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Arlanna ap Tadgh




It came to Arlanna as a moderate surprise that she had been granted the superior seat over that of her husband. Not that surprising, of course, since of course she was far more familiar with Aedthel than him, but surprising nonetheless. She had expected Aedthel to observe more traditional practices than this. If he meant to communicate some kind of message through this decision, it was certainly an interesting one. Did he mean to suggest that he valued actions of loyalty over the authority of titles and traditions? Perhaps, or perhaps he merely preferred to sit closer to a friend rather than a stranger.

Of course, the vagueness of this message left room for fouler interpretations than her own; for the illusion of a veiled insult when no such thing was intended. Arlanna worried that Kerenatam might have come to such a conclusion, and so attempted to defuse the possibility before bad blood had a chance to fester. No doubt they had plenty of enemies at this summit already - it would be folly to encourage more, especially from those biased in their (or at least, her) favour.

"He means nothing by it," she murmured to Kerenatam "We have been friends for some years, whereas to my knowledge, he never met you - that is all. He means no insult either to you or your position, my love."

Matters only seemed to worsen when they learned how they were expected to prepare their own food. Kerenatam was a great warrior and a great leader, but his skills in the domestic arts were less impressive. Arlanna was internally debating whether giving him assistance would be less humiliating than allowing him to try by himself, in which case he would most likely fail. Was failure alone more honourable than victory with assistance in the culture of Aedthel's people? Arlanna did not know, but at a task as simple and menial as this one either was doubtless a cause for embarrassment.

Thankfully, Aedthel, or rather the one who spoke for Aedthel, managed to indicate that he was on Kerenatam's side in this unfortunate incident. With the offending member now dealt with, Arlanna took this opportunity to begin cooking her food. It was a necessary skill for a woman, at least of her culture, and she'd witnessed this particular practice several times when visiting Aedthel, even attempting it herself a few times, with an acceptable though unimpressive degree of success. Regardless, she hoped her husband would notice her doing this and subtly follow her lead, that he might seem capable without her or anyone else's assistance.
Arlanna ap Tadgh




Arlanna was impressed by the eagerness with which Aedthel's messengers took up their tasks. She had scarcely had to wait when a messenger returned to her with Aedthel's reply, which she took and read.

The message did not seem to suggest that Aedthel wanted to see her now, which Arlanna accepted as quite reasonable, as he had probably only just arrived himself and would need some time to get himself and his followers established. With that in mind, she decided to seek out any others who had arrived before her. She had complete trust in her ability to dislike them, but nonetheless they could prove useful.

Arlanna continued at a slow pace through the village, headed towards the hill. She passed many new arrivals along the way, all of varying degrees of brashness, though in Arlanna's eye they were not divided into loud and quiet. They were divided into predators and prey. The predators were neither wolves nor bears nor lions; they were the leaders with the largest of armies, the wisest of counsel, the greatest of reputation. They were either important allies to gain or threats to eliminate. Likewise, not a single rabbit nor deer lay among the prey, but instead were the leaders of those nations that could only flounder until they were devoured by one greater than them. Those nations were nothing more than a resource to be harvested.

One stood out from the group with more clarity than the others. Hridvir, whose fearsome reputation outgrew her natural social circles, was a source of intrigue for Arlanna. Anyone could tell she was was a predator.

A small group sat on the hillside, watching the arrivals similarly to Arlanna, though they had arrived early, which she considered wise. She could make out little detail from this distance, but gut instinct told her that these people would be significant in days to come. Predators.

After a few minutes longer, Arlanna wordlessly turned her horse around and headed back to where her servants had established camp, hoping to reconvene with her own people once more.
Arlanna ap Tadgh




Arlanna approached the village at a slow pace on horseback. Though she had left ahead of the rest of the party, aside from a small escort, she had intentionally been travelling without haste so that they would catch up with her only shortly after her own arrival. Besides, she enjoyed the peace of relative solitude here on the road far more than the clamour and bickering that would inevitably take place at the council. She saw no reason to end that peace prematurely.

A single crow watched her from the branch of a nearby tree. Arlanna met its gaze and smiled faintly. She had always felt a strange kinship to the birds, and having one present so soon before such an important event was a comforting omen.

Arlanna's party was small. Only two guards walked with her - though both were wealthy enough to own swords and skilled enough to wield them, this would still no doubt pale in comparison to of any of the chiefs' forces, including Kerenatam's. They were only really suitable for defending against animal attacks on the journey, or perhaps a lone assassin. Were any real fighting to break out during the council, they would be practically useless. Other than that, maybe half a dozen servants of various roles followed behind, along with another pair of guards watching for anything that might target the tail end of the troupe. All except Arlanna were on foot.

The party arrived shortly afterwards. No herald announced their arrival, as Arlanna's mouth worked perfectly well and she preferred to speak for herself. In this case, she could be seen as a kind of herald herself - Kerenatam's herald.

She began to seek out the other attendees of the council, leaving the servants to set up the camp but bringing all four guards with her. She soon encountered a very large, hard to miss procession which clearly belonged to a far more important personality than herself. If she hadn't recognised the colours that this chief preferred to adorn his attendants with, she would still have had no trouble recognising him due to the heralds which loudly announced his presence. It was practically imperceptible upon her face, but she was glad Aedthel was here. At a time like this, all familiar faces were welcome. So, without hesitation, she found one of Aedthel's followers and asked them to tell him that Arlanna ap Tadgh had arrived.



Town hall
@Ruler Inc



Paige was grateful for the help getting down, but she didn't want any more than absolutely necessary. When it seemed like Lynette and Britney were going to carry her down the stairs she told them that that wasn't necessary. "Just support my weak side, and make sure I don't fall," she said to Britney specifically, assuming she was the stronger of the pair. Even is she didn't mind being a burden to the others, she still wouldn't have been able to bear the indignation of being physically hoisted down the stairs.

Once they were downstairs, Paige joined the search through the archive. Frustratingly, she found nothing - though Britney's estimate seemed accurate, it would be a lot quicker if they found what they were looking for without having to search the whole place, not that it was likely they would be so lucky. Paige wanted this over and done with as soon as possible, not out of laziness, but out of a desire for safety. More time out here was more time when someone could be killed.

Paige turned when she heard the voice that she didn't recognise, but quickly decided it was best to stay out of this. The others were already trying to resolve it, and more people talking to the mayor at once probably wouldn't help. Besides, guns had always made Paige feel uncomfortable, but vastly more so after she herself had been shot. As a result, her decision was to stand back and draw as little attention to herself as possible. The mayor, if he had even a shred of sanity left, should be able to tell they were human with no difficulty at all.



Town hall
@Atrophy@Ruler Inc



The cold fucking sucked. Though Paige had prepared the best she could, donning the most cold-resistant clothes in her wardrobe, her narrow frame did nothing to protect her, and her hands and face were still exposed. Plus, the snow made the ground uneven, making walking even worse for her. At least her weird fashion tastes would blend in better with the snow. Maybe that'd come in handy. More likely it'd just screw her over, though.

She was grateful for the times when Penny stepped back to walk with her. While she preferred to handle any problem she could (especially those related to her disability) by herself, there's a difference between independence and stupidity. Lagging behind could get her separated and killed. Even her pride wasn't worth that risk.

Once, as they were walking, Paige quietly said to Penny "Gotta talk to you later. Next time we're safe."

Other than that, she did not speak along the journey, not even in the graveyard outside the hall. What was there to say? It was gruesome, and horrific, but those people couldn't be helped now. This image was just another obstacle to be pushed out the way so that they could end this nightmare.

They entered the hall, and Paige was called up to the front, next to Penny once again. Paige wasn't completely sure on the reasoning behind that decision, but her guess was that the other girl just wanted to look out for her. Again, practicality was more important than pride, so the backup was appreciated, if that's what it was. Still, Paige wished she didn't have to be given backup in the first place. At least she had that Abstraction to help her - maybe she could fight off whatever was in here instead of running.

"I don't do well with stairs, especially if we have to go fast. And since Britney doesn't recommend the elevator, I guess I'll stay up here with her," Paige said when splitting the team (again) came up. Not that a rear guard was an inherently bad choice, but these guys clearly didn't watch many horror movies.



Grand Ridge Academy
@Ruler Inc @Atrophy



Paige smiled from where she was standing. She was tempted to give a round of applause. Britney seemed to have taken her advice to heart, already sharing more than she usually did, and though from Britney's perspective it must seem risky to hand over authority to anyone else like that, it was a decision that showed trust in the others, which hopefully would in turn encourage them to trust her. This was progress, and given time, Paige would seriously be able to believe that they were capable of winning this, of defeating the Glutton. The catch, of course, being that there wasn't all that much time left to be given.

Teams were being decided, and this was an easy choice for Paige. She had enjoyed her interactions with Penny so far and certainly knew her better than Justin, her only other choice. Not to mention that she was taking to the leadership role pretty well, her decisions all seeming quite grounded. Besides, Paige wanted to talk to Penny about something - privately.

So Paige walked over to where Penny was stood, again walking past Britney. The message she whispered this time was far more affirming than her previous: "You did good," she said, accompanying the simple statement with a brief but warm half-smile before she continued across the room. She was genuinely proud that Britney was learning and hoped it would be enough to save them.

Paige raised an eyebrow at Penny's comment as she joined her group. "I wanna say for the record that before I got this thing-" she said, gesturing with her head towards her prosthesis "-I was pretty fuckin' good at dodgeball, so speak for yourself."
Also still around
I'm interested, but I don't know the historical period that well. Will this be problem?
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