From Lady Zara to Arisaph Steele

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From Lady Zara to Arisaph Steele

Postby Paint Scribe » Sat Jul 11, 2009 4:24 pm

Dear Arisaph Steele,

Word has reached my ears, even locked up in this city, that you are now deserving of the title of Count. Oh, how it warms this old lady’s heart to see such a young elk do so well. I have always seen such potential in you, and am delighted to find my faith not misplaced. If my son had even half your cunning, he would be well on his way to earldom. However, one cannot choose one’s children, only if one will keep them. Still, he has given me some of the most delightful grandchildren. If you were not already married, I would introduce you to my great-granddaughter. She is quite beautiful for an Elk. And I must say, she looks just as I did, when I was a young Spring.

Even so, I hope you will honor me by staying with me when you come to the Senate to be approved. Of course, you must wait til this nastiness with the Emperor being attacked and what not is over. This is all really bad business. I heard it was a Falcon who did it. It would not surprise me, for some of the nastiest ven you will ever meet are Falcons. Not all are, for I am certain you would have chosen well for your wife.

Speaking of Falcons, please tell me this wedding you are throwing is not for the granddaughter of Desirée Sinjin? Indeed, I know it must be true, as word is traveling that you are making deals with the Countess Sinjin. I see such a strong ambition in you, so I understand why you would make such a risk. Still, use all caution and be done with the family as soon as you possibly can. I have heard rumors of that girl Vriyana. Some say she has used sorcery to bind herself to orks of all things. I also had heard that she could even transform into an ork at will. Mind you, I scoffed at those tales. But something has recently come into my house which makes me worry there is more truth to that possibility. Take care, Arisaph.

I am sorry that I must refuse your kind invitation. The Capitol is locked up tight, and none may leave. Besides, I cannot possibly imagine traipsing across Shanri for the marriage of a Sinjin. Though, for your sake, I might have gone, if only to remind that Countess that greater women than she have an interest in your well-being.

Until we meet again,
Lady Zara

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Re: From Lady Zara to Arisaph Steele

Postby Nihilistic Mind » Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:21 pm

Dear Lady Zara,

May I tell you that it is an exquisite pleasure to see the letter arrive in such a fashion as it did. In my eyes, you will always have the hand and nature of a Duchess.

As always, my lady Zara, you are well informed and I may as well inform you now that by the time the senate is re-established and goes into session, I will make my way to the Capital to claim my new title of Marquis. I have been blessed with several dangerous - perhaps deadly - opportunities and am seeing them through. When the time comes, I would be honored to call you host, Zara.

What you say of Falcons, although I cannot condone this opinion myself, I recognize that it isn't completely untrue. I do abhor generalizing about any group of persons, due to a costly lesson it taught me, if you recall, but nonetheless, several members of the Sinjin family would do well to keep to themselves. Had I truly possessed the foresight others believe me to have, I would have found myself without the dangerous opportunities laid before me, but also without the prospects of its rewards.

I must say that as I delve deeper and deeper into Vriyana's mysterious habits, I find that there is much to be learned. She knows much about ork kind, but that is not what I truly mean to research. As you have already read in my previous letters, I always mean to research the nature of ven and the thoughts and passions that drive them.

According to my current research, the young ven Vriyana is recognized as an ork among many of the ork and I witnessed - from a safe distance, and from the accounts of many ven who serve me - an impossible duel of honor and dishonor between her and a warrior ork. As you can imagine, I do not wish to shock you with any further detail, but I will add that Vriyana's beliefs about herself and what ven are and should be are not only appalling but truly interesting if they reflect the mind of other ven that can be found in Shanri. Imagine this, a band of ven who believe they are ork and that ork are just in some of their actions! A band of ven that are recognized among the ork as ork themselves rather than one of us!

This blasphemous idea has nothing to do with Sorcery, it turns out, but rather has to do with a concept I had not been taught or bothered consider at all. Culture. Ork culture.
The mere idea made me believe that the young woman was a satyrical figure brought forward as a ploy to distract me. You should have heard the discourse between her and her recent tutor, my good friend Alban. It was a delight to overhear, but for the sake of the girl, I will not transcribe her words here.

Oh, how delighted I would be if you could meet her in person! If only you could attend her wedding!

As for my wife, she continues to serve her purpose. She keeps up with the courts not to be an embarrassment and she continues to explore new lands as the seasons pass. This arrangement has been useful, although it is true that keeping her away thusly will not last forever. There will come a time when I have reached the potential of my ambition, and I fear that the rank of Marquis may be all that I can accomplish. Until then, she remains my faithful spouse.

Speaking of faithfulness, I must admit my interest was recently caught by Vriyana's own Swordmistress, Paethira Sheeda. She is also serving her purpose in my acquisition of additional provinces, but it turns out she has made herself available for additional arrangements than the mere information she offered originally. I shall share the details of our Romance when we meet in person rather than crudely relay the high notes on paper. I have not the mood for poetry this evening, but I certainly will when I see you face to face and I will do the tale justice then.

Lady Zara, I have always appreciated your letters more than you will ever know, and I hope to hear news about what transpires in the Capital while on the outside, Shanri teems with precipitated men and spears, training wildly for pointless wars, when diplomacy should be allowed to take its course.

Yours truly,


Arisaph Steele, Count of Artemia

~~~~~
[OOC: As usual, the same red paper and dark blue ink is used, wrapped in the seamless silk envelope and encrypted so that only he and she can decipher the letter.]
"Sparrow, I'll call you back. I've just gutted a man with a shard of wood and I need to make sure he's dead... I think you're right, Sparrow. I am a bad, bad man..."
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Re: From Lady Zara to Arisaph Steele

Postby Paint Scribe » Thu Jul 16, 2009 9:51 pm

Dear Arisaph Steele,

My boy, you continue to be a delight. Indeed, I do look forward to showing you off to certain of my friends. Do let me know when to expect you. I shall make sure to put out a fine evening party to introduce you around.

I suppose it is wise for the younger ven to be more flexible. Times are changing, though I do not know that it is happening for the better. Take for example our Emperor. He has not been in place for even two years and he has been murdered. Though to be honest, the reports of his death are so varied that I wonder if he actually is dead at all. Surely though, if he were alive, he would be showing himself and stopping this nonsense. After all, it cannot be good to have so many ven now maneuvering to try to control all of Shanri. I doubt they will stand down if they were to discover he were alive. So take care in your own advancements.

Do not settle for mere Marquis. If you are able to attain such a title as soon as I suspect you will, then you should know you were meant for more. Indeed, you will have my utmost support in any such advancements.

It lightens my heart to hear you are using your wife so resourcefully. Though, as you say, once you become a marquis, you may wish to have a wife more socially apt. I might offer to help train her, but she is a falcon, and you must allow an old lady her prejudices.

I am glad to hear you do not intend to research ork. Though, if there were ever such ven that would pretend to be ork, it is one of the most distressing thoughts I have had. (Be assured, I have had some distressing thoughts of late). This is not the way things were when I was young. Ven behaved as ven. They did not go around as ork.

While I commend you on being prudently aware of such - blasphemies, do take care not to get caught in the side effects. You mentioned witnessing a battle of ‘honor’ between this Falcon and an Ork? Dear boy, take care. I should hate to discover that this girl has brought some ork into your domain or, suaven forbid, into your castle. Indeed, if she thinks she is an ork, you might do better to end her life after this deal with Countess Sinjin is taken care of. I will allow your judgement to be superior in this as you are dealing with her. Still, the thought of it is appalling and terrifying.



I have returned from taking a small walk around the lane. I turn my thoughts to pleasanter things. You have a Romance? One that you cannot describe in writing, and yet is also helping you grow in status. My boy, that is absolutely delightful. There is nothing better than satisfying the heart and ambition in one swoop. I shall eagerly await hearing more about this fine young woman. I also find that she is a Wolf to be delightful. Will you ask her to help you conquer as well? You remember my late husband was also a Wolf. He did the most delightful things when I gave him a sword and pointed him in the right direction. Sometimes, he got the directions wrong, but he never failed to please.

Though, she isn’t a brash and uncultured Wolf? You mentioned she was that Falcon’s vassal? If she is uncultured, use her quickly and be done with it. You are deserving of a lady in every sense.

Indeed I shall send you word of further updates in the Capital. As of now, I can only urge you to prepare yourself to defend.

Though you know this already, take care of what side you choose to support. Make sure their offer is worth the risk, and do not expose yourself unjustly. Certainly make sure there is someone to lay the blame on, if the Emperor proves to be alive and well. Perhaps a falcon.

Ah, but I wait to hear how things fare with this wedding, and your dealings with the Sinjins. I am certain you will do me proud.

Affectionately,

Lady Zara


P.S. Though I do not approve of that Falcon, I am sending my finest wine. I would be pleased if you mentioned my name in the Countess' hearing when you present it to the young ven. It shall be my proxy.
Z. S.


~~~~~
[OOC: The letter arrives as usual, pristine white paper with deep blue ink in their personal cipher. It is wrapped in red silk inside an elegant dark blue box containing a bottle of a very fine, old wine.]

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Re: From Lady Zara to Arisaph Steele

Postby Nihilistic Mind » Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:39 pm

My Dearest Lady Zara,


I am in dire need of your assistance. It seems that your great-granddaughter, Quinen, has murdered someone in my own home. I wondered if perhaps you were aware of any
vengeful feelings she might have held towards me. I know that I was the subject of her obsession briefly when we were young, so long ago it seems, and she has mentioned my childhood name more than once when people have asked her who was responsible for that horrendous scar on her left cheek. I suspect that seeing me Blooded by you the same day she was thusly maimed must surely have twisted her thoughts.

Yet now, I find her so cold... So naive too. I just don't know what to do with her! Will you not take her back? I can't bear the thought of being harsh to a childhood friend with delusions of false revenge, and unsanctionned by the Senate! I have not revealed her identity to anyone and certainly, I could tell that she was recently promoted to her duties... It's a surprised she wasn't caught before the act: a testament to the master who has trained her. Some ven might even have guessed her to be allowed in freely in order to get caught in the act.

Of course, once you know the identity of her victim, you will see why I would never have allowed such an act in my own castle.

Lady Zara, you have been by my side, guiding me through life like a beacon of Reason and Ambition, but I find my fiery Passions lifting me above our histories and I have a great and deep need for Revenge. I want my wife AVENGED. There. I've said it. Your great-granddaughter has killed my wife, clearly out of obsession upon my person.

I offer you your great-granddaughter back if you will only help me a little. Perhaps your guidance, and time away from her masterful but misconceived tutor, will bring back the Lyna you and I knew.
I am afraid that my wife's family will soon find another bride for me, and my wedding is already scheduled for Spring. Ah, a Spring Wedding at last.

The truth is that I do not want another Falcon wife. I find myself to be a Marquis, at least I may claim to be one once the Capital opens and the senate holds its session. I need a wife suitable for my station. A woman worthy of the title of Marquise. I need your help making all of the arrangements... I have expanded my lands greatly and having a Falcon wife has helped with this, but now I need a wife who can regal herself in the Courtly life. I truly trust you in all matters and I find myself a fool once again. Will you not send my new bride right away? I will release Quinen back to Shanri as soon as my new wife arrives.

As I have mentioned, I feel myself filled with an unlikely Passion this Winter and I need help to appease my senses. I feel that my love for Paethira Sheeda will never be stronger and I cannot count on my friend Alban Yvarai for advice. He is currently married to my dead wife's sister, you see, and he will have another bride to suggest, to get my mind off of the one he once had and now ignores.

Ah, Alban! His very proximity ails me! I ache to see the day I will plunge a knife in his back, piercing the heart of the man who has had EVERY WOMAN I HAVE EVER COVETED!!! He does not just collect willing partners, Lady Zara! He collects hearts! They all love him!!!

I need your help in taming this Passion of mine... I have been drinking the brewed leaves my Apothecary prescribes, but I value your advice much more... I have always found my mind calculating and my heart at peace. I now find the very opposite is true. The world passes me by and the ambitious victories of land and title begin to pale in comparison to the heartaches I experience for the first time!

Whatever shall I do, Lady Zara? I place my fate in your wisest advice. I hope this letter finds you soon and that your response finds me before my Winter Althua. As for my bride-to-be, tell me everything about her sometime before Spring.

Your most humble of admirers,


Arisaph Steele, Marquis of Artemia
"Sparrow, I'll call you back. I've just gutted a man with a shard of wood and I need to make sure he's dead... I think you're right, Sparrow. I am a bad, bad man..."
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Re: From Lady Zara to Arisaph Steele

Postby Paint Scribe » Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:30 pm

My Dear Arisaph,

I am shocked and horrified to hear of what has happened. Indeed, return her to me, and you can be certain that I will not be easy on her. Your desires in this regard will guide me.

As to the problem of the Falcons selecting you another wife, rest assured that I will interfere. Illisiana will be at your side on the first day of Spring. I do not know if you remember her, for she is of my daughter’s line and is the first to seek out my advice since Caia’s - marriage of choice. Despite having such a rebellious grandmother, she herself understands the wisdom of a prudent marriage. Though she is a wolf, she shows herself skilled at courtly games, and I am certain she would take pleasure in being partnered with such a prominent Elk. No doubt, she will take great pains to prove herself equal to the task. She will bring her little barony as a bride gift.

I cannot speak the extent of my delight in the honor you give me to allow me to select your new wife. You are a constant source of pride for me. I have had the delight of informing several of my old friends of your achievements, so your name will not be a stranger when you step up as a Marquis before the Senate.

My boy, I must smile for you. Is this the first time Romance has caught you up so deeply in it’s embrace? I remember my first Romance. It was before my marriage, and I was tempted to marry him against all prudence. I wished it to last forever. It was not until I found him in bed with another woman that I realized I meant nothing to him. I took great pleasure slowly stripping him of everything he held dear. In the end, he begged my forgiveness before I took the last thing he had - his life. It is a bittersweet memory, but I suppose all good memories have some bitterness to their edges.

This is not to say that Paethira Sheeda is such a woman. As a wolf, she is less likely to be such a betrayer. Even so, I warn you against allowing your passion to cause you to do something you may regret in years to come. Enjoy the emotion now, and take pleasure in what the Romance offers. Take full pleasure in it. Do not hesitate to take advantage of it. But be cautious. Keep a clear head, and if you need, take three days before doing anything rash. Do not act on the immediacy of the moment! You are an intelligent, cunning ven. I am certain you will continue in that path. Emotions will pass. They always do. Enjoy them for what they offer, relish and taste them. But do not let them cloud your judgement and your ambitions. They are the icing to the accomplishments of life, not the main course.

As to Alban Yvarai. He is a perfect rake then, like my first Romance. I played with Rakes for several years afterwards. I found new ways to break their hearts in return. Wait for it, my boy. His heart will be broken one day. A rake will always lose his heart to the woman who will not have him. It is their nature. Of course, if you use your knife then, you can have satisfaction that the last love he tastes, is his own broken longing.


My boy, I am excited for you. I shall write to Illisiana immediately, to prepare herself. I am certain you will be pleased with her. She will be able to help in some of your advances. She is, perhaps, not as skilled with the blade as your Sheeda, but she can play court games with the best of them. I shall write again soon,

Delightedly yours,

Lady Zara

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Re: From Lady Zara to Arisaph Steele

Postby Nihilistic Mind » Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:05 am

My dearest Zara,

Oh! How wonderful it is to know the fate of my marriage will be left in such potent hands as yours! I have heard of Illisiana though she was quite young when we met at one of your Althuas. I had not realized she had made a name for herself already.

I have so many questions about her already! I am very pleased with your choice and I know I've made the right decision but to trust you in this.

I did truly hope that you could come to the Althua I am holding in the Emperor's Honor this Winter. I will tell my guests the tale of the Althua you held what seems like ages ago. I will tell them of the night I was Blooded.

I will not ask what is going on in the Capital although I do hope it will be held soon or I foresee many factions outside of the Capital will wish to associate without the approval of the Senate. Without a strong ruler to replace Jaymen Steele, I'm afraid that war is completely inevitable, not that I would find myself unprepared, as you imagine.

As for Alban, keeping my good friend close to me at all times has allowed me to learn one of his weaknesses, and what a weakness it is, Lady Zara! He is in love! How drole that I might use his own weapon against him!!! For now, I have decided to stir his Passion with the aid of the woman he cannot have. She won't do so knowingly, I imagine, but I am bringing her as my special guest at the Winter Althua. Her name is Lady Ecks. She is Ashkelmar's famous Priestess of Talia, and I would be delighted if she chose to tell a tale at the Althua as well. After all, it is rumored she saved Ashkelmar from the Emperor's wrath a long time ago.

Preparations for the Althua are underway and I must attend to its details and Quinen's safe return to the Provinces outside the Capital, but I will write again to tell you the tales other guests have shared. And I truly cannot wait to meet with Illisiana and I would hope you can join us for the Spring Wedding!

With much gratitude,


Arisaph Steele, Marquis of Ashkelmar
"Sparrow, I'll call you back. I've just gutted a man with a shard of wood and I need to make sure he's dead... I think you're right, Sparrow. I am a bad, bad man..."
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