Private Tales Read between the lines

  • The Veil Falls

    Three times a year Lessat, the largest of Arethil's two moons, eclipses the sun. This time the event falls on Hallow's Eve. All across the world spirits start to appear, reliving their gruesome ends. They cannot be interacted with.

    Join us for this year's Halloween event. More information coming soon!

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Talus

Dreadlord
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Talus stayed for a while after Zana went to bed, softly petting her hair and just sitting besides her until she was well and truly asleep.

After that he went about placing the runes all around the room. They were simple things. Wards of movement, life, alarms and barriers that would prevent entry. Not particularly strong, but they would allow him time to get back to Zana if anything happened.

Eventually he returned downstairs to sit and wait for his friend.

It was another few hours yet, but by the time the clock struck midnight he could hear the gates of the estate open.

"WHERE IS HE! THAT BEAUTIFUL BASTARD!"​

Talus recognized the voice instantly as he stepped outside, placing a finger over his lips. "Zell please, my Fiance is sleeping upstairs."

"Ah hell! Fuck I'm sorry but kress am I glad to see you friend."​

Talus was about to say something, but before he could his friend crossed the courtyard and entangled him in a tight embrace.
 

Zana

Second Level
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Grey's head lifted when he heard the shouting in the yard and then very slowly lowered it back onto his paws when he registered Talus' voice. His ears swivelled this way and that and his eyes moved about the room carefully. When Zana murmured in her sleep he whimpered and pressed his face back into the crook of her neck. She soon settled back down into her sleep and he wagged his tail twice in a content and happy manner.

There the pair stayed for the rest of the night; Zana's face buried in the thick fur of her wolf and his head protectively resting on her belly.

Zana only stirred when the sun was steadily climbing into the sky. Grey was snoring and running in his sleep in small little fits but the rest of the manor was quiet. Carefully, she eased her way out of bed so as not to disturb Grey nor Talus, and then made her way back downstairs whilst tugging on a dressing gown. Despite it being early there were a few servants getting on with the morning chores. More than a few looked a little startled when she asked where the kitchen was.

"Ma'am we can bring you something, anything you want... I can wake the Chef for you..." one young lad practically hopped alongside Zana and wrung his hands, glancing awkwardly from her to the kitchen she was heading for. Zana waved him off.

"I'm perfectly capable of making breakfast, please don't wake the Chef," even so the boy hovered uncertainly in the doorway.

"Chef don't like people touching his kitchen Miss..."

"I'll treat it like my own I promise," Zana offered the young lad such a beautiful smile it had him going red in the face. Idly she tied up her hair into a messy bun and set about cooking breakfast.

By the time the others came down Zana was laying out the last of the dishes on the dining table. The spread was enough to feed an army; different types of egg, bacon, sausages, pancakes in blueberry, lemon and chocolate, fruits, yoghurts, French Toast, waffles and freshly made bread.
 
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Talus

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"By the gods I can see why you're marrying her."

Zell laughed as he clapped Talus on the shoulder, standing in a gold silken robe that looked about what one would expect a King to own. He was a man of darker complexion, standing taller than even Talus but around the same age. There was a wide smile on his face.

"Just one of the many reasons." Talus said, opening his mouth to introduce Zana but finding that his friend was already doing it for himself.

"I am dearly sorry Madame, My name is Zell Vahid. Merchant, Exile of the Empire, and greatest inconvenience to your travels in this city."

He took a deep bow.

"I beg your apologies as I begged your future husbands. You should never have met such an obstacle coming here."

A frown touched his lips.

"And now you've had to cook your own breakfast. I am a terrible host."
 

Zana

Second Level
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Zana tucked a strand of hair behind her ear where it had fallen loose from her messy bun. Her smile dimpled her cheeks and she found her head tilting to the side in what one might describe as amusement. But there was something else there... curiosity perhaps. In Vel'Anir she was not used to the darker skinned. It whispered to her of a home she didn't even know.

"Zana, it's a pleasure to meet you and oh, please don't be mad with your chef I stole his kitchen I'm afraid," a faint blush rose in her cheeks and she glanced over the food. "I'm suffering with several cravings during this pregnancy and it seemed easier to cook it myself than wait on someone else. Please, both of you, come and help me eat all of this," she motioned to the cushions.

Once they were settled and Zana had piled her plate unashamedly high she continued.

"It's good to see our meddling worked. Your justice here is very different to what we have back home."
 
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Talus

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"Mad with my chef? Never. If it wasn't for Zahar I would starve."

Talus smiled.

There was something...nice about knowing that his friends were the kind of people who responded to things in such way. It made him believe that he had chosen them properly. Zell and he had only met each other for two days, but like with the Dwarves they had formed a deep connection.

Funny how that went. "I thought your last name was Bashere."

Talus said as they sat down on opposite ends of the table, Talus taking a seat besides Zana as he began to gather food.

"My name is technically Zell Zahir Vahid Alli Bashere'Fellthwin."

The Dreadlord blinked.

"Nobility, my friend, has many names. That doesn't even include my titles...well, former titles before that Fire-Giant came along anyway."
 
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Zana

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Zana nearly choked on her mouthful of scrambled eggs when he mentioned the Emperor. So he was from the West. It made sense given his accent, home and complexion but she had long ago learnt not to judge people based on that. It was a Anirian way of thinking and she was beginning to learn she didn't exactly care for it.

She took a sip of water to ease the lodge of food in her throat and glanced to Talus briefly.

"You were deposed?" from what little she had been able to gather about the Emperor he tried to bring the current nobility under his control rather than let them leave. As she understood it people didn't get a chance to leave. "How do you find Alliria in comparison?" her face was an open book filled with curiosity as she went back to eating an amount of food even a dwarf would have been impressed by.
 
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Talus

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Zell shook his head with a laugh.

"Deposed would imply that I had any power to begin with."

Talus quirked an eyebrow. He could vaguely remember his friend telling him this story beforehand, though truthfully it was all rather murky. The two of them had done a lot of drinking, and piecing it together was quite hard.

"I am from the city of Haif. Ruled over by a Sultan...though that title was generous even a hundred years ago."

His head shook.

"Our family kept the cities treasury, but when Gerra and his Empire came we thought it best to leave. Alliria has been...kind to us. Open. Free."

Zell seemed to smile.

"I find it more a home than home."
 
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Zana

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Zana listened to his answer with great interest and quietly tucked it away in her mind in case she would need such information again. An idea suddenly came to her and standing up she moved over to where she had seen parchment and ink.

"We're trying to find our own home, somewhere remote where we can live quietly," Zana plonked herself back on the cushions with the items and, after shoving another mouthful of blueberry pancake in her mouth, began to draw the mountains both she and Talus had now seen in visions. It was their home, she knew it was. Where Talus would build the house. It was that distinctive mountain range she sketched now and turned it, sliding it over to their host.

"Have you seen this mountain range before? Do you know where it is?"
 
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Talus

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Zell considered for a moment, looking at the drawing for a few seconds as if trying to place something. He was a traveled man, though not as much as some others.

"Nowhere in the west, I know that."

There was a strange seriousness to the way he took the question, as though he were trying to repay a debt that hung over his head with an answer. Lips thinned for a moment and he reached up to scratch his bald head. "Any guesses?"

Zell mused for a moment more.

"Perhaps the southern spine. Nowhere near the blight certainly."
Talus nodded. He did not know much of the blight, but the Proctors had spoken of what lurked within the lands there.

It was not where he wanted to raise his children.
 
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Zana

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"I think it is near a town of sorts," Zana said around a mouthful of food and then shrugged a little. She hadn't been expecting him to be able to tell them but a small part of her had hoped. It would have been nice if they could have begun work on their new home ready to move to once the rebellion had been completed. There was a nagging sense it would not be so easy but if she dwelt on that she would lose her hope.

"We'll have to go exploring," she threw Talus a grin and then sat back in the cushions with a content sigh. She had eaten nearly the same amount as both Talus and Zell combined and she rubbed her stomach in bliss. It was the first time she had felt full in a long time.

"Talus has always wanted to visit Alliria, do you have any recommendations on what to see? It all seems very... chaotic."
 
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Talus

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"Perhaps asking the Rangers would suit you better. I do not know much of the east, but they certainly do."​

"Rangers?" Talus said with a slight quirk of his brow.


Talus recognized the name from a time in the Academy. The Rangers were an oddity to someone like him. No govnerment controlled them, no King, no merchant council, nothing. They ruled themselves and operated on their own volition.

Many Allirians loved them, and even moreso the rural towns who did not have their own city watches. "Might just have to do that."

He said in consideration.

Zell then quickly turned back to Zana, drawing a line over his chin.

"The inner docks of course, The Dual Keeps too."​
 

Zana

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Allirian Rangers tickled something at the back of her mind but she couldn't place what. She thought it was important but every time she reached for the information it retreated further and further until she gave a soft sigh of defeat. Instead she focused on what they could see with their time here around locating a healer to get a check over.

"Mmm..." she nodded and glanced to Talus, her face breaking into a smile as she lightly brushed her shoulder against his and then pressed a kiss to his cheek. "Let me go get dressed and we can get going if you like, love," she stood up with all the elegance of a cat and then gave a polite bow to their host before leaving the room.
 
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Talus

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Talus and Zell spoke for a little while more, mostly conversing about Allirian Politics and his position within the city.

It seemed that the Merchant Councilor likely wouldn't do much after this attempt, though a bridge of business would be burned. Zell swore that he would be more careful with his affairs in the future, but Talus somewhat doubted that was the truth.

Even if he meant it now. "Oh another thing, we need a doctor."

Zell perked an eyebrow, but didn't ask any questions.

"I know just the one. He's from Elbion. Not a mage, but brilliant all the same. I'll have his address written down for you."

Talus nodded and gave a quick word of thanks, and eventually the two broke up their conversation as Talus headed towards the front door and waited for Zana to join him. He still did not carry his sword, but the same knife from last night was tucked into his belt.
 
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Zana

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It didn't take too long for Zana to get ready, though she was delayed by a precarious few moments of hovering over the toilet debating whether or not she was going to be sick. It seemed as though for the moment at least the twins had decided their mother could keep her food down for a while longer. Deciding not to add any pressure on her stomach in case that aggravated the nausea feeling more Zana opted for a simplistic orange dress in the Western style. The gauzy light material made her feel less light headed.

"Ready?" she asked as she made her way carefully down the steps by the front door where Talus stood. Grey had chosen to stay in the room; it seemed one of the servants had taken a liking to him and was sneaking him food. Zana rocked on to the tips of her toes and drew him into a sweet and tender kiss.

"Where would you like to visit first?"
 
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Talus

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Talus softly returned the kiss, drawing his finger over her sides. "The Inner-Docks I think."

Where the two parts of Alliria met.

Most people did not think of the city as much, but the reaches of Alliria were really more two metropolis' combined into a single entity. Talus didn't know the history of that of course, but he found the idea in it of itself rather fascinating.

"There's a market." He told Zana. "It has everything from...well, everywhere."

At least that was what Zell had told him. "We can even get some Dwarven Curry Ketchup there."

Talus appeared more than a little excited at the prospect.
 
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Zana

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The excitement on his face made her heartache, even if she didn't understand his love of the dwarfen condiment. Still, his giddiness was infectious and a bubble of laughter escaped her as she nodded her consent and entwined their fingers.

Zana didn't think she would ever get over the enjoyment she got from holding his hand.

"I was talking to one of the serving women here who is pregnant, she's given me a list of recommended things to get for the sickness and other stuff to come," like apparently the swollen ankles, rashes, flushes.

As they walked out into the courtyard and passed Zandors stable, Zana gave him an affectionate pat and treat before stealing herself for the outside. Despite the sickness it caused her she couldn't bring herself to clamp her magic when wandering a new city.

"Apparently twins are really, really tiny when born."
 
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Talus

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Talus nodded, knowing absolutely nothing about the subject. "Maybe we should go to a bookstore too."

He said as he scratched his chin gently.

"There must be books on this stuff." Though reading had never really been his thing but he had always known there was a wealth of knowledge out there as long as you looked for it. Asking people was all well and good, but maybe having a book around for...emergency situations would be a good idea.

It would certainly make him feel better.

His arm gently looped around the small of Zana's back in case she was liable to tumble over once again. "We'll have to be extra careful with them."

Talus said with a soft smile.
 
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Zana

Second Level
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"A bookstore sounds like a good idea, especially considering I can't go back to that one in Vel'Anir now," Zana shot in a semi accusatory look. She had tried once to go into the bookshop where she and Talus had met since the 'event' and the Manager had practically thrown everyone else out and hid. She hadn't attempted to go back again, deciding it was probably safer for them both if she didn't draw more attention to herself and the manner of how they had met.

As they walked the streets Zana pressed herself firmer into Talus' side, carefully to not touch anyone where she could help it. It was much easier without the horse and wolf to worry about too.

"You're going to be a wonderful father," she said after a moment. She had debated ignoring the feeling of nerves down the link but had discarded it at the last moment. "Books are just guides, everyone is different. We'll find our own path," her fingers stroked over the secure muscle of his arm wrapped about her.
 
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Talus

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Talus shrugged his shoulders in innocence and pretended that he had no idea what she was even talking about.

The crowds were still bustling, but it was not as bad as when they had first arrived in the city. Still, Alliria was far more lively than Vel Anir or any other place he had ever been to. It seemed that there was...well there was a heartbeat to the metropolis.

As if all of it was alive. "We will."

Talus agreed, though it was clear that Alliria was starting to drag his attention from the conversation. His eyes flittered over one thing and then hopped to the next. It was like he was trying to take in everything at once.
 
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Zana

Second Level
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Zana went to say something else but paused and decided to close her mouth instead. Let him enjoy the city he has wanted to see, she chided herself quietly. She let him lead - it helped he was tall enough to see over more of the crowd than she was - and instead turned her own attention to the city itself. Personally, she couldn't see the appeal. Vel'Anir was structured. The roads all fed into one centre and were wide enough for a whole army to pass through. Here there were tiny little nooks and crannies she found herself scanning of threats.

Too many places for people to hide.

She smelt rather than saw them arriving at their destination. Soon the air was filled with shouts of merchants and peddlers trying to sell their wares. The stink of fish hung over the air like a rotten cloud and Zana tugged up a bit of cloth to cover her nose and mouth.

"You go on ahead, I'm going to try and find some of these things." It wasn't too busy; busy enough to make her uncomfortable but she could see Talus as he moved ahead to find the curry ketchup whilst she went browsing for the herbs on her list.

Zana was at one stand, discussing teas, when someone grabbed a hold of her wrist.

"Arina?!"
 
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Talus

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Talus did not go too far from Zana, mostly because even with a new city to explore he was still concerned about leaving his now pregnant fiance anywhere alone.

It was a silly thing to be worried about really.

If she wanted to Zana could wipe out the entire square with a wave of her hand and render every living thing here little less than dust. Despite knowing that fact though, Talus still felt the way he did. So instead of leaving her behind completely he instead explored nearby stalls.

"Oh whats this?" He asked one of the keepers, picking up an oddly curved knife.

"Ahhh, my friend, this is a blade from the Blightlands, forged by the tribes there."​

Talus perked an eyebrow as the shopkeeper began his spiel about the blades quality and the fact that it could cut through the skin of a fire-giant.
 
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Zana

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"No... I'm sorry," Zana frowned and tried to release her arm from the elderly woman who had grasped it but it was like iron. The woman began speaking very quickly in a language she didn't know and she struggled to get a word in edgeways. "No, I'm sorry you have the wrong... I'm not Arina. My name's Zana," that gave the woman pause and the Dreadlord very carefully began to pry each finger from her arm, nodding encouragingly. "Zana, not Arina."

"Zana!"
the old woman exclaimed and suddenly burst into tears. Her vice like grip disappeared from her arm but instead her old, leathery hands cupped her cheeks and she began her babble again in that odd language that itched at the back of her mind.

Zana cast a helpless look to the woman behind the stall who simply shrugged.

"Baba, there you are," a plump woman came panting up to join them, though she frowned when she noticed what was going on. She said something softly in that same language and touched the old woman's shoulder, trying to draw her away, but the old woman held firm. Zana stood there helplessly as they argued back and forth.

A sudden dawning of realisation appeared on the other woman's face.

"I'm so sorry," she looked to Zana now, though it seemed to her that she was looking for something there. "My grandmother... she thinks you are her granddaughter."
 
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Talus

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Talus was listening to the shopkeeper for quite a while and was even starting to believe his sales pitch. A part of him wanted a dagger that could cut through the skin of a fire-giant.

Of course he already had a dwarven sword that was supposed to be able to slice Dragon Scale, but...well one could always use another knife. He was about to open his mouth to ask the Merchant how much the blade was when he felt something odd across his bond with Zana.

It wasn't quite...panic, but a great amount of discomfort. Lips thinned for a moment and he put the blade back on the table. "Excuse me."

He said with a wave of his hand as he turned around and headed back towards Zana.

Finding her wasn't too difficult, but making his way through the crowd in order to get to her was practically an impossibility. He pushed people aside, catching sight of Zana standing with two women speaking to her.
 
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Zana

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Zana looked from the young woman to the old lady clutching at her desperately. The hazy image of her mother's face swam into her mind but it was like staring at a painting being ruined by rainfall. She grimaced and then shook her head firmly.

"There is a mistake," she didn't know much about her family but she knew that her mother had always mentioned her family being dead. There was no way this woman could be related to her, even if she did have the same deep brown eyes her mother had had.

"Please, was your mother called Arina?" the older woman was getting hysterical now Zana was being firmer with getting her arm back and the younger woman also looked agitated with her leaving. Suddenly, she wanted to be very, very far away.

"I don't know, I don't remember. She died when I was young," her mother had simply been 'some maid' in the reports. Her father's name had only been recorded because he had worked on the ships and Anirian's were nothing if not pedantic about their navy. The young woman conveyed what Zana said to the older woman.

Suddenly there was a shrill wail and the woman dropped to the floor in tears at her feet.
 

Talus

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Talus pushed through the crowd as people suddenly stopped and looked at the wailing woman. Confusion pulled across many of their faces, more than a few looks of concern were shot over and some even stopped all together as they tried to figure out what was happening.

It was opportunity enough though to let him squeeze through the crowd.

He moved quickly, stepping to Zana's side but never reaching for a weapon as he gently came up behind her and touched the small of her back. "Zana?"

Talus asked curiously.

He had absolutely no idea what the hell was going on. The old woman seemed to be breaking down, sobbing as she looked up at Zana desperately.
 
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