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Closed Summer Squall

Countess Zhujenka

Emelia Maevia

Character
Province Citizen
Rank
Countess
Job
Sovereign of Zhujenka
Gender
Female
Age
26
Marital Status
Married
Character Profile
Link
OOC
Kayenta Moenkopi
Messages
13
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19
Emelia brought the back of her left hand to her forehead to wipe her wet hair out of her eyes, smearing a bit of mud across her temple, before shaking her head at an equally drenched man to say, ”No, we’ll manage alright here, Pullo. Just get the mounted guard and head them north along both sides of the creek and don’t waste time about it, there may be people dying out there.” She knew the cavalry soldier was against her sending them up into the hills when there was just as much need here at the castle, and for a moment she thought he would argue. Much to her relief the veteran warrior nodded his assent saying, ”We’ll save as many as we can”, but as Emelia was turning away she was stopped by the grabbing of her arm and abruptly turned around to face him.

The man’s breath smelled heavily of booze but then when didn’t it? Unless he was lying face down on the ground, it didn’t seem to hinder his ability to fight like a demon from the other side of the Myst. You’d think the pouring rain would have kept the odor down but it only seemed to make it worse as his face drew near to yell over the sudden roll of thunder, ”Just you watch your head lass or the Lord’ll have mine on a pike.” Pullo released her just as suddenly and darted off toward his steed.

Not many of the guard would have been so bold, but then Pullo was no ordinary man. Having joined the guard at the invitation of her husband, she could only imagine the history those two shared. The informality between the two had been transferred to herself, for he had never once bothered to address her as Countess, not even from the start. Over the years the man had more than earned his liberties, even though he did as he pleased and would disappear down south to the capital and The Thirsty Goat. He’d played the tavern off as his retirement hobby but he didn’t look ready to give up all this glory just yet.

Her foot skittered out from under her, but a well placed hand upon a hitching post kept her from landing flat on her ass. Had she been wearing skirts she was sure the added weight would have pulled her to the ground, as it was she had her work clothes on which included a functional pair of trousers to accommodate horseback riding as she made round into the outlying communities. Her hair was tied back into a sloppy knot at the top of her head, and sleeves that had been rolled up hours ago were hanging at odd lengths plastered to her arms by the rain.

A summer storm, such as this, was not uncommon in Zhujenka but it had come down so fast that the creeks were flash flooding forcing everyone along the banks to flee to high ground. Naturally that meant Kaerndal Hold. Streams of people and all they could carry were pouring into the city. Bad as it was here she knew though up in the hills would be the first and hardest hit. Along the narrow headwaters of the creek the force of the flood waters could rip whole trees from the banks and carry massive stones within its torrents. There were sure to be victims, the storm had hit so fast and had set in with a vengeance.

Lightning flashed again lighting up the night sky and she could see the college off in the distance. The headmaster wouldn’t be pleased to see her tonight but the man was going to open the facility up for housing or be damned. He would just have to get over it. Knowing the thunder would be swift after the flash, she wasn’t prepared for how sharp and close up it sounded. A quick gaze around as she staggered up the street, all she could think was it would just be her luck to get struck by a bolt.

Blue
 
Count of Zhujenka

Varian Valerius III

Character
Province Citizen
Rank
Count
Job
Assassin
Gender
Male
Age
546
Marital Status
Married
Character Profile
Link
OOC
Blue
Messages
23
Reactions
32
A hand rested gently on Emelia’s shoulder even as the umbrella appeared above her head. “Watch your step love, you’ll catch your death.” said the familiar voice of her husband from behind her. Stepping up to stand next to her he looked up at the retreating figures of the guards on horseback. “I see Pullo is on the case.” he said his crimson eyes seemingly recognising the man despite the dark and distance. The Vampire was sure his sudden appearance no longer made wife jump, much to his displeasure, he had taken such dark pleasure in those first years when his shadow-stepping had startled her.

Turning his mind to the situation at hand, he glanced at the surroundings as the torrential rain fell, and shook his head slightly in silence. Despite the weather the Vampire was completely dry and seemed unperturbed by the flashes of lightning that accompanied the downpour. Dressed in an extravagant outfit of blue jacket, golden waistcoat and white shirt, with a white scarf, the man was hardly dressed for the weather. However, the Vampire barely registered the biting cold due to his condition. Absently he ran his hand through his long hair before turning back to his wife. “I convinced every barman, tavern owner and innkeeper to open all available rooms and common areas to the refugees from the lowlands.” he told her. “I’ve sent a messenger to the Headmaster of the College too, apparently he was too busy to see me straight away.” he said with an undercurrent of anger in his voice. The old bastard would be getting a person visit and a lesson in respect once the current situation abated.

Turning back to the woman and seeing the emotion in her eyes he took her hand. “Don’t worry, my dear, you’ve already done more than most Lords and Ladies of the Empire would bother to do. Most would rather let the peasants drown than put any effort into giving them any assistance.” he assured her. “Pullo and the men know what they’re doing and we’ll make as much space as we can. The keep can be opened too, I’ve already asked the servants to empty all the halls and retrieve as many blankets and bedding as they can.” he informed her, without mentioning he’d also had the Household Guard increase security in the keep. He wanted to help their people too but he had no intention of letting potential thieves or spies sneak around their home.

“So what’s next my lady?” he asked Emelia with a wide smile, his fangs momentarily glinting in the moonlight.
 
Countess Zhujenka

Emelia Maevia

Character
Province Citizen
Rank
Countess
Job
Sovereign of Zhujenka
Gender
Female
Age
26
Marital Status
Married
Character Profile
Link
OOC
Kayenta Moenkopi
Messages
13
Reactions
19
Green eyes peered at him through tendrils of hair sticking to her face before she grinned wiping the rain from her skin, the sudden shelter he provided more than welcome. Oh she reacted just as powerfully as she ever had to the use of his shadow-stepping to scare the wits out of her, only now it was not met with a startled stream of obscenities and jumping 2 feet straight into the air. She no longer felt compelled to take a swipe at him for his all too effective pranks either. Rather, it was her pulse that raced and her smile that behaved as though it could never be tamed. There was no sense in denying she lit up every time he walked into a room. Quite the change these past nine years had wrought.

Only time had managed to keep her from behaving like a completely smitten child, making way for the mature woman that stood before him now. Though she did still take a swipe at him just because she could. ”I’m not so frail as that, my husband”, she replied with a short greeting before leaning out to take a look into the pitch darkness where Pullo had disappeared. ”I was quite surprised to see him, to be honest Varian. I didn’t have time to ask him what brought him in the middle of the night all the way from Rishoka.”, her comment came with only a hint of real curiosity. She had stopped wondering about the man’s comings and goings a long time ago.

She could tell he was nearly pristine, even in the darkness, and while she gathered her skirts into her hands, she noticed the growing accumulation of standing water. The drains must be clogged for old Count Kaern had known enough to make them large enough for times like this. Shaking her head, she was tempted to scoop up a clod of mud and equal the playing field for his attire only served to emphasize how filthy she was. ”Pretty boy”, she teased before falling silent to hear of all he had managed to do.

It took a huge worry from her shoulders, pleased that the merchants were being accommodating. It didn’t matter to her if they were thinking of how it wouldn’t hurt to have the outlying farmers and freight-men owe them a favor when it came time to do business. It didn’t matter to her if their motivations were humanitarian either. All that was important right then was meeting needs during this disaster. Naturally hearing him tell about the Headmaster set her on her ear.

As though he has read her thoughts, he made sure to reassure her by the rest of the arrangements and it kept her from storming up the street and kicking down the headmaster’s door. There should be room for all, hopefully, though it would be tight. ”Well, I would say lets get out of the stable yard before it floods and head to the keep. As for the Headmaster, the college can house the sick and injured and have the mages treat those in need. I shall be sure to let him know how forward thinking it was of him to reserve the space for those with the greatest need.”

It would be rough not detouring so she could deliver the message in person but in her current state she doubted she wouldn't cut a very imposing figure. She began walking toward the keep, staying under the shelter he provided, when she let herself indulge her curiosity a bit over Pullo, ”About Pullo; you don’t know if he had a special reason for coming to Kaerndal tonight, do you?”


Blue
 
Count of Zhujenka

Varian Valerius III

Character
Province Citizen
Rank
Count
Job
Assassin
Gender
Male
Age
546
Marital Status
Married
Character Profile
Link
OOC
Blue
Messages
23
Reactions
32
“Mhmm.” he replied at her mention of Pullo. He didn’t elaborate at first knowing that her hunger for information would break her eventually into asking outright. He preferred to wait until she was direct with her curiosity before indulging her. As to her teasing he simply smiled at her, wondering if she would resort to bordering on the immature, he could practically see the thought in her mind but she had changed lately he’d noticed She had matured greatly in the past few years and in a way it made him a little sad, it was a reminder of the passage of time and that one day he’d be alone again. Still time wasn’t a gift he could ever steal from her.

Seeing her relax brought him great pleasure and he was pleased with his initiative, not for how many people's lives it would save but rather how happy it would make Emelia. His own wish to saves the lives of the citizens here admittedly came from a completely selfish place. He’d been grooming an image of a caring and protective if somewhat eccentric Count ever since he took over. He was quite willing to actually be protective to bolster that image.

At the talk of the headmaster he snorted. “Or else the College will be finding itself with a vacancy for the offer of Headmaster.” he added dangerously. He could make it look like the old bastard had a heart attack easily enough, the fool had to realise sooner or later that his position was gifted to him, he did not own the university and it was property of the Maevia family. “But yes let’s go.” he added leading the way back to the Keep.

When she asked the question he glanced down at her with a slight smile, filled with great amusement, while he let the silence stretch out. “Hmm? Yes I suppose I do know.” he informed her.

After a few minutes, as they reached the steps that led up to the Keep itself, he finally broke his silence. “I have asked Pullo to make some preparations for when we arrive in the Capital. I need my Manor prepared for our stay and I also want to arrange a meeting in his tavern with a prospective business associate I have my eye on.” he informed her. “I also want him to make sure we have some very watchful guards situated around the Castle in the next few weeks. I am hoping that we’ll have some guests after the ball. One is the person I mentioned I hope to meet the night before the gala itself and the other I’ve visited last night. He’s an old friend I used to work with in the Oculi.” he said gently to her, his voice barely carrying above the wind.

“I am hoping you’ll attend the little meeting I’ll have with the two as well.” he added while turning his gaze back to the gates of the keep. “Ah we’re here.”

With a gesture the guards pushed open the doors and the Count and Countess passed into the dry interior of their home. Handing his umbrella off to a servant the Vampire paused to look at his shoulders, glad to see his attire untouched by the weather. Turning his gaze back to his wife he ran his gaze across her clothing. “Shall we retire to our rooms to try and find you something… unmarred?” he asked with clear amusement.
 
Countess Zhujenka

Emelia Maevia

Character
Province Citizen
Rank
Countess
Job
Sovereign of Zhujenka
Gender
Female
Age
26
Marital Status
Married
Character Profile
Link
OOC
Kayenta Moenkopi
Messages
13
Reactions
19
”That certainly would show the old fool.”, her ire rising once more at the man, though she couldn’t be sure what irritated her more; the man’s effrontery in refusing to see the Count or his inability to respond to the needs of the city at large. ”It may be time to suggest he take an early retirement and stay on as an instructor as the burden of providing services to the city requires a younger touch.” It would gall the man’s ego, for with his lineage despite his advanced years he was still just as spry as a man half his age. If only longevity had been a trait bread into her family.

The thought touched on a growing issue with Emelia. Fortunately, before she could fall into a brooding state he distracted her with his teasing tone and failure to tell her his news. ”Oh you do, do you?”, she said tempted yet again to at least slide her grubby arm through his for baiting her so with his silence. ”Is it something that requires you to go back to Rishoka, Varian?”

At last her relented and she was glad to hear that he would not have to leave in a few hours without her, leaving her to travel later. They had at least another week before they had to attend court. It had been a while since she had been to the Manor as she had never been one to summer in the city. There was too much for her to tend to this time of year, though she was hoping this toad strangler would not have been one of them. It might even be possible that she would have to stay behind if the rain didn’t let up soon; Zhujenka could well be in trouble.

That was another issue she had with the headmaster though, it wouldn’t kill those mages to use a bit of their abilities to alter the weather, at least in these extreme cases. The man was infuriating in that area adamant that to tinker with the weather patterns could have far more reaching backlash than what would be felt here in their little backwater province, adding snootiness to the man’s flaws.

Emelia was not totally ignorant of Varian’s political maneuverings, though she had no idea just how extensive they really were. So it was with a certain sense of expectation that he would finally suggest that she not only meet these two guests of his, but sit in on their discussions. ”I would very much like that Varian.”, she said, though her lack of enthusiasm wouldn’t fool him in the least. He knew her way better than that. Curiosity was one of her greatest assets, she was fond of saying, but part of her was just trying not to feel excluded from these secrets.

Her pace quickened slightly as they took their last few steps up the entrance way and into their home. Her eyes quickly adjusted to the change in lighting and she got her first really good look at the pair of them. ”Are you saying that you are ashamed to be seen with me, my love? That I look like something the cat dragged in?”, laughing she headed toward the stairs leaving a trail of water and mud in her wake.


Blue
 
Count of Zhujenka

Varian Valerius III

Character
Province Citizen
Rank
Count
Job
Assassin
Gender
Male
Age
546
Marital Status
Married
Character Profile
Link
OOC
Blue
Messages
23
Reactions
32
Varian simply smiled as she confirmed she was participate in the informal discussions he was hoping to hold, of course that was all relying on the Ebony Order not to screw anything up in the meantime. He was actually feeling rather concerned about the upcoming Ball, it had been one of the reasons he’d originally tried to convince Emelia to let him feign an illness or any other excuse to get out of going. The Order was incredibly cell orientated, with members’ identities being protected from one another which meant there was a good chance if the Order made a move he wouldn’t know anything about it and the attackers wouldn’t know he was on their side. It was also quite public, whilst some assassins did indeed work that way Varian preferred to leave no witnesses to his acts of murder. Especially now that he was a Count of an Imperial Province, he couldn’t risk damaging the good name of his wife’s House.

When she made her amused remark the Vampire grinned. “Of course my dear. I’m known for my impeccable sense of dress and flawless appearance, I cannot be having you mar my good image.” he shot back.

Following the woman at a more relaxed pace he let her run towards their private quarters without him. Varian instead headed towards one of the linen closets on the upper floor to grab a large and smaller towel. Walking back towards the direction his wife would have gone he entered the Count & Countesses Wing of the Keep. Walking through the corridor, down into the main hall which led to their private studies, bathrooms and bedroom with guest suites the Vampire chose their own bedroom to enter. A fire roared in the fireplace, causing a momentary flash of alarm in the Vampire’s primal mind which he pushed aside. He was instinctively afraid of the flame as it was one of the few things in the world that could permanently destroy him.

Glancing around he noted Emelia wasn’t in sight, she had possibly entered one of the changing areas or walk in wardrobes to select a new attire. Instead he lay the two towels next to him as he sat on the edge of the bed. Likely his wife would remark about the towels as being a bit overkill but the Vampire couldn’t help is overprotective nature. Humans where so fragile weren’t they? He had to be careful that Emelia didn’t accidentally damage herself.

As he waited the Vampire reached out with his hands, letting his fingers dance through the air as he sang out a soft incantation. Upon the wall the shadows twisted and warped until a little show made up of puppets consisting of shadows upon the wall told a children’s fairy-tale before his eyes. It was a gimmicky spell, one he’d created for childish amusement and nothing else.
 
Countess Zhujenka

Emelia Maevia

Character
Province Citizen
Rank
Countess
Job
Sovereign of Zhujenka
Gender
Female
Age
26
Marital Status
Married
Character Profile
Link
OOC
Kayenta Moenkopi
Messages
13
Reactions
19
In a rush to get changed, she still took time to sit upon a bench by the door to pull off her boots once she reached their Wing of the Keep. The piece of furniture was ornately carved, but basically a chest with a mirror attached to serve as the back of the seat. Along each side of the mirror were iron hooks the craftsman of the keep had made to resemble vines and were almost all claimed with a few cloaks and jackets. Her jacket hit the floor to pile on top her boots being too drenched to hang with the others.

In stocking feet she made wet tracks through their quarters all the way to the bathroom first, rather than making a mess of the entire place, so she could quickly get out of her wet things and throw on her robe. Although she had protested about not being a delicate creature, she was not unmindful of the dangers such a chill could bring. Planning to soak up heat by the fire while she dried her hair and then gather garments to wear, she walked out into the bedroom to find him there making shadow puppets on the wall.

The sight caused her to laugh softly and she said, ”Nice to see the storm has not dampened your spirits, love.” Spying the towels at his side, she approached and took up the large one. Her plans were not to retire for the evening but to return to the hall and tend to those sheltering within the keep. Even so, there was no urgency in her personal attention for those in the castle were not strangers to dealing with providing shelter during such times. ”Thank you Varian, I’m afraid we will only have a small reprieve here before Pullo returns with the next wave of people.”, she began as she moved toward the fireplace.

While she spoke she would bend over, her back toward her husband, and bring the towel to rub vigorously at her mane which nearly touched the floor before her. ”I need to write the Headmaster his orders and then check in with the staff.” What time she and her husband would have alone tonight would be limited, if some steward or other had not already dispatched a servant to seek them over an issue or another. Once she was satisfied she had dried her hair as much as she could with the towel, she straightened and ran her fingers through its length so the heat of the fire could do its work.

Blue
 
Count of Zhujenka

Varian Valerius III

Character
Province Citizen
Rank
Count
Job
Assassin
Gender
Male
Age
546
Marital Status
Married
Character Profile
Link
OOC
Blue
Messages
23
Reactions
32
Letting the spell flow away the shadowmancer lowered his hands letting the phantom puppets slip away back into the darkness. “It’s fine. he said with a shrug, glancing over his shoulder at her return. “It is not as if I get tired. Simply bored sometimes.” he added with a smirk. He glanced over at the hearth and although he knew the heat was coming off the flame, he could feel it in a way just not the same way that mortals did. It didn’t warm him. Only blood could warm him anymore.

“I suppose that’s true.” he conceded “Although I still say a swift knife delivery to the old bastards back is more appropriate considering the situation.” he muttered. He’d never liked the decrepit fuck but tonight’s events had only soured his feelings towards him even more. No matter what Emelia chose it was more than likely the scholar would undergo an unfortunate accident in the next few months. Varian never forgot a slight and he rarely forgive. It would be no hard task to make it so no one, not even his wife, suspected his involvement.

“The Archdruid may want an audience tonight too, it may be an idea to use that fancy orb of yours to contact them just in case. I’d rather not be here when the knife ear arrives. They’ve been helping with the evacuation of the more isolated areas haven’t they?” he asked. He was terrified of the Druidic Enclave and had never hid such from Emelia. There where at least a few dozen of them, powerful magi one and all with a particular hatred for things that they considered abominations.

Varian let himself fall backwards onto the bed and he stared up at the beautifully decorated ceiling and the chandelier that hung from there. “Is there anything you need me to take care off before the sun rises?” he asked idly. “You’re the expert in these situations my dear.”
 
Countess Zhujenka

Emelia Maevia

Character
Province Citizen
Rank
Countess
Job
Sovereign of Zhujenka
Gender
Female
Age
26
Marital Status
Married
Character Profile
Link
OOC
Kayenta Moenkopi
Messages
13
Reactions
19
Emelia laughed, for there were times when she felt like slitting the man’s throat as well. ”I hope it won’t come to that”, she said as she began raking her fingers through her hair to pull it back over her head. Once it was gathered in her hand at the base of her neck, she began to braid it though it was still damp. There was plenty to do tonight and she didn’t wish it getting in the way. Mention of the Archdruid caused her to sigh.

Varian was correct, a little forewarning would be in order and she added use of the orb to her to do list. ”Yes, we are fortunate The Enclave still responds in times like these. I am certain it would not be like that today had Boniface become Count.” Looking at him lounging on the bed she could not contain the warmth she felt for this man. He had given her much, challenged her constantly to improve herself, and made her laugh like none other. Slipping the robe from her shoulders once her braid was complete, she let it fall to the floor walking into the wardrobe for her work clothes saying, ”Well now that you mention it, in my expert opinion, there are quite a few things you can take care of before the sun rises.”

/End Thread
 

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