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Apr 4, 76
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Thanatus @ Jun 09, 2018, 08:23 AM
36 Posts 17 Years Male Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by Lenara
Icarus followed her nod towards the bag covered in ice, and he shifted his hand slightly and unfroze that too. What? It was something useful to do while he kept himself reasonably well oriented. And calm, keeping calm was important at the moment. There was no point in distressing the woman. No, he would keep his temper in check until they got home, at least. Until there was space to channel it into something else that it could be useful.

"Mhm." He inclined his head slightly in agreement with what she called him. "I'm surprised, you can still tell us apart." They'd grown a lot. And time changed people enough that they could be hard to recognize. But the fact that she knew which was which, that lent credence to what he had been told about her too, in a way. Perhaps only a mother could have pulled that off.

68. That was a long time. The walls didn't have room for more tallies. He released another slow breath. "Ah, it's 76 now." Casually. Just so she knew how long it had been.

Well at least he didn't have to worry about her falling and hurting herself, Thanatus was apparently going to carry her to ensure that didn't happen. "Is there anything other than the fish you wanted to bring?" Looking at Thanatus - what? If he was going to carry her Icarus could manage any of the worldly belongings, honestly.

20 Posts 24 Years Male Nomad Blood Fighter House Essair Played by hephaestus
It is better to die with a purpose, than to live without one.
"Thana," Thana answered. As soon as she got up there, he reached around and got a hold of her knees, making sure she didn't fall, and stood up. At least she hadn't fussed with him too much, but generally she didn't, anyway. He was still starkly reminded of how easy it'd be for someone to take advantage of her right now, and yet again, he was glad he'd managed to find her cobras. They'd have a lot more luck in keeping her safe than Thana would, but he also knew a bit better than that. Better than to assume that their status would shield them entirely, because Thana understood, unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your outlook, just how precariously balanced the nobility really were.

It was kind of cute, in a strange way, their reunion. Shame she was still so out of it, but she remembered him. That was a good thing. Yes, she was doing better. "And we're going home." He wasn't really sure if that'd sink in, but, he'd wanted to say it. She'd forget in a few minutes, maybe.

Oh, "The spear, actually," he answered, nodding at the fishing spear to the side. "Useful bugger." Go figure.

18 Posts 45 Years Female Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by incendium
Ah. Perhaps that was a hair surprising. The woman looked momentarily confused, and then shrugged, just slightly. "Kassi has blond hair, and your eyes are bright blue. The youngest... ... C... nnn, his eyes are more gray tinted." Yes, that was how she remembered which was which. "I think their features are a bit sharper than yours, too." A bit. Icarus had a slight bit of a baby-face, to her. Perhaps that was an odd thing to think. "I remember Cyprian's eyes being the greenish ones. Aemilius' eyes were amber, not sure how Cyprian's ended up green." It was difficult to say.

76? Oh, that was a long time. Um. "Oh... eleven years? You're seventeen, now, then. You grew into a fine young man. I bet your brothers did, too." Most likely. Or, perhaps more accurately, that was what she hoped for. Thana, right, "Thana, I'm sorry, I keep forgetting." He knew that, and she knew that he knew, logically. Still, it seemed a bit rude, to keep forgetting his name. "Then again, I forgot my own, haha." She should, perhaps, be a bit kinder to herself.

Home. They were going home... that'd be nice. "Mmkay," she decided, flopping her head onto Thana's shoulder, quite happy to just let him get them wherever they were going. "... not the Warwickes, right?" One eye peeked open, clearly concerned.

36 Posts 17 Years Male Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by Lenara
"Huh. I guess Cygnus' eyes are more gray." He really hadn't ever thought about it before, Icarus would admit. Then again he didn't often have to think about telling the difference between himself and his brother. Of course he knew which one he was, and Cygnus and Kassi only looked like until you got to the hair, and Icarus obviously knew which one was which there, too. ... What Icarus didn't know is how in the world Cyprian factored into this. Then again, Thanatus had added him to the list of people they were looking for maybe that was why.

He didn't know why Cyprian had made it there either. But maybe he would eventually. For now he was just going to leave it alone for a bit.

A slight nod there. Yes, they were 17 now. A fine young man...? She didn't even know him, really. Certainly not well enough to know if he would meet her definition of fine. "I hope we meet expectations." Was what he said finally, somewhat distantly. It was the best he could manage - because it wasn't like they met anyone else's expectations. It wasn't like they were good enough for anyone so he kind of doubted she'd really be proud of them in the longer run. He'd only hope she wasn't utterly disappointed in them.

Forgot her own. Well, Thanatus had asked her name, too. And that made sense. "Ksenia." Calmly offering that, without the flicker of rage that the reminder brought him. "You're name is Ksenia." Thanatus would have probably gotten to it eventually, but eh. "No. You're not going back to them." ... Okay that one might have come out a touch sharper than he meant it to.

Fishing spear. Right. Icarus went to retrieve that before he said something he might regret.

20 Posts 24 Years Male Nomad Blood Fighter House Essair Played by hephaestus
It is better to die with a purpose, than to live without one.
At least she could think straight enough to do maths, right now. Interesting, too, that she seemed to remember how to tell them apart, despite not really having seen them in a long time. Some people changed a lot, as they got older. Others, well, you could tell they were the same person fairly readily. Course, the implication was that they were difficult to tell apart-triplets?-but if one was blond, maybe not. On the other hand, maybe it was bleached. Eleven years, though. If they were seventeen, now, that was quite a long time ago, and a small child bleaching his hair blond seemed... not that it was his business, but Thana wondered. Primarily, he wondered because he didn't want to interrupt their moment.

Ah, no-but Icarus answered, first. Thana snorted. "I think he doesn't like them," he said, softly, making sure she wasn't going to fall one more time, and then moving to follow Icarus. It wasn't like he knew where they were going. "And then you should probably eat, if you were hungry." Given she'd gotten herself caught in an ice pillar, it made sense that she had. Thana wasn't terribly surprised, it was probably the most logical outcome of that. Even he was a little dizzy, but it'd go away eventually.

Kind of strange, to think this part of their journey was coming to an end. He'd almost miss it, but it wasn't like Thana intended to go anywhere that Ksenia wasn't. Some things would change, that was all. And maybe he'd spend some time catching bunches of fish, anyway. It was nice to contribute, and maybe it wasn't really something for him to be grateful for, but he was grateful Icarus was taking her in. He knew of too many nobles that wouldn't care, and the fact Icarus did made Thana want to help.

18 Posts 45 Years Female Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by incendium
"You followed Thana," the woman said, toned off-hand and nonchalant, as if it explained everything. "You already do meet what little I'd hoped for." In her mind, anyone willing to give a random, unknown slave the benefit of the doubt, and not only listen to him, but follow him, too... he wasn't much like his father, that was all, and in the end, it was the only thing she really hoped for. That at least one of them had learned their father was not necessarily right all the time. There was hope, then, that they'd learned to live their own lives, instead of living in Vopiscus' shadow, and that was what she wanted, in the end.

Oh, right, Ksenia. "Right, the conversation about Ksenia Kenleigh sounding funny, I remember now." Yes, Ksenia, that was her name. Or was it Ksenia... er... well, now she didn't remember the triplets' house name, either. She knew that, of course, she just hadn't really been thinking about it too hard. Her name was probably Ksenia Warwicke, anyway, she supposed it didn't matter any.

For a moment, she looked a bit perplexed. It seemed an odd thing to be upset about. Then, of course, she thought about it, and realized perhaps that was a strange thing to find confusing. "I hear," she answered. Food, later, that may be a good idea, yes. "Suppose eating may be a good idea. I wouldn't want to impose, though." Her welcome was, perhaps, somewhere in the air, still.

36 Posts 17 Years Male Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by Lenara
Blink. Well that was an extremely low standard. Icarus didn't say that, just making a short noncommittal noise and leaving it there. Perhaps it was better not to get into a discussion in that direction. To be fair, it was strange that he had listened to a random slave enough to follow them to find her. Icarus could accept that, he just wasn't sure that it was quite enough to call it a benchmark for being a good person.

Then again, maybe her expectations were just shockingly low. That was... mm. Anyway. He was supposed to be leaving that alone.

Icarus frowned in confusion. "Kenleigh...?" He shook his head. "Essair. You're Ksenia Essair." He almost asked where she got Kenleigh from, but left it at just his trailed off saying the name. It was... probably not important right now.

No, he didn't like them. "I have no idea what gave you that idea." In as mild a tone as he could manage. Ah, but he did start to lead the way back across the field, heading towards home - but at a rather restrained pace, since Thanatus was carrying Ksenia. "I'm sure we can manage to find something to eat." If nothing else, they had the fish, but...

Well, maybe something that hadn't already been on the menu for several days was a good idea. Differing nutrition was a good thing, after all. "You won't be imposing." Icarus responded after a moment of thought. No, he didn't think Kassandros would see it that way. And for the moment, Icarus was just going to have to hope he was right about that.

They'd figure it out later.

18 Posts 45 Years Female Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by incendium
Oh, she supposed he wouldn't necessarily remember that. Come to think of it, though, she wasn't sure if she'd ever told them that she'd married into Kenleigh originally. Quite honestly, at the time, they couldn't really fully understand the implications of that. Cy... Cygnus was the youngest triplet. Her eldest son was Cy... Cyprus? Cyprian. There we go.

"Essair... I wasn't sure if you'd still consider me an Essair." Considering she was the one that walked away... she never should've. She shouldn't have left Cyprian, either, she should've been stronger, and Vopiscus wasn't even truly threatening, either. What did it matter to her, if he'd torn House Warwicke down? It would've saved many a lot of pain, and the worst he could've done was killed her. He wouldn't have harmed the triplets; they were too valuable to him.

She should've been stronger. Aemilius might've killed Cyprian, if she'd pushed him, but Vopiscus wasn't quite as volatile. It was too late, now, for should've, could've, would've, might be, maybe, and still she thought things like that, had for the last decade.

"Cyprian is your elder half-brother," she said. "I married Aemilius, first. House Warwicke were House Kenleigh's vassal, at the time, it was rather the honor. Aemilius freaked them out, he had a knack for doing that, and they remarried me to Vopiscus after, to try and protect Warwicke from Aemilius' wrath." Clearly, they'd done something right, given the House were still standing. "Vopiscus isn't your father, either, but perhaps that is a conversation for another time." Most likely, they'd not really believe her, anyway. Ultimately, perhaps it didn't matter, in the end. It wasn't as if Ytias would ever truly be their father, anyway.

If he said so. She'd just try and believe that, then. There was no sense in arguing. At any rate, they were already going home (she'd missed having somewhere that was home), and perhaps she should just be thankful at least one of them apparently didn't hate her. She'd been expecting them to. It would've made sense.

"I suppose, by now, the flowers killed Vopiscus, hmm?" That was the most likely outcome. She'd gone, just like Kassi had said, and if usual trends held, he'd been right about the pretty lady, too. He'd been young, then. It was debatable, if he even remembered making that prediction.

36 Posts 17 Years Male Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by Lenara
"You're still our mother." Whether they necessarily agreed with her choices or not, she was their mother and she was important to them. And clearly her own biological family wasn't kind to her. ... He didn't really understand why she'd chosen them over her own children, but he didn't want to press that just now. There was no sense in it - there was no sense in getting upset and saying something like that because honestly she wasn't present enough for it to matter.

Maybe one day he'd understand why she left though, in the end. That day was probably not today, but one day he hoped. If only because it would be a nice piece of closure.

"Oh." She'd been married before she had married their father. ... Cyprian, actually their brother. Well that was. Something. He wondered if Kassandros knew - was that why he'd taken in the Kenleighs? Or had that been completely unrelated? It didn't matter really, he supposed. Still, he might eventually ask just out of curiosity. Then again, maybe not, if only because Kass didn't generally share his reasons for making decisions like that.

"Er." Confusion, at that, of course. Of course he was? She'd just admitted to marrying him. And then there was the fact that frankly even if she'd been cheating on their father she had no way of knowing which of her lovers was the actual father. It could just as easily be Vopiscus as whoever else she might have been having sex with - their father had acknowledged them, which meant he had been confident in their bloodlines, at least. So she clearly had coupled with him, whether Icarus liked the idea of thinking about it or not, logic indicated as much. "What's that supposed to mean?" He asked instead - not really expecting an answer, but there it was.

"How do you-" He cut that off and shook his head slightly. Maybe Kassandros had known for a long time before he did it, like he knew everything else. Maybe he knew early enough he'd told her. "Yes, the flowers killed him. Kassandros has been head of house since we were fourteen."

And he was just going to leave that there. There was... not much else to say about it. Anyway, ah, up this street here was probably his best bet, yeah.

18 Posts 45 Years Female Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by incendium
Yes, well, being blood related didn't inherently - perhaps that was a moot thing to argue about. She was sure, by now, they were rather aware of that. It was unfortunate, and yet, it wasn't as if Ksenia could undo what she'd done. She should've stayed. She should've fought harder. She should've, should've, should've. They were the same old circles her mind went in, before, albeit now, perhaps things had turned out exactly as they were meant to. Ksenia didn't often prescribe to the idea of fate, not really. Still, sometimes she wondered, if maybe certain things happened for a reason. Most humes liked to believe that things had a reason, particularly bad things, if only because, if bad things had a reason, it meant they weren't just because. It meant there wasn't pain for the sake of itself.

Ksenia had been young and naive and stupid, that was all. It was, still, her fault, for leaving, she shouldn't have, but you know, maybe ending up dead wasn't much better. At least she could be here, now. Far too late, maybe (certainly, she hoped not), yet, she was still here. Still she breathed, and perhaps she was a bit wiser than she'd been, then. If Kassandros was leading the house, now, he could use her help. After her mind came back, the rest of the way, of course, certainly she'd be glad to help. He was not Vopiscus, however, and Ksenia found it difficult to believe he'd lead the house down a particularly wrong pathway. Ah, but he was young, and the young were often short-sighted. Perhaps even a seer, might be, particularly one as all-knowing as he was. It was easy to miss that which was right in front of you, if you were too busy focusing on what was still quite some time off.

Did he know? What it meant to be what he was? Vopiscus never did understand. Perhaps Merenwen might've been able to explain it, but she remembered Kassandros having a habit of hyper-focusing too hard on one, specific thing, and completely missing that there were better ways of achieving the same thing. It wasn't difficult to imagine what he really was being lost somewhere in there. Further, it wasn't like anyone knew he and his brothers were demi-gods. Ksenia had, of course, never shared that information, until... right then.

"What it sounds like," she answered. "Vopiscus is not your father. You have no blood from House Essair. It is moot, I suppose. Your real father's... a very busy person, and will likely never be the father you want, merely because he can't be. There are some things in relation to that you should know, if you don't already, but we'll get there." They had, of course, a connection to the light they likely did not realize. As their physical forms were not exactly hume, they were a bit stronger than most humes, albeit only just, if they were aware they should be. The light, of course, answered your heart. If you believed, well, sometimes it was.

"Kassi told me, when you were four," Ksenia replied. "Fourteen? That's so early... ... Icarus, he's alright, isn't he? He didn't... he didn't fall down the same thought paths Vopiscus did, did he? There's still hume in him somewhere?" Maybe he wouldn't tell her, maybe she'd have to figure it out on her own, but, Icarus would know better than she.

36 Posts 17 Years Male Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by Lenara
Okay, but that didn't - sure it was possible. People were unfaithful all the time - to the point it was almost laughable to assume that anyone was completely faithful to their husband. Still, it hadn't ever occurred to Icarus that he might have been fathered by anyone other than the man he had believed to be his father. Clearly that was a failing on his part - but there'd been no real reason to suspect it before, so perhaps he shouldn't be too hard on himself for that. It wasn't as if anyone went into things assuming they were an illegitimate child.

A very busy person. It was hard to imagine anyone who was more busy than Kassandros, and Icarus couldn't imagine not wanting to know him because he was busy. But he didn't say that. Maybe that was a nice way of saying he didn't know and/or wasn't interested in them in the slightest. Things they should know in relation to that, hm? He didn't ask - she'd already made it clear that she wasn't going to talk about it until they were all together at minimum.

Kassi had told her when they were four, but fourteen was too young? He didn't say that - there was a difference in seeing it and in doing it, he knew. Still, the fact that Kassandros had been a seer so young... he'd known that, logically he had. Still, it was jarring to be reminded by a vision of that sort.

He wasn't actually sure how to answer her, and so he continued walking in silence for several moments, thoughtfully. "He is still Hume, of course." Calmly, quietly. "He is... not exactly the same as you'll remember, of course." No, he wasn't. But Kass still loved, still felt - Icarus genuinely believed that. It was enough. "But I would not presume to know what goes on within his mind." Icarus didn't know and Kassandros didn't share. So... it was hard to say, if he'd followed Vopiscus' thought paths.

It was hard to say what, exactly, she meant by that anyway. "It's this one." Icarus said as they reached the gate in question.

Which, of course would be obvious when he entered said gate - but making sure Thanatus got a chance to actually see where they were seemed prudent.

18 Posts 45 Years Female Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by incendium
Of course. Presumptions were dangerous things, of course, and could be hurtful, particularly in situations where they regarded someone closer to you than the average person. Icarus didn't seem the type to be terribly interested in rocking the boat, so to say. Still, his particular wording told her two things: one, Icarus didn't know Kassandros as well as he should, and two, Kassandros didn't let his brothers in as much as he should. It was enough she was concerned, to say the least of it.

She, probably quite prudently, chose not to voice any of that. In time, there was time now, she'd learn, soon enough. She suspected this would be rather the exercise in patience, because certainly, they were her sons, but it wasn't as if she'd been there, for whatever reasons she may have had (any reason was, in her opinion, not good enough). Whether she had a good reason or not was of little consequence; a good reason it may be, it didn't change anything. Ksenia still had not been there, and had no right to pretend that nothing had changed between then and now, that she had special privileges others didn't, had some sort of business sticking her nose in their business. Some children, and yes, she still considered them to be children, might take to suddenly having a mother where there had been none before quite well, but Icarus, and what she heard of Kassandros, seemed the type to find any attempt at mothering rather grating.

This might be a bit more difficult than first she'd thought. Yet, then again, she hadn't really thought about it at all, beyond trying to manage to make her way back to them, somehow. Here she was, so clearly, she'd done something right. Well, no. Thana had done something right. Either that, or he was just rather the lucky duck, so to say.

That one? ... "Looks the same," she said, more to herself. "... and very different," she added after a moment. The Essair estate she remembered had been much darker in overall color scheme, the grounds impeccably cared for and trimmed, almost... too much so, too stately, too refined, too imposing, and yet that had been Vopiscus' intention. It'd achieved what goal Vopiscus had at the time quite well. The Essair name, eventually, was either spoken with hushed tones, a cross between reverence and fear, or absolute, unapologetic revulsion. There was, at that time, no in-between. "It's a good different," Ksenia decided. A very good different it was, indeed. "I suppose my room's been repurposed." It was not a question. She assumed it had been.

36 Posts 17 Years Male Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by Lenara
"Yeah... he had a bit of a redecoration spree when he took over." It had taken time of course, all things did. But they'd made a lot of changes, and it felt more like home now than it had before. "As for your room being repurposed... possibly." He wasn't actually sure off hand. "But we'll get you both settled." No doubts about that.

Ah, exactly who he'd expected to see here. "Lycaon." He greeted the guard with a flash of an extremely tense smile. Names, he was getting better at names. Ah, but his expression probably belied his disquiet about this whole situation. Icarus had mulled over what Thana had said to him and enough of it had been confirmed by her condition that it didn't entirely matter to him. What he didn't know was how much to share just then.

Then again, he could explain the rest to Kassandros... later. "Could you go and tell Kassandros that we have guests and that it's a little urgent, please?"

Lycaon's gaze flicked across the pair behind Icarus, and he nodded once. "Of course." The Blood Fighter turned and left immediately to do as he was asked.

"So, that's Lycaon, no one's going to be upset if names are lost. He's technically one of Kassi - er, Kassandros' guards but he ends up guarding the estate more often these days." Yeah that was just... kind of a thing. "Former blood fighter." He spared them the bit about not hitting on him because honestly he didn't think it would be an issue for now.

Ah. Actually maybe. "I probably don't need to say this, but Kassandros is very strict about no one putting their hands on anyone else without explicit permission." That could be to their benefit or their detriment, he'd leave the ball in their court to figure that much out.

And with that he motioned for them to follow him through the gate and into the Foyer at least. Indoors and out of the elements sounded nice, even if the weather was okay. Besides that, Ksenia could probably use somewhere to sit down for the moment.

20 Posts 24 Years Male Nomad Blood Fighter House Essair Played by hephaestus
It is better to die with a purpose, than to live without one.
At least their discussions were interesting enough to listen to. It also told him a bit more about the house, and the family, in some manner. Clearly, there were some things that hadn't quite been discussed that should have been. Though he was curious, as to how, exactly, she'd ended up in that tower, he'd never directly asked. For one thing, that seemed terribly rude, and for another, he was too busy trying to find the cobras. In any case, he was paying attention, at least partly to try and glean whatever hint in regard to that may be dropped. So far, though, he still had no idea.

One would wonder, here, if it mattered, but given he was risking his neck over this, he'd like to know. Anyway. The grounds were nice, at least; the house didn't look terribly big, which, he supposed might be a good thing. Smaller estates, after all, were harder to get lost in. None of those he could see, in range of them, seemed terribly upset. Actually, they seemed more at peace than usual, for Dalmasca. Strange. He almost wondered if he was imagining it. Maybe those cuts to his diet were, finally, messing with his head.

This one's name was Lycaon. That was a relatively easy name to remember, at least. Thana, for his part, nodded slightly in greeting, arched an eyebrow a bit at what Icarus said, after the other was gone, but he didn't say anything. Some houses said that. They didn't really mean it, though. He supposed he'd see.

In any case, following him, though he didn't make it too far in, before he stopped abruptly. He almost dropped Ksenia right there, but managed not to, albeit he had no idea how. Everything seemed to slow down. His knees slammed into the marble; it'd pass in a second, it was just dizziness. Those came and went, once in a while. That'd hurt, likely, in a minute, too. He did manage to have the presence of mind to let go of Ksenia, so she could slide off him if she wanted, and one hand raised to press against his head. Bodies could be terribly dramatic.

18 Posts 45 Years Female Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by incendium
"I see." It did, however, look much better. It seemed more of a subtle grace, now, than an imposing that tried a bit too hard. It suited what she remembered of Kassandros' temperament, at least, but it was also hard to say if what she remembered aligned with reality. Memories were, of course, fickle things, and hindsight sometimes looked better, or worse, than it really was.

Was that one a slave? It was hard to tell; everyone here seemed to be dressed decently, and none of them had a collar she could see. Oh, wait, one of them had an armband... after a few moments of looking, she noticed they all did. Well, that was, perhaps, less demeaning. Icarus spoke to Lycaon very kindly, though, even said please... hmm. Yes, if they were all like this, they'd done better than she could have expected. She wondered if it was Kassandros' influence, or if it'd come from Merenwen. Perhaps a combination of both.

"Ask first before you randomly hug someone, got it," Ksenia murmured. Of course, logic would've told her, that wasn't what Icarus meant, but perhaps asking before randomly touching someone in general was not a terrible idea, anyway. Hmm, insisting on asking would have a neat side-effect of pushing the idea they could say no. And perhaps, someday, they would. ... clever.

Thana followed, and Ksenia was about to ask him to set her down - she thought she could stand on her own, at least long enough to sit somewhere - but he stopped on his own, and then fell. A surprised squeak, and Ksenia scrambled around the floor, in front of him. "Thana, are you okay?" She wasn't stupid, mind you. She knew how much food they'd had the last few days, weeks, who knew how long it'd been. For him to have given her as much as he had, he had to have cut his own diet. Well, if nothing else, even if Kassi didn't want her around, Thana wasn't involved in any of this. Maybe he'd keep him, and he'd be okay, at least.

Gently, though, she held her hands out, to keep him from falling all the way over. Hitting the marble sounded like it must've hurt, already. She didn't want him hitting his head. "I think he's cut his diet," she said, frowning a bit. "There really wasn't enough for us both. Hopefully this will pass." She could hope, at least. But she didn't think it'd been long enough for him to be threatening to starve.