Fate - First Reply For Your Sloth.

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Vittorio

Gaia's Executioner
Dreadlords
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"I was nothing but a rag to you, weren't I? Just as the remainder of the initiative sees me."

"You were so much to me, Vittorio. And you failed me time and time again. So much talent squandered on fraternization with our enemies. On your own wanderlust rather than your duties. Your oath."

"One I was forced into."


Himmary slammed her fist on the table between them. She was forcing tears to stay in her eyes.

"We all were. You are just one of the ones that can't see why we need our camaraderie. Why we need each other. Without our peers we do not survive. It's either this, or they execute you Vittorio. Goodbye."

Himmary stood up and walked out, slamming the door behind her. Muffled crying flooding into the room. So unfortunate it didn't move him whatsoever. He sat there in his entire get up as stoic as he ever was awaiting what was to come. Tossed aside by his only mentor for his prior behavior.

His loyalty would eventually return to Sirl, but to stone he was to be assigned a much more harsh mentor. One calloused and unwilling to waiver.

He tapped his fingers on the table awaiting their arrival. Bored to tears.
 

Ania

What’s real?
Dreadlords
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In the past it was made very clear that she would never be allowed to be a mentor. She was too reckless. Too impulsive. Too violent. It had been explained to her, on numerous occasions in fact, that a mentorship was a serious endeavor and that while her loyalty to Anirian values was unquestionable her ability to bring others into the fold was… lackluster.

So when it was revealed to her by the academy that she’d be serving as a mentor a rush of excitement overwhelmed the pale girl’s features. That feeling didn’t last particularly long though. Why now? What had happened? Was it because Ania had shown an incredible effort and had a near blemishless service record? Or was there something… else…

”Why me? Why now?” the freckled dreadlord questioned.

The thin statured, gray haired, proctor raised a thick eyebrow. Questions weren’t something he was accustomed to. Regardless, it wouldn’t hurt to answer the eager woman before him. There actually was a reason she was chosen to mentor the wayward apprentice. “He’s stubborn. His last mentor couldn’t sway him. His name is Vittorio. You were chosen because he may very well be unteachable until he is broken. And, unless I’m mistaken, there aren’t many dreadlords better at breaking someone than yourself.”

Ania gulped. As soon as the word, “broken,” had escaped the proctor’s lips her mouth had begun salivating. The intensity eventually overcame her and forced her to take a deep swallow. ”Yeah, I get it. You’ve made an excellent choice proctor.” A wide smile formed across her porcelain face as she turned on her heel and walked out of the office.




She passed a distraught Himmary on her way across the grounds. Winding and weaving through a few class demonstrations as well as a criss-cross of wooden walkways designed on purpose to be confusing so that new pupils never truly felt ‘comfortable’ here. Eventually she arrived at the shack where Vittorio was to be waiting. She breathed in a deep supply of oxygen before exhaling it. Ania was going to enjoy this.

The door knob twisted slowly and she allowed the wooden door’s hinges to slowly creak as she waltzed forward in a deliberate step. Her lips were still pressed upwards in a beaming face of joy at the upcoming prospect of mentorship.

”Hello,” she said, barely holding back her glee, ”I’ve been told that you’re in need of a firm hand. A proper mentorship. Let’s begin with an explanation. Why did your last mentor fail you?”
 
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Vittorio

Gaia's Executioner
Dreadlords
Messages
50
Character Biography
Link
Ania would have been informed of a couple things about Vittorio if she did not already know. That he was one in the council meetings rejecting the idea of killing elves. That he and a Dreadlord known as Ademar held great hatred for one another. That he had been caught in the Falwood often fraternizing with elves out of uniform by Himmary herself. And that more than once he'd turned his back on his brothers and sisters in the initiative.

Vittorio looked at Ania from beneath his skull mask without a change in expression from his boredom. He'd met her vicariously several times but they'd never spoken directly. It seemed she didn't even remember him. Good. He wanted to be less than a blip on everyone's radar.

He leaned backwards and sighed deeply. He felt bad for Himmary, she was the only one who would have given him so many chances.

"Himmary didn't fail anyone. The Dreadlords have nothing that interest me. No task, no person. I find myself most at ease in the wild. Humans just... Tire me."

He didn't sound rude or problematic just, uninterested as he stated. As if all the teachings never stuck.
 
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Ania

What’s real?
Dreadlords
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Her first encounter with her pupil was proving to be a disappointment. He looked familiar. But her memory had been foggy lately, she couldn't quite place where she had seen the pupil before. Was he present for the decimations that Lady Elise had ordered? She couldn’t recall.

Regardless, his expression of boredom and disinterest were beyond rude. Beyond unexceptable.

"Wrong answer," she said as she slammed the door shut behind her. "Your former mentor failed you. She was weak. Impotent. She couldn’t grab your interest, show you why humans are superior to the other beasts that walk this world.”

A smirk crept across Ania’s face, painting the rest of her features in a sly expression. She wanted to hurt this apprentice, send him into a delusion of horror until he cried out to follow her every beck and call. But she knew that wouldn’t work no matter how grand it would feel. All of her past tormentees had been those she intended to kill.

If you wanted to win hearts and minds you did so with words and gestures. Not torture and pain. Or, at least, you didn’t start with torture and pain.
 

Vittorio

Gaia's Executioner
Dreadlords
Messages
50
Character Biography
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His eyes looked forward through his mask as she slammed the door with her condescending words about his prior mentor.

He let out an exhausted sigh and leaned forward, rubbing the top of his deer skull.

"You hardly look dense to me, friend. Whatever brain washing has led you to believe humans of all people are the greatest beings in existence must have really been powerful."

He rests his head on his hand staring basically through Ania. Thinking of all the other things he could be doing. Her existence not seeming like anything but a nuisance to Vittorio.

"I guess there's been concerns about my inability to rank up. It doesn't bother me being an apprentice though. Less people confront me that way. Until now."

Vittorio rests his head flat on the table.

"What do you plan to do to rectify that, chosen mentor?" He asks sarcastically.
 
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Ania

What’s real?
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Now it made sense. Why they constantly told her that she would never be a mentor. She didn't have the patience for this. If her pupil couldn't see the obvious superiority of humans was there any hope for him here in Vel Anir? Did she really need to convince him of the absolute basics of this world?

"Brain washing? Don't be crazy. It's plain to see. Might makes right in this world and humans are clearly the most mighty of races. Who else could have built the greatness of Vel Anir?"

Ania did not wait for her pupil's answer. No, instead she addressed his other points. "You will strive to increase your ranking from today onwards. I will not see you remain an apprentice for much longer. We will rectify your insubordination and laziness through tried and true Anirian methods."

She smiled gleefully enough that it ripped in two and revealed her teeth. The prospect of going out into the field and dolling out some punishment on the border areas almost always made the young woman giddy. Plenty of elves and half-elves called the edge of the Falwood their home. They'd farm just outside the boundary of the forest, in the no-man's land that wasn't quite the Falwood but also wasn't quite Anirian territory.

"You're going to help me clean up some filth. And if you refuse I'll make you feel pain as you've never felt it before."
 
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Vittorio

Gaia's Executioner
Dreadlords
Messages
50
Character Biography
Link
How deranged were his superiors? This is the kind of person they believed could "fix" him? From day one the entire initiative seemed like a joke. All the Dreadlords were was a group of magically inclined arrogant infants. Their belief of superiority born from nothing more than the shackles of ignorance binding them to look away from the outside world.

They'd look to the Spine and say they were superior? They'd look to the dragons and speak the same regurgitated garbage? It was sad.

Vittorio had no intention of cleaning up whatever her definition of filth was. She could choke on her own prejudice for all he cared.

"I'm curious." He spoke half heatedly. "As to how you plan on getting me out of this chair to begin with."

Words meant nothing to him. She would act on her threats or be nothing more than an irritant.
 
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Ania

What’s real?
Dreadlords
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Insolence. How had his previous mentor lasted an hour with this guy?

”We have a group of squatters. Elves mostly, a few halfsies, plopped right on Anirian soil by the Falwood,” Ania explained, glossing over Vittorio’s lack of enthusiasm.

It wasn’t a dreadlord’s place to think. They took orders and they followed. She’d met plenty who tried to complicate matters with pathetic notions such as logic, politicking, or emotion. The dreadlords were the blade that the all-knowing great houses wielded. Blades don’t question orders. Blades don’t think about morality.

Ania grinned, ”you’ll get out of that chair and carry out your duty or I will make you.” Her eyes glowed lightly. She had hoped to avoid magic, to receive compliance purely based on hierarchy of command. But, if that notion proved foolish she had no problem with introducing her pupil to a world of pain.
 
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Vittorio

Gaia's Executioner
Dreadlords
Messages
50
Character Biography
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Vittorio always struggled with the back and forth on lashing out at his fellow Dreadlords. He didn't know of Ania's magic so it would be foolish of him to attempt a coup. If he succeeded though he might just be able to live the rest of his days out of uniform in the Falwood, should the elves let him.

Probably his most terrifying feature was that he wasn't an apprentice out of lack of ability. Just lack of trying. But he was just a spear. There were many a magic that could throw him to the wolves.

He could continue his act as he always had. Go out, do the bare minimum, get back to his plants. But he was so tired of all of it. He wanted to see why he should even care.

"So now you're deaf, too?" He stated plainly. "I just asked on how you plan to do so."
 
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Ania

What’s real?
Dreadlords
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Rage and fury burned in Ania's eyes. Who did this fool think he was?

She had read his dossier, she had been informed of his transgressions, and she had naively believed simple words and actions could change his mind. She believed that this interaction would have gone better. That she could've proven to her superiors that she was competent enough to serve as a mentor despite their reservations.

That she was more than just a hammer meant to break and bend those, by force, to the will of Vel Anir.

"I won't tell you," she said with a smirk, "I'll show you."

Vittorio would find himself in the forest staring at Ania, sitting upon a stump. In an instant the forest would be lit ablaze. The screams of elves from all directions. Branches falling as centuries old trees were succumbing to the ash and flame. Ania's grin grew as the intensity of the fire did. As Vittorio was allowed to witness the supersonic yelps of dying vegetation.

And the heat. He may or may not have realized that it was all an illusion but the heat he could feel. Pain was simply a matter of perception and it was Ania's talent to manipulate those perceptions. She broke her wide smile to offer to Vittorio a simple instruction, "stand up. Now. Or I'll allow you to feel what it's like to be engulfed in flames."
 

Vittorio

Gaia's Executioner
Dreadlords
Messages
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He was as prepared as he could have been for this. Whatever wall of magic she could throw at him he had readied himself the best he could. Vittorio did not anticipate a vision. The illusions of the horrible things he'd been a part of.

It wasn't the elves screaming he hated. Nor the lick of flame. There was worse. The animals. The creatures who had no sense of what war was. A reminder of how his parents did away with his childhood friend as if they were some subspecies.

He didn't make much noise. Though the signs of his discomfort were there. Clenched fists. Shakey breath. Itching where there was no itch. He hated this.

"Please stop." He spoke toneless as he shot straight out of his chair. His discomfort visibly increasing.
 
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Ania

What’s real?
Dreadlords
Messages
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Her charge jolted from his seat. Perhaps she had gone too far for a first time?

Immediately the forest vanished, the fires ceased, and Ania's grin shifted. Her face of joy turned to a face of stone. She cleared her throat and paced in front of the pupil.

"Good," she finally said while still pacing, "so you do know how to listen." She stopped walking back and forth and crossed both arms in front of her chest. Her head cocked as she looked the boy up and down.

He was near enough to her own age. Yet still so naïve, still so unrefined for an apprentice. By the time Ania was sixteen she was following out her proctor's orders to torment some of the other dreadlords in training. She'd already known that Vel Anir was faultless. Her devotion had already become unwavering. But this one? Such a strong belief that all of the obvious facts of the universe were wrong. It was bizarre.

Ania's neck bent as she tilted her head to one side, "I'll spare you any future such visions so long as you accompany me. So long as you carry out our orders. Two elven families and a half-elf couple who are squatting, illegally, on the edge of the Falwood." She rubbed her chin, faking contemplation, "originally I had intended on just killing them. For your sake, we'll just demand they leave and destroy their property afterwards. If they refuse though I must know that you won't hesitate," she made a cutting motion with her thumb across her own neck, "to end them."
 
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Vittorio

Gaia's Executioner
Dreadlords
Messages
50
Character Biography
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It wasn't as if Vittorio hadn't killed elves before. It just didn't make sense as to what the hatred between Anirians and the Falwood. He adored their culture, and loved the forest. And the lines between their properties were so muddled. He felt that Vel Anir often times exaggerated how far their reach spread.

He was glad to have his sneer and scowl hid beneath his skull mask. That vision did a number on him. For someone who hardly expressed emotion the sight of animal cruelty always made him buckle.

But, he didn't want to die. He had to listen. Kill to survive. It's how it always went.

"Fine." He spoke. "No hesitation. You have my word. I'll do what I must." He knew he didn't have the leeway he did with Himmary.

Ania was far less humane than her.
 
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Ania

What’s real?
Dreadlords
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Vittorio's mask was beginning to prove an annooyance. His voice was calm enough, seemed honest, but without the accompaniment of facial features it made reading him impossible. There was body language, sure, and that was tense. But she couldn't help but wonder if there was ire hidden behind that skull he wore. If he was mouthing a curse at her and the whole of Vel Anir.

"Good. There may yet be hope for you," she announced with a healthy dose of satisfaction in herself.

They were usually younger when they learned the lesson. That Anirians had to do this. If they didn't show a strong hand they'd get overrun by outside influences or from inside the nation by lowborn commoners with lofty ideas. Surely Vittorio would see things for how they really were soon enough.

Ania placed one hand on her saber and nodded at her pupil, "if you're ready, we'll make our way there. It's outside of the forest but close enough that we should still be on guard."

The eviction itself would be simple enough. She guessed that they'd flee upon request, elves were naturally cowards. Though part of her hoped they wouldn't. She began to fantasize of the prospect of Vittorio using his nature magic to kill an elf with the very thing they held sacred.