A Story Told a Thousand Times (Arlo/Vega)

A city thrust in a land of magical corruption, where survival isn't taken for granted, Yaralon is a jewel on Eastern Idalos. It is world renown for its mercenary companies, for their spiritual culture that appears a bit backwards and counter intuitive to more "civilized" types. Yaralon is where the strong go to discover that they are anything but, and mercenaries learn that only Yari mercs are true mercs.

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A Story Told a Thousand Times (Arlo/Vega)

Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:57 pm

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Saun 30, 718 immediately following this thread



There, in the middle of Bastards' Grove, at the Fabled Door, colloquially referred to as a Shrine to Cassion, was a man with dark hair and a goofy grin, accompanied by a woman with a fiery mane and fierce eyes. They were the main characters of a story repeated for centuries and beyond. Theirs was a story of love conquering all. And in every such story, there were differences, details large and small, but one note resonated within each of them. Love, pure and tempered, tested and tried, rising up the victor. The story of Arlo and Vega was one of true love.

And so, as Arlo touched the door, he'd feel the desire of a hopeless romantic in that door. A romantic who'd listened to this story of love a thousand times and never tired of it. There was a warm glow in Arlo's Cassion Mark, one that only he could feel, as well as his special hat beginning to give off a dull, yellow glow. There was an intelligence within this door, that much would be obvious. And after it deemed Arlo truly worthy of passage, the doors creaked, and swung inward, intense, blinding white light spilling out.

Whatever was through the doors could not be seen by those on the outside of it. And the doors remained open, awaiting for Arlo and Vega to enter, shutting once they'd passed through. As they boomed shut, the blinding light faded, and Vega and Arlo would find themselves upon the tallest tower of a massive castle, looking out over a land unrecognizable. The castle was truly a spectacle, sprawling out in every direction as though it were its own city. It was night time, with stars twinkling overhead. Stars that formed constellations not recognizable to either Vega nor Arlo.

If either of them looked at the other, they'd quickly realize that something was terribly wrong. Or rather, terribly different. For Vega was a few inches over six feet tall, with long, red, straight hair tied in a ponytail. Vega was adorned in resplendent armor, steel, with a gilded inlay. On Vega's hips, both of the swords the woman held dear, hung. Except, Vega was no longer a woman. She was a man. A large, broad shouldered, barrel chested man. There were small subtleties of Vega there. Her eyes and nose were there. Some of her freckles were there. But the rest was very distinctly a man, in the truest sense of the word. There was no illusion here.

Meanwhile, Arlo was just as changed. He had become a small, petite woman, a head and a half shorter than Vega. His grin, his eyes, even his dark curly hair remained. His special hat was atop his head, and his bow was strapped across his back. Arlo was not wearing any armor as Vega was, but rather, luxurious silken robes, cut in a fashion to give a glimpse at Arlo's modest bosom. The robes were a deep, forest green with golden trim. True gold, not yellow. The robes draped over Arlo's feminine curves, and in his hand, a scepter, with rings hanging off of it, of a bluish silver metal. Upon Arlo's head, a tiara of the same metal, with sapphires and diamonds laid in. Arlo would be able to feel that there was no other clothing on his person beneath the robe, and was waiting a pair of high heels with an excessive amount of straps that wrapped all the way up to the highest parts of the thighs.

There was a knock on the door behind them, and a wooden door opened. A young man with golden hair in tunic of earthy tones and a funny feathered cap bowed, then simply stood there. "Lady Arlo, Lord Vega, it is time. The wedding preparations are complete, and your families are waiting on you. Would you like me to escort you? Or give you a few more bits? I'm at your service, my lord and lady." Both Vega and Arlo would know the man's name to be Archibald, though neither would know why they knew that. The young man was a squire in their court, and looked both pleased and honored to be in their presence.

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Re: A Story Told a Thousand Times (Arlo/Vega)

Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:42 am

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She held on to his hand and she grinned at Arlo as they made their way towards the shrine. It was beautiful and as weird as this place was, with the tree faces and all sorts of other stuff, it paled into insignificance compared to the building excitement in Arlo. She could see it, feel it and almost taste it like a tangible thing. There were a hundred things she wanted to say, but there were not words to say them with, so she squeezed his hand and, when he turned to look at her, Vega beamed in delight.

And then, they went through.

There was a part of her that had been a little concerned that it might not let her through and she'd be waiting on the other side for him. Now, in fairness, Vega would wait all her life for Arlo if she had to, but she was glad not to be left behind. But no, through they both went and they were standing on a castle turret, overlooking a landscape she didn't recognise. "Look at this place, then," she said, coughing slightly as she appeared to have developed a bit of a husky throat. It was night and the stars shone down on them, reminding them that they were Xiur's children. "I don't recognise those stars, neither," she said and she turned to him.

But he wasn't there.

"Pier an' Pre's Pink Parts!" Vega said - though she tried not to say that these trials, but there, holding on to her hand where her boyfriend had been a moment before was a woman. "Wot in the poggin' depths of Emea is goin' on here? Who're you?" Looking at the woman in a most accusatory manner, Vega poked her. Hard. "An' where's my Arlo?" Looking around she shook her head. "If you've been kidnappin' men, an'..... why is my arm so hairy?" Looking down, she realised that it was. Vega was not a hairy armed person yet here, she realised, she was. And her arms looked different too as she looked at them and then she shook her head. "No. No, yer not distractin' me with cosmetic issues. Where's Arlo? You tell me or I'm gonna find out if you bounce when I throw you off here an....."

And she looked in to his eyes. Her eyes. The woman in front of her.

"Arlo?" Vega asked, looking at him incredulously. He was gorgeous, there was no doubting it and yet, it was those eyes. They were his eyes. She'd know them anywhere, from every moment of passion, every shared laugh. Those eyes had been all she saw as she stood for the first time in a season, just looking at him and willing her legs to do as she asked. "Is that you?"

She stepped towards him.. her... Arlo, and she lifted a shaking hand to his.. her.. whatever his cheek. "Is that you, qau'ma?" He'd been a raccoon in Ashan, she supposed, but still, this was taking it all a bit far. "What have you done you dweeb, yer a woman!" Looking at him, she shook her head, wondering at him. "An' yer the only woman I've ever looked at an' though wow. How'd this happen, you steamin' plonker? It's him again, innit? Really? We're gonna have to sort it out, cos I can't be bringin' you back to the ship an' tellin' my papa that I've gone over to the all girl team. He's bad enough about grandchildren now."

It appeared that, in terms of noticing transformations, she'd rather missed her own. In fairness, she was pretty focused on his. They had to try and work out what had caused him to become a woman and her to get hairy arms (didn't feel fair, really, his was a lot worse than hers and there were methods of natural hair removal.. but still. ). She put her hand on Arlo's waist, and realised that he had really nice curves, her hand resting on the swell of his hip. Looking at him, who was now a her, Vega breathed in. "Right. You've got knockers. an' curves an' child bearin' hips an' all sorts of things that I don't wanna think about." She said it, but her swirling eyes told him the truth of how spun out she was. But she had to remain calm for him. Her. Him. There was a simple truth, of course, which was where she was living right now. "But I'm me, an' you're ... you, kinda. We can work it out." It was important that she reassured him, after all. He probably wasn't used to all the emotions. Oh, Immortals, don't let him cry. She never knew what to do when women cried.

Just then, there was a knock on the door and Vega proved that she was fundamentally herself. "Hang on a bit! We're havin' a moment." She looked at him and smiled, encouragingly (she hoped) and she reached to put some of his hair behind his ear. "We'll work it out, I promise."
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Re: A Story Told a Thousand Times (Arlo/Vega)

Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:38 pm

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Presumably there were shrines to the Immortals, hundreds or even thousands of them, spread out all over Idalos. Arlo had personally visited just a very small number of them. But this one was hands down, the most remarkable he'd ever seen and experienced. And why not? It was dedicated to the Immortal that the traveler held in regard above all others. It was another world on the other side of those doors. Another realm, and he'd wanted nothing more than to see it with Vega's hand in his. He'd never considered that she wouldn't be allowed to pass along with him. And it was, in fact, a little like stepping into the middle of a story. It wasn't just the stars that were different.

It didn't pass him by that Cassion's mark warmed a little. But Arlo didn't think too much of it, considering that it was the Immortal that held sway here. It seemed only natural. The whole place in fact a sense of more, and he smiled and squeezed Vega's hand while looking out over it all. All the better, so long as she was seeing and experiencing it there by his side. Even the gruff sound of her voice didn't snap him out of it or cause him to look her way, just yet. Though he did frown a little while thinking that maybe she had a frog in her throat...By Immortals, she had a strong grip of a sudden.

But then Vega spoke again, he looked her...or his way, Arlo's eyes opened wide and he yanked his hand away. "What do you mean who am I!? Who are you and what've you done with Vega," he said and then? Then whoever it was, poked and pushed her. "Hey! That hurt!" It caused him to stumble back and realize that this redheaded barbarian was quite a bit taller than him. He lunged forward and pushed back and it was like coming up against a brick wall, and then she, he, said it. "Of course it's me!" Why was his voice so high, Arlo suddenly wondered? A woman? For the first time, he looked first at his hand, and then down at himself. "Ohhh," he muttered with a deep frown.

He had curves, and if he was honest, not half bad ones either. But if he had those, which were very nice, and he was also wearing a dress, did he also....? Nope, he wasn't looking. He figured he already knew the answer anyway. Looking back at Vega, he tilted his head curiously, upwards and a strange sensation came over him. Not a bad sight, Arlo thought impulsively then shook his head. "I didn't do it. It has to have been Cassion...And by the way," he said, looking up and around them. "Very clever and all. I guess you're laughing it up just about now." Then looking back at Vega, there was that strange impulse again that as fellas went, she was a pretty impressive specimen.

Then looking up in a sort of confounded outrage, he added, "While you're busy opinin' on my knockers and curves and childbearin' hips, you'd do well to have a look in a mirror," he told Vega, just in case she, or he, hadn't caught on just yet. "If we don't get this back to rights, you'll be having to explain to your father why he's suddenly got himself a son instead of a daughter." Smacking away the hand that tried to tuck a strand of hair behind his ear, while also, strangely finding it to be gallant and a romantic gesture, Arlo turned at the sound of another voice. "Sorry Archibald, it'll have to wait." Arlo didn't even question how it was he knew the man's name. This was Cassion's work, after all. And through Cassion and the stories surrounding him, just about anything was possible. Hopefully however, not permanent.

"Maybe we should go along?" he suggested, as good as whispering, though he had to get up on his toes in order to do it. He, she, wasn't sure what else they could do but follow, at least for now. Maybe whoever it was that was their family, and whatever their state was, might be the key to unraveling their current predicament. Just one of many, since as he turned back to Archibald to indicate they'd follow along, his foot twisted right off one of the heels he was wearing, and squealing like a girl, he grabbed hold of Vega's hairy arm for support. "Not natural, these things," he complained. And why any woman would subject themselves to the things was beyond him...Her.
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Re: A Story Told a Thousand Times (Arlo/Vega)

Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:02 am

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Once the pair were ready for Archibald, the young man bowed, looking more than pleased with himself. He opened the double set doors from the balcony, leading the way through their private sitting room. For this tower, was their tower. Or rather, was Lord Vega's tower, soon to be shared with Lady Arlo. It was filled with nicest fineries, with gold, fancy woods and gems abound, chandeliers and ornate mirrors. They passed an open door that revealed an impressively sized four poster bed with silk drapes around it, and a fireplace in the back wall. This entire floor of the tower was Lord Vega's residence, kept in lavish and pristine condition, and represented the tiniest drop in the bucket of wealth for the Funklewort kingdom.

Archibald led them out of the residence, and past a pair of grizzled guards in gilded armor. Lord Vega would know their names to be Pherrence and Tillip, loyal members of his Kingsguard. The pair were brothers and had earned the right at the Battle of Mousington, where they fought valiantly by Lord Vega's side. More than once during the campaign against the mighty Mouse Giants had they saved his life. They weren't just loyal soldiers to the King-to-be, but dear friends. And while they did not speak as the couple passed, they did bow their heads to their Lord.

Down a long, winding staircase, they past several other floors of Lord Vega's towers, which would not be an easy feet in ridiculous high heels. Some of these floors looked to be tactical rooms for an invasion, others were collections of books and artwork. One was even an exquisite marble bath with extremely scantily clad men and women attendants, with steam rolling off the pool, and various flower petals lazing about the surface. Once they reached the bottom of the tower, they began to pass more and more armored guards, and Lord Vega knew each and every single one of their names. But more than that, he knew their families, details about their lives, their past times, their worries, and knew how they fought in battle. And every single man looked on him with utmost respect.

Archibald led them to the center of the castle, standing before a pair of doors that were three stories tall, ornately carved and etched. The designs in the doors showed stars shining down over the lands, with one beam encompassing a woman in the middle of a field, surrounded by sheep. Lady Arlo would know these doors were carved because of her. She was that woman. This was her temple they stood before. She was the priestess here. Soon, a young woman, dressed similarly to Lady Arlo, albeit not nearly in as nice of garb, red in hair, blue of eyes approached the pair, and Archibald slipped away.

"My Falling Star, come with me. I will prepare you."

Arlo would know her name to be Elliya, one of her acolytes. The girl was hardworking, a fine student. She had been a prostitute in the outlying baronies, and while on a mission, Lady Arlo purified her. The girl now gave herself to the church. She led Lady Arlo off to the side of the main entrance, and down a set of stairs, leaving Lord Vega all alone before the behemoth gate. The stairs clearly traveled beneath the area area below the church, and was well lit by candles, and was well guarded.

Soon, Lady Arlo was brought to a cloister, with a single cut diamond the size of a team of oxen set into the ceiling. It was a clear diamond, and was flawless. The cloister was not near as ornate as Lord Vega's tower, but rather the opposite. It was plain, simple stone hewn chairs, drab tables, and not a rug or piece of art in sight. And Lady Arlo would know this to be her private reflection chamber.

"My Falling Star, kneel beneath the Lost Light, and pray. I will sing the words you taught me, and your marriage ceremony shall begin."

And that was when an outside thought forced its way into Arlo's mind, while his Cassion Mark warmed. He could hear the voice of a young girl speaking.

"And Lord Vega stood before the doors to the Starshine Temple. His knees were weak, his stomach full of butterflies. Today was the day that he would marry, and become King. And he hated it. Every bit of it. For he was marrying the wicked priestess, not out of love, but out of duty to his country, the Funklewort Kingdom. He knew it was the only way to keep a kingdom on the verge of civil war from exploding in violence. She represented the church, who had their claws dug deep into the men and women of this country. He represented the military that kept them safe from the many dangers, foreign and domestic.

And on this day, he wanted nothing more than to run away with his dear Elliya, wed quietly, and be a farmer near the coast."


Just as the voice ended in Arlo's mind, the doors to the Temple were opened inward. The temple was built of the finest glass, so that the heavens above could always be seen. There were hundreds of lords and ladies within the temple, standing at the pews, all eyes on Lord Vega. The women all wished him to be theirs, the men all respected him for his battle prowess and the prosperity of the kingdom. Lord Vega stood before the center aisle, and could see his elderly father at the far end, standing there in his old battle armor, smiling proudly at his son. And everyone waited on bated breath, for Lord Vega to walk down the aisle, and unite his kingdom, and begin the golden age they all were sure was about to happen.

Down below, Elliya had removed her acolyte robes, standing naked before Lady Arlo. Her body was covered in long, fresh scars. There was barely an inch that didn't have a raised mark. And Lady Arlo would know that she had inflicted every single one upon the girl. And still, she served diligently. "Do you need anything from me my lady? Before we begin?" The girl bowed her head, refusing to look at the Priestess, for she didn't wish to receive another scar. She had so little untouched skin, aside from that which her robes would not cover.

Up above, Lord Vega's sister approached from her post up near the Twilight Alter next to their father. She wore the dark leathers associated with her position in the military. She was the head of the forward scouts, that served as spies, assassins, and saboteurs for Lord Vega's armies. She held a shit eating grin as she reached the King-to-be. "My lord," dripping with sarcasm, "It's not too late, you know. I have enough smokebangs on me to cover our escape. Run away from that vile she-witch. She's probably not even a virgin, no matter how innocent she acts and looks. You just had to save her from that dragon, didn't you?"

Lydia's hair was red and curly, pulled back in a tight bun, her eyes green and sparkling. His younger sister and oldest friend. More seriously now, "Are you ready, Veg? Do you need anything from me, before we begin?" There was a pleading in her eyes, that her jest before was no jest. They both knew she wanted him to be happy, and they both knew that she was the finest spymaster in the kingdom. She could easily make it happen, and have the people celebrating it all the same.


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Re: A Story Told a Thousand Times (Arlo/Vega)

Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:00 pm

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"Wot?" Vega looked down when Arlo pointed out that not only was he a woman, she herself was now.. "Well, Ilaren's frilly knickers, look at that." She looked at Arlo and a broad grin crossed her face. "I got muscles." That made things easier, Vega thought. She was a man, he was a woman. At least things still worked out in the long run, even if that would be very much one heck of an adjustment.
**


Arlo slapped at his hand as he reached to put a strand of her hair behind her ear and Vega shrugged inwardly. Fair enough, he thought, she didn't want any contact. That went out of the window though as she stumbled and Vega reached out and grabbed her. One arm around the back of Arlo's waist, the other held out as she clung to him. "I've got you. It's alright," he whispered to her and smiled. "We've got each other, here. Same as always. Except, of course," it didn't even occur to Vega that her .. his... diction was much better. He honestly didn't notice. Leaning down to ostensibly help her to her feet more securely, Vega whispered in Arlo's ear. "I get to pee standing up, Arlo. I'm so excited. I wish I wanted to go now." With a slightly apologetic glance, he added, "I mean, after we're married, of course," Then, with an unashamed grin of mischief, "dear."

But yes, out they went - he offered Arlo his arm, though he doubted she'd take it and, as they walked Vega looked around. Glancing to the side at the bedroom, there was a moment of clarity for the redhead. Normally, Vega would look at the bed and see it and think it was pretty, Even while outwardly grumbling about the frills, there would be appreciation of the aesthetic. Glancing at Arlo, Vega muttered, "I don't know how you ever get anything done in one of these." And with that he determined that he would focus. Not on just how good Arlo looked right now.

Instead, Vega nodded and smiled to Pherrance and Tillip and, as they made their way through the tower, glanced again at Arlo. "The floor is clean and comfortable. Why don't you just take those ridiculous shoes off?" She wouldn't let him, he knew, but he had to make the offer. "I could carry you. I know, I know. All too independent woman, but I could." What he didn't understand was why she was grumbling about the shoes when he'd offered her a solution. There was no pleasing some people and Vega had to admit that Arlo was quite a moody woman. "I preferred you as a raccoon," he muttered.

Once they got into the more populated area, though, Vega realised that he knew all these men. Not just them, but their families and the details of their lives. So, he stopped and chatted here and there, asked about significant family events and so on. Because it was polite. He made sure to always include Arlo in those discussions and did so for two reasons. First, to give Arlo's feet a chance to rest and also to judge his men's reaction to Arlo. That might be important.

But finally, they got to the doors and Vega stood and looked at them. "That's a big pair of doors, innit?" He whispered to Arlo with a shoulder bump. He would grin but they were interrupted by a young woman and Vega looked at her with interest. Fascination, in fact. She was beautiful, although not as beautiful as Arlo, but the experience of looking at a woman and finding her attractive was a very new experience and it took quite a moment for Vega to realise that he was staring. At the young woman in question who also had some rather lovely curves. Dragging his gaze off her, he turned to Arlo with a frown. "I don't like the idea of splitting up. You'll be careful?" Should he kiss her before she left, he wondered? Normally, Arlo would kiss Vega on the cheek before they parted, but Arlo didn't seem to want physical contact like this, so he didn't. "I'll see you in there?"

There was a deep frown on his face as he watched them leave or, in fairness, he watched Arlo leave and the slight tilt to his head was the only outward sign of his appreciation of the sight. But then, with a sigh, Vega turned back towards the doors. It was bizarre but, standing there, Vega's knees felt weak, his stomach filled with butterflies. It was a story they were in, it wasn't them, but this was a wedding. Their wedding. Something that, if they ever chose to do it now would never be the first time. Vega didn't want to get married, and believed Arlo didn't either, but still. All this pomp and ceremony was the last thing either of them would want - if they ever did do this, Vega didn't doubt it would be something simple and small, maybe just the two of them.

And then, the door opened.

"Well, that's a big room," Vega muttered and looked at it for a moment. There, at the far end of the aisle was his father and he was Joq'an, the man himself. Whatever his name was here, he looked like Vega's father. Breathing in, he prepared to step forward. Just one foot in front of the other, that was the way to do this. With a smile here and a nod there and a deep bow of respect for his father. As his sister stepped forward, Vega smiled, a most genuine smile. She spoke to him and he looked at her. One red eyebrow raised slightly. A dragon? But in this moment, Vega was given a choice. What to do when faced with the story and the unfolding of it. Vega did what Vega would always do - said it how he saw it. "What I'm going to do is have hope." Whoever Arlo was in this story was a she-witch? Vega wasn't prepared to be dictated to by anyone, certainly not by a story. "I did save her, yes. And yes, I had to. Because it was the right thing and it's the right thing for this Kingdom." Had Vega saved Arlo? Once, he thought. From those bandits.

Smiling at his sister, Vega reached out and put his hand, briefly, on her cheek. "There's good in everyone and while I don't want to get married," all true, of course, "since I am, I'm going to go into it with full heart and believe that Arlo will do the same. We will unite the kingdom, bring a time of peace and prosperity and seek our own Happy Ever After, while we're there." He smiled at his sister. "I just need you to accept that, while it isn't what I want, it's what I choose and I need you to support me. With family around, there's nothing we can't do, after all." He kissed her forehead. "Watch us, sister mine. We'll make it work and Arlo might just surprise you yet." His words had been entirely serious up until that point but then, with a wink he gestured to himself. "She won't be able to resist these charms." Nervously, he added. "Though I really wish we'd start."

Ironically, Vega realised, he really needed to pee.
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Re: A Story Told a Thousand Times (Arlo/Vega)

Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:12 pm

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For just a trill there, Arlo thought that Archibald might have smirked. In fact, he was pretty sure the man did: And it struck him that since this was Cassion's shrine, and in essence Cassion's story, the Immortal might just be playing a bit part in it. Arlo narrowed her eyes suspiciously as Archibald turned to lead the way. It wouldn't be the first time, he, or rather she had known Cassion to play a bit part in his own story. There'd been Schubert, after all. But they were led into one of the richest rooms that Arlo had ever seen. It was very unlike the traveler, as a rule. to have a fixation with mirrors, but this version couldn't seem to resist the temptation to stop in front of a full length one, in order to admire herself. Not bad, she concluded and with a sideways glance at Vega, it struck her that Vega, as a man, cut a pretty good figure her...himself.

Go along...That's what she'd resolved to do, both of them. So she mostly took it in stride when Vega saved her from breaking her neck when she topped off those damnable heels. "I don't know why any of you subject yourselves to these things. They're like torture devices," she complained as she balanced herself once more...and stuck a bottom lip out. "Well if you're going to do it," she whispered back when Vega wondered about peeing in the upright position, "a word from the wise. Don't be doing it into the wind."

But then it was Vega she narrowed her eyes at while they walked through the bedroom, and the latter seemed more interested in the bed than his usual. Of course, admittedly, he would be. "Is that all you've got on your mind now?" she teased, but finally having decided to embrace the role for all it was worth, she put a little more effort into the sway of her hips as she walked ahead, with a come hither look over her shoulder. Wobbly heels and all. It only got worse since the stairs alone with a death trap and Arlo kept a vice like grip on the railings as they went. Proudly though, with as much feminine dignity as she could muster. "I'll get it. I don't need to be carried," she huffed when Vega offered. "And stop being so bossy." Of course as a man, Vega was bossy and he tended to like her that way. As a bossy man, however? Made him a bit of an ass, Arlo thought. That was what a few stitched body parts got you.

She wanted more than anything to point out that Vega would be moody too if he suddenly had all these....feelings crashing in, down, on and around him...."Her, whatever," she grumbled, out of nowhere. Inexplicable urges to cry, if all things...And Arlo never cried. And to punch things. Anything at all. She was pretty sure that this was his fault. But that's right, she'd decided to play along, and embrace the role. So she looped her arm in Vega's and smiled prettily at Pherrence and Tillip, and anyone else as they passed by. She even dipped as graceful a curtsy as she could manage when Vega introduced her, and made small talk when prompted. Apparently, Vega was quite the man about town and by all appearances, quite the catch.

And when they got to the very tall doors, Vega offered up a shoulder thump and nearly knocked Arlo off her heels. Just when she was starting to get the hang of them. "I'll be fine. You just watch yourself," she said, and when Vega eyed the other woman, Arlo dug a sharp elbow into his ribs. "and keep your eyeballs in their sockets. I'll see you at the altar," she said, and smiled over her shoulder as the young woman led her away and shut the doors behind them. It was all very ironic, she thought. She and Vega, or him and Vega, whichever the case, they'd always agreed that they wouldn't marry. And here they were, pulled into a story where they'd meet at the head of a church and do just that. Except they weren't exactly them, now were they?

Once the doors were shut, and it was only the women about, Arlo stopped long enough to yank the heels off his feet and go on to carry them in hand. And while the chamber she was led to might be otherwise plain, that was some ceiling, she noted when she looked up. Wait....What? "Who?" she asked when her gaze dropped from the ceiling and fixed on the other woman in the room. "What lost light...That?" she said, looking back up. It was that voice in her head however that stopped her from kneeling right then, in spite of having been asked to. What he heard was startling, and yet she had to admit, it made for a very good story. Tricky though, considering the parts that she and Vega had been cast it.

This wouldn't do, Arlo realized, and something needed to be done. She'd told Vega earlier that they ought to just play along. But must they, Arlo wondered? As a follower of Cassion, a devotee and a pretty good storyteller, there was something he'd learned very early on, and somehow, he'd forgotten. Stories, the best stories, needn't be fixed or unchangeable. The best ones in fact wove and rewove themselves. "I'm a terrible, terrible person aren't I?" she muttered beneath her breath as she looked at the girl and saw what she was meant to have done....in her current role. But then Elliya didn't know that she herself was part of a story, now did she? Best not to confuse and upset the woman. Arlo's mind raced....looking for a way to reshape the story in a way that ensured a happier ending. She really needed to talk to Vega.

"Matter of fact, maybe there is something you can do," Arlo whispered. Help me stop a wedding, realign the fates of two lovers and prevent a civil war all single-handedly, she considered saying. "First, I'm sorry about all those scars. I hope you'll forgive me. But even if you can't, tell me, how exactly is this meant to go?" she asked. "I seem to have completely forgotten. Do I get a dress and a veil that covers my face? Do I walk down the aisle and meet him at the altar. Do we take vows and say I do to each other? Are there rings? Where's my ring?" she asked. And the more questions she asked, the more agitated Arlo became and she paced nervously.

"Aren't you hot? Why is it so hot in here?" It struck her that she'd never felt so...whatever it was, in her life. She thought she might faint in fact and would have killed for a fan. Or throw up, maybe. "I'm just not sure I can do this," she declared. "I mean...I wonder if you could go quietly and fetch lord Vega?" A case of cold feet. That should do the trick, Arlo thought. As for the rest, well, she only wished she was acting. All these unfamiliar emotions pinging round, colliding against and bouncing off one another. She marveled and wondered how they, women, were able to get anything done at all.
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Re: A Story Told a Thousand Times (Arlo/Vega)

Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:38 am

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Lydia smiled at her brother's response. Always the altruist. But that's what had made him a good leader. No matter how dark the times, how dire the situation, no matter the cost to himself, Lord Vega always say the stars in the night sky. But she laughed at the last quip, "Has any woman managed to resist your charms brother? The servants talked for weeks after that romp with the Tieran triplets. You're lucky I've got your back, I covered that up so the baron never discovered it."

She punched him in the pectoral, and despite her small size compared to him and the carefree demeanor, he could feel the power in his sister's strike. They'd never held back against one another, even in jest. "But I'm here with ya, ya big lovable lump. But just say the word, I always have a backup plan if you need it." Lydia then led Lord Vega up to his spot at the Twilight Alter, first passing him over the massive diamond that served as the ornament in Lady Arlos cloister. Once there, a priest, lower than Lady Arlo in rank, of course, approached Lord Vega, who where he was left, would be visible from below by Lady Arlo.

"My lord. The Great Stars will align soon, and thus will bind you and Lady Arlo as one in the first marriage of nobility and divinity in over ten thousand arcs. You have fearlessly defended our fair kingdom, upheld the legacy of the Funklewort dynasty, and given hope to a people who were near to the brink of darkness. With this marriage, you will become King. Please, be prepared with your vows, steel your heart, and calm your mind. No one alive has seen this ceremony performed before, but I have the utmost faith it will go off splendidly."

Down below, Elliya was confused. Lady Arlo was acting strange. She'd just apologized to her. She'd never once done that before. And now was saying she didn't know how the ceremony went? She herself had discovered it in the old texts, that only she could read. She was the Falling Star, the first and last priestess of their religion in far too many arcs. Then Elliya realized the truth. It was a test. Another test. Just as usual. To ensure that Elliya had learned every detail.

"There's no dress my lady. No veil, we are not heathens like the Gulbarians. And marriage rings are an Earlquestrion tradition. You've forsaken mortal traditions for that of the Starshine, the one true religion in the world. You are the Fallen Star, just as your sisters before you, eons ago. You will kneel and pray, while I sing, to resonate the Lost Light. The Lost Light will call upon the light of the Great Stars, all aligned here soon. The beam will carry you up through the Lost Light, and there you will meet Lord Vega, while adorned in a dress made of pure starlight. He will say his vows to you. You will decide if you accept them, and thereby accept him. Then a kiss before the stars break alignment will seal your marriage as true and pure for the next ten thousand arcs."

Elliya then stepped closer to Lady Arlo, "Are you not well, my lady? I have training in the healing arts, as you well know. You taught me. Each wound you gave me was to remove a sin from me and my past, and each wound I healed was my repairing my soul. You mustn't apologize for that my lady. You've saved me." Elliya reached out, lightly touching Lady Arlo's arm, "It will be okay, but I cannot fetch Lord Vega. The time is too near for the alignment. And if it is missed, the marriage will not happen. Plus, you've forbidden all men from the lower cloisters."

Elliya took a deep breath, "It is scary, I was married once, before I was a whore. He was my first as well, just as Lord Vega will be yours. This will be the second most scared you will ever be, only after you give birth for the first time. Just remember his face, and how he makes you feel, and the rest will just happen."

A low hum began to vibrate in the crystal above them, "My lady, we must go, now. It is time, just as your foretold." Elliya began to sing, not in the standard beauty that the Starshine choir might sing, but a deep, haunting melody. One that could make even the undead worry and look over their shoulders. It was in a language long since dead, and Lady Arlo was the only other that knew it. The language of dragons, a song taught to Elliya within these chambers.

As she sang, the Lost Light began to hum louder and loud, shaking the temple above and the cloister below. Outside, light swishing sounds, a glow of orange scattered and broken. But the structure had been built for this very moment, and as such, withstood and endured proudly. And the first beam of light shot down from the heavens, piercing through the Lost Light. It refracted over and over, until in a large circle beneath it, a curtain of rainbow light was formed. One that would carry Lady Arlo to her wedding if she allowed it.

Up above, however, something was itching the back of Lord Vega's mind. An itch that was impossible to tell if it belonged to Vega proper, or the lord, but an itch nonetheless. Something wasn't right. Lydia was uneasy as well. She was looking around the temple in suspicion, then back to her brother. She wished to draw her blades, but didn't have a target in which to sink them. The rest of the crowd was busy watching as the small line of starlight grew into a thick column to encompass the entire width of the Lost Light, and not a one of them seemed uneasy. In fact, they were all glowing and smiling as people normally would at a wedding.
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Re: A Story Told a Thousand Times (Arlo/Vega)

Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:22 pm

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There had been a romp with triplets? Vega frowned slightly and muttered, "I'm not even sure how that would work logistically, you know. But.. what?" He grinned at his sister as she spoke and called him a big loveable lump. In fairness, Vega had to admit that probably wasn't solely a male-Vega thing. So, he grinned at his sister and shrugged. "I'm nervous," he said, honestly. But they walked over the big shiny thing in the floor. Listening in, he heard Arlo downstairs, talking and she sounded worried. Nervous. It wasn't like Arlo to sound like that and it gave Vega pause. Glancing at his sister, Vega considered asking someone to go down and guard Lady Arlo, but he decided against it.

It would be mere moments later that he regretted that decision.

He and his sister got to the place where they had to stand and Vega had a sudden cough at the fact that this was the Funklewort dynasty. That nearly did for him, but he hid it in a spluttering cough and he breathed in. "Sorry. Nerves." That was his story and he was sticking to it. Vega stood and listened and wondered about Arlo, was she feeling alright, was she genuinely worried about something? He felt a tremendous wave of protectiveness for her, wanting to make sure that she was not just safe, but that she felt safe. Safe and warm and soft, with skin which seemed flawless and curves that made Vega just want to .... Immortals, how did men ever get anything done, Vega thought quite genuinely. This was their wedding day and all he could think about was how Immortals-damned beautiful Arlo was.

Vega had to focus and so, pushing Arlo's child bearing hips and frankly lovely knockers out of his mind (or to a smaller part, anyhow...) he listened. There was something wrong, he could sense it and Vega didn't know what it was, but yet it felt... familiar . Giving in to the story was easy and then, as he did, Vega realised what the feeling was. "ARLO! Get UP HERE!" He bellowed and hissed to his sister. "It's the dragon. I can feel it. Protect her, " He put his hand on Lydia's arm and said, utterly honestly. "I love her. With every fibre of my being, Lyd. And she loves me. "

Stepping forward, Vega thought fast. Faster than the biqaj redhead woman ever gave herself credit for. As he stepped forward, he drew his sword. "PREPARE THE ANTI-DRAGON DEFENCES!" By believing they were true, he had decided, they were. "Arlo!!" Together, Vega knew, was the only way for them to beat this. Together they had walked in and together they would walk out. Rallying his troops to defend against the attack he knew was coming, against the foe he recognised, Vega moved to where Arlo was going to be. Because more than anything, he had to defend her from the peril that the dragon put her in. She was a strong and powerful woman in her own right, of course she was. But in that moment, she was his responsibility.

"The plan is simple, men! Defend Lady Arlo at all times. Once we are wed, the Dragon becomes helpless!" Please Xiur, let the dragon become helpless, Vega thought. Using his Xiur granted ability to boost morale, he gave a rallying call. "We will unite as King and Queen, and peace will reign. We are NOT afraid of a scaly, SCABBY OVERSIZED BAT WITH A SUPERIORITY COMPLEX!!" Vega drew his sword, fully expecting it to blaze in glorious, magical, good guy and all round hero light. "AND WILL YOU HURRY UP WOMAN!"
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Last edited by Vega on Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:14 am, edited 2 times in total. word count: 649
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Re: A Story Told a Thousand Times (Arlo/Vega)

Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:55 pm

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"Forsaken mortal traditions?" Arlo asked curiously, stopped her pacing for a trill and considered it all. Did that mean that if he....she, went through with the wedding she wouldn't be known as Lady Arlo Funklewort of the Gulbarians. Oh, Immortals she hoped that's what it meant. She'd have asked, but just hearing it all said out loud would have been too much. As it was, she pushed her lips together in a firm line, tried her best to respect the solemn nature of the moment, snorted in an unladylike fashion just once, and then collected herself.

So she was the fallen star. And apparently the one true religion in this case was revolving around the necessity of her being married to lord Vega up there. With pursed lips, Arlo glanced up and there he was with the priest. Though for the most part all Arlo could see was their feet. A dress made of stars, a beam to carry her up to the altar. "I'm just fine," she assured Elliya. And why not just embrace it all? Vega certainly appeared to have done it and this was all in a sense Cassion's work. He'd...she'd be a very poor follower if she didn't go all in.

Except for the shoes, she decided when she stood up, wobbled and nearly came off the things again. Pulling them off, Arlo decided to opt for barefoot. As for talk of giving birth, Arlo's eyes narrowed at the very thought of it, as if that was ever going to happen and she shook her head. "Let's not go getting ahead of ourselves alright?" So there was that humming sound and clearly the temple or whatever it was above them was full, and it was her apparently that they were all waiting for. As her companion began to sing, Arlo realized that she knew the song, the tune, the language...that of dragons. Though she couldn't begin to say how she knew. It was beautiful all the same.

Looking up, she could see a beam of light speeding towards her, and the ground beneath her began to shake. It was unnerving to say the least, along with the sense that the Starlight was exceedingly powerful. And in turn, she might draw some sort of power from it as well. Weaponry, ability....Who knew to what extent the light could be used to advantage should it turn out to be necessary? And while she considered it all, a ring of light formed, in all the colors of the rainbow and she sensed it calling to her. And Vega too, apparently, and in not too polite a fashion.

It was at that very trill that Arlo realized and remembered that they could communicate, the two of them, with their thoughts over space and distance. And for the first time, she made use of that ability. "Keep your pants on! I'll get there when I get there!" And then she stepped into the circle of light, expecting that she'd be transported up where Vega was.
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Re: A Story Told a Thousand Times (Arlo/Vega)

Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:12 am

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The beam of light intensified as it encompassed Lady Arlo, blinding the enraptured crowd that looked onward with anticipation. However, Lord Vega's men were much more disciplined than those of nobles, rich fellows, and other people of supposed import. As such, one Lord Vega gave the order, it spread quickly through the massive castle. In less than a bit, every soldier was preparing their station for the defense that their commander and soon to be king expected of them.

However, those on the walls truly were not ready for the spectacle they saw. For it wasn't simply the one dragon flying toward the castle, laying waste to the outer city. It was an entire flight of them. Most of these men and women had never truly seen a dragon before, and several pissed their trousers at the sight of the enormous creatures. But every man and woman here, owed a debt to Lord Vega. And so, not a single soldier abandoned their posts. They swallowed their fear. They knew that if Lord Vega could defeat one of these singlehandedly, they, as an army, could defeat a flight.

So the ballistas and trebuchets were prepared, the archers' bows drawn. And they all stared at the first dragon leading the flight. It had a large head, shaped like an axe blade, and did not seem to breathing fire like its brethren behind it. And it flew fast. Screams could be heard from the outer city, but the soldiers and city guard there were trained for this as well. People were not abandoned to die in the fire. As the flight came in range, the weapons fired in perfect unison and with deadly accuracy. Many a dragon fell in that first volley, set up in preparation by Lord Vega's early senses.

But the axehead did not fall, for it seemed he bore a hide a bit tougher than most. And so, he shot over the walls, and crashed into the top of the chapel in a deafening explosion of stone and glass. The debris rained down on the now screaming crowd, but the axehead struck the beam that encapsulated Lady Arlo. And the beam sliced the dragon in half from nose to tail, sending the two bits careening onto the other side of the castle.

In place with Lord Vega, surrounding the beam and taking positions around the chapel, were his elite guard. Hand picked soldiers, men and women who had all personally saved his life at least once and had received the same. The best of his absolute best. The crowd in their panic, fled for the large back door, fleeing, which truly was the best for their case, staying out of harm's way. And the first of the smaller dragons arrived. Impons, as they texts called them. Ranging in size from house cats to panthers, they swarmed into the church, flying at every person they saw, looking to get a bite or slash at any and all.

And finally, the beam brightened, and Lady Arlo was no longer down in her cloister. She'd feel as the light absorbed her, turning her into the starlight she was born from, and passing her through the Lost Light. This awakened her powers, transforming her from a mere priestess to the Star Queen, a title above all mortal titles, but one that needed sealed to a mortal in order to stay upon this planet and not lose herself to the heavens. And so, the beam dissipated, and Lady Arlo was there, on even higher heels of glittering starlight, in a very transparent dress of pure starlight. There was no detail of her body spared to Lord Vega nor the soldiers that protected her.

But within her, she could now feel the powers that had awakened. The powers to summon stars. The powers to create both shields and weapons of their light. The power to baptize all darkness from any individual. And the power to give herself to the light, and banish all darkness from the land that the night sky currently touched. And that was when the voice entered her mind, a draconic one, speaking its tongue. "I have arrived Little Starshine. Your true husband. Have you slain that false king yet? I will bind you to this world, just as you wished."

All around the church, Lord Vega's soldiers fought valiantly, handling the Impons quite readily. And yet, to a discerning eye, it would be obvious that none were attacking the Lady of Starlight. And with another crash, two much larger dragons landed upon the hole in the roof, head's rearing back and maws glowing as they prepared their flame breaths to fill the structure.
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