(1874-08-15) Pompey's Ladies
Pompey's Ladies
Summary: Pompey, Imogen and Susanna talk about things.
Date: Wednesday Aug 15th 2018
Related: Related Logs (If there aren't any, use None. If there is a log, use full URLs, like http://eternalcrusade.wikidot.com/logtitle)
NPCs: NPCs (If there are any NPCs that don't have icons (they are not special/reoccurring enough to warrant such attention), list them here. Otherwise, you can say 'None'.)
Players:
Pompey  Imogen  Susanna  

Keep Candeo - Upper Floor - Princep's Study and Map Room

A large map table takes up the center of this space, a few chairs line the walls that can be pulled up to the table for meetings of the military sort. A couch sits off to the side, velvet and red as this room is also doubled as a receiving room for the Princeps, a fireplace sits to the outward facing wall to keep the space warm and inviting.

There is a window in this room and one door leading out to the balcony above the Great Hall.

1874-08-15 - Evening

Paperwork on top of paperwork, that's what it takes to make sure the empire, or what's left of it, runs as smooth as it can. Pompey loves his ledgers, doesnt like the people his cousin has decided to 'gift' him with, though if anyone knew the inside scoop on pompey and darius' relationship, they would know that it's pretty much just one messing with the other, and then payback, for the rest of their lives. Which is why Pompey stops to add pepper flakes to darius's kaff jar, before moving back to double checking his ledgers on candeo's current census.

Airships.

Imo hates them, with a passion, she's not an earth elemental, but she'd much rather take the long way by horse than take the short way by airship. Still she's here and suprisingly enough she's a bit more welcome, not as many looks for the guards when she asks to see pompey this time around. Eventually the chain information finishes and she's led into the study to meet the man who she curtseys to without a word.

Pompey looks up and givs a smile as he sets down his ledger and plume for a moment, walking over to her and taking her hand, giving it a soft kiss on the back of it. "Imogen, it is a pleasure to see you again, I do hope you are doing well? is the baby alright? do you need for me to summon a healer?" he asks as a slight bit of worry comes over the usualy stoic man;s face.

Imogen blinks a bit at the greeting, but it's really easy to just give in to such warmth in greeting so she does with a soft smile. "The baby and I are fine, if i look ill it's just the airships, i've never been good at riding them, I would far rather take the longer route by horse," she jests good naturedly with a grin in response to his concern, but beneath the good humor, it's obvious someone being concerned absolutely delights her.

Pompey smiles softly. "They bother me as well, though I don;t get sick, it's just, you don't get to see the people from so up high." he says with a smile as he turns to offer her some fruit juice, odd that he would have that on hand, though he robably drank to much wine the night before and is giving his liver a parley of sorts. "So my dear, what brings you to Candeo?"

Imogen smiles gratefully and accepts the nonalholic drink, while before she might have snuck the alchol, this baby is the only reminder of dovi, a man she cared for, she has left, and she wants to protect it. She settles down in a seat near or at the desk as he speaks and she grins a bit. "I heard the imperials were having….not a tournament but an event, and since airships were running anyways, it seemed a good excuse to hop back for a day or two and check up on things until the court scene," she remarks with a smile.

Pompey nods. "Yes, just a festival for the people to enjoy, and perhaps soe people to see things that the empire has. All the food and wine and music and merriment… I'd rather hang myself." he says with a smirk. "Not a big fan of festivals, prefer a wine tasting, or gladiator games, those are fun to watch."

Imogen laughs softly and nods at his assesment of things. "I'm not a fan of big events too, but i wanted to catch up on news from hellsmouth and with you, so i'll suffer through it for the sake of that," she remarks with a small smile. "I'll be sure to come and tell you about 'who wore it better' and other such gossip when the event is over," she teases.

Pompey smiles. "For you, my door is always open Imogen. if you like, I could get a few prized horses from the stable if you want to show off your skills?" He asks as he smiles and pours himself a glass of juice as well. "Mostly I've been trying to get this paperwork in order so that one of my students can come in here and do this without me hovering over their shoulder. Most of them are soldiers though, but they are getting it."

Susanna tries to swallow her nervousness as she's escorted to again to Pompey's door, turned away last time because she couldn't speak a lick of Imperial. Today she was able to give at least some kind of answer in the proper tongue, and so her she is waiting outside an office in Candeo Keep as a guard knocks the door for her. Her dress is clean, her hair is thorougly brushed, and her face has been washed at least eleven times. She goes over Imperial phrases in her head again and again. Hopefully it will be enough.

Imogen blushes in a pleased manner at his words. "You have been so kind to me, if i'm ever a powerful woman, which i thoroughly doubt, I'll remember your kindness," she offers softly before scooting closer to look over his shoulder at his work, no real mind for personal space, but then again, when has pompey minded a beautiful woman getting too close?

"You know, despite everyone trying to say i was a wreck of a countess, the fact is i'm a better steward than dovi, if you need help with paperwork while i'm in town i'd be happy to assist," she murmurs distractedly as she looks everything over, too 'in the zone' to hear the knock.

Pompey smiles as Imogen looks over his shoulder, and he begins to point out some of the numbers, written oddly, like letters almost. "This is a census, it tells us how many people, their age group, and if they are fit for militia duty. Also if a vote is needed, should the number of votes surpass the census, then we know fowl play is afoot." he says as the knight is heard. "Come in." he says as he turns back to imogen, his eyes locked onto hers. "Did anyone tell you you have pretty eyes?"

Susanna enters and, in very stilted Imperial, says, "Good Afternoon, Consul." A curtsy with a bow of the head is added, and it's only then she happens to notice Imogen is the woman Pompey was talking to. Something about pretty eyes. She aims another curtsy to the noblewoman. "And Lady Anders!"

Imogen is quite intent on learning all the things pompey teaches her, stewardship was her main solace when fighting with her husband or hiding from social duties as a countess, and so she developed a bit of a stockholm love for it. "Does the west do this too? or is this more of a fancy imperial thing?" she asks with a grin before blinking at his compliment but taking the question quite literally. "Dovi always told me i was better looking than i gave myself credit for, but my eyes specifically? Nope," she remarks with a chuckle, seeming to suddenly notice the closeness between them and backing off to the appropriate amount.

She quites down as susanna enters, though there's already a grin on her face at the familliar friend. "It's wonderful to see you again susanna," she offers warmly

Pompey clears his throat, he honestly didnt know he was hitting on Imogen, which has him baffled abit, last time he did it without realizing was… oh well that thought is for later. he looks to Susanna and smiles, greeting her in Imperial. "Madame Summers, how may I be of service to you on this fine day? perhaps you would enjoy a glass of fruit juice?" He is of course, being an ass and useing a rather articulate tone and accent that is reserved for the high senate within the empire, it sounds nice, but it also has quite the condescening tone to it once you understand the words.

Susanna smiles with a bit of relief when Imogen smiles at her so warmly, since the last time they saw each other they were in a bit of a disagreement. "Good to see you, too," she returns in Common, then looks to Pompey with a face full of concentration as she tries to piece together his words. Happily, the good articulation and lack of understanding the condescention in his voice helps. "That would be very fine, thank you," she says, her speech still stilted. She further ventures, "But, I am not 'Madame.' I am not…." She thinks, hard. "Married." There are about three or four words for 'married' in Imperial (as there are for most things) and she chooses the wrong one.

Imogen has the face of someone who doesn't understand all the discussion going on around her except for the merciful bits of common. She's working on her skills of course, being friends with the princeps cousin it wouldn't due to be ignorant, but learning languages is a slow, painful process, as susanna is displaying, because she does catch the poor girl mess up her words, but she makes no face or comment, in hopes that pompey won't either.

"-Married-, is the term you were looking for Miss, the term you used is… used by a whore who is currently… with client." Pompey says as he keeps a straight face, he motions for the chair in front of his desk. "Come, sit and tell me why you are here." he continues in Imperial, of course, he does know Imogen doesnt speak the language, but he does have a propper theme to keep in tact, and that is that if you are going to work with imperials (Imogen being an exception because he sees her as a sort of diplomatic guest from galenthia, and much more pleasent to look at than Thomas Chandus.)

For some reason, the books Susanna studied didn't teach the word for 'whore,' and 'client' is a also a bit beyond her. She's actually perspiring a little now with nervousness. "Yes, that is…right. I am 'Miss' Summers," she replies as best she can. She catches the words "sit," "why," and "here," and pieces things together as she takes her seat. Her next sentence is much better practiced, flowing almost easily. "I am here for employment, Consul," she says.

Imogen is still staying mostly quiet as this isn't a conversation to be a part of,but she catches the word employment from susannas mouth and suddenly her eyes widen and her body stiffens. "Did….dovi kick you guys out when I left?" she asks the girl, nothing but pure concern, worry, and possibly some intent to go thwap her ex husband if he did cast them out.

Pompey blinks and tilts his head at Imogen. "You are learning.' he says with a happy, almost proud smile to her. Thoug hhe turns to Susanna and tilts his head ."Hmm, well most positions are filled but…" he stops and looks to Imogen, and back to susanna, and then to Imogen again. "Hmmmm….."

Susanna shakes her head quickly, switching immediately to Common again. "No, no, M'Lady, he's only bin very kind to us. Gave me a gift o' maille armor, even. I jus', I bin thinkin' 'bout ma bardistry an' movin' up in th' world, see, an' I thought I might have more opportunities here 'n in Daemon's Hall. I figured this place is jus' startin' out, 'n though I ent noble I heard th' Imperials don' really mind 'bout tha' sorta thing."

Imogen grins a bit shyly when pompey notices she's learned a few of the imperial words. "Just a bit, I figured if we're to be friends I could do no less than at least trying to learn your native language," she offers shyly before relaxing a bit and smiling at susannas assurance. "Of course, and i'm happy to see you being proactive in improving your lot, I was just worried cirumstances might have changed while I was away," she offers warmly, she does notice pompey looking between her and susanna though and turns to meet his gaze with a single arch of an eyebrow

Pompey smiles and gives a nod. "Well, how about this, since Imogen is a friend of mine, whom I worry about alot, and you Miss summers seam like a very capable person, why don't you Attend Imogen while she is carrying this child? Once that's over, and it gives you both time to brush up on your imperial, then i will be more than happy to use your skill set as a bard, but only after the babe has come." he says with a smile, he looks to Imogen. "Since she has worked for you before, I feel this will be familiar territory for her, don;t you agree dear?"

Much more comfortable hearing Pompey speaking Common, Susanna smiles and her shoulders slump in relief as she sees things are turing out in her favor. "Thank y—thank you, Consul," she says, switching from Common to Imperial in the middle.

Imogen she doesn't mean to, she really doesn't mean to, but she giggles when pompey makes the offer that Susanna serve her for the next few months. "I do agree this is an ironic twist of fate, her being my companion of sorts again, but if you have other work for her i'd encourage you to trust her, still, if this is truly what you both want, i'd be happy to have some help. The baby is due in about…..four months, so it wouldn't be terribly long term," she explains all in common, since she doesn't have near the capacity to speak in imperial as these two do.

"I know we've had our differences, and there were some bad times where things were said that ought not to have been said, but i still care for you and your sisters, and would be happy to have you with me again, IF this is what you want dear," she offers much more gently to susanna when she's done speaking with pompey

Pompey nods. "It's settled then, Susanna, you will attend to Imogen, and I shall pay your salary for that." he says with another nod before looking to Imogen. "Can't let you have trouble with that child now can I?" he asks with a smile as he leans back. "But yes, I'm glad we came to an amiacable conclusion."

"Thank you fa ya kindness," Susanna tells Imogen sincerely. "Although I'm afraid ma sisters will be stayin' elsewhere. I was offered a safe place ta keep 'em, so ya do na have ta pay fa their stay, Consul." She turns to him. "I'll keep studyin' Imperial, an' any job ya might need o' me, I'll be glad ta do it, whether 'tis carin' fa kids or bardistry or, or fightin', even, an' I'm a quick learner."

Imogen chuckles softly and grins at susanna. "I'll miss them, but it's for the best they're safe elsewhere, i agree," she offers good naturedly before rolling her eyes at what pompey says. "I'd be happy to send her here for any work you have, but if this will help ease your mind about my condition then i'm more than happy to have her with me for the next few months, though that does mean she'll need to come back to galenthia with me for court," she explains with a nod.

Pompey nods. "I agree, you should have an attendant, and court, hmm, best you have someone like her at your side.' he says with a smile as he takes a sip of his juice. "Now, respected ladies, is there anything else I could do for you?"

Susanna indeed doesn't have anything Pompey can do for her, so she shakes her head no. "No, thank you very much, Consul."

Imogen chuckles softly and grins. "You've only picked me up after the archduchess knocked me on my ass, i'm fairly sure there is little else i could possibly need," she remarks good naturedly.

Pompey chuckles and stands up, sitting to much. "It is stuffy in her,e why don;t we have a walk throug hthe gardens?" he asks with a polite smile.

Susanna looks between Imogen and Pompey with a quietly knowing expression before she nods at Pompey's suggestion and follows suit in standing.

If susanna notices something, Imogen sure as hell doesn't, she's oblivious, or maybe doesn't see pompey that way, or any number of possibly reasons, but she does stand up and nod. "Sounds good, if aequor has nothing else, it's beautiful scenery," she remarks with a small smirk.

Pompey smiles and moves to hold the door for both of them. Thoug hhe keeps his mouth closes about the aequoran scenery, soon it will be vir sidian scenery, but that's for another time. "I do beleive this time of year the evening gales should be comming into bloom." He says with a smile as he moves throug hthe keep to the outside, allowing, if they like, for each of the ladies wit hhim to slip an arm throug hhis own.

Susanna does not seem to notice Pompey's offered arm, and indeed she wouldn't presume herself the sort of person to be offered such a thing by such an important person. She remains quiet, not speaking unless spoken to as she follows her employers into the cool Aout evening. It is exceptionally beautiful, with just enough wind in the trees and just enough pale light in the sky.

Imogen is quite distracted as well, so we'll never know if she'd have taken pompey's offered arm or not. "I miss this place when i'm not here, more now that it's not technically mine," she muses with a sigh and shake of her head as she tries to shut up. "Sorry, i'm sure neither of you want to hear a bitter divorcee's ramblings," she replies with a lopsided grin that doesn't quite reach her eyes.

Pompey smiles and turns to face both women, but adresses Imogen. "I'm sure you;ve heard the story, I told it at the senate. I was married once, but she was taken from me, not by divorce, which at least she would still be alive if that was the case." he says to her, and then he looks to susanna. "You said… you were a bard? why not regail us with a song?" he asks with a warm smile as looks to the setting sun, and once the sun dips under the horizon…

…It's almost like magic how the flowers on one certain tree bloom and small particles glint from the dusk setting sun, falling around them like sweet scented rain drops as he smile and reaches up to pick a flower from a tree. "Ya know Imogen, you;re alot like her, My former wife, she even had eyes like yours." he says as he takes the flower, a mix of blue and purple, and slips it in Imogen's hair, right by her ear.

Susanna, of course, has her lute with her, in case Pompey asked for exactly such a thing to prove her mettle as a bard. She nods to Pompey and holds it in front of her, knowing full well she's been chosen to be background music for a romantic venture. Well, she can do that. She looks out at the scenery and chooses a song that's been in her family for generations.

"Moongazer, do not leave me,
"I have told you all I know.
"But if you stay and sing a while,
Perhaps I'll sigh and let you go."

https://soundcloud.com/chuckabeth/moongazer

Poor, poor Imo, she's so innocent and naive, even after being married once she can't see the signs. The walk in the gardens, Susanna starting a soft, gentle song, pompey talking about his ex wife, even the flower rain doesn't clue her in, just delights her immensley. But then he turns to face her and makes the comment about how she and his wife share the same coloured eyes.

"Ironically enough, that's not the first time i've been compared to a lost love," she jokes with a weak smile, but it's clear she's starting to realise what pompey is saying and doing might not be as….innocent as she had thought.

Pompey smiles softly at Imogen, the music doesnt help snap his swwoning rear out of his soft smile. "Compaire? Honestly I doubt I could compare her to you with much of anything else. You are a fighter, I can tell by looking at you, and that will to fight… is endearing.' he says with a smile. "Besides, I'd rather have a tough woman at my side than some simmpering dependant, just, think on my words.' he says as he leans in and places a kiss, a chased kiss, on her cheek. Before giving a smile and nod to susanna as he walks off towards the barraks, probably for more work, though he does leave both ladies under that tree with the wonderful sight, and things to gossip and talk about.

"If I had wings, I'd follow you.
"For now, I'll sigh and let you go."

Susanna finishes the song and awkwardly watches Pompey saunter away. She looks to Imogen uncertainly, not quite sure what to say.

Imogen opens and closes her mouth several times during pompey's talk, trying to find something, ANYTHING, to say to him in response to his words. But she can't force them out before he kisses her cheek and acts like he didn't just drop an offer in her lap that could change the face of the entire diplomatic situation in the west on it's head. She looks to susanna, as uncertain and confused as the girl herself.

"Did….the imperial consul of the palace just flirt with me?" she asks after too long a moment has gone by in silence. Sounding bewhildered, confused, and utterly uncertain.

"Er, well," Susanna starts with a shrug. "I think I'd call tha' a bit more'n jus' flirtin', even…" She idly picks a few notes on her lute, thinking critically.

Imogen nods quietly and chuckles weakly with a shake of her head. "I um…I think I need to go take a bath, i'm staying at an inn in town so you don't need to follow me, we don't need to begin things properly till after the….event the imperials are hosting," she explains in an obviously distracted manner but she's trying to just, focus on things at hand. "Then we'll head on back to galenthia for court and go from there, sound good?" she continues

"Sounds good," Susanna nods in agreement, but she hesitates a while longer. "Listen, Lady Imogen…" She thinks a little and winces. "Exactly wha' does th' Consul think o' ya husband?"

Imogen doesn't move, wether still out of it from events or because she notices Susanna has more to say is unclear, but still she remains and pauses. "He's commented on dovi being stubborn and prideful, but when I came to him and mentioned the divorce, he was quick to offer us both citizenship in the empire, to adopt me into his house and see dovi and I remarried," she explains with a chuckle. "Dovi would never defy their majesties order though, so I never told him,"

Susanna nods. "Arright, then. Jus'…tryin' ta protect ya, s'pose. Dunno if an' th' Consul would try ta go after ya outta spite fa th' Viscount or somethin' similar. Glad ta know he's a gentleman…if a bit forthright." She lets out half a chuckle.

Imogen chuckles softly and nods with a shake of her head. "Perhaps in time, yes, I just, i'm definately not prepared to give him a response right away, so i'm glad he walked off," she admits as she takes a steadying breath before turning to face her. "I do want to apologise for how I treated you in the past, I was angry but I had no right to take it out on you,"

Susanna's somewhat surprised by that. "Oh, oh no need, M'Lady! I am ya handmaid, ya dinna really take anythin' out on me, ya were jus' sayin' ya thoughts an' I happened ta be there. I'm sorry I was na more a friend ta ya…" Susanna holds her lute to her chest, not quite looking at Imogen and not entirely sure how to feel about the whole affair. "I think…between th' Viscount an' yaself, I dinna completely agree with either one, dinna completely disagree, neither. Though I do think…I think ya better off separate. If an' I can say so." She shrugs, looking at Imogen now.

Imogen chuckles softly and grins. "Perhaps so, but I'll always believe it was external factors, the vampire attack and the stress of having to be leaders with…." she doesn't say it but she gestures to the keep and where pompey left. "That, is what I believe ruined our marriage, but what's done is done, and we can only pick ourselves up and try to move forward," she agrees before shaking her head.

"Susanna, you're…the only friend i've ever had, that you even WANT to be my friend baffles me, so don't apologise just because you didn't go out of your way for me, i never expected that, let alone do I think I deserve that,"

Susanna shakes her head. "If it weren' fa you, ma sister would be dead. They would na be eatin' properly, I'd still be worryin' after 'em erry day. Well…I do tha' anyway 'cos I'll always worry, bu' I ent worryin' like I use ta. I can sleep nights now. I can think o' few people who deserve a good friend, an' ya one o' them, M'Lady." Susanna sighs, troubled. If only she were a good friend. "I canna do much, bu' I'll do wha' I can ta repay ya kindness. An' ya forgiveness."

Imogen shakes her head and steps over, rather boldly, for imogen, taking susannas hands in her own. "I do only what every decent person SHOULD do, though some would argue being noble and being decent aren't compatible things," she jests with a soft smile. "As for my forgiveness, if you feel you need it then you have it, but I was never hurt by you to my knowledge, only blessed," she murmurs softly.

Susanna looks over Imogen's face as if trying to see whether or not the noblewoman means what she says. "M'Lady, I'll warn ya now, I am no blessin'." Rather a curse if anything. "I really am…more likely ta cause ya trouble 'n any good, I…" She trails off. Why is she sabotaging herself?

While it's true that Imogen has told one lie in her life, she was only able to do so convincingly because she believed it was justified as the moral course of action and that her husband and the archduchess were being 'uppity', in normal encounters her feelings and emotions are plain as day, so if susanna is even remotely good at reading people it's easy enough to see how honest the girl is.

"Then you'll keep my life exciting, which now that I can't lead the charge against the qutanux, is something I could truly use, I'm not afraid of danger, or bad luck, I went through at least that much for dovi and I would surely endure at least that much for a friend,"

Susanna swallows, coming to grips with Imogen's honesty and finding it almost unbearable. "M'Lady, by trouble I mean…I mean somethin' worse. Somethin' far worse. I dunno wha' ya've seen o' war, bu'…" She looks to the east, in the direction of the bloodthirsty Qatunax as if almost expecting them to arrive at any minute. "I, I admire ya bravery, bu' there is such a thing as healthy fear. An' I know, I know it don' seem…reasonable, but." How does she explain it? This fear, this terrible dread inside her? How does she explain that she *knows* she was born in a cursed land, has lived a cursed life, and surely she's taken the curse with her to a place that is wont to be ravaged by a cursed people? She closes her eyes. "I may be yer first friend, M'Lady. Na me, I've had many friends. An' they're all dead." Or never learned how to stop killing. Susanna's breathing is more rapid now. How did her thoughts escalate so quickly? Why do they always escalate so quickly?

Imogen just takes her into her arms and holds her tight as she speaks, she's still listening, susannas apparent nervous night hysteria doesn't make the woman dismiss her, she knows better than anyone that being hysteric and having a point are two compatible things, but she's here to help her through whatevers upset her and get her calm while she listens too. "I know nothing I say can soothe you, truly I do, but I think in time as things improve you will begin to relax, until then, we'll be together, and we'll stay always around guards and highly defensible areas, for I do believe, given the contents of the queens letter, she doesn't approve of all my battling while pregnant," she muses with a small smirk.

Susanna tries to slow down her thoughts, tries to calm her breathing, holding Imogen in return and nodding with her reassurances. She doesn't need to fall apart, not now. Things are fine. They'll be fine. Imogen's final remark provokes a bitter laugh in Susanna. "Neither did I, M'Lady, I was so angry! I could na hardly speak ta ya, I was so angry. Please never do tha' again."

Imogen laughs softly and nods as she strokes the girls hair gently, her laugh is more genuine if a bit guilty. "I'm sorry, like i said, even if I wanted to, the queen of galenthia herself seems to have decided i'm not allowed to do so anymore, there will be no more fighting from me until the baby is born, this I promise you," she murmurs softly as she offers the girl her pinky like they're five years old and swearing to be bffs.

Susanna is pale, but managing to keep it together. She's come a long way since her last winter in the Fallow Lands, blinking away horrors that intrude her mind's eye, managing to focus on an outheld pinky that makes her laugh almost hysterically. She wraps her own pinky around it, and then a bitterness hits her that makes her squeeze her eyes shut to stave off tears. A hand over her face, she mutters, "'M so sorry, M'Lady. 'M always…'m always over-r-reacting." She hits her head with the palm of her hand a couple times, the memories refusing to batter the backs of her retinas.

Imogen shakes her head and just pulls her close once more, sushing her and stroking her hair. "It's okay, i can't imagine what you've been through, but don't ever apologise just because you're hurt and scarred from what you've been through, you owe no apologies to anyone, especially not to me," she murmurs tenderly as she holds her and just lets her get it out.

Susanna lets herself go then, holding on to Imogen like a lifeline as she sobs into her shoulder. The flashbacks come freely now, in scattered pieces like blasts of broken cannon-fire. The yells, the cold and lifeless children, the graves she buried with her spear and bare hands into the snow. Her siblings, sick and suffering. Her brother, torn to pieces. She can't find strength to tell them aloud—it would be like making them all the more real again, and besides that there's simply too much. She didn't know why it was tonight she had to go and have another of these attacks. She knew even less why it had to happen here under a beautiful summertime tree under a sky quickly turning to dusk. But, beneath it all, she was at least grateful to have someone there to hold her.

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