Private Tales A Silver Tongue Turned Gold

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Tal

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Tal offered Inara one last glance, and then the two of them made their way inside of the shack.

The inside was about as impressive as the outside. No light shone inside, but dozens upon dozens of candles decorated the windowsills, tables, and everything else cast around them. Silken sheets seemed draped over furniture, and strange skulls decorated surface after surface.

An unease crept over the Tyrian as he entered the small abode, his lips thinning as he took in a slight breath. The scent of incense were heavy in the air, slowly waving through the air like a waterfall of smoke. His fingers tightened on box as a voice broke out from their left.

"Tal. So nice to see you again. It's been too long."

The words came from lips as ancient and decrepit as could exist.

A woman sat within the corner of the room, her dark skin wrinkled, her hair a pale white, those same strange eyes Helene had resting within her skull. Barely seen white ink, long faded, ran around her skin in a complex maze.

Mama Leveau looked up at Tal, her gaze only briefly flickering towards Tal. "Haven't had much reasons to come until now, Mama."

Tal answered, slowly turning on his heel to face the ancient crone.

"No no, of course. No trouble...except for what you've made for yourself."

Mama Leveau smiled.

"Whose your friend?"

The woman asked, as though she did not already know.
 

Inara Irren

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Inara was not sure if her unease showed in the candlelit room but it was there. Her skin felt like ants were marching to war on it and she unconsciously rubbed her forearm. It did not help in the slightest.

Inara looked towards the voice and made sure to school her reaction. She had never met Mama Leveau and, while she had guessed this is that she would look like, it still fucked with Inara's mind some.

Mama's smile was even more unsettling than her look and her home. The epitome of someone who would smile while slitting your throat. Yes, this woman's reputation was well earned it seemed.

She looked over at the crone when she asked who Tal's friend was...who she was.

"I am Inara Irren, Mama Leveau," she answered with a small smile and a shallow bow of her head.
 
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Tal

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"Ah. Marcus' daughter."

The woman looked Inara up and down, watching, observing. The smile never left her face. It was an easy, pleased smile. As if she already knew every word that could possibly have fallen from Inara's mouth. As if all and everything could not have been a surprise.

"He never visits anymore..."

Mama Leveau said, a hint of despair in her voice. "I'm sure Inara will pass on that you miss him."

Tal said with a polite smile, then began again.

"Mama we're her-" The Underboss found his words cut off as Mama raised a hand, signalling for him to be quiet.

"The problem is hers, no? Talmanese. You only brought the solution. Let her speak."

Then she looked to Inara.
 

Inara Irren

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"Ah. Marcus' daughter."

"He never visits anymore..."


Did Mama Leveau know everything and everyone? It was a little creepy when Inara thought about it. She was curious why her father would visit the Witches and why Mama Leveau was sad that he stopped visiting but this was not the time for that question.

Inara allowed Tal to take the lead. She was grateful for it. That is until Mama raised her hand and interrupted him. Those otherworldly eyes turned on Inara and that chill ran down her spine again. She had to answer though. She would not be rude to Mama Leveau by saying no.

"Mama, I have an employee who has decided to go rogue. His name is Fillian and the information we received pointed us in your direction. It was even more accurate in that it pointed us to your twins. He was seen with them last night. I need him back so he can answer for his treachery, Mama...please..."

She made sure to add the please on. She was not going to be accused of being impolite.
 
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Tal

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Mama Leveau nodded her head, as if she had already expected every word that came out of Inara's mouth. A tight smile touched her lips for a moment, her gaze flickering over towards Tal. She seemed to narrow her eyes for a moment, studying the Tyrian as though she were trying to see something just beyond her line of sight.

"And you Talmanese? Why are you here? Not just out of the goodness of your heart, I think."

"No, Mama." Tal said with a nod of his head. "Never out of anything from my heart."

The ancient Crome seemed to smirk at that. "I came to make a deal."

Helene hovered behind the two crime bosses, studying them as they spoke with her mother. As Inara talked about her sister. The expression on her face was utterly unreadable, but those piercing white eyes remained totally fixed on the two outsiders.

"Fillian is trouble. He's going to get caught, and he's going to bring the Watch." A fact Talk knew, because he would make sure it's going to happen. "That means he's going to be trouble, both for you and your people. That's not even mentioning what happens if the Syndicate finds out their business is being stepped on."

Mama Leveau watched Tal curiously, her eyes flickering between him and Inara.

"Supposin' that's all true. What's in this for you?"

The old crone asked, directly looking at Tal alone now.

"That's easy." Tal said with a smile, bringing up the box. He tapped it's lid. "When I finish pulling your girls out of the mess they put you in, they'll work for me for a little while."

Mama Leveau let out a long dry laugh. Her entire body seemed to shake, fingers curling in on themselves as she chuckled. Her head shook in delight, as if she couldn't quite believe the audacity of what had just been said to her

"You do have a way about you little Tal. I suppose that little gift is meant to sway me?"

The Underboss nodded his head.

For a moment Mama Leveau stayed quiet. Her laughter died, and she seemed to think over what the Underboss had said. Eyes flickered over her guests shoulders to Helene, her lips thinning. Then, after what seemed like an age within the little cottage she reached out. Her hands wrapped around Tal's, covering the box.

"You have yourself a deal. Go get me girls, and tell em Mama is very disappointed in them. They should know better. Helene will show you de way."

With that, she gently took the box from Tal's grasp. Smiling wide as the Underboss nodded his head. "Thank you, Mama."

He said with a quick nod before turning on his heel and heading to the door.
 

Inara Irren

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Inara watched the whole exchange between Tal and Mama Leveau in silence. He was doing a good job with the negotiations here but she did narrow her eyes at what he wanted. Of course he would want more than whatever her favors were worth. For someone who did not like dealing with the witches, he seemed to be rather close to them. More reasons why she shouldn't trust Tal.

Once the deal was struck and Mama had taken the box, it hit Inara that this was all way too easy. Was she just so suspicious of everyone now? Yes...yes she was.

"Thank you, Mama," Inara echoed and followed Tal towards the door. Helene would take the lead on their little walk.
 
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Tal

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Tal didn't say a thing as they stepped out of the ramshackle cottage. Instead he simply silently followed behind Helene as she lead the way to wherever it was they were going.

As they walked the people of the Vaudelay offered them odd looks. Some seemed amused, others hateful, and still others simply curious. Tal never offered any of them more than a momentary glance. This place, he knew, was not territory to be covetteted, not was it somewhere he could do business.

Everyone here belonged to Mama Leveau. Simple as that.

For him the Vaudelay was not even a consideration. A part of him felt uneasy even having to walk through it, though that feeling eased as they stepped down and alleyway and towards the swamp proper. The ground, which had already been a barely worked rode, gave way to marshy much.

Helene glanced back towards the two Underbosses.

"My sister's be in a cabin along the river. Took her boy der when he came beggin'."

Made perfect sense to him, though he didn't quite feel any more…secure in walking into the swamp. There was never any telling what lurked within the wood. Especially when it sat just outside the Vaudelay. "Watch for shrunken heads on the trees."

Tal commented dryly to Inara as they kept going.
 

Inara Irren

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Inara followed Tal and Helene in silence. She had nothing to say and she was, honestly, afraid to say anything if she did have something to say. She kept her eyes down as they walked because she did not want to accidently offend any of Mama's people. She had a feeling that would end in a swift death depending on who it was.

Inara nodded when Helene spoke and continued to walk with Tal. She had not been down here but she knew the area from living here so long. Along the river meant into the dark and creepy swamp. She felt that telltale feeling of fear and anxiety in the pit of her stomach as they continued forward.

That feeling was not helped by the fact that Tal decided to tell her to watch for shrunken heads. She really just wanted to go back to her cozy office now.
 
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Tal

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There really were shrunken heads along the path.

Most of them hung quietly, almost serenely from the trees that they passed by. Some followed the small party as they walked by, old and rotted eyes slowly drawing over the three in curiosity. Tal paid them no mind, mostly because he knew not to.

The journey took nearly half an hour. Trudging through the muck and crossing over small rivers before finally a cabin came into view.

Unlike much of the Vaudelay the cabin was surprisingly well put together. No sign or rot or a caving roof, no moss clinging to the walls. It sat upon a footing of surprisingly solid earth, light could be seen through the window within the dinge of swamp.

Helene came to a stop a few hundred feet away, turning to look at Tal.

"Mama said not to interfere with the twins. The rest is up to you two."

A small breath drew into the Underbosses lungs, and he rubbed at his face. "Of course she did."

Tal said, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Well, this'll be a fun conversation."

He said as he glanced at Inara, and then began to head towards the cabin.
 

Inara Irren

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Inara only looked up when she absolutely had to. She did not want to see her surroundings. She did not want to think about them either. No thank you!

She was very glad that she wore her boots today because this trip would have sucked a lot more if she was in any other type of footwear. She was extremely happy when the cabin came into view. Well...happy to be done with the trek but now dreading having to confront the twins and Fillian.

Inara felt a new stress fall over her. They were on their own from here and Tal seemed uneasy about it. He had already surprised her multiple times on this trip so hopefully he would continue the trend. She just nodded and followed him towards the cabin, leaving Helene behind.
 

Tal

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Once they were far enough from Helene Tal came to a stop. His lips thinned as he stepped behind a large tree trunk, putting himself out of view of both the cabin and Mama Leveau's youngest daughter.

"I hate witches." He remarked coldly, beginning to strip off his tunic.

Tal liked to know more than people. It was the primary mark of how he did business. Finding and collecting information was how he'd survived this long. It was how he'd helped Inara, how he'd gotten the better of Marcus, how he had managed to wrangle all of the pieces of the key. Yet with witches?

He always felt like he was on the backfoot.

Shirt was tossed with an absent mind to Inara, the blue blade flickering into his palm. Muscles flexed and shifted, and for the first time she would see the odd runic marks that etched into the Underbosses flesh. They seemed to flow, carved into his skin not like a tattoo, but black scars settled into him. All coalescing around and to his forearms.

"The twins have never much liked me." Not that anyone really liked him much. "They've never quite agreed with Mama's stance on...outside activities."

Probably why they had shacked up with Inara's boy.

As Tal spoke he traced lines over his body. Pressing his index finger against his ribs as though in search of something. Then suddenly he stopped. The blue blade flickered backwards in his palm, and then with no ceremony what so ever stabbed into his skin. Slowly he carved a line into his flesh, peeling it back.

Fingers reached into the bloody crevace, pain lancing over his features as they pulled free what appeared to be a small silver medallion.
 

Inara Irren

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Inara caught Tal's shirt as she admired her counterparts torso. He was gorgeous and she did not mind him being topless in the slightest. She narrowed her eyes though as she looked closer at his skin. Fascinating marks that she had never seen before and she she had to hold herself back from touching.

Her eyes trailed back up to his face as he spoke again. She was not suprised the twins didn't like him. Who did? He was growing on her but she would not put him in the friend category.

Inara looked back down at his bare chest again while he seemed to be looking for something on his skin. A certain rune, maybe?

"What the fuck!?" She whisper yelled at Tal as he sliced into his flesh. She felt like she was going to throw up. She could deal with dead bodies but this grossed her out. Inara just sat there with her mouth open in horrified astonishment as he pulled a medallion out of his body.
 
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Tal

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"Don't be so squeamish, sweetheart." Tal said, grimacing slightly as the blood poured down his side. He offered it a brief glance, and then decided it wasn't worth further consideration.

Instead he turned attention to the medallion in his hand.

A thumb traced over it, wiping away the blood. Crimson symbols presented themselves etched in silver. A small smile touched his lips. "If you're going to survive."

He told Inara. "You have to be prepared."

And part of being prepared was having the right tools. Tal knew he had a leg up in that. Before his exile he'd been a sorcerer, a very powerful one at that. His magic had given him not just strength, but knowledge beyond what most men could have hoped for. He hefted the still blood stained medallion up to his eye, showing it to Inara.

"The girls don't like me." Tal repeated with a smile. "And they also think me a fool."

He seemed almost gleeful. "It's fun to be thought a fool."

Made things so much easier. With another smile flashes at Inara, Tal snatched his shirt back from her arms and continued to step towards the cabin. His palm cradling the small medallion, hiding it within his fingers.
 

Inara Irren

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Don't be so squeamish, he says as his side is bleeding everywhere. Inara rolled her eyes at Tal. "You are ridiculous! You know that right?"

She followed the other Underboss towards the cabin again wondering what the medallion was and what it did and what the fuck the twins were going to try and why was her hiding the damn thing in his body? She had limited magic and her daggers but she wasn't at any kind of level to deal with angry witches.

"Why do they think you're a fool?"
She inquired quietly as they walked. “Did you try to charm them with your handsome face and it didn't work?"
 
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Tal

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Tal had never liked giving information away for free. Everything had a note of value. Everything could be used to cause harm if you weren't careful. Even the simplest little truth could be used against you if you weren't careful.

Yet he thought the backstory might be helpful now. Might let Inara see. "Because when I first came to the city I tested Mama Leveau."

He had wanted to know if all the rumors were true, or just the bluster of fools who didn't know what they were talking about. Ancient tales and stories made for good wards, but Tal had wanted to see the truth of it. In the end, he had.

"She in turn sent the twins to teach me a lesson." Tal explained. "They took their pound of flesh..."

Literally. "And then went on their merry way."

It had been a reckless thing, but he'd learned much from it.
 

Inara Irren

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Inara let out a thoughtful hmmm as they grew closer to the cabin. Based on Mama Leveau's attitude towards Tal, she liked him well enough and did not hold a grudge for whatever he had done to test her. It was strange that the twins would hold one when they had exacted the actual revenge. Witches.

"Do you have a plan here, Tal? I am quite literally at a loss on how to deal with them if asking nicely does not work..."

They were approaching the cabin now and Inara felt herself growing even more uneasy.
 
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Tal

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Tal stopped.

He looked back towards Inara. "I plan on surprising them, love."

There was little doubt in his mind that the Twins would try to turn this entire situation to benefit themselves. That was their way. How they operated. Tal knew that if the Twins had their way they would have long-since gone to war with the Syndicate.

"They think me a fool." He told her. "I'm going to let them think that."

A smile touched his face. "Then, when the moment is right, I'll turn it all on their pretty little heads."

The blood continued to gently drip down his side. "A nice little plan, no?"

Tal asked, glancing at the Cabin ahead.
 

Inara Irren

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Awesome. Super fucking helpful of a non-answer.

Inara wanted to punch Tal in his still bleeding cut but she needed him and she was already afraid of how much extra shit had already been added on to his little surprise for her. She hated Tal sometimes...most times really.

"It's a great plan, Tal," Inara said as deadpan as possible with a roll of her eyes.

Inara took a deep breath as they approached the cabin and raised a fist to knock on the old wooden door.
 
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Tal

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Tal took an easy step to the left.

Despite his jovial nature, he well knew just how dangerous this was. The twins were just as likely to make a deal as they were to kill them on sight. Neither of them were to be meddled with on a good day, even if Mama Leveau had given them permission.

Fingers wrapped gently around the medallion in his palm.

He knew their ways, how they did things.

Neither of the twins would raise a blade when a hex would do them just as good. It was part of their confidence, what they did. A touch of their malice, a little drop of their hate. That was all the-

"Wait wait wait, one second girls. I think there's someone at the door, probably one of my boys. We can get this show going finally."

The voice grew closer, there was a sound of locks opening, and then suddenly Fillian appeared in the doorway before them.

"About ti-oh shit...Inara!"
Fillian jumped back almost a foot, clearly trying to get himself away from the Underboss.
 

Inara Irren

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Inara stood in silent concentration as she waited for the door to open. She heard the male voice call out to, she assumed, the twins and she immediately knew it was Fillian. At least their intel was correct. That was something.

The locks clicked and then the door opened in front of them. Fillian was bare chested but that was all she could take in of him before he exclaimed and jumped back.

"Were you expecting someone else, Fillian?"

Inara's tone was full of rage but she did not step forward. She did not think stepping into the twins home was a bright idea.
 
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Tal

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Tal apparently had absolutely no such trepidation. As soon as Fillian stepped back into the cabin the Underboss moved forward. He was through the doorway before the forger could answer his former employer, the shock on his face more than evident as he continued to stammer.

"I…ah…no, no wasn't expecting anyone."​

Fillian looked over at Tal, recognition flickering through his eyes.

The other man knew exactly who Tal was, his face contorting in a mixture of fear and deep concern. A hand reached behind the small or his back, but before he fully could the Underboss grabbed his shoulder. "Let's not do anything hasty. We're just here to have a talk."

Fillian blanched for a moment, his muscles tensing and his arm suddenly freezing in place. He looked to Tal, and then quickly to Inara. A suddenly confidence brimmed on his features, as though he had just remembered something. The look of fear in his eyes turned, a smirk drawing on his lips as his voice called out.

"Yes, let's not be hasty, TALMANESE."​

His name was shouted, and now it was Tal's turn to tense. Fingers tightened ever so slightly on Fillian's shoulder, his touch becoming bruising as in the next room over he could hear small whispers. Laughter almost, and then the sound of splashing water.

It took only a few seconds for a woman to appear in the doorway. Entirely bared to the world and without a hint of modesty, one of the Twins strode slowly into the main room. Her dark skinned dripped with pearls of rose scented water, white hair tangled over her shoulder. Her eyes, not white like Helene and Mama Leveau's, but instead a deep emerald green that stood out starkly against her skin. "Sylvie, long time no see."

A wicked smile spread over the woman's lips.

"Talmanese, I thought you learned to stay on your side of the river. No? Or did you come all zis way just to see me?"

Her voice was beautiful, melodic. Her accent oddly different than that of the rest of her families.
 

Inara Irren

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Inara had followed Tal into the cabin with her rage still fully on Fillian. He was an asshole and a coward but he was an asshole and a coward with supposedly powerful girlfriends.

She saw the moment he recognized Tal and then the moment that he realized he believed he was on the winning side. Fillian yelled Tal's full name and she watched Tal flinch. She couldn't help but flinch at the same time. He was up to something and she did not like it.

Inara's hazel eyes studied the woman that appeared in the doorway. She was gorgeous and Inara could smell the roses from her position. Sylvie. One of the twins. Even with the wicked smile that graced her face, she was beautiful and Inara felt drawn to her immediately.

Sylvie's voice was like music. Inara was enamored and she barely heard the words that the witch had even said. Something about Tal coming here to see her.

The Underboss took an unconscious step forward closer to Sylvie with an odd smile on her face.
 
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Tal

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”As alluring as you are...” Tal began to speak, then noticed the doting expression on Inara’s face.

A quiet curse rang in his head for not warning the other Underboss first. He had forgotten just how…alluring the Witches could be. Particularly the twins. His foot kicked out, and then without any hesitation it stomped down on Inara’s toes.

Fingers snapped in her face at the same time. ”Hey hey hey now.”

It was hard to tell if he was talking to Sylvie or Inara. His voice was cutting, annoyed. Though mostly because he was cursing himself. He knew the pain would snap Inara out of the inoccious charm the Witch had surrounding herself at all times.

That odd haze that filled the air around her.

“Oh Talmanese, let the girl wander. If zat is what she wants.”

Another voice came from the same bathroom door that Sylvie had stepped out of. A mirror image of her sister, Sabine sauntered into the main room with a wide smile on her face, eyes firmly focused on Tal.

The sight of her sent a chill up his spine, but he kept his face impassive.

”No, no I don’t think I will.” He said firmly, idly fingering the coin in his palm. It was almost time.
 

Inara Irren

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Inara let out an ow and glared at Tal. What the fuck had he stepped on her toes and why was he snapping his fingers at her? Had he lost it? She heard the words from the new girl but they didn't make sense. Who was wandering?

"We came for Fillian. He is a traitor to the family who took him off the streets when he was five."

Truth. Inara knew her people's backstories. He was an orphan but he was taken in by a Syndicate member and raised as her own son. Now he betrayed the woman who raised him and the organization she served.

"He must answer for his crimes," her voice was softer now. She wasn't sure how to appease these witches. They seemed like the kill first and not ask questions later type.
 
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Tal

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“Oh zat is a shame.”

It was hard to tell which of the twins was talking. They began to move in tandem, approaching Fillian. Both of them seemed entirely unconcerned with their immodest state of dress, apparently quite happy to flaunt themselves.

Tal kept his eyes on each of them, flickering back and forth. He knew he had to wait for the right moment, knew that the medallion wasn’t perfect. Had he still had his magic he could have brutalized both of the witches, but that wasn’t an option.

“Fillion is with us now.”

There was a wide smile on the Witches face, and slowly she began to drape herself over the forger. Possessively drawing her fingers over the man’s chest as though he were nothing more than a statue. Tal only smiled back. ”Ah well, that’s the thing of it. Mama Leveau doesn’t much like that.”

Both of the twins seemed to tense the moment he brought up their mother. Eyes narrowing as they stared at him, then looked to Inara.

“Vat do you know of vat Mama wants?”

The twin hissed, stepping forward.