Begin at the beginning
Weaver Hale
the Scythe
Warden of the Citadel

Age: 27 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 4 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 13 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 22
Played by: Kyra Offline
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#1
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer
She makes her way to the Academy in no particular rush. There had been more important things to deal with besides Neron and Zariah, and besides, she kind of wanted to make them wait. Is that an absolutely petty show of power? Yep. Does she care? Nope. Besides, it’s not like either of them are going anywhere right now. The portal is still buried in snow and she has no particular desire to throw them in the Tundra to strike more bargains with the Eirachi.

Still, she has questions for Neron, and she does not make him wait more than a few days. It is early still when she arrives, taking the time to check on the people sheltering in the Academy. After, Weaver is shown to the room where Neron has been held. There are two guards outside his door,  fellow hunters, and she gives them a smile and nod before knocking. She waits long enough to give him a chance to prepare before she opens the door and makes her way in.

There are no weapons with her (at least not that can be seen), though she is not particularly concerned. She’d left them behind on purpose. ”Neron,” she greets, her voice not unkind. ”For whatever it is worth, though I am sure it’s not much, you weren’t a terrible Warden until all this.” She liked him, honestly. She grabs a chair and joins him, wherever he may be, flipping the chair around so she’s sitting on it backward, legs straddling the backrest, arms crossed over the top. ”I am hoping you will tell me your side of the story. All of it, and not the politician's version.” There is much more she wants to discuss with him, but let’s just start there.
WEAVER
No permission needed for power playing; just no killing
Neron Launceleyn
the Hailstorm


Age: 23 | Height: 5'11 | Race: Ascended x Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 3 (ascended level 1) - Strg: 15 - Dext: 15 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 6
Played by: Honey Offline
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#2
NERON
the hailstorm
All Neron had these days was time. So the punishment of waiting probably wasn't so infuriating as it might have been, had he still been a busy man with things to do and places to be. And besides, given how long it had taken for Weaver to come and see him - Loren had been his only visitor, besides the truly charming guards stated outside his door - he had somewhat more important things on his mind. Hunger topped the list, unfortunately, even when the Warden of Halo was also on said list.

Weaver knocked, waited, then entered, and Neron had done little more to prepare than to look up from his place sitting on the bed, back resting against the wall, a knee pulled up to his chest. He was still dressed in his clothes from the Eirachi attack even now, not that it made a difference in terms of hygiene, being Ascended and all that. He watched, steel blue eyes sharp, as she fetched her chair and gave him her best power pose, having to stop the sardonic smile from creeping across his face.  "I am sure that is how you will go down in the history books, as well. Not so terrible, until you were," he quipped. "Though you play a convincing Warden, for a barkeep. For whatever it's worth."

She wanted all the story, though? He grinned and closed his eyes, tilting his head back against the wall. "How long do you have? It isn't a short little jaunt into the past," he muttered, before drawing a breath he didn't need to begin.

"Zariah Launceleyn is the head of my family. I say this now, at the start, because it is important. And it explains the megalomania," he said. "Where I'm from, our family were born and bred magicians of the highest order, purest bloodline and so on, charged with protecting the royal line. We were cursed, too - if we went against the king or his family, that curse would kill us." Opening his eyes again, he took pause, directing his gaze out of the window. It was never easy to even think about it, and Neron didn't think he'd ever given it words before.

"How do you instil that sort of loyalty, those sorts of consequences, into a child?" he asked Weaver. "Because for the Launceleyns it was a strategic method of torture and comfort. Learn to fear the punishment and crave the approval of the head of the family above all, and you would be protected against stepping out of line. You wouldn't care about anything else. That's how it went for us - for me, for Loren, for all our other siblings."

A hand came up to run through his hair. "Only, you can imagine that children learn to cope very creatively with that sort of upbringing. Loren shuts down, goes somewhere else in himself, when things get difficult. I learned to love pain. When the portal opened and I was flung here, as I told you - I made a deal with the Eirachi. Safety and power, in exchange for a firstborn I did not have, and never intended to have." Sacrificing children was a little far, even for him.

"And it worked out well for a while here, in Halo. I was content to leave my past behind - I even learned freedom, to a certain extent. But then the portal here opened, and in walked Zariah - with a child she claimed was mine from some... other life lived." The head of the family, the thumb he was forced under, the cause of all pain and pleasure and every other bad habit he had ever learned. And the bargaining chip with the Eirachi he had never intended to create or use.

"I couldn't cope with it, after a taste of something different. So I ran from it, all the way to the Voice, to the goddess I knew would remove the ability to feel those extremes. But not for one minute did I expect the Eirachi to take it out on anyone other than myself. Or for Zariah to sacrifice the boy. I learned that the same time you did." Neron sighed, even if he didn't need to. "So there you have it. Cheerful little tale, isn't it?"
Code blatently stolen from queen of codes, Sky!
Neron is always cold to the touch.
Weaver Hale
the Scythe
Warden of the Citadel

Age: 27 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 4 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 13 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 22
Played by: Kyra Offline
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Posts: 903
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#3
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer
Call her choice of seat a power pose if you want. Weaver is just being Weaver, and she has never been the type of girl to sit pretty. His words bring a wry smile to her lips though. If he’s trying to offend her, he’ll have to try harder. If he’s trying to amuse her though, it does work. ”I will be lucky if that is my legacy, I suspect. I believe I mentioned Warden’s are short lived here. I do not think I will be the exception.” It’s a rather cursed job. And besides, he’s not wrong. She’s a hunter and a barkeep, not a ruler.

She doesn’t answer the question about how long she has though, because it’s clear he’s going to tell the story. As he talks, she simply listens, nodding on occasion to show she’s understood and to encourage him to go on. Not all of it is new to her, as Loren has told her some pieces (the parts that were his to tell). She is a little surprised to learn that he knew of Jace, perhaps, but in the end, maybe it doesn’t matter that he knew. In the end, she simply needed to know what happened.

When he finishes, she doesn’t offer comfort or pity at his comment of a cheerful little tale, only, ”Thank you for telling me.” There is no point in offering anything else. She cannot change his past or make it better. She will not pretend to try, and besides, that is not why she is here. ”There are a number of questions I would like to ask you about Halo, but first, I assume you would like to know what is to happen to you. I also assume you are hungry.” Start with the important things, and they would get to the rest.

”How long can you go without eating? I am not particularly inclined to let you go wandering into the Tundra alone to get to the shrine, but perhaps Wessex can come assist.” Little does she know the demi-goddess has already popped into Halo, so perhaps he will not need to wait long. Unless Wessex decides to let him starve. ”Second, the people do not cry for your blood too loudly, so there may be some leeway for you. But tell me, what do you even want, Neron? Do you want to stay and help, try to make some place for yourself here? Or would you rather be done with this place?” She’s not sure what choice she will make in the end. Loren has asked for mercy. Korbin has told her not to be too lenient. Though it is her decision to make (would be it were not), if he simply wants to leave and never come back, then it is an easier decision.
WEAVER
No permission needed for power playing; just no killing
Neron Launceleyn
the Hailstorm


Age: 23 | Height: 5'11 | Race: Ascended x Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 3 (ascended level 1) - Strg: 15 - Dext: 15 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 6
Played by: Honey Offline
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Posts: 450
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#4
NERON
the hailstorm
Tossing her a lazy little salute at her thanks, Neron regarded Weaver with the quiet patience of a man who has precious little choice. "Honestly? I wanted an angry, petty goddess not to destroy my home. I wanted Zariah not to air my dirty laundry for you all to hear, and I wanted not to be sequestered away in this Academy as though I didn't stand in your shoes for two years." He shrugged.

"But that is quite the ask. Loren has asked me to stay in Halo with him. I have no other family and I know no other home. So if the people aren't going to tear strips off me, I'd prefer to keep that arrangement." Perhaps he could be some underling at Loren's clinic.

At the mention of his being hungry, he narrowed his eyes and glanced away. "I don't know," he said. "I am relatively new to this. I know that I feel hunger now, but I don't know what the results of that will be, or how long it will take. Even if Wessex does come, it doesn't magic the Voice here," he said, before promptly shaking it off. "You said you had questions for me about Halo?"
Code blatently stolen from queen of codes, Sky!
Neron is always cold to the touch.
Weaver Hale
the Scythe
Warden of the Citadel

Age: 27 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 4 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 13 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 22
Played by: Kyra Offline
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Posts: 903
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#5
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer
She listens to his little baby rant with an impassive face, though really, she wanted all those things too. His life might be crumbling down around him, but was hers actually any better right about now? ”I could have just let Morgan try to skewer you. If you prefer that, I am sure she is still willing.” Besides, Zariah had aired her own dirty laundry as well. The people of Halo were certainly screaming for her blood. A child sacrifice...and for what? ”Or I could let you try to skewer Zariah, if that would help. It would certainly help me if you succeeded.” Now that’s an idea. Throw them into a room together and see what happens.

Ah Loren, could he not just wait for her to deal with it first? Of course not. They may need to have a little chat. ”For Deepfrost, you are free to move about the Citadel, with a guard, and make yourself useful. I would like you help rebuild, particularly the Palace, given that you built it in the first place. If you can manage to win the people over and they don’t kill you, then come Flowerbirth, you may stay. If they hate you by then or have decided to murder you, then either you leave or, well, you will be dead already.” It is not exile or execution, at least, not yet. There is no point in keeping him locked up in here all Deepfrost, and he wasn’t going anywhere at the moment.

”Ah, I suppose you do not yet know all her tricks yet. I will leave that to her to reveal, if she is even willing to help." She sighs, holding out her wrist. ”A peace offering and a temporary solution,” she says, though pulls her arm back slightly. ”With the caveat that you can only steal my paltry air magic and use it now. You have enough magic, you do not need mine.” She sticks her arm back out, and he can take it or leave it, but no one else was likely to offer.

”As for Halo, yes. As you said, you have served Halo for two years, so I would like to know what you know. If you are going to pass the torch and all, let us do it fully. Loren mentioned you found the mage glass and cultists in the The Fangs, for starters. Have you told anyone else?” She’d like to know just how many people might be aware of the location of this mage glass. ”Besides that, what else should I be aware of?”
WEAVER
No permission needed for power playing; just no killing
Neron Launceleyn
the Hailstorm


Age: 23 | Height: 5'11 | Race: Ascended x Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 3 (ascended level 1) - Strg: 15 - Dext: 15 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 6
Played by: Honey Offline
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Posts: 450
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#6
NERON
the hailstorm
Neron would say that yes, in fact, her life was probably a hundred times better than his right now. What with being free and all, and with citizens at her beck and call to murder and guard and follow directions. "I prefer myself unskewered, thank you, Warden," he said. "As for Zariah, I'll treat that as no more than a gross faux pas on your part, given what I just told you about my life." Fight the head of the family. Right.

Perhaps it was hunger that made him sharp, or the lack of social contact; either way, Neron tilted his head back against the wall and huffed out a laugh. "Would you decide, please, whether or not you are telling me what is happening, or asking me what I want?" he said. "What do you expect me to do, that I need to be accompanied by a guard at all times? Go on a killing spree against people I was trying to protect, up until your merry band appeared and decided they knew better?"

Pinching the bridge of his nose, he could barely even look at her as she held out her arm to him. "I'd prefer not," he muttered. He'd not stooped to biting someone so far, and he doubted Weaver was well-versed in what it entailed. More to the point, the people of Halo probably wouldn't look favourably on it.

"Loren found the mage glass in the Fangs, under my instruction to look for it. I believe he took a few people with him, so he would be able to give you the details - location, and whoever else knows. Based on what I saw from the fight, though, I doubt there is much left. The cultists probably have it." It would be foolish to believe that those were the only cultists on the Tundra, right? "Other than that, be aware of the cannibal problem in Whitebrim. I think we have stopped them for now, and there likely won't be an issue through Deepfrost, but you'll want to watch the trails when the hunters go out again. I doubt I need to warn you not to make deals with goddesses, but I would also advise you to do something about the Eirachi."
Code blatently stolen from queen of codes, Sky!
Neron is always cold to the touch.
Weaver Hale
the Scythe
Warden of the Citadel

Age: 27 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 4 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 13 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 22
Played by: Kyra Offline
Change author:
Posts: 903
MP:
#7
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer
Was she free, though? To move about, yes. To order people around, sure. But in the end, every damn breath she took was being scrutinized. Every decision she made had the potential to destroy everything she loved. She had to take into consideration every opinion and figure out how to best appease them all. Sure, she was free, but only in one sense of the word. Maybe they had vastly different opinions of what it meant to be Warden.

The comment about Zariah is interesting though. Even after all this...huh. ”She has done nothing but make your life miserable, Neron, and yet...it is interesting, I suppose.” She rolls a shoulder in a casual shrug, not particularly concerned if he considered it a faux pas. She would not mince words. ”If you had to deal with her, what would you choose to do?” Funny, how even the people we hate can hold our loyalty all the same.

”Can I not do both? Consider what you want and then make a decision? If you had told me you wanted to leave, then I would have exiled you. You say you want to stay, so I am giving you the opportunity.” She is not flustered or even really annoyed by the sharp response, and her tone is easy and even. She expects nothing less, given all she had done to him in a manner of minutes that night. ”My merry band? It was Zariah who called for you to step down, not me. I might have been content to just yell at you for a while, but then you offered. Should I have let her take over?” That choice had seemed easy, at the time.

”As for your guard, it is one season. You can chuff under them for a bit. Though no, I do not think you are any threat. They exist to make sure the people of Halo feel safe and as if I am taking this seriously. Tell me, if the roles were reversed, would you just let me walk free?” She highly doubts it.

He refuses the offer of food, and she pulls her arm back with a shrug. It is no skin off her back, and she is not the one who is hungry. ”Suit yourself,” she says, crossing her arms again. Even if she doesn’t understand the finer points of Ascended bites, she understands the basics well enough. The details don’t much matter, for Weaver is made of the ice she grew up with, when she needs to be. Sometimes life is nothing more than a business transaction. Besides, who said anyone else needed to know?

”Loren is the one who told me, and said you might have told others.” Though she does not doubt his words at the mention of the cultists. They could not be the only ones, and it seems likely they will find nothing on their return to that location. Still, it would be foolish not to look into the matter and ignore it, as had been done before. ”What actions have you taken against the cannibals so far? And what would you suggest I do against a goddess?” It is only the last question that gets a little bit of an incredulous tone. Monks, cultists, cannibals and a vindictive goddess. Do you want your job back Neron?
WEAVER
No permission needed for power playing; just no killing
Neron Launceleyn
the Hailstorm


Age: 23 | Height: 5'11 | Race: Ascended x Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 3 (ascended level 1) - Strg: 15 - Dext: 15 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 6
Played by: Honey Offline
Change author:
Posts: 450
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#8
NERON
the hailstorm
They absolutely had different opinions of what being Warden meant, which likely explained why Neron was at a loss with what to do with himself - and so was Weaver. Funny how things worked out. "She was also the largest source of pleasure and comfort in my life for a long time," he pointed out about Zariah, his shrug one of grim acceptance. "If I were to deal with her, I'd exile her somewhere far away and ban her from ever returning. And even then, I'd not sleep easily." Fierce, intelligent and resourceful, Zariah could be present even if she wasn't physically there, and they'd always have to keep an eye open.

She made a frighteningly good point about the nature of his stepping down, of his release, of it all, and the Hailstorm seemed to sag back against the wall, as if the initial vitriol of her appearance was something he didn't have the energy for any more. "Then I will be grateful for the opportunity, and accept it," he said quietly. "As long as the guard doesn't deem it necessary to invade my personal space, I'll treat it as special treatment, I suppose." A ghost of a smile flickered across his face.

"No, I'd never have let Zariah take charge," he said simply. "As for the mageglass, I told no one. If that's true of Loren as well, only those who went with him into the Fangs are aware of it, us aside. I went to Whitebrim myself before Deepfrost to deal with the cannibals. I'm confident that a large number of them have been dealt with, but I can't say that they are all gone," he explained.

Then there was the Eirachi, and Neron pressed his lips together. "The only thing I can suggest is to pay her the respect you would any other goddess. Leave her offerings, celebrate her, keep her in mind especially during this season, and don't fuck her off."
Code blatently stolen from queen of codes, Sky!
Neron is always cold to the touch.
Weaver Hale
the Scythe
Warden of the Citadel

Age: 27 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 4 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 13 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 22
Played by: Kyra Offline
Change author:
Posts: 903
MP:
#9
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer
As he speaks about Zariah, she can only nod. His sentiments echo her own thoughts. Exile, with the constant need to look over her shoulder for the rest of her life. Not that she wouldn’t need to do that anyway. Clearly they did have very different opinions of what it meant to be Warden. She has no illusion of this being a fairytale job, of it being anything short of demanding and exhausting. Still, she signed her own death warrant on this one.

He seems to sag finally, as if finally giving up the fight. Better. She’d rather be on the same side, in the end. Maybe in some ways he could come to understand why she did what she did. Maybe someday they could fight together for Halo, rather than against one another. That had been the hope before, and maybe it could be hope in the future. ”No, they simply need to be present, but you may have your own space. I will let them know when I leave, and you are free to go where you want.”

He continues with the things about Halo she needs to know. She listens, storing the information away with the ever growing list. She wants to write it all down just to keep track of it, but this is not the sort of information one writes down. They didn’t need it falling into the wrong hands. Guess she’ll have to work on her memory.

For now though, she has no other questions. There will be more in time, certainly, but he’s probably eager to get out of this room. She stands, putting the chair back where she’d found it. ”Thank you for your answers. I am sure we will be seeing more of each other, but for the time being, enjoy your semi-freedom.” It could become proper freedom, if he won over the people.

With that, she gives him a nod and heads out of the room to make sure his guards know their new orders.

(finished)
WEAVER
No permission needed for power playing; just no killing


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