View Full Version : 4.25 evening - dark wings, dark words - CLOSED.

Adhemar Solvitreo
06-04-2016, 09:09 PM
Adhemar eyed the letter before him, sitting in stony silence before his eldest son and wife. "Adalyde, leave us." He did not look up to watch his wife's departure. The rustling of her silk gown, the heavy footsteps all told him well enough of her movements

He tapped his fingers on table. "Tagganaro, send for Drake. Then go yourself and speak with Voldryn. It appears Lord Veracora has been very... very foolish." The cold iron voice scarcely belonged to the Lord of Soutshores. Tagganaro sat back, his eyes turning wary.

"So he's done it?"

"He has. And his mother is a Vellfyre. Mark you this, boy: the perils of vassals with royal blood. They fall to overweening ambition every time. And correcting them may mean I must grovel. It is to our luck his uncle the king's marshal is out of favor just now."

"Surely the king will not allow such chaos."

Adhemar snorted. "You're too old to be naive, boy. Use your head. If we cannot hold the 'Shores on our own terms, why should he not let his kinsman Veracora take it?"

Tagganaro's face hardened. "That's madness father. The Merideens--"

"Are in chaos. Get your cock out of your inkpot and use your head for more than lame verses for once!" Adhemar snapped, slamming his hand on the table beside the letter. "You and Jayr both do naught and but polish your pricks and swords. Drake and Voldryn will be the ones to inherit the 'Spire at this rate--do you yet comprehend this? Shall I wed Bel to the Voldryn heir and let the two of my most loyal vassals sort out the war after once the rest have slaughtered my layabout sons? Better yet, I'll name thy sister as heir and have a better lord than either one of you."


"Bah." Adhemar snorted at his son's outrage. "Argue by proving me wrong. Now do as you're told and get out of my sight."

Tagganaro stormed out, and Adhemar considered a while before he called to a servant and sent for his eldest daughter. Soon enough, Belandra entered in a swirl of linen and jasmine scent. She dropped a deep curtsy to her father, though they were alone- a sure sign of her own irritation.

"Father, must you wind Tagganaro up so much?"

"When I'm gone the vassals will do worse. He best get accustomed to it."


"Don't start, Bel. I have a tangle and I need someone with half a brain to consult while Drake and Voldryn wheedle the king's arse off his throne and into action. I've got half of Meridiez on our doorstep, and your damnable grandmother--"

"You mean your mother."

"I don't choose to recall that just this moment, daughter mine." Adhemar nonetheless smirked. "But yes, my mother. And all her star charts and genealogies howling at my every waking moment that I must rally my troops to her kinsmen's cause though even she can't seem to figure out just which side she wants me to be on. Now, that half-Vellfyre bastard in Seastone has played his hand with that misbegotten bitch in Tal Dragore. And I cannot do a fucking thing because I'm still cock-deep in the mess with Zisemides and Lysarides, not to mention patrolling the southron waters for the damned pirates..."

Gabriel Drake
06-05-2016, 02:42 AM
Tagganaro was rumored to be a man who had a gift for words. If such things could be believed, there was no question he would be remembered not only as the Lord of the Shores but as a poet as well. However, if his ability to conjure words within these last few minutes served as any indication regarding that gift, then perhaps there was doubt in that respect. He had approached Lord Drake with an expression befitting a four year old throwing a tantrum and muttered a series of words which were hard to understand. The basic gist, Gabriel figured, was that Adhemar wished to speak with him. After, the boy stomped off to his next task which, judging by his demeanor, could have well been his own execution.

Without sparing him another thought, he hurried to meet with Adhemar, waiting to be announced before entering the room. He bowed his head to both his lord and his lord's daughter and greeted them with a warm smile. Gabriel Drake was a man used to towering over most in the room, and he was used to having authority in much the same manner. But, in this room, before this man, it was not so.

"Greetings my lord. Lady Belandra. I am sorry if I have kept you waiting. I came as quickly as I could. I suppose judging by Lord Tagganaro's expression when he delivered the summons, it would be too much to hope that this meeting comes with good tidings?"

Adhemar Solvitreo
06-05-2016, 08:14 PM
"Good tidings? Pardon, my Edolene must be failing me today. I don't recognize that phrase."

"Lord Drake," Belandra said with a smile. "I hope my brother didn't give you any cause for alarm."

"He damned well ought to, Bel. Drake, sit. We need to discuss the fleets. That shark cunt boy wed the Saherazai bitch. In secret. He's likely taking control over her ships. I knew something was wrong when she crawled off the king's cock long enough to deal with Dragore herself. And her regent just conveniently laid himself down and died for her. They seem to have mistaken me for an actual sun, up in the sky, happy to watch them fuck about however they like."

He slammed his hand on the desk. "I want permission to spill that half-royal blood across the Seastone cobbles. I want to feed him to his own thrice-damned sharks, balls first. I should put his daughter in the crow cage at my front gate, and send him her fucking fingernails." He sighed. "But the other wards like her and I don't want to hear the wailing. So I suppose that means setting Seastone on fire instead."

Gabriel Drake
06-07-2016, 12:58 AM
He sat when he was told, listening to Adhemar without betraying emotion in his expression. But it was clear that his mind was already filling with thoughts and considerations, his gray eyes narrowing in that tell-tale way, his brows drawing closer together and his lips tightening in concentration.

"She has long been stirring trouble among her vassals. What the woman lacks in brains, she certainly made up for in balls." For it was brave to go toe-to-toe with Adhemar. As brave as it was stupid. Arrogance such as hers only led to death in the 'Shores. For while there were struggles among the lords, most seemed to know where the line was drawn, and they knew better than to cross it. Not so in Tal Dragore.

"And if permission is denied?" He knew what would likely happen. Damn, but he hated when Orsino was brought into things. "It would be wise to mobilize the fleet regardless. Might be they won't be content with their holdings alone, and should their eyes look South... We must be prepared for every eventuality."

Adhemar Solvitreo
06-07-2016, 01:41 AM
"If permission is denied, we will not spill half-royal blood across the cobbles," Adhemar snapped. "There are plenty of ways to help his suck Corvus' cock with all his blood stuffed in his sorry corpse."

"Papa. You have no way to know which side of the bed Corvus would want that whoreson on."

In spite of himself, he laughed at his daughter's jest. "Let whatever side it is be up to the god himself, Bel, so long as the bastard's gone from my shores..." He settled his gaze on Drake. "Your men are already sailing against the pirates, as are mine. Simply broaden the definition of pirates to include sharks and all we know are loyal to them, hm?"

Gabriel Drake
06-07-2016, 06:50 PM
"It would not surprise me if he should come to a timely end by hands much closer than our own. That woman has poisoned the waters where she lives, and it is clear her grasp is far exceeding her reach. It may be she hopes the support she can garner from that pack of dogs she calls a family will strengthen the hand she is playing against us. No. If we heard that he somehow fell ill and all was for her to watch over until her son became old enough to take it for himself, it would make sense."

He was certain Adhemar would catch the meaning.

"Surely even a woman of the 'Reach would not be immune from the king's anger should she be the one to spill his blood. Or... if he believes that to be so..."

No sooner had he spoken the words did the servant who announced him before return, bowing and waiting a moment before saying, "Lord Voldryn of Malderin is requesting an audience, my lord."

Adhemar Solvitreo
06-07-2016, 07:01 PM
"Yes, but who can say what Rothgar ever believes...?" He sighed and waved to the servant. "Show Voldryn in."

Adhemar cleared his throat. "But the truth is, that pack of dogs will follow her lead, Drake. I know her scheming asshole of a cousin well enough-- Wolfe ought to be named a fucking hyena. He'll smell the blood and seize his chance."

Orsino Voldryn
06-07-2016, 08:55 PM
"Sounds like this dog needs to be put down," Orsino said as he approached, bowing to Adhemar and greeting his lord's daughter with a smile. "I am sorry if I interrupted, my lord," he said, looking only at Adhemar. "I was unaware that Lord Drake was with you." The servant had not mentioned it. "Your son spoke with me briefly, and I thought to come and speak with you regarding the matter."

He finally looked at Gabriel. "Lord Drake," he greeted, still smiling as if this were any other social call. "Seems like the dogs have shit all over the north, no? Dogs will do that... Fortunately, animals such as that have a hard time getting people to follow them. Nobody wants to step in the mess they leave..."

Adhemar Solvitreo
06-07-2016, 09:46 PM
"Were he but in mine own kennel, Orsino." Adhemar heaved a tragic sigh while Belandra gave a knowing grin.

"Lord Voldryn has the right of it, father. Mad dogs will ever turn on those in their own pack," Belandra said.

"Yes, but do we have time for the pack to realize it?" Adhemar nodded Orsino toward one of the remaining seats. "Sit, Voldryn. We must weigh our options when it comes to cleaning the kennels. Not all the Veracora will back this but until they reach out I must assume he's either killed the rebels or is silencing them. Or they think me was weak as he does." Adhemar tapped his fingers on the desk. "If we lose their ships, we may lose all the progress we've made toward clearing the sea routes. What have your little birds sung to you lately, Orsino? There must be some hint as to what he thinks he's doing with his new-made bride?"

Orsino Voldryn
06-07-2016, 10:17 PM
"Their kennel master isn't there to mind it..." he said, sitting down.

"There is a precedent. Blacktide has revolted against their lord before... It was through the rest of the family that they managed to hold to it. I am certain it would not take much stirring in that area to force Lord Wolfe to look to his own vassals rather than to our shores." He leaned to one side of the chair, his hand rubbing over his cheek. "It seems to be what drives most men who challenge people they shouldn't: Greed. He wants more and he is using her to get it. For her part... he seems to be a means to an end. This definitely wasn't her first choice... She has been in bed with powerful men in the 'Reach, but it seems clear her sights were on an army. Clearly, she's not picky as to the type of force she wields so long as she has it. They are using one another... Which means that they will only work together so long as their goals are aligned."

Adhemar Solvitreo
06-07-2016, 10:36 PM
"Yes but what the hell is the goal? I enjoy a rebellion for summer sport as much as the next overlord, but it's their aim I do not understand. Have I raised your taxes lately, my lords? No. Have I not let your levees come home and work their fields and tend their vines in peace this autumn? The Tal Dragore bitch wants power in her own right--I've known that since she pawned that blond-haired bastard off as a Saherazai. And so long as she ruled the damn place, I've left her to it. Whether the rest of that house wants to bow to a bastard is up to them--what care I whose seed sires the brat? Her husband was weak fool to start with and I didn't look forward to whatever sniveling weevil would crawl out of his diseased cock. But this? This is not ambition, Orsino, it's lunacy."

He glared at Drake too. "And the Veracora runt? What's he winning save more ships--and to do what with? Does he think the pirates give two shits what flag they're burning with the ships? He wants more... gold? More power? Hah. Stupidest goal of all. He might as well be chasing shadows."

Gabriel Drake
06-07-2016, 10:45 PM
"Perhaps it goes beyond the Shores," Gabriel said before Orsino could reply. "Not just testing you or attempting to make you appear weak... What they're doing spans borders. Incites rebellion among quarters that are, as you say, tricky to deal with. To quell it, we must have permission. To allow it, we appear weak. It sets the most powerful men in this kingdom against one another. And should their be a disagreement, it sets powerful armies against one another. Armies that do not focus on the ships or the northern shores so much... Armies that weaken and can be easier defeated from exhaustion. They don't want to war with you... They want you to war with the Vellfyres. The want to pick up the pieces of what's left... An easy victory. An easy path to the power that bitch so obviously pines for."

Orsino shrugged. "Even if that's not the case, it's clear they're looking to shift the balance of power. They think they can guess how you will respond, and I promise you they are preparing for your answer. Normally, it is through sheer might that this would need to be crushed... But I fear that might be what they want you to attempt."

Adhemar Solvitreo
06-07-2016, 11:12 PM
"And yet when have I ever wielded brute force in the Shores?" Adhemar sighed.

"People think you do, father. That the wars have exhausted our strength, and you are weakened by illness. And were you in better temper, you'd be glad for them to think it even now--for it means their spies are fools and their advisers worse."

Adhemar rubbed his temple. "No, not so foolish as you think, Bel." He looked to the Voldryn and Drake lords, a heavy sigh on his lips. "I am not so close to the Vellfyres as Harrowmont these days. Our men fought in Asserya, not Zaksebar. And my southron borders are rife with chaos as peasants and lords alike flood across them fleeing Orsion or Asim or both."

He scowled. "I admit this to the pair of you because I know you well. And between the three of us... we know what hell a power vacuum will wreak." Veracora would kill Drake because he would not want a rival on the seas, and the Voldryn were a danger to anyone with half a brain--and a new-minted Southron lord would need to eliminate all threats to have half a prayer of maintaining his hold.

"I'm sending Tagganaro to Southshield to see what Lysarides can muster. I will send the pair of you to the King in Fairgrove. Present to him the problems... and see what you can do to mitigate the Ascalon situation. The crown prince just chopped off some Ascalon's head. Alodie is quite upset about it, apparently she liked him... and I suspect his lord uncle did as well."

Gabriel Drake
06-07-2016, 11:21 PM
Drake was not surprised to hear that. If he had a coin for every time he wanted to chop off the uncle's head... Or that idiot Velasco. Still, this was not a time for the Vellfyres to be so angry with Shore lords, and after whatever sparked Lady Tyana to go fire-happy in Delving, it was shaky ground they were treading on.

"At once, my lord," he said, standing up.

Orsino was slower to his feet, his characteristic smile smaller now but still there. "Should I send word for Antonio and my son to join you here at court?" he asked. "They've only just returned to Malderin and would be ready to travel shortly."

Adhemar Solvitreo
06-07-2016, 11:35 PM
Adhemar's brow quirked at Orsino's offer but he nodded. "They will be welcome here, Lord Voldryn. It is always a joy to see how your boys have grown."

Belandra watched Gabriel stand. "Lord Drake, would you consent to carry a few letters to my sisters? I have had the most wretched luck with the messengers this last half-year."

Adhemar smiled. "Go your ways, my lords. I thank you for your sage advice and leal service, as always. Were we three but a bit more prone to madness and larks, we might have rebuild Asserya."