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Multiple Settings ð“£ð“±ð“® 𝓥𝓪𝓷𝓰𝓟𝓪𝓻𝓭 (Main Thread)

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StormWolf

Elder Member




Location: The Bishop Estate, The Baron’s Office

Interactions: Open

Mentions: Open



Roland MacCann


There are alway the stubborn hopes that people cling to, despite being constantly let down or disappointed. That yonder-star wish that never gets fulfilled. Ever since Roland started his tenure as the Vanguard drill master, that wish - that hope - was that they would mature into a proper unit of soldiers. A proper, well-oiled machine.

Once again, Roland was disappointed in spades.

Perhaps not entirely, though. They proved capable of a multi-pronged attack against a single target position. It just so happened that said target was Isolde and himself, particularly their interlocked fingers. Every single barb and jab eroded the smile that Roland had walked in wearing. The summer-cerulean of his eyes returning to their usual stormy-sea hue beneath that familiar, sullen brow. Isolde’s answer to the Scot’s jibe was not lost on him, but at that point Roland had already started to withdraw within himself. Still, there was something real in how she squeezed his hand, and he returned the gesture. Roland couldn’t blame her, he supposed. She had more at risk and more to lose if things went a particular way. Her manner of thinking had merit. Still, the steel and resolve she’d shown in private withered before her peers.

“Perish the thought that someone might actually enjoy my company,” Roland said in an ironclad deadpan, casting a sidelong leer at the gaggle of the other Vanguard. In truth, should he have expected anything less? With Valentin making a spectacle on the floor, Roland thought that, yes, perhaps he should. Roland’s lip curled ever so faintly. The muddy Mississippi was less of a mess than that French waif.

“Don’t y’all worry. I’ve taken note of conduct and taken your words under advisement.” Roland said with one of his there-and-gone smiles that promised every little jeer would have someone raked across the coals. The Baron and the Witchfinder-General had made a mistake. One of Roland’s sisters would have been a better hand with this merry band of petulant children.

As if on queue, that was when the Baron Bishop made his entrance. Isolde released Roland’s hand, which was perhaps for the best, as the soldier snapped to attention out of habit. The Baron, insofar as Roland knew, held no military rank, but he was the head of this
 project. It wasn’t until the Baron’s dismissal of her and his wholesale greeting of the rest of the room that Roland went at ease, hands moving to rest on the laddered back of the chair. It was common fare to let the man in charge run his mouth as much as he liked, especially when man was paying for room, board, meals, and supplies that were so luxurious.
Mention of rushed deployment creased Roland’s brow. He understood the fluid nature of the front, in that it was either stalemate or a constantly swerving, sinuous line. When the Baron addressed Roland directly, he couldn’t particularly lie. A salve for one's own pride didn’t matter if they were thrown into the meat-grinder before they were ready,

“Rome wasn’t built in a day, sir. They’re not ready for real action, by my count. A few more weeks might change by tune, but-” Roland was interrupted by the Baron’s insistence to ask rhetorical questions. Why waste everyone’s time in the asking, then? So, Roland listened, furrowed brow quirking at the ritual. Blood-bonding based of old Celtic practices
 Roland couldn’t imagine that the Witchfinder-General, with his puritanical orthodox beliefs, could be all too thrilled

Further explanation carved dark lines into Roland’s visage in a mercurial cascade. Surprise, confusion, consternation, rage. Roland’s hands grasped at the back of the chair with an audible chorus of knuckles popping under pressure.

Big press; a public spectacle for a pagan wedding ritual under the moonlit sky, within a chapel. Matches made at the Baron’s behest.

Something ice-cold built up in Roland’s gut, coursing into his veins as he forced his breathing to remain steady. Too steady, to the point of laborious. Had he been played for a fool? Some bit of sport or practice for the blushing bride-to-be? Cold rage and burning embarrassment - shame, even - built up a sort of vitriolic steam inside of the soldier to the point where he felt he might explode.

Instead, something just in him just broke. Something intangible, hardly seen by the eye. A shrug of the shoulders, and Roland felt
 not a thing. Receding fully into himself, struck in the jugular when he let his guard down, just once. It would surely have been simpler if the landmine had taken Roland’s leg, and spared him the Witchfinder-General’s consideration.

“It seems,” Roland said vacantly, peering into some middle space miles away, “that the Vanguard have much to consider. I’ll leave y’all to it. Congratulations on this auspicious day.” Roland forced his hands open with a creak of strained joints. He didn’t offer a bow or a salute. There was simply a low, “Miss Bishop,” from behind the chair, and Roland made his leave.

He needed to get out of that room before he shot someone. Roland eased the door open to slip into the hall, fighting every urge to slam it shut. He wasn’t going to give any of them the fucking satisfaction, and he couldn’t care less about how any of them felt about their match. Why give more than you receive, after all? It was a Vanguard matter, after all, and the line had been drawn just as to what that meant.

The door closed with a click, and he was gone.
 
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Saboona

president thot
» adelaide bartlett (npc)
『 TAGGED 』 Hell0NHighWater Hell0NHighWater
Ms. Bartlett was already dictating three servants at least to clean up the mess in the Baron's vase, found rather unceremoniously by herself. After making sure that the rooms were cleaned by the housekeeping staff, and that the event clothing was placed in everyone's room, she'd been making her way to the study in order to reconvene with the Baron. He had mentioned doing something about the alcoholic, Mr. Auclair, and so prerogative action was always valued over waiting for the inevitable, typical thing to happen. Walking toward it, she'd been disrupted by the vile smell of sick. It had nearly curled her toes, but stomaching the morning's porridge, she went and fetched a few iron-stomached servants.

Turning to the study door, she saw the wobbly figure of Mr. Auclair. Gathering her skirts, she nearly collided straight into Mr. MacCann who was making a swift exit.

"Oh, excuse me Mr. MacCann. Apologies," was all the woman said before squeezing by him to try and catch the waifish man on the other side of the hall. She didn't fail to notice the cold, still demeanor of Mr. MacCann, even in that briefest moment. Perhaps the rumours that had been passed around this morning of Miss Bishop and him heading out to the forest had some merit-- and by that logic, quite the fallout hearing the recent news. But rumour was simply talk, and Adelaide knew better than to pay attention to it. She had more things to worry about.

Like taking care of Valentin Auclair.

"Mr. Auclair, a moment if you will!" Adelaide called, coming alongside him. She gave the taller man a genuine, warm smile. Slipping her arm into his, forcing it by that point, she patted his hand gently.

"It's imperative you come with me, Mr. Auclair! The Baron has arranged a special car for you. He wants you to head to the city with me, to run some errands. He believes that the fresh air, away from the manor, will do good for you." By all means, it was the honest truth. Maybe less so on the errands, but definitely on the time away from the manor. His rampant drinking, was beginning to drive the Lord up a wall with annoyance. No doubt it was doing its course on Mr. MacCann and Captain Vickers as well. Adelaide had read up on Valentin's dossier, and she knew he was a soldier. Plenty of rough things in his life, she empathized deeply. With his magic affliction, as well, no doubt there was a number being done on him upstairs.

But the Baron had made himself clear. He said specifically where he wanted Valentin to sober up. A bit brutal for Adelaide's taste, but she knew better than to try and negotiate for a man on thin ice.

"You deserve it, at least that's what I think. I promise we'll make a day of it. Plus, I need someone to keep me company, and I'd love to hear all your stories and... tales." She was beginning to drag him now, toward the front doors.
code by @Nano
 

Cashi

New Member
MOOD: Dread, anger, denial

LOCATION: Baron's Office
two
MENTIONS: Hell0NHighWater Hell0NHighWater and others but it was mostly just a mention of name
two
TAGS:
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
two
TL;DR: Ilya is not a happy camper about the Blood Wedding
two
Ilya

Ilya had been counting to ten repeatedly until the Bishop arrived, though it was doing little to quell the anger roiling inside him like frothy waves against a sharp cliff face. He stared at a fixed point on the Baron’s desk, not moving even when the man himself deigned to waltz into the room last, immediately taking up seat behind his desk and addressing them with little formality. Ilya only looked away from drilling holes into the mahogany with his eyes when Isolde blocked his view by bracing herself against the desk, leaning into the Baron urgently and requesting a private audience.
Odin, dva, tri, chetyre, pyat


War was an unpleasant business, and Ilya was now understanding the full weight of the situation he was in. Yes, this would bring him money and status, enough to secure him prospects in the engineering field--if he survived the war.
Ilya folded his arms across his chest, beginning to regret buttoning the collar on his shirt and securing it with the accursed noose of a tie, and tilted his jaw up to level a cold blue stare at the Baron as he spoke. To his left he could sense the rest of the Vanguard in their various displays of personality--Devin, having discovered the most impractical way of sitting in his chair, Val sinking into the cushions like they were a cloud keeping him aloft--and he wondered if they felt anything like he did.

As the Baron went on with his debrief, Ilya began to understand less and less. He strained with his ears, wondering if the Baron had switched languages and he hadn’t clued in. French, probably.
But no, he could still understand words in between what had him confused. Bonding? Blood Bonding? Celts? He understood what blood was, he thought he knew what it meant to bond with someone, and the word “Celt” escaped him entirely. He was keeping abreast with the conversation, but just barely. V pizdu, he should have studied his English more.
Ilya’s breathing was shallow to keep his lungs from expanding too much onto his contused ribs and he scarcely twitched a muscle as he leaned against the wall, silent.
Something about pairing off in twos. I get a blood brother, maybe.

The announcement of the pairs seemed to crack Ilya’s reality the way one might crack a glass table by setting something down too harshly. He was certain he’d heard wrong. The Baron had said Mr. Auclair, or Mr. Murphy, not Miss de Montagu, and Ilya was just lost in translation. His piercing glare shot to Arabella to watch her reaction, to see if anything she did gave away a confirmation of what he knew he’d heard and was praying he hadn’t.
The following word “wedding” hit him like a wet sandbag.
Or several.
He couldn’t look away. If looks could freeze, Arabella de Montagu would be nothing more than a frigid block of ice. His sound perception evaporated as the familiar roaring that accompanied his rage reverberated against his skull. Clearly, Arabella was just as angry from their acidic interaction this morning as he was, if the fact that she stood and cracked Val across the face with the palm of her hand was any indication. He couldn't hear the strike, only witnessed the barely controlled fury seared into her features as Val grabbed her. Ilya didn't move a muscle, didn't look at anyone but Arabella, his denial at what the Baron promised turning to disbelief and then outright refusal. Val left, and Ilya decided that that was the smartest move to make.

Thin, paisley tendrils of frost scrawled in a short parameter along the wall behind him, riming the wallpaper with the almost inaudible snaps and crackles of ice.
"No."
His vision was going white. Whatever he had agreed to, whatever he’d thought he’d known he was getting into, it wasn’t worth it. Ilya forced himself to push off the wall, mechanically stalking to the door after Roland and quitting the room before he did something he really regretted.
His heartbeat was an enraged staccato, his breathing increased in tempo as he looked around for something to break.
The hall table didn’t stand a chance.
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars
code by valen t.


Ilya had been counting to ten repeatedly until the Bishop arrived, though it was doing little to quell the anger roiling inside him like frothy waves against a sharp cliff face. He stared at a fixed point on the Baron’s desk, not moving even when the man himself deigned to waltz into the room last, immediately taking up seat behind his desk and addressing them with little formality. Ilya only looked away from drilling holes into the mahogany with his eyes when Isolde blocked his view by bracing herself against the desk, leaning into the Baron urgently and requesting a private audience.
Odin, dva, tri, chetyre, pyat

War was an unpleasant business, and Ilya was now understanding the full weight of the situation he was in. Yes, this would bring him money and status, enough to secure him prospects in the engineering field--if he survived the war.
Ilya folded his arms across his chest, beginning to regret buttoning the collar on his shirt and securing it with the accursed noose of a tie, and tilted his jaw up to level a cold blue stare at the Baron as he spoke. To his left he could sense the rest of the Vanguard in their various displays of personality--Devin, having discovered the most impractical way of sitting in his chair, Val sinking into the cushions like they were a cloud keeping him aloft--and he wondered if they felt anything like he did.

As the Baron went on with his debrief, Ilya began to understand less and less. He strained with his ears, wondering if the Baron had switched languages and he hadn’t clued in. French, probably.
But no, he could still understand words in between what had him confused. Bonding? Blood Bonding? Celts? He understood what blood was, he thought he knew what it meant to bond with someone, and the word “Celt” escaped him entirely. He was keeping abreast with the conversation, but just barely. V pizdu, he should have studied his English more.
Ilya’s breathing was shallow to keep his lungs from expanding too much onto his contused ribs and he scarcely twitched a muscle as he leaned against the wall, silent.
Something about pairing off in twos. I get a blood brother, maybe.

The announcement of the pairs seemed to crack Ilya’s reality the way one might crack a glass table by setting something down too harshly. He was certain he’d heard wrong. The Baron had said Mr. Auclair, or Mr. Murphy, not Miss de Montagu, and Ilya was just lost in translation. His piercing glare shot to Arabella to watch her reaction, to see if anything she did gave away a confirmation of what he knew he’d heard and was praying he hadn’t.
The following word “wedding” hit him like a wet sandbag.
Or several.
He couldn’t look away. If looks could freeze, Arabella de Montagu would be nothing more than a frigid block of ice. His sound perception evaporated as the familiar roaring that accompanied his rage reverberated against his skull.

Thin, paisley tendrils of frost scrawled in a short parameter along the wall behind him, riming the wallpaper with the almost inaudible snaps and crackles of ice.
"No."
His vision was going white. Whatever he had agreed to, whatever he’d thought he’d known he was getting into, it wasn’t worth it. Ilya forced himself to move, mechanically stalking to the door after Roland and quitting the room before he did something he really regretted.
His heartbeat was an enraged staccato, his breathing increased in tempo as he looked around for something to break.
The hall table didn’t stand a chance.
 
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Hell0NHighWater

Queen of Hell

↜LOCATION⇁ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎↜MUSIC TO SET THE MOOD⇁
Baron Bishop's Study ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎ People I Don’t Like - UPSAHL

↜INTERACTIONS⇁ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎↜OOC⇁
Cashi Cashi ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎More people are mentioned
| Saboona Saboona |etc. ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎I'm lazy ples forgive me


â«· Arabella de Montagu â«ž


As soon as the door clicked shut and Valentin’s figure disappeared from sight, Arabella began to breathe. Her entire body had locked itself in place, muscles rigid with fury and eyes snapped shut. She struggled to keep herself composed, clenching her jaw until the joint began to ache. The air trapped in her throat felt like a bubble she couldn’t remove, sitting against her vocal fold and making the urge to scream impossible to ignore.

Caramel orbs opened to a glossy film over the room and she took a measured breath, setting the damaged glass on the coffee table before her trembling hands could drop it. Arabella’s brain was a violent whirl of thoughts trying to organize the chaos around her. For years now, she had hardly shown any emotion aside from polite indifference. But the mention of her mother had fragmented the socialite mask, briefly revealing the hurt and anger that dwelled beneath the surface.

Bella’s lips pressed into a thin line. With the mask back in place and the bubble easing it’s pressure on her throat, she turned back to the conversation she had been having with the Baron before Mr. Auclair’s insult had snapped her restraint. She smiled in the way inconvenienced people do when they know they’re inconvenienced and can’t do anything about it. Moving the few steps to stand in front of the Baron’s desk, she cleared her throat before speaking, “Is there anything legally binding about this...blood bonding, my Lord? Any contracts or fine print that we should be made aware of?”

Isolde had really hit the nail on the head when she said this sounded like a wedding. It did worry her, of course, but not nearly as much as the unsanitary notion of mixing blood did. Casting a particularly pitying glance toward Mr. Graves, Bella hoped for his sake that the Frenchman was not carrying any bloodborne diseases.

Her gaze shifted back to the Baron as he responded to her inquiry with the same lackluster tone her Father often used when answering something that he felt was beneath him, “I’ve outlined the fine print, Miss de Montagu. You will be intrinsically linked to your partner, by blood, and that is far more binding than pen and paper. Consequently, if either goes missing we have ample way of tracking and finding your locations. As well, we will collect a small sample of the combined blood, should anything happen to both mages.”

Smothering her building elation and trepidation behind a mask of well-to-do neutrality, Arabella nodded along absently, “I see.” While she was not particularly enthused with the lack of ‘proper papers’, she did not want the rest of the Vanguard privy to her hounding the Baron for a marriage certificate. Making a mental reminder to speak with Ms. Bartlett later, she crafted her mouth into a pleasant smile, “Thank you for the clarification, Baron.”

Although she was ironically being forced into yet another complex-relationship, it was still more of a choice than what she had previously. It felt as if a weight had been lifted off her shoulders, the shackles she had been subjugated to her entire life broke apart, and for the first time in a long time she looked forward to tomorrow. Glancing toward the stone-faced fury of the Vanguard Peril, Arabella rationalized that despite his horrendous temper and the frost irrevocably damaging the wallpaper behind him, it was still much more preferable to be stuck with Ilya Zabolotsky than Edwin Howe. Looking away before her bonded-to-be caught her staring at him as if he were a christmas goose she was debating on purchasing, Arabella busied herself by smoothing out her skirts.

The slam of the door was an internal tempest made audible. It cracked through the room as loud as any whip, stinging at her insides, and leaving her in pain without an injury to show for it. She wasn’t sure who had exited first, too tangled within her own thoughts to pay attention, but the absence of both Roland and Ilya did not escape her observations. Arabella shifted her gaze to Isolde, opening her mouth as if to say something before shutting it again. Unlike Vasilis or Olivia, comforting words and selfless empathy was not within her realm of expertise. By spewing whatever pleasant sympathies her upbringing had programmed into her, Bella knew that she would just end up making the situation worse. All she could do was manage a vaguely solicitous smile and a tiny nod before shifting to look at whoever still remained in the room.

“Well, this has been eventful.” She swallowed, shifting her gaze to the Baron, “If there’s nothing else, I have preparations to make.” Barely waiting for the dismissive wave the Baron Bishop sent her way, she turned on her heels and strode out of the room.

Arabella had never wanted to be like her mother, always retreating to a darkened room with cold tea bags or cucumber slices for her eyes. She had always judged her harshly for it, and never with sympathy. It was only now, seven years after her death, that Bella began to understand the blight of tension headaches. Side stepping the debris of a table whose unfortunate end was more than likely instigated by the very same man she was desperately trying not to think about, a long sigh blew past her lips as the throbbing in her skull only seemed to increase. With the letter to her father already half-way drafted in her head, Bella moved up the stairs and toward her room.






[/color]
 

Saboona

president thot



Location: Manor Study -> Upstairs
Interactions: Arabella
Mentions: Hell0NHighWater Hell0NHighWater noonshine noonshine
Isolde Bishop

The way her gut fell was an unceremonious, painful stab that twisted deep on old wounds. She did try her best to keep a straight face, for her own sake and the credibility to those around her, but the life in her eyes died out just as fast as Roland had ignited them mere hours ago. Her fingers were suddenly evil little devils, and the more she scraped into them it seemed the closer to removing the pain she became. Married? To... Berinhard King? All of a sudden it felt like the most inherently sinful acts, sure that her sister would be rolling in her grave, or no doubt going to exact some supernatural vengeance for this betrayal. She regarded Bernard like a companion at the best of times, and a nuance for the others. To be... bonded to him? To feel his pain, his powers, his glee? It seemed cruel, after they'd spent so many years trying to at least handle each other without Beatrice around. Mostly, it made her sick; nearly criminal based on how much her sister had loved him.

Her gaze tried to find Bernard's first, maybe to exchange a mutual disgust and abhorring for the events-- but her attention was quickly drawn to not only Roman's verbal lash, but Roland's swift and tense exit. She could feel it, in a sense. The thought made her skin blanche, mostly because of the mountain of explaining she'd have to do later. She worried for their sensitive relationship, a mere bud snipped by not even five minutes of devastating news.

The Baron regarded Roman with a knowing look. "I'm afraid there's no error, Mr. Graves. And, well, wedding is to put it simply. It's much older than that, and the bonds are much deeper. It's for the good of the Vanguard, and our fighting forces in the long run. There's no need to be up in arms. We aren't going to ask you to pretend you're in love. That would be ridiculous, and a breech of many protocols. Might I make it clear that any relationships that aren't professional or at the very least amicable are very much going to be forbidden. That... doesn't seem to be an issue for most," he said, but the slight gaze at Isolde made her spine want to snap. "So do keep your composure, for goodness sake's Mr. Graves!"

He then regarded Arabella and her question, Isolde left to silently fume and fumble over her words. She felt like her Uncle had purposefully kept this information from her... for what? What would the purpose have been to dissuade any and all chances of... normalcy! Human nature!?

The smoldering in her chest was slow, but a deep burn. Smaller than Roman's, which triggered her olfaction. She sympathized for the man, and for Arabella. They were all upstanding citizens, and their pairings were less than ideal. At least Isolde knew that Bernard carried her Uncle's title, as his heir should anything befall the man. But still it felt... terrible. Like finally coming up close to the scrappy kid you thought would never to make a man of himself.

The men began to trickle out. Ilya seemed just as fumed as Roland was, though for very clear and different reasons. Isolde felt a terrible guilt settle in her stomach, thinking about leaving Roland out for too long. She didn't want to be on the receiving end of a fresh accusation, however. It held her back; a terrible, cowardly fear she didn't know she had.

When Arabella excused herself, Isolde bit her cheek so hard she tasted blood. She would get it.

Quickly, the brunette rushed out. Her braided hair nearly snapped against the door with how fast she moved to catch up with the other woman.

"Miss de Montagu!" Isolde called, taking a brief moment to gape at the broken display of a table. She shook her head, finding the sentence she lost. "If I could steal a moment of your time."

She hurried up the stairs, fingers moving from the red fingers to the buttons on her coat. "I'm just going to say it outright, and you can scold or condemn me later for being less of a lady than you-- frankly, I'm terrified of what's to come." The words tumbled from her mouth as she followed the other woman.

"I have no-one else to confide in, and we can forget all about this afterward, but I'm so terribly lost that I've got no idea where to go with things. Everything is a mess and... I could use some of your fortitude. Can we... talk privately in your room?"

She cast a gaze down the stairs, and at the various halls. Fleeting figures of servants caught her attention, only one or two slowing down when they saw the two women walking.

A pleading look to her eyes, she very nearly got on her knees and begged to Arabella.
 

Saboona

president thot



Location: Manor study
Interactions: Vasilis
Mentions: L0ck0n L0ck0n
Kitty Maclerie

Fecking hell, was all Kitty could think once the Baron dropped the bombshell. It felt like a bombshell anyway. Sure, there were things that came with war; not that Kitty knew them intimately. She knew the consequences of war, and the terrible burden that came with it. Marrying someone you've barely met for the sake of the cause? Well, that would be filed under never would have believed it in any feckin' lifetime.

Visceral reactions poured into the room for the others. She worked her jaw, listening to the queries and questions posed to the Baron. Despite claiming to be upfront, he sure seemed to be hiding a lot about it. Celtic? She doubted that for a second, with the way that the British worked. Probably some clever guise to make it seem legitimate. Maybe some half-thought up tactic to loop them all into eternal servitude. Wasn't that the cost for being a mage these days, anyway? Servitude or death. Although she'd been shielded from most of the terrible rules and history that came with mages in history, it didn't take much time to realize things once she grew out of the innocent and naivety of her youth.

They were weapons of war, those clever devils, and they wanted accountability. Plenty of room for error for those who wouldn't make it, and plenty of breadth for those who could. Easy pickings to wipe out, should anyone breach the protocol. Honour and prestige for those who pretended like the rest of the bloody empire.

It was a dirty fucking game.

Kitty took the moment to look at Vasilis, and really take in the blonde. All things considered, it wasn't a terrible pairing. Kitty had enjoyed the woman's company, in their brief time. She was funny, formidable and definitely better than most to be around. Nothing beat Devin Murphy, though, and that was a fact. She was half envious that the swedish minx had the luxury of being paired with the Irishman, if not for the amount of trouble that would have been dredged up between the Scot and the Irish. Terrible to deal with the awkward context of the whole thing, but easy to wash away with a pint.

Which, on the off-hand, sounded absolutely appealing at the moment.

"Oi, bonnie. Shall we cheers to the union? Ah'm cravin' a pint, and we isnae barred from the spirits like Uncle Jackey come and gone. Plus, ah'd love to feckin' punch somethin' after all this," Kitty fumed, her voice a murmur to the blonde's ear. She crossed her arms, now extremely uncomfortable with the energy in the room. Maybe they'd saddle in Murphy and the Swede after. They seemed like joyous enough company, considering the display of the others.

No pity for the firey one, though. One of the ones with something to lose after all this.
 

Hell0NHighWater

Queen of Hell

↜LOCATION⇁ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎↜MUSIC TO SET THE MOOD⇁
Bella's Room ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎ People I Don’t Like - UPSAHL

↜INTERACTIONS⇁ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎↜OOC⇁
Saboona Saboona ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎ ‎I only have 1 braincell
‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎


â«· Arabella de Montagu â«ž


Her fingers had just grazed the metal of the door knob when the sound of Isolde’s voice caused her to turn. Regarding the other woman with a bit of surprise, she opened her mouth to say something but Isolde kept on speaking with a wash of rattled emotion that Arabella wished she could also express.

“Of course darling," Turning the knob to her bedroom door, she held it open for Isolde to pass through, "I would be delighted to.”

Gently shutting the door behind them, Bella turned her gaze back to the chambers assigned to her. It was a handsome room, beautiful old faded tapestry panels--reddish--and some ormolu furniture with other things mixed in; It was rather conglomerate, but pleasing. Big, but not too empty, and organized in a manner that bespoke of its owner’s perfectionism. Gesturing to the cream loveseat, by the fireplace, inlaid with green silk leaves embroidered so delicately that they looked as if they could have landed there in the spring and sunk in. “Please, make yourself comfortable. But before we begin, I have to jot something down first.”

Stringing toward the wooden desk tucked into a corner next to the balcony doors, Bella pulled a leather-bound journal from one of the drawers and briefly, but methodically, bullet-pointed the outline of the letter to her father and made a note to contact Ms. Bartlett about receiving some sort of document to enclose as well. After pausing for a second, she glanced up toward Isolde briefly and managed to mold her mouth into a smile, “Oh and just so you know, Ms. Bishop, I’ll never scold you for speaking your mind. It is a tragedy that so few women do.”

At that declaration she added ‘scathing letter to Edwin’ to the list before closing the book and setting the pen back in it’s inkwell. “Apologies for the delay, my dear, it’s just that if I don’t write things down, I’ll forget them; And I do not intend to forget the details of what your Uncle told us, especially when my future depends on it.”

Arabella paused, taking it upon herself to ring the kitchen for some tea and biscuits before leaving the desk. She chuckled dryly as she sat in the armchair perpendicular to the loveseat, her voice softening with a sliver of compassionate warmth, “Now that you have my undivided attention, Ms. Bishop, where would you like to start?”







[/color]
 
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Saboona

president thot



Location: Manor Study -> Upstairs
Interactions: Arabella
Mentions: Hell0NHighWater Hell0NHighWater
Isolde Bishop

A sigh of relief escaped the woman, nodding respectfully to Arabella as she headed into the room. Isolde remembered this one as the bedroom that her mother preferred to stay in. All the summers before Isolde and Beatrice's powers manifested, they'd take the carriage out to the manor and soak in the warmth that so lacked in London. Her mother had liked the colour of the room, and the way that the evening sun traced rays through the glass. Shrugging off her outdoor coat, she folded it plainly on her lap as she sat on the loveseat.

"Oh, of course. It's me interrupting your time, anyway. Take as much of it as you need," Isolde said as Arabella went to the desk.

The brunette bit her lip, gazing down at the pattern on the loveseat. It reminded her of all the time she'd come to find her mother doing needlework by the fireplace. She'd sneak in after hours, knowing that her mother spent most nights awake (not unlike Isolde's own adult behaviour) and rest her head on the arm of the seat. Hearing her mother hum, occasionally quizzing her on literature, and the soft business of the needle sliding into the fabric would put the young girl to sleep. Often she reminisced on this, perhaps missing the innocence of youth. Other times, she was thankful that time had passed. The maturation of life was a marvel in itself, especially in the way that people changed.

She didn't write to her parents often. Isolde knew that her mother had taken Beatrice's death terribly hard all those years ago, and the communication had just died off from there. Living full-time at the Baron's took a load off her parent's lap, and she knew that her father's work at the bank had remained steady. What her mother did these days, she didn't know. The burden of distance, as it were. The heart hardened when no longer faced with fresh faces of family, and those that one loved. Perhaps her mother missed having a daughter to tote around; to show off to the other ladies. Isolde certainly didn't miss the city-- though there were aspects that she definitely thought about often. Her parents were one thing, of course, but the constant attention and impression making was a game she so loved to play.

It made life at the manor seem dull in comparison. Days spent training, practicing her instruments, or mindlessly wandering the halls and garden. There were no other girls, really, for Isolde to get along with. Miss Bartlett was far too formal to be friendly with, and by no means would she break any kind of decency and fraternize with a servant or staff member. Beatrice's death was more than just the loss of a sister, it was the loss of a confidant. She'd never even think of unfurling her petals to Bernard-- especially not now.

So Arabella's willingness as a breath of fresh air, and frankly, quite surprising. In no way were they outwardly friendly, nor did it appear that they were inwardly friendly. But in this moment, perhaps, they were. It was an unsettling thought for Isolde (though today had been quite the emotional one anyway). Yet, she was never one to look a gift horse in the mouth.

Nervously fiddling with her braid, she trained her gaze square at the other woman's. "The future, perhaps, now that you mention it," Isolde said with a waver to her voice.

"I'm just going to be forthright, it would take a blind man not to notice: but Mr. MacCann and I-- well, we were going to announce a... relationship to my Uncle. It was a rash decision, thinking about it now, and with everything that's just come to light, I'm afraid of how to go about this with Mr. MacCann. He seemed very... upset, with the news. All things considered, yes, of course he should be!" Isolde gave a sigh, tugging on the braid now.

"But I just hope he hasn't convinced himself that I did all of this to... drive him mad. It simply wasn't! I was just as surprised as everyone in that room to hear of the binding ceremony. But It's not... it's not quite a wedding, right? I mean, well, it definitely is with the way that it's been planned. We aren't going to exchange rings-- though I'd imagine I'd simply die on the spot if that was the case-- but exchanging blood is... another level. Really, my question for that is, how on earth do I go about this? Should I convince him that we throw this off? I don't know if I can, though, or that I have it in me to... not! He's just... he's special, you know, in that dastardly way. Really strikes a cord in you. And his wealth of experience..." Isolde trailed off, her face flushing in the sudden memory of their heated kiss in the forest. She gulped, catching herself and coming to her feet to pace.

Without letting Arabella say a word, she steamed forward, growing increasingly more upset and hysterical as she was left with her thoughts. "And then there's Mr. King! A terrible, oafish man that I've detested since I laid eyes on him! He was engaged to my late sister, did you know? They were so incredibly in love that they'd been dogging the matter for years until he finally had the guts. Things didn't... shape out, because of this accursed war, and now I'm to be married to him? No doubt my Uncle intends a whole affair for Mr. King and I-- no offense to your union with Mr. Zabolotsky, but I can't see there being much fruit outside of our magic there-- and to make a show of things! I don't know if I could stomach that! I... I don't hate him. I don't like him, that's for sure. He's a terrible, snarky, conceited man that I want no business with intimately!"

She took a breath, eyes wide. "Oh my god, there isn't going to be any consummation is there? I bloody hope not!" She shrieked, slapping a hand to her mouth. Her heart was racing in her chest, the white blouse suddenly another restriction to her boiling skin.
 

StormWolf

Elder Member




Location: The Bishop Estate; The Halls, Roland’s Quarters

Interactions: --

Mentions: --



Roland MacCann


Despite his best efforts, Roland could not prevent his exit from the Baron’s office to come across as storming out. He did, however, take his petty, spiteful pride in conducting himself with greater grace than Valentin, or Ilya, if the sundering of furniture behind him was any indication. Still, Roland’s fists were clenched, nails digging into his calloused palms, hard and deep to send a keening note of pain up his nerves. Long legs carried Roland in a purposeful stride, bootheels thundering against the wood-panel floors, resounding even when muffled by rugs and tapestries.

A rush of color and a hush of skirts brought Roland to a sudden pause, balance teetering only for a moment before falling into a parade-perfect posture. Back straight, eyes front, shoulders squared. Control. Order. Discipline.

It was one of the Baron’s aides, the only other New Columbian that Roland knew of in the dismal isle. Roland’s lips pressed tight against his teeth, throat clenched against a verbal onslaught that would have flayed someone else on the staff, or another one of the Vanguard. Roland’s eyes drifted down to her for a moment, distant. Alien.

“Ma’am,” was all he said, distant and brisk as a winter breeze, which turned out for the best. Miss Bartlett was always busy and seemed particularly on task. Anything more from Roland would have been a waste of her time and his breath. When she made herself scarce as quickly as she’d appeared, Roland took a deep, steadying breath, working his jaw against the knot forming in his cheeks.

The privacy of Roland’s room, sparse and spartan as it was, had been a comfort in the last several weeks. While the bed remained too soft for his taste most of the time, he could at least have a place that was his, if only at the grace of another. With the door closed behind him, Roland braced his shaking hands against the tall and padded back of the smoking chair beside the hearth. Leather creaked in a whine of protest beneath his grip. Eyes screwed shut, he forced steady breathing, broad shoulders shaking with the effort.

There was no ceremonial garb laid out on his mattress or hung in his wardrobe. Was he even expected to attend? Would he be allowed? Hell, would he even want to be there either way? Tight lips peeled away from Roland’s teeth in a sneer, the scarlet scarf suddenly like anathema against his skin. Roland’s body burned in the crushing confines of his quarters, tearing himself down to only his shirt, slacks, and boots.

From its little corner stand, the carved crystal decanter of whiskey taunted Roland, the honied glow of the hearth through it seductive in its warmth. But no, no. He would not become besotted because of
 them! He would not defile himself simply because things were not as he wished. That was the Frenchman’s prerogative, and all of his filthy enablers.

Some distant part of Roland’s mind protested, saying that, they are not enablers, but merely friends.

Roland took that part of his subconscious voice - that treasonous metaphysical naysayer - and killed it.

Settling into his smoking chair, it took Roland a few tries to strike a match and light up a cigarette, which only fueled that pool of vitriol that tore at his guts like slithering razor-wire. On the end table to his left, atop a stack of the most recent books he’d gone through into the late hours, was a sealed envelope. Roland leered at it as if the letter itself was an asp, coiled and ready to strike him dead with its venom.

Three contemplative drags from his cigarette, and Roland took a narrow folding knife from his pocket. The honed steel glided through the paper with a whisper. Drawing out the letter, Roland unfolded it and read his own rough hand.


____________________________________________________________________
My Dearest Sister, Amelia,

I hope this letter finds you, our sisters and your children well. I must, first and foremost, beseech your forgiveness for the untimeliness of this letter. If I have been a cause of worry or pain in my silence, I have not to blame but a soldier’s cowardice, and the uncertainty of a life lived at the edge of a razor.

There is too much that has happened, and much that will happen still. The future is rife with dire uncertainty as the Great War rages, but it is with a genuine smile that I write to you this generous spring day in the lush English countryside.

You will certainly take great pride in being right, as you always are. I’ve met someone here of whom even mother and father would struggle to disapprove of. Though the bloom between us is still new, and the future between us remains unknowable, permit your older brother his little joys, and I pray that the household will not ridicule me overmuch for being so absolutely smitten. Even in writing so sparsely of Isolde - the woman in question - I find myself grinning at the memory of her smile.

Some day, when my duties do not keep us all apart, it would make me the happiest of men for her to meet you and the others. I pray each day for the grace and mercy of God to make it so. Should He be so kind, I hope that you, being the head of the household since my departure, would welcome Isolde Bishop into our family, should that be the way of things. I know that it is something I have set my sights on fighting for, which is not something I have had for quite some time.

Until we meet again, in this life or the next, know that I think of you always.

Your loving brother,

Roland MacCann
____________________________________________________________________

”What a goddamn fool you are, MacCann
” Roland muttered, ash sprinkling from the smoke between his lips to gather in the creases folded in the letter meant for home. A testament from the heart, honest and true, but what was the point? It was a small and bitter blessing, perhaps, that Roland had been too scared to send this letter earlier. A mercy like one gives a lame horse, surely.

Roland hated that this hurt him so. Hated himself, hated the room, the house. All of it. Over and over he read that letter, so full of heart, and felt the warmth of poetry turn to ashes in his mouth.

Ashes to ashes
 Roland thought, his gaze drifting from the words on the page to the inviting glow of embers and flame within the mantle. Nobody will ever have to know, and those around him would quickly forget anything they might have seen. Such was their nature; birds of paradise to be gawked at by the propagandists, celebrity-soldiers until the realities of the war put them out of Roland’s misery.

Folding the envelope with the letter, Roland rose from his chair and tossed them into the embers without ceremony. It was just another mess to be cleaned up, another loose end to be tied off. One more piece to cut away and cauterize. It would take some time to burn properly, but Roland had nothing but time, and it was his alone to spend.

“Here’s to the greater good...”

 
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noonshine

Dingus McPingus


ROMAN GRAVES




There was no choice but to ignore Valentin- whatever filth he was spewing was only an insulting accessory added to the horrific concept that he would be permanently connected to the person in the room he considered most vile. Roman, however, could not help but let his gaze linger on the inebriate, and watched with bitter recollection of his deceased brother, Malcolm who possessed a similar affinity for drink (looking back, Malcolm may have drank less than Mr Auclair, and Roman was sure Malcolm was nearly pickled).



Barely able to hear the heated exchange between Miss Montagu and Mr Auclair, he stood so tense he thought he may be shaking, lip curling as she slapped him- he wished it was his own hand. The abrasive act of grabbing her in response was shocking- and he elected to make no move to interject.

Roland was suddenly gone, and replaced with Miss Bartlett who rushed off with the Frenchman the anger of the room had spiraled toward. Where was it to go then? A pointed ‘no’ from the Russian at the very least summarized how nearly everyone seemed to be feeling about the situation- the tone was quite the haunt.



With some strain he continued to swallow back bile as Miss Montagu received a sharp and repetitive answer to her inquiry- one even he would have liked to hear replied with a semblance of tenderness this bizarre situation deserved at least for the sake of placating them like children.



Frankly, he wanted nothing more than to be coddled and readily shared a sympathetic look with both of the present women of class.



The Bonds are much deeper.

Than marriage?

His shoulders rose in a fruitless heave, bitten back by an adjustment to the absolute curse that all magic was.

Nothing was more unnerving than being told to keep composure- he felt weighted to the spot he stood, and quickly found that tension that had made him feel as though he were shaking to truly shaking as his physical efforts were consumed by desperation to not make more of an ass of himself. Hand raised to cover his mouth, he felt the wetness of his running nose and watering eyes, which locked themselves to a steady gaze on the floor. Composure. What a dastardly thing to require of him, to have composure in the face of their own bondage to another.



Graves wanted to shrink away into nothingness, his wide eyed state never rising as he tried to find the will to move- the room slowly emptying and the tension in the air dispersing to fill the entirety of the manor in its most heavy cloud.

Arabella de Montagu and Isolde Bishop left and very suddenly he felt alone in his particular rage.



So briefly he thought he’d conquered the physical treachery of his emotions, and that his nausea had subsided enough for him to at the very least apologize for his outburst and exit the room with whatever dignity he had still.



The second his lips parted to speak the looming hours of his last unbonded moments bore down on him and no words came out, only a bile so pyrectic it was glowing orange. Whatever he was trying to say melted into a monosyllabic post verbal whine as his throat was scorched.



Part of the carpet disintegrated on contact, and he watched with dread- mortification slacking his face as the floorboards crackled and glowed when met with that very heat.



“Excuse me,” he croaked, not once looking up, shame washing over him as he elected to try very hard to forget what he had just done in front of a small handful of people.



Finally, his legs carried him out of the room, walking at such a pace he very well could have started running. Suddenly he could barely recall when he’d gone up a flight of stairs, so quickly walking to his own room that he had lost his mind to time entirely- then he heard the familiar voices of the two women that seemed most affected.

The wild pace came to a stop, he wiped his sweating palms on his pants, pulling off his morning coat to tie it around his waist. It was too late for some formalities.



A memory ghosted to him, of his sister cutting her hair to her jaw in the bathroom- she had just turned 16, and declared to him as she cropped her jet black locks “Never ever ever! I will sooner die than marry!” her grin was wild, “If someone utters to me a proposal, I hope the rankness of their breath kills me!” The chopping continued, and she handed to Roman a fistful of fine hair, before he could ask what to do with it, her smile melted away- those wild eyes looking through him with a confused and animal desperation he saw from her often, she began to cry. “Oh- oh, Roman, I shouldn’t have done that-” those decorative scissors dropped to the sink, and a porcelain figure broke away from the metal of them as Mayme Graves wept, “I’ve no thoughts- stupid girl.” It was only moments later crying became giggles as she finished the job, and declared in her most bold and boisterous laugh, “Pray Mother chokes when she sees me.” Roman could not recall a word he had said, or if he had been able to speak at all.



He too suddenly never ever ever wanted to be married.



Longing came with it, her bitterly missed presence was so much more than that single memory of her fraying. Her friendship was never like the friendship of boys, and he remembered reveling in time with her friends until he was too old to spend time with girls unattended by someone.

Retrieving a handkerchief from his pocket, he quickly wiped his face, trying to appear at least somewhat presentable, and at the same time wrestle with just how inappropriate it was for him to even be considering entering a room with two single women in it- although Isolde may be pregnant so she very well could be the necessary social chaperone.



Rapping lightly on the door, he cleared his throat, sheepish when he called out “Miss Montagu? Miss Bishop? If
 if it’s no trouble or discomfort may I join the two of you?”



TEMPLATE © BOKEH
 
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Hell0NHighWater

Queen of Hell


↜LOCATION⇁‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎↜VIBES⇁
Bishop Estate > ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎Oh Klahoma - Jack Stauber
Family Cemetery‏‏‎

↜INTERACTIONS⇁‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎↜OOC⇁
N/A ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ I have one braincell & a dream ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎
‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎‎‏




⑈ Valentin Auclair ⑈

"Mr. Auclair, a moment if you will!"

He had barely turned to address the sound of Adelaide’s voice when an arm was hooked around his. Gluing herself to his side, his brows rose to his hairline and his mouth shifted into what he thought was a charming smile despite the numbing pain in his cheek. “Bonjour, mademoiselle, it has been--”

Adelaide cut Val off with an urgent tone and a decree that he had only heard part of, on account of her having spoken far too quickly for him to catch every word. The gist of it caused his smile to fade slightly, replaced by stunned confusion and a trickle of dread that he couldn’t quite explain. Still, Val moved along with her willingly--having no reason to suspect that she was telling him anything other than the truth. Yet, he wasn’t entirely sure why the Baron would ask him--of all people--to participate in some errand-boy simulation and the alcohol in his system prevented him from latching onto any one thought. His unease was quickly forgotten.

“I...deserve it?” Valentin questioned, his voice soft with hope and befuddlement. He was so surprised that he forgot how to walk, but Adelaide dragged him forward without missing a step. Were he sober he might have questioned what ‘it’ precisely entailed, but that line of rational thought was swept away by a haze of optimistic elation. He didn’t know what he did, but it brought on a strange feeling of pride to know that he was being recognized for something. Having lived a majority of his life only being talked down to, Valentin didn’t particularly know how to respond to what he thought was praise. So, he smiled.

Adelaide no longer needed to pull him along. His gait, although not completely in a straight line, became more hurried and his strides lengthened to match her pace. Valentin blinked against the sun, using one hand to shade his eyes as they moved toward the rumbling vehicle. “Cheri, I have so many stories I could not possibly tell them all today. Perhaps later if you would like--”

She shut the car door on him before he could finish his sentence. More amused than annoyed by her rejection, he shifted in his seat until he was angled toward her and away from the window. Only half aware of the world outside the claustrophobic comfort of the car, Valentin leaned back into the soft leather around him as they got further and further from the estate. There was nothing particularly interesting about small talk with Ms. Bartlett and whenever he attempted to glean details about the items they had to get from town, she dismissed his inquiries with compliments and vague topic shifts.

As the car engine sung to the lone country roads and the trip began to drag on, a pit of unease began to hollow his stomach. His breathing began to shallow and his fingers twisted around themselves, desperate to find a way to release the building tension in his body. The moment an iron wrought fence came into view and the vehicle slowed, turned and headed through a giant gate, Val’s mouth went completely dry. “This...is not the city.” He croaked, his mind firing off a million of unhelpful thoughts and then offered nothing at all, “Where...why the fuck are we here?”

The boughs of the cemetery twisted like contorted bones. Along them, cold rectangular stones marked a dwelling place in which no-one was home. The dead had been laid to rest beneath the gravestones in promise of not being forgotten, but it was a promise always broken. The car rolled to a stop and Valentin was suddenly left with no choice but to get out.

Laughing uneasily, he stood with his hand against the car and turned his attention to Adelaide as she rounded the vehicle to usher him forth. The scenery should have been scarier, accosted him with unnatural chills, and propelled him into a waking nightmare that would never end. Yet in the mid-morning light under a cloudless sky, the air fragrant with pine-needles, and the alcohol keeping him sane, it felt more like a nice stroll through the park on a Sunday afternoon. “This is not a very funny joke, Ms. Bartlett. I am not a fucking tool for you to indulge in your paranormal curiosities. I would much rather head back--”

“This is not a joke, Mr. Auclair.”

His legs locked into place and he froze in the middle of a dirt path leading toward a towering stone mausoleum. For a second he thought he heard disembodied voices seemingly carried through the patches of sunlight shining through the gaps in the trees. It almost sounded reminiscent of the wind whistling past his ear, but...there was no wind. Not even the tiniest breeze. “Not a--not a joke? What do you mean?” Val hated the way his voice cracked, the wave of hurt and betrayal making him sound like a lost child.

“The Baron has made it clear that he wanted you to sober up and your continued negligence to do so has left us little choice.”

The panic started out as thin as cellophane, something his fingers could pierce breathing holes in. Pressure on his back and shoulders made him aware of the driver and front passenger forcing him forward and closer to the now open mausoleum. Valentin’s vision narrowed on the pitch hole in the stone. His heart got stuck in his throat and the panic became a deluge of ice water surrounding every limb, creeping higher until it began to cover his face.

Valentin flung himself into motion all at once, digging his heels into the dirt and trying to fight off the two intimidatingly beefy men on either side of him. His fist hit one of them in the jaw and for a second he thought he was free. Val had made it two steps before arms wrapped around his midsection and hefted him off of his feet. “Wait! No! Do not fucking leave me here!” He screeched, kicking and flailing, “You--you do not know what it is like, please!”

Gasping for air that simply wasn’t there, his throat burned and tears began to streak down his face, “I will stop--I--I’ll throw it all out! Ne me laissez pas ici, je ne peux pas le faire!”

He was going to lose his mind. A weight crushed into his rib cage, and he suddenly wished he was dead. The looming possibility of being shoved into that mausoleum and not being the one to walk out had him scratching at the arms that held him. “S'il vous plaît! Je ferais tout!” He begged, knees digging into the earth as he hit the ground. Surrounded by rows and rows of coffins entombed by stone, Valentin scrambled to get to his feet.

“S'il vous plaît,” He sobbed, hands slamming into the door as it was slammed shut in his face.

In the disquiet darkness, the whole world could have blown away and he wouldn’t have known. It suffocated him like a damp, musty, thick blanket clinging to every inch of his pale skin. If he didn’t get out of this tomb soon he’d vomit, already the bile was collecting in his otherwise dry mouth. His legs felt like they were no longer his and he began to tremble; he wrapped his arms around himself as he slid to the floor. Curling into himself, he cried until there weren’t any more tears left to shed; he could only wait for the cruel desolation of the inevitable.




[/color]
 

Hell0NHighWater

Queen of Hell

↜LOCATION⇁ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎↜MUSIC TO SET THE MOOD⇁
Bella's Room ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎ Bea Miller - THAT BITCH

↜INTERACTIONS⇁ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎↜OOC⇁
Saboona Saboona ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎ ‎I only have 1 braincell
noonshine noonshine ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎


â«· Arabella de Montagu â«ž


A soft and polite knock infiltrated Isolde's rather overwrought explanation and Bella silently got to her feet to get the door. Still listening to the other mage, she grabbed the tea tray with an absent note of thanks before returning to her seat. Pouring the piping hot liquid into two cups, Arabella opened her mouth to say something only for Isolde to launch into another topic. This time about Bernard King.

The news of Isolde’s late sister’s engagement was a bit shocking, but ultimately explained a few things about the other woman’s disposition toward him. Although she couldn’t imagine herself in such a predicament, Arabella could most certainly understand how...nauseating and uncomfortable it would be to be bonded like that to a brother.

"Con-Consummation?" Bella choked on her tea, shooting Isolde a horrified look as a single word tumbled out of her with more force than she had intended, "No.” Clearing her throat, she blew air softly across the surface of her tea cup and struggled to keep the heat from crawling up her face. “There will be none of that, it would be terribly improper."

Readjusting herself in her seat, a faint curve of kindness rested across her lips, "You're not really marrying Mr. King, my dear." Bella paused, staring into her tea cup as she gathered her thoughts, then continued with measured caution, "It is true that mixing blood is a bit...invasive, but the bond itself sounds more connected to our powers than our hearts."

Tilting her head to the side, she pressed her lips into a thin line and prayed that her own logic wasn’t somehow inherently flawed. Knowing that she wouldn’t have artificial love or marital expectations thrust upon her was the only thing keeping Bella from flying off the handle. She had no intentions of being anything other than a fellow teammate to Mr. Zabolotsky, especially now that the whole affair would give her the opportunity to live her life without the Earl of Salisbury breathing down her neck. At twenty-four it was almost unheard of for a woman of her social status to be unwed and without this bond she would no longer have an excuse to remain that way.

"I'll admit that I am not particularly thrilled with the
aesthetic of the event." Arabella sighed, her features a cross between a smile and a grimace as her gaze shifted toward the hint of a white gown laid out on her bed. "However, knowing this is going to be highly publicized--it makes sense. If the ritual were kept to just the blood exchange, how sure can you be that the general public wouldn't scream witchcraft and come straight to our doorstep bearing torches and pitchforks?"

Loathing how much she sounded like her father in that moment, Arabella took a sip of her tea and opened her mouth to continue only to get the words caught in her throat. The sound of rapping at her door followed by Mr. Graves’ timid tenor diverted Arabella’s thought process long enough for her to forget what she was about to say. Rising once more to her feet, she strolled toward her bedroom door and opened it with a blank expression. “It’s no trouble at all, darling, please come in and make yourself comfortable; would you like some tea?”

Arabella stepped out of the way, held the door open, and shut it softly behind him. "We were just discussing the rather delicate situation Ms. Bishop has found herself in, and as I was saying, I don't see why you shouldn't be able to have relationships. You are your own woman, my dear, and you deserve to be happy."

Sitting beside Isolde on the loveseat, Arabella gave her another pencil thin smile, "If you truly care about Mr. MacCann as seriously as you presented earlier, then you should talk to him." Turning her attention back to the tea set on the coffee table, Bella began to pour Roman a cup as she spoke, "I imagine he is human and quite possibly just as hurt and confused as you."

Taking her own teacup into her hands, she lifted her shoulders into a shallow shrug, "All of this is easier said than done, of course, but I believe communication and honesty to be the centerpiece to any successful relationship--regardless of romantic interest.”

Amber irises shifted toward the man sitting opposite of them, “Mr. Graves, as part of the male population, perhaps you have some alternative insight or advice to give on the matter?”







[/color]
 

SavannahSmiles

I Move The Stars For No One






Olivia Andersson

For a moment Olivia thought she was going to have to physically force Valentin to drink the water, but thankfully he accepted the glass of water after a few more moments of cajoling and Olivia stepped back with a small smile of relief, her attention turning at the click of the door opening. Spotting that the Baron had entered the room she hurried back to her seat, eager to learn why he had summoned them to his study all of a sudden.

She sat at attention as the Baron was seated at his desk, however as the Baron began to speak, the smile slowly dimmed until it dropped from her face, leaving her with a growing sense of unease the more he spoke. Bonding? Marriage?!. She cast a lost look at the other mages in the room but they looked just as confused as she did, some of them quickly spiraling into a rage at the news suddenly dropped into their lap. She...She was going to be bonded to Devin?

For a moment, pure panic shot through her like lightning. Not because of who she was to be paired with, Devin seemed like a very nice person; no, this panic came from the dread that she suddenly found herself with another person in her life that she could lose. Would she lose Devin like she lost her parents? She...She couldn’t be the cause of someone else's death, not again, not ever again. Almost against her will, she twisted in her seat, eyes scanning the room until they landed on Devin, who was already staring at her with an awkward smile tilting his lips up.

An answering nervous smile spread across her own face, eyes searching his as she tried to catalog her feelings. What did Devin think about all of this, being forced to marry her? Was he disappointed he was being stuck with her? She will be the first to admit she was probably the most useless mage in the Vanguard; everyone else seemed a lot more powerful than she was, so how much use was she going to be to him, truly?

She was so lost in her inner musings that she nearly missed the commotion that erupted between Arabella and Valentin. Hearing the sharp smack of a palm against someone’s cheek, she glanced at them. Frowning, she was about to ask them if now was really the time to turn on each other, but Valentin had already stormed out of the room, with Roland, Ilya, Arabella, and Isolde soon exiting the room.

Glancing around, she realized she was left with Roman, Devin, Kitty and Sil. A whining sound was quick to grab her attention and she leaped to her feet at the sight of Roman heaving over the carpet. She reached out a hand to comfort him but he was gone from the room before she could take more than a step.

And then there were four.

“Well that was...eventful
”








Location: Bishop Manor- The Barons Study
Mood: Over-Whelmed
Tags: wickedlittlecritta wickedlittlecritta

code by RI.a
 

L0ck0n

Your Friendly Neighborhood Weeb
Vasilis Laskaris
"Ah, Merda..."


“What
” Sil whispered as the Baron spoke about the bonding. There was nothing sane about what was going to happen with them, and considering that he emphasized the tracking that came with it made Sils stomach turn. They were dogs to them. Just like they always were. A small ounce of trust was all that she wanted out of the people that recruited them, but she highly doubted that they were seen as anything less than items for war. Her face began to heat as the blood boiled within her. Going back and forth between balling her hands into fists and letting go she resisted speaking out in fear of punishment. This was already the worst punishment yet, but she was sure the Baron could come up with worse. She knew when accepting the offer to join that she was saying goodbye to her freedom, but she couldn’t help but feel frustration at how the Baron worded his explanation. For a man to create The Vanguard she assumed he had some sort of admiration for them. Some ounce of respect. Neither existed. What a pity. A terribly horrible pity.

Clenching her teeth she stayed quiet as the Baron walked out of the office. Eyeing him with resentment Sil threw as many curses under her breath that she could at him. Her fists began to shake with anger, her body was warm with hatred for the situation she had put herself in. All to get away from the shitshow that existed living on the streets. To get away from wondering where her next meal was going to come from, to have a nice room to sleep in, to not have to constantly worry about being killed.

To possibly have a purpose in life.

Snorting, Sil shook her head. That was naive thinking on her part. She got what she wanted, but at what cost? Just the thought alone made her angry. She wanted to punch something, to grab the chair nearest to her and fling it against the wall, or to pick up the desk the baron used and put in all her strength to toss it over. There was nothing she could do. Nothing. She was hopeless. Helpless, and regretful.

The voice of signora Kitty Maclerie snapped her out of the spiraling thought process. “Uh
” Was all she muttered before blinking a few times to get adjusted to the current situation. Letting out a long sigh, and using one hand to massage the other as the shaking stopped Sil nodded. “Y-yeah, I could use an, euhm, drink. Maybe 10...” She awkwardly let out a laugh while considering their partnership moving forward. It was one thing to like someone, but a whole other thing to bond blood and marry. She had never heard of bonding blood before, but the Baron considered it a sort of marriage. Strapping down with someone and living happily ever after. Had she ever considered that? Not until just now...May not even be a happy marriage.

Stuffing her hands in her pockets Sil gave a clumsy smile. “If we fight then I got your back if ya’ got mine, dolcezza.”


Mood: Upset, Aggravated, Ready to get fucked up| Location: Bishop Manor: Meeting Room | Tag: Saboona Saboona


coded by weldherwings.
 

wickedlittlecritta

the once and future twink
Devin Murphy

Location: Bishop Manor, the baron's study
Interactions: Olivia SavannahSmiles SavannahSmiles
I gotta get better, gotta get better and maybe we'll work it out

Oliva returned his nervous little smile with one of her own, and then the rest of the room erupted into absolute chaos. Devin sat up in his chair and watched everyone scream, slap, and, incredibly, vomit fire before leaving, until he, Olivia, Sil, and Kitty were the only ones left in the room.

"Well, that went well," he said dryly. He looked back at Olivia and felt like he ought to say something, but wasn't sure what. He had never particularly considered anything like marriage for himself before. It wasn't something people like him did. "Here's to the worst wedding announcement. Drinks?"
 

Saboona

president thot



Location: Manor study
Interactions: Vasilis, Devin, Olivia
Mentions: L0ck0n L0ck0n wickedlittlecritta wickedlittlecritta SavannahSmiles SavannahSmiles
Kitty Maclerie

It was a sorely sad sight to see. Kitty deduced that the rest of the Vanguard had to be full of a bunch of soft-skinned, gelatin boned rich people who had everything in their realm of control. The one time something is decided for them, and they all go sideways. Cowboy was excluded because-- well-- he wasn't a factor in the whole 'big bad blood marriage' thing. If he was annoyed of his bed warmer being sold away to another man for the small price of eternal bondage, that definitely made sense. She did pity the Big Yin, though. Caught in the crossfire, as it happened.

But at least she felt she could rely on the few that were still in the room. Kitty was thankful that Sil had agreed to the drinks, and seeing that Devin had the same idea, Kitty clapped her hands together.

"You got it, Murphyyy," Kitty drawled out. "Drinks on me, an by me, I mean the Baron. Ha! Ah gonna have to wrestle a maid or two for where the stash is, but with the four ah us, I figure our odds are looking mint."

She frowned then, looking back at the wall that still had a bit of frost on it. "Altho... What 'bout the Russian? Ahm thenking he may make more frost decoration wherever he es, but if I ken anythin', is that Russian's love ta drenk." Kitty looked to the others.

"What say ye? Find our frosty friend and offer em drenks as well, or go stew away our hours in a bottle ah scotch?" She was feeling fairly benevolent, mostly at the prospect of getting somewhat sloppy drunk with her bride to be, in the presence of another lovely couple to be. The Baron had mentioned that it wasn't a marriage, although it was fairly close to one, but it still felt like that weird limbo of engagement. She recalled it briefly with Brennan, though the circumstances there were completely different. And, well, they ended differently too. Hopefully the same wouldn't be for Vasilis. She barely had the chance to know the bonnie!

At least to get her hopes up for a split second before death pulled another person away from Kitty, right?
 

noonshine

Dingus McPingus


ROMAN GRAVES




When the door opened and his request was so readily accepted relief crashed over him. Although he was tense and nervous it was comforting to know he did not have to sit with that alone- those were not the kind of negative thoughts he enjoyed sitting with by himself. “Thank you,” he nodded to her, stepping in, “Tea would be lovely.” Any time a woman called him darling or dear without venom he softened to them, it was a word that warmed him up to anyone quickly and he wished it was not so easy, but maybe some softness would be fitting for their shared situation.



The dim, warm room was a haven from the halls which so suddenly seemed to be leaning in with a threat to crush anyone that wandered in them for too long. Miss Montagu reassured Miss Bishop that she deserved to be happy and Roman, only making assumptions of why, nodded along. Those seemed to be kind and wise words applicable to most anyone.



Roman settled into a seat adjacent to the women, a bit closer to Miss Bishop to maintain some physical sense of respect that he understood they were both guests in the shrieking mage’s room.



He pressed his lips together in a thin tight line to keep himself from smiling as Miss Montagu rather suddenly let out the name of who Miss Bishop was interested in, Mr MacCann, which could have been expected after their ludicrous public display of affection- but saying it seemed like a jab. Maybe from Miss Montagu it was not intended to be a jab, she seemed a blunt and regal woman- regal even though she wore too much eye makeup.

“Thank you,” he mumbled, quickly picking up the cup that had just been poured for him and loading it with sugar- there was no sense in holding back an embarrassing sweet-tooth when someone else had just been made the topic of scandalous conversation.



His own inclusion in this male part of the population caught him off guard, brows raised with the words he simply nodded, shoulders lifting in a shallow shrug. Pondering the possibility that his childhood spent with mostly women left him feeling somewhat distant from conceptual maleness before he focused again on the request for his input. “Insight?” he tapped his fingers against the table and sipped his tea, leaning from side to side in a thoughtful rhythm as he considered what wisdom he had to offer on the topic of men, “we do go awfully far out of the way to act as though we do not witness our own emotional workings- if you feel as though you are pulling his teeth you may be on the right track. We men seem to enjoy withholding words to fester until their eruption or let the bitterness of a good grudge eat us alive in silence.”



Faced with his own glaring negativity he backtracked, “individuality may disprove my sweeping generalization of my fellow man, my words, of course, are affected by today’s affairs.”



TEMPLATE © BOKEH
 
Last edited:

Saboona

president thot



Location: Manor Upstairs -> Y'all know where
Interactions: Arabella, Roman
Mentions: Hell0NHighWater Hell0NHighWater noonshine noonshine
Isolde Bishop

She nodded with verification, relieved at Arabella's matter-of-fact words. It made things easier to digest, especially with the brunt of emotions running rampant in Isolde's mind. Steadying herself against the lounge, she moved to retrieve the cup of tea from the tray once Arabella finished speaking. It was reassuring to be reminded that yes; there was no expectation of anything intimate to happen. Her Uncle had said so explicitly. But no doubt there would be media and press junkies lingering for a story, for any reason to tear down the Vanguard's reputation. While anti-mage sentiments were innate and a silent prejudice (aside from the occasional loud mouthed, fiendish horror), their very public outing of mages in the military would no doubt cause eyes to roam. Better yet, to maintain some image. If there was one thing that could bring together a nation, it was a union.

Barely minding the fresh tea against her mouth, she bravely sipped it. The heat was a sense of reality, so desperately needed in a time of turmoil.

""However, knowing this is going to be highly publicized--it makes sense. If the ritual were kept to just the blood exchange, how sure can you be that the general public wouldn't scream witchcraft and come straight to our doorstep bearing torches and pitchforks?"" Arabella said, and Isolde pursed her lips in thought.

"Or quite the opposite, if perhaps they would be thinking that we are flaunting ourselves out and around like we're better than the non-magic people. Perhaps by inducing us into a state of magical servitude it reminds people that yes, we are less than," she added with a sardonic scoff, "The very thing to 'prevent our hubris from tipping us forward, brow first,' or some amount of nonsense they'd probably spew. If we're portrayed normally, with some semblance of a wedding to recognize our bonds to the Union and to the fighting forces, perhaps we gain sympathy from the people. By Job that we need it, what with the riots in London." Isolde sighed, remembering that life was not as perfectly isolated at her family estate as she'd like to imagine.

Her attention was brought to the rapping at the door, causing the hair on her neck to rise. The question of who was behind the door made her extremely nervous, up until the timid voice of Mr. Graves mumbled through. Her shoulders relaxed, although she maintained her posture for sake of reputation. Smiling plainly to the man, she made do to stare deeply into her pitch black tea for perhaps some more guiding reason.

But she very nearly felt the china crack in her grip once Arabella plainly stated the situation, filling Mr. Graves in. Isolde's eyes nearly bulged, her jaw clenching as she tried not to outright faint from embarrassment. Yes, of course there was the whole 'we are going to be public with our relationship and nobody can say a damn thing about it' conversation that she and Roland were going to have with her Uncle, and eventually everyone-- but with recent events it felt like a bitter joke to bring it up as if it were commonplace. Or really, as if it truly was just tea-time talk. 'Oh yes, the man that you were fancying? Well, let's reinforce your comforts that you should be with him, but let's re-engage your sense of duty by telling you to continue your pursuit of him DESPITE being forcibly bonded and united with another man. Oh, nothing wrong with that of all!' Perhaps it really was some cruel joke to Isolde's honour. She wanted to be foolish, fueled purely by her id, but she knew much better than that. And yet, the reinforcement of it was all around her.

Why did formal protocol even have to exist?

Keeping her spine locked in place, she tensely regarded Mr. Graves' opinion on the matter. Arabella had asked for it, without regarding Isolde's humility, and Isolde could only respond to it with a tight-lipped smile. She was still just getting to know these people, and to her, the moment of weakness that she'd opened up to a fellow female was simply ruined by the presence of another established man.

"Do not fear, Mr. Graves, for I too feel quite affected by today's revelation. There's always something special with us mages, isn't there?" She gave a haughty laugh, draining her tea quickly and placing the cup delicately on its plate. "In fact, I'm feeling quite faint. Perhaps while I still have some strength, I'll assure Mr. MacCann that civility would be best between us. While I appreciate the supportive words, Miss de Montagu, I'm simply not ready to jeopardize the delicate balance of things by my own foolish delights."

Protocol really was an ass. A resentment for the current seating filled her, thought it was mostly spurred by her echoing words with Roland back in the forest. Though she was one of the distinguished, and the idea of her reputation being soiled filled her with absolute fear, she felt claustrophobic with people who simply wouldn't understand her. Although Mr. MacCann was quite the New Columbian brute, in his very un-British ways, it was much more refreshing to hear his opinion on things.

She stood up gently, extending a cursty to the two. "Thank you two so much for your input. I suppose I will be seeing you tonight! Miss de Montagu, if you don't mind, I'd enjoy a helping hand with my hair. I'll extend my own hands to you, though I'm afraid I was never the delicate hairdresser," Isolde gave a warm, genuine smile. Make bridges when you could, right?

She then excused herself, slipping quickly out the door.
 

L0ck0n

Your Friendly Neighborhood Weeb
Vasilis Laskaris
"Ah, Merda..."


Sil shook her head. “I’m not about to wait ‘round for drinks, dolcezza.” She was pretty done as it was with their predicament, and the least thing she wanted to do was to run around looking for another person. “Come,” she nodded towards the door, addressing those in the room that were ready to let loose. “Let’s get something in our system. We can worry about pay later when we get to that point.” IF they get to that point. She wasn’t expecting them to be a normal drinking party. They were The Vanguard for shits sake. There was nothing normal about them, and having 4 of them in one bar? Considering she had never been with more than 2 mages when out and about before was a sign in itself that they were something else. They could have had more members to join in on the fun, but it seemed that half of their group had something else in mind. Roman had wandered off after the two other women, Arabella and Isolde, when they had left the room. Valentin was- Wait, where was he?

Looking around the room Sil cocked her head to the side wondering where Val had wandered off to. He would surely be down for a time like this, but like she had told the others...She wasn’t going to be chasing anyone. Kitty seemed to be eager for a good time, and Devin was willing to have a go at a few drinks. Olivia didn’t seem to have any complaints about joining them, so there it was.

Sil walked over to Maclerie, and outstretched her elbow as an offering to accompany the woman. “Let’s go dolcezza. Wouldn't want to give the Baron a chance to take back what he said, ay?”

Mood: Aggravated, Ready to get fucked up| Location: Bishop Manor: Meeting Room | Tag: Saboona Saboona
wickedlittlecritta wickedlittlecritta
SavannahSmiles SavannahSmiles


coded by weldherwings.
 

Saboona

president thot
» time passes
However the Vanguard chose to spend it, the day ended up slipping by. As the morning sun stretched to afternoon, then evening, it was the fat moon, shining in the sky, that heralded their inevitable fates.

As the clock rounded to their hour of summoning, they would don their gowns and attire. Those who weren't mages were instructed to dress nicely, regardless. An hour before, the journalists started arriving. While there wasn't a storm of them, the three cars that rounded in the driveway brought out about five reporters. One woman and four men, they carried their bulky equipment (with the occasional portable camera), and chatted loudly as they made their way to the small chapel at the back of the property. Ghostly lights lit up the grounds, flickering flames guiding guests (and guests of honour) to the location.

Valentin would be returned to the manor at half past six pm, Adelaide returning with a grimace on her face and a handful of containers and sustenance. Once Valentin was placed in his quarters, an injection of morphine would be given to him. A normal dosage, no questions asked, and a pack of cigarettes left on his bedside table. He would be instructed once again of the events of the night, though the staff were on call to escort him if need be.

At some point during the day, in a turn of surprise for the Vanguard, Delvin returned. With his duties finished, he and another mage were quickly ushered to the property. Cecelia Capes, a water mage. With their numbers rising, the group were reminded that it was these bonds to one partner that would be the difference between life and death should anything happen to the lot of them.

The mages were summoned then a half hour before the actual call.



The chapel was an old, ancient thing. The stone on the outside was mottled with age, vines and moss creeping up the sides. Within, all stone as well.



Photos, as it were, for the papers. Posed, staged little events that painted the Vanguard as dutiful. Quick, simple, with no questions allowed by the press. They were then escorted out, leaving the little chapel in a wave of quiet. The candles were lit, and each party who would not be called up for the union seated at the benches.

Prior to the official ceremony, the Baron stood in front of the group. Standing on a chiseled pentagram on the ground, coloured chalk indicating five elements, he clasped his hands behind his back.

"I understand that the announcement came as a bit of surprise, this morning. I only want to remind you all that this is the cost that mages will always have to pay. Be it life, death, or our souls, there is always a price to pay. What we do with these, and the situation around us, defines our future; far more than the choices presented to us. I am reminded of a few latin phrases. Sic Parvis Magna. Greatness from small beginnings. Fortes Fortuna Adiuvat Fortune favours the bold. This is the start of something bigger than anything we could have ever thought of: for magekind, for humankind, and for this war," the Baron said, taking a breath to gaze solemnly at everyone in the crowd.

"You are no mere soldiers. Every one of you offers something special to this initiative. Perhaps, with us combining our powers, we can end this accursed war. For all that we have lost, and all that we may lose." A rare moment of sentimentality rose over the Baron, though a smile did not sneak onto his face. He turned to Edward Michel, who stood waiting just a foot off-- carrying a dagger, and many piles of cloth. Nodding to one of the servants at the door, the press were allowed back in. They shuffled in, quickly setting up and seating themselves at the back of the chapel. With pen and paper in hand they eagerly awaited to see what would happen.

"Let us call upon the first of the unions. Miss Bishop, Mr. King. Miss de Montagu. Mr. Zabolotsky. Join me here, and stand on your respective elemental etching," he said, then gesturing to the ground.

(As each group is called up, the others may still interact and chat. Perform as required, or act out of turn it is up to you-- the press are watching.)
code by @Nano
 

noonshine

Dingus McPingus








cordelia





MOOD: Anxious, Out of place
LOCATION: The Chapel
VIBE: Not Super
TAGS: Saboona Saboona
MENTIONS: open

It was dream-like, the day had passed at a pace so foreign to her waking hours that she could equate it to nothing else. The train, then the car, these liminal spaces of travel that moved her along to where she was as the night fell without her noticing. It was the sort of day that made her wonder if the sun had really risen at all, if it hadn’t been dark the entire time.

The call to the manor had happened so quickly, coming the night prior as she was helping her neighbor deliver a child, a baby girl that maintained complete silence even though she was breathing. It was eerie and her grandmother deduced that it was a sign telling her to shut her mouth more often. As believers in the wisdom of those less affected by the world, Cordelia held onto those words, and only made the polite small talk that was necessary to get her through the day. There was no sleep for her, and she arrived at the manor dreary enough to not take the news of blood bonding too poorly.

After a less than satisfactory explanation of the event, she dressed in something that looked all too much like a wedding gown and loosely put her hair up in a just as terribly romantic way(she planned to keep it regardless, it was beautiful), and in her agreeability posed and smiled for photographs with the people she could not quite get a word in with yet. Cordelia tried to remember the advice- to keep her mouth shut- but it was a lot to ask when she was suddenly surrounded by so many new faces- faces that she would be living and working with for some time.

Her sleepiness drained when she saw the dagger in the chapel- the pep talk for the bonding ceremony that no one seemed too eager about went ignored with a smile. She almost tried to listen, and even offered a quick little clap when the Baron finished speaking. That was a mistake, and she quickly wished she hadn’t clapped, and looked to her feet, her hands lacing together over the deep cutting neckline that she almost felt scandalized by. Almost- she thought it was flattering and just wished she’d had a sash to keep it as more of a peak for herself.

Mind buzzing with aliveness and undirected thought, she looked for an outlet to her nervousness- which normally came by way of blabbing.

No longer able to contain herself, as the groups were called she looked to her side, the woman beside her was younger than herself- it seemed that was the case for most here- a soft faced little thing with perfectly round cheeks and a elegance about her Cordelia associated with aristocrats. After a moment of considering how closely she resembled one of her since past aunts, she shot a look back to the dagger, and back to--- the name must have been Miss Bishop. “I don’t trust a man with a knife- they always get funny around them-” she whispered, “someone always gets hurt when a man‘as a knife- they get foolish- do you think he’s going to take a stab at everyone here?”
It was a well intentioned joke, not really sure about the ceremonial uses of the dagger, “they put us all in white so we’ll end up in red later, huh? Jokes on them- I can get blood out of anything.”

Then the poor things name was called, she briefly looked to the man that Miss Bishop was paired off with, Mr King, brows raising with some attempt at playfulness as she turned her gaze back to the pretty face at her left- unaware of the nature of the young woman's situation, "Haven't done bad for yourself, at least he's something to look at."

code by low fidelity.


It was dream-like, the day had passed at a pace so foreign to her waking hours that she could equate it to nothing else. The train, then the car, these liminal spaces of travel that moved her along to where she was as the night fell without her noticing. It was the sort of day that made her wonder if the sun had really risen at all, if it hadn’t been dark the entire time.

The call to the manor had happened so quickly, coming the night prior as she was helping her neighbor deliver a child, a baby girl that maintained complete silence even though she was breathing. It was eerie and her grandmother deduced that it was a sign telling her to shut her mouth more often. As believers in the wisdom of those less affected by the world, Cordelia held onto those words, and only made the polite small talk that was necessary to get her through the day. There was no sleep for her, and she arrived at the manor dreary enough to not take the news of blood bonding too poorly.

After a less than satisfactory explanation of the event, she dressed in something that looked all too much like a wedding gown and loosely put her hair up in a just as terribly romantic way(she planned to keep it regardless, it was beautiful), and in her agreeability posed and smiled for photographs with the people she could not quite get a word in with yet. Cordelia tried to remember the advice- to keep her mouth shut- but it was a lot to ask when she was suddenly surrounded by so many new faces- faces that she would be living and working with for some time.

Her sleepiness drained when she saw the dagger in the chapel- the pep talk for the bonding ceremony that no one seemed too eager about went ignored with a smile. She almost tried to listen, and even offered a quick little clap when the Baron finished speaking. That was a mistake, and she quickly wished she hadn’t clapped, and looked to her feet, her hands lacing together over the deep cutting neckline that she almost felt scandalized by. Almost- she thought it was flattering and just wished she’d had a sash to keep it as more of a peak for herself.

Mind buzzing with aliveness and undirected thought, she looked for an outlet to her nervousness- which normally came by way of blabbing.

No longer able to contain herself, as the groups were called she looked to her side, the woman beside her was younger than herself- it seemed that was the case for most here- a soft faced little thing with perfectly round cheeks and a elegance about her Cordelia associated with aristocrats. After a moment of considering how closely she resembled one of her since past aunts, she shot a look back to the dagger, and back to--- the name must have been Miss Bishop. “I don’t trust a man with a knife- they always get funny around them-” she whispered, “someone always gets hurt when a man‘as a knife- they get foolish- do you think he’s going to take a stab at everyone here?”
It was a well intentioned joke, not really sure about the ceremonial uses of the dagger, “they put us all in white so we’ll end up in red later, huh? Jokes on them- I can get blood out of anything.”

Then the poor things name was called, she briefly looked to the man that Miss Bishop was paired off with, Mr King, brows raising with some attempt at playfulness as she turned her gaze back to the pretty face at her left- unaware of the nature of the young woman's situation, "Haven't done bad for yourself, at least he's something to look at."
 

SavannahSmiles

I Move The Stars For No One






Olivia Andersson

Despite tagging along with the others to go drinking, Olivia moderated herself to only a few sips of her drink; she wasn't entirely sure what was going to happen later tonight and she would prefer to keep her wits about her in case the Baron threw anything else unexpected at them. She had retired from the party early to go to her room to change, taking in the dress that had been left for her on her bed. It wasn't something she would have chosen for herself, but given that she didn't own any other formal dress - and she was sure the Baron would throw an absolute fit if she didn't wear the dress - she resigned herself to slipping out of her clothes and pulled the dress over her head. Thankfully they had taken her short stature into account and had hemmed the dress accordingly. She ran a brush through her curls and left them free-flowing to frame her face, not really one for elaborate hair-styles; not that she would even know how to manage them if she did have a fancy towards them.

Since she wasn't going to spend anymore time on her appearance, she realized she had some time before she was expected to be in the chapel. Sighing, she took a seat on her bed, careful of the flowing skirt of the dress. Sitting quietly for a moment, she eventually turned her attention to the single white lily that was placed in a pot on the nightstand. She kept it there to honor her parents and she had often found herself talking to it as if she were speaking to her parents, as if they could hear her through the flower.

"Ma...Pa...I'm getting married..." She began, hands twisting together. "Well, not married in the traditional sense, but it's the closest thing I can compare it to that you would understand. It's not the most ideal situation, but Devin seems like a nice man; I'm sure you would approve if you could meet him. I...I just wish you could be here..." She trailed off as tears pricked the corners of her eyes. Sniffling, she reached forward and gently brush her fingers across the petals. "I have to go, but I promise to tell you all about it when I get back."

Standing, she wiped the tears from her eyes and slipped on the shoes they had provided her with, a little annoyed that they were heels but again, what could she do really? Exiting her room, she made her way to the Chapel where she posed for pictures and tried to keep a friendly smile fixed on her face despite feeling uncomfortable with all the attention. She tried to pay attention during the Barons speech, but her mind was too preoccupied by what was going to happen after he stopped talking. As the first names were called to the circle, Olivia clasped her hands together to hide their nervous twisting, trying her best to appear calm and collected for the press that she knew were watching them like hawks.








Location: The Chapel
Mood: Nervous and Over-Whelmed
Tags:

code by RI.a
 

Cashi

New Member
MOOD: zzZZZzznnnnnz

LOCATION: Church
two
two
TAGS:
xxxxx
two
TL;DR: Ilya has had a fucking day, man.
two
Ilya

How Devin, Sil, Kitty, and Olivia had gotten Ilya to join them in their afternoon furlough of inebriation was an unsolvable mystery. Perhaps it was Olivia, with her calm smiles, or Devin’s mischievous and good-humoured nature, or Sil whom Ilya had taken a liking to. Perhaps Kitty had spoken enough jumbled words in her thick accent that Ilya had become well and truly confused and lost what the purpose was in his being swept along with the group until the alcohol was in front of him and he’d been plied with enough to calm him down.
The anger he had felt all morning had turned to anxiety as the afternoon wore on, and now he sat in his room with his head sideways on his desk, staring sightlessly at the wall beyond his bed. The warm, marmalade light of the setting sun had crept along the floorboards until the blush of twilight heralded the blue of dusk; then it was night.
His head was a mess. The binding ceremony was a curveball that had come from left field. Fight in a war? Da, why not. Become a mage for all the world to see? It wasn’t ideal, but still within the realm of possibility. Get married?
Ilya groaned and turned his head to face the other side of his room, his eyes adjusting to the growing darkness.
And to be tied to such a
.such a
..
Arabella’s face flashed in his mind with her intelligent eyes and thick, dark hair, resplendent in all her rich and snobby glory. Ilya grimaced.
Being bound to someone was the last thing he wanted--his last tie had died with his mother, and opening up that door once more was a trial he wasn’t sure he could take. Slowly and steadily, over the course of his life, Ilya had lost every deep connection he had. Fate had not been kind to him, and it reminded him every day that he was different with the fluid power that raced in his veins, the magic that was the cause of so much despair in his life. Though still uncertain about them, Ilya could tell the Vanguard were good people, from Isolde with her ferocity and belief in righteousness right down to Val and even Roland, Witchfinder pet though he was.
Good people he was preparing to fight with in a war. Why create any more friends he would only lose? By being a cold and unfeeling glacier in a sea of turmoil he could at least spare himself that misery.
Ilya braced his hands against his desk and stood, the chair legs screeching and scraping against the wood floor. Perhaps it was not too late to pack his bag (singular).

Just at that moment, there was a knock at his door. Ilya turned his head to look at the doorway, apprehensive and only mildly bewildered, but said nothing.
The knocking persisted until it turned into a banging that he could not feign ignoring; that didn’t mean he wouldn’t try. Ilya leisurely crossed the room to his bed and lay down, crossing his arms over his chest comfortably as the seconds went by and whoever was on the other side of the door began to lose patience.
Abruptly, Ilya’s door popped open and the light from the hallway poured in, half blinding him. There stood a man--one of the Baron’s lackeys--with a small leather bag at his side.
He peered into Ilya’s room as though seeking him out amongst the dark, and started when he caught sight of Ilya relaxed on his bed and staring pointedly at the ceiling.
“But you are not ready, monsieur! Come, come, we prepare you.”
Ilya didn’t move, only growled, “leave, if you are wanting to live.”
Clearly this man had not been briefed on just what kind of person Ilya was, and risked a venture two steps into his room. Ilya moved to a sitting position, feet coming down onto the floor, arms still crossed. He stared daggers at the man.
“Maybe you are no good at hearing, svoloch. I said ‘leave’.”
The man backed to the doorway and hesitated, then looked to his left down the hall and snapped his fingers twice. The sound of footsteps, and then three more men joined the first, each as thickly girthed as Ilya, and advanced into his room.
“I had been informed you may put up some resistance, but my orders are clear! I must make you presentable for the ceremony this evening.”
Not good.
Ilya stood, pulling as menacing a demeanor as he could.
”I am thinking no.”
The three men stepped towards him at roughly the same time, and Ilya attempted to lunge past them for the door. The collar of his shirt tightened on his throat as one of the men grabbed him by the scruff and hauled him backwards. The door closed.
Anyone nearby might have heard a loud, enduring scuffle, yells in both Russian and English alike from varying voices, and an overmuch of curse words. Muffled crashing noises echo down the hallway as though furniture were becoming acquainted with not only the walls, but also the ceiling and other furniture.
An hour later, three of the four men left, each looking haggard and underpaid, each fixing some skewed article of clothing or a ripped seam here and there. The man with the leather bag looked pale and drained, like he’d escaped a life or death situation.
The last bruiser who had aided in getting Ilya into his costume was half-carrying him down the stairs a short period later, with Ilya’s arm slung around his shoulders.

They arrived at the church with little fanfare, and shortly after Ilya was called up to the front. He could barely walk, let alone stand, the sedative he’d been forcefully given taking full effect as he ascended the stone dais and took position across from Bernard.
The Baron tsked his disapproval, then said, “To the left of Mr. King, Mr. Zabolotsky. He’s not the one you’re being bound to.”
Ilya stepped uncertainly to Bernard’s left, the room tilting from the ground to the ceiling and back again. His limbs were leadened, his mind groggy, and he could barely see the person in front of him as he stood and waited, silent as the grave.
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars
code by valen t.


How Devin, Sil, Kitty, and Olivia had gotten Ilya to join them in their afternoon furlough of inebriation was an unsolvable mystery. Perhaps it was Olivia, with her calm smiles, or Devin’s mischievous and good-humoured nature, or Sil whom Ilya had taken a liking to. Perhaps Kitty had spoken enough jumbled words in her thick accent that Ilya had become well and truly confused and lost what the purpose was in his being swept along with the group until the alcohol was in front of him and he’d been plied with enough to calm him down.
The anger he had felt all morning had turned to anxiety as the afternoon wore on, and now he sat in his room with his head sideways on his desk, staring sightlessly at the wall beyond his bed. The warm, marmalade light of the setting sun had crept along the floorboards until the blush of twilight heralded the blue of dusk; then it was night.
His head was a mess. The binding ceremony was a curveball that had come from left field. Fight in a war? Da, why not. Become a mage for all the world to see? It wasn’t ideal, but still within the realm of possibility. Get married?
Ilya groaned and turned his head to face the other side of his room, his eyes adjusting to the growing darkness.
And to be tied to such a
.such a
..
Arabella’s face flashed in his mind with her intelligent eyes and thick, dark hair, resplendent in all her rich and snobby glory. Ilya grimaced.
Being bound to someone was the last thing he wanted--his last tie had died with his mother, and opening up that door once more was a trial he wasn’t sure he could take. Slowly and steadily, over the course of his life, Ilya had lost every deep connection he had. Fate had not been kind to him, and it reminded him every day that he was different with the fluid power that raced in his veins, the magic that was the cause of so much despair in his life. Though still uncertain about them, Ilya could tell the Vanguard were good people, from Isolde with her ferocity and belief in righteousness right down to Val and even Roland, Witchfinder pet though he was.
Good people he was preparing to fight with in a war. Why create any more friends he would only lose? By being a cold and unfeeling glacier in a sea of turmoil he could at least spare himself that misery.
Ilya braced his hands against his desk and stood, the chair legs screeching and scraping against the wood floor. Perhaps it was not too late to pack his bag (singular).

Just at that moment, there was a knock at his door. Ilya turned his head to look at the doorway, apprehensive and only mildly bewildered, but said nothing.
The knocking persisted until it turned into a banging that he could not feign ignoring; that didn’t mean he wouldn’t try. Ilya leisurely crossed the room to his bed and lay down, crossing his arms over his chest comfortably as the seconds went by and whoever was on the other side of the door began to lose patience.
Abruptly, Ilya’s door popped open and the light from the hallway poured in, half blinding him. There stood a man--one of the Baron’s lackeys--with a small leather bag at his side.
He peered into Ilya’s room as though seeking him out amongst the dark, and started when he caught sight of Ilya relaxed on his bed and staring pointedly at the ceiling.
“But you are not ready, monsieur! Come, come, we prepare you.”
Ilya didn’t move, only growled, “leave, if you are wanting to live.”
Clearly this man had not been briefed on just what kind of person Ilya was, and risked a venture two steps into his room. Ilya moved to a sitting position, feet coming down onto the floor, arms still crossed. He stared daggers at the man.
“Maybe you are no good at hearing, svoloch. I said ‘leave’.”
The man backed to the doorway and hesitated, then looked to his left down the hall and snapped his fingers twice. The sound of footsteps, and then three more men joined the first, each as thickly girthed as Ilya, and advanced into his room.
“I had been informed you may put up some resistance, but my orders are clear! I must make you presentable for the ceremony this evening.”
Not good.
Ilya stood, pulling as menacing a demeanor as he could.
”I am thinking no.”
The three men stepped towards him at roughly the same time, and Ilya attempted to lunge past them for the door. The collar of his shirt tightened on his throat as one of the men grabbed him by the scruff and hauled him backwards. The door closed.
Anyone nearby might have heard a loud, enduring scuffle, yells in both Russian and English alike from varying voices, and an overmuch of curse words. Muffled crashing noises echo down the hallway as though furniture were becoming acquainted with not only the walls, but also the ceiling and other furniture.
An hour later, three of the four men left, each looking haggard and underpaid, each fixing some skewed article of clothing or a ripped seam here and there. The man with the leather bag looked pale and drained, like he’d escaped a life or death situation.
The last bruiser who had aided in getting Ilya into his costume was half-carrying him down the stairs a short period later, with Ilya’s arm slung around his shoulders.

They arrived at the church with little fanfare, and shortly after Ilya was called up to the front. He could barely walk, let alone stand, the sedative he’d been forcefully given taking full effect as he ascended the stone dais and took position across from Bernard.
The Baron tsked his disapproval, then said, “To the left of Mr. King, Mr. Zabolotsky. He’s not the one you’re being bound to.”
Ilya stepped uncertainly to Bernard’s left, the room tilting from the ground to the ceiling and back again. His limbs were leadened, his mind groggy, and he could barely see the person in front of him as he stood and waited, silent as the grave.
 

Arzee

pepodj







Delvin Connelly




Going back to the front was a weird thing for Delvin to go through. The British Empire ever required everything from its servants. The Baron walked up to the earth mage and told he was being shipped to Belgium, Germans were attempting another push into France and another division had to be fielded in order to stop the advance and the War Office requested a mage on the front. Seeing Delvin was a mage and had prior experience in combat, the Baron was willing to let him go. Next thing he knew he was promoted to lieutenant. It was different fighting in Europe than it was in Africa, there was mud, it rained, heard a lot of French and not many Irish were around him. A lot of boys, some scared, others with a patriotic fervor. It was quick to see the latter break so easily when with the hail of bullets, raining of artillery, and the stomping of mechs. The division had barely lasted a few weeks until they were relieved by more British and an extra French division. When that was done, Delvin was sent back to the Baron's estate. Turned out there was going to be a binding ceremony for the rest of the mages. Good thing for them he thought. Though he wasn't filled in enough on the details to make any proper judgements, until he was then told that he was going to be paired to the new girl, Cecelia Capes, a water mage.

He was skeptical about meeting her but they did end up connecting on most things than he thought. Both one of their parents, had a lot of siblings, and were both soldiers. How the Baron put them together was a mystery but it almost seemed like sheer luck. Delvin thought that Devin would be the only one he would relate to but he was happy to meet Cecelia.

At the party Delvin was more than happy to pig out at the hors d'oeuvres, it had been a while since he had some good food. He didn't drink as champagne wasn't his type of poison, plus he was at a party. He spent no time with his fellow mages. He was way too hungry in his tight suit to talk to anyone and drew a lot of attention that made some of the mages not want to catch up with their old friend. They did seem more or less bothered with the whole affair.

He had noticed that those who were at the party had disappeared to the church for the binding ceremony, so it made sense that he made his way there was well. When he came he was in time to see some of his friends walk up to the altar, Ilya frustrated at the whole thing. Definitely something he would do. He took his seat amongst the other mages, waiting for him to be called while his stomach rumbled in agony.



mood: hungry | location: chapel | tags:

 

wickedlittlecritta

the once and future twink
Devin Murphy

Location: Bishop Manor Chapel
Interactions: Delvin Arzee Arzee , Olivia SavannahSmiles SavannahSmiles [/USER]
So say a prayer for me in silence, no cathedral mock our hearts
Of all the things to be peeved about in this situation, Devin found the attire to be the stupidest, but there it was. The loose, flowy white shirt was certainly something like romantic, but he hated it. He felt half naked without his layers, without his waistcoat and jacket, to hide the shape of his stays under. He wanted to fuss at the shirt again in the chapel, but resisted the urge, and instead clasped his hands in front of him.

He was trying not to look at the reporters, because it annoyed him that they were here, and instead frowned vaguely at Ilya, who appeared way too sauced for the amount of drinks he'd had earlier.

Smile nice for the cameras and don't make a scene, he thought sourly, glancing at the baron, and then over to Valentine, who looked like he'd been wrung through a meat grinder several times, spiritually. All of this probably would've worked better if everyone involved wasn't so afraid of them. It was like seeing someone overhorsed, only instead of dealing with too much horse the baron had taken on too much person, which was worse. And the strategies were all stick and no carrot.

However the baron thought this working would go, Devin knew he was going to be wrong. He wasn't sure it was a bad thing.

While everyone was focused on the five people at the altar, Devin glanced over at Delvin and tried to make a face to express his complete discomfort with the everything going on, that was mostly eyebrows. He then looked over at Olivia, trying to gage what she was thinking, before he leaned over and said, "I'm glad we're not going first."
 
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