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PostSubject: Between friends   2011-02-09, 21:42

It was whispered words that caught her ears as she always did tend to observe when she was in places that she was a stranger to. And though she was about to make Aegis part of her home, the plans for her small manor to be built drawn up and ready to be executed, still she was very much a stranger to Aegis.

And it was these whispers of names and people she did not know that made her concerned, whispers of war and turmoil that made her worry for her dear friend and her potential sanctuary that brought her peace and seclusion. She could not help but wonder if that was at stake.

After her meeting with the stranger Louis and the gossip heard in the tavern she spent the night it she had much upon her mind. She had written a missive to her dear friend Ava to meet her at the place she suggested just barely outside the city crowds of land that she wished to make her home. Not only did she want Ava's approval, she also wished the privacy and seclusion. For it seemed that much had been going on within Aegis. The longer she left the more complicated things seemed to get. Ava had become and unlikely friend to her, someone she trusted greatly and being the loyal person she was, Letala wished nothing more than to make sure she was ok and to offer any help she could.

The wind was blowing calmly as she sat under a tree watching the empty space. No noises besides the random grunts and steps of her horse pawing at the ground. She hoped that her dear friend got her letter and would be able to show up.
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PostSubject: Re: Between friends   2011-03-11, 00:28

Queen Bathory: Ava had received Letala's missive. Rather than reply to it by letter, she felt it was more safe to wait and give Letala a personal visit instead. Much had been going on within the lands of Aegis, and tension between Aegis and Aurora was now clearly leaking to its people. Much was to be discussed between the two older friends and Ava was eager to get started. This eve, she travelled by horseback. Her black velvet cloak hid her grand attire, and it did not take Ava long to ride from the palace. Her hood was drawn high over her head to hide her striking features, yet Letala would be able to see that it was Ava, for she carried a sense of air and grace that many could not possess. She smiled, red lips gleaming against the night. "Good evening.." she said, with a welcomed honey purr. Yet, there was something odd about this scene. Ava did not welcome her friend with open arms and still shrouded herself in secrecy.

Letala: Her ears perked as did her horses and in sync with her animal she turned and stood to see the source of the new noise. And with the noise of Ava's approach came the notes upon the air that it was her dear friend Ava. That scent about her toreador friend was unique, unable to be replicated as it was with some she had come across. Her friend's honey purr was greeted back with her normal warming smile and calming gaze. She did well to mask her curiosity as her friend did seem to put up an air of such an odd greeting. Not as was normal for them which only made her wonder more of if the rumors she had heard were true. Many question of course pulled her mind but that mask she wore held strong, not letting anything show but the kindness upon her face. She did wish to take her friend into a friendly embrace but the caution about her told her that it was not wise to do so. "I am glad you could make it, Shall we ride else where?" Her own tone was soft , calm to match her gaze and held a tone of informal nature. She thought it best to take Ava's lead on this one. She could feel her friend was hiding more than her face.

Queen Bathory: Ava had not made an effort to dismount, but she nodded at Letala's suggestion to ride elsewhere, welcoming the idea. She knew her friend well enough to trust that she'd go along with this, until they were out of the public eye. "There's a small tavern ahead - we can trot there together.." she said, and still, there was a cold formal tone. Something was indeed not well with the situation, but Ava held fast and said nothing as they would make their way along the dirt path, the horses relaxed. Finally, the twinkle orange glow of tavern lights neared. "I know we can get good food and drink here.." she said, leaning in towards Letala. As soon as they were close enough, Ava climbed down from her horse and tied it up. Waiting for her friend, she gave a glimpse of the "old" Ava with a passing smile as she said "Lets go inside.." and with this, she turned and began to walk towards the old wooden entrance of the tavern.

Letala: She seemed that much of her life was spent following blindly in the trust of others. It was not the first time that she was to do so to a toreador even. But at the moment in time there was no frustration or resentment for being kept in the dark. She knew all the well that if Ava was doing this there was a good reason behind it and so she followed her friend closely keeping the cold formality of tones and nods. Mounting her horse and riding in silence she didn't even let her thoughts wander too much. She was almost blank, again trusting her friend that in time she would explain herself and everything would come to light. Reaching the tavern she too dismounted and walked by her friends side. Only nodding to her words and with the glimpse of the passing smile she too let one go. Her gloved hand reached for the metal handle pulling open the wooden door waiting for her friend to enter she would let the heavy piece close quietly behind them. Eyes milling over those within the tavern before glancing slightly to Ava waiting for her next move ready to follow

Queen Bathory: Ava was grateful that Letala was not openly questioning the whole affair, however, she knew that her friend was more than qualified to understand the political games at stake within realms. Walking confidently, she took strides in front of her friend and whispered "Head towards the back door, I have a private room within. Follow me.." The tavern was smoky and held a few patrons, they barely looked up as the two ladies made their way towards the back and through another door that lead to a wooden corridor, and finally another room. When Ava opened the door to this one, however, it was nice and comfortably decorated. A fireplace and two leather armchair seats in the corner, a desk and papers. Upon sitting down in one of the leather chairs, Ava sighed with relief and removed her hood. "Here, can I get you a drink?" She asked, laughing lightly and clearly more herself.

Letala: She was glad to settle once they did within the leather chairs of the intimate setting, seclusion being the one word to describe it but still warm. She was even more grateful to see that veil of formality had lifted and her friend was a bit more comfortable. She would begin to peel the ridding gloves from her hands and placing them upon the cushioned arm of her chair. Eyes lingering upon the fireplace welcoming the warmth it gave off before she would focus upon Ava. "I'll have whatever you are having." Perhaps a mistake for she Ava was to take in bloodwyn it was surely something she herself would not wish to indulge in but she was far more eager to figure out what her friend had been hiding from her, why the secrecy. The eagerness she had hidden so well before was beginning to show surely. And so she thought best to come out with her questions though not in a bombarding way. After another pause and glance at the flames she would speak to her dear friend. Her tone more as to what she was used to. "I would be a fool to try and hide the fact that I am very curious as to the secrecy dear friend. Though I must say it is more so worry that stirs me that you demand such a thing for you have never done such."

Queen Bathory: Ava leaned down to untie her leather boots, her fingers taking the lace and tugging it tight and sharp. "Its good to see you..I'm so glad you got in touch. I understand that all this can be a little confusing." Perhaps that would be a laughable understatement. Sliding the boots from her slender legs, Ava placed them to one side and walked to the drinks cabinet provided. She poured two glasses of red wine and slowly returned to her friend at the hearth. "Here.." she said, handing Letala a glass delicately. Flopping back into her armchair, Ava nodded in understanding at Letala's curiosity, and listened as her friend made comment to the way she was behaving. Taking a sip of wine, she nodded faintly. "Mmm..yes, I apologize for the dramatics, but much has been going on here in Aegis. If I am not careful, I might not have a realm to command anymore."

Letala: Her fingers reached to the glass that was offered and she took it delicately from her friends grasp. Bringing it to her lips she too took upon a sip of the crimson liquid. A fairly long one at that if not for anything better but to give ear to her friends words and formulate a response. Setting the glass beside her she brushed her lap before clasping her hands together and lightly resting them there. A soft sigh escaping her lips before she spoke "I fear that the longer I stay away from you my dear friend that things seem to become more and more complicated. My first night here I heard rumors of potential unrest but was not sure what to make of it. I had hoped to come back and we could discuss more of my plans to build my future manor but it seems that other things weigh heavier." She would pause reaching for the glass taking another sip the cup resting in her hand now as she looked to her friend with worry in those jade eyes of hers. "I do not like to hear of these words Ava, and I know to ask of what is going on in not my business but you know that if you need me in any sort of capacity that I am willing to lend my services." While she alone looked as one who was nothing but a simple woman, yet she had her own armies behind her through her own home and father's and even if she so wished possibly Asriel she would call upon them for the sake of her friend. And perhaps that were her own dramatics in working but Ava was a dear friend and she wished to not lose such.

Queen Bathory: Every word that Letala spoke of made her nod slowly. "I knew..that eventually you would ask." her voice remained calm with a hint of casualness. "I'm so very sorry that in your brief presence here..you've had to witness my realm in such hard times." With a sip of wine, Ava contemplated where to begin. She crossed her legs and drummed her fingernails along the ledge of the armchair. "Thank you for offering your services...for now, I assure you, your friendship is more than enough. To begin, my secrecy is due to a potential war my realm may have with another, Aurora...is that the rumors you heard?"

Letala: She would unknowingly begin to toy with the glass in her hand. Perhaps as a sign of nervousness or unrest. She was curious as to what story was about to unfold between two friends. The red wine rolled around the clear curves of the vessel it was held in taking up slight hints of light from the flames. She would then suddenly realize her hands motions and she would raise the glass once more to pale lips another sip taken before resting once more upon the table next to her. Words of war hit her ears and she would nod slowly as if she didn't want to. "Yes something to that effect." War was never a pleasant thing. She herself had seen it. And it was in fact perhaps the starting point of destruction for one of her beloved homes. She would not call herself a pacifist for sometimes things of such a violent nature were necessary for preservation of security. But war was something she never thirsted for like she had seem some come to love and see that it was the only path to take. "Something about a man named Jaric? If I have that correct."

Queen Bathory: "Yes - Jaric is my brother in law, Vlad's brother.." this thought alone made her shake her head. "Please understand, that extreme measures are being taken to make sure that Aegis is safe - my life however, might not be. Goodness, the story is so long, I don't know how to begin..perhaps if you ask questions, it might help." A glimpse of desperation flickered in her eyes, but it was brief. She was not the nervous type, but the situation before her made her on edge.

Letala: Questions there were many that ran in her mind from last night until this moment. But all those question seemed to be erased at the thought that her friends life was on the line. A thought that was not completely out of the picture. For when countries went to war of course the leaders were on the line along with the people but she could not help but feel this overwhelming sense of sadness at the thought of losing someone dear to her. She could also feel the uneasiness that was upon her friend whether Ava meant to show it or not. It was in the air. A light cough cleared her throat before she spoke. Her voice soft as if she feared someone was listening upon them now. "I know you would do anything for your realm as much as give you life Ava. But there has to be something that can secure both. I can send some of my men here. I know my Uncle would not be pleased but he would be willing. I could seek out my father as well." Desperation was tangled within her words now as she spoke. "What does Jaric want with Aegis or for that matter with you? Why does Vlad not wish to stop this?" Her bombarding of questions was delivered with still a whispered tone. She was trying to be calm and masking her own emotions, attempting to pull the desperation out of her voice talking of the matter fairly simply.

Queen Bathory: Letala's cough rang out against the silence, and one by one the important questions were said. Leaning forward in her chair, Ava also spoke in hushed yet important tones. "At this moment in time - we are trying to quell the idea of war with Jaric and although your offer of troops is kind, we are trying to appear as peaceable as possible. However, should things take a turn for the worst, I shall remember your offer. Rest assured, I know I can trust you - perhaps more so than I've trusted anybody." Her hand came out and she patted it over Letala's very briefly, before leaning back into her seat. "Jaric doesn't want me, the paladin King has never liked me. However, he wants Aegis - thanks to Vladamir having angered him. The war happens to be over two swords, of all things.? One sword is dark, possed by a demon called SoulReaver. The Second Sword is held by an Angel, named Angelfire. King Jaric used to possess both swords...but now they have separated, my husband Vladamir has it, and Jaric, as religious as he is, will do anything to get it back in his holy war." She paused and took another sip of wine. "Vladamir..does want to stop Jaric from coming - I don't know why he took the sword from Jaric..." she paused briefly "..we are hardly talking at the moment since he.." her eyes lowered down and she shook her head, remembering the physical beating. "Since we had a disagreement." she concluded, not wishing to worry Letala any further. I have been banned from leaving the Palace. I should not be here as we speak."

Letala: The pat of the hand upon hers was comforting at best but still as she sat there her jade hues very intensely locked upon her friend she could tell that there was something more. But her intuitive nature though rarely wrong she did not wish to press it. She did not want to push buttons that didn't need to be pushed. As it was always with Ava she never did. She always was willing to wait for in time the truth always did show. And she knew that Ava in fact did trust her deeply as she did her. As Ava continued to talk of swords and the holy war that potentially was about to be waged she could only nod. And even as words of her breaking decree that she was not to leave the palace almost part of wished to smile. It was to her naturally Ava to do things her way never faulting to anyone. "Well I do appreciate that you have been open with me Ava and also you did not need to risk anything to meet me. I would not forgive myself is something was to happen..." Her voice trailed and as a random thought captured her mind. If something was to happen to Ava was was to be of Aegis? Her own hand now reached to her friend in comfort before pulling away. "If you are to not make it Ava...' such words she had to force out with great strain as to not show emotion. "Do you believe there is a good chance that Jaric will take control of Aegis?"

Queen Bathory: "Shh..friend.." Ava said warmly, even if there was a wave of uncertainty to her tone. "I have not given up yet. You know me..I'm a tough cookie. I can handle a lot, you know this." She smiled and straightened a little. The talk with Letala had made her feel rather emotional, but she tried not to show too much of it. "I wanted to see you..I thought you needed to know what was going on. I appreciate that you care for me so, I'm truly glad we've grown such close friends. " Now, with a small gulp, Ava found time to say the next words - of what would happen if Jaric took Aegis. The thought of it nearly made her sick. "If Jaric takes Aegis - I doubt he will let me live. You see, once, SoulReaver was released from his sword and he raised an undead army against Aegis..he took me with him, and I think that Jaric still believes I am still tainted by the demon. I'm "unholy" to him, and he believes he is doing me a mercy by ending my life. I cannot say this is true for sure...but I do not see it any other way." Sighing with a shake of her head, she was honest with her friend. "Jaric was once a general of Aegis - the best we ever had. Our troops are still loyal to him, he trained them and they trusted him. Also...during the last war with SoulReaver, Jaric helped us out with his troops because our numbers were so low - now they are practically dwindling. This potential war would be the fourth in succession. My troops are demoralized, tired and worn. They want to go home and start anew...and financially, Aegis cannot afford another war. No..war, is not the answer, my realm has been shaken by them often enough. For the people, they do not need this. I have prayed for a solution to stop Jaric coming for the Sword SoulReaver. Vladamir insists the matter is in hand, but refuses to disclose anything to me. As he reminded me yesterday, he 'owns me' now, and he bought me when he bought this realm. Its true...I sold the realm to him when I married him, our treasury was empty and I was desperate. We never married for love, thats for sure." Her emerald hues cast towards the fire and for a few moments Ava contemplated all this.

Letala: Not a single word hit her ears without a sense of strong emotion behind them. Ava could not hide it from her even though she did not know it. She felt it in every part of her as her dear friend spoke of the on goings within the realm that she found ironic. This place which had felt war many times over, a place that was about to go to war again, for her it was anything but a place of war but escape and peace. When her homes were in turmoil Aegis was the place she would run to. It was untouchable yet here she was now in company with a dear friend with it's leader hearing that such a land was on the brink of something monumental. It was something she really had no words for. The silence that fell between them now she wished to fill with something anything but nothing came to her. She hated to see Ava in such a state, to hear the possible outcome of what could be. People would speak of many poor things of the woman before her but she never saw it. Ava was a woman who loved her realm and sometimes it was overlooked. She felt closer to Ava more than ever in this moment. For her own actions were questioned time and time again but still she did what she thought was best. Her green gaze would follow Ava's and fall to the dancing flames as that silence still was thick within the air, heavy, palpable. What could she say really to help her friend? 'I am sorry?' a statement that would be almost insulting perhaps. "I hope it does not come to that dear friend...And I know that you are a strong woman and can take upon the world but please do not hesitate to ask for help I am more than willing to give it, armies, money, myself in any way I can...I am glad you told me what was going on. And I know you not need ask it and perhaps I need not say it but everything you share with me has always and will be from here on out between you and I. I know in times like these it is hard to trust..." Her mind then lingered to the man she had meet on he way in. Perhaps now was a right time to ask Ava, if not to be but a bit of a distraction. "Do you know of the man Louis Farstrider. I meet him on the way into Aegis. Trust is a tricky issue and there are so many names and politics I do not know of Aegis."

[[to be continued]]
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