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.
After getting her shoulder patched up and getting a little bit of sleep, Fiesta woke up to someone saying that her father had arrived, with some of Dijila and Rashai. She had managed to grab the hands of a couple of her many siblings that had been found and had given him a wave before he went about much more important stuff.
As the biggest of the big sisters, Fiesta had taken it upon herself to try to account for as many of her siblings as she could. She managed to high five Inez and Betty from Rashai and James from Dijila who had ridden in. But she and Sparkle had a lot more to account for and the wild blonde just found herself back at a campfire since her aunt wasn't letting her injure her already bandaged arm and shoulder yet. This whole only having one good arm thing was hard.
The thing was, apparently those 500 Dresmondi that came in with Arlo didn't have any wagons with them. So Fiesta found herself helping to organize a place for them to rest after a day of hard travel. She sat at a campfire, stirring a pot of stew made of whatever ingredients she could scrape together with the help of some plant dyrs. No birds for meat though, she couldn't insult Sparkle that way.
Fiesta saw a woman that had come riding in with her father, "Hey, we've got plenty of stew for you all here." she offered, giving the pot another solid stir before reaching for a bowl which she gingerly held despite the sling and ladeled in some stew.
Nessa hadn’t realized how hungry she was until she got a whiff of the stew in the pot. She hadn’t eaten all day, since being woken that morning with the news of Coheed’s attack. How could she think of food when she didn’t know what was happening to her fellow Dresmondi at that very moment? No, she'd been running on fumes since she woke, which was uncommon for Nessa. She was a girl who liked to eat.
She took a look at the young woman ladling stew and gave her a thankful smile, grateful that she was being offered something. It was one of the things Nessa loved about the Dresmondi; they were individuals, but pulled together when they needed to. She didn’t know this woman, but here she was, offering her food out of her own pot. It gave Nessa a little hope on a dark day.
“Thanks,” said Nessa, reaching for the bowl. “I just realized I’m starving,” she added with a little laugh, picking up the spoon with a hungry look.
Fiesta's best guess about the incoming Dresmondi would be that they'd be hungry, so the least she could do to help out was feed them. Taking care of people was her thing. "I figured, the stew is for all of you, I already ate," Fiesta told her new friend. Yes, they just met and exchanged all of three sentences and Fiesta had deemed her a friend.
"How long did you have to ride?" she asked. All she knew was when the messengers had been dispatched, but how long it had taken for Hazel and Olive to reach the other caravans, there was no telling. Time was hardly relevant the past few days anyways, it was all just blood and screams running together and now picking up all the pieces.
Fiesta tasted the stew for a moment, rolling the flavor on her tongue before crushing another leaf into it. It was so close to perfection. She tossed a pinch of the crushed up leaf into Nessa's bowl.
Nessa set to work shoveling the food in her face, her stomach growling for more. “All day,” she answered between bites. “I haven’t eaten since yesterday.” Behind her, Egan gave her a pointed humph, and Nessa laughed in response. She turned to scratch him behind the ears in apology.
“Do you have anything meatier?” She asked, setting the bowl down on the ground so Egan could finish the rest. Meanwhile, she moved back to the stew to spoon herself another bowl. “For my dyr?”
“I’m Nessa, by the way,” she added, realizing they that hadn’t exchanged their names yet. “I travel with Rashai. And this is Egan,” she added, motioning to the lion who was now lapping stew from a bowl.
"I'm Fiesta, that's Sparkle, formerly of Dijila, now we travel with the Adoi" Fiesta said before pointing at the rooster that sat nestled atop the wagon. That was his lookout spot, what he was looking out for, no one really knew. Just something, anything, news of any sort. Maybe the rest of the wagon's residents would make it home, or someone that they'd be looking for.
Oh right, cats were carnivores. Fiesta opened up a storage compartment on the outside of her wagon and pulled out a hunk of dried antelope leg. "Would Egan eat this?" she asked, offering the meat to the lion. Poe could go catch another one later, the four roommates in the wagon rarely had a shortage of food between them, not to mention the things to cook that randomly got dropped off for Fiesta to experiment with.
"Welcome to the worst party in the world, but we're glad you're here," really she was glad that help came. They couldn't hold a storm forever and if it lifted and Coheed was still there... they'd need every man, woman, and child they could get.
“Nice to meet you,” said Nessa as Egan eagerly snapped up the dried meat. He laid down, resting the meat between his paws and beginning to gnaw on it lazily. Nessa smiled at him. He was the part of her soul that was calm, gentle.
“I can’t imagine,” said Nessa with a shake of her curls. She finished filling her second bowl and plopped down near Egan, using the beast as a backrest. “It must’ve been horrible. Seeing those men come at you,” she said, giving Fiesta a look of serious concern as she spooned a bit of stew in her mouth. “How are you holding up?”
Fiesta gave Nessa a rueful smile, "I'd say it's a pleasure but these circumstances are a mood killer," she said as she settled back down to the stool by the fire. She gave the stew another stir, it was a beautiful creation and something that made life feel more normal for a moment.
She turned and showed Nessa her bandaged shoulder with a sigh, "Holding up, my aunt Etta is the best healer around. Took a couple arrows to the shoulder, sounds worse than it is though. Plus, Auntie has these really great special brownies." Fiesta would share them... if there were any left
Then her eyes wandered into the distance. Tired, haunted eyes despite the rest of her face looking fresher than most people who had just come out of a war. "I saw my sister die... and I couldn't do anything besides hope my next arrow took out the bastard who did it." and here she was, getting ready to spill her guts out to a stranger. Who wasn't doing that in a time like this anyways?
Fiesta was much more anger than sadness by this point. Crying would do nothing. Anger wouldn't bring Mina or anyone else back, but just maybe it would save someone else.
Nessa gave a Fiesta at little wince of sympathy as she described her wounds. Good healer or no, a couple arrows in the shoulder was bound to feel worse than a tickle. Her eyes scanned the woman’s bandages. Nessa couldn’t help but wonder if she’d have been so brave. Part of her craved the idea of defending her home. But the other part was afraid she’d run and hide at the sight of trouble. It was hard to know what you’d do in a life or death situation until you were in it.
“I’m sorry,” said Nessa genuinely as she looked down at her stew. Nessa didn’t know loss well, but she’d lost a mentor once. She could imagine seeing your sister downed in battle would be even worse. Unsure what to say, she gave the stew a little stir.
Fiesta's first battle was at the Cave of Names, but that had been over as quickly as it started. One of her siblings had been lost then and Fiesta was sad but she hadn't been particularly close to that brother. It hadn't hit her as hard as this battle was hitting her. Mina's blood had been on the floor in front of her, the light fading from her eyes and Fiesta had been powerless to do anything.
"I did, and some of his friends," Fiesta said, there was triumph in her voice, but that hadn't changed things for Mina. What did that triumph matter anyways? Sure, they couldn't hurt anyone else and in that moment it had felt good to see those men fall. Then... what else was after that? Why didn't she feel better? What could she possibly do to feel better about any of this? Why did she still feel like they had all still lost?
“Good,” said Nessa at Fiesta’s statement. The only dead Coheedian in Nessa's mind was a dead one.
Nessa had been shoveling the stew into her face with an incredible amount of passion. She’d been incredibly hungry, and she was scraping the bottom of the bowl with her spoon, eager to get even the last little bits in her mouth.
“Delicious,” she said, gratefully, licking the last of it off her spoon. “Really, it was kind of you to offer. Especially since you’re…” She trailed off, her eyes lingering on Fiesta’s bandaged shoulder. She wasn’t sure what hid behind the patches, but whatever it was, it was bound to be at least a little painful.
"Don't worry I'm a little sore but I'll be fine. Took a couple arrows to the shoulder, but my aunt fished them out," Fiesta said, as if it were just a bug bite. At this point with all the painkillers and some special brownies, they might as well be. "Sparkle took that bastard down for me, he wasn't a fan. I think they fletch their arrows with chicken feathers."
Fiesta looked at her new friend, for a moment admiring how Nessa's curls seemed so much more manageable than her wild hair. "I'm serious, I made this for all of you. I figure everyone's going to be hungry with all the rushing in and stuff. There's like a half dozen beds in my wagon if you need a nap, looks like your wagons aren't here?" That was something she had noticed at the arrival. Just horses, Dresmondi and dyrs, no wagons.
"Cooking is just kinda my thing, and storytelling I guess, but I do want to hear all the news of what happened on the other side, for historical purposes." Fiesta said, pulling up a chair comfortably in front of Nessa.
Nessa laughed at the mental image of a chicken zapping his enemies in vengeance for his fellow birds. “Nice work, Sparkle,” said Nessa, bobbing her head and looking genuinely impressed.
She set the bowl down beside her and pulled her knees up to her chest, wrapping her arms around them. Her feet were bare, as always, and she reached one hand to pick out a piece of grass that got caught in between them.
“A storyteller?” she asked, eyes flickering up to Fiesta. “I'm not sure there's much to tell. We were sleeping, the messengers came for Arlo and Adhla, and soon we were on the move. It all happened so fast.” She rested her chin on her knees in thought. "Egan helped wake people up," she said with a proud little smile. "I think some people were surprised to be awoken by a lion's roar."
That was rather anticlimactic but it did sound like the responsible thing to do. Her father always did the responsible thing, sometimes the heroic thing, but only after he did the responsible thing. "Waking up to lions roaring in the background sounds like that would feel heroic, or terrifying," Fiesta said with a light laugh. "Good job Egan," she added with a smile towards the lion.
"And then you rode like the wind to our aid. Seriously, we're all thankful. I know my auntie will appreciate more supplies when the wagons get here, and everyone needing the other elements to balance us out." Fiesta was surprisingly optimistic about all of this, maybe only because it was mostly over. The anger was still there, but for now, they had won. They could keep winning, that's how Dresmond was. They were small. They were scrappy. But they were survivors.
"What do you think will happen next?" that was probably the question on everyone's mind these days, but no one was expected to know the answer.
Nessa laughed lightly. Waking up to a lion's roar with just a part of being Dresmondi, she thought. It wouldn't have scared her, but then again she did sleep curled up with the maned beast every night. She also smiled at the woman's generous description; it hadn’t felt like riding like the wind. It had felt like a slow slog weighed down with anxiety and fear of the unknown. But Nessa supposed that didn’t make for the best story.
Nessa shook her curls at the question. She had an answer to Fiesta, but she didn’t want to share it. A conversation she had with Camus rang in her head. She believed, as he did, that Coheed would never stop. They’d return and return and return… the only choice they had was to destroy them.
“You’re a storyteller,” she said instead, resting her chin on her knees and pulled them closer to her chest. “You should be telling me the story of the battle. The story of how Dresmond defeated Coheed.”