05.17.2013: Within the Coliseum
Summary: Lucretia bumps into her niece and Kirra in the Fortress's Coliseum.
Date: 17 05 2013
Related: None
Lucretia Kirra Xenona 

The Coliseum
Four grand walkways, raised hundreds of meters in the air, come together from the cardinal directions to the colossal center that is the Coliseum of the Fortress of Phylon. Most of the time, it is an expansive promenade that makes up the entire lower level of the citadel-like arcology. It is round in shape, surrounded by columns from which statues of rearing white horses have been carved out of the lower third of the solid stone. These statues are easily three meters in height each, with the remainder of the smooth column stretching still high above them. A rib vaulted ceiling looms high above, and chandeliers of glowing globes of light float just shy of its arches and spread artificial light across the Coliseum.

Everything about this space could make an individual feel small and lost, but the constant bustle helps alleviate these fears. Foot traffic comes from the Ways at the ends of the four walkways, and from the lifts that are spread throughout the outer edge of the narthex. Neither horse nor crawler car are uncommon, emphasizing that this is a central point of travel. The aforementioned lifts are large enough to comfortably fit a handful of destriers and their riders with room to spare. They whoosh up and down the lower exterior of the Fortress, giving access to the terraced city below. There are separate lifts that access the Fortress above.

IC date of RP

The dying sun gleams bright and hot on this cloudless summer's night, its red-gold rays lending some semblance of warmth to the Coliseum's frozen statues. Hundreds of shadows flit like ghosts across just as many marble columns, their owners hardly pausing for breath. It's rush hour here in the Fortress of Phylon, center of Cindravale's power, and anybody who's anybody — and that's pretty much everybody within these walls — has some place they've got to be. The acrid tang of smoke hangs heavily in the air, mixing with horse-sweat and the stench of burning oil to create a smell so sharp as to pierce the skin.

Small wonder, then, that Kirra Strathyre is masked. Her face covered by the cowl of her cloak, she stands to one side of the Coliseum's eastern road, checking the quality of four bushels of arrows. Thin gloved fingers run down their bright yellow fletching, testing for any weakness undetectable by the eye alone. And every so often her free hand will toy with the leather-wrapped hilt of the parrying dagger at her side — a tic, it seems, that's causing no shortage of discomfort for the unfortunate merchant beside her.

With her tall, aquamarine-topped staff tapping against the ground each time she takes a step, Lucretia makes her way down the street, talking. Seemingly to no one in particular. "I don't care what he's saying now. He already signed our contract, so he can provide what he agreed to provide, for the price we offered, or he can deal with the consequences. The least of which will likely be the downfall of his business as a whole. So. Don't waste any more time trying to convince him, the deal is already done," the brunette lifts a hand to tap at her ear as she walks. Ending a call on her earbud, obviously. Pausing, her hand lifts to adjust the witchy hat atop her head as she glances around, the tang in the air causing her lips to purse. And then a glowing green aura flares to life around her, glittering with flecks of green energy, and her eyes turn white. Waving her staff in a broad gesture, a sudden gust of wind sweeps down the street, carrying away the acrid scent for a moment or two. Which likely draws a glance or twenty. But, Lucretia is hardly an unusual figure here, she's the High lady's little sister, after all, and one of the more renowned Valen Awakened. Sniffing sharply, she takes another glance around.

Kirra removes an arrow from its barrow in a single smooth motion, setting its shaft lengthwise across her index finger. To find its balancing point — which, eventually, she does, until that sudden gust of wind sends it tumbling to the ground, arrowhead first. Its monomolecular point pierces the hem of her cloak and pins it to the dirt. Two quick tugs fail to dislodge the thing; two more and the slippery grey fabric begins to come apart.

The merchant titters loudly, watery green eyes flicking over to the noble nearby. Fat fingers trace the dulled edge of his beaten gold medallion, worn and oiled by years of abuse. "Th - they're sharp," he stutters. "We m-m-made them that way."

"So it seems," says Kirra, her alto light and lilting. A woman of the Southern Vale, then, here on business. "I shall pay in cash." Nimble fingers withdraw ten crisp bills from a heretofore hidden pocket. "With compliments to your Mistress."

"I - I - okay. But do y-y-you — do you want a receipt?" the merchant manages, staring in Lucretia's direction with undisguised concern.

"No," says Kirra, her eyes crinkling in amusement. And the hilt of her rapier glows purple in the dusk.

Spotting the incident with the arrow, and Kirra, Lucretia smiles widely and begins striding that direction. Lu has a mind like a steel trap, she doesn't often forget a face, let alone one of someone who might be a bit useful should the need ever arise. Staff tap-tap-tapping, she approaches the woman and the merchant, her aura having dissipated and her eyes back to normal, "Miss Strathyre, isn't it? I'd heard your Lady had returned to business at large once again recently, and how delightful to see that she brought you with her. She's been keeping you busy, I'm sure?" An easy smile is offered to the scared merchant before she looks back to the woman, "And sorry about that. Thankfully it wasn't your foot."

"You mistake me. A pity it was not my foot." Kirra dispenses with the expected head-nod and honorific; Lucretia receives only a quick glance out of the corner of an eye. (It's a fair guess that Lady Aisling Leonnida doesn't pay her to be a master of etiquette.) "An injury would have earned me a discount, I suspect." Ever so delicately, the tall woman plucks the arrow from the ground, slipping it back into the merchant's handbarrow with the rest. And to the merchant: "My boy is waiting for you at the usual spot," she says. "And take care that your price does not increase two-fold between there and here."

"Y-y-yes!" gurgles the merchant, his knuckles turning white. And sketching an elaborate bow in the noble's direction, he trundles off, the wheels of his handbarrow clacking loudly against cobbled stone.

"Businessmen," says Kirra as she watches him go. Her voice is entirely pleasant.

"And a new scar," Lucretia comments to the other woman as she stops nearby, glancing curiously to the merchant as he wanders off. Shaking her head, she looks back to Kirra, "Oh, quite a few of the are worms. It takes a strong hand to keep them in line. And they still like to try to wiggle out of things." The older woman looks Kirra over idly, taking account of the weapons and the like, "Arranging supplies for the impending conflict we are all awaiting, or is House Leonnida still dealing with other troubles? Or itself."

"Does the sword demand reasons of the hand that swings it?" Kirra rejoins, tone flat. But, straightening the fall of her cloak across her body, she lets fall the cowl from the angles of her face — to reveal a smile, of sorts. More a tightening of the lips, really. It's a gesture of understanding, from one professional to another, even as the woman closes her mind to any untoward intrusion. "What news from the Fortress?"

Late evening, the sun going down, finds Lucretia Cindrvale in the Coliseum, the central area of the Fortress. Bustling and busy as pmany of the people begin to call it a day after selling their wares. Standing along the eastern road near Kirra, the Witch holds a staff in one hand, topped with a giant aquamarine. A number of the nearby people continue to glance in their direction, as Lucretia had just summoned a gust of wind to carry away the acrid scent of smoke. Not many are genuinely bothered though, as the woman is easily recognized. "I suppose it does not, Miss Strathyre. Is that what you are doing, then? Simple carrying out your Lady's affairs?" The older brunette smiles, "Oh, little, really. And what news there is, isn't fit to be gossipped about in the street. Aside from that, just chatter about the coming tourney in Landing, and I've been busy arranging arms and armor. You heard of the Hostiles that were encountered, yes?"

Xenona finds herself in the Coliseum as well, for reasons unknown. The heavy tread of her boots is a tad incongruous with the rest of her attire, but she doesn't seem to mind - in fact the diminutive, auburn haired woman walks with a purposeful stride that almost seems designed to draw attention. Certainly the over-exaggerated cough she eventually emits is meant to. "Auntie Lulu, what have you done now?" she accuses the older woman, fanning at the now-smokeless air. "And who is this?" she asks brusquely, giving Kirra a measured once-over.

"I am retainer to the Lady Aisling." Of House Leonnida — but any cousin of Lucretia's should know that. And as Kirra speaks, her smile widens incrementally. "But as they say: sometimes the sword is not even sure which hand does the wielding." As she demurs, she accepts Lucretia's also, filing away the existence of some non-street-appropriate news into one of the cabinets in her brain. "As for the attack, I do not know what to think. I assume they seek to test our strength. In which case — " The tall woman blinks twice, crossing her bare arms across her chest. Then, deadpan: "Well. I too would assault a treehouse before a citadel."

"Ah, Xenona, darling. I was just clearing the air a bit, don't mind me," Lucretia answers her niece with an affectionate smile. She lets Kirra introduce herself, and when she forgets, notably, her name, Lu adds, "Miss Kirra Strathyre. I just happened across her as she was finishing some business with a man about some arrows." The Witch nods at Kirra's comments, offering a soft laugh, "Right you are about that. The Fortress of Phylon won't be easily bothered by them. The Arborenins have a much more glaring vulnerability, sadly. It is something they really need to work upon." Glancing back to her niece, she asks, "How have you been, dear? We need to speak soon."

Xenona flashes an absentminded smile. "Right, Lady Sir Aisling - how fares she? There has not been much gossip these past weeks coming out of the south, I can't say I expect that to last much longer at all." She looks out toward the Ways. "We do need to speak soon, I've just had a breakthrough in my latest production and it means tearing up the entire first act of the script - you can catch me up on what I am missing now that I've no longer a sword at hand, but…" And here here attention turns from Lucretia and back to Kirra for a moment. "A citadel has its weaknesses as well. Glaring obviousness among them. Last I visited Arboren, I passed a door thrice before noticing it."

"This girl speaks truly. And there is one other thing my derision veiled: to reach a treehouse, one must first fight through the trees." Kirra nods her head in the younger noble's direction, expressing something like approval. "But that is why we have knights and they have rangers, and why we have lances and they have bows. In the end, we will fight them everywhere — so let us hope that trees and clever doors will bleed them dear before they set foot on my land." So quick, this vassal, to claim ownership over what is properly House Cindravale's. But if Kirra notices her impolitic choice of words, she doesn't show it. Idle fingers keep time by tapping against her sides, counting up all the seconds in which she'll ignore Xenona's polite inquiry into her Lady's health.

"I fear I had something a bit more important in mind than your latest script, Xenona," Lucretia tells her niece. "But, that can be discussed as well." The older brunette does give an amused look to Kirra as she essentially claims the Fortress, but in reality, it is everyone's, so she pays little mind to it besides offering, "I pray everyone defends their home with such dedication. It is going to be needed in the coming months." Fingers tapping against her staff, Lu muses, "It will be important for all of us to work together, too. It will be interesting to see how our knights offer aid amidst the forest. We shall have to hope they can defend themselves for the most part, won't we?"

Xenona glances aside at Lucretia. "Something important like that last fire lancer fiasco, or something important like anything to do with returning to the White Tower? If it's the latter, the answer is still no," she says firmly, her wry smile holding a warm fondness. "I have my work, and we'll all be needed here in coming weeks. But that said, I should likely plan a trip to Khar-Mordune soon, this conversation regarding defensive placement has given me an idea," she murmurs. And just like that, the writer's attention wanders completely, as do her footsteps - right into the path of an incoming team of horses.

Kirra watches the inevitable collision with her arms still folded across her chest, eyebrows raised. And then, to Lucretia: "Perhaps the forest-knights should invest in very small horses," she suggests, her face studiously blank. "Or very large dogs." A pause. "Well. Good evening, then." And with a quick nod of farewell, she strides back down the eastern road, cloak and woman quickly vanishing into the teeming crowds.

"I'm not going to make you go back to the Tower," Lucretia answers with a roll of her eyes, "Even if I know it'd be good for you. But, it is related to that in a way, yes. Related to what you are, what we both are. As I imagine you know it is. So do not be obsti—" The Witch trails off as she steps forward to grab her niece by the arm and yank her out of the way, "Xenona. Pay attention, or the Hostiles won't be the problem for you." The driver of the team of horses likely has the good sense to not yell at the pair.

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