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With the full force of the Guilds at her back, Rilandra Vlas seized the Territory Throne of Dena Nehele. The common born Province Queen now owes allegiance to the Master of the Guilds for his assistance in both securing the throne and securing Darcia Glassade's continual safety. Trapped between the demands of the Guilds and the demands of the Aristos, Riley is struggling to rule, finding the palace more of a cage than she could have dreamed possible.
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Author Topic: come around...to my way of thinking  (Read 167 times)

Description: Attn: Irina

Offline Mercianna Arcos

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      Gavin

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come around...to my way of thinking
« on: May 16, 19, 12:11:41 AM »
Spring 194 - a cafe in Sevastopol

Once more, Mercianna sent her brother, Timotei, to deliver the invitation to another member of the Conclave. Timotei grumbled something about not being a courier, but he dressed properly and went anyway because he knew where his proverbial bread was buttered. Mercianna’s money allowed him to fuck women of low (or no) class and buy them expensive gifts to indicate how he thought he felt about them. The only thing he really had to do was refrain from getting them pregnant and sullying their bloodline with children descended from the bottom-feeders of society.

Also, it behooved him not to piss her off.

Timotei had returned with Lady Groza’s letter of acceptance for a coffee and conversation the following week. Mercianna already knew just the place to take her. Marija’s Cafe had the best coffee in Sevastopol and the place did brisk business and made a tidy profit for its owners. It would have competition in the fall when the White Lotus Tea Shop opened down the way, but Mercianna didn’t worry. Tea wasn’t a thing in Dena Nehele and it never would be. The Taceans could keep their leaf juice.

When Irina arrived, Mercianna was sitting at a table on the patio, wearing a green floral dress and flat shoes. Beside her sat Timotei, whom Irina would recognize upon arrival. He and Mercianna rose from their chairs at the same time, and Summer Sky Warlord bowed to Lady Groza when she drew close. Mercianna remained standing, though she gestured for Irina to take the chair that her brother had vacated.

Lady Groza, thank you for meeting me. I appreciate you taking the time to join me.” Mercianna said.

I hope the trip here was good. Shall we start with coffee?” Mercianna asked.

Offline Irina Groza

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      Isa

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Re: come around...to my way of thinking
« Reply #1 on: Jun 04, 19, 12:48:51 PM »
It didn’t come as a surprise that Mercianna Arcos wished to meet for lunch. It was not uncommon for Priestesses and other members of the Conclave to form connections with rising stars. At least, that’s how Zamfir referred to her, as a rising star. What did impress her was the location that Lady Arcos had chosen, a small coffee shop she had heard about but had not had the opportunity to try. It had come highly recommended by other coffee connoisseurs for their unique, and best of all, strong blends of beans. She had not taken Mercianna as one who appreciated the complexity of the roasts and maybe she was right.  It could have been a convenient place to simply talk and it would not take a lot of digging around to discover Irina Groza’s tastes. 

The last few months were split between tending to her brother and preparing the new library that Irina had spearheaded and partially funded. The texts she had won in auction through proxies in Hayll had arrived and were encased within the locked sanctum awaiting exhibition. It was a labor of love, sweat, and tears. In the end, she knew that her work would be recognized and Zamfir and Cristina would be at her side upon its unveiling.

It was a chaotic few months, filled steep climbs and sudden drops but worth it.

The shop was quaint, with comfortable patio seats and large black umbrellas that offered shade. It was a beautiful spring day in Sevastopol. Even the boxed plants hanging from the coffee shop windows were in bloom with bright pink and white flowers.  Her escort and brother-in-law guided Irina toward the shop. She smiled politely at the sight of Mercianna. For her part, she wore a bright yellow sundress that bared her shoulders and a pair of knitted white flats. Her hair was pulled back at the sides, but loose in a half ponytail allowing the dark chestnut curls to hang down her spine. In all the two Ladies were dressed to enjoy the beautiful weather.

“Lady Arcos, Lord Arcos, a pleasure to see you both again.”  She nodded to Timotei in thanks and settled in his seat. Her escort stepped back giving them some space to speak privately. Unfolding the cloth napkin set for her she laid it on her lap and looked over to her fellow Priestess. “Yes thank you.”  As if by magic their server appeared with thin white menus with black print. She poured over the choices before selecting her drink of choice. “The house blend latte double shot, cream, and rock sugar please as well as a blueberry scone.” She set the menu down and awaited Mercianna to complete her order. Once the server moved away she crossed her legs, making herself more comfortable. “Thank you again for having me. I've been meaning to try this place but haven’t found the time. You've given me a convenient excuse to do so. How are you Lady Arcos?”

Offline Mercianna Arcos

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Re: come around...to my way of thinking
« Reply #2 on: Jun 04, 19, 10:14:22 PM »
Mercianna leaned back in her seat to regard Lady Groza. She was a beautiful woman and married to an attractive, successful man. A few eyebrows were raised when the former Lady Dumitrescu accepted the proposal of the handsome Warlord whose family had fallen on hard times. The Groza family, like hers, had adjusted with the times and rebuilt themselves. Mercianna respected that more than she respected those whose money was limitless and troubles were non-existent. When the hard times finally hit those people, they’d be swept away.

Mercianna ordered a strawberry pastry and black coffee, content to keep her snacking to a minimum. She didn’t like letting other people see her eat, but with one of her sisters in the Conclave, she could allow herself to see just a little more human for a time. “Then I’m glad we found another reason to share company.” she said, smiling warmly.

I’m well. Business and life are going well. Speaking of business, I understand that someone managed to get her proposition for the library approved. Congratulations!” Mercianna said, taking joy in the victory of her fellow Priestess. Irina Groza had been an archivist for as long as Mercianna could remember, and a good one at that. Lining up the approval and funding for the library was a monumental task, but securing a few an ancient texts from Hayll was greater feather in her cap. Lady Groza was clearly on the way to being a force among the Conclave and, perhaps, someone uniquely positioned to help stem the influence of the Territory Court on Dena Nehele.

Your name is on many lips lately, Lady Groza. The Conclave needs strong leadership in these trying times, especially with the passing of the beloved Lady Mercer, Mother Night keep her.” Mercianna said somberly.

 In a dank wooden box, the bitch.

She considered Lady Groza.

Have you given any thought to what you might do now that you’ve reached your goal?” Mercianna asked.

Offline Irina Groza

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Re: come around...to my way of thinking
« Reply #3 on: Oct 08, 19, 08:03:09 PM »
Irina new little of Lady Arcos except to say that she was an exceedingly private person. As far as impressions went she couldn’t say she had one. The woman was almost unreadable sometimes, then again Irina had been so busy proving her worth to the Conclave that she barely had a moment to look up from the stacks of books, charts and even blueprints for the library’s opening. Mercianna did not socialize much and while Irina could not claim to be so introverted she also hadn’t made an effort to reach out.

Much like Zamfir, Irina could get lost in her own work, especially now where there were so many things she would rather not think about in her personal life. Her brother being a big part of that.  Irina smiled politely as Mercianna carefully considered what she wished to order and selected something similar. “A Lady who enjoys her drink straight. You can tell a lot from a person by what they drink or how they take their coffee.”  She smiled hopefully to imply that while she was perceptive it was not with any sort of judgment.  “I am grateful for the reprieve myself.”

Irina’s smile was wide and brilliant. Nodding softly she allowed herself to bask for a second in the praise. She hoped it would not be the first she heard of it. Zamfir’s excitement for her project nearly rivaled her own, but hearing a respected member of the Conclave pleased with her work was gratifying.

“Well names on lips can slip easily enough to the edges of people's mouths, we all know that.” There were always those who would be jealous, or who let gossip dangle on the tips of their tongue. She hoped that her name would be carried with only the best of intentions. In fact she would make sure of it. “Blessed be, yes.”  Irina agreed. Lady Mercer was a figure in the Conclave for as long as she could remember. Her death had been so…unexpected.

“Hmm.” Irina considered thoughtfully as the waiter made his way back and set their hot coffees together. The scent was nutty almost citrusy with notes of caramel. Irina enjoyed their aroma and let her hands rest on her lap as a large blueberry scone iced with a white glaze was also set before them. Glasses were provided with cold water and the waiter once again left them to their own devices. Mercianna’s choice was a symbol of her hard edge. Those who drank their coffee black rarely had time for frivolity. Which brought them back to this meeting.

“In all honesty no. I considered taking a much-needed break, for a week or two at most, visit Challiot again, or our vineyard. We haven’t had the chance to tour it since its purchase. Do you like wine Lady Arcos? I will gladly provide you a case.”
  She smiled politely and stirred the foam into her milky coffee three times. “Ive been so focused on the archives and the collection for so long that I haven’t thought past it.  My focus is rarely diverted when I find something Im passionate about.”

Taking a sip she smiled at the edge of her cup. The beans were perfectly roasted, with virtually no bitterness. She would have to request a bag. "How about yourself Lady Arcos? What impassions you?"



Offline Mercianna Arcos

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Re: come around...to my way of thinking
« Reply #4 on: Oct 09, 19, 10:51:48 AM »
Lady Groza said that much could be understood from a person based on how they drank their coffee. The thought intrigued Mercianna, even if it sounded like bullshit. She watched Lady Groza sweeten her own coffee and considered how different she was from Petra. The former Lady Dumitrescu was married to a handsome, successful man and they stood to become power-players in Tulzbruja if the years were kind to them. She seemed like a nice young woman. Mercianna didn’t sense any killer-instinct about her, though, meaning that she would likely be a piece to be moved, rather than a mover.

My father used to put a pound of sugar into his own coffee, it seems like. My late brother did the same, plus as much cream as possible. I never saw a use for it. I’m trying to keep my niece from developing those habits when she finally gets her first cup.” Mercianna quipped, sipping her beverage. She loved this place. She’d have to bring Stana here sometime.

While I think that being talked about is better than being forgotten, it doesn’t move me. People who are alive right now cannot judge us fairly for the things that we do or don’t do, not truly. They haven’t seen the effects. History will be kinder to us, I think. That’s what motivates me.” Mercianna said, taking a moment to bite into her scone.

She smiled at the mention of a vineyard, using her napkin to wipe her mouth. “A vineyard? That’s wonderful. Again, congratulations. I know that Lord Groza is an excellent dealmaker, but I didn’t know that wine interested him. I love wine, though. I’d be happy to accept a case. Perhaps we can even schedule an event there in the future, once things are up and running.

Mercianna wouldn’t be offended if she declined, but it would certainly help if she could provide her cabal with a place to meet when necessary.

Lady Groza’s question came while Mercianna was taking another sip of her coffee. It was a probing question, the kind meant to grant insight into someone’s motives. They weren’t friends, so Lady Groza was right to have questions.

Family.” she said, after a moment.

I could tell you that I love making money. I do. I’m good at it. I could tell you that being a Priestess consumes me. It does. I’m great at it.” Mercianna said.

But if I strip away all of that, the thing that gets me out of bed every morning is my family. My father and one of my brothers didn’t live long enough to see me turn our fortunes around. My youngest brother and my niece are both here and I do everything that I do so that they live in a Territory that isn’t mired in fear and corruption. We had that for a long time, Lady Groza. But then the rulers changed and I don’t think that we’re any better off than we were three years ago.” Mercianna siad, leaning forward in her chair.

What about you? Is your family better off than it was three years ago?