Recent Statuses

22 days ago
Current *insert profound lyric here*
1 mo ago
Happy Valentine's Day, you beautiful people.
1 mo ago
Did you hear about the constipated mathematician? He worked it out with a pencil.
2 mos ago
Happy Sunday. You are perfectly cast in your life. I can't imagine anyone but you in the role. Go play.
2 mos ago
Yes. Keep your eyes open for dropbears... That way you'll never see the magpies coming.
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I'm Stormflyx/Storm/Stormy!

I'm on the other side of mid-20's and I live in Australia - yes everything does try to kill you down here but it's worth it! I'm originally from the UK, I moved because of love or something like that. I've been here for 5 years and I do love it, the lifestyle, the weather, the chilled out vibe... Even the bugs have their charms.

By day I'm a marketing and design professional/boss lady, and by night I'm a couch potato. You will find me in jammies eating candy and chips always. I'm very obsessed with doggos.

I enjoy fantasy and sci-fi roleplays the most, so you're more than likely to find me in those. I like to write characters that are a bit dysfunctional or corrupt in some way. (I like villains!)

PM me if you like, or leave me a message for anything!


Most Recent Posts

Name: Averina ‘Avery’ Vexx
Age: 73
Gender: Female
Birthplace: Silverton, Novigrad
Profession: Sorceress and Advisor


Avery stands tall and proud at 5’7 and weighs approximately 140 lbs, she has an enviable curvaceous physique which sets her apart from many of the more dainty and demure women of the Lord’s courts. She has pale skin bearing peach undertones that she highlights with light sweeps of bronze makeup around her sharp cheekbones. She has fuller lips, but unevenly so - with the upper lip being thinner with a well defined cupid's bow. Despite her overall fondness for make-up, she prefers not to wear lipsticks unless it’s a special occasion. When she smiles, it is clearly a mischievous one that reflects her mind at work - brimming with ideas.

Her thick and angular brows provide the perfect frames for her unusual eyes. The Sorceress is well known for her heterochromia. Her right eye is the colour of amethyst, and the left an emerald green, under normal circumstances the colours individually are not particularly special - but she has a habit of using her magic to enhance their brightness and make them appear far more enchanting. This is usually as an aid to hypnotise or lure people to her. Said eyes are darkened significantly with further makeup and a soft black kohl lines her them and she applies a soft, glittering copper powder to her lids. One further detail of note around her eyes is a large freckle just beneath the right - it is unknown whether or not she was born with this complimenting imperfection.

She has rich brown hair, the colour of chocolate, that falls in soft layers to her collarbones. Very few know this, as she opts to keep it well-groomed in a mid-set bun or a chignon - only well styled strands are left to frame the angles of her face. It is very rare that the Sorceress will let her hair down, and there is often some kind of bejewelled hairpin holding everything in place. One such piece that she owns, is a very ornate, coiled golden snake with rubies beset into it as eyes, which she will occasionally wear wrapped around her bun with the face staring out behind her almost menacingly. Some have whispered that this is so that Avery can have eyes in the back of her head if need be, and on days where she is said to be wearing it her peers will avoid walking behind her.

Sorceresses are known to take pride in their wardrobes, and Avery is no exception to that. She opts for colourful garments in warm hues and shades of purple that show off her svelte figure. She has a preference for monochromed cigarette trousers, and loose fitting, low cut tunics in silks and chiffon, and will always choose clothes that are practical but somewhat strange and out of place. Clothing can be a way to stand out in a crowd and she is not afraid to do that, and in fact almost relishes in it. She appreciates detailing, and while some of her clothes appear simple, one would notice upon close inspection that her buttons are etched into miniature copper roses, or that the hand-stitching was done in golden thread - there is always an extravagant detail, even if it happens to be small.


Upon a first impression, Avery seems to perpetuate the Sorceress stereotype - aloof, cunning, and concerned entirely with her beauty and youth. She carries herself with an almost quiet charisma and charm, she is not particularly extroverted, but instead has a certain je ne sais quoi, a cool effervescence that is hard to define. However, there are more layers underneath her deliberately constructed surface - often contradicting with one another.

She acts in an advisory position to political figures despite having a natural disliking for authority, choosing to remain neutral and only ever really living by the laws of her own whims. In her profession, she has an honest, direct style of communication that isn’t held back by perceived social roles or expectations. This is something that most of those that she advises do not appreciate, but when Avery is right, she’s right - just try and convince her otherwise. She can be pragmatic and despite her own personal feelings around politics she will genuinely give the best advice that she can. In some ways, she takes her role as an advisor as if it’s her own way of keeping those in charge in line.

She has built a good reputation for herself in her work, in that despite her sharper edges she is of sound mind and has a level of wisdom and political nous about her that is not commonplace, and usually only found in Mages. For this, she is very valued where she is. Avery does not settle into submission easily, and can be very intransigent - keeping most people at a decent arms length from her. She does not blindly follow precedents and so called rules, and she dislikes authority figures who uphold them without room for critical thinking. That said, she knows her audience, and as a natural empath with proficiency into magic of the mind, she is incredibly shrewd and can read people quickly and knows how to act and treat them depending on what she may want from them. She can agree to disagree if it benefits her later down the line to do so...

Being respected by those in high places has allowed Avery a certain advantageous freedom to pry into the lives of others, and conduct her own business almost completely under the radar. While she remains somewhat formal on the surface - it is mostly to keep people at quite a distance from her and protect her own emotional energy. Behind closed doors she has her own ways of enjoying herself, and she is perfectly capable of switching from a passionate, driven idealist to an imaginative and enthusiastic free spirit. She delights in causing playful and (mostly) harmless chaos - behaving in a mischievous manner to toy with people that she believes should be brought down a notch. She can easily use misdirection and cunning manipulative tactics to protect herself from being discovered as the source of such devilry.

While people in general annoy and drain her, (save for a few select individuals), she has a great amount of compassion for animals - with cats being a particular favourite. She enjoys their nature, finding them in a way familiar to herself. She gravitates toward more introverted, intelligent people when seeking friendships and relationships. She has very little patience for shallow individuals, even less so for lewd ones.

She has a strong belief that her position as a Sorceress coupled with her appearance attract the sort of men whom she does not find interesting on anything other than a superficial level. She has no desire to be a notch on a bedpost or the simple, exaggerated subject of a story between drunken men as they brag about conquests with each other. It may well be rooted in arrogance, but Avery is waiting for someone different than the usual crowd - someone worthy of her time and affection. Paradoxically, growing up, she was never shown much love or affection by her family and so has always felt somewhat unworthy of it in the first place. It is a concept she is wholly unfamiliar with, and she will avoid discussion of it for the most part. What Avery does know about love, romance, and affection has been learned through reading very unrealistic depictions in romance novels. She has never been fully intimate with another person, and it is perhaps her deepest secret. The very fact that she does not shy away from acting seductive, and her habitually immodest appearance has so far kept people from discovering her abstinence.


Specialty - Telempathy
A natural empath since childhood, now amplified by magic, Avery is able to feel into the emotions of those around her. At one time, this process was entirely involuntary, which caused her a great deal of emotional distress as a child. As she developed, so did her ability to drown it out and even begin to use it for her own advantage by manipulating individuals based on the way they are feeling. Using this information, she can create illusions of the mind. Sometimes this presents as showing someone their greatest fear, or pacifying them with beautiful imagery or a memory.


For what is a Sorceress without the power to decimate her enemies? In Avery’s case, her element of choice is Air, and she favours the use of storm magic and aerokinesis when in battle, whether that be by bringing in cloud cover, creating a thick fog, or literally wielding lightning in her palm. As well as air, she uses Geokinesis quite often, and in creative ways to excellent effect. The illusions and conjurations that Avery specialises in have also been known to attack an enemy more than any flesh wound, but these require time that isn’t always afforded in the heat of battle.

Because Chaos doesn’t always have to be chaotic, and can in fact be incredibly useful in dangerous battles. Avery can create shields and barriers that can hold off vicious attacks for a limited time. It has saved her from great injury many times.

Avery’s knowledge of alchemy is far more basic than she’d like, she chooses to spend her studying time in spellbooks to make her spells more potent, precise, and effective. That said, she is smart enough to realise that potions and alchemical creations are incredibly useful in a pinch... And she can make her own beauty products.


- A small messenger style bag;
- Foragers knife, rolled parchment, a quill and ink, and select alchemical goods;
- Pouch of sugared almonds to snack on, a handful of sugar cubes;
- Pouch of small animal bait (cats)
- A small compact mirror
- A vial of perfume

-Jewel embellished dagger; An ornate steel dagger with a bronzed hilt, beset with emeralds to the pommel which is engraved like a rose. Hardly threatening and rarely used, but nice to carry around all the same.

-Megascope; She keeps a Megascope in her quarters, packing it away to use only when needed, as Winifred in particular is fond of climbing on it and swatting at the crystals on each stand.


Owns three cats. Cordelia (a grey ragdoll with blue eyes), Winifred (hairless), and Lorne (black short haired with green eyes).
She enjoys fictional romance novels, and has a bookshelf in her quarters filled with them. The trashier, the better.
She is very sweet toothed, and can’t resist anything sugary. It is one of the few well known facts about her. She always carries a small bag of sugared almonds on her person. To sweeten up Sorceress Avery’s mood, one need only bring her something with sugar.
Despite having no talent or natural aptitude for it, she has an almost extreme emotional resonance with certain music, it is one of the few things that can bring her to tears in public spaces.
Considers herself to be a nocturnal creature and will sleep in to the early afternoon frequently, having stayed up until the early hours of the morning. On many an occasion, important meetings have been rescheduled or postponed because of her unpredictable hours.
Diamond in the Rough

with the ever wonderful POO

Evermore Castle

How incredibly nice it was to have reason to wear a gown. Legitimate reason, too. Just walking up the winding path to the entrance of Evermore Castle, through the Royal Garden. She felt well and truly like a piece of the grandiose of it all, and so she took in a deep breath with a smile, closing her eyes to really enjoy it. The scents of the flowers, food wafting across the air. It was truly something.

There she waited by the fountain expectantly for her hired servant, Alim.

The man was, at present, very unused to wearing commoners clothes without chainmail underneath at least. He had been traveling for many years and had worn his share of rags, having been a sailor and a thief. But a waiter or servant at a ball, without being invited? He at least wished he could wear something that was flattering. Instead it was a handsome vest and trousers, though he did have his cloak coiled up within his pack to be placed on at a moments notice.

Gustav had given him the information for the rendezvous, awaiting the shapely blonde woman he had seen earlier in the shop to escort her and follow her around. He hoped this would be a pleasant experience rather than a taxing one, but that remained to be seen. At least she’s very easy on the eyes he thought as he saw her approach. The curve of her leg flashed through the slits of her dress as she sashayed across the courtyard.

Relyssa made out the features of the Redguard who had passed her in Gustav’s shop quite easily, he looked different without his armour, she imagined she also looked different now that she was dressed for the event - even her posture suggested nobility - and impatience. She was nervous, but she hid it very well behind lipstick, make-up, and well coiffed hair. Nothing was out of place. Her hands were placed across her stomach, fingers interlaced with each other, and she offered Alim an easy-smile as he approached, she was eyeing him up from head to toe. His lithe, yet clearly muscular shape suggested he was going to be easily capable of the things she would request of him.

As he drew nearer, she raised an eyebrow playfully, her lips curling into a smirk at one side of her mouth. “Good evening to you,” she said quietly, waiting for him to formally introduce himself. She hoped that as well as being in the correct physical condition for the job, he would know enough about manners and formalities at such events to slip through as a servant…

Alim held a cloth upon his arm, and held the arm out as if she was to slip hers within his own. Though of course, as a servant he was simply presenting her the implied gesture before he gave a deep bow. “You are looking quite lovely this evening, Lady Deserine. I am but your humble servant and await you to enter the hall so that I may be of service.” he said, his voice as smooth as honey sliding over silk.

Talk about stating the obvious… she thought to herself, yet addressed his comment with another smile, letting her arm curl around his elbow. She cleared her throat quietly, as if to command him to start walking. She could feel in the layers of her skirt the replica tiara, and it made her nervous to have it there. Time was now precious, and Alim had been expensive so she wasted no time in getting straight to the point…”So, Alim,” she began in a whispering purr as her eyes looked out over the other guests, flashing a toothy smile - keeping up the appearance. “I assume that you are of the understanding that you are more than my servant this evening, I don’t know what exactly Gustav has told you, but I will be requiring… Quite a lot of you tonight.”

“I assure you, I have quite the endurance.” He replied, in step as she began to walk. He made sure to flank her slightly, to appear subservient as well as engaging her in a conversation at her behest. “Nimble fingers as well,” he replied, presenting his left hand to her. At the tip of his fingers was a small ring with a curious insignia, and though it was gone in a flourish, Relyssa would be able to tell it was a ring of the local nobility, something he assuredly was not.

Her icy blue eyes followed the flash of the jewelry as it danced over Alim's fingers, and her face twitched in surprise. He was going to be perfect for her secret mission. “There is something that I want in this castle,” she whispered quietly, her face still held in a happy expression. “And I am a woman who always gets what she wants… Your nimble fingers will come in quite handy…” She closed her mouth, letting the rest of the words sit momentarily. Her head tilting to the side as they breezed past another couple, she curtseyed in step, so smoothly and gracefully that they did not even need to stop walking.

“It's a… piece of jewellery,” she continued now that the couple were out of earshot. Just as it had happened earlier, she felt her breath be taken away at the very thought of the diamonds set into the golden frame. “Mmmmm, it once belonged, in a way, to my family… I want it back. You're going to ensure that this happens…” There was a clear look of greed and lust in her eyes now, and her arm curled tighter around Alim's own, as if she was trying hard to compose herself. Either that or it was a strangely threatening gesture, as if she were some kind of snake constricting her prey…

Fortunately, Alim was a very odd young man. He felt a rise in his chest and had a subtle intake of breath as her arm coiled tighter around his in anticipation at what seemed to be a high stakes heist. He then had realization that this woman was probably the most devious thing at this gathering of scheming nobility.


“You’ll find my aid in this endeavor pleasing, I predict.” he chuckled, and they entered the grand ballroom where lavish tapestries hung above great pillars of stone. It was much like the gatherings he had seen back in daggerfall. Men and women flaunting their wealth and influence in a game of chess that destroyed and ascended the lives of their lessers and peers.

“I paid enough for your aid, I expect to be more than pleased…” she replied coolly as the two entered the main ballroom now. Her eyes swept the crowds of High Rock's elite, and she groaned. “Look at them all… I both love and loathe them…” Relyssa said with a sigh, looking out for the esteemed leader of the company, Gustav. She had spotted him earlier but now he was nowhere to be found.

She released her arm from Alim, brushing down her skirt daintily with her hands, before placing them in front of her stomach again, fingers interlaced once more. “Now, be a dear and fetch me a drink, wine - white. Dry too, preferably.” The Breton said it absent-mindedly as she continued to glance around, most would think her to be admiring the formalwear of the ladies at the ball, but she was actually noting the location of each exit, staircase, and guard.

“I live to serve,” he said, a hint of sardonic wit in his voice as he bowed and backed away. The Redguard turned, his eyes zoning in on the refreshments and did a gliding march over to the table, reflexively scooping up a bottle of white wine, making it just as she had instructed. That is, until he was interrupted.

“Erm, excuse me. Red wine please.” an older nobleman said, plump and decked out in resplendent satin matched with furs of an animal he no doubt killed in his youth. Alim complied with an incline of his head, and within a minute and three other people wishing refreshments, he made it back to Relyssa, giving her a guilty smile. “Had to play the part.” he said with a wink.

She took the glass from him, and allowed herself a slow sip as she once more let her eyes traverse the room. “We need to get upstairs,” she said bluntly, her blue eyes not yet meeting Alim’s as she began to walk the outskirts of the ballroom at a calm pace, smiling outwardly - but inwardly scheming. She ran a jewelled finger around the rim of her glass, a dastardly smile growing - she’d had an exciting thought. “In approximately one hour I’m going to be feeling rather unwell and require a lie down upstairs. You see the seafood over there? It looks a little off doesn’t it?” She raised the glass to her lips again, and nodded in the direction of the canapes. “Fetch me some.”

Alim would love to be in on the plot, but he decided it would be best to intervene later, if at all. For now, he would be the dutiful servant and give a bow. “As my lady wishes.” He said, and made his way over to the seafood. He chuckled when he saw it was cod. He recalled when he was little and one of his brothers had slapped his older brother with a cod fish. As he was bade, he served himself some on a plate with a few appetizers to make it seem less suspicious, and then obediently gave it to Relyssa.

The Breton let a reasonable amount of time pass. During that time she feigned a few quiet coughs, and performed a more wobbly walk as she paced the room, Alim not too far away at any time. It was after around an hour, as she had suggested, that she took her act to the next level. The lady brought the back of her hand to her forehead as she spoke to some of the other guests, exhaling a long breath. “Oh my… I seem to have taken a turn of sorts.... Do you think you would excuse me for now?” she asked in a dainty, wavering voice, her other hand moving calculatingly to rest on her stomach.

She hobbled to the nearest wall, and snapped her fingers impatiently. “You boy…” she gasped, beckoning him with the index finger of a trembling hand. “I think I should take a lie down, help me please…” Relyssa was nothing if not entirely convincing, and the small group of gentleman with whom she had been mingling seemed to think so, with one of them removing a handkerchief for the lady to take.

Even in her sickly state, many of the men seemed somewhat jealous that a mere servant would get to escort her to a more private chamber, even if it was likely holding her hair rather than holding her breasts. Then again, Alim had the distinct feeling her perceived wealth was as attractive to them as her lovely face, and he didn’t doubt some of them would like to have her ‘owe’ them in some way.

The Redguard had to nearly elbow his way through her suitors. “Gentleman, please.” he said, taking Relyssa’s hand in his and placing his other on the small of her back to help her stand. “She seems very ill, if you’ll excuse us...” There was a deep, command to his voice that even those who looked far above his station would listen to, and hiding a smirk, he escorted her up the stairs gracefully and elegantly.

Once they had reached the next floor of the manor, with Relyssa holding Alim tightly she made her way across the carpeted floors. They passed only a handful of people admiring artwork on the wall. She knew that soon they would come upon the room she was looking for, it was the seventh on the left of the first floor hallway. That’s what she had been told. There it was, she reached out a hand for the brass handle and clumsily opened it, upholding the charade until she was inside - until they were both inside.

The woman rose back up to proper posture, closing the door lightly. She used the handkerchief given to her to wipe her brow where a very light sweat had been sitting. “So Alim,” she asked, straight back into the mission at hand. “I need you to get under my skirt - I assume you have a knife, yes?” she asked, not paying any mind to the request she had made. It was as if she had asked him to go get her another drink, or some more food. She could sense the finish line of the mission now, and thus her impatience grew.

Needless to say, Alim had the dagger at the ready. He also grabbed the Knife she asked for, though he was curious on what this had to do with a time constrained mission. “My Lady...not that I wouldn’t enjoy that but, I have a feeling you’re speaking about something else entirely?” He gave an easy smile, brows raising. He wouldn’t exactly say no, but he needed a more clear explanation.

“Oh Gods,” she rolled her eyes and sauntered to him, pulling at a thin fabric belt that sat around her waist, holding the heavy layered skirt in place. “I had a piece of jewelry sewn into the lining of the skirt. I need you to get it out. And don’t be getting any ideas, I’ve got more than simple drawers on under there…” The way she spoke, it was as if it was the most normal thing to have done. “Just cut it out, but don’t go too deep with the end of that…” Then, Relyssa plucked at the skirt with dainty fingers, lifting it up from the ground. “It’s at the front.”

“I live to serve,” he replied sardonically and in good humor, and with a nimble cut he sliced through the small fabric that kept the jewelry within the skirt, taking it out and presenting it to her between his thumb and forefinger. “You know, I think we need to work on our communication skills.” he said with a smirk, and handed her the jewel. There was a glint in his eye that spoke volumes of how he felt about precious metals.

“Now,” with a flourish, the knife was flipped into the air, caught on the blade and slid into his coat sleeves. He unbuttoned his collar, allowing his neck and shoulders to breath. “Where to? Usually someone points me toward a target and I infiltrate, but you seem to know your business here, so I’ll follow your lead.”

She smiled back at him, now that they were behind closed doors so to speak there was more room for fun to be had indeed. An eyebrow raised as she took the tiara from him. “We're going up - or shall I say, you're going up.” The devious Breton made her way to a set of floor to ceiling doors that led out onto a balcony at the other side of the room. As she moved she pulled from her coiffed hair what appeared to be a small lockpick. She looked over her shoulder and winked at Alim, before slotting it into the keyhole of the door. Alim couldn’t help but smile.

“You're going up to the next floor where the real tiara is kept, of course. Then you're going to bring it right back down to me…” She was wiggling the metal prong in its spot as she spoke, an almost malicious undertone to her voice that matched a greedy and mischievous glint in her eyes. “You'll bring it back and then we'll go back downstairs and perhaps enjoy a nice supper…” CLICK!

The lock was defeated, and with a gentle push she let it swing open and out onto the balcony. It was shaded enough to avoid them being seen by any of the few guests who were meandering through the small garden it overlooked. Lo and behold, there was a ladder already there, as well as some tools. “Shame about those broken tiles… Looks like whoever was sent to fix them left their things behind…” she commented knowingly, suggesting that she may have had something to do with that... Of course, the ladder would only help Alim halfway to the next balcony up. He'd have to improvise the rest.

The pretend servant took off his jacket, and casually draped it across Relyssa’s delicate shoulders. “Do wait here, I have a feeling you have a knack for getting in trouble.” he joked, and without a second look back, he grabbed the tools and climbed up the ladder, moving swiftly but near silently as he ascended. For a brief moment he squinted, when he realized that she had gotten him to do the stealing for her.

“When will you learn?” he said aloud, speaking to himself.

He opened the trap door above him with a small ‘click’ and peeked out. The room was not empty, as a couple sat by the fire. The soft groans and the mass of limbs told Alim all he wanted to know, and while he would love to stay and chat, he was also loathe to interrupt. Using a deftness that only a trained thief could accomplish, he opened the door and let it to the ground softly, placing his hands on the floor and pulling his legs up.

The woman in the embrace giggled, Alim using the noise to slowly close the hatch and glide out of the room without notice to step onto the balcony. “Can’t go back through the trap door, I suppose.” he whispered, stepping atop the balcony railing and hoisting his fit, caramel body to the next cleft in the architecture, climbing up with practiced ease to make it onto the remaining balcony.

He didn’t know what to expect. Barred doors? Twelve armed guards? Traps that would eviscerate you in a single tug of a string? Talos smiled on him when he looked within to see two sentries engrossed in a card game, sitting beside the most beautifully gem encrusted tiara he had ever laid eyes on. Alim flipped the hammer in his hands, and snuck behind them…

Within minutes, he dropped back onto the balcony Relyssa lounged upon. “No such luck,” he said with a dramatic flair, presenting the Tiara. “All I could procure was this priceless headpiece.”

Relyssa audibly gasped and a shuddered breath left her trembling lips as she looked upon it. The way that each individual stone shimmered and glittered under the light of the moon… It was almost too much to handle. Said glimmers lit up the high points of her face - and in turn emphasised a darkness in the hollows of her cheeks, and under her eyes. It made her expression appear almost sinister in the brief second before she placed a shaking finger on the gold frame of the tiara - a moan escaped her and she bit down hard on her lip. “Oh my…” she sighed, taking it swiftly from Alim’s hands.

“You’re a good little thief indeed…” she continued as she paced the balcony with the piece in her grasp, her grip tightening around it, her eyes lost in the carats of the jewels. She hummed, ooohed, and aaahed at it. If one were to hear the sounds without the context, they may have expected the woman to have been in as much of a knot as the couple upstairs… “Oh Alim… Thank you…” She got a hold of herself, long enough to be able to hand the piece back to him. Her grip still on it, she didn’t want to let it go. “There’s another pocket under my skirt,” she wasn’t looking at the mercenary, she was barely able to focus on her words. “I assume you put the replica in its place, yes? Let’s get this one stowed away and get back to the party now…”

The entire spectacle was probably the most arousing thing Alim could watch without it being explicitly sexual. A beautiful woman with terrible ambition and a priceless artifact. He did his best to try to make it seem like it didn’t affect him, but that bit of theater probably caused him about as much pleasure as she had when she held the tiara.

“I did...put it in it’s place I mean.” He assured her breathlessly, taking the tiara gingerly in his hands. Though he would stop, remembering what she first said. “Little?”

“Offended?” she asked with an almost coy smirk in his direction, she could see that he was getting flustered over something. “Now now, you did a good job for me. I shall have to sing your praises to your esteemed company owner… That said…” Relyssa paced to the edge of the balcony, placing her hands on the railings - the weight of her golden rings clunked against the metal frame. “I still need you to help me smuggle that piece out so I'm not quite done with you for the evening. I feel that you've been running along at my whims for a while now,” she placed a finger on her lip as she peered down at the peacocks in the garden below. “There's still an awful lot of evening left… It won't be any trouble for you to keep up the act now, will it?”

She did alleviate his concerns, though he couldn’t help but give smirk at her manner. He could tell she was used to being a patron of dangerous outings. And he also wouldn’t put it past her to ‘cut’ the line on her employees every now and then if they didn’t quite meet the standard. Not that he minded. It was only business. Exciting business. What was life without danger? It was one reason he was a spellsword and a sellsword.

“I think you can credit me now to being a man of many talents.” he assured her, a dramatic air to his voice to add some humor. “Acting, thievery, acrobatics, along with other skills I shall keep to myself.” However, soon his dark and mysterious theatrics were replaced with candor, and he gave a simple smile, satisfied after a well done night of thieving. “Truthfully, yes. I am content to play the servant boy for a bit longer. Until the party is over, I am yours. That was the deal.”

She moved away from the edge again, her eyes immediately falling towards the tiara in Alim's hand. She was just about over the initial excitement, and instead she looked at it with a somewhat doleful gaze. There was indeed much of the banquet left, it did seem like a fun affair too. “Well then, that's good to know.” She responded with a small smile. “Let's head back the way we came, of course we should hide the prize…”

In the moments as they made their way back inside and off the balcony, she did begin to wonder just what Gustav was up to here, with the rest of his employees and mercenaries. She traced a finger over her lip and hummed, realising that the evening's excitement was probably not over just yet. “So come on then, back under you go,” she said with an airy chuckle as she once again lifted her skirt from the floor.

Alim pulled the tiara away a bit, grinning. “Actually,” he said, letting the weight of as of yet unseen offer carry. “I think that it might be better for me to keep it for a short while. Just in case.” He carefully pocketed it into a small sack that hung at the back of his rump, supposedly to be filled with handkerchiefs and whatever else his patron desired to fit the wardrobe of servant. No one would think to steal from there.

“You’ll be the one enjoying the ball, who’s attention everyone will have. I’m merely the servant.” he explained, brows raising. “Besides, at the end of the night the treasure will go to you and my employer, as it should.”

The Breton raised an eyebrow, her fingers twitching. There was logic in what he had said, but when it came to diamonds and jewellery - Relyssa would rarely see the logic. She let his words ruminate for a while before her eyes narrowed, almost threateningly in his direction, “fine,” she began in a clipped tone - before realising that perhaps indignance was not the way forward. She closed her sapphirine eyes and swallowed back the angrier thoughts that were brewing, vulnerability might be the correct step now. “Just don’t lose it, Alim, despite it’s beauty and obvious worth - that piece is… Priceless to my family. I will collect it from you when the night is done, though I don’t quite know how I’m to relax now…” she almost laughed, she felt a little more on edge now than she had before they’d done the deed.

Alim crossed his toned arms, unable to help but smile knowingly at the woman. His smile spoke of years of mischief, both doling it out as well as being on the receiving end. He usually had a very fun and amusing time with someone who shared similar traits, particularly with this woman. She seemed to have a lust for jewels even more than he did, at least when he felt like being generous about it. With his sleeves rolled up, he had the look of a handsome young servant who had dropped this piece of shit job for something better.

“Hmmm,” she purred, trying to shake the feeling off as she headed back towards the corridor, she flashed Alim another roguish look over her shoulder as she pulled at some strands of her hair, pulling them loose from her chignon. “How do I look?” she asked with a slight grin, “like I’ve been terribly ill I hope.” Then, she stuck out her elbow as she had done earlier in the evening for Alim to take, and walk her back to the ballroom.

Alim’s smile disappeared. Oh, nice try he thought to himself, completely aware at what she was doing, yet completely unaware of the fact that it affected him just as she expected all the same. He felt the blood rush through his chest and the inexorable switch was pulled in his head. The switch only a man would have, where his anatomy overtook his brain. It was an odd thing. Even as he took her arm in his and told her she gave off a sickly vibe, her eyes and subtle movements of her body were stuck in his imagination. He always had been more susceptible of such things after a successful score. Some things never did change, no matter how wiley one got. If Akatosh watched the exchange, the Dragon God would be facepalming at the moment.

As the two made their way back across the corridor to the stairs, Relyssa couldn’t help but continue to feel a little tense over the outcome. She could think of nothing else but the jewel in Alim’s satchel. Still, she kept a graceful pace as they descended the steps together, and as a show of faith and gratitude, she clung a little tighter to his arm - even letting the fingers of her free hand lead down his arm in a gentle stroke. “Thank you for taking such good care of me,” she said in a hushed, honeyed tone - tilting her head to be closer to his ear. “Maybe once this evening is done and I’m fully satisfied there may be a tip of sorts in it for you...” Alim would have responded with something witty but they were already in public when the words sunk in.

At the bottom of the stairs, she uncurled her arm from his and tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear, while in earshot of the guards she once again began to speak in a deliberate, calculating manner, “well, I feel much better now after a brief repose and some air. Thank you Alim. Now, if you wouldn’t mind - I’m going to find my seat, and I believe that a gentleman had promised me a dance. As a matter of fact, I think you’ve earned yourself a nice moment of reprieve from my whims, but my dear, don’t stray too far…” With all things said, she sashayed once more into the crowds - putting the onus on Alim to take care of the prize. Throwing the young man a bit of trust might work well for her, afterall.

“As you wish,” he told her, bowing low with a practice sweep of his hand. The crowd mingled and the guards paid him no mind, only following the lady with their eyes for but a moment. It looked like his idea of keeping the Tiara worked after all. You know, if he was in a different mood, and if he hadn’t given an oath to follow Gustav, he would take the Tiara for himself. But he was beholden, and he wasn’t without honor.

That, and he very much looked forward to working with that intriguing woman again.
Sup, betch

I’m interested. What exactly do you mean by Mass Effect-esque technology? Are we talking sci-fi like we’ve the tech to colonize other planets and have laser guns? Or is it like the Alien/Bladerunner universe where everything’s more advanced but dirty?

Probably the latter - I haven't seen those movies. But I'm thinking just cool tech as seen in Mass Effect - what we have now but upgraded. Sicker computers, nice vehicles etc. No laser guns.

No planet colonizing and stuff, it's sticking to earth.
@Stormflyx :O how scandalous! Argon and Alice are going to stifling giggles behind their back!

Aeryn and Beren, I ship it. I dub thee, Bearyn!

Wait... We've already got a bear...

She really might be in love with Calanon, saying that, she's known him for ~two days~ and he's currently gone so there's every chance she'll start swinging towards another person.

She be fickle.
Redux: A Superhero Roleplay

05/13/2047 : 21:14
Begin transmission

So, I buried another partner this week. Jackson.

We were on a routine call out, just checking another street as always. It was one shot, and it wasn't even meant for him.

It's getting harder everyday out there, crime is at an all time high and every other week we lose officers and special agents. Hell, I'm a trained special agent myself and I've been pushed down to fill in on beat work because we're stretched so thin. Everyday there's a new threat.

It started with that new drug. They call it Nirvana. It's a synthetic creation and we can't track where it's being made, who made it, and who is distributing it. We just have to see the husks it leaves behind, the broken families, the bodies... We thought it was contained within the underbelly of society but it's spreading.

Then of course there is Luke. Luke Bennett. He's that sketchy candidate for office, he's picking up a lot of traction with people based on hate and fearmongering in our underprivileged communities. He's a hateful, power-hungry man who is building some kind of cult. We can't stop him because I'm sure he has blood money running through all sorts of departments. You know, just the usual shady shit.

The gap between the rich and the poor is getting wider, people are losing their jobs, their homes... There is a crisis about to happen with basic resources - more and more people are on food stamps, more and more people are forced between choosing to keep the lights on for a night or feed themselves. Just last week seven teenagers died from exposure to irradiated and toxic water because the nuclear plant dumped some in a pond where kids are known to play and hang out. We are expecting more fallout from this yet.

I'm trying my best... To hold it together, to keep a strong front. To be someone in the community that can guide people through these dark hours but I'm constantly stopped by something else. I'm strained, God I can't remember the last time I slept properly. I just feel that we're on the brink of a complete disaster. The wrong people are being given power and they don't want to change anything - they want to make things worse.

Cedar Fort is where I was born and raised and it used to be a great place. Now it's just ugly. I feel like I can't help anyone anymore, and that's why I'm reaching out to you...

12 years ago you kept darkness from our doors with your gifts, your powers, your spirit. We believed in you, put our trust in you. Then something happened, maybe we over-policed you... Some of you died, you had your own issues but you all disappeared, went off the radar completely. Of course, you could. Your identities were secret - I could well have walked past any of you, maybe you made my coffee... The point is that I don't know who any of you are, except for one.

Tonight I investigated an apartment in the city. Dead guy, kind of a usual call. I called it in and checked out the apartment and found in the back of his closet a suit, yeah, a suit. Turns out that Harrison Moore was the real life persona of the Superhero known as Hex.

That's not all I found, turns out Mr Moore was either going absolutely bananas, or knew something was coming. That was his power right? He was some kind of Warlock? I found his journals, his computer files - everything. He was adamant of some kind of apocalyptic event, and I've been checking and so far a lot of the things he wrote about have happened. The water thing? He wrote of something similar weeks ago. He's written repeatedly about a Reality Bringer. He seems to have died of a suspected overdose of Nirvana, he was alone when he died but I don't think this was accidental.

If my pleas and fucking sad story haven't intrigued you, I want this to. At some point, Moore was your friend and colleague. I believe that he was the only known Superhero to have had affiliations and relationships with all of the various factions around the US and globe. He was really one of the good guys, and he died alone - sitting on this discovery...

So please, if you're out there - any of you. We need you more than ever before.

Hex was the best of you, and he knew something was about to happen. So I'm asking you - if any of you are still alive, it's time to come out of the shadows. I'm sorry, I'm no storyteller - I have no superpowers of persuasion. I'm just an agent at the end of her rope, with no other options left now.

We need you.

We need hope.

Welcome to Redux! A cyberpunk/futuristic Superhero roleplay with a twist.

You will be playing an older, jaded superhero who was forced back into normal life. The world seemingly no longer wanted you. Perhaps you fucked up, perhaps fame got too much, perhaps you had a rivalry with another hero... For whatever reason, things went sour for you, and for 12 years you've lived a normal life.

Until now.

A video plea from Special Agent Addison Reynolds of Cedar Fort has been pushed through secretive old communications channel that she - and you, have access to. It's time to return to a world that turned it's back on you. It's time to put your suit back on, even if it no longer fits. You're the only one who can save us from the disaster prophesied by your old colleague, Hex.

Are you ready for it?

Currently in the interest only in terms of development, if this picks up some steam I'll roll out an OOC in the next few days.

As per the plot, looking for characters who are more mature, grizzled veterans with lives beyond their superhero years. They have children, jobs, a lot of shit in their lives etc. It can be as dark as you like. You are a superhero who was chewed up and spat out. So with that in mind, no teen superheroes.

This is a futuristic/cyberpunk style setting - so I'll be looking at what kind of tech we'll have access to, but I'm thinking Mass Effect-esque. Technology that is helpful but doesn't allow you to take shortcuts.

I'll be playing a non-superhero who basically acts as a sort of leader to the superheroes.

If you're interested, or have questions, or even any ideas then let me know!
Short and sweet, cuckoo Aeryn is copping a feel. I’ll hold off on any major action until Poo lets us in on this stranger ooh la laaaaaaaaaaa ;o

Hope you’re all having a lovely week <3

There happened to be quite a few things happening now.

Beren was bowing and acting slightly smug about his own theatrics - and of course, Sett was being rather theatrical himself. It was all sat in her mind, her pearlescent eyes darting back and forth between the two men. She almost gave herself a case of whiplash with the ferocity of which she turned her head to look in the direction of whomesoever was walking upon them now. A thin finger found it’s way to her temple and she rubbed vigourously. “Can’t keep up...” she sighed, a hint of distress in her tone. Her brows then furrowed causing an angry crease to bulge out between them.

She thought of Calanon out there in the woods with the rest of her party - with that new angry one, Nicademus, who she didn’t really like all that much. She thought of the current threat to their situation. What if Sett was having a terrible vision of the Dorcha invading the town? Her eyes widened at the thought, head lurching back in fear. “No no no!” She muttered, her jaw clenching.

She looked to Beren, and then to Sett again. She was stood dead centre to both of them, and so she reached out both of her hands - with the right she grabbed at Sett’s arm - an unusual strength in her grip as she yanked him close. With the other she reached for Beren’s, as her fingers made contact with him, she blinked in surprise at the overall hardness of his bicep. “Ooh,” she vocalised quietly, before pulling him close with a similarly odd strength that she had used on Sett.

“Sticking us together for this, I can sense danger too...”

That was a blatant lie. She just didn’t want to feel left out, maybe they would start letting on to what was happening if they thought she was in on it as well.

Evening, 17th Midyear
Alik’r Desert, Hammerfell

It had been such a long day, and as it was winding down for her, she listened to the music and merriment of the festival that had been going on all day. The fact that Raelynn was fresh from bathing deterred her from wanting to go out just yet. She was also exceptionally tired, spending time with the group and having to force herself to be overly cheerful was just not an attractive prospect. Besides, Raelynn’s absence amongst the partygoers would be noted by Gregor. He would know where to find her.

They needed to talk.

Try as she might, Raelynn had not been able to source a tent far enough from the noise as she would have liked. She could hear the obnoxiously loud bellowing laugh of Fjolte echoing around the oasis from somewhere - even above the sound of the music and crashing of drums. She shook her head and exhaled through her nose, enjoying the gentle breeze that was rolling in periodically from outside. Dusk in the desert was incredibly beautiful, the sky was ablaze with contrasting colours of peach and mauve, like slices of amethyst. Every now and then she would turn her head to catch a glimpse of it from the gap in the parting of the door. She was also waiting somewhat anxiously for Gregor’s arrival.

The tent she had chosen was at least larger than that which they had stayed previously. It was still no inn room though, but now they had room to stretch, and keep their belongings inside. It was more than a glorified piece of muslin cloth over some poles. She had made somewhat of a home out of it this time, winding her own silken scarves around the poles to add flashes of colour inside. A rectangular wooden board on the ground acted as a table for a few candles, flowers, and her jewellery. She’d found a small wooden crate to place her potion bottles, she lined them up beside a small pile of her books. A copper plate displayed a modest looking fruit platter. Even their bedroll was bigger. Having worked her fingers to the bone for the healers had provided privileges for her in sourcing more comforts...

She lay on her side in the tent in naught but a silken robe for her clothing. The almost sheer, lilac piece was cinched tightly at the waist with a thin line of the very same material, tied into a bow. Deliberately chosen The back of the robe was drooping over her shoulders, and a select few wisps of hair that were not held up in her bun were flowing in soft waves against her dewy, bare skin. Intentionally revealing The soft scent of lavender filled the tent, joined by the earthy scent of an incense cone she had lit in the corner that Fjolte had given her after their meditation. A sensual atmosphere she had created with purpose. He said it would help her to stay relaxed, it seemed to be working. Raelynn’s lungs were still burning somewhat, and despite the bath she could feel a mild stinging in her eyes.

She traced a finger gently across her collarbones in an absent-minded fashion as she turned the pages of the book she had suddenly become rather engrossed in, a book from the Investigator Vale collection. It wasn’t her usual choice of literature, but strangely she found herself enjoying it a little bit too much. “It’s obviously the florist you fool…” she muttered under her breath as she turned another page, smirking when she turned out to be correct. She wanted to look busy, to look relaxed, to look unbothered.

The tent flap opened and Gregor stepped inside the tent. He, too, had refreshed himself and his linen shirt clung to his still-damp chest. His long, dark hair was down and cascaded to his shoulders in waves. He looked at Raelynn with a small smile around his lips and his eyes immediately followed the curves of her body, visible beneath the fabric of her robe, with palpable approval, lingering on the bare skin she artfully displayed. He didn’t say anything as he joined her on the bedroll, propping up his head on his elbow, and glanced at the pages of the book she was reading. Seeing nothing of interest, he turned his head to look at the row of black soul gems he had neatly placed above their headrest. There were five of them in total and each twinkled with the essence of the soul within, but the gem in the middle stood out the most -- it was the opaque gem, black as ink, that contained the Dwemer executioner’s corrupted spirit. It was so dark that it almost felt like it would trap his mind there forever if he stared at it too long. Gregor averted his gaze and found himself staring into Raelynn’s eyes, blue as the glacial ice of Skyrim’s northernmost shores. They undeniably had a similar effect.

“Hello,” he said at last, his voice soft and deep, a low purr in the back of his throat. “Enjoying yourself, I see?”

Raelynn’s gaze instinctively lifted from the pages of the book as Gregor entered. His presence was immediately felt too. Whatever he was feeling, it was hanging like a storm cloud around him, bringing darkness and a heavy tension. Despite it, there was no restraint she could have mustered to reel in the expression she displayed upon seeing his hair out of it’s usual knot. He looked even more attractive. She blinked up at her Imperial in surprise before smiling - forgetting the purpose for her orchestrated scene altogether at the sight of him. “Somewhat, yes.”

She wasn’t the only thing he was looking at. It was as if with his entrance, the energy that the gems possessed amplified more so. A stab of insecurity pierced her chest and she swallowed, dropping her eyes back upon the last of the words on the page. She wasn’t taking them in, but he didn’t need to know that. At the sight of the final full stop on the page, she looked up to him again. “I’m sorry I didn’t get to see you today. My hands have been kept hard at work...” Raelynn turned to place the book on the ground behind her, brushing a hand up his arm when she turned back.

“Well, here I am,” Gregor replied, glancing aside to look at how her hand was caressing his arm before he turned his attention back to her eyes. He inched closer to her and placed a hand of his own on her hip, making small circles with his thumb while his fingers pressed into her skin a little through the thin fabric of her robe. She was beautiful and so attractive like this, it was hard to think straight. He forgot all about the things he’d expected her to say about the things that happened in the prison. “I hope your hands still have some time and energy left for me,” he added with a boyish smirk.

“Well of course, that goes without saying…” she purred, placing her own hand on top of his, interlacing her fingers with his to stop his motions before he got too carried away - before they both did. Raelynn tilted her head to the side with a serious expression so that his eyes would follow and he would focus on her words. “But maybe there are things we can catch up on first?” She leaned up towards him to place an innocent kiss on his cheek as a belated greeting, her lips curled to a more content smile and she released his hand - unable to resist running her fingers through his hair after all…

“How very decent of you,” Gregor said, his voice tinged with amusement. All of the recent excitement had made him impatient and he was briefly overcome with a strong, visceral urge to desecrate her when he cast his gaze over Raelynn’s body again, but he inhaled sharply to focus himself and forced his eyes back to hers. The way she played with his hair made him smile. “Very well. What’s kept you so busy?”

She kept her eyes on Gregor, even as his own gaze pulled away from her eyes to her body. There was a strong air of masculinity about him, that was different than usual. She could sense it, and it caught her off guard. It was the damned soul gems, it had to be. “I was in the healers tents most of the day, and then I spent some time with Daro’Vasora and Fjolte. I needed a break from staring at infections…” she sighed. “But that’s not what really what I wanted to talk about…” she let the last word hang in the air, before pulling her hand away from him and back to her own side.

Ah, there it was. The unresolved business and the tension that came with it. Gregor moved his hand from her hip to her lower back and moved even closer to Raelynn, so close that he almost looked straight down on her and cast her face in his own shadow. He felt a twinge of annoyance at the delay in gratification and wanted to deny her the comfort of having some distance between them. “Fire away, my love.”

“Gregor,” she said with a smile as she watched his hand travel again. She'd pushed him just enough to be antsy, made him wait long enough. Her eyes flashed with delight at her own deviousness. “I don’t think you're going to listen…” She looked back up to him, placing her hand on his own thigh, tracing her fingers so gently until she stopped and took it away again. “Is… this,” she shrugged her shoulder, freeing more flesh from the robe with ease, “what you want?” The Breton hooked her finger under his chin, as if she was going to pull him to her, but she moved to him instead, brushing her lips against his. “Do you want me?” she asked in as soft a breath as she could, her eyes closed.

If he had been able to keep his mind clear, Gregor would have realized that this had been part of Raelynn’s little game all along -- but the briefest touch of her lips against his and the way she shrugged off her robe was too intoxicating for such levels of awareness. “Gods, yes,” he muttered and kissed her, passionately and deeply, while his hands were all over her in a flash, untying the cinch around her waist as fast as he could.

After Gregor had extracted himself from their embrace to grab a towel and wash his face in the bowl of water he looked over his shoulder at Raelynn with a boyish smile while he put his hair up again. “We should do that more often,” he suggested casually and bent over to grab his pants off the floor.

“It feels like we barely get time too… Ever since the Palace…” She did not feel the need to dress, and instead simply draped one of their blankets over her body, her head resting on her hand as her elbow propped her up. She was going to allow him time to get comfortable again - he seemed suitably pleased with himself, and less agitated than he had been. He was love drunk. It was a good time for her to release some things from her chest. Her eyes were drawn to the gems above the head of the bedroll. “That's the good thing about festivals, they're loud and take care of those who may intrude…” Her mind wandered to Jaraleet again, and she chuckled quietly.

Gregor nodded. His gaze, too, wandered to the opaque crystals he had taken from the prison. He had put on his pants but decided to remain shirtless. He absent-mindedly rubbed the skin of his arm where the image of a broken soul gem had been tattooed into it while he stared. Catching himself, Gregor laid himself down next to Raelynn and smiled at her. “And what would they be intruding on now, hm? Do I have to take these pants off again?”

The temptation was real for her too, but there were more important things on her mind. “I'm afraid you've worn me out for the time being…” she smirked and raised an eyebrow in his direction, almost as if she was scolding him but there was no real malice there. “Actually my love, I wanted to talk with you… discreetly.” Raelynn gently ran a finger over his arm as she spoke. He'd never denied her a conversation before after all.

So there was no escaping it after all. Gregor had to admit that Raelynn had been kind enough to indulge him; the least he could do was acquiesce to her request now. His smile only faltered ever so slightly before he regained his composure. “Go on, sweetheart. Ask your questions. I know you have them.”

“When Fjolte and I came back… Something had happened with Sevari. I… Gregor, what happened in that room?” She asked, concern in her eyes, her hand resting against his arm now demonstrating the concern physically. “I mean, something really happened in there, I could practically taste it…”

The atmosphere in the room became almost perceptibly colder while Raelynn talked and within seconds, the firewood warmth of love in Gregor’s eyes had been replaced by the charcoal chill of pride. All of Raelynn’s work in placating and softening Gregor appeared to be undone in an instant.

“You saw what happened,” Gregor said and frowned. “You heard what Rourken said. You saw what this elf-spawn,” Gregor continued, pausing to pick up the Dwemer’s pitch-black soul gem, “did in there.” Raelynn had held it when he had asked her to, but he also remembered that she’d used the moment to wrap her fingers around his hand instead. Gregor pushed the gem into Raelynn’s hand now, denying her the choice to avoid the monster that lay trapped within, clasped her fingers around it and pressed it against her chest. “Feel,” he commanded.

The minute it made contact with her chest she felt it. It was as though it was going to tear a hole through her flesh. She recoiled immediately but he was holding it so firmly against her that she couldn't escape it. Fjolte's warning to her to avoid anything of the arcane and to take her time flooded her mind. “Gregor…!” she gasped out in a strained rasp of a voice, her eyes wide with absolute terror. It was poison, vibrating against her. Her hands trembled even under his grip and she lost her words. They sat in her throat like bile. She was completely vulnerable to the dark energy within the gem and she was feeling it through every fibre of her being. From the look in Gregor's eyes he had been poisoned by it too.

“I… can feel it,” she hissed through gritted teeth finally. “Get it off me!” she tried to push back against him as she said it, barely able to stand it anymore.

Satisfied with Raelynn’s reaction, Gregor pulled his hand and the gem away from Raelynn and put it back where it belonged. “Then you already know what happened. There was a monster in that room. I took his soul when Sirine killed him, for such a beast should not be allowed an afterlife. Sevari… took offense. It was pathetic, really,” he explained, his voice cold and utterly without sympathy. “He pointed a pistol at my head and couldn’t even pull the trigger. Zaveed took it away from him and he stormed out, impotent and upset.” Gregor shrugged.

She took a while to catch her breath, feeling incredibly disoriented from the gem, it didn't stop her from panting out after his next answer; “what? He tried to kill you?” pain in her expression fell away, replaced with visible upset. She reached forwards again to touch him comfortingly. “Were you hurt?” She hadn't seen an injury on him, but perhaps he just hadn't wanted to talk about it. “I should never have left you… I'm sorry,” Raelynn whispered with a hand on his chest.

Gregor scoffed. “Of course I wasn’t hurt. Sevari is no threat to me. What do you take me for?” He shook his head at Raelynn but his condescension was swiftly followed by a hint of admiration. “You should have seen Zaveed, though. He was so eager to swoop in and save the life of the man that almost murdered him. You trained him well. He might make a fine lap dog one day.”

“You know that I know how strong you are, doesn't stop me worrying about you…” she said with a smile, even though his words were worrying here. The vacancy in his eyes was about to make her nervous if he didn't settle down soon. She chose not to bite at his comment about Zaveed, although it was of interest to her that he had stepped in. “And now… you have more souls…” her eyes glanced back towards them, so heavy and present it was as if they were actual people sitting in the tent with the two of them. It was like mirrored voyeurism and it unnerved her the longer she looked at them sat their in a row. “We need to be more careful… To protect your secret…”

“They’ll be gone soon,” he said as he followed Raelynn’s gaze. “Tonight.” There was a heavy note of finality to his words, as if it was a decision that Gregor had made only then and there. He observed Raelynn carefully, curious to see what her reaction would be. Would she be happy for him?

It felt like a deadline. Up until now it had just been discussed. The event they talked about that would never come. It would always be one more soul. Was that what he he had meant? Did he believe this to be the last ritual? Suddenly the fingers of the hand on his chest clasped at it. “Are you sure?” she asked, her eyebrows drooped with uncertainty. “This is the one?” her voice wavered just as it had in the prison. She couldn't conceal her trepidation as well as she would have liked.

Gregor shook his head and placed his own hand over hers. “No, I’m not sure, but… don’t you think it’s time? After what the Ideal Master said last time, and now with such a bountiful and worthy sacrifice?” Gregor looked at the soul gem of the Dwemer soul-trapper again and marveled at its darkness. “His soul is steeped in the suffering he is responsible for. It shall delight them, I’m sure.”

She looked away. He was right, it was an exceptional soul to hand to them on a platter. “I always thought it would take us a lot longer… I” she fumbled on the words, looking over at the gem in all its abysmal glory. “When it happens… you'll be changed but I will remain the same…” She brought her hands around her middle, as if she had caught a chill. “What will you be… after?” she asked finally. She wanted to ask him who he would be more than anything. It made her feel small to be so vulnerable. But this was Gregor afterall. She looked it too, shoulders hunched as she hugged herself in an attempt to quash the deep insecurity seated within.

Merely bringing up the topic was enough to stir something within Gregor and he moved on top of Raelynn, hovering over her and forcing her to turn on her back to look up at him. The semicircle of soul gems almost looked like a crown on Raelynn’s golden head from that angle and Gregor leaned in until his face was only an inch from hers, his left hand suddenly around her throat and the nails of his right hand dragging over the skin of her hips, exploiting the nakedness of her form beneath him. “I shall be deathless,” he whispered, the black voids that were his eyes staring intently into hers. “I will gather more souls to save my brother and my sister and make them eternal too, like my father wanted.” The grip of his hand around her throat tightened -- loose enough for her to breathe, but strong enough for her to feel the tautness of his tendons in her flesh. “The Dwemer will know me as their reaper. And you…” He kissed her again while he pried her knees apart and imposed himself on her again, wilfully ignoring her insecurity. It didn't matter to him; she only had to know that he owned her. “You will be by my side to love me, take care of me, satisfy me… and I will keep you safe,” he finished, a ravenous hunger in his voice.

“Stop it,” she breathed out in a croak from within the grip around her throat, she pressed a knee against him to get him to move. She was not in the mood for his usual dominating arousal after she had opened herself up like this. That, and his answer did nothing to make her feel reassured that their relationship would be the same after he'd changed. She pushed gently against his chest, away from her. “I'm more than that… You're more than that to me…” she said again, her free hand grasping at the blanket to cover herself. Suddenly wondering if tonight had just been about… satisfying him, and nothing more. “Gregor, please…” she finished, narrowing her eyes in his direction.

Gregor's eyes flashed and he abruptly pulled back from her when she resisted. All the indignation and vindication he'd felt since the prison bubbled over now, an overwhelming and destructive conviction that the whole world could lick his boots, and when Raelynn didn't give him what he wanted, that world suddenly included her. “You are what I tell you to be,” he snapped, ice cold, and he got to his feet. The fading light of dusk illuminated him from behind as it poured into the tent through the flap and the shadow that fell over his features was almost unnaturally thick.

“You were scared of me in the prison. Now you're scared again. What are you afraid of? That you can no longer control me and use me after I've changed?” Gregor pointed an accusatory finger at her. “You never could, Raelynn. I do what I want, whenever I want it. You're mine because I will it,” he hissed.

It was the gem, she knew it. It was so corrupt that it was causing him to act out in this way. Maybe once it was about control, maybe sometimes even now it was. But that wasn’t why she was scared. He didn’t deserve the truth when he was being so vitriolic, it would go over his head now. She brought herself back up to her knees and reached out a hand towards him. “Please, just take a breath. You’re getting too incensed, don’t say something you’ll regret…” she was trying her hardest to remain calm herself, unsure of whether he was about to lash out or leave. Neither of those things were in any way ideal. “I was scared in the prison because you made yourself vulnerable. Bakih and Fjolte didn’t know your secret and now they do. That puts you in danger. That’s why I was scared.”

“Vulnerable,” he repeated. “Wasn't I right to take that butcher's soul? Am I not right to seek the safety and dignity of my siblings? You said it yourself, I'm not a monster. I shouldn't have anything to fear from these people. Sevari was stopped by his own brother. What's the rest going to do? Nothing.” He paused and made a dismissive gesture with his hand. “Or they can die. It's all the same to me. To us. Because you're with me, not with them. Right?”

She could feel fear rising in her her chest as he spoke, he wasn’t settling down and she couldn’t understand how they’d gone from being love drunk, to this. He was being cruel. Her hands began to shake so she pulled them around herself again, wrapping the blanket entirely around herself - the chill in the air becoming so much. “Gregor…” She squeaked, surprising herself with her own pathetic mewling. “Of course I’m with you… And you are right, you are. I just want you to be safe. Us to be safe.” Her tone was almost shrill as she held back her tears. Unsure of what else she could say to him.

“We will be,” the Pale Reaper said in supreme confidence. “Have faith in your knight.” He knelt back down in front of Raelynn and cupped her cheek with his hand; a tender gesture undermined by the total lack of any visible empathy on his face. He leaned in closer and planted a kiss on her forehead, before he whispered in her ear.

“Don't question me again.”

The way that he did that… it felt as though he was mocking her and she felt herself pushed back into a wall by him. As if she really was just a thing, just an object. He had been unable to see reason or listen - he barely resembled Gregor at all. Even the atmosphere he was creating was different, she couldn't stand it. The kiss on her forehead was cold and loveless… Without truly thinking, as he stooped down to her like that - the husk of Gregor, she brought her left hand up, and despite the fierce trembling she swung it around to meet his cheek with a resounding thwack. Immediately she gasped in shock at her own actions, followed by a loud, ugly sob.

For a moment it looked like the slap had brought Gregor back to his senses, but the slack-jawed and wide-eyed expression of surprise and regret turned into a loathsome scowl almost immediately. The Pale Reaper refused to muster the decency to be angry, or upset, or to show Raelynn any kind of validation and acknowledgement. He got to his feet without another word, finished dressing and grabbed some of his belongings that he would need for the ritual, including the five soul gems themselves.

“Don't wait up for me, this might take a while,” he said as casually as if he was simply going for a haircut.

Whatever anger she had been feeling was not dominating her now, just a strange feeling of regret as she watched him dress and pack away the soul gems. “It's not enough time…” she said in a pleading tone as she looked at him. The lack of reassurance from him was gnawing at her inside. She wanted to get up and grab him, to drag him away from the doorway of the tent until he at least gave her something. “I want more time!” she cried, hands fumbling over the ground to locate her robe to dress herself.

“Just, just let's keep our wits about us. We can properly plan it… I can help you,” she slipped her arms into the robe and let it fall around her before she stood up, “we didn't - what if I can help you - help your family…? You have the soul gems… Give me time. Please.” Unlike Gregor, she was frantic and paced the tent, her hands reaching around the pile of books as if to find a miracle written within their pages. She knew it was futile, and she realised that the longer she scrambled around the more impatient he was going to become and his words came back to the front of her mind. She stopped.

He watched her struggle and stumble over herself impassively and waited for a few seconds after she stopped before he said anything. “Everything will be fine,” the Pale Reaper said, slow as slow and calm as calm. “You don’t have to be afraid. I know what I’m doing. Haven’t you considered that when I am immortal, we will have all the time in the world?” He cocked his head at her and raised an eyebrow.

You'll have all the time in the world,” she said quietly, composing herself. Crying and pleading had done nothing, and she was left with a feeling of humiliation for having acted in such a way. “And I'll live to satisfy you until I simply don't.” Raelynn let her gaze drop to the ground. “You don't understand, and if you don't then maybe that's all I've been to you.” As she let the words fall, as she spoke them clearly into the night like that - she felt them too.

Gregor took a deep breath and tensed up, balling his fists and clenching his jaw. “I’m not going to stand here and listen to more of your self-pity,” he said, scathing and audibly aggravated. There was more he could say, more of her failures and flaws to point out, but why waste his breath? He had more important things to do. He slung his backpack around his shoulders and stomped out of the tent, the flap obscuring him from sight. The sounds of his footsteps in the soft sands faded away into silence.

He was gone. He was actually gone, he'd left like that. Without his presence holding her down, the slow simmering heat that had been her anger began to boil over.

It started with the scarves. She ripped them from the tent poles, letting them fall to the ground one by one. Behind her eyes a mixture of rage, humiliation, and heartbreak - they had combined to create an aggressive tantrum and she sniffled hard, her jaw clenched to the point of pain and a vein protruded from her neck under the pressure. She spun around to launch a foot against the wooden board, the sheer force of it extinguishing the candles and sending them tumbling down - wax spilling against sand and cloth. A mess. She dropped to her knees and grabbed at the flowers, shredding through them with her hands, tearing away at the petals like an incensed game of “he loves me not”.

She reached for the plate and sent it flying out of the doorway of the tent with great force, the fruit falling around her. She grabbed at a pillow and held it over her face, screaming through it until her throat was hoarse and the anger had left her, leaving her with nothing but sorrow, alone in the darkness.

He was gone. Gregor was gone.

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