CLOSED SIGNUPS Heavy Is The Crown

Excession

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In black carriages, House Hulbrad crosses the rolling plains towards Throne. It looms before the rising sun, and casts a long shadow west. The trains of other Houses are behind and ahead - where once these fields were knee-deep in blood, the earth churned and broken, burning with sorcerous fire, now there is a long, wide road of white stone surrounded by carefully tended meadows.

Animals graze, watched over by herders with long staves and wide, gently conical hats. Weapons and sticks are driven into the earth either side of the highway, some with helmets atop them or hung with charms.

Pointless - the Sepulchre rises to the north of Throne and there interred are the dead of the last year of the war. These markers are sentimental, but they've given what might otherwise be the Imperial Highway a name: the Road of Bones.

Imperus has summoned you to the Ashen Palace, to declare your loyalty and leadership. In return, Imperus may release your lands back into your control. Hopefully there will be no more deaths before it's over.
 

FuzzMonster

Edgepeasant
Tristan

The warlord dreams in blood and fire, chaos eating at all preparation, drums, horns, the screams of the dying, the parade ground bellow of Boiret-Capp at his back. The Knightslayers rest uneasy in his hands, the grips slick with blood. The Dogs break. The Dogs hold the line. The Golden Eyes break. The Golden Eyes hold the line. Defeat. Victory. He sees his own death. He sees his own hands carving the heart from the chest of...someone. Someone he should know. Golden light, and judgement.


The wiry man jerks awake, his hands instantly holding knife and cord. As if he were merely resuming a conversation, as if he had merely turned back from gazing out the window, Tristan addresses his family. The weapons slip back into his pockets.

"Niece Helena, niece Edel, cousin Lochlyn. In my estimation, it is not impossible that we will end the day by hemp or headsman. That noted, should we survive...what is on the wish list from the Dragon Emperor, besides mercy?"


D Delling Silvertongued Silvertongued PixelWitch PixelWitch
 

PixelWitch

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Helena

Her head turns almost inperceptably slowly towards the question asked. Her attention having been passively fixed on the passing landscape for hours, and only now she was facing everyone, that the telltale red raw of her eyes became visible. She had been crying on and off when not with company, and now her gaze carried a perpetual misty film and miserable demenour that even several long, quivering breaths of her rolled cigeratte couldn't nudge.

She shakily exhales, the plumes of perfumy smoke drifting out through the windows, entangling in her not too disimilar hair.
"A roof over our heads?" she croaks, flicking ash off the end, "Or at least, permission to rebuild a roof over our heads,"
 
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Silvertongued

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Edel

"A roof would be pleasing," replies Edel, the bitterness evident despite her cordial tone. "I'd say our roof, but I'd wager that such a miracle is as outside even the Dragon's reach as was preventing its destruction."

Her gaze trails over to Tristan, lingering on the pockets where his blades had disappeared. A sigh escape her pitch lips, and she sags into her seat, head lolling back against the backrest.

"Though I suppose such Dellebronism ill becomes me," she says softly, staring out the window. "Truthfully, I do not know. What could the Dragon give us that would make up for such a loss? To put us back on equal footing with our brethren, now that we are nigh a House extinguished?"
 

Delling

Edgebabby
Lochlyn sits leaning back into the shadowed corner of the coach. Lochlyn hears the others dimly. In his mind he is flipping through shadow-shaped pages of a book. He preferred reading on the road... he perhaps preferred reading in general. He stumbles into reading unseen pages aloud under his breath before saying, "Books I suppose" in a more conversational tone. He shuffles and tucks together his sleeved and shrouded arms, holding himself. A memory of the loss of the library beneath the ink flits over his mind and he gives a very slight shudder.

The shudder loses him his place, but finding it again, he returns to reading the shadow of a tome on magical theory. A niggling thought passes through his mind: while he might think it idle chatter to talk on the road, maybe if he paid a bit more attention he would find some value... beneath his shroud, a pointed ear pricks unconsciously forward.
 

Excession

Socialist Agitator
Original poster
Roleplay Invitations
Not Taking RP Invites at this Time
Posting Speed
A Few Posts A Day
Writing Levels
Adept
Favorite Genres
Horror, fantasy, sci-fi.
Genre You DON'T Like
Pure romance, slice of life.
The shadow of the sepulchre falls upon your entourage. The cool air faintly carries scents of bone-dust and fresh masonry.


Voices whisper in the back of your minds as you pass through the shade.
 

FuzzMonster

Edgepeasant
Tristan

The warlord is sober and careful.

"If I thought it would put a better roof over my family, I would at least consider challenging the Dragon, but it is not they who destroyed the manor. Should Imperus desire to kill us all, they can achieve this easily. If they want us onboard and alive, loyal, and willing to build a future, they must offer us a part of that future."

The knife has reappeared from nowhere, balanced on its tip between the knuckles of his left hand.

"A better home than canvas. This I will try to gain for us. We still hold the Inklake and the surrounding forests, as unsettling as they may be. There is also our prospective hold in the Shaydensea, that bizarre floating rock of dear old uncle Cassius. The natural philosophers there still owe us fealty, and to them we owe support. I offer myself as the first negotiator to the Dragon, unless anyone else desires to do this?"


Tristan has never had a particularly good poker face. He is very plainly contemplating his own death.


"Ah fuck. Someone brought a bottle, right? Something from the old manor's cellars would be nice."
 
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Silvertongued

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Edel

"Not to threaten Uncle, or to challenge, but to put forth an idea," says Edel softly. "The Dragon desires peace between the Houses, else they would have put us all to the sword when the war ended,"

A grimace crosses her face.

"With that in mind, it is entirely possibly they would keep peace by excising undesirables as one would a cancer..."

Edel waves off the thought, continuing with her speech.

"Regardless, my point being that there cannot be lasting peace without balance. Father Cassius'-" her tone hardens for a moment, as three additional eyes peer at Tristan. "-winter castle is where I would hope to make our home, but it does not compare to what we have lost, nor what the others still bear,"
 

FuzzMonster

Edgepeasant
Tristan

His eyes blink slowly, in a moment of contained grief.

“I’m sorry Edel. I was flippant.”

He reaches inside his tunic and produces a tiny volume bound in leather so dark brown as to be almost black. The book sits between his hands, and he glances down to it for a moment.

“We have the couriers, the night horses, the inklake, and the paper mills. The loss of the manor cost us-“ He blinks once more, his eyes pitch black and hard to read “- more than we can recover. But...we can refound the libraries, print primers, train teachers. The magus clans are an educationally minded people. I will ask the Dragon to confirm us in our old lands and holdings, the lake, the black woods, paper foundry, and Cassius’ discovery.”

He smiles, a thing of brevity.
“I shall give the Dogs the opportunity to grumble about being builders for a while instead of soldiers. Lochlyn...how many texts can be recovered, do you think?”
 
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Delling

Edgebabby
Lochlyn has taken the conversation in idly, with some unease at each mention of the inklake. The notion of a new home at the Black Rose intrigues him, but with this question he stirs a bit and leans a little forward sending his shrouded face just forward into dim grey light of the windows. He answers with a measured enthusiasm.

"I have enough to make exact copies of many tomes of history, alchemy, and magical theory. All the most fundamental texts could be reproduced and several specialist from my shadows. Others we may need to request to copy from other Houses. Still more texts might be found in the old library itself beneath the ink if one were willing to take on such a task," he pauses, "Although I fear some of the more impenetrable texts or esoteric and exotic anthologies of poetry will otherwise be lost if the old library cannot be recovered. Of course, more new tomes might be written on the nature of the Black Rose itself if we opened a new home there to some experimentation."
 

Silvertongued

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Edel

A sneer crosses Edel's face.

"You would posit the Dragon for what is already ours, rather than recompense for their own wayward childer?" she scoffs.

"They are the Dragon. The whole of Imeria is within their reach, power enough to bring the Houses to heel, to grant the greatest requests. They are not stupid, nor would they fail-"

Edel cuts herself off, scowling all the while. Taking a deep breath, a long, slow sigh following after, she turns away from Tristan to stare out the window. Her face smoothes itself out, returning to its neutral, doll like countenance.

"I apologise, Elder Tristan. My mood is sour as of late, for reasons quite obvious,"
 

PixelWitch

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Helena

She drops the dying ashes of her cigarette out the window, turning to her little sister and leans into her, thin lips kissing her siblings crown and running her long fingers through her hair, combing it theraputically, soft shushing in a comforting lull.

"So the Great House Hulbrad is to be homeless, living in squalor among mundane mortals, penniless and powerless? ... I don't see it. Even the Dragon wouldn't see it. We may be sundered, but the Dragon would not see their lesser bloodlines dig their graves alongside peasants. That would be an insult to their lineage and their rule. Perhaps that is our approach,"
 
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FuzzMonster

Edgepeasant
Tristan

His reply is not harsh, but it is clipped and precise.

"Edel. We are not the ones who rebelled, that is true. Our elders are dead and gone. But...what reason does the Dragon have to reward us? To give us that which we did not possess before the war?"

He sighs, and his voice softens.

"I am not thinking of recompense for the past, Edel. I am thinking of what is necessary for the future. The House needs lands, incomes, a home. With these things, we can build a future, but going to Imperus and asking for recompense is going to be difficult. Saying to them that we need something to make up for what has happened might lead to an interesting question, that being the question of what exactly it is that we want."

He sits back.

"Do we know what we want? Right now, what I intend to ask for is for all of our lands to be confirmed to us, and for those towns and refugee camps which we have administrated since the second winter of the war to remain under our watch. Primarily, that would be the towns of Willoughby and Rosen in the mountains, north of the Shaydensea, and the routes and roads which they oversee. That would put the Inklake and the woods in the south of our domain, allowing us to re-centre our hold around the winter castle of Cassius, giving us farmlands in the west of that reach, and routes into the mountains in the north, while we prepare to explore and claim the Shaydensea."

He reaches across to take Edel's hand, if she will allow it to be taken.

"Kali is dead. Her faction are dust in the wind. In the last season, I hunted down the remainder of her skirmishers, and hanged half of them for turning bandit. She has lost. I intend to help our House rebuild, and there will come a day when we will not even be bothered to dance on her grave."
 

Silvertongued

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Edel

She does not look towards Tristan, continuing her thousand yard stare across the green fields of Throne's domain, but her pale, slender fingers intertwine with Tristan's own, squeezing tightly. Her other takes Helena's, gripping it just as fiercely.

"I know. I understand, Uncle Tristan. But Father and mother are dead. The places where we built our memories together, they are gone now. All the pieces we accumulated over the years, almost every single one is now dust,"

When Edel turns to face Tristan, her eyes are open. All five, arranged in a radial pattern across the upper half of her face, an arc of violet teardrops. And every one is filled with a burning fire.

"I am angry Uncle Tristan. I am so, so angry, enough so that I feel it in my bones, This rage, it-" her voice, it cracks, becoming hoarse and raw. She swallows loudly, straining to straighten her features.

"I am sorry, this is unseemly, especially before we are due to be before our peers," she says softly, releasing her hand from his to rub at her lowermost eyes.
 

Excession

Socialist Agitator
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Not Taking RP Invites at this Time
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Horror, fantasy, sci-fi.
Genre You DON'T Like
Pure romance, slice of life.
The obsidian gates of Throne stand open, starkly contrasting against the bone-white walls. A single mark mars the facade; the only siege weapon to successfully strike the city. Legionnaires silently line the road, kneeling, their weapons at their feet.


Perhaps Throne was disorderly as any other city, once, but as long as Imperus has reigned it has been shaped into concentric rings, carefully purpose-built structures lining the thoroughfares. Mainly tenements, but you notice a physicker's office on every other corner and a small merchant on every street.


The Ashen Palace towers over everything, gates thrown wide. Imperus' seneschal, Kassar Solon, awaits your disembarkment, dressed in austere black robes. His eyes shine faintly with the power of investiture.
 

FuzzMonster

Edgepeasant
Tristan



"I know. I know it very well, and my heart is breaking, for you, for our parents, for... For all of us. I cannot change the past, but I can break stone, carve wood, spill ink, and shape the future. I will find a day where you can laugh again, Edel. I will find it for us. I promise."

When the carriage stops, Tristan has already carefully arrayed their escort, with precise instructions. Officers of the Dogs open the carriage doors and fold down the steps...but make no attempt to assist or hand down the Scions within. There can be elegance, but there will also be confidence and strength.

Tristan alights, and waits for his nieces and cousin, as their Invested bodybuard form up behind them. A blothound of purest black fur and pricked ears waits patiently at Tristan's left hand.
 
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Delling

Edgebabby
Lochlyn emerges like a shadow moving in the corner of one's eye. The fringe of his outer robe a translucent grey sticking out at corners above his head, at his shoulders, along his arm, a second or third shadow over the dark black of his inner shroud. The hooded figure descends from the carriage in a seeming glide as he conveys his feet back to the earth with the aid of the carriage's shadow from below and takes his place beside Tristan with an imperceptible nod to the seneschal Solon above.
 
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Excession

Socialist Agitator
Original poster
Roleplay Invitations
Not Taking RP Invites at this Time
Posting Speed
A Few Posts A Day
Writing Levels
Adept
Favorite Genres
Horror, fantasy, sci-fi.
Genre You DON'T Like
Pure romance, slice of life.
"Blessings and felicitations to the House of Apocalypse! Imperus welcomes you to the Ashen Palace! Please, follow me that you may be divested of your arms and your needs met before the main event." Solon says, with an extremely formal bow. You have to admit, his Urd is perhaps the best you've ever heard spoken by a mortal.
 

FuzzMonster

Edgepeasant
Tristan

He replies in formal Urd.
"Greetings Seneschal, and I am glad to walk these halls in peace. We have met only once, I believe, three years ago?"

Tristan is happy to be polite, even friendly, to the members of Imperus' court. None of them have done him wrong. He is...less likely to be so friendly to any whom he recognises as survivors of Kali's entourage.

His soft soled boots make no sound on the stone floor of the palace, as Tristan walks towards the audience chamber. His mind deftly juggles the tasks he carries, with one track noting the layout of the Palace, its doors and passages, the turns and twists between his family and the nearest exit, another track reviewing his inventory, the gift he bears, the weapons he must lay aside, the words he must say to the Dragon. A corner of his heart aches, the pain a cold and constant companion.



What is the antechamber like?

What's everybody else saying/doing on the way there and as we make our entrance?



Tristan himself is not the type for dramatics, he will simply walk in taking whatever awaits us in stride.