Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Postby Graybeard » June 28th, 2016, 7:06 pm

Therese sat staring into space for quite some time after Desiree's explanation, her expression softening some, but her emotions still engaged in a Sumo wrestling match inside her head. Finally, noticing anxious looks on the other three faces in the room (and more than an "anxious" look on Desiree's), she took a deep breath. "No, I don't think you were lying to me, of course not. But --" She held out her hand. "May I read this invitation, please?"

She didn't have to read the whole thing, just the salutation and the first few lines, to get her blood pressure raised again, although this time for different reasons.

Her Excellency Desiree, Knyaginya of Clan Duravsky
Her Excellency Thérèse, Ambassadeur de Refuge-Nouveau

My Ladies:

It is my pleasure to humbly request the honor of your presence at a small function this evening at my camp ...

Therese, who rarely cursed, said "Shit." And she repeated it again and again and again.
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Postby Drusia » June 28th, 2016, 11:36 pm

"No, I don't think you were lying to me, of course not. But --" She held out her hand. "May I read this invitation, please?"

I hand it over, that 'but' hanging in the air.

I wish I could get a proper cultural translation for Knyaginya, but I'm guessing that Therese is not about to be forthcoming with that.

"Shit." And she repeated it again and again

I have so many questions, but I force my mouth to say shut and wait for Therese to collect herself.

-- Desiree
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Postby Graybeard » June 29th, 2016, 10:17 am

Therese handed the invitation back to Desiree, scowling. "Knyaginya. It's an honorific in most of the Gorielian clan languages, given to the daughter of the clan chief or other whatever passes for nobility up there. So somebody knows exactly who you are. Ambassadeur means the same thing in the dialect of Refuge-Nouveau as 'ambassador' does in Veracian or Tsuirakuan, or Gorielian dialects for that matter." She snorted. "Never mind that I'm not one. It's a ruse we sometimes use in getting refugees settled into new places, though.

"All of which means that somebody out there, Melkumyan or whoever fed him information on us, knows who we are, in greater detail than they have any need to know. Worse, they've made the connection between us, as well as to our roles.

"In other words: there has been a security breach. And we have to figure out what to do about it." Her scowl deepened. "For starters, I'll never be able to go into Goriel again ..."
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Postby Drusia » July 20th, 2016, 9:52 am

"Knyaginya. It's an honorific in most of the Gorielian clan languages, given to the daughter of the clan chief or other whatever passes for nobility up there. So somebody knows exactly who you are. Ambassadeur means the same thing in the dialect of Refuge-Nouveau as 'ambassador' does in Veracian or Tsuirakuan, or Gorielian dialects for that matter." She snorted. "Never mind that I'm not one. It's a ruse we sometimes use in getting refugees settled into new places, though.
"All of which means that somebody out there, Melkumyan or whoever fed him information on us, knows who we are, in greater detail than they have any need to know. Worse, they've made the connection between us, as well as to our roles.
"In other words: there has been a security breach. And we have to figure out what to do about it." Her scowl deepened. "For starters, I'll never be able to go into Goriel again ..."


Oh. So Therse isn't angry with me? She's angry about a security breech and the loss of her... job?

"So, what actions do we need to take?" I ask cautously. I'm better suited to intelligence gathering, not counter intelligence. My mother was the one who usually took care of that - mostly by killing people who found out too much about Snamish. ... does that mean Therese will need to murder Melkumyan? I won't ask - better not to give her ideas right now.

-- Desiree
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Postby Graybeard » July 20th, 2016, 9:56 am

"So, what actions do we need to take?"

"I don't know," Therese answered, her face hard and her jaw set. "You may have a better idea of that than I."

[OOC: So back to you...]
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Postby Drusia » July 30th, 2016, 12:11 pm

"I don't know," Therese answered, her face hard and her jaw set. "You may have a better idea of that than I."

"How would I know?" I ask cautiously. "I don't know what the implications of him knowing your position are. Do you need to find out how he got his information? Or do you need to report this to your superiors?" Investigate or flee. I pause, considering. "For that matter, what if he got his information on you from your superiors? Could he be an agent as well? Maybe he's an ally, not an enemy."

-- Desiree

OOC: I'm going to be on vacation for the next two weeks. I may or may not be able to check in during that time.
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Postby Graybeard » August 3rd, 2016, 11:21 am

[OOC: Enjoy your vacation! We'll pick up when you get back -- I'm going to be intermittent through the first week of September myself, although I should be around to respond on at least a semi-timely basis.]

"Could he be an agent as well? Maybe he's an ally, not an enemy."

"He's a man," Therese said curtly, leaving little doubt that she viewed that as a complete rebuttal of Desiree's suggestion.

Of course, it didn't rebut whatever Brad was thinking about the exchange. "But I don't understand," he said. "What do men do in Refuge-Nouveau, then?" Lillith pointedly (so to speak) did not elbow him in the ribs to truncate this question before it was formed, it might be noted.

Therese's reply was only a little less curt than the answer to the previous question had been. "We let them think they run the place. Helps with plausible deniability."

Plausible deniability, thought both Brad and Lillith; apparently they'd been married long enough now to start thinking alike in certain regards. They'd missed Sister Rose's original explanation of the term, but they'd had enough of a role in subsequent events to be fully up to speed on what it implied. It certainly raised some -- interesting questions on how Refuge-Nouveau worked. However, given the way the shutters had gone up on Therese's face and body language, it seemed clear that they weren't going to get any answers here.

Therese noticed the look passing between husband and wife, and interpreted it (incorrectly) as that mind magic that she herself had proven inexplicably unable to use. Time to get on with this, she thought, before the questions get even more awkward. "Well, we're not going to get any answers sitting here in your house," she said. "I guess we'd better get ready for the dance, because like it or not, I think we'd better go to it and do some fact finding -- but we will have to be very cautious."

About several things, she thought but did not say.

[OOC: So consider this an opportunity to move on to the evening, if you wish. However, if you'd prefer to pick (or pick at) Therese's brain some more, that can be done too. Up to you.]
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Postby Drusia » August 21st, 2016, 9:22 pm

[OOC: So consider this an opportunity to move on to the evening, if you wish. However, if you'd prefer to pick (or pick at) Therese's brain some more, that can be done too. Up to you.]

OOC: No, time to move forward, I think. /OOC

---

I took a moment to ponder my wardrobe. I'd collected quite a few items during my travels. Some of them were even semi-local. It certainly seemed like my Ghetera clothes would be approprate here.

On the other hand, no reason I think to upset Therese more than she already is. She's upset with me and I don't really know what to do about that. It isn't my fault that I was fathered by her enemy. It's not like I love the man, or even know him to care about him. And too it isn't as though I had anything to do with this security breach she's all upset about. Whatever happened, it happened elsewhere.

Still, I'm not posing as a Ghetera now. And I may be called a Princess, or Knyaginya rather, but I'm under no obligation to uphold that title - a title I was not raised to. What I am is a Priestess of Anilis. Dance is form of her worship. Thus, I select my show vestments, beautiful and gossamer in scarlet and gold silk.

I slip the soft cloth onto my naked body, adjusting the fit. Etheral and beautiful, flowing about me with tantalizing gaps that threaten to reveal my nipples but never quite manage to do so.

I consider adding a bit of makeup, but decide against it. I turn to Therese. "I'm ready."

-- Desiree

OOC: Edit: Fixed a typo.
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Postby Graybeard » August 22nd, 2016, 11:17 am

[OOC: Hope you enjoyed your vacation! We're taking one ourselves shortly, so I will be intermittent until the 10th or so, but should have enough net access to post at least short things ... so here's a not-so-short thing to get ready for the dance. Note that I'm no expert on women's dancing clothes, so feel free to embellish the description of what Therese is wearing as you see fit...]

"I'm ready."

Therese gasped. She's so beautiful ... that I'm just about ready myself. No, control yourself, girl, that can come later.

Dancing clothes weren't part of her normal traveling kit -- she carefully avoided things like dances when in Goriel, other than being a passive observer at the orgiastic sword-swinging that passed for men-only dancing at banquets and such -- so she'd had to make a quick, uneventful shopping trip into town to pick up something appropriate. She wasn't the only one doing the same thing; several Santuarielian women were bustling around getting the same kind of things as she was looking for, and she heard the phrases "dance -- caravan -- Melkumyan" in their conversations. Most were unfamiliar to her, but she recognized Renee, granddaughter of the venerable Maxwel, dragging along a nondescript half-elven man who might have been her husband (and whose rolling of eyes made it clear what he thought of this shopping trip) and a teenaged-looking boy who might have been her son (showing an even more exaggerated rolling of eyes). To her complete astonishment, Shamhat was also shopping for dancing clothes, and threw her a smile and a wink as she tried something on, but the priestess was on the way out the shop's door and did not linger.

These shoppers had been a welcome sight, because Therese honestly had no idea what would be appropriate attire for this affair. At least it didn't seem to be highly formal, based on what was being bought. She settled on a light, almost translucent green outfit with a modest blouse and pants that were almost pajama-like. (An extravagance; I'd never be able to wear this in Goriel, she thought ruefully. But I'm probably never going back there anyway, so...) It was this that she was wearing as she gaped at Desiree's more ... enticing apparel, and it was all she could do not to rip it off for a moment of passion ...

Restraint prevailed, and shortly they were en route for the dance. As they walked toward the trader's compound, she noticed Renee and her family(?) paralleling them, and she waved cordially at the trio. As though on cue, Renee mumbled something to her male companions, and swerved over to Desiree and Therese, her face all smiles. "Glad you could make it," she said. "I wasn't sure whether the invitation would get to you before you left town. I'm glad it did."

Therese raised an eyebrow at this. "You knew we were invited?"

Renee smiled impishly. "I talked to Master Melkumyan and -- persuaded him to write the invite, or let me write it myself. I hope you don't mind, I made up a bunch of stuff to make sure it would impress him." She looked at Therese. "There was a girl who came to us earlier today for a checkup on her pregnancy, and she said she knew you, although she wouldn't say how or where. But she said you were from Refuge-Nouveau, so I, well, played that up some." And to Desiree: "My grandfather says you're a princess, so I made some things up about being from this awful place called Goriel, over east of here, and being a daughter of their ruling clan ...

"Now why are you looking at me like that?"
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Re: Santuariel, Compassion, and the banshee

Postby Drusia » August 22nd, 2016, 6:59 pm

"My grandfather says you're a princess, so I made some things up about being from this awful place called Goriel, over east of here, and being a daughter of their ruling clan ...
"Now why are you looking at me like that?"


I stare at her for a moment. And then I burst out laughing. I laugh and I laugh. I try to stop, but I can't - I can barely breathe.

I turn to Therese, clinging to her, tittering madly. I try to still myself, taking a deep breath, and manage to speak.

"We - we actually thought -" I break down laughing again, hugging her tightly.

-- Desiree

OOC: Thanks! The trip was great. The bronchitus I caught on the plane back, not so much.
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