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A Rising Disquiet ((Open RP))

by Aerana » September 8th, 2014, 5:24 pm

(( The following is a thread from the Twilight Empire's guild site. While the RP began slowly when only a few people were involved, it has certainly grown. It is being posted here because this RP arc has suddenly exploded and it is entirely likely that those outside of the guild will hear of it. Any who hear of it are welcome to post their character's thoughts and actions here! We're looking forward to seeing how this story plays out.

Edit: I wanted to note that these posts might not immediately tell a story or make sense as to what is being discussed, who is doing what, or how these actions fit in with the greater whole. They revolve around in-game RP and offer only flashes of what is going on. The first posts, in particular, are intentionally ambiguous as to what is going on because the guild as a whole was unaware of some things. Once the guild was made aware at this past guild meeting, the RP widened immediately and hopefully some of the later posts will help to fill in the gaps.))


Aerana slowly reached for the carefully folded report, hardly noticing how pale and thin her fingers had grown over the past few months of endless studying, late hours, and little rest. The last light of the sun streamed through the glass window behind her, its rays illuminating the particles of dust that danced on the air currents stirred by her movement. For a long moment, Aerana watched the intricate circulation of the swirling dust, her hand motionless as her fingers rested on the parchment. Sapphire eyes grew distant, lost in thought as the intrigues of the air pulled the invisible strings of the dust specks.

“What do you mean?” Aerana asked quizzically, still holding the invitation in her hand. “We’re just a small group with a goal of peace. We don’t have any enemies.”

“You’re foolish if you think that the Empire’s only enemies are outside of the Alliance. Or even outside of the Empire itself, Aerana,” the woman retorted critically as she gestured towards the paper in Aerana’s hands. “You’re our leader, but you’re still too naïve.” The woman heaved a long-suffering sigh. “We’ve had enemies from the moment we were created. Imperium pretends to befriend us, but I know that they plot against us. They’ve planted spies in the Empire to bring us down from within because they see us as a threat.”

“But how can we be a threat? We haven’t done anything to them,” Aerana replied, her brows drawn together as she tried to process the conversation. Political intrigue had been a new concept to her back then.

“We threaten the existing power structure,” the other woman explained not-so-patiently. “Those in power want to maintain their power – and they’ll do anything to do that. Don’t be deceived by that invitation. It’s a trap – to feel you out, to subordinate the Empire to Imperium. Every little action adds up. They snub us, deride your leadership, and infiltrate us even now. You can’t be so naïve if you’re going to keep ruling and if the Empire is going to survive.”

At her desk, the Empress sighed, giving her head a small shake to banish the distant memories that had resurrected so easily. The dust whirled wildly at this abrupt movement but Aerana’s eyes no longer watched the effects of her action. Instead, her eyes focused solely on the neat and precise calligraphy of the report in front of her. At first glance, the account was little different than countless other reports that had crossed her varnished desk. However, this report garnered more thoughtful and pensive attention than most. A single finger trailed along the words, underscoring the sentiment behind the almost monotonous recitation of facts and actions.

“So it must be,” Aerana murmured quietly as she set the report for the Scout aside, closing her eyes to the shadows gathering in the far reaches of the room as the sunlight completely disappeared.
"It is all a balance."
~Aerana Dantay, Empress of the Twilight Empire~

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Re: A Rising Disquiet ((Open RP))

by Myaka » September 8th, 2014, 7:46 pm

"Should I be worried?"

The remembered question bounced though her mind as she watched the soldiers disperse after the Military Meeting. She frowned softly and shook her head, trying to clear her worried thoughts. When the Death Knight had asked the question last meeting, it had seemed to float away on the arid air of the Southern Barrens.

"About the assignment?" She had been confused that the usually stoic Death Knight could seem afraid of dealing with the remaining Dragonmaw.

"About our number. Should I be worried?"

She had answered it simply, almost naively she thought now; at the time she thought that the Vision was at it's closest to being realized since the end of the Third War. Hellscream had been defeated, he was still alive but a sympathetic Warchief was in power again. The military did not need large numbers, not when the Vision was so close to coming true.

But now...

She had been foolish to think that the Military would be fine as is now that the Siege of Orgrimmar was over. She had been foolish to feel that all they had to fear were the Dragonmaw in the Highlands.

"Should I be-"

No, She thought, her mental words soft. That is not the proper question. She ran a finger along the small glowing stone that was her guildstone, taking care not to activate it as her thoughts permeated in her head.

Should -we- be worried?
Battletag: Myaka#1873 feel free to add me! If your tag is different then your character name say you are from the sanctum.
Alliance: Myaka(Main), Mervic, Surina, Dundhane(Emerys Dundhane)
Horde: Fleetmane, Kirand.

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Re: A Rising Disquiet ((Open RP))

by Tinox » September 8th, 2014, 8:28 pm

Tinox Smartgear, Senator of the Twilight Empire, was a Gnome of habits. He was standing on his usual chair, in his usual attire, at his usual desk, in his laboratory in the Mage Tower of Stormwind, where he usually spent his time. He once again picked up the notebook where he noted his observations, and dipped his quill in ink.

"Final conclusion: from this side, the connection to the matrix appears undamaged. I have pored extensively over the network itself, and therefore can affirm there is no chance of a targeted misinterpretation of the signal. The problem must, then, lie within the stones itself. It defies the odds, however, that multiple stones would be affected in the exact same manner, at the same time. I must have overlooked something."

He sighed, rubbed his eyes, replaced the blotting paper, and closed the book. Tonight, his mind had a bit more than the usual problems to consider, and he didn't dare put those thoughts to paper quite yet.

"The report I received tonight is troubling. What can be done? Biggest problem: stubborn. Direct approach? Suspicious. Underhanded even more so. If concerted? Then direct probably still best odds. Together, we are stronger, and if I am right, we will need to be. Timetable? Important, not urgent. Act fast as possible, without disruption. Convene Senate. That being done, appearances maintainable, with care. Threats? Likely, but expected. Best security is obscurity. Talk to military. Most importantly, tenets are respected. Our Duty is to the Empire. We must not forget that."

He shook his head, but still smiled. Age had made his body weak and tired, but his mind was still as fast as ever, racing ahead in the stream of possibilities, probing a path there, a response there. There were still details to arrange. A location would be needed, but so long as the desired result was reached, it stayed ultimately irrelevant.

He sent messages to Senators Furyswipes and Keithson, and waited.

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Re: A Rising Disquiet ((Open RP))

by Aerana » September 8th, 2014, 9:00 pm

(( The following post was made by Dracila.))

Dracila walked home slowly that night, her mind buzzing. She glanced upwards at her house as she approached it. In the late hour, the moonlight reflected off the windows and onto the street, making a path of light to the door just for her. She silently entered her home and closed the door behind her as quietly as she could. The interior was completely dark. She ran a claw along the wall to help guide herself towards the stairs to the second floor. The old wooden floor creaked and groaned under the weight of her armor.

Reaching the top of the stairs, her eyes having adjusted somewhat to the darkness, she looked down the hall at Sarah's door. She looked for light at the bottom threshold of the door for a moment before remembering that even if Sarah was awake, she would have no need for conventional light. Dracila moved down the hall past Sarah's room and entered her own room. She looked at her bed, rarely used, and decided that tonight she would actually rest for once. She began to remove the bulky pieces of armor and placed them on a nearby table. Then she changed into some basic clothing suitable for resting. She considered her sword for a moment, eyeing the guildstone that sat in the pommel, protected by powerful barriers and wards. She moved to place the sword as far as she could from the bed, but still within eyesight should she need to Death Grip it to her for whatever reason.

As she went to get into bed, the door to her room opened just a sliver and Zek-Zek popped his head in curiously. As soon as he saw Dracila, he threw the door open and sprinted across the room. He jumped off one of the nearby chairs and into her, hugging her as tightly as his little arms could. Dracila caught him, returning the hug briefly before teasing him. "You're supposed to be asleep, little one." Dracila moved to close the door quietly and then turned towards the bed, tossing Zek gently onto it. Then she moved to settle onto the bed next to him.

"I know, mama, but I heard you come in. Can I sleep with you tonight?"

Dracila sighed a little. "I suppose so." She was barely settled before Zek-Zek, still being small enough to do it, curled up with half of his body resting on her chest.

Zek-Zek fell asleep almost immediately, snoring softly. Dracila, however, was far from relaxed after the events of tonight.

"Will be done with or without her desire..." These words echoed and reverberated in her head. She thought of all the ways that they could do this. Poison. A trap. Magic. There was a number of ways it could be done. So many directions to defend against. But the worst thought in her head was not if they would, but if they should. Or more importantly, if they were right.

She looked down at Zek-Zek sleeping, a little bit of drool coming from his jaws. She smiled in the dark at him and wrapped an arm around him, remembering the words she had uttered not an hour ago. "If you focus on the tree, you won't see the forest." Closing her eyes, she let her mind drift. But eventually she reaffirmed her original beliefs. She would serve the Vision as best she could. It would all fall in place, one way or the other. But for now, she was going to enjoy the moments she had with her child and deal with it in the morning.
"It is all a balance."
~Aerana Dantay, Empress of the Twilight Empire~

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Re: A Rising Disquiet ((Open RP))

by Sieln » September 8th, 2014, 9:07 pm

Sieln sat on top of a tower in the Gilnean coastline.

His currently feline eyes wandered over the largely abandoned land. The only noise to be heard was the occasional squawking of ravens. Tilting his head he sniffed the air enjoying the scent of the saltwater and with a satisfied grunt he curled into a cat shaped ball on the top of the tower and closed his eyes allowing his thoughts to roam.

"The best choice" the words drifted from a deep recess of his mind.

Sieln snorted.

"Watch" the word rose unbidden.

"Protect" the word echoed loudly in his dreams.

In his dreams he flew in a stormy sky. The words repeating themselves as rain pelted his avian form. Lightning ripped across the sky revealing dark shadows streaming behind him. He instinctively knew he had to beat them to his destination though he didn't know why. Looking ahead he saw a familiar form briefly illuminated in the distance and with renewed sense of purpose he sped towards it.

With a start Sieln woke to a thunderstorm roiling in over the sea towards him. He sat up and watched it with a sense of dread.

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Re: A Rising Disquiet ((Open RP))

by Aerana » September 8th, 2014, 9:10 pm

Her desk gleamed in the faint moonlight, free now from its usual weight of records and paperwork. The report that had so long held her gaze the previous night was gone. It had been approved, the delegation of duties had been made, and the clandestine mission had born fruit - a dark and foreboding fruit. Even now, within the silence of her own chambers, the simple recitation echoed through her mind, appropriately punctuated by the splatter of rain that had fallen around their surreptitious meeting.

A question followed the disturbing account, voiced by the fierce protector at her side. "Did they mention how they might go about this? Or what the concern was about her health?"

The answer: "Something about...obsession with vision? And no."

Simple, direct, and yet unbelievably troubling. Even now, within the darkness of her own chambers, Aerana thought she could still hear the rain pouring down as it had when she stood listening to those words on the balcony of that tower. The wind had howled in her mind and in the air around the group in the wake of the declaration. Half-remembered sentences continued to run rampant through her thoughts, spoken by those upon whom she had come to rely.

"They do not understand and that lack of understanding makes them dangerous."

"Perhaps there is some truth to their words, but no justice in their plans."

"The questions remains: What would you have us do if they move against you, Aerana?"

Aerana shook her head, her stomach clenching as she remembered the final, dreadful, unavoidable question. She walked slowly to the window and stared out over the harbor, hand pressed against her abdomen. The echoes of the rain in her mind forced her memories down a dark path, to another rainy night, in years past...

A night when she had answered a very similar question regarding another whose betrayal she never expected.

"I exile you, Rosamunde, from the Empire. Your name shall be as nothing. You shall not even live in the memories of those who will come after. None will know of you, none will remember you. Your betrayal has ended any such acclaim that would have been your due. You are as nothing. Begone."

And then another voice, underscored again by the omnipresent downpour of the rain, much more recent than the last memory. "I would rather break the branch entirely than let its weight pull us all down."

"No," Aerana murmured quietly, shaking her head again. She pressed her forehead against the cool glass pane. "Let it not come to such. Not again...Not worse."
"It is all a balance."
~Aerana Dantay, Empress of the Twilight Empire~

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Re: A Rising Disquiet ((Open RP))

by Tarashan » September 9th, 2014, 7:05 am

Tarashan had watched the discussion unfold, and then remained standing there as Aerana had addressed those few who had remained behind after the Senate had dispersed. She had watched as some swore allegiance to the Empress, and as a certain priestess had made it very clear that she was not siding with anyone. And she had watched—with a bit of displeasure—as the Empress had opened a portal to Stormwind on the dais and she and Myaka had stepped through. The mage had followed, albeit more discretely, and had appeared shortly after right in the middle of the pair in the Stormwind mage tower. She had followed the warrior and the Empress, joining them in a lengthy discussion in a secluded area of the mage district. She had given her opinions on the matter to the Empress, and it was on those that she ruminated as she flew away from Darnassus towards her Winterspring home.

She had told the Empress that she felt everything was just a misunderstanding. That she could see both sides of the issue. On the one hand, the Empress felt threatened, and with good reason, given what she had been through. But on the other side, as she told Aerana, the Senate felt they had been usurped. Whether they had been or not was not the important question. They felt they had been bypassed, and that was all that mattered. She had informed Aerana that perhaps the Senate feared that she might be forming her own private army with her Guardians, leading them to fear for their power and for the future of the Empire. Tarashan sighed as she slid from her mount in front of her home and tied the hippogryph to a post. She could only hope that the Empress would listen. She had cautioned against several things, and pushed for others, trying to get the Empress to adopt a conciliatory approach towards her Senate, that things might end peaceably.

The Senate had been noticeably hurt, and by the end the Empress had adopted a posture of accusing the Senate of daring to suggest she step down. It had the makings of a power struggle written all over it, and Tarashan wanted to do everything in her power to avoid letting that come to fruition. She dearly loved the Empire, and the Vision now seemed so close to achieving some sort of success that the last thing they needed was a power struggle that would tear them apart. She could already see the factions forming, with Xandric, Shivering, and a paladin she didn't know swearing themselves to Aerana after the Senate had dispersed that night. She did not know who would join with the Senate, but there would doubtless be those who did.

Tarashan sighed again as she began removing bits and pieces of her armor, tossing them into a pile in the corner. Normally she would take better care with her equipment, but for now she was tired, and she missed having Slaye around. She would have been able to talk with her. Slaye had been a high-ranking member of the Empire at one time, but the engineer that so often shared her bed was off tinkering on some device or another at her shop in Darnassus, leaving Tarashan alone with her thoughts as the night elf dropped down into her soft bed.

Sleep was a long time in coming though. Her mind was still racing, thinking about what had been said, what she could have done differently. She should have pressed harder with what she imagined to be the Senate’s viewpoint. She should have more strongly urged Aerana to keep her feelings hidden. As sleep finally came though she felt hopeful that she had done what she could, that she had, perhaps in her own way, helped Aerana to see from the other side, and that that insight would lead to a quick and peaceful resolution.

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Re: A Rising Disquiet ((Open RP))

by Aerana » September 9th, 2014, 11:22 am

(( The follow post was made by Donnelly.))

The embers in the hearth cast the only dull light in the room. In the dimness Donnelly sat and pondered the events at the meeting. He had been surprised to learn Aerana had reinstated the Royal Guard. He felt guilty about confronting her like he did. But he was more than angry, he was hurt. He shared a unique relationship with the Empress that few knew about.

He thought about the first time he had seen Aerana. When Tinox placed the necklace containing Aerana's spirit, against the crystal shattering it and allowing the lifeless corpse of Aerana to fall into his arms. His heart broke when he looked at the sunken cheeks and lifeless eyes of a woman he had never met, yet cared for. She looked so much like his sister Ellen, whose body he had held in the same manner. He carried her body in his arms through the portal and lead the solemn procession through Stormwind city to the Empire's hall. Through the sobbing and wails of the gathered citizens he carried her before the Senate and gently laid her body on the floor. Taking a moment to brush the hair from her face to close the dull sapphire eyes before he stood and addressed those gathered. After some deliberation the Senate ordered the items containing her soul and spirit be laid upon her in effort to restore her to life. That was unsuccessful. Donnelly looked at the broken body of the woman that reminded him so much of Ellen that his heart hurt. He felt compelled to do more than just look at her. He was going to attempt to return her to life.

Redeeming someone from the dead was something he had never attempted, it takes skill and dedication to the Light that he did not think he had. But he was going to try. He moved beside the body and knelt to her right side. He took the spirit and soul of Aerana and laid them on top of each other before laying his hand over them. Closing his eyes he began to pray, asking the Light to return her to life. He began to glow slightly as he prayed but nothing was happening. Desperation crept in as he questioned himself. He was not strong enough in the Light to do this. He opened his eyes and looked down at the body and he could see not Aerana but Ellen. As his heart broke at the thought another took control. He was forced to kill his own sister but he would save this young woman who had much to live for. Even if it cost him his life. Steeling his resolve he began to feel truly one with the Light. The runes inscribed on his armor began to glow brighter and brighter as he gave his own life force to save this woman. As he felt the first tugging of his soul there was a hand placed on his shoulder. It was channeling the Light through him into the woman. The tugging stopped and he felt invigorated. More came forward to add their power to his. Praying with all he was he moved the energy through him into her. In a brilliant flash the items disintegrated.

And Aerana opened her brilliant sapphire eyes and took a breath...

The aged man took a sip of water and thought about the Royal Guard. The Royal Guard has never succeeded and has always done nothing more than splinter the military. He had read the past General's memoirs and could see the pattern. But he agreed to allow it, at Aerana's urging, during his tenure as General. It had failed, as it always had. He felt that it was pushed because of General Larmont's lover being the one that is leading it. He spoke against Katelle dating one of her soldiers and that if she did so, to not promote them. It is -wrong- to do so and it sends the wrong message to soldiers. But he was ignored. He reminded himself that it is not longer his Military. He had to entrust Katelle to lead it. But his resolve about the Royal Guard will not change. He built the Military into a powerful force that put fear into the hearts of those who would seek to hurt the Empire. He did not want to see if fracture and fall into ruin.

Donnelly was hurt by her going behind the Senate's back. He had been harsh in his words. Donnelly has never pretended to be much of a statesman. When he is called upon he tries his best to emulate what he has seen Tinox and Aerana do. Diplomacy is not his strong suit. He is at home leading soldiers, fighting in wars, living the soldiers life. He ran for Senate so there would be a military voice on the Senate, something it has not had in several years. But the Empress was wrong to do something without informing the Senate. The Empire is about balance, yet she overrode the balance that the Senate brings. He would seek her out and try to speak to her civilly. She would see the reason for the Senate's displeasure and heal the wounds inflicted upon both Aerana and the Senate. He had faith in the woman who was the only one who understood what it meant to be in command.

Taking another sip he prayed that Pralea had found some comfort. She had been shaken by the conflict. Losing those she loved had been a constant for her and she feared losing even more. He tried to reassure her the best he could. Donnelly worried for Pralea. Her father was one of his oldest friends and now that Christopher is gone he tries to pass the friendship to the daughter. He had faith that if things got rough that the part of her that was from Christopher would surface, giving her the strength to endure.

He finished off the glass of water and eased down into his bed. Ignoring the pain in his joints Donnelly closed his eyes and tried to sleep.

It did not come easy.
"It is all a balance."
~Aerana Dantay, Empress of the Twilight Empire~

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Re: A Rising Disquiet ((Open RP))

by Aerana » September 9th, 2014, 11:23 am

Aerana Dantay tilted her head upwards, troubled blue eyes searching the ghostly clouds that obscured the twinkling stars above. Though a large white hood had cast her features in shadows throughout the evening, the momentary gesture allowed the moon’s light to illuminate her pale and uneasy expression. She lowered her head as she heard the familiar sound of armored footfalls crossing the cobblestone path, coming to stand at a respectful distance behind her. Aerana moved out of the moonlight by stepping beneath the overhanging eaves of her residence, which sat snugly on the outskirts of the Cathedral District of Stormwind City. Even at this distance, Aerana could hear the steady but quiet crashing of the ocean against the docks in the Harbor, a subtle backdrop to her Guardian's earlier steps.

Reaching forward, the white-clad woman pressed the palm of her hand flat against the large wooden door in a gesture that once would have seemed strange to her naïve mind but now had become almost second nature. General Larmont and Captain Ronae’Serrar had been particularly concerned when she had formally requested that her residence be relocated to Stormwind. While her Dalaran quarters had boasted multiple layers of magical protections, provided in part by the Kirin Tor, such precautions were not as easily implemented within Stormwind’s limits. Yet in the months leading up to her move, the leaders of the Military had collaborated to provide what protections they could so that Aerana’s safety was assured. As such, entering her residence required a particular set of rituals, each carefully performed at an ordained time. Not for the first time, Aerana silently thanked the General and the Captain for their foresight.

The Empress no longer wore the heavily embroidered sapphire and gold robes with her iconic cloak bearing the Empire’s crest. Such ceremonial attire was customary for the formal gatherings of the Empire but the heavy weight of its finery was decidedly unsuitable for her most recent, and more clandestine, excursion. Instead, she had returned from the surreptitious meeting clad in a simple white robe with a hood that helped to conceal her face. Both pieces had been carefully tailored from fine but durable cloth, sewn with her own hands during the days when she had time to engage in such routine daily chores. Tonight, however, those same hands would undertake a far less mundane, and far more disquieting, task.

Multiple levels of invisible wards flared briefly at Aerana’s touch as particular symbols were activated by the subtle flow of magic from the pale hand touching the wooden grain. The spectrum of colors flickered from violet to lilac and then to azure. The colors faded just as suddenly as they had flashed. Aerana inserted an intricate golden key into the now-visible keyhole before pressing the door open. Myaka Winterborne, the ever silent and solemn woman who had become Aerana’s shadow in recent months, followed as the Empress entered the residence.

Myaka Winterborne – The woman that the rest of the Empire now knew was a Guardian, one of the fabled Royal Guard, a sect within the Empire had been thought to be dismantled in years past. Aerana recognized that others within the Empire had looked in askance towards Myaka after the uncomfortable revelation, no doubt feeling betrayed that Soldier Winterborne had informed them of neither her duty nor her other title. Yet Myaka had sworn an oath and followed it without reserve; her guardianship was not her secret to tell. Aerana pressed her lips together at the thought, slowly making her way through the dimly lit hallway that lead to her personal chambers.

“I apologize that such has occurred and that you may face recriminations for the oath that you took,” Aerana finally murmured as the two passed by a doorway that opened up to an eclectic collection of tomes and treatises, stacked from floor to ceiling in some indiscernible method of organization. Without pausing to browse through the beloved library, Aerana continued down the hallway.

“I regret that a choice had to be made, Empress,” Myaka replied simply. The woman’s brown hair almost looked black in the dark hallway and the scar on the left side of her face, faint even in daylight, was now completely swallowed by shadows. “But I do not regret the choice. I made the choice to stand by you and I do not regret that, nor will I ever.”

Aerana ceased her movement and lowered her head, feeling the weight of the Guardian’s words settle on her shoulders. She slowly lifted her head to meet Myaka’s trusting, yet concerned, brown eyes. “And know too that I shall never seek to create such regret," the Empress continued her path down the hallway, speaking after a mere moment’s hesitation. "I am honored by such service and in turn shall strive to return it by service of my own.”

Guardian Winterborne nodded once and signaled to Aerana that she would take her usual position outside the door to Aerana’s inner chamber. With a final glance at the solitary woman, Aerana pushed her hand again to the door. Once more, wards flared in a soft splash of colors, throwing both Aerana and Myaka’s expressions into stark relief. With one last look at the single known Guardian, Aerana opened the door to her large darkened chamber and stepped inside, alone.

It would be another sleepless night, she knew, so the Empress wasted no time in even attempting to seek the rest that her bed so often promised but rarely provided. Instead she paced over to her desk, cleared now of the reports and records that had littered its surface earlier that day. Aerana briefly considered the unlit wicks of the numerous candles around her chambers. With a soft murmur and a simple gesture, flames flickered to life and danced merrily where before there had been only darkness. Such light would be sufficient for her purposes.

Unclasping the cloak she wore, Aerana laid the cloth garment across the back of her chair before taking a seat. She opened the drawers at the edge of the desk and reached for a number of spherical stones that had been carefully polished; the flames reflected off of their perfectly glossy edges, giving the appearance that the stones glowed with their own inner light. Next she pulled out several small pouches, finely stitched and drawn tight with heavy thread. Aerana carefully unlaced the stitching, exposing the pouches' contents to the candle’s light. Within each bag glittered a small pile of tinted powder, bathing Aerana’s now impassive countenance in a myriad of colors oddly reminiscent of the wards that had flashed only moments ago at the doorway. Fingertips sifted through the first bag of dust, carefully arranging the vibrant grains, like miniature emeralds, in concentric circles. She reached for another small bag, pinching a small quantity of the sunset colored particles. And so, she began her work, hesitatingly at first, but with growing confidence as she remembered the quiet incantations, intricate patterns, and appropriate reagents. In truth, the repetitive, mechanical, movements helped to calm her mind and quell the turmoil within her heart, if only a bit.

‘Could I have done aught differently?’ she silently questioned herself as she stared down at the collection of stones on her desk, now covered in a fine layer of softly glowing dust. Each line of dust was carefully drawn, with no stray specks daring to break the intricate and elaborate pattern.

The report that she had received only a couple of nights ago resounded once more through her mind, so clear that she wondered briefly if it was being repeated again within her chambers. She looked up from her work, staring at the far wall as she thought over the foreboding words.

“Pralea is of mind that Empress needs to be away. It appears in concern of health. Tinox agrees and states it has been spoken of much among other Senators. He further implied it may be done with or without Empress’ desire when Pralea had left.”

The fierce Guardian at her side had spoken up, asking the questions that Aerana’s stunned mind could not articulate. “Did they mention how they might go about this? Or what the concern was about her health?”

“Something about…obsession with vision?” came the Scout’s reply. “And no.”

It had been eminently disturbing and seemed only to confirm the other outwardly innocuous, but similarly disconcerting, happenings of the previous year. That report had caused Aerana’s subsequent nights to pass in sleeplessness, as her mind endlessly sorted through other actions and words, desperately seeking some semblance of understanding to the shift in political currents within the Empire. The minute details, the strange coincidences that had created a feeling of unease deep within…all had been substantiated by that simple, dreadful report. And all appeared to indicate one thing.

At her desk, the Empress closed her eyes. Not for the first time, she hoped that she was mistaken and all had been nothing more than a mere misunderstanding, a series of laughably inept miscommunications.

‘Naïve and idealistic,’ came the unbidden thought. It was not the first time that she had been referred to as such. Nor would it be the last time that such descriptions were attributed to her. Yet in this matter, she could afford to be neither; the very Empire depended on her grasp of this situation.

Had not the Senate denied the detailed petition put forth over a year ago by the Captain, the General, and the Empress herself, to ensure Aerana's continued safety? The Royal Guard had ever been an elite group of soldiers, dedicated completely to ensuring the safety of the Empire’s leadership. Though the Senate alleged that the Guardians split the Military, attempted kidnappings and attempted assassinations only underscored the importance of the select force. Indeed, the fact that Aerana yet survived was a testament to the effectiveness and success of the Royal Guard. But the Senate had disregarded such incidents and the fact that the reinstatement of the Guardians was fully supported by the Military. Instead, they had denied Aerana such protection at a time she needed it the most; her move from Dalaran to Stormwind left her more vulnerable than she had once been among relative safety provided by the Kirin Tor. And so, such protection had been arranged in accordance with the General and Captain’s ideals, though such was provided for Aerana and Senator Terrison’s sole benefit given the Senate’s earlier disapproval of the formal petition.

Over the ensuing year, a continuous stream of reports had fallen across Aerana’s desk. The succinct and precise script had narrated perturbing scenarios, each weaving carefully with the previous thread to portray a truly alarming tapestry of trouble. First had been Captain Ronae’Serrar’s solemn report that an unidentified gnome known to spend time with sordid and disreputable characters with criminal ties had met covertly with Senator Smartgear. During this secretive meeting, the unknown gnome muttered of assassinations, his voice quiet and suspicious. In turn, the gnome was given gold by the Senator. More troubling yet was the observation at the end of the report: The meeting did not appear unsolicited on the Senator’s behalf.

Yet this occurrence was not the only such report that had crossed Aerana’s desk over the past year. Another missive, in General Larmont’s neat handwriting, reported that Senator Smartgear had recently questioned the General regarding Aerana’s locations and movements. The conclusion had been drawn that the Senator was observing Aerana by tracking her through the guildstone that hung on a delicate chain around her neck. This revelation had raised eyebrows and caused concern amongst those sworn to Aerana’s protection, for why would the Senate engage in such surreptitious monitoring? Then, always with a sufficiently believable excuse, the Senators had begun to check up on Aerana, finding her during her meditations or studies when before they had left her to her own devices. Such small interactions normally would be little cause for alarm; yet when viewed within the overall scope of the Senate’s troubling tendencies such coincidental meetings appeared more than a little suspicious.

More recently, the Senate had failed to host one of the Empire’s largest events: The Annual Anniversary Party to celebrate the Empire’s founding and continued growth. It was a time that the Empire was called to gather together, to celebrate its Vision, to honor those who stood beneath its banner, and to remember the founding that had created the thriving organization. Yet this year, the anniversary of the Empire passed in awkward silence, with nary a whisper of celebration nor tribute of remembrance to be heard.

‘Perhaps such was merely an accident of bureaucracy, as Senator Smartgear and Senator Furyswipe alleged,’ Aerana reasoned, not for the first time since the Senate had given its pretext when confronted with their failing. But her mind would not allow the Senate such a convenient excuse. ‘They seek to push the Empire to forget its founding so that it is more easily made to forget your role in it. And so it shall be easier to push you aside when they decide such is warranted.’ She could not quash the harsh, analytical observation before it rose to the surface, even though its implications tugged her lips downward in a troubled frown. For the past year, tensions had been subtly growing, roiling just beneath the surface of the Empire’s leadership. Each report had built upon the previous missive, ever increasing Aerana’s apprehension and pricking her intuition with a sense of foreboding as the full scope was made known.

And then tonight, the growing disquiet had been made public in the middle of the guild meeting, as Soldier Rhork Greymantle requested to join the “Guardians” so that he could be like Myaka Winterborne and protect Aerana.

Scenes from the night flashed in rapid succession through her mind, almost coming to life in the writhing shadows of her candlelit chambers: the sudden, awkward silence that had descended on the guild hall; the paleness of Myaka’s face, no doubt reflected in her own countenance; Senator Keithson’s harsh response, “There is no Royal Guard, Soldier. Fall back in line.” After the quick adjournment, the Senate had confronted Aerana about the Royal Guard's existence for all of the Empire to see. Five Senators stood arrayed against her and accusations had rung out through the guild hall, almost too quickly for Aerana to respond to each speaker in turn. She stood on the dais, one facing five, wrapping herself in the icy façade of Empress as she responded with forced calm. Yet that calm, too, cracked when Senator Keithson had accused her of being a child.

‘He will ever see you as such,’ came the sad statement, ringing with finality. ‘Yet you have not been a child for many years. It is time the Senate is reminded that your title was born before theirs. The Empire was given into your hands, into your care. It was your hands that, in turn, created the Senate to aid in the burden - not to add to its weight.’

Aerana shook her head, pushing the thought aside. She rested her forehead in the palm of her hand as she remembered the meeting that had taken place only hours earlier. After the Senators had gone their separate ways, Aerana had turned to see the anxious and concerned faces of those who had witnessed the manifestation of division within the leadership. Their obvious worries pained her. Though her own heart was in turmoil, she sought to quell the anxieties of those yet present within the guild hall, speaking of misunderstandings and reconciliation. Even so, the division made itself felt as several of those present vowed to stand by Aerana’s side against the Senate. The sudden roaring in Aerana’s ears as a year’s worth of premonitions flooded through her prevented Aerana from responding with anything more substantial than swearing to continue her service and honoring their dedication to the Vision.

Afterwards, Aerana and Myaka had returned quickly to Stormwind and walked in thoughtful silence, accompanied by Tarashan Flamewind. The wise Kaldorei shared her insight with Aerana, cautioning the Empress against rash or sudden actions that might cause the Senate to overreact. Such advise resonated with Aerana, for she had always been one to seek communication, to search for a path to understanding. Indeed, such was her intention with the Senate, despite the emotions that had girded their earlier confrontation.

But then, another report came – a much more recent, and more troubling, report from one who watched those of the Senate gather after they had left the guild hall.

“Donnelly…I could not read. He did, however, state that should you not be able to be …trusted? That you must be removed. Pralea seemed…unhappy with that. Though Donnelly continued and implied…that if not peacefully, then forcefully.”

“Do you believe that he would truly do such?” Aerana had asked softly, not willing to believe that Donnelly Keithson would think to betray her thus. Yet within her heart, she knew that she and Donnelly were more alike than most; both would do whatever must be done for the sake of the Empire and its Vision. She knew the answer before the Scout gave it.

“If he felt it needed…” came the reply, “yes, I do.”

Aerana did not disagree for it was a truth that she and all gathered knew as well. Donnelly would do what he felt must be done, regardless of whether the rest of the Senate agreed. His demeanor reverted often to that of the General, accustomed to having every order followed immediately by those in the Empire's Military.

“I spoke of eat—Removing the Senate? Even if they were correct,” the deep voice continued, “they publicly challenged you in front of the body. It is …wrong.”

Aerana had pressed her lips together into a thin line, thinking over the terrible, grave suggestion. “Yet would not such alienate those of the Empire who sympathize with the Senate? Would they not see me grasping for some type of power as we fear the Senate does, even though I wish not for power?”

The Fierce One, standing across from her this night, spoke up. “One way or another, members will be alienated.”

The Scout agreed. “If you are removed, others will leave too. The Senate…made a move that cannot be ignored.”

By her side, Myaka spoke up. “If the Senate pushes this confrontation, it will alienate one side or another.”

“We are military,” the Scout added. “We believe in…order…structure. The Senate has broken the order. Perhaps if they are willing to…publicly acknowledge the error of their public challenge…” The voice trailed off.

“I agree,” the Fierce One stated simply. ‘If they push it unreasonably, remove them. Diplomatically, if possible. By force, if needed. If it comes to it, I have no qualms about killing the Senate to protect the tenets.”

“Otherwise is shows that…you are not the leader.” The Scout continued with an analogy, though Aerana already understood his meaning so she allowed her mind to turn to the abysmal implication behind the words spoken this night. As the Scout fell silent, the Empress found herself once more looking at Myaka.

“The Senate is pushing this,” the Guardian replied in response to Aerana's silent question. “They chose to focus on a perceived slight to them. They seem to think more on pride than on duty to the Vision. If they hold pride above the Vision, then they cannot be allowed to undermine it further.”

And so the gathering in the middle of nowhere had dispersed, with Aerana’s final words. “Given our recent discussion regarding the Senate, I will ask that the Guardians be wary in their duties. Should the Senate make a move signaling danger, we must be prepared.”

She had pulled on the reins of her gryphon, alighting into the dark skies above, as the Guardians below saluted her.

Aerana set the small stones aside as the first rays of dawn’s light began to peek up over the horizon to reveal the glassy surface of the ocean. Both her body and mind ached, drained from the lack of sleep and the excess of disturbing thoughts. Despite her preoccupation with all that had occurred this night, she had finished her work. The delicate, opaque stones pulsed with a soft green inner light that seemed to grow in the presence of the others.

“And so we shall prepare for that which we dread,” Aerana whispered tiredly, looking at her handiwork.
"It is all a balance."
~Aerana Dantay, Empress of the Twilight Empire~

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Joined: March 29th, 2014, 11:06 pm

Re: A Rising Disquiet ((Open RP))

by RiktheRed21 » September 9th, 2014, 1:03 pm

The news arrived in the middle of the night, by raven, no less. The creature just appeared out of thin air and dropped an envelope in the mailbox. Naturally, Randolph’s runner brought it to him, though not without misgivings for collecting someone else’s messages for his captain. ‘The precautions are necessary,’ the captain told himself, ‘This is a war, if she finds issue with me sifting through the mail she left behind, then she should be more careful with the handling of her possessions.’ That was his reassurance, in any case. Randolph didn’t care what the death knight thought of him. The 7th Legion answered to no one but the king of Stormwind. No peace-preaching Imperial could demand anything of him.

Despite his stern outlook, Randolph still felt shame when he’d read the contents of the letter. Another burden for the young lass to bear. Not only had she lost most of her family, friends, and her own humanity, she may just lose her Empire. ‘Then again, this knowledge could be useful.’ He scratched his chin as he considered whether or not to seal the letter and have it sent to Wyrmrest Temple, or if he should set it ablaze and pretend it had never existed. His hand hovered over the flame of the candle on his desk, the parchment of the letter mere inches from the flickering light. But he decided against burning it.

‘She’ll have to find out eventually, if she survives this. No harm in letting her find out sooner.’ He resealed the letter, careful to keep the twin lions on the existing seal intact. Then he called for his runner once more and told him where to send it.


Brinnea awoke from a restless sleep to the sound of a knock at the door. “Enter,” she called to the door, and it opened. A young pyromancer entered with a flame in hand, giving her face an eerie glow in the dim light of the chamber.

“A letter came,” the woman said with a confident, youthful voice. Everything about the woman contrasted with Brinnea’s own features. Her black hair was worn long where Brinnea’s dark red hair was cut short. Her eyes were golden flames, where Brinnea’s were icicles. Her face was pierced at the left eyebrow and nostril, and stretched with a constant grin, as if the woman always knew something everyone else did not, and Brinnea wore a blank, unreadable expression.

“Any reason it couldn’t wait until I awoke?” the death knight asked without a trace of sleepy slur.

“Well, you already slept most of the day away,” the woman said as she took a seat at the foot of Brinnea’s bed, “And I thought you might want to set out soon.”

Brinnea said on the subject of oversleeping. Instead, she grabbed the letter gently from the woman’s hand. She undid the seal and read silently. The further she read, and more her brow furrowed and fingers clenched. When she had finished, she tossed it aside and got out of bed. As she began to put on her travelling clothes, she said, “More poor news.”

The black-haired woman said, “What about?”

“The Empire,” Brinnea grunted as she tightened the straps of her breastplate.

“More specifically,” the woman replied. Brinnea could see her grabbing the parchment in the corner of her eye.

“According to a friend of mine in Darnassus, the last meeting I missed went rather unpleasantly. Something about a Royal Guard, or some such thing.” She hoped that by feigning disinterest, her new friend would drop the subject entirely.

“Oh, it seems to me that it is much more than that. Apparently your Empress has taken it upon herself to form this Guard without speaking to her Senate on the matter. How intriguing.”

“Do you think this is some kind of game, Cynthia?” Brinnea growled, whirling around to face the woman suddenly, “This is my life on the line, and to you it is only vaguely interesting?”

Cynthia chuckled, “No need to put up a fuss, my dear, I understand your plight. The Empire is all you have left.” Brinnea wordlessly returned to gearing up. The other woman put down the letter and stood beside the death knight. She gave Brinnea a hand attaching her cloak and said, “You don’t need to worry yourself, this will all blow over, just as this storm will. As if on cue, the blizzard outside the temple roared against the frozen glass of the room’s only window. Cynthia’s hands lingered on Brinnea’s shoulders. Neither of them moved, as if they had both frozen in place.

Finally, Brinnea broke the silence, “And if you’re wrong?”

“Then I’ll be there when the storm hits hardest. You won’t be alone, even if your beloved Empire crumbles around you.” Brinnea took Cynthia’s hands, and peeled them off her shoulders. She opened the door and began to descend the temple to set out into the wastes. Now alone in the room, Cynthia rubbed her chin pensively. “An interesting turn of events, indeed.”
"I am the Night!" -Brinnea, Rikthered, Cynthya, Orgog, Kazarak.....


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