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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: creeping around like no one knows  (Read 423 times)

Description: (mercianna) (tulzbruja; a carriage ride and a lunch date)

Offline Anya Welvert

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creeping around like no one knows
« on: Apr 23, 19, 04:56:07 AM »
While he would have preferred the Winds--it did allow for travel to be quite with his Red--they did not necessarily allow for lengthy conversations. Something which was most certainly a necessity with all that was going on. Charles turned his attention from the carriage window, pulling the curtain on it and hiding the Tulzbrujan countryside.

Considering that were riding along a path that brought them in view of the Mercer lands (which was a considerable part of the ride until it turned to Cutrov land ... well, it wasn't all Cutrov land anymore, not was it?), it could put him in a foul mood if he stared out it too long. Anything that made him think of the Black Widow Warlord Prince or those that he associated with made him beyond irritable. With all the business that had gone down in Aechia, with the Black Jeweled Healer that cost him his Black Widow.

Did they not understand how rare it was that he even took to a Black Widow?!

It was no matter, Charles had plans in effect ever as he always did. No one took from him without there being repercussions. Mercianna had, after all, helped reinforce that behavior in him among so many other things.

"I am surprised," said Charles, his tone deceptively light, "that Lady Welvert is even having meetings right now. What with what happened the last time they came to the Territory Court ..." Yes, it had so very long ago now but every time an incident happened, the Opal Black Widow would disappear only to be seen rarely within the Tulzbrujan Court.

"... but I suppose when one's back is getting ever closer to the wall, they need to reaffirm their alliances." Charles gave Mercianna a smile, something dark dancing in his eyes. It was where they were heading, after all. To speak with the Black Widow about certain matters. On the way, of course, Charles and Mercianna had their own topics to discuss.



Offline Mercianna Arcos

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Re: creeping around like no one knows
« Reply #1 on: Apr 23, 19, 11:31:47 PM »
Mercianna watched the landscape pass as the carriage made its way toward their destination, her mind turning over the matter at hand. Lining up more support for the Aristo Council was not going as she’d hoped. She’d come across several of her sisters who believed, as she did, that Dena Nehele needed further support and a new path forward. Meredith Mercer’s demise had turned a few people away from their support of the Territory Court. If even a woman as respected as Lady Mercer could be targeted by the Guilds that Rilandra Vlas had sold herself to, what protection did any of them truly have?

None, Mercianna told them. They were all vulnerable. The Conclave once gave the rulers of Dena Nehele pause when they acted as one to give voice to Mother Night’s displeasure. Now they struggled to have a voice at all beneath the current High Priestess.

Still, many of her sisters feared being the next target of a contract.

She could feel Charles’s indignation from across the small space between them. He’d been irritated since his return home, so much so that Mercianna had to explain to Stana that her father needed some time to himself before she could tell him about all that she’d done in his absence. Stana was crestfallen but, fortunately, she didn’t fight Mercianna on the matter. Now, though, Mercianna hoped that broaching the topic wasn’t about to earn his displeasure.

Charles took control of the conversation first.

Lady Welvert always has time for her friends, my love. I’m sure the scene at the Territory Court was every bit the shitshow that we’ve come to expect from that troglodyte on the throne.” Mercianna said.

All the same, I’m glad we’re going to see her. The Territory Court’s odious little edict regarding business,” she stressed the word slightly, knowing that Charles understood which business she referred to, “is gathering steam, Charles. I need to know that Bidea isn't about to ruin me. Lady Welvert may have some advice.

Mercianna sighed, smoothing down her dress. She smiled at him, despite her irritation. Charles’s smile had a way of making her believe that everything would turn out alright, even when she couldn’t see the path. It reminded her that Mother Night was on her side and that she’d find a way through this.

Reaffirming our alliances isn’t a bad thing. It’s good to know who our friends are.” she said.

Stana was hoping to talk to you when you came home. What happened while you were away?


Offline Anya Welvert

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Re: creeping around like no one knows
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 19, 12:36:19 AM »
"Darling," said Charles, "the only reason we've not had more shitshows at the Territory Court is that the troglodyte on the throne is waddling about waiting to give birth to her spawn." Given that he was a Third Circle member and Escort, he had considerably more freedom and involvement than most. Not that he was ever really allowed certain rotations. It was no matter, Charles still accomplished what needed to be done.

"Certainly, I hope that Lady Welvert has suggestions for the business. At this point, everything that I have heard and learned is that while there is those voicing dissent for this ridiculous outlawing, the Territory Court is standing strong. The newly appointed Queen of Aechia," the look in his eyes was not kind, "has also made her opinions known. Did you know? Anyone found conducting business within Aechia that she does not approve of could face execution."

The Warlord Prince reached forward, a touch of craft in his fingers as he finished smoothing out the rest of Mercianna's outfit. She was to look absolutely perfect, just as she always did. "Not that I am particularly worried about such as I always plan ahead. Hopefully, Lady Welvert will have more to advise upon."

Charles was affectionate with his daughter--his Heir--but he had moods and when they hit ... Well, there was no need for her to deal with that. He was not completely heartless or without the capability for love. The Warlord Prince was merely picky about those who experienced it. Just like those, he cared for--truly cared for--did not need to see his anger in full. "When we return," said Charles finally, "I'll spend time with her. I didn't want her thinking I was mad at her with my mood being so sour."

An aggravated sigh escaped. "Lady Graveworthy." Which, to be frank, the Graveworthys was always a thorn in his side considering their lands were next to one another. "The Black Widow that I found, the one that has been helping, was caught." The eye twitch, the tightening of his fist, said a great deal.



Offline Mercianna Arcos

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Re: creeping around like no one knows
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 19, 12:32:24 AM »
Mercianna wanted to vomit. The idea that Rilandra Vlas had allowed one of her puppies (and for all they knew, it was an actual dog) to impregnate her was beyond the pale. Perhaps the strain of pregnancy would keep her off the throne a bit longer. Or maybe giving birth would damage her chalice so badly that they had to keep her away from the throne permanently. She’d seen women develop that kind of madness post-pregnancy. Even when they didn’t smother their children in their swaddling cloths, they were still a danger to everyone around them.

If Rilandra Vlas didn’t return to the throne, however, Dena Nehele would change again. The battle for the throne would be interesting just for the number of contenders in play. Mercianna let that thought play out alongside where the Aristo Council and the rest of their peers would fall when it all ended. Would the Guilds finally claim open control of the Territory? Or would they choose another catspaw Queen to enforce their rule?

I trust Lady Welvert's judgement. We’ve worked well together over these last years. We’re all working toward the same ends.” Mercianna said. Mostly, at least. She smiled as Charles helped her adjust her dress. She wished they had more time. She’d missed him while he was away in Bidea.

Stana will love that.” Mercianna said idly, her mind returning to the issue of her servants and the ruling made by Rilandra Vlas. 

The mention of Arkadie Graveworthy (that name, ugh) returned Mercianna’s attention to him after a moment. She sat up a little straighter as Charles mentioned that the Black Widow he’d employed on their behalf had been caught out. She hadn’t asked after much of Charles’s plan when he first mentioned it, deciding that she would know what he wanted her to know. But she knew that Lady...something? Was that it? She was Tacean. They all looked the fucking same to Mercianna; memorizing names seemed moot.

But her lover’s anger was palpable. He’d been chasing after that knowledge for ages. This Black Widow had been key to some of their plans. She wanted to reach out and soothe him. It was almost worth the risk of his hands ending up around her throat, squeezing away her life for her temerity.

She reached forward to place her hand on his knee, then squeezed. Not just a distraction, but a promise of more to come.

What do they know?” she asked. Charles wasn’t sloppy, but if damage control was necessary, it was better to do sooner than later.

Can anything be traced back to us?

Offline Anya Welvert

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Re: creeping around like no one knows
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 19, 03:29:57 AM »
Despite his opinion that the only good Black Widow was a dead Black Widow, Seiha Inoue had proven herself to be a delightful find. Someone that was more than worth his time. Charles had not expected her at all, finding that the Tacean's view of the world had lined up nicely with his own. So when their partnership started, the Warlord Prince had factored her into his view of the world.

Touching the Black Widow meant that they were touching his plans and that did not work. His gaze snapped to Mercianna as she touched his knee. For a moment he stared at her hand as if it was something to be ripped away, his anger palpable, before he let out a long shuddering breath.

"Nothing," said Charles. "They know nothing of other than what she was involved with that idiotic halfwit Green-Jeweled Warlord Prince." His fingers uncurled from a fist, flexing them in and out. For a moment he indulged in thinking about wringing Makoto no Ariake's neck for daring to fuck everything to hell and back. Quite literally so, based on what the reports were about his crimes.

Eventually, he took Mercianna's hand, squeezing lightly. He was fine, really. Charles did not like when those that were his were touched in any fashion. "She destroyed everything and I saw to the destruction of her base of operations." Even if that had taken him working against the compulsion Seiha had snuck on him, put into place so that he would be protected. It was for the best, he would have destroyed everything to take her back if not for that.

"Without her, some of our more recent exploits would not be possible. With her webs in place, it will not be easy to trace us." The corner of his mouth twitched upward into a devilish smile. "Like with the Sokolovs." An aristo family that Mercianna had helped deliver a rather intimate business tool that she made use of. "That said: I am not leaving her within the grasp of Lady Graveworthy. It's unacceptable."



Offline Mercianna Arcos

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Re: creeping around like no one knows
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 19, 11:27:35 PM »
Mercianna relaxed when Charles squeezed her hand. He was a Warlord Prince, but a smart one, and not easily scared off from his goals. She understood that last bit intimately, considering how their relationship had started. Mercianna was annoyed on his behalf, however, that his plans had been compromised due to the idiocy of another. It rankled her that one could take every precaution, do everything the right away, and still lose because someone else couldn’t maintain their discipline.

She nodded. “That’s good. The last thing we need is to give anyone a reason to look further into our dealings. The Territory Court can make all the silly little rulings that they want, but it’s really the Welverts that we need to worry about.” she said, stroking his hand with her thumb. Mercianna already planned to talk to Anya about an idea that she had in mind, but she hadn’t formed it fully yet. The Sokolovs were just a few of her customers in need of special items that would soon be harder to obtain.

Mercianna did not plan to allow a lucrative business die because of the short-sighted nature of others.

But when Charles mentioned that he wasn’t leaving this Black Widow in the hands of Lady Graveworthy, Mercianna grew nervous once more. Arkadie Graveworthy was a younger, slightly classier version of Rilandra Vlas, but she was no one that Mercianna really wanted to involve herself with outside of minor pleasantries. She paused, forming the question in her mind before she asked it.

If she’s being held by the Aechia Province Court, she’ll be hard to reach. Do you have someone on the inside who can help you get to her? Or do you have something else in mind?” Mercianna asked. She wanted to know the direction of his thoughts before she made further comments or attempted to make him rethink his strategy. There was every chance that Charles already had it all worked out.

But if he didn’t, Mercianna would help.

Offline Anya Welvert

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Re: creeping around like no one knows
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 19, 10:17:08 PM »
There was a particular glint to Charles's green eyes as Mercianna asked those questions. The look was a familiar one, the kind that often came after the Warlord Prince had carried out his particular brand of work. Not the kind that saw Healers broken of their kindness but the kind that saw someone a rather suitable puppet for him.

Black Widow training had not gained him a snake tooth, had not gifted him with foresight, but it had earned him a knowledge of the mind and its workings that most did not know. Such as the more effective ways to use compulsions and otherwise, leaving them in wait to be activated when he needed them.

"While I appreciate that you would help," said Charles, lifting Mercianna's hand up and kissing the back of it, "the less involved you are the better it is." He smiled, though there was nothing kind in the smile. It was pure, unabashed devilry. Mostly he did not want to risk anyone else in this particular endeavor. Not that he had any expectations that it would not go exactly as he wanted it.

"I believe the saying is ... I have an ace in the hole? Someone that can not only help me without alerting the Gray Prince but also provide an excellent scapegoat." Finally, he lowered Mercianna's hand back down, the tip of his finger running down from her middle finger across her palm to trace the veins along the inside of her wrist. "Which will continue to redirect things where they need to be." As in not on him and not on the Black Widow.

Nor on Mercianna. Charles worked too hard to ensure that there were no connections to anyone else, save himself. The fact that Seiha had operated in the exact same manner had been what kept him from being found. It meant that he was not particularly willing to simply leave things be.



Offline Mercianna Arcos

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Re: creeping around like no one knows
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 19, 12:21:57 AM »
Mercianna knew Charles, so she knew that look. That look told her that the time for asking questions was over. Charles worked hard to keep Mercianna insulated from anything that could damage her reputation or draw scrutiny upon her. She smiled while Charles kissed the back of her hand, and didn’t protest when he gently suggested that she let the matter go. The important thing, to her, was that he knew she was willing to help him if he needed it.

Very well, then, love. I’ll say nothing further about it unless you need it.” Mercianna said, flashing him a gentle smile. She almost felt sorry for whoever Charles had found to deflect suspicion upon, if necessary. They’d never know what hit them.

Mercianna was quiet for a moment before she recalled the other thing she wanted to say to Charles.

During my trip to Bidea, I met with Catalina Toma of the Aristo Council. Did you know that Prince Istok has vanished? The prevailing theory is that he was a casualty of the Decimation. I asked her to join the Council and...she set me a task. She wants me to shore up support among the Conclave for the Council’s aims. I think it’s going to be an interesting year where the Council and the Territory Court are concerned, so if you hear anything useful in your travels, I’d love to know about it.” Mercianna said.

In the meantime,” Merciana said, looking toward the passing countryside, “I’ll be arranging a few meetings with my sisters in the Conclave. I just need to locate a few of them to start.

Offline Anya Welvert

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Re: creeping around like no one knows
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 19, 05:20:55 AM »
"In the near future then," said Charles, "once I've settled the score." Tilted things back in his favor, returned Seiha to where she belonged. It did not matter that she was Broken, in Seiha Charles saw a great deal. All the bad things that he enjoyed.

"... Prince Istok? Wasn't he a would-be paramour of the Leader of the Hourglass Coven?" Who knew. Alexandra Luceau had gone from bedding anyone she could to frigid bitch just like Claudia Genadie. Nothing annoyed him faster than a stuck-up prissy bitch of a Black Widow (those words might have actually been borrowed from Seiha). He looked thoughtful. "Let me look into his disappearance if you've no objection?"

The mention of Mercianna on the Aristo Council, the possibility of it, made Charles smile widely. "I shall see what I can find out, as last I checked the current High Priestess is ... something else." The way he said it implied that she might as well be someone as backwater as the Graveworthys. "I've no doubt you'll be bringing this up with Lady Welvert but have you also given consideration to the fact that Tulzbruja is still without a High Priestess?"

Since Meredith Mercer's death, the spot had been vacant. The Decimation had set things back even further, all things considered. "So is Caecian, I believe, though ..." His smile took a horrible turn. "That well is poisoned. Lady Tailor is not so fond of me." She was proof of his work doing what was intended. The kindness had been fucked out of her. Just as he had ensured that the depths of the Abyss had not been as welcoming as they could have been, the Healer only grasping an Opal at her Offering.

"Either way, I would think one way to raise yourself up would be to either take a position for yourself up and create a following or assist another Priestess and use your influence over her to further the goal of gaining sway over them." There was a tell-tale thump from the driver, who knew better than to try and reach for one of them along thread or otherwise talk with them, that they were approaching their destination.



Offline Mercianna Arcos

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Re: creeping around like no one knows
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 19, 12:17:01 AM »
Something like that, yes. But you know that I only keep up with only one Black Widow. The rest of them are a bit...temperamental for my tastes.” Mercianna said, looking out the window of the carriage once more. Sometimes she regretted not having better informats in Bidea. The proximity to her brother’s mistake was upsetting, but knowing what the young woman was doing, and planning to do, would have given Mercianna peace of mind.

No objections from me. You have a knack for locating people who don’t want to be found." Mercianna said. She needed to locate another person, but she worried that the task would force her to go to Moesia Province, a place that she had no interest in seeing at this point in, or any point, in time.

Charles’s question caught her attention, only because she’d thought about it, but Mercianna hadn’t decided that she wanted the position. She wanted to be more than just a Province Priestess. She wouldn’t have had a shot at it, anyway. Meredith Fucking Mercer had squatted over the position and then set her attention on maligning Mercianna’s good name until her untimely death. Mercianna could still taste the century-old bottle of wine that she’d opened to celebrate Lady Mercer’s unceremonious return to society, dumped like a pile of garbage on the ballroom floor of the Bidea Daily, right in front of her adopted granddaughter.

She wished that she had a crystal shaped just from that moment. She’d pay top dollar for it, just to have something to cheer her up on bad days.

Yes, both positions remain unfilled, but I think that I’d see more of a return by facilitating the rise of an up-and-coming member of the Conclave than inserting myself into either position. But if Lady Tailor isn’t fond of you, she’s the one with the problem, my love. You did as well as you could with the material provided.” Mercianna said, shrugging a slim shoulder.

I have a couple of candidates for both positions in mind. It’ll take some planning, but if it works, it’ll increase our access to the halls of power. Our families will be finally be mentioned in the same breath as Glassades and Contas, my love. Right before we eclipse them completely.” she said.                         
The driver’s knock indicated that they were reaching their destination. Mercianna smoothed out her dress once more and made sure that her appearance was flawless. It did not matter that she and Anya were friends; she treated every interaction with the Black Widow like the first, determined to make and leave a good impression.

Are you ready, my dear?” she asked, as they drew closer to the Province Seat.

Offline Anya Welvert

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Re: creeping around like no one knows
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 19, 12:19:10 AM »
"You never complain about my being temperamental," said Charles, green eyes full of dark mirth. Oh, he knew what Mercianna meant. For the most part, he was the same. After all: he did not like Black Widow. Often preferred them dead than anything else. That he had taken interest in Seiha meant that he saw in her more than just the caste he coveted.

"I shall see what I can find out." There was a flash of a dangerous grin, sharp and deadly. He watched Mercianna as opposed to anywhere else. Watching as she worked through her thoughts, picking up all the little cues that were familiar and good was calming in the face of his anger. Charles chuckled darkly at her comments about Minerva Tailor.

"I did my best," agreed Charles. "It does seem a better idea to elevate another Priestess." Which was why he had said it as well. "It will leave you free to pursue what you need to without your focus pulled elsewhere." If she took up a position within a court it would mean that she would have to split her attention. That was never a good thing. Not when their work, what they did, depended upon impeccable and flawless plans of action.

"There's a Priestess at the Territory Court as well. Stela Petrescu, who wears the Purple Dusk" His expression turned thoughtful, though it was no less predatory. "Though I believe she already has plans on where she would like to serve. She is a Ward of the Court, without her Offering. My boys," those that tried to play at what he was, having their way with witches, “have their sights upon her. I’ll see what they’ve learned, if there is anything of use or if she might make for an excellent piece upon the board.” The idea of their families finally rising, finally putting the aristocracy that had rested upon their laurels for so long where they belong, was one he held to for years.

That everything was starting to fall into place to make it true would see him in a better mood for the rest of the meeting.

With Mercianna smoothing out her dress, Charles tugged upon his cuffs. Nothing was out of place on either of them. Just as it was meant to be. (Even if part of him rankled at such things. Sometimes he hated all the airs that one had to put upon as an aristo. What was the point? They were Blood, they were great and terrible and-)

Rising as the coach came to a halt, Charles stepped out as the door was opened by the driver. A hand was held out to Mercianna to help her down. Though he did not look towards the court residence, he already knew that Lady Welvert was standing there and waiting. She never came to them, waiting for them to approach her.

Once they did--once greetings were out of the way--Anya smiled at them. The expression was eerie as always, Charles finding that the stench of the Twisted Kingdom was particularly thick this day.

"With the turn in the weather," said Anya, "I thought that we could discuss things out in the garden." Her eyes focused on them, though it seemed as if she was looking through them. "Since we've so much to talk about." With that the Black Widow turned, following the stone path that wound around the building until it came to the pavilion where a table with a tea set upon it waited for them.



Offline Mercianna Arcos

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Re: creeping around like no one knows
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 19, 10:49:42 PM »
Mercianna was glad that Charles agreed with her plan to elevate another Priestess and increase her clout within Tulzbruja that way, rather than seek it herself. Mercianna wanted a say in Dena Nehele’s politics at the highest level and, absent the Conclave, the Aristo Council was the path. Mercianna needed to bring more of her sisters under her banner, not just for the Council, but for her own plans. Dena Nehele was on the verge of a new beginning or sliding into oblivion under Rilandra Vlas’ influence. The Territory Court couldn’t be dislodged without a great deal of work and the support of the people. It could take years to make that happen without ending up dead at the hands of the Myos Guild. She’d have to find a way around them soon.

Stela Petrescu.” Mercianna said, testing the young woman’s name on her lips. She smiled, then, at the idea that Charles would let his boys make a play for the young woman’s virginity. She was a somewhat surprised that Charles hadn’t claimed the girl for himself, but if he hadn’t there was a reason for it. Prince Randa wasn’t as sophisticated as Charles, but Mercianna liked him well enough. He’d probably fuck Lady Petrescu like a common whore and then stop talking to her, enough to harden the girl’s heart toward her next lover. Not a bad plan.

I’ll keep an eye on her.

When they arrived at the Province Seat, Mercianna took Charles’ hand and climbed down from the carriage. She straightened her dress one final time and made her way to Lady Welvert. The sense of unease that accompanied the Twisted Kingdom was strong, but Mercianna had learned not to let it unsettle her visible. The Twisted Kingdom and the Abyss were both windows into the Darkness. Mercianna reached into her Sapphire and used the energy therein to keep herself calm and centered. The less jumpy she was, the less jumpy Charles and Anya would be.

Yes, the weather is much better these days. Please, lead the way.” Mercianna said, once the pleasantries were complete. They made their way to the pavillion and the table, a casual eye taking in the Court Seer of Tulzbruja and the immediate surroundings.

Charles pulled out her chair, but Mercianna did not sit until Anya did.

Are you well?” Mercianna asked of her old friend. “It’s been a bit since we last spoke. The Territory Court is doing it’s best to make life difficult for everyone, from what I’ve heard.

She let her gaze slide to Anya to let the Black Widow vent, or guide the conversation, to her content.

Offline Anya Welvert

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Re: creeping around like no one knows
« Reply #12 on: Jun 16, 19, 09:29:09 AM »
Charles was content--for the time being--to let himself fade to the background. Once Mercianna was seated, her chair pushed in as well because he was a proper gentleman and Escort, he waited until Lady Welvert had hers as well (and was waved off when he offered to do the same for her as he had Mercianna) to take his own.

It went without saying that Mercianna keeping herself calm and centered did wonders for the Warlord Prince. He only put up with Anya for the Priestess, no other reason. To be blunt: Charles did not trust her, not one bit, because if their ends did not align he had no doubt that Anya Welvert would work against them. That and he knew that the Black Widow was aware of what had transpired between Minerva Tailor and himself. That alone ensured the Black Widow did not like him.

At least the feeling was mutual.

Anya's gaze slid over Charles, though it lingered pointedly before it settled upon Mercianna. She let out a sigh, lifting a hand to prepare herself a cup of tea. "As well as can be expected given the decisions of the Territory Court to be an absolute pain." The way she said it implied that she would have preferred removing her nails than dealing with them. "Not only did they not seem to do anything in the aftermath of the attack upon the territory itself," the Decimation, "but when Hunedora was all but destroyed ..."

She shook her head and stirred sugar into her tea. The spoon never touched the sides of the fine porcelain, Anya pulling it out and setting it upon the saucer in the proper way. "My gem--Lady Tailor--was greatly displeased, so was the Province Court. Coin and an appearance of the Bitch Queen's Useless Queen Tart and Frigid Prince are not enough." Anya spoke of Sorinna Roman's visit, the one that had actually done good for Hunedora but she was not going to say that. "With her behavior, you would never know this was the Province of her birth."

With her fingers resting against the sloped handle of the teacup, Anya continued on. "All that on top of the unrest that is growing because of the edict issued from the Territory Court. They're idiotic if they truly think that by the summer slavery can be abolished in full within Tulzbruja. Especially when it should not be in the first place."



Offline Mercianna Arcos

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Re: creeping around like no one knows
« Reply #13 on: Jun 17, 19, 11:32:28 PM »
Mercianna was fine with being the bulwark between Charles and Anya. They had differences that were best left undiscussed in polite company. Mercianna had come to visit her friend, but also to discuss business and which way Tulzbruja would go when it came to the edicts of the Territory Court. She was still angry about Rilandra Vlas’s order regarding slavery, but that anger stemmed from her fear of losing a large source of her family’s fortune. Arcos Imports did brisk business, but she refused to see that money slow or stop because someone in Bidea wanted to take a moral high ground that they didn’t deserve.

Mercianna poured a little bit of cream into her tea, but nothing else. He stirred it gently for a moment before lifting her teacup and taking a sip while Anya spoke. She knew that Anya was close to Lady Tailor and that the Healer had done an apt job of running Caecian District and caring for their people. She was surprised to hear that Lady Roman had been in Tulzbruja, though. Mercianna had purchased the plot of land that her Nicolae’s little house was once situated upon. She’d razed the burnt-out husk of a house and then let it remain as an empty lot for a time before deciding to construct another home there. She wanted all traces of her brother stamped out, save for the ones in her home.

Unfortunately, Lady Roman proved harder to kill than they expected.

You can’t expect Lady Roman to have any real allegiance to Tulzbruja. She was hidden away for most of her life. When she was brought into the public eye, it was in Bidea. Lady Vlas has no real loyalty to Tulzbruja anymore, either, so it’s easy to see where she gets it from.” Mercianna said, shrugging her slim shoulders.

Hunedora is a tragedy on many levels. I’m reaching out to the Conclave to determine what else can be done there, as the Territory Court seems unwilling or unable to take Askavi to task for what it unleashed upon our people.” Mercianna said.

Mercianna hated the word slavery. It was an ugly word for a natural practice. In life, there were people who ruled and people who served. Those who served deserved protection and care. They deserved the ability to choose who provided it. The Territory Court was taking those choices away from the people to serve their own ends.

You’re right. It shouldn’t be abolished or stopped. But I highly doubt that Vlas or her Proxy Queen will listen to reason in that regard. The Territory Court is doing its best to disregard the Aristo Council right now, so a group of us taking our concerns to Court will likely be given even less consideration.” Mercianna said.

Dena Nehele is better than this. But I don’t see anything changing without drastic action.” Mercianna said.

Offline Anya Welvert

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Re: creeping around like no one knows
« Reply #14 on: Jul 15, 19, 08:03:02 AM »
"The moment that she spread her legs to the Guilds to become Queen of Dena Nehele, Rilandra Vlas gave up Tulzbruja," said Anya in no uncertain terms. She was not particularly caring at the moment to mince her words. This was her land and she was with company that believed similarly. Even if she would sooner poison the Warlord Prince that was sitting with the lovely Mercianna.

It was a sad thing, truly, as her association with the Warlord Prince was more than enough to keep her from seeing if they could discuss things in a more intimate, breath-taking manner. With a disappointed sigh, Anya took a drink of her tea. "We have taken our own steps to help Hunedora as well but I've little hope for those outside of Tulzbruja to care much at all. They were not affected, they think, even if they will feel the repercussions when certain things are in short supply because of loss of labor and more due to shortages." Food and more that Minerva had stocked up, all destroyed by those winged rats.

"I do hope you can speak to the Conclave in a more reasonable manner. The Coven has been soured against me--apparently, Lady Luceau has been seen in the company of Vlas's Court Seer--and there's little hope for help from then. Do you know of Lady Petrescu? She was the only Black Widow that had a mind healing clinic within our Province. Her Opal was broken in the Decimation." Another thing that was laid purely upon the feet at the Territory Court. Another thing that they would never take anyone to task for.

"It is no surprise that they think they can ignore the Aristo Council. They've ignored us," she meant Milo and herself, "when we went to the Territory Court. If they will not listen to one of their Province Rulers, I doubt very seriously they will listen to anyone else. Their opinion of the Aristocracy, though we are what keep the territory going, is very dim and very well known."

Anya set down her teacup, eyes looking distantly once more. "It will take drastic action, yes ..." She blinked and settled her gaze upon Mercianna. "That does remind me. Something to help you, my dear. To deal with the coming months and the business with them thinking they can take away your workforce."



Offline Mercianna Arcos

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Re: creeping around like no one knows
« Reply #15 on: Aug 06, 19, 07:21:38 PM »
Mercianna mostly agreed with Anya’s assessment. The moment that Rilandra Vlas entered the larger realm of territory politics, she gave up her throne as Queen of Tulzbruja. Had the Bitch Queen merely continued making herself a nuisance to the aristos of Tulzbruga, the problem would have corrected itself in the form of a contract on the Bitch Queen’s head. Instead, she’d stepped above her station in life and managed to steal the Territory Seat from Darcia Glassade. Worse, she’d stuck her fingers into Mercianna’s family and bloodline directly. She could have forgiven the former as the grasping of woman canny enough elevate herself.

The latter was unforgivable.

Maybe we shouldn’t discount our peers so easily A few could be motivated.” Mercianna said, raising her cup. She sipped her tea and kept her eye on Charles. Charles didn’t like Anya. Anya didn’t like Charles. Mercianna wished she could get the two of them to see each other differently but Charles’s...proclivities ensured that Anya would never consent to deeper interaction between the three of them. It was just as well. She would rather enjoy them separately than together, given a choice in the matter.

I’m already working with members of the Conclave to spread the message and a few of them even have the ears of a District Ruler or two. If they won’t work with us out of the kindness of their hearts, I’m certain that some of them can be shamed into doing more for those who’ve lost so much.” Mercianna said.

Mercianna’s mouth twisted like she’d eaten something sour. Vlas and her traitors thought themselves above even the aristos. Someone needed to show them that they were very, very wrong about that.

Anya’s gaze unsettled Mercianna for a moment. She could never fully tell when the other woman was looking at her or through her. The Twisted Kingdom clung heavy to Anya’s psychic scent. It was alluring on sensual level, but it also worried Mercianna that she could never verify the things that Anya saw.

What were you thinking?” Mercianna asked, especially now that the topic had turned to her servants. Fall wasn’t far away and Mercianna had no protection for keeping her workforce safe from the Territory Court’s stupid little edict. She wished that she could put a contract on Rilandra Vlas even now. Or perhaps the little monster that slithered from her womb.

I’d accept any recommendations you have on that topic, my friend.

Offline Anya Welvert

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Re: creeping around like no one knows
« Reply #16 on: Aug 09, 19, 05:52:22 AM »
Charles was perfectly polite, smiling as Mercianna looked at him. Underneath the table his fingers brushed along her thigh, trailing delight along her senses with a touch of his Red before he let it slowly recede. It was a clear don't worry about me if there ever was one, especially as he turned his attention back to Lady Welvert and inclined his head obligingly for her to continue.

It was not as if their issue was an imbroglio. Nothing would ever clear the air between them and both the Black Widow and Warlord Prince were fine with that. The only thing that was considered at all was that Mercianna was caught between at times but that was better than what it could be. (As in them going after one another. No, they were in a perpetual stalemate. Each with knowledge of the other that could cause a great many problems was it brought to light.)

"If they must be motivated then they were never truly loyal in the first place," said Anya. It was true, after all. Not that Anya particularly disliked motivating people. The glint in her eyes said that it was the case, especially at the mention of shaming people into action. "In any case, my dear, do let me know if you have trouble with a particular individual." She smiled that unsettling smile of a Black Widow who knew far too much and enjoyed ensuring others knew it. "I can always see what tidbits I've to offer."

Her expression did not sour, not like Mercianna's, but Anya had drifted once more in thought as she was calculating just which District Ruler would have their ear bent.

"Ah," Anya blinked and came back to herself. "My recommendation is that you take this." In her fingers appeared a sheet of parchment that she flicked out and then held towards Mercianna. Charles briefly leaned forward, eyeing the parchment before looking to Mercianna. (Sometimes, just sometimes, he acted more a bodyguard than anything else. Especially in the event of things being offered out of nowhere. Even parchment could be poisoned or otherwise imbued with craft of a negative sort.)

"It will not enable you to keep all of your stock, my dear, but it will still allow you the continued use of collars." Anya's smile was sharp. "As long as that writ is within your possession, there's little that can be said to you. Not when your business is so important to our coffers, after all."