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Old December 20, 2018, 05:47 PM   #106
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Arms linked, peck reciprocated. Melissa didn't have any qualms with that plan. They hadn't come to Riversong for Amelie, but if Éclair wanted to check in on things, then naturally the Countess wouldn't object. It wouldn't do for somebody working in the nominal name of Temperance to be doing a poor job of managing this place, after all.

"Buh-bye!" Melissa waved farewell to the shop owner. "Come to Temperance some time, perhaps? I think I'd be interested in seeing some more of what you have to offer."

"Perhaps," came the sharp-toothed grin of a response.

Off, then! Back to the Charis household, where it seemed like somebody had decided to send word to the Lady regardless. Amelie had come back with all due haste, and now there was a bit of hustle and bustle going on as she had ordered the servants around to make sure that everything was presentable. Appearance was everything, after all, and it wouldn't do well to present yourself poorly in front of your superiors.

Nervous smiles and head bows as Melissa and Éclair finally made their way back. There was a little spiel from Amelie in regards to making sure that the both of them would get whatever they needed to make their stay comfortable and to feel free to reach out to her if they needed anything, et cetera, et cetera. The Countess didn't even deign to give that much of a response, instead turning to look towards Éclair - the Jorelite could take the lead on determining what exactly was going on here, as the actual political person here.

Unless she decided to foist that responsibility, of course.
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Old December 27, 2018, 03:16 AM   #107
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Distracted as ever,
Thoughts regarding the Why,
Of Riversong had long since abandoned Éclair,
Along with the prospects of seeking out Her Love’s Crown,
Certain that there was,
T’was something Important that she’d neglected,
But what? It certainly, surely couldn’t be that Important!
Could it?
Was, t’was it good,
Inviting the StrAngE Halfling to Temprance?
Haps! Perhaps not, but either way? Done was done!
Humming happily all the while,
That if nothing else, most parts of Éclair’s life seemed to work in threes,
So another interaction was only to be expected. Unless it wasn’t, ‘cause, y’know,
Her Mister Jorel and what not!
And for now? Lady Charis!
And Riversong and y’know, undertaking what Éclair knew,
She tended to neglect with her duties as Lady Thane, beyond staying out of Melissa and Cerys & Iorwerth’s way when it came to ensuring everything was Kay!
True, she was,
Likely overdue,
Another Ope Court with Temperance,
And a dalliance through the Undercity,
But for now? Better to get back on track, rather than lose her way again,
One step forwards, then the other one!
Tempted as she was, admittedly, to leave such matters to Meli,
Even if, well, Éclair knew she couldn’t always rely upon Her Lover so,
”I’d like to have the tariffs on holdings and goods,
In Riversong for the Church of the Faith, made to match those in place,
With Temperance. All dues to be given to Maeve.” Éclair beamed, flashing a dimpled smile,
“Next, to offer the Elegant Cabal or the Cadre…
I forget which one Cerys was to help, so do check with her,
And offer them the Church of Faith holdings and sanctuary within Riversong.” Admittedly, Éclair had quite forgotten just what was up there, but well…. y’know!
”And… lastly!” Éclair’s smile,
Warm as ever as she lightly touched the Star of Aeternia at her throat,
“Faith.” and well, not quite inclined to risk the Eyes of Echt given the side effects,
“I trust you’ve found…” Éclair shrugged, glancing at Melissa uncertainly.
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Old December 30, 2018, 02:17 AM   #108
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There was a single overriding question that the young woman had which seemed to be of decent import, considering she'd focus on it instead of answering the lingering question that hung in the air with Éclair's last statement.

"What... are we going to do about the services that the Church provides?" Amelie asked. "Was there a solution implemented in Temperance for this? The Church is responsible for practically all primary education, will we just...?"

Not educate the children?
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Old May 10, 2019, 10:44 PM   #109
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Head tilting to the side,
There was a flicker of annoyance from Éclair,
At Amelie having side stepped the query regarding her own Faith,
Sure, the Church of the Faith was,
T’was a Problem, but rather minuscule insofar as she was concerned,
After all,
She had no qualms about taking all their property,
And treating them like everyone else who did business within Her Home,
Until Dues were paid to Éclair the Governor of Maeve,
“I would have to ask Cerys about that,”
Which, given it hadn’t exactly been brought up to Éclair’s attention,
It surely wasn’t, y’know, an actual Problem? Or at least not one that the Vysstichi had felt she needed to involve herself in? That’d just been the Elegant Cabal and the Cadre thingie?
Which was,
T’was she ‘sposed to be Helping anyway?
Elegant Cabal at least sounded more Maeveish,
And fit in better with The Roses as a Theme so haps that one?!
”If you have any suggestions,
I’m happy to hear them out Lady Charis?”
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Old May 11, 2019, 12:55 AM   #110
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For somebody who could find herself annoyed by Amelie ignoring the question on faith, Éclair did a most excellent job of deflecting the followup question on the Church of Faith. Have somebody else sort it out!

The noblewoman didn't seem quite satisfied by that answer, pursing her lips somewhat at the answer, but she closed her eyes and took a deep breath and knew that it wasn't a good idea to push too much on the matter. It was, perhaps, something akin to giving free rein over how it might be solved? All she had was positive thinking, so she might as well use it.

"Manipulate a well-meaning and gullible member of the Church to enough of an extent to convince educators to work in the area?" The noblewoman shrugged. "Failing that, invest in secular education. Neither'd be easy, I imagine. But a solution is essential if you want Temperance to... blend in."

Malice wouldn't have been concerned. This little pretend game Éclair was playing, though? There were some rules that needed abiding.

"People will start asking questions about why the Church doesn't want to be involved," Amelie noted, starting a bit of hand-wringing. "And, just so you know, I've committed to your whole... religious... thing. And I'd prefer to keep my neck, please."
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Old May 11, 2019, 07:47 AM   #111
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Thoughtful,
As Éclair claimed a lock of coffee-brown hair,
To nibble upon as the Lady Charis Talky-Talk’d,
It all sounded like Work,
Which only served to reinforce just why,
Such matters were largely left to Temperances’ Aedile to handle,
It only seemed Right & Proper,
For such difficulties to be left to a Professional!
“I trust Cerys will know what to do,” Éclair beamed,
Being of a mind that if Temperance had spare buildings for Homes,
And wasn’t wasting Shinies paying for Church of Faith peoples anyway; then surely there had to be some disillusioned Teachers about who’d forgo their Faith for Wealth. If nothing else, her dalliances with the Ex had shown just how much of the Aetherian’s Faith was all empty words and lies,
How many Teachers would a Town like Temperance need anyway?
Oh! Question Answered!
Wait what?
“Why would you lose your neck?”
Came the query in genuine puzzlement,
Given, well, it wasn’t as if she’d ever really been all that inclined to the whole prospect of giving the Trash Collector God Tribute. No, she just didn’t have much tolerance for those that’d harm Her or those She Loved t’was all!
”Thing?”
Thing?! Ameilia made it sound so… blasé!
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Old May 11, 2019, 06:20 PM   #112
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"I certainly hope so," the rather huffy noblewoman noted, most displeased that they'd have to rely on a dark elf of all people to sort things out. Or that wasn't entirely accurate - that a dark elf was in a position of power to be able to have an influence in these matters.

That didn't exactly look normal, either. This, in and of itself, was a strange reality, that the progressive policies of Éclair were in fact strange. Those heathens in charge of Centripax and Arium were already scandalous enough, frankly, as far as Amelie was concerned. Except she was, in a way, in the same bucket now as well. Well, just because she'd been forced into this Jorelite nonsense didn't mean she was on the same level as those dark elves. She could be better than that. Surely.

There was a motion to eyeroll that was, through great effort, aborted part way through as the woman fought against her instinct and did her best to remain non-offensive. "The Church doesn't very much like your... your religious thing, yes," she did her best to explain. "They don't exactly look kindly upon heretics and heathens. They're the dominant faith for a reason, they've got a lot of power."

"We'd be lucky if it was quick and they just decided to chop our heads off," the noblewoman noted glumly. "I think setting us on fire would probably be the go-to." That definitely sounded much worse.

"The point is, we should get along with the Church enough that they don't send an inquisition after us." It was an almost pleading statement.
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Old May 13, 2019, 04:46 AM   #113
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There was a questioning look,
Cast towards Meli, as Éclair couldn’t help but be,
Just a mite perplexed that the overtly subservient and dependant Noblewoman,
Appeared to have found a backbone between the Then & Now,
Wasn’t, t’wasn’t quite sure,
If she liked it, but it was New and well,
When in doubt? New so long as it was Interesting was always worth her while,
Plus, did so tend to forget,
That most peoples had a rather odd fear of the Church of the Faith,
Whereas she saw them as a particularly sickly bear,
To keep prodding and poking and poking and prodding!
”It won’t come to that.” Éclair just beamed back,
The dimpled grin flashing as she shook her head, “‘cause that’d mean,
“That they’d trespass upon Miss Maeve and Miss Tiyribi’s lands just to get to me.”
“And you too,
I ‘spose. But they’re not going to annoy,
Two Governor’s just ‘cause I’m not playing the game by their rules Lady Charis.
Three I ‘spose if you count Miss Tiyribi’s Toy.” she added thoughtfully, biting down upon her bottom lip before nodding her head. “Three. If the Toy knows what’s good for him.”
”I mean, really?
Would you want to annoy three neighbouring Provinces just for Me?
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Old May 13, 2019, 04:51 PM   #114
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Now that there had been some investment into "The Plan" and Amelie had gotten some of the things she wanted out of it, there was a bit more to lose, and hence more opposition towards anything that might be seen as having the possibility of causing such loss. Funny, that when the noblewoman had nothing to lose but her life she was so subservient, but once she had a bit of wealth, she was so much more obstinate in its defense.

"Only if they thought they could win," the noblewoman noted, nervously biting her lip. "Don't underestimate the Church. They didn't get where they were by asking nicely."

One finger pointed in the general direction of Centripax, west-ish. "I assure you, there are probably plenty who don't look kindly on a shadow elf sitting as the governor of Centripax." Point a little further north. "And her marriage with a dark elf, the governor of Arium, only makes the threat loom all the larger."

Then, southeast, towards Daltina. "And if Governor Maeve doesn't listen to them, all the more reason for them to try and get rid of her." She sighed, rubbing her temples. "You're right in a sense. They won't needlessly antagonize if they can help it. But the moment they get an opportunity, don't doubt that they'd be willing to rid themselves of us."

Sigh! "Although if it really got to that point, I suppose we'd be small fish in that pond." They were already talking about the threat of entire provinces, after all. Temperance was but a city. Maybe Éclair had a point.

"In which case," the nervous hand-wrangling had returned, "they'd probably just knife me in my sleep."
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Old May 15, 2019, 05:26 AM   #115
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There was an indifferent shrug,
Most people didn’t accumulate power in her experience,
By being all Nice about it. It’d really come to no surprise at all to Éclair that the Goddess of Mercy had ended up all Deaded given just how woefully lacking in actual worship and believer’s she’d been,
All things Changed,
And so, eventually, it really was only inevitable,
That the Church of the Faith would, y’know, do Something,
It was just that, Éclair really didn’t care all that much. Anything they did would create unrest and Chaos, and so, She Won.
Knowing that Vic-Tor-É was inevitable made things so much simpler!
But Ameilia was being tiresome,
As she eventually reached the same conclusion Éclair had,
That there was waaaaay bigger problems sitting in-between the Church and Éclair. With the added bonus that even if, somehow, Éclair was Bested in Her Game? Then, well, Temperance would likely become Malice again and well, Her Mister Jorel still won!
No, the only real downside,
Was that a Game that Éclair didn’t feel she could even lose?
It wasn’t really all that much of a Game. Not when her win conditions weren’t exactly the same as what everyone else was, t’was Playing!
”And if they somehow manage to do that,
I’ll reanimate your body and you’ll still be up and about doing My Love’s work the very next day.”
A sympathetic smile,
As the reassurances of Necromancy?
Probably not all that reassuring since the Trash Collector God had made Soul Shuffling nigh impossible for Her - but Ameilia didn’t need to know that!
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Old May 15, 2019, 04:03 PM   #116
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Amelie had managed to reach a point of being inured enough to Éclair that she managed to contain the usual reaction a normal person would have to knowing that necromancy was suggested as a safety net - that was to say, excuse me? - and simply allowed herself a small sigh.

Crazies, all of them. And now she had the fun of working with them, it seemed. Poor, poor House Charis, to think that this was what they had fallen to. One wondered whether being eaten by the Xet really was the easy way out.

However, the discussion wasn't quite done for the topic at hand.

"Let's say that the Church does decide to poke its nose about our business," the noblewoman presented a hypothetical. "Not in the... grand crusade, inquisition, burn all the heretics sort of way, but rather they send somebody along who's asking lots of questions. How would you prefer we... handle them?"

Make them disappear?

Polite, but firmly recuse them?

Immediately send word to Éclair so she could slap them around?
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Old June 15, 2019, 11:04 PM   #117
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Beaming away happily,
Largely indifferent to Ameilie’s concerns,
At least when it came to the whole Death thing,
Sure, Éclair couldn’t do much about the Soul,
Courtesy of the Trash Collector God - but she was pretty confident that,
So long as the body wasn’t too injured she could at least keep the Lady up and running long enough to make a political replacement viable,
Maybe!
But the Question,
Did at least jar Éclair enough,
To look at Melissa curiously before shrugging her shoulders,
“I suppose be polite and nothing more.” she eventually managed, claiming a lock of coffee-brown hair to nibble upon as she considered the matter.
”Until the Church pays Governor Maeve the monies owed,
They’re no different than the Adventurer’s Guild or some other faction, yes?
No need to go lopping off their heads or being mean to them. If another Guild caused a ruckus, well, we treat the Church as we would them.”
Fair was fair!
“I’m just removing the silly, pointless,
Preferential treatment the Church gets until they pay their dues.
If they don’t like it then they can always pay up. It’s not like it’s a good look-look either,
Starting trouble in Maeve when they’re the ones who owe a debt,”
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Old June 16, 2019, 12:20 AM   #118
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The noblewoman felt like tearing her hair out but managed a wry smile and a polite curtsy at Éclair's dictate. Getting so much experience in so short a span of time - it was incredible just what could happen merely from being in the Jorelite's experience. High-stress environments taught a person like nothing else. Books couldn't teach you this sort of thing! Real life experience, that's where it was at.

You couldn't compare the Chuch and something as pitiful as the Adventurer's Guild, the noblewoman wanted to scream. That wasn't how this worked. That wasn't how any of this worked. You couldn't reduce the Church to something like a simple guild. She didn't understand whether Éclair was just messed up in the head - no, she already knew there was something wrong with this woman. But was that the factor here, or was there some other reason for that strange confidence?

"I will ensure you if they make their presence known, regardless," Ameilie spoke, at least wanting Éclair on her side and ready to help if anything happened. If the Jorelite insisted on this fight, then the noblewoman was going to make damn sure she was here to fight it.

"And..." Almost as an afterthought. "If they... do offer to pay their dues?"
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Old June 16, 2019, 12:58 AM   #119
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Already, Ameilie,
Was drawing towards the end of Éclair’s ability,
To pay all that much attention to such things as Politics,
No, she had Meli and Cerys for such matters!
That as she nibbled upon the lock of coffee-brown hair,
Her thoughts too were turning towards inspecting her hand,
And where best the Cether’s Tattoo Gift might be best spent; of where Anna might think,
Or of what design would suit the three of them once they’d had the opportunity,
Oblivious, utterly and completely,
To the Chaos that she’d unwittingly engendered in the Lady’s mind,
And so very unconcerned,
She wasn’t Éclair’s Loyalist,
After all, but Melissa’s.
Only, only…Oh.
That, that last bit was actually Important!
Something that Éclair hadn’t considered given the fuss and grump that the Church of the Faith had made with Temperance. But, well, it was always a possibility… all things Changed did they not?
”Then they can have their properties returned to them,
With an Understanding that in an Era’s time payment for their taxes will be due again, of course.” Éclair mused, shrugging her shoulders slightly.
She quite hoped it didn’t come to that,
But Éclair remained a woman of her word,
And it would have very much broken the Game,
In exercising her authority as Lady Thane, only to Change the Rules the second it suited,
”If citizens want their Little Ones,
Taught by the Church, they can, of course should they make payment,”
Oh, right!
“Aaaand, if they do,
Well, half the money to Temperance for Cerys to figure out and distribute,
And the other half to the Lady Governor Maeve, compliments of Lady Ameilie of Riversong.”
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Old June 16, 2019, 02:29 AM   #120
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"Understood." It would be just a little unnerving if it came to that, knowing that the Church would literally just be right there - right on top of all the heresy - but she supposed it was better than the alternative of outright and overt hostility.

Melissa, in the meantime, seemed to be extremely infatuated with actually-doing-political-things Éclair at the moment. Granted, it was just answering some questions Ameilia had, but that definitely technically counted!

In any case, the Lady Charis seemed to have run out of further questions for the time being. "Let's... not give the Church any more of our time or thoughts than needed," she suggested. "Please. Was there anything else you wished to know from me? Anything I can figure out for you while you're here?"
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