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.
Established the "Tag Staff" discord channel for helping update the site.
2 month character creation hold for all existing members begins 6/5/2023.
We wanted to give a huge shoutout to Bugstomper! We have always promoted the idea of going with the flow of a plot, not taking things personally OOC, and moving forward as we adapt to new IC happenings. When her character, Rhedara, was removed from the military and then lost an important romance plot, Bugstomper took it all in graceful strides and showed us how things are meant to unfold in such circumstances. Thank you Bugstomper for your example and general awesomeness!
Post by Keion Blackwood on Jun 28, 2022 12:41:12 GMT -5
[ For @evander ]
He had taken the time he needed to sort through Cyrus's affairs and mostly had everything organized and operating under his name. Amidst all of the time he had taken locked away in Cyrus's old office, Keion had fought through a multitude of feelings, mainly that he was an imposter usurping his brother's position. But it was a necessary takeover to maintain order and control. Somewhere deep in his mind, he still clung to the idea that they would one day find Cyrus and he would come home to take back what was his.
But they had to make plans and act on them first for there to be any chance of that happening. And all of those plans seemed to center around the Rainecourt name. They had infiltrated every kingdom so far except for Dresmond. Cassian ruled both Lorendale and Nevermere. Nevermere occupied Cambria and Coheed. And Prince Akagi had married a Rainecourt and produced heirs with her, allowing the Rainecourts to also infiltrate Arynn Frey. Enough was enough.
He had sent for his brother, asking him to meet in their estate. It was a meeting that was perhaps long overdue, but he knew if there was anyone in his family capable of coming up with unique, subtle ways to deal with the Rainecourts, it would be Evander.
When Evander received Keion’s summons, he slid on his jacket and set off to Cyrus’s old office. It was a familiar routine: Cyrus would say jump and Evander would, so as the Crown Evander would show Keion the same respect. It was only logical.
Though the trek did solicit a twinge of sorrow, Evander brushed it away. He’d never been a man of sentiment. If Cyrus returned, they’d be all the better for it, but in the meantime, they had to proceed as if they’d lost the former Crown forever. Evander would knock before cracking the door open and slipping inside.
“You wished to see me, brother?” He stood with his hands folded in front of him, like a soldier waiting for his orders.
Post by Keion Blackwood on Jun 30, 2022 16:15:27 GMT -5
Keion turned a small smile to his brother, extending a hand which already held a glass of amber liquid in greeting. If Evander took it, Keion would turn back to his own glass that he had been nursing since he entered this room today. He perched on the edge of his desk, "I did, thank you for coming so quickly."
He wouldn't mince words, knowing it wasn't needed with his brother. "I asked you here to discuss the Rainecourts, and what to do about them." It seemed so long ago now that they had all gathered at the Council of the Oak and voted on finding a way to curb the Rainecourts' ever growing reign, but it seemed nothing of fruition had come of that.
"They rule Lorendale and Nevermere. They occupy Coheed and Cambria. And our own Prince has married and produced heirs with one." He paused, taking a long sip from his glass. "And certainly not least of all, I have very little doubt that the King of Nevermere had a hand in Cyrus's disappearance."
He glanced up to meet Evander's gaze, "So, I want to know what you think we should do."
Evander took the whiskey, sipping it as Keion did before sitting. He considered his brother with the same blank indifference he did everyone else. It was nothing personal. It was an indicator that there were serious matters to discuss.
And the Rainecourt problem was one of them.
Evander listened, sipping the whiskey again in the long silence that followed. Evander never spoke until he was entirely sure what he wanted to say, and he wasn’t going to hasten his thoughts just to fill a silence.
“The Llewelyns are making a fortress out of Arynn Frey. The peacekeepers are to be better equipped, the use of enchantments restricted. In my view, brother, at present our enemies are not without, but rather within.” Evander sipped again, fixing his brother with a ominous look.
“We cannot conquer the Rainecourts while the Royal Family ties our hands. They must be dealt with.”
Post by Keion Blackwood on Jul 6, 2022 11:50:09 GMT -5
Listening intently, Keion considered his brother's words and after a moment nodded solemnly. Evander was right, and Keion wondered if he hadn't been a bit too short sighted in his desire for revenge for Cyrus. With the new perspective offered to him by Evander, he stared blankly across the room at a wall, pondering it.
"I agree. I don't believe it would take much to incite a movement against them. That was already happening before the wall and the restrictions. We would just need some well placed propaganda." Rubbing at his chin, he considered for a moment longer, "Even if we could simply displace the Queen, that would leave Prince Akagi as the King and he would be much easier to control, even with the Rainecourt at his side."
He sighed and took a sip from his drink, "Unless you had other ideas in mind?"
“Perhaps…perhaps…” Evander swirled his whiskey, gazing into it as a seldom seen furrow creased his brow. The silence once again stretched, though with a tremuolous tenor much different than the one before. Finally, Evander looked up at his brother, eyes flinted with notable intensity.
“Keion, I want you to hear me when I say that I do not expect you to follow in Cyrus’s footsteps. He had a vision or this family, but that vision was his. You are the Crown now, and I will follow where you lead.” It needed to be said. Evander carried guilt he’d not taken on the burden that had been passed to his brother. Keion was the right choice—the only choice—to lead the family, but as the second eldest, Evander couldn’t help but feel it had been his burden to bear.
“With that said,” Evander continued, “Cyrus had a relationship with the prince I had no part in. I deferred to Cyrus in that matter, but without him, I am hesitant to call the prince friend. A puppet, yes perhaps, but he is married to a Rainecourt. That will never change. We must be sure that in gambling on the prince, we are not made fools.” Evander took a sip of whiskey.
“In my view, we need to put the pieces in place so that, if the time comes, we are ready to neutralize the Llewelyns in their entirety. A monarchy of any kind runs counter to our cause. Perhaps there can be an arrangement of convenience with the young prince, but the time will come,” Evander shrugged, “When his rule cannot stand.”
Post by Keion Blackwood on Jul 14, 2022 12:16:30 GMT -5
Keion's eyes softened a bit as Evander opened with his promise to follow him. His shoulders sagged a bit, as if a physical weight he had been holding was lifted from them. A small smile crossed his face and he knew Evander would never understand how deeply he appreciated the reassurance from his brother. "Thank you, Evander. Truly."
At the mention of the prince, Keion grimaced, "Yes, Prince Akagi has already been asking after Cyrus. I did spin a bit of a lie for him, that we had received a very brief message from Cyrus saying he would be away for awhile on some sort of business. But I'm sure he will continue asking after him. He told me he would work closely with me until Cyrus's return."
He listened quietly to Evander again, looking down at his whiskey and swirling it slowly as he contemplated before speaking, "You know I am no friend of the Llewellyns and their usurping of the council. If we could do away with them tomorrow without dire consequences, I would." He took a sip of his whiskey before continuing, "Did you have anything specific in mind for how to handle them?"
Evander nodded slowly, rubbing his chin as he considered the facts. “Let him believe he has our ear,” He said slowly, “But I caution you brother, do not hold him too close, until we can be sure of his usefulness. And to that end…”
In response to Keion’s second question, Evander reached for a folded piece of paper in his pocket. Opening it up, he lay the parchment flat on the table. It was a simpler sketch of the schematics he’d shown Calanthe Beckett in his office. An earwig, he had decided to call it. It was a tiny silver spider, about the size of a tick.
“I think we should more closely observe the activities of the Llewelyns, starting with the prince. This device will allow us to listen in on his conversations. To get a glimpse into just what it is he does behind closed doors. Again, we start with him—test the device—and should it prove useful, move on to the queen.”
Post by Keion Blackwood on Jul 26, 2022 9:29:19 GMT -5
Keion leaned over to study the schematic Evander laid out on the table, taking in the details of the device. He nodded slowly, "How does it work? Does it attach to his person or to something in his workshop?"
He leaned back again, fingers tapping against his glass. "I agree, though. There is something going on between them, especially with the Prince." Sighing, he took a sip of his drink before continuing. "I made a pair of silent boots for him, at his request so that he could sneak into Coheed looking for a rogue enchanter that was living there. He told me he found Councilwoman Ellora Roquefort there, and 'dealt' with her. Gave me her family ring and a jewel with what is supposedly her soul."
He allowed Evander a moment to process before continuing on. "And then, he requested that I inform the Queen of what happened, but to leave his name out of it. It seems there are some cracks forming in our lovely royal family."
At the name Ellora Roquefort, Evander’s glass stopped halfway through its journey to his lips. His dark eyes fixed on Keion, face a mask of calm though inside he was far less so. The metallic taste of bitter rage sat on his tongue, though it was not directed toward Keion.
“Brother—” Evander felt himself raising to scold his Keion. Since when were the Blackwoods errand boys for Akagi Llewellyn? What were they to do—take Akgai at his word? Accept the vague explanation that this rogue enchanter had been ‘dealt with’? But Evander buried his discontent in favor of something more productive.
“And have we put our own ‘boots’ on the ground to see just how Councilwoman Roquefort was…dealt with?” Evander carried his glass through to his lips, “I would be hesitant to take the fall until we’ve done our own reconnaissance.”
Which should have already been done, in Evander’s opinion.
Post by Keion Blackwood on Aug 6, 2022 18:55:54 GMT -5
Keion shook his head, "No, I have yet to send anyone into Coheed. This is such a sensitive matter, I have yet to decide who I would trust to send in. So for now, I played Akagi's game but that does not mean we cannot also use this situation to our advantage."
He sighed, running another hand down his face. "I have a plan but the less that are in the know, the better, in case it goes completely sideways on me." He waved a hand dismissively, "In any case, I do plan to go after Ellora. I just have to figure out who to send, or go myself. We will see."
Attempting to get back on track, he motioned at the schematics again, "I will have to go speak to Akagi, so if you are able to complete this device soon I can take it with me and see it put in place."
“I will.” Evander rolled up the schematics, comforted that he had a task; a concrete way to contribute within his limitations. He did not envy the mantle that had been thrust upon his brother. Any way that he could aid Keion in ensuring the Blackwood’s plans moved forward, he would without question.
“Calanthe has been acting as my assistant,” Evander sipped his whiskey, “The girl shows promise.” Evander leaned back, assuming a more casual demeanor. They were brothers, after all. And if anything had been made clear in recent months, it was that holding ones family close was of the utmost importance.
Post by Keion Blackwood on Aug 22, 2022 20:55:03 GMT -5
Eyebrows raising in interest, Keion sat back a bit and swirled his drink in his glass. "Is she now? Well, that does make sense seeing as she's Cyrus's daughter." He took a small sip, contemplating before he chuckled quietly.
"Just don't squash all of her joy, yeah? She's still young, we should allow her to enjoy life as best she can as a girl whose father is missing." He took another small sip from his glass, then said, "Perhaps this will be a good distraction for her though. And a good road to lead her to the Blackwood name."
“I’ll do my best.” It was only a hint of a smile on Evander’s face, but still enough to indicate that he understood the tease. He sighed, taking another sip of whiskey, “I never thought I would have a hand in raising the next generation, but I suppose there are plenty of firsts to go around.”
He looked at Keion curiously, before saying quite out of nowhere: "Perhaps it's time you considered growing a generation of your own, brother." Evander wasn't married, and though it wasn't discussed publicly, Evander had his suspicions that Calliope's romantic inclinations were not the sort that lent themselves to having children.
Post by Keion Blackwood on Sept 6, 2022 14:53:48 GMT -5
He was glad he hadn't been drinking from his cup at the time, because he feared he would have spit it all over Evander from the sheer surprise at his brother's comment. He opened his mouth to speak, then closed it again, then shook his head a few times before finally finding some words, "Dearest brother, of all the family members you are the last I would have expected to get on my case about having a children."
He chuckled, shaking his head again before continuing, "If only it was so simple as just finding a mate to have children with. If only we were as base as Cambria and Coheed. But," he paused, picking at a stray thread in his pants before continuing, "I have certainly thought about it. But I cannot just pick any woman off the street and with everything going on right now, I'm not sure I can justify dragging an innocent party into this mess."