The Radiance of a Thousand Suns

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Lady Sabine, Jul 11, 2013.

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    a man who must be fierce and brave, ever expanding the borders of the Tyranny to bring his people wealth and glory. A Tyrant who fails to display the proper strength and aggression is never Tyrant for long, and there is a long and proud history of generals seizing the throne if the blood of the old ruler grows weak. Tyrant Kayode III completed the goal of his forefathers by conquering the Pearl Isles and making all the continent of Namir territory of Lion Rising. Now it falls to his son, Tyrant Thairu I, to expand Lion Rising where it has never been before: North, to the continent of Damre, across the heavily fortified landbridge and into lands nothing like they have ever seen before.
    The priests of the Great Lion promise that the land is ripe for conquest. His generals sharpen their blades and must go to war lest those blades be used on him. His best friend, the Right Hand of the Tyrant, unwilling to share him with his wives, urges him to war so they may spend more time together. A brief foray is made and the landbridge is claimed for Lion Rising, along with a new bride for the Tyrant.
    It is just enough blood to whet his peoples' appetite, but when he returns to Hadjit-upon-T'zir there are new voices that urge him away from conquest. His loveliest wife urges him to be content with what territory he has gained and to stay home with her for a while. His newly taken wife tells him he will fail if he goes further into the continent using his current ways of war.
    It is the rainy season, but in two months' time the land will dry and the army will be ready to move- with or without their Tyrant.

    If the Radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one.

    I am become death, shatterer of worlds.
    Hear me roar
    My mother was from the Pearl Isles. I only remember her dimly from my early years in the Wives' Palace. She had the wisest eyes I've ever known- beautiful eyes, dark and rich and warm, but so sad. As a child I suppose I never realized how sad she truly was. When he conquered the Isles my father stole her from her home and for that she never forgave him, and I realize now that she never wanted any of the life she got. She was always so kind to me, though, so loving, braiding my hair in that strange way of her people and singing songs of her own childhood to me. She was only fifteen years older and sometimes we would climb the trees in the garden and stare out over the walls and she would tell me stories of the islands I had never seen. She missed them dearly, as well as her parents and her brothers, and would sometimes get this far away look in her eyes like she was remembering some big secret I never knew.
    When I was seven, like all princes, I was taken away from her to be made into a fine warrior. She wept to see me go and the eunuch guards had to hold her back to keep her from clinging to me. At the time I was so embarrassed. All the other mothers had let their sons go with pride and dignity- why did mine weep so? I wish now I had hugged her and told her I would see her soon, but I was seven and I was a fool.
    They found her dangling from the limbs of one of the fig trees we used to climb together. It is my fault, in a way. She only hung on for me, for she hated everything else about Lion Rising. It was always too dry and too dusty and the pools lacked what she had loved so much about the sea. I know she swims there with her strange Octopus god now, but sometimes when I close my eyes I can still see her own and I wish the last time I saw them they had not been filled with tears.
    Raised in a war camp from the ages of seven to sixteen, Thairu grew quickly from a boy into a man. He became strong and tall and handsome as he is today, always well aware of it. He carries himself like a lion, chin up and shoulders back and never in a hurry to be anywhere for the world can wait on him. His skin is darker than most that trace their blood back to the original tribe of the Lion thanks to his mothers' influence, but her genetics have also made his hair thicker and silkier and given him a more sensuous, rounded countenance then the angular features of many of his half-brothers. The certain animal magnetism that he wears like a fine cloak is not uncommon in Lion Rising but he flaunts his, satisfied in a distinctly feline manner with his situation and never afraid to show it. He wears his heart on his sleeve and it is usually more a strength than a weakness, for Thairu is very confident in himself and has a will stronger than his impressive chest. This confidence has been his blessing since he was young, and he won respect from his peers from an early age.
    He most often wears his hair in dozens of small braids, each tipped with beads and left to fall in a loose mane around his face. It is an atypical style he got from his mother; he did not get his fashion sense from her and most often wears a linen shenti and leather sandals like most noblemen of Lion Rising.
    He acts much like them as well, having embraced his heritage without hesitation. Thairu is the epitome of a Tyrant, of a Lion, proud and strong and noble. Never doubtful of his own abilities, the man is always ready with an answer to every problem. In spite of this he understands that he is not an expert in every field and isn't afraid to ask advisers for help in areas that they are well versed in. Like most military men he is always quick to see the strength of an army as the answer to disputes, but he has enough knowledge of politics not to embarrass himself when words are the weapons of choice.
    Duty is the name of the game with Thairu, and he tries his best to stick to the path laid before him by the Great Lion and by his forefathers. Though he does not enjoy killing, death is justice according to the laws of Lion Rising and so he is executioner when needed. He has always had a big heart, a trait encouraged in young Lions, ready to embrace every person he counts as friend or lover. He sees keeping a large harem as a blessing rather than a burden, and seeks to love each and every one of his wives and children as best he can, as he once loved the men that served with and around him. Love and courage are virtues that Thairu has in spades, but this is not true for all things and like every man he has his flaws.
    He is a man driven towards perfection, and in his desire to become the best he is self-destructive concerning every small failure. Though he does not let it show in public, he'll lay awake for hours at night reviewing every detail of his day and berating himself for everything he could have done better. In the moment, however, he is never hesitant and sometimes acts too quickly, relying on his gut and moral compass to make choices rather than thinking them out. This sometimes gets him into trouble when he misreads situations and reacts in appropriately. His last major flaw is his desire to face problems head-on. He is almost incapable of leaving a situation alone and will pursue even a small conflict until it is resolved, one way or another. Walking away to cool his head or letting something slide is almost totally beyond him.
    I executed him that day, there on the plains, and I wondered what had happened to turn the strong boy I had played with in the gardens into the sniveling wreck kneeling in front of me. Djoser was my half-brother but he was not half the Lion I was. Yet still I remembered the courage he used to show, the boldness, how unrelenting and proud and strong he was! Now he begged softly as I brought the scimitar around, and had to be held down so I could get a clean cut.
    The woman was stronger. She stared at me with hate in her eyes but would not let me see her weep. I kissed her softly on the forehead and named her sister-in-law before I took off her head as well. It is forbidden for princes to take brides or sire children; the laws of succession are quite strict. I did not want to take his son's life as well, but the laws do not relent for babes. It was so tiny, only a week or two old, and it screamed when I brought down my blade and I received a great red stain on my trousers, a parting gift from my poor nephew.
    I'll never forgive Djoser for that, for making me a child-slayer. Tyrants should not have to execute babies. I have nightmares from that, but what was I to do? I could not well let him live and what a crueler fate it would have been to just leave him there. No, a Tyrant must handle his own business, but I wonder still what had happened to Djoser.

    You don't live as long as I have asking stupid questions
    In my youth I was the most eligible woman in all of Namir; on that issue everyone agreed. My father was the king and I was his favorite daughter; I was beautiful besides, and had been trained by the priestesses of the Serpent for years, learning the arts of fang and scale.
    I married my first husband at twelve and there's been a long, long list of men between him and Thairu. I've outlived every one of my children, and none of them died notably young. I've seen Tyrants come and go like summer rains and I know that the power of physical strength is fleeting. The power of the mind is what matters, and that I have plenty of. Clever women are a rare breed in this land, but that only makes things easier. No one expects a wife to be the dangerous one.
    Though very old, Yamilex's actual age is nearly impossible to discern. Part of this she does purposefully- the wrinkles around her eyes are camouflaged with a generous amount of kohl, the thinning of her lips and cheeks concealed by rouge, the graying of her hair by inky black dye. She is still very tall, a good five foot ten, and has excellent posture. Her entire life she has been a bit too thin and refuses to change that in her old age, keeping a certain air of elegance to her spare figure that few women could match. She's lovely still, though it's a bit offputting to realize that she is, at the least, sixty years old and still playing the game of political marriage like she's a third her age. She wears her reputation like a cloak and often hides behind it, letting people see the danger they have heard about instead of the tired old woman that is the truth.
    Yamilex is quite the mysterious figure. She's seen more, done more, and controlled more than most generals, much the less wives. Her descendants are all over the Tyranny, most of them loyal to her. She's richer than several deities and certainly better connected, and is rumored to have orchestrated more assassinations than even her impressive number of husbands. While very little is known about her for certain, it is fact that her mother, Faatima, was wife to a Tyrant making her a princess in her own right. It is also fact that she is a strict follower of the Great Serpent and trained for many years at a temple. Poisonings follow her like the plague, though no one's ever made a serious accusation at her. Who would dare?
    Women in this world are flowers. Lovely and delicate and the key to everything that keeps man alive. Men in this world are clumsy florists. They look for the most beautiful flowers they can find and pluck them from the ground without second thought, or even so much as waiting until they are ready. Flowers inevitably wilt in the hands of florists and are dropped to the ground where the lucky ones will put down roots and grow strong again.
    Well I've grown roots and I've grown thorns, but most importantly I refuse to wilt.
    #2 Lady Sabine, Jul 11, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2013
  3. Savadavarah ahn Hediyeh
    Politics is a confusing world to men. For the woman, it is lain simple as the men they live amongst. Either you are clever with what you have, and you rule the world, or you aren't and the world rules over you.
    Such was words to live by, if a woman wished to live comfortably. Sava knew very well that should a gift like beauty be left unused, it would be the greatest crime she could commit. She was raised as a daughter of an attractive potter and a wealthy traveling merchant that found comfort in her home, and between her legs during his stay in the potters small town. Quite fond of the potter, the merchant brought her along with him during his travels, and it was on these travels that Sava was conceived, born, and raised, and it was on these travels she learned quite a bit on humanity. By the time she was six, she saw the power that beautiful women had over men, and how, despite how much the cities tried to reverse it, power remained in the hands of the clever.
    Darker thoughts lurk in her mind presently, of course. Her husband, the Tyrant, looked to deplete the kingdom of its men in a futile war against a nation likely just as powerful as his own. Such was the madness of men, pride and greed. It drives them to ruin and only proves she would make a better ruler than any man in the kingdom. Certainly a better wife than the more foolish and brash counterparts she has met.
    Power is an illusion, she discovered as more and more leaders she saw, be it across a market or in the streets, were weak and unable to fend for themselves. Even if only two of their personal guard wanted any of them dead, all supposed kings of this lifetime would by lying in their tombs already. A woman must learn trickery and illusionry, then, before she can claim power.
    Abdukrahman Almansi
    A warriors life is simple. You obey, and you kill. You don't need to know the man you slay, that is the generals job. You don't know why you slay him. That is a kings job. A Champion is not a warrior though. So who does he answer to, when he must kill? He answers to no-one but himself and his charge, that is the truth of it.
    Nobility was always a confusing word to Almansi, for it both meant to describe men with noble causes, and men with noble blood. Rarely do these definitions come together in one man, and he was no exception. By laws of inheritance, he was nothing but a dressed up man-at-arms, a scimitar with ribbons tied around its hilt that fluttered prettily in the wind while doing its gruesome job. Born of an illegitimate coupling of a Sultan of the name Muhammad and a peasant he never had the privilege to remember, he had neither land from his father nor support from his mothers neighbors. It was four years before his father learned of Almansi, and his father took him up personally when he learned of the child, killing the peasant when she begged to keep the child and tried tearing the young bastard from the Sultans arms. After the killing, Muhammad brought him to his humble fortress, where Almansi was raised among the Sultans many other bastards, raised to be his fathers man and a loyal servant to the reign. Royalty visited Muhammad's holdings quite often, including the Tyrants future wife. Almansi spoke with her quite often, competing for her attention against his numerous half brothers. But such visits were short, and the years were long, and it was quite obvious she would not recognize him from one visit to another. When the Lions descended upon Almansi's country, many Sultans were killed, even his own father, and he was the closest thing to a nobleman left standing, once the dust had cleared. So the war was lost, and he, now twenty two years of age, had been selected to protect the Tyrants trophy wife.
    #3 Jappy, Jul 11, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2013
  4. Sorry, guys. I've been on the road these past couple days. I'll have something up by Sunday night if not tomorrow. Hope I'm not holding up too much!
  5. Ruqayyah ahn Sahar
    One must be smart enough to speak, and wise enough not to.
    When I was taken from my mother seven years ago, I was just a girl. Ten years old, and yet to see my womanhood. My mother's parting gift was poignant, sharp and sweet as a rose. She did not weep, and she did not tell me she loved me. She did not promise prayers or luck, and she did not speak over me. She said only this:
    Qayyah, this you must know -- you are beautiful. This is naught but fact. Many men will have you. Only you can own you.
    I was saved by my youth then. Not in the way you are thinking. My mother was right. I have known many men in my life, but I have given many nothing in return, because womanhood yet eluded me. My birth meant I was raised as half a noble, more a trophy than a daughter. Something to show the visiting sons of lesser nobility, placed for their convenience during the long nights. I was beautiful and broken, a doll that gave no children, and was thus prized, but unworthy.
    But I have learned much.
    A northern child, and kept bastard, Qayyah's quiet nature has given her an almost eerie precociousness. Many have thought her mute and dumb, though she is neither. She instead prefers to save her words for situations she deems most useful. She was born of the northern Sultan and his first wife's handmaiden, hidden for ten years, until her beauty betrayed her. When she was discovered, instead of being killed, the Sultan's first wife claimed the uncommonly beautiful child as her own, and had Qayyah's mother killed. The girl was raised among the nobility, kept on the sidelines until finally, three weeks before her fifteenth nameday, she came into her womanhood. The Sultan sought to sell her off at once, though her unnerving silence was off-putting. ​
    She is a gentle girl, with a soft heart and hard eyes. Her northern blood has lent her pale skin that burns before it bronzes, green eyes, and copper hair. Her upbringing has made her as the willow tree -- she may bend, but she never breaks. She is intelligent for her age, and generally looks for the best in any situation. ​
    The new king is young and headstrong. He is driven by his people, which is noble enough, but neither by his desire nor his gut. I try to tell him he must change if he wishes to venture north. My time spent there was not ill-used. I have met many a northern man. They are hard and cold and sharp as the wind that blows through their lands, and if my new husband means to take them in his way, he will fall.
    I do not love him, but I do not wish to see his blood strewn across the northern lands. This is my home, and I will defend it.
    Ajmal bin Adeola
    Three is a crowd.

    I killed the first boy who told me I loved as a woman loved. I was eleven summers into my youth.
    They have always hated me. It became clear when we were very young that I was to be Thairu's chosen. We were born three days apart and have been together ever since. The others, the ones cast aside for me, soon grew jealous, and it was not long before the teasing started, for I have always known that I loved him, and I never cared to hide it.
    Ajmal is everything a Right Hand should be: he is tall and strong and passionate and loyal. He lacks the discerning mind of his king, but it does not matter, for the Right Hand shares everything, including the thoughts, of his king. Ajmal can be aggressive and impulsive, but, to him, it is all for the best. His lover can be soft at times, too quiet and too kind, and were it night for Ajmal, Thairu might be dead many times over. Ajmal is fiercely protective, both of body and soul, and has not taken kindly to the many new -- and outspoken -- wives of his king. Even his own grandmother has a bit too much tongue for Ajmal's liking. ​
    #5 DotCom, Jul 13, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2013
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  6. Alright, that's done. Please let me know if there's anything to be changed. =)
  7. It looks wonderful. I'm a bit busy at the moment, but I'll happily start us off in a few hours~
  8. According to the Leonine Laws, old as the Tyranny itself, no intact male besides the Tyrant himself could step foot within the walls of the wives' palace. While he enjoyed the days he spent there, it was a trial to be in a place completely barren of other men. To be sure, he enjoyed the companionship of his harem, small though it was, but up until a few short months ago he had never so much as been alone with a woman. Their conversation had a tendency to bore him and the eunuch guards were little better, hardly more than women themselves as far as he was concerned. Ajmal was mocked for loving like a woman, but he talked and jested like a man and was good company.
    The young king was oddly grateful when evening fell and he could leave Savadavarah's arms for the familiar embrace of the stirrups. He had made the decision to take his wives with him to Hadjit; producing an heir was of prime concern and he felt sorry for the three of them, rattling around the enormous wives' palace intended for a many more women. They would be happier in Hadjit, and few enough in number he could keep his eyes on them.
    For right now, though, he had no desire to keep his eyes on anything except the stallion beneath him. Shetan was the name of the blood bay. It meant "devil" and was a fitting name; the red beast had a temper hot as the desert sun and had bitten several fingers off of careless stableboys and was really suited for nothing other than the battlefield, but Thairu loved him dearly and rode him wherever he went. It was a fitting mount for a Tyrant; in fact, no one except the Tyrant could mount him.
    Wheeling the horse around, he rode through the gates to where the escort party was waiting. They had arrived that morning and camped out through the heat of the day. Now that the sun was setting they would continue across the desert in the cool of night, a small caravan for a king but with everything -and everyone- he needed.
    "Fetch me Ajmal and Abdukrahman," The Tyrant ordered a nearby servant. "And be quick about it. I wish to converse with them before we leave."
    First to be ready, as usual, Yamilex prepared for their journey as she had for years. The Wives' Palace was familiar to her as the back of her hand; claiming her old room had been as natural as sunrise. The trip back to civilization would take most of the night, and she did not intend to have a hungry night. At her command slave girls loaded the sedan chair with tea and wine and figs and grapes and sweetmeats; every treat imaginable was set onto the central table.
    The chair was large enough for the three wives and Yamilex was intent on having them all share it; she had little time to talk with the other women so far and wished to get to know them. Rivalry seemed unlikely as the old woman had left her childbearing years behind her long ago, but she did not know if she would care to befriend or support either younger wife. Though she sympathized with Ruqayyah, the woman was so strange and foreign Yamilex wondered if she understood what was going on half the time. Savadavarah was a far better wife in some ways, yet Yamilex did not quite trust the look she sometime saw in the girl's eyes.
    But regardless of whether or not she liked either of them, getting the two to spend the entire journey together ought to be a source of amusement.
    "Fetch the other wives, girl," She commanded one of the slaves. "They are keeping us waiting. I do not wish to travel under sunlight."
  9. Both Ajmal and Ruqayyah could be found doing much the same thing, though one might have different name for either.

    Ajmal was brooding. It was the only word for it. He had been sitting alone by the reflecting pool just off the grounds of the Wives' Palace, sulking, his arakh growing warm over his knees as it absorbed his own body heat and what little warmth remained in the air from the hot day. There was little else for him to do. He was not allowed in the Palace, nor did he have any interest in the old stone building or its pithy contents. He had eyed them each reproachfully as they'd stepped off the litter and into the relative cool of the Palace when they'd first arrived, even the pale-skinned one Thairu had seemed so taken with. The young foreigner had not done well in the heat she found so alien, burning badly on her first day in the sun. Ajmal did not understand what Thairu saw in those women. Ajmal had enjoyed many a woman himself, but they were only that: objects of enjoyment. To be saddled with one every day, as one might be a tiresome horse? He found their words boring and ineffectual; he found their would-be closeness with his king grating. The Right Hand of the Tyrant, and a handsome specimen in his own right, Ajmal could have had any woman in the kingdom, barring his sour attitude.

    But he did not want any woman, and it seemed unfair that three of those creatures could take up so much of the time that he felt he deserved.


    Seventeen-year-old Ruqayyah nodded at the maid who rushed her meekly at the oldest wife's urging. The pale-skinned girl was moving as quickly as she could, but she was still desperately new to this strange world, and she found the heat often left her weak and dizzy as a newborn. She had indeed burned after her first ride in the sun, hideous oozing welts rising up on her skin. At one point, her face had grown so red, and her body so hot, she'd stood to ask for water, and simply fainted away. They'd tried to make an effort to keep her out of the sun, then, but it was done with much sneering, both in cruel amusement and bemused irritation. Qayyah sought some solace in the fact that none of these southerners would last an hour in the cold of her home winter, but that comfort was lost when reality returned -- if she did go north again, the circumstances would not be pleasant.

    When she emerged to the litter, the oldest wife, Yamilex, was already seated, somewhere between noble and haughty. It was clear she was well prepared for the trip, which Qayyah did not know whether to envy or appreciate. Her own-still sensitive skin was covered in a light cloth, meant to keep her both from overheating and burning again, though the latter was less of a concern at night, and she found herself tugging away her head cloth to reveal her strawberry-gold locks. She could not remember whether such things were allowed here, and did not particularly care.

    She nodded a polite greeting to the oldest wife as she took a seat next to her. She did not trust the woman in the slightest. Yamilex was too clever by half, a trait that was impressive and dangerous all at once.
  10. (Ah... shit. My life just disintegrated. I don't think I'll be able to come on anymore, quite sadly. I'm sorry to let you guys down like this.)
  11. Hello, is this RP still active? Please let me know, thank you :)
  12. We appear to have lost an integral part. :/ Looks pretty dead.
  13. thank you for responding so quickly. :)
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