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    Grief and Reparations

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Gold Rush
    Position : None
    Posts : 672
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    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Gunblade Master
    Second Skill: Mecha Primordial Slayer
    Third Skill:

    Grief and Reparations Empty Grief and Reparations

    Post by Mercury Arseneault 15th June 2023, 1:28 pm

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    Life had become simultaneously more and less complicated in the last few days. The changes with Patricia had left everyone more than a little shocked, both in the du Wolff household and the Sinclair-Ragnos household. Add to that Raici’s presence on the island, and it was a little chaotic. Patty, or rather Professor, had been true to her word about being able to undo the conditioning that Maker had performed so that the clone wasn’t immediately hostile toward Vandrad anymore, which was at least a start, but she was still keeping the clone under close observation just in case… but on the flip side, Vandrad had been able to confirm beyond the shadow of a doubt that Maker was using an ability to manipulate Mercury and others around her. While one the one hand it was disappointing and sad to know that he had been lying the entire time, it was also provided many of them with a sense of relief that they could go back to viewing him as the sociopath he truly was, and treating their plans for him accordingly.

    But today was not about Maker. He’d been wrapped up as the central focus of Mercury’s time for months at this point, and she was ready for a break, if a small one. There had been some talk amongst her and Vandrad, Themesycia, Cyrene, and Zemenar about establishing the first holiday for New Rhaegar. Both peoples had been through numerous trials and struggles for countless years, and while there had been many celebrations thus far for their freedoms, they hadn’t really taken a moment to honor and reflect on the lives that had been lost during their respective wars and imprisonment.

    Eventually, the idea had been proposed to establish a memorial day, one that would involve supplying the island’s residents with paper lanterns that would be lit later on during the night, where they would be released out over the open waters of the ocean in memory of the loved ones that were no longer with them. The announcement was well received by everyone, and the citizens had been diligently preparing for the day. For the most part it wouldn’t involve anything too formal; everyone had been invited to join with one another on the beachfront, where there had been stations set up with refreshments as well as places for people to collect lanterns for the ceremony later. There was also a place where a podium had been set up next to a space where a curtain was covering a statue that Mercury and Vandrad planned on unveiling for everyone. Otherwise, everyone would more or less spend the day with their individual families in the stretch of coast line that had been set aside for the event, telling stories and exchanging memories until it was night.

    For now the sun was still out. It was still morning, and they would be making their way down to the beach in a couple of hours, but first there was something that Mercury needed to speak with Vandrad and her father about. She’d asked both men to meet with her in the manor, in one of the smaller parlors where they could have a moment of privacy. She was dressed in a casual but presentable outfit, sporting a black top with sheer sleeves that was tucked into a pair of high waisted pink and white shorts. Simple black shoes with pink ribbon lacing around the ankle completed the ensemble. While she looked as collected as ever where she sat with Vandrad, waiting for her father, there was a mild nervousness simmering beneath the surface of her emotions.

    It wouldn’t take long for Zemenar to arrive, the older Xocili dressed in a light pair of khaki pants with an open button up, floral print top over a white shirt. Mercury looked up from where she had been idly scrolling on her iLac and smiled, slipping the device away to stand up and give her father a hug. “Hey, dad,”

    He returned the gesture with a warm smile of his own. “Morning, you two.” Knowing Vandrad wasn’t huge on hugs, he merely placed a hand on his future son-in-law’s shoulder and gave it a soft squeeze by way of greeting. “What’s up? Did you need help with something?”

    Mercury shook her head, gesturing for Zemenar to have a seat. “No, I actually just had something I wanted to discuss with you both. I didn’t want to make a decision on this without running it past the two of you first.” Sitting back down, she took a quiet but deep breath before looking up at them. “I would like Khelben to be able to participate in the holiday today.”

    Zemenar all but froze in his seat, clearly having not expected this particular topic of conversation. Ever since both men had found out what Mercury’s brother had done to hurt her, Khelben was a subject that her father had attempted to avoid for some time. Understandably so. It was a difficult situation for everyone, but perhaps hardest of all on Zemenar, who was having to struggle with the love he had for his son against the anger and disappointment he had in his son’s actions. One didn’t need to be an empath to recognize that he was already at a loss of how to respond, leaning forward a bit in contemplation with his hand clasped loosely together. Khelben had been in prison for months at this point, all but forgotten by nearly everyone. The vast majority of the island’s residents had no idea what he had been locked up for, nor did Mercury have any intentions on telling anyone that didn’t need to know.

    Her father shifted a bit awkwardly in his seat. “That’s… very big of you,”[/color] he offered quietly, clearly still trying to get his bearings. “Are you sure that’s something that you’re ready for..?”

    “I don’t think I’m ready for him to be fully released,” she admitted slowly. “And I’m sure neither of you are, either. But… I have been visiting him. In jail. A couple times a month.”

    “You have..?” Her father looked all the more stunned by the news, turning to glance at Vandrad to see if he had been aware of that before turning his attention back to his daughter.

    Mercury shrugged. “He’s my brother. He hurt me in ways I don’t know that I’ll ever fully recover from, and I know I should hate him. Some days I do. But he’s the only family I have besides you. I’ve gone my whole life without having any family, and if Khelben and I are going to have any chance at repairing anything with each other… it’s not going to happen without me making a few sacrifices to my pride. He and I both have to be willing to confront it. So.. yeah, I started visiting him.”

    “But more than that, this holiday is about remembering who we’ve lost. We’ve all been persecuted and imprisoned for so long, I don’t think any of us have had a real chance to grieve. And the fact of the matter is, he knew our mother and spent most of our life with her. I didn’t. No matter what he’s done, he deserves the chance to be a part of this. And while I’m not asking either of you to be comfortable with his company or to consider giving him a chance at forgiveness… I just… wanted to see if it would be okay to let him be a part of this, preferably with as little lashing out as possible. For my sake, if not for his. But I didn’t want to surprise you guys with it, and I wanted to give you a chance to tell me if you’d rather I didn’t bring him along instead of just… making that decision on my own.”

    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

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    Second Skill: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Skill:

    Grief and Reparations Empty Re: Grief and Reparations

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 15th June 2023, 6:50 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Grief and Reparations RJtajUnz_o


    Whatever this was, it was making Mercury nervous as hell.

    Vandrad didn’t need to be an empath to know just how anxious his fiance was; he could practically feel the couch shaking beneath her rump. He cast her a few glances at her every few minutes, just to see if there was any breakage through her usual stoic demeanor. But as always, she had trained her facade to remain neutral despite her deeper misgivings. Whatever she had to say, she wanted to wait for Zemenar to show up and Vandrad opted to honor that. In the meantime, he worked on programming his new armor from his digital armband, typing in commands and executing them quietly. The future king was dressed just as casually as his fiance, with a simple dark blue button up shirt, a pair of jeans and brown shoes. On his left arm was a highly advanced arm band that covered most of his forearm, allowing him to connect to the digital array that covered the entirety of New Rhaegar. With it, he could access his laboratory and work on his own projects from anywhere on the island.

    When Zemenar finally arrived, joining in the casual look with them, he moved over to meet Mercury in a hug, with Vandrad standing up out of respect as well. He gave the older Xocili a nod as his shoulder was clapped and then joined the other two to sit at Mercury’s request. Minimizing his work screen, he turned to face the Silver Wolf Ace fully as she explained she had come to a decision but wanted their input on it before she pulled any kind of triggers. After a moment to steady herself, she stated quite simply that she wished Khelban to join them for their celebration. Vandrad, surprisingly, did not stiffen as much as Zemenar, the slightest narrowing of his eyes being the only real shift in his demeanor. It was a hard subject for all of them, most of all for the two Xocili. Zemenar took a moment to gain his bearings after the impact of the question and asked the question they were both wondering; was she prepared for that?

    She admitted she didn’t want him out and free again, at least not yet. Personally Vandrad didn’t either but even he would be quick to state that was his own bias than for any real reason. More surprising was that Mercury had been visiting him a few times a month. Vandrad’s sat up a bit straighter and gave Zemenar a small shake of his head, confirming that he didn’t know about it either. It had been news to him and he was genuinely surprised she hadn’t told him. But as she continued, she explained that despite what he had done, he was still her brother. She had moments of hatred for him but he was part of her family and she had gone long enough without one. She believed if there was any hope of salvaging the broken pieces of their connection, she had to bend a little against her pride. They would have to work and confront the issue head on and so, Mercury had taken to visiting him.

    More importantly though, as she continued, was that the new holiday was about remembering the lost. The Xocili had suffered at the hands of the Nazru and the Rhaegarians under multiple regimes and many of them hadn’t been given the opportunity to grieve and honor those that they lost. And despite everything, Khelban had also lost their mother; having been rewarded the opportunity to be with her longer than Mercury had. For all his actions, he still had the right to grieve what he had lost. She didn’t need them to be comfortable with him or even be willing to forgive but she felt, truly, that he should be a part of it and hopefully not deal with any anger and aggression for what was supposed to be a celebration and somber remembrance. Hence why she had chosen to address it with them ahead of time rather than surprising them, to give them the option to protest the action before she’d already released him.

    Vandrad stared at her for a long moment in silence, his face unreadable despite everything she had said. Then slowly he reached out and took her hand in his. "I agree,” he said with a gentle nod. "I will not pretend that I don’t harbor hatred or anger towards him. Perhaps I always will. But you’re right; he, too, was under the thumb and control of the Nazru and was never given the time to truly grieve the ones he lost. And if you are the one that says it is okay, if you are willing to allow it, then I see absolutely no reason to stop it.” He gave her hand a squeeze and leaned over to kiss her on the cheek. "You’re a far better person than I would be in this situation. I’m proud of you.” And he gave her a rare, genuine smile that lacked his usual ego or smugness. A smile that really only came out for her and his closest family in their private moments.

    He nodded. "I’ll be on my best behavior. I may even say hi to him. Just imagine,” Vandrad added with a small, amused snort.






    Words: 892 | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault, @Serilda Sinclair, @Mythal Ragnos  | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Serilda Sinclair
    Serilda Sinclair

    Ice Queen


    Ice Queen

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    Position : Goddess of Conviction
    Faction : The Rune Knights
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    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Voidwalking
    Second Skill: Sword of Wrath
    Third Skill: Cruorthurgy

    Grief and Reparations Empty Re: Grief and Reparations

    Post by Serilda Sinclair 16th June 2023, 5:38 pm

    Seri Banner
    Conviction never shames nor condemns us.
    It calls us back to who we truly are.
    Serilda frowned as she looked at the message on her iLac. The Voidwalker had been in the process of finishing her make-up for the gathering on New Rhaegar when her phone had alerted her to a message. To call the contents of the text surprising would be an immense understatement. Finishing up at the mirror, she made her way downstairs where everyone who would be joining them on the island had agreed to group once they were ready. She was dressed in a nice but casual off the shoulder summer sweater that had been knit together with a light, breathable cotton. Olive colored slacks covered her legs and a pair of strappy slip-on sandals adorned her feet. Serilda used her magic senses to locate her fiance within the home, seeking him out.

    “Hey, babe? Did you see Vandrad’s text? Khelben is going to be there today…” The look of concern on her face was hardly veiled. She was well aware of Khelben’s reasons for being in jail, as Mythal had been present when Thana had let slip the truth in a final – successful – attempt to get under Vandrad’s skin before her execution. It was a sore subject for everyone that was aware of what had happened, which as far as Serilda knew wasn’t a great deal of people. Understandably, Mercury hadn’t exactly wanted to make her trauma public knowledge. Ever since Vandrad confronted the man and locked him in prison, Khelben’s name hadn’t come up almost at all. In truth, everyone had been surprised that Vandrad hadn’t simply murdered him on the spot, Mercury’s brother or no. Even Mythal and Serilda had been incensed by the knowledge and would have considered capital punishment.

    Yet he was still alive, and for the first time in months was being released from his cell, if temporarily. And truthfully, Serilda didn’t quite know how to react… but she knew she wanted to at least check in with Mythal to make sure he had seen, as the message was with intent of giving everyone a heads up with plenty of time to mentally prepare themselves. Serilda supposed she understood, given the nature of the holiday that was being established that day, but… it was certainly going to make things very awkward. “Vandrad is probably going to be in a more surly mood than usual. I imagine your father will, too.” It was well known by that point that Gren and Mercury were a bit of a side item with one another, to put it mildly. Gren had taken the news of Mercury’s assault hard when the Xocili opened up to him about it, though he had at least been less volatile than Vandrad, but this would also be the first time a lot of people would be seeing the man since learning the truth so… there was no telling what to expect.

    Once everyone making the trip was ready, Serilda picked up Naomi, who was dressed in a colorful sundress, and opened a portal to the island. The primary beach was already littered with large groups of Rhaegarians and Xocili that had gathered to spend time with their loved ones. There were a few stations set up with drinks and snacks to keep people hydrated, as well as several booths where people could pick up paper lanterns for later. There was plenty of time to do that, so instead she glanced around to see if she could spot any familiar faces.

    “Seri! Mythal! Over here!” Serilda turned in the direction of the voice to find her brother Solomon waving them over to a spot near where there was some kind of structure hidden beneath a large tarp. Unsurprisingly, he was there with Cecilia as well as several others that the Voidwalker recognized.

    With a smile, Serilda walked over and started greeting everyone, setting Naomi down to let her play in the sand. They simply hung out and chatted for a while as others filtered in. When nearly everyone else more or less was present, Mercury finally arrived with Khelben in tow. He was dressed in a pair of dark, classy jeans with a gray sweater vest over a white button up shirt. His hair had grown longer, the dark purple locks pulled up into a ponytail, with simple gold hoop earrings hanging from either ear. The wayward Xocili was doing his best to hide his discomfort, looking like he was ready for someone, or several someones, to lash out at him.

    Mercury herself seemed relatively unbothered, and as they joined in with the group she didn’t bother re-introducing him to anyone. Khelben stood awkwardly just outside the group, unsure of what to say or do and having a difficult time making eye contact with anyone even as Mercury merged herself seamlessly into the small crowd. As the future queen made her way over to say hello to the Rune Knight leaders, Serilda caught a glimpse out of the corner of her eye of Zemenar working up the gumption to approach his son… and as curious as the Voidwalker was to observe that interaction, her better, more disciplined self won out and she forced herself to turn her attention to Mercury, giving the Xocili a hug that was slightly tighter and slightly longer than typical. “Good to see you. Is everything coming together alright? Is there anything we can do to help?”

    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mythal Ragnos
    Mythal Ragnos

    Knight VIP Status- Regular VIP Status- VIP- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- God Slayer- Magic Application Approved!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Player 
    Lineage : Heir to Darkness
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    Age : 36
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    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Kami No Ken Sutairu O Taosu
    Second Skill: Kingdom Darkness Embodiment
    Third Skill: Soul Stone/Trickster's Illusions

    Grief and Reparations Empty Re: Grief and Reparations

    Post by Mythal Ragnos 18th June 2023, 10:15 am

    LIGHT
    &
    DARK

    Ah crap.

    In a strange way, Mythal had anticipated something like this might happen. He didn’t really have any empirical evidence to support the feeling, nor was there any kind of indication that Khelban would be involved in the celebration. But ever since they had talked about creating the holiday for both the Xocili and Rhaegarian people, Mercury had seemed pensive. Of course he had told himself it was just over all of the issues and complications that had arisen over the past few months but it had felt deeper than that. Now, it seemed, his feelings had come to pass. In a way, it made sense… Khelban had suffered right along at the hands of the Nazru like the rest of his people. The complication, however, had far outweighed his trauma for a set amount of time.

    “Yeah…” Mythal replied to Serilda with a sigh. In a perfect world, it wouldn’t have affected him or Serilda in any way. His actions would have been kept secret for Mercury to deal with and while they would all know there was something wrong, they probably wouldn’t force the matter. However, Thana, in her last act before being vaporized, had taken the sick pleasure of informing not only Vandrad but the rest of the gathered party what had happened. And before Mythal could stop Vandrad to calm him down, at least enough to not cause an incident, the future king was gone. There was, of course, quite the grandiose display of raw rage when he arrived back at the island and it seemed Vandrad had violently confronted Khelban, resulting in Zemenar learning the truth as well. But once Mercury had arrived, the scene had calmed down and her brother was whisked off to jail, away from the public eye. That’s where he had remained for months now, alive but alone.

    “Yeah this ain’t gonna be pretty. Here I was hopin’ for some relaxation for once,” the Rune Knight Director grumbled. As Mercury was, essentially, in a relationship with both Vandrad and Gren, there would be all kinds of tension when she showed up with Khelban in tow. He hoped that his adoptive father would be more calm and collected but Vandrad… well, he was grumpy on his better days. He was probably going to be a ball of quivering rage all through the day and evening. Mythal sighed as he picked up Alexia, dressed in a matching sundress to her twin sister. For himself, Mythal was dressed in a semi-formal outfit, some gray slacks and a jacket that had a blend of gray and white making it look like he was wearing a vest. He had a green shirt with a black tie underneath it.

    “Is this someone we don’t like? Do I need to teach them a lesson?” Vriko asked, glancing between the two suddenly-tense members of the Rune Knights. Vriko was dressed in a more formal dress, a red half-robe that covered more of her left side than her right. Beneath was a singlet that hugged her body tight, her entire right hip and thigh exposed while the left was covered in the loose-fitting material. She matched it up with some gold jewelry and a pair of thigh-high boots.

    “Pretty sure Vandrad taught ‘em a lesson before. Just… try an’ be civil with them, I guess,” Mythal said with a shrug.

    Vriko shrugged as well. She didn’t know anything about Khelban but it sounded like it was someone that had done something stupid. If it was enough to make the two of them tense, it must have been serious. And while Mercury was far from her favorite person, she assumed that anything that bothered Mythal and Serilda this much was worth being concerned about. Through the portal they went, arriving on the beachside of New Rhaegar. Most of the islanders were already there, enjoying one another’s company. The sound of Solomon calling them over drew the group to a familiar setting of people. Both the twin girls were set down and let loose, playing in the sand and screaming with glee as young children were wont to do. But it wasn’t long before Mercury arrived with the man of the hour. He looked vastly different than the last time Mythal had seen him; his hair was long and he didn’t look as built as he used to be. Prison had a way of doing that though.

    No matter the case, he already looked like he would rather be anywhere else, his eyes darting about as if he was waiting for someone to go right at him. Mythal watched unabashedly, staring as Zemenar finally found some courage to actually approach his son and not take a swing at him. Vriko had already separated herself from the group, standing off to the side with her arms crossed… but she, too, also seemed to be watching the interaction between father and son. Zemenar had made an impression on the former bandit woman, enough so that he seemed to be the only person she really considered a friend.

    “I’m assumin’ Vandrad and the rest will be along shortly then,” Mythal remarked to Mercury and Serilda, giving the Xocili a hug after his fiance. “I’m sure they needed some… uh… prep.”



    STATISTICS
    HP: x/y
    MP: x/y
    Spells Used: list them here
    Abilities Active: list them and their effects here
    Weapons Equipped: list/link them here
    Monsters Killed: list here
    Other Notes: reeeeeee this should scroll if you type too much
    IVYLEAF33



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Gold Rush
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    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Gunblade Master
    Second Skill: Mecha Primordial Slayer
    Third Skill:

    Grief and Reparations Empty Re: Grief and Reparations

    Post by Mercury Arseneault 20th June 2023, 5:34 pm

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    It was a big ask. A huge ask. While Mercury had been the primary victim of assault, that didn’t mean that it hadn’t affected either of the two men sitting in front of her in deep ways. She wasn’t simply going to assume that bringing Khelben along was the right thing to do just because she alone was okay with it. So she pitched her thoughts and waited in nervous silence to see what they would say.

    Both men were silent for a long time, Vandrad watching her and Zemenar looking at a spot on the floor while he wrestled with his own thoughts. It was Vandrad who broke the silence, reaching over to take his fiance by the hand and assuring her that he agreed with her. The internal tension within her seemed to loosen considerably as the future king continued, admitting that he hated Khelben and likely always would, but Mercury’s reasoning was sound. Her brother had been controlled and enslaved as much as Mercury had, and he had lost everything and everyone with no chance to truly cope with that. As long as she felt it was okay and appropriate, as long as Mercury was comfortable with it, then he didn’t see any reason to put his foot down against it.

    She leaned against his kiss, a small, relieved smile on her face, resting her forehead against his affectionately as he told her that he believed her a much better person than he would be in the situation; he was proud of her. “Thank you, baby,” Mercury told him softly, giving his hand a squeeze back. Vandrad informed her that he would be on his best behavior… and might even say hi to him. The Xocili shook her head, her smile deepening into a smirk. “You’re so bad.” Still holding his hand, she finally turned to Zemenar, her expression settling a bit. “Dad..?”

    Zemenar continued to be quiet a moment longer before he finally spoke. “I… don’t know if I’m ready to see him, yet,” he admitted. His shoulders drooped and he sighed. “But then again, I don’t know that I ever will. I need to see him again eventually, I just… I don’t know what I’d say to him. He needs his father, but I don’t know if I can be a father in this scenario. Not to him, at least…”

    Mercury watched her father carefully as he spoke, observing the struggle in his words and on his face. “Dad… I’m not going to be mad at you for loving him, still. That’s not going to make me feel like you don’t care about what he did to me. He needs you as much as I do… If I’m being honest, he probably needs you more.”

    Her father finally looked up then, his eyes wet, and from the way he looked at her she could tell that she’d hit his worry on the head. He was stuck in the middle of an awful situation where he felt like he had to pick sides, but he didn’t need to do that. Mercury didn’t expect that of him; no one did. He could be upset with Khelben and still be his father without anyone thinking that he was brushing aside Mercury’s trauma. Finally, he offered her a sad smile. “I never got the chance to raise you… yet despite your circumstances, I’m always so thankful to see what a wise and compassionate young woman you’ve become. It’s humbling… and I’m proud of you, too.” Father and daughter shared a smile before Zemenar nodded gently. “Alright. He can come.”

    “Thanks, dad.” She got up and leaned over where he sat to give him a lingering hug. When they parted, Mercury turned back to Vandrad. “Would you mind reaching out to some of the others to let them know so they’re not caught off guard? I haven’t actually told Khelben about this so… I need to go talk with him. And probably help him get ready; some clean clothes and such.” Presuming he agreed, she’d give him a soft kiss on the lips. “Thank you, love.”


    “You.. want me to what?” Her brother looked at her in wary disbelief through the bars of the cell.

    “I want you to come to the ceremony today.”

    “Is that even allowed?”

    Mercury raised a brow. “I’m going to be queen, so I’m pretty sure that means I get to make some of the rules,” she reminded him humorously, if dryly.

    “Fair enough… but are you sure that’s a good idea?”

    “Not really… but I do know that it’s the right thing to do. This day is for everyone, Xocili and Rhaegarian alike. And if you’re going to have any chance at making things right with me – and everyone else – you need to start showing that you’re willing to take those steps instead of just being content to hide in your prison cell for the rest of your life. They need to see some effort on your part. But more than that, you can’t start making things right with any of us until you start making things right for yourself… A lesson I’ve had to learn a lot over the last few years.”

    Khelben was quiet for a long, long moment. “And… dad and Vandrad are okay with this?”

    She shrugged. “Vandrad will never like you. I won’t pretend otherwise. He will only ever tolerate your existence and if he didn’t think it would upset dad and I, he’d probably kill you and not think twice about it. But, he agrees with me – you need to be there. You need this as much as everyone else. And dad is upset and disappointed with you, but that doesn’t mean he hates you, or that he doesn’t want anything to do with you. He’s just… struggling with how to move forward, like we all are. I can’t promise that someone won’t make a snide remark here and there, or give you dirty looks or anything, but that’s just the price you’re going to have to pay. At the very least, no one is going to intentionally cause a scene. Today is too important.”

    He gave it some silent thought before he finally nodded. “Okay. I’ll come.”

    “Good.” Using her magic, she undid the lock on the cell, sliding the gate open and stepping aside so he could emerge. “Then let’s go get you something fresh to wear.”


    Some time later, a number of people had already gathered at the beach. Mercury had helped Khelben find an appropriate outfit and get cleaned up. While the du Wolffs weren’t keeping him in a state of destitution, it wasn’t exactly easy to keep clean in a cell, so she made sure he was plenty presentable and comfortable for his brief reintegration with society. As they made their way to the shores, she could see that many had already arrived from the mainland. She didn’t see Vandrad yet, but she knew he’d show up eventually. Khelben walked a beat behind and beside her, looking like he was one jump scare away from turning tail and running back to prison, but to his credit he pushed forward. Mercury didn’t say anything to encourage or assure him one way or another; while she knew that most everyone would likely be respectful and not cause any issues, that didn’t mean people weren’t going to find their own ways to be mean with him. She wanted him there but she didn’t plan on coddling him.

    That said, she also didn’t plan on making a big deal about it and announcing his presence to everyone. He could make his own introductions with anyone that didn’t know him. Instead, she made her own rounds greeting wise, slowly making her way toward Mythal and Serilda. “Hey guys! Thanks for coming.”[/color] Seri gave her an extra firm hug, offering to provide help anywhere it was needed. “I think we’re more or less set, unless you wanna help hand out lanterns as people arrive. But pretty much everything else is done.”[/color] Mercury shifted over to Mythal, returning his embrace as well, the darkness slayer a bit more forward about the awkward situation. “Yeah I’m sure he’ll be here soon. He’ll be okay. At the very least he promised to be on his best behavior, though I suppose the standard for that isn’t very high.”

    She grinned up at her future brother-in-law, more than comfortable enough in the situation to at least make some jokes about it. “Thank you both for coming. I know this is more for the citizens here, but we do really appreciate your support.”

    Meanwhile, a few feet away, Zemenar had worked up the courage to approach Khelben, the son far too intimidated to cross that threshold himself. Neither man said anything for a few seconds as they awkwardly tried to figure out what to say or do, blissfully unaware of the small handful of people that were staring at them. Or at least, if they were aware they managed not to show it. “You lost some weight,” the older Xocili commented quietly, more of a statement of fact rather than a compliment or point of concern.

    Khelben scratched the back of his head, doing his best not to fold in on himself out of anxiety. “Yeah, I guess I have. I… hadn’t really looked in a mirror in a while.”

    “You eating enough?”

    “Yeah. Yes, they give me plenty to eat. I’m not malnourished or anything. Just… not as physically active. I get time to exercise every day but it’s… y’know… not the same.” Zemenar nodded his understanding and another silence fell between them before Khelben hesitantly continued. “How have you been..?”

    “Good. I’m good. Busy.”

    “Mercury said that you were elected as a prime minister?”

    “Oh that, yeah. Me and Cyrene, Themmy’s sister.”

    “That’s nice.. Congrats. I can’t think of anyone better suited for it.”

    The tension between the pair was painful to behold, both men doing their best but completely floundering in the dark. They could barely even look at each other. Finally, Zemenar took a breath and raised his gaze up. “I think it goes without saying that I am still angry with you. I still need a lot of time before I’m ready to trying fixing things with you… but I am glad you’re here. And I still love you. You know that right?”

    Khelben gulped back a wave of emotion, doing his best to keep himself reigned in, giving his father a gentle nod. “I do now… Thank you. I love you, too, dad. And I know I’ve… already said it over and over again to Mercury, but I am so… so sorry…”

    “I know you are. And so does she, and everyone else. That may not be enough to make things right.. But it’s a start.” Then, with only a moment’s hesitation, he finally closed the gap and pulled Khelben into a firm embrace. The younger man was surprised at first but didn’t wait long to return it, practically crumbling from the touch after practically a year of being touch starved, soft tears pouring down both men’s cheeks. When they finally parted, Zemenar clapped his hand lightly on his son’s shoulder. “Come on. Let’s have you say hi to some people you haven’t seen in a while and meet a few new faces.”

    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

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    Grief and Reparations Empty Re: Grief and Reparations

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 21st June 2023, 5:38 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Grief and Reparations RJtajUnz_o


    Zemenar, understandably, was a bit more apprehensive over seeing Khelben and admitted he wasn’t sure if he was ready to see him. But at the same time, he didn’t think there would ever be a ‘right’ time for that. He didn’t know how to express his thoughts, understanding the man needed his father but he wasn’t sure how to be one, given everything that had happened. It was Mercury that assured him that she wasn’t going to hate Zemenar for continuing to love his son. It wouldn’t make her feel any less appreciated or cared for and as she saw it, Khelben probably needed his father more than she did at the moment. Zemenar was moved by the words and stated that even without having the opportunity to raise her, she’d come out so wise and compassionate. Vandrad, for his part, nodded softly in agreement. With his concerns at rest, for now, he agreed to the idea of Khelben coming and shared a brief hug with Mercury.

    With that situation addressed, she turned to Vandrad and asked if he could go and lay the groundwork for his arrival ahead of time. She still needed to go and talk to her brother and get him some better clothes and he nodded in agreement. With this meeting concluded, it seemed he had yet another one to go take part in. He figured he would start at the top of things and the rest of the information would whittle its way down from there. He found Gren and Themesycia waiting in one of the sitting rooms near the entrance, planning on meeting the rest of his family there. Gren hadn’t quite fully buttoned up his dress shirt yet, mostly because Themesycia was sitting there running her hands over his bare chest. The former duchess wore a more lavish outfit; a black and red piece that was all one gown, leaving very little to the imagination as her sides, hips and upper thighs were shown, along with a diamond-shaped window for her chest.

    "If you two would stop pawing at each other like teenagers for a moment…” Vandrad said as he entered.

    “I’m just showing your father appreciation for his physique. He’s made some great strides in getting back in shape since we came to the island,” Themesycia replied with a smirk.

    "Well I’m about to kill the mood,” the future king cut in, leaning against the doorway. "Mercury would like Khelben to participate today.”

    Gren and Themmy did, in fact, stop in their tracks.“She what?” Gren asked, utterly shocked. “But… why?”

    "Because he has lost people as well and deserves to mourn just like the rest of us. His crime, however atrocious it is, does not damn him to not feeling remorse for the friends and, more importantly, family members that Nazru took from him. Mercury thinks he deserves the chance to celebrate their lives with the rest of us. I agree with her.”

    “That’s… awfully considerate of you, Vandrad,” Themesycia said softly, turning to face him fully. “I’d have thought you would be the most outspoken against this.”

    "It won’t affect my opinion on the man. His actions had earned him a lifetime of scorn from myself and I imagine others. But if Mercury is willing to look past his actions… then who are we to stand in the way of that?” The future king’s eyes flicked to his father, who was barely suppressing his growing anger. "Can you control yourself enough to be in his presence, Gren?”

    The former Rune Knight looked back at Vandrad, chewing on his inner lip as he did so. But after a moment, he let out a shaky sigh. “I don’t know. But I won’t do anythin’ to ruin this day.”

    Themesycia took his hand in hers and raised it up to kiss it. “Don’t worry, love; I will look after you,” she told him gently, giving him a soft smile. “Then we best wait for the rest of the family and inform them now. That way they can use the walk down to put on their best compensating faces.”

    Vandrad nodded. "I don’t imagine we’ll have much trouble,” he commented as he pressed a button on his armband and activated his heads up display. "Deliver message to Mythal and Serilda. Khelben will be taking part in the ceremony.” The visor chirped as it created the message and sent it out. "Besides, we’ve been in the same room with enemies from across the globe and managed to keep ourselves together.”

    Themesycia chuckled. “All apart of the political process. You’re already learning.” Within the next few minutes, more of the du Wolffs would wander into the room. They waited until everyone had gathered to break the news and give them a chance to react and ask the questions that were, no doubt, going to come. No one was particularly happy about the choice, their own protective instincts over Mercury far greater than their ability to forgive, but as it was the Silver Wolf Ace that wanted him there, they all agreed to respect her wishes. The day wasn’t about them, it was for something much larger and more important and each one of them understood that.

    That’s why they were able to approach the group with bright smiles and welcoming hugs once they had joined the rest of the gathered people. Khelben was off to the side with Zemenar, chatting softly for the first time in well over a year. A few glances were thrown his way but no one’s mood soured entirely; Gren stiffened a bit but Themesycia, true to her word, was there to give his hand a squeeze and bring his attention away from his anger. "I have much better manners than you have ever possessed,” Vandrad commented on Mercury’s attempt to tease his standards of behavior, walking up beside her and giving her a look. He took a moment to greet Serilda and Mythal and then in a move that was like to surprise literally everyone, he headed straight to Khelben and Zemenar.

    "Zemenar,” he said, nodding to the older Xocili before his steely gaze set on the other man. "Khelben.” For a long moment he considered Mercury’s brother, his face neutral but certainly not alight with kindness. Then he reached out and gently gave Khelben a pat on the arm. "It seems you decided not to hide. I’m glad; hopefully we can truly celebrate the lives of those you’ve lost.”

    It was about the nicest thing he could possibly work up to say and far greater than surely anyone figured he would do at all. Inhaling softly, Vandrad turned back to the group. "Are we all going to stand there with our mouths hanging open? We have a holiday to celebrate.”






    Words: 1130/2022 | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault, @Serilda Sinclair, @Mythal Ragnos  | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Serilda Sinclair
    Serilda Sinclair

    Ice Queen


    Ice Queen

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    Grief and Reparations Empty Re: Grief and Reparations

    Post by Serilda Sinclair 21st June 2023, 7:28 pm

    Seri Banner
    Conviction never shames nor condemns us.
    It calls us back to who we truly are.
    Vandrad approached even as Mercury was remarking about the expectations for his behavior, the future king stating that his manners were far better than Mercury’s ever were. Serilda gave her future brother-in-law a small smirk, always entertained by the couple’s banter. However, none of them would get much of a chance to make any return comments, for as soon as Vandrad finished exchanging a greeting with the two Rune Knights he had immediately turned to approach Zemenar and Khelben.

    Even Serilda couldn’t help but watch like some street gossip, her eyes glued to the scene. Khelben saw the former prince’s approach, his eyes going wide as he visibly fought the urge to take a step back. Vandrad greeted Zemenar first and then the man’s son, a palpable tension filling the air as almost everyone around them was either trying to pretend they weren’t watching or not bothering to act like they weren’t. Vandrad remarked upon Khelben’s choice not to hide… only to state that he was glad that he had come, and hoped he would be able to properly celebrate the lives of those he had lost.

    It took Khelben a moment to process and adjust. “Th–thank you, Vandrad. I’ll… I’ll be sure to make the most of it,” he managed to stammer out, confused and thrown off by how polite and civil the future king was being.

    “Oh my gods, he’s so mean,” Serilda whispered quietly to Mythal and Mercury, turning her face away from the scene slightly and wrestling with a rare sense of dark humor. Vandrad knew exactly what he was doing, she was sure, and she couldn’t help but be amused by it in a cruel fashion, the Voidwalker doing her best to reign back the desire to smirk and pulling in every ounce of discipline she had to do so.


    “That man is so getting laid tonight,” the Xocili whispered back, clearly having a similar struggle as the field marshal.

    Vandrad was keenly aware of the fact that everyone was staring, speaking up to tell them all to mind their damn business and get to focusing on the holiday. As if only just realizing how much staring they were doing, the group jumped back into their conversations, turning away and seemingly moving past the moment, though surely many of them were talking about what had just happened.

    As Zemenar and Khelben went around to say hello to some Xocili that Khelben knew, Serilda helped Mercury a nearby space set up for everyone in their group to have some place to sit and relax while they socialized, putting out an array of chairs, benches, and beach towels. Using her Voidwalking, Serilda reached into a Void pocket and withdrew a number of beach toys for the twins, who were far too young to really understand what the holiday was about, the girls eagerly digging into the sand and attempting to build whatever odd formations came to mind.

    After some time of simply relaxing, Zemenar and Khelben eventually came around once more to rejoin the rest of the group. While Mercury’s brother still had an air of nervousness about him, he had relaxed considerably after seeing some of his old friends. Led by the prime minister, the pair approached the smaller group of mainlanders. “Here we go,” Serilda murmured to her fiance before standing to greet them. “Zemenar, always good to see you.”

    “Likewise, Serilda; Mythal.” He gave them both a small but friendly smile before turning to his son. “Khelben, you remember Vandrad’s brother and his fiance?”

    “I could never forget, after everything that happened.” The gratitude in his voice was obvious as he spoke of the part that both Rune Knights had played in the rescue of the Xocili. Remembering his manners, he bowed respectfully. “Lord Mythal, Lady Serilda… I’m glad to see you’re both doing well.”

    “Thank you,” was all Serilda replied with, the princess being polite but not returning any of the pleasantries – which for a woman like her, may as well have been a slight to anyone that knew her well.

    Zemenar then turned to where Vriko was standing off to the side. “I don’t think you’ve met Mythal’s sister yet. Vriko, this is my son, Khelben.” He had mentioned Khelben to Vriko in the past, though not in much detail; not even enough to confirm that Khelben was around but in jail.

    The younger Xocili recovered quickly enough that a less observant person might not have noticed it, but his eyes had lingered on Vriko for a beat longer than he’d intended. The moment passed swiftly, Khelben expertly stamping his emotions down to deliver her a cool nod. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Vriko. I wasn’t aware that Mythal and Vandrad had a sister.”

    “She’s only been coming around for the last few months… but the island is all the brighter for it, in my opinion.” Zemenar smiled at his younger friend, his compliments, as always, coming from a place that was genuinely friendly rather than flirtatious. “You look wonderful today, Miss Vriko.”

    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mythal Ragnos
    Mythal Ragnos

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    Grief and Reparations Empty Re: Grief and Reparations

    Post by Mythal Ragnos 23rd June 2023, 1:39 pm

    LIGHT
    &
    DARK
    875/1751 words || @Serilda Sinclair, @Mercury Arseneault, @Vandrad Ragnos || job info/job sign-up || short note here

    The most interesting part of Vandrad approaching Khelben was how… genuine he was. Sure, he was more than likely aware of what his mere presence close to Mercury’s brother was doing but he honestly wished for Khelben to celebrate the ones he had lost. Mythal would know; he’d be able to tell if the future king was lying and he wasn’t. Serilda and Mercury made their own comments on his actions, his noble fiance trying so hard to keep herself together at the display. Mercury, on the other hand, was quite enamored with her own fiance’s actions. Mythal simply shook his head and smiled lightly. “I’m more concerned about Gren over there. He looks like he’s barely holdin’ it together. But I imagine Themmy is keepin’ him controlled,” he said, nodding barely to the former Rune Knight. Themesycia had purposefully pulled him away and kept his attention elsewhere, approaching the twins as Serilda handed them some beach toys to play with.

    But it wasn’t long before Zemenar decided to bring Khelben over, if only to dive right through the thin ice and approach whatever the hell lay beneath that. Serilda made one last side comment before her practiced form came out, greeting the older Xocili respectfully. Zemenar knew it was going to be awkward but still went through with reintroducing Khelben to the both of them and Mercury’s brother ladled appreciation for their actions in helping with the Xocili people, at least in his tone. He looked like he was barely keeping any kind of solid ground even as he said he was glad they were doing well and Serilda gave him the curtest of responses. “Yeah, glad you could uh… come… out…” Mythal sort of replied. He didn’t really know what to do; sure, he had a lot of anger in himself over Zemenar’s actions, anyone would. But if he was being allowed out, it had to have been with permission from both Vandrad and Mercury. Unfortunately the Darkness Slayer was not the best when it came to awkward situations, his own upbringing with social norms skewed at best.

    As he turned and made a face of self depreciation, Zemenar led Khelben over to Vriko, who looked… stunned. Her eyes were wide and her face was somehow more flushed than it usually was. The tiniest of blushes was on her cheeks as she looked directly at Khelben. Vriko was painfully aware of her inability to find most people attractive; beyond her own understanding, Mythal had informed her of the specifics that came from being a child of a spiteful angel corrupted by Kingdom Darkness. She recognized when people were appealing but it didn’t really strike a chord in her… until then.

    So while Khelben was apparently quite practiced in having a moment and moving past it, Vriko was not. Her stare lingered a lot longer and it took her a few moments to truly give a shake of her head and collect herself, cursing herself in her head for the strange moment of weakness. “Khelben. Right. Sure,” she idly commented, now absolutely refusing to look him in the eyes as she settled herself. Mercury’s brother pleasantly introduced himself and remarked that he hadn’t known of her familial attachment to Mythal and Vandrad. “What? No, just Mythal. Vandrad only by surname. Mythal and I have the same parents… birth parents. Also same adoptive parent… I guess that’ll be plural too at some point.”

    Why the hell was she going on like an idiot? She turned slightly and made a face to herself before Zemenar continued, offering his sincere and friendly comments about her being around. “Hah! Brighter, yeah. That’s what people say about me; bright and…uh… plucky.” She needed to get control of herself. Swallowing what she hoped was her awkwardness, she raised her head a bit to look at Zemenar once more. “Thank you. I’m still not fully used to dressing like this but I’m… getting more accustomed,” she said, glancing down at her dress.

    “So this is all… pretty damn awkward, huh?” she said, nodding towards the rest of the group. Stubbornly pushing down the strange fluttering in her stomach, she finally turned her gaze to Khelben. “So uh… feel… good to be outside?” She had no idea what to say to him. She had no idea what his crime was; only that everyone refused to talk about it and it had been bad enough to get him jailed. And the way everyone was acting was standoffish; Vriko was sure she had never seen Serilda be as cold to anyone as she had just been. What the hell was she supposed to say to someone that everyone seemed to despise but that she, apparently, for some goddamn reason, felt warm inside to look at?

    Mythal had noticed the awkward exchange, his eyes flicking between Vriko, Khelben and Zemenar. It seemed like more than Vriko’s usual social issues; normally she just dismissed people or blurted out comments that weren’t necessarily pleasant. But this was almost like she didn’t know how to respond to him or that it flustered her to speak to Khelben. “The hell is that all about?” he muttered to Serilda, nodding just enough to draw her attention to the strange sight.



    STATISTICS
    HP: x/y
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    Spells Used: list them here
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    IVYLEAF33



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

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    Grief and Reparations Empty Re: Grief and Reparations

    Post by Mercury Arseneault 26th June 2023, 6:29 pm

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    At the mention of Gren, Mercury glanced over to see that the older man was, indeed, having a somewhat difficult time. The Xocili grimaced a bit. “Yeah, I should probably go help Themmy with that… seeing as I’m the one responsible for all of us being in this situation. I’ll be back.” Excusing herself, she did just that, wandering over to where the older couple was and inserting herself into a hug with Gren.

    Not long later, Vriko and Khelben were having a very unexpected moment, one that was more obvious on her part than on his. The dark haired woman was staring up at Mercury’s brother, flush with the slightest of blushes, causing Khelben to falter a bit longer than he meant to before he forced himself to speak up and push past the moment with polite conversation. After that, Vriko suddenly seemed to refuse to look him in the eyes, something he’d experienced a lot of that day, though as far as he was aware Vriko didn’t know much of anything about him or his… more incriminating past. He mentioned not realizing that Mythal and Vandrad had a sister, to which she quickly replied that she was technically only Mythal’s sister, at least when it came to blood. “Ah, my apologies. I forgot that Mythal was adopted. The topic has really only come up once or twice some time ago.”

    Zemenar spoke up, doing his own best to ignore the sudden tension that was entirely opposite of all the tension they had been fielding thus far, giving an explanation about Vriko’s time on the island and complimenting her outfit. She rolled with his compliment well enough, making a self deprecating joke about her demeanor, both men patiently ignoring the floundering way the words found her lips. She thanked Zemenar for the kind words about her outfit, admitting she still wasn’t quite used to such attire but was learning to adjust. Zemenar chuckled. “I know how you feel. After the last few decades, I had all but forgotten what it felt like to put on a nice suit.”

    Vriko then remarked about the awkwardness of the gathering, finally turning to look at a slightly confused Khelben before straight out asking him how he was feeling about not being in a prison cell. “Uh…” he stammered, surprised by the boldness of the question. Most people had danced around him without drawing attention to the obvious, but she’d jumped right to it. Now it was his turn to turn a little flush, though not for the same reasons she had, his eyes darting away as a wave of embarrassment rolled over him.

    “Vriko, I don’t think..” Zemenar started, trying to gently steer the conversation in a different direction.

    Khelben softly cut him off. “No, dad. It’s okay. Honestly, I’m glad someone did mention it. It’s been.. A bit unpleasant to try talking to everyone and pretending everything’s… normal.” He gulped but then managed to look at Vriko again, offering what may have been his first genuine, if small, smile that he’d had in… quite some time. “Truthfully, it’s nerve wracking. I’m really out of practice with my social skills, and… it’s no secret that no one here likes me very much. They’re all being polite and respectful, and I appreciate that they are willing to let me be here for this. But it’s… not easy to navigate.”

    He gave a half chuckle, even as Zemenar put a hand on his shoulder and gave it a gentle, reassuring squeeze. With some noticeable relief in his posture, Khelben gave Vriko a slightly wider smile. “Thank you for asking, miss.”

    A bit of time passed in idle conversation before one by one, everyone in their group managed to find themselves camped up in the sand around where Serilda and Mythal had set up with the twins. All throughout the shore, Xocili and Rhaegarians had been busy trading stories and memories of those they’d lost, and their group was no different. The moment that her father and brother had gotten started talking about her mother, Mercury had practically been glued to the conversation, sitting next to Vandrad like an eager child with her knees up against her chest and her hands wrapped around her legs. Bandit sat on her shoulder, hopping back and forth between the engaged couple and preening himself.

    Zemenar had been talking a bit about Scylla’s performing career. Mercury had learned some time ago that her mother had been a professional singer before the invasion, and that she had met Zemenar through a mutual friend that had taken him to one of her concerts. But aside from a few descriptions about the woman’s personality, she’d never really heard too many stories of her life. Overall, she’d been a friendly and compassionate woman that was involved in her local communities and had a bit of a wild playful side to offset Zemenar’s more gentle demeanor. Mercury’s father chuckled as he finished up a tale, turning to look at his son. “Remember that time you and Nikos managed to catch that baby qeikrek, and you tried to hide it in the barn?”

    Khelben’s eyes frowned for a moment before they went wide, and he gave a small grin. “Stars, I completely forgot about that.”

    “What’s a qeikrek?”

    “The closest Earthland creature I could compare it to is a monkey, one of those smaller breeds, like marmosets or capuchin. Long purple-blue fur with a forked tail. They’re very high energy and curious. My buddy and I thought we could keep it as a pet if we could keep my parents from finding out about it. I must have been… what, sixteen at the time? Seventeen?

    “About that, I’d imagine, yeah.”

    “It lasted all of five hours before she came over to investigate all the noise. The thing was tearing up the inside of the barn and we couldn’t catch it fast enough to stop it before she heard. It took us two weeks to clean the mess, and I thought I was going to be grounded for the rest of my life.”

    Zemenar was practically giggling, the most life they’d seen in the man for quite some time. “You almost were. She was pretty ticked… but we had a good laugh about it in private when she told me about it later”

    “Did you tell Mercury that you were dating mom’s best friend when you two met?”

    “What?!” The future queen’s jaw dropped, her gaze flicking over to her father for confirmation… onto to see the older man scratch the back of his head awkwardly with as sheepish of a grin as one could make. “Dad, you player..!”

    “Now now, it wasn’t that bad. I’d only been on a few dates with Nyx at the time. We weren’t all that serious, still kinda getting to know each other. It only lasted for a few weeks, before we called things off, but… I think she realized I was smitten with Scylla. Nyx tricked us into our first date; set up lunch with each of us separately at the same time and place, and then conveniently didn’t show, leaving both of us by ourselves.” He smirked and shook his head. “Or at least, that’s what I was told by both of them. I’m not convinced that Scylla wasn’t in on it, though. She’d certainly dressed more like she was expecting to be on a date. I was a bit dumbfounded when she walked into the restaurant, staring at her like some silly teenager.” His chuckling slowly softened, as did the rest of his countenance, as sorrow began to break though over the memory of the start of their lives together.

    Before he knew it, there were gentle tears rolling down his cheeks. “I miss her every day,” he said quietly, burying his face in his hands and crying shamelessly, if softly.

    “Dad…” Khelben reached over and put his arm around his father’s shoulders, fighting off his own tears.

    Mercury had been moved as well, reaching up to pet Bandit quietly even as she leaned against Vandrad. “I wish I could remember her. Even if it was just what she looked like.”

    Khelben turned to look at her without pulling away from their father. “Have you never seen a picture of her or anything..?”

    “No. I mean… I technically saw her… or at least a fabrication of her… while I was in Omothol. But I don’t remember it. All of my time in that nightmare realm was scrubbed from my databanks. I know I had a vision of some kind, and she was in it, as were you and dad, but that’s it.”

    Her brother thought for a moment before nodding. “Let me see one of your holographic projectors”

    Using her magic, Mercury quickly conjured a small device and tossed it over to him. He caught it easily and took a moment to interface with it wirelessly. A moment later, a still three dimensional image popped up of the woman, focused on her face. She had lavender hair so pale it was almost silver, with gray eyes and an almost regal look to her. Mercury’s fingers were practically shaking as she took the device back, staring at the image that was altogether familiar but not. She wiped a stray tear from her eye, hugging the device to her chest. “Thank you, Khelben… Thank you so much…”

    Serilda Sinclair



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    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Player 
    Lineage : Traveller of the Multiverse
    Position : None
    Posts : 771
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 7,808,129

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Energy Monarch
    Second Skill: Ark of the Dread Masters
    Third Skill:

    Grief and Reparations Empty Re: Grief and Reparations

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos 12th July 2023, 7:55 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Grief and Reparations RJtajUnz_o


    Vriko waved off Khelben’s apology; it wasn’t like she expected him to know her family history. They’d only just met after all and she was sure there were far more important people that he wanted to talk to or meet or whatever. Gods, she was so flustered and she hated every single fiber of herself for being so. She was, luckily, distracted by the discussion over her and Zemenar’s outfits before she straight up turned the subject on the tension that was ripe in the air. Her eyes widened a bit as she finished her question about his time in prison, realizing that she had, perhaps, asked just a bit too much, spoken just a bit too bluntly. He balked and Zemenar tried to deflect the question away as she tried to summon up the courage to… apologize, something she wasn’t very good at. But surprising her and Zemenar each, Khelben insisted that it was fine, relieved that someone had finally brought it up directly rather than dance around it. He hadn’t enjoyed talking like nothing had happened, acting like everything was fine while everyone was clearly aware it wasn’t.

    His honest response earned him a genuine look from her, one that was not weighed down by anxiousness or what she was suspecting was attraction. He admitted that it was nerve wracking and that his skills with society were not as polished as they once were. Plus the knowledge that everyone didn’t really like him made things even more awkward, even in spite of them trying to be polite and not ruin the night. He felt a little lost because of it. And for once, Vriko felt… surprisingly not alone. Sure, she was in people’s good graces now but she had done some pretty terrible things before. She’d tried to kill Mythal not once, not twice but a total of three times, with her attempts on Serilda only one behind. And yet somehow she was allowed to walk free, take care of their kids and be considered an equal among the group. But she always felt a nagging feeling in the back of her head like she didn’t belong.

    And Khelben understood that better than anyone. “No. It isn’t,” she admitted, revealing her true understanding of his situation. “Please. Just… Vriko is fine.” Her voice was soft and sincere. She held his gaze for a moment longer, now more relaxed but still as much in awe before she gave a small shake of her head. “Anyways, uh… try not to worry about it too much, right?” With that awkward bit of knowledge, she turned and walked away, her face beet red once more as she separated herself for some time to collect her stupid emotions.

    Some time passed and soon the group was sitting around the beach. Vandrad had stayed close to Mercury throughout and Gren had managed to calm himself down, understanding that being tense and judgemental was almost as bad as giving Khelben verbal grief. It helped that different conversations had lightened the mood, at least in terms of separating the tension from the air. Zemenar had told them stories of Scylla, Mercury’s mother, and how they had met. Everyone was captivated, most of all Mercury, as he remembered a time when Khelben had tried to catch some kind of creature called a qeikrek. The Silver Wolf Ace asked what it was and Khelben compared it to that of a monkey that he and his friend had intended to keep as a pet. They’d managed to keep it a secret for a few hours before Scylla had discovered it, drawn to the barn by the ruckus.

    He’d been punished, obviously, even if his parents had been fairly amused by it in private. Khelben turned the embarrassing storytime right around, wondering if Mercury knew that Zemenar had been dating Syclla’s friend when they met, much to the Silver Wolf’s surprise and amusement. The older Xocili explained that it hadn’t been anything bad; he’d only gone on a few dates with the woman known as Nyx before they broke up, mostly because he had a hard time hiding his attraction to Syclla. So the best friend had done her part and set them up on a blind date by arranging them to meet her and instead putting them on a date together. Scylla had played innocent on the matter but Zemenar was convinced she had some part of it.

    The amusing story brought real emotions as Zemenar buried his face and wept, stating how much he missed her. It was a sobering moment that everyone gathered felt, falling respectfully silent as Khelben held his father and comforted him. Vandrad gave his fiance a gentle squeeze of the shoulder as she spoke of wishing she had any memories of her mother. Khelben asked about her having a picture and she explained that she had technically seen her but it had been a vision brought on from Omothol, a place that Khelben probably didn’t even know about. All she knew was that she had seen the four of them together, as a family, like they’d never been before. But the memory wasn’t really there.

    Khelben asked to see a holographic projector, which Mercury created and handed off to him. It took him a moment to connect to it but once he had, the image of a woman appeared. There was no doubt that it was Mercury’s mother; the similarities were spot on. She took the device back, staring at it in awe as she thanked him for the gift. Vandrad made sure to meet Khelben’s gaze and give him a nod of appreciation, the first and only sign of respect he had shown the man since their meeting.

    “I don’t mean to interrupt this truly heartwarming moment… but it seems that the ceremony is beginning,” Themesycia spoke up softly, nodding in the direction of several gathered lanterns. Xocili and Rhaegarian alike had begun filing to the beach with lanterns, lining them up to be taken. The ground would get up and wander over to gather their own lanterns, joining the gathering members of the two races as they stood on the beach.

    “Today is the first Remembrance Day and one that will truly never be forgotten. Both Xocili and Rhaegarian alike have come from walks of life that were rife with trauma and challenge. And friends, family, spouses and loved ones were lost as we all struggled to look toward a bright future. Through those tribulations, we find ourselves here, a nation of two people becoming one, seeking to embrace a harmony we all deserve. But we must never forget those we lost along the way. And so it is my honor, as Queen Mother of this new nation we’re building, to inaugurate this day of remembrance. Please join me in letting our lanterns go and remember those we miss, each and every day.” Themesycia spoke once everyone had gathered. And as she gently eased the lantern into the sky, it was joined by hundreds more, floating up into the darkening ceiling of the world, flickering lights against the void.






    Words: 1192/3214 | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault, @Serilda Sinclair, @Mythal Ragnos  | © marzia at shine & gs.


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      Current date/time is 16th April 2024, 12:12 am