An Envoy and Introductions

Re: An Envoy and Introductions

Postby Tolleson » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:11 pm

Oh she found him infuriating too. Although Glenn had claimed an intent to return, the way Genny saw it was that she had been forced, out of sheer necessity, to rescue her friend from Razasan where he seemed content to rot in exile. Sending dreary letters that chronicled his youth, folly, and failures. It was depressing literature that was heartening at times but primarily gave her cause for concern.

Of course it was nothing like that, or at least, not the whole of the matter. With it’s glittering buildings, court drama, and chic fashion, rotting in Razasan was a welcome fate for a good number of socialites and the noble-ish youths of her childhood. Understanding motivations was part of her job as an Inquisitor, but even then, aspiring to a gilded cage was hard to reconcile. Razasan did have some of the loveliest cages; though none with the proper furnishings, if such worldly objects even existed, to tempt that man. Hence, why she had come knocking at his door unannounced and all but dragged him from the piles of letters and madness. For these reasons it was reasonable to any onlooker that her motivations for embarking on such a journey could be thought of as too drastic and easily misunderstood for something more intimate.

At least in Myrken she could keep an eye on him.

As for how Glenn and the raven’s mistress could talk all night, Genny nodded as her smile returned to a more gentle line, a knowing, agreeing expression that held no exasperation, though it surely could have. She knew well enough what Glenn was like, appreciated it even, but also didn’t seem a bit bothered by the notion of him staying up all night in the company of this woman.

“Sometimes,” was her only reply to the inquiry about her conversations with Glenn, and as it was probably becoming apparent to Benedict, she too had a penchant for talking. Though hers was more a realm of questions.

“Talking suits you well, though I suppose your lady values the listening,” for once in their conversation she had relaxed enough to let free the full thought. She was evaluating him just as much as he was evaluating her. “You do not read,” she was taken aback at the admission. “What if I lacked the capacity; would you merely relay the content verbally?”

Perhaps the lady did not have any illiterate recipients. As far as Genny could tell, this lady, likely the one Gloria had warned her about, had come to know Glenn in Razasan. The same Razasan that was known for it’s haughty elite, it’s masquerades, it’s fine dresses and dining, and wealth. And most of the rich could read and write in one, or several dozen languages.

The thought occurred to her then that if she intended to reply by letter she would need to do so immediately, while Benedict waited, in order for him to take the letter back to his mistress. Daryl was a wonderful messenger, but he wouldn’t know where to find her.

“Am I meant to read your delivery now?” Perhaps he would find her dense for asking a question with such an obvious answer. But missives by messenger could be read over tea and biscuits, reviewed, throughly answered, and sent in reply days later. How on earth was she meant to summon a raven to submit a reply?
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Re: An Envoy and Introductions

Postby Niabh » Thu Sep 26, 2019 3:47 pm

As the threat of having a book lobbed at him waned, the raven likewise relaxed. It had been a touchy introduction but now she seemed pretty comfortable, or at least as comfortable as someone could be curled up on the floor. The shutter thing had been an unfortunate lack of tact, was all. He should have rattled them, or announced himself, although he couldn't imagine her reaction would've been too much more positive upon hearing a masculine voice wafting from outside a second-floor window with no ledges in the stony dark. Plus she had a sword.

"Yeah," he replied to her first question, "verbally, I guess is the word. I don't actually do a lot of letters. Not before I came Here." This was something like the third or fourth time he'd said Here, but only the first time he'd really been conscious of saying it, which--if he didn't miss his guess about this one--meant he'd have to explain it sooner or later. He was hoping the lady had already done the lion's share of explaining in the letter. Spare him potential indiscretion. "You can read it now if you want. Oh! I think she said she was gonner put it in the letter, too, but she says to tell you you can write back to the Dagger and address the replies to 'Godwin' and she'll get them. Or just give to me when I come back with Glenn's next letter. She's overdue sendin' one so it should be next couple days."
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Re: An Envoy and Introductions

Postby Tolleson » Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:05 am

Book throwing was always a possibility, much like the mapmaker, Genny almost always had several in easy reach. Though in this particular instance a small stack of the weapons was much like her sword, sitting far enough away that if she decided to arm herself her company would have plenty of warning.

“If letters are not your specialty, what other work does your lady request?” Again, the mention of, ‘Here,’ subtle but implying something greater. She noticed, and might even have finally asked but then he said something else and her otherwise amicable and relaxed expression tightened just a hair.

Benedict would be back with Glenn’s next letter in a couple days.

She seemed as if she had something to say to that, some question perhaps. However, the hiccup in conversation was ignored, “I admit I am curious about the contents of the letter, about your being Here, and where you are from.” This was entirely in line with her fascination of him but then again, it was a statement, not a question. Myrken simply didn’t have flocks of pigeons, murders of crows, or a congress of ravens jabbering about in the common tongue; nor horses if the matter came up again.

Remaining seated she began to slowly move and gather her legs as if to stand, as if ready to accept the delivery.

“I appreciate your delivering of the letter; customarily, I would provide a coin or two for the messenger but as I am unfamiliar with the appropriate hospitality, perhaps you can enlighten me -- what payment might I offer you as gratitude for your service? Perhaps a bit of dinner or some small item?” Although her knowledge of avian creatures was limited, somewhere she had recalled reading that ravens liked shiny things. Since he could speak, it was better just to ask.
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Re: An Envoy and Introductions

Postby Niabh » Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:21 pm

"Well, no, I just meant I usually don't do a lot of...y'know, physical letters. People don't trust writing so they don't do much of it. Not proper letters, anyway, not like that--"

He dipped his head, beak pointed to the folded page on the corner of the bed. The wax seal was molded into a red maple leaf to herald the autumn. The letter had the air of a patient, polite servant that would wait as long as necessary until required or instructed to leave, in sharp contrast to the raven, constantly in motion, who wobbled for balance and blinked his pale round eyes as Genny made to stand up, with a discreet step away from the letter itself.

He couldn't refrain from a couple of excited, pleased bobs at the notion of shiny things. Whatever Genny had been reading was accurate on that point. He managed to restrain himself as decorum set in. "Nah, you're good. The only compensation a raven seeks is the swift completion of its duties." It sounded as if he were quoting something. "But if you happen to have any shiny things you're not usin', I wouldn't say no."
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Re: An Envoy and Introductions

Postby Tolleson » Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:42 pm

“Proper indeed,” she said, the sound of a smile creeping into her voice even before it spread to her lips. She found herself momentarily amused with the phrase, ‘physical letters,’ as if mentally to herself she retorted, ‘as opposed to another kind?’. But then again, perhaps there were. His head dipped and pointed, so she glanced to the sealed letter, noting the leaf and the red sealing wax as she stood.

The practiced decorum of his recited reply was commendable, but even against the measure of swiftness it might seem that he had failed; she had been holding him up with her fascination and endless questions. Partially undressed and half covered in ink she must have looked quite a mess as she swiveled and scanned the room for some proper payment. Money seemed of such little use to a raven.

After a moment she stopped and both hands went to her right ear. Her face turned slightly, and though her eyes fell back to him their focus was far away. She tucked a strand of hair revealing a delicate, jade cuff, secured near the top of her ear, decorated and worn in a distinctly Fae fashion. From the lobe below she unclasped a different earring, a brilliant silver wire with a delicate loop and what looked to be a small ruby dangling at the end.

“It is only red glass,” she admitted quickly, the actual value was probably a few coins for the metal and workmanship but it was still lovely and shiny. It definitely clashed with Genny's almost equally red hair and was therefore reasonable as to why she so readily offered it to him, arm outstretched and palm open.

“Privacy concerns aside, if I am entirely honest with you, I have reasonably evidenced suspicion that your lady’s letters are not without some risk to the reader.” A token of thanks had been offered and as was equally customary, a request was made, in this instance it was once of reassurance.

“Will the letters your lady sends ever cause harm?”

‘Harm to me, now,’ was the implication, but she had very intentionally refrained from specifying.
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Re: An Envoy and Introductions

Postby Niabh » Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:42 am

The raven dipped his head, pinching the silver hoop from her palm as delicately as a gloved lady retrieving a coin from her purse, then straightened. The earring dangled from the point of his beak as his wedge-shaped head jerked left, right, showing off the prize for an invisible audience. "It's pretty," he said. The earring didn't swing when he spoke, further evidence that the voice came from somewhere other than his beak. "I have a whole buncha glass. No red, though."

His head dipped momentarily beneath a wing, straightening a feather or investigating an itch. When it emerged, the earring had vanished. Ruin a lady's dress, get a treasure out of it. Seemed a little lopsided but he wasn't going to protest.

Reasonably evidenced suspicion, indeed. He let out a rapid string of tsk-tsk-tsk-tsk-tsks, the sort of sound that, from a human, might have sounded as if he were chiding her for her lack of good faith. From a raven it only sounded mimetic, almost mechanical as he cocked his head to the side. Beneath Genny's question lay a murky, unvoiced concern. In truth he was trying to determine where it fell on the scale of honesty versus loyalty, given that her evidence was probably Glenn, who wasn't exactly the best example.

In the end, honesty won out, nudged into place by her use of the word will. 'Will' meant 'potentially.' You couldn't bullshit your way around a might-be; down that path lay too many possibilities to exclude.

"I can't say never," he admitted. "She's done it before when people are rude. Then again, Glenn's rude all the damn time and the worst she's done to him was make it blow ashes in his face. Call it a conditional probably-not. But the letters themselves, those are just letters. You can't catch anything."
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Re: An Envoy and Introductions

Postby Tolleson » Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:39 pm

The swinging glass threw small reflections of lamplight about the room, shimmering before the darkness of Benedict’s body extinguished the light as he tucked it away. Fascinating. Genny’s smile stuck absently to her face as she watched him talk with it in his beak and make the trinket vanish, as if he had a suit of feathers with small pockets.

His chiding cackle broke the spell. Even though the noise of his tsk wasn't quite right she seemed to gather the meaning and shrugged, her hand dropping away. "It is my job to ask questions," she offered as if it was a perfectly valid excuse for superseding etiquette. Curiosity and a tendency to ask questions, even at the least appropriate times, was simply in her nature. Cautiousness, on the other hand, was a side effect or perhaps a learned behavior, from not asking the right ones, or enough, or accepting answers as truth. There was a difference, a subtle one sometimes, but that was a better topic for a long debate with the man sleeping in the next room. Or rather, the man in the next room who lay staring at the ceiling, as he was more likely doing.

‘Good faith’ is something for old friends and neighbors, not ravens who sneak in your window. By any reasonable measure, Genny had afforded him, and by proxy his mistress, more trust than they probably deserved. Dulcie had been her boss once, that woman wouldn’t offer a meal to most travelers without at least some evidence that they had the coin to pay for it, and often enough she took it up front.

“Good,” she offered firmly; anyone who could say ‘always’ or ‘never’ was either an idiot or a liar. Honesty won a measure of trust and she reached for the letter.

As for this mistress having done harm before her eyebrow raised and her hand hesitated, hovering over the letter. It turned out Glenn was a terrible case study, she would need a larger data set. “Affection then,” she offered offhandedly, more to make a mental note than to share the comment. What else would curb a penchant for doing harm to offenders but excuse Glenn?

She chuckled momentarily at the thought and proceeded to pick up the letter, a conditional probably-not was about as reasonable as trusting the sun not to fall out of the sky. Though it didn’t stop the half feigned look of dismay at the prospect of catching something from the letter, as if considering for the first time that the parchment itself might be poisoned. Ultimately, she decided she was too unimportant for that level of intrigue.

“Then as a favor, if I am struck down, be so kind as to fetch Glenn,” not that he had any reason to agree to favors with her. And so she broke the seal anyway.
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Re: An Envoy and Introductions

Postby Niabh » Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:15 am

"You're in luck," the raven replied. Though his face was carved by nature in a perpetual stern scowl, his voice held a note of wry humor. "It's starting to be my job to provide answers." He hadn't been born for diplomacy, but the tultharian world had shifted his duties a great deal, and he was starting to get the hang of it.

He hopped down to the floor--another touch of diplomacy; don't hover, and try not to act like you were too interested in their reaction. As she picked up the letter, his eyes was caught by a grass-green thread wrapped around a nailhead, and he made a distraction of trying to tug it loose. "Yeah. Affection. I guess."

The thread unexpectedly gave way. The raven staggered back gently, then caught himself, bracing his black feet as he gazed unerringly through the door, down the hall, unerringly toward Glenn's room. His head cocked to the side, listening to nothing, before twisting back to her and giving a liquid warble, more sparrow than raven, in reassurance. "You'll be alright. But I'll get him. I don't think he's asleep, anyway."

The letter was a letter, plain paper and ink, the handwriting tall and spiky like rows of tiny black pines—a legible hand, though not exactly a fashionable one.



To Genevieve Tolleson, greetings.


In the spirit of good faith there is a magic upon this letter that will make anyone save its recipient mistake it for a chandler's receipt.

I am of that race your people call fairy or elf. These past seven years have I resided in your country, four of those in Myrkentown. In that time, I have kept your law as best I am able and done no injury to any that would not have harmed me first. It is my intention to remain here in peace until such time as I may return to my own people. I will not be subject to your Inquistory. I will not submit to any sort of examination. I will not give up any part of my liberty. However, realizing myself a guest, I am in owing for your hospitality. For the sake of that debt, I am not opposed to coming to an agreement for your assurance and mine own safety.

For some time now your man Glenn Burnie and I have kept correspondence. We have discussed mostly truths and politics; he keeps his own views and I keep mine. Together we have considered some ideas for the future of both our people. Both of us agree that nothing should be put into motion without first assuring the safety and welfare of both sides, and since I cannot yet promise this on my half, these plans have not gone far beyond the mentioning. His chief concern is Myrkentown itself, though he does not yet fully trust himself due to certain past events you likely know well. His misgivings are such that he has asked me to keep mark upon him, lest he slip into his old habits. Thus far I have seen no sign of it. None of this excludes the possibility that he has misled me, too, but if he has, I will see him thwarted, and moreover I will be very cross with him.

By unhappy chance it is that his long list of prior afflictions seems to have made him more susceptible to mine own power in a way we could not predict, nor did I intend. By now you will have witnessed this alteration in what he calls his "lapses," whatever that means for him. While I do not believe this change is entirely an ill wind, it was unanticipated and unasked-for, so best it were that it be undone. For my part, I have written for advice from a family friend who is well wise in these matters, so that we may proceed more prudently than we began and he may be made well, or at the least better, very soon.

I have told him before that I am very glad he has someone near to watch after him in this time, but having the opportunity, I will tell you the same. He is a stubborn ass who would just as soon thrash his own way through any misfortune, and take the slowest, thorniest route to do so, even though in this case he need not struggle alone. I have tried to tell him this, but you may perhaps convince him more than I can.

It is my hope that we may meet in Myrken and grow to know one another better. I have spent a great deal of my time here in hiding, and I confess the prospect of introduction is intimidating, but also one of great anticipation.

If you will reply, Benedict the raven is at your service, or you may send word to the Broken Dagger to the name Godwin of Robello.

I wish safe travels for you both, and a happy arrival.





Post-scriptum: Any of this information is free to share with Glenn, though perhaps you would be best to keep the letter itself from him, owing to the magic upon it.
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Re: An Envoy and Introductions

Postby Tolleson » Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:11 am

“It seems we are a happy match indeed,” she with the questions and he with the answers. An amused reply, even as her attention left Benedict and her hands worked to open the parchment. He hopped to the floor, her glance flicking to him briefly before submerging herself in the content of the letter; she read silently and absently lowered herself to sitting at the foot of the bed. She said nothing to his reply regarding affection; either there was nothing more to be said or she was simply consumed with reading.

After several silent moments she offered a distracted reply so his reassurance, “true, he rarely finds respite,” let alone actual slumber. Even held captive by the letter the words held a note of concern. She and Glenn might not share a bed but he occupied her thoughts. Dreams really weren’t the same as the waking mind, and even if she had the practice to steer them she’d made promises about coming, and going, and taking, or leaving things. Still, knowing that she might have a way to help, if only she knew more, made it that much harder to bear witness to a nightly ritual of ceiling staring. But wasn’t that always the problem; a lack of knowing and understanding. She never knew enough to be of any real help.

If Benedict was looking for a reaction, he might catch a slight huff of amusement. It was some small agreeing sound, almost like laughter but her brow was furrowed in concentration or in dislike of what she read. A quick read, she peeked up momentarily before starting again, taking care she had read it all correctly. And when she finished a subtle frown rested solidly.

Her pen sat on the floor by her feet, the ink dried into her skirts, and the parchment at the desk soaked through. She stared down for a long moment and then at Benedict. She couldn’t write, not now. “They want assurances of safety,” didn't everyone; still that was laughable considering the danger Glenn had a hand in when he was last in Myrken, but she didn’t laugh.

“Your kindness is appreciated, Benedict,” the letter rested in her lap now, folding down on itself in a loosened grip. “You are welcome to stay if you like, though a reply may take some time,” she gestured loosely to herself, the letter flopping in her hand as if it were a conductor’s baton, up and down in a wide arch to account for the messy state of her writing implements.

Whether he stayed or went, she stood and walked to open a case that had been set beside her bed. In it was a relatively large stack of fresh parchment and corked bottles of ink, she even had several quills. Perhaps she would still have the opportunity to write to Gloria tonight, but it would be an entirely different sort of letter.
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Re: An Envoy and Introductions

Postby Niabh » Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:20 am

While she read, he wandered off (never hover) to find a distraction until she was finished. But the room was barren. Surprising for such a borderline disreputable joint, too, it had also been recently cleaned. Not even a puff of dust when he poked his head under the bed. Slim pickings for a curious bird. He glanced up only once at her small huff of a laugh, unable to tell if she was truly amused or only scoffing. Still, laughter was a good sign, right?

By the time she was finished, he was occupying himself with a soot-encrusted hinge that was all that remained of something once attached to the cold fire-grate--creaking it gently to and fro, before hopping back in alarm as a rusted bolt gave way and the hinge tipped alarmingly askew. He got away from it as quickly as he could, but then stopped at the look on her face. Uh-oh. Whatever she had found funny at first, she wasn't laughing now.

Assurances of safety?

"Don't we all," said the raven dryly, unconsciously echoing Genny's thought. "Hey, listen, I'd rather not fly all the way back when it's this dark anyway so tell you what: if it's all the same to you, I think I'll roost up in the loft tonight and catch you before you go out in the morning. It'll give me a chance to say hallo to him, too. And if you got something to deliver by then, I'll take it as I go."

He stepped out of her path--the room really wasn't big enough for more than two paths, even if one of them was raven-sized--and seemed a bit relieved when she produced more paper. "Oh good. I was afraid I wiped out your whole supply. Still sorry about the dress, though."
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Re: An Envoy and Introductions

Postby Tolleson » Tue Oct 22, 2019 7:24 pm

Pounce and pens, parchment too, and in no short supply. She had an entire case dedicated to writing and with it made quick work of cleaning and replacing all the damaged pieces, careful to avoid collision with Benedict.

"Please do, at least one of us should get rest," a smile crept into her voice, despite the pensive expression from reading.

About to slide into the chair she had been sitting in when he had first arrived, she hesitated. She pursed her lips and looked somewhat sheepishly at the dressing gown draped over the back of the chair. It was an odd sort of gesture considering they had been rather chummy a few moments ago. But she must have realized she was still in a state of half undress, after all she had been relaxing alone in her room before Benedict surprised her.

"You may want to turn your head," she offered meaningfully. Whether or not he did she would eventually turn to loosen the dress and push the ink spoiled skirt to the floor. She stood pale and lean, in a very modest, nearly floor-length shift. There was hardly an improprietous thing about it. She quickly flung the thin robe over herself like a cape and slid into writing, without looking back.

The letter did not take long to write, but if Benedict watched her he might note that she wrote two. And if he watched closely enough he would notice they were copies of one another, letter for letter, even the spacing. Her script was legible, but just so, it was not embellished with undue flourishes and filigree. It was a neat, economical hand that spoke of frequent writing with a preference for accuracy rather than ornament. Both versions were folded crisp and sealed tight with red wax and a personal seal rather than the official Inquisitory emblem. One was slipped into the writing case and the other left on the desk for Benedict to take.

And then she slept.

Fair greetings Godwin,

Your correspondence is much appreciated, so too is your forthrightness regarding the nature of the charmed illusion placed upon your missive. While I am no stranger to conversations best kept private, and the challenge of doing so with written words, I find it curious you think it necessary for such precaution when you have loyal Benedict and nothing more than tidings of welcome and well wishing.

I hope you can forgive my proclivity for pondering and questions, even outright suspicion though it may appear unseemly. As it happens I am no stranger to fair folk, kind and mischievous alike. While I find Benedict delightful company, until you and I are better acquainted I shall err in favor of caution. I wager he may even say as much.

It is somewhat reassuring to know you have kept to the law and your intentions are to reside peacefully. Seemingly successful in these measurers I possess no inclination to have you meet with the office of the Inquisitory. While I must assume that you mention this in part because I am presently High Inquisitor, I am curious about why; why you believe you must decline questioning or an examination which has not been proposed? If it has, I should like to know, as on this matter I would be very cross.

Rest assured, I have no intention of taking anyone’s liberty without ample, evidenced cause. I embark to provide stability and prosperity for Myrken and Glenn as well. I would seek to keep them both be safe and well, but neither are without their suspicions of things they do not understand. This I cannot promise will dissipate, you are likely to encounter opposition beyond my control. I am not a representative; I am but one person and cannot, nor would I, seek to bend the will of Inquisitors or the good people of Myrkentown. For my part though, I should prefer we are cordial and accommodating to one another’s entreaties.

I am delighted to hear that Glenn writes and keeps sharp his keen mind. He knows well the politics of Myrken if not the province entirely, but be cautioned that he does not have the capacity to provide any assurances for safety or welfare. While his chief concern may be Myrken and repairing damage that came to be during his leadership, he must never take that position again. I too have been tasked, but even without our watchful gaze the people of Myrken would not have it.

As for prior afflictions made worse, such is the nature of entangled magicks. Politics aside, I am keen to learn what your family’s friend says and should like that you share it with me, if you are able. I have several theories and prefer more prudent action as well.

He can be as you say, and his stubborn tendency becomes more evident as we spend all waking hours in close company. He is a mapmaker through and through, detailing each arduous, circuitous route -- choosing to take them sometimes, if just to know where the road leads and have it marked. I may never convince him he need not be alone, but I can follow him as best I am able, so that he is not.

Your kind words are appreciated as is the use of Benedict’s service. I am eager to return and desire that we should meet soon.

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