Knowing... is half the battle

Shops, street merchants, taverns, brothels and inns situated along the busy Main Street that runs through the middle of the city.
User avatar
Metarie
Staff
Posts: 1708
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 8:29 pm
Name: Metarie
Race: Elf

Knowing... is half the battle

Post by Metarie » Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:51 am

Continued from http://www.tharshaddin.com/rp/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2400

Spring, 122 PW

Ree watched from her open door while Alyson and Willow moved down the street. When they were a decent distance away, she closed the door but left the light of the porch on. She then moved back to her kitchen, beginning the process of tidying the meal she had made the three of them.

Ree's thoughts drifted to Willow and his presence, hoping that he did not find her last comments to be blasphemous. Ree toed the line when it came to the beliefs of Marn. Her parent's particular brand of inflexibility on the subject had given her plenty of time to consider her own position. Certainly, she could have followed their beliefs and she did believe that magic could be used badly. She also knew that magic could and did drive some mad. When it came down to it, the balance between the natural world and magic needed to be maintained. Some magics warped and twisted the natural world instead of worked with it and that was the greater evil in Ree's mind. Those that helped and did not harm were acceptable to her.

After pouring a glass of wine and letting Kona out, Ree moved to the bathroom and drew a bath. As the tub filled, she lit a few candles and a small cone of incense; filling the house with subtle lights and scents. Giving another sigh, this one of contentment, she stepped into the tub and slipped into its enveloping warmth.

After washing her hair and body, Ree leaned back and took a sip from her glass. The patient, Isaac, came back to mind. She mulled over what she had 'seen' in him. Whatever that darkness was, it was not natural and therefore, magic. But, it was unlike any magic she had ever seen before and its darkness worried her. She'd made sure to notate the finding as a magic-based malaise, something that would come up in the daily reports delivered to the Justice Hall. She hoped that would not cause the Hall to think Isaac a threat.

Unable to relax any more, because of Isaac's condition, Ree pulled the stopper from the drain and stood. Carefully wrapping her hair in a towel, Ree stepped from the bath onto a soft, absorbent rug. The rug caught droplets of water that slipped from her skin while she drew a second towel around her body. After cursorily making sure her skin was dry, Ree smoothed sweet grass lotion over her skin letting the lotion use the remaining moisture to keep her skin soft and supple. Pulling on a soft, dark green, silken robe, she then towel dried her hair. The robe clung, in sports, to warm, damp skin and her hair fell in damp waves around her face and shoulders. Catching up her glass, Ree padded out to her study and began to survey the titles of books. There had to be something here!
A story is like a tapestry; it is never finished until the final thread is sewn.

Profile | Thread Tracking

User avatar
Metarie
Staff
Posts: 1708
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 8:29 pm
Name: Metarie
Race: Elf

Re: Knowing... is half the battle

Post by Metarie » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:49 am

Ree crossed her left arm across her rib cage, using it as a prop for her right. Her glass of wine dangled, held in her right index and middle finger and thumb. As she scanned the titles of books, she occasionally took a small sip of wine. Ree had inherited her parent's extensive collection of books and over the course of time added a few more. A large portion of the books were physician's reference books, most first-printings of the books used at the University where her parents had taught medicine and philosophy.

Books on magic were rare, unless your parents happened to be the authors. Then, it seemed dispensation was allowed... especially if the books continuously spoke against using magic. Ree frowned in thought. Placing her glass on her desk, Ree crossed the room to the chest on the opposite side of the fireplace. The chest was tall and held many drawers. Every drawer was locked and not just with regular lock and key. Another dispensation granted, from whom Ree did not know. The locks were aligned with her bloodline. Ree assumed it was something her parents had brought with them when they had traveled to Marn from Darleone. To open a drawer, one grasped the handle. Each handle pricked as it was turned and the blood opened the lock. If the locks did not get the blood, the locks did not open. Ree did not know what would happen to someone who tried to open the locks, but were not of her bloodline. She assumed, though, that the Judges thought the security of the documentation sufficient. Otherwise, she probably would not be allowed to house it in her home; well-protected as it was from assaults.

Ree did not open the drawers when anyone else was around. Each drawer contained the results of her parent's research on the affects of magic on the known, 'natural' forms to Pal Tahrenor - support for their findings on what the negative use of magic did to the mind and body of those who were not built for it. Scrolls resided in each drawer, carefully preserved through mundane and magical means, and carefully coded. Research notes, written in Elvish, covered numerous pages that referenced the coding on each scroll.

Ree took a breath and her mouth settled into an unhappy line. She did not like the mechanisms that protected the research content. The chest was a puzzle box and access was unpleasant. Not only did one need to pull the handle, one had to pull multiple handles in a pattern and the pattern changed after each use. Ree concentrated, looking for the signs to indicate the pattern she should use this time. She lifted her hand, palm parallel to the cabinet's front surface and began to make the connection to the Dreaming.

The world around her shifted imperceptibly and went out of focus, until all that remained in focus was the chest and Ree. Light seemed to pulse around her and then, the identification began. Little orbs of light, flew in from the insubstantial and lit one by one upon a handle. Each orb then wrapped around the handle, looking for all the world like some sort of sightless worm with a pulsing sting. The worm-like appearance changed quickly, taking the shape of a number in Elvish. Totaling nine in all, they identified the order in which she should pull. Ree reached for each one in turn, wincing at the sharp, painful sting. She always ended up in welts, that looked like bee stings gone bad, and she could feel the sting throughout her whole body. And, then just as suddenly as the welts appeared they disappeared.

Ree breathed through the discomfort and waited. The whole of the cabinet pulsed, then the upper right drawer popped open. The research notes catalog was her first stop and would require hours of meticulous cross-referencing. If she could identify what it was, she could then be more clear on what she hoped to find at the Old One's library. Her parent's notes did not offer ways to solve more complex, magical ailments. They only identified them. Her parent's point of view was "those that tampered with magics should pay the price for doing so. Magic is a cancer upon the world and we must work to eliminate the effects of it." In that, there was an echo of Ree's sentiment - natural balance was important.

Ree brushed aside thoughts of her parents. Now was the time to focus on what ailed Isaac.
A story is like a tapestry; it is never finished until the final thread is sewn.

Profile | Thread Tracking

User avatar
Metarie
Staff
Posts: 1708
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 8:29 pm
Name: Metarie
Race: Elf

Re: Knowing... is half the battle

Post by Metarie » Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:27 pm

Ree took a sip of her wine before turning the cover of the cross-reference manual. Inhaling a breath, she closed her eyes. There was the slight scent of age, acrid ink, candle smoke, and something more subtle. Lingering on the books was a smell Ree could only attribute to her mother. When she was younger, books had been her only friends and her only real connection to the woman who had birthed her.

Analytical, intelligent, skilled, diplomatic, lecturer, rigid – these were words you could use to describe Ree’s parents. Despite her being an elf, in some ways her parents were completely foreign to her. Ree had been raised in a human society and despite inherent elvish traits, Ree was more human than her parents had been. Ree felt guilt at pointing out individuals who broke the law. Some had malicious intent, but most had no control over what they could do. They needed education and acceptance. That human trait could be said for any elf of Marn. The elves of Marn held cultural foundations instilled by their parents and grandparents, but they were Marnian traditions.

As she had interacted more with the children of Marn and seen those parents interact with their children, Ree had developed a need to nurture, to help. This had manifested first in the natural world around her. She unintentionally focused all her energy on the plants in the garden. It was then her parents realized the depth of skill she had. Healing training began in earnest along with her seeking skills. Anatomy was instilled in her mind until she could picture body parts of the most common inhabitants – gnome, elf, human, dwarf – without fail.

Her mother would intone again and again “To fully and accurately heal an injury, one must understand the physiognomy of the individual before seeking to use magic. Even those using healing magics must understand how the parts will knit back together to be effective.” Ree absorbed it all like a sponge. As a healer she could help those in need.

Ree exhaled and opened her eyes, gaze distant as the memories washed over and through her. Dropping her gaze to the book, she began to read.
A story is like a tapestry; it is never finished until the final thread is sewn.

Profile | Thread Tracking

User avatar
Metarie
Staff
Posts: 1708
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 8:29 pm
Name: Metarie
Race: Elf

Re: Knowing... is half the battle

Post by Metarie » Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:01 am

The house was mostly quiet as Ree began to read through the index catalog. Occasionally, the silence was interrupted by the soft tones of a wind chime or the brush of her hand across paper as she made notations for the actual research materials she would need to pull.

The key was to identify the right problem and that was the challenge. Ree first began to map out what she knew, did not know, and her assumptions. She knew Isaac was not from Marn. She assumed he had been mugged. She knew the stain was magic based and was connected directly to his very life essence. Ree made a note, marking it with an "I" for index: magic tied to life essence . This would be one of the items she would look for in the index.

Ree knew Isaac experienced a nose bleed, but its relation to the stain was an unknown. Ree had manifested nosebleeds when over extending herself during healing. The nosebleed was also marked with an "I" for good measure. Isaac had been fine when she had left him to get dressed.


Stain - life essence - nosebleed... Ree stared at the circles and lines she had drawn, letting her mind wander. Frowning she edited her first note, adding the word 'negative' to magic. Was it... a curse?

Ree had never seen a curse before. She would look up descriptors for it. If it were a curse, she wondered why the man had one. Did he know? She looked down at the paper once more. She had unintentionally circled 'Did he know' multiple times until the words were encircled in a dark, dark ring.

Opening the index, Ree quickly scanned through the pages. Once she found the entries, she pushed the chair back and moved once more to the chest of drawers. Index in one hand, she began the opening sequence once more. Ree winced as the barbs pricked and stung her arm. She waited the span of a heartbeat with baited breath. As always, a drawer opened and a book was revealed.

Retrieving the book, she pushed the drawer closed and moved to the couch. Now it was time to read.
A story is like a tapestry; it is never finished until the final thread is sewn.

Profile | Thread Tracking

User avatar
Camulous Smithson
Guardsman
Posts: 209
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2005 12:59 am
Name: Camulous Smithson
Race: Human

Re: Knowing... is half the battle

Post by Camulous Smithson » Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:26 am

After leaving the hospital, it was back to work for the captain. Security concerns regarding Isaac and Alyson were dwarfed by Marn's situation as a whole. Managing that city's safety, striking a balance between hardliners like the judges and more liberal thinkers, was a balancing act Camulous struggled with on a daily basis. While Alyson was significant because of her relationship with Bela, and Willow's presence in the city was a curiosity, he couldn't spend the rest of the day dealing with it. If anything, Willow would make sure his boss was happy, which meant keeping the city safe.

Once out of the hospital, the captain focused on other matters. There were rumors of protests being organized against the wall that was soon to be constructed around the city. The battlemages were in charge of weeding out who, if anyone, was responsible for starting that sort of unrest, but Camulous had to prepare his men for dealing with the inevitable fallout. If the rumors were true, the battlemages wouldn't be able to stop public backlash regardless of what they did. The guard needed to keep their training up, and to be reminded that protests needed to be dealt with carefully lest another massacre happen in the streets.

Executions were down - so much so that public knowledge of them was becoming a rarity - but another outsider had been killed earlier that week and his traveling associates were still being held in for Omenbryn. The citizens didn't know or care about those people. There would be no rabble-rousers calling for their release. And yet he had to figure out what to do with them. Likely they would be released once he was sure they wouldn't come back looking for revenge. He arranged for another week in prison before that decision got made. Hopefully if they thought they were next in line for execution, they would treat their release like a gift, rather than an invitation.

Camulous spent hours on these issues, settling minor disputes and paperwork in between. It wasn't until late in the evening that he had earned more time for himself. He was tired, but he didn't feel like going home. He didn't feel like being alone - daily interactions were conducted with a barrier up between him and everyone else.

The only people he could really talk to were Metarie and Seventri. Both of them were doctors. Maybe that said something about the company he secretly craved. He saw Seven regularly at fort Omenbryn, but they rarely talked after hours. He decided to see if Ree was home.

In regular clothes and with his hat in hand, he made his way through the evening streets to her house and knocked on the door. At least when it was darker out people didn't gawk so much.
Soldiers live.
And wonder why.

User avatar
Metarie
Staff
Posts: 1708
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 8:29 pm
Name: Metarie
Race: Elf

Re: Knowing... is half the battle

Post by Metarie » Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:57 am

The word curse is actually a broad term, applied to any use of astral energies to cause harm to another. Contextually, the curse is an infection of the natural function of an item, place, or individual with this ill-intent. Multiple forms of the curse exist, from minor annoyance to life-threatening. The most common curses are the Jinx or Hex. A jinx typically refers to the more annoying curse, whilst a Hex has greater consequence for the focal point of the Hex. A geas or geasa is a compulsion-based curse. The curse recipient typically must complete a task for the caster in order for the curse to be lifted.

As Cam approached Ree’s house, warm yellow light gleamed through the narrow windows laying a striped pattern across the lawn. A soft breeze lifted the leaves in Ree’s garden and made them rustle. The wind chime murmured back in response in soft, low tones punctuated by the sound of Cam’s shoes on the front stoop.

While using healing arts on an individual, one may diagnose a curse by its colour. Typically, the area affected by the curse appears enveloped in an oily, black miasma. The size and location is indicative of its purpose. As with any infection or injury, a curse can be ‘healed’. This course of action is not recommended, unless one knows the source, intent, and components used in the curse.

So intent was she on her reading, Ree jumped slightly at the knock on her door. She approached the door cautiously, heart-pounding. Peering through the peep hole, Ree smiled sheepishly. A slight flush crept across her cheeks as her heart skipped a little for a different reason.

The locks clicked and Ree opened the door, standing mostly behind it so she was not standing full-on in the doorway in her robe. The headlines she imagined caused the chagrin to make her cheeks burn a little. The soft light from the living room cut a rhomboid shape into the hallway, partially gilding what was visible of her. Hair that was usually pulled back fell in loose waves, now dry. Her left hand curved around the door. The sleeve of her robe slipped down her forearm, pooling at her elbow. When she saw Cam, a happy, welcoming smile lit up her features. Ree tilted her head to the side as she smiled.

“Cam… please… come in.”
A story is like a tapestry; it is never finished until the final thread is sewn.

Profile | Thread Tracking

User avatar
Camulous Smithson
Guardsman
Posts: 209
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2005 12:59 am
Name: Camulous Smithson
Race: Human

Re: Knowing... is half the battle

Post by Camulous Smithson » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:38 am

The captain smiled when he saw her at the door. It was one of his honest smiles - something people didn't get to see from him very often. In the orange-yellow light from her house, standing there without the weight of duty and stature expanding his presence, he looked like a normal man. His clothes were old and of the cheap sort made for peasants in the field, and he still felt a touch of unsureness when approaching Ree on a personal level - something that caused his usual commanding stature to be replaced by one of hesitation.

"Hello Ree," he said. He idled outside her door for a second before accepting her invitation and entering. "I hope you don't mind my showing up. I could use some company."

Camulous saw that she wasn't properly dressed for company. She must have been relaxing. Fortunately she looked like she didn't mind having him over.

"After events at the hospital I didn't have much time to follow up. I haven't heard anything else about Alyson and her friend... I'll have someone find them tomorrow and report to me. How are you? Enjoying your evening?"
Soldiers live.
And wonder why.

User avatar
Metarie
Staff
Posts: 1708
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 8:29 pm
Name: Metarie
Race: Elf

Re: Knowing... is half the battle

Post by Metarie » Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:30 am

“I don’t mind at all. I can use the break.” As she moved to close the door, Ree noticed a piece of paper that had drifted to the side of the front stoop. Stepping onto the stoop, she crouched down and picked it up, careful to keep from showing too much skin as she did so. Stepping back in she shut the door, only to find Cam still idling in the hallway as if he were unsure what to do or where to go. Where he stood put them unintentionally close and facing each other.

Ree gave Cam a smile, trying very hard to keep the high flush of a blush from making her cheeks gleam like apples. She didn’t do as well as she’d hoped. She was too aware of him there and too aware of her complete lack of undergarments. Though she wore her silken robe, she felt completely naked and exposed. The skin beneath her collarbone prickled. He seemed to give off an aura of warmth that filled the space between them. Her body reacted strongly to his presence. Ree looked him in the eyes, common courtesy and sense were arrested for a moment. He was wholly normal, solidly there. In that moment, it felt as if a small jolt ran through her. Ree’s lips parted as she intended to speak, but nothing came out for the span of a half-breath. She licked her lips and tried again.

“Why don’t you have a seat while I go put on something more suitable for company.” Like Cam, Ree was not quite sure how to proceed. She made the suggestion but didn’t really go anywhere. She gave him an uncertain, shy smile. She felt... awkward and ungainly. As she once used to feel when she was younger.
A story is like a tapestry; it is never finished until the final thread is sewn.

Profile | Thread Tracking

User avatar
Camulous Smithson
Guardsman
Posts: 209
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2005 12:59 am
Name: Camulous Smithson
Race: Human

Re: Knowing... is half the battle

Post by Camulous Smithson » Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:25 am

Camulous hadn't come to her place for sex. It was, truthfully, not on his mind when he'd made the decision to go see her. Companionship, someone to talk to and kill time with. Someone who wasn't one of his men, whose only idea of a good time was getting drunk and using his profession as a means to initiate fornication with young ladies. These were things the captain came looking for.

Of course, she did look good in that robe...

"Yes, of course." He deflected the implication of her offer without a second of hesitation. The hesitation came afterward. He looked at her in a way that said he knew what she was thinking, but that the choice was hers.

He let himself in and shut the door after testing it by rocking it back and forth once on its hinges.

"You've done a good job fixing up the place." He said, referring to the damage done after the fight with Idonir. Idonir who still had over a year left guarding the prison cells at fort Omenbryn from the inside.
Soldiers live.
And wonder why.

User avatar
Metarie
Staff
Posts: 1708
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 8:29 pm
Name: Metarie
Race: Elf

Re: Knowing... is half the battle

Post by Metarie » Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:40 am

The intensity of the look Cam returned her surprised and flustered her. Was she supposed to initiate the kiss she thought most dating couples would do upon greeting each other? Is that how things worked? Ree quickly cut her gaze elsewhere as her whole face and even her neck and chest prickled in embarrassment.

She then placed the hand not holding the piece of paper on his shoulder, quickly busked a kiss to Cam’s cheek, and slipped away as smooth as water flowing. Silk brushed against his hand as hers dropped and the scent of her lingered near him for a moment. The change in subject helped ease the awkwardness, some. Ree answered, turning her head to look over her shoulder, as she moved down the hallway.

“Kel helped, he is an excellent metal-worker. I worry, though, that the number of smiths in town are affecting his business."

Ree cast a glance to Cam as she paused at the door to her room, a pause that afforded him the full view of her, from bare feet and legs to loosened hair. She wore a look of shy pride and flashed a little smile.

“I fixed the wall gouges with filler and spackle myself.”

She had been quite pleased with her handy-work, thinking she'd done well to nearly remove the visible damage. The color on her cheeks had subsided, but she still felt a little awkward. “I’ll be just a moment, please feel free to get something to drink. Make yourself at home.”

Once inside the room, Ree leaned her back against the closed door and put her hand to her forehead. Shaking her head, she gave a rueful smile and took a deep breath. The paper crinkled in the grip of her other hand, reminding her of its presence.

“Oh…” Lifting the page up, she read as she moved to her armoire. The page was dirtied and a bit creased, as if it had been cast away. She'd meant to throw it away, but... Her steps slowed as the words began to sink in. It didn't take her long to read through the words.

Citizens,

It is my duty to remind you that this publication is not sanctioned by our darling government. Possession of this publication may result in unfortunate circumstances. Discussion of this publication may also result in unfortunate circumstances. Be discreet, be safe. Loose lips doom the many, not only the one.

--The Editor

Judges Misuse Funds

While merchants wail and those unfortunate enough to dwell within the historical district weep, the Judges have nothing but sneers and chuckles. Plans for the wall around Marn have been quietly accepted, and there have been movements made towards contracting workers and architects for the job -- from outside the city. While this may be acceptable for a wealthy nation with plenty to spare -- the providence of Apthoni in Eyropa comes to mind -- for a city slowly sinking into destitution it is ridiculous.

There are workers here who have been out of work, who would reinvest that bishani here rather than line their pockets with it only to scurry away and spend it somewhere else. Marn has its poor, but they are swept out of the way so as to give the impression that the city isn't turning into a crumbling set of ruins with only a memory of the booming opulence that has since gone westward and eastward or anywhere not in Thar Shaddin. Perhaps it is only ego and not sheer incompetence. This writer has yet to be convinced, as there has yet not been any explanation as to why Marn even needs a wall.

When was the last time Marn was attacked? Not in my memory. As far as any of us know the last major violence to occur was during the Great Riots, and that was internal. Yes folks, that's right: the only time the citizens dared to speak up they were efficiently and brutally struck down and told to remain silent.

So when you see scaffolding go up around the city, and new and foreign faces in the streets do not be surprised or dismayed: the Judges are just taking care of us, the worst way they know how.

City Guard Arrogance and Ineptitude

Arrogance in the Guard isn't new: one look at their Captain and it's a surprise they're not more half-assed and careless than they already are. But this isn't new to anyone with eyes, but what is new is the disquieting resurgence of attacks against travelers. That isn't terribly surprising -- despite claims to honor there is a decidedly uncaring attitude towards those not endearingly and obviously partisan towards Marn herself -- but it does spell trouble. Tough times have fallen upon many business keepers, with incidents coming thick and fast enough that even a competent set of Guards would have difficulty keeping up with it, so when newcomers to the city are immediately beset by the law keepers what would they think about living in Marn itself?

They wouldn't. They'd focus on getting out as fast as possible. Then they would focus about telling anyone else who might come to Marn to settle down to stay as far away from it as possible. Any city with corrupted guards running rampant doesn't exactly attract new settlers.

The Guard is, of course, not doing anything obvious about this problem. It might be reassuring that they are able to settle things discreetly, except for the fact that often investigations are so quiet that suspects and those likely innocent all disappear without a word. Then, as so often happens, nothing more occurs and the same crimes and injustices continue to go on, and harmless reporters from The Tattler who ask harmless questions get pushed into the dirt by the very Captain himself, after which he goes to visit his girlfriend while he is on duty.

No, members of the Guard, you aren't required to tell the citizens anything. You don't need to tell us that the murders and illicit, dangerous drug trafficking is incredibly high and you can't do anything to stop it. You don't need to tell us that you're busy beating up innocent civilians and travelers for an extra bishan or two. You don't even need to tell us that you don't have that murderous blue Gizmo creature under control. Because, at the end of the day, we know. We know, and we can't do anything to stop you except stand idly by and watch our beloved city die a slow and agonizing death.

You likely knew that too, though, since that is exactly what you are doing.

City Watchers

Dear citizens, be advised that it is currently vogue for certain zealous individuals within this city to spy and report on their fellows for personal gain with the government of Marn. They see fit for themselves to report on any number of innocuous things that are likely to be incredibly benign. They are taken seriously. The volume of cases at the Justice Hall have increased dramatically, and what's more is that many people who go into that building never come out again.

It is very likely that the rumors of hearing muted screaming around those premises are not exaggerated, or rumors at all.

Marn does not have to be the scourge of Pal Tahrenor, but with the Judges looking the other way from Kaledin Manor and its terrible Master (one might even suspect they encourage whatever monstrous activities go on there) and tickled pink with the idea of citizens doing the Guard's job for them, it is likely to remain this way.

It is up to us to remain sane in the face of these atrocities.

Daimons bless you all.


As if Marn needed more of such things… Ree was conflicted. The content was obviously slanted, but what if there was a grain of truth? She was also angered that anyone thought Cam actually visited her at the hospital while he was on duty. Mouth in a straight line, Ree tossed the page on the bed and moved to the armoire. Leggings and a short sleeved tunic were comfort-wear around the house and quickly pulled on. Catching up the page, Ree exited her room and crossed into the kitchen. The paper was tossed onto the kitchen table as she looked to see where Cam had settled.
A story is like a tapestry; it is never finished until the final thread is sewn.

Profile | Thread Tracking

User avatar
Camulous Smithson
Guardsman
Posts: 209
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2005 12:59 am
Name: Camulous Smithson
Race: Human

Re: Knowing... is half the battle

Post by Camulous Smithson » Sun May 01, 2011 6:51 am

The kiss on his cheek was well received. He felt it was appropriate. Whatever he felt for her, he was a guy of stoic demeanor and stern emotions. More simple ways of showing appreciation were always welcome.

"If the smiths want to become guards, I hear its a shoe-in for making captain."

He smiled at her when she looked at him and let her know with his eyes that just because a kiss on the cheek was all he wanted right now, it wasn't because he wouldn't want her later.

"You make a fine spackler. They should all have your curves."

Once she was gone, the captain paced the room quietly, trying to find some way to busy himself while politely respecting her privacy. The same feeling as before was there; her place was too nice, too delicate, and too clean for someone like him. It made him feel like a dog that had just come in from playing in the dirt, despite the fact that he had cleaned up before coming.

He peered out her window for a little while, though he couldn't see much interesting this time of day. A few more rounds of pacing, looking but not touching the various items she had around, and he eventually sat himself in a chair to wait.

"What is it?" he said when he caught sight of her returning with a different expression.
Soldiers live.
And wonder why.

User avatar
Metarie
Staff
Posts: 1708
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 8:29 pm
Name: Metarie
Race: Elf

Re: Knowing... is half the battle

Post by Metarie » Wed May 11, 2011 3:28 am

“Oh…” Ree huffed a soft sigh through her nose and her mouth settled in a straight line. Cam had settled into one of the kitchen chairs instead of on the couch. Ree was only slightly surprised.

“This… this trash.” She gestured at the page. “It must have blown into my yard. I picked it up, intending to throw it away and ended up reading it while I got dressed.” Ree shook her head and moved as she spoke. Reaching into the cupboard, she pulled down an extra wine glass then moved to her desk to bring the bottle and glass she had there to the kitchen table. Ree poured wine for both she and Cam.

Taking up her glass, she said, “Apparently, Marn has more than one news forum to its credit. Unfortunately, the content is reminiscent of more troubling times and the author appears to be quite biased. I especially do not like where the author alleges you are doing anything other than work when you are on duty. Anyone who has met you, knows better."

This comment was followed by an incline of her head, a small smile, and a little lift of her glass. "To our Captain of the Guards."
A story is like a tapestry; it is never finished until the final thread is sewn.

Profile | Thread Tracking

User avatar
Camulous Smithson
Guardsman
Posts: 209
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2005 12:59 am
Name: Camulous Smithson
Race: Human

Re: Knowing... is half the battle

Post by Camulous Smithson » Mon May 30, 2011 6:34 am

Camulous smiled at the open compliment. He was accustomed to receiving strong remarks from both sides of the spectrum.

"A biased author in one of our good local papers? I find that highly unlikely." His humor was so dry it was impossible to tell he was being sarcastic by tone alone. "It has always been like that in this business. There aren't many Marnians who sit on the fence about it. Either they respect me and the job I do, or they hate me and want me gone. I try to listen to the legitimate complaints but in the end they'd do nothing but drive me insane if I listened to all of them."

He got out of his seat enough to snatch the paper while she was getting their wine. A cursory glance was all he needed to catch the gist of it. He knew some of it was true.

He raised his glass with hers and smiled again. "To the Inept Captain and his friends."

After taking a sip, he couldn't help but talk about it. "The judges will be after whoever wrote this anyway. They can say what they want about me - my men would only beat them up if they found out - but if the judges catch the author of this, they'll be wishing they'd left the part about public funds out."

"Every time I hear a complaint about wielding too much authority against the people, another underground gathering of mages or... whoever wrote this... pops up."
Soldiers live.
And wonder why.

User avatar
Metarie
Staff
Posts: 1708
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 8:29 pm
Name: Metarie
Race: Elf

Re: Knowing... is half the battle

Post by Metarie » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:25 am

The humor may have been dry, but the sarcasm was not lost on her. Ree just shook her head slightly in agreement – both for his comment on people’s opinions and on the judge’s approach. She made a face, sticking out her tongue at him.

“I don’t really approve of your men beating up citizens, Cam, but you know that. We’ve gone ‘round and ‘round about it over the years. I commend their loyalty, but I’ll say it again – beating your naysayers won’t help change anything. It just reiterates the opinion.”

She sighed and reached for the paper, letting her fingers rest on it. Ree looked troubled. Perhaps she was too kind, too idealistic. Unlike Cam, Ree radiated her emotions. She was expressive. One knew where they stood with her.

“What worries me is that people feel the need to write such things. What you say is true, but.. it is true because people are feeling the stress of our economy and feel as if they have no control over what is done to them or their families? I am also worried because the people I see on a regular basis- hardworking, good people will get the brunt should some upset occur. The last time such a thing happened, it was dressed up as “for the good of the people,” but it was only “for the good of a few.”

Ree looked at Cam. “I have had more people come in from overdoses of intoxicants and the toxicology is fabricated not natural. Some, I haven’t been able to .. help.” Ree paused, the word left unspoken – save – lay heavy on her conscience. She took another sip of wine.

“I’ve also had more people come in who have been mugged in the streets. When I encourage them to file a report, they decline and look away from me. And, now this.” She pushed the paper and leaned forward, to rest her chin on her palm.

“What are you seeing? Is there anything we can or should do? What do you think?”
A story is like a tapestry; it is never finished until the final thread is sewn.

Profile | Thread Tracking

User avatar
Camulous Smithson
Guardsman
Posts: 209
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2005 12:59 am
Name: Camulous Smithson
Race: Human

Re: Knowing... is half the battle

Post by Camulous Smithson » Wed Jul 13, 2011 5:24 am

Camulous shrugged when it came to his men's habit of physically abusing dissenters. It was unprofessional of them - he knew that. They got reprimanded for it. But they had the task of being not only a police force but an army. Soldiers had their own way of dealing with things.

"You're welcome to lecture them on the pitfalls of their strategy." He said in jest. They wouldn't lay a hand on her, both because of her social position, her gender, and her relationship with him. He imagined her scolding them like children.

The rest of what she said took the smile off his face. He didn't like the endemic corruption he knew existed in certain influential circles of Marnian society, nor did he like the heretical undertones of what she was saying. He knew how she felt already - he just wished she would suppress those feelings.

It took him some time to compile his thoughts.

"I see a strong city with a dark side that keeps it alive. I see people living in freedom and safety and I see a few of those people squander what they have by giving in to their weaknesses.

"I see a thief and a drug dealer stabbed by his neighbor and claiming he was mugged. And my men charge headlong to protect the same people who wrote this article, defending them from things that would eat them alive, all so they can get this sort of thanks."

He frowned and stared her in the eyes.

"We have a little over a century before this world turns upside down. We're doing well and I'm proud of what we've accomplished. We're safe here, and no army, no monsters from across the plain can reach us because we're so strong. The people need to be reminded of that. They need to read the tomes."
Soldiers live.
And wonder why.

Locked