Recent Statuses

1 mo ago
Current Been under the weather for the past couple days, posts tomorrow!
2 mos ago
Unfortunately, there are people everywhere that like to shame others for their tastes with an air of false superiority, even in RP.
2 mos ago
You would think, but there are so many people that make wild assumptions, and force you to create rules.
3 mos ago
It's going to be one of those days, I can feel it. Hope everyone is having a more pleasant Friday the 13th!
3 mos ago
Does anyone else read an IC that (paraphrased) states, "I have high standards for my partners," and thinks, "Well, then I'm straight out!"


About Me:
I'm in my late 30s, happily married with two young children. I've been role-playing since I was 14 years old, starting with AOL chatrooms and instant messenger (the dark days), before graduating to IRC, Gaia, RPNation, and then this website. When not roleplaying I am a GM of a raiding guild on Stormrage server, play on a couple breedable websites, listen to Kpop, consume small amounts of more adult-oriented anime, manga, TV shows (sci fi, fantasy, drama, Korean), and binge on romance.

I'd love to get to know other RP folks, especially if you're my age!

What I like/want in RPs:
Romance (necessity, I respect not everyone likes it)
At least 2 paragraphs per post
Sci Fi, (High, Low, Urban) Fantasy, Futuristic, Supernatural, some modern or psuedo-historical
Someone who plays male characters
Plots that allow me not to have to write realistic melee action (but I love to read it!)
Characters 18+
Players 18+
Intrigue/mystery in a story
Cooperative world building

What I don't like:
Players under 18
Children or teenage characters
Western or prehistoric settings
Plots with only action
Almost all furry/anthro pairings
G-rated romance

Message me if you think we'd be good RP partners for each other! Please note I do require romance, though I certainly do NOT want that to be the summation of the story. I also adore romances that have conflict and disagreement just like actual real relationships have. Some mundanes/players believe that all love stories develop "organically" in the story- but my real life experience has taught me you can have no chemistry with someone that would be great for you, all the chemistry in the world for someone you never thought you'd like, and romance is not 'organic' and predictable in practice. As a mundane/player we make the decision for romance because, quite frankly, we aren't the characters no matter how alive they might feel. They don't truly exist physically to have chemistry. If you feel differently we will not be a good fit for each other.

Additionally, I require players separate themselves from this characters. This should go without saying, but just because we write a romance together does not mean there are real feelings beneath. I am truly happily married. Please, please, please don't expect any fiction to translate into real life.

Most Recent Posts

The Kasper Estate was nestled on what had once been a meadow a very, very long time ago. The house faced east, to embrace the sunrise. A dense forest lay to the north and and west, and to the south was a river- or at least it was called one, though arguments were occasionally raised as to whether it was large enough to be considered such. It was the most desirable real estate in the countdom which was why the location had been chosen. Though the Kasper family had, for generations, been elegant lords and ladies that dressed in the latest fashions and could always be found at court, they greatly valued their privacy as well. For them it was not just a home, it was a retreat, a sanctuary of tranquility where they could recharge after long days of politicking.

Since the death of the late Countess Kasper, there was less attention paid to decorating the estate for the seasons. There was no festive adornment wound around banisters, porch railings columns, or the like; however, there were small elegant planters bursting with brightly colored roses at the edge of every step. It was the one costly indulgence the family had year round, rotating the blooms into their greenhouse when necessary, because it had been the matriarch's favorite flower. Silke spared no expensive in the respectful reminder of their beloved departed.

"Count Harrowmark," the chamberlain intoned as he bowed. He looked to be in his late forties or early fifties, which was not itself unusual, but his use of a cane was given that he was not that elderly. Since it was a time of relative peace, and he was not the sort that would be called to serve in battle, any physical disability he suffered likely preceded or occurred during his tenure at the estate. Many nobles- most truly- would have been worried about their images if they had a lame head of staff and would have dismissed him rather than have him greet their guests.

"I am Franz. Please follow me," he further greeted before pivoting on his heel and climbing the steps. He was surprisingly agile; he couldn't ascend as quickly as an athletic Galt, but his ailment didn't have an overly large impact on his speed. "Lady Silke and Lord Vincent have been expecting you." At the top of the stairs he opened the door and led the young count inside, his pace quickening slightly now that he was on firm ground.

The interior of the estate was cozy. Elaborate woven carpets were carefully placed on the floor to give a warmth to the building and there were portraits and tapestries displayed both in the foyer and on the walls of the central hallway that they strode along. A grand staircase curved towards the second floor and there too were many different decorations tastefully placed but leaving very little of it feeling cold and barren. All the furniture was a rich, dark stain of wood, closer to black than white, and the upholstery was in various shades of either a dark blue or green. Blown glass vases were on many tabletops they passed, filled with various types of flowers in all sizes and colors.

Franz didn't tarry or explain the rich history of the estate. He wasn't an impolite man, he was merely following directions to escort Galt promptly to 'the' office, which ought to have been Count Johann Kasper's office. Even before they reached the room it was very clear this was not the case. Out of the slightly ajar door drifted the voices of the siblings who were, by the sound of it, bickering over something both unrelated to and directly related to their guest.

"Vincent, I am not declining all your social invitations," Silke said firmly in a tone that brokered no argument. "Curse me all you like. I've enough to do without coddling your inability to hold a conversation with an eligible lady your age."

"I'm doing you a favor teaching your friend archery! A friend, I might add, is a man. The least you could do is decline those absurd invitations on my behalf," Vincent proudly rebutted, purposefully ignoring the fact his sister sounded as if she could conjure his murder out of thin air a second prior. "Besides, I know how to talk to any woman I meet."

"All I do for you are favors. Perhaps you should ask my man friend how he manages to talk to women without making an absolute mess of himself. Did I hear correctly that you told young Lady Helene that she had a wonderfully small head? And that you thought that was a compliment?"

At this the edges of Franz's lips twitched in amusement that he couldn't conceal. He shrugged and gestured towards the door as if to indicate to Galt he could elect the moment he wanted to be announced and join the brother and sister. The chamberlain would make the decision himself, of course, if the young man before him was reluctant, but he saw no harm in letting him eavesdrop for a bit either if he so chose.

There was a blustering noise as Vincent 'harumphed,' snorted contemptuously, and made a squeak of embarrassment all in the same instant. "It is true, and who would like a woman with a large head?" the young lord of the house countered, though he was much more subdued than he had been, realizing he had been bested despite not wanting to conded the point.

"It's truly shocking you haven't managed to wed, Vincent, absolutely beyond my comprehension," Silke mumbled to herself as she scratched her quill on parchment, writing a response to an invitation agreeing that yes, her dearest brother would be delighted to join a dinner party happening in the next couple days. It was fine. He didn't know his schedule well enough to object in advance, and once she sent the response he would be obligated to attend if he wanted to save face, which he would.
Relieved as she was to hear his understanding, agreement, and even approval of her plan, her smile faltered slightly at the decided lack of enthusiasm he had towards her brother. She genuinely wanted them to get along. Galt would make an excellent friend and ally for Vincent, since he was clever and charming, and though the heir to her family was very intelligent in his own right, it was not in the same ways as the former thief. They'd be able to compliment and support one another's strengths. There was also the fact that she thought they were two of the finest men of the court and, because of her fondness, she had an honest desire to see them get along. Still, she couldn't blame either of them for being apprehensive of the other as an unknown quantity and stranger.

"If it helps to know, he's not great with people," she offered so that anything Vincent said to Galt wasn't taken personally. "I'm sure you've met someone like that before," Silke remarked, since she had the sense he had spent a great deal of time around a wide variety of people and thus a spectrum of different personalities. "Since we were little he had a difficult time connecting with people, especially on an emotional level, and it became worse after..." she took a deep breath and paused, finding the strength to forge on ahead despite the pain the subject normally caused, "the death of our mother and brother, Alistair. Rather than keeping your mouth shut completely, you might try talking about what martial experience you do have, which he'll probably find interesting." It was the most helpful suggestion she could think of at the time, though there might be other topics on which they could connect in a positive way.

At the question of what she'd be doing the next couple weeks she couldn't help but laugh, one that was amused, weary, frustrated, content, and carried the tiniest amount of bitterness as well. Nothing he had asked was wrong, but she was reminded just how short a period of time he'd been in the courts to ask. Every member of the nobility (or nearly all) had come to understand the scope of her involvement in family affairs and duties. Had she been any other young female aristocrat, her time would be filled with learning 'gentle' arts, ordering fashionable gowns from the nearest dressmaker, enjoying the gentle serenity of a sitting room, and basking in the attentions of suitors who were eager for her dowry and reciprocated affections. At times she yearned for such an idle existence. It wouldn't have suited her or put her skills to use, yet she was enchanted by the idea of resting, of being able to relax in the knowledge that she didn't have responsibilities that she was the only one capable enough to handle.

Despite herself, and the compulsion to present a front of complete confidence and contentedness, she sighed. "I'm always busy. I manage the household estate- all the expenses, oversight of the men performing repairs, all the updates and replacements of furniture and necessities, all the servants, hosting events, approval of seasonal decor and landscaping, the menus, anything you could think of. The staff keeps records of our supplies, needs, and what our garden and livestock produce, but a member of the house must remain in charge and aware. I also manage my father and brother, to some extent; helping them solicit invitations to events of interest, assisting them in replies, corresponding with people to whom we are connected including distant relatives, and aiding them in calendars and carriages for their schedules. The count's duties fall to me more often than not as well- ensuring the tithes are collected, tax is calculated and paid to the king, tracking revenue, receiving reports of any issues with the lands or conflicts between the people, endorsing marriages, requesting relief from the crown if unavoidable disaster strikes, visiting problematic areas. There is always much to do," she said, which was a gross understatement. Although her father and brother had attended the father's feast, it had been abundantly clear that she also maintained much of the image and social presence for her family as well.

It was all too much for one person. In an ideal situation, most of it would fall upon the count and his wife, or the count and his heir, and in a worse situation it would be delegated to a trustworthy servant of high pedigree. For the Kaspers, almost everything was handled by Silke, even personal matters that the men ought to have done themselves. Perhaps she was coddling them. She couldn't deny it, that she hadn't let them struggle much before they intervened- though she was acutely aware that they could have dragged down their name and title if their failure was too great.

Galt's offer took her by surprise. He done so before, just not to the degree he had now, and she was knocked so off-balanced that she didn't think before she spoke. "I don't need to..." Silke began before she stopped herself. The appearance of the dagger didn't startle her and, the absolute lack of reaction to a source of harm and danger, was either an endorsement of her trust in her male companion or a sign she didn't have instincts to flinch away from a weapon. Given that she was not a warrior, she knew if he deduced the latter, he could and would be alarmed. That she had been intrigued, curious even, at the prospect of learning the knife, only to reject it hadn't done her any favors.

For a split second she started to panic he'd discover her awful secret- that she wasn't afraid of death at all, that she planned for it, that she expected it lurking around each and every corner. "No, I mean to say I'm not going to..." words failed her again. She took a deep breath and forced herself to not impulsively articulate the thoughts he brought to bear that ought never to be voiced aloud. Silke wasn't certain how to reject his offer without divulging or hinting towards the fact she didn't want to fight for her life. Archery, though a fun distraction and passion, was something she had picked up before she had been swallowed up in grief by tragic loss.

"I doubt I'd have the aptitude," she said then, trying to smile her way through the flimsy excuse. "People don't take me seriously enough to want to harm me," she added truthfully, "and if they did, I don't think anyone prefers Vincent being all the power behind the Kasper name."
There was a small pang of guilt as Galt declared he believed her if she thought he could learn the bow in that short a period of time. Making him a master of archery (or even halfway decent) within a week had honestly not been part of her plan. Hearing that he had such faith in her made her felt a touch undeserving. The understanding was clearly her fault for being so vague and coy about what she had in mind, and so she could see how he arrived at the conclusion he had. It was a habit of hers to keep all her figurative cards close to the chest. At home her brother and father were sincerely better of remaining ignorant, and when she was in court it was all a game, one she was required to play. Internally she sighed at her foolishness. She needed to be more direct.

"You needn't put such pressure on yourself. Archery is a skill that takes a while to develop," she began so it did not seem she was condescending him in any way. "I thought we might use a bit of subterfuge. On hunts it is understandably a challenge to know whose arrow struck the target if there are multiple shooters. For this reason the fletching or the shaft is distinctive so that they can be told apart. Since you will be new to the bow, you'll use a lower draw weight to start until you build up experience, and that lower draw weight will be similar to what I use. With a bit of misdirection and slight of hand, and you knowing the basics, you will be a very impressive and convincing hero, not that you aren't already." Silke flashed him a confidant smile. It was easier in concept than in execution, of that she was aware, but would be playing to their strengths of being able to mislead others for their benefit.

The smile on her lips faltered when Galt requested her attendance at his future lessons. Though the compliment brought a twinge of colors to her cheeks, her reaction was otherwise subdued, muted in comparison to his other flattery. "It was my brother Alistair that taught me how to use a bow. When I was younger I wanted to be able to do anything my big brothers could do. I'm not sure if Alistair took pity on me or couldn't tolerate any more of my whining, but he taught me in secret. Vincent would never approve. He loves and worries about me," she elaborated in a soft tone, "and though he has hardly any social aptitude, he knows how hard it is to change the mind of traditionalists like the nobility. My marriage prospects would dry up if it was revealed I had such a 'violent' and 'unladylike' talent, and he wouldn't want that to happen me, no matter how much he relies on me at home."

She shrugged as if it didn't matter, as if she didn't care at all about her ability to wed, as if she had given up on that part of her future. Silke had deliberately avoided the topic with him. Though they had danced around the subject of her single status, she hadn't divulged the real reason she had distanced herself from eligible men, or rejected romantic overtures. Undoubtedly Galt was curious, but she was afraid he would pity her- which was the last thing she wanted.

After nodding to his thoughts he would like learn to the way of the sword, she raised a brow as he choked on his food. For such a self-proclaimed flirt he certainly wasn't eager to enter into a dalliance with anyone. She had rather expected he might try to meet all the beautiful ladies the noble houses had to offer and then have difficulty settling on just one to officially woo. "And here I thought men preferred a woman in the 'prime of her youth,'" she gently teased coyly. The phrase was not her invention, but rather something she had heard on occasion, once even as a comment on her age.

"Ah, and that reminds me. You should... exercise caution when we are in the presence of my brother or you are talking to him about me. He is extremely," she paused, trying to find the correct word that didn't have too negative a connotation, "protective." Zealous, overbearing, and suffocating would have also applied in this context. "If he thinks you have the slightest bit of interest in me," Silke continued with a blush, "he'll be an absolute bear about it. Not that I need his saving, and you've made your intentions clear, but he is a little... paranoid."
"No, no, not a spear," Silke quickly countered, "that wouldn't work. It has to be a bow- at least for now. I can find you someone to tutor you in other weapons at your leisure. The sword is the most practical melee weapon," she commented thoughtfully as bit her lower lip in contemplation. Since he had the reputation of being a hero, she hadn't considered whether or not he might need further education on combat and self-defense. No one truly expected the country to go to war anytime soon, so it was incredibly unlikely he'd ever need to do anything more than friendly duels and exercises with some of the more athletically-inclined noblemen, but it wouldn't hurt to expand his skill set. Internally she chastised herself. Elevating Galt was a project for which she had taken full responsibility and she had overlooked securing a martial teacher.

Sitting back in her chair, she poked at her food with her fork. That she had such an oversight bothered her and, with one perceived 'wrong' in her planning, she was twice as anxious the rest. Silke was not afraid of defeat or setbacks; she had experienced many in her political career, if one could call it that. What bothered her was adding another party to the equation and potentially causing their failure. Galt still saw himself as a thief, a rogue, and a trickster to some degree. If he had been lacking in moral fiber and character, if he had been a true scoundrel, she wouldn't mind if her aspirations for him went unrealized. Because he was considerate and charming there was increased pressure that she placed on herself to succeed.

Her lips twisted upwards in amusement when Galt queried whether he'd be going hunting in a few months after he'd been schooled on the art of archery. The clever ruse she had in mind had escaped him through no fault of his own. He was a breath of fresh air that didn't hold to the biases and stereotypes of the aristocracy, who enforced dogmatic nonsense in the name of culture upon the wealthy. Patiently she waited for him to agree and finish making his questions. The time it took for him to speak gave her an opportunity to eat a few small bites of food.

"Vincent is..," she drifted off for a moment, trying to find the right words. "He's an honorable man, so he'll judge you through your actions, and not by your past, not that I've said anything about it myself. It's not my secret to tell. I've told him I have a good impression of you and I wanted to help you learn about being a nobleman. He doesn't need to know anything more than that," Silke said with a soft sigh. "If he knew I was helping you to climb higher instead of him he'd only be hurt. I adore him dearly, but he just... it wouldn't work with him. Being a count is almost more than he can handle honestly." For several long seconds she was completely quiet. Whenever she talked about her family, truly talked about them, she couldn't help but feel emotionally raw and vulnerable.

The melancholy hadn't quite left her gaze by the time she composed herself enough mentally to continue. "All you need is you need is to learn how to hold it properly. Accuracy isn't an issue. I'd imagine a week should be sufficient. Vincent is my first choice to tutor you, though I can secure someone else if you prefer. I can't teach you myself since of course ladies are inferior at such things," she explained in a light tone. "I attend hunts more as a companion than a competitor. Most of them are decent with an arrow but shoddy at tracking, so I point them in the right direction." Servants traditionally went with their employers, gathering arrows, securing the haul, and performing other menial tasks, so it was not unusual that there would be other people in the hunt than just the nobleman doing the hunting itself.

By the coy way she spoke and phrased herself, never outright saying how good she was personally with a bow, it was increasingly obvious that she wasn't as awful as she had fooled everyone into believing through their misogynistic assumptions.

"Count Thrule is my first choice for a host," she said, crossing her arms over her chest as she nibbled on her lower lip in concentration. "He has a woodsman of some sort working for him that keeps his forest healthy, ensuring there is neither too few nor too many of any game. Of all the places to hunt, he's the best, and he isn't haughty. Everyone would understand if you accepted an invitation from Count Thrule, and it wouldn't look as if you were chasing after the dukes for better stature." Silke paused. "Ah, he has a daughter that just turned seventeen if you'd like me to make introductions. Like any other noblewoman, they'd expect courtship with at least a possibility of marriage. It wouldn't offend me at all if you would like me to help you make a match."

Silke was lying. It was not intentional nor overt. She lied in the way she held herself with confidence and strength, while her skin still had a unhealthy pallor and there was a flash of resigned weariness across her features intermittently. She lied in the way she reassured him she'd help him find a lovely girl, but the edges of her mouth subtlety tightened as if the sentence was sour in her mouth. She lied in pretending she didn't care that she could manipulate everything in his favor to make him crowned a duke, when she couldn't even show her competence with a bow.
Silke hadn't expected him to pull the chair out for her. She nodded her thanks as she sat and listened attentively as he responded to her question. Archery was a skill she had honestly anticipated he wouldn't possess; still, it didn't hurt to inquire. A plan was forming in her mind of how she might be able to ease him into society without losing the momentum of his current reputation. Were he able to fire a bow competently it would have admittedly been more advantageous, though it was by no means critical. She would need to employ a little more figurative cloak and daggers, and she'd have to budget a touch more time to involve her brother to help train Galt on the basics, but she was confident about the general viability of what she was about to propose. The most unpalatable part of the endeavor would be that she might be cornered into revealing a secret she had no desire to expose.

Her fingers rapped thoughtfully on the wooden surface of the table. It was easy to forget how different a bustling metropolis was to the estates in which the nobility lived. There were aristocrats that lived in the cities, some as second homes, some because they didn't actually bother to live on the lands granted to them by the crown, and yet others because they had lost their holdings but retained their title. Regardless of the reasoning, those who stayed in the 'countryside' often scoffed at those whose primary home was in the city proper. They enjoyed gloating about the superiority of their sprawling mansions that were drowning in luxury. Silke wasn't invested in either side, but she was starting to realize her lack of familiarity with city life made her blind to important differences.

The subject would require more study later when she was alone and could afford to dwell upon it.

Galt's breach of etiquette- wiping his mouth with the back of his hand- earned him an amused smile. She wasn't the sort to stand on formality for the sake of it. There was a time and place for impeccable manners. Meeting an eligible bachelor in secret, to teach him finance and accounting, discussing using an ambush on bandits to gain him status, and ignoring the polite lines drawn in societal gender roles, was not the time to worry about protocol. To see him dabbing the edges of his mouth was somehow more humorous to watch then when he was behaving like a commoner in a tavern.

"Hunting is not an uncommon past time for noblemen," she explained briefly. Most (though not all) male members of the aristocracy learned various forms of combat. The sword was what most were taught, with axes, maces, and polearms being popular in their own right, and the bow being less favored. In times of peace, however, some had a yearning for the unique rush that could be found in combat, and hunting was the closest they could come to simulating that thrill. It was a convenient physical outlet as well for the athletically inclined.

Food was placed in front of them and she waited until the servants were out of the room before she continued. "You can't avoid social engagements forever, not if you want to make useful connections and have higher ambitions. It seems to me you want to avoid dinner dates where you are obviously paired with young ladies angling for marriage. Rest assured, any duke that invites you to a meal would likely seize the opportunity to match you to someone to whom they are connected, so going to dinner with a childless widower does not mean you'd avoid someone's daughter, niece, cousin, or the like. Hunting is a sport, however, so that is a different matter altogether. Women aren't expressly forbidden from going on hunts, but it is exceedingly rare," she said, flashing a smile. The coy expression communicated that of everyone he met that she was one of the exceptions to this unspoken rule.

She picked up her fork and knife and started to dissect her potato into delicate sizes. Silke was methodical. Potato was much less appetizing when it was cold, so she started with it, and would work her way around the plate from what was most critical to eat warm to least. "I can have my brother teach you the basics of the bow. I'll get us an invitation to a hunt and, once you perform well, it will bolster your image while avoiding the pesky topic of your being single," she concluded with a wink.

Precisely how he'd perform so well in the aforementioned hunt was not explained. Silke popped a piece of potato into her mouth and chewed. If he wanted her to divulge more of her plan, or give further detail, he was going to have to directly pose those questions himself. She was perfectly content to be quite vague on how she'd accomplish such a feat.
Looking for perhaps one more partner. I'm specifically interested in one of the following:
-> A darker, more twisted story
-> A modern or slightly futuristic setting

Please PM me with your prompts if you like! If you are picky, you can peruse my thread RPs on the forum and see my general writing style. I rarely am able to keep myself writing any less than three paragraphs, and can also write 8+, though I'd prefer not to be churning out huge pages of text each post as that inherently limits character interactions in my experience!

I do not do anthro stories (sorry folks!) but almost everything else is on the table.

I've read some fabulous 1x1 ICs but wasn't sure I was up to anyone else's snuff, so don't assume I read your IC and was disinterested. Chances are I just didn't think myself worthy, so reach out if you think I'd be a good match for you!
Initially Silke tried to mumble an objection to Galt's assistance. She was a fiercely independent woman that wasn't used to accepting help. There was a passive, pervasive stereotype and bias that all members of the female gender were weaker in almost every sense of the word. To be recognized for her mental prowess she had to be twice as fast with witty remarks, impossibly composed, and smarter than half the room to stand a chance. If a man was slow to answer, or stumbled over his words, or said something mistaken, it was much more likely to be overlooked. In addition to battling for recognition in the court for years, by necessity she had to be 'strong one' for her family. When her father and elder brother fell apart, she was their emotional pillar, their accountant, their assistant, and household manager. Circumstances forced a transformation to happen what felt like overnight.

Having someone genuinely concerned, that actually sprang into action with good intentions (rather than looking uncomfortable), and doing so without any judgment was... both nice and odd. As he pressed his cloth against her nose to stem the flow she murmured something about this occurring somewhat often- which was true. Silke had learned the hard way that when she failed to skip multiple meals and sleep properly the stress she felt on a daily basis manifested through an increased chance of developing a bloody nose. Once, a couple years ago, she had pushed her limits to the degree she ended up in bed with a wretched cough and lasting fatigue as well.

Her heart fluttered.

It wasn't the proximity to him that gave her butterflies, though he was ridiculously handsome. That he was so effortlessly charming was what made her want to compromise her vows to herself to never indulge a romance. His touch was gentle, his tone was light, and he smiled at her with more earnest feeling than half of the court combined. Silke knew how to steel herself against the swagger of attractive faces with equally large egos; they did not make for the best of partners she knew. Galt, however, was a breath of fresh air that she didn't quite know how to resist as sternly as she did others.

He was giving her an out. For someone allegedly unused to the games of the court, he was giving her an excuse, an opportunity to save face. If she agreed to lunch they could both pretend it was for his sole benefit rather than hers. It was a peculiar thing to feel flattered about. She couldn't remember the last time- if ever- a man had accommodated her sense of pride rather than passively demanding she bow the figurative knee to his. A tiny hint of pink rose to her cheeks. Silke was sincerely unsure whether it was because she was flustered by him or still embarrassed by the nose bleed.

"It happens to me occasionally, you needn't be concerned," she answered, delicately side-stepping his question. She didn't have the heart to deceive him, regardless of the potential for success, after he was so kind. Galt didn't deserve her half-truths when he had shown such care. Silke wouldn't pretend she magically felt wonderful when, in fact, she felt as if she could eat a horse or take an hour long nap on the spot. "Very well, let's have lunch then," she decided.

There was a long pause while she waited for him to call on someone to deliver their meal. After he did so (or unless he waited for her to say more), she asked him with a raised brow, "How good are you with a bow?"
Silke had given no acknowledgment of his comment about a dinner, though she had certainly heard it. The coy remark, when paired with wink, and coming from a devastatingly charming bachelor that was twice as heroic as every other noble man she came across, left her rather speechless. For a woman that prided herself on her composure and ability to handle any and every social situation she found herself in, she was more than a touch embarrassed at the way that her heart fluttered. He had warned her that he would flirt and they had mutually agreed that it would be effectively meaningless. It should have been something easily dismissed and forgotten with a light laugh; instead she found herself reminded how lonely she was.

For a second her grip tightened on the ledger as she forced herself to think of her father. Count Kasper had been madly in love with his wife. It was the sort of passionate, romantic, everlasting love that was written about in fairy tales and poems, that was the envy of all society, that gave little girls hopes they would meet a prince charming that would sweep them off their feet. They hadn't seen the grief that obliterated the husband that was left behind. As a young girl herself, she had been unwillingly born witness to a titan of her childhood crumbling into a shell of her former self. Silke believed in true, pure, consuming love, but she also saw it for the double-edged sword that it was. She couldn't allow herself to ever marry and destroy someone like that when she inevitably died.

And she would die first, she reminded herself. Her mother had gone, and her brother had gone, and it only made sense that she would be next. Silke's belief was so deeply rooted that she could feel her fate closing in on her when she was still and quiet. She had to make it as pleasant for everyone left behind when she went to join her mother and brother. That was why she couldn't- and wouldn't- easily give in to the temptation of Galt.

"The concepts aren't terribly difficult," Silke admitted as they concluded the first part of his finance lessons. "The real challenge making certain that you have appropriate contingencies in place for unexpected disasters or other setbacks. It's impossible to anticipate the weather year to year, and I've seen my fair share of nobleman spending as much as they are earning, and then be an impossible situation when their fields are flooded and no one can make a profit." She sat back in her chair, allowing herself to look tired for the first time since she had arrived. "I've created a few exercises that..." Suddenly she stopped mid-sentence and swore as she fished a handkerchief out of her pocket.

She had a nosebleed. Silke had noticed it as soon as she felt it trickle towards her lip and turned away, fumbling for the piece of cloth, and swearing under her breath. Typically she was able to hide when she over-exerted herself as she had these past few days. No one had pushed her into skimping out on meals or sleeping little. She had been so excited, so absorbed in her work, that she had rushed towards her invisible deadline without doing so in a healthy manner.

"My apologies. It should be on one of the pieces of parchment," she called out to him as she finally dabbed at her nose. She was a mess and it would have been humiliating to let him see just how much of a mess she was before she could stop the flow and clean herself up.
On the prowl again! Craving a dystopian or supernatural RP. I haven't been able to nail down and keep a good story with magic for a while, and am open to any ideas with magic OR that take place in a setting that isn't medieval (as both my current RPs are in a medieval non-magic setting).
Silke allowed herself a small smile when Galt confessed- albeit with a sense of humor- that he was dashing. She certainly wasn't in any position to disagree. Being handsome and charismatic was not strictly speaking necessary for him to play the part of a hero, however. It was usually enough to be in the right place and time, armed, and competent with a weapon. More than once she had been tempted to try to create a situation where her brother would look heroic to help bolster his social status. Unfortunately, skilled as he was with a blade, being propelled to a higher station was not a good idea for her only surviving sibling. He struggled enough as a count's heir, even with her notable help, and she couldn't bear him leaning on harder if he had additional responsibilities.

Without realizing what she was doing, she found herself staring at him as he explained his acting abilities. It would have been easier if she could disagree with his assessment. No matter how much she'd flippantly avoid the topic (or, if cornered, deny it outright), she was a wretchedly single and lonely woman. It was only natural that she craved a sort of romantic companionship. She always resisted the urges to indulge her feelings, intimately aware of what a relationship could do if she met an untimely death as she believed was her destiny, yet every time he called to attention his finer qualities, he tempted her in ways she was certain he did not fully appreciate. Internally she sighed and tore her gaze away.

"Orphanages are easier than a hospital. It'll be doable, but it will take considerably more maneuvering to secure all the resources needed to make certain that it would last," she mused aloud. The nobility saw children without parents as a burden; none of them really wanted to take them in and spend any money helping them be raised. As far as the aristocracy was concerned, an orphan was the problem of the village, not them. They'd be all too happy to send street urchins to a central location for someone else to take care of. The sick was a more delicate matter because of the healers that would need to be employed by such an establishment. They could attract matrons for an orphanage with good wages, but many of the best physicians chased prestige and clout, and it could be difficult to staff a hospital appropriately without depriving a village or stepping on a favorite of the local gentry.

The questions about his funds, farms, goods, and subjects took her by surprise. Her eyebrows lifted as she looked at him curiously. "You own land now, as does all the nobility. The holdings aren't as big as a duke's of course, but they are substantial enough you won't be destitute unless you dedicate yourself to trying to find ways to live to excess. I can't speak as to specifics, I'd need to see the details of the documentation you have regarding your appointment, but most counts have fields, some have forests for hunting and lumber, mines for minerals and ore, lakes or rivers... it truly depends on what parcels were granted to you. Because you own the land, those who live on it and work the land will pay you for the right to do so, and you can also charge fees for hunting in your forests, or for the lumber that come for your forests, or any gems found in your mines- although gem mines are typically owned by the king or a duke at least." She shrugged.

"It's a lot of accounting to track," she conceded. "The first two weeks will be the hardest because nothing will be familiar and every day you will learn something new about your property. It will feel overwhelming initially when the people on your lands come to you for help because of flooding, or ruined roads, or bandits in the area," she continued with a wry smile, "so don't be shy about reaching out if you need advice. I'll let everyone believe it came to you naturally on the first day," Silke grinned with a coy wink.

"I've an idea how we might lure some of the bandits out of hiding with bait, but I'd like you to decide who you want to lure out first, and what is more enticing to them. I'll see if I can discreetly procure some maps of the locale to select an ambush site that will neither be too close nor too far away from safety should things go awry." With a purposeful pivot, suspiciously so, she returned to the topic of his financials. "Now, let me show you some of our older records and how I track our income, expenses, and seasonable variability." Silke opened a journal, the interior of which was covered in inked notes. The first few pages had one handwriting, and there was a notable shift to another part of the way through, as if two people had written in it rather than one.
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