Reckoning 14 (Evening) 6106 RTR (Jun 30, 2006)Layth, Tasha and Aisha have a private dinner with Tyche.
(Amazonia) (Layth) (Tasha)
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    Private Dining Room
    Like many of the rooms in the Circerae Villa of Clan Hydron, this one has one open wall facing the central garden – although it opens onto a balcony, this being the upper floor. The dcor is strongly Olympian, without being obviously so: there are colorful tapestries that don't depict anything in particular, a few statues and figurines that may or may not be gods or heroes. There are elegant vases filled with fresh flowers, and two slaves at the edge of the balcony wave large paper fans to keep the room a pleasant temperature.

Chloe leads Tasha, Layth and Aisha to the dining room almost as soon as they are done freshening up. When they arrive and are seated, a servant informs them that Xavier and Calligenia will not be joining them, having other arrangements for the evening. A few other servants are already bringing in the food – platters of rice and vegetables, breads, soups, salad and bowls of different sauces. There's even a covered dish for Tasha.

"I'll be just outside if you need me," Chloe says, then vanishes, leaving the foreigners to themselves.

"Well, this is unexpected," Layth admits as he looks around the room. "Dinner alone with the Queen. I am sure it will be a most pleasant evening. How are you feeling, Tasha?"

"Well I'm famished," Tasha remarks as she looks across the offerings. "All tha' dreamin' and stretching an' runnin' aroun' makes a woman 'ungry." She glances at Layth, now, and grins at him – she's taken to grinning more and smiling less. "I never 'ad dinner wit' no Queen before. 'Ow's this s'posed to go?"

"Keep your elbows off the table, use the fork and knife," Aisha recites. "The first spoon is for your soup. Do not stick you fingers in the soup or slurp or talk with your mouth open."

"Well, I haven't either. Outside of the basic dining manners Aisha has said, I would recommend to be polite. Answer her questions and speak respectfully to her. After all, we are guests in her house. If she asks anything of you, you should do it," Layth says and tilts his head, trying to get a look at the slaves with the fans.

Tasha wrinkles her nose as Aisha goes on. "All tha'? Cap'n Eyeshine never taught me anythin' like tha'. I get the bein' polite part though – tha's common sense," she admits. The woman then rolls her shoulders and stretches her hands upward, fluttering her wings a bit.

The slaves with the fans, for some reason, have veils hiding their faces. They appear to be normal Lapis though.

"I admit I am surprised Master Lightfoot and Lady Calligenia are not here with us, this evening," Layth notes and rests his hands in his lap. "But, I suppose they trust we won't get ourselves into much trouble."

"I wanted to see you all without Xavier or Calligenia here to influence you," comes a soft voice from the doorway, as Tyche enters and takes her seat at the head of the table. "Please, don't wait for me… serve yourselves. This is an informal dinner."

Tasha's ears perk when Tyche comments upon entering, and she looks momentarily surprised. "Oi," she breathes, sounding more uncertain than surprised or upset. With Tyche's bidding the Vartan walks over and takes a seat near the dish that looked prepared for her, watching Tyche intently.

Layth turns to Tyche and bows his head. "We are honored, thank you," he says softly. He doesn't go for any food yet, though, opting to wait for the others to take what they wish and he will choose from whatever is left. "I hope our visit has not caused any burden to you."

"I'm sure it will prove very informative," Tyche notes, filling her plate with rice and veggies. "Hardly a burden."

"Aye, informative," Tasha agrees. She leans over, sniffing, and hooks a nail under the covered dish to take a look inside. "Never 'ad a meal like this before … "

Aisha takes her cue from Tyche, and starts filling her plate. The covered dish before Tasha appears to be some sort of poached fish.

"We are at your command and shall endeavor to answer all you ask," Layth says with another bow of his head. Once Aisha has finished filling her dish, Layth finally starts selecting some vegetables for himself.

"You are very well mannered, Layth," Tyche says, apparently being familiar with who she's dining with. "Tell me, as one who knows a bit about both Amazonia and the outside world, what is your honest impression of my daughter Calligenia?"

After seeing her hidden 'surprise,' Tasha removes the lid and helps herself to the poached fish – the entire poached fish. She balances it on a wide knife and then puts it on her plate, managing to not drop it. Then she goes about surrounding it with bread rolls, stuffed peppers, and a carrot. As she gathers all this, she pauses to blink at Tyche and her question for Layth, momentarily halting her plate cramming.

"Difficult to read. And from things I have heard, sometimes a bit rash when angered. But, she does listen to council and has managed to deal well with trade practices that are foreign to her. The arrangement she worked out in Abu-Dhabi was the best that could be expected given the situation. That speaks well of her intelligence and determination to succeed," Layth answers quite honestly. "Outside of that incident, she spoke little to me. So I am not sure how much more I can say about her."

Tyche nods, and pours some wine for herself, then offers the bottle around.

"Would you like me to pour you some wine?" Layth asks Aisha when the bottle is offered.

"Yes please," Aisha says, somewhat subdued.

Layth accepts the bottle and fills Aisha's glass, using two of his fingers against the side to judge when to stop filling. "Tasha, would you like some as well?" he asks the Vartan.

Tasha listens to Layth's review before she goes back to her dinner. She does have to pause at the forks, though, eying them as if uncertain which one she should pick up. After a moment she just grabs a random one, turns it around until she has a grip on it, then uses the knife she got the fish with to cut the fish up. When Layth asks about wine she looks up, glances at Aisha's full glass, then nods as she looks back down at her meal. "Aye," she answers.

"Aldara Tasha, is the fish satisfactory?" Tyche asks.

Layth fills Tasha's glass in much the same way, then finally gets to his own and fills it as well. He sets the bottle in the center of the table. The buck then takes a small bite from the items on his plate.

Tasha's ears shoot up again when she's addressed. "Oh, aye, it's great. I 'avn't 'ad anythin' this good before," she answers with both vigor and honesty. Then, as if to prove it, she spears a bit of fish and stuffs it in her mouth; then the woman grins as she chews.

Tyche's ears go up, then back down. "You are from Rephidim, yes?" she asks the half-Vartan.

The Vartan nods while she chews, then answers after swallowing. "I'm from Un'erside; was born on The Rake, though," she explains.

"Is the food to your liking?" Layth asks Aisha quietly, since the doe seems rather quiet; which is unusual for her.

"Your airship," Tyche comments, nodding. "Calligenia's first attempt at using an airship to transport her goods resulted in a betrayal. Do you think she put too much trust into the captain, or was she perhaps misled?"

Tasha puts her fork down for Tyche's next question, frowning as she thinks on it. "Well," she begins, ears flicking, "It's 'ard to say without bein' there for the deal an' the trip, but I did know that cap'n a bit, an' 'e always was a bit loose with 'is honesty. More interested in the shekel than the patron, that is. Most airship cap'ns are always lookin' for a deal or an angle, an' the rougher the lot, the better bet they'll be swayed by a good take. Thinkin' on it, I'd say Calli jus' didn't know any better. Airship cap'ns are like … fruit. The rare fruits, like. Takes some practice an' skill to know which is good an' which one's rotten un'er the surface. Askin' aroun' 'elps too, if you can trust who you ask."

"And she can trust you, I see," Tyche says, before eating a small potato. "You've followed her quite a ways, even into dangerous lands. What is it that impressed you so about her?"

"Oi, I jus' thought she was pretty at first. She gave that cap'n what-for, an' I was impressed with 'er strength. After tha', though, she jus' seemed like someone I could follow. It wasn' abou' 'ow she looked anymore, it was abou' who she was an' what she was doin'. Charisma, I think. An' … " Tasha taps her nose. " … My nose told me she was goin' places. I wanted to see where Calli ended up – still do. I'd 'elp her out again."

Tyche smiles at this report, and says, "Thank you, Aldara."

Tasha smiles back, then immediately covers ger muzzle with a hand. She quickly averts her gaze to her plate and then stuffs a carrot in her mouth with a fork, ears splaying embarrassedly.

Layth eats quietly, then takes a short drink from his wine glass. Inwardly, the buck is impressed by how well she handled the questions.

Aisha looks nervous suddenly, figuring the next question will be for her…

"More wine?" Layth asks Aisha, sensing her nervousness and hoping to distract her and relax her some.

"No need to be afraid, Aisha," Tyche says, as Aisha holds out her glass for more wine. "You've worked with Calligenia as a business partner. What would you say are her strengths and weaknesses?"

Layth fills Aisha's glass again. Once done, he asks the other two the same question quietly, "More wine, Tasha? Would you like more wine as well, Lady Tyche?"

With the attention gone from her, Tasha looks up and over at the new target: Aisha. While listening, the Vartan absently chews on a well-buttered dinner roll.

"Sure would," Tasha answers after a moment."

"Thank you, Layth," Tyche answers, holding her glass out.

The buck fills Tasha's glass again and looks at her. His brow arches a bit, as if trying to say the questioning is rather interesting. He then turns to Tyche and fills her glass, bowing his head with a smile and saying, "You are most welcome, Lady Tyche."

After Aisha wets her throat, she says, "Well… she is very good at negotiating. Probably because she tries to find the best deal for everyone involved, instead of just for herself."

The Vartan returns Layth's look with a slow nod, then she grins a bit.

"I think her biggest… and maybe only… weakness is that she expects everyone to operate like that," Aisha explains. "You don't have crime here, so she isn't familiar yet with being taken advantage of. That's why she must have been so angry when it happened."

"May I say something?" Layth asks quietly.

"Of course, Layth," Tyche says.

"Me too, if I can," Tasha asks.

The chocolate doe nods to Tasha as well.

"Concerning the weakness Lady Aisha speaks of … I would say she may have second one; her anger. From what I understand happened to the man who betrayed her, that was foolish. While your daughter is of nobility here; that will have no meaning in the outside world in some places. She must learn she cannot always punish those that directly wronged her with violence," the buck says with frank honesty.

"Calli was taken, an' she seemed surprised abou' it. She needs to learn foreign trade from foreigners who know it best. Life's different outside, like Aisha says. It different in every port aroun' the world, at that," Tasha adds.

"Calligenia, violent?" Tyche asks, looking surprised.

"As I understand it, she killed the captain who stole from her," Layth says. "Perhaps I heard wrong?" he asks and looks to Tasha.

"That much I expected, but not that she would be violent about it," Calligenia says, shaking her head.

"She stuck a dagger in 'im. Killed 'im righ' in the middle o' me mother's tavern," the Vartan reviews, nodding to Layth. "Now, murder's no' all tha' uncommon tha' way, bu' it ain't common either. 'Ad the Guard been there – no' likely – she might 'ave been taken in, or 'ad the cap'n's crew been braver, they might 'ave ended 'er there, or in an alley."
"And that is why I say it was a foolish action," Layth says with a nod. "Perhaps she believed that she would not be retaliated against for that action; as to her she was in the right. But, the outside world doesn't always honor those in the right."

"But she did not mutilate the corpse?" Tyche asks.

The Vartan's ears go askew. "No tha' I remember," Tasha answers, sounding perplexed at the question.

"Did she slaughter the traitor's crew?" Tyche asks next.

Tasha shakes her head. "Oi, no. They 'ad at each other after the cap'n died. Couldn't decide 'o was to be the next cap'n and 'o got the loot. One 'o 'em even fled to our ship."

"I see," Tyche says. "So, the only person she actually killed was the captain?"

The Vartan simply nods.

"And killing thieves is not allowed on Rephidim?" the doe asks next.

"Yes an' … no," Tasha answers. "We 'ave the Guard, an' they're part of Rephidim's government. Thing is, they're sometimes a crooked lot, an' even the right ones aren't 'appy to step into the worst areas of the city. I guess it all comes down to who you know, 'ow powerful they are, an' 'ow much you get on the bad side of those with power doin' what you're doin'. If Calli was a Rephidim noble, she could 'ave killed tha' man without much 'assle in most places, 'cept if it bugged other nobles. Thing is though, Calli ain't no one outside Amazonia." Tasha then frowns, adding, "Sorry to say it, bu' it's true."

"And for another perspective. In the lands of Abu-Dhabi, thieves are not killed. They have their hand removed," Layth says. "Killing the thief there would be a punishable crime."

"And yet, I understand that Calligenia did not punish the thief in Abu-Dhabi?" Tyche asks.
"That is what I meant about listening to council. Myself, as did Lady Aisha and Master Lightfoot, advised her the best course of action would be to negotiate, as the man in question who had the wool had made arrangements with the Emir. Offending the Emir would have been bad," Layth says.

"Oi, I got an idea," Tasha announces, suddenly. Her tail swishes and she holds a hand up. "Mind if I say somethin'?"

"Yes Tasha?" Tyche asks.

"I've been thinkin' abou' why Calli was taken, an' why she 'ad better luck in Abu-Dhabi later: it's who she knew an' how well established they were. By then, Calli 'ad Aar- … Xavier's family behind 'er, an' me an' The Rake. She wasn' jus' a nobody with money. She 'ad backin', an' people look for that. Add in her good trade idea, an' it became more profitable to work for her than take 'er. So, I think Calli needs to establish 'erself with some solid contacts and traders, get a name an' backing, then expand from there. It's one thing to snooker Calligenia, it's another to snooker the … Golden Lapi Trading Company," Tasha offers.

"Golden Lapi?" Aisha asks.

Tasha just shrugs. "I jus' made it up; s'jus' an example," she admits.

Tyche considers this, sipping her wine. "I do not think killing the captain was excessively violent… it sent a message to the underworld that she is not to be trifled with. Likewise, the building of legitimate contacts is clearly important."

Layth takes a sip from his wine instead of saying anything further on the subject and why he feels it a foolish action.

"Well it sure showed that crew 'o was boss, bu' Calli can' jus' stick a dagger in every trader tha' takes advantage. She's goin' to need a better weapon than personal intimidation, aye?" Tasha raises her brows questioningly, looking between Layth and Tyche.

"After that incident, will others still try to cheat her?" Tyche asks, looking surprised.

"Well, Lapi aren't… outside, that is, we aren't seen as… tough," Aisha explains. "The more non-Lapi she has with her, following her… the more impressive Calli will appear."

"Also, those who know differently now, well, they will more likely knife her in the back and just take her things. People do not fight in the same way in the outside as here. She has shown her hand and people will plan on ways of dealing with it," Layth adds.

"Might be, aye. It won't travel tha' far. Rephidim is a 'uge port, an' murders 'appen. There's always some fool willin' to try anythin' for an' extra shekel, too. I'd put my money on makin' it more profitable to be on Calli's good side than bad, rather tan try an' impress the world by killin' people. An', thing is, kill enough an' no cap'n will trust 'er," Tasha explains.

Tasha also nods to Layth. "Next time, they migh' jus' kill 'er in 'er sleep," she agrees quietly.

"Your world seems quite… bleak," Tyche says, frowning. "Perhaps seeking outside markets is not worth the trouble, as Xavier keeps saying."

"Not bleak. Just different. I served a trader for most of my life. A good trader learns the customs of those they trade with and develop skills such that they can always negotiate beneficial deals. What we are all saying is, you will have to be open and willing to learn the customs of those you trade with and not assume everyone is like you. Developing contacts to help you with that in those ports is the best way to go," Layth says and looks to Tasha.

Tasha lifts a fork and gestures with it as she tries to explain. "It's like one of them sayings Layth uses. Trade outside is like … a sky stream. You go against the winds, an' all you'll get it hassle. You go with it, an' use it the way you wan' to go, an' it works out fine – might even 'elp you along. The 'ard part is findin' a good navigator, jus' like on a ship," she explains, nodding back to Layth in agreement.

"You make it sound as if the best policy is to go through existing local traders, and merely supply them," Tyche says. "Minimizing direct contact."

"The local traders will generally know the best way to trade in that area, yes. That gives you single contact points you can trust and work with," Layth agrees and again looks to Tasha for confirmation.

The Vartan nods back to Layth, adding, "Or 'ire some 'o knows what they're about, an' 'ave them advise. I won' 'ide the fact I'd like The Rake to do Calli's tradin', or even work it out so she'd 'ave 'er own ship. Course, I 'ad it in mind to work myself on to tha' ship as its cap'n, but me 'eart's no' quite in it as it was. The Temple of Abaddon showed me I might 'ave a different destiny, bu' I'd still be willin' to give it a shot if it's otherwise – or serve under a cap'n of Calli's chosin'."

"I will discuss these options with Xavier and Calligenia," Tyche says. "In truth, I did not wish for my daughter to spend all of her time in the outer world dealing with trivialities."

"Ah, you have other duties you wish her to pursue here?" Layth inquires.

"What's next for Calli then, if I migh' ask?" Tasha asks, almost echoing Layth.

"She is being groomed to lead this clan after me," Tyche says plainly. "It would not do for her to be too involved with the ways of alien cultures."

"Ah," Layth says with a short nod. "Forgive me for asking, but then would it be your wish that we leave when we can? We are from those cultures, after all."

"Oh," Tasha says, sounding a little disappointed. "Does tha' mean you won' wan' me aroun' 'er much, anymore? I'm the Herald of Abaddon now, so I'm … no' tha' foreign?" The woman's ears perk hopefully.

"There is no rush, and you will be needed to escort Calligenia when she is ready to go," Tyche notes, then asks, "Are you finding your stay here disappointing?"

"Not at all. I have enjoyed being here; in some ways I cannot even fully explain. But, I have had personal concerns about being here, given … that I was born here but not raised here. I am of full blood, but I have learned much from the outside world. To be honest, I expected at some level to have been killed for being contaminated," Layth says bluntly.

"Oi, no! I actually was uncomfortable for a while after gettin' 'ere, everyone was so differen', bigger, an' tougher than me. I couldn' fit in anywhere! Then I found Abaddon, an' after tha', I started seein' 'ow nice a Lapi family could be. I envy your big families an' kinship," the Vartan answers. Her tail wags, and she points at herself. "Plus, it was my destiny to be here, aye. Comin' 'ere made my life make sense. I'm studyin' at the Temple these days, so I 'ave connections here now, too."

"Your hospitality has been excellent, Lady Tyche," Aisha says, bowing her head.

"So then, all of your needs are being met?" Tyche asks, just to be certain.

"Most certainly. Is there anything I can do to repay you for your hospitality, Lady Tyche?" Layth asks with a smile.

"I've never 'ad someone do so much for me, 'cept Xavier's family," the Vartan answers, nodding. Then, glancing at Layth, Tasha adds, "Or somethin' I can do?"

Tyche gives Layth a looking over, and says, "Perhaps. I hear you have some Priapus skills?"

Tasha blinks, glancing at Layth again, then shrugs, saying, "Can't 'elp you there."

"I … have had some training along those lines, yes," Layth replies with a nod. "Is there a specific skill you are interested in?"

"All of them, of course," Tyche replies. "If that is amenable to your mistress?"

"Who, me?" Aisha asks, looking surprised.

Layth looks to Aisha. "Yes, Lady Aisha. Is it acceptable to you if I attend to Lady Tyche when she wishes?" the buck asks.

Tasha glances between Aisha and Layth, frowning briefly, then she gives a 'what can I do' sort of shrug, stuffing a carrot in her mouth.

Aisha looks like a doe caught in the gaze of a Naga. "I… if you want to, Layth."

"I would also be interested in learning more about you, Aldara Tasha," Tyche comments, smiling to the hybrid. "Perhaps when you have finished your ritual with the Temple of Abaddon?"

Layth considers that and looks to Tasha briefly. after a quick apologetic smile to her, he looks back to Tyche. "I am at your call when you wish for as long as we are here," he tells Tyche and bows his head. "If you have any specific wants, let me know and I will endeavor to fulfill them."

Caught thinking about Layth and Tyche, Tasha is surprised when Tyche turns her attention towards her. She blinks, returning her gaze to the Queen, then nods slowly. "Of course Ty- … Lady Tyche, I'd be 'appy to tell you more abou' meself," she says after a moment.

"And I would love to hear about the fashions of the outer world, Aisha," Tyche says, surprising the golden doe. "To better understand what textiles would do well for trade."

"Oh… of course, Lady Tyche!" Aisha agrees. "I'm up on all the latest fashions."

"Now then, do you have any questions for me?" Tyche asks, as she munches on a carrot of her own.

"How are your contacts with more distant clans and the barbarian tribes, Lady Tyche?" Layth inquires.

"Outside of Dianus, I have little information," Tyche says. "The outer clans are no threat to us, so we try to ignore them."

"Well," Tasha begins as she sits up straighter, "Do you think I'd ever be able to fit in better, 'ere? My Temple is 'ere, an' people are always gettin' out of my way an' such. It's fun for a while, but it gets a bit lonely. It'd be nice to 'ave somewhere I belonged, for once."

Looking at Tasha, Tyche considers her question. "You are obviously exotic, Aldara. Perhaps if you were pregnant or nursing a baby? Everyone loves a mother."

Tasha opens her mouth, pauses, glances at Layth, then stares at the floor. "I ad'n't … I'm no' sure I can … " Her ears lay back. "Maybe? I'm no' even sure I can 'ave children."

"Perhaps you could borrow one?" Tyche suggests.

"Borrow someone's kid?" Tasha asks, surprised. Clearly, she hadn't considered that option before.

"Like Coeus, Lucia's servant?" Aisha asks. "Not an infant… "

"Any coney should serve to diffuse the tension," Tyche notes.

"Well … All right. I did say I envied Lapi families, so, might as well be more family-like. I can take 'im with me when I go about town. Learn about kids, an' such," Tasha agrees after a moment of thought.

"And if you want to try for some of your own, I understand that ZigZig is quite interested," Tyche adds with a grin.

"He is intensely interested, as is Master Lightfoot's cousin," Layth confirms and grins.

"Aldara is exotic," Tyche says, and gives the hybrid a wink.

"Ah, and a general question. You asked us of our impressions of your daughter; may we ask what your impressions of us are?" Layth inquires of Tyche with a smile.

"I 'eard," Tasha sighs, but grins none-the-less. "Thing is, I'm no' sure any Lapi can get me pregnant – or wha' my mother would say, if 'e did." The woman actually blushes faintly, glancing at Layth, then Tyche, then laughing lightly.

"Of course, if there are others which interest you, you may wish to seek them out as well," Layth adds as an afterthought. "And yes, she is quite exotic."

"Rrr, well, I'll think on it … Oi! You asked a question, didn't you Layth?" Tasha says, trying to change the subject.

Layth nods. "I did," the buck agrees, "I am interested in what Lady Tyche's impressions of us are."

Turning back towards Layth, Tyche says, "You seem much more civilized than I had expected. To hear Xavier tell it, the outside world is populated by uncouth rabble who would sooner eat you than help you."

"Xavier's a bit touchy, 'e is," Tasha remarks.

"Most often because you keep pulling his ears," Layth notes with a teasing smile. "The outside world is a diverse place. There are may civilized and beautiful places. There equally as many dangerous and uncivilized ones."

"It is easy to believe though," Tyche comments. "The Amazonians beyond the city walls are also known as uncouth rabble who would sooner slit open your belly than take the time to rob you."

"That I can understand. My mother was one of those," Layth admits.

"Well, 'uncouth rabble' are out there too," the Vartan admits. "Like that cap'n, an' most of Darkside an' Un'erside. Most docks, too. An' ghettos."

Patting her mouth with a napkin, and sipping the last of her wine, Tyche seems to be done with her meal.

Layth finishes off his glass of wine as well and places his napkin lightly on his plate. "Again, I would like to thank you for your wonderful hospitality. It is an honor to be in your presence," the buck says. "Thank you for taking the time to dine and speak with us."

Tasha, who had mostly annihilated her meal earlier, copies Tyche's motion by dabbing her muzzle and putting her napkin down. "Aye, it was a great dinner. I'm really glad we 'ad this talk – wasn' as 'ard as I thought it'd be," she says, grinning. "I should be done with the ritual soon, so I'll tell Celosia when I am."

"Oh, I always try to have some personal time with my guests," Tyche notes, smiling. "Is there anything that can make your stay more comfortable? I understand Layth and Xavier have been staying with the Gladiators. Would you prefer a private room?"

"Ah, well, that is to accommodate Tasha. As part of her ritual, she has been consuming a large amount of Milk. To spare her the distracting influence of bucks, we decided it was safer to relocate," Layth says with a small grin. "But, if it is truly no trouble to you, arranging a couple of private rooms that we can divide and use as needed would be most kind."

"I like stayin' with the sisters. Took a while, but I'm used to 'avin' them there, now," Tasha says. "As for anythin' else, wouldn't feel right askin' for more. This is more than anyone's ever given me, 'cept me mum an' Cap'n Eyeshine."

"I will see to it," Tyche says, nodding.

"Is there anything you would like, Lady Aisha?" Layth asks the golden doe, since she's been so quiet.

"Oh, I almos' forgot to ask: I'm settin' up to learn fightin' styles, to understand them better, as a bit of tactical know-'ow. Is there anyone in the Clan tha' wouldn' mind spendin' some time with me, abou' that?" Tasha asks.

"Do you have any xocholatl?" Aisha finally asks, looking hopeful

"We are not a clan that has warriors," Tyche tells Tasha. "Only Gladiators. Would they be sufficient?" To Aisha she asks, "Zocko-lattel?"

"I can introduce you to some of the gladiators," Layth offers, "Since Master Lightfoot and I have been staying with them."

"Calli isn't a Warrior? I always thought she was, if jus' because of her station. A gladiator would be fine." Tasha nods to Layth, adding, "Better make it after the ritual, o' course. I'm no' interested in trying to get pregnant yet."

Layth nods, "Of course."

"Calligenia is trained in the arts of assassination," Tyche says. "Not warrior skills as measured by the other clans."

"Assassination?" Tasha repeats, ears shooting up. "Is tha' what that was? … Can I learn that? Without bein' assassinated, I mean."

"You are a bit… obvious, for that, Aldara," Tyche says, "but I can have a trainer interview you for an evaluation."

"I'll try my best. It seems like a good idea to know a bit abou' everything – that way I can plan better," Tasha says. "Thank you, Lady Tyche."

Tyche sets down her napkin, and says, "If you will excuse me, I have to speak to one of my advisers. There is dessert, if you want to stay."

"I'd 'ate for that to go to waste. Jus' let me know if you need me, Lady Tyche, an' I'll be around," Tasha promises. She lifts a hand, waves to Tyche, then wags her tail to boot.

"I will remain and attend to Lady Aisha however she wishes," Layth says with a smile and a bow of his head. "Whenever you have a want for my services, I am at your call. I wish you a most wonderful and joyous evening," the buck adds.

"Oh, I intend to make good use of you all while you are here," Tyche says, smiling as she gets up and leaves the room.


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GMed by BoingDragon

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Today is 4 days before Ring Day, Year 25 of the Reign of Archelaus the First (6124)