So, update: I'm dropping Kendra. If this get rebooted again I'll try her in that version but until that happens, I'm just gonna stick with Nadia and Onyx now. Kendra has been causing most of my writer's block since the start really, and recently it's started to mess with my interest in the RP as a whole because I end up feeling like I can't write at all when I can't think of anything for her. Sorry.
Edit- Good news is I'll be better at getting Onyx and Nadia up now.
So Kendra's still stumping me, I'll need another day for her post. I posted Nadia and Onyx because I didn't want to hold them up just for Kendra, I'll add Kendra's part to the post once it's done. Goodnight for now!
Bride of Keregar @Legion02 and Sister-Bride of Xaelia @Ellion Interacting with: The Family
As the boy's fights continued, Nadia wondered for a moment if Keregar had heard her, but as she was about to ask again he replied. “You’ve missed it. But I can make an exception for once. Varzar!” As he called for his youngest son, Nadia watched him elegantly avoid his brother's attack, and hold the twin at bay while Keregar continued. “The Gems are hungry. Give them something to eat.” Without hesitation, Varzar put away his weapons and approached the two gems.
"Good morning Varzar." Nadia said as the boy began to lead them back into the house, but he didn't reply to her at all.
“And Nadia. We will be leaving for the market at noon. Make sure you wear something right for the occasion. Or you won’t be wearing anything for a week.” Keregar's call followed them into the house, a shiver going through her as she glanced back at the warlord just as the doors closed behind them. She'd done something wrong? She glanced down at her tunic and trousers, wondering just what he'd meant. These were hardly pajamas, but, perhaps it would've been best not to wear the clothes she'd slept in after all. Nadia followed Varzar and Xaelia to the kitchen in silence as she continued on in her train of thought. I should ask Varzar if he could help me understand his Father a bit better, to help me avoid his unnecessary wrath.
As the entered the kitchen, Nadia looked around. It didn't seem like a kitchen should- there seemed to be no warmth in this room. That was all she was able to observe however, as a second later Varzar suddenly turned to her and slapped her hard across the face. She stumbled back from the impact, her hand immediately going to cover her cheek as tears sprang to her eyes. I.. I really have messed up already... That was all she could think.
“Oh, Nadia,” She heard Xaelia say as a gentle hand removed hers from the quickly reddening handprint now throbbing on her cheek. She glanced over at her sister-bride, her vision too blurry with tears to make out Xaelia's expression.
"I.. I'm okay. I'm sorry." Nadia spoke quickly, turning back to Varzar as her tears began to spill over. It was painful, but the shock of Varzar being the one to hurt her- unprovoked- that hurt much more. She had thought he was different from his father and brothers but... "I'm sorry..." She apologized again, her voice breaking as she tried to speak honestly. "Sorry I.. don't know what I did wrong." She heard Xaelia begin to shout as she finished. Xaelia was yelling at Varzar, telling him off and being very vocal about it. Too vocal. In the back of her mind, Nadia prayed that Keregar or the others couldn't hear any of this.
"Xae, wait." She stepped towards her sister-bride, too late to stop her from beginning to throw things at Varzar though. "S-stop. If Keregar finds out..." She let herself trail off as she tried to think of a way to end that sentence without saying that they'd be... "There are much worse things he could do to us than a slap to the face."
Onyx Woke from a dreamless sleep to find she was the last one to rise. Amalia was just leaving the room as she stood and stretched, the cracking of her joints a pleasurable feeling that alone usually gave her enough energy to start the mornings back home. But, she reminded herself, she wasn't back home anymore.
She straightened out her dress and ran a comb through her hair quickly before following her sister out of the room. In the dining room, Amalia and Wilhelm were already eating, a third plate with bread and meat on it seemed to have been set out for her. "Good morning m'lord. Good morning Amalia." She smiled at the two of them before sitting down and digging in. The bread was okay, the meat was okay, and the water was water. Not much else could be expected of Drakkan food it seemed.
Onyx ate in silence, wondering what was in store for them today. The choosing had been hectic, and their arrival here last night had raised her guard unnecessarily, but even though Wilhelm said constantly that he didn't wish them any harm, It was hard to simply trust the Drakkan at his word.
"Forgive me for questioning milord, but I am curious. How far away is your home?" Amalia started, finally breaking the silence between the three. "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?" Onyx stayed quiet as Wilhelm responded quickly, listening to the conversation play out between the two of them.
"Castle Nachtstone is quite a distance from here. 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, 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," With that comment it seemed he was done, and neither of them spoke again. Onyx watched Amalia as they all finished their food, wondering what her sister was thinking about now. Weather and people had never bothered Onyx before, but then again she spent most of her time in the library anyway, where such things could not enter. Perhaps the ice he'd mentioned was worrying her? or, maybe she was thinking, just like Onyx was, that this place is not home.
Breakfast ended and a carriage appeared to begin the day-long journey to Natchstone. As Amalia approached the horses, Onyx could guess what she was doing. One of Vivari's gifts to her children was the closeness with nature that allowed Earth Gems to handle plants and animals with ease. Onyx had no ability with animals, but as she boarded the carriage, she remembered Amalia saying that she did have that gift the night before.
Once the Horse had been taken care of, the group was off. Onyx smiled at Amalia as she sat next to her in the carriage. "Good job. I never would have been able to do that."
TL;DR: Nadia: Wonders why her PJs aren't good enough for Keregar before heading to the kitchen. Then tries to understand why she's just been slapped and also tries to reason Xaelia out of throwing eggs at Varzar while also trying not to cry so much.
Onyx: Wakes up and eats dinner quietly before getting into the carriage, ready to leave. She congratulates Amalia on her skill with the horse.
so I am alive, and will post within the next 24 hours for all three of my Gems. I just have a little announcement to share right now:
I have a new puppy!
My dad and I spent the last three days on a road trip to visit my aunt to get her, but it was totally worth it! I'll put a picture on Discord later probably but she's a 6 month-old Great Pyrenees and she's just the sweetest baby girl ever! I'm so happy right now!
Bride of Keregar @Legion02 and Sister-Bride of Xaelia @Ellion Interacting with: The Family
“My… brothers live there too. You’ve already seen the twins. Then there is Kieran. He came with us so he should be around. But you have to look out for him. Then there is Bregrek. He never leaves his furnace so he didn’t come along. Then there is Karog and Drugal. My oldest and second oldest brother. Though they don’t live in Kereg-Kor anymore.” Varzar answered as Nadia fought to keep her eyes on him instead of watching over his shoulder at his brother. So that must be Kieran then. She thought, taking note of the fact that Varzar decided to warn about him, but nobody else so far.
“Kereg-Kor is… different.” Varzar continued, and Nadia listened carefully as he moved on quickly. “Then there are the other Gems. They’ve made their room pretty. Like you described home. Auntie Kyr makes sure everyone feels happy there.” A sanctuary then, with other gems already living there! Nada's heart began to feel a little lighter at the thought, and she smiled slightly to herself as she began to picture a calm place filled with plants and beautiful works of art- a place where it was peaceful and perhaps even untouchable by any Drakkan.
He went on to warn her about the dangerous creatures in the woods around Kereg-kor... but he also said she probably could go out there if someone was with her! A dangerous hope, and still not what she truly wanted, but perhaps the forest would not be as bad as Varzar thought? If there were only the creatures to fear, then with Vivari's blessing she could still go and be among the trees, couldn't she? Or even, what if the wilds of Drakka were only dangerous to those who treated them as such? Gems were of the earth, Vivari's children. Nature was their domain. Surely the Drakken were simply unable to be among nature because of how unnatural they are?
She shook her head slightly, bringing her thoughts back to reality. She smiled at Varzar, standing up as she spoke. She almost hugged him, but held herself back at the last moment. "Thank you. I... I think I will be fine there, if it's as you say." Before Varzar could answer, a loud explosion- much too close to be thunder- pulled his attention away. He finally noticed Kieran in the room then, and in a flash of fury too quick for Nadia to comprehend, he dashed across the room and pulled Kieran away from Xaelia, putting himself between his older brother and the Gem. Nadia went over to Xaelia then, standing beside her as the stand-off between the two brothers continued.
Thankfully, nothing more happened, as Keregar chose that moment to re-enter the room. Nadia glanced at him as his armor suddenly fell off, revealing the scarred flesh beneath. Too many scars to be real... unless he walks through prickly bushes for fun? He said something about business, and then disappeared into another room as the twins came back inside as well. She watched as one of them, she wasn't sure which was which yet, immediately went up to Kieran and took their knife back.
"So much for that." She whispered to Xaelia just before Kieran threatened them and disappeared as well. She wanted to hug Xaelia, to try and tell her that she'd be okay, but but before she could do anything, Keregar ordered Varzar to put them both to bed. The young drakkan lead them down a hallway which ended at the door to their room. All the while Nadia felt the emptiness of this place closing in on her. There were no decorations or things of comfort here, there weren't even any plants in the corners of any room... This house was clearly not meant to be lived in. It was little more than a waypoint. Little more than a prison.
"I-it locks." Varzar said, motioning to the door as Nadia and Xaelia entered the room. "If- I’ll come check on you later. It would be better if you... didn’t leave the room tonight. Good night... Mothers"
"Good night- and sleep well." Nadia said softly as Varzar closed the door and his footsteps faded away as he left. She shared a look with Xaelia and the two of them investigated the trunks at the foot of the two beds in the room that were meant for them. The trunk was different from the one that her father had packed for her- it was bigger and less ornate, but still obviously of Gem design. As she opened it and rummaged through a little, she found that the three simple dresses and her sewing kit that had been in her father's chest had been moved into this one- and there were a few more, even more plain dresses and shirts and trousers in this new chest for her. Everything was simple, functional. Blue, brown, green, bland, with no patterns or bright color at all.
Noticing that Xaelia had started to change out of her ripped dress, Nadia turned away and began undoing the laces and ties of her own dress, letting the heavy silk fall to the floor around her once it was loose enough. As she picked it up to fold and put into the chest, she felt her two mementos in the pockets- the strange engraved cylinder from her father, and her idol of Pyrus. Pulling them out of the dress, she placed them both in a stocking in the bottom corner of the chest, before remembering to also take off her mother's necklace and put it with them.
Once she'd pulled on a blue tunic and brown trousers from the chest, she wondered what else there was to do, before Xaelia suddenly fell to the floor beside her. "X-xae? What is it? Wh- what's wrong?" She stammered as she knelt beside here sister-bride, pulling the Gem into a hug. Probably the stupidest question to ask is "what's wrong?" considering their situation, but Nadia knew no other way to phrase it. She just pulled Xaelia closer to her, trying to impart some sense of safety or stability, just by being there.
She didn't know how long they'd sat like that, but after a while Nadia remembered what Varzar had said. "Hey, I've gotta lock the door quick, alright Xaelia?" She spoke quietly as she released her sister-bride and stood, glancing around the room for the key. She found it, hanging on a hook in the wall, next to one of the unmade beds. She pulled it off its hook and went over to the door, locking it and trying to open it a few times, just to make sure it was locked before putting the key down and going back over to Xaelia.
"There. He can't get to us now, see?" She said with a reassuring smile as she held a hand out to help Xaelia up. "We can sleep now, if you want. You must be tired..." She didn't know what to do, this was so strange to her. "I've never been the one not in tears before..."
Once Xae was at least sitting on her bed instead of the floor, Nadia would hug her again before moving to sit on her own bed. "Please, don't worry too much... I know that, everything's so bad right now, but... When you reach the bottom, the only way things can go is up." She smiled, hoping to the gods that Xaelia understood what she meant. "We have each other, and that's all we really need."
Onyx nodded as Amalia began to cheer up, glad to have succeeded in helping her sister-bride get through her feelings of... Despondence? Inadequacy? Onyx puzzled over words in her head for a moment, but eventually just let it be. Emotions were too complex usually, too hard to pin down with just a single word or phrase.
As the two finished up their bath, Amalia seemed just a little more confident, or at least, Onyx couldn't clearly see that she was worried anymore. She hoped she'd said the right things... She wanted Amalia to be happy, if it was at all possible in their future. Even though they'd only just met that day Onyx already could feel a closeness and care for her sister-bride that, if she were being honest with herself, she'd never really felt for anyone before. Her father had never done anything to gain a place in her heart, and the townspeople back in Pyrvi- while generally kind and pleasant to talk to- had always been something other to her. She coexisted with these people, but was left alone with her books for the most part.
As she got out of the bath and pulled back on the dress she'd been wearing at the party, she questioned herself. Why is Amalia different? Perhaps it was only because Onyx hadn't been allowed to read anything since the two had met. She'd been forced to stay in the moment and, it might be getting to her. Onyx let Amalia take her hand as they left the room together, a guard or servant pointing them to their husband's room as her thoughts kept circling in her mind. She didn't notice that they were stopped in the doorway until Wilhelm spoke.
"I see you've finished washing," He said, standing in the middle of the room, waiting for them. "And you seem to have done a thorough job. Very good. Now then, I will be retiring shortly. I suggest you each do the same, as tomorrow will be a long day. And I will not tolerate delays because of something so petty as lack of rest." Onyx said nothing, glancing at Amalia next to her instead as Wilhelm moved to get into the bed. She looked terrified still, and suddenly Onyx cursed herself for zoning out. She needed to stay in the present, for Amalia at least.
"Hey... It's okay." She whispered, squeezing Amalia's hand gently as she continued. "You heard him, right? He wants us well-rested for travel, so there won't be any-"
"Well?" Wilhelm called over to them, interrupting Onyx's whisper "Does something trouble you two? Is the idea of sharing a bed with your husband so abstract that you cannot fathom it? And yes, I do expect you both to lay next to me, before either of you asks."
"I didn't think otherwise." Onyx said, releasing Amalia's hand with a small look of apology. She walked around to the other side of the bed and sat on the edge, watching Amalia for a moment before shrugging and lying down next to Wilhelm. He'd put himself in the middle on purpose, to force the both of them to lay next to him, but it also served to separate them from each other. It was too early for Onyx to tell if this was what he wanted from them, but she supposed it could be. Having two brides become too close with each other would certainly be a problematic situation for any Drakkan who proved unable to control them.
She turned so she was facing him, her head lying in the nook of her arm as she tried to keep some space between them while also not falling off the edge of the bed. It was difficult, but after a few moments she managed to find a comfortable enough position that she could fall asleep. She closed her eyes, debating something in her head before she finally caved and said it.
"Goodnight, Amalia. Goodnight m'lord."
Kendra Riu Bell
Bride of Kaivor @Nevix Interacting with: The Husband
As the scene played out, Drakkan yelling at each other and various lords leaving the ceremony to keep out of it all, Kendra stuck close to Kaivor the whole time. She may not have had any choice in anything that led to this, but now that she was here she wasn't about to allow herself to be snatched away by whichever Drakkan wanted to try.
When Kaivor told her to stay close however, he was looking at someone else. Kendra followed his gaze, to see a Drakkan who'd just killed another, leaving a Gem standing there alone. She was already standing as close to her husband as she could, but to comply with his order, she put her hand on his shoulder. "I've no intention of leaving your side." After the killer Drakkan left the area, Kaivor seemed to settle a little, and Kendra moved to stand at his side again, keeping her hand on his shoulder until he'd move it himself.
"Kaivor... should we leave?" She spoke quietly, looking at him as she asked. "Many other groups have left, and considering the type that seem to be hanging around... perhaps it would be best to find your brother and go."
TL;DR: Nadia: Gets a little carried away thinking about the possibility of being able to spend time in the woods after having just been warned not to go out there alone, and then begins to worry about the situation with playboy son and Xae.
Onyx: Sleeep time! She thinks too much about some things and then says goodnight.
Kendra: Not about to let herself be taken away by some rando Drakkan. She suggests to Kai that they should probably go. (I'm sorry about how short her section is.. I'm still getting to know her character.)
"Don't be sorry. We're in this together, alright?"
As soon as Onyx let go of her sister-bride, Wilhelm took hold of the both of them and began leading them out of the party. They walked together in the rain for a while, the downpour having shifted to a less drenching shower. Their husband lead them through the maze-like streets and soon, they came to their destination. A cottage, of a sort, with a proud banner hanging over the door.
Suddenly, Wilhelm pushed Amalia away, towards a Drakkan guard that Onyx had failed to notice until that moment. She tried to follow her sister-bride, to pull her away from the guard as Amalia began to cry out in fear, before Wilhelm's grip pulled her back. The guard shushed Amalia, and Onyx had to fight the urge to try and rip away from Wilhelm to go help her still. It took Onyx almost the whole time Amalia was being measured to realize that was what was happening. Once she did realize though, she quickly whispered her apologies to her husband. "I'm sorry for trying to pull away- I thought he was going to hurt her." He didn't seem to care much however, as he just pushed her forward to be measured as soon as Amalia was done.
The guard said nothing to her as she stood there, and she said nothing to him. It was curious, measuring a person in rope. Wouldn't a tape be more accurate for making clothes? but then, you don't measure someone's full height or the distance around a person's neck for a dress, do you? Those are more like measurements for a coffin, or a collar... Despite that peculiarity, so far nothing else was amiss. The house Wilhelm had led them too was clean but otherwise bare. He called for a bath and then- Of course there's only going to be one bed. Onyx thought as she said nothing to her husband and simply followed Amalia to the bath.
“Do you... do you think he has other wives? Besides us?” Amalia asked after they'd both settled into the warm waters. Onyx pulled her wet hair out of her face so she could look at Amailia while she answered.
"I suppose it's possible... But I wonder, would they really give brides to a Drakkan that still had some at home?" She paused for a moment, thinking. "I kind of hope there is someone there though now. A Gem who could help us get used to the new place, the new life."
As Onyx finished Amalia seemed, depressed at her answer. Onyx reached out to take her hand, but let the gesture die as Amalia began to speak again. “I wanted to be brave, like you. I tried to be brave. I truly did. But fear is everywhere. It chokes me." She started crying, and Onyx felt a sharp stab through her heart as her sister-bride continued. "I am sorry you are stuck with me, my sister. I am not worth much. But I promise I will not give up completely. No matter how harsh things become, I will support you."
"I am not stuck with you. I am blessed to have you, my sister." Onyx smiled as she reached out again to take Amalia's hand. "You don't need to be brave- I honestly don't believe I am very brave either. Please, don't cry."
"Fear is not a bad thing. If anything, it's the best thing to have, especially in our situation. Fear makes us careful and helps us react in the face of danger- even if it feels like it may overwhelm us. But even then, we'll always be there for each other."
Bride of Keregar @Legion02 and Sister-Bride of Xaelia @Ellion Interacting with: The Family
Nadia could hardly breathe as Varzar sat her down. She gasped, struggling to try and control her tears, but the homesickness felt like a dull knife, slowly cutting away at her heart. She felt a small weight on her shoulders as Varzar wrapped something around her. The musty leather jacket carried the scent of a place she didn't yet know, along with that of a person she realized she was quickly coming to cherish. She looked up at him as he took her hands in his, kneeling at her side as she wept.
"I’m sorry. I’m sorry I asked." He spoke so softly, Nadia almost didn't hear him over her own sniffling. He continued just a little louder, or perhaps she only heard it better because of what he said... "It’s okay. I’m sorry you’re... here." He fell silent for just a second, just long enough for Nadia to manage a weak smile at him. He was a sweet boy- she could see that clearly. he could never have meant to hurt her, in any way.
"Maybe… maybe someday you can show me your home."Oh Varzar... All the god's blessings upon you. If only. If only she could go back home- if even for just a day. She would bring him with her, if that's what he wished. This sweet child didn't really know the depth of what he'd said though, did he? Nadia took one of her hands from his grasp, wiping away the tears once again as she finally managed to stop crying enough to speak.
"I... I don't think that's possible." She hesitated before continuing, just a few seconds passing by. "But I'd take you there in a heartbeat, if I could." She smiled again, thanking Pyrus and Vivari for allowing her this one person. He was a drakkan, but he was obviously kind and so far had been gentle. He was full of innocence and curiosity, but was not entirely oblivious to the larger world- that much she could see in his eyes.
The moment couldn’t go on forever though. Over Varzaar's shoulder, she noticed another young Drakkan enter the room and approach Xaelia. Oh no... How many kids does Keregar have!? She saw him take the knife from Xaelia, and then he moved her sister-bride between himself and Nadia, so she couldn't see what he was doing now. She pulled her eyes back to Varzar quickly, hoping he hadn't noticed her glancing at the other side of the room. If the other Drakkan has said anything... She couldn't hear it from over here. Perhaps, she could pretend she never noticed him enter? She could keep holding Varzar's attention and let Xaelia figure out how to deal withthe other Drakkan on her own? Or call out for help because, He has a knife and look- Her hand is bleeding! He cut her!
She closed her eyes, taking a breath and trying to keep calming down. No, no one would believe her lie over the word of the Drakkan boy, if they would even care enough to listen in the first place. I'm sorry Xaelia, you're on your own with that...
She could keep Varzar's attention still, at least. She opened her eyes, meeting his steadily before asking her own question. "Varzar... Would you tell me what your home is like? Kereg-Kor?" She pulled the jacket more tightly about herself as she continued. "Who all lives there? just your family or is it like a fortress with guards and towers? Is there a forest, or mountains nearby? What are the days like, when everything is calm and the sun shines?"
She would wait for him to answer the first few questions before asking, "Do you... Do you think I could like living there with you?"
Nadia is having an episode of homesickness while also worrying about Xaelia. She asks Varzar what his home is like.