Conversations Calvin Crowner 27 Mar 2009 15:45:13 EST Winds change and rain falls on the just and unjust. Or so I’ve been told. I’ve watched this realm burned. I’ve seen siege and pestilence; birth and death; love and murder. And I can never have enough. What matters should one minor breath cease, when an entire land can join under one banner? I see myself as simply a person of ambition. I see myself as a person who understands balance. I see myself as the one person who truly understands sacrifice … not mine of course … but I do understand it. Melissa stood before the full-length mirror, her slim form twisting almost awkwardly as she took in the regal plunge of the backline and gracefully returning to set her grey eyes – the color reminding her of the slivers of iron she’d once watched a smith fashion into her first dagger. She smiled considering how fate works … and how she felt herself a crafter in her own right with her influence over it. She fawned and practiced her looks of shock, dismay, disappointment and glee -- gesticulating and morphing from one pose to the next. With a flourish an ebon blade appeared at her fingertips, her eyes betraying the sudden sense of peace at its weight in her hand. She purred examining both edges: a lioness stalking the weakest member of a small herd. Turning on her heels she plucked at the tip of the blade, walking until she stood over a collection of spy reports. Some of them written hastily, others in the steady hand of those knowing their business well. Nothing new or tasty -- her own plans so much more delectable than anything her network had managed in the last few weeks. She returned the dagger to its place without effort searching across the room for … “Ahhh,” she rasped, “there you are.” Her sway across the room was noticeable, almost coquettish. She stood before painting she’d had “removed” from the archives depicting Clainin. She pouted mockingly opening the conversation. “You’ve served your purpose so well fine mage. Britannia owes you its eternal thanks for your duty and service.” She almost scoffed as she straightened herself readdressing the image. “And eternal shall this nation’s thanks be.” In an easy motion her body lunged forward, pressing the tip of the blade into the cheek of the mage’s image, her mouth drifting to the ear of portrait, her voice squelched into a venomous hiss: “And in showing my personal appreciation I shall have complete … job … satis … faction …” Darker than her own thoughts, shades moved in hushed steps through the false dusk of the crypts. Whispers and messages passed between them without voice or acknowledgment. Cloaked shadows slipped like corruption through the low arches, the smell of oil and incense hung in the air, falling on senses deadened for millennia. From within Melissa’s apartments her dulcet laughter drifted down the halls.