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.
They had help. She wanted to ask who. She wanted to press further now that he seemed to be opening up to her, just like she was doing to him in a way. But she already knew that she was pushing boundaries with him. She was the one in a cage, she was the prisoner. Not him. So she gave him a small nod of understanding.
Their eyes met and she waited, holding her breath as she prepared for the rejection. Or for him to press her harder to answer his question. But her features softened and her breath left her in a rush when he spoke quietly to her. "I won't ask to be alone with him." She promised. She knew that was no where near being on the table for her and Raiden. She didn't need to be alone with him to be able to talk with him. And she would try her best to find a way to keep that connection... maybe if she was just smart enough to convince Yoren...
If he did release the hold like he made it seem he would, Kezia would do her best to ease Raiden back in to their connection, just like she did the first time. Except she wouldn't ask him to act scared of her, instead she would open her arms to him so he could come to her.
Yoren hesitated. He had the sudden, inescapable feeling that he was making a grave mistake. But she was offering what he’d asked for; a view into the magic. Wasn’t that why he’d captured her? Wasn’t that the reason he’d fed her, endured her barbs?
The two thoughts were at war in Yoren’s head, and he closed his eyes momentarily, trying in vain to quiet them. In the end, his hope was louder than his fear. He let the magic go.
His eyes flashed open, going to Raiden to study his movements.
Kezia waited. Her eyes never leaving Yoren as he seemed to debate hard on whether or not to actually go through with allow their magic to reconnect. Even as he closed his eyes, she studied him. He was just a man. And she felt the connection hit them harder than the last time. Before his eyes even made it to Raiden.
She turned her head to look at Raiden, but he was already making it into her open arms. burying his face into her tangled curls and dirty neck. Pressing his forehead to the skin there. Her arms wrapped around him as the two took a moment to just bask in the feeling of being together again. Raiden tensed up as he asked about Yoren, which had Kezia's eyes looking back to the man. Did they give too much away in this interaction? Maybe for Kezia's liking, but it wasn't the first time that someone from Dresmond had been captured.
"I found him in the forest, at night." She answered his previous question. During her Conclave, that was where her slumber had brought her. She was in a dark forest, following the name that was called to her. The name that Raiden wound up giving to her when they emerged.
The scene was worlds different than it was before. The creature no longer growled and snarled, but embraced Kezia like mother and child reuniting. It touched Yoren for the briefest of moments. He quickly suppressed it. They were still at war. Sentimentality had no place here.
He was surprised she answered his question. It hardly cleared anything up. Were animals with supernatural abilities simply running around Dresmondi forests? And what was it about the Dresmondi people that brought the creatures to them? It seemed every question led to hundreds more.
He let out the softest sigh of frustration. There was almost nothing he could use. Nothing that he didn’t already know. He needed more of the story, but he didn’t even know where to start. “How old were you?” he finally asked.
Raiden moved up and rested himself around the back of her neck, like he did so many other times and where he usually rested. His tail curling around her neck, just under the collar as he pressed his cheek against her ear. Sitting up as he stared at Yoren with his knowing eyes. 'I don't like this Kezia. You shouldn't talk to him.' he warned her. She knew what he meant. But he also wasn't there. 'If I don't, he's going to cut us off from one another. If I keep this focused on us, we won't be giving too much away.' she told him.
"Before I was a teenager sometime. I don't remember the exact times." She stood up then, brushing off her legs and walking towards him slowly, her hands held up in a way to say that she meant no harm to him. She walked over and picked up the long forgotten apple and wiped it off the best she could. She took another bite from it before offering a bite to Raiden. He was usually after meat, but he did eat fruit as well. And it wasn't like they had much of a choice.
Raiden caught sight of her hand though, and chattered his teeth at her. 'Kezia I am sorry,' she tsked him. She wouldn't hear of it. He didn't do it on purpose. "What exactly are you hoping to gain from Dresmond? Do you want to collar us all?" Raiden's tail wrapped a bit tighter around her as he looked at the man. Were they to become slaves to Coheed?
She was being evasive, Yoren realized. He didn’t believe that she wouldn’t remember the moment she’d found Raiden. It was clear she couldn’t bear to be apart from him in whatever way the collars magic-blocking kept them apart. It didn’t seem like Kezia would forget the day she found him.
His eyes narrowed visibly. “You’re lying,” he said simply. It wasn’t a question.
He watched intensely as she picked up the apple and offered some to the creature. It seemed to deny it, for a moment. Without taking his eyes off Raiden, he continued, “Like I said, Kezia, I want information. Not lies. I’ll tell you what you want to know when you tell me what I want to know.”
Her eyes narrowed on him as he told her she was lying. He wasn't wrong. She remembered the season, the weather, the way that the wind blew the day she emerged from the ground with Raiden. Because to be a part of Dresmond and at such a young age, agree to possibly die, was a huge thing. No one was guaranteed to wake up from it. Half the children didn't make it. Swallowed up whole by the earth.
"I was ten. I was in a forest at night, and I heard voice calling to me. I followed it through the trees until I found him." Raiden growled in disapproval at her words. 'Too much Kezia. That is our story.' She hushed him, which only earned her the teeth chatter that she knew so well. 'I love you, and this is how I can protect us right now. Please trust me.' Of course Raiden did. But it didn't mean he was thrilled about it.
"Do you plan to make us your slaves? Are you wanting to collar us all?" She repeated her question from early. Raiden's ears flattened on his head. Clearly not happy with the idea. But she needed to know. He took another bite of the apple, his chewing was more violent than normal in her ear. He sent an image to Kezia of when the blast knocked Yoren back and out. But she quieted him. 'If you attack him, we are still in this cage.' she told him.
The corner of Yoren’s lip twitched. That was more like it. Of course she remembered the day she found the little creature on her shoulder. Still, wandering in a forest was not the answer Yoren was hoping for. He took a beat to picture it in his head. A child, alone, hearing a voice call to them. He wasn’t likely to be so lucky, no matter how much time he spent wandering in Dresmond. Not to mention he didn’t have the time for that. If Coheed didn’t attack by morning, surely Dresmond would.
Still, despite his disappointment, he was a fair man. He owed her his own answers, however unsatisfying she may find them.
“I don’t know,” he said after a beat. It was an honest answer. As much as Kezia hated him, Yoren was not the mastermind of the destruction of Dresmond. “My Chieftain gave me orders, and I followed.”
She stood there as her and Raiden finished the apple quickly between the two of them. She let him take the rest of the core as she fixed her eyes on Yoren. Looking him over on how he was able to control the collars. Was it magic of itself? Each collar being tied to a person? Or was it something else? Her gaze didn't run over him long, as his explanation on what he knew.
She felt her brows furrow together at what he said. "I thought you were the chief?" She asked him. She really didn't know much about Coheed. Just that they invade their lands and to never get into a fight hand to hand with them. And most recently, she learned that they thought women were weak, good for nothing more than quick pleasure and bearing children. She hoped that she put a little doubt into Yoren's head after their little tussle.
'Do you think you could convince him to take the collar off?' Raiden asked her. She responded with a 'doubtful'. Yoren was desperate for information. And he was willing to extend this connection and what could almost be considered as civil behavior as long as she was giving him something. She looked around the cage for a moment that was illuminated by the torch he had brought into the tent. "I know you won't leave us alone together." She said slowly, her eyes moving over the floor under her. "But what if we stayed with you? Would you be willing to let us stay connected?" Her brown eyes looking back up to him. Just how cautious was he being, or just how desperate was he for her to keep talking?
“I’m a Chief. I lead my tribe, but I answer to the Chieftain,” he said. He wasn’t surprised that she didn’t know this; it wasn’t like he knew anything besides the basics about the social structure of Dresmond.
Yoren scrubbed a hand over his beard. The difference between her with and without the magic was palpable. She seemed desperate to keep her magic, and what was the word she’d just used? Connected? Yes, thought Yoren, there was certainly something going on he could not see. Something intangible that linked the two together. Something she'd do anything to keep.
But there was no world in which he could let her keep her magic for the night, no matter where she was. He could take her into his tent - as Chief, it was his right to take any prizes they captured, so no man would balk at him being alone with a woman for a night. But when he slept, she could slip away. He didn’t know if the immobilization worked while the ring bearer slept. In fact, he didn’t even know if she’d be able to keep her magic while he slept. He knew nothing.
“I’m sorry,” was all he said, hanging his head as if it were suddenly made heavy.
She stared at him for a moment. The only thing she had to compare it to was he was like a Driver, and whoever the Chieftain was, was like The One. Though The One never gave orders for them to invade other lands and steal people away. It was just the only thing she had to really compare them to. And since he said he was the chief of the largest tribe, she assumed he might have a higher position than others or perhaps more well respected. “Is your Chieftain here?” She asked.
Kezia was too hopeful, Raiden even warned her on it as there was a long pause to answer her. But she tried to hush him, tried to think maybe he would agree. Maybe if she promised to be tied to the center of his tent or even to him that he’d allow her to keep Raiden. The ‘I’m sorry’ destroyed her heart though.
She refused to cry in front of him again. Raiden and her dream swept through them and she turned her back to Yoren. She pressed her back against the cool metal and slid to the ground, slowly pulling Raiden into her arms. Pressing her forehead to his. She was going to be alone without him during the night. And she didn’t even know how long she’d be left to herself. Hours? Days? So that was the thought that made the tears fall from her. She took a deep breath. Waiting for his next question or to lose Raiden as she stared at the back of the tent.
“He’s not,” he said, softly. But Yoren didn’t need the Chieftain’s word to know what he was expected to do. If Bellamy was here, Yoren knew what he’d say: show no mercy. Despite the sound of orders echoing in his head, Yoren felt nothing but shame as she turned her back to him.
He’d been here too long. He was letting her pleas get to him, and it was dangerous. He had a country to conquer. If he were to go home without victory, he’d be a failure. He wouldn’t be respected as a chief, and it would not just be him, but his sons who bore the shame. He knew what it was like to have a failure as a father. He refused to do that to his sons.
As he turned from her, he stifled the magic. The connection severed. He did not relish doing it. He paused by the door and, loud enough for her to hear, spoke to his guards. “Get her something to wash herself. Kill anyone who tries to touch her.” And with that, he left.