Private Tales Dice Are Rolling, the Knives Are Out

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Jaliah

sweary grandma
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Xaviera I, first of her name, by the Grace of the Gods, of Tyria and its Dominions Queen, was dead.

Whether this was an actual fact or just a political one was a matter hotly contested among the court in Tyria. After all, no body had ever been found. No rumor had ever reached them that the Queen was injured, let alone dead. And in her absence, the formidable Queen Dowager ruled the court and the Council with an iron fist.

But the letters had stop coming. The letters assuring the Queen Dowager of Xaviera's health and survival. The letters that had allowed her to string the Council along, get them to dance to her tune. Her control had been weakening for weeks, but the death knell of her power had come just a week before when the Council had broken with her entirely, overruling her veto and issuing a declaration that Xaviera was dead. It was, she knew, less about Xaviera herself and more about seizing power for their own. Some on the Council had said that she was too friendly with the Empire, too eager to entangle the fate of Tyria with the fate of their god-emperor. The legal murder with which they had dispatched Xaviera was a means to that end: if the monarch was dead and had no children to succeed her, then no regency could survive. A new monarch would be chosen, a new dynasty would sit on the throne of Tyria.

The funeral was a formality, but one that had to be observed.

Jaliah's power would last only as long as the mourning period. She would be lucky to survive a week after. But she had buried a husband and a son and even a daughter-in-law that she hated. She suspected that if Xaviera was alive -- and she desperately hoped that her granddaughter was alive -- she would never speak to the old woman again. Not that Jaliah blamed her. The Queen Dowager had done things in the service of a political vision that made her feel filthy. Allowing her own granddaughter to be kept captive while Jaliah negotiated the delicate relationship between city and empire was the worst and most recent. If Xaviera was dead, it would be Jaliah's fault. Jaliah, who had paid her captors to keep Xaviera out of the way until the vision she had for Tyria was secure.

It was horrible. If there was a hell, surely Jaliah was headed for it.

Yet, she would have done it again in an instant.

Tyria could survive the coming conflagration if only they would be flexible. Unfortunately, flexibility did not come naturally to Tyrians. It never had.

Still, she would be damned if she let the bastards seizing power parade her around like some conquered foreigner. Nor would she be seen to stand by idly and endorse their little schemes. She was packing her things, and would be gone before the end of the funeral games. If the Council wanted to wield her power, they would have to learn quickly.

She was signing a few orders in her quarters in the midst of packing some treasured things -- clothes and jewels and a significant portion of the Tyrian treasury -- when there came a knock to the door. "Oh what the fuck is this now?" she rasped irritably. "Come!" she shouted and continued signing the orders. An aide entered and bowed. "What do you want?"

"Your Majesty, there is a woman here requesting an audience."

"Who? I have nothing on the diary."

The aide handed the Queen Dowager a sealed note. Jaliah sighed softly and broke the seal, looking down at its contents. She read it once, then again, then a third time, then she closed it and finished signing the orders. The aide stood in uncomfortable silence until Jaliah handed the orders over. "See that these are handled right away, and send her in. Now!"

A few moments later the Dowager Queen came face to face with the mysterious note-bearing woman. Never one to beat around the bush, the Queen Dowager held up the note. "What the fuck is the meaning of this cloak and dagger bullshit?"
 
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Noiraeve Talastra

the wheel weaves
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Jaliah, of Tyria and its Dominions Queen Regent, was dead.

This was a political fact, but it was about to be an actual fact, too. Not that Noiraeve Talastra had come all this way to assassinate the old woman. Quite the opposite, in fact. She had been dispatched by the Order to offer her a lifeline. It was unusual to be reaching out to someone so late in life, but the great wheel that wove the fate of all men weaved in a mysterious way. The Seers had not seen fit to identify her as a person of interest to the Order until late in life.

Until now.

"You will forgive, I hope, the clandestine nature of my communications," Noiraeve said as she stepped further into the Queen Dowager's presence chamber. "Perhaps you appreciate the need for secrecy more than most. My name is Noiraeve. I am a High Sorceress in the Arethiin Order. You will not have heard of us," she added hastily when the older woman's face screwed up in confusion, clearly trying to remember if she knew the name.

"You have been identified as someone of significance to our Order. The details have not been provided to me, but will be discussed with you by senior members of the Order should you choose to accompany me back. And I recommend -- highly recommend, in fact -- that you do."
 
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Jaliah

sweary grandma
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Jaliah regarded the woman curiously, her dark eyes tracing over her. Clearly she was not Tyrian or from the surrounding areas. Her accent was difficult to play, or perhaps it was the mythical non-accent. Whatever her voice sounded like, the words she was saying smelled an awful lot like bullshit to Jaliah. "What the fuck are you talking about? I'm supposed to come with you just because you asked?"

The Queen Dowager stood and tugged her wrap around her frame as if against an encroaching chill. "Your 'order' is behind the times, Noiraeve. I have been 'someone of significance' for decades. In fact, you are coming rather late to the party, for my days of significance are rapidly approaching their end. If you people want something, you'll have to ask the next person."

She wanted to express her doubts as to whether this next person would be worth half a good gods-damned but she kept that to herself. "You're free to wait, but -- not here. Forgive me, I have too much to do to babysit some -- whatever the fuck you said you were."
 
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Noiraeve Talastra

the wheel weaves
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Noiraeve had been warned that this might be a particularly tough nut to crack.

"They're taking it away from you, Your Majesty," said Noiraeve softly as she moved closer. "The people don't know it yet, but the Council does. I don't know the details of what you've done to earn their ire -- whether it's just your deeply abrasive personality or your insistence on moving closer to the Empire for protection or the fact that you don't serve in royal politics for as long as you have without making more enemies than friends. But -- they're taking it away from you. And once they do, you won't have a royal title to shield you."

The old woman looked affronted, but Noiraeve continued: "I'm not one for politics, except to the extent that it is necessary, but I assume you know that they won't let you go. You're too dangerous to be left alive. You could rally resistance against them. You could wreak vengeance upon them in the event that your granddaughter lives and returns to reclaim her throne."

Noiraeve finally came to stand in front of Jaliah. "This is the end of a chapter for you, but not the end of the book. Come with me and we can show you how to unlock your potential. We can write the next chapter of your life together."
 

Jaliah

sweary grandma
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Jaliah used every ounce of the patience she had left in her old bones -- and that wasn't a lot -- to stop her face contorting into a mask of fury. Not just fury at being spoken to so frankly by a stranger, but also fury that she was right.

That didn't mean that the old battle-axe was going to make it easy on this Noiraeve person.

"Listen, whoever the fuck you are," said Jaliah irritably. "Don't condescend to me. I was commanding a royal city before you were born. And I don't need some moonfaced outlander to explain Tyiran politics to me. I fucking invented Tyrian politics, and you'd better not forget it."

Jaliah stood and paced away from Noiraeve, going to the window. She could see all the way to the harbor from here. The harbor that had made Tyria the gold in its treasury. The harbor that had made it vulnerable to piracy. That had caused Xaviera's abduction.

"What is this 'order' of yours, anyway?" Jaliah spat over her shoulder. "Orders are ten a penny in this world. What's so godsdamned special about yours? Other than whatever it is is well-connected enough to get your note into the hand of my personal steward. That's not as impressive as you might think."
 

Noiraeve Talastra

the wheel weaves
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Before she even realized she was doing it, Noiraeve was reaching for the reigns of the Power, harnessing the immense energy that ran through the world. She raised her hands to her temples and she immediately felt a cool chill across her head, as if she had splashed cold water over her head. The woman opposite was a pill, to be sure. She was tempted to let it go; in her view the old bat was more trouble than she was worth. And if her understanding of the political situation in Tyria was right, the place was a tinderbox and she didn't want to be caught up in the middle of it.

Perhaps it was time to go.

But -- no. She was on assignment. Her task was to get an answer from Jaliah and to escort her to the tower if the answer was 'yes'.

At least the Queen Dowager seemed to be curious, now. Noiraeve indulged that curiosity. "The Arethiin Order is an ancient organization. We educate those with the ability to touch and manipulate the energy that binds the world together. Magic, some call it. I call it Power." She held a hand out, palm up, and conjured a flame that hovered above her palm.

"I have been trained by them since I was a girl, but it is never too late to begin." The flame became a whirlwind on her palm. "The elders of my Order have sensed your potential and have sent me to invite you to take your place among us."

The whirlwind became a globe of water, rippling and subtly dripping on her palm before Noiraeve manipulated it over to the bowl of desert lotuses floating placidly upon the surface of water, where she allowed it to dissipate in a gentle raindrops.

"So?" Noiraeve asked.
 

Jaliah

sweary grandma
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Jaliah's dark eyes were wide as she watched Noiraeve's display. When she was finished, Jaliah folded her arms. "So?" she echoed Noiraeve's question, her eyes narrowing a little. "So, what?" Apparently the High Sorceress thought her powers of persuasion so compelling that I was meant to just fall into line behind her and march off to gods only knew where.

"Was that supposed to impress me, your little bullshit magic show? I've seen more impressive displays at a child's birthday party," she growled in her own inimitable way..

"Anyway," she said as she crossed the room to peer into the bowl of lotuses. It did not appear any worse for wear as it related to the woman's magical display. "I have never been able to perform magic. Your Order appears to be misinformed about my abilities." Jaliah swirled her finger in the bowl of water, setting the lotus in the middle to spinning. No magical talent. No use to anyone anymore.
 

Noiraeve Talastra

the wheel weaves
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The Queen Dowager was not dealing with the change in her circumstances, and Noiraeve could hardly blame her. It was a hard thing, what was happening to her. Her granddaughter was missing and had just been declared dead by the regency council. Her political life was over and her physical life might well be soon, too.

"Your Majesty," Noiraeve said quietly. "I gather you're not accustomed to being wrong about things, but I assure you that you do have magical talent. I can sense it in you. Let me show you." She reached for Jaliah's hand, pausing before making contact. "May I?"

The Queen Dowager didn't pull away, and her stiff nod was the consent Noriaeve was after. Jaliah wore an amethyst the size of a wrens egg on a golden ring, and Noiraeve turned it around so that the gemstone was on the palm side of her hand. Noiraeve cupped her hand in both of hers.

"If you're about to propose, I'm flattered but I'm afraid I'm not so inclined," the old woman quipped.

"Good to know, but -- no," Noiraeve said. "Now, focus on the stone. You may feel a slight tingling sensation in your fingers. That's normal. Empty your mind, and focus on the stone. Dark and smooth is the surface. Now... " Noiraeve harnessed the Power, focused it into a dim light in the center of the amethyst, a light that grew brighter and brighter until it illuminated both their faces.

"Do you feel it?" Noiraeve asked softly.

"What the fuck..." the old lady breathed.

"You do," said Noiraeve with a smirk. "Now, it's different for everyone, Jaliah. I can't tell you what will be the way you learn to manifest the power. Some of my Order use incantations and gestures, others think of it like channeling an unstoppable force. For me, it is a power that must be harnessed like a wild horse. Or perhaps more appropriately for a seafaring city-state, like the wind."

"It's warm," said Jaliah softly. "Why -- ?"

"You aren't used to touching it," Noiraeve said. "It has nowhere to go unless you do something with it it. It's just energy now, just power. Try to feel what I do. Some can do it intuitively. Just -- be careful. The last thing you want to do is blow up your beautiful ring." Noiraeve harnessed the power, directing it through the older woman's fingers. The gemstone flowed again, bathing the two women in a purple glow. "By the way... if you had no sensitivity to it, you would feel nothing," Noiraeve said over the gemstone, watching Jaliah's face with interest.
 

Jaliah

sweary grandma
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Jaliah did feel something. She felt -- a tingling, a warmth. She watched the stone, trying to empty her mind as Noiaraeve was suggesting. The Queen Dowager could sense this power, something electrifying just beyond her fingertips -- around her but not quite touching her.

The amethyst glowed in her palm, then darkened and glowed again. Each time she could feel this power ebbing and flowing. "I can feel it," she told Noiraeve in a breathless voice. "I don't believe it, but I can feel it. How is it poss -- "

The door banged open and Jaliah flinched away, turning to see her maid standing in the doorway, panting. "What the fuck do you want?" she growled. "Can't you see I'm busy?"

"They -- " the maid panted, putting a hand to her chest. " -- they are coming, Your Majesty."

"Who?" demanded Jaliah.

"The guard captain's men. Coming. To arrest you!" The maid sucked in air. "Resaka gave them your orders instead of taking them to the vizier."

Jaliah's face darkened in rage. "That fucking traitor," she grunted. "You -- go. Get out of here. Don't let them find you." The maid scampered out and Jaliah turned to Noiraeve. "All right, I'm convinced. Get me out of this city alive and I'll go wherever you want."
 

Noiraeve Talastra

the wheel weaves
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Noiraeve looked over at the door when the maid burst in, following the conversation back and forth. When it became apparent what was happening, Noiraeve felt her pulse quicken. Things were about to get sticky. But still, the old lady seemed willing -- finally -- to embrace her destiny. "Take my hand," said Noiraeve. "And swear it."

"What? Don't you trust me?" Jaliah demanded hoarsely.

"It's not a matter of trust," Noiraeve said impatiently. "I am not empowered to use this power except in defense of myself or my Order. You are not one of us, so I cannot use the Power to defend you with deadly force which -- I assume -- we're going to need."

Jaliah grunted. "Bet your ass," she said. Then she put her hand in Noiraeve's outstretched hand. "I swear to join the Arethiin Order."

"Good enough," Noiraeve said. The power that bound her to the vows now bound Jaliah too, whether the old battle-axe knew it or not. She took a hooded cloak and tossed it to the Queen Dowager. "Let's go."

They reached the bottom of the stairs before they were challenged by a trio of guardsmen. "Your Majesty, halt. I am ordered to take you into custody. With force, if necessary."

"Stand aside," Jaliah said firmly. "And let us pass."

The guards advanced and Noiraeve stepped back, throwing her hand back to shield the Queen Dowager. "Gentlemen," the High Sorceress said in as reasonable a tone as she could muster. "Turn around and go back the way you came. Tell no one what you saw. Save your own lives and those of your compatriots."

"Kill her," the lead guardsman said. "Captain wants the old bag, didn't say anything about her."

Noiraeve and Jaliah ducked the first blow and they didn't get a second. Noiraeve flung her hand out, summoning energy from the Power until it crackled at her fingertips. Lightning forked from her palm, and the three went down in convulsions.

"Quickly, Jaliah," Noiraeve said. "We need to get to the docks. We can find passage out of the city. I'm sure we won't make it far on foot."
 

Jaliah

sweary grandma
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Jaliah didn't know whether to be impressed or horrified by the magical display in front of her. The answer, she supposed, hinged on whether the guards were alive or dead.. But still, if they were going to stop the two women from escaping the palace and the city, then the women would need to do what was required. Or rather, Noiraeve would. Jaliah didn't know her ass from her metaphorical elbow where magic was concerned.

"This way," Jaliah said, gesturing towards a doorway.

The younger woman had to dispatch another cluster of guards, then a pair in the courtyard. They had made it to the gate before a ringing gong sounded from above them. As they darted through the gate, a brazier kindled to life in one of the towers. "We need to get out of here," she panted, "before the city guard are roused. I'd say we have about ten minutes."
 

Noiraeve Talastra

the wheel weaves
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Noiraeve had planned to take Jaliah by horse, but it sounded like that wasn't going to happen now. The city was on a harbor, the source of its power and wealth and now perhaps the source of their salvation. "Take us to the harbor -- by back streets, if you please," Noiraeve told Jaliah. She fell into step next to the old woman, but kept her head on a swivel, harnessing the Power to heighten her senses.

"What did you do to get them to come down on you like this?" Noiraeve asked. "I have to say, it's very seldom that I see a Prophecy play out directly in front of me. Fascinating stuff."

The two women darted through the city streets, occasionally ducking into the shadows when guardsman came dashing through. The old woman was flagging; she was not, apparently, accustomed to hustling like this. Noiraeve harnessed the Power, using it to gently soothe the woman's aches and strengthen her lungs. She just needed to last until they found a ship to stow away on.

She hoped against hope that it wasn't too late, that there would be a boat at the docks that was morally flexible enough to take Jaliah and Noiraeve away from Tyria under cover of darkness.
 

Jaliah

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"These fucking people," Jaliah rattled, her voice even more breathless than usual as they hurried across down through the streets of the city. Her city. And these fucking people were trying to kill her. It wasn't enough to ruin her, to cut off her authority, to make her watch as the dynasty she had cultivated for three generations evaporated like so much water in the desert heat. They had to stop her escaping if it meant killing her. "The ingratitude," she thundered at Noiraeve. "The fucking audacity."

The younger woman did not stop, did not slow, did not even make an acknowledgment. Color was rising in her pale features; it seemed that she was winded, but not just from darting through the streets like the old woman was. There seemed to be limits to her powers.

Jaliah knew the feeling.

But the old woman did not need the High Sorceress to commiserate or acknowledge or even hear her. She was furious and she vented her rage. "I attended that viper's baptism," she seethed under her breath, gesturing back towards the palace. "I was her baby's godmother. And she turned on me. Who got her worthless husband a cushy palace job? Oh, he was an alchemist all right, he took gold and turned it into shit with alarming regularity. Those motherfuckers," she exclaimed, very nearly screaming the last two syllables.

They arrived at the docks. The first two ships were flying the flag of Tyria, so the two women moved past to the third. The third did not look like anything Jaliah recognized. "I hope you know what you are doing," she told Noiraeve quietly.
 

Noiraeve Talastra

the wheel weaves
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Noiraeve had forgotten what it was like to harness so much power at once. She was not in danger, really, and she had reserves to spare, but the Power was as addictive as it was useful. Even as she tied off her harnesses, leaving the lingering effects in place, she felt something inside her protest as she let go of it. The energizing flow, the beautiful sensation of the Power left her body, and she missed it.

But it was critical not to overdo it. To leave things for another time, yes, to save her reserves so that she didn't expend all she had with no chance to rest and recover it. Harnessing too much, too excessively, could destroy a Mage from the inside out. All magic came with a price; the price of losing yourself in the Power was to lose yourself to everything.

"Will you shut up before you draw the entire guard down on us?" she finally hissed to the bitter old woman. "When we are safely away, you can scream your rage at the sky or at the sea or at me but until then, hold your tongue if you want to escape this place."

Jaliah raised a challenging eyebrow but said nothing, and Noiraeve led them down the dock toward where they might find a gangplank for this ship. She raised her voice as much as she dared in their precarious situation and called: "Excuse me, is there anyone there? We are looking for passage by sea, and I have the coin to pay for it."
 

Ryder

The Devilish Rapscallion
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The life of a thief was hard.. Well, not truly, it all came rather easily to Ryder, hell he was pretty damn good at it. Tyria was such a pretty city, a shame it was falling into ruin. That meant that brigands were looking to help themselves to the cities wealth.

They'd arrived in the night, scaling the walls and "re-purposing" the guards of the boats on the docks. At least his men did. Half raided noble houses while the other half dealt with the ships in port.

Ryder? Well, he made off with some Ladies massive emerald after possibly gently poisoning her and re-arranging her furniture. She was at least going to recover, just not financially.

Not that Jaliah nor Noiraeve would have noticed, but the guards visible in the ships didn't move. They were already dead and put on display, their ships crippled to make for a hasty escape. The poor owners of this last and final vessel would return to Port after a night of drinking and whoring to find their vessel gone, a pity.

Ryder was just about to kick the gang plank free when two women made their way to the base of it. There were two of his favorite things: a beautiful woman and a beautiful woman willing to pay. A callback to his old life.

"Passage to where?" He would start, pausing as glinting steel caught his eye, guards and spears. He would make a quick hand gesture to his men, and seconds later the sounds of bowstrings snapping could be heard, followed by the grunts of impact. "Such scoundrels to hound such magnificent flowers. Hurry aboard.." he would say, offering a hand to help each of them up the gangplank. ".. we can iron out the details later. For now, your rescue." He would add the last with a grin.

Jaliah Noiraeve Talastra
 
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Noiraeve Talastra

the wheel weaves
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Noiraeve hiked her cloak and clambered up the gangplank. Jaliah gratefully took the proffered hand. When both women were safely aboard the ship, Noiraeve lowered the hood of her cloak and turned back to see more city guards approaching. Now that she could see the city, rising up from the harbor, she could see a few instances of fire, and more movement than there should have been at that hour. The city was in chaos.

The High Sorceress took a glance at Jaliah, and the older woman met her sidelong glance with an amused look of her own. They had happened across a charming rogue, that much was apparent. Noiraeve gave her a reassuring nod before her attention turned back to Ryder. "Your assistance is most appreciated," she said pleasantly. "How fortunate we are that you were there."

It seemed that the Queen Dowager was content to let Noiraeve do the talking; perhaps Noiraeve's luck was holding, or perhaps the old woman was just still out of breath.

"We need passage to whatever city is closest to where you are headed: Elbion, perhaps, or Vel Anir." She didn't mention that what she was really after were the portal stones near enough to those locations. She was about to say more when she spotted a large cadre of guards flooding into the harbor. She spotted three ballistae rolling forward.

"Captain," she said quietly as she drew on the Power, ready to defend the ship. "It's time for us to go."
 
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Ryder

The Devilish Rapscallion
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"Vel Anir it is." Ryder would say as he turned to his men. "Jackdaw, take us out. Stygr, give them a volley." He would say with another grin.

It would be at this point that the ladies would notice a good portion of his men could pass for Nords, the humans who braved the North and the Bear-men.

Jackdaw, or at least the Dwarf who could be presumed to be the man, would take the helm as several men pushed off from the docks. The sails would unfurl and two elves would summon the winds and breathe life into the sails, pushing them forward.

The younger looking human, Stygr would launch another volley of arrows at the guards, felling the men pushing the ballistae. The remaining element of the crew would push their own scorpions into to starboard side of the boat and fire upon the enemy engines, crippling one and destroying another.

"Fear not, my lady. You two are in good hands." He would say with a hearty laugh and a wink. "Captain Ryder, at your service." He said with a flourish and a bow. Some of his men would laugh at the use of Captain, and others manning their scorpions would taunt the guard as they quickly zipped away from the coastline. For open the open seas.
 
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Jaliah

sweary grandma
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Jaliah managed to catch her breath as she watched the exchange between the Captain and Noiraeve. The flamboyant man seemed to think himself very charming, but Jaliah was wary. Charming men were some of the most dangerous, and doubly so when they thought they were charming. She stepped forward and cleared her throat. "Jaliah, Queen Dowager of Tyria," she said, putting a hand to her chest. She did not add 'at your service' for obvious reasons.

She recognized the irony of declaring herself Queen Dowager of a city they were currently fleeing by any means necessary, but she said nothing. Jaliah held herself erect, her gaze coolly leveled at Ryder and Noiraeve Talastra, as if daring either one to contradict her.

"Is there somewhere we can rest that is out of the way? I don't wish to interfere with your crew's work." She also wanted to get out of her cloak, which was extremely heavy, but she didn't wish to bore everyone with the details of her problems.

The negotiations about price she left to Noiraeve; if the woman had gold to pay, Jaliah had no intention of forking out her own. She had little enough to her name to start over with to be frittering it away already.
 
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Ryder

The Devilish Rapscallion
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"We've never the honor of a Queen Dowager before. Consider us all the more willing to aid." He would say with a smile. He did look to Noiraeve, sharing a look. It was cute that the fleeing woman clung to her title.

"You may take my personal quarters for your own during this voyage." Ryder would say before gesturing to one of his men. "Halvdan, here, will guide you to your quarters." The young man was clad in simple leather greaves and leather boots, tattoos covered his shirtless torso and he kept his wild mane of blond hair tied back and out of his face.

"This way, lady." It would seem weird, the pleasantries leaving his lips. But the seemingly Nord man would gesture for her to accompany him before he guided her to the Captains quarters.

Once they were gone, Ryder would look to Noiraeve. "I didn't catch your name, Sorceress."
 

Noiraeve Talastra

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Noiraeve returned Jaliah's uncertain look with a reassuring nod. Nothing would happen to the old woman without Noiraeve knowing. She watched as the Queen Dowager gave the young man an appraising once-over, then settled her hand on his forearm and Jaliah went off with Halvdan. Light illumine that poor boy.

Left more or less alone with the Captain, Noiraeve didn't react to his inquiry at first. She put a hand on the railing and leaned over, watching the port men on the dock shrinking. She heard the sounds of shocked shouting from the other ships. One of the ships' sails came down, another came down only on one side, but soon enough the ships were moving away from the dock. Ryder must have had some sort of mage or mages summoning the wind, because his ship was moving more quickly now.

"Whatever you did to those ships," she commented wryly to the Captain. "They're not letting it stop them. My name is Noiraeve." She turned from the railing and leaned against it, folding her arms over her midsection. "Far be it for me to look a gift horse in the mouth, but I am curious. What were you doing so fortuitously in Tyria when we happened by?"

 
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Ryder

The Devilish Rapscallion
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Ryder followed her to the railing and smiled as he watched the struggling ships. "Bless their hearts, they got nothing but fight in em. They'll need it." He added with a laugh before he leaned against the rail.

"Noiraeve? A beautiful name." It was definitely a unique one.

At her final question, he would smirk. "Oh, you know, raiding." He laughed, as he looked around the vessel briefly, pausing when his gaze fell upon her. "Eh, we heard there was some trouble here. Someone wronged me in the past, I came to rectify that."

Eh, they were on the seas, he was bandit of sorts, they were fugitives. Either way, they were all wanted now.

Noiraeve Talastra | Jaliah
 
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Noiraeve Talastra

the wheel weaves
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Noiraeve folded her arms over her midsection and regarded Captain Ryder with glassy blue eyes. She didn't know whether to believe his answer about raiding Tyria, nor whether she would recommend that he not mention it to Jaliah. It was unclear whether the old battle-ax was truly done with Tyira, or if she just realized that Tyria was done with her. And what could be done could ostensibly be undone. But that was for another time.

"I am sorry to take you away from your business," she told Ryder pleasantly as she turned once more to see the Tyrian ships giving chase. She suspected that the ship they were on -- the name of which she did not yet know -- would outstrip the Tyrians in speed. "If it's more convenient to drop us at the delta of the Baal-Asha river, I'm sure I can arrange transport from there, so you can get back to your -- " She offered an enigmatic smile " -- raiding."

After a beat, she added: "You would still be paid for your services, of course. Unless..." Noiraeve leaned sideways a little, glancing at the man's ears. Some seafaring elves she had come across took great offense to the notion of being paid for services; they preferred to trade gifts: gifts of gold received for gifts of transport given. Noiraeve couldn't tell in this light whether she was dealing with one of the tribe now.

The High Sorceress turned again and put her hand on the railing. "This is a fine ship, Captain. Have you been involved in maritime activities for long?"
 
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Ryder

The Devilish Rapscallion
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He watched with amusement as she tried to decipher the truth of his tale. He was sire there were some other thoughts rumbling about and he could only imagine how entertaining they might be. Had he known, he would have been gravely disinterested.

Her apology got a laugh from him. "Oh no, my dear. My business was concluded and the debt settled." He grinned. "Besides, I am capable of raiding any port i dock at. Vel Anir was decided on and I will get you as close to there as possible."

Then she did the most unusual thing.. she leaned to look at his ears? Maybe she had a fetish for them? If she did, he hoped he had the right ears for the job, he'd try anything twice. "Unless... what?" He would ask, giving her an amused look.

When she abandoned that train of thought, he would look out to the sea. "I spent some time aboard a vessel. This is my own, however.. A recent.. acquisition." That grin returned as he looked back at her.
 

Noiraeve Talastra

the wheel weaves
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31
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Noiraeve folded her arms and nodded at his question. She cleared her throat and explained: "There are a tribe of elves, called the Sea Elves by some, though I think they refer to themselves as mora'drelle -- people of the water in their tongue -- for whom it is a grave insult to put a price on passage of people. They prefer to think of passage on their ship as hospitality, and may accept a gift of gold or some other thing of value in reciprocity of their hospitality."

She shrugged and brushed a strand of hair from her forehead, tucking it up under her cloak.

"All kinds of people, all different colors of thread that make up the tapestry of our world. It is perhaps an odd tradition, an odd set of values, but I think I prefer it to the traditions that value violence and murder." The High Sorceress tossed a look over her shoulder. Contemptuous. "These fools would tear the world apart and for what? Because the old lady down there poses a minuscule perceived threat to their power and wealth. Even though she's clearly not interested. She's running away and they're chasing her. Stupid."

The High Sorceress folded her cloak around her, shivering lightly as she listened to the Captain. "New acquisition, hm?" she asked, her curiosity piqued. "You'll tell me if I should start minding my own business, but I'm curious about you and this sounds like the end of a fascinating story. Care to share?"

Ryder
 
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Ryder

The Devilish Rapscallion
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Sea Elves. Of course those were a thing. Lusty little blue elves no doubt. He offered a teasing smirk. "Perhaps I'll go find some glue and taper by ears to give credence to your thoughts." He would laugh lightly. "I'm sure if you wish to not feel like participants in the skin trade, we can come up to some.. mutually agreeable solution." There was a hint of mischief in his tone.

He would follow her gaze to the fledgling pursuers and even from their distance, she could see the mast collapse on one of them. "Oof.. they really should have checked that one.." his gaze shifted back to the Priestess. "Oh yeah, the lengths these idiots go to catch one person with an acorn sized amount of power. Its laughable."

Noticing her shiver, he would unclasp his own cloak and sling it over her shoulders before fastening the buckle. She would immediately feel a sudden presence of magical warmth. "Here, had that enchanted years ago." He mused.

She wanted to know, and its not like she would be able to collect the reward for him. They were all fugitives now. Plus.. he didn't have to tell the whole truth. There was only a moments thought as he scratched his jaw. "Well.. we arrived by a merchant vessel two towns over and entered the city on foot. I won this vessel in a game of three dragon ante. So.. freshly acquired." He responded with a grin.

Noiraeve Talastra
 
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