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4 mos ago
Current Gonna be without power for a bit today, apologies if I don't speak much.
1 yr ago
Have a few days off. Look for posts for sure today & tomorrow!
2 yrs ago
Just found out an online friend I used to RP with passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly. Didn't know them super well, but the news is saddening all the same =(
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2 yrs ago
Family ate Thanksgiving a night early because of schedules. Will be tending to all my various posts tomorrow since I'll have time to do so!
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Wilhelm the Black Blade

Husband of Onyx (@Vesuvius00) and Amalia (@Belle)
Interacting with Onyx & Amalia


As breakfast concluded Wilhelm made his way outside and began checking over his horse, ensuring the saddle was tightened properly and that the great beast was well prepared for the travel ahead. Behind him, a commotion of man and beast drew his attention as his attendant wrestled with one of the carriage horses, but to his surprise another voice cut in; Amalia's. Intrigued, he turned to watch the events unfold. For a moment it seemed the driver might grab or strike his bride; a sharp look from Wilhelm caught in the corner of the man's eye dissuaded him of that rather quickly. He threw his hands up not long after, and the blonde bride went to work. To Wilhelm's surprise she managed to quiet the horse's temper, and before long she'd found the source of the anguish- a pebble lodged in the beast's hoof. Earth Gems had been noted to have skill with animals, but he'd never seen it quite so pronounced or used so effectively.

"Well then," he said as he sauntered closer, "I trust you won't be needing my bride's assistance in tending to that. With both haste and care, if you're capable."

The driver was furious, that much was clear, but a continued stare from his master set the man on his work. While he did that, Wilhelm firmly patted Amalia on the back and bade her step away. "That was impressive," he said with a touch of amusement to his tone, "It seems I was quite fortunate this Reaping. Now then, into the carriage with your sister bride. We will leave as soon as the horse is tended to."

True to his word, as soon as the driver had finished removing the rock and tightening the horseshoe he was clambering into his seat as Wilhelm mounted his horse. With nary a word to the brides they set off, hooves and wheels clattering against the street. The city was remarkably still as they moved through it, the sun just barely cresting over the taller buildings. Soon the capital would stir with activity once again, but Wilhelm had designs to be gone by the time it did. The watchers at the gate gave them little trouble, aided by Wilhelm's riding in the open, and it was not long before they had left the city behind. Cobblestone roads and iron walls soon gave way to roughly hewn dirt and the desolate rolling hills of the Drakkan countryside. The morning mist was beginning to fully fade away as they traveled, revealing the brown grass and rocky soil underfoot. Little sound save the rattling of the carriage and the grunt of the horses echoed as they moved, and to say truth Wilhelm preferred it as such. His preference lay, as it always would, in the solitary confines of his own domain, where nothing happened without his knowledge and approval, and here in the quiet was the closest he would find this near to the city with its buzzing hive of pomposity, bragging, and folly. To say nothing, of course, of the tactical advantages the silence offered should some bullheaded fool be lying in wait, looking to hawk his brides from him.

Things went smoothly for quite some time. The road continued its silence, broken only by the occasional chatter of his brides and his own, rarer responses. That changed, however, around midday. As they crested the top of a hill, Wilhelm called a halt to the procession. He gazed ahead, seeing the deep gorge cut into the land that was his usual route home- Bloodrock Pass. He motioned for the driver to unseat himself and approach him.

"You said there were reports of a landslide," he said, not quite as a question.

"That is correct my lord," the driver replied, "But I could not confirm it."

"Then you will do so now," he commanded, "Take the lead horse and one of the spare saddles. See with your own eyes if the pass is blocked or not. It is a quarter hour's ride between here and there. I will remain here with my brides, awaiting your report. Do not disappoint me."

"Of course not, my lord."

Not long after the driver had separated the stronger of the two horses, saddled him, and was riding down the hill toward the gorge. Wilhelm observed him as he went until he was out of sight, and then turned his eyes toward the pass itself. Perhaps the tellings of a landslide would prove false, but if not... it was concerning, to say the least. Regardless, he thought as he adjusted his sword at his hip, he was Wilhelm the Black Blade. And come storm, stone, or simpleton he would keep what was his.



Zeldria Miphras

Bride to Ineraz (@SilverPaw), Sister Bride to Sera (@Pupperr)
Interacting with Ineraz & Sera


She wasn't sure what she had expected from Ineraz in response to her account. Certainly not sympathy or pity, she knew better than that. And even if she hadn't known, the way he looked at her with his face full of scarcely concealed and almost mocking disapproval made it exceptionally clear. He would have died before surrendering himself to an enemy, as she had. Of course that was the case; he was a Drakken. His people prided themselves on war. Ineraz the Beastmaster had never, nor would he ever, encounter a foe that he knew in his very soul he could not hope to fight. He would never know what it meant for a sacrifice to be his only way out, to give a finger to save his arm. The very notion, she realized, was the mark of a coward to him. And there was little doubt in her mind that he now thought less of her, knowing that. Such thoughts were only reinforced by his questioning of her commitment, of all things.

Strangely, however, she didn't care. Somewhere inside of her, his dismay toward her meant absolutely nothing. She knew she'd made the right choice on that fated afternoon. Somewhere, years from now, those children would be able to smile thanks to her. And nothing he said or did would change that. There was a comfort and a power in that, aided and abetted by a little indignation as well. He presumed to judge her, but what would he know about her situation? But, much as she wanted to stare him in the face and tell him such, she also knew it was impossible. After all, there was no way a Gem like her could ever stand up to a Drakken directly.

"That, my lord," she began carefully, "Was because I was, and still am, a stranger in strange lands, given as property to you with no knowledge of who you are, what your preferences are. I think you'll find that I adapt well, given the chance, but I am still familiarizing myself with Drakka and your house, at present."

It was at that point that one of the guards came bursting in, nursing burns on his person, and began whispering in Ineraz's ear. Zel couldn't make out what was being said, but shortly thereafter Ineraz had the guard by the throat and began to aggressively threaten him. He beckoned her and the guard to follow him as he left the room. They did so, and before long they came across Sera, standing in the middle of a room, utterly horrified by something. Zel's eyes widened as Ineraz moved to question her. Sera had burned one of the guards? But how? Where had she found the courage? The very idea was unimaginable to Zel, and given the events at Shadow Worth it seemed tantamount to suicide! And yet, here Ineraz was, praising her for it. Would he come to expect the same of her? Was that why he always looked at her with dismay? Not that she wished for his approval, of course, but if Sera proved a better alternative... what on earth would he do to her? Moreover, Sera had clearly proved herself willing and able to wield her fire against a Drakken when crossed. What would she do to me then, Zel asked herself quietly. And all she was capable of in that moment was stare in disbelief at Sera, uncertain of anything she'd be able to do at all.

Alexander


Well, at least the lad seemed to be taking things well. He seemed to always be glancing around, especially out the windows- Alexander could understand that. Clearly his home was more outdoorsy than this place, and when that was the case you never really adjusted to staying inside again. As if to confirm the thought, he watched Ryker bolt for the room's only window and fling it wide open to breathe in the air.

"Well, I'm glad you like it!" he exclaimed with a wide smile. A smile that faded instantly when he saw where Ryker's hand was beginning to stray. When that hand moved definitively toward his precious dagger, Alexander exploded into action. Quick as a flash he stepped to just behind Ryker and lashed his hand out to clamp around the new boy's forearm with a grip like iron. The smile was gone, replaced with a stern glare that nothing he'd done prior suggested he was capable of.

"I would really. REALLY. Rather you didn't."

Confident that his message had gone through, Alex released his grip, smiled again, and turned to respond to the knocking at the door- though his eyes never entirely left Ryker, and they wouldn't until he stepped fully away from the dresser.

"Hello Eleanor, was wondering when you'd get here!" he said as he opened the door and greeted the headmistress, "Just about got done showing Ryker the room, matter of fact!"

@Siaya Dragalorn
@Kirah

Wilhelm the Black Blade

Husband of Onyx (@Vesuvius00) and Amalia (@Belle)
Interacting with Amalia


Wilhelm ate in silence, occasionally stopping to observe his brides as they ate. They seemed to have some trouble with the food, but that was typical. The flora and fauna in Drakka were from very different from that of Gemmenia, after all, it was only natural that their taste and texture was different. And Gems, frail creatures that they were, almost universally had difficulty adjusting. Less experienced bride takers might punish Gems who showed this difficulty outwardly; Wilhelm did not. If they were destined to survive they would adapt as they needed to, so long as they attempted to aid it.

"Forgive me for questioning milord, but I am curious. How far away is your home?" Amalia asked. "What is it like? I was raised in a coastal area, so I have always wondered what snow is like. Does it ever snow in your land?"

"Castle Nachtstone is quite a distance from here," he replied, "With speed and fortune we will arrive shortly after sunrise tomorrow. Without, perhaps closer to midday. It lies at the base of a ring of mountains that forms a natural barricade. A particular ore ideal for crafting weapons can be mined there, and it is upon that which my family has prospered. Among other more valorous deeds, of course."

"It is a castle of blackened stone and iron," he continued nonchalantly, "And it sits in the midst of a small settlement where live the slave races as well as some lesser Drakken. They manage the mines and quarries. You will be dwelling in the castle. As for snow, that must be found further in among the peaks. At Nachtstone you will find only harsh ice, come winter."

"Dress warmly and watch your step when that arrives," he added wryly.


@Vesuvius00@Belle Wilhelm post will be coming on Saturday, I'm just tired because it's super late/early. Putting this here in case one or both of you doesn't see the discord. Apologies in advance.

Vesu, if you'd like to slip in before I reply to Belle, give me a shout and I'll hold.

Zeldria Miphras

Bride to Ineraz (@SilverPaw), Sister Bride to Sera (@Pupperr)
Interacting with Ineraz


Time seemed to accelerate as Zel worked in the kitchen. The cooking was challenging, both due to her inexperience with the game and the incessant hissing behind her back as the servants made their disapproval known. The first few times she'd turned and asked if she'd done something wrong, but when her question was ignored repeatedly she determined that they simply didn't like her. Oh well, she thought, it was something she'd have to get used to around here. And so she continued working. She'd just about finished when one of the guards, different from the one who had brought her here, came up behind her and placed a hand on her shoulder. Initially his hand had closed like clasped irons and caused her to wince, but he quickly loosened his grip and simply held her.

"Lord Ineraz wishes to see you," he told her.

"Very well," she replied, "Your timing is fair, I just finished making these for him."

A short time later she was sat down next to him at the table while the guard explained things to him. After dismissing his man, Ineraz looked at her and scowled, his eyes clearly traveling up and down her body in the ill-fitting clothes. Zel breathed in sharply as she realized what he was displeased by, but she maintained her composure. She would stop wilting in fear, she told herself. She would have to.

“After we eat, we will go shopping. You definitely need better clothes. Sera as well," he said, confirming her suspicions. "How come you haven’t brought any with you? I though the Drakken gave you time enough to get some things from home,”

"That would have been the case," she replied hesitantly, "Had it been an ordinary Reaping."

She looked down at the table, not out of fear of him but from reliving that day. She shook her head quickly to clear it, and then looked up at Ineraz again. She looked him in the eye, as much as it terrified her, and told him what had happened.

"My village... well, village is a strong word, we were more a small community in the countryside. So small, in fact, that the Reaping wouldn't come upon us for many years. But they came anyway. They said the village to the north which they were supposed to reap had somehow evaded them, though they never said how. So, they came to us instead, lest they return to Drakka empty-handed. The leaders of my settlement protested, of course, and were met with threats to burn everything we'd built to the ground. I was the only girl of a reaping age there at the time, and when they were shouting I was corralling the younger children. And when I looked down at them, as soon as they heard that we might lose everything..."

She paused for a moment as the memory swam in her mind. She saw the children looking up at her, their eyes wet with tears as even at a young age they understood what was about to happen. "Zel," one of them had asked, her little voice trembling, "Are we all going to die?"

"No," she'd said, a somber smile on her face, "None of you will."

"I made a choice," she continued, a small amount of determination now coming into her speech, "And after I'd made it I was seized before I had time to reconsider. Nothing save the clothes on my back, and I can't say I know what became of them."

The two of them ate for a little while before Ineraz addressed her again. “I don’t mind if you like cooking, the servants here just have some pride, you know. Doing well what they do is what keeps them alive and healthy after all,” he explained nonchalantly. “If you want to try again, just say so, and I’ll arrange the servants to leave you to it. They could even tutor you a bit if you wish, though I doubt they’ll be kind about it.”

"I apologize. In my settlement, it's customary for the wi- the bride," she corrected herself hastily. That had been one of Shadow Worth's lessons; they were NOT wives. "to prepare breakfast for their husband in the mornings. I'm not accustomed to the presence of servants and so I did not consider it. But I may do so, if you'll allow it. I know almost nothing of an actual hunt, but I helped dress and carve the game in Gemmenia, as well as cook. If that is how I can be of use to the estate, it would help me feel at home."


Wilhelm the Black Blade

Husband of Onyx (@Vesuvius00) and Amalia (@Belle)
Interacting with Onyx (@Vesuvius00) & Amalia (@Belle)


As his two brides climbed into the bed next to him, Wilhelm raised his hand and wish a brief swoosh conjured a pair of small breezes to extinguish the torches on the wall, plunging the room into darkness. He felt little need to assert himself upon either of the Gems, not that night. There would be a time and place for all things, and while the time was yet to be truly determined the place would certainly be in his castle where he held his dominion. So he simply laid there, observing the two of them as they drifted off. They both shifted their positions for some time seeking comfort, but at long last they both stopped moving and took on sleeping breaths. Only then, was he was certain they were both soundly dreaming, did Wilhelm close his own eyes for the night.

Many hours later he opened them again as the sunrise's fingertips crept in through the window. Both brides were still in the bed, as he knew they would be, and as he roused himself he moved very carefully so as to not brush either of them out of the bed by accident. He made his way out to the living area of the house, where his servant was already at work preparing the table for breakfast. With naught but a nod of his head Wilhelm moved past him and out to the front. Stationed there was a large enclosed carriage, black in color with the crest of his house on the sides, pulled by a pair of powerful horses. Alongside them was another horse, this one a massive destrier as black as night that dwarfed the horses assigned to the carriage, fully saddled- Wilhelm's personal steed. Another servant greeted him, and for several minutes they discussed the travel plans for the day.

"There's been reports of a landslide blocking Bloodrock Pass," the servant said, "If that's true we'll have to find another way."

"Then we shall take an alternate route through the marsh," Wilhelm responded.

"Would continuing along the highroad not be faster, my lord?"

"It would, but there are always spineless cowards who seek to steal brides away rather than earn them. That a landslide has conveniently blocked a primary point of passage to the south at this time suggests to me that it was no accident," Wilhelm asserted, "And if I'm right the intent will be to drive travelers to the highroad. Open spaces, sparse visitors, plenty of places to stage an ambush. And I am not in the mood to deal with such things. We will travel across the marsh, and that will be that."

"As you wish."

With that dealt with, and another matter to keep his mind occupied, Wilhelm turned and re-entered the abode. The scent of cooking meat filled the air, and based on that he concluded breakfast was not long in coming. Moving swiftly, he opened the bedroom door once more.

"Rouse yourselves," he ordered, his voice growing louder but unchanging in pitch or intent, to his brides, "Breakfast will be ready shortly, and then we will depart."

When Onyx and Amalia came to the living area they would find a square wooden table, laid with three sets of plates and utensils. Wilhelm sat behind one, already slicing into his meal- a side of meat lightly crisped with a chunk of bread off to the side that was mirrored on the remaining two plates.

"Come, sit," Wilhelm said between bites, "While it remains hot."


Zel post is up.

@Belle @Vesuvius00 Apologies for the delay, but I realized there was something I needed to check in with the GMs about before I made the Wilhelm post and didn't remember that until late tonight. As soon as I have an answer, you'll have a post to work with.

Zeldria Miphras

Bride to Ineraz (@SilverPaw), Sister Bride to Sera (@Pupperr)
Interacting with Ineraz & The Household


It wasn't long before Ineraz was also rising from slumber along with her in the room. Evidently he was a light sleeper, which made sense. Most hunters were, usually for when they were out on an expedition where an animal may wander into their camp at night. Zel turned at the sound of him rising from the bed, and was treated to quite an eye full in turn. At first she wanted to turn her head away, and she even started to do so. But, she reminded herself, that was entirely pointless; he was her husband, she would most certainly have to handle such things sooner or later, and no amount of modesty would change that. Of course, that didn't mean she had to gaze at it intently. So instead she chose to look at his face. But, if he noticed her hesitation, he made no show of it as he got dressed.

"Good morning," she said in return. When he addressed her again regarding her garments, she took a moment to consider the question. "Some day wear would do I think, my lord. I'd like to keep the dress as clean as possible so I can save it for special occasions. And thank you for the opportunity to explore my new home." It was best, she figured, to be diplomatic.

He left the room with all his weapons in tow, and a bit later one of the guards entered and handed her a stack of clothes. She spent a bit examining them, and then began to slip them on. She had known they wouldn't fit well, being meant for another person entirely of the opposite gender. The shirt proved to be very baggy, which she remedied by pulling the fabric into a bundle at the small of her back and tying it in a knot, and she needed to roll the pant legs up several times to not step on the hem. Then there was the matter of the waist. Zel was by no means an hourglass shaped woman, but she was still thinner than the boy these clothes had been meant for. There was a belt provided, but she doubted it would have a hole that would work. And with her husband having taken anything that could be used to make a new hole, she would have to tie a knot in the belt as well to make sure her pants stayed up.

When she was reasonably sure she could walk around without having a wardrobe malfunction, she smoothed out the wrinkles she could and hoped her appearance wouldn't be too awful looking. Her alterations to make sure it fit had the effect of conforming the outfit to fit her curves a little better, but with no mirror she could only guess at how it looked. Regardless, she took a breath and stepped outside. One of the guards looked at her expectantly. "I'd like to see the kitchen, please," she asked, and with a nod he began to move down the hall. She stepped lightly to keep up, and through some turns and doorways found herself standing in a large cooking chamber. Along one wall were several places for chopping, roasting, stewing, and frying. Along another wall seemed to be the stores of food not freshly caught, alongside some spices most of whose name she didn't recognize, assuming they were labeled at all. And in the back there stood what could only be a carving station, designated for the prepping of fresh kills.

"Are there some eggs and some meat for bacon or sausages available?" she asked the guard who still traced her every move, "I'd like to make some breakfast for my husband. I'm sure his sparring will work up an appetite."

The man helped her find the things she needed, and she set about preparing the meal. This kitchen was unlike anything she'd ever experienced, but there was only so much that could be changed about a kitchen. And, in spite of having to acclimate to tools and utilities she'd never seen, something about stoking, monitoring, and adjusting a fire beneath a pan seemed to put her at ease. The meat proved more gamey than she was used to, and she vaguely wondered what sort of animal it could have come from, but with time she managed to cut it into the right portions and roll it into sausages. Into the pan they went, one for her, two for Ineraz, and as an afterthought one for Sera as well, and soon the scent of cooking meat filled the space. It was a much more pungent smell than she'd anticipated, however, and soon she was picking through the spices on the wall. Finding one that smelled alright to her, she applied it to the meat and watched it carefully as it began to brown.

Perhaps, she dared to think, things might not be so bad...


I'll be posting tomorrow evening so long as nothing bad happens.
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