Stirring in the dark

[p. Paloma]

POSTED: Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:21 pm

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Kalypso felt somewhat unsettled lately, her flesh crawling at times and her belly craving something monstrous at other times. It was strange and she threw herself into planning and strategy to get her mind off of the sensation of change that surrounded her, stubbornly ignoring quite a lot of things that she, perhaps, ought to have paid more attention to.

She summoned Paloma to her, asking the woman to see her with a quickly scribbled charcoal note on dry bark passed along with a somewhat amused Mayne. He was easy to persuade, mostly because he was a very amicable sort of male and pliant enough with eagerness to please. He had given a fake salute and everything, but ran off to do his duty with Kalypso rolling her eyes as his back disappeared from view.

It was not yet noon and she sat at the desk her father once sat at, likely penning his own thoughts and ideas to parchment. Kalypso did not much care for the space, especially since it still smelled strongly of his scent like a painful reminder of loss. She did not meet any of her family in the room but the topic she wanted to discuss with the sly woman was one that demanded privacy. At least, as much privacy as a crumbling building could provide for a couple of overly ambitious people.

She drew shapes on a large swatch of bark, almost bored in the manner she sketched. Her elbow was planted firmly on the scratched wooden desk's surface, while her chin was resting on a palm. The shape was an absent sketch done of the borders, a rough guess for Kalypso was hardly the best at cartography, but maps had plenty to do with the topics in her mind.

KALYPSO SAVOY
If I knew you were a sellout. A thief. Use me up - I would have never let you near me.

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POSTED: Sun Jun 24, 2018 4:13 pm

When Paloma looked up and saw Mayne’s handsome face approaching she had been ready with a smile and a coquettish look through her long lashes. The fire dancer fascinated her, for Paloma had seen many types of dance on Eivissa and none had involved such tangible danger. One wrong flick of the wrist, one inch out of place and Mayne’s handsome face could’ve ended up like Chaska’s. There was a thrill in knowing that; there was a thrill in knowing that he knew it, too, and did what he loved nonetheless.

The dog had been ready to come out with some line or other when the Hanzi man handed her a scrap of bark, a message scrawled on it. That was enough to pique Paloma’s curiousity; rather than trying to draw him in, she found herself waving the man away.

The Seigneur tugged at the hem of the blouse she wore; she smoothed the thin fabric and she lifted a pale hand to pat at her wavy hair, making sure everything about her appearance was in order. She could’ve been a teenager again, preparing for some romantic rendezvous – but no, this was far more significant. Whether real or imagined, Paloma was unable to overlook the importance she placed on being summoned by a Queen.

The office smelled musky even from the outside. Parts of Silvano still lingered here as he lingered in the memories of his family. Paloma hadn’t known him well enough to have many memories of him, fond or otherwise, and at this moment curiousity overrode any sadness she might’ve felt at the passing of an old man. She couldn't wait for the new homes to be built, though; for all these stale memories to be left behind.

The dog’s knuckles tapped at the door to announce her presence.

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POSTED: Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:01 pm

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The sound of wood being knocked upon startled the Reine out of her thoughts. She leaned back in the chair, a rigid, sturdy thing that held her weight likely better than it had the former occupant if the cracks in the legs were any indication. She ought to get a new chair. Bah, what did it matter? She would have a proper throne room when the new housing village was completed and she could spare herself a proper Court.

Ah, good, Mayne found you quickly. Spritely man, she said in admiration. He was a comfortable individual who had seemingly had less qualms about the shift in power, mostly as it had not affected him, his craft, or his sister. There seemed little else he needed besides peaceful times to keep him happy and it was something she was striving for to benefit them all.

Kalypso waved the woman forward, the sun reflecting off of a solitary ring that adorned her hand, though there were a selection of jingling bracelets on her wrists. Souvenirs of her life in the island, a life then past. Her smile was genuinely full, but there was more than enough mischieveous spark to her eyes.

Come, sit. Close the door behind you. Better not let any errant echoes free, she added waving her hands again to the decidedly soft look armchair that had seen far better days and likely had a deep need for a tailor's clever fingers to fix some burst seams.

KALYPSO SAVOY
If I knew you were a sellout. A thief. Use me up - I would have never let you near me.

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POSTED: Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:10 am

If Paloma had startled the Queen she did not draw attention to it. Her sharp ears splayed as she stepped into the room, dipping her head both in deference to her leader and acknowledgement of Kalypso’s comment about the Hanzi man.

“Quick on his feet and quick with his wit from what I have seen,” she agreed with a smirk. “I suppose the first is necessary when you play with fire for a living.” The latter wasn’t so much a necessity as a preference though it was one Paloma admired. Her smirk widened to a grin.

The door clicked as Paloma pressed it closed, gentle as ever with the old building. It was the same way she would’ve treated a very old and crumbly Luperci, with a reverence rooted almost in pity. Her pale green eyes fell upon the squashy looking armchair and she took her seat eagerly. Paloma’s own room was sparse of furniture – she had grown up sitting more on horses than in chairs – but she was delighted to take the weight off her feet.

The Seigneur sat with a straight back, slender hands folded in her lap. Some vestiges of her family’s high position and the lessons of etiquette impressed upon Paloma on Eivissa had remained.

“What may I do for you, my Queen?”

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POSTED: Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:22 pm

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Kalypso chuckled as Paloma spoke, linking her fingers together over the comment. Or perhaps sheer, dumb luck is also a necessary trait. I know a handful of people who should probably stay a few solid feet from any flaming object, she added with a slight tilt of the head. She herself enjoyed the comfort of a warm fire, but she would never dare play with it as though it were a toy; Kaly was far too wary of the thing for such base entertainment. Mayne was born to the life and she was not.

She waited, though, to begin. She wanted Paloma comfortable and in her place before any words passed her lips regarding the matter she had summoned her for. It was part a ploy and part a show of respect. A calm member that was comfortable was far more likely to be talkative and supportive than one that was uncomfortable. That was the main reason that she, the Reine, sat in the rigid back chair and why the guest to her office sat in the decidedly more comfortable armchair.

Paloma settled, Kalypso kept on smiling.

Well, first of all, I'm interested to hear more about you and what it is you want to do for the Court. We spoke before but I feel like there's more to what you can do. Kalypso leaned back against her chair, subconsciously mimicking the foreigner's posture, sitting straighter in her chair against that rigid back. Her fingers unlocked from one another and she spread out her hands, palms up on the surface of the table. We're still quiet, and out of the way, and I have a fondness for knowing things, if you catch my meaning.

KALYPSO SAVOY
If I knew you were a sellout. A thief. Use me up - I would have never let you near me.

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POSTED: Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:36 am

Paloma’s grin was sharp and swift to appear, along with a chuckle. Her head bobbed.

“Oh, yes,” she agreed. “There are a few back where I come from who I would trust with a torch about as far as I could throw them. Letting them loose with water was bad enough – but fire...” An exaggerated shudder ran down the woman’s spine. “I was never too fond of the stuff – though since coming here I’ve come to appreciate it a lot more.”

Her smile blazed like the element they were discussing before giving way to curiousness.

Paloma was invited to tell the Reine more about herself and the prospect set her features aglow. The Rovira woman was a proud creature, proud of herself and her own survival as much as she was proud of her roots and her family on Eivissa.

“I had hoped to see the Court wake from its slumber,” she confessed, her gaze sweeping down. “When I first met Abigail I thought she was sweet – maybe too sweet. Too soft. She seemed more innocent than me despite having more years behind her – and I know from experience that some, where they find innocence, will want only to shatter it.” She looked up and her smile had steadied. “After I got here I thought, I would rather see the Court toughened than see it shatter. And I thought I would play my part in waking the place up.”

Paloma grimaced then, thinking of all that had happened. Mistral had been unfortunate – unfortunate to believe so steadfastly in her right to anything in this world, and unfortunate to have been ended the way she had, when she had.

The second part of the Reine’s request was far more intriguing.

“My eyes and ears are good at catching things people might want to know,” she murmured. “Should they be looking within our borders, also?”

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POSTED: Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:44 pm

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Her fingers wrapped around the piece of charcoal, fiddling with it as she listened to Paloma. It partially a nervous habit and partially a need to keep her hands busy while she gave the appearance of patience. She was definitely patient quite often, but other times, she was horribly impatient. But that conversation was important, very important, so she did her best to keep her brain focused well on the task at hand.

The woman had a good point. The Court had been soft, so soft, that a usurper had strolled right on in without too much problem and took a kingdom by force with a small group of canines. You are right. We will need to be toughened, despite our remote location. Obviously there are other threats to a place such as this, she said darkly, setting down the charcoal with a sharp thunk that echoed with the crack of a broken writing utensil.

Kalypso gave pause to the question. Did she need to spy on her own people? She tilted her head a moment as she pondered, then shook it. No, I don't think we have anything to suspect within our borders. I want eyes outside the Court. We're allied with Casa and yet what do we know? Inferni has vanished from their place, why? We don't know. There was so much bitterness in her voice. Were she just an ambassador, just a spy, she would have found out herself, but it seemed reckless for a Queen to go seeking information.

No, Paloma, I need your eyes outside. We need trade, we need information, and we need to be prepared, she listed off, hand forward with a finger rising from a fist with everything she said.

KALYPSO SAVOY
If I knew you were a sellout. A thief. Use me up - I would have never let you near me.

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POSTED: Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:34 am

“The Court’s location – do you find it a blessing or a curse?” the dog wondered, her eyes on the stick of charcoal as the monarch’s hands fiddled with it. A nervous tendency, perhaps, or one which helped maintain her focus. Paloma herself had only her hair to play with in times of great importance. She tucked a wave behind one long, tapered ear but did not take her eyes from the charcoal.

“I understand that your Father was a noble man, mostly,”
Paloma said without flinching at the snap of the charcoal. Mostly, she thought, because when it had come to siring Kalypso’s branch of the line Silvano seemed to have been anything but noble. Paloma thought Kalypso could appreciate plainness in the words of a confidant – if that was what the Rovira woman was to become to the Reine. “Nobility has always been something of a luxury as I see things – good to have it when you can afford to.” She laced her fingers together. “But it won’t protect you very well in a crisis.”

Paloma fell silent, brows pushed together in intense focus, a focus solely reserved for the words the Reine spoke. She mentioned Casa di Cavalieri and Inferni, both entities Paloma was aware of, though she had had few interactions with either group. That in itself seemed to prove Kalypso’s point – how much did the Court know of its neighbours, truly?

She nodded, another sharp movement, like the slice of a blade through the air.

“Those we share the Southern lands with,” she murmured. “It would be good to have a measure of them.” Her muzzle lifted. So did one eyebrow. “And the North? No allies, no direct threat from closeness - but I should like to learn about them, too - with your approval.”

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POSTED: Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:36 pm

can probably close up soooon <3

Paloma was sharp and wily, something that Kalypso greatly appreciated. In the line of work that was being forced upon her, it would serve the dog woman well. Her bluntness, too, was appreciated for Paloma had a point about the nobility of the man her father was.

Pragmatic once, I think. Then time took a toll and we all got very comfortable. Too comfortable. Her voice was soft, knowing that they both would think of the Winter of Tarnished gold and the misery it had brought them. Brought low from inside, they had obviously not been expecting such a thing. It was a much needed reminder that the

Kalypso picked apart the broken stick of charcoal, her eyes never leaving the other woman’s features as she spoke.

I’ll do some travel myself, in a more official capacity. I’m a bit more high profile, which has its benefits. But I think you should do as you suggest. Learn about them, with whatever means you think are best and most prudent. It was a sign of trust and expectation. Paloma agreed to something that would require her to be a metaphorically leashed person, a spy for the Queen. Their intelligence was lacking and the Reine was determined to fill the void that Linden left in his wake.

That bastard.

KALYPSO SAVOY
If I knew you were a sellout. A thief. Use me up - I would have never let you near me.

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POSTED: Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:23 am

OOC: Can wrap up here if you want?

IC:
The Reine’s voice softened but it didn’t weaken. Paloma had picked up on Kalypso’s ambition early on, helped along by the housing project the Savoy woman had been entrusted with all those months ago, and as time wore on she gained more respect for her leader – for her shrewdness and her drive.

That burgeoning respect was always well balanced with Paloma’s own needs – but as far as she was concerned nobody in their right mind would eschew their own needs simply to please others. Even Abigail, the softest of the Sadira family from what Paloma understood of them, surely knew to meet her own needs before focusing on those she cared so deeply for.

In a Kingdom suffused with blood ties the Rovira woman knew she was an outsider – and what better way to prove her worth, to work her way toward that inner circle, than to personally see to the Reine’s wishes? There had never been a chance Paloma would turn down this opportunity. She wondered if Kalypso was aware of that.

Paloma’s gaze lowered when she thought of the previous Winter, of all the Court had endured – but she didn’t flinch at the memories. She would have picked those memories apart to their bones if she thought it would bolster the Court in the future.

“I would be a fool to refuse.” It was blunt and Paloma had a feeling they both knew it was the truth. The sparkle in her eyes, though, said that the dog would relish this opportunity.

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