Post by Roxilicious on Jul 28, 2012 21:09:36 GMT -5
midday of the 28th day of the phasmatis moon middle of nowhere, walking amongst the ashlands
"Do you really think that's a good idea, Falkor?"
It was high noon. The sun blazed, beating down upon Pertinax even though the polluted, sulfuric atmosphere that always had a slight dingy shade of grey to it. Today, it was bluer than usual, adding lightness to the huge, barren wasteland just south of Scarchain. The ground was ashen, the grass was sullen and pathetic, and the earth was cracked and dry. There were no trees. There was hardly life. Perhaps the animate bones of a skeletal wyrm or a hellhound gnawing on the carcass of a fallen vulture. It was quite a sad place to be, unless you liked that kind of thing.
Roxanna had to ask again. "Falkor, do you really think that is a good idea?" Her words were spoken more clearly and distinctly than before.
"What choice do we have, sweet sister?" Falkor asked after a moment's silence. Sweet sister was just a cliché. And Roxanna knew that. He didn't mean it. He never would.
"Let's ask Holly," Roxanna said more loudly while turning her head to be sure that her beloved friend heard her. "What do you think we should do about the inevitable invasion from the Empire?"
In the distance, the growl of two fighting hellhounds could be heard as they battled over fresh kill. And just above them was a circling buzzard, waiting to zero in on the kill when the hounds were too tired to notice the heist.
The Mystic hadn't spoken unless asked a question along the trip with her two rulers. There was no doubt for the other two that she was listening intently to what they had to say. As mystical advisor, it had almost become a second nature to make notes in her head as she paid careful attention to what they had to say. Spiritual guidance was given only when necessary, as to give them freedom for the most part and a little instruction when needed.
Maybe too much freedom had been allowed in the end, though. Maybe this could have been prevented.
Holly blinked slowly at being addressed, head tilting up to meet her friend's gaze instead of looking at the ground. She offered a small smile, but it was so forced it hurt. This wasn't like a stroll when they were teenagers. Instead of talking about parents or their duties that were inevitably to come, they were talking about attacks and what they could do to hinder the empire. As much as she wished things would return to normality, she knew they wouldn't.
"We have the advantage of being on our land. We need to use that, as well as using our stealth. The empire is strong, but isn't as clever," Holly's voice was quiet, eyes traveling to Falkor before closing as she sighed inaudibly. Her hands gripped her silver cloak. She never thought in a million years she would be saying something to cut down the empire. "And--"
"Countess Roxanna! King Falkor!" Renji's yelling cut Holly off, causing the girl to turn her attention to the guard captain as he ran up to the group.
"What is it, Renji?" Holly asked with a little curiousity entering her voice.
After a moment of catching his breath after stopping infront of them, he gave a half-wave, "Oh, hey, Holly. Didn't know you were with them." Standing up straight, he saluted to the royal. "I was on my way back to the castle because my round in the city was done, but I forgot to patrol out here and gather intelligence from the men I sent out. By the way, there's this insanely giant rat I saw on the way out. So cool--"
"Right, right," Renji waved a hand dismissively. "I was coming out here, but..." He trailed off as he heard the sound of walking coming from the same direction the guard captain had come from. "I ran into them," He sighed.
Logan Cordell and Marika Coy stopped only five feet from where the Verfall group were. The count's hand was on his scythe, but he didn't seem to make a move to use the weapon or indicate he was there for a fight. Marika bowed at the waist a bit, but from the look in her eyes, she was not happy about the situation. After hearing about Verfall's decision, it didn't seem like anyone in the empire was.
"King Falkor. Countess Roxanna," Logan started, his tone firm. "We need to discuss the subject of Verfall, as you have not given us much opportunity to do so. Peacefully, if at all possible." With that, the grip on his scythe was relaxed.
Dahlia Valdez loved to visit the lands of Osoa, though usually it was on more pleasant circumstances than the reason why she found herself in Verfall now. Usually smiling, a frown was now set upon her lips as she followed behind the two leaders in front of her, her golden eyes troubled and her staff thumping against her shoulder blades while it was secured across her back.
She did not mind where she was though, for it gave her time to gather her thoughts and try to solve this matter as peacefully as possible. There has to be some reason behind this sudden decision...anything at all...there was no warning...no indication...
At her side, in addition to Ezekiel, was not her husband, whom she had left behind to have someone there in case one of them was needed, but Kale Stone. Dahlia had become good acquaintances with him recently in this sudden turn of events. He had come to her not long before they made their trip here, needing to discuss what had brought them both here. Verfall wanting to pull away from the Empire. She could tell almost immediately that this was quite personal to him, for his family was located in that very land.
Dahlia's eyes shifted nervously as the group stopped, catching sight of the King and Countess not far ahead of them. She took hold of her dress skirt, and curtsied to both, Kale bowing once respectfully as he stopped about a foot away from Dahlia. One hand was at his waist as he bowed, the other keeping his Claymore in place on his back. She could see in his eyes as he straightened his posture, as well as sense it from the others, that there was not the best of feelings about the current circumstances.
She lightly stepped up alongside the Count of the Auster Plains, Kale coming up on her other side silently as she did so. “Yes, I would agree. Please, help us to understand why you have made this decision.” She looked at each, genuine concern in her eyes as she spoke.
Kale focused on the pair as well, though his eyes drifted to their mystic behind them briefly before he spoke, bowing slightly again. "Your Majesty, if I may ask, is there anything we can do through this discussion to help change your mind about this?" His tone was calm, but his senses were very high, taking in the emotions from the others.
Last Edit: Jul 28, 2012 23:34:56 GMT -5 by Julianna
Post by Roxilicious on Jul 29, 2012 0:33:01 GMT -5
Roxanna's face contorted with hysteria, and she could not bring herself to stifle her own laughter. "Change his mind?" she scoffed, giving the children of the Empire a look of extreme skepticism.
Falkor shot a sharp glare at his sister and hissed quietly, "Shut up. Don't speak for me." He composed himself before stepping forward to speak to Logan, Dahlia, and company, standing at his full height, a good two inches taller than his usual slouching position.
This is when Ezekiel looked up in awe. He was a short man, not much taller than his little sister, and he certainly wouldn't be growing any time soon. And here stood a king, the king of the land on which he stood, a man who was almost an entire foot taller than he. It was difficult to not be intimidated, despite his lack of strong musculature and evident lack of supreme magical skills. What this man did not have in strength or magic, however, he certainly had in frightening charm, a cunning mind, and assertion.
"The fate of Verfall is none of your concern, now that we have seceded from the Empire," King Falkor said. "You most certainly will not change our mind. The deed is done. We are an independent nation, and I fear you are trespassing within our borders, illegally. Do you have citizenship papers, a government-issued and approved visa, or permission from yours truly? I can assure you that you undoubtedly lack the latter two, since they are quite recent, and as such, I demand you get out of my country before you are forced out by my military."
The king shot a commanding look at Renji, one that said what need not be said: send for reinforcement, now.
Roxanna shifted her weight and crossed her arms over her stomach. Her amused face turned sour with a sharp frown. She glared off into space, inadvertently fixating her eyes on Count Logan with a searing, dagger-like stare, but she wasn't paying attention anymore. Inside her head, she was mocking her brother, furious with his rude, humiliating command that she could not disobey at this moment. She'd scream about it later, but now was a time to look united and cooperative for the strength of her country.
Ezekiel sighed, looking down. He was wearing his mages robes, simple silk yet a pretty saturated teal with gold trimming around the sleeves, and it was at this moment that he placed his hood over his head, sinking into his own world. Why do we have to fight? he wondered, the question showing very clearly on his face despite the shadows created by his hood. He looked somber and disappointed. He didn't want to fight.
Change his mind. What a hopeless idea. Before this, Holly had been foolish enough to assume that the King's thoughts could be altered. She tried to do so many times and each time had come up with failure. As Roxanna laughed, she winced, a little late to notice that Kale's gaze had been directed at her at the same moment. She avoided anyone else's eyes while Falkor made his speech about trespassing.
This shouldn't have been a problem. The other leaders had just come to talk. If anything, Falkor could have just listened and then told them that his mind wasn't changed. It was partially disappointing to listen to.
Renji was pretty surprised by the turn-up. There Count Kale and Queen Dahlia and Count Logan and one of the council people too. Marika, right? Right. And another Mystic! Like Holly-- Oh, he had to go gather some troops. "Will do, King Falkor, sir," He saluted once again before running off in the direction of the castle. He wasn't planning on running all the way there. He was bound to run into someone before that.
Holly rubbed her temples, more out of habit than out of frustration or the beginnings of a headache. Before she could stop herself, the thoughts of the other mystic entered her head and she couldn't help but respond to him. I'm truly sorry. I wish we could have avoided violence. At that, her hands dropped back to her sides.
Marika's eyes narrowed slightly. This was not a desired reaction, but it was calculated of the dark King. Her right hand was waved in the air and, with the motion, a black orb appeared. Her right hand continued to move, as if writing. As she did so, white words appeared in the ebony circle. The magic allowed for the words to be read at any angle too. A disappointing answer, King Falkor. Especially when your own mystical advisor seems so strongly against the idea. As well as some of your other, higher-ranked citizens.
The Count of Auster Plains turned his gaze to Holly then. He had known her for a while, as her and Aria had made frequent trips to the Auster Plains. As the thoughts traveled to his companion, he was very aware of what was going to happen next. And, as if on cue, an annoyed, female voice came from his scythe. "What kind of a king doesn't listen to his mystical advisor? Are you stupid? If you're just gonna ignore people, then--"
"Shut up, Yoko," Logan snapped and smacked the blade of the scythe on the ground.
Logan's gaze wandered over to the Verfall group, finally realizing that Roxanna was glaring at him. Or glaring through him. Something like that. He blinked and looked over to Holly. "If you don't like it, you should leave."
Holly shook her head and took a step back, biting her lower lip. "Lo-- Count Logan. You heard King Falkor. He won't change his mind, but I will support him. Just... Just leave Verfall."
whoever said this was going to be easy... was dead wrong.
Kale gritted his teeth slightly when Roxanna spoke, her tone and laughter almost seeming to hold an air of mockery to it. He shifted his gaze to Dahlia and the others who were present from the empire for a moment, seeing if any of them had any sort of reaction to Countess Roxanna. Dahlia seemed slightly hurt, but showed no other sign of distress, even as King Falkor stepped forward to speak, his posture straightened as to hold a more imposing nature.
Neither Kale nor Dahlia could hold back their surprise at the King's words. Forced out by the military, just for coming to try and talk reasonably with the King. They had not made any movements of a threatening nature, so why did he see it necessary to send off for the militia? Kale shifted slightly closer to Dahlia, to make sure she was protected if it truly did end up leading to a fight. He was hoping, the thought evident in his expression, that it did not have to come to that.
Dahlia swallowed hard, Falkor's words striking at her deeply.The last thing she wanted was for the senseless violence that the King seemed to want to bring to the table. She shifted her posture as well, her skirt swishing faintly against the ground and her staff pressing slightly into her spine as she straightened to her full height as the King had. "If I may say so without offense, but that is where you are wrong." Dahlia spoke softly, her hands clasped in loose fists at her side. "What the other lands do for the stability and peace of the Empire is our concern." Her eyes rested lightly on Count Logan, Marika, Kale, Ezekiel, and Holly before coming back to Countess Roxanna and Falkor. "We would not be here if it was not."
She became more and more grateful every second that Ezekiel had accompanied her in this, even though like him, she did not want to see this end in a fight. She hoped none of those present did.
Both Dahlia and Kale let their gazes trail to the black orb Marika had produced, the words produced within its depth never more true then they could be now. Both the Queen and the Count could tell that Holly did not agree with the decision that her King had made.
Dahlia flinched a bit when Yoko's voice emanated from the scythe, and Kale rested a hand lightly behind his back against the blade of his Claymore in the same moment. Her words, though true in a sense, were not going to help them in the slightest in the manner they were spoken. Her eyes widened a bit when the Count smacked the blade against the ground, hoping deeply that neither the Countess nor the King took it as an acceptance of a fight.
Kale's eyes narrowed slightly, focused more on the two calculatingly, reading their posture and expressions to see if either would make any sort of move. I'm surprised Hale has not shown up yet...he lives off of moments like this... He watched their surroundings as well, just in case any others did decide to show up as support.
Dahlia held some respect for Mystic Holly. Even though her King had chosen a path that she personally did not appear to agree with, she still decided in the end to stand by him and his decision. Dahlia slipped her staff from her back slowly, and held it tightly in her right hand and close to her side. She did not speak, but kept her gaze focused on Falkor, Roxanna, and Holly. She did not hold it as a sign of any sort of violence. In reality, it was serving as a physical support for her.
But it could become her weapon if it became absolutely and unfortunately necessary for it to be.
Post by Roxilicious on Jul 29, 2012 13:15:33 GMT -5
(typing this on my phone at work, forgive any typos or UBBC mistakes!)
King Falkor frowned disapprovingly at Count Logan. He waited patiently for the rest of the party to finish speaking before responding. When Dahlia gripped her staff, however, his eyes changed from those of a human to those of a dragon, with reptilian slits for pupils and a defensively hostile yet seemingly unfeeling gaze. He took her staff as a threat, and he could sense the impending fight soon to come between the Empire and Verfall at this minute scale.
"Count Logan, with all due respect, my court mage is my most highly-esteemed advisor," Falkor said, "Holly is a phenomenal mystic and has many wise things to say for her young age, as if she'd lived through centuries of precious history. Her words are important to me and of course I listen to what she has to say and take her advice into consideration whenever she gives it to me. The final decision, however, will always be mine."
His words were warm building blocks for the reputable disposition of his nation's beloved court wizard, but his final sentence was like a shard of cold ice, a harsh reminder that he was still in command.
"Queen Dahlia, I understand it might concern the Empire that the threat of war is heavy on all our shoulders, and Verfall is now an enemy to the Empire, but we have seceded. We have our own rights, laws, and military. For you to impose your government on our nation is by Verfall's standards an act of war. If the fate of this country is of such great concern to the Empire, why not request a meeting? And why am I not speaking to the Emperor himself?"
Ezekiel's face changed from disappointed to angry. Why not speak to the Emperor? He is a very busy man, and that is why he has kings and queens to help him govern his land! Queen Dahlia is just as important as Emperor Remiel! How dare King Falkor question her authority, her significance! He was blowing this entire situation way out of proportion. An act of war?! Queen Dahlia and the rest just wished to talk peacefully; that is why this meeting was to be informal. While yes, they should have perhaps requested a meeting, it wasn't like they were trying to invade Verfall! They simply wished to have a nonviolent, mature discussion, but King Falkor's interpretation was turning this into something he himself didn't even want.
The court wizard's face grew red as he realized just how loud his thoughts were. He had stopped listening to the King's irrational words, and he had forgotten about the presence of another powerful mage who had already shown she could very easily telecommunicate and read his thoughts. And according to King Falkor, she was the enemy.
Roxanna continued her vicious glare through Count Logan, but she snapped back to reality sharply, refocusing her eyes and immersing herself in the increasingly hostile situation. Her gaze fell on Holly, softening. She could tell very well that her dear friend did not like this, that she wanted to remain a kingdom of the Empire, and it was hard to see her so emotionally torn. The countess felt sorry and emotionally torn herself, wishing for the secession but also wanting her friend to be happy again.
Is your telepathy powerful enough to ask Renji to bring Arkadios? I have a feeling we'll need the strength for transportation when this is all over. Her words seemed to indicate broken bodies and dead corpses needing a bigger animal to ferry them back to the castle rather than defensive reinforcement.
Holly couldn't help the tiniest bit of pride that came with Falkor's comments about her. She had to bite her lower lip to keep from smiling in the smallest of ways. If anything, she was going to try and keep this as professional as possible.
"King Falkor, we have made no attempts to force our government upon you. As we have said before, we only wished to know the reason behind why you pulled such a stunt," Logan was not one for liking the idea of war, but, with the King of Verfall, it was starting to look more appealing just for proving a point. Leaving the Empire would prove to be a mistake and he hoped that Falkor would be taught that lesson some way or another.
His eyes narrowed slightly, but he made no other move besides that. "And as for the act of gaining a meeting or talking with the Emperor, you know good and well why that can't happen. We did not think you would accept a meeting unless informal like this and the Emperor is busy as it is. He relies on us to work on matters such as this." His voice continued to remain firm, but there was more of a tone that seemed like he was trying to convince Falkor of this so he wouldn't argue back.
Holly nodded to Roxanna, quickly sending the message on to Renji. Getting away from the conversation would be good, but it would be better to stay and see where it went. She bit her lip once again, turning back and tapping Falkor on the shoulder. The Mystic telepathed instead of whispering, so the others wouldn't hear her. There seems to be a little bit of complication. Renji's telling me that he's trying to make it back fast, but he might not be as quick as he thought he would be. Would you like me to begin escorting them o--
Her thoughts were cut off as a squeak of surprise escaped her as well as a jump. It was immediately followed by a laugh from Hale, who was behind her. "Wow, Hols. Who knew you shrieked if your sides are poked?" He chuckled, ruffling her hair before roaming over to the other group. His bright green eyes immediately landed on Kale and his expression darkened in the slightest at that.
"Oh, lookie who it is. Count Kale, dear brother of mine," His voice was sickly sweet. "Are you here to beg us to join you? Because that would be a sight to see indeed."
whoever said this was going to be easy... was dead wrong.