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Kingsport The smaller (population 8,000) but northernmost port of the 'Reach, Kingsport's fortunes faltered and fell in the last ten years with Zaksalam cutting off the northern trade routes, but the city is recuperating with the return of trade. The town's name is from the Vellfyre summer palace which is built nearby and serves as a seat for younger sons and a place for the court to flee in case of plague in Tal Volorro.
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Old 12-22-2014, 08:50 PM   #31
(Prince) Jason Vellfyre
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Jason went to the wine table again having grabbed her cup and emptying it with a few gulps. He poured some water and turned back to her, grabbing her hand to place it in her grip. "If you're hearing gods speak to you in the woods, I think it is fair to say you won't remember anything Gaiseric's saying come morning. I know you've a talent for remembering usually, but this stuff... it's different. Drink that, Zee. And then close your eyes."
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Old 12-22-2014, 09:14 PM   #32
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She took the cup, and drank. Ziamara gave him a quizzical look before she closed her eyes, but took another drink before she spoke again. "How... different... precisely? I thought it was just something like snow-wine, but it's... I don't remember snow making me this dizzy."
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Old 12-22-2014, 09:29 PM   #33
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"Let's just say the first time I drank it I had a full conversation with our grandfather... At least that's what Gavin swears. I don't remember it... Nor do I remember anything from the day before, and you know well and good I don't normally have that problem either," he said, kneeling in front of her. "It's going to be terrible in a little while. You'll feel like you're dying. But... the rush you had before... a lot of people think that it makes the hell worth it."
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Old 12-22-2014, 09:35 PM   #34
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"I'm jealous that grandfather did not deign to visit me. You must have much better hallucinations than me." She drank deeply from the cup. "But let's not think about how sick I'm going to be shortly... I'd rather talk about... what's coming in Summerhall. And Valencia... this wedding..." Her eyes opened and she gave her brother an apologetic look. "I have tried talking to her about marriage but... I can hardly claim to be an expert at being a wife. My experience with Trimerids was mostly... well. The talks before you all sailed..." She trailed off there, not feeling up to a full confession on that front.
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Old 12-22-2014, 09:57 PM   #35
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"Give it an hour or so... It could still happen." He shrugged and reached for both of her hands. He didn't really need her to finish the sentence for him to fill in the blanks. Knowing Zee and knowing his father... "She will learn to bear it or she won't... She will forgive my lack of sympathy all things considered. If the worst thing that's happened to her is being forced to wed a Trimerid prince, then she's led a relatively easy life."
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Old 12-22-2014, 10:22 PM   #36
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Her hands wrapped around Jason's, and Ziamara let out a long breath. "She has the right to be upset about it, but I wish she'd trust us... you, at least. Surely she knows you'll kill him if he's cruel to her... but I don't even know if cruelty is what she fears. Mayhaps she's worried she'll like him." Her lips twisted in a sardonic smile. "Gods know none of us would have the faintest idea what to do with a spouse we liked."
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Old 12-22-2014, 10:30 PM   #37
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"I have done my very best to leave little room for doubt in the case that he is cruel to her. War with Trimeris be damned... I'd see the world burn to keep you two safe." He already lost his brothers. He would not allow the same to happen to Valencia or Ziamara. "Now you're being ridiculous. That's the first sine the brandy's about to kick you."
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Old 12-22-2014, 10:42 PM   #38
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"Ah right. Of course. Valencia doesn't like anyone, of course she's not worried about it." Ziamara laughed and her nose wrinkled. "You will not set anything on fire for me, Jason. It make a mess and I look awful in soot." Her head tilted. "But you can of course knock a wall down or something."
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Old 12-22-2014, 10:59 PM   #39
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"If I've learned anything from our uncle it's that fire solves so many problems." He moved forward onto the balls of his feet and slipped an arm beneath her legs and the other went behind her shoulders. In one swift motion, he lifted her from the chair and turned to carry her to the sleeping mat. He wasn't going to be using it, so she might as well. "I thought knocking down walls was a given, love."
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Old 12-22-2014, 11:53 PM   #40
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Ziamara yelped as he scooped her up but didn't fight it- instead she only laughed. It was easy to be close to Jason- and a relief. "You're going to break your back... my gods you're ridiculously tall..." Giggling, Zee draped an arm around his neck and brushed his cheek with a kiss. "Am I being sent to bed without supper?"
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Old 12-23-2014, 12:11 AM   #41
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"If in a few hours you wish to eat, I'll bring you supper myself. Until then... you'll want to be laying down." He set her down but stayed close, his hand still on her arm, gently rubbing her skin to soothe her. She'd at least need that much later. "You weigh next to nothing... I'd have to lift five of you to even feel a strain."
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Old 12-23-2014, 12:27 AM   #42
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She giggled again as he settled her onto the pallet, and turned onto her side to look up at him. In the light, his eyes were bright and dancing. "You... are so handsome. Do you remember that?" Her hand reached out to rest on his arm. So warm... "It's so cold when you're gone."
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Old 12-23-2014, 12:33 AM   #43
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He gave a slight smile and looked down at his knees. "Remember being handsome? I... suppose?" he said. He didn't think much of his appearance now. He moved closer to her and looked around for where he put his book. "I'm know, Zee. But I'm home now." He leaned down to kiss her temple and brush her hair away from her face.
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Old 12-23-2014, 12:45 AM   #44
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"You should. You're stunning." She sighed and shifted a little. "Jason... the door's locked, isn't it?" She looked toward the opening of the tent and frowned. "I mean... sorry... we're not at home... the guards... they are on duty?"
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Old 12-23-2014, 12:57 AM   #45
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Jason looked back at the tent opening and then back at her. "Of course there's guard, love. Always on duty... Why?"
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Old 12-23-2014, 01:06 AM   #46
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"No... surprises that way, right?" She smiled, and her hand curled around his arm. "You're glowing. You should tell me a story. Something with ghosts, and maybe I'll get to see them."
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Old 12-23-2014, 01:16 AM   #47
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"Sometimes..." He stopped himself again. "No. No surprises." He took her hand with the other. "I was never good at stories... Especially about ghosts. Should I tell you about Orpheus...? I know that one."
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Old 12-23-2014, 01:21 AM   #48
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"Only if you know the song he sang." Ziamara could not explain the sudden, very dark sadness in her but she felt her eyes get wet again. One moment elation, the next the horrible sorrow. Snow wine was much nicer than this...

"I'd like to know what to sing to bring our brother home. Even his ghost would be nice to see."
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Old 12-23-2014, 01:51 AM   #49
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"I... can try?" he offered. He wasn't the worst singer, but his sister was the sort who kept her bards and singers on hand. He couldn't compare to them, of course. His hand went to her cheek and he frowned deeply.

"I... forgot he was dead. When I was in that dungeon... I was sure he was still alive. Coming to rescue me... It's like it was a different world. Hell... and yet better because he was still in it..." He closed his eyes because they suddenly stung. "I wish I knew such a song..."
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Old 12-23-2014, 02:03 AM   #50
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"That's all right, Jason. He would have come for you, if you'd died." Her hand trailed over his arm, tracing the lines of his muscles. "It's probably better we don't know that song. We'd use it... and I don't think you're supposed to use songs like that." Ziamara sighed. "It was easy to think you two were still together, somehow... but now we're all here and he's not coming back. I keep trying to pretend you left him to govern. I wish I was better at that game... but he'd hate ruling Abat-Charn."
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Old 12-23-2014, 02:06 AM   #51
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"I wish he was here, too, Zee..." he whispered, not yet opening his eyes. "Sometimes... more than me... It'd have been better. He was... always father's favorite. He would have... He shouldn't have died. I'm sorry I couldn't do more to protect him. I tried... I'm so sorry," he said, his voice cracking.
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Old 12-23-2014, 02:22 AM   #52
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"Stop that." The two words were snapped off, the syllables hard. She sat up then, and in the same move reached for Jason's shoulders to pull him closer. "Don't you dare play that game with me, Jason Vellfyre." If he had been smaller of frame, she might have shaken him. "You're here and the least you can do is make sure you are the brother he knew and loved- and the king he would have fought to the death for. You did everything you could and I know that because I know you- if there was any way from here to the underworld, you'd have drug him back. If you don't have faith in yourself, at least have faith in my knowledge of you both."
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Old 12-23-2014, 02:25 AM   #53
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Jason opened his eyes and cursed under his breath at the tears that fell. "I just want him back," he cried, his hands going to her arms. He didn't know what else to say. He wouldn't be able to speak just then anyway. There was a lump in his throat and all he could do was stare at his sister and nod.
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Old 12-23-2014, 02:52 AM   #54
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"Come here," she said more softly, and this time she did pull, so he'd have to fight her if he wanted to keep her at a distance, or else accept her arms and body curling around his- she wasn't going to see him cry and not try to make it better. "It's all right to cry," she whispered. "It's only me. I might be seeing ghosts, but I won't ever tell. Not anyone but you. It's safe tonight."
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Old 12-23-2014, 02:56 AM   #55
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He didn't fight her. He went forward, burying his face near her shoulder, and the tears came. Tears he'd been holding back, it seemed, since the night of their return. It was both shameful and yet freeing. Painful and a release. "That city... I hate Abat-Charn..." he said with a broken voice. "Everything about it... It took him from me... It nearly took me from you... And it still stands. It still stands and it shouldn't..."
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Old 12-23-2014, 03:07 AM   #56
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She held him as tightly as she could, the difference in their sizes making it a bit difficult to do much more than give an impression of someone being hugged by a very friendly bear while trying to pet it. "Shh." She kissed his temple, rubbed her cheek against his hair, and let her fingers stroke carefully over his shoulders. "It won't stand forever. You can always burn it down later." She leaned back, tired and dizzy- too dizzy to try to keep upright with him, and so pulling him along. They could curl up as they would sometimes long ago when his bed in summerhall had been giant enough for four of them, and the dark was too great to be faced alone.

"Tell me about it, if you want to. You are so sad... I don't want you to be sad alone anymore." She'd said something like that long ago too, though she'd never understood that sadness of his either.
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Old 12-23-2014, 03:13 AM   #57
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He didn't want to... and yet something couldn't have stopped him. He knew she was drunk... Likely wouldn't remember... but he needed to say it... To let it out before he burst. It was easier there in the sands. Most of them already knew... Elijah had always been there to hear him when he needed to be heard. He wasn't there now.

"They broke, Zee... They broke me... and I'm still broken. Eli and Rhaegar... they tell me it will pass. That I just need... time. To realize that it's over... but... I don't know how."
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Old 12-23-2014, 03:30 AM   #58
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"Of course you don't," she said, and kissed his head again. "You haven't had time, my love... you don't wake up better. You wake up a little better. A very little better... a little bit at a time. Eventually...and for now, you have us. Your friends. Your sisters. Your cousins. It's all right. We'll figure it out." She tightened her arms around him. "I'll do anything for you, Jason. Anything. Always."
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Old 12-23-2014, 03:36 AM   #59
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"But I don't wake up better... I'm there... Every night. I don't sleep... I try not to... I fear it... The pain is real every time I dream. And the rage is fresh every time I wake... Zee..." He pulled away from her but only to reach for his tunic, pulling the material until it was freed from his belt. He turned so that his back was to her. "You need... to understand why... To see how they did it... Lift my shirt..."
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Old 12-23-2014, 03:44 AM   #60
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It was probably a good thing she was drunk on brandy that made the real world a bit hazy... Ziamara realized that as she did as she was bid - an automatic reaction, that had her hand on Jason's shirt, lifting it...

Ziamara was good at keeping a steady stomach- but this was rough. Not so much the scarring- with was terrifying in its livid, rough, painful way... but that it was on her brother. The immortal, invincible brother... "They... they did... all this?" she said when she could remember how to make her mouth work again. Tears were on her cheeks but she didn't remember starting to cry. Maybe she'd always been crying. "Men did this...?" It seemed more like something from a story. Scars left by a dragon's fire, a gryphon's beak...
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