- 01 Jul 2019, 15:23
Ivan looked at her curiously, then said, "Yes... it is nice to talk to someone who understands. As for Kyle... I would like to give him more credit. You have not seen him as I have. He has strong leadership skills. I could not do as well with out him. I can not say for certain what his future is. Truthfully I think he represses much that is in him out of a fear of what he could be. But... maybe that is flaw in itself," he said with a shrug.
"But as for rest...? It is not so simple. Just as it vas not so simple with you and Marlowe, but for different reasons."
Leaning foward he picked up a bottle agian and said, "I am going to tel you story. Long story. But you are my captive audience so... is too bad for you."
He took a swig, then said, "Long time ago... I am too drunk to count how many years... but I was working for crime boss in Russia. He vas bad. Very bad. The sort who would kill your entire family, children too, if you crossed him. And he treated his employees bad. Would kill someone not involved in causeing trouble in the ranks... just to make point about how little he valued lives. I am not even going to go into details but... I saw many things I would rather not repete. Then... Nathan Iver came along one day. He had supposedly deserted Cleary Company. He came offering my boss his services. Said he would give Cleary Company secrets, and lend his growing skills in the dark arts to my boss, if he would give him a favorable position... He even brought along a follower of his who also desert Cleary Company by the name of Caleb Pryer."
Ivan smiled fondly at the memory, then said, "He quickly made himself a favorite of the boss. He is good actor when he needs to be. He was flattering, subservient... everything my old boss could have wanted. Meanwile... he slowly gained the rest of the employees’ trust, then staged a coup. Convinced enough that it was better under Cleary, better pay, management, etc. There was betrayals, blood, death... In the end Nathan won. Killed my old boss. I had chosen wisely and joined with his movement.”
Ivan drummed his fingers a moment on the arm of the sofa, then said, “Back then he was extremely impressive, dangerous, commanding... a leader like no other. I was young. We all were. Myself, some of the others, Caleb... we were pretty fanatical followers of him. Said we would die before betraying him ever. He was our leader until death took us.... and then one of our number betrayed him." Ivan shrugged then said, "He made a dark comment to us about trusting his true secrets and plans to no one. That we had all betrayed our old master so why not him? He would be giving his faith to no one in this world... One of us said we would swear a true oath, bound by magic...." Ivan rolled his eyes a bit, but there was a hint of a smile on his lips.
"It was exciting times and we were all very dramatic and young, as I said. Read to many stories. But Nathan was smart enough to pretend disinterest before concocting a good spell, full of an elaborate oath, full of fancy words to stir a man's heart. And a mark as well. To create comradery."
Touching the place on his chest lightly Ivan said, "You asked me once what tattoo meant... why I got it, and I brushed you off with some generic answer. But this is the mark which binds me forever to Nathan and his service. And also..." Ivan took a sip from his bottle, then said,
"He weaved a compulsion spell into it. It's not imperious but... is rather like an addiction... a tickle in back of mind. Even if I left his service I would not be able to truly shake feelings loyalty to him, or wanting to be, even if I made choice not to be."