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 was dark now. A full moon however assured that it was still possible to make much of the world out. Another day - or rather night - the man might have paused to look up at the stars as he had done so often in the past. Right now however, he had, for lack of a better word, a mission.
Camus had never really been a stealthy person. Well, maybe in his childhood but since Mercy had joined him as his dyr? You could forget about any notion of tiptoeing around. Sitting atop the elephant's shoulders, he allowed himself to be carried along. There was something sedate, almost relaxing about the gentle rhythmic plodding. Again, the only thing preventing him from enjoying the night time wander was the knowledge of what they would likely find at the end of it. In his right hand, wrapped in a cloth was his old spear. He kept the blade concealed, hoping against hope that he wouldn't actually have any cause to use it.
His recent discussion with Adhla was still fresh in his mind, as well as the knowledge of what currently hung in the balance. "We're getting close." Mercy's gentle voice rumbling through his mind broke him out of his own thoughts. He looked around as they drifted into a slightly more wooded area. Everything seemed peaceful, it was hard to imagine that they were getting anywhere. Sitting up a little so as to peer over the top of his elephant's head, he frowned. There was nothing to be seen yet but much like his dyr, he got the distinct impression that there was in fact, something out there. "I know..." He muttered, his grip on the shaft of his spear tightening slightly.
Danior had stayed. For the rest of Autumna and Hiems. He saw out the Conclave and the pain that echoed in his chest wasn’t eased. He had been talked down from joining the others in going into Coheed to try and give them a taste, just a taste, of the destruction that they had brought upon the heads of the Dresmondi over the past year. He knew he wasn’t the only one who thought about it, many others did. Many others also thought like Adhla, that they should stay back and just... hide. Act like what battle happened at the border didn’t.
He was not able to do that. He fought along the front lines, he was amongst the first to clash with the Coheedsmen. He also was the one who walked and surveyed the loss that the caravans and rogues both had. He buried them all. And he was a witness to the aftermath of what had happened when one of their own was taken and a collar was snapped around her neck. Why would he just be a sitting duck, waiting for this to happen again?
The only thing that had kept him from going was the fact that he was The One. He had a responsibility outside of his own inner anger that overruled it. He had hoped with time, it would go away. That he would no longer feel the need to give them a taste of what they had back before the cold months. It didn’t go away. So now, he was in the thick of the woods, preparing for his journey that he’d be making into Coheed. The medallion hung heavily around his neck. No one had stepped forward, and he had not found it in himself to thrust such a responsibility onto someone out of the blue.
A deep sigh left him, and Menowin, his grizzly bear dyr pressed her head against his thigh as he sat around the fire. His son had been given to Adhla’s caravan, his mother. At least he would be well taken care of in case anything happened to Danior.
The vibrations through the ground caught Mennie’s attention before his own. Her dark eyes looking into the forest as she stood up, ready to protect her Dresmondi if needed. It was only then that the One lifted his head and looked around for whoever was approaching.
Mercy being a dyr of fire rather than earth wasn't quite as attuned to vibration as Menowin was. Coupled with her decidedly poor eyesight, it left her relying more on her sense of smell and hearing to find her way through the night. As she shifted however, Camus became increasingly convinced that they were, in fact, drawing closer. He could feel it in his bones.
The realization prompted him to reach towards his prosthetic leg. He tightened the leather straps until it was almost painful for him, ensuring that there was no way that it would slip off of him unless physically tugged. He clenched his teeth, hissing but briefly as he got used to the feeling. It was something that he did as a rule before entering a potentially tricky situation and was, in his mind at least, certainly better than the alternative.
"It's been a while." Mercy spoke softly to him, her voice soothing. "His head might have cooled off by now. Try to make sure that you don't lose yours." Camus didn't respond, only reaching out to rest his hand atop his dyr's head, allowing it to rest there for a few moments. He knew what she meant and he wouldn't. The man had learned the hard way what getting cocky and losing his temper could potentially cost him. This was far too important there was too much at stake for him to be careless.
The elephant and her partner made no attempt to dissimulate their arrival. On the contrary, they slowed somewhat to ensure that Danior and his dyr would know they were coming and didn't take it for a surprise attack. They emerged carefully from the wood lands, coming to stand before the pair. Camus had no idea if the One knew who he was or where he came from. He reasoned that at the very least, he must have seen Mercy in passing a couple of times at a few of the Conclaves (she was quite hard to miss after all).
All the same, he decided to take the precaution of introducing himself. "I'm Camus of the Rashai, formerly of the Adoi. This is Mercy." Camus frowned, considering the man before him quietly for a couple of seconds. "We need to talk."
As the large elephant and its Dresmondi came into view, Danior recognized them. It was hard to not see them around. Though he didn’t have a deep understanding of who he was, he knew that he was one of the ones that had fought with him when they reclaimed the Cave of Names a year before. He stood as they grew closer and his hand buried deep into the fur at the nape of Menowin’s neck. A low sound rumbled through her as she sank closer to Danior.
“Camus, Mercy. Glad to finally have a name for you two.” He said, his head nodding lightly. Danior had a calmer demeanor than a lot would guess from the fact that he was the one who carried the Medallion. Though he was fiercely protective over his people. Which would explain why he had wanted to retaliate against Coheed. “I’m Danior, and this,” He shook her lightly which only got a nip in his direction. He smile at the grizzly bear before looking back up to Camus. “This is Menowin.”
At the mention of needing to talk, he felt a small tension build in his shoulders. He had done a lot of talking recently. But he wouldn’t deny the man. Instead, he nodded his head and welcomed them towards his fire. “Come, let’s talk.”
Camus gaze travelled over the two of them, watching carefully. He didn't know Danior and could only trust what he knew of the man when forming an assessment as to whether or not he was actually dangerous. It seemed obvious that even he was. Even without powers, a bear the size of Menowin could have torn a man in half. Perhaps a more pressing matter was to try and work out just what their intentions were. Ultimately, he had to assume the man to be honorable and that there would be no sneak attacks. As the blacksmith loosened his hold on his weapon, relaxing somewhat. Still riding on his dyr's shoulders, he sensed that this was something that she approved of.
The man nodded in response to Danior's statement. Good, there might still be a way to resolve this peacefully although he didn't dare to hold out too much hope. "Maybe you can guess what's brought me here." These days, there were only a handful of subjects on anyone's lips.
"I spoke with Adhla." The man told him, certain that it would clue him in to some of what he could expect. "Attacking Coheed, it's a mistake. You can't hope to take on the hordes on their home turf." Camus presented it as a simple fact of life. He knew that this danger had already been raised to Danior. His only hope was that perhaps coming from the lips of a man who had known battle, it might hit a little closer to home. If not... well, Camus hadn't actually released his hold on his spear.
Danior might have been ready to do anything for his people but Camus would risk everything he had for his own children.
Danior took a seat near the fire, Menowin settling to curl around him, resting her large head next to his feet. Those dark eyes never leaving the other two. Danior and the grizzly were actually quite a quiet and peaceful pair. But after so many attacks, he could only bear so much. No pun intended.
The moment he heard Adhla's name leave the mans lips, he closed his eyes and sighed. He loved Adhla, loved her spirit and her aura that she brought with her. She was the mother to his son who he held so dear. The one that had yet to go through the naming ceremony as he was still too young. But the boy looked forward to it, spoke on it often. About what his dyr's element might be and what they'd do together. But Adhla and Danior had stopped seeing eye to eye when it came to what to do in Dresmond.
"And you are here to tell me what she has said. That we should tuck our tails, wait for the next unexpected attack. Why should I not press forward? I would only be bringing those who were wanting to come. I have never forced anyone to do things. It's not our way." He opened his eyes to stare across at him. He would sacrifice everything to try and keep Coheed out of Dresmond, once and for all, for his child and for the rest of the Dresmondi.
Mercy lowered her massive head, going down on her knees. The gesture might have initially been taken for a bow were it not for the fact that Camus began to shift round from her shoulder. The man swung his leg over his Dyr, allowing himself to slide down carefully so as to come to rest on his partner's tusk. From there, it was simply a matter of him stepping off so that his feet touched the ground.
Camus kept his distance, unwilling to be taken for a threat when, for the moment at least, he wasn't one. Perhaps Mercy was right, maybe the man had had the opportunity to think about things since he'd made his decision and could see now that war, or at least a full on attack was unlikely to end in anything other than bloodshed, specifically their own. He stayed close to the massive elephant, confident that she could and would offer him precious protection should he require it.
When he heard Danior speak, he felt some of his hope begin to crumble. "With respect, it isn't that simple. It's not who goes so much as who stays. You and I both know our warriors are hotblooded, the Adoi will follow without hesitation. I should know, I used to be one but that will leave the rest of the caravans here. They don't have the same skills." He paused for a moment before continuing. "True, you might gain a victory here or there but at what cost? You will be taking some of the few warriors we have left and sending them to their deaths. Coheed outnumber us by a large margin. They don't care if they loose 100 000 in a single battle, more will take their place. We don't have the warriors and you'll be leaving the rest of our people defenseless."
Danior listened to the man. Watching him slid down from his elephant dyr’s back and come to reason with him on the same ground as Danior. He knew what the man said was true, there was no denying it. Adoi was angry. And they would follow him, he had a feeling a similar thing could be said about Dijila as well. They were another caravan who frequented the borders and saw more combat and battles. After being left out of the large war and arriving what was considered too late with Rashai… they were just as furious. And still had their numbers to them unlike the Adoi and Kushti.
He hung his head, torn between anger and sadness and wanting to throw the closest thing he could pick up around him as far as he could into the darkness that surrounded them. He didn’t want to just sit back. He didn’t want to hide in Dresmond but he also knew that as The One, others would blindly follow his inner rage and want for revenge.
His hand pulled the thick cord around his neck until the medallion came out from inside his shirt. His fingers brushed the edges of it and the symbols that were etched into it. The life of future Dresmond. “You were Adoi?” he asked, his eyes finally lifting back to Camus. “Would you give everything to see Dresmond live?” he asked him, his voice serious and his dark brows pulled together as the firelight danced across his face. Fingers never stopping tracing the familiar medallion.
Camus stood as patiently as he could before The One. He felt no particular reverence towards him the same was as a Lorendaler might towards their monarch or a Coheedsman towards their chief. They were both Dresmondi, there was a good deal more equality between the two of them. He did respect however that Danior spoke for his people and the role that he held. Hence, why he was here, desperate to avoid what he could only foresee as a massacre that would potentially spell out the door of their people.
"That..." Camus felt his grip on the shaft of his spear tighten just a little bit as he spoke. "-Is why I'm here." He didn't want to fight. Truly he didn't. He had, up until recently, had nothing for respect for Danior given the trying times that the man had been forced to lead them through. He was worthy to wear the medallion, there would be little doubt of that much. Right now however, he was letting hatred rule his mind as Camus saw it. The blacksmith's hand rubbed against the bronze and wood which made up Mercy's replacement tusk, using it as a potent reminder of what happened when rage took the place of level-heads.
"It isn't too late to reconsider your actions. At least wait a while until you're certain that you're thinking clearly." Camus would glance towards his dyr as the great elephant spoke to him. Her words he would register and convey: "Anger makes all of us stupid. You'll be playing right into Coheed's hands." Camus knew the borders, he'd spent long enough in his time patrolling them. They couldn't hope to sneak past the tribes. They would be spotted and inevitably the hordes would react. Eventually, all those who left would find death.
Danior stared down at the medallion and even when Camus spoke, he remained focused on it. He had protected it for years now, held more than a few Conclaves. Maybe he was just upset about his loss, his daughter who had been barely out of her naming. Upset over the hundreds of defenseless that they already lost, the good fighters they had as well. Dresmond was small but mighty and yet it felt like they were on a downward spiral and if no one did anything to change it... then who would end the cycle?
He stood then, lifting the necklace over his head and he looked long and hard across the distance between the two of them. Minnie seemed to rumble beside him 'Are you sure?' her voice echoed in his head. He only gave her a small nod before he walked towards Camus. "There is something I will agree with you about. That I am not thinking clearly, and I wish I could say that I'd accept waiting. But I cannot. But that doesn't mean Dresmondi should follow in my footsteps." Stopping only a few feet in front of him and then he extended out his arm towards the man, the medallion hanging between them. "Watch over them, Camus. Keep them safe."
Danior was offering the transfer of being The One to the man who dared to come and reason with him.
Standing there, Camus was on tender hooks. He didn't know what was to come of this. He was ready for a fight, if the need arose. A little over a decade ago, he would no doubt have been confident as to the outcome. Things had changed though. The stump of what remained of his leg spoke of that much and Danior occupied his position for reasons other than the fuzziness of his dyr. Stand he did though. The only way that there would be to get him to back down would be to physically beat him until he returned back home. At least then he could say that he'd tried.
He felt his grip on his spear tighten somewhat as Danior stepped towards him. Even though he could see him remove the medallion, Camus assumed that it might have been in preparation for a fight, fearful that it might get damaged. Instead, when he finally did realize. The man would be poleaxed. His mind spinning with the potential implications. This wasn't what he wanted. Wasn't what he'd come here for. He was a blacksmith, not a leader. The reason he stood here and not Adhla was because he could fight and had no attachments to the One which might prevent him from doing so. He didn't want the medallion, not when it carried with it such responsibility.
Transfixed, he would only stare at the man. "It doesn't have to be this way..." Camus stressed. "Danior, you can't win this fight."