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In and Out of Astral Planes by Merron Schezar
[December 26, 2016, 11:16:52 PM]

Seeking a Muse by Blair Grejya
[December 26, 2016, 09:53:39 PM]

Close to Home by Luka Duplais
[December 22, 2016, 01:45:54 AM]

Storm and Fire by Gavin Berkeley
[December 21, 2016, 11:24:25 PM]

Woeful Winter Weather by Kaeden Sanzer
[December 20, 2016, 03:44:05 PM]

Your Hope is Deeper than Pain by Darien Pryce
[December 20, 2016, 02:52:54 PM]

One Skip Ahead by Adara Kendricks
[February 24, 2016, 10:06:18 AM]

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Author Topic: Your Hope is Deeper than Pain  (Read 3150 times)

Description: tag: Thea

Marcus Rennes

  • Warlord, Steward of Erendil Province
  • *
  • Points: 0
  • Posts: 15
    • Age: 48

    • Race: Sceltan

    • Birthright JP: 52

    • Offering JP: 68

    • Bio: Marcus Rennes

    • Player: Elle

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Re: Your Hope is Deeper than Pain
« Reply #45 on: December 19, 2016, 06:11:03 PM »
Watching Narshe’s Gray Master of the Guard depart into the depths of the hotel, Thea found her attention pulled back to the remainder of the males. Darien had amicably stepped forward to join the Warlord, the tension in the foyer receding to a measurable degree with Prince Berkeley gone.

The option of a(nother) heated beverage lingered preeminent in her mind. Still, Thea thought, she had made perhaps one too many decisions on her own for the day. Or week, the Healer concluded, glancing back to Luka. He shifted and she went to let her own hand drop from the small of his back, the gentle brush of her fingertips against fabric comfort enough. Although she found, in equally short order, his arm offered to her and it was second nature to take it.

It was with this Gray Jeweled Prince that Thea seemed to fit most comfortably with, bringing herself forward and closer to his side as she accepted his arm. The awkwardness in her gait seemed to be something that the male unconsciously allowed for, so familiar with it as he was, and she smiled shyly at the Warlord.

“Cider sounds like a lovely idea on a night like this,” Thea allowed carefully. Her words didn’t trip and tumble on her lips as they had earlier, not even when she glanced at the oldest male in their contingent with a less reserved expression of humor.

“Almost as much as tea.”


Narshe’s Master of the Guard departed and while Marcus lamented his almost effortless escape - he still wanted to speak with the male, by the Darkness - he couldn’t say that he regretted the separation of Berkeley and Duplais. The animosity between the two had been crackling the air and for the life of him, the Steward couldn’t identify any specificity behind it.

Although he could hazard a few guesses, and none of them seemed appealing. Mother Night, if Firion’s Master of the Guard was so prickly about the little Healer all the time, it was a wonder that blood hadn’t been spilt already.

“Make it up if you’d like,” Marcus chortled, easygoing personality surfing to the forefront. “I certainly won’t know enough to contradict you. Although I suppose we could make a wager of it if you’re inclined, but I should tell you that the odds are almost universally in your favor if we do.”

The Tiger Eye Warlord made more room in his immediate vicinity for the other male from - well, origins undetermined. Marcus was still trying to parse out where he might have come from because he certainly wasn’t from one of the Courts. That much, he could say with certainty. No informant would have been able to overlook this one, even as politely unobtrusive as he was. Compared to Duplais, whose presence was an icy weight of restrained temper, the long lived male was as smooth as glass: refined, politic, but even that couldn’t conceal what he was.

And that, Marcus thought sourly, was another Gray Jeweled Prince in Scelt.

It was the last thing that he needed.


Second to last.

As Prince Pryce had done his best to smooth things over, and the remaining Master’s temper yielded to his Healer (and at this point, information or not, Marcus wouldn’t bend on that point: the little witch was Duplais’ and any male who cared to contest it would come back missing a hand. If they were lucky.) the Steward stepped into the taproom, easy smile still in place as he surveyed the room.

The tables - while made appealing by chairs - were central enough that the scene it might cause, to have three Dark Jewels in one location (and a miscellaneous Provincial Steward, to round it off) was loathsome. In a nod to discretion, his own preferences, and what he assumed would be everyone else’s nerves, the male made a bid for a booth in the back. Ducking in to sit by the far wall in a gesture of good faith, he leaned back into the cushion.

It grated his nerves somewhat to sit before the Healer had been seated, but he supposed that Duplais’ prickly demeanor and long-suffering humor wouldn’t survive another song and dance.

“I’ve already been roundly scolded tonight and informed it’s poor form to drink alone, so I’m pleased to have company join me,” Marcus informed them, easy smile still dictating his demeanor. “Now I can continue to my goal: try everything on tap at least once.”

Luka Duplais

  • Prince; Master of the Guard of Firion Province
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  • Posts: 99
    • Age: 26

    • Race: Sceltan

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Re: Your Hope is Deeper than Pain
« Reply #46 on: December 20, 2016, 12:32:03 AM »
Resigned to being polite for the evening, Luka tried harder to put aside the run-in with Berkeley. There was still a small spike of annoyance about the other Gray Prince, but at least Luka could get more information now. There was something about the man that unnerved Luka, though he couldn't quite pinpoint what it was. The other Prince was too calm, too still.

And there was an expression of conspiratory humor in his golden eyes as Thea mentioned tea. Luka's eyes narrowed marginally, though the other man appeared not to notice. He would ask Thea about that later, perhaps.

The easy way that the long-lived Prince appeared to laugh with Erendil's Steward made Luka feel out of place and, almost incongruently, a little jealous. He felt a pang of loneliness despite Thea being there at his side, and wished that Rowan was there. His friend had stayed home, however. It was too bad; Rowan would have fit right in with this merry group in a way that Luka never would.

"Doesn't sound like much of a wager, in that case," Pryce smiled.

The man's reserved manner was entirely at odds with what Luka would have expected from a long-lived Gray-Jeweled Prince. It didn't seem to be merely an affectation because he'd walked into a situation involving two others of the same rank, either. Regardless of his manners, though, Luka was wary of him. There were little clues that told the Sceltan male that there was much more to the other Prince than met the eye.

They all followed Rennes into the tap room, Pryce half a step behind the Steward, and Luka and Thea following.

The Steward, light Jewels or no, was another conundrum for Luka. He could never quite tell what the man was thinking. Though he was still an obstacle, Narshe's Master of the Guard, at least, was easy to read. Luka had a feeling that Erendil's Steward was far more crafty than he seemed.

The booth was a good choice, Luka thought. Though he might have preferred a different location on any other day, this was really the only good solution for the current group. The only question left was how the rest of the seating arrangement would pan out, and even that was barely a question.

Luka steered Thea over to the booth and more or less deposited her on the bench across from Rennes. Pryce took the seat next to Rennes once he saw what Luka's choice had been.

"It is better to have company while drinking," Pryce agreed. Luka silently agreed with the sentiment, as well, but didn't voice it aloud. "Could you recommend what to start with, Lord Marcus?"

Luka watched the other two males, his expression morphing back into his usual dispassionate frown the longer he did.

Thea Kinsbury

  • Healer
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  • Posts: 120
  • "It is my choice how I wear my scars."
    • Age: 18

    • Race: Chaillotian

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    • Bio: Thea

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Re: Your Hope is Deeper than Pain
« Reply #47 on: December 20, 2016, 10:14:46 AM »
Marcus watched as the small Healer was deftly handed into the inner seat of the booth. He fought back a grin, not desiring to give the prickly Master of the Guard any reason for further factitiousness. Apparently he had been considered less concerning than the Gray Jeweled Prince that came to sit next to him. Although he couldn't fault Duplais' thinking.

The exchange between the Healer and the foreign-born male had been enough to pique his curiousity. She was, to all accounts, a shy witch. When had this familiarity been fostered?

"You won't be disappointed, Lady," Marcus offered with an easy smile as he banished thoughts of another Gray falling into line with Firion. Amicability with this young Healer was one thing. Alliance with Firion's Queen was another altogether.

Shifting his attention back to the male beside him, the Steward laughed, "I'm told that's what makes it appealing for some. Myself, I never seemed to take the smart wagers. Never hurt me much in the long run, though."

"House ale's not really one you can go wrong with, provided you don't mind something that's not got such a smooth finish," Marcus offered after a moment of thought. It was sufficiently middle of the road, the Warlord considered, that if either male decided to take the recommendation and found it not particularly to their tastes, neither would likely be terribly offended at it either. Middle ground. He could fight for that.

"And their spiced cider is well known from what I gather," he offered to the redheaded female across the table from him, his smile still warm: though even as he did, he kept the Master of the Guard's figure in the periphery of his vision. 


The cushions of the booth were a comfortable respite to her figure after spending an evening exploring town, Thea thought. She relaxed fractionally into the texture. For a moment, the Healer was willing to let her mind drift away on that alone. The murmur of conversation drifted about her, the milling sounds of the taproom beyond their booth a familiar droning background sound that she could dim in her awareness.

As spacious as the booth was it didn't seem that any of the four occupants were feeling crowded. Well, other than the fact that three Dark Jeweled individuals were casually conversing in a table which seemed to be more than enough for polite distance to be granted to them. Thea's eyes dropped to her lap. For a moment her gaze stared blankly at her fingers, laced together in her lap in a bid to refrain from taking up too much space.

Carefully, though, she freed one hand: it moved across the seat to rest gently at the top of Luka's thigh. The gesture was subtle and deliberate, not one communicated through body language or movement that could have been sighted from above the table. Her fingers brushed his leg gently before retreating to rest on the bench between them.

Quiet attentiveness.

It was concern for him, but it grounded her as well.

On the heels of the gesture, Thea's attention drifted back to the male that had been pointed out to her as he arrived. Smiling shyly at him, her head inclined.

"It's a fine night for a warm drink," she volunteered. The males across the table had been shouldering the weight of polite conversation. She appreciated the effort.

Her attention fell to Darien after a moment, shy smile warming as the seconds ebbed past. One hand fisting in her lap as she leaned forward slightly, Thea laughed.

"Don't take Lord Rennes' word, Prince," the Healer warned. Her voice was light, not quite certain of her right to try to tease the Gray Prince this way - or even the unfamiliar Warlord across the way, although as she spoke his warm smile invited her to continue. "Steward Rennes has a reputation for his deft handling of Erendil's provincial business."

Darien Pryce

  • Prince
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  • Posts: 45
    • Age: 1974

    • Race: Dhemlan

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Re: Your Hope is Deeper than Pain
« Reply #48 on: December 20, 2016, 02:52:54 PM »
Darien was surprised at the comfortability of the booth. Then he remembered the kinds of people who stayed at a place like this; the last place he had been to that had been this upscale had been in Glacia, and only because an acquaintance had invited him. He'd always felt rather out of place in settings like this.

"You must have excellent luck, then," Darien commented to Lord Marcus. "I'm afraid wagering has not held much appeal to me in a very long time, though. I don't think I had as much luck as you do."

The other Gray Prince crossed his arms and settled back into his seat next to Thea, looking grim. The other Prince's presence was something to be wary of, but so long as Thea was there and not distressed, he expected that the other Prince would keep a leash on his temper. The two of them were sitting nearly shoulder to shoulder with how the Prince was sitting, somehow steadying each other. Darien's gaze flicked over briefly before going back to the Warlord beside him.

Thea's words drew Darien's attention. His eyebrows raised as he looked at Lord Marcus in surprise.

"Steward?" he asked. He bowed his head a bit. "I'd say you have a bit more than luck, then, Lord."

Darien still wasn't entirely sure which Province was which in Scelt, with all their complex political ties. Dhemlan had been just as complicated, but he had grown up there. Prince Berkeley and Thea's Prince not getting along seemed almost as personal as it was political -- two Gray-Jeweled Masters of the Guard in a time of uncertainty was more than enough to put them at odds -- but Darien couldn't recall anything about Erendil. Prince Duplais didn't seem overly friendly with Erendil's Steward, though Prince Berkeley had been more congenial. Darien was beginning to wonder if Prince Duplais was actually friendly with anyone.

Looking cautious but determined, a server made his way over to collect their orders, and disappeared again.

Darien had gone with the recommendation from the Steward, for lack of any better options at that moment. The other Prince had ordered the house ale first, so Darien couldn't even choose between two recommendations.

"How much of their selection have you tried?" Darien asked Lord Marcus curiously, steering the conversation away from politics.