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Xerxes Gaspari

"I shall protect you."

0 · 818 views · located in Terradeth

a character in “Crows and Coins”, as played by almostinsane

Description

Xerxes || Gaspari
Image
"If by my life or death, I can protect you, I will.""




P H Y S I C A L I T Y


Appearance
Hair: Black
Facial Hair: Mostly clean-shaven
Eyes: Brown
Build: Thin, but strong and flexible.
Skin Tone: Tanned
Height: 5"9
Weight: 145 lbs
Voice:Smooth and educated, but with a light foreign accent.
Handed: Ambidextrous, but favors his right.
Body Markings: None
Scar Tissue:A few light scars across his body
Unique Body Features:

Name
Xerxes Gaspari

Nickname
Xer, (close friends/family)

Title
The Dancing Flame

Ethnicity
Anulandean

Nationality
Anulande- Xerxes hails from a small island nation just off the coast of the old Serket Empire. It consists of a society that revolves around the celebration of worldly magic, with most magicians there specializing in either water or fire manipulation. Its people is passionate and hot-blooded one with its upper classes striving to live up to a knightly code which comes off as a tad alien to foreigners. Until recently, it was a rich center of trade proud of its independence and culture. With Jerum's annexation of it, its mostly magical knightly and noble classes either had to flee or be destroyed and the future looks uncertain.

Visual Age
Mid 20's

Factual Age
24

Gender
Male

Sexual Orientation
Straight



M E N T A L I T Y


Personality
Chivalrous, charming, hot-headed, and possessing a flair for thrill-seeking, Xerxes exemplifies the archetype of a Knight of Anulande, though his personality has darkened as of late as a result of his people's conquest and the charge that he was entrusted with in the aftermath. On the surface, Xerxes appears to be a carefree man enslaved to his own passions and ideals. Beneath this mask, however, Xerxes can be rather shrewd and calculating. He has an eye for people lying, though he takes it as personal insult when he feels that said lying is blatant, and is capable of deceiving people in turn. He is a smooth talker and his love for wordplay is only matched by his love for his own magic and swordplay. He sharpens his skills in all three, making his tongue as sharp as his blade and his use of his magic second-nature. Xerxes is passionate and protective, having had many lovers in his life, but always devoted to the protection of his charge, Prince Maximin Konstantinos above all other duties and desires. Xerxes may be hot-headed and quick with his tongue, but he sets aside all notions of self-preservation and personal pride in this goal. He even sets aside his desire for vengeance on the ones who took everything from them for this purpose, though he has neither forgiven nor forgotten Jerum's crimes and seeks to one day bring them to justice.

Moral Alignment
Neutral Good


Motivation
"I was charged with my prince's life. I will keep him safe and see to it that if he cannot return to his throne, he will live a happy life. I will protect him from the hunters of Jerum and those Darini who would use him. For now, we must keep our identities secret. He is my squire and I hope to teach him everything I know."

Fears
Never returning home
Max being hurt, killed, or captured

Likes
Beauty
Swordsmanship
Magic
Honor
Wordplay
Women
Maximin

Dislikes
Dishonor
Harming the innocent
Bullies

Strengths
Silver Tongue- Xerxes is a very charming person with a love for wordplay and a manner which betrays no guile. He is rarely without a smart remark or a way to turn the conversation into a direction he favors.
Speed- Xerxes' fighting style relies on speed and agility, allowing him to dance around his opponent and end them with fire and steel.
Passion- Xerxes feels emotions deeply and holds strong convictions. He is not easily cowed and during a fight, he never gives in to fatigue while outside of battle, he refuses to give in to despair.

Weaknesses
Anger- Xerxes' anger is a driving force, but it can also make him reckless in and outside of combat, causing him to make vital mistakes.
Reliance on his jewelry/rapier- As a wordly mage, Xerxes requires physical conduits such as his jewelry and his rapier in order to focus and conduct his magic. Without them, his power is lessened.


Is your character literate? In what languages?
Anulandean- Fluent
Sarkit- Adept
Darini- Adept



C O M B A T || P R O W E S S


Rating System
[Perfect] - [Excellent] - [Good] - [Above Average] - [Average] - [Below Average] - [Poor] - [Very Poor]


Combativeness
Hand-to-Hand Combat: [Above Average] As a knight, Xerxes was trained in hand-to-hand combat extensively as a squire and continued to do so as a full knight. While this is not his specialty, he can take down most men without his weapons if needed.

Melee Combat: [Excellent] With rapier in one hand and dagger in the other, Xerxes is a whirlwind of destruction when he decimates opponents with both speed and grace.

Ranged Combat: [Below Average] While Xerxes can throw a dagger moderately well, he has poor aim with a bow and does not focus too much in this area of combat, preferring to use magic instead.

Magic Combat: [Good] Xerxes is a natural prodigy when it comes to fire manipulation, a skillset he uses to devastating effect. There are few who can best him in this area of combat.

Mounted Combat: [Average] As a knight, Xerxes was taught to fight while mounted, but he does not particularly excel in this area. In any case, he has mostly fought on foot due to his homeland's status as an island nation with a focus on sea trade.

Skills
Anulandean Fencing- [Excellent] This particular fighting style emphasizes speed, swordplay, and worldly magic. The movement acts in place of incantations, allowing the user to generate and manipulate their element in the midst of combat.

Basic Medicine- [Average] Xerxes has picked up on how to patch wounds and how to recognize and treat a good deal of poisons. He is not an expert, however.

Seduction- [Average] Skilled in the art of love and persuasion, Xerxes has a way with charming women (and men when he must).

Etiquette- [Good] As a member of nobility, Xerxes has learned how to navigate the world of the upper crust.

Deceit- [Above Average] With a charming facade and an exaggerated flair for the dramatics, Xerxes is quite good at keeping those around him in the dark about his true motivations.

Bodyguard- [Excellent] As sword shield of his country's prince, he was selected because he was the most qualified in this field of work. No one he is sworn to protect dies on his watch.

Spells/Powers
Fire Manipulation- [Excellent] Xerxes can produce and manipulate fire, causing it to take almost any shape or become almost any temperature he desires.

General Magic- [Average] Xerxes is unskilled in any other area of magic, but he can perform basic rituals to appease nature spirits and participate in other magicans' rituals with instruction.



E Q U I P M E N T


Items


Accessories
Xerxes wears a ring on each ring finger and has an amulet tucked underneath his shirt. These are enchanted to strengthen his worldly magic.

Weapon
Weapon Name:Protector
Weapon Type: Rapier
Material: Enchanted Steel
Ammo: None
Length: 41 Inches
Weight: 2.2 pounds
Weapon Description/Info: A lightweight, but sharp weapon enchanted to be used in conjunction with worldly magic, it is well-suited for quick thrusts and cuts. Many overconfident foes, thinking they could overpower this light sword have found it burning through their lesser weapons.

Weapon Name: Blade's Bane
Weapon Type: Sword Breaker
Material: Enchanted Steel
Ammo: None
Length: 16 Inches
Weight: 2 pounds
Weapon Description/Info:
Blade's Bane is a sword breaker, a relatively rare, but deadly parrying dagger. It is wielded in the offhand and is used to trap the opponents' blade either to open him up for a counter-attack, disarm him, or even destroy or ruin the captured blade. A skilled wielder may catch axes or even polearms with it.



B A C K G R O U N D


Group Affiliation
None yet

Marital Status
Single

Relatives
Gaius Gaspari- Father (Deceased)
Adelia Gaspari- Mother (Deceased)

Origin
Florencia, Kingdom of Anulande

Social Rank
Knight

Occupation
Bodyguard/Sellsword

Bio/History
The Gaspari Family is well-regarded knightly family from the small island Kingdom of Anulande which sits of the coast of Serket and serves a hub for trade as several trade routes converge around it. His mother came from a powerful merchant family while his father served with great honor as the king's own sword sword in the capital, Florencia. It was only natural then that Xerxes would follow in his father's footsteps, serving as a squire to a knight stationed in the royal fleet until the final year of his training, where he served as his father's squire.

Xerxes proved to be a true prodigy when it came to the blade and manipulation of his element, fire. Where most would struggle to master the sword breaker or produce a flame larger than a foot, Xerxes grew into a whirlwind of destruction consisting of steel and flame. When he was knighted at 20, he was already blooded by the deaths of many men foolish enough to allow themselves to be boarded. Upon his knighthood, he competed in a tournament to win the honor of becoming the heir apparent's, Maximin Konstantinos' 8th Nameday. To considerable shock and acclaim, Xerxes bested several more seasoned opponents and earned the right to guard the prince as his father guarded the king.

Having become acquainted with the prince in his role as his father's squire during his last year of training, Xerxes found himself in a role where he was at once a friend, protector, and almost an older brother to to Maximin. The next four years were peaceful, though Xerxes practiced his skills often. Then Jerum attacked. Upon conquering the Serket Empire, they set their sights on Anulande. For a while, their navy kept the enemy at bay, but their forces were too small. Eventually, the kingdom fell to the invaders. Xerxes had to watch his father fall to the Witch Hunters alongside their king while he fled with Maximin in tow. His final command was to protect the prince at all costs and so Xerxes fled to the docks where he and Max commandeered a small fishing boat and made the desperate journey to Darin.

They arrived at Korrigan, dehydrated and half-starved, where they joined the growing mass of refugees. Deciding to keep Max's identity a secret for now, Xerxes resigned himself to crafting a new identity loosely based on his old one: The Dancing Flame, the exiled Knight of Anulande, while Max acts as his squire.

So begins...

Xerxes Gaspari's Story

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Korrigan Docks

A boy no more than twelve years of age stared grimly at the man before him, his blade pointing straight at the man while he kept a small dagger raised defensively in his left hand's grasp. The man himself held his own blade in a seemingly lazy manner, his left arm placed behind his back. His face sported a playful grin.

"You're not even trying," he complained in his native language. The man laughed.

"Then you should have no trouble defeating me, Maximin."

Despite himself, Maximin smiled. Xerxes did not dare call him by his titles. Not when they could be so easily overheard. But it was still nice to hear him call him by his full first name. He used to hate it, preferring to be called "Max" in private, but after everything that had happened, hearing it from his bodyguard was reassuring, like he was reminding him that no matter how much time passed and how far from home they were, he was still himself and Jerum could not take it from him.

With a cry, the young prince struck at Xerxes with his blade, the latter easily sidestepping it. The man could not help but laugh, which caused Maximin to redouble his efforts, striking with a flurry of quick blows. Xerxes parried them with the grace only natural talent or experience could lend him, neither of which he lacked.

"Good, good. Always take control of the battle. Never let your enemy dictate the terms of the engagement. Even when you are on the defensive," Xerxes said, stepping beside an empty crate and sending it forward with a quick kick. Max staggered and Xerxes struck with the flat of his blade in a sudden storm of aggression. Max could only retreat as he raised his weapons in his defense, but with a kick from his teacher, Max fell backwards onto the ground.

"You failed to recover your stance. Your weapons mean nothing if you are unable to use them properly," Xerxes noted. Still, he could not help but smile. Max had shown improvement since last they had sparred. A twenty minute spar was better than a fifteen minute one given that Xerxes did not change the effort or skill he put in his performance.

"I know... You just caught me off guard." the child sighed.

"That happens to the best of us. With practice, you learn to sidestep my efforts to catch you off your guard or, failing that, recover quick enough to regain your stance. Do not fear. You will learn," he assured him. Then, switching back to the tongue of this land, he continued.

"Come. We head to the Aviary. I would speak to the Madame there. Gil too. And if I know that man, he'd be there as well."

As they walked, Xerxes scanned their surroundings thoughtfully. He never ceased watching their surroundings, even during their spar. He was reasonably sure this area of the docks was deserted at this time of night and, in anycase, he was certain his standing with Annabeth was such that none of her people would target them. Still, there was no harm in being vigilant.

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Character Portrait: Xerxes Gaspari Character Portrait: Sevatar Ibram
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[Sevatar Ibram] - [#DC143C] - [Song]
He sat on the quayside staring out to sea. It had been a rather long night, perhaps longer than usual. Perhaps not. The night was still in its element even though a faint tinge was showing in the distance; heralding that dawn would be upon them in the coming hours. Still the moon hung high above, reflected in the waters as the ships jostled against their moorings. No doubt the pirate would be aboard several, if the lights glittering aboard many were any indication. Mostly they kept to their own harbours within the city, rarely seeking to dock where they were not welcome but this had more to do with having to pay for the privilege of doing so than for any actual boundaries. He’d worked hard to gain a foothold here, old rights from his family had held out here when all else had failed and he took pride in them. He’d started anew here and built upon this foundation, even if his holdings here were now little more than a hobby.

His little collection had expanded leaving the docks mostly untouched as his gladiators trained and fought for blood as and when he wished while those who vanished in his name were devoured by the cities slaughter-pens. Yes, the docks were much more peaceful for him when he wasn’t at home in the forge, but even so the feel of warm blood was cathartic especially if the sack of meat had angered him. He had slaked his desires already tonight, and knew there would be others in the coming days since none were immune from influence of the kings so allies were few and traitors many.

It was funny really; they fought and bickered like siblings even if the faces changed the roles rarely did. They were each trying to stake a claim to a promising city while the lord ate her fill off their efforts but they were richly rewarded so they each fell in line. As bitter as he often got when the wine flowed, the blood clotted and the mind whispered to him; he knew he’d be ill advised to rock the boat. She was a crafty one for all her other faults and despite himself he still respected her. Perhaps that was his daughters doing since it such wasn’t his wife’s since she made it perfectly clear in varying degrees the depths of hatred between them.

As he took a mouthful from a wineskin his reverie was broken by the sound of voices which caused him to take note of what he could only assume to be recent additions to the city; refugees most likely especially given their rather dishevelled appearance though their clothing seemed rather rich for such vagabonds. It wasn’t just that which caught his attention however, their look was clearly that of a man… no a boy and his bodyguard. The swordsman could be nothing else going from his stance and glances around the half deserted streets as the night folk made their way on their errands. He’d heard whispers of a pair earlier that night, and given their current route they would perhaps be true since the Aviary lay in the streets beyond.
As the pair drew nearer to where he sat in the doorway of the run down tavern he couldn’t help but chuckle and call towards them, more fuelled by his dour mood as much as by the wine.

“If you’re seeking the Madame beware. She eats young pups like that one, all their fancies and baubles too.”

While an off handed comment it did cause a slight stiffening of the air as many of the nightfolk withdrew a little and the patrons of the tavern became increasingly interested in their drinks; ignoring the world around them. As much as the kings were talked about in hushed tones many were keen to avoid them at all costs yet alone speak of them loudly.

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At the words directed in their direction, Xerxes' body stiffened, his hand surreptitiously reaching for his Blade's Bane as he took a step before his "squire". Xerxes' gaze fell upon the man and his surroundings. The men in the tavern were keeping their distance. Xerxes could practically smell the fear in the air.

"I can defend myself! She doesn't scare me!" Max shouted, eliciting a few laughs in the background at his clear misunderstanding the danger she posed. Quickly, Xerxes slapped the back of the boy's head out of reflex as much as frustration.

"And yet, you still need me to box you behind the ears. Quiet, the adults are talking," he stated with an easy smile. Max looked ashamed, but otherwise, he did not open his mouth. A perceptive observer might notice that the boy was not quite used to taking orders from the knight, though he was clearly at ease with him.

"My apologies for my squire's outburst. You know how they are at that age," he stated smoothly. Surreptitiously, he surveyed their background, masking that action with a step taken in the stranger's direction.

"And yet, Madame Huli Jing may be the only one with the answers I seek in this city. Trust me, I have searched elsewhere."

There was not one worldly mage within this city with a mastery over water except for her. None he could find anyway. It was a predicament that would only grow as time went on. Prince Maximin was bonded with the element of water. It was not something he could change or suppress and there was only so much he could teach the boy. He needed a master. One that would not see his gift spiral out of his control. Only Huli Jing might know of a master for the boy if the rumors of her own mastery over water were true.

"It is this or I find a source of gold where I might purchase what I need. And for that, I would need to be less discerning with who I lend my blade to or take my chances with the Arena. I am new to this land, but I know the rich would have their favorites whom they would rig in their favor if only to ensure their bets are won. Or the Darini could be more honorable than most men. The Madame, at least to my knowledge, will not demand that I harm the innocent. As for if she would have designs for the boy..."

A subtle warning entered his gaze.

"I will not let her harm him."

As quickly as it faded, his easy-going manner returned. He bowed with a flourish.

"I am called Xerxes, the Dancing the Flame."

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Character Portrait: Xerxes Gaspari Character Portrait: Sevatar Ibram
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[Sevatar Ibram] - [#DC143C] - [Song]
He lent back in the chair and laughed heartedly as the boy all but charged towards him, waving his sword wildly in his direction.

“Spoiling for a fight, this ‘squire’ of yours.” he commented with a nod of his head, his lips twisting into more of a smirk than a smile in answer to the chastised scowl that the child was now sporting. The gesture was made someone gruesome as the flickering torchlight of the tavern illuminated his scars.

“She’s good for answers. Doesn’t like competition in that department, she don’t. But I don’t doubt you’ll be true to your word should she try to gobble him up.”

He slowly pulled himself up to a mostly standing position where he swayed slightly as he lifted the wineskin high above his head to allow for the last few drops to land on his outstretched tongue. Lowering the skin he tucked it onto his belt and stared between the two foreigners.

“You can call me Torian, and I may not be a dancing flame but I can make it follow my tune given a little patience, and the precise angle from which to strike.”

Turning from them he dropped a few coins onto the table with a soft thunk accompanied by the light splash as they hit a puddle of ale on the wood. He reached down and lifted a thick handled hammer which he used more as a walking stick as he slowly walked towards the pair with every intention of keeping pace with them while gesturing in the direction of the Aviary, even though it still lay several streets away.

“But if it’s coin you’re after then the arena would certainly welcome some new blood, can’t say where you’d best ply yourself as a sellsword. The kings or one of their lackeys would best help you. But if your blades in need of a sharpen or you grow weary of it then you’d best seek me at my forge further inland and I’ll see what we can do. Might make a fighter of your little firecracker while we’re at it.”

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"Alas, the young often are... Oh my God and Goddess, that does make me feel old," Xerxes noted with a look of faint horror. He considered his next statement with a seriousness that clashed with his still playful expression. So this man was the on in charge of the fights? He had to have either the best or the worst luck in the land to run into him. He sighed softly, considering his options. He could find out where he could find a water worldly magician from the Crow and owe her something in return or he could fight in the arena and purchase the services of one once he had the gold he required, but could he trust this man to keep the fights fair? He seemed to be an honest sort....

"Do it, Ser Xerxes, it'd be amazing to be a gladiator and I might learn how to and then we can pay someone to teach me water magi-," Max said excitedly, only for Xerxes to smack the back of his head, this time with real anger behind the force of his blow. He grimaced at the boy so easily spilling their intentions.

"We don't know how many Jerum scum might be hiding in this, Max. Do you want to be hunted?"

"You don't hide your magic."

Xerxes smacked him again.

"I am not a child. You are. And a far greener child than many who live their lives in the gutter. And even if there are none, it is only a matter of time until they attack..."

He rubbed a hand on his forehead. He glanced at the man beside them. Great. This was not good.

"You see our predicament. The world is suddenly not so friendly towards magic users. Yet, the boy requires teaching and my magic is the opposite of his. So, tell me, can I purchase a magic teacher in this country? The Crow Queen seems to be the one who could connect me to one... At a price."

He was silent as they made their ways to the Aviary, Xerxes' playful expression morphed into a mournful one. He missed his country. Would it ever be free again?

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Character Portrait: Gildan Lodes Character Portrait: Xerxes Gaspari
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Xerxes, Max and Gil
Outside the Aviary



Gildan left the Aviary with a lighter pouch—perhaps, with lighter shoulders as well. Just for a time. It was enough. For now. He’d traded quips with the Mistress of the House, who’s shrewd eyes seemed to pierce straight through him. She had the uncomfortable habit of picking apart his intentions, and while she’d never outright forbade him from seeing Charon… there was it was, an unspoken warning that they had better things to do than serve a man who scrounged blood from his fingernails. A business woman through and through. He found that he still liked her. Out of anyone who sat on that accursed council, surrounded by vultures, it was only she and Makava that he didn’t mind.

He had no wishes to see their heads on pikes. The others, however, he had no love for.

As soon as fresh air hit his face, and he heard the door slam shut behind him, Gildan set out towards the backstreets. Cutting through them as easily as any street-urchin would. He was one, after all. Once upon a time when he had no title to his name. When he’d be little more than a nobody scraping up scraps, licking at the bottom of whatever barrel he could find. How far he’d come after all these years. It was a testament to his goals, his ambitions. He hummed low in his throat and elbowed his way into the marketplace; the mouth leading to the Aviary and all of the seedier parts of the city.

It took him a moment to realize who he’d walked beside. He turned on his heels, a grin already widening across his scruffy features. “Xerxes! Fancy seeing you around these parts,” his gaze flicked towards the alleyway for a moment before raking back towards the swordsman. He arched an eyebrow and made a face—as if the man were simply traipsing his way towards the Aviary for a good time. He wasn’t sure if that was the case, but he still enjoyed teasing him. “And the little sparrow,” he greeted Max and inclined his head to the side, inquisitive to fault, “Are you finally bringing the boy to paradise? There were some… ravishing creature’s there today.”

He snorted.

Xerxes laughed merrily both at Gil's words and Max's reaction to the words. The boy's stance screamed excitement, but he was trying to effect a look of disinterest as if the female sex hadn't suddenly become a source of fascination for him. He resisted the urge to ruffle the boy's head while he remembered what the occasion would have been like back in Anulandean. Their people were far from conservative and when he was in his mid teens, accompanied quite a lot of young squires and nobles on a trip to one of the fancier brothels in the capital just so one of them could lose their virginity. The rules for princes were most likely different he noted and in any case, Max was still too young.

"Perhaps in a few years, my friend. I fear he would not possess the necessary stamina for a memorable time."

"I do to!"

"Relax lad. I didn't partake in the glories of the flesh until I was a little older," he told the young prince with a laugh. He shook his head, "No, Gil, my friend, we are off to see the madame on business."

"And no pleasure at all?" Maximim snarked. Xerxes grinned.

"Well, I might trust you to mill around with Gil for a bit while I had my wounds kissed and more..." He stated, looking like he was really thinking of it, "But we must both speak to the madame and I fear she will not have Gil loiter in front of her business waiting for her."

He eyed his friend curiously.

"Are you retiring for the night or is there some trouble still to be had tonight?"

A laugh left Gildan’s lips as he watched the two—honestly, he’d never met a stranger pair. He liked them though. When Xerxes hadn’t ruffled Maximim’s hair, he’d stepped up and settled a hand across the crown of his head. He gave him a gentle ruffle and arched his eyebrows, “You’re a man grown already. Besides, even if Xerxes had that sort’ve business, I’m sure the girls would love to entertain you.”

This was true. Young boys and girls were unusual fancies at the Aviary. Not for any nefarious purpose, mind you. Seeing how people usually went there for business… they tended to flock to those who were simply there to wait on their masters, their mentors and teachers. Settled on an array of pillows, surrounded by giggling girls didn’t sound so bad. To a growing boy like Max, it may have even sounded like paradise. Even at his age. Perhaps, especially so.

He tilted his head and grinned wide, “You’re right. She’s starting to look at me like I’m a stray dog who keeps wandering in. Can’t say I blame her.”

There was a moment of silence as he considered his words. Trouble was brewing—that much was true. He glanced down at Max and finally retracted his hand. “Unfortunately, trouble.” A sigh sifted out as he glanced down the street, making sure no extra ears were listening. “We’ve an unwelcome guest who’s come to cause it. I intend to take care of it.”

"Well, I will leave him in your capable hands," Xerxes told him brightly as Maximim blushed at Gil's suggestion. Perhaps he will leave the boy to be tended to by the bored prostitutes. There might even be one or two that would love to be the young man's first. He grasped his friend's arm.

"Tell me about it later, I think it's time that I see the Madame," he told him. He tried not to think about what was happening unseen in this moment. There was no point in dwelling on how close Korrigan was to falling into chaos and what the war outside could bring. Not when he couldn't do anything about it.

Gil winked at the younger lad. Of course, he wouldn’t have minded—doubted that any of the women would’ve either. Sometimes, he thought that Xerxes needed to let loose. As if his shoulders were too damn tense, carrying the world on them all the time. While he’d never been one to pry into other people’s business, unless it suited his purpose, he wondered what kind of secrets Xerxes kept. Where he came from and where he was going. Questions best left when he was drunk and able to blame his inquisitiveness on a proprietary blend of booze, rather than nosy inclinations.

He didn’t doubt that if pushed too far, or questioned too closely… he might find himself on the end of Xerxes blade. Perhaps, he was reading too closely into things. His intuition, however, wasn’t often wrong. Another smile tipped across his face as he nodded his head, “Of course, I will. I'll send one of my rats to find you. Later.”

There was a pause before he stepped to Xerxes side, eyebrows raised a fraction.

“Best not to keep her waiting if you’ve an appointment. She’s not known for her patience.” He tapped at the side of his temple, “I should know.”

A small part of him wanted to ask what exactly his business was with her, though he quickly thought better of it. It certainly didn’t appear as if it was pleasure.

"Of course. Thank you, Gil. We will have drinks later," Xerxes promised. He found that he liked the scoundrel. There weren't many people he could let his guard down around and Gil was one of those people. It may be that he could trust him with his and Max's secrets one day. He had strongly considered it in the past, but he always decide they were all better off with him still in the dark. Still, if there was one man in this land he could trust, it was him. “I’ll see you later then,” Gil waved at them both and stalked back down the way he’d been walking. He did, however, quickly turn back on his heels to call back over his shoulder, “Good luck!” For their sake, he hoped that she was in a good mood.

"Come Max. We have a beautiful older woman to attend to," he said lightly as he stepped into the brothel. He took in the sight of all the beautiful women standing around in fine silks and perfume and he regretted he was not here for pleasure. He quickly spotted one he thought would be of higher rank and gave her a short bow.

"I have an appointment with Madame Huli."