Private Tales Of Sand & Dragonfire

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Chaceledon

The Draconian Diva
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Chaceledon sat, stunned. He was bleeding from the bite to his nose; Rheinhard had meant that, and it would need stitches. Every breath burned across the puncture wounds. He couldn’t even look at the wound to his foot. He was trembling with adrenaline. They could have killed one another. There was no doubt a dragon could rip apart a man like a lynx with a rabbit, but it was rarer still that a human could exchange the blows. Rheinhard had figured out how to hurt him blindingly fast. Punches hadn’t worked, so he’d gone after the sensitive flesh inside his nostrils. The knives had been forged by dragonfire, and had cut him as easily as any other man.

Little flares of fire caught on the sands. Dragon blood was unstable, and exposed to the sun and hot sand expelled its flame in little puffs and starts.

It had happened so fast.

Chaceledon knew he’d been in the wrong. It was wrong to order Rheinhard. It was wrong to act like he owned him. Terror of losing him had made him act like a jealous fool. He wanted to run after his son, speak with him…something. He also knew it would do no good. Rheinhard would go to ground. He’d been trained to do so, and he wouldn’t see him again until he was healed. Going after him now was inviting a knife somewhere more debilitating.

Seteta’s footsteps told him knives of another kind were coming. He flinched at her words; he’d said them in a fit of anger, more to hurt than out of any rational emotion. She was, of course, right. He had no right to talk about her family that way, especially when they had been so open with him.

He looked at his claws, still wet with Rheinhard’s blood, and tucked them under his breastbone like a cat. He hung his head in shame.

You’re right…

_______________________

Rheinhard ignored Aetes. He had to set the arm before his tendons became stretched or ripped. That would turn his recovery time from days to months. He was looking for a tree, one he’d seen earlier when walking back with Aetes. It was a palm tree that had been split at some point, likely by a lightning storm, and sported a Y shaped crook.

He grabbed his dislocated arm in his good one, shoving the knife in his teeth, and set his wrist in the crook. A careful rotation, a forty five degree angle, and then a sudden yank. He felt the ball joint grind and slip back into place. Rheinhard gasped sharply; he was already dizzy. He needed to not pass out. He desperately needed not to pass out.

Rheinhard leaned against the tree, closing his eyes. “Water…” he muttered. He slid down the trunk.
 

Seteta

The Dragon's Betrothed
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"Can you shift back?" Seteta asked quietly. If he couldn't walk on his back foot, there was no way she could haul him to the healer in his dragon form. His nose was still bleeding fairly heavily, and if it needed stitches, in the middle of the desert was not the place to do them.

Rheinhard was in need of the healer himself, but Aetes would do his best to get him there, of that she was certain. No matter what happened today--whether she went with Chaceledon, or remained with her family--Rheinhard and Chaceledon needed to speak again before they parted ways. Or at least have the opportunity to do so.

Things like this were too big to leave hanging.



Aetes mouth pinched as Rheinhard continued on, ignoring him. The priest grimaced as Rheinhard popped his own arm back into place. He swore quietly as Rheinhard muttered water and then practically passed out.

"We have a healer here, you know," Aetes mumbled as he bent down and picked up the knife that had fallen from Rheinhard's teeth and slipped it back into the empty spot in his knife roll. "You didn't have to do that by yourself."

Then he crouched down and slid one arm behind Rheinhard's shoulders, and another under his knees. Aetes grunted slightly as he hefted the man upward into his arms. Aetes may have had some height on Rheinhard, but he doubted he had as much muscle mass.

The trek to the healer's tent was thankfully short, and Aetes settled Rheinhard onto a pad of blankets as he listed off everything that he was aware of happening--the scratches across his face, the dislocated shoulder that he'd reset on his own, and that he was showing signs of shock. Then he had to sit back, out of the way, and watch somewhat helplessly as the healers began their work.
 

Chaceledon

The Draconian Diva
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Chaceledon hesitated. Shift back? He was terrified to see what the injuries would look like on a man. Swollen lips…gods, had he just cost himself his shapely nose? No. He wasn’t going to shift back and let Seteta see him like that. He slowly uncoiled and propped himself up on three legs. His injured leg he tucked up against himself like a wounded bird. His awkward hop was made even more awkward by the loss of a limb. He hopped forward, gathered his coils, and hopped his back leg up. His tail helped push him along.

Chaceledon could barely look at her. He had said a lot of things he shouldn’t have said, but insulting her people had crossed a line. Worse still, they didn’t even know. He’d been too cowardly to say it in their tongue.

To add to it, half the tribe had been witness to the fight. Normally, Oor would have ignored it. Dragons would have either ignored it or had the decency to set up tea just out of sight. The elves had watched. He settled into the healer’s tent quietly, curling himself up to take as little space as possible.

________________________

Rheinhard shook his head, and grimaced. Shaking his head around was a demonstrably bad idea. “No….healers.” He grunted in protest. He was clinging to consciousness as it was, he didn’t want to be prodded. He just needed water, and rest, and he could suture the cuts on his face himself.

He made a soft pained noise when Aetes pulled him up into his arms. His ribs hurt. There was a bruise blossoming on either side that made his breathing hitch. He had to admit…he liked being carried. He nuzzled his face into the crook of Aetes’ neck and inhaled his scent as they walked, taking comfort in the priest’s presence.

He felt so dizzy. He cracked open an eye and growled when he saw Chaceledon curled up and having his nose and foot tended to. The dragon’s ears flicked up and his eyes widened in concern when he saw Rheinhard carried in.

Hardy darling…

“Dont…speak….to me.” Rheinhard growled through gritted teeth.
 

Seteta

The Dragon's Betrothed
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Seteta followed quietly as Chaceledon hopped through the camp toward the healer's tent. She held the tent flaps open for him to make it in, and explained to the healers that he just needed wounds cleaned and stitched up.

She settled on a rug, cross-legged, in an out of the way spot, and closed her eyes to enter the Well.

A blustery wind was whipping through the Well and causing the sides of the tent that was now the office to snap back and forth. Seteta sighed and rubbed her forehead, then retrieved the scroll--all of the books in the office had turned into scrolls when she took over, and had also thankfully transcribed themselves into the script the Inizae used--that gave Rheinhard's condition. She sighed again as she read over it. It wasn't as bad as when they'd dragged him out of the arena... but his ribs had barely just healed from that.

"Nestor?" she called, leaving the scroll on the table and ducking out of the office. "Did you all see that happened?"



Aetes gritted his teeth as Chaceledon spoke. Rheinhard's response made it clear enough that conversation was not going to happen right now. His eyes shot daggers at Chaceledon before the priest turned his back to the dragon and stepped between him and his lover to give Rheinhard some privacy.

"He was squeezed too, wasn't he?" the healer asked softly, her eyes flickering over to Chaceledon for a moment. Clearly, they'd seen what happened. "We need to check his ribs."

Aetes nodded, then helped Rheinhard to sit back up without straining his shoulder or his ribs too much. "We need to take your shirt off," Aetes told him.

"How are you feeling?" the healer asked Rheinhard as she mixed some tinctures together on a short table she'd moved next to Rheinhard. "Dizzy? Hurting anywhere other than your shoulder, face, and ribs?"
 

Chaceledon

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Nestor was already waiting for her outside the office. “Of course we saw what happened.” He said, though his voice didn’t contain its usual venom. “It was stupid and childish of both of them. Rheinhard knew blaming Chaceledon for his own abduction would set him off…I don’t believe he meant it, but we all thought it was very…” he gestured vaguely.

“Klaus of him. Very Klaus of him.” Aron piped in grimly. “Bruised ribs, those cuts on his shoulders and a rake on the cheek isn’t bad considering some of the dust ups between us both.”

Nestor pinched the bridge of his nose. “You didn’t need your fiancé sporting stitches in his nose going to see another Dahn. We’re going to have to hide those somehow. Perhaps one of your head wraps.” He folded his arms across his chest. “And you? You’re alright? We all heard what he said about the Inizae.”

Aron cocked an eyebrow. Nestor? Concerned? Tactful? Unusual for his arrogant headmate.

_____________________

Rheinhard growled as he was sat up. He didn’t like this. He didn’t like being prodded with so many people around. Aetes was fine, but being near his mother, and people he didn’t know attempting to touch him was too much. He immediately put his back to the tent wall, baring his teeth and lowering his head to protect his throat. Blood spread on the canvas behind him.

Chaceledon looked over Aetes’ shoulder in worry. He knew he shouldn’t speak…he’d caused the hurt. Those rakes across Rheinhard’s cheek would be there the rest of his days. Gods, his temper had seized him. He couldn’t have that happen with Seteta…with their hatchlings. Was he truly just as poisonous as his father?
 

Seteta

The Dragon's Betrothed
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Seteta shrugged, glancing away for a moment. If she thought too much about what she'd seen Chaceledon do... she wasn't sure what she would do or say herself right now.

"No," she answered simply a moment later. "I'm not all right. But right now Rheinhard's in worse shape. Chaceledon could have killed him."

Her voice wavered at the end, her jaw clenching. But she'd come in here for something specific.

"I know there are... benefits to this bond, for Rheinhard. How do I help him to heal faster?"



Aetes' eyes narrowed when Rheinhard growled and scooted back against the tent wall. He glanced back at the healer, but she was just watching and continuing to calmly mix her medicines.

"I think I'll need to do most of it," Aetes said at last.

"Have you stitched someone up before?" the healer asked. "The face can be tricky."

Aetes blanched and shook his head.

"Well, let's do everything else first, then," the healer said. "I'm going to need to check those lacerations and make sure his eye isn't compromised at all."

She handed Aetes a cloth soaked with a warm infusion. "Get the blood off his face first," she said.
 

Chaceledon

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Aron approached her, squeezing her shoulder. “He’s fine, this body has been through far worse than a few cat scratches and bruised ribs. I’m more worried about you.” He said quietly.

Chaceledon lost his temper. To be honest, it could have been far worse.” Nestor ran his fingers through his hair. “But you can accelerate the healing process. It’s very similar to how you spread your magic through the earth. Think of this as your earth. You’re reaching your tendrils deep down inside of a man, not the endless void of the earth under us. You’ll be able to feel where he’s injured. Oor once described it as reaching through roots.”

Jess laughed nastily from the doorway of the Arena. “I’m glad we picked that fucking lizard. He deserved it. Mother. What a god damn joke. Our mothers are dead.” She sneered.

_____________________

Rheinhard relaxed slowly, and reached his hand out for the cloth. “I can clean…and stitch the wounds myself.” He said slowly, dizzily. He sounded slightly drunk. He’d stitched up worse than this, and he was afraid of the healer touching him. He wasn’t taking off his shirt either, not unless Aetes was prepared to wrestle it off of him.

Chaceledon sat patiently to wait for the healer, his eyes filled with concern. He wanted to apologize so badly. He knew he’d made a mistake. I was wrong to try and control you, Rheinhard. I just…we haven’t been apart in so long. I was wrong to try and hurt you.

Rheinhard squeezed his eyes shut for a moment. “I know.” He muttered. “But right now…I am trying to stay awake.”
 

Seteta

The Dragon's Betrothed
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"I am well aware that it could have been worse," Seteta said, strangely calm. Her eyes flickered toward Jess, but otherwise she made no response to what she'd said. There would need to be some conversations soon, but it would have to be after she helped Rheinhard and dealt with Chaceledon.

"Similar to my magic..." Seteta murmured, eyeing the sand-filled Well around them. She crouched down and pressed her palm to it, and reached out. She didn't try to use her own magic here--this wasn't really earth after all--but she stretched her senses out through her hand and into the Well, until she felt... something.

The strange, unholy magic that Oor had infused Rhienhard's entire being with. While it still felt wrong, though, it didn't feel tainted any longer, and she quietly whispered a prayer of gratitude to Abtatu.

Then she focused, and let the magic lead her to where she could do something. The cuts she would leave alone. They needed to be cleaned, any foreign debris removed, before she tried to heal them. But his ribs and his sore shoulder... she could help with those.



"Let me clean them," Aetes said quietly, quickly pulling the cloth out of reach. He'd seen how quickly Rheinhard moved earlier while fighting with Chaceledon, and the slowness of his movements the way is speech was slurring was... concerning.

The healer watched Rheinhard carefully as he spoke with Chaceledon.

"We need to get his shirt off," she told Aetes hushedly, her voice pitched lower than a human could hear. "He shouldn't be struggling to stay awake this long after slight suffocation. I need to make sure an artery in his shoulder wasn't nicked, and that he's not bleeding internally anywhere. Get his shirt off, and get him on his back again, feet propped up."

Aetes paled slightly, and handed the damp cloth back to her.

He reached over and gently touched Rheinhard's un-scratched cheek. "Please let me take care of you," he pleaded softly.
 

Chaceledon

The Draconian Diva
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Seteta’s magic would guide her to several problems. Rheinhard’s ribs had been broken so often they looked like a stained glass window; knitted and re-knitted over the years with knobs of ugly reformed bone. Consequently, it meant what would normally be a smooth rib was rough and dangerous. His rib cage pressing against his lungs had bruised a lung and caused blood to pool in the bottom, hampering his ability to absorb air.

His arm sported several sprained tendons, but he’d popped it back into its socket too quickly to have any lasting trouble.

Nestor paced worriedly. “Well?” He asked quietly. He sensed trouble between Seteta and Chaceledon. The pair had been so confident in one another twelve hours prior. Seteta was furious.

_________________________

Rheinhard leaned into Aetes’ touch. He nodded, closing his eyes. The priest was asking for his trust, and he needed to be able to give it. Fear twisted in his belly at having his shirt taken off; normally he would have fought that as best he could. He was also far too used to being tossed into a bathroom with a medical kit or Oor simply patching him up without any regard to how badly it hurt.

Chaceledon watched worriedly. He gingerly investigated the wounds in his nose. Gods, they would be swollen and needed to be cleaned. His foot could be stitched and bound; Rheinhard’s knives were extremely sharp and that made for an easy wound.

Chaceledon shifted, delicately holding a hand over his injured nose and pulling his robes around his body.
 

Seteta

The Dragon's Betrothed
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"He's bleeding in one lung," Seteta murmured, trying to maintain her grasp on the magic. "All the scratches seem to be... mostly superficial.

"I need to focus,"
she said, her face pinching with effort. "Please don't ask questions."

She closed her eyes, and went to work. She wasn't a trained healer, but she could do something. She found the bleeding in Rheinhard's lung, and slowly staunched it. But she didn't dare try to expel the blood from his lungs, uncertain if she could do it without suffocating him. Then she very, very carefully went over his ribs and smoothed out the sharp points that had caused this to happen. Then she moved to his shoulder, and calmed the muscles. He would still be sore for some days, but there would be less stiffness.

When she finally withdrew from the magic, sweat dotted her brow and her face was pale, both within the Well and outside of it.

"I think I've taken care of the worst of it," she said, her voice shaky.



"Thank you," Aetes said, relief evident in his voice, and carefully pulled the shirt off Rheinhard's back. It was torn and bloodied, and the priest let it drop to the floor. He glanced at the cuts across Rheinhard's shoulders, and told the healer that they seemed to be clotting and the bleeding mostly stopped, then he carefully laid Rheinhard back on the blankets and held his feet up while the healer slipped a short, padded bench under them.

"So his heart doesn't have to work as hard for a bit," she explained. "We need to keep him from slipping further into shock."

The healer handed the cloth back to Aetes and directed him through cleaning all of the scratches as Rheinhard rested. An assistant brought warm honey water for Rheinhard to sip on, and Aetes helped him to carefully drink after finishing cleansing the wounds.

"I need to check your ribs," the healer spoke to Rheinhard. "Unfortunately, it's not something Aetes can do for me, because he doesn't know what to feel for. May I touch you?"
 

Chaceledon

The Draconian Diva
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Nestor fell silent, and the small grouping of Volkers watched her closely. Pain flooded the Well. Oor hadn’t bothered to make his healing gentle. It was utilitarian in an extreme sense; Seteta was able to repair the damage but Rheinhard would be able to feel every moment of her smoothing his bones and patching up the lung. Gere winced, hearing the shrill cry Rheinhard expelled.

“He’s going to pass out. Go take over.” Nestor muttered at Gere. “Seteta will need tending to.” He had his eyes on her. She was strong, but coming out of the healing for the first time had her shaky. Aron quietly approached her and put her arm over his shoulders.

“Easy there. He’ll be alright, don’t you overextend yourself.” He reassured her.

__________________________

Rheinhard could feel Seteta fixing him. It was familiar, but it wasn’t something a man could get used to. He could feel her crawling around in his chest, smoothing over old bone and healing the bruised lung. He sucked in a breath to scream, clawing at Aetes’ shirt. His hands flexed so hard they went white.

Under his skin, old scar tissue bubbled and moved like he had snakes under his ribs. Chaceledon put a reassuring hand on his leg.

“Seteta’s healing him from the Well, I’ve seen this before. Rheinhard?” he quested gently.

“Gere.” Rheinhard grunted, in a lightly accented voice. “He’s out.”

“Alright. Let him rest. Seteta..?”

“That’s the new master, right? Or mistress, I should say.” Gere settled his head back on the blankets. He sipped his water, taking in slow, measured breaths. “It’s alright. Ribs are fixed. I just forgot how much that hurt.”

Chaceledon nodded.
“I think the last time you had it was when someone broke your jaw.”

“Dont remind me. And who are you?” Gere eyed Aetes briefly. He patted the healer. “It’s alright. Seteta’s fixed it. Just need to fix the cuts now.”

“I’m sorry for hurting you.” Chaceledon sighed. “I should have known better. I lost my temper.”


Gere smirked tiredly. “By the looks of things he evened the score out with that fat lip.”
 

Seteta

The Dragon's Betrothed
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Seteta let Aron haul her to her feet and hold her up. She hadn't realized it would cause Rheinhard pain... or at least not as much as it did. It was... not the same as using her magic. The healing magic she could use because she controlled the Well, but it was different than both her propensity for earth, or her illusion abilities.

And despite being in the Well, she had the distinct sensation of her stomach roiling.

Pale, she looked over at Nestor. "I'll be back, to let you know what happens with Chaceledon," she said, and then vanished.

Her eyes flashed open in the physical world, and she vaguely noticed that most of the others were gathered around Rheinhard, and Chaceledon had shifted back. She almost stood and headed in that direction, but then her stomach started protesting again from the strange magic she'd used, and instead she scrambled out the tent flap to vomit in the sand.



"The... Well?" the healer asked, her hands moving away as she saw the strange movements under Rheinhard's skin. "Is that the strange spell I sense on him?"

"He's cursed to house his ancestor's souls,"
Aetes explained briefly.

The healer nodded slowly. "And it's one of his ancestors controlling him now?"

Aetes nodded. The healer shrugged, and as Gere and Chaceledon began to converse, she began cleaning Rheinhard's face. "Have some of the honey tea before I begin stitching," she said. "Even if you're alert, Rheinhard's body is still in rough shape. Is there any dizziness? Aches? Trouble breathing?"

When Seteta stumbled out of the tent, the healer's eyes flickered toward her.

"One of you should check on her," the healer said, looking between Aetes and Chaceledon.
 

Chaceledon

The Draconian Diva
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“You’re using the Well’s own magic, not your own. Wraith magic. Just breathe. You’re alive, so I wouldn’t expect something too nasty. Just perhaps the feeling of using decay magic in reverse.” Nestor reasoned as Aron patted her. She looked sick. The remnants didnt have time to console her before she vanished out of the Well entirely.

Gere winced watching her stumble outside, then the sound of retching. “Wraith magic doesn’t mix with everyone.” He sighed heavily. “You stay here.” He nodded at Aetes. They all knew who needed to go outside after Seteta, and it wasn’t the priest.

Gere stood quietly to let his cuts be cleaned, chuckling. “All this fuss over a little lung puncture, I feel like a person or something strange. Dizziness yes, but it’s fading. Lung clot will come up in a few days of coughing, don’t you worry about that. Aches…you get squeezed like a sandbag by a giant reptile you’re not going to feel well.”

Chaceledon barely needed to be told. He was already moving, coming outside to kneel next to her and rub her back. He eyed one of his sleeves, cursed internally, and ripped the fabric off to help wipe the sick from her lips. He swept sand over the mess with his spare hand.

“Wraith magic isn’t for living things. Try and think of something happy…it helps.” he said quietly.
 

Seteta

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Seteta started a little when a warm hand soothingly touched her back. She was still on her knees, hunched over the sand, eyes closed as she willed her stomach to just calm down. She took a deep breath, heard the ripping of cloth, and carefully shifted back on her heels to sit on the ground.

"I don't know if I can think of anything happy right now," she murmured, looking over at Chaceledon as he buried her vomit while she cleaned her mouth. Her expression was a strange mixture of nausea, sorrow, and uncertainty.

Then her face pinched again and she turned a little green. Perhaps... if this was a reaction to the wraith magic that made up the Well... maybe her own magic could counter it. Before her stomach and throat started spasming on their own, she slammed her palm to the sand and reached out to that magic in the earth. The magic that was as natural to her as breathing.

She didn't try to do anything, just... touched it. Let it flow through her. Gradually, color began to return to her face and her breathing became more relaxed.

"I don't know what to do," she told Chaceledon quietly. Her eyes roamed over his face. His nose was badly torn and swollen, and she felt guilty for wondering if he was okay, would be okay, when Rheinhard was in there passed out, and all of this--Chaceledon's own injuries, Rheinhard's condition, and her having to heal Rheinhard in the first place--was all his fault.

"I don't know how to go back to your estate and put all of my effort into winning your hand when I don't know if it would be safe to have children with you anymore," she said. "Children are not our possessions. They are individuals that we are given care of, to teach how to be active and beneficial participants in the world, and part of that means eventually letting them go to be their own people and make their own decisions, whether we agree with them or like them or not."

She glanced down at her hand, and reached over to nervously twist the engagement ring around on her finger.

"If that is something you are capable of--or want to become capable of--either way, it will take far longer than the three months your father gave for the challenge for the trust you just broken between us to be mended."
 

Chaceledon

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Chaceledon rubbed her back and felt her magic warm the earth. Reaching down into the sand seemed to steady her a bit. He rubbed her back, feeling disquieted. He knew he’d been selfish, and controlling, and he’d seriously hurt Rheinhard. A spat like that between two dragons would have been a brush off. Even a fight like that with Oor would have been little else than soreness and bad blood.

This was far more serious. Chaceledon had a horrible gnawing feeling in his gut. Her soft voice, the fear in it. I don’t know if it would be safe to have children with you anymore.

The words wrapped around his heart and squeezed. He sat back on his heels, feeling so stupid. He had ruined this. He had ruined her trust by trying to control his son. Did she truly think he would ever harm their children? Gods, would he? Would the Hokkaido temper rear its ugly head when their hatchlings disobeyed him? He swallowed thickly.

“I was so afraid of losing him. There are so many things that could go wrong…” he whispered. He hugged his knees to his chest. “I…lost my temper.” He looked down at the sands. Her words were a punch in the gut but she was right. “I would never hurt you or our children.”

He felt like he couldn’t breathe watching her fiddle with her engagement ring. How did he explain it to her? How did he express that he knew it was wrong. How did he make her see so many years of being taught the exact opposite of the Inizae ways? Dragons were owned by their parents. Oor had owned him. It didn’t mean he needed to keep doing that with Rheinhard. He knew his adoptive son needed to strike out on his own, but so soon?

“I’ll do anything you ask of me.” He said. He couldn’t imagine losing her. He pulled in a deep breath. He could hardly feel the throbbing in his nose anymore. What did he do? Flee to give her some space? Stay? Return to the estate without her? He looked over at her. Was the engagement off?
 

Seteta

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Seteta listened as Chaceledon spoke. When he finished, she sighed softly and leaned into him, resting her head on his shoulder.

"I know our cultures are different," she said. "But you have to have patience with people who think differently than you do.

"And Rheinhard... he doesn't have as much time as you do. Or even me or my people. If he doesn't begin to seek out his own life now... He will never be able to. Even if your family eventually accepts him, do you think he'll really be happy there? He fits better with the Inizae."

It wasn't something she ever thought she'd say, especially after learning how intertwined the Volkers we're with Persian and her people's history, but it was true.

"But most of all... You have to remember that neither Rheinhard nor I are dragons. By the laws if nature... You are a predator, and we are prey. In some ways we will never be equals.

"You came terribly close to killing him. To killing someone you claim to see as a son."

She fell silent then. She wouldn't make him promise anything... Any change he was going to make would have to be because he chose to do so.
 

Chaceledon

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Chaceledon sighed heavily and put his arm around Seteta. She was right. She didn’t have all the time in the world like he did. She didn’t have hundreds or thousands of years to make this work. She just had her lifespan, the same as Rheinhard.

“I used to think he was indestructible..” Chaceledon sighed and looked back at the tent where Rheinhard lay. “I love him…and he knows that. I think we both went too far.” Chaceledon fell silent, sitting with her. He gingerly touched his nose. His foot hurt like hell as well. Rheinhard wasn’t helpless, and he’d certainly given as good as he got.

“He does fit better with the Inizae. It’s hard to let go of him. He’s been at my side in some form or another for so long. They all have. I know I have to let him go. It just seemed so…sudden.”

Chaceledon held her close. “If you do end up deciding I’m worth it, and we do have children, we should raise them more along your people’s values than mine.”
 

Seteta

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"Perhaps you both went too far... But you physically attacked him first. He didn't bite you or go for his knives until after you'd injured him, multiple times.

"You claim to be the parent, which means you are the one with greater authority. That means you are also the one with greater responsibility."


Seteta let Chaceledon pull her closer into his side. Even though this whole incident had cast a dark shadow over their immediate plans, she still lived him. Still wanted to be close to him.

"I know it may seem sudden to you, but Rheinhard broached the idea with me yesterday. I could already see his interest in staying well before that as well.

"You need to learn to look at the world--at your loved ones--for what it and they truly are. Not how you want it to be.

"Has it occurred to you that Rheinhard waited till now to tell you because he knew you wouldn't listen to him?"


Seteta laced her fingers through Chaceledon's. "If we are going to raise children together... We have to start now. Start finding out common values, and living them. It has to be for us as much as them."
 

Chaceledon

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Character Biography
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Chaceledon listened. As usual, she was right. He was beginning to understand the old adages of husbands who claimed their wives were ‘always right’. Perhaps women existed not to give birth but to stop men from doing idiotic things altogether. Deep down he’d known Rheinhard would want to stay. Rheinhard did best in environments he could work. Lying around indolently while servants and pets took care of his every need was pure hell to him. He needed to chop wood, hunt, repair things and have goals in mind. It was what he was bred for and trying to change him was like trying to turn a pit bull into a lap dog. It just didn’t work.

Of course, he’d have seen that if he hadn’t been so wrapped up in himself. He’d been so focused on using Rheinhard as an emotional crutch to keep him stable. If this continued maybe he’d use Seteta the same way. He didn’t want that at all. He wanted Rheinhard to be happy. The goal had been freedom, not merely being out from under Oor’s thumb.

“I was trying to imprison him again. Not like Oor, but a gilded cage nonetheless. He’d have come back to the estate, been lazy, and gone mad from it until one of the others broke out and did something stupid.” Chaceledon sighed wearily. “No wonder he fought so hard. I would have too if he tried to drag me back into the wilderness and make me live in a dirty lean-to.”

He could still see it going so wrong. He could see Klaus escaping or Jess deciding to hurt the Inizae. Aron, Gere and Nestor likely wouldn’t harm them…unless they tried to bar Nestor access to the archives. Then, he sensed, that oasis would become tainted faster than anyone could blink. It could go so wrong. So many could die, but maybe he needed to give Rheinhard that chance.

“I was also a little jealous.” he admitted, bringing their joined hands up to kiss their knitted fingers. He winced and pulled away; his nose was definitely not healed enough. “He’s been making moon eyes at that priest. I’ve been the only one in his life for a long time. I still don’t have any right to deny him that; it just felt like being replaced.”

He smiled down at her. “I think I’m starting to understand that phrase…’Behind every man is a woman shaking her head’. You’re going to make a better dahna than I am a dahnesh. I want to raise our children to be like you. Strong, independent. You’ve faced down monsters with more confidence than I ever did.”