Palladium: Reason and Existence
Medrian Lastus, King's Consort
Medrian rose from obscure backgrounds. Her family had lived in the slums of the Western Empire and been unable to support a child, abandoning it to an orphanage. Or so she had thought. In truth her parents were considered by the slave trader, Letchelan, to have “defaulted” on a loan he had given them and he had taken payment by shackling and enslaving them. Their child was relegated to one of Letchelan’s orphanages.
Medrian had become a trained observer, applying her beauty and guile to gather information that might free her from her slave masters. But her skills were noticed by Letchelan and he turned her lovely cleverness to his advantage in the pursuit of an alliance that would further his business plans. She was made a “gift” to Merchant Prince Valar to secure a trading partnership upon hearing that his rival, Callas Obrahim had fallen out with the Merchant Prince.
But Valar continued to be courted by his estranged business partner. Ultimately, the long business history between Valar and Callas proved more alluring to the Merchant Prince. She saw the men entertain the idea of doing business with each other. She saw Valar’s interest in her, yet she also saw that Valar had been a far less soured man that Letchelan. She was suddenly enamoured by the future Letchelan had unwittingly given her.
After Letchelan had left she had not worked hard to spy on the man. Letchelan’s gamble seemed at first to have failed on every count. But then Medrian met Callas.
The grossly obese man was nastier even than Letchelan. He baited, goaded and toyed with Valar’s underlings, and to a lesser extend, the merchant himself. And yet it was clear that a long history between the two was built upon some of the greatest commercial conquests the modern world had known. The men mutually loved what they could do for each other, but Callas sought a greater part of the fortune they amassed in cooperation.
In the end, Valar was able to maintain the status quo. Something he achieved by giving Letchelan’s gifts to Callas….in part because of their fineness, and part because Callas’s nature lent itself strongly to waving such prizes in front of Letchelan tauntingly.
In the next months Callas kept her close, his favourite pet and protected by the promise of the reaction Callas had imagined she might provoke from Letchelan. She witnessed the destructiveness of Callas far too intimately and was forced to endure his invasive attentions. She came to despise him more than any person she would ever know.
On first meeting Ambassador Prince Jeshuan she had known the man wanted her. As her endurance for the monster that plagued her waned, she had gambled Jeshuan’s desire against the risk of assaulting Callas in his presence; confident that Jeshuan would intervene, she was able to escape one slave trader for another.
With time and the expected intimacy, Medrian came to understand that she satisfied a need in Jeshuan, and this sentiment lulled her into believing she could influence him. She had tried in vain to distance Jeshuan from Callas, but found the demon of her past unavoidable.
Valar, Callas and Jeshuan had often met, and on one occasion in the Eastern Capital she had been approached by the Easts head of spies; Bloom. Medrian had welcomed the chance to work with the kingdom’s garden against the triumvirate.
Using techniques learned from the kingdom’s garden in concert with information and money embezzled from the slave traders, she set economic traps, and sponsored a group of secret crusaders (“the Extrascytes”) against her enemies.
Medrian warred with Callas this way for years, taking the group as allies to her cause. Then as Callas incited war between the East and West, the group and the slave trader had been subjected to the judgement of Witchbane. Escaping detainment, the group had apparently confronted Callas and the rest of the story had eluded her most diligent research. In the days after that confrontation; in the wake of the missing friends and the missing enemy. Medrian held her breath against the seeming attainment of her long held goal.
Though she mourned the loss of people that had become her friends, she was deeply satisfied with the belief that Callas had been killed. She enjoyed this feeling of triumph for sometime, before King Jeshuan received missive from Merchant Prince Valar.