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'''Summary''': ''''
'''Summary''' '': Spurned on by the idea that Quintessa was simply another Larewen playing for power at the expense of Vailkrin, Shishi, the Blue Demon, pays the young baroness a visit. Both expecting a fight, they are surprised to discover that their goals aligne, and Shishi makes Quintessa a promise to be her weapon should trouble ever return to Vailkrin.''

Latest revision as of 01:35, 29 June 2020

Summary : Spurned on by the idea that Quintessa was simply another Larewen playing for power at the expense of Vailkrin, Shishi, the Blue Demon, pays the young baroness a visit. Both expecting a fight, they are surprised to discover that their goals aligne, and Shishi makes Quintessa a promise to be her weapon should trouble ever return to Vailkrin.

House Dragana

Towering over the abyssal forest, the dark mass of House Dragana is no less eerie than the vegetation, or lack thereof, in which it stands. The mansion's outer perimeters are flanked by the twisting trees and there are no gates to prevent the seemingly less desirable denizens of the forest from trespassing upon the property. A sleek, obsidian walkway runs from the house's entry to the path. The only source of light without comes form wrought-iron lanterns that are placed on either side of the walkway, spaced perfectly from one another. Within them, an eldritch glow of a deep, verdant hue flickers. Those brave enough to approach House Dragana's doors will be greeted with iron knockers bearing blackened skulls, their eyes set with emeralds that glow with the same light from the lanterns. Within the house's walls, there is no shortage of decadence. Only the most elegant of furniture is placed throughout its rooms. A grand staircase of blackened wood leads to the upper levels, where rooms for those that reside within the house can be found. Midway up, the stairs split to the left and right, spiraling upward. Here, there is a landing with a set of double doors that leads to a large ballroom. The lower level of the house plays host to a dining area and kitchen, though rarely used, a grandiose library filled with grimoires and tomes, and a small museum of artifacts collected by the house's residents. Though there appear to be no candles to light the way, an ethereal glow floods the innards of the house, providing ample reading light - undoubtedly arcane in origin. Dark magic is weaved into the house's existence as a measure of protection.

Shishi made a vague agreement with Magik a couple of nights ago and technically he is sticking to his end of that agreement even now as he sets foot inside The Dark Forest. ‘Let me set up a meeting,’ the former vampire said to Blue. He can definitely still do that, The Titan of Winter is in no way hindering that… unless he or Quintessa Dragana meet their ultimate end tonight, but that probably won’t happen, maybe. The so-called Blue Demon received word today that the title fight of the Titan’s tournament won’t be for at least another two weeks, so he caught the first flight home to unwind away from the rabid fans of Frostmaw and maybe break into his ex-wife’s house. So here he is, walking determinedly out of Vailkrin city proper and into the woods, unsure of what to expect. Has Quintessa changed the settings on her security systems from what Green had in place? When Larewen was running the place, Shishi could approach the manor unhindered by the various creatures and constructs protecting it. Or are those sentries even in place any longer? Now the assassin is on edge, prepared to find out whether he has been taken off the whitelist or not by the new management.

Quintessa Dragana was here just like any other night, dressed in a loose-fitting gown and sitting behind a thick desk in her study. The young necromancer had indeed changed the security around here, but since Shishi had been previously on the 'white list' he would not immediately notice the changes made. The flesh-golems guarding the door, once crafted to serve Larewen, all had been fitted with arcane braces and apparatuses around their arms and heads to insure their loyalty to Quintessa instead. If they were to spot Shishi during his arrival they would step aside. The hex blade would know this, being able to scry into their eyes, and she would grab her sword and don her cloak before coming down the stairs to meet him. If Shishi had something more clandestine in mind, then how would House Dragana's defenses react? The weeks leading up to this day had filled the girl's head with paranoia, not for Shishi, but of her vampiric rival who resided in Xalious. Larewen's blood or not, the runes along the walls off the manor would react to any ill-intent, immediately altering the current caretaker of the breach. If Shishi made his way to the front doors, however, they would swing open magically to invite him in, with Quintessa standing on the stairs overlooking him, mismatched eyes full of curiosity and wariness.

Shishi is stupidly cocky in terms of his belief in his ability to handle the flesh golems stationed here, and just plain stupid in his assumption that the augments to the guards had been put in place by Green before her disappearance instead of by her successor. He notices the new headgear and jewelry, but it in no way stops him from just walking right out of the forest, through the lantern light, and right up to the flesh golems, who part and grant him entry into the home. Instinctively, as he has suffered many a serious wound in this house, his irises go through their accursed color change from oceanic blue to a weakly glowing red, and the subtle pulse through the surrounding shadows announces the presence of The Blue Demon as much as him walking through the front door does. His stare locks onto Tessa immediately and he takes a few more steps into the foyer. He looks unhappy to see her here, but it is obvious that he was expecting to. Neither he nor the shadows make any moves of aggression towards their host, and it almost seems like Shishi doesn’t know what to do next. Maybe he thought she’d attack first, or that it would be harder to get inside. Nevertheless, there is silence for a second or two before he cracks and demands, “Lets talk.”

Quintessa stared blankly at the assassin, her cloak hiding the fact that she was only wearing a nightgown as her bare feet carried her down the stairs. Her left hand gripped her sheathed katana, the Jubaku no Kijo, tightly in her pale digits as she reached the ground level. "Alright," she said to him, her eyes flashing to the double doors before a wave of her hand caused them slam shut, "Follow me, if you would." Boldly, she takes the lead, walking over to a small seating area where Larewen and her used to smoke clove cigarettes and discuss the dark arts. Quintessa gazes briefly at the chair her former teacher used to sit, and she places herself next to it as her bare leg crosses elegantly over the other. "What do you wish to discuss?" The young hex blade fidgets nervously at the sword in her lap, her sharp fingernails picking at the ray-skin wrappings around the handle.

Shishi holds no weapon of his own, but anyone familiar with the Titan’s work would know that he is just as dangerous as ever without one. He flinches, wishing immediately that he didn’t, when the doors close magically behind him. He regathers himself and puffs out his cheeks in a slight pout before following what he believes to be a member of his vampiric bloodline to the sitting area. He wrinkles his nose as the smell of those cigarettes is still here, however faint, and he never did care for it. There came to be a great many things about Larewen that her ex-husband found distasteful, or even downright disgusting over the last few years. Surely that contributed to The Blue Demon not showing his face here for some time. Now Green is gone and some sense of responsibility has brought him back here. He has no sentimentality towards the chairs here, so he doesn’t hesitate to take a seat where Lar normally would. That intense cursed stare locks onto Quintessa again while she fidgets and he answers directly, “I want to talk about Gre-... Larewen. Where is she?” It is clear he isn’t here to play games and that the baroness is right to be nervous should the Titan not get the answers he wants.

Quintessa fixes her mismatched gaze upon the glaring eyes of Shishi, no such hostility held within her own. When he asks where Larewen is, Quintessa’s mouth turns downward in disappointment that she never found out that answer. "I don't know," she admits, "She disappeared right after she started letting me live here. For a long time I assumed Elioyahazer killed her before fleeing back into the desert. It was he who betrayed Larewen for House Nasar, left, and defeated her in the very streets of Vailkrin." Quintessa still seems distraught about it. "But I never found a body- Nothing." The changeling sighs as she relaxes in her chair. "So I took over... I didn't know any other heir existed. Elioyahazer was a traitor and Artia wasn't interested... I couldn't just let my house rot."

Shishi ’s next question was going to be ‘is she dead?’ and it was going to sound like a big fat accusation, but Quintessa preempts that question with her detailed tale of the defeat of Larewen Dragana. He had warned Green about the people she was allying with. Artia is mentioned and the half-sigh, half-grunt The Blue Demon fails to stifle shows just how unhappy he is that his blood flows through her veins. He expected himself to hate Quintessa in that same way, but for now she is putting on the right face and saying the right things. She’s assigning herself the responsibility that he came here to claim. ‘My house,’ she said. This was his house as much as it was anyones, whether he liked it or not. He was happy to leave it to Larewen, despite disagreeing with her on what she used it for. He didn’t want that responsibility. Now she is gone though, whereabouts and status unknown, Kasyr is no longer a vampire, and so Vailkrin is in flux. He came here to put Quintessa Dragana down and take this city under his wing, fill the void, but now… “What are you going to do with this house?” His posture in the chair loosens, the vampire sinking just a bit as the tension in his shoulders slowly disappears.

Quintessa allows her fingers to finally unwind from her katana to brush the long strands of her messy, dark hair out of her face. "Well, that's more complicated," she begins, wondering if it was wise to share her secrets with the Blue Demon, but weren't her secrets also secrets of House Dragana? "Originally, I was loyal to Larewen's cause. I followed her around like a dog wanting attention, taking what scraps of teaching she'd give me. When she was gone and suddenly I found myself the mistress of all this my motivations changed. I wanted to preserve Larewen's legacy, but more importantly I wanted peace for Vailkrin. I spoke with the heads of House Mahara and House Azakhaer, I told them I had seen what Larewen's civil war was doing to the city, and I sought to end it. I withdrew House Dragana's forces and forged a triple alliance with them for one reason: The security of Vailkrin." Quintessa seems self assured. "For 8 months I have stood as the Warden of the Dark Forest, protecting Vailkrin's northeastern borders from the Drow. Taking over House Dragana was a necessity, not a choice, though I will destroy anyone who tries to ruin what Larewen built." Her mismatched eyes move to Shishi, trying to read his reaction. "What would -you- do with House Dragana?"

Shishi lets his guard down as Quintessa speaks. His eyes return to their normal, calm oceanic blue shade and the constant calls to rip this woman’s throat out in the back of his mind are silenced. She appears to be candid with him, so he is blunt and direct in his response, “I was not pleased with what Green was doing to Vailkrin. She knew that. My only goal is making sure this place is still here tomorrow.” ‘For Tene’ are the two words he omits from the end of that sentence, but knows in his heart to be true. “What would I do with House Dragana? I’d end it.” He stares through what he believes to be his grand-sireling. “This bloodline was a mistake and should have stopped with me. If this house was mine, I’d burn it to the ground.” He sighs and looks away at some stack of books or something, it doesn’t matter, “But you are not me. More importantly you’re not Lar.” He grits his teeth and nearly draws blood biting his tongue before. “If your goal is to protect Vailkrin then we have the same purpose. I am a weapon to defend this place. Kas knew that and would call upon me when needed. Lar knew that and refused to make use of me. I can make you the same promise I made to both of them.”

Quintessa watches Shishi's lips as he speaks, a growing contentment rising inside of her now that it seems that their goals are aligned. Protecting Vailkrin was the changeling’s ultimate cause, she didn't need to go on to explain her ambitions to become Queen as well. When the vampire grits his teeth, Quintessa looks away. "Yes, this bloodline is cursed. Larewen did not tell me until much later..." The girl turns to Shishi in her seat, her legs pulled up under her body as she leans closer to him. "Can you promise me one other thing?" There is the tiniest hint of terror in the large, sapphire and topaz eyes that gleam at him. "If I end up going crazy like Larewen and they start calling me 'Quintessa the Mad' like the Lady before me..." The changeling pauses to swallow, trying to force the words out of her mouth. "You'll kill me. Promise me that if I grow into a tyrant, and forget everything that I have ever stood for, that you'll stroll back into this house again and you'll send me right to Hell where I belong. Can you do that for me?"

Shishi ’s guilt is clear as day on his face when Quintessa describes his accursed bloodline. She’s played perfectly on his sense of responsibility for those he believes he’s cursed. As far as he is concerned, he set Larewen down the path that led to ruin. She didn’t deserve that, his children don’t deserve it, and now he is convinced that this girl is his family, she doesn’t deserve that. So when she asks him to vow to put her down if she goes insane like Green did, he lies straight to her face, “Aye. I promise.” He couldn’t bring himself to kill Lar in the countless opportunities he had to do just that, and he’s sure he’d fail to do it to Tessa now too. He fakes a fanged smile, tilts his head, and folds his arms at his chest. Instantly his voice changes to a cheerful, playful tone, “I mean, I was all ready to do that today. You know?”

Quintessa relaxes at his smile, and the teenager can't help but also smile back as she reclines away from him. "Thank you," Quintessa's black lashes flutter like a grim butterfly as she cranes her neck up to look at the ceiling. "Yes, I was sure you were just going to ambush me. It's why I reached out to Magikrios." The changeling flashes a smirk at him, also showing off her sharp teeth. "I want to fight you, but not like that. I wanna do it in the ring." Quintessa couldn't hide her ambitious and competitive spirit for long. "One day I'm gonna beat you too."

Shishi cringes when she mentions Magik, “Aye… Have you spoken to him since then? He was supposed to set up a meeting between you and me.” Now Blue is the one fidgeting and squirming in his seat, “He wanted to be present, but I didn’t want him to be here if I had to kill you. So…” He raises both hands, “I snuck away to come here. I don’t know if you want to pretend like we didn’t have this talk, for his sake, but I sure do.” She talks about fighting him in the ring and his smile changes subtly to one of genuine excitement, “Aye...” now he leans in and nods, “I thought you were going to be the one to win it. I -guess- losing to Kas is forgivable though.” He’s somewhat recently been humbled by a snake queen in competition, otherwise he surely would tell Quintessa that she will never ever beat him. “Maybe. Someday.” Still kind of condescending.

Quintessa seems distracted for a moment as she reaches into her pocket to pull out a crumpled note. "Shishi has agreed to speak with you. You're welcome." The girl reads out loud before shrugging. "He didn't tell me he actually wanted to come too- this is House Dragana business. I can handle my own diplomacy." When Shishi mentions her losing to Kas she sighs loudly. "I know, I still can't believe he beat me like that, but what can I expect? It was -he- who taught me to fight, of course he'd know how to beat me..." The Blue Demon's condescending tone only seems to invigorate her determination. "Oh, I'll be training hard for the next tournament. I'm going to be the very best!"

Shishi tilts his head back and forth, “Hmm… I guess he’ll only be mad at me then.” He waves dismissively at the idea, “Neither of us has been slain though, so maybe he won’t mind.” Tessa gives a brief Ash Ketchum speech and The Titan of Winter grins, “Aye, but I may still lose to Vexar. What if you missed your chance?”

Quintessa nods her head slowly, "Yeah, I think he was just worried I'd do something or say something to get myself killed. He's protective of me." The girl's smile fades when the champ brings up Vexar, and Quintessa can only shrug in response. "I don't know. I beat Vexar once, I could probably do it again. I won't make the same mistakes I did against Kasyr... And besides, I'm a 'Blue Demon' fan, not a 'Harbinger of Death' fan. Even I find those guys weird. Fighting against you is kind of a dream of mine, win or lose."

Shishi nods, “He may have mentioned that concern.” The Titan is humbled to have such a powerful fan. He smiles warmly, “I’ll be sure to win then, so you get your chance next year. You just need to hold up your end of the bargain and win.” he wrinkles his nose and admits, “I was a little afraid I’d be wounded tonight and hampered in the title fight.” He then pushes himself up from his seat and puts back on a serious expression, “I’m going home.” Vailkrin people know he means The Thorne Estate, “I meant what I said before. If you are doing something for this place, find me and I will help. This is not an offer, this is a demand. Understand? You have the Titan in your pocket. Use it.” With that, he starts towards the exit of House Dragana.

Quintessa stands to walk with him to the door, her sheathed katana raising to her shoulder. "And I was afraid that wound would have been the last mark I made on the world." The changeling nods her head again, this time more enthusiastically, "I understand! With me as the shield of Vailkrin and you as the weapon- none will threaten our city. For now on, you are the first person I call upon when trouble arises. You can count on it!" If that was all Shishi was waiting for, she'd see him out, waving fanatically after him as he disappeared back into the forest. When she got back inside she was going to cheat on her 'non smoking' efforts again- this was stressful.

Shishi is surprised at how pro Quintessa is at telling him exactly what he wants to hear. That indeed was all he was waiting for, "Good. I'll be seeing you then." He heads out into the forest and she waves. He doesn't wave back because he's too cool, but then he walks right through a spiderweb and flings his hand up in a waving motion to rid it from his face, so Tess probably thinks she got a wave goodbye from -The- Titan of Winter.