Author Topic: A surprising visitor...  (Read 3093 times)

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Nyra

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A surprising visitor...
« on: December 22, 2007, 10:52:28 AM »
Nyra walked through the long stone hallway towards her private chambers. Navigating the great stone cathedral that was the Temple of Talon may seem like a daunting, even maddening task, but for one who had lived in it for as long as Nyra it was a dull and everyday sort of event. She had already overseen the deliverance of that days sermon and was ready to return to her private studies. As usual, Steven was following at her heel like a lap dog. Steven was the head alter boy, a position which traditionally enjoyed the privilege of serving the High Chaplain\'s every need. He was a young man of about 14 years who had joined the church after not being adopted as an orphan, Nyra sympathized with him even if he was a bumbling, nervous fool.

"Your Grace?", he piped up.

"Yes my child?", Nyra answered uninterestedly.

"Will you be taking visitors this afternoon?", he inquired.

"No Steven, I am not to be disturbed. Do you understand?", she asked sternly. Still walking forward and not looking at him.

"Yes Your Grace, no one will darken you doorstep this day or may Talon take me in my sleep."

"Be careful with your words my child. You may just get your wish."

Steven gulped as they arrived at Nyra\'s chambers. She dismissed him and entered. Her chambers were a group of large, lavish studies and libraries where she conducted her work. This was where Nyra spent her favorite time. Away from the indulgent and ever-so-willing-to-please nobles, and the ever-so-desperate-for-salvation church goers. She walked over to her large mahogany desk and sat down. There was a large portrait of her adopted father, Martin Senyal, once a high-ranking church official hanging over her on the wall. In it he was smiling and looking as cheerful as he ever did, the portrait stood as a constant reminder of her sorely missed patron. As Nyra began to work, there was a knock on her door. She stood up and suppressed a sigh. She turned around to yell at Steven.

"Steven, I told you not to bring me any... Oh it\'s you."

Offline Kysis

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Re: A surprising visitor...
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2007, 06:34:29 AM »
Lystra had been shifty during the service today, unable to sit still, which was unusual for her.  There were other things on her mind.  The sermon slid through one ear and back about the other, without a piece of it sticking within her head.  No matter.  Most services were the same, with a few words changed here and there.  With how long Lystra had been attending, it was more a chore than a pleasure to listen.  Most things were a chore now.  Like today.

As soon as the service was over, Lystra cleared out with the others, but she did not go far.  Her servants made sure she was fed, and had a warm place to wait.  They were running around like frantic ants that had just watched their comrades drown.  Oh wait, they just had, without the drowning part, and in singular rather than a plural.  Lystra let a twist of a smile touch her lips at that thought, fanning herself leisurely as they continued to bustle about, frightened, their heads downcast and apologies softly exiting them every time they even neared her.

At least they had gotten the message this time.

Snapping her wrist sharply, her fan swung shut, the harsh, whip-like noise causing her servants to jump.  Lystra let a soft, though not at all humor filled, laugh tumble from her painted lips, standing in a slow, deliberately feline motion.  It was time.  Lystra walked with her head held high, frigid eyes barely even flicking over the people she passed.  It was not hard to find the altar boy.  Lystra recognized him immediately, and asked him in an almost purring voice if she could be taken to the High Chaplain.  

Soon her demand (Lystra never made requests) was fulfilled, the Lady being led quickly through the halls of the maze-reminiscent cathedral.  The pace did not bother her in the least.  If the altar boy had gone any slower, she would be irritated.  But soon the door was open, Lystra let in.  As soon as she was recognized, she placed her usual, fake but greeting smile on her lips, eyes darting over though her head did not move as the door clicked shut.

“High Chaplain Vensois, it is a pleasure to see you today.”  Lady Maracatte’s voice was always low, almost a coo, and that was the way she liked it.  She waited patiently before the door, listening for the invitation to sit, which always came.  This was not her first time in Talon’s religious facilities, nor was it her first time talking to someone in the upper ranks.  Lystra had talked to them many times about quiet funerals for her servants who had the unfortunate luck of falling prey to an accident.  Thus far, those she had spoken with were more than glad to help, and willing to keep silent on the matter.

Lystra was hoping for the same here, now.
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
Fenwick Baldor (Song, wine, and a bit of trouble),
Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)

Nyra

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Re: A surprising visitor...
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2007, 07:54:57 AM »
Nyra put on her best insincere smile, one reserved exclusively for nobles she didn\'t care for. She had never really met Lady Maracatte, but had known of her and her exploits for some time. Martin had always taught Nyra to give people the benefit of the doubt, but when meeting new aristocrats she found it difficult not to assume they were conniving and self serving. Not that Nyra wasn\'t at all like that herself, though she\'d never admit it.

"Lady Maracatte, it is good to finally meet you. Please, have a seat."

Nyra\'s subordinates had been telling her stories of Lystra\'s dealings with them, the quiet funerals, the burials. It made Nyra worry about corruption among her ranks. The only reason Nyra tolerated it was because, as servants of Talon, she and her priests had a duty to the dead. Regardless of the mysterious circumstances of their deaths. But this hardly explained Maracatte\'s presence there.

"Steven!", she called out. The boy ran in, tripping over a chair and displaying all the grace of a drunken soldier singing war songs on a bar table.

"Yes Your Grace?", he stammered.

"Bring Lady Maracatte and I some tea. Make sure it is hot today please."

"Yes Your Grace, at once.", he said as he left to fetch the tea.

"So, My Lady, what can this humble priest do for you?", she said, still keeping up her fake smile, "I hope no more of your servants have suffered accidents?"

Offline Kysis

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Re: A surprising visitor...
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2007, 02:25:46 AM »
Flicking her wrist, the fan slid open again, beating air lightly at Lystra as she walked gracefully forward.  She took a seat, the way she moved into it, legs crossed the moment her posterior was upon the cushion, gave the impression of a snake, coiling for attack.  Anyone who knew the rumors would see such an allusion.  Of course, Lystra was not sure exactly how much the High Chaplain knew, though from the comment she made once her little servant boy (altar boy, but still) ran off, it seemed she at least knew something.  If only she had a little more influence, those who spoke would no longer have tongues to do so.

But that was just a pleasant musing which stayed in her head.  No need to speak them aloud.

“And you know me too well already.”  Lystra’s voice remained the same cool tone it always did.  It was not aloof, very aware actually, but frigid in a way that lacked any notion of compassion.  That was the way Lystra always spoke, even when angered.  There were very few instances in which she broke face, this instance not one of them. “But I would never trouble you with such a menial matter.  I planned on speaking to one of your underlings later, anyway.”

Yes, part of the reason she was at Talon’s lovely cathedral was the fact that one of her servants had a nasty fall from the ladder while tending to her bookshelves, or at least that was the story she would tell when it came time.  The little wretch had been trying to steal from her, had somehow found out where she kept a hidden box of money, up there on the top shelf, behind the religious texts (which she never read).  Lystra had caught him in the act.  That was that.

There was something else though, Lystra keeping her voice smooth, tainted thinly with venom, as she continued on with her intentions, “It is about my mother.  She is not doing so well and we were wondering if perhaps you could speak at her funeral?”  The way Lystra talked was as if it was nothing more important than gossip, beneath her, mundane.  It was like it was not her mother who was about to die.  It showed exactly how much she felt for the woman.  They had never been close anyway.

“She always loved your sermons, after all.”
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
Fenwick Baldor (Song, wine, and a bit of trouble),
Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)

Nyra

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Re: A surprising visitor...
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2007, 08:29:57 AM »
"Oh, how awful," Nyra said, "I\'m so sorry to hear that your mother isn\'t in good health."

She was bothered by the lack of emotion that Lady Maracatte displayed. The truth was, whether Lystra knew it or not, Nyra had always been fond of Lady Elena, as she was fond of all of the most devout practitioners. She was saddened to hear of her deterioration.

"But, if Talon wills it, then so it must be. I\'m sure He has a plan for your mother. Those who attend so often and follow the scripture so perfectly earn a special place in His heart."

As Nyra thought about the poor woman, probably lying at home in bed, wasting away, without a soul to comfort her, she came to the realization that Elena\'s death may not be part of Talon\'s plan after all. Perhaps it was the plan of some lesser being, a relative who wants a burdensome elder out of the way perhaps. But it was not for Nyra to accuse people of such things.

"I would of course be happy to say a few words at Lady Elena\'s funeral. In fact, if isn\'t to much trouble, I should like to see her one more time before her passing. If it wouldn\'t put you out."

As Nyra finished saying this, Steven returned with the tea. He laid it carefully on the table between them.

"Here you are Your Grace," he said, pouring Nyra a cup, he turned to Lystra, "Would you care for some tea Ma\'am?"

Offline Kysis

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Re: A surprising visitor...
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2007, 12:44:03 AM »
Lystra listened carefully, noting how the High Chaplain actually gave two coppers about her mother.  Hmmm.  Interesting.  It seemed her mother must have drowned away any of her personal pain with religion, attended a far more strict regimen than Lystra or her father, who generally went to the same services, but kept to opposite ends of the room.  Despite their similarities, there was still a level of animosity there which could never be quelled.

Carefully she considered if her mother should have a visitor, even if it was not her final decision which would count.  No, it was her father’s will whether or not the dying mother had any company, Lystra’s opinion only the first door to cross.  Now, if only her father who follow quickly, seeing as he was the older of the two…

But such pleasing thoughts were cut off by the boy returning with the tea.  It felt like it had been forever.  Lystra closed her fan, laying it neatly on her lap before giving a low yes, not even looking at the altar boy as he poured a cup and handed it to her.  Lystra held the cup, not taking any sip from it yet, just letting the scent waft up towards her.  She would let the High Chaplain drink some first.  Lystra hardly trusted anyone, especially with how some of the lower ranks operated in secret (which was probably her fault, but still).

“She might do for some company.  Such a visit would have to be approved by my father.  He’s never been fond of guests.”  Lystra watched the High Chaplain with keen, cold eyes, judging.  There was a touch more compassion in the woman than she would have imagined.  Some of the lower ranks were so gloom and doom that no one could imagine getting salvation from them.  Lystra liked that mentality better.  Those kinds of people did not question what exactly it was she was doing behind closed doors.  All Lystra had to say was Talon had a plan for all those dead servants, and they would mutter apologies, the whole subject would be dropped— but the High Chaplain was not one of these.  Pity.

Lystra still had to see one of the lower ranks about a quiet little burial, too.  At least she had already gotten the High Chaplain on to speak at her mother’s funeral.  With such a respected figure of the church present, no one would question what sort of circumstances could kill what had been a healthy woman.  That was perfect, actually.  Her father might actually thank her for once.
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
Fenwick Baldor (Song, wine, and a bit of trouble),
Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)