The peace that formerly reigned in Terra Nova has eroded, now little more than a memory. War ravages the continent. Disputes divide kingdoms; ideals divide families. The quest for power consumes absolutely and indiscriminately. None are immune to its allure.
Who will rise and who will fall? Only time—and ambition—will tell.
New gifted family of Lorendale added to the Families of Importance, the Decarlos!
At the beginning of February 2022 the site will experience a 5 year time jump! The IC year will jump from 822 to 827! This gives us about 8 months to prepare our characters for that jump. We plan to host very intentional planning sessions to help everyone get their plots and characters ready for this! As of this moment, one thing you should all start considering is making sure the threads your characters are in are furthering your character's stories.
Kezia didn’t expect him to actually agree, but it didn’t stop her from wincing lightly at his firm no. One that made her want to scream and claw back at the collar again, try and remove it herself. But what would that do besides exhaust her further? She turned her eyes back to the boy at his side as he explained who he was. So the monster had children.
And the son was proud at his side. If he had feathers they would have fluffed up when he was motioned to. Kezia kept her eyes on the boy. Was he going to grow up to be a killer like his father? Or was he already one? She didn’t know anything about Coheed besides the fact that they were ruthless and attacked Dresmond for no apparent reason. The moment the dagger was out of his belt, Kezia took another step towards Raiden. He hands opening at her side and widening as Raiden ran to the back of the cage, behind Kezia.
But it was only to slice part of the apple and had it to the child. She watched with a clinical like gaze, her brown eyes flickering over the boy as if he would collapse at any moment from it. She was still unsure, but out of everything on that plate, the apple did seem the safest. And if she wanted to be able to escape, she’d need to try and save as much strength as she could. The apple appeared between the bars, and after a long internal debate. She cautiously stepped forward. Her hand moving quick to try and take it from his hands without actually touching him. If successful, she curl her hand with the apple against her chest. Holding it close but not starting to eat it. Not yet.
Yoren was pleased that Kezia took the apple, no matter how hesitantly. It was a victory, if a small one. He turned back to the boy, his eldest. Kiian has been one of the boys rushed through his First Blood. He had entered the ring with a Cambrian blade, a gift from the Chieftess before Coheed attacked. He doubted he’d be getting any gifts from her again.
He nodded at Kiian, a dismissal. The boy hesitated, eyes flickering to the woman in the cage. It was clear he did not want to be dismissed, but Yoren’s eyes narrowed. Kiian took his leave.
“I won’t remove the collars,” he said, turning back to Kezia when he was satisfied his son had gone. “But I can lessen the effects.” He paused for a moment, looking at her curiously. “Would you like me to do that, Kezia?”
Kezia looked back to the boy, their eyes meeting as he was dismissed. She had no idea why he was wanting to stick around. Did he want to watch what his father was going to do to her? Did he had something else brewing in that young mind of his? Or was he simply just curious after the war to see what she could do? She looked away as Yoren clearly made his stand on the two of them being left alone. There was something about the boy that made her want to protect him. But she had a feeling that her mind was too jumbled to understand what she should truly be feeling at this moment.
As if to rub it in further, he brought up not removing the collars once more. Her lips twitched downwards, hand tightening on the apple in her grasp. Her small hand couldn't fit around the apple, but her nails bit into its crisp skin.
At the mention of lessening the effects, she swallowed. The metal of the collar rubbed her skin enough to remind her of its presence. He wanted her to ask him to lessen it. Because if she did, she would owe him something. He would do some favor for her, and then he'd ask one of her. Or he would simply watch the two. What she had going for her, was that he did not know her. Did not know what she did. She was a teacher, a learner of her own kind. And she'd be quick to try and keep him from gaining the information he clearly wanted. "I doubt you are offering to do this out of the kindness of your heart."
She was right that he wanted something. Kindness had no place in war. It wasn’t kindness that kept her alive now; it was her usefulness to Yoren. She was a guinea pig for his toys, these collars Rael had given him. And if the Dresmondi were smart, perhaps she would be a useful bargaining chip. No one need die if technology like these collars existed. Coheed could rule over all of Terra Nova with nothing but rings on their fingers.
“Giving you a little of your magic back will be just as useful for me as I assume it will be for you,” he continued, eyes moving from her to Raiden. “But my question for you, Kezia, is can you control it?” He looked back at Kezia and corrected himself. “Him,” he said with the barest hint of a smirk.
“There are thousands of warriors outside this tent, Kezia. I would advise you not to lie to me. If I free you, even for a moment - will you harm me?”
She wanted to run. Every bone in her body tightened at the thought. But she had no where to go. No where to escape to while she was between the metal bars around her. For the briefest moments, she wished that she was an ore elementalist. That, if Yoren did give them back a bit of their magic, that he could warp the metal and she and he could run. She'd cut down as many men as she could and she'd run hard. They'd hide. Where didn't matter. But she knew Dresmond. And the men of Coheed did not.
Her heart was pounding in her ears and she glanced towards Raiden and then back to Yoren. "I guess that's a risk you'd have to take, Yoren." She told him, using his name because he kept saying hers. Like saying her name was going to make her easily give in to him.
But truly, she wouldn't attack him. She had no out. Not now. And attacking him while caged was about to do her no favors. She kept her eyes on him and raised the apple to her lips. Taking a bite out of the section that he cut a piece out of. Just a small one. He also was talking about lifting it a little. Which meant she wouldn't have a big enough punch with Raiden to really do the damage she'd want to.
Yoren was not pleased with her answer. His eyes narrowed, a clear sign of his displeasure. He had hoped this would be easy. Apparently she had other ideas.
He crossed his arms in front of his chest, mouth firming into a thoughtful line. He turned from her, pacing the length of the cage once, slowly, the wheels of his brain clearly spinning. He didn’t take risks. Not if he didn’t have to.
And so he didn’t. Instead, he left and returned with a key and two guards. With the key, he opened the door and entered. With a few quick steps, he closed the distance between them and grabbed for her wrist. If she wouldn’t guarantee his safety when the beast was unleashed, he would. By using her as a shield.
She kept her face as passive as she could. Watching as he waited a few moments, clearly not liking her answer. They didn't know each other. They clearly didn't trust one another. And so when he left, she looked around her quickly. As if a weapon would appear. As if something, anything would appear. She raised her hands back to the collar yelled as she tried taking it off once more. The moment he returned, she spun to face him. Her eyes almost as wild as her hair as she saw the two new guards with him.
And then he was opening the cage door, which had her retreating backwards. The cage that kept her in had also been the same one that kept him out. He towered over her and she let out a small gasp of surprise. Instantly trying to get her hands away from him. Raiden hissed in the corner, growling loudly and she did the same almost out of instinct. Her face twisting with clear discomfort as she realized with their size difference, he'd easily be able to hold both her wrists in one of his hands. "Stop!" She yelled at him, her back hitting the cage rather quickly. Her face twisting away from him if he got closer. She'd throw a punch at him as a last resort. But she knew it probably wouldn't phase him.
The punch wouldn’t land. In fact, it would stop in the air, frozen, as Kezia suddenly found herself immobile mid-punch.
Yoren drew his hand back, not touching her just yet. It was the first time he’d been able to use the powers of the collar that Rael had described, and he was curious to see how it worked. As soon as he thought it, she was frozen, unable to move. Useful.
“I’m not going to hurt you, Kezia,” he said, his voice for the first time showing a touch of impatience. “But I’m not going to take any chances, either.” He took a step back and let her free, allowing her punch land in thin air.
He reached for her wrist, firmer this time, using his enhanced speed to try and catch it. If successful, he’d jerk her in front of him and hold her by the shoulders, a human shield against the other tiny cowering creature in the cage.
Last Edit: Oct 10, 2020 20:59:33 GMT -5 by Deleted
Nothing. Her whole body just stopped moving. Her eyes widened as she stared at her fist, frozen and lingering in the air. Not even swaying as if fighting a barrier. Brown eyes flashed to him in complete terror. She was trapped. Truly trapped. He had physical control over her without even having to touch her. By the time she had control again, she was in shock. Her body trembled as it tried to figure out how to use her body again.
His speed alone had her captured, but the shock made it that she didn't struggle. Dragged in front of him and held to stare at Raiden. She stared at him. And kept repeating the same thing over and over in her mind. So the moment Yoren let their connection come through, maybe she'd get the message to him before he reacted. 'Act terrified of me, don't be yourself. Please just trust me.' Because maybe if Yoren thought that it wasn't enough, he'd release more hold on them. And she could learn just as much about these collars as he could learn about the pair.
Hands firmly placed on her shoulders, Yoren was ready to let the magic free. Kezia’s body would act as not only a shield, but a reassurance. If the animal tried to shock him, he’d be shocking Kezia as well.
Behind him, his guards tensed, eyes trained on their Chief.
Finally ready, Yoren reached out to the ring again with his mind, releasing the magic that held Raiden back.
Kezia kept repeating that phrase in her mind. And suddenly, as the hold was released, there was a connection. Something that sparked back between her and Raiden that made her immediately start crying. The tears rolling from her face as relief and anguish rolled through her. Raiden swayed in front of them, almost as if a wave of nausea washed over him and he was shaking his head. 'Raiden don't do anything. Please just remain there. Are you okay?'
His amber eyes were different now, at least to her as he looked up at her. His eyes flashed to Yoren over her shoulder, and he tensed. The hair on his body puffing up and she quickly repeated her words. 'Act scared of us, stay where you are. I am fine.' His eyes bounced back at her and he was struggling. He wanted to protect her. Her hands reached up, if Yoren would allow, and wiped at her tears. 'Kezia, I... what is happening?'. She knew the moment he saw her arms. The scratches and bites. That was enough for the anger to boil in him again, and he growled and backed into he corner. Listening to her. For now.
Kezia looked up and over her shoulder at Yoren, unsure of what he wanted now. Her brown eyes searching him, no longer caring about the tear marks that ran through the dirt and blood on her face. 'I don't like this Kezia. We need to leave.' 'I wish we could Raiden. But right now, it only seems to be you and I. With thousands of these men waiting for us outside. And these collars... He controls them. So he controls us.'
Yoren watched the little creature with laser-like focus, not letting his eyes move from Raiden for a moment. For a second, he thought he saw the creature return to its pre-collar state, but its fur puffed again, backing up and growling. Yoren blinked. Had he been imagining things? He was letting the magic through, he was sure of it, and yet…
At the very least, it seemed to be affecting Kezia. Tears were flowing now, and she reached to wipe them from her face. Something was happening, whether or not Yoren could see it.
His fingers dug into her shoulders, enough to cause pain. He was frustrated now, growing impatient with her games. “You’re controlling him,” he hissed in ear with a flash of anger, giving her body a shake. “Aren’t you? You’re making him act that way. That is it, isn’t it?” In truth, he wasn’t sure, and that was the source of his frustration. She was being deliberately obtuse now. And for that, she’d pay.
The rough feel of his fingers in her skin made her wince. She tried to move away from him, wanting to get away from his fingers. Raiden didn’t need to act now, as his growl got louder and he took a step towards them now. Ready to move forward to defend her as his shoulders ached. Feeling that pain she was feeling, but not to the extent she was.
His voice was angry, they were getting to him. And she repeated the words he said, letting Raiden in to the conversation that was happening now. “What do you want to happen? You are using me as a shield.” She bit back at him, trying to twist her shoulders out of his hold and look him in the eye. Anger was flaring in her, and she wasn’t sure if it was her own or just a combination of her and Raiden. “You have collars on us. Do you even know how they work?” She retorted. All she could pray for, was that he’d cut the two of them off from one another before he hurt her further.
Yoren released her, but not without cutting the magic off with the ring first, severing the connection between her and Raiden once more.
She was so small. He could probably kill her with one well-placed strike. He considered it for a moment, dark eyes flashing. If she died, would the creature die too? Or what if he killed it? What would happen to her? That could be useful information.
Though the anger flared, he held himself together. She was more valuable alive. For now.
“I know how the collars work,” he said, his voice still dark but with less of the burning anger than before. “What I don’t know is what sort of magic you and that thing can control.” He immobilized her again so that he could lean into her face and leer. “And you’re going to tell me, Kezia. You can cooperate or not. The choice is yours. I’d choose wisely.”
He leaned back, letting the immobilization end. They were still within reaching distance, but he was tensed, ready to catch any foolish strike. He’d take another tact. “I’m sure you have people who are worried for you, Kezia,” he said.
In a split second, triumph roared through her as she was released to turn to him. Only for her to stumble lightly when her world went quiet once more. Leaving her feeling like a shell of herself. As she seemed to strike a nerve with him, her eyes narrowed. Though she went to take a step back as he moved forward.
Yet she didn’t move, her body frozen because of the collar. He scared her, and without Raiden there, with her feeling unlike herself, she couldn’t do much else as he leaned into her face and left her with a warning. One that sent shivers down her spine.
Her body relaxed as it was released once more. This trick was making her sick. He could do anything to her, let anyone come into the cage to attack her or worse, and he could simply will her to be still. To not fight. “You’re a monster.” she bit out before that statement was put out there.
Her face fell, just for a moment. She thought of Jaskier and Clementine, the fox and genet curled together above their heads in Kezia’s wagon. Garrick and Argos. Tempest and Alva. Arlo and Tove. And then so many other faces. Would they even know if she was alive? She stepped into him, her face angry, even if there were small tears in her eyes. “You tell me not to attack you and yet get angry when we don’t. Make up your mind, chief of Zulu Carr.” She didn’t care about the others in the room. Her bravado, fake or not, was in place against him.