Nels of Glass

The shallow bay Egilrun is situated upon is used, these trials, for crafts and crafting. From boatmakers to weaponsmiths, glassblowers to metalworkers, the sound of hammers and saws can be heard almost every break of the trial, with crews working in shifts to produce the beautiful craftsmanship which they might, one trial, become famous for.

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Woe
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Nels of Glass


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Ashan 45th 721

Covering Woe's shoulders is a black, quilted wool jacket, stitched with cloth of silver in a diamond pattern. Beneath it, he wears a wool shirt of pale dark blue, which hangs freely over a pair of black breeches made of quilted leather, in the same diamond pattern as the jacket, with similar silver stitching. He wears a pair of black knee boots on his feet.

The library of the North Lodge was an inviting space for people visiting Egilrun. Most especially people who wanted to avoid the persistent hub that was the tavern-styled common room where those residing there ate and drank. While Cornelia ran a tight ship, and rarely was said to let anything get out of hand down there, Woe just had a desire at the moment for the special, meditative quiet of the library space. He was looking over the old maps of Egilrun, not being one for looking at dusty old references and the odd cheap romantic novels that Cornelia favored.

There was good information to be had on the map. Woe noted the location of Slag’s Deep on it, his eye focused on that mysterious mine, where so many men and women had toiled in despair. Woe thought he might be at home there, being a jailer himself once upon a time. At the sight of Slag’s Deep, the Arcane Gaoler thrilled to it, to trap so much power beneath the earth. It was the essence of the spark’s emerging personality. But for now, only Woe was affected by the ministrations of the Arcane Gaoler. He had muted the Umbral Arachnid, as well as the Empathy spark, and also soothed them at the same time. If he’d wanted to use them, and he didn’t, he’d find their power severely curtailed by the effort expended by his allied Attunement and Abrogative magics. For whatever reason, the Arcane Gaoler tolerated the Attunement spark. Perhaps because its personality and influence upon their host was minimal.

Woe read the map carefully as if it was the most intensely interesting thing in the room. He focused on the location of the districts, both residential, the factor districts, and the old slave market. It was an older map, more than a few years, and so hadn’t yet been updated to the current state of affairs. Curiously, he noted shorthand underneath several locations that were described, especially around the Slave Markets…

Occasionally he was distracted from his search, by the sound of the door to the hallway leading into the common rooms, but for the most part, it was quiet enough for him to concentrate on his current research. His eyes narrowed as he beheld the image of the Slave Market. That locale was something he’d have to do more research on. Surely, an answer to the Crystal Blade’s identity might be found in the gutters of that terrible place.

Last edited by Woe on Fri May 07, 2021 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 492
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Re: Nels of Glass

Ashan 45, Arc 721

Egilrun was interesting. Glass seemed to be a thing and as such, she had spent a noteworthy trial learning more about the art of glassblowing, nudging around various shops, and asking questions. It wasn’t a skill she was interested in acquiring necessarily, but she appreciated the process and beauty of the pieces created. In one shop, she admired the most beautiful hand-blown glass animals. Taking a few bits to talk to the artist, they had explained the basics of the process, intriguing the young woman further.

The trial had worn on and Natalia, tired from her travels overall and perhaps a bit overwhelmed with the state of things, decided to retire back to the North Lodge for the rest of the trial. Staying there for a few trials while in Egilrun, she had found the accommodations charming and perfectly suited to her needs – quiet and quieter. At least the parts she frequented.

Noting the fading light of the trial as she approached the Lodge, Natalia smiled. Twilight was upon Egilrun...and she was pleased. Sometimes, in the absence of light, it was easier to focus on what needed to be focused on, instead of being blinded by distractions. It was a fairly abstract idea, but one Natalia was enjoying digging her way through as time went on.

It wasn’t the first time she had found herself seeking out the library since arriving at the Lodge, but it was the first time she had no idea what she wanted to research. Usually, her mind had something extremely specific it wanted to know, but right then, the best she could hope for is walking along the stacks and alighting on something interesting.

Opening the door to the library, she gently stepped into the room and closed the door softly, not wishing to disturb anyone. There were a few people milling about and a few more at tables, but she didn’t pay them too much attention, focusing more on finding something interesting to read.

Interesting. That was a word that was important to the young woman. She had left the life she knew behind because if she had stayed, her life would have become mundane, and that was to be avoided at all costs.

Clad in a gold dress with a deep blue overlay, it would be evident to someone observant that Natalia was aware that outward appearances mattered and took pains with such. She moved with grace and eloquence, yet the material of her dress and accessories chosen to accompany her ensemble told a different story. She knew of wealth and privilege, yet she was no longer of that world.

Swiftly moving to the stacks on the far wall, she walked slowly along, looking for a subject that might arouse her interest. Sighing softly, Natalia’s golden eyes finally found something worth taking a closer look at.

Pulling the book from the shelf, she opened it, noting that it seemed to be something of a guide to Scalvoris. While not what she would classically call ‘interesting’, she did have a vested interest, wanting to learn more about the places she wanted to travel to. Natalia had a limited amount of time to figure out where she wanted to live and being informed was a good thing in her opinion.

Pulling the rather large book into her arms, she moved over to a nearby table. It was already occupied by a man, who by her estimation and from what she could see, was looking at a map. Arranging her skirts a bit, Natalia gracefully lowered into the chair opposite him and immediately started reading. If he glanced up at her, she certainly would offer a polite smile and inclination of the head, but it was a library and she had no desire to intrude...

...until her mind got the better of her. She couldn't get the image of the map out of her mind. Glancing up again, she let her eyes sweep over the parchment a bit more before speaking to the man. "Excuse me, is that a map of Egilrun? It looks very old..." In truth, the fact that it was a map wasn't what was catching her eye. It was the material the map had been printed on. Leaning over the table a bit to get a better look at the paper, she gently reached out a hand to touch the corner of it, oblivious to the fact that she didn't know the man himself. "Gorgeous paper. You don't see that heavy thickness that often. And it looks to have been treated so that the ink would not be too easily absorbed when the map was applied. Beautiful..."

Finally looking up at the man, shaking herself from the appraising gaze that had befallen her, Natalia offered a light smile. "I apologize for molesting your map. It's rare to see such quality. It must be very important." Sitting back in her chair, the young woman leaned back, continuing to regard him. There were a few things she would consider unusual about his appearance...but it would have been rude to ask. Realistically, she was more concerned with what came out of his mouth.


Last edited by Natalia Gregorios on Sat May 15, 2021 4:03 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 874
"A girl should be two things: who and what she wants."


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Woe
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Re: Nels of Glass

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Glassmaking was a intense art, not at all the delicate process of needlework or the sublime perception of painting. Glassmakers were as much smith as artist, and they forged their pieces in the hottest crucibles, turning basic minerals into a workable material. Woe had great respect for the art, which was part of what drew him to Egilrun. Yet it was also the culture of people who were willing to put their noses to the grindstone.

He continued observing the map, wondering where the Crystal Blade might have holed up. He was deep in hiding, and very aware that he was being pursued. Of course, the man had allies, and would be protected and provided for by them. Woe had a run-in with just one of them the other trial, the mail thief that intercepted correspondence here and there.

So Woe knew he had contacts within Egilrun, and perhaps the rest of the Island. Among the law enforcement even. The mortalborn wondered if he'd even infiltrated with his feelers the Elements. It seemed a troubling proposition, and the Elements had been reluctant to pursue a warrant for his arrest. Woe would've thought they'd be all the more eager to apprehend someone with whom they've had dealings, going rogue. Such as they had with Balthazar.

Woe's mind trailing to Balthazar seemed odd. He hadn't given the mage a second thought since giving his testimony to the help Balthazar had provided in Quacia. Then again, from time to time he wondered about his old ally. Perhaps he could give information on the Crystal Blade, having been more of a fixture around Scalvoris himself. Then again, perhaps not. While the mage had talents to be sure, they weren't as much along the lines of subterfuge and subtlety.

Woe was lost in thought for a few moments, remembering his life before the change he'd undergone through Sophist's Guile, was strange. Almost as if the life he'd lived before belonged to a different person than he was now. In a way that was true. He almost didn't realize someone else was viewing the map he now read.

She seemed preoccupied with the quality of the paper. She seemed a natural at appraisal, and Woe had to agree with the quality of the map, although he was more concerned with the contents than the make-up of it.

"Yes, it's a map of Egilrun. Are you a resident?" Woe didn't mind making conversation while he was here. The Study of the North Lodge wasn't exactly a library, but it was a plae of contemplation. Even so, he didn't mind having a different perspective to draw from, if necessary. If the woman proved at all worth the while.

"What do you make of, this..." Woe said, curious about her thoughts. He pointed of course to the depiction of the old slave markets, and the slave pens. "Does anything spring out to you about these?"
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Re: Nels of Glass

Ashan 45, Arc 721

Her observations were just beginning when his voice came. Leaning back in her chair, legs crossed, golden eyes assessing him, almost like the map, Natalia replied in short order although, there was a disconnect between her mind and words. “Visitor. Traveling. Egilrun is my first stop.” Her mind was aware of what she was saying, and it was accurate, but it was far too concerned with what she was noticing in front of her to care.

Her companion was…. curious. Short white hair, which in her estimation suited him. There was a brand of…something…on his cheekbone, but she wasn’t close enough to see what it was or know the significance. His skin was pale and something with his face. There were areas of darkness under his eyes. Perhaps he simply hadn’t gotten enough sleep?

One thing that stood out, however, was that he seemed to understand the same thing about clothing that she did – appearances mattered. His clothing, that she could see, was exquisite. Black jacket, blue sweater, and suited the man perfectly.

Another thing that gained her notice was his question. The young woman had worried that his opening was simply an invitation to small talk, which she excelled at but equally hated. Women were things of beauty and their opinions didn’t matter, or at least that is what she had been taught her entire life and yet the second thing said to her was an enticement for her thoughts?

Interesting.

Finally tearing her eyes away from him, she glanced down at the map. Rising from her chair, she gracefully moved to his side of the table so she could see the map from his perspective, noting the areas he pointed out. As she moved closer, he would note the distinct scent of her perfume. It wasn’t overwhelming in the least, a subtle hint of lavender and something…citrus, blending together beautifully.

Leaning over the map, she remained quiet for several trills before her soft voice began. “I’m not familiar with Egilrun at all. Less familiar with its history of slavery, so in that way, I’m fairly useless to you, I’m afraid…” Running her hand over the surface of the map, she considered something else. It was a bit broader perspective than what he was looking for, but perhaps it would interest him?

“What I do know, is that maps are reflections of the people that create them. In some ways, I think, they are telling a story. The map shows you what the mapmaker wants one to see. It’s almost like people, I think, and how they project themselves to the larger world.” Tapping the area that showed the slave pens, her voice suddenly became reflective in tone, as if she were deep in thought. “So, the question becomes, what did this mapmaker want someone to see? Were they trying to draw attention to something, or hide it?”

Turning to regard him again, she was close enough now to note his pale blue-grey eyes. Storm eyes, like the sea. Smiling, Natalia continued. “That answer, whether a mapmaker is hiding or showing something, isn’t always easy, but it could possibly be made easier by comparing maps from two different mapmakers? Two differing opinions gives one more information. If there is something different about the way the areas of interest are depicted, wouldn’t that indicate something?” Of course, it was just a theory, but in her mind, it made sense.


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Re: Nels of Glass



"I wouldn't be so sure." Woe said of her statement of uselessness in the matter of perspective on Egilrun. "An uninformed opinion is an objective one, untouched by prejudice or preknowledge. I've been in Egilrun a season, but have already familiarized myself with its current layout. What may seem perfectly normal to me might strike your eyes as something abnormal. What seems abnormal to me could meet your eyes as perfectly appropriate. Not knowing or having preconceived notions of something isn't entirely disadvantageous." Of course, here Woe was touting the benefits of his own domain of Ignorance. But he knew it's benefits as well as anyone.

Woe nodded at her description of mapmakers. Although Woe didn't know many... or an, she had a general point about artisans and craftsmen. They saw things through a lense, which was filtered through skill and knowledge, which often enough was imperfect or biased. His eyes followed her finger to the slave pens, or the depiction of it. It did feature prominently on this old map. Yet what struck him, her finger fell on a small shard of glass, which underpinned several of the locations on the map. Suddenly, Woe was taken with interest in that feature in the map. Why were some marked by glass-like shapes and others not? He tried looking closer at the map, but couldn't quite tell if it'd been drawn on it after the fact, or was part of the cartographer's original design.

"Hmm." Woe hummed to himself as he looked at the map with renewed interest. It was then he noticed her perfume, although he wasn't one to care much about smells, he felt it a courtesy, given his coming off the road only recently, to activate his flowery scent gifted to him by the Mountain King's Court. He had his pick of flowery scents, but chose honeysuckle.

Woe looked up at her to find her eyes locked on his, and returned her smile with a neutral smirk of his own. Almost as if she'd seen what he'd seen, she began talking about commonalities between the different locations listed on the map. Had she seen the glass shards beneath the buildings?

Woe idly traced the map to find the North Lodge, and found it without the marking. He didn't know whether to be reassured or discouraged by this, however.

"You seem to have a grasp of reading maps, or perhaps a knack for appraisal. I'd really enjoy hearing your perspective on various things, if you'd indulge me."

"What do you make of the Council of Scalvoris?"



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Re: Nels of Glass

Ashan 45, Arc 721

As she stood next to him, the young woman considered his words regarding a fresh perspective. Natalia hadn’t considered that having limited experience with something might be useful, but it made sense. Eyes grazing the map again with renewed interest, she nodded her head gently, conceding his point, giving a bit of a laugh. “I’m not sure why I never considered that perspective before, but you are absolutely right. I see that now.” It always amused her when someone pointed out something so blatantly obvious that she missed. Getting wrapped up in one’s mind often resulted in such.

She hadn’t known why her finger stopped on the slave pens, but it was easy to see that something had caught his attention. Following his gaze back to where her finger was, she moved it to the side slightly, noting the shard of glass illustrated, as just as he had, noted several more. Looking at him with a quizzical expression, she mused out loud. “Egilrun is known for glass, yes? Why would some locations have these special markings and others not? And most importantly, do we assume since there is no key that tells us what those markings mean, that they were added after the fact? Or that the mapmaker wanted their significance to be a secret?”

Interesting indeed.

It was then that she noted a very faint scent of honeysuckle – one of her favorite scents - although she couldn’t pin down the source, glancing about the immediate area. It was…odd, but she didn’t give it further thought, simply enjoying it while she could. That was one lesson Natalia had learned over the course of the last season – take happiness where you could and savor it, for it could be fleeting.

Golden eyes found his returned smirk and moved on to the map once again, watching his finger as he moved it over the surface, landing on the North Lodge. She wasn’t sure the meaning of that, but he quickly moved on, asking for her perspective on a few things. The offer itself was a bit of a surprise but a pleasant one, as was the entire encounter to that point. Nodding her head gently, she pulled over a nearby chair and lowered into it, offering up another smile. “Various things? That sounds like it could get a girl in trouble. Good thing I’m not averse to it.”

The Council of Scalvoris? He did not start with easy questions. As a life-long resident of Scalvoris, she was, of course, familiar with the governing body. Leaning back in her chair, folding her hands in front of her, a mischievous smile played about her lips. “Going right to the hard-hitting questions, aren’t you? Fair enough. Council of Scalvoris. Politics. Theater at its finest.”

Gathering her thoughts, she wondered why he was asking about the Council, but it really was none of her business. “I think most people enter politics with good intentions, but politics is a temperamental beast. I think the Council is a mix of people with varying ulterior motives. As far as I’m concerned, if one of those motives is ‘betterment of the area they represent, then I’m alright with it. Politics and personal motivations, ambitions have always gone hand in hand. If they are only in it for themselves, then that is where problems arise.” The young woman was aware that she held a fairly neutral opinion on politics. It was a necessary evil that she saw the use of but occasionally bemoaned due to the conflicts that could arise because of it.

Of course, she hadn’t answered his question, acknowledging that. “But you asked about the Scalvoris version, not politics in general. I think, personally, they’ve done more good for the island than harm. At least, overall. I’m not sure you can ask much more than that.”

“And you? What do you make of them?” What fun was it to simply answer questions?



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Re: Nels of Glass



It was a perspective not often considered, that the uninformed could have perspectives that were valuable. But Woe had grown up among the lowest of the low, and it often was the case that economic success didn't always engender attention to detail. More often than not, being raised into wealth was to the detriment of the beneficiaries, if they weren't sufficiently driven themselves. Woe considered himself to be a self-made person, although that wasn't to say he hadn't a hand up along the way. He was grateful for what help he'd received on his way through life, wherever the hand up came from. Even enemies had something to offer, a crucible through which his weaknesses could be turned into situational awareness, and his scars could be turned into plates of armor.

Woe reflected that he could invite her to the suites that were reserved for the members of the Elements, an outfit he had only just joined, but then he'd wait and see what he thought of her more before making the invitation. His impression was already a positive one, however. He enjoyed thoughtful women who were neither too eager nor too standoffish.

Woe sat opposite her, shuffling on his arcanically lamed leg in order to slide into the seat. Then he gave her a tight smile. "I'm Trooper Woe Morandi, by the way. Of the Elements, Land division."

Of course, he chuckled a bit when she mentioned his engaging in vagaries. Caught red-handed, it seemed. Treating in vagaries was something he often faulted others for, so it amused him to be called out for the same.

"That's an astute position. People who treat vagaries are ill-suited to deep conversation. One can tell right away when someone is more bark than bite, by the fact of their use of vague language." He nodded, and waited for her to answer his question about the Council.

Her description of politics was very astute. It was a manner of theater. That theater didn't always agree with Woe, especially when it edged into the territory of amusement for its own sake. Yet there was something to be said for the distraction of certain higher classes.

"Apologies if I edge right into dangerous territory. I do not enjoy small talk for its own sake, although it has its place."

Her thoughts on the Council were interesting and reflected a very milquetoast venture into the subject. Yet he couldn't fault her for that. They were only getting to meet just now. If they met again, and again, he could learn more specifics about how she felt about things. Still, it spoke well of her that she gave a non-commital and common definition to politics, without elaborating much on her own opinions.

But then, she actually did give something of an opinion, even if it was generalized. More good than bad, perhaps that was true. However, how could one truly judge the efficacy of a government without having experienced a range of styles of government? Woe had been to different lands in his time, absolute monarchies, oligarchical aristocratic rule, feudal kingdoms, and even a hybrid of a Kingdom with some common representation. The throughline for many of them was that the more absolute forms of government weren't great for business or the cause of peace. Yet their preoccupation with war lent itself to their ability to make such wars possible at length.

"I think the Council does a good job of keeping this island together, under the circumstances. Strange happenings do seem to occur here more often than not, but the Council has managed to hold itself together and mete out internal justice where necessary. It's important I think that a government hold itself accountable."



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Re: Nels of Glass

Ashan 45, Arc 721
Natalia watched him closely. There was a lot that could be construed from simple observation. The problem with most people, however, was that they failed to stop long enough to look. That was one of the luxuries of the life she had left behind, and one of the few blessings that had been taught to her. A life of luxury allowed one the time and space to learn observation. While many still didn’t, she had. She hadn’t the desire to remain in that life but had taken from it what she could and maximized her opportunities there, hoping they would serve her well in the future.

The young woman knew everything she needed to about putting someone at ease, yet she employed none of that knowledge with him. It was a curious thing, really. She simply reacted, mind still whirling about, and yet, their conversation needed no additional encouragement from her perspective. Most meetings tended to be tedious affairs that one drug themselves through, wishing it to end. Natalia felt none of those urges, content to enjoy the conversation for what it was.

Ah! The introduction. “Natalia Gregorios, with no affiliation with the Elements whatsoever” Giving him a grin, their conversation moved along, causing him to chuckle at something she said, and perhaps oddly enough, it was a pleasant sound to her.

She was pleased when he said that he, as well, didn’t enjoy small talk. “I’m delighted to hear that, actually. I’m experienced enough in the matter that I can easily fool someone into thinking I enjoy it, but don’t. I, however, agree with you – it has its place.” Natalia could have elaborated on that subject for a bit but stopped herself. Too much, too soon, Nat. You know better. Her own words echoed, things she had told herself a thousand times. Small talk was useful when wanting to get information out of someone. It had a habit of lulling another into a false sense of security and before one knew, they were talking about whatever she wanted them to.

In the case of their conversation, however, she was finding that her normal curious mind was simply happy to converse along the natural lines of their discussion. There were no ulterior motives other than…talking. And she was appreciating the ease of it all.

A soft laugh slipped free as he apologized, in advance, for ‘dangerous territory’. “Dangerous territory, I assure you, has its place and uses too. But I accept your preemptive apologies happily.” As well, she didn’t push her theories on what he classified as ‘dangerous territory’.

Woe sat quietly, listening to her vague and then not-so-vague opinions on politics and the Council. He didn’t interrupt her once or tell her that her views were childish or uninformed. He just…listened. Whatever he thought about what she said, however, he kept to himself, offering up a somewhat similar opinion to what she had spoken.

The last line he spoke, however, got her attention. “Indeed. Somewhat like people, I think. Accountability is important. Of course, I can’t speak to other forms of government, only knowing what I know from Scalvoris, but I would be terrified of a way of life where people were blindly allegiant. But then again, I tend to question everything and everyone so, I suppose, it’s not too surprising.” And yet again, she held herself back from revealing too much of who she was. To the man’s credit, he had gotten more out of her than most ever did, but she chalked that up to the enjoyment of his company.


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Re: Nels of Glass



In the empty spaces of conversation, while letting each other process their thoughts, Woe felt strangely compelled to exercise the ability granted by his Mother. The first, Web-spinning. He caught her in that ethereal strand, and wrapped her up in it, coiling two more just for safety in case she should stray too far and stress the singular thread. He could always open a frequency on her. However, that felt a little too invasive and aggressive, as magic was. So he settled for web-spinning.

She gave her name, and it was an earful compared to Woe's. He hadn't always a surname until he found out about his fallen heritage in Ne'haer. Her name sounded very posh, with a suggestion of an affluent socialite. He could tell she wasn't lying about it, however, as the silk would've alerted him to as much. Or at least, she believed she was of a family that went by that name. Who really had the luxury of knowing their heritage in such a murky age? It was enough though, that someone claimed her as their own. And that was a fact that Woe filed away. She was probably important to someone

He nodded and allowed her to absorb and answer his opinions with her own thoughts. Her thoughts on the absolute rule were interesting, and the terror she expressed toward such a concept was well-founded. Yet, Woe had something to say of that, "Blind allegiance is dangerous, just as any form of blindness, the afflicted cannot always understand the rulings made by the classes above them. Because it is not for them to question, or be informed of the reasons. This leads to obvious cracks in their hierarchy, straining like a dam to contain the pressure of so much public turmoil. Even the strongest and longest-standing absolute ruling class can hold back the sluice before something gives, and then it all comes apart."

Woe thought it'd be good to get a drink with her, so they'd have something other than the map to speak over. Plus they were beginning to get rude glances from other people in the library.

He rose to his feet, and hobbled around the table, holding out his arm for her to hook into, "Shall we go off to the common area? Are you hungry or thirsty?"

Regardless of her answer, it'd be best to remove themselves to someplace where they could converse without fear of disturbing the studious types. He would lead her, if she let him, limping toward the Tavern area. He would have led her into the Elements VIP lounge, but when they said Only Elements, he presumed that meant no guests.


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Re: Nels of Glass

Ashan 45, Arc 721

She had noticed the sour looks from others in the room, but simply didn’t care. It had been far too long since her curiosity had been aroused in the way Woe currently was. However, there was only so far she would allow the situation to go, not wishing to be rude. Their conversation had, to that point, been quiet and unobtrusive…and yet she knew the studious types were a bit absolute in their desire for silence.

His words caused a smile to form upon her lips. They had been conversing for just a short time and she already relished more. A quick consideration of what he said brought her to another point. “You could say the same for the form of government here though. Not everyone understands what the Council does. Some simply don’t care and others are unable to understand. That doesn’t imply blind allegiance. It implies a whole host of other things, certainly. A certain amount of transparency, I believe, is required to keep the cracks from forming, but then again, I’ve never been one knowledgeable in politics. The greatest sin, in my view, is intentional obliviousness. Putting one’s head in the sand and wishing to know nothing of anything.”

As soon as she said the words, she regretted the action. Damn it, girl. Too far. Why are you showing pieces of yourself?

Before she could argue with her inner voice, her companion rose, offering her his arm. Glancing around, she noted that the looks they were getting had intensified, and it appeared he had noticed too. Looking up at him, Natalia smiled, rising, and gently slipping her arm through his. “A drink would be lovely, and yes, I think that would be appropriate.”

As they moved, she noticed the limp vaguely, curious as to how the injury had been inflicted on one so young. ‘Young’, she supposed, was a relative term. He was a bit older than she but that didn’t bother her in the least. A lot of things, in fact, didn’t bother her at that moment….and even that fact, didn’t bother her. It all boiled down to her being genuinely pleased with the company, and his abilities would easily pick up on that emotion as it was in the forefront of her being.

He knew a bit of her now, due to her inability to rein in her mouth. Perhaps it was time to see what he was willing to tell her of himself. She had a name, but what of the man? From what she could tell, he had a wonderful mind and she wanted to experience more of it. “So, you asked me about the Council, and I think we’ve mutually decided that they are adequate. I'm sure they will sleep better tonight knowing that... she said, letting a soft laugh slip free.

“We’ve also determined that neither of us enjoy small talk…although…” Glancing up at him again, she gave him a dramatic, evaluating look, casting her golden eyes over his features, sparkling with just a hint of mischief, “Maybe I would enjoy small talk with you. Maybe it’s just everyone else I don’t enjoy it with. Perhaps we will have to try sometrial and see how it goes…”

Grinning, she continued. “What would you ask of me next?”


word count: 566
"A girl should be two things: who and what she wants."


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