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.
Coming back to the caravans had been rattling. She had learned the fate of Dresmond since she was capture. The fate of all those children. All the ones she had personally worked with and had shaped into the Dresmondi they were going to be. The ones who’s faces would now join the others that haunted her dreams. Her children. Blood or not. They were hers.
Her wagon was missing. She hadn’t seen it when she arrived and at one point, she gave up looking for it. It’d make sense. Nothing was left from her past life in Dresmond. Nothing but the clothing on her was a part of Coheed. Which she wanted to lose as quickly as she’d be able to. Eventually she just asked to be brought to Jaskier’s wagon.
She was exhausted and when his home came into view she hesitated for a moment. Looking up to him for permission to go inside. As if she suddenly needed it. As if they hadn’t been best friends forever and had the understanding of “what’s mine is yours”.
Heading to his wagon really felt like truly coming home. How many times they had been here together. He was sad she had lost everything of course, but he wasn't sad about not staying in separate wagons. Though he wouldn't have stood for that even if she did have her wagon. Her look up at him for permission struck him deeply in the heart though, what was that look about? Nothing had changed that would have given her a reason to think she couldn't just go inside. His brows furrowed in sadness and worry.
"Come on," he said, "you left some clothes here, remember? You could change if you want." He entered the wagon first, standing back so she could follow. Clementine would jump inside after Kezia. It would be exactly as Kezia had remembered it. Familiar blankets they had slept in together on countless occasions and small trinkets she had given him over the years. This was home.
She stood in her spot for a moment. So many faces that day had passed in front of her. They were a blur really. Jaskier’s was the only one who really stood out to her. But it was because his face hurt the most. The worry that laid there, when normally he was smiling. When he was usually playing a tune or singing a song. She was causing him to worry, to be sad. And it made her want to run from him. As if her being away would make this better. Yet she couldn’t find it in herself to do that.
Instead her feet moved forward and followed him into the wagon. The moment she was inside, a feeling she hadn’t felt in a long time washed over her. She was home. Tears immediately fell from her eyes as she sagged in relief, her knees shaking as she grabbed hold of the nearest steady fixture in his wagon and held on. Raiden pressed his head against her lower leg, flooding her with comforting waves. She let out a slow breath. “I... Yes. I’d like to change. Please.” She breathed out. Not even sure if she spoke loud enough for him to hear. Her eyes lifting to see a glass figuring resting on a shelf. When they were kids, her and Raiden had been working together and they realized that when lightening struck sand, it made some of the most interesting glass figures. So she had brought her favorite one to Jaskier and Clementine.
“You’ve kept it... after all these years.” She whispered. As if she had never seen it since the day she gave it to him. Perhaps she had just not looked hard enough. But it was there.
Clementine pressed herself against Kezia's other leg as she steadied herself. Jaskier gave her some space to breathe. It was so amazing to see her in his wagon once more, back home and safe and with him. He gave her a nod as she expressed her desire to change and he instantly moved to a chest where he kept clothing. Inside he found three different outfits of hers. He thought he had only had one and he was glad to find more. He pulled them all out and laid them on the bed for her, looking back up at her as she saw the figuring and spoke.
He smiled and moved over towards her again, his fingers touching the figurine without picking it up, remembering the day she'd given it to him. "Of course I did, I've kept anything you've ever given me," he told her, pulling his eyes from the glass figure to Kezia. "Do you want me to step out while you change?" he asked. Normally he just turned around but he was still getting a feel for how Coheed had changed her, permanently or temporarily.
She barely registered the fact that he had so many outfits of hers. It made sense though, they often lived with one anyone when Jaskier wasn’t off with the other caravans. She was sure that in her old wagon she had several outfits of his. Either stolen shirts she wore because they were comfortable or just things he had left behind. Kezia realized that even with her home gone, it wasn’t really. Jaskier and Clementine and Raiden. They were her home.
She raised her hands to wipe the tears before they stained her cheeks, looking up to him as she looked towards the bed. “No, please stay.” she told him, looking at him for a few moments to make sure he wouldn’t disappear before she went to the bed. Her fingers brushing over each article of clothing. Remembering a small memory with each one and yet they all felt so foreign to her. She grabbed a longer tunic and a pair of dark tights before she placed them on the edge of the bed. Twisting her head to look over her shoulder to make sure he didn’t slip out while she wasn’t looking before she changed.
Nudity was not exactly something new between the two. She changed in front of him all the time, she was comfortable with him. And it wasn’t like it was taboo in Dresmond to undress in front of others. It was quite normal really. She didn’t linger in the clothes, quick to shed the last bits of Coheed off of her and kick them towards the door. It hurt her in a way, but she was glad when the familiar clothing slipped over her skin. The familiar smells washed over her. The clothes smelled like Jaskier and yet had a touch of her as well. “You said you kept everything...” she said, pulling her hair free of the neck of the shirt. “Even that awful attempted whittled heart I made?” she was trying to be her old self. It was there in words, and yet her tone was soft. As if she felt she was forgettable.
"Alright," he replied when she asked him to stay, glad that she had asked him too because it would have felt so foreign and strange to leave while she changed. He desperately wanted things to be as they had been before but he was patient enough to wait for them to fall into familiar routines, or create new ones if they needed to. Ultimately he would do whatever she needed to. He'd never force her into anything.
As she double checked that he was still there he gave her a smile, his feel planted and steady. As she started to undress he dropped his gaze to the floor instead of turning around. Though he couldn't help himself as he flicked his gaze up at her briefly, catching the soft curves of her bare back before he blushed and he looked down again.
He only looked up again when she spoke and he chuckled at the memory of the heart. He didn't need to think about where it might have gone, he knew where it all was. He moved towards her by the bed and sat down on the edge of the bed before pointing to the sturdy nightstand beside the bed that had three small drawers on it. "It's here," he said, motioning to the top drawer where he had taken the whittled heart and used is as a drawer pull.
He patted the bed beside him, inviting her to join him.
She never questioned her friendship with Jaskier. He had always been the one steady thing in her life outside of Raiden. The moment he arrived to Adoi, she attached herself to him. A big toothy grin, still small as she was a few years younger than him, and well... she was tiny. And she didn’t allow him to think of her as just another unnamed girl.
When she turned back to him, the familiar clothing on her body both comforting and yet made her want to crawl out of her skin. It all felt wrong. How could it feel that way? She was glad for his distraction of showing her the heart, and a small smile lifted her full lips. “I don’t know how I ever missed that.” Maybe she had been then bad friend. Or perhaps she was just too focused on him and Clementine to notice.
As he patted the bed, she moved over to it with a small hesitation in her step. But once she was in his range, she moved forward, crawling up the bed and wrapping herself around him. Burying her face in his neck as she clung to him. “Thanks for not giving up on us. I don’t know how I can thank you.”
Jaskier felt so much relief in seeing her back in his cabin once more. It has felt so empty without here. It wasn't as if he was never alone in his wagon, he had traveled around with The One for a while now and they had spent more time apart in the last year or so than they had before. But once she had been taken away he noticed her absence more harshly. Having her and Raiden here was a balm to his heart.
He wrapped his arms around her as she burying into his neck, his hands held her firmly and surely. He swallowed as she spoke and felt tears prick his eyes, his hands clung to her even more tightly. "You don't have to thank me, we'll never give up on you. Never ever." He placed a kiss to the top of her head as a tear fell down his cheek. He loved her so much it hurt. He could never explain how he had felt when she'd been taken away. He'd have died for her out there if he had to, he'd give his life to keep her safe and keep her home.
Clementine hopped onto the bed and curled herself on the corner of the bed, opening herself up enough to allow Raiden to snuggle in against her like they often did, her nose lifted in the air and looking in his direction.
Raiden didn’t hesitate to join Clementine. His body instantly taking up residence in the spot that she had left open for him and his head pressed into her neck as he cuddled in close. A small purring noise coming from him in pure delight. Out of the pair, he was fairing a lot better than Kezia. He had not been present for a lot of what Kezia had been. He only could live through the memories that Kezia had. And try and soothe her sorrow when she would wake from the nightmares.
Kezia pushed them back until they rested into his bed and she freed a hand from him only to tug the covers around them. Tossing it over their bodies before she settled back into them. They had slept together plenty of times like this, whether she was wrapped in his arms or spooning, the two found comfort in each other’s beds. In the very literal sense of that sentence. Never once had they taken it any further. She had never thought to. It was Jaskier.
His words brought tears down onto her cheeks, but she refused to look up at him. She didn’t want him to see how weak she felt. How torn apart she was. How she didn’t feel like she belonged in Coheed and yet didn’t belong there in Dresmond either. It surely had to be survivors guilt that was consuming her. She had been taken alive. So many others had died. So many others had been lost at the border. And yet she was alive, and even arguably, she had been taken care of. The chief she had been with had come back for her and considered her his responsibility. His wife. What was she now?
“I don’t want to stay in Adoi.” She suddenly spoke. Her dark eyes finally rising to look up at him, lifting her body to look down at him as she propped herself up on her arm. “I want to go when you do.”