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The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.

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Alistair
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Tue May 17, 2016 7:18 am

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28th of Ashan, 716
Ser Walter Riley of the Pale,

I cannot possibly envision a world before these strange occurrences had fallen upon me. It did not begin in the great catastrophe of a singular event, but rather the conditioning of years of morbid fascination in human mortality. What makes whom hurt? How to make a strong man bleed? How to make a frail woman scream? I wondered such things - not because I reveled in the pain or the sounds or the blood, but rather because I marveled at the implications of such things; I was curious of what awful realities could make even the most steadfast individuals shy from their bravery and resort to an animalistic human state. But what I ponder upon, as of late, is why I had developed these fascinations in the first place.

You have known me better than any other, Ser Walter, and I know that you have not divulged in the secrets that you've acquired from me and my own. I do not fear writing these words to you, although they shame me and mock me as a man.

I wish to talk about my past - the past that remains hidden, buried, beneath years of secrecy and lies. I wish to discuss . . . my father, Kaleb Venora, and the dealings he and my mother engaged in at the time of my early childhood. Allow me to see you in person, if you please - for I would talk to you about my past, if only for the hope that perhaps you can help me in my future.


It had been two weeks since he had turned twenty-seven, marking a duration of nearly twenty years since he'd begun his expeditions into human mortality. Ten years had passed since he'd started to be called the 'Wilted Rose' by some members of the court, those who found his demeanor unsettling and his secrets vast. Everyone would know, eventually, of his infatuations. If not in this life, then surely after he passed on - they would uncover the secrets of his ailment of the mind. There were some who knew already, and perhaps they couldn't be expected to keep the secret forever. He knew better than most to not trust mankind, for they were fickle and lying creatures. His family had instilled that truth into him for a long time, and across the many former friends he'd come to sacrifice for the sake of his secrecy, this truth became clear to him. Walter Riley was a man of exceptional discretion, however. He was a therapist who had come originally from Venora, then moved his trade to the capital of Andaris to increase his customer base as well as his earnings.

The man was a good fellow. Each time Alistair had met him, he'd felt that goodness upon each glance; it was clear as day. He knew that he would not betray his confidentiality merely for money, and the man's morality was one of particular character. He did not view magic as evil, even Necromancy. He'd talked to Alistair about his infatuations with Necromancy before, and had given him some of the greatest and most pragmatic advice - use necromancy to learn about the world around, to investigate the properties of life and death. Learn all that one can, master it, and then move on and transcend that fixation. He truly wished to see Alistair as a proper Duke, the man holding deeply nationalistic views in regards to his home Duchy.

He in fact, thusly, responded to Alistair's letter and invited him to Andaris for a meeting between therapist and friend. He did not expect money, as this was of a more personal matter. He'd been knighted by Ebony Venora quite some time ago, and owed a great deal to the family that Alistair would soon come to represent. The Necromancer could only hope, then, that this one individual who was so stark in comparison to the wily sycophants and bloodsucking leeches around him, would be able to help the future Duke grow past his fixation and channel his desires into a more legal discipline. If not that, then at least discovering the underlying reasons for his regression into the dark arts could help him to find a path that would not end in bloodshed or the consulting of evil Liches that could compromise his reputation and wellbeing.
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Last edited by Alistair on Sun Jul 31, 2016 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Alistair
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Sun Jul 31, 2016 2:45 pm

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The man knocked on the door to the therapist's office, waiting patiently in the doorway as the aging man stumbled about and recollected himself. He'd been dozing off some, which made sense considering the time of the meeting; Alistair could simply not make it early from Venora, and he could not stay in Andaris for far too long, so the meeting would have to be done today - he emphasized that point. Walter had accepted without complaint, and as he explained, he 'needed reasons to stay awake anyhow.' The man opened the door and gestured for Alistair to come in, which he did, with the therapist locking the door behind him.

"Alistair!" He exclaimed, opening his arms to offer the young Venoran a hug. They shared a long moment of far too much squeezing, smiling at one another as the embrace broke in form. Alistair was rarely ever so happy to see an individual, but honestly as the years had gone on he'd begun to find much more of a rolemodel in this man than with his own father. Walter had helped Alistair many times throughout his life, dealing with depression, anxiety, fear, paranoia, sinful desires avast such as lust and pride and all these other arrays of ailments. He had been there for Alistair when others were not - when men had told him to suck it up and women had chastised him for his weakness. Riley was no such heartless individual, as he knew that within Alistair were the makings of a good individual, one that had - as he described it - been conditioned for apathy and cruelty of the whims of others.

This was an important meeting between them. Alistair was finally going to bring to light delicate information about his past, and this was information Walter had been seeking for a long time in order to close the gaps in his story and fully understand why he had developed the way that he had. He was told to take a seat, with the therapist sitting in front of him. There was no desk between them this time, merely a short gap of distance. He wished to be ever-present for his client, supportive as he could be. The Venoran heir took his seat, looking to the man's eyes and allowing him a faint smile. "Hello, Walter," he said to him. The man nodded and replied with a proper hello, gesturing for Alistair to speak as he would. The Necromancer leaned back into his seat.

"Honestly, I don't feel as eager to talk about this as I thought I'd be. I tried to steel myself for this conversation on the way here, but that proved largely impossible. How can one make it easy to discuss something so absolutely grim and controversial? Something that could prove ruinous to our family? Unlike other households of the low variety, we have a reputation to maintain. It is not advised for me to reveal secrets, even to people I trust." He didn't wish to offend Walter with those words, but he spoke the truth he knew. He was worried, unbelievably so. He could only look down, gathering his thoughts, hoping to uncover a better answer.

Instead he could only imagine the penalties of his words. Even minor things like his grandmother putting him on roast for calling his mother the duquessa, despite the old lady being a rotting nanny whose back was too weak to properly maintain itself against the throne. Things like that ate away at him, coming from such a volatile family.

"Think of the positives of such a discussion, Alistair. You can finally lay your past burdens to rest," he said. The nobleman sighed. "Yeah," he merely replied. Not a very eloquent response, but his mind was not in the right place. He could only think of how he'd be greatly yelled at, screeched at and tormented by the wails of his mother if she ever discovered he'd talked about his past. But he supposed she was not here, and Walter was not her sycophant. He was a beloved friend of Alistair's, one who had given him much in his life.

"Alright. I'll begin, as much as I don't want to," he said in defeat. "I'm going to start with my father, as he is where a great deal of these problems stem from. My mother's negligence of the issue was just as harmful, but it was his perversion that created this ailment in our family." He could only wonder now where to begin. He supposed he should go long back, into a history that Walter wouldn't already know - deep secrets that his family stored in old letters long burnt. Information about his mother from a lifetime ago, before she had matured into a proper duquessa upon a throne.
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Alistair
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Sun Jul 31, 2016 3:15 pm

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"My father is sick," he said. This was quite obvious to Ser Riley based on what he'd heard, but he barely knew the full extent of the ailments his father faced. He knew he was abusive for a period of time during Alistair's younger years, physically and emotionally, but he kept his dangers of his unpredictable behavior focused mainly on his children rather than anyone else. A part of Alistair had always wondered if the man merely used he, Zvezdana and Andraska to ventilate his ill temper. Perhaps he wished to develop in them a loathing for him. He gained pleasure in their distaste of his presence, and although this changed and he grew more cordial through age, there was still a part of him that Alistair knew loved the heat, tension, the confrontation. He was one of the few who enjoyed seeing Zvezdana again, despite her exceptionally terrible disposition towards the family, and despite the fact that he caused that disposition. It was almost as if the hatred of the children of the family fueled him in some way, as if his scars were marks of his success. Alistair, even despite being something of a sociopath himself, could never properly understand his father's motivations.

"When my mother was younger and engaged to Kaleb, my dad, she had been a wild and rambunctious individual. She had slept with men outside of wedlock, and somehow he always found out. His discoveries were elaborate and even the best laid secrets were unveiled by him; apparently he had always been quite the spymaster, even in his earlier years. My mother, with her loose behavior, began as the problem in their future marriage. His house and Venora both relied on such an alliance, and so they were forced to maintain relations despite the loathing Kaleb had developed for my mother with her unfaithful personality. Eventually, he responded to her behavior with ill-suited manners of his own, delving into things that shocked her as much as they challenged her as the future duchess." He did not know each and every one of these actions, but his father had told him some, and he had discussed with his mother the implications of his father's early behavior. He knew that his father had revealed to his mother a latent cruelty, almost as if threatening her. The greatest of his shocking performances was perhaps the time he'd sold her collie to a southern butcher, misleading her for weeks as to his location only for her to trace it to an animal disposal facility. She was deeply disturbed by his actions, and so she reacted with the intention to dismantle the marriage.

Where to continue? He supposed he could describe what she had done to raise attention to the issue. After all, her behavior only enflamed his father's depraved passions, at least according to grandmother Ebony. "My mother, despondent over some of the more disgusting things he'd done to incite her to anger, envisioned the future of their marriage as one of doom and gloom. She threatened to kill herself in the face of the duchess and her husband, then sent letters to House Fate pleading with them to cancel the marriage. They did not - everyone agreed unilaterally that they would see this marriage through, and so my mother consigned herself to a life that would never be quite a proper 'life' at all; one where she felt she'd have to look over her shoulder. I feel empathy, as well as I can, as a result of these terrible things. Cheating on an individual or even mentally abusing them as he claims she did does not merit this sort of behavior. However, what she did to 'fix the issue' was not something quite caring of her as a mother." He took a sip of water from a cup the man had left on a nightstand beside them, composing himself and trying to properly piece together the words connected to memories.

"My father had learned that he loved these depraved things - this cruelty, being unprecedentedly crazed. As a result, he had gotten worse in the years. By this time I was a young child. My mother desperately sought an answer to Kaleb's illness, wishing for his provocative behavior to end so that she could live in relative peace as she began to age. Years later, Zvezdana and Andraska had been given life, and she had determined that projection of my father's ill behavior onto us was appropriate as almost an offering to the sick man to keep him from laying her into the line of fire. As such, she willfully neglected his physical abuse of me and my sister, and even tolerated him forcing me to partake in a disgusting and lewd array of actions towards Zvezdana, things that I can only think to vomit at now that I can look at these days retrospectively. What was she thinking, allowing that cruelty? She was my mother, and yet-" He was cut off by Walter, raising his hand to stop the angry pacing of Alistair's mind. The man was always exceptionally composed, but not in matters of such gravity. In truth, he had a great deal of anger within him, internally and externally.

It was a hard life to bear, one that had been used by his father for funneling anger, for his mother for the sake of producing a proper heir and deflecting her husband's disgusting behaviors. And, despite the fact that he as well was a victim, Zvezdana and perhaps even Andraska had come to loathe him at least partially for his actions in the days of old. He was young. But, he didn't expect them to understand that. Part of him wished that the siblings could have taken up together to fight the cruelty of their father and the neglect of their mother, but instead all of them dispersed and ran away and blamed one another.

It was not their fault. He knew that now. It was Kaleb's fault, and Willow's fault. Hell - it was even Ebony's fault. But how to properly express that? How to bring justice to the deeds of the past, without damaging the future of House Venora? He did not know of such a way. He could not think of one.

"Zvezdana and Andraska," Ser Riley spoke. "Perhaps it's time for you and them to make amends for all your differences as children, and confront this past together. I think only then will you be healed - of the illness your father wished to wipe onto you, and of the sadness that reigns in your heart from your tumultuous past. Don't you think so, Alistair?" He asked. The Venoran nodded his head slowly, his eyes unable to rise to anything above his feet.

There was so much more he wanted to talk about. So much, but so little time. The night was short in comparison to the stories he could speak of his days as a child and a young man. Such a history for someone who was apparently so privileged, blessed. Was it worth it for all of the wealth and luxury? He often . . . imagined not, for he found himself in a state of dysthymia that lasted lifetimes, and would likely last long after he was dead and his body morphed into something else - greater, lesser, spiritual or not. These issues had taken root in him and morphed his personality. How would he ever get away?
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Faith
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Wed Aug 17, 2016 12:50 pm

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Peer Reviewed: Rewards!
Alistair


Points!:

Story: 4/5
Collaboration: 0/ 5 (solo thread)
Structure: 5/ 5
Knowledge:

Basic
House Venora: filled with secrets.
Walter Riley: a therapist
Walter Riley: discrete
Walter RIley: originally from Venora
Walter Riley: a good man
Politics: trust no one
Etiquette: we do not discuss scandal
Psychology: childhood has a major impact on personality
Kaleb Venora: a sick man
Kaleb Venora: appears to have softened with age
Kaleb Venora: a spymaster
Willow Venora: wild as a young woman
WIllow Venora: had intended to dissolve her marriage to Kaleb


Specialised
Walter Riley: a pragmatist
Walter Riley: knows you're a necromancer
Walter Riley: knighted by Granny Ebony
Politics: choose who to trust.
Etiquette: scandals are ruinous to old and noble families
Kaleb Venora: a sadist
Kaleb Venora: enjoyed depravity
Willow Venora: offered her children to Kaleb as a means to protect herself
Willow Venora: allowed Kaleb to commit unspeakable acts
Psychology: communicating with your siblings might allow you to heal


Loot:

None

Fame:

None

Overview:

A very real insight into Alistair's psychology; you really portrayed well how he tries to make sense of his childhood and the conflict between "the family" and all that it entails and his own personal feelings.

General comments.
A well considered and interesting read. You present a clear picture of a man who is conflicted and constrained by a past and social expectations which don't link to his reality.
Story I deducted one point for story because it really felt like it ended in the middle. But the story you wrote was very clear and well written. It certainly left me wanting you to continue the thread!

Structure A well written and clear thread with no issues of structure.

Please remember to mark this thread as "Reviewed" in the request for review thread.
Please record these in the "Skill Point Ledger" you have in your CS.
PM me if you've got any questions at all!
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"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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