Pieces in Place
Mar 9, 76
10 Replies
Sepheres @ May 09, 2018, 12:09 PM
7 Posts 14 Years Male Dalmasca Royalty House Essair Played by Lenara
Sepheres' mind was still buzzing in an odd, swirling manner that made it rather difficult to focus on anything but what was directly before him. He'd already given Kassandros the Vinegar so he could begin the healing process with Dimitrios. For a moment after that he'd stood to one side, attempting to process what he'd seen. It took a few moments, but he eventually shook that off, remembering also that she'd fallen and remembering that the Ilim healer would likely need help getting her back in bed.

Only a few minutes had passed, two or three, maybe. The boy approached Lycaon hesitantly - the larger blood fighter was still somewhat upset by Dimitrios' injury, he could tell. It took no time at all for those blue eyes to focus on him. "Yes?" Despite the fading anger that seemed to crackle in his blue eyes even now, the voice was calm and controlled.

Another time, Sepheres might have taken a moment to ponder how impressively he concealed his temper below the surface. But for the moment... for the moment, it was beyond him. "My-" He paused, and reconsidered the wording. "A woman fell and injured herself while I was retrieving the vinegar. I don't think the Ilim healer can move her by herself. I was wondering-" He should have said his mother, she obviously had known him. She looked like Victoria, but it didn't make sense. She was dead, and it didn't make sense.

There had been witnesses to her throwing herself off the cliff. It wasn't like they had just guessed that was what happened to her. And yet... mm.

"Of course." Gently Lycaon cut across the explanation, and motioned for Sepheres to show the way.

Right, okay. Sepheres led the way back down the hall Master Essair had indicated originally. Retracing his steps didn't take very long, and within another moment or two, they were back in the room where he had seen the impossible. ... A second look at the woman did not dispel the familiarity. It still didn't really make sense to the boy, but he didn't immediately ask any particular questions. Mostly, he tried to process what he was seeing.

Lycaon, for his own, seemed much less stunned than Sepheres - but of course, Lycaon probably knew a lot less about what had happened at Lancaster recently, given he'd been sold before the incident where she threw herself off the cliff. He did seem surprised to see her here at the Essair house though, unsurprisingly.

"Lady..." He seemed concerned by her injuries, that wasn't surprising, in hindsight. They were rather grave, and given he didn't know what had happened to her. "...I'm going to move you, alright?" He did wait though, for some form of consent, before moving to touch her.


5 Posts 45 Years Female Macenia Commoner House Essair Played by andromeda
Oh, but what a beautiful destruction it was.
"What'd I tell you," Merenwen was saying, shuffling around her to try and get her leg back together in the meanwhile. Who knew how long it'd take for the little one to come back. "You shouldn't keep jumping out of bed."
Victoria just grumbled against the stone floor. It was comfortable, at least, insofar as it was cool down there. She often had issue with her temperature fluctuating, at times rather wildly. Most likely, it came with the territory of being on the mend. Either that, or she was older than she remembered being, and was well on her way to menopause. It wasn't as if she'd taken the time to ask about it, as ultimately, it didn't terribly matter. Or at least, she didn't think it did. She could be rather incorrect, to be fair. "I keep forgetting," she answered, finally.
"How do you forget?" the ilim asked, clearly confused. "If nothing else, you should be in rather the good deal of pain."
Ah, sometimes, she was. But it didn't matter, because that was her son. She didn't bother trying to explain it. In the end, it really didn't matter. Victoria wasn't terribly known to think with a clear head, when her sons were involved, somehow. Particularly that one, as she'd had only short snatches of time with him, and ultimately, they didn't really know one another very well. But he was here. For some reason, that was odd, he shouldn't be, but the only other place he'd be wasn't safe. She didn't remember why. It didn't matter. He wasn't there, he was here, and that was good.

Merenwen moved, a few minutes later, out of the way. Victoria glanced up, smiled a bit, and said, "I remember you... I've forgotten your name, though, I'm sorry." The smile turned into something of a concerned frown. Something with an L... "Wolf? Hmm..." That sounded right but also really didn't.
"She's forgotten a lot," Merenwen filled in.
"Oh, right, move away, I'll try not to squirm." Well, not that squirming was really a thing she could do, at the moment. One of her arms was in a sling, she'd shattered the elbow hitting a rock, and she'd fractured one of her femurs. That was the leg she kept breaking, of course. Several ribs were cracked, but they hadn't damaged her lungs, thankfully, varying little scratches and bruises here and there. She probably looked like she'd gotten in a fight with someone.

"It's nice to see you, though," she added, and she meant it. "Here, and not... there. Whatever that means." Either he got it, or he didn't.

7 Posts 14 Years Male Dalmasca Royalty House Essair Played by Lenara
"Wolf... close." Lycaon could admit that, it was what the name meant after all. "Lycaon. Former blood fighter." She'd forgotten a lot? Lycaon was... curious. But perhaps it didn't matter, she was here, apparently, and healing. Hopefully she'd eventually remember more. Not that he cared if she remembered him but it had to be frustrating to know she should know something but not be able to recall it.

Gently the large blood fighter picked Victoria up and set her back down in the bed she'd clearly been occupying previously. "It's nice to see you too, Miss Victoria." She'd always been kind, when she'd come to the blood fighters here and there. Victoria was a decent person who'd been caught in a very tight place. Here instead of there, presumably she meant at Lancaster. ... Well, he supposed things hadn't been the best for her at Lancaster.

"I'm new here, but it seems to be a nice House." His tone was even, and he backed away a bit, leaving plenty of room for Sepheres to slide closer to the bed.

The boy took the hint at least, and did move closer to the head of the bed his mother lay in. There was still confusion on his features, but that was, perhaps, not surprising. He'd get used to grasping the fact that she was here and she was alive at some point. In the meantime, at least he could see her.

Sepheres had never gotten to spend much time with her, always being kept separate, always interrupted and reminded to go back to some other task. "Mom how- I-" He stopped himself, realizing he hadn't really considered what he was going to say anyway, and that it was coming out convoluted. He knew better than that, speak precisely or not speak at all. No one wants to listen to a rambler.

The boy stayed quiet, trying to compose himself somewhat. This was a feat that was somewhat easier said than done at the moment, but well... he'd get it eventually. Instead of speaking, he perched hesitantly on the edge of the bed. "I missed you." Finally, quietly. It wasn't really... what he'd wanted to say. It didn't properly encompass the dozens of thoughts scrambling through his mind, the confusion, the fear. The amazement - she was alive! After falling off of the cliff.

5 Posts 45 Years Female Macenia Commoner House Essair Played by andromeda
Oh, but what a beautiful destruction it was.
Ah, yes, Lycaon. Now she remembered a bit clearer. Her face scrunched up in pain, when he moved her, but, she didn't squirm, at least. "Right, yeah, you were one of the newer ones," she answered, letting out the breath she'd held. "I'm glad you think it's a good house. I've heard a lot of conflicting things about House Essair, but, no one here seems to dislike Kassandros."
"First thing about Kassandros," Merenwen put in, going back to fixing Victoria's leg, "he's never surprised. He knows too much, things he shouldn't. He's a seer, you see, the light tells him, things people can't or won't say. There are no rules with him, except, don't put anyone else in danger if you can help it, and never hurt anyone else with your choices. Other than that, he doesn't mind much of anything." The ilim's ears flattened, somewhat, hands glowing a soft green. "Oh dear, you splintered the bone further down."
Victoria had the humility to look a bit sheepish. "I'm sorry."
Merenwen shook her head. "No, I understand. But, I'll need a splint, to keep it straight." With that, Merenwen shuffled out the door, to go get that splint. Probably a metal one, for the strength.

According to Kassandros at least, she'd fallen off a cliff. Victoria didn't remember this, but she did vaguely remember waking up for a moment on a fishing boat, and then it went blank again, until she'd been here for a bit. Kassandros had explained, she'd been unable to breathe long enough, it'd damaged her memory, and that was why she couldn't remember a lot of things. She'd like to think, she always remembered her sons, but, sometimes she did, and sometimes, she didn't. When she did remember them, it was almost always a frantic, where the hell are they, sort of thing, but she never recalled why.

Victoria reached over with her good arm, patting Sepheres' hand, very lightly. "I missed you, too. Kassandros says I fell off a cliff. I got lucky, and hit the water and then the rocks, instead of the rocks directly, and lived. Though uh, did some damage along the way," she added, nodding at the arm in the sling. "I don't remember why. I don't even remember being near the cliff." It wasn't so important, maybe, in the end.

"Can I have a hug? Just, carefully maybe, but I think if I don't move this arm, it'll be okay. You've got your father's eyes, you know. Aten does too. Ah, he's not here, Gannicus. You and Atenra are the sons of Gannicus. The tall white-haired blood fighter. He's a were, a lion, if I remember right. Oh, I should -" Victoria started to stand, winced, and laid back down. "I should sit still, rather. Right." Sitting still was a much better idea. There'd be time. She had a hard time believing, even if her anxiety told her otherwise, that Gannicus wouldn't still be alive when she went looking for him. He'd made it this long, after all.

7 Posts 14 Years Male Dalmasca Royalty House Essair Played by Lenara
Apparently we were going to get Kassandros 101. A seer, suddenly Lycaon understood a lot more than he had earlier. That was why he'd known their names, why he'd known his real name. The light told him. Lycaon wasn't sure what to think of that, but then, they'd already been faced with magi, and well, that was just something they were going to have to get comfortable with. It wasn't the end of the world - but there was always a little fear. Eventually Magi went crazy. Not something to worry about now though.

Sepheres considered the brief overview, almost thoughtfully. The boy filed away the information for later - it could be useful to know more about Kassandros, but for right now... for right now, he was more worried about Victoria who was right in front of him. "You did. Some of the blood fighters saw." He hadn't, not with his own eyes. But when they'd told him, he'd believed it.

He didn't really know why himself, but even if he did, Sepheres probably wouldn't have told her. It wouldn't change anything now - what had happened had happened, and now all they could do was go forward. "Maybe it's best you don't remember." Shrugging slightly. She might remember eventually, but for now... yeah. Maybe it was. He didn't know why, but he couldn't imagine Victoria doing something like that over something mild.

"Of course." Quietly. Sepheres did hug her, very gently. He didn't want to hurt her, after all. ... His father's eyes. For a second, Sepheres tensed up, but he forced himself to relax. Gannicus? ... Gannicus was their father. Tall, white haired. A were lion. His head spun. He'd wondered for ages, he'd believed - truly believed - that the truth of his parentage had died with Victoria.

And now this instead. It was... almost dizzying. "I always wondered." Sepheres finally admitted, in that same quiet voice. "It's nice to finally know who." They'd always known it must be a blood fighter, they were forbidden from going near the blood fighters, after all. But... he'd still wondered, because without any experience with them he obviously couldn't start to work it out on his own.

"Yes, you should." Frowning, slightly. "Whatever it is, someone else can do it, or it can wait until you've healed some." It wouldn't be the end of the world, or anything like that. But continuously re-breaking her leg could not possibly be a good thing. There was always a chance of other damage to the surrounding area, after all.

...He didn't want to let go. Maybe he just... wouldn't, unless she got uncomfortable, for the moment. It was kind of nice to be close enough to hear her heartbeat.

5 Posts 45 Years Female Macenia Commoner House Essair Played by andromeda
Oh, but what a beautiful destruction it was.
Instinctively, really, Victoria reached up and lightly petted Sepheres' hair. It was thicker and coarser than hers, but not quite as much as Gannicus' hair was. She used to do that all the time, with Atenra, too, often braiding their hair out of their way when the temperature was high outside. Titus used to complain about it, ah yes, that was his name, saying it made them look like Macenian barbarians, but Victoria never paid it much mind. It wasn't any of Titus' business what she did with her sons' hair, and it kept it off their skin so it didn't stick to their neck. Victoria had thick hair, too, hers was just less coarse and didn't hold braids the same way. Speaking as someone that often had her hair stick to her skin, it was terribly uncomfortable.

She caught an odd scent off him, that made her heart twist in upset. She didn't say anything.

"I know," she said, quiet. "I didn't want to tell you, in case either of you got curious. It'd be normal, if you did, curiosity is natural. But if he found out... he was always about leverage and gaining upper hands. He'd probably have turned you both into weapons against Gannicus, maybe even used Gannicus as a weapon against you two. I didn't want that. I'd rather you didn't know, than you did and were always denied knowing him anyway. Spartacus is his brother, his birth name's Sati, your uncle, he's a werehawk. It's been a long time, now, since they came to Dalmasca, both have forgotten a lot over time, but they both say they're from the valley of sand. No one's called it that in a long time, but I think they mean the Valley of Nashret, as in the Free City of Saqqara." That was, after all, the only valley of sand in Azaleon. The only desert, even.

Someday, she'd like to see Saqqara. The architecture was unique to the region; Saqqara was the only place that designed buildings quite the way they did. If she remembered right, Saqqara was comprised at least halfway of weres, so it made sense the weres would be from the city that was dominated by them.

Victoria huffed, hugging Sepheres a bit tighter for a moment, then going back to playing with his hair. "I'm not even sure where to start," she admitted. "I used to have a wide range of friends, before I married him, and now I hardly remember any of them. I wouldn't be able to find Gannicus easily if I tried, but he's made it this long. He's a big name, too, maybe someone'll incidentally tell me where he went. Some make the mistake of thinking him of lacking intelligence, as he doesn't speak much. When he does, his words are short and to the point. He's never rude, but, I've never known him not to point out stupidity, either. For all that he doesn't speak much, he says a lot all the same, it's just a matter of understanding what he doesn't put to words, as well as you understand what he does. It sounds more complicated than it is. I never had the chance to tell him, about you. Titus started following me, after you were born, so I named you after your grandfather. Sepheres is a variant form of Sahura, Gannicus and Sati's father's name. So that, if anything went wrong, Gannicus would know you're his. But I suppose he'd have known either way; you probably smell like Lucain, to him. I'm not sure what that smells like, but, he always smelled kind of like warm weather and smoke, maybe." Her senses, though, being as she was hume, were dampened in comparison to his. She was sure 'Lucain' smelled different, to a were.

"Is Aten still with... er... the other house?" She'd forgotten 'Lancaster,' apparently.

7 Posts 14 Years Male Dalmasca Royalty House Essair Played by Lenara
This was nice, really. Victoria's hands were gentle on his hair. Sepheres stayed quiet for a few moments, listening to what she had to say, but mostly resting and thinking, a little. He did wonder, in some corner of his mind, what exactly Kassandros was going to set him to doing here.

Later, Sepheres decided. He'd worry about it later.

"I mean, we were curious anyway. But I guess it's for the best that we could never lead him to the truth." Probably. She was right, of course, about them being used as weapons against Gannicus - or the reverse. It was bad enough he'd been used against Victoria, in some ways. NOt... just not saying that.

Spartacus, werehawk. Right, of course. Valley of Sand...? Nashret. Right, of course she would know that. ... Saqqara. Hm. It was an interesting thought, two of the primier blood fighters were citizens of the Free Cities. Or, most likely, if Victoria was to be believed, and his mother was very smart, so he didn't see why not.

That was kind of sad, he thought. That she'd lost track of so many friends after marrying Titus. ... On the other hand, it was sort of an abstract thought because he'd never really had friends and wasn't entirely sure how that... worked. But he did understand friends were generally a good thing, and that being separated from them would be unpleasant.

It was nice to get to hear a bit about his father, even if there was a very slim chance of him ever meeting Gannicus. Still, he took a deep breath and shifted slightly to smile at her, "I'm sure you'll see him again." With a confidence that he only sort of felt.

Sepheres hoped so, really. If only because he thought it would make her happy.

Ah. How to answer that. "He was when I was sold." Sepheres answered after a moment. "But I'm sure Reggie has done something by now to protect him." Reggie wasn't really the sort to just sit by and let something like this happen.

5 Posts 45 Years Female Macenia Commoner House Essair Played by andromeda
Oh, but what a beautiful destruction it was.
Slightly, Victoria shook her head, frowning in thought. There was something she was missing... she'd read a lot, about Saqqara, the valley of Nashret, about the mountain ranges that the valley rested between. The temperatures were wildly random, she remembered. But there was something she was forgetting, something important, about House Lucain, about Saqqara. Something that Sepheres should know. Victoria let her breath out, in an airy, frustrated-sounding hiss. What was it...

"I hope so," Victoria answered, almost absently. "I miss him. Love is complicated, Sepheres," she said, her tone still halfway there. "It isn't passion, or promises, or that fluttery feeling people talk about all the time. That's just being in love, but anyone can convince themselves they are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has run its course. When it's all faded away, at the end of it, you must decide if you've grown so close you can never imagine being apart again. When all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches, Gannicus and I found, we were one tree, and not two as before. There is nowhere he can go that I won't be with him, and neither can I go where he won't follow, because he is here, in my heart, but it is not the same." It was, in its own way, painful, but Victoria tried not to let go of the hope they'd meet again, someday. Instead, she kept thoughts of him close, what memories of him she had closer, and tried not to be too upset. He wouldn't want her to stop living without him, anyway.

Ah, of course. Regillus probably had done something, likely sent him somewhere safe. "Your half-brother," Victoria said. "Regillus is your half-brother. He is Umbrius' son, and mine, not Aurelia's." Sepheres was not going back to House Lancaster, if she had anything to say about it. It didn't matter if she told him, and Kassandros didn't seem interested in sending him back, anyway. She remembered, when she asked where her sons were, Kassandros always answered the same: they're coming, soon. He was right, as everyone always said he was. He didn't seem to mind Sepheres being here. He wasn't a slave, not legally, she'd had him registered as a member of House Allendale, he had more freedom than Titus had allowed him to believe.

Maybe, somewhere along the way, he'd learn to be a person, make friends, maybe. Victoria hoped so. Her youngest was saddening.

"OH!" She remembered now! Yes, that was what she forgot! House Lucain had not existed, until Saqqara did, but they were the ones that united the warring tribes and created Saqqara in the first place, and ruled it thereafter. "Saqqara was once a collection of scattered tribes, always fighting one another for territory and resources. Sahura, your grandfather, conquered one tribe, and then used that one tribe to conquer the rest, and unite them under a single banner. Eventually, they converged into Saqqara, and Sahura leads it even today. Thus, House Lucain, your father's house, rules Saqqara. Sepheres, you and Atenra are princes!"

7 Posts 14 Years Male Dalmasca Royalty House Essair Played by Lenara
... It was his mom. It was his mom. Sepheres reminded himself of that repeatedly as he rest there against her, still hugging her. Partially he'd frozen at that hiss, wondering what he'd done wrong, how he'd miss-stepped this time and upset her. But this was Victoria and she didn't really work that way. It took a moment, but he relaxed. This was his mom, and she'd never hurt him before. Somehow, he didn't think she was going to start now. She seemed to happy to be reunited with him to do something like that.

That was a rather oddly poetic way of putting things. Sepheres hadn't ever thought much about love, or anything like that. He was only fourteen, so he thought that was probably normal. Not that Sepheres would necessarily know normal if it turned into a tiger and bit him but well. It was the thought, he supposed. But Sepheres wasn't sure what to say, either. Aside from assuring her that they'd find Gannicus - but he didn't really have any sort of a way to ensure that, so the words were, at best, shallow. So he settled for just holding her for the moment. "I love you." He didn't say it often, but he did.

At least, as much as he could understand the term.

Sepheres' expression shifted to confusion when Victoria said that, of course. He'd been raised being told that Reggie was his cousin, that was one of those things that had never been in question. "....Oh." His tone held the same confusion as his expression. Hers. Aurelia had to have been in on that, because it was pretty impossible to convince someone they'd given birth to a child that didn't exist.

He wasn't sure how he felt about that. Sepheres didn't really like the feeling of one of the stable touchstones of his life being moved so drastically. But he didn't say that, either.

Here, for a few moments Sepheres was quiet, listening to what she had to say about Saqqara. ... And it sounded like it had come out of a story book. Sepheres didn't say that - but he also didn't believe what she was saying, not exactly. It was too drastically unlikely, too wild. There was no way he was a prince. Weres lived that long, of course, but... no. Even if he was it didn't change anything. He was still here, he still didn't know his father. He'd still been sold by the only father he had known - not that the man was a good one.

"That sounds nice." Quietly, not arguing with her. There was no reason to - either it was true, or her memory was hazy from her fall and blending together a story she'd read and reality. Either way, arguing would only needlessly upset her. "I'd like to see Saqqara one day." He never would, and they both knew it, but the free cities might be nice.

5 Posts 45 Years Female Macenia Commoner House Essair Played by andromeda
Oh, but what a beautiful destruction it was.
She smiled, softly and a bit absently, resting her cheek against his hair for a moment. "I love you too," she murmured. "I think the painkillers are finally kicking in." It would seem so. Her leg didn't hurt as much, now, and her mind was wandering random directions, thinking about inane things, and some of the things she decided to say, they were a bit odd, Victoria could admit. But, perhaps it wasn't altogether surprising. She'd always felt like Atenra and Sepheres deserved the truth from her, at least, but it was simply too dangerous, before. If nothing else, she felt safe, in House Essair. Safer than she had in a long time, a feeling she only remembered really getting when the world was much younger, and she had far more to lose.

"Yeah... me too," she admitted. "The weather's all weird, because it's trapped in a mountain corridor, essentially. The southwestern range blocks the air currents from the coast, and the northeastern range blocks the air currents from Galace, so the Kharga desert is kind of a cold one, the temperature drops below freezing sometimes, but it also gets really hot in summer, and sometimes the weather can change in mere hours. I always have to admire people that can manage to make their livelihoods in places like that, how tough they must be. But the architecture is the only kind in its class, giant pyramid shapes, the imperial palace is a large pyramid structure with a crystal at the top, they use it for electricity generation, four or... was it five... different rings of wall around the city and aura barriers to protect its lands from sand and snowstorms. It sounds like something someone made up on a whim, doesn't it."

Yes, Victoria distantly recognised this, at least. She hadn't put much thought into it, really, and she supposed it didn't matter too much. The chances of either of them seeing Saqqara for themselves, one day, well, those were slim. But there were so many things out there, so many wonderous and interesting things, and not only did she want to see them, but she thought it'd be good for her sons to see them, too. To better know and understand that there were more things to life and living than the terrors of Dalmasca. Oh, how messed up this nation was. Victoria never was terribly proud to be Dalmascan, and quite truthfully, may never.

"I'd like to see you smile, someday," Victoria mentioned, off-hand. "I don't think you ever have." At least, if he had, she hadn't seen it. Admittedly, she'd not had long with him, before. Maybe things would be different, now. "I'm sorry things are so weird, now. But change isn't all bad, nor is it all something to be afraid of. Things can get worse, sure, but they can get better, too. And in being afraid of things getting worse, you can stop them from getting better. I know it's hard. You're still young, yet, still don't know much about the world, or yourself. You'll be okay. It'll be okay, now. Someday, you'll hear a voice whispering in your heart. Listen to it, Sepheres. That voice is who you are."

Merenwen shuffled back in about there, with a strip of metal, and went to carefully working it under Victoria's leg.

7 Posts 14 Years Male Dalmasca Royalty House Essair Played by Lenara
"Good." Yes, it probably was a good thing that the painkillers were kicking in after all. Sepheres wasn't fond of the idea of her being in pain, and she certainly had enough injuries that there was no other way for her not to be. It was a little strange having her say certain things so freely. But, well, they were alone, and he was well out of reach of Titus now. So he supposed it didn't matter so much, if he knew the truth.

Maybe they would do that then, one day. He doubted it, but... it was a nice thought. "It does." He admitted mildly. "But it sounds very interesting, too." Interesting in a detached sort of way, in the sense of reading about it in a story book and thinking it'd be nice to live there one day. More of an escape from reality than an actual reality. But she certainly seemed to believe it was true - and Saqqara at least certainly was a real place. There was no reason to believe its climate wasn't that way.

That was an odd thing for her to say. He didn't respond immediately, letting his head rest where it was. He considered what she said, but didn't really address it, at least not immediately. She wanted to see him smile. It was a sweet sentiment, but mm. That voice was who he was? Victoria was a lot more confident about that than he was, for certain.

"I'm not sure if I have." He hadn't had much to smile about, exactly. Even seeing Victoria, though it had been a very positive thing, had been more... shocking than anything. "I'll try to remember that. But having the entire world spin and shift around me is..." He shook his head a little, against her chest. "I hope you're right though. I hope it really will be okay."

But Sepheres wasn't sure. On the other hand, Sepheres wasn't sure what okay even was. He supposed okay was probably different for everyone. And his definition of okay was probably warped, he could accept that. Just like his idea of acceptable was warped.