Adventuring through twisted time.
Clarice’s eyes hung on the Sapphires burning body, while she mourned the lost of her friend, the woman that raised her and saved her from Prospero. Yet the thing that plagued her mind the most was how her life could be ended just as quickly. How she was without her power so easily in that moment- watching the women's burning body- she swore to herself that she would never experience this kind of weakness ever again in her life. That she would find a way to become the most powerful being known to this realm. Her first step would be to insure she could gain immortality. Something she knew Prospero had yet to perfect in his massive amount of spell learning.
Being held captive by the mad Sorcerer had its upside, he didn’t take in account that she would remember a lot of what she read from his books. She remembered there was a section about Fae and how they seemed ageless yet Prospero himself could never get close enough to learn how they were so. Not wanting to be around her coven any longer than was necessary out of safety for them she packed up what would fit on the back of her horse, leaving a letter not starting anything more than she could no longer be part of the coven. It was better this way, for her to be alone. No one else was going to get hurt in her war against the mad Sorcerer.
So her Journey to Thistlemoon Forest began, she found herself at a crossroads not long after her journey began. She feared using magic would call upon Prospero when she wasn’t strong enough to take him. So she looked to the stars trying to recall what the book said about Thistlemoon. “The king keeps his domain hidden from the human world, under the watchful gaze of the mother tree.” she stared long at the stairs until she realized the answer was right in front of her. The stars off in the distance looked like a giant tree. With a soft click of her tongue she was off once more.
She couldn’t recall how many days had passed when she found herself there, sliding off her horse. She touched the the animals neck softly as she moved closer to the opening sure guards would be there the closer she got. She felt the veins wrap around her feet and arms, she didn’t fight the hold as she looked to the Fae who came into her view. The beauty was rather breathtaking if one would allow themselves to focus on just that. Before giving the guard a moment to speak she spoke.
“Please bring me to King Raventhorn.” she recalled the name from the passage she had read. “I would like to seek his advice and council. If he deems me unfit to help I will leave as peacefully as I came.” She spoke as she raised her hand the sleeves to her tattered gown sliding down to reveal the x mark buried deep in her wrist that were still healing. “My name is Clarice De Biville, I was held captive by a sorcerer named Prospero. A man I know your king refused to let pass into Thistlemoon.”
She kept her stance strong, trying not to show how weak she felt. She was never one to need to ask for help so this was a new concept for her. “I…” she suddenly was unsure of what to say, the Fae in front of her looked so unamused with her. She took a deep breath to calm the swell of anxiety that swirled in her. “I just have questions if your King would even be willing to meet me outside of your home.” She paused, grazing her teeth along her bottom lip in what she hoped would be a soothing manner, hoping to get some kind of response.
The stoic gaze gave her little hope she had no chance to burn, she wondered if her journey for eternal life would be her end. Yet she felt the death dealt by the Fae would come at a far greater kindness then what Prospero put her through. She would understand it, they would strike her because they thought she was a threat. Prospero made her fall in love with him and then turned on her when she trusted him, his actions cut her deep to the point she was sure she could no longer feel those kinds of emotions ever again. Not that she wanted to feel any emotion at that point.
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Kyan opened his eyes, looking to the bright lights that dazzled in the sky. His mind instantly naming all the ancestors that represented the stars lining the darkness. One day, far, far away, he too would have a star named for him and he needed to make certain it was one of the brightest burning of all. "My king, would you like more?" He lifted his head at her light voice that sounded much like the chiming of a bell. The servant smiled to him as she bent over with the pitcher of wine in hand while he sat in the natural hot spring at the base of his home, the Mapleshade Tree. His head quirked a bit to the side as he peered down her shirt from his advantageous position, wondering if she was purposefully trying to gain his attention in more ways than one. It wouldn't be the first time he'd take a servant to bed, but as his gaze moved to her face, Kyan was at a loss when trying to remember if he had done just that with this specific servant before.
Keeping his eyes on hers, he smiled wickedly to her and lifted his goblet to her as an answer. The fae shyly smiled and poured the wine, but could not meet his gaze as the nervousness she was feeling seemed to be rolling off her in waves. When the pitcher was emptied, she quickly dipped in a curtsy and turned to leave, but he was not through with her just yet. Kyan quickly grabbed her wrist to turn her around. "Do I scare you?" he asked, voice low and steady. He moved his naked body around to face her. She kept her head lowered and he placed a finger under her chin to meet his gaze, bringing their faces within inches of each other. "A simple yes or no will do." Her mouth parted open slightly as he leaned in closer to her until the abruptness of a recognizable voice interrupted them.
"Your highness." Kyan turned around with an annoyed expression as he sank lower into the water again, drinking the newly poured wine he was given. His eyes scanned over the fair haired soldier who stood before him with skin, dark like the earth. Now him, he'd slept with. "There is a woman on the border. Her name is..."
"Kill her." The guard quickly closed his mouth, but did not depart. Kyan raised a brow to him as he stood there looking rather stupid. Why were the stupid ones always the cutest? "Where is the confusion?"
The soldier shifted for a moment as if expecting Kyan to possibly burn him alive which crossed his mind in fact, but again, he was cute and Kyan was wondering if perhaps he could have both of them that night right now in the spring. "My king, she said she was held by Prospero."
How quickly things can change all with a simple name. His blue optics glanced up to the servant who still stood nearby as she clutched the pitcher and stared blankly ahead as if she hadn't been listening to the exchange between them. He looked her up and down and tried to remember her face for a later date. "Leave." She quickly dipped and hurried back inside the Tree. Kyan took a deep breath and stared at the soldier as he remembered his unfortunate dealings with Prospero many years ago. It was a shame he hadn't ended the sorcerer's life then. Tipping the goblet back, he downed the sweet wine and ascended the stairs from the spring, quickly putting on his satin robe. "Let us meet the little escapee."
Some short time later the king was standing in front of the woman who had managed to keep herself from a swift death by his guards. His eyes moved over her as he began to walk around her slowly. It was obvious to him she had been on the road for some time and could see the worn and tattered condition of her dress. Her skin was pale and hair dark, much how he liked his women.. or men. There was an air of eagerness about her beneath the exhausted layer she wore now. Kyan had not heard the name Prospero for many years after their falling out and to hear that he had taken on prisoners was not so surprising. Not that he cared about this woman in front of him, but he was intrigued to know how his former enemy was doing. Kyan stepped in front of her once again and remained quiet, holding her gaze for a long moment. "To think that you are owed any advice or council from the king of Thistlemoon Forest is laughable, woman." He tilted his head upwards slightly as if to look down on her, but then a smirk began to spread on his face. "Since you aren't allowed to leave, knowing the location of my kingdom, you are, unfortunately for you, sentenced to death." A nonchalant shrug shifted his shoulders as he clapped his hands together once. "However, since you are with some knowledge of that fool sorcerer, Prospero, I think I'll prolong your death until I deem you aren't much use anymore. Agreed?" Not that she had much of a choice or was really expected to answer. What he said was what was done. Kyan motioned for them to walk alongside her with weapons trained as they proceeded back to the Mapleshade Tree. "Place her in one of the guest rooms with guards on the doors so she may rest. For tonight, give her some food and of course willowbark sap wine first so she won't lose her mind before eating. Can't have her hallucinating from fae food while interrogating her in the morning. We'll see to her bath and clothes tomorrow then."
As two of his soldiers stood on either side of him, several remained around her while they entered the quiet of Mapleshade after their walk through the woods. The Tree was rather quiet with minimal staff walking about since it was late in the night. Their curious eyes could not help but fall on the stranger. Kyan stopped and turned to face her. "You would do well to behave while you're in the kingdom or our little arrangement will be revisted with your death moving up quicker than anticipated." With that, the king moved away from the escapee and towards his room, never giving her the opportunity to speak since her arrival into the forest.
One of the soldier's quickly took her arm and pulled her along towards one of the many rooms in the Tree. "Come along."
Clarice truly didn’t know what to expect when it came to Kyan, all she could hope was that Prospero was a bigger threat then she. As the rather pretty King took his place in front of her, she dropped her hands to her side and watched him eye her as he walked around her slowly. She didn’t move after all she knew the drill with those who had power and a stranger showed up. She would do the same. Her Green eyes watched him though every time he passed infront of her judging her looks for his own. After all She wasn’t one of his, if he wished to kill her, he could.
Clarcie narrowed her gaze at him as he told her pretty much that she had the right to be there. She would agree, and wouldn’t have dared to come into his kingdom if she wasn’t grasping for empty methods to rid the world of Prospero at that point. Even though she may have not been able to get a word in she was sure her look said everything she needed to express. Kyan was arrogant and to himself, he was untouchable. She wondered if he had ever gotten close to experience what it was like to be weak. The way he acted she was sure that wasn’t the case.
She didn’t really know what she expected, though somehow she wasn’t surprised in what he said to her. Her eyes didn’t move from him as his guards did as he asked, keeping their weapons on her she gave him the smallest of smirks as he got closer to her. As if to say she may not be the most well behaved individual but Clarice was on a mission and that wasn’t to fuck with Kyan at the moment. She watched him walk way tilting her head to the side taking in how he moved swiftly. “Interesting.” she said softly finally before the soldier took her arm. “Please do not grab me.” she yanked her arm away. “I will follow and behave. I am far too tired to cause trouble even if I wanted too.”
With that she was in the belly of the beast so to say. She was lead to a room that was far fancier than anything she had ever seen in her life. Drinking the willowbark sap wine and eating greedily what they had brought her not caring if it was poisoned or not. the Sorceress was then show to the large bed. She fell into in and slept like a rock until a small woman was poking her in the face. “What.” she mumbled out in her sleep as she sat up rubbing her eyes.
“Your bath is ready.” she said before leading her to the spring. Clarice undressed sliding into the warm water letting out a loud groan as every muscle in her body seem to relax at once. “How is this place even real.” she said as she submerged herself under the water staying there for a moment before coming back up and moving to rest her back again the side of the spring closing her eyes as she relaxed. “If this is a dream, I never want to wake up.”
Kyan pushed open the ornate wooden doors that led outside of the Tree and directly to the hot spring outside as the two guards stood watch from inside. He burst through and smiled with a large sigh as the sun hit him with a renewed energy that rippled over his skin, making it appear to slightly glow. "Beautiful morning, no?" Kyan's gaze finally dropped to the woman who'd meandered into his kingdom last night with an absurd request for an audience with him, but she didn't seem to share his sentiment. His expression changed to annoyance at that and then realized why. Humans and their ridiculous views of privacy and the naked form. "Please," he said with a roll of his eyes and slipped out of his robe. "I'll stay far over on this end and you can stay far over on that end."
He slowly walked inside the water and dipped under the surface before coming back up and leaning back against the earthen walls. "So, did you rest? Eat some of our food?" His stomach made a low rumble and he began to turn to request one of the guard go and see what was taking so long to bring breakfast out when the doors opened again and a set of twin fae came out carrying trays. They were fraternal siblings, a brother and sister, who had hair so pale white, it was blinding in the sunlight. The young female fae stopped in front of him as her brother began to head towards his current guest. "No, no." The two immediately halted and looked to Kyan with confusion. "The lady wishes for her privacy, so you can drop her tray right next to mine." The male did as was told and Kyan sent them away as he reached for a strawberry and dipped it in the lightly whipped cream with a chocolate mousse. "You must be rather famished still," he said suggestively while slowly taking a bite of the fruit and holding her gaze for a few silent moments.
"So, Prospero. How is that fool and traitor? I've been wanting to kill him for quite some time now." He finished the sweet fruit and picked up a honey glazed biscuit, dipping it through the mousse. "The last time I saw him he was betraying me and stealing from my kingdom. Broke a rather lucrative deal we'd struck and I'm looking to ensure his death." The king took a bite of the bread just before the mousse could almost trickle off the side and into the water. He looked to the woman and shook the biscuit at her slightly as an invitation to come and get some, smirking. He rolled his ocean hues and turned his back towards her. Leaning the front of his body on the side of the spring to be covered, he grabbed a cheese square from one of the platters and ate it. "I won't look. Come and join me. We can be civil. For now." A grin pulled at the corner of his mouth at the last of his words as he reached for the wooden chalice of wine.
He closed his eyes, enjoying the small bite and as always appreciated that there was no food in the world like the kind in fae. Glancing slightly over his shoulder to see if she was coming, he tipped the wine backwards to drink from it. "Where is that filth of a man hiding nowadays and do tell of your adventures with him." The king remained quiet to finally let her speak. The curiosity was killing him and he couldn't wait to hear all the very juicy details. "What's your name anyway, little raven?"
Clarice’s head shot up as the wooden doors pushed open and he walked in. her hands came over her body out of habit. She looked him over with the glow he seemed to not have the night before. Her eyes couldn’t help but move along his naked form as his robe fell away and her brow raised. “You intend to bath with me?” the shock clear in her voice. She had never done anything like this well not of her own free will. Prospero had full reign over her body when she was under his capture so he of course did as he pleased. It was another reason she wishes to rid him of this world. Yet that was a bitterness she swallowed and kept to herself. She reminded herself she was in his kingdom and she had nothing to be ashamed of when it came to her own body. This was their custom. So she slowly let her arms move from her body. “I mean to say feel free to join me if you wish, your highness.”
She watched him join her in the water and she herself scooped the water up to run it along her face. “I rested deeper than I have in a long time. The food was richer than anything I have had before.” She spoke highly of it, honestly, it was as if she was being treated like a princess. Though she was sure one wrong step that would all change. She watched the Fae and their beauty that radiated, it honestly was unfair, as they sat the trays down. She watched the servants leave before returning her gaze to Kyan as she felt her stomach growl wanting the fruit that had met his lips. Yet she didn’t admit to him how easily she wanted to take it from his mouth and down it herself,
“A murderous rapist who needs to be wiped from this earth.” she answered as she ran her thumb along one of the X shape scars on her wrist. “I know, it's one of the reasons I seek you out. Figured you would be interested in helping or have my head. Some days the latter seems like a good enough option.” She muttered looking off. “He was always one to boast in his journals on how he bested this person or that. Since he is the “strongest magic wielder” around.” she raised her hands from the water using quotes with a roll of her own eyes. Through her eyes hung on the food with a hunger as it moved into the king's mouth. Her gaze moved to the water as he waved the food at her. He seemed to enjoy the teasing she noticed. “Will I get a warning when you no longer wish to be civil King?” She asked softly.
The food was almost driving her mad. So she moved over to join him on his side of the spring. She pressed her frame to the side of the spring and reached out taking a strawberry between her fingers as she brought it to her lips taking a bit from it slowly chewing it savoring the taste she looked to him for a moment. “My name is Clarice De Biville.” She said in a gentle tone as her raven hair clung to her back since she was leaning out of the water to reach for more food. “Well where he is hiding is kind of my fault.” She sighed as she moved to take the wine in her hand and turn around sliding down the wall so the water was covering her mostly. “Prospero was drawn to me, he wanted to teach me how to become a powerful sorceress. I soon started surpassing his teachings.” She downed the wine if he wanted her story she would tell him she stood up and placed the glass back and looked to him holding his gaze.
“Not wanting to not be the best he bound me to him.” She said as she showed him both her wrist where the X scars where from the bracelets he placed magic on. “He bound my soul to his and used me to gain more power, and to learn at the rate I learned. Among other things.” She swallowed and looked to the water for a moment. “While being bound to him, he learned how to hide in the folds of a dimension. While I can find him. Since being unbound I haven’t gained full ability of my magic. Or I would rip his head off myself. That is why I came to you for help. He referred to a King Raventhorn as his most skilled of enemies. You are the only other person he fears besides me.” She spoke before leaning back over to pick up a honey biscuit, letting the quiet hang for a moment. “Do you mind me asking, What is your first name your highness? He never referred to you other then some choice names and King Raventhorn.” she let her green eyes look him over again for a moment.
Hearing the woman finally come to take in the offerings of his kingdom, Kyan smiled coyly. He sipped the wine slowly and looked to her out of the corner of his eyes, before closing them and tipping back the rest of the drink. Propping his elbow on the side of the spring to hold his head up nonchalantly as if they were speaking like old friends, the king smiled widely to his captive as he took in every ounce of her. He couldn't wait to hear the story she was about to tell. Perhaps it might even determine how much longer he would allow her to live.
Kyan's gaze did not waver as he listened to all the details coming from her lips. He wanted to catch any nuance that might give this, Clarice, away in a lie. It was a compelling story and when the woman finished, the fae couldn't help but chuckle at the last bit of her tale. "Speaking to my ego. You're not stupid, well.. coming into my wood was most definitely stupid." The king took the pitcher of wine and poured more into his cup before turning to face her. "My name is Kyan, but you will not refer to me as such," he replied as his hand went under the water and towards her. "It is 'your Highness', or 'your Majesty', or 'my most gracious, wonderous, and most handsome king'. You get the idea." He could see the instant hesitancy that stiffened her whole body and he scoffed, looking up to catch her gaze. "Please, little raven. I'm not that kind of monster."
Kyan took hold of her wrist and gently lifted it from the water. He examined the markings left on her wrists, the water droplets trickling down her pale skin. His thumb softly brushed over the deepened X that now branded her body and the king couldn't help but see the truth in her story. Perhaps some of it. "More powerful than Prospero. That is quite the statement." He let her wrist go and leaned back against the spring's wall with a knowing grin, trailing his fingertip around the brim of the chalice in circles. The silence hung between them for a moment while he continued to hold her gaze. "You expect me to believe that you are as powerful as you claim to be? Mind you, I know very well the magic that those chains contain." Kyan gave a short nod towards her branded wrists. "Do tell me of your escape from that filth. When was it you were able to finally get away from your master?" He straightened up a little more with the intent of treading into darker waters.
"I imagine it was when he was at his most vulnerable and weak. His... appetite is rather insatiable." Kyan cocked his head to the side slightly, watching as his finger continued its journey around the chalice. "When he was in my realm and our dealings were through, the sorcerer couldn't contain himself around my kind. Constantly seeking out the pleasures of my fae." He let his eyes finally lift to meet hers. He wanted to be sure she was telling the truth and Clarice's reaction would be just what he needed to know this wasn't some folly brought on by Prospero in sending her into his kingdom. "I wonder, little raven, was it when he finally laid there spent was when you found your opportunity to escape?"