Private Tales Read between the lines

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Zana

The Executioner
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An adventurer.

Zana kept her face perfectly blank but no doubt Talus would feel the scorn she felt down the bond. There had been more than one occasion when some such fool had gotten in the way of missions back home. Money did not mean sense. In fact, she thought the more money a person had the less sense they had. As though every piece of gold that left their fingers contained a common shred of sense. She stepped back to let Master Haern get to work on the horses shoes. The blacksmith gave the stallion a wary look and the horse responded in kind. She wondered who would kick who first until, finally, they both went back to their own business.

The noble was busy going on about the tomb in a great gush.

"They think there is more gold in there than Oban and Alliria combined," a breathy sigh as he no doubt imagined that gold sitting in his fat pouches.

"Tales like that will send the boys 'ere scampering up them hillsides with you, and their angry mothers too," Haern chuckled but Zana didn't miss the look he gave several of his lads who were all staring at the noble with clear wonder.

"Gold like that attracts dragons," Zana cut in smoothly. "Or the dwarves who have a claim to it," they were almost as gold thirsty as dragons were.
 
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Talus

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Talus considered for a moment. "Seems dangerous."

There was no doubt in his mind that the tomb held some sort of danger, and if it did not yet it soon would. Zana was right, Dragons and Dwarves coveted their gold. Not to mention the fact that the latter likely had ancient rights to the tomb.

He mused for a moment more.

"I would be careful approaching such a thing." The former Dreadlord rolled his shoulders, leaning against the fence post.

"Oh I'm sure all the care in the world is being taken."​

Talus raised an eyebrow, but simply shook his head.

There was no reasoning with men like this, not when they'd already convinced themselves it would all be okay. Talus pulled himself away from the fencepost, stepping over towards Zana. "Either way, best you be careful."

The nobleman nodded.

"Yes yes of course!"​
 
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Zana

The Executioner
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Zana slid her hand across Talus' back, her fingers playing over the dagger as casually as any other woman might play her hand across her husbands belt.

"We wish you all the luck with your adventures - and your horse," she smiled. Master Haern gave a grunt of a goodbye and no further thanks for turning the stallion into something he could work on. Zana expected nothing less and left with a smile, gently pushing Talus along with her. Stepping into the fray of a busy market still put her on edge but it no longer made her reach for her sword or cry as it had in the days after the rebellion. She could still feel the crush of the dead at times... Shaking the cold memory like she left the crowd pick them up and carry them along the street.

It seemed every third person was an adventurer.

"Maybe we should tell Thror," Zana's brows pulled down into a worried frown. The small dwarf colony wasn't that far and perhaps they would know who the gold did belong to.
 
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Talus

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The village had truly become somewhat crowded, Talus tagging along besides Zana as they ventured into the central square of the town. His eyes caught on the dozens of adventurers, each one seemingly gearing up to trek into the mountains.

"Aye." He said with a nod.

"We're a fair bit south of the Hold, but..." Talus considered for a brief moment, trying to remember some of what his pseudo father had taught him. "Thror told me the Dwarven cities used to all be connected, brought together by some sort of tunnel network."

He frowned. "Maybe this is part of that."

The dwarves had a long history in Arethil, longer than most. They had built and lost more cities than scholars even knew. This hold could be any one of a thousand things.

"I'll send a raven." Talus said, rubbing at his chin idly.
 
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Zana

The Executioner
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Zana nodded and then dodged out of the way of a vendor hawking his wares.

"I have a bad feeling about it," she confessed when they walked once more side by side and slowed near one of the market stalls full of fresh vegetables. In the past her 'bad' feelings had been full blown visions and whilst she had lost them a certain odd sense came over her every now and then when a disaster was brewing. Sometimes it was as simple as a warning that there was going to be a storm, other times it had foreshadowed a lad in town breaking his neck in a fall from his horse. She rubbed at the goosebumps on her arms and then picked up a few carrots, popping them into her large wicker basket. Her voice dropped.

"It's going to bring more people through the town, too. People we don't know," and people they couldn't keep an eye on. It would be best definitely to keep their visits to town short in the coming months. Unfortunately, the coming months were probably when they would most need to rely on the town bringing them supplies.
 
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Talus

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He nodded, watching those around them. "We can't control a town growing."

Even if they could, it wouldn't be the right thing to do. Though of course, that all depended on whether or not the town itself even wanted to grow. There was no telling really, at least not unless you went around and asked every villager.

"We'll see what Thror has to say." Talus offered. "If the dwarves stake their claim most of these people will stop coming."

Though they were not as mighty as they had once been, the Dwarves were still a might to be reckoned with.

Most nations would not want to draw the ire of one of the Dwarven Holds, much less a handful of nobles who made their lives around the southern reaches of the Spine. They just had to get word quickly enough to Thror and his Hold.

"This way I think." He said, turning towards the south side of the town where the raven holder was.
 
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Zana

The Executioner
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Zana politely shook her head at a woman who offered them a freshly baked loaf of bread; her own loaves had cooked that morning. The woman gave her a lopsided smile she expected wasn't meant to be nice, and quickly moved on to other potential customers. The ex Dreadlord shook her head in amusement: it was still hard learning the mannerisms of normal people. Had they been in Vel'Anir, she would have ignored the vendor altogether and she would have been thankful for not having a Dreadlord take interest in her.

"This guy gives me the creeps," she muttered as they turned off the busy fanfare down one of the more cramped streets. There was still a generous amount of people down here, way more than usual, but the way the tops of the buildings almost touched and blotted out the sky still made it feel as though the people bustling along had ill-intent. She also just hated how wide the street made her feel.

Ravens in different sizes of cage soon came into view though truthfully the pair could hear them and smell them before they actually saw a single black feather. She was surprised to see that there was a small queue outside too. More finely dressed nobles waited patiently with scrolls to send off and the Ravenmaster looked more than a little ruffled from the sudden influx of business.

"I'll be with you soon!" he called to them both as they joined the end of the line.
 
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Talus

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"He's just eccentric." The former Dreadlord pointed out as they cut through the alleyway and reached the ravenloft. It was immediately clear to him that the place was a lot busier than it usually tended to be, a fact which the quick shout was doubtlessly supposed to ease.

An amused smile touched his lips for a moment as he watched the man half stumble around his cages. He muttered something about 'overcrowding', and there being too many damned people in too fine a dress. Clearly the man did not care much for his new clientele.

Talus watched some of the faces of the nobleman as they waited.

Most of them wore armor far above what anyone else in this place could afford, with much of it clearly having been overpaid for. The faces among the crowd were mostly men, though a few women sprinkled in among them.

Some were excited, some stoic, others tried to remain completely expressionless.

Unsurprisingly, Talus didn't recognize any of them.

Eventually they managed to reach the front of the line, the messenger giving Talus and Zana an exasperated look. He breathed out asking what it was they wanted, then funnily enough made a comment about how nice it was to see familiar faces. "I need to send a message to a Dwarf hold."

Eyebrows raised, but the man only nodded.

Within a few moments Talus had Zana write out a message, knowing that she would be able to do it faster.
 

Zana

The Executioner
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"Anything else?"

Zana had commandeered the Raven maester's desk and chair to sit at whilst the wrote. Her stomach no longer allowed her to simply lean over a desk to write out a short message. The man gave her reproachful sideways glances from where he pretended not to be watching them whilst he dealt with the rest of the nobles in the line. She dipped the quill back into the ink as she waited for Talus to think.

The message currently was quite a simple one. It outlined the rumours that the pair had heard from the noble in Master Haern's smithy and they had also detailed the number of 'heroes' who appeared to be in the town. Zana had thought it prudent to write of how they were equipped too in case the dwarves thought to go to claim their ancestry.

She had also written a brief update of how the house faired.
 
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Talus

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Talus shrugged. "Don't think so."

He'd never been much good at messages.

"Maybe say something about the plumbing?" A thank you seemed like a good thing to include, and the plumbing of the house had been the big thing that he and Zana had not been able to do on their own.

Aside from that...well Throw knew how much he appreciated him.

Dwarves and exultations of love were not exactly things that went hand in hand. A fact which had always been rather convenient for Talus. The only person he'd ever been able to show such things for was Zana.

"Or..." He frowned, then added. "Just make sure they know this is important."

He didn't want his dwarven father to think this wasn't serious.
 
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Zana

The Executioner
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Zana nodded to each of his suggestions and her pen flew in soft, swirling lines across the page. Lunar had always valued pretty things and that was no different when it came to something as small as writing. The thought of her old House had risen unbidden in her mind and it almost made her stumble over her sentence but she pushed it from her mind and continued. Once she was done she sealed it with her signet ring embossed with Talus' family crest. Their family crest. She smiled faintly to see it there in red wax before passing the note over to the Raven Maester.

"Took yer time," he huffed and scampered off but he picked a sleek looking bird and not one of the more feather-loose ones he had been giving the nobles. It shot off as soon as it was released and the Maester went back to ignoring them. Dismissed, Zana rose slowly with a hand on her back.

"I need to get some herbs from the Wise Woman," she sighed. "If my ankles keep swelling like this I'll just be a round ball."

Zana would have gone on complaining if the distinct touch of laughter brushed across her mind and down the bond. With wide, startled eyes she looked up at Talus to see if he had felt it too.
 
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Talus

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"Well there's the herbali-" Talus stopped mid-sentence, his lips thinning for a moment as he felt the bond reverberate.

It was a third sense, a different sort than normally came from Zana.

He glanced towards his beloved for a few moments, then slowly let his eyes lower towards her belly. An eyebrow slowly rose, and he opened his mouth to speak again before he let his lips seal shut with a shake of his head.

"Magic." He said. "Apparently it runs in the family...'

A fact they'd already known. "What the hell else are they going to be capable of?"

The Former Dreadlord asked, knowing that Zana had no more answers than he did. They had asked a few other Dreadlord's of course, but no one had really offered anything more than a small hint. Not because they hadn't wanted to help, but simply because no one knew.

What was clear was the strength of the twins. They'd already affected the world around them, and as they grew it happened more and more.
 
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Zana

The Executioner
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Zana wasn't as convinced. Her fingers traced slowly over her stomach and in an experiment she pushed her own thought towards that other, third, consciousness they had both felt. She couldn't put into words what exactly it was she sent to them other than love. It was warm, safe, everything pure she had ever felt wound up into a few thoughts and sent down a line. For a few moments nothing happened and then...

The Dreadlord gasped as the feeling came back down the line to them both. It wasn't the same as what Zana had sent but the sentiment was. This was warmth and safe and pureness but from the perspective of children who knew nothing more than the environment around them. The sensation faded slowly but it still felt as though some tiny arms were wrapped around her in a soft embrace.

"Talus... what... what if they can access the bond? What if it's not a bridge but a... a net," she had once spoken to a telepath who had eluded to there being a 'web' of sorts that connected all the minds of those she had known and allowed them to communicate through very basic senses.
 
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Talus

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For a few moments Talus considered the words. It was...well the idea was terrifying in it's own sort of way he supposed.

The bond was something taht he and Zana still did not really understand. It was a mystery that had been born of a combination of her magic and his own. They had never really looked into it too deeply, mainly because of the nature of Vel Anir.

Perhaps that would need to change. "Well..."

He frowned.

"Suppose it's not the worst thing if it is." Talus said slowly. "We'd be able to tell when they're in danger, if they're okay but..."

Slowly the former Dreadlord shook his head. Perhaps the negatives outweighed the positives, if only slightly. Especially early on until they could understand the magics. "Maybe it's time to find out more about the bond."

He said slowly, though kept his calm.

There was no need to panic, no need to worry. Everything had a solution.
 
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Zana

The Executioner
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Zana would panic enough for the both of them.

She raked her hands through her thick hair as she begun to walk, clearly running over every scenario as quickly as her mind could process it. The bond had been something she had treasured when it had first appeared and now it was something she relied on almost as much as she relied upon her own senses. The pair of them had worked their own way around the web without prying too deeply into it. But now, parts of that bond that had concerned her, rose to the forefront of her mind and the risks that it could pose to their children.

"What if they don't like it? What if we've forced them into something..." she trailed off and looked up at her husband with wild eyes. At the crux of it, that was what she was most concerned about. The whole revolution had been to ensure they wouldn't be forced into the Academy, they wouldn't be taken from her arms at birth, that they could decide what to do... and now they'd taken a decision from them before they were even born.

She stopped a little further down the alley to lean against the wall as she panted.
 

Talus

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"Then we'll find a way for them to stop it." Talus said with all the confidence in the world.

He was like a statue, a thing made of stone.

There was not a second of doubt, a moment of hesitation. He knew what would happen. There was no guessing, there was no thought about failure. He was done with that, he had been done with that after the revolution.

"There is always an answer." He told her softly. "And our intent is good.'

That was what mattered. "We'll find a way. Over, above, through."

His head shook.

"Doesn't matter how. They will have a choice, in everything in anything they want." That was what they would offer their children. Everything he and Zana never had. Everything that she and him were never offered. Their children would have a choice, the ability to go where they wanted.

No matter what.
 
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Zana

The Executioner
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Zana looked up at him with a brow knitted with doubt. But despite her own misgivings of the situation, she couldn't help but smile at the determination written over every line of his face. For her, he would always be strong. The least she could do in return was not be quite such a mess anymore. That echo of love again flooded her through the bond from that 'other' presence somewhere in their growing web. She let out a breath, drew another deep one, and let that go too before nodding.

"You're right, you're right," she pushed off the wall and cupped his cheek with a smile. "Pasta you," her nose wrinkled slightly when she smiled at the secret, inside way the pair said they loved one another drawn from a time where saying such a thing aloud would have had them both killed.

"Maybe a trip to Elbion can be our first family holiday," the libraries there might just have the answers they would all need.