Sweet Dreams are Made of This

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Lady Sabine, Feb 4, 2014.

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  1. Twelve hundred and thirty-six years ago, her ancestors had shut the Gates of Ihuicatl. They had given up on their crumbling empire, on the legacy that had taken them sixteen hundred years to build, and cravenly hidden beneath the Earth.
    Tonight, that would end. Once, her people had stood proud on the surface. The very word Drow had made fear blossom in the hearts of warriors the world over. Monarchs had bent the knee; Lords had sacrificed their land; cities paid hefty ransoms to avoid sacking. It was that history she sought to repeat. A second Drow empire, greater and stronger than the first. No more skulking in shadows, eating mushrooms, and mining like Dwarves. Her armies would take the field, her Matriarchs would take to trade, and like the web of a spider, they would reach out tendrils across the world and bring it all to heel.

    Teyacapan Citali had been just a foolish girl, barely ninety years of age, with a distant dream. But then she had been a foolish girl with a knife and a conspiracy, and the old Empress had conceded defeat.
    Now she was Teyacapan of House Citali, the first of her name, Empress of the Underdark, Matriarch Supreme of the Drow Nation, Blessed by the Goddess Triumvirate with Divine Supremecy over all of Her Dominion. Now the fate of her people was in her hands, and she would not let them down, could not let them down. She had grown up knowing her people's greatness as ancient history, stories of her grandmother's five-times great grandmother.
    Stories that had inspired her.
    House Citali was one of the five hundred and forty-seven great ones, but it had not been particularly high among them. They had seats high in the Council chamber, but had never once been selected as any one of the Triumvirate. None of their members of the clergy had ever risen high enough to be of note, they had no distinguished military history, and in terms of wealth and prestige they were nothing particularly noticeable.
    Teya had what many of her ancestors had apparently lacked: ambition.

    Ever since she was a girl, she had lusted for power. At only a eighty-six, barely half a dozen years an adult, she had taken over her mother's position as Matriarch. Without any aunts or sisters, she had been nearly uncontested. Only her grandmother had argued, but once Teya proved herself with a few swift bargains and deals, even that voice of opposition fell silent.
    It had taken her a mere twenty-seven years to go from Matriarch to Empress. Not a bad span, not by any means. It had taken careful maneuvering, manipulation, bribery, and outright threats. She was not proud of everything she had done to earn her throne, but it was really for the best. The Nation needed a strong leader, a confident and bold woman with the courage to lead them from out the dark.
    There would be death and destruction, of that there was no question. But the greatest rewards always required sacrifice, and no sacrifice was too large if it meant regaining the pride of the Drow Empire.

    Drawing in a breath, she fidgeted nervously with the elaborate crown of silver, white mithril, and crystal. It was almost two feet high, a good third of her height, and flashy as anything. It played off of her sheer white gown, speckled with diamonds, that shimmered in the glow of the bioluminescent fungi.
    It was all meant to emphasize her virginal, pure form. Unwedded and unbedded, she was certainly a rarity among Matriarchs. Her hair had already gone to silver, though at a mere hundred and thirteen it would be years still before it went white as snow. Recently, at the encouragement of a serious of lesser noblewomen who called themselves image consultants, she had added some black dye to the lower layers of her hair, making it darker. More youthful to Drow and men alike, doubtless to make her seem very much the girl queen, which she had already been mocked as.
    But her figure was not that of a mere girl. While the classic hourglass that nearly all Drow women had was nothing special, she had taken it to new extremes with a series of corsets, compressing her waist to a waspish dimension even when not constricted. Large breasts competed for attention with ripe, full lips painted jet black and reflective lavender eyes rimmed with kohl. In a world ruled by women, beauty was not used for attracting mates, but for intimidating rivals. It was not enough to be smart, powerful, and wealthy- you had to look good doing it all. And that she did.

    With an almost casual wave of one elegant hand, tipped with long, flawlessly maintained nails, she ordered the gates to open. With a creak, a thousand years of dust trickled to the floor as enormous ironwood doors ten times taller than a man swung open, letting moonlight stream in.
    The crowd collectively gasped and blinked in the sudden glare, whispering and chattering excitedly as the first breath of fresh air washed over them. Even Teyacapan felt her mouth fall open as she took in the night sky for the first time in generations.
    The vastness of the world beyond struck her immediately. The biggest room she had ever been in was the High Council chambers, but its lofty ceilings held nothing to the height of the sky. A roof overhead like nothing she had ever known before, studded with lights brighter than anything but magic, crowned by the moon herself. The scents and sounds threatened to drown her with their majesty.
    Somehow, miraculously, she managed to close her mouth as the palanquin she was carried on moved to carry her into the camp set up just outside the Gates. The camp of the man, the man who thought to be her husband. He was likely a fool, but that was another matter entirely. A marriage was a small price for an empire.
  2. "King Daveak, My King! They are here, they are here!" a squire ran to tell his master the news. Daveak in a rush movement walked out of his tent to greet the newcomers... his sheer height and size distincted him from anyone else in the camp. His black armor covered his body, the armor was scratched, he had skeleton symbols on it and his sword that was on his back was tall as him. There was a dark very strong aura around him; he walked over towards the queen of the Drow... his 5 generals followed behind him matching his step. He nodded to them in signal to be calm but ready... as he walked he stopped in front of the palanquin that carried the Empress; his generals bowed but he stood tall. He took a calm stance as he waited for the queen to come out... he kept his skeleton helmet on, his eyes glimmered a ice blue color from underneath the helmet, his face was expressionless.
  3. One dainty foot, clad only in the lightest of silk slippers, emerged first from beneath the gauzy curtains of the palanquin. With catlike grace she lowered herself to stand before him, her dark skin a near match to his armor but her form completely different. His shoulders were the widest part; her hips were the widest. Where his armor bulged with the suggestion of muscle, her light clothing clung to a lithe body. Just an inch shy of six feet tall she was on par with many other humans, but compared to him she felt rather ordinary.
    The night breeze whispered across her skin and she shivered slightly, more out of delight than chill. Wind was all but unheard of in the Underdark; the great bellows that brought clean air in created a gentle draft, nothing more. But this, she sensed, was just the beginning of the unusual discoveries to come.
    "King Deveak," She greeted him, her voice high-pitched, but with the harsh lilt that the Drow accent imbued. She spoke only a little of their crude and barbaric tongue, but there were translators for anything more than formalities. "I and my nation thank you for this most hospitable welcome. It has been long centuries since our people were welcomed to stand on the surface, but we are pleased now that the path of friendship is open to us."
  4. Deveak followed the beautiful Drow's every graceful movement when she moved to stand in-front of him, he could not help but notice how her body was much smaller than his; he looked down to look at her face, a breeze ran through his slightly pale face. He spoke with his rugged voice... he had a slight ominous feeling to his voice "I am most honored to meet you as well Queen Teyacapan... you are quite more beautiful than my relations advisor said" he was known for his honesty, even brutal honesty at times "I look further to develop our nations relations in the future, for now let's retire to my tent and discuss everything further" he pointed in the direction of his tent and his generals rose up and stood behind him, covered with dark cloaks and armor.
    #4 N0VA, Feb 5, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
  5. She raised an eyebrow, appraising him with slightly pursed lips. It was odd, being shorter than a man. Most Drow men were around five and a half feet; most women nearly six. It was the dimorphism their goddess, one of her three forms being a spider, found more suitable to her people. Of course, he was not of her people, did nor worship her goddess, had not taken the triad blessing. Even his language was strange. He was honored to meet her, yes, and she was beautiful... though she was Empress, not queen. But the second sentence she caught only bits and pieces of, and motioned for her translator to step forwards.
    He was a slight man, hardly five foot four, with a lithe body hard with muscle and slanted yellow eyes. "He wishes you to accompany him to that tent for further discussion, blessed Empress," He informed her in the harsh syllables of the Drow tongue.
    "Thank you, Necalli," She murmured. "Inform the human that I will deign to converse over tea and sweetmeats."
    He turned to Deveak, bowing slightly. "Honored king, my Empress Teyacapan gratefully accepts your gracious offer, and suggests tea and refreshments be shared during negotiations," The smaller man informed the much taller human with a voice carrying only the slightest traces of an accent. He was clearly an expert with the language, though his tone and worse choice did not really suggest a life of scholarly pursuit.
    Four other women detached themselves from the contingent following the Empress, and walked with her to the tent. They were the Triumvirate of the High Council of Matriarchs, and the Supreme General of the Drow Army.
  6. Deveak led them to his tent, and let them enter; the tent was large and spacious there was place for everyone... he gestured with his hand to the Empress to take a seat as he sat down himself, there was tea and sweets already placed on the table between them. He was about to speak out a word when he heard a cry outside... "Generals remain here and tend to the needs of the Empress" he stepped out of the tent to see a seemingly quiet scene. His soldiers were on their post and his elite guard patrolling the camp slowly... it was too quiet; he heard a crack... "AMBUSH! SOUND THE ALARM! SOUND THE ALARM" the guard in a tower yelled; archers and assassins came from the woods and started the attack, his soldiers jumped to their posts and immediately attacked without hesitation. "You blood elf scum shall pay for your intrusion!" he pulled out his sword and swung it once as he charged the enemy, the battlefield was brutal but his soldiers were one step forward at all times. He pushed on forward as he slammed his shoulder into the enemy and ripped them apart with his sword, the blood elf's cried for help in their language but Deveak was merciless. He saw his generals step out of the tent and yelled at them "KEEP THE EMPRESS SAFE THESE CREATURES MEAN HER NOTHING BUT HARM" he shouted to the top of his lungs, the generals made a circle around the tent unsheathing their weapons and standing on guard. Deveak's soldiers showed nothing but discipline, courage, tactics and strength in the face of the enemy... not even one of them retreated or fell to the ground when stabbed; they were like possessed dolls than humans beings, they fought mercilessly for the king. The elf's fell one by one at the hands of his sword... they yelled in fear that their ambush was unsuccessful. As their numbers shortened, Deveak returned to the tent; his armor covered in blood from top to bottom he let out a heavy breath and spoke "Empress I am dreadfully sorry about this intrusion, we did not know an attack would be staged in the woods... I am unsure as to how they knew our location or even how did they knew about your arrival. Speaking of which... Advisor!" he yelled for his advisor and soon a man with dark red robes walked into the room calmly "Yes, my King?" Deveak turned to him "How did the blood elf's attack and how did they knew our location? How did they even knew that the Empress was arriving?" the advisor took out a scroll and read it before passing it on to the King "My King, our spies in the Blood Elf keep show that the Blood Elf had staged an attack to thwart our relations with the Drow, I have been told that if everything else fails they would take the life of the leader of the Drow people; which in this case in the Empress. My King, my advice is that we step our campaign to defeat the Blood Elf, these years they have been nothing but flees that continue to pester us. Even so now that they want to disrupt our relations with the Drow people they are even a greater pest then ever." Deveak read through the scroll and nodded "Send word to the troops that are gathered on our left border they march out tomorrow. Burn every village of theirs and kill everyone of their kind. No prisoners, men, women, children all must vanish. They will move in a squared formation in a long column, the archers would take the high hills and the soldiers would take the low ground. Send the assassins army first to take ease their attack in the night. First the Assassins would move, then the soldiers then the archers. Understood?" the advisor bowed "Yes, my King. I shall do it right away" he stepped out of the tent, Deveak turned to face the Empress again "Again, I am most sorry about this Empress... these pests shall be dealt with." he walked behind the Empress to change his clothes, he took of his bloody armor and changed into silk black clothes with red stripes on the, with the back showing his crest a skeleton with a shield. He then returned to the chair next to the Empress "Now, where were we" he looked at her
    #6 N0VA, Feb 6, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
  7. The Drow were not quite as quick to move, taken aback by the attack. No one had assaulted the Empire in hundreds of years; all the drills in the world, truly, could not have prepared them. But when their blades were lifted and teeth bared, they decimated the enemy almost as efficiently as their human counterparts. The General, Huitzil Macatow, was one of the first to leap into the fray. Nearly six foot three, she was muscled like a bull and thrice as mean, wielding dual shortswords that made short work of her foes. The other Drow guards were not quite as mean, but their mithril armor served them well, and as they moved into position to protect the tent, it was easy to imagine the damage that many thousands of them could do.
    As for Teya, she did what any good empress did and hid willingly behind her guards. She didn't fight, didn't want to fight, didn't plan to fight, and had guards willing to do all of those things and die for her. It seemed simple.

    What was somewhat less simple was his reaction. Narrowing her eyes when he so casually handled the situation, she tossed her head proudly. "I am believing we are come at the point where you are doing the apologizing for the order-giving without the advice-taking," The Empress returned, her voice taut. "I am Empress, not Mensch slave. If you are thinking I am animal for the buying of, you are making mistakes many in number and large in scale. You will not be doing a marrying if it is order-giving without consulting that you are wanting."
    The translator stepped in again, bowing his head politely. "Good king, my Empress means all respect, but she takes offense that you have seen fit to handle the situation without so much as asking her opinion. We are of the understanding that you are looking for a partner, not a pawn," he clarified, his own tone now a bit cool.
  8. Deveak looked at the Empress, his eyes widened a bit "With all do respect Empress... actions are heard louder than words, when I saw the attack I reacted a knowing fully that my soldiers can handle the fight I instructed them to do so... to fight. If I had been just waiting for your sign of conformation from you we would be all dead... advice is a expensive commodity when you are getting ambushed and not fruitful as well." his eyes widened as he looked at her "No one said you are this kind of slave you speak off nor animal for buying, I only did what it was needed to protect you and protect me; if that offends you then I again am sorry. There are things in life where is time to consult and there are times that consulting is but a waste of time." he turned to her translator "She need not take offense, I handled the location as I saw fit because my men were attacked and if they got through the they would get to her if she does not understand that I only wanted to protect her then by all means I don't stop you from leaving right now at this moment." he placed his hand on his head and sighed "Why does such mere things must interfere always..." he looked at her again, he stood up from his chair and knelt infront of the Empress "Your the first person in history that I have knelt infront of, no-one from my family bowed down to anyone their whole rule of 6 generations... I hope you take it as a sign of good will because I truly do not want to fight you Empress. If there is a thing that can make you forget this please do say right now" he looked up at her as he knelt in-front of her
  9. She waved a hand dismissively, a sharp gesture with her fingers closing in front of her face. It irked her that he misunderstood her, irked her more that he would more easily think her a fool than anything else. But, perhaps, it was humans who were the fools. That he knelt before her impressed her not; more a sign of weakness than anything else, in Teya's mind. But weakness she could work with. Having this man wrapped around her finger would only help.
    Delicately, she reached down a delicate hand and put two fingers on his chin, tilting his head and urging him to rise. "This signing of good will is much assurance making," Teyacapan replied after a moment. "But you are not understanding, little one. The ordering of the defending is being a matter of course. That is not what is doing the bothering. No, you are sending of the armies to the Eztli'Ailv, to the Blood Elves, without the consulting of the one you are claiming of good will to. What am I to be thinking?"
    Necalli stepped forwards again, this time bowing gracefully. "I apologize for this misunderstanding, gracious king," He murmured. "My queen does not protest that you have defended her, but she would be consulted on matters of foreign invasions. The Drow nation seeks to enter into contract as, at the very least, equal partners. What must we think of this partnership if you invade without so much as asking our empress your opinion?"
  10. He rose to his feet quickly... "This war with the Blood Elves has been going on even before the Drow Empire ever set foot on this land... please I don't mean this as an insult but do not interfere with wars that we are currently fighting. If any war that is to be fought and to be fought after we agreed to any kinds of terms, then we shall talk together about our attacks, my army was marching for 2 weeks towards the blood elf capital I am not just going to order them to stand down and return home to await our decision. It is not in order for me just to make my units retreat when we are at the enemies neck... they will attack the capital and that's my final word. Other than the wars we are currently waging, the Drow are or should I say would be an equal partner in anything we do." his face showed a slight grimace of anger that he tried to hide from the Empress... he did not want to get on bad terms with her, but she did not try to even make things easy for him... he liked a though barter partner, but there are things that just do not go well with each other. He looked at her, she was looking all high and mighty... he crossed his arms and looked at her "As I said before and I will stay on my word... you will be equal partners in everything we do from the point of the contract onwards." he continued to look into her eyes.
  11. The empress snorted. "The war between Ailv sa Drow and Eztli'Ailv was begun a thousand years ago, when the grandmother of your grandmother was not being so much as a quickening in womb," Teyacapan returned, her tone arrogant. "You say of setting foot upon this land? You are knowing little of this histories. Ailvix walked this world before the first human ever was being. All of Mensch, of humans, are being new as sunrise, when we are old as moon."
    She walked over, sitting in his chair with a dangerous little smile. "Equal partners, you are saying. But it is the way you are saying it. This is not gift you are giving, this is honor I am offering. The armies of Ailv sa Drow are being many and mighty, are wielding mithril and magic," She reminded him. "Drow are being stronger than humans. I am being stronger than you. Equal partners, I am saying because I am liking of it, not needing of it. I am being the dragon while you are being the lion. Your strength is being mighty, but you are being of a shorter food chain.
    "Now, you are being a smart man, are you not? Telling me of this: is it being better to strike with a shortsword and a dagger, or a broadsword? Combine our forces. Drow and Mensch together; the Eztli scourge will fail. And we both will be seeing if deal we are making is good or ill."
    Teya rose to her feet again, her smile becoming more seductive as she walked over to him, her hips swaying gently. "You are being a strange little creature, but I am liking you. That having said, are you not thinking there are other little Mensch who would gladly do the taking of this offer?" She whispered into his ear, resting a hand on his chest to feel his heartbeat.
  12. He stepped away from her, obviously not giving in to her obvious charms "Honor you are giving? Then that honor can be kept... if that is your way of saying we would be allies in the near future, we might just drop all communication right now. If you truly want to test or mettle... of which kind is stronger then please do me the honor of combat... or perhaps the queen does not wield a weapon?" he grinned "I am currently offering you passage through my land because I felt for the Drow people being underground for so many years... But it seems that your are giving me a hard time with only cooperation from my side. My terms were said... equal partners or nothing and I stand firm on that statement, if you want to change those terms you might as well leave now. Mocking me and my kind will get you nothing... we are skilled in every division of combat there may be. Assassins, Soldiers, Magicians what you have we have... but unlike some I will keep quiet and not boast about what my people managed to do. Oh and one more thing... Twelve hundred and thirty-six years my ancestors were the allies of the Drow before they went underground, they were their only allies in their dark times where everyone abandoned them my family stood in-front of the gate when they closed it in-front of them. And to answer your questions before hand... my family has it's founding two thousand years ago, being a warmongers as you call as gave us a long bloodline" Deveak started to lose control over his little problem... he felt them digging in the ground below... they were about to burst out, he couldn't afford for him to be angry anymore or he would risk the death of everyone here. He paced across the room slowly trying to calm down, he felt his right hand shaking... he gripped it with the other hand in a effort to stop the shaking, but only did a little. He turned to face the exit of the tent with the back towards the Empress.
  13. The translator stepped in, trying to defuse the situation.
    "King Deveak, my Empress does not insult the strength of your nation, nor does she wish to make you subordinate," The shorter man assured him, his eyes hard. "She means only that we are a proud people, ancient and blessed by the goddess triumvirate. It is not in our nature to make alliances or pacts with Mensch. It is not the arrogance of a Tyrant you face, but the inexperience of a child."
    "A child who has been done the killing of an Empress and the taking of a Nation," Teya snapped, tossing her hair. "Meet him in combat, he is saying. Why the meeting on his field? Strength is being a great good for warrior, but for king, intrigue is being the game of playing." She stepped forwards again, crossing her arms. "Here is I am saying. We are not being two nations with armies marching together. We are being one nation, one flag, one throne, one soul. One army of Mensch and Drow, one purpose, one goal. We are being together or we are not being so. None of this exclusion from what is coming before, for everything is coming of before. Past, present, future. A triumvirate. Together."
  14. Deveak looked at the translator "It seems it was in your nature twelve hundred and thirty-six years ago... I understand but someone that is not me would not. Having such a young empress has its benefits but its downfalls as well." he turned to the Empress with anger in his eyes "The place of the leader is everywhere he must be to ensure his nations prosperity and its nations happiness whether it's on the battlefield taking the heads of the enemies or surrounded by diplomats and ambassadors... he must give his utmost strength to matter where he is currently it in battle or at peace." he calmed down and let out a sigh "Your translator is a wise man, you should make him your advisor..." turned to the translator "Prepare the documents... everything would be as you say, if there are no more conflicts lets have them signed." he crossed his arms and stood in between the advisor and the Empress "Perhaps you have something to add Empress?" he turned his face towards here.
  15. She raised an eyebrow, shaking her head. "There is being an old saying of my people," The Empress said softly. "It is having mean 'A good compromise is leaving all involved with anger'. Being tell me, Deveak. Why is it that you, being a man, is ruling of this nation? Women are knowing arguing. Women are knowing scheming and dreaming and intrigue. Men are wanting of quick ends, arguments being not lasting long. A woman is knowing that it is communication that is making the world compromising."
    After a moment, she turned and shrugged, telling the translator in Drow to draw up the documents anyway- if this human king wanted them signed right away, she would sign right away, but they would be written by her man and say what she had already decided. "Necalli," She murmured after a moment, "Is being clever man and more than just being translator. But a man is never being adviser- it is being the job of a woman. You Mensch are having many strange ideas on a man's place."
  16. Deveak looked at her but he did not say anything... he walked over slowly over to chest that was near his chair. He opened the chest to reveal a parchment encased in a glass tube... he watched over it as if it was his life on the line. He carefully and slowly opened the lid and pulled out the parchment... he took it ever so slowly over to the Empress, he spoke some words Drow although not so clearly with a small accent "This is the parchment that bonded our nations before... and I make a request of you to be the same parchment to bond our nations again." he extended his hands to hand it over to her and spoke in his language again "You will find me that I am both cruel and moral less but also a man that cares for everyone he knows I do hope you see only to good side of me." he paused for a moment and looked at her "While one can love an irresponsible friend or a person with character flaws, alliances are built on respect, the responsibilities which arise out of that and knowing that together we can be stronger." he let out a slight smile at the Empress

    ((I am feeling a bit skeptical about this last post, if you find it that you don't like it do not think twice to talk to me about it. Thanks. C: ))
    #16 N0VA, Feb 15, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  17. ((Hmm... I'm liking it, except for him knowing flawless Drow. It seems to me that a language that hasn't had a single ethnic speaker for over a thousand years would be, if not lost, then at least broken. Think about Latin today- it's a dead language. No one is conversational in it because there isn't a population that speaks it to have a conversational form. He might have a pretty extensive vocabulary and know some phrases, but being fluent strikes me as pretty unlikely. Especially since the above-ground dialect and the Underdark dialect have probably shifted. Think about how different Shakespearean English is from today's- our characters probably understand most things when each other speak, but there would be some major differences.)
  18. (( Hmm... your absolutely right. The way I was thinking he knew Drow because off his family being allies with the Drow those long years ago... since they have been really good allies and such, it was only customary to learn their languages. Perhaps I change him to know the olden Drow language? It would make sense to me that way, or do you want me to remove that part completely? I will do it if you want me to; I have feeling I have been pushing you abit to much with my character.))
  19. ((And maybe some scholars have kept track of the language and they still speak it, albeit a different form than modern Drow? But, with his busy schedule, Deveak has only learned the parts that would commonly be used in court and the military, like ranks, expressions, proverbs, and the like? So he would understand words in a conversation, and know how to introduce himself, make a toast, that sort of thing, but as far as holding a conversation goes, he would be more like a toddler, knowing a handful of words but not enough to smoothly communicate complex ideas?)
  20. ((Yes, that could work just fine... anything else you want me to change perhaps?))
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