The Tempest - Revisiting an old 'friendship'

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The Tempest - Revisiting an old 'friendship'

Post by Ghanima on Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:36 am


The Empress had quite a wide smile on her face. They were having a celebration even if it was a subdued one; an event important enough that it merited being held in the ancient Maur city, in the capital and in the alabaster sprawl of a palace which had since become the prized symbol of the empire’s power in the heart of the lush and green provincial capital. The Orda Oriatte-Adur were having a once yearly occasion not unlike a graduation where select few chosen Acolytes were officially advanced to the rank of Sibyl. It was a huge ordeal and quite an honor to go from the lower levels of ubiquitous practitioners in the empire of which there were hundreds to a member of the Orda itself in an official capacity.

The white alcazar itself was technically a city itself; the additions which had taken centuries to build two thousand years prior had expanded almost exponentially until it housed entire royal families post continental unification, yet another major temple for The Orda, council members and even a small part of the specialized militia. It was the gem of the empire and a symbol of House Maur’s prosperity. Currently, the gathering was in an enclosed green space near the temple and close to the center of the city-alcazar.

Each Pythoness including Ghanima herself was in attendance along with the Abbess herself. All of them wore traditional white linen and a satin material that only left their right arm bare; their hair unadorned and plain and if long restrained in a single thick braid. Every Pythoness wore two crimson dots impressed under their eyes. The Auspex— those ranked under the nine legendarily powerful Pythoness were present as well whilst robed in slate with the same shade drawn over the bridge of the nose. Currently one of them was dipping their fingers in white paint to draw down the nose of none other than Herzog and six others who had made the cut. How fortuitous that Herzog would be present on such an occasion considering what would soon come?

Above, the sky was heavy with clouds and threatened rain that would likely never come as it was a monsoon season in this part of the continent— but the Orda were purposefully keeping the storms at bay per their influence over the Alcazar. White columns were all that closed off the ceremony from the rest of the small royal city and the children of council members and other royals could be seen spying on the gathering; giggling while smearing dirt or berry juice on their faces to mimic the facial markings of Orda ranks. Often, they smeared their expensive, hand tailored clothing with it. Occasionally, one of the royal sorceresses would glance back at the children and send them squealing to a different column.

The only male figure present at the ceremony was the Emperor himself— not currently in full power by any means but still coronated as the ruler while his mother was Empress Reagent and effectively still did the moving and shaking until he was of age. It was rare to include a boy-child in Orda affairs but the Empress had seen to it that he would be fully tutored considering what he was— and that was a well guarded secret between his mother and the Abbess. Adama managed not to look awkward in his white tunic, the white bar over his nose topped by the dot on his forehead and chin; eyes identical to his mother’s in a strange hazel blend of burnt sienna and cerulean scanning the crowd. He wore short, full bodied white hair with the occasional angry streak of crimson and he was silent as he stood near the Abbess.

Ghanima herself was standing near the Auspex who adorned the Sibyl’s all in red. Herzog looked as if she could barely contain herself. It was a day that the Empress Reagent hoped might inspire a sort of imperial pride in the girl— one that might influence her to stop gallivanting around with that Primoris in “secret” and perhaps marry one of her own country nobleman? A sigh from the diminute woman as she readjusted her smile. Why, pray tell, did she seek to find a companion amongst the rivalry? What purpose did it serve?

The small, simple ceremony was very suddenly completed with an exclamation in the ancient Dekda language to which the culture and structure of the Orda owed its origins. Music exploded from the fringes of the green salon and all the barefoot Orda practitioners began to dance and carry on; celebrating without rank mattering in their kisses upon each others noses, gift exchanges and promises of tutelage and good will. Ghanima herself enjoyed the event as it was one of the rare symbolic happenings of importance where she was present not as the crowned head of an empire but as one more important member of an exotic hierarchy. Here, she was equal with every other Pythoness and only outranked by the Abbess. It was….relieving.

Soon, she found herself standing at her son’s side. He was physically in between a boy and a man and already more than a few inches above her meager height.

’To think already you yourself might be an Auspex...does that encourage you?’ she’d say; turning to her child. The Abbess; a pale woman with monolids and close cropped copper hair had also turned to him. Someone had been “put on the spot” so to speak. In an odd way they were both mothers to him— one true and the other symbolic. They expected to be made proud.

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Re: The Tempest - Revisiting an old 'friendship'

Post by Caden on Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:02 am

The time had come, it seemed the Emperor had finally decided to move. Caden held both dread and excitement at the prospect of more to do then sit and wait while their potential adversaries gathered themselves. He only hoped he could manage to convince the Empress and avoid a terrible bloodbath. But those in position of power often let pride be their downfall.

Celesin offered no warning, no hailing of their coming. They did not ask for an audience but merely showed up and took one. Despite Caden's odds with some of the Emperor's tactics. This was one he agreed with. Impromptu arrivals within the confines of the very places they thought safe were a mild show of power. Often setting their hosts on their heels.

From the observatory in Lu'rae it wasn't at all difficult to focus on and find the center of population or the whereabouts of those in power. And so it was just inside the lush field surrounded by pillars they would arrive. Caden ensured there was no one moving through or around the intended location of the Gateway as the air suddenly thickened. Seeming at first like a wave of visible heat before distorting as if air became liquid. Magi touching the point in space from beyond the veil of reality, joining the two points and imposing a pathway. The energy from the opening and manipulation of space was released into the endless beyond between the cusp of existence.

The liquid air slowly swirled and then parted like a stage curtain as Caden's green glowing eyes manipulated his Core Magi through the observatory's Magi Crystal. What was once open air now revealing the pristine white of the room. Caden's form filling the center. Polished black boots shining in stark contrast to the snow white cloak that draped his shoulders and the marble floors upon which he stood. Black pants and the military cut coat framed the Primoris' well defined and cut build. He had put on a considerable amount of mass since his days first returning home. Looking now more then ever like a true member of the Celesin elite.

The bulk of muscle only added to what was already his alarmingly too pretty appearance. Often referred to as the playboy prince, often found with a only the most attractive of women hanging wantonly off his arm. But now he was a kept man, now he was all business. Stepping through the Gateway, the Primoris was flanked by two large heavily armored bodies. It must have been a prerequisite for the Alis Dominus but Caden had not seen a single one of the 30 that stood under 6'4 with shoulders wide enough to fill a door. Even the women were amazonian. Perhaps it was part of the process when they were enhanced with the Emperor's own essence.

Armor of palladium and black, finely curved plates layered over each other. Eerily similar to Crusading Knights of old. Faceless behind fully enclosed helmets with eyes that burned like white fire. The heavy Templar style shields, spiked maces at their belt and finally the twin bladed Solid Spears offered quite the intimidating sight. The pair of Dominus moved exactly a pace behind the Prince as his white cloak flowed out behind him.

Finally the Dominus were followed by two pairs of Alis Fulminis. Their smaller stature, lithe frames and form fitting armor of unrelieved black certainly seemed diluted compared to the presence of the Dominus. But their stride held confidence and pride, they were escorting their Primoris after all. The Winged lightning bolt on their shoulder was the same as that embroidered into the Primoris' coat.

Once the seven had cleared the Gateway it snapped shut without a sound as Caden made his way towards the Empress. His eyes returning to their natural blue green as he released the heavier flows of Magi. Yet they still held a subtle glow, he certainly wasn't going to release his hold on his Core in potentially soon to be enemy territory.

He doubted anyone would attempt to block their path, the purposeful stride and his retinue bode terrible omens for any who did. Stopping only once he was several feet from the Empress, his gaze taking in the young boy, as well as the additional woman before settling on the short stature of Ghanima herself. This close the well kept stubble of Caden's jaw could easily be seen, adding just a touch of ruggedness to his features as his lips parted in a warm grin. "Empress, you are as resplendent as ever. I bid you forgive our uninvited arrival but there are pressing matters which I am afraid could not be delayed." His tone smooth, almost soothing and the last of his words was followed by a small bow of his head. Proper respect for her position.

At least so far as he was allowed to give. Ghanima was an Empress, certainly. But her reign and border of lands was less, significantly less then what even a governor within Celesin held. They were in the business of owning stars after all. Even had she more, the Primoris were the hands of the Emperor, and Celesin bent knee to none. For now he remained silent, no doubt all eyes suddenly on them. It would be... interesting to see how she might respond, Caden was well aware the Empress held no love for Celesin, his father certainly hadn't given the woman the greatest of impressions.
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Re: The Tempest - Revisiting an old 'friendship'

Post by Adama on Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:22 pm

Mixed feelings performed innumerable thoughts and ideas in the head of the Emperor—a title he’d been reminded he held, but never forgot was not much more than symbolic till he was of age.  Of Age.  The concept was all at once strange, frustrating, and relieving.  Not yet old enough to hold official power, Adama stood on the sidelines of the ceremony, observing and studying the mores of his culture in anticipation of one day having some influence over their proceedings.  The promise of a future he needed to be prepared for was not how he typically enjoyed spending his time.  He was growing and quickly maturing, but remained ever young enough to much prefer the company of any one of his pets, toys, and leisurely past times.  Ceremony, where he was expected to behave stately and regal, was a formula for boredom.  It took the symbolic Emperor all of his will-power not to lift a hand and cover his mouth to yawn; not to let eyelids hang lethargically over his heterochromatic eyes.  He’d give anything for a nap.

And it was a shame that he couldn’t pull anymore amusement from the festivities as Siblys were marked, and the Auspices welcomed the newly risen into the fold of the Orda.  Truly, some part of him was happy for these individuals; their hard work and growth paid handsomely, and the excitement was palpable in the air.  And still Adama stood by the Abbess, who in her austerity came off as some undeceivable statue rather than some powerful matron, and toed the line between being physically present and mentally checked out.  More often than not, his eyes fixed on a single point—a distant pillar in some cases—where he could appear to be watching intently, but was otherwise daydreaming.  Dreaming of what?  In some moments, dreaming of the day when he would truly be Emperor—when his mother finally sat down to rest, and he reigned over his people with a hand in as many pots as he could.  Then he wouldn’t be bored.

But then again, there was something freeing about not yet being in charge.  On any given day, his most pressing concern were his lessons.  So long as he was still a student, the pressure on him wasn’t yet at its apex, and he could afford to drift in and out of consciousness on his feet.  

See?  Mixed feelings.

Luckily for Adama and the empire, he wasn’t a stupid child.  As his mother casually strode to take his side opposite the Abbess, his sunburst eyes shifted in their sockets to rest on her before returning to the ceremony, just in time to catch a trio of newly ascended Sibyls leap into the air in celebratory glee.  The music and the sudden burst of excitement served to rouse Adama, giving him some energy to soak in.  It was greatly appreciated, especially as his boredom befuddled mind snapped back to attention—the only outward sign that he’d been caught off guard manifesting in a deep inhale of air.  He turned to his mother, and felt the eyes of the Abbess on the back of his head as his lips parted to deliver what was meant to be a well and rapidly constructed response.  “Your confidence in my abilities encourages me.”  He smiled then, studying his mother’s face before turning to the Abbess to study hers, hopeful that he might find some approval in one of their miens.  Whether he found it or not would decide if and how he attempted to change the focus of the conversation.  

While not immediately recognized as altogether unpleasant and unfortunate, Adama turned his eyes towards a spatial disturbance in the epicenter of their festivities.  At first, he only cocked a pallid eyebrow in response to the bizarre manifestation, for a moment debating the likelihood that the ceremony included something in addition to the adorning of paints and dancing.  Was there to be some additional demonstration?  His internal inquiries were quickly answered as the figures who stole into their vicinity were studied, and the whole of the existence clashed with the environment they invaded.  From confusion to a warranted mix of anxiety and anger, Adama’s brows dipped low on his forehead, mouth help agape as he struggled with voicing his disapproval or allowing his mother, the Empress Regent, to do as her job entailed.  

Boldly, he stepped forward, overcome with a reflexive desire to keep his mother out of harm’s way (even if the woman was leagues better equipped to protect herself than Adama was).  In moving, the gold, plated crescent around his narrow neck swung against his sternum; rubies suspended from gold chains swayed at his ears; and the gold bangles around his thin wrists made metallic clinks at his sides.  The latter were the only sounds to escape his person as he dutifully held his tongue.  Uncouth, ill-timed, poorly executed, and altogether infuriating, the brazen entrance of the figure and his retinue unnerved Adama, and placed him on the defensive, and leveled a certain importance that he was once again reminded he didn’t have the power to rightfully address.  This didn’t stop him from boring at the new figure as if he did.
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Re: The Tempest - Revisiting an old 'friendship'

Post by Sergei-Deker on Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:40 am

Sergei always tended to invite himself to the different gatherings in the Black Sun.  Personally he felt that most of the people not the empress would rather have the big man sheltered with Sol and testing weapons.  Useful when they needed the foreigners but when they were not needed?  Push them away.  However the big man took his job rather seriously, the protection of her infernal majesty, and the boy emperor.  Anyone who questioned his loyalty would of been lucky to walk away with a scolding, usually Sergei just broke arms if people questioned his loyalty.  However much as he may of liked to stand next to Ghanima or her son, he still knew he was an outsider and had found a place to quietly observe.

While Sergei certainly had grown accustomed to the Black Suns fashion, loose fitting clothes that had to be custom tailored to fit his form.  Preferring the darker colors for the majority of his frame, it was slimming or so people said, and a bright blue sash around his hips.  Short cut aged white hair atop his head with no hint of facial hair on his pock marked face full of scars.  The Exercion was quite content to stay to the sidelines, while letting his gaze wander between Ghanima and Adama.  The emperor to be was an interesting child, though he seemed a tad bored with his lot in life.  Sergei had only interacted with him in a few official capacities mainly being Introduced and the like.

He was currently pondering his latest battle.  A loss of all things in the games, but it had been against someone who was basically his exact opposite.  He was trying to think up a new strategy to win if he challenged her again.  While pondering this a new scent or gathering of them, came into being.  While the gate formed Sergei stood at attention and moved towards the Empress with purpose.  He was unarmed, but already was preparing himself to kill if neccesary.  Spore tech armor begining to rapidly form over his clothing with a simple thought as his steps went from heavy to clanking and metallic.  By time he was there to intercept the Prinoris and his entourage he was readying the summoning of his personal hungers weapon.  However there was something in the tone which kept him from going on the immediate defensive.  This may not be an assassination attempt, more like a political meeting.

"I know you all like making an entrance,   might I suggest a bit more warning and formality next time.  It tends to not set the guards on edge. "  He ended his sentence with a loud and deep chuckle, the man's voice carried naturally and it was hard for him to keep the deep bass of his voice from sounding larger than life.  He looked past the Primoris and his entourage to any of the guards approaching with bad intent.  If they were moving towards them all he would raise his hand to halt them.  He would handle the personal defense of the royals.  His eyes took more in and as he saw the fulminis symbol, he grinned wide and happily.  He stuck out a meaty gauntlet covered hand to Caden.  "Is the tiny read head one of your soldiers sir?  If so I would like to congratulate you on having an excellent subordinate.  It is rare for this old war dog to have such fun fight. "  If Caden took the hand, he would give a good hard squeeze shake the man's hand before removing his hand.  He moved over to the side and looked down to Adama, hoping to gain the young emperors attention.  He nodded his head to the opposite direction he had taken on Ghanimas side, basically implying he should probably move aside.

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Re: The Tempest - Revisiting an old 'friendship'

Post by Ghanima on Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:51 am

Ghanima couldnt help but give her son a dazzling, true smile. Unlike with most in her usual closed off, prim and imperial demeanor it was true to form and reached her eyes. She’d reach out to him; tucking his bountiful curls behind and ear before lowering her arm and cradling a glass of deep red and heavily spiced broiled wine-based liquor. She, too, had been watching the Sibyl’s jump and squeal with pride and excitement. This was their day and she was more than happy for the women who had graduated finally and truly into the Orda. As for the Abbess...well, she wasn’t a very expressive woman and only turned to the child and gave him a single curt nod— the very height of her expression of approval.

The glass was brought up to the Empress Reagent’s face as she took a long, slow sip. How ironic that she was reflecting on the simple beauty of such an occasion; watching Herzog twirl about in her crimson robes while smiling about the new marks on her nose and below the bottom lip. She’d never seen the girl exhibiting such joy and it made her swell with pride. Herzog was a Maur, after all and Ghanima had personally seen to it that her talents were well sponsored, nurtured and encouraged.

Naturally, something had to ruin it. Ghanima moved her gaze from the dancing and carrying on to a shimmer in an empty part of the green space as if a fire no one could see roared beneath it. Puzzled; she observed it part and open much like watching someone emerge from the mirror pools— but there were no mirrors here in the salon. And then they stepped out in familiar livery; the crest of a lion’s head in white upon the breast of a man she hadn’t seen before but his white cape brought her thoughts back to Fenris.

Meaning of course that she was to meet a second Primoris. This one she did not recognize and only knew so much about the other three. Two were, according to her sources, children of the Emperor Mesiphidon himself. This particular figure did not boast the stark white hair of the man in question or the lone female member of the entourage, however. What Ghanima did not recognize was the lightening-and-wing symbol. Was it symmetrical to the wolf worn by Fenris? It confirmed her assumptions and her breath caught in her throat. Just as she meant to reach for her son he stepped forward as if meaning to confront the intruding entourage.

’Adama, no!’ she’d call out, unable to stop herself; reaching for him but not soon enough that he’d be caught by her small grasp. The glass of strong spirits had tumbled to the grass but had not shattered, thankfully. Several Auspices and Sibyls escaped a sudden, frightened formation and would attempt to flank the Emperor— not because he was the crowned head alone, but, because he was another Orda and they were protective of each other in near fanatical ways. They were all unarmed young women with slate blue paint on the bridge of their noses and they looked terrified— but still invested in seeing that he was kept from harm or at least supported in his rash decision to block the paths of the powerful foreigners.

Herzog had at some point rushed to the Empress’ side and taken her hand in a brutally tight, trembling grip. Conflict was easily read over her pretty, russet features— no one knew her secret liasons with another Primoris save for Ghanima and the Abbess and now another of them was here in a deliberately hostile display. It was almost insulting...only a few militants and a Primoris; gate crashing a sacred event well within the confines of the Alcazar.

Only the Abbess seemed unmoved; her cool, narrow gaze focused solely on the back of Adama’s head with unwavering focus. It was only broken by Sergei’s enormous frame cutting across it and in front of the Emperor, the Auspices and into the thick of it. A brief expression of mild irritation for Sergei bringing up, of all things his fight in that damnable international bloody pit everyone had been abuzz about for weeks now— but she understood immediately he was trying to break the tension and level the ruined mood back to some form of civility. It was all very appreciated and she felt shame for the flash of anger and assumptions he had been blathering on as a result of a one-track mind. It was all anxiety in the end, after all. A deep, shuddering breath and a squeezing of Herzog’s hand brought the newly minted Sibyl along with her and around the bodies of all others. A gesture regretfully sent the Auspices away; their pale to deep brown faces looking over their shoulders at the young emperor as they went to stand against the far wall of columns.

’ Hail and….well met. What matter cannot be delayed, Primoris, that you would so offensively dash the joys of a symbolic and peaceful occasion? Not to mention an unannounced intrusion into Maur Secundus. Have the Celesin multiplied in their hostility and lack of couth?’ There was a controlled edge of rage to her tone even if she was speaking as calmly and regally as ever— but the fine tremble would only be obvious to Herzog; the taller femme and Orda at her side with darker skin and copper colored coils.


'I would have gladly fielded an announced and agreed upon audience even on short notice.'
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Re: The Tempest - Revisiting an old 'friendship'

Post by Caden on Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:26 am

The Primoris internally sighed as they made their arrival. Yet his outwards appearance and expression had altered a bit. Caden had been working on the apathetic mask that his father donned like a second skin. So few knew there was actually something beneath it. The Black Sun natives responded almost exactly as Caden had expected they would. But then that was the Emperor’s intention, shock and awe. The impromptu arrival had its place he had to admit begrudgingly. The negations he had come to perform must be done so from a position of power, but then did Celesin really need such a display. Only a fool doubted that, but then the pride of rulers was a terrible thing.

Caden’s attention shifted to Adama as he suddenly strode forwards, soon to be flanked by a series of women who even armed would have been little more than fodder. He was not a monster, the Primoris was not about to run the women and children through but instead slowed his pace, his entourage matching the switch inside a step even if they suddenly gave off the impression of coiled springs. Caden knew the rash and disastrous decisions young children made. It was part of what made them children, he only hoped the boy grew out of them in time.

It wasn’t until Sergei can stomping through the greenery his form suddenly wrapping in armor that even the Alis Dominus took position. Their Solis Spears lowering as they stepped to Caden’s shoulders and easily dwarfed the Primoris in size. The large shields they bore being raised defensively. The Fulminis were not a moment behind, their Force Carbines already in grip. Caden wanted to shake his head but instead his hand rose slightly causing his cloak to open briefly. The lone gesture causing the men to stand down but their guard was up. An almost palpable tension between them.

Sergei it seemed would be the first to speak, first scolding. Or perhaps warning, them of their methods. And then of all things bringing up his Lieutenant, he guessed from a combat in those blood sports the planet held and it seemed every member of Celesin was decreed to enter. A truly apologetic smile warmed Caden’s face as he came to a stop a bit earlier than intended. But everyone was there. ”My humblest of apologizes Empress for our arrival, I generally prefer a far more civil approach. Especially regarding the affairs I have come to discuss.” His words smooth and confident, seemingly unaffected by the razor edge in the Empress. ”However my father has other methods of approach. It seems this one is to remind you that we can be anywhere, anytime.” Despite the grin and warm words, there was definitely an undertone of cold hard iron.

His head dipped in apology as he finally turned his attention to Sergei, taking the extended hand, perhaps proving Caden was indeed capable of civility despite the general reputation that preceded those of the Imperium. Caden’s grip unlike Sergei’s would not be crushing, but no doubt the firmness and confidence that went with one who knew his way around the battlefield. Caden was a far cry more than just a pretty diplomat. ”Ah yes the Lieutenant, she is one of mine. Refuses her promotion though, a handful that one, but you have my thanks for your kind words. ” Withdrawing his hand from Sergei’s grip.

Caden paused a moment, deciding against suggesting they return to the seats they had held. He would be making enough demands today, no needs to put their back up even more. Finally with a small sigh that might accompany one of her own reporting bad news Caden began. ”It is my duty Empress Ghanima Utraxa-Din Maur to inform you, as well as those of your council and perhaps the Emperor-to-be that the Celesin Imperium has turned its attentions Eastward on Sanctum.” Caden let his words linger for a moment, allowing them time to absorb the impact that Ghanima no doubt knew the meaning of.

”By decree of our Lord Emperor Mesiphidon Fir’an Dra’sen and Lady Empress King Esarhaddon Dra’sen. I am to offer you peaceful assimilation into the Celesin Imperium in their expansion into Sanctum. As you have no doubt been made aware we have taken hold across the Ocean and our Emperor intends to add Sanctum and its surrounding galaxy under the Celesin mantle. Offering not only our considerable protection, but wealth and resources to the betterment of your own people. It is the terms of your joning I have come to discuss if we may.”

It was now Caden expected either stunned silence or fury. Perhaps both, no ruler ever took this news well. He only hoped no one acted rashly, he would really rather not this turn into a bloodbath. Hands folding over the other now the Primoris waited only for what came next.
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Re: The Tempest - Revisiting an old 'friendship'

Post by Adama on Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:16 pm

If Adama could spit fire, he’d surely cremate the intruder and his ilk with wherewithal and restraint of a volcano. His step forward was reflexive, with the singular goal of acting as the first barrier between himself and his mother—his queen. If there was any doubt that the would-be-emperor would place himself in harm’s way for blood and for country, then there was doubt that he’d ever understood what it meant to be a servant to his people. In some respects, he didn’t. His own importance, while told in lessons—delivered like facts—had never prepared him for the reality of anyone close to him, let alone himself, coming face to face with a threat. Still, even if he had heard it, it was doubtful there was any lesson that would have stopped him from doing exactly as he’d already done, and risen to defend his mother.

This truth manifested in the tension in his shoulders; the involuntary clenching of his jaws; and the tight fists his hands made at his sides as he stalled from Ghanima’s call. Equal amounts of confusion, anger, and concern twisted his russet features, even as he turned to catch his mother’s gaze. What was she thinking? Adama wasn’t the only one concerned; his sisters flocked to his side ready to protect him, and Adama recoiled from the act. Where he wanted to question their decision making, he could only acknowledge their devotion to the Orda, which he hadn’t considered when he stepped forward. He hadn’t considered much at all between the moment the Celesinian traipsed into his home and he moved to meet him. Whatever had gone through his mind and body lost traction then, and Adama stood frozen, eyes returning to the intruder only to find the wall of flesh that was Sergei barring his path.

Their devotion to his safety, inspiring as it was, frustrated him. Who was this man and why would they not allow him to bear witness to what was, without question, an offense against his people? What’s more, why weren’t they pinning him down and cutting out his tongue?
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Re: The Tempest - Revisiting an old 'friendship'

Post by Ghanima on Fri Jul 08, 2016 6:49 pm




Within moments, Adama would find a hand easing over his right shoulder. A gesture meant possibly as reassurance, or perhaps to be sure he intended to stay his hand. The hand belonged to his mother of course and the truth was she wanted to anchor herself back into the moment, assure her son was safe and let him understand she was here— while appreciating that he had not stepped into the lion’s maw and met his end after a rash attack.

Ghanima had let Herzog loose but it would be her son that felt the fine tremor from her. Had he ever in his life received any sign or action that his mother was afraid? While she certainly didn’t look it with her chin up high, disposition one of stature and haughty tone he would understand now. There was no such thing a true lack of fear for most but what mattered was keeping one’s composure and power over it.

’Then you are one of his war-monger children, then. I had not assumed from a glance…’ she imparted; briefly gesturing to note his shade of hair and other differing qualities from the Lord Emperor of Celesin. Ghanima quieted down, however, when the Primoris spoke of “affairs” in such a foreboding manner. Immediately, it caused her to take his promise of “humbled” apologies less than seriously considering she was indeed catching scent of what was soon to come. The Empress was fighting to keep a sneer off of her face— something about the false politeness of the Celesin wolf in her den was likely to inspire a deeper and far less rational rage. That simply could not be allowed to happen.

Briefly, she then flinched when he stated her entire title- the ‘Reagent’ was not included but it wasn’t unreasonable for Celesin to not understand that the true crowned head was her beautiful son whom she fought to stop clutching for comfort and stepped around him; looking more like a smaller sibling to him than his mother. Adama was going to be tall and broad in the chest and shoulders much like his father when he came of age...should he survive. Ghanima wanted nothing more than to see him mature. But her own father had been tall and broad as well. Utraxa-din Silitma Maur had been an imposing figure even if he’d been a wilting lily when it came to ruling— but he had never once had to take on the threat of full annexation from a much more powerful and hostile Empire. There was no frame of reference for his daughter to recall and beyond him, their entire history boasted nothing like it, either.

’Anywhere...and any time. It is indeed quite obvious and aggressive.’ More than two thousand years of unified prosperity could end now or continue under the thumb of Celesin in this moment. So, at least appearing fearless the woman would approach the Primoris and put her son, her champion, the Abbess and all else behind her to face him and hear those words. ’Alas, Primoris and company— it is ‘Empress Reagent’. My son, Adama, is the Emperor while not yet of age to command.’ This was a crucial, make or break moment for the Black Sun and thus it seemed prudent to lend that small correction as Caden has unintentionally paid a disrespect to Adama...and she wanted Adama to know it.

’What are the ‘terms, then’? And if we refuse as we value our autonomy and we are a prideful people who only desire peace amongst ourselves….what then, Primoris? What result comes of inspiring your Lord Emperor and Father’s hand against those who would not wish to serve him?’ Ghanima laced her fingers over her solar plexus; having to look upward at the man with auburn hair and eyes the same color as the Ata river that flowed none too far from the Alcazar.

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Re: The Tempest - Revisiting an old 'friendship'

Post by Nabonassar on Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:29 pm

Nabonassar was never one to be left out of a party. The rift that opened behind the party from Celesin was whisper quiet and Nabonassar’s first step onto the grass was as quiet as the portal’s aperture widening to admit him. He smiled, seeing everyone present and dressed to impress. He moved around the party from Celesin, arching a brow when he saw Caden. It was better news that he expected. If Mesiphidon himself had come, they would likely already be at war. He was willing to bet that Caden could be bargained with. “Why, is that Caden Dra’sen? My my, you’re certainly putting on the muscle mass, aren’t you? Forgive me, we have not been formally introduced. I am Nabonassar. How is my dearly-loved cousin Esarhaddon? Blooming, I imagine.”

That ought to unsettle him a bit. Make him a little less sure of himself. He doubted that Esarhaddon had told anyone that he was coming to Black Sun. And while he was little more than an annoyance to the martial might of the Imperium, he would undoubtedly be a major stumbling block to a peaceful annexation. He turned his unnervingly pale eyes upon his chosen countrymen, bowing floridly to Adama first, and then his mother, “Your Majesties. My apologies for my lateness. I was not aware the guests from Celesin had arrived until a moment ago.” He bowed his head to the Abbess, and then looked to Sergei, “Sergei.” He smiled and placed himself rather strategically between his monarch’s regent and the Dra’sin Prince.

He shifted his arms behind his back and clasped his elbows, “Before we hear the terms, however, I’d like to ask a favor of you, dear boy. Would you pass along a message for me to my cousin? A simple expression of my thanks for doing her part to make this an offer.” He would wait for Caden’s answer before nodding, either in appreciation or sad understanding. “Now it seems we must soldier on, as they say. What terms does Celesin offer my Emperor and his Regent?”
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Re: The Tempest - Revisiting an old 'friendship'

Post by Sergei-Deker on Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:52 pm

Sergei hardly cared for the looks of disapproval he got from anyone except for Ghanima, and luckily her momentary anger at him would abate before he could glance at it. He had seen the entourage at Cadens side begin to ready their own defenses for the Primoris, and the most he could of done to inform him that his intentions were only the protection of Ghanima and the boy emperor was a nod in their direction. Awknowledging them and not drawing his weapon should of been enough. Then again these people seemed to always be on edge. He was actually secretly quite happy with the interruption. Besides the fact that it gave him something to do, well both the boy emperor and Cadens entourage were showing bits of themselves to him. To walk into a rival empires sacred house, to protect ones mother. It all took a bit of courage and the Exercion here was positively aglow as they were all unintentionally sating his primal hunger.

When Caden accepted his praise and shook his hand the man did not crush the smaller ones hand as he likely could of. There was a kind of restraint to him that someone like his sister might be able to truly appreciate. Unfortunately Sergei was unlike most of his Exercion brothers and sisters. He had little to no control over certain aspects of his being. The contact with Caden might of in fact instilled a certain portion of the Soul of Courage into the Primoris, possibly making him bolder in how he spoke. It wasn't so much mind control as it was an Exercion's mere presence tended to amplify already existing feelings of courageousness. This of course would go for anyone else in his immediate vicinity, Adama, Ghanima and the rest included. Once the talking had begun Sergei however would step to the side and allow a clear line of sight to the Emperor and Ghanima, though it certainly wouldn't be hard for him to intervene should things turn sour. He may not have the speed of anyone else present except for in short bursts, and if necessary his souls weapon could be summoned much faster than even the Primoris could move. The war dog was positively beaming with anticipation in one way or the other.

As Caden called Ghanima by her full name Sergei would let out a chirp that was more akin to a nightingale song than anything that the others could properly translate, almost like a whistle of appreciation in it's own odd way. A hold over from his old form and language. His armor only gently humming in response as spores aligned to initiate remote contact with his star ship currently docked elsewhere. Sergei knew better than to take any diplomat who just barged in unannounced at face value. Trusting though he may be, the man had been betrayed by his own kind before. If a race that had honor bred into the bone almost literally could betray, then others were just as easily capable of such betrayal. Hearing Caden's words Sergei only stayed smiling, however Ghanima chose to react he would support her, after all he was no longer a member of Dorian and his former emperor's wishes held little sway over him. The only reason he would ever pull that string was in a time of need, after all Black Sun and Dorian were allies, and he had no doubt that if Ghanima said word one, this meeting would turn very violent. After all, his old emperor was a possessive bastard.

Listening to Ghanima as she spoke to Caden was like watching a fight with words, clashing against each other eventually one of them was going to draw blood, and then a real battle would be on. Ghanima was on the offensive but only Caden's reaction to the terms would determine Sergei's own actions. Of course another thing drew his attention as it entered the grounds. He might of noticed it before any of the others, and that scent that kings held or lack thereof tipped him off as to what kind of surprises he could suspect from the male now approaching. he chuckled a bit at the thought of one of these beings existing here as well. How fortuitous, this might not be just any kind of slaughter, but the fun kind where he had a hope of winning if things turned sour. Despite thinking on his own mortality, it was doubtful that anyone save Ghanima had seen the big scarred up war dog this happy.

"Nabonasar, excellent timing. Now if only Sol were here." Sergei was quick to muse on things like his foreigner friend who lead their science division. However he was also quick to shut up and allow Ghanima and Caden to speak their intentions to each other. He looked towards the prince and would kneel down, extending a long hand towards Adama, and opening up the palm with a small device. Simply put it was a small gem which projected something in the Jann's native language for the young emperor. The words read simply. 'If things turn south, use this to get you and your mother to safety. It will take you very far away from here.' If the young man took the device he would nod and smile before rising back up to his full height and continue to wait. Spores in his armor worked their macros executed perfectly. He didn't need his helm on to know that targets had been acquired and locked just in case he needed to attack on the fly. Just a simple word, a look from Ghanima, or a wrong tone from Caden might very well set the big man off.

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Re: The Tempest - Revisiting an old 'friendship'

Post by Caden on Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:44 am

If Sergei’s bit of courage had any effect on the Primoris it would be hard to see. He was a Dra’sin they were naturally proud, innately instilled with a hubris that made most balk. It certainly made dealing with them a trial. Caden at least managed to buffer that edge, growing up so far away from all things to do with his heritage he managed to appear humble by most Dra’sin standards. But even in his warmth and humility that natural pride showed through. Being a Fir’an however made him significantly less suspect to emotions as a whole. So he’d likely not even notice any possible effects on himself.


Caden kept a touch of attention on the boy, it seemed most likely that if things were going to go awry he would be the catalyst. The similarities between Ghanima and Adama painted the easy picture of mother and son, even despite the woman's almost child like stature. The Primoris was well aware of the look, the tense jaw, a stare trying to burn a hole through him. There was a time long ago he was quite similar, lifetimes ago when the world was still new and wondrous. But Caden also knew no words or warm smiles on his part would stifle the rage or resentment Adama felt. Best to let the mother calm the boy, but he hadn’t lashed out that spoke well for his future as an intended leader. Even the Emperor Mesphidon with all his power was capable of restraint. Limited as it may be.

Ghanima remained as stately as he expected, though is was impossible not to detect the emotions she kept in check. Truly this was not how Caden liked to conduct diplomacy, but he agreed on one point of contention what his father asked for was often difficult to woo people into. Especially nations that held as much pride in their sovereignty as did the Black Sun. He only returned that same warm smile when she had reduced him to but a war-mongering child of the Emperor. ”I bear more resemblance to my mother Empress, but I believe she was well before your time.” That little bit was as much as Caden was willing to share on his heritage. Being born without the white hair was always a small sore spot for the Primoris no matter how far he had come.

As Ghanima stepped forwards and corrected his unintended sleight to Adama, Caden dipped his head the same amount he had previously for Ghanima. ”Apologizes Emperor Adama I was unaware you had assumed the throne. I was unsure at what age the ties of blood granted the crown in your Empire.” The Primoris was aware that a majority of cultures did not follow the same practices as Celesin for determining their ruling class. Unlike Celesin where they gave leadership to those that proved most capable, some were born into it by blood. However unlike many within Celesin it wasn’t quite an alien concept to Caden, he had spent most of his formative years far, far aware from the Imperium.

Perhaps unfortunately for Black Sun that was one of the few impositions into their culture that Celesin implemented when they annexed or conquered another. Lips parting to say more Caden’s head suddenly turned as the spacial anomaly opened behind him. Caden’s awareness was not his fathers but any being of Magi had a distinct awareness of their environment and such shifts within it. The Dominus heads turn in tandem with Caden’s revealing that they too appeared to have some connection with Magi. Though it was unlikely many would see it as more than a trained battle sense.

Eyes’s narrowing for the briefest of moments as the King stepped through his portal, this was a surprise. The Empress had not made it known that Black Sun contained a King. Then again perhaps she wasn’t made aware yet, he doubted she would have sent him in unknowing. Esarhaddon was far more considerate than his father's throw them into the lion’s den and expect they survive style of handling affairs. This time however Caden did not gesture for the Dominus to lower their renewed guard, though the Fulminis had not drawn weapons once more. Only needing to glance to their Primoris and see his calm and collected disposition. If the Primoris so much as a made a motion of preparedness they would follow suit.

Instead Caden let his now increased glowing gaze follow the King until he stationed himself besides the Empress and before Adama. For a moment he wondered if Ghanima or those before him were aware of the only sign a Dra’sin was holding their Core at the ready. Ghanima no doubt would notice the increased now almost burning luminosity in those turquoise eyes. But rather she knew what it meant remained to be seen.  

Nabonassar’s slow walk had given the Primoris time to recover from the momentary surprise. He was going to make things more difficult, that much Caden knew. The King’s were terrible meddlers, instilling themselves in various places and positions of power. This one he hadn’t met, but the similarities to his step-mother and her twin were obvious. Fortunately for Caden one of the similarities he held to his father was a distinct lack of trust in their kind. Except for the Empress, he knew that she truly loved the Emperor and her priorities since first coming to him had likely shifted.

Still Caden was given the title of Diplomat among the Primoris, second only to the Lady herself. Mainly due to his larger source of humility for his kind. The easy smile returned to his face. ”A pleasure to meet you King Nabonassar, the Empress is quite well certainly besotted with her new child. Positively aglow, but I will give her your thanks on returning home.” He was curious as to how much the King knew of their affairs. Approaching the current leader of an Empire was pretty standard affair even before Esarhaddon had arrived. Mesiphidon was however far more direct about it. Giving a simple submit or we will roll over you like an avalanche ultimatum. In that respect Caden’s attempt at a more civil form of diplomacy was certainly new territory.  

Finally the Primoris nodded when everything settled down once again. Time to get to the brass tacks. ”Despite the initial impression of being annexed into Celesin, our methods are quite non-invasive. We have no desire to alter your culture or do away with values. For the most part your sovereignty would remain your own. Black Sun would no longer be an Empire but a nation state of the Celesin Imperium. As such you Empress would retain your position of power. Or I suppose in this case reclaim it, not as Empress however but as a governor of the Black Sun state of Celesin.”

It was impossible to miss Sergei bending and handing something to Adama but Caden made no mention of it. ”Celesin does not believe nor follow the rite of birth into rule. Should Adama wish to lead the Black Sun State he would need to prove himself capable and worthy of such a role. Additionally Black Sun would be subject to the bylaws of the Imperium. They would be granted voice into the creation or amendment of future laws and must ensure all within their state follow them. Primary among these directives is the dissolution of any form of slave ownership or status of inequality between all species and genders of any creed.”

He took a moment for them to take in what he had said before continuing. It likely didn’t seem too horrible so far, well perhaps with the exception of losing total sovereignty over themselves. ”Black Sun’s trade would be however limited to those within the Imperium with all open agreements to outside nations immediately revoked. Any potential allegiances with outside nations would additionally be severed. Replaced with absolute loyalty to the Imperium and recognition to the true Emperor or his extensions to whom all would be required to acquiesce.”

Finally Caden would get to the meat of the terms. ”Celesin would require absolute and immediate annexation in addition to formal recognition of authority. Should you accept these terms peacefully and without protest within the allowed time you would be immediately seated as ruling governor of the Black Sun state with full access to the Imperium protection, technologies and resources.” Caden took a pause before continuing on with the other part, and the answer to Ghanima’s question. ”Refusal of the Emperor’s terms will result in the replacement of leadership as Celesin takes total control of Black Sun. Imposing harsh tariffs and taxes for whatever duration was required to repay the cost of resources lost in take over.”

Taking a breath, it seemed almost like it was over, Caden nearly grimacing at this next part. Truly his father held too much to old customs. But he supposed that made Celesin what it was. ”If instead you agree to neither of these terms, the Empress herself or a Champion may engage the Emperor himself in single combat. The victor would would receive immediate and absolute authority over their opponents positions and standings.” Really he didn’t know why he needed to include that option. So few people would ever willingly engage the Emperor in a battle to the end. Even if it meant the possibility of obtaining Celesin. Finally after what might have seemed like ages Caden fell silent.
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Re: The Tempest - Revisiting an old 'friendship'

Post by Adama on Sun Jul 10, 2016 2:46 pm

The hand of his mother was anything but reassuring. Where her touch should have instilled comfort and calm through some sense of warmth and security, it instead translated her fear from her shaking, to his shoulder, to his ear. The things she said from that moment on held a different tone; she exuded strength, and while her ability to do so while still being scared was a sign of strength in itself, the illusion had nevertheless been shattered, and Adama was left even more powerless than before. If the Empress Reagent, with all her power and influence, was made to tremble in front of a foreign dog falsely hiding his teeth, what was Adama supposed to do? “Madness,” he uttered, entirely for himself but undaunted by the idea of anyone hearing what was undoubtedly the truth of the situation. Adama had always believe that it was madness for sheep to talk peace with wolves; he’d simply never thought he’d be reduced to being a sheep.

Events began to transpire with the speed and unpredictability one would expect of a precarious situation. Nabonassar, a “King” in his mother’s court, made his entrance and did little to add any noticeable level of uncertainty to the situation. Of course, the boy-Emperor had little understanding of the King’s true purpose, and his role in things was outside Adama’s present understanding of the world, which was as basic as the Dorian Empire being tenuous allies, and Celesin being the worst possible enemies. Next, Sergei offered him a gem, which was unquestionably intended to give the Emperor and Empress a means of escape should thing get ugly. Adama still couldn’t stop himself from being slightly insulted.

But as Sergei removed himself from his path, and the Celesinian saw fit to address him, the boy’s eyes narrowed, and his angry expression became one of loathing. “I don’t suspect you know much about our Empire at all,” he began, his tone even and unwavering, but categorically lacking in the sort of emotional restraint the Empress herself was capable of; “that would suggest a modicum of respect. But, I understand how ignorance might make your job easier.” Adama hoped it felt odd, if not upsetting, for a man to be scolded by a child. His mother had gone out of her way to make sure everyone knew of the blatant disregard the other was showing for their customs, and for their emperor—Adama especially. Out of pride, or perhaps because he didn’t yet know the difference between being petty and being forthright, Adama spoke his mind—he was already unsatisfied to shackled by his age; being completely held to some misguided sense of propriety when the situation neither deserved nor warranted such from him was entirely out of the question.

But from that point, the show became Nabonassar’s, who began discussing terms on behalf of his Empire. That, too, seemed bizarre, but without protest from Ghanima, Adama said nothing, and simply remained with his hands clenched into fists by his sides, and his smoldering gaze switching from the King to the Celesinian with no break in his ire.

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Re: The Tempest - Revisiting an old 'friendship'

Post by Ghanima on Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:24 pm

Hearing her son utter “Madness” forced Ghanima to close her eyes for a moment. It truly was indeed madness. Everything was so suddenly going horribly wrong, the empire’s times of calmness, peace and prosperity had so suddenly been brought to a close with the promise of impending doom or subjugation. But most of all the worst aspect of it all was one she was not even aware of: that her unconscious sign of fear had shattered her son’s worldview; leaving the boy-emperor in a state of despair and confusion upon learning that his mother indeed possessed the ability to be afraid. One could hope he might learn that it was perfectly ok to be afraid so long as one remained capable of putting said fear aside and leading the people regardless.

A brief turn to her right in time to catch the Champion Prima passing something to her son. It was a task managing to keep her face together, but, not for lack of trying. Understanding the projection was a relief and, should Sergei have caught her gaze he might catch the tiniest nod of appreciation before she turned back to the Primoris.

’I see…’ she’d utter to his clarification of heritage; studying him with equal parts suspicious curiosity and pure venom. It could not be helped. The Empress drew breath in preparation of saying more but they were joined shortly by the newest edition to her court— King Nabonassar. The man moved with a nearly reptilian grace into the spotlight as, per usual, those strange pale beings of mysterious power seemed to always know how to draw each gaze toward them. Ghanima only paid him a glance, however— something far more interesting was playing out over the Primoris’ features. Especially the eyes. They were bright as teal fire and much more than before along with the realization that the Primoris looked threatened. Each doubt and bout of paranoia she’d had about so easily and perhaps desperately accepting the demiurge into the upper echelons of her empire were dashed in that moment; his value confirmed.

Seeing a Primoris on edge...that was certainly something to note. Had Adama noticed it, himself?

By the time Caden turned back to her there was something a bit different about the Empress’ expression; a certain removed coldness that communicated a far lesser possibility of her rolling over so easily to threats. Or, maybe it was just regaining her poise? It only broke when he gave the final term, causing Ghanima to wear a brief but flat expression that communicated are you serious? without saying a word? The option for combat—….it was absurd.

’My son speaks true. You know nothing of our history, customs, cultures and values if you promise you will not change them for the most part and yet every one of your lofty terms would snap them in half. You wish to legitimize the history of our Great Houses and the Maur name, remove our trade capabilities and allies... And for what— an empire of the stars gaining what would be not much more in worth than a bit of farmland to your emperor?’ Not that the empress-regeant was downtalking her pride and joy in the empire, but, was attempting to make it clear that attempting the takeover was a waste of time and an exercise of ego that the emperor was entirely too lazy to do himself— but still sent out his prime handmaidens for. ’It must be a complex experience for you, Primoris. What now with your newer mother being of his kind…?’

After, the interest in watching the King work inspired her to silence and to continue watching the Primoris’ expression as the dialogue truly began to edge into dangerous territory. Or, it would have been such a way if one of the Auspex Orda hadn’t broke from formation against the wall and flit to Ghanima before whispering something into her ear. All could see her eyes close from agitation as she clearly received horrible news from the witch draped in slate blue.

The news of the hostile offer of annexation or death had already left the salon via a leak and was rocketing throughout the Houses at incredible speed. Already the enormous red  gem around her neck had begun to pulse with red light; earning one of her small hands to close over it. Heads of Provincial houses were desperately attempting to establish communication with her. Already, everything was becoming distorted.

'His eyes...why do they burn?' would break Ghanima's fugue thanks to Herzog approaching tentatively and mumbling her query over her shoulder.
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Re: The Tempest - Revisiting an old 'friendship'

Post by Nabonassar on Tue Jul 12, 2016 11:44 pm

Nabonassar listened to the terms with unwavering equanimity, at least outwardly. Full control over his microexpressions was a wonderful thing in situations most find stressful. He was reveling however, as the words of the others began taxing his abilities to think quickly and to find a way to spin this to garner them more time in which to find a way to thwart Celesin’s annexation attempts. He listened to Adama’s words, then Ghanima’s, and he even heard Herzog whispering to the Empress Regent. A little demonstration of his further usefulness to the Empire seemed in order at this juncture. He smiled slightly, turning his gaze to Caden, “Prince Caden, you remain suspicious of us, and I understand why. However, you came in peace. Please do not insult our intelligence in thinking we might break that peace. There is no need for you to hold your Core Magi at the ready.”

That ought to satisfy the curiosity of Herzog and the Empress for the moment. No doubt there would be questions once the Celesin envoy was gone, but that could be dealt with later. Now he settled to the meat of the matter, making sure he had the leisure to speak, “If you will allow, dear boy, please don’t interrupt for a moment. I may get a bit long-winded with this.”

He moved through the space between the Prince and the Empress, walking slowly and looking as though he were thinking deeply about something, “You come, Prince of Celesin, with a great many noble ideals in hand. The abolishment of slavery and inequality are but two. And yet, in one fell swoop, you ask my Empress and Emperor, to give up that which means most to their nation. The sense of self, of independence. The ability to guide their own futures and their fortunes. You ask them to sever any friendships they have gained since the heavens were opened to them. You ask them to give up much to avoid an invasion. Submit or die. A hard choice, for people with strongly held convictions and ideas of self worth. I know that Celesin has conquered many worlds. I have never been to one both before and after, and I know the way in which your father rules. He is hardly the kindliest man.”

Nabonassar paused, more for dramatic effect, however he did want these words to sink into Caden’s skull. He wanted Caden to understand how much he was demanding of these people. He knew of this situation only from the aggressor's side, but every story has two sides. He turned back to the prince, “Ask yourself this, as an intelligent and enlightened sentient creature, how does one choose what is best for an entire world?” He looked then to Ghanima, “The answer, as she would most assuredly tell you, is simple. With time. As I have never been on the receiving end of one of these ultimatums, I do not know how much time Mesiphidon generally gives as a matter of course, but I can assure you that it is most likely not enough. So tell me, how much time would you give us in our situation. Put aside the mantle of Celesin Prince and, instead, attempt to see things through their eyes.” He motioned with one hand to Adama and Ghanima.
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Re: The Tempest - Revisiting an old 'friendship'

Post by Sergei-Deker on Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:18 am

Sergei watched all the reactions unequally, the boy-emperor and his beloved for brief moments were given his full attention.  If Adama reacted on a subconscious level to taking the gem, Sergei was aware of it.  One of the gifts of being an Exercion is that he was a natural empath to almost every emotion on the spectrum, the only exception being cowardice, and none of them were becoming blanks before him.  Frustrated and insulted maybe, or giving him twinges of appreciation for his actions which put the crown above his own desire to fight.  He had not caught the full of his beloveds gaze, but as he stood again he would place a meaty hand only for a brief second upon the smaller woman's shoulder.  A small show of loyalty that might mean more than anything those present could garner.  Sergei intentionally avoided public displays of affection to Ghanima, since he held little power in the field of politics and law making here.  Just the act of physical contact however brief would be enough to show her his loyalty to whatever her decision was.  Whether she chose to fight or bend the knee, Sergei would be a constant in her life.  Her own personal war dog, unleashed only at her command despite his current desire to step forward and punch the smaller man in his face for insulting his lover.

The slight delay between Caden and then the dominus, but not the others turning to notice the king was noted.  Those with the spears and shields were the tougher of the bunch, most likely on par with if not above the Fulminis he had fought days prior.  There was a similar scent from the three, though Caden held the majority of it, there was something unique in the Dominus.  Sergei had no words for it, but it would be noticed and not simply chalked up to soldiers instincts, they had turned their head prior to the first foot step being heard.  This placed them at least on par with himself, and there was a pair of them, plus more of those fast movers, and a Primoris.  If a fight broke out it would be a quick one, if not totally worth it in his mind, though he would most likely fall.  The thought of death in combat did not displease him.  However the thought of breaking Ghanima's heart with his death, another champion dead, did not make him comfortable.

He would lock eye's for a moment with one of Caden's own soldiers, and though he didn't speak, he simply mouthed the words.  'I am grabbing a smoke, please do not be alarmed.'  Hopefully they could read lips to a decent degree and would pop open a side pouch on his armor at his hip, reach in and grab a hand wrapped cigar, which had been wrapped in the red bark of a unique tree to his old neck of the woods.  The pocket closed with a small click and Sergei would place the red wrapped smoke between his lips where he chewed upon the back end of it nervously.  The taste was regrettably sweet, and enticing, if stress got to him he would need to ignite the end of it.  He hoped it wouldn't come to that, Sergei hated smoking Dorian brands and preferred the products of Sanctum, they were more natural in their own way.

As for the glowing eye's of Caden, he had seen such things once before.  During his time in Nexxian he had interacted and in fact took part in a fight with the Primoris' younger brother.  He had seen the same if not as vibrant glowing eye's when the younger prince had gone into a battle.  Sergei may not be aware of what it was called, but given the similarities in genetics between Dra'sin and Exercion he wasn't as wholly unaware of the concept of Magi as some might expect him to be.  It was something that the original Exercion creators could not remove from their new genetic template.  While he could not interact with it outside of viewing the world for what it was made of, it might give the Exercion an advantage soon enough.

The demands were heard by the Champion Prima, and he unlike others was incapable of holding his emotions back.  Obviously a natural drawback to his own breeding that Caden might find mimicked his Lu'nae cousins.  At first there was curiosity, and then displeasure and then held back rage at the thought of breaking off alliances.  That final straw simply could not be accomplished by Sergei.  He had a daughter who served Dorian ceaselessly, if he swore allegiance to Celesin he might be forced to fight his only daughter.  That thought displeased him immensely, and he ground his teeth together and swore under his breath something that might sound like a deep bass filled hawks cry.

Ghanima's rebuttal to Caden gained a smile of pride from the enormous man.  Maybe she would not kneel, and though he would follow her to the depths of war, or subservience he would much prefer that they fought for their independence.  All she needed to do was send out the word and Sergei would not only fight those before him, he would send out his own word and make this a more even fight.  Ghanima had Allies in the stars that were not just limited to this brute.  Entire generations had been raised with a vehement hatred for the Celesin Imperium.  The loss of an empress and princess to their patriarchs greed, entire planets converted into war factories and advanced science divisions for the whole purpose of harnessing long lost technologies of the one's they had called Heralds.

As Nabonasar took the stage to buy them time Sergei would bend over to Ghanima's ear, whispering as quietly as he could and masking his words in the rough language of the Jann he was only just now beginning to grasp.  "That Amulet I gave you when we first met.  If we can fetch it discreetly it may come in handy should diplomacy fail us."  Sergei had been informed about it's purpose when he left Dorian.  His former emperor was if anything someone who planned for eventualities.  The fact that he had given such a dangerous tool to a planet bound empire as a sign of good faith was both genius and underhanded, but it was not something Sergei had spoken of until now.  It may of damaged relationships and cast a bad light upon him, but if the gift was used in a defensive way, it very well might be a boon.

When the King finished his speech Sergei would smile and nod to the man, time bought was always useful in some form or another.  Seconds, hours, days, those could be used to prepare themselves better for the oncoming onslaught or annexation.  Though Sergei held no rank worth mentioning here in Black Sun where politics were involved, he was still acting as an appointed diplomat to Dorian until his replacement arrived.  He had never once enacted such powers before, but if there was a time to do something for the betterment of his daughter and families back home now was the time.  He cleared his throat to draw attention to himself, and then spoke in an inquisitive tone that only barely held back his natural commanding voice.

"I will stand by whatever decision the Emperor decree's, if he tells me to fight and die for this country I will.  I must ask Primoris, not as a soldier or the Champion Prima of Black Sun, but as a father to a young war bird.  You say we would break all alliances, for loyalty.  This seems logical to me from a conqueror's perspective.  Might I ask if these same terms might be brought before Black Suns own allies as well?  It seems to me that if you can take more then why not have more."  He ended his own question with a shrug of almost complacency.  Maybe his words might trigger some memory in Ghanima of her diplomatic negotiations with Dorian.  Every eventuality was planned for, as Dorian's were naturally good at adapting to new things, Sergei was living proof of this.  Would Ghanima and Adama be shocked at his actions?  The younger boy might be more than the mother, depending on if she had seen fit to inform him about their allies plans and how it extended to every possible way this could end.  However he had made his loyalty to the crown known, he was the Champion first, and a father second.  Maybe just maybe it might jog Ghanima's memory.

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Re: The Tempest - Revisiting an old 'friendship'

Post by Caden on Sat Jul 16, 2016 1:04 am

If Caden had been like his father, he would have simply dismissed Adama without so much an acknowledgement. More than likely escalating the already intense level of tension this very meeting had generated. Perhaps luckily for Adama however Caden was not the Emperor and his patience for others was much deeper. Not at all a difficult feat given the Emperor had zero, but none the less. Caden’s gaze took in Adama for a moment an apologetic smile touching those features.

The Primoris but a stone in the river as Adama’s words washed over him, that may have only incited the boy further seeing he had no effect on the man. But that unfortunately was beyond Caden’s ability to control. ”I am by no means a maester on your particular culture young Emperor, I can merely relate your values to the countless others Empires I have come across. Not all are the same, but many are strikingly similar. Particularly those of common core values; in your case one of commerce and trade.  I am aware that some of the changes Celesin would impose clash with your values. Celesin’s core culture being vastly different from your own, that is likely to happen. It’s is my job to see that you retain as much of your culture as possible.” There was a touch of sincerity in Caden’s tone that was impossible to miss, truly he was trying to be accommodating, even if he may have missed the mark. His lengthy lifespan and birth as a Dra’sin often coming off as condescending.

With Caden’s core held, his awareness was expanded intimately to his surroundings. Even the most minute details stood out like beacons. Ghanima’s micro expressions, her change in stance, the surge of confidence and even her appraisal of the King were all noted. He had slipped with that man’s arrival. A tiny misstep to be sure, but it was enough that it altered Ghanima’s perception. Caden would have been a right fool to not respond however, the King’s were some of the very few beings that could possibly contend with a Dra’sin. Not that Caden was by any means fearful, but he wouldn’t underestimate the man. Sergei’s own admission to defeat at the hands of the Fulminis Lieutenant had already checked the man off as a non-threat to him. Guard dog of the Empress or otherwise, the difference between a Primoris and an Alis Lieutenant was more than lightyears. Even one as incredibly capable as Tyne was. Though he wouldn’t be surprised to see her rising to Legatus if Konstantine perfected one of their previous experiments

The flat expression Ghanima gave to Caden’s last term only caused a small laugh and a rueful shake of his head in return. ”Believe me Empress, I very much agree with your sentiments on that particular route. The Emperor is after all very rooted in the ancient ways, however in his defense I must say he has ruled over Celesin for time beyond memory and has never met a single adversary that could challenge him. I am not quite sure if he is hoping for one, or if that option exists to preserve the potential loss of life should resistance be met. Perhaps both.”  To the last the Primoris gave the smallest of shrugs before returning as it were to buisness.

She had some valid questions, even if it seemed they downplayed her own people. ”I wouldn’t devalue your nation so Empress, you are well aware your value greatly exceeds mere farm land. You of all people know the true value of Sanctum. But ultimately the Emperor wishes to bring all under the wing of Celesin, his primary values are those that I am behind. He wishes to protect all life, all existence. And what better protection might you find then Celesin, then an Emperor and a nation who that has no rival?” There was a touch of pride in that last sentiment, Celesin had no true rival, met no adversary they could not defeat. Even the other 11 Dra’sin Empires were wary and heeded Celesin with caution. Of course the Primoris left out that the Emperor did not believe most other nations were capable of leading themselves for any amount of time before falling to ruin. Such things would further insult these incredibly proud people.

Her intended barb about the Empress Esarhaddon had only caused his brow to rise slightly, with a return question. ”Surely Empress you are aware their kind are of a linked mind. The information they learned often shared, even without intention to.” He almost shrugged at the last, as if saying such things were as they were. ”The experience with my new mother isn’t trying really, I barely knew my birth mother. And the Empress, well it’s quite impossible to miss her devotion and love for my father. She has managed a child with him after all, something I am aware the King’s are not naturally able to do. It seems she isn’t quite the same as the others. No Empress, my mother is quite and very firmly seated with my father now, her love allows her to protect his interests afterall.” His tone almost trailed off, leaving the obvious question unspoken. Can you say the same for yours.

Finally the King himself spoke, seeming now to attempt to stagger the Primoris with his bit of knowledge regarding Dra’sin nature. Though it only caused Caden to smile and spread his arms apologetically. ”Well suspicion would be natural when you are tasked to deliver such troubling news. News it would seem that has already spread like a brushfire and with those outside of here in high alert. It seems prudent to be prepared wouldn’t you agree?” He lowered his arms almost it seemed in tandem with a diminishing glow in his eyes. Now that it had been noted, and Caden revealed that he wasn’t without his own knowledge. He could appear to be completely unthreatened. His arm gesture also appeared to be a sign for those behind him as the coiled tension of the Dominus and Fulminis suddenly released. They stood at ease now, though even then the Dominus could hardly be seen as anything but a lazing wolf waiting to pounce. Though at ease Caden himself almost screamed of movement, his liquid like grace was only natural.

Of course it was that awareness that had allowed him to hear and decipher the whisper perhaps meant for Ghanima alone. And his gaze pausing for but a single moment on the gem she had moved to cover, a subtle reminder he was very much aware of more than she might have liked. Caden had reached a point in his advancement where even without actively holding his Core his eyes maintained a slight luminescence. It would be countless eons yet before he ever achieved the passive full burning gaze of his father. But the glow now was no more than it had been when he entered, he held just enough to keep his expanded awareness in tact and that would be small enough even the King wouldn’t notice the difference having never seen Caden before.

However before the Primoris could address Nabonassar fully he felt it prudent to handle Sergei’s curiosities as it would lead into what he needed to say to the King either way. Despite the Primoris having assessed the man as a non-threat he didn’t outright dismiss him as the Emperor might have. Continuous observation was always prudent and limited surprises, Caden however revealed none of it, and with the lowered glow in his gaze did not react to Sergei’s whispered offer. ”As you might guess Sergei, annexing a nation rather through negotiation or conquering will often have pockets of resistance, potential uprisers. By severing ties with allies it reduces their ability to outsource for aid, and taking in multiple nations together might embolden resistance uprisings more. The Emperor is patient, we completely secure any new nations before moving to another, it’s merely a matter of tactical security and minimizing the need to put down rebellion.” There was much more in depth reasoning behind why they would not take in a nation and its allies.

But it would hardly be fitting for Caden to reveal more than a basic surface knowledge any learned military commander would be aware of. There was also the implication of betrayal, and the danger of outside nations attempting to help the newly annexed Empire. Celesin isolated them, made them a red herring to their previous allies in order deepen their reliance on the Imperium, to force their loyalties to shift, first for survival. And then evolving slowly into imperial pride when they realized the effects the Celesin Lion crest gave them. It was a tactic that has worked for years beyond end. That tactic Caden doubted even Esarhaddon would attempt to alter.

Finally he could address the King. ”First King Nabonassar I must address two chief matters. I do not come as a Prince of Celesin, but as a Primoris. A hand of the Emperor and Diplomat in lieu of the Emperor or Empress themselves. My status as the Emperor’s son is irrelevant, it has no meaning, it gives me no privilege, no claim, no power. Celesin does not care for matters of birth, standing is earned by accomplishments alone.” The first thing the Primoris wanted dissuade was the notion he had grown up privileged or spoiled somehow. He was not a naive rich prince riding on the coattails of his father's success. Not that being a child of a man who threw his own children into a lion's den would ever be an cushy living regardless of circumstance.

”The other is the matter of the Emperor’s rule. He is ruthless and merciless certainly, but he is fair. Those that Emperor Mesphidon has conquered do not live tormented and tortured lives; they thrive. If they did not, if he was needlessly cruel I would be one of the first to rise up against him, futile as that may be. That being said, were the Emperor here himself I am afraid you’d have no time. He would expect an immediate answer here and now. By his mind he already knows what is best for an entire world, and more. But perhaps thankfully the Empress has managed to bring the Emperor to realization that time is a necessary component for such a demand. It would seem despite the Emperor’s infinite patience when he decides to move he has none.” The last almost made Caden chuckle, but he remained stoic.

Pausing a moment before continuing. ”I understand that this is an incredibly difficult position to be in. An impossible decision especially for such a prideful people with a rich and… lengthy history.” It was always difficult speaking of matters of time. For some 100 years was more than a lifetime, for a Dra’sin 100 years but a single moment. Even Caden in his incredible lifespan couldn’t contemplate how his father perceived the passing of time. If he even did anymore.  ”Weighing the possibility of losing part of that history, part of yourself and your pride, or survival. It is hardly a fair or an easy decision. What I can say however is that I would advise against resistance. The Imperium is not an enemy you wish to face, they are not an enemy you can defeat. I do not wish to insult your pride or your honor but Celesin is a war machine beyond age. They have perfected the art. And would better serve as your protectors then a sword with which to strike against you. I cannot make the decision for you. I can only offer you time. I can grant you a single week to hold your councils and come to a decision.”

Caden’s words ended plainly, he had already said much. But he did not want to appear to be forcing their hands. He knew already that he would have struck a blow when he said they could not hope to defeat Celesin. A hard blow certainly, but better to soften their pride now and give them time to cooldown to make an informed decision later. He doubted his father would remain idle while that decision was made, Caden certainly wouldn’t. No doubt Black Sun would be under watch to see if they attempted to mobilize resistance. Even then they would still be given the promised time. The Emperor did not break his word, it was law.
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Re: The Tempest - Revisiting an old 'friendship'

Post by Ghanima on Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:27 am

The Empress’ gaze only broke from the Primoris to focus briefly on the King as he did exactly what she had hoped— used his disarming, coy and diplomatic nature to negotiate with the Celesin imperator. Ghanima had been unsure about allowing him into her court but it seemed every major player in the great true games of Sanctum (who ruled) had one of these strange beings at their sides in one way or another. Celesin called one their empress, the Dorian had a trusted woman with an overly complex title who the Empress was informed was considered family and now Nabonassar had come along and offered his services.

Occasionally, it did worry her that the Kings had some sort of ulterior motive that none of the crowned heads had really taken the time to disect— or, perhaps, just as Nabonassar had said it was simply a directive which had been built into them.

’He speaks of “Core Magi”...what is that? Magi? A core?’ from Herzog once again; the taller and younger newly minted Sybil clinging to the Empress and asking questions even she could admit were worth consideration. For an answer, Ghanima only turned her head and made a subtle but silent gesture: permission to find the answers by any means necessary. It might be pertinent to the Orda as much as it could influence their survival. The Empress had heard of the mysterious force known as “Magi” from the Dorian emperor but had expected to be able to view it— yet only the King mentioned anything to do with it. Personally, she hadn’t felt very much at all.

Nabonassar turned to her in order to address her in his spiel to Caden; the Empress’ eyes narrowing a touch as she straightened her spine and allowed her gaze to flit between the Primoris and her courtier-negotiator. For a moment she felt quite small and insignificant as the Jann were known for power in various degrees but they were not like these...men. Thankfully, the moment would pass quickly.

’Hm-...’ Something might have been waiting on her tongue only to be put in waiting by the enormous hand on Ghanima’s shoulder. The quickest, faintest smile crossed her doll-like features and she resisted the urge to to bring a hand around and put it over his knuckles. Once retracted, she turned back to the impromptu meeting and act of aggression. ’Send Soong for it. She has access to the ziggurat.’ would be expressed back to Sergei— his grasp on their native tongue was getting better but it could be years before it ever matched up with his usage of the standard language. It was certainly nice that he was trying. As for Soong, he would likely be able to contact her and inform her to use the mirror-gateways to access Maur Prima and perform her task.

It was almost painful to turn back to Caden and make sure she didn’t twist her features up at him and his sycophantic explanation of the combat protocol offered. A brief sound of exasperation and disgust did escape the small woman’s mouth, however— but she let him continue and ignored his quip about the King. It had been a clever way to return fire, but, it did not remove her mindset from the idea these false demiurges were up to something. Even for Celesin. But out of all three empires, Ghanima understood she knew the least of their whims and exploits.

Now practicing patience, she listened carefully to the exchange between her King and the Emperor Mesiphidon’s son. Every detail was absorbed and would be considered later through the use of her eidetic and tactical mental faculties. They chose to isolate their victims; trap them between death or joining and make an entire populace feel alone in the world...or the universe. And then they would end it all with the promise to the people that they would somehow be taken care of.

A disgusting, violently abusive political maneuver that even she had to admit was efficient. Being on the receiving end of it was certainly unpleasant, however. The exchange ended and Ghanima made the bold move of holding a hand up as Caden turned to presumptuously advise her of what she should do in order to interrupt him. Even if he chose to continue speaking, she would begin to deliver a statement.

’You are a dedicated servant to your father’s whims, Primoris Caden. However, I shall not retain my thoughts for your comforts— your father is a barbarian, your goals are borne of narcissism and supremacy and I daresay you lot engage in them not with a true purpose for any greater good or even advancement but simply to dominate and engage in some form of recreation. I will not lend comment on whether or not you understand what it is like to be in the position you have put us and no doubt incalculable other cultures because it is easy to see you are being kind if disingenuous. Please— do not trouble yourself with such useless gestures.’ A brief pause so she could look to her son and then to Sergei. The hand she’d held up to the Primoris would turn inward and beckon him over as she gestured to Adama. In short, she wanted her son safe and removed from the scenario immediately. If that meant closing the discussion of the very foundation of her empire with the King and Orda only? So be it.

’We will speak again in seven days, Primoris. Your ‘advice’ and the terms you have levied have been noted.’ Another pause. Caden would likely see that while the small woman’s chin was up and her spine was straight as she looked as regal for her station as ever— the fist clenched at her side had the faintest tremble of rage.

’You may leave. Immediately.’
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Re: The Tempest - Revisiting an old 'friendship'

Post by Nabonassar on Tue Aug 02, 2016 4:17 pm

Nabonassar listened to Caden’s speech as though he were listening to a sermon. Of course the man sounded as though he were preaching. The whole of Celesin was dominated by zealotry. One of them, the biggest of all, sat upon the throne. The second was Primoris Potentiae. His mind, however, was working on the problem already. Caden’s offering of seven days was paltry. He should not, however, have expected anything different. What he truly needed was more time. He had a few ideas that might make the annexation grind to a halt, however for those ideas to come to fruition, he needed more than seven days. There was a more immediate, however reckless and short-lived, solution that might extend their grace period. But for that he would require the assistance of the one many in the collective referred to as his female counterpart. Nebuchadnezzar. He needed her now, though he knew her assistance would be hard-won.

He listened more intently to Ghanima’s words, sighing inwardly, despite not his impassive features. Control over one’s micro expressions. An excellent gift in trying times. He knew immediately that she would offend the Primoris with her words, however, it did not truly matter. He had given them their seven days. By his understanding, it meant that no hostilities would take place within that time. There would, of course, be the manoeuvring of men, ships, materiel, and other such tools of war should Black Sun decline what Celesin saw as a generous offer. He let Ghanima finish her thought by informing Caden that he could exit stage left right the fuck now and then he held up his hand, “Caden Dra’sen, before you make reply, please understand that this is a stressful for us and with you in the power position, it is only natural for my Empress to desire to lash out at you. Let us part in tenuous friendship and with hope that this may not come to bloodshed.” A false hope, of course, but any hope that they might accept this offer would be better than none.

With his next gesture he motioned to Herzog and, should she come to him he would smile, “My dear, would you be so kind as to bring me something to write on? Preferably something sturdy. There is a message I must send immediately.”
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Re: The Tempest - Revisiting an old 'friendship'

Post by Sergei-Deker on Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:56 pm

Sergei had been dismissed by the Primoris, barely getting any more attention as the talks went on. Why should he after all he’d lost to a simple lieutenant, and was nothing more than the guard dog for the rulers. Normally prideful of his position and how others might insult him, Sergei was actually quite glad to of avoided notice, it was rare that anyone underestimated someone as large as him. If things should come to blows here and now, he was dismissed as something the guards could deal with. It gave him a unique advantage, and he did everything he could not to chuckle about it. When Ghanima answered his question he would nod, already moving for a communicator Sol had given to him to allow for quick communication with other divisions. He paused a moment, thinking about how to word what he would say in the native dialect. The words were lost to him, to actually bring about the importance of what he wanted, so instead he would just speak bluntly. As he turned his back from the Primoris and spoke in as much of a whisper as he could manage while still sounding forceful. “Soong, can you bring the amulet I gave the Empress when I first landed here, I believe we’ll be needing it out of lockup sooner rather than later.” Once he was done he would return to facing the Empress and her advisors backside and sizing the Primoris and his guards up and down. Just how the rest of this would go was yet to be decided, but he was ready to fight the moment he felt his nerves twitch in that need.

As Caden spoke of how the Emperor allowed others to contest him in one on one combat it was hard not to notice the grin upon the man’s face. Maybe Ghanima would send him to that forefront, to die gloriously against this empire or win and add eons worth of technology to their repertoire. The option was there, and certainly tempting. Maybe even if they bowed yet, he might be able to one day fight for the freedom of these people. Adding more time to the clock was hardly a bad decision, and with the fierce loyalty these people already showed it might take generations for Black Sun to truly become part of Celesin as they wished.

As Caden addressed him, the look of disappointment on his face was clear to be seen. If the option wasn’t there to save the person he had mentioned before from becoming his enemy, then his mind had already been made up on the matter. He would fight and win, he’d rather do that instead of having to fight his own flesh and blood upon the field of battle, for an Emperor who he’d never met, and for an empire whose goals were not his own. “Logically it makes sense Primoris. Take what you will slowly, you have time on your side, something most beings do not. To view the worlds in such absolutes, you miss the beauty of it.” The frown that creased his face was obvious, almost pitying the Primoris. Had the man before them ever taken a single chance in his life? He doubted it. Things worked in absolutes for their kind, there was no room for color, only black and white. Now Sergei had a goal in mind, something to work towards, and with a goal in mind that he could accomplish there would be no stopping or halting the war like Exercion. He would become more powerful, enough to strike down the generals of this emperor, and even the their lord himself. He would have to, or else they would bring this world to one of their logic, their absolutes. Me or Them, black and white, one or zero. Sergei could not allow that future.

As the next command from Ghanima came he nodded, and would move to take the young emperor by the hand and lead him away from the place that might become a battlefield if the Primoris so wished. The look of displeasure upon his face was obvious, he wanted nothing more than to stand by their sides and defend them, was it not his purpose to fight? This was a withdraw, a fearful move which he could not wholly understand. He did not fear a single person here, could not. He supposed that her instincts about her son, were in the same vein as his for his daughter. It was her own way of protecting him. However as if he could scent it on the air, he knew the young man might soon be forcibly forged in fire.

Come along young master, I am sure there are plans to be made which your attention would be very helpful upon. You can tell me more of your people’s history along the way, you know I am a glutton for history.” If Adama followed he would be taking the boy out of the picture and out of harm's way. However as he passed the King, he would speak openly. “I have faith you’ll fill in during my absence. If they attack, give them the hell I have heard that your sister can bring.” With that he left unless asked to stay, for now he had some things he would need to do as well, in preparation for the next seven days.

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Re: The Tempest - Revisiting an old 'friendship'

Post by Caden on Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:02 am

Caden had come a long way in schooling his composure; he wasn’t nearly as capable as his father of wearing that mask of apathy. A stony visage that gave away nothing, not that Caden wished to become so detached. He was a Fir’an, his emotional capabilities were quite stunted. So he cherished what he did have. He had been courteous, graceful and kind as he could. Delivering the news he was burdened with. And now… now the child like Empress and her oversized guard were making things personal.

His brows narrowed and the subtle glow within his eyes flared as green fire quickly laced the sclera of and his fist tightened. Caden made no further movements, but even that small gesture had the Dominus and Fulminis behind him suddenly tense up. In that moment it became very apparent he was his indeed father’s son, it was as if the Emperor’s gaze itself settled onto Ghanima. Words that were once laced with kindness had turned iron. ”You presume too much and make assumptions based on ignorance. You are in a difficult position, that is understandable, but to claim my words are insincere, my actions hypocritical. You suggest this is merely for sport. Do you truly think if this was for sport any of you would be standing right now? That you would have been given an option to decide how your fate plays out?” Caden had no need to speak the words, every single mind there knew. Had the Primoris ordered it no opponent of Celesin in this gathering would leave alive. And there was nothing they could do about it. King or no King.

Caden resisted the intense desire to take a step forwards, not because he was fearful but because it would commit him to a course he was resisting. He was Fir’an, a warrior, the pride of the Dra’sin flooded him like a burst dam. ”You and your nation Empress  have existed for less than a blink of an eye, you are bound to a single planet with no awareness of what happens beyond you own personal world.  You are blissfully ignorant of the horrors beyond that we have staved off, that the Emperor’s protective arm has sheltered lives beyond number.  You speak of narcissism, and yet display it in absolute finality. You Empress, were entrusted with a small plot of land. Do not presume that you alone carry the burden of duty, when you have no knowledge or possible idea of the weight laden on another’s shoulders.”

As Ghanima’s fist clenched and she proceeded to dismiss him, Caden simply looked at her. Neither he or his retinue made a movement, and for once he took a page from his father’s book and outright dismissed Ghanima’s presence. Not so subtly reminding her of what he had spoken earlier. They could be anywhere at any time. His burning gaze turning to Sergei before the man could leave, ”It would be naïve to presume I am unware of the beauty of worlds or how I envision all that lies before me. Were you capable of seeing what I see, could you see as I do, you would have a deeper appreciation. It is why we protect what we do.  We see the whole picture, not just a single portion that is within immediate view. Do not make the mistake of assuming my past. You will be woefully mistaken.” Sergei could hardly know the trials he had been through, the risks he had taken, or what he had lost.  They knew not what his father, what their kind had lost, or risked. And yet they spoke as if they had the wisdom of ages; fools, the lot of them.

They moved to make defenses as if any of it would matter. The Primoris were armies in their own right, perhaps they were unaware that he was the called the Lord of Lightning for not just his tendency to strike as such but because of his speed.  The Dominus despite their ferocity were for presence, a guard of honor. Caden hadn’t need for the Alis behind him should things had taken a turn for the worse.

”To use a known quote among mankind. ‘Ignorance is bliss’. That he had spoken to no one in particular. ”And you bathe in it.” Once more address to the crowd before his attentions were turned to the King, the only one present that hadn’t made faulty assumptions or tried his patience. “As you have remained courteous and understanding King Nabonassar, you shall still be gifted the seven days for your decision. It is my sincere hope you can curb your Empress presumptions and save her people from taking the path that will be littered in their blood.  But bear in mind, whatever course you decide upon, the destination is the same.”

Caden drew a slow breath, he truly hated when his composure got the better of him. He prided himself on his patience, at least for a Dra’sin. Their kind were hardly known for it. The little Empress had been trying. Finally with the iron gone from his tone he returned his attention to the Empress. ”Now, unless there is anything else Empress I will take my leave.” Caden had need to remind her that control was not hers, that power was not hers. That authority over him was not hers, no matter the location. It was a harsh tactic, a harsher truth. But a necessary one if Black Sun was to survive the coming nights.
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Re: The Tempest - Revisiting an old 'friendship'

Post by Ghanima on Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:42 am

A brief look at Sergei as he addressed the Celesin envoy. His words were strange to her again, but she imagined the Champion Prima meant to glean something from the exchange. Testing the waters, so to speak. When he took Adama’s hand and lead him away with a parting message for King Nabonassar, Ghanima realized she’d been holding a wealth of tension in her center and it was all to do with worry for the young man’s wellbeing. How she regretted that an special and education event was so thoroughly ruined. It was especially terrible for Herzog herself...finally becoming a Sibyl and then this.

As for the newly minted Sibyl; she tentatively wormed her way round Ghanima just as she had finished speaking to Caden and the King had doubled up behind the empress’ words to try and ease what would clearly be a flared temper. Herzog dipped briefly for King Nabonassar in the proper bow and courtesy of her station before gathering her slate robes and leaving the forum to find what he had asked her for. The diminutive woman’s striking eyes watched the girl’s back as she became smaller only to return her gaze to the very image of anger. Her words had deeply offended the Primoris— the phrase “struck a nerve” that she’d heard from Arcerion in a past meeting  flit across her mind as the case currently on display. It was well known that the crowned head of the empire was known for having a barbed tongue that cut deep with very little effort on her part...but she hadn’t expected such an effect from one of Mesiphidon’s right hands.

They had an image around the world to those with the misfortune of knowing them of being like icebergs; no emotion...only duty, war and honor. And it was now a broken image, so to speak.

It seemed Caden Dra’sen did not appreciate being called dishonest or callous. Interesting. Almost immediately as he began to speak her posture actually relaxed. No more clenched fist or trembling. He had her full attention even when he turned to speak to Sergei with the same venom.

To say Ghanima wasn’t afraid of the Primoris and his entourage would have been a lie. But, she was a master of masks and poise. Every word Caden served to her— and goodness did he serve quite a few full of acid and fire but presented in a tone with at least some class to it— would not play over her face. The Empress was not playing the tough party by any means and nor did her gaze move away from his facial features or break eye contact. Neither did she look bored or haughty. But, she certainly did not appear to be hurt or offended. Instead, she appeared to be studying him rather than simply listening. He’d exposed something for her: a vulnerability. It would not make a difference if her people were forced to defend themselves against a threat they were woefully outmatched by, but, it was something close to fascinating to see one of those intergalactic supremacists display such emotion. Even if it was subtle and well controlled.

It was also interesting that the Primoris Fulminis revealed he could have killed her and her people for sport along with other details. So, that spoke to her that they had scruples and a moral code she may not have understood— along with an image that was perhaps delicately maintained.

A faint smile bloomed across Ghanima’s lips before she  spoke. She even gave her uninvited guest a pause to make sure he was done expressing himself.

’It was an honor to finally meet you, Primoris and honored son of Mesiphidon.’ she’d impart; giving him a small bow of her head and an elegant sweeping gesture (as was their custom) and somehow maintaining a pleasant tone. However, that tone carried a double entendre with it— she was delivering a courtesy while simultaneously hinting that she had met the “real” him, just now. It was down to his own perceptions whether or not he would pick up on it.  ’That will be all. May I request that you impart to the Empress Esarhaddon the congratulations of our empire on the newest addition to your family? Please, travel safely.’

No return fire, nothing asking how he would dare to call her ‘ignorant’ and the like. Just a sort of tense serenity and poise and her smile never faltered.
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Re: The Tempest - Revisiting an old 'friendship'

Post by Nabonassar on Mon Aug 29, 2016 4:51 pm

Nabonassar became quite suddenly still as Caden began his retort. It seemed that both Sergei and Ghanima were on a same wavelength. Honestly, it felt as though they were both attempting to undermine his delaying tactics. Sergei could not be blamed for his bluntness, he was a soldier. A blunt object good for smashing things and precious little else. His breathing became so shallow that he appeared to not be breathing at all during Caden’s little rant. He very much wanted to berate the both of them for trying to sabotage him. Seven days was a generous offer from Celesin. Anyone else would not have given them anything. The Emperor’s daughter, for instance, would have demanded their immediate surrender and, if refused, would have killed them all. Or would have tried to do so.

He breathed out a sigh of relief when Caden finished and spoke directly to him. He nodded, “Thank you, Primoris, for your understanding. May I say, I am glad that you were sent, Caden Dra’sen, and not your sister? I rather doubt she would have been as understanding as you in this situation.” He bowed his head in genuine respect, “Please, tell Esarhaddon and Konstantine that they are ever in my thoughts. Fondly held, of course.” It was, perhaps, selfish of him to include Konstantine in that. Since his birth he had had very little contact, almost none, with Konstantine. However, he would need her help to save this little empire in the end.

He turned and moved to close the distance between himself and Ghanima in a very casual manner and he murmured, quite softly, “Well, if you were attempting to sabotage me, you very nearly succeeded. Please refrain from, how does the common phrase go? ‘Poking the bear’? Yes. Please refrain from poking the bear any further.” He then moved away until he felt the Primoris go.
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Re: The Tempest - Revisiting an old 'friendship'

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