⌘ Common ⌘ Rakahi ⌘ Euthic Sign ⌘ Grovokian ⌘
There were so many things to keep her interest, Navyri hardly knew where to look. Bouncing back and forth between her charming companion and the guards, she absorbed the interaction with immense interest in her blue eyes. It was the beginnings of her understanding of this man, fascinated and unsure by his side. It was an unfamiliar feeling, feeling clumsy in comparison to his gliding movements. She had only known one other being to be so…. overwhelming.
A servant approached, offering a paper fan, and Navyri found herself examining the fine piece of craftsmanship as the Warden talked, turning it over in her fan. Something like this cost money - the crystals imported in from a place called Ishallr, “I’ve never been,” she said softly, still admiring the embedded formations, fanning her hand and then her smiling face. The wind from the fan was icy; the handle almost frosted. What a delight on such a hot day, “It might be worth a visit.”
Of course, she’d need a new coat…
She mused over this as the Warden led her deeper into the garden, the Naerikk drawing inspiration for her new outfits from what she saw around her. Scalvoris was always a curiosity- the very few times she had been. Her visits were always short lived, and yet now the the woman was wondering why. Navyri admired the foliage - the lovely flowers and winding plants, absorbing every statue as she tried to imagine facing such beasts in real life. Some looked quite formidable indeed and others were comical in their unusual shapes.
But it didn’t take long.
Her attention was demanded by the marble statue, how could it not be? Perfectly symmetrical, each curvature of muscle carved with divine care. The gold threaded up the entirety of his form, and down his arms. How did this representation compare to the other three she had seen? Always different. Always the same, “Who could make such work?” she whispered, a pit of paranoia gripping her among the awe. She was feeling cautious, just as when she caught a bird watching her in a stream, or felt an unusual breeze on a hot day. She stared at the statue and froze, convinced the sapphire eyes shifted.
Navyri instinctively reached for her hip, expecting to find the brooch he had left her in the Miasma, the same one that had morphed into his face, almost mocking her. She could imagine the statue doing the same, but it was not there. She had left it at her lodgings along with her other gear. But Delroth was watching, Delroth was-
The Warden spoke and suddenly she was back at the party, holding onto the man who wished to know of the Immortal’s approval rating. Navyri looked down at the rich fabric of his suit, felt it beneath her hand. Navyri eyed the stitching, the fit, the glint of his polished shoes, “Of course. Is he not?” She hadn’t even given her name, how did this man know she wasn’t from Scalvoris herself? Was it so impossible to believe or did an accent give her away? Yet, he had simply known. Lands, not land,
“In my experience everyone always picks a favorite. So Scalvoran’s can say what they want but actions are a man’s tell.”
Or so the saying goes.
Navyri turned so that the statue only played in her peripheral vision while a servant approached with a snack and some wine to drink, “Thank you.” Navyri might have been selfish, but she she wasn’t completely ungrateful. She unlinked herself from her date, carefully taking each item from the tray, scouring the crowd. Where was the host?
“Smart man keeping his wares away from such a… tumultuous town, especially these days.”
“The reason I left Etzos,” Among others. She was a thief, not a politician, and as tempting as Noth’s paradisiac vision had been, a world without pestilence had horrified her. For it was a world without her, “It was a bit undesirable for my tastes.” The feeling had been mutual.
The Naer was trying to look casual, but she was unsettled, not wholly convinced the walls wouldn’t melt to mist and she’d be back in the Miasma again. She needed to be be careful, she needed to play the game.
Navyri had a cracker of cavier half poised to her mouth, ready to indulge a bit to calm her nerves, when two fellow guests began to approach. Both were quite rotund, neither with a sense of style. The Naer stopped, unsure if the woman was really distraught over her son, or because she must have been boiling in that felt. And it wasn’t doing anything for her frame.
Her date introduced them, and Navyri held out a hand, her painted nails pointed downward in expectation. She nodded pleasantly, as her hand was taken by husband and offered the chastest kiss above her knuckle. His lips didn’t even touch skin and she spoke, “Navyri. A pleasure.” She retracted and rejoined the warden’s side, returning to the crook of his elbow.
Explanation was offered and the shadow woman smiled at the Warden’s own dangerous grin, her piercing gaze dropping upon the two. And a heavy look it was. Many judgments played within those icy irises, taking in the fit of their clothes and the way they carried themselves. Navyri began picking apart each detail she could remember before she took a drink of champagne, watching the two from over the rim, “No, I don’t think a release would change anything.”
There was an audible gasp, both preparing to protest when Navyri looked away, seemingly losing interest “Unless…” she met the eyes of the Madame, voice trailing off, “Something positive could come from this whole ordeal.”
She smirked, honingin on the woman first, “You were introduced by the achievements of your father, which makes me believe you have been coasting on the success of others - your husband, maybe your child. Children?”
She craned her head as if humoring the possibility, looking for the smallest reaction in the wife, “What woman worth her salt has nothing to be proud of? But you married rich, played it safe. You are… content with mediocrity.” Navyri swirled her drink, making that decision based on such ugly attire. It showed wealth, yes but it didn’t show any interesting statement about their personality. Other than bad decisions, “Or is it love?”
Now that was an interesting thought, “I doubt it… one of you always gets their way…” The Madame, from their matching outfits. Hers was more flattering, his less so and Nav gave a small wiggle of her fingers. Neither were particularly attractive, “It strains the relationship, and is the reason your son is such a romantic. Also why he would risk imprisonment for a cause he supposedly,” she stressed this, enjoying the game, “has no interest in.”
The Naer sighed wistfully, “But I do admire your dedication to one another. Rest assured, tragedy begets opportunity. At the freedom of a conspirer, the family should offer their shipyard and its supplies to more capable hands - for the betterment of Scalvoris. Ambition shall save it.”
“Surely, a son, even an innocent one, has no business in butchering or building if he is to stay a painter. Those businesses will die when they do, a terrible waste,” Navyri looked to the Warden, wondering what he thought of her logic. She felt she was missing so much, “They could look upon this as inspiration for betterment. Morally. Financially. A chance to rebuild. After all, it is such a small price to pay for the freedom of their sweet baby boy and a generous gift from a family of loyal citizens. Am I wrong?”