Tied Hands


Max.jpg Kelarad.jpg Eila and Lazerne (NPCs)

Date: March 11, 2011
Location: Hidden cave area, Tillek
Synopsis: Kelarad sets up the meet for Max in a hidden cave, and trouble in the main Hold of his territory gets revealed. Talks of a plan is put to use between crimelords and the sibling pair bringing the information on Lord and Lady Tillek.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Jaya

In the morning, with all else said and done, Kelarad and Crawl prepared the hidden cave for the meeting to come. Max and Waine were gone by the time they came by their temporary quarters, but the crimelord didn't expect them to be present by the urgency of Max's words the day before. For his part, he immediately set out for the cave to clear anything that needed clearing, then turned to bid Crawl to go after them so that they could be properly guided to the cave. He himself in the meantime Set up a table and chairs, brought out two bottles of good Tillekian wine, made sure the mugs were cleaned and had a brief meeting with a few of his men that happened to know he was there - he had his own business of the day to attend to, after all. So he contented himself with business while Max took care of his own, merely waiting out for the his second to guide them all back to where he was in the well-hidden series of caverns.

The southern crimelord had found sleep hard to coax into his embrace the night before, tossing and turning as the meeting of the previous day with Kelarad played through his mind as did the upcoming one. Waine by contrast had had no such problems for true to the Tillekian crimelord’s prediction, the hot little number he’d picked up the night before had been energetic enough to send him into well sated sleep. And so it is that when Crawl finds them on the trail, Max is looking a little worse for the wear while his second is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. It’s not long before another pair, shrouded by cloaks, their faces hidden deep within the hoods, round a sharp corner on the path and step into view. No words are exchanged at this point with the southerner merely giving them pair a quick nod of greeting before signalling for the Tillekian second to lead the way with Waine taking up the rear.

Crawl seems to be taking perverse pleasure in seeing one disheveled at least, though in reality the man hardly liked either of them. All the same, he did as ordered and waited for the four to approach him before leading them off, his eyes flicking all over in case there's any means of an ambush. Not that he was expecting one with men hidden in the crags of the outer caves, keeping watch. The road was steep and treacherous, the second having to slow down to make sure that he didn't lose any of them - it would look bad on him to arrive minus those that he was asked to pick up - before the familiar crest of the particular cave was spotted. Once passed the jagged and sharp protruding rocks, the way was pretty clear. "No one will spot us here," Kelarad appears from the mouth of the cave to greet them nodding towards the large rocks that were now hiding them from view on all sides. "Still, to be safe, I have some sentries posted. Come on," he gestures for them all to follow, clapping Crawl on his back as he passed in his thanks as he heads inside the cooler interior of the cave.

Despite Crawl keeping watch ahead and Waine sweeping the rear, southern’s crimelord doesn’t relax his guard for a moment. And the two with him? They have yet to say a word, their attention firmly fixed on keeping their footing as they’re lead along the treacherous trail. Only once Kelarad appears and ushers them into the cave, does Max break his silence with tension tightening the smile of appreciation, “Gratitude, brother.” And then he turns to the two with him and introduces them, “Lazerne and Elia.” Both remove their cloaks to reveal the one to be a tall, broad shouldered young man with klah brown hair that is kept closely cropped and the other to be a petite brunette with a braid that swings to well passed her waist. And while they may seem like country bumpkins to the untrained eye, there is no missing the hard edge to their expressions that speaks to them being professionals in their field of work. The siblings put a respectful dip of head and standard greeting of ‘Well met’, the Tillekian crimelord’s way. Waine, who had been studying Elia’s trouser clad ass in silent appreciation, is sent a sharp thrust of chin, indicating that he should remain where he is as had been agreed and then Max and his two informants follow Kelarad deeper into the cave.

As Max passes him into the cave, Kelarad clasps him on the back for his thanks before turning to those being introduced. "Lazerne, Elia?" he greets, nodding to each in turn. "Welcome, and well met. I hope the inside is to your liking." He'll let them pass, but before Max fully gets away, he stills a hand over his arm before muttering, "How long do you need them to stay up here?" The crimelord, of course, trains his blue gaze upon the new and unfamiliar arrivals when they removed their cloaks, his eyes studying the lot with interest as he moves after them into the cave. Eyes like Waine's linger on Elia as he makes his way to the table end where the mugs and bottles have been set up - his gaze finding her backside, too without any apology in his demeanor. Crawl has eyes for neither of those but his boss, only dipping into the cave to make sure that all was present before he returns outside with Waine and sets himself up on sentry duty. Gesturing for all to sit at the chairs arranged about the table, "I hope no one is adverse to Tillekian stock," the crimelord offers, already popping open a bottle and lifting to pour into the first glass as he leaves Max to get the proceedings going. He was just playing host, after all.

As the sibling pair moved passed, two pairs of pale green eyes take in their surroundings. Lazerne, without awaiting invitation sprawls into one of the chairs, whilst Elia prowls about mapping each shadow and curve of the cave. At Kelarad’s question, Max hangs back a moment, “They’re only here to report in. Lazerne will be returning to the Hold directly afterward. Elia,” his dark eyed gaze tracking the restless looking brunette, “is being pulled to find one of my people that has gone missing. With your permission of course.” For the petite brunette would more than likely be working within the Tillekian’s territory. The woman under discussion apparently not aware of the blue gazes set upon her shapely rear, or at least, that’s what she’s leading her ‘admirers’ to believe. Approaching the table and chairs set out, southern’s crimelord sets a narrow eyed look onto Lazerne for having sat down out of turn but says nothing as he takes up his own seating. It is Elia who moving passed her sibling toward a chair of her own, reaches out a hand and cuffs him across the back of his head for his lack of manners before putting her green eyed gaze to Kelarad in open study, “I’ve come to appreciate what Tillek has to offer over the past few months.” And while a spark of humour might briefly light her eyes, her tone and expression are bland leaving it hard to ascertain if double innuendo had been intended or not. Removing his hat and setting it to one side of him, Max leans forward clasping his hands before him on the table, nodding his thanks to his Tillekian counterpart for the pouring of drinks and sets a hard look Lazerne’s way, “I don’t appreciate cryptic messages, especially not when so much is at stake, so you’d better start talking and start talking fast.” Seemingly laid back and easygoing up until this point, despite the smack across the back of his head from his sister, Lazerne’s entire demeanour appears to change at those words and he straightens in his seating setting an intent look upon his employer. “I bring request for favour from the Lord himself,” a faint smirk traces out in the pause he allows and then adds coolly, “That good enough for you?”

Nodding to the answer giving on the cave's uses, "I'll make sure that bedding is brought in before the evening," Kelarad offers then to the southern crimelord, his gaze lingering on Elia just a bit more before he turns his scrutiny on her brother. He doesn't seem to take any offense at Lazerne sprawling out in one of the chairs before anyone else has taken a seat, moving to finish pouring the wine into mugs before he straightens up and passes them out. He passes Elia one of the mugs when she speaks about what Tillek has to offer, the man smiling a bit in turn with an incline of head. "Tillek has far more to offer than in just a few months," he returns in amusement, roguish glint in his gaze before moving on and passing out the rest. Once all, including himself, has wine in hand, the crimelord drops into the one vacant seats and sets himself to listening to the exchange. Talk of cryptic messages get his attention, brows twitching as he drinks and looks from one person to the next. For now he doesn't speak, wanting to hear as much of the exchange as he can - especially when the Lord of Tillek is brought into it.

Elia’s gaze hovers for a moment on Kelarad, a corner of her sensually constructed mouth threatening to turn upward for his response, and then drifts away to land on Lazerne as he speaks. “Runnershit!” Max is quick to call it. – “He speaks the truth,” the petite brunette interjects with a lift of chin but doesn’t offer further explanation on how she knows this to be true. The southern crimelord goes quiet for a moment, taking pause to swallow down a mouthful of his wine before he speaks, a heavy frown in place, “And what of those you were sent to observe?” – “The woman is gone,” Lazerne gives, “the…other…” a careful look sent Kelarad’s way. “You may talk freely before him,” Max cuts in as dark eyes fix to the Tillekian with an intent look knowing that it wouldn’t take long before a man intelligent as he was, would soon start piecing facts together enough to discover the southerner’s best kept secret. “The child remained shielded by the midwife for a time…” Lazerne starts to take up but Elia cuts in, “The new nanny appointed sides with the Lady and her new spawn. Max,” her tone dropping lower with a sense of urgency attached, “you should know that the Lord’s younger brother, Lawson arrived at the Hold shortly before the boy’s birth and has remained ever since.” Here the brunette drops silent and darts a glance her sibling’s way indicating that he should continue which he does with a troubled expression in place, “The newborn favours the colouring of the brother.” It’s the last that has the southerner paling beneath his tan, “Fuck!”

Leaning back more comfortably, Kelarad regards Elia's demeanor with crooked amusement but doesn't speak further with his blue gaze back on her. Serious business was afoot after all. He lingers on his wine, not quick to drain his glass in mouthfuls like his younger crimelord counterpart while the others speak. When Lazerne looks his way for not being sure of what to reveal, Kelarad lifts a brow at him before Max allows him to loose his tongue. He watches the reactions to the information given, frowning slightly when he senses the urgency between the parties. When Max pales at hearing about the coloring of the child, he couldn't help but to ask: "What's the problem with that?" Yes, he realizes that the Lady Holder has cheated on her husband, but what he was referring to was why it was the coloring of the child such a significance. Blue gaze flick from Elia to Max to Lazerne, pausing in his drinking to await for some sort of answer.

Elia and Lazerne both go quiet, the reaction from their boss expected though neither of them is quite sure how, or even if, they should answer the question asked by Kelarad. Muttering another few expletives beneath his breath, his expression turning more troubled by the moment, he turns his dark eyed gaze onto the Tillekian, “The child was rumoured to be that of the stable manager that took over after I left. Its colouring would have been undeniable proof and allowed me to catch the Lady with her skirts up over her head. That it falls on the side of favouring the Lord’s brother along with the man’s presence at the Hold, is troubling news indeed.” A heavy sigh escapes as he leans back in his chair and thumb and forefinger rubbing at his chin as he slips into contemplation, brief though it is. And then with a decisive intake of breath, “To what purpose is the Lord’s request?” this directed at Lazerne who in turn reaches inside of his jacket, pulls out a folded sheet of fine quality paper and slides it over to Max in silence, Tillek Hold’s emblem clearly pressed into the red sealing wax. And while he may not have been privy to the exact contents of the letter, both Lazerne and Elia, by the tight expressions they wear, have their suspicions as to what it might contain.

Sharp gaze going from one to the other in silence, Kelarad is halfway to his drink before Max answers his question. "It would be a problem if the father was either of them, right?" he points out, not exactly getting the significance still, but figuring that in time, all would be revealed to him. He leans back with his drink once the exchange starts up again, blue eyes falling on each person that speaks up next with narrowed-eyed interest. Elia gets the brunt of his gaze, however, even when she doesn't speak, and next to her, Max. Once Lazerne produces the letter sent from the Lord Holder, his interest piques at it. He notes the rich seal on it as it gets slid across the table, then the man flicks notice towards the siblings' expressions as he waits for Max to break the seal.

Taking another drink of wine, Max gives what might initially seem like an elusive answer, “Yes and no, depending on whose foot the shoe is. If the child had been the stable manager’s I would have had evidence enough to go to the Lord and claim what is rightfully mine. But if,” a glance goes to the sibling pair, “it is as thought and the child is that of the Lord’s brother, you should be bracing yourself for a storm unlike any that Tillek has seen.” The dark note to his tone alluding to trouble brewing on the horizon for Kelarad and the territory he runs. While the southern crimelord breaks the seal and unfolds the letter to read it, Elia slips a glance Kelarad’s way to monitor his reaction to such words and catches him looking at her to which a faint trace of a smirk traces out. As to Lazerne? His attention is pinned heavily on Max, brows twitching toward each other as his boss goes a shade paler. Coming to the end of the letter, the young crimelord’s expression hardens and his jaw tightens, dark eyes narrowing tightly onto the informant turned Hold guard. “You revealed yourself and by default me, to him? What the fuck were you thinking!?” his anger only barely contained. Lazerne quickly throws up his hands in a warding gesture, “It weren’t me, it were Auren afore she were thrown out. I swear on my mother’s grave!” Another expletive is growled out and Max tosses the letter over to Kelarad, “This affects you too.” For the attempted take-over of a Hold is sure to lay the lands in complete disarray if not nipped in the bud or orchestrated to the benefit of all.

Although the handwriting is shaky and more consistent with that of an eighty turn old rather than the fifty five turn old who wrote it, the wording is eloquent in the plea for help:


Social graces dictate that pleasantries be exchanged at the opening of communication. However, time is short and the situation anything but pleasant. It has come to my attention through various means that you are now a man of some standing with those the Conclave would see eradicated. A man I might add who has seen fit to secret people into my Hold without the courtesy of putting me in awareness thereof.

And while another might find issue with such actions and take the appropriate measures, I currently find myself in no position to do so and conversely seek your help in a matter most disturbing that if not handled with the utmost discretion and in a timely manner, will surely see my demise and possibly that of your daughter too. Yes, I know of that too.

I fear that my brother works in collusion with my wife to set hand to title, the poison of their plotting twisting as a knife in my gut taking it with my strength every day that I remain here. That there is now a male heir to lay future claim to title, threatens the existence of the girl I raised as my own.

I hope that somewhere within you still lies the young man that I thought so highly of and that I can count on you to turn hand to noble deed and see an old man’s life not taken before he is ready to give it up. If not for me, then surely for the life of your child.


Lord of Tillek

Kelarad gives no response to the answer, but he regards the southern crimelord steadily for it as he tries to work it out in his head. He doesn't look too pleased to hear that a storm was about to brew in his territory, too. Letting go of his mug to lace his fingers together before him, "I would hope for their sakes that they play along and leave their business in their Hold," he notes darkly, frowning at hearing the last bit. "Lord Tillek and I already have an understanding that I don't want to have to alter." His eyes linger on the letter being unsealed when he feels Elia's eyes on him, the crimelord shifting his gaze her way until Max practically explodes. Hard eyes falls on Max and Laverne for the sudden outbursts, frowning all the more before the unfolded letter gets thrown in his directly. He picks it up immediately and begins to read, brows furrowing at each sentence. Setting it slowly down, "That is….a problem," he admits to all present, not looking at either of them as he ponders this new situation that could potentially explode in his face. He doesn't want the current Lord Holder ousted no more than anyone in the room, and the Lady Holder - whom he knew of to be devious for turns now - was proving to be the origin of this growing problem. Now a brother too? Tapping one finger on the letter, "You know what I would do in this situation," he notes soberly, his jaw tightening. "But. I will keep my hands tied…..for now." Beat. "What are you going to do about this?" he asks, keeping this situation in Max's jurisdiction even though it was happening in his.

Max of course doesn’t look surprised to hear that the Tillekian crimelord has an agreement in place with the current Lord Holder. Elia, as Kelarad, fixes her attention onto the southerner, lips pressing into a thin line as he looks set to tear her brother a new one. Boldly she speaks in his defence, “Auren discovered the truth of what the Lady was doing and sought to warn the Lord. She was dismissed the day after when the Lady discovered jewellery missing.” A dark brow lifts high and remains so with the southern crimelord finding it hard to believe that one such as Auren would steal. “I took it,” Lazerne confesses, “We needed marks to keep the Lord in meals not tainted by the Lady’s hand.” – “And let Auren take the fall for it? Tell me, did your mother drop you on your head at birth?” Heavy sarcasm laces into his tone with Max having gone beyond explosive anger to prowling about the deadly plains of a calm far more dangerous. Lazerne opens his mouth once again but shuts it once Kelarad has finished reading the letter and speaks. Jaw tightening, the southerner sends his informant a last quelling look and then sets his attention to his counterpart. “The matter falls within your territory, brother. The course of action is rightfully yours to dictate. My resources are yours in this.” easily handing conceding authority to the Tillekian, “Though it would be my suggestion that the Lord be granted the help he seeks for it would tie him to you as stronger ally.” In as much as a Lord Holder and renegade crimelord can be allies. A cold smile appears briefly and then flakes off as he adds quietly, “Elisser,” the Lord, “is a good man, to have on your side, brother. But I would see that bitch of his destroyed.” The brother Kelarad's to do with as he pleases.

"Better not leave it to me," Kelarad confesses, having listened to the exchange with Lazerne with narrowing eyes as more gets revealed. "If it was, someone will have to vanish." Hard eyes linger on Lazerne - he would have had the man flogged for such mistakes - before he turns resolutely towards Max. Nodding, "Grant the Lord his help," he offers then. "He has been good to me in the times we've dealt with each other. He has the grace to stick to his territory while I do mine - hence my hesitation. I always said us renegades getting involved in Hold affairs never bodes well for both parties. However," and his gaze flicks briefly towards Elia, "it would seem to me that his bitch of a wife, is the problem." Picking up his mug and comtemplating the contents within without looking at anyone else, "He can always marry again, can he?" he puts out there slowly, carefully, though he also tacks on "And as to his brother….there's many ways to make a problem disappear, Max. Ones that don't involve death, either." See? He can be wholesome man when he wants to.

Though Max may not show it at this time, one can be quite sure that Lazerne will suffer the consequences for his lapse back into old habits once the meeting has been concluded, which might well account for the heavily wary expression the thieving informant now wears as he falls to brooding silence. An incline of head greets Kelarad’s words on rendering the Lord the help he seeks and then a dry, mirthless smile touches on Max’s lips, “To know and understand the inner workings and affairs of a Hold, is to know the weak spots too.” He reminds. Elia stunned to silence by her brother’s confession has thus far remained silent during the current exchange between crimelords, merely sending Kelarad a closed look when his eyes flick her way, it being clear to see which of the siblings is of more value. With a rough snort, Max responds on the matter of the Lord remarrying, “It is common practice for a Lord to hold more than one as wife though only the first bears title. Elisser…” here a short sigh exhales, “took only Garnalla. Believing her to be ‘the one’,” the air quotes in his tone audible and then he adds with a short sigh as he too takes up his drink, “To be proven wrong in such a manner…” the rest not needing to be said. And then a brow lifts for Kelarad’s seemingly civilized comment on the Lord’s brother, “Exile?” Quiet a moment as he toys with his mug seeming to mull this over he gives a slow nod, “So long as the newborn goes with ‘em, I don’t give a fuck where they end up. But the girl, Larissa, she comes with me,” a thumb stabbing toward his chest. “The Lord and the girl should be moved before any…measures are taken,” Elia breaks her silence to add opinion whether it had been asked for or not.

"Don't need to exploit its weak spots," Kelarad counters easily, reaching for his mug. "As long as I and the Lord Holder have an understanding." Of course, that's not to say that he doesn't have people in the Hold working for him. Not to do so wouldn't be wise. At hearing that the Lord could have more than one wife, "Then perhaps the man could be convinced to take another…..or make it so he has no other choice," he returns on the matter thoughtfully. "I know women so desirable that a man finds it difficult to turn their heads from them - and they're not the vapid sorts either. Strong-willed, good at management -" and of course, under his leadership. "Type of women I like to surround myself with," he notes, with a brief glance in Elia's direction. On the matter of the Lord's brother, "Exile," he nods to that in confirmation, "but not just any exile. The sort where he wouldn't be able to escape so easily. Your territory is vast and dense, for example," he notes musingly, glancing towards Max with a raised brow for his meaning. He nods curtly on the children, not seeming to care one lick where one or the other goes. The nod could be directed towards Elia's comment as well, though he does tack on, "I will leave that to your boss, naturally," for her benefit.

“Forewarned is forearmed,” is all Max gives on the matter of being kept up to date with the goings on of the Hold in one’s area. He of course, has yet to make contact with Southern’s Lord Holder, which doesn’t mean to say that he doesn’t have at least one person already firmly ensconced within the Hold’s walls. Before continuing with the conversation at hand, his attention falls next to Lazerne. “You may excuse yourself and take post with Waine outside,” his tone brooking no argument as he gives clear indication that the man has fallen outside of his favour and thus shall not be privy to the rest of the meeting. Tight-lipped, the informant posing as guard stands, takes up his mug and shooting his sibling a narrow eyed look for her being allowed further audience, stalks out. With his gaze pinned to the departing man’s back until he is gone from them, Max turns attention back to Kelarad, “Right, now where were we? That’s right, you were proposing a…unity of Hold and lands,” his smirk curling deep with approval for the Tillekian’s fantastically devious mind, “Very inspiring.” Lifting his mug in the idea of a toast to such a notion, he notes in vague amusement, “Am I to take it that the Lord meeting such a woman would be a well constructed chance encounter then?” Elia catches that brief glance sent her way from the northern crimelord and returns it a lightly challenging smile. Oh yes, she was interested alright, but she had no intention of making it easy for him either. If Max catches that silent exchange going on between Kelarad and Elia, he makes nothing of it turning his attention instead to talk of exiling the conniving Lady and her illicit lover. “Vast, dense and surrounded by water,” he states, a cold smile appearing. With the other not contesting placement of Larissa, he moves onto Elia’s suggestion, though answers to it with a change in assignment for the woman, “I’m pulling you from the Hold. You’re to work on tracking Auren down and setting up somewhere safe to move the Lord and the girl to. With your permission of course.” That last being sent the Tillekian’s direction. And while she may be surprised at her new orders, Elia doesn’t argue them, merely giving a short nod of head and then briefly slipping her green eyed gaze over to the dirty blonde man before it drops off and fits to a point on the table.

Kelarad looks mildly approving towards Lazerne being dismissed from the cave, the crimelord watching him closely as he leaves disgruntled. Once out of earshot, "Is he the sort to retaliate?" he asks, looking from sibling to southern's crimelord as he takes a drink. He's known men in his company before that have fallen out of his favor - and those that retaliate have the tendency to do by fucking something up when one least expects it. With Max approving of his suggestion, Kelarad leans forward and notes with a slight smirk "Glad you approve. It would be a chance encounter, of course. I was thinking that perhaps it's been too long since the last Hold Gather, and one would do wonders to lift everyone's spirits …..along with execute particular plans in plain view that won't be of true note," he adds with significance. He catches that slightly challenging smile and returns it, well aware of the hard-to-get quality in that challenge. Eye cut to Max and remains interested in business, however - speculating. He looks pleased at hearing that the southern continent would be the perfect place for exiles and files that information away for later. It's Elia's reassignment, however, that gets his attention. Brows twitch as he looks at them both, "Where's this Auren purported to be?" he asks, seeming to map out the location of where Elia is to work.

“He retaliates, he’ll be the sort to be made an example of,” Max gives, a hard edge to his voice and he sends a pointed look to Elia, that speaks to her keeping her brother in line. Taking a drink, a cunning grin is shown to have formed once the mug comes away from his lips, “A Hold Gather, eh? Women, wine and song, sounds like the perfect setting to me.” Approval for Kelarad’s idea coming easily and then he adds, “Such a task usually falls to the Lady of the Hold but with her due to take a permanent vacation, you might want to think about ‘loaning’ the Lord someone to help out.” It’s Elia that responds to the Tillekian’s query on Auren’s whereabouts, “She left over three sevens back, so she could be anywhere by now.” – “She’d not have moved too far from the Hold,” Max cuts in, “Her loyalty to my daughter wouldn’t allow her to do so.” Shooting her boss a closed look, the petite brunette responds in what might seem like scathing tone, “She’s also not a survivalist, Max. She was turned out of the Hold with not a mark to her name.” Anger lashes in for the predicament the soft spoken Auren must now find herself in due to Lazerne’s bad judgment. “On his life, your brother had better hope you find her still drawing breath,” Max growls out in low threat.

"Got a good head on your shoulders," Kelarad approves openly of the response to retaliation - even though they were speaking on the woman's brother there. "And I agree on the Gather. The Lady Holder will have to be put out before that time. Does the Lord Holder have any other women he relies on? He never took a mistress?" and he looks to Elia on this one since she seems to know a lot about the going-ons of the Hold. With Elia responding on Auren, his frown appears as he ponders the territory surrounding the Hold. He lapses into silence, listening to the exchange and not contributing until the end when Max growls out his threat. "I have men in the area," he offers lightly, "if you both want the assistance. It is likely that someone in my employ has already seen her and knows her whereabouts if she's still within Tillek." Lips lingering close to his mug when he lifts it up, "I assure you, should she stay within my borders, her location will be found promptly," he adds to Elia's benefit, though, it's Max that has his gaze.

Elia knows exactly what her brother is about and quite honestly, hadn’t been too thrilled at having been paired with him on this assignment in the first place, so she shows little to no reaction to the measures that would be followed should he indeed retaliate. Oddly enough there was a cunning light that briefly flickered in her eyes as she mused over the situation which causes her to be a little slow in answering the question put to her. With a blink that clears that crafty expression from her eyes, her response comes with a light shrug, “Not within the bounds of Tillek but much of the Lord’s business has been in Balen and Nabol Holds of late.” Suggesting the Lord might have a woman in one of the two Holds mentioned. Its at Kelarad’s offer of help to find Auren that has Max leaning forward, a faintly discomforted expression in place as he reveals the woman’s true identity, “She was perhaps better known to you and those within your territory as Vyalette.” The wife of the man that had owed the Tillekian large debt that Max had sought to try and see cleared back in the day, and consequently failed in before spiriting his wife away to the safety of the Hold. Elia narrows a tight look onto her boss, for she hadn’t been aware of the woman having gone by another name in times previous, the petite brunette still openly wearing her birth name.

At hearing about the possibility of there being women the Lord Holder is interested in the Holds noted, Kelarad turns to Max and says, "Serevan might be the one to go to since they more or less fall under his territory. He may know more about our Lord Tillek and his purported liaisons than I can shed," especially since he knows that the southern crimelord is planning a trip to meet with the distinguished Nabolese anyway. When Max reveals Auren's true name - a name he surely recognizes - the blonde man darts a long look his way with little reaction. After a moment, "I see," he drawls, leaning back in his seat. "You've been quite the busy man, Max, in those days under my territory. Makes one wonder who else of mine besides your chosen second, the trainer, and now the wife of Capsonnik that you have hidden in that big continent of yours. Or here still, for that matter." It's musing at best, the words slow as he thinks back to those days before the young Reachian man vanished from his territory. Nodding then, leaning forward, "Well, in any case, you have my men at your disposal," he says to them both, "in whatever capacity. I will leave the decisions of this particular measure to you, Max. As long as you run it by me."

Coming toward the end of his mug, Max gives a nod as he sets it down to the table, “I was going to head up his way in the next seven or so but might need to do so sooner if Ralik can swing it.” Calm in the face of Kelarad’s next words to him, the southerner’s mouth turns about an enigmatic smile on whom else he might have hidden on his continent from out of Tillek, or left in the region itself. His tone however, is sober when he speaks on the matter of Vyalette otherwise known as Auren, “She was an innocent in that whole mess, Kelarad, and has done me great favour during her time here. The least I can do is to ensure she comes to no harm.” At the other’s last, he too leans forward, nodding his acceptance to the terms, “Gratitude, brother.” And then his attention drops back to the now silent Elia as he reaches a hand into his jacket and pulls out a small bag of marks. Tossing it the brunette’s way, his instructions are simple and delivered in tone of authority, “Your brother is being reassigned. See that Karne,” the replacement, “gets this when he arrives and in the meantime,” his dark gaze shifts between the Tillekian crimelord and Elia, “you will work with all respect for our host and his territory to find Auren and somewhere to move the Lord and my daughter to. And Elia? Don’t fuck it up, aye?” There comes the faintest hint of the woman’s jaw tightening in response for such a reminder being delivered to her and she gives with a lift of chin as she reaches for the bag of marks, “I have not failed you yet.” - “Good, then we ain’t gonna have any further problems, aye?” Max then stands putting his attention back to Kelarad, “Once again, my gratitude for having been so accommodating in light of recent events. But now I need to take my leave and get back home and make the necessary preparations. Jaya will be up soon to take care of the other matter for you.” The last spoken on the matter of Kelarad’s man in need of being relocated to Reachian territory.

"Anyway you can," Kelarad nods, agreeing to Max seeing Serevan sooner. "He should be back in Nabol from his meets with Vaputero. I do wonder the results of such a meeting." Likely not good, he can guess. On the matter of Auren, hands spread easily from his body, looking taken aback as he merely states in his defense, "What need I have to bring harm to her? I am not one of those that punishes a whole family for the actions of one relative." He goes silent when Max speaks to Elia then, giving the man free rein to look the woman over openly while she responds to her boss. Brows lift easily to Max openly stating she works for him, the crimelord keeping his pleased reaction from his face. With an incline of his head towards her, eyes boring into her own, "I look forward to working with you, Elia," he says to her, the slight suggestive tilt in voice being easily missed. Then Max is concluding the meeting and Kelarad is draining his mug in response to it before getting to his feet. "The gratitude is mine," he states humbly, waving such notions away. "We are friends now, are we not? Friends help each other in both the best and worst of times." Turning towards Elia then with a slight bow, "A pleasure meeting you," he adds in particular to her, slight crooked smile evident in voice before Jaya is mentioned and he nods curtly on that particular business. "Good," he states to that, stepping away from the table. "As long as she follows the details given, all should go smoothly without detection." One can hope.

“Hearing of the meeting with the Bitran would be of interest,” Max agrees and then adds with a smirk, “that is if our esteemed Nabolese friend will be gracious enough to share such things.” He knowing full well that Serevan was unlikely to do so. A wry look then gets turned onto Kelarad when he speaks of not being the kind of man to punish an entire family for the wrongs of one member, “Lesser men wouldn’t hesitate to do so, so forgive my having jumped to conclusions.” Elia meets that intense look the Tillekian sets on her with a steady gaze of cool green, not the least bit intimidated by the man and then a slight smile appears and she gives a small incline of head in response to his words on working with her, “As do I.” When the two men stand, so does she, leaving her half finished mug of wine where it is. Squirreling the pouch of marks down the front of her top, she unashamedly tucking it between her breasts her head lifts at the comment made to her by Kelarad and a faint smirk appears, “Oh, the pleasure was all mine.” Said in such a way as to suggest she’d engineered everything simply as a means to meeting him personally. Mmhm. “Aye, friends,” Max gives as his hand lifts clasp the other man on the shoulder, “Through thick and thin.” Elia takes her leave before the men do, steps quick and self-assured lending her gait the appearance of an arrogant strut. Falling in step with his counterpart as they leave, the southerner utters a low chuckle as he notes wryly on the eastern barkeep following instructions, “This is Jaya we’re talking about remember?”

"He hardly would," Kelarad returns on Serevan revealing how the meeting with Vaputero went with a nod. That nod could also be for Max's apology, though no words are forthcoming on the topic. Instead, the intense gaze of Elia gets met with one of his own, eyes dropping to where the pouch vanishes with just the slightest lift of his brow. Turning for the entrance now with Max at his side, the only answer that now greets the man on the topic of the Bitran barkeep is one of pure laughter as they leave.

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