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.
The guard was on his knees. Yoren was approaching him, spear lifted, when Kezia grabbed his arm. To stop him? He turned on her, eyes just as filled with just as much fury as when they were focused on the betrayers. No one was safe from his rage, now. Not even her.
Until she spoke. The words hit him when he realized what he’d lost. With the creature gone, Kezia was only half a prize. His face fell. A thousand thoughts flooded his brain all at once, and he found himself reeling with the possibilities. He usually had time to think over his plans, to consider his plots from every angle. Here, he had no time.
“Can you find him?” he asked Kezia through gritted teeth. “With your magic?”
She glanced at the man on his knees before the two of them. Yoren had just saved her, even if the rest of this was because he was angry at being disobeyed, he had saved her. She looked back up to Yoren, their height almost a foot apart but her gaze was strong. "Yes." She told him, there was no doubt in her mind that she could find him. And she knew that with them connected, Raiden would look for her as well.
She didn't release her hold on his arm. Something told her that there was going to be a follow up to this. "If your men go after him, I can't guarantee their safety. But I will do what I can." She said softly to him. If the men had gotten to the genet before the magic was reconnected, she'd be as good as dead herself.
Yoren’s brow furrowed. Most of his men were asleep. And of those who happened to be awake, most would probably not look twice at a creature in a foreign country. They knew she was here, but how many of them had actually seen the genet and his person?
And not to mention the shame if the creature got away. His only victory taken by a man who could not control the desires of his pants. He ground his teeth in indecision.
“We go alone,” he said, finally, his own grip closing firmly around the wrist that held his arm. His eyes dug into hers. “Try anything and I will kill you, Kezia,” he said.
To the guard on his knees, he spat, “Clean this up. Tell no one.” He pulled her to the doorway and into the night air. From the ring on his finger, the magic connection reopened.
The rat bit harder into the metal, wanting to help, wanting to aid her but she couldn’t. She was only one small creature from the ground and she would hide her face some until chaos broke out. The leader came forth and killed the man who tried to hurt her- least he was protecting her- and about to kill the other when the silly genet ran off. Why? What was going on? The Rat crept closer to listen, hearing what was being said and taking mental notes. Was this like the mist magic? The rat needed to know to be able to warn of this odd magic that Coheed had so it would listen.
The leader looking person looked angry and concerned enough to help Kezia though to find her dyr, with that in mind the rat would do what they felt was best and that was to stalk the man and woman pair while the Elf Owl would follow and watch from above. They couldn't go back yet, their delivery hadn't been made but also the Rat wanted to make sure that the Dresmondi girl was going to be ok so she would follow and the moment the Elf Owl saw Yoren and Kezia out of the tent and looking the animal would fly off for a moment to get close enough to their person and inform them what they saw from above.
"The Chief is taking Kezia out of a tent and looks like they are looking for something, Rat has not met up at the spot yet and is following," He told his person who would relay it back to the others. Elf owl would send his owl back out then to follow from above and keep an eye out for the Rat and see what she was doing.
Rat would just stick to tracking from the shadows and hidden places for the time. "She's alive... but what is going on?" Tempest said in some fashion of irritation as she paced with her hands on her hips. She was though proud of the Elf Owl person, he was doing amazing and both person and dyr were being so brave.
She felt the smallest relief rush through her. For just a moment. And then his hand clamped down on her wrist and his eyes pegged her with a look that had her want to shrink away from him. 'I will kill you'. There was no hiding the look that crossed her face, the flash of surprise and fear. "If we don't find him, you might as well kill me." She told him before they were out of the tent. The air was almost shocking to her. It felt different in her lungs from the stale air of the tent.
And suddenly there it was. That lifeline thrown back to her. 'Kezia?' She let out a soft sound, tears of happiness and relief hitting her as she felt him once more linked to her, though his voice was distant. Meaning he was far away from her. 'Raiden. Where are you?' He flashed an imagine of what he saw in front of him to her. She turned her head to the left and then the right, she couldn't help it. She wrapped her free hand around Yoren's wrist that attached to the one that held her. "This way." She tugged him to the right. 'Stay put Raiden, I am coming for you. But I need you to move towards me. Just slowly.'
His voice disappeared for a moment and she stopped, tugging Yoren to pause with her. "Hold on, I can't..." a distance voice started again. 'Kezia stop moving, I'll come to you.' They had only made it four tents past the one they held her in. "He's coming to us." She told him, looking up to him and dropping her hand from him. He threatened to kill her. She was still just some object of war to him. If Yoren didn't move or force them to rush, she'd wait patiently till Raiden came around one of the tents, scattering away from the opening of a tent as he heard something inside. 'I could knock him out.' Raiden offered. Her eyes flashed to Yoren, they could just blast him once. 'What if it disconnects us forever then? We don't know how he controls the collars...' Raiden sat down several feet from them, staring between the two.
Yoren did not release her wrist. He was terrified, and the idea of Kezia leading him somewhere almost made him freeze in place. She could run, easily. Disappear into the night. Maybe it’d all been a trap? Maybe she’d told Raiden to run, to get him out here so they could finish him off while they had him alone...
She stopped suddenly and fear flashed through Yoren’s body. It was not that he was afraid to die; he’d made his peace with that years ago. But he was afraid to be made a fool.
But she crouched and the genet came running. A flood of relief came through him as the pair reunited, but it was soon replaced with a twist in his gut. He hadn’t considered what he would do next. Cut off the magic? Would they be able to get Raiden back to the cage if they did? If he didn’t, would they take the opportunity to run? It was two on one, after all.
His hand still closed on Kezia’s wrist, he gave her an urgent tug. “Back to the tent,” he hissed. He left the magic open. For now.
Of course, the thought of running had come across her mind. He was following them without the promise of anything. If her and Raiden ran towards the center of Dresmond, would Yoren come with her. Would he willingly not let her go and just go with her? She could feel his strength in the way he held onto her. But he could also easily pick her up and throw her over his shoulder. And then what? Raiden would follow. And they'd still wind up in the cage.
She looked back from where they came. Raiden wrapped himself against her legs until she scooped him up so he could wrap around her shoulders. His amber eyes locking onto Yoren, narrowing as he watched the way that he tugged her. Raiden made a low growl noise. 'I don't like the way he's handling you.' he told her. She looked back at Yoren, her eyes flickered down to where he had hold of her wrist. She thought about shocking him. Just a little. But then her eyes locked onto something he was wearing. Something that looked a lot like the collar around her throat and Raiden's.
"Are you going to force us back into that cage?" She asked quietly. Her eyes glancing around at the different tents around them. Raiden shifted on her shoulders, ears twitching as he listened to the noises around him.
Yoren’s grip tightened. It wasn’t on purpose; the coursing adrenaline was taking over his body, making him forget his strength. It was lucky he only had the strength of an average man, but his grip was likely to leave its mark on Kezia's wrists.
Her words stopped him in his tracks. The cage - could he put her back there? With the corpse that now lay there? It had only been minutes; there was no way the blood and mud had been cleaned. And even if it had been, who could Yoren trust to guard her? No one, he thought bitterly. No one but him.
“No,” he said, pushing her into a nearby tent. His tent. Once inside, he released her and stood in the doorway at his full height, chest heaving and fist clenched. For the first time, he had the thought that maybe Kezia had been right all along. He certainly felt like a monster now.
There was a sharp intake of air, auditable in the night air as he tightened his grip on her. Raiden stood up on her shoulders, his hair puffing up at Yoren as he only stopped because Kezia told him to stand down. She could feel the energy radiating off of him. Raiden felt the grip on his own arms and knew that she was feeling it more. Her eyes narrowed on him and she stumbled slightly as she was pushed into the flaps of a tent that wasn't very far from them. She instinctively brought her wrist to her chest when he released it, her other hand rubbing it lightly. As if that action would save her from bruising later. Her fingers trying to gently massage the area so she didn't pull open a scab that littered her arms and hands.
"You don't need to be rough." She said under her breath, before she briefly searching their surrounds in the tent with her eyes. This didn't seem to be a random tent, and for a moment she felt nervousness build inside of her. Was he going to have the cage brought in here? Was he going to tie her to something so she couldn't move? He was already handling her roughly, was he could to knock her unconscious? Could the collar do that if he wanted it to? She briefly looked him over, trying her best to not linger on the item that made her think of their collars before she turned her back to him. 'There weren't a lot of people out there... we could run for it. Worry about the collars later.' She glanced back at Yoren from over her shoulder. 'If we run, we don't know how far he can control us. What if he turns off the connection? He also was able to freeze my body. I'd assume he could do that to you too if needed. What if he makes us attack others if we find the caravans. We can't go anywhere until these collars are gone'.
The Rat had followed, metal and slightly damp note in maw as it followed the group now back to another tent. The animal knew it had to be careful and stick to any shadows to find a spot that would be within the females line of sight or the genet. She just needed one of them to spot her and not the man and she could show that Dresmond was here for her however they could be.
If the rat saw the man looking towards her though, she would just curl into a tight little ball to look like a rock in his tent with her eyes closed but still the wait would continue now with the owl keeping an eye out for the rat
He heard her words, no matter how softly she spoke them. His ears picked up what others couldn’t. He wished he hadn’t heard it.
Yoren bit back an apology. It would be the second apology he would make to this woman this night. His prisoner of war. He shouldn’t be apologizing for anything - she was his prisoner, and he was her captor. He had treated her better than well, in his estimation. And yet.
If he noticed the small scurry of a rat in the corner of the tent or the flapping of elf owl's wings, he paid it no mind. His eyes were fixed on Kezia and Raiden, on the little genet’s transformation from wild animal to something much different. All of its ire was directed at Yoren now. He did not blame it. And Kezia, rubbing her wrists. Again, he felt the shame.
Instead of responding to her, he let out a little sigh, his shoulders sinking slightly. Some of the tension was easing, the adrenaline fading, but he couldn’t let his guard down just yet. “Are you alright?” he asked.
She swallowed briefly. Closing her eyes as she let the feeling on Raiden being back to her wash over her. She still felt the ache of where he had been missing. Almost sore from where he had left her feeling hollow. The not so distant memory made her want to cry and Raiden turned his icy glare from Yoren to her for a moment, bumping his head into her cheek.
A bitter laugh left her at his question. Even with the tension leaving him, making him look like he was tired. Like his display of force on her and the killing was weighing on him. "Am I okay?" she asked, her arms wrapping around herself and she looked at the ceiling of his tent. "No, nothing about me is okay." She turned on her heel to face him, tears back into her eyes. She was angry now. Angry and hurt. Her arms held out in front of her, as if to show him the cuts and bites, the bruising from his grip on her shoulder earlier to the bruising that was starting on her arms where his man had grabbed her not too long ago now. She flipped them over, even letting him see the bruised fingers and broken nails before her hands went to her neck, where more cuts were and red irritated skin from the collar. And even pulled the fabric up to expose her ankle that was bruised and raw from where the whip had snagged her from her perch.
"There's more." But she was not stripping down to prove her point at how she had been handled while he was unconscious or from hitting the ground. "I am a prisoner. I am your prisoner. You have kept me from everything I've known and then took the one who means the most to me away. You left me to be alone and suffering in a cage. Your men cared for nothing about me and only saw me as some object to be captured." She caught a sob before it left her mouth. This was not the time to show weakness. Even if the tears were stinging her cheeks. She looked down at the red mark on her wrist from where he held her. She held the wrist up in the air between them. "This is the least of my concerns." She offered, the bruising on her wrist was just another to add to the list.
She wiped away the salty tears as she stared at his feet. Raiden's heart ached as Kezia's did. And he buried his face into her hair, trying to soothe her with words. She swallowed hard and then looked back at him with a hard look. There was no softening it. Not at that moment. She stared off to the corner, her eyes not really able to look at him. Biting her lip lightly as she stared into the shadows of his tent.
The rat watched and listened to her, little tears rolling down the animal's face as she watched carefully until she saw Kezia looking into the shadows where she was. With a little wiggle, the rodent would make herself known to her. Just to show, she wasn't alone, she just needed to get to this corner dang it!
Yoren’s eyes darkened. What did she expect? This was war. He was sympathetic to her cuts and bruises, but did she not see the stiffness in his movements? The pain that she, too, had brought down on him? Her army had rained down arrows and lightning on him just as much as he had her.
If that was how she’d be, she’d get no pity from Yoren. Not anymore. She was an asset, he reminded himself, and one that he needed to protect for his own sake, not for hers. Once she stopped being of use to him, it didn’t matter whether she lived or died.
And so he didn’t bother to explain what he said next. “Get on the bed,” he said. “Both of you.” He’d watch her, if she obeyed, and slowly start to move towards a bag on the opposite side of the tent, never taking his eyes off of her.
She took a step back without much thought at the look that he flashed to her. Clearly he was not happy with what her response was to being okay. She turned her chin up, as if that would make her seem more brave. Regardless of the tears coming from her eyes. Her small frame doing its best to keep from shaking. It was exhausted, it was sore, and it was ready for her to just lay down.
As she looked to the darkness, she saw something move. Her heart clenched in her chest as she realized it was very animal what she saw. And to keep herself from reacting, her nails bit into her palm and she closed her eyes. As if she was in pain still. That she was going through the motions. But truly, what that little wiggling movement did from the small rat in the shadow, was give her hope. Was the Dresmondi outside? Were they coming for her? She reached up and rubbed her eyes for a moment. Though her attention was quickly snatched by Yoren.
She stared at him, her eyes widening slightly at his demand. And what was more confusing was the fact that he demanded they both go. She looked to the bed and then her eyes flashed to the front of the tent, where she had been shoved through not too long before. Her and Raiden both briefly thought about running through it. About sending Yoren back into an unconscious state and running as fast as they could. But how quickly would he turn the collars on if she made a movement to run. No, she couldn’t go just yet. She didn’t hear any fighting or yelling of Dresmondi being in the camp. All she was guessing on was a rat that was hidden in the shadows.
But Raiden did glare down Yoren as Kezia slowly sank onto the end of the bed. ‘If he tries anything...’ she hushed him. Because she knew that if Yoren did, there would be no holding Raiden back. And she wouldn’t want him to either. She looked back at Yoren, her body stiff as she sat there. Watching him go for a bag towards the other end of the tent. She needed more answers. What if she wasn’t the only one captured? “What are you doing?” She asked him quietly.