Grand Meeting, part 1 of 2

More fiction based on RP that took place on gw2. As before I can only take cred for the creation for Seyda and for the text itself – the other characters are the property of their respective players. Once more it develops into a rather unpleasant scene containing some violence, so you have been warned. Second half of the scene to come soooooon.

 

***

Damn him. Damn them all.

Seyda looked through the report yet again, flipped the pages through her fingers and let the words flood her mind. Already before the document found its way to her hands she had been angry, frustrated, worried. She had left town for how long? A few weeks. This was not what she wanted to come home to.

All associates nearby had been called to a Grand Meeting at the Southern Storage, tonight. All employees who were in town were expected to show up, if they didn’t they better have a good excuse. Employees and associates, any and all trusted with the unofficial side of their work.

She started skimming through the report again but stopped halfway through the first page. Damn them all. This was not going to be a good evening.

*

damien_delacour_by_hartiganhero-d8xijk5
Damien Delacour as portrayed by his player. Glorious artwork by Hartiganhero.

“Damien, step forward.”

Everyone’s eyes turned to the young blonde nobleman, masking surprise in silence. No one had been told what to expect, but one thing was clear from the boss’ tone of voice; you did not want to get called up today.

The floor boards creaked under lord Delacour’s fine boots as he stepped forward. His finely sculpted features looked different here, with no other light source than a flickering fire. In the sparse light one could barely even make out how exquisite his coat was or how delicate the embroideries were on his shirt, here he looked much like everyone else. Nine pairs of eyes followed his every move, Seyda’s most sharply.

This room had seen plenty of both pain and blood before, but never this. The stern lecture brought down on the young lord was what no one expected. The young lord who shared Agathon’s bed, the lad she would call her fiancé, had been attacked the other day. But this was not the time for sympathy.

“Tell us the real reason why you got dragged into an alley and beat up the other day. It was not an unprovoked attack.”

Next to the intimidating little woman Merlei sat on the floor, her red hair and nervous features hidden under a dark hood. Rocking back and forth, the girl looked close to breaking. Most others seemed… amused, almost?

“No lies dear, you only make it worse.” Seyda urged her lover to speak, to explain himself, but had little hope for what she would hear.

“Because…,” he explained. “I had previously seen to it that a woman within the Gendarran Free Company was to pay a fee for her crimes against me. They wanted revenge for that happened, and took it in an almost unthinkably brutal manner.”

“Her crimes against you.” Seyda took a single step forward, speaking in an entirely toxic tone. “And pray tell, what made this woman lash out at you in the first place? Your charming manners?”

The young lord spoke in defense, but few if any would listen. He had gotten into an argument with their mercenary company’s leader, Laskaris, who had explained how her henchmen could rip him to bits any moment had she wanted to–

Seyda silenced him with a simple hand gesture. “Every time you behave like an arrogant son of a bitch and provoke people into lashing out at you, every enemy you make, you put us at risk. Every time someone beats you up for treating commoners like filth we need to respond, I can not be seen not to retaliate. So I have told you to think before you speak, to not provoke people, to not force me to have to lash out at those who fall for your provocations. And what do you do?”

Oh how she wished she could bore a hole into his head and insert her words directly into his mind, drill them into his consciousness where they could not be missed. Seyda continued with slow words seething of anger.

“What do you do? You provoke one of the strongest and most well known mercenary companies around. You threaten to fucking bribe the Seraph into arresting them. You get them so angry that they decide to take matters into their own hands, and beat you up. You then pass on a glorified version of it to me, letting me know how these cruel people assaulted you for know reason, and thus I have to act. As a direct result we now have a man in jail. Do you deny any of this?”

Damien drew a slow breath of air through his narrow nostrils before exhaling. “You’ve heard one side of the entire story…”

Enough. There was nothing he could say to change what was going to happen.

“You have been told before to stop provoking people by acting like an arrogant brat, and thus putting us at risk. You have continued with this behaviour, and that can not come without consequences.”

Suddenly it was not amusing any more. Those around dropped their smirks, their funny glances at the young lord being scolded.

“Five lashes.”

Damien’s limegreen eyes widened. On the floor by Seyda’s side Merlei clung to Barnabas, buried her face into the big dog’s fur. The girl was sweating, and red stains in the white fur hinted of a nosebleed. No time for sympathy.

The sudden silence of lord Delacour spoke of shock. He didn’t even protest, didn’t argue or apologize.

“Gods above.” It was Armian who spoke, the only one. “That can’t go over well, ma’am.”

“What did you say?” Seyda’s eyes snapped sharply to the one who spoke, that trusted Elonian with his calm presence and handsome eyes.

“He is, last I checked, not one of your employees. Correct?”

“He is one of us, that is all that matters.”

“My Lord, if you’d please.” That was Rohgal the Norn, polite even as he went to prepare a man for pain. “Coat, vest and shirt off.”

“He’s also noble,” Armian tried. “And this is Kryta, where such things matter.”

“Shut up Armian, or join him.”

The young lord slowly removed his coat. Then the elegant vest, and the brilliant white shirt. Underneath, his chest still carried the painful reminders of his encounter with the Gendarran Free Company, his pale skin marred by bruises. When he extended his hands to have them tied, Merlei could no longer sit. The girl released her grip of the white dog and staggered to her feet, fled the room with a hand tightly pressed against her mouth. The heavy doors slammed open, never mind the guards outside, she had to run.

“Armian, make sure she doesn’t run into the woods and hurt herself.” Seyda nodded his way, and saw the man silently leave, following the broken girl. Through the open doors one could hear miserable hulking and coughing, and a faint smell of vomit found its way inside.

Those who remained watched quietly as the young lord had his wrists tied, and how he was hoisted up with arms over his head until his toes barely touched the floor, rope coiled around the rafters above. Five lashes. Not many, but enough when the whip is cruel and wielded by a Norn.

Before they began Seyda whispered to him, calming words none other could hear. Her gloved hand against his cheek was gentle, loving.

Then, pain. It was not the first time Skadi had wielded that multi-tailed whip, and it was unlikely to be the last. Each last came down hard, tearing through skin and teasing blood from shallow cuts. One. Two. Three.

“Quickly now, we don’t have all night.”

Merlei returned, weak and trembling, to slump down by the shaggy dog once more. With the gentlest touch Seyda reached down to pet Barnabas with one hand, and the girl with the other.

“Sweetheart, are you alright?”

Merlei didn’t answer.

Four. Five. The sound of leather striking skin echoed through the warehouse. At first Damien had managed to stay quiet, but by the last stroke he screamed. It was a haunting, inhumane shriek of pain that concluded the procedure.

“Thank you Skadi.”

The Norn tossed the bloodied whip over her shoulder. Before she stepped back she ran her fingers over Damien’s lower back, touching the blood she had just drawn from his flesh. Barnabas was barking, the scene scented with blood and pain had him frustrated. The redhaired girl clung so tightly to his fur that knuckles turned white.

“Next order of business.” Seyda went on without as much as a hint of sympathy in her voice, after giving Merlei a comforting squeeze. The redhaired girl let go of the dog to instead latch onto Seyda’s hand, clung to the older woman like a desperate last anchor in a frightful storm. “Zylvaer, step up.”

The bloodied man was left hanging from the rafters and instead all eyes landed on Zylvaer. The man exhaled slowly. He had barely been able to watch Damien’s punishment, had turned his head away and refused to look. Finally, after a long while’s hesitation, Zylvaer stepped forward.

“Update me on the situation with the Farly lad,” Seyda asked.

“Ahhfuck!” Rohgal exclaimed. That did not bode well.

“A month ago, when I went away,” Seyda explained calmly, “I left orders to you and Rohgal. Actually, Rohgal, you step up as well. A series of orders even. Now I can only assume that something has gone wrong in your proceedings with the lad…” Her voice suddenly turned sharp, terribly sharp. “…since he has now somehow located my house in Ossan.”

“I uh, can someone remin’ me who this kid-… is? I uh…” Zylvaer seemed dumbstruck.

“Am I surrounded by fools?!” Seyda’s eyes narrowed dangerously.

“S’been a rough summer, I’ve uh. Hrm.”

“How has Farly found our house?! How does he even know we are involved?!”

Zylvaer and Rohgal had neither excuses nor explanations. Someone fucked up. Closer to the wall, Skadi tapped the handle of the whip with her fingers. Tap, tap, tap.

“The plan is off. Can’t work since the lad has identified us somehow. Just find out what he knows, how and who else. We can talk details later.”

Zylvaer nodded carefully, daring to take that as dismissal. He stepped back just as Seyda moved forward. The little woman with the hard eyes came to stand right in front of Rohgal, the hulking Norn more than twice her height.

“Come down to my level, please.”

The Norn quietly complied, came down to one knee, and was met by a sharp backhand that left a bright red mark across his cheek.

“What were you doing trying to sell drugs to the Gendarran Free Company?!”

 

 

… to be continued.

 

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