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* Plot Information for Glacia

Relentlessly persecuting the Light Jeweled of Glacia for their deficit, Elisif Brenden, the Queen, encourages adherence to all precepts of the Dark Religion. Dark Jewels who do not conform are forcefully brought into the fold and Light Jewels found in opposition are broken or executed for their mistakes. There can be no leniency in the frozen territory.
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Author Topic: Two sides, one coin; four sides, two coins  (Read 192 times)

Description: Henrik

Offline Kostya Bessmertny

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    • te2ss
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Two sides, one coin; four sides, two coins
« on: Aug 29, 17, 01:57:51 AM »
Kostya returned from Vaasa, having made... she didn't know what to call Kaija Aili... not quite a mentor, as there was no chance of the Dark-Jeweled Head of Glacia's Hourglass Coven ever lowering herself to teach a Light-Jeweled Queen the Black Widow's craft (or Craft)... certainly not a friend, as the difference between the social class of a Province Court second circle Queen and, well, Kaija Aili was immense, unspeakable almost. It couldn't be defined in leagues, or even in miles. It could maybe be defined in Realms. Those scarce weeks in Kaija's tutelage, with all of those glorious books and readings, had been a highlight of Kostya's life, which she supposed was more than a little pathetic. For Kaija, they had probably been an interesting distraction. Kostya didn't flatter herself that Kaija actually enjoyed their lessons... but there was no other reason for the Black Widow to have continued them as long as she had, or for Lady Aili to answer her letters so thoughtfully.

There was no time for daydreaming upon her return to Virratt. She had work to do; there was land delving to be done, for the Court to sell off to the highest bidder to work. There were contracts to copy over for the first circle Princes to enchant, sometimes even the Steward if she was particularly lucky. She had records to keep and update. By the time she had been in Virratt for three weeks, she had found a new silver mine (and the bonus for a job well done was nice) and been to the light-Jeweled Healer twice for a repetitive strain injury from staying up late nights copying contracts down. No one could say she wasn't pulling her weight, and no one did.

In fact: She arrived at the little room that she shared with two other Light-Jeweled assistants, only to be greeted by a harried-looking First Circle witch. The Opal-Jeweled woman had snapped out an order for Kostya to follow her, and there was hardly enough time to snatch up a writing board and an inked pen before she was following the tight-faced woman. Kostya followed obediently, her mind racing. What was going on? She was in trouble, wasn't she? Maybe the Lady had complained about how Kostya had attended lessons with Lady Aili, but what was Kostya meant to have done? Kaija Aili had been practically born Dark...

The truth was nothing so exciting, though the sight of the Steward's favored meeting room had set her pulse racing regardless. Kostya had been called to take minutes before, but usually it was Second Circle matters. To be offered the chance to take notes for Prince Virtanen, the Queen's own husband, was an honor, even if Kostya could already feel that telltale ache up her arms. Maybe their usual note-taker had come down with something?

She took her seat after curtseying to the Dark-Jeweled in the room, and uncapped her pen. 

Offline Henrik Virtanen

  • Character Account
    • bo2sapphire
    • prince
    • Role

      Steward

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      Virratt Province Court

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      Glacia

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Re: Two sides, one coin; four sides, two coins
« Reply #1 on: Sep 02, 17, 05:15:23 AM »
Most would find meetings of such a nature dreary, dull affairs. And most in the room would have had it been anyone else leading it. But for Henrik, this was the one area that he shone. All of his awkward habits and behaviors melted away. He was a Prince and a businessman through and through. Yes, he was also the Steward of Virratt and the Queen's husband, but those were duties that were significantly more complicated in both nature and implication than the feel of ruling a meeting.

Henrik could present facts and figures while being completely charming, making appropriate jokes at the right time, adding a tone of seriousness when the statistics called for it. He could take the raw data and offer it up as something fascinating. It was like he became an entirely different person. He slipped into a persona other than the man who normally stared back at him from the mirror and managed to broker deals that would have seemed impossible on paper.

Everything went brilliantly. It was time to break for lunch, they would all reconvene later that afternoon after everyone involved had the opportunity to discuss the details with the outside parties involved. Henrik smiled, waiting for everyone to leave, shaking the hands of each one who tried to be subtle about straggling behind, who all wanted a private word with him to their own best advantage. Finally, finally the last had left the room. He threw up a Sapphire shield on the door to stop anyone who thought turning around to have one last word would be a good idea and fell unceremoniously into his chair, long limbs splayed.

He sat there in silence for a full minute before finally speaking. Did you get all of it? Including the bits at the end? The bits at the end are always very important." His manner was much rougher than it had been a moment before, but not unkind. "Of course you did," he continued on, barely letting her get her answer in. "You always do. It's why I asked for you."

He sat up properly before pulling himself to his feet. At his full height, he tended to loom over those around him, even if he was lanky and all hard angles. "So. Lunch then," he said, turning sharply to her and waiting for a response. Something in him caught the error and he attempted to adjust. "Right. Ummm. Lady Bessmertny, would you be so kind, that is, would you indulge me with... Hmmm. I would like to go over the notes you took over lunch. Would you please, no... Are you free to join me?"

He blinked hard at the end of the words, hoping that he had effectively offered an invitation and not a command. It was so difficult to do that now. He kept forgetting that people would do what he said regardless because he was the Steward, and even more so if they happened to be light Jeweled.

Offline Kostya Bessmertny

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Re: Two sides, one coin; four sides, two coins
« Reply #2 on: Sep 02, 17, 04:04:41 PM »
Kostya found Henrik Virtanen completely charming on a regular basis, though she knew she oughtn't. When he wasn't doing business, she thought of him fondly as one might a puppy with limbs too large for it to quite know what to do with. She only ever observed him from afar, from the back tables of Court functions and in passing in the hallways, but there was something honest about his attitude that she liked. He seemed sweet, and awkward, and she could empathize fully with both personality traits. She was sweet and a little awkward herself, stumbling where she was meant to stride with bright-eyed confidence. At least Prince Virtanen had the self-knowledge to successfully lead a business meeting like that one; she wasn't sure that she could.

When the room had emptied, Kostya reviewed her notes quickly, lips moving in silence as she worked. Once she was sure that she had all of the salient points, she capped her pen and vanished it. It was nice to have a little bit of quiet in which to do it; she busied herself with brushing the pages with little bits of Tiger-Eye Craft to dry it. Lovely, she thought, perfectly legible, even though her right hand was throbbing up to her shoulder in time with her heartbeat. It was good to take pride in one's work. Kostya looked up when Prince Virtanen spoke, dark eyes attentively on his face. "Yes," she said, poking her answer in when he stopped for a breath.

He had asked for her to sit in on this meeting? Kostya didn't want to blush but she did. It was tempting to hide behind her hands, but that would only draw attention to the soft pride that suffused her at the compliment. She hadn't even known that Prince Virtanen had preferences or opinions on the Light-Jeweled scribes. In retrospect, it made sense. She knew at least one other Light Jewel who tended to slack off when her hand began to hurt. "Thank you, Prince," she said, bowing at the shoulders, the polite thing to do when seated.

Lunch, then, and Kostya was thrown off-kilter but she still rose to her feet and tucked the writing board against her chest. It didn't occur to her to worry that he might take advantage, or to assign him any ill intent, or to think that it was anything less than an order. Even a polite request might as well have been a command; it would be disrespectful to choose otherwise. Either way, she had no plans. She did have a sandwich tucked into her psychic cabinet, but a request to go over notes was eminently reasonable, and she could eat the sandwich later for dinner anyway. Prince Virtanen was trying very hard to be polite, she thought, so she curtseyed and said, "Yes, Prince, this meeting was the only thing on my schedule this morning."

She could copy her notes on the meeting over another time. The Steward would need more copies than just the one, after all.

Offline Henrik Virtanen

  • Character Account
    • bo2sapphire
    • prince
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      Steward

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      Virratt Province Court

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      Glacia

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Re: Two sides, one coin; four sides, two coins
« Reply #3 on: Sep 24, 17, 02:27:44 AM »
"Ah," he said, when she acknowledged that there was nothing else on her calendar for the morning. "Well, then. Splendid." He turned to leave the room then, assuming she would follow. The only indication he gave that she was indeed supposed to come with him was to hold the door for her and wait, rather awkwardly, for her to cross the threshold before he followed behind. He nodded at people as they passed on their way to the dining hall, making stumbling excuses every time someone tried to stop him to talk.

"Really must get on..."

"Sorry, lunch meeting to go over notes..."

"You've met Lady Bessmertny haven't you? No? Oh. Well. Another time then. We really are quite busy..."


Several minutes later, he led them to an out of the way table in the dining hall near two large windows. "I hope this is okay," he said, as he pulled out the chair for her and helped her sit before taking his own seat. "I like to sit near the windows. And I've noticed people talk to me less when I look like I am deep in contemplation. I really prefer it that way. Not that I don't want to talk to them there are just so many of them and one of me and I really prefer for that kind of thing to be scheduled." He spoke as if his dining companion would know exactly what he meant, nodding as if he was quite sure she did.

He called over a servant. "I would like my usual lunch fare and please, anything that Lady Bessmertny would like as well." He turned to her expectantly, waiting for her to request what she would like before continuing with any conversation.

Offline Kostya Bessmertny

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Re: Two sides, one coin; four sides, two coins
« Reply #4 on: Sep 24, 17, 04:31:42 AM »
Kostya did follow, shoes clicking as she tried to keep up. Everyone wanted to talk to the Steward, of course, and Kostya honestly felt a little sea-sick with all the curtseying she had to stop to do as each Dark-Jeweled member of the Court paused Prince Virtanen on his way to the dining hall. How perfectly awful it must be, she thought, to be in that sort of position of authority. No, she wouldn't much like that herself, though the idea of being able to create real change was intoxicating. A Light Jeweled Queen would never rule in Glacia, but it might be nice to have at least one male to call her own... How did Lady Anderson manage them all?

She sighed silently, thinking about it, and smiled at the Warlord who had paused Prince Virtanen, only to be introduced to her. Honestly, Kostya was fairly certain that the man hadn't even realized she was there until Prince Virtanen pointed her out. Now that she was clearly there to be acknowledged, the man's look had turned hungry. She was glad to keep moving. Thank the Mother that that wasn't one of her duties.

The dining hall wasn't a place Kostya often went, but she kept her eyes on Prince Virtanen's back as they crossed the hall to a table with a lovely view of one of the gardens. Once she was seated, she set the writing board and its precious cargo beneath her seat. She had a solid grasp of what had been discussed, and if needful she knew that she could pick the notes back up and have an answer for the Steward in just a few moments. "The view's lovely, Prince," said Kostya encouragingly, the way she often wished someone would talk to her when she was having social troubles. "I was just thinking that it must be awful to always have everyone asking for your time out of the blue like that. No one could blame you for wanting a little time to yourself."

After a pause, she added, "I do something similar when I want my office-mates to leave me alone. Only usually I lean very far over the contract I'm copying and squint, so they know I'm very busy. Not that they're terribly gossipy! Well... they are... but not detrimentally."

Kostya, used to her sandwiches and occasional little lidded bowls of soup, asked for a smallish meal, which turned out to be quite a good thing, because the Steward's lunch portion was enormous. She covered her shock well, once it became clear that the service tray would be remaining, and didn't ask, only smiled at the Steward as if nothing had happened. The Dark Jewels she knew ate quite a bit more than she did, even the ones who wore the Rose as their Birthright and the Opal as their Descent. Prince Virtanen had been born as dark as those ladies and males had Descended. Of course he would eat more, it was perfectly logical.

"Please don't take this as an affront," she said, "but on the matter of the meeting... Did you notice how Lord Abramson adjusted the ring on his thumb whenever he spoke of his company's projected quarterly earnings from that mine? Last time I saw him, he wore that very ring on his ring finger..." Kostya worried at her lip for a moment. She was overstepping her bounds, perhaps, but Lady Aili had told her to not be shy about what she knew, and she was trying to be helpful. "There was a clever bit of patching on his brogues as well. I think his company perhaps isn't doing as well as he would like you to believe, Prince, if you don't mind me saying so."

Offline Henrik Virtanen

  • Character Account
    • bo2sapphire
    • prince
    • Role

      Steward

    • Faction

      Virratt Province Court

    • Territory

      Glacia

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      Phedre

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Re: Two sides, one coin; four sides, two coins
« Reply #5 on: Dec 07, 17, 06:20:27 AM »
"To be honest, it is rather exhausting." While perhaps most Queens would take their husbands as Consort, Henrik's business knowledge and contacts through out Glacia had made him rather the perfect Steward. It did mean that he had less time than he wished to spend with his Queen and the love of his heart, and instead spent rather more time than he liked interacting in painfully awkward small talk. While working, he was skilled and persuasive. But being caught in the hall or on the way to eat was very much against his preferences.

"Office-mates?" he said with confusion. "Lady Bessmertny, are you saying that you do not have your own office?" Any confirmation that he received from her that this ridiculous discovery was true would see him being very clear it would not remain so. "That is unacceptable. While you wear the Summer Sky, you are a Queen of Glacia and the best scribe I have. If I am to be able to request your services on a more consistent basis, I must know that you have the proper space to work. I'll see to it first thing tomorrow."

The food arrived and Henrik immediately began to eat, gesturing to the Queen across from him that she should do the same. His appetite was intense, even for one that wore the Sapphire. Perhaps it was the combination of the Blood Opal and Sapphire that left him ravenous, or perhaps his metabolism was such that even without the Dark Jewels, he could have eaten like a horse and retained his tall, lanky physique. Whatever it was, the staff knew to bring intense amounts of food for him at every meal and often he consumed an evening snack as well.

He listened as the scribe offered her opinion. It was quite insightful. He had noticed the Warlord spinning his ring when they spoke of the mine and had thought it perhaps a tell that something was not quite right. But he hadn't known it was a ring that he had formerly worn on his ring finger, suggesting a rather large shift in weight, and he hadn't noticed the patching at all. "That's quite remarkable. You noticed all that while still managing to take what I know to be meticulous notes."

Henrik took another sizable bite of his salad, chewing rather quickly as his mind worked through multiple avenues of how he could address the issue while not causing shame to the Warlord, which he had no desire to do. Taking a large swallow of water, he gestured with his fork to the Queen. "We'll be reconvening this afternoon, as you know. What would you do? How would you broach the issue?" Before she could object, he had taken another large bite of salad and was chewing expectantly, waiting for her response.

 

 

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