OOC: This is my first IC post for Lost. It came to me the other day. I’m considering trying to make a Token based on the one in the next post, but only because the Token made itself known to me as a natural part of the story, rather than my making up a story to justify a magical item. This is based on the discussion that Jake and I had about our characters meeting.

IC:

I knew that Lady de LaGlace’s friend was Roman in his aspect and was pleased by his little gladiator arena, but did he have to make his mock-Tiber smell so God-awful?

I wrinkled my nose a little as we passed through the gates of the arena. The other patrons, Gentry and Changeling alike, kicked up fine red dirt as they walked, dimming the vision of anyone not born in Faerie and making it nearly impossible to breathe. I mentally checked with the Air to make sure that I was still being considered for breathing and boldly threatening a Breach of Contract if a breeze didn’t blow by soon to clear things out.

“How dare you threaten me! My Contract is with your masters, not a pitiful slave like you.” The Air sounded haughty, elevated, and aloft. Much like Air might be expected to sound.

“That’s ‘pet,’ not ‘slave.’ And I’m sure you know how Lady de LaGlace would feel about her precious pet being unable to stop coughing in public. Just give us a small breeze, huh?” Combinations of threats and proper requests usually worked, as well as strict interpretations of clauses. Air had to put on a brave face, but it realized as well as I that if the Gentry had to call on it to clear the dust, it risked so much more. Soon a brisk wind blew past the arena, snapping banners loudly and, if you listened very carefully, grumbling ever so slightly. I smiled and fingered the crystal coin in my pocket as my step lightened just a bit.

The breeze did little to alleviate the heat that bleached the sand in the pits almost white with it’s intensity. I considered asking to lighten up at that too, but was sure the Keeper of this place wouldn’t let it slide, and I had pushed my luck with the elements enough today. Best to wait for when I really need to throw my weight around.

“Violet! There you are. I had worried that you wouldn’t be able to make the festivities.” Marcus Julius Draconis stood from his throne in one of the boxes of the arena. His toga, draped over him in a malevolent purple, only served to emphasize his huge arms and chest, and I wondered if he had actually accomplished something to wear the laurels on his head, or if he were simply mimicking the mortal Rome like so much else in this farce of a world.

Lady Violet de LaGlace, on the other hand, made no attempt to blend with Marcus’s world. Even her “Roman styled” gown was plainly made to mock Marcus’s fixation with Earth’s ancient Rome, cut with haughtiness and looking elegantly baggy, as if to say, “Didn’t women look frumpy then? I can’t, you understand, but I tried so very hard to be plain for you.” The effect wasn’t lost on Draconis, who’s false smile dropped the moment he turned and saw us. Lady de LaGlace took her seat next to Marcus and gave my chain two sharp tugs downward, indicating that she wanted me to kneel by her side next to the pseudo-Roman lord.

“Marcus, I’m sure you remember my pet, Bandabras.” I felt my head turn, almost of its own volition, to stare at Marcus. He put his hand out above my head, and I swallowed the humiliation as I knew what would come next. “Say hello to Marcus, pet.” I lifted myself slightly on my knees and rubbed my head against Marcus’s hand, essentially doing the work for him to pet me. As always when Lady de LaGlace made me do this, I considered biting the hand, then immediately decided against it.

“Marcus, my pet is trying to say hello. Why such a look of disgust?” The question was at once one of curiosity and chastisement. Only Lady de LaGlace could get away with rebutting another Gentry in their own home.

“It’s nothing. I just can’t abide animals that serve no purpose. Give me a hunting beast or a guard creature, or something with some fight in it. These passive pets of yours are useless.” He took his hand back and I felt my head release again so I could turn an adoring look on my Lady. She didn’t have a heart, per se, but it amused her when I was intentionally cute, so it softened her attitude toward me.

“My pet is far from useless, Marcus. He entertains me.” She stroked my hair and pulled once again on my chain, allowing me to lay out on a cushion at her feet. I looked out on the arena, knowing that no gladiator battles would be had today. No fantasy creatures would be pitted against Changelings, and no mechanical monstrosities unleashed on Marcus’s stable of stolen subjects. There was only one festivity today: the beating and breaking of one of Draconis’s slaves.

The crowd murmured amongst themselves. Most of the attendees were of the beautiful sort, their striking visages both amazing and terrible. So much perfection shouldn’t be contained in a face even resembling human. It’s unnatural. Sprinkled among them were goblin-creatures and troll-creatures, and some of the Gentry who’s appearance defied description, as if they were plucked from some fairy tale not yet written or forgotten for thousands of years. All eagerly awaited the day’s event.

Marcus Julius Draconis was no fool, and I could see him listening to the crowd, determining the precise moment when the crowd was most ripe for things to begin. I felt Lady de LaGlace grip my hair tightly as that moment came, and a few seconds later I heard trumpets blow from somewhere, though I couldn’t pinpoint the exact direction. Marcus had missed the moment, but only by a little while. A good beating always made up for a slight mis-step.

“Great beings of Arcadia,” Draconis started, trying to encompass everybody except for slaves like me. “Welcome to My arena. Tonight, you will see a very special event. One of My gladiators believed he might lead the others to rise up against Me, and foolishly thought to escape back to his dull world. But, he forgot that his Master knows all, and would keep him here in paradise to fight for the amusement of all of Our kind rather than return to the fallen world that the blessed Thorns hide from Our sight so We need not look upon it.” He paused for effect, letting the glory of Arcadia and the ringing yet empty praise of all the Gentry sweep through the crowd. I knew they could all hear him as clearly as I, but I could also hear the whispering it had caused. What would Marcus do to this slave that raises so high the Fae?

“So, without further ado, I present to you tonight’s entertainment, Gaius Arctorus!”

OOC: Next part when I’m feeling less tired.

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