StrangeVsWeird

Rogue Of Collective Imagination
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  2. Elementary
  3. Intermediate
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  5. Advanced
  6. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
Genres
Fantasy. Supernatural. Magical. Modern. Medieval. Romance. Scifi. Horror....somewhat in that order.
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The flames seemed colder, the stone it was encased in made of ice. Warm blood hasn't flowed through the Queen's veins in centuries and the vampiress should have been used to the cold by now, but the once golden-haired monarch had always been fond of the grand fireplace within her castle walls and the comfort it brought her skin. Flames she had once called 'friend' mocked her now, licking lazily at the air it refused to warm as if showing her what power truly was. For all the authority she had, she could not make the fire release its heat.

Queen Xerces held the teardrop pendant hanging from around her neck between boney fingers, twisting it this way and that in thought. She stood staring at the heatless flames, the crimson gown she wore doing little to warm her gray skin. It's only when the door to the study opened that once bright blue eyes now dulled to a clouded gray trailed to acknowledge the one who entered.

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Guardian Valdred Mael Firenze was her most trusted, her most loyal, and it was his face she smiled a greeting for. "Dearest Valdred." Her voice was only a dry whisper as if straining to speak any louder would surely shatter her body. She turned from the fireplace with hands reaching up to unclasp the necklace and when he was near, she took one of his hands and carefully lowered the pendant and chain onto his palm.

It was a simple exchange made easier by warning him prior. She had already pricked a finger and added a drop of royal blue blood into the teardrop. It was a tool to be used to locate the true heir to the Vampire Throne. "It will glow," she reminded softly and gently closed his fingers around it. The guardian dwarfed her by a foot and she smiled up into his face, allowing her hands to slip away from his. "You have always been so faithful to me, but now I must release you from my service as protector."

She stepped away, turning back toward the cruel, icy fire. Catching her warped reflection in the silver vase upon the mantel, she allowed a soft sigh to escape her. Her head was wrapped in silk the same color of her gown, hiding away the baldness of her head. She had lost her hair months ago and had been deteriorating rapidly since. Even at such an age, vanity still seemed to hover over her and she could no longer stand her reflection. "A war is brewing, my friend." It was suspected, but now she confirmed it. "Our race is in jeopardy. It is imperative you find my heir."

☆°☆°☆°☆°☆​

"Did you hear about the blacksmith's son? His body was found just outside the city gates." Gabrielle chewed on the stem of a honeysuckle in thought, long fingers tapping her chin she held in a palm. Dark eyes were casted up at the clear, sunny sky, gazing at it through the leaves of the tree she sat under with her best friend.

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"The blacksmith?" Rose only responded to what she heard, licking a finger to turn a page in her book, only to squeal at one that suddenly jabbed between her ribs.

"Are you even listening to me, Rose Greene?" Sage eyes shot to the dark glare of her friend and Rose couldn't help but smile.

"Not truly," she replied honestly, her smile growing at the glower that deepened on Gabrielle's face. Rose calmly shut her book onto a finger marking her page and pulled her legs in to cross beneath the skirt of her blue dress. Settling the book in her lap, she straightened her spine, giving her friend her full attention. When Gabrielle didn't respond right away, Rose simply lifted a thin brow, her lips pulling wider in amusement.

Her dark haired friend finally huffed a sigh. "Well, the whole city is talking about it!" She informed pointedly, gesturing toward their left with a sweep of an arm to the buildings that lined the way. They sat outside Rovid's Market District. Rose's mother had tasked her with buying some fabric and sweet bread from the market this day, but the sun had driven the fair-skinned maiden beneath a tree. On days as cloudless as this, her skin itched in the unfiltered rays within moments. An hour had passed since being in the shelter of the shade and yet, her skin still held its pinkish hue and threatened to flake. "They're saying it's another animal attack."

Rose blinked, her smile slipping. So there's been another death. "You'd know this if your nose wasn't stuck inside a book all of the time." The statement from her friend was a cross between a reprimand and an apology. Her gaze dropped to the one resting in her lap and she wondered if she truly spent too much time reading inked words. Though, what would be the alternative? Engaging in the city's latest gossip?

"Do they still think it's the wolves?" Rose lifted her gaze back to Gabrielle's face, finding that her friend was now focused on something of interest in the bustling Market Square.

"Mhmm. Rabid beasts. Though I've heard some say monsters." Gabrielle flickered a dark gaze to her, a twinkle in her eye. Rose blamed her for sparking the interest she had in what lurked in the shadows. Gabrielle was eccentric in that regard and Rose had learned more about the possibility of a hidden world through her than anywhere else.

Her brow crinkled. "Monsters." It wasn't exactly a question as it was an exasperated statement, but her friend nodded her head nonetheless.

"Third body this month," Gabrielle mused, only to fix Rose with a dark gaze. "I'm worried about you."

Rose couldn't help the laugh. "Whatever for?"

"You live in that big ol' place just inside the forest." Rose didn't need details to understand that the location of her house outside of the city walls was cause for concern.

She shook her head. "If anything is going to kill me, it's going to be this wicked sun," she quipped lightheartedly, her gaze now rising up through the leaves to the sky. "Think a cloud will drift by anytime soo--ow!" She started, jerking away from the finger that prodded the skin of her forearm.

"Boy, you're the only I know with skin that ripens the way it does in the sun."

"Yes, well, that doesn't mean you can poke it," Rose chastised, gently rubbing the area now stinging from the assault. Gabrielle only sighed, seemingly uncaring as her gaze drifted back toward the crowd of the market.

"I don't want to be here until nightfall," she grumbled, plopping her chin back into a hand. "Should have brought that umbrella."

"I told you, Tulip's dog ate it," Rose sniffed, only to smile. "Tell you what. I brought some extra coin for those cinnamon pears we both enjoy. Perhaps you can bring back two and we can have ourselves a little picnic. By then, the sun's ire should have waned and I'll be able to leave the safety of the tree's shade."




ROSE GREENE

Rosie
October 18
24
Caucasian Female
Demisexual

ACCENT : English

BIRTHPLACE : London

NATIONALITY : English

OCCUPATION : Teacher

HAIR : Autumn Red, thick and wavy. She prefers to keep it loose, but is often instructed to put it up.

EYES : Sage Green

FACE + SKIN : high cheekbones and a large smile, skin is more fair than average

BODY + DRESS : stands 5' 5", swimmer's build. Typical attire are dresses, middle class fashion. Her mother usually selects her outfits as Rose could care less about her appearance.

TATTOOS : None

PIERCINGS : None

SCARS + MARKINGS : a thick scar cuts through her left side, from bellybutton to hip. She has an odd shaped birthmark on her wrist. At times, it reminds her of the moon.

FACE CLAIM

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PERSONALITY : Rose is a thinker. She is one to weigh her words before they're spoken. She values intellect, believing most issues can be solved with a well thought out plan. Not one to be impulsive, Rose bides her time when making important decisions. She's one to keep her head under large amounts of stress and is known for her patience. If anything bothered Rose, no one knew what it would be. She's kind and tries her best to be understanding, but she values her independence and can be quite stubborn when it's challenged.

LIKES : Learning, Teaching, Books, Pears, Swimming, Pastels, Art, Daydreaming, Music, Roses, Owls, the thought of travel, the idea of something existing beyond reality

DISLIKES: Mice, Garlic, Too much sun, Horses, Pushovers, Impatience, the smell of blood

TALENTS: Piano, Cooking

FEARS: Fire, Heights, Being too weak, Losing a loved one

HOBBIES: Reading, Writing/Journaling, Swimming, Piano

HABITS: Talks to self when stressed, hums or sings when either excited or antsy

MENTAL AILMENTS: possible Schizophrenia

FATHER + RELATIONSHIP: Edwin Greene, is doted upon and ideas are always supported, though there is distance due to her father's job

MOTHER + RELATIONSHIP: Elizabeth Greene, strained as Rose is the eldest and most stubborn of the girls

SIBLINGS: Tulip (younger sister), Daisy (youngest sister), Dorian (older brother), Edward (eldest brother)

RELATIONSHIP WITH SIBLINGS: adored by Daisy, disliked by Tulip, brothers treat the sisters all the same

FRIENDS: Mrs. Pea, fellow teacher/mentor; Gabrielle, childhood friend

ENEMIES: Persephone Glades, rival

EXES: Mr. Thomas Brunstrom, calling off the engagement angered Elizabeth and Tulip, further straining their relationship

OTHER RELATIONS: TBD
 

Wooseog Ryu

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  2. One post per day
Online Availability
It varies day to day!
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  2. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Modern, Medieval, Odd Pairings
It hurt him. It soured Valdred to his very core to see the once mighty Vampiress Queen Xerces reduced to something so powerless, something that fell victim to time as most beings did. His pain was written on his face; Valdred smiled, but his tears would not cease streaming. Valdred never hid his tears, but embraced them. Feeling kept him sane, in some small way, but it also caused him to doubt himself. Was he sad because of the approaching loss of his Queen? Or because he had gotten comfortable in the last few decades, and now a chance in fate was at his door.

Whatever it was, he would greet it with utmost, unwavering repose.

Valdred's tears finally ceased as the Queen instructed him in his duty, granting her the necklace he knew would come to his possession one day. This was not the first time this prophecy was carried out; Valdred had been the guardian of the Queen before Xerces as well, and claimed to be around even longer than that. But every time was different in a way. But the hunt never took Valdred long. He had one duty, to serve his Queen.

"Queen Xerces," his voice shook, Valdred knelt before her, taking in her words and making a silent vow to himself to succeed before he even dare responded to his Queen. He visibly shuddered upon being released from her service, and another tear fell to the ground. "I, Valdred Firenze, Guardian of your Blood, will not fail you."

The talk of war seemed to bother Valdred, but not surprise him. The peace between neighbours was shaky at best, and mostly consisted of pretending the others did not exist. Anyone with common sense knew that arrangement could hardly last, and would ultimately end in disaster.

"But your heir shall not fail." Valdred switched from solemn to confident. Rising to his feet before Xerces, and stretching out his limbs, readying himself for travel. "She will have me as an ally. And anybody with me on their side in battle can consider victory an outcome that is inevitable! We stand at the pinnacle of all races my Queen!" Valdred was almost chuckling by the end of his prideful rant, and then fastened the necklace.

"Farewell, Queen Xerces!"

Valdred was gone the second the Queen heard his voice. He could have left out the window, or the door. It was impossible to tell. With Godspeed, the Guardian of the Vampire Ruler was not a man to be trifled with.

-----

The sun was merciful that day, and began to set relatively early, and hid behind some clouds before the evening set in.

This day marked four days since Valdred was given his missive, and had been sent off to find the heir to Queen Xerces. He had travelled fast. The smart move was to traverse the large settlements. The port capital of Dalmally had a bustling presence, but nothing that caused the necklace to react. Every capital from there was the same, Valdred had turned his attention to smaller settlements.

Any other scout would have taken weeks to cover the ground Valdred had. But it was only day four when the necklace reacted. He felt it on his skin before he saw the glow, the search was on.

It had reacted in a palpably small settlement, which was more of a pain for Valdred. A giant man struck with albinism tended to stand out in unfamiliar settings, or even familiar settings. Even his clothes as a commoner wouldn't help hide his peculiarity. His first step, during the day, was to make a couple runs through town, and see if the necklace sent a heavier signal. He managed four scans while the sun was up, before he retreated to the forest.

The strongest reaction, however, was from a young woman under a tree. Rose and Gabrielle would not have seen him pass by, but he certainly saw them. Valdred ceased when he was once again hidden in the shadows. It was her. A tear fell down his cheek.

-----

The better part of the noon went by with Valdred hiding in the taiga. He had set himself up in a tree, he was feeding some stale bread to a small group of crows that placed themself around him. But he was vigilant, he had all his attention on the teardrop necklace, sensing if it was getting hotter or cooler. As dusk rolled around, it finally grew hotter. Valdred tore up the rest of the bread and left it for the crows, jumping down from the tree.

-----

It was a silent walk home, mostly. Rose had made the trip hundreds of time without a problem. But tonight the fog was thick, moonlight did it's best to illuminate her path but it was largely futile. Strange things had been happening in the forest, and it seemed strange things were happening tonight. First, she would hear a growl, then she would see it.

A wolf stepped before Rose, but it was not like the other wolves that were common and often avoided conflict with people. It's fur was entirely black, and it's eyes were entirely white. The eyes glowed, in fact, and it was far larger than any dog she would have ever seen. The animal bared it's teeth, and charged towards the woman.

"Back! You vile creature!" Mere inches away from Rose, a figure dove out of the shadows with blinding speed. The wolf was tackled to the ground, but hadn't given up the fight.

Valdred stood in full, blackened armor, cape billowing with the dusky wind. The wolf sized the man up, but Valdred had his hand on his hilt. "Yah!" He dove towards the wolf, driving the blade through it. But instead of bleeding, the wolf vanished into a puff of blackened smoke. Valdred growled, but quickly turned his attention back to Rose. He sheathed his sword, and approached her.

With his height, it was difficult not to look down on people. He looked serious and quite intimidating as he approached Rose. But once he was before her, he smiled. Rose would be able to see his eyes shimmering with tears of joy. Valdred dropped to his knee before her, placing a hand over his heart.

"Ah, my Queen. It was not so hard for me to find you." Valdred said, eyes closed and head bowed. When he finally looked up, he looked in the direction the wolf had come from. "Which is why it was so easy for them to find you." He looked mildly irked for a second, but shook it off.

"Paron me I beg you! You must be taken aback by everything that has happened, my Queen. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Valdred Mael Firenze. The reposed guardian of the Vampire Queen. And you, my Queen, are my guarded." Valdred reached into his chestplate, and took the necklace off. It was glowing intensely. He gave her as little information as possible, to goad the curiosity out of his new Queen.
 
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StrangeVsWeird

Rogue Of Collective Imagination
Original poster
Invitation Status
  1. Looking for partners
Posting Speed
  1. Multiple posts per week
  2. 1-3 posts per week
  3. One post per week
  4. Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
  1. Beginner
  2. Elementary
  3. Intermediate
  4. Adept
  5. Advanced
  6. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
Genres
Fantasy. Supernatural. Magical. Modern. Medieval. Romance. Scifi. Horror....somewhat in that order.
Rose wasn't one to jump at shadows, but she had a difficult time willing the hairs on her arms to remain flat. Goosebumps crawled along her skin despite her determination to remain fearless and a small part of her blamed Gabrielle for planting the seed of doubt. Her childhood friend was worried about her travel home. If Gabrielle hadn't said anything at all, then Rose would be walking the trail she's done countless times before without a care in the world.

Maybe the fog had something to do with it. Whatever it was, Rose found herself hugging her book to her chest, the handle of the basket she stuffed her purchases into hanging at the crook of her arm. She shouldn't have waited so late to return home.

She could curse the sun.

Just as her throat primed itself to begin a soothing hum, a growl from behind the trees interrupted the thought and then she was suddenly staring into glowing eyes of solid white. She didn't have to be a hunter to know the wolf that leapt out before her was unnatural.

She froze. Even if she had wanted to scream, her chest had constricted too tightly to allow it.

And then the beast lurched toward her. She jerked backward in reaction and what she was carrying fell to the ground.

It all happened so very quickly.

In her haste to turn and run, she lost her footing and fell. Pain shot up through the arm she thrust out to break her fall with and just as her body tensed in anticipation of being pounced on, a strange voice cut through the fog and suddenly, she was no longer alone.

And no longer helpless.

Twisting to look behind her at who came to her aid, it took Rose a sluggish moment to remind herself that lying on the ground wasn't a good position to be in if...who was this man?...this man wasn't able to drive off the wolf.

Scrambling to her feet, she quickly searched her surroundings for anything she could use as a weapon, but the sound of metal being unsheathed had her looking back to the man fighting the beast. She blinked and blinked again when the wolf...evaporated. Evaporated! How could…?

She hardly had a moment to process before the man straightened, her eyes following him up and up and up. She grew still, her gaze transfixed on his towering stature, on the red of his eyes, and couldn't move for the life of her when he began to approach.

She carefully swallowed, her body tensing once more. She would fight with all she had, if need be, but then he smiled, eyes glistening, as if he had found exactly what he had been looking for. Then he dropped to a knee and if Rose had meant to say anything, she no longer could. All known words to her disappeared when he began to speak.

Queen?

Did she hear him right?

She stared now, unable to form a coherent thought, let alone intelligible words. When he held out what appeared to be a necklace, her gaze shifted from his face and to it, still unblinking. It was beautiful and was glowing a bright, soft blue, but Rose didn't reach out to take it. Instead, she fell back a step, her head slowly starting to shake.

"Get away from her, you brute!" A voice she recognized rang out from behind and she watched as a dark head shot past her with a large stick raised overhead, ready to strike at...he said his name was Valdred?

"Wait!" Rose shot out a hand, grabbing the stick before Gabrielle could swing it down. "He protected me! Don't--"

"Protected you?" Gabrielle paused, gaze finding hers, their stances hovered before Valdred. Her friend narrowed her eyes. "From what?"

"I--it was--" Rose scrambled, brows pulling as she tried to finally process all that had happened. "It looked like a wolf, but--"

"Wait, didn't I hear him call you Queen?" Gabrielle pulled back, lowering the tip of the stick to the ground, but still had a grip on it. She cocked her head. "Did I hear vampire?"

Rose blinked, only to shake her head as if to get rid of what was happening. This wasn't happening. It couldn't be. It wasn't possible. "I knew it!" Gabrielle declared, face breaking into a grin.

Rose eyed her, incredulous. "Knew what?"

"I knew you were different, but a vampire? Oh, how--!"

"I am not--," Rose began to object, but stopped herself short. Instead, she pulled a steadying breath and squared her shoulders. Clearing her throat, she stopped down to grab up her book. "I appreciate your assistance, sir, but I'm afraid you are mistaken." She glanced at the man, trying to place his black armor. It's style hasn't been recorded in any books she's read, so she concluded that he must be a foreigner. Perhaps one who has hit his head one too many times. Vampire Queen? No. Impossible.

"No, it makes perfect sense! Your aversion to the sunlight. Hearing things others can't. Seeing further than anyone else. An uncanny sense of smell." Gabrielle ticked off the list on her fingers, oblivious to the glare she was receiving from her friend.

Rose cleared her throat. "Well, this has all been rather exciting, but if you'll excuse me, I must get home." She brushed Gabrielle's words aside as quickly as she could and straightened up from collecting the things that fell.

"Um, Rose? I don't think that's a good idea."

"Gaby, I told you--"

"No, Rose. Look!" Eyes wide, Gabrielle pointed over Rose's shoulder. Glancing over where her friend was pointing, Rose caught four more pairs of glowing white eyes coming through the fog.
 

Wooseog Ryu

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  3. Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
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Valdred remained on his bent knee, both hands firmly gripping the hilt of his sword. Teardrops fell to the ground below him. He was sad to be bidding farewell to the Queen he served so long, but overwhelmed with joy he had found the next Queen of their race.

He remained kneeling until another voice emerged from behind him. He shot back up and charged towards the source, ready to strike.

He halted in his tracks before Gabrielle, he could have felled her in less than a second. Valdred looked serious and quite terrifying as he charged the mortal with the stick, but he ceased movement when he realized she wasn't a threat.

"Hahaha!" Valdred sheathed his sword, smiling and scratching his head sheepishly. "My apologies. You appear to be the current guardian of my Queen! You have done very well to bring her to this point." Valdred flattered Gabrielle, he recognized her from earlier. As odd as Valdred was, he had a certain charm and elegance that he liked to embellish.

He watched the exchange between the two girls curiously, his smile only seemed to grow. If her friend already knew what she was, perhaps it would be easy to settle the new Queen in to her paramount position in the world to come.

"I did protect you. And I will continue to do so, until our dying days." Valdred had a habit of outliving those he served, but the reasoning was normally out of his control. "And your mortal friend is correct, you would do well to be protected from sunlight, moving forward."

Valdred already talked as if Rose was ready to dive into her duties. He, of course, remembered that Xerces had not even passed. He would keep the Queen's distant until such time.

Then he heard the rustling in the bushes. Rose tried to dismiss herself but Valdred put a firm hand on her shoulder, and Gabrielle saw the same threat Valdred did.

"Please avert your eyes ladies. One of these poor creatures is true, and not a product of a witches curse." Valdred had his sword in his hand again, shaking his head and clicking his tongue.

"You really choose to waste both of our time like this? Ha!" He shouted, seemingly to nothing as he stared down the wolves that prowled towards him.

"Godspeed guide me..."

This time he whispered. He vanished in a dazzling flash of light.

Had either of the women averted their eyes, they would hear the haunting sound of steel tearing through flesh, and a whimpering dog succumbing to the blade. The vision was much more ghoulish. Valdred struck down the first three wolves and they evaporated into the shadows just like the first one.

The fourth and final wolf bore the brunt of his blade. He sawed through the creature and his face was splattered with blood. His lip trembled as the curse left the animal. He was no longer a creature of the night, but a trembling creature with Valdred's sword in his belly.

"I am so sorry." Valdred drove the sword through the creature, finishing it off. Before turning to face Rose and Gabrielle, he dabbed the corners of his eyes with his cape. He also cleaned the blood from his sword, he did not want Rose to see him looking anything less than competent and reposed.

"I am afraid I have not been wrong before, my Queen. And I am afraid that you are already a target of the witches clan before you have even ascended." Valdred sounded solemn. After the events of the night, and the goading of Gabrielle, there could be little doubt there was at least something special about Rose. Valdred looked ready to stake his life on it.

"Your family, as well. My Lady. They will be in danger too, if you do not heed my words."
 
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StrangeVsWeird

Rogue Of Collective Imagination
Original poster
Invitation Status
  1. Looking for partners
Posting Speed
  1. Multiple posts per week
  2. 1-3 posts per week
  3. One post per week
  4. Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
  1. Beginner
  2. Elementary
  3. Intermediate
  4. Adept
  5. Advanced
  6. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
Genres
Fantasy. Supernatural. Magical. Modern. Medieval. Romance. Scifi. Horror....somewhat in that order.
Valdred had told her to look away, but Rose could not. Even if she had wanted to, her gaze was anchored to the tall self-proclaimed guardian--or rather, where he had been before simply vanishing--and she watched with growing dread as he vanquished more shadows that looked like ghastly wolves, they disappearing as the first had, the last being made of actual flesh. It's cry of pain had her clench her jaw, her heart squeezing at the sound.

A witch's curse?

His words swirled inside her head like a growing storm and once more, she found herself staring at the pale skinned man towering over her. A friendly smile, but eyes of red.

"You don't--you don't even know me," she tried to reason, brows pulling as she tried to process all that had transpired, but despite how she may feel about the circumstances, she still had just been attacked by shadows and now, even her family could be in danger. These were things that couldn't be ignored.

It's been a long time since she's been overwhelmed to the point of indecision. Her gaze trailed down the path, toward where the grounds of her house would be coming up within the next thirty yards or so but with each passing second, she grew more and more apprehensive. If there really were witches--why she would doubt that after just witnessing shadows attacking--then she couldn't just stand around.

"It's Rose," she finally said, blinking away the hesitancy that threatened to root her to the spot. She sought out the guardian's peculiar eyes. "My name. It's Rose. Please use it over…'my queen'." She cringed inwardly at the title and had to look away before she talked herself out of heeding his warning.

"If I'm a target, then…?" Her gaze wandered down the way she had come, away from home. "What do I do?" She pulled in a steadying breath and swept her gaze back to the man. "What will you have me do? I don't want to put my family in danger."

Of course, she had countless questions, but she figured they'd be best left to ask after they've gotten to a more secure location.

"I, um…," Gabrielle piped up and stuck a thumb back behind her shoulder. "I have a horse...with a wagon attached. I can get us out of here fairly quickly," she offered, her dark gaze flickering between Rose and Valdred.
 

Wooseog Ryu

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Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Modern, Medieval, Odd Pairings
Valdred chuckled, Rose would soon learn that he chuckled a lot.

"I don't know you, yet we have been fated to meet since you were born, My Queen." Valdred mused, but quickly bit his tongue when Rose told him her name. He looked visibly conflicted by this. He opened his mouth to speak again. "Yes, My-". He caught himself, eyes darting around in confusion for a brief moment.

"Lady Rose." He settled on. Valdred never dropped his own title, and after a couple centuries, old habits died hard, or seldom.

He was scanning the area, but he felt no more of the foul presence. They would be safe for the time being. Ha! Valdred knew they would be safe, victory was inevitable with him at her right hand. He continued to smile with confidence as rose confessed her concern and their next steps.

"Yes, you are a target. But now that I have found you, you and your family are safe. Any person with me on their side in any conflict can consider victory an outcome that is inevitable." Valdred had said the same thing to Xerces earlier. It wasn't a boast so much as it was a mantra of his, but it showed the unwavering pride he had in himself.

"We are safe now. We will be safest when I bring you to the keep of Que-." Again Valdred caught himself, Rose was Queen now. "Xerces, the once Queen." He began to tear up when he said the name of his former charge. He quickly regained his composure.

"I am afraid you will be away from your family, for a time. But there is time for you to bid your farewells, collect what you need or desire from your property." Valdred said. He felt for the young Queen, he knew what it was like to lose family and have everything taken away. He was about to cry again until Gabrielle chimed in. His head swivelled and he grinned. This mortal was turning out more useful than he would have thought.

"Wonderful. If you would do me the favor of bringing it to Lady Rose's estate, I am sure we can make a quick escape." Valdred wasn't the biggest fan of the idea, horses were just so slow compared to him. But logistically it made more sense than him scooping Rose up in his arms and using godspeed to get them to the Keep. The first Queen had been nauseous for days after experiencing his quickness.

"You will be safe, milady." He said to Gabrielle. "Your blood means nothing to the witches. Lady Rose, I will escort you to say your farewells."
 
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