• Solo • Playing the Part

Alex visits Evelyn Andaris

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.
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Vluharqih
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Posts: 604
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2016 10:56 pm
Race: Yludih
Profession: Apothecary
Renown: 278
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60th of Zi'da, Arc 716
Alex hopped off the horse well before the gate came into view. She was fed up with the beast- three times she had tried to ride it, and without fail each time the beast had decided that the snowbanks looked like a fun spot to run into. She had been covered with snow, though thankfully there was no one around to witness her embarrasment, save for the horse who appeared greatly amused with its efforts.

Luckily it hadn’t been a very long ride from Andaris to Evelyn’s house; definitely not enough time to develop any bruises or soreness, though melting snow still clung to her.

She soon arrived at the gate, knocking and shifting from foot to foot as she waited. It was cold out, and she wanted to get inside and warm before she lost any more energy. She had only experienced the effects of cold on her illusion a handful of times before, and it had never been a pleasant experience. It felt like all her limbs were moving through molasses, though she reacted and moved normally; the effort it took to do anything was far greater. Luckily, Evelyn apparently loved her wine, so Alex was in a good place to refuel.

“Can I help you?” A voice rang out from behind the door.

“Y-Yes, my name is Valyeria Travolian, and I have an appointment with Lady Andaris?”

Alex had sent ahead a letter asking for a business meeting several trials ago. Just when she had given up on that plan she had received a reply, eagerly inviting her to a meeting.

The door slowly opened, just wide enough for Alex and the horse to enter. She let the woman behind the door take the beast, leading the wretched animal away.

I’d rather fly back. Images of sending it to a butcher danced through her head, but she dismissed them with a sigh. It wasn’t her beast, and she needed to return it.

Alex was led into the house and told to wait by a large brazier while the woman disappeared. She slowly looked around taking it all in -A circular staircase dominated the entrance, hallways branching off in nearly every direction. The room was large, bigger than the entire house that Alex and her father were staying in.

Had been, she reminded herself roughly. Room we had been staying in. She had recently put her foot down with him, and he was still slightly bitter about it, to say the least. Her relationship had been strained though finishing her work today should get rid of the worst of the tension.

She looked down at the package in her hands- a large centerpiece sculpture with half a dozen handmade candles.

Tristan Venora had made the sculpture, so to say it was magnificent was an understatement. It was beyond life-like, a nude model of Ymiden. His muscular body was expertly wrought and Alex was sure the woman would like it.

“Ms. Travolian, I presume?” The voice came from the stairs, and Alex craned her neck to catch sight of her. A tall redhead was making her way down, her hair matching Alex’s. The woman had the pale, flawless skin of nobility and the grace of one born with the right blood.

“That’s correct. Do I have the pleasure of speaking to Lady Andaris?”

The woman inclined her head, extending a hand as she neared Alex.

“You have a lovely house. The countryside around here is incredible. I’m from Nashaki originally, and I’ve never seen much snow.”

A ghost of a smile crossed Evelyn’s face and now that Alex was closer she could see poorly concealed bags under her eyes; the woman was staying up late it seemed, though her attitude showed no signs of exhaustion.

“Why thank you. I must say, your letter intrigued me. I’ve never had any shipping companies approach me for a deal,” she said.

“Indeed, we would be very interested in discussing a deal. Is there somewhere we could speak?” Alex looked around at the stairwell, subtly hinting that it was hardly the appropriate place for a business meeting.

Evelyn nodded again and led Alex down a hallway, stopping almost immediately to open a door into a large study. The back wall was entirely glass, and Evelyn sat down on the other side of a large oak desk, gesturing to one of two chairs sitting opposite her.

Alex sunk down gratefully, casting an appreciative glance towards a crackling fire. Evelyn procured a decanter and set of glasses from somewhere and poured each of them a drink.

Alex sipped at it politely- it was a fairly average wine, nothing spectacular, but people liked the idea of an Andaris wine enough to buy it.

After the silence stretched for what felt like long enough, Alex leaned back in her chair and smiled.

“So, let’s get down to business. I represent a shipping company, which shall remain nameless for the time being, that is interested in becoming the sole distributor of your wine.”

Evelyn took another sip of her wine, and Alex couldn’t see any sign of what the woman was feeling- she was good.

“Is that so? I have been interested in expanding my brand, so the timing works out well.”

Alex smiled at her, and handed over the package she had. “It’s a goodwill gift from our company to yours.” Alex debated telling her how hard it had been to find out what the woman liked, but figured that might come across a little creepy. At this point it was a gift that wouldn’t seem too personalized, which Alex felt would be better.

Evelyn’s delight was genuine, as far as Alex could tell, when she opened it.

“Oh, why thank you! I love this.” She went to light the candles, and Alex’s heart stopped. She hadn’t thought about what would happen if she were to do that now, while Alex was still there.

“Ah- I- I would wait for that. The candles are specially made in Nashaki. They’re made with a bit of Maiden’s Kiss- a powerful aphrodisiac, if you know what I mean.”

Evelyn’s face closed off as she studied Alex. She could see the gears turning the noble’s mind- was this a slight? Or was it simply a well-chosen gift?

Alex decided to break the cycle, ensure her emotions fell the right way.

“It’s one of our most in demand products, however not everyone has a use for them- I can always return with some of our other products from that candlemaker.”

Evelyn’s face cleared and she waved off Alex. “No need. I’m sure I can find a use. Thank your employers for me- it is an incredible sculpture.”

She studied the stone for a moment longer before setting it off to one side.

“So, business.”

“Agreed,” Alex said. “My employer has given me some small latitude to negotiate, however he would like to note, before we begin, that should I be required to return to him with a counter-offer, I will only come back here with an acceptance. Should he disagree with the terms, he will not be doing any more negotiating.”

That got Evelyn’s back up, Alex could tell. She stiffened slightly, but that was part of the plan.

“We will charge you 35% of the final sale cost- whatever you decide that to be. This will cover the transportation to Etzos, Nashaki or Rharne by sea, as well as the transportation overland to the rest of Rynmere. Guards are included, and we insure all of our deals. Should the goods be stolen or ruined while in our possession, we provide a full refund.”

Alex had thought long and hard about what she was going to say on the walk here. She needed to lead with a number that was far too high- that was something she had learned when buying weapons way back when in Etzos, and she figured the same rule applied here. She couldn't risk the woman accepting it, so outrageously high it was.

In addition to that, she wanted to be able to say that she had to return to her employer- a deal like this would garner attention, and the woman’s death was supposed to look like an accident or suicide. When, or if, an investigation happened, the non-existent deal would raise several red flags if it was supposedly still on the table. This way Alex had an out- her employer was not interested in the proffered deal.

“I…Unfortunately that will not be possible. We could give you as much as 15%, but not a copper nel more.”

“That is far too low- the risk we are taking every load of wine that we ship is huge. We could always remove the insurance agreement, but that would still only drop it to 25%,” Alex said in a firm but polite tone. She was merchant Alex now, and fully in character.

“No. The insurance is non-negotiable. I’ve been burned before by not having insurance, and it doesn’t make sense for me to hire external bodyguards. What about 20%? We could sweeten the deal a bit; perhaps we give you a crate of wine an arc? Or we could offer a ten trial getaway to the Andaris Vineyards?”

Alex sighed, rubbing a hand across her brow. This was perfect- 15% was more than a normal lackey would be entrusted with. “Unfortunately I’ve only been allowed to negotiate down 10% at most, but I would be more than happy to take a counter-proposal back to my employer.” Alex smiled at his, the last of her tension vanishing. She was done and could get ready to disappear. The moment she heard of the woman’s death, she was out of this damned city.

Evelyn nodded her head, bending down to pull paper and quill from a drawer. The room was quiet, the gentle scratching the only sound. A bit later, Evelyn rose.

“I appreciate how quickly and professionally this was conducted. You’d be surprised how many people come in here and try to play on the emotions of a woman,” she said, smiling conspiratorialy to Alex. “I look forward to hearing back from your employer, but if not, thank you for your time Ms. Travolian.” Evelyn shook Alex’s hand and led her back out to the entrance, calling for the horse.

Alex was carefully neutral with her word choices; her employer would be looking at the proposal this afternoon, but who knew how long it would take to decide. No, there was no way to contact us. Yes, we have the experience and ships necessary to make good on our deal.

Finally having extricated herself from the conversation, Alex walked the horse down the road. She was sure Evelyn was curious that Alex didn’t immediately mount, but that curiosity would disappear faster than her alarm at noticing how awkwardly Alex rode.

It took her several breaks to get back to the city, but her exuberant mood was impossible to dampen. She hid it well enough when she returned the horse, reclaiming her deposit, and rushed home.

It was time to leave.
word count: 1904
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Nymph
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Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2016 2:57 am
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REWARDS

Vluharqih

  • Knowledge:
    • Mount (Horse): The Horse Has Control
      Rynmere: Snowy Landscape in Zi'da
      Maiden's Kiss: Capable of Infusion into a Candle
      Negotiation: Establishing the Rules First
      Negotiation: Start High
      Negotiation: Insuring the Product
      Acting: Playing a Businesswoman
      Disguise: Valyeria Travolian and Shipping Businesses
    Loot: -1x Tristan Venora Sculpture
    Injuries: None
    Fame: None
    Devotion: None

    Story: 5/5
    Collaboration: 0/5
    Structure: 5/5


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Comments: Man. I really need to get my hands on a sculpture from Tristan. His work is clearly worth having. I like the idea of a candle infused with Maiden's Kiss. Bow chicka wow wow right? Of course, it seems their are fouler things at place right now. Vluharqih is a smart assassin, that's for sure.

If you feel I've missed anything or if you have questions about your review, please don't hesitate to send me a quick PM. Thank you!
word count: 185
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I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good, and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be then me.
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