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 had been a few days since the caravans all came together. Everyone was still recovering and at least the count of their loss was finally given to them. So many gone. Many children, those who they already lost a lot of during Conclaves. And one pair captured. Some injured. For the most part, they still stood strong. Many wanting to move forward and take back their lands. Danior wanted that as well, but when he learned of Jaskier going to Arynn Frey, he wanted to see what the ambassador might have been able to bring back to them. What aide they might have offered. Since it seemed like Coheed had items that strangely reminded them of Arynn Frey.
The moment someone spotted the freckled face man, Danior was made aware. He went out with Menowin to meet him. He knew how close the man was with the little Dresmondi woman that was taken. And if it was going to come from anyone, Danior figured it might as well be him. No matter how much it made his chest hurt at the idea of Jaskier learning what had happened to not just the caravans, but the curly haired woman and her dyr.
Jaskier had gone to and from Arynn Frey as fast as he possible could. He had been accompanied by a dresmondi with an air dyr so that they could quickly travel by air. Jaskier knew it still wouldn't be fast enough. Not to mention that he hadn't exactly been successful. He had been envisioning an epic moment where an Arynn Frey army used portals to appear on the battlefield like Gods ready to take on their enemies and turn the tide of the war.
It hadn't happened that way.
He had no idea what the battle had looked like or what he might find when got home but he came with a sense of urgency. As he finally started to get close it seemed that he had been seen and soon enough The One and his bear dyr was coming to meet him and Clementine. "Danior!" Jaskier said, running the remaining distance. "I'm so sorry, I couldn't-" he ran his fingers through his hair. "They wouldn't agree to offer soldiers or any items to help. They did remind us though that we are allies and if we came into their lands they might offer refuge for us." Even that was weak, 'might'.
"I'm so sorry, what happened?" he spoke quickly and in a rambling way. They weren't currently fighting. That had to be a good sign right?
He was glad to see Jaskier, even in his rambling and nervous ways. In his rush to get to him. Danior couldn’t help but step forward and wrap the man in his arms and give him a tight hug. He had seen too many fall and knowing that he had a few more who had made it through made the ache ease up a little. “It’s okay.” He said, even though it wasn’t in a way. Danior didn’t expect help from anyone. Dresmond had handled its own for years and he didn’t plan on leaning on anyone yet. Even though it would have been helpful.
The moment ‘what happened’ felt from Jaskier, he wished that he hadn’t heard that question as many times as he had in the past few days. ‘What happened to the children of Kushti and Adoi?’ ‘What happened to the men of Coheed?’ ‘What happened?’
“A lot.” He said, stepping back and crossing his arms over his chest, his brown eyes staring at him and then looking down to the dyr at his side. The beautiful red and black fox. Menowin stepped forward and a deep sound came from her in greeting. Though she looked at the small fox and spoke directly to her. Leaving the connection open so Danior could hear it as well. ‘You are going to have to be strong for him,’ she told Clementine. Her large head looking at Jaskier then back to the fox. “We lost a lot of children. The numbers were unlike anything we’ve seen before. And even with the preparations we had made... they had magic. We retreated underground and fell back to meet with the other mother caravans. Some stayed behind, hidden, and are brewing storms over Coheed at the border. We figured we’d wait to see if you had any aide before we made any final decisions to move forward or fall back.” He wasn’t ready to tell him about Kezia. Not yet.
Jaskier hugged Danior in return, clapping the man's shoulder as he did so, relieved to see him alive and at least relatively well. At Danior's answer Jaskier's chest tightened. A lot. He didn't like the sound of that. He was trying to brace himself for whatever news he would hear, about exactly how much he had failed by not successfully getting Arynn Frey help. His gaze moved briefly to Menowin as the sound left her as she moved. She was pretty hard to miss with her size.
Clementine moved towards Menowin as well, lifting her nose lightly towards the large bear. At the offered words her ears fell against her skull, worried. "Of course I will be," she replied. She didn't bother to ask why, she knew the reason would be spoken soon. She exuded a feeling of comfort towards Jaskier, sitting against his leg with her tail curled around his feet. Her eyes stayed on Menowin.
Jaskier's face fell. They had lost children. Why did that have to be the first thing that he said. Innocent children who could not defend themselves. It got worse and worse and the guilt that Jaskier felt tore at his heart. Clementine continued to fill him with her comforting presence and nudged his hand with her nose. His hand moved to her head, it would be worse if he couldn't feel her with him. His hand moved over his mouth as he listened. Of course he was also worried about Kezia and Raiden, they was the first who came to mind but he didn't want to selfishly ask about one dresmondi after all the loss they had suffered, that Danior had suffered.
"We can fall back. The Arynn Frey council even suggested that if Coheed entered their territory to chase us that then they would take action against them. We could lure them into a trap." It was the best he could think of in this moment.
Of course it was hard to hear. Danior was still swallowing down the fact that his daughter was part of those numbers. A year out of her Conclave. And she was lost during the fight to the north along the wagons. She was no match against Coheed’s strength. She had been one of the bodies found with the wagons they sank. He at least got to bury her in the lands of Dresmond.
His large hand sank into the thick hide at Menowin’s neck, his hand massaging the spot. It was a distraction for him as he pressed further. “We can offer that to the others. Most want to push forward, drive Coheed from our land. But maybe we can send those who don’t want to go towards Arynn Frey.” His head nodded lightly and he looked Jaskier in the face.
“We had a Dresmondi and their dyr taken. We located them and we were able to send them a message. But with the numbers of Coheed and where they were located... it was a suicide mission at the time.” It could still be. If she was still alive.
Jaskier wasn't really surprised to hear that people wanted to press forward and get rid of their enemy. If he wasn't so fearful of the strength and numbers of Coheed and the thought of losing more lives then he might have agreed. But Jaskier did not typically have that sort of 'fight back' nature. Typically.
His eyes widened a bit as Danior went on. "They took someone?!" he asked in a tone of surprise. Why hadn't they just killed them? It seemed more in their nature than captives. But Jaskier didn't have any real experience with Coheed to be able to definitively say anything about their nature.
"Who? Anyone I know? What are we doing about it now?" he found himself asking. Jaskier knew a lot of people, especially since he became Ambassador and started to travel with Danior between the caravans.
Menowin shifted lightly at his side, her large head lowering at Jaskier’s repeating question. She rested her shoulder against Danior’s side, knowing that soon enough he’d be breaking the news that his best friend was the one that was taken. That the girl who was almost always plastered to his side when they were together was being held and her dyr was acting strange. Like a wild animal.
“Kezia and Raiden.” He stated, his eyes locked onto the younger man. “We are trying to figure out how to help them. The others at the boarder saw people leaving, retreating into Coheed. All we can assume is that she was taken back there.” His voice was low and was ready to step forward if needed. “We haven’t given up. Tempest is try to put something together. Arlo is ready to leave on his own. Last we saw, they had some collars on them, and Raiden... he was acting like a feral animal.”
Clementine sensed the shift in Menowin and braced herself for whatever the news would be. Menowin had said she'd need to help Jaskier, she couldn't let her own emotions get in the way of helping her beloved.
Kezia and Raiden.
Jaskier felt like his heart had literally fallen out of his body. No. No no no. He could barely hear the rest of what Danior said, the words coming in as if from far away, distant and muffled. Clementine whimpered at his side but was more coherent on what was said. Why was her Raiden acting like that? What could be the reason?
"No, not them." Jaskier said, his eyes brimming with tears. He knew he should be grateful that she wasn't dead but he had no idea what Coheed would do with her. Maybe it would be better if she was. "Not them, not them. Please." He sunk his body into a crouch and buried his face in his hands. Clementine nuzzled her nose under his arm and he wrapped his arms around her neck, nuzzling into her fur.
Danior steeled himself for the overwhelming emotion he could almost feel coming from Jaskier. The heartbreak clear as he saw the tears start in his eyes. He hoped that his words helped ease him, was trying to sound confident in what he said. But his heart twisted in his chest as he watched the ambassador crouch down and hide his face. Menowin glanced up at her other half, feeling the hurt that was buried deep within Danior.
“Jaskier, we are trying to get them back.” He tried to reassure him as he moved forward and crouched down, placing a hand on his shoulder as he looked between the dyr and human. “You hear me? We are doing everything we can.” Seeing someone he considered a good friend like this broke his heart. He would help them find a solution.
Jaskier knew and respected Danior well enough to believe his words, that they were doing everything they could. His emotions wanted to bubble out, to lash out in anger and blame. He wanted to blame someone. They should have let them be taken in the first place, they should have fought harder, they should have acted already rather than sitting here talking about it. But even in his distress he had to believe Danior and that they really were doing everything they could.
With Clem's help he started to control his emotions a little better and with tear stained cheeks he looked up at Danior. "Why haven't you gone after them yet, what's stopping you?" He wanted to rush in, regardless of the circumstances. Deep down he knew that wasn't smart but he needed to hear the reason why from Danior.
He waited patiently, Menowin even went forward then, pressing her dark nose to Jaskier's shoulder in a way of her offering some support. She didn't touch anyone, not ever. And yet this overwhelming sorrow made her move on her own accord to try and offer that support. She breathed out against him before she stepped back, her bright brown eyes moving between Clementine and Jaskier.
"They are being held captive. By the chief of Coheed, under the orders of a Chieftain who apparently is something equivalent to a king or ruler of them. The collars are cutting off their connection and rendering Raiden unable to use his element..." He was oversharing. He knew that. "A woman of Coheed escaped, she said they were okay. That the collars are controlled by something the chief is wearing. And they were in the middle of the camp. Jaskier there was no way we could retrieve her without losing a lot of our own or possibly even risking their lives." Danior wanted to sound logical, he felt like he was being logical. But he knew that nothing he could say was what he wanted to hear.
Menowin's touch cleared Jaskier's head almost instantly, if for no other reason than the surprise of it. He touched Raiden all the time but there were very few other dyrs that he had ever had contact with. For Menowin to press that big bear nose against his shoulder was no small thing. Clementine rubbed her body against the bear's leg but Jaskier made no move to touch her himself. Instead he gave her a look of gratitude as she stepped back.
It helped Jaskier be able to truly focus on the words that Danior was speaking as he explained what they knew and what had happened. He wiped his cheeks with the back of his hands and nodded. "I'm sorry, I know. I didn't mean to sound judgmental," he said. He forced himself back to standing, picking up Clementine in his arms as he did so. She rested her chin on his shoulder, hugging him. "So what do we do now?" he asked.
Menowin nudged the small fox with her nose as she rubbed against her leg. She was glad to see Jaskier shocked, it meant that it gave him a temporary distraction to the sorrow he was feeling. She dipped her head a little as he looked to her with gratitude as she settled back next to Danior. Who instantly buried his hand into the fur on the back of her neck. His hand’s usual resting spot on her.
“You can sound however you want Jaskier.” It all made sense the way he felt. And Danior was never going to tell him that he wasn’t allowed to feel this way. His best friend was taken. And they had no idea where she was, or what kind of future was going to be there for her. “I want to talk to the drivers. We were waiting until you got back. But since Arynn Frey would rather stick to their own comforts. Then we shall take this into our own hands. I plan to move forward. I want Coheed out of Dresmond. I want them terrified to come back. Even if that means I move into Coheed’s land.” It was rare that he let emotion drive him, but that’s what he was fueled by at this time. Tired of the loss, tired of the sorrow he saw in others.
It was comforting to hear. If Danior wanted to act against Coheed then maybe others would to. The Dresmondi were not known to really work together. The lived in separate caravans with only specific elements in them after all. The only time they really met up was for conclave. Maybe this would be the start of something new in Dresmond. Maybe it wouldn't be. But Jaskier was interested to see how this would turn out and what might be done to save the love of his life.