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  1. Living in an office was everything Eli had expected it to be. Dull, quiet, and vaguely suicidal. It was the perfect job, in a way. Or rather Eli was perfect for the job. He didn’t think anyone else among the other Captains, let alone all of the Naho Raiders, would’ve lasted as long as he had without ending it all on the business end of a pen. Mountains of paperwork, sitting in place for hours at a time; they were the bane of a Raider’s existence. They were the bane of his existence. The only thing that separated him from the other soldiers was his apparent lack of hot-blooded lunacy. And that wasn’t Eli being egotistical—they’d chosen him as their leader because of it. He was the eye of the storm, the calm centre of a raging clusterfuck. You learned patience with a reputation like that. Even if it meant filing taxes down the road. I’m thirsty, Eli thought, leaning back against his chair. It was a lie, of course. He just wanted to get away for a few minutes. His office, while nice, complete with a window overlooking Vanora’s shores, had recently begun to adopt the sort of familiarity that was so closely associated with contempt. The desk, he hated. The bookshelf, he wanted to set on fire. Anything that had to do with writing in the slightest had become a target for his weary ire. It was a wonder he hadn’t snapped his plume yet. He set it down before realization could reach his fingers. Maybe he really did need a break this time. Going for a walk would do him some good. “CAPTAAAAAAIN!” Eli jumped. He also banged his knee against the top of his desk. By the time the door swung open, he was hunched over, hands slowly clenching into fists. “CAPTAAAAAAIN!” “WHAT?” Eli looked up and Simeon stormed in. His lips were pulled into a smile, as usual, and his pale brow was beaded with sweat. He wore his Brumak-shell armour, cutting a handsome figure in the golden carapace. It made him look bigger than he really was, particularly around the shoulders and chest. “Hi, Captain,” the young man grinned, chewing on a slightly sweet-smelling skewer. A squid was stabbed along its length, grilled in all the calories Eli was missing in his diet. “You okay?” Eli hissed, trying to straighten out his leg. “I think you gave my knee a concussion.” “Oh," Simeon mouthed. He gave his skewer a long look before holding it out like an apology. “Here, this’ll make you feel better. The ginger-soy sauce is divine.” Eli glared at the half-eaten snack, but the ache in his stomach willed him forward. He reached out, took a bite, then allowed a slight frown to creep onto his face. “Shit.” “What?” “This is really good.” Eli took another bite, then a third, until only the stick remained a few seconds later. “Is this what you were screaming about?” Simeon shrugged with an open palm. “Just thought you could use some excitement in your life.” Eli rolled his eyes. So, no emergency. He didn’t know whether to be relieved or disappointed. “While I do appreciate the sentiment – and seriously, I do – I have work that needs to get done. The Hildebrands are going to kill me if I don’t-“ “Wanna go for a walk?” “Oh god, yes.” Eli fished a key from his pocket and locked the door on the way out. They rounded a spiral staircase going down, passing a few men who saluted him as he walked by “I don’t think I’m ever going to get used to that,” he said quietly. “Please don’t start doing that.” Simeon chuckled like he’d heard a good joke. “Never planned on it, Captain.” They exited the keep to find a massive courtyard full of other shell-plated soldiers. Most of them were either sparring or lounging, with the occasional person attempting to tame some kind of warbeast. One such example, off in the corner, was a dark-skinned man training a pack of Naghu hounds. They were something of a cross between a dog and a frog, as well as a particularly muscled breed of fish. Their tentacled faces curled and writhed, exposing rows of vicious mandibles. They pounced on the man with the speed of an eel, trying to wrench the quarterstaff from his hands. “C’mon, let’s watch,” Simeon said. They moved up to get a closer look. @supernal @Lady Gilaen
  2. The Dali estate OOC OOC 2 Ampelos liked to do his business out of the primary estate. Lady Halisera's home was a private residence but shared many of the characteristics of a public hub; around her revolved the world, so far as Dali were concerned, and so there was a constant input and outpouring of valuable assets, ranging the gamut from disembodied information to flesh-and-blood people. Ampelos liked to be around those of his family who warranted the Lady's presence, both in activity already executed as well as potential. He saw their faces, he let them see his face, he wove a complex network of associations and skill, as one might expect from a Spider(valley) and (Wyrm)Walker. It was just such associations that put into his view the names of Icarus and Victra. Having just completed the transition from journeyman to master in the transmutation guild, and this on the back of his mentorship of Merida Spidervalley, Ampelos knew full well that the peculiarities of their familial network was prone to, and conducive of, reciprocal altruism. Doing for individual Dali meant doing for Dali as a whole, the node was the network, which meant that he could expect Dali, either the individual or the network, to provide for him in turn. And so it was – he sent word to Icarus and Victra of engaging with him in a potentially expansive business negotiation which would serve to bring further glory to Dali. In the last year Ampelos has brought plenty of glory to his individual name, most notably with the construction of the faux-ton receivers connecting the Dali estate to specific points in the mainland, to Biazo Isle where he renovated the family vineyard, and now to Misral, where he has in turn constructed a museum and art gallery bearing the Dali stamp in Qrill. He sits now just outside the small (compared to the manor) beachfront property they own and manage near the shoreline. He leans back against the recliner, in airy but stylish shirt and shorts, a hat brim casting a comfortable shadow over his face while, to his right, are a table with sweating drinks and two more chairs. He hopes they arrive before the ice dilutes their drinks overly much.
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