• Mature • [Plenty] How Sharper than a Serpent's Tooth

1st of Cylus 720

Once past the gates of Condemnation, one discovers the city of Quacia with the heavily guarded Fortress, the wealthy district of the Gleam, the seat of the powerful Theocratum church, crowded Shanty slums, and the sinful dens of Lair.

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[Plenty] How Sharper than a Serpent's Tooth

Continued from here...

1st of Cylus, Early Morning, arc 720

Rakvald wheezed and hissed through his teeth as Ildred yanked the tines of the pitchfork out from his crotch-flesh. He groaned painfully, willing his ether to surround that wound and dull the pain while he worked his magic to heal it.

"Just... just a sec! Don't kill me Pleeeasse! Or at least wait for me to put little Rakvald to rights! I can't go in the ground like this, I just cant!" Rakvald begged and pleaded with the mother of his daughter, while his hands worried the wound, trying to get the giblets into the bits of skin so it would heal up properly.

"It took you long enough to get here!" Ildred sneered, her mouth curving into a cruel half-smile. She held the bloodied pitchfork over his neck, presumably ready to push it into his neck arteries if he so much as showed the slightest aggression toward her. "I almost thought you might be dead. Now, when you manage to get your balls on straight, we have work to do around here!"

Rakvald's brow furrowed, he energized the skin surrounding Little Rakvald, sealing it up with all the bits inside. Once that was done, he channeled more and more ether to correctly heal it up. Gods, he hoped it healed up properly!

He said nothing to Ildred for a few bits, not until he was sure the sensation would return to his comb and waddle. Once he was satisfied, at least reasonably so, with the healing he'd done, only then did he look up, his eyes meeting hers over the blade of the pitchfork.

"The letter said you and the kid were dead! You had me worried, Ildred! Really! Honest!"

A shallow guffaw from her, and she pressed the sharp end of the pitchfork, putting ever so little pressure on the skin of his neck. "Cute. I'll have your word now that you'll not turn on me as soon as I remove this blade from your neck..."

Rakvald gulped, causing the blade to nick his neck slightly. He whimpered and nodded slowly at her. Slowly, she withdrew the blade and then held the pitchfork upright. Ildred stood triumphantly over the Lotharro and smiled down at him. He almost believed her smile might be good-natured. He allowed himself to laugh a bit.

"What needs doing, Ildred? You look like you have this place well enough in hand..."

"For one, taxes are due at the end of Cylus. The farms are not exempt. I had to give up my house to the city, and live in this squalid stone shack."

"Squallid?! Tobol and I built this place with our own two hands, I'll..." Rakvald knew his farmhouse was humble, but... It was looking better now than before he left, actually. Why couldn't she appreciate her own handiwork?

She lowered the pitchfork again into both hands, silencing Rakvald effectively. "Well... yeah, it could use some sprucing up. A woman's touch you might say! Hahah!?"

"Better. But I'll want my house back. Doubtless, you've some treasure for all the shit you've gotten up to outside of Quacia. Coldheart Hostel is still unoccupied, it's only a manner of time before the city finds a buyer..."

Rakvald furrowed his brow. Shaking him down not only for tax money but putting a payment down on her home? Was there no end to her avarice? No end to her manipulations and treacherous wiles? No end to her beautiful long legs that stuck out from the slip of her nightgown... Err... where was Rakvald? Oh yeah, he was getting pissed. He was outraged!

Between Ildred and Jimmy Fino, Rakvald was thoroughly owned. He wouldn't be surprised if he learned the two knew each other, or were in league to make his life miserable. Rakvald still hadn't taken out that girl for Jimmy. He was more or less dragging his feet, besides which Jimmy had told him to wait for a signal. But that was a concern for another day. He had to focus on the matter at hand.

"How much to buy your house back?" Rakvald dared to ask.

"A princesses ransom? No small amount, I'm afraid." She said, leaning on her pitchfork for a moment. Rakvald took a second to take in the sight of her, in her night dress with her hair falling down, one might think she was attractive. But inside? A soul as rotten as a black apple. Still, an instinctual drive of Rakvald's bonde nature was to protect the women, protect the children, and especially protect mothers. Like it or not, he was as bound to his genetic imperatives as the next beast. So he did what he must. He would obey her while under the hearth.

That wasn't to say he wouldn't have his own way of doing things outside of it, however! Women may rule the hearth in Lotharro society, at least to a point, and enjoy some autonomy once a mother, but Rakvald did as he pleased when it came to his own business.

"Now... Get your rear off my floor, and come into the parlor." Ildred beckoned him. Rakvald might've been imagining things, but something told him that she knew very well what she was doing, who she was dealing with, and how to use the situation. She wrapped him around her finger so effectively in those moments, he wondered if he didn't actually like this treatment...

He rose to his feet, and followed her into the den where the child was kept in her basket. Beside it, Rakvald spotted a familiar tome... Tobold's grimoire!! She'd found it? His breath caught in his throat, but he tried to conceal his excitement. Ildred was observant, however, and noticed that his eyes were caught on that object. A small smile crept across her face as she stood over the child, and took their daughter into her arms. Right then and there she began feeding the child. But Rakvald's eyes were still fixed on the grimoire.

"Now, let it not be said that I won't give a fair trade for your help?" She said with a sigh, while feeding the child, "I'll let you take this grimoire, of course, it's yours after all! But first... We must acquire Coldheart Hostel."

Rakvald's eyes drifted from the grimoire finally, over toward Ildred. He nearly jumped when it dawned on him what she was doing. Once again, his bonde side drove him to consider her in a new light, as he saw her nurturing their daughter. For once, Ildred appeared more attractive to him than any other woman he'd met. He was thoroughly beneath her spell.

"Uhhh.... Yeah." He said. "I got plenty of nel on the way from Desnind, I can grab that property on credit, easy. I know guys in the Guilds and such who can connect me to the seller. I..."

But then he got distracted as his daughter became increasingly aggressive in her feeding until she bit Ildred. He couldn't suppress a giggle at that sight. Ildred merely rolled her eyes, and placed their daughter back in the crib, before covering herself back up.

"Good." She said, turning to face him once more. Ildred stared at Rakvald a few moments, until at last her eyebrows quirked impatiently, "Well?! Go on."

"Uhhh! Yeah! I'll be right there and back! No time at all..."

So saying, Rakvald left the farmhouse, dressed still in his nightclothes. From there he made his way back toward the Inn he was staying. He gathered his clothing, his hides, furs, and woolen breeches. Thus dressed, as well as he could do for himself, he started off toward where he knew his guild contact was.

It took the better part of the next few breaks, but eventually, Rakvald managed to bargain for Coldheart Hostel. He got it for cost, but not before ending up with the owing of another favor, to yet another person. Turned out the contact had a few friends with issues that needed sorting. Knowing Rakvald's reputation as a grafter, he enlisted his aid. Rakvald would have his hands full of free dental and other such jobs, all free of charge! Enough to last him the next few cycles perhaps if he didn't renegotiate the terms before they were up.

When at last he returned to Ildred, they both made preparations for the move out of the plenty. Ildred had arranged for migrant workers to tend to the stock in their absence. It would come at the cost of their harvest, but at least they wouldn't have to worry about taxes or upkeep. And the migrants would be able to profit from their tenancy. It was win, win.
word count: 1489

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Re: [Plenty] How Sharper than a Serpent's Tooth

Thread Review


Rakvald the Charmer
Skill Points: +10 (cannot be used for magic)
Magic XP: None.

Renown: +5 (people will likely know it was Rakvald who purchased Coldheart Hostel, and maybe Ildred will gossip a bit about him to others too, if she's the gossipy sort)

Injuries/Overstepping: None
Wealth Points: Tier 7 House in Quacia (Coldheart Hostel) -40 wp & Masterwork household items for Coldheart Hostel (Quacia) -6 wp (confirmed; recorded in ledger)
Loot: Purchased Coldheart Hostel (accounted in ledger. Tier 7 house +1 small room and house hold items.) Reacquired Tobol's Hone Grimoire.

Skill Knowledge:
[*]Caregiving: Letting a baby spend time with its mother.
[*]Endurance: Recovering from a grave wound, with the aid of graft.
[*]Endurance: Holding in his own giblets, and enduring the pain while healing.
[*]Meditation: Calming influence of a woman, even one as evil as Ildred.
[*]Negotiation: Arranging for a property purchase.
[*]Negotiation: Making up the difference by offering free services.

Non-Skill Knowledge:
  • none requested.
Notes: Little on the short side for a solo, but only by 11 words.
Skills Used: Caregiving: Untrained; Endurance: Competent; Discipline: Expert; Meditation: Novice; Negotiation: Untrained
Skill Review: Appropriate to level.

What a way to start off a solo, though, even as a continued thread. Ildred is a harsh mistress, for sure. But then, maybe that's what Rakvald needs... or wants... Regardless, fortunately, Rakvald is a Grafter or else he might have been in serious trouble!

The descriptions of where Rakvald's focus wandered were enjoyable, especially how it played out that he'd be purchasing Coldheart Hostel. I have a feeling though that Ildred might be a bad influence for Rak in the long run... she definitely seems to know how to manipulate him! Who knows, though, maybe the domestic life might suit Rakvald...

Enjoy your rewards!

PM me if you have any questions, issues or concerns.

Total Word Count: 1489 words.
Review Request Link: viewtopic.php?p=148421#p148421

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