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A Friendly Meeting

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A Friendly Meeting

Post by RowanArtemis on Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:47 pm

The restoration of the Opera House is far from complete, but a potential benefactor wished to see it, and it was left open for her. She arrives shortly after sunset about a week before the Gathering, dressed in a demure business suit with trim skirt and low heels.

Those who look closely will realize that the woman in Baroness Hollinshead, Seneschal of Dark Ridge, but she has forgone the distinctive style of dress that she favors at Court in deference to something more friendly to the Masquerade.

She is looking around the opera house - seeing what it could become, with the right funding - when a figure in a long, black jacket arrives at her side. She turns to him with a smile.

"Priscus Sadik. Good evening to you. The next Gathering is drawing quite close. It will be good to know what has been happening. The current times are rather... eventful."
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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by Justin Cline on Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:55 pm

"Evening, Baroness."

Aydin bowed with the grace that nearly a century of politicking had taught him.

"Indeed, these nights have been quite eventful. Dark Ridge is quite the busy place; Lupines running amok, possessed statues, and the prisci council meeting behind closed doors to deliberate on the Prince's edict of choosing a Prisci harpy. Exciting times."

Aydin walked with her for a ways until the arrived at one of the large box seats overlooking the stage.

"Have you seen the Carthian's new building they are hosting the gathering in? It is quite the sight."

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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by RowanArtemis on Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:04 pm

She raises one eyebrow at him, surprised. "No, I have not. I am quite looking forward to seeing what the Carthians have prepared for us.

"The First Estate stepped forward when the city was lacking a space, of course, but that meant we had a distressingly short amount of time with which to prepare." She is clearly not happy about that - slapdashedness offends her sensibilities. "Given that the Carthian Movement has had a month's notice, I expect that their display will reflect such."
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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by Justin Cline on Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:19 pm

Aydin chuckled slightly.

"I think that your sense of taste will be vexed by their offerings. My covenant's gathering space for the Masquerade Ball is coming along nicely. I haven't checked to see what exhibits will be on display for the Gathering, but Nicholas Parker manages most of that."

Aydin took the seat with the best view of all the entrances and exits then motioned for Jeanette to join him

"How is the office of Senechal treating you? Do you find yourself busy these nights?"

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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by RowanArtemis on Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:25 pm

Jeanette gives a light laugh. "That, Priscus Sadik, is an understatement. There are so many things occupying my attention that I barely know which way to turn. Still, I do not mind it. That is what being Seneschal means, after all, and I was under no coercion when I agreed to accept the position."

"You feel that I will be vexed at their offering, though? Whatever for?"
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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by Justin Cline on Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:58 pm

"I said vexed at the decor, not necessarily of offering itself. Let's just say, the decor is not traditional.  More steel and glass, less bronze and mahogany.  From what I've seen it's very.... Carthian."

Aydin leaned back in his seat.

"So what do you think will be the biggest piece of excitement next gathering?"

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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by RowanArtemis on Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:03 pm

Jeanette looks vaguely off-put by his description of the locale.

"Well. That sounds... different." A lesser person would probably clear their throat or blink - some sort of fidget to indicate their discomfort - but this is Jeanette.

"I believe the item that will cause the most stir is the appointment of a Prisci Harpy. And you would have far more insight into that issue than I do.

"Are you at liberty to discuss where the Prisci Council stands on the matter?" Her smile is rather enigmatic, expecting nothing.
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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by Justin Cline on Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:31 pm

Aydin smiled back.

"All I will say on the matter is that our decision was unanimous. The rest will have to wait until the formal announcement at the Gathering; and I feel that it will likely cause a stir as well."


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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by RowanArtemis on Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:43 pm

Jeanette arches an eyebrow. "I assume that your choice of Harpy will be made aware of the decision prior to the Gathering, will they not? To ensure that they accept the position and are willing to fulfill all the obligations that such a position entails?"
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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by Justin Cline on Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:48 pm

"Everything is being taken care of. You should know by now that I always ensure things are never done half way or without forethought. At what point in our interactions have I proven this to not be the case?"

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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by RowanArtemis on Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:52 pm

"You are right, of course." Her smile is somewhat wry. "The Prisci are capable individuals, yourself included, and I am sure that everything will be handled as it should be.

"Some Councils I have seen were... not as wise as might have been desired. I do not foresee that being a problem this city will have, but I would be remiss in my duties were I not to consider all possibilities and act accordingly."
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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by Justin Cline on Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:55 am

"While this is my first stint as Priscus, I was a court officer in Nashville several years ago, so I have met my fair share of incompetent and or weak council members. However, over these past few months I have discovered that to be far from the case with Dark Ridge's council.

The clans seem to have chosen wisely, and with the exception of a strangely absent Gangrel priscus, all have been very vocal and involved in making sure the right decisions are made to further the prosperity of this city."

Aydin leaned forward in his seat slightly and smiled.

"And yes, while it is quite unlike me to overlook important details, it would be quite unlike you to not double-check other's work to ensure proper protocol was followed."

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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by RowanArtemis on Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:04 am

Jeanette nods. "We each must follow our own natures. To do otherwise would be as futile as trying to deny the Beast."

"The Priscus of our local Savages has been silent on the matter, though? That is troubling, given the recent influx of new Savages. All must have a voice. That is how Kindred Society functions. Given this city's history with tyrants, it is best to avoid even the implication of slight against a given Clan."

Her lips are pressed into a rather thin line.
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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by Justin Cline on Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:15 am

"The matter of Mikail being absent was resolved properly with clan Gangrel, so all is on the up and up. I reached out to Clan Gangrel and ensured the clan had a voice during his absence."

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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by RowanArtemis on Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:25 am

Another decisive nod. "Excellent. I am glad to hear that, Priscus Sadik. His Grace is no tyrant, of course, but it is important that the forms be observed nonetheless."

A curious look flits across Jeanette's face. "Without giving the name of the candidate, since you wish to save that for the Gathering, what are your personal thoughts on the person that was chosen? You said the vote was unanimous, but that tells me very little about the individual's personal qualities."
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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by Justin Cline on Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:38 am

Aydin leaned back, and scratched his chin for a moment. Then he sat up straight and smiled

"For the sake of being able to use pronouns, let's hypothetically call the decision a she..." Aydin paused for a moment "She believes in order and the rule of law, but always weighs both in the light of what is best for our city. I've never seen her waver, even in the face of great tribulation. She is very straightforward, never obfuscates behind complicated phrasing, yet maintains a respectful poise."

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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by RowanArtemis on Thu Sep 11, 2014 12:00 pm

Jeanette chuckles slightly at the crumb of information she was able to wrest from Aydin - namely, their chosen Harpy's gender.

"That certainly sounds like what any city needs in a Harpy. It also sounds like you know her rather well, which narrows down the number of people that it might be. If that it to be believed, of course. I try not to take such things at face value."

Jeanette pauses for a moment, thinking.

"I admit to being highly curious about what tribulation you have witnessed this person experiencing, but that would be telling, wouldn't it?"
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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by Justin Cline on Thu Sep 11, 2014 12:19 pm

"I will leave the topic with saying, yes, I have known her for some time, and I would be happy to share stories of her tribulations with you after the formal announcement. They are public knowledge to any who bother to check our history in depth."

Aydin smiled and continued

"So, any other topics you'd like to put me on the spot about?"

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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by RowanArtemis on Thu Sep 11, 2014 12:28 pm

"When one is publicly known to have access to interesting and desired information, perhaps one should expect to be questioned about it?" Her smile is ever-so-slightly impish.

"But I will test your skill with words no further. We both know that you will share precisely what you wish to. No more, no less. I will content myself to remain ignorant beside everyone else until the formal announcement is made."

Jeanette glances around the opera house that they are both sitting in.

"This certainly is a magnificent structure, although the need for repairs is obvious. I wonder what could have happened that caused it to close in the first place?

"It would seem that many odd things were occurring in Dark Ridge prior to our arrival, in both Kindred and kine society."
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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by Justin Cline on Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:09 pm

"Indeed, it seems that the commotion in this city started well before I arrived. My first gathering had me named Priscus by a group of mekhet who had only been in the city a few months themselves. Then I was immediately shuffled into a room to help appoint the 3rd Prince in less than 6 months. What is it about this city that makes it such a tumultuous place?"

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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by RowanArtemis on Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:28 pm

"You know as much as I do, Priscus Sadik. I arrived mere weeks before you did."

She ponders for a moment.

"If I had to hazard a guess, I would think that the fault lies in the Kindred themselves. Kindred, when left to their own devices, tend toward arrogance. They often feel they are the apex predators of any area that they reside in. When something comes along to undermine them - such as the many things that are currently plaguing us - many Kindred are left completely undone.

"For an exceedingly devious creature, I can see no greater pleasure than laying low that which believes itself to be infallible. Can you?"
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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by Justin Cline on Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:35 pm

Aydin furrowed his brow at the comment

"If a Kindred resides in an area, and he is not the apex predator of his domain, then he has failed at being a proper Kindred...

Knowledge is power, and enough power overcomes that which is not among the chosen. A Kindred is only limited by his own drive and desire. We are not infallible, but we are powerful, particularly when we are cohesive as a society."

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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by RowanArtemis on Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:44 pm

Jeanette just looks at him with an odd smile on her face. "That mindset is precisely what I refer to, Priscus Sadik. Kindred are powerful - there is no doubt of that. Are they the most powerful? ...I'm sure that there are things that would disagree."

A person with less breeding would probably shrug, but instead she just looks at him questioningly. "That is your area of expertise, though, is it not, Priscus Sadik? Beings that are unknown to the majority of Kindred would likely fall under matters of the Occult, would they not?"
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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by Justin Cline on Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:59 pm

Aydin pondered for a moment

"Perhaps my meaning did not come across as I meant.  Kindred are the chosen apex predators... this does not mean that they are always the most powerful.  If we look to nature, we see examples of non-predatory animals being larger, faster, more poweful than the predators in the area.  It's the cunning, the mentality, that makes the predator the king of the area... not merely power.

You are quite right, Kindred are certainly not at the top of the power scale.  Even the lowliest werewolf is fast, ferocious and very dangerous in battle.  Willworkers can reshape the world with a mere thought.  Ghosts are immune to any mundane weaponry, and Spirits are capable of influencing the world without even having to be wholly in it, and I'm quite sure there are other beings out there that top any of these I mentioned.  But, does that mean we aren't the apex predator of our domain?  Only if we allow it to be so."

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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by RowanArtemis on Thu Sep 11, 2014 3:07 pm

Jeanette's expression becomes rather skeptical at the mention of werewolves. "The dogs that intruded on our Gathering did not seem to be overly powerful. You all but felled one of them, and my Aunt was able to visibly injure another. Apart from the disconcerting inability to access Vitae in their presence, it seemed that the ones in our midst would have been overcome had they not retreated."

The rest of the topic clearly holds more interest for Jeanette, though.

"So. You admit that Kindred are not the most powerful beings, yet state that they should still be the apex of any predatory chain they are present in. These ideas would seem, on the surface, to be mutually exclusive. What will make that Kindred the apex, then? Sheer determination?

"What if one of these other, potentially more powerful, beings choose to make sport of our kind? What does that make us, for surely we would no longer be considered the apex at that point?"
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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by Justin Cline on Thu Sep 11, 2014 3:21 pm

Aydin chuckled a bit

"I certainly should not be held as the metric against which lupines are compared to. I have trained and honed my combat craft every day for nearly a century. While Kindred physiology is a bit more powerful than that from which we came, even the newest of werewolves are monstrously dangerous. It doesn't take 100 years of training, they are built powerful and deadly. When they change, their hides become armored, they heal without thought, and it takes an immense amount of damage to bring one down. I also suspect that the wolf I attacked was not among their warrior caste. Should we meet one of those, even I would be hard pressed to defeat it.

On the topic of being a predator.... Being a predator requires wits, cunning and patience. While I tend not to use kine as an example to compare ourselves to, it seems to fit best here.

Take the hunter that goes to Africa to hunt tigers. The tiger is stronger, faster, more dangerous in every physical way. However, the human hunter has cunning, he has tools, and he has patience. He uses these to overcome being less inherently powerful, and in the end, he is the top of the food chain in the encounter between the two. He arrived to be the predator above other predators, he was prepared, and he was smarter than the tiger.

Something that we Kindred have over most other supernaturals we share our gilded cage with is that we have years of experience to draw upon, and unlimited time to prepare and be patient. These are the qualities, when capitalized upon correctly that enable us to be the apex predators."

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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by RowanArtemis on Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:28 pm

Jeanette looks very satisfied at Aydin's answer. "I was not comparing their strength to yourself alone, Priscus Sadik. I agree that such a standard would be foolish. I have seen you render a Kindred to ash in what appeared to be an accidental manner. I would not seek to try and match you in force of arms. It was my Aunt's ability to injure one with a simple bullet that makes me question their toughness. I love my Aunt, but she is not a creature of martial prowess like yourself."

"You are certainly correct in the areas where Kindred excel. We stop at nothing to achieve the object of our prey, and, with care, we have eternity to wait. To plan. To master. That is part of what makes us what we are. An integral part."

Her tone takes on a hint of coyness.

"And is there nothing that can match a Kindred in terms of cleverness and tenacity in the hunt, then?"
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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by Justin Cline on Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:49 am

"Wounding a lupine is not terribly difficult, but stopping one is incredibly difficult. Injuries do not slow them down, and they heal extremely quickly. Had your aunt continued to fire that weapon at one, it would have likely taken a dozen more bullets to fell that wolf.  I fear as if the encounter at the museum has removed a healthy amount of fear from the Kindred of this city when it comes to the topic of the lupines.

My true hope is however, that we have no more fights with the Lupine.  I'd prefer to coexist with them, rather than be at war."

Aydin's face took on an extremely serious look, and his tone lowered when Jeanette asked her second question.

"... There are beings that surpass us in cleverness and tenacity.  Acamoth, the Unchained and some spirits are so old, and so powerful that even the most skilled and wise of ancients would be hard pressed to handle them.  These entities are potent beyond understanding and cunning beyond compare....

Fortunately, they are also very rare..."

Aydin's gaze seemed to pass over Jeanette's shoulder and into the horizon.  Something about the topic unsettled him.

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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by RowanArtemis on Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:08 am

Jeanette's demeanor shifts to match Aydin's solemn tone. "If you say that lupines are to be feared, Priscus Sadik, then I will take you at your word. I have no reason to doubt you.

"Is that what you believe is plaguing us? A spirit of old?

"But why? And for what purpose?"
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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by Justin Cline on Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:40 am

When Jeanette spoke, Ayin's attention snapped back to the present.

"hmm? Oh, yes, it's one of the many possibilities. A powerful spirit would account for much of what is happening. A ghost would also fit the data that's been collected so far. I should be hearing back about the last piece of information I requested late friday night or early saturday evening before the gathering. Once I get all the pieces of information, I will be able to have a theory with a much tighter certainty margin, and hopefully even rule out some of my less likely theories. But, until I get that data, I am uncomfortable making any sort of predictions.

Many of these entities have very similar traits yet are countered completely differently. So to jump the gun and start any sort of non-generalized preparations against them would be foolish.

And, for purpose? Well, that too is highly dependent on the entity, and often, knowing that purpose is an important step in identifying and defeating them. If it's a ghost, the purpose may lead us to it's anchor. If it's a spirit, it's purpose may lead us to it's identity then ultimately to it's bane."

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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by RowanArtemis on Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:30 am

Jeanette focuses closely on Aydin as he speaks, listening to his words and turning them over in her mind.

"Yes. I feel that is the one thing we need more than anything else right now - information. I expect that my people will be reporting back to me within the next few days, so I will have more information at the Gathering, as well."

She ponders for a moment, contemplative.

"I admit to being completely out of my element with the supernatural threats plaguing this city, and that is not a position that I am overly familiar with. It is also not one that I particularly enjoy. I look forward to your thoughts once the more improbable scenarios have been ruled out. I value your insight highly." She smiles. "But you were, of course, already aware of that."
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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by Justin Cline on Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:58 am

Aydin nodded in thanks to the complement then leaned forward slightly.

"So, do you know if His Grace has any plans on publicly announcing who His hound is? I'm sure the court is eager to find that out. And, if there is indeed a hound already appointed, do you know who it is?"

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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by RowanArtemis on Fri Sep 12, 2014 10:05 am

Jeanette eyes Aydin thoughtfully.

"The phrasing of your initial question makes it seem as if there has not only been a Hound appointed, but that you know who that individual is. The second sentence supports that idea. And yet the third sentence is used to backtrack, trying to obtain more information from me on the matter.

"Come, come Aydin. Surely we know each other better than that. What is it that you seek to gain by asking questions that you already know my answer to?"
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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by Justin Cline on Fri Sep 12, 2014 10:16 am

"The Kindred population in Dark Ridge for the most part already assumes there is a Hound, because that's just how things are done. So the first and second questions are operating off the fact that it's most likely that a Hound has already been appointed.

I know that many assume there is a hound already, because I have been asked by several members of the court whether I was the hound. I was merely wondering if such knowledge was slated to become public in an official capacity, and as a followup, if, hypothetically, there was indeed a hound appointed, if you would have been informed..."

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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by RowanArtemis on Fri Sep 12, 2014 10:28 am

Jeanette raises an eyebrow. "I have been asked if you were name Hound, as well, although I will not by whom. I informed the querent - as I will continue to inform any who ask such questions - that His Grace has not formally named a Hound.

"If you feel that a Hound needs to formally named for the mental health and well-being of the citizens of Dark Ridge, I can see if His Grace will speak with you on the matter.

"Until then, the gossipmongers will simply have to remain unsatisfied."

A small smile curls her lips. If someone didn't know better, it would seem like she just enjoys being vexing.
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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by Justin Cline on Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:03 am

Aydin leaned back in his seat and smiled.

"No, that is necessary, Jeanette, I'm sure His Grace is handling the matter with the best interests of the city in mind. My curiosity on the matter has been taken care of."

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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by RowanArtemis on Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:56 am

Jeanette smiles widens slightly when Aydin uses her first name. Her decision to use his own earlier was very calculated, despite its offhand inclusion.

"It would seem that your curiosity is being satisfied rather quickly in certain areas. If only the remaining areas of curiosity could be settled as quickly.

"You said that I will not care for the location of the upcoming Gathering. You also described it as very Carthian. Where does it lie in terms of your own preferences?

"And what will the local Acolytes have in store for us in October? Something macabre to match the seasonable theme? Or something else entirely?"
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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by Justin Cline on Fri Sep 12, 2014 12:44 pm

"I tend to enjoy the more modern aesthetics and things with sleek, clean edges, so I find the decor rather interesting, but I will be honest, I've been too busy in my Requiem on missions for my House to develop any sort of defined personal taste when it comes to architecture.

As for the gathering in October, we are holding it on the 31st in celebration of Samhain. I am unsure of what the exhibits will be at the time, but we will certainly decorate it appropriately. Most Samhain celebrations are decorated in themes similar to what you'd see at Halloween or Dia La Muerta.

Samhain is both our New Years Eve as well as an honor to those who's Requiem was cut short, so expect a bit of celebration and a bit of contemplation."

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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by RowanArtemis on Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:08 pm

Jeanette looks somber. "There has been no shortage of Requiems cut short in Dark Ridge, and my arrival here is quite recent. I am certain the times before my arrival were equally violent.

"The losses include the former Prince, a Elder of the Lancae Sanctum, and the tyrant that he ovethrew. I doubt that Cardinal Hayes would appreciate being honored by the Circle of the Crone, though, even if that was your desire. Given that the tyrant Oberon Corsetti was himself an Acolyte, I can understand how the Circle may be somewhat... conflicted in the matter. And it paints a rather gory picture of the relationship between the two Covenants in Dark Ridge.

"For now, I suppose we must remain content to simply prevent yet more names from being added to the names of those who have met Final Death between now and Samhain."

Almost as an afterthought, she adds "You really should take the time to appreciate things outside the purview of your House, Aydin. It may seem frivolous, but sometimes it's the smallest things that can keep us grounded enough to keep moving onward at peak efficiency."
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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by Justin Cline on Fri Sep 12, 2014 3:31 pm

"I believe the plan will be that those who wish to honor the fallen will have the opportunity to. So, should Miss Blackmoore wish to honor her sire, then Cardinal Hayes will be honored by one of the Sanctified. I also suspect that Lady Georgetta may want to honor Oberon, but of that I am not completely sure. Perhaps this event can double as a mending of the relationship between the Sanctified and the Acolytes.

And, as for your advice on taking in the scenery, perhaps I'll attempt to do that more. I tend to scan the scenery looking for outside threats, but I'll endeavor to do better. I tend to see a budding tree as something that could be used to hide behind for ambush, or perhaps the home to a potentially hostile nature spirit. I'll try to pay attention to the flowers next time."

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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by RowanArtemis on Fri Sep 12, 2014 3:38 pm

Jeanette laughs. "You are both putting words in my mouth and taking them far too literally.

"I did not say to 'take in the scenery,' although I suspect some would have used those words. Nor did I suggest 'stopping to smell the flowers.'

"I said to take the time to appreciate things outside the purview of your House. That could be the scenery or flowers or what have you, of course, but it could be any number of other things. Creating something beautiful. Enjoying a melodious song. Anything.

"Simply put, perhaps you need a hobby."

There is no further laughter, but a hint of it can still be seen in her eyes.
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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by Justin Cline on Fri Sep 12, 2014 3:58 pm

Aydin leaned back with a stunned look on his face

"A... hobby?"

Aydin paused for a moment

"I hadn't ever thought about having one of those. I do quite enjoy what I do, so I didn't realize I needed one..."

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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by RowanArtemis on Fri Sep 12, 2014 10:28 pm

"I'm not saying that you need one, per se. I'm saying that one may benefit you.

"I have found that fostering my own inclinations on the side refreshes me for other tasks. I think better when I have needlework in my hands. It is how I was raised, and that habit continued. But I do not think the benefit of it requires having had the habit in life; establishing one during the Requiem seems to have a similar effect, if my Aunt is any indications. Her hobbies have become quite... diversified since she was Embraced."

"Is there anything simple you enjoy? Something mundane, perhaps, but something that brings you pleasure?"
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Re: A Friendly Meeting

Post by RowanArtemis on Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:02 pm

Jeanette's phone goes off suddenly. She politely excuses herself to check it then turns back to Aydin.

"I am sorry, Priscus Sadik, but I am being called away and we have talked through most of the night by this point.

"Think on what I have said, and we can continue this later, if you please?"

After making sure that she will give no offense, Jeanette hastens away.

Once outside the opera house, she steps into a sleek, black automobile and is lost into the night.
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