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01.24.20 - Eleuthera, Anaita @ Crytikos Estate

iiezu Jan 24th, 2020 136 Never
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  1. Deathstalker Castle on Oasiz.net
  2. www.deathstalkerempire.com
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  6. Eleuthera : The day had been largely spent mulling over telling her lover that his brother was back and could avoid returning to the Palace if he desired. It’d been some hours before the Necromancer had returned to the city proper from her short stay at the Blackwood Manor. There had been little pomp or circumstance - many avoided her gaze and did not care to interact with her directly. For a time she had been treated as some party trick. Someone to consult when a relative died without a clearly outline will who could, given enough coin, raise the relative and question them with the entire family present. And Ele had participated in order to gain enough information so that the venomous sycophants would leave her be when she demanded it. The conversation she had had with Casim was brief by design. Much of it was spent speaking with him about idle niceties, various tasks he had yet to complete for the Empire and how he was progressing with the infernalists, concern for her well being and
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  8. Eleuthera : recovery which she enjoyed. It hurt to turn the subject to Drenai and his return but Ele decided it absolutely necessary for the Archlich to have all of the information possible. Afterwards Ele had excused herself and inquired on the location of the children wards Casim had taken in while the room grew colder behind her. The Heretic Prince’s rage was icey and though she knew it would pass she had no interest in playing the woman who would talk sense into her man. It was a role she’d played before and had left in the past.  Soon enough the Necromancer found herself in another carriage packed with gifts for the children she intended to spoil ahead. There was treats, sweets and other things they enjoyed from the market, and new clothing she had had made for them. Ehran had admired the uniforms of the Aegis Wardens when the men and women came to Casim’s summons and she had had a small mock up made in his measurements. Too, Ele had come prepared for a certain elder sister to be present
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  10. Eleuthera : at the Estate, which Casim had spoken of shortly and in passing. Which probably meant it was important to him. Ele spent the time in the carriage affixing her glamour properly so that Ehran would not be startled though he’d already sensed her true nature, and if Anaita was so inclined she too would not spook at the visage of her. Dressed in her robes and veils she took her time exiting from the carriage and greeted the servants who arrived at her side to assist calmly. The pale elf children were staring openly out of the window where their lessons were conducted and Ele glanced in their direction. The moment that the wrapped presents were brought from the carriage she was certain they would bound from their duties with alacrity but, for her own amusement, she did not call out to them. Perhaps they’d last longer that way. -d
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  14. Aɴᴀɪᴛᴀ·Cryтιĸos : There was lingering surprise at Casim's 'life' here in Anaita, and perhaps it showed in the way she interacted with the children, with their tutors, with her brother's servants and companions. His letters had only ever been curt and brief, appraising her of major events in the Capitol without any real indication of emotion or any kind of secret little heart, and yet here it was with their cousin Janus's children, and rumors of a woman he knew and was close with, a fellow Archmage that the children fondly referred to as 'Missus Elle'. Pleased with the children's progress in studies, she was sitting in on their lessons when a carriage rumbled through the black gates of the Crytikos estate, seeing the children naturally stir and gather at the window, their breath blooming on the inside of the chilly glass as they wiped at it to watch a black robed, veiled woman emerge, followed by servants with gifts. While Gemma and Ehran returned reluctantly to their lessons, it was young Astra -c-
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  16. Aɴᴀɪᴛᴀ·Cryтιĸos : -c- that broke their collective resolve, running from the room and through the long corridor leading out into the courtyard, not stopping until her face was buried in the robed woman's legs, her arms wrapped wholly around. Gemma and Ehran soon followed Gemma, waving brightly at the woman, leaving Anaita to rise and trail them at a distance, her bottle-blue eyes assessing the children as they gathered around the woman, all of them talking at once, pleased to see her, beyond pleased, they -loved- her, and that struck their aunt as she watched them interact. "Missus Elle, this is our Aunt Ana!" Gemma pointed at Anaita, who stood in the doorway in plainclothes, her armor hung on a rack in her room in favor of a homespun gown similar to those Sevasti wore, her long, cinnabar-red powdered hair plaited and hanging over either shoulder. "You must be Archmage Eleuthera Lorcan," Ana said from her distance, smiling easily, "my brother mentioned you in his letters and I should have taken -c-
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  18. Aɴᴀɪᴛᴀ·Cryтιĸos : -c- it as the sign that it was." Approaching on booted feet, the tall Pale seemed interested in the children's interaction with her, their childish recollections of Pater Casim spending so much time with this woman translating into an adult understanding of the nature of their relationship even if it was wholly and rightfully lost on the children. "Well met then, I'm pleased to meet you, finally." Though pleased, Anaita's voice was a featureless thing, as though she'd groomed herself to sound more like the men of her people than the women, her tone low and smooth, her smile a dry thing, little curves forming in her cheeks on either side. For a moment, Anaita wondered if Casim had ever so much as spoken of her, knowing she figured very little into his daily life and plans. Did Eleuthera know of her at all? How much did she know? -d-
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  22. Eleuthera : “Yes of course these are for you, but you have to be patient. Let’s get them inside first, okay?” Ele said to Astra while her brother and sister pelted across the courtyard. Then everyone was speaking at once and the Necromancer had stooped to pick up Astra and balance the young elf on her hip, offering her a sweet from a hidden pocket which Astra promptly made disappear. What followed from Gemma and Ehran was a mix of their mother tongue and common, neither of which Ele could understand when they all spoke at once and at great volume. “Alright, alright.” She said, her voice muffled by the cloth of the veils she wore to conceal her features. Kohl-lined forest green eyes moved from the servants sharing small smiles at the children’s excitement to the woman with the red hair at the door who Gemma was calling Aunt. There was a pause while she appraised the Pale Elf - especially the striking nature of her hair - and then Ele smiled beneath her veils and stepped towards the woman,
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  24. Eleuthera : holding Astra close to her with one arm. “Well met, Anaita. It’s a pleasure to meet you. I spent some time getting to know your daughter, Venia.” Ele said, and glanced down to Gemma and Ehran discussing the presents the servants were bringing in and eyeing which was theirs. Astra wiggled to follow her siblings who were following the gifts and Ele placed the young girl on the ground, trying to straighten her smock but in a moment the child was gone. The Necromancer let out a short sigh and then looked over to Anaita when they stood alone in the courtyard. She knew little of the other woman and did not wish to pretend otherwise. Still, it would be good to know more. “I’ve brought you something as well, if you’ll accept. I figured you may need new gear and Casim was pleased with the practical nature of the gift, so agreed readily.” Ele said after a moment. “I also have some tea, or whiskey if that’s your pleasure.” She added after a moment, moving towards the entrance of the Estate
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  26. Eleuthera : and, with Anaita, through the doors. It was a beautiful and strange home but the Necromancer had spent so much time here she considered it a second home. Not only when she was romantically linked with Casim but before, too. The children were crowded around the gifts and Ele knew each to be labelled. Ehran and Gemma assisted Astra with the letters when she struggled and soon enough each had their own pile in the entrance hall. Ele grinned a bit and nodded to the trio, who promptly began to tear into the items. Some were just their favorite sweets, new clothing, books, and toys from the market. Ele basked in their innocent glee at the things and she looked over to Anaita, indicating the last package settled on a bench in the entryway to make clear which was hers. “I missed celebrating Yule, and I was.. Recovering.” Ele explained a bit for the gifts and waved a pale hand dismissively. The truth was that any occasion to spoil the children was something she seized upon even if Casim
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  28. Eleuthera : did not quite agree with it. The Necromancer edged closer to Anaita and leaned in, murmuring quietly to the older woman. “I love spoiling children. It’s a fatal flaw of mine.” She confided.-d
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  32. Aɴᴀɪᴛᴀ·Cryтιĸos : Mention of her only daughter gave Anaita pause.  She'd known that Venia spent time at the Crytikos estate at one point in her life, but for Casim's interaction with this woman to have dated back that far and him only mention her since his return was odd.  What had changed between them?  Immediately interested, Anaita watched as Eleuthera lifted Astra to her hip, the two older children still close at hand and all three of them talking at once.  "I'm glad they love you," Anaita said of the children, drawing a few steps nearer, "they need to be able to love.  The loss of their father was undoubtedly hard on them."  All of this spoken quietly over the children as they nattered on, ignorant of her statement aside from Ehran's brief moment of pause as he looked between the two and then was swept up in the excitement once again, his quizzical expression fading in favor of joy. As the children followed their gifts in a gaggle of excitement, Anaita took the opportunity to draw nearer, -c-
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  34. Aɴᴀɪᴛᴀ·Cryтιĸos : -c- regarding Eleuthera with a pleased, if somewhat curious eye. "Forgive me, I came as soon as I was ordered, I'm afraid I didn't have the opportunity to collect the traditional gifts," Ana said, a little embarrassed at the notion while at the same time betraying the suddenness of her summons and subsequent arrival. Deciding she would make it up to her brother's Lady, Anaita walked alongside Eleuthera toward the house, the box set aside holding Ana's attention for a moment before approaching it as Eleuthera indicated it was her's. "Thank you, Archmage, I don't know what to say." Though as Eleuthera suggested one of her great vices was spoiling children, Anaita grinned broadly. "I shall enjoy the opportunity as well...though I haven't had enough time in the city to properly orient yet. It's so much larger than Sovereign City." Though, Eleuthera's mention that she was recovering over Yule caused the hardened Pale to look over at her curiously, "are you well?" -c-
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  36. Aɴᴀɪᴛᴀ·Cryтιĸos : -c- "Casim mentioned in one of his letters that some troubles had befallen you," and now it all made sense, her brother without explaining his relationship with this woman had betrayed his fear for her, his worry, and she'd completely overlooked it until just now. "He's quite fond of you, judging from how often you figure in his correspondence, though he's often very reserved with how much he says about his personal life." Reaching for the box, she began to untie the ribbon holding it shut, giving the gift the time it deserved in savoring. "I should have known there was something between you from how often 'Archmage Lorcan' figured into his words," she smiled broadly, "it's good that he continues to adhere to a living framework...I've fought many Liches and it's rare that they maintain their lives as he has. I hope he continues to." -d-
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  38. Aɴᴀɪᴛᴀ·Cryтιĸos : "I believe I have you to thank for that." -d-
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  42. Eleuthera : The mention of the children’s true father’s fate gave Ele pause and she was noncommittal, merely nodding a bit at the mention of such events. Casim had slain the man in front of them and yet they seemed to have recovered and easily accepted the Archlich as their nearest family member and bonded with him well despite his disadvantages. “There’s no apology necessary. I am merely happy to finally make your acquaintance. Casim mentions all of the Pale, but slowly, as is his way. He mentioned visiting where he was born at some point, as well.” Ele said at length. The idea had been one that Ele met with skepticism, especially when the possibility of meeting his family had come up. Based on the stories Casim and Sevasti told it seemed their father was rather the type of misogynist that Ele would rather avoid. However it’d be rude to decline such an invitation especially because of the careful nature of Casim’s regard. He would not have invited her if he did not spend weeks mulling over
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  44. Eleuthera : her possible reactions and a multitude of rejections. How much did Casim speak of the relationship they shared with Anaita? The Necromancer weighed her words before speaking them. Those who needed to know of her abilities and how she had summoned Casim from the Abyss were aware, but did his elder sister belong on that list? Did Anaita have other motivations and was that why Casim had kept the woman at arms length in the Empire for so long? Ele watched the children as they were occupied and soon enough, bolting about the Estate to play with their new things. In the silence that lingered with their passing and more distant shouts of play the Necromancer appraised the other red-head. The woman had admitted being summoned and so Ele could only imagine that it had been Casim’s words to do such a thing. What use did the Heretic Prince have for his elder sister? The letters that the woman mentioned prompted Ele’s head to tilt in curiosity. “I.. I am fine. I channeled too much power at
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  46. Eleuthera : once.” Ele said and frowned a little. It was strange to admit to weakness even though she had masqueraded as a mortal for so long. It was the mention of fighting Liches that had Ele shrug her shoulders a bit. “I summoned him from the Abyss. He maintains such niceties because it makes the mortals around him more comfortable. Like pretending to breathe, or blink, or eat. He is overly conscious of these things, but not out of kindness, more out of a desire to keep one’s guard down around him. As if he could never be terrifying.” Ele explained a little, and wondered briefly if she had said too much, but figured that Anaita was a quick study of her opponents and that she would figure as much if she spent any length of time with the man. “If you don’t mind me asking, why the sudden summoning?” Ele asked, folding pale hands in front of her. -d
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  50. Aɴᴀɪᴛᴀ·Cryтιĸos : When Eleuthera made mention of visiting the home colony, Anaita couldn't help but wrinkle her nose in disgust at the notion, an expression she didn't hide from the Archmage as they stood together watching the children.  "I suppose he feels some sense of nostalgia, and our father -has- changed for the better because we've given him no choice, but..." she trailed off, shaking her head.  "I do not envy you if he ropes you into visiting.  I certainly do not.  For my part, I haven't been home for decades, and with our mother gone..." she shrugged, seeing no reason to go home at all.  Perhaps Casim wanted to ensure that Hiram hadn't slipped off the deep end with the loss of his wife and sister, Salvia.  Sensing the awkwardness betwen them over the mention of letters, Anaita sought to clarify.  "He only ever speaks of you in terms of what you have been doing and what you have done...I know so little of you personally as to be a stranger, but now that I think back over how -often- -c-
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  52. Aɴᴀɪᴛᴀ·Cryтιĸos : -c- he's mentioned you, I should have taken it as a sign of fondness.  He's so taciturn that it couldn't have been anything but." It felt strange to discuss her brother with another living soul and it not be couched in violence or suspicion, it was refreshing in its own way, as though here, in Immortalis, her name might be so much of a stigma as it was in Sovereign City, dictating her life as it had. Driving away her companions out of fear of her brother. "I'm certainly glad you've recovered then, I can't pretend to know that much about magic as a discipline, but I know it can be...taxing." Anaita found herself pleased with this woman, happy to know her, to get to know her, and took it as a sign that Casim was adhering to a mortal life even in death, or at least some mimicry of it. Eleuthera's mention of Casim's efforts to appear mortal to put those around him at ease caused her to frown slightly, her full lips pursing into a cautious expression.  "Truth," she said of Casim's -c-
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  54. Aɴᴀɪᴛᴀ·Cryтιĸos : -c- terrifying true nature. "At least he makes an effort, regardless of his intentions. If he did not, I would be far more concerned." Going through the motions was a sign of care if nothing else, "thank you for returning him to the world. When he disappeared I was worried he'd gone the way of his forebears and the next time I saw him it would be while I was storming his lair." Shaking her head at the notion of going after her younger brother, even as a Lich, Anaita opened the box as Eleuthera asked after her summons, gazing down into it with a little bit of wonder as she answered. "He ordered me to come to Immortalis and 'make myself useful', that he believed I'd moped in Sovereign City for long enough. He warned of Immoten and the incursion of demons on the South-Eastern border, and that he needed trustworthy warriors in the Crown's arsenal." As though an afterthought, Anaita added, "he may have also wanted me to see the children, but that's not the sort of thing he would -c
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  56. Aɴᴀɪᴛᴀ·Cryтιĸos : -c- have said outright, you know him." -d-
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  60. Eleuthera : Ele scoffed a bit. “Definitely not. Your brother is not tender very often.” She said, a note of fondness in her voice. “I hope they suite you well enough.” The Necromancer said after a moment, her eyes drawn to the items in the box. The thing was large and had within an enchanted cloak to ward off whatever weather she could possibly hope to encounter. There were boots to keep her warm and comfortable as well as dry. The gloves were hardy but could be worn underneath gauntlets with ease. Additionally she had purchased an amulet to heal Anaita - or at least enhance her own abilities to do so. Life threatening wounds would still need to be treated, but cuts and scrapes would be gone in short order and she’d not be sore or stiff for long. “From what Casim said, you are an adventurer, no?” Ele said after a moment and then looked towards where the children had run off to. Ehran was in his Aegis Warden uniform and had obtained a small stick he used as some sort of staff and he was
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  62. Eleuthera : fighting imaginary enemies while Gemma poured over a book and Astra danced in some small outfit commissioned by fairies. It was a strange family she had surrounded herself with but nonetheless, it was her own. It wouldn’t be strange to find either Talion or Talus here, along with Zosime at certain times of the year, so familiar were they with the staff and the Crytikos family. They called them their elf-cousins and Ele was happy for it. “The wine is a good enough reason to visit.” The Necromancer said after a few minutes of thought. “I worry it will not go as your brother wants it to.” She admitted and stood quietly for several beats. It was a pleasant feeling to finally be able to put a face to the name she had heard mentioned, and not mentioned, so often. The way she spoke of Casim was of genuine concern for her younger sibling and Ele was grateful for such sentiment. It spoke to her of familial connections that he had not sacrificed or that he could potentially regain, should
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  64. Eleuthera : he ever decide to take Yggdrasil up on that offer. “I’m just happy I had the power to pull him away and restore him.” Ele frowned a bit. “Truth be told I wasn’t certain I could.” -d
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  68. Aɴᴀɪᴛᴀ·Cryтιĸos : Watching the children, and knowing what little she did of the Necromancer, Anaita found herself smiling as Eleuthera suggested that her brother wasn't tender often. Certainly he had to be to keep such beautiful things close to him for any length of time. Granted, they all knew the children had a purpose, but Eleuthera? Clearly she delighted him on a level he was loathe to speak, for she'd never known Casim to be attached to any woman that closely and that fondly, not even Seren Bulat, whom she was told he didn't remember. "I was an adventurer, yes," Anaita said, lifting the cloak from the box and smiling broadly, "after Casim died most of my companions withdrew from me, but I have hope to return to it under an assumed name one day. When my duties here are completed. These are beautiful, Lady, thank you so much." As she sorted through the items in the box, lifting them with reverence, eventually she set them all aside and walked to Eleuthera, leaning in to kiss her on both -c-
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  70. Aɴᴀɪᴛᴀ·Cryтιĸos : -c- cheeks in a Pale gesture of deep gratitude before turning to regard the children and their gifts, smiling down on them as the two women spoke.  "It may not go as he intends, no," she said carefully, "for him to have summoned me to task, he must be worried about something, but he's not said what, and likely will not. I know demons. I've fought demons. At the very least, that much is certain." This was an odd little 'family' he'd put together here, a mimicry of what he hadn't had in life, and it was warming to Ana to see it. Perhaps this wouldn't be such a terrible assignment after all, she decided, though she had yet to lay eyes on her brother. Not since his death. "You are a Necromancer who's skill is known all over the realm, in Sovereign City they tell tales of Archmage Lorcan who raises armies from the ground and soothes them back to their rest, 'the Gentle Voice' they call you. I never thought I'd see a day when a necromancer was looked upon as hero, but you are." -c-
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  72. Aɴᴀɪᴛᴀ·Cryтιĸos : -c- Reaching out, she took Eleuthera's hand and squeezed as they looked over the children, then released her, walking to the sideboard to pour them both a drink, offering one out to the Necromancer, pleased to know her. "I haven't seen him since he died. I hope to visit sometime tomorrow and get a look at him. I haven't seen Sevasti in years either, but I'm told by the locals that she's finally lost touch with reality. It's a shame really. Both of them had such promise. Such promise, Eleuthera. When they left the colony I was overjoyed, but this was not something I foresaw." -d-
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