Part of the Rest in Pieces: Vailkrin! Arc
Part of the In Darkness We Trust Arc
Summary: Larewen approaches Brayden to set aside their issues and form an alliance that may be tenuous at best, another act oddly reminiscent of the fallen House Ginavi.
The Black Library
Larewen is little more than a presence as she descends into the Black Liibrary. Her duel earlier exhaused her of much of the energy necessary to truly materialize without siphoning some from nearby conduits, so to speak. The necromancer is seeking something, someone as she drifts aimlessly through the very thing she desires almost as much as the throne itself - almost. Mismatched eyes roam the coveted shelves as she moves silently through the room.
Bradyn and Larewen may forever be at odds at the rate they are going. This issue with House Mahara and The Black Library is without a doubt the biggest reason the vampiric male is such a stubborn mule with every single issue that Larewen has brought to him. For there is nothing that Bradyn desires more outside of keeping House Mahara's reputation in tact -- and what is their reputation if they give up the Black Library? Surely Larewen has some amount of realization to this, which is why she should also not be surprised when she is greeted with a less than friendly tone of voice. "What do you want, Larewen?" can be heard, echoing in all corners of the library. This is not the first time Larewen has encountered this little parlor trick of Bradyn's, but it is not because the man is hiding. He is within plain sight, striding down the stairs that lead into the room and meandering through tables and shelving until he is in the same vicinity that Larewen's ghostly form presumed to be in. Even if he cannot see her, he can probably sense her.
Larewen is no stranger to Bradyn's tone thus far in their encounters and as he descends into the Black Library. Rather than respond immediately, she meanders her way back toward there and materializes faintly, mismatched eyes roaming upward to meet the Maharan Noble's. A soft, frustrated sigh leaves the specter's lips. Instead she seeks a place to settle herself while watching the male's form. "The same things you do. Furthering my own skill in our craft, advancing further and further into the mastery of dark magic. This library." The last two words are pointed before her head tilts slightly. "Though perhaps you are more amenable than your father in those regards." She waits for those words to settle, knowing he'll likely misconstrue her intent and instead she lifts a finger at the first sign of protest that may arise. "And I don't mean relinquishing the Black Library or the fall of your House."
Bradyn 's lips twist into a hard snarl when Larewen utters the words 'this library'. It is not often that Bradyn responds with actual emotion but Larewen does seem to be quite good at inspiring feelings of anger that he struggles to contain. Were it not for her final sentence, clarifying somewhat her intentions, that Bradyn gains control of his temper. Which is for the best for the both of them, for a moment Bradyn was sorely tempted to test his luck in many respects. Could he banish a ghostly Larewen? Leave her body sitting in the middle of the forest without a soul? It was probably not the wisest course of action, given the reason she was in such a state (Corruption)...but they are not called crimes of passion because a person has planned and calculated every detail of a murder. Larewen is met with silence until he can speak in his usual tone of voice, a drab and dreary tone that most encounter....If you're name is not Larewen, evidently. "Speak your wants and we'll see how much of the same mindset I share with Lord Antonin."
Larewen lifts her chin faintly to Bradyn as she settles more comfortably - if such a thing is possible. "As I'm sure you're aware, Mahara was implicated in the fall of House Ginavi. Not as its cause, but as a possible ally. Naturally, the punishment fell primarily to the latter, and from its ashes, House Dragana came to take its place in the aristocracy. Our goal, our quick rise to power within this city does not sit well with several of the older Lords and Ladies of Vailkrin. House Mahara for good reason - the Black Library has far more uses than those your father fails to put it to. Look at these shelves, Bradyn. Tell me they are not being neglected as of late. What new knowledge has graced them since Tenebrae last walked these parts?" Her head tilts then, indicating a section of the library far more secluded, far more secure, than where they stand now. Tomes mentioning protoflesh are stored there, locked away from those that might use it wrong. "It is true I wanted to take this from your father, in order to right the wrong that is taking place. It is a font of power, for those so inclined to further enrich their minds, and that is how it should be used. I want only to see this library grow, to see that it continues to serve its purpose, and with my leadership of the Necromancer's Guild and your place as Patron of the Black Library, I don't see why that is a goal we cannot see met. You've already proven your mettle, and perhaps my words are presumptious, but I find no reason to continue to seek pulling this out fom under you. I think your father felt fear in the wake of House Ginavi, though. An emotion I don't think suits you all that well."
The story that Larewen recounts for Bradyn and attempts to use as justification for her actions. The logic behind what Larewen is driving at does not seem to sit with Bradyn, the dots are not fully connected. "House Mahara was an ally of House Ginavi, our only in fact. That is all that I will say on that matter. Their replacement has not until recent seen fit to see the sense in having the same working relationship that we did with them. Until now." Bradyn turns to pull one of the many tomes from the shelves, flipping through the pages casually and rather mindlessly as he takes the time to point out. "But frankly I do not share the same logic as Lord Antonin and I do not see the point in keeping these tomes locked away collecting dust, no. Perhaps if we had manage to have a more civil conversation sooner, you would know that Khitti has already had to spend time pouring over these books. How much time she spent here without me, hours upon hours, I am sure...but it does seem reasonable to me for certain ranks to have access to certain areas of the Library. So long as we have the clear understanding that it is meant to be a working relationship, this is not the property of the Necromancer's Guild....or Larewen. And if respect is not shown accordingly, I will see fit to bar members by name completely." Which will hopefully never be the case, but Bradyn is protective of his books, m'kay?
Larewen flinches visibly at the mention of Khitti, who has, since her arrival in Lithrydel, become like a daughter to her. Lionel's letter reached her a few days past, and that is a wound that has yet had little time to recover. "I failed Khatja," she hisses quietly to herself, having been utterly unaware of the woman's place of study. Suddenly, there is a shift in the banshee's mood, a darkening of her brow as pain blossoms in her chest. Tears sting at incorporeal eyes, but she holds them back. "Naturally. I have my own library," she replies, the fact hers cannot be reached presently not escaping her. The woman's mind appears to have scattered, and perhaps for the first time Bradyn is seeing the woman's cold exterior fracture. "Your property will be treated with the same respect that I expect of my own."
Bradyn has not heard the news about Khitti yet, he did not get a letter for he is kind of a jerk and last he saw that redhead they were fighting. The Maharan male has no understanding of why his words might have caused such a reaction from Larewen. Could ghosts even cry? They were probably not actual tears being shed, but they could give the appearance that they were soggy-eyed, surely? Evidently, for Bradyn was staring at Larewen like she has just committed the worst of sins. He could not comprehend what was transpiring here and thus just stared at Larewen in horror. It was like she just stole candy from a baby then pushed that baby out in front of a moving carriage then resumed walking down the street, eating said candy as if nothing had happened. Bradyn opts to say nothing rather than something. In his mind, he thinks this is a wise decision, but...probably not.
Larewen isn't entirely heartless, it seems. She's at least capable of some emotions, oddly eough. "Khatja is gone," the necromancer says, her voice carefully controlled. The words are a bitter pill to swallow, as if speaking such words might make it more real than it is. "Amarrah." Her eyes close for a long moment and she shakes her head at Bradyn. "I am not so heartless as you might believe me to be. Khatja was like a daughter to me, despite our differences." Her features shift again as she struggles to push those feelings away, the anger and self-loathing rising like bile in her throat. "I should have been there to help her, but instead I am trapped. I failed her."
Bradyn didn't think that Larewen was heartless. The Maharan could care less about that, he did think that she was sometimes unreasonable...but that was a matter of his own opinion and the tensions between their houses. "That is unfortunate, raw talent gone to waste." Alas, Bradyn does border upon heartless and this display of emotion is really just not something that he could comprehend, nor does he feel like attempting to help Larewen deal with, process, or grieve over the loss of Khitti. It was a wonder that this man was even a mortician, there had to be more socially capable people working at the parlor in Cenril to make up for his lack of manners. "If there is nothing else, I will be departing. We can perhaps finally make headway on our discussions on returning you to your body once you are of a less emotional mind." (IE: Once you stop crying.) This is not something that Bradyn intends to be up for discussion, he is already walking away to put his distance between himself and Larewen....and those things that she likes to call feelings. Gross. Would-be-liches do not need those.
Larewen responds with a nod of acknowledgment in the wake of Bradyn's words. Yes, returning her to her body is a good thing to work toward. One, it brings her back into the land of the living. Two, that curse written upon her flesh would counteract such pesky feelings. No words are spoken on the male's departure, for instead the banshee is moving deeper into the library, seeking the books Khitti had been perusing prior to her demise.