Private Tales Of Sand & Dragonfire

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Chaceledon

The Draconian Diva
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The haggling seemed to restore Chaceledon somewhat. He tied up a scarf he’d picked up for a few coppers around the bundle of makeup, and settled it over his shoulder. He was ticking off the list in his head; lip stain, nail tools, eye makeup, a suitable robe. He had everything he needed to make her up into a beautiful storyteller.

“I may as well come with you and see what roughnecks we are traveling with for the next few weeks.” Chaceledon told her. Caravan men didn’t always have the best reputations, and he wanted to be around to set one of the afire if they intended to make her pay in anything but coin. He also wanted the motivation to abandon rickety, beer-stained carts at the swiftest opportunity.

Seteta
 

Seteta

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"Ten days, roughly," Seteta reassured him. "It'll take about ten days to reach Annuakat by caravan from Maraan. And be careful calling them roughnecks. I've guided caravans through the desert myself."

The market was becoming quite crowded now, as people--both Abtati and Kaliti, beastmen, and a generous smattering of orcs--tried to beat the heat of the day for their needs. The caravans and their guides typically gathered near the city gates, and Seteta kept hold of Chaceledon's arm as she wove them through the crowd.

Fortunately, as they neared the caravan area, the crowds thinned. Seteta had recognized a few of the names she'd been given by townsfolk as she spoke with them earlier, but as she scoured the faces there, she broke into a wide grin.

"Supti!" she hollered across the clearing, jumping up and waving an arm, though she didn't let go of Chaceledon. "Supti!"

An older Abtati looked up and in their direction, and a smile spread across his face. His face and arms were scattered with scars, and his hair, long and tied back, was starting to gray. In sand elf terms, that put him well over a hundred years old. Like Seteta and most Abtati, his skin was deep and golden, and his eyes a glowing caramel.

"Seteta!" he hollered back, his long stride quickly carrying him over to where they stood. Supti went to embrace her, but paused a moment when he saw how she clung to Chaceledon.

She smiled softly. "I'll hug you in a moment," she said, though Supti eyed her curiously as she spoke in the Common tongue rather than Abtat. "But first, an introduction. This is Chaceledon, my sehejib."

Seteta turned to Chaceledon, smoothing her hand down his arm. "Chaceledon, this is Supti. He was one of my mentors as I was learning my magic, and he is also a distant cousin on my father's side."

Chaceledon
 

Chaceledon

The Draconian Diva
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Chaceledon had one arm around the robe, the other on the makeup as they wove through the crowd. Thankfully, being well over six feet had its advantages. He was able to keep her clothes away from anything dirty. He didn’t like the idea of a caravan and the crowds. It seemed so alien...for once he had no palanquin or servants. Not even Rheinhard. It was just him and Seteta. Knowing that some of these men were currently richer than he rubbed him the wrong way.

He was a bit more relieved when the crowds died away and the caravans began to appear. Seteta clearly recognized an older gentleman she called Supti. An older Abtati, at least a hundred years old by the look of him. He relaxed even further upon learning he was a cousin. Good. He had nothing to fear from this one. Thank the gods Rheinhard wasn’t with him; the Volkers had a taste for elf and an eye for anything they considered weaker than themselves.

Chaceledon smiled and inclined his head politely. “It’s good to meet a member of Seteta’s family, no matter how distant. She’s very gifted in earth magic. I’m assuming you’re the one we’re traveling with to Annuakat?” he asked, somewhat hopefully. He wasn’t keen on anyone else being near Seteta. He saw how she earned a few passing glances from the rougher caravaners. “We don’t have much coin to pay, but I can upkeep any piece of metal you put me in front of.” That, at least, was very true.

Seteta
 

Seteta

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Seteta shot Chaceledon an annoyed look as Supti's eyebrows jumped up his forehead.

"Be quiet," she hissed to her lover, then turned back to Supti, bowing her head. "Forgive his lack of manners, I beg you. Chaceledon has been away from the desert for many years."

Supti's scowl was not unkind, and he nodded, spreading his arms wide. "I will, for a hug. From both of you. If he has earned a place in your heart then clearly, despite his uncouthness, he has some good qualities. Has he met your parents yet? Weren't you traveling?"

Seteta slipped her arm free of Chaceledon's and stepped into Supti's embrace. He was taller than her, but not nearly as tall as Chaceledon. "It is good to see you," she whispered as they parted a few moments later. "I have missed my family. Are Kahi and Anai with you?"

"They are," Supti nodded. "They will be delighted to see you."

"If time allows, I would love that," she said with a smile. "Chaceledon has not met my parents yet, we only returned to Amol-Kalit yesterday. So yes, I have been traveling, and I have many stories to tell. Did you just arrive in Maraan? Your name wasn't one that came up when I was asking about caravans in the marketplace. Which route are you on right now?"

"Not even an hour ago," Supti answered. "We just came from Elbion, so we are heading westward now, to Ragash and, fortunately for you, then to Annuakat. We plan to rest here for a few days first."

Seteta bit her lip at that news. She would prefer to travel with him and his wives--their caravans were known in Amol-Kalit for being some of the safest for travelers, and not just merchants--but it was too early in the negotiations to ask him to change his entire schedule for them.

"Sehejib," Seteta looked back with a smile and beckoned for Chaceledon to come forward. "Come. Supti would like to know more about you."

Supti held his arms open wide again, and his grin was just a bit teasing. "Come, Chaceledon," his voice fairly boomed. "If you are Seteta's sehejib, you are family, despite your lack of manners. Tell me who and what you are, for you are clearly neither Abtati nor human."

Chaceledon
 

Chaceledon

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Uncouth? HE?

Clearly, friendliness had been a mistake. Chaceledon pursed his lips and folded his arms across his chest as she went to hug her cousin. He cocked an eyebrow, and listened. They had come from Elbion, and come a long way. They had just arrived and were hoping to rest in Maraan. Hopefully, Oor was still using his accounts to track his whereabouts; he would figure Chaceledon wouldn’t be caught dead traveling in a caravan. Either that, or he would have to begin calling on a stack of favors very, very early. That didn’t sit well with him.

He didn’t like the idea of traveling with strangers, and Seteta looked so happy to have members of her family around. But days of rest like that were critical to restocking...and would cost them. He couldn’t let Rheinhard suffer forever. Annuakat boasted arenas and contests of strength and brutality. Chaceledon wagered his long-suffering son was bleeding on the sands daily.

The dragon gave Supti a look. Was that another insult? Could the man not tell, being born and bred in the desert? Was he being purposefully vague to grind in the rudeness of Chaceledon’s greeting? He wasn’t making that mistake again.

“My name is Chaceledon. Perhaps it is you who’s been away from the desert too long if you don’t recognize a dragon when you see one.” Chaceledon said, sweetly, but not without a hint of his trademark sharpness.

Seteta
 

Seteta

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Seteta groaned, then turned around to face Chaceledon. She scowled and plucked the goods they'd bought so far out of his hands.

"The dragons we're familiar with, dearest, don't shapeshift and don't look like you," she said, her voice just as saccharine as Chaceledon's had been. "Now, go hug my cousin. I promise he doesn't bite. Keep in mind that he might see my parents again before I do, so don't be obnoxious."

Though truly, if he wasn't comfortable with hugging a strange man, Seteta would not force it. But in this case, she suspected it was more of a pride issue than a trauma one.

She turned back to Supti with a wry grin. "He was held captive for... quite some time and was only recently freed. But that is a story for another time."

Seteta was quiet for a few moments, then drew close to Supti. "I know it is a lot to ask," she said in a hushed tone, "but it's rather urgent that we head for Annuakat as soon as possible. Do you have a group already heading to Ragash, even so soon?"

Supti fell silent and watched her face closely, and she met his eyes, trying to convey some small amount of the urgency they were working with. Supti's gaze flickered between hers and Chaceledon's for a few eternal minutes.

"Is it life or death?" Supti asked, switching from Common tongue to Abtat. Seteta wasn't sure why, other than that he might be wanting to be certain that she was not being coerced in anyway.

She answered,"It is, but not for either of us. There is one who is still held captive by the one sehejib has been freed from. One he loves as a son. Time is of the essence."

"Just what have you gotten yourself tangled up in?"
Supti shook his head with a grimace."Are you sure he's worth it? Is he... really a dragon?"

"He is. Most of Maraan can confirm it. He made... quite an entrance, and later... quite an impression."
If there was one thing Chaceledon didn't do, it was subtlety. "I love him. He is... not who I ever expected to love in this way, but he is mine, and I wouldn't trade him for anyone else."

Supti was silent for a moment, still watching her, and watching Chaceledon and his reactions. Then he sighed, and rubbed his hand over the back of his neck before nodding."I will make it work, we will leave at dawn tomorrow. But I want to know the full story, as soon as possible."

Relief swept through Seteta, and she reached over to clasp Chaceledon's hand. "In that case, be at the Twin Arches outside of town at dusk. Tell Kahi and Anai to spread the word. I'm going to put on a performance. Our story needs to spread, but I'll explain the reasons for that later."

Chaceledon
 

Chaceledon

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Chaceledon didn’t want to embrace the man. He wasn’t sure what the obsession with hugging was. He and Rheinhard rarely embraced, he definitely didn’t hug other dragons, and Supti was filthy. He extended a hand for him to shake, but he wouldn’t hug him. He also didn’t appreciate being cut out of the conversation, but he listened anyway. Did he really think someone raised here wouldn’t have picked up some Abtati? Clearly, the dahns needed to make themselves known again if all that was roaming around were those fat, sulfur-spewing geckos people called dragons. Honestly, it was like calling cows show horses. It made him feel good to listen to her tell her cousin she loved him. He had to get that estate back, if only to pamper her for her bravery and dedication.

Chaceledon listened quietly, and took Seteta’s hand. He kissed her fingers. “I’ve got quite a bit of work to do on you dear, given our long road trip. I’m looking forward to us both being halfway presentable even if it’s just for an evening.” he said lightly. “Come, we’ve a lot of work to do and not a lot of time to do it.”

They made their way back to the inn after she’d said her goodbyes, and Chaceledon barked at someone to get them a bath. A hot bath. He laid the robe out on the bed and scrutinized it for any wear or fraying, smoothing it out. Good. It was decent quality and the seamstress had taken good care of it. He laid the pair of under robes out as well, and planned their layering.

“Go ahead and get in the tub, I’ll bathe you. I kept some of the oils from my bath.” he told her, rooting around to get one of the two glass bottles. He poured in a few tablespoons of soap that smelled thickly of lavender and lemon, and mixed it into the water with a hand. The other would go into her hair.

Seteta
 

Seteta

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Seteta sighed, though she wasn't truly annoyed at Chaceledon's reluctance, and Supti shook his hand without any further words on the matter. They parted with Supti soon afterward, as he would need to begin preparations for departing early.

Someday, hopefully sooner rather than later, she would do her best to make up for his lost income. As they returned to the inn, she noticed that Chaceledon was surprisingly quiet. He hadn't asked about her conversation with Supti at all.

“I’ve got quite a bit of work to do on you dear, given our long road trip. I’m looking forward to us both being halfway presentable even if it’s just for an evening.” he said lightly. “Come, we’ve a lot of work to do and not a lot of time to do it.”

"You say that like I'm ugly," she sniffed, only a little irately.

She lingered in the kitchen for a moment as Chaceledon went straight to the room after demanding a hot bath. The cook would send up a tray for them shortly, Seteta had just needed to let her know they'd returned. When she made her way to their room a few minutes later, Chaceledon had already laid out the robes.

“Go ahead and get in the tub, I’ll bathe you. I kept some of the oils from my bath.” he told her, rooting around to get one of the two glass bottles.

Seteta quickly stripped off her now street-dusty clothing and sank into the tub with a sigh as Chaceledon finished mixing in the soap.

"There will a tray brought up from the kitchen shortly," she said. "When it gets here, we stop and eat."

Then she watched him for a moment, her eyes narrowing. "You, however, have not been entirely honest with me. How much of my conversation with Supti did you understand?"

Chaceledon
 

Chaceledon

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Chaceledon chuckled and leaned over to kiss her. “I didn’t say you were ugly, love. Just dirty.” he teased lovingly. He fussed with the clothing while she lingered in the kitchen, and nodded approvingly when she slipped into the bath. He settled behind her and used a cup to wet her hair, running his brass comb through it to straighten it out. He made sure it was thoroughly wettened before he added lemon balm soap and began massaging her scalp.

He raised an eyebrow. Koiros, I used to live here and the Summer Court of the Fae. While they didn’t speak exactly the sort of Abtati you two spoke, I know enough to catch the thread of the conversation. However, when speaking with men you don’t know it can be advantageous to let them think they have some secret code. People tend to let secrets slip out if they don’t think you can hear them.” he smoothed out her hair again and worked the lather through the ends. “Nestor can probably speak several modern dialects. Volker can; I learned a bit more when he returned from the Ochresand Wars.”

Chaceledon tilted her chin up and used his cup to rinse, his nails neatly dividing up her hair and rinsing each section thoroughly. “I believe your cousin was just being...well, a man. Wanting to make sure I wasn’t taking advantage of you and all that.”

Seteta
 

Seteta

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"Well then," Seteta said in Abtat, twisting around for a moment and raising an eyebrow of her own, "I guess we can start acclimating you to modern Abtat. It's almost certainly morphed since you lived here, regardless of tribal dialects. If there's a word or phrase you can't figure out, let me know."

She settled against the side of the tub again and leaned her head back into Chaceledon's touch, enjoying the feel of his fingers on her scalp.

"Supti... when he learned how I'd been hurt during my testing... he felt responsible for it. No matter how I tried to assuage him, it was useless." She paused for a moment, debating how much of Supti's story to tell Chaceledon. "He... lost most of his family quite young. To Kaliti slavers. He was old enough to wield a weapon, but too young to be a serious threat, but he's always blamed himself for their loss. As a result, he's always been protective of family, no matter how distant."

Before she could say anything more, a knock sounded on the door.

"That's the food," Seteta said. "Can you get the door?"

Chaceledon
 

Chaceledon

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“I think we can all relate to slavery in one way or another. I’m sorry it was Kaliti, and not Persian. Say what you like about pets, but no one is mistreated in Pedeo.” Chaceledon finished rinsing her hair and took up her hand, sitting by the side of the tub so he could oil, polish, buff, and smooth her nails. He used the tip of his own to clean underneath hers. He kissed the one hand and set it aside at the knock on the door, and got their food.

Chaceledon set the tray aside and picked up her other hand.
After the bath. You don’t eat in the tub.” he said lightly, and slid his hand into the water to grab a foot. He treated her toenails the same as he had her fingers. “You both mentioned two other relatives. Cousins of yours? Nieces? Nephews?” he asked, putting down one foot and grasping the other. He cleaned and scrubbed her, and though he wasn’t entirely happy with the results...without heavier equipment it would have to do.

Seteta
 

Seteta

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Seteta's eyes turned sad. "Supti found one of his brothers again, tried to help him escape. But the slavemaster had put enchanted restraints on all of them. As soon as they left the camp, the enchantments killed him. Supti didn't dare go after any of his other family after that."

She scowled lightly when Chaceledon set the tray aside. It was more important that he eat rather than her, and as he reached for her foot, she lightly kicked him. "Hurry up then."

“You both mentioned two other relatives. Cousins of yours? Nieces? Nephews?” he asked, putting down one foot and grasping the other.

"Kahi and Anai are his wives," Seteta answered. "Kahi is the first-wife, and they have two children together, both a little younger than me, but also out on their own now. I think one of them was getting married soon. They married Anai a few years ago. I don't know if they're planning on more children or not."

Seteta sighed and rolled her eyes then, moving around in the tub as Chaceledon directed. He scrubbed her as if she was incapable of doing so herself, but she humored him until he beckoned for her to blessed-Abtatu finally step out of the water.

A few minutes later, wrapped in a towel, she pushed him down to sit in front of the tray of food. There were sliced fruits and cheese, stewed lamb, and chilled mint tea.

"We eat, and then you can do whatever oils and lotions you've got up your sleeve."

Chaceledon
 

Chaceledon

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Multiple wives? It wasn’t so uncommon. Chaceledon nodded and directed her out of the bath, sitting behind her. “I can’t let your hair sit wet. Be patient.” he chided, running the comb through her hair. As he lifted the sections with the comb, he blew over it, heating and drying her hair. Oils prevented it from frizzing, and made her hair into a satin sheen. Satisfied, he arranged it up into a bun and stuck the comb to hold it. “There.”

He sat next to her and ate the fruit and tea, but only a tiny bit of cheese. After all, it was basically chunks of pure fat...even if he did adore a good cheese. Restraint, restraint. He resisted picking up another chunk, and instead picked out a pot of lotion. He rubbed it over his hands and massaged her face, making sure to smooth down her eyelids, eyebrows, and use a little heat to get rid of any eye bags. Then he had to frame her eyes. He mixed water with the kohl and dipped a claw in it.

“Dont move, or open your eyes.” he tugged the corner of her eye taut, and made a sweeping line of black just above the roots of her eyelashes, making her eyes appear catlike. He smiled. “I can still make a cat eye in a single swipe. Sit still and let that dry.” he did the other, then cleaned his glass nails. He moved her chin back and forth. Elegant. He nodded in approval and sat back, nibbling a slice of apple.

Seteta
 

Seteta

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"We're not in Falwood anymore," Seteta mumbled as Chaceledon made her sit again while he combed and dried her hair. "The desert heat would have dried it quickly too."

When he twisted her hair up and secured it, she sighed with relief and rolled her neck and shoulders. She tucked herself up against his side when he sat next to her. As they ate, she refrained from making any comments about what he did or did not choose to eat. She didn't want to make eating itself a stressful thing. There were... other ways that she could get him to eat more.

So when he started smoothing lotion over her face, despite the fact that she was in the act of popping a piece of lamb meat into her mouth, she carefully finished chewing and let him do his thing. When he mixed the kohl a few moments later, she closed her eyes when he said to do so, but the corner of her mouth twisted up tauntingly, though otherwise she didn't move. She had no desire to have him accidentally scratch her eye with those glass nails.

He smiled. “I can still make a cat eye in a single swipe. Sit still and let that dry.”

Seteta cautiously opened her eyes, making sure not to do them too wide as the kohl was still damp. Chaceledon was eating a piece of apple, but he still had yet to touch the lamb.

She--carefully--narrowed her eyes and glared at him.

"You need to eat some meat, Chaceledon," she chided, switching to the Common tongue again because she didn't want him to say he hadn't understood everything she said. "Cheese and fruit are not enough sustenance to last you the hours till we eat again, especially with everything we have to do."

Deviously, she licked her thumb and brought it close to her eyelid. "If you don't, I'll smudge it."

Chaceledon
 

Chaceledon

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Chaceledon huffed at her and finished off the apple slice. He didn’t need her policing what he ate! He’d already eaten cheese. Cheese was fatty, and full of protein. Why should he binge on top of that? He froze with another apple slice halfway to his mouth when she threatened to smudge the eyeliner.

Don’t you dare.” he growled. He set down the apple slice and sighed, pulling out one of his hairpins and using it to delicately spear a small piece of lamb. He ate it, chewing thoroughly, and swallowed. “Hand away from the kohl. It took me decades to perfect a cat eye.”

He took her hand and applied a thin coat of thicker oil on top, then a layer of gold so thin it floated like paper. He laid it over the top, and smoothed it with the pad of his finger like an artist restoring an old painting. He gently swept away the gold that hadn’t stuck, and moved to the next nail. “Pure gold.” he said proudly. “Feel the purity of it. An entire weeks wages pounded flat enough to tear with a breath.”

He did each nail in turn, and collected the dust. He rubbed it carefully across her eyelids, giving her a shimmering look. He layered on copper powder over it, set the face powder with a small brush, and settled back. “Perfection, let’s get you dressed.”
Seteta
 

Seteta

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Seteta watched, her wettened thumb hovering close to her eyelid, as Chaceledon chewed and swallowed a barely bite-size piece of lamb.

"If you've perfected it," she said with a teasing grin as she lowered her hand, "then if I smudge it, it shouldn't take you too long to fix it."

She wanted to get him to eat more, but wouldn't push it quite yet, and so she sat patiently as he did her nails. A fond smile crossed her face.

"We've come a long way since you first did this, back in Fal'Addas," she said, her voice soft as she reminisced. "It has definitely not been what I expected, since we left that place. But I wouldn't change any of it."

Chaceledon finished her makeup and declared her perfect and she grinned widely as he leaned back.

"One more piece of meat," she said, nodding toward the bowl of stewed lamb. "Otherwise I'll walk naked through the streets. That'll definitely get some people to show up for the performance."

Chaceledon
 

Chaceledon

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“It’s a waste of kohl and effort, and it’ll never look the same.” Chaceledon answered lightly, smiling at her as he smoothed her nails and gave them a light dusting of warm air to adhere it properly to her nail. He smiled faintly, thinking of Fal’Addas. What had become of all of his finery? Sold off or destroyed, surely, but would he see it walking the streets of the Summer Court? In Pedeo? He shook his head and kissed her, letting her lean back.

Then scowled. “Darling honestly. It’s a sheep stewed in oil. I want to be able to lift off the ground.” He grumbled, and leaned over to take another small piece of meat out of the pot. He put it in his mouth, and swallowed. “There. Now stop using my sense of good taste against me. Stand up and let me clothe you.”

He stood up and picked up the underrobe, holding it out expectantly. He would clothe her slowly, with meaning. As much meaning and reverence as he would do taking her clothes off to make love. He was putting emphasis on her appearance, wrapping it around her body smoothly.

Seteta
 

Seteta

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"I promise, it is not stewed in oil," Seteta said, rolling her eyes. "I don't want your stomach to get irritated with foods that are too rich, too quickly. And I will stop coercing you to eat like this, if you will eat enough simply so I don't have to worry about you."

She stood, then, and stripped off the towel she was wrapped in.

"I won't be able to put on my best performance if I have to keep an eye on you and make sure you're not going to pass out again," she whispered, following his directions as he began to wrap the garments around her. "So please... eat a little more meat before we go out to advertise, and drink some more tea."

Chaceledon
 

Chaceledon

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“You worry too much. I’ve been eating like this since I was a hatchling.” Chaceledon chided gently. He wasn’t going to pour tea while he was wrapping her. The two under layers were light, and would protect her skin from the sun. He affixed a wide sash known as an obi around her waist, and folded it flat against the base of her spine. Then he took up the outer layer and settled it over her shoulders. The inner layers were in a subtle layer up against her neck, while the outer layer settled against her collarbone.

He made sure the fabric sat just right, and grabbed the outer sash. Around her waist, and he slid behind her to cinch it tight. “Now there we are.” he said happily as he folded the ends of the sash in, the ends arranged in a dovetail on either buttcheek. He let her hair down in a flourish, and began brushing it.

Chaceledon loosely braided it around halfway down her head, in wide flat knots that hung loosely. It swept backward and down toward the nape of her neck, where it hung free down her back. He set the end of the braid with the pin, and nodded in satisfaction. “A little rustic. I’d prefer you have a statement piece around your throat, and some anklets. But I can’t conjure them out of nowhere. Blame Oor for taking my stock.” he fanned his nails dismissively. “Youre beautiful, my koiros.”

Seteta
 

Seteta

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Seteta stared, a slight amount of horror creeping over her face. "You've eaten like that since you were a hatchling?"

She stood in stunned silence as he dressed her, absentmindedly following his directions to lift or lower her arms and when to shift. Some of the things the Volkers had hinted at, when she was in the Well, were... worrisome. But she hadn't realized how early it started.

Chaceledon, though, was clearly distracted by finishing her outfit and hair... and she had a performance to prepare for. For now, she just tucked away her concerns. There would be plenty of time while enroute with the caravan to discuss such things.

His voice pulled her from her worries.

“A little rustic. I’d prefer you have a statement piece around your throat, and some anklets. But I can’t conjure them out of nowhere. Blame Oor for taking my stock.” he fanned his nails dismissively. “Youre beautiful, my koiros.”

Seteta smiled softly, taking a few tentative steps to test the fit and flow of the outfit. There wasn't a mirror in the room, so she would have to take his word for it, but this was something she doubted Chaceledon would lie about.

"Thank you," she said, but shook her head to the rest of his statement. "Even if you had them, I would wear jewelry for this. A storyteller-illusionist is supposed to be eyecatching, but not detract from the story itself. This is perfect."

She glanced out the window then. The sun was high in the sky, but there were many hours yet until dusk. Despite the heat, the market would be bustling with a midday crowd, and that would be perfect for getting attention. Then, when everyone went back to their abodes for the late afternoon rest, they would spread the word.

Quickly, and with Chaceledon's help so nothing dripped on her outfit, she ate a few more bites of food herself, and finished her mint tea. She tried to coax him into eating a little more, too.

Then, soon after, she looped her arm through his, and they descended the stairs and went out into the streets of Maraan.

Chaceledon
 

Chaceledon

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Chaceledon shrugged. “I hatched fat. Most of the men in my family hatched fat.” he said, as though that explained everything. There was ignoring the fact that babies hatched fat, but dragons were best at self-deception above all else. He knew it horrified her, but her lack of self care (or perhaps her lack of obsession with it) horrified him. He considered it a fair exchange. He did miss Volker, however. As stern and taciturn as the Volker’s could be, they never judged. Of course they had opinions on what he should be doing, but nothing he could do would change their perception of him.

He missed his son. He was lost for a moment watching Seteta, remembering a tearful little boy with frightening blue eyes. How tight Rheinhard had held him then. How silent he’d been as a teenager. How he first looked when Chaceledon had dressed him like this. He took a deep breath when she spoke, the reverie broken. They would get his boys back. Perhaps even try to help them. If there was ever a creature in Arethil that deserved peace, it was Rheinhard Volker.

Chaceledon helped her eat. Small bites to keep it from dripping, and he put the sheets over her lap when she drank. He had another mug of tea and some more fruit, but it was starting to feel a bit excessive. He soon stopped, and prepared himself while she finished her meal.

He only had a simple grey over robe himself, but he did the best he could. Where she was the sunset he was slate streaked in gold. Thicker kohl around his own eyes, a black sash, and grey flecked in gold around his eyes. He put his hair back and braided it simply, and took her arm. “It’s not the Black Gala but it’s presentable.” he declared, and swept them downstairs. He kissed her hand, and lifted his head, and presented her to the world like the empress of some far away land.

He was proud, eyes forward, duller than she was. He was bodyguard, escort, a happy kneeling servant to her beauty.

Seteta
 

Seteta

The Dragon's Beloved
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Character Biography
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Chaceledon was... she really didn't know how to define his appearance. He attempted to be understated to her, at least for now, but even so there was an exotic elegance to him, despite the subtle exoticness of Amol-Kalit itself, and he would never be able to subdue that.

The next few hours passed quickly.

As they entered the busy streets, Seteta at first focused on the children. She did little works of illusion, asking what their favorite stories were, and casting an image of a hero or creature from them. It was research, too. She would begin the evening with a few shorter stories, things to lure a crowd in, and she needed to know what the current trends were. What stories parents were telling their children, and the stories that children were telling each other.

Tonight, after all, was not about making a profit, but about making a scene. No one spread gossip faster than a child, even if it was inaccurately retold at times.

After the children, she spoke with the slaves and servants. Then with merchants and vendors, and any one who would pause to watch her small displays. She sang folksongs that everyone in Amol-Kalit knew, punctuating iconic stanzas with illusions to illustrate them, walking through the center of the street with a lilting stride.

She ended each interaction with an invitation.

Do you want to hear the story of the dragon, the one who flew into Maraan? How he was enslaved by a wraith for 17,000 years, but was set free by a desert girl? Be at the Twin Arches at dusk for the tale.

Her hands already burned, but only mildly. By the time the night was over, she was certain they would be in agony. There hadn't been an opportunity for her to pay the pain toll ahead of time, so the magic would name its price instead.

When the foot traffic grew thin as the sun sat between the point of high noon and dusk, Seteta led Chaceledon back to the inn for a little rest. What people she hadn't been able to reach now would hear the news through their children, through their slaves and servants, through their spouses.

While they rested and ate in the dining room, Seteta continued to do little illusions for any children who wandered up and asked it of her, telling them shorter stories, illustrated proverbs mostly, especially when it looked like they were accompanied by weary parents.

Eventually, after they'd eaten, and for once she didn't have time to coerce more food into Chaceledon as she barely had time to eat anything herself, they snuck away back to the room to rest in quiet for a brief time and give Seteta's voice a rest.

"Can this come off for a little while, so I can lie down?" she asked, gesturing at the garments. "We probably need to shake the dust out of it anyway. There's only a couple hours till dusk now."

Chaceledon