[P] private caller
Life was full of disappointments, Rand was well aware, and knowing that the so-called King was the one behind all of these indencies came as no surprise at all. He could pray and erect as many shrines as he so pleased, but Nín's divine sorcery would not will the Aegas man away. Certainly, there was some reason this peon was still King.

And, Rand had a suspicion, it came in the form of his wife.

She, Vodeva, was like him. They hailed from the same clan, held true to the same Goddess. He knew her well, and his heart ached when he abandoned his Kingdom and left her and others behind. How she managed to stay married to Iomair for this long was a testament to her will, he supposed. Those that followed the Depths-Devourer were iron-clad and strong.

Rand had stalked the Bastion several times now, even in only his first few days of being in the pack. Occasionally, he would catch a glimpse of the Councilor, that pale, perfect infidel that tested his patience not only as a true Caledonian but as a man as well. Her day would come, he knew, but for now, his sights were set elsewhere.

It did not take long to find her. His thin lips curled into a smile, and his voice drawled saccharine-sweet, almost like birdsong.

"Vodeva Nartholiel, you are a sight for sore eyes."
backdated. oh shnoes  Regdevious
She slid through the City Square as if the current had shifted to carry her away, each step casting a gentle ripple as Commoners turned their heads to regard her. She spent time each morning in the market, before making the long journery home – her pockets filled with leaves and twisted twigs. She had noticed that Iomair prayed less now, his token sometimes forgotten at their bedside. He had grown soft to the ways of the world. The whispering reeds fed messages to her, brought clarity to her in a way that he never had.

Her hands tightened at her sides, and she cursed softly before tipping her head back so that her silvery curls spilled between her shoulder blades.

As she made her way up the steps of the Bastion, she was brought to pause by the voice that carried its way towards her. It was familiar in the way an echo was, a sound that was visceral and reminded her of an ancient cathedral cast in the reflections of stained glass. Rand Caora was old blood, with a devouring heart and sharp teeth that showed each time he whispered a prayer.

”Rand.” She turned stiffly to regard him, ”So you finally joined us?”

She sniffed, ”I would have thought you would have found us faster, given your proclivity to following behind.”

The Nartholiel wife allowed the statement to settle between them before allowing a ripple of a smile to cross her features. "The lady must have blessed you." She held up a hand and let the leaves fall between them to scatter against the cobblestones.

"What do you want? It has been quite some time since last I saw you."

(///) | NPCs: N/A
If it were anyone else, if she were anyone else, Rand would have turned those sharp pieces of glass back on her and made her pay for her insolence. Very few made their way in this world that had scorned him; those that had were ash now, their lives burnt up along with the rest of their sleeping Kingdom.

But Vodeva, a pale wraith of silver and ice, was different. Her ancient blood pumped through his veins, and his smile only grew as he teased more and more cold words out of her.

"That She did," he agreed, taking a step closer, and he canted his head. "I traveled with another group of followers, and we hadn't caught word of the Realm established here. Once I found out, naturally, I made other arrangements."

Although that was not quite how it had panned out, she would be none the wiser. Rand's life had little lies such as these strung about it, weaving together the story he wanted to be true.

"Am I not allowed to be happy to see you alive and well?" he posited, stretching his arms wide. "It has been ages since I last saw someone of Lorn; this Realm desperately lacks them."

His eyes narrowed at her, prodding, nudging. "We are a minority here, I have come to find," he said solemnly, "We are outnumbered."
backdated. oh shnoes  Regdevious
They had known one another as children – though it seemed a far off memory that she couldn’t quite grasp at. He was like ripples in a pond, drifting just out of reach as each lap of water carried it farther and farther away. ”Well bless the currents that brought you to us.” The lady had a way of bringing her followers back together again, as was her way.

Vodeva’s parents had believed quite strongly in her power. Her father, a man originally of Taur had fallin in love with her Mother – a woman devoutly of Lorn. Somehow they had made their marriage work in a time where tradition had been unyielding. Vodeva had believed that her own marriage would survive anything; a war, a miscarriage, anything.

And yet here she was, questioning and silent.

”This country is different than our homeland.” She clutched at her skirts, ”I’m not surprised you noticed so quickly.” She made a tchk sound, ”There is no old blood here, only new.” Her eyes flashed, ”We had an Eryn, but he disappeared sometime earlier this year.” She sighed softly, ”I do what I can. When I can.”

”It’s all I can do.”

(///) | NPCs: N/A
Rand knew nothing of her struggles. He knew little of her husband aside from his affiliation and his failure as King, and those alone were enough for the Lorn man to write off Iomair as a lost cause from the start. The fact this Realm had survived thus long was a feat, but the more he pondered over it, the more apparent it became that it hadn't survived on Caledonian blood or tradition at all.

No, no. It was very clear to Rand that those had been pushed aside, and this land was dictated by the Other. Surely Iomair had little to do with the pack's success, surely he had not listened to his devout wife. If he had, if Nín had truly had Her way, then his culture would not be in shambles all around him.

"An Eryn," he repeated dubiously, with a laugh. "So I heard. Quite the disappointment." Even though the clan was of Taur, they at least had enough sense to heed the old ways.

"Perhaps, now that I am here..." His brow arched, and he took another step, "We can do much more."

He let it linger for a moment, though his eyes never left hers, much as he wanted to let them dip downwards and take all of her in. That could wait for another time; unlike the white lady, Rand still held a shred of respect for the Queen. Though he did wonder if the strength of her bond with the Aegas man could be tested.

"You are not alone in your faith."
She narrowed her eyes at him as he refused to break eye contact with her. ”Of course not.” Vodeva made a humming sound in her throat and regarded the Coara cooly, ”But this land is on the precipice of change – Iomair can see it all around him. That change is what drives him, these people are his inspiration.” She sighed, ”And they are not bad people. Many are lost on paths that they do not yet understand.” She ground her palms together and deflected her attention to the whispering trees.

”There are some Menel here, some quiet Aegas.” She stilled her hands, ”But I do not often here them pray – to their new gods or the old.”

She did not often cross their paths, save for the Fir-Chlis with the bountiful litter of children. Arran Fir-Chlis was of the clans, his heart warm regardless of which god his faith had been directed to. The Old Caledonians would have to fight for their traditions to remain steadfast while the world changed around them, and it would appear that Rand Coara was prepared to do whatever it took to assure nothing was lost.

”You sound like a man with an idea.” She snorted, ”Ideas can be dangerous.”

(///) | NPCs: N/A
He snorted, unable to help himself from weighing in on the tenacity of their King. "Is he lost as well?" he asked, his words teetering the edge of unkindness and detached concern. It was likely to alienate him from her, which would have been a shame — but, more than that, it would make her think. Maybe not here, but when she left this place, when she was alone with her thoughts. His rhetoric was barbed like thorns, sticking into flesh and niggling further and further in.

"It is disappointing," he said, "but not entirely unexpected. Had there been more of us here... Perhaps things could have turned out differently." His muzzle lowered, and he sought her gaze with smoldering eyes, "But the road to righteousness is never easy."

He chuckled, the sound warm and dark, "I always have ideas. She inspires me so." Rand gestured with his hands, as if he was helpless to his whims. "Should we not seek to return things to the way they were? Our ancient ways cannot die here, Vodeva, you know this."

They should not, they could not. He would not allow it.

"The most dangerous ideas are also the most rewarding. And if it is so wrong to want to uphold tradition," he shrugged indifferently, "then I suppose I am a criminal."
She sighed softly before responding with a soft, ”As am I then, I suppose.” She wanted so much for their new land, and often the optimism she felt for their future was enough that it made her ache. There was an opportunity here for Old Caledonian’s to flourish and to assure that their gods were given proper reverence. Rand understood this innately. She could see it in the way the muscles in his jaw twitched as he spoke, his brows furrowing seriously as their conversation continued.

Vodeva felt a connection to him.

It was strange and tenebrous, testing like the first river ever formed. ”I think we will meet again.” She brushed her hands together, ”For now I must return to my Husband.” She touched his arm as she brushed by, ”May she whisper for you and hear your blessings.” Vodeva managed something akin to a smile before turning away. ”Continue tending to your ideas Rand.” She adjusted her braid and began to pad away, ”I will hear them.”

(///) | NPCs: N/A
We should have another thread ;D
He felt it too, this connection; one that was no doubt spurred on by their old blood, their ancient tether to the Lady of the Water. Their faith bonded them, surely, but Rand felt as though it went even deeper.

In Vodeva, he saw potential, in more ways than one. When his eyes flickered downward, taking in the sharp, guarded angles, he could scarcely help it — or he scarcely cared for Iomair's supposed claim over her, one of the two. For the first time since he had stepped foot into this wretched, godless land, Rand Coara felt a small, wavering spark of hope.

He wondered, briefly, should Nín have walked amongst them, if She might look like the icy Queen before him. But he refrained from getting ahead of himself.

They would meet again, this he was certain of. They had to. There was no one else here who knew the truths he did. They had to foster this connection, keep it secret, keep it safe; she would return to her husband out of obligation, not love. Vodeva was a woman of duty, and frankly it surprised him that the Aegas man still fit into this binding regiment.

Perhaps that would change, in time. He looked forward to it, even.

"I will cultivate them," he promised with a dangerous smile, one that meant many things, some known and unknown to him. "You and the Lady shall hear them, when it is time."

The touch at his arm was fleeting, seemingly nothing, but just this small touch was enough to cement his whirling fantasies. Did she see them, too?

"May Nín watch over you," he prayed, letting her go to tend to the life she had carefully constructed, biding her time for something greater, he knew. He would be her blessing, her divine intervention. A vessel.

His arm burned from her touch as he left the Bastion, and the ache it stirred within him lasted long after he had departed.
NEW THREAD SOON PLS i need them  Rolleyes

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