November 2003 - Mail Archives

Coordination and information for the various volunteers of BDI.
Jayne
Viscount
Posts: 359
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:42 pm
Preferred Title: Nymphadora
Characters: [Main Characters]
Lucinda Darke
Nixlya Silkire
Apple/Faedre
Inessa Deathsong
Kaitlyn
Location: Australia

Re: November 2003 - Mail Archives

Post by Jayne » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:58 pm

A meeting with one Resque Maessen...
Author: Sinner or Saint
14 November 2003

((Once again, not pretty, but this meeting took place between Resque, Zesstra, and Lucius))

[18:08] <Resque> House of Maessen & Son Shipwright and Mercantile's new Wharf District shipping office sprawled over three prime marine lots on the waterfront, a three-story monstrosity in red brick and glasss that looked more like a fortress than a merchant's headquarters. Security was tight: the glass windows were covered by sturdy-looking and off-duty Alesian varniok manned the front gate and strolled the interior grounds. Zesstra (and Lucius, if he came) seemed to have been expected. Admitted to the front gate, it was a short walk down a gravel path, carefully sculpted gardens on either side, to the front door where a balding Xiunlan man in a green tunic stood waiting to receive. From the front door, there was a brisk climb up a winding wrought-iron staircase to the building's rooftop observation deck. There the tai-pan, Resque, was seated at a small glass-topped table eating a late lunch, a brazier crackling beside him for warmth. Noting the arrival(s), he set down his fork and knife, slowly unfolded himself from his chair, and smiled. "Good afternoon," he said, gesturing to the chair(s) opposite. "Come and sit. I was just finishing my lunch."

[18:18] Zesstra> She was, for the time, off duty, and thus did not present herself in the full garb customary to a guards woman. She dressed for the chill in the air, wearing breeches of a dark grey suede and a thick, woollen shirt of the same color tucked in to them. They matched the steel-cold color of her eyes, and the bluish-black tint of her skin seemed a shade or two darker. Her hair is down, falling in a snow white tumble down her back, and she appeared to have no visible weaponry about her. Odd, perhaps, considering the area of town she had come to, and alone at that. She spoke harshly, her voice rough and heavily accented. "Vorfon Maessen, I presume. My Captain extends his thanks for granting this meeting with me." She then took a seat in one of the offered chairs, folding herself gracefully into it and reclining back, one leg crossing over the other.

[18:19] <Resque> This was a more casual, reserved Resque Maessen than the one seen about town. His clothes were simple: baggy, black breeches of the sort favoured by Xiunlan fishermen, rope-soled sandals, and a crumpled grey linen shirt that he wore untucked with its collar open and its sleeves rolled to mid-forearm. A coarse woollen sweater hung on the chair behind him; it and the brazier seemed enough to keep him warm. His only finery was the comb that kept his hair in a small ponytail at the back of his head; it was carved from blue Xiunlan jade and probably priceless. "My pleasure," he said, waiting until Zesstra had settled before retaking his chair. "I understand the Captain's need to be informed. Now, what would you like to know, Arms-Corporal?"

[18:23] Zesstra> She had, tucked under her arm, of course, the satchel she had been carrying about recently, and she settled it across her lap and unlaced the front flap, producing two pieces of parchment paper - the list of names Lytia had provided her. "I am unaware how much you know of the current situation, so before I begin, I would like you to take a look at these names and tell me if you know of any of them." She leaned forward, placing the papers atop the table in front of him.

[18:28] <Resque> He pushed his plate forward a fraction on the table, dabbed the corners of his mouth with a napkin. A liveried Xiunlan attendant removed the plate. "Certainly," he said, ignoring the attendant as he fished a pair of silver-framed reading glasses from his front pocket, unfolded them, and perched them on the end of his nose before frowning down at the paper. As was his habit, he read twice. Done, he looked up at Zesstra, shook his head. "Not a one."

[18:33] Zesstra> "I thought you'd say that." She took the papers back, tucking them safely into the satchel once more. "That list, is a list of names that Magistrate Seward provided me as 'evidence' against Councillor Reizeau. She says these merchants claim to have been assaulted by city guards and robbed." She glanced up, fixing him with a stare that to some, might seem uncomfortable. "She made it rather blatant and insistent to point out that these merchants were associated with you."

[18:39] <Resque> Sandy brows arched over his large, deceptively vacant blue eyes, but he didn't look all that surprised. "Even if these people exist, which I highly doubt, they're not associated with me even indirectly, I micromanage my company. I haven't a single client who I'm not on a first name basis with," he said, the corners of his mouth twisting his lips into a thoughtful frown that was soon hidden by the rim of his glass as he took a sip of wine. He didn't sound all that surprised, either.

[18:42] Zesstra> "Your business associations with this city are thus far legitimate and within the legal bounds set forth. Whatever you do outside those bounds, if anything, at least you keep it quiet. It appears that Magistrate Seward is seeking to topple the good name that you have here as well, Vorfon, by insinuating your cooperation with what can only be called blatant falsehood." She steeples her hands for a moment, and regarded him thoughtfully. "It seems as though you've been dragged into this unwillingly, and have reached quite a conundrum."

[18:48] <Lucius`> It had taken Lucius a little more effort to get to the waterfront, not wanting to end up arrested by his rebellious wharf patrol. But now he has arrived at Maessen's headquarters, and is shown up to the room where Zesstra and Resque are conversing. He'd dispensed with his formal guard uniform, but he still came armed and armoured in case of trouble. He didn't dare do otherwise at the moment.

[18:48] <Resque> Listening, he set his glass aside and smiled. "I'd say my name as far from good and, even if it were, I can't imagine it have all that far to topple. As for Magistrate Seward, she hasn't put me in all that bad a conundrum," he said as mildly as he might, sure of himself. He didn't speak to whether or not he had been dragged into the affair unwillingly. Then, again getting to his feet: "Ah, Captain Von Stahl Welcome."

[18:51] Zesstra> She stood as well, giving a short bow in acknowledgement to Lucius. "Captain, good you could make it. I presented Vorfon Maessen with the list of names, and, though this comes as no shock at all, he hasn't heard of a single one of them."

[18:56] * Lucius` nods to Zesstra and Resque both as he approaches the table. "I wish I could say I was surprised." He replies, frowning as he stuffs his gloves into his belt and unties his scarf so it hangs loose around his neck. "I received a copy of a letter that Magistrate Seward sent to her fellow Magistrates this morning." He produces the letter from a leather pouch on his belt, and places it on the table in front of Resque. "I wish to hear your thoughts regarding its contents, Vorfon Maessen."

[19:01] Zesstra> She took her seat once more, pointed ears tuned in on the conversation, though she let her gaze wander, taking in the view. She knew nothing of this letter, and remained quiet on the matter.

[18:57] <Resque> They were on the building's rooftop deck. The floor was planked and surrounded by a wall high enough to afford privacy and protection, but low enough to not to ruin the view of the harbour and the bay beyond. The deck was a sore spot with many locals; the building was a story taller than any other on the waterfront and, consequently, one couldn't enjoy a view of the harbor without also enjoying a view of the tai-pan entertaining his guests. It was really quite irksome. "Of course," he said, taking the letter. He read it once, then a second time. His expression was blank, a poker player's mask. Then, refolding the letter and handing it back to Von Stahl: "There's some truth to it. I have backed Magistrate Eppilius or rather I've promised to back him and the Chancellery magistrates when matters come to a head with the Council over Aridia Vlorress' citizenship bid. But as matters have not yet come to a head, I have given Magistrate Eppilius nothing more than my advice. There was a meeting with myself and Magistrates Eppilius and Seward at the Silver Swan. The kidnapping, murder, and sidelining of Councillor Reizeau, Lady Overseer Daranek, and yourself was discussed, though I counselled against any such drastic action. We were discussing what might happen when the Chancellery denied the Council's order to confer citizenship on Aridia Vlorress. I was of the opinion that, were that to happen, the Guard would remain neutral and Reizeau and Lorla powerless. I didn't see the need for them to die. As for my wishing to employ the threat of Alesian intervention as a bluff?" he raised his shoulders in a shrug of characteristic Sharnylian indifference. "Well, Magistrate Seward, Councillor Aldenbar, and yourself can decide whether I'm bluffing or not. It rather depends on whether or not the Chancellery elects to stand against the Council over Aridia Vlorress."

[19:12] Zesstra> At that, her attention snapped wholly back on the man they'd come to question. Both white brows shot up, and were it not clenched so tightly, her jaw would have dropped. This is outrageous! This cannot be allowed to continue. If you think it has not come to a head, you are sorely mistaken, Vorfon. Her next words, whatever they may be, were cut off in a sharp hiss, muttered in drow.

[19:15] <Resque> "For me, Arms-Corporal, it has not yet come to a head. I will only act when and if the Chancellery elects to stand against the Council and only if they're standing against the Council as a response to the Council's order that Vlorress be given citizenship," he replied without raising his voice. "I will back the Chancellery then, but now? Magistrate Seward's actions of the other night amount to a naked power grab. I can't stand behind it. Nor can my clients and patrons."

[19:16] <Lucius`> Unlike Zesstra, Lucius doesn't express any shock or outrage. He'd been playing his cards close to his chest when he spoke to Lytia. He didn't want to give too much away to Maessen, because he wasn't sure whether he could or should trust the man. "I have not heard anything from Magistrate Eppilus yet, though I have had more than one person claim that he is potentially violent and unstable. What is your opinion of the man?"

[19:17] <Lucius`> The fact that he'd been in a powerfully foul mood since Lytia's power grab didn't make it hard to conceal his reactions. He looked displeased with everything right about now.

[19:19] Zesstra> Displeased wasn't even a close second to what she felt at the moment. Had she been able to spit venom, she would have, though her anger wasn't so much directed at anyone present, more at the whole situation. She crossed one leg over the other, her foot bobbing in the air - a sure sign of her agitation. She was normally so still...

[19:21] <Resque> "I think Magistrate Eppilius is a merchant, Captain," he said simply. Which was to say that he thought Segovax would vote with his purse. "And like a great many merchants of my acquaintance has a strong dislike of the Council. Violent? No more so than Magistrate Seward. Unstable? He's third generation wealth, but he hasn't squandered his fortune. Nor have I. Appearances can be deceiving. That is my opinion."

[19:24] <Lucius`> "If you will permit me to be perfectly blunt, Vorfon Maessen, what is it that you and your fellow merchants had hoped to gain in the end by supporting the Chancellery against the Council?" Lytia had said that he wanted a puppet governor, and had insinuated that the Royal Guard would become a subsidiary of Maessen & Son. While that was no doubt an exaggeration, he did suspect that Maessen and his merchants' consortium were looking for greater influence.

[19:31] <Resque> "Ideally, a puppet government," he replied without hesitation. Usually he paused to think before he spoke, but he had already had two days' time with which to choose his words. "More realistically? Influence. Lower taxes. A responsive governmental body. Our due. Or mine, anyhow. I've helped Drache in more ways than one, but it hasn't gotten me a great deal. I'm tired of paying the Korthai."

[19:33] <Resque> "A voice," he added with a shrug. "Take your pick."

[19:33] Zesstra> She shook her head at this. At least the man was honest, for that she couldn't fault him. "This isn't exactly the best way to go about this."

[19:35] <Lucius`> The blunt honesty was unexpected, and it took Lucius a moment to recover his poise. Resque will be able to see plainly that admitting that a puppet government would be his ideal situation had shaken the Guard Captain up a bit, but his realistic goals were more palatable, and the honesty was appreciated. "This isn't the best way to go about doing anything. The city is growing more fractious by the hour, and a bloodless solution is going to require the sort of unity that isn't present at the moment."

[19:37] <Resque> "Well, I haven't gone about it yet, now, have I?" he replied, favouring Zesstra with a thin smile. "I've yet to act and won't until the Chancellery gives me a legitimate reason to. Also, it's the only way I've got at my disposal just now." Then to Lucius: "I can see a solution, but I think he's still in Hornath ul-Marfed conferring with the King."

[19:39] <Resque> "And, outside of Councillor Reizeau's kidnapping and the Lady Overseer's being wounded, we've yet to have major bloodshed and I'd be willing to wager we won't for awhile yet--unless its Magistrate Seward's." If the Guard didn't find her, then the King Wai would.

[19:40] Zesstra> "He is due back soon though, am I correct?" She believed she remembered that being discussed last night, and she had visibly calmed herself. Resque's smile met a deadpan expression in return, but she at least lofted a single brow at him.

[19:45] <Lucius`> "Yes. A great deal seems to hinge on what will happen when Lord Aldenbar returns from the North. Lytia has been doing everything in her power to convince people that when he returns, it will be with an army behind him. Councillor Daranek doesn't seem to think so. If there is a date he is due back, I am unaware of it, but I do hope it will be before too much longer."

[19:46] <Lucius`> "And Magistrate Seward has taken refuge in the Royal Church. It would seem that she realizes how thin the ice she's standing on has become."

[19:47] Zesstra> She leaned over to the Captain then, and in hushed tones whispered, "Captain, this man has a great deal of influence in the wharf district. Would it be possible he may know more of Reizeau's imprisonment?"

[19:48] <Lucius`> "And, as you can see, she has threatened that Councillor Reizeau will die if she's arrested. Harscorn is preparing for a war--he's even placed artillery behind the Iron Gate aimed into the Blkdragon District."

[19:48] * Lucius` lifts one finger in response to Zesstra's question, indicating he'd get to that in a moment.

[19:51] Zesstra> "Mm." She nodded and reclined back in her chair. It seemed she and the Captain were like-minded on many things. She found that while having respect for him, she also rather enjoyed the fact that they were seeing eye to eye on so many issues. Perhaps it was good that she had become involved. The half-drow cleared her throat softly but said no more.

[19:51] <Resque> The thought of Lytia cowering in the Royal Church was happy and amusing. "Well, we can only put faith in Councillor Aldenbar's prudence, that he won't return at the head of an army and won't be put in the position of calling my bluff," he said before taking another sip of wine. "And yes, it does rather look as if the Wharf Garrison has been mobilised, doesn't it? My apologies, Captain, but I can't say that I mind. Not in light of Magistrate Seward's actions or that Councillor Aldenbar might in fact return with an army. If it comes to that, I'd rather like the Guard there to hold back the army while I evacuate." Harscorn wasn't Resque's man to order. He hoped he was still Segovax's man and that Segovax would disavow him.

[19:56] Zesstra> Grey eyes flickered toward the Captain. The guard here... well, it was likely it would be more of a hindrance than a help, should the proverbial shit hit the fan. Her thin lips pressed together while she gathered her thoughts.

[20:00] <Lucius`> "The Wharf Garrison is in open rebellion against me at the moment, and I do mind this situation very much. And I don't look forward to the possibility to my men having to slaughter each other. It is my wish that this situation be resolved and I regain control of the full complement of the Guard without leaving Drache's defending force decimated."

[20:06] <Resque> "In that case, Captain, I would counsel you to hold your men at bay and tolerate the rogue elements of the Wharf Garrison for awhile longer, thus allowing for the chance of a bloodless solution," he said, setting his glass aside. "That's my thinking. You're free to take it or not."

[20:08] Zesstra> "Those rogue elements have Councillor Reizeau, Vorfon. I would not put it past them to murder him, or worse, should things not take a turn to the side they are working for. I cannot lay blame on each and every one of them. They follow their commander, as do I, but they are pawns, like the rest of us.

[20:10] <Lucius`> "That is my present course of action, though no such opportunities have arisen yet. And regarding Councillor Reizeau, have you heard anything about him or the conditions of his imprisonment? You are very well-connected, and I can't overlook that your headquarters is on this side of the Iron Gate, while mine is on the other."

[20:15] <Resque> "You are certain of that, Arms-Corporal? How do you know Magistrate Seward's backers aren't holding the Councillor?" Then to Lucius: "I've heard nothing save that he was taken from the Blackdragon by elements of the Royal Guard loyal to Magistrate Seward." This was true. If he did know who held Reizeau, he would urge them to keep him healthy and happy. He hoped Segovax knew where he was or found him, but not until after the Chancellery elected to disband the Council (it could hardly govern Southern Arangoth when no-one was there: Marcion was in the north, Harlst in Mhernettla, and Reizeau missing. Besides, Segovax could always find or save Reizeau and hand him over as a show of good faith. So he rather hoped Lytia wasn't witting to the Councillor's location.

[20:17] Zesstra> "Vorfon, I saw Tarn Harscon take him from the Inn with my own eyes the night Magistrate Seward ordered his arrest. Other guards tried to pursue him and prevent his escaping to the wharf district. They were both injured in the attempt, and Harscon's men ensured he was able to get away with the Councilor. Shortly after this is when he fortified and sealed the Iron Gate."

[20:22] <Resque> As a point of fact, the Iron Gate wasn't sealed. Just fortified. People could pass in and out, but they did so under the gaze of the guards holding it. "Then perhaps you are correct. Still, it occurs to me that Magistrate Seward may be the one to speak to regarding the Councillor's whereabouts. Tarn was obviously her man."

[20:26] <Lucius`> "She was very forthright in admitting that he is her hostage, and has no inclination to reveal where he is being held."

[20:28] <Resque> "Well, there it is," he said, lifting his hands in a gesture of supplication. "If I knew where he was, Captain, I would see him safe."

[20:28] Zesstra> "I took the liberty of flying over the wharf today. They took the liberty of shooting at me as I did so, if that gives you any idea."

[20:31] <Lucius`> "How did your partner respond to being shot at? I don't imagine he was too pleased by it."

[20:32] > She grinned, and it was almost disconcerting when she did. "Captain, if he had had the inclination, he would have eaten them. Luckily we only meant to get a good look, and not to interfere."

[20:35] <Resque> He glanced between the Arms-Corporal and the Captain, politely interested. Then, when he found a break: "Captain, as your office is on the other side of the Iron Gate and as I have not intention of leaving my post here for awhile yet, I wonder if you would explain to Vorfon Aldenbar when he arrives that he has my guarantee of safe conduct, for what it's worth. Provided he doesn't arrive at the head of an army."

[20:36] <Lucius`> "If he has an army, doubt he'll need anyone's promise of safe conduct. Let us pray that he doesn't. But if I should hear that he has returned before you get word, I will relay your message to him. Is there anything else you'd care to discuss before the Corporal and I return to the Guardhouse?"

[20:41] <Resque> "One more thing," he said, offering them a perfunctory nod. "When and if the Chancellery announces its move against the Council, take it for what it is: an announcement. There will be no moves against the you, the Lady Overseer, or the Royal Guard. For what it is worth, I give you my word on this. The merchants will declare for the Chancellery, but they will not move against the Council or the Guard. In truth, right now, there is no Council to move against. I have been forthright with you so far and would continue to be. I tell you because I would not have you surprised and, personally, have no want of unnecessary bloodshed."

[20:43] Zesstra> She took the unspoken cue, and rose from her chair. The satchel was once again tucked under one arm, and she merely stood, waiting for the Captain to rise to take his leave as well. That is somewhat comforting, at least.

[20:49] * Lucius` rises as well, taking the letter from Lytia and rolling it back up. He pulls his gloves back on, and adjusts his scarf. "I want to avoid bloodshed and restore order and the rule of law most of all. I can only hope, as you do, that Vorfon Aldenbar will bring the solution to this with him when he returns. I am above all a servant of the Crown, and the King's response will influence the Guard's ultimate disposition. If Magistrate Seward seemed a bit short on ideas when I asked her how she hoped to resolve the situation."

[20:52] Zesstra> "Thank you, Vorfon Maessen, for agreeing to see us, and for your frankness. It was refreshing." She gave him a parting glance, not an unfriendly one, but still, concerned. She turned to take her leave.

[20:53] <Resque> He rose, saw them as far as the door. The Xiunlan attendant would see them out.

[20:53] <Lucius`> "Thank you, Vorfon Maessen, for your time."

Jayne
Viscount
Posts: 359
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:42 pm
Preferred Title: Nymphadora
Characters: [Main Characters]
Lucinda Darke
Nixlya Silkire
Apple/Faedre
Inessa Deathsong
Kaitlyn
Location: Australia

Re: November 2003 - Mail Archives

Post by Jayne » Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:21 pm

Retaliation.
Author: Brian Rue
15 November 2003

After the incursion of a dragon rider over the Wharf yesterday, that very much put not only his men at risk, but scared the hell out of the locals and livestock, an example had to be made. Stahl wouldn't be left to think he could do such whenever he liked.

Much as when they took the Iron Gate, Harscon's ranger team choice to operate at night. They wore civilian attire, for ease of passage, but overlapping such were a load baring H harness loaded down with various gear, short swords at their hips and heavy crossbows slung across their backs. There was an equipment drop-off concealed in the Forest Reserve, for ease of operating behind "enemy" lines.

Zesstra made a stupid mistake, and she'd be the one to blame for it. The good Captain needed to keep a better leash on his people.

It was late. Four o'clock in the morning, the city patrols usually dragged a little during the graveyard shift. They were holding up well enough under the stress, save for the dragon rider's little joy flight, but even the best men lacked some of their wits this late. It wasn't hard to travel unnoticed.

The target was one of the armouries, particularly the one that stored various artillery pieces. Well lit, even tired men would immediately notice their approach from the front. So the twelve man element waited and watched--a patrol passed by every half hour, plus the detail guarding. By the by, they had a window to operate.

Two at the entrance were standing obvious guard, well illuminated by torchlight, while another half dozen or so stood around a small fire to warm their hands. After all, it was a cold night.

Six men approached up along both sides of the armoury, heavy crossbows unslung and pressed to their shoulders. Popping up almost simultaneously from both sides caught the guard detail almost entirely by surprise, although one man went to hollar to his comrades, was rapidly silenced by a crossbow butt to the jaw. Down he went, and two rangers broke off the group to secure them.

The rest of the guards were alerted, and much readier to resist. A semi circle of ten special purpose rangers surrounded them, crossbows trained.

"Down, now! On the ground now or you and your friends die."

Already bound and gagged, one of the two pacified guards now had a hunting knife to his throat. Harscon's Border Watch men wouldn't hesitate.

No one wanted to see their buddies buy it. Not at four in the morning

"Sonnuva..."

It summed up their disposition. Reluctantly, the city guards would submit, and were bound and gagged in turn. The door to a nearby, empty storehouse was shouldered open, and the group of prisoners deposited under the watchful eyes of two rangers. The others, some posing out front as the detail, went to work inside. Carefully unpacking bottles of specialised burning oil, they set about dousing the artillery pieces and ballistaes, along with all the key load baring points of the armoury. Thirteen minutes had gone by.

A torch was taken from outside, and with nearly the entire interior slicked down with oil, it lit up like an inferno. A swift burning fire, that once the oil inside burned off and thoroughly annihilated the siege-making arsenal, could be easily contained and stopped from spreading. The pacified guard detail would likely be discovered uninjured, save for one bruised jaw. On one a letter addressed to Captain von Stahl. It read:

"It's so hard to keep things bloodless when you see fit to send dragons at my men. Any more incursion into the Wharf will be met with two of your men's lives for every one of mine. Me enxenim. Tarn Harscon".

The ranger element slipped back into the night, to their safehouse and await further orders.

Jayne
Viscount
Posts: 359
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:42 pm
Preferred Title: Nymphadora
Characters: [Main Characters]
Lucinda Darke
Nixlya Silkire
Apple/Faedre
Inessa Deathsong
Kaitlyn
Location: Australia

Re: November 2003 - Mail Archives

Post by Jayne » Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:31 pm

Coming Soon to a playhouse near you:
Alexander Wood
15 November 2003

The Association of Broadcasting Conjurers present: koithserx avot("two-ten four" in Arangothian), the hottest new play to be performed! Each one-hour showing of the play will be completely different, representing a different hour in the same day, united by the actions of a single heroic Royal Guardman.

[cue voice over, with images of actors dressed like Reizeau, Lucius, Lytia, Segovax, Zesstra, Ketara, et cetera]

"Right now, magistrates are plotting to overthrow the king. Councilman Reizeau is in danger. And people I work with may be involved in both. I'm Royal Guard Jack ul-Bauek, and today is the worst day of my life."

Presented in real-time! No show is as thrilling as this!

Jayne
Viscount
Posts: 359
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:42 pm
Preferred Title: Nymphadora
Characters: [Main Characters]
Lucinda Darke
Nixlya Silkire
Apple/Faedre
Inessa Deathsong
Kaitlyn
Location: Australia

Re: November 2003 - Mail Archives

Post by Jayne » Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:33 pm

Unto Tarn Harscon.
Alexander Wood
15 Nov 2003


[Delivered by, oddly, an acolyte of the Royal Church]

Tarn,

I am sorry things have ended up this way. As I see it, my part in this game is over. I am going to Alesia. Please make sure the final preparations are in order.

I have no more influence within the city, save perhaps over a few people who cannot stop what has been started. By the time you read this, I will already have left, and attempting to contact me will be useless.

I am not sure how to advise you in your feud with the Royal Guard. They operate on a chain of command and could probably be thrown into confusion if the first links in the chain are severed.

Segovax is being backed by Resque Maessen, who will no doubt call in mercenary companies now that the Council has been dissolved. He may threaten to employ Alesian troops to pacify the city. For what it is worth, this is a bluff. As you control the wharf, it may be prudent to sink all of the Maessen and Son ships currently in port. Now that you are a liability, Resque will likely sell you out to Lucius, possibly using his ships to ferry an attack force into the harbour. He has betrayed allies in the past.

Enclosed in this parcel is a vial of blood. Smearing it on your face will cause a dramatic change in your appearance for the period of one day. If things go badly for you, I advise you not to be too proud a soldier to use it and retreat.

I wish you good luck.

Lytia C. Seward
Magistrate of Drache
Ilanashi fe smrt.

Jayne
Viscount
Posts: 359
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:42 pm
Preferred Title: Nymphadora
Characters: [Main Characters]
Lucinda Darke
Nixlya Silkire
Apple/Faedre
Inessa Deathsong
Kaitlyn
Location: Australia

Re: November 2003 - Mail Archives

Post by Jayne » Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:34 pm

A Tactical Retreat, part I
Alexander Wood
15 Nov 2003

Paetines' stories had worn on her, and so she had taken her leave of him an hour or so after she had finished talking to Lucius. She could tell it was hopeless for her, and so she sat before the icon of Pallodain in a state of sorcerous meditations. It just wasn't the same as at home, though, in her real sanctuary, not this crummy religious legal one. She was safe from arrest here, at least, and had time to think.

Still, everything made her head hurt here, made the very blood in her veins simmer, ill at ease. She had crossed the magic seal, requiring very real protection, and had a desire to atone by opening the bag to Lucius. She had done so, but she doubted that the Captain had been persuaded. He wanted law and order, not righteousness.

* Ketara stepped into the church as quietly as possible, stopping just inside to look it over to both find Lytia and take in her first look at the building she'd passed by so many times. Though she'd heard a story about the seal, she'd shrugged it off as the sort of thing susceptible people believed about any holy place - until she took her first step across and paused again. The sorceress certainly felt
something.. Interesting. But there was Lytia. Church mysteries could be examined later.

Lytia doesn't seem to notice anything, as her back is to the entrance and her eyes have that glazed look of being deep in meditation.

* Ketara stopped beside Lytia and watched quietly for a moment. Disrupting meditation was a horrible offense to the Karidani so after a moment she opted to take a seat on one of the pews and wait for Lytia to finish. There was no place she had to be any time soon.

<Lytia> Aware of a presence beside her(apparently she wasn't so deep into the meditation), her head turns. "Oh...Ketara," she says, her tone a little unusual, almost wistful. The red-haired woman rises from her position to stand, her cheeks flushed a little red.

* Ketara nodded gravely and stood herself. Her winter cloak, black with violet dragons embroidered onto it, obscured most of her figure and her face was shadowed by the mass of hair that was left down to keep her neck warm during the season. She looked tired and rather sad. "Lytia..how are you?" She sounded polite, if distant.

"I'm ...not bad, for a traitor to the crown," Lytia says, her lips raising into a rueful smile. Her hand reaches out to briefly
touch Ketara's, her pale fingers trailing over her colleague's. "I'm sorry things had to end up like this. Me being afraid to leave this place, a bounty on my head, everything in shambles. Believe it or not, I was just trying to do what I thought was best."

* Ketara looked at her in surprise. How did she always manage to be behind everyone? "A bounty? Why? What's happened? No, don't tell me..the charges were fabricated, weren't they? What were you thinking, Lytia? Whatever happened to talking with the King or anything reasonable." She frowned darkly and pulled her hands out of the other woman's grasp. Right now she was simply furious that Lytia would put her in the position of judging a known lie.

<Lytia> Her brows knit in confusion. "You haven't seen the notices? Segovax dissolved the council -- in a gross abuse of power, I might add -- and has denounced me as a traitor, with a three hundred crown bounty on my head. I had my loyal printer make a number of notices exposing his crime, but I fear the powers that are running this show now are in alignment with one another."

* Ketara shakes her head vehemently. "That's insane...I can't believe that the Lady Councillor Reizeau appointed would be party to it. Have you spoken with her? She seems reasonable and level headed." She paused, her own brow furrowing in puzzlement. "What crimes of Segovax? I haven't seen or heard of this either."

"Well, the crime of, I don't know, declaring that the Regency Council is gone, has no more authority, that the Chancellery is running all of Southern Arangoth now," Lytia says. "It's all happened in the last few hours. That's why I'm here, so that I'm protected from being arrested."

* Ketara stared blankly at Lytia, tan face paling in a very ill look. "That..that's insane! He can't be serious. How could the Captain possibly go along with something so preposterous? It makes no sense!" She wrung her hands nervously, suddenly wanting to go back to the Inn and see about Lorla and Aridia.

"He is serious. The Captain's view of what's best for the city is the maintenance of law and order," she says with a long sigh, slumping down into a pew. "That translates, more or less, to bury his head in the sand because he doesn't want to oppose the merchants loyal to Segovax's patron Resque Maessen and the mercenary companies hired with Maessen money to claim this city. I had hoped to rock the boat by arresting Reizeau, to make a situation where Lucius would be compelled to do something, but that rather blew up in my face," Lytia says placidly, not bitter about her failure. "So I'm to sit here and be bored to tears by these priests for a few days while I see what transpires."

* Ketara sighed heavily and sank onto the pew again, at least she didn't slump. She never slumped. "I thought Resque was your man? Didn't you say he was one of the merchants accusing Reizeau?" Sighing again she leaned her head back and looked at the ceiling, dreading the
answer to her next question. "And what has Segovax done with Reizeau? And Lorla, if he has her?"

"No, Resque is no one's man but his own. Segovax does not have Reizeau, Tarn Harscon still does, in the Wharf Garrison. Tarn was recruited by Segovax but I do not know how loyal they are. Segovax has expressed a desire to kill Reizeau to me in the past, and so I think that the Councilman is not long for this world," Lytia says softly.

* Ketara leaned her elbows on her legs and let her head drop into her hands, staring at the floor instead now. She sat quietly that way for a moment before pushing her hair back and looking up at Lytia again. "Has Segovax gone mad? Who's next, the King himself?"

Lytia shrugs. "I dare not propose a guess. In any event, I am effectively sidelined now, left to rot here. There is something
you could do for me that could potentially solve the matter, but..." Whatever her thought was, she suddenly curls up as though punched in the stomach, looking like she may vomit. "But...I cannot speak of it here," she says in an odd tone.

* Ketara eyed her colleague, frowning as she turned to look at the seal, reminded of what Quill had told her. She looked back at Lytia and stood slowly. "Are you being held here or can you at least step outside?"

"I am not bound here, but outside I may be arrested. Wait... do you have anything that can draw blood with you? I didn't bring my weapons," Lytia replies, hopeful.

* Ketara fidgeted beneath her cloak and pulled out a tiny throwing dart, after checking the handle to be sure it was painted white she handed it to Lytia. "The only other thing I have that can draw blood would get me into as much trouble as you and couldn't very likely make it past that seal."

Lytia scratches herself with the dart, and after her flesh is scoured a phenomenal popping sound is heard, the wound healing up before anything else happened. "Gah. I'll have to try it on the other side of that seal. Priests and my magic don't get along," she murmurs and she strides across the seal. Once in the doorway, she cuts herself again with the dart and smears her face with her blood. A shroud of
shadows engulfs her, as though all the torches in the church flickered at once, and when the light again falls upon her, she looks like a pale, willowy black-haired woman dressed in red. "Let's go some place quiet, Ketara. Your residence, perhaps?"

* Ketara followed her and watched the change, shaking her head. Impressive, but...well, Ralk was right to be concerned about blood sorcery. She shrugged helplessly at Lytia's suggestion. "I haven't got one, exactly. I stay at the Inn and Ralkin hasn't bought his shop yet. We can try my room if you think you'll be safe passing through the Black Dragon."

"They're probably watching my properties, so none of them are safe to stay in." Lytia makes a face at the thought of the Black Dragon, but nods her head slightly. "In this I should be safe," she says. "As long as it is private."

* Ketara nods and starts walking toward the door with a quick, half-hearted smile. "Oh, it's private. The doll scares most anyone that would try to enter away."

Lytia nods, walking beside Ketara toward the Black Dragon, inwardly smirking at each Royal Guard she passes.

Jayne
Viscount
Posts: 359
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:42 pm
Preferred Title: Nymphadora
Characters: [Main Characters]
Lucinda Darke
Nixlya Silkire
Apple/Faedre
Inessa Deathsong
Kaitlyn
Location: Australia

Re: November 2003 - Mail Archives

Post by Jayne » Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:52 pm

A Tactical Retreat, part II
Alexander Wood
15 Nov 2003

Lytia was confident in her sorcery's mask, as few people could penetrate the illusions even when they knew they were being confronted with one. To casual observers, though, it was almost impossible. Once upstairs, Lytia makes sure the door is locked, a little paranoid, but justifiably so in her circumstances.

Ketara led them back to and through the noisy Inn to her room. It was simple, looking much like it might if no one were staying in it aside from the papers now scattered all over the table along with the fallen inkwell and quill. Remainders of the mischief caused by the miniature doll that scurried out of the room as they entered.

Lytia sits down on the bed, finding it comfortable after a day of being in that horrible church. "I need to get out of the city, Ketara. I can't stay here. I'll be killed outside of that church and I'll go crazy inside of it."

Ketara arched an eyebrow and looked furtively at her closet. "Did you have someplace specific in mind? I can help you get out of the city easily, but..well, I'm limited in my choices of where I can send you." She slipped her cloak off and dropped it onto one chair before taking the other.

"Anywhere safe," she says. "I would go home, but unless things have changed since I left, that would be as bad as here. What's a little more important than where I go is what is done here after my departure, though. I have a means to..." she pauses, choosing her words carefully as she knows how sensitive Ketara is to shady dealings. "To stop Segovax, like I was saying in the church, but I don't know if you can do it."

Ketara frowns darkly and stares at Lytia measuringly. "What is it? If I can't do it, I will at least help you find someone who can." It was the best she could offer. Not that she wouldn't look for other alternatives if she thought any were available.

"Within my office at the Starmetal Forge is a hidden entrance that leads to my wine cellar. In my wine cellar is a bottle of very rare, expensive brandy with a cork stained with red ink. I would like you to go there, retrieve my bottle, and make a gift of it to Segovax. Insist he drink from it as a toast to his victory et cetera et cetera. If he drinks, the problem will be solved. It should...must, really, be you who does this, because you're the sort of person who he trusts would never do it," Lytia says, laying back on the bed and generally preparing herself to be berated by her moralistic almost-lover.

Ketara arched an eyebrow. "Lytia, I'm well over three hundred years old. I've seen a lot, poisoning the least of it. What makes you so certain that poisoning Segovax is the only viable option? Convince me and I'll do it." She'd come to her morals by choice.

"This same man who labels me a traitor and dares to put a bounty on my head has, in his ambition, he's committed treason, plotted the deaths of city officials, allied himself with that hideous snake Maessen, and sold me out to the very officials he plots against. Who's next to be accused, Ketara? Takani? You? Finist? I don't think you want to see someone like Segovax made into the governor of this city."

Lytia continues, "The Council has been dissolved. Soon enough, the mercenaries of Resque Maessen and possibly the Wharf Command will begin to take control of the organs of this city. Possibly moving as early as tonight."

Ketara didn't. Not if all of this was true. Pursing her lips she nodded. "Alright. If you'll do one thing." She lifted her hand and displayed her ring finger and the truth ring on it. "Tell me exactly what you know of Segovax and Maessen while I'm using this. If I'm to commit murder, Lytia, I have to be certain. And...I'm sorry, but..I just can't trust your word alone."

"Alright," Lytia agrees, extending her pale hand for the ring.

Ketara slipped it from her finger and handed it over, folding her hands in her lap afterwards. "Thank you."

Lytia slips the ring onto her finger. She twitches several times after placing it on, and her illusion drops suddenly. Her face contorts for a moment like she had developed a nervous twitch, and for a blink of an eye, she looks as though she were wearing no makeup. After that, she calms down, taking a deep breath. "I never have liked these things," she says, glancing down at the ring before beginning to speak.

"Resque Maessen is a first-class snake. In my years at the chancellery I've kept special tabs on him, but still I have never found any concrete evidence that I could hang him with. And Pallodain, how I would love to see him swing. The rumours are various. He has a license to import opium. I hate the stuff, you know. My old lover, Eclipse, used to sell it, and I never fully approved. Anyhow. Maessen's company imports the stuff and runs some opium dens. He pays all his taxes, renews his license every year. There are rumors, but nothing more, that he was involved in trafficking in humans to be used as gladiators in an underground pit called The Void that used to be below the brothel Pandora's Box. I visited it once in disguise. There were indeed pit fights, but I could not move against the operation."

"There are also rumours that his ship, the Black Sheep, has been out at sea during a number of episodes of piracy and has soon returned to Drachean ports, heavy with prize. There has been no way to corroborate that he is a pirate, but as he is a creature that idolises money, I would not put it past him. There are also rumour that he's involved in some sort of protection hierarchy for thieves, that he's a womanizer, a paedophile, a secret homosexual, and so on."

"Do you have any specific questions for me about Maessen?" she asks, glancing at Ketara.

Ketara stiffened, looking both enraged and sickened at the mention of what, to her, was simply a needlessly polite term for slave trade. But, Lytia wasn't lying. "It sounds as though he's a bit of a tabloid scandal. How did he get out of being arrested for the slaving?"

"No proof. Just hearsay. I thought about searching his ship, but he's too smart for that. He's ennobled in a few foreign countries, as well, so I had to be extra careful with even the hint of an accusation, or it would be a diplomatic incident. Once, at a masquerade party, I considered trying to plant an artifact on the ship that would let me scrye with my magic, but I was unable to make it below decks without one of his Oriental guards barring the way," Lytia responded.

Ketara nodded. "I see. I remember that party. It took place not long after I came here. His guards did seem intelligent and capable. So, essentially, Maessen just wants to be sure that whomever is in power will benefit him?""

"I suspect that Segovax is his puppet. They are both merchants, and... as you say, you have been around a long time. You know how power operates, I don't have to explain things."

Ketara nods. "Palm greasing. The merchants I've dealt with throughout most of my life are probably the worst kind in every respect. So, if Segovax is his puppet, what do you think his game is? If it's political power, I don't know what he's thinking. I can't imagine that the King will work with someone who abolished his own Council.""

"I think it's power. I went to a clandestine meeting with Maessen, Segovax, and myself at the House of the Silver Swan. It was the day after Marcion left for the capital to have an audience, perhaps, with the King. Maessen said he would use the threat of his Alesian clients landing in Drache to bully the weak Arangothian throne into submission and allow the South complete autonomy from the North. This was to be only a bluff, however. Maessen said he had no intention of actually asking Alesians to land."

Ketara shook her head and tapped her fingers on the table rhythmically, thinking. "So he says. Do you trust that? If not, taking out Segovax may not end anything."

"I trust it. I don't think he would make a naked power grab. Troops in the streets are not his style. Besides.. Alesians
commanded by a pirate? Pfeh. The Royal Guard has faced worse. Though, I must admit that nothing would please me more than for you to kill both Segovax and the tai-pan, but Segovax is the immediate threat to the city."

Ketara had to roll her eyes at Lytia's suggestion, stopping her tapping and sighing. "Very sorry, Lytia, but I gave up wanton murder when I quit the..err, my former profession." Premeditated and deliberate murder..could she possibly do it that way. "And the Captain refuses to do anything about all of this?"

"He went to see me earlier in the day, at the church. I made my pitch. I don't think he is convinced. A man I hired to tail him said that he proceeded to Maessen's office afterward. I do not know what was said, but a few hours afterword, Segovax's notices went up declaring and condemning. The tai-pan is not one to move when he is unsure of the result."

Ketara sighed again and nodded. Dropping her hand back into her lap she sat up. "I suppose there are no other options, then. Though, I should tell you, despite what else I've done in my life, I've never murdered in cold blood. I've fought in wars and killed once in self defence, that's all. I can't promise to be calm enough that Segovax won't be suspicious."

"You have to be," Lytia says, glancing down at the ring, smiling softly. "You know, I've always thought well of you, Ketara," she says, her hand moving up to touch the woman's cheek. "I'm sure you can do this one thing. May I take the ring off, now?"

Ketara pulled away from Lytia's hand and stood. "Yes." she responded curtly. One thing...murder was not one thing. "I can't believe there isn't some other way to do this."

Lytia removes the ring silently and put it to one side on a nightstand, letting out a deep sigh, perhaps of relief. "Life is
occasionally beyond belief," she says in an agreeing tone.

Ketara sighed after a quiet pause. She'd already had to leave so much of her youth behind, perhaps this was just another adaptation that had to be made. She turned and half smiled, nodding. "Yes. Yes it is. I suppose we need to get you out of here. You have three choices, as it stands, my own room in the tower of a castle in a severely underpopulated city, a desert temple in a world of animal people or a city far south of here, RhyDin."

"Why is the city underpopulated?" she asks, glancing at Ketara.

Ketara shrugs. "Because I wasted a costly fortune building most of it and then decided not to open it to foreigner's as I'd intended because most are wastes of flesh, essentially. So the locals go about their old business in nicer homes and I have nice real estate for the future. A poor business decision, but a nice place."

"Alright, I will go to ground there, then. It seems like an unlikely place for bounty hunters and assassins to travel to."

Ketara nods and walks to her closet, opening the door to reveal an odd blue-ish silver swirl with a fine purple shimmer to it. Pressing her palm close to the swirl causes the purple shimmer to solidify and display an array of darker purple symbols. Some unrecognisable but most in what was a variation of simple Elvish. "The only people I've ever known to find it did so by stumbling through portals and rabbit holes. You should be safe and hopefully, with my library, not bored." She erased and redrew a few of the mysterious
symbols, then the Elvish ones before the purple shimmer disappeared.

Lytia nods softly, looking over Ketara with a little smile.

Ketara smiles back a little weakly. "It's alright. I'm sure you'd do it yourself if you could. Before you go, I'll need directions to your home. Oh, and watch the landing going through that thing. Most come out very disoriented and sick to their stomachs."

"The starmetal forge. The building that belches smoke off of the market square -- there's a big sign saying 'starmetal forge' and a smaller one underneath saying my office. To get to my cellar, go in, and by the forge there is a little circle on the wall. Touch it with your palm and turn your hand to the left," she says, demonstrating. "The bottle you want is the last one on the first rack."

Ketara nods. "I've got it. Hopefully I can convince Segovax to drink. It will look suspicious if anyone saw me enter the church just before you disappeared from it, but I don't think I was seen." She certainly hoped not.

"I don't think you were. Nobody really pays attention unless they're paid to, and I don't think anyone thinks you have a role in this little affair," she says, reluctantly pushing herself off of the bed and looking from Ketara to the bed and back to Ketara. "A pity that we never shared one," Lytia murmurs, a faint blush coming to her cheeks. "You've been nothing but kind to me." Except when you were bitching me out, but Lytia glosses that over in her mind.

Ketara laughs sotly and reaches for Lytia's hand, pulling the slightly shorter woman into an embrace. "You were supportive even when you knew little about me, Lytia. What would I do? Refuse an offered friendship? We'll share one when all of this is ended." Leaning back she grinned mischievously, despite the tears and sorrow in her eyes. "Besides, it's my bed you'll be sleeping in through there."

Lytia laughs softly. "I suppose it is," she murmurs, holding Ketara tightly, cherishing the embrace. After all she'd been through in the last few days, the closeness of another being warmed her. "I suppose it is, indeed," she repeats thoughtfully. "When Segovax drinks the brandy, it may take a few minutes, but not longer than five." The brandy was practically a fifth composed of the vial of poison Lytia had
gotten from Sabrae, a home-made Drow poison that was hard to detect and lethal even in small quantities. "You must not fail, Ketara," she whispers to her friend's ear in the close embrace.

Ketara blinked back the threatening tears and nodded, pulling away. "I know. I won't fail. I'll get the brandy early tomorrow morning and find a way to bump into Segovax. I've stolen secrets through lies and flattery in the past. It will work."

Lytia pulls Ketara close again, leaning in to press her lips against the other's, meeting in a warm, tender kiss. "I trust you."

Ketara joins in the kiss wholeheartedly this time, raising her hand to Lytia's cheek and caressing softly before pulling her head back and smiling sadly. "Thank you."

Lytia smiles softly in return. "If it helps, remember... Segovax committed treason and Resque may be a slaver. It's cold comfort, I know, but sometimes that's the only kind there is." She touches Ketara's cheek again and slips away from the embrace reluctantly.

Ketara shrugs again, in an attempt to look careless but the hand she removed from Lytia's cheek was clenched into a fist. "When you put it that way, it's much easier to think of. Killing off a slaver and the pawn of a slaver I can probably live with."

Lytia nods slightly. She had the espionage agent's gift of being able to rationalise anything. "Good," she says, "Just focus on that."

Ketara nods. "I will." She stepped away so that Lytia could step through on her own, sitting on the bed herself now. "Take care, Lytia. I'll send someone to help you find your way around while you're there tomorrow."

"Alright. Let me know how it goes, Lytia says, a soft smile on her lips before she turns away, slowly, and approaches the portal. Taking a deep breath, she steps through, bracing herself for the reasonably familiar experience of dimensional travel. She'd been to less friendly destinations, and instead of vomitting, she was simply intensely drained by the travel. She staggers over to the bed in Ketara's palace room and zonks out post-haste.

* Ketara sat at her table and penned a few notes to be given to her hawk for delivery later.

Jayne
Viscount
Posts: 359
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:42 pm
Preferred Title: Nymphadora
Characters: [Main Characters]
Lucinda Darke
Nixlya Silkire
Apple/Faedre
Inessa Deathsong
Kaitlyn
Location: Australia

Re: November 2003 - Mail Archives

Post by Jayne » Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:03 pm

The Feast <3> Chevachee and the Knights
Raymond Christopher Whaley
15 Nov 2003

Being a vampire was difficult. People were easily spooked and would riot at the sight of vampirism. Thus, vampires normally had to be very careful about just who they killed. People noticed and numerous missing middle and upper class people would alert not only the authorities but the population as a whole. Drache was the capital of Southern Arangoth, a large city with a flourishing nightlife. It was a place to be if you were a vampire. Bodies had to be hidden and prey had to be stalked for hours on end, driven to just the exact right place before the kill could be initiated. Also, being a vampire didn't automatically make you ultra tough. Fledglings and minions had better stamina, strength, and senses than a normal but a trained fighter could take one down easily. All this forced centuries of secrecy on most of the population. They were predators and like most predators when they weren't on the hunt, they spent most of their time lounging or eating.

A Chevachee* was the exception and the Order of Simbran was undertaking one in Drache. They would attack, hunt and feed, murder and torture. They would drink their fill.

A carriage slowly weaved its way through the crowded, muddy streets of the Red Lantern District. Cool air gently slid around the alley, blowing gaudy papers here and there and gently rolling against the houses of ill repute. An area can seem impure, the smell of sweat and humanity, the smell of warm breath, the smell of sex. The carriage pitched to and fro, throwing great waves of misty mud up in its wake. The red and colorful nature of the brothels seemed faded, faded by the weight of something imperceptible. Like the misshapen buildings had some of sort terminal disease that was slowly killing them. Cobble stone sidewalks resembled a man slowly losing his teeth and there was an air of desperate happiness about the whores and sailors that slowly slogged through this prison without bars.

He could tell, through his heightened senses, that there were six people tightly crammed inside the carriage like so many fish caught in the net. A sweetly sickening scent hovered around the ambling box on wheels, the teamster haggard and hunched. He turned to one of his burly minions, nodding toward the carriage. The six men showed their true faces, bones cracking, morphing from round faced peasants and tradesmen into animalistic predators. He walked away. They knew what to do. As he left, he could here the frantic bawling, neying, the keening of the dying horses as the minions sucked them dry, the shouting of the teamster who knew he was next, and the confusion and fear inside the litter.

He could smell her. She had never known the touch of a man. Hiding in the shadows under a stoop he watched as she sat on the steps of some tenement and cried. He took her several hours later as she slowly began to walk away. Draining her just enough and then carrying her through the streets as if he was helping drunk friend home. He had be undead long of to have infinite patience, he could wait forever, push down the bloodlust, the itch that needed scratching for so long it seemed to exist in its own place. Tying her feet together, he hung her in his scullery as he had the other four virgins he needed for the feast.

He knew after the carriage attack and after the just after dusk attack he had orchestrated on a small brothel, people probably knew something now but it didn't matter. It was complete. 20 gallons of blood and four virgins. It had been difficult but he had managed it.

Unto MASTER SIMBRAN,

We have finished the ritual. Tonight we attack. The Village will be repeated and the Feast of St. Kinglith will occur or I will again die to make it so. I, as the fourth Knight of St. Kinglith have chosen my two squires as have my comrades. Are kerns are not many but have the strength of the touch of Menxruk. I will close my fist around Drache.

With Love, Respect, and Obedience,

Your Childe

Jayne
Viscount
Posts: 359
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:42 pm
Preferred Title: Nymphadora
Characters: [Main Characters]
Lucinda Darke
Nixlya Silkire
Apple/Faedre
Inessa Deathsong
Kaitlyn
Location: Australia

Re: November 2003 - Mail Archives

Post by Jayne » Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:30 pm

Justifying the Means
Ami Manfredo
15 Nov 2003

Stepping into view of Drache's Market Square brought a twisting knot of fear to the magistrate's gut. Pulling her gaze from a familiar building and its memory inducing greenhouse she set them firmly on the forge and continued walking steadily, firmly, determined. A hawk screeched and she faltered. This was madness, what she was planning, complete madness. For the first time since she'd considered Lytia's dramatic suggestion she began to worry over the consequences of her actions when all was finished. What would her son think? What would happen to him? Who would explain all of this to Max and look after Kearie? How would Seneca eat?

Pausing, the public official turned would-be assassin, gazed up at the dimly lit dawn and watched the flight of the small grey hawk. It screeched again and steadied its wings, lowering its nose and gaining momentum for its dive, a dive on a course that would bring the small bird crashing into Ketara. One of them had to give way or both would be injured yet neither seemed inclined to move. At the last moment the hawk pulled its wings back and stretched its talons out in front of its body, alighting on the magistrate's shoulder. The woman, in turn, scratched the familiar bird on the head and resumed walking towards the forge.

Things were not always what they seemed. Her fears were ungrounded, brought on by the uncertainty of her decision. Her letters explained everything to her son, to Max, to Seneca and to Kearie. Seneca had taken care of himself before they'd ever met and was more than capable of caring for Kearie as well - despite the problems already facing them. Fishing the first letter from her pocket - to Kearie, who was level headed enough to be trusted not to interfere - she tied it to the hawk's leg and scratched again before sending him off and entering the forge.

Following Lytia's directions Ketara opened the door and searched the wall near the forge closely until she found the small circle. Pressing her palm against it she turned her hand to the left and pushed the hidden door open. Closing her eyes she mumbled a quick phrase in an obscure Elvish dialect and opened her hand to reveal a small, bright flame and followed the stairs into the cellar. A wave of exhaustion assailed her as she reached the floor, forcing her to pause and lean against the wall for a moment. Taking a moment to feel her own body and seek out a cause proved fruitless. It seemed she'd expended more energy recently than she could account for. Attributing the loss to nervousness over the heinous act she was plotting, Ketara stepped away from the wall and headed for the first rack of bottles.

The last one seemed to have a darker liquid to her, somehow sinister. She knew it was nonsense, nothing but her own nerves, but she hesitated before taking it. Once her fingers did fasten securely around the bottleneck, her pace quickened. She climbed the stairs as swiftly as she could and closed the hidden door behind her and left the forge, walking hurriedly back towards the Inn. At the steps to the Black Dragon she stopped again and reached into her breast pocket, fetching one the violet ribbons she generally used for her hair. Setting the bottle on the steps she knelt down and tied the ribbon around the neck in an ornate bow. Now, it looked more like a recently purchased gift. Enough that she might even convince herself to believe it if she tried.

Inside the Inn, Ket avoided the patrons and asked Dulcina for any messages. No word yet from Takani. That was just as well as Ket wanted little more now than a few hours of quiet in her room. To get them, she kicked the little doll away from her door and entered setting the bottle on the table. She emptied her jacket pockets of the letters and correspondence and a small package tumbled out. Oh, yes..the gift from the secret admirer she'd received just before she and Takani could begin speaking last night. Curious and grateful for a distraction that, compared to everything else, seemed normal, she opened the box. Inside she found a gold chain which, at first, made her laugh. It was a rather clueless admirer if he - or she - thought Ketara one for pretty jewels. Still...it was rather pretty, in a simple way and the more she looked at it the more she thought that, perhaps, it might not be so bad to try something a little out of the ordinary. Ignoring the little voice that claimed this was against her nature and complained about the clash of the gold with her silver seal, she fastened the necklace on and removed her jacket. Clearing a space on the floor, she sank to her knees - a position now more comfortable to her than simply sitting - and slipped into meditation. If she was to commit murder later this day, she would have to make peace with the Great Mother and all of Her Noble Children.

Jayne
Viscount
Posts: 359
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:42 pm
Preferred Title: Nymphadora
Characters: [Main Characters]
Lucinda Darke
Nixlya Silkire
Apple/Faedre
Inessa Deathsong
Kaitlyn
Location: Australia

Re: November 2003 - Mail Archives

Post by Jayne » Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:33 pm

The Feast <4>
Raymond Christopher Whaley
15 Nov 2003

A dead guard, stripped of all clothing, is strung up in the centre of the Back Alley. Hung for all to see. Misty, milky dawn rises upon the horizon and the sun shines down upon the bloodless corpse, iron pikes thrust through every joint in his body. He is only a bag of bones now, his blood, heart, organs, everything removed. He hangs there limply. Vampire bites mark his neck and wrists. On his chest, a message is scrawled in ink:

No citizenship, you are our food. Its time you learned to keep your peace.

Your mean nothing to us, as the laws of cattle and pigs mean nothing to you.

You exist because we let you do so, your are our livestock, our chattel.

We ask for nothing, we take it.

The village will be recreated.

The Knights of Simbran have chosen you to be our blood slaves, take pride in this.

Jayne
Viscount
Posts: 359
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:42 pm
Preferred Title: Nymphadora
Characters: [Main Characters]
Lucinda Darke
Nixlya Silkire
Apple/Faedre
Inessa Deathsong
Kaitlyn
Location: Australia

Re: November 2003 - Mail Archives

Post by Jayne » Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:34 pm

Death in the streets.
Karah Kerridwyn
15 Nov 2003


The number of dead citizens was rising and Marriska paced as she thought of what she, one ordered to protect those of the city, was going have to do about it. She took in deep breaths, filling her lungs with the sweet air of the house and releasing it slowly. It was a calming exercise. The first amount of dead could have been nothing more than a mad man on a killing spree, but this recent one, the one with the guard in the Back Alley. Now it was becoming dangerous. The words, the carvings that were etched into the man's torso rung too close to her and the others that were like her.

"Humans are nothing but cattle, those for us to take and do with as we wish and want."6 The words of her torturer ringing in her ears. "Especially those that we would like to see broken at our feet." The evil man's grin shone in the wan light of her mind. She shivered slightly and then lifted her eyes to the window, curious to know if the night had come to where she could go and seek out this beast that roamed her streets. She walked over to it, her long black gown dragging on the ground behind her. Long black, curly hair hanging loose around her, framing her lily white face. Her stormy blue eyes peered through the slats of the shutters to the world outside. Dusk, at least an hour or so in passing. She nodded to herself and then slowly made her way up to her bedchamber, climbing the stairs.

After about a half an hour to an hour of getting prepared, she climbed down the stairs again and went to the door. She paused a moment, her hand on the latch of the door. "Wish me luck Llias." She closed her eyes for a moment and then stepped out into the cold of the evening air.

As she walked the streets she stopped to post a few signs in certain places. The Red Lantern District, the Back Alley, anywhere that she thought that the vampire plaguing the city might go. On the signs was this message:

To the one that dares slay those of the city like sheep and cattle,
I, Marriska Kincaid, issue a challenge.
Come to the Wharf District at the coming of the moons' ascent in the night sky.
I will be waiting.

The signs are signed with that of an elegant hand and the seal of a wolf's head is beside it. Once the last one she had was up, she made her way to the Wharf District to wait.

Post Reply