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.
Nessa might’ve pried more, but she was easily distracted, as she found nearly every idea as exciting as the last. She leaned forward, gripping her ankles in apparent interest at the idea. “I love that,” she said, her eyes widening in extreme earnestness.
“A garden would be the perfect way to remember everyone we lost…” she agreed, thoughtfully biting down on her lip as she thought of where she’d put a memorial garden if she were to have one. “It might be nice to put it here.” she said, looking down at the ground she was sitting on, as if she meant this very spot. Really, what she meant was the garden should be where Dresmondi blood was spilled, a spot where pilgrimages could be made and future generations could hear stories about the brave fighters. But Etta was right, it was dangerous putting something this close to Coheed’s greed. If they returned, it’d just be another thing they destroyed.
“But if Coheed returns…” she added, voicing her thoughts.
Etta could see the argument to be made, to honour the place where Dresmond had made its stand and lost so much...but it still felt too close, to her. The reality of the horror in the attack held little glory, though she knew there were so many who had fought bravely.
“Perhaps a stone marker or something worked in metal, here,” she suggested. “Something Coheed would have a harder time destroying.”
A garden near enough to the cave would allow loved ones to visit at every conclave, and not wait until they happened to pass through the borderlands.
“...do you really think they’ll come back?” Etta knew anything was possible, as until she understood why Coheed had done this, now, she knew it would be impossible to predict what might happen next...but perhaps Nessa had heard more than she had.
Nessa’s blonde head bobbed in thought. A metal structure would certainly be harder to destroy than a garden. And with Rashai’s ore elementalists on their side, they could construct something that was unnaturally grand; something to remind everyone that Dresmond was not to be messed with. So that if Coheed did return, they’d see Dresmondi rose from the ashes. They could not be beaten down by Coheed’s unnaturally strong fists.
Nessa didn’t want to make anyone more nervous that they were, but she was also quite fond of the truth. Camus had been honest with her; she ought to do the same with Etta.
Her voice lowered, not necessarily because it was a secret, but because she didn’t like to say the words too loudly. “I hear that they think war brings them 'honor.' That they prefer the battle to the win. It’s their culture, something about the way they’re bred…” Nessa grimaced, her prejudice obvious. She didn’t care. As far as she was concerned, the only good Coheedian was a dead one.
Etta might have suspected something along those lines...the slaughter had seemed so senseless, and to her, it was still senseless.
"Honour..." She practically snorted the word as she tried and failed to comprehend how Coheed could have such a twisted lack of logic. She could almost--almost--have understood if there was something Dresmond had that Coheed wanted to take--land, or captives, food, valuables...but it seemed all they wanted was death.
"They're inhuman. All of them," she said firmly. "Monstrous, murdering, bloodthirsty..." She shook her head, unable to find a word vile enough to encompass all she thought of Coheed. "An attack on defenseless people is no battle at all--let them meet us in a fair fight with all our numbers and power and then let them claim their sick 'honour', if there are any of them left breathing," she muttered, distractedly plucking a long blade of grass from the ground and rolling it between her fingers, crushing it enough for it to release the warm, verdant smell of growing things that usually calmed her, even a little. It did not work.
Nessa could understand Etta’s anger. She had a fire dyr, after all. She, too, was prone to fits of passion, to emotions that felt so intense they had nowhere to go but out. She leaned forward, putting her hand over the one that Etta used to crush the grass and clutching it firmly, with no hint of hesitation.
“We’re not defenseless,” she said fiercely. It wasn’t a reprimand, though Nessa was directly defying what Etta had said. No, it was more a promise than anything else. A firm belief, one that she wished to convince others of as well. “They came in numbers far greater than our own, attacked a caravan that included children and elderly," she said, eyes narrowing at the thought. "And still they could not take us.”
Nessa sat back again, retracting her hand. She shook her curls like a mane, sitting up a little taller. “Next time we’ll see them all burn. Let them have their honor in death,” she said, her lip quirking up the barest smirk. “I choose freedom. And life.”
With all that Etta had seen in the days of tending to more injury and death than she usually saw in the span of years, it was difficult not to feel that they had been utterly defenseless. As victories went, survival felt bleak and bitter, to her. There were some who had only lived a day or two before succumbing to their wounds, and Etta knew infection would take more before long, despite everything she or anyone could do.
But Nessa could still look to the future with at least the hope of revenge, and Etta knew that spring must come, eventually, whether anyone was there to see it or not. People would survive, and find the lives they wanted in the freedom Dresmond had always embraced.
She tried to smile.
"It's hard to feel like we have much choice, sometimes," she admitted. "Do you suppose there's some place, somewhere, where people truly live in peace?" she asked. "Or must there always be some evil lurking on the borders, ready to consume them if given the chance?"
Nessa could still look to the future. Nessa was seemingly made of an eternal optimism. She had been blessedly protected from war both times it had come to Dresmond in her short life. She’d seen the realities, of course… the bodies of children slain before their Naming. The pain of men horribly disfigured by Coheed blades.
But Nessa was uniquely unattached. Amongst the bodies of the dead, she didn't have family to find. Unlike most, she had no one to fear losing. She was worried for her friends, of course, but she could go on, even if Arlo were gone. She had yet to meet anyone she couldn’t live without.
Nessa didn’t know the answer to her question. She stayed uncharacteristically quiet for a moment, biting her lip in thought. “There must be,” she said softly, though her brow creased in worry that she was wrong.
Etta leaned back on her hands, then flopped onto the grass, staring up at the wide open sky.
“Maybe we’ll get there, someday,” she said. “Maybe that’s why we keep moving. Chasing after...something.”
But maybe everyone was seeking something different. Maybe the trick was to find the people who wanted the same things you did...or going off alone, if they couldn’t be found.
Etta knew her place in her caravan...she was comfortable in it, to a certain extent. She wasn’t about to change things just to suit herself. Maybe other people would, and maybe she was a poor example of Dresmondi individualist freedom, but as much as they were a free people, most of them accepted a certain amount of interdependence as it made life easier for more than just themselves. Lone wolves had a harder time of it, that was certain. Etta couldn’t resent the bonds that held the caravans together, even if sometimes she thought about leaving. It was a relief and an agony just to consider it—the total freedom, and total vulnerability of striking out, alone.
“Things aren’t getting worse all the time, I don’t think.” Despite appearances. “I mean, I hope they’re not.”
Nessa hadn’t considered the thought. The nomadic lifestyle of her people had always suited her. She liked the change in scenery, the sweeping routes that brought them along plains and coastlines. In the lack of predictability, there was comfort. A certainty in uncertainty. But was there a deeper purpose to their wandering? A searching that was deep in the bones of the Dresmondi people? Nessa wasn’t sure.
And so she didn’t answer it, continuing to chew on her lip in thought. Etta’s next sentence surprised her, bringing Nessa’s eyes back to the woman in front of her.
“I hope not, too,” she said, voice still thoughtful. She hummed a little in thought. “I suppose we’ll have to keep living to find out,” she added, almost to herself.
Keep living. There was a thought. Etta had heard of some people too stunned and broken by what had happened, who had quietly given up what Coheed had not taken, shattered by the magnitude of blood and pain around them. But many broken hearts would go on beating, and Etta felt she could at least find some solace in being useful to those that remained. It was not a duty, exactly, but...if she knew she could help, she wanted to be the sort of person who did. She knew she was lucky--everyone she was closest to had survived. She had survived.