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The Alexandrian

Strangers in the Night [Networking Event]

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Outsider.  Unnatural.  Heretic.

Bittersweet were the epithets that tripped off the wagging tongues of those who could not appreciate Caeceila Glasmann's affliction.  In their unflagging ignorance, the superstitious and the malcontent readily misrepresented Caeceila's motives and branded her with all manner of vulgar misnomers, none of which bear repeating, that overplayed her purported ruthless efficiency and insatiable lust for blood.  Of late, Hell's Gate was a cornucopia of such rumors where the nobility was concerned, particularly in drinking establishments frequented by the lower classes.  In truth, anyone who was anyone could testify that none of these labels applied to Caeceila, for definitive knowledge of her condition, at least among the powers that be, easily outpaced the gossipmongers' litany.  Nevertheless, a convenient lie coupled with Caeceila's newfound notoriety had transformed her into a symbol entities with an agenda could assail.  She was much despised by the downtrodden who had lost their livelihoods to astounding advances in industrial automation, marked forever as a noble who cared more for the welfare of strangers than the poignant suffering of her own people, and they sought to vilify her for that injustice whether or not she was a deserving recipient of their rage.

Was it any surprise, then, that drunken rabble had assembled at the gates of the Glasmann Estate, brandishing crude, improvised weaponry, approximately a quarter of an hour before guests were permitted to set foot on the premises?  Not at all.  Nor was it especially alarming when the mob forced itself past the team of young, well-groomed servants unfurling plush crimson carpets in advance of whatever might constitute the evening's opening ceremony, hellbent on vandalizing Caeceila's property.  It was the terror that gripped the intruders in the chaotic retreat that ensued, the sustained shrieking of adult men carted out on stretchers, and the wild-eyed stares of the handful who were silent that caused the local looky-loos to quietly disperse, leaving only the scarce few who weren't so intimidated by Caeceila's show of force that they dare not brave her lair and risk her wrath.

When the servants were recalled and the stout, ebony gate slid aside, its steady, telescoping motions doing much to enrich the pageantry of the reveal, a cavernous expanse illuminated by an artificial star stretched out before the audience.  A tremendous collection of life-sized metal soldiers, facing inward toward the crimson finery neatly draped over the mass of platforms spread before a fleet of luxurious hovercraft, chartered for the express purpose of conveying guests from the entrance to the estate to the manor's great hall, scintillated in rays of light cast by the setting "sun," a soft, white orb that engendered no discomfort in the eye when viewed directly.  A host of six-legged robots, mobile artillery units, judging by their heavy-duty design and menacing black frames, skittered in the distance, their imposing armaments repurposed for the night's festivities, firing a ceaseless barrage of cylindrical canisters that erupted into fantastical shapes cut from brilliant light into the air above crowd.  The air itself was sweet with the amalgamated scent of beds of magnolia and lilac in blossom, courtesy of a microhabitat enabled by the city's world-renowned magitech.  Indeed, all kinds of flowering flora dotted the landscape, tended, as they were, by swarms of butterflies so garish their admirers might get the impression that they too dressed their Sunday best for just this occasion.  Empty birdcages are suspended from towering trees, implying that the exotic songbirds they once held have been moved elsewhere until the fireworks show concludes.

The palatial structure that serves as the Glasmann residence proudly stands in consummate contrast to the bulk of Hell's Gate.  Artistry and craftsmanship adorn every shining facet of the ancient domicile.  Each stone bespeaks both the longevity and prosperity of the venerable Glasmann line, as if the fates of House Glasmann and the city of Hell's Gate were inextricably interwoven in days of yore.  Much of the central structure, in fact, predates what is now considered the basic infrastructure of Hell's Gate, painstakingly preserved from the first settlement and transferred to the modern age with a profound reverence for tradition that is so very lacking in a great number of Hell's Gate's modern nobility.  All of the glasswork in the older sections of the manor has been recently rehabilitated, allowing the throng of onlookers to examine renditions of Caeceila's ancestors and key events in the history of Hell's Gate through various viewscreens in the hovercrafts as they soar toward the newest wing of the manor, a staggeringly advanced wing constructed primarily from concrete, steel, glass, and composite materials.  Several other buildings are visible from the hovercraft, including a private airship dock, servants' quarters, and what appears to be a small communications center flying Drow colors, but none can hope to hold a candle to the sprawling behemoth that is the Glasmann manor.  Almost universally, the atmosphere is charged with magic and excitement, for this is the maiden unveiling of the Glasmann Estate.  The news crews that remain descend into a dizzying spirals of feverish activity as influential and inconsequential members of society alike are whisked, as one, into this veritable wonderland that was hiding beneath their very noses.

Upon disembarking at the great hall and proceeding through its titanic, metal doors, all guests, having checked in with the servants manning the gates prior to their admittance to a hovercraft, are issued a magitech tablet displaying the itinerary for the event and assigned a personal servant who shall see to their needs for the duration of the event.  After this, guests are permitted to wander the great hall and the lawn in front of the great hall with the caveat that the uppermost balcony, accessible by both a staircase and an elevator, is a restricted area.  For the majority, there is little draw in scaling that cordoned off staircase, for the diversions available on the first floor, mezzanine, and lawn are guaranteed to entertain even the most boorish partygoer.  From skeet shooting and dueling with foils to sipping aged Yamazaki whiskey, snacking on hors d'oeuvres prepared by a teppanyaki chef, and chatting about relics, tapestries, and hunting trophies locked in various display cabinets or fixed to the dark purple wall above the handcarved wainscoting before the roaring fire of the great hearth, all ought to find something they can enjoy until the event gets underway.


The organizer of the event, Caeceila Glasmann, is nowhere to be found.  As with the interlopers, this is no real cause for alarm...

Except that those sensitive to the paranormal will sense that the veil is especially weak in this manor.  Something is amiss, but there's no time to investigate now.  A bell rings, signaling that the first round has begun.  White leather armchairs, velveteen loungers, mahogany furniture, fur rugs, Byōbu and sundries have been placed on the mezzanine and the first floor to facilitate social interaction with the intent of strengthening Valucre as a whole.

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Aveline/Torie, Thurgood/THE Mistress

Neither Thurgood nor Aveline have ever been to Hell's Gate, so the entire city surprises them, especially its level of technology. the staff did not let Aveline drive her Ford F-350 up to the actual palace though. Neither one pays any attention to the tablets after they transferred the information to their own smartphones, and both promptly dismiss the personal servants assigned to them, finding it insulting that they would even need or want anybody to do everything for them.

The entire mansion is reeeeeally opulent...

...so wastefully opulent.

Thurgood and Aveline are (mostly) human in drow (blue) skin (and ears), but their medium-large builds betray any notion that they're fully any kind of elf. Even though this is a formal event, neither one opts to wear any formal clothing, instead wearing their black work polos (with white trim) that have the Mil Dot logo embroidered on the left breast in white thread, and their normal jeans, held up by simple leather belts that also hold the holsters and mag pouches for their pistols. Aveline is carrying a single Glock 17, while Thurgood carries two modern-production Colt M1911s Both have pretty broad shoulders (the same width, actually), but Aveline's hips are just as wide. Neither one really did anything with their hair, with Thurgood's brown clumps sticking about three inches up, left, right, around, and down, and Aveline's also brown locks have grown to the middle of her back, and most of her ends are split. the only one wearing anything that sticks out is Aveline: she's wearing a necklace of rifle cartridges, featuring a 20 x 138 mmB round in the center with glowing blue runes, flanked by .50 BMG rounds, and smaller .308 rounds further up, as well as two cuff bracelets of .308 and 7.62 mm rounds, and ear studs of pistol rounds. they're all HOG's teeth, a special war trophy specific to snipers. Each cartridge has a story behind it, and it's the only jewelry Aveline will consider wearing.

Before the bell rings, they've booth been skeet shooting. At the last set of clays, somebody bets Aveline a large sum of money that she can't hit an extended set of eight clays with her Glock, instead of the supplied shotgun.

"Oh, you are so fuckin' on dude, PULL!"

The first clay disk flies out of the launcher as Aveline draws her Glock 17, aims for half a second, and *pow*. A slight bit of time later, the clay shatters as the second one screams out of the launcher. Another shot, another hit, and so it goes for the remaining six clays.

"Ha! Pay up bitch!"

"Double or nothing you can't hit all eight launched at the same time."

"Do you hate money that much, Gomez Addams?" Thurgood asks, knowing full well how great of a sharpshooter Aveline is.


All eight clays launch at once, and with eight shots, Aveline breaks them all well before they hit the ground.

Then the bell rings.

"Ya better have my cash by the end of the party," Aveline replies as she swaps mags while they both head back inside.

"So how will we spot who we're paired with?" Thurgood asks.

@Venus Sprite @Thotification (Zashiii)

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Evienne Goldcourt and Caeceila Glassmann

“The Hostess is particularly violent, there are claims of her being a monster, there were reports of a…” The maid in front of her was not Leizhen, and that slightly unnerved Evienne.

Clementine was tall, even taller than Eviene, with a build more befitting for a man, than what could've been considered elegant or befitting for a Lady's maid. Elegance and beauty, however, was not what Clementine’s job demanded of her- and she managed perfectly fine without such delicate tendencies. She does her job with surprising efficiency.

Still, it did little to assuage the uneasiness had put her on edge for the past two days. Hell's Gate was a world completely different from her own.

The letter Prescot Goldcourt received, inviting him to Hell’s Gate spoke of wars and rifts and ‘the breaching of artificial barriers’, and it wasn’t something that would’ve interested the man anyway. But, he did have a daughter to whom he could push the responsibilities unto. She’d done such a good job with the meeting with Swan, was probably what Prescot conspired as he entered Evienne’s drawing room to inform her of this development. Disturbing her at her desk, half listening to the performance of on the Harp by Leizhen half catching up with correspondence.

It is, as much as he told her anyway.

“We’ve gotten an invitation to an event at Hell’s gate- you’d do well to go there.”

No comment on the music she’d been listening to; straight to the point. Yes, Papa.

It would delay her businesses, but she wouldn't complain.

“Also, take care to spend your time on the Andelusian talent.”

Not that she had been expecting anything beyond that- she just had to conclude quite a few of her businesses in preparation for the trip. Leizhen was the only one of her maids she relied on to make sure her tasks in Andelusia were done, so she had to make do without her competent hands.

It was small comfort in knowing Leizhen was incharge of affairs back home- but the unease stemmed for Evienne's presence in Hell’s Gate. She hadn't the faintest idea why.

Calling the City massive was an understatement.

It glowed; it was far, far more advanced than anything she’d seen before. She had to reign in childish curiosity in more than one occasion- desperately trying not to marvel too enthusiatically at the architecture that seemed to have taken root on the streets, extending upwards, to the heavens. Yet, it was the City’s seedy underbelly that she found compelling.

Clementine, the servant she had decided shall accompany her, regularly ventured out from the Hotel the had been boarding at. She brought back reports of regular riots, and the regular use of brute force to crush them. Industrialisation, it seems, have deprived the people of jobs- unemployment and poverty was rife.

The trip from the hotel she was given boarding in to the venue- however was spent with Evienne in quiet awe at her surroundings. She devoured every light, every vehicle; wrapped in the airy silk she felt queerly as much a part of the city scape as she did a foreigner.

Never had she felt more young or inexperienced in her life.

“...the afternoon was dispersed with artillery units.” Clementine continued, and Evienne snapped back into focus, unconcerned at the news.

“Is it safe?”

“All reports point to it being so, my Lady.” Her voice was crisp and oddly soothing.

As the vehicle drew up to the Glassmann estate, Evienne did one final inspection of her cloak- looking for loose threads, dirt or anything that could ruin it, pleased at finding nothing a mess. The article was dazzling- the base material being made from translucent organza matching her dress of the day, but silver thread had stitched the night sky onto it. Crescents broadening her shoulders, stars and constellations gracing every inch of the fabric- only to be fringed by the phases of the moon at the hem. It flowed from her fingertips like smoke. The only weapon she brought with her was a hollow ebony ring and a heavily gilded curved dagger at her hip.

It was designed to showcase the quality of the cloth- and the talents of the ones that made them.

The black, admittedly, was inspiration drawn from her meeting from Mr. Swan. She needed to be intimidating, enigmatic tonight.

Drawing the star spangled hood, affording little privacy- she stepped out onto lush carpet, unto flashing lights that blinded her.

If she found the city incredible, the estate was something else entirely. The technology used was something that she could only have conjured up in her dreams. There was a servant provided to her by Glassmann estate, so she bid Clementine to wait in the estate. But, even Evienne she found the show of wealth in somewhat bad taste, the cloying scent of flowers- the fireworks; it was truly overwhelming. So, Evienne resorted to sipping some sort whiskey- and observing the less ostentatious qualities of the great hall. It was, she suspected, extremely expensive, the men and women around her seemed to talk about the full-bodied flavor. It stung her throat and warmed her up- so she endured through the taste she hadn’t acquired yet.

Conspicuously missing, was the hostess. Evienne had the luck of being paired up with the young mistress of the house for the first turn, so when the bell rang- and the guests moved towards the  provided lounges and chaises and refreshments; she could only quietly pull her personal servant aside.

“Where is Lady Glassmann?”

The servant gestured towards the elevator, to which Evienne had to control from wincing, smiling a little wider instead.

There was a staircase, thankfully- and she was swept up to a landing by the servant, who remained dutifully behind her, head bowed.

If it weren’t for dangersense, she doubted she could’ve made much out in the room- in front of her stood a young woman, in clothes Evienne could only kindly describe as rustic. Her back was turned and there was not much she could glean, except that it was a woman. Caeceila Glassmann.

“Lady Glassmann?”





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Torie couldn’t have shut her mouth if her life depended on it, gaping at all the wonders around her as if she had been transported to another world. She had gaped at the sight of the city in the distance, gaped again when a hover car had arrived to pick her up from the docks. And now her tongue was falling sideways out of her toothy mouth as she made her way through the double doors and into a colossal interior, thronging with people of all types and classes, as well as metal beasts who – she was told – were not alive, but moved as if they were.
At the doors she was given a servant – a young man named Rollund. He was handsome and friendly but wouldn’t respond to her pushing him for personal details or idle conversation. Instead he always steered the conversation to what would you like to do next? A pity. Still, it was with great delight she found herself being groomed by a team of servants with brushes and manicuring equipment who seemed to enjoy the task of petting the giant tiger down. Probably quite different to the humanoids they massaged more regularly. Rollund even had the cooks bring her all manner of treats from the kitchen, several platefuls of which she ate all at once, until Rollund cottoned on to the fact she might need something more substantial to sate her enormous appetite.
So only when her coat was brushed out, her claws polished and sharpened, her muscles kneaded to a pleasant ache, and her belly was full to bursting and barely an inch above the floor (for she was quite fat anyway, even by her standards), did Torie notice a bell ring, and Rollund directed her to the garden outside, where the ring of gunshots and harsh language perforated her eardrums numerous times over.
Rollund leads her over to a couple who stood out because of their lack of opulence. Mind you they were still gob-smacking in their exoticness – tall, broad shouldered and wearing dark, pratical clothes with a logo Torie did not recognise. They had pistols around their waists and the lady wore an odd necklace that wasn’t really beautiful, but definitely added… something.
“Excuse me,” Rollund said. “Aveline, I presume? I present to you Torie, of the Torata Tribe.”
“Hello,” Torie said, speaking slowly around her large tiger tongue. She waited patiently for Aveline’s reaction, for it was only normal that most people were a little gobsmacked when first meeting the three metre long, five-foot tall and impossibly fat tigress who, above it all, could talk!

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7 minutes ago, Venus Sprite said:

“Hello,” Torie said, speaking slowly around her large tiger tongue. She waited patiently for Aveline’s reaction, for it was only normal that most people were a little gobsmacked when first meeting the three metre long, five-foot tall and impossibly fat tigress who, above it all, could talk!

Not Aveline; she had seen dragons, kitsune, a floating apparition-like being, zombies that wanted a hug instead of a brain, nagas with human-like torsos, a centaur, and plenty of other weird shit. A fat, anthropomorphic tiger doesn't faze her one bit.

"Well, you must be Torie," Aveline replies, getting an introduction as she slides the fresh magazine into her Glock before holstering it, "and I just won an imperial shitload of money, not that I need it. Think we could take a seat inside?"

A passing server stops for a second. "Could I get a black coffee, and, what would you like, Torie?"

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“Ohh I don’t know. Something to take the edge off?” Torie said.

“I’ll fetch our house wine, sir,” the server said before moving off. Torie didn’t know what the heck that even meant – though she had tried wine and liked it. Nor did she begrudge the server for calling her sir. The gravelly sub-roar of a tigress wasn’t exactly feminine.

She just hoped they would bring it to her in a bowl, so she wouldn’t need to try and hold it with a paw.

“So, where were you when you heard about this event?” She asked of Aveline. “I was in Wiltshire, in Ursa Madeum. They even had a guide who escorted me to the portal! It’s a wonder more people aren’t here,” she said, looking around. ‘Make Valucre a better place,’ the guide had said. I’m not sure how all this will help but I’m glad I came.” She did her best tiger’s impression of a smile and shuffled her feet, not really knowing what to talk about. Plus, the pistol was making her a little nervous. Not that she’d had any first hand experience with guns, but she knew the basic idea – and that they were uncomfortably loud. "Is... making Valucre a better place something you're interested in, then?"

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"Well, I was returning to Andelisia after seeing where I wanted to build our 'manor'," Aveline says, finally settling into one of the chairs by the fire, and motioning for Torie to sit in the chair to the right, "I don't know how Grant Knight did it, but he did us a real solid sidestepping the jam Oscar Uldwar and his little bitches put us in at the zoning and development office. But anyways, a messenger stuffed the notice in my face and ran away like a scared little kid."

16 minutes ago, Venus Sprite said:

"Is... making Valucre a better place something you're interested in, then?"

"Fuck yeah," Aveline replies, "but I'll do my part in our little chunk of Ursa Madeum first. What I wanna do is increase the technology base to the level they've got here, but that's a looooong beyond-vertical uphill battle from where I'm sitting, but once we can generate electricity and perhaps make concrete locally, I'm hoping it'll get easier, but I'm not counting on it."

It wouldn't surprise Aveline if Torie hasn't heard about House Singlance before. If anybody ever talks about it, it's with plenty of insults and cursing.

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Hell's Gate. It's been a while since the Mistress was here. Her multiple trips to this place had been as the cartel's lapdog, as the previous Black Head found it interesting for the young Mistress to bet against their own. It was the championship of Hell Gate's tournament and the cartel's Sera had won that tournament. Sera's win brought the cartel fortune both in fame and coin but only the young Mistress had to suffer the consequences. Even now she can still feel the surgeon's hands on her face, the cold tools they used to claw out her left eye. She will never forget the sight of her other eyeball plopping down the surgical tray beside her. Then there was all that blood that gushed out of the gaping hole where her eye should have been. Such fond memories. Now as the new Black Head, the Mistress found it peculiar that she's back in Hell's Gate for speed dating.

Yes. Out of all the bloRelated imageody reasons, she was her for this absurdity. But the Mistress was never one to back down so she will suffer this absurdity. Maybe she might actually find someone interested her. Like that will ever happen. The last time she was with someone, that man proposed to the Mistress' mentor right in front of the Mistress. And that was after all the Mistress had done for that man. Since then the Mistress swore that she will become a proud independent woman that needs no man. And she will keep on cursing that man name, keep on cursing John Wilder deep in her heart.

Sliding into the comfort of one certain leather armchair, the Mistress sat languidly hoping her aloof attitude would attract someone. She did not have to wait long as the ringing bell started the event. With an 'approachable' look on her face, the Mistress waited for her partner, whoever that may be.


Edited by Thotification (Zashiii)

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Thurgood/The Mistress

One of the waitstaff directed Thurgood to where the lady known only as The Mistress. Well that narrowed it down.

But when Thurgood sees this woman, he can immediately sense that something isn't quite right about her; spending much of one's life in a place where conventional "weirdness" is actually fairly normal gives one a way to sort garden-variety weird from the truly dangerous, plus the fact that this "weirdness" isn't always visible.

So it is with some trepidation that he sits down in another chair within conversational distance of The Mistress.

"'Sup? I'm Thurgood Singlance. Got an actual name, or does everybody only refer to you as The Mistress?"

This lady already knows that Thurgood not only knows John Wilder, he's a member of the Wild Hearts. Where he is in the pecking order isn't certain, but he is a part of it.

What The Mistress doesn't know (yet) is that Thurgood is the patriarch of one of Ursa Madeum's five major noble houses.


...have we met before?"


Edited by notmuch_23

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The Mistress frowned at the man who sat before him. It seems her cover was blown but the Mistress is not concerned. Not even the people of Hell Gate could capture simply because this was one of her fake bodies. Still the man before her has looser lips than her mom's.

"'Sup? I'm Thurgood Singlance. Got an actual name, or does everybody only refer to you as The Mistress?"

So this man was Thurgood. The Mistress had seen him back in Taen and then way back in Wilder's place. John Wilder. That was the name that left bitter memories. The Mistress was not yet ready to forgive John for what he had done to her delicate feminine heart.

"Well met, Thurgood. As you have said, I am the Mistress Blackhead. And yes. We have met. Wilder and I have some history together. Bitter history." 

The Mistress paused to produce a cigar from her coat pocket. Once more she began to smoke. Blowing a lingful of smoke upwards she continued.

"I saw you back at Wilder's place. Then once more in the Veluriyam Empire when we paved that road."

The Mistress leaned back, her cool gaze fixed on Thurgood's face. "Rejoice that you would know my name. Midian. Midian Ochre. Just call me Middy."

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"Well fuck," Thurgood thinks, "I'm off to a greeeeeat start..."

"Barely saw ya while build'n the road, had to concentrate on the steam shovel, and designing all the bridges," Thurgood says, "but how'djya like Taen?"

It's a harsh land, but it's been his home for a couple years now, and will likely be for at least another six months while he arranges the construction of the relatively modest House Singlance manor. At least he now knows why that particular feeling of unease is familiar.

"I thought cigar smokers didn't tend to inhale. Well, I hope I can change the subject: I'm here to network, not fuck, nor fight."

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"Be at ease Thurgood, what transpired between me and Wilder is nothing but personal  The WIld Hearts and my cartel are still in good relations."

The Mistress shrugged. While she and WIlder had problems, she cannot deny that she needed the Wild Hearts as one of her allies in Tean. Her organization pales in comparison to Wilder's and she's not one to let her personal reasons interfere wit her business. Her company was not that big anyway. The Terrenus government did not even think they are worth the time and effort to catch. Still, the Mistress will not throw caution to the wind.

The Mistress crossed her legs, her eyes never leaving Thurgood's. "The road was quite the interesting distraction.  I'm happy to contribute to the people of your land. But if I ever get to Taen again, I'll be sure to contact House Singlance. Thank gods, I get to meet another noble house. I fear that I'll forever be stuck with House Uldwar. Oh, did you know that I helped House Uldwar in his search for the true crown of Ursa Madeum. I thought it was a hoax."

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"Wait... how do you even know about House Singlance? I haven't told you about it, and-" then it dawns on him. "What exactly have the Uldwars told you about us, and after hearing their prospective, why would you even want to contact us?"

It's no secret to anybody who has spent much time with any of the Uldwars that they ABHOR House Singlance with a passion.

"Don't get me started on the fucking Uldwars," Thurgood says, "I'll probably get thrown outta here for causing a disturbance. But what exactly is this 'true crown of Ursa Madeum'?"

Depending on what it is and does, Thurgood and Aveline could be in some deep shit.

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"SETTLE DOWN, BOY," the Mistress barked, her voice slightly louder than expected, "I"m not stupid, boy. I've been to Taen a couple of time now in preparation in case the Legion was interested in raiding it. I've done my research and the things you can learn if you can read and is actually capable of rational thought."

The Mistress could only sigh. "But, let me be honest with you. House Uldwar was one of my many employers. There was a time that my people even butted heads with the Uldwars but neither me nor Uldwar held grudges. I prefer to be neutral, SInglance, on most conflicts."

"But if you need to know more then you would have to pay. I don;t charge coin but I believe knowledge is best paid with knowledge. Is there something of importance that you can tell me in exchange for info about the crown?" Then came the Mistress' coy grin. "Careful what you ask for Thurgood."

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That's the thing: Thurgood doesn't really know anything important, and whatever he thinks might possibly be would be what he considers a brutal betrayal to divulge. If nothing else, he's loyal, and can likely find out about the crown in more publically available sources, like the Madean chronicles.

"I'll look elsewhere. Info on relics isn't hard to find if you know where to look."

Now he starts thinking about this conversation: first he steps in a pile of shit with his connection to John Wilder, and trying to get out of it, he steps in a whole fucking heap with his struggle with House Uldwar. Npw though, he believes there's no possible way he can recover:everything will lead him back to that heap of shit.

"I... really don't think this conversation is worth continuing," Thurgood says, drooping his head as he starts to stand from the chair.

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