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[Mini Event] hands off your fate, child - Printable Version

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hands off your fate, child - Rory - 03-28-2019

And so, it began.

Rory kept his lonely vigil, some 50-60 yards from the Spire, where the Ascended had converged. The breeze had carried the sound of voices, but not their words, but he saw them move, trace patterns of a sort on the black granite. He shivered in the dark, as if a spectral hand lightly dragged its fingertips down his spine, and then hooked its nails in his heart.

Then something shifted. For a split second it was subtle, until it wasn't: a bolt of lightning, vivid and pure and burning into his retinas, snaked up the black length of the lonely tower, striking the shield that had caged them for years and years.

The earth rumbled and bucked, as it had that day in the Outskirts, when the Outlanders had just arrived and he'd just met them.

He was afraid.

He was watching his world end.

His loyal sleepers did not wake from their machinated dreams, remained oblivious to the plight they had failed; Rory watched Aedion disappear into the Spire, but he found that he didn't care. He only had eyes for Wessex, wanting to commit her to memory before she was bound to slip into the dark mouth yawning at the Spire's base.

Solitary, ferocious, lovable Wessex.

People came running. Of course they did, drawn by the rumble and the flash, and with a twinge of annoyance he noticed that they did not drop into slumber the moment they crossed into what paltry fortifications the human shield had set up.

Among those who stormed towards its base was, of course, Roana, hungry for her glory. Vai's daughter too, all lightning and jet-black. On that night, when they rushed to slip the dagger between the ribs of his life, he found it in his dark heart to hate.

Then Edrei of all people came up to him, snarling, eyes dark. The look he leveled at her was even, unforgiving, uncompromising, but he couldn't silence the fear snaking around his bones. [say]"No,"[/say] he said, his voice about as friendly as the rocks and bones around them. He completely ignored the arrival of Zariah. [say]"I'm not down there with them, am I? Look around you-"[/say] His pale hand flashed in the dark of the night, indicating the bodies that slept peacefully around them, unaware of what was transpiring. [say]"They're all asleep. It was me and five Ascended in the dark."[/say]

He was tired, uninterested in her threats and barbs and the fire he knew she could light around her hands, but that other miserable fuck of a woman chose that moment to open her mouth again.

[say]"Is that what you said when it was-"[/say] and his voice stumbled over Ronin's name [say]"-the Northaveners risking their lives down there?"[/say] Rory asked sweetly, fully aware of the fact that he was tempting death. Edrei's threat from earlier that day burned starkly in his mind and he had no idea who this woman was to her, but fuck, in that moment, Rory's fire burned hotter than his reason. [say]"Oh, yeah, more or less, it was. You despicable fuck of a vulture."[/say]

And then, if Edrei hadn't already set him on fire, he tried to walk away from them both.

Their company was not the company he wanted, there in the dark.

RE: hands off your fate, child - Are - 03-28-2019

A short smile was all the blessings he could muster to those destined to enter what he could not. The calling of glory and death so strong he felt as if he could reach out and touch it. Yet something kept him back. A memory of a bygone era, one where a simple cobbler could never muster up the courage to even dream of bearing arms in anger. A small reminder of what he was living for and what all his work was for. Glory and death was simple. Love and life was not.

Still the cobbler had toiled. Shield on his back, padded jacket over his tunic and dark rings under his eyes a testament of tireless preparation. As dawn broke on that day he could feel it long before he heard it. A crack of the hammer and the world was alight for a moment, the toll of a bell calling a coward out from his hole.

A short smile from a weary face, lined with unrest and worry but alight with the excitement the smell of a new world brought. Not even the sight of him could dampen his peculiar mood. Are knew better than to tempt fate and gave Rory only a slight nod of recognition.

With a heavy sigh he planted himself as comfortably as he could on an overturned barrel, knapsack already opened and aching fingers rifling around for a belated breakfast.

RE: hands off your fate, child - Jigano - 03-28-2019

Jigano had not known the Spire would fall, but he had seen Edy when the girl had joined Roana that afternoon, all fire and rage and violence seething over, and so he had slipped away from the mob to collect Isuma from the Rathskeller and take her back to the guildhall instead. If Edy would not be maintaining her post then he wanted his little one to be somewhere safe, where his guildmates would recognize and care for her if the worst should happen...

And then lightning and thunder had split the night, striking from a stormless sky, and he had grabbed his rapier and the Sparkbird feather lantern before dashing out the door in grim haste and staccato terror for what would await him back at the Spire.


The naturals who had been moved to protect the Spire - from faith, loyalty, fear, or belligerence - were unconscious to a soul, but more telling were those who stood like sentinels in the dark, clear beneath the moonlight to his fox-slit eyes. Outlanders, mostly, including Edrei and the insufferable woman from the library, but a familiar messy braid had him whispering a prayer of thanks to Ludo as he closed the distance between them, quiet steps ghosting to a halt as he drew in ragged breaths against his run. The Spire stood open behind him, but for the moment the lorekeeper had eyes only for the tired, gaunt features of his friend and the tension that crackled between him and the two women. " Rory ?" he said softly, worried eyes flickering to Edrei with a raised brow of confusion and then back again. "What happened?"

RE: hands off your fate, child - Wessex - 03-30-2019

Amalia, Jigano, and Rory step up next to her, along with Edrei, who’s acting like the child she is (a hot barely legal adult, but one nonetheless) and Wessex eyes them all with a narrowed gaze. But this time, it’s different. This time, she’s taking measure of their powers, trying to take advantage of a shitty situation. Time ticks by and the world outside is lit by the barrier, but Wessex listens and hears… inklings of things.

It forces her hand.

She turns to face them and ever the pragmatic adult, says very matter of factly, as if she were talking about the weather. “Let me drink from one of you. I don’t have magic, and I can’t shift, and we saw that those were important weapons against the Spire Monster. There’s no reason to think inside will be any different. I promise it will only be just enough to get the job done.” Her gaze travels to each of them - sincere as it can be from a woman who would give her life to protect two of them and well… didn’t loathe the others.

She whispered back, I am the storm

RE: hands off your fate, child - Edrei - 03-30-2019


[say]"No?"[/say] Edy mocked, eyes snarling and full of heat as she glared at Rory. [say]"No to what exactly? This all being planned? Or you being a fuck?"[/say]

However as Zariah appeared, Edrei promptly shut her mouth. If anything, the not-teenager tensed slightly, head held high looking unmistakably soldierly as she nodded to the head of her family. [say]"I can make friends when I try."[/say] Edy replied, sparring a quick glare of a glance towards Rory then looking back towards Zariah, the implication being that she clearly wasn't trying here. Rory was a fuck as far as she was concerned.

Watching Roana enter, Edy shrugged just as casually. [say]"She is well trained, but not for this. Still, the Captain survived the Rock Cat once upon a time and that was unexpected as well."[/say]

Glancing towards Jigano, Edy looked back and forth from him to Rory, reminded of the night outside when the Spark Bird had arrived, and the exclusive hug that she'd not been a part of. [say]"All I know is that we tried to go in just a few hours ago, and Rory raised a fucking ruckus about it. But now he's here just cool as a cucumber letting his pals inside. So much for no us vs. them shit, huh?"[/say] Edy said, uncharitably describing the situation with a huff.

However at Wessex 's approach, Edy seems to soften in a hard to describe sort of way. She yields like butter beneath a hot knife, or at least her eyes do. [say]"Only just enough to get the job done, huh?"[/say] Edy quips back flirtatiously. Fire blooms easily from her fingers, and it's clear from her control of it that she had indeed mastered the element. But knowing what it was an ascended's bite was like, Edy definitely wanted more than just the bare minimum.

RE: hands off your fate, child - Wessex - 03-30-2019

She glances towards Edrei and her fire-tipped fingers, licking her lips before choosing her words carefully. “And more… if you’re good. But you should know, my dear, ” Wessex says, before turning towards her with a ‘come hither’ look. Cool. Calm. Collected. As if she seduces spitfires every other day. Really playing the predatory power-lesbian card with flair.

“I led them to the Spire. It needed an Ascended’s touch. She told us that.” She reaches out to stroke a soft, strong shoulder, hoping to let her fingers trail down the girl’s arm.”The puzzle was faint, even to our enhanced eyes. Your Captain couldn’t have opened it if she tried every day for a year… shame she never thought to ask, but then again, she has a fondness for midday and that’s not a good time for us.”

If anyone had been listening, they’d known that was the message all along.  But no one thought to ask an Ascendant, did they? ‘Hey guys, your Goddess is imprisoned in this tower, any idea what we should do?’

It doesn’t matter anymore, does it? Not really. They need to succeed. Wessex draws closer and if Edy will still allow it (young minds have a curious capacity for discordant thinking, don’t they? Should it become too much, she has the capacity to stop Wessex at any time.) she will turn the two of them away from the others (sorry guys!) and take her from behind, one hand sliding around the slender soldier’s waist and then up to roughly cup one of her tits. The other hand snakes up to hopefully grab the base of Edrei’s beautiful mass of hair and pull her head to one side, revealing her neck. And then she exhales ever so softly on her nape before sinking her teeth in.

She whispered back, I am the storm

RE: hands off your fate, child - Rory - 03-31-2019

Okay, fuck olive branches and rational explanations. It was obvious from her comeback that she wasn't interested in the truth, or at least not in acknowledging it; Rory's sigh was quiet. Most of the fight had gone out of him. He just wanted it all to be over already, so that he could go back to his horses and his goats and his dogs and just forget about this day altogether. Start over.

He didn't answer her, because he was not interested in fighting her, so why lay out more bait? He did notice how her demeanor changed when Zariah arrived, and thought he was too busy disparaging the newcomer to comment on it, he stored it away for future use. Not that Rory was sly or cruel or in the habit of sticking his nose into the machinations of people he didn't even like, but, well.. he was also curious by nature.

Then Jigano came running, an errant ray of moonlight in the night; lithe, graceful, .. dark, with his intense eyes, the thin sword at his hip. A wild thing, just like everyone else.

A wild and unknown thing, but even on that night, something in his eyes softened when they fell upon him.

He asked a question, but Edy beat him to the answer, and Rory felt the growl building in the back of his throat again. Ugh he thought to himself, not particularly worried about how it'd make him seem in Jigano's eyes—he'd been told most of what had happened earlier. [say]"You're smarter than that,"[/say] he told her tiredly, his blue eyes rolling through his sockets to rest upon her face. [say]"If it had been you lot against only me, you could've brushed me aside like a feather, too."[/say] He was never going to take credit for having turned them away. The only thing that had kept them from approaching the Spire was Roana's unwillingness to start sacrificing lives just to get through. Rory had done nothing except hold his crew together and stick his head out to take the blame (and he'd done it really gracelessly).

[say]"And I'm pretty sure a couple of the Ascended were Outlanders,"[/say] he muttered, but Wessex was already stealing the show. Not that Rory cared; he took little pleasure in arguing with Edy, and truthfully, should've just kept on keeping his mouth shut.

Frayed tempers and fraying nerves, and all.

Rory doubted his magic would be of any use to Wessex instead. Summoning beavers? Nah. Tentative fire manipulation? Nah. Firehands was obviously the best choice, and to his surprise the girl practically melted under Wessex's attention—and Wessex, she transformed into a beast. The dynamic between the two of them was a little disconcerting, if only because it was Wessex and well, Edy.

He flinched visibly when the fire around her hands whispered into life.

Eventually the Ascended turned the girl away from them, and Rory's blank face went in Jigano's direction and he blinked a little, as if silently asking if he was going insane.

Seriously? Wessex and Edy?

RE: hands off your fate, child - Jigano - 03-31-2019

The walking dead woman wanted a drink now? She hadn't thought of that before she had led the Ascended into opening the Spire that so many Naturals had banded together to protect? How many of her brethren had her leadership coaxed inside without similar protections, while she stood safely outside, waiting to claim what their loss might procure for her?

Friend of Rory's she might be, but she hadn't acted much like a friend, challenging him during the day and then trying to slink behind his back at night, rather than ask him why he had gathered people to stand guard over the obelisk that held the keys to salvation and damnation all at once. If she had she might have known that they hadn't meant to lock the Spire away forever, only for a little while longer, while they finished studying it and gathering what support they could from the gods, training and growing in strength before they made a final move against it - together.

But no one had wanted to wait. The damn thing had stood for three hundred years and no one could be convinced to hold off for three fucking weeks.

Anger roiled in his gut, unexpectedly hot and fierce, but Rory was looking at him with blue eyes black as shadow, and Jigano recalled the feel of tears soaking into his fur. His temper did not quench, exactly, but the fires of it banked as he looked from gentle Rory to bright Edrei - wild, willful, and fully ready to give in to her own temper - and he shook his head at her explanation, biting his lip against the swift retort that would help no one.

Calm. Breathe. Listen.


"He's not your enemy, Edy," the white-haired bard said quietly, in contrast to the snarls of the beasts gathered all around. He kept his tone level, kept his own anger out of it, but he moved to stand subtly between both Rory and the fire mage, blocking both their vitriol with his body, as best he could. "We wanted everyone to slow down and think before we opened up this spider's nest. People were still upset from the Outlander assault on the Demon, and Ronin's death. We needed time to try and heal the rift that sprang open from that... and neither Roana nor the Ascended were thinking of anything other than their own glory." He shook his head in a tightly-controlled display of his own frustration, glancing to the gaping maw at the Spire's base with a frown. "If you want a fight so badly, there might be an opponent worth your skills in there."

But then the impetuous girl seemed to soften and offer her... services... to the woman who had sent her own troops in without her leadership, and Jigano's expression tightened in concern. It was a worry he dared not voice, however. Edy was, now and always, her own woman, and capable of making her own choices. He might not agree with those choices, and he wanted to sit down with her and have a long one-on-one talk when this was all over... but he had no right to interfere in this. Still taut as a drawn bowstring, he turned back to Rory and caught his friend's eyes - and his hand, against the flinch of reflected firelight in them. Tangling their fingers together if he was allowed he gave a little shake of his head, as confused as the blond but feeling stronger for the touch they shared, and the reminder that neither of them stood alone in the dark.

"They might be idiots," he said softly, for Rory's ears alone, "And they might have picked poor leaders to follow... but enough people have died for this, or been hurt for it." And Rory not least among them, for all that the wounds he carried were on the inside. "If it sounds like they need help... would you be able to forgive me, if I go in and try to bring them out again?"

RE: hands off your fate, child - Are - 03-31-2019

As massively interesting as a handful of dried apples and day old loaf of gritty bread was for the cobbler, he couldn't help but overhearing the heated conversation going on but a rocks throw away. Such a peculiar collection of people squabbling over matters that made little sense to Are, yet he had to hold his tongue from getting him into any trouble as he heard one he owed his life to get her name dragged through the mud by another friend.

"You keep to stories and books, skald! Let the warriors keep to theirs!" Are half shouted through a mouthful of bread from his post. "I mean..." he quickly added, stammering and swallowing hard, hoping the hornets nest he might've kicked leave hum unstung. "Sorry... Don't listen to this fool..." he muttered loudly, trying to dismiss what attention he had attracted.

RE: hands off your fate, child - Edrei - 04-01-2019

[say]"Uh huh. Well you were the one who brought them all together, like it's your fucking job to decide who goes in and who doesn't. "[/say] The not-teenager snapped back at Rory, though her voice was a good deal more reserved in Zariah's presence.

Bristling as Jigano said that we wanted whatever the fuck. That we the consisted of Jigano and Rory and dark-eyes and whoever the fuck else. That we that didn't include Edy. [say]"No. I still call bullshit. These idiots have tried to attack the Spire before too. So either they had a plan back then about what to do if they were successful, or they fucking didn't. If they didn't, then it isn't like we're in any better position now. No new info, so what're we waiting on? And if there is information they haven't shared, then I stand by my original conclusion of him being a fuck."[/say] The pained and clearly wounded and needy child in Edy burned for all to see, but she titled her chin up, levelling a seething glare at both Rory and Jigano before happily being taken by Wessex.

[say]"The point is, the time for talking is over. If we couldn't get in and needed your touch—"[/say] She purred with a dark grin, [say]"—that's one thing. But being told to fuck off all over a turf war? No."[/say]

With a sigh and posture of the sort of aggressive submission that only warriors are really capable of, Edy leans back against Wessex, one of her hands curling up and into her hand to grip the tangles of blonde. The feeling of teeth on her neck makes the not-teenager take a hasty preparatory breath as the world dissolves into a web of sensual sensations that defy any sort of description. Instead, flooded with euphoria, Edy moans contentedly, her fingers tugging Wessex's fangs further against her.

RE: hands off your fate, child - Wessex - 04-01-2019

Ah, yes. Judgey, selfless Jigano, who only ever thinks about others and the healing that needs to be done. So wise, so all seeing, so much smarter than everyone else. As if his way was the only right way. The man who can be all places, all the time, and never tires from constantly sneaking around. The way he tries to protect Rory as if he is the only one who cares about him. As if he knows why Wessex held herself back. As if he is God and Adjudicator and Executioner all in one; as if he can sway Rory’s mind against her.

Ha. Let him try. But first things first - Edrei, her neck, and her firefingers -

She tightens her grip ever so slightly on Edy, taking her weight with ease. A myriad of sensations flood her mouth, sweet and hot and Gods, she wants to keep the explosions coming. There is no hesitation at Edy’s encouragement, her own deeply satisfied groan muffled by flesh. She digs deeper, just for a moment, letting the euphoria start to crescendo. And then something in the back of her head pings the conscious part of her brain, eliciting a growl of frustration. Nevertheless, she slows for a breath and then pulls away, leaning her nose against the top of Edrei’s head.

“More. Later.” Wessex whispers to her offering, supporting her until she feels ready to stand on her own two feet. The fact is that Edy needs her own blood and strength more than an orgasm right now, but the older woman is happy to oblige her when they aren’t surrounded by fighting, idiotic pricks, and virtual strangers. Wessex has her kinks, but exhibitionism ain’t one of ‘em.

Jigano, however, forgot about the Ascended’s enhanced senses, one of which is hearing. She might have walked away from the bickering but the accusation that her team was only interested in glory raises her hackles, and you know what can kill a fox? A lion. Wessex  raises her head to look at him, smiling ever so slightly around her stained fangs. “You're a real piece of work, you know that? You you did nothing. Had days to study it. Didn’t. Didn’t come forward with what you wanted to do. Didn’t step up to the Spire. You weren't there. And still you judge. Get off your fucking high horse. It’s done.”

Inaction by itself will spawn action. The void will eventually be filled, all too quickly and violently and in passion instead of reason. He spoke about things that weren’t said. Talks about asking for time, but never actually doing so. They actually did wait. Days. Waited until Roana was healed enough to lead a posse. And what had Jigano done? Had he taken the time to study the Spire? Find out what was inside? Try to get in? Nah, he’d done jack shit.

She laughs harshly and looks to the door of the Spire, sick of him and his pointless noise. “Come talk to me about my choices when you have the balls to defy a God’s orders.” Cause Wessex doesn’t, and she’s got far bigger ladyballs than this white-haired ass. She looks at Rory, saying simply “If you go in, be careful. Exhaustion makes people stupid.” Then she looks to Edy. “You’re with me.” She would rather have taken Rory so she could keep an eye on him, but he seems rather entangled at the moment.  

As far as Wessex is concerned, her part in this blame game is over. This little spat has been locked away and compartmentalized. Time to focus.

RE: hands off your fate, child - Maea - 04-02-2019

How long time had passed? Minutes, hours? Maea felt like she had been climbing for years when the darkness around her changed hue and she came stumbling out of the entrance. The cool night air was a sweet balm on her ravaged throat and she sucked in a breath, desperate like one who is drowning and just barely managed to breach the surface before being dragged under once more.

And she was drowning. The cough that rattled through her chest was wet, tearing, and left her lips flecked with bright crimson blood. The taste of it filled her mouth, her nose, reeked from her clothes and skin where the essence of the giant tortoise had bled on her. Eerie flecks of some other fluid splashed her face too, transparent save for the otherworldy sheen that seemed to glow in the faint light of the stars. A rapier dangled from her right hand, it too coated with blood. The sword was not hers. Had not been, until she picked it from a fallen Ascended's limp hand and used it to avenge his death. A death that might have been avoided, that could have been prevented...

"Please" she gasped the instant she could manage, lips blue and eyes glazed over with shock. "Help them! Below... poison air.."

But that was all the could manage before Maea started coughing again. Her knees buckled, and the pale young woman crumbled to the ground, helpless as she struggled to breathe.

RE: hands off your fate, child - Are - 04-02-2019

What had just been another tale happening to someone else in a far away world had become so much more when the pale woman emerged from the blackness of the spire. Coughing and wheezing like one caught in fire. Are scrambled to her side after a moment of hesitation, shook by the reality of it all. It was no tale of heroic deeds and glorious people. There was just pain, a friend in pain.

"Gods, what happened!?" he swallowed hard and whispered behind gritted teeth. Eyes welling up at the realization. Help. He was there to help. To throw himself into what had spat out one wielding powers beyond his imagination, to lay his life down for a world he barely knew. Are shook, like the last leaves of autumn he quivered, stammering in his native tongue and just shaking his head.

The realities of war and death was far too great for the cobbler to grasp in his state. Lost, forgotten and lonely in a new world. Still he stood, tears streaming from his eyes and nodding like a madman. Stubbornly disregarding his state, Valhalla awaited, but the man stood frozen in fear.

RE: hands off your fate, child - Rory - 04-02-2019

He didn't expect Jigano to get himself tangled up in whatever went on between Edy and himself, but then again... It hardly seemed to be in his character to merely ignore such a thing, either, some tiny, familiar assumption that felt very strange to make. Rory's eyebrows came down over his eyes, a thoughtful and unhappy expression as he drifted a little to the side, unwilling to let Jigano fight his battles. [say]"There's no need to drag yourself down into this,"[/say] he said quietly. He doubted there would be any healing on this night, after all. Edy had most of the facts. What she chose to do with them was up to her, and she seemed to have made her mind up.

Which.. he wished he was more okay with. He wished he could just roll over and accept it, cut her loose. The whole world didn't need to love him. So why, then, did it irk him? Why did it slither unpleasantly under his skin? It wasn't all about the fire and the threats—there was something else that left him unwilling to accept that she'd dislike him this much from now on, their opinions diverging so wildly. Was it a remnant of Long Night, or mere selfishness, wounded ego, on his part?

He didn't know, and that, too, bothered him.

[say]"We never expected to succeed,"[/say] he offered by way of explanation, something in his voice so tired, so small and defeated; every skirmish with the Demon, every warrior, young and old, every fool—three hundred years, and not an inch had been gained. They lived and they died and some chose to do it here, around the black tower.

No one cared. Why would they? Rory had been scared on the day of the Outlander assault because they might succeed, and what then?

What then was here and now, Wessex's teeth in Edy's neck and their hands tangling and throats moaning and Rory's gaze was very blank as he gazed at Jigano, hands wrapped together. Even turned away, even if it lasted only for a few seconds, it was an adventure into voyeurism he could've done without.

[say]"Only if you come out again,"[/say] he murmured to Jigano, quite distracted by something at the edges of his awareness, but then Wessex and Edy were done and—

Oh, it was such a mess, wasn't it? He felt like chiding someone—all of them, wanted to gently say their names, as if it could somehow dissolve the tension, but.. at that moment, he realized that what had caught his drifting attention was the sound of footsteps coming up the Spire steps. His gaze flickered to Wessex, and he nodded to her, something cold hardening in his gut.

Out of the Spire's dark mouth came Maea, bloodied, the pale child of a woman stumbling, coughing; red flecked her in a bizarre manner, a sword (when did she get a sword?) dangling from her hand. And she implored them, she warned them, and Rory was suddenly next to her, catching her as she fell and steadying her. [say]"Easy now,"[/say] he mumbled, blood and sticky fluids on his hands and fingers. The small hairs on his neck prickled, the scent in his nose—

He squeezed her shoulder and disentangled the rapier from her bloody hands. Rory didn't care much for Roana and two Ascended he didn't even know, but.. his gaze flicked up to Amalia. To Jigano.

Then he followed them into the Spire,

and yet another part of his soul withered.

[ Rory is just very casually ignoring Are, I'm sorry xDD ]