The General [ The Council ]

Tony Thornburg
Name “The General”
Age 40’s, we think?
Appearance The General is tall, with pale skin as if he has never seen the sun (which to be fair under the armour, it might be true), long dark hair that is worn efficiently away from his face, and dark broody eyes that Shy has taken quite the liking to.
He is tall and sinewy, without too much bulk, but this does not mean he lacks power. Full of strength, agility, and grace, the General is the type of soldier who turns battles into dance, and has fluidity in his actions that comes with decades (or centuries, they say) of experience.
Personality The General is stoic and ordinarily very quiet. Unless it has to do with warfare and strategies. Then he does not shut up. He is calm and collected and logical; but hot blooded, and quick to attack. The General would rather be out there winning the war, than wasting time with these talks of peace. (Ah, no wonder Shy likes him so much).
Ability The General is… human? He is not mortal, and he may look 40 but he has definitely been around for many centuries. The General is fast, and strong, and while he does not seem to have any active magical or psychic abilities, he is definitely some sort of augmented human.
Standing at the Empyrean Stair Court Clutch

Empyrean Stair Candidate Story

“You are right, you are set in your ways of thinking.”  A golden Opal mused in the direction of the General“It isn’t necessarily a bad thing – or a good one.  This Zahrarinath would challenge you, if you would listen.”

Name: Zahrarinath

Court: Opal
Gender: Female
Coloration: Strata Gold

Abilities: Telepathy, Teleportation, Verbal Speech, Prismatic Breath, Genetic Memory, Trance, Discern Truth & Lies, Karmic Weight, Kismet

Personality: Logical, Open-Minded, Contrary

Notes: Contrary, in this case, as in inclined to challenge in a debate, rather than just being straight openly antagonistic for no reason.

Post Opal Clutch Hatching, Pre-Imperial Court Clutch Plotting (From Secret Plotting file)

The General had heard of the impact a bond could have on one’s psyche. The change it could trigger, but he had not been prepared at all for the way Zahrarinath’s mind twined around his own, the way the Opal Queen’s thoughts bled into his. 

Bonding to Zahrarinath made the General feel as if he had been sleeping his whole life and was finally awake. His senses heightened, his thoughts sharper, his greed…

Ambition Zahrarinath corrected

His ambition stronger. 

The Vella Crean was broken.

The General had sensed this for a while now. He had always known, hadn’t he? Why else would he try so hard to protect the people? A weak Empress, an insane leader. The Vella Crean’s council was broken, and only a fool would be able to ignore it’s deathly keel. 

Your mind is too active Zahrarinath’s voice was a sleepy grumble from his quarters, and he found himself deliberately trying to quiet his thoughts. 

(Maybe, it was time for change)

(Maybe it was time for someone to lead and protect the people. Someone who had fought in wars, who had battled the Death Court. Someone who had a queen by his side, the first of her kind. The first Opal Queen.) 

Maybe. You should sleep. 

–-

The General knew instinctively that the green eyed Scientist would not be on his side. The man was brilliant, but illogically swayed by the weak empress. He would not deliberately disobey her, not when she was so frail and weak.

Would we attack the weak? Zahrarinath inquired. 

“Of course not.” he was, after all, not an evil man. 

It was easy to start the whispers. Zahrarinath opened many doors, and the Opal Queen seemed to know instinctively how to start debates, to ask the right questions. The General did not see what he was doing as spreading discord. He was of the people, and it was his role as the General to see to the heart of the people. What were their worries? How did they feel?

The Death Court’s home had mysteriously disappeared off the Vella Crean. An attack or two had followed yes, but there was peace.

Who achieved this peace? The whispers cajoled. Only a man skilled with war could have protected us. He was keeping the Death Court at bay, and now he had a Queen by his side. 

Isn’t this a sign? The whispers asked. A sign for change. A new Court has been created. The Opal Court with their feathered wings and mystical abilities. Who will lead this Court? Who will lead the Council?

The General did not miss the careful and thoughtful way the Scientist watched him. But he could be patient. There was a Flurry at Nidus Ryslen, a Checkerboard Ball. The Empress was well enough that she was attending events and festivities. 

He had seen the Projects leave, teleporting away chests of clothing. It would not be a short visit, and he would be here, alone. 

“General.” 

The General carefully schooled his featured to one of polite disinterest as he nodded his greeting towards the Light Court leader. 

Almost, alone. 

–-

Who is that?  Zahrarinath’s voice grew stronger every day. 

The General followed her gaze as they watched a pale, waxy form slip through the main doors to the Lab. He grimaced. 

Who is the Fool? Zahrarinath mused, picking up the words easily from his mind. She paused, her eyes brightening as she accessed the genetic memory of the Opal Court. A dangerous one.  She decided. 

Hmm. The General turned contemplative eyes as they watched the bald man scurry across the hall. He, who had once been a very regular fixture by the Scientist side was rarely seen. But he had been a Power once, the General knew. And his knowledge and skills were still whispered in the black market. 

Hmm. 

Maybe we should meet this Fool. 

Nae’s short plotting

  • The General first hears about the most unusual clutch from a visiting Balechild. Styre Balechild has formed an tenuous friendship with the Scientist, and while the Balechild was not a regular seen visitor at the Vella Crean, the green eyed scientist and the young fledgling had started to habitually meet underground, or at other Nexus locations.
  • The General continued his polite facade with the Scientist (he could not afford to anger the man who controlled the golems that surrounded the city, after all) and it was on one of his visits that he met the unusual Balechild, and heard.
  • “A Myrmex queen and a Balechild” Shy murmured, and his eyes gleamed with avarice. The shade, the General realized, was not too different from the sickly glow of balefire. 
  • Styre nodded. “It will be interesting to see what wins.”
  • “Who says there needs to be a winner, my dear child?” The Scientist crooned. “It could be the perfect vehicle for true hybridization. Wholly one and the other together.” 
  • His young opal queen watched him with the odd sclera eyes of her Court kind. You want to see this clutch for yourself, don’t you? His queen asked.
  • The General was pensive. “What does your genetic memory tell you about balechild and xenodragons?”
  • Zahrarinath’s eyes brightened. It tells me that they hold… promise.  She answered carefully. The myrmex are a little too new, too endangered. But enough of our kind have come across balechilds and xenodragons. They could prove to be useful. 
  • The General agreed. “It will have to be in secret.” The Dark Court had made progress removing the stigma of hydra dragons and their ilk with the rest of the courts. But for the General to be seen actively courting descendents of Anathema Scalesbane? That would raise too many eyebrows. 
  • Could you not send someone else? A representative?  His fledgling queen sent an image of a young girl with widely trusting eyes. 
  • Trust. That was the issue, 
  • “We need absolute loyalty, Zahri, with no chance of betrayal.”
  • I would hardly think your only sister would betray you. 
  • I would have hardly thought a dragon would repudiate a bond with their rider. The General answered back privately. A Myrmex warrior with balefire abilities will be useful to us, my little queen. We will go. 
  • “I will judge them, and see who is worthy.”  Zahrarinath answered. 
  • It was in secret that the General and his opal queen fledgling tracked down Venom. They would stand, they informed the warrior, for this most unusual clutch. But they asked for discretion. 
  • Their request was met with scorn. Are you ashamed? The words were biting, full of derision. Or are you weak? The warrior’s wings vibrated and they emitted an angry chittering sound.
  • Zahrarinath stared the warrior down, flexing her own claws. The heavy touch of Karmic Weight pressing on Venom. “Watch your words, warrior.” She warned. “Or I will have the same misfortune that struck your Queen strike you again with the hatching of this clutch.”
  • A bluff, maybe. A threat, definitely. The warrior stared down the fledgling queen whose eyes did not waver. 
  • Not weak, maybe. The warrior conceded. Very well.