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Delving Almost 3,000 people reside in the lord's seat, ruled by House Seyfert. Delving is the closest town to the northern mountains and saw its share of grief in the Border Wars. The lords here have maintained closer ties to their western neighbors across the border, and to Westridge than other houses of the 'Reach.


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Old 09-16-2015, 12:21 AM   #1
(Lady) Parissa Harrowmont
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Default 3.26 late afternoon - whatever - Parissa/Jason (closed)

She didn't leave her room. There was rebellion and then there was suicide, and she wasn't quite ready for the second. It was worth considering, but... not yet. Instead she wrote. First was a letter to Zorayda, then to her aunt and uncle. And last was one to her father. That one was hardest, because she wasn't sure what to ask. Or what to say. But that was usual with her father.

So she set it aside and wrote to Alaric.

Quote:
Ric,
I've been away so long but sometimes I miss all of you so very much. Isn't that strange? I hardly remember Highclere and then one moment, I can see some silly detail clear as day and it hurts so bad my stomach hurts. It's even worse when I'm scared or unhappy... and I am that, Ric. I thought I could be brave but maybe you can talk to father and ask if it's too late for Vespera to take my place. I know I sound stupid but I feel stupid. I always feel stupid here. Courtesy is more important than my family, or it's all one long game of lying. Which is the same in Solarii but I was better at it there.

Gods, I miss Jon. And Sunspire. And please don't tell father how miserable I am. Just say I'm not doing well. Maybe you can say I'm sick. I can call Jon up and he can say it's true. Something dreadful that is certain death if you stay married. Is there a disease like that? I probably have it if there is. I feel like it.

Delving's terrible, by the way. Never bother coming here. They tried locking Zanara in the dark tower, for their Edelina. Does father know the Meerish cults are so far north? The Edelina here looks suspiciously like theirs.

And I
She put the pen down at the sound of people in the antechamber. Oh, great. Dinner. Parissa wrinkled her nose and checked the candle before she rubbed her neck. She'd ordered Kesya to ignore the food and send it back anyway, so they'd be gone soon enough. She went back to writing.
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Old 09-16-2015, 12:26 AM   #2
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Jason was tempted to avoid her until they returned to Summerhall. After he'd spoken with Bryce, he was convinced that might be the better plan after all. But he had to see her. Especially after the confrontation with his father. And so he entered her room and ignored Kesya even though she hadn't said much at his arrival. Walking past her, he approached his wife, his gloved hand reaching out to touch her chin so he could turn her cheek towards him that he might see how bad the damage was.

"Does it hurt much?" he asked softly.
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Old 09-16-2015, 12:39 AM   #3
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She almost jumped when Jason walked in and turned to look up at him, stunned into momentary silence. Until he reached out and put his gloved hand on her cheek. Parissa's face betrayed her instant annoyance and she jerked back, lifting her hand to shove his away.

"I've had far worse," she informed him. Had she ever felt so cold while talking to him? Parissa scooted back and got up on the other side of her chair to put more distance between them. She focused on talking slowly instead of looking at him. "Thank you for coming to look in on me, your highness. You didn't need to. I'll be ready to leave tomorrow if we need to."
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Old 09-16-2015, 12:48 AM   #4
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He let out a sigh and looked away from her, his eyes looking down at the desk. "I did need to," he said, still not looking at her. Then slowly Jason stood straighter, his hand moving to the edge of the desk, his expression darkening. More than once, he had feelings concerning his wife he couldn't explain. This was the same... and yet so very different.

"Ready to leave?" He turned away from her and looked towards the door. "I see..." He looked down at his shaking hands, the sick feeling rising into his chest. "Can ask you a question?"
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Old 09-16-2015, 12:52 AM   #5
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She sighed. "If it's to repeat all the things your uncle said to me, then you may ask and I may choose to ignore you. Other wise, yes, of course you can ask me something. I am your wife, and bound to answer." Parissa crossed her arms, and didn't quite look him in the face.
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Old 09-16-2015, 12:58 AM   #6
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Jason turned to look at her. His eyes studied. And in the end, it was as if he was looking at an entirely different person. But there was no anger behind his eyes. No irritation. Just sadness. Perhaps more than that. Deep sorrow... "Is this how it's going to be? I'm wonderful one moment? Terrible the next? Are you the only one allowed to be hurt? The only one who sometimes needs understanding? The only one allowed to be upset? Angry?" He shook his head and held his hand up. "You don't have to answer those questions... You already have. But I need to know this one... Do I mean so little to you? This whole time you've begged me to listen to you. And I have. You've asked me to talk more with you, and so I do... But when I speak... When I beg... It's like it doesn't matter. My words don't matter. I don't matter..."
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Old 09-16-2015, 01:08 AM   #7
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The fury she'd been very, very carefully holding onto wilted, and her shoulders slumped a little, her head bowed. "You've never begged." Her voice was husky. "And I listen. I always listen. So just tell me how horrible I am and get it over with. I was selfish to care about my cousin more than courtesy. I dared embarrass you instead of sitting meek and silent and letting Zanara get hurt. I didn't even have the grace to weep and wail when your father hit me... so go ahead. Hit me til I cry. That's what he's sent you to do, so you might as well get on with it."
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Old 09-16-2015, 01:18 AM   #8
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"No," he said, shaking his head. "You don't. I asked you to be careful. I told you I had no power to stop my father... Do you know how hard it was to stand there and do nothing when he hit you?" He had to put his hands on his hips for how they trembled now. "He could have..." He broke off again.

He had to take another deep breath. "You weren't," he said firmly. "Had it been you, or Ziamara, or any of my cousins, I cannot in honesty say I would have done better. In fact, I promise you I wouldn't have. And I promise you I would have angered my father... But I'm his son. And if he hits me... it doesn't matter." He lifted one hand to his face. "You were right to come to us. Your... delivery... leaves a little to be desired, but... I was far from embarrassed. No, Parissa... I wasn't embarrassed. I was afraid... Maybe you weren't scared... I was."
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Old 09-16-2015, 01:24 AM   #9
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"Lenore didn't do nothing. She at least tried." Parissa finally looked at him. Her brows drew together. "I-I'm sorry if you w-were scared. I thought... you just looked angry."

She bowed her head again and wrapped her arms around herself. "Anyway. You said you had to come. So... do whatever it is. I can take my dress off if you're supposed to whip me. It's late, Jason. I'd rather not put it off."
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Old 09-16-2015, 01:48 AM   #10
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"I'd have only made it worse, Parissa. If I had come between you and him, I fear he would have taken out his anger on you... Because hitting me wouldn't bother me. Sending me to the Western front wouldn't bother me. But using you... He knows it would hurt me. My silence wasn't exactly nothing... It was the only way I could think to protect you. Maybe I was wrong... And I'm sorry if I was."

His eyes widened with surprise and hurt. "I did have to come. For myself... Gods above, Parissa, do you really think that's the only reason I would have come?" He clenched his jaw. "I know I haven't said, but do you really not know?"
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Old 09-16-2015, 02:00 AM   #11
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She frowned again and sniffled, rubbing the cheek that wasn't bruised. "Stop it! Y-you're just... just saying things again! I-i-it's n-not working!" Parissa turned and stepped backward, to try to get a little more space. Why did he take up so much space?

"You can't just do this every time I make you mad! Y-you came to... to do what he said. O-or you came to make sure my face i-isn't too ugly. E-either way. It's done. S-stop playing with me and g-get it over with!"
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Old 09-16-2015, 02:09 AM   #12
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"You're right... I need to get it over with. I've put it off for too long... I don't know why... The more I think about it, the sillier it seems..."

He walked towards her then, his hands reaching for her arms. But if she was expecting a cruel touch, he would have to disappoint her. His fingers ran gently down to her hands, and he pulled her closer. "I'm not going to hit you... I'm not going to whip you. Or yell. I'm not mad. I'm... upset, yes. I'm hurt. But I are know you are, too. And I know I'm partly to blame. And that breaks my heart. Because... I never wanted to hurt you... And I'm sorry that I couldn't protect your cousin... And I'm sorry that I couldn't do more to protect you from my father... And I'm sorry I'm not what you deserve in a husband... But I'll keep trying... I only ask that you be patient with me, too... That you understand that even when I am mad at you... Even when we're not sleeping in the same bed, or in the same tent, or even the same city... that's it's not because I don't want to... Gods, Parissa... Don't you know what I'm trying to say...? I've fallen in love with you... I don't know when it happened... But I know I've loved you for a while now."
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Old 09-16-2015, 02:17 AM   #13
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"Don'tdon'tdon't..." the word got repeated under her breath as he walked over, even when he touched her arm. She choked on a sob and put her hand over her mouth as he kept talking. Her head shook but even so she found herself leaning closer to him, and her traitor hands reached for him and she hated absolutely everything and nothing all at once.

Parissa gasped for air between sobs as she grabbed hold of Jason's waist and threw herself against his chest, hiding from him even as she was trying to hold onto him. She knew then she was as stupid as she'd written to her brother. Because he was lying and she knew he was lying and she couldn't stop clinging to him anyway.
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Old 09-16-2015, 02:28 AM   #14
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Jason clenched his eyes shut, his hands moving from her arms to embrace her. It was not quite the protective hold he normally gave her. No. His hold was not unlike hers. There was a sort of desperation... relief... and yet anxiety. But the feeling in his chest... he couldn't deny what it was anymore. The words had been spoken out loud. They were real.

"I wish... I wish I could do a better job of shielding you... I wish you didn't have to feel this hurt. Parissa... It will be all right. I know it doesn't seem like it... but it will be."
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Old 09-16-2015, 02:50 AM   #15
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He thought she was crying about the day... about her face? That only made her cry harder, and she pressed her forehead against his chest. "P-please, stop... Jason. Please. Y-you don't ha-have to do this. I'll... behave w-without this. Please." She finally got herself to let go and push against his chest, even though she wanted to grab hold of his tunic. "You're... upset or you're angry or... or you're not thinking right. And you don't mean it. Y-you wouldn't say it now if you did."
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Old 09-17-2015, 12:38 AM   #16
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"Im... not saying this so you'll behave," he whispered, looking down at her. "I am upset. And I am angry. I had this... idea in my head about the type of man Ryan Seyfert was. I held him up... Admired him... And now...?" His shoulders slumped and he closed his eyes. "But that doesn't mean I'm not thinking straight... And I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it... Perhaps I shouldn't have said it now... But perhaps now is exactly when I should have said it, too... I know being married to me hasn't been... easy. Or nice. But... had I known you were so unhappy..." He opened his eyes, his frown deepening. "Your my wife, Parissa. I don't want anybody else. Tell me..."
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Old 09-17-2015, 12:52 AM   #17
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"Tell you what?" Her voice broke and she shoved herself back, trying to get away before she did something stupid (again) and clung to him. "That's saying you love me makes it all right for you to dismiss me from your room? I-if you wanted a l-l-last night with Lady Saherazai, you should've just said that. Y-you l-lied to me a-and said y-you were sick, but y-you weren't. Y-you d-didn't even t-try today... and... and you think saying y-you love me m-makes it b-better?!"

She was sobbing, and it was hard to look up at him, so she didn't. "I w-won't... l-listen to this!" She stumbled on the hem of her own dress and fell hard onto her knee and curled her hands up over her head
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Old 09-17-2015, 01:19 AM   #18
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Jason let her speak, turning his head away which is why he wasn't ready to catch her when she fell. He gasped and lunged forward, dropping to his knees beside her, one hand going to her back and the other to her shoulder to try to get a better look at her face.

"It doesn't make it better..." he agreed, sitting back on his heels. "Nothing I can say will make it better. You've already come to believe I'm a monster. A liar. I was going to ask that you tell me what I could do to change that... Tell me what I could do to make you happy... But I don't know if I can... I don't know if you want to be happy with me. I'm not the only one who didn't try today, you know... You say you listen to me, but you don't... You choose to hear what you want to hear... I tell you I'm sick, and you hear I don't want to be with you... I told you I would only ever send you from me if I absolutely had to... But you don't believe that... You don't believe me... You don't want to believe me..." he said sadly.

"No... I know telling you that I love you won't make things better... Because you don't love me. Hells, you don't even like me... I wish I knew what to do to improve your opinion of me, but it sounds like your mind has been made up. And I'm sorry for that... And I'm sorry that you're stuck in this marriage with me... For as much as you've begged me not to send you home... to know that you'd rather be there than with me..." Jason lowered his hands to his lap, his chest feeling very strange now. "You don't have to tell me that words won't make it better... "
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Old 09-17-2015, 01:31 AM   #19
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Zorayda was right: men were idiots.

Parissa greeted her husband's speech by bursting out into a louder series of sobs and bawling into her hands. She was tired, and her face hurt and her chest hurt and crying made her cheek hurt worse and he was making her everything hurt worse...

"Y-you think I'd cry th-this much o-o-over s-somebody I d-don't like...?" And the only thing she could do, was lash out with her hands, shoving his arm and shoulder. "You sent me out! And then you went to her room! Go f-fuck yourself, Jase! M-my hearing w-w-was just fine! Y-your actions were shit!" If she wasn't on the floor, she'd have grabbed something and thrown it.

So she shoved his chest. So maybe he'd hurt her, or maybe he'd kill her or maybe he'd just feel something or listen or understand... or go away or something. Anything. "You don't know anything about me! You don't know anything! I n-never said any of that, you lying... snake!" It probably wasn't a good idea to bodily attack the crown prince, but she was past caring.
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Old 09-17-2015, 01:50 AM   #20
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Jason's hands reached up for hers to catch her wrists. "You've spoken loudly and clearly whether or not you've said the words. More than once... You do what you want... You always do what you want... You say you'll listen to me, but you don't... And when I get upset, I'm to blame... For not understanding. For being a liar or a snake... It's never you. It's always me... It's always my actions that are shit... And I'm not allowed to feel the same way. You're always blameless..."

He let her go then. "I have been feeling strange... The more we've stayed here, the worst I've gotten... I haven't felt this way since just after we arrived back in the Reach... And I feared what it meant... I'm afraid it means the nightmares are going to return... And that's why I asked you to leave... Yes, I lied... I lied because I was ashamed. I slept alone last night... My actions might have been shit, but they were made with the intention of keeping you safe... from me. I wasn't with anybody last night... And how dare you accuse me of putting words into your mouth when you've created this story in your own head about things I never did... This is it, Parissa... This right here... Your words... These are the words and actions that tell me that you don't trust me... That you don't like me..."
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Old 09-17-2015, 02:06 AM   #21
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She stopped, going silent and still. Staring at him. "But you told me you were sick... and you went to Tyana's room." Her tears were slower now, and her arm wrapped around her waist instead of flying at him again. "Y-you could have just said..." She trailed off and shook her head.

"You're the one w-with e-every bit of power. M-my life. M-my happiness. If you don't like my attendants, y-you dismiss them. I-if you d-don't like me, you put me away. If you don't w-want me to speak, you make me silent. Th-the only thing... that's mine, is my heart. And you want that too." Parissa put her hand over her eyes.

"No. I'm n-not going to be stupid anymore. I-I believe you slept alone. B-but that doesn't mean you d-didn't see someone before you slept. Y-you tell stories of aelfar kings but y-you talk like them too."
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Old 09-17-2015, 02:27 AM   #22
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"You don't have to give me your heart," Jason said dully, looking to the side again.

"I escorted Tyana to her room... Where she gave me a song for the lute. It's on my desk if you want to see it... The door remained open. I remained at the door. And I suppose it doesn't matter that I told her in no uncertain terms that I was not interested in more than a friendship..." He sighed and turned to walk back towards her desk, sitting down in the chair, looking at his still shaking hands.

"See...? You've decided who I am... And I can't convince you otherwise..." He forced his hands back on his lap. "I don't want your heart if you don't want to give it to me... But if this... is how you feel... If you don't trust me... If you think it is stupid to try... then I must ask for you to be patient with me... Be patient while I guard my own heart..."
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Old 09-17-2015, 02:38 AM   #23
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It was his phrasing, and where he sat... Parissa pulled herself up to her feet, and walked toward him with a sickening dread in her stomach... her loopy, lopsided writing... sitting right there on the desk in front of him. Easily seen. Easily read...

"I'm... I'm sad. And scared. And hurt. And I want my brother." She wiped at her uninjured cheek again. She mad an effort not to stumble on her words, but they came slower and sounded thick and strange in her own ears. "And I d-don't understand half the things I think... or do. Or say. E-especially when you're involved. And that scares me too. I-It's scary how much I... I don't know what to do when you're sad, o-or how sick I f-feel when you're upset. Ric... he always kn-nows w-what to say. I-I thought h-he'd come s-see us on the progress a-and tell me what to do. Because I-I w-want to trust you. And I do.. and I don't. Because if I do... y-you can do anything."

She stepped back again, retreating. Hiding behind her hair as she bowed her head and let it fall around her face so she couldn't see him, and walked back to the bed to put her hand on the post and drop onto the mattress.
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Old 09-17-2015, 02:52 AM   #24
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He was silent after she spoke. Not because he didn't listen. But because he did listen. And he was making sure to think carefully about her words. Every word.

"It scares me, too..." he said after a whisper. "I've never given my trust easily... And yet... you have it. I... get scared, too... And I don't do scared very well. I have had feelings for you since before we were wed... It wasn't love then, but it was genuine... And even then, it scared me... You don't know the power you hold over me... and there was a part of me that was afraid of what you would do if you found out."

He leaned forward in the chair and then rose slowly to his feet. "I'm so scared that something is going to happen to you... I am protective, and I know sometimes that can be stifling. I know that I react terribly when I'm afraid for you, but you must realize... whenever I hear that you've slipped the guards, or whenever you do something that endangers yourself... I think of a horse nearly trampling you... Or of your body covered in bruises... Of you being thrown from your horse... And like I said... I don't do scared very well... It's easier to be angry... because scared meant something else... Scared meant that I was terrified of losing you... and that meant that I cared about you... And it's as you said... The moment you begin to do that..."

He reached up to rub his cheek. "I'm sorry you're sad... and scared... I'm sorry you're hurt... Is there..." he paused and lowered his hand, taking a small step towards her. "Is there anything... I can do... It... kills me to see you this way."
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Old 09-17-2015, 02:59 AM   #25
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She pulled her legs up onto the bed and wrapped her arms around them, hiding her face instead of braving the dangers of looking up. She heard him rise, his feet move... but she listened and didn't say anything. "C-can we... pretend th-this terrible day d-didn't happen?" She finally made herself lift her head to look at him with tear-stained eyes and a swollen, bruising face. "I... I want... you to hug me. But you didn't feel well and... and your hands are shaking and... I don't know if I'll just make you worse." Her face crumpled again. "I-if I'm a-always s-scaring you... then y-your humors w-will stay u-unbalanced... and... I d-don't know what you need."
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Old 09-17-2015, 03:07 AM   #26
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Jason moved forward, sitting on the bed, taking a moment first to remove his gloves before laying back, turning to his side so he could put his arms around her. "Even the bad days can one day be good, my dear." He sighed deeply, both because he was relieved to be holding her and yet anxious about everything else. "I don't know what I need... but I know you don't make it worse... If anything, you've made it better. I've not had many nightmares since we've married... And the one's I have had have not been... like they were before. Also... I've got younger siblings... I've spent my entire life being scared for other people..."
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Old 09-17-2015, 03:12 AM   #27
(Lady) Parissa Harrowmont
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She burrowed her head into his shoulder, as if pressing close enough to him would make the world go away. "You do have really annoying little brothers. Jon's not nearly like Myles... I don't have to worry about him. He always finds his feet." Parissa's hand grasped his tunic, then pressed against his chest. "Are you going to be all right?" she asked in a tiny voice. "Did you have to fight outside? I... I heard the swords and things. Your father sort of... locked me in the room though."
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Old 09-17-2015, 03:28 AM   #28
(Prince) Jason Vellfyre
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Jason gave a slight smile, nodding in agreement, but the smile was short lived. "The fighting was pretty much over when I arrived. There were a few people, it seemed, who had heard of what happened before we did..." His fingers idly began to play with her hair on her back and he closed his eyes. "That tower... it shouldn't be allowed to stand... it is... terrible the things that were allowed to happen there..."
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Old 09-17-2015, 03:33 AM   #29
(Lady) Parissa Harrowmont
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"I know," she said, her voice still small and quiet. "Meerish gods. They feed people to them. My nurse told me the tales about them... the old aelvar, in the mountains. They don't fight the gnomes like yours, they take children to give to the gods. Or maidens. Or unwary travelers. They show priests their gods, and some of them listen. So they pay them for their wisdom, in blood and pain. They don't tell your those stories in the lowlands. But they happen all the same, I guess."
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Old 09-17-2015, 03:41 AM   #30
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"I... have seen a lot. In battle and in tournaments... And it's upsetting but it's never... bothered me like this... I don't know why, but what I saw today..." He shuddered without meaning to. "Maybe it's knowing that somebody I once used to wish was my own father was capable of such cruelty... He used to be so fair. His wisdom seemed so absolute. He always saw properly to the carriage of justice... It is, in part, why my father wished for me to foster with him. To learn from him... And now I'm glad I didn't... Now I think of him and I feel sick..."
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