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Messages - Esmera

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House Essair / save a little light for me
« on: Yesterday at 07:45 AM »
Could say that? Did that mean it wasn't really accurate? But, thinking about it, Estelle wasn't so sure about it being a lie. Masters did that, sometimes, the thing where they lied, but most of the time, they were mostly honest. She thought. Come to think of it, how did you tell that someone was lying? In the end, maybe it didn't really matter.

Sandalio... That was - well, she thought she could say it. Quietly, under her breath, she sounded the syllables out, trying to make sure she got the sounds right, and then nodded once to herself. Some kind of shortening, maybe, because it was very long, and in some instances, Estelle was lazy.

"Sandi?" she asked, tilting her head. She called Kassandros Kassi, it sounded logical to her. "Oh. Well, maybe I'll just happen to grow up really tall, too. Does the world look different up there?" Estelle, of course, was yet too young to understand perspective

House Wynbrandt / You Got Me a What?
« on: Aug 09, 2018, 05:52 AM »
Oh. He tried not to cringe, at least not obviously, really he did. It'd seem, though, that he caught onto the cringing, and his slight grimace a hair's breath too late, because his mother tutted to herself, and then shuffled off. Presumably, she intended to go deal with some other, probably more important, thing.

Yeah, Shai knew that his aversion to this whole slave owning business was strange, given he was raised in Dalmasca, and Dalmascans were great at owning slaves (sarcasm here). Even he, truth be told, hadn't the faintest idea why, it just upset him, in general. It wasn't like Shai was a particularly dominating person. Rather the opposite, he tended to do a lot of deferring, for a male firstborn. Maybe he was defective in more than the obvious ways.

"Well, not really," he answered, choosing his words carefully, thoughtfully. "It just seems like it'd be uncomfortable. I'm sure you're used to it, by now, but being used to it, and being comfortable, are actually two different things. I'd like you to be the latter. Unless you're against it." Shai was pretty good at not wincing every time he saw someone that looked uncomfortable.

Fine? Hmm. He'd never gotten the hang of the difference between 'you're my master and I do what you say' fine, and 'yeah that actually sounds good' fine. Strictly internally, he was annoyed at himself for that.

"My father collects swords," Shai said, gesturing for Hadrian to follow, as he made his way down the hallway, albeit notably slower than someone his age should. "My family are related to several houses known for their smithing skill. Good, well made blades never go unnoticed around here." And his father, as it were, had several Galacese blades, too.

"The comfortable thing, it counts for the floor, too," Shai mentioned, after a moment. Just saying.

Heralds / Aug 7, 2018 -- Character Mod Transition
« on: Aug 09, 2018, 03:16 AM »
We have been transitioned over. I believe I got everything, if something looks weird to you, let me know. I will say, the quote and want ad generators both popped, I'm working on them. The joining guides also need to be updated, give us a bit.


Heralds / Aug 7, 2018 -- Character Mod Transition
« on: Aug 07, 2018, 03:42 PM »
With the release of my Character Mod for SMF, we'll be transitioning Messiah to using it here in a bit. Here's how this will work:
  • Backups will be taken, just in case something goes awry.
  • The Character Mod will be installed and set up. Shouldn't take long.
  • Players will then be able to transfer their characters from the old subaccounts system to the new character mod system. Lots of copy-pasting.
  • Once all characters are moved from one to the other, I'll run a short MySQL function to move character posts from their character account, to their parent's, and then slap the character's ID onto it for the override.
  • The above means, make sure your character names are the same on both systems. Not username, but display name. If it doesn't match names, it won't swap posts.
  • Once that's done, we'll delete the old accounts and subaccount keys, uninstall the subaccount system, and we're free to rock.
  • The Character Mod comes with an automatic thread tracker. This means it'll add threads your character(s) post(s) to on its own. I'll be running a bookmark SQL query to try and copy bookmarks for characters from the bookmark system to the tracker system in the character mod, but I make no promises. I may need to do it manually.
Hopefully, this won't take but a day or two. I'm sorry, but unless you're here to do things with your accounts, you will lose them. So if you come back in another month wondering why your characters are gone, well, idk what to tell you. Remake them, I guess.

You'll love the character mod, promise.

House Wynbrandt / You Got Me a What?
« on: Aug 02, 2018, 11:02 PM »
For a moment, after that sound Hadrian made, Yishai head-tilted at him, in curiosity mostly. In the first place, really, he wasn't sure why his parents wanted him to have a guard so much, apart from the fact he was very easy to overwhelm, and while House Wynbrandt were well-loved, they were well-loved. Any in Nydema, let alone all of Dalmasca, might wish to find themselves fortunately in the same position as House Wynbrandt, and with no other heirs, the end of Yishai meant the end of Wynbrandt, barring adoptive arrangement, or his parents having another baby. Often, he wondered why (how??) he was an only child, but they didn't talk about such things in the house. The slaves in the kitchens had their own reservations, many of which Yishai was privy to.

Ah, he wasn't just a slave, given he had a brand, he was either a very good slave, or a blood fighter. Yishai knew the stories told about blood fighters and their vicious temperaments and unfriendly dispositions were wildly exaggerated, and chiefly wrong. He knew that, in the way he didn't even have to think about it, because he'd had experiences talking with blood fighters before, mostly when he was bored and wandered the slave market. Yishai never bought slaves himself; he hated the whole idea, and while he understood one person in all of Dalmasca deciding not to do so would not make much difference, if more of those that thought the same way did similar... but that was a pipe dream, ultimately.

Still, any slave he ever had, his parents got him, and clearly, Hadrian wouldn't be much different. "I suppose, you've seen worse than piles of books and clothes, huh?" he asked, still regarding the taller newcomer with a thoughtful expression. "Well, I'm Yishai, you can call me Shai, please do, I hate that master crap, you could probably snap me in two pretty easily. He's mine, right? I can do whatever I like with him?" he asked, looking at his mother.
"Naturally," his mother answered.
"Good," Yishai replied. "Clothes, then, that can't be terribly comfortable, I mean, unless you really like them, and all I've got are my clothes, but none of mine are terribly fancy, or very small, I like loose things, loose and breatheable and stuff, but we'll see if you fit my shirts at least, if you don't mind... I mean, it's just. ... uh, do you use swords? A sword might come in handy, maybe, we've got steel down the - well it's on the way to my room, so we can swing by there on the way, and then, maybe you might be up to helping me move the stack of books, at least. Like, I've got a floor under there and stuff." Oh, wait, didn't slaves - "N-not that I really want you sleeping on it! By the way, uh, so you can have your own room, or, um, I mean my bed's pretty big..." It'd already been proven, by now, that whatever he had wasn't contagious, so he didn't mind the close proximity.

House Essair / save a little light for me
« on: Aug 02, 2018, 07:22 PM »
"And a bit more besides," Kassandros murmured, more to himself than anything. It was fairly well-known among his inner circle, he could become quite the vicious tempest in defence of someone that was not himself, and this, of course, was no different. Salonus, of all the houses for Cygnus to trip into dealings with, he should've - it didn't even matter, because Cygnus wouldn't have listened, no matter what he'd said, done, tried. He should've thought better of setting the eldest ablaze, probably. If Gaius decided to squeal and flail and spew righteous anger in Marcus' general direction, breathe Kassandros' name, even, it'd likely cause quite the bit of trouble. And should, as he intended, Kassandros move to depose of Titus, Marcus would no doubt view the two incidents as a declaration of war.

Even in realising this, he found it quite difficult to care. Cygnus made mistakes, yes, but he never blundered quite that terribly on his own, for these were thought processes and internal connections he, typically, could not make unaided. All along, Kassandros knew that these thought processes and internal connections had not made themselves, that they had come from some other source, and yet, all along, Kassandros had ignored them, because Cygnus didn't listen to him, because he didn't want to think about it, because because because...

Half his damned life was excuses, wasn't it, and what good was it doing? He only had about half an idea what was going on in his own damn house, it was something of a miracle he'd ever managed to shield any of them from anything. How was it, that he managed to shield Cygnus too well, and yet also not enough? Only he could fuck up that spectacularly.

"Are you the scary one that keeps the bad people away?" Estelle asked, peering up at Sandalio.
In spite of his rather foul mood, Kassandros loosed an airy snort in amusement. She'd only been there a few days; Kassandros had known about her, for a while now, but she didn't know Sandalio, and Sandalio didn't know her. It'd have been maybe pointless to bring them together, and then the light told him she'd caught Salonus' eye, and that thought process got shattered quite instantly. He'd made his move as soon as he knew, and could, and whether he could've, should've, was still somewhere in the air, given his head was only partly on straight. At least he'd not lost control of his aura again, today.

Maybe that was his problem. How was he supposed to protect them if he couldn't even figure out how to protect himself? Why did it even matter. No one had asked him if he wanted to die. Nobody had asked him if he wanted to live, either, and frankly, which one seemed a better idea tended to change day to day, moment to moment. Sometimes, he wanted to live so much, it nearly physically hurt with the force of it, burning in his heart and his lungs, screaming he was alive, alive, alive, and to hell with everything else, because he wanted to keep being alive. Other times, well, there were reasons you killed animals that'd stepped beyond hope of saving, and maybe he'd never really be alive in the way he should be.

He wouldn't tell Sandalio she was his, yet. They'd get home, first, he'd turn the girl loose into the fabric-bolt and needle-and-thread wielding Leon, and then he'd tell him. Curiously, Kassandros found, the thought of not saying anything about it ever had crossed his mind, now, more than once, for concern of upsetting him more than he already was. Dealings with Salonus were quite trying, of course, but it occurred to him, that if someone told him later, or he found out by some odd flick of fate's hand, he might well be more upset to find Kassandros knew and didn't tell him, and while he'd decided (when?) that he'd rather Sandalio were alive and angry with him than he died, he didn't think he could stand him being angry with him too long, either.

What was that, exactly, that feeling - no, he knew what it was, albeit he'd never really felt it before, not - not for someone that wasn't Icarus or Cygnus (and yes, despite what he seemed like, he did... he did love his brother, idiot as he was). He'd seen it, when Livia and Alcides happened to catch one another's gazes, he'd seen it when Aurelia and Umbrius happened to be in the same room as one another, he'd seen it when Surya and Victoria had been reunited, he knew what it was, but it was foreign and strange, like it didn't belong in him, and perhaps that much was true, by now. Fuck the gods, he'd screwed this up, too. He was used to other people growing attached to him. It wasn't supposed to go the other way, too, but by some odd flick of fate's hand, so it had, and Kassandros wasn't sure what to do with that, if anything.

"... how'd you get so tall, anyway?" Estelle asked, not long after her first question, perhaps a heartbeat, but it seemed the span of forever to Kassandros, and he gave another of his airy snorts, and almost smiled toward the streets they were headed for. "I'm Estelle! Er. Calista?"
"No, Estelle," Kassandros corrected. "You said you liked that name better."
"Oh." Even that one word sounded rather quite confused, and he supposed, after four, nearly five, years of everyone calling her a name she didn't necessarily want to be called, she might well be confused when suddenly someone changed her name back. It was normal. This was something painfully familiar, albeit it ached in much a similar way, as none should be so confused when being called by their name.

Coasts / the darkness is always there first
« on: Aug 02, 2018, 04:18 PM »
Why wouldn't someone follow him?

Strictly internally, Kass sighed, a bit. There was always someone nearby, and now more than most times, he found it rather irritating. That was his own fault. He was the one that got a guard. He was the one that had dozens of guards, if you wanted to get technical about it all, the one that had a house full of slaves because he couldn't quite stop reuniting splintered families and separated friends, because he had all this house and no time to care for it anymore. Icarus and Cygnus certainly couldn't keep up with it on their own, and Kassandros hadn't the time to try helping, between this and that. Or maybe the truth of it was, he wanted to be impossibly busy, so that he had a good excuse to ignore everything else. Because his priorities were mangled, tangled, and broken beyond belief, and if he were being honest about it, he'd thrown himself into running House Essair partly because he wanted to make sure his brothers at least had that when he was gone, but also partly because it kept him from remembering that he never did decide he wanted to die, necessarily. That he had reasons to live, and then another reason to live waltzed into his life in all its six foot two grey-eyed snarky glory, and there went all those pretenses he'd worked so hard to build up, and now what?

Some part of him should probably hate him for that. Maybe some part of him did, if hate and love were alike enough they felt more or less the same.

And Leon was just another complexity that he never did figure out how to deal with. Neither of them said it, but Kassandros knew, and Leon knew, and maybe Leon knew Kassandros knew, that the ilim would do damned near anything Kassandros asked him to, maybe even a lot of what he would never, maybe merely because he would never. And Kassandros wasn't sure what was worse, being in a situation to have to ask someone to die for him, or having someone decide he was worth dying for on their own. But that line of thought brought his mind back to - and he didn't want to come back to - so he didn't.

"I'm sure," Kassandros said, "but I'd be a very pale raisin. Maybe they'd stick me in a museum. Palest raisin in Azaleon, how special." But you know, rhetorically speaking, he'd near already been stuck in a museum and left there, if museums were places where - never mind. "Breakfast is done, then?" Leon wouldn't leave the kitchen if it wasn't. Or there was an assassin, but the assassins had all but completely disappeared, and yet Kassandros couldn't quite shake the feeling there was someone still watching him, and he was quite sure Marcus would be. The eagle may retreat from the snake, but a smart one didn't take his eyes off it, and he'd never truly taken Marcus for a fool.

House Wynbrandt / You Got Me a What?
« on: Jul 26, 2018, 09:07 AM »
Ah, home, home was great.

Today hadn't been that bad! You know, some odd looks from the regulars at market, and there were a few (you know, last week had been kind of a crap-shoot, all that collapsing, and then he'd ended up bedridden for three days), but he'd stayed on his feet, at least. On the other hand, the walk home was a little more difficult than it usually was. That was normal. Honestly, he shouldn't have been walking so much, after standing so much, so soon after a fit. By this point, you'd think Shai had it down, and while he did, he tended to kind of throw caution to the wind. He'd died once already, see, he really wasn't afraid of doing it again.

That was maybe not the best way of looking at it, but it got him by, so, whatever, he figured. Besides, he was still a mage, and sooner or later, that magic thing would drive him nuts, supposedly, and he'd have to die. There was no sense in being upset about something he couldn't stop. Mind, he didn't often go looking for trouble or dangerous situations, but neither did he really shy away from them all in quite the manner he probably should.

He meandered in the door, heaving a giant sigh, and sliding down to the floor. His mom, apparently in the foyer, off the entryway, made a noise.
"You're home," she said, standing. "... are you okay?"
"Yeah," he answered. "Just tired."
"Okay," she replied, and then gestured at someone Shai didn't recognise behind her. "This is Hadrian," she introduced him as. "Your new guard."
"... ... my what?!" She got him a what?? He was tall. Wow. "Uh. ... you know, I knew humes got that tall, logically, I've seen taller, but jeez, you're like, way up there, and I'm way down here, I mean obviously, I'm sitting right now, but when I stand up, I'm like an entire head shorter I th - oh wow, your eyes are pretty - wait, mom, is that a brand?" He thought that was?

"... ah, yes. It is."
"You got me a slave?" He actually sounded a hair upset.
"Well it was the best idea at the time," she answered. "Don't sound so upset, gosh, he can't possibly be a worse idea than a sell-sword, you know those types really aren't blessed in manner of being particularly loyal."
"Not that slaves are loyal either!" he retorted, rather heatedly. "They just don't want to fucking die!"
"Yishai, honestly, it's not that -"
"You're at least giving him a room, right?"
"Ah... if you would rather... we did..."
"We have a lot of empty rooms, may as well," Yishai answered, standing, with some minor difficulty. He released a huff, as he finally got upright.
"Your father and I figured he'd be more ah, helpful, if he stayed with you."
"Wait, my room?"
"Well, yes."
"No no no, there's clothes and piles of books everywhere! It's embarrassing!"

His mother just, made a face, somewhere between exasperated, and maybe a bit amused.

House Essair / save a little light for me
« on: Jul 21, 2018, 01:52 AM »
Fortunately for him, mostly, Salonus did decide to just, hold still. Since when did Kassandros get a guard, anyway? That was news. He almost wondered if he should tell Marcus about that, but Marcus was a more observant man than he, and most likely, the head of House Cassimer had already discovered that. Perhaps his getting guards should be something to be arranged, but Salonus wasn't very good with those. Hmm. Squinting at the taller, darker one. Blood fighter, seemed like, he vaguely remembered seeing this one in the arena once or twice. How the hell had Kassandros tamed one of those?

Kassandros had, at least partly, purposely left Sandalio to deal with Salonus - he wasn't afraid of him, and really didn't think he'd be a big problem, but most likely, if he was getting Estelle, she was probably in the middle of... something. A breath in outside the door he knew was the right one, and he went to push it open. Ah, the lock - a bit of magic, and the lock clicked out of place. Oh, one of the Salonus kids. "Let her go," he said, tone icy.

"Wow, Kassandros," he answered, tone airy, currently pinning Estelle down with his legs. He was the older one, if Kass remembered right. "Wasn't expecting to ever see you here."
"You expected correctly," Kass replied. "I said let her go."
"Why? Did you buy her?"
"I made a generous trade with your father for her."
"Oh? Does Lucila get a new necklace?"
"No," Kassandros answered, "your father gets to keep his head attached to his shoulders. ... provided he doesn't tick Sandalio off, because I won't stop him if he lunges at any of you, for the record."
"You're always such a sour puss," he, something with a J, answered. "We fixed your brother right up, could fix you, I'm sure."

His what. Blue eyes narrowed. What was that supposed to mean? Icarus never - though Cygnus did have a penchant for parties, and it just so happened the Salonii did, too. Cygnus wouldn't know not to talk to them, Kassandros had never explicitly - primarily because even if he did - ... that would explain... damn it, "I suggest you do what I said."
"Aw, come on," he replied. "This one's really cute, I could share."
"Five seconds to let her go and go away," Kass said, tone flat, reaching over his shoulder for the sword back there.
"You know you want -"
Kassandros pulled the sword, aiming at his jugular. The other looked startled, but he shut up, after a moment or two, letting the girl go, and standing, backing up. She scrambled to her feet, ending up behind Kass. "Calista, stay behind me." Yes, he knew what he was doing, steadily moving forward, Salonus' stupid son backing up as he did. Eventually, he backed up and stopped right next to a candle flame. Exactly where Kass wanted him.

"You'll be a lesson," Kassandros said. "Understand if any of you goes anywhere near any of my family again, you'll get the bigger version of this." A slight twitch of his free hand, and the candle flame's light bent - the flame followed it, catching the slightly older male's shirt hem. Being as it was made of very flimsy, albeit expensive, fabric, it lit up in seconds, streaking up his side before he even fully registered the pain, and then the screaming started.

Kass dropped his arm, nudging Estelle to the side, as Salonus' eldest son shot out the door and down the hallway, presumably looking for water. He'd bear the scars of that for a while, if he was lucky, forever if he wasn't. But he'd remember, wouldn't he, not to cross a fucking Essair.

"Are you okay?" he asked, looking at Estelle.
The girl, understandably, looked half freaked out and half confused. "I... I think?"
"Your dress is a bit... broken... can I look at it?" One of the straps had broken.
What? "... I... er. Okay?"
"It's alright if you don't want me to," Kass said, putting his sword back in its sheath, kneeling down a bit. "But we're leaving, and maybe you wouldn't want to go outside with your dress strap broken."
"Oh," Estelle answered. "Where are we going?"
"Your new house," he said, "where people won't touch you and do weird things."
"Oh." She paused, thinking. "Okay. Um. It is kind of... I don't like it broken."
"Okay. I can fix it, but I'll have to touch you."
"... okay."

Gently, Kass reached over, pulling the ends of the dress strap back together, and tying them. It'd hold long enough to get her home, that was all. Merenwen and Leon could make her something better than this, just a one-shoulder strap dress, with a slit up one side to her hip. She'd be stunning in something like that, someday, but she was far too young to be dressing like that. No, maybe some shorts, and a shirt with two straps. Something she could run around in without being incidentally indecent. He'd leave best judgement to the ilim, ultimately.

"That should stay for now," he said. "We have to go get my friend. He's not far, but he's big and scary, and he keeps the bad people away."
"Oh," Estelle said, "scary people can be good people?"
"Mhm," Kass answered, holding his hand out for her. "His name's Sandalio. Mine's Kassandros."
"Mommy called me Elle... something," she answered, taking his hand, easily following as he led the way back down the hall. "I can't remember."
"Estelle," Kassandros filled in. "Do you like that name better than Calista?"
"Yeah!" she said. "It's all I remember of mommy."
"We'll call you Estelle, then, okay?"
"Okay! Can I call you Kassi?"
Kassandros snorted, amused. "Sure." She was four or something, that was fine.

They meandered back into Salonus' office. "We can go now," he said.
"What the fuck did you do to my son?" Salonus snarled.
"I didn't do anything," Kassandros answered. "He's the one that backed into the candle."
"You lying son of a -"
"I really wouldn't piss Sandalio off more than I already have, if I were you," Kass interrupted. "He's the one with a sword very close to your throat, and I won't stop him if he decides to use it. Your son's a warning, Salonus. Stay away from my family, or I've got a lot more where that came from. Don't push me. You are no Marcus Cassimer."

Surprisingly, despite looking like he wanted to, Salonus didn't say anything. Kass nudged Estelle around him, and headed for the door. He wasn't terribly interested in staying here very long.

House Essair / save a little light for me
« on: Jul 17, 2018, 09:55 PM »
Yes, thankfully. Admittedly, though, that could change, and most likely, Kassandros should be a little more concerned about House Cassimer taking offence to his actions here. House Salonus were, after all, a vassal of Cassimer's, but on the other hand, it wasn't as if Kassandros really cared. At this point, he'd spent so long caring about so much, he was quite bluntly sick of it. So, here he was, waltzing into technical enemy territory, not giving a damn. Salonus was no real threat to him, anyway. He had no guards. He had no army. And by the time Marcus reacted, it'd be too late, and putting it gently, Kassandros doubted Marcus would bother over a single child he'd never seen in his life. It wasn't as if Salonus couldn't get more of them.

Salonus was a large fraction of why Dalmasca needed to burn.

Anyway, he should be more concerned about doing the thing, than thinking about doing the thing. Salonus wasn't terribly far; it only took a few more minutes of walking, and there it was. He stopped outside it, a few feet from the entryway, breathed in, and went in. Fortunately, he didn't end up with a repeat of going in the temple. He knew the way, wandering through the halls, toward Salonus' office, of a form. He didn't even bother knocking, just wandered right in. Oh, look, Sabinus.

"Get out," he barked.
"Now, now," Salonus murmured, counting hessions, it'd seem. "All are House Salonus' esteemed guests, you should extend some courtesy to your fellow p -"
"If you even call me that, I will rip your tongue from your mouth," Kassandros interrupted.
"Someone's in a foul mood," Salonus answered, setting his work down for the moment. "One of our more experienced might be able to ease that."
"I'd rather die," Kass answered.
"I'm sure that'll be arranged soon enough," Salonus boredly drawled. "What are you here for, then?"

"I see," Salonus answered, setting his arms on the desk. Sabinus, on the other hand, seemed content to flee, and had slipped out somewhere amid their bickering. "I suppose I don't have to tell you where it is."
"She," Kassandros snapped. "And no."
"And what do you offer in return? It is a rather rare acquisition."
"She. And how about your head remaining attached to your shoulders?"
"Oooh, that's very generous," Salonus replied, leaning back in his seat. "I was thinking, maybe, you?"
"That's funny, nice one."
"I was not joking."
"Could've fooled me."
"Honestly, master Essair, could you be serious for once in your life? This is why the other nobility look down their nose at you, petulant child."
"Oh yes," Kassandros mused. "I'm sure you know all about petulant children. Just give me Calista and I'll be on my way."
"You know, business transactions still go both ways."
"And I'm still not slitting your throat," Kassandros answered. Really, that was quite generous. "You know I have no interest in paying into your business. That much hasn't changed."
"How does Teresi deal with you?" Salonus murmured. Perhaps not by being a sadistic, sick excuse for a hume, maybe, a bit.

Somehow, Kassandros managed not to say that. "How much did you spend on her?"
"If I remember, it was around thirty hessions," Salonus replied. "It is not ill-behaved, just aesthetically pleasing."
Thirty wasn't a lot. Ultimately, that went back to the slavers, anyway, and he had issue feeding into the slave trade, but one person not doing so wouldn't make much difference, thereby he did it anyway. "Thirty, then," Kassandros replied.
"Thirty, and you," Salonus answered.
"Thirty," Kassandros said.
Salonus tisked. "Someday, I will win this fight. When Marcus is done with you, if there is anything left, what is will be mine. You'd likely do well, not to piss me off."
"Fine, we do this my way," Kassandros decided, turning to Sandalio. "He has no guards, pin him to the wall for me, I'll go get the girl."

With that, Kass just left the room, heading back down the hallway. He knew where he was going, anyway. Naturally, as he expected, Salonus stood up and moved to follow him, but, Kass wasn't worried.

House Essair / save a little light for me
« on: Jul 10, 2018, 04:36 AM »
Kassandros made a face. "If you had any idea how much accidental incest happens..." Not that Dalmasca seemed to have any real aversion to such things. Actually, some houses seemed to believe they needed incestual relations, you know, diluting the bloodline and whatever. In about five or six generations, they'd figure out why we don't fuck our sister.

... anyway.

"I'm not really expecting him to," Kass answered. "... much to my exasperation, but, you know. He'll... hopefully figure it out eventually." He either did, or he didn't, and it wasn't like Kassandros could make him. At least, not if he wanted to actually enforce the idea he could make his own decisions. Kassandros either made them for him, or he didn't, there was no middle ground. Unfortunately, it was kind of the same with any other slave he had; he either acted like their owner, or he didn't. Even if he thought it was a better idea if they weren't here, he couldn't really make that choice for them, and yet in the same breath, pretend they had any personal agency.

One could hope. Kassandros wasn't sure if he'd learned anything, because Cygnus never did, and he didn't expect last night to have changed anything. He decided to just leave that alone, pursing his lips for a moment, but then his expression flattened back out. It wasn't like he'd run into him today, maybe he'd actually thought for once, but he doubted that, too. Eh, Cygnus was another issue, one he would much rather pretend didn't exist. "Suppose Salonus isn't coming to us." Thank the gods for that, but, it wasn't like he was really in any excited hurry to go. ... well, he was, if only because he wanted it over with. That in mind, he just, headed that way.

Funny, he had fewer qualms about waltzing into House Salonus than he did wandering into a temple. Imagine that.

House Essair / save a little light for me
« on: Jul 07, 2018, 03:52 AM »
If nothing else, his being able to help stop the visions from killing his brother would at least make Kass feel like he was actually doing something worthwhile. He'd spent his whole life on what his father wanted, what he thought the gods had laid out in front of him, and he hadn't bothered with too much outside of that, because before now, it didn't matter any. Maybe one could argue that it was strange he cared now, suddenly, but there were reasons. Some part of him wondered why he was even considering bothering with it; he'd failed at so many things he'd tried to do, it seemed like a waste of time, and maybe it'd only succeed in giving his brother a false sense of hope. It wasn't like he needed to fail at being a brother yet again. He either failed or didn't. Maybe, either way, it didn't matter. He either got it right, or he didn't let anyone's expectations down.

"They won't," he answered. "Sepheres isn't the first to be registered under only his mother's name. It's fairly common for the mother not to even be sure who the father is, particularly in our circle of nobles." That seemed terrible, and maybe it was, but at the moment, it would serve Kassandros well, at least, insofar as it'd get him what he wanted. "I had already presumed Sepheres might be difficult to talk into this. I may be surprised, though." Certainly, it'd be one of the few pleasant surprises Kass had ever gotten.

Kass snorted. "Cygnus goes to every festival, typically gets drunk, and I usually have to drag him home before he ends up in an orgy." It was rather trying, but Cygnus loved the interaction and attention, ostensibly too much. 

House Essair / save a little light for me
« on: Jul 04, 2018, 07:23 PM »
Kassandros made a non-committal noise, there. "Plan, yeah," he said, after a few moments. "If I'm guessing right, though, once my aura knocks down, the visions will switch to one of my brothers. If there's going to be any good news here, though, it is that whichever one it moves to should be able to make it another twenty years or so. There's time." Time to figure out what to do. "Because the visions are not mine, this also frees me up to figure out how to stop it. Ytias dropped a few loopholes in my lap." Honestly, Kassandros wasn't certain why, but, he also wasn't complaining too much. Cygnus hardly knew how to live to begin with. For that matter, Icarus wasn't much better.

And maybe, just maybe, Kassandros was right behind them.

Ah, not really. Kassandros smirked a bit, shaking his head. "I know exactly how to bring his glass castle down," he said. "Sepheres happens to be a Dalmascan citizen, according to the citizenship registry. He's an Allendale. His mother registered him sans a father. I'm sure the justicars would love to hear all about how Titus treated him." With any luck, they'd be too busy with that to really squint at his registry papers too hard; but without a father on it at all, no one could prove anything. There were plenty of commoners and nobility alike that could've fathered him. No one could prove it was a slave, without a name.

He had a vague plan for after that, too. "... unfortunately, I at least do need to make an appearance at some point during the Festival of Iuna. I also highly doubt I can talk Icarus and Cygnus into staying home." That was unfortunate in its own way.

House Essair / save a little light for me
« on: Jul 02, 2018, 03:39 AM »
The visions weren't his to bear... maybe that was why they were killing him so gods damned fast. If they weren't supposed to be his, though, then whose were they? Icarus remembers, Cygnus dreams... Cygnus, then? Cygnus had never displayed the ability to - on the other hand, Kassandros was so powerful, it wasn't hard to imagine he might've inadvertently stolen that ability from his brother. Aura worked a lot like gravity; the more of it there was, the more of it was attracted. Kassandros protected Cygnus in literally every other way, why not that one, too? But then, what would happen, if he did manage to knock his aura down? Would Cygnus spontaneously get his seer abilities? And then... like Kassandros should now, it'd be Cygnus that died, instead.

No. No, damn it, why did this not want to work out in a way where nobody fucking died?

Pfff... "Enlightening is a word," Kass answered, flatly. "... aggravating is another." At least Ytias had answered him, even if the answers he gave did not necessarily make sense, immediately. Kassandros was accustomed to puzzling out what he meant, though. Icarus remembers... Cygnus dreams... what'd that mean, though? Well, no. If you were going to create something as powerful as the Messiah, you wouldn't want to create them standalone. There'd need to be something in place to prevent them from losing their fucking mind, right? Maybe that was what he had brothers for. Kassandros would admit, quite easily, that Icarus and Cygnus were part of why he hadn't gone goddamn insane already, and he knew it. Too well, maybe. He was fairly sure the visions were what made him hear it, when the light whispered. Did his brothers hear it, too? Maybe that was another thing he'd incidentally stolen, from them. Something they should be able to do, but as typical, Kassandros was too bright, and drowned out that ability, or incidentally absorbed it, or something.

"Neither am I," he said. "... spiricite." That probably sounded random. "It's a gemstone, primarily mined in the west, ergo, the Free Cities. It's a pale lavender colour, by default, turns almost translucent pink in the light. Under special circumstance, it turns a deep indigo, and shimmers a dark red in the light. That special circumstance is exposure to aura. It basically absorbs loose aura in the atmosphere, and if you purposely channelled your own aura into it, it'll take it. That aura can later be unleashed in other ways, or given back to the original holder, or someone else, and used in sorcery. The Free Cities find it pretty invaluable. Sounds like the Messiah might, too, if he didn't want to lose control of his powers and unleash the aura wave before he intended to."

Kassandros unconsciously tapped his lips. "... Saqqara is often called the Jewel of the Desert. If you rearrange the letters of Lucain, you get a name with roots in an old word meaning 'light.' I'm pretty sure Ytias just sort of told me to go talk to Sahura. Unfortunately, I'm missing a son, but if I take Spartacus, even if Regillus lets me, it'll cause trouble for him. ... first, I need Titus to be quiet." Canius wouldn't be much of a problem, but Titus was another story. And of course, Sati probably wasn't going anywhere without Alexios.

House Essair / save a little light for me
« on: Jul 01, 2018, 04:36 AM »
[ this is going to be a monster i am so sorry
edit: ooooh my jesus fuck... ]

Yes, well. Sandalio always said that. ... there was a reason why, he was sure. He didn't tend to repeat himself for no reason. If he just got over it like he was supposed to have a long time ago, it wouldn't - and last night wasn't even the same thing. Just... later. He'd worry about that later, right now, he had a god to yell at. ... if he even managed to yell at him. Honestly, Kass had no idea what the hell he was bothering for. It wasn't like the gods really owed him anything. It just felt like they should. Like somebody should explain some shit, because nobody ever did. This probably qualified as stupid. He didn't say it.

"If it makes you feel any better, neither do I," Kass answered, walking backwards for a moment. "... I don't think the scope of citizenship has sunk in, he still tries talking me into selling him me." And that wasn't going to happen, so.

A quiet sigh, and he turned back around, albeit he'd stopped. In the back, of course, was a gigantic marble statue, mostly white with gold accents, of what, presumably, everyone thought Ytias looked like. Around the columns, vines had started to grow, up toward the ceiling. The light seemed happy, today, and Kass wasn't sure why. It was never really happy. Just not upset. A breath in, and he shook his head, more to himself, wandering to the base of Ytias' statue, and for many seconds he just kind of stared at it.

"Well," he started, "come down here. You owe me that much. Oanke won't answer me, but maybe you will. Sure do enough talking every second of every bloody day, by the way, did you know that's headache inducing? Just thought I'd tell you." Nah, he wasn't bitter. His tone kind of sounded it, but he definitely wasn't.

For a moment, nothing happened, but then the light rays coming from the ceiling started bending, became brighter for a second. Bright enough, Kass blinked a few times, looking to the side a bit, until they'd dimmed again. Several of the rays converged into hard light projection lines, forming a vaguely hume-like shape. If you squinted, it looked sort of like the statue, but only sort of. He had longer hair than Kass expected, vibrantly glowing eyes mostly lacking in definition, loose clothing that seemed mostly just intended to cover the important stuff, swirls of brighter light across the skin in seemingly random patterns, almost like tattoos. Funny enough, his facial features were very similar to those of Kassandros and his brothers.

"At least one of you mother fuckers answers," Kass said, snorting.
"I ah... I was kind of looking forward to this day, you know?"
"No, I don't, can't imagine why, if you haven't noticed I'm really not in a good mood."
"Oh, I don't imagine you are," Ytias answered, sounding perhaps a bit sad. "Yesterday was a very bad day."
"Don't even fucking go there," Kass snapped.
"That's fair, I suppose," Ytias allowed. "... are you sure you should be up and about, maybe you should -"
"Don't fucking go there, either," Kass interrupted.

Ytias sighed, settling down on the steps that led up to the statue, just gracefully floating down onto the marble. "Well, what's so important, then? Oanke's quite miffed I answered."
"I'm sure she is, and she can take that miff and shove it where your light can't reach," Kass deadpanned.
"Ooo, harsh."
"Not as harsh as her. Did any of you, I don't know, think to tell me what I'm here for? Somewhere in this mess, maybe you might've thought, Hey, this kid's fuckin' lost, go figure, we made his life hell and then threw on some extra fancy stuff, like, you know, he's a seer, he's the most powerful mage in the fucking world, maybe we ought to, like, nudge him in the right direction? Did this ever cross anyone's mind? Or am I just supposed to figure it out? I don't even know why I'm asking this, it's a stupid question, there are thousands of people in this god fucking forsaken nation that ask for your guidance all the time and never get it, hey, why should I be any different? Gimme one goddamn good reason I shouldn't blow this planet apart."
"... ah... I think maybe you're pissed off, not quite not in a good -"
"Right... you know, aheum, you know that's kind of um. Kind of the point."
"What is."
Ytias fidgeted, slightly. "The not knowing, part. That's ah... well we weren't supposed to tell you."
"Ah... you see, you're um. Well we don't make heroes, you see? Nor do we make villains. Or, whatever. We just give humes the ability to be one or the other. Yes? And then, it is up to them which they become. Likewise, we don't decide... what the Messiah does, with the power we give him. We just give him that power. It is, ultimately, up to you, what you do with it. If you want to blow the planet apart, well, that's up to you. But can you? Not power-wise, Kassi, never that -"
"Don't call me Kassi," he hissed.
"Right," Ytias answered, flinching slightly. "... ah. Of course you can, it is a question of whether or not you can, knowing all the lives you'd end, all the futures that will never be, the dreams you've had that will never come true. Can you make that go away? Once something is destroyed, you know, that's it. There is only one Azaleon."

Kass made a frustrated noise, turning away, pacing slightly. "That would've been nice to fucking know a goddamn decade ago."
"Er. Well, I... at least, sort of figured Oanke had mentioned it," Ytias answered, watching him pace.
"And maybe she did," Kassandros said. "Maybe she didn't, it's debatable, because the righteous prick isn't known for being particularly generous with her knowledge, but chances are, even if she did tell me, it was a long time ago. Do you know what a child's memory span is? Do you know what a traumatised child's memory span is? I barely remember my childhood. The farthest back I can actually remember, I was ten, and it was a fucking split second of a memory that isn't even important!"
Ytias made a face. "... out of curiosity -"
"I dropped a glass over the side of the balcony into the fountain," Kassandros replied, arching an eyebrow, his tone flat.
"... wow, that really is completely -"
"Did you think I was kidding?"
"Well no," Ytias replied, raising his eyebrows slightly. "I just - ah." Ytias shook his head, glancing up at the ceiling. "Of course, we've always hoped, you'd do good things with what power we gave you. Dalmasca is, unfortunately, quite the mess, and Jihon just behind it. Perhaps just destroying them wouldn't be too bad an idea. After all you've been through, certainly no one would blame you for that."

"I can't," Kassandros answered. "You said it yourself. Once something is destroyed, that's it, it's gone. Lives are not trivial things. I can't snuff out thousands of them, just to be rid of a couple dozen that deserve to end."
Ytias almost looked proud, for a moment. "Then, what will you do? What do you want?"
Kassandros snorted. "Want, he says," he said, more to himself. "Like I fucking know what that is. I do know what I don't want."
"Oh?" Ytias tilted his head in curiosity.
"I don't want Dalmasca destroying more than it already has," Kassandros replied. "I don't want more Salonus' in the world. I don't even want the one we have already. I don't want more kids that don't even know what their name is, don't remember their parents. I don't want anyone to have to live the way I did, either. ... and," he stopped pacing, staring at the floor. "I don't want to die for this."
"Wait," Ytias started, sounding confused. "You wouldn't be much of a Messiah if you didn't die at the end."
"Nobody asked me if I wanted to be the Messiah, either! Maybe I don't!"
"... unfortunately, it's about seventeen years too late, for that," Ytias answered. "... but, you know, the Messiah's power reaches its height at maturity. You're almost there. The release of all that aura won't happen automatically."
"It won't?" Kassandros looked confused, then.
"No," Ytias answered. "It'll just become a bit painful, and may eventually attempt to expel itself somehow, because we did design your body to hold a lot of it. You're a bit more durable than most magi, at least insofar as you can contain much more aura than typical, may have some trouble controlling it when there's so much of it. In any case, well... the prophecy just says you release it at some point, Kass..." The look on Kassandros' face said that wasn't a good idea, either. "... andros, not when."
Kassandros thought about that, for a moment. "That's all nice and everything, but my visions are still killing me."
Ytias arched an eyebrow, almost perfectly mimicking Kassandros' 'are you serious?' looks. "I don't even know why you have those," he said. "That burden was not yours to bear."

Even more perplexed, Kass just frowned a bit. Ytias sighed. "Look, I know you're confused, and a bit lost," he started. "... okay, very lost, maybe more lost than most might normally get to be, but everyone reaches lows. It doesn't mean it's the end of it all. Kassandros, you gave up. A very, very long time ago. Now's a weird time to decide you want to live, when you'd long ago decided you were okay with dying. The timing is... how you say... shit. You only have a scant few months left."
"Yeah," Kass answered. "I know." For just a second, he almost glanced in Sandalio's direction, and then changed his mind, looking at the wall to his side, instead. "I'm just tired. Of hurting, losing, hating and fighting, and I know living doesn't mean that'll stop, but, if I don't live, then I just suffer for the vast majority of my life and then die, and there's got to be more to it than that."
"Hmm... I see." Ytias tilted his head. "Kassandros, let me ask you, then. What would you do, if that one," he nodded at Sandalio, "was the Messiah?"
"I don't -"
"Humour me."
Confused, Kassandros glanced at him, turned back to Ytias. "... you... said it hits a cap, right? If it just stays below that cap -"
"And now you're thinking about it," Ytias interrupted. "But you see, you don't if it's you. Kassandros, if one life does not matter, then why do any? Why is he, or your brothers, more important than you are?"
Kassandros went quiet, albeit, blue eyes flashed in annoyance.
"You have no answer, do you." He didn't need to ask. "Of course you don't. Because there is never a good reason why one life overrides the importance of another. Sometimes, Kassandros, we find the answers we are looking for in the strangest of places. I leave you with this; return that which was stolen to those whom it was stolen from. Find the son of the shifting sands, of the House of Light in the Jewel of the Desert. You will find your answers, my son, but answers do not always come cloaked in obvious. Icarus remembers, Cygnus dreams, and you do. You are the agent of great change. It is up to you what change that will be. The gods do not write your story. They just give you the pen and paper. But you cannot write anything if you just put the pen down."

The light bent back out of place, brightened a moment, and Ytias was gone. "... DAMN IT." Thanks, he thought, huffing in annoyance, for giving me more questions than answers. The prophecy just said he released the aura wave. Not when. But that still left - what did he mean, that wasn't his burden to bear? Fuck. Just, fuck. His head fell back, for a moment, and then he breathed, straightened back out, shook his head, and headed back out.

"So, Salonus, was it?" he asked, once he got close enough to Sandalio for him to hear. Not that he wanted to, right this second, but, the quicker he got it over with, the better.

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