[The Pillars of Dust] Alliance in Blood [Faroul]

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A half-collapsed city of alabaster and gold fiercely governed by Eypharians. Even partially ruined, it is the crown of the desert and a worthy testament to old glories and rising powers.

[The Pillars of Dust] Alliance in Blood [Faroul]

Postby Rak'kena on August 2nd, 2011, 6:54 pm

Meant for more. Rak'kena liked that Faroul, despite seeming uncannily wise for a Benshira in this topic, was agreeing with him. He, of course, didn't even consider that Faroul might have assumed more meant a catastrophe would fall upon his shoulders. No, Rak'kena didn't make mistakes, didn't allow chaos to overthrow him like some petty ruler. He could only assume 'more' meant things along the lines of 'Pressor' and 'Ruler of a Great House' or 'Ruler of the Raging Sands'. That's what Rak'kena felt more was. Anything less was just that, less. Less never beat more.

Rak'kena glanced at Faroul at that strange precise moment when a flash of something was visible. Like a burst of lightning radiating the night sky for only a moment, except this lightning carried no roaring thunder in its trail. This lightning, oh it was significant, but it was silent. Rak'kena felt himself hold his breath as he stared at Faroul, the Benshiran man recovered from whatever that was very quickly, yet Rak'kena couldn't shake that he missed something vitally important. Faroul must have seen him as he caught that glimpse of change, that burst of light, that soundless thunder. Rak'kena grinned, almost like he knew what struck Faroul's mind, and was taunting him for it. But he simply couldn't have known. Faroul was an intriguing mystery. A mystery he desired to taste, but that was for another time, he had lingered here too long. He feared that the Pillars would infect him with their faded glories and shadows of death. Death of beauty and all that was meant to be.

"That is a bold statement, Benshira, but I do not doubt it. You have the look of a killer about you. But what would you gain from this?" Well, Rak'kena could think of a few things. For starter's, there would be plenty would would both resent him for murdering an Eypharian, and love him for ridding them of a monster. He could ensure his own life and survival, and then there's all of rak'kena's possessions that faroul could pocket, but what was that really? Faroul had no interest in rings of silver or a silk loincloth, a small mempty home in a city of people that hate you because you had less arms and a history of slavery. Faroul was so very much like him, he wanted vengeance much more than any item or title. That was too true for Rak'kena, which may have been a surprise. He wanted to be Pressor, to command, to surround himself with powerful allies, but more so, he wanted to kill his father, execute that woman who called herself his step-mother. Even his mother was on the list, for allowing this to happen to him.

Rak'kena looked upon Faroul's face, and though he didn't particularly see the man as beautiful, he felt almost like they were brothers, despite being descendents of slavers and slaves. He would have kissed him and told them they were the same, needed the same things, but that would neither be appropriate nor allowed. "Perhaps, we can be of use to each other." Rak'kena took his gladius and ran the blade across his palm, splitting the skin easily, causing a bleeding, not dangerous, but enough. If they were to be brothers in their needs, a family fighting for a common goal, they needed to share their blood, like brothers would share blood. Rak'kena wondered if if Faroul would understand what he was doing. Wondered if he would do the same, if he could even accept Rak'kena as a brother.

"My brother. Our sister, Tuwa of the West Winds, the daughter of the House that ruined you." Already Rak'kena spoke as if the two of them were brothers in birth. "She's my first step towards revenge. Perhaps you should watch her, she'll not know you, not that she even knows me anymore." Would Faroul take the bait? Tuwa was his chance at getting back or at least a first step. She may have been innocent of crime, but she bore the family name of those that hurt Faroul. Was she still innocent in Faroul's eyes? Rak'kena couldn't wait to find out.

oocSorry for the delay. I wated to make my post as big as yours but I just couldn't think of more to write. :P Think we should end it soon?
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[The Pillars of Dust] Alliance in Blood [Faroul]

Postby Faroul on September 23rd, 2011, 12:44 pm

Faroul watched as Rak'kena drew the gladius across one of his many palms. Crimson blood seeped from the cut and pooled in the lines of the Gilded's hand, from there dripping onto the baking ground. When the man then held forth the open wound, Faroul understood the offer inherent in the gesture, the proposition of a union in brotherhood. The following lift of his brow, then, did not question the move's meaning, but rather its motive. Why?

It was absurd, after all. What Eypharian - one born of a noble line, no less - would ever seek to mingle his blood with that of a Benshira? How desperate this one must be, to poison himself with the substance of a goat-petching chupra in exchange for an alliance! The thought nearly drove Faroul to laughter. It amused him, too, that a man spurned by his kin should offer his kinship to another, as if it continued to mean anything. Then again, maybe that is part of his anger. Perhaps Rak'kena resented the defection of his father precisely because he had valued the bond of blood so much.

A bitter smile twisted Faroul's lips. A sentiment like brotherhood was only a weakness in the cities he had known, and perhaps in any city. Like money, blood was worth no more than what people believed it to be worth - a shared illusion. In truth, it meant nothing. Spilling it had only showed him the flimsiness of the myths that adorned it. Even now, Rak'kena's precious life, dribbling off his fingers, merely soaked into the dust.

Let him believe, he thought, as the jackal stirred within his breast. Why not play along? Pretending he shared the feeling could only aid him. At best, Rak'kena would cleave to their oath; at worst, this knife would simply break when the Eypharian tried to turn it against him.

He pulled his khopesh from his belt and bared his upturned hand. For a moment, Rak'kena could glimpse a cane beneath the Benshira's coats, its wood carved with symbols that seemed more madness than letters. But in the space of a breath it was gone, and a line of red welled up across Faroul's palm.

Their hands met in a firm clasp, cut against cut. Rak'kena welcomed this with a "my brother" and talk of "their sister," their bond affirmed. But as Faroul listened, as he felt their lifebloods join between their meeting flesh, he could only realize that the stuff of Rak'kena's phantom relative, however distant, now passed into him. That the queen he had once served was now part of him, if he chose to believe it. Even their hands, brown against gold, Benshiran against Eypharian, recalled that night ages ago - the night a single brush in the dark preceded the revolution of their entire worlds.

Mere sentiment. He dismissed it. And yet it was too much. The shadows of a multitude of emotions crossed his face. His hand shook, and he withdrew it from Rak'kena's grasp, wrapping it in a corner of his coat.

"Tshu-oua," he mouthed, repeating the name of his brother's sister with a thin, unstable smile. "It shall be as you wish." He inclined his head, the platitudes and gestures of years past tumbling free. It was, perhaps, the closest thing to fraternity that he could muster.

"Walk with me. It grows, dark, yes?" The Benshira motioned toward the declining sun and the entrance to the Pillars of Dust. "Let us discuss the details."

They left the Pillars side by side, newly-joined kin who had been strangers only a single hour before. Strangers who now shared an alliance in blood, or at least its veneer. Together, the chain of predation was theirs to climb; vengeance was there for them to seize. Ahnatep gaped with possibility and temptation, wide open with countless graspable futures. Though the city was only ruin dressed with tawdry gowns of marble, to Rak'kena, it must have shined. He walked with head held high, a nascent pressor with the first stone of his palace freshly placed.

Faroul wondered what they could accomplish before it became their tombstone.

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[The Pillars of Dust] Alliance in Blood [Faroul]

Postby Colombina on November 13th, 2011, 9:51 pm


The XP Wand Is Waved!

Ooo, you guys give me shivers when I read about all your conniving and plots. But once again, Rak'kena couldn't help but push a lady around. Mommy issues? ;) Great read guys, wonderfully talented the pair of you.

Faroul's Loot

Observation 3 xp
Investigation 1 xp
Intimidation 1 xp

Lore of the Pillars of Dust
Lore of Rak'kena's Ambitions for Pressor
Lore of family lines of West Winds

Rak'kena's Loot

Intimidation 2 xp
Observation 1 xp
Rhetoric 1 xp
Gladius 1 xp

Lore of the Pillars of Dust
Lore of Faroul's role in the West Winds (partial)

Colombina is pleased.
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