|Age: 1873 (26)|
|Caste: Warlord Prince|
|Social Status: Aristocrat/ Master of the Guard|
|Playby: Dominic Purcell|
|Jewels & Craft|
|Birthright Jewel: Opal (98)|
|Offering Jewel: Red (25)|
|Strengths: Skylar is not a man given to grand displays of power and he considers the use of Craft to be a handicap because one could learn to depend on it. However, since it is an advantage impossible to give up when most opponents wouldn’t hesitate to make use of it, he has learned what he believes is enough or useful, while he ignores those uses of Craft that aren’t necessary. As an Eyrien warrior, Skylar is skilled in both shielding and attacking. He has perfected a few death spells to use against his enemies when fighting them face to face simply won’t do, and his offensive spells are generally quick, clean and efficient with no subtlety whatsoever. He knows Basic Craft and some things like strengthening his body, floating objects in the air or passing them and himself through other things, psychic threads and theories behind Black Widow Craft, though he doesn’t actually know how to put that last into practice and would never particularly care to.|
|Weaknesses: Skylar can’t airwalk himself, not that he really feels the need to since he knows how to fly. He knows nothing about Seduction Craft except that it exists and could hardly care less about his ignorance even if he tried. He doesn’t know Hearth Craft very well, though his mother did insist that he at least learn how to cook and clean with his hands, which resulted in a little bit of practice with Hearth Craft as well. Also, he knows only enough Healing Craft to enact short term solutions to injuries in the field and maybe keep others or himself alive until an actual Healer can be found. Maybe…|
Like the bear he somewhat resembles, Skylar is very much a creature who goes through life without much imagination. He looks at things pragmatically, and sometimes creatively, but what he sees is what is there. He lives life as it is, taking full advantage of what he can and letting what he can’t move by without much thought. He is not a man to play with his or other people’s emotions. When he is happy he is happy, when he is sad he’s sad. And when he’s angry, well, there is no way anyone would mistake it for something else. When others are happy, then he is pleased for them, and when others are sad or down cast, well, he wants to cheer them up or know what it was that hurt them so he can make it go away. And if they’re angry, he will respond to the threat by taking one step back, looking at the layout of the situation and, if the threat is merely to himself, he will answer it in kind, but if it is to anyone he is supposed to protect, then he will respond with even greater anger.
There is not one reverential bone in Skylar’s body. He feels absolutely no awe or reverence for anyone, whether or not they are darker Jeweled or higher above him in the social ladder. What he does have, however, is an abiding respect for those who he believes deserve it. Now, respect and reverence are two very different things. One is earned, and the other is given through faith and, as far as Skylar believes, belongs only to the Darkness and the Mother and to Witch. Respect, on the other hand, he will give to very nearly anyone or any thing in varying degrees and for varying reasons. Wild animals, certainly, should be given a respectful space, the same as he would give his mother during her moontime. Enemies he will respect for the danger they represent, and opponents for the same reason, though he will hold the latter in higher regard since they are not a threat to his Queen and friends, they are simply a challenge to defeat and, if they fight by the rules and fairly, then they will have even more respect from him. His parents he loves because they raised him well and never let him give up, and they never turned bitter themselves. His friends he likes and so treats well because he wants them to like him in return, though it is a rather casual respect, since he doesn’t like standing on formalities. And he is devoted to his Queen. But that doesn’t mean he’ll let her drag him around on the end of a leash. Anyone he doesn’t know will be afforded the courtesy of Protocol and little else until he learns who they are and, more importantly, what it is they might be doing so close to him.
Skylar tends to take things one step at a time when given the luxury to do so, and unless he is training or fighting, he rarely moves faster than a lumbering walk. He doesn’t like to be rushed through anything, whether it is eating his breakfast, reading a letter, carving a bit of wood or telling a story, and he isn’t at all afraid of letting the one rushing him know that he doesn’t want them bothering him. This slowness makes him unbelievably patient, at least, regarding most things. But there are still buttons that can be pushed to make him snap more quickly. The most obvious of those is to threaten anyone under his care.
Being patient also, rather more detrimentally, can give others the impression that he is slow in both body and mind. Neither of which is true. He can move quite fast when he needs to, and his thoughts follow the same pattern. If he doesn’t need to think quickly, then why should he make that effort when it might mean he’ll miss something important. He does, occasionally, take advantage of these assumptions to avoid company he doesn’t want anything to do with or to gauge strangers in his Queen’s Court, but mostly, it irritates him that people would assume something about a stranger before they come to know him. As such, he rarely makes any sort of assumptions himself, though he does take precautions no matter who the person might be. He takes his position as Master of the Guard very seriously. It would be a personal affront to him, as well as a very real danger to anyone else, if he failed in that duty.
But apart from that, Skylar’s outlook on life is generally a sort of indifferent, almost laidback, watchfulness. His humour, like his anger, is explosive, and when he finds something funny, he won’t hold back his laughter. He isn’t afraid of violence and won’t ever shrink from its necessity, nor will he actively seek the chance to make use of it. If something is bothering him, he will put it aside so he doesn’t have to deal with it, or so that he can come back to it later, this includes people, since he is large and strong enough, to be able to pick most people up and set them to the side of his path if they start bugging him. Without his balls, much of what drives a Warlord Prince has been diminished in him. It isn’t gone entirely, it is merely diluted, and so he finds it easier to keep a level head and his anger under control. But that does not mean he is any less dangerous.
The one big problem Skylar has to face in his life now, apart from the troubles of keeping his Queen and her Court safe, is the turmoil in his mind about just how much of Askavi’s tradition Madelian wants to set on its end. Nowhere in his heart does he agree with ruling Warlord Princes the likes of Greggar or Morganar, and he does support her desires for change and equality. But traditions should not be thrown aside lightly, and it is already strange to think of a ruling Queen in a territory that has never before had one. Mostly, he ignores this trouble since there is no real way to solve it and he knows that Madelian would never purposely harm the land and the people who live on it, but sometimes he can’t shake these thoughts, and then he tends to brood because he doesn’t like feeling as though he is being disloyal, but he can’t help it.
Mikhailar was not a man much given to defeat. He grew up among the Eyrien camps, just as his father before him and his grandfather before him. He was proud and fierce and strong, and he reveled in that strength. Why shouldn’t he? A full-blooded Eyrien male, with strong Jewels and skill with weapons and a young, healthy body, there was no reason he shouldn’t enjoy himself. There was, however, one small problem. The woman he had fallen in love with, the woman of his dreams who was kind, sweet and quite handy in the kitchen… She wanted nothing to do with him. As though she had any say in the matter. It was her father he had to impress, and he did that well enough. But even when he won that victory over the woman, Mikhailar found that it was nothing at all. Because she didn’t love him.
That was a strange revelation for him, when he realized that he didn’t just want the woman, he wanted her heart as well, and he would have to work to earn it from her. But he managed to accept it, without much grace and then, he proceeded to make a fool of himself for a woman.
The lady he wanted was named Jesselian. A Black Widow with an uncannily sharp smile and a soft gaze so that she could cut away his manhood and heal the wound afterwards so cleanly that it no longer hurt. Later, he would become found of claiming to his son and close friends that she’d grabbed him by the balls and refused to let go. Of course, at first, the lady hadn’t even been aware of his attentions. Her sisters, as far as she’d thought about it, were far prettier than she was. And no one had come to court her before. But then, the Eyrien male who’d been staring at her rather blatantly for so long up and asked her father for the right to her. And her father gave it, without even asking her!
Of course, this man, one Mikhailar Mirandov, still had to convince her that he was the right man for her, but she couldn’t refuse him outright or it would lower her father’s standing. And, much as Jesselian disliked him for the position had had put her in; she was loathe to ruin her family merely because she didn’t think she liked someone. So, she just avoided him for awhile. She believed that his following her around and courtship was nothing more than a youthful infatuation, such as her mother had often warned her about, and that, sooner or later, it would fall away and he’d wander back to his boyos and that would be that. She just hoped it would happen sooner rather than later.
But the longer he stayed with her, determined to win her to his side, the more she struggled against him, until, finally, he caught her all alone and let her know, with a few interspersed snarls and a hand holding her so she couldn’t escape while he ranted, exactly how he felt. Then, with nothing more than the faint bruise of his fingers and the shock of a lifetime, Jesselian ran, not to her home, but to the coven where she had learned all her Craft. And there, still stunned that the man might actually feel so strongly for her, she wove a tangled web. She wasn’t really certain what she was doing, and, though it explained a small bit of her own future and she saw herself together with Mikhailar, it held a far greater importance than that. And joined a growing number of tangled webs collected over the years that foretold of a Sister who would come to them and win the territory back from the taint that it had fallen under.
For a whole week, she hid amongst her sisters, brooding over her part in this future and then, when she was good and ready, she went out and actually looked for Mikhailar. She didn’t wait for him to find her, though that was what happened anyway, she actually tried to find him herself. And he was perhaps as shocked as she was by that fact, for he was full of regret at his outburst and had been searching high and low for her ever since. Now that she knew how much she meant to him though, Jesselian wasn’t sure whether his constant following was amusing or sad. But he was a Warlord Prince, and he said he loved her. She didn’t know if it was true, but since their futures were going to be together anyway, she decided that she would give him a chance.
While she gave him this chance, they both came to know each other better. At first, it troubled Mikhailar that Jesselian had high hopes for a woman someday doing something quite, well, unheard of. But that didn’t diminish his love for her, it just, made it harder to understand. Then, she told him, after he mocked her beliefs one time too many, that if he thought life was so wonderful in Askavi now, he ought to go join Greggar’s Court. And he, being still young, hot-headed and full of the need to prove himself, did exactly that. He was a good fighter, and of dark enough Jewels that he was a valuable asset to be had in any Court. But he wasn’t so dark that he was a threat to Greggar’s reign. At least, he wasn’t after he swore his oath to join the First Circle and become second in command beneath Greggar’s Master of the Guard.
It was not long after he left that Jesselian realized she missed him. She’d grown so used to getting bothered by his presence that when she didn’t have him to be annoyed at, she began to notice the softer feelings he evoked. Of course, by then it was too late. He was gone and she wasn’t quite brave enough to follow. At first, Mikhailar enjoyed his place in the Court. He had the respect of those around him and was even asked for his opinion on occasion. However, because he’d been raised so far away from Askavi’s centre, the excitement faded the more he noticed what went on beneath the surface. To his shame, had it not been for Jesselian’s harsh words and clear insight into what was happening because of Greggar’s influence, he would have taken a much longer time to understand what was wrong. But even then, he only admitted it completely when he found himself taking part in a meeting where Greggar openly discussed the choice of breaking or killing a young Warlord Prince with a Sapphire Birthright. It wasn’t a surprise; almost everyone in Askavi knew the dangers of seeming like a threat. It was a shock though, because, up until that point, he’d never come face to face with the whole truth.
When he got over his shock, he tried to speak against what Greggar was doing and likely would have continued to do so until it got him killed if Jesselian hadn’t shown up just then. She’d finally gotten tired of waiting for him to come back and of her father’s pointed impatience. So she went after him. She didn’t plan on staying, just asking if he’d changed his mind, but she arrived just in time to distract him from making the biggest mistake of his life, and what would have been the last.
When she learned what he was doing, she realized his danger and convinced him to apologize to Greggar in whatever way he could by promising him that change was coming and that, if he returned, she would marry him. It was that last that won him over, since he’d never been a fan of letting change happen on its own. So he did go apologize and won back a small bit of his favour with a little jaw clenching groveling. But he only stayed in the Court long enough to find those who agreed with him and when he left, quite a few of the Court’s memn=bers went with him. They didn’t all follow him, they merely left at the same time, but enough joined Mikhailar that Greggar decided it would be wiser to let them be and, without opposition, their group became just another hunting camp. Over time, it dispersed and became smaller when it seemed Greggar’s attention had turned elsewhere. But Greggar never forgot Mikhailar’s insult, because he’d broken faith with Greggar and shown him that he wasn’t the only one Greggar couldn’t trust. But he let it go, he had more important things to worry about.
So life moved on…
Jesselian and Mikhailar were married and she explained, again, all her beliefs. Only, this time, he didn’t dismiss them. And when Skylar was born, they raised him on those beliefs as well. However, they couldn’t change the other traditions that were around him as he grew up, so he lived with two different sort of ideals and never quite managed to blend them together as well as he should have been able to. Mostly, this was caused by the difference in his surroundings, because it was almost only ever within their house that Skylar ever encountered beliefs like his parents. Everyone else had varying degrees of the usual Eyrien traditional morals. And most generally laughed when he voiced his opinions. He was only a young child, after all.
He was an active boy, always eager to prove his worth and capabilities and he followed his father everywhere as soon as he was old enough. He was taught how to handle weapons the moment he could hold them safely and well, the flying lessons just evolved naturally, since he never asked anyone for their permission to start flying. He just went for it. In the middle of a storm, no less. That was the first time he got scared, because the wind just picked him up when he spread them and then tossed him back to the ground. He wanted to stop the first time, but he’d decided that that day would be the day he flew, so he was going to fly and a little wind wouldn’t stop him. No matter how scared it made him. He risked both his own life and his father’s, because Mikhailar had to fly after him. But they both made it back to the ground safe, and Skylar learned his lesson about compulsiveness, but not about being stubborn. In fact, he never learned that lesson.
Beyond that, his childhood was very like that of the other children growing up in the mountains of Askavi. At least, like those children who didn’t have to worry about the political dangers of being too strong or being too weak. His parents kept him in line as well as they were able, and allowed him his space when he had non-dangerous lessons to learn. He ran with the other boys of the small village where they’d ended up and got into just the same amount of dirty mischief as everyone else. But he was always proving to them and anyone watching or listening about the tales of his ‘exploits’ that he could do anything anyone asked of him. Maybe not the first time, but he would get it eventually because he never gave up. He never let anyone laugh at him and he never let anyone tell him that he couldn’t do something. Reason only worked on him if you tied him up first and made him sit still to listen to it. He was, in short, a rowdy kid who lived far too exciting a life for his parents and who grew into a young teenager much too thick-headed for his own good.
His saving grace was that all that running about getting into and out of scrapes left him well aware of his limits, even if he generally ignored that knowledge. At least Mikhailar managed to impress upon him the importance of recognizing when something is impossible and either asking for help or not dragging other pig-headed fools into the danger. He was also well versed in Protocol. He had to be, since he was growing into a very strong Warlord Prince.
He got his Birthright Opal at 200, easing his parents’ worries. For themselves, they wouldn’t have cared what Jewel he received, but they knew as well as everyone else that if it had been darker it could well have turned Greggar’s attention towards them again. And if he’d received too light a Jewel, well, society wouldn’t have been happy with that. And he likely wouldn’t have been able to stomach being set on the lower class side of the Eyrien hierarchy, given his status as a Warlord Prince and his growing Eyrien arrogance. It also helped them get his constant nagging to go away. The poor boy didn’t want to wait. Everyone else who was his age had already gone through with the Birthright Ceremony and he did not understand why he had to wait. Jesselian believed that it was the safest way to go, most things considered, but she couldn’t hold out forever, because, sooner or later, it would become a danger for him to be without the extra reservoir of power the Jewels offered.
But afterwards, nothing really changed. He was still a growing boy, living in a village running about with the other boys and working with his father. Mikhailar was well-known in the village. He was a kind man, always willing to lend a hand, and had probably worked on every single one of the houses at least twice. He helped build quite a few, and was popular among the older boys because of his skill with weapons and his ability to share it. Skylar didn’t really like that last part. He didn’t want to share his father with anyone else, but he didn’t really have a choice, and most of the others were his friends anyways, so he could deal with it. He didn’t always deal with it gracefully, but he wasn’t willing to have both his friends and his parents irritated with him over something that no one else saw as overly important. Besides which, he’d had the advantage of being taught weapons since he was 10.
He helped Mikhailar with the harder, more labour intensive work, but never really had the time for the more finicky jobs that required a little more skill and less raw power. He didn’t need to know those yet. He had strength and size to his advantage and a roof and caring parents and no reason to feel that he should have to work hard to earn his leaving. He certainly wasn’t lazy; it was just that he couldn’t be entirely convinced of the necessity to learn a proper profession better than he already had. He liked life perfectly fine the way it was.
After a time, his parents decided that it was time for him to go see a little more of the world and experience what almost every Eyrien male experienced growing up, an Eyrien camp. Many of his friends were being sent off to them, with or without their parents, and they themselves had kept him in a hunting camp when he’d first been born and they’d not settled down yet. Skylar certainly didn’t mind the idea. He thought it would be fun, to meet new people and test his skills against theirs and learn other survival techniques that he hadn’t needed to learn because he was living in a house and not the Wilderness. Of course, it would have been better if his father hadn’t gone with him, but Mikhailar hadn’t forgotten the danger that might be found in catching Greggar’s attention. And, knowing Skylar, he was fairly certain that if anyone could manage that accidentally, it would be his son. So he chose the camp, one that had a majority of his old friends in it, and stayed near enough to watch over his son’s antics.
He left the day to day discipline of camp life to the arms master and didn’t interfere when Skylar got himself in trouble. His boy was growing up and needed to grow up the same as everyone else did, it wouldn’t do him any favours keeping him sheltered from the rest of Eyrien life just because his parents didn’t believe in some of it. Luckily, Skylar thrived on that lifestyle. He enjoyed being outside and having the chance to roam through the countryside with others or by himself, as he chose. He liked being popular or unpopular, as the others chose, for his skill with weapons. And he even liked getting punished for acting out and breaking a few rules. It was a different sort of life, and he enjoyed it. Why shouldn’t he?
But that enjoyment didn’t last forever. When he was 567, his life was flipped entirely upside down and turned inside out. Some men in the hunting camp remembered Mikhailar’s grand exit from Greggar’s Court. They had also left, but they’d since grown tired of living a less than Aristo life, and had been waiting for an opportunity to win back the ruling Warlord Prince’s favour. Some younger males had taken a dislike to Skylar and his rather boastful ways. When the two groups met up, it was almost natural that they use each other to get what they wanted. One wanted revenge on Mikhailar for leading them where they hadn’t wanted to go, and the other wanted to get rid of Skylar. Together, there were enough of them to take him on without great risk to themselves. But even there, they chose a ‘coward’s’ route and attacked him when he was sleeping, alone, after a day’s hike out from the camp.
They subdued him and tied him up and started arguing. The older males wanted to take him, alive, to Greggar, so that the man would reward them for giving him leverage against Mikhailar. The younger males wanted to just kill him or something and be done with it. It was the or something, that took long enough for Skylar to come around. They were still fighting when he woke up, but he interrupted them quickly enough and took exception to being tied up and hearing people argue about what part of him they wanted to cut off. He tried to escape, and might have managed it if he hadn’t been so groggy from being hit over the head once too often. He was just lucky he had enough presence of mind to send out a call for help to his father before he had to focus everything on protecting himself.
That day ended with him once more unconscious and his father and the others from the hunting camp carrying him back to a Healer. He had more than a few cuts and bruises, not to mention a cracked skull, but the worst wound, at least, in his own opinion, was caused by the removal of his testicles. If he’d managed to hold out just a little longer, he might have kept them, but the males had knocked him to the ground and were in the process of trying to cut off his penis too when Mikhailar arrived. He was angry when he woke up from the Healing. He had every right to be. But he couldn’t do anything with that anger. The males who’d shaved him had already been punished and he was too weak to go after the ones who were still alive.
By the time he was strong enough to do something about that anger, he’d given in to despair, and wasn’t up to doing much of anything, let alone exacting revenge. In a very male oriented society, Skylar wasn’t about to accept being a eunuch overnight. He left the hunting camp as soon as he could and returned home, to brood in his room. There wasn’t anything the Healers could do for him, and telling him that having balls wasn’t everything in life didn’t really help him see the humour in the situation. Not that there really was any. For 50 years he stayed hidden in the house, eating, sleeping and doing little of any consequence. He lost all his motivation and all his desire for action. He got fat and lazy, and looked to be spending the rest of his life that way until Mikhailar got fed up and dragged him outside one day, sat him down in the yard and told him that if he wanted to stay with them, he had to earn his keep. He was a grown man and grown men paid for their room and board.
If he’d had the money, that remark would have been enough to send the old Skylar storming out of the house and looking for somewhere else to stay. As it was, all he did was sigh and start working on what his father gave him. And Mikhailar didn’t let it rest there. He didn’t like seeing his son so despondent, it was unhealthy and pointless. So he started him on easy things and gradually made them harder and harder, all the while getting his son back into the habit of exercising and training with him. Skylar was quite shocked when he couldn’t even get a quarter through the usual workout routine before he felt like collapsing. And that helped Mikhailar convince him that he needed to get back up and about.
Once he was back on his feet and active, the changes that had taken place within Skylar’s personality became far clearer. He was still as stubborn as ever, but he was also far more patient and he didn’t get angered as easily. He was also quieter, and actually initiated the lessons that started his interest in making weapons and furniture. And he tried, very, very hard, not to fall back into the depression Mikhailar rescued him from. So he was perfectly content to help his father when he was told that he’d been volunteered as a sparring partner for a younger boy who needed some training because his mother didn’t want to send him to a camp. All he knew about the boy before they met was that he wasn’t fully Eyrien, his name was Jaspar and his mother was a friend of his mother. Which meant that his father was doing this as a favour for Jesselian and that he’d be wise to go along.
In truth, apart from the bit of blood that wasn’t Eyrien, Skylar didn’t have a problem with that. And given that he wasn’t exactly the best example of an Eyrien male either, he couldn’t hold it against the fellow. But that didn’t mean he was going to play nice. It was strange how, after a certain time period, the boy stopped getting irritated by being thwacked over the head and yelled at, and actually fought back. Skylar had never paid attention to anyone else’s progress before, so he was quite proud of his and Mikhailar’s accomplishments when he and Jaspar finally had a decent bout.
Gradually, a friendship formed between them, so that they didn’t just see each other when Jaspar came for a lesson, and, at one point or another, Jaspar introduced him to Madelian. He can’t remember the exact date, he’s not even sure he could pinpoint the first time he met her. Looking back, it just seems to Skylar that she wasn’t in his life one minute, and the next she was. He liked her. And he liked Jasper, and they were the two friends he had needed to cement his acceptance of what had happened, though he never actually told them that he was shaved.
Because of his upbringing by Jesselian, he did not laugh the first time he learned of Madelian’s goals, and he fully believed that she would succeed if she really wanted to. He never questioned her and he never said that she might be biting off more than she could chew. After he got to know her, he didn’t think she was. And after what he’d gone through, he thought that maybe it was for the best, if someone who actually thought of the land and not his own ambition took over Askavi. True, Madelian was a woman, but she was a Queen, had Dark Jewels and his own mother had told him, without any uncertainty, that she would be the one to make it right. He still isn’t sure what, exactly, she’ll be making right, but he trusts his mother, and so he’ll trust Madelian.
When she got her Offering, he only blinked at the Ebon Gray Jewel she held and then clapped her on the back with a smile and a congratulations. Then, since there were so many others waiting to have a word with her, he wandered back to the house and went right to sleep. What else should one do after having spent a harrowing night waiting for a best friend to emerge from her Offering? Jesselian did manage to rouse him long enough to have him wander outside and say good bye when she left, but then he went right back to sleep until Jaspar came calling.
It didn’t take long for Skylar to note the increased frenzy of their training. He kept up fairly easily, and didn’t see anything wrong with it. If his friend wanted to be distracted from the absence of a certain someone, then training worked just as well as anything else. And it let him keep an eye on his younger friend. When Jaspar’s snake tooth began to grow in, he was somewhat alarmed, since he couldn’t think of any reason for why his finger would suddenly start hurting, but as soon as he was comforted with the knowledge that it was merely proof that he friend was a natural Black Widow, he tried to show him how to use his left hand. But that attempt failed when he was told that the risk of harming Jaspar if anything went wrong was a little too high to continue.
When Jaspar was ready to make his offering, Skylar was with him before he went into the altar, and he stood in the same place, waiting, until he came out again. But he didn’t really mind not being the first one Jaspar saw when he emerged. When he’d seen who else had come to wait for his friend, he’d looked forward to seeing the face he pulled when he saw Madelian. He’d known Jaspar hadn’t thought she would be there, and he was glad no one had told him about the surprise, because he probably would have blown it.
He was proud of his friend, and only a little jealous when he accidently came across them celebrating privately. Still, it was, he thought, the end of a long period of waiting. Now that Jaspar and Madelian recognized in each other what he had seen for years, at least, in Jaspar. He didn’t know that it wouldn’t be happily ever after as he thought. He might have guessed if he’d bothered to think about it, but he hadn’t.
He let the two go together back to the Court after the Ceremony, and let life run away on him a little as he worried about them. He knew what Greggar’s influence was now, and he knew what might happen if he found out about Madelian’s plans. He trusted that Jaspar would be able to take care of her, but mistakes happened, and for the next few years he was worried for them. But he didn’t want to risk joining them where Greggar could see him. It might endanger his parents, and it would certainly endanger him if he ever took it into his head to fight the man himself.
Shortly after they left, he underwent his own Offering Ceremony. It was a quiet affair, with his parents and only a few others coming to keep vigil while he did it. But he didn’t mind. There was no reason for anyone to come, really, though he appreciated that they had. He did miss his friends when he came out of the Altar at dawn with his Red Jewel, but he’d purposely not invited them. They didn’t need any distractions. And he didn’t need any small amount of time spent with them only to have to watch them leave, again. He worked hard to keep fit, to learn everything that his father could teach him and that his mother had to tell him about what he would be protecting and to forget his worry. Not that that worked very well.
Then came the terrible news he had never expected to hear. Greggar was dead and Madelian wasn’t taking his place. As soon as he heard that news, Skylar went to his parents, told them what he had heard and left. He didn’t stop to do anything else, he took nothing with him except the clothes on his back and the weapons he always had with him. And when he arrived it was to find a situation where he couldn’t do much to help. Madelian had fallen into the Twisted Kingdom, and Skylar was no Black Widow. He’d never paid much attention to that Craft. Jaspar was the only one of them who had any hope of bringing her back, which made Skylar useless. Absolutely useless. And something of a burden.
Unable to sit still at Madelian’s side the way Jaspar did, he paced the halls and stood guard outside her rooms. He made sure they both ate and turned away any inquiries about her health with a simple shrug and a noncommittal reply. And when Jaspar went looking for her where he couldn’t follow, he watched over them both. That was a harrowing time for everyone who knew about Madelian’s potential. And when she finally came back, Skylar didn’t know whether to get irritated at her for giving up so easily or just hug the living daylights out of her for being all right. So he did both. Gently.
And after that, without Greggar as an excuse, he stayed with them at the Court. Or rather, just outside the Court. He didn’t much like its pretentious airs and manners. Plain Protocol was enough for him, and common courtesy. He earned what he needed to live by carving furniture, making weapons and acting as a guard to those who liked having such protection. And on the side of that, he passed on a few threats to those who learned a little too much about his Queen’s plans. He watched, grinding his teeth, as Morganar brought their Territory to the brink of war and then tipped them over that edge.
It was with a sigh of relief that he learned the man had been assassinated. And it was with the pleasure of the release of tension that he stood at Madelian’s side when she stepped out of the shadows and claimed the Rule of Askavi. When men stood up and challenged her claim, he happily silenced them, swiftly, decisively and without any mercy. He’d waited for this day, Madi had waited for this day for too long, and nothing was going to keep her from this path any longer. Not if Skylar had anything to say about it. He’s going to see her succeed because she deserves it, and he’s going to keep her safe and as innocent of the dissenters as he can. There’s no reason she should have to face the disapproval of her own people when she is fighting to keep a war from breaking their homeland apart.
|His love is rather broken at the moment, and she's going to have a baby, at some point. This must be dealt with.|
| Keelian Bryde (Love) - Sapphire to Gray Jeweled Priestess|
Madelian Ophira (Queen) - Red to Ebon-gray Jeweled CASTE