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04.26.19 - Faust, Rian, Casim @ Ramparts

iiezu Apr 26th, 2019 (edited) 89 Never
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  1. Deathstalker Castle on Oasiz.net
  2. www.deathstalkerempire.com
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  5. Cαsιм·Cryтιĸos : "...but yes, thank you for looking after the pet in my absence," Casim said where they stood on the battlements overlooking Llarlandarl, "now that I've devised a way to prevent him from acting against us, he will be useful again." As though an afterthought, "well, provided his mind remains intact after being alone for the last ten years in a cell. Your mother tells me she's visited him from time to time so that he doesn't forget how to speak, which is an unexpected boon." Folding narrow hands against the ebony backdrop of his robes, Casim gazed up at the afternoon sky, watching the flight of dragons overhead with cautious eyes. Dragons troubled the Archlich, even younger, less powerful draconids had the potential to be powerful enemies, and their intelligence and power grew sluggishly over time. Those creatures flying overhead at the behest of their riders, should they survive into old age, would eventually become dangerous if not culled. -c-
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  7. Cαsιм·Cryтιĸos : -c- Glancing back toward Rian, the silence stretched long between them, "I was concerned for your welfare following the return of magic, but you appear no worse for wear, nephew. That is good to see." With Rian's infernalist tendencies, there had been the potential for the sudden tidal surge of power returning causing a loss of control, but if his nephew had suffered such a thing, it had been carefully hidden from the public eye, and to Casim, clearly that was enough. His living heir had grown into a powerful man despite his strange upbringing, and that pleased the Archlich, something about the notion of his family living on in some small way giving him hope for the future. Still the Patriarch of the house, still duty-bound to see to the Crytikos bloodline and longevity, in Rian lay all of his hopes for a continuation of their name and being, although there were centuries yet before the young man would need to take a wife. -c-
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  9. Cαsιм·Cryтιĸos : -c- "Salvia, your grandmother, has passed into the Afterlife," Casim said at length, "you did not know her, so I doubt this has any true meaning for you, and your life is far better never having lived in the colonies among our kind, but you need to be made aware that there is more communication from the remote tribes of our people. They are becoming curious about the outside world again for reasons that elude me, so Pale may be arriving in Immortalis in the coming seasons." Giving his directives thought before speaking, Casim continued to calmly gaze up at the dragons soaring overhead, riding thermals, basking in the heat of the sun, "you have no obligation to greet or be kind to them unless they bear our name." -d-
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  13. Rıαn·Cryтιĸos : "It was no trouble, Uncle," Rian answered clinically, the thumb and forefinger of his left hand idly massaging the stump on his right hand where his little finger had once been. Maintaining the sustaining spells Casim had put in place before drifting off into the void had been no trouble for the summoner. Rather, what had been a task, was keeping an eye on his mother when magic was still flowing. Tricky in a way people didn't give Sevasti credit for, even the studious Rian had trouble keeping up with her when she wanted to be free, and he lacked the proper skills to magically lobotomize her as his uncle could. When magic had waned, it'd been a chance for the summoner to get to know his mother, her mind largely lucid, though he'd spent most of the time scrupulously reapplying seals that had kept his possessor at bay. In the end, when magic returned, Rian had spent precious little time with Sevasti and ensued in a quiet battle with the demon he'd trapped in his own body. Such was <c>
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  15. Rıαn·Cryтιĸos : the life of an infernalist who made a grave mistake early in his practices. "She spoke with him?" Rian had questioned, his face puckering at the slightest distaste of the notion. Prisoners were prisoners for a reason, and so he'd not felt inclined to share his mother's kindness to the beast; perhaps that was why Sevasti had hid her actions from him. The gale caused by a passing black dragon and its rider caused Rian's navy robes to flutter and tossed his previously sleek white hair into the pattern of spiderwebs over the wiry slant of his shoulders. Glancing to Casim as he pulled his hair back into place, he commented, "You've cut your hair. I expect people will stop mistaking me for you at first glance now." Mention of magic returning and the fear that he'd be lost to the demon who possessed him was met with a slow nod. "It wouldn't do to die abruptly after you name me heir. I've worked far too hard to be worthy of the title," came his carefully concocted reply. Despite behind <c>
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  17. Rıαn·Cryтιĸos : named successor, Rian was no fool to think himself above failure in Casim's eyes. All it would take was a simple push from the Arch Lich and Rian's labours would be at an abrupt end. There was little the summoner could say in response to his grandmother's passing, though he nodded and offered a polite, "I'm sorry for you loss, Uncle," as Casim went on to explain other Pale would eventually come to Deathstalker. Thin lips pulled into a fine line, unsure how to take this information even as his thoughts drifted briefly to Venia, who had also disappeared. He thought of asking after her directly, but felt it wiser to keep his cards close to his chest in this regard. "Then I'll be sure to be only so formal that they have nothing bad to say about me." <d>
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  21. Fᴀᴜsᴛ : The ramparts had become a perfect place to observe the changes of winter to spring, and a favorite among the courtiers as they went about their business.  It was much the same for Daveigha Faust when she wasn't at the whim of her sister or entertaining her new suitor.  With a book in hand, the ebon garbed demon made her way over stone, passing by those aristocrats that threw her narrowed glances.  Ever still the subject of much gossip (and one to stoke the fires of their jackassery), the Fiend shot them forced, yet pleasant simpers before coming upon Casim and someone who shared a undeniable likeness. Golden eyes widened as she glanced to both the Arch Lich and his company. She opened her mouth to greet them, but it was interrupted by the heralding roar of a dragon that flew overhead. Much like a disgruntled feline, the woman's slight nose wrinkled and she glared towards the clouds. It wasn't as if she disliked the draconic folk. No. It was a prejudice that went far >
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  23. Fᴀᴜsᴛ : deeper. Returning to the two males, Daveigha managed to bid them a good afternoon before another thunderous screech lit the open vaults. "Casim, it is lovely to see you. How have you been? How is Sevasti?" Penetrating gaze fixed on the other Pale's face. With a tilt of her head, she further inquired, "And who is this? Another sibling?" Of course, the Fiend had no idea who stood before her or his relation to her friend. She was not a social creature by any stretch of the imagination and kept her circles close, tight, and did not relent even when encouraged by her siblings. Drenai dreamed of a pleasant court experience in Immortalis, but Daveigha answered with timidity and reclusive tendencies. People simply overwhelmed her at times. She preferred quiet company--ROOOAR! Jaw locked. Those reptilian pupils contracted to miniscule slits as she took to glancing upwards once more. And before she realized it, the demon was uttering aloud, "Pathetic. Look at all those >
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  25. Fᴀᴜsᴛ : chickens." She wished to pull them from their lofty heights, those stingy beasts. They were too large for their own good! Ironfisted and covetous, the dragons were the last of any species she wished to come across. And she'd come across plenty in her day. Plush mouth downturned into a frown as she side-eyed the soaring behemoths.(FIN)
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  29. Cαsιм·Cryтιĸos : "She tells me that she visited our prisoner once a month or so," Casim confirmed, "though I doubt those visits were terribly enjoyable for Tempestas.  He betrayed me, therefore he betrayed all of us, and she has a long memory for such things." As Rian mentioned his shorn locks, Casim reached upward to brush at them with his fingertips, nodding his agreement wordlessly, finding nothing to add, though he'd always carried a small rancor for those that confused them when to his own eyes, he and his nephew looked very, very different. "You have proven yourself worthy many times over, Rian, you are irreplaceable." High praise from the Archlich, even for family, "I find myself proud of your accomplishments, and I have no doubt they will continue to grow as time passes. You've done quite well, and should our people venture into the Capitol, they will have respect for you and everything you represent." -c-
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  31. Cαsιм·Cryтιĸos : -c- Resisting the inner urge to cringe at the brazen crowing of the beasts overhead, Casim caught sight of Daveigha approaching, and reached out to greet her with his chilly grasp, "I am well, Sevasti is herself," then as she turned her attention to Rian, "may I have the pleasure of introducing Sevasti's son and my appointed heir, Rian Crytikos," then to the younger, living Pale, "Rian, may I introduce Daveigh Faust, sister of the Emperor and a long-standing friend of mine." Another shock of roaring sound caused the courtiers around them to duck their heads, awestruck gasps rising all around the little introverted group, and the Archlich cut his eyes upward to gaze at them, hating everything about them, the way they slithered through the sky like worms. Daveigha was speaking, and at first the Archlich hadn't registered the level of absurdity in her comment, then as he did, something in the gaunt mask of his face grew tense, setting his teeth to resist it, unable to. -c-
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  33. Cαsιм·Cryтιĸos : -c- Laughter. Chilly, terrible, rasping laughter echoed across the battlements in a peal of unexpected mirth as the Lich reached to lean against one of the jutting outcroppings of the ramparts, nearly doubling over, heaving for breath, only to laugh again, shaking his head. "Chickens..." he managed to say, nodding, clearing his throat as the unpleasant rattle of his laughter subsided. "Forgive me, both of you." -d0
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  37. Rıαn·Cryтιĸos : Picturing himself locked in a room with his mother while she suffered one of her episodes was something Rian was not fond of, and he had a new perspective of the beast in the cell, though that wasn't to say it had improved any. "He should thank her for her good company," Rian answered dryly. Casim's praise continued even as the younger Crytikos had attempted to wave off the previous round as nothing more than duty. Yet here he was, Casim unperturbed by Rian's casual acceptance, leaving him with no choice but to properly acknowledge it. "I appreciate that, Uncle. I could not have asked for a better role model." A woman had begun to approach them, dressed in black as Lady Lorcan often was, and Rian briefly wondered if all of Casim's female friends simply hated colors. Maybe that was why they, outsiders, could stand to be friends with the Arch Lich. Never one to put such thoughts to words, Rian quietly waited his turn to take Daveigha's hand as Casim made the introductions. <c>
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  39. Rıαn·Cryтιĸos : "Pleased to make your acquaintance, Lady Faust," he replied smoothly, careful to pay mind to his manners. At least, he had been until she called the winged beasts of the sky near them chickens, to which he uncerimoniously snorted, lips peeling up into a merry smile that looked out of place on his austere features. Casim meanwhile, had outright laughed, and though partially horrified at the sound, he looked to Daveigha with surprise, clearly not used to these sort of displays by his uncle. Briefly glancing back to the dragons with his sickly yellow gaze, he wondered if there was any practical application in joining a demon and a dragon. He quickly decided that yes, there most certainly was. <d>
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  43. Fᴀᴜsᴛ : The chill of Casim's touch did not go unnoticed. He, more than likely, felt the scorch of her own palm. "I am happy to hear you are well." Attention was turned to the man the Arch Lich introduced as his nephew. She met the stranger's grasp with a steel grip. Eyes flashed mischief brightly, just for a moment and only for Rian to witness. "The pleasure is all mine, sir." With the dragons incessant interruption and her commentary made about their presence, Casim succumbed to a fit of laughter. Lashes fluttered prettily before her own expression morphed into delight. "Well!" Came false indignation along with soft giggles. She shrugged, hugging her book to her chest as the brunt of the wing-created gales surged and sent her dark braid whipping behind her. "Other than being a vehicle other than travel, what other purpose do they serve?" When chortling subsided, she caught Rian's back-and-forth stares between she and the gigantic monsters overhead. Just what was he >
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  45. Fᴀᴜsᴛ : considering? A small step backwards was taken, putting more distance between the Fiend and the younger of the two men. "Nothing should be the large..." Came the final comment about the dragons. She had plenty more to say, but not with the prying ears of the other courtiers near. Offering politely, Daveigha regarded Rian with, "I spent some time with your mother recently. She is a marvel." The demon meant every word. Sevasti's gifts were astounding, even to the creature from the Abyss who'd been blessed with lores to traverse time, examine it thoroughly, and reset it if need be. And if this was the seer's son, what promise did Rian hold? An elegant brow arched and she pondered aloud, "If you have been selected as Casim's heir, I am curious about your own skills? You have quite a reputation to follow." It was a compliment to the Arch Lich. They had known each other for several years and, even though separated by the ebb and flow of life, remained friends. "I--" >
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  47. Fᴀᴜsᴛ : Again, a clamorous bellow came from those that circled overhead. A roll of her eyes was given before Daveigha continued, warning the young of the Crytikos men, "I would watch out for the courtiers. They are ravenous to have young men to court them for the season." Those orphic eyes cast back over her shoulder at the pastel clad debutantes. "You'd think they were raised by wolves..." (FIN)
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  51. Cαsιм·Cryтιĸos : Taking a moment to collect himself, residually amused by Faust's turn of phrase, "what purpose?  Well our people found a use for them, but that has always been hunting juveniles while they hibernate and harvesting them for meat, hides, and ritual before they get large enough to be ridden.  Strangling those beasts in their nests before they have a chance to grow has always seemed the wisest course."  Clearly, the Pale as a whole were not fond of dragon-kind, preferring to reduce their numbers before they had a chance to age into their killing power.  "Frankly, they're delicious from what I recall.  The meat is white and flakes nicely when properly prepared.  Quite delicate." Daveigha was paying her strange attention to Rian, and that pleased him as he stood there, regarding the dragons on the wing, curious whether they would taste as pleasantly as they had when he was a boy. "Our brother's fascination with the beasts endures, and he's found use for them, thus I suppose we -c-
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  53. Cαsιм·Cryтιĸos : -c- have to endure the constant-" ROAR "-noise of the foul things."  Sensing Rian's withdrawal into himself, Casim glanced at the young man and reclaimed the conversation, regarding Daveigha with his measured stare.  "May I ask after your new friend, then?"  He spoke more quietly, "apologies for getting him so sauced the other night, I didn't realize how quickly he would reach for the glass, as it were."  It went without saying, but her escort of him back to the Eastern Tower had been a boon as well, one he wouldn't forget.  Another magnificent peal of noise from overhead, and Casim scoffed quietly, shaking his head, unable to rid his mind of her designation as 'chickens'. Chickens they would be from then on. "Do you remember that ridiculous mooncalf of a dragon that came roaming through a while back? The one with the rainbow feathers? Now THAT was a special chicken. We may never see his like again, magnificent thing that he was." Sarcasm oozed between the words, -c-
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  55. Cαsιм·Cryтιĸos : -c- the Archlich remembering the city guard being forced to scrub the creature's excreta from the city walls after the rainbow chicken had made his departure. As though an afterthought, "I meant to say it the other evening, but you look well, Daveigha." -d-
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  59. Fᴀᴜsᴛ : Daveigha had yet to sample the delicacy that Casim now spoke of. A cant to the demon's head was offered as she listened to the Arch Lich describe the texture of the prepared dragon meat. Drenai, of course, most likely wouldn't allow their consumption, so the Fiend was set to continue to view them as being useless. "We are tolerant--" BLARRRRGH! Daveigha winced. "--if anything." Sympathy was exchanged before drifting to the edge of the battlements, looking down into the dense forestry. The lich inquired about none other than Carrick, which surprised the demon entirely. She fought the pinkened flush that raced to her cheeks, swallowing to steal time as she calculated the words she'd choose. "Lord Vaskaris, you mean?" The formal title added distance between their true nature of their relationship. But Daveigha could not hide the corner of her mouth rising at the thought of the two of them drunk in the great hall. She leaned into Casim's arm and laughed, "He has >
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  61. Fᴀᴜsᴛ : since recovered from your brazen endeavors to finish the entire bottle. I think he rather enjoyed your company, my lord." That night, Carrick wasn't the only one who had to be assisted to quarters. Casim had denied aid to his tower, but after the Fiend had watched him misstep and nearly take out a heavy curtain, she absolutely insisted on helping him. "It is good to know that you aren't entirely invincible..." The demon playfully commented before shoulders went stiff. She braced herself against the rock wall of the rampart, shutting eyes to avoid the dust kicked up from beating wings. It was hard to be heard, but she called out over the barrage of sound. "AND LO' DID THE WOMENFOLK TAKE TO HIS COLORFUL PLUME!" Her head tipped back as she laughed against the gusts, watching as the dragons drifted towards new heights. "The most unique rooster to grace all of Larlandarl, may his name ever remain infamous." Silence slid between the pair of friends and her grin softened >
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  63. Fᴀᴜsᴛ : when adulation was paid to her person. The book was set aside and Daveigha clasped her hands politely at her abdomen. "I could say the same for you, Casim. It would seem that fate finds us in her good graces as of late, wouldn't you agree?" Probing gaze of gold sought his sharp features, now exposed without the protective curtain of long, pale hair. "Tell me what fortune you have recently found that makes you appear blithe."(FIN)
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  67. Cαsιм·Cryтιĸos : Closing his eyes for a moment at another blast of noise and wind, the Lich silently cursed the beasts flying overhead and refocused his attention on Daveigha, smiling faintly as she gave Carrick his formal title, "yes, that's the man...next time I'll see that he paces himself properly, but your rescue was swift and kind, Lady. I am grateful." Surprised that anyone beyond his small circle of colleagues and friends would enjoy his company, Casim nodded his understanding only slowly. "Let him know that I would welcome another conversation, if you would do me that kindness." Though when she suggested that he wasn't invincible, the Lich couldn't hide the mischievous expression creeping across the gaunt mask of his face, "I suppose not." His secrets would remain his own, and the illusion of intoxication was one he guarded carefully against prying eyes and minds, it put his companions at ease, made them more willing to speak frankly, and those unguarded moments were something he -c-
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  69. Cαsιм·Cryтιĸos : -c- had come to prize. They were laughing together over the rainbow chicken, and Faust chose that moment to slip her knives into him, though Casim shouldn't have been terribly surprised. "Fate has smiled upon us both it seems," Casim agreed quietly, ignoring the bestial roar of the dragons swooping over the battlements, "after years of spitting into her eye, she's finally given me something wonderful. I will have to remember to show my gratitude." A long silence then, as Casim considered what to say, how to say it, whether it would even be polite to discuss such things with his old friend, "I am blithe because I have found someone not unlike myself," he said cryptically, "an old friend, perhaps become a companion." His thoughts drifted to Eleuthera, having watched her reading earlier in the day through the door of her office, careful to keep his glances fixed on his own work rather than alert her to his observations. -c-
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  71. Cαsιм·Cryтιĸos : -c- She'd become a constant presence since cohabiting the Eastern Tower, one he missed when she was away, and their profound moment several days prior still lingered in his thoughts, something he relived over and over again in the clarity of memory. Realizing he was drifting off into silence, the Lich cleared his throat uselessly and slipped his spindle-thin hands into the pockets of his robe, looking toward Daveigha with a rueful expression. "I am unaccustomed to it, but I'm finding my way." -d-
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  75. Fᴀᴜsᴛ : "As long as I am invited to partake as well. We'll make a night of it." Daveigha, ever the curious creature, would find delight in hearing drunken secrets passed between friends over fine liquor. Wary gaze made sure than the dragons did not swoop too close as Casim spoke of...what was this? Infatuation? It rolled from the Archlich like gently falling snow. His entire countenance changed before her very eyes. There, the Fiend tilted her head and smiled, listening to careful way Casim phrased that he had, in fact, found someone worthy of his attentions. Was this surprising to the demon? In truth, no. If she, of all beings, could find someone willing to tolerate the panic, paranoia, and nonsense of her life, surely Casim Crytikos could. "Casim," she began, a gloved hand patting the top of his wrist. "I hope to one day meet the person that has given you this happiness.  I know how...delicate the beginnings of such relations can be, so I patiently await your >
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  77. Fᴀᴜsᴛ : invitation." It was more than obvious that she'd found someone she considered laudable. So, in good faith, the demon confessed, "Lord Vaskaris has formally asked to court me. I must say that it was unexpected, given the mistakes of past chosen partners." The book was collected once more, tucked at her chest while another hand idly played with the locket resting against décolletage. "And while he is known to be mercurial...I find him quite earnest." She failed to mention that his marriage had yet to be annulled, but that fact was neither here nor there. "He is not a favorite of the court. I don't even know if my brother or sister would approve, but..." A sigh passed over her lips as she took one final look towards the sky. Daveigha weighed the freedom and flight of the dragons. Though she hated them so, they were not bound to the laws of propriety. They did not fear social repercussions. They couldn't further disappoint family members. "Even wretched things >
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  79. Fᴀᴜsᴛ : deserve to have an understanding of love," came the softest murmur of the Fiend. She smiled at the thought of the abrasive Wraith--her Carrick--before turning to Casim and giving a slight curtsy. "I should be about my day then and not keep you from family. Rian? Again, a pleasure." Nodding to Casim's nephew, a gentle hand was patted against the Archlich's shoulder and Daveigha left the pair. "I will see you again soon, my friend."(FIN)
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  83. Cαsιм·Cryтιĸos : "Of course you are invited," Casim offered her the ghost of a smile, "I am not my father, women are welcome at the table." It felt an odd thing to say, but following the passing of his mother as revealed in the Celestial Spheres, his mind had been on his distant family more and more lately. Daveigha's touch was molten against the edge of his wrist, even through the nicety of her love, but the Archlich simply looked down at their moment of shared contact, taking her words in silence. "Perhaps when the matter is settled between us, a formal introduction can be made," he offered after a moment, "I am hopeful." They both knew how tenuous and strange such moments could be, and he was grateful for her patience in that moment. Mention of Lord Vaskaris courting her formally was a pleasant change of subject, and the Archlich reached to briefly touch the edge of her elbow as she clasped the tome she held so closely, like a shield against outside observers. "He seems a good man, -c-
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  85. Cαsιм·Cryтιĸos : -c- and an honest one at that. I have no doubt he will be good to you." Having had a drunken evening to weigh her suitor, Casim did not find him wanting, merely a touch capricious, but then, perhaps that was what Daveigha needed in her partner at that. "The Emperor and Empress have their own opinions of those who serve," Casim said quietly of their approval, "perhaps their collective opinions will improve over time and service, Lady. Things change in the Capitol, sometimes more quickly than any of us expect." Seeing that she was taking her leave, the Archlich turned and offered her a slight bow, a politeness reserved only for those he respected and found himself looking after. "Soon," he echoed after Lady Faust as she departed them, leaving Casim and Rian to stand on the battlements under the auditory assault of the beasts above. -d-
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