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Matthias Llywelyn - New Haven, Connecticut




With a satisfied sigh, Matthias closed Siege of Heaven and placed it on the table, mulling over the experience. A favourite, final stage, of reading historical novels for him was to read through the historical notes at the rear and then pursue the sources used. Of course, not all such fiction contained such a section but he spurned them; if the writer could not be bothered to list their research then obviously they had not done enough and might as well be placed into the fantasy section, for all the accuracy it purported to claim.

A glance at his watch, an old and simple thing with an analogue face which he had picked up from a small store in Salisbury just before starting sixth form, told him that it was already early afternoon. Quite without realising it, he had been drawn into the respectable and academic prose of Harper and lost much of his day. It was unusual for him to lose track in such a way but also a pleasant surprise. How long had it been since he had been so preoccupied with a tale?

A server wandered between the tables, collecting the leftovers of customers' visits. Clearly she spotted Matthias preparing to leave as he stood up, slipping the book into the large inside pocket of his coat, and so steered toward him. After a moment he recalled her name, having frequented the cafe often enough to know all of the staff to a reasonable extent, certainly to the point that he would be politely expected to know their names and exchange small talk.

"Good afternoon, Eve. I'm sorry, I got somewhat caught up in my book." He tapped the pocket his book was in. "You should have told me get another drink or kick me out." He smiled and she laughed politely at his poor joke, piling his crockery onto her tray.


"S'alright Matt. You know it's only just gone eleven though, right?"

Matt glanced again at his watch, wondering whether he had just misread it but the hands definitely declared it was past two in the afternoon. He tapped it, not really knowing why other than that he had seen those far more knowledgeable than himself on the inner workings of the device do so, and held it up to his ear but the cogs instead were audibly ticking and the hands both moving in response. After a quick check of his phone, to see if Eve was just pulling his leg, he saw a discrepancy with the digital side favouring the waitress.

"Strange, looks like my watch is out. In that case, good morning to you and goodbye. Are you in tomorrow?" She nodded as he moved past her toward the door. "I'll see you in the morning as usual then!" He waved, both to her and Brian behind the counter who returned the gesture, and headed outside into the much brisker weather. It was refreshing after the ever so slightly muggy warmth of the cafe, heated as it was by central heating, bodies and vaporising hot beverages, and he set off toward the campus.

As he began to walk he fiddled with his watch, turning the hands back carefully to match the display on his phone, automatically set to adjust to daylight savings and keep time perfectly with its ever present connection to the internet. The strange thing was he sure that the watch had been working earlier, certainly after the much earlier two o'clock in the morning. Assuming that he had knocked it, Matthias thought nothing more of it, his mind already turning back to the book and looking forward to poring over the historical notes and any suggested reading therein.
@Clever Hans

Looks great, we're both happy with it.

Just one note: no one is aware of the Gifted just yet (beyond really vague rumours/conspiracy theories) so that small bit needs editing but otherwise it's all good and ready to go.
Gifted Tempest



"Behind me you can see people leaving the clinic. These are the first patients to have undergone genetic testing for the relaunched Human Genome Project. We will catch up with some of them later on their thoughts on this mandatory testing, possibly the first ever international collaboration of its type."

As the reporter continues, hood pulled up against the blustery Autumn weather, the line entering the clinic grows ever longer with those trying to get this legally required task out of the way before they must head to work. Most are dressed in suits or carry briefcases and are by themselves, expensive watches on their wrists a source of frequent but brief moments of attention as the queue moves forward slowly. Some have come prepared with books or newspapers in their hands although many more scroll through their much more portable phones, idling the wait away.

Few seem much interested in the reasoning behind the requirement for them to be tested, shrugging and muttering about the inconvenience of it. A minority express equally informed and uninformed opinions but they are apart from the small protesting groups who have formed up outside near every medicinal outlet, trying to shout each other down over whether the testing is a scientific boon or an intrusive and unproven authoritarian move by the government. The queue ignores the passionate argument, shuffling forwards slowly into the clinic.





Matthias Llywelyn - New Haven, Connecticut




It was late morning by the time Matthias finally made his way down to his nearest clinic, following instructions on the email he had been sent. A letter had arrived the day before as well, reminding him of his requirement to attend with the same information on the digital version he was now reading; that had arrived early in the morning, 07:00 sharp which probably contravened some data protection laws but the governments of the world seem little concerned about such a thing. All that mattered was this genome mapping.

Science of any kind was not Matthias' strong suit, being a Master of Arts, that art specifically being medieval history; still, he had read around a little and asked Rhiannon to fill in the blanks for him. She had a way of explaining the complex theory to an amateur like him which made it understandable, if somewhat simplistic. What he had taken from it, at least, was that this whole testing could help make most any treatment that much more accurate, specifically with regards to cancers, and that it was all built on the basis of an old project which had ended in 2003. Beyond that it had become too complex for him to follow, not that he had much interest in the first place so he hardly applied his academic prowess to the matter; Rhian had said it was a good thing so he had just gone with it.

The queue had gone down considerably since the morning news report he had watched although it still took him nearly half an hour to get inside. There were mostly other students from Yale around him although plenty of locals from New Haven had come too, sole parents with their children in tow while their partner was at work and the elderly. He had come prepared for a long wait, his latest novel on the go open in his hand as he shuffled forwards with the rest of the queue. Siege of Heaven by Tom Harper, an interesting and somewhat heavy read in the historical fiction genre. Matthias liked to read such books in his downtime, testing his own knowledge and the interpretation of the author and enjoying successful identification of inaccuracies although Harper, being an Oxford graduate, was proving a tough challenger. So much so that Matthias was reading this book, the second in the series, and finding few enough problematic alterations that he could properly immerse himself in the tale.

His turn came and he marked his page with a bookmark, a leather one Rhian had sent him from a gift store in Cardiff dyed blue with a gold design of the waterfront on it, before stuffing it into one of the near-bottomless pockets of his winter coat. One of the buttons was looking a little lose on the front and he made a mental note to re-sew it when he got back, lest it pop off and he lose it altogether. It had been his grandfather's, probably an antique if clothing could truly be called such a thing, and he had yet to find anything of its kind that fit him so well without an excessive price tag attached.

He was invited into a small room, nothing particularly different to a General Practitioner's office from back home in Wales, which housed a bed, desk and office chair and two guest chairs with a sink in one corner and plenty of informative posters plastered to the walls. It was supposed to appear homely and it was certainly more welcoming than a clinical hospital environment, with its bright lights and constant underlying scent of bleach, but there was no getting away from the fact that the room had a certain businesslike aura to it. The nurse, a young clean-shaven man in plain blue scrubs who named himself as Carl, efficiently took some blood from Matthias' right arm all the while engaging him in friendly conversation.

"I read they preferred sperm to blood from men for this test." It was a bad habit of his, to spout often strange and uncomfortable information, but medical procedures always made him nervous and it helped to keep him calm. Carl laughed, explaining that the tests had come on along way in the nearly two decades since the end of the original project and it was the white blood cells they were really after so blood was the easiest to use. After a few standard questions Matthias was dismissed and he left the clinic quickly, not wanting to dally in a place that made him feel awkward at the best of times, and headed for his favourite cafe shop a few blocks down. It was one of the few in New Haven which served tea, brewed in the British fashion, and so it had become somewhat of a third home, outside of the university library and his actual abode.

He settled down with his drink and a small slice of chocolate cake, Carl's recommendation of a caffeinated drink and something sugary to make up for the small blood loss something Matthias was all too keen to take advantage of.
Erasmi Andora

@Raylah@Aamaya@Haeo


It was with his usual coldness that Erasmi watched eventual defeat of the monster with. Although he had no intention of Primfira being the ones to take the beast's head, such a goal would have resulted in the same casualties the other kingdoms had suffered, it still irked a less cautious and more prideful part of his heart that an Earthican was the one to take the glory. That was what being a king was, though; personal or even national glory was of no import if the path to its attainment was littered with the corpses of his people.

He forced a cool smile as he approached the Earthican warrior who had dealt the final blow while his men set about tending to the wounded and arranging the dead more respectfully. While their king had given no order these men and women knew what to do; at no time should they be simply standing and waiting for him to direct them for there was always a task to be done and those who stood and watched the world go by were not survivors. The Andorian people were the ultimate survivors and they had learned their craft the hard way.

"Congratulations, warrior. You have gained yourself great honour today." He looked the man up and down, noting his attire to be different to that of the other Earthican warriors he had seen earlier in the day. For that matter, this man was unknown to him and Erasmi had made a habit of memorising every face he saw, no matter how fleetingly; there was no way the victor had been in the royal entourage. "Alas, that it be at the cost of so many lives. It would seem that the Exodus warriors were ill-prepared to deal with such a threat. They are far from the places these creatures dwell, after all." He was gazing down at the headless corpse of the beast, the blood oozing from its stump of a neck slowing to a trickle even with the rain pouring down upon them.

Turning away from the unknown man, Erasmi spotted the other, more important, Freyjan Princess heading their way with guards positioned on either side of her. She was dressed as if for bed and, despite himself, the Primfiran king found her resolve admirable as she stepped forwards to take in the source of so much death. With barely a pause she ordered the Earthican to be brought to her, presumably for a suitable favour, and then swept away with commands for healers and others to deal with the scene. She was, if nothing else, a natural born ruler, more so than her parents in Erasmi's mind.

"If you find yourself without patronage, come and visit me. I make it my habit to employ useful people, regardless of their origin." With those final words to the the Earthican, Erasmi swept away, ordering two of his men to accompany him while the rest remained to sort out the carnage; he would not let it be said the Primfirans left as soon as the battle was done.

He returned to his rooms without further incident, his mind churning with ideas and questions. The latter were things that bothered him, he did not like not knowing the answers but time would soon tell; by daybreak word would have spread about the battle in the night and of the Earthican who had slain the beast, soon to be presented to the Princess. At that time he would find out who the man was and if there were anything more to him than what Erasmi had already seen.

With no further matters pressing, the king turned in for the night. He was pleased with the first day's events but it would be the days ahead which would truly entertain him.

and Laurel Mith


"What the hell was that? You are Levonian, not Thanatos... In what world did you think I would approve of such an atrocious act?" The ferocity of the king's words took Laurel aback and, in the face of his frenzy, she found herself unable to speak. Her prepapred words about honour and integrity and how that presented an image of Earthica he would surely agree with fell away and she remained silent. There was the stale smell of alcohol on the ruler's breath which was clearly not helping his mood, the man had a terrible temper that was quick to spark and slow to burn down and was perhaps his worst enemy when it came to the prudent task of administering a kingdom. It had been some time since she had seen him in such a rage and she remembered well enough past events that staying quiet was her best course of action; if she were lucky she might escape with just the verbal haranguing and could talk to him later when his mood was more mellow.

The king soon forgot them, his alcohol addled eyes picking Ultfic out from the sea of wounded warriors and he left to celebrate his champion. Tired, faint and now with emotional shock and a general feeling of unworthiness resting heavily upon her heart, Laurel felt her senses and mood fade to a point where she would notice and feel little. It was a poor attitude to take, she knew, but it was a depressive mood that sometimes took her over with the hope that it might protect her from any further mental blows. The responsible part of her was screaming that she should not let herself retreat so, it would hamper her abilities to act as Eve's guard but the mood quashed the reasonable point ruthlessly; she was not really the Princess' guard, there were plenty of better qualified men in the king's retinue who could carry out the duty and she had only come because Eve had asked her to. If she just stepped back and watched from the shadows then things would be easier and she would not have to keep up wih the charade.

"Eve, can we go to your rooms please?" She spoke in a quiet voice, not because she feared anyone overhearing her reveal their closeness but because she was too stunned to realise the verbal slip. Her tone was flat, empty, as she retreated into herself.


"Eve, If you spend all your time gallivanting with Laurel you will never get anything done. Night is falling daughter, a woman of your status shall not be out at this time in a stranger Kingdom. To your chambers, now..." Her fathers words, harsh and demanding, let her shrunk in her posture. Evangeline felt weaker and smaller, she felt disappointed. In herself for not fulfilling her father's expectations, but also in her father for being such an asshole again. "You are here for a reason daughter." For a reason.... right.... The King left the two women standing alone.

The quiet, empty voice of her friend concerned her. Eve nodded at her request and reached her hand out to touch Laurel's lower arm in silent support for a moment before withdrawing again. "You did nothing wrong", she tried to assure her. "You were glorious on the battlefield. My father is just... hurt in his pride. And drunk, very clearly."

She looked at the tired face of the warrior, trying to figure out what exactly she could do to make her feel better. Laurel feeling hurt or regretful or weak because of her father was something Evangeline absolutely hated. She knew how the King could make someone feel so small and stupid, she felt it on an almost daily basis. But she wanted Laurel to never meet with his anger like that.

King Klaus upon meeting Laurel for the first time had been stunned by her, appreciated her techniques, her finesse, her intelligence and her strength. He had always given her many more encouraging and supportive words than he would ever spare for his own daughter. He had even liked Laurel.

Evangeline motioned for Laurel to walk with her as she looked for and soon found an Exodus guard who would show them the way to Eve's chamber.


Laurel allowed herself to be led by Eve, heading towards the Princess' chambers on the directions of an Exodus guard. Despite the lethargic chains dragging her soul down into a low mood she tried to stay attentive, old instincts searching shadows for anything hiding there and being mindful of her surroundings. It was unlikely anyone would attempt somethin in the middle of the Exodus palace but such complacency was something she was sure an assassin would make use of. Her field of vision was blurred, a side effect of her concussion she was sure, so she slowly swung her head from side to side to check all around them although the movement made her fresh stitches itch. She had to admit, though, that the Freyjan healer had done a good job; certanly better than she could manage herself. She wanted something to soothe the pain but alcohol was out of the question, despite its pain nulling effects it was likely to cause her other issues just as Thyrri had warned.

"Maybe you should get another guard for tonight, Eve," they were alone so she had no fear of being overheard, "I'm not sure I'm in any condition to protect you if something happens." How had she allowed her pride and sense of honour get in the way of what she was meant to be doing here? She was supposed to be protecting her friend and princess, the heir to the throne, and instead she had participated in a ridiculous event of internatonal machismo resulting in her being unable to carry out that duty. Both as a guard, entrusted with an important task, and as a friend meant to be looking out for Eve in this nest of potentially poisonous vipers, she had utterly failed. "I'll be okay by tomorrow, I think. I just need some time to rest my head." She paused, leaning against a wall as a bout of dizziness threatened to topple her but it soon passed.


As Laurel leaned against the wall, Evangeline stopped to stand next to her, concerned. She shook her head gently at Laurel's words. "I can take care of myself for a night or two. Don't worry about it. It's you you should be thinking about. You can barely stand on your feet." She held her arm out as an offer. "Lean on me, if you must. I just want to get you to bed. You need quiet, water and a lot of sleep."

It was strange for Evangeline to have their roles reversed in such a way. Her taking care of Laurel. Laurel needing her protection. While she was heavily concerned, still felt responsible for her friend's participation in the tournament and it hurt her to see her in this condition, she was also glad she could return the favor, give something back to her for once.

Without further asking she wrapped her arm around Laurel's waist to steady her and continued their walk in a slow pace. The Exodus guard shot them a strange look - Eve was unsure of what it meant, but she didn't care -, but he did not offer to help her. Perhaps he was smart enough to know not to interfere.

As they reached the chamber after turning left and right too many times and climbing some stairs, Eve ordered the guard to leave them alone and he went away without a word, obviously relieved to be excused from being the navigator of these two slow-walking women. Evangeline guided Laurel towards the large bed and softly let her sink onto it, propping her feet up onto it afterwards. She took a moment to stretch her body, feeling her muscles screaming at the weight she had been holding on only one side.

The princess noticed that the room was clearly not a 'top priority' chamber, even without paying much attention to it's furniture. While still fancy for Earthica standards, she realized it was not made to impress her, not for Exodus standards at least. But to be fairly honest, Eve was glad. She preferred this over what she could only imagine being Exodus' 'most elite' chambers.

Her hand moved over the sheets that Laurel lied upon, they were so soft, unlike anything she had ever touched in Earthica's palace. She was not even sure if she should still be calling it a palace. Eve had always considered her home to be huge and fancy and a real eye catch. But it was barely a ruin next to Exodus' royal facility. She began to feel a little homesick as she though back to her own room, her own bed, her training grounds on which she had build her own Parcours.

Her hand continued to move, as she reached Laurel's leg she gave it a gentle nudge. "How are you feeling?" She sat down to her feet and began to take off her shoes. "I will put these on the floor for you. Do you want a water maybe?" Evangeline felt strange. She had never needed to take care of someone before and she clearly didn't know how to. She tried to recall how her maids and her mother had acted around her when she had been sick. What did they offer her? What made her feel better when she felt weak? But her mind had trouble grasping a situation from the past she had never put much effort into remembering in the first place.

"Just let me know, whatever you need, okay?"


It was a strange sensation, Eve supporting her so publicly. Large parts of her flickering consciousness cried out in embarassment, trying to warn her that it was not proper or seemly and would inevitably harm the image of Earthica. Wise words, to be sure, but politics were never something that she had been bothered to observe, let along have any skill at. The more tired and prevalent mood took control and she allowed Eve to half lead, half carry her battered and unwilling body through the hallways of the lavish Exodus palace with the guard as their reluctant guide.

Most of the journey was a blur to her and she mumbled vaguely coherent replies to Eve as she was transported to Eve's chambers. Before she knew it she was lying on a bed and the Princess was taking off her boots awkwardly, clearly unused to helping someone else out of their footwear.

A strange thought entered her giddy mind and she chuckled inanely to herself at the thought of Eve attempting to seductively undress someone else; if her current actions were any sign she would need other methods. In her oddly detached state the thought then irritated her, a flash of jealousy at Eve giving some imaginary person such attention igniting an entirely insuitable desire in her chest.

Lying on the bed she returned full to consciousness, the strange thoughts from before forgotten.

"You should call for a guard Eve... night isn't safe." When had words become so hard? Perhaps her head injury was more serious than she had previously assumed."I'll be okay. Just need some rest. I'll be right as rain tomorrow, you'll see." The strange, slightly delerious state returned, it was a lot like being drunk, and she had to suppress a random giggle.

"How come you put that dress on? Thought you hated it..." Her words came out a little slurred, slow but still managing to run into one another. "Looks nice though... on you I mean." She laughed again, feeling lightheaded. What a release to just say what came into her mind!


Eve's forehead furrowed for a short moment, worried about her friend and her slurred words, as though she had trouble to speak clearly. The princess turned her body to face Laurel once she had placed the warrior's shoes by the bedside. She looked at her for a while in silence, before a soft smile played around her lips.

The situation wasn't ideal and frankly Evangeline was slightly panicking. If anything happened to Laurel, if her condition got worse, if there was a serious internal injury that Thyrri had overseen - she wouldn't know what to do. She would be at a loss of actions and probably do more damage than good in trying to help her friend. The idea frightened her.

But she smiled nonetheless. Finally she had time alone with her friend, to catch up, to tell her how she had felt all day long, about her first impression on the city and the palace, how she had met Amaya and Thyrri and the reason why she had changed her attire, how her parents hadn't even noticed it or, if she was being brutally honest, her. Oh how glad she was to have the redheaded woman back at her side!

"Firstly, no", the princess giggled softly as she began to answer Laurel. "No guard. I do not want anyone eavesdropping on us. I wanna talk freely to you, to my friend. And as you know I have always been against those babysitters. I only make an exception for you." She put a little smirk on and wiggled with her eyebrows jokingly.

"As for the dress... Well that is a funny story actually." She shifted her weight, leaned onto one hand that she had placed next to Laurel's legs. "And talking about it, I really really gotta get out of it. I hate it. And it wasn't even worth it!" She made a sound like an angry animal. "I met Thyrri - she was your healer, if you remember? - at the garden right after having had a short lived conversation with her cousin princess Aamaya. And somehow the chit chat between us got directed to her family, her aunt the Queen to be more exact. And as she told me how their relationship was, I just realized that my mother had always been very accepting of me and had given me as much freedom as I could have in my position. So I kind of got guilty - and also because of princess Aamaya! - and I just had to change, try to make up for what I've ruined, but then they didn't even notice or care. And I also didn't get any chance to talk to the princess again and apologize for my attire and behavior. I just... I messed up again, Laurel."

She sighed heavily. "But that is not so important. I mean of course it is somehow, but right now you are way more important. How are you feeling? Are you sure you don't want a glass of water? Or... I don't know.... a warm bath?" Her rambling ended abruptly after that question had been asked. A slight red filling her cheeks once her mind caught up with her quicker mouth.


Was her head spinning too much or were Eve's cheeks red? Laurel had noticed the princess blushing more as of late although as far as she could tell there was nothing for the royal heir to be embarassed about. She thought about what Eve had said, mulling over the conversation she had with the Freyjan princesses with a brief stab of jealousy; try as she might she had never been able to get Eve to take a responsible course of action over the many years they had known each other and yet these other women had succeeded in a matter of hours! Laurel was sure that was partly down to their shared social status, the trappings of royalty and the expectations that came with it things that were well beyond her but an area Eve shared with the foreign princesses. It was perhaps the first time that Eve had encountered foreign royalty, certainly ones that were of her own age and in a similar situation, eminently marriageable with strong and direct links to the throne. It was all too much politics for Laurel but she had the good fortune to be able to step away from it all, there was no such look for these other women who must endure it.

"Maybe in the morning, I think the steam might go to my head right now." She sat up, the dizziness had faded somewhat now that time had passed since they had travelled to Eve's chambers. She realised, somewhat belatedly, that it was late with a pitch blackness outside only illuminated by many lights of the festival strung outside and the moon above. When had she last eaten, she wondered? There had been no time during the day, she had been whisked away to the tournament almost as soon as she had neared anything that could have sated her appetite. "I think what I could do most with is something to eat. I haven't had anything since this morning, before we got here. That's probably why I feel so weak." It made sense, in conjunction with her head wound; the latter was not sufficient to lay her so low and the shock of the injury was also clearing away to leave her more clear headed and feeling a little stronger.

With that clarity of thought she began to take more notice of their surroundings and soon she picked up on increased activity outside in the hall, panicked voices and the clattering sound of armoured soldiers running. They were not the sounds of a peaceful palace during a festival and she was instantly on the alert, the dagger strapped to her belt flowing into her hand as she stepped up toward the door, adrenaline banishing the unsurety her body had been exhibiting since the tournament. She ignored Eve's worried questioning, yanking the door open forcefully and demanding news from a passing servant who paled a little at the sight of the drawn blade in her hand. Laurel had little time for her fear and snapped at the unfortunate man for news.


"A bear, mistress! A true monster, in the streets. Guests are to stay in their rooms, the King and Queen have ordered it!

He scurried away, leaving Laurel staring after the backs of a group of Exodus soldiers rushing towards what was presumably an exit leading to the rest of the city and the bear. Fools, they need to weaken it with javelins and bows before they attack with spears. She slipped her dagger back into its sheath before reentering the room and looking for her bow, previously delivered by a servant. She started toward it, her mind running over the times she had encountered a monstrous bear before. She had planned those times, leading them into traps and picking them off from a distance; if ever she was unprepared she had retreated for they were not to be trifled with and she doubted these cityfolk properly understood the threat they faced.

"There's a bear on the loose. I'm probably one of the few who've fought one before, I need to go an help." She paused, a bought of dizziness washing over her and she stumbled, leaning on a wardrobe for support for a moment and stared at her bow. Could she pull that great warbow in her current state or would going be simply suicide? Pride and conscience battled with sense and caution and she stopped for a moment as the two sides fought for control as she gazed at her beloved weapon vacantly.


A sudden business in the hallway outside her chamber caught Eve's attention, and with a look over at her friend, who was on her feet suddenly, she knew it had caught Laurel's as well. Eve could spot the worry in her face and it alarmed her. She was not worried for what was going on outside so much, but rather what Laurel would do to protect her from whatever was going on.

As Laurel pulled the door open and roughly demanded some answers to the burning question, Eve reached for her throwing knives. Her mind caught up with the situation quickly. She was in danger. Not personally, not because of her title or her wealth, but because of a beast that didn't discriminated anyone and would gladly end everyone's lives, should they come close enough. People were fighting in the gruesome rain, she could see the scene in front of her inner eye, see the deaths. Oh god, she prayed it wouldn't be her men, it wouldn't be many of her own.

With her knives drawn and resting between the fingers of her right hand, ready to be thrown with an exact precision that was unmatched, she reached for Laurel's hand with her free one, tightly gripping onto it. "No." Her voice was stern. It was an order. "I want you to lie back down." Her arm wrapped around Laurel's waist once more and with way more strength than before she forcefully guided the woman back to the bed, gently pushing her down to a sitting position on the soft sheets. "You will stay here. In this room. You will not interfere with the fight." The serious look in her eyes softened as her heart began to ache at the thought of her friend battling such a beast in her current condition. "Stay safe", she whispered, her voice soft and kind, but also broken and begging.

Evangeline looked at the closet standing tall in the room. With three large steps she reached it and pulled it upon. A single look confirmed her assumption. Her luggage had been carried to her chamber for her and her clothes had been hung up and laid out in the closet carefully, ready for her. And there, leaning on the left side, was her bow and her quiver with arrows. "I need to get out of this dress right now." Her words were mumbled, meant for herself rather than any listener, but still loud enough.

The three knives disappeared beneath her clothes again. She had pulled them out of instinct, in case she would need instant protection, or Laurel would have needed assistance as she opened the door. But the corridor seemed safe enough. People were still rushing by, the door stood open, Evangeline didn't care.

With quick fingers she pulled on various parts of the dress, tried to get it over her head, to get it loose enough to wiggle it off, but it was proven to be much more difficult than that. The dress uncomfortable tightened around her chest instead, leaving Eve gasping for air. Who invented these monstrous things?! I would take on a bear any day over clothing like this!

The princess tried to open the back of her dress, but her arms couldn't reach due to the tightness of the material around her slim body, her mobility was restrained enormously.


Eve overpowered her easily in her weakened state, steering her toward the bed and forcing her down. They were both physically fit and in their prime but while Eve lacked the sheer brute strength practicing with a warbow had given Laurel she was able to steer the dizzy woman, weak from lack of food and her injury. For a few moments, disoriented, Laurel did not notice Eve trying to free herself from her dress and her confused mind was slow to pick up on what she was doing. Inevitably, however, she caught up and, ignoring her friend's stern words to stay sat, she stood unsteadily and helped the princess out of the constricting dress, ripping the material easily even in her fumbling condition.

"You're not going out either, Eve. Even when you've been with me you haven't faced one of those things, you don't know what a fully mature one is capable of!"


Eve's heart jumped when she felt two hands on her, pulling on the dress to help her out of it. As the fabric dropped to the floor and pooled around her ankles, she stepped out of it. The woman was left standing in front of Laurel in the same underwear that Thyrri had seen her in earlier and the borrowed shoes she still had to return.

The fiery red head felt so much more comfortable in the forest green lace bra and panties, that had a few very thin, delicate branches with only a couple leaves of golden yarn draped over them. The air that hit her skin was amazing! Eve felt much more alive suddenly, braver and more powerful than before.

Her eyes didn't dare to meet with Laurel's as she answered to her. "I might have not. But I can still help. Weaken it from afar. I will not get too close. But I have to do something. This is my folk fighting for their lives out there. My men dying to protect a foreign city from this beast. I have to honor them with my presence, I have to show them respect and fight by their side. I can not hide in my chambers while they fall victim to the giant paws and tireless blood thirst of this beast."

With quick hands Eve snatched a pair of pants and a top out of the closet and put them on. She decided there was no time to try and undo the complicated shoes she was wearing, they would have to do for now. Without shooting Laurel another look she grabbed her bow and quiver, made a turn on her heels and strutted towards the door, ready to fling herself into the fight.


Eve was heading out the door, towards the battle. If she were in better condition and if she were younger, Laurel would have grabbed her own bow and followed her friend out the door but she knew better now. She could not protect Eve while she herself was so weak but more importantly she had come across the remnants of unprepared hunting bands beyond the safety of Earthica's walls far too often. Eve was skilled, there was no denying it, but she was also impetuous and was ruled by her whims, things a bear preyed on for it was not merely a mass of brute strength.

"Eve!" She called out but the Princess would not be stopped so easily. With a will she surged forwards and wrapped her strong arms around Eve, encircling her torso and pinning the Princess' arms to her body. "I can't let you go, Eve." She grunted, lifting the other woman up off the ground in her powerful grasp and shuffled back to the bed before collapsing back on it, still holding her friend tightly against her own body.

"I know you don't want to hear it, Eve, but it's their job to fight and die for their kingdom. Yours is to survive so that the king has an heir." She grunted as an elbow was pressed roughly into her ribs, the Princess struggling in her grip but she would not let go and Eve could not break her grasp so easily. "It's my job to keep you safe, I can't do that out there. Can you just let me do that, this once?" She continued quietly, her voice barely above a whisper. "I'm not losing you to that beast."


Hearing her friend call out for her to stay pained her deeply. It felt like she was leaving a part of her behind somehow. But she couldn't stop, if she stopped walking, if she turned around, if she allowed herself to listen to her words, she would fail to go through with her mission.

But Laurel didn't try more than one call to stop her. Her next attempt, admittedly taking the princess by surprise, was of much more efficiency. Arms wrapped around Evangeline tightly, her body got squeezed together, she let out a yelp and dropped her bow and quiver in the surprise attack which she could only describe as a tight grip hug.

The next moment she got lifted up and taken back to the bed. Imprisoned in Laurel's arms they lied on the sheets. Evangeline attempted to get out of the grip, she wiggled and pushed as best as she could with her arms being trapped like that, but it was all to no use. For some reason Laurel had gained a massive amount of strength, her weakness gone for the moment.

The warrior continued to lecture her about the roles they all had to play, but she didn't listen. She didn't want to hear those things, didn't want to face them. She tried to ignore her words. Laurel's whisper about not losing her broke her though. Her limbs went still, she stopped squirming. "You will not lose me."

The situation was absurd. A princess trapped in a big bear hug on her huge bed by her injured warrior with the door wide open and people still occasionally hurrying by in the hallway, a deadly beast on the loose on the outside.

The ginger woman sighed. "Let me go. You won. I'll stay." The truth was that Laurel's words had struck Evangeline and she had realized that Laurel would not be stopped from following her. She could lock her up, she could tie her down, but Laurel would fight her way out, find her, protect her, with her life. And that was something Eve would not let happen. It was inappropriate and unforgivable, but the undeniable truth was that Laurel's life meant more to her than those of any other Earthican warrior. And she felt bad because of it, she felt like she had failed her people, she felt like a miserable person, she felt like she betrayed them, like she was responsible for their deaths because she had decided not to join them - which was silly of course, how would she have stopped the beast from injuring or killing anyone? - but more than anything she wanted to keep this beautiful woman that was squeezing the life out of her safe and well. She was more important.


Reluctantly, Laurel loosened her grip at Eve's words, the fight leaving both their bodies. She could feel Eve relaxing in her arms, their bodies pressed against each other in a way they had never been before; closely. Intimately. She banished the thoughts that rose in her mind instantly, now was not the time for wild fantasies and she could feel the strength which she had dredged up to pull Eve back suddenly draining away from her leaving her body feeling weaker than before. Somewhat hesitantly she rolled away, lying with her back on the bed and staring up at the ceiling as it swam before her.

"Thank you." She murmured as sleep took her again, its clawing tendrils no longer something which she could fight off.


The closeness, which Laurel's attempt in stopping her had ended in, was abruptly broken when the woman rolled off of her, releasing Evangeline from her grip. The Earthica princess took in a deep breath, her lungs finally free from the strong and tight hug.

As she turned her head to look at her friend she saw Laurel's eyes closing. The red head mumbled a 'thank you' to her as she drifted off into sleep. Eve's eyes lingered on Laurel's face, now calm and relaxed as slumber took her over. She was relieved the warrior finally found some rest. It was much needed.

A sigh left her lips. She wondered what it would feel like to move her finger tips over the soft skin on her cheeks. Run them down her nose gently. Play with the beautiful red mane. What would it be like if she moved closer and felt her calm breath on the skin of her neck? Evangeline shook her head slowly, scolding herself. Inappropriate thoughts. What would Laurel say if she knew about them? She would probably be freaked out. Her best friend thinking such shameful things! And those were only the innocent thoughts of which she had recently been having.

Her feelings for Laurel had always been strong. But for a while now they had grown into a different direction. One that Eve didn't like, but also loved as it was exciting and it didn't feel so wrong, but it was wrong in all ways! It was confusing. She was her friend. Her guard. Eve was her princess. She had a certain power over her. Simply by having that title. It could never turn into a healthy relationship. But hold your horses, stupid princess! She would not want that. She would perhaps distance herself from you, if you dared to tell her anything about it. She is dutiful. She would think of it as wrong, because of her being your guard and your friend.

Evangeline finally took her eyes off her friend's peaceful face. She sat up and slid off the bed to close the door that still stood open. She picked up the bow and arrows from the floor and stuffed them into the closet along with her ripped off dress. Then she began to try to undo the shoes she had borrowed. Luckily it was less complicated to get them off. The shoes got carefully placed into the closet; she would have to make sure to thank Thyrri for her help and kindness. She should make a gesture, maybe she could ask her to take her out for a meal as a thank you? Was that a thing in Exodus? She knew in Earthica, where money was rare, taking someone out to eat anywhere was somewhat of a deal. Of course, Exodus would have much different places to offer food, she assumed. But maybe their traditions were so different from Eathicas that they would not consider this gesture something special? She would have to ask Thyrri about that.

The princess took her bra off by opening it and pulling it through one of her t-shirt's sleeves. It landed on the floor. She then moved back to the bed and layed down on it, carefully slipping underneath the blanket. She would sleep in pants and shirt today, she didn't care enough to get changed.

Tonight has costed her a lot of energy. Getting forced into a dress, shoes and hairstyle she hated. Travelling to a strange city. So many expectations about her behavior, that she had all already failed to follow. The festival. The talk with Aamaya, which turned out to having been a disaster. Her little adventure with Thyrri, trying to correct a mistake, which also ended in a disaster. Laurel getting hurt in a tournament, which was clearly one of the most stressful things she had endured all her life. Her father talking about punishing her friend. Her parents ignoring her presence as much as they could. The bear attack. Her men dying. Laurel stopping her from helping them. Her torn feelings about the beautiful red headed warrior, the best she had ever seen. And now she was lying here, on a soft as clouds bed with a gorgeous woman, being safe and sound, not making a single move to help her men out there, leaving them to die without trying to stop it. She felt terrible. But she would not sneak out. She would not leave Laurel alone. She would not risk anything happening to her tonight.

Evangeline stared at the ceiling, thoughts over thoughts clashing together in her head, all demanding attention, all causing a storm of different, conflicting emotions. She did not know what to do. She wished for nothing else but to be home. She wanted to close her eyes, fall asleep and wake up at home in her bed, the festival not yet having begun, it all just having been a gigantic mess of a nightmare. She wanted to wake up in a world where Laurel didn't get hurt because of Eve's inattentiveness, where she did not mess up her very first conversation with the mighty princess of Exodus, where she did not stand half naked in front of the royal healer, where she did not disappoint her parents so enormously, where her men didn't die on their first night away from home - many of which had wives and children waiting at home for them. The truth was, she wanted to get back to her privilege life of not caring about what happened in the world, back to a reality where she lived in a bubble and all was well.

But tomorrow would come mercilessly and she would face the aftermath of her actions. The bear fight would most likely be over then. Funerals would have to be dealt with. But her father and mother would take care of that. That was a little relief to her.

On the other hand, she still had to talk to Aamaya. Apologize. Impress. Wow her. Marry her...

With those thoughts her eyes fell shut as exhaustion caught up with her.
Gifted Tempest

Co-GM @wolverbells
Ten months have passed since the rumours of 'Gifted' individuals began to circle, first appearing on oft disregarded message boards in disused corners of the internet. Soon those rumours gained traction, more and more joining the ranks of this newest of conspiracy theories as those supposedly exhibiting these strange powers disappeared suddenly and without explanation. More respectable blogs and news sites picked up the story, although with a hefty degree of scepticism, while social media became abuzz with supposed genuine videos while many still put it all down to digital editing skills and the ever impressive array of photographic effects available on mobile phones.

Unusually for such a rumour, however, there was a kernel of truth to some of the tales. Gifted individuals were appearing, albeit at a slow rate and without any discernible pattern and with abilities so weak that many were theorised to be Gifted but never found out. These unusual people disappeared from public life rapidly and, only adding to the swirling miasma of conspiracy theories, several governments began programmes of mandatory genetic testing with the supposed aim of contributing data to the Human Genome Project but without of the earlier transparency.

More stories of the suddenly disappeared began to spread after the testing completed and worried individuals began to shrink away from society, hiding themselves from the pursuing forces that many now acknowledged, unofficially at least, truly existed. Those whose Gifts had manifested in ways that could not be denied even by the most alarmist of minds fled with the knowledge that those who were caught were not seen again snapping at their fleeing heels.





Hello and welcome to the Gifted Tempest (a new spin on our frequent favourite: The House of Powers RP).

The short version is that this is a RP based on people gaining powers (science based, if you can call it that, rather than magic based) and governmental bodies looking to chase them down and research, and then exploit, these Gifts.

Characters will be adults, 25+ with established lives (families, friends, careers etc) with no anime or overly unrealistic lifestyles (contrary to popular RP character rosters, the vast majority of people aren't skilled martial artists) and mature themes will run through this RP so only those 18+ may apply. This is not smut 18+, to be clear. Just the much more respectable gore and violence themes. That being said, these characters are adults, relationships and other things happen; be realistic.

The RP will start at the stage when the mandatory genetic testing for 'health research purposes' has gotten into full swing and the rumours of Gifted individuals were largely unbelieved rumours; the initial thrust of the RP from there should be fairly clear from above.

The characters should have powers which are hitherto unknown to them and should somehow reflect their personality/life choices.

I will be updating this and a 0th post with new information as we progress so keep an eye on it. We'll also have a Discord channel to chat in.

@RumikoOhara

That's perfect. Something a little out of the ordinary that might top her off later when rumours circulate about Gifted people. Of course it might be too late by then... Spoilers.
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