A Queen and a Lady

Sheriff's Estate - The Vault

When The Vault is quiet, it's deathly so. When there's visitors, it's rarely quiet, and when there's visitors with entourages, even less so. Four male vampires stand completely immobile around the room, while their Queen reclines gracefully on one of the couches. Delicately wiping a trickle of blood from one corner of her lips, Tanwen licks her finger clean, before smoothing down the cute little Summer dress that barely covers her modesty. Not bothering with jewellery today, she shoos away the youthful man who so gratefully offered his services with a waft of her hands. He is rapidly ushered out of the Vault, out of the estate in general, by one of her four retainers.

"Gregory, honestly. I need you to be more on the ball. I should have been made aware of the arrival of— "

Entering her home, the Sheriff of Area 9 eyes the entourage and the Queen. Immediately her conversation comes to an end. " — I will call you back later to get the details." The cellular phone is snapped shut, and tossed onto a nearby table. "Your Majesty," she offers with a curtsey, though she wears an adorable pantsuit with a corseted top. "Please forgive me for intruding on your dinner."

The finger, thoroughly licked, is flicked from her teeth with a gentle ticking sound. Then Tanwen's lips spread into a smile. "What did I tell you?" she wonders, admonishing and teasing at the same time. "Your house, your party. Did Valentinus infect you with his insufferable politeness? Come, sit." She pats the couch at her side in a delicate, feminine gesture.

"As you desire, your Majesty." Isobel moves through the Vault, taking a gentle seat at the woman's side. "It may be my house, though it is still remiss of me to interrupt a guest such as yourself." Once seated, the Sheriff is fairly unmoving. Her body extremely statuesque, expression set in stone to match it. "If it is possible to become infected by such, then it is quite likely the case." Before returning to her Maker, Isobel was a bit more loose in her demeanor.

"My name," says the elder vampire, with a amused look, "is Tanwen." She wafts a hand in the vague direction of the door. "I've another couple of handsome young things outside if you want a snack, sweety," she offers. Legs move, swinging the Queen of Iowa to an upright position, hands clasping into her lap as she studies the Sheriff. "Does he _ever_ let you relax? I shall have words with him about that, I promise you." Her smile broadens, though by her voice she's serious.

"As you wish, your Majesty." It will take more than that for Isobel to drop the formalities. "The offer is greatly appreciated, but I have filled myself already." No indication as to whether that was with True Blood or with a nice male companion of her own. "I am relaxed," the Sheriff offers with a small quirk of her lips. "As for the King keeping me busy, I do it by choice rather than command. I like to ensure my Area is running smoothly as possible."

"One more Majesty out of you, young lady," Tanwen says, mock-seriously, " and I will pout, and that's really not going to end well for anyone, is it? Political incident and all." Her smile waxes wicked, clearly and joyously abusing her position to tease the other vampire. "I must say, you seem to have a collection of well-behaved followers. Vinegar or honey?"

"That depends on who I am dealing with, your Highness." Isobel was careful not to use 'Majesty' again, though she has no doubt Tanwen will pout about it regardless. "Please forgive me, but I would simply feel awkward addressing you by your given name." The words 'Christian name' were on the tip of the Sheriff's tongue, but she has no doubt that Tanwen may be older than Christianity. "Some respond better to kind words and compassion. Others cannot be trusted either way."

Slowly, deliberately, Tanwen turns her head to look at Isobel, a distinct pout touching her lips. Suddenly, she laughs, a high and tinkling sound that fills the room with its good humour. "I'll allow you that, you smartass," she says, obviously not irritated in the slightest. "Why feel awkward? Good blood should be friendly with each other, and you're from one of the finest lines there is." Her head tilts, regarding her once more. "No power plays going on? Just say the word and the boys will give you a hand."

It is the first time that it will be seen, but Isobel has an amused smirk upon her face. "I am glad that I am able to amuse you with my demeanor," the Sheriff says, quickly masking her face again. "I do not know if I could agree with you on it being one of the finest lines," she says, her voice barely above a whisper. "Though I will concur that Valentine will see to it that the line is a glorious one." Power struggles are thankfully something she's not had to deal with as of yet. "None of which I am currently aware, unless I were to consider Darcy anything more than a nuisance. There was one some months back that would have proven to be a thorn in my side, but he seems to have taken himself out of my area." Which is a good thing, as the Sheriff would have had to kill him to keep him from hurting her sire.

"One black sheep does not a ruined line make," Tanwen tells Isobel, a little more seriously. "Your blood makes you destined for greatness, whether you choose to make it greatness for the shining path of light - his words, not mine - or the fell aspect of darkness." She reclines once more, stretches long and slender legs out in front of her, and reaching a hand to waft a stray line of hair from her eyes. "You know he tried to convince me once that he was the originator of the Valentine myths, in one of his more whimsical moods." Her expression lifts towards the conspiratorial, her smile wicked once more. "Ooh, who's the real thorn? I'm intrigued."

"Be that as it may, the only connection to the line I have are with Valentine and her." There is very little love there for her Maker's Maker. "Whether the blood will aid me in being great or not still remains to be seen." Isobel is doing her best not to give away too much information, having no idea where this woman's allegiances lie, or if she's simply attempt to gather more territory via a marriage. "Guy Tombes," she replies. "A highly annoying man who seems to think that the entire world should revolve around him. Perhaps close to me in age, though demanding the respect of someone the age of Isonzo or yourself."

Tanwen studies the women with a certain element of interest. "As I said, one black sheep," she repeats, with an arched brow - much more emotion than usual for an elder vampire. "Just remember your confidence, sweety- hrm, are you an Izzie or a Bel? I haven't decided yet." Beam. She ponders the name for a long moment, shaking her head. "Don't know the name. Besides, hasn't he realised that the world actually revolves around the beautiful women of vampire society?" Dry irony, though clearly designed as a compliment by her pointed look towards Isobel.

"I have, in the past, gone by Izzie." The 70's and 80's were a fun time. "Thank you for the undeserved compliment your — Tanwen." This time she reminds herself that the use of the name will likely please the Queen more than any further formality. "I shall take your word on the rest. I have no need to seek out my sire's grandsire or beyond to feel some sort of closure." Isobel is simply happy that what the vile woman said was untrue, and that Valentinus did not mean to lose her for so many years.

"Izzie," Tanwen repeats, as though commiting it to memory. "It works; brings out your femininity, which I'm sad to say might end up abandoning you surrounded by so many _males_." Eyes rolls in a mocking fashion, as she sits back up once more, now starting to regard Isobel in a much more serious fashion. "You're a strong woman, Izzie, and I like you. So just keep an eye on Valentinus, okay? He has a rough enough job holding onto himself at the best of times."

"I like men," Isobel replies with a chuckle. "I find it both infuriating and amusing how they think that I am a simple figurehead. Something to protect and admire, rather than fear." As to her being strong, she doesn't show any signs of it being a compliment or an insult. So perfectly trained, her mask, in the last few months. "Everything I do is for him," Isobel states. Even that which she does for herself is often for the King in some way. She is, in essence, his most loyal supporter. Of her own free will.

"Well I think we both _like_ men," Tanwen tells her, through another tinkling laugh. "They're so easy to twiddle around your finger, aren't they? Especially the old ones." Head tilts once more, and she smiles. "Not what I meant, and you know it. Just make sure he keeps himself in check, yes?"

"I do not really have a gift with twiddling men around my finger," Isobel remarks. "Were that the case, I would undoubtedly have more fun." Realizing she has been an awful hostess, she asks, "Would you like something further to drink? We do keep actual blood on the premises, even if it is not coming from a living, breathing host." A glance is given to the elder vampire, and she says, "He has someone that will help him in that regard if I cannot." No show of her own humanity. That is reserved for those such as her Maker and her Child. No one else.

"You'd be fantastic, if you would but try a little," says Tanwen, touching tongue to her lips and running it along; a full circle around the rosy colouring. "No more for me, thank you." She touches fingers to her stomach. "Have to watch my weight. Who's the girl?" she asks, narrowing her eyes in an interested stare. "I should have a chat with her before I go."

"She is his human," Isobel states with something of a gleam in her eye. "As to my being fantastic at it, I have neither the skill necessary, or the patience for mind games." Except when she does. "Except on occasion when it is necessary." Like recently. "While you are here, you must make yourself feel right at home." Though of course no killing, though that should be common sense. "If there is anything you require, or desire, I will be glad to make it available to you if it is within my power to."

"Excuse my French, sweety," says Tanwen, grinning, "but bullshit. You are clearly pretty enough, and clever enough with words to have any of these mere males dancing your tune. If you're not confident, I'll give you some lessons via video phone once I'm back home." She leans back once more into the couch, and allows her grin to fall back into a normal mask of vampire. "No fear on that front. I'll be spending Valentinus' money for another day or two yet. What I could _really_ do with is, hmm, maybe a litre or so of holy water, a clump of moon-gathered heather, some nightshade and rod of yew. Oh, and a hare, preferably female and less than 3 months old." Teasing eyes flick Isobel's way. "Then I'll tell your fortune."

There are certain words that Isobel cannot stand, though when an ancient vampire speaks them, there can be no reprimand. Instead, she just eyes the woman with an icy blue stare. "If you wish to, I will gladly accept the offer. Though I am well aware of how busy your duties will keep you." The items should be easily obtained, so she nods. "Moon-gathered heather would likely be the most difficult to find, but I shall send someone at once if you wish it." A Christian through and through, all that the mention of fortune gets is a raised brow.

Perhaps too good at reading others, the Queen of Iowa's lips twirl towards a coy little half-smile. "First, Izzie, you'll have to learn to ignore the foul language of the hairier sex." Lips purse. "True divination functions only for those who ask for it; not for those who accept it. There is a difference; offer's here, though, if you want it. You do realise what I mean by holy water, yes? I'm not talking about blessed by a priest; I'm talking about springwater gathered by the person to be divined, then prepared by me." Brows lift for a brief moment. The offer's there.

"There is no need for language like that to be used in the presence of a lady." Isobel is far from being a true courtly lady, though she has managed over the years to develop enough acting ability to have the airs of it. "There is a spring in a nearby park. I can have one of my men show you its location if you desire." Now, Isobel is a very devout Christian. She may disagree with some things having to do with the church from time to time, but the basis of the religion is what she holds true to. Divination is not something that she can just ask for.

But it would seem that the Queen would be delighted to partake in something other than sitting on the couch and looking her best. "Please, then. Let us gather the materials, and I should like you to tell my fortune."

Tanwen's grin widens further, and she lifts a single hand. "Joseph, do exactly as the Sheriff commands to get everything except the water; Francis, my divining bowl for her to fetch the water, and my knife." One man attends upon Isobel immediately, the other vanishes in a flash of speed to collect something.

"Once Francis returns, you'll need to fill the bowl from the spring, and return it to me," says she, idly, coming to her feet in a slow, languid motion. "I must prepare myself; you will excuse me."

The flash of speed returns, bearing a bowl and a hessian bag. The bowl is wooden, obviously ancient, and intricately carved with symbols and runes older than the Christian faith.

Information on where to obtain the required and requested items is given to Joseph. "The hare you may be able to obtain from a vampire currently within the Carmilla. Simply tell them that the Sheriff sent you to get something, and they will let you in." The bunnies and hares can be replaced come morning by the staff, and hopefully the annoying one will not even notice that they're missing.

Taking the bowl in her hands, she makes a deep bow toward Tanwen as she leaves. "The bowl will be waiting when you are ready." A silent 'your Majesty' is mouthed, and she prepares to locate the spring.

Joseph nods once, bows, and disappears in a blur of movement.

The pout returns, along with an arched brow. "Less of that," Tanwen says, with a quick smile. Her face does drop more serious, and her tone comes towards a frank explanation. "Now, the divination itself will not take long, but the dreams that come to both you and I when we sleep will be mirrors; there is always something of import. If you wish to discuss them tomorrow, then I will make myself available." With that, the willowy Queen of Iowa begins to calmly remove her dress, revealing that the blue tattoos across her brow are not the only marks upon her skin; her entire torso is threaded with similar designs, arcane symbology as old as society itself. "I'll meditate a while as you fetch the water." She settles down onto her knees with inhuman poise, eyes closing as she begins to mouth a few words of a long-forgotten language. Though it's beyond human sense, a vampire's taste easily picks up the beginning thickening of the air; a faintly metallic taste threading itself through the room.

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