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An Apt Apertif (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri)

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26 Re: An Apt Apertif (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:14 pm

"Totally understandable, of course." Glen takes his jacket gently and gingerly hangs it to dry. As he walks back, he hears Sunrise talking in a serious tone. He speaks up as well. "We know how draining the last few days must have been. If this is too much, just say so. It's okay." He is about to find his way to a seat when he realizes Thorn may not want to stay, and decides to wait and see what he does first.
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27 Re: An Apt Apertif (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:04 am

Thorn seems a little confused by all this, but nods and looks around for a place to sit. "Uhh. I guess... I guess it's important to know how to deal with my father."
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28 Re: An Apt Apertif (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:09 am

Sunrise nods, and looks at Glen and Ka'Ri. "Do you want to go first? I'm guessing you found what you were looking for."
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29 Re: An Apt Apertif (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:29 am

((CW war crimes, rape))

Glen sits down on another couch across the table from the one Luther and Sunrise are seated on. "You can sit here, if you like." He indicates the seat next to him, nervous. A little bit of the spring has gone from his step, as what he has to share isn't pleasant. He waits for Thorn to sit down, then looks back and forth between him and Luther, searching for the appropriate audience. He ultimately decides to come at it head on and talk to Thorn.

"Your father." He swallows hard. "He was sent on a mission with a strike team to take out in orcish commander. He was also tasked with eliminating the commander's daughter, a witch. They got the commander. The witch was a different story."

He takes a deep breath and continues. "They captured the witch, and Immeral, he. Well, he let his men rape the witch. And he did as well. She escaped. They didn't find her. The letter implied that he felt badly about it, was having trouble sleeping, but the writer of the letter clearly saw nothing wrong with it."

He looks at Luther, then back to Thorn. "I'm sorry to pass on such an awful tale."
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30 Re: An Apt Apertif (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:48 am

"It is as he says," Ka'Ri nods in concurrence. "I can recall to any of you who have stomach for it the full text of the letter if you need for any other clues. It is unfortunately chiseled into my brain at the moment, but I will not burden any who don't wish to hear it."
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31 Re: An Apt Apertif (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:06 am

Sunrise winces. "And that puts what I saw into context," she says quietly. "I used magic while I sang, Thorn. On your parents, to let me know what thoughts my song inspired in them." She shakes her head. "Your father... he doesn't like me, I'm afraid." Her voice is dry as he says this. "The missing daughter made him think I might be working with the Redfangs, sent to warn or intimidate him. It was all mixed up with an orcish woman's face, and an image of her bound and gagged in wartime."

She shakes her head. "But your mother... it made her think of when she became pregnant with you." She raises an eyebrow. "Not the usual way. She had a strong memory of the same woman, heavily pregnant, coming to their room at night and forcing her to take part in magic that transferred the pregnancy to her. The woman then told both of them to cooperate with the Redfangs; it sounded like a threat, if they didn't."

She looks at Thorn, her gaze sympathetic. "The woman... she looked very much like your description of Mokoz."
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32 Re: An Apt Apertif (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:21 am

Thorn pales listening to all this and looks astonished. He stares at them all, turning from each of their faces to study them in turn with incredulity. At the end, he sits with this and stares into the middle distance, looking lost. "You're... you're telling me that my father is... actually my father? And that my mother... isn't?"
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33 Re: An Apt Apertif (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:37 am

Glen listens to Sunrise and his eyes widen. He sits back on the couch a moment, lost in thought. It explains a few different questions - Xiloscient's assenting to the usage of his name even though the child appeared not to be his; his support of the Redfangs and their businesses; Mokoz's attitude towards Thorn. But it's a lot to take on, and that's without even being the man himself. Glen can only imagine how all of this would make him feel if he was at the center of all of it - especially if he'd spent his whole life assuming he was a bastard from his mother, when in fact that opposite is true, despite being born of his own mother.

Glen nods, gravely. "It would appear that way, yes." Glen then spends a moment trying to find the right thing to say to express that he is sorry to have to unload so much on the young man after the year he has had to endure, but he can't find the words and closes his mouth again, and instead just puts a steadying, supportive hand on Thorn's shoulder - gentle but firm, and if he shrinks away, Glen will remove it.
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34 Re: An Apt Apertif (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:34 am

Ka'Ri sees in that maelstrom of emotions herself at a young age and dips down to the ground in front of Thorn.

"Your family is who you choose them to be," she says trying to hold Thorn's thousand knot stare in her own. "You owe nothing to those who bore you or gave you your skin and face if they do not act as kin to you, if they do not treat you with love and care and a feeling of belonging. Your father, your mother, are who you choose them to be, who act as father and mother to you and make you feel that love. It might even be someone you haven't met."

"You owe nothing to Mokoz and Immeral if you don't want to. Your origin does not define you. Your story is your own to write as you see fit."

Her voice through all of this is sincere and packed with lessons hard-learned and her eyes show a soft kindness that she hasn't been able to access since putting back that awful letter in Immeral's estate.
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35 Re: An Apt Apertif (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:01 pm

Sunrise nods. "For what it's worth," she says quietly, "your mother loves you. Regardless of whether she's actually related to you. When Mokoz transferred the pregnancy, she was happy. She wanted you." Her expression turns wry. "Still thinks of you as her little girl, I'm afraid, but out loud at least she's trying to refer to you properly."
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36 Re: An Apt Apertif (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:06 pm

Thorn listens to them all with tears in his eyes; it's only when Sunrise speaks that he laughs softly. "Yeah. I... I knew she would. Think of me that way, I mean. I know all this is hard for her to accept. She... doesn't thrive well with change and uncertainty. Especially when Father stands in opposition against the storm."

He sighs and shakes his head again, as though the movement would settle his thoughts. "I... I don't know how to deal with... I'm a Redfang. Not just by marriage, but by distant blood." He looks ill, the thought plainly disgusting to him.
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37 Re: An Apt Apertif (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:14 pm

Glen takes out a handkerchief and puts it next to Thorn, should he need it.

"You're you, Thorn. It's a huge shift to take onboard, and you should process it as you need to, but it doesn't change who you are inside. You're the same brave and strong you that you were yesterday, and the day before when we found you, and the day before that. That's important, too." He gives Thorn's shoulder a reassuring squeeze.
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38 Re: An Apt Apertif (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:24 pm

"You're not a Redfang, not by any measure that matters. They can claim your blood and laws of marriage, but they have no claim over you. You are a Thorn, a title you have clawed for yourself. Don't let this change how you see that."
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39 Re: An Apt Apertif (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:57 pm

"They're right, you know." Sunrise looks at him. "No one has any say over the circumstances of their birth. It's your choices that matter. Redfang or Xiloscient, blood is just blood. It doesn't determine who you are."
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40 Re: An Apt Apertif (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:47 pm

Thorn takes the handkerchief gratefully and fans at his eyes. "I'm just. That's why Father was so dead set on me marrying Treygis? Because Mokoz told him to give me back to them?"
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41 Re: An Apt Apertif (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:56 pm

"What he did is a war crime, so they're probably using their knowledge of what he did and your true parentage to extort him, including the seat you inherited. They probably see the seat as rightfully theirs. Mokoz might have wanted you back, but I wouldn't be surprised if even the transferred pregnancy was done on Arnem's orders, if she is as you describe her. It took a bad circumstance and made it into something they could exploit for a gain, like Gwyn's kidnapping." He shakes his head, his eyes dark. "You deserve better than to be used as a pawn in their plots."
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42 Re: An Apt Apertif (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:53 pm

Sunrise sighs. "I can't blame Mokoz for holding his feet to the fire; in her place I can't say I wouldn't do the same. She can't exactly get justice the traditional way, after all; not after all this time, and not for a war crime committed during a conflict nobody wants to re-open. It's entirely possible she thought she was doing you a favor - born into a rich and powerful family, set to inherit a political seat, and then brought back to her in the end after all." She shakes her head. "Which all, technically, happened. If only it had actually been a good thing for you."
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43 Re: An Apt Apertif (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:12 pm

Glen frowns. "Even under the best of circumstances, marrying him to an abusive spouse who carries out the cruel whims of a brutal crime boss would not be anything I would consider a favor. The only road to happiness then is through obedience and submission, and no one should be forced to give up their freedom, their very being, just to avoid abuse." He thinks for a moment, then sits back, realizing he is probably overstepping, and looks at Thorn contritely. "Forgive me. This is your life, and it is not my place to say such things."
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44 Re: An Apt Apertif (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:59 pm

Thorn sighs and rubs at his face. "No, I... it's alright. I... I do think she's probably right: that Mokoz thought this was somehow good for me. Mokoz doesn't... see things the way other people do. Arnem says her creativity is her best and worst asset. But... yes, this grand plan of hers didn't do me any favors."

He suddenly blanches. "...not that I think I would have preferred being raised as a Redfang under Arnem's thumb."
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45 Re: An Apt Apertif (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:07 pm

Glen nods, grateful for Thorn's understanding. "Either way, you are free of them now and you can live your own life, for yourself and the babies. You're safe, and they can't take you back." He hopes this is comforting, because he can think of little else to say.
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46 Re: An Apt Apertif (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:36 pm

Thorn is quiet for a moment, then gives Glen an apologetic look. "Please forgive me but I... need to visit the restroom." This said, he quietly rises and leaves for the moment.

Luther sighs, looking thoughtful. "Well."
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47 Re: An Apt Apertif (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:40 pm

Glen nods, understanding on his face as Thorn leaves. He tries to swat away the worry that he's said something wrong. He sinks back into the couch, lost in thought for a moment, and Luther's voice pulls him out of it. "Well indeed. You've been quiet, Luther. What do you make of all this?"
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48 Re: An Apt Apertif (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:51 pm

Luther frowns as he considers the situation. "I did not anticipate a magical transfer of pregnancy," he admits. "I did have suspicions about this Mokoz, and whatever war crimes Immeral must have committed to have his records so thoroughly sealed."

Sighing, he shakes his head. "But I'm not sure any of this helps us to recover Gwyn from the Redfangs holding her captive."
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49 Re: An Apt Apertif (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:04 pm

Glen's face is dark, and he nods. "I think the understanding of the situation and the players is important. Some might be inclined to say we could somehow use Thorn to squeeze Mokoz for information, but I believe that would be cruel and wrong after all Thorn has been through. He's been a pawn since even before he was born. He deserves to not be a part of someone else's schemes any more." He sits back again, wracking his brain, trying to think of other angles he hasn't seen yet.
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50 Re: An Apt Apertif (Glen, Sunrise, Ka'Ri) on Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:15 pm

Sunrise sighs, shaking her head. "Yeah, unfortunately that angle seems to be a bust. Immeral's thoughts when I was singing went to the Redfangs, but not to Laerdya; he doesn't seem to know the situation. Which..." She frowns. "I could speculate about what that might mean, but that's all it would be. It's possible that if we went to him and put cards on the table he could use his connection to them to find something out, but it's more likely he'd laugh and then toss us out into the street."

She hesitates. "I agree Thorn shouldn't be used as a pawn," she says slowly. "But... it's possible that Mokoz would willingly tell him what she knows, if he asked. If he were willing."
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