View Full Version : News That Changes Everything (Emyr/Victor/Open, 2/4, afternoon)
01-17-2011, 07:47 PM
Victor sat behind the desk of the office he’d been given in the guest wing. Months away from home and the piles of work became tedious to do outside his own castle. Still, there were letters to read and to write. He’d heard nothing from Lord Althalos, he worried about Lord Ashpool, and he found Matthias’ departure from Solbra interesting, although no threat. Word had come that trouble was brewing in Tocken and the King was angry about Althalos.
He’d sent word ahead to Trista that they would arrive sometime in March. He planned to remain only as long as courteous after Christopher’s wedding. And then there was the matter of Sommara Sterlyn. He’d already been informed that she had indeed gone missing. A pity, but of no matter to him.
He finished off the last letter for the day. Although it was early, he needed to prepare himself for the wedding ceremony to come that day. With the union, Christopher would cement his place as province lord. Where the man had once been an upstart annoyance, now he was a power player. The question in Victor's mind, was which side he would ultimately play to. His thoughts were interrupted when his steward, Patrick entered the room.
“My Lord, Lord Swift is here to speak with you. He says it is of importance.”
Victor rose. “Show him in, then.” House Swift had always been loyal and dedicated and Emyr would not waste him time with unimportant trivialities. Victor trusted the men who backed him. If the man had news, he had news. Victor poured two glasses of brandy and waited for his guest to arrive.
01-17-2011, 08:19 PM
Lesser men might have been nervous. They might have some sort of grief swelling in their chests, even with such a brief connection someone who had died. But Emyr felt nothing. Oh, sure, his face was plastered with concern. But it was as much as mask as the face he wore when accepting lackluster gifts from his subjects. Truthfully, Emyr couldn't have cared less about Odelia's murder, other than the worrying thought of lax security measures that could exploited against him, or Victor, as well. He certainly wouldn't sleep well tonight, if they stayed. Which was likely.
"Lord Swift?" Emyr looked up and saw Patrick. "Lord Castell will see you now." Emyr nodded.
"Thank you, Steward." He hesitated the briefest moment before making his way forward into Victor's offices. He saw his liege standing there and he bowed slightly, not wanting to be overly formal when such news was his to deliver.
"My Lord. Lady Odelia was found dead this morning in her bed. Word has it that a Mallory soldier committed the deed, judging by the pieces of cloth left at the scene."
01-18-2011, 10:03 PM
A momentary look of shock flashed through Victor’s eyes before he caught himself. “That was not what I was expecting to hear this morning. Instead of a wedding, we’ll be attending a funeral.” He lifted his glass of brandy and passed the other to Emyr.
“So the Mallory guard killed Odelia and left enough evidence to hang himself. Seems far too obvious.” There were more details to be sorted, and he would need to see Christopher soon. Immediately. “What else do you know?” he asked, before taking a long drink of the Brandy. There had to be more details than simply a cloth on the floor.
“Wait,” he spoke, moving to the hall where Patrick waited. “Patrick, there is a killer on the loose. I want my sister and wife under closer watch. Ariana and Blanche as well. Until we sort out who would so blatantly kill the lady of the province, I want no chances taken.” Patrick nodded and left to find the captian.
Returning to Emyr, Victor nodded. “Continue.”
01-19-2011, 02:54 PM
Emyr took the drink and took a quick sip as his lord spoke. It was certainly possible that the evidence was left there to throw the trail off of the real killer...but Emyr was never one to fully dismiss pure stupidity. He had seen too many otherwise smart men make bad decisions to assume the best of anyone. He sloshed the brandy about in the glass carefully as Victor slipped into the hall for a moment. When he returned Emyr began again.
"Whoever the attacker was, he left his seed between her legs. And the room, all in all, was quite a sight. The word 'traitor' was carved into the headboard, her stomach was marred with the word 'whore', and graffiti in the room carried the message 'Ursai slut.' Her neck was deeply bruised, probably from being choked, and her arms were tied to the headboard." He took another sip of the brandy and frowned slightly.
01-19-2011, 09:24 PM
Emyr’s ability to deliver such a message without a shred of emotion was one of the reasons Victor liked the man so much. Politics was business. Religion was business. The killing was a message clearly a message for one or the other, a message perhaps for Mallory himself. Victor doubted the man had much to do with the girl’s death. Mallory’s best political move have been securing the match. If the killer had been a Mallory, then it would have been someone displeased by the union or perhaps Odelia’s religion.
He downed the rest of his brandy and set down the glass. “Come with me. We need to assess immediately how this incident might affect Mallory’s relationship with the crown.” He headed into the hallway, simply expecting Emyr to follow. Victor wasn’t one to waste time with obivous commands.
“We will find Mallory and then see to the King and his take on things. I’m sure the man is busy mourning, but he needs to keep himself afloat.” Mallory could sink or swim, but Victor wanted to be in the know. Svavel’s long boarder with Ovadar was never far from his mind when it came to the future.
They stepped in the grand hall and then headed for the wing that housed Mallory’s private offices. Servants and guards were everywhere, as though the entire wing was on lock down. Victor didn’t care. When some Mallory guard tried to stop him and Emyr he simply glared. “Lord Victor Castell here to speak with Lord Mallory, immediately.”
01-19-2011, 09:50 PM
The family gathering was over, the day going by much too fast… And he was still waiting to wake up from it all. But somehow he was walking at a slow pace behind his cousin who right now seemed to be his rock. Were he not so far gone, he might have seen Edmond crumbling as well. Not as profoundly, to be sure, but there were sure signs. But Christopher was not in his right mind and he was hardly attentive enough to notice anybody else’s pain right now. In fact, he was hardly attentive enough to notice that Edmond had stopped walking, and he would have slammed right into him if his cousin had not the foresight to turn and take hold of his shoulder.
The servant he had not noticed bowed his head in front of him and said quickly, “Lord Castell is here to see you, my lord.”
Christopher nearly fell against the wall. He did not have the energy to deal with him right now. Or anybody. But against his will and every part of him that screamed to just keep walking and ignore what the servant had just said, he whispered, “Bring him here, then.”
He looked at Edmond meaningfully, standing up straighter but knowing that right now it was not his own strength that could be relied on. He was likely to snap at any moment, the shock of her death still mollifying him quite a bit. He had no way of knowing what would set him off, and Lord Castell happened to have a talent for find that button.
01-19-2011, 09:53 PM
Edmond held his tongue, waiting for the servant to turn to fetch Victor. When they seemed at least a little alone, Edmond turned to Christopher to say, “You don’t have to play host to him right now if you don’t want to, cousin. I’m sure he’d understand if you didn’t see him.” But he knew as well as Christopher knew that Victor was not the type to take ‘no’ for an answer. Edmond just worried how the lord of snakes would try to turn this to his advantage. For how long had the man tried to be a thorn in their sides?
And then it occurred to Edmond that this really might change everything. The alliances that had been made… Everything Christopher had worked for. Now was not the time to let petty differences come between them. He would have to speak for Christopher on behalf of everything the Mallorys had strived to achieve. Even though his cousin was too upset to fight for the family, Edmond was not.
01-21-2011, 02:42 PM
While they waited, Victor turned to Emyr, his voice low. “Assess him. I want to know if you believe he’d have done this to his betrothed. Or anyone else who walks into the room. Regardless, I have every belief the King will look for easy fault within House Mallory, and I want us both ready to oppose him.” Victor looked up to see the servant returning.
“Lord Mallory is this way,” the servant told both men as he approached again. He led both Victor and Emyr into a small parlor where Christopher and his cousin waited. One look was all Victor needed to see that Chris was upset by the death. But then, whether he was or not, Victor would have expected nothing less. To not mourn would have been an immediate sign of guilt.
He took a seat and looked at the other Lord. “My banner, Lord Emyr Swift, informed me of the incident, Lord Mallory. And while I’m sure you don’t wish to speak politics right now, your future depends on it. Let us say, that for the moment, both you and I don’t believe you had anything to do with this.”
His way of offering aid, if Mallory wanted to take it.
01-22-2011, 05:10 PM
Emyr wordlessly followed his Lord, not bothering to finish his brandy. He would need to be sure to remain sharp today. He hadn't really expected for Victor to bring him along for his political meetings in this situation. A clever dinner conversation was one thing, but what was seeming to be the manipulation of a Lord grieving his betrothed? It just hadn't occurred to Emyr that Victor would desire his presence. Not that he was one to argue. Being in this political maelstrom was going to be interesting, to say the least.
When his Lord asked him to assess the men they were about to meet, he quickly nodded and whispered, "As you wish." He then followed the servant as silently as before and bowed his head slightly in the presence of the Mallorys, careful to keep his wide blue eyes on their faces, watching for any slight betrayal of motive against Odelia. He doubted either of them had after a brief glance, but he wasn't one to jump to conclusions. He would need more evidence either way before he would decide if either had a hand in the death.
01-23-2011, 12:57 AM
Christopher swallowed hard, passed the lump in his throat that he couldn’t stop from forming time and time again. He crossed the parlor to sit just as Victor had, trying to compose himself, to get the wits he normally needed when he spoke to Victor. But… his mind was not working that way right now. So, when Victor immediately dove into politics, Christopher grimaced and put a hand to his temple, looking quickly to Edmond for some help. He realized how this made him look… Weak. Extremely weak… And Castell would eat him alive for it.
But Victor’s last words had him blinking in surprise, and his brown eyes quickly flashed back to his. “I believe my future to be in more peril than your tone suggests… But then, I don’t suppose you have any more reason to care other than the fact that for now I am the man who you call neighbor. It is… truly a comfort to hear you do not believe me capable of such things. Unfortunately for myself and my family… there are others who for some reason believe I am a man capable of…” He couldn’t finish. There were no words to correctly describe what to call Odelia’s murder.
“Right now my focus, Lord Castell, is to find the person or people responsible for her death. I will not rest until I have hanged every single one of them. Or worst. So, unless you have come to offer your aid in capturing the foes… I cannot imagine the sort of politics you would wish to discuss. If it is a matter of alliances… Unless you are now opposed to the marriages that would tie our families together, I have no reason to oppose them either. Unless you want to make a foe of me, Lord Castell, you will not find an enemy to your West.” He didn’t have time to war with Victor… He had people to find and kill.
01-23-2011, 01:00 AM
Edmond inwardly groaned. Christopher was saying too much… His mental filter obviously not in place right now.
“My Lord Castell… I understand the importance of this conversation, but perhaps in the morning?” But Christopher seemed content to keep going, and Edmond, though he knew he should step in and stop him was all too used to just letting Christopher man the reigns. Besides… it was not as if he was saying anything that wasn’t common knowledge. The Mallory name was in peril… And Christopher was seeking to enact justice and clear their name. But that last bit… the part about not being their foe… Wasn’t that exactly what they were? Was that not why Christopher and Victor were always verbally dancing with one another, trying to take the lead at any given point?
Maybe now Christopher realized there was something more valuable than being the lord with the bigger sword.
01-23-2011, 04:16 PM
“It would not do to wait Lord Edmond. You and I both know that as soon as Mason Lennox hears about what happens here, he will not care who is to blame as long as someone takes the fall. And Odelia was to be in the care of House Mallory.”
Christopher was clearly in shock, and clearly rambling. He would, for all purposes, make an easy target if Victor desired. But this could the rift that wounded Sterlyn and Mallory relations, and Victor would not pass up the opportunity to strike at Alrik. “I have no reason to change the marriage alliances between our family. Even if I were not certain you did not commit these crimes, one look at you now is convincing enough. No, I’m here to speak with you now, because if you are to out last Alrik Sterlyn and Mason Lennox, you will need my help and that of the men I trust. I have no desire to watch Alrik place another of his lackey’s in Svavel.”
He nodded to Emyr. “This is Lord Emyr Swift, of Gaerna, one of the most loyal houses in my lands. I have asked him to join us because he has the ability both to read people and determine what might swing their opinions. That and you are not in the right frame of mind to play word games with the King. Even Lord Edmond is clearly distressed, while we have no love for anything House Lennox.”
01-24-2011, 02:23 AM
Christopher just stared at him. There were no words that came to him at first. Just… an odd appreciation for this slippery man. Trustworthy…? Even in his state, he knew that Victor was far from friendly… But right now… Christopher would accept his offer, make a deal with whatever devil he played today, and hope for the best.
“It would seem, Lord Castell, that not for the first time you and I have found common ground.” Svavel would be doomed if Alrik chose somebody else. At least, that’s how Christopher saw it. A new lord would seek to undo all of the progress Christopher had already made… And just thinking of that was enough to light a fire beneath him. He would not let somebody take everything he worked so hard for away from him.
He nodded to Emyr but did not vocalize a greeting. He felt a bitter sting when Victor spoke against House Lennox, but it was merely out of respect and love for Odelia… She was clearly the only Lennox worth a damn, the best thing that had come from Devin Lennox. “I thank you both then for your help.” But what would Victor ask for in return?
02-06-2011, 03:34 PM
“Good. When the King comes, and I know he will, I will ensure him that last night you and I met well into the eve, drinking brandy and speaking of how we will quell the disturbances at our borders. Lord Ayala has gone crazy, with the loss of his sister, and I don’t see him keeping the area under as much control as I’d like. You have a new lord there, so together we needed to come a plan to keep mutual peace. It is partly true,” He and Chris has seen each other the night before, “And while the King and I are not on the best of terms, he knows better than to call me a liar to my face.”
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