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Blood on the Moon

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Blood on the Moon

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Tue May 19, 2015 4:47 pm

19th Sarenith, 4714

With a heavy heart Thaddeus walked into his library and gazed out across his city. The moon was starting to rise ominously and cast a reddish glow over Akiros. In Thaddeus' mind it looked as if his world was drenched in blood.

Thaddeus was not in a good mood this evening. Besides the typical business of running the kingdom, this month he was also embroiled in a war. Expensive business. By day he poured over the reports of where his kingdom's monetary wealth was being spent, and at night he obsessed over the cost in lives.

He shook his head silently. It wouldn't do for the king to have such morose thoughts all the time. Tonight he needed to relax. Not much, but at least a little. He looked through his books and found something lighthearted. and poured himself a glass of wine. The king had a great deal of willpower, but he couldn't help but wonder if it was enough to focus on something else for an hour or two.
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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Thu May 21, 2015 11:05 pm

From a chair across the room, blazing luminescent eyes silently watched as the young king sifted through the stacks, lost in his own thoughts. Perhaps not so young any longer, the oracle noted with interest, for there was a marked difference in his appearance in the months since last they had spoken. King Thaddeus did indeed appear older. And worn. . .

A shadow of a frown flitted across otherwise passive, porcelain features and Wynnsaren pushed back the hood of the starry cloak she was wrapped in and stood smoothly to face her liege.

"Your Majesty." The sound of her voice, low and warm seemed to be an extension of the summer evening itself. Nonthreatening. Familiar.

Unshod and walking on naught but six inches of air, she took a few steps toward him, looked him over and smiled sincerely before offering a bow of deep deference. Her hair was drawn up and away from her face on either side with tiny braids, collecting up top like a wild crest, where it spilled down in one long, inky river that ran from the crown of her head to a point just below her shoulder blades. Soft, brown doeskin breeches and a short-cropped, sleeveless tunic in deep forest green, replaced her usual and more formal apparel.

Standing, she continued. "I hope I am not intruding upon your peace," Wynn tilted her head to the side ever so slightly, "but it is good to see your face, careworn though it may be. I have missed you, my king."

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Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Fri May 22, 2015 12:44 am

Thaddeus spun toward the long absent voice.

"Wynnsaren?!" He stared as if seeing a ghost. He wondered if she had been there the whole time, or had just... materialized. With his distracted mind, either were distinct possibilities.

His brow furrowed as he wondered at the implications of her sudden arrival. She had come and gone from the Akiros several times since they cleared Skywatch, but she seemed intent on not being alone with the king since the unfortunate 'incident' that had started that adventure. With no Paido around he couldn't help but wonder aloud...

"Is it time? Is the prophecies happening now?"
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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Fri May 22, 2015 10:38 pm

"No. . ." Wynn patted the air with her hands in a placating gesture. This kind of a reception was an occupational hazard and not at all one that she was unfamiliar with. "We are in no immediate peril from the beyond the stars," she assured him, "though it does my heart good to see that you are ready to jump to action when that time comes!"

She felt the red light of the moon streaming in through the window like a heavy hand upon her shoulder. Luthunar played a large part in her concerns of late and seeing it now bathed in blood seemed an ill-omen. Wynnsaren let the foreboding sensation slip away as she remembered why she had come.

"I am here merely to see you. While it was my intention to arrive upon the morrow, it came to me that perhaps you might need a friend this evening. That is," she smirked subtly, "if you can trust me not to stab you this time."

She pushed back the hem of her cloak to reveal Lesath, the magical, acid-coated starknife hanging from behind her hip. "Shall I disarm myself in your royal presence?"

It was meant as a jest for certainly she could do no serious physical harm to the paladin-king even if she was driven to it, but after the span of a heartbeat, Wynn wondered if perhaps he would be more comfortable, after these past long months, if she were to put her usual adventuresome gear to the side.

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Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Sat May 23, 2015 4:00 pm

Thaddeus sighed in relief and offered a weak chuckle. "Everyone else is armed and on high alert, I've certainly no objections to you as well.

"Truth is... even I'm feeling the weight of the prophecies myself right now. Things are moving faster... Now? With my armies scattered and our resources stretched, it wouldn't have surprised me at all if you were here with dire news."

He shook the dark thoughts to the side. He grinned at the ex-ambassador, handed her his glass of wine, and poured himself another. "However, I am quite pleased that isn't the case. I've quite missed our chats. You've been gone entirely too long.

"How are you doing up there anyway," he said with a touch of concern in his voice. Zaistrun had expressed concern that she was overwhelmed by her ambassadorial duties and the Skywatch issue. Seeing her arrive like this, with such drastic changes to her typical appearance, he couldn't hide his surprise.
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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Tue May 26, 2015 6:37 am

"My days have been quite dull compared to yours of late," Wynnsaren gazed at him with a sharply arched brow as she swirled the crimson liquid in the glass. "With the exception of the three days a month I let myself out of the tower, each day looks much like the next. Kaz and Glas are doing well and frankly, I think they are enjoying their time among the other rangers at Skywatch. They check in with me twice a day but I am convinced it is only to assure themselves that I am yet alive."

She smirked and took a sip of her wine. From over the rim of the glass something suddenly caught her attention. Something. . . shifting just outside her vision. Her eyes flicked abruptly over to the wall to her right but finding no purchase, she merely blinked a few times and returned her attention to the king.

"I feel confident in my recent approach to the puzzling inscriptions," Wynn continued seamlessly. "It is not like a language to be deciphered and that perplexed me for much too long. Instead, I rather think the knowledge will come upon me when my mind is properly opened to it."

The oracle turned to pace about the room, stealing another glance at the wall as she passed. "When that happens you will know, though I promise you it will not happen at a convenient time, for as you suggest, prophetic fulfillment never does."

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Re: Blood on the Moon

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Wed May 27, 2015 7:12 pm

"Don't I know it," the king said with bewildered shake of his head.

"I'd heard that Labeda had men out that way now... and that you were being left to work in peace. The best I could hope for.

"Actually, the young king sent quite a generous gift for the wedding. Paid for the new waterfront frankly. I take that as a sign they are doing well up there."
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Post  Wynnsaren on Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:39 pm

"Quite," she answered with a smile, glowing as much from the pride she felt as from the markings of her heritage. "The war is all but won. Master Winter expects hostilities to finally be drawn to a close before the summer is out and it simply cannot come too soon."

Wynnsaren ceased her meandering progress about the room and floated up onto the edge of a nearby table to sit. "I was present for the gift-giving ceremony," she nodded happily. "A very generous gift indeed! I believe this and the kindness shown to Lord Garess after the fall of his house, are indicators that the new regime to come to power in Brevoy, wish to be friendly to Novastasia.

"Both nations can certainly benefit from allies after all. . . True friends are hard to come by in the River Kingdoms and as it is we all seem to be surrounded by madmen," she grimaced and took another sip of wine, before turning her smile upon His Majesty. "I am confident that in the future, your kingdoms will have firm ties between them and you will both be the stronger for it. A lasting peace after these current wars and wars to come, will be a much needed balm to the people."

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Re: Blood on the Moon

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:11 am

"I hope that's the oracle speaking," he said with a laugh. "I could use a happy prophecy.

"As for the Labeda's? I think you may be right. Rostland was the side that started this kingdom. They started us on the quest to rid the land of bandits and provide a friendly buffer between them and the rest of the River Kingdoms. Power has changed hands there, but it does appear that this ruler wishes to keep that line of thought.

"One less thing to worry about. After all, we've worked very hard to build trade routes north... I wasn't looking forward to hostilities with Brevoy."
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Post  Wynnsaren on Fri Jun 05, 2015 7:53 am

"Consider it less prophecy and more intuition," Wynn chuckled, playfully swinging her legs back and forth beneath the table. "I try to keep prophecies down to one per person, and you are already beneath the burden of two!

"Doubly Fated." She offered a sympathetic smile. "I do not envy you that. But it has been so long since we have spoken, King Thaddeus! Have you. . . in these last three months of married life, learned any more about what this second prophecy requires of you?"

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Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Sat Jun 06, 2015 12:45 am

Thaddeus stopped in mid sip and eyed his friend cautiously over his glass. "Maybe..." he answered hesitantly. "Depends on if you actually want to know.

"Tell me... does the name Evindra the Nereid mean anything to you?"
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Post  Wynnsaren on Sat Jun 06, 2015 1:41 am

"Not at all," she answered after a moment of thought. "I seem to recall that nereids are a type of water fey, but I cannot say I have ever met one let alone know one by name.

"Does this creature know about the prophecy?" Wynn questioned, literally on the edge of her seat.

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Re: Blood on the Moon

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:54 pm

"Oh yes... I believe she knows everything." Thad frowned as he recalled the prior weeks. Surprisingly, the revelations he'd found were merely the footnotes of the chaos of this month. "If not everything... then a lot. Perhaps more than Feluanil."

"Fair warning, the Queen is quite adamant that nobody speaks of Evindra in her presence. It's actually rather unsettling. She gets... kind of a cross between angry and scared, and they really aren't emotions that I expect from her."

Thaddeus went on to explain about their discovery of the water clock in the abandoned monastery and the evil gnome spirit they fought.

"We thought the clock was nice craftsmanship and brought it home. Then we didn't give it another thought, till the Queen told me there was something 'feyish' about it. Something that was blocking her senses and she advised investigation.

"It turns out it was some kind of a prison. The water running it contained the Nereid and once freed, she was quite disorientated. Apparently she was a prisoner of the gnome... who had stolen her shawl, which apparently holds a power over her. She said it had been wrapped around a sword, but we saw no evidence of that when we were there.

"She begged for help and naturally, I offered to help where I could. Imprisoned, her perceptions were weak at best.. but she thought that some glass helmeted knights stolen both items. Which, as I'm sure you remember sound like Irovetti's wardens." The paladin's teeth ground as he mentioned the hated man's name.

"She couldn't tell me much else, as she was apparently still bound by early commands... which would be free when she had her shawl. So we offered to kill the king and reclaim her property. Simple enough decision on my part.

"Zaistrun and Sarala tried to scout him out, then come back to me... but while they were gone I mentioned this to Feluanil. She stopped me cold, forbidding the mere mention of her name and wanted nothing to do with the conversation."

Thaddeus chuckled as he recalled how stunned he'd been. "It put me in a difficult position. I naturally wanted to know more. If Evindra couldn't be trusted? Why the secrecy? It seemed obvious that there was bad blood between the two, but without details I didn't know where to proceed..

"As a rule, I try not to antagonize my wife. Her position on this was rather clear, and nothing I said was going to make a difference there... She wouldn't talk about it with me," Thaddeus winced before adding, "or with anyone else."

When Sarala heard about the reaction, she tried to push her luck, and got shot down even harder than I did. Meaning, there is something bigger going on just teaching me patience or whatever, and that Sarala needs to learn what it's like to have a ruler she isn't related to."

"The next morning I questioned Evindra herself a little more. I didn't expect much since she was still bound by her shawl, but I thought I could at least find out what Feluanil's problem with her was. Which, provoked an interesting response too. When she asked how I knew that name, I informed her she was my queen. She seemed quite stunned and blurted out...

You?! You're the one??"

"This.. wasn't what I expected. She quickly explained that there was no animosity between them. Just... Fate. She was to guard the sword, and she wasn't supposed to have any contact at all with Feluanil until the sword was in my hands..." He leaned back in his chair and took another long sip of his wine.

"That's what I know now... A few more pieces but no clearer picture. Apparently this sword is meant to be in my hands... and that snake Irovetti has it instead. Which if I didn't have enough reasons to hunt him down like the pig he is... Unfortunately, he guards himself well. Apparently the 'teleport in' plan isn't feasible right now.

"We'll need our armies for this fight."

He spread his arms out humbly. "This is what you miss when you're locked away in the tower... and why I jumped to conclusions when you arrived tonight."
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Post  Wynnsaren on Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:37 pm

"I am sequestered in Skywatch not because I wish to be but because I must be," Wynnsaren replied softly, still digesting the story just told, "because I value this world and the people who dwell upon it.

"I hate missing out on your lives. I hate learning of these wars and troubles second hand and knowing there is nothing I can currently do to aid you in your endeavors, but Fate binds us all in different ways, does it not?

"As you know, I am bound to a very specific prophecy and have spent lifetimes preparing myself for what is to come that I might prepare Matsuro Shi for the same. Matsuro Shi is bound to face down that millenia old threat. Master Winter is bound by an secret Oath that has forced him to stay alive all these years that he might be present at the culmination of this prophecy."

The oracle turned her gaze upon the king as the motes of light orbited lazily around her head like a celestial crown. "You, Your Majesty, find yourself the convergence of two threads of Fate. First, the one that brought me to your side, and second the one that brought your queen. The first thread, I have been allowed to reveal to you that you might be prepared, but that does not mean that the second thread is one to which you will know the answers. The 'whys' and 'whens' and 'hows' of this life are not always for us to know. It was only until relatively recently that some of these questions of my own have been answered, while before, the gods had been notoriously stingy on details. I have learned the hard way to take it on faith that they will bring me to where I must be, when I must be.

"Maybe being blind is an advantage there," she smiled.

"I do not know if Evindra or Queen Feluanil know all the details of this second Thread that is binding you, but surely they are bound by it as well. Just as Rasven cannot speak of his Oath without suffering agony, perhaps they cannot speak of your Fate in this matter. Your curiosity eats at you. Believe me this is something I well understand! But maybe you might learn something from my own hard-earned experience: Sometimes we are not meant to know the answers until they are meant to be revealed."

She paused a moment and brought her left leg up close to her body and wrapped her arms around it while the right dangled over the edge of the table.

"This sword you mention," Wynn tilted her head to the side in contemplation. "How interesting that you must retrieve this sword that is meant for you. A sword is a tool after all. A tool for violence. In the hands of a paladin, a tool for justice, slaying of evil, righting of wrongs. I wonder what it is that Fate has in store for you and this sword."

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Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:59 am

Thaddeus smirked in response. "The only thing I can assume is that I'm 'destined' to stab something specific...' Honestly, I am really hoping that both of these threads lead to the same ball of fate. I'm not sure how many different prophecies one man can have rest on him. Paladin or no!

"On the other hand... You, me, the others, Rasven... Feluanil, and now Evindra?! That... is a lot of pieces being moved into place. The implications of this... are a little staggering. Even living under this thing for the last few years, actually seeing things starting to slide into place? Evindra and a sword meant for me... trapped and hidden for centuries before I was born?!

"I can't help but feel my heart race a little."

He chuckled to himself as took another drink. "Tell me, have you ever had an instance of competing prophecies before?
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Post  Wynnsaren on Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:42 am

"No," Wynnsaren chuckled, "and I still have not. True prophecy does compete one thread with another, but instead they are woven together into the same tapestry.

"When I first learned of your betrothal to the Queen and her claim of prophecy, I was quite alarmed as you know, for I was concerned that the fey were being deceitful in order to take advantage of you." She sighed and bowed her head apologetically. "I have told you of some of my dealings with fey and apart from this most present company, they have not been positive experiences so I came into the situation with a good deal of bias I am afraid.

"However, after speaking with her of my concerns, she put me quite at ease about the matter. Her purpose is not the same as my own but neither does it interfere," the oracle explained as best she could. "These threads run parallel to each other. At least for a time."

After draining the last of her wine in one long swallow, Wynn left the glass on the table and floated over to the chair beside the king, where she folded her legs and lowered herself onto the cushion.

"I hope you will understand, Your Majesty," she began with a vulnerable echo in her voice, "but I am sick to death of discussing Fate and prophecy and chaos and doom. I close my eyes and I see pandemonic scrawlings. I breathe it and eat it and dream about it. . . I fear it, to be frank. I fear what more Fate will require of me. . ."

The aasimar's gaze drifted off over his right shoulder as they usually did while the sun was high and her blindness took hold.

"I would rather talk about life," she refocused, smiling brightly, "and yours has no doubt changed significantly in the last months! In all the lives I have so far recollected, I have never been married or bound to another in any similar way, so forgive my curiosity but. . .could you share with me what that is like?"

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Re: Blood on the Moon

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:24 pm

Thaddeus couldn't help but wince at that change in direction. "Truthfully, I may find it difficult to talk about the last few months without including fate or chaos into the mix. The wedding ended with an assassination attempt and most of my attention has been on Irovetti since that." He managed a wry smile. "Still, I suppose we can trim it down a bit.

"Feluanil... is Feluanil. It's difficult to say much more than that. Married life isn't a great deal different then being betrothed honestly."

Thaddeus shrugged and downed the rest of his glass. Truth was, he was more then a little disappointed that their relationship hadn't changed more then it had. He kept the disappointment in check though. Things were as they were.

"We spent about a month touring the kingdom. I imagine she still sees this small kingdom as a pale reflection of her own... by which I mean that she's difficult to impress. The people seem to balance that line of fascinated with her and intimidated by her. Which I suspect suits her fine. We talk fairly often... but only when I have something to say. She rarely initiates anything herself. Still, she seems good for the kingdom.

"We talk... we disagree. Sometimes I see her point, sometimes I stay true to myself, which she is frustrated by..." He shrugged noncommittally. "Married life is... married life. Mine is unique. It's interesting, but I hope you don't find it too enviable.


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Post  Wynnsaren on Sat Jul 04, 2015 9:19 pm

Wynnsaren frowned. "I. . . I thought that perhaps. . . Well I had hoped that. . ." She shut her eyes and shut her mouth to cease the babbling. "I am sorry, my friend, I thought that might be a safe enough topic to try and lighten the mood, not to dampen it further." With a sigh, she rested her elbow on the arm of the chair and propped her chin up on her hand. "I should have known things would yet be difficult considering the situation, but you have time. Fate may yet bring a solution to the trouble."

The oracle slapped her free hand over her mouth and laughed. "See!? I cannot even manage to follow my own wishes.

"I suppose that not only was I curious about how your life is changing, but I was hoping you might have some tips to share with me on the subject."

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Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Wed Jul 08, 2015 9:55 pm

Thaddeus laughed with her. It felt good to laugh, there hadn't been much of that since the treacherous Rushlight Festival. "Yeah, it seems that Fate is so engrained here, it's hard to see where it stops and we begin. Maybe after the sword and the prophecy and what not... perhaps that's why she's still so guarded. I definitely sensed something new when during THAT conversation...."

He eyed his friend suspiciously. "Why would you come to me of all people for tips on romance... Surely you've seen more than your share over the years. Even if it was only only other peoples... I don't think you'll see anything new here. Well... maybe you will, It does seem that this experience is unique enough to merit some attention!"
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Post  Wynnsaren on Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:08 pm

"Not romance", she clarified, considering that that particular end of it seemed to be working out rather effortlessly. The glowing sigils on sides of her face turned slightly purplish due to a sudden flush of crimson. "Marriage.

"I have spent a goodly number of decades avoiding all thought of the subject as I had written it off long ago. Some difficulties I believed, were not to be surmounted. And so, just as I had come to terms with the idea, I find myself with a reason to reexamine the mechanics of such a relationship."

Wynnsaren shifted in her seat, plainly uncomfortable with the personal nature of the topic.

"Six months ago, Master Winter and I were pledged to one another."

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Re: Blood on the Moon

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:44 am

"Six months?!" Thaddeus sat stunned at the news. He wasn't entirely sure how to respond. For that matter he wasn't sure how he felt about the news. He knew how she felt about Winter. He still wasn't sure how he felt about Winter, but he would begrudgingly admit that he had no legitimate reason for the suspicion. Still, she was happy, and he made a determination to be happy for her.

"Six months," he repeated with a raised eyebrow. "Here I thought you were all alone up there with only a surly ranger... Sounds like it isn't as boring as I feared.

He chuckled and refilled the wine glass. "In light of this new information, I suspect I have you to thank for our new waterfront. If so... Thank you," he said raising his glass in a toast.


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Post  Wynnsaren on Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:39 pm

"I had nothing at all to do with Rasven's generous gift," she laughed, "I was as surprised as you! It was a kind gesture and though it was said to be made on behalf of King Labeda, I have every confidence that your thanks is most appropriately due him."

Wynn smiled warmly as she studied the king's expression. She was pleasantly surprised at his not-quite-negative reaction to the news, which frankly, was more than she'd hoped.

"Be assured however, that I do not spend my days gallivanting about the tower like a lovelorn ninny. I am quite alone there. Surly ranger excluded." She grinned. "The only time Master Winter has visited was when he brought his rangers to watch over the city. He has a war to win after all, and I have a duty to see to conclusion and my every thought is bent toward that purpose. Only these three days a month I spend about other business. One here in Akiros, one in the Mwangi and a day of recovery at Silverhall.

"But I felt it was time that you should know," the aasimar explained. "Currently you are the only one who does, as I have not worked up the nerve to tell Kaz. . ."

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Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:29 pm

Thaddeus' eyes went wide. Despite the distance and rarity he saw her, it felt good to know she still valued his confidence. Still, to keep something like this a secret for so long...

Kaz would not take that well. It would be especially rough if she starts out with the fact it had been six months! "Ohhhh... I do NOT envy THAT conversation... I thought Kaz had warmed up a bit to Winter. I take it he only gets 'so' warm then? If you wish to wait till after this war, I can arrange to have some knights present."






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Post  Wynnsaren on Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:24 pm

Wynnsaren burst into laughter at the thought. The ranger would be even more enraged if he thought she felt she needed protection from him!

"Kazimir is. . . undecided on the subject of Master Winter, especially after the journey to the Mwangi. As for knights, it might come to that," she grinned through her response, "but I dare wait even longer yet.

"There are some very formidable obstacles that currently stand in the way of such a commitment. Obstacles which, as you know, currently take all of my time and could quite possibly take my life as well," she admitted plainly. "It would be a shame if harsh words and hurt feelings were to come between Kazimir and myself before the culmination of prophecy. If something were to happen. . . Well, I feel that there is no need to risk such unnecessary guilt.

"Or maybe I am just a coward." The aasimar leaned back in her chair and smirked.

"But do you have any news of your own?" She asked inquisitively. "I am sure you are getting nagged about heirs all the time now but I am interested for purely selfish reasons that have nothing at all to do with Fate, I assure you," Wynn chuckled.

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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:16 pm

"Oh?" Thaddeus blushed a touch before taking another drink of his wind.

"Ummm... Well, nothing to really report on that front either." He grinned at his own awkwardness. The king had played his part, but so far the queen had not given him any indication they should start the royal nursery.

"No... Nothing yet," he said with a shrug. "Though a thought just occurred to me. Part of me wonders if she would say anything if she was expecting. Perhaps my attention is needed elsewhere... or she knows I would be distracted." He found himself chuckling again.

"I am easily distracted after all..."
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Thaddeus Medvyed

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