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Messages - Gannicus

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1
House Essair / Somebody help me tame this animal I have become
« on: Jul 01, 2018, 06:28 PM »
Well, he was, presumably, new to this. Considering, he wasn't being a complete idiot, at least. He could be worse. Gannicus just shrugged. There were worse ways of going about it, and now he'd figured out that'd work. It was only a few hours once a month, it wasn't like it was something terribly pressing. Perhaps Gannicus was biased. He didn't remember ever not being a were.

"No," he answered. "Weres are infused with the strength of the forest. But humes were born of the forest, too. It is not so foreign that it should hurt, unless one is fighting it. Someday, you can learn to remain fully aware when shifted, learn to shift on purpose whether the moon's full or new, or somewhere in between. The you that is a fox will someday be no different than the you that is a man. But you must learn to accept it, first. There is nothing shameful, or terrible, in being a were. We are the pulse of Azaleon, the protectors of its children. It doesn't have to be scary." It was, however, usually not easy. In some ways, maybe. In others, it really wasn't.

For a moment, Gannicus kind of watched him, curious. Weres eventually developed capacity for magic. It seemed to be something Kassandros spontaneously caused, too. Even ignoring that, weres in Jihon were labor, certainly not ujalin. "You do know, you probably cannot go home, right?" Perhaps in a few hundred years, when the world had changed so much it was nigh unrecognizable, when there was very little that could be a true threat to him left, but certainly not tomorrow, or the next day.

Kassandros had not said it, but Gannicus knew it. Jihon was stricter than Dalmasca, in many ways. Gods forbid the kid be gay, too, and sometimes, Gannicus wondered. That was why Haku couldn't go home, unless he wanted to pretend to be something he wasn't for the rest of his life; it'd be the same for Zhihao, except maybe he'd have to ignore even more of who and what he was to remain in Jihon than Haku did. Haku could forsake his sister, play the part of the normal, straight man, and he'd be fine. How did you pretend you weren't a were? How did you pretend you couldn't do magic if you could, and, at worst, he'd spontaneously develop the capacity for it in Jihon, where no one could teach him to control it.

What a monster they'd think he was. He'd go home, and, most likely, he'd die.

2
House Essair / Somebody help me tame this animal I have become
« on: Jun 26, 2018, 05:26 PM »
Gannicus arched an eyebrow. He didn't think he'd been in a particularly uncomfortable position? Was he fighting it? Shifting generally wasn't supposed to hurt, unless you were fighting it, or turned into something incompatible with general hume shape, and woke up curled in a ball, or something. That happened with reptiles, and rodents, as it turned out. At least none of them were marine. Then again, loosing the marine animal into the sea, right over there, incidentally, might be easier than fussing with a panicked fox. At least Zhihao hadn't bit him.

"I don't mind," Tihaan answered. "Though, sleeping in an ice hammock is uh... I may need a better plan than that, next time."
Gannicus rolled his eyes. "This one will build you a better one."
"Really? Come on now."
"Watching gates is boring, anyway, may as well," Gannicus said, snorting. "The garden's sensible, but there is the off chance someone would wander in on you. ... or you'd break the glass." If the fox happened to find the glass, the majority of the garden was walled off in glass, he might well panic, not understanding what was going on, and break it. Not only dangerous to him, because broken glass was sharp, but also expensive to replace.

"Just as well we ended up intervening. Worked out pretty well." So it did. "Is it painful to shift?" There was only one reason for that, and the sooner the younger man understood why it hurt, the better, if it did.

3
House Essair / Somebody help me tame this animal I have become
« on: Jun 17, 2018, 05:24 PM »
Oookay no. And the lion just happily flopped over onto the fox. ... well, happily was a bit of a stretch, wasn't it? This could be worse, really. Gannicus would just be glad of that. Tihaan, fortunately, was smart enough to put quite a bit of space between himself and the wrestling weres, albeit wrestling wasn't really the word, either. Gannicus had a decent hold on him, just by virtue of being bigger. Try shoving a 400 pound lion off you, it wasn't so easy as it sounded.

Finally, the fox stopped. The lion held still, waiting... well, maybe he'd finally given up. He'd just wear himself out struggling, anyway. Theoretically, he supposed, if he moved the right way, Zhihao could probably get his jaws on him, but, it didn't make much difference to him. Gannicus had lived through worse. He eventually turned and looked at Tihaan.

"... iiiis he gonna stay there?" Tihaan asked.
Lion-Gannicus shrugged, slightly, shook his mane, and settled down, resting his snout against the fox's shoulders, groaning slightly in a 'why is this my life' sort of way. With any luck, Zhihao would just go to sleep or something.
"... that's fair." Some glancing around, and Tihaan managed to make a little ramp of ice, and tucked himself into an ice hammock near the ceiling. He didn't imagine the canine was going to get him up there, so if Gannicus fell asleep, he'd be quite well out of potential harm's way.
Gannicus made a short, approving noise, watching Tihaan scramble up toward the ceiling. Weres didn't need quite as much sleep as a hume, and Gannicus even less than most, but, when you got bored, you napped, eventually. Particularly if you were a big lion for the night.

Uh. Hopefully, his kid didn't randomly shift somewhere in here, either. Or if he did, he did what most newly shifted weres did and ran somewhere there were no people. That'd be better. ... finding him after, that may be trickier, but, Gannicus was good at tracking. ... huh. Come to think.

Gannicus raised his head again, and went to, albeit backwards, licking the fox's fur. Sometimes, it was calming. Maybe it'd help this one stop freaking out. He couldn't remember if foxes did this, but sometimes cats did, and it was kind of instinct. It did cross his mind, though, the moon set wouldn't automatically undo his shift, either, so Zhihao was liable to shift back and still have a big lion laying on him. Well, he'd deal with that later. At the moment, when was the last time dude brushed his damn fur... it was bothering him.

4
House Essair / Somebody help me tame this animal I have become
« on: Jun 17, 2018, 03:32 AM »
By now, Gannicus could sense it, when the full moon was close. He didn't necessarily have to shift into his were form, now. The moon phase had stopped forcing the shift, a long time ago, but it was habit, now. It was easier during the full moon, anyway, and he was used to it, took some sense of comfort in the fact that, despite so much of Azaleon changing drastically around him, at least one thing never did change. He was still a lion, somewhere under there. The blood of the forest still flowed in his veins, and his heart still beat in time with the pulse of the planet.

It was, probably, a strange way of looking at things, but when you reached over a few hundred years old, and things had changed as much as they had, you clung to anything that was familiar. Being a were was as natural to him as breathing, and it had always been. His father created the mutation, and Gannicus... Surya... had lived with it almost his entire life. The time he was not a were was so short and fleeting, Surya no longer remembered it. Gannicus certainly didn't.

This one... the young man that smelled of were-fox, he wasn't new to shifting. One didn't start smelling like were until their first shift, of course. Gannicus hadn't offered any revelations or anything, because there was, seemingly, no point. It wasn't like he could read the man's mind; he didn't know what he knew and didn't. He'd have to ask questions if he needed answers. In the meantime, though, nobody could control themselves during a shift this early. He smelled maybe in his twenties, so he certainly hadn't learned to retain his mental acuity while shifted just yet. Sure, sometimes, it happened early, but not this early.

So, he'd enlisted Tihaan to help. And when Zhihao opened the door, Gannicus near immediately shifted into his were form, a large, white lion, pushed the Jihonese one back into his room, and nodded for Tihaan to come in. Tihaan did just that, closed the door, and then coated the walls in a thick layer of ice, effectively blocking the fox from escaping through either door or window.

Gannicus wasn't sure if the fox was going to be vicious... most wouldn't be. It depended on how frantically he tried to break the ice, but Tihaan had made it quite thick, and could just thicken it where he thinned it at. Maybe Gannicus wouldn't have to sit on him. ... well, he would if he tried getting at Tihaan. He wasn't sure the blue-haired ice mage would mind becoming a were, but on the other hand, maybe not like that, yeah? Instead, the lion placed himself between Zhihao and Tihaan; he'd just lay down on him if he did try getting the hume, instead of going and curling up in a corner, or something.

5
House Asheron / Glitter and Gold
« on: Jun 17, 2018, 03:11 AM »
Funny, that was a word. Gannicus smiled a bit, glancing to the floor. "Father is quirky. What this one remembers about him best, is he has an odd sense of humor. Some say, he thinks outside the box. This one is fairly sure he's not even in the same nation as the box." Was there even a box? Maybe, in whatever universe Sahura Lucain lived in, there wasn't one. It was rather quite likely. Sahura was a being of mysteries; just not the mysteries one might expect.

Yes. Dalmasca could use to learn many things, and that, unfortunately, was but one. Gannicus drew a breath, thinking, for a moment. He shook his head, more to himself. "Dalmasca is on the path to destruction. It moves down that path too fast. This one does not think anyone can stop it. That which builds itself upon war, must continually sustain itself by war, but it is not long-term viable. Someday, Dalmasca will destroy itself. When that day comes... you are free, Atenra. You take Sepheres, if you can, and you go to Saqqara. You smell like House Lucain; Saqqara will know you. Father will know you."

All he had to do, theoretically, was get close to the walls. Saqqara would know him, would know them both, may not immediately know which one they came from, but it wouldn't matter. A Lucain is a Lucain, and Lucains take care of each other. That's always how it'd been, and in some sense, all of Saqqara was Lucain, even if they weren't.

"This one's run his mouth too much," he decided. "You meant to read, anyway. This one will be around. But, maybe a bit alone, would be nice, if you don't mind." He hoped that didn't sound wrong. "This one's glad to have met you, finally." The circumstances could've been better. ... and he'd like to just... destroy something, actually, that sounded-Gannicus wasn't a terribly destructive person, but, there was certainly some anger, in there. He'd managed to temper it enough to have a conversation, at least. And now, he needed to let it out, before it bubbled over and colored his tone.

6
House Asheron / Glitter and Gold
« on: Jun 11, 2018, 09:00 PM »
Gannicus chuckled, slightly, noticing the look on his face. "So long as a were feels they have a reason to live, they do. When there is nothing keeping them going, anymore, they die. This one has not had a reason to give up, yet." It probably wasn't surprising. It was either his brother, or his father, or Victoria, or his sons, or any combination thereof, keeping him going, but, it was enough, clearly. He wouldn't have told Atenra that, but, if Atenra was a were, too, and it was probable, he should probably know it'd take him perhaps a very long time to finally fade away. And, when one had a brother to think about... it tended to keep both of you going for nigh on forever.

"Mm, not really," Gannicus answered, shaking his head. It was normal, to be curious. He was Saqqaran, too, even if, technically, Gannicus' blood wasn't technically Saqqaran. "The scholars will all say that the Great Pyramid of Saqqara was designed as a monument to the gods, specially placed where it is to align to the cosmos, or some hub-drub like that, this one cannot remember it exactly," Gannicus said. "It's all lies. Father and his friends just wanted to see how tall they could make a stack of bricks before it became structurally unsound." The answer, clearly, was quite tall, indeed.

"Saqqara was, when this one was born, only just unified. Before, the people in the Kharga desert and the valley of Nashret were scattered tribes. This one remembers the Aswans, the Naqadans, the Hasans... their names are mostly gone, now. This one believes we were Naqadan, but the details have faded. May be wrong. They fought all the time. This one's father united them, and stopped it, but gave them back their independence. He did not want to lead, he just wanted the bloodshed to end. As they grew by trading with one another, and working together, their villages eventually expanded into one another, and borders were lost. Saqqara was born. This one was born just before that. Then, not long after, the Great Pyramid's construction began. The first walls around Saqqara's outer borders were built. And Saqqara had a name. Father still did not take power from the village leaders. They became warmasters under him, and he leads as one of many, instead of as sole power." That stuck in Gannicus' head, for some reason.

"One time, there was a three year long drought. With Saqqara between two mountain ranges, the rains often don't make it into the valley, but subsists on the snowmelt that comes down the mountains, the rainwater. Sometimes, winds will blow the snow off the mountains into the valley, so it seems to snow, sometimes. But, for those three years, the rains hadn't made it far enough into the mountains to send runoff into the valley. Sati was excited, he had plans for looking for underground water pools, natural aquifers and springs. The farmers had a different idea, but Sati was so excited he kept on and on. Father told him to shut up, so the commoners could share their ideas. No one's voice is more important than anyone else's, in Saqqara. Dalmasca could learn a thing or two. That is what this one remembers. Saqqara works as one, and none are above or below anyone else."

7
House Asheron / Glitter and Gold
« on: Jun 07, 2018, 05:48 PM »
There was a slight little up-turn of his lips, there, apparently a bit amused. "Many don't," Gannicus answered. "It is quite random a thing to think about." And so, most didn't give such inane things as linguistic evolution much thought. Ultimately, it didn't heavily impact too many things, that one typically dealt with on a day to day basis. Gannicus just, had a lot of time to think, if he had to guess. Dalmasca certainly was good at giving him a lot of time to think.

Yeah, that'd make sense. Titus wasn't the brightest star in the sky, after all. Someday, if he became annoyed enough, he might've followed her. And died, most likely. He would not have been the first the blood fighters had tossed off a cliff. One of the house slaves was, once, dating one of the fighters, and when the fighter died, one of the others decided to take advantage of the house slave's loneliness. It was an arrangement of convenience, and while it wasn't right, it wasn't damaging. And then it became damaging, and before anyone really had a grip on what had changed, that anything had changed at all, the house slave hung herself in the stables.

Sati had thrown that one off the cliff during training, purposely turning into enough of a bladed hurricane, the other couldn't do much but block his strikes and steadily scoot toward the edge. And then down he went.

House Lancaster dealt with that enough from the family. They didn't need it from one another, too.

"Maybe, it is a better idea, to start at friends," Gannicus mentioned. And most likely, it would be. If neither of them had any idea how this was supposed to work, he supposed it'd be a better idea. Somewhere along the way, maybe it'd start making sense. "This one only sort of remembers Sahura, this one's father, and that isn't much help either. It's been a long time, since this one was home. This one was born in Saqqara, before it was Saqqara." If he'd learned enough history, most likely, Atenra could probably extrapolate about how old Gannicus most likely was, from that. "This one was following Sati, when he was brought to Dalmasca," he explained. "Spartacus. He is better at getting into trouble than this one. But, this one ended up in the same trouble, trying to save Sati. Saqqara has become a faint scent on the wind, that is almost familiar." He didn't remember what it looked like, anymore, hardly remembered the way to it.

Most likely, it'd changed dramatically, since then, anyway.

8
House Asheron / Glitter and Gold
« on: Jun 04, 2018, 01:08 AM »
The were couldn't help the slight chuckle. "She was," he answered, a wistful smile still on his face. "It always sounded like the first time this one had ever heard the tales, when she told them. One time, she told the blood stables a story, and ran around the training area acting out the fights, her voice full of dramatics. Not a single fighter looked away from her, that day, absorbed in hearing the tale. They're all gone, now, but, this one remembers." But, he remembered a lot of things, didn't he. That was his curse; remembering things, long after they'd ended.

Ah. "Language is merely a means of expressing thought," Gannicus explained. "Sentient beings design words and sensible orders they go in, and then visual representations of those words or sounds, to share what is in their minds, record what they see and experience. It is in their nature to want to pass that knowledge on, for that is how a species learns." Aside from natural selection, at least. "As time goes on, thoughts and experiences change, and a species' needs are eventually no longer fully met by their language, so they add new words, transform existing words to suit, and change the visual representations to be easier to write and decipher. Similarly, the way one enunciates in one region will eventually become different from how one does so in another, and word meanings and slang change for the specific environment and experiences of a given locale, leading to regional accents and dialects. Dalmascan, for instance, changes and mutates as Dalmasca expands its territory, and the linguistic semantics are influenced by the original language of the areas Dalmasca conquers. Those languages may no longer be used, anymore, but they do live on in the subtle alterations of Dalmascan." It wasn't quite the same as the language living on, but some fragments of it remained, despite Dalmasca's best effort to pulverize these languages from history.

What would Gannicus be most curious about, if he were in Atenra's shoes? Hmm. He thought, perhaps he only needed to open the door. He could sense, of course, there were things Atenra wanted to ask, but didn't know how to. It was similar, on his end. He breathed in. "Your mother was promised to Umbrius," he said. "In return for financial assistance and support for her struggling family, she has many sisters and no brothers, House Lancaster asked for one of the Allendales' daughters as a bride for their eldest son. Victoria was the eldest, and jumped at the opportunity, but, Titus threw a fit, and his father had to change which son she'd marry. She and Umbrius would've been happy, and were, for a while, in secret. But Umbrius later married Aurelia, and Victoria turned to trying to somewhat temper Titus."

"Of course, that didn't work very well. She did what she could, where she could, but it was never enough. Eventually, she learned the blood stables were the one place Titus would not go looking for her, and when they fought, as often they did, she came to the blood fighters. None were terribly uncouth with her; it was almost amazing, how quickly they found their manners when she was there, often telling some story, or listening to some other story. She was genuinely interested, listened with rapt attention as the fighters told stories and myths of their homelands. Some, as this one recalls, she eventually wrote down. This one does not know where those stories are. This one did not speak to her, at first. Victoria would not take that as that was that, and pestered for a good while. This one knew of you, knew your name. Titus did not take your birth well, and none of the fighters would tattle. This one tried, they would not let it happen. All the fighters were punished for it. Victoria never came back, one day. Now this one knows why." Sepheres, apparently.

Ah, the library door. "This one has never raised a child that is this one's. This one does not know how to be a father, and... if you have no interest in having one, that is your choice. But, this one would like to be friends, with you, at least." He reached over, popping the library door open. Unlike the library in House Lancaster, House Asheron's spanned almost this entire side of the floor, at least two storeys high, a fireplace to one side surrounded by chairs. It was, quite obviously, well loved. "This side is Dalmascan," Gannicus mentioned, gesturing to the right side. The rest were other languages.

[lookit that, ganni's a language nerd too]

9
House Asheron / Glitter and Gold
« on: Jun 01, 2018, 09:12 PM »
Loss wasn't something new, to him. Much of his ostensibly prolonged life was loss, and there was nothing new in it, nothing that he hadn't dealt with before, because humes were fleeting and impermanent. In some sense, he figured that was part of what made them sparkle so brightly, while they were there. They had a lot of energy, and they were alive only a short while, and that was a small window in which to shine. Thereby, they did it brighter, for just that short while. Ah, Gannicus would never really know, why and how he kept finding it in him to get attached to humes, because someday they'd all be gone. Even the friends he'd had at Lancaster, before ending up with Asheron, were different than the ones he'd had originally. All of his former friends were gone, now.

A quick glance at Atenra, and Gannicus gave a small, almost smile, not quite. It was sadder. "Fate is never so kind," he answered. And no, it wasn't. He of all people knew that, and there was no sense in being upset over it, because ultimately, life went the way it wanted to. No amount of wishing made anything change. He knew that. Still, he'd wished, too, knowing it was foolish, because hope, you see, never promised anything, and thus was never really a disappointment. Well, wherever she'd gone, Victoria was probably in a better place than here, and Gannicus would just hope she found some peace.

After a bit of processing, Atenra got it, it'd seem. Gannicus heard the light go on, in his voice, as he figured out what he meant. Seemed he got his mother's intelligence. Gannicus wondered what kind of person he and Sepheres turned out to be. Chances were, he may never really know, given Sepheres was not here. He might be able to find him, if Livia was willing to give him the freedom to do so, but, no. He needed to deal with his grief, first. "Your mother loved to read, if this one remembers," he said, gently. "Did she pass this on to you?" It seemed logical, he'd have inherited that from her. She got so excited about books, her eyes lighting up in a way they never did with anything else, and, when she had the opportunity, she told stories Gannicus had heard before, but in such a way as to make it feel like the first time he'd ever heard them, because her excitement and passion breathed a new life into them.

"This one can read, but, older Dalmascan, and very old Saqqaran. The letters in Saqqaran are different now, and Dalmascan has changed in the details." It was all semantic grammar-related things, that had changed in Dalmascan, but Saqqaran had gone from pictographs to... well, to him, they looked like squiggly lines and dots.

10
Town Center / Will you take my hand and make a shadow?
« on: May 26, 2018, 06:31 PM »
Gannicus, as always, said nothing, passively watching and listening to their exchanges. Kassandros was still screaming; Gannicus had heard, when his twins had come home, the youngest had said something scathing, and it was ever since then, Kassandros had started screaming louder, like it wasn't there far buried, but closer to the surface. Yes; everything Kassandros did and said, anymore, concerned him. And still he pretended he was fine.

He had to give him this; he was very good at pretending. But you couldn't fool a seasoned were, not for long.

When Zhihao exploded, Gannicus had tensed, in case he had to separate them. Kassandros could take care of himself, but at this point, Gannicus didn't think he should. Imperators were always warlords; ironic, though, because most never had to see a battlefield. Kassandros' entire life was a battlefield, he could at least let them handle some things. But it calmed down, Zhihao sat back down, and Kassandros offered to let him stay.

Gannicus was questioning that. He knew little about the houses in Jihon, little about the Dalmascan houses that stood now. Most of the ones he was familiar with had fallen a long time ago, as noble houses were wont to do. But he did know, Jihon's House Zhu were known for assassins. Good thing Marcus didn't get him first; but Gannicus also had a hard time believing he'd stick to this assassin thing very long. The numbers were dwindling. At this point, they were just token pot-shots, and Marcus knew they'd fail. Distractions, maybe.

As Zhihao seemed to accept the offer, at least for now, Tihaan came back in, setting a glass of red wine down on the table nearest where Zhihao had settled down, and then took his place across the doorway from Gannicus. Tihaan glanced between the two nobles. "Is he staying, then?" he asked. He almost asked if he should go get an armband, but Tihaan couldn't logically fathom why he'd give one to someone that wasn't a slave. Everyone knew where they were, in case one broke, or they needed an extra for whatever reason. But he kept that to himself. If nothing else, most likely, someone would have to show him where everything was in the house, but, the Essair estate was relatively small. It wouldn't be too overwhelming.

Another person to protect, it'd seem, but Gannicus was good at what he did, and he'd already extended what protection Kassandros had over his brothers. It'd be much the same.

11
Town Center / Will you take my hand and make a shadow?
« on: May 26, 2018, 01:22 AM »
That's what he said.

But Gannicus knew better. You didn't have to be an empath, to smell the heartache, the loneliness, the primal want, even if he didn't know what he wanted, it was there. Even if you couldn't sense it, or scent it, if you watched him long enough, it was there, like a thin barrier laid over his skin, it was there, and it screamed. In the time Gannicus had been in House Essair, he'd learned two things: Kassandros was the loneliest, most heart-breaking person he'd ever met, and he seemed to expend so much of his concern and compassion on other people, he had none for himself left over. He remembered, what Livia had said about him once.

Kassandros Essair is the strongest person I know... but he is also the weakest.

She wasn't lying. He saw it. He was powerful, in many ways, had to work his ass off for it, but he'd gotten where he was now mostly on his own merit. House Essair was not a name people whispered in reverence and fear before him, Gannicus remembered that much, major they may have been, influential they may have been, they were always merchants. The guys to go to when you wanted something, and now... now they were becoming a force, and Kassandros was behind it. Yes, he was powerful. But he was falling apart, all the same. As if he was trying to bear more weight than he could. Sooner or later, he'd crash.

"You are not even fine, now," Gannicus replied, smoothly.
Tihaan glanced at him, and then his gaze flicked to Kassandros. Gannicus never said something, if he didn't believe it. Maybe he was right... Tihaan hadn't thought about it, too much, hadn't spent much time around him. If Kassandros broke apart amid this, could House Essair keep going? It was a bit of a concern. He shook his head, to himself. Strongest, huh? Well, the strongest would be the dry red, but man that shit was bitter and had a fuck of a throat hit. If he asked for light and sweet first, he probably couldn't handle the strongest.

Maybe the red that slightly burned going down. Pleasantly burned. Yeah. Tihaan nodded, and shuffled out to go deal with that, then, while they debated other things.

"Thought this one smelled a fox," Gannicus murmured. A were-fox, to be exact. Apparently, he was right. Not that Gannicus had ever doubted his nose. He could help with the thing, yes. It was surprising, the young noble had come here not really knowing what his plans were, and not being able to fend for himself decently well. He was lucky it was Tihaan he'd come across, and not Marcus Cassimer, or, god forbid, Gaius Salonus. For lack of better words... fuck the gods.

12
House Asheron / Glitter and Gold
« on: May 23, 2018, 04:09 AM »
He'd figured as much. Gannicus didn't mention that. When, of course, did House Lancaster have any good news, anyway? Particularly recently. That fire that ripped through the blood stables, Gannicus was almost absolutely certain it was Canius that set it. He, of course, couldn't prove it, and even if he could, it wasn't as if Regillus could do anything with it, nor would Titus care. Umbrius had died saving a couple of the younger fighters, shoved them out just in time for a ceiling beam to fall and trap him. And then he was gone. Aurelia disappeared a day or two later, and while Regillus didn't, and he still breathed, Gannicus had to wonder for how much longer he would. Because ultimately, Regillus was the last obstacle standing in Titus' way.

And yet, how long would that last? None of the fighters in Lancaster's stable held any care for Titus or Canius. They stayed their swords only because Regillus was there, and he was the light they followed. If he was gone... nothing would be stopping them from ripping House Lancaster down. Even if, by some miracle, the fighters didn't revolt, Titus had precious few friends, unlike Regillus, and Canius had even fewer. House Lancaster would be doomed, either way. Regillus was smart enough. He may well have known that, already, thought ahead that far, and decided to get Atenra out of harm's way, before it was too late. If Spartacus had already turned on Titus, it was a matter of time before the glass castle came down.

He wouldn't say that. Atenra seemed upset enough.

As Atenra relayed the news, however, the blood fighter slowed his pace, and eventually stopped. The grief was obvious, in his eyes, in the way he almost seemed to fold into himself. Victoria was gone. Victoria was gone, and, she was hume. He knew she was bound to leave him, someday, but just once... just one more time, he'd hoped to see her one more time, before she did, and now she was gone forever. He hadn't seen her in fourteen years now. Sepheres... that was a familiar name. His father's name, just a different form of it. Sepheres was his, too? He remembered the tales the house slaves told. None had ever said names, none had ever said anything identifying, but Titus had a new bedslave and left Victoria mostly alone. Gannicus wasn't stupid.

He wished he was.

"This one's not surprised," he said, softly. Of course Spartacus gave Titus hell. He wouldn't be him, if he didn't. "And this one is very, very sorry. Victoria was a strong woman, and this one loved her, very much, for a very long time. We hadn't seen one another in fourteen years, now." And now she was gone. "This one is were. A lion. You are sixteen, now, if this one remembers. If you inherited it, you will shift the first time, within a few years." He needed a minute. Now wasn't the time to end up crippled by his feelings. He could deal with them later, and no doubt Atenra was just as upset as he was, if not moreso, in some ways. He didn't need Gannicus' feelings, too.

He took a breath in, held it for a few seconds, exhaling very slow. And then, continued on down the hall, toward the library. Victoria had loved to read. Perhaps she'd imparted this love to their son. Gannicus hoped it gave him some balance. His world had just flipped entirely upside down, and House Asheron was, while peaceful, far beyond any sort of peace House Lancaster had ever achieved, was unfamiliar.

13
House Asheron / Glitter and Gold
« on: May 19, 2018, 07:33 AM »
For a moment, Gannicus was confused. Ah, but then, he was accustomed to House Lancaster. Things were different, here. The were shook his head, just so. "It is meant," he said. "None mind. Just ask nicely." Most slaves wouldn't mind their masters near as much, if they took a leaf from the Asherons and, from what he heard, the Essairs, and asked nicely, had some common courtesy and basic hume decency. Not to say that humes were known for their decency, to begin with. Weres, even, were created specifically because they weren't. One of history's greatest ironies.

The first being that prophecy that made itself come true, merely by being said.

Yes, he supposed he might be familiar. Most likely, Atenra had seen him at some point. Gannicus and Spartacus, of course, were the stars of House Lancaster, and Titus liked to make them come up and mingle when they had company, much to their aggravation, but such was life with Dalmascans. Both tried not to think about it too hard, because really, it was easier in the long run.

Gannicus wanted to ask. He wasn't sure if it was rude to, but it'd been a while, since he'd been at House Lancaster, a few weeks at least, and things could change relatively quickly. And, after catching it for a few minutes now, he was fairly sure there was something bothering Atenra. He was here at all, though, Regillus wouldn't send him here if he didn't have a good reason to. He wanted to ask, but honestly, he was afraid to. Spartacus was stupid when it came to him; he wouldn't be surprised if he'd gone and done something moronic.

And yet, Gannicus had done something moronic first, hadn't he.

"If you insist," he answered, nodding for him to follow, as he started toward the library. "This one had been in House Lancaster a long time. Would it be rude if this one asked how things are going for them?" He had friends there, if nothing else. Regillus was a friend, almost all the blood fighters in the stable could be considered frends of his, friendly, if nothing else. And Victoria. He hoped she hadn't taken it too hard, when he'd come here.

He'd always wished she'd run to the Allendales. But he knew why she never had.

14
House Asheron / Glitter and Gold
« on: May 17, 2018, 12:08 AM »
Cousin? Ah, he must have meant Regillus, but, Regillus would be his half-brother, not his cousin. There was a reason, of course, that Victoria, Umbrius, and Aurelia, hadn't mentioned that detail. Regillus knew, as far as Gannicus was aware, but everyone else were kept in the dark. He only knew, because he could smell it. Regillus smelled like paper, petrichor, and honey. He'd gotten the paper scent from Umbrius, the honey from Victoria. Interesting, though, that Regillus had gotten the sweet hint of honey, instead of the almond scent, like Atenra had. It was a science thing for the science guys to be concerned with, not Gannicus. He wasn't sure what House Lancaster was like, now, if it'd be safe to tell him... mm, well, he had no reason to believe him, anyway.

"This one's aware," he answered. "The lady Livia mentioned you would be staying with us, all the slaves know. No one minds helping, if you get lost." House Asheron was a decent-sized place, at least. Quite the estate, luxurious without being overdone, the house built around a central courtyard, filled to brim with plant life and a fountain in the center, that doubled as a pool. On hot days, Livia allowed the slaves to take breaks in the pool, to cool down. After so long in House Lancaster, House Asheron were a trip.

Ah, he was right. Atenra. Did Victoria know what that name meant? Of course she did. She must've chosen it on purpose, really. "You are no bother at all. This one is called Gannicus," he answered, nodding in greeting. "Yes, that Gannicus, everyone asks," he added, a hair amused. "This one does remember where the library is. If you'd like, this one can show you the way, master Atenra." Of course, Gannicus was aware, this was his son he was talking to. Atenra likely did not know this; it was safer for them all, if he didn't know, if Titus never had a way to find out. It was better, if he kept his respectful distance. Atenra was, as Titus claimed him, a Lancaster, and thereby a warlord class noble. Gannicus was just a stupid blood fighter. Livia may have been determined to break those habits out of her slaves, but Gannicus knew better. One wanted to be called by their name, the next wanted absolute submission. He never forgot his manners.

Even with his own son, apparently.

15
House Asheron / Glitter and Gold
« on: May 16, 2018, 12:06 AM »
"That was probably the most underwhelming sparring session I've ever seen," Tihaan grumbled, as the two made their way up the stairs. Gannicus shook his head, a small smirk on his face, amused.
"There is more to battle than offense," the taller fighter answered. He and Tihaan were really just security, and neither truly operated as a blood fighter, anymore. Tihaan wasn't terribly suited to it, anyway, at least Gannicus didn't think so, and when Livia had asked, he'd taken the chance and was honest about it. Incidentally, Livia discovered he was an ice affinity mage, and had the few ilim in the house begin teaching him to control it. Gannicus hadn't used sorcery in a long time; he'd nigh forgotten how. He could fire a good solid aura bolt, though.
"That sounds oddly cryptic, somehow," Tihaan replied, making a face, mostly befuddled.
Ah, he was young and impetuous. He'd have learned sooner or later, but Gannicus would rather he didn't. In truth, Tihaan was not a fighter. He was a lover and a healer, albeit, he did not know this. It wasn't as if Dalmasca left room for self-discovery, and that was a good deal of what damaged so many. They came here too early, or were born here, and lost who they were before they even knew who that was. Gannicus used to be someone else, once, too. He'd forgotten.

As they reached the top of the stairs, though, Gannicus slowed, breathing in. Tihaan stopped there, on the landing, tilting his head at the older Saqqaran. "What?" he asked. "Trouble?"
Gannicus shook his head, white hair currently slicked in coconut oil and braided in rows. "Familiar unfamiliar scent," he answered.
"What?" Tihaan asked, looking confused.
"Never mind," he replied. "Go on without this one. Will catch up later."
The blue-haired younger man looked even more perplexed, but he knew better than to argue with Gannicus. It was just frustrating, and rarely did Tihaan ever get anywhere. He shrugged, and shuffled down the hall, toward his room. He and Gannicus were set next door to one another, as the Saqqaran was highly against separating from him, and Livia had recognized that early. That she had, and heeded it, made Gannicus more comfortable around her, than he was around most.

Instead of following Tihaan, Gannicus followed his nose. Somewhere on this floor was someone that smelled like Lucain. Incidentally, there was a hint of almond, snow, and pine. He wasn't sure where the snow and pine had come from, probably, that was the scent of whoever that was, but, Victoria smelled like almonds and honey. Eventually, he turned a corner, and stopped, blinking once at the young man not far away. Dusky skin tone, dark hair and eyes, but he could almost resemble Victoria. A breath in, told him, this was the one. The one that smelled like Lucain and Allendale. What was he supposed to say? Gannicus knew Victoria had birthed a son, sixteen or so years ago now, was it? He looked about sixteen or seventeen, maybe, not into his twenties yet. Atenra, he knew, that was what Victoria had named him.

"You seem lost," he decided on. "Perhaps this one could be of assistance?" Most likely, at least. Gannicus hadn't been here but a week or so, but he'd mostly figured out where everything was.

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