• Closed • [Duncan] Don't Say Goodbye

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• Closed • [Duncan] Don't Say Goodbye

Postby Kieran » Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:45 am

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25th of Saun, Arc 716

The rupture opened, a rip in space pouring through the air. They arrived in Andaris, but in an abandoned alleyway, with no one around. They hid in their homes and cowered - Veljorn was coming, and they knew it. Alistair knew it. It was why he had been so brazen with the placement of his portal, directly within the city grounds. His horse streamed through the portal with him, and shortly after came Duncan and his horse Tac. Ali looked briefly to the man before he turned back around, staring into the streets that overlooked the pier. They were on the southern side of the city, staring into Cyrene Bay, so graciously named after Alistair's earliest ancestor of import.

This city, this country, they all had significance to him that ran deeper than one could imagine. It was in his blood. In his name, "Venora". His house had been the architect of much of the greatness that was this Kingdom. Nora was the first monarch of these lands. Alistair's burden, as such, as one greater than regular man could imagine. In fact, he doubted anyone properly could. He'd met the other heirs, and most of them didn't care much for their duties, their obligations. They gallivanted around the Kingdom throwing their names and titles like sacks of coin, with no regard for the importance of these things. The prestige.

Alistair had always prided himself in his prestige. Always. His aura of authority was one that always streamed out from him; no one could doubt that he had the qualities of a leader. He tried to keep the Venora virtues closely to his heart: beauty, elegance, devotion, growth, nobility. Even though he often failed to be who he wanted to be, the overall identity remained. Alistair Nathaniel Venora was not a man, but a noble. They were different than one another. There was a divide between the two - to be nobility was to be above the realm of Rynmere, to sit upon the clouds with vested authority. To maintain nobility, others had to fear, respect and even love an individual. They had to know their place, and the hierarchy of power.

And that is why - so importantly - Alistair had failed himself. In this moment, he had failed himself more greatly than he had ever known. Every time another was forced to discover his magic, he was defeated. Because a mage was not a noble - a mage was a lawbreaker, a fiend, a demented little creature who wanted to play God. It had hurt to reveal to Andraska that he was a mage, and a Necromancer at that. But with Duncan . . . it had hurt the most. So deeply that he ignored it entirely, or tried to at least, numbing himself to how beneath the mercenary he felt. For the first time, he was below Duncan, in everything. In dignity, in honor, in lawfulness, in prestige, in authority. Now, he was nothing but another charlatan upon the road, and his words from before bore little.

He was a member of the Coven now. He would make that clear.

"Those undead were mine," he said, looking back to glance Duncan in the eye. His expression was entirely empty, his eyes were cold. His voice was low. No emotion was displayed. "I had them prepared for that moment - in which I would slaughter Marcus' band of traitors and hopefully the man himself. I failed. And that is why we are here." If the man had died, Alistair could have taken control of his retinue. They would not have had to make their escape. But it did not happen, and so now . . . Duncan knew. The Venora wouldn't conceal it or make up a convenient excuse. It would only seek to cause more harm. "You mustn't serve me anymore if you do not wish to. I understand how you individuals may not feel comfortable consorting with someone like me. It's fine. I'm good with rejection."

Was he? No. But - he tried to be. He deflected all of the negative influx of emotions that came alongside it; he turned this negativity into diligence, into order within his mind. He created sociopathy as a way to deal with the shame. This was the truth of who Alistair was. A truth Duncan couldn't know. A truth he himself failed to grasp. So he merely began to walk away, out from this dark as the suns ravaged his comfort. He did not look back, as he did not expect Duncan to do anything but leave and run off to the Gazette to tell them the truth. It would be a just end.
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[Duncan] Don't Say Goodbye

Postby Duncan Oisin » Fri Sep 09, 2016 7:00 pm

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Duncan was silent as they were ejected into a dark Andaris alley, an area he was intimately familiar with. The moment Tac's steps slowed to a halt he dismounted, throwing his leg over the saddle with violent, jerky movements. He was angry, frustrated and somewhat disheveled, his face ashen, hair a mess and blood splashed over his legs and boots. He staggered slightly as his feet hit the ground, his legs numb and body weary from all that time spent in the saddle.

The battle had been intense, and even before that, the march and the time spent on the road had pulled at Duncan's nerves and patience. During all that time however, Alistair had been a stable constant to keep him company. He'd enjoyed the brief moments they'd had to spend time together, to unwind from the stress and anxiety of this damned civil war and take a moment with just one another. No however, with the revelation that Alistair was some sort of mage, Duncan felt as though a rug had been yanked out from beneath him, leaving him sprawling and confused. Why would he tell you anything? A nasty little part of his mind whispered. You're just someone he pays for protection, an enjoyable distraction at most. Nothing more.

The mercenary moved in a tight circle, movements jerky and rough. Now, according to Alistair's words, not only did he make portals, but he ordered around the dead as well. Duncan's gaze shot to the man, searching the noble's face for any sign of guilt or remorse, any evidence at all that he felt bad for having lied to Duncan, even if it was only by omission. Big fucking omission. Duncan ignored the last of Alistair's words for the moment, not ready to walk away without some sort of explanation. "Didn't you think I should know that? Couldn't you trust me with that at least?" He growled, angered to know that the attack had been completely set up, and that he'd been none the wiser. "How am I expected to be loyal to you, if you're not honest with me?" He demanded, hand dropping to the Gladius on his hip for emphasis.

"Don't just--" Duncan cut himself off, hands rising to tug at his own hair in frustration. He couldn't stand to see Alistair so closed off and cold after everything that had happened between them, everything they'd gone through together. He pulled his hands from his hair and marched towards the other man, reaching out to shove at his shoulder, trying both physically and verbally to get a reaction from the noble. "Alistair, I know you're not some emotionless flop, so stop acting like it!"
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[Duncan] Don't Say Goodbye

Postby Kieran » Fri Sep 09, 2016 8:09 pm

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Anger. He was so angry. He was upset with Alistair for "lying" to him, for concealing information that - in Alistair's mind - was not his to know. Didn't you think I should know that? he asked. Couldn't you trust me with that at least?

. . .

That triggered a laugh from the man. At least? As if it were some minor thing. No. The mercenary had been fooled by thinking so - by thinking that what Alistair indulged in was merely some trinket, as if he could gallivant around as a beloved Necromancer. "Did you really just ask me that?" he questioned, coldly. He kept his back turned to the other man, only looking forward. Keeping his composure. "You don't understand what I am. Do I need to spell it out for you any more clearly? Do they not educate you commoners enough to help you understand the brevity of what I admitted to you? I'm from the bloody fucking COVEN." He turned around, the man shoving into his shoulder. Alistair shoved back.

"I used fucking Necromancy to attempt the murder of a Lord of the Great Houses. Do you think that's a secret I reveal willy-nilly? Or to anyone for that matter? I like you, Duncan, and I have trusted you with my life. But you act to defend me based on two things: money, and prestige. That's all any bloody man cares about. Would you defend someone knowing they need your protection so they can go off raping and murdering children? No? Then you wouldn't defend me. You don't know the things I've done, Duncan." He was - quite frankly - completely lost to his composure. All of that elegance, that nobility, had vanished. The pleasantries had come and gone. This was a conversation that could spare no kind words.

"You don't understand why I think I'm so terrible. You struggle to grasp it; you think I'm whining. You think it's because of my lack of empathy. It's not because of that. It's more than that. It's because I've helped raze towns to the ground and have slaughtered parents to take their babes from their arms. You think you're lowly, Duncan? You don't know lowly. I'm lowly. And I don't care. That's why I'm scum. Because I don't give a shit about any of you people. I could murder a thousand billion fucking babies and I wouldn't give a shit. So yeah, I'm an emotionless flop. I'm not acting. It's who I was when she found me. It's who I am." He grimaced.

"I'm not dishonest. I told you, didn't I? All me. The portals, the minions, all me. I'm a mage. And I'm good at it. Oh yes. One of the best I know. In reality I never needed your protection. It was all to maintain public face. You remember my other guards, Alaric and Grayson? Undead. And those men we killed - the Axtons? They're my minions too, now. Notice how my ranks swelled by two after that day? I didn't need you after that point. I don't need your loyalty. A mage needs no one but themselves. We don't even need the Immortals. We are above." He spat on the floor, as if to represent just how much higher he was to the peasants below. The real peasants. Non-mages.

He grinned. The look in his eyes was almost . . . maniacal, to say the least. He appeared almost deranged.

"She's here now. The one firing blasts of energy and ripping through the wagons. It's her - the Necromantress. This whole country is going to change, Duncan. I had to subvert the war. The more dead she gains, the greater her ranks will swell. Everything I did was for Rynmere. I couldn't have you halting my progress by outing me and having me executed. Mages must be seen rightfully so - as the answer to the Immortals. As the saviors of mankind. She will destroy that . . . all of it. I can't let that happen. I have to leave. I have to go and join the negotiations. You can't stop me. There are things more important in this world than love, Duncan. Than the words I told you. Than what we shared. That's all a weakness. That's an illusion. I know it is."

His heart was beating at a mile a minute; he couldn't organize his thoughts, he was jumping over and over from point to point. He had unleashed a torrent of words that hardly strung together properly, and he found himself wavering entirely. His composure, his disguise, had been removed from him and in its place a man so isolated and abject by the standards of society. He was not who he once was - if the Alistair before was ever even real.
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[Duncan] Don't Say Goodbye

Postby Duncan Oisin » Sat Sep 10, 2016 12:08 am

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The disparity between their education levels was already a matter of insecurity for Duncan, and Alistair's words caused him to flinch, cheeks colouring with shame and anger. He fell back a step as Alistair shoved him in return, his face twisting into a scowl. It was true, Alistair's reality was worse than he'd imagined, and Duncan as any true citizen of Rynmere, mistrusted and feared magic. It was something that'd been drilled into him since he was a child, magic was bad, evil. His beliefs about magic's conflicted however, with his beliefs about Alistair. He'd gotten to know the man during his time serving him, and he'd thought they'd formed a connection. Truly, despite all he knew now, Duncan still felt that swell of affection and attachment to the other man, though now it was accompanied by a fierce sense of pain and betrayal.

Duncan's chest ached. He wanted to tell the man he was wrong, that their relationship wasn't a weakness, or an illusion. He wanted to tell Alistair that he could make him stronger, that Duncan would do anything to help him, to stay by his side, that he didn't care that the noble was also a mage. But it wasn't strictly true, and that fine thread of doubt kept the words back. Instead, Duncan stood still, eyes boring into the other man as he spoke, each word like a blow, an impact he could feel in the pit of his gut. Duncan's eye's fluttered shut for a moment, fighting back a wave of rage filed violence, his hands clenching and relaxing continuously by his sides. "Yeah, you told me, at the last possible moment that you could." Duncan retorted, breathing heavily. "Because the man risking his life for you clearly doesn't deserve to know who he's putting his life on the line for." Duncan laughed grimly, following it with a sharp shrug. "But I suppose you are right then, you clearly don't care. And why should you, I'm just a mercenary, a whore, as long as money's involved I don't have any morals, or feelings." He shook his head, face falling flat.

"Fine." He snarled, hands going to the gladius. "Fine, you don't need me, I don't care." He was ripping at the buckles that secured the sheathe to his belt, attempting to pull it free, but his hands were shaking, so he changed tact, moving to unbuckle the belt as a whole, pulling it free and shoving the bundle, belt, gladius, all, into Alistair's chest. His movements were rough, not caring if he hurt the other man, too hurt himself to do much more than shake and yell. "Take your dead fuckers and fuck off!" He swore, turning to march away. "I knew this was a mistake; you nobles are all the same, selfish, self serving pricks. And on top of that, you're fucking a mage! I'm so worthless to you right? Lowly gutter scum to such a great mage?" He snapped, turning back to look at Alistair. "Maybe you should do yourself a favour. Now I know your secret, and you clearly can't trust a dumb peasant. Maybe you should have your dead fucks finish me off, get rid of your little stain, hm?" Duncan thrust his arms out, his voice dark and full of anger, as if he were daring the other man to act. "Your so emotionless, it should be easy, you could even do it yourself, use that sword right now. It'd be the logical thing to do, and Alistair, you're such a clever man. Would you let me leave, knowing what I know?" He dropped his arms to his side, sneering. "I wouldn't."
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[Duncan] Don't Say Goodbye

Postby Kieran » Sat Sep 10, 2016 12:47 am

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In his angry, confused fervor, he'd said a whole swath of things he didn't really mean; words he didn't understand the origin of. To act as if Duncan was so uncaring of him - as if he didn't give Alistair so much more than merely protection . . . it was to lie to everything he knew. He had associated Duncan with a great deal of things that involved more than just his cost as a bodyguard or the contract between them.

No . . . it was all so much more than that. It wasn't until the man's retort began that he realized that, as the swordsman's words punctured holes into his heart. A deep pit in his chest grew and expanded with all of his words. Alistair's face devolved from angry to confused to hopeless, completely devoid of anything that could be construed of positivity, neutrality or even anger. No - he was despondent.

A mercenary, a whore, he called himself . . . as long as money's involved, I don't have any morals or feelings. The man's frown grew. No... he kept repeating in his thoughts. He kept going. About how Alistair didn't need him, like he said, and how he didn't care. To fuck off - a selfish, self-serving prick. A mage. It all devolved into nothing, all that time they'd spend together, all of the words they shared that had twisted at Alistair's heart and made him feel human. The only person who'd ever really made him feel that way. The only person who'd ever made him feel worth it as a human being - the man who'd taught him that value can be measured by the heart, rather than merely the mind.

Kill him? No. He could never do that. To do so would be -

. . .

"I could never hurt you," he said sadly, his sea of emotions all rising as his eyes began to tear, though they went no further. "You can tell them all. Tell them I'm a mage if you want. Have them come to the palace with pitchforks and kill me where I stand." He lowered his face, his fists clenching into a ball. Why did it have to come to this, he wondered? Why did he need to say such cruel things - and why could he not find it within him to apologize, to admit his defeat, to cry into the man's chest when he knew that Duncan would take him back? He knew he would. Because he loved Duncan. He loved him like he did no other before, like he would love no other after. He had kindled things in Alistair that he would have otherwise never found. His sincerity, his loyalty, they had been of a kind that he'd never seen again in all his life.

"I am emotionless," the man said with a scowl, "but not with you. And that is the greatest crime of all this. That a filthy mage should ever dare to find comfort in the arms of a man. That I should ever have allowed this to get as far as it did." He shook his head. He knew - and had been taught - to cast aside such things. To become devoid of love, of lust, of desire for the things of the flesh. Yet now he had fallen to a great moment of weakness. Now he had allowed himself to become a prisoner of his emotions. He had never been so vulnerable before in his life.

But the truth was there. He would never allow Duncan to call him a liar again, and so it would all be laid bare now.

"I love you, Duncan. My love for you has been a stream of joy onto the cold and shriveled husk of my heart. I love you so much that I don't know what to do with it . . . And - and every time I think about you I become lost. I can no longer foresee my own future, as I've surrendered it to you. I have never been this way before. I've never been so weak, so disgraceful."

He shook his head. "Ellasin would be maddened with disappointment to see what I've become. What you've made me. But no longer. I can't be that man for you anymore, Duncan. I can't be. You need me to be the sort of man that I am trying to kill - the weak, emotional buffoon. I cast aside that man. He is the one you want . . . but he is not what the Kingdom needs." He refused to accept the Gladius. He bloody well forced it back into Duncan's hands by the end of it all. A gift given could never be returned. It was owed to him - for all that he'd done. That would never go away.

"Goodbye, Duncan," the nobleman whispered. The sadness vanished from his face, and in its place came about a cold dead apathy; his way of dealing with the influx of emotions. Of the weakness of his confession. He would pretend that Duncan was anathema to him. That he was nothing. In truth, his heart decayed while his mind raced without end. He tried to calm himself and focus, creating another blazing doorway at the end of the alley in the place of the previous one. The sound of ripping tore through the corridor. With it, he was gone, though before his last step he looked back and held his closed palm tightly against his chest, and heaved.
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[Duncan] Don't Say Goodbye

Postby Duncan Oisin » Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:28 am

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Duncan felt as though his heart was going to rend in two, as finally, emotion made it's way to Alistair's features. The wetness welling in the nobles eye's was matched by Duncan's, and he couldn't help but take a step forwards, face twisting with pain. He wasn't sure what he'd expected. He'd wanted to see Alistair with some emotion, instead that dead look that he loathed, but it hurt him to see Alistair as he was now, mournful and heartbroken, his emotions now clearly displayed in his eye's. "I wouldn't." He murmured, the anger draining just as quick as it had come. Duncan pressed a palm to his face, suddenly exhausted. "I would never hurt you either." His voice was quiet. "And I'd never let anyone else either, no matter what you maybe be, what you may do."

Duncan shut his eye's at the word filthy. He was no such thing. Alistair was stunning, a shining beacon of class, intelligence and beauty. He was someone who stood out from those around him, attractive and refined, but also carrying an air of power and command. He could shrivel men with a single glance, and have women questioning their very existence with his mere disinterest. It was something Duncan adored about him and found unerringly entertaining. Never once had the mercenary thought of him as filthy though. Well, perhaps in a fantasy or two, but the connotation there was different. He corrected himself. "Filthy?" Duncan queered, shaking his head. "You're so hard on yourself, never able to see the good." It hurt to know that the other man was so blind to what Duncan loved most about him.

Duncan's heart seized in his chest as Alistair continued, growing still with shock. A dalliance, he'd thought, a fling for a young lord to enjoy before his duties stole his choice in partners. Affection - sure, attraction - of course, but he'd never expected love. This revelation shocked him more than the one that had caused this fight, and Duncan could do little more than watch Alistair, eye's wide and heart thudding maddeningly in his chest. Then, mention of this Ellasin. He didn't know her, hadn't heard of her until now, but Duncan already hated her. He loathed the control and influence she had over Alistair, how she had made him rejecting of emotion and love.

He wanted nothing more than to reach out, to seize Alistair and pull him close, comfort him and be comforted in return. But Duncan needed time to think, he'd gone though a lot today, and learnt some heavy information; it would take him time to put his thoughts in order before he moved forward. So, he watched Alistair leave instead, his departure made all the worse by the return of his cold, emotionless expression.

Duncan groaned, shoulder's slumping and head dropping. He drifted the few steps to the nearest wall and sagged against it, forehead pressing into the jagged stones. The gladius was heavy in his hands, and Duncan gazed down at it, eye's still welling and jaw tight with frustration. Heaving a heavy, shaky sigh, Duncan pushed himself back, walking slowly to where Tac had wandered away down the alley. Stowing his sword away carefully into the saddle bags, Duncan took the reins, guiding the horse out of the alley in search of somewhere to pitch his tent for the night.
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[Duncan] Don't Say Goodbye

Postby Kingdom » Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:20 pm

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Alistair

Knowledge:
Nora: From the Venoran bloodline
Mages: Law-breakers
Duncan: Knows you are a mage
Duncan: Wants to trust you but doesn't think you are honest
Duncan: Risked his life for you
Duncan: Would never let anyone hurt you.

Loot: n/a
Injuries: n/a
Fame: -5

Story: 5/5
Collaboration: 5/5
Structure: 5/5

There points cannot be used for magic.

Duncan

Knowledge:
Alistair: A mage
Alistair: Coven member
Alistair: Necromancer
Alistair: Attempted to murder Marcus Krome
Alistair: Believes himself to be scum
Alistair: Well educated
Alistair: Could never hurt you
Alistair: Loves you

Loot: n/a
Injuries: n/a
Fame: n/a

Story: 5/5
Collaboration: 5/5
Structure: 5/5


Comment: Right in the feels all right. Very dialog heavy but I think it needed to be. Alistair I’d be careful about saying too much without giving your RP partner(s) a chance to respond. Gone are the days where people could talk and talk and just expect the world to wait and listen with bated breath (horrible flashbacks to high-school speeches, argh!). This was a great story, and I hope the marks reflect just how great I think it was. More conflict in future please! *waves fan flag*
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