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    R.E.S.P.E.C.T. - Find out what it means to me...

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    R.E.S.P.E.C.T. - Find out what it means to me...

    Post by tuck on 31/01/15, 03:25 pm

    It was a warm, spring day in Bahrum, the first such of the year, when Cudd knocked on the door of Aerfen's private chambers. After a moment he cracked it open to peer inside.

    "You wanted to see me, milady?" he asked.


    Last edited by tuck on 31/01/15, 05:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: R.E.S.P.E.C.T. - Find out what it means to me...

    Post by elanya on 31/01/15, 03:58 pm

    "I did," Aerven replied, uncurling slowly from her training stretch. "Yet I do not recall calling you in, Cudd." She turned to look at him, a...perhaps familiar....look of displeasure on her face. "explain yourself."
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    Re: R.E.S.P.E.C.T. - Find out what it means to me...

    Post by tuck on 31/01/15, 04:08 pm

    "I apologize," Cudd said, suddenly somewhat self-conscious, "I was... anticipating your whims. Is something wrong?"
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    Post by elanya on 31/01/15, 04:34 pm

    "This isn't the first time you've been out of line recently," Aerfen said. "Sit." She nodded to a spot on the rug opposite her.
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    Post by tuck on 31/01/15, 04:58 pm

    Cudd considered protesting, but quickly thought the better of it. He closed the door behind him and moved to sit, cross-legged, on the patch of floor she had indicated. He followed Aerfen carefully with his eyes, trying to judge her mood.

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    Post by elanya on 01/02/15, 12:08 am

    "There have been several occasions recently where you have been insolent in council meetings, or in other situations where it undermines my authority. I won't have it. If it happens again - I will dismiss you from my presence, and any future infractions will see you permanently removed from the council. Do you understand?"
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    Re: R.E.S.P.E.C.T. - Find out what it means to me...

    Post by tuck on 01/02/15, 12:20 am

    Cudd felt his heart rise into his throat.

    "I... yes, Milady. I'm sorry."

    She was right, of course, but he had not expected such a harsh response. At worst, perhaps a slap on the wrist. Suddenly he found himself wondering what was wrong with him that he had been acting so insolent lately. It wasn't like him...

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    Post by elanya on 01/02/15, 12:27 am

    "I don't care if you're sorry. I want to know why this is happening."
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    Post by tuck on 01/02/15, 12:49 am

    Cudd lowered his gaze to the ground.

    "I... I don't know. I'll... I'll do better."
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    Post by elanya on 01/02/15, 12:59 am

    Aerfen contemplated his answer - she believed him, or at least she still believed he wouldn't lie to her. She didn't want to do without Cudd, but she couldn't tolerate this kind of behavior, either, "See that you do, Cudd," she said in a somewhat softer tone, rising and heading to the sideboard to pour herself a drink. "You may go."
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    Post by tuck on 01/02/15, 01:21 am

    After a moment of awkward silence, Cudd rose and walked to the door. His hand reached for the handle, but instead of opening it he turned back to his mistress.

    "It used to be so much simpler when it was just the four of us. Remember? You, me, Urdden and Saren. And before even that, it was just you and me. Us against the world. Then came the rose, and then the jarldom, and then the empire. But it began with just us. I always knew there was greatness in you. I saw it; as clear as blood on steel. And I wanted the whole world to see it... to see you... as I did."

    He paused, trying to gather his thoughts and words. His tongue seemed to be made of lead.

    "But now... everything we've worked for is coming true. You belong to the world now, and I guess... I guess I just miss the old days. Back when it was just us."

    He sighed and bowed his head, unsure what was going to happen now. Perhaps she would dismiss him permanently. But at least his heart was spoken.
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    Post by elanya on 02/02/15, 09:58 am

    Aerfen finished pouring her wine, rising her cup to her lips and taking a sip before turning back around. She hadn't expected this particular dissatisfaction, and though she wasn't surprised, she was angry.

    "This never began with 'us'. I have never belonged to you." She frowned, keeping her temper in check. "I have given you a place of honour in this new regime and what? You slight me with petty jealousies? This will not do." She set the cup back down, then strode over to the door where he stood, eyes cast downward. "Go and tend to your duties. You are dismissed from my presence, and if I see you before I call for you, you will have cause to regret it."
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    Re: R.E.S.P.E.C.T. - Find out what it means to me...

    Post by tuck on 02/02/15, 10:42 am

    "I... yes, My Jarl." Cudd replied, never lifting his eyes from the ground. He turned and left quickly, without pause.

    She was right. His behavior was unacceptable. He had shamed his family and his race with his pettiness and presumption. His sins were grievous, and he needed to atone. He needed to reforge his loyalty and renew his faith. He needed penance.

    A few minutes later he had found his way to the palace forges. He found one of the blacksmiths, a shadar kai - they would ask fewer questions about his request - and drew him aside.

    "I require your assistance... and your discretion."

    ------------------------------

    The blacksmith was efficient about his work, taking only a few days to return to Cudd's chambers with his request. It was cold, forged iron and terrifying in its simplicity. Nothing more than a hinged band of iron several inches across. On the outside was an engraved rose, twining the length of the band. On the inside, several thin, sharp spikes were spaced around the middle.

    "You're sure about this?" The blacksmith asked as Cudd placed the device lightly around his upper arm, feeling the tips of the spikes dig into his grey flesh, "Once it's riveted it won't come off any time soon."

    Cudd nodded.

    "That's the idea."

    Within two minutes, it was done. The blood was not as bad as expected, but the pain was incredible. Cudd gritted his teeth, but managed not to scream throughout the process.

    "Thank... thank you," he said when they were finished, "You're dismissed. Tell no one of any of this."

    The blacksmith nodded and left. Cudd gazed down at the thin ribbons of blood sliding down his arm.

    "...for you, My Jarl."

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