Serenity
Zariah Launceleyn
the Merciless
Queen of the Hollowed Grounds
Age: 25 | Height: 5'7" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 6 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 21 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 10
Played by: Grant Offline
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Posts: 839
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#15
You stare at the broken mirror
Shattered reflections of the past
I think we may be standing in the same
Shadows that have been cast
A man of few words, clearly. She could appreciate that. It left far fewer opportunities for her to seize on his words and turn them against him. ”It depends on?” she asked, curious what is qualifiers were for the statement. Certainly one so serious couldn’t possibly be as optimistic a fool as the majority of the people that had lived within the confines of the barrier.

A small smirk curved her lips then and she nodded. ”A fair point. I appreciate you giving me the chance to prove myself in favor of the betterment and safety of this place. Tell me, if you were to provide me counsel, what steps might you suggest I take?” she asked, curious if he would give her any insight on what might earn her broader favor.
ZARIAH

Deimos Ignatius
Soldier / Mercenary ☆ Artisan's Guild
Age: 25 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 16 - Endr: 19 - Luck: 12
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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#16
DEIMOS
Delivered from the blasts
Years spent as a mountain leant him towards folding secrets and conniving tactics; years spent on a throne meant politics and diplomacies had carved their niche into his mind, even if he abhorred them. She crooked an inquiry for closer inspection, to drive a wedge into his thoughts, but there was little he chose to unravel, a barbaric beast contorted and garbed in his chosen cloak, invoking his right to be a stoic monolith, a solid barrier. “Factors. Variables. Things to fight against. They learned how to survive LongNight. How to endure monsters.” There were so many things he didn’t say; but the latter intonation was an indication that they could persevere, persist, fortify, without the bludgeoning crack of a whip, without the need for reckless, ensuing violence, without the incoming threat of a building force careening and pressing down on their backs.

He wanted to dive into the water again and be released from these strangled, smothering moments, liberated by the embankment’s edge, where the fringes of upheaval could be left for another day, another instance. But her smirk curved and she tried to simmer, sink, deeper; he gave no other indication of his presumptions or mulling thoughts except the casual arch of his brow. Was she asking for advice, or merely manipulating the venue, hoping to salvage something out of his reticent silence? What he proffered was meager, only ensued from experience: the burdening hostilities around the notice board, the ridiculous display of Rory’s subsequent incrimination. “Forcing others to bend to your will was not the wisest of choices, especially over minor discrepancies.” Or did that matter to her, really? Perhaps she enjoyed the ferocity, the fury, the stupidity of it all, turning the country against her in one fell swoop because power was power, and she enjoyed the relish of it? “Threatening to jail those for writing one word incorrectly is asinine. Why not listen to their questions and appeals?” Too hostile, too hasty, too rash, too brazen: perhaps her worlds had not trained her for actually leading, but dictating, and terrorizing. That wasn’t a Queen. That was a tyrant.
the last of a line of lasts
Zariah Launceleyn
the Merciless
Queen of the Hollowed Grounds
Age: 25 | Height: 5'7" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 6 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 21 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 10
Played by: Grant Offline
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Posts: 839
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#17
Zariah considered quietly, tilting her head side to side. She could in a way see what he meant, she just didn’t think she agreed with it. ”I suppose. But is surviving and enduring equivalent to thriving?” she asked, watching him closely. ”Because that is what I would like to see, a thriving population, not one just making it by the skin on their teeth.” Really, that was what the Hollowed Grounds had been. A ragtag community just making do. They didn’t have time to grow or explore or advance because simply getting by was a struggle.

His suggestions and critiques were expected and unsurprising, but she didn’t let it show on her face. ”My guard have been eager to enforce the new laws. They were the ones who asked me to lead, and have been in want of structure to organize the chaos that has defined their existence. I will review their recent actions to ensure they are acting justly.” she said with a light shrug. She hadn’t made any arrests herself. In fact, even when being cussed at and screamed at, she had sent on young man away without consequence. ”I would be happy to discuss any questions and appeals with any here. As of yet though, none have come knocking on my door. Though I do believe I posted audience times in my initial notice.” She said. To say she had somehow not been listening or not open to parlay was unfounded. This was a two way street. She opened herself to questions – people needed to come and ask now.

Zariah
Come join the chorus of the unimpressed
Deimos Ignatius
Soldier / Mercenary ☆ Artisan's Guild
Age: 25 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 16 - Endr: 19 - Luck: 12
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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Posts: 443
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#18
DEIMOS
Delivered from the blasts
The Reaper had never had patience for diplomacies, treaties, doublespeak, or political intrigue. He could wield his own cloak and daggers, his own machinations, his own ruses, schemes, and snares for manipulative means, to disparage an enemy, to disclose a furtive note, but when it came to a larger picture, he found no comfort in it. There were too many ridiculous meanings and vague undertones, when the arch of a brow could mean life or death, when the past unfurled, unleashed, and invoked tidal waves of betrayal and enmity. The beast would much rather terrorize an onslaught of warriors intending to flay him alive, than spend one more aching moment pressed into delicacies, finesse, and primordial ambiguity. He employed it now only because from experience, it was the safest way to engage in those he was unfamiliar with, in tyrannical sovereigns who intended to rule with iron manacles. He detested every instance of it, feeling the strain, the discomfort, curling around his edges. But his visage remained perfectly intact: stoic and indifferent, a detached soldier waiting for opportunity. His voice was monotoned, no zeal, no fervency behind it, not betraying the frustration layered in its discourse. “How do you intend to make them thrive? By forcing them to fight?” Her blasé, asinine shrugs blistered and scathed against him too – because it seemed as if she simply didn’t care: about anyone or anything, except her own ambition, her own aspirations; perhaps amidst the most deadly and vicious kind of rulers.

Then she went on – describing how she was asked to lead, and he had to swallow down the defiant laugh threatening to beckon and rumble from his chest. How many had truly asked? Her guard? How many were in such a state? Were they as power-hungry too, longing for the moment to beat down citizens or thrust them into chains for the lightest of reasons? Or was that a lie too – formed and plotted out so she could take her throne with little force? None of the individuals, save for Edrei, lingering along the notice board had seemed particularly enthused with the latest proclamation – some surprised, befuddled, others incensed and enraged by the newest arrangement. Had they ever been truly led? And if not, why did they need someone now? Was it just an instance where she saw her moment, her time, and made it happen? Was this an occasion for fortune favoring the bold? His mind was a whirl, but his ears listened, trapping her words in his nuances and notions, peeling them apart, hoping to find the measure and means of their worth. Her latest proclamation, proffering times and instances, had him fighting a roll of his eyes – the commanded, reticent precision a continuation of marble and scars on his face, sculpted straight out of composure, strife, and apparent apathy, even when his blood boiled and seethed for these people, some who’d never thought or wished for the tyranny suddenly on their doorsteps. “I am certain you can surmise why they may not come.” A queen who’d already unleashed her power, her dominion, upon those signing a document, asking them to come to her quarters? Where her guard lingered, lying in wait, for one word, for one proclamation, to send some poor inhabitant, who had managed to muster their disagreements and courage, straight into a cell.
the last of a line of lasts
Zariah Launceleyn
the Merciless
Queen of the Hollowed Grounds
Age: 25 | Height: 5'7" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 6 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 21 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 10
Played by: Grant Offline
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Posts: 839
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#19
Well, if that wasn't passive aggressive, she didn't know what was. Zariah crossed her arms behind her as if she were standing in an at-ease position. She didn't reply right away, allowing the implications of what he said hang in the air. "By encouraging the rebuilding of infrastructure, including paved roads, thus creating job opportunities for those with and those wishing to learn skills. By working with farmers and Destined alike to see the soil enriched to produce more and fuller harvests and support larger herds of animals. By finding and building a coin based economy. By stabilizing the overall production of the basic means of survival - which does include training the people to fight and defend this place from intruders, hostile groups, and criminals - so that people have the time and energy to focus on pursuits that fulfill the soul, such as art, music, philosophy and so on. Mostly importantly, by bringing an end to the divisions of Naturals versus Outlander, and the stigmatization of magic users." she said, more fully articulating her plans.

This was not solely a pursuit for personal power. No, she truly had plans to see the Hollowed Grounds a thriving example of civilization at its best.

His second point though was something to truly consider. She supposed she could imagine why they might be intimidated to come to her home. It was such a cowardly excuse but the majority of people were cowardly. Cue inner sigh. "I concede you that, and to honor your honest feedback, I will hold a public audience at the Temple. Certainly that will be a more comfortable atmosphere, don't you think?" she said.

Zariah
Come join the chorus of the unimpressed
Deimos Ignatius
Soldier / Mercenary ☆ Artisan's Guild
Age: 25 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 16 - Endr: 19 - Luck: 12
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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Posts: 443
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#20
DEIMOS
Delivered from the blasts
The Merciless had a litany of things mandated and proclaimed in her head: rebuilding of broken infrastructures, job opportunities layered into those eager attempts, coin based economies (though why, when bartering had seemed fairly effective), production and means to ends – it sounded all well and good; perhaps it would work out for the best, and they’d be lifted up and up to higher ends. But the way she’d gone about everything, with a lack of understanding about those here, before infiltrating the world, severing ties and tethers, creating and restoring something that might not have required her hand, was something she seemed to fail to comprehend. Maybe she didn’t want to. Maybe she didn’t know how. Plans were one thing, but what would it take to orchestrate and conduct her endeavors, to enrich the lives she now reigned over?

He pondered over the division of Naturals and Outlanders too – if it even remained anymore, if the schism was still so broad, black, and white, or if she was just reopening a stitched wound, digging into the laceration, piercing it over and over and over again.

Deimos hadn’t even questioned the stigma of magic users, because it’d engrained every aspect of his life. Normalcy – to be ignored, to be forsaken, to be cast aside by deities. But he didn’t ask how she’d meet those credentials either; giving away none of his curiosity.

At the very least, amidst his nodding in response to her lengthy list, she considered his latter statement. Safety of those he cared about was paramount, and out in the open, there might’ve been fewer intervals for brazen, emboldened heads to become imprisoned, locked away, when they unleashed their tirades. In the calm, reticent atmosphere though, he turned to her, the piercing shade of his depths revealing naught but fortitude and might. “Ask them what they want to achieve.” The Reaper had learned some valuable life lessons, in another world, amidst icier thrones and a more chilling people, but the methods were still the same: this was their realm, their sovereignty, and he very much doubted the Naturals would let her forget it.
the last of a line of lasts
Zariah Launceleyn
the Merciless
Queen of the Hollowed Grounds
Age: 25 | Height: 5'7" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 6 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 21 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 10
Played by: Grant Offline
Change author:
Posts: 839
MP:
#21
”Ask them what they want to achieve.”

Ah, so he was one of those people. He truly had a lot of faith in the ability of the people to come up with a semblance of anything recognizable as civilization. Perhaps there was something to be said for the Outlander lot, many of whom came from places with structure and order. But the Naturals were barely more than cavemen: inefficient, underdeveloped, uncultured, uneducated, unruly. They were the very antithesis to civilization, repressed by centuries behind a wall in an unfertile land with absentee gods.

But, if such agreeance was all it took to secure some faith, she could oblige she supposed.

”Of course.” she said with a slow smile. ”A good monarch serves her people after all. I will be sure to seek the counsel of the broader citizenry as I have sought yours, and do what I can to accomplish their goals.” she said, sounding all the world as if she whole-heartedly agreed with such a course. But did she? Could he trust her to follow through? These were not things she could control by and large. Deimos would have to decide for himself.

Zariah
Come join the chorus of the unimpressed
Deimos Ignatius
Soldier / Mercenary ☆ Artisan's Guild
Age: 25 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 16 - Endr: 19 - Luck: 12
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 443
MP:
#22
DEIMOS
Delivered from the blasts
In another time, in another world, he’d held his icy throne, scepter, and crown with a voracious, ferocious grasp, promising pain and torment for anyone who ever crossed his brethren. He might’ve been a bestial, barbaric mess, complete with iron detachment and forged mayhem, but at least he’d always had their best interests enclosed in his nefarious heart. He asked for their input. He presided with their wills and predilections intact, combining forces, allies, and armistices with those that used to be adversaries. He’d guided military minds and punctured lungs, invoked and instigated thieves, protected any and all within his terrain. Perhaps Zariah would be the same way. Perhaps not, preferring to merely reign in her temple and palace, going about things her own way, with no regard for those she served. Maybe she had it backwards, presumed everything was in her command, that she could implement tools of war and destruction with or without humanity in play. Such a notion could become a costly error. The Reaper said none of these things to her – would allow her to wander down into the muck and mire if she so wished, the slow smile she afforded him not quite impressing him: the mold of his features revealed no changes, no stark, keen intonations. It was just as stoic and nonchalant as before, but he nodded at her agreement.

Whether or not she could adhere to such proclamations would remain to be seen.

As an outsider always looking in, the Naturals appeared proficient at what they needed to accomplish. He’d just been a set of muscles and brawn to adhere to certain tasks, to rebuilding, restructuring – but Zariah wanted more, more, more, from everyone and everything.

He shrugged, maneuvering away from the water’s edge, and further down the embankment. Whether or not she followed, he really didn’t care, having said his piece. It was enough, for now. Anything thereafter would have to be reserved for the incoming storms, the tempestuous councils. “Good luck,” he proffered solemn tones and reverberations, before motioning back into the abyss.
the last of a line of lasts


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