Goriel and beyond, part 3

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Goriel and beyond, part 3

Postby Alberich » June 6th, 2012, 12:07 am

Dawn broke early - it being summer in the north - and the Yurkashev men remained on alert, ever heedful of security and of any new threat to their guests. They boiled for revenge, and any intruder, though he be the size of a silka, would be the object. Tempers were taut and hangovers didn't help. And far too early, a cry of distress rent the air --

"YAWP!!!!"

-- not a very dignified cry, but so it was.

Brother Tim's door banged against the outer wall, and whoever ran up to see what was the matter would see the young priest, naked as the proverbial jaybird, skittering out of his room, his hands protecting his "vitals" (but not, one feared, his dignity). From within his room came a puzzled, female voice - "My lord?"

[OOC: Don't know who'll show up, but Tim could use some rescuing here. This may not be good for his Gorielian image...]
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Re: Goriel and beyond, part 3

Postby Drusia » June 6th, 2012, 1:04 am

I yawn and attempt to turn over. I can't. There's... someone there. I open one eye.

Anfisa.

I glance around, but we appear to be out of obvious eyeshot. Probably best just to pretend not to have woken up. All the excitement this morning with assassins and Valentina leaving has cost me precious beauty sleep - time to get some of it back. It wouldn't do to have bags under my eyes tonight while attending my new patron.

I snuggle up with Anfisa and close my eye again. It's always nice to have someone to sleep next to. I missed that the last couple of days.

-- Desiree

OOC: There's a lot of Desiree stuff going on in PMs - much of it boring or irrelivant. For instance, last night Desiree spent some time chatting with the other geteroi about dancing and reading materials - I didn't feel it was worth reposting here. All of the important, plot relevant stuff made it to the (previous) thread, so you didn't miss anything important.
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Re: Goriel and beyond, part 3

Postby Jack Rothwell » June 6th, 2012, 6:12 am

Eli stirred in his sleep, murmuring under his breath as a man who was sleeping badly. In his dreams last night he'd had a reoccurring nightmare of the museum, in one scenario the guards had been wise to his tricks and bested him, in another he'd been betrayed by the man he'd consented to work with, in the latest he'd made it out of the building with the prize only to a find a regiment of militia waiting for him with guns cocked and handcuffs dangling. He jerked involuntarily and his eyes snapped open.

He felt a surge of relief as the room, not a prison cell, floated into view. Just a dream, thank the Gods.

He closed his eyes again, dimly registering the arms wrapped around him. Still half-drugged by sleep, the half-elf drew the woman's fingers to his mouth and kissed them. He felt her respond to his touch and turned in her embrace. He ran his lips up the side of her neck until he found her mouth.

'Is this-?'

He opened his eyes again. No, not Desiree, the servant girl the clan had 'assigned' to him the night before. He stopped.

"My lord?" A questioning look in her pretty eyes.

"Oh, what the hell..." He drew her back towards him.

OOC aaaand, fade to black. Eli's only half-human after all. :twisted: /OOC
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Re: Goriel and beyond, part 3

Postby Graybeard » June 6th, 2012, 2:05 pm

[OOC:
Tim wrote:"YAWP!!!!"

Sorry, but Tim may be on his own for the moment -- Rose and Argus were up pretty late last night, and Rose, who's normally an early riser, is going to be sleeping in this morning. Eli also seems ... occupied. Unless Brad and Lillith can respond (and I've got a pretty good idea what Lillith's response would be... :lol: ), he may have to deal with this one himself. :roll: Meanwhile, back at the airship:]

"The storm's coming," Rip said to Shorty as the crew of the Bonny Read gathered in the mess for breakfast. And so it was, in one of those typically incongruous bits of mountain weather; the sun was shining brightly low in the northeast, but a thick pall of clouds was rolling in from the west. Already distant thunder could be heard. "If we're going into town, we'd better get on with it."

"Roger that," Shorty rumbled, his own tones nearly as deep as the thunder. "You taking the bird with you?" He jerked a thumb the size of a normal man's hand in Thurston's direction.

Rip considered. "I guess I really shouldn't. This place is magic-phobic. Seeing a talking parrot on my shoulder might be OK, if all he said was 'Polly wanna cracker' and so on, but I don't think I can count on Thurston for that kind of restraint." He turned to Thurston, who was, in fact, eating a cracker. "Can I?"

"RAAWWK. Roger that." (It was an amusingly high-pitched echo of Shorty's own words, but the intent was the same.) "Besides, if I set out into this hell hole, they'd just try to eat me. I'll stay. But bring me back some cigars, all right?"

Rip nodded. "Will do." Breakfast finished, the two men descended the gangplank.
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Re: Goriel and beyond, part 3

Postby Alberich » June 6th, 2012, 5:34 pm

Poor Tim! - There was no one there from his companions to extricate him from the situation, or even laugh pitilessly at his discomfiture. Only one or two of the male retainers of this household, plus his nearest neighbor among the guests. Who, as it happened, was Leonid Duravsky, the noseless man. (Who was quite tired this morning, but Tim was in no position to notice.) Accompanied by his own blonde getera. Yipe!

The getera who came to his own door, a shorter woman with reddish-brown hair and very broad shoulders - the fleshiest, and probably the strongest, of the Yurkashev geteroi - glided gracefully out of the room.

Tim turned his face to the noseless man - "Where am I? What's going on?"

Leonid replied, his bandaged face mercifully expressionless. "Good morrow!" - he avoided words with the "n" sound, including his own name - "After the sad matter of the attackers late yesterday, your friends, also you, are guests of the House of Yurkashev. This is the part of the house for guests! They wish to treat you as fits your family's high desert, also make up for what you suffered. So you have the best of rooms, also a getera to make your sleep sweet." He glanced over at the girl, who was belting on her own dark-red gown. "I trust she was satisfactory, also all was well?"

The girl, smiling, replied in the socially acceptable way. "My lord is a strong stallion among men, and his passion burns like a roasting fire." She made a fist as she said it, and put some passion into the lie. (It was a lie, wasn't it?)

Tim's next Yawp! was a yawp of the mind. He wanted to deny it - truly he did - but right at that moment he remembered Father Boris' admonition:

"A man who doesn't -- is a little less a man, you see? No matter he's got a wife and two others. His face is, he can outdo a herd of billy goats! The girls don't tell what he can't do in private. Now for me, they know I don't. But I have Veracian power behind me. Also I am very good to wrestle! So they let me have my ways."

No one had gotten around to creating a cover story for Tim's celibacy. And he doubted he'd be a champion wrestler here - especially if they fought dirty, the way they probably did. Notimetothink. No, he really couldn't. Could this whole country promise not to tell Father Arpad? Still, he had to say something.

"Ah," he said. Nice start, Tim. "Ahhhh...wait me elsewhere. In the usual place where you await." Probably he would've seemed more confident if he'd removed his hands and let his censer swing free. But he just couldn't. "And, ah, good morning to you as well, and thank you" - this to Leonid, not making eye contact with Tatiana. Whose lips were pressed together just a little harder than usual, but you'd have to look very close to see. "I'd better get dressed."

The broad-shouldered getera made her graceful exit. And Tim made his less-graceful introit, and closed the door.
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Re: Goriel and beyond, part 3

Postby Alberich » June 6th, 2012, 6:18 pm

For such honored guests, it was fitting that breakfast be brought to them individually, by obliging girls of the household. (Bread and honey, mostly.) All having taken care of their needs, they found themselves in the midmorning sunshine in the courtyard by the feasting hall - Argus, Rose, Brad, Lillith, Tim, Eli, Kirassia, and any geteroi they wished to bring along. (But having one on your arm at this hour was unusual - it made you seem to dependent on female companionship and pleasure - so most men would dismiss them 'til the eveningtime.)

Here in the courtyard several tents had been raised, in the old style of the steppe - one of them extremely rich, but still a tent. Holes had been pierced in the stones to secure the pegs. In fact, these tents were where the leading figures of the household, including Shashenka himself, were sleeping while their new guests took their rooms. The exceptions, though the guests didn't know it yet, were a couple of children who had complained about being evicted from their rooms. These had been allowed to sleep naked on the flagstones. Later, they would be rewarded with a vacation to the clan's out-of-town holdings, where they could live in tents all the time, and spend more time with sheep, goats, and mosquitoes. The Yurkashev did not believe in growing too soft from city living, and anyone who thought life in this compound too hard would soon see something harder.

Nearby was a wooden building attached to the rest of the compound. While it was painted in bright colors, its high-peaked design showed that it was modeled after a tent. This was Lord Yurkashev's audience chamber. He would soon be needing it. After the news of last night, there were many messengers from other clans. Their mouths were full of compliments. Their intentions varied. As Rose and Argus first approached, Sevastien was receiving one from Lord Duravsky himself.

"...his condolences on the disgustingly treacherous deeds of the assassins last night, and wishes you all divine aid to your good strong arms, as you smote them, and will smite those who sent them! And my lord also commends you and extends his thanks for the loan of the lovely Valentina, who has been a true ornament to our household, and brought much joy there. And he thanks you most profusely for her sojourn there, and cannot longer demand her of you. So that he means this very afternoon to let her return to her place here, to bring delight to the men of your own household, and requests that our own Tatiana make her return at that time..."

Kirassia spoke softly to Rose and Argus. "That was to be expected. The attack was a disgrace to this clan. Keeping a getera here was a great honor from the Duravsky, and leaving her here after that...wouldn't be suitable." She kept her words brief. It would be hard to explain to these outlanders. It wasn't a matter of the girl's safety -- in its current state, this was about the safest place to be, and girls could be replaced (maintaining a getera cost something; but if one died or lost her status, there were plenty of pretty girls ready to step into that breach). It was a matter of honor. A Duravsky getera was an honor done by the supreme clan, and if your clan was so close to them in power, and they left the getera there...it elevated you too much, as if the Duravsky were afraid to slight you by taking her back. Lord Duravsky feared no one, even the mightiest of the second clan, so he was taking the girl back. He slighted them to prove he wasn't afraid to slight them. Perfectly logical.

To a foreigner, the decision to withdraw Tatiana and return Valentina might seem strange, or calculating. To one who knew the ways of this place, it was as inevitable as next winter. Suffer big disgrace, have getera withdrawn.

Sevastien made his wordy promise to do so, all in terms of mutual respect and thanks - but Rose didn't need her empathy spell to know he was seething, and he less than most here. The messenger left, and Leonid - who'd come into the courtyard before Argus - left with him, to return to his own household. Before receiving anyone else, Sevastien turned to Argus.

"Good morning, honored guest," he said. "I trust that your household all slept well, and found your beds and geteroi and servants to your satisfaction? If anyone falls short, let me know, and they will be beaten. Alas, my good Lord Shashenka cannot be with you this morning, as he is receiving messengers from Clan Chepilesky, and I think they have much to discuss throughout the morning, and I lament that it is my duty to receive all these good men who have come to pay their respects, so that I cannot give all attention to the comfort of our guests! Yet my son Yakov" - he gestured to where he stood - "is at your service, so for your every need, speak to him, and it will be yours."

Amongst the various envoys there was one in the red tunic of the Veracian embassy, and when time permitted -- he was also there to offer some wordy condolences and protestations of friendship to the Yurkashev sub-chief -- he spoke briefly to Argus, and requested that this good visiting lord would please join Father Boris for luncheon at the embassy, at his convenience, "with your good lady, and any of your household you wish."
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Re: Goriel and beyond, part 3

Postby Graybeard » June 6th, 2012, 11:18 pm

"If anyone falls short, let me know, and they will be beaten."

Courtesy and protocol or not, Sister Rose couldn't help cringing at that. We're in a different place now, she reminded herself, but there were simply ... limits.

Truthfully, she was getting more than slightly tired of Clan Yurkashev. Every moment she and the party spent with these excessively bombastic egomaniacs was one moment that Blaise could be using to put distance between himself and his pursuers. The pursuit was going to be difficult enough already without that. And there appeared to be no way out. The young priest from the temple seemed thoroughly cowed by proceedings, unable to break through to spirit the visitors out to the temple so that they could get on with it. (To say nothing of the problems of retrieving Desiree.)

Then she had an idea.

<"Play along with what I'm about to do,"> she thought at Argus. Then she approached him with a shy smile. "Will my lord husband permit me to attend to our daughter's health? I'm concerned -- one o'clock in the morning is a somewhat worrisome time to be feeling morning sickness, particularly in a woman's first pregnancy."

The hell of it is: that might even be right, she thought to herself as she awaited Argus' reply.
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Re: Goriel and beyond, part 3

Postby Jack Rothwell » June 7th, 2012, 2:40 am

Eli was in an uncharacteristically good mood that morning. His exertions with the serving girl were part of it (the half-elf was definitely a morning person in that regard, if there was a better way to start the day he was yet to hear of it) but the exhilaration of success the night before was the larger part. It was thrilling; he'd stolen a powerful magical artifact and gotten away with it!. The knowledge sat in his mind like a small ball of secret warmth.

"Will my lord husband permit me to attend to our daughter's health? I'm concerned -- one o'clock in the morning is a somewhat worrisome time to be feeling morning sickness, particularly in a woman's first pregnancy."

'What the hell is Rose up to?' He thought, trying not to let confusion show on his face.

But then again, did he really care? His membership in this group was becoming more of a charade anyway. If it hadn't been for his emotional attachment to Desiree and Tim's friendship he might have vanished days ago.

For now, he was content to watch and wait, if things were going to take a turn for the worse, well... that sounded like entertainment to him.

...........

Around that time a certain Kobold had woken up in a semi-respectable tavern next to a completely un-respectable and unconscious mercenary, and began prodding her with a be-clawed digit in a playful manner, punctuating each poke with her name.

"Jay... Jay? Jay! Jay, Jay, Jay-me, Jay-me, Jay-me, Jay? Jay? Jay! Jaaaaay-meeee! Jay! Jay! Jay! JAY!"

"WHAT?"

"Morning." She beamed.
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Re: Goriel and beyond, part 3

Postby Alberich » June 7th, 2012, 8:52 am

Anfisa awoke and gently kissed Desiree. She wanted to smother her face in a score of kisses. The last time she'd tried that, Desiree had shut her down as gently as possible, and she'd ended up crying in a corner. She knew they had to keep their precious secret a precious secret; but her body and her heart were singing duets that had little to do with knowledge and less with caution. It would be smarter not to touch her at all, or even to be lying on this bed together, where Irina might walk in. As the thought this, her hand stole to Desiree's hip, and then her longest finger began tracing down her lover's back.

[OOC: Rose and the rest are free to go as they please - Shashenka and now Sevastien are tied up with envoys from the other clans anyway; Yakov is at their service to provide escorts (I mean the violent kind) or other services; joining Boris for lunch, as he's requested, is permissible; you have the run of the city as well as the compound.]
Last edited by Alberich on June 7th, 2012, 7:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Goriel and beyond, part 3

Postby Graybeard » June 7th, 2012, 10:18 am

Sister Rose wasn't sure whether her subterfuge with Lillith's "morning sickness" had worked, or whether their host had simply tired of them, or what. Whatever the reason, she was glad to be shut of the Yurkashev operation, and she obviously wasn't alone.

"How did you get us out of there?" Brad asked as soon as they were safely behind the temple walls.

She explained what she'd said, with careful disclaimers to make it clear she wasn't sure whether she could take responsibility for their escape or not, then turned to Lillith. "You're not ... really ... having morning sickness ... are you?"

---------

By this time, Therese was on her way back into town, angling for the Duravsky outfit, just to make sure the lay of the land was unchanged. However, her real destination was elsewhere, for the moment. The only way she could gain access to the place, she reasoned, was if she had something to offer ... like the figurative head of some rival clan on a plate. And possibly not "figurative."
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