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No title.
(2013-03-08 - Now)
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Morrighan Alazne It was a couple days since Morrighan had initially accepted the offer to work with the Churck of Glabados. Note the word 'with' instead of 'for'. Because she certainly was not working 'for' them. Or at least she had refused to call it such. Wow, she must have really abhorred the organization as a whole, but...

Well, it beat wandering aimlessly.

On this particularly day, the elven woman could be found in the southern part of the city, within the small residence that was provided to her by the church. It was nothing extravagant. But it was a step up from her room in Baron. There were two floors, the first housed a kitchen, living area, and a bathing area, a couple of off world trinkets and devices could be seen about such as a TV, radio, a fridge, and some other convenient appliances. Magical trinkets could be seen about as well. A crystal ball, some questionable looking straw men with strange sigils inscribed on them, and some gems and jewels of varying sizes.

The second floor was much smaller and contained simply a sleeping area. But these details were not the focus. For outside the house, Morrighan could be seen, giving orders to a group of workmen who were in the middle of moving furniture about. Seems she was redecorating today! Not sure whether or not to feel bad for those workers... "I said I want this couch to be dealt with last! Are you fools not listening? Bring the portraits in first! And do not marr them, or I will marr you! Now move it! Get to work!"

"Yes, Miss Alazne..."

...Definitely time to feel sorry for them.
Count Valos Glabados was a powerful, very well organized institution, and they had little problem accommodating Morrighan's needs, however, that didn't mean those who served the church had an easy time dealing with the drow. Most of the workers were professional, despite her nitpicking, and yet one mover had a distinct scowl on his face at being bossed around so liberally by some woman who apparently had a superiority complex of some kind, thinking herself to be a princess or something! Maybe she was. Nevertheless, despite his disgruntled attitude, he knew that she was higher up the food chain than himself, because the church valued Morrighan's services so much that it sought her out, whereas he had to apply for residence in the city, and struggle to get the job he got. In his mind, according to the rumors he heard, Glabados practically begged Morrighan to join their ranks; how stories get twisted when they migrate from one set of ears to another!

As if thinking that somehow dark elves must have universal solidarity, it might be mildly racist to have appointed Count Valos to this particular task- but he was assigned to go check up on Morrighan to see how she was doing, to see if her needs were being properly met. Obviously, certain services aside, Glabados insisted that he ensure she received a decent quality of living while she was in Mullonde, to the degree that they went so far as to demand he take her shopping if she asked; even worse..... the officials stressed that Gidarch take a proactive role and /ask/ Morrighan voluntarily if she wanted to shop. In earnest, he preferred to stay away from the she-drow, because it exposed him to temptation that he didn't like being subjected to- he preferred knowing she was safe and sound, but ideally while not around himself. His extremely heavy, stone-laden body caused mild tremors as he approached Morrighan's residence, like a compact gigas lumbering down the street, and yet at seven feet, he almost qualified as an ogre in his own right, molecular density aside! As he approaches, he comes to a halt some distance from the female's position, and salutes, "Miss Alazne. I am here to render unto you the services to which I have been charged. I am to escort you to the local vendors to acquire amenities such as food and clothing, if you desire, or merely to take down your feelings on how well our organization is managing to fulfill your requirements. In other words..... you have my ear."

He doesn't step closer to her, unless invited, because he doesn't want to intrude on her personal space; although oddly enough, he's much farther away from her than would be even a normal person if they were to want to speak to her, as if for some reason, he was going out of his way to keep his distance; his inclination to 'avoid' her may seem unconscious to her, but Gidarch is very well aware that he's out of range of normal speaking distance, which may cause her to feel safe and un-imposed upon, although maybe also insulted, if she prefers to be shown attentiveness that is often afforded to those being addressed whilst in a conversation. Alas..... the dynamics of a would-be suitor trying to be abstinent, and in so doing, being unnaturally avoidant towards the one he desires.
Morrighan Alazne Morrighan was well aware of the rumors flying around. And of course she knew the true story; an offer was laid bare on...mostly even terms. Threats from armored rats aside. But still, the fact that they had grown so out of control was amusing in it's own way. Thus the elven mage made no effort to dispel said rumors. Simply doing nothing about them would tarnish the church's reputation. Maximum entertainment for no cost!

Eventually however, Valos arrived and Morrighan had turned her attention away from the harried church workers, looking his way instead. "Oh. You." She commented almost in irritation. The sight of the fellow dark elf these days drew nothing but ire from her. And the reasoning was rather simple; why was he acting so strange? It was utterly annoying, yet at the same time, she didn't particularly care enough to stalk him and find out why either. "Is that so? Well then, allow me to take advantage of this offer."

Morrighan glanced back at the workers then, crossing her arms. "I expect you fools to be finished and gone by the time I return!" And then she turned back, beginning to approach Valos nonchalantly. "Since you are offering, I could make use of your no doubt considerable strength for the purposes of carrying my purchases." Of course she'd use him for that. Stopping right in front of him then, perhaps a fair bit closer than he would have considered, Morrighan stared up silently for a couple seconds before moving past him and speaking again.

"...Well then, hurry up. Time is wasting now."
Count Valos Gidarch could tell she was irritated by him; why, he didn't know, but that was negligible as far as his list of worries went, for as long as she was in good health, that was all he ever could truly yearn for. As Morrighan approached him, to the extent that she was in more intimate proximity than he preferred, he started to become remotely anxious as was normal for him when he was in her presence, and by the time she finally came right up close to him, he actually had the boldness to retreat from her by taking a step back, which was a little unorthodox and stand-offish, however.... the church didn't /demand/ he show her anything but the bare minimum in the area of respect. Mayhap Morrighan's confusion was what brought out her resentment towards the grey elf, for he refused to openly provide answers which one might ordinarily expect from another, and yet Gidarch remained peculiar in his manner towards her, but without extending the courtesy of actually offering her an explanation as to why he acted as he did, which was no doubt because he didn't want to convey his feelings, which were buried very deep inside of his petrified heart. She might expect others to be more forthcoming and honest about their feelings, and due to his unwillingness to enlighten her to what was going on was probably, for the most part, a slap in the face to the degree of transparency she expected from those with whom she associated..... but in spite of all the trust she'd offered him, which even on her end, was not much, he relinquished even less, in turn.

A closed book unwilling to open by itself was he, and a curious mind with too much pride to be willing to admit she probably wanted to open the book for even just a paltry peek, was she; both stonewalling each other in their own way. Are all drow interpersonal relationships this melodramatic? Even the human workers can tell there's some kind of tension, in defiance of the amount of silence between the two dark elves! Scratching his head, and contradicting Morrighan's logic, his need to refine flawed rationalization virtually always on auto-pilot, Count Valos blurts out, albeit in a calm voice, "If you consider them to be fools, would it not be irrational to then hold them to the standard by which one would hold proficient workers, by expecting them to be finished upon your return?" Of course, in realizing he may have just humiliated her on a minute level, he immediately follows up by making an /attempt/ to retract the legitimacy of his own, former subversive query, "....Then again, your perceptions are not mine to police. My apologies, Miss Alazne."

Yet, there is -still- a problem with his means of trying to disqualify his original statement, by implying that her perceptions might be somehow inadequate. While just the opposite of a contortionist in flexibility, his knack for putting his foot in his mouth is quite unprecedented. The disgruntled worker who felt begrudged towards Morrighan snickered lightly at the same time Gidarch made his disparaging retorts, which probably didn't aid his quest of trying to accommodate Morrighan; the very task to which Glabados assigned him! As she passes him by, he remarks, "I shall make as much haste as is physically possible, Miss Alazne. I would like to assure you that I desire nothing but your satisfaction in accelerating the fulfillment of your agenda, whatever that may be!"
Morrighan Alazne Seeing Valos take a step back, Morrighan only narrowed her eyes even further. Not that she needed any further proof that something was the matter, but that only added onto the pile of examples pointing towards such. But nevertheless, she didn't comment and instead went on her way, not checking to see if he was following her.

"Of course I do not expect them to actually perform their jobs to my expected standard. But still, that is why are here." She smirked somewhat at that, shaking her head at his added apology. "Regardless, I am not concerned with them right now." And so the two of them made their way into the shopping district, already able to see merchants from all over, even more so now with the worlds all out of joint.

"Now then, I will require food, hygenic necesseties, and several types of cloth. Perhaps some other minor ingredients of the magical sort as well. We shall see." Morrighan ticked off each type of item with her fingers, looking upwards in thought. It was after this that Valos' statement regarding nothing but her satisfaction was made. And it caused her to frown again, this time pausing in her walk to turn and stare at him.

"You desire nothing but my satisfaction, do you?" She asked rhetorically, repeating the Count's claim. "If that is the case that let me ask you; why are you being so distant and...strange?" With this question posed, the elven woman rested her hands upon her hips, fixing her male counterpart with an accusing glare. "You seem to be avoiding me. I barely got you to come to help me at the Iifa Tree and that was only due to the favor I was owed."

She took a single step forward then, advancing on him. "This was not the case the first time we met as I recall." Another step forward was taken and her glare remained constant. "Am I offending you? Because I can think of no other reason why you would be asking this way. It is horribly insulting, I assume you realize, yes?"
Count Valos Something was the matter, but Count Valos was not about to announce it freely, by any means. Grateful that she didn't take too much offense at his undermining of her belief that the workers could possibly be done was a generous act on her behalf, and for it, the grey one felt some inward relief that he wasn't mangling whatever rapport he had with Morrighan; as things stood, it was already evident that she wasn't satisfied with his demeanor, for whatever reason. He could take a stab at why, but didn't want to pry into her affairs, just as she didn't feel compelled to nag him to know what was in his mind..... at least, for the time being, she hadn't! Following Morrighan in a somewhat submissive manner, Gidarch had some bags strapped around his torso, as well as ones in his hands that could be used to carry things; if she procured more than would fit in the bags, which he hoped wouldn't be the case, he'd try to think of something else. His raw vigor was not in question, but even if a person could lift the Statue of Liberty from Manhattan, one couldn't simply grab it by the fingertip, lest the phalange snap outright, so there was something to be said for the importance of leverage, not just power, when performing feats of physical exertion. When the she-elf abruptly desists, followed up by the execution of the turn of her body, to face Gidarch, the taller sylvan also halts, wondering what the problem was.

"My.... interest in your satisfaction is due to the necessity for me to carry out my responsibilities that Glabados has commanded of me." He raises a brow when she says this, but once she offers an accusing glare, with her hands on her hips, his resolve dissolves just a tad, and he becomes uneasy as the very tip of one corner of his lips twitches, as though he's not sure how to react to her next inquiry. He can't lie..... but if he told the truth, then it could compromise his integrity as a professional who is strictly performing duties as part of his job description, within Glabados; not that the church didn't suspect it was a possibility anyway, but Valos was not about to so easily remove all doubts that he had a personal interest in Morrighan! When she advances on him, his body shakes a little bit, but only briefly- fortunately, he suppresses it quickly, in the hopes that it wasn't noticed. "You are.... not offending me." He shakes his head, still looking subtle in his discomfort, ".....But you see, given that we are both of a variant of the same race, if I were to show you too much favor, it might lead my superiors to the arguably false conclusion that either of us have a personal interest in one another.... a level of intimacy that would be quite disdained by Glabados. I would not want them thinking....."

He pauses, trying to think of how to phrase himself to evade a confession, in an intricate manner, "......I would not want them thinking that there might be some tangential attribute within my directives which could impair my ability to treat you with impartiality. As a means of assuring the contingent that perpetuates in their view that there is a high probability that I am not invested in you on a non-professional level, I have seen fit to..... adhere to an unobtrusive protocol pertaining to the molestation of your boundaries, thus, distance seems to be the logical course of action." Such an obfuscating answer might lead one to think that he's exaggerating a little bit, or dodging something, when factoring in that he said things along the lines of 'arguably false conclusion that he had an interest in her' rather than a simple admission that, for solid fact, there was a definite truth to his harboring no affection for Morrighan. Now, such an inconspicuous nuance might not be noticeable to a mind that's more emotionally driven than logically- which is sometimes the case with the she-elf, to the effect that she might be convinced that indeed, Valos is just trying to prove to the church, and only the church(not to himself, or to her, as well), that there is no emotional interest in the others' welfare whatsoever. If she does snag this little technicality and scrutinize it, it might be enough of a clue to alert her to the fact that something is going on that Gidarch is refusing to admit /or/ deny. In either case, it certainly seems like he's -trying- to be honest!.... He still hasn't lied, anyway.
Morrighan Alazne "......."

Silence. Silence and an even deeper glare. "Why would the fact that the both of us are of the same race hold any deeper meaning to your superiors?" Morrighan asked then, advancing on him with another step. Just because. "Plenty of humans work together. Within this same organization even. They are of the same race. They do not avoid each other on the basis that they may appear 'unprofessional' in their actions with each other."

Another step forward. Now she was just doing this to mess with him. "You speak many words to simply say that you do not wish to appear intimate with me. I am not so blind as to not realize how ridiculous that claim is." A pause, and then she started up again. "First of all, the two of us appearing to be 'intimate' is an impossiblity. Such assumptions could hardly be construed from our actions. Those who would assume to think such a thing are clearly lacking in intelligence."

Her clear lack of amusement was only heightened with each word spoken and the way he had worded himself in one of his statements only made it worse. Now it was just plain as day that he was hiding something. But of course, getting him to admit to anything was a different thing altogether. And it certainly seemed like that would not be happening.
Count Valos As Morrighan moves towards him, he moves away, almost stumbling over a crate, at which point a crumpled up piece of paper falls from his pocket, whereby it bumps against the she-elf's foot. Not realizing it initially, because he's so disconcerted with the bombardment of accusations coming from Morrighan's end, he tries to attend to her speculative suppositions as they roll off her tongue, "......I can not be held accountable for the level of incompetence that is inherent to the nature of the minds of the people who observe my behaviors. Humans are paranoid, gossipy, presumptuous creatures and although as of /yet/ it may seem that there is no way our actions could be interpreted as having any level of intimacy, I see no /harm/ in taking precautionary measu...." it's at this point that his eyes spy the crumpled up piece of paper on the ground, which interrupts his train of thought as his eyes widen less than a hair, as a highly rudimentary sensation of worry germinates within his system.

"My apologies...." he then steps forward to reach down for the piece of paper, which is actually closer to Morrighan at this point than Gidarch himself, and thus easier for her to grab hold of if she feels the impulse to do so. Now, if she's considerate, she might simply pick it up and hand it to him without question, but if she's the curious type, looking to seize an opportunity at any particularly convenient juncture, such as the one stated, she might elect to also scan the thing quickly before returning it to Valos; she could also plausibly debate, as well, that since it touched her last, its her property, but that would be a petty excuse for justifying her eavesdropping into the grey one's affairs. Whatever the case, Gidarch's intent to conceal its contents is fairly obvious, in light of how he allowed a simple piece of paper, which someone might not ordinarily care about losing, to be so impactful as to cause him to lose his train of thought and to reclaim it, "....Littering is a misdemeanor. Perhaps I should just dispose of this, thus allowing us to be on our way....." He says, as he reaches towards Morrighan's foot, where the crumpled ball of papyrus has come to a stop.
Morrighan Alazne "Hmph..." Stopping then, Morrighan just crossed her arms, leveling something between a pout and a glare at Valos. "So because of that, you will just circumvent the entire possibility by avoiding me? Are you that afraid of such an assumption that you would go to such lengths?" She shook her head then, causing long hair to go tumbling behind her.

"That is the saddest excuse I have heard in a long time." And needless to say, she was not impressed. It was at this time that the debate was paused due to a scrap of...paper? "Hm?" She hummed curiously, stepping back as Valos had reached for it. The hue of the paper was familiar, but otherwise, she did not bother to try to reach for it herself.

"...Right. Let us be off then." The dark elf spoke plainly, turning away from the appointed companion and heading deeper into the market. "I suppose food should be last due it's perishable nature, so we shall go for the spare cloth first." Interesting that she specified cloth and not premade clothes. Maybe she made her own. ...Did she make her dress? That would have been something.

With that though, she slowed down to a stop at some merchant stands selling those exact wares, beginning to browse curiously.
Count Valos Valos crosses his arms over his chest when Morrighan claims that he's come up with the most pathetic excuse she's heard in a long time, to which he offers a riposte, "If you believe that is a sad excuse, then you have evidently not spent enough time around humans. The things I have heard from them are beyond preposterous, only being paralleled by their proclivity towards deception; Miss Alazne, I advise you strongly to keep your wits about you for the duration of your stay in Mullonde, for if you fathom that I am prone towards bombarding you with rubbish, you have yet to see what this venue truly has to offer." Although, he doesn't specify who in the city he's referring to- he could be speaking of his superiors just as well as the private citizens, but deliberately, clarification was devoid for fear of being labeled a traitor, and if asked, he'll probably lean towards implicating the average folk as beguilers. With the piece of paper back in his pocket, Gidarch makes a mental note to discard it as soon as he finds an appropriate trash unit, so that it doesn't end up in somebody's hands- if he can lessen the amount of advertising of the bounty on Morrighan's head, that increases her odds of survival, and unbeknownst to her, the parchment was a wanted poster with her name on it!

At least she had the decency not to snoop into his business, but eventually, he worried she might find out the truth..... with luck, perhaps for some time to come. As they came to a merchant who was selling fabrics, Gidarch rubbed his chin thoughtfully, "By the by, my good man..... This happens to be Miss Morrighan Alazne, who is currently Glabados' premiere sorceress, versed in the lore of shadowy divinations. I shall not assume, of course, that you are trying to pawn off snake-oil to the common folk, but I should like to encourage you to bring forth your best material for this fine specimen of wizardry, if you have any in storage. The church is charitable to those who show loyalty to their liege, and surely you can understand the need for someone of such sophistication as Miss Alazne, to require the finest of fibers to convey to the populace her standing within the hierarchy of this most illustrious establishment..... yes?" Basically, a nice way of telling him that Morrighan was a snob, but deservedly so, because of her undeniable substantiality, and that if she was getting a second-rate product, that the ranking authorities would hear of it.

The bishop /did/ say that Morrighan was to be coddled, and so Gidarch is sparing no expense in making certain she gets access to the paramount quality in the city. With the nod of a head, the man uses his index finger to beckon them to come to the back, and the grey elf nods, extending a hand so that Morrighan can precede him; assuming she does move into the shop, which is a bit cramped for someone of Valos' size, she'll be exposed to a few extremely choice types of material and thread that can be used to make clothes with- not to mention, there are some nice pinking shears instead of just ordinary scissors, and a few other random articles for the more advanced seamstress, or tailor.
Morrighan Alazne "I am certain that will be the case now. But until then, you have earned yourself the top position in my recent memory. Congratulations." Morrighan replied back with a faint tone of sarcasm to be found. But she did not spare any further glances his way, proceeding to examine the various fabrics and rolls of cloth on display.

"This design is nice...perhaps not to my tastes though...Ah, this one is good. I believe I will take this one as well. This too~" It seemed like the elven mage was off in her own little world of shopping, but her ears did perk up once Valos began speaking with the stall owner. Compliments on top of compliments drew a smile onto her face. But she was not stupid; she had lived long enough to be able to read between the lines of such words. And maybe she would have been insulted at the (totally true)implication.

But not today. She had already gotten her fill of nonsense this day. There was no way she would stand for more.

The owner of course just nodded his assent to the tall elf's introduction and request, heading back to bring out some of the more finer goods he had in stock. Morrighan meanwhile began to speak again, apparently addressing Valos. "So, do tell me. Why are you in the employ of this organization of righteous zealots and fools, hm?"
Count Valos Nodding without any sign of discontent at being classified as having attained the apex position of clowns in Morrighan's totem pole of fools, Gidarch simply acknowledges the fact and heads inside with her. Apparently, he was not so egotistical as to believe he was 'entitled' to praise from others, or mayhap he was so indifferent to how others viewed him that he didn't mind one way or another if they loved or hated him; in his own mind, his objective was not to be rewarded by the she-elf, he had no interest in receiving anything beneficial from her.... the only thing he wanted to do was give, without the expectation of anything in return, because he did, indeed, like her. Yet, because he didn't hope for reciprocation, he had no partiality towards trying to change her mind about him, or to control her thoughts; he merely offered information when asked, and let her deduce what she would- this was hardly the principles on which Glabados existed, but the church was in actuality, anything but altruistic.

As Morrighan peruses the store, plucking at things, appraising their value as far as what she could do with the exquisite finery that was allotted, Gidarch's typically flat-lipped expression softened some, becoming more congenial, mildly.... not enough for the merchant to notice, because he wasn't an expert in pinpointing small details; the grey one also knew Morrighan wasn't paying him any heed, so he allowed this expressiveness to escape his normally inhibited manner of depicting his feelings, or lack thereof. Gasping a little bit at Morrighan's comment on the organization's righteous zealots and fools, Gidarch thinks about how to circumnavigate her words so that he's not validating her condescending judgement of their attitudes, while simultaneously trying to bequeath an answer, so as not to be completely rude to her by utterly disregarding her words. No, he's not one to humor others' inquisitive antics, but Morrighan is not just one of the 'others', and so he decides to show a bit of charity by imparting some bonus information, "This establishment offers me sufficient monetary compensation that allows me to secure the items I need to help me with my regular maintenance. Being made of stone means that without softening-agents, I have a tendency to harden up if I do not..... tend to my disability. Additionally, this organization, whether composed of intellects or luddites, about whom I will not confirm or deny my personal perceptions therein, has privileged me with the opportunity to protect persons whose identities shall remain anonymous, who I feel would be of service to the world in general, with myself eventually benefiting in subsequence, through the mere continuation of their existence..... Some people, in this world, I believe, have great potential that has yet to be yoked, and once done, will incite the invocation of profitable changes in an isometric, macrocosmic manner."

He nods, thinking this an adequate explanation. The seller just looks at Gidarch oddly because he's not a learned fellow, most likely barely able to read or write, but shrugs it off and produces from an ornate chest farther back, some marvelous fabric that he hopes Morrighan might take a liking to- "This.... is Blue Dragon Cashmere.... it is mainly silk, but with chemical treatments from the extract of blue dragons.... In my world of origin, this stuff was only to be found in the rarest of places, and was often hoarded by bandits in Midlight's Deep, a terrifying place where the bravest of souls would only dare traverse on their best of days." He nods, smiling at her, hoping she'll show approval for it, and then, as if to try to add to the pitch, he calls out, "Lord Valos, I must say.... I think this would look absolutely stunning on Miss Alazne. I beg to claim that she is most probably the most radiant individual who has ever accompanied you to the market, that I have seen!" Not thinking entirely about what the merchant is saying, Gidarch begins to answer, "Indeed. She is quite ra-...." but he catches himself as he begins to stumble over his words, before he continues, ".....spectable, as far as my attendees have gone thus far." Rubbing his forehead, feeling a little uncomfortable at what almost became, in his view, a grievous error, he remarks, "I am going to wait outside. You two can.... do whatever it is that..... sociable people do. Casual conversation is not my forte....."

No, he'd probably still be willing to hold a conversation with Morrighan if she asked him more questions, in a few minutes, but with that Chatty-Cathy doll of a merchant present, the grey elf didn't want to keep talking, lest he elaborate on something best left secret; plus, that ordeal with Morrighan's interrogation was quite a strain on his psyche, and he needed to regain some composure in the event that she inundated him with more questions for the rest of the trip..... who knows what might slip out if he doesn't enhance his calm!
Morrighan Alazne Listening to Valos' explanation, Morrighan resumed browsing the store at her leisure, already having taken several rolls of cloth to the couter to be processed once she was finished before moving back to browsing for more. All the while, she listened. Which was not a hard task, considering her ears. They were much more adept at picking up sound due to their basic nature.

"I see...That is a rather curious condition." She mused aloud, examining a roll of cloth that seemed to bear a tribal sort of pattern. "I do not believe those of our race, even any subspecies have such an affliction naturally..." That said, Morrighan placed the roll of cloth back to where it had been and glanced over at him, smiling in a somewhat mischievous manner. "But perhaps it can be put to good use. ...You would last much longer if certain parts of you were petrified during certain activities, ehehe~" Bringing a hand to her mouth, the elven woman looked away, giggling to herself in amusement at her own little joke.

...What was she talking about again?

Nevertheless the moment passed and once the merchant brought out a more ornate chest, she approached, appraising the goods presented. "Oooh...this is interesting..." She said lightly, running a finger along the fabric presented, nodding along to the story. Though not stupid, the salesman's attempt to hook her in with compliments did draw a smile from her.

Ah, vanity.

However, Valos' near slip up caused Morrighan to glance in his direction with a curious gaze. Did he almost just say...hmn, no it wouldn't be good to make assumptions. But it was too late. They were already beginning to take form in her mind. "...I believe I will purchase this fabric. Along with all the others I have placed here."

With that, her choices were tallied up and the transaction was completed. Once done, the dark elf came sauntering out of the store with an arm full of cloth rolls. And without missing a beat, she shoved them all into Gidarch's, leaving him to carry them. "We are finished here. On to the next task~" Saying that, she began marching off again, but glanced behind herself at her companion.

"I must ask however; what was that before? You seemed to hesitate about something."
Count Valos When Morrighan made her snarky comment about being petrified during certain activities, Gidarch adorned his habitual look of mild discomfort, but didn't acknowledge that particular remark, instead, choosing to bypass it in favor of her other statements, "If you do not believe that my condition is inherent to the drow.... then I would kindly suggest that you should consider your intuition a merit-worthy one, for you would be correct in this speculation of yours." The merchant, more than delighted that Morrighan has taken such a shining to his wares, is all too grateful for what the grey elf had done in persuading him to show them the finer products in the vendor's possession. Morrighan didn't have to pay for anything, obviously- the tab would be on Glabados, but a paper-trail was necessary, so there were still receipts to be granted, as goes the ritual with humanoids in the bartering industry.

When Morrighan emerges from the doorway of the shop, Gidarch can't help but feel the movement of something above him, which radiates an electromagnetic pulse of some sort. A satellite? When she plops her belongings in his arms, Count Valos is momentarily too busy staring upward at a strange orb which has caught his eye.... or ear, which prevents him from offering the she-elf the immediacy she might've liked, in being a recipient of answers to her query, but it isn't long before the grey one refocuses on the task at hand, and glances over at her, "What was -what-, before? You have to be a little more precise, if you wish for me to offer an applicable response, I could very well be answering a question you did not ask. I have hesitated many moments in my life, regarding many things, so process of elimination would be optimal... yes?" It seems clear he's either trying to pretend like he has no idea what she's talking about, or that he's hoping he can stomp out her enthusiasm by making her slog through his mandated protocols for distributing data, by refusing to immediately bequeath what she seeks; it is a rational question, but that's only if he's so dense that he can feign ignorance to the object of her curiosities- and unless she's a true telepath, she can't certifiably confirm that he's playing dumb.

Looks like she's going to have to play twenty questions to get some answers..... Twenty questions of a set of twenty, that is. The Count is not simple. As if to do a little prying of his own, he jerks his head up towards the sky and denotes, "There is a device that has been following us. I felt it faintly for a greater fraction of our excursion, but now I took a visual accounting; is that..... some sort of pet?"
Morrighan Alazne Morrighan narrowed her eyes at Valos' response. She knew that he was not an idiot and he was not fooling her with his torrent of words. He was avoiding the matter at hand again. Well, two can play that game now. "Device? What device?" She asked, shrugging her shoulders airily at the question. In the meantime, the floating eye drifted out of sight, likely by some mental command from it's host.

She looked upwards at his pointing, putting on a show of not being able to see what he was speaking of. "I see no such thing. Are your eyes malfunctioning?" Now it was she who was dodging questions. "Perhaps you require some rest now, hmn~?" The eye made a point of staying out of sight now, lagging behind to dull his ability to sense it, but stay just within enough range to prickle his senses and attempt to irritate him.

Morrighan meanwhile hummed a happy little tune to herself as she played this little game, coming to a stop at another merchant's stall, browsing some magical crystals and trinkets...
Count Valos The Count didn't know Morrighan was giving him a taste of his own medicine, but he /suspected/ that she was purposely being non-cooperative, for whatever reason. Her excuse for not taking sight of the contraption is a convenient one; as soon as she casts her gaze in its former direction, it had already moved away. Since Gidarch had no respect for property that nobody had seemingly claimed, he adorned the most subdued smirk he could place on his mouth, which even Morrighan would've had to strain to recognize, so that he could falsify his ignorance to anything 'tragic' that might be pinned on him. "You know, I can not help but wonder if you are right. I might need some reprieve in the near future, my mind is seemingly experiencing difficulty focusing properly, I might even be prone to channeling my physical and magical energies improperly.... That would indeed be a bad thing; nay, I shall not hamper our quest, I am duty-bound to be your humble servant, and I refuse to flail in that pursuit!"

Of course, since Morrighan doesn't quite maneuver her little 'toy' out of Gidarch's range of detection, he squints a little bit, concentrating on its location to the best of his ability, just as one does when trying to read something if their ocular acuity isn't quite sufficient independent of extra aid. Being just close enough to be 'felt', that means it could be 'touched', and for a man with supreme command over metals and minerals in particular, albeit less so over other elementals, he attempts to grasp the thing's outer shell, and yank at it. Now, the electromagnetic force that attempts to engulf the thing may miss its target initially, but his ability to detect metal was vast, and he'd follow the thing. Ultimately, if he did get ahold of it, he'd attempt to warp the metal, expanding it to tear free of its bindings.

The core was not something Gidarch could latch onto so well, but the metallic parts he could feel quite well, and intended to uncompress the thing until its husk buckled- this would undoubtedly take a few minutes to do, given how far away it was..... but surely, Morrighan would be able to sense its structural integrity diminish as Gidarch's raw magnetic power pulled outward at the thing, like a tug of war, but from all sides, while Morrighan would, if she was smart, try to perform the reverse by creating an implosive effect. The question was, which one of them had more influence over it- the one who was the master of magic, or the one who was the master of metallic matter? That was yet to be seen. One thing is transparent- Count Valos is not simply trying to force it into Morrighan's line of vision, he's endeavoring to outright destroy the object of his taunting! All the while, the grey drow forged a seemingly indifferent attitude towards Morrighan's antics, while this incognito war was inevitably to erupt, once Gidarch got hold of the floaty thing! As she hummed a tune, he winced slightly- but it was barely audible.... enough that he still 'potentially' had the ability to detonate it, if it was to come closer. Gidarch may be the owner of a lonely heart- but if Morrighan isn't crafty enough, she'll be the owner of a broken heart, if she ends up becoming the owner of a broken satellite!
Morrighan Alazne Morrighan could definitely feel her floating eye being pulled at, but she didn't seem to mind any. The things were pitifully easy to reconstruct after all. Rather than resist, the dark elf simply issued a simple mental command.


At that, the metal casing surrounding the orb cleaning broke apart. Two halves of metal casing were likely being destroyed at this moment, but the crystal core, which was the entirety of the device's power and function remained. Resisting the effects of Valo's manipulation by the mere virtue of not being a metal, it floated out of sensory range, perhaps to lead the grey elf that he had succeeded in destroying it, when it simply resumed it's surveillance duties elsewhere.

Meanwhile, Morrighan ceased her humming as she continued to browse. She then picked up an ornamental dagger, examining it seemingly further than just what was on the surface. Deeming it to be acceptable, by whatever sort of criteria she had set. The piece was set to be purchased, along with an array of jewels, likely not for mundane accessorizing if her usual motives and magical background were any sort of indication.

Putting the items on the Church's tab, she had them bagged and then they were on their way again. "Are you having fun there?" She asked rather cryptically as she proceeded down the street. "In any case, it is time for the last task."
Count Valos The machine dispersed, and Gidarch decided that he had no further interest in whatever parts remained.... yes, he also had influence over minerals, but more so over metal, and beyond that, the grey one had no idea that the miniature craft was even functional without the metal covering. Continuing on, satisfied that he wouldn't have to deal with the mechanism following him around, he had little problem lugging the materials around with his considerable strength, so nearly anything Morrighan piled on him would've been an afterthought, if said articles weren't a parking-lot worth of cars- that would've been quite beyond his scope! The cessation of humming on Morrighan's part is inwardly met with joy, for Count Valos, because he was already having problems dealing with the sounds of the market-place as it were.... but musical numbers were simply atrocious, especially when he's trying to do his job properly.

When she asks Gidarch if he's having fun, he responds, "I fail to see the point of your question. My happiness has no bearing on whether or not I plan to fulfill my obligations. But, hopefully your last task will be a quick one, so that you are not delayed in whatever else you had planned for this day. I can only imagine the church has already assigned you some type of 'homework', and that is undoubtedly being delayed by this little exodus. The more productive you are, the more you will be rewarded, and the more you will be....." he almost says 'safe', in light of the fact that as a verified asset to the church, they'd do what was within whatever power they had to assure her health, but that would've been a 'personal' comment, since her welfare is hardly Valos' business, right?....

Thus, he takes a slight detour, "....experienced in your chosen discipline of arcana, which would be beneficial if our city came under siege." There we go, now it's not about Gidarch, or Morrighan, it's about the 'community'! Count Valos, the paragon of virtue, is in the flesh,.... for all the city-dwellers to admire and emulate, as he walks by!
Morrighan Alazne With the core of the eye having floated off to survey some other part of the city, the fun was mostly over. Morrighan made her way through the streets meanwhile, passing by various storefronts until she had arrived at an establishment for food. "Here we are." She announced, stepping inside and immediately heading off to peruse the goods within.

Valos' ensuing speech meanwhile was met with a roll of the eyes and a sigh. Must this man always say so much in response to such simple queries? She was not stupid, but even she could feel herself growing weary with each one her ears were subjected to! "You fail to see the point of many things apparently." The elven woman mumbled in monotone as she passed through the aisles, not thinking too hard about what she was getting, but rather, just piling various vegetables and meats into the grey elf's arms and whatever stray bags he had available. There was certainly more meat than anything else however. Likely a testament to her racial origins. As she had told a certain phantom thief some time ago, she did enjoy her meat bloody...

"What do you do with your spare time anyhow? I realize now that I know absolutely nothing about you other than a few scant details." Morrighan glanced briefly back at the man behind her upon asking that before she turned back ahead and continued piling on the goods. "You do not seem like to kind of man that partakes in recreational activities. But I would ope to think that I am wrong and that you are more than simply a statue that carries out his duties now."
Count Valos It was possible Gidarch failed to see the point of numerous things; it was also possible he chose to believe that the points others were often trying to make had little to no credit, thus sidestepping many questions directed at him that he inevitably reveres as pointless. "That may be apparent", he simply states, when Morrighan accuses him of failure. On the other hand, considering that he declared it to be 'apparent', without confirming its authentication, meant that what was obvious might've been untrue- nevertheless, the grey elf wasn't the type who gave answers easily. He was, for the most part, a man who spoke in half-truths, and uncertainties, leaving people to their own devices, as far as guessing what his ambitions were in life. He does take notice of the heavy quantity of meat being selected by Morrighan, and counters with an observation of his own, as far as her behaviors, "I see protein is of import to you." However, his remark has no emotional connotation- positive or negative, he simply acknowledges something that's already evident.

On his own end, he's doing it to find out once and for all what her excuse is for desiring so much sinew, without actually being so bold as to interrogate her- focusing on her palate seems hardly a significant enough thing to be fascinated over, though, one might think! If Gidarch -is- logical, though..... he's searching for something... /what/ he's searching for by making this remark is for certain, a mystery to the she-elf. When Morrighan asks him about his spare time, Count Valos ponders how to reply earnestly, "Recreation and responsibility are synchronized." He nods, and elaborates, "One can hazard a guess that in the case of most sapient organisms, the primary two directives are both quality of life, and quantity of life. An absence of quality of life leaves a sapient entity devoid of purpose by which to justify any degree of quantity inherent to their existence, wherein an absence of quantity of life provides no lapse of time in which there can be experienced even the piteous degree of quality plausible." Morrighan is probably now wishing she hadn't asked the question, as she can no doubt sense that Gidarch is about to go on a lengthy spiel, likely occupying the majority of what remaining time is left that they have together that'll involve the grey elf having to carry out his duties, "With this in mind, one uses quantity to seek quality, and quality encourages the beseeching of quantity, since quality gives sufficient value to the quantity to make said quality persistent; those who are capable of experiencing the sensation of pleasure desire more of it, because it is always fleeting, but to do this, one needs to ensure they will continue to exist in order to reach this goal."

He'd raise his finger like some sort of a philosopher, to punctuate his upcoming conclusion, if he were not carrying around Morrighan's belongings for her, but she can probably feel Gidarch's pride, even without the physical motion, "Now, to finalize what I wish to stress, I am going to be audacious by assuming you agree on my earlier arguments." He nods, "To achieve a most ideal state of equilibrium, one must somehow unify these two goals in order to guarantee that what labors one infuses into one goal does not contradict the attainment of their other investment. Now, let us take a little scenario here. A person is assigned the task of scrubbing a floor, and does so with a disgruntled attitude, thus making the chore at hand even more tedious; their motive is to secure funds to sustain their being, and they know in advance that the monetary compensation is paltry. On the other hand, another entity is self-employed and assigned to the task, by his own decree, of investing in stocks, to secure a living.... and he does so enthusiastically, because he believes he will be rewarded thoroughly for his efforts."
Count Valos The Count continues to ramble, "In the end, the man investing in stocks may witness the stock market crash completely and become bankrupt, thus all the positive energy he generated was based on a prediction that had not yet come to pass, and though he faces disappointment later on, the fact that he didn't know in advance he would fail gave him the enthusiasm that had been inside of himself all along, to generate feelings of pleasure, which he perceived as being dependent on the external environment. By the same token, the floor-scrubber goes home and finds out he has won the lottery, and the entire day he had spent at his workplace was spent in anguish because he predicted an insubstantial consequence of his actions, which were far surpassed by the time he reached home. Had he known in advance that he was to win the lottery that day, but to do so he was not allowed to tamper with fate by leaving work early, he would have stayed, and scrubbed, but done so with a positive attitude, instead of a negative one, because he too, was dependent on the external to bring him contentedness."

Gidarch shrugs, "In both cases, these fools were under the impression that their perceived, 'alleged' inevitable pain, or pleasure, were caused by their environment. To a degree, the external can feasibly influence the internal, but that is not even necessarily incontrovertible in all cases, either, which I could also prove to you, if I felt inclined." He looks over to Morrighan, "Now then. With this in mind, I feel that to fuse the prerequisites of both quantity and quality is to nullify the dichotomization intrinsic to diversifying one's conduits through which they achieve both, or either of these goals. Therefore, Miss Alazne, existing is recreational, for me..... and recreation gives cause for existence." It's a logical argument, but perhaps not the kind of lifestyle characteristic of most people who are indulgent in frivolity, and luxury; obviously, his desires do not align with her's, at all, since she enjoys being spoiled, and Gidarch enjoys working.
Count Valos Not unless she convinces him to become her personal slave, and serve her every whim! Then.... they might be compatible!
Morrighan Alazne Morrighan of course could feel a headache coming on with the veritable onslaught of words being thrown at her. His comment regarding the amount of meat she had been collecting. Perhaps some bread would do as well. Oh and some spices. Those were always necessary. Meanwhile, she listened to the grey elf go on and on and on, mentally taking what was saying and condensing it into much shorter statements.

"So basically, what you mean to say is that your very existence serves to be recreational. And that by existing, you are already participating in recreation? How...." She trailed off, having slowed down her walk to glance at him momentarily. "...Interesting." She seemed to be honest about that. "I do not believe that I have ever met someone quite like you before. How utterly unique."

That said, the dark elf moved along, heading to counter up front to have her items tabbed onto the church's behalf. Whether or not her last statement was a good thing or not, she did not indicate such. She could see that he seemed to be quite proud of what he was doing. That was the most enthusiasm she had seem from the man ever. Yet still it was not much.

"In any case, I do believe we have finished our business overall." The elven woman spoke lightly as she headed back out into the city streets. "Let us head back."
Count Valos A slight feeling of rejoicing wells up in Gidarch upon receiving the 'good' news that she's called him unique. Perhaps it's his own desire to be considered valuable in Morrighan's eyes that causes him to interpret her words this way, but rather than take it as a bad thing, he keeps a more optimistic view on her words. Despite all that, he doesn't let this go to his head; he remains steadfast to his duty to assist her in bringing her acquisitions back to her new residence, where the workers can still be seen to be plying their trade- as Count Valos had predicted, their subpar ability to perform their job had resulted in them not completing everything upon Morrighan's return, which was sure to earn at least a little spite.

The one worker with a foul attitude had actually become more even-tempered for the duration of the elves' absence, but with the return of the she-drow, who was plain to see, this fellow instantly regained his frown, anticipating that he'd get a tongue-lashing from the pompous princess. Upon reaching her domicile, the grey elf drops off Morrighan's stuff inside of her house at the front; since the workers are still around, they can no doubt be instructed where to relocate her newly obtained amenities, because Gidarch's services are probably better spent doing less menial tasks, since he was probably over-qualified for the job of helping Morrighan shop for groceries. As he prepares to depart, he bows to Morrighan, "Good day, Miss Alazne." He folds his arms across his chest, though, hesitating to leave as she might've expected him to be overly-eager to do, at which point he remarks, "Your meaning was clear, earlier, when you asked your question. The reason why I have been maintaining a polarized position from your own is for the explicit cause of ensuring that I do not allow myself to become personally invested in you. You have stated that you feel I am, in your opinion..... unique." He nods, "The fact is, in my opinion, you share this quality. Your physical appearance and your manner is..... distracting to me. It evokes carnal instincts inside of me that I had assumed I had banished long ago, instincts that lead me into cognitions that are tangential to my being able to maintain a strictly professional demeanor."

The Count then rubs the back of his head, uncomfortably "I do not like the fact that I experience these types of lustful sensations when I am in your presence- it prevents me from being able to think with pure clarity. I apologize for having caused you alarm by my lack of proximity to your person on these numerous occasions, but I feel that giving you a wide berth is the best way for me to counter these..... temptations. Now..... by your command, I shall be on my way, Miss Alazne?" Well.... there's a shocker- or maybe not. But, while he finally did break down and confess, the fact remains that even when he didn't reveal the whole truth, he didn't actually state anything completely contrary to the reality- so, coy he may be.... but at least honesty is still in his repertoire!
Morrighan Alazne Of course Morrighan could see just how imcompetent the laborers sent from the church were being long before they had arrived. A single floating orb observed their activities from above withing a certain vantage point. Their complaints, jollying about, and wasting of time were all aptly noted by the arrogant elf. And upon arriving in the flesh, Morrighan had given several of them looks that suggested that they were in for quite a tongue lashing later. Several groans of resignation reached her ears, They likely would have been audible only to themselves at that distance, but her ears managed to pick them up regardless.

Moving into her residence, she watched as Valos deposited the goods before moving back outside. Deciding to stay out of the way of the workers currently struggling with some large portrait, the dark elf headed outside after her companion. "And good day to you as well." She nodded slightly in turn, resting her hands on her hips and watching as he bowed. Now why did he do that?

The moment Valos began speaking about what had happened earlier, she blinked, raising an eyebrow. But she did not comment on it just yet. So...all this time, he was avoiding her simply because she was...attractive to him? Was that it? This confused her, causing Morrighan to tilt her head slightly. The action caused her long hair to sway a bit behind herself. "...Is that so?" She asked lightly, bringing a hand to her chin, looking thoughtful for a moment.

"I understand your sentiment, being who you are now. However, I must ask..." She took a step forward then, staring up at her much taller counterpart. "Is it really so bad? To think with less than optimal clarity even for just a bit?" The elven woman smiled wryly then, her hands returning to her hips. "On the contrary, I wonder...would you not feel better if you gave in rather than fought it now? After all, the more you fight it, the stronger it becomes, no?"

Seemingly not embarrassed by any of this, Morrighan looked away, bringing a hand to her mouth as giggled. "You have a strong will, but I wonder how long you can last?"
Count Valos The laborers were all restless, now that Morrighan had come back to her place, for they knew that soon Gidarch would be gone, and anyone who might have interceded on their part was said grey elf, since his mind was filled to the brim with the need to polish arguments he believed to bear hideous imperfections in them. As Morighan's hair sways in back of her, and she stepped forward, closing the distance some between them, Gidarch's grey face gained a very subtle tinge of crimson- barely visible, but enough for the she-drow to see, since she'd noticed it when they first met, during the moment in which she touched his hand physically.

When she claims that it might be better to embrace than resist, the red hue deepens by just a hair in analogous magnitude, at which point his voice becomes a little jittery, nervous, "I... can... not act in your best interest if...." He trembles slightly, as he tries to enforce cohesiveness in his words, ".....if... I... I..." He pauses again, pondering inwardly the prospect that it -might- be possible for there to be an interpersonal dynamic between them, given that she didn't instantly reject him; but he still clings to what professionalism remains in his psychological composure, "....if I am.... unable to use rationale to guide.... my actions. I might behave selfishly, and at your expense, if I were to ever make an imposition on your person, for.... my own benefit." Which certainly would be inappropriate, in his mind- to take advantage of her, for his own sake? Gidarch genuinely had an interest in her welfare, possibly more than any of her other allies in the past, whether they offered flowers, flattery, or otherwise. All those people who came before things asked things /from/ her, they gave with the expectation of reciprocation.

They wanted something back.

They wanted her to give them something for their efforts; while on the contrary, all Gidarch wanted to do was give, without desire to receive. And this is because he valued her- he didn't value how she felt about him, he valued how she felt, universally, and felt that for /her/ sake, it was best he not put her in a difficult position. "Your confidence in my willpower, is,.... quite... gracious of you to offer, voluntarily. But I must depart now, Miss Alazne. As I remain in your presence, it is...." he cuts himself off, and turns promptly, without finishing his sentiment, his back turned to her utterly, "I have to go now. I will inform the officials that all your needs have been met. Good day to you."
Morrighan Alazne Morrighan just watched as Valos stammered and turned a tad red at her querie. Oh this was amusing. "Well then, if you insist. This was a one time offer however. You will not see me offer to...alleviate your concerns in the future~"

She offered the departing grey elf a flutter of her hand as a farewell before turning away, her good cheer immediately evaporating. The workers left behind could feel dread welling up in side as Morrighan began to approach, her hands resting on her hips. "Now then, you all and I have some...talking to do."

The day couldn't get any worse for those men than it was going to get now.

Or maybe it would.

This scene contained 27 poses. The players who were present were: Morrighan Alazne, Count Valos