Courtesy Call


Max.jpg Harvis (NPC) and Leidy (NPC)

Date: April 5, 2011
Location: Secluded Oasis, Ista area
Synopsis: Max meets the crimelord of Ista, Harvis, and his second. Harvis likes what he sees and Max gains another potential ally.
Rating: PG-15 for some language and innuendo.
Logger: Jaya

It’s a hot Istan afternoon. The beaches are black and inviting in the heat with a few of its residents frolicking about from a nearby trading wagon. A makeshift hut has been set up down the beach, housing a few shirtless men engaged around a table with cards in hand. One woman dressed in a colorful halter sort of dress is standing over one of them, seeming solely interested in the outcome of the current game. A little ways down from the hut is a smooth rock path leading to a private clearing surrounded by dense palm trees and the sound of flowing water. The area was purely tropical as well as its people with sun-kissed hair and tanned bodies. Men shout and call out to each other with the background of children laughing and splashing in the waters. One can see it being the perfect backdrop to paradise if one wasn’t used to such locations.

The young southern crimelord who had arrived in the early afternoon of the previous day without fanfare and without the usual escort of his second, Waine, had pretty much kept to himself, choosing the simple lodgings available to travellers near the beach rather than availing himself of what the Weyr itself had to offer. Seeking some time alone before Waine arrived the following day and they presented themselves to his Istan counterpart.

An early morning run just as dawn was sending rivers of gold across the ocean surface followed by a hearty Istan breakfast had started his day out with the rest of it leading to the afternoon spent exploring the general area in contemplative solitude.

And so it is that wearing nothing but a pair of lightweight drawstring trousers with a towel slung over his shoulder that the tanned young man with a build more fitting of a fighter than a crimelord, meanders passed the beach hut and on toward that smooth rock path unless prohibited from doing so. Those at the card table are given only a cursory glance of interest as he passes by.

When Max moves onto the rock path, perhaps he doesn’t notice that the sun-kissed-haired woman detaches herself from the card table to follow him. Her green eyes flicking over his muscled frame with the look of wanton interest, “You lost?” is given to his back in her pepped up voice, the words meant to both stall him from going forward and getting his attention. Fists plant on her hips and she stands there exuding the confidence of one that has authority in the area, and should Max turn around to face her he would perhaps note that the men at the card table would now be well aware of his presence, too.

Max hears the comment sent in his direction but keeps on for a slow pace or two before he stops, exhales a sigh and turns, a dark brow lifted. “This the way to the bar?” Deliberately playing the fool as his gaze does an open survey of the blonde woman, expression unreadable and then his eyes skip passed her and land on the men at the card table watching them. Silent a moment or two a faint smirk appears as his attention drifts back onto the woman and then broad shoulders shift in the semblance of a shrug and he starts to head back the way he’d come. Just as he draws level his voice drops and he drawls with amusement evident in his tone, “You don’t want folk heading down that way a ‘Do not enter’ sign might be helpful, aye?” A wink and then he’ll brush passed her and head back toward the beach unless stopped.

To the question, “I’ve seen you about yesterday,” the woman states, approaching him slowly with her gaze over him. She was small in comparison to him, but the cunning in her green eyes belies there being more than what’s meets the eye with her. It’s only when he draws up beside her with those words that a brow lifts, seeming to content to watch Max walk back the way he came before she stops him with a wry, “If you’re done sunbathing, he’s been waiting for you.” If this gets him to turn around, he’ll find her walking towards him, ignoring the men at the card table watching as she adds on, “Leidy. Name’s Leidy, and you must be the new man from the south.” She’s not saying how she knows this, either, along with not dropping any names on who it was that was expecting him. She looks expectantly at him then, waiting for his response – or rather, his confirmation of her suspicions – before saying anything further.

Again that brow lifts when the blonde speaks of having seen him about and rather than the inviting smirk such words might have been afforded her, Max simply sets her with a bland look. “I’m sure you saw many about yesterday, darlin’.” He drawls in return his dark gaze holding to those cunning green eyes of hers and then a smirk unfolds. “Been waiting for me, huh?” and then a wry look settles into place, “So much for travellin' incognito.” A hand lifts and the southerner rubs at the back of his neck as he contemplates meeting with his Istan counterpart now instead of the swim he’d been looking to indulge in. Then he drops a look down over himself and offers over a crooked grin, “Ain’t exactly dressed for the meet and greet right now, Leidy darlin’.” Because barefoot and bare-chested wasn’t exactly the impression he’d wanted to form upon first encounter with the man Keane seemed to speak highly of.

“I have,” Leidy is easy to agree, though the bland smirk is returned. “But I remember you.” Some of the men are still watching the exchange, and Leidy sent a look in that area that had the effect of them turning back to their game. When she notices Max looking over himself and speaks about how he is dressed, there’s short robust laughter and the woman moves to briefly clap him on the bare shoulder as she gestures for him to proceed her back on the rock path towards the private area. “This is Ista, darlin’,” she drawls, mirth showing in her eyes. “We don’t do formal, here. Follow me,” the last two words were more formally spoken despite the way they were both dressed, expecting him to follow suit. She makes a show of looking about him then, adding in, “Didn’t you come with someone? He’s welcome too, if you like.” She’s yet to tell him who she is other than her name, but with the men deferring to her, it’s clear that she has some sort of authority in the sunny area.

Still somewhat mentally shackled by the events of the past few sevens, where Max might have had some or other cocky return to Leidy’s comment on remembering him, he simply gives a light snort, “Was that before or after I took a swim in the buff?” Okay, so maybe some of the cock and swagger of old is starting to return to the man. There’s no attempt to avoid the clap of hand to his shoulder and if anything, the southerner is faintly amused by the gesture. Hands set to slim hips and he casts a dubious look the woman’s way when she deems his ‘attire’ suitable. But before he has a chance to say anything to that she’s gesturing for him to follow her and he can’t help a smirk as they head down the very path she stopped him from going down before, “Ah, so it’s like that, eh? Am I to be announced like a Lord Holder then?” Yeah, he’s teasing and yes, his eyes have drifted to the sway of hips ahead of him. He’s male. But should she turn Leidy will find nothing but a look of pure innocence at play. “Who Waine?” assuming she must be referring to his second, “I uh…well I came up a few days ahead of him, he’s only due tomorrow but if you got a flit or a rider headin’ down our way I’ll send word for him to head up today.” Because this was definitely not how he’d planned on meeting up with the Istan crimelord, half dressed and without his second on hand.

To Max’s cocky return, Leidy flicks her gaze up and down him before answering back, “I noticed before, but only took closer examination after.” Is she the brazen sort or not? Pleased that he’s now following her, she resumes her walk as he speaks to her back. “Lord Holder?” she thinks about that one before snorting, shaking her head. “I suppose. You crimelords do like to style yourselves as such, huh?” The way she was figuring it, it was only a matter of time before southern’s new crimelord does as well. Since Waine wasn’t about, she turns and shrugs her sturdy-looking shoulders, missing the look sent towards swaying hips as she answers, “Ah. Yes, send word to him if you need him. This way.” She leads him through the wooden gate that they approach, where there was two men standing guard well into the dense trees. Leidy nods to them both and neither of them move to intercept them. In fact, it would be easy to miss them completely. Passed the gate shows a closed area marked by a smooth rock floor and a small waterfall flowing into a little pool area. There’s circular tables marked with chairs, a bar on the opposite side of the waterfall and covered with a canvas overhead to keep out most of the sunlight. The place looks like a small oasis in a desert – cool, tropical and showing off all that Ista has to offer. There was also another gated path to the side, leading to the docks. Leidy directs Max in, nodding towards the bar where a male bartender was busy behind the counter. There was no one else in the area, but she tells Max, “Drink, if you want. He’ll be with you shortly.”

Low laughter greets her return Max amused by her brazen comeback but he says nothing. Instead he utters a snort to the comparison between crimelords and Lord Holders, even although he’d started conversation down that line. “Ain’t well behaved enough to be taken up as such a one, darlin’.” At least he’s honest. On the matter of sending word to have Waine joining him a day earlier than planned, the southerner gives a nod of head, his attention going to his surroundings as they continue on down the path, gaze flicking briefly over the two men at the gate and sending them a barely perceptible nod of acknowledgement as they pass through. Once they come to a stop a brow goes up and a low whistle is uttered for what can only be described as what looks to be someone’s personal slice of paradise, “The man’s got style, I’ll give him that much.” And then a crooked grin patches into place as Leidy directs him toward the counter, “See? I knew there was a bar down here somewhere.” Yeah right. Drink if he wants… Oh he very much wants to but being as how he’s given himself over to a rigorous training routine since leaving the Blood and Bucket he declines the hard tack and states simply, “I’ll take juice if you’ve got.”

“That’s what they all say,” Leidy returns, throwing a smirk over her bare shoulder at him for his initial response. Once in the oasis, as it was called, she silences and turns to watch his reaction, seeming pleased by it. “Only the best, for the best,” is her response, not saying exactly was the best at this point. The way she was speaking, one would think she was referring to herself. She snorts her amusement on his quip on the bar area, and when he asks for juice, she immediately turns towards the now listening barkeep and calls out, “Hey Luc! Passion blend for our guest!” She turns to give Max a wink, then slowly approaches while the drink is being made with, “So. You’re the one that dropped the dead body in Nabol.” No pleasantries. Not even asking for the man’s name. It’s clear that she knows who he is, where he’s from, and current events. Green eyes looking down his torso, “Not what I expected,” she critiques openly, keeping up the familiar façade. “Was expecting someone…older. Taller.”

Leidy would probably be shocked to know of the type of set up the southerner has become home as his base of operation but he’s not one that feels the need to try and talk himself either up or down. He is what he is. End of story. Which is likely why her comeback to the Istan oasis amuses him as much as it does, “The best, huh?” sending the blonde a sly look as he starts to reason that she must be the Harvis’ mistress. Passion blend? That gets his attention as does the wink sent by the blonde. He has no comment merely a faint smirk as he turns and leans his elbows on the bar counter behind him. And then a slightly bemused expression patterns into place when she brings up the matter of the dead body, his gaze narrowing slightly. Its not so much that she seems to know exactly who he is but…Harvis was reported to be male, wasn’t he? Or maybe both Keane and Kelarad had been pulling his leg in leading him to believe so? Either way it’s a moment or two before he responds and when he does his expression is bland as he gives a simply stated, “Aye.” Rather than be affronted by Leidy’s assessment of him physically, it’s once again amusement that rises to the fore, “My apologies, darlin’. I generally try not to disappoint.” Which given the smirk that attaches at the end? Could be taken any one of several different ways.

The deep green drink gets sent towards Max at the counter by the barkeep, Leidy settling in with him on a stool as she turns to the barkeep then and orders, “That does look good. Can I have one too?” Beat. “Don’t you have some sort of set up like this down south?” she asks Max, a brow lifting as she continues to study the man before her without apology. “I’ve heard lots of things about the southern continent. As I said, not what I expected.” Her drink is given and she raises her glass in Max’s direction with that winsome smile before taking a sip, nodding to its taste along with a nod of thanks towards the barkeep. It’s to his last that she responds again with, “Well aren’t you the southern charmer?” – “Everyone is, in your estimation, Leidy,” comes a smooth, cultivated and deep male voice behind them getting the woman’s attention abruptly to find a dark-skinned man – wet and glistening like he had just come in from the ocean and with only short brown trousers on to give way to his muscular frame – approaching them with an equally winsome smile. He nods to the barkeep and adds to Leidy, “I believe your presence is being needed back at the pavilion,” he states to her, and assuming she will comply to the obvious order of dismissal, he turns to Max with an incline of his head and offers his hand to shake. “Lomaxin of southern,” he drawls easily, his quick eyes taking him in. “I see you’ve met my second. Hope she’s been the grateful host.” Standing proud and exuding prominence and authority of a man that owns much despite his youth as his hand is out for him to grasp, “Harvis. Welcome to Ista.”

As the drink is taken up, Max regards it with interest and then lifts it the bartender’s way in a gesture of thanks. “We like to keep things a little more…earthy,” he decides to give by way of an answer on the set up he has back home, though by the smirk attached its clear to see he’s putting a play on words. Once again its low laughter that plays out for the blonde’s quip about his person. Not one to bother with trying to hide his Reachian accent, he drawls in amusement, “Ain’t originally from the south, darlin’.” As if he was negating her comment of his being a charmer. His glass lifted to lips, he swings his upper body at the sound of the male voice dropping into the conversation behind them. From over its rim dark eyes take in the well-built man standing there and one corner of his mouth crooks up into a lopsided smile that seems to be oddly tinged with relief. Either because he sees the Tillekian and Telgari had indeed, not been trying to pull the wool over his eyes, or because the dark skinned man is just as casually attired as he is. Standing to his feet as Leidy is dismissed and setting his glass to the bar counter, he greets that offer of hand with a grip that while it holds no challenge, is firm and speaks to him being no stranger to hard work. “The very same,” he drawls with a dip of head and then adds as a crooked grin starts to form, “They send out a likeness of me or something?” Alluding to both crimelord and second having been aware of who he was before even having introduced himself. “Second?” a brow lifts and he’ll send a look of amused surprise in the direction of where Leidy either still is or had left, “Well ain’t that somethin’. Afraid mine’s been…held up.” He decides to go with by way of explanation on Waine’s absence. “Harvis of Ista,” he states looking the man over once again, “Well met.”

Earthy? Leidy’s giving that one a look, though her amusement doesn’t abate. When Max mentions he’s not originally from the south, “It’s your claim now, is it?” she notes almost playfully. “Makes you southern to me.” But then Harvis appears and she slides herself off of the stool with drink in hand. “Catch you on the flip side, southern,” she drawls, blowing a kiss to them both before removing herself and her drink to the beach once more. With Max studying him, Harvis is studying Max equally. Of course he had an idea what he looked like. “My informants are good with description,” he explains to knowing him, set to leaning casually – dripping and all – against the bar counter. “Surely you have such people in your party by now?” Brow lifts on the account of the departed second, his warm brown gaze sweeping over towards where she has vanished before answering. “Don’t let that fool you,” he notes on her. “Each of my people have interesting origins, like hers. Leidy in particular defected from Borrento.” That alludes to the nature of the woman, if one knows the nature of the Reachian crimelord’s business. He waves away Waine’s absense, though he states, “We noticed you came here about a day or so ago. No one drops in on Ista without my knowledge,” he adds with a catchy smirk. “So, unless this is a business call involving our seconds…?” Intrigued by Max surely, the crimelord of Ista was also curious as to why he was in his territory so suddenly, but for now, he was willing to keep things carefree and let Max lead.

Amused Max can’t deny her logic and so he gives a small dip of head, “Aye, southern it is.” Even going so far as to lift his drink as if in toast thereof, the amusement lingering as she makes her departure and then his attention turns to Harvis with a low chuckle, “So it would seem.” Dark eyes flow further study over the Istan leaning up against the counter that one might think he were assessing a potential new fighter to add to his stable and then he gives a smirk, “Got all kinds of people with me.” Deliberately vague as his head turns to where Leidy had disappeared, when his gaze once again finds the dark skinned crimelord he doesn’t bother to hide that he’s impressed with the blonde second’s origins, “Borrento, eh?” As to the next there comes a wry chuckle, “No, I don’t expect anything escapes your attention.” And then he goes quiet a moment before replying to the question put to him, perhaps considering his answer before giving it. Glass to mouth Max swallows down a mouthful of the fruit blend and the smile he produces is crooked, “Less business and more…a courtesy call?” Though why he’d not yet sought the man out before now, on that he remains silent.

The barkeep passes over an amber-colored drink Harvis’s way without ordering as the crimelord’s brow lifts at Max’s words on him having all kinds of people with him. “Oh?” he encourages him to continue on that line of topic, reaching for his drink with a nods of thanks for his barkeep. “And what kinds do you have? Save the ones I know about?” He nods on Leidy’s origins, for now not giving anymore since the man before him has more of his interest. Curiosity colors his features when Max answers his last, his chin lifting before asking, “Courtesy, is it? And hear I thought the courtesy call was that body you dropped in on Serevan,” and the corner of his mouth curls at that. “So tell me, then. Who was that body you dropped in Nabol? Inquiring minds,” especially his, “wants to know.” His words are smooth, cultivated like he was harper-trained in the art of words. Even the way he leans against the counter and hold his drink is cultivated – holdbred.

A bared shoulder lifts and falls in an easy shrug, “Oh you know, the usual. Farmers, fighters, beastherders, dockworkers…shall I go on?” A cocky grin falling into place as Max remains evasive, openly teasing on what sort of people he has under him, amusement lighting dark eyes. Amusement that spills over into a chuckle that resonates in his chest as Harvis brings up the matter of the body drop he’d made over Nabol, “That…was more of a ‘heads up’ than a ‘Howdy’.” A dark smirk falls into place when the identity of the body is questioned and rather than answer immediately, he takes another swallow of his drink and then twists to set it down on the bar counter behind him, muscles stretching and pulling across his well toned frame as he does so. Turning back to the Istan, a corner of his mouth twitches, making it hard to determine whether or not what he says next is fact or fiction, “Went by the name of Dax.” He doesn’t know what the man’s name was but that’s the one he and Jonovan and dubbed it with. And then he puts the bigger man under close study yet again, as if he’s trying to figure him out, “You ever fight in the rings?” Judging the man to have been a formidable opponent if that had been the case as he searches for telltale scarring.

Seeming to tease, “Building your own Hold, I see!” Harvis puts to those titles, baring his white teeth in a wide smile along with his easy-going manner. Knowing the type of business he runs, he knows who Max has under him but that doesn’t seem to stop Harvis from asking anyway. Brows both lifts at Max’s response on the dead body, his easy smile still in place as he echoes, “A ‘head’s up?’ Some head’s up that is! Pretty effective move, if I should say so, though. Not something I would have pulled, but then, something tells me that you and I are quite…different,” and his voice seems to caress the last word before going silent. Curiosity is still there on that dead body, though, his gaze falling on stretched muscles with tilted head when the southern crimelord turns from him to set his glass down. The look is almost leery, but when Max turns back, whatever the look is is gone in an instant at the name drop. “Dax?” he repeats that, frowning a bit, trying and failing to place the name. “Hmm. Guess you won’t be saying who he belonged too, if anyone, hmm?” He only pauses briefly. “Everyone checked to make sure if he was one of their men. Of course, he was well into decomposing mode for anyone to make to positive guess. You’re a crafty one, southern.” Straightening up now when it was time for Max to question him, Harvis makes a show of looking over himself – his arms and torso smooth for the most part save for the criss-cross scars of hard work here and there – then meeting Max’s gaze with a touch of arrogance, “I write, I talk, I fuck, and I keep the peace. Not necessarily in that order,” he adds, one corner of his mouth lifting. “I don’t fight if I don’t have to.” I know you do, however. Or rather, at least you did.”

Grinning at the return tease, Max then gives a solemn looking nod of head, “Oh aye, my own Hold.” Yeah really. And then it’s low laughter that spills at the Istan’s next, “Or ass down,” he quips to the heads up bit, “I didn’t hang around to check how it landed.” Twit. It must be the tranquil setting and the easygoing demeanour that Harvis displays that’s putting the younger southerner at ease enough to be joking around. Either that or the barkeep has snuck alcohol into his drink. Whatever looks had been sent his way as he’d set his drink down are completely missed as a dark brow raises along with a smirk falling into place, “Aye, Dax.” Amusement lingers in dark eyes when he’s pressed on who the body might have belonged to, “A friend if you must know.” Deliberately steering the other man down the path of now likely trying to figure out which of the other crimelords he might be associated with and then be so bold as to…off one of their men? As to the comment on his being crafty? Max looks to have taken that as a compliment and he gives a small dip of head in acknowledgement thereof and then he’s uttering another low laugh for the answer Harvis gives on fighting, or not as the case may be, “Seems like you got it all covered, Ista.” As to his having been a fighter a hand lifts, his thumb touching without thought to his lower lip that’s still on the mend after his bout with Demerion, “I’ve been known to on occasion.” Smirk.

Laughing, such rich sound infectious, “And here I thought a man of your caliber and…lineage,” and he gives a little bow in emphasis of his words, “would prefer to be Weyrleader to Lord.” Yeah, he knows where Max is from, and most of all, that he was weyrbred. “I must say, I’m quite surprised the search dragons haven’t picked you out yet. I was under the impression the probability was present for those that are from the Weyr.” Ass down? Brows lift and maybe Harvis will take that literally if he was uncouth and rude. All the same, the return easiness was perhaps his workings all along, moving to drink from his glass before gesturing with his chin towards one of the tables surrounding the little pool of water and waterfall so he could sit. When Max mentions further on the dead body, “I almost thought it was Ampherol,” he admits wryly with an amused twitch of shoulders. “The one that proceeded you.” Was he insinuating something? To his having got it all covered, there’s a rumbly laugh before shoulders shrug cockily and he returns, “I do. You’ll find,” he drawls, “that I’m not one of those…’fight by the seat of my trousers’ sort of leaders, like, Kelarad or even Serevan. Life is meant to be protected, and enjoyed,” and he’ll even raise his own glass to that in a sort of toast before drinking. “So that’s what I do. I protect. I keep things in check. Any fights, fights-to-be, problems between Hold, Hall, Weyr and the lands…” and a beefy hand flourishes about in the pause before landing on his own bare chest in indication as he finishes with, “…it is I that keeps the peace between such elements. If we keep the law makers happy, then they leave us to our own devices. Then we renegades are happy, no?” At the last, on fights, brown gaze flicking to what bruises he can see on the young crimelord as he speak before stating, “Must be a sight in the ring.” A complement? Double meaning? Maybe. But it’s his turn to question: “So why claim the south?”

Where before he’d joined in with the laughter so rich and infectious, amusement drains from Max and his jaw tightens a fraction, eyes hardening further as Harvis goes on to mention the Search dragons having not chosen him. As he stands from the stool where he’d been lounging at the bar, he says nothing on the topic, moving a step or two closer to the pool and staring down into its depths not yet moving toward the table and chairs the other had indicated. His head lifts and it’s a dark smirk that falls into place when the Istan touches on the dead body perhaps having been that of Ampherol. “Took a long walk off a short pier,” Max gives on the matter and leaves whatever thoughts had briefly darkened his demeanour at the pool’s edge as he moves toward the seating area a crooked grin falling into place when Harvis speaks of protecting and enjoying life, and then gives with more sincerity, “Seems we may not be so different after all. I fight…to protect what's mine.” And he leaves it there seemingly unfazed by the study of the bruising on his person, though he does cock a brow for being a sight in the ring, and gives with a shrug, “I hold my own.” Present tense, not past tense. Dropping into one of the chairs and hooking an arm up over the back of it, Max directs a level look onto Harvis for the question put to him, “My family are in the South.” Giving the man the plain and honest truth and then turns it back on him, "What made you choose Ista?"

Harvis could tell when he had touched a nerve from the way amusement drains from Max’s face. Looking faintly apologetic, “I meant nothing by it,” he states in a sort of ceasefire, though the Istan was filing such a nerve away in his memory. He watches him step towards the pool, Max’s back to him, and response on the last southern crimelord gets a faint snort. “Hardly,” is all he says on Ampherol, alluding to him knowing exactly what happened to the man. Once Max settles at the table, Harvis leans back comfortably with an easy eye on his companion – Max mentions them being not so different after all and the crimelord nods once to that. “I do the same,” he agrees, “but in a different way. There’s more than one way to protect without the use of fists.” Beat. “You still fight in the ring?” This raises an amused brow. “A crimelord in the ring. Would have expected such a novelty from the likes of Timekis or the Ralka boys. You’re more rowdy than they say,” and by his tone, he seems oddly approving of it. Onto origins and territory claims – a common topic among renegade leaders so that one knows where the boundaries are – “So family is what moves a man to claim a whole continent and go up against cutthroats and murderers?” he muses on that, a hand lifting to rub absently at the stubble on his chin. “That’s a rather extreme way to protect your family, southern. Thought you were Weyrbred more than renegade.” There’s a lifting intonation at the end of this, suggesting it could be more of a question that a statement. At the Max’s question, he drinks, shrugging with non-chalance before answering with “Why not Ista?” Beat. “Know this place inside and out, even if I don’t necessarily have family here. This place is so different than where I was from – swore to never leave. It resonates with me and my people.” Pause. “Why did you leave the Reaches…Tillek?”

The words spoken as if in apology are unexpected, and have Max turning his head and putting a long and unreadable look onto the Istan before one corner of his mouth hitches up and he gives a faint dip of head in acceptance thereof. It’s a wry expression that shows up when Harvis alludes to knowing the truth behind the disappearance of the previous crimelord of Southern, and he lifts a brow, “Anything I should know about?” Leaning forward the southerner takes up his glass that he’d brought with him from the bar, gaze fixing to the other from over its rim as he speaks of methods available to protect one’s own and then amusement lights dark eyes once again on crimelords taking to the ring. “Such a thing wouldn’t be fitting of a man in my position, aye?” but despite words that seem to dismiss the notion there’s a definite glint of eye and tip of smirk to suggest he’s about as rowdy at times as he’s purported to be. Silence then envelops Max, studying his drink for a moment before his gaze lifts and fixes back onto Harvis, “My family is rather…large, with a good few ‘em in need of a safe haven, and if running Southern is what’s gonna give it to ‘em then…” Shoulders lift and fall in a shrug as he hints at those he and his mother had brought with them from the northern continent. “Same goes for those of…other families looking to lay low for a bit.” Like Olira of Tillek. As to being Weyrbred more than renegade, a dark smirk peels out, “Trained to be a Weyrleader, raised to be a miscreant.” Touching on the two different influences his parents had had on him growing up either directly or indirectly. Stretching his legs out under the table, the young Southern crimelord latches onto something Harvis says, the curiosity evident in tone and query, “Where were you from originally?” As to why he’d left the Reaches a short chuckle spills for the Istan having nailed it, “Your sources are as good as they say they are,” not mentioning who ‘they’ might be and he gives a nod. “Aye, got offered a position by Lord Tillek when he was at the Weyr for business. Figured why not and took it.”

When Max looks his way, Harvis meets that gaze steadily for the apology that was – perhaps cultivated through his proper breeding – which might allude to why he doesn’t seem like a proper renegade crimelord. The question on Ampherol’s expected, the man smirking to himself in response as he considers in the pause whether to answer it truthfully or not. “He was unfortunate,” he decides to say, his warm brown gaze steady. “He stepped on too many toes, way too fast. I advise you don’t go down the same path he did….if you want to live a longer life.” Pause. “And protect your family,” he tacks on then upon hearing a bit about his business. On the matter of those looking to lay low down south for a bit, Harvis looks down into his glass and states casually, “Ah yes, like Kelarad’s cousin, I believe? I trust she and the baby are well?” Meeting his eyes then, “You also do realize you won’t be able to keep that baby a secret much longer from his unfortunate father, correct?” Amusement does touch lips at Max’s words on being raised to be a miscreant, warm laughter meeting that with a brief incline of his head. He was going to say something to that but he pauses, choosing to answer the question put to him instead with a wry, “Originally? Keroon, actually, but I spent the majority of my youth in Fort, harpering.” Lips twitching, “Parents found it better for me not to be tending beasts like my brothers. Was far too smart for my own good, they would say,” and he raises a glass to that before taking a drink. When he get complimented on his informant network being so efficient, “I’ll be the best, one day,” he drawls, knowing full well who the best currently is. “But, I’m glad you think so.” Beat. “You spend long in Tillek,” he continues to say with curiosity. “Why such a departure from there if the Lord Tillek was so generous to offer you a position?”

Max finds himself holding the Istan’s gaze longer than he’d intended to and so looks away with a light frown in place as he lifts his drink to his lips, stating sombrely on the matter of Ampherol, “I ain’t out to cause shit, Harvis. Just trying to keep my hide and those of the ones that look to me in one piece, aye?” In other words he intends avoiding stepping on toes as far as possible. Swallowing, his glass comes away and he gives a small nod and a sigh on the matter of the Tillekian’s cousin and her baby, “Aye. Wouldn’t surprise me if that Bitran bastard already knows of the boy’s birth. But…” and here a fierce light of determination enters his eyes as he leans forward slightly, “he ain’t gonna get close enough to lay a hand on either mother or child. Not so long as they’re under my protection.” Openly displaying where his fighting spirit lies these days with that statement. Some of that melts away and amusement lifts a brow upward, “Keroon? Seems no matter which way the cards fell we were fated to work together in some form or another, aye?” Either in his capacity as beast manager or that of crimelord. And then Max shows open surprise as dark eyes flare, “You were a…harper?” laughter deep and throaty rolls out and he gives a shake of head in amusement as he tips his glass the Istan’s way, impressed, “it all makes so much more sense now.” The presence Havis has about him, his network of informant’s and his more cultured approach to things. “Why’d you leave?” trading question for question he turns to answering the one put to him with a dark and mirthless laugh, “Let’s just say that his Lady offered positions,” plural, “of a more…compromising nature. That and…well…me and Rad kinda go back a ways.” The grin that appears holding a cocky edge to it for how he and the Tillekian seem to have come full circle.

“Good answer,” Harvis agrees to the first, nodding and looking pleased. “It means you won’t do something stupid later down the line.” On the topic of Olira and Vaputero, “Perhaps the Bitran just needs to be….talked out of pursuing his son,” he considers slowly, thoughtfully. “A man like Vaputero doesn’t really think about the future, as it were. He’s not even worried about his replacement should his life goes….pear-shaped.” Smirking a bit, “He has no need for a son. I suspect he’s only interested because of who his son’s mother is related to.” He sets his glass down then on Max’s curiosity in his birthplace, laughing a bit to himself before stating, “Fated, perhaps, though you’d probably be working more with my brothers than me. I’d be the one sitting nearby with a stack of hides in my hand.” He’s not above poking fun at himself, in other words, by the light shining in his eyes. “And, yes, I used to be a harper. Walked the tables, even.” The question on why he left was expected – being that here he was, running with known criminals instead of cultivated harpers and craftsmen. “Long story,” he drawls out, some of his amusement fading as he gets to his feet with drink in hand. Evasive, “Not worth getting into, but I’ll tell you this much –“ and turning to face Max, “- my views were starting to differ from the masters at the Hall too much. They kicked me out.” The way it’s delivered suggests that there was definitely more to the story, but for now the crimelord moves on and asks, “Compromising nature?” Yeah, he knows what that meant by the short chuckle falling free. “You didn’t fancy yourself being the male mistress at the Hold, hm?” Pausing at hearing about there being a connection between him and Kelarad though, he nods to that one and answers, “Aye, had an informant there in those days that was a fighter in the ring. Kept me up to any interesting stories, and I do recall there being someone there matching your description under a different name,” and his lips twitch. “Kelarad’s a good enough man, though. How did you end up from his rings to the south in the end?”

For some reason the response from Harvis causes Max to give a wry chuckle, “I try.” Not to be stupid but there are those that would dispute that. A dubious look crosses his features next when the Istan suggests that Vaputero be talked out of trying to make any contact with his son. “Sounds like a job for a Harper,” he quips with a faint smirk attaching to the pointed look he sends his companion. And then a brow goes up and he visits a grin upon the other man as he pokes fun at himself, “Reckon there ain’t nothin’ wrong with being a man of learning.” He himself partial to educating himself further where he need be such as studying that tome of Human Anatomy as he does from time to time. Brows tip toward each other as Harvis stands with the southerner silently berating himself for bringing up what was obviously a subject of contention for the other man as he watches the Istan closely. Quiet another moment or two before he responds dryly, dark regard meeting the warm brown of the other, “People don’t like change. Even the Weyrs have issue with progressive thinking as my Ma will tell you.” Then it’s his turn to look disquieted as a shadow crosses the southerner’s face, “I didn’t fancy having my daughter passed off as that of another,” blunt and to the point, “and Rad was on my tail by that point so I had no choice but to join up with Ma and her group up Nerat way before Randi found us and made offers we couldn’t refuse.” That being a fair bit more information than he’d likely share with what is a virtual stranger to him but for some reason he senses that Harvis is a man to be trusted. It’s the dark skinned man’s last that draws humour back into place, “Aye? Anyone I might have wrapped around the dirt?” cocky. A nod is given to Kelarad being a decent sort and he takes another drink before he too stands, “Aye, he is. Was the first to offer alliance and back me in my bid with the South.”

“A job not to be considered lightly,” Harvis seems to correct on Vaput, a finger lifting into the air. “He’s of a delicate nature right now. I’ve already advised Rad to let matters cool first until either he makes the first move, or, Serevan finishes his meets with him.” He smiles at the words of him being a man of learning, inclining his head in deference to it. Onto the next topic that draws his interest: the Weyrs, Halls and change. “Your ma is correct,” he tells him, turning slightly towards him with interest. “Even in the Halls there is some resistance to new ways of thinking, as I’ve learned. What is old does not always means best, but try telling a Master that.” Shaking his head, one corner of his mouth lifting, “Before going there, I thought they could do no wrong,” he admits almost sheepishly. “Holds don’t teach their children to question. Your elders’ word was Law, no questions asked.” Perhaps he’s not as holdbred then? Arms spreading out to encompass the oasis they were standing in, “And so, here I am,” he states, looking fondly on all he’s worked for. “Harper-turned-crimelord of Ista. The man with the silver tongue and the new ideas. Not exactly what I have envisioned myself being from the days of a dutiful stableboy.” Max then answers on why he left Tillek and he listens, frowning a bit at hearing about a child being involved before asking, “Is she still in Tillek? No one’s mentioned a child being with you down in Eastern.” Some of that dark cloud clears at the other’s amusement upon hearing he had a fighter informant, regarding the other wryly before answering, “’Wrapped around the dirt’?” he echoes, brows lifting as he takes that moment to look the man up and down before snorting. “You mean the other way around, southern! He was actually one of Kelarad’s best up until I reassigned him. Rad wasn’t too happy about that,” and he laughs a bit at it. Speaking of Kelarad though, the Istan regards Max for his last, pausing as if this was news to him before nodding and putting in, “Getting someone to back you won’t be the problem, Lomaxin. It’s you keeping that bid that will be.” Beat. “I like you though,” he decides to say casually, giving his verdict if one can say. “You’re honest. You can be surprised how few honest men are out and about in Pern. You don’t seem intimidated, either,” he notes with the faintest of a smirk, his eyes glinting, “before a man that knows more of your history than you would want.” Drawing a finger across his stubbled chin, “You’re different.” Stepping back, gaze lingering as he continues to try and figure the southern crimelord out, “Gave anyone else a courtesy call besides Rad and I?” he asks then, his turn to question.

A light snort greets comment of the Bitran’s current state of being, “More like a mad canine.” He not being as diplomatic about the man. Rather than display amusement for the sheepish smile that forms when Harvis speaks of his initial impression of the Harper Hall, there comes a small softening of features toward sympathetic and then he utters a cough of amusement, “Reckon my folks woulda been happier if I’d taken my elders word as law.” No apology in the crooked grin that appears for the little hellion he’d been growing up. His gaze follows the other man’s expansive gesture that encompasses all that he presides over, “Don’t seem like a bad trade to me.” And then he passes a crooked smile the Istan’s way, “Us stableboys, eh?” Standing now arms fold across his chest and he gives a short nod of head on the matter of his daughter, tone somewhat cryptic, “For now she is.” He can’t however help the faint smirk that appears and he teases, “So…the silver tongued crimelord of Ista doesn’t know everything after all, hmm?” Feeling at ease enough to do so, in fact so much so that it’s a grin that carves into place for the response Harvis gives on the fighter he’d had up in Tillek rather than disgruntlement. “Ah well…see there’d been these two tavern maids the night…” laughter in his voice as he pretends to give excuse for why his opponent might have been able to put him down in the dirt. Some of that humour slips off in light of the more serious topic of alliances and keeping them in place, his expression clouding briefly before he gives a curt nod of head. “All about one hand washing the other while trying to keep your own as clean as possible,” he states, perhaps lending hint to the way in which he conducts his business. A brow goes up and he lends the other man a warm smile, “Reckon you ain’t too bad yourself, Ista. Keane was right about you.” And then he shakes his head, “Just the two of you so far. Plan on trying to hit ‘em all up if I can. Got someone working on getting me some face time with Serevan next and from there…” giving a shrug and then levelling a curious look onto his companion. “Anyone in particular you’d suggest after Nabol?”

“Even a mad canine can be formidable when pressed into a corner,” Harvis speaks gravelly on Vaputero, perhaps having dealt with him before in the past. There’s an incline of head to Max’s understanding his dilemma on the elders, snorting and returning promptly with, “Most would, but how is Pern to get better and safer if we’re not growing and changing like the it? Tradition is all well and good, and even I can see the important of it, but without any new understandings, things will only get worse. We’ll more Lord Holders like Fax, and more renegades like Vaputero, for one.” Since Max is cryptic on his daughter, he nods and does not question for now. He does speak on the return tease of him not knowing everything, the smirk drawing a blithe, “I’m getting there, I’m getting there. Just give me a couple more turns with my plans and not even Serevan will be able to touch me.” Clearly Serevan was a rival of his, but there’s a respectful note in his voice on the older man rather than scorn or envy. On the matter of the fighter, there’s open laughter at those words for an excuse. “You’d let two tavern maids pull you down?” he asks in tease, shaking his head. “You fighters. Always thinking with the wrong head.” When Max speaks on how he essentially runs his business, Harvis pauses to consider those words before replying, “I’m all about doing clean business, you’ll see. There are those that resent me for it, and others that might consider me the weaker renegade out of the lot of us, but at the same time it’s because of how I do business that I get access to more information and alliances than even Serevan can admit to himself. Call it my holdbred upbringing coming to the fore,” he notes with a little bow. “So in saying that, any assistance you need, Max…..with anything…feel free to drop by anytime.” Pause. “Keane?” That name was familiar. No face attaches itself to the name so he shakes his head and asks, “Who’s that?” For the last, lips briefly draw in in thought before answering: “Ritalia would be good….and you might want to at least meet Vaput,” he notes seriously, knowing full well that growing animosity in the southern crimelord for the Bitran. “I wouldn’t leave him last. He’ll think you’re intimidated of him.”

“Exactly my point,” Max responds in a slightly tight tone to the response of a cornered canine. “It’s going to take a fine touch to handle one such as him,” the sort of touch Harvis appears to have but he doesn’t say as much. Dropping silent he takes a step or two toward the pool, eyes straying to its inviting depths as he muses on the question of introducing change and moving forward with it. Dark eyes lift and fix an intent look onto the Istan. “We show ‘em little by little through action and deed that change ain’t somethin’ to fear. That change benefits all, aye?” thus making it quite obvious that he stands with Harvis when it comes to creating a new order and way of doing things, despite accusations of the contrary having been recently flung at him. The Istan crimelord’s response to the tease that was handed out draws a genuine grin from Max, “Looking to set yourself up as our leader, huh?” Another tease though warmly given as he alludes to knowing of Serevan’s standing amongst the crimelords. The grin deepens and soon the southerner joins in the laughter to thinking with the wrong head, his holding a low and ever so faint, sly edge to it, “What can I say, I fight hard and I fuck even harder.” Crude admission given with a wink as humour settles and he turns to the more serious subject of conducting business, “It takes a stronger man to swim upstream when everyone else is content to just go with the flow, Harvis.” Approval strong for the man’s methods and convictions, the bow executed drawing a crooked grin from Max, “Very harperlike. Do you sing too?” Teasing once again before his expression smoothes and he sets the other man with long and unreadable look and then he gives a dip of head, “I am honoured.” And indeed he is as he extends the man similar courtesy, “Same goes for you. Anything I can do to help further the cause of change…your will, my hands.” When Keane’s name is questioned, a faint smirk presents before he states easily, “A friend of the family.” Vague much? “Ritalia?” a low laugh spills and he gives an amused shake of head, “I’ve been warned about that one,” and her voracious appetite. Humour is replaced by a hard light entering his eyes and lips curve around a dark smirk, “He can kiss my tanned southern ass if he thinks I’m gonna give him the satisfaction of thinking I’m so easily cowed.” One can be quite sure that after Serevan and then Ritalia, he’ll be taking the Istan’s advice and hitting up Vaputero.

Brow lifting, “Like I or Serevan?” Harvis guesses musingly, sending a look Max’s way. “Right. Serevan’s been in meets with the man and I hear he did not get much further with him.” Of course, that’s not to say Harvis himself couldn’t do better, but… Musing thoughts continue on progressive attitudes versus the traditional ones, the Istan grinning as he echoes, “A change to benefit all, huh?” He shakes his head once on setting himself to be leader over the brotherhood, though he does state, “A leader of this lot would have to be someone that all defer to. I can’t even get ol’ Jorro to come down to a meeting on time, and even I have been a victim of one of the Ralka boys’ pranks.” Shaking his head, “Maybe, when Serevan is gone. Maybe, but I’ve got to somehow garner more respect than I have right now first….and I’ve got to do it without having to compromise what I believe in,” he notes, sending Max a pointed look with those heavy words. “To be a threat without resorting to the actions of Borrento or Vaputero…” Such heavy thoughts he lingers off of, turning towards the lighter topic of the cocky words from the southern crimelord. A brow twitches at it, “Seems like you and I have something else in common, then,” he notes almost slyly on fighting hard. “Save for the ‘fighting’ part.” Beat. “And I used to sing,” he ands on the continued tease, of his words being so smooth. “You don’t?” He gives a winsome smile to the return off of help, nodding and answering back easily, “I’ll keep you in mind, then, southern.” Laughters erupts on the topic of the Neratian crimelord, “Have you? Yeah,” he drawls that last word out. “Talia can be….a bit much, sometimes. If you can get past all that, ahh, wildness about her, you’ll see why she has hold on Nerat.” And as for the Bitran, there’s a light that enters his eyes on that account, though it could be for something else since it lingers. “I see you surviving longer than your predecessor,” he speaks on Vaput, the smirk lingering on his face. “Just keep your self control in his presence. I know you have the Olira problem that you would want him to answer on, but time and patience will prove your ally.”

Max gives an incline of head, “Or the both of you working him from different angles, hmm?” Offering further progressive food for thought - two crimelords working together to try and tame the ways of one of their own. “Or,” the southerner drawls the first word out a decidedly sly cast to his expression, “Perhaps change should start from the top down then. Why have just one leading the brotherhood. Why not a pairing of two? Each bringing his…or her own as the case may be, strengths to the table to balance the other out. That way,” he pauses just long enough to give Harvis time to catch up with where he’s going with this, “there’s no fear of one claiming the territory of two when Serevan steps down, aye?” Yeah, he’s not just a pretty face with fists to match his temper. Silence fills the space between his last words and his next, high amusement and a flash of something else greeting the Istan’s response to his words on fighting hard. “Used to sing?” the question obvious and then a grin flashes out on whether he does or not, “Only the bawdy songs better suited to docks and bars.” As to Ritalia that grin remains in place though it turns crafty as Max chuckles, “I got me something in mind that’s sure to uh…temporarily tame the lady enough to hold meeting with her.” Poor Waine, being pimped out by his friend and boss like that. There’s just the faintest touch of bemusement for that look that lingers in the Istan’s eyes but its there and gone as Max’s expression turns hard, his smile cold, “I’ll have him believin’ I’m his best fucking friend if it gets the results I want.” Silent and then he adds darkly, “He owes for Jaya too.”

Max’s suggestions seem to be resonating well with the Istan, for Harvis is silent throughout, regarding this man before him steadily. Towards the end of it, he looks away, stating, “You speak words I myself have spoken,” in admitting it. Hand lifting to rub absently over his chin stubble, “The brotherhood could function better with two – one representing diplomacy-“ something he saw himself being the forefront in doing, clearly “- and one being the leader of action. No decision being executed without both agreeing. Gives a sort of check over each other. Even suggested such an idea at the last peace meeting.” By the tone of voice, Max could perhaps figure how such a suggestion went. Turning to face him, “Serevan was of the mind, him being similar through his background as me, but the rest?” He shakes his head at that. “They claim it smacks-“ and he makes a smacking motion with one hand “-of traditional leanings! Claim that only the Weyrs and Holds and Halls needs strong leadership where we renegades don’t. That not even Serevan holds the reins over the circle, and I know who exactly is spearheading such talk. Timekis of Boll,” he drops with an irritated look. “He’s been pushing for crimelords to have more power in their own territories for turns now. Sees no point in alliances between ourselves and with the rest of Pern if we’re to be the sort that lives underground. Quite a few crimelords agree with him.” It makes Timekis a force to be reckoned with, and Harvis was laying it down for Max in the case that he meets with the rest of the northerners. “I’ve been trying to gauge the leanings of all of them lately,” he reveals soberly, looking towards the little waterfall that flows before them in the backdrop. “Those like Ritalia and Delaus and Jorro don’t like to ruffle any feathers, so they make a show of sitting on the fence. Those like Kelarad and Vaputero can hold strong sway, but then the question is, what do they really believe? They say one thing to my face, even to Serevan, but behind closed doors…” and hands go up for the futility of it all. Such political dealings sounded a lot like a Lord Holder conclave. For now, he drops the subject for the interest of his singing, some of his amusement returning to the fore along with an incline of his head. “When I was a child,” he explains on his singing. “Got kicked out once my voice deepened to the way it is now, though. You’re going to have to teach me one of those bawdy songs sometime,” he notes wryly, laughing. “Leidy knows them all but refuses to teach me on the grounds that I’m too ‘proper’ for such songs. I’d like to think otherwise,” he adds with an enigmatic wink. That laughter is present when Max reveals he has a plan in place to take care of Ritalia, but it’s the last that gets his attention more. “Dicori,” he breathes the name, quite familiar due to his informant network. “A former associate of Vaput’s, right?” Not expecting an answer, “You know,” he notes casually, hands moving to clasp behind his back as he starts up a pace, “there are those looking to garner favor with the Bitran that would have given his fugitive right back to him.” Turning to face Max, he adds, “Not that that’s the right choice. The way he treats his people has been known for turns, but he’s not the only one. Are you making the south a haven for such people? Including those running from the likes of guards? For I’m sure you know,” he drawls stepping closer, “that Dicori has been listed.” ‘Listed’, meaning, guards are hunting her to be sent to the mines.

Brows go up and interest is peaked when Harvis admits to having had similar thoughts himself but Max remains quiet first approval and then a frown flowing across his features as the dark skinned man speaks. A soft snort precedes his response. “Even amongst herdbeast and porcine, one will rise to be the natural leader of the others,” Thus refuting the mindset of the other crimelords on that point. “Timekis,” the name echoed as he takes it in, those of the fence sitters and the ones who hold sway over the others too. There is however a frown for Kelarad having been one of the latter and a dry laugh without humour is uttered. “I’ve already had to smooth his feathers when he misunderstood something said by another and thought I was setting myself up to take over the brotherhood. It’s a touchy subject with him,” he agrees. Hunkering down at the pool’s edge, one arm dangling over a knee and the other dropping down to trace a hand through the water, Max lifts a curious look up to his companion, “Would’ve figured your singing would sound better now than when you were a young ‘un.” With the Istan’s speaking voice being as mellifluous and rich as it is. And then laughter joins the amused shake of head he gives, “Too proper, eh?” looking the man up and down once again before adding with a sly grin, “What Leidy don’t know, Leidy ain’t gonna get her knickers in a twist over, aye?” In other words he’s more than happy to share bawdy rhyme with Harvis, even at the risk of getting his butt kicked for him by the blonde second. Jaya’s clan name uttered in the manner that it is, Max in that hunkered down position swivels on a heel, and sets Harvis with a long look as he begins pacing, giving merely a silent nod of response to her having been one of Vaputero’s. With the other speaking to the south being a safe haven for those seeking to escape the more nefarious crimelords of the north a slow and calculating smile unfurls about the southerner’s mouth, “Now you’re getting it.” As the Istan takes a step closer, Max slowly unfolds and stands to his full height before him, which likely puts him a touch shorter than the other man, “She ain’t the first and she ain’t gonna be the last.” He states on the barkeep being on a list or lists as the case may be, “But it would sure make my job easier to have a heads up to any bounty hunters that might be looking to drop into my territory unannounced.” Dark eyes seek out brown, the request for help in terms of being supplied with such information, silently put forth in his gaze.

“Renegades aren’t herdbeasts,” Harvis points out, amused by the analogy. “If they were, the decent lot of us wouldn’t be in this situation.” When Max repeats the name given, he nods. “He and Vaput are alike in many ways,” he warns some of his amusement ebbing. “The only difference in their unpredictability is the fact that Vaput likes to hide his dirty deeds where Mek shows no shame in laying them out in the open. I suppose,” he drawls dryly, “that would make Mek the lesser of both evils. At least with him you’ll know what’s coming. You won’t get such luxury with Bitra.” For now, he lays off giving further words on the other crimelords – either Max will come to such conclusions himself or he will get crafty enough to get such information through alliances. He laughs over the whole singing conversation, though, returning to his easygoing gait as he returns with “Naw. A lot of times the masters like to keep those who can reach the higher octaves, which tends to be more adolescents than men. Like most, my voice dropped, but for the privileged few that didn’t, they have their futures well decided. It then usually becomes a matter of what else we can be suited for, and most tend to find their niche. I did, up until I was out.” Pause. “You’re going to get me in trouble with my second already,” he adds to that quips, a mischievous light entering his eyes to suggest getting in trouble was just the thing he was going for. That amusement lights on the talk of fugitives like Jaya, those being so many in the lands of Pern. After a moment’s thought, “You’ll be ruffling the feathers of many a leader,” he seems to warn without warning, keeping his tone light and conversational. “Those like Vaputero think it disrespectful for a man to harbor a fugitive of theirs knowingly. Even Lord Holders will frown upon thieves escaping their Holds only to find undeserved solace in the hospitable southern lands.” Brows twitching with mirth, “But I’m sure you already knew that,” he drawls, setting to leaning against the counter, trying to figure Max out still. “You know it and you still are willing to take the risk.” Pausing on the last, meeting that gaze for his help, he looks away for a moment as if to contemplate the waterfall before looking back and stating, “You’ll get your heads-up,” rather wryly, “but you don’t get something for nothing in this business.” A brow lifts.

A smile quirks out for renegades not being herdbeast and then his expression schools behind a bland mask as he takes in what Harvis has to offer in terms of information on the manner in which Vaputero and Timekis conduct business. “Heh, think I’d rather have someone like Mek out in the open than to have to run a rodent to ground,” such as Vaputero. “You speak with much knowledge, brother,” gratitude in his tone for what the Istan imparts to him on the subject and one can be sure he’ll likely be paying Harvis a few more visits as he does the rounds of the other northern crimelords. Crooked the smile that develops as the former harper speaks on singing and he retorts wryly, “Seems the harpers have forgotten the value of a man over that of boys that sing like girls.” And then he tips his head to one side, putting a curious look onto the other although he can already guess at the answer, “What line did you end up going into?” A grin widens into place when he catches sight of that mischievous glint to Harvis’ eyes, “Didn’t your informants tell you? Trouble’s my middle name.” Smirking before he drops to the topic of the Southern continent being set up as a safe haven for those in trouble in the north and he gives a shake of head. “Not just anyone. I ain’t looking to invite trouble without due cause. Southern is open to those looking to change their ways and it don’t come without a cost. They want safe haven and somewhere to start over, they got it. But in return we expect ‘em to pay it forward and use their talents to help the next person in need.” As to still being willing to take the risk despite how it might ruffle the feathers of others in the brotherhood, a small smile appears and he shrugs, “You have to be the change to see the change, aye?” Spoken as if quoting a mantra repeated to him many times over and then it’s a short laugh that spills for there being a cost involved in getting the heads up he’s going to need in the future, “Ain’t that the way of things? Name your price.”

Smiling as Max gets it, “Most do,” Harvis agrees on preferring Timekis to be the lesser of two evils. “It’s why I don’t mind doing business with him.” That business being co-owning the docks on the northern continent with the Bollian crimelord and Ritalia. His head inclines in acknowledgement to Max thanking him for the information, hands spread wide as he gives, “I’m not as stingy in this department like my rival,” he notes wryly with a twinkle in his eye. “If it’s meant to be shared, then I share.” On the topic of harpers and singing, Harvis sucks in come breath as he pauses before answering the question put to him with, “The masters found me proficient in diplomacy and mediation. It was much to their annoyance that I was able to sway my mates more than they could, which got me in more trouble than I should have been,” he adds with a rumbling chuckle. “Perhaps they thought I could he cultivated. They thought wrong.” He looks pleased to hear of Max’s plans for the south, nodding a few times before offering, “Might have some folks that could do with a clean slate.” Apparently, though, that is not the price for the help given since there’s that easy smile again before the Istan crimelord states, “In time, southern. You’ll know when, but if you need my help on the matter now, you’ve got it.”

Dubious the look Max casts Harvis on actually going so far as to do business with Timekis, “Reckon I’d be more open to negotiating business with you than I would him.” Is that a hint at making such an offer? Maybe. Amusement once again rises up, “And on what basis do you decide what should and shouldn’t be shared, hmm?” Teasing aside he drops quiet listening as the Istan tells of where it was his speciality had been with the Harper Hall and then a lopsided grin turns out, “Ah, so you’re one of those that could talk a man into volunteering for the mines, huh?” And then he nods, “Seems about right.” Given the manner in which the man has been conducting himself during this very conversation. With the Istan stating that he may be needing to make use of what the Southern continent has to offer and Max inclines his head, “You say when and we’ll hammer out the details.” And then he goes still, dark eyes levelling an intent look onto the other man, still trying to figure him out on some levels. Arms fold across his chest and that assessing gaze holds firm for the matter of the price not being forthcoming for services rendered, “I ain’t one for getting into bed with someone without knowin’ what the deal is and end up findin’ myself getting’ shafted.” Metaphorically speaking that is.

Shrugging almost helplessly, "Keep him on point and he's not too bad," Harvis drawls musingly on the Bollians crimelord. Brows lifts at the implications, however, considering those words before adding, "Although, we leaders aren't on lock. I'm always interested in fresh, new enterprises." Is that a counter-offer? As for the criteria used on shared information, the Istan merely laughs and taps the side of his head in answer. "You'll just have to test me, southern." Test on trusting him, that is. Being that this was their first meeting, Harvis was expecting suspicions. One would be a fool not to when dealing with a renegade leader. That smile stays in place when Max questions on his harper specialties, looking at pure ease as he puts in rather slyly, "They say I can even talk a man out of his pants." Innuendo? Naw, couldn't be, for the holdbred-born renegade leader steps away with a shrug and tacks on too blithe, "Or so they say all over." Beat. "You won't get shafted unless you asked, with me," he drawls smoothly, perhaps on the same context of his previous statement - though he's perfectly speaking about the favor and not looking to betray the man, right? With a flick of a hand, "Tell you what. There might be something you can do for me." Turning to face Max then, "I have a special interest in the bar down in Eastern Weyr," he explains, holding his gaze. "I have a drink here - Istan bred - that I think would turn a high profit down south, but I need a venue to get it out to the southern patrons. Since Dicori is essentially under your wing, perhaps we can open up a trade route from here to Eastern."

Fresh new enterprises? That draws an approving smirk into place and Max gives a dip of head in response though he doesn’t take up on the matter just yet. A low chuckle spills next and he nods to having to test the bonds of trust, “Reckon I ain’t got no choice on the matter.” The chuckle turns to laughter and the southerner turns toward the bar looking as if to place another drinks order, though he doesn’t, “Really now?” He gives in a tone that almost sounds to challenge Harvis on the matter of being able to talk a man out of his pants. Of course, he misses any innuendo that might have been at play and so the cocky grin he turns out isn’t intended in the manner in which it might be taken, “That’s what they all say.” Once again inadvertently seeming to challenge as he turns to the matter of Jaya’s bar and stocking it with Istan beverage, interest colouring his dark gaze, “She’s always on the lookout for new drinks to add to her collection.” Or so it’s always seemed to him, “Tell you what, give me a case to take back with me and I’ll see what the lady has to say about it, aye?” And the bar against which he’s now planted his back, hooking his elbows up behind him is given a cursory glance, “What we talkin’ here, rum, whiskey, brandy?” Trying to guess what it is that Harvis is wishing to introduce to the Southern crowd.

"There's always a choice," Harvis speaks such harper-like sentiments, the smirk present. "Like you chose to run with renegades - something I'm sure clashes with your more prominent upbringing?" When Max turns toward the bar, "Another drink?" he offers then, ever the host, and the challenge in the other's tone gets a mere sly twist of lips in response. One can take that as a haughty gesture - that one wouldn't need to boast when there's proof - or rather, the words of one that just boasts of being that good. Or he's just cocky. When Max offers to take a case back down to southern with him, he abrupt turns toward the bar and calls out to the waiting barkeep, "Drop a case of the Istan Wave on the table, Pak." Turning back to Max, he adds, "It's called the Istan Wave. It's a rum. Blue in color. Your patrons will love it, and of course, every glass and bottle sold, I get a part of the profit."

A glimmer of a smile appears for there always being a choice and then slips behind a faint tightening of features as Max gives in a slightly stony tone, “My upbringing ain’t the problem.” And he leaves it that not wishing to delve into something he was trying very hard to put behind him. When the offer of another drink is made, he appears uncertain, almost wistful and then gives a firm shake of head, before adding with a touch of wry humour, “I start now, I might not stop and then you’d be left to deal with the consequences of my drunk ass.” Which could be anything from dropping his pants and dancing a jig, to singing bawdy songs at the top of his voice while trying to climb the waterfall. At least he knows himself well enough to know when to avoid temptation, right? One can only hope. A smirk falls into place for the cockiness Harvis displays and Max can’t help the laugh as he shakes his head in amusement, seeing yet something else to like about the man. “Istan Wave?” dark eyes follow the barkeep with interest as he’s ordered to bring out a case of the brew. “What sorta mark-up do we get to add?” ever the businessman.

“Didn’t say it was,” Harvis is easy to smooth over on upbringing, seeming to find it interesting seeing the tight expression on Max’s face on the matter. He doesn’t push that particular topic, but one can trust that he’s filing such things away in his memory. When Max’s declines, the words used in conjunction, “Consequences, huh? You almost have me intrigued enough to test that.” Lips move at that before falling in step on business – this being another skill of his. As the barkeep disappears, then reappears carrying a wooden crate in hand, “Mark-up?” he echoes, frowning. “What are you looking for? I’m willing to cut a smaller share of the profit for myself. 60-20, maybe?” He’s throwing percentages out there now, studying the southern crimelord anew to gauge his reaction – and to guess what how he was going to answer. “Of course, if the cut is alittle higher, then your bar will get more priority shipments. I’ll also employ protection to make sure the shipments go straight to eastern and not end up in, say, South Boll all of al sudden,” for such things were common in the underground world.

Max flashes the Istan a grateful look as he steps away from what is still a sore topic with him and then is unable to stay the amusement that wells up for his riposte on consequences and he lifts a dark brow, “You really like to test the limits don’t ya?” Seeming to approve of that too. Sly the cast to the southerner’s expression as he does the math and realizes that there’s another in the mix that seems to be taking a twenty percent cut off the top. Rubbing a thumb across his lower lip he appears to give the offer consideration and then he gives a short nod of head but makes an addendum, “65/15,” he offers Harvis the higher cut, “and I’ll ensure the crates ain’t sent back empty.” Ever so sly the look that grazes over the other man that might have him wondering just what exactly the southerner plans to add to the crates aside from the empty bottles.

Keeping neutral – something he knows well about about – Harvis draws hands free of himself in a sort of challenge and returns with, “Won’t know a person, or a place, until you do,” he states proudly on testing limits. “Getting to really know someone is through pushing their limits and seeing who they really are.” Perhaps that’s his apology for his doing so in pushing at his Weyr upbringing twice with a brief incline of his head. On to business – the crimelord of Ista stays silent until Max produces the figures, then remains so for a moment longer as if truly considering the risks. Once the moment passes, he nods, turning then towards the crate now sitting on the table they vacated and placing a hand on top of it. “I can live with that,” he agrees verbally then, sending Max that easy smile of his. He does catch that sly look from the southerner however with a twitch of brows but doesn’t voice anything, choosing to straightening up and gesture for the other crimelord to take up the booty. “I think I prefer you to Ampherol,” he admits, perhaps signaling an end towards business and perhaps, the meeting as well. “I appreciate the courtesy call, Max. You’re welcome by anytime, except when I’m engaged,” he adds the last in jest with his Cheshire cat smile and a harper-bred bow.

Unable to deny the truth of what Harvis says about testing limits, he gives a nod of agreement, “Aye, you ain’t wrong there.” And that perhaps Max’s way of saying he well understood the reasoning behind having been pushed on his Weyr upbringing and doesn’t hold it against the dark skinned man. The southern crimelord then watches his Istan counterpart carefully as he considers the deal and then steps toward the crate as Harvis agrees to it. And because he does and does so without questioning his addendum, he offers the information as to what will be coming back in the crates, freely, “Ma’s still got some people up here that’s in need of supplies. We’ll be sure not to put the glassware in danger.” Reaching for his towel that he’d dropped over the back of a chair, Max takes up the crate and gives a dip of head in graceful acceptance of the compliment paid, responding with one of his own with a tip of head to one side, setting the Istan with a curiously unreadable look, “You…ain’t what I was expecting.” The bow and words that accompany it draw a laugh and he takes a step back, turning toward the path he’d arrived on, “As are you in Southern,” he gives in return and then adds with amusement still in his tone, “I’ll be sure to send word ahead of me. Well met, Harvis.” And then when he’s already turned and taken a few steps away, Max turns his head back over his shoulder and adds with a sly grin, “Shall I tell that blonde chap sunning himself down on the beach to come on up?” Yeah, he knows what the Istan’s about (thanks to Keane) and he’s letting him know, likely making it hard to determine now just how clueless he’d been throughout their meeting.

When Max explains what will be in the crates, a brow goes up that doesn’t show any shock as Harvis returns, “Wise folks are efficient ones,” is all he says on that, borrowing an old harper saying as he steps away from the crate. With Max preparing to leave, his own words on not being what he expected draws unexpected laughter. “Yeah I can just imagine what you’ve heard on me,” the Istan notes, knowing full well, that the southern probably had sought out information on the man prior to visiting. It would be something he would have done, himself. He turns then as if to contemplate the small waterfall, arms of corded muscle folding across his broad chest while doing so as he tosses over his shoulder back towards the southern crimelord, “Well met, Lomaxin.” Brown eyes fall on the clear waters of the pool, his mind ever-working on the day’s events along with the future when Max’s sudden sly wordscome across him just as unexpected as his earlier laugh. Head turns abruptly towards him to gauge both reaction and meaning – or rather, to detect any physical mockery on the man’s face. Failing to find none, the dark skinned Istan snorts with just the barest flicker of arrogance, eyes flowing over Max almost pointedly before looking away and answering that sly remark with a blithe, “Eye-catching, but not my type.” Sniffing the air and turning from the pool’s edge to make his way towards the bar, he passes by the southern man with a slip of a smile, and his smooth tongue tosses in his wake, “I prefer a rougher sort of man.” Then the barkeep has his attention.

“Waste not, want not,” Max comes back with, sending a wink. Muscles shift and tauten under tanned skin as he settles the crate in his arms and the source of the low laugh that is sent out in response to what he’s heard of the Istan, is hard to place, “Perhaps one day I’ll tell you.” What he’s heard. And then he’s on his way. However, in that moment when he turns his head back over his shoulder and delivers that sly comment, dark eyes lock with brown and a slow smirk curves about his mouth only to fall off a moment later when Harvis says what he does as he passes by. Lips part as if to say something and then close again, with the southern crimelord looking oddly…flustered and then he clears his throat, drops his gaze, turns and continues on back down the path without having said a word.

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