least and last
For Peter
Loren Launceleyn
☆ Caido Medical College
Age: 22 | Height: 5' 11' | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 - Strg: 12 - Dext: 18 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 15
ASTRA - Mythical - Luxere
Played by: Crooked Offline
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Posts: 1,874
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#15
LOREN
Peter’s strong reaction to Loren’s tale was not at all what he’d been expecting. As soon as his cousin’s name came out of the other man’s mouth, the summoner stopped speaking, and regarded Peter with curious and sympathetic eyes. While the rest of his face and body hadn’t changed, at least Loren was looking a little more like his old self. However, that was because he recognized the telltale signs of indoctrination in the other man, and Loren needed to do what he could to snap Peter of it. ”Zariah’s gone, Peter. You’re safe here. Wessex and Ronin are ruling now, and they will protect us.” The summoner’s tone was gentle and soothing. ”And if Zariah returns, she’ll have to answer to me. But I promise you, no matter what happens, she won’t hurt you.” His cousin wouldn’t want to kill him, and that gave him an advantage. Besides, he was stronger than he’d ever been. The power had to be good for something.

He needed to be good for something.

It seemed that Peter had a lot more on his mind than just Zariah, however, if the way he interrupted the summoner in the middle of the story was any indication. However, Loren didn’t mind. He could weave in the answers, since they were a part of the tangled web of family history as well. ”What else were they to do, but serve? They were still family, even if they were deemed less than because they lacked magic.” Thankfully, the other man brought it back to the oath. It all came back to the oath in the end. ”Because we wanted power, too. And we knew if we became too powerful, the crown would feel threatened, and strike us down. So we bound ourselves to this specific royal bloodline forever, creating a mutually beneficial relationship. They’d gain a cadre of powerful mages and we’d gain the freedom to do whatever we wanted, freed from the scrutiny and oversight of the crown.” Indeed, as long as useful soldiers, spies, healers, and artisans continued to be produced, no one would take a second look.

”And because there was a war to fight, no one looked too closely at what our ancestors did in the compound that they built. And the things they did were terrible.” Maybe if the royals had known what horrors were being committed in their name, they would’ve ordered the Launceleyns to stop. But no one had cared. And so it had kept going, generation after generation, until they’d come to Caido and found themselves inadequate to meet its challenges. In this world, their ways had proven to be too rigid, and they had failed to adapt. Now, most of them were dead or gone.
But don’t be weary if it’s broken
Families are like that—
they’re split up and always torn.
Force and magic can be used against Loren without permission.
Peter Launceleyn
Thief / Assassin ☆ Devil's Advocates
Age: 26 | Height: 5’3” | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 20 - Endr: 23 - Luck: 7
Played by: Johnny Offline
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Posts: 258
MP:
#16
PETER
Lorena reaction to his words, the gentle look and tone, the reassurance, confused Peter. He hadn’t said anything wrong, anything worrying, at least he didn’t think so. But he’d managed to make the other man pause, take a moment for an aside. Zariah hadn’t hurt him, hadn’t done anything more than ordered him around, but Peter had asked for that. Wanted and needed the focus, the order in his life. He wanted to say something to that effect, defend the woman who had, despite everything, taken him in, but... it wasn’t worth the stress it would cause. So he blinked, then nodded mutely, his tight lips curling up in the idea of a smile.

Perhaps there was still something Peter didn’t understand about families. As far as he had thought, you needed to earn your place, it wasn’t simply given, but what Loren said didn’t match up with that idea. He wasn’t given long to puzzle it over though, the story moving on, back to the oath, to the royals. His mouth opened, another question on his lips, then closed, Peter not wanting to interrupt again, not quite so soon. Besides, it was a question he already almost knew the answer to. Better to live and grow under a thumb than not live at all.

”A war?” Peter echoed softly, blue eyes now focused intently on Loren again. It wasn’t a question, badly a comment, just an acknowledgement of familiarity. Peter licked his lips, wincing when his tongue brushed over the wound he did opened earlier, and considered his next words carefully. ”Terrible... like, words, or... or scars?” There was a better way to say what he meant, but speaking it out loud brushed to close to a terror in his own memories, brought it too closely to the surface. He was already affected just talking about it like this, his hands worrying together as if his fingers ached to brush over each individual scar, as of the motion would bring him peace.
And oh, don’t you wanna love?
And don’t you wanna feel?
I remember, you were reckless, you were hungry
You were real
Peter is very heavily scarred, most noticeably on his hands

Loren Launceleyn
☆ Caido Medical College
Age: 22 | Height: 5' 11' | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 - Strg: 12 - Dext: 18 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 15
ASTRA - Mythical - Luxere
Played by: Crooked Offline
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Posts: 1,874
MP:
#17
LOREN
While the summoner didn’t know exactly what was going on with Peter, it couldn’t be good. Indeed, the other man’s reaction to Loren’s tangent seemed abnormal, somehow, as if Peter hadn’t wanted to deter the tale with his words. The longer they spent together, the more the summoner realized how different they were. After all, if they actually were similar, he would have some hint what was going on in the other man’s mind, and Loren would at least have some idea what to say.

As it stood, all he could do was continue talking, and hope it was what Peter wanted to hear. If not, well, at least the summoner could tell the other man about their now shared family; seeing as no one had chosen to enlighten Peter, at the end of this, Loren wouldn’t be surprised if the other man rejected this dark heritage. Indeed, if the summoner felt he had a choice in the matter, he would’ve left it behind long ago. As it stood, he felt shackled to it, both because of the few relatives he had remaining and because the one time he’d left, it had resulted in disaster for everyone.

So, curling his fingers around his now lukewarm mug, Loren continued the story without missing a beat. ”Words and scars both. But that wasn’t the worst of it. You see, because they valued power and obedience before all else, the head of the family was chosen because they were the strongest in the most destructive of magics, the person that could do the most damage to others. The one that could keep everyone else in line. That meant constant struggling for power, and the cruelest, most ruthless, rose to the top.” Pausing to take a sip of his tea—and to let it all sink in for Peter—the summoner peered at the other man over the top of the mug. ”But even that wasn’t the most horrifying part of it.” No, that had come after they’d managed to establish themselves and grow the family, and had realized the full scope of the oath.
But don’t be weary if it’s broken
Families are like that—
they’re split up and always torn.
Force and magic can be used against Loren without permission.
Peter Launceleyn
Thief / Assassin ☆ Devil's Advocates
Age: 26 | Height: 5’3” | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 20 - Endr: 23 - Luck: 7
Played by: Johnny Offline
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Posts: 258
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#18
PETER
Peter wished he’d asked for a mug of tea when Loren has made his own, if only to have something to do with his hands now. As it was, he wrung his hands together, tugging roughly at scarred skin while he listened, almost too intently, to Loren. It was all so familiar, a power structure he understood, that he’d worked under his whole life. It was still something he could deal with, though he could feel discomfort rising up along his spine, a creeping anxiety.

It wasn’t the most horrifying part of it? The feeling in his spine turned to ice, and he had to take a deep breath before asking, in a soft voice. ”What was... what was the um... the worst part?”
And oh, don’t you wanna love?
And don’t you wanna feel?
I remember, you were reckless, you were hungry
You were real
Peter is very heavily scarred, most noticeably on his hands

Loren Launceleyn
☆ Caido Medical College
Age: 22 | Height: 5' 11' | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 - Strg: 12 - Dext: 18 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 15
ASTRA - Mythical - Luxere
Played by: Crooked Offline
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Posts: 1,874
MP:
#19
LOREN
Although Loren hated to see the other man fidget as the Launceleyn continued speaking, it was important that Peter get the full explanation as to who the summoner’s family was and why the other man might not want to be a part of it. However, even though Loren had told this to many people, it never really got any easier. ”Because the oath would strike dead anyone who violated it, even children, the family knew they needed to do something to keep the children in line." Not happy. Not loved. Not comforted. In line. "So they tortured them. Tortured them and hoped that it would ensure obedience and compliance.” It had been an incredibly sick a twisted thing to do, and in the end it had all been for naught.

But there was more. ”And because they valued power as well, the kids had to be strong as well as follow the rules.” Which was why the summoner had been hurt, time and time again. He’d done everything he could to be obedient, but nothing had worked to make him strong. At least until now, when it was far too late. His eyes had grown haunted, and he wasn’t looking at Peter anymore, not really. No, Loren was trapped by the ghosts and scars of his past. "I was one of the weak ones."
But don’t be weary if it’s broken
Families are like that—
they’re split up and always torn.
Force and magic can be used against Loren without permission.
Peter Launceleyn
Thief / Assassin ☆ Devil's Advocates
Age: 26 | Height: 5’3” | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 20 - Endr: 23 - Luck: 7
Played by: Johnny Offline
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Posts: 258
MP:
#20
PETER
As soon as Loren spoke the consequences of the oath, Peter's fidgeting stilled, worried eyes moving over the other. He recognized the tone, the expression, but he'd never been on this side of the confession. It was strange. Comfort was not something that came naturally to him, not something that had ever had the chance to come naturally to him, but in the moment he wanted to offer something to Loren, his body leaning in close.

Already, a flaw in the oath, the power structure stood out to Peter, but he didn't have the voice to point it out, too engrossed in the horror of the reality Loren was explaining. That he had lived. He took a deep breath, then stood, stepping to stand in front of the chair Loren was sitting in. Nothing he could say would undo the childhood, of lack thereof, that Loren had had, Peter knew that fact all too well. But...

"You can... or..." Peter bit his lip, then inserted himself into the idea as well, despite his worries about it. "We can... do better here. right?"
And oh, don’t you wanna love?
And don’t you wanna feel?
I remember, you were reckless, you were hungry
You were real
Peter is very heavily scarred, most noticeably on his hands

Loren Launceleyn
☆ Caido Medical College
Age: 22 | Height: 5' 11' | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 - Strg: 12 - Dext: 18 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 15
ASTRA - Mythical - Luxere
Played by: Crooked Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,874
MP:
#21
LOREN
The other man’s words brought the summoner back from the dark place he always found himself when he thought about his past, his childhood, his upbringing. His eyes, when he finally found Peter’s, weren’t sad or angry or pained. No, Loren just looked exhausted. The sort of bone-deep weariness that only came from the world grinding him down until he was the barest shadow of a man.

He took a moment to respond to the other man’s comment. It was a beautiful, optimistic idea from Peter, who barely seemed more than a shadow himself. Once upon a time, the summoner would’ve agreed wholeheartedly, even embraced it. Now, though, he wasn’t so sure. He seemed to keep making the mistakes of his past. ”The oath is gone.” That much, at least had changed: it had been tied to a bloodline and a world that no longer existed.

If only the rest of the Launceleyn ways had gone with it. ”I’d like to think so. I tried. And I don’t want to hurt my family.” That much, at least, he could do away with, even if Beatrix and Jace couldn’t. ”But I don’t know how to do better.” That last part was whispered in a broken voice; Loren was so tired of pretending that he knew how to rise from the ashes that his family had left behind. Maybe it was time to stop pretending, then, and just accept his heritage.
But don’t be weary if it’s broken
Families are like that—
they’re split up and always torn.
Force and magic can be used against Loren without permission.
Peter Launceleyn
Thief / Assassin ☆ Devil's Advocates
Age: 26 | Height: 5’3” | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 20 - Endr: 23 - Luck: 7
Played by: Johnny Offline
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Posts: 258
MP:
#22
PETER
The haunted exhaustion in Loren's eyes makes Peter ache. It's familiar, and sad, and he doesn't know what to do with the feeling in himself, let alone in someone else, and the inadequacy began to weigh on him, almost physically, his shoulders sagging. Somehow, its easier to not be pulled into his own shadows when he's focused on someone else's darkness, though that may only be because Loren's are so similar. If he were more self aware, Peter might think it was unhealthy.

Peter nodded along to the summoners reluctant words, trying to seem encouraging. The oath was gone. It was a start. Slowly, Peter sank down, more intentional than emotional this time, crouching before Loren so blue eyes could look up at the other man, could offer some support, some ease. He licked his lips, taking a moment to consider his words. "I... don't know either. Better is... it's not..." His eyes fell, his point moving further away from him.

His own past flooded up in his mind suddenly, making him go still, quiet, but reminding him of what he'd wanted to say. "Better is... still bad sometimes. But... it can... it can keep being better." Peter's voice was softer now. "I... I'll help you. If you... if you want. I had help. Some. And... things are... this is better."
And oh, don’t you wanna love?
And don’t you wanna feel?
I remember, you were reckless, you were hungry
You were real
Peter is very heavily scarred, most noticeably on his hands

Loren Launceleyn
☆ Caido Medical College
Age: 22 | Height: 5' 11' | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 - Strg: 12 - Dext: 18 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 15
ASTRA - Mythical - Luxere
Played by: Crooked Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,874
MP:
#23
LOREN
As Peter sank down so he could look into Loren’s eyes, the summoner found himself wondering what it was the other man was hoping to get out of this conversation. If it was hope, well, Loren was fresh out of that. If it was to provide comfort to him, well, the other man would find that most of the time, the summoner was inconsolable, wrapped up as he often was in his own mind. And if Peter was hoping for some insights into how to be a true Launceleyn, well, Loren had always been the worst at acting like his family—and pretty much everyone else—thought he should.

There had to be something on the other man’s mind, however, if the way he struggled to get out a full sentence or thought was any indication. When Peter finally finished (or at least Loren assumed the other man was finished) the summoner remained quiet for a while. He agreed: better was still bad in far too many cases. However, what the summoner really struggled with was whether better would ever be good enough.

However, there was a tone in Peter’s voice that called to something deep within Loren. The summoner’s eyes softened, and if the other man hadn’t retreated from Loren’s touch earlier, he would’ve reached out. ”I would appreciate your help. And I think this is better too. Maybe...maybe together we can keep making it better?” He wasn't able to promise more than that.

For once, Loren allowed himself to believe that with another at his side, he could stop getting lost in the darkness his family had drilled into him, until he didn’t know where it stopped and he started. He knew that there was light somewhere in there. It was just buried so deep he kept thinking it went out.
But don’t be weary if it’s broken
Families are like that—
they’re split up and always torn.
Force and magic can be used against Loren without permission.
Peter Launceleyn
Thief / Assassin ☆ Devil's Advocates
Age: 26 | Height: 5’3” | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 20 - Endr: 23 - Luck: 7
Played by: Johnny Offline
Change author:
Posts: 258
MP:
#24
PETER
As the expression on Loren’s face changed, slightly, almost imperceptibly, Peters eyes searched his face, trying to work out if this was good or or bad. If he’d helped, or overstepped his bounds. Relief flooded through him when Loren spoke, his agreement soft, almost hesitant, and wasn’t that a familiar feeling? There was a starved smile on his lips as he nodded, then answered out loud anyway. ”I’ll help.”

There was the fear that maybe he wasn’t the person to help Loren, that he’d do more harm than good, but Peter tried to swallow those fears down as best as he could. The least he could do was try, and maybe it would good for him. Give him more of a place, a purpose in the family.

Peters tight posture relaxed, his ground slipping into a more comfortable seat on the floor. He didn’t want to move away, but his knees were starting to ache. ”It’s... not easy to... to change.” He warned after a beat, not willing to let silence settle completely. ”But... it’s not to have people... I think...”
And oh, don’t you wanna love?
And don’t you wanna feel?
I remember, you were reckless, you were hungry
You were real
Peter is very heavily scarred, most noticeably on his hands

Loren Launceleyn
☆ Caido Medical College
Age: 22 | Height: 5' 11' | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 - Strg: 12 - Dext: 18 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 15
ASTRA - Mythical - Luxere
Played by: Crooked Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,874
MP:
#25
LOREN
Maybe Loren wasn’t as alone as he’d thought. He’d been isolated among his family, his friends, even his own mind for so long that he usually defaulted to loneliness, assumed it was his natural state. However, it wasn’t necessarily true. Even if it felt that way all the time, there were apparently people there he could lean upon, if he just let himself.

He unfortunately wasn’t very good at accepting help.

Still, he could try. If not for his sake, then for the sake of Peter, who seemed to need this as badly as the summoner did. His eyes searched the other man’s face for a while before Loren’s gaze softened; he held up his hand, palm up, for Peter to take if he wanted. ”Together?” That was what family was for. Or at least what it was supposed to be for: each other, no matter what.

However, as the other man sank to the ground, the summoner gave Peter a concerned look. Loren’s expression softened, though, at the other man’s words. ”I know.” At the comment about people, the summoner sighed, eyes growing slightly haunted again. ”I’m not...good with people. So...be patient with me?” Perhaps if Loren had managed to convey that fact to more people, he wouldn’t be in this mess of his own making.
But don’t be weary if it’s broken
Families are like that—
they’re split up and always torn.
Force and magic can be used against Loren without permission.
Peter Launceleyn
Thief / Assassin ☆ Devil's Advocates
Age: 26 | Height: 5’3” | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 20 - Endr: 23 - Luck: 7
Played by: Johnny Offline
Change author:
Posts: 258
MP:
#26
PETER
There was quiet between them. A thoughtful silence, and Peter did his best to not feel anxious about it. To give Loren the time he needed to work things out in his head, without feeling like he was being rushed. Finally though, Loren held out a hand, one Peter regarded with something like suspicion for the breath it took the summoner to speak. Then his hesitation melted away, and he took Lorens hand, nodding as he did. ”Together.” It felt like a promise, in the strangest way.

From the floor, Peter met Lorens concern with a cock of his head, as if he wasn’t sure what exactly was wrong with what he was doing. The other man kept speaking before he could voice a question, and Peter moved along with the words easily, eager to help. ”That’s okay.” He reassured. ”I’m not uh... not good with anything. And... I’ve had to... had to spend time with... bad people. I can be... I will be patient.” Of course he would. He didn’t want to be any other way.

There was more he wanted to do, more he wanted to say. Peter wanted to prove he wasn’t just... saying whatever he thought would make Loren feel best. Or whatever Loren might think. That he knew things could get better. Maybe not in the most flashy ways, but... better was still better.
And oh, don’t you wanna love?
And don’t you wanna feel?
I remember, you were reckless, you were hungry
You were real
Peter is very heavily scarred, most noticeably on his hands

Loren Launceleyn
☆ Caido Medical College
Age: 22 | Height: 5' 11' | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 - Strg: 12 - Dext: 18 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 15
ASTRA - Mythical - Luxere
Played by: Crooked Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,874
MP:
#27
LOREN
Well. It seemed they’d made some progress here, even if it kind of felt like neither of them knew what they were working towards. Still, they’d at least try to work towards it together. Hopefully that meant they’d be able to nudge the other when they veered off the correct path. As Peter went on to say that he wasn’t good at anything, Loren smiled gently at the other man. ”I wouldn’t say that. You seem pretty good at being part of a family to me.”

However, the summoner fell silent at the mention of spending time with bad people. They’d both been through that. Still, this was one of the most pleasant conversations he’d had with a family member in a long time, adopted or not. Granted, most of them were dead or gone, but even if they’d been around, he figured it would’ve been fraught and filled with cruel words and accusations. Most of which, he would deserve.

Unfortunately, while he would’ve liked to spend the day in companionable silence with Peter, Loren had work to do. ”Unfortunately, I’ve got to head out. I’m looking forward to getting to know you and seeing you around.” Although they had LongNight coming up, so all their dreams might come crumbling down. Assuming the other man didn’t need anything else, the summoner would sigh, drain his tea, then head back to start preparing for the coming darkness.
But don’t be weary if it’s broken
Families are like that—
they’re split up and always torn.
Force and magic can be used against Loren without permission.


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