[The Keep] Walking to Skye

User avatar
Straken
Posts: 1181
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 4:40 pm

Re: [The Keep] Walking to Skye

Post by Straken »

Mastrogiacomo’s eyes narrowed by just a fraction, but now she gave off a predatory, almost carnivorous, air. There was blood in the water; undiscovered artifacts and subterfuge. The Chief was on the hunt. She stood back to her modest height and straightened her clothes as
Ruarc very carefully made his way out of the chest. For a moment the Irishman looked like he was going to make for the door, but a quick flash of Mastrogiacomo’s sharp gaze stopped him in his tracks.

“Very good, Druid Maelgwyn. Never be afraid to take inspiration from work you’ve seen elsewhere. Should you have any questions, do feel free to voice them. Master Flynn, confer with your apprentice, then meet me at my desk,” the Chief said as she moved with a crisp stride past the two Safeholme druids.

Ruarc nervously cleared his throat as he moved to stand next to Drysi while watching the Chief leave the room.

“Quite intense when she’s in business mode, ain’t she?” the Irishman asked his apprentice in a hushed tone. “Don’t be worrying about me though, I’ve been in scarier situations than a one-on-one with Chief Mastrogiacomo. Cross your fingers on not running into Chief Bombellas. Now, ‘less I’m mistaken, you’re done with your business for this trip. Feel free to unwind and explore parts of the Keep that you still want to see.”
User avatar
Kokuten
Posts: 1227
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:06 pm

Re: [The Keep] Walking to Skye

Post by Kokuten »

Ruarc's apprentice hung her head, occasionally looking up at her master. She had gotten the man in trouble, not just once, but twice in the course of minutes. A strong urge to apologize rose in her throat, but she held her tongue. Instead, she smiled for him, a little genuine excitement at, for once, not being bogged down by responsibilities. Mr. Flynn was going into the lion's den, no need to send him off on a grim note.

"I'll go walking," piped Drysi, putting a bit of pep in her step. As she made for the door, she looked back at him, and gave him an encouraging thumbs up, "Good luck."

"It was good of you to wait until you were out of sight to start crying," assuaged Gideon.

"Shut up," snapped Drysi, now wiping her eyes as she padded down the hall. It was all so frustrating, despite all her preparations things still kept coming short of perfect. Ratting out her Master constantly, even unintentionally, put Drysi's mood far down. Not to mention the prejudice she had seen against him that morning. Where did people get off?

Stupid, just stupid. Things had been going so well. She was planning on picking out just one more thing to look at from the Chief's collection.

"Where are we going?"

"To get some air."

Everything was going perfectly, for her. She was making friends, she was meeting people, and she was even finding this new life less scary by the minute. Carneath was wonderful, a true place of magic, the very place she wanted to be. This was her future, a bright one.

"We passed the door for the courtyard."

Yet, all she could think about was the look in Mr. Flynn's eyes when the plan was made to come here. She thought about the way he looked when they crossed the rocky, Scottish grasslands from the ocean's edge. His face had been stony, but she hadn't thought about it at the time.

"I don't think we can get on the roof, Drysi…"

This wasn't the same place to him. It felt like being back at the cottage, being handed a happy tomorrow by a calloused, scarred hand. When was she going to get the chance to turn things around?

"Drysi."

"Huh?"

Her thighs were starting to burn from all the stairs, and she looked back to see she had been going for a while. With a breath, she decided to finish off the next flight. Exiting the stairwell, it looked like she had managed to make it all the way up to the fourth floor. Drysi, flustered and irritated, continued down the hall she had come into. At least the stairs had helped deflate her some.

"Do you know where you're going?"

"No," Drysi grumbled at her snake, who was poking out to look around, "but I've caused enough trouble fer Mr. Flynn this year. All I need t'do is keep clear of this Bombelles, and I can hopefully go home with m'Master's dignity intact."
User avatar
Straken
Posts: 1181
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 4:40 pm

Re: [The Keep] Walking to Skye

Post by Straken »

Drysi had gotten her daily cardio exercise in by the time she circled the stairs all the way to the Fourth Floor. A number of druids had passed the teen on their way down the stairs, aware enough to step off to the side to make space, and so her ascent had been smooth aside from the burning calves; at least up until this last bend. Bang! A collision occurred.

“Oh for the love of! Watch where you’re going, you… Maelgwyn?” came a familiar voice amid the toppling of books, papers, and various other documents; and followed shortly with the staccato hoot of a monkey. Gaining her wits, Drysi would see she had collided with one of the Carneath Menagerie; Vincent and his familiar Desdamona. “Are you alright?”

The older teen began to straighten his parcels.
User avatar
Kokuten
Posts: 1227
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:06 pm

Re: [The Keep] Walking to Skye

Post by Kokuten »

"Van der Meer?"

Triclopsi eyes sparkled with misting tears, wide at Vincent's sudden presence. Drysi had pendulated between cursing and apologizing, but had bitten her tongue. She saw him reaching for fallen documents and realized she had bowled him over while he was working.

"Am I fine?" sniffed Maelgwyn blinking away some of her remaining tears. The thought made her laugh, in a pained, incredulous way. "Oh, I'm just great."

One of the loose documents Vincent was reaching for suddenly flew away as Drysi whipped around.

"I couldn't be better. I've made the best possible impression on my new boss," growled the triclops as her paper magic began snatching up all the fallen articles. "I've made a buncha' new friends. I met tha' Ard Rhys. I had the best dinner I've ever had in a while, for free. I got to attend the Keeper's exercises from Chief Brennan's perch. I have had just the greatest..."

All the paper began to queue up and stack horizontally.

"Day."

Drysi clapped her hands down, causing the stack to compress tightly.

"Ever."

She turned to hand Vincent the pristine files, and books, before they exploded back into the air as she flew off the handle.

"BUT I can' seem to stop throwin' my master under the bus," reeled Drysi, the paper objects sliding back and forth with her hand motions, "and if I'm not doing it, someone else is. An' if they're not tossing him, they're roasting him, an' if they're not roasting him, they're bad mouthing him, an' if they're not bad mouthing him, they're actively against him. It's no wonder he never wants to be here!"

With more force, all of Vincent's items came slapping together again, this time even more tightly flattened. Thankfully, Ruarc's apprentice took hold of them before she could lose it again, and returned them, neatly, under grit, fanged teeth.
User avatar
Straken
Posts: 1181
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 4:40 pm

Re: [The Keep] Walking to Skye

Post by Straken »

All Vincent van der Meer could do was give Desdamona a sidelong look as Drysi vented whilst conducting her papyromancy. The stoic Second Circle druid had already gathered back his books, and had jumped as the stack Drysi had formed exploded back across the staircase. Now he simply sat and listened for fear of the new druid directing her angst towards him. Why was it, he found himself wondering, that he always got roped into these kinds of situations. He had been perfectly fine sitting alone and reading during his meals, but then the others started hanging around. Now he knew people and people knew him, and worse, people felt inclined to talk to him. Such as now, a person he had met once and known for less than twenty-four hours was unloading her personal troubles onto him. Had she misunderstood his intentions when asking if she was alright? Surely he hadn’t given the impression that he was emotionally helpful the other night; that was Brooke’s department.

“Actually, would you mind carrying that stack for me?” Vincent asked with a sigh. “I’d hate for it to get out of hand again, and it’s not far to the Second Circle Office.”

Assuming agreement, and in part forcing assistance, Vincent left the stairwell for the Fourth Floor lobby. Des walked behind him with a small stack of her own papers, chittering softly to her druid.

”Good day, Gideon, allow me a quick word with Vincent,” Des greeted the other familiar before her attention shifted. Vincent gave few visual signs that he was conversing with his familiar, but eventually he hung his head and slowed his pace to walk closer to Drysi.

“I only know your Master Flynn from reputation; both from when his expense reports are filed, and Brooke’s fawning. So you’ll have to forgive me if I’m off base with my assumptions,” the boy’s tone was unsteady and paused occasionally as he considered his words. “But, it seems as though your Master is at home under the bus”

A derisive ook came from Des.

Ahem, works well in such situations,” he continued. “The treatment is not uncommon for Vanguard Keepers. Here at Carneath things are cozy, maintained, and, well, orderly. The Fifth Circle’s frontiersmen are valued, but often times chaotic. Most of them feel some kind of discomfort here, I’d imagine. Even Brooke often talks about looking forward to heading back to the States once her deployment as a Wall-Keeper is done.”
User avatar
Kokuten
Posts: 1227
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:06 pm

Re: [The Keep] Walking to Skye

Post by Kokuten »

Drysi quietly assented to helping Vincent, for having bowled him over, and carried on after him. The papers she manipulated spread off again, and followed her like a group of attendants, hovering over her shoulder and trailing in her wake. Ever since she studied under Mr. Flynn, her papyromancy was becoming more natural, less forced, and much easier to perform. Such was her debt to the man.

Such debt was why she pressed in on Vincent, walking shoulder to shoulder with him, narrowing her eyes and speaking firmly to him in harsh whisper.

“Of course he works well in those situations. What sort of response would y’develop if someone sent you to a foreign country, where y’don’t speak the language of, t’hunt an ancient, Irish needle in a Japanese haystack?” Drysi hissed these words under her bramble of blonde hair, framed in the hood, her face fierce, bright and fanged. The only consolation was Gideon’s soft face, tasting the air under her chin.

”Good day, Desdamona,” greeted Gideon, ”give me a second with Drysi.”

Gideon’s head slowly receded under the blonde bramble, and a couple seconds later, still maintaining her fierce gaze, Drysi gave Vincent an appropriate amount of space.

“The people here don’t know him, but they’ve long decided who he is,” argued Drysi, her paper entourage swirling at her emotion again, “Numbers on a page. Rumors on the wind. Notta one, save tha’ Ard Rhys mind ya, comes to Safeholme to see the good things he done for his students. Notta one knocks on the cottage door t’find he’s just a man who wants his tea and his garden. Notta one knows he’s just a man who’s content t’read on his own, and is at the mercy people who keep roping him into everyone’s else’s mess!”
User avatar
Straken
Posts: 1181
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 4:40 pm

Re: [The Keep] Walking to Skye

Post by Straken »

“Yes, but that’s what I’m saying. All the druids that live away from the Keep are simply numbers on a page to most, but the Vanguard Keepers are actually stationed away from the Keep; sometimes in very inhospitable climates and hostile areas. Take Leonid Kuznetsov, he’s the Keeper for Siberia, and received special permission from Chief Brennan to not be required to come to the Keep to give his reports; half of the Order considers the man a myth, to the extent that one rumor postulated that he was trained by the mage responsible for Tunguska. Massoud Amsalem; the Keeper assigned to Arabia; word is he arrives off hours and leaves the moment his reports are done. Not even going to start on the druid that volunteered for Antarctica,” Vincent tone shifted to academic as he pulled examples from memory. He led Drysi past the chamber in which she’d spoken with the Ard Rhys and down an adjoining hall; hanging a right once they’d reached the bend, they proceeded down a vaulted hall with doors on the left save for a set of double doors on the right leading to the chamber.

“My point; with everything some of the Keepers go through, it is little surprise to me that the homebodies in the Keep attribute them with qualities that are at odds with life at Carneath. Whether due to the reputation of where they are stationed, like Leonid; or by the reputation of their actions, like your Master Flynn. To the same end, which you might be able to better speak on given your apprenticeship, I would imagine the Keeper’s out in the field view coming to Carneath being at odds with the life they are used to.”

The group reached a door near the end of the hall, and Vincent opened it with his elbow. Inside was a curious sight. An odd combination of modern office and medieval brutalism. Where the Grand Library had been a testament to learning and wonders of the world, the place Drysi found herself now was created for pure efficiency. A large central space stretched out into the stone of the mountain, and it was filled with various staging areas and work spaces for compiling data, a few rows of cubicles, and even a corner dedicated to a few printers and fax machines. Along the walls were numerous doors leading to various offices, with two doors in particular catching Drysi’s eye. Far to the right were large, plain metal doors with a sign reading Central 2C Archive. The other door was dead ahead against the opposite wall from where Drysi had entered; this one read
Rose-Marie Bombelles, Chief of Second Circle
“Right over here,” Vincent said as he began to move towards a cubicle.
User avatar
Kokuten
Posts: 1227
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:06 pm

Re: [The Keep] Walking to Skye

Post by Kokuten »

Every mage had their weakness, and Drysi's was stubborn reason. No matter how volatile she became, a steady hand always brought her down. She had many tantrums that only became worse by being met with resistance, anger, or, worst of all, appeasement.

As Drysi listened to Vincent's cool, calm delivery, and the thorough explanation, she could feel herself relaxing. It helped to know there were others, but they all sounded cool, or mysterious. She wasn't hearing about the talking done behind their backs, or the overt targeting, like the wall druids during their exercise. In the small space she had to speak, she opened her mouth to rebut, but he carried on. Eventually, as her emotional turmoil came to a center, she had trouble remembering what she was going to say. Instead, she pendulated in the other direction, feeling a little sad. Perhaps it was learning that she hadn't the awareness she thought, or that there were even more out there who couldn't feel as though Carneath was as warm a home as she found it.

"I didn't–," Drysi murmured, softly, more demure now. She felt a little embarrassed at getting so riled in the young man's presence, "Thank you, Vincent. I'm learning so much about the order, I keep forgetting it's all just one small part. Everything I've seen has been less than a couple days."

She smiled warmly at him, feeling a bit better, even if it didn't change what her Master was going through. Drysi coaxed the loose files together from a stationery retinue to another tightening queue. Even as they entered the offices she was guiding them all, one by one, now just a dutiful assitant.

That is, until she took a discerning look around the work space, and caught sight of the placard on the wall.

Drysi froze, as did all her paper, stiff as boards. Then, as panic began to set in, she slapped the paper into a tight stack and held it close to her chest. Immediately, she drew in close, hunching over to make herself small, and using Vincent as cover. She made sure he stayed between her and the door. How could she have forgotten that Bombelles was Vincent's boss? She had been so angry, she hadn't even considered the possibility.

"Fook me runnin' Gid, what have I done?"
User avatar
Straken
Posts: 1181
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 4:40 pm

Re: [The Keep] Walking to Skye

Post by Straken »

“You’ve been a druid for a month, and this is your first time meeting, frankly, normal run of the mill druids,” Vincent said as he sat his documents onto a desk. The cubicle was tidy, and split between two desks in a shared space. Des cut in ahead to set her stack down before leaping onto the desk and patting a spot to indicate a spot for Drysi. The macaque then began to sort the documents. Looking from the stack of books back to Drysi, Vin cocked his head and gave her a quizzical look. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost. Have you forgotten an appointment you need to keep?”

The office, for what it was worth, was quiet. It seemed most of the Second Circle worked standard business hours. Which made the sound of an office door opening register through the entire space, accompanied by hard heeled shoes. Closer and closer the person came, until finally they rounded the corner to the cubicle.

“van der Meer, did you manage to find the codex registrations?” asked a silvery yet hard lined voice. The woman looked to be in her late sixties, and looked very plain for being in a magical Keep save for the black cloak she wore over her business formal attire; with gently curling hair tied back in a tight knot that somehow gave off an entirely different feel from Mastrogiacomo’s work look. She glanced over to Drysi for a fraction of a second, seemed to register what she needed, then looked back to Vincent.

“Of course, Chief,” Vincent answered, Desdamona passing one of the documents to her druid who in turn handed it to the woman. Without another word the woman accepted the papers and turned to return to her office.
User avatar
Kokuten
Posts: 1227
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:06 pm

Re: [The Keep] Walking to Skye

Post by Kokuten »

There was never an acolyte of the third circle who moved so quickly and so fervently to finish their paperwork. Drysi put all her focus in finishing up her work and getting out of dodge. She almost missed Vincent’s question, but the staccato of heels shut her down cold. The triclops began bouncing on her feet, trying to find a place to hide. Under the table? The table sounded good. The table sounded great.

”Drysi Maelgwyn,” came Gideon’s voice, resonating in her mind, ”Do not go under that table.”

Her advanced stopped cold, she threw her hands up to her head.

”Bloody fookin’ hell Gid, I can’t just kill her, what the hell am I supposed to do!?”

”Take a deep breath, and act like you belong here.”

No sooner had the Chief of the 2nd Circle rounded the corner than Drysi recovered, looking perfectly placid next to her stack of papers. In fact, they were a very interesting stack of papers. They looked in need of a little straightening up. There we go. Drysi must have just tossed the stack down. Oh the little monkey took one of the files. Well, she could just straighten it up again, all nice and neat. Perfect. Just the neatest little stack.

As soon as she saw the shape of Bombelles leave her periphery, she sighed, finally answering Vincent in exasperation.

“Oh Vincent, my Master Flynn would have my hide if he knew I had walked straight up here. He’s already gettin’ tanned by my boss for something I let slip in conversation. Augh! I can’t cause more trouble. I just can’t.”
Post Reply