Welcome to My City

Drache is the present-day capital of the Kingdom of Arangoth and lies at the mouth of the River Darian, surrounded by the city docks all along the waterfront. Click here for information on the various suburbs and areas of Drache. You can also click here to view a sketched map of the city.
User avatar
Nymphetamine
Admin
Posts: 597
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 1:09 pm
Preferred Title: Marog the Destroyer
Characters: Aezra
Azalia Stygian
Eliya Almakira al-Fasaad
Ianesene
Isabelle Auxerre
Nesira Vertal
Rix
Senkessa Silak-Dekhal
Siraz'jah Av'Zathrak
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Welcome to My City

Post by Nymphetamine » Thu May 24, 2018 5:16 pm

Isabelle found herself continually delighted by the mere factor that Shaodin was always so forthcoming about his research. He could have zealously guarded it and his privacy, and not tolerated her little trespass into his domain, but instead he welcomed her with wine and conversation. So there they sat, comparing what scant notes they had on the subject of dhampirs. Though he seemed better equipped for the discussion than she. For her part, she had paid little mind to the unholy halfbreeds beyond that they existed at all.

It was not far from her mind that she actually already had a perfect subject locked in the main Guardhouse dungeon. The slight that the dhampir had offered her husband had ended in a perfect capture of the poor woman seeking to shadowstep away from an unknown practicioner of the void. Kylee would be an ideal subject on which to experiment and study, perhaps even jointly with Shaodin. (But what bad publicity it would be to torture a prisoner of the Civic Guard.)

Her mind skimmed these subjects even as Shaodin made the offering of his own materials to her. A scant smile touched her lips at that, the black heart warmed just a hint at the outpouring of assistance from the elder vampire. There had to be some ploy involved. Perhaps he felt a modicum of impropriety for having come to Drache to settle a small house without her permission. It would be as if Isabelle had established a summer home in the Elgar without consulting him prior. Had he been another vampire, one which she had few established ties to, she might have destroyed him outright without thought on the matter. But this was a colleague, as much as either of them could be.

"How generous of you," she said without a hint of mockery or sarcasm in her voice. She meant it. The free offering of information between them was valuable, especially when they both seemed quite aware of the fact that they were under no obligation to do so. "I will definitely have to take you up on it. There are still several months before the child will be ready to be born, if you could call it such."

She took another sip of her wine, drinking the fine vintage as if she actually took some pleasure from it rather than a prop of the part. The sithire went through a number of motions that were to mimic life, intentionally so and even now, despite when she needed none of them, she carried them out faithfully by habit alone. The rise and fall of her chest, the subtle flush of life to her roseate cheeks, the way that she continued to drink her wine, were all tells of life. As one that faced mortals often and regularly, she clung to these habits as if her life depended on it, despite whatever official citizenship she held.

"There is a dhampir currently prisoner of the Civic Guard that might prove a useful subject to study." She swirled the contents of her glass around in the well of the cup for a moment before turning her gaze back on him, in this rather pointed way of narrowed eyes and focused expression. "Perhaps we could make a joint study of it, if you would be so kind as to assist me in the matter. I've never made much of an interest of dhampirs, but it now appears that the interest is vested. I'm sure I could arrange it, in some manner or another."

Krisael
Civic Guard
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:10 pm
Characters: Davram, Derek, Shaodin, Koz Undakh

Re: Welcome to My City

Post by Krisael » Sun May 27, 2018 9:36 pm

His silence after her offer was long, his stillness remaining absolute. His eyes had settled on hers to rest, after his dark study had drawn no conclusions, and they had softened not at all despite his fondness. Though she might assume he was gauging her offer for its potential as a hook decked in tempting bait, his true considerations were for the logistical difficulties that would face such a shared study. To study the pair of them in this setting, he mused, would be a regard for true opposition despite similarities. Even in their attire, at this moment, they seemed to oppose one another. Sharing information was one thing. Working at her side might be entirely another.

Deep in his vast mind, he could feel a kind of mild contempt for her desire to remain viable as a living entity. Perhaps it was only a single grain of sand in that vast shoreline. Or perhaps it was a seed, which would sink roots and grow into an orchard which would bear bitter fruit. Shaodin had worked alone for the better part of ten centuries precicely because of his contempt for others of their kind who had no regard for aught but power. Isabelle lacked many contemptible qualities, but she retained ambition and despite his grudging admiration for her ruthlessness in feeding that ambition, he wondered whether by throwing in with her now he would only be another step toward her own goals.

He had concluded his research on the subject of her inquiry centuries ago, having gained as much understanding of the anatomy and nature of the rare daywalker as could be attained by his methods. At that time, his inexhaustible curiosity had been sated by the knowledge he'd gleaned by living study, experimentation, and eventual dissection. He had set his notes on the subject aside, reasonably certain that no more could be understood than he'd already documented.

Still, from their own occasional discussions and from what he'd been able to learn of her through subtle inquiries made along mundane channels he'd drawn the conclusion that she viewed the world through a very different lens than he. No enchantment or enhancement he could produce magically or mundanely would change the pattern of his own thoughts. The paths he walked to his conclusions were well-beaten, no matter how numerous. And after all, he had set upon his centuries-old quest for understanding with the motivation of alleviating the boredom that plagued so many of the ever-living.

"What manner of assistance did you have in mind, lady?" He asked as he stood with predatory grace, taking up the bottle from the table between them and refilling her glass, indicating subtle support of her living facade with a simple gesture reasonably expected of a host to such a high office as hers. "I am sure you possess sufficient facilities, and as I have said my notes on the matter are open to you." He returned the bottle to its place on the table, but walked past the chair he'd previously occupied to stand in front of the large fireplace, tilting his head to watch the flames and relieve her of the weight of his gaze. He clasped his hands behind his back, a habit when he was deep in thought, and finished without pretense, "How may I serve the Sithire?"

User avatar
Nymphetamine
Admin
Posts: 597
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 1:09 pm
Preferred Title: Marog the Destroyer
Characters: Aezra
Azalia Stygian
Eliya Almakira al-Fasaad
Ianesene
Isabelle Auxerre
Nesira Vertal
Rix
Senkessa Silak-Dekhal
Siraz'jah Av'Zathrak
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Welcome to My City

Post by Nymphetamine » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:22 pm

The quiet that followed did not seem to overly bother her. She was used to the long, thoughtful pauses of creatures that paid scant attention to time and its passage. Other than the internal clock that measured the lengthening passage of the sun on a daily basis, Isabelle spent little time worrying about how time passed. Even now, there were hours before sunrise. Not that she would be caught at his townhouse by then, if only for expediency.

She had no read on his innermost thoughts that found her clinging to the various cues of life disdainful. Were he to even voice them, she would have dismissed it out of hand. When one moved in mortal circles as an open and accessible personage, such as she did in the seat of Transdariania's power, it was a necessity. Despite whatever medallion that named her citizen of Drache and such, she knew that it would take little public outcry to oust her and seek her head. What was a little caution when also furthering her endless goals for the city? A means to an end, and nothing that taxed her resources.

Her smile remained fixed upon her lovely doll like features. She watched him as one watched a curiousity, finding him such despite their on again, off again association over the past several years. His thoughts were not betrayed by his expressions, as guarded as she and careful to present a certain image to his guest. She was well used to this dance, even if she was hardly practiced in the steps with him. What little that filtered through his stern control was this quiet reluctance to enter into any joint venture with her. Whether this was because he had already plumbed the depths of this particular well, or some hesitation to partner with her (or anyone, for that matter) on any matter whatsoever. Not that she blaimed them. Ancient loners did not make for comfortable bed fellows. As unbothered by this as anything else, she continued to study him from her seat, her wine now forgotten as unnecessary.

Soft laughter bubbled up at the use of her title, which was waved away with a gesture of her hand, dismissing it as easily as it was mentioned. "We have no use for such formality." Her amusement was evident but not mocking in the least, a simple reminder that they were elevated beyond such things in their dealings with one another. At least insofar as she saw it.

"Your assistance in the matter is not required if you have other interests to hold your attention," she continued easily. Isabelle had extended the offer only due to the possibility that Shaodin's own research had not been fulfilled to his satisfaction. His subject might have died on the table before he had come close to satisfying his curiousity, and she, in her benevolence, was offering a chance to continue it. If he did not, she was hardly fussed by the matter. She swirled the contents of her cup around idly, eyes flickering to watch it for a moment before returning to him.

"It's been quite some time since I last worked with any colleague."

That last time had turned quite sour after a decade or more. Her thoughts turned briefly to that other immortal, one who had grown quite interested in her as time had worn on. Not that she anticipated a similar problem with Shaodin by any stretch of the imagination. He did not seem the type. Still, that wariness was still colouring her decisions as she puzzled on the options available. Repeating any mistakes forever rankled her.

A theatrical sigh escaped her as her smile bloomed again upon her lips. She made a vague gesture with her wine cup to indicate the subject. "You needn't act on my pleasure. I'm quite sure that your notes on the matter are rather significant, and would provide quite the guide. Your presence would not be required. I had thought that perhaps you might be interested in the subject as a point of curiosity and no more, Shaodin. If you are not, it's not as though you are ruffling any feathers on my account."

Krisael
Civic Guard
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:10 pm
Characters: Davram, Derek, Shaodin, Koz Undakh

Re: Welcome to My City

Post by Krisael » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:20 am

Shaodin maintained his pose, hands clasped at the small of his back and staring into the fire as she laughed and made her replies. He was not one who laughed easily or often, and was not accustomed to the sound of it in his house. But he was well enought acquainted with social cues to recognize that she did not laugh at him, precisely. She laughed, he assessed, because she found the notion of him bending knee to her in servility amusing. It was this calculation, a distantly cool assessment, which prompted him to place a smile on his own lips, tacit approval and acceptance of her laughter.

"In that case, allow me to rephrase. I accept your offer of joint study, but you should be aware of the reason." At length, he turned from the fire, his smile fading and the faintly predatory fierceness returning. "I have found that the knowledge I gather in my own studies is restricted by only one point of view. The use I can find for that knowledge, no matter how objectively I view it, is limited by a single perspective." He spoke matter-of-factly, although his pride was incensed by admitting even so small a weakness.

The most obvious advantage to this joint venture, by his reckoning, would be the potential to call on her aid in his own projects in the future. Though his interest in dhampirs was minimal, there were many subjects in the world he hadn't yet studied, and many of them were far less mundane than simple biology. To have access to her unique abilities in the field of arcanism would provide opprtunities for understanding that he might not otherwise have.

He advanced on her with his customary easy grace, the decisiveness of his movements making his intentions unclear until he stopped a few feet short and settled back into the chair across from her, resuming his steepled fingers and crosslegged poise. "A second set of eyes with subtly differing motivations would undeniably improve the yield of study in any field," he said as he watched her over those shapely, pointed nails. "Furthermore, working with you would provide the unique opportunity to scrutinize another of my own kind more closely than I've ever been able to. A willing subject is, after all, always the most informative."

Shaodin let these words stand between them for a moment, a clear declaration that he would be compiling information about her as much as about the subject of their study. She would accept or reject these terms according to her will, and he would of course cede to her decision. What remained unspoken, and what likely didn't need saying, was that his use of any information they gleaned from this joint enterprise would be used as he saw fit. In truth, he suspected that they would find little more of use regarding the nature of the dhampir than his own notes would provide, excepting the obvious variations accounted for by the specific heritage of their subject.

"I believe you're well enough acquainted with my interests at this point to know that I have no inclination toward hostility, and that my observations would be purely academic." Perhaps all of this didn't warrant saying aloud. She would, after all, undoubtedly keep her own mental dossier on his involvement in the venture. Still, it felt appropriate to make her aware that his benefit would be as much from working with her as the subject of their work. "Any information I choose to compile will, of course, be available to you in my library." He had after all, tacitly offered her the use of any of the information in his library. That offer in itself was tantamount to permitting her to study him in turn, in a way. The human personality which exceeded what of him that was made up of the knowledge he'd compiled was so far in the distant past that its addition to him was infinitesimal.

"We can begin at your pleasure, tespin." The Arangothek word seemed foreign to his mouth, made moreso by the clipped accent with which he spoke.

User avatar
Nymphetamine
Admin
Posts: 597
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 1:09 pm
Preferred Title: Marog the Destroyer
Characters: Aezra
Azalia Stygian
Eliya Almakira al-Fasaad
Ianesene
Isabelle Auxerre
Nesira Vertal
Rix
Senkessa Silak-Dekhal
Siraz'jah Av'Zathrak
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Welcome to My City

Post by Nymphetamine » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:59 pm

They continued to observe one another. Their social calls, as few and far between as they were, were usually academic in nature. This was the first of its kind, a proposed joint venture between them. What information was gleaned on dhampirs would be secondary to the information found of one another. While he was at least open in his desire for studying her, it would be foolhardy to believe that Isabelle hadn't thought of doing the same to him when given the chance. It was inevitable that they would turn their keen interests on one another.

She had partaken of such an arrangement in the past on a handful of occasions over the years, though the last had turned sour. Getting in over her head, drowning in blood and capture. It was embarassing to even recall, but she did not suspect that they would repeat that between them. Shaodin seemed to have nothing more than a passing curiousity for her, and they were more evenly matched in age, and perhaps even ability. It was an unknowable thing, but a risk worth taking in her estimation at least. Clearly, he felt the same or he wouldn't have offered his this counter-proposal of his own.

He was hardly a fool, he would know that she would be turning as much interest on him as he on her over the course of their study. Reciprocation seemed only natural.

Her smile remained, carefully practiced and mask-like in its lack of cracks. While it was true that her initial interest had entirely been on the dhampir in question, Shaodin had opened up a world of curiousity for her. Before she even verbally agreed, she knew that she would. Still, best not to appear too eager. Emotions seemed a crass weakness of mortality and one that she did not indulge in often, certainly not to any extremes. But her thirst for knowledge and information was forever eternal, and if nothing else, she betrayed that interest in minute ways like the flickering of her eyes and the keen hunger there.

After a few moments of pause of this tableau, she nodded. "Very well," her smooth soprano tones came, agreeing to his terms without negotiation. "I agree to your terms. It will definitely be an interesting arrangement, but I feel that it can be mutually beneficial to us both." In this she tipped off that she would be paying him as much mind as he did her. It was only fair to show as much curiousity in him as he did in her.

"It's been some time since I've last had a research partner of any sort."

Her husband was a military man, not a scholar, chosen only for his might and the fact he had cast hungry eyes at Drache. Best to protect Transdariania as best as she could and keep Asnerith Dreth at bay. As much as was possible, at the very least. He was busy on the Minkbranthan border and that would do for a time. The production of his heir would likewise keep him interested in the next few years. Maybe even a second.

It wasn't like Isabelle for her thoughts to wander so much, but they did so, feeling out all these fingers to their fascinating conclusions. Still, she remained as focused on him as she could be, her face turned politely turned to him as he spoke. She was an attentive conversationalist when she wasn't putting on airs. By now, her wine had been forgotten as the mortal prop it was, unneeded, though still held in one pretty mitt as she watched him.

"I have no interest in starting some arms race or feud with you. It does not suit me to play in games of power and struggle with others of our kind." That being said, Isabelle had always been more bent towards scholarly pursuits, studying her various fields over the centuries with rabid devotion. It might not have needed to be put into the open so plainly, but she was more or less agreeing with him. This was a matter of pure academia.

"It will take a week or more to clone the dhampir in question. It simply would not do for me to take a prisoner of the city and just experiment on her. But after the clone is grown, we could do whatever we wished. Perhaps even grow two at the same time. My facilities can accommodate it, if necessary."

She pursed her lips, her free hand lifting to rap her fingers against her chin in thoughtful expression. It would be necessary to give him access to the space in the labratory, but she would have to sequester it to a contained area. While she trusted Shaodin enough to go in on this joint venture, it would not do to have him wander about the labratory, to find her half grown child or other such projects.

"Perhaps a week or two more to set up a space in my lab so we can do our work in piece."

There was no rush as far as she was concerned.

Krisael
Civic Guard
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:10 pm
Characters: Davram, Derek, Shaodin, Koz Undakh

Re: Welcome to My City

Post by Krisael » Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:15 pm

At her mention of time he waved a dismissive hand and intoned smoothly in his elegant baritone, "Of course, you will call upon me when you are ready to begin." Waiting for her invitation would be no bother. Indeed, it would give him the opportunity to feed in the manner he preferred, rather than the hasty harvesting that so many of their kind reveled in. The immortal were as much victims as their chosen prey when they fed that way. Shaodin was not so pretentious as to believe that he was less susceptible to his thirst than any other of their kind, but ten centuries of careful discipline and ritual had been his salvation against victimhood.

An interim silence fell then, the crackling of the fire filling the comfortably warm room. Though he didn't bother with changing his unblemished alabaster mask, it was clear he meant to continue after a time. Whether his expression changed or not, the weight of his thoughts was almost palpable as he considered his next words.

"Would it be more convenient to proceed from my home?" For him, certainly. Shaodin had no intention of enduring the painstaking process of relocating his sanctum to Drache, and he would not take his daily rest outside its confines. To shuttle back and forth from Elgaria by mundane means would not do at all. He did possess other means of transportation which would suffice, and without much bother at that. Partly, he made the offer because he perceived that it was only polite to do so. After all, she was providing their subject, and moreover she had welcomed him within her domain, to a degreed. As much as anything, though, he was curious whether she would accept the offer of use of his facilities.

He could conjure a number of perceivable advantages, but to conduct the study in his home rather than hers would give him freer access to their subject or subjects than she would have, and after all it had been she that had proposed the venture. Perhaps she would not relinquish so much control so easily.

Again, the thrill of asking questions to which he did not already know the answers struck him, and he made a mental note of caution. He was not prone to fanciful pursuit of pleasure, but he knew well enough from his mortal life that a lack of predilection did not mean immunity. Whether she was aware of his inability to read her or not, it could too easily be turned to her advantage, even in such brief encounters as they usually enjoyed.

The potential for disastrous ends still swirled and eddied in the depths of his mind, and her unknowable motivation and intent made the normal clarity of those flows murky to him. He set his will to ordering those chaotic tangents of thought, analyzing each potential outcome of their union with the careful scrutiny of a strategist playing out each potential gambit in his mind before moving his piece. Of course, in this case, he'd already committed to one maneuver; it was the fallout he set about predicting. Centuries of practice at the meticulous scrutiny of the interaction between various forms of life and unlife had made him habitually analytical.

"No special precautions would be necessary, and my laboratories have ample space available." Shaodin qualified at length. "Indeed, you might find a few of my present ventures quite interesting. And of course, I'm sure I could either fabricate or transport any special apparatus you might feel you need." His own means of recreating living beings was quite accurate, but he suspected that she would trust her own means to provide precisely identical subjects for study. He would have, after all, if this had been his endeavor rather than hers.

The elder necromancer let the offer stand between them, watching her with dark eyes that seemed to see through the plane of her flawless facade whether they actually did or not.

User avatar
Nymphetamine
Admin
Posts: 597
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 1:09 pm
Preferred Title: Marog the Destroyer
Characters: Aezra
Azalia Stygian
Eliya Almakira al-Fasaad
Ianesene
Isabelle Auxerre
Nesira Vertal
Rix
Senkessa Silak-Dekhal
Siraz'jah Av'Zathrak
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Welcome to My City

Post by Nymphetamine » Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:16 pm

His offer of a suitable space provided her with the excuse -not- to indulge any curiousities about her own labratory. Which meant that the child gestating in its arcane apparatus would be safe from any prying eyes. Not that she necessarily thought that he would snoop, but how often did one of their kind get invited into the lair of another?

Isabelle was inclined to accept and lifted her hands in a gesture of finality, clapping them together once. Her smile laced her lips upwards at the corners, obviously please and clearly quite ammenable to these arrangements as they were being defined. While transportation to and from Shaodin's workspace, or even to his house with body in tow might prove challenging, she had no doubt that she would find some workable solution. Under cover of darkness and shadow anything could happen.

"These terms sound agreeable. I will set about procuring our subject and cloning it."

While the clone would be somewhat weaker than its original, it would allow them to easily claim the subject, without any entanglements from the legal system of Drache. The donor could regrow her hand, or not, it wouldn't really matter much to Isabelle either way.

She rose from her chair and set the wine aside on his desk or a nearby table. "It seems that we have reached an accord. I will send word once our subject is ready." Another little smile at that, as if this was the greatest pleasure she could think of. And in truth, it was, by most definitions, at any rate.

"I look forward to our research, Shaodin. This will be most illuminating," she said softly, eyes full of interest. "I will see myself out."

The younger vampire turned to go, waiting long enough for him to make any closing remarks before slipping into the nearest shadow and making her way out of his home.

Krisael
Civic Guard
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:10 pm
Characters: Davram, Derek, Shaodin, Koz Undakh

Re: Welcome to My City

Post by Krisael » Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:50 pm

The elder vampire had no such parting comments. He stood as she did, as was only proper and remained on his bare feet until she had reached the door to the dark corridor beyond this modicum of a sanctuary. As she crossed the space with all the grace he found so appealing in her as a peer, perhaps grace he couldn't quite achieve himself for all his airs, he considered the agreement they'd made.

In him there always existed an animal heart, and if he felt envy, it was at the thought that she'd killed the animal in her own. He had layered so many shackles and chains of ritual and polite graces on that beast that had filled the hollow place his soul had left in the moment of his death that its stirrings were infrequent. But as he watched her walk away from him with all her cool reserve and camoflage that allowed her to thrive among the living, a small smile curved the pale coral of his lips.

His smile was neither affectionate nor malicious, but if he had a closing remark it was that smile, visible on his regal features in the moment before he turned away from her to resume his study of the fire. "Oh, the places we will go," it seemed to say. "Oh the things we will do." And beneath all of that calm poise, the animal that denned in the void left by his long-departed humanity hated, and envied, and hungered, and Shaodin threw more chains to bind it.

The silent halls of his home were awash with the shadows she sought, though through the door at which she stood, she might see her own dancing in the light of the fire that so fascinated him. And perhaps looking at herself cast in a stark negative, she would think of him.

Post Reply