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The Phoenix Rose From The Ashes [IC] (Closed)

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Tarlachia
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Founded: Dec 09, 2003
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The Phoenix Rose From The Ashes [IC] (Closed)

Postby Tarlachia » Sat Feb 05, 2011 11:58 am

OOC: Fatal Terrain members only please. Thanks.

IC:

The Situation
Over a year has passed since the fall of the nation known as 'Cat's Keep', a shadow nation that fit snugly in mountainous terrain between the Empires of Tarlachia and Tanaara. The small nation, ruled by Lady Shalamar, has collapsed for no apparent reason to the vast majority of the world, but the truth speaks otherwise. On January 17th of the last year, there was a final message sent to all executive offices of the Fatal Terrain region bearing solemn news for those audiences.

Code: Select all
My Dear Friends,
The world is calm, and the journey together has been long. The years; the eons; have worn my soul to exhaustion, and it is now that I must tell you that my presence here is no longer needed. You are each strong in your own right, and I urge you to seek the common ground despite your differences. You are a region unlike any other, and you will prosper.

"Cause there's one truth I have found, And it's never let me down
When you stock up on joy, there's enough to go ‘round."

I wish for you my friends, and family,

May joy find you, fill you and turn your life upside down in the best sort of way!

Kindly Your Friend Forever,
Lady Shalamar
Cat's Keep


It was on that day that any Keepians in any nation of Fatal Terrain had vanished, leaving behind a void and only a memory of their presence. But, strangely the 'collapse' of Cat's Keep had a much greater international effect than any could have predicted. The regional economy was rocked with economical quakes so great that several other regional nations collapsed in the wake. But, those who persevered now can have faith, for the clouds of the changing world around them have cleared, and the sun is shining again... A new hope has risen from the ashes of a gone but not forgotten wise ruler...

Currently in Tarlachia

The morning sun was strong today, for the winter was slowly coming to an end here in Tarlachia. The mountains trapped much of the cooler weather between its eastern and western fronts, funneling the brisk cold air of the northern lands down into the southern lands and ultimately into the Upper Indonen Sea. In Turath, the capital city of Tarlachia, a gathering had been called of all available regional rulers to kick start the lethargy and evict the bleak political atmosphere that had plagued the region for the past year since the collapse of Cat's Keep.

Aeris, the empress of Tarlachia, stood in front of an open window facing the outer courtyard of her castle. Her children, Avanya and Thomas were in their rooms getting ready for presenting themselves as they were. Children of Royalty. Her husband, the Archon of Tanaara, was on a flight to here from his nation, but he wouldn't be here for a few hours at the least. It was fine, for the clandestine meeting of the region's greatest would not happen until later on tonight, after the sun had set.

Aeris found herself wishing she could speak to Lady Shalamar, asking her of her opinion and advice of the situation in Fatal Terrain. The economy had sank noticeably, but the heart of the regional economy was still beating, though it was weakened. Turning her eyes now to the heavens where the clouds were sparse on this day, she could see the last of the stars in the east still stubbornly refusing to be washed away in the glare of the morning sun. That star, she had named after Lady Shalamar in a fashion; known by astrologists and citizens throughout the region as the Phoenixa. Coincidentally, it had shown up only a month after Lady Shalamar's last message to all of Fatal Terrain, and Aeris had a feeling it was Shalamar's work in providing something for her friends to remember her by.

And then, the sun rose completely over the horizon and the sky brightened exponentially, and the Pheonixa star was at long last, washed from the black velvet of the night sky. It would return again the next night, but for now it would rest from the searching eyes of Fatal Terrain.

"It's time." Aeris said quietly as she blinked her eyes at the sun's glare and turned her back on the eastern window. She strode down the hall, and down the wide stairs, turned the corner, and entered the dining hall where she found her children already eating.

Avanya's eyes lit up brightly as she saw her mother, and she spoke between bites, "It's still there, isn't it?" Avanya knew of the star, and so did her brother, Thomas. Thomas ceased eating his eggs benedict meal to look up at his mother as well.

Aeris smiled slightly, "Of course it is. And it will always be there for us to remember the wise reign of a woman whose influence was far and wide in the best way possible."

Aeris seated herself across from her children, right as one of the servants set down a plate of steaming hot breakfast food in front of her. A pitcher each of water,orange juice sat in front of them, next to hot tea in its own container. She helped herself to a cup of tea first, savoring its warmth and flavor.

"Now, children, I don't need to remind you that today's meeting is important. Once the initial greetings are over, you two are to go off on your own and stay out of trouble. Understood?" Aeris said with a stern motherly tone at the end of her small speech. Both of the children nodded, "Yes Mother."

"Good. Today is going to be a good day." Aeris replied at last. It was a day long waited for, and overdue.

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Kalhona
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Founded: Oct 16, 2010
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Postby Kalhona » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:31 pm

The cold air nipped at Lizzy's finger tips as she took a long pull from a stainless steel mug. It had been years since Perdido had experienced its last hard freeze, before she had turned 16. Now, at 28, she enjoyed the day off from her position as the freshman member of the President's foreign advisory council. Pulled up in a dark green hoody and sweat pants, she quietly cherished the fact that most Kalhonan's couldn't operate well on ice or in the snow. As she rocked back and forth on the swinging bench on the front porch of her father's house, she let thoughts of ambassadorial relations and how the public policy of other nation's impacted Kalhona, and instead thought to the hope of family as she always had.

Her ring finger was still bear, but she knew it was only a matter of time till Daniel proposed. His most recent promotion to the head of security at the Wellspings Casino and Resort had been a major boon, and the jump in pay back to over five hundred thousand Kalhonan dollars a year from the previous of only seventy five thousand meant it was time to start thinking about a real future. He had even been the first to bring up the conversation when the casino had opened up a jewelry store just a month ago. And the Lizzy thought back to her own family. Four brothers she had never met, only two had even been confirmed still alive. Her mother had died when she was young, just a child when the cancer struck, leaving her and her father alone in the sparsely populated Perdido Bay county.

She had never met Ryan Chaffin, and her father had thought his eldest son had died long ago, but it was akin to finding he prodigal son when he appeared in the background of a news story about mercenaries in Africa. Her father only seldom spoke of his oldest son, one he had never had the chance to know. What little Lizzy had heard was about the anger in him, an inescapable rage that had consumed him. But Lizzy had also heard the good. The destruction he brought about fell only upon those who deserved the wrath of a true warrior. A violent soul wandering a violent world, a man who had no home, and whose only real skill was the direct application of force upon those he was paid to do so. Every so often when they thought the worse, he would pop up on another news story, or another report that her father would simply nod and say "that's him."

Then there was her other brother, just a few years younger than Ryan, a statesman of the highest order was all she had been told. He would never name his second son to her, nor where he was know, but he knew and followed him in his own, round about ways. Her father had always been a sly man, a person who kept a king's council, yet was more often the king maker than the king. Her father know spoke very little on politics, but when he did, even the President would stop and listen and heed his advice.

Lizzy sighed, not knowing any more of her family, sometimes wishing that she had more. She and her father were close, that was no doubt, but she missed what she felt would have been the love of a close family with her brothers and mother. She was lost in the thought, and didn't hear the door creek open as her father stepped out onto the porch. She snapped away from her thoughts when he sat next to her and took the mug from her hands.

A long pull and he made a sour face. "You make that stuff way too sweet."

The drink was nothing more than melted chocolate with a few spoonfuls of sugar and a cup of milk. Lizzy had learned how to make if from her father, who made it stronger with more of the chocolate and less milk and sugar.

"Sorry dad. I just don't have your stomach," she said, smiling.

He put his arm around her and smiled out at the view of the bay. Even in the hard freeze that gave the salt grass an ice tipped look, the ocean was still a beautiful sight, one that her father had said finally relaxed him. She could see know he was getting older, his hair no longer brown but a sandy grey, and his ice no longer the deep blue they had always been. He had started to slow down now, easing his way through life instead of blasting through it. He still shot competitively, and it wasn't unusual for her and Daniel to run into him at the races. Occasionally he would host a a new car in his small shop out behind the house, a true piece of custom work for one of his friends. And at the gym, he still participated in boxing and combative sports, his taking it slow still faster and harder than most. But the tattoos were fading now, and the scars taking longer to heal. Yet he was happy, and in turn, Lizzy was happy.

"So any plans today?" she asked him. She knew he did, he was wearing a suit, and only wore a suit now when he absolutely had to.

"Gotta go talk to Tarrent. Need to give him some unsolicited advice. I'll be heading out here shortly, just want to see how you were doing."

"Just enjoying the time off." She looked up as a white Porsche rolled up in front of the house. Gunn obviously had the day off as well, as normally by now he was on his way to work in his modified Crown Vic, not braving the ice in one of his toys.

Lizzy's father stood. She had the option to live on the main island near the seat of government, or in one of the posh condos near the resort casinos on Talhachua Island where Daniel worked, but she lived with her father of her own free will. It wasn't that he couldn't live on his own, quite the opposite. No, she stayed with him because it made her feel secure in knowing he wasn't on his own in the already all but empty Perdidio Bay. He had never imposed on her, nor made it awkward for her and her boyfriend. In fact, he had welcomed the man with open arms, respecting where he had come from, and where he was going.

Lizzy stood as well. She walked towards the Porsche with her father, who was walking towards his own car to head to the airport. A private helicopter would be picking him up and taking him to the Kalhonan President's Mansion.

"You get the day off too hun?" she asked, hugging the solidly built man. She snuggled into him, trying to warm herself in his arms.

"Used some vacation. Left Sanchez in charge of the physical teams and Cook as over all security. Figured we could just hang out for the day."

She smiled, and so did her father, who extended his hand to Gunn. He took it in a hardy, but un-challenging shake. Gunn knew very well what the man could do, and knew that as fast and hard as he was, Lizzy's father was faster and harder.

"Good to see you Mr. Gunn, hows life treating ya?"

"Very good Mr. Fortier, very good."
___

"Mr. President, Robert Fortier is here to see you," the aide said, breaking the silence. Robert was one of the only people who the President waited for. When he was told Fortier was there to see him, he would drop everything.

Noble Tarrant was a young President by Kalhonan standards, only 47 when he took office. A sort of conservative leaning progressive mind, he had brokered an tense peace between the three different native islanders and the barely majority forty six percent white population as a senator, and it rocketed him to the top of the party for the Presidential races. After managing to survive a hard fought campaign without any mud slinging, he had one on a landslide vote, becoming the first true popular elected President. And then things turned slightly sour when parts of the island nation realized he was still a conservative leader, and certain items they felt would be at the forefront of his administration fell to the side. To his credit, Noble Tarrant had never promised anything he hadn't yet to deliver.

He had grown the military by a significant percentage, reduced debt in the process, and lowered tax rates freeing up more money to be spent in the private sector. However, other policies that had been established by controversial previous President's hadn't been touched like many had expected. He still hadn't turned over the national ban's on same sex marriage or abortion, and still held a somewhat harsh view on immigration. It was logical, the islands were almost stretched on their capacities on population, but the progressive left leaning groups questioned his stance on legalized prostitution and gambling while leaving their pet projects of gay marriage off the table.

"Robert," he stood, extending his hand, "what can I do for you."

Robert shook Noble's hand, and then took a seat. The president joined him moments later. They exchanged the usual banter, and then Robert began to speak on his own pet project. He had been the one to set up the Kalhonan Special Forces teams, and then worked with the President to bring in outside investors and work up public support for the Casino Resorts. He had Tarrant's ear without reserve, and would use that to his advantage now.

"I've always said we must be aware of our past in order to gauge our future, to test the waters of where we are going we must first know where those waters come from. I know I've spoken to you little about my past, and my home nation. I'm one of the few living Imitorans left on the planet, and one of the only ones who really knew what happened to us. I'm going to tell you a bit about our history, and about a very, very special person who helped Imitora become what it was at its high point, long before the fall."

For the next two hours, Tarrant sat, nearly spell bound as Robert told him the history of the relationship between Imitora, Tanara, and Cat's Keep. The shared adventure the three nations took as they expanded out into the world, a near brotherhood between the three cultures, one that culminated in Imitoran special forces soldiers, led by Robert, taming a coup that could have destroyed Tanara, and then the nations working together to stop demonic forces in the Demon War that gripped Tarlachia. He spoke of the rise of Imitora and Tanara as a joint hyper power, one that would not step down from any challenge in technology, science, or advancement of their nations. And then, he told how Imitora turned back to its isolationist stance, one that mimicked the nation as it was when allied with Iansisle, Celeborne, Larkinia, and Daezeman, and how it turned all industry to the advancement of its own destructive power. Robert closed with The Event, the fall of Imitora as it unleashed its own unholy hell upon the citizens of the once great nation.

He then told Noble of an event. A meeting, highly selective, private in nature. One that would be most esoteric to the rest of the world. Yet Robert still kept his king's council, and was often aware of far more than anyone would expect of him. It was a meeting of minds, one that would possibly bring a number of great nations back to the forefront of the world, one that would have great consequences for many people, and if Noble Tarrant played his cards right, Kalhona. The island nation would benefit greatly from this if the right person went.

"So," Tarrant spoke finally, "I know you have someone in mind. I might as well get a sign off on them so they speak with my authority."

"I have just the right person," Robert replied, taking a sip of water from a glass he had been offered. "Someone who has the blood of both Kalhona and Imitora in them, someone who has the spirit and fight of the Imitoran warrior culture, but the balance and respect of the Kalhonans."

Tarrant nodded, knowing exactly of who he spoke. It wasn't nepotism in the least. Robert would never suggest her if he felt she wasn't perfect for it. Tarrant printed out the form letter, signed it, and then folded it, closing it shut with the wax form of the Kalhonan Presidential Seal.

It read simply, 'I, President Noble William Tarrant, hereby grant Miss Elizabeth Mercy Fortier, to speak on my behalf. Her words are as mine'.
___

Lizzy looked again at the four paragraph long briefing sheet. She leaned back in the large, overstuffed seat on the Gulfstream, trying to figure exactly why she had been chosen as an ambassador to a meeting that she hadn't even been honestly invited to. She didn't even know exactly where she was going, only that the meeting would be taking place at night, and as soon as her father had confirmed its location, she would be taken there. Her request to bring Daniel along as 'security' had been denied. It wasn't horrible, he did eventually need to start his actual job as the Chief of Physical Security of Wellspring, and she felt safe enough on her own. Tarlachia was a safe nation, she had been told, a safety that the Imitorans had secretly envied.

She finished reading over the briefs of each country that would be in attendance, and a report from a group known as the Four Horsemen on who would more than likely represent each nation. The report had been written so informally that had first Lizzy had thought it to be nothing more than a news article, and not the most valuable piece of intelligence she had on the situation. Still, she questioned herself on why her father had suggested her to Tarrant. She was a freshman staffer for Foreign Affairs, and while she thought highly of her job the truth was she was nothing more than a somewhat over paid personal assistant to a slightly more over paid personal assistant. She read briefs, news stories, and low level classified documents and then summarized them for an arguably lazy boss. Then she made is coffee, took a long lunch, and finished off her days just reading the news. It was hardly high level work, and to be selected as an ambassador with a mission of such importance bordered on terrifying.

What if I fail, she questioned herself. What if I can't live up to what my father wants me to be, thinks I can do?

"Miss Fortier?" a voice from the cockpit called out. "We'll be landing soon."

Not more than half an hour later she had cleared diplomatic security, carrying only a single bag of clothes, and a diplomatic pouch with her briefings and President Tarrant's letter. She flagged down a cab to take her to the hotel her father had recommended, only to find that the room, a suite, had already been booked for her, and paid for. Lizzy tipped the bellman generously, and then sat on the bed, not quite sure what to do next.
Last edited by Kalhona on Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Brays Bastards
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Founded: Apr 21, 2010
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Postby Brays Bastards » Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:15 pm

As an individual aged, certain things that brought comforting, familiar memories meant a little more to said individual than a comparable younger person.

In Dekker's case, comforting sensations included the feeling of a serrated match-grade trigger under his right index finger and the heft of an all-steel M1911 in hand. The smell of old gunpowder ranked up there in with comforting sensations, too.

The harsh razz of the timer's buzzer rang through the PELTOR headset perched on his graying head, and on reflex his limbs sprang into action. The chair he'd been sitting in was kicked aside as he stood, right hand dropping to the well-worn checkered grip of a Kimber Gold Combat Railed model with a laundry-list of subtle modifications. A clean presentation from the Wilson Combat shark-skin holster was made as he rotated one-hundred and eighty degrees to square up with his targets.

His opponents in this instance weren't the usual fare, a trio of violent, well-trained paper silhouettes faced him at varying distances. The right-most was engaged off the draw as the pistol came up to eye-level for a flash sight picture square with the target's T-zone before his right index finger flexed twice and the muffled, distant booms of the rounds leaving the barrel, the front sight tracking to the second and third targets for a repeat performance.

The faint plink of empty .45 ACP brass hitting the bare concrete floor echoed in the empty range as the shooter scanned for additional threats and performed a tactical reload before flipping the safety to the up positon and returning the weapon to the holster. Dekker exhaled slowly, the sensation of shooting one of his favorite weapons was also one of the pleasureable and comforting variety. The PELTOR headset was set aside on the same table the timer had been sitting on, allowing him to check his relative 'score' for the session. It was at this time he became aware that he was being watched.

The fact that he hadn't heard the individual's entry to the range wasn't surprising, shooting that quicky with that degree of precision in the 'El Presidente' drill required a degree of focus that tended to tune out just about everything else in the room. Then again, the individual in question was a sneaky son of a bitch...


"Not bad, John Wayne. Holster the smokewagon and grab some fancy duds, we've got a party to attend..."

Dekker looked up from the timer to lock eyes with the speaker. Dull gold met a rather bloodshot set of ice-blue, with a slightly puzzled expression...

"Seriously Dek, you need to lay off the bourbon for breakfast..."

"Eh, screw you. It's five AM and breakfast isn't for another three hours..."

The speaker was an old friend of his, an Argonian assassin named Whiptail, and a current member of the small mercenary crew, and one of the few Dekker trusted above all others...

"Even still. Aeris and the Archon are having a commerative dinner for your old flame..."

Dekker reguarded his oldest living friend with a glare of combined interest and worry. There hadn't been a great many women in his life, his mistress had always been warfare and he'd heeded her sirens' call whenever she'd come knocking. That said, Lady Shalamar had been one of those few and her death had hit him a lot harder than either he or Whiptail had thought possible. Booze, particularly bourbon, had always been a crutch in times of emotional stress, and he'd been leaning on that crutch pretty hard lately...

"Get your mangey ass in the shower and I'll give Greg a WARNO for a flight to Tarlachia. Oh yeah, I also got an email from your son yesterday, and he'll be coming, too. Said he'd sent you one, but your luddite ass refuses to learn the ways of the internet. He's got some time off from MARSOC, apparently..."

Dekker just waved a dismissive hand as he trudged off towards the small bathroom his personal piece of their compound had on hand...
"Never forget those who died. Never forget those who killed them..."

"The problem with planning the fight against American doctrine is that the Americans don't read their manuals, nor do they feel any compulsion to follow their doctrine..." -Unknown Soviet Junior LT

"Imma kill you, fool!" -Boscoe 'B.A.' Baracus

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Tarlachia
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Founded: Dec 09, 2003
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Postby Tarlachia » Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:24 pm

The day passed relatively quietly save for the crews bustling about in preparation for the coming commemorative dinner. In the main hallways, clean elegant runners were laid out beneath the chandeliers that spanned the ceiling. Just indoors of the main entrance, there was a room for those who wished to leave aside their coats and in certain cases their weapons, for there would be no danger tonight. However, the Empress well understood that some people were of the sort to simply desire carrying their pieces with them, and she wasn't going to deny them the comfort of such devices. Those that were coming tonight were already known, and had cleared the list provided to to the security staff. Nor would she have the security staff at the doors feel compelled to remind the guests that they were being watched. Those that knew of her and her legislative decisions knew that law enforcement and the military were well taken care of and lacked in nothing, including training.

From the main doors, the guests would follow the sound of music that would filter down the halls until they entered the small dining room used for small gatherings as these. Of course there were other, much larger dining rooms for greater gatherings but that would have been wasted space. Upon entering, they would find themselves looking into a room that would hold a number of commemorative items and images of the late Lady of Cat's Keep. They would be allowed to mingle as they wished until all guests had arrived in a timely enough manner, and then the dinner would begin with a speech by the Empress herself.

That was the plan, and Aeris would see to it personally that nothing would be the proverbial monkey wrench tossed into the works.

In the dining room at just shy of one-thirty in the afternoon, Aeris was directing a duo of men working together to hang an overly large photograph of the late Lady Shalamar on the side wall, where later it would be surrounded by the finest flowers and roses from the Empress's own private gardens. Candles would sit accordingly amongst them and illuminate the flora whilst the guests would be invited to leave their own flowers or notes for the Lady. Later, after the guests had gone home, Aeris would confer with her best elven associates, and they would cast a unique, and very rarely used spell that would temporarily open the realms of life and the afterlife, during which time the gifts and flowers would be sent through and delivered to their friend. Then, the port-way would be shut again, and it would not be opened again.

Such a feat would be dangerous, because it was at moments like that, that the vulnerability of both realms would be most apparent, and should something attempt to breach the barrier in either direction, it could cause irreparable damage. But, Aeris would be sure to have safeguards in place to arrest such problems before they got out of hand and uncontrollable.

The clinking of dishes on the tables echoed softly in the room as several waiters worked to prepare the dining room for the dinner. Already, the smell of cooking food was wafting occasionally from the kitchen, and Aeris felt her stomach grumble. After ensuring the photograph was in place securely, she entered the kitchen and helped herself to some food for lunch. After lunch, she would go and begin to personally prepare for the dinner, and making sure that those guests that chose to arrive extra early, would be shown to a sitting room with a full service bar and other means of relaxation would be at their behest.

The main event would begin just prior to sunset, and it would extend well into the night as long as the guests chose to remain. None would be urged to leave unless they wished, and should they choose to do so, they would be invited to stay the night in the castle in one of many guest rooms available, and they would reconvene in the morning for a non-formal breakfast.

First however, the sun would have to mark the passage of this day's hours.

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Assington
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Postby Assington » Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:46 am

Dragonic Peaks, Khadrim

Boris Lepedius, President of Assington, was always a little awestruck whenever he was invited inside the vast dwellings the dragons of Khadrim called home. The laws of physics had obviously been bent here as the mountain peak caves clearly provided more space than was physically possible but Boris knew that was well within the arcane abilities of the creatures residing within. Despite such Boris kept himself composed as he was led into a smaller chamber and seated at a table that appeared to be made of polished bone. The table was quite small by dragon standards so Boris figured it was likely used to accommodate human guests. Already seated was the stunning form of Ryath, the dragon leader in Khadrim and member of the High Council. Ryath was a golden dragon and possessed the ability unique to her specific sub-species of being able to shift her form into near anything she desired. When dealing with humans she took the form of an unnaturally stunning young woman who looked more South American than like any woman found in Khadrim. Taking his seat across the table, Boris returned the smile Ryath flashed him as she offered a welcome.

"Good to see you again Boris. I trust all is well back home?"

Boris nodded. Over the past year the nations of Assington and Khadrim had grown quite close. The late Lady Shalamar had helped rid Khadrim of Xerxes and his most devout followers. Boris had also pledged his support in assisting Khadrim rebuilt as a fair portion of the population had been devastated. The combination of Assington's technology and Khadrim's magical practitioners had made the process quite swift and the nation was starting to return to normal.

"As well as can be expected. We've noticed an increase in demonic activity recently but nothing too significant. As you well know, there's always something that needs a leader's attention."

Ryath nodded at that then looked to the letter in her hands. Boris didn't need to ask to know it was Shalamar's final communication to her friends and regional peers. Very little information existed on what happened to Shalamar and her nation but her letter at least ruled out any form of foul play. Boris never truly understood what she was but that seemed to be the case with a lot of the inhabitants of Fatal Terrain. Past presidents seemed to have it easier when the only bizarre issue to deal with was the odd vampire. These days the region was full of elves, demons, dwarves, intergalactic beings of unknown ages and apparently the odd angel. It was certainly a lot to take in when one had initially believed such things did not exist.

"Yes, no doubt the demons will be something to monitor. As I understand it, Shalamar was a significant force in preventing their expansion throughout the region."

"Indeed. I'm not sure what she did but it was effective. How are things here, have you encountered any of their kind?"

Ryath shook her head. The nation had been so engrossed in the rebuilding effort that they probably wouldn't have noticed if a small demonic force marched over the borders but it did seem unlikely. Their kind was not usually able to hide when in any sort of group.

"Not that we've noticed. Our major cities seem to be back to usual. Although I am concerned about the mages and their people. Even after all this time they have not found a replacement for Thor. They simply argue over and over without ever getting anywhere. Humans of all people seem to need a leader but they make it very difficult to ever settle on one."

Boris chuckled slightly. Some humans might take offence at that remark but he knew it to be well true and wouldn't deny Ryath's blunt honesty. It was somewhat discouraging that Thor's replacement had still yet to be elected but that was an internal issue for the humans of Khadrim and something he could not influence.

"True, we rarely make things easy for ourselves. So is it time for us to head over to Tarlachia?"

Ryath closed her eyes for a moment as if to shut off the distraction of physical vision then slowly nodded.

"Yes, the sun is starting to descend over there. Let's go."

Without further prompting Boris rose and strode to the other side of the table, lightly placing an arm on Ryath's shoulder. Within moments his vision was engulfed by an overwhelming golden light and by the time it cleared he found himself standing in Tarlachia, gazing at the sun as it plunged towards the horizon. Ryath and Boris stood well outside the venue as Aeris had obviously ensured it was strongly warded. The walk didn't bother either of them and they began to move towards the castle. No doubt they would be intercepted by some attendant that had been posted to keep watch for arriving guests but for the moment they were by themselves, engrossed in idle banter as if the pair were old friends.

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Kalhona
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Founded: Oct 16, 2010
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Postby Kalhona » Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:28 pm

The concierge couldn't help but smile back at the Kalhonan. Lizzy's smile was nothing short of infectious, and had been one of her greatest assets. The smile had been enough to stop more than just a handful of bar fights that some of her male friends had tried to start in her college years, and her father had said more than once that the smile alone could break the hardest men.

"I'll have a car brought around for you right away Miss Fortier. They will know exactly where to take you. Some of the best shopping around."

Lizzy thanked him, then headed to the front of the lobby where indeed a car was waiting. The black Audi A8 long wheel base was pristine, the black paint shimmering in the late afternoon sun. Robert had finally gotten in touch with her just a few moments ago, giving her the location of the ball, and confirming that she was indeed on the list. He had pulled a few strings with the horsemen for that one, but they had been glad to help them, returning the owed favor or two. However, to her dismay, when the dress code was mentioned, Lizzy found herself at a loss. She had packed plenty of clothes for most forms of diplomatic meetings, but not a single formal gown.

That was what brought her to the car. The concierge had informed the driver to take Lizzy to the best shopping areas in Tarlachia till she had satisfied her needs. It took most of the afternoon, but she had finally found a proper gown for the evening. A light blue material that hugged her in all the right places, with a not to conservative but not to revealing neck line, and an all but open back with matching blue heels. She finished it off with a small black clutch. The full ensemble came courtesy of the Kalhonan tax payer, but on the ride back to the hotel, Lizzy's discussion with the treasury contact told her not to worry. Diplomats had spent far more on single night parties or gifts for other ambassadors, a dress, shoes, and purse would be but a small drop in the bucket.

Returning to the hotel, she shoved a few hundred dollar notes in Tarlachian currency into the driver's hand, and asked him to wait. She would need a full time driver for the night. She returned to her room, quickly changed, and just under an hour later was back in the car. Elizabeth handed the driver the directions to the venue, and in a short period of time they arrived. They were early, as was Lizzy's habit from her mother, but not turned away. A guide showed Elizabeth to the sitting room, informing her that guests were just starting to arrive.

"Get a drink," her father had told her over the phone. "Doesn't have to be booze, but it eases people to see you with a drink. Disarms them, if you will."

Taking her father's advice, she approached the bar and ordered a vodka and cranberry over club soda, and waited for the other guests.

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Brays Bastards
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 366
Founded: Apr 21, 2010
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Postby Brays Bastards » Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:04 am

The flight from the swamplands had been a fairly uneventful one. Dekker had slept off most of his hang-over, while Whiptail had passed the time with his blunt snout uncharacteristically shoved into a biography of one of Argonia's most prominent social progressives. He'd taken up reading lately as a more effective and productive pass-time than his usual habit of wasting away his free time in a marijuanna-induced haze. Indeed, it seemed the more so he moved away from his drug habits the deeper Dekker seemed to descend into whatever whiskey bottle he'd somehow smuggled past the assassin's watchful eyes.

The thought had occoured to him that perhaps it was his friend's own self-destructive behavior that was driving him away from his own bad habits. There was merit to the arguement, but then again his peculiar constitution gave him a resiliency uncommon among his kind, and unfortunately the physical durability wasn't shared by Dekker's comparitively frail human body. Whatever sorcerous jump-start Shalamar had given him during their time together had undoubtedly saved his life. At the rate the man threw back a staggeringly diverse array of scotch, whiskey, bourbon, and occasionally tequila (which Whiptail had officially banned from the compound after the last incident), his liver should have failed him several years ago. Then again it might have already failed and the stubborn bastard was just refusing to die. In Whiptail's mind, either seemed to be equally plausible.

Good news had brightened his world view when he'd recieved word that Dekker's son was joining them on this little diplomatic forary, and even better when he'd revealed to Whiptail that he'd be retiring from the military to follow the family business. It meant that the Bastards were going to get a little bigger, and new blood was always good. On a happier note, it also meant that Whiptail's usual duties of making sure their illustrious leader didn't drink himself to death could be shared with someone else.

The faint jolt of the landing gear coming into contact with the tarmac seemed to rouse Dekker from his fitful, alcohol-incuded slumber, and saved Whiptail the trouble of booting him in the shin...


"Rise and shine sleeping ugly. We're here."

The combination growl and irritated stream of muttered profanity behind him meant that Dekker was indeed awake and mobile, if not exactly willing. He emerged stretching his immense frame with a fitful cracking of over-abused cartlidge...

"Short flight..."

"I wouldn't call ten hours a short flight, but then again I didn't spend the past three days at the bottom of a bottle..."

"You're right, you didn't. Otherwise I might have seen you there..."

"Every time we spoke you didn't seem coherent enough to remember a damn thing I said..."

"That's because it was the same old bullshit about how I need to quit drinking, and I'm not hearing it Godzilla..."

By now, they'd both exited the small private plane and nodded a farewell to their pilot, a fellow Bastards member named Greg Torres, who knew better than to involve himself in whatever discussion the two of them were squabbling about...

"The fact that you spout out that same generalization says that you didn't listen to me at all you fuckin' ass! All I said was that you should ease up on the rocket fuel, that's all..."

"And I'll take your advice under advisement, like usual..."

"Which means I can basically go fuck myself, eh?"

"Hey, you can phrase it however you want to phrase it..."

Whiptail simply brushed past Dekker as the grizzled old merc adjusted the polo shirt over the pistol he habitually wore, moving towards the terminal building where a familiar figure was standing just inside the glass doors...

"Well I'll be damned..."

For the first time in a long time, a genuine smile crossed Dekker's scarred features. It had been nearly six years since he'd seen his son...
Last edited by Brays Bastards on Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Never forget those who died. Never forget those who killed them..."

"The problem with planning the fight against American doctrine is that the Americans don't read their manuals, nor do they feel any compulsion to follow their doctrine..." -Unknown Soviet Junior LT

"Imma kill you, fool!" -Boscoe 'B.A.' Baracus

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Pallica
Political Columnist
 
Posts: 2
Founded: Feb 09, 2011
Ex-Nation

Postby Pallica » Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:14 am

Alexander Stoikopolis sat in the passenger seat of the helicopter as it made its way towards Tarlarchia. Not even a year ago, the thirty-seven year old man was nothing but a leader of a rag tag bunch of mercenaries, now he was the Emperor of an entire nation. The entire region of Fatal Terrain had suffered greatly after the "fall" of Cat's Keep and the departure of Lady Shalamar, with once strong and safe lands becoming a battleground for renegade militias, dissidents, and would be warlords. His mercenary company had always only taken on contracts that he himself had deemed worthy of their resources and manpower, as he had certain standards for committing men to any cause. Any mercenary group could have taken whatever offer came there way but Alexander always ensured that their offers came from those who had honorable intentions and a just cause. It had meant turning down many lucrative contracts from time to time, but if his men would have had anything to stand on, it would be their honor.

That honor was what had ensnared him into a desperate fight from militant refugees from the collapsing governments within the region. His men had operated near the river delta in the Cat's Keep Protectorate, which the locals called the Pallican. With lawlessness about and the towns around the protectorate coming under attack, Alexander had decided to commit his men to defending those people that had called the protectorate their home. Though the urban fighting proved a challenge, one that cost Alexander a good quarter of his men, after two months of combat, his forces managed to fully repel the would be invaders. Alexander had not wanted the admiration of those he had saved, as by saving them he was only protecting himself and his operation, yet the people had given him the admiration and gratitude for saving them. With Cat's Keep now gone, the entire Protectorate was left to its own devices. The locals saw only one option and that was to pledge their support to Alexander and his men. Reluctantly and with some great urging from his lieutenants, Alexander stepped into the position of "Emperor" of the Pallican, his mercenaries becoming a standing army to defend this new "Empire".

Though much of the infrastructure was still in tact from when Cat's Keep had been protecting the area, some of it had been damaged during the combat with the invaders. With domestic issues to contend with, Alexander inadvertently brought his new country into a temporary isolation. While he and his men went about repairing the damaged infrastructure throughout the Pallican, an independent contractor was hired by the citizenry who began to convert what had been the mercenaries headquarters into a capitol building and design the growth of a city around the structures. Though much of the construction was still underway, a small but bustling city had popped up around the makeshift capitol building, with the renovations to the building nearly complete. As part of the process of the metamorphism of the lands from a collected group of towns under a protectorate to its own empire, Alexander decided to adopt the name of Pallica for the kingdom, keeping true to the roots that the native populace that had put him in power in the first place.

He had been merely content to continue to set up the domestic ventures of the new country that was now under his rule, but a letter from Aeris of Tarlachia inviting him to a meeting of the region's "best" had caught his eye. If he had truly been sent the letter from the Empress, then it meant that the international community was at least willing discuss the recognition of the nation. Attending the meeting would allow him to further that cause, as well as establish Pallica's official borders and trade with its regional neighbors. Though its own domestic business had sufficed for the recovery, Alexander knew enough that eventually Pallica would need outside commerce if it was to thrive as a nation. Though he doubted his "nation" was entirely ready for him to depart on such a venture, if he was successful it meant a brighter future for all those within his borders.

"Emperor, we are fifteen minutes out." the pilot of the craft spoke to him, bringing Alexander from his recollection. Many of these leaders he suspected had used his mercenary band at some point or another, either directly or through unofficial channels. The look on their faces would be interesting when they would see a former mercenary captain as a leader of a nation. Yet it was up to him to show them that he was not just some military warlord, but a true leader for the people of his lands. That knowledge kept him from grinning at the thought of his fellow leaders surprises. Too much was at stake for him to take pleasure from such petty things, Pallica needed him to be the leader they had appointed. "That is good news sergeant. We have made good time, you have my thanks."

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Tarlachia
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 118
Founded: Dec 09, 2003
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Postby Tarlachia » Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:28 pm

The afternoon saw the arrival of representatives, beginning with the sudden appearance of two representatives of one of Tarlachia's oldest allies. Assington, and it's sister nation Khadrim, had been allies with Tarlachia since the days of its youth, long before Tarlachian government had even dreamed of empire. Together, they had grown up as allied nations, sharing in technology and goods, skills and other faucets of appropriate exchange. These representatives were representatives by the guards, for they had all been given a list of expected dignitaries and had been instructed to memorize the list with all diligence. As it was, they were greeted warmly, and shown into the appropriate bar room.

Shortly afterwards, Elizabeth Fortier of Kalhona, by whose last name was well known and whom also carried a certified official letter regarding her presence at this event, was admitted to the same room where she promptly made herself the first to approach the bar for a drink of preference. That was fine, for this was a casual party with a formal enough dress code. Formality didn't mean that the guests would be forced to remain completely sober. Just sober enough to not cause trouble that alcohol was known for expediating.

Speaking of alcoholic influences, the eventual arrival of the Argonian and his Bastard friend, the latter whom was clearly still attempting his finest to retain a semblance of order and composure. They too, were shown to the room, and an invitation was given for them to partake of drinks as they chose. However, the usher did take a moment to lean in closer to Dekker and speak, "You should probably drink little if at all. It wouldn't do to offend the Empress."

Then, came the arrival of the representative of the newest nation to rise up in the Fatal Terrain realm. His helicopter was directed by air traffic to a nearby airport, and upon disembarking, the emperor was directed to a nearby limousine that whisked him swiftly to the castle and to the private party he was attending.

Others would come, and depending on when they arrived, they would be directed by the staff to the appropriate room to join everyone else.

As the people mingled and began to greet one another, there was movement in another part of the castle; the private quarters of the Empress and her family. Aeris, dressed in an elegant evening gown, was leading the entourage consisting of her two children and her husband, the Archon of Tanaara. Robert in his standard evening tuxedo, was escorting his wife. Avanya and Thomas; both nearly twelve years of age now; were dressed well, and they held themselves in a well practiced posture as they followed their parents down the hallways and finally to the waiting room where music could be heard and the chattering of the guests mixed pleasantly amongst the soft notes of musical pieces.

Taking a moment to glance at her family and ensure all were without mishap, Aeris smiled at them and nodded before she turned and took the last few steps that revealed their presence to the others. In that moment, the music quieted and Aeris's voice rang out gently but with an air of authority.

"Welcome, my friends. It pleases me to see you have all chosen to honor us with your presence on this auspicious night. Please, take some more time as you wish to greet one another and get more comfortable. And please, help yourselves to whatever drink you wish. You'll find it is fully stocked with every drink imaginable in all of Fatal Terrain and beyond."

And that was it. The music turned up again, and Aeris moved into the room, ready for whomever chose to approach her first and greet her personally. Her husband remained with her, while the children were allowed at this point to move about as they wished.

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Assington
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Founded: Antiquity
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Postby Assington » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:33 am

Boris always appreciated these events hosted by Tarlachia. Aeris had a keen eye for simple yet eloquent settings that usually put himself and others at ease. Additionally he always appreciated the ample refreshments she provided. Standing a few paces from the bar, Boris could see it was well stocked and it only took him a few moments of perusing the fridge to find his target. Sitting in the top right corner were a number of bottles with the familiar logo of the Pack Mule brewery. The logo itself was an image of a small mule suspended in the air as the weight of beer kegs in the wagon behind it had one out and lifted the frantic animal off the ground. The brewery was only small but their flagship beer was an impeccable imperial oatmeal stout that Boris had developed quite an addiction for. Upon spotting it he promptly moved towards the bar and ordered a pint for himself, well aware that Ryath would not wish one.

Ryath watched as Boris made a bee-line for the bar then turned her attentions to the rest of the room. As a relative newcomer to the international scene in Fatal Terrain she was not familiar with everyone, although she did recognise Dekker and Whiptail from previous meetings. Before she move to greet the pair the music dulled, signalling the arrival of someone important. Ryath smiled and nodded when she saw Aeris, happy to see the Empress once again. Since the demise of Cats Keep and Lady Shalamar, Assington and Tarlachia had stepped in to help Khadrim integrate into the region.

With her greeting out of the way, Ryath strode up to Aeris and was the first to greet her with a friendly hand shake.

"It's good to see you again Aeris. I trust all is well?"

Ryath took a momentary glance over to the bar to see where Boris was. The man was taking his first sip of a liquid as black as night, topped with a frothy white head. He swore by the various alcoholic beverages he consumed but Ryath had no interest in such. As a dragon the only liquid she drank was water and she felt no need to change that, even if she did assume a humanoid form.

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Brays Bastards
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 366
Founded: Apr 21, 2010
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Postby Brays Bastards » Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:47 pm

Dekker resisted the urge to snarl at the attendant when they'd suggested he not drink too much, but an elbow from both his son and his long-time friend killed the urge. Bray junior and Whiptail shuffled the old merc upstairs with almost indecent haste...

"See? I'm not the only one..."

All Whiptail got in reply was a muffled, and rather indignant, grunt...

"You been hitting the sauce a little hard there, Dad?"

The concern was evident in Sam's voice. The younger Bray looked quite a bit like his father, minus the facial scarring and the lines of years of scowling across countless battlefields, as well as the sheer size difference. There were elements of his mother apparent in his visage, however. He lacked Dekker's blue eys, instead inheriting his mother's green gaze. Aside from that, however, the resemblance to a younger Dekker was nearly disturbing, when one discounted the slimmer, non-bodybuilder frame the younger Bray sported...

"Eh, Godzilla will probably brief you at some point. Until then I don't see a point discussing it..."

Appearing constantly drunk in front of one's best friend was one thing, but doing it in front of one's son was another matter entirely. Dekker could care less what Aeris thought of his personal habits, but he wouldn't have his legacy remembering him as little more than a washed-out drunk. The trio changed more or less in silence, Sam and Whiptail swapping a few stories since they'd last met, while Dekker crammed his hulking physique into a tuxedo with a red bowtie. Whiptail was the most casual, forgoing the tie period in favor of an open collar.

Then again, when one didn't sport a neck tattoo it really didn't matter how high the collar was. Dekker seemed rather uncomfortable, but it was his own fault. Sam had decided on the classic tux, black bow-tie, and a bit of gel in his slowly-fading high-and-tight haircut.

Once they were down stairs, Dekker made a literal bee-line to the nearest bar and promptly ordered a glass of scotch, while Sam made due with a glass of champagne and Whiptail a flute of hist-wine...


"Damn good year..."

He remarked, with a faint clicking of his reptillian tongue. He made a motion to offer Sam some, but the younger man politely waved the pungent beverage away...

"I'll pass, man. Thanks though..."

Covertly he pulled Whiptail aside, leading him away from his brooding father...

"So why are we here, aside from the obvious shoulder-rubbing bullshit?"

The assassin eyed him cooly, after a quick glance over his shoulder...

"It's a memorial for a former head of state your father used to be involved with. She died recently, and it's hit him pretty hard. Poor bastard survives this long in this rough profession and it's a woman that finally sends him reeling. Go figure..."

Sam simply nodded sagely, taking a sip from his glass...

"Maybe we should leave him to stew for a bit. There anybody I need to meet?"

"Come to think of it, yes there is..."

The dark-scaled assassin gently grabbed Sam by the arm and began to lead him towards the small knot of chatting diplomats...
"Never forget those who died. Never forget those who killed them..."

"The problem with planning the fight against American doctrine is that the Americans don't read their manuals, nor do they feel any compulsion to follow their doctrine..." -Unknown Soviet Junior LT

"Imma kill you, fool!" -Boscoe 'B.A.' Baracus

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Kalhona
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 56
Founded: Oct 16, 2010
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Postby Kalhona » Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:21 pm

Her father would have hung her for what she ordered. Then again, he was a fan of the classics, and moving away from the tradition was akin to murder.

"Grey Goose martini, little dirtier than usual, and ice cold. Stirred."

She watched as the bartender pulled down the frosted bottle of vodka, and took a brief look around at the arriving diplomats. She went to work trying to associate the faces to names she had in the files. A few quickly came together, a few others she stored away to meet with later. Her primary goal was to work the diplomatic circuit, to set the base for future relationships. However, for now, it was the initial elbow rubbing and meet and greet. As the clear liquid hit the shaker, she ran through the main topics in her head. None of it was the best dinner conversation: rebels in the north, a small touch of civil unrest in the cities, the economy sitting on shaky ground. There were the high notes, including the oh so enthralling discussions of pineapple crops and a good growth season for coconut, and the Perdido Island Mojito festival, but in the real world of Kalhona, not all was well.

As the server placed the chilled martini glass in front of her, Lizzy noticed that the murmur of the crowd die down as a small entourage entered the room. She instantly recognized the Empress, her husband who had a strange similarity about him, and her children.

Welcome, my friends. It pleases me to see you have all chosen to honor us with your presence on this auspicious night. Please, take some more time as you wish to greet one another and get more comfortable. And please, help yourselves to whatever drink you wish. You'll find it is fully stocked with every drink imaginable in all of Fatal Terrain and beyond

Elizabeth looked down at the martini, and took a sip. "A step ahead, I guess," she mentioned under her breath.

She was about to leave the bar when she noticed she had been flanked for lack of a better term by two diplomats. One was already nursing a beer, something that made the dark stuff her father drank look lighter than a Corona, and another well built man who looked about five seconds away from rearranging someone's face just because it would have amused him.

The bartender placed the glass of scotch in front of him, and Elizabeth nodded.

"My father would like that. He pretty much sticks to the Glenfiddich these days. He like the old stuff."

She paused for a minute, and took another sip of the vermouth and vodka combo.

"Elizabeth Fortier, from Kalhona," she said, offering the merc her hand.

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Brays Bastards
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 366
Founded: Apr 21, 2010
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Postby Brays Bastards » Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:35 am

Dekker froze mid-sip, his eyes rotating to observe the young woman addressing him before replacing the glass on the table...

"That's a fine choice. With Aeris footing the bill I've opted for Johnny Walker Blue..."

The wry comment drew what looked like a forced smile across his scarred features, distorting the most prominent one the ran from his hair-line over his left eye and ended in his upper lip somewhat. He'd never been a charismatic individual, but a certain level of civil behavior and social skills were a fact of life in any sort of trade, including that of a soldier with a price tag.

The woman looked vaguely familiar, but Dekker was sure he hadn't met her before. While names were beginning to fail him in his later years, faces were still vivid memories he could recall at will. Not the most handy thing when your nightmares consisted of supressed violence, but handy when it came to endearing yourself to people...


"I don't believe we've met. I'm Dekker..."

A substantially-sized hand crossed his body to be offered to her in greeting. She was around Sam's age, perhaps a bit younger, and that might account for her familiarity. In all likelyhood she was the daughter of an old friend or professional aquaintance...
"Never forget those who died. Never forget those who killed them..."

"The problem with planning the fight against American doctrine is that the Americans don't read their manuals, nor do they feel any compulsion to follow their doctrine..." -Unknown Soviet Junior LT

"Imma kill you, fool!" -Boscoe 'B.A.' Baracus

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Kalhona
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 56
Founded: Oct 16, 2010
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Postby Kalhona » Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:10 am

I don't believe we've met. I'm Dekker.

Elizabeth accepted the proffered hand, it easily dwarfed hers.

"The pleasure is all mine, Dekker."

She took a sip from the frosted cocktail glass, the oily vodka and olive brine giving just the right amount of kick. She worked the name around for a brief moment before it hit her. Elizabeth had always been good with names, and Dekker was a name that had been spoken more than once at the dinner table. Her father had more than once told her stories of the handful of Fatal Terrain legends that made sure things in the background ran at least with a bit of order. Though few of them had ever met, most knew the names of each, a sort of esoteric fraternity of politicians, warriors, and adventurers that kept the region moving in the right direction.

"You wouldn't happen to be the same Dekker as Dekker Bray now, would you? And your scaled friend wouldn't happen to be Whiptail?"

Another sip of the martini, and her eyes drifted over to Bray's son and the Argonian moving towards Aeris.

"So, Dekker, do you come to these shindigs often?"

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Brays Bastards
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 366
Founded: Apr 21, 2010
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Postby Brays Bastards » Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:35 am

Dekker reguarded Elizabeth with a bit of a quizzical look, then her last name finally clicked over in his head...

"Unfortunately, that'd be me; and yes, that's Godzilla working his way towards Aeris. The guy with him is my son, Sam. I avoid these effing family reunions like an ex-wife, but this one seemed worth attending..."

It had been a very, very long time since he'd had any contact with anyone of Imitoran heritage, let alone a member of the Fortier clan...

"You wouldn't happen to be Rob's kid, would you? It's been a while since I've had any dealings with the Fortier clan. Last I checked he did some work on my brother's car..."

That wasn't a bad thing, most of the time. Usually when Whiptail and the rest of them were called up it was something bad, a prime example being the several weeks the two of them had spent working their way through the remains of a shattered nation to deal with some sort of prohibited weapons tech.

The booze had done a fine job of fogging that particular memory, all Dekker remembered was a lot of time in the woods, a lot of killing, and copious amounts of gunfire. There was a brief flash-back of staring down the sights of a supressed MK23 handgun before triggering a round into some unfortunate militiaman's head, but that particular incident had occoured so many times they were all starting to run together. Blue eyes darted across the room for an instant as he snapped out of the split-second reprieve...


"Aww dammit, Dad's got company..."

Whiptail turned to look back at the bar to find his old friend chatting with a woman who had to be half his age at the very most...

"Cut him some slack, Sam. Not many people find that ugly mug of his very conducive to conversation. Come to think of it, how the Hell did he meet your mother?"

"When you meet her, you'll know..."

"Meaning?"

"Meaning the term 'strong-willed' is an understatement, and Dad used to be one charming son-of-a-bitch way-back when..."

Whiptail simply emitted a grunt of understanding and took a sudden interest in the bottom of his wine glass. Human relationships always amused him, and he wondered for a moment if he'd get lucky again, he usually did pretty well at these diplomatic functions, in fact he'd spent a good bit of the birthday party for the host & hostess' twins chatting up a rather charming elven woman over a tray of champagne flutes...
Last edited by Brays Bastards on Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Never forget those who died. Never forget those who killed them..."

"The problem with planning the fight against American doctrine is that the Americans don't read their manuals, nor do they feel any compulsion to follow their doctrine..." -Unknown Soviet Junior LT

"Imma kill you, fool!" -Boscoe 'B.A.' Baracus

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Kalhona
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 56
Founded: Oct 16, 2010
Ex-Nation

Postby Kalhona » Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:21 pm

Unfortunately, that'd be me; and yes, that's Godzilla working his way towards Aeris. The guy with him is my son, Sam. I avoid these effing family reunions like an ex-wife, but this one seemed worth attending.

"Well, in that case, it is an honor and pleasure Mr. Bray. My father has talked quite a bit about you and some of the more public adventures of you and Whiptail. Then of course there are the 'I'l tell you when your older' remarks about some, but that would be dad just trying to protect me."

She took another pull from the cocktail glass, following his eyes across the room.

You wouldn't happen to be Rob's kid, would you? It's been a while since I've had any dealings with the Fortier clan. Last I checked he did some work on my brother's car.

Lizzy laughed.

"I like how you put that, one of them. Yes, Robert Fortier is my dad, to the best of the knowledge I'm the youngest of the group. No. Clan. I like that. Yeah, I am the youngest of the clan. I've been trying to trace down my two older brothers, but I don't know the younger of the two, and the older one runs around the world with so many different aliases it is hard to pinpoint him. I just think dad was finally happy to get someone with the double X chromosome."

She paused as the line to meet with Aeris and Rob grew longer with Sam and Whiptail stepping in. She got the vibe the scaly one was looking for more than expanding diplomatic relations in the most basic of terms. Now, diplomatic relations, that made sense. She couldn't get a read from Sam, but then again, she only had a tenth of her father's innate ability to read into what people were thinking.

"I can't say that I would avoid these sort of things, but its my first time out to one. Not quite what I'm used to with what we consider diplomatic functions back home, but in Kalhona, short sleaved Guayabera shirts and well made Alhoa shirts and board shorts are considered business casual. Hell, this is my third evening dress to ever own."

She tossed back the rest of the martini, and pulled the olive garnish off the stir stick. She flagged down the bartender, ordered another martini, than turned again to face the room.

"Tell you what Mr. Bray. Looks like your son and Whiptail have the wingman thing down pretty well. I think you know some of these people far better than I do. At least you've been around them. Why don't you grab your scotch, and grab another for the road."

The bartender put down another martini in front of Lizzy. She lifted the glass, and slipped her free arm under one of Dekker's.

"And you can be my escort for the night. Because I'm not meeting the Empress of Tarlachia and her husband solo."

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Brays Bastards
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 366
Founded: Apr 21, 2010
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Postby Brays Bastards » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:27 pm

Dekker raised a quizzical eyebrow before ordering another glass and dumping its contents into the first before rising from his seat...

"If I remember right your family was always a little light on female members. Let's take a jaunt and meet the rest of the crew..."

The next place in line was right behind the two nefarious characters Dekker had arrived with, and Whiptail's eyes didn't leave the full glass of scotch in Dekker's left hand for a moment. If he'd been staring any harder he stood a good chance of busting it apart with his mind...

"Godzilla, Sammy, may I present her Excellency Ms. Elizabeth Fortier of Kalhona..."

"Fortier? You mean..."

Dekker nodded as Whiptail fell a little slack-jawed. The fact that Rob had had more than one child spoke volumes for whatever passed for charm with human women, and having a daughter seemed totally out of character for him. Then again, Whiptail was rather glad there was only one Dekker-Spawn running around the world these days, and thankfully the second generation seemed a lot more stable than the first.

He reflected that Sam hadn't spent most of his life fighting, hadn't had a rather messy divorce, hadn't lost a number of people close to him, and hadn't been palling around with an Argonian renegade for the past thirty years. On that note, it didn't surprise him that Sam was more stable, but it also meant that he'd eventually turn into his father. After turning the topic over in his head, Whiptail was rather grateful that he'd probably be dead by that point anyway. His luck had to run out eventually...


"Ms. Fortier, it's a pleasure. I'm Samuel Bray..."

The younger merc stuck out a hand in greeting, rather smaller than his father's. Of the three, he was the smallest present, but still had the stocky build that came from extended periods of time in body armor. It was a stark contrast from Dekker's 'Brick Shithouse' descriptor, and Whiptail found it a little difficult to believe that the boy had sprung from his friend's loins...
"Never forget those who died. Never forget those who killed them..."

"The problem with planning the fight against American doctrine is that the Americans don't read their manuals, nor do they feel any compulsion to follow their doctrine..." -Unknown Soviet Junior LT

"Imma kill you, fool!" -Boscoe 'B.A.' Baracus

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The Batorys
Negotiator
 
Posts: 5703
Founded: Oct 12, 2009
Democratic Socialists

Postby The Batorys » Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:36 pm

On the aeroplane from which Dekker and Whiptail had disembarked, one of the doors of the overhead baggage compartment opened, to the sounds of Hunnic profanity from within. The occupant eventually rolled out, no doubt startling the pilot, one Greg Torres, as she hit the floor cursing. Though few could understand the ancient tongue, among the words was the name "Jaci," and from the stowaway's tone, it was clear that at the moment, nothing pleasant was being said about the fellow Bastard.

While Whiptail had recently been moving away from his bad habits, the Bastards' more recently recruited, off-and-on assassin had not, though with the way she felt upon awaking today, Shaaz Darvul was strongly considering a path of moderation in the future. Her myriad bad habits were, of course, what had led to her regaining consciousness inside the overhead baggage bin in an airplane. She was, perhaps, too open to suggestion when intoxicated due to the effects of several substances. Somehow she had let her lover talk her into sneaking aboard and hiding in the overhead bin, since rumor had it that the boss and Whiptail were going on a trip. Only now had Shaaz discovered that it is far easier to open an overhead bin from the outside. Perhaps worth remembering.

After the vampiress stumbled to her feet, she smoothed back her jet black hair, and regarded Greg with the most casual expression she could manage at the moment, as if it was perfectly normal to sleep in the plane's overhead bin and the pilot should not be the least bit surprised. It didn't seem to be working. "Well," she said, after adjusting a few things, "good morning. Or afternoon. Or evening. Depending on what time it is, of course." Her knowledge of the language had improved, but her accent remained fairly strong. "Now then, where did our fearless leader and reptilian friend go?"
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Brays Bastards
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 366
Founded: Apr 21, 2010
Ex-Nation

Postby Brays Bastards » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:00 pm

Torres had been sitting in one of the rear-facing crew chairs with a Dos Equis in hand and a recent edition of Hustler magazine in his lap. His eyes barely shifted from the page when Shaaz hit the floor...

"You know, heina, this bitch has seats for a reason..."

His tone was one of barely-concealed humor. He'd known from the overall weight of the plane that something didn't quite add up, and had added extra fuel as a result. He hadn't counted on a stow-away, but he hadn't dicounted the possibility either. The pilot casually turned the page, leaving the MP5 sitting next to his chair sitting muzzle-down in the carpet.

Greg 'El Greco' Torres was an odd mix of hispanic and greek genetics, but had apparently spent a bit more time in his mother's family than his father's. The accent, ponytail haircut, and tattoos were authentic South-Central Los Angeles Chollo, while his skin tended towards the more olive complexion of his Mediterrainian roots. He'd run with the Latin Kings long before he'd enlisted with the Marine Corps and earned his wings as a Cobra pilot, and few of his mercenary colleages were quite as handy with a switchblade.

Shaaz wasn't a long-time member, but she'd become popular due to her effectiveness and partly because her lover, Ms. Jaclyn Toombs, had a nasty right hook and the temperment of a barrio pitbull. Greg recalled having dropped her off with Dekker on that operation out in the Fanboyist nation...


"Big Boss and the gecko-vato left an hour ago. You need a ride?"

Now he was eyeing her over one of the center-folds, his neatly-trimmed black goatee barely visible above the page...
"Never forget those who died. Never forget those who killed them..."

"The problem with planning the fight against American doctrine is that the Americans don't read their manuals, nor do they feel any compulsion to follow their doctrine..." -Unknown Soviet Junior LT

"Imma kill you, fool!" -Boscoe 'B.A.' Baracus

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Tarlachia
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 118
Founded: Dec 09, 2003
Ex-Nation

Postby Tarlachia » Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:50 am

OOC: Sorry for delay. Work is trying to kill me. Bastards don't know I can't die.

IC:

Aeris was quick to turn to the slender Khadrim woman that approached her and she smiled in recognition and friendship. "Lady Ryath. It is a pleasure to see you again." The customary handshake was given, but these two had been friends for a long time, often consulting one another on matters of special interest in the realm of magic. "All is well, as best as it can be. Though, I would like to say the same of others in the region, but each must stand on their own with minimal outside assistance, and only as needed."

Aeris dismissed the politics almost as quickly as she had brought it up, and she did also catch Ryath's eye wandering to Boris; whom was true to Assingtonian character in pursuing a hefty beverage of choice. She smiled at this briefly, then waved a hand in front of her as if wrapping it around something. Materializing in her grasp was a crystal flute of sparkling water, and she offered it out to the dragon. "I know water is your only drink, and this comes from a special, and secret well-spring deep in the mountains. I'm sure you're going to find it quite pleasing to your taste." She leaned in toward Ryath slightly, "A small enchantment on the flute as well. Just speak the words, Orod-Aru, and your drink shall replenish itself. And, please, feel free to keep the flute as a gift."

Her eyes once again looked to President Boris, but he was content to enjoy his drink, and that was perfectly fine by her. There were other guests to greet as well.

Aeris's hearing, sharp as ever, heard the soft trained footsteps of the aging Argonian assassin which were noticeably quieter than anyone else in the vicinity, and she turned to see he was accompanied by a younger man, one whom she could see bore striking resemblances to the one man whom had captured Shalamar's affection and love. "Whiptail and Samuel Bray." she greeted them, with a glance now scanning the faces of everyone around and eventually finding the grizzled guise of Dekker Bray. She noted his dull eyes, indicating he had been drinking, and she pitied him for she knew why. Turning back to the others in front of her, she continued, "I'm pleased to see you've made the effort to come. I think you're both going to find tonight's planned events are going to bring closure to many of us, particularly your father." She kept a tight lip on the details, for she didn't want any surprises to be spoiled prematurely.

Now she was looking at Sam with one of those looks that translated into her understanding and comprehending the pain of another person. It was also an understanding of Sam's burden to keep his father from killing himself by alcoholic consumption, but his father was known for being stubborn and set in his ways.

She gestured to Ryath standing next to her, "If I may introduce Lady Ryath of Khadrim." To Ryath, she spoke, "Whiptail and his associate Dekker are for lack of a proper terminology, mercenaries of the finest degree. Dekker is at the moment over there. This is his son, Sameuel. I occasionally contract work out to these three when something needs to be taken care of discreetly. They have yet to disappoint me. Today, however, they are not mercenaries, but diplomats and friends."

Soon, Dekker Bray approached, and somehow had managed to finagle the arm of a lovely young woman as an escort, and Aeris couldn't help but raise an amused eyebrow at this for a second. They were so oddly paired, and yet it worked. She was quiet as they approached and introduced one another, and she found herself likewise surprised by the fact that there was a female Fortier.

By God, so it is possible. she thought in amusement and some amazement. Aeris glanced to her husband whom had remained quiet save for brief introductions and greetings, and she saw that he too was intrigued. She nudged him and mouthed in silence, Go on.

Robert Fortier-Hexx, the Archon of Tanaara, looked at his wife and nodded once before clearing his throat. "Another Fortier, and a beautiful one at that. I was beginning to worry that our bloodline would never see a female Fortier for the next fifty years...Robert Fortier-Hexx." he spoke to the woman, offering a hand out as he ended his statement with a greeting.
Last edited by Tarlachia on Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Assington
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 46
Founded: Antiquity
Ex-Nation

Postby Assington » Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:28 pm

"Lady Ryath. It is a pleasure to see you again. All is well, as best as it can be. Though, I would like to say the same of others in the region, but each must stand on their own with minimal outside assistance, and only as needed."

Ryath nodded in understanding. Khadrim had only recently settled back into stability thanks to outside assistance but it had been important that her people weren't offered too much help. The people of Khadrim were proud and they would not stand for other nations doing all the work required to rebuild their own homes. Nevertheless, the assistance was greatly appreciated.

"Of course, recent events have been unsettling."

There was always some form of instability in Fatal Terrain but the loss of Lady Shalamar and Cats Keep was certainly a severe blow. Cats Keep had kept peace in a number of protectorates and with its disappearance unstable forces had leapt at the opportunity to run riot.

Ryath couldn't help but smile as Aeris offered her the flute of water. The empress always had a knack for the minor details that made each guest as comfortable as possible. Taking a the flute, Ryath sipped the water and nodded in satisfaction. Her sensitive palate could detect the mineral composition of the well and more importantly the lack of chemicals.

"Thank you, a very thoughtful gift as always."

Ryath nodded and offered a slender hand to Samuel and Whiptail. Whilst Ryath had never met Whiptail she had certainly heard of him and even glimpsed him once or twice at other diplomatic functions.

"A pleasure to meet you both."

Whilst Ryath did appear human it wasn't difficult for those that paid attention to realise she was something else. Physically there was no indicator but people constantly told her there was a different air about her, a vibe that said she was more than she appeared to be. Ryath never attempted to hide this and simply took this form for convenience.

Boris had turned around in time to see Ryath accept a flute of what he assumed would be some pristine water. Despite his attempts to persuade Ryath into trying a freshly brewed stout or even a refreshing golden ale, he'd had little success and was about to give up. In his experience there was no one more stubborn than a dragon. Happy with the state of his beer, Boris moved over towards Ryath. Aeris was currently busy with some other guests but he would have a chance to speak with her soon enough. Instead he focused his attention on Ryath.

"I see you've opted for water once again. I'm shocked."

Ryath had been around humans long enough to recognised a sarcastic comment and suppressed smirk. Assingtonians especially seemed to indulge in this strange humour which was less prevalent amongst the humans of Khadrim.

"Just keeping you on your toes, Boris."

Boris couldn't help but grin at Ryath's comment. It had taken some time for her to indulge his sense of humour but she was definitely starting to lighten up. Taking a quick look to the side, Boris noticed Whiptail and another young man. Not wishing to be rude, he offered his hand to the Argonian. Boris didn't really know Whiptail but they'd been at enough of the same diplomatic events to recognise each other and Boris had personally sent men from his own guard to work with Whiptail and others.

"Good to see you again Whiptail."

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Brays Bastards
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 366
Founded: Apr 21, 2010
Ex-Nation

Postby Brays Bastards » Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:24 am

Dekker discreetly popped a few tic-tacs in to cover the smell of scotch at close range, giving Aeris and Robert a formal nod.

Sam shook hands all around, Whiptail doing much the same. Of late, it seemed he'd become the more popular of the duo, what with Dekker making a concerted effort to put the children of every major distiller through college. He'd always been more diplomatic, something to do with the nature of his work. He'd found it easier to terminate someone when they trusted you explicitly, and even if you didn't have their demise in mind gaining the trust of others was always easy for him...


"Lady Ryath, it's a pleasure..."

There was something about the woman that seemed odd, but he couldn't place it. A vague sense of inhumanity hung about her like a light perfume. Sam, however, seemed completely oblivious to whatever it was that had tipped Whiptail off. Despite being a combat veteran in the conventional sense, he was still pretty green on the more 'exotic' aspects of the jobs Whiptail and his father undertook.

Boris was one of those faces he'd only seen on the sidelines of the diplomatic functions and briefings he'd attended. It wasn't a bad thing to keep a low profile, however. Whiptail respected the man's ability to operate discreetly in the diplomatic field...


"Boris Lepedius, it's a pleasure to finally meet you formally..."

A handshake was exchanged, before an encompassing gesture was made in Sam's direction...

"This is Samuel Bray..."

Sam quickly offered a hand in greeting, a flicker of nervousness crossing his features for a scarce moment. Having faced down hardened jihadists, he was uncomfortable around diplomats, preferring the black-and-white choices of the battlefield over the gray-area domain of politicians. Still, he put on a brave face and attempted to glean what he could from the encounter. Whiptail was apparently as much a master of sharp wit as well as sharp blades, and took a moment to watch such a master at work...
"Never forget those who died. Never forget those who killed them..."

"The problem with planning the fight against American doctrine is that the Americans don't read their manuals, nor do they feel any compulsion to follow their doctrine..." -Unknown Soviet Junior LT

"Imma kill you, fool!" -Boscoe 'B.A.' Baracus

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The Batorys
Negotiator
 
Posts: 5703
Founded: Oct 12, 2009
Democratic Socialists

Postby The Batorys » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:01 pm

Brays Bastards wrote:Torres had been sitting in one of the rear-facing crew chairs with a Dos Equis in hand and a recent edition of Hustler magazine in his lap. His eyes barely shifted from the page when Shaaz hit the floor...

"You know, heina, this bitch has seats for a reason..."

His tone was one of barely-concealed humor. He'd known from the overall weight of the plane that something didn't quite add up, and had added extra fuel as a result. He hadn't counted on a stow-away, but he hadn't dicounted the possibility either. The pilot casually turned the page, leaving the MP5 sitting next to his chair sitting muzzle-down in the carpet.

Greg 'El Greco' Torres was an odd mix of hispanic and greek genetics, but had apparently spent a bit more time in his mother's family than his father's. The accent, ponytail haircut, and tattoos were authentic South-Central Los Angeles Chollo, while his skin tended towards the more olive complexion of his Mediterrainian roots. He'd run with the Latin Kings long before he'd enlisted with the Marine Corps and earned his wings as a Cobra pilot, and few of his mercenary colleages were quite as handy with a switchblade.

Shaaz wasn't a long-time member, but she'd become popular due to her effectiveness and partly because her lover, Ms. Jaclyn Toombs, had a nasty right hook and the temperment of a barrio pitbull. Greg recalled having dropped her off with Dekker on that operation out in the Fanboyist nation...


"Big Boss and the gecko-vato left an hour ago. You need a ride?"

Now he was eyeing her over one of the center-folds, his neatly-trimmed black goatee barely visible above the page...


"There are seats, yes," said the assassin, strolling over to where Greg sat. "But that would have required asking to come along," she added, only partly in jest. Shaaz Darvul followed orders when it was most important to do so, on missions, where lives depended on it, but was frustratingly independent-minded otherwise. Not that such was unusual in the Bastards. "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission," as they say.

Having closed the distance, the vampiress now looked over Greg's shoulder at the centerfold of his magazine. "Ooh, she's cute," Shaaz noted with a raised eyebrow. She'd always been amused by the differences in aesthetics in dirty magazines outside the Empire.

"I would very much like a ride, if you're offering, thank you." Looking down at her attire, she added "I hope I'm not too under dressed." She wore the clothing of her profession, which she might come off as a bit casual, even more flattering than what she'd been wearing when she first hooked up with the Baards, as it was. "Oh well."
Mallorea and Riva should resign
This is an alternate history version of Callisdrun.
Here is the (incomplete) Factbook
Ask me about The Forgotten Lands!
Pro: Feminism, environmentalism, BLM, LGBTQUILTBAG, BDSM, unions, hyphy, Lenin, Ho Chi Minh, Oakland, old San Francisco, the Alliance to Restore the Republic, and fully automated gay luxury space communism
Anti: Misogyny, fossil fuels, racism, homophobia, kink-shaming, capitalism, LA, Silicon Valley, techies, Brezhnev, the Galactic Empire, and the "alt-right"

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Kalhona
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 56
Founded: Oct 16, 2010
Ex-Nation

Postby Kalhona » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:16 pm

Elizabeth returned Sam's handshake.

"Master Bray, it is a pleasure."

Before they could continue with any small talk, the Archon approached the group. He had a strange familiarity about it, something that struck her as well known about him. The way the Archon carried himself, or his face. She knew him from somewhere other than news conferences and digital press releases. It was something in the eyes that reminded her of family or friends. Elizabeth was about to introduce herself when he spoke first.

Another Fortier, and a beautiful one at that. I was beginning to worry that our bloodline would never see a female Fortier for the next fifty years. Robert Fortier-Hexx

Fortier-Hexx. Fortier. Oh

The thought clicked in her head. "The younger of your brother is involved in government work. Higher level diplomat stuff" her father had explained off hand. He hadn't told her that her brother was the Archon of Tanarra and husband of the Empress of Tarlchia.

She froze.

"Oh. Um. Hi," was all she could manage out, taking his hand. Lizzy's surprise was clear in her facial expression. She knew she would be meeting some important people at the celebration, but her brother was not expected.

OOC: yeah, that sucked. Brain dead, best I can work out now.
Last edited by Kalhona on Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Assington
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 46
Founded: Antiquity
Ex-Nation

Postby Assington » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:22 pm

"Boris Lepedius, it's a pleasure to finally meet you formally..."

Boris nodded in agreement.

"Likewise. I figured it was about time we made formal introductions since we've both been dropping into these diplomatic shindigs for the last few years."

Being a former military man himself, Boris could respect Whiptail's no nonsense, straight forward attitude. In fact, he would have preferred if more people could display such an approach to life instead of the usual politicking. At the indication of Sam, Boris quickly took the young man's hand in a firm but friendly grasp.

"Good to meet you Sam. I don't believe I've seen you at any of these gatherings before."

The nervousness Sam briefly displayed wasn't lost on Boris but he wouldn't point it out. Boris quickly recalled his days as a young officer attending formal functions that made him more uncomfortable than being caught up in the crossfire between two machine gun wielding blind men. It had taken time for him to adjust to government and eventually presidential duties but Boris still considered himself a simple man at heart.

"So how have your respective nations been faring after this latest round of regional drama? I know Shalamar's absence is felt all over the region, even with those nations that never had much direct involvement with Cats Keep."

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