Shamelessly played on the whole bishonen joke going on with him
Acquaintance/Neutral Respect Dislike/Estranged Hatred/Animosity Unsure/Uncomfortable Friend Best Friend Oath (can represent mentor/student relationship or a feeling of responsibility) Crush Love (Romantic) Love (Platonic/Unromantic) Blood Family Dead/MIA/Captured *The bullets right next to a character's name signifies a consistent aspect of that relationship that was either permanent from the start, or later became permanent. This is to prevent too many bullets from being constantly repeated for every relationship entry, such as figures of authority whom my characters would always respect whether or not they liked or hated their leader's personality, friends who my characters would always care for, children that obviously would always be blood family, etc.
+=======[ Shadow Empire ]=======+
( NPC )
/[entry00]... What happened to you. The life you lived. The way you died. You didn't deserve it. I'm so sorry, Ismene. I would have gladly swapped your fate for mine if the Empire Spirits had willed it. Thalia... doesn't know about you. Not yet. But someday, I would like to tell her your story.
( NPC )
/[entry00] I didn't deserve to have a soldier like you for my master. You trained me, took care of me... we were partners in the army, against the enemy, against the world. I should have been able to protect you. I'm sorry.
Remus and Cyrus
( --- )
[entry00] Remus and Cyrus were my leader and silver gladiator, respectively; though I didn't know them for much longer than a few moons, and even then, they barely ever spoke with me. It wasn't long after I'd joined Shadow Empire that Remus died, and Cyrus went missing. I mean... they seemed like brave, honorable cats. And my Empire-mates spoke highly of them. I regret that I didn't get to know either of the two very well. It doesn't feel... right, that I'm now my Empire's leader, and I can't even say that I knew them personally. (ears droop)
[entry01]I'd had the pleasure of being part of Scorpio and Sullas' unit by pure chance, and somewhere down the line we became close friends. And further down, the best of friends. I wouldn't have it any other way. They were comrades I would have died for in the war, and I would still die for them as a gladiator of the empire we share. We are very lucky to have ended up in the same place. Hopefully it will stay that way. ... Ah-- as for Scorpio himself, I've got to say, he's an interesting character. He has the strength of a bear and the modesty of a mouse, which is somewhat amusing for one of his size. He's great company and someone I'm glad to call a friend. ... What's that? How we met? ... That's not important.
[entry01]Don't let her size fool you, she has the heart of a saber and I trust her with my life. You should have seen her in the army. For all that reckless courage, she's still very much a heroine in my eyes, and to Scorpio, even more than that. ... I really look up to her. Kind of saw her like a mentor back when we were still in the army. It was an unbelievable honor that she gave me her helmet as a gift when I became Shadow Empire's leader, and I hope she knows how much I appreciate her as a friend and a rolemodel in my life.
[entry01] Well if it isn't the rambunctious leopard, Laertes. (chuckles) One of the most outspoken, hyperactive apprentices in our empire, and I of all cats have been assigned as his mentor. Which works just as well, because he's not as bad as you think. He's an eager yearling; ever-willing to listen and always excited to learn. It's rather amusing hearing him clamber after me during our lessons together, with those large paws he still hasn't quite grown into yet. I guess I can't really call him a son-- I mean, after all, I haven't been training him for that long-- but I do care about him a lot, and who knows? Perhaps... and this is just a strong maybe... he might become closer family sooner than we all think? ... It's not like I haven't seen the way he and Thalia talk, or spend time together. In the beginning, they most certainly seemed like harmless, playful friends, but one can't deny that they have both grown in the passing moons. And sometimes, I see a little something more than friendship between their shared looks. (laughs and shrugs) Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm wrong. But if there's any feline here I would be happy seeing Thalia take as a mate, it would be Laertes. In the meantime, I'll just play blind like all the other grown-ups and see how things turn out. (amusement)
 He... He's gone. He's gone. I've urged Remus to send patrols all throughout the territory, and we can't find him anywhere. If there had been so much as a scrap of fur, or even a scent of the Bounty Hunters and their city stench, I would have feared the worst, but it seems as though my apprentice-- for whatever reasons he may have-- .... has run away. But where? Which direction? And why? ... If there was something bothering you, you could have told me, dammit! I would have listened! I've always listened! To you! To Thalia! And now you've gone Sator knows where, not in the least concerned about the dangers that lie outside of the Empires! What do you expect to accomplish on your own? How far are you going to go before you realize you'd made a mistake and bring your sorry tail back home, where it's safe? What if something happens to you, and you don't come back at all? Gods above... this is all my fault. If only I'd looked after you, better... ... Aurelia, if you're there. If the Empire cats are true, and you do exist... please, look after my apprentice. And bring him home.
 He-- ... He's alive. He's... back. ... After all these moons of thinking the worst could have happened, after watching my sister slowly crumble away into a shell of the cat she once was and struggling to rebuild herself and being powerless to help her in any way, after hoping and praying for her to finally move on so that forgotten smile of hers could someday return... ... He came back. ... Perhaps Aurelia answered my prayers in the best way she absolutely could. In which case, I'm thankful. Immensely thankful. ... But it's not me he needs to apologize to for running off on us, like that. I wish him luck with my sister.
//... Listen, I-- It's not that I don't... trust him. As it is, I don't see how Laertes could ever leave again. He loves her too much. He'd stay by Thalia's side until the end of his days, if she could only see it and learn to finally accept it. And I know he cares about her, as well as those three cubs she had decided to call her own... But... ... I'm not sure he holds a sense of loyalty to the empire, itself. He remains shut off from the others, and a part of me doubts that will ever change. I don't know. Maybe someday he'll prove me wrong, but for now... I don't see a feline who's... truly part of the empire. Part of our lives, for sure-- our family-- but the empire...? ... I don't know if this will cause problems later on. I sure hope not.
 Dammit... Damn me and my stupidity. I should have been there on that patrol. I should have been fighting for them-- protecting them. Now Laertes is lying listless in Theron's den, and... ... Dammit! ... Gods damn it all, he can't die. Not now. Not after everything... It can't end like this. Not for him. Not for my sister... Please, Sator, spare his soul a while longer. I won't have Thalia return to a dead mate! I can't watch her break anymore! Not now, not ever again!
/ Info later (Evander is glad that Laertes recovered from his wounds, but is concerned over his emotional well-being and frustrated with the leopard's occasional outbursts against the others.)
/ ... Everything he did... bringing the empires together... setting us all into motion with words, alone. The Emergency Gathering. The war councils before that. And then the massive plan we all made... a plan that worked. ... It wouldn't have been possible without him. (pride) ... I am confident that Thalia couldn't have given herself to anyone better. At the very least, he will take good care of her; he will love her, always, and the family they share-- and he will protect her and them with the spirit of Ignis, himself. That much I know. And besides that... I'm proud to call him family. (I honestly don't know how the counter raid is gonna go so I'm just gonna hold off on this entry)
[entry01]I found her cowering under her abusive rogue of a father, and recognized her as my sister almost instantly. I'm just glad I found her in time before... (growls) ... I'll be caring for her now. Well... as best a male like me can manage to, anyway. There's not much that a gladiator can do for a cub, but I can at least ensure her safety here while she's cared for by our den-mothers. Hopefully... she'll be happy here. I'm not letting anything happen to that cub as long as I'm alive.
/ I'm so glad Thalia's doing well in Shadow Empire. When I see her running around, making friends, playing games with her partner-in-crime Laertes-- seeing her happy-- it really warms my heart. She's such a carefree little cub. ... (chuckles) Do you know she sometimes calls me Dad?
/... With the unexplained disappearance of Laertes, she's taken a turn for the worst. I spoke with her as often as I could in those first few days-- struggling to comfort her, to soften the blow of her grief-- but nothing worked. My words fell on drooped ears and a heart too pained to listen, so I reluctantly decided to give her some space to herself. That didn't work, either. Originally I'd thought her sorry attitude wouldn't last for long, that she just needed some time to grieve for the loss of her friend, but... I was wrong. It only got worse and worse as the seasons passed. She assaulted Kostenlos-- one of her own apprentice peers-- frequently spoke badly to both Remus and Zapada, and in the end, was stripped of her training regime and confined to the Healer's den until further notice due to her frequent nightmares. I... I want to help her. I want to get her out of this, but where do I even start? (Growls.) I don't want to just stand here, letting her sink further and further and not do anything while... she becomes more like me. The way she just sits quietly, at the Healer's den. Letting her fur mat with the passing days. Forgetting to eat. Refusing to drink. That was me, when my Master died. I thought life wasn't worth living anymore... and... I would have told Thalia about that. About my own grief... and maybe... maybe even about Ismene... but how could that compare? She doesn't know what happened to her friend. It'll always torment her, wondering where he went. If he was okay. If he's still alive... and while I had gone through that, once, I at least found Scorpio and Sullas again. I can't even promise her that I'll find him... ... But that's no excuse. So... tomorrow, I'm going to take her out for a walk with me. Her training may have been suspended, but that doesn't mean she still can't see the territory and stretch her legs, right? Even if I have no advice to give, and no words to give her solace, I can still give her my time, my company. I can still remind her how much I love her, and how important she is to me. Maybe... Maybe then, something might change.
/ Much time-- more than a year-- has passed since Laertes' departure and Thalia's depression. Things have changed a lot from that faraway season of loss. Remus was killed. Cyrus went missing, and with no one else to lead them, Shadow Empire prompted me to become their new leader. Sand and Heliot both died, leaving us without a Healer, but Thalia has since taken their place. After spending so much time in their den, she had learned much about the herbs they used, I thought that maybe... she'd like to become a Healer, herself. And even though I was the one who'd asked, I still found myself almost surprised that she agreed to my request. ... With her new purpose in the Empire, I think her outlook on life has improved. If not as much as I'd hoped. She's thorough with her care, absolute in her authority, and respectful with others as long as they return that respect in kind. But my sister still has nightmares, and I often wake to see her huddling at my side in the middle of the night, still tormented by emotions she never quite learned to control. I still wish there was something more I can do, but I don't think there is. All I can do is hope that someday, she'll heal. That... maybe she'll find someone else to love. To be happy with. To have cubs for. I'd give anything to see her stop hurting.
/ And then Laertes came back, and I thank the gods above that he did. Perhaps things will be better from now on. Perhaps she'll... finally heal.
 No... No! They took her! They took her, and I wasn't there! Why wasn't I there?! Why didn't I put myself on that damn patrol?! Things could have been different! They could have taken me instead! I wouldn't have cared, I could care less about what happened to me, so long as it meant letting her go back home! Curse the Hunters! Curse them and their treachery against their own kind, they'll pay! They'll all pay for what has happened today! ... Gods... What have I done? ... Thal... ... Thal...
[entry01] One way or another, I've always been responsible for this leopard somehow. Whether it was stopping him from sneaking off or preventing his death at Thalia's claws, he was... a consistent worry. So I've decided to make things easier on myself by appointing him as my apprentice. He, erm... sure is... something. ... Let's see how things turn out.
[entry01] I'm, er... not sure what to say about her. She seemed like a decent enough apprentice at first, but our introductory conversation wasn't exactly pleasant. Luna had found an abandoned cub in our territory, and usually I wouldn't think much of it-- after all, Shadow Empire takes new faces in all the time, and not just cubs either-- but she just... broke down in front of me? I never expected the yearling to start tearing up and choking over the cub she'd found, begging me to let Eleka stay. ... ... As if any of us would have thrown her out? Luna has been a part of Shadow Empire for at least a year, now. She... is aware of all the newcomers we have accepted into our home over the moons, right? I'm surprised that after having grown up as an empire cat, that she'd be holding onto such a warped idea of her clan-mates for so long. I'll be honest, that whole episode made me rather uneasy. ... Either way, we've taken the cub in-- what else would we do-- and she'll be safe with us for now. Though if this simple situation alone was hard for Luna to wrap her mind around, I have to wonder about what other assumptions and myths she might have of us. ... I'd better get her a mentor. A damn good one.
 She's definitely matured since the last time I saw her. The snowpard is a full-fledged gladiator, now, and one that the Empire can-- and should be-- proud of. A much different feline from the one who'd been begging me to have mercy on a cub all those moons ago. (chuckles)
/[entry01] I hadn't really gotten the chance to properly acquaint myself with Ayanna until rather recently. We shared a walk to Blackwater Lake, and it was honestly... It was nice. Peaceful. Our time together was a breath of fresh air after all the chaos that had resulted from the misunderstanding at Lightning Empire's border. Besides that, Ayanna herself seems to be a pleasant cat. I'd like to do this again, sometime. I'd like to get to know her better.
 ... Words can't describe how grateful I am to have someone... like her to call a friend. With Thalia gone, I... I don't know. My Empire needs me to stand strong for them. And I want to stand strong for them. I'm doing my best but-- there are times when I feel so lost... ... But Ayanna's there through all of it. She's knows better when I say that I'm okay. She tells me to just be honest with her, and confide in her... and as hard as it is to do that, sometimes, she somehow makes it easier than most. She's been more of a friend than I've been for her, and I wish there was some way I could repay her.
/[entry01] Ivy has been on more than a few patrols with me, and I must say I'm impressed with the kodkod. She may be smaller than most of the others, but she's resourceful and clever; especially with the way she uses her empire-mates heights to her advantage. (laughs) And perhaps a little shy, too. I do hope that will change, however. She belongs here, more than she may realize.
/ Her idea to use nightshade against the Hunters was invaluable. A little risky, perhaps, but a smart idea all the same. I'd like to discuss it with the others and see what they feel on the matter; this was excellent thinking on her end.
/ I... I don't... understand. Ivy... poisoning her own empire-mates? Running away? What happened here? What am I missing? ... Luna and Atticus could have died, and for what?! For a grudge? Jealousy? Something else? What if she'd been working for the Hunters all along?! But then, why would she mention the nightshade to me at all-- ... ... I may not understand it, but I do know one thing. She has betrayed my trust, and the trust of her empire. Should I ever see her again...
/[entry01] One of Shadow Empire's newest-- and youngest-- cubs. Thalia and I had been so worried he wouldn't make it, but then... he did... and thank Sator for that. Now he's one of the healthiest little faces in the nursery, if not also the shiest. (soft laugh) ... I've been looking after him, ever since-- although Anaba and Ayanna have often done the same-- and he seems to have taken a liking to me, which is just fine by me. I've grown fond of him, as well. (smile) He calls me 'Daddy'...
[entry01] We'd both been somewhat, well... thrown into leadership around the same time, and I think it's because of that that we ended up getting along so well, even after the misunderstandings on Shadow Empire's border. He's a good cat. Strives to do the right thing, always has his empire in mind with every decision he makes... I respect him.
/[entry01] I admire her, for taking leadership like that after what happened to her mate. ... That... must be hard. I mean, I can only imagine... That aside, I wish her well. I feel as though she'll make a great leader.
[entry01]Dishonorable, sniveling traitors, the whole lot of them. But he's the worst of them all. That lynx has harmed apprentices, murdered cubs, and made himself the bane of every Empire's existence. He threw down the body of Lightning's old leader into our clearing, and he expects us to feel more afraid? We are not afraid. We are angry. I'm angry. And should I ever meet face to face with the likes of him, cats like him who killed my sister and caused so much pain for so many others, there will be no mercy.