest in weaponry and fighting have led her to be a quick study in nearly any weapon she’s thrown at to learn, and the same ability to learn quickly applies to most things in her life. She picks up languages easily, and enjoys learning a new tongue, as well as cultural history of other countries and kingdoms.

    In being strong willed, she could easily – and truthfully – be called stubborn. It was this strong will and stubborn nature that led her to run away from the kingdom at the age of twenty-six to travel abroad over the globe of Galeia for nearly eight years in reaction to being forced by her grandfather (well-meaning though he was) to undergo courtship in hopes that she would find a husband to take Lionel’s throne and circlet as King, with her as their Queen and consort by their side.

    She is proud, but this pride has never come close to hubris, with the lessons of her childhood well ingrained into her psyche. She is a woman of her people, and will fight and work alongside them as both a leader and an equal. They are all worth the time she can give them.

    All three – parents, and godfather – instilled gentleness and loyalty. She would readily die for her people if that would save them from peril, and she possesses, like most Serenians, a deep love for children. She is devoted to her people and her kingdom, tending it with care and monitoring it. The health of her people is of great import to her, and she feels their deaths like a blow to her own family or a knife in the heart.

    For all that she has a loving, intuitive nature, she is… oblivious… about the love between a man and woman. She understands the theory, yes, and the facts of reproduction, having grown up around breeding horses and livestock. But when it comes to herself, she is painfully oblivious to a man’s romantic feelings toward her unless told outright.

    She herself is wary about romance, both for the reason that she is the Queen of her kingdom, and thus needs a man that can be thoroughly trusted with leading a kingdom, and for the fact of her strong willed, stubborn need to never be pampered and coddled like an invalid. And her fear is that a husband will lock her away during war, where she cannot fight beside her people.

    She understands political courtship, however, and views it with disdain, spurning suitors readily. In modern terms, she could easily be called asexual, and perhaps even aromantic. It would only partially be true. She has grown up in Serenian culture, a culture that is well-known as being quite the home of hopeless romantics. She does want love, and believes true love and romance do exist, but feels she must always put her kingdom first.

    That leads to her feelings about children. She adores children, cherishing her time with them and eagerly teaching them what she can. That adoration is, perhaps, the most likely catalyst that will lead her to marry—she wants children of her own.

    Under the confident leader’s barriers, there is a shy and self-conscious young woman that has had to be set aside in order to carry the mantle of leadership and surrogate motherhood at a young age. She has fears and struggles like anyone else, yet has learned to compartmentalize them to reflect upon at a later date while bringing calculation and clear thinking to the forefront.

    Her connection with the land, by now, has become a deeply important part of her psyche. If her bond and ability to feel the land and her people around her becomes blocked, it is much like ripping away her sense of hearing and touch. And like many amputees or blinded fighters, this can bring out a feeling of immense loss and helplessness. And fear.

    She is a fiercely protective friend, and she can – and will – lash out viciously at those who hurt those she holds dear to her heart. This protective nature includes the horses and dire wolves that make up a great part of her normal day-to-day life. They, in particular the wolves, are much like extended family to her.

    Briena is an invested leader, interested in the daily lives of her people and quite happy to spend a week or two just traveling to outlying villages and hamlets to partake in their lives, helping where she can and simply enjoying time with them. Education is, like with the majority of Serenians, highly important to the Queen, and she readily enjoys teaching others what she knows, whether it be a child or an adult several hundred years older than herself.

    When in the company of strangers, her demeanor shifts to a Queen’s regal comportment. She maintains a slightly reserved, polite manner, yet still manages to impart hints of humor and easy-going nature. She has nothing to feel insecure about in her Kingdom, knowing it to be strong and united, and this shows in her bearing.
  • Equipment:
    • Weapons:
      • Sky Star: The sword passed down to Briena by her father on the day of her graduation from the first term of schooling in battle under her godfather, Darenello. This blade has been passed through the generations of the royal Serenian line, and will eventually be passed down to her firstborn. Treated bi-weekly with donated Lycanic blood (Kanixillo is a willing donor), and soaked at each season’s solstice in the magic of the most powerful Lycaernian Elders, this blade is particularly deadly to Vampires, Demons, and creatures of the dark, or of malicious nature.

        If she shifts into her incorporeal form while wielding this blade, it will shift with her, becoming a transparent, blazing shaft of sapphire blue light, but retains its deadly nature, though becomes far more effective against malicious spirits than the living.

        “The hilt and pommel were of a silvery metal, the pommel set with sapphire, emerald, diamond, and amethyst. She felt like she’d seen the colors before somewhere, and that they meant something, but at the moment, she was too engrossed with examining the fine blade.

        She studied the cross-guard, also made of that silvery metal that wasn’t silver, but shone just as brightly as silver. It was engraved in winding knotwork and swirls like the wind, the ends studded in outstretched horse heads, giving them a slight forward curve, the horse’s chins facing out toward whatever enemy she may face one day.

        Their manes swept back to join the swirls and knotwork, and their eyes were studded in sapphires, the faces carved to be fierce, teeth bared. The detail was exquisite, and she was certain that they could breathe if she looked long enough.

        The grip was that of tough, soft leather, oiled to a rich red-brown color, and well cared for. She slid the blade free of the scabbard by a few inches and sucked in a breath. The blade was a deep, vivid sapphire, much like her own eyes, or her father’s.

        As she drew the sword fully free, she marveled at the balance of the blade, and at how light it was, and feeling the powerful magic that it held. At the moment, it was longer than her usual sword, but she held it as though it were meant to be grasped in her hand, and she knew that she would continue to grow into it.

        “It’s Lycanic steel, forged from the metals of their meteor spire in their sanctuary. This is a very, very special metal, my daughter. Very few can procure it, and even fewer can forge it into weapons.” “


        The scabbard of the sword: “The leather was light, silver tooling extending its length from hilt to tip.

        The hilt-ward end of it was detailed in birds, again so intricately engraved and detailed that they looked real, suspended in flight toward the tip of the scabbard.

        At the center, a bird and a horse mingled to be one, poised in flight, before the scene continued on, horses prancing and wolves leaping until the scabbard was tipped in a cap of silver, and studded in a mixture of the four colors that studded the pommel. “


        The Belt: “He called in a belt, made of the same light leather, tooled and intricately silvered to match the scabbard and sword, though the silver here was spelled to stretch and bend to accommodate the waist, with many small holes down the center of the tail end to half way for the buckle, which was made of the same bright silver that would never tarnish, and engraved in the same proud, fierce horse heads that made up the ends of the sword’s cross-piece. “



      • Evus and Eilis: “Eevos” “Eylis” A pair of Dwai’wrinian-made daggers, given to Briena at her graduation by her mother, passed down through the generations of women in Argohahn’s royal line, mother to daughter. “Callania unwrapped it carefully, revealing two sheathed daggers. Sheathed in dark leather scabbards tooled in silver and gold stags and does, the daggers’ handles were made of what she thought at first was ivory, but upon closer inspection, she saw that it was actually a bright white wood.

        The grips were wrapped in white, supple leather, pommel and cross-guards inset with silver inlay in swirls. When she slid each dagger from its sheath, she saw that the blades were made of a star bright steel, light and seemingly honed sharp enough to cut the air. The blades were narrow, tapering to slender points. They were a lady’s weapons, engraved with a doe on one blade, and a proud stag on the other.

        She could feel the magic in them, just as she could in the sword, though it was far lower key. Her temple throbbed sharply as she tried to take a taste of the magic with her own, but she pushed through, identifying the magic as endowments to prevent breakage and chipping.

        “These are Evus and Eilis. They’re dwarven steel blades, and they’ve been passed down through my family for ten generations. And now, I’m passing them down to you.” “

      • Cleir’weil: “Clair-weyl” “Clear Sight” A longbow given to her by her grandfather upon her seventeenth year, on the anniversary of her first year of life in Skysong Castle. The bow is made from a redwood, imbued with magic for strength and repelling water. It's elegantly carved with gentle swirls, much like visual interpretations of wind currents.

        Endowed with spells to repel water and retain strength, this bow is several hundred years old, and well cared for. The strings used with it – and with all her bows – are made from the sinew of cervine beasts, such as elk and moose, and tightly woven with the tail hairs of the winged horses of Serenia.

        These hairs are renowned for their strength, and are a common ingredient for bowstrings among the Serenian archers, rangers, and winged cavalry and mounted archers of the forces. The strings are imbued with further spells to prolong their serviceability, strength, and keep them from drawing damp.
      • Cleir’Sveil: “Clair-sveyl” “Clear Flight” A recurve cavalry bow, given to her by Lord Emeraldhaven’s brother as a gift. Made from several pieces of strong wood, it’s smaller than her longbow, made for use in the saddle.
      • ^ With all her bows, she uses Serenian-made arrows. The shafts are comprised of light, straight wood, and tipped in highly valuable Lycaernian steel.

        This steel is razor sharp, and strong enough to punch through plate armor when used with the longbow. At any point of time, her quiver contains several arrows made from heavier wood, the tips barbed. The arrows are fletched using dropped feathers from the Serenian winged horses.
    • Accessories:
      • Keepsakes: Items she received that do not correlate directly to her status as Queen of Serenia.
        • Wolf Pendant: A gift bestowed upon Briena at her birth by her godfather, Darenello. A bright silver wolf’s bust, exquisitely detailed, with small sapphires for eyes, bears a rainbow moonstone against its furry breast, tucked beneath its chin. The pendant hangs upon a gold chain, and is the item which is enchanted with a warding spell to keep her true scent under wraps, allowing her to pass among men without causing lust and chaos in her wake.

          This spell requires annual recharging, or the barrier will eventually begin to crack and allow wisps of her scent to escape. Uncharged for too long, and the barrier will break entirely. Briena is never without it, and wears it infinitely, as to remove it would also remove the barrier.
        • Graduation Amulet: The amulet given to Briena and her fellow students to celebrate their graduation from their respective terms of battle training: “Made of silver inlay and bright yellow gold, the amulets were comprised of the Sword Knot, the intertwining, never ending knotwork that made a stylized shape of a sword, point down, pommel up, engraved into each round disc of gold. The edges of each amulet were studded in garnets.”
      • Important Status Accessories:
        • Circlet of the Queen: A mark of her status, this golden, jeweled circlet shifts appearance with each generation’s Queen whose brow it graces. With Briena, it’s a solid circle as a base, vine like twists and tendrils winding along it’s circumference. These vines form elegant Serenian knots and roses, with the Skysong crest and colors centering the forehead in glittering gems. Each intricate golden rose is studded with rubies, sapphires providing the background, and diamonds forming dew drops on the roses’ petals, while emeralds glitter upon the golden leaves.
        • Skysong Family Signet Ring: Vibrant yellow gold circles her right ring finger, the Skysong Crest engraved in proud, reverse relief upon the top. This is the ring used to press her mark into wax seals upon messages or decrees, and is a mark of her family line.
    • Mounts: If Applicable
    • Pets|Companions: She doesn’t necessarily have a pet dog or cat, or even a pet dragon. In all technicality, all of Serenia’s Winged horses of both breeds belong to her, though they may choose a rider of their own that they prefer, even if all the Serenian horses tend to view her as their Queen and ruler, and defer to her.
    • Abilities|Skills:
      • Shifter: You’ve probably guessed by now that Briena can take just about any form of living creature, mundane and mythical. The shift is painless after the first time taking a new form, and a seamless, graceful transformation. When in a form other than her birth form, she retains her intellect and power, though her weapons in battle will usually be what the form already has naturally—such as claws and teeth as a big cat, and fire, tail, talons and teeth as a dragon that breathes fire.
    • Disadvantages|Worst Skills:
    • History:

So begins...

Briena's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Briena Character Portrait: Taran Caelis Titan

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She'd risen before dawn, and as she stood out on her balcony, she watched the stars in the sky dim slowly, winking out. As the first pastel rays of color painted the sky, she sighed, turning away and returning to her chambers in time for Ardellia, her main maid, to arrive. The court gown was laid out on the bed; a resplendent array of dove grey silk, hemmed in gold and crimson knotwork. As the maid laced her into the gown, the Queen listened for movements from the other side of the door to what was usually the room assigned to a governess or a lady in waiting. Since she had none, Titan, her personal guard, occupied the room. While she, personally, never truly felt she needed that much guarding, she, nonetheless, accepted her services when she'd inherited him upon her Coronation as Queen; though he had long ago been chosen to become her and her sister's guardian.

As the last lace was tied, the Queen took a breath, relieved that the fashions of Serenia didn't follow with many human fashions of tight, restrictive corsetry and bodices that made breathing and moving so difficult. The bodice of this down clung delicately to her form, the neck low, the shoulders left bare. The fabric continued to cling until midway down her hips, whereupon the skirts fell in an elegant drape, a court train whispering behind her as she moved toward the seat, settling gracefully before Ardellia and allowing the maid to do her hair, weaving the silken, fiery red waves into a modest arrangement. Finally, the Queen's Circlet was settled on her head, encircling the crown of her skull, gems and gold glittering against the red hair.

Today was a day for receiving audiences, and settling disagreements, rare though they were. Whether her guardian followed or not, Briena descended the stairs to the Audience Hall, climbing the three steps to the dais and settling into the throne that was hers. Her back was straight, her bearing regal, her fathomless, vivid sapphire eyes sweeping the grand hall as those Lords who were on their rotation for court this week took their places in the room, awaiting the first Audience's beginning.

The herald at the other end of the hall stepped into the room, clearing his throat and calling out in a clear tenor voice. "Daelis Taraveyn of Riverside" She sat up, spine stiffening before she forced herself to relax. The man had not been to blame in her near death experience in the Early autumn. Someone in a guise of the groundskeeper had lured her away, on the belief that his daughter was drowning in the river. The real Daelis had been found unconscious with a bump on his head. All they could draw from him was 'Grey, Many Moons.'

The man entered, grey eyes seeking her out as he walked down the room along the fine royal blue carpet that stretched between the doors and the dais. His hands, she noticed, wrung the floppy brimmed hat he favored, though his face and eyes carried joy.. As he reached the bottom of the dais, the Queen smiled at him as he bowed respectfully. 'Lady, I bring news of great joy. My wife and I are expecting again.' And so the day began. She just hoped the rest of it would be just as good.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Briena Character Portrait: Taran Caelis Titan

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#, as written by Maestro
Image


The calls of the crickets and frogs filled the night air, and the warm summer’s sun hid beneath the horizon, waiting for the call of morning. Flowers were in full bloom, and the birds sung their sweet siren song from the trees. A warm summer’s breeze stirred from the west just as the sun rose up over the lush wooded mountains to the east; and the sound of silence still fell across Skysong City, but fresh news traveled from the south. “You lived for a reason. There will be a time where Snow will guard the Rose, and cherish it.” As the caravan rolled through the southern gates, he’d caught the briefest glimpse of fiery red hair in the corner of his eye, akin to the prophet who had spoken those words to him so long ago. It was only later that same morning he learned what he’d seen belonged to King Lionel’s granddaughter, Briena, who he was asked to protect the very same day. Thirteen years later, there he stood, still forever by her side. And cherish her he did.

Lost in reverie, Titan begun to recall the moment he met Queen Briena. For over two-hundred years he had loyally served under her grandfather King Lionel, and all it took was his granddaughter to radically alter the course of his life. It had been true, that he cherished her more than the sun did the sky; willing to even put his life before her own. Locked in the confines of his room, he stood overlooking the balcony like he had many times before. Arms outstretched, what appeared to be grains of shimmering blue sand hugged his form as his breastplate appeared across his chest, followed by a set of metal grieves and sabatons to match. His armament was made from the finest metals in Aedillon; and with his navy-blue, gold ornamented scabbard on his back, a glimmering claymore appeared in his hands, which he quickly sheathed.

As he closed the doors to the balcony and returned to his room, the visage of an ornate crown began to appear on his head. With a usual stoic scowl on his face, whitish-blue locks cascaded over his shoulders and stretched halfway down his back; framing his face, strands hung in his left eye, guarding the dark crimson red hue that lay beneath. His right eye on the other hand was a completely different color altogether, a deep oceanic blue that seemed to flicker with a sense of determination. With snow-white skin, a single scar ran just below his right eye, something he had endured during his time with the Queen. Able to sense Briena leaving her room, he waited several seconds before slowly trailing after her, descending the stairs leading down to the Audience Hall.

To the left hand of the Queen he stood, towering over many of the guests that filled the great hall. Titan was a colossus, and much taller than most elves. With a menacing presence, he kept his eyes peeled on the crowd, a hand over the hilt of his blade as he waited in preparation. Although most were simple citizens of Serenia, it only took one to try something stupid and find his blade planted in their skull. For now, he knew his place, to stand there and say nothing as the Queen went about her business mingling with all the wretches who had come to ask something of her. The only thing that went through his head was the fact that thankfully, he wasn’t a king himself. There was no way he could handle such responsibility. His place was on the battlefield, soaking in the blood of his enemies. Or, at the Queen’s side. Fortunately, he had the stomach for either.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Briena Character Portrait: Taran Caelis Titan Character Portrait: Patch

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Muddy boots drug dirt from outside on a day that didn't seem to sport mud-bringing weather. However the man it was attached to always seemed to be boot-deep in a mess, and this time was no different. Flip-flap, flip-flap, his fingers flicked at the velvet casing that held a deck of cards, the lone thing he carried that was not his clothing, as a man such as this had little need for things that were not clothes. But ever since a short time ago, he had become awfully concerned about his cards and his fingers often fumbled with their casing, like a miser concerned for his coin purse.

He was unremarkable of features and could have easily been mistaken as a farmer, with only green eyes to set him apart from the crowd that he wandered among, one hand kept on his cloak to keep it from being trodden. While an unfortunate trip wouldn't dampen his mood, it would bring attention to him and that was rather the last thing he wished to deal with right now. No, he had something much more important on his mind.

A chance encounter along the roads of the surrounding lands had put him in the rather unfortunate position where he wished to plant himself right in the center of authority, at the attention of authority and see the queen. Being one who didn't make friends in the short and long term meant he would rather not be seen, but that wasn't an option anymore was it! The irritation brought an inescapable grin to his face as he joined the line of those who sought the audience of royalty to solve their petty problems. They were all terrible and should have just left. After all, she needed to hear about his petty problems.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Briena Character Portrait: Taran Caelis Titan Character Portrait: Patch

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It had been a rather eventful day. An Emissary from one of the Lords' sons had arrived, bearing a gift. He had just returned from travels to other countries and lands. And now, he was yet another suitor that she held little interest in. If he wanted to press his suit, why not approach her himself?

The hours trundled along, and as mid-day arrived, so came with it the near end of the line. And with that... Her head cocked slightly as she felt a familiar tread heading up the castle steps in her extended awareness. She knew that particular set of feet. A smile flashed across her face, as she refused to acknowledge that the last time she'd seen him, she and Patch had been harvesting apples when an impostor had led her to her almost death. But what could he be doing coming in through the front doors, and joining the line?

Her fathomless sapphire gaze flicked aside to Titan briefly while she settled a dispute over a loose mare having been covered by the other man's plow horse. The mare in this instance was a prized race-bred Courser, and the stallion was apparently not of the best breeding or conformation. How would her guardian react to Patch, she wondered. The two had never, in her knowledge, met. It would be interesting, she supposed.

Out in the hall, as the last supplicant before Patch left, a signed grant for land in hand and a giddy expression on his face, the herald gazed at the chestnut haired, presumably human man. "Your name, sir?" When given the name, he nodded, stepping to the door and slipping into the Hall, not letting the bemusement show on his face at giving such a name; "Ser.. Patch." At a nod from the Queen, he turned, pulling the door wide to admit the man, while knowing that his wife, one of the maids, would be giving him an earful tonight after she'd helped clean up the mud left behind by those boots.

The Queen's eyes glinted with amusement, having caught the faintest hint of a pause before saying Patch's name. Her eyes left the herald, settling on the man and giving him a swift once over with those fathomless sapphire pools, from the muddy boots, to the hand on the velvet case that held his cards, to the every present, wide grin on his face. "Patch." Warm welcome was evident in her tone of the name. Warmth and the faintest hint of wariness. What trouble had her adventuresome friend gotten himself into this time?

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Briena Character Portrait: Taran Caelis Titan Character Portrait: Patch

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Aha, now that he had an audience it was time to strike at the hearts of the people. "I come with news of a great tragedy, your majesty," Patch spoke, head down as to not yet unveil his face from the hood. Flip, flap, his velvet case went once more. "This is a matter so important that it must be spoken in private or in whispers, for there is no telling what unscrupulous forces might be at work."

Finally his head tilted back just slightly, the hood slipping back far enough to reveal his entire grinning face, full of youth and life that was married with a certain age. However it was this that made him very difficult to take seriously, as he rather didn't seem to be taking it seriously himself. It was much more likely that he was just trying to stir trouble and hysteria.

"All I ask is to have a minute of your time to reconvene into a less busy place so that I might divulge what I know."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Briena Character Portrait: Taran Caelis Titan Character Portrait: Patch

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#, as written by Maestro
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The whole affair had been rather uneventful, and by the sixth hour of accepting audiences, Titan had utterly tired of how dreary the day’s festivities had already been. There was however one incident of excitement in the morning hours, as Titan had just so happened to dote upon the Queen and notice something out of place. With her plunging scoop neckline, her breasts were pressed against her fragile form, and Titan was able to make out the soft curves of the tops of her bosom. Unfortunately, in his time spent with her, he’d seen far more of her than he dared admit; their adventures together having lead them into the most peculiar circumstances. As he edged closer to her, he could just make out the scent of wild jasmine and vanilla radiating off her skin, the smell of the summer hayfields and lavender in her hair. It was almost admirable the way she could hold her head high, regardless of the dire straits that led her there.

As she prepared to entertain her final audience, there was something strange about the man who entered the grand hall next. He was average height for a human, young in appearance, with green eyes and chestnut brown hair. That wasn’t what threw him off however. That grin was almost unsettling. And that way the Queen greeted him warmly. Did they perhaps know one another? There were very few friends the Queen had that he didn’t know about. Although, there was that stint during the summer where he had to return home. Gods only knew what the Queen got herself into during that time. No matter, Titan knew his place. Standing tall, he eyed the man skeptically, and watched him very closely. There was just something off about him, something his intuition told him not to trust.

Itching to say something, he kept close guard of his claymore as he eyed the man, taking notice of the velvet case in his hands. A weapon of some sort perhaps? “A friend of yours?” Breaking the silence he had held over the course of the last several hours, he stepped off the platform beside the throne Queen Briena was seated in and ventured out into the hall. Standing in one place for so long had gotten the best of him, so he resorted to innocently circling Patch instead. There was just something about him he didn’t like. Maybe it was the fact he was a man, and had any relation to the Queen whatsoever. Or the fact that he wanted to speak to her alone. "I'm not so sure I like the idea of putting you two in a room alone." Although Titan had no reservations, he was of a jealous nature when it came to the Queen. While Titan was a prince, he was in no position to rectify his feelings for the Queen; and he knew this. So, why he had them at all was as much a mystery as anything.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Briena Character Portrait: Taran Caelis Titan Character Portrait: Patch

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She felt Titan's attention fix onto Patch as soon as he came into sight. The emotion of distrust and unease radiated from the man, her close proximity leaving no room for a buffer from the reaction. She gave no indication that she had noticed his unease, beyond a low hum through her mind to the Guardian's mind. A soothing note, though she doubted he would be easily soothed. From what she could sense, his mind was already made up to dislike Patch. A barely audible sigh lifted her chest and blew through her nose, but her smile never faded as she watched the man before her.

Theatrical as ever, Patch spoke of a tragedy, hand still fiddling with his case. Though he kept his head bowed, face hidden, she had no need to see his face to know he was grinning hugely. As he straightened, she cocked her head, brows lifting. Titan, however stepped from his post, and she gave the Aedillonian a brief glance. *"Yes. I would call him a friend."* The tone of her mental voice was conversational, pleasant, but there was a warning to stay his hand.

Her eyes returned to Patch as he requested a more private setting. It was her break hour. She had no objections. After all, the both knew she could handle herself. However, Titan, despite all their years of knowing one another as ward and warden, still stubbornly clung to the notion that she could not defend herself. He voiced his disapproval almost immediately, and gained a sharp look from the Queen as a response.

"He is a friend, Titan, and I am on my break hour. I would like to get up and walk around, anyway." She leveled a direct look at the tall man as she rose, lifting the front of her skirts with easy elegance as she descended the three wide steps, revealing that she'd sneakily foregone the court slippers during dressing that morning, bare feet padding silently on the carpet as she approached Patch. She was taller than the grinning man be a few inches, but his personality almost gave him a way of being larger than life. It could be amusing, it could be irritating. It was Patch.

"If you would like to take this to the garden, I could use the fresh air, old friend." She nodded toward the arboreal archway to indicate her direction. "And perhaps a light meal." Had she eaten this morning? Perhaps a light snack of an apple while she'd stood on the balcony. She turned on Titan after a few steps, however, stopping long enough to lock eyes with the man and utter in a low, commanding tone, "Stay here."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Briena Character Portrait: Taran Caelis Titan Character Portrait: Patch

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Patch drank it all in, standing square and tall and proud. The royal guard fellow seemed to be a new addition, or at least that's what he assumed it was. Perhaps some trouble lately had prompted such a change. Alas, dragons and orcs got all the recognition. He heard not their conversation until Briena had neared and talked to him directly, at which point his grin grew wry and almost with a twinkle in his eyes he tossed a look towards Titan.

"Fear not," he said as he turned and guided a hand smoothly about to rest upon the curve of the Queen's back, "Your Queen and I will be done together long before an hour is up." With any implications meant by that left a mystery, he would quickly stroll for the gardens, if only to escape quick retaliation.

Finally free from the center stage he would relax and almost appear casual. "You know, with all the sneaking off you and I do together, your courts might start to think you have a secret lover," he quipped, followed by a side-long accusing glance leveled in her direction, "Though, I suppose that might drive off suitors..."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Briena Character Portrait: Patch

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- From the Audience Hall.

Briena squelched a grin, hiding it behind a calm expression as she watched Patch toss a look at Titan. Ahhh, Patch, already courting danger, and with such a deft hand. She didn't refuse his hand at her back; it was empty of cards, and she sensed, on a deep, deep level, that he would never purposefully harm her. Irritate her to the brink of strangling him, maybe, or take her away on adventures to give crowns to dragons and thwart bandits, certainly. She just wondered what he had in mind.

She walked along side Patch, entering the garden and following the path toward the willow and pond, meeting his side-long glance with a chuckle. "They all know me well enough that it would be the last thing to cross their minds." And if it were wrong, she'd tell them right in a flash. As they entered the clearing, she sent a mental order to the cooks, asking for a light lunch of meat, bread, and vegetables, as well as something to drink and a fruit basket of sorts.

Settling onto one of the benches by the table, a wide stone slab set over two thick rectangular cubes of marble, she gazed at the green eyed man, eyes glinting with their own bit of amusement, before she sobered, asking, "How have you been? I lost track of you when.." A shackle, snapping shut on her left ankle. Water rushing into her lungs, searing her throat. It was one of the very rare times she had truly been terrified.

She forced the memories away watching the man as she added, "And what brings you to come seeking an audience with the Queen?" The food appeared on the table, two glasses of water alongside them with a stone jug, and she nodded to the food, offering it freely to her guest.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Briena Character Portrait: Patch

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Patch listened on patiently, knowing better to let the Queen speak than interrupt her. After all, what he had to say could wait. His eyebrows quirked curiously when she trailed off but didn't press the matter. It didn't seem to concern him very much. But to business it was and he tossed a glance over his shoulder, as if suspecting they were watched, then flap went his cards as he opened it and retrieved from within his deck of cards, splaying them out so each could be seen. Except there was something odd about the cards. They were in order of suits then numbers, but even a cursory glance could see a space missing right at the start; the ace of clubs.

"Someone has stolen a card of mine," he stated, almost seriously, "Within the bounds of your very kingdom, and I rather thought you the perfect person to come help me find it. I have a lead or two I can follow, for certain." His cards were snapped all back together in a pile in a moment and tucked into their velvet case almost protectively, not allowing her a chance to touch them or examine them at length.

"We may have to abandon that rod you have standing near your chair in the other room. I don't think he has a sense of fun. Also your duties. Abandon those," he said with an almost quaint smile.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Briena Character Portrait: Patch

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As he spread out his cards, she gave them a cursory glance, then looked up as he stated that one had been stolen. Her brows rose, and the grin she fought to hide compromised and became a smile. "Someone stole from you? You do realize the irony of that?" She sat back as he returned his cards to the case and studied him, dwelling on the request he made. She already knew that Titan would be livid if she hared off with Patch. He didn't trust him. Which in part, said he didn't trust her.

However... "He may seem like a suspicious man, but he is a good one. Overprotective, maybe, but then, sometimes those who have been with me since my childhood can be such bossy males at times. But Titan I view as a friend, as well as a guardian." Even if he didn't always seem to trust her to hold her own.

She called in her list of audiences, brows lifting slightly. The man asking for the land deed had been the last on the list of appointments for the day. The rest that would have come in after the hour long break would be walk-ins. Her eyes flicked up to study Patch. "Where are these leads?" How long would this take if she decided to end the duties for the day? It was a leisure day tomorrow, as well.

She paused as she felt something unfamiliar; a presence crossing into the Castle's boundaries. A quick check of the awareness said there was a stranger skulking by the Audience Hall doors. The feeling wasn't right for someone simply waiting to be acknowledged. It felt like... a trap. Reaching out, she sent a brush to the wolfish mind of her adoptive brother, the Lycan Kanixillo. *There's something off at the Audience Hall's doors. Check it out, please? Bring Maelstrom and Vortex with you.*

Kanixillo's acknowledging return brush of her mind said he would be there soon.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Briena Character Portrait: Taran Caelis Titan Character Portrait: Patch Character Portrait: Mariana Gaele Odellis

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#, as written by Maestro
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Being asked to stay like a lap dog didn’t thrill Titan, but nonetheless he did as he was told and remained in the Audience Hall… for the most part. Standing at the archway leading into the gardens, he’d mostly overheard pieces of the conversation between Patch and Queen Briena; enough so to understand what was afoot. He didn’t trust Patch, but he trusted the Queen. Stepping to the side, he disappeared, appearing in a ball of blue light, standing between Patch and Queen Briena. “Just so you’re… aware. The rod has better things to do.” Keeping his comments brief, he disappeared yet again, leaving the pair to their devices. Titan knew just where he needed to be. At the bar, drinking his worries away. Maybe he would meet a pretty girl and put thoughts of the Queen behind him. Not likely.

The Dusty Traveler Inn and Tavern, a spot Titan frequented when times were dismal. Appearing at the door, he strode over to the bar, taking his seat at the end of the table and pulling a gold coin from his pocket, which he slammed down on the hard oak. “The strongest you got.” The bartender was a young lad, no older than twenty, with short dirty-blonde hair and mellow brownish-green eyes. His features were mostly indistinguishable, and Titan hardly paid the man much more attention than that as he brought his drink. Perusing the wears of the room, one girl in particular caught his immediate attention, sitting at an empty table against the wall playing darts. It was almost amusing watching her play. To be frank, she wasn’t very good. But Titan felt in a strange mood as he and his drink moved to a table closest to her. Coming up behind her, he must have been a terrifying site, towering over her short, fragile stature.

“May I?” He spoke softly into her ear, getting a bit frisky in the process as he carefully took her stomach and leaned her back against him in an effort to straighten her stance. Using his foot to edge her right foot in front of her left, he took her right hand and angled the tip of the dart up just slightly. “Keep your feet planted. And straighten your stance. Your stance is everything. Think of the dart as an extension of yourself. Every move you make counts for something.” Adjusting her wrist, he released her, and stepped back slowly. “Now throw.” Titan was unsure of how successful she would be, but she would have to get at least close to the bullseye at this rate. All it took was the proper steady hands to put her on the right path. Hopefully he’d done that much without scaring her half to death. Someone as large as him easing their way behind her couldn’t have been an inviting gesture. He’d already had a bit to drink however.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Briena Character Portrait: Patch

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Patch's eyebrow quirked knowingly at the suggestion that this circumstance was ironic. "I have no idea what you are referring to," he brushed off casually with a toss of his head and a renewed wry smile, "I would never do such a wantonly reckless and emotionally damaging act without a good reason." A finger was raised and wagged back and forth.

"No, this was the act of the lowest sort of villainy, the kind who no doubt pursues magical trinkets for their own nefarious purposes, no doubt set on tearing apart your kingdom." He nodded confidently at that statement. "All of my leads are taverns. But you might need a disguise. A queen showing up at the same place that I am inclined to go might draw some attention..." He brushed his chin thoughtfully with some light fingers.

"The sooner we leave the better. Every minute that passes could be another mile gone." Of course, since it was a set of fifty two cards, there were much easier ways to track them, but he was disinterested to take the easy, magical route.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Briena Character Portrait: Torcus Taliden Character Portrait: Patch

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Torcus Taliden



Such a short amount of time passed, at least by the elder's standards, before he could hear footsteps re-entering the room behind the great door before him. First it was many steps with the sound of jewelry and noble attire bouncing about in volume, perhaps a dozen at most, four at the least. Then there was another pause. A very short pause. After it came the sounds of gentle steps, likely barefoot or shoes of soft leather with a second set that sounded bouncy and childish.

As the elder took in the moment, he looked around once again. There was a small way that he might be able to get in to the chamber without the door, and Torcus was certain that all the nobles he would find here today were within, but there were decorations on the wall. Decorations that look to not hold weight well and make plenty of noise when they fall. A perfect reason not to use that route.

Tap, tap, tap came the sound of what the lycan could only consider to be another elf looking to see their queen. The steps moved closer with each tap, but they were not taken with haste. After some period, the elf arrived and the doors opened.

As they finished their movement, Torcus bolted, silently, into the room. Moving around with the practiced step of an ambush predator, the runt moved about the seats of the nobles. As he stalked about them, waiting to hear names to ensure that he had found the right one, the lycan never neared the Queen. He had no interest in here beyond thanking her for making her city so easy to maneuver about.

As the elf got into his speaking position, the lycan began to slow. Beneath his hood and cloak of invisibility, Torcus's ears rose to listen to what the elves would say. He only needed to hear a single name to know the prey he had come in search of.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Briena Character Portrait: Patch

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A chuckle left her at his claim of innocence, but she let him have his word before she stood, smiling lightly at the wagging finger. "I have heard you-" A flash of light made her stiffen as Titan appeared between herself and her friend, gave a snarky comment, then vanished again. She felt him reappear in The Dusty Traveler in the next moment. For a guard, he got drunk more than a lot. A frown creased her brows as she shook her head.

She turned back to Patch, head cocking slightly. "Have you forgotten that I can shift into any creature? I don't mind taking the form of a common dog to appear inconspicuous." She turned, starting down the path to the orchard, the meal vanishing with a wave of her hand. "I can change in the stables." A mental call was sent to the court, announcing that the day was over for Audiences.

She set a brisk pace, confident in Patch to keep up with a woman in a trailing gown, as she asked, "Which taverns are you thinking of?" There was the tavern here in Skysong City, of course. However, after Titan's strange behavior, she felt it would be better to stay a good distance away and let him stew on whatever he was having issues with. Were all Aedillonians this odd?

Meanwhile, in her awareness, she monitored the Hall, pausing as Vortex caught up with a bounding trot. "Vortex." The behemoth wolf tucked his head under her hand, snuffling to ensure her well being before stating, "Strange Lycan in the Hall. Kanixillo and Maelstrom have it handled." The Queen nodded. "Let me know if I need to step in." With the males, they all knew she could handle herself, yet even they sometimes caught the bug of 'protect her with your life', and got stubborn. With her adoptive brother, and two wolves that had powerful elemental gifts, she wasn't too worried.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Briena Character Portrait: Patch

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Unphased by the sudden appearance of Titan, Patch watched on until the conversation resumed. There was a small quirk of an eyebrow at Briena's suggestion. "A common dog? Hardly seems suiting of a Queen," he teased, "And not something I would assort with. No, nothing short of a wolf of brilliant crimson, orange and pink fur will do as my companion."

However there was a twinkle in her eye when she asked what taverns, and he simply answered, "The ones with the best, cheapest ale and the highest discretion in the worst parts of town. Does that fit the description of any place here?" Fingers brushed his chin in thought as he pondered if this town even had a poor district. In times of prosperity, even the poor seemed well off. Which meant everyone was more open to gambling...

A renewed grin spread across Patch's face at the thought. "We should head out immediately," he said assuredly, "And begin chasing leads of those with magical card-daggers. You know, as far away from guards as possible."

The setting changes from the-queens-garden to The Stables

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Briena Character Portrait: Patch

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His suggestion of what she should appear ad brought an involuntary laugh from the Queen, nearly enough to bend her double; as it was, she missed a step in her stride, brushing against the arbor that opened out into the Orchards. Then she paused, wondering if that was even possible. She often had the same color of fur as her hair, which was a color you rarely saw on a wolf, even a Dire, unless they controlled fire in some way. Orange, the same. Pink? Well, Maelstrom and Vortex have violet swirls on their paws, one’s markings mirroring the other’s. She didn’t think she’d seen pink on a wolf. “We’ll have to see about the pink, I think.”

She listened to his suggestions as she led the way through the orchard. “Mmm, no, I don’t think so. Our establishments are generally respectable.” As he made his suggestion for haste, she chuckled. He wasn’t one to get chummy with the guards, though she had no doubt that if it meant adventure, he’s happily antagonize one. Titan included. She lifted her skirts over her ankles as she crossed into the pastures, several horses lifting their heads to watch the pair curiously. Redfire, grazing at the far end, spun on his hocks and charged, straight for Patch, before veering abruptly at the last possible moment and prancing to greet his Queen, point made, apparently.

She paused to stroke the chestnut’s nose before nodding toward the stables. The stallion cantered readily toward the building, Queen and Patch in tow. As the stallion made his way to the saddling area, Briena stepped into a feed room, waving a hand and undoing the laces of the gown with a bit of Craft and letting the fabric fall away, calling in a stack of traveling clothes and pulling them on with a sigh of relief. As she buckled the belt around her hips, she vanished the gown, safely storing it in that other plane of a storage compartment before she stepped from the room, scooping a handful of oats for Redfire.

She grinned at Patch as she fed the handful to the stallion. “Walking or riding?”

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Character Portrait: Briena Character Portrait: Patch

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Patch idly brushed his chin with fingers at her question, staring towards the horses. "Well it would seem like a terrible waste not to use horses when we're right here, since there's small chance of them being stolen. Horses make for a far more dramatic escape should we need to leap out of windows," he answered, almost like he was subtly trying to mentor her. His finger wagged as if to answer an unsaid question, "It comes up more than you think. Preparing for your lack of preparation is important!"

He wandered after her towards one of the horses, leaning on the stall and grimacing at the beast within. "On second thoughts, maybe you take a horse and I'll walk." Things with minds of their own were rarely to be trusted as transport, as they tended not to have the same ideas as their rider.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Briena Character Portrait: Patch

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Scene's Current Hour: Noon

Briena had to grin when Patch answered her question. It was actually something that she had done in her travels; leaping from the room she had rented in an Inn onto Skywind’s back. It had been necessary then, but she had no doubt Patch would probably do it just for the excitement. “Hah! You think I’ve never had to jump from a window onto a horse, ever in my life?” Fathomless sapphires twinkled at him as he grimaced into the stall. “That mare’s out of commission. She’s nearing her foaling date.” The pearly white mare inside snorted heavily, as though in relieved agreement, her sides fully swollen, and a visible onslaught of kicking battering her right side.

Redfire huffed impatiently as the Queen tightened the girth and ran a deft hand over the fastenings of the gear. She had brought no bags, intuition hinting that it was unlikely to be too long of an outing. It was likely that this was all another one of her adventurous friend’s plans to steal her off for some fun and excitement. With him, you never quite knew. “I suppose, though you would have to jog. Redfire’s not been out for a few weeks; he’s fresh.” Meaning the horse would no sooner go slowly for a walking man than he would allow the man on his back.

The Queen peered over the horse's back and grinned at the man before she swung up into the saddle, settling comfortably and cocking her head at him. "Do you feel like getting your exercise?"

Setting

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Character Portrait: Briena Character Portrait: Patch

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With a knowing cock of his head, Patch answered with a wry grin and a nod of his head, "My dear Queen Briena, I have been running my entire life." He turned n the spot and marched for the stable entrance with a tug of his cloak to his side, though it would no doubt flutter dramatically behind him as he ran.

"And often times it was from men on horses. With nets and spears and dogs..." he said with a waft of his hand in the air, "But the funny thing about those sorts is they're terrible once you get into a forest." He tossed a glance back over his shoulder to make sure she had followed, or rather to make sure he had walked to the correct exit. "I mean, dogs and horses can't climb trees. Now if they came at me with hawks or snakes I could be in trouble."

He pondered the thought for a moment, wondering why men never did hunt with birds. He had heard that birds could tear flesh open with talons and peel metal with their beaks when called upon. Maybe it was just stories.

The setting changes from the-stables to Northbound Caravan Trade Route

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Briena Character Portrait: Patch

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Redfire needed no coaxing to start after the man and his –yes - fluttering cloak. The Queen chuckled softly, draping the reins over the stallion’s withers and listened as they trotted toward the courtyard exit of the stables. “Ever been chased by horses in the air?” That he spent most of his life running from guards and their dogs didn’t surprise her in the least. “We use hawks and Falcons occasionally, but they take convincing. Very proud creatures.”

Snakes? She peered after him, catching his eyes with an arched brow as he looked back. “Snakes? They can climb, yes, but they’re also rather vain.” She grinned at him as they broke into the courtyard. “Unless we found one big enough to eat the perpetrator. They enjoy a good meal.”

Five Hours Ride/Walk Later: Dusk – 40 Miles out.


It was as the sun was setting that the sky overhead, already beginning to thicken with clouds, gave in and let the bounty of rain free. It was a heavy, soaking downpour, and Redfire snorted his displeasure at the soaking while Briena unfurled the rump blanket for the horse before attending to her own cloak. There was no displeasure in her tone, nor sarcasm as she tossed at Patch, “Fine time for a rainstorm, eh?” She settled more comfortably in the saddle, and nodded ahead down the road. “There’s a tavern about ten miles to the north; The Screaming Swordsman. Think you might start looking there?”

Vegetation that had been free of drops now wept freely as the rain coursed over leaves and blades of grass. Her own cloak, spelled to repel rain, dripped under the deluge. She paid the storm little mind, her attention on Patch while her senses maintained a wide radius about them, alert for troubles.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Briena Character Portrait: Patch

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Patch laughed cheerily at the sudden rain, which had apparently raised his mood instead of dampening it. "Rain is the best weather. Covers tracks, covers smells, makes it hard to see but doesn't slow you down on foot. Cooling when you're warmed from a jog. What's to hate?" he asked with a broad grin. However that taverns name left him a little curious.

"I take it there is a reason it is called 'The Screaming Swordsman'?" he asked with a cock of his neck, "Or was the founder just eccentric?" He threw an arm casually into the are that disturbed his cloak and sent with it a shower of water raining down around him, along with a very distinct metal 'tink' that he failed to notice as something fell onto the floor around his feet.

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Character Portrait: Briena Character Portrait: Patch

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It was amusing the things that cheered up the man. The deluge seemed to bolster his good spirits, even as it soaked the earth, and the laugh brought a slight, bemused grin to her face as she tugged the hood of her cloak over her head, though her hair was already soaked through, the color darkened to a bloody red. Her head tilted as she listened to his comments about the weather, nodding. They were all true, even if Redfire didn't quite agree with the rain being the best, and she gave his side a light nudge as she saw the horse's rain soaked ears flatten to his poll, reminding him that biting the man was out of the question.

A soft chuckle answered the query Patch made about the tavern. "Ah, yes. When the owner... perhaps you'd best experience it first hand." As he threw his arm out and sent water scattering from his cloak, Redfire tossed his head, snorting and stopping as both his and the Queen's ears caught the faint clink of metal hitting the ground. Briena shifted in her seat, leaning forward to peer through the rain at the ground, and the rain splattering mud of the road. Something metal.

After a long moment, she slid from the saddle, dropping a shield over the seat to repel the rain and bent to examine it, then straightened to look at Patch. "Ah... Patch. Did you happen to check your own clothes for your card?" She bent, picking up the dagger that was distinctly one of his own and offering it to him for his examination, eyes gaining a twinkle of growing mirth.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Briena Character Portrait: Seamus

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Night - Around Nine-Ten


The night had well and truly fallen by the time the Queen rode through the main gates of the City, returned from a rather amusing ‘adventure’ with Patch. That he’d been silly enough to lose one of his cards in his own cloak and believe that someone had stolen the enchanted card made her smile, even as she pushed still damp hair off her forehead. The storm had been quite the deluge, and far off in the horizon, distant flickers of lightning and gentle rumbles of thunder still broke the night as the storm went on its way.

Redfire’s hooves clipped neatly over the stone street as they made their way up the gentle incline of the Queen’s Way toward the castle, the horse’s ears forward and flicking from time to time. Most had gone to their beds by this time, but up ahead, there were signs of life in the main city courtyard that served as the main market square for the city. It was where most of the caravans gathered to hawk their wares; from strings of pearls from the Ardaithan Isles, to the finest silks from Aedillon, shipped across the sea from Serenia’s ally. The brief thought of Aedillon brought a frown to her face as she wondered what her guardian was up to just now. Probably drunk.

A soft snort left the Queen, causing one of Redfire’s ears to flick back curiously. “Nothing, my friend. Just wondering where Titan’s off to. I don’t feel him in the Hall, or in the Dusty Traveler.” Which meant he was probably off sulking. Her mount snorted in distaste at the mention of the Aedillonian; the horses weren’t best fond of the man after he’d struck Assassin’s Flight on the head with the pommel of his sword. He’d never done it again, after the Queen had gone into that terrifying, chilling fury and sent him off, but they sensed that he didn’t view them as anything more than mundane beasts of burden, and they didn’t appreciate the slight.

In any case, the unfamiliar voice singing up ahead brought her thoughts to the here and now, and she shifted in the saddle as Redfire brought them into the square. She gave an almost imperceptible twitch of the reins, seat shifting back slightly, and Redfire slowed to a stop just beyond the small crowd of listeners.

Horse and woman listened quietly from over the citizens’ heads, but those fathomless sapphire eyes took in the details of this unfamiliar bard and his companion. The amber eyes, while not the most complete give-away of this male’s lineage, were a good hint of the Lycan that wore his skin so easily. Pointed ears could have hinted at him being elven, but the glimpses of sharp canines flashed in a smile from time to time told otherwise. For her, she needn’t have seen him to know what he was; his scent was unmistakable, even in this form, as she shifted her senses to the much stronger ones of a wolf and breathed in delicately.

Wildness lurked under the masculinity of the human form. Tame compared to Kanixillo, who took his true form regularly. The wolf, meanwhile, was of the mundane species, none of her scent or feel hinting at any elemental power. Even a Dire Peasant or Dire Rogue carried some kind of elemental scent. Intelligent, certainly, as all wolves were. But not magical.

Her head cocked slightly as she listened, the streetlamp flames glistening off rich red hair long since unbound by her cloak hood, the need for the hood long gone with the storm. Redfire shifted beneath her, a hoof scraping on the cobbles, and she slid from the saddle, vanishing the saddle and bridle and sending the stallion on his way with a nod and stroke of the neck. Redfire tossed his exotic head and turned, trotting up the street to the castle, and to his night time feed and hay. He’d get the care he needed from the Hands at the stable, before he was turned out to graze under the stars.

The Queen, meanwhile, leaned against a streetlamp pole, watching the bard make conversation, considering whether she wanted to approach or merely head up to the castle herself to find a meal and her bed. However, those that had turned their attention away from the stranger spotted their Queen, and instead of dropping to their knees in bowing and scraping, smiled excitedly and ushered the royal toward the crowd, laughter and excitement lending brightness to the night air. “Come, Lady, please! Sing for us?” Ah how perplexing her people were likely to appear to outsiders who knew little of Serenian culture, or at least what it had become over the time of her living here in the city.

Briena chuckled ruefully, knowing that her bed would have to wait a while, and stepped away from her prop, striding gracefully through the gathered people and regarding the taller man with a cocked head. He wasn’t much taller than herself in his skin, she judged, which likely meant he’d gain a foot of height when he shifted; it was usually that way for a Lycan.

Finally, she spoke, her lilted, smooth Serenian accent carrying far less burr than the faint northern Argohahnian roll he carried… Argohahnian? Hm. Her voice was rich, warm, with the lightest huskiness carrying a hint of amusement at her impromptu stage arrival. “Might I join you for a song or two, wanderer?” Polite, open to his refusal or welcome. For all that she was the Queen of the wealthiest faction on the continent, she treated him as though he were her equal.

Her clothing didn’t exactly scream ‘I am a Queen’ either. Dressed for the road in clothing similar to his own, though it was of exquisite quality upon close inspection, she wore earthen tones, muted. Her scent carried the smells of settled travel dust, the horse she’d been riding, saddle leather, rain, and her own natural scent; warm, feminine, and reminiscent of lavender fields, wild jasmine, and sweet summer hay drying in the sun. It was altogether an inviting first impression of the Queen, and gave little hint to her more refined life in the castle.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Briena Character Portrait: Seamus

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Seamus turned to the female who was pushed in his direction, arm moving out in a sort of flourish as he snapped his fingers and gave a small bow, using the opportunity to take in her scent before standing straight. The snap of his fingers, while perhaps just part of the flourish to some, was to command Snow to lay back down, as the Wolf had begun to stand, eyeing the female who appeared before her master as if ready to attack. The Wolf obeyed, and laid back down, huffing softly as her Master commanded.

Seamus straightened his back, amber colored eyes taking in her physical form from the feet up, while he wasn't star-struck, he did find her attractive to say the least. Rugged yet Elegant, he liked that combination in a woman, found it intriguing. His eyes, though friendly on the surface, had a predatory, enigmatic gaze to them as he stared at her form, taking it all in for the first time as though he'd be reporting her to a police sketch artist later. A smile tugged at his lips when she asked if she could join him in singing, and he gave a little chuckle as he plucked at a few strings on his Lute, the sounds chirping through the air lightly.

"The company of a beautiful woman is always welcome in my presence, more-so if she wants t'make sweet music together!" he spoke, the accent of his really coming through now in his words. Whether or not something else was hidden in the meaning of his words was for him and anyone old enough to understand to figure out. He meant nothing by it, though, and simply meant what he said. He loved music, and it seemed that she did as well, so they may as well collaborate.

His fingers deftly began to play the Lute again, a few idle notes as he sat back down and cleared his throat. "So then, lass...." he started as he turned his predatory Amber eyes towards her, seeming to see through her and search her own intentions. "What will y'be singin' for us?" he asked, licking his lips to moisten them, dry from his journey here. He plucked one more note on his lute before reaching into his cloak, and then withdrawing a flute which he then proceeded to play a few silly notes on, warming up the wood-wind instrument a bit before smiling. "And of course, what would you rather sing with? Me and my Lute? Or perhaps my flute; either way you're getting my bells." he had a sort of teasing tone to his voice, but meant nothing by it, tapping his foot so that the bells jingled playfully as well.