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In Our Wake
#1
Spoiler:
Simple Overview: This is a place for the ongoing storyline/activities of Argus Wake, those related to its activities and the general family drama that is evolving like some hideous, overly whiney monster thing.

Any member of Argus Wake or an individual related to the storyline (Someone we harmed, talked to, enslaved, flicked the ear of or generally just yelled at) can post here. Post length is not enforced; You can write as much or as little as you so desire.

Sincerely,
The Management

How odd, the mother thought, to have a home again.

It wasn’t that she had been without a house before today. She had a fine abode, furnished and staffed to fulfill whatever needs she may have. And it was not that it was without personal touches; She consoled herself in dark moments with the knowledge that, through her efforts, every family conquest and memory was memorialized throughout the house in cracked paintings, musty animals and tarnished trinket.

Yet the house, until today, had been empty of any real substance. The only human touches \ had been her own and, through the efforts of the servants, even the imprints of her day’s bustle were scrubbed away or dusted into a bin.

The lady had caught the maid trying to clear away the half eaten cake and cups of the day’s party. She had sent her away with a bark and a scowl, casting the little scrubbing elf back to the kitchen with promises of tanning if she continued. The party, alone, would be hers to clean up.

It had been her daughter Grace’s eighteenth birthday today. It had been years since she had last seen her youngest. Those years, she suspected, had been somehow important to the girl. For the mother they were a snippet of time, consumed voraciously by appearances and parties and afternoons spent idling in the city. For the girl they were a hardening, a time when the softness of maternal need was chipped slowly away by war and independence. She was a woman now, strong and cold and distant.

To look upon Grace now made her wonder if the memories of tending to the child’s scrapes or mending her toys with new baubles were genuine or just fantasies.

Silently the woman began to shuffle away the platter of cake, the half-finished platter of confection to disappear in some dark recess.

Marian was the same as ever, the boy justas stubborn and hungry for maternal approval as he had been so many years before. Nothing had come upon him yet to harden away the softness. Perhaps it never would, she chided, and she would have her little boy until the day she died.

It was a warming thought.

The change in her children scared her. She had told them about the family’s plight and its sufferings. During the years the Shepfield name had been tarnished to the level of Bisen and, together, had brought the family low in the esteem of their peers. She had never noticed how shallow her life had been until the scorn had taken away her aristocratic pleasures.

In the year since their fall Marianna had tried to keep her darkening thoughts away from her children. It had been easy, after all, to hide away the growing hunger in her flowery letters and care packages. But, face to face with her children, the darkness had bled out.

“Toss this, Gella. Save only a slice for after supper.”

“Yes Mistress.”

The party had gone so well. Their godmother –and Marianna’s own friend- had attended. She had hoped the children would open to Jina’s old, familiar face and, in a way, they had. But there had been no childish squeals or half-lisped requests to touch the gruff woman’s blades. It was all neutered and polite conversation. There was no softness or familiarity between them. And that had, looking back, hurt in its own way.

The distance between her and her children had cut her deep. In her confusion she had slipped, her tongue spitting such venom that she had scared even the love-hungry son. She had screamed about hate and fear, feeding more towards parental bonds than any real center of logic and reason.

It had been a bitter failure. She had lost her daughter during the process, the woman withdrawing into a bland wall of dispassion. The daughter would work for her mother, that the woman new. But on that birthday the mother had fallen to suffer the punishment of being given only body, not mind or heart.

Marianna returned to the table and began to quiet stack the cups and forks. She was a mother in name only now. The children were lost to her, she feared. Yet there were other ways to win love. There were other ways to win affection and passion.

If family ties would not stir the languid to action then other means were required.
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#2
In silence, and smoke she sat. The cup of fine alcohol swirling ever so lightly in her hand. Between her puckered lips laid a long elegant cigarette. Before her lay documents, reading numbers of profit. And the numbers were against her.

With a gentle puff of smoke, she stared with a steeled gaze at the documents, reading her profits were down by ten percent since the last season! "No no, this will not do at all, now will it?" She muttered with another puff of her cigarette. Blasted season this was... Her slaves were selling poorly for some reason.

"I need a new plan..." She muttered through the smoke, coughing gently. Gently, she took an old half scorched picture off of her table to examine upon it slowly. "For our sake." She concluded strictly, refusing to back down of her position.

With a delicate hand she brushed at her numbers, the small room was crowded with smoke by now as a cold, aloof smile arose to her darkened lips. "A partnership." She concluded and let out a cloud of smoke arise from the cigarette as she finished the last of her Brandi, and returned to reading an old bloodied tome.
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#3
Grace sat in the corner of the bar, absentmindedly stirring her tea. The beverage had long ago gone cold, and the woman had not sought to drink it since it had been warm. Any person who had tried to make conversation with her, she chased off with a series of grunts. Those who had been persistent, she threatened, before returning to her mulling of thoughts.

Had she been too tough on her mom? Sure, the woman cared for her... but Warlockry was bad. Fighting against the Legion in Outlands had drilled that into her mind, but now, returning to home, surely she could trust her mom, right? And her brother? She'd grown up with them, and all they'd shown her was love and care. They wouldn't have dissolved into the same people she fought in Outland, would they have?

Light damnit, she had to stop being so paranoid. Sure, there were traitors rampant in Northrend, but that could be expected of the Cult of the Damned. They were traitorous peasants who couldn't tell the difference between merely true and too good to be true. Her family? No, they were the opposite of that. Sure, they had had some bad moments with the Syndicate, but they were nobles, not pawns to the Burning Legion.

She shook the thoughts from her head and pulled out the gun her brother had given her. It was a new design, and she hadn't even shot the thing yet. She'd just stay with her revolver, for now. Only use the gun if she had to.

This brought her mind to her mother's gift, the cloak. The cloak she'd left at the house. The cloak that came with a friend, a new last name. A new last name that brought her more then one questions. First and foremost, was even if her mom would allow her to not change.

She sighed again and pushed herself up, leaving the tea cup be. She re-checked her sweater, pulling it into a more comfortable position, and headed out of the tavern.
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#4
Marianna could feel her clothes constricting. The silk was as coarse as broken glass against her flesh and the light sashes and slips that wrapped her felt like vices, constricting and tightening to bind and break bone. She could feel the sweat on her brow and the dampness of her scalp and the bitterness of the bile in her mouth.

Quietly the woman shifted in her seat and shook a bit of ash from her cigar.

Marian was a good son. A bit thick at times and rather unsubtle in his actions, but he had an eagerness to him that softened these detractions. He would learn, in time, and he would learn well. Or he would fail and be spirited away to die a slow but safe life in some Dalaran institute somewhere.

Silently the woman watched her only son from across the room, inspecting him as he navigated amongst the table’s conversations, chatting his way through the ladies of the Booty Bay inn. She was only partially paying attention. Her mind was elsewhere.

Her intentions? In a way she wanted to rekindle the family, unite them once more into something at least partially resembling the years gone by. But even she had begun to doubt the purity of that intention.

It was foolish to try and bring back something that was gone. Was she no better then a Necromancer in this, then, to try and drag out a long-dead corpse? She could comfort herself in the memory of the beautiful past, if only to make the bitterness of its passing taste less rank.

There were other things she could be doing with her energies. Her dabbling of Fel had waned in the past year or so, her studies shifting back to combat. With her children returning she had feared the Fel would pollute their family once more and drive it apart.

The woman hissed softly as the cigar’s snub began to burn her glove. She rubbed it out open the grimy wooden table and lit herself another, blowing out the trails of blackened smoke from the corner of her mouth.

Fel…Her son was practicing it. Her daughter…Would abhor it. But her daughter could be made to ignore it, to consider it a lesser evil in the face of a greater threat. It had worked for the Argents, after all. It would work in the family.
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