Blood Rites

Kaeleer => Glacia => Topic started by: Riia Lindgren on Apr 23, 19, 04:51:26 PM

Title: Echoes Of Time Unfold
Post by: Riia Lindgren on Apr 23, 19, 04:51:26 PM

Her escort hung back, quietly, as Riia looked at the sign over the shop. “Vintage Imports,” it said in a crisp, lovely script. Against the forest green paint, it looks…sophisticated. Like its owner. Should she have expected otherwise? When she had met Prince Valerio at the party celebrating Lady Anderson’s ascension, he had struck her as just that – sophisticated, composed, yet intriguing. That brief interaction had turned into an invitation to visit his store – a curiosities shop that boasted goods and oddities from all corners of the Realms.

Riia’s love of traveling, and recent lack thereof, had been hooked. If she could not get out to see new sights, maybe this shop could bring some to her. And if something was at the right price and looked fitting enough, then she might have found a new place to shop for gifts for friends and family.

As Riia stood there, looking at the sign, she told herself she was not coming here just to look into those stunning blue eyes again. He had a Lady, the lovely and perfectly poised Black Widow who had been with him that night. She was not here to flirt nor pry. She was here for purely intellectual and material pursuits.

She sighed. Even in her own mind, it sounded like a fairly lame excuse. But she was determined to act with all of the propriety of a Queen. It wasn’t like her to act on just a charming face and lovely eyes. And what if he misinterpreted the reason why she had come and began flirting with her? What if he—

Like a vice closing around her brain, the thought of even being so physically close, with the intent of romance, with a Warlord Prince, had her…



Let it go.

It was not a happy feeling, to say the least, but when Riia forced herself to think through the frigid reaction she had when it came to romance, she came through it ready to step into the shop and out of her own head.


The windows to the shop provided most of the light but there were a few globes of warm witchlight perfectly placed to light up the shadows in the back. Shelves lined the walls, low display cases filled the center. Lamps and other interesting hanging pieces were tethered to the ceiling. The scent inside was as exotic as the items for purchase – the foundation of oiled wood with an aromatic spice and the tang of metal.

For a moment, once she stepped into that space, Riia forgot how to breathe.

“Wow,” she whispered softly, when her words finally returned to her. Labeled bottles lined one wall, with words in languages she could only guess. Drawers underneath those bottles held a hundred more words to decipher. Carvings filled one display cabinet, and then another. Was that…a Raejian statue? Though her fingers itched to touch the things as she drifted slowly past, she kept them just shy of actually doing so, afraid to mar something fragile with her ignorant excitement. With those stunning blue eyes forgotten, Riia quietly began browsing the shop, happily lost in the moment.
Title: Re: Echoes Of Time Unfold
Post by: Carmine Valerio on May 08, 19, 10:15:34 PM
Business was slow.

That was not actually true but it was slow enough that Carmine was finding himself indulging in carefully arranging a display within the store. Within the back, Alma was doing the bookkeeping--it was her turn this month, after all--which left Carmine to critically eyeing a recently arrived shipment of antiquities.

Such things were enough to briefly distract his thoughts from the darker delights he often had upon his mind. With the ascension, and following party, of the new Queen of Glacia, the Warlord Prince was considering his options. He had made a wealth of connections, had customers that took advantage of his services to get themselves something unique and one of a kind from outside of Glacia. He also had a smaller selection that made use of his more particular abilities.

The same people that often believed in Glacia's Dark Religion with a fanaticism that put most to shame. Zealots were an interesting lot but also easy to make use of, blinded as they were. In the end, the celebration had brought certain things to light. Certain things that left him reevaluating his stance on things. It did not take a genius to see that change was on the horizon.

What Carmine was not sure of--so far--was who would be coming out on top. Oh, he would no matter what but- Even without the jingle that alerted him to someone coming into the shop, he would have still sensed the arrival of the Queen. He spent far too much time with a loose awareness of the psychic presence of the world around him.

Riia Lindgren had been an interesting woman to talk with. More than that: she had the right sort of connections that made Carmine consider it a good idea to befriend her. Despite the fact that he had no plans, had no ulterior motives, it did not take away that the more friends in high places someone had the better they did. Such a thing was a common fact.

Setting down the shipping manifest, Carmine moved through the shelves that housed many intriguing sights. He could have navigated by scent alone if it was needed, knowing exactly where the Queen had found her attention stolen. At the celebration, the Warlord Prince knew that she had been interested, though not necessarily in a sexual manner. She was stuck in her own head, that had been easy to tell without his particular talents.

Someone that longed to shed their skin and be who they truly were but unable to take that first step. Carmine did so enjoy helping people take those steps to become what they were meant to be. So he had invited her, knowing full well that the Queen longed to travel and promising Vintage Imports would help her escape for a little while with all that it held.

Riia Lindgren was coming to pursue academic and intellectual conversation despite the more neglected aspects of her psyche were potentially interested otherwise. Carmine struggled with his emotions, with feeling, but it did not mean he did not understand others and their motivations.

"I take it," said Carmine with a smile, "that the store meets with your approval, Lady Lindgren?" The Warlord Prince swept into a bow, a charming smile on his face. He came out of the bow, adjusting the sleeves of his suit ( as his gaze focused on her. It was the same as it had been at the party. A predator in repose, watching; a Warlord Prince that kept himself contained.

"I hadn't been sure you would take me up on coming by," admitted Carmine, slipping forward and pulling down a bottle to hold and look at before passing it to the Queen. The contents looked to be claws, carefully preserved. Most of the handwriting on the label had faded but three words were still legible: kindred; cougar; claws. Whether they were real or not ... Well, it couldn't be told by the glint in Carmine's eyes that was for sure.
Title: Re: Echoes Of Time Unfold
Post by: Riia Lindgren on May 23, 19, 03:16:34 PM
Riia was so engrossed in the curiosities of the shop that when Carmine came close to ask if the store met her approval, she startled and yelped softly. “Yes!” she squeaked. Then, she cleared her throat. “I mean, yes, it’s lovely. Amazing, Prince. How did you come by all of these things?” She noted his suit – pinstripe and prim – and then, before her gaze went to his face and got lost in those eyes, she turned her attention to the nearest object.

Her fingers gently traced the base of the shelf, right next to the intricately carved wood and metal box that was definitely not from Glacia. When he passed her the bottle of preserved claws, she smiled quickly in thanks but definitely didn’t hold his gaze. As Carmine watched, her eyes read the words and then her brow furrowed.

Kindred? Was this…real?!

Her question showed in her eyes as she looked up at him. “This…must be fake,” she said, before realizing that she had probably just insulted the quality of his wares. She backtracked a little, trying to appear graceful and not rude, and said, “I mean…the kindred are a myth, Prince.” Privately, Riia hoped that they weren’t, because the idea of speaking with an intelligent animal sounded fascinating to her, but when she looked back down at the cougar claws, she thought maybe otherwise. A kindred cow. That might be a nice start.

“I’ve never seen anyone with something like this,” she said. “How did you come by it?” While she waited on his response, her gaze drifted back to the jar, its contents momentarily still more interesting than those arresting blue eyes. At some point, her gaze looked over at some of the other objects, her curiosity in overdrive. Could she…could she purchase any of these things? She had a moderate income at her disposal so, unless his wares were exorbitant, she could afford at least something. But what interested her equally was the story behind the object. Surely Prince Valerio would regale her with a few of those for free? She so desperately wanted to hear more about everything in the shop!
Title: Re: Echoes Of Time Unfold
Post by: Carmine Valerio on Jun 16, 19, 09:26:52 AM
The Warlord Prince smiled at that squeak, only the faintest of crinkles at the corners of his eyes appearing as he did so. Carmine aged well, after all, much like any good and proper alcoholic beverage. "I am glad you think so," he replied to the Queen, that smile staying for all that it was only the softest upturn of his lips.

It was a mysterious smile. What it hinted at, what mystery was known, was something that was Carmine's all alone. "Well ..." He glanced back to the shelves and then to the flustered Queen. "Some I acquired when I was still traveling and haven't found the right home to send them to." He was a Warlord Prince after all and he would only part with something if he thought it was going to just the right home. "Admittedly I don't travel nearly as much as I once did, fond as I am of this land."

His head tilted to the side, an eyebrow quirked up at Riia's words. That she could not meet his gaze, that it only made her flush more when she briefly did, was not missed. Right now, however, he was having fun. "I would offer that within myth is often a small kernel of truth. There are, after all, lands that we cannot access, places that do not welcome us, and we know nothing of what exists within them.

"Until not so long ago even Askavi--pardon, Rihland--was not a place so welcoming to those traveling through until a scant few years ago." With the bottle in Riia's hands to hold for the time being, Carmine turned his attention back to the shelves and pulled down another. This one contained what looked like sharp fangs and hand similar handwriting on it marking it much like the one already brought down. It was merely teeth instead.

"I didn't personally attain it, I admit, but rather I got it from an explorer who swore to its validity. She swore to me that she had been traveling the edges of our known world, trying to find things never seen. Much like me." That small smile of his was back as his eyes cut towards the Queen. "She had been traveling through a forest, had gotten herself lost and could not get her bearings. There was no wind for her to reach for, nothing that could guide her, when she heard a rumbling growl behind her."

Here was when Riia would hear the faintest noise. It was so low it was barely audible but gradually it grew. "It became louder and louder until a bear came lumbering out of the darkness and attacked her." When the noise faded, with a snap of Carmine's teeth and a predatory smile, it was clear it was him doing a growl for the purposes of the story. "Right as she thought she was about to die, another beast--a cougar--jumped upon the bear. Fought with it and sent it running." A chuckle escaped. "She was lucky, to be frank, as she passed out from fright and injury. When she woke both beasts were gone save for a blood trail. It was in following it that she found those claws and teeth."

His eyes glinted as he finished. "The reason why she swears it was a kindred was that she believed that it was the cougar that then guided her out of the forest." Carmine paused. "That and she said that it spoke to her, along a thread, but as she was suffering from blood loss ..." His shoulders lifted up in an elegant shrug.
Title: Re: Echoes Of Time Unfold
Post by: Riia Lindgren on Jul 10, 19, 10:30:13 AM
That enigmatic smile of his just added to his intrigue, even as he spun out a tale about a witch who had been traveling through Rihland and had gotten lost in the forest. It sounded like the start of an old fairy tale and Riia almost dismissed it as such. Except that Carmine spun the tale so well, adding layers to the sound of his voice to mimic the growling of a great beast, and how the two predators, who would normally never fight in the wild unless a cub was threatened, fought each other – it just seemed so…plausible!

He ended the tale with a bit of skepticism but it didn’t sound like it. Riia looked at the claws, thinking. “There are many things that seem true under duress or during medical crises,” she said thoughtfully. She looked up into those striking blue eyes and the shyest of daring smiles came to her lips. “But you don’t think it was blood loss or any other sort of spell,” she said. “You believed her.” It wasn’t really a question. It was more of a statement. And because Carmine, who seemed to be the kind of person to vet information for its truthfulness, believed it, Riia didn’t question it any further. 

She put down the jar, letting her fingers softly caress its form one last time, before letting her gaze drift elsewhere in the shop. “You say you acquired some of these while traveling,” she said. Her gaze flit back to the box she had been looking at just before he had told her the story. Gingerly, she picked it up. “What about this piece? Did this come from your travels as well?” Even if it didn’t, she hoped that he had a story behind it, or could tell her more about it. Or anything else in the shop!

Curiosity began to bloom brighter within her. “What made you decide to open a shop for all of this? Was it because of the stories?” she asked. Her expression was alight with a need to know. Riia loved traveling but her responsibilities had diminished that over the last few years. No, she had let those responsibilities, those duties take that away from her. Sighing inwardly, she realized that she was going to have to find a better work-life balance if she was going to continue this path. There was definitely more to life than paperwork!

Turning the box over in her hands delicately, she decided that maybe she would aim for that sort of change this week. Surely, this Prince, with all of his travels, could give her suggestions!
Title: Re: Echoes Of Time Unfold
Post by: Carmine Valerio on Jul 11, 19, 06:20:49 AM
"Perhaps, I do," said Carmine, "or perhaps I have seen my fair share of things that cannot be explained by the confines of our known world." That glint was still in his eyes, impish and mysterious. Not that he would elaborate on what his statement meant, not yet, and Riia had asked him about a particular box. He took a step closer, the tip of his forefinger running along the top of the box. It was almost a caress, the touch of his finger to the box, both possessive and fond.

"I did," he answered, "though its story is not nearly as interesting as the other." His gaze fixed upon her. "I was never able to confirm where it was from. The markings do not seem to point to any particular territory culture ..." A soft sigh escaped. "Though I would be careful in handling it, Lady Lindgren," said Carmine, "as the Warlord who passed it into my care said that it was cursed." That sharp smile of his was back. "The story of the box, as he told it, was that a Priestess of some power and skill captured something evil and trapped it within. Should the box ever be opened, great harm and malady would befall the person that had dared fate."

The Warlord Prince inclined his head towards Riia. "Would you be willing to dare fate and see what is within?" Truly, even without the story, the box was elaborate and well-made. Its craftmanship was clearly of someone by the Blood with how precious gemstones had been embedded into the wood and metal.

"Mm ..." His expression turned thoughtful. "To be honest, Lady, I have gathered many a tale and even more possessions. A Warlord Prince I may be," which was to say he was possessive and inclined to not share what he considered his, "I found that I could not just keep all of this to myself even if my preference would be to gather it all together as if I were a great beast guarding my hoard." With his looks, the sharpness of his gaze, it was a believable statement.

"So I suppose," continued Carmine, "you might say it was the stories." The corner of his mouth twitched upward, the smallest hint of a smile.
Title: Re: Echoes Of Time Unfold
Post by: Riia Lindgren on Aug 19, 19, 11:24:09 AM
Normally, such an enigmatic answer would have irritated her, since she loved learning and knowing. Yet, somehow from him, it was…endearing? No, intriguing. Like he was playing a little, innocent game with her, teasing her, and he would eventually tell her the truth. Perhaps…

She was intrigued until he mentioned that the box was cursed. And then she laughed, disbelieving. “Cursed? No.” But even though she sounded so certain that the boxed wasn’t truly cursed (Craft, yes, cursed, no), she did not open the box. She turned it over and over though, looking at each of angle of the gemstones and carvings.

When he talked about his caste and how it related to the shop, Riia’s gaze drifted up to meet those striking blue eyes. For a moment, she felt a bit like a bird caught in the gaze of a serpent. Here was a dangerous man – a dangerously beautiful man – talking so easily about how ruthless and possessive he could be, taunting her to break a curse or to believe in myths, as though it would all be okay to fall into that trap. Nothing bad would happen…

Goosebumps rippled across her arms briefly and then passed as Riia shook herself out of that gaze. Putting down the box, she said quietly, “I suppose.” She wished her smile was an enigmatic as his was. It wasn’t but she tried anyway. “Do you have any other stories you would like to share?” she asked, hoping to draw more interesting things out of him. “I used to travel a lot as a child. I wished I had time to do it now. Maybe you could give me some suggestions for when I finally take a vacation.” As if that would ever happen anytime soon but surely he had some ideas on where she should go. Hopefully nowhere where big cats could talk.