Open Chronicles Four Funerals and a Ball

Noelani

Seawitch
The Empire
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88
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"Well that as a little uncomfortable..." Lani said more to herself than Mago and Navithi, her lips pressing into a thin line that drained the colour from them for the barest of moments as she tracked their movements across the room. She had heard, of course, about the two having a sparring match and in truth she had hoped it would ease the tensions between them a little. Alas it seemed it would take more than throwing one another round a room to undo the hurts there. Her teeth sunk into her bottom lip as she thought on the matter the barest of seconds more before turning her deep brown eyes to Mago and banishing her concerns entirely.

She released her lips and turned them upwards into a beautiful smile. It was like seeing the sun come out from behind a darkening storm cloud. She held out her hand towards him in the same movement she canted her head towards the dance floor.

"If you don't mind me stealing him, Navithi, I would love to have this dance Mago."
 

Mambo

Witch Doctor
Member
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9
Mambo would shamble into the palace, a large totem, as big as the equally large orc, resting on his back. He scanned the ballroom with curious, yet wary eyes. The orc heard of the ball from some angry groaning of guards who were in the market square. They spoke about a large ball that is happening at the palace and how they would rather be posted there. Mambo, although originally in the Forbidden City for purchacing desert herbs from the market, supposed that he had the time to go to the ball. it was nearing sunset anyway, and he didn't want to travel back at night. With a deep breath, he trudges inwards, unknowingly leaving sandal marks on the clean floor.
 

Kailyn

Special K
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205
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"Women of power?" Her lips twitched with amusement.

If only he know how little power she had. How she'd grown up. Even now...

She stared at him a moment longer because she couldn't shake the feeling she'd seen him before. Eyes widened a fraction as her mind found the recognition. "The arena," she breathed finally. "I think I saw you one day in the arena." A frown along her rosy lips.

"I don't usually go," she felt like she had to explain herself.

"Not that I'm putting down what you do I just...don't like watching violence." A gentle clear of her throat. "I've seen it too much already."

Head dipped to the large being.

"But where are my manners? I'm Kailyn. Please forgive me for not remembering yours." Her hand extended between them, waiting for his large clawed hand to take her own.
 

Mago Matahari

Prince of Annuakat
The Empire
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17
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"Indeed," Mago responded in kind to Noelani. Uncomfortable was perhaps not the word he would have chosen, but the Prince certainly wasn't going to make the business of the Emperor and anyone else his own. Not unless it had to do with chariots, horses, or wheat.

"Not at all," Navithi beamed at the Princess, "he's well overdue for a dance. I'll return to my husband and see if I can't find your missing son."

A heavy brow lofted at his sister-in-law, watching her wander off with a wink and his youngest son babbling after the magical water bubble. A gruff rumble of thought emerged somewhere in between. Tilting to give Noelani a warm appraisal, he offered the woman his arm and lead her out to the dance floor. There they joined in with the myriad other couples currently twirling in tune to the music.

"You are a Sorceress then?" Mago remarked, "Is that power endemic of your people?"
 

Fieravene

Pragmatic Woman
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393
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"It was one arrow," he said, causing the room to turn and look at him "through the eye."
In spite of the awestruck silence caused by the Emperor's own dramatic entrance just prior and her personal, bristling irritation with the man, Medja brushed right past him and into the lounge proper. Unceremoniously, the Vizier handed Fieravene a fresh glass of wine, planted a kiss on her lips, then glided gracefully into her lap.

"Yes, please, Fiera," She quipped with a simpering glance at Gerra, pausing to take a long drink deeply from her own glass. "I think we all want to hear how you saved the Emperor's skin from the terrible beast."
Fiera's gaze panned from the tallest man in the room to the woman depositing herself onto her lap and the fresh glass of wine in her hand. Like magic she had companionship and wine, all without lifting a finger. The elf immediately smugged. Passing off the hookah wand to the wife at her left, Fi's free hand found itself rather comfortably at the swell of Medja's bare hip.

"One arrow?" the wife stated incredulously, "How would you know, you were sleeping with the fishes according to everyone else?"

"With the gators," Fiera corrected, fixing Gerra with a languid smirk, "but he's correct. It was one arrow, through the eye. Now," a balancing act of lap-Vizier and full wineglass played out for a moment as she took a drink - "oh that is very good, well done darling," murmured to Medja before turning her attention back to the gathering at large, "perhaps the good Emperor would like to start us off with the introduction of our foul riverbeast. Tell them why we were there, seeking out its hide, hm? Every story deserves a proper work-up."
 

Mambo

Witch Doctor
Member
Messages
9
Mambo, although lured to the sight of the large table filled with food, advised himself not to, he was an outsider to the city after all. He scans the area once more and notices a room off shooting from the main ballroom. He observes a trail of smoke flowing outside of it, curiosity overtaking him, he begins to shamble unknowingly over to the hooka lounge.
As the orc made his way over, the totem strapped on his back would bump into the large reptilian man, Raz El'Sadaaweh. As Mambo realized what happened, he pivots on his feet and lets out in his deep, orcish accented voice apologetically, "Oh, my apologies, sir! I did not see where I was going."
 

Raz El'Sadaaweh

Warring Son
Member
Messages
13
I watched her face pass through several changes in a short time and began to question whether or not she had bumped her small head harder than it seemed. Her eyes like golden sunlight passed through amber glass looked at me like she was trying to discover some secret.

Then she spoke, and spoke some more, and she continued, still talking. I ran my tongue along pebbled lips and reached out to pat her on the head.

"It's alright sorceress." I told her to try and ease her addled mind, "Most mammals tend to over share."

I raised my brows and sissed in amusement, before I thought better of laughing at the rich. What a charmed life she must lead to not realize violence was the difference between survival and death on the dunes.

"I am Raaoooof." I had nearly gotten my name out when something larger than the sprite sized woman bumped me from the other direction this time.

It was a non human, but definitely mammalian. I could tell, I was most definitely to big to be standing in the open.

"It is fine." I said despite the fact two free persons had apologized in the matter of minutes, "I don't make a very good statue it seems. I better find a place to be out of the way. Excuse me, lord and lady."

Turned in a direction, any direction and began walking toward an empty cushion to seat my over sized frame on. What was I thinking coming here?
Kailyn
Mambo
 
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Mambo

Witch Doctor
Member
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9
Mambo scratched his long, white beard worryingly, did he make the reptile angry in some way? He hopes he didn't, he came to make friends not enemies. He sighs as Raz El'Sadaaweh made his departure as the emerald skinned orc looks to Kailyn, opening his mouth to speak.

"So, what did I walk into this time?" The large orc chuckles to Kailyn half seriously, a gilt of worry in his eyes. He hopes he didn't run into someone important, he thinks as he straightens the totem pole on his back.
 

Uvogin

Captain of the Immortals
The Empire
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251
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"People like us don't need to maintain appearances," Uvogin rubbed his eyes and wearily smiled at Nymeasha, "but you should try to have fun."

He shook his head at her question, "No, I'm here for... well... I'm not quite sure."

Uvogin swirled his wine and thought of drinking from the glass, but opted not to.

"I think I'll wander about. Find me later." With that, he smiled again and parted with the Princess.

The Immortal aimlessly circled the ballroom, stopping outside of the hookah lounge for a moment. Voices, some familiar, some not, drew him in. Uvogin, without announcing his presence, sat nearby and listened to the story unfold.
 

Nymeasha

Royal Highness
The Empire
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231
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A small smirk tugged at Nym's lips as she looked out over the dancing guests and gave a brief nod at Uvogin's words.. "As should you.." she commented and glanced over his face with amusement.. A warm smile and a more formal dip of her chin was offered in parting as he left and she sighed quietly. Her skin crawled with the discomfort she felt, that vulnerability she imagined from being out in the open without hood or scarf, without weapon in case the mood struck her to attempt to assassinate Gerra for a second time.

She smiled to herself as she caught sight of Lani dancing with Prince Mago, unable to resist that brief wave of jealousy as sisters tended to have now and then. Noelani was born for the sort of life where these soirees were normal, she could enjoy them, be carefree and dance. Nym quietly wished she'd wandered the gardens instead.

A passing server paused to allow her to swap her empty glass for another, and her paranoia slowly kicked in along with the wine as the man's gaze lingered a little longer than necessary. She caught another glance of a passing couple, and another.. Was everyone staring at her? She was sure she heard her name, her last name, the one she'd prefer people would forget. More glances. More chatter that seemed to grow louder until she couldn't hear the music anymore. Her chest tightened and suddenly breathing was more difficult.. Was it the wine? Best down another glass, just to be certain.

Air..

The princess shouldered through the crowd, caring not a bit who was unceremoniously nudged out of her way. Another drink was acquired on the way, this time something stronger that smelled of honey. She hated honey, but she drank it never-the-less.

Finally the cool evening air enveloped her and she dragged it into her lungs as she stepped outside and reached the balcony. With her latest drink drained, she slammed the empty vessel down and splayed her hands out on the cold marble, arms locking and head falling below her shoulders as she breathed deeply and slowly calmed herself. The loud, pounding heartbeat in her ears died away and she lifted a hand to her head to try and slow the spinning.

It wasn't until she had sat down and swung her bare feet up onto the balcony that she noticed the man sitting at the table alone. Ashuanar. She remembered him from Gerra's court, of course, but she'd never officially met the man, not did she assume he'd have any wish to speak with her, and so her gaze wandered out over the city and she draped her arms over her knees as she settled back against the column.
 

Kailyn

Special K
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205
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Kailyn frowned as Raooooof quickly retreated. Even with that pat to her head. Quick for a large, hulking dragon-lizard-man. There was a small shake of her head as he insisted on the lord and lady title. Her gaze dipped up to the large orc.

Did she attract large beings?

A small quirk of the corner of her mouth at the thought.

"That is the great Raoooof of the arena. Perhaps you should go ask him. If you'll excuse me," she dipped her head and headed toward the refreshment table. For better or worse, most likely worse, she needed a glass of wine.
 

Ashuanar

Vizier of the Imperial Army
The Empire
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He'd been sitting there in thought well long enough to become thoroughly lost, so much so that when Nymeasha had made her way out it wasn't until she'd slammed her drink down that he noticed her. It almost startled him he'd been so far removed. He turned his distant gaze in and to her as she sat, and when her eyes met his it was clear she too had thought herself alone out here.

He thought it appropriate to stand and greet her, but... refrained. He had little patience for any formalities as of late, and besides, that moment had passed. So instead he turned his eyes out also over the city once again, still well and beautifully lit.

"I've always found Annuakat to shine more brilliantly at night. Sometimes, I wonder if it ever sleeps."

 

Noelani

Seawitch
The Empire
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88
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Straight to the point then.

Lani slid one hand onto the mans broad shoulder and the other into his warm hand and threw him a lazy smile as she decided how best to answer his question. Sorceress was not a term her people used but she had heard it amongst the landlocked before to describe witches and other spellcasters. It was enough for her to know it wasn't quite right for what she was but then it was a hard thing to describe to anyone not of the Isles.

Despite Mago apparently being long overdue for a dance Noe found she had at least been gifted with a talented partner.

"In a manner of speaking," the Princess began slowly, her lips pressing together for the briefest of moments as she pondered on her next words. "It is said that our people are not wholly human, but were descended from a being of the Sea. That is why this magic runs in all of us. Everyone has the potential to unlock it but some show more skill and aptitude towards it than others and they become Seawitches."
 

Mambo

Witch Doctor
Member
Messages
9
Mambo keeps his sapphire eyes on Kailyn as she departs to the beverage table and sighs heavily as another person leaves him all alone on the ballroom floor. With a disappointed expression on his face, he trudges onward to the hookah lounge, keeping track of where he is walking to not bump into anyone else.

As he entered the hookah lounge, the first thing he spots in the room was not the vibrant decorations, wrapping smoke, or exotic drugs, it is the colossal, fiery man in the room. Mambo, although seeing some outlandish things in the Bayou, has never seen such a sight. A mixture of fear and awe simply made him stand still in his place, simply staring the fiery being with a befuddled gaze.

Gerra
 

Nymeasha

Royal Highness
The Empire
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231
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Green eyes with the soft hue of jade wandered across the vast city and it's myriad of flickering torch lights that seemed to reflect on the inky black sky above. The breeze was pleasant as it gently blew the loose strands of dark hair from her face, carrying with it the scents of flora that perfumed the verdant city and cleaned it's air, making for a far easier breath than the dry heat of Ragash ever offered.

"Hm.." Nym answered distantly with a slow nod.

She found herself considering the nobles who had claimed these sights before her, and the half-giant who now occupied it's throne. The blood that had been spilt here just as it had been in her own home. She turned to look at the man now speaking with her, a man responsible for the butchering of countless men and women..

She was glad he refrained from the formalities, she didn't much care for them either and had quickly lost the patience required to make the effort. Nym considered him silently for a moment, not bothering to hide the fact that she was studying him intently before she drew in a breath and huffed it slowly back out.

"Indeed a pretty jewel he took for himself.." she commented with a dry smirk, her charcoaled eyes narrowing slightly.. She returned her gaze to the city and let her head fall back on the pillar.

"Not enjoying the festivities, Vizier?.." she asked lazily, the wine taking a pleasant effect now that the fresh air had hit her.

Ashuanar
 
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Ashuanar

Vizier of the Imperial Army
The Empire
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He sipped from his own drink, which he had been nursing for some time, "on the contrary. It has everyone else preoccupied."

One sorceress in particular came to mind. He knew she was still somewhat reeling from the events that had led to this very ball, but no doubt the company it allowed would be therapeutic. He himself however, always had trouble with gatherings such as these, and he too had been through his share of trial. Since the time of Nak'Ehim's betrayal his journey had been long - and with the finality of the darkness' reclamation at the hands of Fieravene, within, he was left scarred. And with all the turmoil as of late, he had been afforded little time of his own, until now.

"And the dance has allowed me a time of quiet... not that your presence is unwelcome.

Tell me, how have you found the hospitality of our dear emperor."


It might seem strange. Ashuanar had always been regarded as one of Gerra's most faithful servants, sometimes even being described as a zealot for his glory. But, when he spoke of the emperor this night, there was a hint of sarcasm in his voice - almost scorn.

 

Nymeasha

Royal Highness
The Empire
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231
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Full lips twisted and a slender brow arched at his words and she gave another slow nod.. "That is true.." she huffed a quiet laugh to herself and let her head roll to look over him again as he commented on her presence..

"Isn't it?.." she asked with a tone of both uncertainty and amusement. Whether she was or was not wanted here made no difference, she was here now and would remain so until she felt like moving from her perch.

The tone in the Vizier's question as well as the question itself was somewhat unexpected however it didn't take a genius to work out what had irked the man. Nym was not one to hide her ill feelings either, the Emperor was fully aware that Nym had no love for him, she'd told him such herself on several occasions. And so she grinned and gave a musical chuckle.. "Oh Gerra is always hospitable. He has a way of making you feel at home after he's ripped your own out from under you.." she grinned and let her bare foot dangle from the balcony, swinging it slowly back and forth, the poked image of a coiled viper visible on her thigh.

She cast a glance around, her gaze narrowing as though searching for eavesdroppers before returning her attention to Ashu and leaning forward with a hushed tone, clearly theatrical, she didn't much care who heard her.. "Has the 'great one' upset you?.. I should think I'd be most aggrieved if he speared anyone I cared for in the chest..." she tutted and shook her head with a look of disappointment. Nym, too, had a fondness for Medja, but stirring the pot was amusing.

"It's a wonder if the man has any loyalty to anyone other than himself, really.." she sighed dramatically.. "Oh well.. All hail the big smoky bastard." she raised a hand, realising she had no drink in it and frowned and called out for a server to bring more wine.

Ashuanar
 

Raz El'Sadaaweh

Warring Son
Member
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13
Yes, I walked away from them. It was overwhelming having so many kind voices speaking at me all at once. Was it the right thing to do? Likely not in truth. The guilt of it worried at my conscience with every step but what could I do now other than find a place to hide and apologize to them later if the chance arose.

I adjusted my wings beneath my white cloak and looked for a good place to conceal my foolish self. I walked through a doorway and decided along with being a fool I had a terrible sense of direction as people lounging among cushions and hookahs greeted me. I cleared my throat, raised a hand to wave at people then turned slowly and began to find my way back out.
 

Gerra

The Emperor
The Empire
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601
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"Oh, I could not," said the Emperor, his full voice dripping with every perfect syllable as sweet and rich as molasses, "I leave the storytelling to those more suited."

He excused himself with the lie, though all in the room knew how the half-giant often seemed more demagogue than warrior when boiling down the essence of his being.

Two other beings emerged into the lounge, a tall Orc with a strange pole on his back and a reptilian man who Gerra recognized.

"Ah," he approached Raz first and loomed before the tall gladiator, "You fought well on the sands. Tell me, how would you find the life of a mercenary? There is a company that I employ who call themselves the Bronze Claws, the captains among them are known as Talons. I believe you could do well with them. Should I arrange introductions?"
 

Raz El'Sadaaweh

Warring Son
Member
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13
I had to pause at the smooth bass that addressed me. One of the few beings that made me look up to them...physically. My head crest and ears pressed flat against my head as I lowered my head in respectful difference.

"You honor me, Emperor." I replied simply as I kept my head low, "If it pleases you I would speak to your mercenaries."

I looked at Mambo from the corner of my eye as if hoping he would also speak to the giant and save me from doing something more foolish than I already had. Though, I still needed to explain myself.

Gerra
 

Ashuanar

Vizier of the Imperial Army
The Empire
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146
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"Oh Gerra is always hospitable. He has a way of making you feel at home after he's ripped your own out from under you.."

A long hum resonated in him. The circumstances around Nymeasha's inclusion in Gerra's courts were far different from his own. He had been a nobody - just some nomad assassin with nothing on the horizon but a life of hardship, and a likely regrettable end. She, though her life was hardly that of a pampered princess, was not void of meaning.

That meaning had indeed been torn out from under her.

His eyes turned to her as she leaned forward, looking at her through the corner of one.

"Has the 'great one' upset you?...

It was perhaps not prudent to share his thoughts so candidly, but then again, at this point, what did it matter anymore?

"Oh well.. All hail the big smoky bastard."

"I cannot unsee what I saw in him that day...
I cannot forget how... she...
Seeing her knelt in the sand, stained with wrongly spilt blood... and I..."

Failed her...


And he, perhaps it was his words that had stirred sanity in Gerra in those moments - but this was only supposition, and even if it were so, it could have been anyone else who spoke. But someone else could possibly have succeeded in mending the situation more concisely, rather than allowing such confusion and devastation.

Someone more capable of a position such as his. Someone better.

"For all his merits, he is still bound to this world as all of us are, and ruled by the tragedy of his being.


As for his loyalty to us.

As he has forgiven, and shown grace, I too shall honour these things."

But still... the images flooded through his mind: her blood, her knelt in the sand. Her tears.

It had made a change that festered in him, and grew. To ever be put in a situation so horrific again...

He became silent for a moment.

"I am sorry, for what has happened to you."

 

Nymeasha

Royal Highness
The Empire
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Not one but two more drinks were acquired from the server’s tray and she offered the nervous man a soft smile in thanks. She watched the Vizier silently over the rim of her glass, listening to his words expressionlessly, until he offered his apologies for her misgivings and a dark, slender brow arched as she swallowed her wine...

"Are you." she responded quietly after a moment. It wasn't a question.

Nym set her sights back on the glittering landscape as she drank in quiet contemplation and she let a few minutes pass before a sigh escaped her and she revisited the man's words.

"That day...” she repeated and pursed her lips with a slow and thoughtful nod before turning her head to look at him again. "But not the other countless days and the countless other despicable things he's done.. Just that day, that he hurt someone that you care about. Tell me, Vizier, should a man - a God.." she corrected herself with a roll of her eyes. "Still be considered a saviour when he's taken more lives than he's saved?.." she asked with a small smile, leaving the question to hang for only a few seconds before waving her hand dismissively..

"But of course! The great and powerful Gerra is generous, he is gracious, he is merciful. I should know! I stabbed him in the chest and he let me live to torment me." she chuckled musically..

Perhaps another wine isn't the best idea, she thought as she drank it.

Ashuanar
 

Mago Matahari

Prince of Annuakat
The Empire
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"In a manner of speaking," the Princess began slowly, her lips pressing together for the briefest of moments as she pondered on her next words. "It is said that our people are not wholly human, but were descended from a being of the Sea. That is why this magic runs in all of us. Everyone has the potential to unlock it but some show more skill and aptitude towards it than others and they become Seawitches."
The intrigue could not be helped. Mago's brows lifted toward his hairline and his gaze of purple remained fixated upon the woman. A beauty, to be sure - he would be a fool to say anything otherwise - and a graceful dancer, much to his delight. Navithi's intuition had not been wrong, Mago was far overdue for a dance. Perhaps he had forgotten how to enjoy the small things again, though he hoped that was not the case. The feel of Noelani's smaller hand in his own and her very presence was a blend of wonder and intoxication he'd nearly forgotten about.

Was it her otherworldly powers at play?

"Seawitches," the man relayed over a curious baritone, "my only knowledge of witches is that they are to be feared and respected. Color me humbled in your presence, Princess. My family has known no touch of magic other than wonder and awe from afar."

Pivoting, he lifted their clasped hands to bring her into a gentle twirl in place, and then their direction shifted alongside the other dancing partners as the music's pace picked up, "Is it a burden for you - to hold such arcane powers?"
 

Ashuanar

Vizier of the Imperial Army
The Empire
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There was truth in his regret - Salitra's former ruler had been worth far more than a meaningless death in the murky shallows, surrounded by undead. And given the present company, in more ways than one. Clearly.

He lifted his cup to his lip.

He paused, and then lowered his drink.

"But not the other countless days and the countless other despicable things he's done..
Just that day, that he hurt someone that you care about. Tell me, Vizier, should a man - a God... Still be considered a saviour when he's taken more lives than he's saved?.."

Someone I care about...

He looked, almost blankly at her. In derision she praised him, professing her own show of mercy from their lord. There was no lack of heart in her. But she lacked the same perception that he had... once.

He was not entirely sure anymore.

He had been on one side of the Empire's rise. Only one. She had seen both, and perhaps... she was drinking too much. Or him not enough.

He drank.

Then, affording her a great deal more interest, he turned and asked another question, "if not what he offers, then what, may I ask, do you want?"

 
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Medja

Vizier of Stars
The Empire
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"perhaps the good Emperor would like to start us off with the introduction of our foul riverbeast. Tell them why we were there, seeking out its hide, hm? Every story deserves a proper work-up."
"Oh, I could not, I leave the storytelling to those more suited."
Medja sneered from her perch atop Fiera's lap. His eloquent manner of speaking betrayed the pride behind his humble words. Of course, even if Medja had the gall to snap back at him in front of the surrounding crowd, the God-King had already moved on to speaking to a local gladiator. Typical.

"Hmm, he never has been much for talking. Violence is far more the God-Emperor's strong suit, after all." The Vizier of Stars hummed, looking to the various nobles and court members that surrounded her. Some shot glances to the Emperor as he spoke with the pit fighter and snickered quietly, drawn in by Medja's scathing words. "Yet even so, t'was Fieravene who felled the object of His Majesty's hunt. My Hands informed me of how the beast caught him unawares and snatched his leg between its mighty jaws as his hunting party traversed the river."

Medja sipped her wine and let the flavor dance over her silver-tipped tongue. With admiration she gazed at the dark elf woman, running her fingers praisingly beneath her chin.
"It was fortunate that Fieravene was with him. While the Emperor roared in pain and grappled with the crocodile, while his attendants panicked and bickered over a course of action, she alone had the presence of mind and keenness of eye to dispose of the lizard in a single, well-placed shot."