Solo Rumors

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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Rumors

Postby Mauriel on September 27th, 2018, 10:19 pm

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16th of Fall, 518 AV






Something has been gnawing on Mauriel's head for days now, randomly shifting from a backdrop of pain she was already habituated to to piercing fire through her skull. She seemed especially prone to such headaches at night, which was the time she was mostly at Scholar's Demise, working. This was one of such nights, and her frustration grew with each stab into her head by her own notes played on the lute. She felt a strong urge to just smash her precious instrument against the ground, or perhaps the closest guest, and run out onto the streets to be basked in Leth's light again. She no longer cared about the unpleasantness of her expression, which throughout the night shifted from flawless serenity into clearly clenched teeth and songless lips. That was it, she'll have to change shifts.

She didn't even take a break tonight. The place was busy and the guests were very cheerful and eager, perhaps still festive ever since celebrations for the fog clearing out, perhaps in anticipation of the Moon Festival, or perhaps a bit of both. Either way, she opted to please, deciding that she might as well end early then and go out while Leth is still strong.

A touch on her shoulder distracted her, both from suppressing the severity of the pain and actually playing the lute.

"What?!" she snapped, missing a couple of notes. She continued playing despite the distraction, though realizing that it was Aleah who interrupted her she prayed to whoever was listening that she'd be done for the night.

"Are you okay?"

No. She wasn't. "It's just a headache, I'm sorry." Her voice was sweet and tired, though one could not blame her, for she really felt embarrassed and exhausted.

The bartender nodded for her to come along and she hurriedly packed her lute, the sounds of her own music replaced with the banter and cheers in the role of causing her piercing pain. Aleah was serving and chatting up a few young lads as Mauriel joined her behind the bar. She passed her a couple of mugs and told her to help pour beer as they talked.

"I've actually wanted to talk to you for a bit. You really don't seem well recently, are you sure you're alright? Has your wound fully recovered?" Aleah sounded genuinely worried, but Mauriel was sure that was just a front. She was surely having second thoughts about keeping such a subpar bard, who couldn't even perform normally now.

"It's not the wound, I've just been having these terrible headaches randomly for a while now... They're getting worse. I think it might have to do with the lack of moonlight. How have you been dealing with it?" Glad to know another Ethaefal well enough to ask the question, Mauriel hoped for some useful advice.

Aleah looked up at her, frowning slightly. "You know that we designed this place to provide me with moonlight. But you were doing pretty good last season and you've been regularly performing at night. Honestly, I'd see a doctor. Though if you think it'd help, it's no problem to reschedule you. We get the best crowd at night and the other bards have been growing eager."

For a moment, pride cast a shadow over her insecurities. The other bards wanted her position, and yet there was no questioning the arrangement until she was unwell? The thought was very flattering after she remembered that the reasoning might have been the same as her own - she is way more beautiful and appealed to more customers in her Leth-gifted form. She felt a bit stupid over thinking it was related to skill upon figuring that out.

"I was trying to avoid it, I really like performing in this body, but I suppose it's inevitable. Any chance I can be scheduled back when I feel better?"

"We'll see about that." Cold. Perhaps the woman wanted to let her know she can't just demand whatever depending on how she feels at the moment. Rotating shifts would be one way of solving it, but humans had more trouble with getting used to that than she would. Rest hours meant little to her, as she'd rest only when she really needed it as an Akvatari.

"Perhaps-"

As she was about to propose the rotation in shifts, they were interrupted by a tall man in clothes far exceeding this tavern's clientele's purchasing power, despite this being one of the well-standing taverns, often housing rather well educated and well standing people. "Excuse me, I was sent by Lady Cylise to fetch Mauriel."

"Is Yvonne with you?" Aleah asked, ignoring Mauriel's baffled expression. The man nodded no. "I'll be done with her soon. Perhaps you'd like a drink in the meantime?"

"No, thank you. I'll wait in front of the entrance then."


Only when he exited did Aleah turn back and continued their conversation. "And don't be stupid, you're gorgeous in both your forms. Akvatari are very exotic here, and people of Lhavit love diversity. If you really want to perform in that form as some personal sort of worship, you can always do it in the streets, where there's lots of moonlight."

Of course! She was being really silly. She's been gifted practically eight bells a day to spend how she pleases, and instead she's been wearing her body and mind down, having to sleep during the day, and now developing these headaches. She could just use those additional hours she'd spend sleeping to perform instead. "Thanks, that does make sense."

The bartender was lifting four rather heavy mugs at the same time to carry them to a nearby table, a single drop of sweat on the side of her face being the only thing revealing any struggle with the task. "As for our Lady Yvonne... She's a local, very rich. I see by your expression that you have no idea who she is. You don't have to go, I have no idea what she wants with you, but she isn't a bad person. I'm curious at least." As she turned to leave for the table awaiting their drinks, she added, "Oh, and you're free for the night. Come the day after tomorrow for the afternoon shift."
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Mauriel
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Rumors

Postby Mauriel on September 27th, 2018, 10:19 pm

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Mauriel popped her head into the kitchen to say bye to Roric and let him know that she'll be changing shifts. She didn't wanna bother him further, knowing he'll discuss it with Aleah either way, so she made it for the door.

"Hello," Mauriel greeted the man who was still patiently waiting for her. He bowed slightly in proper greeting, and so did she.

"I apologize for interrupting your work, m'lady, I hope I did not cause any trouble by doing so?" He spoke rather slowly, though his voice was deep and youthful.

"No need to apologize, I was more or less on my way out. What did Lady Cylise want with me?" She was happy that she was good at remembering names, as referring to her as 'his mistress' would have just been plain awkward.

He turned, offering her to hold him by the arm so they'd walk together. She hesitantly placed her palm on his arm, wondering was all of this necessary. "It is not on me to discuss the specifics of it, but I believe it is related to your performance."

She was being taken to a rich person about something related to her performance. A rich person could have the best musicians of Lhavit performing for her whenever she wanted, and while Mauriel was rather skilled with the lute, she was sure she was nowhere near the top of the city's ladder. So what could it be? Maybe it had to do with the songs she's written herself, maybe she took a liking to those? But those were also a work of a novice. Perhaps it had to do with her Ethaefal seeming?

Her countless questions were interrupted rather quickly, as the woman's mansion was also on Zintia Peak, not to far from Scholar's Demise. Despite her wealth, the Peak was after all the heart of the city, and her property could not take up extravagant amounts of very limited land. It was nonetheless and admirable building, largely built of skyglass itself or decorated with it. Mauriel could not imagine how much it must have cost to pay some of the Zintila's favored to do that for the woman's family, but she didn't have much time to stand around in awe, as she was soon led through a hall and into a comfortable salon.

"I bring you Miss Mauriel, my lady."

Taught by the previous example, Mauriel bowed, careful to neither overdo it or insult the woman in whose presence she was. Lady Cylise was tall and extravagant, youthful beauty still visible, though concealed with eccentric makeup. Her clothes were accentuating her lean figure, ruffles playfully sewn onto unusual places, contributing to the overall aesthetic. From what the Ethaefal understood of Lhavitan fashion, this was a rather unique but stylish take on it. Taller than the Ethaefal, she seemed to look down on her more than just figuratively, as she stood up to greet her.

"Greetings, Mauriel. I'm Lady Yvonne Cylise, it's a true pleasure to make your acquaintance," she said, extending her hand towards one of the armchairs to offer Mauriel a seat, which she promptly accepted. "You may leave us," she addressed her servant, "Unless Mauriel would like a drink?"

"No, thank you." Mauriel waited for the woman to sit down herself before speaking up. "I am very grateful for the invitation, Lady Cylise, and happy to make your acquaintance. Yet I am still unsure to what do I owe the pleasure?" Mauriel surprised herself a bit there, but she seemed to naturally pick up on their talking habits. She tended to do that, but it was quite a bit more pronounced than usual, and she found it amusing.

"Down to business immediately, I see," she was offered a smile, though still from above. "You seem as industrious as you have been described. Well, word of you reached me recently. You may not be aware of this, but a lot of people take note of new Ethaefal. There's only a few dozen of you in the city, and you tend to be interesting creatures."

She made a pause, as if waiting for Mauriel's response. She was rather unsure what to say and was getting pretty fed up with this protocol. She wanted to be out in the moonlight while it was still available and lamented the fact that at this rate she was unlikely to catch much more of it. "I was not aware, no." She sounded really sweet, poisonously so. She really had nothing against any of these people, but had little patience for their habits right now.

Yvonne seemed to have caught on to her impatience, as she got straight down to business. "You're a bard, and a decent one at that. I was hoping to earn your loyalty while you're still young. Perhaps I could help you out financially, and in return you'd write a song of praise or two, and maybe wear my house's colors as you perform one day?"

The offer of money got right to the Ethaefal's head, shoving away all of the other concerns. She was stretching her pay very thin due to some irresponsible spending and was more than delighted for some additional income. "Why me?" She could not, nonetheless, help herself. The conditions of this patronage were rather vague and it almost seemed like the woman was looking to gift away some of her wealth. What was so special about Mauriel to attract the gaze of this woman?

She smiled at the question, clearly satisfied with it. Maybe it made it seem like the musician wasn't very greedy, or had just the correct amount of curiosity. "I'm playing the long game here, miss Mauriel. I don't plan for my husband's business to die with him, I wish to reinvigorate it and let it provide for generations of our family to come. It's not about talent. An Ethaefal musician has an indefinite lifespan to perfect their craft. And a little bird told me you dream of travel. One day, you could help spread my family's influence across the seas."

Mauriel was still wondering what exactly all of this meant. Did rich people just throw money at people in hopes of winning them over? It seemed like that money would not last too long if it was handled that way. Her hesitation was apparently evident, as the woman continued.

"I'm well aware that you won't guarantee me indefinite loyalty no matter what I offer you right now. However, perhaps we could start with Lhavit and a song about Cylises, perhaps occasionally performed here?" As she said, she was playing the long game. She would win her over as they got to know each other, or at least she seemed to hope so.

"This is all very flattering, my lady, but I'm still unsure. Could my talents really be worth that much to you?" Although she never had a conversation like this, Mauriel started suspecting that she was in the middle of a negotiation. The woman was probing to see how much she can exactly buy with money. Indentured servitude, sealed lips, eternal loyalty? Even for a common person like Mauriel, all of those would be quite expensive. If she were lost and aimless maybe she'd give them away for free for an opportunity like this, but she was not.

She was greeted with another smile. "That insistence might not get you far with many of my status, you might want to watch for that. Though I like that you strive to understand, so I'll indulge you. This is primarily about some gossip that's been surfacing about me, honestly. I want to stir the pot with a song among the common folk and see what comes out of it. I may need you so I could start some conversations I don't know how to start, and given your ethereal beauty and respectable social standing, but complete lack of involvement in this city's politics, you're the perfect candidate."

Mauriel nodded, a bit surprised at how candid she got the woman to be. This definitely was a little negotiation, and Mauriel seemed to press the right buttons throughout it by accident. The woman really did not want her undying loyalty, but was happy to get it if the Ethaefal was selling. "Alright, I'm up for that task. Anything in particular the song must contain?"

They spent quite some time discussing the details and getting to know each other. The Ethaefal discovered that the woman made for quite a pleasant company, once you were a bit accustomed to her convoluted ways and subtle implications. She was rather kind, and seemed happy for their interests to coincide at least partially for the sake of giving her a leg up in the world, as a newly fallen Ethaefal sure could use any help she could garner.

"I'll be sending my servant with the money to your house, if you'd just leave him your address. Another thing I ask of you is to spend a good portion of the money on renewing your wardrobe. I want you looking good as our association becomes public, and I don't think it is something you would dislike spending it on either way."

"It will be my pleasure," she reassured her, now in her Akvatari form.

"I'll invite the butler to see you out. You may fly freely here."

Thank Gods.

Ledger :
This is just used to justify the weekly challenge winnings, so there will be no changes to Mauriel's ledger beyond that.
User avatar
Mauriel
Shining On
 
Posts: 213
Words: 167952
Joined roleplay: July 12th, 2014, 12:45 pm
Location: Lhavit
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 4
Featured Thread (1) Artist (1)
Overlored (1) Lhavit Seasonal Challenge (1)


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