Blood Rites

Kaeleer => Dharo => Topic started by: Alora Kent on Nov 04, 18, 11:40:22 AM

Title: All Signs Point to Betrayal
Post by: Alora Kent on Nov 04, 18, 11:40:22 AM
(OOC: Timeline follows Kidnapping of a Queen (, and subsequent threads.)

The update that Alora Kent had received that morning, as the Proxy Queen of Dharo (for the second time in the past few years) had left her feeling bleak. The outcome for a happy ending and seeing Silara returned to her mother’s arms didn’t feel assured, and Alora feared for the worst. Rather than let herself get wrapped up in an emotional response to such a pessimistic viewpoint she focused on ensuring that the Territory, at least, would be taken care of until Rheava was able to pick up the leadership once more.

Alora’s experience, though short lived, and connection to the Court of Dharo had once again made her the easy choice to be put in charge of the Territory when Rheava was unable to fulfil those duties. Yet the easy interchange between the two Rulers had left many whispering throughout the Territory that perhaps Rheava would be easily replaced with any Queen in Dharo. The signs of weakness were starting to create a foundation for the opposition to challenge Rheava’s role as Queen of Dharo, a role that she had comfortable held for more than a decade. Perhaps it was time for change, they had suggested. Alora was aware of the whisperings and had made it her singular role to ensure that they could find no faults with the choice of proxy rulership, at the very least, and maintain her support for Rheava’s rule.

She yearned to see her daughter, now entering her teenage years, but could not risk leaving the capital in these tumultuous times. Every visit meant she had to devise a carefully orchestrated plan to ensure that no hint or whiff of her secret daughter reached Court, less Dirk Ryder discover the truth. She had named her daughter a bastard rather than grant paternity to Dirk, something she had done to protect Pippa at all costs. There was no telling what kind of manipulation the man would use on his own daughter, or how easily she could fall prey to it. After all, it had been simple for Alora to become his prey all those years ago. Only the pregnancy had given her motivation to escape his clutches and control so that she might raise Pippa in a far more pleasant environment.

The reports she was pouring over were requests for Territory funding to be granted in relief of a weather related disaster along the coast. She was comparing the reports from her Spies, her Guard, and several merchants against the reports that were included in the request for funds. Thus far everything was aligned and she was inclined to grant the funds immediately, but continued with her due diligence never the less.

Alora was about to sign the grant paperwork and apply the seal of the Queen of Dharo when an insistent knock was rapped against the door. “Come in.” She called out and set the seal aside for a moment.

When Rhiannon Devine, the Spy Master for Dharo, swept into the room Alora had to bite back a surge of disgust mixed with anger that threatened to sweep through her tranquillity. This was the woman who had taken a place in Dirk’s bed and life as part of her role to the Queen of Dharo, but nothing had seemingly come from the arrangement to benefit Rheava. The Queen insisted that the sudden lack of deaths in her Court was a testament to Rhiannon’s ability to tame Dirk, but Alora didn’t buy that for a single moment. She struggled to work with her as the Proxy Queen but knew how important Rhiannon’s role was to the Territory, so she shoved her own emotions well out of the way in order to greet Rhiannon with a sense of civility.

“Good afternoon, Lady Devine. What have you to report?” She asked as she waved for the Spy Master to take a seat in front of the desk.
Title: Re: All Signs Point to Betrayal
Post by: Rhiannon Devine on Jan 30, 19, 08:10:39 PM
This was not the first time that Rhiannon had worked with Lady Alora Kent. They had done so during Rheava's pregnancy, and the Spy Master had rightly assumed they would be doing so again now. The circumstances had been different before. There had been time to plan, time to arrange and execute things in a manner that gave the Court forewarning and made the transition to Proxy Queen and back to Rheava fairly smooth, without much difficulty for everyone overall.

Of course, Rhiannon herself had found it quite difficult. Between losing Vance and starting her assignment with Dirk, her heart had been aching while she attempted to balance everything her Queen and the Proxy Queen needed. Alora wasn't just Dirk's Queen, she was the love of his life. Rhiannon knew this because she had seen it, dipping into his mind when he was the most vulnerable. She had seen his dreams, seen the way he longed for his Queen. It had granted her compassion where otherwise she might have had none.

But it had also strengthened her relationship with Dirk. While that was excellent for her assignment, it did not help her and Alora be on the best of terms. Outside of having to work together, it left them on hardly any terms at all, which suited the red haired seamstress just fine.

Now they had been thrust back together and without any of the careful planning of before. Years had passed, and she still shared Dirk's bed. The fact that she could feel her heart longing for James didn't change that she had a duty to continue her efforts to soothe and contain Dirk, as much as he ever could be either. Rhiannon wasn't his Queen. She couldn't do what Alora could do. But she also wasn't harmed by him to the extent that Alora would be, and had been in the past.

Sometimes Rhiannon thought if she could just get them to talk, to be vulnerable in the other's presence, they could work everything out. But she knew it was so much more complicated than that.

Setting all of her thoughts of Dirk aside in their neatly contained area of her mind, she knocked on the door and waited for Alora to grant her entrance. When she entered, she curtsied before the Queen before accepting the seat she offered. "Not nearly as much as I should," she said, frustration coming through in her voice.

"No one has seen her. No one has even heard of a job like this taking place. My contacts can find no evidence of false documents created for travel. The good news is that this means she is very likely still within the Territory and that this was not done by outside forces. The bad news is..." She paused for a moment before continuing. She would be reporting the same information to Rheava later, and it would not be any easier then. "She wasn't taken by another Territory. There is not even a whisper of someone gathering resources for this kind of abduction. We have received no demand for ransom. She is a high profile target, but also a well guarded one. At this point, we need to assume this is not politically motivated."

Rhiannon shifted in the chair, leaning forward as she did. "Which means there is a high probability this is personal. Whoever took Silara has both the financial resources and connections at their disposal to do this without bringing in outside help, and the knowledge needed of the Essex Estate to successfully get in and out with Silara." She closed her eyes for a moment and opened them again. "Someone knows something. We just have to find them." 
Title: Re: All Signs Point to Betrayal
Post by: Alora Kent on Mar 10, 19, 01:44:33 PM
For the sake of Rheava Evesham, and more importantly for Dharo, Alora sheathed her claws as Rhiannon Devine entered the office of the Queen of Dharo. The woman had become Dirk’s lover years ago under assignment from Rheava, though Alora doubted that the instructions for the assignment had any requirement for Rhiannon to bed Dirk.

Since then there had been a heavy tension that had settled between Spy Master and Proxy Queen; and even when Alora had been told the truth of Rhiannon’s assignment during her prior term as Proxy Queen, it had not eased that tension at all. Alora thought Rhiannon was a fool to allow Dirk to get that close, but at the very least she kept him preoccupied enough to allow Alora an occasional visit home to her daughter Pippa.

Alora struggled to hide the frustration she felt while Rhiannon delivered her report on the status of the search for Silara Evesham. To abduct a child was something that no Dharoan politican would are to do, which meant that the enemy was one who hid in the shadows.

Dharo politics were dangerous at the best of times but even the most ruthless politician would never have harmed a child. They weren’t barbarians, like the Scelts or Rilanders, after all.

“To get into the Essex Estates the kidnapper would have to have been dark enough, at least a Sapphire to get through those Shields and guards. And a very highly trained one at that.” Alora added with a frown. Dark Jewels were not particularly common in Dharo, not like in other Territories in Kaeleer. But they were not rare enough to narrow the suspect pool far enough.

“Or it was an inside job.” She added as an after though, and almost dismissively. Those who served the Queen would have been carefully vetted through multiple sources, at the very least by Rhianonn’s organization and very likely by the Ramparts as well.

“There is a trace somewhere. A child does not simply disappear. Dharo is only so large, after all, and the entire Territory is aware that a baby Queen is unaccounted for.” And that whoever found the child would be owed a tremendous debt by the Queen of Dharo herself. They had offered a reward for the location of Silara, or any leads that led to her return.  Though there had been dozens of ‘sightings’ none had proven to hold any true traces of the young Queen. Alora had long since stopped updating Rheava about those leads when they came in, it was too painful to watch hope cross Rheava’s harried and pained expression.