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* Plot Information for Nharkava

Rebellion has swept the Territory in the south as Glacia dominates the north. Landen and Blood join forces to spread a message of equality with any method possible while Glacia works to infuse the land with power and the people with their Dark Beliefs. The Rebellion, led by a Council of Eight, is not always in agreement but none can resist the power, and the danger, the movement has generated.
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Author Topic: Far Too Calm  (Read 402 times)

Description: tag: Puja

Offline Ravi Yachak

  • Character Account
    • landen
    • male
    • Role

      Seat of Vishal

    • Faction

      The Rebellion

    • Territory

      Nharkava

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      20

    • View Profile
Far Too Calm
« on: Apr 10, 18, 12:48:08 PM »
Ravi has been the Seat of Vishal for some time, and the good thing about the way The Rebellion was organized was that they could continue to operate almost independently of each other.  This was a bit less true of Ravi and his people, as it was his job to keep everyone else supplied.  They stole, they smuggled, and they skimmed from local and sympathetic farms, when they could not do the farming themselves.  Creative bookkeeping was often the best way to get what he needed, other than an outright theft.  He was often led to such capers by means of his network in the cities, usually beggars or Landen that had the sort of jobs that made them invisible.  Ravi himself would often take a corner for himself, begging for alms, or occasionally playing raggedy music in the hope that someone tossed a coin into his hat.  All the while, he listened and watched and learned.

Lately, however, he was beginning to have reason for concern.  He had a surprlus of items, not a huge amount, but any mount of disconcerting.  It meant the demand on what he had to offer had diminished somewhat for The Rebellion, and he was hearing reports of activity out of some private estate in th countryside.  Ravi was already investigating the former, understanding that the different divisions of the Rebellion were being quiet, but he meant to find out why.  Any gathering of the leadership was risky, any time they were all in one place was something of a fool's game, but sometimes it was entirely necessary.  Instead, he would seek out the leader of the other invisible members of sociaty, the woman that took care of the children.

Ravi told himself that was a perfectly reasonable notion to have.  Children heard things, were everywhere, and as overlooked as a beggar.  Puja could be anywhere she wanted to be, as gifted a thief as she was.  She was also preparing to sell her Virgin Night, or maybe she already had, not that it was any of his business.  He was not seeking her out because he was concerned about her, he was concerned about the Rebellion as a whole, and maybe she knew a thing or three about that estate.  It sounded like a place that would not miss a few bags of grain, or a few slabs of beef, or maybe it could be a place for them to plant a few canary eggs of their own.  Estates needed hands to work the land sometimes, and why not place their own people close by to learn if they had a new friend or a new enemy.

He left word at one of her drop locations, and then Ravi made his way to the meeting point.  It was an unusual rendezvous for him, an option rarely selected.  He was not the Beggar King now, but a Landen Merchant with enough money to get a reservation for two.  Puja would know what to do, once she realized where they were meeting.  It was, in his opinon, the last place anyone would look for either of them.

Offline Puja Khatri

  • Character Account
    • blood
    • female
    • Role

      Seat of Maninder

    • Faction

      Council of Eight

    • Territory

      Nharkava

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Starling

    • Posts

      37

    • A strike of lightning in the storm.

    • View Profile
Re: Far Too Calm
« Reply #1 on: Nov 29, 18, 06:49:15 PM »
Knowing better than to depart from her meeting with the Dhemlanese man and run straight to where she could find Ravi, Puja took her time. For one, she left the city. She didn't like the idea that Mr. Zamora had successfully found her, even if for a brief moment in time. It meant she'd been getting comfortable during a time when complacent was the last thing that she needed to be. It might have been easier to hide in the city, but it was equally more difficult to spot enemies. In the wilds, if you encountered it more than once, it was an enemy and probably already too late to avoid a conflict.

Anik was granted a tenth of the prize money that Gregorio had provided. A third of the remainder went to the few establishments that helped feed the children when marks were scarce. Better than letting kids squander their newfound fortune, they would simply find their bellies full for a few days, enough to give them a head start on finding next week's meals. She'd pocketed the rest, but it wasn't for her except for a nick here and there. Now that the Rebellion was scattered, Puja's kids were everywhere, and her job was less simple than it had been before.

She and the gang left their travel packs behind, trusting that in the absence of resources, they could buy their way at least. Most of the usual crew had chose to come with her, probably sensing that Puja would go find Ravi. She'd not told them; she played her cards too close to her chest, but she hadn't tried to lie, either. Ravi was a source of infinite laughs, booze, and lucrative schemes. Everyone wanted their cut of all of the above.

A few days later, they were back in the city, simply somewhere other than where they had been before. Most places were similar enough that sometimes she wouldn't realize until midday that she wasn't where she'd thought she was. Only a few had terrain, features, or points of interest that set them apart from the rest. Anik was the first to point out that Ravi had marked his territory indicating that he was looking for her. All the better. Having something for each other would make the meeting all the more productive and it sounded like the group might have something to look forward to.

Unless he wanted her to rob the joint, Ravi wanted to treat her to a meal at a rather fine establishment. Puja pretended to be put out when she washed up and tracked down a dress that passed as upper class without being over the top. It did feel nice though, to clean up and see that other face in the mirror again. It had been a while since she'd worn this one. Thanking her friend for loaning her the lovely clothes, she set out to meet the old drunkard and swap stories.

Everything about her changed when she was someone else despite how often she was actually someone else. Simple things like the way that she walked and held her shoulders changed. Appearing as a well to do young woman, she maintained a shy and curious demeanor. Never would she need to seem this way for Ravi's sake as he certainly knew better, but if she was meeting him in public, he'd witness it anyway. Neither Puja nor Shikara made a habit of dressing so nicely much less accepting invitations to such pricey establishments, but she wasn't going to turn down her old friend and so away she went, thinking that today if asked, she would be Tara.

Instead of showing that she knew exactly where she'd find Ravi within, she waited as any polite young woman might, informing the staff that she had a friend waiting for her within. Promptly ushered inside, Puja grinned when she finally laid eyes on Ravi. This was the first time she'd seen him since the collapse of the Rebellion's leadership. She'd only heard of his well-being instead of being able to see it for herself, so this was a welcome treat though she'd only rebuff him if he hounded her about being happy to see him.

Her hair was longer than it had been the last time that he'd seen her. She'd styled it in easy waves and left it to fall down her back. Her dress was embroidered with pink and blue flowers over teal, the colors matching the same hues that traced the outline of her big brown eyes. She looked like the woman that she was when she dressed like this and so it was both freeing and frightening at the same time for her. Ravi would naturally goad her, but it would give her the opportunity to snap back and before long they would be picking up right where they left off... except for the whole being the only two known to be left thing.

Offline Ravi Yachak

  • Character Account
    • landen
    • male
    • Role

      Seat of Vishal

    • Faction

      The Rebellion

    • Territory

      Nharkava

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      20

    • View Profile
Re: Far Too Calm
« Reply #2 on: Dec 05, 18, 09:12:30 AM »
The Rebellion had been somewhat complex, but it was thought that the network of cells and individual bodies would help keep them from being smashed in one go.  Ravi had always understood the need for cells, but there were a lot of arms arranged along certain lines of necessity, without a lot of on the ground thought for crossover.  It was up to the Seats to figure out how to work with the others, and certainly he and Puja had figured out how to do that, as had some others.  Ravi supplied everyone, so the recent quiet seemed like a dangerous silence to the Landen Man.  As he surmised, it could mean that the Blood in power were moving against them, and fading was always best when that happened, or it could mean something worse.

He certainly hoped that Puja knew more about it, and, fine, he rather hoped to see her in something less professional than the gear she wore when working.  Ravi did not do this sort of thing too often, but he would be lying if he said he did not enjoy the opportunity.  There was a certain irony and disdain built in to pretending to be something he was not, and rubbing elbows with the well to do and completely oblivious.  Nharkava was sliding into disaster, and the people trying to avert it were called Rebels.  It was a strange and dangerous world, and Ravi wondered how far his anger could still carry him.

Ravi’s mind stopped wandering when he saw Puja enter the place, and he rose to his feet.  He smiled, for what seemed the first time in a long while, and it wasn’t motivated by being too far into his cups.  She was lovely, and she had adjusted her demeanor and persona to suit her current appearance.  She was always attractive, but this time that was sort of the point, and he was not the only one to notice that.  For his part, Ravi cleaned up well, and was wearing a suit tailored to fit a physique that was normally hidden by layers and bagginess, along with dirt, slouching and the rest of his beggar act.  Today, he stood straight, his black hair shone, and his mustache was perfectly waxed, his beard oiled and cleaned.  He walked across the room and offered Puja his arm, ”I am so very glad to see you, Lady.  Please, I was early, our table is right over here.”

Offline Puja Khatri

  • Character Account
    • blood
    • female
    • Role

      Seat of Maninder

    • Faction

      Council of Eight

    • Territory

      Nharkava

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Starling

    • Posts

      37

    • A strike of lightning in the storm.

    • View Profile
Re: Far Too Calm
« Reply #3 on: Dec 22, 18, 02:40:32 PM »
Puja's face lit up as she approached, her pace quickened just a touch as she realized that she was not only thrilled to see her old friend, but equally elated to see that he appeared to whole and unscathed. She approached and reached for his hands, squeezing them tightly. The light in her eyes wasn't fake when she smiled at him. It seemed like it'd been forever since she'd seen him. In a way, he felt like all she had left, and that was sort of sobering but she wasn't going to let it bring her down. "It's good to be in the company of a friend," she sighed a bit wistfully. Taking a step back, she looked him up and down and smirked when she raised her eyes back to his. "Ravi, I do hope that there's not a corpse somewhere missing his fine suit." She tried to tuck her smile away again then, but her dimples betrayed her. "You look very handsome," she finally admitted, turning away to find her way to a seat.

Gathering her dress neatly, Puja sat with the grace of a young woman who had been raised with a lot more sophistication that had been her own reality. She was becoming something of a prodigy when it came to learning and mimicking the demeanors of various types of people. In many instances she could even pass off as a local in areas where there were odd nuances to the dialect used there. When it came to fooling others, Puja prided herself on all the different tricks that she'd been able to learn in her few years. For now, she played the part of an upper-middle class girl well enough that no one would have cause to wonder. No one was looking to wonder in the first place, which made it all the easier. Nothing at all was amiss, at least for now.

Once seated, Puja crossed her legs and surveyed the table set before her with a smile. She couldn't think of the last time she'd eaten at a table. Probably not more than a month ago, she didn't think, but still, it'd been at least double that long since she'd sat at such a nice table.

"What's the occasion?" she asked, bringing happy eyes up to meet Ravi's gaze. She didn't say it, but it was enough of an occasion to find out that she wasn't the only one of eight left. Maybe that's what had been on his mind as well. She was elated to know that he remained and not only because he was her friend. It meant that the wealth of knowledge that had been shared on the council wasn't completely lost and that there was still some small chance of regaining some kind of footing. She wasn't going to invest much faith in the prospect, the organization had suffered blow after blow... but hope was a convenient way to sort those dark thoughts.

It must be difficult for him, she imagined, to know that aside from himself, only Puja was left. She was going to be little help at all aside from perhaps some assistance in acquiring rare or guarded resources and the usual running of messages to and fro through the land. If Ravi could have chosen any single other member of the council to be the only other survivor, for the sake of the cause, he probably wouldn't have chosen her. But that was the way of things and there they were.

Offline Ravi Yachak

  • Character Account
    • landen
    • male
    • Role

      Seat of Vishal

    • Faction

      The Rebellion

    • Territory

      Nharkava

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      20

    • View Profile
Re: Far Too Calm
« Reply #4 on: Dec 28, 18, 10:38:55 AM »
Ravi took Puja’s hands in his and returned the squeeze.  He was just as glad to see her as she seemed to be to see him.  He sincerely hoped her was wrong, but with the general quiet, they might well be all that was left of the Rebellion.  He had not heard from any of the other seats, and while he was happy to be prepared for any needs his Seat might meet, he also knew that if something dramatic and terrible had happened, he would have to entirely retool his part of the organization.  Puja might have to do the same.  It made perfect sense to him that the two Seats with the longest tradition of remaining hidden would be the one’s to reach out to each other, and to last.  Ravi hoped he was wrong, that the silence was simply caution, but he had his worries that he could not dismiss.  ”It is always good to see you.”  He grinned as he led her to their table, ”What?  This old thing?  Hardly worth killing anyone over.” Necessity could be the mother of murder, but not in this case.  ”Thank you.”  he said, sounding pleased by her compliment, ”And you are particularly beautiful in that dress.”

He seated her as a proper gentleman should, waiting for her to gather up her skirts and take her seat with more aristocratic flair than he might have otherwise given her credit for.  Puja was always graceful, always a joy to watch, but there was a certain way that a socialite moved, and she seemed to know exactly how.  Ravi briefly allowed himself the luxury of a brief touch to the side of her neck in a caress to her shoulder as he rounded the table.  He took his seat with a less graceful, but still similar show of manners, and smiled at her.  He knew that this was not the norm for her either, and if they were going to share good or bad news, they might as well do so in a manner that gave them at least a little enjoyment.  Ravi gestured, and a man came to pour them wine, and set a plate of sliced fresh fruit selected specifically to match the wine.  ”It’s not enough to simply have missed seeing your face?”  He replied, in his old bantering manner, but then he picked up his wine glass, ”It was far too quiet, darling, far too quiet.”

Ravi met her eyes with a smile and raised his glass to her.  There was an undercurrent to just the few words they had spoken, and there was a certain sense that Puja knew more than he did at the moment.  He considered all the ways he could ask her what she knew, without necessarily spoiling the moment, or the meal.  He was happy to see her, for many reasons, and not all of them were associated with the Rebellion.  Despite himself, despite all of his attempts to the contrary, he had come to care about Puja, and knowing that she was alive and well was nearly reward enough for this effort, but there were all of the other reasons to consider as well.  He took a long pull of his wine, and flavored the after taste with a bit of fruit that he popped into his mouth, before he spoke again.  ”Is it appropriate that our table has only two Seats?”  And there it was, the pivotal question.  He intended to enjoy himself, no matter the answer.

Offline Puja Khatri

  • Character Account
    • blood
    • female
    • Role

      Seat of Maninder

    • Faction

      Council of Eight

    • Territory

      Nharkava

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Starling

    • Posts

      37

    • A strike of lightning in the storm.

    • View Profile
Re: Far Too Calm
« Reply #5 on: Dec 28, 18, 02:13:54 PM »
Smiling, Puja reached for her glass of wine. In a joint like this, it probably didn't come cheap. Under other circumstances she might have thought to protest and yet she thought better of it. She hadn't seen Ravi in a very long time and he was being generous. Turning that down now, she thought, might seem like a bit of a slap in the face. She did appreciate how kind he was so it only made sense to say so and show it. And she did.

Taking that first sip she sat back and rubbed her lips together, appreciating the different levels of flavors. Puja was far from a high maintenance lady, she'd drink just about anything, but she was still able to differentiate between what was expensive wine and what she was being overcharged for. This glass of wine was probably at least as good as what she imagined that it might cost. Paired with the fruit, she felt a little spoiled and then somehow she felt bad for that but she tucked the odd notion away.

"Mmmm," Puja nodded, shifting on her seat and chewing a piece of fruit as she considered Ravi's words. She nodded softly, swallowed, leaned forward just a touch and then set her hands on top of the table. "If we had more seats, there'd be no one to fill them," she offered.

Wiping the fingers of one hand on a napkin, Puja feigned a pleasant sort of indifference. "Can you imagine if it were just the two of us at a table sat for many more? What a meal that might be!" Puja smirked and there was a glint in her eye that tended to indicate true happiness when most people showed it. Puja, of course, had learned to fake such things a long time ago. "Between the two of us we'd have to decide what to take for ourselves and what to let rot. Of course, it's unthinkable to let good food go to waste, but we wouldn't have a choice, just you and I."

The last thing that Puja wanted to do was be responsible for more. The council table was set with more than enough tasks to keep 8 of them busy, and now only she and Ravi were left to manage. A reorganization seemed imperative, but who would oversee it? And was it really worthwhile? Puja wanted to keep doing her part, absolutely, but she knew better than to trust her skills at deciding what direction the organization should take. What was left of it, anyways. And if she was convinced to take a bigger part in the decision making, she had zero faith that she wouldn't make the wrong call and cost the cause more. They didn't seem to do anything but lose. 

"I don't think I'd be able to eat any more than what was set before me, Ravi," she explained, her smile fading some, but her peaceful pleasant aura remaining about her. "It would be a shame, but I think I know my limits pretty well."

She definitely didn't believe that it was better to do the job poorly than not at all. It was getting old waking up to news of the newest batch of dead friends. Okay, so that was something of an overdramatization; she'd lost comparatively few actual friends in all the chaos, but still. They were losing good, useful, motivated people what seemed like all the time.

"Anyhow," Puja rolled her shoulders smoothly and sat back against her chair again. "Things haven't changed much for me since we last met. There are a few new children in the family, now. Everyone seems to be managing well enough to make ends meet and keeping all the mouths fed. It's a welcome blessing from the Night considering the state of the land." She meant the food shortages, but she wasn't about to say it out loud in an establishment that didn't appear to be suffering much for it. It could ring ungrateful or at least rude.

"How is your family, Ravi? Are they all still in a job and doing well? Staying busy?" If Ravi had been able to maintain his network, it would sort of a small miracle considering everything that had gone down. He was surely capable, though. "And you, are you still working?"

Offline Ravi Yachak

  • Character Account
    • landen
    • male
    • Role

      Seat of Vishal

    • Faction

      The Rebellion

    • Territory

      Nharkava

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      20

    • View Profile
Re: Far Too Calm
« Reply #6 on: Dec 31, 18, 08:16:46 PM »
Ravi had shared all kinds of liquor with Puja, from the worst sort of blindness inducing rotgut, to the most expensive distilled Scotch he could afford to steal.  Wine was not usually on the list.  That was the drink of the effete and the wealthy.  A peasant could make amazing gin or whiskey, given the right ingredients and casks imported from Scelt.  Wine was not something he indulged in.  He had never truly developed a taste for it.  Beer? Lager?  Mead?  Absolutely.  Along with all of the other options, but this wine was very good, especially in combination with the fruit.  Ravi did not drink to think about what he tasted.  He drank to forget, or he drank as a disguise, to seem less effective than he really was.  He was never as drunk as he seemed.

He watched Puja consume the ine with interest, and half-smiled as she sampled the fruit.  When she flattened her hands to the table, her change in posture drew his attention back to her eyes.  Ravi let her words sink in, and he settled back in his chair as if her words had been accompanied by a hard wind.  He closed his eyes for a brief moment, and muttered something under his breath that was doubtless a curse.  He drank his wine, emptying the glass in one pull, and then refilling it from the bottle left on the table.  Ravi listened to the rest of what Puja was saying, and he had more wine to drink, to keep himself from simply cursing again.  Puja had no way to know that it was the surplus in his stores that had prompted him to organize this meeting.

Ravi took a breath and nodded, ”Right, it would be a difficult decision deciding how to portion out such a large meal.”  He finished his wine again, but didn’t refill the glass.  Instead, he began to pick at the fruit, eating a slice here and there, before he leaned back in his seat again.  ”I will take the leftovers then.  Someone has to, and because I’ve been involved with the cooking for so long, I know just how to divvy it up.”  He closed his eyes for a moment again, ”You just eat what you can, but make sure you keep in touch, in case you can help me eat a little more.”  Ravi ate more fruit, and put his hand on the wine bottle as though he might serve himself more, and then thought the better of it.  His eyes blinked rapidly, and then he sniffed, before he finally poured more wine.  He raised the glass, ”To the leftovers.”  He offered in toast.

”Well, if your family needs a bit of help, Mother Night knows I have enough to offer at the moment.”  He nodded to indicate that he knew exactly what she meant.  He really could help.  He had planned, because that had been his damned job, and when no one came to collect—he called on Puja and now he knew the truth.  The Rebellion was all but broken.  They were the only Seats left, and everyone else’s people had doubtless gone to ground.  They had operated in compartments to help their changes of survival in the event of whatever calamity had finally come.  He would have to consult his emergency drops, and find out what his next steps were.  ”My family does well.  Too well, that’s what brings us here, I thought I could afford to be just a little eccentric for a night.  You should come by, you and yours are always welcome.”

As for his people, his smugglers, beggars and farmers, he nodded.  ”Oh, definitely, we’re always working, even if we don’t always know where our goods will sell the best.  Better to have some stock than to run thin, right?”  He gestured, ”We should enjoy this while we can.  After this, I am going to have to work some terribly long to make sure everything is accounted for.”

Offline Puja Khatri

  • Character Account
    • blood
    • female
    • Role

      Seat of Maninder

    • Faction

      Council of Eight

    • Territory

      Nharkava

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Starling

    • Posts

      37

    • A strike of lightning in the storm.

    • View Profile
Re: Far Too Calm
« Reply #7 on: Feb 05, 19, 12:51:16 PM »
When Ravi said that he had enough to spare, Puja relaxed a bit, only at that point realizing that she'd been tensing up in the first place. She lifted reluctantly glad eyes to him, nodding before looking away again and chewing her cheek.

"Good, good," she answered absently, leaning back a bit though her forearms were still resting on the table. The kids were more than hungry, they were floundering. The Rebellion had provided resources to teach and train the children, resources that had been largely taken for granted as they were now sorely missed. Neither hunger nor boredom was good for the lot. Puja was a mischievous sort, but the sort of trouble that the kids were finding their way into surpassed mischief.

They kept aging, as well. This was a problem Puja had only recently considered. She wasn't the only one getting older. Not only did she have nowhere to send the 'graduates,' many of the recently moved on had returned to their number because there was nowhere else to go. Kids were a lot easier to lead, feed, and hide than the people who had found their way back to her. People older than her, more willing to integrate into a world of responsibility than she. Most adored and trusted her to do what had always come naturally to her but some did not and she felt that pressure.

Puja became aware that she'd gone quiet staring down at a finger tapping absently on the colorful tablecloth. Ravi was watching her, not intrusively, just watching. She was giving something away, even in not saying anything at all and if he could see it, others might as well. Scoffing quietly, Puja snatched up her wine glass and told herself that she'd make an earnest attempt not to down it within the next minute. It wasn't the kind of thing that a nonchalant woman of class might do and this is who she was pretending to be. She wondered if she'd been getting complacent in her old age.

Glad for the meal, Puja occupied herself with the act of eating. This was something that each of her personas could do without raising suspicions after all. It was a shame that she couldn't enjoy Ravi's gracious gift as much as she had thought she would. It wasn't that the food wasn't delectable or that she wasn't elated to be in the same space with him, just that everything seemed to be closing in on her and it was hard to both put up a strong facade as well as fight off those inner feelings. It seemed she might only succeed at one or the other.

Pushing her plate aside and folding her hands in her lap, she considered Ravi's offer. There were more bodies now and less beds. If Ravi could support it, it would be nice to leave some of her charges with him, even if some of the older ones who could help him. She didn't know if he could afford to feed them, though. He said he had plenty, but plenty didn't last forever in Nharkava. It was something that they wouldn't be able to discuss in much detail out in the open as they were.

"It's been a long time since I've visited. It would be nice to see your family again." The smile that she gave was almost wistful. "We can go from here if you like."

 

 

anything