You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Recent posts by Eol Fefalas
Topic: The One Word Game
Posted on 2009-12-28 at 14:33:35.
Topic: The Morphing Game
Subject: Yon jury of your...
Posted on 2009-12-28 at 14:32:41.
Topic: The Morphing Game
Posted on 2009-12-27 at 00:17:04.
Topic: The Fates of Fortune
Subject: Well played, Mistress... shall we contine?
As they left Taellyn’s, Nyx fell almost too easily into the role of servant to Cay’s Mistress. The pale mith’ganni skulked along at the accepted three steps behind her and two steps to her right as she breezed confidently along Drasnia’s streets and guided them towards the Trade Bureau. The sight of them, now, in the eyes of any who should happen to look would surely bear out an appearance exactly as their ruse intended. Cay was positively gorgeous in the well-fit, sapphire-hued dress – sparse jewelry and ornamentation aside – and exuded a haughty and almost regal aire as she glided along the cobbled streets. If any didn’t believe her a noble, they certainly didn’t estimate her to be anything less than the wife of a well-to-do merchant, especially with the battered and bruised Twilighter shuffling along at her elbow. With his cloak carefully draped to conceal the few weapons that he carried and the clothing beneath still rather untidy and torn in spots it was not hard for the average Drasnian to dismiss him as little more than the slave he was portraying – likely a troublesome one or, perhaps, a bodyguard given the purple and blue contusions that marred the exposed alabaster skin of his face neck and hands.
“I do not know what we are looking for exactly,” Cay offered, finally breaking the silence that had hung between them since leaving the seamstress’ shop behind, “He did not go into any further detail than wanting the manifests from Avenon…”
“A place to start is all we need,” Nyx answered, finding it difficult not to look at her overlong (which would be inappropriate for a slave to do). He forced his eyes from her and back to the cobbles at his feet; “And we have that. So long as we can get access to the manifests for those caravans bound to and from Avenon and especially those affiliated with Bolstoii’s companies we should likely find what it is we seek even if we know not what it is, yes?” He held his tongue as they passed a small group of humans (who all offered polite nods and greetings to Cay, he noticed) and waited for them to be out of earshot before continuing, again. “I am no merchant or wagon master,” he said, “but, given that there are only a finite number of things that could be on a caravan between here and there that would possibly be of concern to slaves, I imagine whatever it is will be easily enough discovered…”
Nyx fell again into silence as they neared the hustle and bustle that surrounded the Trade Bureau, his gaze discretely sweeping the crowd and chancing, on occasion, to linger on Cay if given the opportunity. Such an opportunity presented itself when the reached the foot of the wide, marble steps that climbed towards the pillared and domed spectacle of the Drasnian trade offices. To Nyx’s eyes, the place was like any other human designed thing – hard, cold, and garishly overstated – but to Cay’s it seemed, given the way she marveled at it for a long moment, it was a thing of beauty and source of pride perhaps. He wondered, watching the breeze toy with a strand of her hair, what thoughts played in her mind as she stared up at the edifice… and what she must have thought when she discovered the place that he called home…
She thinks that humans are far superior to your kind, Shyndyn, whispered a voice that had been silent in his mind for some while, and she wishes that her own blood wasn’t tainted by the blood of elves…
A scowl twisted the mith’ganni’s features then. Whether it was because it irritated him that Prien had deigned to speak to him at all or, rather, because the Executioner’s estimation rang of truth, though, Nyx couldn’t decide… nor could he decide whether or not to even acknowledge the god… and it began to anger rather than simply irritate him.
Look at you! Playing her slave once more after all it got you last time. I would have thought you would have learned from these last hours, my disciple, that this… these thoughts… these feelings that you have… or even her… none of this is intended for you. You swore your fealty to me. Your life is mine. Accept it and let us get on with our business…
His jaw tightened and eyes narrowed as Prien persisted and Nyx was making ready a reply when Cay’s playfully flashing eyes caught his. A bit of the tension eased from his features at that mischievous glance and the god’s voice was drowned out by her whispering voice.
“Let’s see how quick you are on your toes,” she said softly, assuming an even more confident posture, smoothing her dress, and sweeping up the steps.
He nodded, waited for her to be three steps ahead, and, keeping his eyes on her as she went, shambled along in her wake. Cay was playing her role well, Nyx thought, as they passed through the row of columns at the head of the stairs and into the main foyer. She paused here, unexpectedly, and he watched her survey the room with a hint of trepidation lighting her eyes. The glances and accompanying murmurs that met them threatened her impersonation, it appeared. Do not hesitate, Cayrimsa, Nyx tried to transmit the thought as his own steps mirrored hers, you must believe before any of these others will…
The flicker of uncertainty disappeared from Cay’s eyes as quickly as it had come… as quickly as Nyx’s last thought had sought to reach her… and she fell seamlessly back into the ruse. Once again, she affected a purposeful stride and led them a few steps further into the room, then, with a wink as sudden as the action it took to do so, she snatched the pillow from his hands and raised it high above her head. The deception she crafted next was as finely woven as the tapestry that hung over the palette in her rooms. In fact, had he not known who she really was, Nyx would have believed her to be the indignant and infuriated noble that she pretended to be.
There had been only one more, very brief flicker of insecurity in her eyes when she first began her tirade but that one passed even faster than the first. The crowd parted before them as, shouting her dissatisfaction, she stormed towards the center of the place. The clerk who attended the central desk met them and did his best to corral her with protocol and procedure but, true to the incensed aristocrat persona that she had affected, Cay was having none of it and easily cowed the skinny little round-ear. That, as she had no doubt intended, brought upon them the attentions of a Trade official with power sufficiently beyond that of the stammering little receptionist. The softened tone and almost flirtatious tone she took with the government man, then, gained them audience in his private offices ahead of citizens who had been waiting far longer and were certainly better-known.
There was a strange twisting in Nyx’s gut, though, when he glanced at the green-suited short-life and read more than concern for maintaining order in the man’s eyes as reason for the invitation he had extended to Cay. He told himself that it didn’t matter… that it was a common and typically very effective ploy to work the lusts and desires and weaknesses of a mark or informant in situations like this… Such things have never bothered you before. Was it not Sylla’s charms and wiles that got you close to Gracchus? You did not flinch at that… Different was it? …
It was only then that Nyx realized his jaw had clenched tight enough to make the muscles in his face ache. He snarled inwardly, banishing the ridiculous thoughts that threatened to distract him and forced the tension from his visage before he turned his gaze to Cay in silent acknowledgement of her command. Well done, he nodded faintly when his eyes met hers.
After waiting, again, for Cay to be ahead of him by three steps, ‘Lathon’ shadowed her to the man’s office and, after she entered and seated herself, obediently stood where she indicated he should. He kept his head lowered and his hands clasped before him as an accompanying slave would do in the presence of his ‘betters’ but when the man approached, asked again after the source of her displeasure and coaxed her for a name, Nyx found one of his hands literally itching to feel the hilt of his blade against it’s palm. And when, after ‘Lady Dionlyspe’ had graced the man with her moniker, the man’s lips lingered too long on the hand she had offered, the mith’ganni was grateful that his cloak concealed the movement of his hand doing just that...
“…I am Lord Reginald Lemoyne. Reg to those who carry such beauty as yourself.”
“Please…” she giggled at the man, tossing her head in a subtly-flirtatious dismissal of his compliment, “at any rate… Reg… it is these pillows. I’ve ordered…”
Nyx controlled the snarl that threatened his lips, ignored the thoughts that flashed like strokes of lightning in his mind, and even kept his eyes from so much as flicking in their direction, but his fingertips still lingered on the hilt of his weapon. He was grateful when she snapped her fingers at him and gave him something to do other than stand and fume…
“Lathon,” she demanded, “how many of these did I order again?”
Lord Lemoyne actually looked at him, then, and Nyx’s hard-glinting eyes held the human’s gaze perhaps a little longer than they should have. “2000, Mistress,” he answered flatly, lowering his eyes once again.
Cay kept him engaged, forcing his mind to come up with and keep track of numbers for the responses she demanded, and expertly wove him deeper into her tapestry of deception and kept him focused on that role. By the time the overtly coy exchange between ‘Eva’ and Reg had steered progress in the direction it needed to go, Nyx’s hand had even drifted away from the kukri, at last, and was once again clasped with the other as it should have been. Even better, he didn’t have to force it to remain there until…
“Eva, you know that this is a large endeavor. We’ll have to pull manifests for at least the past month and go through them by hand.”
“You can borrow Lathon to assist, and… if it takes a while to finish I suppose that leaves me stranded here in this city for another night.”
You know where this is going, yes?
Lemoyne leaned in closer to Cay; “Does it now?”
Nyx’s left hand clamped down on his right, the pressure of the grip shooting painful reminders of the needles that had been shoved under his nails the night before through his hand, up his arm, and into his chest.
“And I suppose you have no plans then for the evening?” Lemoyne’s hand stroked gently over Cay’s… Lady Dionlyspe’s… cheek and the pain kindled a fire in Nyx’s chest. He cinched down harder on his right hand with the left, keeping the jerk of his elbow from traveling further down the arm.
“None…” Cay shook her head and smiled softly up at the round-ear.
You see, Prien snickered over whatever it was his own inner voice was trying to whisper just then, More of a taste for the still living short-lives than for an already dead point-ear from an already dead people…
It was almost more than Nyx could bear and, when Lemoyne’s hand drifted from her cheek and traced down along Cayrimsa’s arm, almost more than the mith’ganni could do to keep from opening the man from crotch to craw as he had the Legionnaire just days before.
“Seems like you have your afternoon’s work cut out for you,” the government man said, lifting his eyes to Nyx’s once again, and, hopefully, missing the murderous fires that raged behind them, “Two doors down to the left is the record’s office. Leo Trogden works in there, ask for him and tell him I sent you, he will help you gather the documents and go through them.”
The nod Nyx offered in reply was stiff and, perhaps, not as deferential as it should have been but, this too seemed to go unnoticed by the lustful bureaucrat and the man’s eyes turned, almost immediately back to Cay… Eva…
“I was about to head to lunch Eva,” Reg continued, already having dismissed the woman’s servant in his mind, “perhaps you would join me, we can return this afternoon and check on the progress…”
The mith’ganni’s eyes, also, sought out those amber pools as if to verify that his mistress concurred with the scarcely-veiled orders Lemoyne had just given him… and hoped that, when he looked at her, his expression would appear as it should when a slave sought its owner’s permission.
“Sounds like a perfect plan. You’ve been so very helpful Reginald,” Lady Eva cooed, smiling as her fingers delicately rest atop Lamoyne’s hand, “I shan’t forget it.”
Her eyes lifted from where her hand lingered atop Lamoyne’s, then, and found Nyx. “I expect something by the time I come back, Lathon.”
“Of course, my Mistress,” the mith’ganni replied with a compliant nod after loosening his jaw enough to speak the words, “worry not. I shall have what you need before you have finished your lunch.”
It took a scant second longer than it should have for his yellow eyes to peel away from the woman and turn to the Trade officer. “By your leave, my lord,” Nyx forced a short bow to the man before, at last abandoning his post at Cay’s right and moving stiffly for the door…
You should consider yourself lucky that the round-ear was too engrossed in Cay to have caught the thoughts in your eyes, Nyx, his inner voice rebuked.
Yes… lucky me… he grumbled in response as he stalked out of Lemoyne’s suite and found his way to the records office.
What angers you so about this? You have not slipped when it has been others playing the role that she plays now… No reaction at all when it was Tselika serving as your lure… none when Sylla donned that same mantle…
Neither of them were her. He retorted.
Prien, might have been correct in the estimation that your feelings are more trouble than they are worth where Cayrimsa is concerned, hm?
Nyx shut the voice out, then, and pushed through the door indicated by Lemoyne. A heavy-set but hardly fat man with thinning hair the color of sand and large, watery green eyes looked up at him from behind a tower of papers and ledgers that were strewn across the table behind which he sat; “Can I help you?”
Nyx bowed his head. “Yes,” he answered humbly, “sir, I am to review the manifests for all Avenon born and bound caravans in the past month, sir.”
“Is that so,” the man asked dubiously, setting aside the quill he had been clutching in one oversoft hand and smoothing his robes as he rose from his seat and peered curiously at the elf that stood just inside the door, “all by yourself?”
“No, sir,” Nyx answered, still not lifting his eyes from the floor, “Lord Lemoyne informed my Mistress Dionlyspe that a Leo Trogden would be available to supervise me, sir.”
“Lemoyne, eh?” The records clerk clucked his tongue, sighed, and, Nyx was sure, he actually heard the man’s eyes rolling in their sockets. “I’m sure he did…right after he wooed your mistress into joining him on a tour of the Bureau, I’ll wager, or a stroll through the financial district…”
“Dessert, more likely, knowing him,” the man mumbled as he came out from behind the desk and approached Nyx.
“Sir?” Yellow eyes flashed as they lifted, reflexively, to regard the clerk.
“Nothing,” the man chuckled softly waving a hand as if to erase his last remark from the air, “nothing at all.” His advancing steps faltered when they met the elf’s eyes and took in the battered face in which they were set; “You’re a mith’ganni…”
“How curious,” the man was intrigued, it seemed, and, unlike the typical human, the smile on his round face appeared to be warm and almost sincere, “it’s not often that we see full-blooded Twilighters here in Drasnia. Half-bloods bred in the slave pits, every now and again, and the occasional dancer or whore in the more exclusive brothels but…”
“Yes sir,” Nyx muttered, trying not to recoil as the paunchy clerk invaded his space and studied him like some freak in a traveling circus, “my people typically do not adapt well to service, I have been told...” His fingers moved to touch the bruised side of his face but fell away before reaching it – it wouldn’t be appropriate for a slave to complain about his treatment, even passively, but the gesture aided in the ruse… “Please, sir,” he asked, mustering the appropriate humility and casting his eyes to the floor again, “My Mistress has demanded results ere she returns. Leo Trogden, if you please, sir?”
“Of course,” the man nodded, taking a step back as if he had suddenly realized that he was making the elven slave uncomfortable, “forgive me, my boy… I am Leo Trogden. Please…” he turned his back on Nyx, gesturing for the elf to follow as he tottered deeper into the room “…come this way. If you are to have results by the time Reg is, ahem, finished with your mistress I think we’ll not have long, eh?”
Nyx wasn’t sure whether he wanted to chuckle or snarl in response to Leo’s innuendo but, since the clerk seemed to find the jab at Lemoyne’s ‘stamina’ humorous, the assassin somewhat nervously echoed the round-ear’s laughter as he followed him past the desk and towards a long row of shelves and cabinets that lined the rear wall of the place.
“What is your name, mith’ganni,” Leo asked, tracing a sausage shaped finger over the spines of several ledgers that were arranged on one of the lower shelves.
“Hmm,” Leo glanced back at him for an instant, then returned to his perusal of the bound volumes, “rather a longish moniker for a Twilighter isn’t it? All manifests bound for or from Avenon in the past month, you said?”
“Yes, sir. Please sir. My Mistress found my former name distasteful,” Nyx answered, watching as Leo pulled first one and then two more tomes from their places on the shelf, “and difficult to pronounce, sir. Twas one of my first tasks in her service to learn the name my Mistress preferred.”
“I see,” Leo said, turning from the shelves and offering the ledgers he had selected to the slave, “Here you are, Lathon… there are several documents from more recent weeks that we have yet to bind. I’ll need to fetch those but this should give you a start…
What was the name you had before?”
“I am not permitted to speak it, sir,” Nyx replied, bowing shortly in thanks as he accepted the leather-bound tomes.
“Even if I promised not to mention that you did?”
Nyx affected a sheepish smile and lowered his head a bit more; “I dare not risk it, sir. At your command, I will tell you, of course, but…”
“Of course, of course,” Leo waved a hand and took on a rather embarrassed demeanor, himself, “I’ll not demand it of you, my boy. It seems you manage to get yourself into enough trouble without currying to a curious old fool such as myself, eh?”
“Yes, sir. I am sure you are no fool, sir. Thank you, sir.”
Another wave of the meaty hand dismissed the gratitude and gestured towards a smallish table in the corner; “No thanks necessary, Lathon. If you’d like to sit there and set to your task, I’ll go and find the remainder of the manifests. I can trust you here by yourself for a few minutes, can’t I? ”
“Yes, sir,” Nyx said, offering the standard bow of thanks again, before shuffling towards the indicated workspace, “I shall not move from this spot until you return, sir.” He deposited the books that Leo had already handed him on the tabletop and, without sitting in the chair that was provided for the purpose, opened the first and began to study the pages therein.
“You can sit, if you like, Lathon,” he heard Leo say over the rather heavy footsteps that now moved away from him, “Naxir knows that I couldn’t suffer through reading so much if I had to stand all day to do it.”
“No, sir,” Nyx murmured almost absently, “I cannot. Mistress says that luxuries such as chairs and beds are for real people, sir. Not for point-eared dogs, sir.”
“Of course,” Leo almost sighed, “Very well, then. I’ll return in a moment.”
When Nyx sensed that Trogden had finally left him unattended for a moment, he spread all three of the tomes out on the table before him and, abandoning the plodding, only-half-literate pace of reading that he had pretended to with Leo hovering about, began tearing through the pages of all of them at once. He wasn’t concerned with all of the manifests for all of the trains that ran to and from Avenon, of course, Nyx only needed to see those for any of Bolstoii’s caravans. So it was that he skipped most all entries in those volumes excepting those which were headed with the names of Bolstoii’s companies and teams and set himself to memorizing the details. Nyx scoured and absorbed each one of these he came upon, etching details of not only the loads of trade-goods that were documented there but, also, the lesser things such as teamsters, guard contingents, rations, equipment, animals, and slaves that were (both estimated and actual) that were appended to each. At first glance, there didn’t appear to be anything overtly out of sorts with any of the manifests individually but, taken as a whole, and compared one to the other, a curious pattern of discrepancies became noticeable… a wagon weight, here, that didn’t bear out the load that was inventoried and supposedly accounted for… additional equipment, there, that couldn’t possibly be required for a simple trade run across the continent… a tally of slave assets that had lost a name or two between departure and arrival with no accompanying death or sales records…
Heavy footfalls, muffled by a bit of distance, still, alerted Nyx to Trogden’s return and the assassin quickly closed the second and third volumes and flipped to a random page near the end of the first. He was feigning an intense interest in the manifest on that page when the stout little man came back into the room carrying a sheaf of loose parchments in his hands and a scroll case tucked under one meaty arm.
“Already near the end of that one, are you,” Leo grinned, apparently impressed with the elf’s ability to have made it through that much of one of the books, “Your mistress has provided you with some education, then, I suppose?”
I was reading before you were born, you pudgy, patronizing bastard! And in a tongue far more eloquent than this trade common garbage that you people call a language!
“Insisted upon it, sir,” Nyx answered, “Milady has not the time to be bothered with tedium such as business details and I would be loathe to let her tire her eyes with the effort of doing so, sir.”
“Of course,” Leo said again, depositing the stack of papers beside the two unopened volumes, laying the scroll case there, too, and then patted Nyx on the shoulder. The motion the elf made at the touch was mistaken by the human as a flinching at unaccustomed contact; had Trogden known that he had narrowly evaded having his neck snapped in that instant, though, he likely would have soiled his trousers. “I’m sorry,” the man said, withdrawing the hand and embarrassedly clasping it with the other…
The round-eared hwandi actually feels sorry for you, his own inner voice noted.
He wants to do to you what Reg is likely doing to Cay, right now, Prien’ sniped.
Pach him and pach you, Nyx growled back even as he nodded a faint acknowledgement of Leo’s ‘apology.’
“If you’ll tell me what it is you’re looking for, Lathon,” the clerk’s voice said next, “I’d be happy to help you find it…”
Eh… the Executioner’s voice made a retching sound, kill him before he kisses you…
Nyx shook his head and glanced over at Trogden, then at the pile of work the man had abandoned when he had arrived. “I am sure you have more important matters to attend, sir,” he demurred, “I shall manage, I think, but thank you.”
Leo looked a bit disappointed but nodded and backed away. “Very well, my boy,” he smiled, “should you need me, though, don’t hesitate to say so.”
“I shan’t, sir.” He turned his attentions back to the work in front of him as the other man drifted back to his own desk. For the next hour or more, even though he had begun to get a better idea of exactly what he was looking for, Nyx pretended to plod through the journals, gathering more information to support the theory he had begun to piece together… gave curt answers when Trogden asked over him… and tried not to think of what Cay might be doing while he waited for her to return.
Posted on 2009-12-27 at 00:04:17.
Topic: Merry Christmas!
Subject: LMAO @ Cthulu Claus
Merry Christmas, "Miss Jackson".
Posted on 2009-12-26 at 15:44:30.
Topic: Merry Christmas
Subject: Absotively, possilutely!
Merry Christmas one and all!
Eol loves you, each and every one!
Posted on 2009-12-25 at 15:06:05.
Topic: Good day all! Sorry I am late!
Thanks for pulling back the hood, too... Made that facelick all the easier, donchaknow?
Welcome aboard, mate!
Posted on 2009-12-25 at 15:04:29.
Topic: HI new member
H'lo Tus's wife! So glad to have you amongst the Innmates!
Posted on 2009-12-25 at 15:03:24.
Topic: Any songs you know about Role-playing?
"Ya never let that damn thief out of sight"
Too funny! Thanks for sharing Mr Conquest.
Hyperlinked your URL for you, btw.
Posted on 2009-12-24 at 14:08:05.
Topic: Hello New To This Site
Someone warned you about this, yes?
Welcome aboard, your Twilliamness!
Posted on 2009-12-23 at 22:27:07.
Topic: Merry Christmas!
Subject: Who needs to be PC, anyway?
Merry Christmas right back at ya, Brom...
...and to all the rest of you Innmates, as well!
Wishing you all peace and prosperity regardless of how you celebrate.
Posted on 2009-12-23 at 20:20:46.
Topic: Add On Story. Fill in 3 words!
with many fine
Posted on 2009-12-23 at 14:59:39.
Topic: The Morphing Game
Subject: Bye-bye "S"
Posted on 2009-12-23 at 14:45:12.
Topic: The Morphing Game
Subject: 3 women, 1 bathroom... life is good!
Posted on 2009-12-23 at 14:30:37.
Topic: Add On Story. Fill in 3 words!
pickle juice cocktail
Posted on 2009-12-23 at 14:19:02.
Topic: The Morphing Game
Subject: Knit one, pearl two...
Posted on 2009-12-23 at 14:07:05.
Topic: The Would You Rather Game
Subject: Decisions, decisions...
... I'll choose drowning... as long as I can drown in rum. *hic*
Santa or his elves?
Posted on 2009-12-23 at 14:04:33.
Topic: Last one to post wins - Part II
Subject: Psychological help?!?!
What? And have my beautiful insanity transmogrified into something utterly unpronouncable? I think not....
...I'll just take the win and go paint an emu or something.
Posted on 2009-12-23 at 13:43:13.
Topic: The Fates of Fortune
Subject: On with the day, then...
Cay hadn’t voiced any sort of response when, like some blathering fool, Nyx had tried to explain himself to her in the cemetery. She hadn’t needed to say anything, of course; Nyx had been able to see and feel her replies in the ways she had moved and breathed and tensed. He knew the feelings, himself. Had long ago forced himself to forget them because, he thought, they no longer mattered to who he was… what he had become… and, to that end, he was grateful that her feelings had gone unspoken. Nyx wasn’t certain, though, as he and Cay drifted away from the necropolis and moved northward through the city, that he hadn’t hoped for more from her… or from himself…
Ya sii’naa i’nwalmaer, hm?
…and that made him more uncomfortable than even the ache and pull of his injuries. So he was glad, again, that the subject had been let to fall away at his almost anxious turning of both their thoughts to the job at hand.
Nyx’s eyes kept in constant motion, scanning the streets and alleys ahead of them as they walked, but his attentions, otherwise, were keen to the plan she had set for herself. Stalking the Bolstoii girl would be fruitless, of course, given yesterday’s events, the ‘confessions’ they had made in those regards, and the likely consequences that would result, so Cayrimsa had made the decision that she would try and get her hands on the manifests that Aelion was son interested in having Kiki procure for him…
“… Dmitrova will likely be informing someone of what I said and Aelion will be taken in. She’ll be useless as a subject once that happens. I wanted to go finish her job. Aelion wanted to know about cargo passing in and out of Avenon,” Cay had explained, “I want to know why. Perhaps getting those manifests, myself, would shed some light upon the matter.
We might even be able to pull off another ruse, like the one you managed to pull off yesterday morning. Especially if this Taellyn has something appropriate for me to wear…”
A wolfish grin had crept across his lips and his gaze slid in her direction. Nyx had learned on the Gracchus job that Cayrimsa’s thought patterns were far from the erratic and slightly mad ones that often were whispered about in rumor and reputation. He had always known, from the first time he had heard her spoken of and the first time he had stalked her through Drasnia’s streets to watch her work, that she was capable of believable deceptions. Now, though, he came to realize that the threads that she wove into those lies could be as intricately spun as those on her loom. He nodded his approval and set his own thoughts along the path that Cay’s had laid out, working through details that might need to be addressed, complications that might arise, and contingency plans that could be brought into play should those complications turn things askew.
“Taellyn will have something appropriate, I have no doubt,” the mith’ganni assured her as he peeled the rind from the orange, “The old crone is not the favored seamstress amongst the nobility, of course, but her talent surpasses that of any of the round-eared tailors who claim that so-called distinction, and her designs are far more durable.” He poked a section of the orange past his lips and chewed thoughtfully as his gaze tracked to where the dome of the Trade Bureau rose above the surrounding buildings south and east of here, his mind chasing minute details through the layered complexity of what this simple shadowing assignment had become…
Dmitrova wanted Kharinya shadowed and her activities detailed… he must have had suspicions of his own that the girl was immersed in something that would likely embarrass if not ruin her father and, given the rivalry between he and Styopa, give Vadim some great benefit from whatever that might be… those details have shone us a light on Kharinya’s half-moon lover… pointed us at, of all things, manifests for Bolstoii’s Avenon caravans… What comes out of Avenon, or lies between here and there, that could interest our Captain, so, I wonder? Even more, what interest could some branded stable-boy have in any of it… trade goods… routes… manifests to and from?
…There was much more than a simple professional rivalry or any sort of political maneuvering going on, here, Nyx was more than certain. The layers that had already begun to get peeled away, though, had only alluded to the fact that there were many more beneath to go through before the core of the matter was reached and, if he and Cay were to reach that core, there would be need for much more than simply playing along with the bit-parts that Vadim handed them. The information from the Trade Bureau would be only the beginning, Nyx was certain of it. There would be need to press the stable-boy… need to see more of both Bolstoii’s and Dmitrova’s private records... and the assassin’s mind was well into formulating plans of his own on how he might make each of those things happen by the time his breakfast was finished. He hadn’t shared many of these thoughts with Cay… She likely is entertaining similar thoughts, herself, I’ll wager… as the work he had in mind would likely involve more killing and, certainly, more working against Dmitrova and the Hellkites than for them…
Better she not know too much where that is concerned, he thought, tossing the orange peel away and glancing at Cay as they approached Taellyn’s shop, for her own sake.
The bell that hung over the doorway of the tiny store tinkled as they entered and, instinctually, Nyx reached up a hand to silence it, his eyes quickly sweeping the place before settling on the old elven woman who, until now, was intent on the garment she had been sewing.
“Ahhh,” the silver eyed woman beamed as her gaze fell on him, “Steppe son, you return.” Taellyn set the garment she had been working on aside and rose from her seat. “Need that coat mended again? It is covered in blood, but I can fix it for you,” she prattled, her smile widening all the more as her attentions shifted to Cay, “Ohhh… and I see you brought a lady friend with you?”
Nyx rolled his eyes a bit at the Steppe son comment – it had been Taellyn’s way, for longer than the mith’ganni cared to remember, of trying to remind him that he was not where or what he should be. “I can wash the blood out on my own,” he assured the wood-elf as he stepped further into the shop, “it is not I who needs your services but my partner here…”
“Partner, is it,” Taellyn grinned, one slender brow lifting a bit as her silver eyes danced between the tow, “when has the Steppe Son ever taken a partner since leaving the plains, I wonder?”
The mith’ganni offered another rolling of his yellow eyes at that and waved the elder woman’s attentions toward Cay.
Taellyn winked knowingly at Nyx and focused on Cay once again; “Well deary what is it that I can do for you?” Her head cocked slightly to the left as she recognized the cloak draped over the half-elf’s shoulders as the same one she had fashioned for the Steppe Son some years ago; “Remarkable how well that cloak fits to you, that was a custom job…”
It was Nyx’s turn to grin a bit as Cay squeaked out her response; ““I’m just borrowing…”
He watched the two of them for a moment, almost chuckling as Taellyn began hovering about Cay like a humming bird, and the corners of his mouth ticking upwards into a faint smile as the two pattered back and forth in elven over some disagreement as to colors and threadwork. He couldn’t help but wonder at the vehemence with which Cay protested the color that the old seamstress suggested. For her part, though, Taellyn accepted the other woman’s refusal graciously and, even, a bit of humor.
“Hmm… yes… I see,” Taellyn nodded; her eyes and fingers, having dutifully explored Cayrimsa’s ruined dress, pulled away from the garment and gestured towards a doorway at the back of the shopfront, “Come along then dear, I think I have something for you.
“And you,” The older woman’s eyes moved to Nyx as she ushered the younger to the back of the shop, “I know where all the pockets are on that jacket, if anything appears to be missing when I come back out I will empty out every last one of them before you leave here.”
Raising his hands in a gesture of compliance, the mith’ganni returned the old woman’s grin. “As appealing as that all sounds, Dream-weaver,” he smirked as he leaned himself against a wall, “I shall do my best to resist the lure of all these bolts of cloth and such.”
He heaved a sigh as the two women disappeared into the back room, rubbed at an ache or two that had begun to nag more than he cared to admit in the company of others, and, after a moment of being alone in the main room, allowed himself to sink to an almost seated position. His eyes fell into their habit of perpetually scanning his surroundings – moving from the front door, skimming over the shelves and racks and looms and tables that filled the storefront, pausing for a moment on the doorway that led to that backroom, and returning to the front again – as his mind sought to sort out the myriad thoughts and plans that still whirled about therein. Nyx actively tried to avoid those of Cay that didn’t directly relate to the task that they were currently assigned but, standing here in Taellyn’s shop with the old dreamspeaker so close at hand, he found it fairly difficult to keep them from sneaking back to the forefront. Finally, though, after promising himself that he would come back (without Cay) and tell the old woman about the dreams he had experienced recently, he managed to keep them at bay long enough to start pulling the other thoughts together and begin tying the ends of one to the beginnings of another. By the time the muffled murmuring of voices that had been drifting to his ears from the backroom had fallen to silence, Nyx was content that his mindset was, once again, where it should be and that he had solid markers in place for what he would need to get done in the coming days…
The faint rustling of long skirts and the light-as-air footfalls of a practiced step interrupted his slow scanning of the place, called to a halt his finally level perusal of thoughts, and drew his eyes toward the portal to the backroom. Taellyn emerged from that doorway with a blue satin pillow edged with black velvet, which she handed to Nyx with a smirk upon her aged lips.
“From your partner,” she smiled in response to the somewhat befuddled expression that Nyx offered as he warily accepted the cushion, “She said you needed one…”
He couldn’t help but smile at that and his eyes, lit by a warmer light than Taellyn could remember seeing in them for quite some time, flicked towards the backroom for an instant before being called back to the seamstress as she continued to speak. Am I to take this to mean you may come calling again, then, Cay?
“…She is an interesting peredhil,” she observed, evoking a reflexive nod from the mith’ganni, “Like you she has severed the ties with who she is, and with those who could remind her of such.”
The sheepish grin that formed on his lips was as reflexive and unbidden as the nod he’d offered and he almost had to force the look he flashed the old woman, warning her to leave his ghosts alone.
Taellyn, of course, ignored that cautionary glare as she always had and smiled all the more when she detected the effort it had taken him to deliver it. “I wonder if you see yourself when you look at her,” she said softly, “And I wonder if that is why you look upon her with such sympathy and respect…”
The thoughts regarding Cay that he had so carefully set aside moments ago came rushing back to Nyx’s mind at that goading and his mouth opened to reply. The reply didn’t come, though. Before the words could pass from mind to mouth, Cay had emerged from the backroom and the sight of her in her new dress dropped Nyx’s jaw open beyond the point of being able to speak...
Even more beautiful than before, yes?
…Nyx blinked, forced his mouth shut, and tried desperately not to outright ogle this vision that he (let alone anyone else) could scarcely recognize as the “Witch of the Wharf”…
“Well,” the vision spoke with a haughty air that was tempered by the slight smile that played on her lips, “is my servant ready to accompany me on my errands this afternoon?”
Cay offered him back his cloak and all he could do, at first, was offer a dumbstruck nod as he reached out and closed his free hand around the shadowy fabric… he wanted to ignore the cloak and let his fingers move beyond it to touch her and, it seemed, there weren’t any words in common or elven that could possibly come close to giving voice to the thoughts he had in that split second. Taellyn’s scarcely repressed giggle, though, snapped him free enough from the spell that seeing Cay in her new garb had cast over him and he was, at last, able to take the cloak from her arm and wrap it around his own shoulders. “Of course, my mistress,” he managed to say as, fastening the cloak in place, he sketched a bow and offered an accommodating smile, “where you lead, I shall follow, arwenamin.”
His gaze lingered on her for a moment longer and, then, with no small amount of effort in doing so, finally turned to regard Taellyn. “Splendid work, Dreamweaver,” he said appreciatively, “You did leave her with some coin in her purse, though, I hope?”
“I only ever seek to empty yours, Steppe Son,” the old seamstress grinned back, “and you and I both know the reasons for that…”
“Mmm… something you and I will have need to speak of later, perhaps,” Nyx replied, glancing at Cay again before reaching for the door latch, “There are signs in the stars and… dreams… that I should like to hear your say upon…”
Taellyn’s brows climbed high at that, a look of genuine surprise painting her features. “Dreams?” The woman blinked at him much the way he had blinked at Cay only an instant before. “You?! I was not aware that you even slept, Steppe Son…”
“As I said, Taellyn,” Nyx replied as he pulled the door open, “a conversation to be had another time, yes?”
His moon-hued eyes swept back to Cay, then, and he made a sweeping gesture as he held the door open for her; “Shall we be off about your business then, my Mistress?”
Posted on 2009-12-22 at 20:52:32.
I hate it when that happens!
We'll be keeping the good vibes out for you and your, Wolf.... and we'll keep you a spot by the fire for when you return... Here's hoping it's sooner rather than later.
Posted on 2009-12-19 at 13:38:44.
Topic: Naga Jolokia Facelicking-Proof Masks
Subject: w00t!!! I LOVE spicy!!!
Nice try, though, Ye Olde... and durn high-larious!
Happy holidays, good sir.
Posted on 2009-12-18 at 12:47:56.
Topic: New T-shirt design announcements
...was a slow help desk day, that day... Sooo, what with the inspiration, the "encouragement", and the devil's idle hands... *shrug*
That's what ya get when Eol's unsupervised and left to his own devices, y'know? You people should keep a closer eye on me else I'm liable to get us all in trouble.
Posted on 2009-12-17 at 21:06:11.
Topic: New T-shirt design announcements
"Disturbing" is a better reaction than I'd hoped for.
Posted on 2009-12-16 at 17:39:43.
Topic: New T-shirt design announcements
Subject: New design?
Okay... after the bit of banter that went on about it in Mr Conquest's "Hello, I'm new" thread, I couldn't help but come up with this:
Working on a "Don't Feed The Grugg... It gives him the winds something terrible!" one, next.
Posted on 2009-12-16 at 15:38:33.
Edited on 2009-12-16 at 16:03:20 by Eol Fefalas
Topic: Hello Everyone
Wait till you see the one I'm drawing up!...
...See above.... ^
Posted on 2009-12-16 at 12:02:44.
Edited on 2009-12-16 at 16:00:06 by Eol Fefalas
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