• Solo • [Warrick] Rivalry and Revalations

Vivian runs into Valkyr and learns about the "V" symbol

29th of Cylus 716

The seven Duchies of Central Rynmere and their respective baronies, cities, towns, villages, and landmarks each overseen by a Duke of one of the seven noble families and ultimately controlled by the King of Rynmere.
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Vivian Shiryu
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29th of Cylus, 716

Vivian sighed to herself as she looked around the village, the lack of light from the perpetual twilight of Cylus making the village seem oddly quiet considering it was the middle of the day. Shrugging slightly, the noble woman turned towards a small fruit stand at the center of the village square. They didn't have much to offer, fitting for the season, but she was a little hungry and felt maybe a bit of fruit might hit the spot.

However, before she had the chance to make a decision, an arrogant, mocking voice sounded from behind her. "ઇરઋશબઌરઔ બશનળ ઈએબ, ઇઋ'નઊરએઋ?" the voice asked, insult evident in the tone of the question. As if anyone who called Vivian by the term "Ej'Ufnaj" truly cared whether or not she was having a good day. No Biqaj, or even half-Biqaj in Vivian's case, was liable to enjoy being referred to as "Forsaken of Water", and Vivian had been hearing that insult, especially by full Biqaj, since she was little.

Turning to face the new arrival and give them a piece of her mind, Vivian paused in surprise at the woman before her, then gave a deep scowl. "Pythera Venora. I'd have assumed you'd have better manners than speak Rakahi where there are those who might not understand the language." she said, her hand tightening around the hilt of her rapier as she glared at the blonde-haired traitor. That such a one was protected by her noble birth, despite the fact that everyone _knew_ she had turned bandit, rankled Vivian. The fact that she had been a Skyrider only made it worse.

Pythera simply grinned at Vivian, her eyes looking pure purple in the twilight, though Vivian guessed they were more likely a mix of purple and possibly pink or red. "Ah, but of course, Ej'Ufnaj. I forget that a coward such as you might not have learned our language." she said mockingly, sticking her hands back into the pockets of her expensive, fur-lined overcoat. She still tended to dress more like a soldier than a noble-woman, but Vivian figured that was just habit as much as anything else, or possibly simple preference for the clothing style, shirts, pants, and boots over dresses and fancy shoes. That much Vivian could understand.

But this time Pythera's insult hit much harder than the simple crack about her aquaphobia that was her nickname usually did. "ઌ ડીએર ૮ઝઇએ૯ ળએ૯એકઌ ઋન૮મ ઊઌરઇ, ૧ળઇમડીક!" she snapped angrily, unconsciously half-drawing her rapier and stepping towards Pythera as she spoke before she got control of herself again. She might hate Pythera, but Vivian knew that the ex-soldier hadn't gotten the title "Zyq'Dajal" for nothing. Most half-Biqaj may prefer the sea, and while there were a great many Skyriders who could best Pythera in terms of pure skill, her ferocity and bond with her Volareon had made her well known to anyone who paid attention to the Skyriders before her treason had made her famous.

Pythera, for her part, simply bowed graciously and didn't react beyond a mocking smile. "My apologies, Ej'Ufnaj. I had assumed you wouldn't have bothered, since you avoid the ships of our people so much." she said, any hint of sincerity in her apology blown away by her continued use of the insult.

Vivian snorted in derision at the false apology, assuming a stature of composed indifference. "Our people? You're only half-Biqaj, same as I am. And you don't spend much more time on their ships than I do. What are you even doing in Warrick anyway? I figured you'd be in Venora playing the pretty little princess." she said, genuine curiosity entering her voice. Warrick was Vivian's territory, not Pythera's, and she would rather not have the bloodthirsty traitor running around.

Pythera just grinned at Vivian again. "Just on a vacation, Ej'Ufnaj. Don't worry, I'm not looking to marry into your family or something. Might pay your cousins a visit though...the farming ones. I remember when they were little. Lei'lira might be fun to...play with someday." she said, before laughing at Vivian's shocked expression before turning her back on her. "See you around, Ej'Ufnaj." the traitor said before walking away as ice crawled up Vivian's spine as the thought of Pythera with her cousins froze her to the spot for a moment.
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Shortly after Pythera disappeared, Vivian found herself wandering among the village stalls again, this time her mind not really on the shopping she was, theoretically, doing. Pythera's presence and the implied threat worried at her mind like a pack of hungry dogs and she couldn't put the notion that the traitor had simply been teasing her out of mind. She was briefly distracted from her thoughts by the awed sounds of children nearby, but she pushed them out of her mind until a hand touched her shoulder and she whirled angrily to face this new intruder in her thoughts.

"I gather that something weighs rather heavily on your mind, Vivian." Hector said, smiling at the shocked look on her face. Just behind him, she could see the village children staring at Hector's Volareon in awe, the great winged beast looking regally down at them as it accepted its due praise. "Haughty creature, not unlike some people I know." Hector said, following her gaze before turning back to her. "Now then, what has you so distracted?" he asked, his voice somewhat concerned.

After a moment, Vivian collected her thoughts, then looked at Hector, her expression grim. "I just had an encounter with Pythera Venora. She said...she said she may visit my cousins, Lazuli and Lei'lira." she said, watching Hector's expression turn to match her own.

"Pythera...that is troubling, especially as Lazuli is now a Baroness, if I have my genealogy correct. They are important to guard, with that in mind." he said, before giving a surprised look as Vivian scowled at him, angrier now than she had been when she had first been assigned to him.

"It doesn't matter if Lazuli's a Baroness or not, Major. They're my cousins. I'm not going to leave them to Pythera's non-existent mercy, no matter their rank." she said angrily, before her scowl deepened. "And it wouldn't matter if they were just some random pair of farmers, either. I read about what she did before she turned traitor. No one deserves that." she said.

Hector just smiled at her anger, then nodded. "Of course it doesn't. I'm glad you agree. And I'm just as glad to hear you care so much about your family, Vivian. I merely meant that it means Pythera has more reason to target them than just irritating you or a quick round of what she calls fun." he said, before grinning as Vivian's anger deflated. "And do remember to respect your superiors, Airman." he said, his tone a gentle chiding.

"My apologies, Major. It's just....I'm scared for them." she said, her voice soft as she looked in the direction the twins farm was in. "They're alone out there, and neither of them trained to fight. If something happens, they're defenseless on that farm." she said, her concern evident in her voice, before the sound of Hector's laugh caused her to look at him in shock.

"Did you really think we left a new Baroness completely on her own? Skyriders make a point of flying over or close to that farm, and the Knights find all sorts of reasons to send patrols down that road. Baroness Lazuli may not seem to want the usual assignment of guards, but that doesn't mean she's unprotected." he said, his voice amused as Vivian relaxed at that news.

Sighing in relief, Vivian laughed a bit too. "I'm glad. I still think I'll be visiting more often though. Besides, even with that...it wasn't long ago. They need company, not just guards." she said softly. Hector patted her shoulder and smiled.

"I'll be around the village, but I think you're feeling better. Come see me if you need to talk." he said, his voice gentle before he walked off, leaving Vivian with an odd feeling. She had just opened up to a peasant, when she rarely opened up even to other nobles. But then, he was a soldier as well, and her mentor. Perhaps it was natural that she should do such things.
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Vivian was getting ready to leave the village and return to her home for the day when she remembered that she did actually have something she needed to talk to Hector about. Turning on her heel, the airman walked over to where the Major's Volareon was laying stretched out on the ground, looking half asleep. "And just where has your rider gone." she muttered quietly, looking around. The Volareon just stretched and ignored her, but she hadn't honestly expected an answer from it to begin with.

Looking around, she spied Hector talking to one of the vendors. Falling back on her manners, Vivian waited next to the Volareon for Hector to finish with his shopping. Eventually, the major finished and turned to his Volareon, stopping when he saw Vivian. "I take it you have something else you wish to discuss with me?" he asked, his tone curious as he walked over to the them.

"Yes, sir." Vivian said, before taking a deep breath. "On the 20th of Cylus, I was traveling to visit my cousins and was set upon by a trio of bandits. With the aid of Lazuli and Lei'lira, they were defeated, but they all bore the same tattoo of a "V" under their armpit. Do you know what that means?" she asked, her curiosity only increasing as Hector's expression turned grim.

"Yes I do. Your bandits were part of Faction VII, the group of bandits inhabiting the Burning Mountains. They cause trouble all over Rynmere, and your home region seems to be a favorite haunt of theirs." he said, before hesitating a moment. "And they're also the group we believe Pythera Venora to be associated with." he said, grimly, before a tauntingly cheerful voice spoke from behind them.

"Major Avern, you should know better than to slander a member of one our noble houses." Pythera said, her tone mocking. She had the reigns of four horses in her hand, explaining perhaps why the traitor was roaming Warrick. The Warrick Horses were the best in Rynmere. "As if a member of House Venora would associate with such rabble." she said, her smile turning amused before she turned to face Vivian. "And you, Ej'Ufnaj, to be listening to such. I'd thought you had more pride in your family than to listen to peasants." she said, her tone a mocking rebuke. "Ah well. Perhaps you'll have better sense in the future. Farewell." she said, mounting one of the horses she had apparently bought and turning ride back out of the village.

Hector watched Pythera go for a bit, then shook his head. "I better go too. My superiors will want to here about this. Have a nice day, Airman Warrick." he said, waking his Volareon with his foot and mounting the great winged beast. Vivian waved a farewell as Hector took off in the direction of the fort, before she elected to leave the village herself, her thoughts worried about what Pythera had planned.
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Kingdom
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[Warrick] Rivalry and Revalations

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[columns=2]Skills
Observation: 2
Socialisation: 3
Rhetoric: 1
Investigation: 1
Mount: 1

Notes: You know how much I love these stories. Going to have a lot of fun with Faction VII! Glad Vivian knows about them now.

Basic Knowledge
Cylus: Twilight
Pythera Venora: Biqaj
Pythera Venora: Speaks Rakahi
Pythera Venora: The Bandit
Fauna: Volareon


Specialised Knowledge
Ej'Ufnaj: Forsaken of Water
Pythera Venora: Knows Vivian fears water
Volareon: A Skyrider mount
Pythera Venora: Knows of cousins Lazuli and Lei'lira
Philosophy: Respect your superiors
Faction VII: Bandits from The Burning Mountains
Pythera Venora: Associated with Faction VII[/columns]
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word count: 99
A N D I T' S A L L J U S T S M A L L S T U F F, B A B Y.
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