Kiraim Marnestor

Notices and stories concerning events in the legendary basement of the Duel of Swords.

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Tara
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Kiraim Marnestor

Post by Tara » Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:22 pm

Kiraim,

Of all my old loves, it was you I regretted not marrying the most. I have many fond memories of the time we spent together and have wished many times in the years since we've seen one another to have had your counsel and friendship. I received your message albeit later than I would have liked and this is because I am trapped in a wormhole but that's a story for another time. I need to bring you up to speed on some matters if you are indeed "back" and plan on interacting with the meatpuppets which are the average Rhy'Dinian citizen these days.

First, try not to reason with them, they all are idiotic and will quickly cause what little patience you have to wane.

Second, every single one of our old brothers and sisters in arms are mostly gone. The word "guild" has been consigned to history books as have the old guild halls and their members. No one these days even knows what that is so don't bother schooling them, you will just get irritated.

Some are still kicking around like The White Queen Emma, Alysia Skye, and every once in a while my ex-father-in-law Grimm LeVey makes an appearance and winds up scaring the hell out of me but mostly they are all dead.

Speaking of Hell, I kinda live there now when I'm not living in Karos Manor. I want you to steel yourself now for what I am about to impart to you and try very hard not to put your fist through a wall. This is as I wished it to be. Like I said, much has changed since you left.

Anubis Karos and I are not only living together but engaged to be married.

As I know this will likely come as a huge shock to you, I need you to know I could not be more happy so that should you and I see each other in public again and I am with him, you can prepare yourself for what might be said. Since you last saw him, Anubis' patience has lessened even more than yours has and he is ten times meaner than he ever was. Just not to me. Me he showers with adoration and gifts. I finally got him to leave that hellcat of a wife of his and one day soon I shall carry his name.

I hope if you two do reunite you can be civil, for my sake.

If you happen upon a young Ranger named Gren Blockman, know he is like my younger brother so please do not snap his neck or maim him in any way. The same goes for my best friend Jewell Ravenlock.

Everyone else is expendable, especially Bob the squid-like cat creature. If you can kill him twice for me I will ensure you are paid handsomely for your trouble.

I have to go now but you should know The Mayfair Witch never deserved you.

It always amused me that before she died I got to remind her that it was me who had you first.

Take care of yourself.

Love,


Tara

P.S. I also became the Whore of Babylon since you "died" and the story surrounding that will have to wait. Don't ask anyone to tell you. they are all dumb and you shouldn't trust them. I certainly don't. I hate these miserable meatsticks. Every last one of them.
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Post by Tara » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:17 pm

Dear Kiraim,

My assistant informs me that I might have been a tad vague in my last missive to you and suggested, as I was putting thumb-screws on another assistant of mine's hands like we used to do in the old days to teach people lessons, that if I am in any way to salvage what's left of our friendship, I write to you again with some corrections and beg your forgiveness.

I tried to explain to this simpleton I pay to assist me (why I don't know, I should just suck his soul dry and be done with it) that begging you for anything would piss you off, on principle, and likely frighten you as you would not remember me as ever begging for anything a day in my storied life but he is insisting and the other one is screaming so while I wait for the agony to truly commence, I might as well make myself useful and write you anew.

For instance, he says that my using the term "meatpuppet" while it may be one of my most favorite of things to say on a regular basis, may be lost on you because as I explained to him in telling him stories about you and I, I never used this kind of language with you before and you therefore have no point of reference. I also explained to him that you were always quick on the uptake and intelligent which is how you became one of the most celebrated slavers in history and then later heroic warrior but he says that in the interest of polite discourse, the onus is on me to clarify what I meant and not on you to just magically understand it.

If you are wondering how I became polite, I am getting to that, so please bear with me here.

Ergo, when I say "meatpuppet", I mean a miserable maggot of a human being I am forced to communicate with whenever I am visiting this wretched two-bit town. They are like weeds. Everywhere. You cannot miss them if you tried and trust me, Kir, I have TRIED. I am telling YOU to avoid them because I am sparing you the futility of even trying to make sense of them while simultaneously trying to coexist with them. There can be no such communion with these subcreatures so just don't go there. You will go mad trying to reconcile in your mind how what once was our beautiful town filled with strong, confident human beings and monsters alike turned into what my beloved Anubis refers to now as a "cesspit" and there can be no arguing with him there.

You might remember when you and I were alive (because neither of us qualify as such anymore) I happened to like being around humans and actually was one at one point in time. This is no longer the case. I try very hard to bury my heritage as far down in my memory as I can and while I struggle at times, especially when one of the smaller humans smiles at me or gives me a present, I remember it is because of my erstwhile humanity that I am the Whore of Babylon now.

Being Human screwed me over and that I will never forgive nor forget.

You might also recall that as my former employer used to enslave them, I would work very hard to free them. Also, no longer the case. In fact, the more of them that die and the more grisly the manner in which they rapidly expire, the better. My assistant interjects here that my cheering and pumping a fist as I wrote that last sentence is not at all necessary as I have no real audience save for him and the other one who is now foaming at the mouth while he screams but I disagree.

Somewhere, somehow, I know that you hear me even though you won't read this letter of mine until way after you've heard me cheering. And, somehow, some way, I believe you're cheering with me. If the best parts of Kiraim Marnestor I once fell in love with are still with you, that is.

I mentioned a young Ranger named Gren in my last letter and defined him as a sort of younger brother to me. This is true and has not changed since I last wrote you. However, he is a major reason for why I wish to kill every last one of his kind. That being...humans.

You see, he is exasperating in the sense that he never stops BEING human. In fact, the longer I know him and observe him in the wild, the more it seems he uses his humanity to taunt me. His unapologetic approach to just existing jovially and helping out his fellow man is repulsive to the point of it being beyond explanation. I've tried to straighten him out, tried to get him to see that his steadfast trust in his human counterparts is asinine but he will not listen.

When you meet Gren for the first time you will be struck by how unscathed he is in appearance despite being a Ranger living in a hostile and toxic environment such as the forest he calls home is now versus what it was when you and I were young. There's not a scratch on this kid and this boggles my mind because unlike his coworkers who are fat and lazy, Gren is really a "hands-on" kind of guy. He's the one sprinting up to and jumping onto the barks of trees only to scurry up them like one of his squirrel pals and save a baby raccoon from dropping to its death forty feet below because it lacks the hand-to-eye coordination to get back down to the ground. Or you'll see him marching around in circles with his conservationist friends in the middle of the town square, holding up signs that say things like "Forests are our friends! You wouldn't set your friend on fire, so why do the same to them?!"

Naturally I have set many people on fire so signs like this confuse the HELL out of me with their mixed messages but as Gren has told me many times and which my infuriating assistant now repeats, this is not acceptable behavior in civil society.

We're just NOT supposed to burn people anymore, Kir. This is the nonsense they try to fill my head with when they're not claiming I'm psychotic and unstable. Could you imagine someone throwing out a suggestion like this in ANY Inn back in our day? My Gods, they wouldn't take two steps before they were cut down unless they were at the Red Dragon. You know Panther still won't lift that stupid no weapons rule?

THAT, believe it or not, is the only constant left. The rest of what was once our world is long gone.

What I'm getting at here is over the time I have known Gren he has worn me down to the point where I just don't want any of his kind around. When I am in Rhy'Din, I try my level best to go on as many killing sprees as I can and think of it as like a game. How many can I murder in the shortest amount of time? The challenge is in finding new creative ways to accomplish this as no one murder method may be used a second time within any given six month period.

Naturally I could never discuss this with Gren himself as it'd likely cause him to go catatonic (he's a little fearful of me, damned if I know why, I LOVE that kid!) but I can tell you.

Because you're a man.

He's a Blockhead.

So if you come across him and the toothpick he thinks is a wooden staff which he uses to "defend" himself in the circular contraptions he and the others use to pretend beating each other up in, I want you to be prepared for what you'll witness. Because NOTHING tragic or terrifying which ever happened to you in the past could EVER prepare you for what you're about to see now.

They are all delusional.

Dumb as rocks too.

The slowest learner of them all being Bob. I mentioned him in the last letter. Gods, I hate that thing.

I want you to think of Rhy'Din now as a challenge whereas the Rhy'Din then used to be a paradise.

I'm trying like hell to get home soon so I can sit down with you properly and fill you in on the rest but this assistant isn't going to torture himself.

Then there's that wormhole I mentioned.

Just try to stay sane until we meet again.

Not that I would ever begrudge you a second chance, Kir, but why the hell did you come back?

It's not the same.

It'll never be like it was.

These idiots don't even drink meade nor do they know what that is!

It's all "vegan" now.

They serve pickles at parties instead of stuffed pig. The mere suggestion would cause any of them to faint including my poor misguided little Gren!

I could cry.

But, like begging, I don't do that and you know it.

I will see you soon.


Love,


Tara


P.S. I once made your brother a promise that I would never besmirch your name or that of ECLIPSE. I did the wrong thing by marrying Soulights, Kir. But at the time, I did so to avoid war. I was in a Catch-22. This is one of only two things I would ever beg your forgiveness on.

The second is that I buried our daughter, Samantha Rose, in the Rhy'Din cemetary. I know I always said I never would put any of my issue in that despicable place because of how many family and friends of mine it swallowed up but you were gone, I wouldn't dare bury her on LeVey property out of respect for you and if she was there, I could visit her headstone and remember her father.

Fifth row.

Second plot in from the left.

I've kept it meticulous all these long years.

I loved you, god damn it.

She was proof of that.
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Post by Tara » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:32 pm

(This letter is for Anubis)


My dearest love,

For much of our lives two things have been readily apparent about you and I; one was that we were deeply in love before either of us really knew we were or what the consequences of such a thing would be and two that we have kept secrets from the other which despite the other suspecting, we have chosen to pointedly ignore.

I get that from the time you met me you have always felt an almost paternal obligation to protect me. I also get that I have done everything possible to undermine your attempts to keep me safe and have often made situations a lot worse than they needed to be which has lead to you being very frustrated at times. Like the time I slapped Dierk across the face in your father's palace as he was entertaining guests and you were forced to tear yourself away from that little blonde harlot you were bouncing around in your lap and take me to your chambers where you locked me up for the remainder of the evening.

I tried to claw myself out of that ensorceled prison cell you called a bedroom and when that failed, I put a hex of my own on your bed.

Oh yeah. I DID.

I know the priests told you that she was suffering from some rare ailment which had caused her beautiful hair you were so fond of caressing, to fall out, but that was all me, baby.

Even before Dawn came into the picture, I had issues with sharing you.

So it is fair to say that more than a handful of times, my penchant for drama has also forced you into physical confrontations that you might have wanted to handle diplomatically if it were not for my screaming for someone's head and you, being the savage lunatic you are when enraged and also wanting to please me, delivered each and every time.

Thank you, by the way. We were ruthless as business partners but ten times worse as lovers.

I think despite our amazing ability to be in denial as to what can plainly be verified with a number of senses we both possess and our lengthy and historic torrid affair which stretched far beyond what I was personally comfortable with, we still make a cute couple. And I do not love you any less now than I did when I was sixteen.

But, as you are painfully reminded of every so oft when we bicker and I lob what you must feel are unfair and maybe insane accusations at you, you were not my FIRST love.

Nor was a man by the name of Kiraim Marnestor, the focal point of this tale I'm about to spin for you, my first love.

But prior to you and I, he was one of my longest loves in the sense that out of all the men I have romanced in my life, save for you, him and I were together for a very long time.

Unlike you and I, however, when we first met he did not mistake me for a slave and wish to put me in a cage like you did. He meant to save me from one. I am not repeating the awkwardness of our first meeting to blame you retroactively in any way. I still rather think that was oddly charming as you were so used to ignoring women and seeing them as objects that when you turned around and actually looked at me, you were genuinely surprised by what you saw.

It also must have been surprising to see me still standing there and staring back at you as you were likely accustomed to women running in fear of you. I had heard the stories about you, my love. Even then, in my naivete about the world I was about to enter I knew what you were. I just couldn't get over how handsome and polite you were after you realized who I was, that it was actually YOU, the demonic horror from all the gossip I had been hearing, who would for the next couple of years, take my little hand in his and walk me down the same hall he at first wished to enslave me in to ensure my safety to getting to the opposite end, unscathed and unmolested.

When I first met Kiraim I had accepted a position in his brother's guild ECLIPSE and we were introduced at a guild function. I started out with a decent salary, in a modest tent, with a few underlings which reported to me but after going toe to toe with the daughter of the Goblin King (her name was Nasty and it was apropos), Kiraim's brother, Border, impressed with me, promoted me to Captain. Then a few months later, Commander. Things were looking up for me. I enjoyed my work. My husband Leto had passed away and I found that I could support our children so long as I didn't join him in death. Sadly, they did. In my grief, I threw myself into my work all the more harder. There were some minor skirmishes but nothing serious like a war and life was OK for me. My brother Tarathiele was rising in the ranks of White Dragon's Vengeance and for the first time in our lives we were truly happy.

Kiraim and I began spending time together. He taught me how to wield a sword. I taught him how to smile. He was a gentleman, like you were. He NEVER treated me badly. I need you to know that because in a few minutes I'm going to impart some things to you which will cause you to question whether or not Kiraim Marnestor is a threat to your Beautiful One and I need you to keep a level head about all this. I know that I have always been a headstrong, fiercely independent woman but I may actually need your help and you cannot help me if you are going to lose your composure.

And, baby, you're going to have to help me this time for real, if I'm right about what I am thinking so you have to keep calm. There is a lot I've kept from you, not because I didn't think you couldn't handle it, but because I never wanted you to think less of me. Contrary to what these pathetic meatpuppets think about you and I today, we DID have honor in those days. In fact if we could provide them a window into the past and they could see us then, I do not think they would recognize either of us and they most certainly wouldn't believe how better behaved we were.

Months passed and Kiraim and I began a romantic relationship. We were both unattached. I say this because in the years which immediately followed there were rumors about us which were untrue. Terrible gossip printed about us in the papers and it hurt both of us deeply. I spent a very long time before I met you trying to convince people I was NOT the monster I was portrayed to be in the public eye.

Nowadays I can do anything but convince them I am just as much the monster they think me to be and more and while none alive today are responsible for what happened then, they are descendants of those people and I hate them just as much as I did back when I had real blood flowing through my veins which boiled every time one of their ancestors openly accused me of atrocities I did not commit.

The straw that broke the camel's back was when they accused me of murdering The Mayfair Witch. Kiraim Marnestor's once mistress, later his wife. They say I poisoned her. I was nearly run out of town. This is how it all ended and how I eventually came to work with you at the Slaver's Association.

In many ways both she and Kiraim are directly and indirectly responsible for you and I meeting.

But it started with the war ECLIPSE became embroiled in versus my ex-husband Soulights' guild. Anpu, for the life of me, I cannot remember its name. One would think that if anything my actions would've caused me never to forget such things but I have found in the time we have been separated this last year or so, my memory is not as it once was.

As a Commander in the guild ECLIPSE, and as you may recall from those days when the War Council ruled over us all, I was one of five which would have to go to war with our troops. We drew straws back then. Kiraim drew the shortest. I objected and claimed that he pulled rank over me as he was a Commander for far longer and I would go in his place. He was vocal about this and we fought but just as I have not told you everything in the past, I also kept from him that I wanted a shot at fighting Soulights himself.

Soul, the fantastic bastard he was, had one of my very good friends killed and he was Lord Grimm LeVey's firstborn son.

As a Commander I could be matched against him. Any lower rank and I could not.

Killing Soulights would not only be good press for the guild but it would make me famous. And I would have my revenge, at last.

Kiraim suspected my push to replace him was due to other factors but I wouldn't tell him the truth and before I knew it, his brother agreed and I was put on the war roster.

Almost overnight, a messenger arrived with a proclamation.

Soulights Luse LeVey had challenged Lady Tara Rynieyn to a death match.

He knew who I was and he knew there was no way in hell that six months into employment I went from peon to Commander. It was as if Soul was reading my mind and knew my plans across the cosmos and we had never met a day in our lives.

Kiraim was not happy but after plying him with wine, I found myself riding through the night on my horse to get to the LeVey compound which is where the match was going to be held.

I was greeted at the gate by none other than Demon Silk, Second-in-Command of Grimm's guild FOES, and sister to Sonya, then Second-in-Command of the Slaver's Association (whom I later replaced) and Lady Jayde, leader of BoD.

"You sure you want to do this, Tara?" she asked as she lead me through the encampment.

"Yes, Silk, I do", I had said and we embraced. Silk and I were always on good terms. This I do remember although I cannot tell you why. Truth be told we were supposed to be enemies but it never worked out that way. She saved my life three times. This time was not one of them.

"You are outmatched, Rynieyn. Grimm's been teaching this kid since birth. Even I wouldn't face him. Forfeit. I'll make sure you get put in a decent cell and you won't starve. The trial will probably suck but maybe the War Council won't kill you. Soul, however, will," she said with a frown.

I frowned as well because even I wasn't that arrogant as to know the type of warrior I would soon be facing in battle. I handed her my jewelry, gave her some last minute instructions as to how I wished to be buried, and told her what to tell Kiraim.

"He will know you fought bravely," she said and embraced me one more time before I turned around and looked up at the man who, by all accounts, was going to extinguish my life in short order.

He was very tall, like you. Long black hair. But he looked like a monk as he was wearing these odd white robes. I thought them silly for a warrior and didn't know how he was going to move around in them but this was no time for questions.

I would be dying soon and had started to contemplate the foolishness of such a decision. Kiraim was not only a better match for Soul they were almost equals in ability.

Instead of making some horrible remark or even smirking at me, he smiled and extended his hand to me.

I glanced at Silk in confusion. She was proctor. Was he allowed to do this?

"Soul, what are you..." she started before his hand leapt out from within the sleeve of that robe and thrusted it in her face, effectively silencing her.

I remember this part vividly as the force of his hand doing that caused her long red hair to whip back as if disturbed by a sudden gust of wind.

Silk had really beautiful hair, more beautiful than mine even. She even stumbled backward. Which shocked me. That woman was built like a brick you-know-what and I saw groups of men try to take her on and she felled them as if she were an army unto herself. Soul MOVED her. What the hell was I thinking here?!

"May I speak with you, Lady Tara?" Soul asked me as I tentatively took his hand and allowed him to lead me away from Silk and the others who had gathered to witness this event.

Everyone was just as confused as I. Usually when you were challenged to a death match, the opposing party didn't want to converse but wanted to commence with the stabbing.

"Yeah, I guess," I said, staring at him strangely.

When we were far enough away where he could be assured we would not be overheard, he leaned down and began to jab his finger at me as if to suggest he was saying threatening things and said, instead, "I beg you not to do this. Forfeit. I will make sure you are well taken care of."

"Umm, you do realize YOU sent for ME? This is your challenge, not mine. What are you even talking about?" I said, blinking rapidly.

"You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. I had heard of your beauty but it's nearly overpowering in person. I cannot, in good conscience, destroy such beauty nor will I."

"In good conscience? Soulights you had my friend raped by over five men and gutted her like a fish! You don't have a conscience, you bastard. Now let go of my hand. We ARE doing this," I growled and shook my hand free of his.

"It's not too late to undo the challenge!" he whispered hotly. "Think of what you'd be asking me to do here!"

"Once again this was YOUR idea and are you insane?! Your father is the former Administrator of the War Council and created the first guild in this town! If I don't kill you, he will! I can't let you embarrass him like that and I hate that man! Come on!" I growled again and moved over to an open area I thought was cleared for the main event I wasn't even sure was going to happen now.

There were murmurs now and I saw more people had gathered. Pretty soon I was swinging my sword at him but to no avail, he just kept avoiding my strikes. Even Silk was starting to get pissed off.

I knew he was deliberately doing this to avoid killing me but I wasn't quite sure why. We were, at the time, SWORN enemies. This was a documented event in the history of our town. It had to be officially proctored by a Commander in good-standing with the War Council (Silk), the public had to be notified and were invited to attend, even the Wardens of Loreil showed up! There had to be two hundred people there, no lie. This was a BIG DEAL.

Soul was a BIG DEAL.

His family sired the first people in this town not to mention pretty much built it! He stood to inherit a goldmine. His father was LEGENDARY. What the hell was wrong with him?

I knew if I didn't do something he would end up embarrassing us both but the son of Grimm LeVey would go on, I was living here in asylum basically. Tarathiele and I had run from Lanrette, our home, and settled here. I was a nobody. This would have longstanding consequences for me and I would NEVER live it down.

I had learned from my research of this vile, despicable creature that he had a wife.

Her name was Sadine.

I figured if a creature such as he was capable of love he must've loved her since he married her.

But I also knew they were childless and THIS was a bone of contention with not only Soul but his father as well.

Daddy Grimm wanted male heirs.

Heirs his sons could only provide. Soul's two brothers were much younger and weren't of marriageable age yet. This meant the responsibility to carry on the great LeVey family name fell to him and he was failing at it.

If throwing a death match he called wasn't going to embarrass him as he was in the process of doing just that, I had to find something which WOULD.

It was then that I used this little family secret to my advantage. As I struck out at him for what must've been the hundredth time, I said, "After I stand over your burning corpse and piss on it, I am going to go to your home, taking with me some of the most dangerous assassins of Murder Incorporated that my beloved Uncle Charles, their leader, will provide. I will let them have their way with your pretty little wife for as long as they like and then, perhaps, she will bear a child as it seems you aren't doing her any favors in that department."

The next thing I knew I was on my back, Soul's sword in my belly.

I could feel the blood pooling in the back of my throat.

He had dealt the killing blow.

I could hear cheering and Silk cursing.

But Soul was just standing there, looking horrified.

He knelt down and just as I thought he would drive the blade deeper, he whispered "I am sorry" and removed the sword from my gut replacing it with his hand which immediately began to heal me.

Bright lights encompassed me.

I could breathe without pain again.

And before I knew it I was back on my feet, staring in horror back at Soul as he knelt a second time, took my hands in his a second time and announced he was forfeiting the match, his win and asked me to marry him.

There was instantaneous chaos. Never in a War Council sponsored match had any combatant done such a thing, much less a person in Soul's standing within society.

Silk, I thought, was going to faint.

"What say you, Lady Tara, to my proposal?" Soul asked me, his eyes pleading with me to do what he said this time around.

"You are married! You just forfeited the match! What the hell is wrong with you? Oh my Gods, above and below, your father is going to KILL me!" Silk screamed.

Soul stood up and with a growl rounded on Silk and sent her flying with just a look.

"What say you?!" he roared when he turned back to me, his eyes illuminated and fierce.

"Yes," I said softly and I dropped to the ground before the sword in my hand did.

When I awakened, I was in the most luxurious bed, servants and guards in black FOES attire flanking me on both sides.

There was lots of activity the moment they realized I was awake and as I was assisted in sitting up, my wound dressed but completely healed underneath and I was about to inspect it, the shadow of the scariest man to ever walk on two feet in the Rhy'Din that was then and any time after it, appeared at the foot of my bed.

I looked up and saw looking back at me the face of none other than Lord Grimm LeVey.

He smiled.

"So this is the cause of all the drama in my household? You are beautiful. My son has chosen well. Welcome to FOES Keep, Lady Tara, I presume? My name is Grimm but I think you know that already. I hope you will be happy here. I could not have you in my other home as my wife is currently plotting your grisly demise but that will be taken care of shortly. You will be safe here. These men have sworn oaths to keep you that way. My son will be back soon. If there is anything you require inform the servants and they will see to your every desire."

My mouth opened and no sound came out at first. I had so many questions but I couldn't believe my eyes and how happy he was to see me, his enemy!

"What of Sadine?" I said and reached for a glass of water to quench my thirst.

"She committed suicide not two hours ago. I hope you will understand that you will not be allowed up on the roof like she was," he said with a smirk and glanced at one of the guards who bowed his head in feigned shame.

I also bowed my head. I had not wanted harm to befall her. I wasn't even serious about what I had said when I had been fighting his son. It was just smack-talk, you know. You say things in the heat of battle you don't always mean.

But now she was dead.

I gasped and looked up at him. "And, Kiraim? My guild? Is the war over? I need to speak with him!"

Grimm's brows furrowed. "You cannot go back to your old life any more than my son can go back on his word which he did by healing you when you should be dead. There will be a trial. He will answer for his crimes. I hope for both your sakes that the punishment is not death as I really do not know what I will do with you if he dies. You are marked, Lady Tara. This keep is not just your home now but also your prison. In addition to the assassins my wife is presently hiring to kill you, your guild and others sensitive to the politics we live by and rulebreakers, are going to come after you with all they've got. I am your salvation. You are a traitor. You will marry my son, pray that he survives the trial and when and if things ever calm down outside these walls, we shall discuss what we are going to do about you next."

"Does Kiraim know that Soulights proposed to me?" I asked, angry, although truth be told I had no right to be. Grimm was right. I was a traitor.

"Everyone knows," he said and left me.

I've told myself all these long years that I said yes to Soulights to stop the war, to save Kiraim and the others, since I apparently held the power to do so by just saying yes.

I didn't love Soul, I didn't know him!

I did, however, love Kiraim very much.

And I had brought shame on our guild and him with my betrayal.

Not to mention got Zaleth's dander up.

There was always this running joke around town that no one was ever sure who wore the real pants in the LeVey household, as Zaleth was something else. I always tried in the time after she eventually stopped trying to have me killed to get along with her but it was never meant to be.

I always thought she hated me because I stole her son but later I learned she didn't even like him. She had really liked Sadine, however.

She was the only daughter Zaleth ever had.

And she was laying some fifty feet below the rooftop of FOES keep with a broken neck and back because I had broken her heart. Zaleth NEVER forgave me not even when I bore her her first grandson, Rage. She spat in my face as I recall.

I know now why I said yes to him.

It wasn't because I was thunderstruck and in love, no.

I said yes because I was not only the first person to cause a member of the great LeVey family to break the rules in such a way that it caused a firestorm in our town but I was the ONLY person to survive a battle against Soulights.

I did it for the notoriety, Anpu.

I did it to be immortal.


(to be continued....)
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Tara
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Post by Tara » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:53 pm

(letter to Anubis continued...)

Grimm's sword, along with FOES Keep, and a substantial portion of his fortune were bequeathed to me upon his "death". I put that in quotes because as you yourself saw not five years ago now in the Red Dragon as you and I were enjoying a drink and Grimm walked in, he never really died. I don't know where he went or what he is now but he is far from gone and every so often he reaches out to me, his most favorite of former daughters-in-law or so he says.

He's tried to kill me himself more than a handful of times.

Not because he disliked me.

Because he wanted to test if my skills had lessened in the time we were separated and if I had gotten, as he said, "lazy".

I need you to know that if it wasn't for Grimm, Anpu, I probably would've leapt to my own death like Sadine had all those years ago and you and I would never have met. Grimm was the father I always WISHED I had. My father was a moron. I could call him so many names but that fits and I don't like to talk about him much let alone write about him so let's leave it at that.

Grimm treated me as if I was of his loins. He made sure I had the proper training as a soldier. Everything was provided for me and NONE of this was his responsibility nor was he obligated to do so. He did it anyway. His son, my husband, was always trying to usurp him and steal his thunder but I never did. I'd sit with Grimm, many a night in that freezing Keep and we'd just talk for hours. He listened to me and if you knew the man personally, as I, his other children and many others did, he wasn't one to really listen ever. But he made time for me and that meant a lot to a girl who was trying her best to make sense of a world which was very different from her place of birth and the sheer amount of lunatics residing inside of it which she was forced to deal with on a regular basis.

If anyone ever challenged that statement of mine I'd ask them if they ever had to deal with Mad Maxx in person as I did in my life. I not only dealt with him, I was friends with him, I donated money so he could build the Rhy'Din Insane Aslyum and the chair in my office at the Slaver's Association?

Yeah. Max had that delivered to me as a gift one year.

I dealt with LOONS which is probably why I sometimes sound and act like one I was around them so much.

But Grimm, for all his pecularities, was largely sane and I miss him very much even now.

When Kaine Locke collared me in the Red Dragon Inn and dragged me back to the Slaver's Association, Grimm's spies told him and he sent Silk to get me free. That was the first time she saved my life. Silk brought Sonyia with her and while the latter fended off the guards, Silk went for Kaine himself. He did a number on her. She survived but she had a scar on her back where she sliced her with his sword. But she got me out. Grimm took me in after that as he was concerned for me. You had just gotten married to Dawn. I couldn't ASK anything of you then.

So when he died he wanted his favorite kid to get a piece of the action and I was well taken care of financially.

I'm mentioning this because these items, if I am correct about what I'm about to say to you, you need to know about so you will know what to do with them when the time comes.

I want to be very clear here and stress that NO MORTAL can touch Grimm's sword or they will die in agony. There is spellwork on that blade of an unknown origin. I have my suspicions as to who hexed it but I have no one alive now to verify them. Even I couldn't touch it at the time it was given to me because I was mortal then. It stayed in a glass clase in one of my homes for many years. I can remember the day I took it out of that case, finally able to run my fingers along the hilt, and felt its immense power. So you must be the one to give it to whom I specify.

Kiraim Marnestor was also dead and now back. And this is where I drop all the pretense and speak to you plainly so you can know how very serious I am about all this. I do not know the circumstances of Kiraim's return any more than I know why it is he reached out to me recently but he has and I am deeply concerned by it. We left on strange terms. It was a romance interrupted by many factors but all of which caused by ME.

After Soul and I married, ECLIPSE eventually disbanded, Zaleth stopped trying to kill me and I came to work alongside you, Kiraim and I continued to see one another. I suppose it was almost like an addiction but we had enjoyed a very close bond at one point. While he was angry with me for not telling him where I had been, why I had disappeared, why there were all these people trying to kill me he did know that Soul had forfeited the match.

But he didn't know why I accepted Soul's proposal.

I told Kiraim I did it to stop the war and to ultimately save him. I LIED. I didn't ever want him to think less of me either. In those days being a traitor had a very specific meaning and very specific consequences attached to it.

People did have honor and they didn't take kindly to those who would circumvent rules just to satisfy their own sick and twisted desires. In those days when oaths were taken, they were rarely broken. I broke an oath but I never really faced any punishment save for some uncomfortable and heartbreaking accusations later on.

Kiraim never treated me differently until the end. Things got a little weird between us which is why I say we left on strange terms. He couldn't be sure if I killed his wife and sometimes, even I wasn't sure if I had and just forgotten about it.

Because of my betrayal and my lack of dying when I was supposed to, I created a situation which was unprecedented in the sense that normally those who defected or even deserted in war never had the sense to ever RETURN. They wisely disappeared so there was no way to take any action against them. In my case, I was still HERE and now that I had the power of not only FOES behind me but Grimm himself? There became this great debate as to what to do with me when there weren't concessions in place to handle this type of situation. There was AFTER my non-death, but not before.

So why am I saying all this and what's the point I'm getting at here?

In a way, because I am not gone, and because I caused ECLIPSE shame THEN, Kiraim has the RIGHT to take my life from me NOW. I don't know how he would accomplish such a thing as I am remarkably changed since we last left one another but somewhere in this body of mine Tara Rynieyn exists. If Kiraim should want to even the score and presses challenge, I MUST answer it, Anpu.

And it must be done in accordance with the old laws which means there has to be someone there who was alive during the War Council days and in good standing with them at the time they ceased to exist. I was banned FOR LIFE from the War Council when I accepted employment with Brutin.

If you're wondering why I wasn't banned when I basically ran away from my own death and married my supposed death-giver, yeah well Grimm came through for me again. You see, after Grimm stepped down from being Administrator of the War Council a man by the name of Lord Kamm replaced him. Grimm had him paid off. My "crime" was "forgotten" about which means they buried it. But the people never forgot. I'm talking literal pitchforks and torches here. You just have no idea the amount of harassment I faced before you and I met and REALLY started to scare these idiots.

SO the only two men alive NOW who qualify are Jake and Panther. Colleen MaCleod also qualifies but she's been like a mother to me all these years and I wouldn't ask her to watch me die. So I want Jake and Panther there. As there are no proctors left from those days and the War Council was taken over by the Wardens of Loriel the ONLY two men alive who were Wardens during that time who are still alive now are Blue himself and my cousin Silphion. I haven't seen Blue in about four years but Silph's around. However there is a conflict of interest due to Silph being my cousin, so another witness will suffice so that's why Jake and Panther being there will be good.

You can attend but you cannot interfere in any way.

Once more, because I know your fist is currently curling and you're snarling, YOU WILL NOT INTERFERE.

You were not a member of any guild at the time and were basically a free-agent anyway so you cannot step in and in those days we didn't have people who could fight for us. Even if we did, I'm saying no to you. A scary thought, I know, as I've never denied you a single thing but I'm doing so now. Call it my exercising what would be my rights as your future wife, in advance.

There must also not be any healers in the vicinity as it would be a true death match and while SOME did stipulate healers in certain circumstances, the so-called "resurrection rights" of old, the proclamation signed by Soulights did not specify any. I was to die and not be resurrected.

If Kiraim throws down the gauntlet and if he succeeds, everything prior to my coming to the Slaver's Association, belongs to HIM. Which means he gets FOES Keep, he gets Grimm's sword and he gets the bank accounts I was given. My cousin Lucien Mallorek has access to all these accounts and also has an accounting of every penny I took from that account in the time after Grimm died and I needed to survive which I later replaced. Every penny was put back. It has grown over time with interest, obviously, but the principal amount was restored after I replaced the money I borrowed.

You remember Lucien? You PUNCHED him five years ago at the Dragon and made me very upset! Again, not trying to bring up old wounds here, but you could have really hurt him, honey, and Lucien's been such a dear cousin to me.

So don't punch him now, okay?

Now for the fun part. Money! You love money!

As I realize my death will place an unexpected financial burden upon you as our monies were to be pooled upon our nuptials, I have decided that I wish to divide up the remainder of my estate in the following ways:

1. You will receive 50% of the remainder of my fortune to be spent as you see fit with the exception you cannot spend a single dime of it on another woman. If I manage to get killed this time, and you, in your grief and needing a female compliment (read: concubine) decide to start dating again, you have to use your own money to take her out as you did me or I will haunt the ever living HELL out of you.

2. 10% of the remainder goes to Jewelsie. You know why. And don't count it out for her. She can add.

3. 15% of it will go to Gren with the 5% additional to be used for him to get REAL warrior training, buy PROPER warrior gear and a real damn weapon. I expect you and he will have fun shopping and you can teach him how to be a man in the process because that boy is just beyond hope at this point. Be a good mentor for him, Anpu. Please don't let my death be in vain.

4. 5% goes to Panther to pay down my tab. It should cover it. He's got it all in The Ledger.

5. 5% goes to the solemn looking boy who works at the mill. I say boy but he's about forty years old now. He's my son. I'm not telling you who his father is. Make sure he gets paid. It's important to me.

6. Whatever's left goes to a gypsy lady named Miranda who lives in the woods to be given to Arthur. My doll. She created him. I want him to live out the rest of his life in comfort. We had a lot of great adventures together.


I'm not saying Kiraim's come to collect my head. I'm saying if he is, he has the right of it.

I've lived a very long time just like you but you were always better at this immortality stuff than I was.

I have a lot of great memories of this town and its people I actually liked and got along with. I made many friends over the years. Had a lot of great laughs too.

Lastly, I want you to know I was always grateful for your friendship even before I had your love. You took me in when I was virtually homeless and had nowhere to go. You saved my life more times than I care to count, too. I just couldn't stay being friends with you. I always felt something more. I always thought of you as very special.

And though I have loved and been loved by other men, none of them made me feel the way you do.

Brutin would always ask me what I was staring at through his bay window in his office that overlooked his garden. I used to say my petunias because he let me grow them there. They had the shrunken heads of elves on them. A technique I learned from some other person who used to live in this town who no longer is.

But that was a lie too.

If you stood at a certain angle you could see over the gate into the front courtyard.

This is how I used to watch and wait for you, my love.

To see if you would show up.

I waited for you for such a very long time. Over the years, even after I no longer would stand at the window because I was off somewhere else, it still felt like I was there, watching, waiting.

Do what it is I have asked of you if what I have said comes to pass and do not falter.

Remember me not as the traitor I have revealed myself to be here in this letter but the girl who used to run down the hallway the second your sandals would cross the threshold and throw herself into your arms.

You have given me such joy, such peace.

I have loved you like no other.

I hope you know what you mean to me.

Do this for me, Anubis Karos.

And don't you dare shed a tear this time.

I will be home soon.

Love,


Anna
Anubis Karos
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Post by Anubis Karos » Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:01 am

Kiraim Marnestor,

When I first read the passionate novella that my wife-to-be penned to myself and to the milksop druid Gren Blockman, I must confess to a trained feeling of resignation. You must forgive my momentary passions; after all, I suppose that you do know how it drains one's soul to read the final excuses of that crimson-haired goddess. As I read her instructions to let you have some nonsensical, archaic revenge...my blood ran to ice. It felt as if hope and happiness drained away from me, the shivers paralyzing my very limbs as she detailed the mundane business of her death as if that angelic face was already rotting in the ground.

But as I continued in my funk in my manor, my gaze caught the statue of my Father. Diorite pulled itself into a smirk, and the booming voice of my Father echoed into my ear.

"You know what I am, Anubis. You know what YOU are. Will you stand for this? Play the bard. Tell me."

And if we are going to use history as our shield...well, I was reminded of the proper procession of history. Tara herself mentions how she was cast out of your guild for being hired by the great Lord Brutin. But even his rules were shattered into a thousand pieces by my father Talum~Sa, who founded a new set of standards for slavery. And it is his wisdom that I adhere to. His standards that still echo in the slave auctions of Dockside today. His standards that even the great Dave adheres too. And his standards--my standards--are all I need. I care nothing about your ancient rules. As Tara pointed out herself, I never have.

If you seek her head, I will not consent...no matter what I am asked. Were you to try to seek your stale revenge, I will cut your throat.

I look forward to feeling the jagged blade of my dagger as it saws into your elven spine. I may bury you in the ring itself, so the Ward of Gondar can wake up your severed head and your worthless carcass every time a drop of blood hits the sands. I might bury your body in one ring and bury your head in the other, just to see how efficient that Ward is. Maybe we can install some modern cameras in there, to see you grimace every time Kruger does something stupid.

That's a lot, by the by.

~Anubis Karos
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