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Fierach

Reaching Out

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@Red the Ambivalent

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When it came to the Red Queen, very few beings outside of her council and close circle of advisors and friends could call upon her.

The Daemonslayer, James Eredas, was one of those beings.

It was not the most formal of meeting environments for personages of their stature. The place was a respectable inn in both size and regard, a short distance away from Predator's Keep. Away from the prying eyes and intrigue of the city, the place offered solitude, and allowed the Master Knight to take care of security measures in its entirety. The Red Queen has had a harsh time lately, but here, she would be completely safe. It was James's word. 

Now it would be her word that James sought. Before she left to Genesaris, left on her own mission, he sought her personal approval for the project he was going to suggest, a project that would mutually benefit them both. 

And so James waited in the reception room of the inn for his guest, resplendent in his full battle garb, the Daemonbane armor, and cloak emblazoned with the symbol of the Order of Force Majeure.

 

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It came as a surprise to her when she'd received a request to meet with James Eredas, especially since her stay in Predators Keep was brief and she'd only been there a day or so from being in Patia. Loose ends needed tied, business needed tended to, she was a busy woman, but she did owe the man still from his service in eradication some Eldritch horrors in the forest, not to mention he was another fellow Gaiain. After ensuring what she had needed to handle was finished, the Queen embarked beyond the ebony walls of the Keep towards the designated meeting spot.

Hidden beneath the cowl of a cloak, Red pushed through the front doors of the standalone Inn, a fresh breeze of winter air filtering in behind her only to be cut off by her back pressing the door closed. Low mumbling could be heard from beneath the cowl, something about banishing winter into oblivion with a slew of unpleasant words. Shaking briefly, she brushed the cowl back until it fell back onto her shoulders and took a glance around until she spotted James. "Ahh, it's been awhile James." Smiling, the woman moved across the reception room until she was only a few feet away from the Daemonslayer. "I hope you've been faring well."

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James turned and gave Red a polite, if short bow, clasping both hands together before him in a martial artist's salute. "Your Highness. I've been well enough, thank you". The Slayer gestured towards a set of plush couches next to a warm, well-lit fireplace, accompanied by a fanciful coffee table.

"Please, take a seat. I understand you've been quite harried lately. The duties of a sovereign never cease, no?" he smiled. "Would you like some refreshments before we get to business?" Another gesture, and one of the inn's wait staff came, a young woman in uniform, a practical thing. 

Striding over to the desk, James reached down the side and picked up a brief-case, setting it on the desk.

"I have asked you here to call in the boon I was granted upon the cleansing of the temple" he began in a nonchalant tone as he fiddled with the brief-case's locks, not looking at the queen at the moment. "I have an idea that may be of great interest and benefit to you"

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Smiling and giving him a nod in turn, Red couldn't help the short chuckle while she moved across the room towards the couch he'd motioned for. "No, they really don't." She admitted, smoothing the back of her cloak as she lowered to sit on the couch. Watching while he brought the case up and onto the desk, her polite smile extended to the young woman who'd appeared with his calling. "Lemonade would be wonderful. Thank you." Enough time had passed that the psion had grown accustomed to the position she was in, with proper etiquette and stance to knowing when true politeness was called for. She quietly envied the ease in which the woman moved, the simplicity of her job. 

Glancing back towards James, she gave him a curious tilt of the head. "I'd be glad to hear it, the city has been much more at ease without that Eldritch beast stalking the forest." No truer words, although she wasn't going to admit yet that she only knew this information from reports, Red hadn't been in Predators Keep long enough since to see it for herself.

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The inn staffer bowed to Red as she took the Queen's order, before turning to James, who gave her a nonchalant wave, "Your house tea, please".

As the young woman left to fetch their drinks, James unlocked the briefcase, and began pulling out stack, after stack of papers. It might seem strange to Red, having always known James as a warrior of considerable martial might, to see him here in a capacity that might more be more befitting a diplomat. As he organized the documents, he added in an off-hand comment. "It might also please you to know that the city's plague problem has been dealt with, what might not please you is to know is the attention it attracted"

James would explain a little of it. The plague that had hit her city and its surrounding lands was supernatural in origin. He had traced the source and destroyed it with the help of a group of adventurers, and religious fanatics. It was the fanatics that he was concerned about, as they did not seem too friendly when it came to foreigners, which Predator's Keep was a city full of, relative to them and the land of Valucre. The Gaian (ironic name, considering the shared world Red and James hailed from) fundamentalists were a risk to her nation and her people. 

To help discourage any heavy handed intervention by them, or any other power, James proposed allowing him to set up an outpost on the edges of Predator's Keep. He passed the documents to Red. They were neatly organized and well-presented, clearly much thought had gone into these plans. They detailed several locations, which Red only needed to grant the Daemonslayer one of for his boon, as ideal locations for him and the Order of Force Majeure to construct a fortress outpost to act as a recruiting ground, barracks, and staging point. The Order needed to be ever watchful throughout many realms they were scattered across, always vigilant against eldritch or chaotic threats. Although the Order itself was typically apolitical, their military presence would be a reasonable deterrent, as anybody who sought to attack Red's kingdom itself would provoke their wrath if it brought instability, hardship, and death to innocent civilians. 

The waitress would return with their drinks as he was explaining all of this. James sat back in the comfortable couch and allowed Red some time to peruse the documents and come to a decision, or ask any questions if she needed.

 

Edited by Fierach

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With her travels of late, Red only knew slight specifics of the 'plague' that James was talking about, with a nod she took her eyes away from the papers he was pulling from the briefcase and looked towards him. "Seems I owe you more than just one favor, then." Honesty was always the best clause, especially when dealing with people held in high regard or simply as friends. It wasn't in her to deny what was owed, so while he continued on with his explanation of a remedy for the worries of these religious fanatics, Red also wanted to offer him anything he might otherwise need that he wouldn't have normally asked for towards setting up his outpost. What that may be was up in the air, but with how detailed his plans were she hadn't a doubt there might be something. 

After the waitress had returned with the drinks, Red was nose deep in the documents that he had given her to look over. She was thoroughly impressed with the work he had put into them, and the few raised eyebrows and quirked smiles would give him a clue to this. After several minutes of silence, Red sat back with the papers nestled neatly in her lap, a clear smile splitting her lips as she finally looked over at the Daemon Slayer. "Each of these areas you have outlined are relatively available, honestly I would leave it in your hands to choose where you would like to set up the outpost." Leaning forward, Red handed the papers back to James before reaching for the glass of lemonade the waitress had set down on the table. "I'm willing to fully fund the Orders outpost in Predators Keep, and if there is anything else you might need, please feel free to ask."

@Fierach

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"Careful now, your Highness" James chuckled and teased the Queen. "You don't want to owe people like me too much"

Setting his cup of tea down, the Master Knight reached over and received the papers from Red, before deftly picking one of them out. "This location then". 

It was near the outskirts of the city, closer to the Labyrinth Forest. Whereas most of the other designs were wider, this one was taller, at its very height including a large bridge spanning the outpost and the city itself.

Image result for spire bridge fantasy

"I appreciate any aid you are willing to offer, although full funding is not needed. If you approve of this, I can have engineers and work crews here within a week to begin construction". The top of this sheet named the place, and the assortment of features the building would have barracks, study rooms, arcane sanctums, a gateway chamber, and even provide a spire for observation with expansions for sky vessel docking. It seemed like the Order was planning to be around for a long time to come.

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She let out a short, soft chuckle after she'd taken a drink from the sweet lemonade the kind waitress had brought to them. Although they reigned from the same other world, there was actually very little that the Scarlet Queen knew of James Eredas. He had done her a service eradicating the Spider Queen in the forest, and if he was telling the truth than his help with the plague was greatly appreciated as well. He was proving to be a welcome ally, and kind company on the same stride. "Well, whatever you may need, don't be afraid to ask." 

Leaning forward to glance over the design and location he had chosen, he would note a rather subtle nod of her head as she further skimmed the plans. "It's not very far off from the Keep itself, and it will be the tallest building yet. I have plans to grow upwards, soon. I don't want to take away any more of the forest around us, and the Underground has proven to just be a harbor for criminals. I think going up would work well." Musing to herself, Red sat back, seemingly satisfied. 

@Fierach

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"Far from me telling you how to run your nation, might I suggest a method to deal with the Underground?"

James went on.

"Even the brightest of cities cast shadows. Do not seek to stamp out the Underground, but instead prune it as one would a hedge. A healthy underground will not run rampant, light and darkness balanced, always." he counseled her.

Finishing his tea, James stood up. "Now, unless there is anything else, I will have to bid you farewell for now. If you wish to stay the night before your travels, a very fine suite has been prepared for your Highness, of course with security measures in place by the Order. If not..." he shrugged, "Then I suppose my troops will have a nice vacation of their own."

James would give Red a small bow and a smile, their business concluded for now. No doubt they would see each other again in the future though.

 

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