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A Word Against War


Cybil de Blanc
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The crowd was vast as it crowded around Castle Northanholde, the Arctic wind blowing softly, but nonetheless cold. There was a somber tone to the people as they stood in the castle's shadow; it had been almost two months, and there had been no sign of Queen Cybil. Their young, peaceful ruler was mourned, as many believed the Arctic had taken her, and with each passing day, hope of her return faded, just as the sun does as winter approaches. The recent nuclear devastation of Helzan - now called "Ghost In A Shell" by the Northanic people, for the Helzanians had called it so - was also casting sadness over the country. Concerns of radiation had come forth, as levels of radiation poisoning had been found in sea birds, debris and fish off shore, effectively ending a livelihood for several thousand people.

Queen Rosario soon appeared, walking out onto the Balcony of Royal Address, looking as subdued as her people were. Still, she held tall, with her golden-brown, slightly curled hair falling behind her in a great wave, dressed in robes of reindeer fur lined with sea bird feathers. She held up a hand to silence the crowd, waiting a few moments before she began to speak.

"Brothers and sisters of Cyneriice Northan," she began, "we are gathered here today in memory of the fallen, of those who succumbed to the world's chaos, taken too early from this life intentionally or unintentionally. We mourn the loss of the Queen, Cybil of House de Blanc; we mourn the loss of Helzan, and those who did not survive her nuclear destruction; we mourn the loss of those left behind through immigration to Cyneriice Northan; we mourn the loss of life as wars rage around the world, whether justified or not in the eyes of the people.

"We are young, compared to many others who reside in the north with us. We have been alive only a couple of months, and yet, we have suffered much hardship, including the loss of a leader. Many of us do not hail from the original Viniland protectorate, but instead, are refugees of conflict, and feel the bitterness of leaving a life behind in order to seek shelter from war. We ourselves have been touched greatly by war, as Helzan's nuclear devastation has destroyed part of the Arctic, and infected her with the plague of radiation. As I speak, we struggle to clean up our western coastline, which has succumbed to the toxins that leak from the Ghost In A Shell, the ghost of Helzan."

The Queen licked her lips and took a breath.

"We all suffer. We are but mere humans, searching for purpose in life, a place to call home and make our name. We live, we die, we breath and we sleep, and we are born and reborn as time goes on. Countries rise and fall, great leaders follow and submit, and power waxes and wanes among nations. We fight, clawing for every inch of land, every scrap of food, every bit of influence in the world we can get our hands on - as the Christian religion would say, the religion I have chosen, we succumb to the Seven Deadly Sins.

"But as I stand here, speaking to the children I have inherited, I realize something. Though we break and crumble, are in the snow and dust, wondering why we live in such an existence, there is hope here. Hope in life, in the world, for each day we receive is a blessing. Yes, our coastline is radioactive, and yes, our Queen is missing. Peace, however, is something we still have, and if we can open our arms and be as peaceful as we have, conflict will wane. Our Queen taught us that, no matter how hard we are slapped across the face by life, we turn the other cheek. When she petitioned Viniland for this nation, she did it with the utmost respect and politeness; when she opened her arms to diplomats, refugees and the other citizens of the world, she did the same. Though she did not always agree with their thoughts, she never gave them a blackened word, nor did she try to smudge their names with hostile claims and threats.

"It is my belief that I may sound like I am rambling. Therefore, I shall summarize and end my address to you with these words: love each other. To my people, I ask you to welcome all and forgive your countrymen; to the world, I ask you that, in a time that reports of nuclear warfare are springing up across the globe, please open your heart. Do not create further disasters like Helzan, and do not deny your people their freedoms. Let the warmth of order and good will among men reign supreme in your consciences."

- = = = -

OOC: Probably not my best work. Sorry if it seems kind of blah-ish or nonsensical. :wacko:

Edited by Cybil de Blanc
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The Antheic Guards, a force arranged by the local Marchar, stood at attention as the speech passed. Only a hundred men here today, wearing simple red arm-bands to show that they were peace-keepers.

In the Shadows:

Khendon sighed and listened to the speech. It'd been so long since he'd seen such a pure light in the world like Cybil...he'd had such high hopes...but it was all for naught. He would find her, perhaps, or he wouldn't...regardless, the Marchar would continue. As his puppet representatives gathered more of the Marchar unsatisfied with the rule of the False Keeper, De Luit, he would build on the foundations of his peoples support for De Blanc, until they were tied together as one cord...and then, with the aid of Heaven, he would lash out against those who had gone terribly, terribly wrong.

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From within Khendon's mind, a voice gave a growling chuckle, then sighed.

"The Queen's loss is a tragedy, indeed," growled the Wolf King. He had recently taken up space inside the mind of the disillusioned Marchar, who had come with the band who had wanted to establish an Arctic clan. He was a fine hunter, much like Fenrir in that he disliked the father of his people. His anger, combined with the sadness of Cybil de Blanc's loss, made for a nice, festering seed of negativity that was as delicious to Fenrir as any caribou or snowshoe hare. "If only Nemesis paid a bit more attention to her children.

"But how are our plans going? Have you gotten word of dissent in any of the other clans? You are my eyes in the Marchar, young hunter - I cannot always keep mine open, not while I remain as I am."

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OOC: Nat Blah-ish at all. Sounds like something Sarah would have said a long time ago...

IC: "Unfortunately, while peace is a worthy goal, in is inevitible that mankind will find some sort of issue to bring them to conflict. Even if racial and ethnic issues, religious issues, issues over wealth or territory, and supposed past wrongs were completely done away with...it would not be long before some other reason would creep into the paradise and spoil the peace."

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"For as long as our ships will have naval support to refuel, Zargathia will continue the search for Queen Cybil. Her voice was... is one that is rare in the world today, and for that we would like to continue for as long as we are capable."

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*Private*

"It feels like its been so long since I've heard words like that Loew." Said Hannah as she turned off the television. "Of a Hansa before the Fall, before the change, before the cynicism of the world."

"When you and Sarah were pure?"

"Precisely. It feels so much has changed." The Potentate sighed. "I really do wish sometimes that we could return to Finland, that we could return to Helsinki. I only hope that stay strong, maybe if we've changed, some one is there to take our place. If it is our job to protect the weak and the free then by Nemesis we will do everything to do so. Northan will always have Hanseatic help."

---

*Public*

Your Highness,

My heart bleeds for what you have said and what your country attempts to do. I can tell you that you have touched Her Ladyship's cold heart and you have touched my own cynical outlook on the world today. In Northan there is a hope that I pray will exist for a long time and I can assure you that we will do everything in our power to protect you. As with your queen that I believe we are still looking for, though failing at it, and I blame that on myself. We will continue to persevere. You have my word.

Sincerely,

Hannah Asgeirsson

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From within Khendon's mind, a voice gave a growling chuckle, then sighed.

"The Queen's loss is a tragedy, indeed," growled the Wolf King. He had recently taken up space inside the mind of the disillusioned Marchar, who had come with the band who had wanted to establish an Arctic clan. He was a fine hunter, much like Fenrir in that he disliked the father of his people. His anger, combined with the sadness of Cybil de Blanc's loss, made for a nice, festering seed of negativity that was as delicious to Fenrir as any caribou or snowshoe hare. "If only Nemesis paid a bit more attention to her children.

"But how are our plans going? Have you gotten word of dissent in any of the other clans? You are my eyes in the Marchar, young hunter - I cannot always keep mine open, not while I remain as I am."

Young? Khendon laughed. He'd been young when Nordland first emerged in the dark north, in the great battles of the Silver Revolution. That had been more years then men today lived, now. His appearance, rather non-descript in his current attire, was that of a man in his hardened years, after the lilies of young may had wilted in the late heat of August. "You remain particularly uninformed, Fenrisulfer. My Goddess was Scathach, not this strange southern god of Greece. I, the true father of my people, will correct his mistakes with time. As for the clans, Wolf Father, they are spread far and wide...yet they are beginning to gather. Luis has raised much of the old Host, and many of those not yet under my sway reside in the darkened north of Europe, or in the hidden south Pacific isles."

He shook his head. "Make no mistake, Sun-Eater. We will use each other, like old men who have played these games before. The faith of the Marchar is strong, and dedicated to you, you would wake fully. But for that, I must have Change on my side, and who more is the agent of Change than you? The Gods Themselves will be confounded, and fate overturned...and before this game is over, I shall find the Bride I intend to take."

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Fenrir could sense that his follower disagreed with being called "young". To a creature such as the Wolf King, most humans could be called "young", no matter how old they were; they had not been existing for the thousands of years Fenrir had. Besides, Khendon, in Fenrir's eyes, was still only a child; he might have been wise and experienced, but the Marchar was crawling across the ground, struggling to find himself. It was another reason why Fenrir had found it easy to persuade Khendon to his side.

"I apologize, Khendon," said the wolf. "It is Gleipnir. While it still binds me, I find the powers that I would usually have are as tied up as I am. As you said, the Marchar must be of the fullest dedication before I may leave Lyngvi. They will see, soon enough; after all, hunting is a wolf's specialty...."

He chuckled, and in Khendon's mind, the Wolf King closed his eyes. For a brief moment, Khendon would see a vision of himself walking down the aisle, a bride at his side clad in the whitest of furs, her head adorned with a crown of Arctic flowers. However, her face was shadowed by the veil - an image to test Khendon.

"...And unlike your Shadow Queen, I know how to find you what you desire."

- = = = -

- Private letter -

To the desk of Hannah Asgeirsson,

My heart is warmed as yours bleeds, for your words are most kind. My people have suffered greatly since Queen Cybil vanished, for many would have not been able to make themselves a home here were it not for her. I feel that, somewhere out there, our Queen still breathes, and as long as I hold that hope in my heart, I will tell my people the same. I will not give up on them, for Cybil would have not done so.

May Blessings Be With You,

Queen Selena of House Rosario

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Margrave smiled. He could feel the Wolf King's purpose, his authority...the desire to hunt, grey fur flashing in midnight forests...the love of pack, the desire for the fresh kill...it was all Khendon had hoped for. "You will have my backing. I have already made you a home in the darkness of my mind, shall I make you a home among these people? Direct me, Fenrir, for my belly hungers and my thirst goes unslaked. Show me the next step, and we shall make the world howl as we move upon it!"

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A man stood among the crowd who had listened to Queen Rosario a man who was now convinced inside his mind he could have found Cybil but did not. The man was known as Edvard the man captured on his own ship and the man who had to suffer humiliation at the hands of foreigners over his own fate. His other soldiers were in prisons all over the world now over crimes they had committed but Edvard had escaped and lived on.

"Don't worry Queen Rosario me and you are troubled by the same demons" Edvard smiled and walked away from the castle and through the crowd.

Edvard was determined to meet Queen Rosario whether that means his death or not he had to tell her what he knew and what he saw in the artic. Edvard was just trying to bury some of his demons aswell as others and he thought that by helping queen Rosario he may achieve this. But he had to get close enough to talk to her first.

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