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Edge Of Glory *Permission Only | Starting*
Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:43 pm
Neri | The Imperial Palace, Kyran
Neri didn't like this, not in the least. That blasted man was using her as a threat and it made her feel uncomfortable. Now that the emperor was gone Neri's mother and the general were passing whispers to each other. The Nazarian general and advisor watched them warily, but didn't cut into their conversation. Neri missed the way dinner used to be; when they were free to laugh and converse without the enemy breathing down their necks. Her eyes returned to her soup momentarily, her appetite gone.
The prince beside her leaned back in his seat, drawing Neri's attention. He looked incredibly unimpressed with everything-- the room, the conversation happening just out of ear shot, his food. It intrigued Neri to see someone who could look like he didn't care less during a time like this.
"So, you're the prince of the Nazarian empire," she started, looking up to the prince. "What's that like?" He prince just shrugged and poked at his food. He seemed detached from the rest of the world. "I see... sounds like fun." She returned to looking down into her bowl for a while longer. "So how have you been enjoying Jadira?" Neri didn't bother looking back up this time.
"Even in the end --even in death-- I can't hate you."
- Neri Hereford's last words.
"The Gods demand blood, for they... do not bleed."
Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:42 pm
Haroun Rijn/in a back alley:
My back hit the brick wall with a bone jarring thud and I slid down into a crumbled sitting position. My breath came in jagged gasped as the pain in my head made me feel sick to my stomach.
I slowly dragged my eyes up the wall, to look at the monstrosity I had put there with the lump of chalk, now laying by my side. It was dark the alley, the fiery light form the setting sun couldn't make it down through the tightly clustered rooftops and chimney pots. I could barely make out what I had done to the plain plaster wall but knowing how my visions had taken a turn- it couldn't be good. I tried to make out what it was, but just couldn't.
"Oh god." I breathed rubbing my throbbing temples with my chalk covered hands- the headaches were getting worse too. I got to my feet shakily and slowly made my way out of the alley. The last thing I needed was someone to find me there.
The street was almost empty, those who were still out were hurrying along trying to avoid the gaze of the soldiers who seemed to be stationed everywhere now. I pulled my collar up to hide my face as much as I could, and with my hands shoved in my pockets started off towards home.
Maybe the rain would wash away the devilry I had chalked...
"D*** the torpedoes! Four bells! Full speed ahead!"~ Admiral David Farragut
Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:39 pm
Empress Saffir- The Imperial Palace, Kyran
Once Daeron had left, Saffir felt free to breathe out again for the first time since he had collected her from the tower. The room was still full of Nazarians and the Prince was still sat opposite her, too close to her daughter for her liking.
"What happened to not losing our tempers?" she muttered to Basira.
"I don't care what he does to me, as long as you're safe. Your Majesty."
Illarion was still unengaged. Saffir meant to give Neri a meaningful look but the girl was smart enough. "So you're the prince of the Nazarian Empire. What's that like?"
smart. Heavens, why did she never pay attention in diplomacy class?
However, with Illarion thus distracted, she muttered to Basira, "We need to get Sausage out of here." It was an old, ridiculous pet name that Garigan used to call Neri when she was a baby, because she was so round and brown. But it sufficed as at least some veil of what they were truly talking about.
"That would require a... delivery cart."
We don't have any method of doing so.
"Do you think there aren't any free?"
Is there no one loyal to us left in Kyran?
"We can hope."
We can hope.
The Nazarian general was watching them with beady eyes.
"What's the main course?" asked Neri. "Do you think it's venison? Oh, I'd love venison. It feels like I haven't had it in years."
As if on her cue, the doors opened and the servers arrived with a clatter of plates and the volume of conversation rose high enough for Saffir to grab the chance to hiss in Basira's ear, "We need to watch out for you as well. He clearly means to kill you."
"I'm not as important as you or your daughter, Your Majesty."
"You are to me. If you're gone, heavens, I don't know what I would do. We should think about getting you out of here as well."
"Not without you, Your Majesty."
"Yes, if I command it." The chatter subsided, Illarion's eyes once again flicked towards them. Saffir glanced down at her plate. Beef. Neri looked disappointed.
"I really was hoping it would be venison."
"I'll make sure it's venison tomorrow," Saffir promised but it was empty. Perhaps she would have had the power to change the menu but even then, she had no idea how communications were and she very much doubted they would be good enough to allow her to procure venison from one of the country estates. Neri's honey-coloured eyes met hers with a look that said,
I know you're lying, Mum.
Sometimes, Saffir didn't need her powers at all to read her daughter's mind.
"Is Daeron returning, then?" she asked Illarion coldly.
"I can't read my father's mind-" Saffir shook the urge to glance at Neri at the irony of this statement, she was attempting to keep the link a secret. "I wouldn't know."
"Well, if he doesn't deem us good enough company to stay." He wasn't the only one who could make a significant exit. She dabbed at her mouth delicately with a napkin then threw it down in the pool of sauces on her plate. "Goodbye."
Basira jumped up as Saffir's chair scraped back. "Your Majesty, where are you going?"
"If Daeron doesn't see it fit to respect the Empress of the land where he is a guest then I see no reason to grace the guests he brought with him with my company."
, she thought as she moved towards the door.
I have more important things to do. Such as getting my throne back.
Absolutely not a ninety year old German lady masquerading as an Irish med student.
"Stella. You were in my dream the other night. And everyone called you Princess." -Lauren2010
Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:48 am
Simon | Altair
Far to the East of Jadira, deep inside the badlands, the Gryphons of Altair had their council. Simon watched on as Leo Ten'seer, spoke first.
"When the Matron first told us of her vision; there were some of us, myself included, who were doubtful that it would come to fruition. The reports of Ambassador Simon did a lot to assure us that this vision would come to fruition according to the word of the Matron. He was even engaged to Neri, daughter of Saffir, Empress of Jadira. Now though, Jadira has been conquered by the neighboring nation of Nazar, ruled by Emperor Daeron. Not just conquered, but conquered with ease. Now Clan Ten'seer suggests that the Matron's vision was in error, and that Nazar, not Jadira, was the nation she foresaw," Leo said, with a bow to the Matron. She arose and spoke.
"My vision of the future was thus: that the gryphons would enter into relations with Jadira that would not only bring us great prosperity and wealth, but transform our relations with humanity forever. In this vision, I saw Neri, daughter of Saffir, Empress of Jadira, and Ambassador Simon being the link that binds our fates together. There is no doubt that it was Jadira, not Nazar, that was in my vision," the Matron said.
"Then the events that have occurred in Jadira are grave indeed for the future of our Aerie. We have allies with enemies inside their walls. Their army dares not to attack Nazar while their leaders are captured. We would be fools indeed to fight for them," Leo Ten'seer responded.
"Perhaps things are not so grave as they appear," Artalion Sen'der said. "Perhaps we will find in Emperor Daeron an accomplice for our future. If he gives Neri over to Simon, then the Matron's vision would still be fulfilled. If Daeron marries Saffir, then it will be Jadira which we shall have our alliance, and Nazar as well. Then our fortunes will improve many times over."
"The Matron's vision was ambitious enough; this new thought is nothing short of fiction," this was Sal'sen Reth'sa, the master fledger. "Men are selfish creatures. Why should we expect them to share their wealth with us? Emperor Daeron is greedy, taking more land than he needs. With Jadira under his control, what makes you so ready to believe that he is willing to share it with us? Or that he would be a responsible custodian of our treaty? He has not earned our trust."
"What do you say, Ambassador Simon?" the Matron asked. Simon stood and spoke.
"Masters of the sky, Matron, I have spoken with Saffir, Empress of Jadira and I have seen her empire. She is a crafty negotiator but always so as to look after the welfare of her subjects; not for her own ends. Her towers are well built and her people prosper under her. When she gives her word, she keeps it. In her we have a strong ally. I have not met Emperor Daeron; but the rumors are that he is ambitious and desires, above all things, to make Empress Saffir his bride. Rumors are not enough to affirm or condemn. Though I have no vote at this council, may I suggest a course of action?"
"Please do," the Matron said.
"Allow me to return to Jadira so that I may continue my negotiations. If indeed Daeron intends to marry Saffir, then I may seek Neri's hand and the treaty may continue as Master Sen'der saw it. But if things are as Master Reth'sa foresaw, then we should expel Daeron and deal with a Jadiran that is trustworthy."
"You speak of expelling Daeron as if it would be a minor matter," Leo Ten'seer scoffed.
"For him it would be," Sal'sen Reth'sa replied happily. "I trained him."
"Masters of the sky, such a task would not be easy, but I am confident that it can be done if the clans and mercenaries decide to remove him. How we would go about it depends on what I find when I arrived at Kyran. Such action may not be necessary," Simon replied.
"Thank you Simon. I want you to return to Kyran and see if the Emperor is as accommodating as the Empress was. If he is not, you are to take responsibility for re-taking Jadira from Daeron. If Daeron is receptive, signal it with green, red, and purple smoke within a week. Otherwise, we'll assume that negotiations have broken down. Reth'sa?"
"Matron?" Reth'sa answered.
"See that some gryphons are detailed to watching Kyran castle."
"I've already assigned Aloysius."
"Send Sira'char as a secondary. That way there is always a pair of eyes on the castle. If no word is received within a week, we'll recall the mercenaries and prepare for battle. That should take two additional weeks. Aloysius will rely on you to give him precise information on your plans, Ambassador."
"Understood Matron," Simon said.
"Good. Go find him," the Matron said, dismissing Simon.
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Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:23 am
Ilarion | Imperial Palace
Ilarion would've graced Neri with a reply, but he rather enjoyed watching the princess try and strike up a conversation with him. It wasn't that he didn't like her - was rather fond of her, actually - but some things were just more amusing than others. Her topics rarely interested him anyway.
If she learned to play chess, perhaps he'd like her better. Perhaps.
He could hear the soft murmurs of the queen, and though he couldn't hear everything, he could focus his attention enough to catch a few words here and there.
...Well, that made a ton of sense. Ilarion's brow furrowed and he pushed his food around his plate a little more. Sausages? Daeron wasn't starving her majesty, as far as he as concerned. In fact, Daeron rather liked her majesty the way she was.
"-watch out ...clearly means..."
"...not as important as you or ...daughter-"
"Gone, heavens- Get out as well."
Ilarion put down his fork and focused his attention on the queen and her general. Now this, this actually made more sense than the last conversation did. Too bad it petered out so quickly; he couldn't hear enough from them. Where were Daeron's blasted guards anyway? Ilarion swore they were useless; couldn't the giant hire people with more sense in them?
Their general whimpered under the prince's hard stare.
What was wrong with him? It wasn't as if Ilarion was plotting to kill him - yet.
"I really was hoping it would be venison."
At this, he couldn't help but snicker. Unbelievable, the way this princess operated. She seemed to care naught about their current position, and furthermore, she was unaware about all that went around her. "Perhaps you should have told the cook?" he murmured, voice so low only the princess could have heard him.
She tilted her head to the side.
"She'd oblige you if only you asked, and if she doesn't, feel free to use my name. Nazarian cuisine isn't terrible, if I do say so myself." The prince refrained from saying only Daeron's favorite dishes tasted terrible.
"I'll make sure it's venison tomorrow."
And apparently, something passed between mother and daughter. Beneath the cold light of the chandelier, he could feel Neri's disappointment and Saffir's helplessness. Poor things; he almost wanted to sympathize with them.
After all, it wasn't anything personal. Daeron wanted the Jadira, and Ilarion saw a way to give it to him on a platter. Jadira's defenses were scattered and decentralized - a blitzkrieg took care of the empire's army all too easily. Giving Daeron whatever he wanted happened to be how Ilarion survived, and it was a miserable day-to-day existence, but it meant staying alive until - until -
He didn't dare finish his sentence, not even in his thoughts. He shuddered, took a deep breath to calm himself. Neri, noticing something strange with the prince, peered at him.
"Is Daeron returning, then?" Saffir asked.
Ilarion opened his eyes. "I can't read my father's mind." Never could, never would be able to. They were much too different. "I wouldn't know."
The queen promptly left after that. How predictable. Ilarion's gaze shifted back to Neri, who still sat beside him, looking at him with those big eyes of hers.
"What?" he asked. It wasn't often people noticed him, and he'd gotten so used to it Neri's acknowledgment of his existence threw him out of balance. It was a wonder she even heard him, soft-spoken as he was.
"You were thinking of something."
"Yes, that's something most people do all the time. I suggest you try and follow our examples," he said, lightly, so as not to hurt the little girl's feelings. Her mother was temperamental enough to last Ilarion a lifetime.
He nudged his plate away from him. "Forgive me, Princess, but I'm afraid I have to attend to some business." Like finding out what was brewing in Jadira's streets, for starters. "I'll have venison served to you right away; consider it my apology."
Not a sound was made as he exited the dining room, and Neri made no move to stop him. His stride was swift, and he paused only a moment to speak to the Nazarian general.
"The next time the queen tries to talk to her general, move closer to her and actually listen," Ilarion hissed. He smacked the general's head, causing the general to shrink away and mumble a series of apologies - or were those prayers?
At least the moon was full tonight. He liked full moons. Made it easier for him to see what people were up to. The Jadirans would never know he was there.
Besides, she loved full moons as well, and he could still remember the way her hair smelled of jasmine when they'd steal through the alleys of Nazar on nights like these.
Ilarion's step, once so sure, faltered the moment he stepped out into the moonlight. The moon illuminated his pale skin and there were little, if any, shadows on him. The prince hesitated. Laughter, the laughter of children, rang through the wind. It sounded like hers, like his, intertwined.
It was cold out, even with his coat on. There was simply something different between having someone beside you for warmth and wearing a fur coat.
On second thought, he hated full moons. They stung too badly.
"The moral of this story, is that if I cause a stranger to choke to death for my amusement, what do you think I’ll do to you if you don’t tell me who ordered you to kill Colosimo?“
Love, get out of my way.
Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:10 pm
The streets were saturated with people. Lords and merchants, wives and duchesses, all very rich. He despised how they live a life filled with luxury and comfort while he had to get up early and start ‘working’. Well, its good business for the streets to be filled with these noble fools, its almost too easy for him. He spotted a fat man arguing with one of the merchants, trying to bargain for a better price.
“Perfect, nice and fat.” He told himself.
He ran towards the noble, making sure he saw him. Blis quickly rammed into the foolish noble before he could move away. In mid-air, Blis quickly stole all the important jewelry and the nobles wallet. They fell together with a loud ‘thump’.
“UHG! You lowly peasant! How DARE you throw yourself at me? You scum should be eradicated; it’s your kind that gives a bad reputation to this grand city! I will have you killed for this, executed! Beheaded! Lynched!” The noble said, turning red with anger.
It was the same old speech, Blis heard it so many times he could repeat it word for word, he couldn’t give a rats ass about what the noble thought. He quickly got up and made a run for it. The fat noble could do nothing but stare and swear.
Once content that he has escaped, he slowed down and started to act natural. There were men around him talking loudly about the new king.
“I hurd he’s a bastard, tads what. Ol’ Gardel say his mothda’s a whore.” He heard one man mention.
“Good god Mert, learn how to talk for gods sake. I doubt that’s true and you know that Gardel does nothing but spew lies and rumors all day. Although I won’t mind calling that king a bastard. Stole the throne from our queen he did.”
Blis couldn’t care for the kingdom. He was a survivor. New king, old queen, it didn’t matter to him. All that mattered is that there are pockets to pick and wallets to steal.
There is no good and evil, there's just perspective
Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:35 am
Simon | Altair
Aloysius was in his nest; waiting for Simon.
"Let me guess. Another mission?" he greeted Simon.
"Yep," Simon said. He knew that Aloysius preferred simple talk.
"What's the mission?"
"The Aerie wants to see if Emperor Daeron will honor the negotiations we had with Saffir. If so, it's a matter of drawing up and signing the treaty, call it a week. If not, we take down Emperor Daeron and install someone who will be more agreeable."
"Kyran is surrounded by Daeron's Army. Taking him out wouldn't solve the problem."
"We could use the Jadiran Army to engage them," Simon said.
"The Jadirans won't attack while the Imperial Family is held hostage. Basira wouldn't dare," Aloysius said dismissively.
"No he wouldn't. Which is why we might have to pull off a rescue operation if negotiations break down," Simon countered.
"Why do I get the sense that this is going to turn into another impossible mission?"
"Haven't a clue. But assuming this becomes an impossible mission, who would you take?"
"Let's see. One for you, one for Neri, one for Saffir, and one in case something comes up. Any more would just get in the way. I think Sira, Sentil, and Seeker are available. When do you want to leave?"
"Dawn tomorrow. Can you pass the word?"
"Sure thing," Aloysius said.
Three days later, three gryphons flew low over the tree tops. Seeker dove down to join them.
"We're an hours flight from Kyran," he reported.
"Set us down at the farm," Simon said.
"But that's five miles from the Palace," Sentil said.
"The palace is a trap. If you're going to walk into a trap, get a good long look at it before you go in. Besides, I'll get a better idea of the people from the ground then from the air," Simon responded.
The farm was on the outskirts of Jadira. Once, when a gryphon was injured, the farmer had nursed the gryphon back to health. The gryphon, in turn, made that farmer a trustant, and his farm had prospered. The gryphons landed quietly and were welcomed by the farmer. Simon left a few instructions with the gryphons, before borrowing a horse to ride to town.
The ride itself was uneventful. Simon spent most of it observing the camps of soldiers surrounding the Capitol. They were set up in straight lines, they were well supplied, and the camps were quiet. Simon noted it and kept riding. Upon entering the city, Daeron's forces stopped him. He presented his diplomatic credentials and the guards looked at them warily. After a moment of discussion, their Commander appeared. A herald appeared and was handed a note. He promptly took off to the Palace. Simon pretended not to notice. The Commander then addressed him.
"Ambassador, my name is Commander Stormwall. I have dispatched a herald to inform the Emperor of your arrival. Please allow my men to escort you to the Palace. We have pacified the streets, but we will not take chances with an Ambassador," the Commander said. Simon smiled warmly in return.
"I thank you for your hospitality and your thoughtful action, Commander Stormwall." Simon knew that he was being played and that his escort was not for his safety, but theirs. But they were taking him where he wanted to go anyway, so why make an issue of it?
The escort was small, but well armed and well trained. Ahead of them, other squads were clearing the streets. It was to send a message:
We control this town.
It was part of the standard diplomatic welcome, but such pleasantries were bound to be short-lived. In time, they came to the palace; where his escort was increased still further. He then surrendered his weapons to the Captain of the Guard, so that he could finally enter the Imperial Throne Room, where Daeron would be waiting. The door opened, Simon was announced, and he walked in.
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As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.
— Andrew Carnegie
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