The Storm

Description:

Bronwyn Derys

    Summer-sky to Purple Dusk
  • Priestess Queen
  • Played By: dergon

    Dena Nehele Terreille
    15 Posts    219 marks
The Storm
« on: December 03, 2018, 10:47:11 PM »

Her Jewels hung heavy around her neck. Stored in rich velvet, nestled against each other; heavy and empty. The healer had drained them for her again, and promised, again, that it wouldn’t be long now. Soon Winnie would not have to watch, and feel - that was the worst part, the feeling - her Jewels drained of vitality. Soon she would be rid of the heavy, but not empty, weight she carried.

Her fingers kneaded the tight skin, chasing a foot away from her kidney. Soon. Oh how she ached! Her feet throbbing as she walked the winding path back to her cottage. She shared it with no one but her little maid girl. Sweet as a lamb and twice as biddable. But ugly, the poor unfortunate. Winnie preferred it that way. ”Soon.” She told her baby with a pat to its bottom, politely turned up under her ribs.

With a wary look at the darkening clouds on the horizon, Winnie turned the corner. The path wound up and around, curling between pastures and orchards as it climbed the mountain side. She had walked it some many times, Winnie could close her eyes and never step off the path. Sometimes she did just that, face tipped up to the warm sun, hands holding her belly as her back strained at the weight.

Today she kept her eyes open and walked swiftly as she could, swaying with each step.

Quicker than she had ever seen a storm roll in over the mountains, it came. Dark clouds chased by lightening, whiter than a bride’s veil. It turned the sky from black to silver, etching the clouds with blue fire. The thunder nearly knocked her from her feet. The air concussing her, the ground trembling. The air was fractious, whistling through the trees and rattling the wooden fence slats. Worse, the rain started in a drenching downpour.

”Mother Night.” She fretted, rubbing her stomach with one hand and her back with the other. She never had liked storms. They were dangerous in the mountains. Quick to flood or snow in. The weather was fickle and vindictive so close to the sky. Winnie was wet through in moments. Hair slicked to her scalp, weighted down until it tore loose from its bun. Her dress clung, skirts slapping around her legs, too wet to fly in the wind.

Desperate, she cut through a field. A short cut she often took when she was too tired or too lazy to take the whole road back to her cottage. The path was long because it wound, gentle where it could have been short but taxing by simply going straight up. Just then a harder walk seemed more prudent than an easy one.

She was half way across the the mile when the pain started. The dull ache in her back growing sharper. Her stomach tensing, already tight. Skin taut over muscle that flexed. It stole her breath. Rain dragging her down, wind battering her. Winnie groaned, turning her shoulders into the wind and wading forward through the grass.

By the time she stumbled into the ditch, Winnie was bent double. All she could do was pant. Breathing in as much rain as air. She wasn’t even sure if she was going the right direction anymore. Chilled and coughing, Winnie shrieked as the grass gave way to mud, and the mud gave way beneath her. She stumbled and then slid into the ditch.

Around her the storm only grew. Rain running through the grass, into the mud and down into the ditch with Winnie, where she screamed. She’d been screaming since she fell. It wasn’t just the gut wrenching pain that rippled across her stomach and around her back. But the sharp, searing agony in her leg, and the wet hurt at her temple. They’d filled the ditch with stones dug up from garden rows.

By the end her screams were nothing more than ragged whispers. No help came as she was ripped open and emptied out. The world fading in and out around her. Dark then bright, but always wet and loud. Water deepening. It swept the blood down the mountainside. Winnie’s blood, potent with her least used caste. And then the world grew hushed so the small cries could be heard. Possessing all the strength her mother lacked.

Winnie held her close. Laying her over the velvet bag her Jewels rested in. Empty and twice as useless now that she could use them. Now when she really needed them. So she used the craft of her body. The power inherent in her blood, the amount that did not spill out, overflowing into her Jewels. Winnie wrapped her in a shawl from her cabinet and a warming spell. And then wrapped that in a shield to keep the damning damp of the rain out.

And still her blood spilled down among the rocks. Joining the growing torrent that swept it away, feeding the land with queen’s blood. Winnie stayed there, hold lax, shields lasting longer than the breath in her body. She waited, pale skin framed by dark hair and mud. Lips bloodless where they rested against the dark curls if her daughter. She waited, still and quiet, with more patience than she’d ever accomplished in life.

Braden’s agonized cry would have pleased her. All the loss and torment in the utterance of her name as he slid down into the ditch to join her. Cursing as he collected the wailing infant and tried, futilely, to rouse his queen. But she would not wake, and her small, empty, body was heavy as he carried her home. Baby dropped in her cradle and forgotten by all but the servant girl while he tended his queen’s body.

Peregrine Runner

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • Warlord
  • Played By: Jones

    Traveling Kaeleer
    92 Posts    0 marks
Re: The Storm
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2018, 12:28:39 AM »

Soon.

That was what the letter from Winnie said. Peregrine found himself turning the page over and over in his fingers instead of sleeping at night. With each day since it’s arrival something strange grew in his heart.

A warm buzz of emotion that scared him with its intensity. Soon. Soon there would be a baby. He would be a father. Properly, since he had missed, well everything up to that point, with Rias. It did things to his head to think of the soonness. Made him feel anxious and wild. Money! He had to have any dime he could make. So that he  could finish his house. Fill it with the things a woman would want in a home. Like linens and dishes. He had to teach Kirsi to ride the Winds and to fly his ship. And he had to put all of those things on hold to recheck every clue Kirsi’s old webs had given them.

He drove his family half mad. Muttering to himself as he prepared, and somehow felt less so each day. Kite carved a baby cradle. His mother knitted a blanket. Starling promised to come and check the child was healthy. If and only if it was actually her niece or nephew. They were all calm as ever despite the turbulence of Peregrine’s coming and going.

All with the worm of doubt in his heart. What if it was all for nothing? Winnie was a queen, and not beyond treachery and lies to get what she wanted. What if the baby wasn’t his? Was the letter an invitation or a warning? Did Winnie want him there? Or did she want time to heal first? Did he want to be there?

It was all too much. Too much to think about, too much to do. Until finally there was nothing left. Nothing to put off his going. Not unless he found another job to take… Kite practically dragged him to the boat. They would all go, except mother of course. They would go and wait for Winnie to have this baby. Soon had been weeks ago, already. Maybe it had already happened!

Which was a thought that got Peregrine moving. Boat to Dark Gate. Dark Gate to boat. They always went through into Shalador, because paying to dock a boat on the coast was nothing unusual there. Kite and Kirsi flew. All of Peregrine’s anxiety had started to boil over. He couldn’t stand still long enough to instruct her himself. His humor turned dark and his pacing erratic the closer they came. Then finally, Finally! The boat put down in a shallow pond a few short miles from the cottage.

”Perry...” Kite noticed first. It was the warlord prince in him probably. ”Something is wrong.” Peregrine agreed, shrugging away from the hand his older little brother put on his shoulder. He didn’t want to wait. Or to be stopped. Wrapping himself in a shield he popped into the wind. Toppling out again just shy of the front door. Hands catching himself in grass that sang with the hearty song of too much queen’s blood.

Too much. Much too much.

It was his house, he had bought it, so he didn’t knock. But he wished he had. He wished, he wished, he wished. ”Mother Night.” Peregrine turned ashen. Not as white as Bronwyn Derys looked laid out on that sheet, though. ”Mother fucking Night.” Dead. The world went pale then dark. Tilted sideways into a sharp drop that careened to the left. Then it was back again. Right side up and colored. So that he could see the contrast of her dark hair against her bloodless skin. If she was dead… ”How?” He wouldn't think of it. ”How did this happen?” Wouldn’t think of almost being a father. ”HOW?” He asked again, because no one answered.

But he knew how. He had put a child in her and they’d died while he was off worrying about soon being too soon. Someone shifted closer. Between the body and Peregrine's rising anger. He stepped to the side, to keep her in sight. Should he hold her hand? Would Mother Night tell her that he had come, even if it had been too late?

Bronwyn Derys

    Summer-sky to Purple Dusk
  • Priestess Queen
  • Played By: dergon

    Dena Nehele Terreille
    15 Posts    219 marks
Re: The Storm
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2018, 06:13:47 AM »

He had not moved from her side, and had allowed no one to move her. It did not matter to him that the child lived in the same house as its dead mother. The child mattered to him very little at all, except that Bronwyn had born it. He allowed the priestess to come, helped to bathe her body and prepare her for the funeral rights, but he had not let her be taken away.

A shadow who lived in the chair at her head. He sat for hours with his elbows in his knees. Hours with his face in his hand, or his hands between his calves. Endless hours if vigil, praying she would wake. If his hand, at her shoulder or in her hair, would not do it, perhaps the crying of the child would. But the baby only cried a little, and Bronwyn did not wake. And then he came, and Braden found the Jewel hard center of his anger.

”You.” Mouth so dry the word stuck, reedy and thin on his cracked lips. There he was, the man who had caused all this. Braden stood, the motion slow like an old man’s, body cramped from so long in the chair. ”You did this.” Gave his fickle, spoiled queen a house to play lady in. Stuck a baby in her belly and made wild promises about taking her to Glacia. Away from him. Bronwyn who never stayed where he had put her, but had been content to wait in this thrice cursed cottage because it was all her own, with a maid to boot.

Things he never had been able to give her.

”How?” He laughed, placing himself between the warlord and his queen. It did not matter that he was taller and his Jewel darker, Bronwyn was Braden’s, she would always be Braden’s. His pain and possessiveness would have pleased her. To be the thing the two of them fought over would have made her happy like nothing else could. Mother Night curse her. Lazy girl. Always dashing off to flirt or shirk her duties. Trouble from the moment he met her, nothing more than a girl child.

”You did this. You and that damned beast you put in her.” He was hollowed eyed and stooped at the shoulder, but no less fierce for it. He had nothing else to lose. A man whose home was sinking faster than he could bail. A warlord prince who had lost his queen. He could have been seasick and legless and he still would have fought. A wolf in a trap. “Don’t you dare touch her.” He warned. No one else was ever touching her again.

Peregrine Runner

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • Warlord
  • Played By: Jones

    Traveling Kaeleer
    92 Posts    0 marks
Re: The Storm
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2018, 10:32:10 AM »

Words piercing him like a blade Peregrine tried to deny the charge. ”No.” He had not been here to do this. This would not have happened if he had been near. Electricity crackled on the ends of his fingertips. Curls turning to frizz as they started to stand up on their roots. This was his fault. But he had not done it.

He had been a fool. How could he be anyone’s father? His lips were singed as he stroked his busy fingers over his mouth. The sound of Braden’s laughter like thunder that egged on the storm brewing in Peregrine’s heart. All that buzzing joy had to go somewhere. It couldn’t just quietly disappear. That was the sort of the thing weaker men did. Wallowing in despair. Peregrine was an idiot, and a runner, but not weak. He let the hope melt. Then he latched onto the molten pain and waited for the chance to let it erupt.

Braden didn’t make him wait long. Condemning the only innocent role in the whole affair. ”You shut your mouth you worthless shit! That baby had… nothing. Nothing to do with this. He never had a choice.” Mother Night. He wanted to fight. To put his fist through those horrible eyes. Blank with pain and ringed with the bruises of sleeplessness. Peregrine could only muster pity for what he thought lost, though. It swallowed him up head to toe until his knees turned to mush. ”Or what?” He shouldered roughly passed the warlord prince.

But he didn’t touch her. Only looked down at her face. That damned beautiful mouth. Such a waste. Such a fucking waste. ”I was in Glacia making a place to put them. Where in Hell were you?” He tried to pass on a measure of the blame. Blocking out the Opal threads his brother tossed at his barriers he crouched by the bedside.

”I would have done it. I would have taken care of you both.” He promised the queenling. They would have been safe with him. If he hadn’t been so damned afraid that soon would be too soon. Head cradled in his hand and arms on his knees he traced her figured under the blanket. There was no firm rise of child in her womb. Had it come out then? Would he turn back the blanket and find it tucked against her side? Or had the bastard tossed it out? ”Where did you put the baby?”

He wanted to take them home. To have them close as a reminder of another failure. Another woman that needed him to protect their blessing and found herself suffering alone.

It wasn’t Braden that answered his question though. It was the soft steps of another person. Dour faced and sullen eyed. Not much more than a child. Arms wrapped around a bundle of blankets. Peregrine knew without asking what was inside. Stomach wrenching he dug his knuckles into his eyes. ”Mother Night.” She didn’t offer it to him, the silent bundle. Peregrine thought she was afraid to come close while he blistered the air with miniature lightening. That they had been separated after so long together made him more angry. They should have left them together, mother and child. Wrapping the maid-girl in a shield he stood on trembling limbs. Voice barely a whisper as he flicked a finger in the direction of the blankets. ”Please. I want to see his face.”

He braced himself on the back of the chair Braden had sat in. Sure that it was what he wanted, but also sure it would rip the soul from his body. He had to see.

Bronwyn Derys

    Summer-sky to Purple Dusk
  • Priestess Queen
  • Played By: dergon

    Dena Nehele Terreille
    15 Posts    219 marks
Re: The Storm
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2018, 09:02:29 PM »

Braden snarled. It was a low rattle, drawn in rather than sweeping out. The chair squealed against the floor. Caught by Braden’s thighs as Peregrine pushed him away. ”Nothing? That thing killed her, choice or not.” He slid the chair away so he wouldn’t end up tangled in it. ”Don’t.” He repeated, watching for any hint that she would be touched. He’d already ruined her once. Forcing her to carry a child until it had sucked the very life from her body.

”Taking care of people. And she should have been where I left her.” The air was sour with recriminations. Braden hovered, ready to put himself between his queen and her defiler. She had been safe in Rhett’s house, unhappy but safe! ”You should have just stayed away from her. Don’t they have women in Glacia for you to plant your spear in?” His knee went first, followed by his thigh. Strong legs from climbing mountain trails. Braden couldn’t stand it anymore, and wedged himself between them.

”Where it belonged.” The cradle was Bronwyn’s from when she’d been an infant. Her father had seen it delivered through her mother. He hadn’t been able to stand coming himself. Braden couldn’t blame him. She had been wide and insufferable, their Winnie. All full grand ideas, so sure she was going to Glacia to be a fine lady in a fine house with servants to see to all her needs and no work required of her.

It made him rage. Body tensing to strike before the girl shuffled in, baby held tight in her arms. Why didn’t she cry? She hardly ever cried. ”She.” They corrected together. Braden reached to pull the blanket tighter, even as the girl slipped open the oval shielding her face. She had Bronwyn’s high cheek and pert mouth. But she wasn’t as pale, or as beautiful. More round than wild, the fat thing. Braden loathed her, but let no one take her from the house either. She was the last slip he possessed of his queen.

”You’ll be taking no one but yourself back to Glacia.” Braden informed him cooly, craft covering the baby’s face again. He waved the girl away with a sharp jerk of his head. The baby was his. ”You’ve have enough from Dena Nehele, and we’ll be giving you no more.”

Peregrine Runner

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • Warlord
  • Played By: Jones

    Traveling Kaeleer
    92 Posts    0 marks
Re: The Storm
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2018, 09:48:13 PM »

The ever present push of Kite vying for answers was the single thread that kept Peregrine from burning it all down. Crushing the cottage like his dreams had been crushed. ”No, neglect killed them. I should have risked the Gate and taken them home months ago.” The thought wanted to consume him. All that failure bearing down on his spine until his head felt deflated and his heart ached with bile.

”You shouldn’t have left her!” He growled back. ”I wasn’t the one that left her so hard up for a decent cock she’d have ridden half the territory out of spite.” The useless fucker. Part of Peregrine recognized a mirror of pain in the other man’s eyes. They wanted to shunt the blame around. Anything to lessen the loss. But Peregrine’s suffering wasn’t for Winnie. As much as he liked her, he had not loved her. So he wasn’t afraid to say whatever would cut Braden deepest. ”She wanted me enough to ditch her brews and grow my child. To risk this just to have me. But you, she couldn’t wait to get away from you. That’s why I put her here. So she didn’t have to worry about counting on your worthless ass.”

She had not hated Braden as far as Peregrine knew. But she had never said she cared about him either. Better his pain than Peregrine’s now. Punted aside by the warlord prince’s leg he stood straight again. Nostrils widening as he finally cracked. Let Kite’s persistent threads in but heard none of the questions he asked. *Go back to the ship, and tell Kirsi to shield it.*

He was going to kill him and leave the body for the crows. Then he would take Winnie and their baby home. A realm away from their horrible end. Where. Is. His. Body.” He would not ask twice. Nor would the maid make him. Though she did stab him through the soul again. ”She.” He echoed.

His daughter. Braden reached at them but Peregrine’s shield was already up. He tightened it around them with a snarl of warning. The sound sticking in his throat as the blanket was moved away. And the world flipped gray and sideways again.

When he caught his breath Peregrine was doubled over. He felt kicked in the stomach. And he couldn’t pull his eyes away from the warm pink skin and pert mouth of his daughter. ”Darkness have mercy.” Alive. His body trembled so violently he had to double their shield to protect them from the charge that burned holes in his shirt. Sucking in air through his nose he clutched at his heart. All that feeling exploding into something new. Not pain or hope anymore.

”Hello my love.” He laughed, a strangled sound that was cut short by Braden’s statement. For a moment he ignored it. Shaking his hands so he could step into his own shield without electrocuting anyone. His hands shook, afraid to touch the baby. Just the back of a dimpled hand, just so he could be sure. It wouldn’t have changed anything though, if her blood had not sang to his blood. He loved her too much already to be parted. He was much less timid about touching the maid. Cradling her pugish face he tried to sound reassuring, ”Stand very still please.” He whispered into her ear before turning again.

”And who the fuck is going to stop me, Braden?” Fingers at his own neck he adjusted the chain that held both of his Jewels. Lifting them out of his shirt so that they could glow on his chest. Their dark centers swirled with the fresh rage that crackled around him, filling the room with smoke. Kiris had flown them in. All his power was at hand. And he had never used it all before. Not even in Glacia when he was making the hole. ”Hm? Not you, boyo. Not you.”

He would not lose another. Never. Peregrine channeled that rage too. All his frustration with dead leads and useless webs. All his agony over Rias. He had let it fester all this time, now it had a place to go. Right down Braden’s gullet. Digging into his Sapphire first Peregrine tore the roof free of the house’s wall joints. A few steps closing the space between the men so that they could measure up nose to nose. Or nose to chin, as it were. ”I’m taking them both.”

Bronwyn Derys

    Summer-sky to Purple Dusk
  • Priestess Queen
  • Played By: dergon

    Dena Nehele Terreille
    15 Posts    219 marks
Re: The Storm
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2018, 06:57:06 PM »

Braden’s nostrils flared. The pieces fell together, that Peregrine thought them both dead, mother and child. He said nothing to correct the notion. Let him think they were both gone, then he would leave and hopefully never return. Their territory didn’t need anymore of his sort. Teeth snapping, he cast an ugly smile on the warlord.

”Oh, she had plenty of cocks to ride. I left her where she would have proper care.” With real healers and a real house. Rhett had brains stronger than the urges in his balls. A man who wouldn’t give into her mouth, however she’d used it. ”You stuck her up here alone but for a child companion. And alone was how she died.” Her skirts had been so wet. Sodden until even the threading had swollen, seams fat with water.

”No, out here she had no one to depend on at all!” Arms spread wide as he laughed. As ugly as his smile, there was a hint of hysteria at its edges, and all the hopeless rage of a man lost. ”Did she catch you, warlord? Was the price high enough for you?” Braden couldn’t imagine he was worth it. Her whole life gone in an instant for what? Some shiftless warlord who would never have stayed, and hadn’t even bothered to take her away as he promised.

The maid ruined it all. Bringing the baby forth like a prize for the winner. Braden grimaced, reaching for the child only to be knocked aside by Peregrine’s shields. Stupid, stupid girl. The soft round face, similar yet different from Bronwyn’s, exposed. The air crackled and singed. Cursing, Braden stepped away, the rooming smoking as emotion overcame the warlord.

It would be a fight now that he knew she lived. Braden would not give in, not even before Jewels that settled dread in his stomach. The babe was all he had left of his queen, the queen this warlord had seen gravid and dead without a single thought.

”You’re taking neither.” He was just some shiftless scoundrel. A carpenter, Winnie had said as if Braden had cared what the man did. Not a warrior, but a merchant. Heart pressing against his ribs, he steeled himself. Bronwyn was his queen, and the girl-child her blood. They belonged to Braden, not some Glacian by-blow.

Shuddering as the roof was ripped away, he met Peregrine in the center of the room, jaw set against the difference between their heights and their Jewels. Dagger called in, he wove Summer-sky with Green and set crackling blades through the air, enhancing the edge of his blade as he went. Eventually he would find a break in the shields. A crack or a fold, some sort of weak point to slip through. No man could hold a flawless shield forever, and he knew how to pace his Jewels to last.

The room was flooded with it. Air thick now, and heady. It rolled out the windows and door, up through the missing roof. Down through the charred floorboards until the whole world seemed to groan with it.

Peregrine Runner

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • Warlord
  • Played By: Jones

    Traveling Kaeleer
    92 Posts    0 marks
Re: The Storm
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2018, 11:34:12 PM »

If they had been different men there would have been no need for blows. But they wanted the same thing, and not to share her. One to keep as some morbid connection to the queen he had failed. The other to love in all the ways his own father never had. How something so purely from the heart of Mother Night had so swiftly crafted a monster in Peregrine he would never know.

Beast, Braden had called that perfect little girl. Thing. Oh it made the blood thick in Peregrine’s veins. 

No. This fool would not be allowed near her. Could not, Peregrine determined without much thought, be allowed to live at all. ”I promise Winnie I would take care of them both. No one is going to stop me. Besides, you have nothing to give her, you’re nothing to my daughter.” They were his now. Braden had had his turn. ‘Taking care of other people’ was the excuse for his absence. While Peregrine had no choice, he couldn’t take them through the Dark Gate without knowing how it might affect them. He had done the best he could with what he had. He’d not shoulder this warlord prince’s guilt.

There emotions transcended words. For Peregrine it took the shape of a storm. One to match the tumultuous rage in his chest. It didn't make sense, to be so upset. The other man couldn’t stop him. No one could. The whole Ardelia clan could swarm down on him and a few timely shields would see him marching straight to his ship with the baby in his arms.

But Braden was a warlord Prince. He didn’t balk at the challenge. He tipped his face to Peregrine’s and they stood close enough to kiss. Looking for a place to put their rage. They gave it to the sliver of air between their bodies. Both quivering with a mixture of temper and the charge of electricity in the air. Behind him Peregrine could hear the maid choking back a sob. The smell of her fear mingling with the sudden scent of piss as he peeled the roof off like an old scab.

Then the fight really started. Blades tested every inch of Peregrine’s shields. Strong, sturdy shields. Practice made perfect, and Peregrine did not doubt for a moment that they could have stood there for days without either party wavering. His patience was far too thin for such nonsense, however. He only let the barrage go on a few moments. Long enough for the sky to open up. The witchstorm fueled by his own anger pouring down to soak the floorboards. Peregrine and the maid stood encased in a perfect circle of protection. Pugly child holding the baby hard to her chest as the warlord shifted his power again.

It was good fun, watching the other male swing at shields he couldn’t penetrate. Peregrine had very little offensive training, though. Fighting back was very rarely necessary, and he relied on instinct more than skill. This was not a breeze by raid or evasion of pursuers, however. This was a premeditated attack. And he wasn’t sure how to sharpen his Craft into a weapon at will. So he used what he did know.

He used shields. A great heaping boulder of his Ebon-gray to beat Braden over the head. Beat him low like the worthless dog he was. Until it could slip around his body and smash him down into the ground. No where for all his warlord princely combat craft to go. Except down. Peregrine chased it with his own Craft. Driving in farther than it could have gone on its own. Deep into the heart of the soil. Deeper even than the song of Winnie’s blood. The last fearful tendrils of her conscious thought stained into the earth.

Peregrine could hear her like a voice on the wind. Or was it a thought in his head? Words that might not have been words at all. He paused his assault to listen but only heard the roar of his own rainclouds and the squalling of his daughter.

Bronwyn Derys

    Summer-sky to Purple Dusk
  • Priestess Queen
  • Played By: dergon

    Dena Nehele Terreille
    15 Posts    219 marks
Re: The Storm
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2018, 07:04:46 AM »

They would exchange no more insults, no more barbed accusations. The world turned wicked around them. A single, perfect storm rising up around Winnie’s cottage catching and caught by the two inside. Each seeking to claim her and what was hers. The mother who grew soaked once more, the blanket shielding her body damp and singed. And the baby who squalled against her nurse’s neck.

Still he did not hear her crying. He never did. The severed from his ears. Braden would not hear it, could not or he would go mad with grief. That thing had killed his queen, but he wanted her. Must have her to make up for what he had done wrong the first time. But her cries could not pierce his rage or his hopelessness. Just as his blades could not pierce the shields of her father.

It was enraging. Braden changed tactics. Slivers of Green wrapped Summer-sky to assault Peregrine directly, while his real strength wormed through the floor boards. Down beneath the blanks to the supports. He would tear the floor out from under the warlord and come up from below. He would come up! Even as he was beaten down. Blunt force like a thunderhead forcing him to his knees.

Hands braced against the floor, he did not give up. Yawning pit opening beneath him and he still fought. Darkness. Braden shattered the floor beneath Peregrine. The girl screamed, all her obedience fleeing her body even as she fled the grumbling floor, back into the baby’s room from which she never should have come. The earth rose up to meet him and the sky pressed down to beat him farther into it. Darkness. Braden’ grit his teeth as tried to sever all the tendons that bound Peregrine’s legs.

Craft like lashes. It struck up. Was repelled down. And the whole world seemed to crack. They were fools. Small, pathetic fools. Doom. Doom! The scream echoed through his head and reverberated through his soul until Braden was screaming too.

The walls of the house came apart. Like twigs the beams were blown. A puff of breath that came from no where and everywhere scattering the house outward until they were all exposed. The warlord prince, pulpy and soil soaked, his blood mingling with his queen’s in the soft earth.
The girl, clutching the babe and crouching in what had been a corner. The warlord.

Fools.

Beyond the carnage that had been a house, a Red shield shimmered around a ship and a woman screamed.

Peregrine Runner

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • Warlord
  • Played By: Jones

    Traveling Kaeleer
    92 Posts    0 marks
Re: The Storm
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2018, 01:20:21 PM »

On the surface of his skin Peregrine smarted with small burns. His own brutal emotion stinging through the cotton of his shirt. But that was only a flash of pain. Like the bite of a mosquito, barely noted until later. The real pain started in his ankles. Just the left. Searing up through the muscle in his calf. Hot and Green before he could stomp it back down into the dirt where it belonged.

The pain brought clarity. Weight to put around the shield he lashed at Braden with. Vengeance! That was the nameless emotion clawing at his chest. The thing that wanted out. He poured it into his Jewels. Let it leak deep into the song of Winnie’s fear and sorrow. He needed some way, someone to exact revenge on. And there was the bastard calling his daughter a beast. Pretending he could deny her to him.

Their mingling violence split down to the core of something unearthly. Through the weave of the realms. Green pressed by Ebon-Gray until it was darker than Darkness. And then the ground moved. Shifted like a restless sleeper. Peregrine tipped backwards as what was inside came out. The ground did not break, but something burst free of it. A flash of Red in front of his eyes and an inhuman roaring. Living thunder that cut through the clouds overhead. Around them the walls and floor erupted around him. As he was shoved through the air by the unseen terror he swept the maid and baby into his shields.

He wrapped them close with Craft and spun what was left of his Ebon-gray into a shield. Over them a tree turned to fire, then charcoal and fell in a black husk over his shields. ”Shit, shit, shit,” Peregrine panicked as the monster arched through the sky to come back around. ”what in the name of Mother Night is that thing?”

Legend and myth alive. Fire shooting from her mouth as she sang the song of pain and rage and loss the house had been filled with. Biting passed the agony of his torn left leg Peregrine stood. It didn’t bleed. Whatever Braden had done was done on the inside. And that meant he had time to do whta he did best.

”Run.” He told the maid girl. Shifting his shields from protective to sigh blocking. If the dragon couldn’t see them then they might make it to the ship. ”You run to the pond and you don’t stop til you’re on my boat.” Braden, that ignorant fool. This was all his fault.

Peigin

    Tiger Eye to Purple Dusk
  • witch
  • Played By: dergon

    Glacia Kaeleer
    1 Posts    60 marks
Re: The Storm
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2018, 02:25:48 PM »

Peig had been drawn by the sound of voices. Mostly used to Braden’s silent sulking, the deep rumble of male voices drew her out of Birdy’s room and into what had once been the parlor. Now it was Winnie’s mausoleum. It had been days and he still wouldn’t let her body be interred properly, or even burned. Anything but this constant vigil. Peig stayed away, afraid Birdy would catch something from the corpse.

Or that he would finally snap and kill all of them. With a new voice filling the empty air, Peig decided the risk worth it. Surely he wouldn’t murder her and the baby with a witness. And maybe some sense would he talked into him at last, freeing them from his grief. She was wrong, but Peig was so often wrong that it no longer surprised her when things went sideways. Its just what they did.

The guest was a big man, the stink of warlord and grief on him too. Another of Winnie’s men, Peig assumed, squinting at him. He was blathering on about some he she did not know of. Everyone who belonged in the house was present. This new man and Braden were the only interlopers she knew of, and at least Braden was familiar.

He looked at her funny, when she came in. Not really looking at Peig so much as her charge. Pale brows wrinkling, she looked too, afraid maybe she’d wrapped her wrong. Or had he not known the babe had been born? She was only a mite early, not that a body could tell by the weight of her. Smacking her lips, Peig looked back at him. He and Braden were fighting over them. Each trying touch. Stepping back, she corrected the warlord’s confusion, and slipped the blanket low around Birdy’s face.

”She.”

Things only went to hell from there. In fact, Peigin was sure Braden went straight down into the shadow realm, beaten into the ground by the warlord. The pieces were slow to come together. Like doing a puzzle with the picture facing the table. The floor fell apart at her toes and Peig couldn’t be bothered to try and sort it. Or obey the command she’d been given. She’d been still, and now the air was hot and poignant. Too full to breathe and the room too shaky to stand in, so she ran.

Ran and hid in a corner, knees tucked up and arms wrapped around them. She and Birdy shared breathed while they waited for the men to work out their differences. Something else did for them. Peig couldn’t see how it happened, too afraid to open her eyes or dare to peek. There was more air, suddenly. No wall at her back or side, just open air. Not just the roof this time, but the whole house pulled apart.

Jerking upright, Peig held Birdy so tight the baby wailed. Her hair tore free of its braid and whipped in the wind of its passing. It. She wouldn’t look to see just what it was, Peig couldn’t bear to. She and the warlord looked at each through the wall that was no longer there. The expression on his face made her feel no better. Not when she paired the Darkness of his Jewel to the fear on his face.

Run. Run he said, and Peig did. Cradling Birdy close, she dragged her shawl around them both and fled. Ash filled the air from a smoldering tree. The ground seemed to be breathing under her feet as she ran blisters into her soles. Overhead the sky was streaked with fire and a roar so loud Peig couldn’t even hear her own labored breathing. She ran, stumbling, down the pond just like she had been told, only Birdy’s weight in her arms keeping her from giving over to a more primal fear and a swifter form.

She was coughing when she reached the shore. Braking against a shield, Peig fell backward on to her backside, making Birdy wail. The ship came into focus above her, and yelling could be heard on board. They couldn’t see her though, Peig could tell when they looked right past her over the railing. She knew the way an eye looked when tricked by a sight shield.

”Here!” She shouted. ”Here beneath his shield. I have the baby, please let me on!” Because it was Birdy they’d been fighting over. Someone had finally come to claim her, the poor thing.

Kite

    Summer-sky to Opal
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Jones

    The Older Younger Brother
    Traveling Kaeleer
    7 Posts    0 marks
Re: The Storm
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2018, 08:45:18 PM »

The women stood away from the railing while Kite leaned hard over the side. Body poised for action though he was still as a statue. Alert, eyes turned towards the cottage he tried to follow his brother into. They made space, as if he were really Eyrien, with wings to unfurl and let them hide behind. Their names were familiar, either through the blessing of siblinghood or time together since their introductions, but forgotten in the moment. They were just the women. And Kite the man. Not usually the sort to behave so basely. Or call them women and tuck them behind his back. He had been slapped and trained into respectfulness by a sassy baby sister and tender egoed mother.

But today there was queen’s blood singng in the land. More than Kite had ever seen, and they had watched a blood letting in Shalador once. Queens, in Dena Nehele, were very rare. It was the blood of several, or every drop from one. Kite thought he knew which. A wave of nauseating pain and anger flooded the area before his brother had warned him away.

Something terrible had happened. And if Peregrine was worried he couldn’t contain himself, then they were all in danger. So he waited, watching the ground and tracing the air with Opal probes. Around them Kirsi settled a heavy Red shield. Stronger than anything Kite could muster but his skill lied in a handiness with an Eyrien blade. Any blade really. Wood made into things useful and beautiful. He had never changed a person with one, but he was not afraid to draw blood.

Not when his sister was there to protect. Or the mother of a nephew he had never seen. He could not shield them from Peregrine, or Peregrine’s enemy. But he could be swift on his strikees and make time for them to flee.

”What is that?” The air left his lungs in a sharp exhale. They quivered as if he would never take another. Eyes growing wide and heavy as something shot into the air. Ground trembling with the sound it made. Sunlight striking scales that were the deepest red he had ever seen, but translucent at the same time. ”Hell’s Fire.”

Dragon. Soul shivering behind his barriers Kite stooped into a fighting stance. ”Go below deck!” He yelled at them. Head turned so that he didn’t see the splattering of water made by invisible steps. They were slow to listen. Too busy filling the sky with their shrieking. Kite rounded on them, voice heavy and low. ”NO! It will hear you. Stop that noise.”

But the yelling didn’t stop. It just came from somewhere else. Kite leaned over the rail again to hear. A sweep of his probes found Ebon-gray shields. Tensing he threw himself over the side. Ankle deep in the water as he rushed to the voice he could not see. ”Come.” He felt blindly where his probes led. Now he could easily pick out the crying of an infant. Sound sharp and unfamiliar. ”Come here, I’ll help you up, try to shush her please.”

He offered his knee and hands to get her onto the deck. There hadn’t been any reason to lower the gangplank. When Peregrine came and went he didn’t use it. They were ready to leave, just as his brother had instructed. Kirsi’s shields holding steady even as the nightmare razed a path of fire so close by the heat radiated against Kite’s bare back. He did not rejoin them on the boat. Probes ahead he scrambled towards the lane leading to the house. Why hadn’t Peregrine been with the girl and child?

”Perry?! Per where are you?!” Voice going raw with the effort he cut a triangle of probes in front of him. Relief a living thing in his chest when the lanky asshole appeared ahead of him, leaning against a tree. ”Give me a hand, brother.” Kite rushed to oblige. Shrugging Peregrine’s arm over his shoulders. Not wide, but surprisingly strong.

And they jogged that way. Roars breaking out overhead. A path of charred foliage to cross. Flames from nowhere. ”What the fuck happened? What have you done you great heaping idiot!”

Peregrine didn’t answer. Face set in stone and pale. Shock, Kite told himself. It was shock. There was no blood to accompany his limp. They would help him on the boat. The women. Dragging him up with his Opal Kite dropped his brother against the mainsail. ”Kirsi?! I need you. We need to get this thing out of here now!”

Kirsi

    Blood Opal to Red
  • Black Widow Healer
  • Played By: dergon

    Glacia Kaeleer
    64 Posts    53 marks
Re: The Storm
« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 08:15:14 AM »

Kirsi hated the ship. The heights, in particular, terrorized her. Calming draughts helped her keep her wits about her, but if Rias hadn’t needed her to know how to fly a sky ship, she never would have set foot on another. Suspended by craft, and exposed by close proximity. There was no privacy on the ship. Nothing buy eyes and free air.

She hated it, but at that moment she would have left it for nothing but her son. It was her scream that rounded Kite on them. Cut short by her own hand as she slapped it over her mouth. The other she cupped over Starling’s, silencing the girl and dragging her, struggling, below decks. They did not like each other, but Kirsi would not leave her above to die, and Starling could not accept Kirsi’s protection without protest.

Below they waited. Kirsi crouched at the bottom of the stair, watching the fire streaked sky above. Her shield vibrated with heat and pressure as the land around the pond was set ablaze. Starling stood behind her, pressed to the wall as if she could hear what happened outside through the planks. The savage cry that filled the sky needed no such effort to be heard. Kirsi could still see it. Deeper and more blazing than her Jewel, it had filled the horizon with red brightness, rising from the earth without shedding a single grain of soil.

Kirsi thought she heard a baby crying. It made the hair on her arms stand up, and her breasts feel heavy. But her womb was an empty place, and her child was not here. A low voice whispered above, and Kirsi began creeping up the stairs, heedless of Starling clawing at her shirt. Her shield rippled. Kite had gone out and come back in, now he went again and the crying was louder. At the top of the stair, Kirsi flattened herself and looked, but the deck was empty.

The sky was not. She looked on in terror as the beast swept up the hillside, setting the flattened house on fire as she went.

Kite was calling her. The man who was a boy who thought he was a man. Kirsi found him strange company, if restive. He did not fret or fuss, or speak to her much at all. The dynamic between the siblings something she could not understand, but studied anyway. Her son would know these people. They were his kin. ”Coming!” Starling came behind her, not to be outdone even if she was not summoned.

Gathering her strength, Kirsi gripped the wheel and cradled the ship as Peregrine had taught her. Focusing on the movement rather than the chaos on deck. She heaved the ship out of the water and swept into the sky, away from the dragon. ”Mother Night.” A dragon. Weaving sight shields around the ship, Kirsi set a course, sensing a circle of power in the opposite direction as the beast.

Starling’s voice puller her from singular thought. Kirsi broadened her focus and looked around the deck. The siblings ringed their brother, and Starling was talking on about Peregrine’s leg, as if she were walking her brother’s through the healing. A funny pair of apprentices. Dipping into her Opal, Kirsi looked at Peregrine’s leg and frowned.

”You’re doing it wrong.” She informed the girl, setting off an argument that lasted until they reached a stream of people moving the same way they were going. Away from the dragon and toward a Gate. Strained, Kirsi held tight to the wheel. The invisible crying had begun again, only now she could see the stringy haired girl clutching a round faced infant. Peregrine had certainly not picked a very beautiful queen to lay a child in.

”Do we take the ship or abandon it?” She asked, looking away from the child to the sea of people moving toward the Gate. ”Not like that, Starling. You’ll have the tendon so tight his knee will never straighten.”

 

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