for the many
Liaison with Delah & Arduinna
Ronin Taliesin
the Fallen Star
Monster Hunter

Age: 26 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander
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#1
the baffled king composing hallelujah
Did Ronin fancy strolling through the Wildwood to see the scary ass war chief of the Fae?

Nope.

Was he doing it anyway?

Well, duh.

He walked slowly, not out of choice but necessity, his hands buried in the pockets of a coat he'd not needed since the end of Flowerbirth. A scarf was knotted loosely around his neck and leaves crunched underfoot, though he noticed that some rather squelched instead; not a good sign, he was certain.

"Does she know that we are coming?" he asked Amalia, glancing across at her. A lot had happened in the past few days (blood on his hands and in his hair, metallic tasting on his tongue) and he hadn't really been present for the negotiations apart from his meeting with Wessex. "To clarify, this is to introduce myself, to explain about the blight and the Ascended, and to make the Fae aware of Longnight?"
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
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#2
I belong to you the way the moon belongs to the stars
Amalia, too, wears a long coat, her red scarf tied around her throat. She carries her staff and shield strapped across her back: just in case, just in case, always a little bit on edge. The woods, while still wondrous, feel dangerous too; she is aware of the dying, blackening leaves, the literally darkness that paints the green a sickly onyx shade.

The baker glances back at Ronin, shrugging in reply. "The Fae always seem to know when someone enters the woods. And I sent Jyoti ahead." Indeed, the little whale is their true ambassador. Amalia had sent her off that morning, knowing her presence would be enough to tell Delah she would arrive soon.

"And to see what's been happening to their blighted. Yes." Looking sidelong at her friend, Amalia bites her lip, her voice growing soft. "How are you holding up?"
the stars in your eyes will bring me back
and once again, i will kiss the sky
AMALIA
Delah Tàirneanach
the Greatwood Guardian
War Chief

Age: 100 | Height: 4' | Race: Fae | Nationality: Natural
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#3
these violent delights have violent ends
The woods whisper their arrival. Leaves and grasses pass the message back to the warchief, whose expression hardens when she hears. The Greatwood parts before Delah like a sea, a current of moss and a canopy of boughs moving her far more swiftly through than the Grounders likely think is possible. It is the magic of the wood; size is relative.

The trail Amalia and Ronin are on will jut sharply, revealing Delah in a moss-lit clearly with her arms across her chest. Wings folded neatly against her back, she only appears to be alone.

Where once Delah's eyes fell upon Amalia with tentative acceptance, now they are hardened and dismissive. The warrior has little time for those who make a mockery of her ancient traditions, less so for those who prove themselves weak in combat.

As for Ronin? Hardened moss eyes fall across the blight king, Safrin's Fallen Star.

"Why have you come."
Arduinna Flidais
Wild Fey

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#4
ARDUINNA

The trees part to reveal not one lady of the woods, but two. Arduinna, though, is perched high above, impossibly elegant upon a curving branch which has no right to hold her weight. Her hair is a wild halo of fire about her face, her golden eyes watching keenly as the interaction between king and war chief and shield goes on.

The boy had come to her - the one with feathers in his hair, whose eyes she had taken for interfering where he did not belong. She supposed he did belong now, if the blighted king was anything to do with it, but she had told him all the same. There was nothing she could do to cure the whole woods. (Yet).

So Arduinna stayed silent, a listener in the leaves, to hear what these Grounders had to say for themselves.

Nature, nurture heaven and home
Sum of all, and by them, driven
To conquer every mountain shown
Table by Sky!
Ronin Taliesin
the Fallen Star
Monster Hunter

Age: 26 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 23 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 24
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#5
the baffled king composing hallelujah
The woods parted and Ronin fell quiet - a good excuse not to answer Amalia's question lest he snap at her by accident; the more people asked how he was, the more he wanted to throw things at them, it seemed. But this was no time for that - with the presence of what were easily the two most powerful Fae in the Greatwood before them, there was little time to waste.

Ronin nodded respectfully to both Delah and Arduinna, before focusing his attention entirely on the war chief. "I'll not intrude for longer than necessary," he said. "I've come to give knowledge about the blight and about Longnight in the Hollowed Grounds. And also to introduce myself - my name is Ronin Taliesin, one of the rulers behind the barrier." And boy did that sound strange to say. "Zariah was called into the woods by the Voice some time ago and disappeared," he explained. "So we have... accommodated for it."
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 11 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 29 - Endr: 29 - Luck: 30
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#6
I belong to you the way the moon belongs to the stars
Amalia bites back her disappointment as Delah glares at her, not sure what she did this time to earn the warchief's ire. Jyoti follows the fearsome fae, swimming through currents of invisible starlight and coming to land on Amalia's shoulder while humming a gentle coo.

Arduinna, too, appears among them, perched upon a branch in silence. The baker keeps her tongue still as Ronin explains their purpose, glancing at Delah when the new king explains that Zariah has wandered off. "We've learned more about the Blight, from Vi. It's spread by Ascended, at the Voice's request. He has a plan to stop it, when Deepfrost comes, to save the woods and Safrin. And everyone else."

Information is all she can offer, a peacekeeping mission and a way to plan for the future. Sighing, Amalia drops her eyes a moment, glancing to Ronin before plowing forward. "But... LongNight will be here soon, and we don't know what that will mean for the Greatwoods. If the monsters will come to you, too... or if the blighted will become monstrous." She winces a little, knowing it is a cruel thing to say before Ronin, but it must be said.
the stars in your eyes will bring me back
and once again, i will kiss the sky
AMALIA
Delah Tàirneanach
the Greatwood Guardian
War Chief

Age: 100 | Height: 4' | Race: Fae | Nationality: Natural
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#7
these violent delights have violent ends
Delah gives no indication that she is aware of Arduinna's presence, though to think she is somehow not would be a folly. Instead her hardened stare remains on Ronin as he speaks, her expression one of cool and distant boredom. "I have heard whispers of another king, raised and struck down within a day or so. And a queen, one that the last had all but tried to kill only a few weeks prior." Raising a brow, Delah merely shook her head. "Shall I bother learning your name Ronin Taliesin? Or will the notice of your ascension be struck out just as quickly?" All this to suggest how very little the fae warleader thought of the political situation of the Grounders.

Much as she is loathe to look upon Amalia now, Delah indeed does. Vi, a plan? To save the wood and Safrin? It makes sense. "So we have seen in the stars." The warchief agrees curtly. Not in so many words of course, but hope has never left the skies, and so it never left the forest either.

Pulling in a breath long enough to make her nostrils flare, Delah bites the inside of her cheek with feline teeth. "Your monsters shall not make their way into our wood. LongNight in the Greatwood is a time of rest, of sober consideration for the year ahead." Would the lowering of the barrier once again prove fatal for the Wood? Would the Grounders continue to ruin the Fae's way of life simply by existing?
Ronin Taliesin
the Fallen Star
Monster Hunter

Age: 26 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander
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#8
the baffled king composing hallelujah
Delah thought very little of their politics and in Ronin's opinion she was damned right to; the situation within the Hollowed Grounds as of late had been farcical at best. But with Edy's death, with Ronin's impending doom and with he and Wessex (gods forbid) talking about things, perhaps things would settle. That didn't mean Delah should bother learning his name, though. "If the blight is not stopped, you might well find that to be true," he said quietly, appreciative for Amalia's explaning everything. It saved his energy and his patience.

So it was, then - the Fae were already aware of Vi's plans, and the impending Longnight had never before affected the Greatwood in the same way it had affected those behind the barrier. "I'm glad to hear it," Ronin said. "I'm aware that Zariah previously forbade the Ascended from entering the woods. I would like to say that motion still plans - in fact, I encourage you to treat any who break that rule with whatever force you deem necessary."

Because the fuckers were spreading the blight
, a nasty voice muttered in the back of his head.

"In the meantime, we are trying to prepare for Longnight as well. We have a few tomes with information about what happens during that time in the Hollowed Grounds. Do you think these might be useful for you, so you might better get ready yourselves?"
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
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#9
I belong to you the way the moon belongs to the stars
Delah's new and obvious dislike of Amalia is not lost on the girl, but this is not the time or place to figure out what she has done to offend the fae anew. Her description of the Grounder politics is not lacking for honesty, and the baker resists the urge to shrug, just as tired of all the turmoil as anybody else.

The warchief's insistence that the monsters would not leave the Grounds, while hopeful, does not do much to reassure the baker. "We have luxere who guard against the monsters," the baker murmurs, glancing up at Arduinna before settling her onxy gaze on Delah. It does not feel worth it to argue the probability of monsters spawning in the woods, to point out that with the blight here there is no guarantee more demons will not follow. "We could try to coax some to guard the border, for extra protection. And hopefully this year the Spark Bird will come again."

There is another issue, too, another thing she does not want to say to the already (always?) irate warchief, but Jyoti hums a reassuring note, encouraging her to go on. "Last time we spoke, you said that the animals who were infected become crazed. What about the people? We might need to think of ways to... to contain them. Until we find a cure." Her voice is soft and hesitant, and she does not look at Ronin. "And... and have you seen any... explode?"
the stars in your eyes will bring me back
and once again, i will kiss the sky
AMALIA
Delah Tàirneanach
the Greatwood Guardian
War Chief

Age: 100 | Height: 4' | Race: Fae | Nationality: Natural
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#10
these violent delights have violent ends
In curt acknowledgement of the continued hiatus on the ascended entering into the woods, Delah nods. "The blight is here. The majority of the damage already done." She says in a snarl that sounds like bark stripped away during a forest fire. Oh yes, they would say that it would spread slower if the ascended were kept out, but the heartwood of the forest had already been blackened.

Again, the snarl comes. Now that they must prepare for LongNight, given the horrors the Grounders have unleashed unto the world. Books, Luxere, the Spark Bird.. "Whatever you have, I am sure my scribes would like to read up on." The chief agrees tersely. It's hard to appreciate their offerings when it comes at the expense of their idiocy, after all.

With a look towards Amalia, Delah raises a brow. "We?" She snaps, narrowing her eyes. The mention of explosions has her drawing back slightly, unsure whether to laugh or be annoyed. "Explode? No. Nothing like that."
Ronin Taliesin
the Fallen Star
Monster Hunter

Age: 26 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander
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#11
the baffled king composing hallelujah
Ronin inhaled deeply at Amalia's words, unable to deny them their validity but equally not having to feel happy about it. Besides, what was all of this about him exploding? He wore a similar expression of confusion to Delah as he considered the baker, but blinked it away in lieu of wrapping up the already tense conversation.

"Any information we have I will ensure is shared with you," he said. "And any help we might give, too. Though I have no intention of doing any further damage to the Greatwood, so whatever happens, it would be wise to conduct it on the Outskirts, away from the trees."

With a respectful nod to what was, one way or another, a fellow soldier, Ronin held Delah's gaze. "Thank you for meeting with me. I hope to live beyond Deepfrost, that you might believe my name worth remembering." A wry smile.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 11 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 29 - Endr: 29 - Luck: 30
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#12
I belong to you the way the moon belongs to the stars
Amalia does not say anything as Ronin and Delah end their negotiations, quelled to silence by the weight of the warchief's wrath. She listens as the promise of knowledge exchange continues, glancing off into the woods, toward where she thinks the village might be. Amalia has only one more request, but perhaps it shall be left to another time.

"The Loreseekers are happy to help share knowledge, however we can," the girl says instead, softly. Nodding to Delah as Ronin says his goodbyes, the baker turns to follow, tension in her shoulders and struggle in her eyes.
the stars in your eyes will bring me back
and once again, i will kiss the sky
AMALIA
Delah Tàirneanach
the Greatwood Guardian
War Chief

Age: 100 | Height: 4' | Race: Fae | Nationality: Natural
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#13
these violent delights have violent ends
Delah gives the blighted king a nod, appreciative that at least someone respects the boundaries of the woods. "It won't be the length of your life that will make me remember you, but what you do with it." The chieftess responds. With a glance towards Amalia, she merely raises a brow. Loreseekers? She knew not what it was, but assumed it was an organization of some sort. A pretentious sounding one at that.

"Very well. If there is nothing further.." Though she doesn't look at Arduinna, the woods around them seem to carry a subtle pulse of respectful silence as the warchief waits to see what her elder counterpart may or may not offer.
Arduinna Flidais
Wild Fey

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#14
ARDUINNA

Having watched like a hawk, the lady in the trees gives a small, almost imperceptible nod to the war cheftain below. Discussions, treaties, and the safety of the Greatwood as a priority. No, there was nothing further, and the pulse of respect back at Delah would confirm as much.

Waiting until Ronin and Amalia were out of sight, Arduinna drops from the trees overhead. Before she can hit the ground, however, she shifts into a snow white owl, passing overhead and following the duo away into the woods.

Well, someone needs to escort them out. Whether they are aware of it or not is inconsequential.

~FIN

Nature, nurture heaven and home
Sum of all, and by them, driven
To conquer every mountain shown
Table by Sky!


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