• Mature • [Venora] Prometheus

The seven Duchies of Central Rynmere and their respective baronies, cities, towns, villages, and landmarks each overseen by a Duke of one of the seven noble families and ultimately controlled by the King of Rynmere.

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Alistair
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Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:06 am

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12th of Saun, Arc 716

The face of the mountain rots. The sky wails with anger brought by our perceived hubris; from the clouds, tears descend to the ground. The village below is set ablaze by the Nightstalkers; all of the children would be as Phatomay, great Necromantress of the past, stolen away from her mediocre dwelling as a babe and bred to rule the flesh of men. I, Ellasin, have known no man - and yet am mother to thousands of children; babes who seek not sustenance from my body, but the power to be more than man. To ascend to that of a God who walks among mortals. And you, Alistair, are one of these darling children of mine. One of my most talented; a man who commands respect wherever he walks. Yet you do not wish to operate as we do - it is beneath you, in your mind. To slaughter mothers and whisk away their children, to beat men down with our flails and raise them as an undead army. No . . . you would follow your own path. You say you want to create true immortality, as if Lichdom is not true in your eyes. As if we are all below you.

We are not below you, young one. You are below yourself - what you could come to be, if only you abandoned your idealism, your want to immortalize man.

- - -
His eyes had awoken from the abyss of dreams, where Nightmares haunted him. Her face was plastered on every corner of every wall, that woman who wore the guise of a beauty yet donned the heart of a beast. Alistair would orbit around her for all of his life, as he had already. He would fear her, oppose her, wish to destroy her. And she knew . . . and he knew that she knew; he could see it in the playfulness of her eyes, a gaze that screamed come and try.

"I need a break," he said to himself. He stretched his torso and stood up, looking out of the window of the room he'd been staying in while in Lamonte; a family friend's home. There was so much life in this city, with families rushing off to the beach with their screaming children and droves of bards and artists crowding the streets looking for patronage. This was his home of Venora - enchanting, unique, it was the only world he knew. And to think - she wished to tear it all down, start up her undead apocalypse and make a world such as this a dream of the past.

. . .

He had to stop thinking about it. About her. Not to mention the bloody war, his impending marriage to Celeste Andaris, the need to follow in his grandmother's footsteps despite her leaving a difficult example to rival. Every day was a circling of vultures in his mind, picking away at him and supplanting his small shrivels of joy with thoughts of fear and doubt. That was his life now, and that had to change. Ever the dutiful man, he would bring about change himself. Today would be... his day off, from thinking, from frantically writhing about. The man had brought a short pair of trousers with him from Sabaissant, figuring he'd probably be swimming with Theodore when they were set to meet on the twenty first trial. It seemed he would be swimming early, as he had thought about it before, and only fully consumed this thought: the last time he'd spent a nice day just watching the sun set on the ocean's horizon was about twelve arcs ago.

That meant something to him. He'd given up his whole life, and his golden years, for duty - and fixation on things that quite frankly had yet to give him the joy he sought. It was time, and he knew, to mix things up.

The man brought only his undergarments and the swimming trousers he'd come to possess. There was no golden silk brocade outfit donning a shiny Venora pin, nor a contingent of guards to walk him to the shore, nor a ridiculously savvy Lich by the name of Damien Noch. It was just him, his bare chest, and the most impulsive thought he'd had since childhood: just go out there and find something to do!

And, it turned out to be an utter failure. A few hours later, only shortly before the sun would begin to set, the man was doing only this: laying about on the sand and staring awkwardly at people having a lot more fun than he, ever the wallflower. He frowned. "Gods, I'm hopeless." He laid his back against the sand and stared empty into the sky, and he thought about it all. He would rather observe upon others than himself, he would rather witness a great achievement from afar than take part in it . . . he would rather have the scenic view on glory than be submerged into the atmosphere of greatness. That was his life, and it had always been his life. And to be honest, the more he lived it, the more it became who he was. Nothing but a man from below looking above.
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Last edited by Alistair on Sat Aug 27, 2016 8:41 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Bronik
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Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:07 pm

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Rynmere's coastline had been a cruel, unkind mistress, enticing the young Biqaj male to explore its unique and wondrous twists and bends only to trap him at low tide and leave his boat high and dry on the sandbar. Bronik had spent the better part of an hour trying to free his sloop, tiring work that made the short swim to the shore seem more and more appearing. That morning he had set down the anchor, hung his clothes up to dry, and braved the waters to stumble onto a beach he was quite certain put him somewhere near Venora.
The day had taken him on a journey along the beach, exploring caves and scaling cliffs in order to try and find the best view or earthly treasure. Like a magpie he had traversed the shoreline hunting for shells, stopping to pick up anything that looked like it might be useful, and by late afternoon he had collected enough speckled cowry shells to craft himself a necklace. Bronik had found a stray log to sit on and thread the cowry shells onto a thin, bronze necklace he had picked up at the marketplace in the capital, before he fastened the finished product around his neck.
All afternoon he had watched people come and go while sunning himself, his upper body a lot fairer than usual after the sixty-three day journey it had taken to sail to and dock along the Andaris coast. A pair of a plain, water damaged shorts hung low on his hips, long enough in the leg to hide the ugly scar on his inner left thigh. The skin of his right earlobe was red where his shirt had caught on the silver stud in his ear that morning, it's equal pushed through his left nipple, a home job his rebellious half-sister had convinced him of undergoing. Rough, much like the faint dotted lines drawn up from his fingertips where old tattooing had faded with time and wear.
As there afternoon wore on and the sky started to turn, Bronik found himself contemplating the possibility of having to stay the night and sail back to Andaris come dawn. With the decision quickly made, he started scouring the beach for driftwood to drag back and pile up near the log he had claimed for the evening, and went about building a bonfire to light later once the sun was set. It wouldn't be the first time he had roughed it on the beach, and with his pocket knife to keep him company, he could work on some small woodcarvings by firelight.
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Alistair
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Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:51 pm

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As sunset came upon them, an all-female musical posse called "the Sisters of Cyrene Bay" came dangling themselves before a crowd that quickly erupted on the beach. They wore exotic garbs that they claimed were straight from the ports of Ne'haer, and the men and women of the city marveled at the uniqueness of their dress and the prettiness of their voice. The beach was set alight with activity, the women singing for peace and the end of the manipulation of the class of proletarians for the selfish goals of false Kings. The Necromancer slipped away from the crowd, as singing about civil-war only brought his mind back to that war; the war he'd come to a beachside to avoid mention of.

He stood up, wiping the sand off of his chest, and keeping all of the grains stuck in his pants right where they were; he wasn't going to lodge a hand into his pants to cleanse it from unwanted sand. He walked further alongside the beach, barely looking at anyone or anything relevant around him. His eyes were trained on the sunset laying over the waves and the boundless sea. It had been so long since he'd traveled past the vineyards and painters and sailed out to sea. He had seen Etzos with Damien a long time ago, but never since then.

The man supposed that was the ill in doing things like this - it always led to a want in things you couldn't have. Partaking in normality made him want normality, as much of a pipe dream as that was. Watching the fathers hold their sons and the mothers sing with their daughters made him want a family like those idyllic ones that passed; not one seething in political anxiety, but a real one. And that was what this had all come down to . . . Alistair wanted for everything to change. Needed everything to change. The complacency of this life would be fleeting; if things did not reverse from their current course, he would fall into a pit as all social outcasts did.

He would become as the other 'sociopaths' became - a killer, a heartless wretch. He knew it was coming; the impulse was already there.

As he pondered these things, Alistair found himself pausing in silence on the shoreline. Without even realizing it, he ended up watched a man gather driftwood for what was very likely a fire. As he explored the coast for his intended goal, the eyes of the Venora trailed on him back and forth as he walked. All the meanwhile, he was embroiled in an isolated discussion in his mind. Watching this anonymous individual became a strange spaced-out obsession; he could hardly rightly say what the man was even doing, though surely after creepily staring at him along the shore for so long, the man would have noticed his silent admirer. The nobleman bit his lower lip and snapped back to reality. He decided to be bold and actually say something, if only to make himself seem less odd.

"Would you like help?" he asked. His eyes probed the appearance of the man. Distinctive appearance - possibly a Biqaj. He was attractive, lean, and unique. He was here alone, a mutual thing between the two of them. Maybe, he thought, that would make it easier to approach him. You certainly wouldn't find Alistair approaching a family with six children and expecting to be allowed to interject.

In honesty, this was all an experiment as much as it was a scenic trip. He could change things. First step: make a friend. Or something. He didn't know what step two was yet, but he would weave the thought together in his head as he was engaged with step one. Maybe get drunk for the first time? That sounded scary. I'm a broody drunk, he always told people. In reality, he didn't know. He could've been a party freak.
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Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:06 pm

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The offer of help came as a surprise to Bronik more than anything. Alistair didn't look like the kind of man who walked along beaches collecting firewood. He appeared to be of higher standing than that, or perhaps just in very good health. Bronik was thin, if he didn't catch his dinner, he didn't eat, and more often than not that was the case. His hair was ratty, a tangled braid threaded through small wooden beads at the back, which looked to have once been painted with bright yellows, blues, and greens, now just a collection of washed out pastels.
Bronik pointed to a couple of pieces of wood he could see a few paces behind the stranger, and didn't engage the man in conversation until some time later, when the woodpile was sizeable, and the beach somewhat less crowded. "Cheers," he had lifted his hand as if to brush his hair back and smile. The man had become a master at hiding his facial scar, hating the way his left cheek caved in each time he grinned, as if an invisible thumb pressed down on the flesh.
A young man with long shaggy hair and a rolled up blanket tucked under his arm asked to sit with them as he noticed Bronik bent over the woodpile trying to light it. The man's girlfriend, one of the dancers, then joined them and watched as her lover unwrapped a space-drum from under the blanket he had been carrying. Being a bit of a hippy himself, Bronik was glad for the soft, enchanting music, and once the fire was going, he built it up around the edges with sand to catch the ash and stop the wind from blowing tiny burning coals everywhere.
Bronik smacked at a sandfly on his knee and settled down against the log on the nice white sand which still held its warmth from the days sun. He hadn't expected company but was grateful for it, this was the exact reason he liked to travel, to experience new things and meet interesting and sometimes very talented people. "You a local?" Bronik raised a brow as he looked over at Alistair.
Two more girls joined the little gathering then, friends of the dancer, Bronik assumed, and looked to have come bearing gifts in the form of red wine. One of the bottles was quickly passed around the half circle to Bronik, who knew he wouldn't take much to get tipsy on an empty stomach. "Venora Rose?" He read the label and broke the wax around the cork.
"It's cheap in Venora," the dancer smiled, "but we like it."
Bronik took a sip, his Biqaj roots getting the better of him. "Let me trade you something for it?
"No way, man, the wine is our way of saying thanks for letting us share your fire," the drummer interjected before his girlfriend could get a word in.
Bronik shrugged, he wasn't going to argue with that logic. He took another deep swig from the bottle before holding it out to Alistair. "No clouds, it's going to be a beautiful night."
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Alistair
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Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:55 am

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He needed no help; the man had already finished his work in gathering. Alistair awkwardly bit his lip and nodded, acknowledging that he had one less way of wedging into an actual conversation. Not long after the fire began, though, a whole contingent of people came. First a dancer who he imagined was associated with the Sisters of Cyrene, and then a man with shaggy long hair that he could only assume was her lover. The exchange was quick, and not long after they'd been allowed to sit by the fire, this place too became lit up with music and enthusiasm.

Peasants were odd. There was no strong dress code, no theme, no order. It was a straight nosedive to the festivities, wearing whatever odd outfit one could muster. The music wasn't coordinated by a famous group blessed by Zanik himself, but rather a bunch of young adults trying their hand and feeling the music. It was infinitely different than what he was used to - the man only stared dumbfounded as the girls came running over and the dancer playfully began her routine. One of them winked at Alistair - made him remember he had no shirt on, and quite frankly he wasn't all that bad to look at. He waved back shyly, but only as a courtesy. It was impolite to ignore someone who had explicitly made their presence clear to you, after all. And he was still operating here under the pretext of politeness, manners and proper code of conduct. That was going to bite him in the ass, and he knew it.

"Ah, yes," he finally answered Bronik. His gaze darted between the girl flirting with him and the biqaj male. "I am a local indeed. I come from the glorious city of Sabaissant," he said. One of the girls laughed at his weird manner of speech, evidently, and another nearly covered her mouth in awe. "Sabaissant?!" she asked excitedly. "Oh my god, are you like a prince or something? That place is so gnarly, dude! I've heard the nobles there don't even use chamberpots, they have poop maids that pluck it directly from their ass!" All three of the girls started to laugh, and the dancer's boyfriend was on the verge of it. Alistair rolled his eyes.

"You heard incorrectly. Next question." The women were still laughing, repeating to one another poop maid and pluck it straight from his ass! as they went on.

Nevertheless, the laughter calmed down and one of the girls quietly asked him sincere questions about the city as they all sat around the fire. A woman offered wine to Bronik, the sailor questioning the gift. Venora had many wines, and many of the ones popular in other places and well sought after were commonplace in this land. Venora Rose was but one of many excellent wines. There was the Lilac, the Dahlia, and even the legendary Lotus. Some of them had a taste so powerful and alarming that men have been said to become addicted to them, sustaining themselves on the wine alone, bankrupting themselves in the quest to stock their cupboards with the enchanting taste. But Alistair . . . had never even had wine before. Not even once, which was perhaps contrary to every other Venora in history. Wine was a part of their culture, their history, but he abstained from it.

He was a square - afraid to get drunk, afraid to experience a dulling of the senses. But as he was brooding about not allowing himself to be offered wine, the other man offered him a sip of the Venora Rose, his words not of a request but a statement of truth. The Venora looked at him perplexedly as he held out his hand. He had a hard time formulating a proper response. No thank you, I don't drink like you proletarians would have been proper in most situations, but somehow he didn't think that would go over well in the city of free love and authority issues. Instead, remembering that he came here to try something different, he took the bottle from Bronik and placed it into his mouth, drinking a fair portion before he covered his mouth and began to cough. He sounded like he was choking.

"Oh god," he sounded as he started to get it mostly down. "It tastes so different," the man said ineloquently. The girls were already on the verge of laughing again. "Do you not drink in Sabaissant?" one of them asked. He had a puzzled look. "We do, just not me. Not all nobles are little wallflowers, you know."

"Just you, then?" the man asked with a smirk.

"...yeah." The noble admitted with a silly smile. One of the girls patted him on the shoulder and another leaned in to flick him on the cheek. "Here in Lamonte, there's no judgments. It's free love, man. We all love one another, regardless of noble or commoner, human or biqaj, or even Immortal or mortal. Man, I know a girl named Chelsea who said she's fucked Zanik. Totally gnarly, innit?" Another girl added to that. "Dude, Chelsea also said sometimes during her bleeding phase of the month that she finds eggshells in her ladyparts. Don't you think she's taking too much Thunder?"

The Venoran looked at Bronik as the two women exchanged in their vulgar conversation. He seemed to be enjoying himself, and despite clearly not being from here, was more comfortable than Alistair. In a way, the noble was almost jealous. That free spirit - the ability to travel and enjoy things, that was something he never had. He looked to the biqaj and asked, "Where are you from?" His voice didn't seem all that common in Rynmere; there was a certain distinctiveness of his accent. But there were cities all over the world that Alistair had never even dreamt of - he had no idea what lay in store out there. So he could only ask . . . and take another sip of the wine, nervous and afraid but also excited for the way this night was about to go.
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Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:05 am

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"The glorious city," Bronik had echoed the man to his right mockingly and caused another bout of laughter to race through the group. He hadn't felt bad about it until it came out that Alistair just so happened to be a noble, one who had failed to offer up his name, though perhaps that was wise.
"Where are your guards?" The dancer had sniggered.
"Yes and your royal poo plucker," her friend then got in on the fun. Bronik had made the mistake of laughing, and in doing so, made himself a target.
The question that followed just so happened to coincide with Alistair's inquiry, regarding from where the young Biqaj hailed. "Where did you get those scars, man?"
"Yeah what happened to your face?" The dancer asked.
"And your back," her friend chimed in.
Bronik accepted a roughly rolled cigarette from the drummer and sucked in, filling his lungs with the unmistakable scents of something Biqaj traders referred to as 'Camel Weed' or 'Witches Hair'. He coughed as a result of its potency. "I wrestled with a Keel-Saw Sea Dragon," words delivered in jest with a plume of smoke that escaped through his nose and mouth as he spoke.
"But where are you from?" The dancer pressed.
Bronik drew in another drag from the cigarette and held the smoke in his lungs a moment before replying with, "the belly of the dragon," clearly a fan of fables and storytelling.
"That's where the poo pluckers tip out their buckets," the drummer laughed.
"Guess I'm all shit then," Bronik quipped and the group shook with mirth.
"I'm Bailey," one of the dancer's friends introduced herself. She had dark brown hair that wove all the way down to her hip, and was bronze of skin. Bailey got to her feet and moved to wrap a light, colourful scarf around the Biqaj's shoulders before she sat down on the sand between him and the drummer and reached out to take his cigarette. "What's that little glass bottle attached to your necklace?"
"Night Sky," Bronik answered honestly and feeling Alistair's eyes on him again, pointed his stare at the nobleman and smiled, forgetting his scar. "You ever tried?"
"Isn't that like... Slug slime from the west?" Bailey asked. "The stuff hunters use to see better at night?"
"Enhances vision," Bronik agreed with a nod, "and that high will trip you out." The young man pulled off the cap and tipped out a drop onto the tip of his tongue, wagging it playfully in front of Bailey.
"Bailey don't take it," the dancer warned. "Remember that story in the gazette last arc about that guy who cut off his own foot, after taking some of that stuff, because he thought it was trying to eat him?"
"Shit I ain't gonna waste it," the drummer leaned across Bailey and kissed Bronik, rolling his tongue across the Biqaj's.
"Wade!" His girlfriend scolded. "I swear by the seven if you start tripping I'm not dragging your ass home!"
Wade closed a fistful of Bronik's hair in his hand and smacked a second kiss to the man's cheek before returning to his drum playing. The sailor shook his head slowly, amused, and turned his attention on Alistair once more. "What about you, Sa-brat?" He openly mocked the man's city and title without malice, and reached out for the wine to wash down the oily taste of the drug. "Wanna get wild?" The Biqaj winked, blue eyes turned gold in the firelight.
Last edited by Bronik on Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:36 am

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The nobleman blushed as the Biqaj joined in the mockery of his manner of speech. He covered his cheeks and hoped in the back of his mind that a thunderbolt would strike one of the people so he could make an escape, but instead he was to be subjected to this wild laughter and the budding jests that came one after another about him and the place he hailed from. His guards? He didn't usually have any... living guards. "My friend Damien serves as my guard, assistant and mento-"

And your royal poo plucker? The dancer asked. Right. They didn't care. He decided that from now on he'd just stare intently in response to all of the questions, maybe he could creep them out enough that they would just trail off. Before he could employ his tactic, however, the group of hooligans began to direct their line of questioning to the biqaj. Apparently this was how they reined in newcomers - by mocking them.

He apparently got his scars from a Sea Dragon? Alistair doubted the authenticity of that statement, and was inept enough in humor that he barely recognized the jest. He then began to wonder if there actually were Sea Dragons . . . and if they were maybe small and weak enough for one man to wrestle? No, no, that was impossible. Right? He had no idea how to respond to any of this. He felt like he had a brain disease or something and was just incapable of keeping up with or understanding this conversation. Why did peasants speak so quickly? Why did they say so many weird, illogical, offensive things?

Well, he knew it was a joke when Bronik said he was from the belly of the dragon. That was clear bullshit. He'd never heard of people being born and raised in dragon bellies, and so unless Bronik was actually a shapeshifted parasitic worm breed, that invalidated his story. Alistair was at least fifteen trills late on that one, but that was about the lag in which his mind could properly compute these bizarre actions and reactions. Not to mention his eyes were darting like wild because everyone was moving erratically and intoxicating themselves to the best of their ability.

His brain felt weird, too. He'd only had a bit of wine, but he already felt a little off. Strange. It was like a slight wooziness, but only slight.

The conversation stayed trained on Bronik. Alistair had also wondered what that little bottle was, but had refrained from asking for fear of being too unjustly inquisitive. But these girls didn't follow the same standards, and so they asked regardless. Night Sky, he responded. And Alistair swore he'd heard of that before, or read about it during his early medical studies. He'd studied recreational and hardcore drugs as a part of medicine, but he couldn't remember the exact details of each. Andraska, his brother, would have likely known better. He was a wild child, after all.

"Have I ever tried?" he blinked. "A drug? No no no. That is . . . highly inappropriate. And very dangerous." Despite the 'no judgments' thing, he could already notice he was being judged. One of the women whispered to another girl, and he could swear he heard the word square said with a grin following the faces of both women. He didn't know what a square had to do with his intolerance for drugs, but he supposed it was more proletarian slang. Bronik didn't seem to pay attention and continued speaking about the drug - how it would enhance your vision, inebriate the senses with a quote "high that will trip you out". He wondered . . . trip out like falling over?

What in the world language was being spoken? Did Rynmere need to expand upon its English curriculum?

And - oh God. The Necromancer's eyes widened as he almost fell off the log he was sitting on. The drummer, who was apparently the lover of one of the women, licked the substance off the tongue of the biqaj and gave him a quite... hungry kiss on the cheek. "Lord!" Alistair exclaimed. Bailey immediately looked to him and smirked, with the man's girlfriend scolding him angrily as a smug look covered his complexion from ear to ear.

Public indecency. Indiscreet sexuality. Brazen cheating on your sexual and romantic partner. The consuming of drugs. Everything his mother ever warned him against. Was this really how commoners functioned during the evenings? He was now convinced of the importance of the aristocracy - if only to provide some moral guidelines for the obviously wild and hapless youth of the Kingdom. His focus was totally diluted, quite literally every moment providing him with a new level of shock. He'd opened up corpses and dissected people's chests for their internal organs, had murdered men in cold blood, and still never quite felt this surrounded in indiscretion and vulgarity. But that made him think . . . why? Why was this so much worse? Why was he acting like a man of temperance?

Was what he did not more harmful than all of this? He killed people, or benefited from the killing of people. Necromancy - for him - was an addictive drug that could have easily resulted in his execution. He'd seen the darker side of nobility, too, beginning with the perversion of his father and the mental and physical indecency of his mother. Was this as bad as he thought it was, or was it merely his upbringing - and the things he'd been taught by his family - that made him fear this wildness so greatly? He felt like all of . . . everything had been condensed into a tunnel-like vision, with his hearing and focus funneling merely into the words and the look of Bronik, like in slow motion. He could hear the excited cheers of the girls, yeah man, go wild with him! they screamed. The drummer pounded on his instrument.

And he thought, really -

what's the big deal?

"Yeah," the man whispered. He reached into the young part of himself for a moment, the part that screamed to be freed from the shackles of nobility and constant propriety. His gaze locked on Bronik, and he nodded his head. "I wanna go wild." Those words felt like the crackling of thunder for him, but in an empowering sort of way. Like years of avoiding everything actually fun had washed away, at least for the moment. Right now, tonight, he could try anything. Take a risk.

He leaned forward, mere inches away from the sailor's face, and grabbed his necklace. "Show me what you've got."
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Fri Aug 26, 2016 5:05 am

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An unexpected reply saw a dark brow lifted as hesitation to indulge the nobleman struck him low in the gut, was it wrong to temp those destined for glory towards the flames? Bronik closed his hand around Alistair's and wiggled the bottle free from the man's fingers before taking his jaw, strong, it was a prominent feature of the man sat before him. The sailor dragged his thumb across the man's lower lip and mouthed, "open," scarcely giving the word breath before he raised the small glass bottle, no longer than his thumb, and tipped it forwards just enough to relinquish a single drop onto the tip of the noble's tongue.
"Go on! Kiss 'em!" One of the girls encouraged.
"Nji'Ihadi," Bronik called the nameless man and kissed him hard on the mouth before jumping to his feet to a song of cheers.
All of the noise the group was been making had drawn a few other strangers, seen wandering along the beach, a young couple who clearly shared in Bronik's heritage, dressed in light, billowy clothing with long, untamed hair. There was wine passed about and more witches hair to burn. Bronik had managed to track down the wine bottle that had escaped his grasp earlier and drank, sometimes standing too close to the fire for comfort, which earned him the odd tale of caution or manic giggle from on of the girls.
"You watch," Bailey snickered, "that scarf will catch fire before the night is through."
Bronik spun about, choking the neck of the wine bottle as he stared up at the clean night's sky and saw all the colours of dusk with new eyes. The horizon was painted with fiery reds, orange, and gold, the different tones bleeding into one another as the sun ducked below the earth and the first stars glittered in the sky.
The newcomer, who had introduced herself and her partner as Skylar and Blaze, started singing to the rhythmic, soft beats of the drum. Bronik stumbled back to the log when summoned by Bailey, and plonked himself down in the sand, every grain more defined and vibrant as the affects of the vision enchanting narcotic slowly started to take hold. The sailor seemed memorised by the flames and the woman dancing behind them, the small bells around her ankles chiming in time with the beat. "Lamonte," he smiled, "tell me more about this place," his gaze fell on Alistair then. "Tell me about the glorious city."
Bailey giggled, "he's spinning man, look at him," she pointed to the noble and laughed. "He looks so lost, oh he's like a lost little puppy."
Bronik stared at the man, drinking in the sight of his powerful jaw and broad shoulders. Every hair on his arms looked sharper than they had moments ago, and to look down the length of the beach, even in the dark, he saw the world in more detail than one could imagine. "You all right, Sa-brat?" The sailor reached out and slapped the man's thigh lightly.
"He's okay," Wade weighed in. "Just needs more wine that's all!"
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Alistair
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Fri Aug 26, 2016 5:45 am

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. . . A drop of the liquid on his tongue. It felt so sinful, even that tiniest of portions, like the kiss of a demon wetting his lips. And then, as if true to form, one such kiss really did come - the Biqaj's lips crashed hard against his, and Alistair stood paralyzed. He stood empty into the eyes of the man, who called him Nji'Ihadi, a word he did not understand. A word he did not need to understand - all he knew was that this place, and this moment, was too much for him. For but a moment he allowed himself to be wild, to say what he did. To beckon the Biqaj to twist him and lead him astray.

But that moment passed, and he remembered now why he had refrained for so long from spending nights in scenes such as these - the wildness, the carelessness, it was fatal to a man's reputation. He was glad to have been nameless in this place, for if they had known who he was, Alistair Venora, he would have never escaped from the shame. The shame that was this drug - Night Sky - and the shame that was the scarred man's kiss.

More people came. Alistair sat in silence. The guilt was as a gong beating against a bell; it came sharp and in a rhythm that continued on. It wasn't just that he felt he had betrayed his morals, no - he had betrayed his feelings for another. To allow himself to be taken over by this man, regardless of his attraction or dangerous charms, was to betray the one who he desired most. Duncan. It was to betray the preaching he'd inscribed in all of his speeches and lectures in correction of his younger family members, penalizing them for their fraternization with the commoners, for their engaging in drugs and promiscuity . . .

What was Alistair if not a bastion of propriety? Was this really the liberation he needed? Was it the one he wanted?

Lamonte, the man said. Tell me more about this place.

Tell me about the glorious city.

He's spinning, man. He looks so lost, he's like a lost little puppy. Lost. The words made him very briefly chuckle. The nobleman stood from where he was seated, stretching himself as his eyes moved from each of the individuals to the next. "I am lost," he said. "You're right. I clearly was erroneous in my directions, as last I heard, the beaches of Lamonte had decent and proper individuals - not whorish drug addicts and peddlers of false dreams. Not to mention your abandonment of your family name for nothing. What was the name you introduced yourself by, girl? Sunflower? This is the Grand Duchy of Venora, not a bloody theatrical performance. Show some dignity you droll bitch." The man kicked sand as he stepped away. Sunflower was visibly shaken, while the two other women yelled fucking square! and stuck-up aristocrats! as he walked away. Wade merely shook his head and kept beating on his drums.

Alistair increased the pace. His vision was starting to change, and he didn't like it. The Furdan Estate wasn't far from here - they were close friends of the family, and he'd saved the life of the young heir naught two dozen trials ago. He could go there. He could entrust them to ensure he didn't do anything too brash while this thing infected his mind. And he could seek in them the guidance to defeat this illness that had consumed him, this lust for both bodies and thrills. Look at how low such desires had brought the man, a man who had once considered himself great.
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Point Bank Thread

Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:00 pm

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Peer Reviewed: Rewards!
Alistair

Points!:

Story: 5/5
Collaboration: 5/ 5
Structure: 5/ 5
Knowledge:

Basic
Ellasin: In your dreams
Bronik: Easy on the eye
Bronik: Relaxed in company
Bronik: Knows a lot about drugs
Bronik: Your first kiss
Andraska: Gets drunk, but is obviously the most relaxed of the two of you. Maybe you should be more like him?
The Sisters of Cyrene Bay: A Musical Group
Wine: The Taste? It kind of grows on you
Lamonte: A place of free love
Night Sky: Enhances vision and gives a wicked high
Business Management: Everyone needs a trial off
Politics: The war is on everyone's mind
Politics: Peasants are odd
Politics: Peasants sometimes mock nobility
Psychology: It's hard to have fun when you're not used to trying
Specialised
Business Management: Everyone needs a trial off - even the boss
Politics: You are ALWAYS Lord Venora


Loot:

Fame:
-1 general bad deed (rude!)

Bronik


Points!:

Story: 5/5
Collaboration: 5/ 5
Structure: 5/ 5
Knowledge:

Basic
Alistair Venora: Kind of stares a lot
Alistair Venora: Looks like a rich lad
Alistair Venora: Sticks out like a sore thumb in your world
Alistair Venora: Can't hold his liquer
Alistair Venora: A noble without a poo-plucker
Alistair: One minute he wants it... the next?
Alistair: Turns on a sixpence
Camel Hair: Also called Witches Hair
Night Sky: Enhances vision and gives a wicked high
Disguise: Covering scars with hair
Seafaring: Coastlines are tricky
Seafaring: Sometimes, it's better to wait till morning.
Seafaring: Judging the weather by the sky
Storytelling: Keep 'em laughing
Jewelry Crafting: Threading on to a chain


Specialised
Navigation: Identifying coastal areas where you are likely to get stuck
Deception: Evading answers

Loot:
One shell necklace
Fame:
+1 (general good deed, inviting everyone, being welcoming), +1 (sharing your stuff) -2 (break a city law), -2 (gave a gift, but it was pretty well illegal) = -2 total.

Overview:

General comments. LOL! I loved this thread! It was totally awesome and I'm so delighted that I got to grade it. I wish I could give more than 5/5 for story! I loved just how relaxed and chilled out Bronik is, and how very out of place Alistair is. There was a moment there when I thought that maybe, just maybe, Alistair was going to chill out and go with the flow, but then propriety bit him once again. Great reading thank you!
Story an awesome story with loads of great NPCs.
Structure both of you are fantastic writers. Thank you.

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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