The Salvation of Madame Alabaster

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by ShiningMist, Sep 4, 2014.

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  1. "The city seems noisy this morning, Raziel" she said
    "It should be, Madame, today is the day." Raziel said

    There she stood, Madame Alabaster, unofficial queen of the Homs: an icon of power. The Madame stood at five foot three inches, baring her trinkets and makeup as always. Her petite burgundy dress flowed to the floor, a tiny woman wrapped in rich cotton. She stood inside her Estate, watching the city wake up like a king watches his own kingdom from the tallest tower of his castle.

    "Open the doors and attend to the Homs, it should be any moment. I will meet you downstairs at the entrance."

    "No tour, Madame?"

    "We don't have time" she paused "These aren't ambassadors or white-collars either."

    Raziel left the watchtower, his boots creaking the old wood of the attic with every step. The Estate had long awaken before the city, bustling with the smell of breakfast eggs and inked papers fresh off the press. Raziel walked down the grand stair case, leading down tot he front door of the Estate building.

    "Be gentle."

    Butlers surrounded him as they dressed him with his black suit, hotfooting to the courtyard garden.

    "The Madame demands that the gates be opened!"

    Raziel heaved against the main door of the Estate, revealing the courtyard before him.

    A monument to the grand, rich nature of the Estate itself, decorated in whites, golds, deep blacks and reds. The courtyard itself seemed acres, filled with white stone tiles which lead thousands of meters to the fountain of the Madame , halfway between the estate and the gate itself. The goliath-esque marble gates stood infront of the estate, its towering size enough to make one dizzy. The Madame's sense of grandiose stature could almost be disgusting. The golden frame gates slid themselves open to the world, inviting all Homs with the original letter of the Madame to enter.

    Through the gates, shrubs lined the border of the highway that was the courtyard's walk. The marble fountain of the Madame sprung to life.

    "Calm the stampede, the noise of our assembly will scare the Homs!"

    Thousands of the Madame's white knights stomped to the forefront of the courtyard, holding their blades skyward to profess their loyalty to the Madame. Their stomping shook the peaceful Estate in the early morning. Raziel would stand in the center of the gates, in a full black suit, waiting for whoever would accept Madame Alabaster' invitation of service.

    "Now we wait."
    #1 ShiningMist, Sep 4, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2014
  2. He was finally here, after years of gazing at the walled off city he had his ticket inside at long last. As he approached the gate to the city many stopped him; the frequency grew the closer he got to the gate, however for the most part all he had to do is flash the invitation and they let him pass. They were being cautious on a level that bordered paranoia, this Madame Alabaster had to be important to warrant such strict watch. On the same token he felt his own suspicion. Though he walked with a languid pace, his neck and shoulders tightened every time someone passed by or stopped him. The true test began once he approached the guardhouse surrounding the gate.

    He was of course stopped and asked about the nature of his visit to the city, he stated he had an invitation from the Madame, however instead of letting him pass, they stood and stepped forward. They walked slowly, shoulders squared; their hands to their sides and close to their weapons. He didn’t look like someone the Madame would see. Dark hair, dirt covered clothes along with a hooded cloak and mantle. That and the sword on his hip and simple weaponry he looked more like a sell sword than an ambassador.

    They continued to come forward, sizing him up. Abel wasn’t tall, but being only a couple heads shy of six feet, he wasn’t short either and stood his ground. They asked to see the invitation, slowly he handed it over for their scrutiny. A few tense minutes went by like an eternity and he knew there were many eyes on him. If things went south here he wasn’t sure how he would get away, thankfully after some closed deliberation, the men let him pass. He was finally inside the city! He took in the sights, dark amber eyes darting to everything that caught his attention, it was new and beyond all his expectations.

    Only one problem, the letter never explained where to go… The sound of armored feet against stone was his answer. He navigated through the unfamiliar streets, moving closer to the source of the noise and he soon found himself outside towering gates of marble; what must have been a small army had their swords raised to the sky. What an odd ritual, they weren’t challenging the sky to combat where they? How strange. Then his eyes fell on the man in the black suit standing in the gateway. He opened the slightly damaged invitation for what had to have been the millionth time today, showed it to the man, and said.

    “Quite the reception.” His voice was calm, whether he admitted it or not. Abel was weary and nervous but at the same time, excited beyond all reasoning. He reminded himself to remain calm, like he saw this stuff every day, rather than sound afraid or over eager. “I hope I'm not the only one that’s going to show up.” He said, eyes scanning up and down the street behind him.
    #2 Abel O'dell, Sep 4, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2014
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  3. The Estate
    Standing at the monolithic gates of this estate anyone would have seconds thoughts. That was where Astari found herself, standing outside the threshold wondering if this was really a good idea. For any horn that grew up poor this was a huge step to accept an invitation from Madame Alabaster herself. For a Swampee, it went beyond insane into the range of suicidal as far as plans went. The silver lining in all this was that no one knew she was a Swampee.

    Swampee. The horn term for us. She couldn't help glare as she trudged her way toward the estate. The things horns have done to the other races were unforgivable. He hand instinctively tugged at the rounded ear on her skull. She hated hiding her heritage, how her skin had paled and her ears shrunk. Her family had once been a proud race of warriors, to be fair her family was dead... The gleam of the weapons around her bought her out of her revile. She couldn't turn back now, marching onward.

    She soon past the fountain of the Madame, drawing ever closer to the entrance to her Mansion. Another threshold to step through, the real first step to what could be her death or wealth beyond her wildest dreams. Or maybe the first clue to what this women was up too. She paused just a few feet away from the man dressed in black, s scowl still on her mouth she said not a word to the man. Quickly fishing the letter wrapped in gold from her belt pouch she tossed it onto the ground between them. Crossing her arms across her chest she waited for what she could only assume would be the rest of these great horns.

  4. Cyprus the Thief

    "Earthquake? Earthquake!" Cyprus thought

    He felt the wooden floors of the floating marketplace vibrate under his bedding, stuffed in the far corner of the market where the homeless would gather. Lucidel's floating market, the last part of the city to awaken shuddered to life as The Madame's soldiers performed their morning ritual.

    "No, today's the day." he paused

    Cyprus stumbled from the bare market floor, having slept in his attire for the day. He wrinkled his nose. The lung-heavy odor of Lucidel's seafood was a permanent stain on the sea-washed planks of the now empty marketplace. The small talk of fishermen docking their boats, the banter of loud market women and the sound of creaking fleets parked afar in the emerald sea beyond. This was his home, the perfect place to pickpocket travelling salesmen.

    Cyprus tripped up a bit, making suicides back to his sleeping corner. He forgot his dual blades. He hailed on the coming market women, strong workers who were, in his mind, the only of mother-figure he ever had. A thick, stubby and dark-skinned woman walked over with a basket of fresh snappers. Her double chin jiggled from her face, she lived well on her own.

    "Ay! Cyprus! Mornin'!" one yelled "Atleast refresh yourself with some water."

    Buckling his blades to each of his sides, he accepted her water skin.

    "Need to eat more, dont ya?" she paused "Too busy thiefin' people's things!"

    "You know it, ma. Anyways, I'm off to Madame Alabaster!"

    The woman sighed, shaking her head as he ran off with her good waterskin. Cyprus followed the noise of the crowd, approaching the gate while he rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. He dug his blackened nails into his pocket and pulled out the invitation at the gate.

    “I hope I'm not the only one that’s going to show up.” he heard

    "Cyprus" he handed his invitation to the suited man.

    "The less people, the more money." he ignored the boy.

    Raziel arched his eyebrow to the two boys, startled by their appearance. This wasn't the class of Homs the Madame would have wanted. Raziel looked to his feet, the wind pushing a gold parchment to his leather shoes. His icey eyes looked up with disgrace at the lack of class and poise found in these Homs. If he had to survive the grind of the morning, it'd be best if he ignored them for now, and that's what he decided upon.

    "Ruffians." he thought

    "Uh--" he paused "Nevermind, I see. Welcome to the Estate of the Madame. Please wait here and make a line. Our announcements begin soon."

    Taking both the invitations from the boys, he held back his disappointment. Within minutes, thousands of Homs would fill the courtyard and Raziel would wait for the Madame to be ready. The clatter of small talk among adventurers and skilled Homs filled the yard. Raziel stood there silently collecting invitations and the courtyard filled itself to the brim.

    "I hope these aren't the only ones too. "
    #4 ShiningMist, Sep 4, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2014
  5. Fresh from training and drowned in the essence of her warrior spirit, the female samurai soon found herself travelling toward the destination of the Alabaster Estate. Her eyes seemed so focused, so driven, to get to this place and see who it had been which inquired about restarting the empire of Homs. Ren wasn't one to blindly follow, but she did at least have some kind of idea of what she wished to do, for this Madame.

    The sight of the Estate from the nearest hill to the entrance was extraordinary, the samurai's eyes lighting up somewhat as she continued on her way, all of her equipment on, both of her swords on her hip along with the gauntlet welded to her wakizaski. She often put her hand in when it came to draw, and did so with terrifying speed. Regardless of her battle prowess, she was going to see the person who wished to start a revolution, and now, she fronted up to where the gates were - already open, but Homs still flooded on inside.

    She soon passed her invitation to the man known as Raziel, looking him in the eye for a second before he went along to the next person. Ren honestly did feel a little out of place, everyone else didn't seem to be within armour they'd use for battle - though, known the samurai, this was her usual day to day outfit. With a sigh, she merely had to wait for what would happen next.
  6. Abel turned as more people approached behind him, the first didn’t look too happy to be here… Or maybe it was the city? It was hard to tell what exactly warranted her distaste, doesn’t help I have no idea what to look for, he thought. For all he knew it could be the smell of the stables when the wind blew the right way. It was something to be examined more fully later. For now his attention was drawn to another man beside him.

    “The less people, the more money.” Abel narrowed his eyes, on one token that was true, but then again, it would be harder to collect that money if they didn’t accomplish whatever it was they were doing, you can’t give money to the dead. That and where he was from he didn’t have a lot of use for money, he handled it a couple of times at most. His village mostly traded goods for what they had, not purchase them. He brought his eyes back to the man in the suit as he spoke and his invitation was collection.

    Scanning the courtyard he found people were entering by the dozens, whoever this Madam was certainly had a lot of influence to draw this many people. Though to avoid sounding like an idiot, he kept his mouth shut about that. Instead he busied himself by examining the people closest to him, trying to get an idea of their skill sets based on their weapons and an idea of their character by how they acted in a crowd. There was a new woman there now, dawning some kind of half armor with a cloth around her chest, judging by the toning of her exposed muscles; she was no stranger to a fight. He thought it might be a good idea to say something but he was never really good at socializing…

    “The name’s Abel.” He said finally, his tone clear and even. “Figure we may as well learn each other’s names while we have some time. By the look of the gate things aren’t slowing down anytime soon.”
  7. The Madame Appears

    A trumpet the Estate, where Her musicians lined up along the perimeter of the shrubs that decorated the front of the building itself. A churchbell hummed from far off. The crowd of Homs fell silent. The energy in the air was almost tangible with excitement. The Madame was about to appear. The white knights of Lucidel rested their skyward blades, sticking their points into the earth of the courtyard in perfect sync as The Madame's melody complimented the knelling churchbell at the Temple of the Homs. Then Lucidel fell silent.

    "Ladies and gentlemen, the jewel of Center Lucidel, Madame Alabaster." they said

    The chant of the knights echoed away, scaring the nearby crows. The second floor of the Estate held a small balcony, made for dressing occasions like this. Over the fine carved marble balcony, a thick velvet veil unwrapped itself as the petite woman walked forwards. Whipped open, it displayed the name "ALABASTER" in grand italicized cursive. Everything about her property was grand, other than her size. Her burgandy dress draped over her body, decorated in silver jewelry as was the custom of the Lucidel socialites. Her inky gloved hands held themselves as she stepped forwards. She seemed calm, put together and confident. This was the power of Madame Alabaster. Small. Powerful. Confident.

    "Loyal Homs. Welcome to my most humble home." she paused

    Her was powerful for her size.

    "Be made aware. The Alabaster Empire has been resurrected. Today, we begin our rightful reign as masters of Lucidel. You, skilled Homs, have come here by choice. You leave here by fate. Please understand, as an empire to echo the power of the Homs, we require the prime elite of our city. Years we have suffered, blocked off from the world of Lucidel, threatened by the death that laid behind the walls of our own world! Today we demand freedom and power. Today we demand life." she shouted

    The crowd roared with Homs filled with fright and excitement. For years they had understood that beyond the walls laid only death. For centuries they had been closed into the confines of their own city, frightened by the threat of the unknown of Lucidel.

    "You wanted a revolution," she paused "The Alabaster Empire is our revolution. A movement of great Homs. As such, from those Homs I am able to see."

    She scanned the thousands.

    "Abel Aldirc"
    "Cyprus the Thief"
    "Rwendal Yertas"
    "Astari Bitterwind"

    "You must remain, the rest of you, leave. Raziel will guide you to my quarters."
    "May the Wisdom of the Great Homs Guide you."

    The Madame was cold. She left the balcony calmly, showing no emotion as she returned to her estate while she rejected the rest of Lucidel. The rest of the Homs flew into a frenzy. White Knights assmebeled and ushered them out by the dozens through the gates of the estate, crushing some Homs along the way until only the needed Homs were left in Raziel's presence. He waited for them to follow him.

    He sighed.

    "So these really are them then."
    #7 ShiningMist, Sep 5, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2014
  8. A compelling speech
    Though short, (In more ways then one) the speech was a compelling one. It spoke of the grandeur of what a nation could become. It told of hardship but a victory that was worth it. It inspired her but for reasons she did not understand I scared her as well. It took Astari several moments of thought when a single fact washed over her, teh noise of the stampeding homs around her muffled. A single fact that shook the swampee to her core.

    She knew her name....

    This was going way above her head. With dread in her heart she knew that what they were dealing with was a very powerful women. Even as the noise faded and the courtyard emptied except for the trio sanding beside her, she was left staring at where the women once was scared for the first time in a very long time. Standing next to her were powerful warriors. Standing next to her was....

    Astaris nose twitched as she smelled the air. The smell of the city and the homs overwhelmed most things here. The city was full of the creatures; even then her sense of smell was still strong enough to smell him. Her heading whipping around , her body following, she took two steps between me and the one known Abel. her body inches from his, her glare making it known that this was no advance. Before he could step away she leaned forward her head hovering an inch from his ear.

    "Does anyone else know your not a hom?" She whispered making sure that they where the only ones who could hear her words. She did not wait for an awnser, she grabbed his chin and planted a delicate kiss on his cheek, leaning back to shoot the others a sly smile as if the sign of affection was the only thing she was after. Turning on a heel she moved away almost skipping toward the butler. Taking the first step into deeper into the dragons den.
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  9. The hair on the back of Abels neck stood on end as the crowd of people fell silent, some were eager, others were scared, all were giddy, those feelings were so tangible he felt as if he could reach out and touch them. The muscles in his shoulders and neck tensed, his jaw tightened as he narrowed his eyes on the balcony above. Only those close to him or were really observant would be able to tell he was tense, though the latter was unlikely in such a large crowd and the fact that attention was drawn away from him.

    As the petite woman strode into view he clicked his tongue, short, should have known, short people always like to build big things. He thought idly, the speech was as simple as the woman’s stature; however it didn’t have to be long to get the desired effect. Inspiration. It inspired many but he didn’t share their cheer, something about her didn’t sit right with him. He didn’t have long to get his answer. She knew his name, most importantly his last name, despite him not telling it to anyone since he had ventured into this possible death trap.

    Precognition? He wondered, no, oracles were rare and he was sure things would be a lot different here if she could predict the future, in any small amount. Omnipotent then, no, that wasn’t right either. Perhaps she was able to judge people by some kind of magical reading? Get an idea for their potential which also carries their name? He wasn’t sure but that was his best guess. However she had done it, he had to be careful around here until he was able to pin down any abilities the woman might have. For now he had bigger problems.

    The unhappy woman from earlier was much too close for his liking and was leaning in next to his ear, he went to move away when her words stopped him in his tracks. Before he could answer she had grabbed his chin and placed a kiss on his cheek before running off. He was stunned, for about half a second before hot anger flooded through him. Abel glared at her back as she left, as if best deciding where to put a knife, his amber eyes narrowed to slits and he ground his teeth; pointed canines threatened to puncture his lip if he wasn’t careful. His slightly tapered ear burned, hidden under his mass of dark colored hair.

    How did she know? It wasn’t too particularly hard to puzzle together if you thought about it, Aldric wasn’t a terribly common name, it was obvious by his looks that he wasn’t from around here and his amber eyes were unusual at best. He was definitely an outsider but if you put that together with pointed teeth and tapered ears then it wouldn’t be too hard to figure out what he was. Which one was she? Bitterwind or Yertas? How did she come to this decision so suddenly? He didn’t know if she was a hom or had a power similar to the Madams but whatever the case might be, she was dangerous and he had to be careful around her.

    The glare disappeared as fast as it had appeared as Abel reassembled his mental and physical defenses, attuned his senses so he wouldn’t be snuck up on again; replacing his neutral mask he strode forward, folding his arms across his chest. Following the suited man and the long-legged bow-witch he could only question what the hell he had gotten himself into.
  10. A long sigh left the samurai's lips, her eyes widening only a little bit due to her relatively calm state. 'Of the thousands of people here... I was chosen? Only four chosen, as well? How odd...'

    Rwendal was forced to huff as she walked on ahead, past the many people who were being ushered out. She could hear some cries and the like, the sound of many feet pounding into the ground, but alas, she found Raziel and saw three others approach from reasonably different directions. 'Well, if this is the only way to meet this woman, then I'd better take this chance. Who knows, it might even be fun.'

    Awfully calm could be a few word to describe the samurai, usually some people would be nervous beyond all belief. Luckily, her training and sheer precision allowed her to enter this state and think in a logical and rational way at almost all times. The focus within her eyes bore into the butler, but it held no real alignment beyond neutrality. It could be seen that Rwendal was neither friend nor foe.

    Entering the estate, there was only a few minutes until something major were to happen, at least, that is what the samurai thought.
  11. The Madame

    She stood behind the door in plain sight. Her arms, delicately in front of her while her leather hands wrapped themselves together. Two grand pillars were on each side of the hallway, with two great White Knights to each of her sides. She waited impatiently for Raziel to bring the Homs into her presence, although her face would say otherwise. The doors shut themselves once they all came in, echoing the hallways as though Madame Alabaster had closed them with her mind.

    "Welcome to my home, this is where your journey begins." she paused "You don't need to introduce yourselves to me, you see, I've been following you for quite a while already."

    "You Homs will form a task-force. You'll be getting something very important."
    "Raziel, hand them the paper."

    Raziel circled around the group , pulling out folded pieces of golden parchments bound in leather straps to each of the Homs.

    "Count yourselves blessed to be a part of my mission. If you agree to my conditions, you will have whatever my power possesses to aid you on your'e journey, so don't be afraid.

    The contract was forged of Blessed Ether, the golden edges of the parchment would cut the finger of its holder to sign the blood contract. Madame Alabaster had made this idea herself, to force Homs into a soul-binding contract to enter her armies like Raziel and the White Knights.

    "This parchment is signature of the House of Alabaster, present it to whoever may ask."
    "The Sage in the Temple of the Great Homs will be you're guide."

    Madame Alabster held her head as she slouched a bit, breaking her composition. Raziel would wait for the parchment to interact while the Madame was escorted by a few Maids that happened around the Estate at the time.

    "Raziel take them away and aid them."
    "I'm tired."
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