Private Tales An Enticing Song

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Tal

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Alliria - The Painted Dragon

There were a thousand strings that tugged along the underworld. Wires that ran to and fro, connected everyone and everything at a level that most might have thought utterly ridiculous. The games played in the dark alleyways of city streets were as intricate as those played in the halls of the politicians.

It was a fact that Tal had learned long ago.

One that he had understood to his core long before his father had deigned to exile him from Tyre. Those who ran the streets often ran the cities that they lived in. Kings would deny it, but their power paled in comparison of the Crime Boss who held the will of the people. The one who was clever enough to seize it for what it was anyway.

Tal knew that.

Which was why he was here.

The Allir Syndicate was not the strongest, not the biggest, but it didn't need to be.

In a place such as Alliria competition was fierce, and there was always a need to grab a leg up on the competition. That was why Tal sat centrally within the showroom of the Painted Dragon, why he watched the stage as the next act was announced. Because he alone knew. He alone had come to learn who exactly was performing next.

The wondrous, talented, lover of the leader of the Crimson Dusk.

Alliria's second most powerful gang.
 
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Camille

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There was a sudden hush as Camille stepped onto the gilded stage. Even with the growing silence that stretched like a maw to swallow her up, her slender-legged gait never wavered. She moved fluidly and gracefully to the center. One arm leaned on the polished surface of the piano. The side of her hip cocked lightly against its side

And for a moment, she looked straight from a painting with the way she stood. The way her body angled, wrapped in the silk gown that tied in ribbons at the back. She gave the smallest of nods to the piano player and his well-abled fingers began playing those ivory keys.

A brush of dark long, silky hair over one pale shoulder before her lips finally parted.

As much as her voice seemed to please all who heard it, she was as much a story-teller. Her lyrics weaving their own tales of triumph or loss. Seduction and betrayal. Curses and revenge. Tonight was something more melancholy. Something deeper reflected in her gaze as she finally swept the room with almond-shaped eyes. Her voice and song taking the audience on a ride that could rival any heady trip of spice.
 
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Tal

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Tal sat still, listening, drinking, taking a slow drag of his cigar.

Talent was not uncommon here in Alliria.

It was the largest city in the world. People from all over the world flowed here naturally and unnaturally. It was part of the reason Tal himself had ended up here. Yet talent was often wasted, thrown away. Here, in the Painted Dragon it seemed to be appreciated.

Camille's song was melancholic, quiet and yet somehow serene. Even someone like him could appreciate it, someone who was only here to take something for themselves. He smiled as it went on, and then eventually finished.

As the siren ended her song, the crowd erupted in a wave of applause.

Tal did not shy away from adding his own, though it was a soft patter compared to some of the tables around him. As he sat there he waved to one of the waiters, crooking his finger towards the man. "I would like a word."

He said quietly.

"With the Performer." The man seemed to stare, as though he were about to say something, but then noticed the mark on Tal's hand.

A frown flickered over his features, and then he gave a wordless nod.
 
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Camille

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Camille finished her set. There was one song with a lighter note but the rest of the performance remained somber. Almost anticipatory. The audience groaned as she left the stage. And right into the waiting stern arms of Brok. Her half-orc bodyguard. Always a shadow. A keeper.

Camille always supposed it was as much protection as it was to make sure the Crimson Dusk’s prized possession didn't wander off.

She frowned. She hated these nights. Jareth was away but there was no benefit with Brok around. She stepped toward the room where the patrons were seated.

A meaty-muscular arm barred her path. “Not tonight,” his voice rumbled. “He wants you back in the dressing room.” Of course she didn’t need to be told who HE was. Even away, Jareth maintained a tight leash. A momentary flash of longing in her eyes as she turned obediently and stepped in front of Brok. Hips sashaying down the narrow corridor and stopping in front of a door that sported a placard with her name on it.

Stepping inside, she quickly closed the door behind, needing a moment alone. Away from her shadow. Forehead leaned polished, wooden surface. There was a mirror lit up by sconces in the corner. A small sitting area with a rug that looked as if it came from a beast in the Spine. Her make-up and brushes were scattered along the small table pushed beneath the mirror. Fresh vased flowers filled many of the surface from fans and politicians.

Those who dared enough to reach out to her.
 
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Tal

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"Pardon me sir, but she is not available tonight."

The waiter returned with his unfortunate new, and Tal turned to look at him. Amusement flickered over his features, an odd sort of look in this situation. A long breath filled his lungs, head shaking as though he were disappointed.

"I think." He said, reaching up and patting the waiters cheek. "You'll find that these situations are always negotiable."

Slowly the Underboss pulled himself up from the chair. "Take me back there, would you? I think I'll have a nice conversation."

The waiter frowned for a moment, opened his mouth as though he were about to say something, and then snapped his lips shut. Tal could practically see the man sweating, but instead of arguing the boy simply turned on his heel and began to work.

Tal followed along, nodding to the three members of tonight's crowd that he himself had brought with him.
 

Camille

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Taking a small breath, she turned and sat at the make-up counter. Frowning in the mirror, she took up a make-up brush and some powder, dabbing at the dark circles mostly hidden beneath her eyes. Eyes drifted to the unopened letters on the stand.

One from a bustling shipping industry. Another from a a smithery. There was muttering and then arguing outside her door. Muffled voices. A frown drew on her lips. She assumed it was some adoring fans who wanted a quick word. Perhaps a signature.

Brok, just let them in.” Voice called as she half turned before her attention went back to the mirror. She would meet with them and smile. Play her role.
 
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Tal

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By the time Camille called out Brok was already slumped against the wall unconscious. He collapsed onto the floor with a quiet thud.

Two of the thugs that Tal had brought with him took the man's place, standing in front of the doorway and blocking anyone's view. The Tyrian stepped through the doorway, walking with all the confidence of a King in his court. "I'll let myself in."

Tal said, glancing around the dressing room.

His head panned, and then he found what he was looking for; a chair.

"If you don't mind." The Underboss said, making his way to his intended as he plucked a cigar from his coat pocket. A second later he sat himself down, smiling at Camille.
 
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Camille

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Camille’s long, dark lashes fluttered closed for a moment as he entered. Her hand never wavered on the powder she was dabbing her face with. The half-elf turned in her chair to look at the stranger. Eyes flickering to the open doorway.

Two stranger ms blocking the opening.

Brok

Brok!

She didn’t frown or react. A smooth of her fingers down silky hair. She stood gracefully, walking toward the bar cart. Looking at the man sideways.

“Something tells me you’re not an adoring fan for an autograph. How can I help you, mister….?”
 
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Tal

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"I wouldn't call myself adoring." Tal agreed with a nod. "But I'm certainly a fan."

It was true.

He had always appreciated talent when he saw it, and right now as no different. He of course wanted more from her, but who could blame him? Everyone had their own little conniptions, things that they wanted and saw as valuable.

Tal was no different. "You know someone, well, more than know really."

The Underboss said as he lit his cigar and took a long drag. "I need to get to your boss. For a conversation."

He said with a smile.
 

Camille

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She poured the brandy into two crystal low-ball glasses. A swirl of it as she turned once more to the stranger. Wordlessly, she set one on a small table next to his chair, then glided to a wingback chair of her own. Legs crossed as she sat, the long slit of the side of the silken fabric shifting.

Camille regarded the stranger over the rim of crystal.

His smile reminded her of a fox. Her mother always warned her against getting involved with redheads. “It sounds like,” she drew, “it’s something you should ask him.” If she was scared, she didn’t show it. Being a whore’s daughter and then living a low-life trying to make ends meet in the outer districts, she was no stranger to violence. Men like the one before her who sought Jarreth. Who were like him.

She took a sip of the brandy.

“Who are you with? The Syndicate? The Anarchists?” Each question was unhurried. Quiet. People always said her voice had a certain addictive quality about it. Just like her presence. Leaving people wanting more.

A slow swirl of her glass as her shy gaze swept away from his golden eyes and back toward the blocked doorway.
 
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Tal

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"I do intend to ask him." Tal said as he leaned back in his chair. "Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get his attention."

He clicked his tongue and slowly shook his head. "I think you'll be able to help me with that, no?"

The question was utterly rhetorical. Tal alraedy knew that Jarreth was utterly obsessed with her. There was a reason that she had the benefit of a bodyguard when not a single other person in this place did. She was precious to him, that was why he had come here in the first place.

He smiled at her as she asked whom he was with. "I don't think that matters much, do you?"

Tal took a slow drag of his cigar.

"Just come with me, play the damsel in distress and everything will turn out just fine." He didn't need, or want anything more.
 
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Camille

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Camille took a dainty sip of brandy and remained relaxed in her chair. Perhaps a hint of stiffening along her back but it quickly passed. Wide-almond shaped eyes regarded the redhead quietly. A tap of her index finger along the side of crystal.

"What makes you think you'll get out of this club, alive?"

Another burning sip of brandy.

"And," she continued. "if you do, what makes you think you'll be able to stay alive it this city after Jareth finds out what you did?"
 
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Tal

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Tal leaned forward in his chair. "Same reason I've made it all these years, Darling."

The words were cryptic, vague, but she didn't need to know more. Tal knew he could make it out of this club, knew that he could survive Jareth's wrath. Mostly because he intended for the man to feel that for very little amount of time.

Slowly he stood up from the chair, taking a step towards her.

"There's lots of people who want me dead." He told her quietly. "One more won't hurt."

A smile touched Tal's face as he held out a hand to her. "Shall we, lovely?"

His voice was calm, and his expression one of pure smug confidence.
 
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Camille

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She eyed him as he stood and stalked forward. That swagger in his step and his gaze. Her look was unamused. She was no stranger to violence. Not with how she'd grown up. That short time before Jareth snatched her up. And the time with the Crime Lord.

She'd seen men and women tortured for far less than what the one before her was trying to pull off.

Throat slits.

Any sort of limb cut off.

And she knew what men like the one before her were capable of. The strange markings inked along her arm and fingers, for a moment, seemed to darken. Short enough that it wasn't noticeable. Without a tremble, she set her finished glass of brandy down on the small side table next to her seat.

Legs meant for dancing, uncrossed and she slipped her fingers into his hand, allowing him to pull her forward as she stood. Taking a half step forward until there was only an inch of space between them, her voice whispered against the shell of his ear as she leaned into him.

"I wish you the best of luck," a tone that was absent of any mocking. Sincere, like a soft caress.

"WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE?" The keeper of the house bellowed, taking out his knife as he rounded the corner and saw Brok's unmoving form. He yelled for two of his men even as he lunged for one of Tal's. The keeper had a handlebar mustache and the muscles of a dock worker.
 
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Tal

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Tal seemed to move in a blur.

The movement was so fast, so quick, that it almost seemed entirely inhuman. The moment Camille set her hand within his the Tyrian seemed to almost flicker in place. Before she spoke, before he lips slipped by his ear the Underboss moved.

A shimmer ran through the air. A flicker of something that darted outward from his outstretched fingers.

The sickening sound of pierced flesh echoed out as a blade of shimmering blue buried itself within the Keeper's throat. His eyes bulged open, an angry tongue silenced just seconds after he shouted for two of his guards.

His hand reached up towards his throat, as though he couldn't quite believe what had found purchase there. Blood spilled down the wound, and screams echoed through the Tavern as people noticed the now dying man landing on the floor. "My, sweet."

Tal whispered back in Camille's ear.

"I don't need luck." The two thugs that had guarded the door behind him broke out into sprints, breaking into quick brawls against the Keeper's own men.

The Underboss gently tugged Camille along, pulling her towards the door and grasping the hilt of his knife as they walked by. With a sickening wrench he pulled the blade free from the man's throat, letting the blood drip as he walked.

As chaos broke out all around them Tal continued to step, his tone as casual as could be. "Lovely place."

He mused. "Shame to see it go."

Behind them the thud of knuckles cracking against bone echoed out. The shrieks of fleeing customers drowning out almost everything else.
 
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Camille

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Fast as a viper, sly as a fox.
He would find no tug of resistance from the performer. She tried to move with him as best she could, stepping over bodies. Avoiding thrown glasses and shards of broken furniture as chairs were smashed and tables knocked over.

It was...utter chaos. A performance in its own right. And she trembled to think how Jareth would react when he saw it. When he found her missing.

A quick glance over her bare shoulder at the stage. Such a beautiful stage with some of the best sound any performing hall could offer. It was perhaps, the only thing she mourned as she walked onward with the fox.

One thing she silently agreed with him on. It was a lovely place. And a shame.

A chair was suddenly thrown across her path and she stumbled against the redhead, her shin catching. A small grimace across her demure lips. She barely had time to regain her footing as her silk-draped hip involuntarily bumped against his body. There was a flash of steel next to them as one of Jareth's house staff lunged forward. A female elf with a jagged scar running down her right eye.
 
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Tal

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Raf seemed to almost move in a dance as Camille bumped against him. His arm swept around her, and with a quick surefooted step he twisted the siren within his hands. Their bodies quickly curled, and his foot reached up in a harsh kick.

The elf was struck in her sternum, air flowing from her lungs in a gasp.

Another sure step, another small spin with Camille still in his arms saw Tal reposition himself. The blue blade sliced across the Elven woman's throat, leaving behind a trail of crimson that flickered out as the woman stood in shock.

It had all happened within the span of a beat.

The musings of a song.

Tal and Camille came to a stop, his face just mere inches from her. "Sorry, darling. I didn't mean to make a mess."

He said, licking his thumb for a moment before wiping away a teardrop of blood that had splattered onto her face. A wink flickered over his eye, and then slowly he pulled back, guiding her through the raucous dance of chaos all around them.
 
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Camille

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Tickle her mildly impressed. The fox’s hands were sure and firm. And her body’s instincts kicked in. A lift of her leg here. A brief curl against him there. A spin and twist. Even a song born of chaos and violence was music to a dance. A dance her lean form couldn’t ignore.

And for a brief moment, the man’s hands felt eerily like Jareth’s. A shiver worked it’s way up her spine even as her face gave nothing away. Even as his moistened thumb dragged down her skin.

A tiny flash of ire in lavender-grey eyes.

Lips parted to say something then closed as they started the dance once again. She was spun. His grip on her never releasing. Never wavering. Never a moment to slip away. Perhaps he knew if he released her, even for a flicker of a second, he’d lose his chance. She’d be able to slip away with a danseuse’s adroitness.

She found herself suddenly dipped in his arms. Long, dark strands of silken hair slipping past pale shoulders as she looked up at him as they narrowly avoided another chair flying overhead. “Were you classically trained?” A quiet musing. She could see the door to the narrow staircase that would lead them outside.

Any moment for her to escape quickly dwindling. At least, for now.
 
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Tal

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"Mother always did see fit to make sure I was taught the ways of the west." He said with a shake of his head, as though the memory were somewhat unpleasant to recall.

Unlike his siblings Tal had never much been one for the lessons of his parents. He'd gone through them of course, but at every turn there had been protest. Slowly he shook his head as he pulled Camille back up to her feet.

The knife still cradled in his other hand. "Let's find someplace more quiet to chat, yeah?"

He said with a smile.

"I have something waiting befitting your...presence." Tal smiled, and then with his grip on her palm slowly lead her towards the narrow staircase. Behind him his three thugs continued to brawl with jareth's men. The Half-troll and hulk of a man seemed to be working out rather well, though cuts and bruises lined them.

When the two spotted Tal making his way towards the door, they quickly followed. Guarded steps leading into half thrown punches and deflected blows.

Before long Tal and Camille stepped out into the cold night air, a carriage fit for a King sitting and waiting. A strange Tiefling with only one horn sat in the drivers seat, glancing down at the odd pair as Tal pulled open the carriage door. "If you please."

He ushered Camille with a wave.
 
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Camille

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The Allirian night air was cold against her bare skin, the thin fabric of the dress doing nothing to protect her from the elements. A quick glance over one smooth-shoulder at the fox’s ‘friends.’ She knew any of Jareth’s crew who survived tonight would likely be dead upon the crime lord’s return. A pang of pity for them.

Gathering the fabric of her long, slitted dress, she stepped up and into the ornate carriage. Clients who had seen her mother arrived in these. Jareth never liked things so loud and ostentatious. But her movements looked easy. Graceful and fluid. As if she wasn’t being abducted. As if she was about to join an intimate lover on a jaunt across town.

“I believe you are overestimating my worth,” she said quietly as she slid across the bench. Fingers lifted, curling hair behind one of her delicate, pointed ears.
 
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Tal

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Tal climbed into the Carriage behind her. "No no, my dear."

He said as he shook his head and closed the door behind them. A knock came a second later, and the carriage jerked slightly as Viktor smacked the reins of the horses and sent them traveling down the street.

His thugs would quickly step out of the club, and as they had been earlier instructed would disperse into Alliria itself. Chaos would be left behind. Stories of a man kidnapping Camille, of a brawl that had broken out of nowhere, and the utter confusion that came with all of it.

"I know exactly what you're worth." He said with a smile. "And there is not a doubt in my mind..."

Tal trailed off as he pulled out a handkerchief from his coat, slowly running it over the crimson stain on his blade. "I'll get what I want."

He looked up at her with a wicked smile.
 
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Camille

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If one could somehow sit straight but still look relaxed, Camille pulled it off. Even as the carriage jerked forward. As she felt the noose around her neck tighten the further they went from The Painted Dragon. The dark curtains covering the windows blocking her view of the streets she knew so well. There was still light in the cabin that snuck in through the cracks of the curtain as they swayed from the flickering street lights outside. But she didn’t need it with her half elven eyes.

She saw the fox all too clearly.

And the small splatter of red that stained her silken gown. A shame. It ruined one of her favorite dresses. A brush of her knuckles against it.

“I almost hope, for your sake, you do,” her eyes flickered from his wicked smile to the tip of that wicked blade. Jareth was renown for his cold, hard violence. He was not forgiving. He would not hesitate to slit the throats of children. Like the man before her, he would do anything to get what he wanted.

Camille supposed it was what she was used to.

Even the guild heads she saw. The business men and women. Perhaps they wouldn’t openly kill to get what they wanted but they were just as tenacious. The trait was admirable to most, vexing to others.

“And what would a red-headed rogue want?” She made herself look away from the sharp edge of the blade back to where he kept his sharp-edged tongue.
 
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Tal

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"The removal of my chains." The answer was truthful, but at the same time offered so little in the way of an explanation.

She could see him, sitting there plain as day.

No chains decorated his wrists, his throat, or anything else. The only mark upon him were the strange tattoos that wrapped around his forearms. Those were what he spoke of, but there was no way of her touching upon that knowledge.

"Don't worry." He assured her, leaning back on the padded bench. "Cause no trouble for me, and you'll walk away from this."

Tal said quietly. "Maybe even come out from under Jareth's foot."

The man needed to be alive to give Tal what he wanted, but not for long. He had long been a problem for the Syndicate, and Vora would be more than happy to have the man wind up as a corpse. Though that was depending on the trouble this all brought down.

That was to be expected though.
 
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Camille

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Wide-almond eyes swept his figure. He had markings similar to her own. Not exactly. And for a moment, she stared as if trying to work something out. But her face shifted at his next statement.

"Cause no trouble for me, and you'll walk away from this."


She wasn’t a fool. If Jareth didn’t show or respond to this man she would be discarded. Just another body to wind up floating face first by the docks. Perhaps a brief stir in the news due to her reputation. But she’d be forgotten eventually. Like everyone was.

Head turned away from him, staring at the curtain.

“Don’t offer promises you can’t keep,” she said quietly. And she’d never escape from Jareth. If Jareth knew he couldn't have or keep her, he’d kill her.

And she doubted the man before her could do anything to stop it. And he certainly wouldn’t care either way.
 
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Tal

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Tal smiled that easy smile. He was a man of confidence, code. He knew exactly what he was, who he'd gone against. "I never do, darling."

He knew what Jerath was. The kind of weight he could bring.

Alliria was the biggest city in the world. There were more than a million people living in the utopia of crime and commerce. It was why he had come here in the first place. Why he had made his home here after the exile his parents had put him through.

Vora had a piece, but Jareth had another.

Tal wanted, needed to be free. He needed his magic, his power. "Just enjoy the time away, lovely."

The Underboss offered as the Carriage passed out of the Inner-City and cut towards the Shallows.

"Think of it as time off, a vacation." He couldn't imagine when she'd last have one of those.
 
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