an open-world original fantasy game three races, two years' building, one continent

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Hmm? Wasn't House Essair sheltering a few others from Jihon? Yishai thought he remembered something about that; a former ujal, if the rumours were to be believed, but rumours were often embellished, particularly in Dalmasca, where the nobility loved money, drink, sex, and talking, almost as if they were the pinnacles of life itself. Perhaps to some they were. Yishai wouldn't pretend to understand their mindset. Sure, he was a nobleman, if you wanted to get semantic about it, but Yishai's world and theirs were always much different. Even his kindness toward slaves was perhaps not as altruistic as it seemed. He was a lost cause. So were they. And perhaps somewhere in their similarities, he'd found a strange sense of kinship with them, almost entirely one-sided. Very rarely did they view him the same as he did them.

For a moment, he glanced at his own guard, back there; quiet as ever. Yes, Shai supposed he would be. Slaves were to be seen, and not heard, or so the saying went. A few days with some silly noble kid wasn't going to change that conditioning.

Yishai shrugged slightly. "Kassandros is difficult to understand, even for those closest to him, so don't feel too put out. Even if you were a threat to him, though, he may still have let you stay. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer, or however that saying goes. Heh, I just talk a lot. Most of what I know, I learned through observation, or books, but some things you can't learn that way. I kind of envy you, you know? It must be nice, to be able to learn by doing things." Also, he supposed, more dangerous. But House Wynbrandt were in a fairly precarious position to begin with. A smart Dalmascan would be looking to overtake Wynbrandt and control their transports and supply lines. Kill the right Wynbrandts, and the rest would likely have no choice but to bend.

Few Dalmascans could be called "smart," however, and for now, that was fortunate for them. For how long, though, Yishai wondered.

"Saa, there," he said, finishing off his basket. He set a few flowers in it, and then placed the basket on the altar. In a strange, roundabout manner, Iuna's offerings were on behalf of House Asheron. The vast majority of the farmland and vineyards in Dalmasca were owned and controlled by House Asheron, after all, so hoping for a bountiful harvest was, in a way, hoping for Asheron's prosperity. At least House Asheron weren't terrible. He sat back down again, weaving the flower stems together into a crown. On the bright side, they weren't liable to die wandering around the festival. Nobody had died at the Festival of Iuna for at least ten years now. That was always a bonus, but, Shai thought better of voicing that. This one was jumpy enough as it was.

"Does Jihon have festivals?" he asked, instead. Maybe talking about his homeland might put him a bit more at ease. Besides, it wasn't like his family spoke much about Jihon's cultural proclivities. They were more interested in their strange coin (metal was only good for weapons and that). Good merchants, huh?
House Cassimer / Brotherhood
Last post by Damian Cassimer - Oct 11, 2018, 07:16 PM
"No, it is important." Damian murmured, almost more to himself than anything. His eyes were somewhat darkened by emotion as he considered what had been put on the table already. It was important, perhaps now more than ever. Because if this blew up, Lucius wouldn't make him choose but Marcus would. Marcus would never allow him to remain neutral in such a matter, even if he wasn't a born son of the family. In fact, perhaps especially because he wasn't biologically Marcus'. The fact to the matter was he did have to choose and being caught off guard by having to make that choice wouldn't do anyone any good.

"They might, but I doubt it." Marcus and Lucius had been half at each other's throats for a long time. Lucius had shielded him from the worst of it, but it wasn't like Damian didn't know. It was impossible not to know why Lucius didn't come home often anymore. Why he stayed at this particular side house and didn't bother with the main one. If the two of them were together for any length of time, they were going to fight about something eventually. It was only natural that eventually those fights would progress to the point where Lucius felt he had to decide between his own life and their family.

"I do appreciate that." He did, yes. He'd rather hear it from his own brother than someone else.

But Damian also knew, deep down, he knew what he would choose if he had to. The fact of the matter was, as much as he had always wanted Marcus to see him, to be proud of him, they weren't any more compatible than Lucius and Marcus were.

"But I guess you're right. It's not something we have to talk about now." Just something that he would have to absorb and consider and wait to see if it would come to pass. There were a lot of factors in the air at the moment, and perhaps Lucius was right, and something would change the current course of things before they knew it.
The Festival of Iuna / wide open eyes are blind to ev...
Last post by Zhihao Zhu - Oct 07, 2018, 05:17 PM
"Ai..." The heat spread from the tips of his ears to his cheeks. My, that was embarrassing but he laughed, too--if a bit out of that embarrassment than anything else. At first, he didn't quite understand what was so funny. Perhaps he had spoken a word wrongly, or perhaps his accent made it sound as if he'd said something else. But no, it seemed to be the strange mirrored nature of their two countries. To that, Zhihao did smile, a half smile as he lowered his gaze knowingly. It was true, what Yishai pointed out. The differences were there but there were similarities, too.

After the laughter, however, came the warnings, and those weighed heavily on Zhihao. Ever since he'd arrived, warnings were abundant. He couldn't help feeling a growing sense of foreboding that something was about to happen. He felt like a mouse, moving unwittingly through a trap, with no real sense of the danger but he still stopped every few steps to inspect his surroundings. That was him--the scared mouse... but the curious mouse. Nothing was stopping him from forging forward. Indeed, he didn't know where else to go, for Zhihao Zhu was dead in Jihon and here he was just a guest of House Essair.

"I think it'd be easier with more Jihonese around," he lamented, thinking of his brief meetings with two others. Very brief meetings; and for some reason, Zhihao had not attached to them quite as he had to the others who had met him first. Maybe he was little more than a baby duckling, imprinting on the first friendly faces he came across.

"But, yes, it's good to have friends." He just couldn't help feeling they were less "friends" and more "babysitters." This, he didn't share with Yishai. He didn't want to appear any more pathetic than he might already. But he did lift his head and let out a laugh at the mention of Kassandros' abilities.

"Yes! Yes, he did, and it freaked me right out. I thought he was going to send me away immediately. I'm not even sure why. I don't have any real reason for being here that would threaten him."
starscream / Notes notes to self person
Last post by Esmera - Oct 06, 2018, 06:58 PM
So basically everything skewed sideways, figure out the new plans.
Or am I just winging it? ... idefc tbh.
Yishai couldn't help it. He ended up laughing, a bit. It wasn't one of those condescending laughs, it had plenty of actual mirth in it, and certainly Yishai didn't mean anything terrible by it. He was just amused. "You know, it sounds to me like Dalmasca and Jihon have the same problem, just opposing extremes of it. The Jihonese seem not to think too hard about certain things. It's the way of things, and that's never questioned. Dalmascans think too much and they question a lot of things, but almost always the wrong things." And perhaps, somewhere along the way, both had become complacent; one in the idea that this is the way of things, and not fixing what isn't broken, thereby missing what really was broken, the other in the idea that they questioned everything, and certainly nothing would ever slip passed them.

"Just keep in mind, as open as Dalmascans seem to be, for everything someone says to you, there are many more things they are not saying. Dalmascans may run their mouths, but they are very careful about what they run their mouths about. What other people think about such and such House isn't really important. There are good Houses, just as there are bad ones, and ones that can fall on either side, depending on the day, same as the people themselves, which is where it really gets messy. Personally myself, I'd call Lancaster on one side, but there are members of it that are on the other. Many even can, and do, consider House Essair to be on the bad side, much of the time. If you'd asked someone else when you first came here about House Essair, you'd probably have gotten a very different story than the one you've got now. You can decide for yourself what you think about all the others, whenever you have opportunity to do so. Carefully, mind. There are wolves dressed as lambs in this country, everywhere, really. The trick is, which House you want to be friends with varies depending on what you want out of the arrangement. Certainly, House Essair is one of the few that would let a Jihonese stranger hang around. But, I've been surprised before." Yishai gave a slight shrug.

Still, he couldn't imagine the likes of, say, Salonus and Warwicke, letting said stranger hang around without wanting certain... how you say, favours. What kind of favour varied. But that wasn't his story to tell. Zhihao would learn, or he wouldn't. No sense scaring the guy. And even in thinking that, he knew there were some that exalted even Salonus and Warwicke. Yishai didn't, but he could appreciate they were gods among men, to some, the same as House Essair were to others. He was, perhaps, probably the most unbiased individual that had ties to Essair; he was still a Wynbrandt, and it gave him a bit of perspective, so to say. Wynbrandt were friends with no one, and enemies with no one, and being in the middle, sometimes, did have its advantages.

If nothing else, apparently Kassandros had decided he liked this one, so he was probably safe. Probably.

"Culture shock seems like it'd be easier with familiar people around, so I'm glad you've made friends, at least. ... has Kass done the freaky knowing-things thing yet?" He was just curious, really. As he asked, he paused in his weaving, long enough to notice he'd made a knot on accident. Oops. Careful not to tear the reeds, Shai pulled it apart, until he got to the knot, and started tugging that apart. "And I say to myself, I'm good at this, I don't have to pay attention." Of course not.
Absences, Intros, and Goodbyes / Been in and out
Last post by Esmera - Oct 06, 2018, 05:36 PM
Sorry guys, been pretty unreliable.
Working on rebooting one of my old sites and a bunch of code work, so yeah I'm... really slow. Still trying to get posts out, it's just taking me an age. I keep looking up like wow when did it become <insert date here>. Like, did you know it's fucking October? Wild.

So, yeah. Still around, still doing stuff, just slow as heck-all.
House Essair / What Just Happened?
Last post by Tristan Essair - Oct 04, 2018, 09:20 PM
Right. Ruining his life? That was new. New to Tristan, he should clarify, because it sounded like that wasn't new to Sandalio. Being bluntly honest about it, though, Tristan was failing to see how staying could turn out to be quite that terrible. The whole reason they were staying was because it was markedly better here than essentially anywhere else in Dalmasca. Barring only perhaps House Asheron, and few here had direct experience as part of House Asheron. Even House Lancaster, while it had certain members that weren't so bad, had horror stories passed around.

Given over half of House Lancaster was here, Tristan was going with, there was a reason why.

Tristan held his hands up, there at the end. "I wasn't saying tell him if you haven't," he said. "I was just asking if you had. I thought that might've been what this was about, but, apparently not. Then again, it's not like he's an idiot, maybe it is." It wasn't like Tristan knew what Kassandros had and had not figured out. But, as intelligent as he was, he was also very blind to some things. Maybe he had missed it.

"Well, you'd know him better than I would, and probably have a better idea of whether he's figured it out or not, so I'll leave that one to you." It wasn't like he had any ideas what was going through the guy's head. Well... actually. Tristan frowned, slightly, as that thought crossed his mind. It reminded him, a bit, of their parents. Tristan was old enough, he remembered things like that, hushed arguments Sandalio had probably long forgotten, but for some reason, had stuck with Tristan. It was debatable as to why, but the why didn't matter. He remembered their father never really liking it when their mother ended up fighting. Not because he didn't think she could or believed she wasn't a good fighter, but more because he knew that other people were good fighters, too.

The problem, of course, with being a decent guard was, sooner or later, you were gonna get hurt doing it. It was kind of the nature of the beast, and so long as Sandalio and Lycaon insisted on being decent at their jobs, that threat was always there. No. Maybe Kassandros knew, maybe he didn't. Tristan didn't think that had much of anything to do with it. That'd explain why he seemed to take issue with them being too good at their jobs.

"You know though," Tristan started. "The problem with guards that are good at being so is, they tend to get hurt eventually. I think, maybe, in his awkward way, he's having trouble making sure you're not gonna die on him while still respecting your personal agency. Unfortunately, the two are not exactly aligning with each other. So... maybe he's hoping, now that you're free, you'll just go, either for Estelle's or my sake, and solve the whole problem yourself." Unfortunately for him, well, that plan just fell through.
Coasts / the darkness is always there f...
Last post by Leon - Oct 02, 2018, 05:17 PM
They were what? Why on Azaleon's good earth would Kassandros do that? Then again, thinking about it, Leon understood it. Kassandros seemed to think himself some kind of destructive force. It wasn't his fault this was how Dalmasca operated, and anything that happened, that was terrible, was generally because of Dalmasca, not because of anything Kassandros did. All he was doing was protecting his own. If that caused Dalmasca to lash out at him, that was the fault of the nation. Getting Kassandros to understand that, though, that was harder than it sounded, and Leon knew it. He'd been trying for months now. If he thought about it, most likely, Kassandros was afraid of dragging them down with him. But pushing them away wouldn't solve anything, either.

The ilim loosed a tired huff. This had all become very complicated, very quickly, and on the one hand, he could argue that their feelings for one another compounded the issue. It was, however, likely very unavoidable. You couldn't help who you fell for, after all. And maybe it didn't need to be helped, either. "That's not what I meant, and you know it," Leon said, settling down a bit back from the water. Kassandros knew what he meant, and Leon knew he knew. He could, of course, sense that, too. In some sense, Leon was just relieved. That Kassandros had ended up unwittingly reciprocating Sandalio's feelings, it meant he wasn't completely shut down in there, and some part of him, despite, or in spite of, himself, still reached for others.

Leon worried, about him. A lot, to be honest. And he thought, hoped, perhaps, that Sandalio would be good for him. Even if only because he reminded the hume that he was, in fact, still hume, and he did still have feelings. On the other hand, Leon knew him well enough, by now, to know that, at least some small part of Kassandros resented the part of him that was hume. Because someone, at some point, had convinced him that hume was synonymous with weak, but Leon had never known humes to be particularly inherently weak.

"Sandalio likes you back, you know," Leon mentioned, somewhat nonchalantly. "I can smell that, too."
The Festival of Iuna / wide open eyes are blind to ev...
Last post by Zhihao Zhu - Sep 29, 2018, 01:13 PM
"I've heard some things about... other Houses," he said, but he wasn't really one for gossip. He'd heard things, this was true, but he could be wrong about what he'd heard. After all, the people telling him about the other Houses were staunchly loyal to Essair. It made sense for them to try and paint the others in a different, less flattering light.

"But whether they're true or not, at least I've been able to make some..." He hesitated. "Friends in House Essair."

Friend seemed a bit generous but Zhihao had latched himself onto a handful of those he met during his time there. He hadn't been made into a slave, either. He was protected and taken care of, and he assumed that would be the case as long as he did nothing to harm Kassandros. Since he had no intention of doing so, he assumed his place there was safe. But... He couldn't help remembering that assassin from the temple the other day. What if the assassin hadn't even been after him? They said that there were nearly daily attacks on Kassandros' life. They even seemed to jest about it.

Assassins, though. Where Zhihao came from, they weren't something to laugh about.

"Oh," he said with a half smile as he began to try weaving his first basket. "Everybody seems to think that we're too formal. I think it goes both ways. I've been surprised by how willing people here are to..." He struggled with the thought and frowned slightly. "I suppose I'd say with how easily they share their thoughts."

Even the ones who didn't share everything seemed to have an opinion about something! In Jihon, those opinions were only used in veiled barbs, if at all!

Letters to Esmera / theme thing
Last post by dragonborn - Sep 24, 2018, 11:20 AM
tysvm ily
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