- Mission Details:
Crocus was indeed worthy of its reputation as the capital city of Fiore. Its majestic buildings and lofty architecture spoke of great doings to tourists and appreciators of such magnificent structures. Some others would likely be put off by the excessive waste of resources, but for the most part, Crocus was admired. In the opinion of the Utgardian God Slayer, though, the city was a terrible sham, and its falsehood disgusted Beira. For she knew that with all the beauty, it could only have been created by the money and labor of those who would never enjoy it. Like every other great city, Crocus was segmented into two major living areas, as far as Beira was concerned. There was 'Crocus proper', which had all the houses and palaces of the people who were esteemed to matter. And then, at the edges of Crocus proper were the slums, wherein those who were trodden on, and regarded as the scum, those who didn't really matter, resided. And yet, it was these dregs of the society whose backs, and blood, and sweat, and taxes were responsible for the irritating lords of Fiore to strut and make names and assertions of themselves which they had neither earned, nor deserved.
The Utgardian thought, with a bitter taste in her mouth, of her homeland, probably buried by the snow of centuries... or was it millennia? Beira had absolutely no idea of how long she had been asleep, but in her opinion, the values back then seemed to have changed a mighty deal... or perhaps the people of Midgard had no idea of proper values. Despite the fact that Utgardr had been established by refugees from Asgardr, Beira was quite opinionated that , for refugees, the people of Utgardr were of a most impeccable nature. The first High Emperor of Utgardr, Hrim the Old, whose blood currently ran in her veins, did not sit back and command his subjects to build him a palace. He built it alongside them, hefting stones and cutting wood. And his descendants had towed a similar line. Back then, when her brother, Hodr the Meek, had been given command to defend the borders of Utgardr from the dark elves, Beira and Hodr were both at the forefront of building Winterhelm, the border fortress of Utgardr. And working did not diminish the nobility of the one who labored, at least, as far as Beira was concerned. But it seemed the folk of Midgard, or maybe it was just Fioreans, but these people appeared to love being ruled by lazy, foolish people with insipid minds and bloated bodies.
Beira would have spat, if she were any more irritated, though she remembered how her tutors would have regarded her, if they had caught a "princess of Utgardr, spitting like a wild cat." She smiled in spite of herself. Today, she had been tasked by her guild to gather information from a ball. A party, so to speak. Beira found it irritating that the 'nobles' refused to mingle with the 'commoners', when, without these commoners, there would be nothing for the nobles to rule, nothing to exploit. Well, as expected, commoners would probably only be allowed into the ball, if they were servants, and of course, they were not expected to interact with the nobles. Beira, for her part, was interested in this job for two main reasons: firstly, she was intent on proving her mettle to her guild. Secondly, she wanted to see just how nobly these 'nobles' of Fiore behaved. She was quite sure she would be disappointed.
Intelligence had informed her that the ballroom, and its adjacent regions would be highly guarded. The major problem was getting in, as there would be quite a lot of guards. Beira had considered the three options that seemed safest for her to use to attempt infiltration of the ballroom, as far as infiltrating the ball was concerned. Firstly, she could pass off as a waitress. While it would be easy getting in that way, the Utgardian was rather aware of her own weakness when it came to taking insults, especially from people she regarded as below her station. Someone would probably be rude to her, she would more probably slap him, and the mission would most probably go to hell in a hand basket. She could also attempt to pass off as one of the guards, but the problem was that she was informed that the Head of Security for the lovely waste of money called a party had his own security team, people he had worked with, and was familiar with. She would be easily found out, but perhaps that wasn't as important as the feeling that she wasn't sure she would last an hour in those stuffy Fiorean clothes.
The last option was to come disguised as a noble. She could pass off as some foreign diplomat who was in the country, and had received an invitation to rub shoulders with Fiore's most irritating eminences. It was quite unlikely that the guards would be quite aware of the identities of the guests, so all she had to do was act stuck up and dainty, and she would surely be let in. Oh, and wear clothes for the occasion. That was where the fun of the whole thing would begin. Beira had discovered, to her mild pleasure, that despite the Fiorean hypocritical stance on exposing skin, many of the noble women of younger ages and more alluring curves wore scandalous clothes to such engagements, and were not in the least disturbed for it. Beira smiled. At least she would be comfortable.
The next thing to do was to get her hands on an invitation. She had been given details about some irritating countess that was attending the ball as well. Normally, Beira wasn't sure she wanted to be caught dead in the same room with such a person naturally, but in this annoying woman, she had discovered her means of getting into the ballroom. Happily, despite the challenges posed, she could not impersonate the countess; by appearance she would be about two decades younger than the termagant. But she wasn't hopeless. Just a little help from the spells in her arsenal, and she would be in. All she had to do was cast a few well-placed illusions, and nobody would see it fit to turn her away. It was very unlikely that the guards would start going round to check people for defunct invitations when the ball was under way, as long as she didn't misbehave in the ballroom. In any case, Beira was sure she had a cool head on her shoulders. Pulling this off would be a piece of cake. Oh, and she would probably be treated to some good food while she was at it. Better her than the countess.