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* Plot Information for Dhemlan, Kaeleer

Dhemlan has become a land divided. The corruption that Witch’s Purge wiped out in the rest of the Realms was preserved by the well-meaning sacrifice of the territory’s Ebon Gray Queen. As such, the corruption here has only intensified. The tension between the Landen and the Blood who were meant to care for them is fast reaching a boiling point.
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Author Topic: The devil you know  (Read 137 times)

Description: Vigo, Pirenza Province // Tag: Ricardo

Offline Gregorio Zamora

  • Character Account
    • landen
    • male
    • Role

      Captain

    • Faction

      Trade Syndicate

    • Territory

      Dhemlan, Kaeleer

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      phinneas

    • Posts

      17

    • "..."

    • View Profile
The devil you know
« on: Mar 31, 17, 11:08:08 AM »
Goryo didn't much like being away from home for long periods of time, but the job required it. He wasn't the sort to bitch about it, but instead swallowed down the tasks given to him with a resolution bred into him over long centuries. It wasn't as though it was petty shit that took him from home, at least; it was routine, but never unimportant. He was a true believer if there ever was one, and he was passionate about the Council's work to make life better for the Landen of Dhemlan. Ever since he'd climbed to the top position in the Trade syndicate some time ago, he'd been required to make regular rounds to all of the Provinces once a month, and all the Districts once a quarter. The travel was the part of his position he liked the least, but that was mostly due to the long hours spent inside a carriage.

Then again, he did that part by choice. He was a man of means, after all, and could have afforded a Blood carriage. Trips on the Winds would have taken a fraction of the time. Goryo only did so when time restraints required it, though. He'd rather pay a Landen coach and ride for hours than give the Blood one mark more than he had to. Not to mention the fact that he just didn't like riding the Winds. It'd never seemed natural, to him.

In any case, he was back on the outskirts of Vigo, a long damn ways from home, but enjoying a comfortable setting at the same out-of-the-way cafe he always visited. He typically spent the better part of the day there once a month, as the regularity allowed people to come and find him if they had concerns they wanted him to address. Ricardo wasn't one of his subs, but Goryo had sent word for him to come see him anyway. The two got on well enough, and Goryo wouldn't have minded the company for lunch even if he hadn't had new business to discuss with the man.

The waitress refilled his coffee and he watched her do it, enjoying the way her cheeks pinked when she felt his attention lingering. She was a pretty girl. A woman, really, though far too young for Goryo's liking, even if she was of age. Still, she was a sweetheart who always treated him well during his visits, so he didn't mind a little harmless flirtation now and then. He had her quietly stammering by the time she was trying to tell him about the daily specials, but shifted his attention smoothly away towards Ricardo when the other man arrived.

"Good to see you, brother," he greeted him, gesturing to a seat in invitation.

Offline Ricardo Dominguez

  • Character Account
    • landen
    • male
    • Role

      Pirenza Lieutenant

    • Faction

      Capitol Syndicate

    • Territory

      Dhemlan, Kaeleer

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      21

    • View Profile
Re: The devil you know
« Reply #1 on: Mar 31, 17, 12:26:15 PM »
The invitation from Goryo surprised Ricardo, but he was glad to accept it and get out of the office. While Ricardo loved his work, he understood that becoming a money-counting hermit would damage the trust placed in him by the Landen of Pirenza Province. He couldn’t know their lives and their issues if he stayed inside all the time. He also couldn’t maintain the confidence of the higher-ups if he couldn’t provide good info to them now and again. Calista Abarora’s recent visit also made Ricardo realize that there were other areas of his life where he was sorely lacking.

He tried to show up early in the hopes of beating Goryo to the cafe and choosing the coffee, but found the other man waiting from him when he arrived. He knew that Goryo didn’t like being away from home, but it meant something that he came down here to talk rather than sending someone else to do it. Ricardo unbuttoned his blue blazer and sat down at the table. The waitress, a pretty girl named Evita, knew Ricardo and knew to bring him his usual coffee.

Good to see you, too, brother. I hope you weren’t waiting long. Though I’d get here early but I’m starting to think you never sleep.” Ricardo said, giving a soft laugh. The large gold ring on Ricardo’s right ring finger was present, the only real concession to vanity and Ricardo’s personal wealth that he allowed. Evita returned with his coffee moved away, and Ricardo settled in to find out what Goryo was up to. The man never wasted words and didn’t make trips like this unless he was checking up or unless he had a lead of some kind he wanted to share. Ricardo wondered what had piqued his interest enough to make the trip, but he knew he’d find out soon enough.

By the by, that business with Lady Chavez went well. Seems she talked to Lady Calderon about the issue I brought up. Still waiting to see if anything gets done, but it’s a start. It’s a lot more than we usually get with the Blood.” Ricardo said, resisting the urge to spit on the ground after he mentioned the name of their so-called protectors.

They annoyed most Landen, but Ricardo especially.

How I can help you, brother?” Ricardo asked.

Offline Gregorio Zamora

  • Character Account
    • landen
    • male
    • Role

      Captain

    • Faction

      Trade Syndicate

    • Territory

      Dhemlan, Kaeleer

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      phinneas

    • Posts

      17

    • "..."

    • View Profile
Re: The devil you know
« Reply #2 on: Apr 04, 17, 09:37:38 AM »
"Waiting?" Goryo's gravelly baritone affected a mild shift that suggested he found the notion odd. "Nah, I've been here all day. It's the fourth," he pointed out, as though Ricardo ought to be aware that he spent a day in his Province every month. Keeping it on the same day each month made it easier for the Landen in the area to make arrangements to catch him there, so that they could bring any concerns related to the Trade syndicate to him if they wanted. Goryo prided himself on having something of an open door, and on being a man of his people. He gave respect where respect was due, but in the end they were all Landen. They were all brothers. It was why he had no reservation about sharing a table and speaking informally with someone who was technically not even beneath him, but beneath one of his fellow captains in the Council's chain of command.

At least, he was for now. Goryo hoped that would change soon, as he found Ricardo to be quite a bit more agreeable and reasonable than Ricardo's captain, Gabriel.

"Though feel free to tell people I don't sleep," he added, with a lazy grin. "Just adds to the legend."

The waitress brought Ricardo some coffee, and Goryo waited until she'd gone again before continuing. In the meantime, Ricardo spoke about the Chavez Queen they'd visited.

"Not likely," was his rumbled response to waiting to see if anything got done. "Still, if the Chavez woman did her part, that's something. She doesn't have a court. Her higher-ups won't wanna spend the effort on organizing anything to make use of her methods, and besides, can you imagine those women all goin' out in the ocean like she was talking about? Forget about it. But maybe we can come up with some incentive for her to do her thing on a broader part of the coast. If we can convince her, Vic can talk to the Province or District Queens involved and get them to back off any objections they have."

Goryo paused to drink some of his coffee, but he was quiet still for a beat after he set his cup back down. The way he eyed Ricardo, it was clear he was angling towards something. Goryo was a competent Captain, but deception was not his strong suit.

"You tell Gabriel about it all?" he asked, genuinely uncertain about how often Ricardo spoke with his own Captain. Goryo got the impression that Gabriel was pretty absent from ground-level logistics, but there was no harm in getting a first-hand account.

Offline Ricardo Dominguez

  • Character Account
    • landen
    • male
    • Role

      Pirenza Lieutenant

    • Faction

      Capitol Syndicate

    • Territory

      Dhemlan, Kaeleer

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      21

    • View Profile
Re: The devil you know
« Reply #3 on: Apr 05, 17, 09:45:52 AM »
Ricardo checked his mental calendar and remembered that this was Goryo’s “open door” day in Pirenza. He mentally kicked himself for forgetting that, looking down at the floor with a mild note of embarrassment in his expression. He didn’t forget things like that, not usually, but with some of the open accounts on his ledger bothering him, other important dates fell by the wayside.

He laughed a Goryo’s joke about adding to the legend. He laughed a little more at the idea of Dhemlanese Queens out in the water to do their Craft-business.

Bah, it would probably just turn into a damned beach party before too long. For every semi-decent one the Blood have, seems like they got ten bad ones. But Chavez seems like she’s got her head on straight for now. I’ll keep up with her for now and keep her and Mari Calderon advised that the we’re not going away.” Ricardo said.

He leaned back in his seat when Goryo mentioned Gabriel, his expression growing more dour.

Yeah, I explained everything to Gabriel without all the technical shit that Lady Chavez used. He still looked at me like I was explaining how paint dried. Told him that if we got out in front of this, we could have a major in with a future Queen. Gabriel suggested that I, uh, leave the politics to him and stick to counting marks. Then he took Amore de Medina’s account from me.” Ricardo said, the memory of that conversation still burning in his gut.

He’d done good work for the Syndicate since his acceptance into the organization, but Gabriel didn’t like him much. Ricardo had never pinpointed a particular reason for it. Whatever the reason, the net result was that Ricardo had just lost a major account for no discernable reason and he had no recourse in getting it back unless he went over Gabriel’s head.

To someone like Goryo.

Ricardo sipped his own coffee and thought it over. He didn’t like breaking the chain of command, but this wasn’t the first questionable decision that Gabriel had made in recent times.

Something’s up with Gabriel, Goryo. He took Amore de Medina’s account from me. A couple of months ago, I ask him for the hard copy ledgers of everything we’ve done in the last year. I go through them often to balance out accounts and make sure that every mark went where we say it went before we send it to you and the higher-ups. Been that way for fifty years. But I followed orders and didn’t say anything.” Ricardo said.

This year, Gabriel says he’ll handle it personally. Most of the time, I run the meetings about the ledgers and our funds while he’s visiting Paloma on business. He never bothers with it. But he’s been assigning my accounts to other people and I don’t find out until they get to my office to pick up ledgers. When I asked him about it, he made some crack about my serving better as a diplomat than an accountant.” Ricardo said.

Seems like he’s trying to push me out.

Offline Gregorio Zamora

  • Character Account
    • landen
    • male
    • Role

      Captain

    • Faction

      Trade Syndicate

    • Territory

      Dhemlan, Kaeleer

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      phinneas

    • Posts

      17

    • "..."

    • View Profile
Re: The devil you know
« Reply #4 on: Apr 09, 17, 02:13:04 PM »
"For now," Goryo agreed, at the notion that the Chavez Queen had her head on straight. "If this goes well and she gets some attention, 's only a matter of time before she turns into the others. But maybe we'll see some returns out of her before then." He paused, though, eyeing Ricardo as the waitress floated near again. Goryo ignored her for a second in favor of completing his thought.

"Calderon? You talkin' to the District Queen?" he asked, eyes narrowed thoughtfully. Though under-captains and lieutenants often were the ones actually keeping the books, the in-person meetings with ruling Queens were handled by Captains - at least, traditionally, that's how it'd worked. Gabriel had the right to set up his outfit differently if he wanted, but this was the first Goryo had heard of it. He was not disappointed, though. If anything, it was more reason to lean on having Gabriel replaced. If he wasn't liaising with the Queens, what the fuck was he doing with his time?

Whatever Ricardo's response, Goryo would just nod initially, and then finally look up to the waitress. He ordered lunch for himself and invited Ricardo to do the same, then drank his coffee until the waitress moved away. Goryo's eyes lingered on her backside as she went, though when Ricardo spoke up he successfully arrested the other man's attention once more.

"That's what happens when you make waves, sometimes," Goryo said, though the bright smile he assumed didn't seem to fit with the concerns Rodrigo had voiced. He settled forward atop his folded arms, and his levity tempered down some while his large shoulders shrugged. "You'd hope in a business like this, where it's all family, where we're all supposed to be lookin' out for each other, that when someone noticed someone else doin' well, they'd help lift them up. Give 'em what they need to succeed, cause when one of us rises, we all rise, right? But that ain't always the case. For the most part a man has to show that kind of camaraderie before he makes it to the point of being a Captain, but..." he shrugged again, and sat back languidly in his seat, like a large cat reclining.

"But the truth of it is that that ain't the only thing Gabe's done lately that's raisin' some questions. He's been draggin' his feet on a venture that has the potential to make the Council alotta marks with little risk. It's a little out of the ordinary for us, somethin' that may or may not pass muster if it ever went before the Old Man. Rather than gettin' on board and helping his brothers form a unified front to convince the Old Man of the wisdom of this new venture, Gabriel's... bein' Gabriel. It's been making some of the guys wonder just where his priorities are, of late. That's one of the reasons I asked you to come talk with me. Wanted to see if you had any insight. Sounds like something's up with him, you're right."


Offline Ricardo Dominguez

  • Character Account
    • landen
    • male
    • Role

      Pirenza Lieutenant

    • Faction

      Capitol Syndicate

    • Territory

      Dhemlan, Kaeleer

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      21

    • View Profile
Re: The devil you know
« Reply #5 on: Apr 11, 17, 11:24:46 PM »
Ricardo ordered some chorizo and eggs, just because he could. Didn’t hurt that this little joint had the best chorizo and eggs in Vigo, so Ricardo couldn’t be blamed for indulging just a little.

Yeah, I’ve sent Calderon a couple of letters about those experiments that Chavez is doing. A lot of the longshoreman and fishermen said Chavez’s work has really helped them out. I wanted Calderon to take notice and maybe give her a hand.” Ricardo said.

He leaned back in his chair.

“That meeting that you and I went to, the one where we met her? I told Gabriel about it and suggested that he come along. Same as you, I was thinking that a unified front would only strengthen our position. Wanted to see if he got the same read from it I did. He said he’d think about it and then never got back to me.” Ricardo said, twirling his gold ring around his finger. He was nervous talking about all of this with Goryo, knowing how connected the other man was. If Gabriel was up to some bad shit, it could roll downhill and land on Ricardo. If it didn’t, he might end up looking like a snitch if Gabriel was on the level.

But Goryo’s expression and his words told a different story.

Whoa. Gabe’s usually smart enough to jump on the gravy train when it’s leaving the station.” Ricardo said, letting the wheels turn. He didn’t both getting indignant about not knowing what the venture in question was. He’d already outlined to the other man that Gabriel was keeping him in the dark on a few things, so Goryo wouldn’t be surprised.

But the other Captains wouldn’t stand for one of their own sandbagging them on a payday, especially if it had the potential of getting the Old Man’s stamp of approval. Gabriel had to know that someone was going to come asking around eventually, even if he managed to hide whatever it was that he was doing.

I don’t know what he’s up to, but if he’s asking for the ledgers and reassigning accounts, he knows that someone will catch it if they can review the books.” Ricardo said.

I can look into it and get you some info. His secretary, Paloma, owes me a favor after I helped her out last year. Even if he’s not telling her what he’s planning, she’d have his schedule. Could probably figure it out between that and the ledgers he’s got his people workin’ on.” Ricardo said.

Offline Gregorio Zamora

  • Character Account
    • landen
    • male
    • Role

      Captain

    • Faction

      Trade Syndicate

    • Territory

      Dhemlan, Kaeleer

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      phinneas

    • Posts

      17

    • "..."

    • View Profile
Re: The devil you know
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 17, 04:16:59 PM »
Goryo listened as Ricardo talked, that heavy presence of his seeming so much moreso when he wasn't diluting it with smiles and gestures while he spoke. He didn't interrupt, but let Ricardo say all that he wanted to, and then he looked away from the other man, letting his gaze point towards the restaurant's front window while he seemed to mull the matter over in silence for a long few minutes.

Ultimately, he shook his head, and then took another drink of his coffee.

"Nah. Don't go pokin' around. Not worth drawin' any more attention to you if Gabe's already got it in for you. I got people who can find that stuff out," he murmured, his deep voice settling into a gravelly but steady cadence.

"But I got a different proposition for ya," he said, looking up from his coffee to level his dark eyes at the other man. "The Plaza's ours, now. It's been strugglin' lately so we're takin' it over so it doesn't get forgotten entirely. The thing is, no one knows where the Nava girl went to, and I can't make any sense of the office she left behind. Whatever that female brain was focused on, it wasn't keepin' books like a normal person. I need to make that place profitable again and quick. Normally I'd go to Gabe, but..." He leaned back in his seat and shrugged slowly.

"If he's already pickin' off your accounts, maybe a change of scenery would do you good. How about you divvy up what workload you got left among your people. Free yourself up and come work for me for a bit. I'll square it with Gabe, and maybe by the time the Plaza's in order, he'll have his head on straight again." Or not. But either way, Gabe wasn't gonna be a problem for long. Goryo would make sure of that, though that had little to do with Ricardo.

He paused long enough to sip his coffee, then added, almost as an afterthought.

"Help me out with this, and I'd owe you a favor. What do ya say?"


Offline Ricardo Dominguez

  • Character Account
    • landen
    • male
    • Role

      Pirenza Lieutenant

    • Faction

      Capitol Syndicate

    • Territory

      Dhemlan, Kaeleer

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      21

    • View Profile
Re: The devil you know
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 17, 12:09:33 AM »
Ricardo let the matter of the ledgers drop when Goryo told him not to go poking around. While he felt that he could get the information easily enough for him, there was no sense pushing the point. Something was up with Gabe and the right people were aware of it. Ricardo did not like the writing on the wall for Gabe, even if the man had wronged him; he wanted to rise within the Syndicate on his own merits, not by ratting out his superiors. On the flip side of that, Goryo was doing him a favor by trusting him with this much information. It said that the higher-ups in the organization saw what was happening and didn’t consider Ricardo a part of the problem.

Ricardo took a sip of his coffee...and then nearly choked on it when Goryo suggested that he move up north.

The Plaza del Toros was a real cash cow. The Blood loved losing their marks on any number of bets regarding the bulls. If it was now under the purview of the Syndicate, it could really put them in the black. If it was managed properly, of course.

Ricardo took a moment to compose himself before speaking.

I’d be happy to help out up north, Goryo. Not that my work here isn’t challenging, but I feel like the guys that I’ve trained can keep this place running. The Plaza needs to start off on the right foot to maximize profits.” Ricardo said, a few ideas already coming to mind for the Spring. If he got started now, the celebrations would be amazing. He needed to talk to a few people and see what they thought about the idea.

And it would give him a chance to look in on Calista.

I can get things figured out here in couple of days and be ready to work up north inside of four days.” he said.

Do you need me sooner than that? If so, I’ll make it work.” Ricardo said.


Offline Gregorio Zamora

  • Character Account
    • landen
    • male
    • Role

      Captain

    • Faction

      Trade Syndicate

    • Territory

      Dhemlan, Kaeleer

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      phinneas

    • Posts

      17

    • "..."

    • View Profile
Re: The devil you know
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 17, 11:21:46 AM »
Ricardo's surprise at hearing Goryo's request didn't go unnoticed. Goryo didn't comment, but there was a glimmer of humor in his dark eyes while he sipped his coffee that said he was amused. This was part of the reason he liked Ricardo, really. He was confident in his own abilities, but still kept his humility. It was a big mistake of those who rose in the ranks, Goryo thought. It didn't matter how high one climbed. Gravity was gravity. Get kicked hard enough, and down you go. You get a big head and shit on the people beneath you on the ladder, you think they're gonna do a damned thing to help catch you when that happens?

Goryo had watched more than one brother fall without lifting a finger to help.

Ricardo, though, he knew he could handle bigger shit than what he was doing. But rather than making trouble for Gabe, Ricardo kept doing his job. He'd been forthright when Goryo had questioned him about things, but hadn't taken any extra pains to smear his boss. Goryo respected that. The man's reaction to the situation only confirmed what Goryo had felt when he'd set up this meeting in the first place.

"Excellent."

Goryo set down his cup and smiled broadly, all the warmth of summer in his mien. When he was pleased, Goryo could light up a room with his bearing. 

"That's what I like to hear."

Ricardo asked if four days was too long to wait, and Goryo chuckled. "I like that enthusiasm, Ricardo, but four days is fine. It needs attention, but I'm not tryin' to bust anyone's balls here. Take a week if you want. Tie up loose ends here. If things go as well as I hope, you may not be back for a bit," he said, with the sort of grin that promised good things.

Well, good things for everyone but Gabe.

Turning one's back on the family was never good business.