I wasn't the hero you needed

[p. Kamari]

POSTED: Sat Dec 14, 2019 6:05 pm

The night's young, searching for a feeling. Big fun, dancing with the demons

The strange villains that had been found outside of Salsola's borders languished as their Mafiosi deliberated, but Krios knew that it was well past the point he would be of much help to them. It was outside his scope and he returned to his true focus. Scouting was exactly what he did and that was exactly what he needed to do.

Krios was mounted on the palamino mare that had been passed down his family, her training having improved sufficiently that he was comfortable taking her out while armed and in potentially dangerous places. Deception - he still refused to call her Ducky, like his grandmother still did - was at home as she was with foal that season, much to their mutual delight. Never before bred, the mare seemed to thrilled. So, instead of his dutiful mare, he rode one of Kamari's mounts instead. It was unfamiliar but the mule was well trained to tolerate him. Just as Kamari tolerated him, too.

He kept his nose to the wind, grasping for any sort of remnant to latch onto. Nothing but the smell of strangers, prey, and earth filtered in. But he kept on like a bloodhound. His eyes were glued to all the remaining foliage, keen to track anything that would point to Victoire. Anything at all.

Nothing crossed his sight and there were moments of excitement whenever he thought something had potential, but they faded nearly instantly. Krios did not want to admit defeat.

The borrowed mount gave a soft nicker, tail swishing behind him. Krios pulled Walnut to a stop, pausing and looking about him. Then, he dismounted and brushed into a small thicket of leafless branches. He settled onto his haunches and leaned into the branches. His fingers reached past the thin twigs, snapping many in the process, and pulled out a bit of weathered fabric. It was damp from rain and snow with a patch of long-dried brown staining half the side He brought it to his nose and inhaled sharply.

Nothing.

He flung the scrap of old cloth away, letting it tumble to the frosty ground without a second glance. Krios rose from his crouch and stood. He stared off southward as he brushed off small twigs from his forearm. There had to be something. Surely, something.

300+

Last edited by Krios Revlis on Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Krios Revlis
Come touch me like I’m an ordinary man. Have a look in my eyes. Underneath my skin there is a violence

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POSTED: Fri Dec 20, 2019 6:00 pm

Optime | Western Forefront | NPCs: Cedar & Walnut (+383)


With the Outsiders from the raids imprisoned, Kamari had foolishly thought that things would return to a relative normalcy once more. It seemed that Fate was not finished with her husband though.

His younger half-sister, Victoire, had still not made it to Fort Preble.

She had left months ago. There was no reason why the young Heiwa hadn’t been sited at or near the Portland outpost. The land had been warm with the dying heat of summer, the paths unhindered by rains or heavy snow. Victoire was a smart girl, and Kamari doubted that she might have gotten lost along the way. Such acknowledgments though left only troublesome conclusions to remain.

Had she been attacked? Killed? Kidnapped? …Had she defected?

Thoughts of her twin, Kamil, had been more and more present in her thoughts as she and Krios had ridden out into the neutral lands. Kamari had her doubts—it had been too long, and the land was covered in snow now—but, she had decided to support her husband. He cared deeply for his younger sister, and Kamari was fond of the girl too. If there was a chance they could find something, she wanted to give him that.

And, after losing his mother, Kamari quietly feared what might become of him if he lost Victoire too.

They had ridden out on her two steeds, Walnut and Cedar, moving steadily southwest along the routes Victoire would have most likely taken. Since their journey had began though, they had come up with precious little. So, when Krios pulled the mule over to investigate something, Kamari did not get her hopes up.

She pulled Cedar to a halt next to Walnut, watching silently as Krios flung the evidence away from him. Another dead end. She expected him to say something, to mount back up, but, instead, he stared off in the distance, frustrated.

“I think there’s a tavern of sorts not far from here. Let’s try there.” She suggested, recalling a piece of information she’d collected from one of her ventures beyond the Kingdom’s borders. “We might run into better luck with someone having seen her rather than searching for something left behind.” She didn’t dismount, not until she knew how the Striker intended to go forward.

Kamari Kaiser

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POSTED: Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:52 pm

The night's young, searching for a feeling. Big fun, dancing with the demons

Krios continued to stare off into the distance, wishing that some sort of sign would present itself to him. He wanted something to pop out of the treeline and give him the answers he sought. A murder of crows would have been horrible, but at least it would have told him what he needed to know. Instead, the treeline was the same as it was moments prior and the branches of barren trees waved in the wind. Nothing changed and he was still devoid of truth.

The sound of hooves behind him tempted him to turn back around but he knew it was merely Kamari coming closer. She was quiet that trip, but he knew why she would prefer to keep her comments to herself. He was a challenge to balance at times and she likely did not want to set him off. Krios appreciated her all the more for tolerating his request, even if the thought of it ached like a dull, old wound.

A tavern, he repeated, nearly monotone. A tavern was hardly a place that Victoire would end up in, especially with Embla in tow. Biff's had never been her favorite of places, though she had likely been. No, he doubted very much that his sister would have ended up at any such place. But where had she ended up? No one had come with a ransom demand.

Tell me, Kamari, do you think we'll find anything out? Or am I really just wasting time looking for anything? He could feel the defeat in his voice as he spoke without facing his wife. The grief of all the losses was settling so heavily on him. Goddess above, he was so sick of feeling so low. He was so tired of the feeling. He missed the lighter days, the happy days, where he would merely be annoyed at the bickering he and Kamari did.

At least they were not fighting quite as much as they were before. One small miracle, he figured.

300+

Krios Revlis
Come touch me like I’m an ordinary man. Have a look in my eyes. Underneath my skin there is a violence

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POSTED: Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:22 am

NPCs: Cedar & Walnut (+289)


Still, he refused to face her, and, judging by his tone, he wasn’t moved by her suggestion. It was enough to make Kamari sigh softly in resignation. She remained quiet otherwise though, wondering if he would say anything more, or if she would have to coax him along. It was clear that his resolve was slowly unraveling the further from the Kingdom they went, the further they went without a clue of what had happened to Victoire and Embla. She could only try to offer helpful avenues to investigate, and hope that something gave them a lead.

Given how things had turned out with her twin brother sudden disappearance and with Loki’s killer, however, Kamari was not confident in herself and her investigative abilities.

She closed her eyes, mentally trying to clear her thoughts so that she could focus on the task at hand when Krios questioned her. Her eyes opened, only to find that his back was still facing her.

He had been so strong when they were younger. So full of fire and brazen arrogance. Over the past year though, he had been dealt nothing but one blow after another. Right when she had thought he would recover though, something new would happen to tear him down again.

“We haven’t exhausted all of our possible options yet,” she answered softly.

When would Fate tire of tormenting him?

“Let’s check the tavern, Krios.”

She had never found Kamil.

No one had ever found who had killed Loki.

“Even if it turns up nothing, at least we rule out a possibility.”

It had been almost two years since his disappearance.

It had been a year since his murder.

But she couldn’t tell him that.

Kamari Kaiser

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Moderator Luperci Sapienza, Vedetta Mate to Krios Royalty of a Fallen Kingdom
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POSTED: Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:47 am

The night's young, searching for a feeling. Big fun, dancing with the demons

Goddess bless her, she was trying to comfort him. Krios knew that she thought it was pointless but she continued to humor him. They continued to come up dry with no answers to be found, but she kept on supporting him.

Why did she keep suffering through his fruitless endeavors? Why did she keep on being there for him when he continued to fail over and over again? Why was she still his friend in the end, despite the nearly unceasingly problems that came at him time and time again? Why was she still there?

Why was he still there?

Krios shook those filthy thoughts out of his head and finally turned toward Kamari, away from the distant horizon. It had been inviting, but he could not answer the call to blissful freedom and oblivion. He had duty. Kamari was his partner and he would not abandon her. They were in it together, even if it seemed like everyone else was disappearing from his side. At least she would be there.

Alright, let’s check the tavern, he repeated as he nodded at her, reaching out to the mule’s reins. The patient creature tolerated his lopsided heavy weight as he mounted before settling himself into the saddle properly. He shifted a little and turned in the direction of the tavern.

They were walking at a pace between leisurely and brisk, mostly because he knew there was no reason to rush about. His gaze kept skimming the ground cover around them as they went.

Maybe she ran. Kamari, do you think she would have just gone? asked the Striker suddenly, eyes shooting up from the ground, to his wife. She didn’t fit in well. And Embla, Embla, too. They both lost their parents.. And they were close. But did that mean they would risk everything to disappear? To leave what they knew behind? No, right?

Right?

317

Krios Revlis
Come touch me like I’m an ordinary man. Have a look in my eyes. Underneath my skin there is a violence

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POSTED: Sun Jan 05, 2020 7:00 pm

NPCs: Cedar & Walnut (+284)


Finally, he turned to face her, agreeing to her suggestion and mounting back up once more. She watched him for but a moment before nudging Cedar into a similar gait. The mustang overtook the mule as commanded by his rider, and Kamari cast her husband a fleeting glance as she took the lead. The tavern wouldn’t be too long of a ride with the horses, and, with any luck, the building would have a few patrons inside that might have possibly seen or interacted with the two girls. Even a rumor or gossip about them would have been better than knowing nothing at all.

One of her tall ears flickered back when Krios spoke again. She felt his eyes on her as their steeds continued to walk onward. The questions he asked…they had been the same things she had considered when news of Victoire and Embla’s disappearance had reached them. Both girls had suffered terrible losses, both—despite being born into noble houses—were decidedly unfit for the Kingdom they had been born into. They were sweet, completely lacking in a vicious bone in their body.

To leave the Kingdom though? Would they have been so brave knowing of the consequences of desertion?

“Kamil did it,” she said after a long pause.

And he had done it alone. He had had fewer survivals skills than the girls had had together too. And even though Embla had poor eyesight, Victoire could wield her staff well enough. It was better than the Emissary’s own brother.

Her cornflower blue eyes shifted to meet Krios’ seafoam green ones. “If they deserted too, would it be so bad?”

They would be free, maybe even…happier.

Kamari Kaiser

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POSTED: Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:25 pm

The night's young, searching for a feeling. Big fun, dancing with the demons

Krios wanted to have so much hope for best. He wanted to, having had so little to celebrate in his short life. Everything good had been tainted by suffering and sorrow. He had never wanted such an existence for his brother and sister, and it seemed that Victoire had been inclined to agree with that thought. Yet, her solution had not been one he had often entertained.

Had she really abandoned their home? What else did she have left in Salsola besides an elderly grandmother, a high-ranking half-brother, and her littermate? That seemed like so much to run from, though. Krios could not have imagined doing something like that, but he had been raised as a single child of a single mother as the potential sole heir to the name. Victoire had no such pressure on her, even if the rest of the privilege of nobility could sit pretty heavily.

After a long, thoughtful pause Kamari spoke finally. Kamil. Her long-absent brother. It was not a topic that they often discussed, though Krios was sure it had come up before. But he had defected? He had abandoned Salsola? Krios stared at Kamari in surprise. Though, admittedly, Kamil and Kamari had a much more difficult start in life as the children of freed slaves. Slave-born, not noble-born. Victoire and Embla had access to a life of wealth and privilege, but it was merely a cage made of gold rather than steel.

His lips tightened at her question, knowing that the answer was obvious to them both. Of course it would be. They could not come home if they abandoned Salsola. But even as he spoke he could tell that he did not mean what he said. It was merely rote to repeat what he knew to be the mantra. Familia fortes and all that.

He fiddled with his reigns, squeezing them and bending them anxiously. No, no, it would be better. Tori was not made for Salsola. She had too much of our mother and her father to truly be happy here. She was not good at the whole duplicity thing. Embla was too sweet of a creature, too. Blind, Embla would have been susceptible to those that wanted to "protect" her while merely profiting from proximity. Tori was probably the best companion for her to have run off with, especially since his sister had been taught all the tricks by their mother and grandmother. Tori would keep them both safe.

If she did, though.., he faltered, trailing off for a moment. His turned his gaze away from his wife. I wish she had told me. I would have helped her. I would have covered for her. I would have done everything I could to help them. Because even if she wanted to abandon family, he would still love her and protect her. Or had her confidence in him and his abilities been low enough to keep her plans secret?

He was not sure which hurt more: not telling him or potentially not feeling confident in his ability to keep their secrets. He was Salsolan, sure, but he was also devoted to his blood family, almost blindly.

Krios could feel emotion welling in his throat and his eyes felt misty suddenly. He turned his head even more away from Kamari and then pulled the reins to turn the mule in the direction of home rather than the tavern. Let's go home. We're just wasting our time. Because Tori did not want her brother to catch them.

How was he going to admit this defeat?

600

Krios Revlis
Come touch me like I’m an ordinary man. Have a look in my eyes. Underneath my skin there is a violence

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POSTED: Sun Jan 12, 2020 11:35 pm

NPCs: Cedar & Walnut (+505)


She turned her head fully to look at Krios at his answer. What if the Kingdom was no longer “home” to the girls anymore? What if they needed this freedom? To completely remove themselves from a place that held nothing but horrible memories for them?

Kamil had left it all behind. He’d loved their mother so much, but, he had been so full of hatred for the family’s lowborn status. The announcement of her betrothal had only seemed to tip him over the edge. He’d thrown it all away in the end; his family, his titles and privileges granted to him by Boss Salvia. He had deserted them all. Selfishly, he’d left, he’d abandoned them. Abandoned her.

But, in the end, it had been what had been best for him.

Kamil was too soft. Too naïve. Too foolish. Too stuck in how the world looked down on him to make any changes to rise above and prove them wrong. He would have never made it amongst the highborns and their vicious elite.

After a beat, Krios amended his initial reply, his own thoughts of it all finally flowing freely from his tongue. Kamari turned her head away, resuming her watch of the road ahead with a small, sad smile as he talked more about his half-sister and his desire to have helped her and Embla in their endeavors. Of course he would have.

The sound of Walnut’s reins being suddenly jerked made her pause her own mount, head turning to see where Krios was going. He’d turned the mule home, had announced their new heading with words that bitterly summed up the fruitlessness of their task.

Kamari turned Cedar too, coaxing him to draw up beside the larger mule. She was quiet for a time, trying to decide if she should speak or leave him alone. “…she probably didn’t want to make you choose,” she explained softly to her husband, “Didn’t want to compromise your position.” Victoire had always been kind and selfless like that.

If she had told him, he would have had to choose; help her and betray the Law, or, abide by the Laws and bring her before the Queen on grounds of desertion. He was a Faction Elite, one of the highest-ranking members within the Kingdom. It would have been expected of him to uphold the Laws of Salsola, to put his loyalty to the Crown before his own personal feelings.

But that would not have been Krios though, Kamari knew.

It was what made her…

Kamari took in a breath and let it out slow, chuckling softly, dryly. “You’re stubborn. If you’d caught wind of her and Embla’s plans, she probably knew what lengths you would have gone for her, and she didn’t want to place that burden on you.” She looked down at his hands rather than his face. “You may not agree with it, but, it was what she thought was best.”

Kamari Kaiser

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Moderator Luperci Sapienza, Vedetta Mate to Krios Royalty of a Fallen Kingdom
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POSTED: Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:41 pm

The night's young, searching for a feeling. Big fun, dancing with the demons

Silent reflection was all that he could do. There was nothing to say that would suddenly change the reality of the situation or shed light onto it, either. The facts were the facts and they were unalterable.

Kamari was right, as she had a very annoying habit of being. Was it a flaw of men to be wrong or was she merely a very intelligent person with a better grasp of reading people than most? No, likely it was just that he was male and was genetically predisposed to make easy mistakes.

Victoire was ever a child in his mind, even though she had grown up right before his eyes. She had matured into a young woman with a mind of her own, even though she had wilted when Delfina had come into their lives. She had withered even more when their mother was killed, but she had seemingly been bolstered when she came into her own skills and knowledge. She was only ever on the rise after that, so it made sense that she had put the pieces of the puzzle together without help and knew that she would be putting him at risk if she ever voiced her intent to him.

Victoire was not a child. She knew better and so she behaved accordingly. She would be okay, even if he would perpetually worry about the half-sister that was more of a full-blood sibling than he would have ever known.

Krios released a long sigh. You're right. I know you are. I hope that everything is alright, thought. I can't help but be concerned. He was such a mother hen, honestly. Still, he let the silence drag on as they took a more relaxed pace back to the Kingdom proper. Krios was lost in thought, weighing his emotions, and throwing countless wordless prayers to a Goddess he struggled to have faith in.

318

Krios Revlis
Come touch me like I’m an ordinary man. Have a look in my eyes. Underneath my skin there is a violence

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Vedetto, Milite Mate to Kamari

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