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In Illusions & Armistice [Kon]

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#1Astrid 

In Illusions & Armistice [Kon] Empty Sat Mar 30, 2024 11:39 pm

Astrid
























"In my name."


STR: 1 | SPD: 146 | CON: 251 | END: 251 | INT: 1001 | MANA: 11,650



"Bow before me."
- Astrid Venier



There was hardly any surprise or unexpected nature to her arrival. It was long-expected, if not overdue even. Whilst structure and society throughout Fiore ceased to pause, even for the slightest fraction of a fraction of a second, her behavior certainly would have given reason to consider differently. One could have easily written it off as arrogance – hubris even – to temporarily forsake such a key point of agenda like she had. But Astrid Venier, the young Senator whose notoriety following the successful ousting of her father – the once-highly regarded Senator representing Crocus – was far, far from worried about her arrival in Era being days behind schedule.

After all, her business in Hargeon was infinitely more pressing for her own sake and survival. Her being here, a guest of a city all but run by an organization in the Rune Knights that she had grown to care little towards. A disposition that had not waivered with her becoming a player within the political sphere of Fiore herself. If it had not been for King Reign’s personal request to act as Ambassador on behalf of his Court, there would not have been any chance that Astrid would be by her own volition.

If anything, the prominent brothels within Crocus, those operated under shadow and under the guise of often high-brow establishments, ones that the uninitiated would simply consider to be upper-class establishments, would almost certainly have been where she would have been found. Especially after her time in Hargeon, the meeting with Blue Pegasus Guild Master Alisa Vollan that she orchestrated simultaneously giving her exactly what she wanted whilst also leaving her wanting more. Denied the woman’s touch and whatever naughty ideas the two could have spent entertaining, instead Astrid was forced depart and tend to a matter that relative to what she had been through in the past several days, amounted to very little.

But dereliction was not an option for Astrid, as much as she may have preferred going that route. Her status within Crocus was already becoming in jeopardy, hence the urgency to force an accord with Alisa Vollan. And if she were to have simply forsaken this task – especially after being given the emergency powers and authority that came with the temporary title of Ambassador – then even the Sacred Scroll that housed the blood pact may not have been enough to secure her own safety.

There was a reprieve, one that did not immediately come to mind but upon realization she figured would be more than sufficient. Heavy rain, storming conditions even. There was little evidence of it when her carriage traversed through the gates of Era; a heavy overcast that persisted through the air and the obvious signs of early spring weather, namely the fresh puddles and wet sheen that cast upon the stone and bricks. There were the obvious signs of rain, but nothing that Astrid could make out that signaled significant storming.

Until the next morning.

It was early. Much earlier than she would have wanted to wake. From the window that cast over her lodging’s bed, the blues, reds, and yellowish hues that she would have expected to see of the dawn were replaced by the blackened sky of night, what color existed being the faint flashes of lightning partially concealed by the dark storm clouds. Through eyes still yearning for the comfort of sleep she looked outwards, the realization of the storm descending upon Era not yet having sunk in. Not until the second booming of thunder that for a brief second illuminated the otherwise dark room, to which Astrid did nothing more than rest her head again upon her pillow, only further dreading the meeting to come.

Several hours later, she awoke again, a quick glance giving her a better idea of time passing, the view from the window no longer pitch black but instead that of the morning sky obscured by the same thick, dark clouds as before. Too, the sound of pounding the door of her room provided little to no relief either. “My Lady,” the voice called out, the emissary tasked to provide aid to Astrid during her Ambassadorship, “It is time for you to awaken.” A moment passed with accompanying silence, then came another series of poundings upon the door. “My Lady?”

Against the sound of rain pounding and occasional boom of thunder, nothing generated quite a reaction out of Astrid than that of the sound of the key being inserted and opening her door. As the door swung open, the white-haired woman had just managed to make herself presentable to the young woman who stood within the doorframe, her presence a welcome sight to Astrid, especially after what Alisa had put her through only days beforehand. The girl was of decent height, several inches shorter than Astrid perhaps, with a fair complexion, rich blue eyes, and notably silver hair with distinct red highlights, an overall attractive young woman, one that Astrid could not help but admire. As she stood within the doorway, her face shifted to that of embarrassment at the sight of Astrid sitting upright within her bed, only a bedsheet covering her otherwise nude body.

“My sincerest apologies, Lady Astrid!” The woman bowed in apology, Astrid otherwise unphased by the action and instead finding herself curious as to how much further she could push this woman. A potential new pet for her to enjoy, once all of this business with the Rune Knights were settled. “But it is nearing 8 in the morning. Your meeting is scheduled for 10.”

Astrid simply looked at the woman for a moment, at this point coming close to being fully awake and attentive, if not a bit frustrated at the realization of this meeting to come. She sighed and got up from her bed, the sheet remaining on the bed as she began towards the shower, barely keeping her composure as she heard the stammers and flustered outbursts by the assistant, the exact reaction Astrid was hoping for. “Come in,” she commanded, “No need for our business to be overheard by the other guests.” With the door now closed, she went below the running water, the feeling of scorching water upon her skin feeling surprisingly comfortable.

“Brief me,” she called out, a faint cloud of hot mist starting to sufficiently fill the bathroom. She had a loose idea of what was expected, but much of the trip from Hargeon to Era had her fantasizing of what such an affair with Alisa may have yielded, thoughts of fantasy and frustration having occupied her time. The finer points of what she should have expected were lost to her.

“I’m doubtful I know much more than you on the situation. The Crown was informed of a request to meet with the leadership of the Rune Knights on a matter of great urgency. As I understand it, they were expecting a response some days ago, so I hope the urgency of our promptness is not lost.” Her words trailed at the end; the news of Astrid being sent was a stunning decision in its own right. That her arrival came days after when this meeting was first intended to occur seemed to only magnify the pressure of this meeting.

She was met with silence for a short time, the sound of the active shower and the rain pounding against the room’s window being the only thing one could hear. Standing there for a bit longer, eventually Astrid stepped out, minimally dressed, as her eyes focused upon the Aide, smirking all the while. Alisa may have denied her, but Astrid was already certain that once this matter here was settled that this woman would not be opposed. “Some things are outside our control,” she said coldly, glancing for a ┬ábrief moment towards the window, noting that the dark clouds seemed to remain as full as they had before. “I trust that we’re close? I’d prefer avoiding getting unnecessarily wet if possible.”

“I’ll see that the risk is minimalized,” the Aide spoke, her words a bit stammered, her face a little flushed, Astrid’s demeanor and lack of modesty clearing having an effect upon her. As she departed to ensure Astrid’s preferred transportation, Astrid could not help but lightly laugh to herself as she properly prepared. Though she may have entertained messing with the desires of that woman, she still recognized that the meeting to come was of dire circumstances. After some time passed, she appeared ready, or at least ready as could be going into such a meeting blind. It would hardly be the first time, but nevertheless left her uneasy all the same.

Her gaze was fixed upon the window, watching the clouds remain as stalwart as they had seemingly always been, the lone solace being the rain having let up. What had once been a constant barrage of rain drops upon the glass pane had declined into little more than an occasional drop every couple of seconds. So focused were she on the receding rain that she had barely registered her Aide reentering her room, “Everything’s ready, my Lady.”

She turned, looking to the Aide, a smirk upon her face. The rain calming had certainly improved her spirits, and up to this point she could not speak ill of the young woman assigned to her. She had first figured her a fun little prize to enjoy after all was said and done, but the thought occurred to her to keep this woman after the fact. With her situation within the King’s Court expected to be preserved, if not improved considerably by her deal made with Alisa, she would be in need of additional staff. This woman fit the bill accordingly.

~

She entered with absolute authority, the young Aide accompanying behind, much more timid by comparison. Their presence beneath the large doors that marked the entrance to the Magic Council Headquarters was like of the rabbit moving beneath the trees, their presence simply seeming insignificant by comparison. And yet, they carried the weight of the nation upon their shoulders, an irony all but highlighted by Astrid’s roots within Oak Town, her previous advocating of policies to better the long-struggling city inevitably having had a ripple effect upon the Rune Knights by extension. But like when she arrived within Hargeon, how her decisions had affected others were not a concern, except perhaps if only to serve as a sort of bargaining chip.

The question would be would whomever were seated opposite her at the table have reason to care? Impossible for her to know for sure; it would not even shock her terribly if it were that same ripple effect which may have prompted such a meeting.

The pair had barely moved much past the massive doors before they were stopped, two large guards stepping forward, each shifting to their side as to block Astrid’s route, two halberds crossed against each other in an X formation directly before her. “State your business,” bellowed out one of the guards, much of his face concealed behind an iron helm that exposed only his lower face just beneath the nose, the only thing visible the hastily-shaven face.

“I am here on behalf of King Reign,” Astrid spoke, neither intimidated by the guard nor interested in having to justify her presence. She had enough times had to provide this justification, people often finding the need to doubt her intentions, the matter always ultimately being within her favor. “His Court had received a demand for a meeting. I am here in the capable of both a Senator under King Reign and as Ambassador on behalf of the Court and Crocus to handle such matter. Now, allow me through.”

The guards did not seem to budge, which seemed to only further frustrate Astrid more than the their initial stopping. The one who spoke before turned his head slightly towards the other, that figure not quite turning fully, instead seeming to meet him halfway as well. Without a word communicated, the two seemed to barely nod, providing as little of a gesture as possible to the naked eye. The other spoke, “A presence from the King was expected days before. Why should your late arrival be gifted such a luxury as a meeting?”

She sighed, a hand raised and fingers pressed against her forehead. Astrid were hardly surprised by the incompetency of people who assumed they had any sort of power; lowly politicians whom sat at the bottom of the political ladder, soldiers whom overestimated their own respective skills, or guards who believed their authority was more important than it actually was. Not unlike the pair that stood before her. What more marveled her was the blatant disrespect shown; not to say that her late arrival was not worth admonishing, but a guard was hardly one to provide it to her.

In the grand scale of things, they were simply guards. She was a Senator, seated within the Court of King Reign, and an acting Ambassador at that.

If there were ever heads to roll, it would platoons worth of these men to see the gallows before even the consideration would ever be entertained towards her.

“I have little time to entertain this. Weather has proven disastrous of late, evident enough by what’s being felt now.” An exaggeration of sorts, but not untrue considering the current audience. What business would a pair of guards need to know of weather conditions in different regions of the country outright? If they wished to risk their careers further, that would be their decision, but at the end of the day, Astrid would be attending this meeting.

“Now, either see to that you allow me through, or otherwise have whomever is of sufficient authority to come here. Your insolence teeters on the brink of treason, actively defying the Crown. Unless you would wish to see relations between the King and Magic Council potentially ruined due to your two’s delusions of importance, feel free to continue. But know that you proceed, while I can't speak to how your commanding officer will respond, the Crown would see you to the gallows.” She mused the idea of using the powers of her Magical eye, but erred against it. Using it upon unruly members of Blue Pegasus was one thing, but to do so here would be no different than what the two guards were doing at present. “So please, continue... Or if you're done, bring forth whomever it is that is expecting the King’s response. Perhaps then I may just forget your actions...”


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