• PM To Join • If Only I Could Give You More...(Malcolm)

Known colloquially as the "Realm of Dreams", Emea is a mysterious place accessed primarily beyond the realm of consciousness as the mortal body sleeps in Idalos. The mind travels far at night and Emea's not without its unique risks and dangers, though Jesine's vigilance keeps mortals mostly safe.

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Faith
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Fri Aug 12, 2016 12:05 am

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20th Saun, 716
Somewhere, somehow, Faith could hear music playing.
credits
Richard Marx: Hold On To The Night
She was standing, as she had so many times before, outside the University. Waiting, always waiting, and *hoping* that she saw him. Because she came here every trial, even if it was only for ten bits, she came here. She didn't know quite how, but it meant that he *knew* she was there. Waiting and hoping that he noticed her, she stood and she waited. Because if she waited, if she came here every trial then she was ...she was faithful. She was loyal.
she was in love
She wished beyond anything that she could give words to that she could give herself to the man who was here. He was good, and noble and kind and, more than anything he was The One for her. Just like she was the one for him, and she *knew* that. Totally and completely, their souls were made from the same thing. She didn't know how, but she knew that the moment they met, the moment that their eyes had joined together
hold on to that memory
If only I could give you more
She knew in that moment that they were destined.

But here, here they were and suddenly she knew, without a doubt in her mind that he was right there. Standing behind her and she turned. And as she did? There he was. He looked worried, troubled, like the weight of all the worlds was on him and she found herself completely at odds with everything she had planned. She looked down at the ground (eyes to the floor, meek little slave she considered) and she realised that, rather than the clothes that she should be wearing, she was in the rags again.

The ones that Jamal had put her in.

"I don't want you to see me like this" she said, softly. Her silver grey eyes were intense with feeling, brimming full of emotion "I'm beautiful now. He dresses me like I'm beautiful. But I had to hang hooks for the manacles and he sent me to Mistress Alessa for training. But... I look for you every trial"

Standing up (had she been kneeling? How did that happen?) she looked at him and turned, just slightly "He branded me again." she explained. And indeed, there on her shoulder was the Rose of Venora.

"I think of you. All the time. Where are you?" she wondered.
"To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."

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Malcolm
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Fri Aug 12, 2016 3:30 am

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The crown of Rynmere was the most beautiful part of the city. Everything within its walls looked spotless, grand, and well cared for. The university gardens were no exception, and in summer the colours and smells were out of this world. Flowers in full bloom, reached for the morning sun, watching like curious subjects might their prince, as it glided through the sky, noticeably faster than usual in the realm of dreams.
Malcolm, however, did not realise he was dreaming, and stood amongst the flowers, admiring the roses. It wasn't strange to him how very few people there were about, and so as he approached the woman in rags, he paused, far enough from her that she did not fall within his shadow. The man's brow knotted gently as if he had forgotten something and he looked about himself before Faith drew his eye with speech.
She spoke of her beauty and the lack thereof having been placed in rags once more. Malcolm peeled his cloak away from his shoulders and set the dark fabric about Faith's own where she kneeled. The abandonment of his cloak left him in a white shirt cut with a deep v-neck, revealing a light smattering of dark hair across his chest. The sleeves were folded up to sit below his elbows, and the waist was pinched in where a pair of dark leather trousers and thick fighting belt came up to just above his belly button. This made Malcolm appear short in the torso and long in the leg, though standing tall at just over six feet, he would look long and lean no matter his attire. A pair of worn black boots completed the ensemble, his dark locks slicked back from his face, jaw framed with neatly kept facial hair.
"I don't think slaves are allowed at the university," the sky echoed his thoughts without his tongue giving life to them. Malcolm looked around as if to seek out the strange voice and noticed the weather turning overhead.
As Faith got to her feet and spoke again, the man reached out and touched her shoulder, avoiding the new brand. "Can't you see I'm right here?" He smiled. "Come, the rain will fall soon."
Malcolm led Faith inside and down the corridor towards his classroom. When they drew nearer to the right door, he paused, turned to look at her, and said, "now you must never tell anyone I let you in here, promise?"
Satisfied with the young woman's answer, Malcolm opened the door and stepped inside, but instead of finding his classroom there, it were as if he had walked through the front door of his town house, located in Midtown. His subconscious had put Faith in a white long-sleeved shirt and pants, wearing a blue tunic overtop, pulled in at her midsection by a belt painted with gold leaf. It was the common attire of a slave from Burhan, a place he had lived in with his wife Vanessa and raised two sons.
"Oh, it's you," he smiled, surprised, as he looked back to find Faith at his door. "Come in, I was just steeping some tea on the stove."
The adjoining kitchen and small living room were dimly lit, with the fire burning away in the background, a black iron kettle rattling away gently on top of a hot plate set above the flames. Dried wild flowers hung above the door, and a narrow corridor of stairs led up to a second story. A closed door marked the bathroom, and the small window in the kitchen was pelted with light hailstones and rain.
"Tell me, Cara," Malcolm said as he sat down at the table, a light spread of fresh breads and summer fruits set down on a cutting board. "How are my boys doing at school? It's been a long time since I saw them."
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Faith
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Sat Aug 13, 2016 5:40 pm

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As he wrapped his cloak around her, Faith closed her eyes and just allowed herself to feel the moment, to remember and cherish it. She shouldn't, she knew, she shouldn't wish for things that she could not have, she should not feel how she felt. But she could not stop it and here, in the University garden....
was that where they were?
She wasn't sure, really
They were just together
.... here she believed that maybe she could dream a little of an impossible future. One where he knew her feelings for him, where he reciprocated them, even. But even that moment, brief and exquisitely vivid as it was, had to end and she looked back to him and smiled, delight and even amusement dancing in her eyes as she took in his appearance.

"Well it hardly seems fair" she said, softly "I have a new dress, and I wanted to show you it". The way that he looked in those clothes, his dark hair and his well formed body, tantalising glimpses of chest hair and strong arms were enough that she really wished she wasn't in the rags. Damnit, but no mortal should be that handsome, she considered. It was hard to concentrate, but when he spoke she listened, attending to him and then she nodded her head, her expression changing to almost matter of fact. "No, I'm not allowed inside. I wait outside for you" she explained.

But he was right here? When he told her that, touching her shoulder gently as he did so she laughed as her heart shattered "Oh, it isn't me who can't see you. It's the other way around" she whispered, but she smiled and nodded her head. There was no point to explain it and she didn't truly understand it herself.

And as they walked together, into the house, that made sense to Faith, for it was just the movement of the dream. She opened the door and nodded "Tea is good, yes. I'll get it" and she set about making the tea, pouring it for him and putting the cup down in front of him. Sitting opposite him, closing her hands around the mug of tea she had apparently poured herself, she looked nonplussed as he asked her about his boys "The boys?" she queried, sounding and feeling surprised. But as was the way with dreams, her mind made sense of it, even if what it made was not sense at all. "Tristan is sleeping with his slave and Teddy doesn't like Tristan's cat" she explained, nodding "As a Venora, apprently he really shouldn't be doing that with me, because I'm a slave and not a noble but Tristan loves a scandle. And the cat is vile, it really is. Are you... I... did you mean those two boys?" she frowned and shook her head, something wasn't quite making sense to her but it would all come out in the wash, no doubt. "Are you hungry? Master says that I make good soup, although Jamal didn't like it. But Master says that Jamal had a treasure in me and didn't know. I don't know why you'd brand a treasure though, I suppose it's like writing your name in a book. But... yes, I made some soup would you like me to get you some?" she wondered, pointing to the stove where the soup was already bubbling away.

Glancing out the window, she wondered at the storm that was gathering.
"To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."

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Malcolm
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Sun Aug 14, 2016 10:56 am

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Malcolm took up a piece of bread and tore it in half as Faith spoke. He lifted the small morsel to his lips and popped it into his mouth to chew. When Faith placed the tea down in front him, Malcolm washed the bread down with a sip and set the mug down on the table within reach.
"You shouldn't let anyone take advantage of you, Cara. I didn't know you were working for another family. Aren't we paying you enough?"
As the conversation continued, Malcolm realised that the young family slave had misinterpreted his question. "No not those boys, my boys, Marcus and Vaughn," he pinned her with a puzzled look. "They must be well into their schooling by now? Marcus sent me a letter while I was away on patrol. His spelling is atrocious. You must tell Vanessa to hire a better tutor. It's been so long since I've been home," he frowned, suddenly heavy with the burden he knew he put on his young family by remaining absent so often.
The tall knight got to his feet and went to the kitchen to take a small wooden box down from one of the high shelves. He put it down on the table and sat back in his chair before undoing the silver latch. The box was made of oak, stained a dark, rich colour, and had vines and roses tooled along its edges. Carefully, Malcolm counted out fifty gold pieces and pushed them across the table to sit in neat piles of ten before Faith's eyes, and well within her reach.
"I don't need anything to eat," he admitted before explaining who the gold was intended for. "I want you to take this and stop working for that man. I'll write home and tell Vanessa that you are to receive a raise each season. You don't need to work for anyone but us."
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Faith
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Sun Aug 14, 2016 10:19 pm

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"Faith. My name is Faith. I think. Unless, oh, are you giving me a new name?" she asked, tilting her head to the side and looking at him quizzically. "I don't get paid, do I? I.. I'm confused by this. The storm....." she said, and she looked out of the window where the storm clouds were darkening, swirling and turning into a tornado. That swirling mass of clouds and dust and debris; totally mirroring the emotions that she felt swirling around her own subconscious. The winds battered the shutters and the door rattled in the frame as the house seemed to shake with the ferocity of it.
Calm down.
She had to
Calm Down.


"I'll tell her, when I see her" she said, of Vanessa. But who was Vanessa? "Were you on patrol as a Knight Captain? You told me that you were injured. Are you well?" she wondered, looking at him critically as he stood and then reached to get a box. He didn't look injured, she considered, and he moved well. "Are they your sons? You don't seem old enough to have sons, but then. Is Vanessa your wife? I'm sorry, that makes it even less appropriate how I feel, but I ddin't know" she explained, earnestly "And you have only ever been kind to me. But...." she considered, carefully, twisting her hands together, wringing them with anxiety.

"It is not everyone who has a home, you know. There will be a trial when you face death, and on that trial you will not worry that you should have worked more. You will wish for home and hearth, to love and be loved in that place where you are accepted, completely" she smiled and shrugged, watching him with serious silver eyes. But as he placed the box on the table between them, she looked down at it and she shook her head, fear building in her. As it did, she did not notice the storm increasing in rage, but it did so nonetheless, twisting and swirling with her emotions.
Being here, with him
It was more than she had considered
More than she dared to dream
"The Rose. It is the symbol of House Venora. It's what I was branded with here" she said, motioning to her shoulder and she looked up at him with troubled eyes "I thought of what you said to me. That there are those who believe that what happens is because of fate. I do not believe that, I believe in the Immortals, and so when he branded me, I thought of that. It was not fate. It was not chance. It is." she traced the Venora rose on the box, for so it appeared to her "It is and so it is what should be. That is better than poor luck, isn't it? If it was fate, it would be a poor deal" she grinned, a sudden burst of amusement in her silver eyes, mirrored in a synchronised flash of suns'light through the clouds.

But then, the coin and the instruction. The skies darkened with her eyes and Faith looked down at the money. "I am not allowed to own money. I... I wish I could work for you, but it would be... I have an owner. My name is... Cara? I.. No, that's not right. I am Faith and I am owned by Venora. It is..." she jumped a little as lightning struck the tree outside the house, cracking loudly.

"What's happening here?" she asked as the groaning of the broken tree ended, replaced briefly by the crash of it landing on the ground, aflame and cracked clean in half as the storm raged around them, shaking the house to its foundation "Where are we?" she asked, quietly.
"To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."

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Malcolm
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Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:50 pm

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"Faith," Malcolm echoed the name softly, a name that meant nothing to him. His green gaze fell on the woman he had mistaken for Cara, their house slave, though they could hardly call her that. "Faith," he said again as if to commit the name to memory.
The storm outside knocked on the door, an unwelcome guest. Malcolm's shadow was cast against the wall behind him, the room filled with a warm orange, flickering glow. The shadow on the wall was not true to form and seemed to taunt Malcolm behind his back, scratching his chin and the side of his nose.
"Captain... Yes," the knight nodded as if distracted by something, something small on the table that looked out of place. "Injury?" He questioned, his dream a muddle of past and present.
The townhouse had been purchased in Andaris only three years prior, but Malcolm's thoughts placed him in a year long before that when he was still married to Vanessa and his boys were only young. Back then Cara, a young woman from Gawyne, had been purchased as a slave by Vanessa to help keep the house and garden in order while Malcolm was away on business. She had been a thin woman, average in height, with long dark hair and piercing eyes. Faith's mention of his injury saw his mind jump forwards in time, and while his subconscious had not revealed the whole truth to him, flashes of his battle in the fighting arena blinked into his mind.
"Oh yes, my injury," the man acknowledge, pulling his shirt up out of his trousers to look upon the twisted scar that stretched from his left side all the way to his belly-button. "How did that get there?"
Faith mentioned the mark on her shoulder once more after speaking about immortals and the fates, drawing his attention from the small wooden pin on the table to her shoulder where the fresh brand appeared. The long sleeves she had been dressed in dissolved before his eyes as her rags were donned once more.
"We are..." Malcolm had been about to mention that they were in his home when he reached out and took up the small model sword on the table which had dwelled in the shadow of the fruit and bread platter. He lifted it up into the light and squinted, sure he recognised it.
The door rattled again, but this time it was not the storm outside trying to interrupt their conversation, but a pair of familiar faces. Malcolm got to his feet as his son Marcus stumbled over the lip of the doorway with a woman under his arm. The knight felt his brow tighten as he scrutinised the couple with a look and closed his hands into fists, the wooden sword digging into his palm.
"What is the meaning on this?" Malcolm growled. "Your mother will be home any moment, and what would your brother say if he saw you and his woman in such a state? Shame on you!" He pinned Elyna with a stern look and folded his arms.
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Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:22 pm

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Dragged through dark streets with a storm threatening rain overhead. Elyna was trapped under Marcus’s arm. He gripped her shoulder and held her, pressed against his side as he led the way, swaying and stumbling down the street. She was made of wood, rigid, unyielding and unable to duck under the grip because her dream would not allow it. She was bound to the man and she grimaced, face pulled in disgust as she tried to keep him standing at least. Water splashed up from puddles and soaked through her skirts. The blue woollen dress was torn at the shoulders, ripped by the knee and filthy with dirt.

He was singing, loud and raucous as they made their way down the street and to his house. A heavy first made the door rattle before it opened at his touch and they all but fell inside. Laughing, Marcus ignored the admonishment from his father and curled a hand around her waist, squeezing her tight, “we’re celebrating our engagement.”

Elyna’s wide-eyed gaze roved the room. A dark-haired woman, who seemed oddly familiar, and of course Malcolm. Looking at her like she’d been dragged in by the cat, worse. Dragged in by his son.

The Skyrider regained her balance and shoved the young man away, struggling out of hands reluctant to let go. His brother’s woman? Elyna looked between the dark-haired pair that looked so comfortable in Malcolm’s face and her eyes narrowed in a glare.

“I am no ones’ woman!” Her foot stamped and left a muddy boot print on the pristine surface. Marcus reached for her again, eyes fixed on his father as the sailor sought to reclaim his errant bride. She wrestled his hands off her hips again, “I will not marry Vaughn and I certainly will not marry you, Marcus Krome.”

Marcus glared back at her before his gaze roved the room and he grinned at Faith, “if you’re so unwilling Elyna. Perhaps this young lady would assist me?”

“She’d be better off marrying a pig,” Elyna insisted and took the chance to back away from the group.She had no intention of staying longer than necessary.
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Faith
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Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:58 pm

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"I'm not... not sure. You were injured, that's what you told me. I don't really remember, I'm sorry" she explained when he questioned her about his injury. And then she grinned a mischievous grin to him, her eyes twinkling mirth as he lifted his shirt and she spoke with deep consideration and utmost seriousness "You never showed me it before, just told me of it" she explained, but then she frowned. No, that wasn't right. He had showed it to her, she was sure. The furrow in her brow deepened as she remembered that "We were in a garden, weren't we?" she recalled and for a brief split second they were just there in the garden with him making the same gesture. But it was done in a blink and might have been no more than a memory behind the eyelids rather than anything else: she wasn't even sure if he saw it at all. Yet it had been so important to her.

He was just about to tell her where they were (and frankly, Faith was getting more confused about that) when the bang of the tree being struck by lightening outside turned into the crashing of the door as it flung open. And there was a man standing there, arm tightly wrapped around a woman who seemed somehow... familiar. She wasn't sad, though, this time. That was good, Faith considered, she thought that the woman was usually sad for some reason.

Malcolm seemed displeased, and then spoke sternly, the man (whose name was apparently Marcus Krome) had a brother (Vaughn) and the sad woman was his. Was she a slave too? Oh, Faith considered, as the woman in question stamped her foot and assured them that she belonged to no one. That was right, she was free. Free to do as she pleased, that was how it was before when she had been sad. But now? Now the woman was angry. She seemed to be very emotional, Faith contemplated that and nodded her head as though acknowledging the truth of her thoughts. Very emotional.

The man turned his gaze to Faith and she looked at him calmly and defiantly: which might seem strange coming from a slave, of course, but it was not. Just following orders, Captain! she thought, wildly, but the short (they were all rather tall, she realised) human stood and looked at him, chin jutting stubbornly as she spoke "That isn't an option for you, I am afraid" she said, quietly. She actually did fairly well at the looking determined and more than willing to defend herself if necessary in a scrappy sort of way. But then, of course, she ruined it "Would either of you like soup?" she wondered, moving over to the pot. "The storm is raging, you should dry off" And then, she turned to Malcolm and said, most seriously "I think they're too big to worry about school. Is your wife coming home soon? Shall I put out a bowl for her too?" she asked, thoughtfully. After all, food was the backbone of family, she knew.

And as she thought about the wife, the mother of his children, the woman that he loved, Faith turned her attention to the soup and the storm reached a new crescendo outside, thunder crashing and lightning flashing all at the same moment whilst rain and wind battered the house.
"To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."

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Malcolm
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Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:03 pm

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"Yes please," Malcolm replied to Faith in regards to setting another bowl at the table. Moments ago it had been a sunny day, now it was pouring with rain and dusk quickly seemed to settle in the depths of night.
Malcolm opened his hand and put down the small wooden sword, the memory of Elyna in a dress at the circus blinking into his mind. He looked up at the woman, as if startled that his mind had allowed such a vision to stir feelings he shouldn't be experiencing in relation to his son's girlfriend. It was then that the truth came flooding back as Malcolm stared across the room at the angered woman. Vanessa was no longer his wife, Marcus had poisoned him, slept with his new wife, Elyna, and currently held her captive on their old estate in Burhan.
Like a taut rubber-band loosed from the hook of a thumb, Malcolm all but flew across the room at Marcus, pushing him out of the doorway he had stumbled in through. The young man landed with a thud on the cobblestone pavement outside in the street, eyes wild with fright and disbelief as Malcolm followed like a shadow, wrestling the man to the ground as he fought to get up. The two of them struggled briefly before The knight landed the first punch, the collar of his son's shirt balled up in a tightly closed fist as Malcolm let loose, striking Marcus repeatedly in the face.
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Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:44 pm

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“A woman with sense!” Elyna shoved Marcus aside once more as he made another attempt to take a lecherous hold of her side. She stared at the young woman again, trying to work out where she’d met her before. In the city? Hair the colour of a crow’s feather was familiar but the location escaped her. Eager to leave, she couldn’t help but shake her head at the offer of food.

“I have no intention to stay,” she explained and turned to go with a polite nod at both Malcolm and the woman. It was the weather that halted her at the doorstep. The raging crash of thunder and torrential rain. She could already feel the water running off her clothes and pooling in the toes of her boots. But better to go, then stay another second in Marcus’s reach. Why had he bought her here anyway? She hated him. Why hadn’t she stabbed him in the side?

The speed of Malcolm’s movement caught her by surprise and sent him and Marcus tumbling out into the street. Elyna exchanged a look of shock with Faith before she stared out the door at them. The sound of violence echoed in dull thuds and something in her, remembered her training.

“Water!” She shouted to Faith, “water to stop the fight!” It made perfect sense. Water thrown on dogs stopped them fighting, didn’t it? Why would men be any different? The torrent of water falling from the sky, that had no impact on the scuffle, didn’t factor into her response at all. Another moment past and Elyna dived after the pair of them. Marcus was coming off worst, gripped and pummelled. She didn’t understand why, but Elyna threw herself at Malcolm, trying to wrap her hands around him and stop his determined beating of his son.

“Stop! Stop! He’s not worth it!” She tried wrestling with his hands, trying to break the fight up as the rain continued its ceaseless fall.

“Malcolm! The soup’s getting cold!”
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