Part of the Unforeseen Consequences Arc
Hanging Corpse Tavern
This once-timber tavern has been rebuilt in sturdily vitrified blackstone and imbued with powerful protective magics that prevent occult fire and several other potentially harmful spells being cast within its walls. No effort has been spared to make what might otherwise be a bleak interior comfortable. The bar is made of polished stone with an oaken inlay, the space behind filled with a bustle of attractive barmaids, sundry barrels and a dazzling array of coloured bottles that glint in the light cast by a large wrought-iron candelabrum suspended from the ceiling overhead. Here, the one-eyed Steadman stands, ready to take orders for food or drink. Beyond the bar, stout tables are firmly bolted to the floor, though the high-backed chairs are freestanding. The hearth is a true feature, seeming to be cast from black lava into the shape of a colossal, laughing goblin's head, its maw gaping wide and deep, usually containing a merrily crackling fire. A delicious scent of roasting meats drifts in from the kitchens and a winding staircase leads to rooms upstairs. To the south are set cellar doors, usually kept locked unless a special event is taking place. The walls are hung with thick, richly woven tapestries depicting persons and events in the history of Vailkrin and the Vampiric race. There's also a notice-board near the entrance, where one may leave messages. Unobtrusive but ever-present are the security staff, staunch fighters ever ready to toss troublemakers out.
Kasyr lurches into the Corpse, albeit with a small amount of difficulty. At a glance, an onlooker might mistake his laboured movements for those of an individual in pain- and he certainly looks the part, given his trenchcoat is currently a tattered and blood-stained mess. That being said, the veritable cause for his delayed movements has very little to do with his person- and everything to do with the poor bastard currently being dragged along the street and into the tavern. Leave it to Kasyr to go off looking for one specific lunatic, and instead stumble straight into a veritable plethora of them, courtesy of a cult that happens to currently reside beneath Vailkrin. And speaking of cultists, the dark-robed figure the kensai is currently dragging along is trying his utmost to crawl away. Unforunately, broken hands and a broken arm make for inconvenient obstacles to such a venture. And thus, Kasyr makes his way over towards a table, despite the efforts of his unwilling companion.
Saiyah had been awake for quite some time. Given the amount of chaos raining free in the city of the undead, it was a wonder she made it as far as she did in the first place. Regardless, this only gave her a chance to slither on down the street, and mosey on into a stool in the one place she could always be found; the Hanging Corpse Tavern. With a hearty shove, the naga pushed the door open, and made her way in, stopping halways between both vampire, and bar. 'I'll be damned..' she though to herself, changing course in the drop of a dime. With her right hand, Saiyah snapped her fingers to get the man's attention, before slithing around front. There was a snakish grin on her lips.
Kasyr is somewhat on edge- something that is readily apparent in the manner he shifts his body so that his side is facing Saiyah, effectively minimizing how much of target he presents. That, and the manner in which 'Doofus The Wonder Cultist' is hefted up in between them, a la impromptu meat shield. It's only after that overreaction that he becomes aware of what his empathy had been trying to alert him to- something which prompts him into dropping the cultist onto the ground, stealing a nearby chair- and promptly settling it down -over- the poor sod of a Cultist- providing Kasyr with a seat that is not only convenient, but also effective, since it's currently serving to further hinder the movements of the one trapped beneath. "Bon Soir, Cherie. Et how might you be faring?"
Saiyah was half tempted to fling something his way, just to spite the shield of a man. She didn't though, simply for the lack of non-lethal projectiles: glasses, chairs, bottles.. etc. Insrtead, the woman simply shook her head, and pointed at the poor sod under the chair with the tip of her tail. A look that said, 'what's his story?' was given, before she made her away around the table, and found a chair of her own; naturally a single sheet of parchment was pulled out, however, no quill.
Kasyr follows Saiyahs gaze down to the floor, by which point he nudges the downed cultist with his foot, "If you're wondering what his deal es, he's a cultist. Specifically, a very fervent follower of a fallen-From-grace Ascendi. Vakarash, as it were. Et, as a note, when I say fervent? I mean sacrificing things both living, dead, et otherwise to their ill-fated godling,. At first, I was somewhat annoyed- since they were distracting moi from trying to go et locate the individual who I am currently pursuing. I couldn't quite stay annoyed at them, however, when my good buddy here decided to blurt out some things about both that ...'rift', et someone they sent into it a long time ago." The kensai paused, and shrugged, "What can I say- I've always had a fondness for answers. Er. But really, this es neither here nor there- How are tu? I thought you were sleeping, last I checked."
Saiyah shrugged. It was here she slid the sheet of empty parchment towards Kasyr, while lifting one finger at Steadmen. An unspoken order was placed, and a message delivered. One by one, each letter of a silent sentence bled into the page, black ink- much like that in her arm -spelled out what her mind had willed; a nifty trick the illusionist had picked up recently. The note simply read, ~Seems Vailkrin has been nosier than usual. You wouldn't happen to have anything to do with that, would you?~
Kasyr folds his arms across his chest and stares up at the ceiling in a contemplative manner, "Giant hole in the sky? Not really my forte. The civil war that started et resolved, was a pretty big me thing, though. Et my current project of hunting down some undead aberration, while simultaneously playing politics? Very me, en fait. That being said, I could still tell you a bit about what's going on- though not as much as the..'experts.'."
Saiyah gave Steadmen a thumbs up when her glass was delivered, turning all attention back to the Kensai. With a slow nod, she pointed back down to the parchment, which in turn faded blank once more. Moments later, another sentence would bleed onto the parchment, leaving Kasyr to read, while she drank. The message read, ~If I could go back to sleep, I think I would. You. Tell me about you- what's life had in store as of late?~
Kasyr places a hand over his heart and feigns a look of hurt, "Really, you'd go back to sleep without visiting moi? I guess I'll count my blessings that your suffering from Insomnia then. Especially with what life's had in store for moi. As I said, that civil war resolved. I'm now essentially..quoi-ce-soit? King of the vampires, I guess? Lord, might be a more fitting title...et partially in charge of the city. Redhale es in charge of the other half, the necropolis, as it were. Er, there was a gigantic attack that devastated a part of the city. Let's see... There." It's during this particular bout of recollections that the revenants amicable tone falters, growing a touch more somber, "There..was troubles home. Not with Satoshi. Just. A dragon. She was dealt with." With a simple shake of his head, he continues onwards, his tone picking up, if only slightly, "Hole in the sky. Alot of theorys dancing around about it. From those mages, et 'scientists'...even these cultists fellows have one. ...Oh, et. Er. Apparament, the parasite es back? I'm hazy on the details there, however. I've been tracking a sort of..mass murderer that dropped out of the hole in the sky. Which..is somewhat note worthy, since..most things that drop out of that rift are shapeless horrors et such. Really, if you stay outside long enough, you're bound to see some skittering about..et sometimes flying."
Saiyah sat with one elbow on the table, and her jaw resting in her hand. There was a blank look on her face, pretty much expressionless to the list of troubles, currently inhabiting the area. With out so much as even a glance, the page was wiped clean, a new message sprouting up. ~I'm going home then. Island hasn't seen me in quite some time, anyways.~ It wasn't clear if this was a joke or not, though given the current circumstances, it might not have been.
Kasyr frowns a touch. Whilst he can generally gauge the mood of a situation with his empathy- he's actively avoiding that particular shortcut right now, if only because of the bits of awkwardness it can lead to. "I'll miss ya if you go. Doubly so, because I'm currently stranded in this city, buried between deaths, documents and diplomacy. It'd be nice to have a friendly face lingering around more frequently." It's there that the Kensai pauses, before glancing off towards the Naga, "And a bit of help with the situations around here."
Saiyah smirked, the slight tug of a smile pulled at her lips. To the paper she pointed, ~Relax. You know I made a promise. Besides, what could I possibly help with? In this given 'situation'?~ The emtpy glass was pushed to the edge of the table, and left ignored, whether or not Steadmen chose to fill it.
Kasyr get's an -amazingly- cattish grin at that comment, which is made all the more pronounced by the feline qualities he's 'blessed' with, "Well, actually, I figured a bit of diplomacy for someone who es familiar with the rigours of being a royal would be right up your alley, en fait. Though, I'll confess, there es also more menial tasks to be done over here. Mostly just related to killing people however. Or chatting with.." Kasyr can't help but trail off, when he takes note of the fact that 'Doofus-The-Wonder-Cultist' has managed to crawl a surprising amount of distance, having nearly 'slithered' out from under the chair with nary a sound. Rolling his eyes, the Kensai simply takes hold of the fellows leg, if only to shake him hard enough to smack him off against the floor, so that he might be dragged back under the chair without any dramatic scrabblings, "Fellows like this one. To see if you might learn any specifics."
Saiyah blinked. ~What are you playing at..~ the note read, while a look of curious confusion covered her face. Like the good sport he was, Steadmen had took to delivering two glasses this time, without even being asked; perhaps it had something to do with the wheel barrel of gold she gave him some time last year. Talk of diplomatics and royaly had her questioning the man in her mind. If this was the Kasyr she knew, he had something big up his sleeve.
Kasyr sets a foot down onto the cultists leg, then promptly leans forward- serving at once to pin the man to the floor, whilst drawing him closer to Saiyah so he could conspiratorially say, "A great deal, but in the immediate moment? Alithrya." Leaning back, the Kensai simply drags a hand up through his hair- a motion that serves to both tousle his hair...and dislodge a cigarette that layed tangled near his ear. With practiced ease, the Revenant draws his now cigarette bearing hand down, if only so he could settle his prize onto his lips. It's with a snap of his fingers that the sparks fly, his cigarette lights, and he starts talking anew, "When Vuryal left the lands the last time, he took his army with him. I mean, the entire bloody thing. Which..es quite a feat. To do so requires supplies. Armour, weapons, rations..et many other things. I mean, let's face it- he took his empire et withdrew. Naga-ville was apparently his stronghold, so it's unsurprising that it ended up gutted of quite a few resources." Drawing in a deep breath, the Kensai simply lets his attention drift upward, "But not everyone left. For some reason or another, there's quite a few people that were left behind. Et, I just can't help but recognize that this offers a very unique situation. Not only es there political instability, there es also a great need. One which is only furthered by the fact that Alithrya hasn't...done the most to cultivate healthy relations with it's neighbours. So...I've hence contemplated the idea of...playing the role of the good neighbour, et delivering them from the bind they have found themselves in. Well, as long as they are willing to make a few simple concessions."
Saiyah wrinkled her nose, hesitantly filling the parchment in with her next sentence. ~You know I hate that city.~ A brief pause, and she'd glance down, the line continuing where it left off. ~Just what exactly are you implying we do with it? Furthermore, just what do you, or even I benefit from it?~ The sly smile she once wore, was now a discerned frown, snakish eyes watching the man silently.
Kasyr takes a long drag, before slowly exhaling, his attention drifting amongst the twisting coils of the smoke, "I'm not all that found of the city myself. That being said, it needs help, and we're in a position to offer it. More than that, we're in the position to offer it help, and bring it into a tightly woven organization of ...allied cities. J'suppose. That being said, I don't exactly feel comfortable lending that city aid, when it's resources could be diverted to questionable sources, and the populace could be exploited. Hence why I would require that a diplomatic emissary be appointed to serve as a liason between Alithrya and Vailkrin. -You- would be uniquely in charge of the resources that would be going to the city, as well as coming from it, j'suppose. After all, establishing trade between neighbours would only serve to benefit the city, non?" It's not like trade had specifically been slowed to a crawl between the regions, so as to ensure the decimation of Alithrya's economy. That'd be amoral. "Admittedly, your ultimate purpose there would be to see about gaining support in, and ultimately control of, that city. After all, you provide an opportunity to see that the city flourishes, and becomes a part of a network of allied cities- at least so long as the requests of you, and those whose interests you represent, are met."
Saiyah sighed while her tail coiled tightly around her chair. She wanted nothing to do with that city, and anything that came out of it. She did however, want to help, and if there was anyone she was willing to go out on a limb for, it was Kasyr and Jolie. This however, was pushing it. ~And just how do we go about that?~ Her second drink was finished, and like the first, pushed to the edge of the table; maybe if she actually drank a glass of water once, her scales might shine like they once did. So cracked and dehydrated.
Kasyr glances over towards Saiyah, his gaze eventually drifting down to take note of the manner in which she had effectively anchored herself to the chair. With a sigh, the revenant simply straightens himself up, before continuing on, "Well. I am essentially Vailkrin, at least- the part that es the vampires. Suffice to say, that es lucrative enough that I could provide support for this venture- especially if we do kickstart trade between here et Alithyra. Furthermore, I don't expect that Redhale will have many complaints about aiding in this endeavour, especially if it makes the curious sort of corpses that accumulate there more...readily available. So, frankly, I simply ensure that you have financial backing...and a small entourage befitting of an ambassador. Ideally- we would present them with a contract stating our terms. Though some renegotiating may be involved, I can't imagine that they are in a position to make too many demands. Or refuse their 'savior'. Ideally, this will leave you in charge of the city. Considering you have your whole island et all that- the ruling thing should come second nature, non? Maybe you can make it someplace you -don't- hate. As a note, this primarily benefits moi, in having an allied city close to moi. As opposed to a city that continuously get's infested by Vuryals forces. " A pause, and the Kensai simply adds, "Thoughts?"
Saiyah rolled her eyes.~Essentially, you want to give me a city which I despise. I think you're insane.~ There was a half grinning smirk somewhere on her face. ~I really don't think I'm the best candidate for this, if you want my thoughts. Yet, something tells me you don't really have a list of backup's for this, no?~ It was here she began to uncoil from her chair, rising up to plant both hands flat against the table, mostly for support. Silently, she waited for his response.
Kasyr can't help but mirror the smirk, albeit just a touch wearier, "Well, it's not like I'm tripping over a list of people that I can trust with a lucrative position that has the capacity to be exploited in the first place. Not to mention, the amount of personal trust in setting all this in motion. Not being on Redhale's list of people to kill, that's...That's also sort of beneficial to Vailkrin-Nagaville relations. ..Et well, The whole..naga thing. Sort of makes tu a shoe in, for this role. If you're willing to take it up. Et yes. it's a city you despise..right now. But work at it for a while, and you might despise it less." The Kensai glances about the room a bit before leaning in slightly and gesturing towards Saiyah with the cigarette, "It's what I tell myself about here, constantly. The paperwork really doesn't help, though."
Saiyah straightend up, simply to run her own hand through her hair, as messy as it already was. ~Sure. I'll give it a shot- if only so it gives me somewhere quieter to sleep.~ This was a joke. Shaking her head, Saiyah pushed off the table, and slithered off, mostly for the stairs-- and perhaps one last glass by the bar --simply to retire for the night. She could hardly believe the position she was offering to take, and in face, almost didn't seem real. Either way, she was going to sleep on the topic, and catch up with him later.