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Private  - [Scarab] In hushed whispers

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Played by Offline Darkrise [PM] Posts: 46 — Threads: 14
Signos: 95
Night Court Soldier
Female [She / Her / Hers] // 9 [Year 496 Fall] // 16 hh // Hth: 9 — Atk: 11 — Exp: 12 // Active Magic: Shapeshifting // Bonded: N/A

don't play games with a girl
who can play better

Beneath the hazy light of a dozen flickering lamps, the excitement and intrigue was beginning to wear off.

When Castalla had been awoken one night, by the soft shuffle of one trying to mask their hoofbeats, she’d leapt from her bed, teeth bared and eyes ablaze. But all that remained there a pair of green eyes obscured by distant shadows, and a playing card upon the desk besides her. The Wolf had not lived here long enough to know the rumours, to hear word of a secret palace hidden amongst the shadows of the night court but interested burned enough to draw her out one evening. It could have been a trap, and the rogue decided to walk right into it for the sake of her own curiosity. And anyway, a caged wolf is always more dangerous.

But it had not proven to be a trap, not yet at least. Instead it was a den of pleasure- of card playing and drinking tailored to the rich and lavish tastes of the upperclass. She had settled at a card table and proceeded to play the arrogant nobles for fools, and for all they were worth. At least by the end of this she would be far richer than she had been at the beginning.

Among the many talents and trades Castalla had learnt- all in the name of becoming a better warrior, better spy, better assassin and better queen- playing cards was one she rather enjoyed. Not because of the money or the rush or even the wicked deception. No, it was the looks on her opponents’ faces when she wiped the proverbial floor with them, taking not only their money but also their dignity. That was what she enjoyed. Especially if she played strip poker.

There had been a time of course when playing cards had not been for mere entertainment, or to barter for information. There had been a time in Alanaris when the stakes were far higher. Legend tells of how the White Wolf won the freedom of a hundred slaves in a game of cards. And as legends go, the events were blown entirely out of proportion. But at least a hundred slaves had indeed found themselves free and an illegal slave trader had found himself more than a little out of pocket. And more than a little dead.

Of course Castalla had played in far more civilised settings as well, in opulent palaces and indulgent hidden dens just like this one. Being a princess gained you access to certain high and secret societies that others could not even dream existed. And it seemed the White Scarab was one such place. Each and every guest was bedecked in gleaming jewellery, taking every chance to display their wealth in the most imperious way.

She was a wolf among sheep, even as she dressed like them, talked like them. She watched their faces, listened to the whispers only her magically enhanced senses could hear, all the while playing their game. But she was not the only one playing the grand game, stealing the secrets that fell from loosened tongue, hearing the unsaid things that were written upon wealthy faces. No, Castalla was not foolish enough to think those who worked at this White Scarab, those who resided within the lavish halls, did not listen in. A place like this would be a fine way to sell secrets and make moves.

Growing tired of winning noblemans’ money, Castalla makes her way to the lounge, ordering a drink before settling into a dark corner, her beauty illuminated formidably by the flickering of flaming lamps. Nursing the whiskey leisurely, she watched the other guests, and the servers as they glided silently among the patrons. The drink was more for show than anything else- the night was still young and a trap could still be nigh. The Wolf was loathe to dampen her senses should that be the case.


@Manon <3


Played by Offline Avis [PM] Posts: 25 — Threads: 3
Signos: 200
Vagabond Peddler
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 8 [Year 497 Summer] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 11 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A

† † †

She never cared for card games.

Their monotony drew a noose around her neck, and oftentimes she struggled to stay focused on the hand in front of her while the rest of the Scarab was still alive, still thriving, men and ladies coming and going and all she wanted to do was follow them with her eyes and find a way to sneak things from their pockets. Charming them was the least she could do, but she couldn't do it while in the midst of battle, dueling whichever greedy aristocrat dared face her at the table. She would much rather play her own games, out on the floors, drink in hand, laughing haughtily (and falsely) at jokes tossed at her in hopes of winning her over. She would press herself close to them, bask in their attention, and wait for them to be occupied by other things before stealing whatever possession was most accessible. It wasn't honest, but there was no such thing as an honest living in the Scarab. And, quite frankly, no one seemed to mind.

Maybe she was more enthusiastic about the thrill of knocking her opponents down with mere wits in her youth; when the Scarab first opened its doors to the public across Novus, the rich and elite flocked to those tables to establish their dominance over each other, and as the hours grew long into the night it only became increasingly more crowded. She had once set up a near-permanent shop at one of those very spaces, but if there was anything the brothel owner taught her it was that sometimes you had to feign naivety and make the wrong decision to cost you the game. It kept them interested, it saved their egos, and it made them more willing to up the stakes for the next round that was sure to be demanded they play. The trick, then--she was told--was to politely decline, make as if to get up and leave, and when begged to stay for just one more round, meekly smile and sit back down. Then you swept the floor with them, claimed luck with a sweet laugh, and disappeared until another challenger arose.

Maybe that was the basis for all the games she played, even her own, for old habits were said to die hard and she was a girl who believed in the old "if isn't broken, don't fix it" adage. It certainly hadn't failed her yet, and should someone get too close to her trail of destruction, she would simply lay in the shadows until it went cold. One day, she was certain, it wasn't going to work--but until then, until that day when chains will be wrapped around such delicate ankles, she would throw her roses in places seen in daylight and whisper as loudly as she wished.

Whatever the case may have been before, she was different in that time, then, there, with her hanging in the corner the newcomer would eventually wander into. Despite being on different floors, Manon already knew everything about the pale, ghostly woman who had wandered in that night. She wasn't wrong in assuming that those of the rather fine business had their sights set everywhere, everything said and done brought immediately to the ones who sat highest upon the chain; and there, since little Aghavni had chosen to follow in her father's footsteps in the Day court, was Manon in her place. Rightfully, as it had ought to have been, if anyone would've asked her. Senna should have known.

And so when that scar-studded wolf had crept her way to the lounge, ordering her drink, drifting off to the side, she had found the company she didn't yet know she sought. With the twisted crown's magic activated, Manon was a mere blur in the midst of all the beauty, a slightly-off warping of reality that only those who knew to look would see. Had she noticed the girl, the woman in coppers and whites, following her with those myriad-of-colors eyes as she made her way up those steps after sweeping from table to table, winning hand after hand? In most cases, the answer would be no... but something about her was different than the simple minded patrons that often found themselves in her position.

Sidling closer to where she stood, the painted rose dropped her guise and showed herself as whole again, a saccharine smile dripping sweetness from her lips. "You should know, you must lose sometimes... to be victorious in the end," a cautionary tale rolling over her tongue, she looked out among those that milled around. "Take it from someone who has seen many fall prey to their own imprudent hubris." Things worked differently in the Scarab; she would know.

Her smile slipped momentarily into a soft snicker, edges still curved, but with a ruggedness that could only indicate familiarity. She didn't know Castalla, of course, but mayhaps she would have found some form of companionship in her story. "Why follow a calling card into a monster's den?" Voice low, eyes flicked over to her newest acquaintance, and it wasn't clear what--or who--she deemed this 'monster' to be.
Right now, I am barely off of my knees
But someday, I'll find peace

@Castalla !

click for character page

(Please tag me in every post)


Played by Offline Darkrise [PM] Posts: 46 — Threads: 14
Signos: 95
Night Court Soldier
Female [She / Her / Hers] // 9 [Year 496 Fall] // 16 hh // Hth: 9 — Atk: 11 — Exp: 12 // Active Magic: Shapeshifting // Bonded: N/A

yes its dangerous

Castalla had seen the blur on her periphery, the sheen of magic and movement that only her enhanced senses allowed her to pick up. It followed her periodically tracing her movements from table to table as challenger after challenger sought to defeat this new played. Castalla was not foolish enough to think she was not followed, just as everyone in this establishment was watched. Why invite her in such a secretive way if not to observe whatever spark had ignited their interest in her? And yet she could not make out her tail, could not set her gaze upon the wanderer in the shadows, the blur amid candle light. It was a wonderful game- to snap her gaze to the darkness and yet appear as though she were entirely enraptured in a game with whatever fool had no idea that she could smell their deceit in their scent. A dance- between the wolf and the snake, the assassin and the spy. And Castalla was certainly enjoying it.

At last, as she settled into the sweet darkness of the shadowy corner, among the candles and the ghosts, her watcher emerged. Even with her senses, Castalla did not see the other woman until she right before her, erupting from the fabric of reality like an ephemeral spirit. The rogue’s face betrayed nothing of her surprise- such were her years of training to perfectly school her expression and secrete all her emotions. Instead she flicked her perceptive gaze to the mare and away, a small smile wrought prettily across her face.

A demure smile played its way gracefully across the Wolf’s lips, lighting up the crystal blue of her piercing eyes like diamonds in the darkness. “Take from someone who loves watching many fall prey to their own imprudent hubris. Oh I know,” she said, her words honey-rich and laced with amusement, “I just did not feel liking losing tonight. And did you not see their faces?” She meets the equally blue gaze of the elegant woman, a conspiratorial gleam to her oculars that matched the self-indulgent smile on her lips. They had thought her little more than a dithering lady, or perhaps the bore-headed daughter of some noble who had no idea what to do with their war-inclined offspring. And when she cleared them out, again and again as they came back, assuming it was only luck, that they could beat her this time; she revelled in the anger and shock and shame that painted their faces, tinged their scents. Castalla had a feeling that she and this beautiful lady enjoyed the same games.

At the cream and brown mare’s next words Castalla gives a low laugh, sultry and polished as a grin slowly dances across her lips. She is a serpent in silk, a wolf dressed in wool. Perfectly at ease in her surroundings and yet hyper aware of the sugar coated lies, the secrets hidden behind intricately carved wooden doors. She was a warrior, but the battlefield is not always a bloody hillock, her armour doesn’t have to be leather and metal and swords are not the only weapons capable of slaying. Raising the carefully cut crystal glass to her lips she sips the amber liquid and leans back gracefully, watching the flickering shadows of the firelight across the oaken table. “Why does anyone ever follow a calling card?” She blinks and flicks her gaze back to Manon. “Insatiable curiosity I suppose. Why work in a monster’s den?”

Given the mare’s clear familiarity with how customers are lured into the gilded cage, Castalla figured she worked there. Why else would she be monitoring the Wolf? She doubted those who found themselves with a calling card came here to watch other patrons, (with the exception of those like Castalla who used such dens of iniquity for other purposes). So it seemed unlikely that the auburn hued woman was simply a loyal customer. So who were the monsters? The players? The horses sat at tables throwing money around with little care for the world beyond what money gave them access to or with the desperation of one indentured by their poor luck? They were the ignorant kind of the monsters, the ones who failed to see, or chose not to see, the poverty of the world. Besides their inconsequential games of stealing each other’s wealth, they were not dangerous. But Castalla did not think those serving girls, the ones who happened to be listening in to most likely every bit of alcohol and greed induced conversations were the monsters either.


@Manon <3


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