A Collaboration Story: Havoc & Trisskar
1 year after the Raven Tournament
It was a summer’s day in Sharkhead Port, the season of fishing had been good giving plenty of profit and food. On the docks the sound of construction mingled with the revived market and the sailors back from the morning fishing trips. It was nearing midday when the growing town would be at its busiest. Though still considered a rugged and tough place to be it was more presentable in areas where the new Salty was reconstructing the run down slums and bringing business back to the formerly cutthroat port of pirates and thieves. Its bad element was there, that would never go away, but the presence of Constables kept order and Morganne Ruce helped by creating an Orphanage certainly helped give some of the impoverished a new home.
Aditi Ruce, the Salty of Sharkhead was wise enough to know that there were some things that could change and some things that couldn’t. Traditions were kept or swept away with, but even those were merely done ‘un-seen’ which she was fine with so long as her own children were safe. Along with the reconstruction of the Port...So too did the Ivory Keep meet change. Growing bigger to accommodate the growing families needs. A new wing in particular was the ports main focus, a new section for Arkhil Ruce to claim as his without being too separated from the family. Other parts were being constructed as well but the Salty was quite focused on making sure her older brother got his own place...and soon. For soon, his little childhood bedroom wouldn’t be large enough to support the good news.
It was in this construction and motion at the keep that most of the servants and workers didn’t notice the new arrival and his entourage. He was dressed like a nobleman, though one that belonged to a higher family. A fine silk doublet the color of green with trimming of gold and a collar of red, an odd arrangement of colors that didn’t match his serious appearance. His features were gaunt and grim, well trimmed white hair encircling the back of his head and a tuft of gray jutting from his chin. He was armed with a rapier at his side, the sheath draped in silver and made from deep dark red wood. Along with him stood two others that looked to be well dressed bodyguards in steel cuirasses and leggings.
Aditi Ruce was one to lead by example rather than pestering her people from a shaded throne. Upon a stack of crates her jacket was neatly folded with her hat poised on top, the large white feather dancing in the light breeze while it’s owner balanced on an old rickety ladder to help the workers hold a large and heavy support beam while a few younger and more agile teens quickly strapped it in place. It was these same teens that spotted the visitors and stopped their work to watch, leaving their Salty and team of five Salt Men struggling to keep the beam in place before one of them barked rudely at the kids to focus on the task at hand. Needless to say, once the beam was strapped securely and the team was able to let go, all dropped from their perches to gasp and sigh in relief while Aditi slid down the sides of the ladder and stretched her aching arms, turning to retrieve her jacket and hat.
“Mama! Mama! Mama!” Lyn bolted out to run a circle around her feet before grabbing her arm and all but hanging there “Maaaaaama!!”
Aditi chuckled as she flexed her arm up to pull her daughter off the ground and set her up onto one of the crates next to her hat “Yes darling? What is it?”
Lyn stood on top of the crate and leaned forward with hands cupped around her mouth to whisper in her mothers ear. Dark eyes blink curiously as she looked to her daughter then up at the road where Lyn turned to point “Hm. Looks like we have guests, merchants perhaps, come on then, lets go say hello shall we?” she asked as she plopped the hat atop her head and pulled her arm through the sleeve of her jacket while leading Lyn out to the road “Beautiful day for a ride, Ser.” she called out to them.
The man and his two guards stood at the edge of the construction site, as close as they were willing to get to the dust kicked up by the work, watching passively with arms folded behind his back and the two guards lazily standing beside him. He watched silently as Aditi approached. He did not smile as he regarded her, then Lyn. “Indeed, madame,” His voice was drawl and boring. The weather might as well be an overcast with fog and haze to him, the answer would have been the same. “Are you Aditi Ruce, the... Lord of Sharkhead Port?” The pause was a stop from considering the word Salty. It seemed an improper term even if it was one of leadership.
“Salty, Lord, Lady...” Aditi chuckled a she set her hand down atop Lyns head to stop her from going any closer in her excitement “The one and the same. How can I help you?”
“I’ve respectfully come here with a letter to deliver, for the eyes of House Ruce alone.” As the man spoke he materialized a letter from his back pocket, crisp and unfolded. It was fine parchment a foreign insignia on the back.To keep the envelope shut was a red wax stamp, unlike the insignia on the back it was more official for the use of official documentation. The letters SR lay in the center. It looked to be a smiling fish with sharp teeth. “My Master wishes to send his regards, and to offer a financial deal to help your venture in renovate the port among another matter.”
Aditi rose a curious brow as she reached out and took the letter in hand "Oh? I did not know the Ruce were of interest to....anyone. Who is your Master?" She asked as she carefully pulled the parchment free of the seal, careful not to break the wax to show to her brothers later. Her eyes watched the man in front of her for a moment before looking down to read the letter.
At her side Jae'lyn jumped up and down begging "let me see! Let me see! Please?!" Lyn was only five and didn't understand much of what was said, she just knew her mother held something interesting and was curious to see what it was.
“My Master is known as the Merchant Prince Sphyraena. He has a special interest in you and your family as of late. Recent gossip reached his ears of The Lord Constable Ruce and the Queen Mother Chloe.” The man answered with a bow of his head. “He asks as well that you and your family join him at his estate in Nazeriath. Should you accept his offer.”
The letter in Aditi’s hand read in elegant and looping words from a practiced, if flamboyant, hand.
Dear salutation to the respectful Salty of Sharkhead Port,
It has come to my attention there has been much to celebrate in the turn of events that led to your rise in controlling the venerable and ancient port of the formidable Ruce. To this I say, congratulations! Never before has the port been in such capable hands, and by the eyes assigned to me I see that your leadership has not been wasted, and now the Lord Constable as well finally chooses to accept happiness into his life. You may not know me, not yet, but it warms my heart to hear this.
I write to you now though not to share idle words of praise, but to offer aid in furthering you port’s growth with the aid of gold, supplies, and ships. I assure you when others call me the Merchant Prince it is no shallow title. My wealth is to spare, and I would like nothing more than the opportunity to share it back a community that still holds a place in my heart.
With the courier who has brought this letter, my personal servant and a loyal friend, is a more serious and humdrum legal document of the plan I had in mind. You’ll find it to be very reasonable, and the only debt I ask is that you, the Lord Constable and his new bride, the venerable Queen Mother Chloe, and the rest of your family join in my enclave in the capital. I shall pay for the expenses of travel if needed. I know your time is valuable, and it will not be wasted in the journey.
Send my regards to the Lord Constable, and know my praise goes to you as well former Guppy.
The Merchant Prince, Sphyraena