Blood Rites

Kaeleer => Dharo => Topic started by: Rowan Blackwood on Jan 30, 19, 05:49:21 PM

Title: His good intentions leave me shaking
Post by: Rowan Blackwood on Jan 30, 19, 05:49:21 PM
Rowan had found this task to be much more complicated than she had expected. It was reasonable that Gustav would not have the very latest information from Dharo, but it did rather complicate the matter. Stav had been right. She tried on the first day of her arrival to walk in and make an appointment with Prince Driscoll and was told by who she took to be his secretary that his first available appointment time was the second half of next month. When she revealed that she had traveled a long way to see him (of course not revealing where she had traveled a long way from, Stav had trained her better than that), that appointment was moved to be three weeks away.

As lovely as Dharo seemed, Rowan had no desire to hang around for three weeks. She inquired if perhaps she could meet with Lord Braddock instead, given how valuable Prince Driscoll's time undoubtedly was. This was met with a blank and bored stare, before she was informed that Lord Braddock no longer worked at Driscoll Financial, but was serving as Steward of a Court for the Lady Emma Morgan on the other side of Dharo.

Rowan asked if she might have the address and went back to the inn she was staying in. She penned a letter to Lord Edward Braddock, letting him know that she was only going to be in the Territory for a week at most but that she needed to speak with Prince Driscoll about a matter that affected his financial institution. She offered no specifics in the missive, hoping instead that he would be her way in as Stav had advised. She left both her contact information for where she was staying in Coventry and an address he could reach her when she returned to Little Terreille. She hoped it wouldn't come to that. She would hate to return to Stav without completing her mission, but she had not planned on being gone for three weeks, nor on Lord Braddock no longer working at Driscoll Financial.

In the days that followed, she spent time walking around and observing day to day life in Coventry. Rowan investigated the time and money she would need to travel to Westwood, but without a proper cover identity, it didn't seem wise. Stav had made sure she had all the identification she would need to travel from Little Terreille to Dharo and back, but neither had thought she needed a full new identity for this errand. Arriving at a bank unannounced was one thing. Arriving at a District Court unannounced in a foreign Territory could get her killed.

Asking around, she found the most highly regarded dress shop in the area. She was surprised to find several women (sisters?) all with her red hair working inside. She knew red hair was more common in Dharo, but it still caught her off guard. After several hours, she left with a new hat, a new green dress, and a black fur shawl. The style was definitely more appropriate for Dharo, but looking at her reflection, she could almost believe she fit in here.


Rowan had been visiting Driscoll Financial each evening, politely inquiring if there were any cancellations for the following day. Despite the secretary's dismissive attitude, Rowan remained polite, returning again the next evening to ask again. On the fifth night, the secretary was being especially short tempered with her when a Sapphire Jeweled Warlord Prince stepped into the waiting area from further inside the building and inquired whether there had been any word from Lady Braddock. It had to be him. How many Sapphire Warlord Princes worked here?

"Prince Driscoll?" she asked, flatly ignoring the dagger like glare from the man's secretary.   
Title: Re: His good intentions leave me shaking
Post by: James Driscoll on Feb 11, 19, 11:36:03 PM
The Little Terreille branch needed a stronger hand to guide it. The weekly reports from Prince Dunsirn had outlined that for some time, but James was seeing it more and more as the months passed. Usually, he’d call Edward into his office, get his take on the matter, and then send the Sapphire Warlord to take a look around and address the problem. Edward was skilled in identifying problems and solving them. Edward would have things running smoothly in a month and then they’d be sharing a drink over their success.

But Edward was in Northwood now. By all accounts, he loved his new duties and was enamored with his pretty young Queen. James was happy for him, truly. Edward deserved every happiness and moment with his Queen that he could get.

He still wished that Edward was here.

He’d been brooding about Edward’s departure for the fourth time that week when his secretary, Lady Katherine Clariss, advised him that a woman had come in asking after him, and been turned away. James was fine with it, though his secretary described her thoroughly. James was ready to write it off when Lady Clariss said that the woman asked for Edward by name after she was told that she couldn’t reach James. That got his attention. Everyone who had any reason to know Edward knew that he’d been gone for some time. He’d even taken the liberty of informing his contacts from outside the Territory of his departure from Driscoll Financial.

He directed Lady Clariss to stonewall the woman if she returned again, while accepting the information on where she was staying. He would send someone to watch her, and track her movements so that he knew how she spent her time.

She did return again, twice more that week. James cleared his schedule just so that he could listen while Lady Clariss drew more information from her each night. Each evening she arrived, James drew on his Sapphire, closed his eyes, and heightened his senses until he could hear her through the door. She was pleasant enough the first two nights, but he could tell that she was growing more annoyed by the third visit. Her story never changed, basic facts and info remained in place, but she never provided more information about herself or why she’d come. She did not open an account or even ask about their services. She did not mention that she was from a Court or another business seeking services.

By the time she left on that third night, James knew without a doubt that he was dealing with someone’s agent. She was trained, but not fully. He’d never send a Warden to meet with a member of a major institution without a cover identity, funding, and enough time to establish themselves before seeking their target. So that made her employer incompetent, or this woman disposable, or…

He didn’t like at all the final option that passed through is mind.

When she left, Lady Clariss knocked on his door. He counted to ten and then bade her enter, listening to her account of the meeting. When she was done, he told her that tomorrow night, he wanted her to simply stonewall the other woman as much as possible. He left that night and visited the inn. He saw her when she entered the inn that night and watched her to go up to her room. He spent an hour there afterward, ten minutes of which was spent deciding whether or not he’d march up there and snap her neck. In the end, he decided against it. He wanted to know who she was and, better yet, who sent her. He wanted to know why.

The following night, James waited for her to arrive that evening. When she did, and when Lady Clariss played the part of the exasperated secretary, James finally stood up, buttoned his coat, and stepped out of his office to finally get a look at the woman who’d been dogging his heels.

She was wearing one of Anna’s designs. James knew it as surely as he breathed. He missed Anna fiercely, then. Was this a calculated move on her part or blind luck? James did not believe in the latter.

Lady, if you’re seeking a job, I’ll start by commending you on your persistence. I’d hire you based on that alone.” James said, his smile warm and inviting as he extended his hand toward the woman. Even as he did, he spoke to Lady Clariss.

Thank you, Katherine. I’ll handle it from here.

He admired the slim line of the Witch’s neck and noted her White Jewel. His hand held hers for maybe a second longer than was proper before her released it.

I’m Prince Driscoll, yes. May I ask your name and whom you’re representing?
Title: Re: His good intentions leave me shaking
Post by: Rowan Blackwood on Jun 24, 19, 10:43:06 PM
Rowan's eyes raked over the Sapphire Warlord Prince. Stav had described him well, even if he had left out the fact that he was devastatingly handsome. The most important things to know, however, she did, and she was glad to. Understanding he was a Dark Jeweled Warlord Prince was one thing. Learning to be in the presence of one without constant fearing for her life had been an entirely different practice.

Draven had helped her with that right up until the very last time she had seen him. Now she didn't know where the fuck they stood. This man didn't remind her of Draven in anyway except one: he was clearly the very epitome of his caste. Deadly. Dangerous. Ready to fuck or fight at a moment's notice. She did miss that.

The lines of his suit were so sharp she thought they might hold a cutting edge. Having learned as much about fashion as she had beneath her original mentor, the one that Stav had rescued her from, and then also beneath Logain, the White Jeweled witch was quick to recognize the style as being similar to the ones she had seen in the very shop she had purchased her own outfit. It was much finer though, as if it had been further refined, fitted, and spelled even? Was that possible? Tailored to fit this man perfectly.

If he looked remotely as good out of the suit as in it, he likely left a trail of broken hearts throughout Dharo.

All of these thoughts were gathered quickly while she approached him and offered her hand. He held it longer than he should and not quite as long as she would have liked. One look into his eyes and Rowan was aware she needed to be careful or everything she was would be simply laid bare for his perusal.

"You are a difficult man to reach, Prince Driscoll. I feared I might have to return to Little Terreille without having spoken to you. My employer would be displeased at that, but then, so would you if you dismissed me before hearing what I have to say. Shall we?" She asked, motioning to his office and starting toward the door with the clear expectation he follow. As she crossed the threshold, she spoke with her back to him.

"Oh, and my name is Lady Blackwood." She tossed her hair over her shoulder as she turned to look and see that he was following her. "But you can call me Rowan. Everyone does."

Title: Re: His good intentions leave me shaking
Post by: James Driscoll on Jun 24, 19, 11:38:57 PM
His eyes followed the White Jeweled witch's every movement. Her fiery hair reminded him of his Anna, so much so that James found his body responding to this woman’s presence without conscious thought. He hadn’t seen Anna in some time. He needed to. He knew where she’d be, with Dirk, next Monday morning. James vacillated between creating a convenient excuse to run into them during an outing, or simply ambushing them and making Dirk talk to him. He never expected the man’s answer to last this long, but James had underestimated his fellow Warlord Prince.

He regarded her for a long moment while she explained that her employer would be displeased if she left without seeing him. He could send her away right now and make that true. But when she said that James would also be displeased by sending her away without hearing her out, he paused. That was enough for her to walk toward his office uninvited. That irritated him and so his gaze shifted to irritation even as he followed the sway of her hips as she headed to his office.

Well, Lady Blackwood, I’m a busy man. I don’t usually take unscheduled appointments, but I commend your persistence.” James said, noting the way that Anna’s clothing flattered this woman’s form.

Also, you have excellent taste in clothing. That should be respected.” he said.

He turned to Lady Clariss. “See that we’re not disturbed, please. Also, will you bring us some tea?

Lady Clariss nodded and obeyed.

James followed Lady Blackwood--Rowan--to his office and pulled out her chair so that she could sit down. He moved to the other side of the desk, unbuttoned his blazer, and then sat down across from her, his blue eyes wary. He sighed. He’d been looking forward to removing his tie and now that wouldn’t happen because business hours were still going.

So, Rowan, what brings you to Driscoll Financial? Your employer sent you to speak to me. Since I’m certain you won’t provide a name, let’s make this a conversation rather than an interrogation.

How can I help you?
” James asked.
Title: Re: His good intentions leave me shaking
Post by: Rowan Blackwood on Jun 25, 19, 12:13:23 AM
Rowan couldn't deny her curiosity as she crossed her legs and wondered what an interrogation from Prince Driscoll might be like. Probably much more painful than she would enjoy, but there was a certain allure to it. She had grown restless over the days of trying to see him. She needed to stretch her skills as well as her limbs, her confidence enough to get her in the door but not much further. She smoothed her skirt, taking a steadying breath before she began.

Prince Driscoll would want to know. She didn't know much about the financial world, but Violet certainly did. And she would never allow something like this to go uncurtailed in her establishment.

"I'm much more interested in us helping each other," she said, offering him the slim file she had been holding in her hand. When the secretary entered the room with the tea, she didn't release the folder, instead, holding on to it even as he went to take it from her. She gave him a look that said simply, wait. He might trust his secretary. In fact, he probably did. But that didn't mean that Rowan did.

When the woman left the room, her fingers released the file. "My employer has information for you about one of your employees. Someone who is in a position of trust in Little Terreille who should not be. My employer's expectation is that, caring as you do about both your business and your reputation, you will want to rectify this situation immediately. That is all he asks in exchange for this information."

Her voice dropped and was suddenly filled with the echo of what it meant to Blood. It didn't matter that he wore the Sapphire and she wore the White, that he was a Warlord Prince and she was simply a witch. Blood sang to Blood. "Clean your house, Prince Driscoll."

Lifting her tea cup, she blew gently across the surface before raising it further to sip. She had just handed him all the evidence he needed. Hopefully he was smart enough to know what to do with it.
Title: Re: His good intentions leave me shaking
Post by: James Driscoll on Jul 08, 19, 05:37:22 PM
Clean your house, Prince Driscoll.

The folder on the table was forgotten in the wake of those words.

James’s gaze, open just a moment ago, shuttered into something hard and unforgiving as he stared at the Witch before him. She’d badgered his people and made a general nuisance of herself for days before getting this meeting. Now, she sat here and drank his tea just so she could hand him a folder from her mysterious employer and tell him to clean his house? Annoyance was evident in the tension of his shoulders and the way his once-open palm now closed slowly into a fist. Rowan did not, could not know that James was imagining just how her slim throat might feel in his crushing grip, trying to gurgle out an apology while James debated just how much pain he wanted to cause her before accepting.

He imagined yanking her over the table and feeling her fingers claw against his wrist, attempting to get him to release his iron grip.

The temperature in the room didn’t drop, but James Driscoll wasn’t speaking. He merely watched Lady Blackwood sip her tea for over a minute. Even after Lady Clariss vacated the room and his glare went from intrigued, to annoyed, to threatening, James didn’t speak or let his gaze waver. He tried to pick out anything else in Lady Blackwood’s identity that she had forgotten to conceal. She was clearly well-trained in Protocol, though the way she formed her words spoke of a rougher upbringing. Her dress was one of Rhiannon’s designs. She wore it well, but it didn’t look wholly natural upon her. Not the way that it did on Dharoan women. She wasn’t Little Terreille aristocracy, then, but whoever taught her was highly trained. Someone who didn’t want to be known.

James had his suspicions on the identify of the person in the file. His reputation was on the line here, if an outsider had found a weak link in his organization. It galled him. James wanted to pry the secrets from her mind with Craft, but he didn’t have that skill. Fine, then. He’d do it the old-fashioned way.

He opened the folder and perused through it slowly. The notes were meticulous and probably not in her handwriting. Names. Dates. Places. A memory crystal with the image of an attractive and tall young woman in her 20’s. Glacian. He was sure of it. The woman was speaking to Alistair Dunsirn, the Little Terreille branch manager that Edward had, on more than one occasion, had to clean up after. He was struck by how much he missed Edward in that moment. He set down the file after a moment.

I appreciate you bringing this to me, Lady Blackwood. You were right to bring this to me, but...I’m a businessman and I deal with money daily. Information like this doesn’t come freely. You could be talking to one of my competitors right now.” James said, leaning forward on the table and resting his hand atop his closed fist.

What does your employer gain by helping me clean my house, as you so eloquently stated?” James asked.
Title: Re: His good intentions leave me shaking
Post by: Rowan Blackwood on Oct 09, 19, 08:11:11 PM
Rowan knew that the information she offered was both truthful and valuable. And yet, that was not enough. The Sapphire Warlord Prince was suspicious, as was the way of Warlord Princes, especially concerning things that impacted what was theirs. In this case, it was Prince Driscoll's livelihood. Rowan found herself relieved she did not have to negotiate something even more dear to the man. Did he have a deep love? A Queen? If she had come in here with information about harm to someone he valued even above his bank, she doubted she would be more than a red smear on the wall at this stage of their conversation.

"I could be. And another agent might have taken the multiple dismissals I have received and done exactly that. Run straight to your competitor's without another word." She finished her tea and set the delicate cup back in its saucer. The design was simple, understated, but still had a feminine feel to it. Rowan wondered who had picked it out for him.

"You don't know me, Prince Driscoll. I understand your reticence." She sat up, leaning forward in her seat. "My instructions were clear, and when given instructions, I obey.  I have only my word to prove my fidelity and the documents you hold to prove my value. I hope you find my presence in your office right now and not in one of your competitor's as proof of my..." The word submission very nearly slipped from her lips, "loyalty."

"What my employer gains is the continued security of the bank that protects his assets. He has entrusted you and your representatives. He does not wish to take his accounts elsewhere." But he will, was left unspoken.

This was not a small matter to Stav. Rowan didn't know all the reasons behind her mentor's desires, but then there was no need for her to. She could serve him without understanding the need for her service. And this was important enough to him that he had sent his Lily further away than he ever had before.

Rowan knew that wasn't something he would do lightly. 

"If there is nothing else you require of me, I'll leave you to your evening and prepare for my journey home." Standing from her seat, she went to smooth her skirt before realizing the fabric was already perfectly smooth. Spelled fabric. Now that was impressive. "Do all tailors in Coventry have such skill?" she asked absently, as she studied the fabric, her previous thought lost as her fingers moved over the fabric. "It's remarkable." 
Title: Re: His good intentions leave me shaking
Post by: James Driscoll on Oct 09, 19, 11:58:46 PM
James considered himself a fair judge of people. It served him well in his work as a banker and even better in the work that he loved. He sensed that she was being truthful with what she knew, though she was not being completely transparent. Either her employer trusted her immensely or considered her utterly expendable. Sending her to Dark Jeweled Warlord Prince with enough information to get her into trouble signaled a little bit of both. If she was trying to get herself killed, she’d picked a good way to do so. But James’s eye raked over the woman from head to toe, her fiery red hair catching his attention more than once.

Yes, you could have gone to my competitors. We do a lot of business in Little Terreille but there are other banks who do brisk business there. Your employer’s desire to keep his money with Driscoll Financial is extremely flattering. Please tell him that, with my blessing.” James said.

“‘I’ll investigate this myself. If the matter is as you’ve said, it’ll be dealt with expeditiously. Your assets are safe in my hands.” James said, watching her finish her tea. Once it was done, she stood and started to excuse herself, but stopped to note the spell woven into the fabric of the dress. Anna hated when her clothes wrinkled or held a stain. She enchanted all of her outfits to resist wrinkling and other environmental factors that could make a person look less than their best. He still couldn’t see her. He wanted to. He needed to. But he couldn’t.

The woman who made your dress does. She a remarkable seamstress. There are maybe...three others in all of Kaeleer who are so noteworthy. Two of them are based in Dhemlan.” James said, smiling.

Have you had dinner? This is usually around the time I have supper and I’d like to know a little more about you, Lady Blackwood. Will you have dinner with me?” he asked.