Puxley Manor is where the lord of the land conducts his business upstairs away from the unpleasantries of the slaves housed below.
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by: Teague MacTail
#17460
Well at least nothing drastic was going on in response to his unrefined introduction to this meeting. As expected, the news about Cora brought with it a bunch of raised eyes and general murmuring from those that knew of the Dark Lady. No objections. That was good too. Teague wasn't naive enough to think that would simply be the end of that particular issue but for now the new Lord was going to take what he could get. If anyone attempted to aid her in anyway he'd make an example out of them.

The reaction to the news about the Order being back was a bit of a surprise though. Was the assembled bunch really that naive? The tracker just barely resisted the urge to roll his eyes at the first woman to speak up. Ever since the Death Eaters had taken over there had been two prominent groups vying to take them down: SAVIOR and the Order of the Phoenix. SAVIOR, thanks to some fine work by a few in the Guard that weren't complete idiots, had managed to get a man inside that particular organization and take it down from the inside. Most of its members were either dead or rotting in Azkaban with exception of a couple that had managed to secure pardons for information and the like.

Teague locked gazes with the woman who spoke with an accent he couldn't quite place, a slightly dangerous glint in his eye. Did she think he hadn't done his homework?

"Yeah lass I'm damned sure it was the Order. During the attack members of the guard recognized more than a few faces, most notably Casey Winslow, known Order member, and recently released from Azkaban," Teague took a small pause and mentally reminded himself to personally kill whoever it was that had signed her release papers. "Kara Viridian. Also known daughter of former Minister Darque and if my sources are correct, which I'm pretty sure they are, Order leader. As to your question about other groups, SAVIOR has been taken down from the inside by a special unit of the Guard, and the only other group that I've had on my radar has merged or allied with the Order."

The Lord cast his eyes across the room as if daring anyone to call him out on that. Julian was here, as was Delilah so he had that ace if he needed it, though he'd rather not pull that card so early in the game if it could be helped. A flicker of movement from behind had him holding up a hand to indicate to Christophe he was to hold his position. Teague was still getting used to the idea of having a, for all intents and purposes, beast at his beck and call. It was clear Reynolds had done his work well since this small push back seemed to trigger the man. Once he was certain Christophe was going to stay put, the Lord turned his attention to the woman who had the quill and seemed to be taking notes.

"Figured that would 'ave been a bit obvious. We're going to take the fight to their home turf. Odds are good that they settled into a complacent mode since we've done nothing but beef up security in the alleys and get some specific articles out in the papers. The last thing they're going to expect is for us to take the initiative and attack directly."
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by: Orion
#17462
Curious. And unsettling. Darius made no move towards settling the pups gathered around him. They were learning to be loyal pack dogs and the only way they'd learn to sit, heel, and obey was through example, but even a dog would yelp when kicked. This news of the Dark Lady was most ominous. She had served with distinction for two decades. Her skill was paramount both in the arts of assassination and in poisoning. Indeed, it rivaled only his own. Her potion work, stealth, capabilities...if she was aiding an enemy of the regime, then either she was doing so under duress or she did not support the new Lord. Intriguing. The fact that they had been warned not to help her, yet not told to hunt her down made it even more curious.

Could this be a double play? The Adder's eyes narrowed as he considered the Lord and his shiny new band of capable nobodies surrounding him. Teague had played himself as a bumpkin before his elevation to power, but was he really? Here was a man known to have his hidden ways. A tracker...who had disappeared. The Dark Lady disappeared, then Trevor disappeared and named Teague Lord, then Teague disappeared. Then they all showed up together again, and the Dark Lady is a persona non gratis, Trevor a lackey, and Teague still the Lord.

Damn. He'd need to say something. As much as he hated rocking the boat and drawing attention to himself, especially with the low simmering ire of the Lord clearly visible, he needed more information.

"Forgive the interruption, my Lord...but you mentioned the Dark Lady colluding with a known enemy of the regime...is she with the Order?"

What other enemies did the regime have? Especially with the strength and capability of subduing the Dark Lord's personal pet assassin? Sir Nott's hard eyes bore into Teague. MacTail may be Lord, but the Adder was of the most ranking supporters here with considerable political might and influence. If the Lord wouldn't answer his question, it would show the collective just how they could expect treatment in the future.
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by: Christophe Viridian
#17642
Viridian...

The name sent a trace of a chill along the bodyguard's skin, though he was quick to contain any outward reaction that would cause any suspicion. His jawline tensed again as he stood back where Teague had signaled him to stand down. His hands clenched into tight fists behind his back, unseen by anyone in the room. His hazel eyes might have had a flicker of recognition at the name Viridian that caused his eye to twitch. Why is that, though? He wondered. He vaguely recognized the name Kara, but the last name...

Why did that name cause such a reaction?

A flash.

"Kids! Come down now, dinner's ready!" His mum called from the bottom of the steps. The manor was filled with the scent of fresh turkey and spices, the sides of fresh-baked rolls, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie were present as well. Arista was the matriarch of the family with the well-deserved title as she had taken such good care of Viridian Manor for as long as they'd lived there.

Christophe felt someone pat him on the arm and take off running down the stairs, with a younger girl dragging her doll down the steps as well. He followed them. He must have been six years old or so at this time.

As he made his way down the stairs and into the hallway leading toward the dining room, he noticed the crest of the family was hanging above the mantle of the fireplace in the living room. It was a dark coat of arms with a serpent and crow embossed on its black and silver banners, with a green jewel in the center. VIRIDIAN, it said.

Another flash.

Christophe stood quietly behind the Dark Lord, realizing someone else had spoken. The older man...Lord Nott. It didn't take his focus off of the name as he was still trying to understand where his mind had gone off to, a distant reverie of recollection triggered by the mention of the surname connected to the Order of the Phoenix.

He knew that name...because it was his own.
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by: Dru Windsor
#17643
No one else might have noticed, but she did. The tall, looming chimaera bodyguard had an unusual reaction when Teague mentioned the names Casey Winslow and Kara Viridian. Of course, this didn't sit well with her either. She recognized them both as traitors, long before she left for retirement. Winslow less so than Viridian, but that was because she knew Kara, once upon a time. She believed that Kara was the one who swayed her late husband Jonathan to the Order's side. While he had his reservations about her own family beliefs, supporting everything with the Death Eaters for quite some time, Dru was still in full resentment mode for that woman since their time in Hogwarts. Kara was always some sort of damsel in distress, a starry-eyed up and comer from house Gryffindor. While she hadn't outright done anything bad to cross paths with Dru, she still didn't like her. But her opinion of Kara Viridian was neither here, nor there. She was the daughter of the former Minister, Darque. She was working in the shadows, a former prisoner, and a former auror. She was a known supporter of the Order of the Phoenix, and apparently their leader now. That was all Dru needed to know from Teague that Kara Viridian was her enemy.

The Order would have to be taken care of, and that was her first priority as far as tactics. She earmarked that discussion for later, one she'd have to speak with Teague and perhaps Delilah, in private.

She leaned further on the armrest, pressing her chin firmly to her palm, waiting for any other outbursts from the motley crew of Death Eaters grouped up here. The older man spoke, bringing focus back to the Dark Lady which made her effectively roll her eyes. Her disdain for Corline Larson wasn't a secret, especially since she was the person responsible for Jonathan's demise...or so she'd read. Instead of being bitter, Dru simply stewed in her anger for the woman, and any mention of her from anyone here just made her aggravated. There was more important rubbish on the lineup today and the terrorists were more of a priority to Dru than one person who chose to defect.

Instead of answering aloud, as she didn't seem like it fit someone of her newbie-status to speak among the veterans, Dru internalized her question. Why do they care? Even if Larson decided to play nice with the rebels, that should be the match into the batch of kerosene-doused logs, shouldn't it? Why aren't they hunting her to exterminate her? The Death Eaters of old might have clipped someone who decided to turn away from the fold, yet Teague decided to make sure that there was punishment for anyone here who might aid her? That was an interesting turn. The difference between Dru and the others, however? Was that she didn't think to question his choice.

The green-eyed swordswoman sat quietly and continued to observe the crowd. She would speak up...when the time was right.
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by: Kay
#17698
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Alia couldn't help but snicker and the elder's suggestion of the Dark Lady. "I'm afraid if she's made the mistake of working with the Order then perhaps she's dug her own grave." Any and all defectors were nothing to Alia, mostly because in the times she knew, anyone who defected from the Dark Lord's path had already made their bed. "Why are you so interested in her, anyway Darius? If Lord MacTail says to leave her be unless she decides to cross any of us, then perhaps we should move on and focus on the real enemy. Viridian, was it?" She smirked, her eyes flickering over to the former Lord Williams, and then drifted over to Teague as she continued: "As in "Fierro" Darque, Nicholas Viridian. Kara--the former Minister's spawn, someone who has abandoned his post to save his beloved daughter? Hah... Last I read, the Viridian woman was in prison, yet our own system decided to release her on rather mysterious terms? Tell me why that was even allowed and she wasn't simply killed in Azkaban?"

Fierro Darque, former Minister and known enemy of the realm was someone connected to everyone here. He was Teague's colleague, Trevor's right hand and the father of the outed woman who was apparently taking up the lead with their enemy faction. Perhaps if she found out where this man was, if he were even alive, and brought his head to Teague, people might take her seriously. His head, may or may not be attached to his body at that point, but a trophy nonetheless.

"If there any other enemies of the Regime, striking our biggest nemesis might give them reason to think long and hard before trying anything against us. Seek out the Order. Strike at the head. Pray that no more heads grow when one is cut down, and send all of our opposing forces a message." It was both an inquiry and a statement; Alia was thirsty for war, as it had been a long time coming.

After saying her piece, she waited for any responses. Things were already tense in the room and she was sure her statements would stir up some interesting retorts. Larson was low on her list of targets, and while she didn't count her out for a second, her eyes were on a bigger prize.
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by: Teague MacTail
#18171
He was caught of guard when a voice brought the conversation back around to Cora and Teague felt his mood take a dip toward the cold. A narrowed gaze roved over the room until his eyes settled on the speaker. An old dog if his memory served... but why would he care about. The Lord met Nott's hard gaze with his own, not backing down or shying away from the push back. If anything it only served to piss him off further. What did it matter who Cora was working with? It should have been enough for everyone that he'd said cut ties with her and steer clear yet.

Teague was hard pressed not to laugh when the French woman chimed in. Alia had taken the words right out of his mouth. Still, the tracker felt he needed to say something, even if it was nothing but a deflection that would more than ruffle some feathers. Quite frankly he didn't care. Right now in the trackers mind the Order was the more pressing topic and that would need everyone's full attention. "If she's with the Order or not don't matter. The fact she's off limits should be good enough for you lot right now."

When the conversation drifted back toward the Order, Teague felt a slight smirk tug at the corner of his mouth and he had to bite back the venomous retort he had on the tip of his tongue at the mention of Darque and how the Orders leader was set free from Azkaban. It was hard not to glare at Trevor for that since Teague was certain it had happened while his friend still had the reigns.

"Aye. The plan is to hurt them bad enough they'll have no hope of reviving and make any other factions think long and hard about moving against us. SAVIOR is no more thanks to inside help and that means the only real threat left is the Order. There will be no prisoners this time. I want them dead, no quarter given, no public execution bullshit, no traps, nothing."
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by: Cole
#18193
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Alice frowned more at Teague’s insistence that a defector as dangerous as the Dark Lady was both off limits and not a concern. That had far too many holes for her liking. So the oddity of Teague’s behavior led her believe he was either lying about the woman defecting or protecting her. The lie could be explained if she was working as a spy and that would be on a need to know basis for the Lord. Which would work phenomenally for them especially against the Order. The protection option though… Was worrisome to say the least. But it was an easy enough thing to discover with her contacts. Or perhaps he was just clearing out all the people who had worked for the previous Lord. Which was also problem on a more personal level.

A slight smile graced her lips as she scribbled her notes in a messy shorthand for later. She turned her dark eyes back to her Lord with a new calm though the sharpness of her gaze never faltered. ”What you’re planning then, if I am understanding correctly, is a hard and swift hit that leaves nothing left. No war, no attack, a massacre,” she clarified, ”Crush their hope and resources and we’ve solved all our problems.”

She leaned back in her seat then, folding her hands briefly as she thought through the plan tracing the outline as a document in her mind’s eye. Step one, step two, and step three. No twist needed. Hmm… It was much to forward and forceful for Alice’s liking but perhaps that was what was needed currently.
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by: Orion
#18194
Sir Nott didn't quaver under the scrutiny from the room. If anything, it served to embolden the old Death Eater. Finally, they noticed that the old guard was here. The upstart young woman who retorted that it shouldn't matter earned herself a slow turn and settling of the Adder's flat gaze. Why did he care?

"Precedent." He hissed the word waspishly. "If we are going to be inflicted with a new Lord every several years, it matters that the precedent of our Dark Lord is followed. If she is a traitor, she needs to be dead. If she is not a traitor but no longer wishes to be among our number, then the precedent stands of retirement...but those of us who were graced with our Lord's favor to be rewarded as such were honored. Forgive me for being self centered, but were I to ask to step back, would I be met with exile as it seems she's been? I care because I'm not so dimwitted to think that the way our new Lord treats others has no impact on me."

He flashed a self deprecating smile and small bow to Teague. If the new Lord wanted to take it as respectful, it was. If he wanted to take it as mocking, it certainly was that, too. Teague had not yet earned Sir Nott's support or full respect. Somehow, the old Death Eater doubted that Teague would even attempt such fine political maneuvering. The Adder had full respect for the office and title of Dark Lord. Whomever wore his Lord's title, however...they needed to prove themselves worthy of it before the Adder would give them his full support.
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by: Christophe Viridian
#18288
Azkaban?

Kara... Azkaban ...

Kara...


He muddled over this information in his thoughts. Stoic and silent, the towering shadow remained, as most of the other words didn't mean anything to him. Why did he know that name?

Kara...

Christophe's eyes were slightly widened as he stood behind the Dark Lord at his given post. If Viridian was his name, then Kara must have been a relative? Fierro and Kristabella, he remembered, siblings that would never be forgotten, but if they were speaking with such disdain and disgust for the name Kara Viridian, then there must have been a reason. She worked with the resistance, that much he could discern, the Order of the Phoenix setting his blood to a low simmer as his fists worked their way into tight fists at his back. Even if anyone noticed that he was irked by the mention of his old surname, the guardian remained as still as possible, as he battled with himself in his own mind. A hint of a conflict of his old, human side was quickly devoured by the animal there, which tried to attribute these words as ones that belonged to an enemy, an opposition to the Lord he was designed for, a man he was bound to serve.

But then they kept on; More and more voices raised to question the Lord's speech. His hazel eyes shifted to stare at the woman who spoke with an accent he knew he'd heard before but could not figure out, who seemed to be questioning every angle. Her allegiance was obviously with MacTail but still challenging with her demeaning tone and rather haughty nature. Then, another woman chimed in, the one who had been jotting notes down through the meeting, with advice of attack. The older man called attention to his seat again, and while he'd dragged out the question of some... Dark Lady before, he chose to prod at the Lord's power presently. He was questioning the Lord, testing him perhaps, as he pitted his rule versus the rulers of the past, and that in itself was enough to be seen as a challenge.

He took a deep breath, trying to calm the heat and anger that was threatening to let loose. MacTail had made no signal, though, so Christophe struggled to keep that anger at bay and remained at his post. This was his first outing, his first official reveal to someone other than the swordswoman and the secretary, and he would be foolish to make an unauthorized step toward one man in a room full of powerful witches and wizards.
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by: Dru Windsor
#18290
The woman she recognized as Alia Boucher from the old days had brought up questions that were interesting enough, though Dru wasn't sure what she was getting at by shifting to the topic of the Order. Not that she wanted to go on and on about that Larson witch anyway, but it was interesting to see that she decided to shift to inquire about why that blight on the realm, Kara Viridian, hadn't been executed. It was valid enough, but was she making the jab deliberately at Williams for seemingly setting her free, or was she ribbing at Teague for letting it slip under the radar without any warrant or search for her immediate arrest? From what she remembered, Kara was one of the realm's most wanted, alongside Dru's very own ex-husband, but now that she was free, it was a for sure thing that she was a direct threat to the Regime.

She looked over at the other woman, someone of whom she wasn't familiar, an raised a brow. Dru wasn't sure if she was being condescending as she gave a paraphrase of the plan to strike the Order like a one-two-punch, as if things would seem so easy. In a perfect world, perhaps. But the way she reacted seemed like she might have agreed on things, so she decided to pay her no mind. The more people on board with the strike on the Order of the Phoenix, the better, as this seemed to be what Teague had planned.

In the corner of her eye, she noted the behemoth's behavior. Christophe seemed bothered by what was being said, and she couldn't help but wonder if the remains of Viridian was still lingering beneath the blood of the beasts he'd been infused with. He seemed composed for the most part, so she let him be.

"So is that what you've become then, Lord Nott?" For the first time in the meeting, Drusilla chose to speak up. Her dark eyes flickered with frustration at the older man. Surprised that no one, not even Trevor or Delilah were aiding the verbal bout between Nott and Teague, so she took matters into her own hands. "Someone who questions the current authority by bringing up the decisions of Lords past? Hm. I think it appears that some of the old guard might be afraid of such change. With all due respect, sir, but it is our duty to adapt." Dru herself was unable to deem herself such a veteran as Lord Nott, but she was accustomed to the times of which he'd mentioned. The trouble she was seeing here was the changing of the guard had happened a little too rapidly and everyone was struck with the whiplash of a new Lord taking place. It was understandable, but as far as she saw it, if one were to press on with the Regime, then it meant following the lead of the new person in power.

"The fact of the matter is this. Lord MacTail is our current Lord, and if our current Lord so wishes Larson to remain as exile, then that is all. Should he call for a swift end on the witch then I might see to it myself but we wait for the command. How he treats anyone of our own legion is of his own decision, of his own volition, and perhaps the way he treats anyone else might be circumstantial. And if you so wish to test such patience and face our Dark Lord's wrath, then by all means..."

She prepared herself for any inbound backlash. As a returning member, upon the request of Teague, she still had her place here, but Dru was sure that if they were going to speak against her and her status. She had been retired and out of the game for so long which meant she was not as informed on the ongoings with Williams and anything else prior to that. That fact was going to be a pain in the ass until they knew, without the shadow of a doubt, that she was back for good. Dru came back with the intent of being Teague's guard, and she would do just that. Defend. Not to make him look as if he couldn't stand his own ground, because she was sure he could, but to show that her return was solely because she believed he could rule the Death Eaters. He just needed the right allies at his side, and this meeting would prove to her who was with him, and who was not.

What was said had been said and she wouldn't take any of it back.
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