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Selwyn Austaire

Magistrate of the Merchant Ward and throne holder in Iracot. Lives by the words, "Wit and Cunning Above All Else."

0 · 291 views · located in The Crimson Fox

a character in “Althaea”, as played by MidnightNoir

Groups

The seven magistrates that control the seven wards of Iracot; the City of Thrones. They are the second most powerful people in Viridian, directly beneath the God-Queen Sarene Iracot.

So begins...

Selwyn Austaire's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire
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The streets of Iracot ran rampant with activity today. They were quite busy normally, but on days where one was doomed to death by the God-Queen, they were nothing short of electric. Selwyn Austaire slowly walked through the crowds, his arms casually crossed behind his back, wearing the sly grin that had come to define him. His crimson and silver nobleman's attire remained immaculate despite the variety of peasants and street-urchins bustling past him; the peasants and street urchins who were all staring up at the massive palace, a thirst for blood in their hungry eyes. Selwyn's dark hair and long crimson coat gently blew in the breeze as he took in the masses with his equally dark eyes.

The man's smile grew, for although he knew some in this crowd would mourn for whoever today's sacrifice would be, all he was thinking about was the aftermath of the ritual: the streets of his Merchant Ward filled to the brim with citizens looking to celebrate with full tankards and the purchase of various items from his stores. Most were unaffordable to the average city-folk, partially due to Selwyn's high taxes to the store owners. The man, who stood at 5'11 and possessed a lean though athletic stature, thought of these prices as necessary, and even reasonable. Firstly to keep the God-Queen satisfied, but most importantly to keep her off his case, leaving him free to go about his personal agenda, whatever that may be at the time. He reasoned that keeping his ward in order would also require the aid of the God-Queen's Knights, so every week without fail, one of Selwyn's errand boys dropped a nice pittance off directly to the Dragon Lord, Gabriel Evictus, to insure the security of not only the shoppers (and potential gold in his pocket), but Selwyn himself.

He made his way over to one of the numerous street vendors and inspected their fare, picking up a small berry and popping it in his mouth without word to the vendor, who simply bowed his head at the Magistrate. Stepping away from the table, Selwyn noticed one of the God-Queen's many knights standing her post.

"Ah, Cordelia Ightlor," he said with a deep bow. "Beautiful day for for a ceremonial sacrifice, would you not agree? Praise be to her holiness," the man exclaimed, a smile growing on his lightly bearded and alluring face.

Of course, Selwyn didn't worship, nor even particularly care for the God-Queen. Or anyone, for that matter. He was a self-made man and believed in only two higher authorities; gold and power. His rise to Magistrate was largely due to his cunning, his charm, and his thirst for knowledge. Always making sure to cover up his tracks, Selwyn Austaire followed dirty secrets and rumors, as well as running several successful taverns and shops to become a Throne Holder and Magistrate of Iracot. Tonight, the man was hosting a party for the Knights at one of his many personally owned taverns, the Crimson Fox, named after Selwyn's favorite animal. In fact, he frequently wore a silver beltbuckle of the likeness of a fox. More than anything, Selwyn prided himself on his cunning, a trait he associated with the animal.

"I expect I shall be seeing you and the rest of your brotherhood at my tavern tonight? Unless of course, you are on duty."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire
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#, as written by Maree
Cordelia stood vigilantly at her post, keeping watch over Valor out of the corner of her eye. When Calvin returned, it was a surprise to find out that the cowering woman against the wall had been one of their own. It was dishonorable to act like a child when part of the God-Queen's Knights. Cordelia disliked the behavior immediately and planned to report it up the chain of command until it reached the ears of Knight-Commander Envictus.

"Not for long if she keeps behaving as such," Cordelia said to Calvin as he returned with a short report on his findings. The woman-knight was just about to ask who it had been before a man approached Cordelia. When Selwyn said her name, the woman blushed from head to toe, a rare occurrence in her behavior. Her embarrassment was made all the worse because of Valor standing next to her.

Having been completely caught off guard, Cordelia forgot to salute the Magistrate of the Merchant district and stammered her greeting. "Greetings t-to you M-Magistrate Austaire," Cordelia managed to get out. She began to fidget and looked anywhere but at Selwyn as if attempting to avoid him.

The man always embarrassed her. It was simple to say that she may have taken a liking to the man during their brief conversations and passing-bys. He was handsome and wealthy and renown in the city of Iracot. There was much Selwyn could offer to the Ightlor name.

"I-I am not on duty and if it would please you, Magistrate, I will attend your tavern tonight," Cordelia said. Her eyes flashed a glance over to Calvin and the expression clearly said that if he uttered a peep about her silliness around Selwyn Austaire, she would kill him.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire
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When Cordelia had mentioned potentially getting Orfea in trouble, he simply nodded; it was his duty, after all, to report weaknesses in the ranks, as it was the duty of all those beneath the God-Queen. While this necessity was mostly for her Armies, in which morale and dedication were often by necessity upheld by the Knights, it was just as important a duty within the Knights themselves.

It was simply fact that Calvin had wanted to use that as a small piece of information to gain favor with Orfea, if only a little bit, for not reporting her poor conduct. Since Cordelia had been keeping an eye on him- as much she should have been, he was hasty to remind himself- that was not an option. Ah well, there were other Knight-sisters.

His dedication to remaining watchful had paid off, however. While Cordelia was talking to him, he had noticed the approach of the Magistrate. He felt maybe he should salute, in his pocket as the Knights were to some extent, but he had a personal dislike for the man; especially since he was an attractive noble, who many of the Knight-sisters (and a couple of the men) had an interest in. Calvin had never liked competition.

When he introduced himself to Cordelia, Calvin couldn't help but be both very frustrated and highly amused. She looked like someone had smeared tomato paste on her face. He was glad he was wearing a helmet, as he could not hope to hide the grin spread across his face, keeping his eyes forward and as alert as he could, given the circumstances.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarene Iracot Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor Character Portrait: Calor Elohan Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire
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#, as written by Maree
The Heralds of Iracot began to walk through the city, shouting with their magnificent, and possibly enchanted, voices.

"The God-Queen summons Iracot for viewing of the Sacrifice of Riyo Shikiro!"

The summons to the Sacrifice had begun.


The setting changes from palace-of-iracot to The Merchant Ward

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire
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#, as written by Gasmask
An orphan flew though the streets, hearing the heralds cry and dissipating into the crowd, though the districts and whispered into the ear of a man overseeing a small group of orphans in a well-kept courtyard. The man sighed deeply, waved off the orphan and ruffled her hair. The cold bitch was going to do it.

Sven brought the oldest orphan, put his temple to his and whispered something before palming a sword into his hands. "Look after them, if I don't come back." Sven smiled grimly and stood at his full height, draping on a black coat. "Don't give that bastard Selwyn anything either." Sven put a key under a nearby book and shut the door off his house with a loud slam.

Then he made his way to the crowd passing though the district and funneling into the crowd.

The setting changes from the-merchant-ward to The Courtyard of Iracot

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarene Iracot Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor Character Portrait: Calor Elohan Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire Character Portrait: Alber Roth
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#, as written by Maree
A bell tolled.

The unnamed eyes of the crowd all turned toward the balcony. Those who had been sitting now stood and even the children stopped playing, standing for their God-Queen. A hush fell over the courtyard but there was an energy building, excited and fearful.

Knight-Commander Gabriel Envictus appeared first followed suit by the ranks of the royal escort. And then in her full glory, God-Queen Sarene Iracot in her gossamer gown and crystal crown was revealed. Calor was not far behind.

The goddess kept her head held high and her face blank of any emotion. The sun burned the paint on her body and face, but she showed no pain. Sarene reached the edge of the balcony where everyone had the pleasure and privilege of looking upon their God-Queen. Raising her hands, she turned her palms upward and opened her arms.

"Iracot!" Sarene greeted. A cry of adoration and pure love rose up from the crowd, deafening to the ears. The very stones of the courtyard vibrated from their voices. Slowly her hands dropped and rested on the balcony's wall. The roar died down and all ears attuned themselves to the God-Queen.

Sarene swept her gaze over the crowd. Many women, and some men, fainted for they believed their God-Queen had looked them directly in the eye.

"Iracot, the people that I have given birth to from my own bosom. My Children, each and every one of you. I bring you today a sacrifice. A sacrifice to protect my Children from those who wish to come and conquer our lands from the Outside. The cruel rulers who come with vast armies to rape your wives, your children, and to kill your husbands in torturous, dishonorable, deaths."

"The Sacrifice that fuels the barrier of the border is given today by a young man. This young man came forth to me, confessed his trespasses, and begged to give his life to his Mother and to her Children so that they may continue to live on in everlasting peace."

"By the mercy of my hand, I have granted him this boon," Sarene said. "Bring forth Riyo Shikiro."

A line of Knights entered through the northern archway and made their way down the stairs. Riyo Shikiro was among them. He was not held in restraints and there was no trace of rebellion in his eyes. No longer did he blaspheme against the God-Queen, nor did he speak a word. He walked down in silent reverence, setting his eyes on the God-Queen as if she was to be the last thing he saw before he died.

The knights led Riyo Shikiro onto the platform. He stood at the center and out of the corner of his eye he saw Orfea. His lips trembled but still he dared not to say a word. Not yet. Riyo had seen sacrifices before where the God-Queen chose a Knight to honor. He, or she, would come and slit his throat and bleed him out. There were lines carved into the platform, scrolling and decorative-No, they were a symbol. It was a glyph.

It really was magic. He had been right!

"The Sacrifice today will not be preformed by one of my Knights. Today, Iracot, I give you this sacrifice," Sarene said, her voice projected easily in the courtyard.

"Orfea Pathen," Sarene Iracot called out. There was no mistaking the name, nor to who it belonged. Everyone was staring at her, even Riyo whose eyes were wide with fear, shock, horror, and filled to the brim with tears.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarene Iracot Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor Character Portrait: Calor Elohan Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire Character Portrait: Alber Roth
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The Knights of the God-Queen were stationed here and there throughout the courtyard; those in the Honor Guard were but a few of all those in the city. While her Armies were vast and powerful, it was the Knights who had been chosen to watch for trouble during the ceremony.

Knight-Commander Gabriel and the Honor Guard had positioned themselves around, but apart from, their God-Queen. Quinn Lemons, the Shield Guard, was standing a few feet behind and to her left, ready to spring should any threat be detected. The Knight Herald, Dunkel Sarokonnen, stood well behind her, the Banner of Iracot held high above his head, but not so much that it overshadowed the God-Queen. The other three Knights, including Gabriel, were stationed apart at regular intervals. It was a well rehearsed play, and one they were honored to take part in.

Leading the retinue of Knights guarding Riyo Shikiro, Enrico Vaseli strode at the head. He was an intimidating figure, wearing only his finest armor, black with gold lining, and holding his deadly Black Steel scythe aloft, the tool of the executioner. He was oft the chosen man for the job, and so he expected to be for this day.

He had known Riyo fairly well, even liked the boy a bit, but duty was duty, and in the God-Queen's name he would perform it... or so he thought. When She revealed her choice, even among the Knights there was surprise to be had. Enrico didn't dare voice his disappointment, but it was evident on his face.

A hush had fallen, awaiting only the approach of Orfea. Two of the Knights, Marcus Salazar and Charley Sweepers, had begun moving through the crowd towards her; to escort her in her new path.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarene Iracot Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor Character Portrait: Calor Elohan Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire Character Portrait: Alber Roth
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She watched as Riyo was practically dragged into the courtyard, shaking her head slightly in dismay.

Orfea listened half-heartedly to the speech, trying to compose herself so she didn't break down... Again. It was only when she heard her name be called the she finally looked up, but seemed to be frozen in place. The words 'I can't do this!' kept running through her already jumbled thoughts as she noticed the crowd set back so she had room to approach.

She could see her parents staring down at her in shock and sorrow, but also with the fear that she would run. But Orfea knew that she hadn't a choice, and was soon travelling the makeshift path the crowd had made her.
Once there, she bowed to her Queen in respect, before glancing over to Riyo - her only friend. Her eyes filled with tears, but she was quick to blank her face and hold her tears back.

Orfea put on a brave face, acting as if she was confident in the task she had been given. She looked over the crowd as they merged back into the original formation they had been in before. They were all staring at her, and secretly in unnerved her. Of course, she could never let that show. Instead, she acted as though she was perfectly fine with the hundreds of eyes that laid only on her.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Sarene Iracot Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor Character Portrait: Calor Elohan Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire Character Portrait: Alber Roth
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"Please, Cordelia, formalities between us are far from necessary, I assure you," Selwyn said with his trademark grin forming across his face. He gently placed his hand on her cheek.

"I look forward to seeing you later," he cooed."My lady," Looking straight into her eyes, boring into them with his chestnut brown ones, he lightly grazed her skin before removing his hand and moving past the other Knights, nodding to each with a smirk of falsified respect as he passed.

The man had always taken an interest in Cordelia. Despite not caring much for anyone or anything other than his coin and position, he was still a man at the end of the day, and any man finds it difficult to escape his carnal interests. There had been several times where Selwyn hired concubines of the Pleasure Ward who had similarities in appearance to that of Cordelia Ightlor. Always in secret, of course, and making sure to pay them handsomely for their discretion. Although most of these courtesans were aware that if any secret of Selwyn's escaped their lips, they would find themselves mysteriously waking up halfway across Althaea, far from where any damaging information could be used against him.

He heard the bell toll and made his way to his spot on the balcony, looking to the God-Queen herself. "Your grace, it is, as always, an honor to be in your presence on such a glorious occasion. Praise be to you," he exclaimed with a deep bow. Stepping towards his designated spot on the balcony, he noticed Shiabiann, the Magistrate of the Pleasure Ward, already in her position. The two had a mutual respect, yet distrust of each other. It was an interesting relationship, to say the least. They knew they could ruin each other if they wanted to, yet most times it made more sense to both to be in good graces with each other...as long as they always remained at a bit of a distance.

"Magistrate, good day to you. I trust things are good with you in your Ward, yes?" he asked with a bow of his head and a smirk.

Overlooking the masses, he took in the proceedings and watched as his Queen called up Orfea Pathen to the sacrificial stage. Selwyn stood back, crossing his hands behind his back. Taking a last glance at the hunger and blood lust in the citizens eyes, the man grinned, excited for the opportunity to satisfy their vices in drink and gluttony in his Ward post-cermony.

It would, after all, prove to be a profitable day.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarene Iracot Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor Character Portrait: Calor Elohan Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire Character Portrait: Alber Roth
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#, as written by Maree
Cordelia now stood on the inside of the gateway to the courtyard, along with her comrade in arms, Calvin. There was not a soul left in the empty streets and nothing to guard. She could not stop thinking about Selwyn and what he had said to her. If Calvin had said anything of his opinion on Selwyn, or on what the man had said, Cordelia definitely had not heard.

She was beginning to doubt her choice of attending the event. And yet, Cordelia wanted nothing more than to be cornered by the powerful Magistrate. Her heart raced in her chest from the mere thought of spending time with the man in the dark. His touch alone on her cheek had sent tendrils of delight racing down her belly.

Her lustful thoughts were disrupted as Orfea was called to the platform. It was unfortunate that she had to perform the Sacrifice of Riyo. It was no secret that the two were friends, and there were rumors of them being more than companions. It was not lost on Cordelia how the God-Queen had publicly denounced Orfea Pathen's Knighthood. Sarene Iracot had given the privilege of the Rite to a citizen and yet, she had called a knight's name.

Knight-Commander Envictus most likely had orders to cease and strip Orfea of her rights as a knight as soon as the ceremony was over.

"Enrico Vaseli, hand Orfea Pathen a blade of her choosing," the God-Queen's voice rang out, even to the farthest reaches of the courtyard.

Riyo Shikiro's eyes pleaded with Orfea, begging her not to be the one to end his life. He tried so hard to say something but he found that his voice would not come. His entire body was frozen, out of control, and unable to move at his will. The tears that ran down his face would be, unmistakably be taken as pure joy to be the sacrifice for Iracot and the God-Queen.

"It is beautiful, is it not?" Shiabiaan said to Selwyn. She was unafraid to speak behind the God-Queen. None would notice. All eyes were on the little lamb and his friend. "I do enjoy a good sacrifice. It does boost revenue when it is all done. Many of the citizens come to me after they have left your ward in order to enjoy one of my ladies or boys," Shia stated as if Selwyn's business was a participant in why she had accrued so much wealth.

"Will you be coming too, or will you be attempting to bed the prude virgin?" A knowing smirk spread across the breath-taking woman's face. She never made eye contact with Selwyn but kept her eyes on Orfea and Riyo. Her breathing was irregular and deep. Shia, perhaps, was taking more pleasure in the Sacrifice than most would have.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarene Iracot Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor Character Portrait: Calor Elohan Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire Character Portrait: Alber Roth
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Calvin had lost the amused look during the events transpiring next to him. Very unprofessional, Cordelia. Very. When Selwyn had finally left, he scowls and speaks, in a mock of the man's more silky voice, "Please, Cordelia, formalities between us are far from necessary, I assure you. Hmph!"

"I don't know what you see in him, honestly. Money... fame... hmph. I bet I could take him in a fight," Calvin decides, talking half to himself bitterly. He'd lost the preconception of trying to watch the gate, not that he'd simply allow anyone to just walk up to them. He was about to say more when the God-Queen's voice sent a shiver through him.

When her speech had finished, he blinked a few times, peering towards Cordelia, comrades again. "She's having Orfea do it? I thought they were... close." He makes a crude gesture.

----

Enrico was beside himself. The God-Queen had addressed him with a specific duty in mind. Even if it was not the execution of the sacrifice, it was almost as good. He bows his head to Orfea, and gestures to the rest of the retinue of Knights, who in unison offer the hilts of their various arms. "I would be honored," Enrico says softly, "If you would take mine for the duty." He, too, offers his mighty Scythe.


Gabriel and the rest of the Honor guard were performing their true function; seeking the crowds for those who would disrespect the God-Queen by speaking during the ceremony. A few brief, hushed exclamations were common and allowed. If there was any consortium that became a conversation, he would set his people into motion. And, he had detected the group of three, huddled together and carrying on, despite the gravity of the situation.

Making a covert gesture recognized only by the Knights, Gabriel sends two of them to bring retribution to the group of three. Dravinglov and Luna had begun to advance through the crowds, like wraiths descending on their prey.

With that, he returned his attention to the shocking choice. He had not known Sarene's intentions with Orfea, but her words, and the intent behind them, were clear. He knew what must be done after the ritual was complete.


----

Nearing the edge of the city, an exhausted horse and rider crests the last hill overlooking the great holy land. The man was Shein Clovin, Knight-Errant and runner, who had been assigned to one of the Knights' border combat teams. And he had a dire message that needed to be received immediately. Urging his steed on, he carries forth towards the Palace.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarene Iracot Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor Character Portrait: Calor Elohan Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire Character Portrait: Alber Roth
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#, as written by Gasmask
Sven stood upright as he saw the lead knight's gesture, he knew what was coming now. If they were wraiths, he was the ghost that taught them all how to haunt, he knew all the tricks when it came to fighting an armored knight or otherwise, he'd taught most knights after all. Proud was an understatement, but only a few knights deserved recognition among them.

"Shh. The feral dogs come to bite. Just visit the Agricultural Ward tonight. They'll be a congregation, don't waste your time at the Crimson Fox, neither. The owner'll slit your throat, then piss in it." Sven hissed though closed lips and gently pushed his two new companions apart gently.

If the knights intended to make Sven and the other two men an example, the look and gesture the ex-knight gave them would probably deter them. Sven gave them a smile, a slight bow and with his hands gave them a gesture that he had used in the training rounds of Iracot a few months ago.

The gesture warned of an incoming blow, the first finger said if it was a sword, in this case it was a sword, and the second alerted to the direction, which happened to be left.

"Pull up your hoods and distance yourself into the crowds if you want to live." Sven hissed loud enough for the two men to hear.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarene Iracot Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor Character Portrait: Calor Elohan Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire Character Portrait: Alber Roth
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#, as written by Maree
"You dare to blaspheme your God-Queen?" It was Magistrate Shiabiann that had spoken, her voice traveling over the gathered as easily as Sarene Iracot's had done. The elegant and scantily clad woman smiled in amusement. There was not only one death to be had today it appeared.

Sarene Iracot's eyes stared at Orfea Pathen with a vengeful gaze. The Sacrifice was not turning out as it should and the Magistrates were there to see the God-Queen's failure. Failure was unacceptable.

"Seize her," the God-Queen demanded of her Knights on the platform. "And Riyo Shikiro shall burn for your utterances against my Holiness."

Flame erupted beneath Riyo Shikiro's feet and his tongue was loosened. His screams echoed through the courtyard as he was burned mercilessly. The smell of searing flesh filled the noses of those who were the closest. His skin blackened with char and melted from his bones as the fire consumed him.

"I am a merciful god to those who are worthy. Those who betray me will suffer as these two shall today. Do not forget Iracot. I am your God!" Sarene was infuriated. Where there was one who would dare to speak against her there were more.

"Behead the blasphemer and her family!" the God-Queen commanded before she turned on heel to leave the courtyard. A resounding boom of the massive doors that lead into the palace signaled the leave of Sarene Iracot.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarene Iracot Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Calor Elohan Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire Character Portrait: Alber Roth
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Selwyn remained seated, smirking at Shiabiann's attempted words of insult.

"Come now, Magistrate. Jealousy is not a good look on you, especially on such a joyous occasion. I daresay our 'God-Queen' would only want positive emotion from one of her Throne Holders," he spoke with only a mere hint of apathy in his voice.

"Besides, it would be such a terrible shame if one of your top earners were to suddenly disappear, or if perhaps a brothel of yours burnt down from a drunken citizen celebrating the day's events. Of course, should such a terrible event occur, you have the full support of the Merchant's Ward."

Selwyn moved his attention from the cat and mouse conversation over to the blue haired Knight known as Orfea Pathen, summoned for the execution. As she turned to the crowd to deliver her blasphemous tirade, Selwyn reached into his belt and grasped the hilt of an ornate dagger, sheathed in crimson, bearing the head of a silver fox at the base of the handle.

Upon Magistrate Shiabiann's words of scold to Orfea, Selwyn rushed up behind the blue haired Knight and held his now drawn dagger to her throat as the rest of the Knights readied their weapons at the woman. The God-Queen took her leave to return indoors just before Selwyn leaned in close to Orfea's ear, lowering his voice to a mere whisper.

"A word of advice; if there's one thing I learned along my rise, it would be to never let anyone know your true intentions, my dear Orfea."

Selwyn let the God-Queen's Knights take her out of his grasp before turning back to Shiabiann.

"This does not bode well for our Wards, Magistrate. Order must be restored, or riots in our streets are inevitable," the man spoke as he turned to the now restless crowd, chanting and screaming obscenities up at the stage. He began to address them, drenching his words in as much charisma as he could muster. Selwyn raised both his hands in an attempt to garner the masses' attention.

"People of Iracot, do not fear. Praise be the God-Queen and her rule. We are now blessed with not only one, but two sacrifices on this, a most momentous of days. Enjoy the rest of the ceremony, and afterwards, enjoy your first round of drinks on me at any one of the taverns in the Merchant's Ward," he let the words ring out before delivering the finale to his speech.


"In addition, Magistrate Shiabiann Xao-Lai is most graciously offering her Ward's services at half price all evening in celebration of our Holiness herself!"

Selwyn smiled, knowing Shiabiann would not be pleased at all. He lowered his hands and turned to the stunning Magistrate of the Pleasure Ward, speaking so only she could hear.

"We do what we must to keep order," Selwyn said, his smart smirk turning into a full on smile.

The setting changes from the-courtyard-of-iracot to Althaea

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarene Iracot Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor Character Portrait: Calor Elohan Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire Character Portrait: Alber Roth Character Portrait: Melody Graven
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#, as written by Nevan
Everything had gone wrong, Calor noticed. He stood there as the God-Queen took her leave behind him, his head shaking slowly as the knights and those few who dared opposed the God-Queen's rule seemed to verbally duel back and forth, and as the figure known as Parem' Zel rushed through to try and save the woman who had refused to carry out the sacrifice.

"Are these people serious?" He asked, a brow raised as he heard them yell in the crowd. Words of unfairness, cruelty, of being unjust and tyrannical?

"SILENCE! I DEMAND SILENCE!" His voice roared out over the crowd; the silent blade that protected their 'beloved' Queen shocking most of them into silence.

"Cruelty? Witch? Tyrannical? Have you not looked at yourself, you disgusting hypocrites? I have walked as one of you, drank in your taverns, made friends and enemies of both the poorest and most comfortable of you. Let me tell you this, peasants: all of you are below the God-Queen, guilty of all things you accuse her of being."

He began to walk back and forth, his pacing speeding as he kept his head on the thousands below him.

"You people drink, you fornicate, you sit in basements and exchange coin as dogs tear each other asunder and cheer for more as men and slaves use all manner of lethal weaponry to slaughter each other in rings of combat. You laugh as men beat each other to death, as they slice and stab and butcher. You crave war and violence, you ignore those lesser than you in desperate need of help and charity and you seek nothing but to further your own wealth and power and are jealous of my beloved Queen because by right of divinity, she has it.

"Rule under her banner is far more preferable to the chaos you cretins yourselves would cause if you did not have her to follow. And do these sacrifices not resemble the executions many of you go to watch regularly? Where you shout, cheer and insult the criminals about to have their lives taken away? Do you not throw turds and rotten fruit and dishonour them with every movement, even if guilty only of stealing from a market stall, or wrongly accused in the first place? Why are these sacrifices, why are the things my God-Queen demands so much more despicable than what you yourselves do?"

"Our God-Queen is Queen by divine right. She will guide us to be a better people, she works tirelessly to love us all and rid us of the sins inherit in our kind, yet you do nothing but resist her and scream of foulness. By order of I, Calor Elohan, chosen husband of God-Queen Sarene Iracot, I order all of you to bow, re-pledge your allegiance to her and her state and immediately stop all thoughts of treason. If you do not, then you will no longer be welcome in this country and I hereby sentence you to be exiled and cast beyond our borders; your lands, possessions and titles stripped away from you, by force if our Queen's Knights deem it necessary! Those who do not comply with either of these orders will be restrained and taken for future sacrifices."

Oh, he wasn't sure his Queen would like his speech, but it was said and done and he had nothing else to do but turn and follow her back into her palace.

The setting changes from althaea to The Courtyard of Iracot

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Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire
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#, as written by Maree
"I should have your handsome head on a stake, Selwyn Austaire," Shiabiann hissed between her teeth. It was going to be a costly evening. The angry hordes who needed to sate their appetites were going to tire out her ladies and boys. The repercussions to Shiabiann's ward were going to be irreparable.

"While you were busy attempting to tame the masses perhaps you did not hear Calor Elohan's words," the Magistrate said. A smirk curled up on her lip. "The God-Queen Sarene Iracot has gone against our wishes of her marrying the Knight-Commander. She pronounced Calor Elohan to be her husband." Shiabiann looked at Selwyn expectantly.

"It must be fixed," the woman said, approaching Selwyn as she did so. Shiabiann eyed his body from head to toe, examining every portion of him.

"Such a waste on a lowly virgin girl. When you develop a real taste for women do come pay me a visit," Shiabiann offered before she leaned in toward the man as if to place a kiss on his lips. She stopped at the last inch, smiled her vicious acidic smile, and then turned on her spiked heels.

"Tomorrow morning we will convene to discuss recent events," Shia said with a wave, leaving the courtyard.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarene Iracot Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Calor Elohan Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire Character Portrait: Melody Graven
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Melody watched complacently as things went south. Poor pitiful Orfea. Melody instantly knew there would be bigger repercussions for the girl's actions and wasn't surprised by her thoughts. Not only did the God-Queen become angry, but decided to punish the girl's family as well. As the musician stood there, she kept her calm as others next to her started to panic. Taking a deep breath, she steadied herself, ready to move if possible. The tension in the air though rose to a feverish pitch by what happened next. She caught a flash of movement as she saw a man saved Orfea. The silver hair woman gave the man credit for his courage. The fact that he was a magic user didn't surprise her for a good number of people were like that, herself included.

When Magistrate Selwyn spoke though, Melody wanted to roll her eyes, but didn't. A more silver-tongue fellow she'd yet to meet. She had performed at his tavern at times and had been a target of some unsavory characters, the magistrate included. She had yet to figure out his true motives though. One thing he was good with was his words.

Of course the next one to speak was none other than the God-Queen's shadow himself, Calor Elohan. When he ordered all to bow, she wasted no time in doing so. Inside though she hated doing this. She only served her masters, but until she was given a direct order to act, she would bide her time. His speech did make a point though. Humans were natural hypocrites. She herself was one of them and be the first to admit it. However, her purpose was for the greater good.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarene Iracot Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor Character Portrait: Calor Elohan Character Portrait: Prisma Character Portrait: Father Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire Character Portrait: Alber Roth Character Portrait: Melody Graven Character Portrait: Edward Greaves Character Portrait: Frederick Greaves Character Portrait: Lorraine Morellus
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In the morning, activity in- and over Iracot was intense with holy purpose.

The Knights had not been idle during the night, prowling the streets for gatherings of dissent. A few homes had been broken into, their occupants taken for questioning by the Knight's Inquisition. Many would be found innocent- simply having been holding parties- but others would be less lucky.

By morning, the Knights had returned to their regular routines, watching key transit points, crossroads, and patrolling the districts, from the seediest to the most honored alike. Those of the ground would receive little notice, their actions more or less standard.

In the skies, however, were where the true might of Iracot was in force. The battle between the Dragoon beast and the two escapee's weaker creatures had been seen by many, and thoughts of dissent could not be brewed from it. The Knights, ordered grounded during the Sacrifice, were now out in force. The Skyborne, Wyvern mounted Knights of the highest caliber, patrolled the skies.

Unrelated, but seemingly another show of aerial power, was the arrival of Iracot's Airship fleet. A mock battle had been heard by all below, the resounding boom of cannons going off, before the two ships had docked and began to head towards the Spire at the center of the Guilds ward.

The Knights- and by extension Iracot- would not be caught unawares again.

The setting changes from iracot-the-city-of-thrones to The Crimson Fox

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire Character Portrait: Melody Graven
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It was the night of the sacrifice. Things that day most certainly did not go as planned; the young blue haired Knight known as Orfea Pathen disrespected the God-Queen, a man with power of flame rescued her upon a great magical beast, and the city of Iracot was in slight disarray. Despite Selwyn's best efforts to quell the masses, he knew change was coming. Between the whispers of rebellion coming from the nighttime rendezvous of the Agricultural Ward as well as the black market running in full effect, the Magistrate had much to plan for. One thing he could be thankful for was his network of spies all over the city. He had always found a way to keep his ear to the ground. But for now, for tonight, it wasn't about that. Tonight was a celebration for the Knights and upper-classmen of Iracot from the days' events.

The Crimson Fox was breathtaking. The rich oakwood walls were adorned with crimson banners lined with silver stitching. Various pieces of artwork featuring foxes were scattered all across the elegant candlelit tavern. There were some noblemen sitting at a few tables near the tavern's entrance, drinking the finest Elven Sunwine being brought to them by gorgeous female servers that could best the girls of the Pleasure Ward any day. The bar sat in the middle of the tavern, raised up by a few stairs all around the perimeter as the divine sounds of a string quartet rang throughout the room. Several large men of varying races stood off to the side, almost invisible to the naked eye, playing security should anything ever go awry. Though tonight, they wouldn't be necessary. Not with the plentiful sounds of laughter and glasses clinking filling the air.

Selwyn Austaire was slowly walking around his room sporting that trademark grin of his, eyeing his patrons with his chestnut brown gaze. His hands were crossed behind his back, as per usual, as he stopped and greeted some of the city's more well off. He was clothed now in an outfit of black with crimson and silver stitching, with his long overcoat nearly reaching the floor. The silver beltbuckle of a Fox's head reflected the lights of the candles, giving it an almost magical, playful sparkle.

The Knights would be arriving very soon, and Selwyn wanted to make sure they enjoyed themselves. He needed to keep them happy for now until he had a firmer grasp as to what was going on in his city. Shiabiann and him would discuss with the other Magistrates what their next step was tomorrow.

The man stepped over to the quartet in the corner and whispered a few words to them before reaching his cordoned off private area which was elevated on a platform just behind the bar. The band was instructed to keep the mood elevated and light and fun upon the arrival of the warriors.

A server brought Selwyn a glass of water which he took with a nod and a smile, letting a sip flow past his lips while waiting for his guests of honor.

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Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire
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#, as written by Maree
Cordelia entered into the Crimson Fox, having gotten the night off from serving her duties earlier in the day. She was dressed in a simple white tunic and soft leather breeches. It was the way a man would dress but it did not perturb Cordelia in the least to wear a tunic and breeches. Her golden hair had been let down to curl wildly around her shoulders instead of pinned up tightly against her skull.

The knight was by far one of the more undressed patrons but it made her no less lovely. A few men approached Cordelia, offering salutes from those that were comrades, and some took her hand to introduce themselves. It made the woman blush but she handled the attention well. It was no surprise seeing as the Ightlor family was nobility in Iracot and one of the oldest lineages recorded in Viridian. There was very potent blood running through the woman's veins.

As her ice-blue eyes darted around the room, Cordelia looked up and spotted Selwyn. She immediately looked away and dismissed herself from the gentlemen attempting to hold conversation with her. The woman's heart began to pound nervously in her chest. He might not have seen her.

No, it was an impossibility that the Magistrate saw her. After all, Cordelia was nothing more than a simple woman that was above the average in attractiveness. There were ladies here that were far more beautiful in their stunning frocks and impossible hair. Cordelia looked like a stable page against the other women.

She began to question her dress for the evening and thought it an embarrassment for Selwyn. Cordelia weaved her way back through the crowds, making her way toward the door to leave. She would come back later when she was properly dressed.

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Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire
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Selwyn noticed the stunning blonde from the moment she walked in. He set down his glass and calmly rose from his seat. Making his way to the bar, he retrieved two glasses of Sunwine and headed to the entrance of his tavern. As Cordelia turned towards the door, Selwyn rose a glass to his lips, staring into her icy blue eyes with his impossibly deep brown ones. He swallowed the wine before smiling.

"Cordelia Ightlor. You look nothing short of divine this evening. A Magistrate would give up his throne to be simply graced by your presence, my lady."

He handed the glass to the woman.

"It is my pleasure to be your host tonight," he whispered before taking her free hand gently into his and raising it to his lips, never breaking eye contact as he kissed it softly. Selwyn tilted his head slightly and admired the woman's face for a moment. She truly was beautiful. Her aura was enough to make a lesser man stumble to find words. Selwyn instead simply raised his glass, never being one to lack confidence...especially with words.

"Tonight, I drink to you, Cordelia," he scanned her face for a reaction. "To you, and the rest of your brothers and sisters in the God-Queen's army!"

He took another small sip of his wine.

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Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire
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#, as written by Maree
"Magistrate," Cordelia said as the man stepped in front of her. She had been stopped dead in her tracks in escaping. "You flatter me," the woman said as a deep blush rose up on her cheeks. As Selwyn handed Cordelia the glass, she took it automatically, not wanting to offend him and his hospitality.

It took all Cordelia's strength to not crumble at the knees when the Magistrate graced her hand with a kiss. She bit down on her bottom lip to hold back any sound that would betray her thoughts of him right at that moment.

"Th-thank you Magistrate. I am greatly honored by your kindness. Praise be to the God-Queen and her Magistrates," Cordelia said, fumbling for words. She must have looked like a fool in front of Selwyn. Cordelia smiled nervously and drank deeply from her wine glass. When she set it down on a tray held by a passing servant it was completely empty of wine.

"I won't take up any more of your time, Magistrate. I know that you are a popular man and there are many people here that wish to speak with you," Cordelia said, knowing that Selwyn wouldn't possibly be interested in spending any great length of time with her. She was giving him an easy out so that he didn't appear rude in front of all of his guests.

"The wine was wonderful and your tavern looks splendid. Thank you again for inviting me."

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Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire
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Selwyn bowed deeply to the woman. "Your compliments are greatly appreciated, my dear. And yes, you are correct. There are many people here that wish to speak to me," he paused for a moment before leaning in close to Cordelia's ear and letting out a soft whisper. "I, however, wish to speak with you, Cordelia." The man allowed his lips to gently graze her ear before moving away from her face.

He took another glass of wine off a tray and offered it to the Knight.

"Please. Join me where it is not quite so loud," the Magistrate spoke as he walked towards his private cordoned off area without bothering to look back. He knew she would follow, and he smirked, delighted at the thought.

Selwyn pulled out a chair at a small ornately decorated table in the back of the immaculate tavern. He waited for the girl to be seated and pushed in her chair, letting his fingers brush across her shoulders before making his way over to his seat. With a flourish of his jacket, he eased into his spot and took a sip of the sunwine.

The Magistrate tended to move with a grace and calculation that made it appear as if it every small move, every facial expression, every gesture, were all rehearsed or choreographed. While others held power in their magical abilities or fighting skills, Selwyn Austaire's power came from not from his sword or size or spellcraft, but from his skill with people, and his presence.

He studied Cordelia Ightlor's face for a moment, letting his thoughts wander to his bedchambers momentarily before taking a sip of wine and letting a smile form on his face.

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Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire Character Portrait: Ianthe al-D'éon Omar
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Ianthe had been away from Iracot for a very, very long time. It was not exactly a city he enjoyed. Of course, it was beautiful, of course, it was grand, for course, it was marvelous, imperial, magnificent to behold, of course, of course! Gilded cornices, regal spires, broad avenues shaded with ancient arbors, august palaces and splendid squares. At night, illuminated with a thousand-thousand lights and shining votives, it was like some great cathedral, like the many pipes of some tremendous organ rung at once. The food was delectable, the climate more clement than most...but Ianthe had far too many memories here, most, if not all, unpleasant. In his experience, he had found the people to be...insincere, disagreeable. Perhaps even hostile. And, of course, there was the God-Queen. Try as dearly as he might, Ianthe could never come to an understanding with zealots or radicals, in whatever manifestations they might appear. Whenever he had seen the God-Queen speak, he was less overcome with reverent fervor than with wondering what she was saying, since he was inevitably left at the rear of the crowd of devout disciples.

Of course, these things were changing. The city was restless, and in some, more clandestine places, rebellion was the word of the hour. But the imbroglio had somewhat boiled off, and the status quo, which had been momentarily tipped off balance, was beginning to right itself. Or was it? If Ianthe had learned anything in his life, it was not to take appearances for granted. Undoubtedly, the city was moving, and change, whether significant or slight, was very near on the horizon. What an interesting time to be in Iracot, neh?

After digging around in the city, and gathering what intelligence he could, however, Ianthe was more than a little fatigued. Though many roads had worn his feet raw, the uneven cobblestones of Iracot always left behind a particular ache. At dusk he reached the merchant quarter, somewhere he had been reluctant to go, but where he would undoubtedly find lodgings for the night. He wore long black breaches tucked into tooled leather boots, a modest white tunic, and a grey velvet mantle under which he carried his bodkin, purse, and some other essentials. A simple cap, cocked to one side, sat upon his head. For a moment, he had the phantom fear that someone might recognize him; but thirteen years had done much to his countenance, and Ianthe walked the streets with all the confidence of a changed man. Besides, Ianthe mused, people have remarkably short memories.

Eventually, Ianthe came upon the Crimson Fox, an establishment he thought to be relatively new, and decided to try his luck there. Immediately he was greeted with the ring of toasting glasses, laughing voices, and the soft strains of a chamber orchestra. It was no lowly public house, to be sure. The interior was richly ornamented, with crimson pennants lining the oaken walls and paintings of foxes where they did not hang. The Crimson Fox certainly lives up to its namesake. Observing the patrons, it appeared to be a haunt of the city's affluent. He saw more than a few ermine cloaks, cloth-of-gold sashes, and velvet doublets. He half expected to see the Magistrate of the Merchant Quarter himself at the tables, quaffing Sunwine or some Estisian brandy. He elbowed up to the bar, which was elevated in the center of the room, and asked for a cup of rice wine and, if they had any, some capon with roasted onions. The waitress was a charming young girl, perhaps not yet twenty, with honey-blonde hair and soft hazel eyes. "Excuse me, miss, might I be able to take lodgings here?"

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Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire
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#, as written by Maree
Why was the Magistrate torturing her like this, Cordelia wondered to herself as she sat down in the offered seat. Her wine glass was empty once more. The woman had drained it while being escorted through the tavern. Several pairs of jealous eyes had watched Cordelia following Selwyn. She had attempted to ignore them all but it was so obvious their dislike of Selwyn's attention on Cordelia.

"Magistrate, with no disrespect to your station, I have to wonder..." Cordelia said noticing the way that Selwyn was eyeing her. It caused a momentary lapse in her speech. Selwyn's eyes on her in such a manner caused desires to swarm up and slither down her front. There was a definite and prominent ache in her body causing Cordelia the need to shift in her seat.

"Your recent attentions seem to have been clearly on me, Magistrate, and it leaves me to wonder the reason. Have you some business that you wish to discuss?" Cordelia asked. She would never ask him if he was intentionally courting her, or even just trying to get the woman into his bed for an evening. It was unladylike.

Though if it were the truth of it, Cordelia would not be against either. Her mother would be appalled to think of Cordelia having relations with a man, a Magistrate no less, before marriage. However, Selwyn was a man to lust after. From his appearance to his power, his silver tongue and even to his accounts, Selwyn was desirable. Cordelia was not immune to such an eligible man.