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Old March 20, 2013, 03:23 PM   #1
Roscarnis de Lylles
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The Most Honorable Prisoner [Tiyribi Andares]

Continued from here.

The small contingent arrived at the ancestral home of the Maeve late in the darkening. So late, it was in fact, early. There was the softest light of orange and red just peeking over the horizon, leaving it the color of a brightening old bruise.

Alone in her chariot, painted in sable black, and so very fine in its make, the journey was as comfortable as one could imagine, except that Tiyribi would likely find no true respite given her circumstances, and now being haled away to what appeared to the biggest church she had ever seen in her life. It would make sense, that the once theocratic Kingdom of Daltina would rule from a church.

Time had eroded away the memory and relevance of the Basilica, an architectural monument that could rival the Chateaux so loved by the Eastern Lylles, and the modest Palace of their Western cousins. The estate itself and its sheer size alone would be overwhelming, tucked away in the enchanting Enamorian countryside, and served only as a religious site with part of the estates open to the public for ceremonial purposes only.

As for the rest of the building? It all but remained a mystery to the worshipful eyes outside.

Yet it represented the very age of the dynastic House of Maeve, and reminded adversaries of their ways. They may not have the political might of the Lysandrians, or the wealth of the Lauryllians. They may not even bear the power of the Ancients like Evile, but their means were far more subtle, their gifts laying in subterfuge, far more subtle, yet not the least bit powerful. And so the supposedly forgotten citadel suited them -- for while they appeared to keep themselves to the townhouse lodge in Maeve itself, someone important enough was clearly waiting to receive the Governor of the Administrate, with all due respect.

The housekeeper and butler were the only two present to greet the twelve that made up the procession, and quite quickly, they were ushered into the sitting room where it appeared to have been dusted, cleaned and ready to receive guests -- guests like Tiyribi and Liliana. The Major, with his men, went a separate way towards the garrisons, and even as they passed the grand nave of the building, prayers could be heard being softly chanted from the attached chapel or a priory.

The two servants wore black, the color of mourning.

And alone, for a moment, the two were sat in a lavishly decorated chamber, so different from the rather rustic charm of the townhouse in Maeve. The interiors were vastly superior and indeed, adhered to the more traditional sense of high aristocracy, the walls were richly filled with portraits of the various Maeve Kings and Queens, and books lined the shelves around the sitting room. A hearty and fresh fire was burning in the fireplace, and there was the the smell of the fine wood slowly being reduced to ash, perhaps much like Tiyribi's hope and desires that there could be a peaceful resolution to all these.

Liliana, had after all, told her that she had been too late. Yet now, here she sat, directly facing her, clad in her black and half-veil covering her delicate features, so unsure, and so unsettled that it reeked off her, like a smell of sorts -- a certain distress so heavy that it could be felt, tasted and touched.

"Welcome to Charisme Basilica, Your Excellency and Grace." A gentle voice called out from behind her, the doors opened by the butler who clearly was struggling slightly from being awake at this time of the darkening, even as a young woman in her mid-twenties moved as though she floated in her gown, her eyes were the kind that started wars -- dark, liquid, radiant. Her bone structure was flawless, and it was clear that not far back along her lineage was an elfin ancestor, for her cheekbones were magnificent.

Curls had been set into her dark hair, even though her face remained a pale color of porcelain, and seemed equally fragile, almost like that of a doll. The lightest powder clad that youthful skin, and the rouge she had applied was modest in tone, perfectly suitable for a period of mourning. Indeed, she was perfect in every way, from her dress, to her smile, to the expression she carried.

Her eyes regarded Tiyribi, and she carried a certain energy with her. Eyes open, she took in the esh'lahier with a gaze that was serious, frank, compassionate, understanding and utterly encouraging. Her lips were parted just the slightest amount to give her the impression that she was about to exhale the most absolute breath of empathy. Her entire demanor giving the overall sensation that she was marvelling and admiring how bravely Tiyribi was holding upon the burden that life had so unfairly thrusted upon her.

She was like a complete embodiment of the good spirits themselves.

"Liliana, what a pleasant surprise." There was something in that saccharine voice that perhaps revealed that it wasn't quite a pleasure after all, but then again, it was truly difficult to incriminate such a woman of anything that was distasteful. Light seemed to shine from her pores.

"I am the Baroness Freya Maeve, custodian of the Basilica, and this my husband, the Lord Baron Bertrand." Her fingers trailed towards a man perhaps two decades older than her, with the slightest bit of gray trimming his hair, and clearly unaccustomed to be up and about at this time of the darkening. He was a plain creature beside his ravishing wife, but then again, there no one could stand beside Freya and not have their appearances diminished by hers.

He nodded politely at Tiyribi, but said nothing.

From her peripheral vision, Tiyribi could see Liliana's eyebrows arch in a surprise manner, but she had remained painfully silent since their encounter in the esh'lahier's cell, and the exhaustion was plain on her face, etched like an acid attack. A moment of surprise washed over her features, but then faded away, or rather wilfully emptied away. She did not return Freya's greeting, but rather was staring past the couple, towards the door, as though deep in thought and distracted.

"Rosalie, could I prevail upon you to fetch something from the kitchen for the Baroness, she looks famished, and the Countess too, please." An instruction was passed down to the housekeeper, who typically did not step into such a place when there were guests, but then most of the servants would only just be rising from their slumbers, and so the task fell upon the elder matron who nodded once and then slinked away from the room, leaving the butler to attend to the needs of those in present company.

Liliana seemed ready to voice her opposition, but then fell back into her seat, perhaps too vanquished to argue at this moment. Freya, dressed in black, and turning her eyes towards the Prefect of Daltina merely paused, waited a suitable amount of time as though giving her elder ample time to consider, before turning back towards the esh'lahier once more.

"I trust you will find your stay here in the Basilica most enjoyable, My Lady. We are in mourning, of course, but I am certain that some requests of entertainment can be catered to, to prevent your sojourn with us to be too bland for your liking." With a soft voice that sounds beautiful enough to dedicate hymns to Ioannes himself, Freya Maeve turned to appraise Tiyribi, her fingers clasped with her husband's own.
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Old March 20, 2013, 09:05 PM   #2
Tiyribi Andares
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It was frightening just how easily her emotions swung from high to low, hope to despair, without a single hesitation. The sight of the major in the doorway of the Daltinian prefecture had filled her with incredible dread, but it had all been underlined by a sense of resolve, too. If the end was to come, then she would meet it and not run away—if only to offer that one last sense of defiance to a world whose weight she had carried on her shoulders for far too long. But then, when the chariot had come in sight and Liliana Maeve had followed the Esh’lahier out into it, Tiyribi began to realize that this wasn’t the end at all; this was, instead, only the beginning.

But of what chapter? The book’s writer had been spinning this tale without her consent for months now, stretching back past that most deadly of days, to the heated fight she had had with her husband, and perhaps even further to the brightening of their daughter’s birth or the time Tiyribi had first set foot in Daltina and met with the twin marquises. Now, though, she was desperately trying to catch up, to take control, and to start to scribe the words she wanted recorded now—and yet it wasn’t enough, as Liliana Maeve had so clearly proven with her implacable stance. It was too late, she had said, and it wouldn’t ever be enough.

But now? Tiyribi glanced curiously toward the silent Liliana, but didn’t dare break the tenuous peace that existed between them as they traveled. She wasn’t afraid now, she knew, but the dark cloud of looming disaster hadn’t removed itself from Tiyribi’s heart either. The charges against her were dropped, the major had said. She was to be taken away from Daltina, Liliana had declared. But the gaps in such statements—who? why? where?—were floodgates to allow back that heavy sense of dread again, and Tiyribi felt the very strength run out of her bones.

Slowly her gaze averted and caught sight on the rising spires of the great Basilica, finding it strange that there was a feeling of admiration, even as muted as it was, welling up in her consciousness. How could she begin to feel anything normal now, amid such circumstances? Yet she bit her tongue and let her eyes close again for just a moment, thinking a silent prayer that had no words. There were none left to say, after all—only feeling, when the heart had been broken and all that was left were throbbing remnants of a life long passed.

She was tired, worn, and a mere shadow of her former self after the torturous candlemarks spent in interrogation and the darkness of Daltina’s dungeons, and the signs of illness were becoming clear yet again on what should have been an ageless face. All the ravages of her near-death experience barely months previous were now painfully evident, drawn out as they were with the trouble of the present, and thus made Tiyribi an utter disgrace to the elegant architecture and high-rising formality of the Maeves’ ancestral home. Yet no option was granted to the elf with the chariot arrived at its destination, and both urgency and insistence drove her out of it and onto the stone steps of what would presumably be her new jail, or place of execution, or both.

All she wanted to know now was which it would be.

The little delicacies of proper society should have soothed her soul. The sight of attired servants and genteel living ought to have set her mind at ease. Yet this, much as the pleasantries of the major had in Daltina, only served to fray her nerves even more. What game was this? What new dice did they intend to throw at her? Her only play, her only ploy, had been spent on an immovable specter of justice that heard none of it and told her that it was too late. What was left but shambles and empty titles of what had been, but were no longer?

Everything was utterly mechanical now, like a tinker’s toy set to spin, as she walked when required and nodded when required and sat when required, taking direction with obedience that would have set a puppet to shame. She had no more strength to face the world anymore, Tiyribi realized, and whatever resilience she had had left was used up when she had born the walk to the cell’s doorway at the major’s command. Now they’d find nothing but a hollowed-out image, a shade, that was too tired and worn and broken to put together two words into a single thought, let alone trying to make contact with a world that all seemed intent upon leaving her behind.

The sound of a polite voice from behind her shoulder still didn’t recall the consciousness from the clouds under which it lay dormant, and thus Tiyribi stood, slowly, with hands folded over stained stomacher and eyes heavy-lidded. She tipped the proper signs of obeisance on bent ankle and nodded head at the delicate woman’s approach, relying now on mere habit to guide her actions when her mind would not, and followed her and the man behind her as they made their circle into the front of her view.

She missed completely the exchange between Maeve women, and merely latched onto her title: custodian. That word’s definition was about to expand, Tiyribi mused silently to herself. “Your Graces.” Habit did die hard. The mention of refreshments made Tiyribi suddenly aware that she hadn’t eaten properly for a long, extended measure of days, and that there was a sudden weakness in her knees to remind herself of this fact. She managed a very weak smile that looked pathetic underneath the smudges of red skin and brown dirt, but the first made this day nonetheless. “Thank you.”

Words were hard to come by, she realized, and though initially difficult to form, were slowly beginning to return to the front of her mind and thus at her command. The mention of entertainment and mourning in the same sentence struck her as odd, particularly when directed toward someone who was, by all meanings of the word, a willing prisoner in this jail of grandeur, but manners still ran deeply in herself. “I am sure it will be more than sufficient.” Her eyes glanced at Freya, then back at her husband, then once again over to Liliana to complete the full circle of figures of all such disparate decoration occupying the room. What strange jailors, indeed. “Might I ask, for how long?” The question was directed at Freya, but the corner of Tiyribi’s peripheral vision was, instead, fastened on Liliana. The prefect had, after all, told her that it had all been too late, but the realization slowly dawning over Tiyribi’s mind at first sight of the grand Basilica was that maybe, just maybe, Liliana had been wrong.
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Old March 21, 2013, 05:11 AM   #3
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"I wish I knew, Excellency, but you of course know such cannot be predicted. I would be remiss if I falsely got Your Excellency's hopes high." Her reply was polished, not a trace of falseness could be found. Liliana, for her own part, sat silently, her face deliberately void of emotions to reveal that she was anything but feeling nothing.

Rather, there was a sudden inundating of emotions, both good and bad, outrage and relief, that caused that blankness upon her features. She pursed her lips, clamming down on her thoughts and so fumed silently by herself, not that it seemed to disturb the countenance of the other two Maeve sitting on the same couch.

Soon enough, the servants returned with a bowl of hot butternut squash soup and a pot of steaming tea for the others. The brew was most excellent it seemed, bearing the slight flowery smell, and the soup was in all accounts, delicious. Fresh bread, it seemed, barely out of the oven, had been carefully sliced and brought to the Baroness of the Midlands.

And while she ate, the others were making polite conversations, too rude to stare, speaking of mundane things as though tragedy had not struck so recently in the heart of Daltina and their family. And that somehow, it would all simply go away in time, that the esh'lahier was not here as a prisoner, to ensure that the vysstichi themselves would be deterred if they were to retaliate.

Liliana for her own part, spooned at the soup without touching it, as though her own thoughts were far more stirred than the thick, creamy liquid. She gave non-committal one word responses to the couple's attempt at making light conversation, revealing her disinterest in being here as well, as much as perhaps Tiyribi was. She was here, after all, because it was necessary to ensure peace. To ensure a future for her husband and daughter.

Freya Maeve, if anything, seemed pleased by her responses thus far, for they were creatures that understood that there was a place for decorum and etiquette, and was after all, what defined them from the common muck.

Yet the exhaustion grasped at her with greedy, unforgiving fingers, making her lapse into moments where she would almost doze off. The warmth in her stomach from the soup, and the relief it brought was comforting, so much so that it lulled her into thinking she was not in the very den of the tigers themselves, and her fate, or perhaps a large part of it, rested upon their whims.

Her mind had wandered for a brief moment, snapped back only when Freya's voice suddenly rose with anticipated inflection. The flawless creature drawing her attention in the gentlest of manners, while her husband only continued his vague study of Liliana and Tiyribi, smiling understanding smiles. They were too perfect, the two, and almost could be believed that this was all genuine, if one were to let themselves be taken in by their encouraging gazes.

"Which reminds me... may I?"

She stretched out one slender hand towards Tiyribi with feminine liberty, gesturing for hers to meet her fingers. While it was a strange gesture in itself, it appeared that the young woman was trying to accomplish something, and it required Tiyribi's participation.

Her eyes were warm and welcoming, and it was hard for anyone to resist, given her demeanor that was decidedly warmer than Liliana or anyone she had seen since the arrival in Daltina. It was perhaps enough for a moment to make her forget the terrible task she set upon herself, and that the Maeve could, by any chance, be willing to allow Faust's transgression to sink in without reprisals -- for now they had gained the peace offering in the form of a sacrifice sitting before them.

And so, perhaps Liliana had been wrong, or perhaps she had been right. The intervention from higher powers may have brought her from her gloomy cell to a lavish castle, yet she was still the one and the same -- she was still their prisoner.

And what would Faust do when he learns of her fate? Were he to sit by idly while his wife is held captive by the Maeve? Surely her plan had been well thought out, so much so that it appeared the Maeve themselves had given their unspoken acquiescence to it all, against Liliana's wishes.

Yet if anything that had transpired over the last few cycles, it was that her husband himself was a volatile creature capable of great acts of violence, and he loved her more than anything in the world. If the Maeve sought to use her as a shield, then he may yet find a way to bring down the house of cards and pull Tiyribi out from the collapsing debris before it took her down with them.

The only question was -- what would Tiyribi Andares do when that time came?
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Old March 21, 2013, 08:40 AM   #4
Tiyribi Andares
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“No,” Tiyribi said softly, though there wasn’t a hint of reproach in her voice when she regarded Freya, “of course not. That’s quite all right.” But the fact remained that Freya Maeve had increased the lady’s hopes by that one answer, and for the first time this brightening, Tiyribi felt like there was a chance, that maybe all this could work, and maybe everything could finally be saved. After all, why else would the Maeve bring her here, away from the city and prying eyes to the quiet solitude of their country-bound estates, and intimate that her stay may be quite long, indeed? It had to be. They had to have seen the wisdom in this course, and they had to have listened.

Yet even her elation was tempered with the distinct sinking feeling in her stomach that this olive branch had been built at the cost of her freedom and, possibly, her life. Already her arms felt painfully heavy without her baby daughter, and every thought in her naturally spun back to images of her husband. No matter how many times she convinced herself that it was better this way, that this was the only way, that it had to be done, it never fully soothed over her soul, and she still felt raw and abused at the end of it all.

The arrival of the food, however, offered a momentary diversion—and one that the Esh’lahier took greedily. She sat with the rest and ate and did what she could to deflect the streams of polite, albeit shallow, conversation swirling around them, but never carry their currents. Loquaciousness had never been one of her faults, and especially now, when her feelings still so torn and her resilience bent, Tiyribi hadn’t the mind to try. Liliana seemed to agree with her in that regard, and thus most of the talk was relegated to the baroness and her husband, the former of which seemed to be more than happy to oblige.

It was strange, of course, that this woman—delicate, fragile, and the picture of all one would consider feminine beauty between both races she represented—was to be her jailor for the foreseeable future, and this great castle straight out of a history book was to be her prison. In a way the very idea unsettled Tiyribi far more than the dank conditions of the prefecture’s cell, as if the very juxtaposition of being wrong could be far more dangerous than the more primal conditions that one associated with captivity. She had, after all, known the Maeve’s way of dealings for many eras now and seen the way their fingers stretched into shadow and darkness, and that previous knowledge made her wary from falling too deeply into what could potentially be another trap.

The sight of the easy relationship between Freya and her husband hurt Tiyribi more than she cared to express, and thus she made great effort to avert her eyes from the man and focus instead on inanimate objects. That was gone now, she reminded herself. She shouldn’t think of things that didn’t belong to her anymore. Of course, she had considered what might happen if and when Faust discovered her plans and just how he might react, but he, too, had to see that this was the only way to give their daughter the possibility of a future—and her, that precious child’s, happiness was worth far more than that of her parents.

The rest of her thoughts were cut off by Freya’s sudden question, causing the elf to turn a curious glance in the woman’s direction. She saw her hands reach toward her, but the motion initially didn’t make any sense in her head. “I…” It was the first time that kindness, not the sternness of the Daltinian prefect or the overwhelming politeness of the Maevewoods major at the cell, had been shown to Tiyribi all day, and she found herself stunned by its appearance. Again she looked at Freya, and before her reluctance could drag the moment out any longer, she acquiesced and gently touched her hand against the other.

But why? Still she couldn’t push away that nagging feeling in the back of her head that this was all some sort of elaborate treachery, that the true plans of House Maeve for their now-captured enemy would be revealed, and that there were still more cards and players to be revealed. But at the same time, this woman’s look and the light in her eye had soothed the scarring that had been done to Tiyribi this day, and thus she allowed it to pass without a word of reprimand.

The world was different now, Tiyribi reminded herself, and would soon move on without her. That was what she had wanted. Now there was only to hope that it would not all be in vain.
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Old March 21, 2013, 09:56 AM   #5
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There was a thunder without sound that struck Tiyribi as their fingers touched, and there a strange trickling sensation welling inside her, a mounting pressure as though she would implode from within. Sparks of light danced off her fingers, but try as she might, she could not pull away from it, as the ball of light formed a chrysalis of energy that completely enveloped the two, with a milky silver thread of magic arching from Freya's chest and then piercing straight into Tiyribi's bosom.

It was a strange pain -- it seemed utterly far away, but then it was particularly intimate at the same time.

Freya Maeve's voice calls her back, the lulling sing-song tone of the flawlessly beautiful creature, the spell now fading away again, while sparks of light now danced from the edge of her eyes into the sizzling air around her that vibrated so firmly with such powerful magic being invoked.

"As a sign of my House's good faith, our life essences are now inexorably linked. Whatever harm comes to you will be inflicted upon me, and vice versa." She says this calmly, and her gaze never wavered, not once. Gracefully, she withdraw her fingers from Tiyribi's contact and pulled it back to the front of her abdomen, a posture of feminine grace, beauty and pose.

There was no recrimination for what she had just done, but it was obvious that this had all been part of the plan, and not so after-thought decision that Freya had so glibly made it out to be. Her eyes followed Tiyribi's, trying to ascertain her innermost thoughts through simple observation.

Liliana herself appeared shocked, jaw slackened, her fingers digging into the cushions of her chair, unable to speak. As for Bertrand, his expression was neutral, bored, cold. For the first time, there was something in his eyes that would cause dread to well up within the esh'lahier, giving the impression that perhaps, just perhaps, he was not as powerless as he made himself out to be.

"Given this terse situation that threatens to escalate, Your Excellency's well-being is paramount. Any mishap to your personage would catalyze the violence that would threaten all of Enamoria. And any seeking to destabilize the realm would find Your Excellency a most suitable target." Her words made sense, of course, but then the parallel of it all was simply left unsaid, to be determined by the Governor herself.

It may have been the exhaustion before, but even as Freya finishes her sentence, the Andares would realize that her Vis was trickling like droplets of water into an empty parched land that swallowed it all up before it had a chance to pool. There were clearly enchantments present that was laced into the estate, unsurprising given it was the former seat of power for the Kingdom of Daltina, or the spell had completely sapped away her reserves for the time being. Whatever the case was, only time would tell.

A tidal wave of sickness washed over her as a haze of light seemed to explode before her eyes, causing the feeling of faintness. There were words being spoken by Freya, assuring Liliana that it was simply an after-effect of the spell, but then those words came at close and far distances, fading and then exploding in her ears.

"Rosalie, would you be a dear and show the good Baroness to her room? Assign Her Excellency a lady's maid of course."

And then as she was being held up be her arm very gently by the elder matron, she began to regain her senses once more, and perhaps now, she would realize that the Maeve not only took upon her words, they also added their own insurance to the matter.

"Good darkening to you, Baroness Andares, I shall see you at Pracenda."

Freya's smile bloomed all the way as the housekeeper waved a hand towards the door for the esh'lahier, who was still groggy and weak from the living enchantment barbed into her being like a hook, and digging deeper every passing moment.
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Old March 21, 2013, 11:09 AM   #6
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And that same smile persisted until the doors were shut.

And then it simply vanished from her face, even as Liliana's voice accusation slammed hotly against her seemingly untouchable countenance, her eyes turned into slits of annoyance at that confrontation, the tiniest frown on her otherwise exquisite expression. She was not used to hearing this tone of voice from anyone, especially not from Liliana, who she found to be insufferable, inflexible and completely out of touch with the modern generation.

"Is this some kind of sick game?"

Freya rolled her eyes, exasperated. She was younger than Liliana, but she was also higher in the Maeve hierarchy than Liliana would ever be. In an indulgent voice entirely inappropriate to use on her elders, she continued with an obvious hint of mockery.

"Oh Liliana, don't blame me when your hospitality was so lacking." Her voice carried a tone of apology, but then it was utterly and completely insincere, as she pried her hands away from the man beside her.

"You can stop pretending now, Bertrand." She intoned coldly to the man she had previously introduced as her husband, who shrugged and turned his calculating eyes towards Liliana with an expression of exaggerated and wounded dignity.

"What do you think Liliana? Convincing? Don't we look good together?" The male guffawed, as though this was all highly amusing to him. He stood up and yawned, stretched and then looked quite serious at Liliana as though wanting her true opinion on the matter, as though it mattered. Bertrand, after all, got a kick out of pleasing people -- it was almost an innate need.

"So good, I shed a tear inside." Liliana's voice dripped with acid, her tone growing heated, her expression slowly growing more and more agitated. She wasn't a plaything to this young upstart, and of course, now she has Bertrand on her side, and no doubt this has the Duchess' stink all over.

The control she had wrought earlier in the brightening was now being yanked out of her hands, and she seethed, knowing that all was lost, and that the death of Aeris and Aryun would simply be used as an event that would empower someone, and discredit others. The death of her nephews was going to be used as a power play.

It made her sick to the core, and her fingers subconsciously traced over to the beads that were never too far from her personage.

"Oh you, stop sulking. You keeping her in the prison was never going to work, and you know that. In here, with the chapel and the natural defenses of the Basilica, they have far more to lose if they come here," Freya Maeve sought to alleviate the tensions as Bertrand sipped his tea and looking quite smug, like a cat with a mouse in his mouth.

Liliana wondered what would possess them to involve Bertrand in this plot at all -- a man not known for his lucidity and sanity. If Liliana had his way, he would be in a sanatorium, yet she did not, and so here he was.

She said nothing and so Freya pressed on. Quite willing to unsettled her elder even further, for she drew some kind of perverse satisfaction out of it all. Her pink lips twisted derisively, almost in an overstated manner of shock.

"Besides, keeping an Imperial Governor in prison? you must be quite out of your mind, poor Liliana, so lost in your own grief-" Freya continued, until she was interrupted by Liliana who stood up on her feet while Freya, saying nothing, merely continued looking at her elder with wide-eye innocence, as though the matter was done, and there really was no point in her struggling to come to terms with it.

"Don't you dare." The Prefect of Daltina warned, but then her shoulders slumped, coming to the realization quick enough that this had clearly spiralled out of her control, and there really was nothing she could do to stop this madness. She understood fundamentally that this would involve the House yet she was also the Prefect, and she owed the twins that much that their murderers would be apprehended and trialled.

Justice demanded it. And she was the embodiment of that concept.

Sitting down on her chair, however, she found she had one last question.

"What will you do with her?"

Freya, pleased that her elder had come around, brought a teacup to her lips and took a dainty sip, a sly expression in her eyes.

"Why, nothing, she is free to stay as an honored guest and if she so wishes, she can receive visitors, send correspondences, God knows, she still has a Province to run." Liliana, at this point, looked as though she was about to spit nails, but then Freya lifted a hand to gesture that she wasn't finished.

"She just isn't allowed to leave."
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Old March 21, 2013, 07:23 PM   #7
Tiyribi Andares
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Another mistake. That much was evident the moment that the women’s fingers made contact and Tiyribi realized that all of Freya’s niceties were exactly the traps that she had suspected—and yet still had not had the strength to avoid. Every nerve in her body exploded with sense that she couldn’t decipher and she nearly fell faint right then and there. What now, she heard a dull corner of her mind ask, cognizant enough to realize that they had already taken enough, and now they were demanding even more.

By instinct Tiyribi still clutched at her chest even after the sensation ended, as if that could somehow fix whatever had just happened between them or at least block out the uncomfortable sensation of closeness that had now been built between Maeve and Andares. She narrowed a piercing, fearful look in Freya’s direction and yet still found her breath too short and her thoughts too fractionalized to put her questions into words. What had happened? What had they done? And again Tiyribi remembered that she was within the home of the Maeve now and nothing was out of bounds for them.

“I…see…” was all she said to Freya’s brief explanations, but it was all that needed to be said. Tiyribi did see. It was easy to extrapolate out the true meaning behind all the pleasantries, that this was done to keep her tied, now physically, to the interests of the Maeve, and using her very life as a bargaining chip to shield them against possible violent rebuttals from her husband or others. It wasn’t, after all, a one-way street; her well-being was now dependent on them, as much as it reversed in direction.

And then, she realized, that even though she hadn’t thought it possible, the Maeve had just raised the stakes in this game that much higher.

Whatever else Tiyribi could and would have said was drowned out by the nausea boiling in her stomach and the immense headache pounding out of her skull, both made overwhelming by the suddenness of their onset. She gasped, audibly, with one hand grabbing at her abdomen while the other pressed against the side of her temple—both motions to no avail. Her eyes were wide while she desperately tried to catch her breath, overcome as she was by what Freya described as the natural after-effects of the spell. She glanced once at the Maeve baroness, wondering just why, then, she wasn’t also teetering on the edge of sickness, but then swallowed that thought away too on the singular concentration of trying to keep her stomach intact.

She was suddenly tired, in immense pain, and as weak as she had ever been in her life both physically and mentally. They had done something to her, whether Freya’s explanation was to be believed or not, that had robbed her of even the ability to stand under her own power. Thus when the housekeeper returned and was tasked with removing her from the room, Tiyribi made no protest. She leaned heavily on the other woman as the last defense against crumbling lifelessly on the floor, and thus barely registered the rest of Freya’s bidding farewells and wishes before the room disappeared and all turned into little more than grey haze.

It hurt, was the last thing she remembered registering as Rosalie led her down the halls, and the game had changed.
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Old March 22, 2013, 06:53 AM   #8
Roscarnis de Lylles
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Tiyribi Andares has unlocked the Achievement: A Willing Hostage!
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