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Fireside Chats

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Sarala Medvyed

Post  Sarala on Sun Oct 19, 2014 11:37 pm

"Now that's something I'm having a hard time believing, your official-concerns-about-whether-or-not-Feluanil-is-fit-to-be-our-queen." It's nonsense, Sarala thought to herself as she shook her head in open disbelief.

"Why all the trust issues, Thad? Your distrust of her seems very deep-seated, and that's not like you. Where is all this coming from?"
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Re: Fireside Chats

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:36 pm

"It's true," Thad stated defensively. His brow furrowed as he considered the deeper question. "I wouldn't say distrust..." he said cautiously but with a hint of annoyance, "though no other word seems to fit better...

"We are really building something here... Who I choose for Queen is going to play a pivotal part in a lot of people's lives... I felt the need to be... cautious. Professionally speaking, I still have doubts as to how this will work out.

"I mean, I have zero doubt that she is a capable queen with years of experience and wisdom... that's not even open for debate. However, that is with the fey... we're talking humans now.

"At best she will be splitting her time between her own realm and mine. She makes constant claims... or maybe they are meant to be reassurances, that she isn't staking a claim and has no desire to 'take my kingdom'...

'Really, that's part of the problem though. All the apathy I see, leaves me looking at a part-time queen who doesn't really want the job. Is that best for the kingdom? Will someone who sees generations pass by really going to be able to focus on the needs of the individuals? "

He shrugged helplessly. "I really don't know. Perhaps she's exactly what the kingdom needs... but on paper it just doesn't put at me at ease.

"Maybe if you could explain why you DO trust her so explicitly? Seriously, you tend to be one of the most suspicious people I know... but you have accepted her simply on her say-so." He grimaced as he crossed the other bridge.

"She has so many secrets... She knows more then she lets on, and seems contradictory at best... She chides you for not being curious. She chides me for actually asking questions and tells me to 'learn patience'. It isn't behavior that I find particularly trustworthy.

"Now... I don't think she has any sinister motive or anything... I wouldn't have set the date if I did... but trust? That road still needs work...

"What of you? The Queen will have a great amount of authority... We both know that you keep a lot of secrets from me, but I don't expect that she'll be so easy to fool or quick to forgive. Are you so willing to submit to her edicts?" He smirked at his sister the spymaster.

"That... doesn't really sound like you."
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Sarala Medvyed

Post  Sarala on Wed Dec 31, 2014 2:07 am

He still thinks he gets to choose a queen, thought Sarala. Even after we have found out that this marriage has been planned for him since our childhood. Although, I do suppose he still has the choice to follow the path set before him or to buck the powers at be.

It had seemed such an easy choice to her a few years ago. She would have said always choose love over anything else. But now she was beginning to wonder if there were more important reasons to marry than romance.

Sarala listened to Thad try and build his case for his distrust of Feluanil and wondered how much of it would hold water. Some of it could be understandable, had it been any other woman. But the fey queen... yes, she was aloof and undeniably not human, but she was in many respects their perfect queen.

"All the apathy I see, leaves me looking at a part-time queen who doesn't really want the job. Is that best for the kingdom? Will someone who sees generations pass by really going to be able to focus on the needs of the individuals?"

"Apathetic?" Sarala nearly shouted, then cringed and glanced over her shoulder to make sure she hadn't drawn any undo attention. She turned back to Thad and continued in a strained, yet quieter tone.

"You think she isn't concerned, that she is somehow without feeling? I can't believe you think she doesn't care about you, or our kingdom. How can you not see it? The very fact that she is going through with a predetermined marriage that was not of her own design to one of unequal status (yes, I did say 'unequal status') and of a different race... but if you'd seen that then we wouldn't be having this conversation."

She pursed her lips then continued.

"Let me see if I can spell it out for you. I'll start with the fact that you managed to insult her on multiple occasions, it would seem. To be insulted requires emotion, feeling, concern. She is not some automaton without feelings or desires. She told you she has interest and desires of her own.

"She never said that she doesn't care, unless you left out some information somewhere. In fact everything she says implies that she does care. Even her vehement accusations toward our father show that she greatly wishes for us to succeed and feels strongly that father hampered many of our chances of accomplishing that success. Why do you think she calls you 'Thaddeus, the first of your name'? Feluanil cares about you as an individual. She knows there are great things in store for you and she wants you to be fit to meet them. The very fact that she takes it for granted that she will meet any needs you require, despite any cultural insignificance toward herself, shows very much that she cares deeply and that she has your best interests in mind."

She also cares deeply about me, Sarala wanted to tell him, I can see it in the depths of her unrelenting eyes.

"The apathy you thought you perceived in her toward the details that are important to you must have been a misunderstanding. We know that she cares about the fate of her people and ours, perhaps she sees your concerns as petty details in the grand scheme of things. Perhaps she simply wants you to join her in a like minded pursuit of greater matters.

"Still waters run deep."


Sarala leaned back on her hands but she was far from relaxed as she allowed Thaddeus to finish saying his piece. Her shoulders tensed as he addressed her unusual trust of the fey queen. She wanted to laugh at his questions but found that she was too riled to do so. She thought a minute about what she would tell him. What would he understand? What did she understand?

"Why do I trust Feluanil? Simply because she deserves it." Sarala caught the evident disbelief in her brother's eyes. "Trust me when I say she hasn't charmed me into trusting her. I have a feeling you wouldn't understand even if I were to explain it to you... but I'll try.

"To me, my trust is like a delicate piece of clothing. I take the measurements of everyone I meet and I find that they will not fit in it. Since I only have the one piece of delicate clothing and I cannot make another I can ill afford to tailor it to everyone that crosses paths with me. If I did so, my garment of trust would be torn to shreds. And so I am very choosy. But there are a very few in this life that I have found already wear this garment of trustworthiness. Feluanil is one of these and well does she wear it."
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Sarala

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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:10 pm

Thaddeus was quiet for several minutes as he let her words sink in. Some seemed the familiar rants when the subject of the queen came up. Emotional outbursts declaring unwavering loyalty to someone they didn't really know. Others however... Some of what she said held a disturbing element of truth to them.

The turmoil and the firelight cast shadows across his face as he thought long and hard on her observations. It was not easy for the paladin to see things through others eyes, and the queen was a very personal subject with opinions that had taken deep roots that clung fast.

"If she has emotions," Thaddeus said carefully, "I have not seen them." He raised his hand hoping to ward off any immediate rebuttals. "However, you're right. I suppose I have seen evidence of them... Not the rock itself, but the ripples in the pool...

"Her voice never raised, yet I know I offended her. Her opinion of Father as well... anger is not apathy. Thank you for reminding me that." It was an interesting observation and one he couldn't refute.

"For the kingdom and myself? That I'm less sure of... Emotion and motive can be very different things...

"I pressed her at the time for more... insight into her motives. This threat that hovers over our kingdom... I suspect it will affect hers as well even removed from the plane as it is. It's quite possible any hope for our personal success is merely protecting her own people. "

He grimaced as he thought back to that prior meeting. "Fate dictates, She obeys." He glanced at his sister and raised his eyebrows. "That's how she described it to me. Much like placing you with us, this arrangement wasn't her idea. The Elders and the Norns... who, may or may not be the same entities, dictated that some things will be... and so she obeys.

"That's not to say it won't work out for us, my heirs, and whatever that looming shadow is. The marriage is a necessity it seems.

"What happens after that? Should we all survive... or if I do fall and my heirs are too young yet... Do you think she'll be the kind of queen to shape Novastasia the way I wished?

"Or am I just a fool? Obviously I don't see the same things you do. She fits your... 'trust gown' at first sight... For me Trust is more a hat... Lots of people can fit in it... More like boots... well.. No, alright, apparently I have no decent metaphors for clothes and trustworthiness...."

An idea flitted across his mind for a moment. He could tell she hadn't told him everything. Once again she was holding back from him. Which sadly was more the rule then the exception these days. Still, he wondered...

"Do you know more about her than I do? Do you... actually remember her? From before??"
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Thaddeus Medvyed

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Sarala Medvyed

Post  Sarala on Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:40 am

"Unfortunately sylph are not gifted with an exceptional capacity to remember things that happen when they are infants. Thankfully I don't need those memories in order to trust Feluanil." Her words were underscored with a tone of bitterness.

Sarala was still riled, and it seemed like the more Thaddeus said the worse it got. It was frustrating how wrong he could be about this whole ordeal. Even when he was right about some small detail he seemed wrong. She was convinced that things would go much smoother with the fey queen if her brother wasn't a block head.

"Do you really want me to answer that question? About whether or not you are a fool? I mean, if you have to ask..." her voice trailed off as she looked up into the fading sky. She knew she needed to try and calm down.

"Has Feluanil ever been disingenuous? Hasn't she always been honest with us? Is it the mystery about her that makes you question her motives? If that's the case than why did you trust Wynnsaren so readily when we met her? She was just as mysterious.

"I don't understand, Thad, it just doesn't line up!" Sarala tried to temper her frustration as she looked back over at her brother. She knew that this wasn't the only thing that didn't line up but she wanted to hear what he had to say first. She knew that she was stalling.
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Thaddeus

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Sun Jan 11, 2015 7:27 pm

"Not really," Thaddeus said with a shrug. "Wynnsaren told us what she knew. Admittedly there was much she didn't know, but she tends to be upfront about that.

"She's told me that's not always the case though... Apparently her gods have sent her to other people, and she finds 'mysteriousness' an effective tool. With us, or at least me, being upfront works just as well...

"I trust her to tell me what she knows about the threat and our fates with it... so far she's done exactly that.

Feluanil on the other hand... It's obvious she knows much more then she'll share... she's known about it since I was a child. In a way she seems to still treat me like a child. She'll give out just as much information as she deems I need... and says, I'll have to learn patience..." He sighed and chuckled as he remembered who he was talking to. The number of reports left on his desk with large sections or even pages missing... He expected that argument to fall on deaf ears.

"Admittedly not my strong suit. I'm more a man of action then waiting... and when I do push things off to think about them from every angle... my own council tends to go on the attack."

"I don't believe Feluanil has ever lied to me. What she says, she seems to believe. However, there is a world of difference between telling a lie, and not telling the whole truth...

"You're the one who taught me that lesson years ago!"
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Thaddeus Medvyed

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Sarala Medvyed

Post  Sarala on Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:42 pm

"What if she treats us like children because that is how we act?"

Sarala wondered if Thad would notice the inclusiveness of her question as she paused a moment to let her thoughts collect. He wasn't the only one Feluanil treated like a child, but it seemed to bother him more than it did her. However Sarala couldn't help feeling Thad deserved it.

"Sometimes you are too rash, Thad! I feel like your definition of heroism means that you have to shoulder the weight of every injustice all on your own." Sarala threw her hands up in defeat. "I'll admit it, I have found that I have to feed you just enough information about things so you do rush in head long to save the day.

"You get so blinded by your strong sense of justice sometimes. I've seen you make bad plans that only involve you running in with your sword. You only depend on your strengths. I believe you must think you are doing us a favor in this, that you've protecting us or something. I'm not sure if you know how stupid you are being... Maybe you do and you just grit your teeth and do it anyway. This kind of attitude has put you and the rest of us in danger before. And on top of it, you rarely can be stopped. You won't take no for an answer, even if it means giving us the upper hand, or saving our skins.

"You have a very powerful magic user, a crazy blue man who has the ear of nature, and a deft little fighter who would die for you (and has tried to several times). Use them. Use us! You are our king, command us! Stop trying to save us from something that is better handled together, or even better handled using someone else's strengths... Be a man of action, but have the sense, the decency to do it together with the rest of us.

"Granted you are not always this stupid. But when you are... Well it's just not good for anyone. You ARE combative, we both are. I mean look at us, we can rarely talk about something for any length of time without arguing about it."

Sarala looked at her brother with a wry smile. She let out a resigned sigh. "But what to do... I know that not even half my words are going to make it into that thick head of yours. And yet I always try..."

The sylph went silent again. The rage was dissipating, only to be replaced with reticence. Folding her legs into a knot underneath her she leaned in toward the fire and began to poke at the ground with a small stick. She knew she needed to be a bit more vulnerable with Thad. It was only fair. But she didn't think he would understand, even if she told him the truth. Part of her didn't even want to bother, especially since she could see him using it as fuel for his side of the argument. Another part knew that Thad would love her better just for the fact that she was being honest with him. It was this part that always caved.

"Ok," she sighed. "I'll tell you why I trust Feluanil... but you have to answer a couple of questions first."

She threw her little twig into the fire and watched as the flames licked it up. Then she turned back to Thaddeus.

"How do you know that Wynnsaren has told you everything?" She cocked her eyebrow at him with an incredulously questioning glance then continued. "And why do you assume Feluanil has some ulterior motive to conquer our human kingdom, or that she would want to 'shape' our country in any way other than the way you wish for it to be shaped?"
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Sarala

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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:05 pm

Thad bit back a few retorts about his rashness... In his opinion he relied too much on the skills of others. He couldn't count the number of nights he had fretted in his castle or at camp while friends and family were sent into danger without him. The expedition to Fort Draleve, just the day before, was just the most recent!

There were times for him to act, and there were times that he had to acknowledge his weaknesses. There were many chores that he simply wasn't suited for. Honestly, he had thought he had already learned that lesson.

He could have recited a list of things that the paladin in him had wanted to do... but the king in him had held back on. Even as far back as rescuing the Labeda girl was a decision that still haunted him. He may have helped stall, if not prevent, the civil war to the north if that incident had been resolved... His instincts may be as rash as ever... but since taking on the responsibility of thousands, he felt indecision would have been a better accusation. Too much letting Sarala and Zaistrun push him into things. Still, he didn't want to continue that argument at the moment. Not with her calming down and opening up finally...

His brow creased as he considered her question. A simple enough question, but still the act of comparing the two women made him somewhat uncomfortable. Feluanil and Wynnsaren were very similar... and very different.

"I know you may scoff at this... but I do have some skill at knowing the truth when I hear it. It takes an exceptional liar to trick me with any frequency. I even see through you more often then you wish." He laughed lightly in the firelight. "Not as often as I should perhaps... but I'm no complete fool either.

"Emotions are a wonderful guidepost for me. With Feluanil.... I can't get a reading on her. Everything is calm and cold and I have no idea what she's thinking behind those eyes... Wynn isn't like that.

"When she tells me what she knows, I can sense the importance of what she says. I hear the urgency in her voice as she tries to make us understand. She's also scared... There's a fear in her voice, of what she doesn't know yet. An apprehension of just... waiting for the next vision.

"If she knew more about what was coming, I believe her when she says that she'd tell us. She WANTS to tell us... she's scared of what she doesn't know...

"It's POSSIBLE, I suppose, that in all her years and travels, that she's an accomplished actress able to fool me every time we've ever spoken... but I don't for a moment believe that."

He smirked and shot her a wink. "Besides... the ambassador could always be fired in such a case. The queen? that's a different story. A throne filled is a lot harder to empty."

He leaned back and looked to the stars as he tried to sort his thoughts in a way that may make sense. He sighed low as he tried to make her understand the second part of her query.

"Feluanil... is an unknown. I sense no fear in her, no excitement, no anticipation... not much of anything. My guideposts are gone. Just, broad statements that don't give me any information.

"As such... I have no idea how she would shape the nation. It's not even just her. The Queen is a very important role. Succession is very important. I had hoped to plan my successor with a bit more care... to research people to find out if they thought like I did... if they had the same values I do.

"Arranged marriages are popular amongst the nobles... as are political alliances of convenience. However, a queen's throne isn't usually done with such... expediency. I had fully expected to meet and/or interview dozens of potential brides before choosing the one that best fit my personality and was best for the kingdom.

"There is some kind of forethought going on here... The deal made with father indicates a big picture that neither he nor I ever dreamed about..."

He couldn't help keep the frustration out of his voice. "It's not about 'conquering' us... She's been here forever. If she wanted it, she'd have had it. It's more about what she would do with it in my absence. Does she care about the people here like I do, or are they lesser beings below her station? Is she more like Zaistrun? He traveled with Paido for months before bothering to learn the name of a 'peasant'...

"That is not what I want for Novastasia. One of my reasons for postponement, was to learn more about her. I fully expect her to do what she thinks is best for the kingdom... but I don't take for granted that it is what 'I' would think is best. I'm honestly not seeing her value my opinions while I live... Why would I assume they would be valued if I wasn't here??

"With something this important... I believe trust and acceptance shouldn't be automatic. It's that kind of rashness that leads to broken kingdoms... like Brevoy.

"I am still surprised you don't see it that way... When everyone started talking about me taking a bride, before we ever met her, I figured you and Paido would have done the most extensive background search known to mankind on anyone in the running...

"That's where I stand... stood? I mean, the wedding is scheduled at this point, so most of this is moot. It's going to happen. I'm not happy with the way it came about, and I have my work cut out for me in making the best of it, but it is what it is.

"Wynn, I tracked back to New Stetvan and asked her to be part of the council, Feluanil made a deal with father over two decades ago to be queen of a country that didn't exist yet... I find it hard to view them equally."

Truthfully he was getting annoyed at the constant arguing about this wedding. He valued her opinion, but sometimes it was like pulling teeth.

"You asked me for reasons... and that's what I have. Now... what do you have!" Curiosity and apprehension both gnawed at him.
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Thaddeus Medvyed

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Sarala Medvyed

Post  Sarala on Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:18 pm

Sarala cracked a wry smile as her brother mentioned Rasven Winter. She couldn't help the chuckle that escaped her lips. "Well, Winter is one thing you and I agree on this evening. From all I know, I can't tell which side he is one. It feels like everyone is a pawn in his grand chess game... And he keeps so much close to the chest.

"If it weren't for Wynnsaren... that time he broke into the castle... I didn't know what to think. Part of me wanted to hunt him down and make him pay for breaching our security without permission..."

Sarala's voice trailed off into the night. She thought through Thad's many words, his attempt to answer her questions. Though she didn't always agree with his perspective she knew that he had one or two good points. Feluanil was hard to read, and with her there were a lot of unknowns. Sarala could tell that it was the unknowns that scared Thad. And it she knew it was strange that those same unknowns didn't scare her. Her trust in Feluanil was inexplicable, and she knew it. Trying to explain it to Thad would do nothing to allay his fears. It might even add to them, but as much as she didn't want to do that she knew she needed to keep her promise.

After taking a deep breath, Sarala started in.

"I told you earlier that I trust Feluanil because she is deserving of my trust, and that is true."

Sarala let herself down slowly until she was lying on her back, looking up at the stars with Thaddeus. Somehow Wynnsaren was able to see glimpses of the future in all those tiny balls of light. Their fate... Sarala wished she knew what it was. She had to assume they were a part of something bigger but for all the looking at the stars she could find nothing to outright confirm it. The feeling just stayed were it came from, somewhere in her chest. And the stars stayed many miles away, cold and distant, holding their secrets away from her prying eyes. Not unlike someone else she knew.

And yet, unlike the stars, she felt close to Feluanil despite the fey queen's cold, mysterious, ethereal otherness. And for Sarala that feeling was enough.

"But that's not the only reason I trust her," Sarala continued. She couldn't believe she was about to tell her brother that much of her trust in this situation was based on a feeling she had. She knew that this line of reasoning was going to quickly be written off as unsatisfactory. But the truth was the truth.

"I also trust her because I feel like we are connected somehow. Deep down inside there is a bond between us. I don't remember when or how it was forged but it is there... I don't know how to explain it, but every time that I have been around Feluanil, even when I don't understand why she does and says what she does and says, there is a piece of me that resonates with her. Even at my most skeptical moments a part of me knew that she was alright, that I could trust her."

Sarala glanced over at her bother a little sheepishly. "I know you think that I somehow understand Feluanil better than you do, but I really don't. There are a lot of things that I don't get about this whole situation. But I'm not as worried about it. I know in many ways it seems unfair, or unsafe, or un... prudent, but I really think this marriage is the best, especially for our future.

"I know you don't understand this. I wish you did. That's what bothers me so much about this whole thing with the fey queen. That and the fact that I can't fix any of it for you, not the misunderstanding you have with Feluanil, or the lack of feeling or even love that she seems to show... And so I end up picking fights when all I really want is for you two to work things out.

"I want to make it easier for you. I wanted my brother to have a happy life with a happy wife... But I don't think it's going to be that easy anymore."
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Sarala

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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:06 pm

Thaddeus was quiet as she bared her soul. It was rarer and rarer for these moments of true honesty, and he really believed that's what it was.

What she said wasn't what he'd hoped for though. Vague feelings and gut instincts... Why oh why, he couldn't help but wonder... Why couldn't anyone back up their trust in suspicious people with a solid argument or logic... Sarala's trust and all the resultant arguments could well be nothing more then mimicing some fey's ability to charm the strongest heart... He'd hoped for something more related to her spymaster side... Her ability to see through ruses.

He couldn't repress a sigh.

"Perhaps there is a bond," he conceded with a shrug. "She has something with me... Something else I don't understand and can't get a solid answer on. I also have no idea how long that has been going on.

"She knows every thought I think... She said that wasn't with everyone, just me... Perhaps there is something similar with you?

"Again, going on the assumption she doesn't lie to me... she wouldn't have all your thoughts. However.... maybe something...

"Or... maybe you just imprinted on her like a baby duck! Given the choice, I wish we could trade! I'd rather have the unwavering trust, if you'll take the open mind," he said with a laugh.

He grinned a hopeless grin at her, "Y'know... this forthrightness works for you...
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Thaddeus Medvyed

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Sarala Medvyed

Post  Sarala on Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:01 pm

Sarala raised her eyebrows at Thaddeus. "You really think so, huh?" She ran her tongue along her teeth before gritting them. "Then you don't know how difficult this is. Sometimes you don't react very... favorably to the truth, though you tend to handle it better than a lot of other people I have seen. So it just seems easier to generally say the words that will bring, um...well, the desired result. Can blame me for preferring the favorable response to whatever disappointment or anger that forthrightness might bring?"

Sarala sighed. She could feel the tension returning and she knew it was her fault. It was time to change subjects before she started another argument.

"Maybe you're right about the imprinting," she forced a smile, hoping to lighten the mood. She tried to picture herself as a duckling following the austere fey queen around everywhere she went. The very idea of it seemed absurd. Laughing and shaking her head she said, "though maybe not exactly like a baby duck.

"There have been moments when Feluanil's attitude toward me felt very maternal. I've seen in when she brings up anything involving the decision the Elders made to give me to the Medvyeds. There is something in way she calls me "child", a concern that seems more intimate that just a queen worried for fate of her people. And the way she has caressed me with her hair... she cares, like family, like the way you care about me and my well being. Only with an older care of the first to know me aside from my own mother.

"You might say it's the closest thing to love that I have seen in our beloved fey queen," she spoke with good-natured sarcasm.

"As for swapping..." the sylph grimaced. "Let's see... have Feluanil in my mind but not being able to trust her? No, thank you! If someone is going to be in my head I want to be able to trust them with my life...

"Oh..." Sarala paused as the realization washed over her. "Oh... I didn't think...

"Thad, I don't know how... how do you do it?"
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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:04 pm

"With a great deal of difficulty," he admitted reluctantly, "and the best that I know how..." He found himself chuckling at the situation. He sighed as the familiar frustration crept back in. "Mostly I seem to offend her... I can guard my tongue, but my thoughts are a different matter. She tells me there's no point in trying to hide the offending thoughts... and give them voice, but that only digs me in deeper...

"This kind of gives the phrase 'mind games' a whole new meaning!"

He glanced over at Sarala with a curious look on his face as he contemplated another direction that had been on his mind. Since she was being open, now may be the right time.

"Sarala... how are you doing? You haven't said much about Flameforge since we left... at least outside of typical business. I know we had to kill one of your Schmidts. Losing men is never easy, but you drove the stake yourself for this one."


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Thaddeus Medvyed

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Sarala Medvyed

Post  Sarala on Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:51 pm

Sarala stiffened. "He deserved what he got for his betrayal," she said coolly. "The fact that he singled me, his commander, out and attacked me was insulting. His death serves as yet another all too serious reminder of why I don't like to trust people. I will have to be more careful when I choose his replacement."

Sarala was quiet for a moment as she reviewed the events of their trip to Flameforge. She thought about what could have happened versus what had happened. She was glad she had lost Thad during their initial attempt to enter the city. If he had stayed with her he would have only slowed her down. Had he seen what she had seen, their time spent there may have gone much differently and they may not have apprehended the cultists.

"How are you doing after Flameforge, and finding out what our family is doing to the people there?"
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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:07 pm

"Betrayal may be a strong word, Sara... " Thaddeus said thoughtfully. "There are few things in this world that are not open to Sarenrae's redemption. Undead fit that category. The curse of undeath... is horrible. It takes who you were, and twists it with a hateful disdain of the living.

"Schmidt may well have failed us, but it's possible that was all it was. Becoming what he was... the Schmidt you knew was already dead... what remained was a soulless husk. Had it happened to you or me... we would have been turned the same. Familial ties wouldn't have meant much to the thing we became. Whichever us had died... would easily have attacked the other with intent to kill.

"Destroying it was necessary... but it's alright to mourn him too. He was a soldier who died serving our cause."

He was quiet for a minute as he thought about the rest.

"As for me... I am still trying to process. What you told me is going on up there, that is a betrayal. It betrays our family name... it betrays our father. It betrays common decency!" His eyes smoldered as he thought about the atrocities. "Make no mistake... I am livid about this.

"I just haven't decided what I could, should, or will do about it...."
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Sarala Medvyed

Post  Sarala on Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:25 pm

"It's possible that he failed his mission, made some slip up... was under some delusion like the brothers of that guy we met in Silverholm." Sarala sighed making no attempt to hide her resentment. "He also could have walked into it willingly, knowing what he was getting into.

"The first implies that he was somehow found out and the vampires decided to use him for their nefarious purposes. If he was discovered than he wasn't a worth of the job I gave him. That is why I'm inclined to believe the latter.

"Maybe he thought what they were paying was better than what he was currently receiving. Maybe the promise of 'eternal life' was too much for his mortal heart. Maybe he wasn't loyal to us in the first place. Maybe I assume too much. Either way, I have no idea how to mourn his actions. And his actions have tainted the picture of the man I knew him to be. So what do I do, mourn the decisions I made? I don't know, Thad. I don't know enough to know how to feel about what happened at Flameforge.

"Finding out just how far the Medvyed name has fallen, all because of wartime necessity, that was hurtful! The extent of their oppression is despicable. Even so I can't see how we can get involved in freeing Flameforge without getting our hands stuck in the civil war in Brevoy. No matter how indirectly it may seem it will tie us to a side and our neutrality will be gone."

Sarala sat up so she could look her brother squarely in the face. "How are you going to balance living by your convictions and leading Novastasia into security and prosperity?"
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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:38 pm

"Carefully," he answered without hesitation, "and with much consideration. It's a fine line to balance... but I think we're doing alright so far... Every once in a while though, there is tough decision to make.

"Flameforge is one of them. Nobody will convince me that what is happening there is necessary. Expedient perhaps... but not necessary. I still find it hard to believe that Master-at-Arms Tihomir Medvar is responsible for this. Father may have been the first to put me on a horse and put a sword in my hand... but Tihomir was the one that put me through my early drills..."

He grimaced as the betrayals piled up. Father would spin in his crypt if he knew what the his trusted man was doing to the people there. Or would he? Since dealing with Feluanil, he had come to question just how well he knew the man... Cor? It seemed unlikely he didn't know...

"I'm considering sending a letter to Gustavous. I don't trust Cor any longer... but perhaps if the information came from Gus, then something could happen? If Cor doesn't know... then I want the information to get out there... if he does know... " Thaddeus sighed in frustration. "I don't know... maybe he can find some way to help them...

"As for your Schmidt," the king shrugged noncommittally, "You knew him better then I did. If you think he turned or was incompetent, I'll take your word for it.

"I'm curious how far he would have felt inclined to infiltrate though... It seemed many of the cultists there were completely ignorant of what they were dealing with... If he wanted answers, he may have had to go deep.

"I drew the line at another goddess' brand, but for a less honest sort? He may have strayed too far to find out what he needed to... and simply got in over his head."

He shrugged again. "It's hard to say with the information I have. I don't know nearly enough about your spies or about this cult to make an informed decision.

"Still, I hate the idea of vilifying someone if they died in my service... If he had any family or connections, I hope they are being taken care of."

It was an interesting twist on their earlier conversation. Once again, Sarala was the suspicious one and Thaddeus was the one who saw the good in a person. Things were how they should be. It saddened him a little to hear her harsh words over the death of one of their own... He still remembered too well her reaction the first time she'd killed a man. A lot had happened since then, but the idea that she had grown so much that death had become second nature, that thought didn't set well with him

Of course, perhaps she hadn't changed so much after all... It was possible the insistence that he was evil, a traitor, and deserving a death at her hand was simply a way to cope. He hoped that was the case.
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Sarala Medvyed

Post  Sarala on Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:13 pm

Thaddeus' definiton of careful leading was different from hers. It was also different from some of Novastasia's council members, as she well knew from recent conversation. And Sarala didn't always agree that his 'carefully considered' decisions were the correct ones. But Thad was the king and his word was law... most of the time.

"I'm sure your letter is going to help feed the widows whose husbands have been fed to the forges in the name of winning the war," she spouted sarcastically. She grimaced as she watched her careless words tear into her brother's heart feeling ashamed that she had let them slip out unchecked.

"That was uncalled for and I'm sorry," she gave a measured apology as she tried to calculate how many chairs might fly through windows as a result of trying to deal with the despicable nature of their family's actions in Flameforge. "I know you are trying your best to do what is right.

"If it were up to me, I would've run the Medvyed's out of town with their tails between their legs, forget neutrality! Brevoy is having a hard enough time with their civil war to waste resources and energy on our little kingdom anyway."

There, she said it. Even though she knew it wasn't going to change his mind it always felt better to give her opinions some air.

"Don't worry about Schmit's relaions," she droned, her voice and attitude bordering on bored. "They are being well taken care of. In public he will be lauded as a hero. I have no reason to oust him in front of everyone after his death." As she laid back down on the grass she found its cool dampness a comforting distraction. Dealing with death was still difficult for her. Even worse when it was involved with a betrayal of trust. She wished she could be more like Thad, giving people the benefit of the doubt, she imagined it was somewhat easier. But how was one to deal with the grief in the long run, she wondered. For where there were people there was failure, and where there was failure grief was soon to follow.
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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:51 pm

Thad's eyebrows raised in doubt and surprise as she railed against the Medvyeds... but shelved that for a moment. He nodded in approval at her Schmidt plans.

"That's good," he said in all seriousness. "You know I'm not one for deception, but that is definitely something that should stay 'in-house'.

"The spy network is yours to run of course. However, I wouldn't want it to become public knowledge that our own people betray us. Certainly not when it was dealt as far away as this... Something happens in Akiros, we may need to make a public example. However, this? This

should be swept under a rug. Especially with as little facts as we have."

Then the king went back to the shelf.

"As for Flameforge... I'm gonna have to call Liar to your face on that one, sis!" He shook his head in astonishment. "You had every chance to drive them out of there and you chose not to... Odds are good if I knew what was going on right under my nose... I would have insisted we fight back then and there... You and Dracean worked VERY hard to keep me in the dark on the truth of that... JUST because you knew how I'd react."

He sighed a bit in frustration.

"And much as it annoys me to admit it... you were probably right to do so. It would have been too public, too dangerous, and would have painted a target on Novastasia. Now that I'm days from there and have nobody to hit with my sword... cooler heads will prevail. I still want to resolve it... or at least help in some way, but storming the walls isn't an option now.

"I won't lead an army there."
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Sarala Medvyed

Post  Sarala on Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:18 am

Sarala squinted with disdain at her brother's accusation. It wasn't the fact that he had called her a liar that had bothered her. She knew she was good at lying. Even if she would never personally admit she was a liar she could resign herself to being called that by her brother. What bugged her now was that he had called her liar when she felt like she had been telling the truth! He obviously found holes in her story and had called her out on it.

"I had my reasons," she shot back, "I knew that if I told you what was really going on you would want to storm the city and free the people from Tihomir's tyranny.

"We would have been sidetracked from our original mission, and who knows what would have happened with the cultists then. We needed to stay on target..." she faltered as she realized her flaw.

Sarala bit her lip and started again. "Ok, you caught me," she sighed. "I guess, maybe sometimes I talk a little big. Yeah, I don't like what the Medvyeds are doing in Flameforge, but the thought of trying to take them on, to make them pay for what they're doing, scares me.

"It's funny," she laughed humorlessly, thinking about how she had chided Thad earlier for his lack of faith. "I thought I had more confidence in our group's abilities than this..."
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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:27 am

"We've accomplished much that we probably shouldn't have been able to," he answered with a smirk.

"The Red Doom, dragons, liches... We have no reason to be ashamed of our abilities. Still... There are things that we could DO... and things that we could 'quietly'.

"I do not believe we could have done that quietly."

Thaddeus growled a bit as he contemplated the odds in Flameforge. He didn't like this kind of... behavior from anyone. However, it struck him deep in the soul to know the soldiers there wore his father's crest on their armor.

"Tihomir, we could have handled, I have no doubt. Without leadership, we may have been able to send the soldiers scurrying back to Cor... Or not.

He shrugged with uncertainty. "Who knows... There was a time that I had influence amongst the Medvyed army. I was the noble they 'liked'... I ate with them and trained with them... I still believe most of them are good men stuck in a bad situation... If I spoke they may listen. I can't believe their heart is in that kind of... evil

"However, that isn't quiet. At best, Cor's men leave him and join us... At worst, they go home and tell him we've taken a stand for Rostland... Somewhere in between? Well my... our reputation back there isn't what it used to be. I have little doubt that our brother has painted me as a traitor to Brevoy, their king, the family name...

"We could have ended up fighting the whole blasted army..."
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Sarala Medvyed

Post  Sarala on Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:33 pm

"We could probably take the whole blasted army, if we did it right." Sarala said with a cocky grin. "Though I'd much rather start with taking out Tihomir as opposed to storming the gates. If only we had someone who could slip in and take care of him quickly and quietly... It would just be so much easier."

Sarala eyed her brother knowing that he didn't like to confront anyone with giving them the chance to change their ways. Was it the same for Tihomir, or had he crossed the line? Sarala had often wondered if it would make things easier if they had an assassin on hand. Someone unnoticeable who could take out key people without making a fuss. She had never seriously approached the topic with Thad because she knew for a fact that he wouldn't approve. Maybe this was as close as she would ever get.

"But your right," she sighed. "the army occupying Flameforge is still a wild card. Even if we were to take out Tihomir... I'm willing to bet that most of these soldiers may not even know who you are apart from whatever story Cor cooked up to tell them.

"To them we're probably just the 'bad kids' who abandoned their family in a time of need. If they have any loyalty to the Medvyed name at all I wouldn't count on them coming over to our side."

The sylph rolled over on to her side to get a better look at Thaddeus. Though her lips curled into an amused smile her eyes were serious as she spoke the next words.

"I know I've asked you this before, but are you sure you want to be called by the name Medvyed?"
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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:28 pm

Thaddeus grimaced at the question. It was a simple enough question... but one he felt a strange awkwardness answering.

"I really don't," he said honestly. "There was a time I couldn't imagine changing my name. Despite some people's opinion that my noble pride is somewhat... lacking, I do still have an attachment to my family line. I was proud of their history and where I came from... but now?

"I don't know anymore. In my heart, I believe that Cor is a blight upon our name. The damage he's done to it while in power... it staggers my mind.

"It's worse than just Flameforge too. We both seem to agree that Feluanil speaks the truth to us... and what she says of Father? It makes me question how much I actually know about the Medvyeds.

"I had considered a change back when we started... but for some reason or other chose against it. I stuck with the tradition. Chose not to actively offend our relatives... Now? With Flameforge in our minds... I really don't want anything to do with anyone attached to that!"

Conflict etched across his face as he considered the ramifications of the name change. A break from tradition and an official declaration separating him from his past... It was an uncomfortable proposition

"Now... if your next question is going to be whether I've chosen a name or not.... then the answer to that is, no. It's much more difficult to... reinvent oneself then I would have thought. Whatever I chose will go in our history books and kids will be learning it in our schools... It's a bit intimidating," he said with a wink. "As long as I have one by the spring, it should be fine..."

"What of you? Am I choosing a name for us both, or do you plan on sticking with the Medvyeds till you marry? Hear any names you liked at the festival?"
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Sarala Medvyed

Post  Sarala on Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:43 pm

Sarala felt is again, that same old edgy feeling she got any time Thad mentioned the eventuality of her marriage. She never liked it when the subject was brought up. The very idea of wedded bliss still made her squirm a little on the inside. As she started to bury these distasteful feelings the face of a certain young sorcerer flashed across her mind's eye. Zaistrun Garess. The thought threw her into confusion for a moment and she tried squeezing her eyes shut in an attempt to clear her mind. What was it she had been talking to Thad about? Oh yes, names...

"Um," she continued to screw her face up in concentration, hoping she could convince Thad it was all in recollection of the candidates for their new names. "Yeah, I heard a few at the tourney. Most were completely unusable, but there were a few that stood out. One was Lazar. That one had an interesting ring to it. I was thinking you could be a little affectatious and pronounce it 'luh-zahr'." Sarala grinned and winked at her brother, letting the sound of the r roll over her tongue longer than necessary. "Makes it sound... rich."

She knew full well that he didn't care about sounding rich. Still it was amusing to tease him on occasion, even if the occasion was often.

"Another one I thought was interesting was Kardros. It sounds manly, and... well, very... you.

"And then there's Novak. I like the name Novak. It reminds me of Novastasia. And it's simple. An old name, I think."

She looked over at Thad with a questioning smile. She had wanted to change their last name ever since they started the little kingdom in the Stolen lands. It seemed that Thaddeus was finally ready to do it with her. Would he like any of the ones she found, or would he be inspired to come up with one all his own?

"So, what do you think?" she asked, full of curiosity.
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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Fri Mar 27, 2015 11:11 pm

Thaddeus raised his eyebrow and smiled in amusement. Either his sister completely misunderstood him when he asked if there were any family names she wanted to take at the festival.... or she really did have a list of suitors she was mulling over.

Seeing as how she was suggesting them for him as well, he assumed it was misunderstanding. Still, he found it rather funny.

"You've put some thought into this," he said with a chuckle. "I like where you're head is at with some of those." Thaddeus said pondering the different names... muttering a little, attaching his own name to them...  

"I like the idea of tying myself to the kingdom more... but... You say you heard these names in use? I'm trying to distance myself from one family... I don't want to usurp or join someone else's...

"If we do switch it like that... I think we should do something to make it our own. Something a bit more unique."

He tapped his chin as ran some possibilities through his mind. "Maybe something... Instead of Novak... Something like Novastik or something along those lines..."
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Sarala Medvyed

Post  TRU on Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:29 pm

"Or Novany," Sarala returned as if name variations was a new game.

"Novi. Novecky..." Her eyes twinkled as she thought of new ways to twist the name. Novaslik. Novaski. Novatic. Nope, Novatic sounded too much like Novastik. Thaddeus had something going there.

"Novastik, huh?" Sarala let the name run slowly over her tongue to get the feel of it. "No-va-stik. Sarala Novastik."

Hearing her name coupled with the new prospective last name gave her a sudden thrill.

"Yeah, I think I like that." She smiled. "So what do we do to make it official?"

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