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.
"You just told me your name," she pointed out. "I assumed that had something to do with it." She thought of Jaskier and Clementine, and smiled a little. "Foxes are lovely animals," she said.
She looked back at Sage when Fox said he was blocking her, faintly questioning.
I have no idea what he means, thought the cougar. I'm not doing anything to him.
"She's not blocking you," she told him as she picked up her needle and thread. From another pouch she took a pinch of fine powder and began to sprinkle it inside the wounds. It would sting a little, but what wouldn't, at this point? "This will help to stave off infection," she explained. "Well, if you're ready, I'll get started. You might not want to watch if it's going to make you feel sick or pass out."
And with no other preamble, she quickly poked the needle through his skin and pulled tight the first stitch. People were weird when they were hurt. Blood loss, adrenaline, sedatives. She was still a little shaky from the whole incident with the bear. She wouldn't hold anything he said against him.
Where or not Sage was blocking him was soon irrelevant when Etta decided to start her work. "If you can look at it, I can. I'm a warrior!" Finn declared and craned his neck to whatch what she was doing. It was neither a pleasant sight, nor feeling and provoked some harsh grunts. For a monent he looked away and at her stern expression, blinking a few times. "You're brave, Etta." He admitted and briefly closed his eyes as it stung.
Overhead the eagles had returned and were both circling quite close by now as if they were carefully watching.
Then Nord lifted his head again to observe. "This could be useful for me to learn. Keep going." He urged her to continue, which she probably would have done anyway. "As you said...men play around with swords...what are you using for thread? Horse hair? Do you need a hand?" Nord was adament about appearing strong. And the babbling was starting again. "I swear I usually don't talk this much. Maybe you should be telling me something...about you..."
"This isn't war," she reminded him, though it was close enough to the aftermath she had seen in some conflicts. Her work and a warrior's were so often connected, but she considered them to be very different things, even if there was an undeniable link between them.
"I'm using a strong bit of cotton thread," she told him. "Rubbed with a little beeswax to keep it from catching."
She half-smiled at his interest and his offer to help, but she shook her head.
"You're helping me just fine by holding still and not shouting," she told him as she made another stitch, carefully but quickly working her way along the deepest cut to close the wound.
"What would you like to know about me?" she countered, not usually having a pile of fact about herself she kept ready to tell people she had just met. Etta wasn't exactly shy, but she was used to holding back--life felt more comfortable, or at least more controlled, that way. "If you're a spy from Lorendale, I'm probably not the most useful person to interrogate," she said, though her calm expression made it difficult to tell she was joking.
The first three, four, five stitches he just endured but her fast, experienced motions made it bearable. With a creased brow he watched until he saw a pattern of how exactly she did it.
"I'm not shouting." He said in a calm tone but every now and then still groaned a little or flinched. Nord made a mentsl note of the beeswax thread and kept watching with interest.
"Tell me about your family or your favourite things to do. What do you enjoy other than meeting strangers in the forest....and I'm no spy. I lend my sword to whoever wants to pay me. In peaceful times I train animals....and we are not at war with Dresmond as far as I know."
He let his head sink to her make shift pillow when the tear of the first claw was done. "Only two more to go." The other two of the bears five claws had missed thanks to. the curve of his body. He started laughing hysterically until his whole body was shaking. It wasn't funny at all but Nord lost it for a moment. When 'happy' tears shone in his eyes, he sucked in a few breaths and calmed down again. "Forgive me.....Etta."
"No, you're not shouting," she assured him as she continued to work. "Thank you. I don't expect you to be totally silent, I know this must hurt...but I've had some people just scream in my ear non-stop as I was trying to work. I don't blame them, of course, but it does make it more difficult to concentrate."
She went on with her stitches, not rushing them when she saw him flinch, but keeping the pace steady. She did not linger over the work, but fell into something like a rhythm that she tried to hold to, so he could guess when to expect the next poke, the next pull as she knotted the stitches together.
"I have several brothers and sisters," she said. "My favourite is my brother Arlo." There was a smile on her face that could be heard in her voice when she talked about him. "He gets along with just about everybody. Which means I have dozens of nieces and nephews, as a result," she added, with a short laugh.
She finished off the first slash and pulled back to assess her work, deciding it was good. Fox was laughing a little hysterically, everything making him tremble, and Etta put a hand on his shoulder, giving it a gentle squeeze.
"Do you want to take a break before I continue? Just take a breath--slowly, breathe in to a count of five, alright? It's going to be alright, you're doing so well," she said encouragingly.
It was a bit of relief to hear about her family and her brother, Arlo, who seemed to be a wild one. Nord had to smile at that and he could see that she really liked him by the way she was talking about him. "So he is not taking one woman? Is that how it works in Dresmond? I'm liking the sound of that. I'd like to meet your brother." Nord confessed. He had been with a few women but never really found the one, he wanted to call his wife.
In Lorendale such behaviour would not be tolerated, though.
Silently he wondered about Etta. She had beauty. In her own way. It wasn't flashy and she probably wouldn't own a ball room, if she entered. But her ways were more subtle, delicated features, eyes full of wisdom.
As she decided to give him a break, he nodded and took a deep breath. "I need to walk it off."
With a bit of effort and the help of a tree stump, he got to his feet and took a few steps.
His knife has slipped from his belt and was now within her reach.
His head was swimming a little. Instantly it became clear why stitching up the claw marks was a good decision. While the one, Etta had treated, was barely bleeding anymore, the other two opened up again and bled down his leg.
Yet Nord took a moment to stand upright, inhale the warm summer breeze and get his bearings back.
"It's working." He commented as if she didn't know it.
After a few minutes and another drink of water he returned.
"We can finish it now." He sat down on the stump again and looked at her with all seriousness. Nord was wondering why she was making single knots and not a long zig zag line. If he hat to sit tight, he might as well learn how to do this because Etta would not always be there to help.
"Let me do one. I want to learn this. You won't always be around to help."
"He doesn't take anybody," Etta carefully pointed out, trying not to think too deeply on the details of what Arlo got up to. The kids were proof enough. "Dresmondi men and women offer themselves freely to other men and women as they wish. Or not."
She knew her people's ways were not like the ways of other nations, and had heard of their customs, but it sounded so strange to her--marriage. Of course there were those among the caravans who remained devoted each to one another, sometimes for all of their lives together, but just as often--more often--people were attracted to others, from time to time, and generally misery was less when people all agreed that they were free to act on it, openly and without shame. Jealousy would flare, sometimes, but it was no different from any other disagreement between people who wanted different things, and in the end, freedom prevailed, and nobody hid anything unless they wanted to be needlessly cruel, and when that was brought to light, as it so often was, most people could condemn it. After all, who could be truly happy when they knew someone was only with them because of guilt or deception?
"My brother gets along with most people," she told Fox. "He's easy to like."
She let him get up, worrying that the movement might tear his stitches but knowing the struggle of trying to force him to stay sitting was probably worse. He finally returned to her and sat, but she did not immediately hand him the needle and thread.
"...are you sure? It will be faster if I do it. You're in pain."
He thought on the concept of love and family for a moment and the slight idea he got about Dresmond. Again he wondered about Etta. Was she a loner or with someone? "Do you have children?"
Fox held out his hand for her to give him the needle. "I would like to try." He told her in a firm voice. "Why single knots?" The knife was still on the ground at her feet as she hadn't touched it. "You can keep my knife for now....that'll show you my trust. Trust me, too. I can do this." If Nord was one thing, it was confident. Always had been. Sometimes overly, sometimes not. He wasn't tall and always had to proof himself with cousins like Remiel. His blue eyes were now locked on her, still a bit hazy but determined. "How do you think I learned to fight? By watching?"
Last Edit: Dec 28, 2020 15:50:06 GMT -5 by Deleted
Maybe her feelings were still sensitive, as they always were after Conclave. Etta felt something squeezing at her throat at Fox's question--an innocent question, truly. She couldn't blame him for making conversation, for asking a common question. Her heart beat painfully against her ribs for a moment as all thought of children--and what might become of them, in the Cave--filled her with fierce longing and dread all at once. She took a breath, slowly, and the wave of feeling withdrew.
"No, I haven't," she said quietly, keeping her eyes on her hands, her needle and thread, busy as she got another clean cloth to wipe away the blood streaming down his leg.
"It's better for the stitches not to be connected," she explained. "They're stronger, and then if one breaks, the others will still hold tightly. You don't want them too far apart, especially on a deeper cut, but they don't need to be packed side-by-side, either," she went on, speaking briskly, matter-of-fact about her work.
She looked up at last, meeting his eye for a long moment before she looked at the knife.
"I don't need your knife," she said, handing him her supplies. "And you can't kill me with a needle."
Etta wasn't about to sit by and do nothing, however, so she kept her hands on his leg, pinching the edges of the skin closer together to make it easier for him to make effective stitches.
"Where did you learn to fight? Who taught you?" she asked, determined to learn a thing or two about him, as well.
Nord was much better at reading animals than people but only a fool would not see that children were a touchy subject. One better left alone.
Instead he focussed on her explanation and memorized it as his heart beat a bit faster because she handed over the needle and pinched the second gash closed. He got nervous when he came closer to his own skin. With creased brow and holding his breath he stuck it into one side looping it through to the other and pulled the thread through. Then he groaned and let his head fall back as if he had just conquered Coheed all by himself. "Oh my...this is harder than I thought." Trying his best to tie a knot with slippery fingers, he soon found out why Ettas expertise and slender limbs were so valuable. Yet he kept trying...and grunting...and cursing until he finally got one done, then started with the second when his vision suddenly faded in a middle of choice curse words. Nord squeezed his eyes closed and sat there for a second.
Last Edit: Dec 28, 2020 16:13:43 GMT -5 by Deleted
"You don't have to do this," she told him gently. "It's not necessary, and you can practice later on a cut of meat. I did, when I was starting." She put her hands over his, ready to take the needle and thread from him. "You haven't got to prove anything. Not to me. Or Sage. Or any trees or birds," she added, trying to laugh a little, to make a joke to put him at better ease.
"Fox, there's a time and a place for heroics, and you've done your part, already," she reminded him. "Let me do mine."
Frustration and pain was not a good combination. It made him sweat and groan. When she placed her hand on his, he paused and blew out sone air looking down at her hand. It was much smaller than his but more skilled. His forehead was in a million creases because he felt like he was admitting defeat. When she spoke softly that it was okay and he could practise another time, Fox knew she was right and thankful for her words. He forced a smile on his face when he looked up at her. Then he whispered. "Don't tell anyone." He drew in a long breath and open his hand to let her take over. But then he reached for her hand again. "Thank you, Etta."
Fox looked at her again. He was feeling quite drained by now. "Make haste..."
Last Edit: Dec 28, 2020 18:17:28 GMT -5 by Deleted
"I have no-one to tell," she assured him, happy--or at least eager--to take the needle out of his hands. Her reasons were largely good and unselfish, but there was a very small part of her that worried he would make a beginner's mess out of his attempt and then later people might think it was her work. Not that anyone might know who some nobody healer from Dresmond was, or particularly care, but Etta had her own pride in her profession.
"The largest cut is finished," she told him, getting to work on the next stitch, then the next, and the next. "I'll bandage these after they're sewn up, then you can properly rest. I'll make some more tea--something nicer," she promised. "And I've got some dried meat in my bags. You'll feel better once you've eaten something."
Her voice remained calm and light unlike Nords. She was clearly a professional, so he lifted his hand and laid back down on his side in the moss, which wasn't easy with his pants around his knees but he had given up on covering himself up. Etta didn't seem to care, nor did Fox.
Nord gave her access and muttered. "I usually don't trust strangers. Especially not from other lands but I trust you." "Maybe it wasn't a coincidence that two people like us meet in the woods." Her cougar had fallen asleep but Nord was aware of her and corrected. "Three of us."
He kept his eyes trained on the forest while she was working in a steady rhythm. "I have a brother and a sister. But none of us are royals. We lead a simple life. My father is the one who taught me how to weild a sword and my uncle. They are both great warriors but were never part of an army....because of the collars."
Fox closed his eyes for a moment and flinched. She had gotten very close to his hip bone where there was no fat, just some muscle.
Last Edit: Dec 28, 2020 19:09:30 GMT -5 by Deleted
Etta raised her eyebrows as he explained that he was not usually this vulnerable to strangers. She understood that--she held back a great deal from people she didn't know particularly well. But these already felt like exceptional circumstances. And people in pain sometimes told her much.
"Perhaps it's easier to trust," she said, "after something like this happens. And, in a way, there's a safety in what we might tell each other, I suppose," she mused as she went on sewing him up, aware of his pain but not letting it deter her from finishing. "We're not likely to ever meet again. This is a moment that can exist entirely outside of our real lives. The stakes are different."
She listened patiently as he spoke of his family. The idea of royals was, like marriage, strange to her; but she knew other nations had people they held in higher regard than others. Like Dresmond had The One, only she didn't think it had anything to do with mystical power or the Medallion.
"What collars?" she asked curiously, wondering what it was that would prevent capable fighters from fighting, if that was where their talents lay.
Last Edit: Dec 28, 2020 19:13:49 GMT -5 by Deleted