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Navyri
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Common Rakahi Gravokian
"A greedy father has thieves for children."

  • Continuation of Show No Mercy
    2nd of Cylus, 718

    “I need you to kill Captain Segrille of the Black Guard.”

    Nav had been intrigued by the possibility of there being others in the organization with a pet such as Curio, that she almost missed the last request. Or was it an order? Either way, the Naer paused in assessing the wound on her leg and looked up, dark hair wild in its loose braid. She did not move, hardly breathed, and then a grin flashed upon her lips, “Oh, is that all?”

    “Infiltrate a military organization and murder a man skilled enough to claim the right of Captain? Well,” Her smile lingered, as she tried to formulate a plan to actually pull off what he was asking, “Why didn't you say so sooner?"

    It wasn’t that she did not believe she was capable of doing so - especially if he was a mere human. It was the unknowns that she did not like, but with some time and espionage, perhaps that could remedied as well, “Walk with me, talk with me.” Navyri limped towards the doorway and away from the light, a torch flickering in the distance of the hallway, “What do you know about him?” Turning, she walked backwards into the shadow, wincing as a sharp pain stabbed at her leg, like medicine on a flesh wound, and then she exhaled at the cooling sensation that followed. Mm.. much better.

    “How long has he been in the Guard?”

    Navyri melted to shadow, slithering like a viper upon the floor until she sprouted wings and flew through the room, exploding into her human form when the further hallway light hit her skin and she flipped into solidarity, landing in a crouch. Pain shot through her injury and she lowered herself to the ground, watching as Noth walked stoically towards her. So scary.

    The Naer listened and then prowled back into the darkness, her dark nails tapping against the walls as she turned another corner and slipped into a room, emerging by the time he reached her, “And when do you need this problem,” she lifted her hands, a dark bottle in one and two glasses in the other. It was a little early for a drink, no? But what would business be without a bit of refreshment? She handed him a glass and began to pour her own, “Dealt with?”
word count: 433
"At last. It has been too long since I have walked the face of this world. Too long have I been locked there, awaiting my champion to release me. My champion... This is you, daughter of Audrae. You have, whether knowingly or not, released me from my self imprisonment, and are here to fulfill the destiny I have seen written in the tapestry of nature. You, daughter of Audrae's daughter, will be my foothold in this world." - Belaera to The Nightingale, after the 600 arc imprisonment
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Noth
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NERO PLAGUE DOC
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The slight pause that followed his statement made him wonder whether or not he had managed to surprise Navyri with the directness of his request. Certainly, it would not be an unwarranted reaction to be surprised that the Avriel was planning to assassinate what would almost certainly be one of the most protected and defensible persons within the city. Yet, when finally the Naer had decided to speak, apparently choosing to forego any further assessment of her wound so that she could grant him her full attention, she grinningly answered, questioning whether that was the full extent of his order. The way that she had so coolly acknowledged his words made him question whether or not it was confidence in her own abilities, or arrogance that she would somehow overcome all odds that flowed through her shadowy blood. It was difficult to tell with the Naer, because they were renowned for being a relatively prideful people, and whilst his own association with Navyri had proven to be rather fruitful, he didn’t doubt that that treacherous quality would eventually come to fruition. Of course, he couldn’t blame her, because his own infernal race were just as haughty, and he supposed that he probably carried some seed of their arrogance in his heart as well.

The way that she went through the process of elaborating what would be required in order to actually eliminate Segrille made him immediately reject any thoughts that she was being too arrogant. In fact, the way that she spoke even through her smile made him feel rather assured that she considered the ordeal to be something of a struggle, though the fact that she hadn’t immediately resorted to evident denial seemed to indicate that she thought it was possible if not immensely difficult. The Avriel met her grin with his own as she questioned why he hadn’t iterated his desire previously, the briefest flicker of a chuckle burrowing free from his chest.

She requested; he refused to believe that it was truly a command, that he walk with her and continue the conversation, and the Avriel obliged, satisfied enough with his performance in the room previously to warrant leaving without any further competition. He took notice of the slight limp to her gait, observing the spot where his talons had dug into her with analytic eyes, that inner sensation that drove his predatory instincts making it nigh impossible not to notice the sudden weakness that pervaded her presence. Oh, she had fought admirably, there was little doubt of that, and even in her wounded state he didn’t doubt that she would be a valiant foe to whomever challenged, but that wicked and animalistic sense that reaped violence in the heart of the murderous bird saw injury and thought it weakness where once there had been none.

She questioned what he knew of the Captain of the Guard, and the hybrid considered the vast multitudes of information that had managed to reach his ears. Of course, most of it was useless drivel, and not at all applicable, but he was certain that he could provide at least some semblance of knowledge.
“I’m at least fairly confident that the man can be bribed, though I doubt he’d give in to the more extreme elements such as ours from mere monetary offerings. Take that with a grain of salt, of course, because my information is coming from gallivanting criminals and scum.” He smirked briefly before continuing, “More accurate knowledge from a more… reliable source… my entity to be exact, is that he is likely involved in some manner of relationship with Lady Teris. Beyond that, I’m aware that he’s a fairly talented swordsman, and I’ve witnessed him slaying a hustler for little more than attempting to retrieve his stolen property. Ruthless, I think would be a suitable word.” The hybrid explained, recalling his past experience with the Captain of the Black Guard, and questioning just how much talent truly resided within his flesh.

Perhaps it was the sort of general awareness that he had drilled into himself that allowed him to notice the sudden absence of the woman besides him, or perhaps he had noticed the movement in his peripheral vision, but he became suddenly aware that Navyri had left his immediate presence. It was utterly fascinating that she was able to so rapidly and efficiently blend into the darkness, though he kept his face stoic as she arose once more into visible range further down the rocky corridor. He continued on his path, fairly confident of where they were heading, but determining to heed the path of the fingernails rattling against the stone walls as opposed to making any assumptions. Eventually, he reached a room where the woman awaited his presence with what he could only assume were alcoholic refreshments. Noth nodded gratefully for the offer, and extended a feathered hand to take hold of one of the cups; fighting was a tiresome work, especially when one faced a talented opponent, and he could certainly use something to quench his thirst… besides, wasn’t it a tradition of business meetings to have something to drink in hand?

“I believe the current time-table is pointing towards the twenty-eighth of this season for our grand move. Don’t quote me on that.” He paused with a raise of his finger. “Logistical issues do arise, and it’s possible that we may have to move forward a trial or so, but for now, that is the proposed time table. On that trial, there will be an assault on the Hall of Rule and Reprimand. Amidst the chaos, you would be responsible for eliminating Segrille.” He smiled briefly, leaning backwards into the wall before speaking in a far more complimentary tone. “You are far more qualified than the majority of my soldiers in both terms of combat, and more importantly, by the blessings granted you and your kindred. The ability to meld so smoothly into the dark would serve you well as an assassin, just as it has served you well as a thief.”

Honeyed words went far with the haughty.

word count: 1041
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Credit to Pegasus


As a note: Noth is a Grandmaster in Intimidation. That means that he's at least as scary as the Count from Sesame Street. Beware.

"The tyrant confuses those he can't convince, corrupts those he can't confuse, and crushes those he can't corrupt." - Anonymous
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Navyri
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Common Rakahi Gravokian
"A greedy father has thieves for children."

  • Continuation of Show No Mercy
    2nd of Cylus, 718

    Kill Segrille…

    There would have to be quite a bit of planning, and there wasn’t much time. There was intel to gather, floor plans to study, preparations to be made… Behind blue eyes a delighted sense of bloodlust prowled. Navyri loved a good challenge. After pouring the first glass, the one intended to be hers, the Naer decided to offer it, as a means to show good manners.

    “Is that so?” Navyri portrayed a rather frivolous attitude towards many things, disregarding their importance unless pertinent to her, but business was conducted appropriately. She loved planning a good heist, or trip, how much different could an assassination be? This was often forgotten by those she dealt with, but it seemed Mercy understood her well enough.

    Flattery did do wonders.

    “I can't say that comes as a surprise, really.” Pouring her own drink, she languidly brought it to her lips, drinking deeply as she watched him, “I’m suited for a great deal of fun activities, as most Naer are.”

    Fun… a uncommon adjective used when referring to illegal or otherwise violent endeavors, but the exact definition was left to the imagination. Navyri circled back to the main topic, “It’ll take some time, to learn the rotations and Black Guard schedule. Anything else I should know? Secret weapons? Magic?”

    The fact about Lady Teris caught her interest, “And this weakness; the woman… Is it serious, or…” she smiled, the look about as innocent as a waiting wolf, “Could he be distracted?”

    Seduced. Blackmailed.

    Her true meaning was clear. Most men were easily manipulated things, controlled by something as simple as a hot slit between two legs, and while this wasn’t always the case, Navyri usually found it a deciding factor. Even if all it provided was a moment to strike… well, that was really all one needed. Winking, she refilled what amount he drank, and waved a hand for them to walk in and get comfortable. There wasn’t much furniture, but a table and some chairs, yet sadly she was getting used to the barren decoration, “You are quite capable. Strong. Intimidating. Why have you waited till now? From our spar, I wouldn't have taken you as one to let an opportunity pass you by."
word count: 420
"At last. It has been too long since I have walked the face of this world. Too long have I been locked there, awaiting my champion to release me. My champion... This is you, daughter of Audrae. You have, whether knowingly or not, released me from my self imprisonment, and are here to fulfill the destiny I have seen written in the tapestry of nature. You, daughter of Audrae's daughter, will be my foothold in this world." - Belaera to The Nightingale, after the 600 arc imprisonment
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Noth
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It was an unfortunate reality of things that the task he had given the woman would likely be a difficult one. If there was any way that he could have alleviated some of the difficulty from the mission, he would have already undertaken it, and whilst it was true that the deed had not yet been done, that he could potentially provide further support, even the blind could see that the scenario would be one of struggle. Segrille was likely one of the most guarded and protected figures to have graced the city’s political arena thanks to his position, but, thanks to that security, it would certainly come as a shock should someone actually assail him. Hopefully that would be enough to carry him to an early grave lest he begin to interfere too heartily with the work of Al’Angyryl.

The first glass was offered to him, and he heartily accepted, sipping at the drink as they conversed. He had always been something of a slow drinker, but he accepted that, because it allowed him to keep his throat wet for far longer than those who simply gulped down their alcohol without appreciating its finer points. Besides that, it made it a lot harder to accidentally overdrink when you only took a sip every minute or two.

His comments on her talents relative to the remainder of his soldiers must have stricken a satisfied nerve, because she seemed suddenly quite pleased with herself. She stated that it came as little surprise and that she was suited to many ‘fun’ activities. That elicited a quick grin from the hybrid, processing the word ‘fun’ into the many vile and terrible deeds that might be necessary before victory had been attained. It was excellent to find others whose morals had degraded as far as his own, because they were far more willing to do what needed to be done.

He made a mental note too that the flattery had been extremely effective. He had not originally noticed the vanity that surrounded Navyri when they had first been acquainted; that was probably at least partly due to the fact that her divine master had appeared and ruined whatever meeting they had planned, but as time stretched onwards, he had picked up on the little hints and whispers in her conversation, the way that she operated which seemed to point towards a narcissistic and self-serving attitude. That was perfectly acceptable, because he dealt with mercenaries and scum with the same sort of feeling on the regular, though they were usually satisfied enough with simply golden nels and shiny things. That wasn’t to say that Navyri wouldn’t also receive such things, but she was also a proverbial test run on a different kind of leadership. Whilst he had originally been content to threaten her into action, she had left him the instant that he was not carefully observing, and that would not do for future plans which might have relied on her expertise. It was true that he could probably simply force his way into her mind, and coerce obedience through use of that creature bound to his very being, but that was not a reasonable way of managing a large group of people on the regular, and he didn’t doubt that it would eventually tax him in the same way that mages were taxed after using their abilities too often. No, instead he would focus on flattery and honeyed words, and he’d see what progress was made in regards to her loyalty to him.

“I’m uncertain as to what capabilities he has, though I do not believe he himself is a mage. There have been too many scenarios where such abilities could come into play for him to still be hiding it.” The Avriel spoke in regards to the question over any additional abilities the fellow might possess. “I can have whatever documentation on him we have available sent to you if you wish.” He offered.

The conversation moved on to the relationship between Lady Teris and Segrille, and the hybrid listened intently to her words, immediately making an assumption as to what she might have planned for the poor Captain. She questioned whether or not the relationship between the pair was serious, or whether he could be distracted from it. The hybrid considered this for a moment and then replied with a tone of innocent caution,
“Oh, Navyri. Anyone can be distracted in a moment of weakness.” A cruel grin followed his statement, and he finished down the remainder of his drink, settling the empty cup upon the nearest table.

He was gestured into the room more fully and waved towards what furniture was available, and the hybrid complied, taking his refilled drink and settling into a chair in the corner where his back could be settled against the stone wall; leaning against the wall was an old habit from when he had sat in far more vicious places. He sipped at the drink once more as he awaited her next question on Segrille, and was pleasantly surprised when instead she focused the conversation on himself. She started off with compliments which made him think perhaps she had something that might offend him to question, and whilst he could understand why the… accusation of being slow might offend some, he also thought he saw her reasoning for questioning it.

“Careful, you’ll make me feel all warm and gooey inside if you give too many compliments.” He spoke, his voice laced with sarcasm. “That’s an excellent question, Navyri. I’ve waited for many reasons. First and foremost was that until only recently, Al’Angyryl was not nearly established enough to not be wiped out instantaneously by any sort of law enforcement or resistance. We’re still not massive, but we’ve grown enough where I believe we can hold our own for a while if necessary now. Second and equally important is that I did not possess a capable assassin in my retinue until recently. Some were vicious, but too clumsy. Some were patient, but they would simply sit and wait as the target meandered hither and thither.”

He smiled again, sipping at his drink once more, the alcohol warmly running down his throat as he indulged himself in a second glass.
“What. Did you think that I went to spar with you randomly? Oh, sure, I might have been passing by, but let’s not pretend that I don’t consider things through a dozen steps before I have to do them.” He paused for a few moments.

“What do you want, Navyri? I don’t mean right this instant, or even for just this particular assignment… what do you want out of all of this?”
word count: 1140
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Credit to Pegasus


As a note: Noth is a Grandmaster in Intimidation. That means that he's at least as scary as the Count from Sesame Street. Beware.

"The tyrant confuses those he can't convince, corrupts those he can't confuse, and crushes those he can't corrupt." - Anonymous
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Navyri
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Race: Naerikk
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Common Rakahi Gravokian
"A greedy father has thieves for children."

  • Continuation of Show No Mercy
    2nd of Cylus, 718
    “Have the information sent to me, if you would” Navyri agreed, eyeing the hybrid. Having intelligence on the target seemed like a necessity, however in her years of experience, men like Noth didn’t always feel the same way. Such arrogance often proved dangerous to them in the long run, so seeing the half-breed’s preparedness was almost a breath of fresh air, “Its always good to know what you’re getting into.”

    It was Navyri’s preferred style.

    When the conversation inevitably changed to whether or not Segrille could be seduced, Noth’s response surprised her. His voice took on a light, unassuming quality, and she watched him, the words falling from his mouth like some hidden code.

    “Oh, Navyri. Anyone can be distracted in a moment of weakness.”

    Noth grinned and there was a beat of silence before the Naer tipped her head back and laughed. Oh, how funny! Her stomach felt a wave of warmth with every chuckle, “Ah, I suppose that’s the secret then,” she sighed away the last remains of the mirth and leaned forward, “Limit the moments of weakness.” The half-breed knew this well enough with his excessive armor, and it worked well in some cases. But what if he was thrown into water? Navyri was still convinced had he not been weighed down by such cumbersome attire, she could have flipped the tables in their fight. It replayed in her mind as she took a drink.

    He spoke and smiled and sipped. Looking at his crimson gaze, she wondered just in what manner he meant that. From first assumptions, Navyri would think Noth only capable of distracting those with his intimidation. But now she wondered if there was more to him than what he let on, there always was with the interesting. How many had he led astray? Had he been distracted once before himself?

    He continued.

    “What. Did you think that I went to spar with you randomly? Oh, sure, I might have been passing by, but let’s not pretend that I don’t consider things through a dozen steps before I have to do them.”

    “So you expected your win,” the Naer shrugged, a brief irritation at herself for losing flashing in her eyes. It was hard not to demand a rematch. Maybe she’d take his other cheek if she did, “But a losing match is hardly an appropriate assessment for an assassin, don’t you agree?”

    “I want nothing you can give me,” Navyri stated, finishing her glass and seamlessly pouring another, “So let us agree that it is coin and little more. I am not so intoxicated to believe overlooking such an innocent question wouldn’t give you a great deal more power over me than you already have. After all, you do consider things so carefully.”

    Quickly, a wall was building around the woman’s words. It had occurred to her more than once Noth’s intentions. “I do appreciate our little chats, but you’ve got plans for my company. Keep your friends close, enemies closer, after all.”

    She smiled, sliding the bottle forward. Navyri was Delroth’s servant. The two clearly had their issues and it would be her that paid for it if she stayed complacent under Noth’s thumb. “When you kill me, will the manner of which I suffer be dependent on my obedience? Or did you have something creative in mind?” The Naer had not forgotten his threats.

    “And!” The Naer spoke boldly, not intending disrespect, but more of a solid candor, her expression giving nothing away of her next thoughts, “If I may make a request as a woman on her death bed… Won’t you take off your clothes?””
word count: 665
"At last. It has been too long since I have walked the face of this world. Too long have I been locked there, awaiting my champion to release me. My champion... This is you, daughter of Audrae. You have, whether knowingly or not, released me from my self imprisonment, and are here to fulfill the destiny I have seen written in the tapestry of nature. You, daughter of Audrae's daughter, will be my foothold in this world." - Belaera to The Nightingale, after the 600 arc imprisonment
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Noth
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The Avriel could appreciate that the woman didn’t simply want to rush directly into the assassination of Captain Segrille. He did genuinely believe that she would be capable of accomplishing the goal, but he didn’t fool himself into thinking that it would be an easy endeavor, and there was always the chance that she would be slain in the process. That would be an altogether unfortunate loss, though he wasn’t entirely convinced that the outcome would not be more beneficial to their overall cause than detrimental. It seemed evident by her words that she agreed with him on the importance of preparedness, especially when lives were potentially on the line. It was a reasoning quite alike her own which kept him penned up within his office quarters for many breaks at a time, reviewing maps and battle-plans, ensuring that supplies were being ferried and distributed appropriately to his many subordinates.

He spoke briefly on the matter of seduction, answering Navyri’s question to the best of his ability and knowledge of the subject. He had heard a great deal about great men and women who had been lead astray by seducers which had toppled their regimes with almost negligent ease. It was simultaneously true that he was fully aware that a person was likely at their least prepared when they were dealing with someone they considered to be a romantic partner or interest. He himself recognized that he was rarely at the same level of guard when he was around his beloved Nightshade.

The Naer seemed to find the expression humorous and he observed as she chuckled to herself, highlighting that the solution to the issue was clearly to reduce the number of times someone was wea. Noth nodded his acceptance of this, seeing the wisdom in the words. A person often sought companionship after they were faced with either a great deal of stress or trauma, and so ideally, if a person wished to lower the chances of being seduced, they would attempt to divert as much of those unwholesome activities from themselves as possible. The Avriel briefly considered his own plight in life, the constant struggle against others for what he perceived to be an ultimate solution to all of the problems that plagued the world. He considered the agony and suffering that constantly afflicted his mind, the never-ending harassment of terror that had infatuated itself with his very being, a thick musk which hung over him which could never be dispelled.

The conversation moved back to their sparring match, the umbra thief questioning whether he had anticipated his victory over her. In truth, he had hoped that he would be able to defeat her in single combat, though he hadn’t quite assumed that victory would be a guaranteed possibility. With a subtle shake of his head, he dissuaded the argument that he had predicted his conquest over her. “I expected to fight you. I had hoped to win, but I had not seen you fight before if memory serves, and so I made few assumptions.” It was honest, perhaps far more honest than many would expect from the Avriel, but he saw little purpose in lying about it other than to stroke his own ego. “And, no. Being able to defeat my own assassin is actually quite reassuring.” He smiled, allowing her to fill in the blanks behind why it would be something of benefit to him.

His question over what she sought out of the organization and out of life itself was stricken by an impenetrable wall of foresight. She was clever enough to recognize that he was indeed just searching to know what she desired so that he could tempt her into service with it. Others in the past had been quick to discuss what they wanted, always focused upon their own incessant greed, never considering the outcome. There were those who simply sought golden nels, and they were always satisfied for a short while whenever he paid them, as though they had been afforded something far grander than metal wrought into the shape of a coin. He considered briefly pressing his Diri into her mind, attempting to rake free an answer from her consciousness, but… he decided against it, choosing instead to simply rely on more mundane methods of conversation and avoid any unfortunate incidents that might arise should her own familiar entity intervene.

She spoke of how he had plans for her company, and then briefly shifted the conversation to a series of questions over whether or not her death would be orchestrated in a violent fashion. It would be a lie to say that he had not at times considered how he would eliminate the shadowy Naer. He envisioned that it would be by far the easiest to simply invite her into a well-lit room, and strike her with a mace, though more complex and venomous plots had on occasion filtered into his cruel-mind. Yet… she seemed so intent on believing that he meant her harm. The plans which had filled his head were little more than contingencies in the event of treasonous behavior or murderous intent, and beyond that he had little desire to slay the beautiful woman.

“Nav-“ He was cut-off as she continued with a sharp addendum to her prior words. He expected further belligerency on the subject of her own plotted demise, though… it seemed that she had desired for their meeting to take a far different turn. She inquired as to whether or not he would remove his clothes, and a flicker of: was it Concern? Shock perhaps? Filtered into his mind. He stilled his words for several trills, crimson eyes analyzing the Naer, attempting to discern the reasoning behind her question. Was she still sore over her previous loss at his hands, and attempting to trick him so that she could defeat him in a sparring match? Was she simply interested in the physiological differences between the pair of species? Or… could she desire more from him… attempting to put his earlier statement to the test.

“Navyri. In many ways, a person’s clothes tell a lot about them. You can know where they’re from, what they do, how they live. A person is the clothing they wear, the expressions they make, the quality they bear.” He uttered, the confusion beginning to fade away from his vicious visage as he clutched at the metallic gauntlet upon his right hand, arising to his full-height as he fiddled with the assorted strappings which held it in place.

“And, for some of us… being our clothes is far more literal.” He spoke at last with a humored grin, detaching the gauntlet entirely and holding it within his opposite hand to reveal… nothing at all beneath it. No shimmering of spiritual energy, no flesh or meat which had contained its presence. Merely a void, an utter absence. He held up the voided limb briefly to grant her a better look, and then promptly returned the gauntlet to its resting place upon his hand, clenching the hand once it had returned to its metal sheathe by virtue of unknown ability.

“Why, Navyri?” He questioned at last, curiosity flickering into the red orbs that acted as his eyes.
word count: 1232
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Credit to Pegasus


As a note: Noth is a Grandmaster in Intimidation. That means that he's at least as scary as the Count from Sesame Street. Beware.

"The tyrant confuses those he can't convince, corrupts those he can't confuse, and crushes those he can't corrupt." - Anonymous
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Navyri
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"A greedy father has thieves for children."

  • Lacing dark claws together, Navyri leaned forward on the table. It was a treat to get to see the most intimidating mortal she had ever seen look so shocked. Surprised? She ate up each emotion as fast as they appeared, grinning wildly as he spoke across the table. She didn’t disagree with what he said regarding clothing, but it seemed so vastly philosophical in response to her demand.

    Eventually his mask of emotional control returned to his dark features and she glanced at his moving hands with wild curiosity. Was he really going to give her what she asked for? Navyri slid her hand to grab the bottle, pulling it to her chest with interest. But that interest wasn’t soly on the drink.

    Carefully Noth removed his gauntlet, and the illusion of anything underneath. She stared for a moment, processing that she had been bested not only by a man, but a one handed man. The Naer had not noticed at all, and audibly gasped, clapping her hands together in delight, “Oh, wow!” Had he been without the appendage since they met or was this a newer adjustment? There was no immediate smell of rot, although she was not immune to the musk that flowed from beneath the bird’s armor.

    Mongrel could use a good scrub, truthfully, but that was something to address later. For now, she had to stop herself from reaching out to grab hold of the armored hand, a new restlessness born inside her. Navyri looked absolutely delighted.

    “Why?” she repeated, “You clearly are most comfortable behind your armor. I might not know everything about you by what you wear, but there is more than a physical barrier, is there not? You keep others at a distance.” She motioned between them again, smile lowering to a bitter smirk, “Something I understand well.”

    She shrugged, refilling his glass, “Each time I have met you, you have worn the same thing. Does that say you are practical, or so paranoid for you own personal safety? Both? What does my attire say about me?”

    It was meant as a rhetorical question, but if he answered, she would listen intently, “You wanted to know what I wanted to better understand me. If I asked you for something you weren’t comfortable giving... I was curious. What a clever compromise on your part.”

    “I like that you humour me,” Navyri took a drink from her own glass, throat burning as she waited for him to follow suit, “I want to ask the same thing. Why do you do all this? What’s the end goal for the faction? In taking over Etzos, how will that bring such satisfaction?”
word count: 481
"At last. It has been too long since I have walked the face of this world. Too long have I been locked there, awaiting my champion to release me. My champion... This is you, daughter of Audrae. You have, whether knowingly or not, released me from my self imprisonment, and are here to fulfill the destiny I have seen written in the tapestry of nature. You, daughter of Audrae's daughter, will be my foothold in this world." - Belaera to The Nightingale, after the 600 arc imprisonment
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Noth
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Just Business

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It was a vital part of the hybrid’s existence that he wear a mask at all times. The facial covering needn’t be anything physical, nor did it need to extend any sort of physical protection, though it was true that he preferred it when his equipment was capable of soaking up any assault from potential foes. No, the mask that needed to constantly be attached to the Avriel’s face was a mental and an emotional one. It was true that the hybrid was a terrifying entity, but that did not mean that he did not on occasion feel fear when confronted with the cosmic beings which occasionally interacted with him from beyond his mere concept of reality, nor did it mean that he was brazenly overconfident in his abilities, and did not think that a mere crossbow bolt could just as easily end his life as any other implement of war.

Yet, a solid portion of the fear that he extruded had to do with the fact that people rarely considered the avian warlord to be a person, but rather, that they thought of him as a monstrous abomination. It was far easier to be frightened by something when a person didn’t consider that it had emotions and thoughts and feelings about the world around it, that it could become nervous at the pivotal moment of a fight, or that it could feel the stinging tear of guilt whenever it laid down to rest when’s the trial’s violence had come to its grand conclusion. Such weaknesses were often concealed, only ever let out of their proverbial cage when the Avriel was alone so that no other living being could spy upon his humanity… but occasionally glimpses of that hidden inner personality could seep through even the strongest mask, just as the light of a flickering candle will burrow through the hardest steel gate.

Perhaps Navyri could pick up on the fact that he kept his mask upon him at all times, or perhaps she had managed to notice the brief flicker of surprise which had been elicited by her prior appeal. Regardless, she now questioned him on the subject, inquiring as to whether there was more than a physical barrier that he had enacted in order to keep others away from him. The hybrid simply nodded his acceptance of that, a brief smile twisting across his wicked features as she spoke of understanding the plight of blocking others out. No… she thought that she could understand him, because she thought that he was some bestial atrocity, a fellow denizen of the darkness and the night and the wicked deeds that such residence provides, but whereas she was greedy for coin and sensation, and it was evident in the way she meandered throughout life, the hybrid was charitable… his kindness hidden away by the brutality of his gifts.

She now began to question him on the subject of his equipment. It was true that the hybrid rarely changed out of the outfit, though, he made certain to clean it rather regularly and to ensure that he was not covered in absolute filth so as not to allow any sort of septic infection to seep into his flesh and ruin any of his well-laid plans. Some of the most powerful generals and soldiers of the world had been laid low by the trivial effects of illness and disease, and it was important to remember that the most dangerous enemies were those that could not be slain with mace, nor bow, nor talon.

“It means that I’m frugal enough to understand that I only need one suit of armor.” He smiled briefly, crimson eyes locking onto her visage for several moments as he analyzed her, attempting to discover a decent answer for her question.

“You like to be effective, but you want to fit a certain style while you do it.” He began, allowing the smile to dissipate over time as he continued his predatory analysis. “You try to be classy, to be… better than the others around you. Sometimes, I imagine you do it for yourself, and other times for the watchman who spies upon your every move.” He tittered with a sigh. “Most people I’ve met who try so hard to display their grandness are merely afraid of losing it all, of losing any advantage they have over anyone else… of being rendered into little more than a memory and a fraud.” There was no acute accusation there, but the implication that she could be affected by such an emotion hung in the air between them, the hybrid solidifying his statement with a mere nod of his head.

The hybrid gradually stepped over towards the bottle, his gauntleted hand rasping across the glasses’ surface as he picked it up, refilling his own cup before taking a long and deep draft of the liquid, allowing it to burrow into his body, feeling as it plunged into his abdomen with a fizzling burn before he planted it back upon the table.

“Ah. The greatest question of all. Not how, or what, or when… but why.” He leaned back, crimson eyes searching the ceiling, as though looking for a pattern that did not exist. “Motivation is a fascinating thing to consider. What drives a merchant to sell all of his properties, and to drive a wagon halfway across the world? What permits the conscious of a thief to stealthily pervade the property of others? What makes a person lift up a knife, and kill their fellow man with seldom a second thought?”

“There are a great many motivations in the world, Navyri. Some people find that they are attracted to coins and money. They place monetary goods above all else, and worship at the altar of mercantilism, of gold and silver. Wretched metals. They are only good so long as anyone uses them, and they do not buy anything of lasting worth.” He reached slowly for the adamantite mace at his side, laying it vertically upon the table for her to view. “A hardy and powerful tool in the right hands… and yet in ten arcs will it be here? What price would it fetch on the market? What could be bought with the money which would not itself merely decay? What happiness is there in mere metal?

“I could become long-winded, Navyri. I could speak of other motivations… but let us focus merely upon those which you would consider even vaguely valid. The want to perfect oneself, the desire to earn money, the hope to be accepted by others, to fit into a society… to be free, and not limited by the stern laws of community.”

“Time and hate and fear… they send all such hopes into little more than spectral considerations of their past selves, and yet… people devote their entire lives to chasing such feats. We live in a world of such violence, of treacherous persons, of wicked deeds that cannot be counted. We live in a world of hypocrites who pray for peace whilst they sanctify the altars of those very beings who drive them to war. They throw their lives away in meaningless conflict for dreams that amount to… nothing.”

“Ah. But what motivates me, Navyri? Do you think that I care for power? That I want to rule over the world with an iron-fist? What of money? Should I care whether my coin purse jingles with detritus, or whether it remains silently clipped to my side? Must I become the best warrior in the world, or the grandest leader? Shall I bend the knee to a godling, and pray mercy for my soul when time too turns me into little more than feathers and dust?”


“I want to save the world, Navyri. That is all I want. I want to remove the pestilences that plague our mortal-kind. All of them. I seek paradise.”

The Diri attached to his very being outstretched one of its virulent and incorporeal hands, grasping at the mind of the Naer as the hybrid spoke, beginning to gently thrust images of paradisiac conditions towards her, to give her a glimpse of the reality that the hybrid wanted to build, of the peace that he would enact when all the bloodshed had ceased.

“And… what monster can be blamed for that?”
word count: 1412
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Credit to Pegasus


As a note: Noth is a Grandmaster in Intimidation. That means that he's at least as scary as the Count from Sesame Street. Beware.

"The tyrant confuses those he can't convince, corrupts those he can't confuse, and crushes those he can't corrupt." - Anonymous
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Navyri
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Re: Just Business

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Common Rakahi Gravokian
"A greedy father has thieves for children."

Navyri remained silent for a long moment after Noth had finished speaking, the fear at such promise of paradise stilling the usual temptress. Focusing instead on her drink, she swirled her glass and watched the dark liquor crash in tiny waves, looking up and past the half breed. It would seem they were not alone.

“I see,” the Naer did not appear pleased with the information, nor did she look eager for its accomplishment. Visions of prosperity and the return to Augiery - of freedom and romantic twilight - these were not his to give. And without them, without her or her people, what would such a vision really be besides the goal of an ambitious man when she herself would falter?

Navyri was convinced in this world he spoke of, a world without her. And for what? Helping him achieve his goals only to be destroyed by his grace? There were better offers in the world, and she did not understand how he was any different from anyone else with growing power.

“Praise be to your benevolence,” there was a bite in those words, acid on her tongue as she took another drink. Navyri Vy’pyjr detested the invasion of her mind. There was limited space left in her consciousness as it was; to feel the cold, unfamiliar claws of another threading her thoughts into pictures of grandeur… it was underhanded, but given the opportunity, would she have done any different?

“You sadden me, Mongrel. To be a savior of a dying world? Why?”

Her eyes flashed in anger, “What of those that thrive in the darkness? That have only known struggle? By taking that away, you take away purpose. So you bring paradise to whom, exactly?”

“Truly the acceptance of humans matters very little to me, and unlike what you think, it is not the coin or remembrance that keeps me moving. I choose to fight and kill and steal because I want to,” she sat forward, ready to stand, “Because I like to.”

“That is my nature, I will not sweeten it with honey,” He asked for assasination and spoke of peace. A monster that wanted to be anything else was a disappointment to the womb that birthed it, “So when you bring peace to those that swear allegiance, what happens to the rest of us, who find solace when the rivers run red with blood?”

word count: 429
"At last. It has been too long since I have walked the face of this world. Too long have I been locked there, awaiting my champion to release me. My champion... This is you, daughter of Audrae. You have, whether knowingly or not, released me from my self imprisonment, and are here to fulfill the destiny I have seen written in the tapestry of nature. You, daughter of Audrae's daughter, will be my foothold in this world." - Belaera to The Nightingale, after the 600 arc imprisonment
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Noth
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It seemed that she had recognized his attempt to implant visions within her mind rather quickly, and, it simultaneously seemed as though she didn’t quite enjoy the experience. It was true that he had taken a far more blunt and direct approach towards attempting to persuade her to agree with his cause as opposed to a more subtle and manipulative angle. Part of the reason for that had been the fact that the Dri had somewhat more difficulty in merely controlling a single person than it did in directing the thoughts and desires of an entire crowd of persons. It was easier for the unnatural and alien entity to play the mortal races off of one another, to highlight their own transgressions and desires in the mouths of others, to unite them in an unholy bond. That was not to say that it could not fully dominate an individual mind… but merely that it was more difficult.

A brow furrowed ever so slightly as the Naer bore her attention directly into the bottom of her drink, as though it had managed to captivate all of her attention, and a crimson gaze awaited her own when she had finally looked up from the entrancing liquid. Her words were simple, and yet it was evident enough even by the basic tone of her voice that she was not entirely pleased with having such images forced into her mind. Strange… that method had proven somewhat useful in the past, but he supposed that perhaps her differing physiology and psychological state had made it far less effective. She certainly didn’t seem as eager and fanatical to enact what she had seen as others had in the past… though, he hoped that she merely required some time to think, and that she would come around to the truth.

She spoke again, praising his benevolent nature, but there was no honesty in her voice. The hybrid sighed in evident exasperation, sipping gently at his own drink, feeling as it ran down his throat, wetting it for the inevitable speech that he would have to deliver now that his attempts at mental games had come to an end. He wholly expected her merely to remain silent for the remainder of their conversation, to broil and stew upon the words and images that he had already provided, but it seemed as though she were a far more proud sort than that… he should have expected as much in hindsight. She questioned why he was willing to be the savior of a dying world.

“Because, someone must. The world shakes in the throes of anguish… and I will save it.” He uttered simply, recognizing that there was little in the way of actual reason or logic in the statement, but rather that it was based almost entirely on an argument of pathos, of emotion. It was simply the right thing to do, he considered, and sometimes there was little to be gained from such actions other than the joy and peace of others… and that was alright.

She further questioned what would become of those who thrived in the proverbial darkness, and, perhaps in her case, the literal darkness. The Avriel smiled with an uncanny warmth, perhaps a byproduct of the drink in his hand, or perhaps merely a facial expression warranted from his actively conniving mind. “You assume, of course, that those of us who live in such dreadful circumstances and face such wicked deeds are the only ones who face struggle.” He spoke simply, gesturing for her to continue her rant, deciding that it was best to simply explain his actions at the end instead of interrupting her apparent frustration with his plan.

“You worry that you’ll be killed? That I’d annihilate you? Or perhaps you worry that you’ll grow bored when all of the bloodshed comes to an end.” He scoffed briefly, allowing another exasperated sigh to permeate his lips before he drained his drink, harshly casting the glass across the short table so that it rattled and flipped onto its side, coming to a rolling stop somewhere near its center. “It is an unfortunate reality of our world that everyone believes that others must fail for themselves to succeed, that their struggle is absolute, that no one else understands them. Do you not think that the average person feels pain? Do you not think that they face… anguish? You speak of human matters, but you fail to discern that I do not speak of race… my paradise is for everyone, shadow and flesh, light and blood.

“You speak of losing purpose when you’ll be unable to skulk about in the dark, and to that I have to wonder what your purpose is even now. What’s the point of killing without an end-goal? What’s the point of stealing when you don’t need. You go on for arcs and arcs, bringing about some mayhem, and then you die. How pointless.”


“Fret not though, dear Navyri.” He rasped, allowing a deep breath to rake across his lungs as he gently stretched a feathered hand across the table, realigning the previously hurtled cup. “You’ll have forever to acquiesce to a life of true purpose, one beyond mere cruelty. I’ll teach you, but you need to be willing to learn… there is so much waiting beyond the mortal veil.”




word count: 915
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Credit to Pegasus


As a note: Noth is a Grandmaster in Intimidation. That means that he's at least as scary as the Count from Sesame Street. Beware.

"The tyrant confuses those he can't convince, corrupts those he can't confuse, and crushes those he can't corrupt." - Anonymous
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