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A New Job [Spring April 9th, 533 YOI]

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1 A New Job [Spring April 9th, 533 YOI] on Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:29 am

Ellara

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Ellara glanced up at the sun. At midday on Market Sunday, she was wishing she had stayed in her apartment. To experience the culture of her new home, she'd decided to travel out to the city's market on Sunday before the spring solstice; what she hadn't realized was that the entire city seemed to migrate there to get its preparations for the pompous festivities that would take place on the holiday date. She swatted a fly away from her shoulder and returned her hand to her purse - she understood that with large crowds came thieves.

A couple of vendors cooed praises, trying to wave her over to them, but she just smirked and ignored them. They'd find another pretty girl to venture a glance at their "bargains," one with less sense and more money to spare. When she reached the food vendors, Ellara paused to buy some bread and cheese, having brought her own water. She settled by the baker's stall cross-legged, watching the clever and smooth pickpockets work their magic. One was particularly interesting; he used an odd-but-functional technique that fascinated Ellara enough that she almost wanted to try it out for herself. She wouldn't, but the idea was still intriguing.

Once her lunch was finished, she stood and brushed herself back off, having collected dust and crumbs from sitting on the ground like a vegetable that chewed. She then began to wander, searching for the weapons section. Her crossbow had broken in a way that would cost more to fix than a new one, so she'd decided to suck it up and get the new one. The shaft had splintered and the back split when she'd tried to restring it. Since it had served her for 10 years, she felt that it really owed her no apology.

After much searching, stumbling, and asking, her queries led her to the most recommended (and expensive) vendor in the market. Supposedly, his weapons held up through practically any abuse, and he would repair them for free if they didn't. Although this seemed a little whimsical to Ellara, she decided to check it out anyway. It was mid-afternoon before she reached the stall, having had to stop and ask, and occasionally find a better source of information. However, when she reached the stall, she was greeted by a middle-aged, muscular man with thick, curly hair and a rough accent.

"Can I help you miss, or are you just window-shoppin' like the rest of 'em?"

Ellara smiled. She liked him. He was concise and open, so she treated him in the same manner. After explaining the situation, she went into detail about what type of crossbow she wanted. She gave him every preference she had and he nodded slowly, probably running through his inventory while she spoke.

"Well, I don't have anything that's quite what you're looking for, but I do have something better. Come on to the back."

She followed him deeper into the tent until they reached a door, which he opened. She hadn't even noticed that the stall was set up right in front of his actual shop. Clever, she thought simply. An easy way to keep yourself from having to trek to get more goods. She waited while he unlocked a case and removed a small, dark-wood crossbow.

"It's small, but this little baby packs a mean punch. She's strung with curled metal strings that are designed to give you more power. She's got a steel center, so even if you crack the wood case, she'd still be usable. Her wood was cured with oil, and finished in a thick lacquer so it won't rot or be susceptible to breakage, and she's got a few more little things I'll tell you about if you're interested enough..."

"Interested enough?" Ellara smirked. "Alright, how much is this thing exactly?"

When told the price, she had to put her head against the cool glass for a moment while she worked out how many months that had taken her to earn. Merciful heavens... She could afford it, but it meant skimping on food for a few weeks. She sighed and brought her head up. The craftsman offered her a sympathetic smile, which she returned with a less-than-menacing glare. He laughed.

"Alright, I can ease up on the price a little in a sense. The bolts for this lady are almost a third of what she costs because they're steel-tipped and dipped in a neurotoxin. I'll give you the bolts half-off, and a free vial of toxin and antidote. How's that?"

After some consideration and mild haggling, Ellara worked out a price that would only mean skimping for the next 6 weeks rather than year. She left the shop both satisfied and upset - it felt to her like he had somehow just worked some magic on her to get her to submit to a bad deal. However, she carried a sac with her new weapon in it, and that felt very comforting. With another glance to the sky, she realized it would be dark soon. Time to head home.



Last edited by Ellara on Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:08 pm; edited 3 times in total

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2 Re: A New Job [Spring April 9th, 533 YOI] on Sat Jun 19, 2010 6:02 pm

Saint

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Prowler had been walking around looking at the various vendors most of the day. Most of the things that caught his attention were either useless or the cost was outstanding, and so he continued the process of just looking and not buying. The day was passing by quickly and there were many people out shopping. Most of them seemed to be middle classed since he was skimming the richer section of the city.

After being out so long the day started to wear on him, it was boring and yet he had nothing better to be doing. This was one of the last days he would be free until required to retake command of the Legion camped outside the city walls. And although he was not one to shirk his duty, he was having doubts about the proffesion he had gotten himself into. The Legion he commanded wasn't in full strength and was only being used as a sort of large scouting party.

Turning the corner of a small street he spied a vendor that caught his eye, the woman was selling some sort of chain armor. Although the armor itself looked like a normal shirt from a distance, on closer inspection it was to be found that the links were just extremely small. Running the material through his hand Prowler decided that the shirt was too weak and walked off to the next vendor.

It had been too long since he had actually been in the city, having done most of his dealings through letter to the other Triumvirates. Prowler didn't particularly like cities much more enjoying the outsoors, but this one had a special place in his heart. Just something about it and it's people gave him the will to protect the borders of the small country. Of course the city had riff raff and all the odd sort of bad people and theifs, but so did every other city. And the good people who lived in it's walls more than made up for the bad.

The next vendor had some even more worthless armor and so he decided to retire to his quarters, walking down the street and turning onto another he spied someone he though he knew. It had been a long time since he had seen many people though, and so he chose to approach the woman and tap her on the shoulder. A slightly confused look spreading over his face.

"Do I know you miss?"

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3 Re: A New Job [Spring April 9th, 533 YOI] on Sat Jun 19, 2010 10:46 pm

Ellara

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Ellara had been just a couple yards away from her door when a finger fell on her shoulder and a voice addressed her. Startled, she jumped, dropping her bag and freezing in a mildly defensive position before she took a breath and closed her eyes for a moment. After her pause, she stooped and collected her items. When she stood back up, she took the time to consider the stranger.

He wasn't unattractive, although he did seem mildly older than her. He didn't bear a multitude of scars, or at least not many visible ones, and his eyes didn't express the torment often found in military-hardened men. His clothes showed that he was well enough off that he didn't have to go looking in the sales bin, but they weren't as lavish as possible. She concluded him to be an honest and fairly reasonable person, probably a little eccentric and zealous at times, and with room to grow.

With that, she realized she'd probably been staring at him for a good fifteen seconds while making her assessment.

"Oh, I apologize- my head was somewhere else for a moment. No, I don't think we've met before."

It was a truthful statement; while Ellara wasn't the best with names and faces, she did usually remember seeing people somewhere, and she just didn't remember him. If she had seen him, it wasn't a notable occasion, and they certainly hadn't been introduced.

"My name is Ellara. Might I ask yours?"

It occurred to her that this was the first person she was formally meeting in her new home.



Last edited by Ellara on Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:19 pm; edited 1 time in total

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4 Re: A New Job [Spring April 9th, 533 YOI] on Sat Jun 19, 2010 11:10 pm

Saint

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A slight smile spread across his face when he noticed how long it was taking her to say something. For some reason she seemed a bit defensive and a little out of it for a second before she finally got around to saying much of anything. Shadows had started spreading throughout the city as the sun steadily began to decline, and less and less people could be seen in the streets. He spoke steadily and with vigar with a happy smile across his face, it seemed as if he had found a new person to the city.

"My name is Robert Melhavre and I'm one of the Triumvir's of Celis. And It's a pleasure to meet you miss, forgive me if I make the wrong assumption but are you new to this city?"

He told her his name without haughtiness giving more light on his character and personality. He wondered where she had come from and for what reason she had came to Novus. It was always a pleasure welcoming new people when they came, although he didn't get the chance often. Especially being out on campaign and official Celisian business. It was refreshing meeting people who didn't know about him, and he wondered if it was wise giving her information about his position. Robby didn't want her to think that she should be humbled because of his rank, he liked people acting normal around him. It made it seem like he wasn't in a position of such high rank and responsibility. A thought ocurred to him and he decided to ask,

"You wouldn't perhaps be in need of a job would you? I know it can sometimes be a pain finding a good job in this city, it's something I plan on trying to rectify in the near future. I don't want it to seem like I'm trying to give a handout to you, but if you need a job feel free to ask."

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5 Re: A New Job [Spring April 9th, 533 YOI] on Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:58 pm

Ellara

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Blinking back surprise, she thought about what he was asking her. At first, her mind led her back to her current state in which she was working two jobs, both of which she hated. But then she considered the circumstances in which he had come to her, which were random. She didn't understand his incentive to offer her a job. And what kind of job would he offer a complete stranger anyway? Ellara was certain that as a Triumvir he must have plenty of job opportunities. Maybe she was a social experiment.

"Well, I suppose it couldn't be much worse than what I'm doing now."

She took a moment to look at the sky and estimate the time.

"Mmm. It's getting late. If you'd like, we can discuss this in my apartment." She laughed. "Some of us are a little low-budget."

Without waiting for a response, she took his arm and pulled him the remaining distance to the set of rooms she stayed in. She released his arm when they got there and wandered up the stairs to her room, seeming to not pay attention to her surroundings. After she had unlocked the door, she stepped into the premises and held the door for him. The idea came to her that this was one of the most powerful men in the nation, and that they did not know each other well enough for her to just take him to her home like this. Hmm. Maybe I should've taken him to a public place. Well, if he's not comfortable, I'm sure he'll say so or ask to go somewhere else.



Last edited by Ellara on Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:20 pm; edited 1 time in total

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6 Re: A New Job [Spring April 9th, 533 YOI] on Wed Jul 28, 2010 5:14 pm

Saint

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Robby nodded and raised an eyebrow before being pulled along down the street. He guessed that her apartment wasn't too far away and so he let himself fall into a comfortable but official gait. The sights were many as they passed down a few buys streets, plenty of merchants and soldiers meandering around. If people saw him entering a random womans apartment plenty of rumors would be spread, but he supposed it didn't matter since he was powerful enough to get by them. With a shrug he continued to follow her direction wondering what her home would look like, also considering the jobs that he could employ her for.

"So what kind of things are you good at doing Ellara? Feel free to tell me everything no matter the justice of it. Anything you can tell me that would give me a better idea of where I could put you would be welcome."

He said this with a bit of authority like she had already made up her mind about the matter. Although she hadn't and he also didn't notice the way he said what he had. A bit of a bad habit.

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7 Re: A New Job [Spring April 9th, 533 YOI] on Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:54 pm

Ellara

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Ellara took a few minutes to carefully push scrolls, books, and pieces of parchment off the chair in the sparsely-furnished apartment. It was a single room, with separators dividing it into different "rooms," which almost spoke of poverty. This idea was then altered looking at the quality of the learning material and other paraphernalia around the room. Even the furniture was in good stead - the mattress of the cot she took as a seat and the pillows also resting on it were filled with feathers, the chair was fine wood, and the desk boasted a glass top. While she chose not to indulge in the things she considered less important, such as room space for a single person, she took into consideration quality and longevity.

She indicated for Robert to sit.

"While I cannot be certain that all I say is true, for my opinion is, after all, a little biased, I'd like to say that I'm a well-rounded person. My people skills are good enough, and I tend not to be easily pushed over. Crowds find my opinions rather... influential... and I'm usually well heard on an individual basis as well. I've also been through military training - I started officially when I was eight, and I completed my training three years ago at seventeen. At that point, I was better than my instructor and he had nothing further to teach me."

She glanced at her arms for a moment before adding, "Much of my defense and offense comes from my speed, not so much my power. I'm more skilled with things that require less strength while in motion, such as swords, spears, and batons. Maces and clubs are not my forté. I'm good with bows and am skilled in hand-to-hand combat."

Ellara wasn't uncomfortable under Robert's scrutiny. To her, this could be a way out of the situation she was in. She hated the jobs she worked, and she wanted into a serious, more permanent profession. Getting rid of her day and night jobs would make that easier to begin with.

"When I was younger, we worked based on our age and gender, which determined our capability according to our elders. I was usually put in charge of determining that my peers finished their shares of the work. Now I work less glorious jobs keeping books for a nearby butcher during the day and playing hostess in a local pub at night. The town I came from didn't have schools - You learned what you could from your parents. My mother didn't have the monetary means to send me to school and my father didn't care to have it done, so I'm working now to get my more detailed education. Simple arithmetic and language are strengths of mine, but I don't know much of history and complex matters are a mystery to me. I will admit that it deters me from reaching some of my goals, as does my younger age."

Ellara stopped before adding one last thing: "Not to be boastful, but I'm confident that I could pass any test of wit or skill you put in front of me. I learn quickly, and I'm slow to forget."

With that, she folded her hands in her lap and examined them, looking at the scars that ribbed her palms and remembering the significance of each. She'd been taught that every scar told a story, with a hard lesson to be learned from it. She understood what that meant now, and believed in it firmly. Whether or not this man wanted to hire her, she wouldn't let her future be stamped out by someone else's unwillingness to see her for who she was and what she was capable of. She was going to become something more and make a difference, even if she drove herself into the ground to make that change.



Last edited by Ellara on Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:22 pm; edited 1 time in total

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8 Re: A New Job [Spring April 9th, 533 YOI] on Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:51 am

Saint

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Robby observed the room about him and was greatly impressed, it looked like the woman standing before him went for quality not quantity. He wasn't sure how she had collected all the things about him, but he gave a good guess that she worked for it all. Which was more than he could say for some people in the city. Everything in the room seemed to be in good or decent condition, a slight smile spread across his lips as he noticed the dividers. Absent minded he walked over to a table and picked up a book dealing with arithmetic, a slight frown passed over his features as he flipped through some of the pages. Robby was never the best at math, and it bothered him that he wasn't better at it. Shrugging he sat down and studied the woman, she was attractive and had good facial features. Her body looked slim but he knew that it was mostly made of muscle, he could tell by the way she moved about. Listening intently he went through a list of possible occupations and openings he was aware of. At this point he could probably enlist her for a number of jobs and in a wide variety. She could be anything from a soldier to a secretary and the this would both make it easier and more difficult to find her a job.

"Hmmm... so what do you think you would be good at doing Ellara? In what position do you think you would best serve the Triumvirate? I know this might be a tough question to answer especially if you are modest, but be truthful and honest. This could mean a life long career for you, something that could help your standings in the world."

Robby stretched in his chair and continued to study the woman and think. He had always had a fascination for most anything dealing with military matters, and so he thought up a list of possible questions he could ask her about the training she had undergone. There was also a variety of questions he could ask her about the past life she had led. How she had gotten to Celis and where she had been living before. Robby had so many questions but he decided not to ask them all at once and just let the conversation flow.

"So who trained you in martial arts? Do you know anything about conventional tactics, stratagem, and logistics? I'm guessing you can write correct? Judging from the books and scrolls around you can read. Also not to be rude and prying but where did you come from before Celis? Is there a reason you came here? And how did you get here?"

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9 Re: A New Job [Spring April 9th, 533 YOI] on Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:43 pm

Ellara

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Ellara waited while he studied her, and took his questions one at a time, trying to delay answering the first set since she didn't have an answer just yet. Not only did she come from a small town that didn't care about the higher officials whose light never reached their homes, but also she wasn't all convinced that she could trust anyone involved in politics anyway. A faint smile crossed her lips as she thought of the elders who griped about the government and the tiny terrorist groups forming within the borders, but it faded as she began to speak. With a dull tone of voice, she explained her history.

"I was trained by a man named Rohaien Karuz, for he was the local recruiting officer. I have been trained in basic battle tactics, but not enough to be a very effective commanding officer without someone else's help. I do write correctly," she smirked at her correction of his own language, since she was a stickler for grammar, "and my speech is proper when I care to mind myself. I don't mind telling you about my past, honestly. There's not much to it, really."

Looking down at her knuckles, she carefully retraced her life in her mind, choosing what events could be spoken of and which were less than likely to help her. Once everything was sorted out, she began again, quiet and pensive.

"I was born in Ovian, a tiny town about fifty leagues from here. I was raised under my mother and the town, and my father left us be. After some time, a man took interest in my future, and promised me one. Later, when I came to a better age, I was told that I was to be married to him. However, he was deployed away in the military, and when he was granted a return for the occasion, he never appeared. I left that night and never looked back. Having heard of our capitol's wonderful reputation for jump-starting new lives, I came here to escape my past and create a new future. I walked for two months, passing through other towns and cities, and building up acquaintances along the way, working whatever jobs I could to pay for my food and lodging."

Now she returned to the previous question.

"Well, I'm not really sure, to be quite honest. I can guess that I would be a good connection to the people - especially the lower classes. They've quite a few complaints that you may or may not know about, simply because they don't trust politicians to look after them. I could also work as a training officer, or even at a desk job. I'd like to say that it's my dream to work forever buried under a mountain of paperwork, but somehow I really just can't picture myself there in the long run. But, I'll also admit that beggars can't be choosers. It just doesn't work well."

She laughed and shook her head. "You're right. I really can't help you decide what you might do with me. Maybe I AM too modest." Still snickering, Ellara leaned down and unlaced her boots carefully, cleaning them with a brush before putting them away. She then slipped on a set of sandals. Walking over to a cabinet, she pulled down a mug and glanced over at him. "Would you care for some water?"



Last edited by Ellara on Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:11 pm; edited 2 times in total

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10 Re: A New Job [Spring April 9th, 533 YOI] on Sun Aug 01, 2010 6:09 pm

Saint

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Robby nodded his head while listening intently to Ellara tell her story. He guessed that she would leave some parts out but from what he did hear he was impressed. Even though he was used to marching he knew what it took to travel that far. The distance even taken in small bounds and leaps would take a lot out of a person even in good health. Listening silently he let her speak without commenting, thinking on what she had already told him and what she might have to say. Playing idly with with button on the cuff of his shirt he thought of the things she had told him. Some kind of civil official working with the people sounded like it would be to her liking, as well as make her an asset to the state. Robby could tell that the woman siting before him had much potential, and he didn't want that to go to waste. She could make something of herself in government and make enough money to live happily. He just hoped she tried not to get too involved with politics, they could be dangerous these days even to the Triumvirs. Clearing his through he smiled and spoke,

"It sounds to me as if you have been through some hardship, and yet instead of buckling under all the pressure you got through it and learned some valuable skills along the way. From what you're telling me there are several positions in which I could put you and have you work effectively, while also being a valuable asset to the Triumvirate. We usually get most of our complaints and problems from the outer portion of the city, since most of our resources are used keeping the center of the city protected and in good condition. How would you feel about being a public official and taking care of these people?"

Robby sat back in his chair and wondered what she would say and how she would respond to his offer. It wasn't everyday someone got offered such a position and the only reason he was now was because it was open, and she seemed to be up for the job. Her skills would help keep her protected in that part of the city and also help her make friends with the local populace. Robby also planned on making her take a guard or two with her when she went out, but he had already guessed that he would probably deny his attempt to keep her safe. Plus the job would probably get done better with just her, but he would let Ellara make that call. His thoughts wondered to if she thought it would be too much responsibility, he didn't want to chase her kind of talent away.

"By the way that section of the city doesn't have a local department so you would be in charge of creating and maintaining it. That means you would get to choose your own personnel and what buildings you might acquire. Of course all of this would be backed by government funds and resources. How much do you make currently with your jobs? I guarantee you would be making more than you do now with two jobs."

He smiled at her still wondering what she would say.

"And yes please I would very much appreciate some water, it's been a hot day and I just got back into the city from active duty. Even now my men are waiting for me to return."

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11 Re: A New Job [Spring April 9th, 533 YOI] on Sun Aug 01, 2010 6:56 pm

Ellara

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Ellara poured the glass, mildly shocked about the position she was being offered. Of course, it was mild because she was a soldier and it would take more than a job offer to shock her. Still, she was intrigued that he could feel confident in his abilities to judge and decide her good enough for such a position. She took the water and walked back, sitting down and handing him the drink, giving him a crooked half-smile and shrugging.

"Perhaps I shouldn't keep you any longer, then. My only question is... when can I start?"

Chuckling quietly, she shook her head. "No, that's not really my only question, but I'll have to warn you that since I've never been officially part of any government, I may make a few mistakes while I learn." She grinned sheepishly. "You can fire me if I make more than two that really tick you off. Buildings and personnel will be selected given time, and I'll try to be more resourceful and use people who are already doing nothing or some such. I'm saying this because I want to hear what the people want, not just build up an agency that doesn't accomplish anything for their benefit. Also, I might borrow texts on local laws. National ones are easy - the city ones are foreign to me, though."

She drummed her fingers on her knee, thinking, then she frowned. "Well, one thing's certain. You should get out and make more public speeches. People have been whispering about how inactive they think the government is." The corners of her mouth twitched downward and her eyes became apologetic. "I don't think they understand how time-consuming war can be."

Time-consuming... OH!

Sitting up, she glanced at the window. "Look at me, blathering on when you've got places to be! I apologize, I could talk the ears off a mule if you gave me the time to do it. Well, uhm... I don't honestly know where I should report to, so I guess whenever you foresee open time one of these days, we could meet again, perhaps, and discuss things further? In the meantime, I'll talk to the citizens in the lower city and see what ails them."

Standing, she smiled and offered her hand. "Well, a chance meeting turned into a new life for me. This is exciting!" Walking him to the door, she smiled warmly. "By the way... I make in one day less than you do in twenty minutes, I guarantee it."



Last edited by Ellara on Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:26 pm; edited 1 time in total

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12 Re: A New Job [Spring April 9th, 533 YOI] on Mon Aug 02, 2010 1:38 pm

Saint

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Robby took the drink and tasted some of the refreshing water, which was nice to have after so many long days on the road. And the water wasn't the best when traveling having been dust ridden and the like. Although he got the best of it since he rode the infantry didn't have the same luck. He and the Riasean Legion had been going over drills and patrolling the country side for around Novus and the surrounding towns, and they had been going at it for the better part of the month. Stopping for only short times to resupply and fix broken tools and wagons. They were getting pretty good at it as well. Having already been a finely tuned war machine they were getting toned into near perfection. His face lit up into a warm smile when she asked him when she could begin. He had been looking for someone to fill this post for some time, but no one had really felt right.

"Well you could start today if you would like, but you have yet to tell me what kind of money you brought in from your last two jobs. And it's fine, at the moment I'm on leave and a little bit of conversation and relaxation was on my mind anyway. I've been transversing the country side with my men for the better part of a month, and I'm not going to try and lighten it up. It's tough."

His thoughts drifted back to military matters and problems within the country. Rumors of distention had been coming from the north for quite some time now, and Robby wondered at what might be happening. It wouldn't do well for the moral for his men to have to put down a rebellion. Especially since some soldiers might actually be fighting their own family and friends. His attention turned back to the conversation they had been having, and he listened newly focused on what she was saying. Everyone made mistakes he thought, and this woman wasn't afraid of admitting to them. Something he couldn't say for most government officials.

"Everyone has to start somewhere Ellara and I'm almost certain you will do just fine in the position you're being put into. That's what I was going to suggest, giving jobs to the jobless and people with lower end occupations. Not only will it help with unemployment but it will help people in general. As for city laws they are not that difficult to learn and are basically extensions off national law. It shouldn't take you that long to pick them up."

Public speaking.. something he greatly disliked doing. There was the reason for drilling the Riasean Legion as much as he had been, it gave him an excuse for being away from the city and most politics. Robby had never been the greatest at public speeches. Not because he didn't know what to say, but because he got nervous speaking in front of huge crowds. Even though he didn't have a problem speaking in front of smaller groups large crowds just got got him for some reason. Obviously it was something he had been working on fixing and getting over, and for the most part he had. Although he still disliked doing it and also got shaky and red when he did. Robby wondered if he should speak to Owen about maybe putting forth more effort between the both of them to make more public speeches.

"I don't really have that much to do, my local departments only give me issues of the utmost importance. There are levels of importance and the lower ones are taken care of by public officials and civil departments. I suppose I should be leaving though since I still have to oversee the resupply of my soldiers. By the way come by the Citadel tomorrow afternoon and ask for me. We can discuss the new things you have learned and your wages over tea. It was a pleasure meeting you!"

Robby had already stood and took her hand shaking it firmly and then planting a small kiss on it. He raised an eyebrow while giving her a slightly amused smile before drifting outside into the city.

http://celisian.darkbb.com

13 Re: A New Job [Spring April 9th, 533 YOI] on Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:38 pm

Ellara

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Ellara smiled as she watched him go. What a gentleman. Closing the door, she erupted into laughter and crossed to her desk, where she took a seat and shook her head. She hadn't thought anything like that in a long while, and the idea was infinitely amusing to her. She was still giggling when she pulled out one of mathematics scrolls and began to read, although with time, she began to slip into the quiet numbers that at first danced on the pages, and later started to constitute strict warriors fighting against evil wrongness. Taking out a stick of charcoal, she began to write and solve the exercises that had been added on the back. After her eyes began to strain in the dark, she stood and closed the curtains, stripping out of her clothes and curling up under the blankets.

"I should go to the library tomorrow before I meet Robert in the Citadel..."

She yawned widely, allowing sleep to crawl in and poison her from the inside out.

***

The knock at the door lifted her out of her dreams and she rolled out of bed. Fumbling for her clothes, she finally found her bath robe and dragged it over her skin. As she walked to the door, she rubbed her neck, trying to remember what all she had to do today. When the door opened, their local grocer stood in the doorway, staring down at (and addressing) her feet.

"G'mornin' missus Ellara. Hope ya don' mind it, but I gots t' git goin' early tuday, and I'd shor' 'preciate it if I cul' deliver yuh stuff now, if that alright."

Ellara smiled kindly and turned, retrieving the money she normally paid for the milk, bread, cheese, and fruit he sold. She handed him a small amount extra, and when he started to protest, she closed his hand around it.

"No sir, you keep that. You've been more than goodly to me and I certainly do appreciate it."

The shy man managed a thank you as he handed her what she always bought and shuffled away. Ellara took the food and shook her head, closing the door behind her. After a short breakfast, she dressed, taking a few moments to pin her hair up so she could see better. Looking at her reflection, she was startled to see that pulling her hair out of her face made her look her age rather than six to ten years older than she actually was. Maybe it was how the shadows around her eyes were extinguished, or her cheeks looked less hollow. Whatever it was, she decided to remember this for a later date.

The cool morning air refreshed her, and the swirling fog hid her presence. It was the grey hour just before dawn, and the city seemed to still be asleep. She saw no one else as she walked. It was a comfortable time for anyone - Those who loved to be alone could walk alone and never be seen. Those who loved to have company could stay in the arms of their lovers until the world woke. She walked, but not because she didn't like people. She just was alone, and content not to go seeking shelter in arms that wouldn't last.

Un-greased hinges squealed in protest as she opened the library doors. At this hour, only a solitary old woman was left mending the backs of the books who suffered. She didn't mind Ellara, despite her noisy entrance, so Ellara also didn't mind her. Wandering across the library, she looked for a book or scroll on the city's laws, and when she found it, she took it to the lady at the desk.

"Uhm... Excuse me, ma'am, but how much would it be for me to-"

"You filthy little kids, you all. Look at this book, so bent, so damaged, so broken, its poor little body broken. Such a soldier, a dying soul, and just look at it - Ruined!"

Usually, the book keepers were intellectuals, students from the university looking to pick up some extra cash, but Ellara could tell this woman was deeply disturbed. Trying to take on the same emotions, she let her face fall into mourning as she looked at the fragile spine in the woman's hands.

"Yes, yes, it is lost. Not even I can fix it! Oh, what a shame, what a crying shame, dear child. Now, tell me, you've read this book? Why, of course not! And you've not read the one you hold either!" The lady broke down into miserable sobs, nearly dropping the book on Ellara's feet. Ellara desperately dropped to catch it. "Oh, just take 'em! Books ain't what they used to be, no they aren't. They're not respected or cherished or prized for all the good they do us! Oh, child, take the books and keep them safe from these monsters what read them!"

Mildly disturbed, Ellara exited without saying a word. She carried the scroll back home and read until about 2 hours before her meeting. Then, she changed into her nicer pants and dress shirt before exiting her room. By the time she got to the inner part of the city, it was almost noon, and the sun rose high overhead, blazing down on the city. The bustling people and beasts of burden all made the heat twice as much, and it seemed to Ellara that you could bake your bread just by dancing around it in circles. When she reached the Citadel itself, two guards blocked her path.

"Business, ma'am?"

"I'm here to see the Lord Robert."

The two men exchanged glances and snickered quietly. "Yes ma'am! The Triumvir himself? Oh, yes, armed as you are, we'll let you in, yes'm." The other chimed in. "Why not just take off your clothes and let us check you for any weapons?" They both broke out laughing and Ellara turned bright red. Slapping the one who'd made the jocular comment, she turned away.
What a joke! I've been snubbed. I swear...



Last edited by Ellara on Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:26 pm; edited 2 times in total

http://www.myspace.com/darkmagiciangirl_elyse

14 Re: A New Job [Spring April 9th, 533 YOI] on Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:10 pm

Saint

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Robby had been out walking the city for some time now talking with everyone he had come upon. Since the following day he had taken Ellara's advice to heart, and had started trying to get to know some of the local populace. He asked questions about their families, lives, and businesses. And also asked about their opinions on the government and if they felt it was doing it's job. Moving from street to street he noticed a bit of a ruckus occurring at a local shop. Walking inside he watched as two men yelled back and forth at one another, screaming obscenities and curses children shouldn't hear.

Striding forward he gently pushed both of the men back from each other. A stern look was pasted firmly to his features as he stared at both men. Addressing the business owner in a voice filled with authority he spoke, "What is going on in here?" He looked at both men and continued speaking. "Obviously it's of a major importance to warrant such lanuage around women and children." Both of the men now had sober expressions clouding their faces. Almost fearful as they quickly took notice of who Robby was and what he was capable of.

The shop keeper spoke up and pointed to the other man who Robby noticed was elegantly dressed. Carrying himself in the matter of a gentlemen with a haughty expression. "This man wouldn't pay the full amount I was charging for that black leather purse! He was going to take it!" The man motioned to the wealthy mans hand which held the object in question. The customer shook his head addressing Robby, "That worth is worth less than four Denerii's and yet this man has the gal to try and charge me six for it!" Robert shook his head and spoke to the man in an angry voice, "What is your name sir?" The man looked up at Robby with hostile eyes. "My name is Henry Octavian son of James Octavian a powerful government official. You might be a Triumvir but you can't step on anyone's toes!"

Robert gave the man a wicked smile that spoke volumes of warning beneath it's depths. "We will see about that. Well if you wish to buy this purse you will have no problem paying the full price for it given your title now will you? If you have a problem here you're welcome to leave. I'm sure the shop keeper won't mind, you pompous fool." The shop keeper smiled victoriously and Henry's expression soured. Turning on his heels Henry stormed out of the store angrily. Robby turned back to the merchant and smiled. "Have a nice day sir, and if this man gives you any more trouble feel free to send a complaint to my office! But I must be going I have an important meeting!" He had just remembered his appointment with Ellara and was running towards the Citadel. Running around the corner he ran into a woman and almost knocked her down. Catching her quickly before she fell he realized who she was and reddened.. Ellara. "Oh I'm sorry Ellara I was running trying to make it here in time because there was some trouble down by a local store. And I am most terribly sorry about running into you, am I forgive?" He gave her a nice hopeful smile.




http://celisian.darkbb.com

15 Re: A New Job [Spring April 9th, 533 YOI] on Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:30 pm

Ellara

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Ellara was stunned in various ways. Firstly, she was having some difficulty breathing for a moment because Robert had knocked the wind out of her. She leaned on him, gasping slightly, trying to recuperate. Secondly, she was shocked to see him at all, thinking she'd been stood up. Her face was rather drained by the time she could choke out an apology for not looking where she was going, and it was paler still by the time she'd gotten around to breathing normally.

"You have some interesting guards, sir." Slightly embarrassed, she patted his shoulder and asked calmly, "If I may, what were you up to roundabouts this hour of the morning?"

Without realizing it, she had taken up a position beside him, a bit like an escort, only she wasn't on his arm. She had to admit, Robert seemed to be an okay guy, from what she could tell, although he still seemed (but probably wasn't) naive in some areas. She was certain he probably thought she was naive, namely in politics, but that was okay, because she could pick up knowledge and learn. So could he. She smiled warmly thinking about it. Yes, she might get along with him very well, maybe. And then again, maybe she wouldn't. It was always worth a try.

She listened to him talk about his morning and found her smile widening until she was practically beaming at him. "That's exactly what the people needed, Robert! That's wonderful!" She hugged him in all her gaiety and strode forward up the street until the gate came back into view. At that point, she froze and her smile evaporated. The guard who she'd slapped looked up and gave her a menacing glare, and his friend was preparing himself for the defensive. "Great..." She muttered under her breath and turned to her friend.

"I had a mishap with one of your guards. I apologize... I got angry because of an offhand comment. It's my fault if he's in a bad mood, and I must say that I am truly sorry."

While she was really innocent, Ellara did her best to appear guilty, trying to look a little shamefaced and miserable. It wasn't all convincing, but it didn't really need to be.



Last edited by Ellara on Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:16 pm; edited 1 time in total

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16 Re: A New Job [Spring April 9th, 533 YOI] on Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:53 pm

Saint

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Robby returned the hug quite surprised that she would suddenly do such a strange friendly thing. Grinning he nodded, unable to contain the smile that had spread across his face. A few people in the streets turned to look their direction and Robert quickly did his best to look orderly and official for the group of people occupying the street they were present in.

"I decided that making more appearances would do well for the Triumvirates image and the way the populace looks at the governing body of this nation. Your advice will work well and I'm glad someone finally gave me some advice I could actually use. Most of these officials that I have appointed have little brains or natural ability when dealing with the people. Probably a bad choice on my part but they were the only people that qualified for the jobs presented."

They continued to walk and Robert noticed that when they arrived at the front gate, that the guards were giving Ellara a funny look. One of them in particular was giving her a rather nasty glare and this got him thinking about what may have happened. Especially after Ellara spoke suddenly about the guards and how they were acting, and the way she was acting.

"What exactly happened Ellara? Feel free to tell me the whole story I won't get angry I just need to know so it won't happen again. I'm not going to punish my guards because I need them loyal to me, but I will give them a stern talking to about how they treat women. Nothing more though, as it was my error that likely caused you to be rejected from the Citadel. I forgot to mention to them that I was going to have company."

Robert grinned and shrugged obviously embarrassed at his lack of foresight.

http://celisian.darkbb.com

17 Re: A New Job [Spring April 9th, 533 YOI] on Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:57 pm

Ellara

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Ellara liked how much less official their new meeting was. It was more comfortable that way. She also approved of his new appearances, and she hoped he'd continue the habit. A blush bloomed across her face when he complemented her on the advice and she smiled a little. She wasn't used to praise, so it made her happily unsettled. By the time he finished speaking, though, the wonder of it had worn off, and her smile had faded somewhat.

He rounded the corner and seemed to notice that something had transpired. It won't be long now before he asks.

And he did.

In reply to his question, she shrugged and said bluntly, "Well, when I got here, they noticed that I don't go around unarmed, and I hope you can imagine why. Anyway, I told them I was seeking audience with you and they laughed at me. I think they mistook me for a... uhm... well, yeah. Anyway, I slapped the one silly and the other one's probably his buddy, so I probably pissed them both off."

Sidling around to behind him, she took up an innocent look, peering at the men from around his elbow. When he looked down at her with a puzzled look on his face, she laughed and shook her head. "Forgive me, but my youth is showing. I don't really believe in growing up just yet." Chuckling, she moved back a step, exiting his personal space and regrouping. She would rather be silly and cheerful than serious and strict, at least whenever the latter wasn't called for. Take life too seriously and it will only smudge the lines for you, so that coloring inside them is a little more difficult.

http://www.myspace.com/darkmagiciangirl_elyse

18 Re: A New Job [Spring April 9th, 533 YOI] on Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:01 pm

Saint

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Robby sighed silently and listened to what she said, a little amused by the way she kind of hid behind him. "I'll take care of these guys." Walking up to the guards he raised a disapproving eyebrow. "I hear that you treated this woman standing next to me poorly? Is this true?" Waiting for a woman the first guard nodded his head, a chastened stare following closely behind. "This woman's name is Ellara and she is always welcome in the Citadel. For now on you will let her inside without question. Understood? And I also expect you to treat her better as well. You're my guards and I expect the best behavior from you. You set the example for other soldiers, remember this." Both men nodded there head and mumbled their agreements, neither were angry now they were just sorry for what they had done. Or at least it seemed like it.

Robert smiled back at Ellara and motioned for her to follow him. Walking through the large main doors they came into a good sized antechamber. It was filled with places to put coats and various other objects including weapons. A desk was present and behind it stood a blond headed clerk, she smiled at both of them. "Is there anything I can keep for you sir while you present in the Citadel? And you ma'am?" Robert shook his head preferring to keep his personal items on person. Continuing on they walked into an even larger chamber that seemed to go on forever and rise high into the air. Large arches kept the ceiling in place and the building itself was made out of gray stone. The temperature of the room was slightly cooler than the outside air and made for a pleasant environment. There was a stage on the far end of the room and several fireplaces on the sides, the place was also filled with long wooden tables. They were obviously there to be used by the Citadel's staff and important visitors.

To either side of the room were large staircases that curved gently against the wall and led up to second story passageways. Robby led Ellara up one of these staircases and into a passage in which they walked for several minutes before finally reaching a door. "The place is rather large and has been built on continuesly since the rise of the Monarchy several hundred years ago. It's filled with all sorts of interesting things, secret rooms and places are all over the place. It's only the will to find them that keep a few of the rooms undiscovered." Grinning he opened the door and led her into a smaller room that was furnished with wooden furniture and a circular table. The table was empty besides a tray of fresh biscuits and a container of tea. He pulled back a chair and offered her a seat before sitting in one himself. Pouring a cup of tea for Ellara and then for himself he spoke happily. "So what news do you bring from the lower parts of the city? Anything new I hope? I'm very interested to hear whats going on."

http://celisian.darkbb.com

19 Re: A New Job [Spring April 9th, 533 YOI] on Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:54 pm

Ellara

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Ellara bounced past the guards happily, waving in a friendly not boastful manner. However, entering the Citadel, her low-class began to shine through. Although Robert seemed completely at home in the huge building, Ellara felt like she had just shrunk, and it almost made her sick. It would take a long while before she'd be able to enter and stay in this building without feeling tiny, insignificant, or ill. Knowing this, she forced herself to keep walking, although she allowed her eyes to wander upward and out at the various open spaces. She often had to catch up to Robert, who would occasionally talk to her over his shoulder. It comforted her, somewhat, and also made her feel a little naive and young. She couldn't help but wonder if she looked it. I will not wear my hair pinned back again until I can walk into this building and look like a sane adult. I mean, what kind of government official walks around staring at open spaces?

She was progressively making herself feel worse, so she let Robert answer the secretary's question. She padded mutely behind him, and she was doing alright about keeping her expression no more than casually interested in the architecture until they entered the second room. There, her mouth automatically opened slightly, and she stopped dead in her tracks to gaze up at the sky, so far away now. It didn't take her long to relocate her dignity, and she snapped her jaw back up, quickly catching up to Robert. When he spoke, she listened intently, keeping her eyes on his as long as possible to try to keep them from roaming. It's big, it's old, and it's beautiful... Three things I'm unfamiliar with. Chuckling inwardly, she followed her host up the steps, down the hall, and into the room. When he offered her a seat, she took it, trying to be as graceful as possible.

"Thank you." She smiled a little.

Taking the tea, she took a sip while he spoke and swallowed before answering. "Well, the news hasn't reached them about you moving about today, and I didn't tell them about my new job when I was speaking with them, so they don't know about that either, but besides their usual gripes about taxing and their sons going into the military, they aren't very concerned with the government. To me, that's a problem, considering the situation we're in with the war creeping around from the outside and in."

After indulging in another gulp of tea, she put the cup down and laced her fingers, using the backs of her hands as a platform for her chin. Ellara didn't really look at Robert, but rather, through him, talking to each individual she'd met while in the city.

"The petty thieves are born in children, for the most part. Kids growing up on the street with nowhere to go or bad homes wind up with no other option than to steal, and eventually they become more than just petty thieves. If there's an orphanage in the city, they don't know where it is. I'd go out and talk to the groups, because they tend to form groups, myself, except I have no idea what direction to point them in. Perhaps I'll need to find a map of the city with labels on the buildings... Also, the police force should patrol. I know that they already do, but they don't even pay attention when they do. I passed two officers strolling along and they completely missed a man's purse being cut. I caught the kid, by the way, and scared him a bit."

Shrugging, Ellara now shifted and cupped her cheek in her hand, hooking a finger on her free hand through the handle of the cup and carefully rotating it. Her eyes were glued to it as she continued.

"The adults are really just stressed. Perhaps some form of public entertainment would be a good idea. It might increase the city's overall morale, and if you made it available to soldiers, they'd probably become less snippy, if they are snippy." She paused to rotate the cup the other way and she smiled, amused. "And the old men sit in the pubs and nurse their gin, griping about the good ol' days, just like the old men did when they were younger."

Ellara continued to stare at the mug, lost in a replay of one of her group interviews. Her eyes lit up a little with each laugh she'd shared. The people of this city were so much warmer, even though they were all hurting a little. They could find the time to make things alright and be content with that moment. That was what she wanted... to make those smiles stay. To make the laughter constant. It was all she wanted to do with her career, and Robert might help her do that. She looked up at him, offering her emotions to him through her eyes. I hope you can feel this too.

http://www.myspace.com/darkmagiciangirl_elyse

20 Re: A New Job [Spring April 9th, 533 YOI] on Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:45 pm

Saint

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Robert smiled and nodded, "You're welcome." Ellara started speaking and Robert nodded in rapt attention continuing to be silent. Picking up the cup of tea in front of him he took a sip, realizing that the tea wasn't sweet enough for his tastes. Taking a cube of sugar out of the small box in the center of the table he dropped it into the hot liquid. Stirring it he continued to listen and to think about what was being said. The people were not too concerned with the government.. Robert was unsure what to think about that. On one hand it might mean that the people were happy with the government for the most part, on the other it could mean they had resigned themselves to being unhappy. And Robert doubted that it was the first option, even he had heard of the publics dissatisfaction. Throughout history rulers had been dethroned and killed because the people were dissatisfied, Robert couldn't allow that to happen. His mind wandered.. if he could help the nation grow and make it a better place for the people living within it.. then his job would be fulfilled. It would be something that would make the majority of his ancestors look down on him with pride, a family from which was born of an ancient Celisian line..

Snapping back into focus he continued to listen to Ellara, he agreed that the people being unconcerned was a problem. He needed to find a way to relight that fire in their hearts, to make them feel the old pride for being a Celisian or a Kracian. These people were part of him as much as he was part of them, and that flame that used to burn so bright in the past was a dwindling ember. It had been too long since the people had something to pull them together, to make them feel a part of something more. And it was Robert's dream to make something from which they could pull that from. Rising out of his seat he moved over to the far wall and looked up at a set of pictures, drawn in the likeness of the previous royal family. These people were connected to him in a way, they at one time ruled the nation and now the Triumvirs did.. and he happened to be a Triumvir. He sighed and turned back towards Ellara retaking the seat he had previously occupied. Taking another sip of tea he spoke quietly.

"We need to renew peoples faith in the government Ellara. We need to make them know that they can rely on us. Owen doesn't really understand what I'm talking about, he does to a certain point and agrees.. but he doesn't know how to execute it. And I agree with your plan to create an orphanage and to give the people some form of entertainment. Perhaps a theater and a monthly jousting competition? That would give the military men something to put their focus on. We could invite other nations to bring their warriors here and to participate as well. Perhaps we could construct a large arena and this might give the people something to focus part of their attention on. They will obviously cheer for the Celisian and Kracian participants and if they win.. it will install the people with some national pride. What do you think?"



http://celisian.darkbb.com

21 Re: A New Job [Spring April 9th, 533 YOI] on Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:51 pm

Ellara

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She watched Robert's face in silence, and when he finished, her eyes lit up. Her smile stretched and she nodded, saying. "Yes, that's just what I was thinking! A tournament, good for our soldiers and heroes, good for the people... And a theater for the upper class would do well, I think." Standing, Laura began to pace as she spoke, a renewed vigor in her voice, and she began to speak as she thought. "Yes, the people will come from even the farthest towns every once in a while, and they'll come to have their hearts fulfilled. Of course, it might take a while for news of it to reach the edges of our map, but I'm confident in the idea." She stopped and her voice gained a more wicked tone. "We might even be able to learn the fighting techniques of enemy nations competing in the tournament. It's always good to have the upper hand, from what I hear. But, then again, my abilities to lead large groups of men are very limited, so I wouldn't really know. It's just a thought."

She sat, gazing at Robert with glossy eyes. If we can re-inspire the people and rejuvenate the soldiers, I'm positive that will help us on the military front. Everybody wants a hero, and there's nothing wrong with having twelve a year!

With a tiny grin, she added, "You know, it might be a good idea for you or... Owen, isn't it? ...to host the tournaments. I'm not saying you take the whole day off to sit and watch every single time, but one of you should at least announce the beginning of the tournament. And I think it would be good for you to maybe sit down and watch every once in a while. Everyone needs a day off sometimes." After a moment, she reached out and took his hand in a somewhat awkward but nevertheless firm grip and said calmly, "This is what the everyday person needs. I promise you, this will help your country. If it doesn't, I'll find a way to make it up to you somehow."

Letting go of his hand, she leaned back and looked up at the paintings. It's strange, how disconcerted the people are now because there are so many systems in place, all of which make it to where the government, the Triumvirs, barely touch their lives. They can't believe in that, and why should they? This will give them reason - help them see beyond their murky doubts. Let these tiny victories wash away their misunderstanding so that they can see that we, their governing body, really do care. Her focus shifted back to Robert. This may just be where I belong.

http://www.myspace.com/darkmagiciangirl_elyse

22 Re: A New Job [Spring April 9th, 533 YOI] on Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:55 pm

Saint

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Robert nodded and smiled at Ellara; his thoughts were more mild and calm now that she seemed more relaxed. It seemed like their ideas fit pretty well, piece by piece. Taking another sip of his tea, he thought about the new tournaments and how much it might cost to make the arena in which they would be held. It might be a good idea to make the higher seats with better vantage points cost a small fee. That way, they could make a bit of money off of the whole venture as well. As for learning enemies' fighting techniques... it might help his troops survive in later days. You never knew when an ally could turn into an enemy, and if his troops knew how to defend against certain things. It would increase the survivability of his men, something he would greatly like to see. He grinned and almost chuckled about her comment of not being able to control large groups of men. There was more than one reason for the chuckle, and he decided to keep them all to himself.

"Knowing our enemies' abilities to fight and the way that they actually commence hand-to-hand combat would not only increase our soldiers' ability to survive, but it would also give them the upper hand in combat if we could teach them. We could teach them both how to defend against the fighting technique and the basics of the art, although we will either A. have to find instructors who know how to fight in that fashion, or B. find someone very observant. What do you think?"

Robert nodded in agreement as she talked about hosting the tournaments. It would do well for the people to see their top military minds watching the tourneys. It might give them more confidence in their leadership and abilities. But another thought... it might actually be a good idea to participate in one of the competitions.. It sounded like a good enough idea, and he knew that both himself and Owen weren't light-weights when it came to hand-to-hand fighting. Shrugging, he decided it might be a good idea to tell Ellara and see what she had to say about it. It would also be nice to have a day off every once in awhile to go and watch, he thought. Stretching, he leaned back in his chair and yawned slightly. Taking another block of sugar, he added it to his tea and drank the rest of it. He was a tad on the sleepy side and wanted to stay up and talk to Ellara longer. It was interesting, and he liked what she had to say and her input.

"By the way, what would you think about the Triumvirs participating in the tournaments? Maybe not the whole thing, but certainly a few choice competitions. Who knows - perhaps if one of us is good enough at something, people might put more faith in our abilities. Perhaps we could become not only their leaders, but their champions as well?"

He shrugged, wondering what she would think of the slightly aloof idea.

http://celisian.darkbb.com

23 Re: A New Job [Spring April 9th, 533 YOI] on Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:25 pm

Ellara

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Ellara studied Robert, her eyes calm and focused. He kept yawning, and impatience fell over her for a moment before she dismissed it. Well heaven knows what he's been doing these nights. For all you know, he could be doing anything from running a military unit to having a grand time. And it's not your business, silly. She recomposed the cool on her face, the excitement seeping out of her through Robert's obvious weariness. His snicker made her question what she had said, and she realized, too late, that it could be taken in a rather unattractive way. Internally, she grimaced, but her features didn't even twitch to show her mild discomfort. As he spoke, she struggled to stay attentive. It was difficult because, basically, all he was doing was spitting what she'd said back out. It made her question if he had been listening or just pulling out facts.

Ellara paused for thought, then smiled. "Seems to me an observant person would do well for the job. Someone who picks up quickly and is fairly multi-faceted, so they can easily learn the tricks. Also, maybe a defenses specialist to help plan against these attacks. Learning them is one thing - Figuring out how to prevent them is another entirely."

As Robert drained his mug, Ellara instinctively refilled it, adding sugar beforehand so that it would melt and diffuse into the tea. Her job in the tavern had trained her to do this, and while she appreciated the mannerisms that ensued, the job was not something she would have called fun. All the more reason for a new day job. It took her a moment to register that she needed to answer the question, lost as she was in a mental battle. Her eyebrows furrowed and her mouth twitched down in concentration, and she spoke cautiously: "I would not discourage Triumvir participation, simply because I do think you're right. On the other hand, you have to consider all the little 'ifs' and make sure they don't outweigh the benefits." She took a moment to collect these thoughts, then continued. "There would have to be stringent regulations and a constant guard should you decide to compete. Also, you'd have to be completely confident in your ability to best all the opponents. If one of you was injured, that morale-raising ideal would backfire, instead making you appear weak. Then, you could have an assassin hired by an enemy nation to kill one of you... and if he or she succeeded, that would just rip this country apart." She drummed her fingers on the table gently, a habit she had picked up to denote when she was thinking. "It also depends on the type of tournament, too. Hand-to-hand is pretty difficult to kill somebody... With close-range weapons, it's easy. Archery and things like that can be set up to where you compete on your own, and anything else would be pretty darn difficult to kill someone in." Shrugging, she added, "I think, as long as you choose your opponents carefully, it would be good for you to compete. And by you I mean you and Owen, of course."

Stretching, Ellara glanced at the window and frowned. It was getting late. While she wasn't much of one to be sleepy until she was actually going to sleep, she understood that not everyone was like that. She looked Robert over, deciding that he was pretty tired. While she wanted to answer any questions he had, she didn't want to keep him, either. Deciding to let him further any conversation, she fell into a dusty silence, and the world seemed to her a distant place. She wasn't thinking, just being, waiting for something to fetch her from her detached state. She had a feeling it wouldn't be long before Robert either came up with something to discuss or he just dismissed her. It didn't matter to her.

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