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    Never trust a pretty face

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    Never trust a pretty face

    Post by tuck on 02/10/14, 02:34 pm

    After the boat left the docks behind and began heading back up river to Barrum, the drow known as Cudd paced the deck thoughtfully, his hat pulled down to shield his sensitive eyes from the early fall Sun.

    All in all the mission had been a success. They had intel. They had contacts. They hadn't been made. Cudd should have been feeling pretty good about their situation.

    But he wasn't. He was troubled.

    Cudd was pretty good at judging himself and his own moods. "Know yourself first" his mother had instructed him as a child, "If you do not know yourself, how can you ever know your enemy?" He was self-aware enough to know that his failure at the dock was the source of his concerns. Cudd was not the kind of Drow that took personal failure lightly.

    But he was also not the kind to dwell on it. He would learn. He would improve. Next time he would do better. In the meantime, however, he needed something to channel his feelings. Some way to blow off steam and get his mind back into his work.

    And he knew just the thing.

    A few minutes later he found the enchanter in the boat's small galley, seated at a table. Cudd took note once again of just how handsome the shadar-kai was, and remembered how easily he used his looks and charms to his advantage.

    "Mind if I join you?" he asked, already reaching for the opposite chair.
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    Re: Never trust a pretty face

    Post by elanya on 02/10/14, 02:43 pm

    Galinn, who had been idly watching out the porthole of the galley, glanced up as the assassin entered, and pushed the chair across from him away from the table with his foot. He smiled, his look curious.

    "By all means."

    There was still much to learn about Laufrey's new allies. Cudd seemed to be in very close confidence with the head of the Bloody Rose, and if he was not the subtlest of assassins, he'd at least shown himself to be a very capable murderer.

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    Re: Never trust a pretty face

    Post by tuck on 02/10/14, 04:27 pm

    "Thanks..." Cudd said as he slid into the chair, resting his walking stick against the wall next to him.

    "That was some fast talking back at the docks," he said, casually, "Impressive. I can see why Laufrey wanted you to come with us."
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    Re: Never trust a pretty face

    Post by elanya on 02/10/14, 04:38 pm

    Galinn shrugged, his smile widening slightly. "One of the hazards of being an enchanter is occasionally having to cover your ass. We can't all just disappear into the shadows."
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    Re: Never trust a pretty face

    Post by tuck on 02/10/14, 04:58 pm

    Cudd returned the enchanter's smile.

    "Well, some of us need the shadows. We can't all be a pretty face."
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    Re: Never trust a pretty face

    Post by elanya on 02/10/14, 07:12 pm

    "It has its advantages." Galinn leaned his chair back against the wall, wondering whether Cudd was flirting with him, and if so what exactly he wanted. "It all it turned out well enough in the end. I take it you've done this sort of thing before?"
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    Re: Never trust a pretty face

    Post by tuck on 02/10/14, 07:53 pm

    "I've been known to take care of problems from time to time." He said, casually.

    After the dock fiasco, Cudd assumed that Galinn would consider him unsubtle, amateur even. That suited Cudd fine, and it was a role he was more than willing to play up in front of his new companion. The more that Galinn underestimated him, the easier it would be to draw him out and figure out what made him tick.

    "How about you?" He asked, "From the way you handled yourself it looks like this isn't your first time in the field either."
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    Re: Never trust a pretty face

    Post by elanya on 02/10/14, 08:34 pm

    "Laufrey wouldn't have asked me otherwise. What do you want to know?"

    It was almost a pity that they didn't have drinks they could both pretend to be drinking, but there was a cold wind scouring the river that was making their ride a little too choppy for drinking to seem like a plausibly pleasant time-waste.
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    Re: Never trust a pretty face

    Post by tuck on 02/10/14, 09:02 pm

    Cudd shrugged, as if it was just a passing fancy.

    "I don't know. Just wondering what your story was, I guess."
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    Re: Never trust a pretty face

    Post by elanya on 02/10/14, 09:08 pm

    "Mmmhmm?" Oh, just innocently curious, of course. "Well." Galinn grinned wickedly. "I'll show you mine if you show me yours?"
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    Re: Never trust a pretty face

    Post by tuck on 02/10/14, 09:20 pm

    Cudd clicked his tongue in mock disappointment.

    "So crude," he said with a half-smirk, "Tempting. But I usually like to get to know someone better before I show them anything really interesting."
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    Re: Never trust a pretty face

    Post by elanya on 02/10/14, 09:38 pm

    "Really?" Well, if he didn't want to play easy, that was fine. There was no rush. "That was not the impression I had, but perhaps I'm just less accustomed to seeing what a person's insides look like, and haven't become sufficiently jaded."
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    Re: Never trust a pretty face

    Post by tuck on 02/10/14, 09:46 pm

    "Jaded, eh? I suppose maybe I am a bit at that. But a job's a job, right? And besides, what's inside people is usually the most interesting thing about them. Outsides can be so... misleading."
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    Re: Never trust a pretty face

    Post by elanya on 02/10/14, 11:09 pm

    Galinn raised an eyebrow, wondering if he was meant to take that as a threat. "You're telling me you don't find that interesting?"
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    Re: Never trust a pretty face

    Post by tuck on 03/10/14, 08:52 am

    "I suppose in the right circumstances." Cudd shrugged. "But outsides are made to be seen, and they're easy to change. What's inside, though... that people don't always like to talk about. Not in polite conversation."

    Cudd leaned back slightly and folded his hands.

    "Like, say... you for example. An old friend of the new king shows up out of nowhere right when the power structure is shifting. I bet you've been in some interesting places doing some interesting things since you've been gone."
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    Re: Never trust a pretty face

    Post by elanya on 03/10/14, 10:13 am

    "It wasn't as though I'd wanted to leave - I'm sure you know what happened to Laufrey's mother. My parents were with her at the time, and my sister and I were both her students. It didn't seem prudent to stick around. It was a welcome shift, and I was happy for the chance to come home, wanderings aside. I don't know though - you might not understand the attachment."
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    Re: Never trust a pretty face

    Post by tuck on 03/10/14, 10:42 am

    Cudd's smile faded as Galinn described the circumstances of his flight. He had heard Lauffrey vaguely mention Galinn's sister, but it was a topic that Cudd felt warranted further investigation.

    "I'm sorry about your parents. And then having to leave right after... that must have been rough for both of you. I'm surprised your sister didn't return with you."
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    Re: Never trust a pretty face

    Post by elanya on 03/10/14, 11:29 am

    Galinn shrugged. "Vaenn has her own life. But how are you finding our little jarldom?"
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    Re: Never trust a pretty face

    Post by tuck on 03/10/14, 12:12 pm

    Cudd noted the quick change of subject, grinning internally at how well it proved his earlier assertion about polite conversation. It was possible that Galinn's sister might be a subject that would benefit from further research.

    Cudd shrugged his shoulders.

    "It's a fine enough kingdom, and it has a lot of potential to be more than that. We've already begun a few expansion and improvement projects."

    Cudd leaned in slightly closer, his face sincere.

    "I understand if you have reservations about us. I would too. But one thing that our people and yours have in common is that we look to the long term. What's good for the jarldom is good for us. That's what this mission is all about, really. Settling this age old dispute with Vatnleith once and for all will be a prosperous move for everyone involved."
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    Re: Never trust a pretty face

    Post by elanya on 03/10/14, 12:28 pm

    Galinn grinned again, privately considering that the reverse was not necessarily true - what was good for the Bloody Rose was not necessarily still good for Oskorinn. "If only the Vatnleith could see that, it would save us all so much trouble. And since we're looking to the long term - what comes next?"
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    Re: Never trust a pretty face

    Post by tuck on 03/10/14, 12:45 pm

    "Perhaps the jarl of Vatnleith isn't as visionary as we are," Cudd said with a smirk, "As for what's next, that's up to our esteemed co-rulers to decide, isn't it? I can't speak for Aerfen any more than you can speak for Lauffrey."
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    Re: Never trust a pretty face

    Post by elanya on 03/10/14, 02:10 pm

    "No, but I expect you have something of an advantage in that regard. I've had but a month to catch up with Laufrey, but I understand that you've been with Jarl Aerfen since before there was a Bloody Rose."
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    Re: Never trust a pretty face

    Post by tuck on 03/10/14, 03:10 pm

    Cudd smiled. Apparently Galinn was also the type to do his research.

    "True, and it's been a very fruitful journey so far. I expect it will continue to be so for a long time. And not just for the Bloody Rose. I have a feeling you'll be glad that you came back."
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    Re: Never trust a pretty face

    Post by elanya on 03/10/14, 03:43 pm

    Galinn stretches and let his chair tip forward again. "I hope I won't be alone in that, Cudd."
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    Re: Never trust a pretty face

    Post by tuck on 03/10/14, 04:13 pm

    Cudd nodded and pushed himself back from the table.

    "Good talking to you, Galinn," he said as he stood up and took up his walking stick, "I'll be seeing you around."

    As he exited the galley he smiled to himself. It was too soon to tell if the conversation had been fruitful, but it was a start, and Cudd already felt better. Even if the enchanter had been playing with him, it was at least a game that Cudd was long familiar with, and could offer sporting competition in. It was actually refreshing to come across someone who seemed to value information just as much as himself.

    At least now he could really call the mission a success. All that was left was to report back to Aerfen.

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