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* Plot Information for Little Terreille

A naive Black Jeweled witch has destroyed the Territory Court. From its ashes a new court is being constructed, one run by a manipulative killer. As the blood runs in the streets of Goth from open gang warfare, the Steward of Little Terreille begins a gambit to rebuild the Territory from the ground up and challenge the Star of Kaeleer.
Culture of LT
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Author Topic: A little sugar for my sins  (Read 181 times)

Description: attn Laurel

Offline Schulyer Shepard

  • Character Account
    • landen
    • male
    • Role

      Third Circle of Portland Province

    • Faction

      Violin Virtuoso

    • Territory

      Little Terreille

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Reid

    • Posts

      12

    • View Profile
A little sugar for my sins
« on: Feb 02, 17, 12:05:22 AM »
The witch storm came while Schulyer was out of the territory, in Dharo actually, amusing strange aristo Blood with his playing. It had necessitated an extension of his stay in the last city on his tour of the Realm, but no one in Amdarh had seemed to mind. Even the long-lived appreciated a good musician, and Schulyer was one of the best. And of course he was, his patron expected nothing less than the best and he would give it. It was the least Laurel Gold deserved. Making an appointment after his return was also the least she deserved, so Schulyer did it; he left a note with her steward and went back to his garret, which he maintained not because he was poor but because he liked the small, somewhat drafty rooms. They didn't feel cold, even in the coldest whites of winter. It was warm, a home to him. His own little territory.

He arrived for his appointment on time, his violin in tow. He liked to share his new projects with Lady Gold, to reassure her that he was continuing to work at his art, continuing to grow and excel as she demanded of everyone whose work she supported. Even if she didn't want to hear him play, it would be worthwhile to have the instrument. She would know that he was ready to perform at a moment's notice.

It was good to be back in Portland, even as odd and uncertain as the city felt. The gossip he'd heard from the bakers he bought from and the other artists in his circle was that a Black-Jeweled Blood had murdered the entire old Territory Court. It didn't particularly matter: Logain Morr hadn't been loved in the circles that Schulyer ran in, mostly because the landen didn't really love any of the Blood. Bride Marchalan hadn't been popular, either. Some of them did, of course, and Schulyer among them. Even then, it was only specific Blood, for specific reasons.

The Blood took their tithes and ran awful gangs and killed people. It was all very messy. In the end, Schulyer was glad he'd had his talents and Lady Gold to pull him out of all that muck. He paid his tithes in performance value, and everyone was happier for it. He made money for Laurel. Half his pride--no, his arrogance--came from that proven value.

When Lady Gold arrived, Schulyer was already on his feet. He never sat while waiting for her. When he did, for health reasons, he itched between his shoulder blades like the eyes of God itself were watching him. It seemed to be disrespectful. She had changed his life for the better, not once or twice but three times, and he'd not forget it. "Lady Gold," he said, bowing as she entered, "I'm so glad to see you again."
set, set that crown on the ground

Offline Cristóbal De la Cruz

  • Character Account
    • broken2ss
    • warlord
    • greendescent
    • Role

      First Circle

    • Faction

      Portland Province

    • Territory

      Little Terreille

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Dash

    • Posts

      13

    • View Profile
Re: A little sugar for my sins
« Reply #1 on: Feb 07, 17, 01:32:37 PM »
Cristó always enjoyed being in Schulyer's company. The Landen virtuoso was a remarkable young man; practiced, poised, polite and exceptional. He played his chosen instrument as if he were wielding the fingers of Witch herself. They had gone on an extended tour that allowed for Schulyer to showcase his talent throughout the Realm. It also served to allow Cristóbal to look over the business interests of his Lady from outside of the Territory and to check in on the Iarvis Agents through the different parts of Kaeleer. Fidelis had been recalled, and he'd sent a note to Tempus that if he needed him, he could find him in Little Terreille.

It was extra work, and Cristó had not slept much during his triple duty of protector, enforcer, and secret agent. To be an enforcer of the Dodge required more than just being a thug, but also a cultured diplomat. It was a challenge to balance all three, but it was a challenge he enjoyed. His life at present was one he thoroughly enjoyed, save for the loss of his Green some one hundred and ninety two years ago. He still wore a chip of Green in the lapel of every suit, to remind him of what he once had and to never allow himself to forget what he'd won for that sacrifice.

He was unhappy that he'd been away at the arrival of this mysterious Black Jeweled Lord that had destroyed Logain Morr's Court. Not because he was wishing to see the spectacle himself (though he'd have loved to see Morr and his thuggish Steward burn) but because he'd not been present to advise and defend Laurel. She rarely had need for his counsel, for she was a wise and sharp-minded woman (who else could have been his Queen, if not her?), but he would have preferred to be present to help her nonetheless. It filled him with great relief to find not only was she unharmed but also that her estate was not disrupted while she'd gone to ground.

He'd not seen her yet, as his duty to her required him to see after Schulyer. He longed to be at her side, but he was not some young Bull. He could be patient with the knowledge she was safe. Still, as he closed the door behind them and shielded it with his Summer Sky, he smiled at the sight of her. He hovered by the door, still and precise as a statue wreathed in a silken suit, and waited to be called upon.

He was willing to wait as long as was necessary.

Offline Laurel Gold

  • Character Account
    • pd2sapphire
    • queen
    • Role

      Queen of Portland Province

    • Faction

      Court of Portland

    • Territory

      Little Terreille

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Petrichor

    • Posts

      46

    • View Profile
Re: A little sugar for my sins
« Reply #2 on: Feb 18, 17, 04:18:22 AM »
Schulyer Shepard was a favoured of Portland’s long reigning Lady. The Queen prided herself on recognizing talent in its earliest stages but the Landen virtuoso? He’d demanded her notice like few could and for it she rewarded him again and again. Rarely gentle, Laurel held dear the truths of the Blood’s duty to the Landen over whom they ruled. In the violin artist with no peer the Queen fostered not only talent but visible hope for the Landen of Little Terreille.  It was particularly important to Lady Gold that she foster in her subjects ambition. A purposeless life was a life wasted. She wanted the best for Portland and Schulyer was among its brightest jewels though he held none of his own. Cristóbal De la Cruz  was another of Laurel’s dearest courtiers. He’d come to her early on in her years in Portland and his service rivaled even that of Prince Marini who’d been the first man to bond to the Queen when she was still a lost girl in Draega. She held affection for the Dhelanese Warlord that did not align with the strictly familial feelings she felt for the Prince who’d helped her gain her fortune. She valued his council and his presence in a way she cherished few of her men. Few were allowed the pleasure of seeing the warmth Laurel concealed beneath an impeccable courtly demeanor and vicious intellect.

Both the Landen and her stubbornly, handsomely bearded Warlord had been gone for longer than a Queen of Laurel’s protective nature liked. But they’d both been busy at her command. Schulyer deserved to shine like the brilliant artist he was and her Cristó was the only man she trusted to navigate the dangerous currents of Kaeleer’s underground economies to see where there was room for her true kingdom to expand. When she entered the parlour where her beloveds awaited her she swelled with pride. Schulyer, not born to it, practiced protocol with a grace that rivaled some Blood courtiers the Queen knew. Her Lord, robbed of his Green by Witch’s wrath? He stood, as ever, at attention to her need even though the meeting she’d called for was meant to be informal. Few got close to Lady Gold. Those that did were the most treasured things in her domain.

Peace,” spoke the Lady Gold as was her way of setting her court about the business of being themselves instead of those things protocol demanded of them when the moment called to formality.  At that she sat in a plush chair of deep gold velvet and rich dark wood and gestured in a manner suggesting they do the same. “You’ve been missed at court and I’m sure there’s much to tell me of your travels over a meal but first there’s some business and, you must have questions.  What say the other Territories of this latest coup in Goth? What questions have you both?” she took care to indicate she cared to hear Schulyer’s perspective on the matter as she often sought his insight when wondering how a Little Terreillian issue may be affecting her Landen charges. As an afterthought, before their answers could begin Laurel added, “Have you eaten? Should I call for a cart?” A quick look at Cristóbal and she further suggested, “Coffee?”


Offline Schulyer Shepard

  • Character Account
    • landen
    • male
    • Role

      Third Circle of Portland Province

    • Faction

      Violin Virtuoso

    • Territory

      Little Terreille

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Reid

    • Posts

      12

    • View Profile
Re: A little sugar for my sins
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 17, 01:47:49 PM »
"My lady Gold," said Schulyer. When Laurel entered the room, the entire place seemed to brighten. She drew eyes like flames drew moths, and Schulyer--with his appreciation for fine and beautiful things--was no different. "I have missed you as well." He bowed at the waist before taking a seat, finally. Setting his violin case by his feet, he waited for Cristobal to sit before he began to tell her what it was he had learned. He shook his head. "No, my lady, I ate before I came." Not out of disrespect, but out of a desire to be prepared should she request him to perform.

He mulled over her question for a long moment, a hand at his chin. It was difficult to sum up the reactions around the Realm; he had remained largely in Dharo after the coup, and there the mood had seemed unsettled, even frightened, in the aristo parlors he had been made to frequent. Among the landen... Well, any of the Blood could turn their minds to ash with an errant thought, a touch of mind-to-mind. He wasn't sure relative Jewel strength was particularly important to them. "They are cautious," he said, "and nervous. They seemed to be wondering how no one had noticed a Birthright Red Jewel." Ensconced with Blood culture as he was, Schulyer wondered that as well. A Red Jewel was a rare thing, wasn't it? It was a hallmark of the Witch, the one that had set the Realms afire within living memory. It had been generations for the short-lived, but even those with a mere quarter of long-lived blood could feasibly have been born in time to remember.

"The landen are afraid. We don't trust Blood as a group; we worry that, should this Lord Black lose his temper, he will kill us all without consideration or mercy. He has already done that to the Court at Goth, and there is Protocol against that, isn't there?" He was familiar with the rules, of course. There was no law against murder among the Blood, only a right to demand a price for a lost life. But landens... landens were little more than property to most Blood. Not Lady Gold, but... "We would like reassurance that such a thing will not happen... but we also know that it's unlikely that we'll receive it."

Unsaid: Schulyer trusted Laurel Gold with his life. He'd die for her if she asked him to. Not everyone knew the Blood as so trustworthy, though, and he had limited ability to reassure them. Not as Laurel or another Queen might be able to.
set, set that crown on the ground

Offline Laurel Gold

  • Character Account
    • pd2sapphire
    • queen
    • Role

      Queen of Portland Province

    • Faction

      Court of Portland

    • Territory

      Little Terreille

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Petrichor

    • Posts

      46

    • View Profile
Re: A little sugar for my sins
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 17, 03:33:19 AM »
Schulyer and Cristobal were unequivocally hers and alone with none but them Laurel was able, in her manner, to relax. On a Purple Dusk thread she called for coffee as she settled in to hear what it was the Landen virtuoso had to say. Her Warlord of Summer Sky strength remained quiet, a sign he’d heard at least some of what the boy had to share and had already deemed it worthy his Queen’s attention. Schulyer was an artist prone to speaking only when possessed by something of keen insight and note to share. The music he played was transcendent but the mind that made it was just as precious a treasure to his Lady.

It was difficult for a woman of her heritage, caste and depth of jewel to hear and know the truth of the Landen’s struggles when she walked among them during the tithes.  In the tradition existed a power dynamic at play that discouraged honesty and encouraged pageantry. It was an important bit of culture and protocol but it didn’t give her the insight she might’ve liked. Among the Blood few secrets were kept from Lady Gold. Her constituents of earthen origin, children of the land as the Blood were children of the Night, their minds couldn’t handle even the gentlest of her prying.

Schuyler was one of her best sources of information in that world and he was her most loyal from it. Though he walked among the Blood and had much to thank their world for the violinist never forgot who he was or the people who’d raised him. She’d be ever grateful to his parents and ever vigilant of his safety.

Laurel listened to his analysis of Lord Black’s entrance to Kaeleer’s political scene with the same attention she’d pay any of her dignitaries or ambassadors in any sector.  When he was finished his Lady held her tongue for a few moments, processing the news as was her thoughtful way.  Though Laurel never let an opponent see her need time to think, the same impenetrable façade was not needed with her closest courtiers.  Had Schulyer a real portion of Blood to his being he easily have held a place among her first circle.

As it was his seat within her third circle left many below him in her service angry but none were foolish enough to take action against Lady Gold’s fragile and favorite songbird. She didn’t let the sensitive artist languish in the purgatory of her thoughtful quiet for long. “Difficulty of attaining the promise is secondary to the following question, what would it take for a people so frightened to believe any such declaration from an administration that made its entrance with so many suspicious questions left unanswered in the shadow of its rise?

The door opened then and in came a cart carrying hot, fresh coffee and dark but still sweet chocolates. It would've seemed quick to anyone not familiar with Lady Gold's court, but her kitchens knew to always have a fresh part of coffee brewed light and strong at the ready.

A Hearth Witch who wore a yellow jewel about her neck quickly served the trio. The girl was new to the estate's service but already aware of how the Lady and her favored courtiers took the hot, potent brew. To Laurel she gave a small plate of chocolates and cheese which the Queen left ignored on the table beside her awaiting Schulyer’s unique anaylsis. To her Lord De la Cruz she offered a smile and a whisper across a thread for them alone, ”You’ve been a good influence on his eye, my Lord”.


Offline Schulyer Shepard

  • Character Account
    • landen
    • male
    • Role

      Third Circle of Portland Province

    • Faction

      Violin Virtuoso

    • Territory

      Little Terreille

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Reid

    • Posts

      12

    • View Profile
Re: A little sugar for my sins
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 17, 07:25:47 AM »
Schulyer glanced askance at Cristobal, but it wasn't worth bothering the Warlord for his silence. There were things only the Blood could talk about; he didn't want to get involved too deeply in the Court. Knowing too much was just as, if not more, dangerous than knowing too little. Getting in too deep... That was how people like him ended up husks with little more than ash for brains. Yes, Laurel would likely demand a heavy price for his life. He was still only a landen, and therefore--in the distasteful rhetoric of the Blood--not worth much.

Still... He took his cup in both hands, crossed his ankles beneath his chair. Schulyer had impeccable posture even as he leaned forward, the better to show his Lady that he was listening without saying a word. "I don't know," he said, honestly. "I'm not sure there could be such a promise. His power... There aren't any who can match it, are there? The closest is the Ebon Gray triangle in the north." He had been to Glacia, though he didn't remember who had been in attendance at his concerts. The landen piste dancers had drawn his attention more, their finely muscled limbs, their expressive hands. His gaze dipped downward for a moment, cheeks heating. Just remembering them...

Schulyer took a sip of his coffee to distract himself. It was perfect, as usual. Black, with a bare hint of honey.

"I don't know of anyone who truly trusts the Blood's Protocol," he said. "It seems arcane and arbitrary. I know that there are reasons for it, but not everyone is honored by your patronage as I am. I think that we want to believe in you, Lady Gold, but the Territory Court... they say that Lady Tiernan is a mask to hide the true face of the new court, and that Lord Black is the one who truly rules. We cannot trust what we cannot see, and as long as we can't see it, we will be afraid."

That was, perhaps, too bluntly worded. It was the truth, however, and he had never known Lady Gold to expect sugarcoating. He had known her to prefer finer words, and he had given her his thoughts as finely as he could. "We trust you," he said. That wasn't a lie. So many people he knew had grown up under Lady Gold's rule. They knew her, and she was benevolent. Belonging to her was no hardship at all. It was the new Court that they feared. "But those who don't know you as I do are concerned that this will force you to change, and that we will lose the stability we value."
set, set that crown on the ground

Offline Laurel Gold

  • Character Account
    • pd2sapphire
    • queen
    • Role

      Queen of Portland Province

    • Faction

      Court of Portland

    • Territory

      Little Terreille

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Petrichor

    • Posts

      46

    • View Profile
Re: A little sugar for my sins
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 17, 07:42:56 PM »
Troubling as what Schuyler had to say was, Laurel found herself smiling in his deductions. Music was a language and his gift in the art was evident in how he composed himself. Every sentence a thoughtful phrase building to a greater movement of purpose. The boy was singular. “It never fails to astound me that as kept from the higher circles of politics as many are how astute the people’s view is of those who rule.

Laurel held keen respect for the Landen and believed greatly that ultimately if their lives suffered in quality it was a fault of the Blood to be corrected. They were supposed to be Stewards of the land, and that included the Craftless people who made up most of the world. It was a view that waxed and waned in popularity with each regime. However  its importance never diminished in Portland.  Lady Gold allowed for much flexibility with every new ruler in Goth but some of her traditions were inflexible. They were her constants and while occasionally they were tested her will prevailed. There were some battles of principle one couldn’t afford to lose.

Schulyer’s Queen listened to the rest of his opinions attentively. She was a woman possessed of a patience many, even those close to her, could find unsettling. “It would seem then that we must see to it steps are taken to make clear to Lord Black the Landenmust be made certain of their security.
 
That damned Black jewel that came from nowhere and Lord Harmaa’s vendetta against Glacia  must be kept off the streets and far from our markets and farms. People won’t be able to relax at all if they don’t reign it in.” Throughout this speech Laurel sipped at her coffee and relaxed back into her seat. It was only with her court, and even then only in small groups of them at a time, that the Queen allowed others insight into her mind’s calculations and connections.

All this mess is further proof Amerys doesn’t have the power her position suggests. Despite Lady Tiernan’s many delicate tactics and policies this court has displayed an alarming lack of familiarity with the importance of tactical strikes and minimizing collateral damage.” Another sip of coffee was complimented by a thoughtful pause before she went on.

Of course with a court full of foreigners used to less crowded cities it’s not surprising. In truth it’s absurd how unaware of how quickly a city like Goth can run wild with riots. Or they’re perfectly aware of what they’re doing.” Another sip of coffee followed by a dry quip the Queen coupled with a half smirk. “That would be a far more serious problem. However, for the moment I think it’s best we assume incompetence rather than maliciousness is at fault for this administration’s considerable growing pains.”

Setting down her mug, already more than half gone, Laurel gestured to the violin case that ever accompanied the Landen performer. “When you’ve finished your coffee I’d have you play for me, Schulyer. Something new you worked on during your travels perhaps. It’s been too mad here for me to get to the theater and I’ve missed your compositions filling my halls.” Laurel picked up once more the cup which had barely begun to warm the coaster on which it was placed. She used Craft to float herself the carafe and top off her drink.


Her attention turned to the quiet Warlord. With a breath of Sapphire power she cooled the black brew to her favored temperature before addressing Cristo. “You’re welcome to stay and listen but I honestly might have a nap as I relax before the evening's meeting. I was up late looking over contracts for an acquisition Eloisa’s proposing. We’ve been playing a lot of catch up here since the whole Court took our impromptu trip to Dharo after Logain was deposed.” 


Offline Schulyer Shepard

  • Character Account
    • landen
    • male
    • Role

      Third Circle of Portland Province

    • Faction

      Violin Virtuoso

    • Territory

      Little Terreille

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Reid

    • Posts

      12

    • View Profile
Re: A little sugar for my sins
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 17, 04:45:32 AM »
Schulyer listened closely. He agreed--to most of it, if not all of it--and was glad for the coffee to hold as he thought of what had happened in the capital. The loss of the Hell Lords was surely a boon for the poor and for the Court that couldn't handle them, but he did miss the girls they'd had. He could probably find more where they came from, but... he didn't trust many Blood with the secret of what he was. Most of them considered him a perversion of an ingrained order to things. Thank the Darkness he was a landen, and his gender wasn't coded into something as strange and nebulous as a 'psychic scent'.

"Of course, my Lady," said Schulyer. "I'll continue to listen to see if I can learn anything else for you."

He drained the rest of his cup quickly, eager as ever to show Laurel that his playing was as dextrous and beautiful as the day she had discovered him. "Of course," he repeated. It was tempting to offer an explanation for the piece he was developing. He could have told her about the perfect quiet of a Glacian winter night, or the way looking out at so much snow could lull one into believing the world had always been so still. The way the surface of the snow cracked beneath one's feet, the sound and the way his stomach had dropped to his feet.

He could've explained those things. He didn't. He opened the violin case by his feet, rose to stand. Now he was no longer acting as a courtier, socializing and offering his insight. Now he was not awkward, not eager to please. Schulyer was in his element. He tucked his violin under his chin once he was sure the bow had the proper tension, and began to play.
set, set that crown on the ground

 

 

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