(121-02-16) Blood of Intrigue
Blood of Intrigue
Summary: The red witch meets mysterious merchant Evallash, who becomes fascinated by her dark magic.
Date: 16/02/2014
Related: None

A dingy, dirty little market square, packed nearly from wall to wall with people. The din of shouting and screaming and chatter is nearly deafening, along with the scramble and rush of people. Here one can get the sorts of things the well-to-do, law-abiding shops would not ordinarily stock.

Poisons, potions, philtres, smuggling items such as extra long boots, cloaks, rings with hidden compartments, and the things that were smuggled inside them. Exotic drugs, spices, wines from Across The Narrow Sea, jewelry, and stranger things besides. Whores of all kinds patrol the tight litle market, scantily dressed or not at all, the better to sell what they have to offer the good people of the Undercity.

The archway to the West allows one to escape the dingy little market.

The familiar bustle of the thieves market is beginning to die down when Isador reaches it. The 'red witch' as she is known moves from stall to stall - more at home here than on the surface. She wears her alluring if mildly conservative red gown with the black bramble pattern overlayed on a red background. It contrasts against her alabaster skin and compliment her striking red hair. Many an eye turns her way - then supersticiously turns away. An almost unnatural wildling beauty Isador is all fire and ice and little inbetween. She stops to buy some ingresdients for a poison.

Of the many eyes in the crowd who stare upon the red witch, one set fixes on and does not turn away in superstition. The striking figure cut by the fiery-haired maegi is a flame to which her curiosity is drawn. She's sitting behind a ramshackle table outside a shop, an array of undoubtedly ill-gotten bottles of perfume organized in front of her; the table belongs to an aging merchant, who chatters dully with an uncertain customer while his helper leans her bared elbows upon the table and watches the crowd. Watches Isador. The dark-haired woman with the would-be sweet features — would-be; there's nothing innocent about her — may look like a mere merchant's assistant, perhaps an idling whore, but those in the know are aware that Eva is much more influential in the Thieves' Market than that.

It takes time but eventually Isador makes her way to Evallash's store. If there is anything out of place about Isador as a reputed maegi it is her demeanor. Rather than straying towards the mysterious and serious she seems to be congenial, happy, approachable and upbeat. Not that many would approach her given her reputation. When she speaks to Eva as opposed to the old merchant she asks, "Perfumes? Any from Essos?" her accent is Braavosi even though she appears to be descended from the first men.

The table is small, and so is Eva; when she looks up at Isador, it is truly up, her big, darkened eyes taking in the full sight of the maegi, her curiosity unhidden. "From Lys," she says, her own accent decidedly from the Free Cities, herself. She reaches to a murky, rose-tinted bottle without moving her gaze from the woman for a second, pushing it lightly toward the edge of the table. Her head cocks ever-so-slightly to the right, clearly trying to disassemble and reassemble Isador with her gaze, figure her out this engima. A finger lifting to curl into a braid that tangles within her curls. "I have heard them call you the red witch."

"Lys… I had a few lovers from there in Braavos - their pleasurebooks and scents were simply sublime. Especially when combined." Isador looks up at the hard featured beauty before her and answers her question directly and honestly, "It's a good way for the commonfolk to describe a blood maegi no? There are worse things to be called… worse things I have been called. You wouldn't happen to be the Lyseni that my friend Peri mentioned to me the other eve?"

Eva smiles all through such speak of perfumes, pleasurebooks; a smile of simple amusement for such a tale, it's carnal around the edges, a knowing look in her already observant eyes. She only has an barely there wave of her head in undefined agreement or disagreement over the term 'red witch'. "Hm," she laughs quietly low in her throat. "What has the stolen pearl of Lys been saying?" Heavy lashes blink slow. "I hope the gossip was … favourable."

"Oh she adores you unreservedly," Isador says smiling. "Although he heart is open to many as is her bathhouse now. Have you been there? It's Evallash is it not?" She examines one of the perfumes, "How much is this?"

The praise by proxy warrants a warm smile, though it is not quite that of fondness but rather approval that Peri spoke of her well. "Six silver stags," she answers, but her attention is only scantly on the merchandise. Eva raises from her seat with a slow fall of layers here and there — bright and dark, her robe-like attire adjusts elegant and loose around her as she holds a hand out to the woman, which draws a few fleeting superstitious glances from those nearby. "You can call me Eva. What can I call you which is not 'red witch'?"

Isador gently accepts the hand. Isa's hand is soft but has the remains of many callouses - a result of wood work and perhaps some hard early living. "Eva - call me Isador or Isa - whatever your preference. When do you finish here? Would you like to grab a drink afterwards. I always like to speak with travellers having been one myself for so long."

Eva's hand is not dissimilar; though soft, her skin also bears the evidence of a life hard-lived beneath the surface. She glances aside to the aging merchant and moves her hand from Isador's to his ropey arm, leans toward, murmurs a few soft words and slips around the table's corner. "My schedule is my own," she explains, casually matter-of-fact. Her fingers lightly reach to skim Isador's elbow. "I would love to share drink with you, Isador… but mm; I must insist we go somewhere private. There are those who may fear me if they see me befriend a woman with such a power they do not understand."

"Ah well," Isador says, "There is my Hovel if you want. Or if you have someplace else in mind I am willing to contemplate it?" She smiles congenially at the dusky beauty.

"I will follow you," Eva allows in a show of— if not trust, bravery— with an elegant flourish of her small wrist. She pulls a spacious hood from her back to drape over her head though the rain does not fall. "Do I remember well … " Another of her slow-burning studies of Isador, "… hearing of your father in Braavos?"

"Gascoign the Magnificent? My adopted father - not my natural one - I was born north of the wall - a wildling to Glarn the Widowmaker and Eli the fair. A raider and a woods witch respectively. When they were killed I was sold into slavery and emancipated by my 'father'. He wanted a daughter not an apprentice - I'd like to think he wound up getting both," She smiles fondly at the memory. "Follow me," she says.

The round exterior of this hovel gives the impression that it's a mere beggar's hole, made of bent willow and daub, only slightly larger than most. It has no real doorway, only a hole hung with hides and furs, and much resembles a wildling's dwelling.

Inside, it's quite homely, and larger than it would seem. There's a firepit in the middle, complete with a wattle-and-daub chimney thickly coated with clean reddish clay. There's a little workbench with bottles and herbs and another with knives and carving tools, a proper but simple little bed, and even a couple of chairs.

By the time the pair of women reach Isador's home, Eva's hood has been put to dual use, fending off the slight chill that grows with the night, especially away from the city and its markets. "Tell me," she prompts with the same languid curiosity she's had through the whole stroll — half idle as she examines the dwelling with a faint, yet indecipherable lift of her dark brows, "How does a Braavosi-adopted wildling blood maegi find herself heeere… in Oldtown? Do you have," a brief search for a word, "business in this place?"

"Fleeing an obsessed noble knight believe it or not. It sounds pathetic but I was took revenge against the wildling raider who killed my family using blood magic - the results were - other than surgical…" The redhead says. "So when I came back to the other side of the wall I resolved never to practice again. I took a lover - a woodworker of some skill who gave me a profession - taught me one I should say. When he was killed by a jealous noble I fled as I feared what would result should I use my power against him. I don't think the murderous noble knew I was a witch. After a while I reevaluated my decision in not taking revenge - and decided to practice once again. Love and revenge - a bitter cycle. What brings you here?" Isador gestures to a comfortable looking fur chair and opens a bottle of wine. "Surely one with your talents could find employment anywhere and in a variety of roles?"

Eva's interest is rapt, but doesn't include only Isador's story: it also includes her entire home, absorbing every detail of the hovel. The distracted pinch of her eyebrows leans toward critical, perhaps judgmental, but the second she runs her hand over the fur of the chair she's offered, the look melts as if it never were. Knee-first, she curls into the chair rather than sits upon it, and adjusts her fabrics over a freshly scratched-and-bruised calf. "Not love, or revenge," she replies with amusement, "yet those two things rule the world. What did Peri tell you of my talents?"

Isador sits across from Eva - pouring the wine in two goblets - Isa's hovel is surprisingly 'middle class' for a hovel. And much larger on the inside than it looks on the exterior. Isa casually quickens a statue of a water dragon that twists and turns and writhes as though it were alive for a few seconds. "I don't know why I ever gave it up…" she says introspectively. To Eva, "She insinuated that you were a savvy one - good at some craft - I assumed an underworld one. She understated your dusky beauty - unmarred by you r apparent cynicism. I wish I could make you smile - that would be a good magic trick…"

A delayed moment after Isador's trick, Eva twists and leans in her seat, brightening upon the statue. She seems to ignore everything the woman has said about her in favour of demanding like a spoiled child, "Do that again." Much like the curiosity in her otherwise darkened eyes, her awe is youthful if not innocent. Never that.

Isador indulges her. The dragon does something more elaborate seeming to leap off Isa's hands for a second. "Just an illusion - it takes alot more blood to quicken something. Maybe a life or two if you wanted a magic sword or a city of innocents if you wanted a stone dragon. Hence the blackness of the black arts." Isador stands, "Want to see something really impressive?" she says with a smile.

"I have never seen the blood art in person," Eva says entranced, "I have only heard the stories." Her eyes sparkle, filling further with not only pure entertainment but a wonder that goes deeper. Calculating. Somewhere in that dark and winding mind of hers, gears are being set into motion. Her chin tips up as Isador rises. "Does it require more blood?" she queries eagerly, sounding rather like she doesn't care if it does — unless it's her own, perhaps.

Isador shakes her head, "I always have the necessary prerequisites for this spell." She stands on one of her tables and launches herself into the air about three feet. Then she hovers there - like she is flying. There are no cables or anything ostensibly supporting the witch. Slowly she returns to the ground.

Eva climbs to her feet on the seat of the chair the second Isador's feat places her in the air. She stands frozen, looking stricken, until a jovial bunch of laughter springs from her throat. "Brilliant! Magic!" she shouts in her native Lorathi tongue. "Does that mean you have used someone's blood to show me your trick just now?" Even as she asks such a question, Isador's underworld guest is smiling.

"Animal blood - it's only a minor trick," Isador says. "Most of what I do involves divination. The secrets of the past - the present and the future. That's where the real power of blood magic is. The other things - quickened stone dragons - magic swords - expensive - messy." She smiles at Eva, "I guess you're impressed?"

"Yes, I am impressed," she mimics back pleasantly. So impressed, in fact, that she seems distracted by her own ponderings on the magic, glancing briefly off as her teeth gnaw the full flesh of her lower lip. Eva sinks back down onto the fur chair with a little agile rush, curling into a ball with her knees to her chest. "What do you do. Do people hire you to perform… these tricks," she questions, intently trying to unravel this new red-haired asset in front of her. She lowers one sandaled foot to the floor and leans ahead, poising her thumb between her teeth in fleeting, rapid thought before she points at the woman. "You see, Isador… I am a procurer of… items… desires."

"You'll hate me for it Eva but my price is blood and so I require a worthy cause to donate my aid. Gascoign made a healthy living off've his art - but I have another business that keeps me. The temptation to misuse magic is to strong otherwise. And I am still accused of misusing it by a noblewoman whom I helped for free in this very city. That aside having used it for revenge myself. the results were not pretty. Too many innocents dead along with my enemy." Sitting on the desk, "So what form of articles do you procure?"

No hate changes the merchant's gaze; instead, the information is taken in and added to the curious calculations stirring in her dark-haired little head. Eva reaches vaguely in the direction of the wine without taking her gaze off the witch. "Have you heard of the Black Eel?"

"I am embarrassed to admit I do not keep my ears that close to the ground at the thieves market. But others like Peri inform me of things when and as they are relevant…." Isador says in a negatory manner. As an additionally embarrassing aside she says, "You have a beautiful laugh you know…"

The light scraping and shuffling of metal can be heard faintly from outside the hovel, but not before a armored arm reachs in and gently allows for Derrioths head to poke through. He'd look around until he spots Evallash, quickly looking over towards Isador, he shifts his gaze between the two, only hearing the words "Beautiful laugh you know…", but he doesn't show any physical signs of interest aside from a cocked brow, "Am I interrupting something?" He asks, but a large mastiff happily trots in, not as caring as it happily walks over to Eva, tail wagging.

Bringing a goblet to her, Eva takes a hearty mouthful and smiles immodestly before the wine has reached her throat. The smile lingers, but the compliment only hangs in the air; her attention jumps to the newcomer. Make that newcomers. She juts a foot out as a barrier against the mastiff; she shows no fright, simply having no interest in making friends with the large canine. The man earns a similarly uninterested look, but it warms as she wonders over his identity. Rather than say hello, however, she goes straight back to Isador. "If someone wants…" Her eyes roam up to the ceiling of the hovel. "…mmmmm. Perhaps you are too innocent to know the depths, after all."

"Mistress Evallash meet Derrioth the sellsword - new to the employment of the Baneforts - and his dog. Derrioth meet Evallash…" Isador looks at Eva with a winsome smile, "I'm not that innocent you know… I guess depending on how you define innocence."

The sellsword gives a nod towards Eva, entering the hovel as his arm parts the fur hung doorway to accommodate the rest of his armored body. The dog gets the gist of things when the foot comes out and instead comes back to Derrioth's side. The man brings his left hand down to the dog, the mastiff bringing its head up to hand before Derrioth begins scratching the back of its head. "Nice to meet you, Mistress Evallash." he says, tilting his head over to the right, developing a slightly more interested look at the talk of innocence.

"I am no Mistress. Derrrrrioth," the guest intones, testing the name through in her particular Lorathi voice. Her head dips, a nod of greeting, acknowledgment, gone, Isador is more interesting. She drifts a hand through the air, twirling a few fingers. "Not innocence," Eva decides, "Perhaps… how does one say…" she searches for a word in the common tongue; coming up empty, she switches easily to Braavosi. "Benevolence." Her lips jump into a smile in time with a challenging lift of her eyebrows. "How do you, maegi, define misuse of an art such as yours?"

Isador arches an eyebrow at Derrioth and moves forward to whisper into Eva's ear.

Derrioth takes no time in reverting his head back to the position it was earlier as he moves aside the two and kneels down near a small arrangement of various items, seemingly looking for something.

Isador whispers: "I simply don't like hurting those who don't deserve it. Do you?"

Prompted by the whisper, Eva unfurls her legs within her robe-like gown and moves to the desk to speak lowly right next to Isador's ear; that which is furthest from Derrioth, though she does not outright whisper; it's a murmur, jumbled by her thick accent. "Do you — like — hurting those who do deserve it, then, maegi…?" Sly, amused, she moves to the other ear but there she only lingers, awaiting answer from a mere inch's distance.

"I am no sadist," Isador replies with a wink, "I am more of a hedonist." Isador sits back - "You still haven't told me what it is you procure?" she asks.

Derrioth continues searching about, grunting lightly before a grin spreads along his face. Looks like he's found what he's looking for, but it's still taking him a bit to get it out as he shifts and moves around various objects.

Eva scrapes her teeth onto her bottom lip and pins it there while she ponders, or, at least, pretends to luxuriate in pondering. A glance travels from Isador's ear to Derrioth's rummaging before canting down. "De-sssires," she replies, factual and lascivious in one. "Fantasies made real." She stands up a bit straighter to blink and grin, rather foxily, at the creator of illusions. "Like you."

"Some would say I am more in the business of nightmares - but an interesting profession nonetheless. Mayhap one day I will take advantage of your services," Isador says with a smile. "I assume you mean more than just perfume?"

Derrioth grunts, lightly as he reaches into the grouping of objects, muttering to himself in Dothraki, "<Why is there so much shit on this?>". But it isn't long before he pulls out an Arakh within a sling by its handle, chuckling lightly as he grabs it by the sling around the crescent blade, "Here we are." He says, reverting back to common tongue as he reachs over with his left hand and draws a dagger, he brings the tip of the blade along his right forearm, where he isn't armored, and cuts rather deep into himself before sheathing the dagger again. Afterwards he takes the Arakh out of its sling and presses the blade along the wound, wiping his blood along it as it begins to glow red after a while, "I'm almost surprised you still have this." Says Derrioth, tilting his head over to the right as he looks to Isador with a casual grin.

Eva's head bobs solidly up and down. More than perfumes, more, more. "Some people's nightmares are another's fantasy…" She tips her head slowly to the side and, staring at Isador, gives her wine goblet a slow swirl. "Which is why I think we could…" She's interrupted by the distraction that is Derrioth, finding herself drawn in sparkling curiosity to the Dothraki blade and the way the man so casually draws blood."… do… business, maegi…"

"You needn't use so much blood - you are not reenchanting it Derrioth…" Isador observes. She turns to Eva, "That sounds like an intruiging proposition. What did you have in mind? A standing arrangement or a once off proposition?"

Derrioth shrugs lightly, a light chuckle as his wound bleeds, unsheathing his dagger again to see the blood on it, sticking out his tongue to run the flat of his blade along his tongue. I guess that's one way to clean it, "It's kinda hard to squeeze in by my armor," He admits, tilting his head over to the left, "Besides I'm used to bleeding, and more used to the sight of blood."

"We have that in common," Eva says to Derrioth — her most direct words to the stranger, still intriguied by his display of blood and blade and its meaning. She sways back to Isador, and in closer, touching a strand of fiery hair. "That depends on many things and what you can do, and what you are willing. Can you make a person look like another person the way you make a stone dragon seem to move?"

Isador confident in herself lets Eva play with her hair - it seems to be a popular thing to do. In return she pushes beck Eva's hair before retracting her hand and smiling. "In theory I can do something like that - I have not done it yet though. It is something I'd have to research before it became in any way reliable."

Eva's toying with the other woman's hair becomes a slow, pointed trace of the edges of her face with one light fingertip, speaking in a warm, forever-sly hush. "It only takes a quick picture," her finger hops to press Isador's lower lip, "to spark the imagination." And, fast as a spark, her touch disappears. It picks up again at Isador's wrist where Eva pulls as she backpedals to the fur chair, a change in her smile, lighter, more frivolous — while her deeper calculations simmer on the backburner. "Come," she urges in an equally lighter tone, strongly leading the way even though she's the guest in this home. "Let us sit and drink and talk of travels."

Isador blushes slightly as the woman fondles her face. She allows herself to be led to the fur chair with a smile. "Indeed lets speak of faraway places…" As they sit Isador runs a finger down the other woman's cheek.

Derrioth stares at the two for a good moment or two, his mastiff that's at his side doing the same, watching for a moment as he develops a slightly amused grin up his face and raises his right brow, "Would you two like me to leave so you can make a mess of the beds?" He offers, whether he's joking or not is a decision that's left to the two women.

"You may join us," Eva deigns with a gleam of amusement in her eye; whether she means the man may join them in worldly conversation or beds is also left heavily up to interpretation. Her close curl with Isador is as though they are more than near-strangers, playful and leisurely and, perhaps, taunting, but the visitor's words find their intended path: tales of Lorath and Braavos, ships and pirates on faraway emerald seas.

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