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  1. As the news of the Queen's death reached her on a distant shore, Fiona set a hand upon her mouth, covering up a gasped "Oh." It hadn't even seemed possible, at this point, that Her Majesty might truly leave the world. And, yet, it had happened. Tears slipping down her cheeks, she settled heavily into her desk, leaning over to coax her long-time friend from its enclosure; the large, fluffy arachnid crawled forth and rested between her fingers. Watching the creature, she combs over warm childhood memories and time well spent with the Queen, with Miss Koenas Amaya, whom she had always just seen as an older version of herself. A hint of regret, there, at not being able to return to Haense to see her one last time. Tipping her head forward with a clandestine murmur, Fiona breaks the news to her spider. Then, eyes slipping shut, she whispers a prayer, wishing the Queen safe passage to her ancestors in the Skies.
  2. When Neithri Þér Heskynne received the news, she fell silent. She walked away. Her path took her to the Hearth, with a pricking of saline in her eye and a candle in her hand. A stick of pine needle incense lit above the roaring hearth, and carried its small flame to the candle. She cupped her hand around the flame and continued to walk, finding her way out of her walled city and into the tundra. Her path trailed and danced and slowed to a stop in a small clearing, an ashen campfire covered in snow. Taking care to keep the candle alive, she brushed off the snow to find miraculous embers within. Her own Hearth, here in the woods. To say her relationship with Elena was rough was an understatement. A strong woman whose values never wavered, even when her actions lead to scorn. Even, at times, a cold hatred. Neithri could not find it within herself to forgive Elena for her actions against her family. But nonetheless, here, by these small embers, the hunter knelt and begin to lay handfuls of dried twigs and leaves down, blowing gently upon them. An earthy smoke began to rise from the campfire. Neithri found she could see a part of herself in Elena's strength, even when the clash of those values lead to a rift that never had time to mend. Grudges held ran deep and she hadn't wanted to fix it, and yet, now there was no more time to even... begin to try to forgive. It left a brackish guilt in her stomach. The tinder began to glow and curl with life, and she set the small candle in the center. The tinder began to catch, alighting into little fires, the wax of the candle bubbling and melting away. The hunter held love in her heart for all her family, a love that burned hot and bright and eternal. And she could never deny that she still held love in her heart for the woman who was once her paladin. Her golden warrior. When she closed her eyes, she felt bitterness, and anger, and warmth, and love, and it was a dizzying storm of feelings. A few more warm tears rolled down her cheeks and she blinked hard. She never even got to say goodbye. The fire continued to build, feeding it bundles of dried stick and wood until it grew into a pyre, orange and red and white twisting and leaping into the air, curls of black smoke rising above the trees. Warmth battered against the hunter's face, shakily stoic. In one hand she held a knife, and in the other, a piece of wood, which she began to whittle away, taking the form of a dove. Then, she turned the blade so it bit harsh across her palm, the small well of blood she pressed into the dove. Next, a strip of fabric from her cloak, wrapping and swaddling the wooden thing. The fire blazed bright and hot and she murmured a few words and pressed her lips to the head of the wooden dove, before pushing her arm into the fire just long enough to set the dove at the built center, where the candle once was. She stayed there until the pyre burned back down to embers.
  3. A fleet-footed cowboy pockets the missive, and ponders. . .
  4. The Snowman Godunov reels at the thought of three little mini Robert Haverlocks, and with a warm note of congratulations, makes a point in his mind to visit them sometime. In that same thought, he looks out the window to spot his own pair of albino freakshits running about the courtyard, and drags them inside by the ear before they get too sunburned.
  5. Mhorbhairne's steps slow in the road, picking up the missive, and scanning through it with a mask of dry indifference. Distantly, they consider going just for the bit. With a low hum they read over the missive a few more times, before pinning it to a nearby noticeboard and take their leave.
  6. A large raven takes this missive, flying and dipping over the frozen forest landscape of the North, sweeping through the armored fortress that is Vjardengrad, 'til it drops the parchment into the hand of an armored mali'ker. Neithri Þér Heskynne unrolls the missive, reading over it briefly, and her face contorts, confusion tracking across it as she reads the names. "...Elena? What-- Hohkmat, harboring darkspawn..? What is this?" The words are addressed to nobody but the raven that brought the missive. "What has happened since I've been absent?" The 'ker furls the missive up, slipping it into her satchel. "I need to check on them all. It's been too long."
  7. Amongst the small gathering of dolls nestled at the root system of the silver tree, a new one is placed, yet to face the battering of desert winds. Smelling of smoke and pinesap, the figure bears little scratches and chips as if it were nestled in the bottom of someone's bag for quite some time. Perhaps this late addition was borne of equivocation. The wooden maiden is hewn of rough, dark coniferous wood, her figure carved out with careful hands, standing sentry with her arms crossed at her chest. Her head is that of a raven's, turned to the side, fixing the world with a watchful eye. A few lines of finger-drawn ash trail down the raven's face and down the bridge of her beak. Hempen twine, blackened with soot, wraps around her body in a lashing knot, forming a crosshatched, diagonal pattern. Another length of twine is tied around her crown, attaching two thin branches, barely the length of a finger, encircling the head. There is barely a ceremony from the one that left her here. A hope, or perhaps a wish, is muttered, and the doll's maker turns away. A wanderer might claim they are never lost, but that does little to assuage the fact they search in the first place. ———═══════════════ + ═══════════════———
  8. Having been shuttled away from the keep as the other children had, Margot Adelphine af Brasca sits awake on a rickety bunkbed, knees to her chest, staring at the missive in hand- a copy of which she had stolen from atop the Baroness Brasca's desk. One of her fellow wards had been evacuated alongside her, but one had not. One was missing. One was-- "Gone," she murmurs, shoving her face into her knees, gaze trailing over the words of the missive. "Ye write of your children, yet wha' happens when one of 'em slips away?" The girl's second question lies unspoken. What if one of them could be dead? As the moon arced into the sky on that night of dead peace before the storm, hours flying by, Margot finally creeps out of bed. Thinking better of her instinct to just disappear, she writes a note, and leaves it on the table. "I'm goin'. - M." A blade sits near the doorway to the house. She plucks it from its spot and holds it close to her as she leaves.
  9. THE WEDDING OF VALERIAN GODUNOV AND EADWYNN DEY MEDFORD ISSUED ON THE 13th of Msitza ag Dargund, 506 E.S It is with great pleasure that the Barony of Verskaya announces the wedding of one Lord Valerian Vesper Sviatovich Godunov and Lady Eadwynn Dey Medford. Beginning with a spark wrought in childhood, the pair reunited by chance many years later, from which a lengthy courtship soon ensued. It was one peaceful eve when Lord Godunov proposed, to the witness of friends and family, a promise to keep the fair Lady Medford warm through Valdev’s eternal frost. In hope of providing a joyous reprieve from the stresses of war and winter, the celebration of this holy matrimony will take place in the Everardian Basilica of Valdev in the Kingdom of Haenseti-Ruska. Following the ceremony, the newlyweds invite guests to continue their jubilation within the city’s tavern. Formal invitations, in no particular order, are extended to the following: The Baronial House of Godunov Her Grace, Roslin Baruch, Duchess of Valwyck and her noble pedigree His Grace, Manfred Barclay, Duke of Reinmar and his noble pedigree His Grace, Viktor var Ruthern, Duke of Vidaus and his noble pedigree The Right Honourable, Otto Ludovar, Count of Otistadt and his noble pedigree The Right Honourable, Cassian Colborn, Count of Malkovya and his noble pedigree The Honourable, Walter Weiss, Viscount of Novkursain and his noble pedigree His Lordship, Henrik Amador, Baron of Mondstadt and his noble pedigree Her Ladyship, Katrin Stafyr, Baroness of Thurant and her noble pedigree Her Ladyship, Irena Kortrevich, Baroness of Koravia and her noble pedigree Personal invitations, in no particular order, are extended to the following: Her Ladyship, Laurissa Thriceblood-Kort, Lady-Magister of the District of Sorcerous Power and her noble pedigree Valindra, and company Seraphina, and company Ylva, and company
  10. Fiona Vera Anastasia Colborn receives the announcement in the depths of her wizard cave and looks over it with a particular silence, recalling the young man's spark of life she had seen in her youth. Pacing the breadth of her apartment, Fiona allows herself a moment to reminisce, uttering a quiet prayer with a motion of the Lorraine. "Another crushed in ve great war machine," she murmurs solemnly to her spider companion, allowing the arachnid to clamber between her hands. "Unfortunately, a good man lost. It is always a misfortune to lose eymr kin... ea pray he finds rest."
  11. Margot Adelphine af Brasca snatches the missive off a wall and clambers to a rooftop to read it. Perched on the highest point she could reach, scanning the page, her grip tightens on the paper 'til her fingernails tear through. A numb fear grows in her heart, quickly sparking to an enraged yell-- as enraged as a nine year old can be. She tears the paper until it's unrecognizable and throws the pieces off the roof, hugging at her knees. "Ah have tae leave," she whispers.
  12. Fiona unfolds the announcement and splays it over her books, giving it a proper read-over. The girl nods in approval of the pairing, and begins sketching out plans for a gift.
  13. The worldly Heskynne comes to the realization she has never done a joust before, and decides to take up another sidequest.
  14. Fiona Vera Anastasia Colborn, newly minted Dragonfly Queen, lets out a chirp of interest at the ROYAL themed party. She takes the invitation over to her friend, Catriona Eilidh Baruch, faux blue fairy wings flapping behind her as she goes. "Look, we should go together tae ve Lady Godunov's Nameday celebration! We can dress as ve most gudi of Queens."
  15. wardyn


    aoife ferinn was born to high elf parents aberie and med'lenan in the outskirts of oren, during the oren/norland war. she has an older brother, aruan (wowsirs), who left home many years before she was born. her parents weren't great. after aruan left home they tried somewhat to be better, but that didn't really work out, since they never really meant to be parents in the first place. growing up, she was very confrontational and considered somewhat a "problem child", causing a lot of frustration and fighting with her parents. aoife, like her brother, was very booksmart, and she exceeded in school in her early years. as she got older she started to fall behind, and at around 15 her parents pulled her out of school to help out on the farm instead. due to being born in the height of the norland war, aoife grew up with a lot of resentment towards norlanders. as she's grown up, this has faded, but she still holds some bias. when aoife was young, around 20 years old, her parents were exposed for not being canonist, witchhunted, and killed. she witnessed them being killed and barely managed to escape without being found. to save her own life, she clipped her own ears and adopted canonist practices. she doesn't actually believe in the religion, it's just to keep up appearances. after this she ran away from her town and began traveling through oren, and has been on the move ever since.
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