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.
He wished that she wouldn’t cooperate. It was harder when she stood there, doing as she was told, silently letting her fate be sealed. If she fought, he could at least justify the force.
Yoren turned to Kiian, expectantly. “Do you bear witness?” He asked. “I witness,” the boy answered. His voice was still high pitched, like a child’s, and it shook a little in uncertainty. He would do as he was told, of course.
He turned back to Kezia. “Then I claim you as my fourth wife. Kezia.” He watched her carefully. Surely now she would fight.
The bread didn't taste like anything in her mouth. If anything, it felt like ash as she chewed it slowly. Everything hurt. Mentally. Physically. Her heart was shattered and just when she thought it couldn't be broken anymore. He claimed her. As a wife. She briefly remembered hearing that term used when they were in Nevermere. While she was with Jaskier and they were meeting others 'and this is my wife...' when a woman stepped forward. But what really stuck with her was the fact that he said he 'claimed' her.
"You cannot claim a Dresmondi!" She spat at him, her body pulling roughly to one side. "I am not some prize for you." She said. Why was he doing this now? Lightening popped closer to the tent. "I am not a prize for any man!" She yelled, yanking harder as a bolt of lightening hit right outside the tent. She could feel it shake the ground under her and her eyes flashed to Yoren. He still didn't know who had what power. And he knew her's was electric. Probably every man and the child in the tent knew this. She might not be able to run, but maybe she could instill a little fear in the others. In Yoren. She was not some helpless woman of Coheed.
That was more like it. The wind howled, the lightning struck and thunder rang through the air. It was chaos everywhere. Good, thought Yoren. It matched the chaos in his head. He looked at Kezia, her insistence on freedom with a faint amount of pity in his eyes. “I already have,” he said.
“You’ll take two horses,” he said, now addressing the men who held Kezia. “Ride west and stop for nothing. You are to bring my wife to the Chieftain, tell him of her powers. Say she is a weapon to be used as he sees fit, but she is to be treated as well as any of my other wives.”
He turned to Kiian now. “You’ll go with them.” He pulled the ring from his finger and held it out to his son, who took it and placed it on his own finger. Despite his child’s hands, the ring slid on easily, snugly fitting onto his finger as if by some magic. When it was done, Yoren reached out to put a hand on his eldest’s shoulder. “She is tricky,” he said, voice lowered. “Do not let her magic go, no matter how she begs. But be kind. Remember: she is your mother now.”
Kezia was left disappointed. But at this point, had she really expected anything else? She wanted to see him give her just an ounce of fear. She wished that he would think it was her. That the lightening outside the tent was being caused by her. But he stole that from her, the look of pity only fueling her anger. His words stung, as if he had reached out and struck her. ‘I already have.’ And then his earlier statement hit her as well ‘your consent is not required’. Whether she liked it or not, the men around her now thought of her as Yoren’s. A piece of property for him to own. Apparently the fourth one.
If she thought it was bad before, suddenly the words being exchanged around her made her head spin. She lost her name suddenly, all with his simple statement. ‘My wife’. But the rest of it hit her harder than she was expecting. The Chieftain. She immediately pulled against the arms that held her. No. They were taking them away from Dresmond. To the man that she had been warned about. To be used as a weapon. She looked to Raiden then, wishing he had listened to her. Wishing that he had hid underground and she was the only one captured and Coheed had nothing. Because the moment they threatened Raiden... she was going to do what she had to protect him.
Her eyes caught the exchange of the ring. Immediately she was paying attention once more, even as the men yanked her to stop struggling against them. The moment that ‘she is your mother’ left Yoren, she stopped. That wasn’t fair, it was a low blow even if Yoren had no idea about it. She was a teacher, a mother figure to some of her people. He couldn’t use this against her. She suddenly seemed to grasp a second part of this, one that was unspoken. “You aren’t coming?” Panic and confusion was clear in her voice. She was not okay with this. She didn’t trust Yoren, and yet he was the only one she trusted. The only one she had here. He took Raiden from her, her people, and yet in the past day he had been torturous to her. She was raw. But the idea of losing him too, made her want to reach out and grab hold of him. “Yoren, no. I want to stay with you.” In Dresmond, with the one man from Coheed would keep her and Raiden safe since she was collared.
It was the worst thing she could’ve said to him. Surprised, his eyes instinctively found hers again, but he quickly tore them away, as if burned. Shocked. He turned his whole body from the woman, bringing a hand up to scrub his beard, to cover the uncertainty on his face. It was all too much for Yoren. The panic in her voice, the fear in her eyes. Her using his name.
She was right, in a way; he did consider her his now, whether or not she liked it. He had earned her on the battlefield, and when everything else was falling into the earth by Dresmond’s hands, being struck by rain and lightning, he had accomplished one thing. He had learned to understand his enemy a little more through Kezia. She was like a key, and yes, he owned her. But he didn’t just own her either. He was responsible for her. How she was treated from now on was his fault, would weigh on his conscience. And he had no idea what he was sentencing this woman to.
He couldn’t give in. It was a trick, he told himself. Of course she wanted to stay in Dresmond, where she could more easily find her people if she happened to escape. He would be bringing her to a foreign land with foreign practices. And that guard from earlier… of course she did not want to be left alone with people like that again. She didn’t know the customs of his people, that wives were sheltered from the advances of other men.
Still turned away, he answered her. “I can’t. I have to stay with my troops,” he said firmly. And then, softer: “But no one will harm you now that you’re mine.”
The moment his eyes met hers made the fear disappear for just a moment. Just a second as she saw the surprise in his face but she also thought she might be hallucinating. His back was to her and it made everything come back ten fold. Her body instantly started trembling even when she threatened it. Even when she tried to lock her knees in an attempt to stand stronger. But all she could feel was the eyes of the other men and the boy on her. On the foreign woman in the room.
She didn’t want him to send her off. She hadn’t run when she had the chance. The night before, when she could have let Raiden attack him and she could have run. She would have run as fast as her legs would allow her. Surely Dresmond would find her. Or she’d find them later. But she didn’t. Of course, the collar helped make that decision. She wasn’t sure how far it ranged and if someone else could control her or when Yoren would wake up, she was terrified she’d lose Raiden again if she couldn’t get the collars off. And yet, now she was about to beg Yoren. She didn’t care who heard her.
His words raised goosebumps on her skin, out of what, she had no idea. He didn’t turn to her, and it broke whatever little bit was left in her chest. “Please, Yoren. I haven’t run. If I am yours, then let me stay with you.” She was desperate and he was her only anchor in the storm. And yet he was going overboard and leaving her to float off. Deep into Coheed with the others. The moment one of them started moving her towards the enterance of the tent, to listen to their Chief and his orders, her legs locked up. Trying to put the breaks on. “Yoren, please!” She had a feeling it was going to fall on deaf ears. And if the hands that held her didn’t hold her strong enough, she’d reach of him.
Yoren’s eyes closed. He wasn’t facing anyone in the room, but his body visibly tensed, shoulders rising and fists clenching. For a minute, he wondered if he was making a mistake. Would she be safer there, with him? Where he could keep a watchful eye on her?
No. That was the whole point of this little ceremony. To protect both her and himself. To protect himself from letting her slip through his fingers. She hadn’t run yet, true, but she would. He would in her position. Kezia wasn’t stupid. And Yoren could not leave, not without victory. There was nothing he could do.
And so he left.
Outside the tent, six horses waited. In three teams they’d depart, one carrying Kezia and Kiian and the other two with decoys. Was it overkill? Perhaps. But Yoren could not risk the Dresmondi intercepting their escape to Coheed. He was indulging all his paranoia now; lack of sleep and the events of last night had taught him to be overly cautious, to trust that nothing was easy. He wanted his prize safe. And his honor intact. And so to Bellamy both went.
She thought for a moment he’d change his mind about her leaving. The tenseness in his shoulders, the way his hands balled at his sides. She held her breath, hoping he’d turn to her and have the cage moved to his tent. Let her be with Raiden in there. But as he started for the door. She felt all the air rush from her lungs and she lunged for him.
But the hands on her arms were steady and sure. She screamed his name as they pulled her from the tent and pulled her and Raiden towards the horses. She felt completely useless in that moment. She was small, barely five foot in height. She was not skin and bones, but she was not heavy. The men of Coheed who had her made that clear as one mounted a horse and the other handed her to him. The tie on her ankles was cut and she was forced to sit in the seat, pressed against the man with her wrists still bound. Kiian and the other man mounted another ride, Raiden’s cage tied to the back of the saddle.
He looked absolutely terrified and it fueled a wildness inside of her that had no where to go. But she felt the same. Trapped. Helpless. Alone. The ache in her chest made her want to rub the center of her chest. But as the horses lurched forward, as the rain soaked them and the winds started back up, she was forced to hold on. She let the tears fall silently down her face as they rode fast and hard away from everything she had known. From her comfort, from her loved ones. Alone. Raiden gone and now, Yoren. And renamed: Kezia, the fourth wife of Yoren.