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.
It didn't take much for her to learn that Coheed managed to get one prisoner and to hear that it was a woman. She had left her two oldest boys back in Coheed with their uncles wives. It broke her heart to do that but she knew they were in good hands and doing this felt right. She did keep her newborn though, she just had him not too long ago and he had a chance to not be like everyone else still- a fantasy really but she could dream couldn't she?
With a bowl of hot water, some clean rags and ointment as well as a pouch that held some water and food, she would go to the prisoners tent. The guards gave her and the babe on her back a hard look and after looking over everything let her in to take care of the prisoner inside. The young Coheed woman wore a simple dress with a baby sling tied to her front rather snugly but in her hands held the items.
Quietly she walked over to the front of her cage, setting the bowl down but never looking up as she went to grab a torch and bring it over to stick into the ground. She was trying to offer some warmth to her. Xahrina would hesitantly look up at the other woman, dipping the cloth into the hot water and wringing it out before holding it out to her, her hand shaking a little from doing so.
When the flaps to the tent opened, dark eyes moved to trace the movements as someone entered. Kezia had been cut off from Raiden, who was curled up in the farthest corner from her. She watched as a woman appeared. She remembered her conversation with Tempest not more than a few days ago about the women of Coheed. This was the first one she had seen. She was quiet, and her hands were delicate as she worked over a rag in the water.
She stared at her, the dirt still thick on her body with blood making it almost into a paste in certain spots. She watched the timid way she moved and the way her hand shook as she held out the rag. Her first instinct was to ignore her, she supported the men who had shoved her into this cage. The ones who had slapped a collar around her and Raiden's neck. But Tempest's words ran through her head. That women meant nothing to them. That they were there for breeding purposes.
She shifted slowly, reaching out to take the warm damp rag. The woman wasn't much bigger than herself. Kezia held her gaze and then her eyes spotted a figure strapped to her back. A small babe. Her eyes flashed to the warm water and then back to the woman. "What's your name?" her voice was rough, from screaming and crying. From yelling during war.
Xahrina had never seen someone from Dresmond before, she heard the fighting though, all the way to their camp that they had. She saw it and was terrified of the power they held. It was making her think several times over at what she was thinking of doing. First though, she wanted to help her a little bit- at least as much as she could, she couldn't free her or take off what was around her neck. She was helpless in helping her or the strange creature in the cage.
She had mastered the art of silence and waiting, her arm not growing tired as she kept her eyes down so as to not possibly offend her. She didn't know how things worked for her or where this woman came from but she couldn't be sure. When the rag left her hand, she sat back on her calves and pulled out some water and a little pouch that held herbs and poured it into the water and shook it a little. The question made her bristle a little, her eyes glancing over her shoulder before at her again.
"X...Xahrina...drink, it helps," she promised her softly as she held out the water skin to her, then thought for a moment and took a sip of it herself to show it was ok what she put in it before holding it back out to her. There was no reason for this woman to trust her but Xahrina was not the sort to harm another, she wanted nothing more than to help but even that was limited. The babe attached to her stretched a little, a soft sound leaving him before he settled once more. She was shaking a little herself, fear of being found out and getting in trouble filling her. Soon she was going but she couldn't not do something for the captive woman.
Kezia sniffed the rag that was handed to her, making sure that there wasn't something that would make her think that she should worry on what she was about to drag across her skin. It didn't smell like anything, so she started to wipe away the build up on her face. Her lips were chapped by the time she reached them, and she tried her best to not cause further breakage as she cleaned around her mouth. And then started to focus on her arms. "Thank you Xahrina." She said gently. Swallowing to try and even her voice out some more.
And then she was being offered a drink. This was where the true hesitation kicked in. She had been cautious of the food earlier. Rightfully so. She had no idea what Yoren had wanted with her. Nor what magic they had available to them. So when the woman seemed to think twice about what she offered and drank some of it herself, she thought about the similar way that the boy had eating some of the food that had been brought.
She took the small container of water but looked into the top of it instead of drinking it. "What is in it?" She asked, her eyes flickering towards her dyr before she looked up and stared at the mother in front of her.
Xahrina was calm and quiet as Kezia looked over the offered items, she just hoped that she'd use them to help herself feel a little better instead of caked in grime from the fight. She would glance up to her, seeing the chap to her lips and just the over all sores before her gaze went to the animal in the corner of the cage. He looked scared. Reaching into a small pouch, she pulled out a little dish and dipped it into the warm water to fill a little and then as carefully as she could with a shaking hand, slipped it between the bars and pointed at the creature and then the dish, showing it was for him.
When she took the water skin, Xahrina would relax a little as she pulled out the ointment pastes. Once more she eve hesitated answering her, the look on her face was nervous and a little scared, "Herbs that I grew...it helps heal soreness and fight any infection," she finally answered her, her voice kept rather low as she spoke. Sure the men could hear her but so could she.
Pulling out the small container, she took the lid off and slipped that as well between the bars, "For your wounds and lips...I promise...nothing is bad. I'm not..." she said, stopping as she looked behind her to the flap of the tent before looking at her. She would look down then to her sleeping boy, he was so peaceful. She touched his face some to calm herself down a little before looking at her and waiting to take and rewet the rag for her.
Kezia kept a studious gaze on the woman. She seemed timid and scared, but that didn't mean that she was truly there to help. She knew that Yoren needed her alive, clearly. But she couldn't help the suspicion that grew in her with every offered item to her and Raiden. Even the bowl of water that was offered to Raiden made Kezia want to test it first. He wasn't himself. He wouldn't be able to look at things with his intelligent mind. She reached over and studied it for a moment before she pushed to closer to him. Shrinking herself away so he'd actually get out of the corner and hydrate.
She held the water skin for a moment, even after the explanation of what was in it. She stared into it but then thirst took over and she drank some of it. Trying not to down the whole thing all at once. So she wouldn't get sick to her stomach. "Thank you." She said gently. It was the most warmth she had been shown since she arrived. She picked up on the fact that the woman kept checking the front of the tent. That she kept her voice low. So Kezia was trying her best to keep quiet as well.
The babe was sleeping peacefully on her back and it almost brought tears to her eyes to think that one day, that babe would either be a timid woman like the one she saw in front of her... or be like one of the men that she had fought with. The ointment was handed through the bars and she handed back the dirtied rag. She dipped the tip of one of her fingers into the paste and after smelling it, she slowly applied it to her lips and some of the areas on her face that were injured and cleaned. "My name is Kezia. He is Raiden," She slowly nodded towards the genet who was drinking from the bowl of water. She moved closer to the bars, so her voice could be hushed even more. "What is Coheed wanting from us?" Yoren had not answered that. He directed that he wanting things from her, information.
There was no reason to trust her and she knew that but she had no way to really tell the other woman that she was harmless, that she wasn't going to hurt her. She just wanted to help as much as she could but even then there was very little she truly could do for the captive. At least she could make her feel a little more human and maybe less gross- she personally hated that feeling and tried her best to be as clean as she could be, even while traveling.
The thank you was met with the smallest of smiles from her as she nodded to her in welcome. She almost wanted to stop her from chugging the water but thankfully the woman seemed to know that was bad to do and stopped before she did. That made her relax some, even if she kept checking the front of the tent to be sure that no one was going to come in and drag her away before she could finish.
The ointment had a herbal scent to it; not unpleasant, and let the skin tingling for a moment before it would start to soothe the sting of her skin. Taking the cloth back, she dunked it into the bowl and wrung it out, cleaning it from the dirt before holding it back to her for if she needed it again. They both had names? That was so strange. Hazel green eyes would glance at the creature who was thankfully drinking, glad that he was rehydrating- she knew they all had been fighting for a good long time and dehydration was a killer at the best of times. "I don't...I don't know...I'm sorry..." she told her, looking down again. She knew they probably wanted some sort of answer or insight but sadly that was the least of her concern right now, "This chief... he's better than the others," she told her. Not a huge comfort but it wasn't Bellamy nor her husband who had her and that was playing in her favor right now, "Better at least in not...not hurting senselessly," she told her. It was what she heard from his wives and what she had noticed and hoped it might be some sort of comfort to know that the man wasn't a brute
"I wish I could help more...I just didn't want you to get sick," she told her, her gaze going back to the tent flaps and then back to her. There was a sadness in her eyes over that but it was also over many things that she couldn't get into with her.
Kezia was gentle with the ointment at first. Careful to only apply it to what was necessary as the cloth was cleaned for her and then offered back. She took it with a nod and gently scrubbed her arms, doing her best to try and not re-open the wounds. Though failed at times to it. When she finally handed the cloth back, it was soiled between blood and dirt. She almost felt bad handing it back but she wasn't sure what else to do with it. Her hands making quick work of rubbing the ointment over her arms. It made them tingle and stung in a few spots, causing a hiss to leave her lips but she didn't bicker outside of it.
She was watching the woman with sharp eyes, trying her best to try and understand why she was helping. Why she was so terrified of her own people. It made no sense. Was she looking back to check to see if they'd come rescue her? Kezia couldn't do much from inside her cage. The best thing she could do was reach through the bars and try to pull her through. But she wasn't looking to cause any harm to someone who would offer her some small aide attempts. But at her words on the chief, she felt something shift in her chest. Her eyes pulling from the woman to look to Raiden. Not hurting senselessly. Kezia felt differently about that. She was in pain, she had been in pain since the moment her and the others had to start the battle. "He seems to be just as bad as the rest, perhaps with a bit more knowledge behind him." She said, turning her eyes back to the woman.
Tears pricked the corners of her eyes. This woman's efforts could all be for nothing if she died. She wasn't sure if she'd make it past morning. Who knew what was planned for her. Her hand touched the collar at her neck, flinching at the raw skin there. She paused for a moment and then motioned to grab Xahrina's attention. And once she was sure she had it, she motioned to Raiden and then herself, pointing to the collars silently. Her eyes pleading the question to know how they work. Anything about them. Her hands made a show of taking it off but with a shrug after. The woman might not know anything. She might yell for the guards. But she had to try.
Xahrina didn't mind taking the dirtied cloth and cleaning it, it was a task she often did so it didn't bother her at all and it showed. She was used to cooking and cleaning, getting dirty from tasks of all sorts, it really didn't matter. She would wince a little though at hearing her hiss in pain from the ointment but Xahrina knew it would help her feel better sooner and prevent getting an infection from all the cuts that she was covered in.
That made her fall silent, her eyes looking down, "He isn't the worst...the worst is who told him to attack and set more war in motion," she told her softly, flinching a little when she heard a scoff from outside. They found it funny but she didn't. Rightfully so, she was scared of their new chief because he had a cold look in his eyes that made her blood cool. He had been decent to her sure but she was only sure that he was because of whos wife she is. That status held little in the eyes of safety, just meant that the men were less likely to abuse her but she had already been roughly handled by one angry Coheed warrior and barely managed to get away- her babe crying is what saved her from a fate worse than some bruising on her arms.
The sad look on her face tugged at her heart, a pained look on her own face as she looked at her. She wished she could do more but there was nothing she could do about the collars around their necks. Opening her bag, she pulled out a long strip of cotton cloth and would pull out a more pasty ointment and smeared it along the fabric. Hesitantly, she moved a lot closer to the bars and her, "Let me...it will help with the rubbing," she told her, letting her decide if she would let her place it on her to just help with it for a little bit. "Is...is he ok?" she asked, pointing to the little creature. Xahrina was at least speaking a little more but her voice wavered and shook with her words, her heart thudding in her chest like a hammer as she knew her time was limited here.
Kezia stared down at the marks on her. Tears filling her eyes once more. She found herself blinking them back and choking on a sob way too often. "I wasn't like this... before..." She said softly. Her voice was barely above a whisper. "I was a teacher..." She pictured the faces of the children. She wondered if they were okay. If they had gotten underground with the others safely. Those children were her everything.
"The chieftain... what is his name?" She asked. She didn't care that the others outside could hear her. Not at this point. She had cried and they had done nothing. She screamed until her voice was hoarse and dry. And they did nothing. They didn't move. They didn't look in to tell her to shut up. They just stood there and listened to her agony. Listened to her pain as she yelled for Raiden, as she begged for him to come back to her.
There was no response from her. Her eyes said it all. Either she didn't know or she was too afraid to help her. Instead she dug around her bag and a cloth was brought out. As she made a motion for her to come closer and she moved towards her, Kezia almost flinched back. She waited a moment before she shifted forward and tried her best to elongate her neck so the woman could help her. She even pulled her wild curls up and out of the way. Her eyes moving to Raiden as she waited. "I... I don't know. He hasn't responded since Yoren left." It was because he was gone. Their magic or whatever it was, it was gone. And her heart was torn to pieces.
A teacher? Women were teachers? That's not possible, they're women. They had children, cooked and cleaned and tended to the men. That was what she knew and that had been her whole life so far, "They let you?" she found herself daring to ask, unable to hide the curious surprise in her voice over that. She looked at her son on her back and felt her heart break a little more as she knew what her fate was and what any woman would be should he grow to a man here and take one of them or more than one as his wife.
"Chief Yoren Arronson of Zulu Carr...he earned the right to lead the tribe but...he isn't...the Chieftain...that's another man Chieftain Bellamy Rowanson..." she told her, her voice shaking as she spoke of the men that lead the various tribes but she should know. She needed to know if she was going to be able to make it, "If you meet him...chose words carefully...v-very carefully," she warned her softly, not even hiding how afraid she was of that chief because if he wanted to now, he really could cause problems to Xahrina for when she spoke out of turn to him.
Xahrina's hands were shaking a little bit but she dared to inch closer and would help to place the cloth with medicine against the rubbing against her neck. She hoped it would help her and keep a scar from forming around her throat. She was gentle as she didn't tie it around her neck, just carefully draped it against her skin and gently pressed. It would have a rather cooling effect on the sore area to help ease the discomfort there. "I don't know then...I'm not familiar, I'm sorry..." she apologized as tears rolled down her cheeks as she pulled from her to inch back a little, the boy on her back stirring a little. "I can't...do more than this...I-I'm sorry...I really am....I'm not even supposed to be here but I..." she shook her head as she went and cleaned her hands in the water before drying them on her skirt. She wanted to say she was leaving this place but that felt cruel to tell her since she was trapped in a literal cage and could not escape and Xahrina wasn't that brave to try and pick the lock, she would get caught and lose her hands and then her husband would beat her and probably kill her and she wanted to live so badly.
Kezia stared at her as if she didn’t understand her question, but her face softened in seconds. Tempest’s words running through her once more. A small huff of breath left her, as if a small laugh. But there was no humor in it. “They can’t stop us.” She said lightly, a sad smile falling to her full lips. “We have all different jobs, we are equal, we are free to be who we want to be. To be with whoever we want to be with.” She said, her dark eyes looking up to her. Almost a small amount of pity on her face.
She remembered Yoren talking about how he was a chief. And he had been so proud of the fact that he was the chief of Zulu Carr. He even told her about how even he had someone above him. This Chieftain was the one who had ordered the march on Dresmond. Bellamy Rowanson. She now had a name. A flash of hot anger ran through her and she closed her eyes tightly and swallowed it. She’d remember that name, and if she had the chance... she’d try to kill him. For what he had ordered on her people, for what he made Yoren do, for the lives of the Dresmondi that were lost. She wondered if he was the same one who had ordered the attack a while back where the red headed devils came with them. “I hope for his sake, we never meet.” She barely said the words, but she meant them.
When the close was place against her neck, she twitched, as if she wanted to shrink away with the soreness that was there. For a moment, she imagined that if the collar was ever removed, that she’d have a scar. If not from the collar itself, then from where her nails had bit into her skin trying to remove it. It would be a constant reminder of what happened to her. But, there was also the possibility that the collar would never come off. The thought was enough to cause a sharp breath to leave her. She barely heard the words from the woman, but the tears down her cheeks told her everything. She couldn’t help her. She wouldn’t help her. Kezia was gasping for air suddenly. Trying to steady herself as she suddenly felt like she couldn’t breathe. She wrapped her arms around herself as she started to tremble and catch her breath. “I.... I c-can’t...” She stared over at Raiden and the ache in her chest took over again. A moan of pain left her as her hands buried themselves into her hair and she started to cry again.
Equal? There was obvious confusion on her face as she listened, her body sitting back on her calves as she thought that over for a good moment or three, "We...women...don't get choices...You are given to a man when you can bear children and then you do what he says...you have children and keep the home tended, mend things, and don't argue...you argue you get punished...my first husband punished me a lot because I talked too much...I can only talk to the other women and only if it's softly," she told her as she looked down now feeling even lesser than the woman in the cage in front of her. She could do things, Xahrina could not, so in essence, she was less than this woman in front of her even though she was a prisoner.
"I hope you two don't either...you do...b-be careful. Please...I don't want you to get hurt," she told her softly. She really truly didn't, she wanted to set her free but there was nothing she could do in that regards for Kezia. She could offer her company for now but that was it in truth but she could do no more.
"Leave it for the night," she advised her as she cleaned up the area around her until she saw the tears rolling down her cheeks and her heart broke more for her. She would push the items aside and reach into the cage to shakily take her hand into her own as tears rolled down her cheeks, "You're strong...you fought, you're strong. Be smart...be smarter than them," she pleaded with her. She wanted her to survive, to stay strong. She was better than them, she believed it wholly and the woman in front of her needed to believe it as well. Xahrina would hold her hand if she let her, tears rolling down her face as she rested her face against the bars, "Please...tell no one I was here...please..." she pleaded with her softly. If she said her name to anyone than she feared for her own safety. It was only going to be a small window that she could leave and it was coming up but until then she could comfort this woman.