Golden Lore: Chapter 1


Well-Known Member
Chapter 1​

"Fall in! Fall in! Fall in!" On the front line far to the north, commanders on both sides cried out to their soldiers. They stood shoulder to shoulder in formation, staring across the battlefield at their enemy and soon-to-be ally. The land between them crackled with electricity and magical discharges, scars left over from before the ceasefire had been called. The treaty talks had taken all of two months. As impossible as the idea of a treaty sounded, Emperor Riordan had asked for one, called for it. His cry for peace had seemed genuine and, as it seemed, the Queen of Mistlord agreed.

Now the two sides stared at one another in their dress uniforms. Their boots were polished, guns at the ready, but not a single bullet or magazine to be found. There was a rift between them, but as soon as the treaty was signed, that rift would close instantly.

The wounds would still be fresh for years to come and though that gap would be bridged now with the treaty, it would take time before they truly considered one another allies or even for Mistlord to truly feel like part of the Riordan Empire. They were the Mistlords. An identity like that does not disappear so easily.

- - -​

Emperor Amell Riordan stared at the trio before him. Mistlord Royalty, one the official Royal Tactician who had been countering all of Riordan’s advances, and two others. Twins. One was rather large, he thought. Not in a bad way really, but she appeared to be as tough as she was beautiful. The one next to her was almost sort of mousy. Her hair had been put up in a fancy bun, but a shock of purple streaked through it, marking this momentous occasion with more color than he’d expect of royalty giving up their power.

Of course, he knew these people, at least as much as one political figure can know their peers after their people had been waging war on one another for the last eight decades. Princess Rosalia seemed a cunning warrior. Princess Althea was poised, elegant, quietly charismatic even, but hiding something? Perhaps holding it back? He couldn’t say, not without actually talking to her. Then there was Laurence. He was a good man. His work in drafting the treaty was impressive. The speed and quality with which he wrote no doubt played an immense role in the completion of the treaty. Perhaps it was his words that were most important, both on paper and in a monarch’s ears…

Amell got to his feet and raised his hand into the air. The crowd before him instantly grew quiet. Althea turned her head towards him and her eyes narrowed aggressively. She nudged Laurence and nodded towards the table before them. On it sat a thick, leather-bound document containing the entirety of the treaty and all of the provisions necessary to reform the Mistlord Kingdom into the Mistlord Republic. Next to it was a single sheet of impressive looking cardstock. She asked, “Ready to be president?” Laurence appeared nervous, shaky even, but he nodded all the same.

“I’d just like to say a few words before we begin.” The Emperor stood at a podium to the left of the table, close to the three Mistlord royals. “As we all know, I am what some would consider a young emperor, having taken my place 15 years ago.

“It’s because I became Emperor so young that I called for this treaty. After so many wasted years, decades, and centuries, I could see no reason as a young man why we could not end this conflict for good. Though it took more time and lives than I’d care to admit, we have accomplished this goal. Now, after two months of peace talks, we can safely say that we have saved our world. We have saved our own lives. My father, though I love him and always will, did not have the best of intentions when he was crowned Emperor. He lined the Empire’s coffers with stolen gold. As soon as he died, I knew it was my time to change that. This experience has only served to humble me and made me more aware of who I am as an emperor, a man, and as a citizen of the world.

“It is for this reason that I formally announce now, at this treaty signing, my intention to empower the Mistlord people. They have always had faith in their royal leaders, but the time for power to be in the hands of a few has passed. Just as the many states and countries of the empire have governed themselves, so too will Mistlord as a republic.”

Amell stepped towards the table and picked up a pen, specially designed to represent Riordan. The pen itself was made of a rich, dark wood and a gold design inlaid twisted from the tip of the pen to the top, leaving space for a silver ‘R.’ He turned to Laurence, Althea, and Rosalia.

“Well?” He held the pen towards them before pausing. He could feel their disapproval of him. It made sense, of course. Amell turned back towards the table. He was no longer close to the mic, but his voice carried as well as it had before, if not better, no doubt assisted by magic of some sort.

"With this pen, we end the bloodshed." Emperor Riordan breathed deeply and signed the paper. "Please, Mr. President. Let's end this once and for all." He handed the pen to the President of the now annexed Mistlord Republic. With shaking fingers, Laurence took up the pen and… waited, just for a moment. He breathed deeply, centered himself. His eyes took on a bright glow and something about him seemed elevated, brighter. It was hard to see what it was that had changed, but he now cut a far more impressive figure for the cameras than he had all day.

He placed the tip of the pen on the line waiting for his name and almost seemed to watch in spite of himself as it glided across the cardstock. He had done it. He was now the leader of his own country, him, a man. He wondered how mother truly felt about that.

“Sisters.” Laurence turned to them as Amell had earlier, his arm outstretched with the pen pointed out.

Althea grabbed it and, in spite of all her decorum and lessons in manners, angrily swiped the pen out of his hand and put it to paper. In a moment, she had signed as well. Rather than handing the pen to her sister, she dropped it on the table and walked off the stage. She had given up her own future for this. In a way, she was glad. In another… well.

Mistlord was officially annexed with the heir’s signature on the treaty. All that waited was for Rosalia to sign. It was time to see what came after the war.


Savage AF
The Original Gangster
Florina stands in the grocery store aisle, pausing to read the news on her phone. “It’s about damn time.” She mutters to herself. I wonder if anyone even knows how treat peacetime properly anymore. Well, at the very least things might be a bit quieter around the world. She puts her phone away into her handmade coat and continues pushing her cart, eyeing the produce. She looks at each piece individually, deciding on the best one to take before putting it in the cart. I think I’ll make some stew tonight, maybe something nice for Socrates too. She lets out a yawn, covering her mouth with her hand, as she looks over her groceries mentally checking everything off to make sure she didn’t miss anything. As she stands in line at the cashier her slightly closed eyes wander about. Peace huh... I suppose that’s something to be thankful for. When it’s her turn she takes out her wallet to pay and bags her groceries with only a few polite words to the cashier. She starts heading over to her motorcycle, ready to head back home.


Mach Ambassador
Pop. Pop. Pop. Pop.

The satisfying sound of knuckles cracking filled Diarmuid's room. The halfling had spent his morning with some light exercise as he stood in the mirror. His dark hair cascading past his shoulders, still wet from his shower. Slowly inhaling through his nose, he unflicked the novelty switch blade comb and shook the can of hair spray. Forty-five minutes passed as Diarmuid left his room heading down the stairs towards the bar. Locking the door behind him, he took a few sniffs in the air. It was in a dire need of some cleaning. Diarmuid plucked out his phone as he connected to the WiFi to set up Spoofey to play some soft jazz music. Grabbing a wet rag, Diarmuid hopped onto chairs as he began to wipe off the tables. A few tables were cleaned before the music began to grow choppy due to the constant barrage of notifications. Heading back to the bar, he gandered at his phone as the notifications arrived about the war being over.


Flipping through the news aggregate sites, he found something else that caught his eye. A wide, toothy grin spread across his face. "Oh? They're havin' 'im fight? That oughta be interesting." The halfling stood on the bar stool as he leaned against the counter, scrolling through the comments about the upcoming match with delight.
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Well-Known Member
Ending the bloodshed.

Eystin leaned forward in his seat. Of course there was military backing. Incentive. Money. The promise of peace. But to think a piece of paper with ink scribbles on it - nay, in a world with digital contracting and fingerprinting - was enough to shield a nation from war was a dangerous mindset. Formality or not, he felt there was too much credence being placed in the ceremony itself. It would take work.

He snapped a picture of his own grinning bust with the small selfie camera on his digital watch and flicked the delicate screen, passing it on to his mother. She had always liked to know what he was up to, even though they rarely spoke and no matter how much time had passed since their last engagement. She was surely seated in some comfortable lounge chair among her fellows as they chatted about the ending of the war. Not that it mattered much to them - and certainly not to him, either. His patrons were neither less nor more likely to feel lonely and in need of a fucking during peacetime. Though there wouldn't be nights when soldiers came home and occupied entire brothels for a night, either.

He didn't think he would have any trouble slipping into the after-party, should their be such a thing. His name tended to be on every hush-hush list. But he wasn't certain who he would see there. Peace and unity meant new political mixing.


Active Member
For the duration of the Emperor's little show Rosalia had sat with one leg crossed over the other in a troublingly masculine fashion. She was decent of course, her long coat draping across one leg and even if it hadn't she was obviously wearing dark leggings beneath... But still, it was far from what anyone might consider 'princess-ly'. Her amber hair fell in thick curls over the front of her shoulder, all tossed to the right side and held in place with a delicate looking silver comb. What was slightly less appropriate than the way in which she sat however, was the slight smile on her lips.

Really, with one's country being annexed that person had ought to at least try to look upset and yet... While there was certainly something like regret and even a nervous sort of tension still contained within her, Rosalia Noirfiscon the Seventh didn't seem overly troubled. Really, the only flicker of negativity that flitted across her face was in reaction to the smaller princess' little display of aggravation. She'd silently clicked her tongue in response, but chiding them wouldn't do much since she obviously already knew that she'd acted inappropriately. Instead, with Laurence looking as awkward as he ever had Rosalia stood and walked up to her brother.

Now, it's important to realize that Rosalia had always loved her brothers and sisters and to some extent she even looked up to Laurence for being the sort of tactically minded genius that she wished she herself could become. So to her at least, the idea of him taking over as 'president' didn't really seem that troubling. So she did what she always did when he seemed uncomfortable. Rosalia, the second eldest daughter of the throne of the Mistlord Kingdom brought back her arm and gave Laurence a firm smack on the back. In the bare moments after he began to stumble she cast her hair back over her shoulder and laughed in a far too genuine sort of way before leaning in and giving the boy a kiss on the cheek. "She's only frustrated, you'll have to forgive Althea. I for one am so proud of you Laurence; your shitting all over tradition, so by my count that gives you more in common with the god-queen than me or Althea."

With that said, she took up the pen and scribbled down her signature with a flourish before turning to cast her gaze across the way. "That said brother, as it happens I am still the Heir Protectorate even if the position is arguably pointless now. So I should probably go and keep an eye on dear Althea before she walks herself into a whore house and discovers things about herself that I don't want to have to deal with. You've all of my love Laurence, I'll see you again soon I promise." And with that, Rosalia turned to walk after her sister, her long legs carrying her quickly- but not quite quickly enough to keep Laurence from hearing her utterance of, "I only hope she's running towards somewhere with stiff drinks..."
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Well-Known Member
Dion had never taken active part in the war. Perhaps he would have someday if it had ever came across his mind, but he never quite got the chance either. This war that had been going on for nearly a century always just seemed lie this strange thing that would be happening forever. A constant in the background of his daily life, but nothing quite affecting himself directly. Well, that's what he always thought it would be.

And all of this begs the question, what will even change? The morning was like any other for Dion, he woke in his bed and got ready for his job. Early-morning exercises to start his day, followed by a shower and grooming himself so that he was presentable. After all, styling his hairdo in the shape of a pompadour took quite a bit of commitment each and every morning. But hey, at least he always got to eat breakfast made by his very own mother most mornings, so there was nothing that he could complain about. Pushing up his sunglasses on his face, the catboy finally began to make way through the streets, walking the several blocks away towards the bar that he had been working at since a bit before he 'graduated' high school. His ears twitching occasionally as he heard the others on the streets talk about the ending of the war and the peace treaty signing that was going on as he walked and approached his destination.

"Huh... no shit..." Dion mused to himself as he browsed his phone for information about the war ending. Although... what it meant was beyond him. War was all that he had known, and he just genuinely didn't know what this would bring to his life.

Watching some videos before he got to his job, Dion entered around an hour after Diarmund did. Entering the bar and calling out, "Hey, D, d'you hear on the news?" he asked, but the entire country had heard. Wandering over to get a soda from behind the counter to pop open and enjoy as they did their typical morning routine. "Every goddamn place online is talkin' about the treaty or whatever they're doing. Dunno about you, but feels pretty weird." He claims as once he's had a drink the boy began to assist the halfling with wiping down the tables and making sure the glasses were clean for the opening.


Right Honorable Justice
Early afternoon. A nondescript black sedan pulled into the driveway of the Farros estate, stopping to unload a couple of passengers at the door before moving on to join a pair of similar-looking vehicles parked by the curb. Those two passengers were Fortune Poi, goblin kingpin of Suleiman's Crossing, and Kanin Vikona, the telepathic elf hitman he'd hired on for the occasion.

While both of these new arrivals were widely regarded among the most dangerous individuals of their species in all of Poria, none of the armed dragonborn standing guard by the entrance made a fuss as they crossed the threshold into the house. They were entirely within the rules, after all: One representative per syndicate, plus one bodyguard. Even the fake TV repair truck filled with policemen and microphones had veered off and stopped following them as they'd pulled into Farros territory, though Fortune hadn't made any particular efforts to shake them off this time.

If anyone thought it comical just how different in size the goblin and his company were, they didn't show it. Nor did anyone remark at the conveniently extended hat stand, with extra pegs sticking out as low as three foot from the ground, for the goblin to hang his dark gray bowler hat on.

Their clothing, too, reflected the gravity of the situation: Where Fortune would usually have forgone the trappings of power for cheap and functional sets of rags, this time he featured an outrageously expensive, custom-made dark grey pinstripe suit, though skillfully lined with just heavy enough a layer of body armor to turn a blade at a glancing blow, and outfitted with the heavy excess of pockets needed to carry around all the usual 'tools' of his trade.

Kanin, on the other hand, had on a panama hat and light-colored suit to match, subtly reflecting the expectation that he was not here for business as usual this time.

After exchanging some token pleasantries with those of the Farros men he had known in his early years, Fortune allowed himself and Kanin to be led up the stairs across the hall and into the conference room, where Vincenzo Farros and his trusted adviser Lucci already sat at the Round Table, backs to the window and with half-orc Solomon Graggor, successor to the late Ezra Graggor, seated directly across from them along with a gnome woman Fortune didn't know.

"Don Graggor. Godffather, Lucci. Mosst 'f you know Misster Vikona." Rather unusually, given his nature, for those that knew him, Fortune bowed ever-so-slightly as he addressed the ancient dragonborn at the table, before moving to take a seat to the right of his old boss. Conveniently, one had already been raised in height just a few places distant, allowing him to climb up and sit comfortably at the table right away.

Across the room, a flat-panel TV mounted on the wall was displaying live footage of the international treaty signing at the city center, captions running across the screen struggling to keep pace with the spoken commentary. He indicated the device, and turned again to Farros: "Big meeting," he said. "Timing ain't an ackss-ident, I fink, only I ain't at war wif' anyone comin' here today. Not lasst I checked anyway." Although the mutual hostilities between the Duende and Graggor families, of course, had now been well-established for entire generations.

Left unsaid was that the remaining two Duende bosses, - one of which would be showing up shortly if he didn't want to start off on bad footing by making them wait - had every right to take revenge on Fortune for killing Tomakaiei, who had been the third; just as Fortune had had had every right to kill the bastard for screwing with his business. Bringing both a mind-reader and a hitman to the meeting had not been a gentle move on his part, either. It showed that while he was willing to come take part in negotiations in the spirit of mutual respect and cooperation, there was no illusion of actual friendship to be had in the gesture.

Farros turned a sad smile in his direction, showing his years in a way that the goblin had never seen of him before. "Not yet," he said simply.

And that's when Fortune finally realized the old man was dying.
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God-Emperor of Tealkind
Kanin breathed a soft sigh as he stepped out of the sedan beside Fortune, the bright sunlight and warm air vindicating a choice of dress that, in truth, had been made more per his employer's requests than any preference of his own. It was the goblin's prerogative to project a peaceable image - as peaceable as the two of them could, anyway - and he wouldn't have agreed were the lighter suit a restrictive choice. His switch and pistol were both readily accessible; a good thing, too, given what they had planned for their Duende guest's arrival. He swiftly banished those thoughts from his mind, instead reaching outward to peek into the heads of others. A small smile grew on his face, as Kanin was satisfied to find that none of Vincenzo's outer guards were dangerous, or at least any moreso than heavily-armed men were to begin with.

He gave nothing more than slight nods and sharp looks to the men as he passed them; he could feel their nervousness at coming eye-to-eye with an urban legend, even though most met his gaze stoically. He stifled a mirthless chuckle by clearing his throat when he realized that one of the youngest among them had actually been raised on stories about him, told that were he to go into a life of crime he would end up shot dead, torn apart, or worse by a monster in the shape of an elf. It stung, burned even, though in a sweet fashion not unlike the whisky he treasured most evenings. He'd left a gash in the history of Poria's underworld, and in some ways that was a good thing. Certainly good that the dragonborn boys had a healthy fear, and thus respect, for him and his work. Fuck, he wanted a drink already, but it had to wait. Just another ten, twenty minutes.

His eyes brushed over every corner of the expansive entry hall of the estate while he set his hat down on the rack, giving his hair a flick to ensure it wasn't out of place. No new security measures, shockingly enough, just the old CCTV cameras on every corner, alert systems for guards stationed indoors and out, and reinforced steel ready to slam shut on the windows and doors. Then again, Kanin mused, he was only giving the place an ocular patdown; there was always more than meets the eye, and magical contigencies had become all the rage over the last few years for those wealthy enough to afford them and discriminating enough to make sure they were well-done. Better that than antimagic, in so far as he was concerned. Still no other telepaths, not that the criminal scene was full of them; Kanin had conducted several campaigns of what he like to refer to as "service monopolization measures" since getting out of prison owing to the preciousness and volatility of his own mental cargo.

A smile, this one broader and more sincere, grew on Kanin's face as they entered the conference room; much as this was a job, some of these people were old friends and deserved the respect due them. He let Fortune say his piece and took the opportunity to update his mental dossiers on everyone. It was remarkable, really, the kind of information processing he had become capable of through surface thoughts alone, and so it was nearly a minute before the goblin that he reached an important conclusion: Vincenzo was dying. That meant, most likely, the Farros cartel was as good as finished unless somebody stepped up to the plate in a big way. Lucci was burdened by the knowledge, but nobody else in the room seemed aware. Solomon was gruff and in no small part affected by the recent death of his father, but receptive to the overall purpose of the meeting; the gnomish woman that he had come in with was nothing special, much more the "guard" part of bodyguard in that she could create barriers of invisible force around people, and in fact already had.

"Lucci, Vin - it's good to see the two of you again, hope that you've been well. I know I already sent a card - but I'm sorry about your pops, Sol, he was a fine man. Better to me than I'd ever deserved, I'm sure you know. He'd be proud of who's filling his shoes." Kanin said gently, the fondness in his voice not forced in the slightest. He hadn't been paying much attention to the television until he rounded the table to stand behind Fortune and was left facing it. His stomach dropped as memories that he'd have preferred had stayed buried began to fight to the forefront of his mind. "Just thought I'd let you know, and Fortune agrees, no compulsions during the meeting - to keep everything clean and in good faith." Though it was a warm, pleasant and even (relatively speaking) wholesome sentiment, he found himself feeling the exact opposite, his stomach churning as the man and women whose country and people he had helped destroy signed away their independence to become a client state of the empire. He had to get his mind off of it. Good thing he had so many options.

Vin, Lucci. Much as I'm not doing compulsions today, Fortune's got business with the Duende and with an ex-employee. We'll be abiding by the rules, but not without a little bit of bloodshed - so watch out for that. If you've got any objections, bring 'em up. He projected to his hosts, keeping Fortune in on the mental loop; after thirty seconds they had neglected to respond, and were both in the clear. His next message was more personal, both in target and context. You've got my condolences, Vin. That's a bad way to go, I hope you've got painkillers to carry you the rest of it. With those two morbid details taken care of, Kanin took his focus outside of the room, to those who would soon be entering. It wouldn't be hard for Kanin to determine when the Duende was coming in, then preemptively hide himself from the gobbo and Soap, who both he and Fortune had assumed (and hoped) would be joining them at the meeting. That would be his focus until the two entered, save for a brief but important diversion to quell the twisting sensation he just couldn't shake. "Not to impose upon, but I need a whisky. Sweet, strong, and with cola, if you don't mind."

Pony Slaystation

Where were you when it happened?

The treaty was a surprise, to be sure, but it’s not like it crept up unexpected. Any lives that would be ruined were few and far between and would be ruined quietly through political nuance—this was a coming together, not a falling apart. And so the answer, of course, for most of Riordan and the newly-christened Mistlord Republic, was in front of the television. Still, for years to come, people would ask: Where were you when it happened?

This is the brief, dull account of how Orc M’gork, once considered by some a national treasure of the Riordan Empire, bodybuilding legend and two-time national deadlift gold medalist, came to be in the dairy section of his local grocery:

If it could have been helped, he would have been where every good patriot was: In front of his TV, cold beer in hand, surrounded by his family. But his sons, Mork and Lork, were too busy making him proud at university to respond to his calls, and his new wife, a half-elf named Talila, didn’t have a stomach for politics.

(Quick notes on Talila: Too young for him; daddy issues; grew up watching the B90X program; calls her husband Orc instead of Barohel, despite his protests, as does everyone.)

Instead, Barohel resigned himself to his recliner, his only companion the beer in his hand. It was warm, because he missed a payment on his electric bill last month, and lost power from last night until this morning, when he finally went down to the library and paid the damn thing online. It was the longest outing he’d made all month, and as far as he was concerned, it was one outing too many. No one recognized him anymore. He’d told Talila it simply wasn’t worth the risk, but she knew it was just the opposite: He didn’t like going out because no one recognized him anymore.

And then the baby wanted milk.

Because of course the baby wanted milk. She was a baby. And of course the milk in the fridge was spoiled. There was a power outage. And of course he had to be the one to get it, yes, now, because his marriage was based on exactly two things, 1) the misguided admiration of his wife, and 2) their four-month-old daughter, and existed perpetually in a state of delicacy he wasn’t about to throw into flux.

Thus, the dairy section. All things considered, he thought, not a very interesting story. His life hadn’t been interesting in years.
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Well-Known Member
Drokk watches the treaty signing on his family’s old television, by himself. For most, this is a time to rejoice, but seeing this makes Drokk’s blood boil. Watching all the politicians smile and shake hands while uniting the world under one rule is something he considers to be a triumph for tyranny.


An adult troll walks down the stairs and enters the living room. It’s Drokk’s father, Rathion Xaxas.

“We need groceries.”
“So get off your lazy ass and go to the fucking store.”
“I’m watching something.”

Rathion picks up the remote, turns the TV off and hands Drokk a shopping list. The two stare each other down for a moment, but Drokk decides to leave without putting up much more resistance.
Onlookers may think this interaction is indicative of a dysfunctional family, but bickering between close relatives is considered completely normal and healthy in troll culture.

Drokk gets in his car and drives off. He decides not to turn the radio on. He knows all he’s going to get are news reports repeating the same story. He spends the ten minute drive reflecting on the political changes happening in the world, and how they might affect him.
“I’m so sick of doing nothing.” He thinks to himself.

Drokk parks his car and enters the store. The Xaxas family is a bit poor, so Drokk spends a lot of time examining the price tags. He’s gotten pretty good at doing quick math in his head, thanks in no small part to his accounting class. He pushes his cart to the condiments aisle and gets five bottles of Tabasco sauce. A voice in the crowd says “Hey, got enough Tabasco sauce?” Without even turning his head to see who said it, Drokk responds “Fuck off.”
Drokk gets in the checkout line. He inattentively places his groceries on the belt while daydreaming about violently overthrowing the government. He certainly has enough power that he could be a considerable thorn in the side of the powers that be, but it would take a particularly well thought out plan for him to pose any legitimate threat to hegemony, and he doesn’t really have the charisma to rally others to his cause.
Drokk pays, and pushes his cart outside to his car.


Well-Known Member
Seat of Power, Inner Riordan

Althea stepped off the stage and stopped for a moment in a huff. She turned, made a move to walk back up the steps and then stopped. In the crowd, she could see a familiar face, a family friend even. That's when she remembered that Laurence and their mother had invited him.

"Pst. Eystin..." She tried getting the Cambion's attention but wasn't sure how well she'd succeeded. She tried waving to him before Rosalia stepped down off the stage next to her. "Mr. Eckart!" Althea called to him, finally getting him to turn away from the Emperor. On stage, Laurence and Emperor Riordan shook hands and began taking questions on what was next for the Empire.

Eventually, it was just Althea, Rosalia, and Eystin standing together behind the stage. Things were quiet. The treaty had been signed and went off without a hitch. The Emperor's voice certainly carried and Laurence's was assisted by the mic, so they could hear everything that was being said as the three of them spoke.

"I'm sorry," said Althea. "This just... fuck this." She looked at her twin sister for some guidance but knew she had to explain herself to Mr. Eckart first lest he send the wrong message to her mother. "When you talk to my mother, tell her I'm sorry, but this isn't how I wanted things to end. I'm glad no one else has to die, but... I was going to be queen. You live your whole life prepared for that one thing and then it's just gone like that. I suppose I'd still become queen one day, but..."

She didn't have to say the words, 'It wouldn't be the same.'

TAG: @BlookyHannah, @Kratoury

- - -
Grocery Store, South End

Drokk stepped out of the grocery store with a full cart in front of him. Off in the distance, he could see the skyscrapers of the inner city towering over its walls. In the sky, colorful plumes of smoke popped as people celebrated the end of the war and the unification of the entire planet. It was a curious sight to see and one wondered if it was the same sight the rest of the empire was seeing. The sun shone brightly on Poria, the golden city.

"You dropped something." A blonde woman in a hoodie stepped towards Drokk and set something down in his cart. It looked like a small, sealed metallic cylinder. He had no clue how he'd open it, but he could feel it, the dark, familiar energy that pulsed through it. "It's a minor demon. We summoned it for you. If you can't open the case by tonight, the demon'll pass back to its own plane and you won't know who I was. Open it, get control of the demon, then you'll be told what to do next."

The woman pulled her hood further down her face as she walked away. Drokk could see a burn on her hand. If he made a move to speak to her, she didn't stop to listen. In a moment, she disappeared into the air, fading completely out of sight.

As she did so, Drokk could hear yelling coming from the registers back inside.

- - -
Grocery Store, South End

Barohel stood in line, ready to leave. All he had to do was pay. The young human-looking woman in front of him had paid and began to walk away with her groceries before an older man, a half-orc by the looks of it, pushed hard, right through her, causing her to hit the ground.

"Listen here you piece of shit!" The man pressed his knobby, giant finger onto Barohel's shoulder. "You deserve to rot for what you did. You abused your heritage, and for what?" The man didn't know Barohel's life. He didn't know where he'd been, what he'd done, or why he'd done any of it. All this half-orc knew was that he was angry and seeing the face of the man who caused it had set him off. "My grandpa tried your workout. His heart damn near exploded! You--"

Before he said another word, both men looked down at their feet. A slight squeak revealed the disembodied head of a young woman. It wasn't bloody. It didn't have any sort of marks of injury. It was just... a floating head. Those were the signs of a Dullahan. Rare, certainly, but not too scary... not unless you believed the myths.

Florina looked up and found her head caught in a place she did not care for. Only trouble was maneuvering it back to her body. The half-orc above her kept stepping in her way as she moved until a sudden shift in the conversation made things even more difficult.

"Oh now look what you did!" The half-orc picked up Florina's head and pushed it into Barohel's face. You see this? You see this nonsense? This is your fault." The man, clearly ignoring how the entire situation was his fault, would not relent and only seemed to make it worse by the second. He held the dullahan's head in one hand and pointed with his other back at Barohel. "Fuck you, man."

TAG: @Dunsparce, @Pony Slaystation, @coolpool2

- - -
Brigand's Barroom, West End

The bar had just opened. Early in the afternoon, maybe, but still open for drinks. Diarmuid and Dion were still busy readying the place up for that night when an old man walked through the front door. He wore a sort of hooded poncho, though the hood was down and on his head rested a faded, beat up cowpoke's hat. Probably from down south, if the two had to guess.

"Howdy," the old man said. His accent wasn't too strong, so they could understand him. The twang of his voice gave an almost dusty orange color to his words. "Looking for a drink or two, if y'wouldn't mind. Strong, no rocks." He slapped a few Crowns on the bar and pushed them towards the bartending halfling. "Should be enough to cover my tab while I'm in town." Indeed it was, the bills numbered close to a total of a thousand. He wasn't sure how much drinking he intended, but it was a lot.

"Mind turning your TV on?" After having gotten his first drink, the man gestured up at the box above the bar. "See if there's something on the news besides that treaty shit, maybe? Not lookin' to do politics righ' now."

On the TV, the three men in the bar could see the channels pass by. Treaty. Treaty. Treaty. Treaty. Treaty. Treaty. Treaty. It just kept going on and on. Eventually they found a sports channel near the deeper end of cable and settled on that, but for reasons still to do with the treaty, of course.

"...--rom the live feed we've been watching, the treaty is a celebration of the unity between these two sides. After decades of war, we can now finally move on to seeing not combat, but competition." On the screen was a handsome looking tiefling man sitting in front of a large touchscreen wall. On it was indeed a live feed of the treaty signing. The Emperor and the new Mistlord President were seen exchanging conversation as questions flew by them.

"Yeah, but listen, Garrell, the thing I'm wondering is whether or not we need to have a fight between these two. Won't tonight's fight only fan the flames between these two countries?" In response, a small talking head on the screen showed the face of an aasimar, a beautiful man, positively glowing.

"You would think that Harey, you really would. But no, listen, Gruk Stoneshatterer and Dandy Diavel are some of the strongest competitors we've seen in boxing in the last decade. Dandy comes from Mistlord of all places, a man. When's the last time we had a famous tiefling come out of Mistlord, huh? You tell me that. You tell me that!"

"They're both crazy. A fight's a good thing after wartime. Gruk'll snap Dandy in two though. Just because the kid is hot news out of Mistlord don't make him a good fighter." The man in the poncho pushed his now empty glass towards the bartender again.

"I'll take another."

TAG: @Jeroth, @Shizno
- - -
Farros Estate, East Poria

After a few tense moments of quiet, the various heads of the families were seated. They looked to Farros to make the first move, but even he was quiet. The old man looked at the empty chair and waited.

After a few moments of blankly watching the treaty signing, two figures appeared behind the empty chair as if from nothing, two women, it seemed. One wore a hoodie, but only for a moment. As soon as they appeared, she pulled her hood back with burnt hands and stared at Kanin and Fortune. There was a moment of remembrance in her eyes, but it soon faded. Were Kanin to probe her mind, he'd find that even she did not know the look had passed her face or why it would have. She did not know them. The blonde stepped forward and pulled the chair out for the other woman, clearly her superior.

Many of the men seated at the table could not say they had ever met the woman who now sat with them. Farros leaned towards her and patted her own on the table. "I'm glad you could have made it." She nodded at him, but a look of sadness overtook her. It was clear she was just as saddened by his approaching death as the rest of the crime bosses were. As touching as the display was, Fortune and Kanin both wondered just how genuine her intentions might be.

She looked at each of them in turn and it was then that they were able to get a proper look at her. Her skin was an almost translucent green, like that of an emerald. Her hair hung just above her shoulders, but though it looked like simple hair, the tips seemed almost like grass or vines. Her fingernails were sharp juts of metal and a crack down her left arm glowed faintly like a fissure after an earthquake. She was a genasi, the child of a mortal and a dao, an earth elemental. There would be no telling her age, not unless she gave it herself.

"Gentlemen, I'd like to introduce a dear friend. Her name is Sage."


"Now, before we begin and I open the floor to all of you, there's a matter of a spy in our midst." As the word 'spy' came out of Farros' mouth, the Drow Soap flinched. His Duende boss sat with his hands steepled together in front of his face, refusing to look at his escort. He knew what was coming next.

The old man tapped on his tablet and the TV screen changed from showing the treaty signing to multiple videos, documents, and other various evidence that showed Soap for the traitor he was. No... not a traitor, but a two-timing snake who took the wrong deal... most likely.

"Sir," Soap begged.

"Fortune, Kanin." Soap turned instantly to the two men and cut their magic off immediately.

"It 'on't be 'nough, Soap." Bo, still looking forward, muttered quietly under his breath.

TAG: @Easy, @Tirin
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Savage AF
The Original Gangster
Florina let out a squeak as she found herself on the ground of the store, as some of the groceries she was carrying spilled out onto the floor. She felt a slight blush creep onto her face from not only the embarrassment of letting her head slip off in public, but also a complete stranger’s hands around her head. And I was having such a good day too... She sometimes wondered if she attracted bad luck in addition to sensing it. If only I put my head on a bit tighter before I went out. I must not have been paying enough attention to the misfortune in the air. Her head shook a bit from the annoyance as she took in a breath. “An accidental push or shove is one thing...” Her voice comes out a little shaky as she tries to contain her annoyance, succeeding for the most part. “But I would quite appreciate it if you let go of me.” Florina’s head tries to float back to her body out of the man’s grasp as her body picks itself up. She dusts off her high collared coat and starts picking up her groceries back into the bags. Her body moves with the same grace it did before even without her head on, being no stranger to moving around like this. She had even come up with several battle techniques based on it. Still, it was a bit below her to use force in public. After putting the groceries away her body walks up to the man and gently places her hands on her head trying to indicate to him to let go. While she was likely strong enough to pry her head right out of his hands, it would probably hurt a little despite her thick skull.

TAG: @Dunsparce @Pony Slaystation

Pony Slaystation


Barohel maintained awkward, confused eye contact with the young man, letting him get it out of his system. When he was done, Barohel gently took gentle hold of the man's arms and guided them down so that the Dullahan could reclaim her head.

"I think you have me confused with someone else," he said slowly, like he would speak to a child, and placed the milk on the counter to complete his transaction. "I know what you're thinking," he added after a moment. "And I'm flattered. I am. I get it more often than you'd think. But do I look like the kind of man who has a workout program?"

It was true. Barohel was a large orc, but he was no Orc M'gork. Not if you didn't know better, and not if he didn't want to be, anyway. His muscle wasn't lean, it was heavy, unwieldy, flabby. His beer belly boasted he'd be a much more likely heavyweight drinking champion than anything that had to do with bending over and lifting anything.

Still, there was something to the way he asked, do I look like the kind of man, that felt sincere. Like he truly wanted to know. And there was an edge to it, too—did this punk really want to find out?

TAG: @coolpool2, @Dunsparce
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God-Emperor of Tealkind
East Poria, the Farros Estate

When he felt Soap and Bo nearing the conference room, Kanin stepped back from the table (the requested whisky now in hand, having been poured by a butler), to take up a relaxed position, leaning against the mahogany panelling near the door. He read both their minds as quickly as he could - and smiled to himself as he realized the Duende knew what was going to happen. He may well have been offering the oblivious Soap up as tribute, though the hitman hardly had time to assess as much. With that bit of information revealed, however, he spared the effort of making himself silent and invisible to the late Tomakaiei's fellow triumvir and focused solely on doing so to the drow, alongside projecting a grim-faced, glaring version of himself standing ominously behind Fortune. He was ready to kill the scummy, troublesome little bastard whenever, and was merely waiting for the go-ahead from Vincenzo or his employer.

Kanin's eyebrow twitched a tiny bit when the two women appeared as though from nowhere - before he remembered the estate didn't have an antimagic field, or at least didn't have one active. Even so, he always found it a little jarring when people blinked, teleported, or the like; it meant that to some extent they had the drop on him, a concept that he had and likely always would associate with the closest calls of his life. What began as a smile at Sage and her backup was pulled back into suspicion and staring as he caught a glimpse of something strange in her bodyguard's eyes; recognition, from a woman that he was sure he had never met. He took just the briefest of looks at her thoughts and, finding nothing, returned to ensuring that Soap thought everything was fine and dandy, taking a gentle sip of his whisky and cola before swirling the sweet beverage about his tumbler. It needed to mix a little better, and had him half-tempted to get on Vin's ass about hiring better help.

His gaze flicked back to the television screen, and his nerves were replaced with a steely calm. He wasn't thinking about the things he had done any longer; he was present, ready to do what he both had and wanted to. Kanin bent down to simply set his glass on the floor and walked up behind Soap, rolling his shoulders a little to loosen his muscles as a disturbingly broad and bloodthirsty smile grew on his face. Farros spoke; Soap turned his head to the left, to look at Fortune and the projected Kanin, even as the real one's hands closed about his neck. The drow was a good deal shorter and significantly (one might even say "pathetically") weaker than Kanin, and the differential was put on excruciating display between. Even though they had all seen it coming, the motion itself was shockingly sudden and violent as the hitman viciously wrenched his target's neck sideways and downward with a sickening crunching noise. He simply dropped Soap afterwards, the body crumpling to the floor in a heap, and went to pick up his whisky before taking a seat beside Fortune. "Thanks for understandin', Bo Sky. I'm sorry about leaving a mess on your floor, Vin, but I can only stomach getting my hands so dirty." Kanin explained with a smirk, again sipping the drink and beginning to check into the thoughts of the assembled guests one at a time - beginning with Sage's "guest".

TAG: @Easy, @Requiem


Right Honorable Justice
The Farros Estate

Fortune snorted in disdain as the drow's panicked blocking was turned his way in desperation. That stupid little bastard. He was half-tempted to make a clever one-liner and roll some dice - something about playing him for his life, that sort of thing - just to have the other bosses wonder how far his luck went, or if his magic was simply powerful enough to withstand a blocker's dedicated attention. The thought of failing to roll seven never even crossed his mind...

But that would be showboating, and Fortune didn't showboat. Sure, he made examples sometimes, for those as seemed to need them, but that was different. Gods, but this drow was pathetic. If he'd at least drawn a gun instead of blocking, then he could understand that - but this?

Fortune calmly reached out to the decanter set before him, tipping it gently to pour a goblin-sized dose of whiskey into the accompanying crystal glass. "Ssoap, sstop it." He told him evenly, swishing it around and admiring the color as Kanin approached his mark. "Ain't gonna hurt'cha."

In the brief instant of confusion and fleeting hope that crossed the drow's visage at this, Fortune raised his glass slightly in Bo Sky's direction before taking it back and draining it in one motion. He savored the smooth-burning flavor of thirty-year scotch, and the sight of Soap's limp soon-to-be corpse already crumpling to the floor as he set the glass down. Vikona continued to deliver quality for the crown, even at the top-range rates he charged for it.

Easily worth the minor social gaffe of having their host get a can of cola dug up for him, to spoil a thirty-piece dose of whiskey with.

"Well, Bo Ssky" he started, businesslike, as soon as the body had been dragged out and the issue dealt with. "Iff thassa peacse offerin', I'll take 't - not that we're at war, 'f coursse. Sso he's the one told Tomakaiei about my sshipments...

"Nev'r fought he had the ballss, but I guess bein' too sstupid to care was more his 'fing." A keen observer would note that it wasn't entirely clear if the last bit referred to Tomakaiei or the drow, but only a mind reader could be entirely sure that he'd made it so deliberately.

Of course, a mind reader might also be aware that he was only halfway committed to the Duende conversation to begin with. Meanwhile, the other half was wondering who the hell this Sage woman was. An 'old friend' of Farros's that he didn't already know? Not bloody likely!

TAG: @Tirin @Requiem


Well-Known Member
Drokk glances back inside. He feels that he may recognize the orc being berated. Regardless, he shrugs it off as none of his business.

Drokk turns back around. For just a moment, he examines the strange device he’d been given. He certainly wasn’t expecting this, but somehow what he feels is not confusion, but resolve. Drokk’s face contorts into a slight grin. A troll’s smile is a rare sight to behold, and is thought by some to be a bad omen.

Drokk drives home the same way he drove to the store: in silence and in deep thought. He considers the strange human. No one he personally knows is aware that he practices black magic, and since he uses Tor, his IP address could not have been tracked. He thinks it must have been one of the posters on Ego Cult, who used advanced divination magic to find him. Having come to a satisfactory conclusion about the woman, he considers the cylinder. It has no obvious way to open it, so he figures he’ll just use a can opener. But what if the demon attacks him? The woman did say he’d have to get control of it.

He decides it would be best to attempt to open the device somewhere away from home. His family doesn’t keep track of him too much, so he won’t have a hard time sneaking out. Drokk comes back home and puts the groceries away while his father watches TV. When he’s done, Drokk puts a can opener in his pocket and goes back outside.
“I’m going out again.”

Drokk drives to a nearby park. It has lots of trees and very few visitors. He usually prefers to come at night to do things like this, but the woman said he’d need to do this by nightfall, and he assumes most people will be preoccupied because of the political news. Drokk parks his car and walks deep enough into the park that he’s confident he won’t be seen.

Drokk opens the can. . .

TAG: @Requiem


Well-Known Member
Outer Poria, South End, Park

Drokk took the can opener to the cylinder, originally finding no real purchase upon it. It was flat on both ends, but there was no lip for the can opener to find like on a normal can. Eventually, he decided to pierce the top of the cylinder with the can opener. The metal responded to the damage, almost allowing for the metal to melt away and then fizzle into the open air of the park.

Within the cylinder was a clear container, essentially a glass bottle, but Drokk knew that couldn't be all it was. Inside it was some sort of imp, a green, hairy, winged creature with burnt asscheeks that oozed with pus and drained at different angles as the bottle was moved.

"Y'think it's gonna be that easy, huh? Ya got more shit ta do than jus' that!"

With the imp out of the cylinder and only a glass bottle separating it from Drokk, one had to wonder what was keeping it trapped. It was a demon so regardless of its size, it had the power to escape something so simple. Upon further inspection of it, Drokk could tell the top of the glass bottle was corked some sort of white cork. It smelled overly sweet and the imp seemed to almost be ducking low to get away from the cork. From there, the bottle itself had been covered in a sort of fat, probably an animal's, as well as markings of blood on the outside and on the sides of the cork. There was powerful black magic at work on the bottle.

"Why nah' just throw it on the ground??" The imp gingerly put a finger against the glass but pulled it back as a quiet sound of smoking meat met Drokk's ear. "Yeh, jus' throw it, that'll work..."

Drokk knew it would take more than that to safely open the glass bottle, but it wasn't just opening the bottle that mattered. He remembered the woman saying something like, "Get control of the minor demon inside" and realized it would take extra work to do this right. Was "right" what really mattered though? There were many ways to get control over a demon...

TAG: @Dunsparce


Well-Known Member
Seat of Power, Inner Riordan

Eystin spotted a blonde head waving at him out of the corner of his eye as the signing continued. When things had hushed, he rose up from his seat to go where he was beckoned. Ah, it was the Queen's girl. Well, he supposed he couldn't call her that anymore. Noirfiscorn. When Laurence and the Emperor began to address the front row seats, he went to join her. Another woman had followed her suit. The Knight Captain. Not a mirror image, but equally fair and lovely. The twin daughters of one of his best clients. Upon reaching them, he bowed. The coat draped over his shoulders swished with the fluid motion of his body.

"You don't have to, no - shouldn't apologize. You did your part. I'm of the opinion you can feel however you wish without apologizing. Though I will speak more diplomatically to her next we meet." He nodded. "I'm glad no one else has to die," he said, echoing the thought. "I'll be curious to see where this new time takes you." He bit back on offering to train her as a high class escort. The joke was in bad taste, even if only due to timing. Their lives were unlikely to change drastically, but both of them appeared distraught. He decided to try and change the subject, his lips curling up in a characteristic smile.

"It will be new to live without war pushing and pulling the way of our countries. But not much changes in my work." He glanced briefly down at his watch and tapped the screen, opening what appeared to be cells in a datebook before returning his eyes to Althea and Rosalia. "Surely there will be some celebration tonight, on account of the peace? I've brought an entourage of my best if they're wanted for drink and dancing."

TAG @Requiem @Kratoury


Well-Known Member
Outer Poria, South End, Park

“Listen, demon. This isn’t my first rodeo. I’ve gotten control of demons a fuck of a lot more powerful than you. The moment you leave this bottle, I’ll use a mind control curse on you. You can either serve me willingly, or lose your free will completely.”

Drokk is bluffing, of course. He does know curses that can influence one’s mind, but a curse that can completely negate free will is a bit beyond him.

TAG: @Requiem


Well-Known Member
Farros Estate, East Poria

Sage watched in earnest as the elf handled the drow. It was a good audition, definitely what she was looking for on a job like the one she had been planning. She turned towards Farros. The old one looked back at her and they shared an intimate look, all while blackened blood pooled under the table. Soap's head had collided with the floor, his blood slowly reaching out towards Sage's feet. Those gathered at the table watched as the dragonborn guards outside the room dragged Soap away, a trail of blood following after.

"As I was saying," Farros grabbed at Sage's hand once more and held it. "Sage here is an old friend and, as shocking as this may seem, an equal. I don't give people seats at the table for nothing." Farros furrowed his scaly brows at Fortune, Bo, then Solomon. "You're all here because you've proven you should be. You're also here because--"

"Because I have a plan." Sage clasped her hands together and sat them on the table.

"Er, yes," Farros agreed. "Please let me introduce you first, though, Sage. They do not know you like I do."

"As you wish."

A moment of silence passed awkwardly before Farros spoke up again. He was fumbling with his tablet once more and, through strained effort, managed to make a few more documents and images appear on the screen. One document showed Sage's face on an ID of some sort, a passport, one could guess. Beyond that was a police file with her full name on it, a long string of names that held little meaning besides being a jumble. Clearly a fake identity in the end, but what the police had on her all the same.

The file was shown to be empty.

"Sage here has managed to move undetected around Poria and its surrounding cities for the last few decades. She has done this through a complicated web of underground paths she has constructed herself as well as journeying to and from planes beyond our own material one."

"I can pop into a bank vault as easily as I can travel to the planes beyond our own." To demonstrate, Sage disappeared out of view. A few moments later, she appeared behind Solomon Graggor, quietly tapping him on the shoulder as she silently materialized back into their mortal plane. The half-orc jumped to his feet in fright, more from the surprise than anything else. Bo, despite the color having drained from his face after listening to his compatriot die, stifled a slight snicker in Solomon's direction.

"Please, Sage... what exactly is it you want from all of us?" Farros too had clasped his hands together. His face suggested he knew what was going on, but it was better for Sage to lead the rest of the discussion. It was her plan after all, not his.

"I want us all to rob the Riordan Empire, old friend." She reached for Farros' tablet and brought up the feed of the treaty signing. She rewound the feed, eventually finding the moment she wanted. On the screen, Emperor Amell Riordan could be heard very clearly:

"My father, though I love him and always will, did not have the best of intentions when he was crowned Emperor. He lined the Empire’s coffers with stolen gold."

Stolen gold... stolen gold. The words rang through their heads as Sage played the line one, two, three more times.

"He means it literally."

TAG: @Easy, @Tirin

- - -
Grocery Store, South End

The half-orc in front of Barohel pressed his finger further into his shoulder. The hand holding Florina's head gripped it tighter. He didn't realize how much danger he was in between both the old orc and the dullahan woman behind him, but that wasn't going to stop him.

"You're a washed-up has-been, but that doesn't stop you from being responsible for so many people's injuries, deaths. You deserve what's about to happen."

The half-orc reared his fist back and struck Barohel across the forehead. The skin was cut open and bled freely into the orc's eyes and mouth.

The half-orc dropped the dullahan's head, almost even threw it back at its body, and then jumped backward, letting loose an incredible roar that could be heard across the entire grocery store.

If security hadn't been on their way yet, they certainly were now. The half-orc was looking for a fight and he didn't care what happened.

The crowd around them now grew larger... phones found their way out of pockets, purses, and bags. Cameras turned on. The treaty signing wouldn't be the only news that day.

TAG: @Pony Slaystation, @coolpool2

- - -
Seat of Power, Inner Riordan

"Oh, of course there will be, you know these Riordan folks..." Althea laughed to herself with a grimace of dark humor. As she was saying the words, she realized 'these Riordan folks' also included her now as well as all of the Mistlord... Republic.

"Ugh, anyways... yeah, there's supposed to be some sort of fight tonight. I suppose you'll be wanting to see that, hm?" Althea nudged Rosalia a bit. "Dandy 'The Randy Dandy' Diavel is gonna be there, hehe." She nudged her sister again with nothing in the way of subtlety. "I've seen you eyeing his fights on your phone. He's a cutie, for a guy with horns!"

Althea was still angry, but at least joking with Rosalia could still calm her down.

"Anyways, I'm sorry Mr. Eckart, you're right. It's okay to feel this way, I know, but that doesn't help me not to feel guilty. I still want to be queen, I still want that power. Why should the Riordans rule everything anyways?"

"Because, sister, it keeps good men alive." Laurence had pushed through the heavy curtains blocking them from the audience outside. "It keeps fathers with their children. It keeps husbands with their wives. It keeps brothers alive."

"Laurence..." Althea stepped towards her brother and then stopped abruptly. Behind Laurence, the imposing figure of the emperor pushed through the curtains. In a moment, he stood behind the man and put a hand on his shoulder.

"He makes a good point, princess." The emperor patted Laurence on the shoulder and walked towards the twins and Eystin. "Good men need to be with those they care about. I'm here now without any cameras or microphones, nor any sort of recording device to ask you... to ask all of you to join me at tonight's match between our two countries' greatest champions." As he said this, the emperor's eyes never left Althea's. He was trying to win her over.

"Surely someone such as yourself, Lady Rosalia, would understand the importance of such a match as this one?"

He was the head of the military who had opposed the Mistlord Kingdom for decades and there he was standing in front of the last royal children asking them to come hang out with him for a night on the town.

"You are, of course, welcome to join us, Mr. Eckart. I'm glad you received the queen's invitation on time. How are things in Zekeshaven for you?"

TAG: @Kratoury, @BlookyHannah
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