|Dramatis Personae|| |
November 13, 2020
The small soldier and the blind musician connect again after eight decades of being apart.
Tobias was in a chair, playing a violin. He was playing Voltaire's when your evil and he wasnt singing the song but playing it with the violin, with a smile. He remains quiet as he plays, his focus completely on this, his expertise as a musician easily evident as he plays the song.
Eventually, mid-song, the door to the sanctuary opens. Soft tappings of heavy boots punctuate slow, careful steps. It would seem the individual owning such footwear wishes not to disturb the musician in his habitat. But eventually, the footfalls will circle around Tobias' chair, ending with a soft caress of cloth to chair, a seat across from him. <<Do you know Graveyard Picnic?>> comes a soft, icy cold voice, fluently French. Ariah recognizes the man, her lips curled into a tiny, tiny grin, not having seen this person for eighty years. She waits for him to stop to respond, perhaps her voice is familiar, with those chilly tones, cutting like a blade of frost. <<Hello, Dorian.>>
Tobias ends the song as he smiles at the voice and responds back in French, his own accent evident. <> He says as he begins to play it. He then smiles. <<Such a familiar voice...reminds me of a girl, in a French uniform and fighting against a German war machine. Though back then, you weren't one of us. It is good to hear you again Ariah, is it? I never forget a voice.>> He says as he plays.
Ariah doesn't often smile, but this is one of those times where she can't help but to do so. She listens as the song begins, grey eyes fixated on Tobias. <<Ariah it was, and Ariah it still is... of all the faces I had considered would be here of all places... yours was not one I had thought to count among them. Immortality does strange things, no?>> she offers, leaning back in her seat, getting comfortable. Being near to an old acquaintance, especially from her homeland, is a comfort. So much so that she catches up mentally to the music playing, and starts to sing, albeit in accented English.
<<Oh Ma Chere, I am just glad that I can hear your voice once more, and not dead in some ditch somewhere, or an old woman who I still would love to get into your pants. Guess I cant do it anymore.>> He says with a playful tone and silences himself as she sings and he plays along with her singing, smiling as he listens to the woman.
Ariah doesn't respond, letting herself go into the music. She does love to play, loves to sing, but often she's so deadly serious. So cold. "Sit here on the ground..." she sings, upper body swaying slightly, to the left, to the right. "Dead leaves.. in the trees... all around you~" she weaves her voice into the notes, drawing it out, her pitch certainly higher than her normal speaking voice. "Come enter this land.... take this book.. in your hands.." she goes silent now, eyes closing. <<I regret to inform you that my preference in the intervening half-century or so has led me to preferring women exclusively. That proclivity is precisely why I yet sit here before you.>>
Tobias smiles as he listens to her. <<Probably a good thing, I dont sleep with vampiric women, I was married and she may be dead, But I still am loyal to her.>> He says softly as he smiles in her direction. "I go by Tobias Arno in this day and age." He says in english, having an accent as well. "And what Covenant have you joined?" He asks curiously.
<<You are a good man. Loyal,>> she states with reverence, nodding. "Tobias, then? I shall endeavor to remember that," she clasps her fingers together, laying her hands on her lap as she crosses her legs. Comfortable. "My Sire was with the First Estate. She has, unfortunately, since vanished. I am left to manage myself in her stead. And with the Prince gone, I am no longer her hound, either. I do so have a distaste for politics of all sorts, but things are becoming even more complicated, non? What about you?"
"In my early requiem I was considering joining the carthians but I brought them to discuss something with my wife who was invictus, and she was captured and had her head cut off via guillotine during the revolution. I believe in their idea, that an equal society is desirable, but lets be honest, Can you expect kindred to live equally? In the end, I believe that there needs to be a ruling class, one which passes on their power through ability rather then lineage and the like. Certain people be better peasants and certain people make better nobles." He says calmly.
Ariah's lips curve into a frown at the story, reflexive even if Tobias cannot see it. "Before my time," she says quietly, fingers staying laced together until her companion is done speaking. "That sounds rather close to the Invictus way... except the Invictus would have those in power remain in power regardless of their fitness to do so." There is a moment of silence as she considers, closing those eyes again. "There is a power vacuum, and the First Estate in Fallcoast wants for a representative on the Council upon its formation. I seek to be that choice."
Tobias shrugs. "Thats why I remained unaligned, so I can entertain the covenants. The the last gig I did was a circle of the crone solstice about fifty years ago?" He says as he counts on his fingers. He then nods as he faces the woman. "I have considered joining the first estate. It was the covenant my wife was in. I doubt I would have a high position, being blind and all, how can a blind vampire hope to fight against his enemies..." He says as he smirks at the woman. "At least that's belief, and I don't mind encouraging it to make my enemies underestimate me." He says calmly.
Slowly, the small woman's eyes open, halfway, focused and narrowed as they take in Tobias' form. "Your counsel would be welcomed, should you join. I will brook no disrespect, or obstacle to my ambition in this endeavor. And that is what is so far gone and missing from all of this... respect. I am still a soldier, the tenets of loyalty, discipline, and respect are paramount. While I am full expecting there is far more to you than meets the eye, you would certainly be under my protection as well, should you wish it."
"During world war 2, I served as a spy to the french resistance. I am blind, what harm could I do to a german officer?" He says with a smile. "I would like to join a covenant, but I do not want to weaken you from protecting me. I dont think I can live with myself if something happened to you, despite you and me being mainly a platonic relationship." He says softly as he leans, taking his sunglasses off to reveal sickly grey orbs for eyes, that it is useless for sight. He then covers them back up again. "If you will have me I will support you, Ma Chere. I need to believe in something again..." He says calmly.
"I am a soldier," she repeats. "I know combat. I know strength of arms. My body is a weapon, honed further by discipline and old blood," Ariah says in a grave tone, "I am no intelligence officer, and I have no true grasp on the more... mysical methods of domination and glamour others of our kind are so keen to wield." She openly admits her own weaknesses, laying bare her shortcomings. But also speaking of her strengths. "I am Amara Havana. My blood sings louder and clearer than any siren..." she exhales with conviction, "..and the First Estate will know my name. What harm, indeed, could the blind Frenchman be, casting a shadow over the tiny girl who sits before you?"
"I am Baddacelli, it is an italian bloodline. On activation it renders the kindred blind, and because of this badacceli turn the blind to prevent their childes from hating them. It however has a discipline." He says as he clears his throat. When he speaks again he is speaking with her voice, accent and all. "It allows us mastery over sound. We can mimic anything from weapons fire, to people's voices if we hear them speak for a while." He says before clearing his throat and his voice returns to his true voice which sounds like a raspy growling hiss, a voice he never used in public before. "So what do you say?"
Ariah listens intently, then her eyes widen as her own voice meets her ears. She's taken aback, and genuinely impressed. And interested. "I require only your ears, and your loyalty. And if you are found wanting for the latter, I will endeavor to earn it from you, not force it from you. Our homeland binds us, even if our blood does not, non?" she offers. "I am well aware I am yet young for our kind, and there is a long road of earning ahead."
Tobias nods as he listens to her. "You have my loyalty already, Ma Chere." He says calmly as he begins to put his violin away. He then smiles. "I know our homeland is a terrible reason to be loyal to one another, but I have had the chance to hear of your bravery. I do not question it. As long as you are willing to listen, then that is all I ask." he says as he smiles at her. "So how do I go about joining the invictus?" he asks curiously.
"My homeland is all I have left from my life before," Ariah says as a quiet counter. "I may not be able to fight for her freedom now, but she does not want for it. I do not hope for a future where her green hills thunder with artillery fire yet again..." she shakes her head. "Sharing a war together is enough of a bond to build things atop of. As far as joining..." she unfolds her hands and rests them on the arms of the chair. "You are not defecting, so your procedure is far simpler. The First Estate can be rigid with traditions. No ritual of stripping and flaying to be sure of sincerity..." she closes her eyes and breathes out, a human gesture but a punctuation of her distaste of certain barbaric ways. "You swear an oath of loyalty to the Invictus, and you sign it with your blood. At present, I believe I am primarily holding the authority of what would be an Inner Council. Our influence here is not what it once was. So this would make me the arbiter of the entire process. As I said, there is a vacuum, and not just with the Prince."
Tobias nods as he listens to the woman. He smiles "I am loyal to my country because we are a caring people. We put our hearts into everything and from what I have seen, vampires have problems with that." He says with a shake of his head.
Ariah nods in agreement, "The root of the matter is that many vampires take themselves at face value. We have hearts, they are simply dessicated and useless," she lightly taps on the center of her chest. "In a most literal, anatomical sense, oui?" she adds a little levity. "I care less for tradition and stand more for honor, respect, and dignity. The First Estate has claims to times most ancient, non?"
Tobias stands and he smiles. "It is good to hear you again, Ma Chere. If you wish to take over the invictus then I will support you." he says as he gets his violin case. "Though if you ask me I am not much of a combatant and a poorer diplomat." He says calmly as he begins to get his cane and begin to find his way out.
"And it is good to be able to hear your music again, Tobias," Ariah says quietly, though there's a hint of warm in her voice, thawed just a touch, ghost of a smile tugging the corners of her lips. "Then it is fortunate for both of us that I need neither a bodyguard or an emissary. Only your ears and your loyalty. And your music. Appraise me of what whispers you hear, and regale me with your songs. I expect that will not be far from what you do already, non?" she asks, a hint of the playful in her tone now. "I will seek you out soon, with a blood oath to sign, so we may make this official."