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A settlement east of Rynmere across a stretch of water called 'the eastern trench' broken into three regions: Welles, Oakleigh, and Berwick.

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Sintih
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[Eastern Trench]The teaching boat

Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:57 pm

54th of Zi'da, Arc 717
The Hop, Skip and Jump heading to Welles
Eastern Trench, about a break from Cyrene Bay

hey had left two trials after the big charity event. Tristan had finished all his business before the event, which pleasantly surprised Sin. He hadn't expected the trial to come where business came before pleasure for the infamous Tristan Venora. By the 53rd trial of the season they were in Andaris where they had taken a one trial stop to acquire some supplies necessary for the duchy and the estate and Sin had taken the time to check in on his place. Apart from a few seasons of dust, everything looked in order. He collected what little remained of his old paperwork and notes and stuffed them in his pack. They had set out the trial after with one of the ships frequenting the route between Rynmere and Welles and Pike. Sin was glad to be away from the chain of meetings, gatherings and the large charity event at the end.

Despite his job being nothing more than following the Duke and standing around until the Duke decided to move around again, Sin was exhausted. His asterism had been working overtime the past few trials, it seemed, pulsing weakly in his chest as it tried to get his extremities to light and warm up. He needed a holiday or bask a few nights in a row in the light of Uleuda. For now, he had to content himself with the light of Idalos sun, or what little of it was present in this cold season. It wasn't the worst of the season yet, the end of Zi'da got much colder still, but Sin stood shivering on the deck, trying to catch some fresh air before going back below decks. Lianne was with Ayla, looking after her, and Iemes was wherever Lianne was and Thet was asleep, as far as Sin knew.

Standing at end of the ship, hands on the railing, watching Rynmere in the distance, Sin's mind wandered. He hadn't seen Yana in quite some time now, heard nothing from her except the letter that had come with the books he'd put on his shelf. He still hadn't started on them. As Yana came up, Sin's thoughts went to her promotion and job, wondering if they were in jeopardy now that she'd been gone for some time already. Perhaps in an attempt to warm up a little more his mind drifted to other things regarding Yana. His memory was short lived the boat seemed to take a bit of a jump and Sin had to grab the railing to keep from going down. His attention was in the present until he deemed it safe for him to unfocus once more.

As a steward, Yana had quite a few responsibilities but Sin imagined that the job came with quite a few perks as well. He wouldn't know as he'd never gotten that far. Perhaps in the future, a few more promotions away, he would be required to call her Lady Yana instead. He was pretty sure she wouldn't like that much but then again, there were enough stories in the Iron Hand of knights whose Lord rank had gone straight to their head. How many of those were actually real Sin didn't know. But he hoped none of them would feature Yana in the future. The ship jumped a second time and Sin felt his feet coming off the deck for a trill before landing with a thud once more. Perhaps this was not the best place to stand while the waves got more unruly.

Slowly, but surely, Sin made his way from the back of the ship towards the stairs leading down, keeping one hand on the railing at all times. There was a part where he had to wait and guess for the right moment to cross as the railing went ahead and he had to, somehow, make it to the middle of the ship. Once he got below decks, the lack of wind cutting into him helped to warm him up a little bit. Here, with walls on both sides, Sin managed to advance much more easily and he passed the various cabins the captain used to transport passengers. Sin and the other guards shared one room together while Lianne, Ayla and Tristan shared another. He peeked into his own room quickly and saw Thet sleeping like a baby, not even aware of the rough waters they were on as his hammock swayed softly with the waves.

Sin took of his cloak and tossed it on his bed, revealing his usual leather armor overtop simple gray and brown clothes. No more fancy Olive colored clothes for quite some time. Across from them, the door to Tristan's room was closed and Sin rapped his knuckles against the wood quickly. "Ser?" He opened the door slightly and peeked his head in. "Do you have a moment?" Sin gave him a tired, but friendly, smile from the door as he looked over the room. It seemed the waves were calming down a bit. Lianne and Ayla weren't here, probably somewhere below in the hold playing while Iemes looked after them, or Lianne. Tristan's room was much larger than the one he shared with the other two men but not by much. Iemes did also take up a lot more space than Lianne or Ayla.
Last edited by Sintih on Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Tristan Venora
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[Eastern Trench]The teaching boat

Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:01 am

Tristan hated the sea. He had thought that he would get used to it after travelling to Rynmere once per season for the better part of an arc, but the opposite was true. He had never been that sea-sick before. When Faith had still been his slave, and they had travelled to Ne’haer together, he had climbed into the crow’s nest to get away from all the terrible water which had helped to some extent, but they wouldn’t let the duke of Oakleigh climb into the crow’s nest. Supposedly he was too important, and they were worried about him falling to his death.

So he did the only thing that he could do without miraculously acquiring a teleportation device that would allow him to bypass the journey. While Lianne and Ayla who fortunately hadn’t inherited his tendency to get sea-sick explored the ship and played together, he was lying in his bed in his cabin because he couldn’t see the sea from there. There was a metal bucket on his chest that he regularly emptied the contents of his stomach into. Not that there was a lot left to empty into the bucket – he had lost his appetite even though he usually loved to eat.

When he heard a knock on the door, he murmured something that was pretty much unintelligible, retched and then punched his pillow repeatedly because he was so frustrated and unhappy with his current situation. And then he abruptly sat up which made him a little dizzy, hid the foul smelling bucket under his bed and opened the little window to let a bit of fresh air in.

Maybe it had something to do with Ayla. He didn’t want Ayla to see him like that and worry about him!

When the door was being opened, and he saw Sintih peeking his head in, he let out a disappointed sigh and wondered if he should grab his bucket and start to throw up again.

He was still sick.

Reaching under his bed would be a lot of work though, and it would likely make him dizzy again, so he decided to let it be, tried his best to keep the contents of his stomach where they belonged and asked, “What can I do for you, Sintih?”
Last edited by Tristan Venora on Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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[Eastern Trench]The teaching boat

Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:12 am

intih immediately noticed the smell of sick as he peeked his head in. The Duke of Oakleigh wasn't much of a Duke while being on a ship. When they'd crossed over to Rynmere to get to the charity event, Sin had noticed Tristan's problem but Lianne had told him she'd taken care of it, whatever that meant. "The boat doesn't agree with you, ser?" Sin stepped into the room and closed the door behind him. He was glad the window was open even if it did cool the room down even more. Ships were not known for their ability to keep the heat in. The disappointed sigh hadn't passed Sin by either. The Duke was most likely too occupied with not throwing up that he allowed other aspects of himself to slip.

Perhaps Sin could try and talk the Duke's mind away from the ship and the ocean around them. He didn't really want to give him advice on how to deal with it as he didn't know how Tristan would react in this situation. Talking about other things did seem like a good way to distract him. Tristan had never shied away from it before. "I just wanted to talk a bit. We didn't get much opportunity during our stay in Rynmere." It was strange, to come down from the distance between a Duke and his bodyguard to... well, whatever distance there could possible be between a sick man and a healthy man trying to keep him from thinking about just how sick he is.

Sin quickly went over the events that had happened, trying to pick out the one most enjoyed by the Duke. His thoughts quickly fell on one particular meeting. "You met with a lot of people during the charity. Did you manage to spend some time on pleasure or was it all business?" Sin knew very well the ratio between business and pleasure for the Duke. Between him personally being present with the Duke for some of it and reports from Lianne, Thet and Iemes, Sin had an exact overview of every break of the Duke's whereabouts and who he was with. How true Lianne's reports were was something that remained in question as her loyalties were with Tristan directly and not with Sin first, like the rest of his company. He allowed the Duke to reply and put his mind to something else besides the waves and the ship. He listened, combining reports and memories with the Duke's words.

"Lianne told me about your meeting with Celeste Andaris, among other nobles. Did w-you manage to make the connection you were hoping to make?" Sin almost slipped up. He wasn't yet embedded enough into the big picture in Oakleigh to be able to use we here so he quickly corrected himself. Not yet, at least. Sometimes he got ahead of himself. As they were talking, Sin had constantly been shifting his feet to keep his balance with the waves and slowly walked over to one of the other beds in the room. He sat himself down on the edge of it, not intruding too much on whoever's sleeping space this was.
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Tristan Venora
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[Eastern Trench]The teaching boat

Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:44 am

“That’s the understatement of the arc!“ Tristan replied. He was, very briefly, tempted to grab his pillow and throw it at Sintih because everything was getting on his nerves right now, and Sintih wasn’t Ayla, the only person that he actually wanted to talk to, even though he had to admit, he had really cool eyes. A moment later he realized that taking his anger out on his bodyguard wouldn’t be a good idea though. His position was still somewhat precarious, there were, quite possibly, people that wanted to kill him, and besides, Sintih hadn’t actually done anything wrong. It wasn’t his fault that he felt as if he had been cursed by Lisirra who was the Immortal of Pestilence and quite possibly Ayla’s mother … or was it?

He thought about it for a moment, came to the conclusion that no, it probably wasn’t Sintih’s fault, sat up a little straighter and tried to look a little more like a duke … with very limited success, despite arcs of acting classes. “I hate this boat!” he complained and held his stomach. “In fact, I hate all boats. At first I thought the movement of the boat made me sick, but I think it’s the sight of all that water. I don’t like being near water! How do you manage to be so calm, Sintih? Is it some sort of secret Eidisi thing?”

Normally Tristan was very concerned with his appearance and how people perceived him, but at the moment he didn’t care. He felt miserable, and he looked miserable – although there might have been the hint of a smile for a moment as Sintih asked him if he had managed to spend some time on pleasure. “Oh yes! There was this incredibly beautiful woman. She was a noble as well – and even unmarried, as far as I know!” he revealed – as if him being interested in another noble was a rare occurrence – which, in fact, it was. Faith, the first woman he had ever truly loved, had been his slave, and Ayla’s mother … well, as far as the public was concerned, she had been a commoner or even another slave. He had come to the conclusion that revealing that he had (unknowingly) slept with an evil Immortal wouldn’t be conductive to his or his daughter’s wellbeing.

“Her name’s Valeria Burhan”, he revealed. Sintih probably already knew. Due to his being sea-sick, Tristan’s memory didn’t work perfectly at the moment though. “She’s Elyna Burhan’s cousin, I think. I made a sculpture of Elyna once. She was nice – Elyna, I mean. I’m pretty proud of the sculpture as well though. Did you know that Elyna and my slave Faith once rode a dragon? It landed in front of my old house, burned a tree down and scared my neighbor! I wonder how Mrs. Delner is doing. I should invite her to Oakleigh sometimes”, he murmured. He missed the old woman.

“I … I think so”, Tristan replied as Sintih asked about Celeste Andaris. He was so busy thinking about the charity gala and his meeting with the Baroness that he forgot that he was supposed to be sick for a moment – only to suddenly remember it again. He swallowed hard. For a moment there was a really disgusting taste in the back of his throat. “I thought that I would have to convince her to accept Ayla, but she did not have a problem with her. I thought that she would be cold and arrogant, but she seemed like a really nice person. She adopted a girl even though she’s capable of having children. I’ve never seen a noble woman do something like that before!”

His eyes shimmered brightly. Celeste had obviously left quite an impression on him – even though she had interrupted his meeting with Valeria and been kind of mean to her.

“What about you? What did you do during the gala? Did you really spend all the time guarding me? Do you ever have fun?” He’d been wondering about that. Tristan found it hard to imagine what Sintih’s life was like sometimes because he was so different from him.
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[Eastern Trench]The teaching boat

Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:30 pm

t was immediately clear to the Yludih bodyguard that the Duke wasn't interested in light banter. Sin could see the flash of Tristan's anger on his face as he mentioned the boat. He made a note of it not to push things too much for the rest of the trip. The Duke seemed to calm down as he shifted and straightened himself up a little. For a moment there was a flash of memory, Sin sitting in a bed much like the Duke, too sick to get out but too proud to show it. There was a moment of understanding towards the Duke and Sin nodded. Then the Duke got into just how much he disliked this travel. Sin shifted as the boat passed another high wave and he grabbed hold of one of the many ropes hanging from the ceiling. When things got extra crowded, this was where hammocks were tied to, like the ones in his own room.

"No, I'm afraid not, ser. This is not an Eídisi thing. It's simply that you don't deal very well with it and I do." That he didn't have a stomach to get upset with the waves was a thing he kept to himself. "Although, you'd probably get used to it if you stayed on the boat long enough. If you'd like, I could find a lake near Oakleigh for you to practice on." There was no quip or tease in his voice as he spoke. Sin was pretty sure he could help the Duke get, more, used to ships and water if he truly wanted to. "Besides, while you're in discomfort now, surrounded by all this water, I feel much the same way every time I see you surrounded by all these noble ladies over the past few trials, all trying to get your attention. I don't know how you can manage to remain so calm in the face of all that."

Then the conversation shifted away from the boat towards Sin's purpose: the pretty ladies. The Duke seemed keen on talking about the woman he'd met with. One of many during this trip but the only one who'd left any sort of impression on both of them. Sin had been there when they had been caught shining brightly with their blessings, more or less in the middle of something intimate when they had been interrupted by two other nobles. Sin had only arrived just after that, too late to stop the interruption. He still wasn't really sure how, or if, the Duke felt about that. After all, it was Sin's job to keep people from hurting the Duke, physically or otherwise. Tristan seemed keen on talking about her and he listened.

When the Burhan name had reached him back during the charity event, Sin had been struck strongly by it, recalling a painful time, the result of the actions of others. He'd never really gotten over those trials, despite the attempts of several individuals. Elyna had been the strongest influence on him back then but she'd disappeared soon after and he had never found out what had happened to her. Then the Duke spoke another name and his mind reeled under the emotional assault. Faith. This is some sick joke, Father, even for you. His lips turned to a snarl at the mention of the name and only the shaking of the boat and Sin having to hold on to prevent himself from going down kept him from reacting badly. The initial anger passed before Sin could capitalize on it. Instead his mind tried to make sense of the chaos Aelig had brought into his life.

His friend, his first friend outside of his family, had betrayed him, choosing Malcolm over him during the campaign in the Settlements. Sin had lost everything he had worked for in arcs in just a moment, a single decision on Faith's part had reduced his efforts to naught. Now he learned that Tristan was the person who owned her back in those trials, back when his greatest rival was a scholar at the university. There was a pause, as if Sintih was trying to absorb all the information Tristan had just shared with him. Something about inviting someone to Oakleigh. He used that time to try and control his emotions, setting them aside for a later time. More for himself than for the Duke, Sin tried to shift the conversation away from the Burhans and his former slave, focusing on business.

Tristan seemed to cheer up almost as much talking and thinking about his business with Celeste as he had with his pleasure with Valeria. Sin wasn't really sure why Tristan was so hung up on why the lady would or wouldn't accept Ayla, his daughter, but things seemed to have gone well between from what he'd read before and heard now. "That is good to hear. When are you expecting the first books and medicines to arrive?" It was a hint, ever so slightly, at just how much information Sin was privy to through his professional distance to the Duke, either through himself or the others in his Company. It was also a hint towards the Duke that perhaps Sin could be something more than just the leader of the bodyguards to the Duke. But that was most likely a conversation for somewhere distant in the future.

When he'd managed to sit down, the motions of the ship were much more noticeable, he found. His legs automatically adjusted at least somewhat to the motions of the ship and the waves but now that he was seated, it become much more apparent. Perhaps he would try to get the Duke out of bed for a moment later on. He smiled when the Duke asked him if he ever had fun. He hear the disbelief in the man's words. "Well, ser, it is -my job- to keep you safe. During trips like these, which might sometimes be vacations for you, away from your work in Oakleigh, work becomes that more stressful for your guards. It's usually quiet and safe when you're at home, working hard. I guess, now that I think about it, our jobs are the antithesis of each other. The more you are at home, working, the less we have to do. The more you are away and enjoying yourself, the harder we need to work. That said, I think my job is fun to do. But in response to your question,yes, I had some fun outside of that as well."

His quick trip to his place in Andaris had allowed him to meet with some old friends before they left the city on their current trip. During the charity event, he hadn't really spent much time doing fun things. There was a quiet after that, Sin sitting there, thinking, watching the Duke. There were many things he wanted to ask or say or request but Sin was the patient type when it came to these things. He had a plan, tactics in place, some long term, others short term. These things needed to be adhered to or the strategy would fail in the end. "I was wondering something while we were at the gala. There were a lot of nobles present but everyone seemed to have been a Venora or a Gawynne or such. So, there's your family, the Venoras." He stated the obvious, trying to reach some sort of a point. "And obviously the Andaris' and the Burhans and such. Everyone in Rynmere knows the noble houses. Have there ever been any new noble houses? For example, I know it's possible to gain a title and land through military service but... well, it's still the same seven noble houses. With your appointment now, are you still a Venora or are you now of the Oakleighs? Lord Tristan Oakleigh the First?"

It was quite obvious from Sin's face that the whole noble thing was difficult for him to grasp, despite having lived his entire life in the capital of the kingdom. He had so many questions, things he wanted to know, but he knew well enough he couldn't overwhelm the Duke in his current state or he'd get nothing instead. Perhaps he would need have to find some way to get the Duke to teach him some of this stuff. But why would he? Sin wasn't a noble but then again, Tristan wasn't exactly what he'd come to expect from the nobles either.
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Tristan Venora
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[Eastern Trench]The teaching boat

Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:25 am

“Can we trade?“ Tristan asked as Sintih informed him that he just didn’t deal very well with it and looked at him hopefully. “I get your stomach, and you get mine. I’m tired of being sick all the time. I can eat whatever I want, and I don’t get fat”, he added to sweeten the deal a little for the Eidisi, although he didn’t know how exactly stomach transfers worked. You probably needed a mage for it. Finding one would be a challenge in the current political climate though. He really needed to talk to Cassander about his newest law!

“I guess that would work as well”, he replied a lot less enthusiastically as Sintih suggested practicing on a lake because that solution wouldn’t be as quick as giving his malfunctioning stomach away. “We’ll need a boat though. Can you find me a nice boat? Preferably one that offers a bit of luxury?” he asked because he certainly wasn’t going to be sick in something that looked like a nutshell and wasn’t comfortable at all!

When Sintih admitted that he felt the same way every time you saw him surrounded by all the noble ladies, he was confused. “What do you mean?” he asked. “What’s so bad about me being surrounded by women? I like women, and I like being the center of attention. Don’t you?” Maybe, he thought, Sintih had a bad case of social phobia. Either that or he was afraid that the ladies would kill him – or he was simply gay.

When Sintih made a face at the mention of Faith, Tristan came to the conclusion that the latter was probably the case – or he hated women and women that were slaves in particular. Never would he have been able to guess that there was a much more personal reason for Sintih’s dislike of Faith!

“Soon”, he replied as Sintih wanted to know when you expected the first books and medicines to arrive and then he leaned a little closer to the Eidisi because his answer really interested him and asked, “So what do you do for fun outside of work? Do you ever dance or go to a bar and get drunk?”

“No, I don’t think there’ve ever been any new ones”,
he replied when the conversation turned to the noble houses. His stomach had momentarily calmed down somewhat. It probably wouldn’t last though. “Until recently when the king decided to turn the Eastern Settlement into three duchies. I still call myself Venora for the time being, but eventually I’ll start my own noble house – the House of Oakleigh.” He wasn’t particularly happy about that – because he would have to get married, and he wasn’t sure if he wanted to get married. He liked his life just the way it was.

“Why do you ask?”
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[Eastern Trench]The teaching boat

Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:11 pm

espite the great deal the Duke was offering, Sin had to, ultimately, decline the offer. The Duke's attempt did bring a smile to his lips as he sat across from him. Even if it had been a possibility, through magic or actual medicine, Sin would be unable to provide the stomach the Duke needed out of all this. He was glad the Duke allowed him the little step out of his assigned duties. A bodyguard was rarely called upon with matters such as these. Baby steps. "A nice boat might be difficult. Oakleigh is landlocked. Although it doesn't need to be..." Sin was sure there were fishermen and riverboats in Oakleigh but aside from those, he knew they would need to have one built or brought from Welles, both of which were troublesome projects to complete.

As expected, the Duke didn't seem to understand that not everyone enjoyed being in the middle of the attention, despite his bastard brother. Then again, it was more or less a requirement for the nobility to be constantly surrounded by people telling them how amazing they were. Sin briefly wondered how Rynmere had ever managed to survive for so many arcs. "I've noticed that you enjoy the attention, ser, but it's not for everyone, just as boats aren't for everyone." Sin said, a little more defensively than he had wanted to be. "It's just that..." He hesitated, trying to find a way to put it as delicately as possible and then seemed to remember that he never had been delicate with the Duke since trial one. "Well, a lot of the people I've seen you spend time with at the event were very bland, boring even. There was a lot of talk about clothes and jewelry and how such and such noble person did such and such not noble thing..."

"Most of the women you met with were so interesting that I can't even remember what they looked like, let alone what valuable information they might have shared with you." Sin suddenly stopped there, sensing he might have crossed a line that wasn't his to cross, yet. He raised his hands somewhat, showing the Duke he didn't mean to offend in any way. "I know it's part of being a Duke and leading a part of Rynmere but still..." Sin pulled a face that clearly told the Duke that Sin couldn't be bothered with it.

On the subject of work and fun, Sin thought for a moment. There was fun in his life, just not fun he could share with the Duke. They weren't close enough for that. Any of his magical pursuits were off the table as well and anything connected to work the Duke would understand it as being fun, or at least that's what Sin thought. With Tristan's suggestions of drinking, dancing and getting drunk, Sin realized that he'd never actually gone out with the men under his command. Of the five of them, only Thet was somewhat close to him due to the language lessons they'd shared. "Well, I read a lot. There's some more hands on interests I've got, like..." Alchemy? He wasn't sure if the Duke could see past the difference between magical practices and disciplines. "Chemistry... drawing, cartography mostly. I enjoy learning about languages as well." Sharing them out loud made Sin realize his list was shorter than he thought. Most of his time went into his work after all.

Sin wondered what the Duke considered eventually and how that would impact their lives. Would the house of Oakleigh be better received than the House of Venora sitting on the Oakleigh throne? Did that mean the house of Oakleigh would be seeing a lady Oakleigh sometime soon? Sin threw a quick request towards Aelig to have it not be someone like the Duke's sister. Literally anyone but her. When he was asked why the sudden interest, Sin went silent for a moment, trying to formulate a good answer. Because my girlfriend might become a noble in the future wasn't a good enough answer."Well, things have been quiet around Oakleigh for now which is definitely good for you and yours but it makes my job less... satisfying so I thought I might learn a little bit more about what's going on and how things work so that I could be of more service to you. As I said when we first met and discussed my job here, I hope to become someone you rely on for more than just your private security."

"You always seem very busy with a lot of things but a third of the things I've seen you work on or order people about for are simple things, small things that you should delegate, rather than do yourself. But to delegate you need people you trust, which is difficult when you're seen as some sort of invader. Which you're not but that's not how most of Oakleigh sees you." Sin shrugged, because that was how things were and there wasn't much they could do about that for now. "So, I figured I'd start learning now and be prepared for the trial when you ask me for advice." Sitting here with a man sick with motion or ocean sickness made Sin realize that he didn't look upon him as the Duke of Oakleigh, not even when they were in a professional setting where they were employer and employee. At best, the Duke was nothing more than Tristan Venora the noble to him. Sin shifted a little in his seat, waiting to see how the Duke would react.
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Tristan Venora
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[Eastern Trench]The teaching boat

Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:45 am

“Oakleigh is landlocked“, Tristan agreed because there was no point in claiming otherwise even though he really wanted Oakleigh to have beaches and such where he could relax. “But it still has rivers and lakes and other bodies of water. If it didn’t, everybody in Oakleigh would die of thirst. And where there are bodies of water, there are boats! So finding me a nice boat shouldn’t be too difficult. It would probably be smaller than the boat that I was on when I went to Ne’haer in 716 though!”

He briefly got sick again as he said that, but it wasn’t because he was on a boat for a change. No, he was thinking about the shadow beasts and how Ne’hear had been burning, and people had died. He had thrown a lot of nel at the poor then, but he wasn’t sure if it had helped. You couldn’t eat or drink nels, and a lot of shops had been destroyed so he wasn’t sure if the people of Ne’haer had been able to buy anything. He should have sent a boat with food … but the food would probably have gone bad by the time it arrived …

That he was thinking about all those pointless things now was testament to the fact that he still wasn’t well and wouldn’t be as long as he was surrounded by all that terrible water. Talking to Sintih definitely helped though. In fact talking to Sintih amused him right now. As the false Eidisi talked about the people that he had spent time with at the event being bland, he laughed out loud and shook his head because it was just too funny.

“You were clearly watching the wrong Tristan then because I tried to avoid all the bland people that only want to talk about clothes and jewellery. I tried to seduce Lady Burhan instead. I wasn’t aware that one of my doppelgangers had been attending Oliver’s gala as well. I wonder which one it was. Probably Hart …”

Sintih hadn’t said whether he liked women or not, and Tristan was really curious now, so he offered, “I could introduce you to somebody. There are probably a few nice Eidisi ladies in Oakleigh. Or I could set up a date with Lianne. She’s a good kisser!” he informed him proudly, as if being involved with one’s bodyguard was a great accomplishment. Lots of nobles had or had had affairs. He was at least being honest!

“I don’t read”, Tristan replied as Sintih told him about his hobbies. “I write. You can read some of my stuff sometimes if you want to. And I’m interested in chemistry as well!” His eyes shimmered brightly as he said that, and he looked really excited to have found somebody that shared his interest. “I also know a little alchemy. I once made a cloak that was as hard as chainmail, and it even worked – even though the oven nearly exploded. I cooked the reagents in a normal oven”, he explained as if there was nothing wrong with it – because there wasn’t. Sometimes you needed to improvise.

“Maybe we could conduct an alchemical experiment together sometime”, he suggested because experimenting alone wasn’t a lot of fun. He’d tried to teach Mistral alchemy once, but his cat had just tried to lick the reagents, and then he’d jumped onto his scratching tree and fallen asleep because he’d been bored, and the reagents hadn’t tasted good.

“You already are”, Tristan replied as Sintih talked about how he hoped to become someone he relied on for more than just his private security. “I enjoy talking to you. As for delegating, I enjoy doing all those simple things because they are just that – simple - but you are right, I should delegate. And you are right, I need people I can trust. Do you think I could ask somebody from Venora to help me out or would that make my new subjects like me even less? I think I need your advice right now”, he admitted somewhat reluctantly.
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Sintih
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[Eastern Trench]The teaching boat

Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:08 am

id the Duke know of Sin's blunder? Why else would he say that Sin had been following the wrong person? Was he aware of Sin's actions during the charity event? Was he being reprimanded? Sin pushed the thought aside. Of course not, Tristan wasn't sharp enough to have notice his brief lack of presence. He had been with the Burhan woman that whole time, his mind had been on only one thing. "Wait. Doppelgangers?" Sin stressed the s a little louder. "You have more than one?" He decided not to push any further into that. Sin wasn't sure whether it was a good thing or a bad thing, having multiple people looking like you could go both ways depending on their intentions. Hart wouldn't cause any problems, Sin was pretty sure of that, but if there were others, who knew what they were up to?

He was pulled from his thoughts when Tristan quite openly offered to set him up not only with some nice Eídisi ladies but also with his own bodyguard. While it was nice to see that Tristan hadn't changed too much since his promotion to Duke, Sin couldn't really say he liked this particular part of his employer. But he kept all that to himself as he smiled softly, shaking his head at the offer. "That won't be necessary. Thank you for the offer, though. He wasn't quite sure how to feel about the Duke offering to hand over his bodyguard now that he had replaced her, possibly, with the Burhan woman. Sin decided that the reason Tristan was saying these things was because he wasn't feeling well. People did strange things while sick and the Duke was probably no exception. That was the reason.

When Tristan mentioned that he didn't read, Sin couldn't help the surprise on his face. A writer who doesn't read? That's like a farmer who doesn't sow seeds, only harvest. He was about to politely decline reading some of Tristan's work but the Duke continued on into more interesting things. "Chemistry -and- alchemy? I'm impressed. Although I wouldn't say that too loudly around other people these trials. There's enough panic in regards to magic and they don't know the difference between alchemy and the other types of magic." Sin wondered for a moment but then decided to share. "My teacher and I alchemised a living light source once. Just plant a seed and wait until it was fully grown. We never did much with it, though. We also exploded quite a few things..." Sin laughed at his own words, remembering how Doran and he had somehow had the bright idea of creating military grade explosives one afternoon. Unbridled curiosity had been something they had had in common. "It has been some time since I last worked with alchemy but I wouldn't mind picking it up again. Although, only if we find a proper lab and not the estate kitchen or something..."

Sin had never thought that Tristan would request his help so quickly after he voiced his intentions. Was this Aelig setting up more chaos or had Sin misjudged exactly how much Tristan was in need of help? Then again, he wouldn't look a gift Jacadon in the mouth. He nodded in agreement as Tristan told him he needed to delegate and needed to find people to trust. He stopped nodding when the Duke immediately went to Venora for help. At least he'd thought about it. "In this case, I'd say no. Don't bring more people over unless it is someone with a specific skill set or knowledge. You already are an outsider with outsider soldiers and now semi-outsider mercenaries. If you're looking for an advisor on court relations then I would definitely bring someone over from Rynmere but if you need help with the economy or with arranging a local festival or to build a place of learning you should look locally. There are plenty of people here who have made their mark on the world. Merchant families no less wealthy or powerful than the noble houses, families so ingrained in the local community that they literally know every family in Oakleigh. That said, those people are probably the most against you at the moment because you threaten their power here. Should you bring in more people from the outside, Oakleigh is only going to look upon you more as an invader."

Sin went silent here, thinking for a moment, his eyes staring past Tristan to the wooden wall of his cabin. For a few trills there was nothing, just Sintih staring, then he suddenly blinked and his eyes shifted back to Tristan specifically. "Your position as Duke of Oakleigh is valuable. Not as the leader of Oakleigh, not yet, but with the approval of certain people it might become just that. No, it has value as 'the grace of the Duke'. Perhaps these number one families and merchants don't want to support you but their rivals, who have been kept down by them, might find the newly appointed Duke to be a good ally against them. If the people currently in power don't like you, hamstring their power by simply not doing business with them and give it to people who do support you. Who doesn't enjoy saying they are the personal supplier to a Duke of the kingdom? People are easily influenced. Once they get used to you and see that you don't deal with the big shots but are happily and continually dealing with minor families they'll start doing so as well. Euhm..." Sin suddenly stopped, hesitating, trying to remember something. He snapped his fingers twice and then it seemed he had found it. "The Clyde family, you met with them some time ago, correct? You decided to meet with the son rather than with the head of the family. If you decide to only deal with him when dealing with the Clyde family it'll strengthen his position and, over time, he might become the head of the family. Now you've got someone in charge who has been your trusted business partner since way before he got to power."

It wasn't exactly what he had in mind but it served as a proper example. "There are plenty of talented and skilled people in Oakleigh. Try to limit your advisors to local people unless you need someone with specific skills or with foreign knowledge. All that said, though, you could also just invite the big families in and let them continue to be in charge next to or under you." Sin gave a light shrug towards Tristan. It wasn't his place to decide these things, yet. His first suggestion put Tristan in charge, firmly, with people in his court who were grateful or friendly to him but had the added downside of antagonizing the people who currently held most of the power. Despite that, Sin was fairly sure they would manage. On the other hand, befriending the big families straight on would mean having to give up power to them because they wouldn't want to part with the power they had before Tristan had been appointed the Duke here. Over time, he might be able to get it back but that wasn't sure at this time.
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Tristan Venora
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[Eastern Trench]The teaching boat

Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:21 am

“Yes, I’m pretty sure that I have more than one“, Tristan confirmed and grinned because he found the expression on Sintih’s face funny and because he really enjoyed having doppelgangers. There could never be enough of him! “There’s Hart who you already know. I’m also pretty sure that Aelig impersonated me once. That was kind of evil, but flattering at the same time because it doesn’t happen very often that an Immortal impersonates you. There’s bound to be more where those two came from!”

“Oh”,
he made and let out a disappointed sigh as Sintih declined his offer of a date with Lianne. “Why not? Don’t you like women? If you want to, I can also set up a date with one of my other bodyguards, Brandon – or with my brother. Hart’s single at the moment, as far as I know, and I think that he likes men. He used to have a boyfriend. His boyfriend kissed me once because he thought I was him”, he told Sintih in a tone that made it sound as if he considered that information to be of the utmost importance. In his current state – sick and frustrated beyond measure – he really did.

“I’m tired of it, you know?” he asked. Under normal circumstances he might have held back slightly, but as it was he felt the urge to tell Sintih absolutely everything and be completely honest with him, as if the false Eidisi had suddenly become his best friend. “I don’t want to have to be careful because the people of Rynmere are too stupid to tell alchemy and magic apart, and I don’t understand why they want all mages to die because one of them attacked the king. Somebody needs to educate them!”

“Sounds kind of lame”,
he remarked as Sintih talked about how his teacher and he had made a living light source. He didn’t see the point of making a living light source when you could just use a torch or a lantern. “The explosions on the other hand …” His face suddenly lit up. “We could blow something up as well sometime. I have a lot of sculptures that nobody wants to buy! I’ll even buy us a proper lab with all kinds of expensive equipment!”

As he heard what Sintih had to say on the matter of politics, his eyes widened, and he looked really impressed. “I think I’ll do that”, he decided. “If somebody doesn’t want to support me, I’ll go to their rivals instead, and I’ll mostly hire local people as my advisors. That’s a great idea. I initially wanted to invite the heads of all the merchant families, but then I realized that doing so might just end with them trying to kill me”, he admitted.

“Hey, Sintih”, he said after a while. “You are kind of local now, besides I trust you. Do you want to be one of my advisors? You are better at politics than I am even though I’m a duke!”
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