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Author Topic: Vardynn Embassy  (Read 10968 times)
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Drea
Dangerous Doxy
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Posts: 448


Human, Erpheronian


« on: January 28, 2010, 02:54:22 PM »

Prologue


Footsteps echoed along the corridor; authoritative footsteps, determined footsteps, self confident footsteps.  Sconces on the wall cast two shadows; a long shadow before the man, and creating a giant shadow of him along the wall.  The air around him was heavy with authority, such was his demeanour.  Here, in this embassy, he was a big man, a great influence.  He was... short!  Not just a little, but definitely undertall.  There were rumours that he was half dwarf, or even hobbit!  These, when he heard them, he refuted quite adamantly, though in truth, few had ever said anything to him face to face.  Small in stature though he may be, he still wielded great power.

He neared the end of the corridor just as a thin, elderly man emerged from a heavy, ornate, door at the end of the corridor.  The thin man looked down and saw the shorter man and he blanched quite noticeably.  "Aeris!  I- I did not know you had returned."

The undertall man, Gorvold Aeris, looked up at the thin man.  "The entirety of what you do know, Buttins, wouldn't fill a ladle.  What news of the ambassador?  I heard that he fell ill."

Treaben Buttins swallowed hard, visibly shaken.  "The- the ambassador suffered a spasm.  Afterwards, he seemed unable to move the left side of his body.  He broke into a fever, which the doctors have not been able to bring down."

Aeris stepped past Buttins, and his hand reached out to grip the door handle.  "I need to see him."

Buttins cleared his throat, and blanched even further, though one would have thought it impossible, as he already looked like a spectre.  "I- I- think.. er, I mean, it...".

Aeris snorted.  "Speak up, fool!  I don't have all day."

Buttins took a shaky deep breath to calm himself.  "I mean to say that the ambassador has died.  Only moments ago."

Aeris felt a wave of relief sweep over him.  Dead?  Dead!  Finally, that old windbag had gone forth into that deep blackness of the next world.  This was great news.  This was...  He suddenly wiped the smirk from his face that he knew was creeping over his lips.  Instead, he took a step toward Buttins.  "Did he say anything before he died?"

Buttins reached up and scratched the back of his head nervously.  "Kind of... well, sort of...".

"Speak, man!  By the gods, you are the most addle brained fool I've ever met.  Tell me what he said, word for word.  Do not leave anything out.  What did he say?"

Buttins licked his lips before speaking in a sing song manner, trying his best to imitate the ambassador's last words.  "He said; 'I think, I shall, come back as a cat!'"

Aeris took a few deep breaths, and looked down at his feet.  Okay, so the old man had lost his mind at the end.  That was good.  He pushed past Buttins and started back down the corridor.  There was much to do in the next few weeks.  Suddenly, he came to a halt.  Swiveling on his feet, he marched back to Buttins, and waggling his finger, caused Buttins to lean down to hear his hoarse whisper.  "Oh, and Buttins, kill every cat within two strals of the embassy."  He scratched absently at his goatee.  "Make it five!"  

No sense taking chances!



Drea Corfuyne sat in a well worn but very comfortable wooden chair in a well worn but comfortable office.  She had been here over a few minutes, and was beginning to wonder if someone had forgotten about her.  It didn't seem completely out of the question.  People here seemed to be quite unsettled today.  Why?, Drea couldn't be sure.  Unable to sit still any longer, she stood and strode over to the window and looked down at the courtyard below.  Trimmed grass and beautiful flowers lined the cobblestone paths with trees planted strategically to ensure there were areas of openness and areas of shade for when it got too hot.  Money!  What couldn't it buy?  Some people claimed it couldn't buy happiness.  In most cases, this declaration was made by rich people.

Bored, she turned from the window and was about to return to her seat, when she spotted something strange on the other side of the desk.  She stepped nearer and stared at the chair, which was similar to her own, except that on the seat of this chair was a wooden box, which was worn on top.  It reminded her of a child's chair, where a parent had placed something on it to boost their kid high enough to reach the table.  Strange.

She then sat down when suddenly the door opened and a very short man entered.  At first, Drea wondered if he were a dwarf, but decided he wasn't.  He didn't have the look of a dwarf.  Nor a hobbit.  He looked like a regular human man; except short.  Very short.

Aeris watched Drea's reaction and he scowled.  He knew what she was thinking.  It was what everyone thought when they first met him.  Say something!  I dare you!

Drea stood and extended her hand.  "Master Aeris?  I am Drea Corfuyne.  I came when I heard of the ambassador's death.  I was told you had to cut your trip, er, short."

Wench!  Aeris ignored her hand and strode past her and took his seat, after climbing up onto his box.  He glowered at her, trying to decide if she had said that on purpose.  "I'm not sure why.  In my letter, I believe I was quite clear that I wanted your skill to provide protection for the ambassador."  Suddenly a mouse ran across Aeris' desktop.  Quick as lightning, his brought his dagger down on the desk, but missed the rodent by a mere hairsbreadth.  The critter then scurried off the desk, onto the floor, and into a crack between the stones of the wall.  He looked at her sheepishly.  "Excuse that.  We seem to have a shortage of cats, recently."

Drea nodded and smiled, choosing to ignore the mouse incident.  "True.  But, there will be another ambassador appointed, no?  Perhaps even yourself, if the rumours are true."

Ah!  So, she had heard them, too?  He wondered how widespread this rumour was.  When he had first heard it, he could barely contain himself.  He had hoped against hope that the old fool would have expressed it before he had died last week, but it was not to be.  He could only hope that the Thane back in Voldar would see the logical advantages of appointing him the new ambassador.  This was what he had worked so hard for.  What he had endured several humiliations for.  Worked obediently for fools for.  "I hold no aspirations, Corfuyne.  I only serve my masters to the best of my ability."

The smile became a smirk.  Uh huh.  "Of course.  All I was saying, is that no matter who is the ambassador, he will need protection.  Especially during the transition phase?"

Aeris pursed his lips.  She had a point.  He had enemies.  Lots of them.  He had no doubt that one of them might take an opportunity to prematurely end his life.  "Good point.  Very well, Corfuyne.  Since you are here, I can assume that my terms of payment were satisfactory.  You start immediately."

Drea inclined her head toward her new employer.  "Very well.  I look forward to our relationship."

When she was gone, Aeris leaned back in his chair.  Gleefully, he began to to chuckle, then laugh, as he imagined himself the new Ambassador of Vardynn, Emissary of the Thane, to the Santhran Tiandor in New Santhala.  A long and impressive title.  Longer than he was!

Doh!  A joke at his own expense.  How gauche!  A sudden knock came on his door and Buttins poked his thin face in.

"I have a letter to the ambassador, sir."

Aeris sighed at the stupidity of the fool.  "Well, since I doubt the ambassador will be reading it anytime soon, Buttins, give it to me."

Buttins nodded and approached the desk, handing the parchment to Aeris, who snatched it out of his hand.  It seemed the little man was always in a bad mood.

Aeris gave a weary glance to Buttins.  "You may leave."  When the man was gone, Aeris broke the wax seal of the Thane that held the parchment closed and settled back to read.

"Greetings Ambassador Fruwee.  I hope that this letter finds you well..."   Blah blah blah.  Yada yada.  Come on, something interesting already.  "You had mentioned in your letter that your health was failing, and asked that I appoint another ambassador.  I had hoped to avoid that for many years to come, but as you have insisted, I have acquiesced.  I read with interest your opinion and recommendation for the position."   Oh?  Now, this was where it was going to get interesting!  Aeris could barely contain his excitement.  "I have decided that your reasonings were beyond reproach, and have agreed."  Yippee!  "I will immediately dispatch your nephew, Count Kembar Fruwee, to replace you as ambassador so that you may return home to Voldar and retire on your estates."

"What?!"  Aeris was startled by his own voice shouting out.  That was to be his position!  He had been swindled!  Robbed!  Hoodwinked!  In a rage, he tore the parchment in two.  He then crumpled it up into a ball and threw it towards the wall.  Not content, he jumped down off his chair and ran over to the ball and kicked it with all his might.  "Damn you, Fruwee!  Damn you!  I hope you do come back as a cat, you old fool!  I'll find you!  I'll find you and sic my dogs on you!"

He stormed back to his chair, and his rage unabated, grabbed his booster box and threw it against the wall.  Being somewhat heavier than the ball of parchment, it crashed into the wall and splintered into a hundred pieces.  Climbing back onto his chair, he tried to lean onto his desk, but his arms were forced up around eye level.

"Oh!  Crap!"
Logged

Drea's CD

Honour is within you, and cannot be taken away by others.  Neither highborn Knights with hollow souls, or gossiping harpies can break your spirit unless you let them.- Drea
Drea
Dangerous Doxy
Story Mod
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Posts: 448


Human, Erpheronian


« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2010, 02:56:34 PM »

Chapter One
Eight Weeks Later


"Again!"

Brellin Corrigahn heard the command, for it was no plea, through closed eyes.  He then felt a weight atop him, heard the sound of the straw filled mattress crunching below him.  He opened his eyes to see Drea Corfuyne straddled over him on her knees.  Her green eyes flashed mischievously, her blonde hair matted to her face with perspiration, shorn just ever so much longer than a man's, her cheeks flushed a russet hue, beads of perspiration on her neck forming rivulets which trailed down between her small yet pert breasts.

The corners of Drea's full mouth curved slowly into a self-satisfied smile, as she watched his gaze travel her body.  "I want more of you," she whispered, huskily.

Corrigahn chuckled beneath his breath; three times already this morning had exhausted his body.  "Begone, wench," he admonished, playfully.  "You behave more like a wanton she-cat!"

He went to throw her off him but was held tight between her muscular thighs.  Her hand grabbed a tuft of his thick brown hair.  She stared dangerously into his crystal blue eyes.  "What did I tell you about calling me that?"

Corrigahn lifted his head off the pillow, his eyes playfully twinkling in their challenge to her.  He was intent on kissing those full, luscious lips of hers.  "You may have mentioned a slight annoyance at the term 'wench'."  It was at that precise moment that he felt the cold hardness of sharp steel against his exposed throat.  His attempt at kissing her was over but the twinkling in his eyes remained.

"What I said, Master Corrigahn, was that I would slit your throat upon hearing that reference to me again!"  She hissed the words, her green eyes cold as ice and her body tensed for battle; something she was well capable of.

The smile faded from Corrigahn's face and the twinkle in his eyes was replaced by their very own sheet of ice.  "Then slice me, wench!  Draw my blood!  You'll not get your fourth satisfaction if you do!"

For a brief moment, Drea paused, considering his words.  Then she laughed.  "I could have ten more men before the sun reached its apex.  Then I would have twenty more after my midday meal."

Corrigahn remained calm.  "And not one of those thirty suitors would make you writhe and scream like I do."

Again, she paused, mulling over his bravado.  The problem was, he was right and both of them knew it.  A man like him was extremely dangerous to a woman like her.

Corrigahn studied her face for a moment.  What made this woman so intoxicating to him was the danger; the challenge she forced on him.  But would she really cut his throat for mere words?  At that moment, he felt the blade slide quickly across his exposed flesh, biting into his neck.  The knife itself was sent flying across the room where it embedded into an armoire, vibrating for a moment.  It had been meant as a warning.  The cuts to him were shallow; just deep enough to draw blood.

His hand went instinctively to the wound, feeling the blood flowing; slowly perhaps, but still wet and sticky.  He also felt her lips crush his own in a kiss that was equal parts hunger, fervour, passion, anger and desire.  He could do nothing but answer back in kind; his tongue forcing its way into the warm and waiting moisture that was her mouth.  

There was a sharp and bold pounding at the door.  It was not a polite trepidation to find out if anyone was inside; this was a full scale invasion by sound to drive the occupants of the room to unquestioned surrender.

Immediately, Drea dove off the bed, hitting the floor with nary a sound.  She rolled once, then was upright on braced legs, her body tensed, her eyes alert, her breathing restrained.  In her hand was hefted an ephord.  Though the pommel was dirty, dented and nicked, the blade was immaculate, polished, oiled and razor sharp.

Corrigahn had pulled himself to the edge of the bed, his arm hung low to grip the handle of his own sword, still sheathed in its boiled leather scabbard.  "Who's there?" he demanded.

From the other side of the solid wooden door a voice called back.  It was official in both its tone and message.  "Brellin Corrigahn, you are now requested for an audience with Castellan Gorvold Aeris.  There is to be no delay.  You must come with us at once, Master Corrigahn."

Both Drea and Corrigahn relaxed somewhat, though Drea quickly clothed herself.  She retrieved the knife from the armoire and slid it to its home in its sheath on her hip.

Corrigahn watched her agitation as he climbed naked from the bed.  "Will I see you, again?" he asked.

Drea gave a quick glance to the young man across the bed from her.  Though she greatly admired his form, she shook her head.  "No.  You have been summoned by your wife's uncle, Aeris.  If he were to find out about your infidelity, he might just order me to make you disappear.  That might be a bit awkward."

Corrigahn pursed his lips, obviously disheartened by what he heard.  "And what of us?"

Drea almost laughed aloud.  "Us?  I've got thirty others waiting!  And you a wife!"  With that, and not even a glance goodbye, she opened the window and escaped to the ground below.

Corrigahn hurried to the window, but she had disappeared.  How like her, he thought.

Another pounding at the door.

"By the twelve!  I'm coming!"
« Last Edit: January 28, 2010, 03:23:46 PM by Drea » Logged

Drea's CD

Honour is within you, and cannot be taken away by others.  Neither highborn Knights with hollow souls, or gossiping harpies can break your spirit unless you let them.- Drea
Drea
Dangerous Doxy
Story Mod
***
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Posts: 448


Human, Erpheronian


« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2010, 08:01:48 AM »

Aeris sat at his desk, and squirmed uncomfortably.  His ass hurt.  There was no other way of thinking about it; no nice way to phrase it.  This stupid box he was sitting on was brand new and hard, not conformed to the gentle curves of his buttocks like the old one was.  He had regretted breaking that box from almost the very moment he had thrown it against the wall.  It would take weeks more in order to wear it down to where it would fit properly.

He stared at the husband of his niece, who sat across from him.  Truth was, Aeris didn't like Corrigahn.  The young man was too full of himself... too cocky... too good looking... too ... well, too tall!  Aeris hated that attribute about him.  If it weren't for the fact that he had married his only sister's only child, Aeris would have gotten rid of him long ago.  Still, he had to admit that the young man made a good Captain of the Ambassador's Personal Guard.

The two sat in silence while they awaited the third member of this meeting.  A knock on the door announced the arrival of the third party, and Aeris watched as Drea Corfuyne entered.  "Sit down, Corfuyne."

Drea sat in a chair next to Corrigahn, though she never acknowledged his presence at all.  She kept her eyes locked on Aeris.  "Has something happened?  The guards you dispatched to find me were a bit brusque in their invitation to come here."

"I don't invite.  I command.  I was told you were hard to find.  I expect all my hirelings to be available at all times.  Especially ones I entrust with the safety of the Ambassador."  He nodded his head toward Corrigahn.  "Like Brellin here.  My men knew exactly where to find him.  In order to do his job more effectively, rather than stay at his estate with his wife, he keeps an apartment right here in the embassy.  You might want to show that kind of dedication."

Oh, dear gods!  Drea could feel a bit of vomit touch the back of her throat.  She sighed and looked over to Corrigahn, whose blue eyes twinkled with bemusement.  Ass.  "That looks like a nasty cut there, Corrigahn.  How did that happen?"

Corrigahn's hand went to his throat and his face reddened.  "I, uh, cut myself shaving."

Aeris cleared his throat.  "I don't care about your bloody neck!  You two have work to do."  He saw the look of wonder on each of their faces, and satisfied he had their attention, continued.  "Ambassador Fruwee's scouts have arrived.  The Ambassador will be here by this evening.  I trust the two of you will ensure that all will be in order for him."

Drea glared one final time at Corrigahn before facing Aeris.  "Of course.  I've spent my time here getting to know the people and all the back rooms and corridors.  I'm certain the embassy is safe."

Aeris nodded.  "Good.  One would hope that you were doing something other than what the rumours say."

Drea nearly snarled, but restrained herself.  "Wagging tongues seldom cling to the truth."

"A waving flag cannot do so without at least a trace of a breeze."  Aeris waved off any rebuttal she might have offered.  He cared as little about her bed partners as he did about Corrigahn's shaving mishaps.  "Now, I have my own duties to attend to, so see to it everything is in order.  Dismissed."

Drea stood up, but held off leaving until Corrigahn had left the room.  "I need to speak with you a moment."

Aeris sighed.  What now?  "What is it, Corfuyne?  I don't want to hear any denials or explanations-".  He was cut off by the woman.

"I want to know why you hired me?  Corrigahn has the guards well in hand.  I'm not sure what my role is."

Aeris smiled.  So, she wasn't as dense as he had surmised.  Okay, perhaps she was intelligent enough to handle the truth.  Or, parts of it.  "You will never have my job, Corfuyne.  You will never be Castellan, you will never be Ambassador, and you will probably never hold Corrigahn's position.  Why?  You are an outsider.  Therefore, you have nothing to gain.  That makes you valuable to me."

"Don't sugar coat it, Aeris.  Tell me straight."  Sarcasm was a trait Drea didn't often use, but around here, it was becoming more common.

Aeris smirked.  "I don't trust you, Corfuyne.  I don't trust you because I don't know you.  I don't trust Corrigahn because I do know him.  He is ambitious.  That makes him dangerous."  He climbed off his box and jumped down off his chair.  "And that is all you need to know.  For now."  He then opened his door and extended his arm, indicating she should leave.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2010, 08:05:19 AM by Drea » Logged

Drea's CD

Honour is within you, and cannot be taken away by others.  Neither highborn Knights with hollow souls, or gossiping harpies can break your spirit unless you let them.- Drea
Drea
Dangerous Doxy
Story Mod
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 448


Human, Erpheronian


« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2010, 02:31:45 AM »

Sixty men at arms, eighty five horses, sixteen hounds, ten ladies in waiting,  three wagons, two carriages and one kitten.  This was the retinue that delivered one Ambassador Kembar Fruwee of Vardynn, Emissary of the Thane, to the Santhran Tiandor in New Santhala and his wife, the lady Tylannah to the Vardynn Embassy.  The light of day was just beginning to settle below the horizon when the congregation arrived.  

On the part of the embassy, soldiers lined the cobblestone pathway to the front doors, flags waved in the slight breeze, torches flickered brightly and musicians played the Vardynn anthem.  Corrigahn and Drea Corfuyne stood off to the side, Corrigahn's troops at attention behind him, looking resplendent in their immaculate uniforms.  Buttins, nervously chewing his fingernails, stood on the stone steps that led up to the great building.  Everything was perfect.  Almost.  Aeris was not here.  He had been summoned to the Santhran's palace just over an hour ago.  Poor timing to say the least, but when the Santhran calls, you obey.

A tall and bulky butler hurried to the carriage and opened the door and placed a stepping stool on the ground before it.  He then bowed low while extending his arm to help out the new ambassador.  It took a few moments before a younger man stepped out of the carriage.  With an air of regalia, he emerged from the carriage and looked about quickly before dismissing the butler.  He then extended his own arm out and helped his wife from the carriage.  She did not have the same gracefulness about her, being obviously in her later months of pregnancy.

The butler stepped toward Buttins and announced in a loud voice to the assembled gathering.  "May I introduce his Lordship, Kembar Fruwee of Vardynn and his wife, the Lady Tylannah."

The Lord and Lady  made their way up the steps to face Buttins.  "It is good to meet you, Castellan Aeris."  Fruwee smiled politely.

Buttins blanched and bowed.  "I'm sorry, m'lord, but I am not Castellan Aeris, but his assistant, Treaben Buttins.  The Castellan was summoned to the Santhran's and should be back shortly.  He dearly wanted to be here when you arrived."

Fruwee raised an eyebrow.  Disappointing.  "Oh?  Pity."  He looked over to his wife and smiled before returning his gaze to Buttins.  "Let me introduce to you my wife, the lady Tylannah."

Buttins took her offered and and bowed again, kissing lightly the back of her fingers.  "M'lady.  I hope you will be happy here."

Tylannah smiled and looked about at the manicured lawns and colourful gardens that was the entranceway to the embassy.  "I am sure I shall, Master Buttins."

Buttins cleared his throat.  "May I introduce you to Captain Corrigahn and Drea Corfuyne.  They are in charge of your security here.  Though, New Santhala is a very safe city and there is no need to worry about your safety."

Drea and Corrigahn stepped forward and bowed before their new employers.  Drea took this time to assess the two people.  Kembar Fruwee; a man obviously used to power and respect.  A bit full of himself, good looking and she suspected intelligent and well educated.  He had all the attributes to make a good ambassador... or a tyrant.  Next, his wife, Tylannah Fruwee.  She was much shorter than her tall husband, pretty eyes and a serene demeanour.  Her look was marred by a slight harelip that marked her face and made her smile crooked.  Obviously she came from a well to do family and was spared some of the crueler aspects of her disfigurement, had she been born in the poorer parts of the province, where Drea came from.  Wealth often led people to overlook your shortcomings, be it physical or character related.

Buttins cleared his throat.  "Shall we go inside?  I'm sure you must be exhausted after your long journey."  Buttins led the ambassador into the embassy, making small talk over their trip and listening to their stories of crossing the land and the voyage by ship from Voldar to New Santhala.

"Tell me, Master Buttins, what this Castellan Aeris is like.  You have an exceptionally well run household, I imagine that the castellan must be a very impressive man."

Buttins swallowed hard, suddenly finding his throat dry.  "Uhm, yes m'lord, the castellan runs a tight ship, so to speak."

Tylannah, who held in her arms a small ball of fur that was a kitten, smiled.  "What is he like?  Is he a warm man?"

Fruwee laughed.  "My wife is particular in the type of people that she has running our households, Master Buttins.  I trust her judgment in such things completely, and will be leaving the running of the household in her capable hands.  So, please, speak freely."

What to do?  What to do?  If he were to lie, it would not take long for them to find out the truth.  It wasn't like Aeris was good at faking being less than a troll.  "Uhm, no, m'lady, I would have to say that Aeris is not a warm man.  That is not his style, shall we say."

"Then what exactly is his style?"

In for a san in for an od.  Wasn't that the saying?  Buttins decided to just let the chips fall where they may.  After-all, they were the new lord and lady of the manor, and they had demanded he speak the truth.  "He is a short man, m'lady.  A short man and short tempered.  I think he might not want to be that way, but I have a feeling he was mercilessly picked on as a child and hasn't grown beyond that."  This was getting fun.  It felt somehow cathartic to spew forth his long pent up frustration.  "He is like one of those small yappy dogs that keeps barking and barking at anyone or anything that comes near.  And, he has a peculiar smell about him.  I'm not sure what it is, but some days it just makes-"

Drea coughed.

"one want to gag.  I think he bathes, but somehow that smell-"

Drea coughed again.

"just seems to stick to him.  Maybe he eats-"

Drea coughed and was this time joined in by Corrigahn clearing his throat.

Buttins glanced over at the two security people and saw them both rolling their eyes and staring at the ceiling.  Buttins felt his knees get weak and all the blood drain from his face.  "He's behind me, isn't he?"

A cold somewhat controlled whisper came from behind Buttins.  "In the future, I'll be sure to splash some rose water on myself before our meetings, Buttins!"

Eyes wide, Buttins bowed to the ambassador and his wife.  "I have duties I must attend to.  If you will excuse me!"  He then backed away from the ambassador, spun about on his heel and quickly left the room, without so much as a glance back to Aeris.  Oh, he was definitely going to hear about this later!
« Last Edit: January 31, 2010, 06:27:05 PM by Drea » Logged

Drea's CD

Honour is within you, and cannot be taken away by others.  Neither highborn Knights with hollow souls, or gossiping harpies can break your spirit unless you let them.- Drea
Drea
Dangerous Doxy
Story Mod
***
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Posts: 448


Human, Erpheronian


« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2010, 05:50:21 PM »

Aeris led the new ambassador and his wife to the Ambassador's office.  It was a relatively pleasant conversation, despite Buttins making a fool out of both of them.  He would deal with that incompetent idiot later.

"So, Aeris, if you could please have someone escort my wife to her quarters, I would be quite grateful.  It has been a long journey, and I'm sure she is quite exhausted."

Aeris nodded.  "Of course, m'lord."  He waggled his finger at Drea.  "Show the lady to her apartment, Corfuyne."  He then reached out to Tylannah's outstretched hand and lightly pressed his lips to the back of her hand.  "Good night, m'lady."

Tylannah Fruwee smiled graciously at the short castellan.  "And you, Sir."  It was at that moment that the small ball of fur in her arms hissed loudly.  Though only a kitten, the Wilderon Cat that had been given her as a gift, spit viciously at the castellan.  It's small paw struck out at him, claws bared.  "Arnurd!  No!"  Tylannah pulled the cat away.

Aeris barely had time to withdraw his hand without getting scratched.  He stared incredulously at Tylannah, not at the fact that the cat had tried to scratch him, but at the name that the lady had referred to the cat.  "Arnurd?"

A bit of colour came to the ambassador's wife's cheeks.  "Yes.  I got him just after we received news of the old man's death, so I named him after Ambassador Arnurd Fruwee.  In honour of the ambassador."

Aeris was stunned.  This cat had the same name as the old man?  It suddenly made the old man's last words resonate much more loudly.  It couldn't be, could it?  As he stared at the cat, the feline growled loudly in a high pitched whine.

"I'll take him away.  He, too, is tired from the trip."  Tylannah then followed Drea from the room.

"Now then, Aeris.  I want to get to work straight away.  You will, of course, send out notifications of my arrival to the other embassies.  Perhaps we should consider a gala, in order that I may meet the other ambassadors.  I will need a personal secretary.  You will make the initial interviews, and present to me a list of say four or five of your best candidates."  Kembar sat at his large desk, staring hard at the catellan across from him.

"Of course, Ambassador."

Kembar furrowed his brow.  "I think I know you, Aeris.  Or, at least, I know men like you.  As such, I know that your position, and the hope of improving it, is paramount to you.  Therefore, what is said or done between us, stays between us.  My affairs are no one else's business."

"Of course, I wouldn't think-".

"Especially my wife, Aeris.  I prefer to keep her out of my business as much as possible.  With child, as she is, I do not want any unnecessary stress to affect her.  I want my son born healthy and happy."

Aeris nodded.  "As you wish, m'lord."

Kembar then dismissed the short man with a wave of his hand.  Before the castellan had left the office, Kembar cleared his throat.  "Oh, one final thing, Aeris.  Make sure you use that rose water.  Buttins was right, you do have a strange smell."

Aeris stepped into the corridor and lifted his arm and sniffed.  What?  Smelled alright to him.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2010, 05:54:35 PM by Drea » Logged

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Honour is within you, and cannot be taken away by others.  Neither highborn Knights with hollow souls, or gossiping harpies can break your spirit unless you let them.- Drea
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2010, 02:49:39 AM »

Date: 25th Singing Bird, 6th Hour of Guardorans (2AM)

Drea awoke, beads of perspiration formed on her brow.  No, not again!  In her belly she could feel a tightness, not a pain, not yet, but simply a tightness.  In a day, two maybe, it would become pain; severe pain. It was nearing time for her moon cycle, and it was looking like it was going to be a rough one.

Knowing she was not going to find slumber any time soon, Drea climbed out of her bed.  She would go for a walk; sometimes that helped.  She glanced out her window.  By the position of the moon, she could tell it was late night, if not closer to morning.

Dressing, she left her apartment and padded down the long corridor.  It was empty, with none of the servants, secretaries, or other embassy personnel milling about.  It felt nice to not have so many eyes on her.

Passing Aeris' office, she could hear the little man yelling harshly at someone.  Probably Buttins.  Poor man.  How he suffered the little tyrant so patiently was anyone's guess.

Finding herself outside in the courtyard, she sat on a bench.  The night was cool and a slight breeze wafted the smell of flowers in bloom into her nostrils.  A twinge made her grimace slightly and her hand went to her belly.  What were you?  A son?  A daughter?  What would I have named you?  What would you have grown to be?  So much potential.

A single tear rolled down her cheek which she wiped away angrily.  No!  Being sentimental was stupid and a waste of energy.  She had done the right thing.  The father was dead, a criminal no less, and she was in no position to raise a child on her own.

"Oh gods!  I need a drink!" she spoke to no one in particular.  Standing, she glanced back at the embassy.  It would fine if she left for an hour or two.  Everything was quiet here.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2010, 03:43:38 PM by Drea » Logged

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Honour is within you, and cannot be taken away by others.  Neither highborn Knights with hollow souls, or gossiping harpies can break your spirit unless you let them.- Drea
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2010, 02:51:00 AM »

Date: 26th Singing Bird, Lightthrive, 1st Hour of Sunblaze (9 AM)

Aeris was happy this morning.  Two things had happened that seemed to bring out his more jovial nature.  First was, he got to berate Buttins for nearly two full hours last night.  It felt so good to yell at that old fool, and afterwards he was able to fall into a peaceful sleep.  In fact, should he ever find himself unable to sleep in the future, he made a pledge to himself to go in search of Buttins.  The only fly in the ointment, as it were, was the strange dream he had that a cat was chasing him through the halls of the embassy, with him somehow growing a long tail and large ears and wearing long whiskers.  Bizarre.  From now on, no more brandy straight before bed.

The second item that had Aeris in a mood so convivial that the servants avoided him, for an unhappy Aeris was only slightly less creepy than a happy one, was a rolled scroll of parchment, tied with blue ribbon and feathers, while bearing the seal of Ambassador Belenos Tristram.  It was that time of year again, when Tristram would be holding his annual masquerade ball.  It was one of the most important parties of the year.  All the most influential people in New Santhala would be there; the ambassadors, the nobles, the wealthy.  Some years, the Santhran himself was known to attend.  Would Tiandor be there this year?  It was possible, for he was in New Santhala and not away on important kingly business.

As he walked along the stone corridor, he kicked up his heels and giggled.  He then stopped in front of the ambassador's office and knocked sharply on the door.  He waited until he heard Fruwee bid him enter, before throwing open the door and stepping inside.  He bowed.  "M'lord, good morning to you.  I see you have settled in already."

Kembar Fruwee glanced up from the stack of parchment reports he was looking over.  "You expected something else?  I told you, Aeris, I was going to get to work straight away.  What do you need?"  He noticed the garish scroll in the castellan's hand.  "What is that?"

Aeris beamed.  He held out the scroll.  "A message, from Ambassador Tristram at the Nermeran embassy."

Fruwee lowered his head back to the work on his desk, only partially paying attention to the little man.  He was pleasantly surprised when the scent of rose water wafted into his nose.  "Read it."

Aeris almost giggled as his stubby fingers untied the ribbon with the gusto of a child receiving a birthday present.
 
"To his Lordship, Kembar Fruwee,

I send my sincerest condolences to you and your family on your loss. Your uncle was a worthy ally and a true friend. Too few possess just a small amount of his good sense, judgment, and dignity.

Yours sincerely,

Belenos Tristram

P.S.  If it is not too soon, or unseemly, you are cordially invited to our annual masquerade ball.  Your presence would honour us greatly.  I await your reply."


When the ambassador did not immediately reply, Aeris took it upon himself to expound on the importance of this party.  "I think that we should attend, m'lord.  Ambassador Tristram has a penchant for garnering powerful allies, and I'm sure many will be there.  What better opportunity will there be to meet all the right people.  Between the two of us-".

"Write the good ambassador back, telling him I would be honoured to attend his party, and that I thank him for his kind words concerning my uncle."

Aeris grinned and bowed.  "Yes, m'lord, I'll tell him we shall be there."

"You won't be going."

Aeris was kicked in the... well, it felt like he was just kicked somewhere south of his belly.  "M'lord?"  His voice lost the lilt it had carried only a moment before, and now quivered as though he was threatening to break out in tears.

"You are too busy, Aeris.  Until I have my own personal secretary, you will be pulling both duties.  As such, you will be here taking care of the business usually reserved for them.  Please inform my wife of this party.  Gods know she will need all the time available in order to prepare, what with trying to find the perfect dress, the perfect mask.  Women!"  Fruwee glanced up once more.  "You still here?"

As Aeris stomped back to his own office, the servants collectively breathed a sigh of relief, content that there real boss was back to being himself.


« Last Edit: February 05, 2010, 04:09:01 AM by Drea » Logged

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Honour is within you, and cannot be taken away by others.  Neither highborn Knights with hollow souls, or gossiping harpies can break your spirit unless you let them.- Drea
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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2010, 04:47:51 PM »

Date: 29th Singing Bird, 2nd Hour of Guardorans (10 PM)

Aeris made his way down the corridor, his footsteps not quite as authoritative as they had been in days past.  In fact, they weren't even as steady as they normally were.  "If I can't party at the Nermeran embashy, I'll jusht party 'ere!" He lifted the bottle of Vhodkaa to his lips and took a long pull from it.  Lowering the bottle, he stared at it and giggled.  Vhodkaa was a fairly rare drink and very expensive to get a hold of, which is why Aeris chose it when he went rooting around the embassy liquor room.  He raised the bottle in the air like a mock toast.  "'ere's to you, Fruwee."  He then pumped his fist in a lewd and obscene gesture to no one in particular except the people in his mind.  Another guzzle of the fiery liquid.

"Who you think you are?  All prishy and full of yourshelf!  Well, I'll tell you who you ain't!  You ain't the boss of me!  In fact, you can kish me right 'ere."  Aeris slapped himself ion the rump, and another round of giggles erupted from him before a large belch forced its way out.  "Oh, nishe one, Aerish!"

The next swig out of the bottle proved to be disappointing for Aeris, for only a few drops greeted him.  He lifted the bottle and eyed it suspiciously, as though it was magically playing a trick on him and simply withholding its potent contents.  Sadly, it was empty.  Now what to do?  He would drink more, but the liquor room was so far away, down in the basement.  He didn't have the energy to walk down all those stairs.  

In fact, he didn't have much energy at all.  Finding a soft spot on the stone floor, he sank down into a sitting position, his back against the wall.  First person to pass by him, he could send them for more booze.  He nodded to himself.  "Good idea, Aerish."

And so he sat.  

Alone.

And time seemed to drag, with not a soul in sight, until the sound of life lifted his eyes, which had very nearly closed.  He was startled as a mouse ran across his lap.  "Where are all the catsh?"  Suddenly he remembered the orders he had given Buttins.  "Oh, yeah."  Snicker.

A hissing stopped his merriment and he snapped his head around to see the young Wilderon cat that belonged to Lady Tylannah.  "You!"

The cat, who had been hunting the abundant numbers of mice in the palace, stopped in its tracks, its copper coloured eyes glued to the castellan.  A high pitched whine emanated from its throat.

Aeris smirked, meeting the cat's gaze with his own unsteady one.  "I know who you are.  You can't fool me.  I knew you would pull a dirty trick like thish and come back."

The brown and white herin coloured cat sat on its rear haunches, lifted a front paw and began to lick it.

"You can't ignore me, Fruwee.  I know it's you.  And I'm gonna gut you and turn you into a harp, you little-"  He lunged forward, arms outstretched.  Arnurd the cat jumped out of the way with ease, as Aeris crashed along the floor.  The castellan swore a blue streak as he watched the cat scamper away.  He'd get that damn cat.  That damn Arnurd Fruwee.

Aeris lay his head on the cold stone floor.  It felt so soothing.  So comfortable.  So... nice...

He was asleep.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 05:13:46 AM by Drea » Logged

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Honour is within you, and cannot be taken away by others.  Neither highborn Knights with hollow souls, or gossiping harpies can break your spirit unless you let them.- Drea
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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2010, 07:51:34 AM »

Date: 29th Singing Bird, 2nd Hour of Nightsbane (4 AM)

She moaned.  Her head swung back from side to side.  Beads of sweat formed on her brow, and on her soft harelip.  Suddenly, she sat upright in bed, her heartbeat and breathing strong, her eyes searching the darkness.  Tylannah forced herself to calm down.  It was only a dream.

Arnurd jumped up on the bed and padded over onto her lap and curled up, purring loudly.  With one hand, Tylannah stroked the Wilderon cat's soft, thick fur.  Her other hand used the sleeve to her nightgown to gently dab at her face.  What had she been dreaming?  She couldn't remember.  It had to be from earlier tonight; the violence at the Nermeran Embassy.  She hadn't thought it bothered her that badly at the time, but apparently it had.

She looked at the empty spot next to her.  Of course, Kembar was not here in her bed chambers.  He rarely stayed all night, even when they made love, which had not happened in months, with her belly protruding as it was.  It was true of tonight.  He had lain with her until she fell asleep, holding her and running his hands over her belly and their son inside for it had to be a boy, Jeyriall hear my prayers!.  Then, as he always did, he had slipped away to either his own bedchamber or to his office to attend to matters of state.

Well, there was no point in staying awake all night.  She leaned back onto her pillow and closed her eyes.  Time to sleep.  Time to let everything simply fade away...

Tylannah opened her eyes.  She heard something.  Holding her breath, her ears confusing the fine line between real noise and the loud drone of complete silence, she concentrated.  There it was again!  She sat up again, trying not to disturb the kitten on her lap.  What was that noise?  It sounded like... no, it couldn't be.  A baby's cries?  Who here in the embassy had a child?  No one that she could think of.  The cries sounded distant, but from within the embassy.

Arnurd suddenly perked up his head and a low growl escaped from deep within his chest.  

"What is wrong with you?" Tylannah asked, seeing his copper eyes seemingly glow in the darkness of the room.

A hiss spewed forth from the cat, who attempted to jump off her lap, but was impeded by Tylannah's hand on its back.  It then scratched at her, drawing blood, and when her hand moved, jumped off the bed and bolted under the bed.  A whine came from the Wilderon cat.

"Ouch!"  Tylannah drew back her hand, and felt the blood coming to the surface.  What had gotten into that crazy cat?

The sound of the crying was getting more intense.  Whatever child that was must be getting very hungry or was wet or something.  Whoever the mother was, she was not taking care of it.  Tylannah felt her instincts kicking in and swung her legs off the side of the bed.  She would check in on the child.

She drew about her a fine robe and walked to the door of the room.  She opened it and stared into the anteroom, where an oil lamp burned and gave off a soft glow.  There was no one here, though there really should not have been.  Her personal assistant had her own quarters to sleep in at night.

Tylannah padded across the rug and reached the door to the corridor beyond.  She carefully and slowly opened it and peaked out.  No one was in the corridor.  She peaked to the left, towards Kembar's bedchamber, but that was not where the crying was coming from.  She then looked in the other direction, and the crying became more pronounced.  Stepping gingerly out into the corridor, she moved in the direction of the infant's voice.

It seemed that not matter how far she moved, the voice was just around the next corner, and none of the doors she stopped in front of held the child inside.  She reached the stairs and heard the crying echoing from down below.  Looking back once, she made up her mind to find this child and started down the stairs.  From the third floor down to the second, then onward to the first, and still further downward to the basement.  Why would a child be in the basement?

She strolled along the corridor until she reached an oak door that was shut, but the crying seemed to emanate from behind.  She leaned her head against the door and listened, but heard only the crying.  Was this someone's bedchamber?  One of the servants?  She had never been down here before.  Is this where some of the servants were housed?  

Taking a deep breath, Tylannah knocked.  She waited, but no one answered.  Again, with the same result.  The crying still issued forth.  Biting her lip, Tylannah tried the door latch.  The door opened, and she waited, half expecting someone to be on the other side, but there was no one.  Only darkness.  On the other side of this door, there were no light bringing torches in sconces on the wall.

Tylannah stepped away from the door and pulled a torch from the wall sconce a few feet away.  She then stepped through the door.  Peering into the darkness beyond the circle of torchlight, she could see rows of shelves with dust covered bottles.  Wine.  This was the wine cellar?   "Hello?"

No one answered, and now the crying abruptly stopped.  Tylannah took another couple steps forward, and nearly screamed aloud when the door suddenly slammed shut.  She rushed back to the door, but the latch was stuck.  She tried again with the same result.  What now?  How would she get out?  There was no one else down here, that she had seen.

Tylannah spun about.  There was movement here!  She wasn't alone.  "Hello?"  Her voice sounded so pathetic; weak and trembling.  Despite the warmth of the torch, her breath left a cloud in the air, and she pulled her robe tighter around her.  There was no answer, but there was a scraping sound far off in a corner.  Forcing her fear down, Tylannah stepped forward.  She past rows of bottles, many of them older than she was, holding wine that if sold could buy a peasants farm, it was so expensive.  Arnurd Fruwee had been a collector of such things.  Something Kembar shared a love for.

There was movement again.  This time, Tylannah was sure she saw someone disappear around the end of one of the row of shelves.  Whoever it was, they were being purposeful in trying to avoid her.  This only strengthened her resolve.  She moved forward more quickly now.

"Come out!  I see you."  She turned a corner only to see the figure again disappear around another row of shelves.  This time she had seen enough to know it was a woman, dressed in a white nightgown.  Tylannah nearly broke into a run.  She needed to catch this stranger that was playing this game.  She turned a corner, expecting to see the stranger, if only a glimpse as they disappeared around another corner, but there was none.  In fact, there were no other corners to slip around.  She had reached the back of the cellar and there was only stone wall ahead of her.

Her bows furrowed.  Where did the figure go?  There was nowhere else for them to go.  They couldn't have slipped past her, or escaped somewhere.  It was if they simply disappeared.  As if they dissolved into the wall itself.

Tylannah shivered as a presence could suddenly be felt directly behind her.  Someone had moved right up behind her!  The ambassador's wife spun around and a force grabbed at both her torch and her waist.

A scream echoed from the wine cellar.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 05:14:05 AM by Drea » Logged

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Honour is within you, and cannot be taken away by others.  Neither highborn Knights with hollow souls, or gossiping harpies can break your spirit unless you let them.- Drea
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« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2010, 03:47:37 PM »

Date: 29th Singing Bird, 3rd Hour of Nightsbane (5 AM)

"You fool!  Look at you!  You're drunk, you stink like Vhodkaa, and you claim to have passed out in the wine cellar.  I should have you tossed on a rack and stretched!"

Ouch!  That hurt.  Not simply because it was an obvious jab at Aeris' height, but because his head felt as though it were going to burst.  Still, the only thing he could do was sit there in Lady Tylannah's anteroom while ambassador Fruwee screamed at him.  Worse, Corfuyne, Corrigahn and Buttins were here to witness this.  He visibly winced.

"Please, Kembar.  It was not his fault.  He startled me, but it was not him that caused me to go down there to the wine cellar."  Tylannah sat in a deep thick chair, while an attending lady dabbed her forehead with a cool cloth.

It was obvious that Fruwee was not to be cajoled by his wife.  "You heard a baby crying?"  He faced each of the people in the room.  "Is there a child in this embassy?"

Buttins shook his head.  "No, m'lord.  The last woman to have a child was Getti, one of the housemaids, and that was three years ago.  Since then, Getti was let go.  Had a bad habit of gossipping, she did.  I remember this one story she told about the castellan from the Manthrian embassy and his, or so I'm told, extra long-".

"Buttins!  Will you shut up!"  Aeris sighed.  It was better when the ambassador was yelling at him than to hear Buttins make a fool of himself.

"-ears."  Buttins realized that he had gone off on his own path again, at exactly the wrong time.  He simply shook his head toward the ambassador.  "No children here, m'lord."

Fruwee nodded and strolled over to his wife and laid a reassuring hand on her shoulder.  "See, my dear, there are no children.  You must have heard Aeris."

Tylannah was getting frustrated.  "No.  It wasn't the castellan.  I heard a child.  It woke me up."

"Then you were dreaming.  Sleepwalking perhaps.  We had a trying night.  Far too much excitement for a woman in your condition.  I should not have brought you.  From now on, you will stay in the embassy and get more rest."  He captured the eye of the attending lady.  "Take my wife to her bed and see to it she gets some rest."

The woman curtsied.  "M'lord."  Helping Tylannah to her feet, the two disappeared into the bed chamber.

Fruwee turned his attention back to Aeris.  "The only reason I don't have you impaled on a pike is because my wife believes you innocent in this.  I know better, of course.  You will pay for the bottles of Vhodkaa you stole from me.  She might not believe it was you she heard, but it is obvious to the rest of us."

Aeris bit his lip.  Yes, he had woken up in the hall and stumbled to the wine cellar in search of more vhodkaa.  Yes, he had drank himself into a stupor and had vomited on himself and disgraced himself.  That was all true.  But, it was untrue that it was him the lady had heard in the basement.  He had awakened in the cellar by hearing the lady calling out to someone.  He had approached her from behind, and when she turned about, he had startled her.  He had been forced to grab the torch and grab her to keep her from falling when she nearly fainted from fright.  In truth, Fruwee should be thanking him for saving the Lady Tylannah.  Not that he'd hold his breath until that happened.

Fruwee snorted derisively.  "Get out of my sight.  In fact, attempt to avoid me all together for the next few days so that I may calm down a bit before deciding your fate."

Aeris stood and hurried from the lady's anteroom, followed by Buttins, Corrigahn and Drea.  Once they were safely in the corridor, Aeris stopped and halted Corrigahn as well, waving the other two people away.  "Look, Corrigahn, I'm not sure what happened tonight, but the lady was following something.  I want you to stay close to her.  Watch her.  If someone is trying to harm her, we better make damn sure they don't succeed.  I might be in the ambassador's bow-sight now, but if something happens to his wife, you can be sure all of us will pay for it."
« Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 05:14:49 AM by Drea » Logged

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Honour is within you, and cannot be taken away by others.  Neither highborn Knights with hollow souls, or gossiping harpies can break your spirit unless you let them.- Drea
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« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2010, 12:09:29 AM »

Date: 30th Singing Bird, 1st Hour of Sunblaze Known as Lightthrive (9 AM)

Drea entered the sitting room, and casually looked about, seeing only Tylannah.  The ambassador's wife had her back to the room, staring out the window to the gardens outside, the flowers in bloom.  It was apparent that the woman had not heard Drea enter the room, so Drea softly cleared her throat.  She saw the woman stiffen, so knew that her presence was acknowledged.

"Lady, is there anything I can do for you?"

Tylannah stared out the window.  For the first time since coming here to New Santhala, she suddenly found herself wishing she were back in Voldar.  "No, thank you, Drea."

Drea fidgeted.  The lady's voice sounded hollow and weak. "Perhaps you would like to talk about what happened last night?"

Tylannah shook her head.  No, she did not want to talk about last.  In truth, she did not know what she could say.  She knew what she had heard.  She knew what she had seen.  And it was not Aeris.  Something strange had happened.  But, above all of this, what was worse was that her husband did not believe her.  Nor, she was sure, did the others in her room last night, which included Drea.  "No, thank you, Drea.  I'd just rather forget what happened."  She turned to face the bodyguard.

Drea was startled at how bad Tylannah looked.  Her eyes were red and puffy, and her skin pale.  "Did you get any sleep?"

"No, not much," Tylannah admitted.  

"Maybe you should try to sleep, then."

Again, Tylannah shook her head.  No.  Every time she closed her eyes, she could hear the cries of that child and could see the spectre disappearing just beyond her vision.  A shiver ran through her.

"Breakfast, then?"

Tylannah sighed.  She knew that she would not get any peace from the bodyguard until she gave in on something.  Still, her stomach was not up to eating.  What else, then?  "Drea, can you summon our new musician?  I'd like to hear some music right now."

Drea paused.  She would have preferred the lady eat, but this gave her a chance to speak to the elf.  This, she had planned to do anyway.  Was it simply a coincidence that a stranger was brought into the embassy the very night that something strange had happened to the ambassador's wife?  

Drea bowed.  "Very well, m'lady.  I'll go and fetch Kalina."  She spun on her heel and left the room and headed upstairs.  She had a few questions for the harp player.

She stopped before the door to the elfess' room and knocked sharply.  "Kalina, it's Drea Corfuyne, may I come in?  Lady Tylannah is asking for you."
« Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 05:15:06 AM by Drea » Logged

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Honour is within you, and cannot be taken away by others.  Neither highborn Knights with hollow souls, or gossiping harpies can break your spirit unless you let them.- Drea
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« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2010, 05:42:17 AM »

Date: 30th Singing Bird, 4th Hour of Sunblaze Known as Sunreign (12 PM)

Aeris sat at his desk, going over expense figures for the embassy.  He had been at it for over three hours, but had only recently began to make sense of them.  Most of the morning, the lists of numbers would simply blur into a long line of nothingness.  It wasn't until Buttins arrived with a flask of svaq, which Aeris greedily consumed, that life began to return to normalcy after the vhodkaa induced hangover he suffered through all morning.

Now that his head had stopped pounding, it gave him time to fume over the dressing down he had taken this morning.  What Fruwee had done to him, in front of subordinates no less, was unwarranted and completely malapropos.  If that pompous, over bearing wind bag were here right now, Aeris would give him a blast of what was what!  He'd start by telling him what an ingrate the man was, followed by-

"Aeris!"  Fruwee stood in front of the Castellan's desk.  "Are you sleeping?"

Aeris lifted his head, only now realizing that he had succumbed to his heavy eyes and placed his head, if only for a moment, onto the reports.  One sheet of parchment stuck to his chin from the drool that had dripped from the corner of his mouth and dried there.  Aeris tore it from his face and tried to smooth it out on the desk, while attempting to look nonchalant.  "Not sleeping, m'lord, just engrossed in the expense reports."

Fruwee shook his head slowly, disgusted at what he saw before him.  "Aeris, I've decided to give you one more chance, more so because of my wife's insistance that it was not you in the cellar that gave her such a fright, and that you in fact saved her.  Had I my druthers, I'd toss your arse out of here today."

Aeris was not sure what to say.  "Thank you?"  It sounded so stupid out loud.

He must have been dropped on his head as a child, Fruwee thought to himself.  Might explain the height as well.  "So, I decided that I needed to keep better tabs on you.  As I don't actually want to near you any more than absolutely necessary, I have decided that I am going to replace your assistant Buttins with one of my own men.  Actually, woman would be more accurate."  Fruwee turned to the open door.  "Come in."

An older woman entered the room, bowing to the ambassador before turning to Aeris and nodding to him.  "M'lord."

"This is Xennia, and she'll be your new assistant."  There was not intonation of any room for argument in Fruwee's voice.

Aeris glanced over to Xennia, who grinned at him with a buck-toothed smile.  He rolled his eyes.  How bad was life when he knew that he was going to miss Buttins?
« Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 05:15:20 AM by Drea » Logged

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Honour is within you, and cannot be taken away by others.  Neither highborn Knights with hollow souls, or gossiping harpies can break your spirit unless you let them.- Drea
Cyradin Lawabel
Masterful Merchant
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« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2010, 11:17:12 AM »

Date: 28th Day of Awakening Earth: Sunreign - 12:00pm
*NOTE: This takes place prior to the murder of the first Ambassador Fruwee*

Cyradin didn't like the man in front of him ... offiicious types really got up his nose.

"You are aware, aren't you, that this delivery was very nearly late, Master Merchant," the official said, speaking down his nose at the merchant.

"The delivery wasn't due until the 1st of Changing Winds," Cyradin replied, "we actually got here ahead of time. We made better time than expected on the roads between farms, cities, villages and towns. Then, of course, some of our suppliers helped us with the loading and unloading. Now, then, it is your choice. You can take these goods, pay us for them, and we'll be on our way, or we'll find another purchaser for our goods, the Nemeran Embassy, perhaps?"

"Don't you dare do that," the official said, "we had an agreement with you. You would supply us with those goods, not them. I ... that is the Ambassador would ensure that you never work again in these parts if you were to supply them with anything."

"This is out of the way for my apprentice and myself," Cyradin observed, "if we were to give up the trip here, we'd be able to get more products delivered and collected than we do currently. We'd make more profit that way. So, by all means cancel our order. We'll focus on customers who appreicate our efforts. Come, Raworaan, let's go."

And with that, both man and boy turned to go back to their wain.

"Stop! Stop! Stop! Don't go!" Cyradin and Raworaan paid no attention to the squawking official, though they had shared a grin with each other.

"I issued you an order!" the official called out after them, "you are required to stop and listen to me when I give you an official order or directive."

"Neither my apprentice or myself are dogs, nor are we your servants. We do not come when you squawk. It is your choice, either accept our goods, or we'll find another buyer for them," Cyradin said.

"Very well, Master Merchant, the Vardynn Embassy shall graciously accept your goods and the Vardynn Embassy will pay you for them. However, 5% of the price will be deducted from the price you receive, due to your lack of respect for me and my position as 3rd Assistant Undersecretary to the Works Division of the Embassy of Vardynn," the official stated.

"This bores me," Cyradin declared, "we're here ahead of time, and we've delivered the goods the Embassy desired. We will be paid in full, or your behaviour will be reported to the appropriate authorities, and these supplies will go to another embassy. Will your Works Division be impressed with that outcome, Mister 3rd Assistant Undersecretary?"

"I err ..." the official spluttered and then cleared his throat, "you will be paid for you goods in full. Furthermore, I am also prepared to pay you an additional 10% price on top for the trouble you've gone to on our behalf."

"No, Mr 3rd Assistant Undersecretary, I am after a fair price. That price is the price we agreed on. I will not accept any variation to that price. I hope that you weren't just offering me a bribe to keep quiet," Cyradin said.

"Oh, of course not, Master Merchant," the official said, fawning over Cyradin, "I would never try to bribe you. I know you are beyond such things."

"And quit sucking up to me," Cyradin said, "it doesn't work for me, and it makes you look ridiculous, man. Always face the world on your own two feet."

"I am sorry, Master Merchant, it won't happen again," the official said.

"Good, now my Apprentice will oversee the unloading of the wain. Please send out five porters or similar who can do the lifting. While that's happening, we'll count the payment ... we wouldn't want any of the silverbards going astray, now would we?"

The official frowned at that, but motioned for five burly blokes to assist Raworaan with the unloading.

"Remember, Raw, you're not to do the lifting," Cyradin said over his shoulder to his nephew, before following the 3rd Assistant Undersecretary to the Works Division of the Vardynn Embassy into the strongroom containing the money.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2010, 05:53:04 PM by Cyradin Lawabel » Logged

Chasing Rabbits!
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Raworaan
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« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2010, 12:14:52 PM »

Raworaan listened as Cyradin and the officious fool verbally fenced with each other. He had seen his uncle do so on countless other occasions, this one had no chance, no chance at all. Raworaan could see that from the start of this encounter. Raworaan winced at his uncle's response to the fool's suggestion that the pay be reduced and then to the suggestion that his uncle receive 10% extra.

They were from Xaramon Province, Naios to be exact although they moved around quite often, picking up and delivering products fo various kinds, including foodstuffs. Raworaan found it interesting, very interesting, far more interesting than growing up on the farm. For most of his life, the first 8 years of it, actually, he'd grown up idolising Cyradin. Then at eight, Cyradin came to his parents' farm and he had changed from an object of mystery to his uncle. Raworaan was seeing Cyradin off, when disaster struck the farm, burning it the ground, with Raworaan's parents inside. Since that day, 2 years earlier, Cyradin had taken Raworaan under his wing, teaching him how to be a merchant.

This was Raworaan's first trip here. When Cyradin had last came to New Santhalos, Raworaan was left with the owner of the Red King Inn in Naios, but now Cyradin declared he wanted Raworaan to join him, and despite the boy's protestations, he ended up going for the trip.

Things were changing for Raworaan now. He began to draw his own opinions on things, and he wasn't shy about sharing them with Cyradin, particularly when they were at odds with those of Cyradin. But for now he was ...

He was drawn back when his uncle mentioned his name. Raworaan snapped back into paying attention and heard what his uncle said, "Remember, Raw, you're not to do the lifting."

Raw watched his uncle and the fool go into a building and then at the 5 men coming towards him. He had grown up as an only child, and he really didn't like large crowds ... he was fine with about 5 others, many more, though, and he'd start feeling very uncomfortable.

"Where's the stuff, kid," one of them said.

"In the back here," Raworaan replied, getting down from the wainsman's platform and opening the side of the wain. "That stuff there is ours." Raworaan pointed, "that stuff there is to be unloaded."

Cyradin had insisted on Raworaan be involved in loading the Wain so that the boy would know what was where when it came to delivering the supplies to the Embassy.

"Let's do it boys," another of the five said, then to Raworaan, "and what about you, kid, are you going to help?"

"The Master Merchant told me not to do any lifting," Raworaan replied, "I'd better not."

Of course, kid, he said with a smirk, "stay back there and keep safe, be a baby."

"I am ten years old," Raworaan said, "I'm not a baby! Don't you dare call me a baby!"

"Or what, you'll cry?" asked the man, and the five porters burst into laughter at that, "don't cry, baby!"

"I'll report it to my uncle," Raworaan said with a smile, "and he'll take our goods to another Embassy. Do I need to call my Uncle? Will the fool dealing with the Master Merchant take too kindly to your ... incompetence?"

The five men went on with their work without another comment ... Raworaan was, afterall, the apprentice to Cyradin and things like that were included in his education. He wondered how long it would be before Uncle Cyr would be out with him again.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2010, 12:26:28 PM by Raworaan » Logged

If anyone out there calls those two 'teenagers' I'll turn them into frogs. The correct term is adolescence and the only good thing that comes out of it is that most everyone grows out of it. (paraphrasing David Eddings)
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Cyradin Lawabel
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« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2010, 01:39:21 PM »

Date: 28th Day of Awakening Earth: 5th Hour of Sunblaze - 1:00pm
*NOTE: This takes place prior to the murder of the first Ambassador Fruwee*


As he left his meeting with the 3rd Assistant Undersecretary to the Works Division of the Embassy of Vardynn, Cyradin looked around for his nephew. The five porters were nowhere in sight, and so he walked towards the wain. There, on the driver's platform was Raworaan ... fast asleep.

"Raw," he said to his nephew, "time to go."

Raworaan woke with a start and looked at his uncle, "of course, it is."

"Enjoy the sleep?" Cyradin asked.

"I wasn't sleeping, I was resting my eyes," Raworaan protested.

"As you wish, Raw," Cyradin said, "our business here is done, however we make the return trip in two months. On about the 30th of Singing Birds and we'll have another round of dealing with the Third Assistant Secretary of the Division of Works at the Vardynn Embassy."

"So its home to Naios then?" the boy asked, at the nod from his uncle, he grinned, saying, "good, a bit of time at home will do us both good, I think."

The master merchant motioned to his nephew to move across and the boy did so, allowing Cyradin to get up and sit alongside him. Taking Braan's reigns in his hands, the man started through the streets of New Santhalos for the gates that would ultimately take them back up north and home.

"So, observations back there, Raw," Cyradin said, "what did you think of my dealings with that doormat?"

"You were extremely eloquent, Uncle Cyr, eloquent and polite, but you were unmoving and ultimately you got what you wanted at the price you wanted. You really do want a fair price for things, don't you?" the boy replied.

"Indeed," Cyradin replied, "though what do you mean by fair price?"

"Well, you stuck to the contract price. Even when the self-important goose tried to bribe you with more money, you stuck to your guns and the contract, not accepting more than the original price." Raworaan said.

Cyradin nodded, "what would you have done differently to that?"

"Well ... I would ..." and as the conversation between Cyradin and Raworaan continued, the camera faded into nothingness as their conversation was ultimately unimportant to the plot.
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