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Author Topic: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]  (Read 3458 times)

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Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #25 on: December 06, 2009, 10:54:54 PM »
Lhurriel could hardly contain her excitement as she darted back through the door, dragging Rowhik (the first person she could get her hands on) with her.

The magicycle truly was a thing of beauty. The first word that came to mind was sleek - everything about the magicycle was slim and made for speed, the entire frame painted and constructed with the mage in mind, in flowing, neutral blues and grays. The seat was lifted slightly higher in back, and everything cushioned discreetly so that discomfort wouldn't be too much of a problem on long journeys. Everything about the magicycle was compact and didn't mar the sleek look of the rest of the body. Even better, the casing that protected the crystal already glowed (to her mage-Sight) with power, the spells casted to prevent another from driving the vehicle. As she wandered around the 'cycle, Lhurriel pulled Rowhik along, explaining all the different parts that made her custom model different from the standard ones that the guards usually recieved.

"Usually the seat is wider, but since this is a custom we usually have the customer try out several different seats. Also, you see these small alloy fixtures underneath everything? Most models need larger ones because they support people with larger body weight and size... since I'm smaller though, I think they felt they could sacrifice a certain amount of reinforcing. Also, this 'cycle is designed for speed, since my fighting style tends towards agility and evasion, not head-on power. These crystals built into the sides would enhance my magic if we engaged in magicycle combat..." Lhurriel continued to chatter excitedly as she explored, and finally stopped to take a breath. Whirling around, she practically threw herself into Alasdair's arms with a laugh.

"Thank you so much! It's perfect, absolutely perfect! Isn't it, Rowhik? William?" She practically pranced back to the two guards, her face wreathed in a glowing smile.



Corsair's sharp eyes didn't miss the movement of Kae replacing Lhurriel's picture on the table, but he didn't say anything about it, giving himself a mental reminder to bring up the topic of Lhurriel later. As he shuffled through some of the estate and local maps, Corsair turned his mind back to the matters at hand.

"My people never saw much - merely lights in a barn that nobody lived in, or several figures riding magicycles at midnight, when no person has any reason to ride. Some of the hedge wizards and visiting mages nearby said they felt disturbances in the magical balance the night the visitors and bandits were seen, but after that all signs of their existence disappeared, and things returned as they were."

Corsair finally found the map he was searching for and pulled it out, indicating several crystals fused to certain portions of the map. "These are where the sightings were, and if you activate these crystals, it tells us the times they were seen. To all appearances, they are heading out of the country at all speed. However, some of my crystal mage specialists were able to detect and gather some of the crystal energy that came from their magicycle models... cheap, badly-built imitations of my own, with fractured and defective crystals that will break down within the next couple of days at the rate the bandits are using them. I concluded that the bandits and your artifact-snatchers are probably the same people, or are in league with each other. Other than that though, we have none other information to give you."

That concluded, Corsair's eyes found themselves swinging back to the portrait of Lhurriel, propped up on the table in its frame. He thought about mentioning the young woman, and see how this soldier reacted... but changed his mind, instead getting to his feet.

"I expect Lhurriel and the others will have finished with the tour by now. Dinner is very soon, so I should probably get ready. I don't hold on formality here, but I would like to change into clothes that I haven't been working in all day," Corsair explained. He nodded towards the door, where a maid curtsied and informed the men that dinner would be served in twenty minutes.

"Shall we?"

Offline Mascherari

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Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2009, 11:05:19 PM »
Rohwik's eyes grew wide as his gaze fell upon the lustrous body of a mechanized dream. It was beautiful, it was powerful, it was perfect, it was... hers. The thought panged in his head as Lhurriel led him about explaining bits and pieces of her customized new baby, drool almost dripping from between his lips. With the sudden realization his excitment all but survived. His steps around the vehicle grew heavy and his shoulders drooped while the ecstatic young mage continued on her enamoured inspection.

"Perfect?" Hawk's spirit suddenly perked up and William, noticing the changes within his friend, eyed him suspiciously, "Well now, Lady Lhurriel, how could one see it's true perfection without seeing the beast in action?"

The sly boy grinned hoping to win at least one ride.


"I see..." Kaeden thought a moment on the information.

I wouldn't doubt that they were the same thieves we are trying to apprehend. It's also good to know that we are heading in the right direction. The only downside is that they may be going where I knew they are. Kaeden leaned forward in his chair resting his elbows on his knees and lacing his hands together to set his chin on. There's still a chance that they could shift direction and head southwest making them merely a band of petty thieves. But if they don't and continue a straight path... Corsair's voice pulled Kae back from his contemplation on the matter.

"Yes." Kaeden replied as he stood from his seat, "I will take the map to my room and study the thieves' movements in more detail later tonight. I will have one of the servants direct me and my men to the dinning room. Thank you Lord Atadel."

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #27 on: December 06, 2009, 11:05:37 PM »
"That's Lady-Mage to you, Sir Rowhik... and I suppose I'd have to test my baby out before I could call her perfect, hmm?" A devilish gleam flitted through her eyes before her usual sparkle of mischief returned, and she shooed Alasdair and Gareth away, telling them to go back to work while she gloated over her latest acquisition.

"Aye, little one, but make sure you do not transform this one into a metal carcass as well!" Gareth bellowed before he and Alasdair made their laughing way back to their workrooms, to change for dinner.

Once they were gone, a playful, flirtatious smile crept onto Lhurriel's lips, and she sidled up to Rowhik's side, her voice a teasing purr.

"I s'pose you were hoping to get a ride, no? Well lucky you I'm not the possessive type," she murmured softly, taking his hand and dragging the soldier after her until they were standing right next to the magicycle. She made a moue, wondering how they could both fit on the one-person bike. Of course, she wansn't pouting for long - after a brief moment, she clambered onto the comfortable magicycle, perching with a sigh of pleasure on the seat, and then extended a hand towards Rowhik, an inviting smile on her lips.

"Feel up to a test run, Sir Rowhik?" She asked, a flirting grin curling her lips.

Offline Mascherari

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Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #28 on: December 06, 2009, 11:07:16 PM »
William stepped aside as the other two men returned to their duties as Lhurriel had suggested, though he turned his eyes back to Hawk as he was certain the man was up to something. As soon as Lhurriel had suggested a ride on her new magicycle, William figured Rohwik was the one that underlyingly suggested it.

"Why Lady-Mage," Rohwik said, appeasing her quip of addressing her so as not to crush any chances of his chance to win a ride, "I couldn't possibly think to intrude, but since you greatly insist, I would love to."

Rohwik was not at all hesitant to prop himself on the seat of the sparkling new 'cycle. The cushion was quite comfortable as he climbed aboard to take his place behind Lhurriel, grinning all the while. If only it were his he wouldn't let the darling cycle see the inside of a shed.

"Lady-Mage," William spoke out, stepping up to the pair on the cycle, both of them unmistakably eager to get it out on the road, "Do you think that this is a good idea? After all, the evening meal is to be prepared soon."
"Oh stop being such a white knight, William!" Rohwik jeered, "It's only a short test run. We can't have Lady-Mage Lhurriel continue the journey with a faulty magicycle. And how can we know if it will run well without giving it a good run?"
"Firstly, Hawk," William retorted, "It is most certainly possible there is time for it in the morning - IF they had not already check the magicycle here thoroughly already. Secondly, leaving the grounds without first informing Kaeden? He could have your head for that, you know. Third of all, from what Lady Lhurriel had told us of this place and the specifications of her magicycle, it seems that it's been made not only up to their best standards, but overly so. So if you think about it, there really is no need to take it out for a run as it has been built with precision, care, and extreme consideration to its rider."

William nodded sagely at his deductions knowing, without question, that he was right. Unfortunately, Rohwik didn't see the situation through his eyes. Hawk turned to his companion and raised a brow to accompany the smirk on his lips.

"William," he replied, "You truly need to have more fun with less books, my friend. As for Kae. Well, that's why you're here! Let him know that we'll be back in time for the meal."



Kaeden followed Corsair out of the library and then made his way up the stairs back toward his room. Before he placed the map on the table next to the bed, he opened it up once more glancing at the embedded crystals. He hoped to himself that his suspicions were wrong and that they would veer from the trail the crystals drew out. He glanced further east along the map, eyeing the place he feared they would go. His eyes narrowed in dark reverie for a moment and then he closed the parchment, setting it aside for a later time.

Turning to his bedside, he reached into one of the pouches on the mattress pulling out a simple comb. Kaeden always tied his hair back tightly when in the presence of power. Loose hair, to him, seemed something more appropriate among his men rather than in times that called for etiquette. He ran the comb through his strands a few times before replacing the band, pulling his tresses into a tight tail secured at the base of his skull. He straightened his tunic before a mirror and stepped out into the hall again. He was presentable. Kaeden rapped lightly on the door just right of his. Almost immediately, Tolan answered the door.

"Supper should be on the table quite soon." Kaeden informed.
Tolan nodded, "Alright, I'll let Ghestin know and we will be down soon. Have William and Hawk returned from their tour with Lady Lhurriel?"
"I haven't seen them, but I'm sure that Lord Atadel will have someone fetch them soon. The two still need to get themselves cleaned up before sitting for a meal."

Tolan slipped back into his room to dress a little more formally for the meal and Kae stepped down the stairs once more, keeping an eye out for someone who could possibly direct him to the dinning room.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2009, 11:10:56 PM by Mascherari »

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #29 on: December 06, 2009, 11:08:06 PM »
Lhurriel grinned and shook her head at William, her hands moving surely as she tested the grips and felt the smooth paint of the magicycle. She sighed in contented pleasure as she straddled the seat of her bike, wiggling her hips as she felt how comfortable it was compared to that of her previous magicycle. The body of the 'cycle was customized perfectly to her smaller size and her more athletic build, maximizing average and top speed of the magicycle, as well as improving the look of the overall vehicle.

"Sir William, you won't have to worry about me leaving the grounds. I don't intend to leave the house at all," she remarked cheerfully, an inner twist with her magic causing the magicycle's crystal to flare to life with a gentle, almost inaudible purr. Grinning recklessly, she winked at the concerned knight before leaning forward and warning Rowhik to hold on. Nobody was going to stop her from testing the magicycle, let alone a little frustration on Kaeden's part.

"Corsair's home is perfect as an obstacle course." With that oh so comforting statement, she gunned the magicycle then sped out of the room on a perfectly linear path straight towards the double doors leading back to the main house, shouts of alarm and yells to halt greeting her ears. Merely allowing her smile to widen even more, Lhurriel formed a flying sphere of raw magic in one hand, which she threw at the large double doors separating the magicycle workshop from the rest of the house. The left door opened, with a set of candles right in their path. And instead of slowing down, she sped up, flying past the entrance (to the guards' bewilderment, then shock) before making a tight barrel roll to the right in order to avoid the hot wax and flames.

All the way down the hall, sheer laughter left Lhurriel's lips as she urged her machine faster, dodging anything in her way with raw skill and pure talent. Experience told her when to check her speed; it also told her the correct angles to tilt and turn as they raced through the long hallway, the wind they generated sifting through Lhurriel's formerly neat locks.

It didn't take them long before they arrived in the main hall - with Corsair standing at the base of the stairs to greet them, an unimpressed look on his handsome face. After the casual clothes he had worn earlier, this more impressive outfit, with the dinner jacket showcasing his broad shoulders and the trousers his long legs, made him appear more like the titled lord that he truly was. Not at all fazed by his change in appearance, Lhurriel stopped on a dime not even five steps away from Corsair and leapt off, racing into his arms to give him a crushing hug (ignoring the fact that he had formal dinner clothes on that wouldn't look too becoming creased and wrinkled).

"It's wonderful! Perfect! It's worth every one hundred and twenty five gold pieces I'm forced to part in order to have her..." Lhurriel said with a squeal of glee, pulling a large, full pouch from her robes. From within came five strings, with twenty five gold pieces attached to each one.

"As promised, my lord... one hundred... twenty five pieces," she said airily, placing the gold in his hands. Only a mischeivous grin forewarned her of the tight hug he drew her into, which she accepted with wholehearted joy. Unhesitating arms wrapped around his neck, but she was slightly surprised by the possessiveness with which he clutched her slight body.

"It's worth it to see the smile on your face, Ree," he murmured, quiet enough that Rowhik could not hear them. Hearing a sound, Lhurriel poked her head around his larger form so she could look up the stairs, where Kae was at the moment standing on the second floor landing, as dressed up as Corsair was. Blankness cleared the emotion from her face - she blinked, glanced from Corsair to Kae and back again, before gasping in horror and then rushing over to Rowhik, fairly hauling him off the bike even as she turned off her magicycle.

"My apologies, my lord, Sir Kaeden! I delayed your two knights. I shall deliver Sir Rowhik to his room to change posthaste! Don't wait too long for us if we're late!" She called as she ran past both men, towing Rowhik behind her as she raced up the stairs then down the hall so they could both get changed in time for dinner.

Offline Mascherari

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Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #30 on: December 06, 2009, 11:09:43 PM »
William watched as they shot off through the double doors, completely dumbfounded, though not at all surprised, by Rohwik's blatant disregard for his outright concern. Of all the careless most irresponsible people I'm stuck fighting beside... William sighed to himself thinking that it was anything he should not have suspected. With Hawk eyeing the magicycle the way he was, Will knew that he had nothing else on his mind but a joyride. But no, he had faith in his rambunctious companion; Rohwik would listen to William's logic and truth... When the very fires of the Seven Hells ceased to burn. It didn't help William that he was the youngest of the group either. He was generally shrugged off with his words of wisdom and bits of advice. Everyone else was older and wiser - so they liked to think, anyway. The only ones who cared to hear William's thoughts were Kaeden, and every now and then Tolan may have an ear for it. But Kae was usually the one that would help poor Will keep his sanity amongst the more "carefree" natures of their fellow comrades.

William sighed again, distraught over the thought still, but let it pass with the exhale of his breath. 'Good in, bad out.' He voiced a shout of thanks to the familiar faces he passed by as he walked his way out the direction they had entered in. He was actually quite happy to leave the boisterous noises the factory bustle about with. Certainly would get a headache if he had stayed much longer than that. A place where such ruckus overwhelmed the atmosphere so constantly was no place for an intellectual of his capacity. He rather liked the library they had seen at the beginning of their arrival to the grandeur of the magicycle factory where Hawk seemed to be so enamoured with.

Hawk, on the other hand, thought no more on William's words than when he had said them. (Typical of him, honestly. Just as William had thought it so.) It wasn't as though he never took the boy seriously. On the contrary, he held great faith in the boy and respected him for his wonderful mind. However, when there was a magicycle such as this in question there was no surefire way that would keep him from taking up that offer Lhurriel had extended to him. When the engine revved, he felt the power rumble beneath him and he relished in the feeling. Bloody brand new and the first surge of it's full potential power roared between his legs. (Nevermind the fact that such a beast belonged to the woman who was to drive him around on it.) For that moment, it was all Rohwik and the magicycle... Until the 'cycle took off, of course.

Torn from his reverie of power, (and possibly the greatest sense of nirvana he would ever feel,) Rohwik latched onto the torso of the lady-mage as she ripped through the halls of the factory. The speed was incredible. He had never seen - or felt - a magicycle hit such vast speeds in so short a time. The crystal she used must have been very well prepared and quite extraordinary.

With the sudden surge of even more speed, Rohwik couldn't help but tighten his hold on the girl. And he was glad he did as not long after the cycle flipped into a barrel roll and Rohwik swore he felt his stomach turn along with it. Gods, the girl was quite the driver. Twisting and turning with boundless ease, it was almost as if it was merely a second nature to her. Hawk let out a joyous yell in the form of 'yeeehaw!' as they zoomed about the manor. What a rush this was! He hadn't felt such excitement since the very first ride on a magicycle he ever had. Pure fun! Rohwik would have been extremely disappointed once the ride had ceased, but to be honest, being a little unprepared for such a ride had left him a bit dizzied and he was glad to welcome the break. Lhurriel had bounded to the Lord Corsair in expression of her thanks whilst Rohwik gathered his wits, or at least tried. All the while Kaeden glancing on curiously.

Before Rohwik could consider saying anything along the lines of "what I wouldn't give for a 'cycle like that," Lhurriel had yanked him by the folds of his jerkin to be trudged up the stairway. Kaeden had merely glanced at Lhurriel before she was suddenly overcome by a sudden haste. He meant to approach in casual interest towards the obviously new magicycle and her well of excitement, but as he began to descend, Lhurriel started bounding up the steps, poor Rohwik at her heels, apologizing for her unintentional delay.

"Please, Lady Lhurriel," Kaeden began to interject, but alas, he was a bit too slow-tongued to get a word in before she was gone, "No need... to... worry.."

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2009, 11:11:38 PM »
Lhurriel had already deposited Rowhik at his door, running off to her own room one down the hall near Corsair's master suite before he could give a word of thanks. Dashing into her room, she surprised two waiting maids into gasps of surprise (and one broken teacup), and shooed them out with all the efficiency of a cleaning girl with a broom at her disposal.

Finally, she whirled herself to the walk-in closet, where a bevy of traveling and court clothes, as well as silky dresses and more daring nightgowns and ballgowns hung, resplendent and much unused. Corsair welcomed the young mage into his home unconditionally, despite the fact that they were no longer a couple. Most of the clothing hanging in the closet were Lhurriel's, paid for and bought with her mage's pension; however, some of them (especially the evening dresses and nightbowns) had been gifts from Corsair when they'd been courting.

Some were so scandalous, they made Lhurriel blush just thinking about wearing them.

Shaking her head, Lhurriel quickly wandered through, wondering if she should wear a mage's attire or look like a young woman tonight. She finally decided to wear an evening dress, and fingered through the beautiful, soft materials until she came across a new dress. She remembered when she had gotten fitted for it, and the unfortunate events following it that prevented her from ever putting it on in its finished state.


"Mademoiselle, this deep blue silk looks gorgeous with your splendid figure!" The dressmaker cooed, ecstatic at her luck in snagging Lord Atadel for a customer, as well as getting to dress such a physically fit and pretty little thing.

"I am thinking... a plunging neckline here, two thick ribbons of silk around your upper arms for sleeves... Bare shoulders, we must show off such flawless, beautiful skin, my dear!... Such a tiny waist, it emphasizes your chest. It is a bit small, of course..."

"Madame, I believe the lady's chest size is not of your concern," Corsair cut in coolly. The dressmaker immediately apologized and continued to work, chattering on about Lhurriel's many assets before she finally finished and promised that the silken creation would be finished by the end of the week. Lhurriel giggled as she crawled into Corsair's lap, still clad only in a light shift with her usual absence of a corset, beginning with light kisses before deepening their embraces.



What followed was a silly argument about possessiveness and control, and the lack of time Corsair and Lhurriel spent together; Lhurriel left in a huff that night, and then was sent away on an envoy mission to a neighboring country before she could apologize and make up with Corsair. The two did eventually reconcile their differences, deciding to remain friends rather than brave the turmoil of love and romance, which would be difficult to maintain considering their mutually busy schedules and philosophical differences.

She smiled, a mischeivous grin widening as she thought of the spectacle she would create belowstairs by wearing the dress. It was most suitable for dinner, as it was a dinner gown; the neckline wasn't too scandalously low, and with a bit of jewelry and the right pair of shoes, Lhurriel could look like a young lady again, instead of her usual tomboyish mage appearance.



Corsair asked Kaeden and the other guards to seat themselves at the table first, telling them that Lhurriel would be down in no time at all.

"She gets ready very quickly. If you'll wait here, I'll go up and bring her down. I apologize for the delay," Corsair added hastily, rising from his seat and bowing before retreating back to the main hall. He was halfway up the stairs when a pleasant chortle of laughter greeted him, and involuntarily his eyes widened before he returned the chuckle, escorting the silken vision back down the steps.

Without announcing himself, Corsair brought Lhurriel in, proudly strolling to their streets and helping her sit down. She had been conveniently placed between Kaeden and Rowhik; Corsair sat across from her, with William at his right elbow and the rest of the guards down his left and on the other side of the table evenly. As soon as the mage was seated, she smiled and turned towards Kaeden, eyes sparkling with mirth.

"So? What do you think?" She extended one graceful, bare arm, displaying the blue silk loops around her upper arms serving as useless sleeves. The plunging neckline and built-in corset emphasized her modest bosom, and her pheonix pendant also drew attention to the V of the fabric. It tapered off to a slim, muscled abdomen and waist, with the silver-embroidered skirt hidden underneath the tablecloth.

"Do you like it?" She asked the collective group of guards, an anxious smile hovering on Lhurriel's lips. "I haven't worn this before, and I was so rushed I didn't look in the mirror. My hair and dress do look alright, don't they?"

Offline Mascherari

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Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #32 on: December 06, 2009, 11:15:54 PM »
It certainly didn't take long for Rohwik to ready himself for dinner. He rarely put himself completely into prettying up for anyone unless it was a situation that called for a scrutinous eye. (Usually in the cases involving the royal court. There would be serious demerits should anything be amiss amongst the ranks.) The extent of his change was dusting off his pantaloons and changing out for a new, hopefully clean, tunic. Rohwik didn't bother fussing with his hair. It was generally a tangle red mess and he liked it that way. It was less maintenance heavy that way.

He joined his band quite quickly, giving a large grin to William whom he had recently disregarded earlier. Greeted by an unimpressed roll of eyes, Rohwik took his seat before his young companion. Lord Corsair had informed them Lhurriel would be but a moment and took it upon himself to make certain it was so, leaving the royal escort to chatter amongst themselves.

"How did you find the Lord's industry?" Kaeden asked the two who had gone.
"It was absolutely amazing, Kae!" replied Hawk enthusiastically, his childish glee shattering all formalities between subordinate and superior, "He has a completely intricate system that practically mass-produces the magicycles!"

Kaeden smiled at his overly-excited friend. He glanced over to William wanting to know what he had thought of the excursion as well. William wasn't half as excited over it as Rohwik had been.

"It was a learning experience, most certainly." he added quite calm and collectedly, "Though, I believe the highlight of the tour was Lady Lhurriel's personal vehicle."

On that note, Rohwik shot off again, running on about how Lhurriel handled the savage beast in the most skillful manner. He continued on about the details of Lhurriel's newfound love, (of course he wouldn't admit his underlying desires to call that mechanized beauty his own.) William had turned the rambling fool out while he waited patiently for the meal to get underway, the other two of their company were actually quite interested in what Hawk had to say. (One of the fewer moments.)

Unfortunately, (or not so unfortunately depending on how one looked at it,) Rohwik was cut short in his tale-telling when Lhurriel took her place next to him and Sir Kaeden. Silence filled the room as the men looked on at the transformed beauty. Ghestin nearly choked on his sip of water when Corsair approached with the lady on his arm. The awestruck silence crashed to a halt when Lhurriel's mirth spilled into the room.

Her questions were expected of a woman, but even so, few men took it upon themselves to answer. (Poor Kaeden also finding himself taken aback by how different - most certainly for the better -- not that there was anything wrong with her in the first place -- of course.) 'Hell hath no fury,' as they say. Should any of them say the wrong thing he was sure to remain on the bitter end of the stick throughout the rest of the journey. Needless to say that Hawk was not one of the few with the brains to keep his mouth shut.

"I can certainly tell you one thing. William would sure find -" Rohwik nearly bit off the end of his tongue before he could finish. William had kicked him in the shin beneath the table before he could proceed with his bit of information.
"Find that the dress is quite astounding." William said quickly, recovering the dropped sentence, "I would be correct in assuming that it was custom made?" he finished after nervously clearing his throat and completely ignoring Rohwik's pain distorted face. Normally the squabble between the two would be found amusing, but for some reason, it went practically unnoticed

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #33 on: December 06, 2009, 11:22:44 PM »
Lhurriel laughed aloud, sounding more like the carefree, tomboyish mage she had been for most of the day. She fairly sparkled in the dress, with her hair done rather carelessly (it fell loosely, lightly waved because it had been tied back for most of the day) and a fresh, unadorned face free of paints and makeup. Her mere simplicity only served to outline her freshness and a naturally pretty face, and even if her physique wasn't as developed as some men might prefer, the silken gown she had on did much to exaggerate what she had and make the most of her petite and lithe form.

"Thank you so very much. And if your faces were any indication of how I looked, I'd say I rather succeeded in my attempt to shock and surprise you boys," she teased, winking at the diners seated around the table. Lhurriel wasn't vain, as far as women went; in reality, she didn't care much about her appearance at all. But there were times when it was simply relaxing and wonderful to be complimented on her looks - to be described as ravishing and stunning instead of as competent and reliable, powerful and skilled. And while being complimented on her skills as a mage and efficiency as a worker was wonderful, Lhurriel often enjoyed (in a rather sadistic fashion) surprising, shocking, and stunning everyone she knew by wearing a flattering dress that made her look like a female instead of a mage.

Or at least, it made her look like more than just some sexless mage, which she knew was how some at the Palace viewed her.

Knowing that some of the men were quite uncomfortable, Ree began chattering about current news and some national events, as well as troop movements in the South and some current. Corsair was very surprised, even though he always knew that the lady-mage was a very formidable young woman indeed, both as a mage, as a person, as a royal advisor, and as a woman. He watched silently (while eating the courses servants brought promptly to the table) as Ree engaged in coversation with two of the guards at once, bringing up discussion and debating with them about national policy regarding the environment, magic regulation, business, the economy, and other topics including religion, the nomadic Border Clans, possibility of invasion, and recent discoveries of magical artifacts and scholarly tomes. Soon, Rowhik and William were debating the merits of faster magicycles versus longer crystal life, while Ghestin, Tolan, and Ree were discussing in a rather spirited fashion the current national politics, and the next few candidates who were considering nomination into the Advisory Council.

From time to time, Ree glanced over at Kaeden, wondering why he remained silent for much of the time. However, she quickly lowered her eyes and took a healthy bite out of her slice of meat before Kae could catch her watching him, and turned back her several conversations. After ensuring that Ghestin and Tolan were arguing quite merrily away, she turned to William and exclaimed in outrage when she saw that he had received the delicate, wonderfully delicious strawberry souffle that Corsair's chef had made a masterpiece of.

"Corsair! You never told me that your cook made strawberry souffle!" She accused. "And I only get a bowl of fruit?" She said, put out.

Corsair tried not to laugh. He'd expected this reaction. "Whenever you begin eating sweets, you get so incredibly energetic. And you need your sleep tonight," he said severely, his tone suddenly becoming like that of a disapproving elder sibling's. Lhurriel pouted, quite unhappy with the answer... but had to hide her smirk when a mischevious idea came into her head. William did have the dessert, after all... and she had always loved flirting. She didn't get nearly enough opportunity to do so.

She finagled her way over to the other side of the table, with servants cheerfully doing her bidding and dragging a chair over next to William. "William, can't I please have a bite of your dessert? I'm really sorry for not listening to you earlier," she apologized, looking properly chastised. Blushing and brushing her hair behind one ear with one hand, she glanced up at him.

"I know it's rather rude of me to ask, but I just LOVE eating desserts, and this is my favorite." She smiled winningly, the picture of feminine perfection in the lush gown, rosy blush, and sparkling, lively eyes.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2009, 11:28:54 PM by Caeli »

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Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #34 on: December 06, 2009, 11:32:42 PM »
All four of the boys let out a nervous laugh at Lhurriel's confession about her secret intentions. Kaeden turned his gaze elsewhere, clearing his throat with a small smirk on the corner of his lips. She was certainly not like any of the normal ladies of court he was used to.

Mere minutes from Lhurriel joining the company at the dinner table the food had been served, (and the boys were quite thankful for that.) The staff was certainly efficient in the lord's house. The meal was quite pleasing as well; very close to, if not the same quality served within the dining halls of the king, himself. Tolan and William couldn't seem to let Lord Corsair know enough how wonderful the food was.

Lhurriel's consideration to the tension the guards had in her presence was certainly helpful. As they talked, it did not take long for them all to relax once again. Ghestin had found out he didn't much care for Lady Lhurriel as much as he appreciated Mage Lhurriel. He never truly took it upon himself to be present during distinguished affairs. Everything was far too over dressed and over flowered, garb, decorations, meals, and words a like. The thought of such "pleasantries," as they were called, gave the large man headaches he could certainly do without.

Tolan, being born of a quite reputable bloodline, was born into such lifestyle. He was a natural gentleman being the son of a well-to-do lord. (Possibly, though quite distant, kith and kin to the King himself.) However, the transformation from mage to lady was certainly radical enough for Tolan to be rendered just as speechless as the others. He was wonderfully excited to hear Lhurriel's erudition in, well, nearly everything. Being a man of politics as a result of his heritage, he was thrilled to hear her takes on certain issues. Truly, his companions were wonderful to speak with about such things, but after a while, opinions and stances on issues are known and there is little left to discuss between friends that hasn't already been so.

It was certainly a splendid evening meal. Corsair was more than generous with his accommodations; Kaeden had only planned for a night's rest within his quarters. The meal was more than filling, Kaeden had to decline the proffered dessert but accepting a cup of warm tea, Tolan following suit lest he make himself ill with another bite of food. The others, however, were delighted at the sight of something sweet and pointless, and certainly after such good food, the dessert would be indescribable.

William, still a very much a child at heart was enthralled with the treat before him. Taking up the fork atop the plate he scooped up a bit of the souffle and, mouth nearly watering in anticipation of the delightful taste, opened wide as he lifted it to his lips. Before he could stick the souffle in his mouth he heard Lady Lhurriel's voice in his ear. He blinked and glanced over to find the ladymage suddenly at his side looking quite... l-lovely.

To her request, he suddenly felt his cheeks go flush as he gave the others a curious sideglance. Kaeden, Ghestin, and Tolan had made it a point to conveniently not notice the ongoings between Lhurriel and William, each either busied with eating his dessert or sipping his cup of tea. Rohwik snickered in his souffle as he watched the exchange, though shrugged cluelessly in response to Will's desperate glance. Finding no sign of assistance from his companions William swallowed hard and looked back at Lhurriel.

"I.. uh.. mmrl..." he mumbled, suddenly unable to find any words in his reach.

He took in a deep breath and turned the forked souffle toward Lhurriel. He was noticeably shaken with nerves as he did so, praying any and all existing deities that nothing would come of this that would haunt him for the remainder of the evening, journey, and perhaps his life.

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #35 on: December 06, 2009, 11:33:28 PM »
Lhurriel grinned wickedly and leaned forward, placing one sun-kissed hand over his to hold the slightly trembling fork steady. With a teasing glint in her eyes, Ree closed them and delicately lipped the souffle off of William's fork. She made an uncharacteristic giggle, giving him a wink, and eased back, watching his face as it turned red and his tongue tied itself into nervous knots. She couldn't help herself.

Ree laughed gently, eyes sparkling with sympathy for the victim of her merciless teasing. "Thank you for that. But don't you worry, the Cook probably has more souffle made just for me. He loves having me over, unlike Corsair here," the mage said, curtsying rather rudely for the young lord who was chuckling at the head of the table.

"Indeed," he murmured, smiling. Affection softened the chiseled lines of Corsair's face, making Ree blush slightly before she turned back to William.

"A gentleman should always be rewarded for his acts of chivalry, don't you think?" She purred teasingly, tapping his chin twice with a contemplative finger before turning his head gently and kissing his jaw softly. A wink and two seconds later, she released the poor young guard and bid her farewell to the others, pleading hunger and saying that she wished to pay the cook and the housekeeper a long-overdue visit.

When she left, Corsair tried not to choke on his laughter. "Well done, Sir William. I do believe you've earned Lady Mage Keladar's undying love and affection for your generosity with your dessert. She does adore sweet confections so," he replied blandly. Mild updates about life in the capital insued for several minutes until the butler cleared his throat, a regal young woman on his arm.

"Sir, the Lady Chirtoff and Miss Chirtoff,  the Lady Randolph and the Misses Randolph, and Miss Sandoval," the butler intoned rather pathetically (in Corsair's eyes). Right after his doom-and-gloom announcement, a parade of six ladies entered the room, making Corsair's hair rise as feminine, high-pitched giggling echoed in his comfortable dining room. He'd become so used to Ree's down-to-earth, husky laughter... and at the thought, shook his head mentally. She is no longer yours to gloat over and protect, Corsair, he reprimanded himself, before standing as gracefully as he could manage and give a half grimace, half-smile.

"Ladies... I wasn't expecting you," he said carefully.

"Ohh! I knew you wouldn't mind. When I heard that the King's Guard was arriving to stay, I knew we had to show them Duchlarevan hospitality," one of the ladies cooed. She was dressed in a frilly, complicated-looking pink confection of lace and taffeta, and she sauntered up to Corsair, grabbing his arm in a death-grip and smiling prettily at him. Corsair wanted to throw up - he had forgotten why he usually stayed away from young misses straight out of the schoolroom. The girl on his arm, the younger Miss Randolph, was but eighteen. Lady Chirtoff was an elderly widow set on marrying her seventeen year-old daughter to Lord Atadel; Lady Randolph was a much younger wife, wanting to cuckold her husband or marry off her daughters to Lord Atadel, or both; Miss Sandoval was the elder Miss Randolph's bosom bow, and thus were always together.

Somehow, the six ladies maneuvered the entire entourage of women, guards, and Corsair into the sitting room, with its many seats and couches and lounges available. Each young lady snagged the arm of a guard, and the lucky Landy Randolph managed to squeeze her way onto Corsair's arm, handing off her daughter to William.

Corsair just wanted to groan when he saw the entire scene. Chittering, chattering young schoolgirls. Two widows set on snagging him in three different ways. A room full of high-pitched laughter and giggling. And he HATED giggling young chits. Gods be damned! I hate when the locals gossip about me!

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Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #36 on: December 06, 2009, 11:35:05 PM »
He could have sworn beads of sweat had begun rolling down his face as Lhurriel accepted his proffered treat. He felt his stomach unclench as the dinner utensil slipped away from the ladymage's lips. But before he could heave any sigh of relief, there was speak of a reward and suddenly his face was contorted in the oddest expression of worry and... bliss?

Rohwik was damn certain he had never seen such a look on any man's face before when Lhurriel kissed the boy. What a wicked woman. She knew how uncomfortable William was in that position - they all did. And yet she still pressed to make him squirm. He liked Lhurriel. She was a woman who knew how to have fun. Rohwik grinned to himself as he polished off the last bit of his dessert, stuffing in the last large mouthful before the servant carried the plate away.

"Please send the cook our thanks, Lady Lhurriel." Tolan manage to put in before she had stepped off, "The meal was quite wonderful."

William could find no words for Corsair in his fevered attempt at recovery, trying desperately to loosen the collar on his jerkin for relief from the inexplicable heat he felt. The weight of the world lifted when Lhurriel left him at peace, of course, that meant he was open to ridicule by Rohwik. But Rohwik was someone William could handle. As Hawk began poking fun at the boy, Corsair had begun discussing state affairs with Kaeden and normalcy resumed - for a while.

"Well, I'm sure you know just how reserved the king can be when it comes to situations like that." Kae replied to a comment Corsair had made, "He does mean well, though some times it's difficult to find a better way to approach things."

Kaeden reached for the cup of warm but quickly cooling tea he had only begun sipping through William's peril, but before he could take a sip of the sweet drink he noticed Corsair stand from his seat while the butler made an arrival announcement.

The military-bound brothers all turned their attention to the door where a small flock of chatty chicks pooled into the room. At once, all stood from his seat to properly greet the ladies as they led themselves in. Gods, will the torment not end this night? Poor William seemed to feel he was being picked on far more than usual.

Finding themselves being oriented in the sitting room now, each "claimed" solider kindly helping their lady counterpart take their seat. Tolan had, of course, offered his arm kindly to the young lady Randolf after giving his name, complimenting her quite elaborate gown as he did so. The poor thing nearly swooned as he casually lead her behind those who coerced the first few into the room.

William was certain to have broken under the scrutinous eye of the widow Chirtoff that fell on Ghestin. It was obvious she admired his well "maintained" physique, but Ghestin seemed unaffected by her approving looks. William's attention was brought back to the young miss Randolf as the young lady of seventeen summers eagerly yanked on his arm to have him seated beside her.

"Come, come!" she urged, "Sit with me!"
"Erh, y-yes." William choked nervously, "Certainly, m'lady."

The way that the young lass scooted closer and closer to William, causing him to to flush red and practically squirm in his seat would have been cue for Rohwik to begin his usual jestural mocking and ridicule. However, he was quite busied with his own form of company in the form of the young miss Randolf. The little girl wouldn't cease her incessant chattering.

For the love of all that is good in this world, please make her STOP. She just went on and on and on and on. Everynow and then Rohwik tuned back into her words as he kept his nods timely and his smile constant, picking up things about her shoes, the baker's son, and the frills on her dress not matching the laces on her bodice or something before he tuned her out again. Hawk began mentally grumbling at how Fate stacked the cards against them and fell in favor of Kaeden. Why couldn't Kaeden have been stuck with the chatterbox while he spent the evening enjoying the company of what flower Kae had chanced upon?

Flower indeed. Certainly a woman who knew how to paint a picture of beauty. However, Kaeden found her quite a pushy young woman, knowing where she wanted to go in a conversation and sought to keep control of it.

"Do tell me Master Kaeden," she began with a coy smile, "Are you an important man within the king's forces?"
"Each man is important, my lady," Kae answered diplomatically, as he had long ago learned to do, "One man does not make an army."
"Indeed." Her tone was curt and Kae picked up the hint of annoyance with his answer. Not wanting to offend any of the guests to the house, as well as not to put Corsair himself at risk at the hands of gossip or the like, Kaeden changed his tactics.
"I am a Captain of King Roland's knights." he added.
"Oh how wonderful!" of course she perked up again nigh instantly.

It seems we shall have to brave these dark waters as men... Kaeden mentally sighed.

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #37 on: December 06, 2009, 11:35:29 PM »
"Now you hear me, missy, you can't be romping around the countryside with only those men for company! Why, you'll be scandalized," the bustling middle-aged woman protested as she hurried after Lhurriel, indignation all over her face. The mage only laughed, deftly balancing the tray she held in her left while lifting a portion of her skirt up with her right. Just in time, for two little kittens raced right beneath her skirts, mewling playfully as they skittered out of sight behind a counter. Seconds later, two surprised shouts and a shriek signalled where they had gone, making Lhurriel laugh again.

"Oh, come now, Mrs. Bertram. As a lady mage, I have long been seen as a scandalized and fallen woman..." Lhurriel commented as she gathered together a collection of cups and saucers.

"But my lady-"

"I'm no lady, Mrs. Bertram, and you well know it. And-" Lhurriel continued calmly, when she saw that the housekeeper was about to interrupt her again, "You also know that I will never marry Lord Atadel. We are not suited."

"On the contrary, Miss Lhurriel!" Mrs. Bertram shuffled over and efficiently handed off two more trays to the young maids waiting for them. Normally the housekeeper would be the one serving Eversleigh's exalted guests, but she had twisted an ankle just two days before Lhurriel and present company had arrived. Thus the two maids, with Lhurriel's assistance. "You're young, you're quite beautiful, and you and the young master get along splendidly!"

A nostalgic expression passed through the young mage's face, the briefest of shadows before her usual bright smile replaced it. Mrs. Bertram blinked, wondering if she'd merely been imagining things, but forgot about the incident when Lhurriel began speaking again. "Lord Atadel is to marry a young lady of noble birth when he chooses to do so. One who is not out of the country constantly on business, and  one whose beauty will do his kindness and looks justice. As a young woman born of the nomadic clans, I cannot be his bride, even were I to wish it. My status as master mage makes it all the more imperative that I not wed a peer of the realm," she said blandly.

"Miss Lhurriel, you are a princess in your own right-!"

"That has no bearing on anything whatsoever," Lhurriel said sharply, turning her piercing gaze on the housekeeper. The woman silenced herself, still indignant that the pretty young mage couldn't see how perfectly she and the young master were suited. Couldn't the young lady see that she was the only one who made him laugh and smile freely? That, and the young mage, who had found a second home at the Eversleigh estate, had no business pulling her rank on the house's servants.

"I'll be taking these tea trays up now," Lhurriel said gently to the housekeeper, to soften her earlier rebuke. She waved at the two maids, who eagerly came at her request. Mrs. Bertram merely shook her head at the mage, wishing that perhaps things had been a different, as the younger girl disappeared up the stairs, maids following at her heels.



"How has your magicycle business been going?" Lady Randolph purred, scooting closer to Corsair until her thigh was pressed up against his leg. Giving her a bland, blank look, the young lord stood up smoothly, making her almost tumble ungracefully across the couch. The woman managed to catch herself in time before she made a spectacle of herself, but she glared at Corsair, who was currently replacing several books on a shelf. The sitting room was actually rather spacious, and after some manipulative shuffling Corsair managed to get himself the lounge chair that could seat three. The others were spaced around the room, with Kae and Miss Sandoval seated in the window seat across from the chair he and Lady Randolph were using.

"It's been going perfectly well, Lady Randolph," Corsair replied, sitting himself down again, only this time with the perfect amount of proprietary distance between  himself and the other woman. Despite his best efforts, however, after several minutes Corsair found the lascivious woman once again plastered to his side, her bounteous chest pressed rather firmly against his arm. Even for her, this was a bit strong-

"Why, it's wonderful to see you again, Lady Randolph," cooed a familiar voice from right behind them. Corsair didn't have to turn around to know that his savior had just come; he rose leisurely, a warm, affectionate smile coming to his lips as he turned to face Lhurriel. Apparently she had already served the others in the room; only he and Kaeden (as well as their companions) had yet to have their drink.

"Lhurriel. We missed you for dessert. How was the souffle?" He asked, winking slyly to show his thanks. Lhurriel couldn't stop the mysterious, small smile from stealing across her lips -- and at this, Lady Randolph seethed with jealousy, for the smile transformed the mage from a pretty girl to a lovely young woman. And, when she quickly glanced over the dress the mage wore, Lady Randolph neerly hissed in another silent fit of envy.

"Delicious, as I knew it would be, Corsair. You're so mean-spirited to deny me my dessert," Lhurriel chuckled, her throaty laugh well-refined into a seductive purr. Gorgeous navy silk, a high neckline (at least compared to the current fashion), and few petticoats, and still the girl looked presentable. Beyond presentable! Lady Randolph's eyes narrowed as she watched Lord Atadel kiss the girl's knuckles, and narrowed a sliver more when the Captain did the same, though with less familiarity. I KNOW my bosom is much larger than hers, and yet in that dress she ends up showing herself to advantage while looking like a complete lady! For the dress transformed a boyish, serious mage into a rather attractive little baggage, one who caught the light in Lord Atadel's gaze and took his attention off her.

"Lord Atadel, don't you think MISS Keladar is being a bit familiar with you and the guards?" Lady Randolph asked dubiously, her eyes glaring daggers at the other girl (who at the moment was chatting amiably with Miss Sandoval and the Captain of the guard).

"No. This is an intimate little party, and I've known the lady mage for quite a few years," Corsair answered smoothly, knowing that Lady Randolph was jealous and irked that his behavior towards Lhurriel was so much warmer. Displeased, Lady Lissa Randolph waited until Corsair had been summoned by his butler and Lhurriel was speaking to Miss Sandoval to pounce.

"So, Miss Keladar, how long are you to be visiting again? Last time you stayed for quite some time with Lord Atadel," Lissa mentioned coolly, her tone suggestive and a bit arrogant.

"Truly. And without a chaperone," Miss Sandoval added, moving just the slightest bit closer to Kae. Without even meaning to, Lhurriel found her jaw gritting at the sight - Miss Sandoval was the most grasping, selfish female the mage had ever had the displeasure to meet, and she felt a bit sorry for Kae, who looked quite uncomfortable having his arm clung to by the young chit.

"Good friends have no need of chaperones, and I would never dream of behaving improperly while in Lord Atadel's home," Lhurriel replied, her voice dry with badly-disguised humor. Lady Randolph's face flushed at the insinuation - cuddling up to the lord of the house in his own sitting room was improper indeed.

"Still, you are unmarried, and of but twenty years of age. You shouldn't be alone with an established bachelor like Lord Atadel," Miss Sandoval accused. Lhurriel smirked, drinking her glass of sherry before taking her time to answer.

"I am an accomplished master mage of this kingdom, proven to be responsible and proper even under the most rigorous and diplomatically strained of situations. I'm sure nobody could find fault with my visiting Lord Atadel to test his magicycles, and work them," Lhurriel replied, her voice chilly. She hated catty females. She could almost feel the invisible smirk Lady Randolph was sporting in her eyes. And when the older lady leaned closer to Miss Sandoval to whisper something, Lhurriel knew she'd misstepped, at least with her words.

"Probably to test his sexual prowess and work as his personal whore, no doubt," the woman whispered just loudly enough for present company to hear, eyes gleaming deviously. Miss Sandoval, though she set herself up Lhurriel's rival, was an innocent and jumped up with a shocked gasp, eyes wide.

For the first time that night, Lhurriel felt like slapping the other woman.

"IF I am Lord Atadel's personal whore, as you so bluntly put it, at least I know I'm suitably feminine and to his taste - unlike the hussies that reside in his district, panting like bitches in heat for his favor," she snapped furiously. Dignity wrapped around her like a scarf, Lhurriel rose, extreme dislike apparent in her eyes. "Captain Kaeden, I'll be taking my leave. Please express my sincere apologies to Lord Atadel when he returns," Lhurriel bit out icily.

"No need. I'll escort you to the stairs," Corsair said, the crystal mage Alasdair walking beside him. His pale gaze was condemning and narrowed at the attack of the other mage, though evidently he managed to find some amusement in their blatant jealousy. The two ladies rose when they saw him, a bit perturbed at the crystal mage's sudden appearance and guiltily looking away when Corsair gave them hard stares. Corsair may have looked magnificent, but Alasdair dressed to impress in elaborate mage's robes. The crystal mage bowed slightly, earning him two hurried curtsies in return, as well as one bow. In this country, crystal mages were revered for their skill and craftmanship; enviously, Miss Sandoval and Lady Randolph stared as Alasdair shook Lhurriel's hand firmly before smiling at her - an open, friendly smile that acknowledged mutual respect between them, as well as friendship. Similarly, Corsair, gave Lhurriel a silent nod before turning without a word and exiting the room, clearly expecting both mages to follow.

"I'll see you tomorrow morning, Sir Kaeden," Lhurriel said, giving him an exasperated, frustrated smile before turning to leave.

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Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #38 on: December 06, 2009, 11:48:25 PM »
A ridiculously chaotic scene if there ever was one...

Tolan was able to handle himself in the presence of a lady - apparently of any sort. His luck did not end there, for his appealing figure of blue eyes, golden hair and the overall resplendent air he had rendered the poor girl in his at his side helpless in his wake.

"...And so I ended up a knight of the king's military under Kaeden's command." He concluded, his irresistible soft smiled directed toward his present company, "Do forgive me, my lady. It seems as though I've gone and rambled on about myself."

"N-no. Please don't apologize, Master Tolan. I don't mind at all." Sighed the young Lady Randolph, her cheeks tinted pink, as she was lost in a dreamy state.

"Ah, my dear lady, you are very kind..." Tolan stood at the arrival of Lhurriel, accepting the proffered cups of tea, "Thank you Lady Lhurriel."

Ghestin said very little in ways of conversation. Widow Chirtoff was busy stirring her heated cup, tinkering the spoon against the porcelain walls. Every once and a while she would speak up, voicing an opinion on some obscure issue whilst still giving sidelong glances towards Ghestin's massive and well-chiseled body. At every other remark from the woman she would gain a nod or grunt, perhaps the statement would be worthy enough for a worded response such as "indeed" or "Is that so?" But he gave her very little, though she seemed to like his taciturn nature just as well. Widow Chirtoff content enough to carry out her own conversation.

William tried desperately to concentrate on the gift of tea Lhurriel had presented him so that he would not hear the dreadful things spilling from young miss Randolph's lips. She had nonchalantly set her tea aside on a nearby table to continue her cuddling against the young solider, intentionally burying his arm in the valley between her breasts as she leaned against him.

"I'm so very jealous of my mother and sister..." she cooed in a coy little sigh, "I feel so... small compared to them." William choked on the tea his sipped, knowing ful-.. Knowing well what it was she spoke of, "Tell me Sir William, do you think that they're too small?" the seductive girl latched onto the poor boy's arm as she literally rubbed against him.

The cup in his hand clinked with the plate as it faltered, tea spilling out onto the saucer. He felt himself growing warmer beneath his tunic, the fabric sticking to his skin where he perspired. Gods was this woman pushy! He began to fall into a nervous shake and his words stuttered as he answered as gentlemanly as he could, Tolan help him...

"M-m'lady." He cleared his throat hoping it would settle his nerves slightly, "I do not think that... Ph-physical characteristics is what should be the core of any re -gulp- lationship. I, personally, believe that the breast - !! - BEST aspect of a woman is h-her mind."

...She was eating him alive..

Rohwik's story was more of the same, though slightly different. The chatter of the young Randolph of seventeen summers was endless. There was a void in her that spilled infinite amounts of uninteresting conversation, dull issues that Rohwik, quite frankly, did not care to listen to.

"I had gone to a cobbler the other day to have the strap mended, but the foolish man told me that he wouldn't repair the shoe after doing it the ninth time." She rambled, "He said that I was careless with such works of art. I swear people of such low class really don't understand the needs of their betters."

"You don't say..." Rohwik's words dripped profusely with his sardonic tone as he sunk against the back of the cushioned seat.

"It's true!" obviously the blatant cue of his disinterest was immediately picked up...and discarded. He winced when she continued, "Which reminds me. The other day I had spoken to Elaine - she is the daughter of a well-known horse breeder, he owns the local heard and has countless workers. Lives quite well - but we had spoken about how Belize had chopped off all her hair. She looked terrible!"

How in God's holy name does a cobbler remind you of someones hair?! Rohwik's brows knitted in utter confusion as he gawked at the girl who motored onward. That was it, he had reached the end of his tolerance.

"Forgive me. It seems the tea Lhurriel had given us has gone straight through me." He lied as he had yet to even taste the brew, "I do hope you'll pardon my short leave."

He stood with a light bow to his sitting room counterpart. Short like the winter months! He hurriedly walked across the room toward the door.

"Camden!" He called, "Would you be so kind as to show me - he rounded the corner - a place where I can hide from this chattering chit?!"

"What is it, exactly, you are duty-bound to do, Sir Kaeden?" asked the lady Sandoval, still prying into matters that hardly concerned her and Kae duly noted her intentions.

"Well, m'lady..." before he had to fabricate some excuse to veer her off that line of thought, Lhurriel had wandered her way by, "Lhurriel, you've joined us!" Taking the tray from the lady mage's hands he set the final cups with it onto the small table between the chairs Lady Sandoval and he sat in. "I was beginning to wonder if you had retired for the evening, but I'm very glad that is not so." In great relief of her saving him he gladly took her hand and left a light kiss on her fingers in his own personal thanks.

"What say the cook of Tolan's constant compliments?" he asked hoping to drag out his chat with the lady who currently held his favor over his previous companion, "Do forgive, Tolan for using you as a poor messenger of his endless gratitude. I know by experience just how taxing his relays can be."

It was then that Lady Randolph spoke out, directing her question toward the woman to whom Kae spoke. He turned his attention to the accusing woman, curious as to what it was she was trying to get at. When Lady Sandoval pitched in, slipping around his arm he knew things were about to slip the line and steps that shouldn't be taken were about to fall on restricted ground. His eyes narrowed as he felt the woman urge him away.

Rohwik had felt it was time for his return as he had slipped away for some time now and was lucky enough to walk in just as the outbreak began. All eyes of the men in the room drifted toward the spat that was unfolding between the three women, Kaeden standing in the midst of it all.

At the sound of insinuating such lewd acts in regards to Lhurriel Keladar, Kaeden stiffened and a spark of annoyance toward the woman ignited. Certainly he had only known Lady Keladar for little more than a day, but he was damn certain she was more of a lady than these harlots could ever dream to be. Even so, this was not his fight. He had no ground to stand if he were to step in, knowing very little about the relationship between the mage and the lord of the house.

The men jumped at Lhurriel's sudden outburst and Tolan and William cringed at the niche she was accused of filling. Will blushed at the blunt wording Lhurriel had used to illustrate - though, quite accurately - the women's behavior within the house of Lord Atadel. But he knew that she was justified in her surge of rage, they all knew.

When she addressed him, Kaeden looked straight into Lhurriel's eyes, his gaze filled with a high respect for her choice of actions and admiration for her dignified execution. Before he could answer Corsair had spoken, letting everyone know of his return, the mage in his company earning curious gazes. As Lhurriel bid Kae her farewell he returned her smile with a more regrettable one of his own.

"Rest well, Lady." He answered her.

As they took their leave, the soldiers all spoke their adieus accompanied by condoling glances from Will and Tolan. Kaeden would have no more of this inexpiable behavior. They had bared such blatantly licentious behavior as men of the court with respect for these women, (though they had not entirely earned it,), but to attack someone outright was something Kae would absolutely not stand for.

"It is regrettable to have such an exchange happen amongst people of a decent regard." He spoke up, his eyes still falling toward the door Lhurriel and her company had exited, "But I suppose that such impudence comes natural to those who are used to being unbridled by conscience."

He gazed back toward the woman hanging on his arm, her shocked gaze met by his filled with provocation.

"Such accusations are not necessary within another man's house, Madam Randolph. I would caution you to be more selective with the thoughts you voice. Envy is never a becoming jewel for a woman to wear."

At his sudden vocal hardening, the others took their cue and stood from their places readying to, gladly, escort the woman out of the home they had invaded.

"I do believe that the gathering has come to a close." Kaeden concluded with rock hard severity.
"Sir Kaeden!" Lissa had snapped, broken by the call of her actions, "You have absolutely no right to force us out of this home. You are not it's master, nor are you ours-"
"Dear lady, I can escort you, as a gentleman, to the door of this manor..." he interjected in a frozen tone, "Or, as the captain of the guard to the boundaries of the estate."

It was obvious the lady was taken aback by his benign threat and sought not to "dignify" such audacity with a reply.

"It seems we are no longer welcome with in this house, ladies." She hissed through clenched teeth, her dagger-like stare fixated on Kaeden's empty expression.

The girls gathered their skirts and walked toward the door, slipping down the obviously familiar halls toward the entrance and their exit. None thought to give a second glance at the boys, save for the lovestruck young lady Randolph who was reluctant to leave Tolan's side regardless of what had just taken place. He expressed his disappointment at how the evening had turned out and urged her on her way.

"What a terrible thing to say..." Tolan mused aloud.
"I can't believe they would accuse Lady Lhurriel of such a thing," William joined in, "There's no possible way she could be of such a manner."
"And they call themselves Ladies." Hawk spat.
"Rohwik is more of a courtly lady than any of them." Mumbled Ghestin loudly with a shake of his head.

All glanced towards the larger man, a smirk pulling at the corner of Kaeden's lips, a growl from within Hawk's chest, and a chuckle sounding from Tolan.

"But.. He's a lecherous hack..." William wondered curiously and was promptly silenced by a fist to the back of his head.

They decided it was time to turn in for the night, knowing well that they would continue onward to seek the stolen treasure. Kaeden opted to remain and actually try and finish one cup of tea before the night was out. He sat down in a velvet armchair turned toward a window and sighed, sipping at the warm tea Lhurriel had intended for him to drink.

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #39 on: December 06, 2009, 11:51:24 PM »
"Are you all right, Lhurriel?"

"Saint's alive, Roland, I am perfectly fine! You mustn't follow me as if there's something wrong," the girl snapped, yanking her arm away from her escort. The knight's expression didn't change, but for the slightest lowering of one edge of his right eyebrow. The young man examined her for a moment - resplendent in full attire as a Master-Mage, her stark black robes embroidered and lined with beautiful silver and accessorized with blue stones set in silver jewelry. She was one of the most lovely young women currently residing at the Palace, a curse and blessing if ever there was one. All the young squires and knights as yet unmatched who trained there hounded her every movement; puppies they were, with not a whit of sense to even realize that the lady-mage's interest in them only extended so far as their ability to get out of her way. Lhurriel Keladar was interested in only those who could exercise her mind and heart - and any who could not, she gave politeness. Those who could only excercise her mind, she gave her deep friendship; only one could ever say he had claimed the orphaned Clan girl's heart.

Roland was he, though he could already sense a change in the girl's destiny. She was not meant to be his - and when she spread her wings further, she would return their relationship to that of friends, but no more. However, she was only seventeen, and did not have Roland's keen sense of people to guide her choice in a mate. The knight adored her endless wit and compassion, as well as her extreme obstinance and determination. She knew very much for only being seventeen - or at least, she did when matters came to the government, politics, or magic.

The poor girl knew nothing of society's strictures, and sometimes it showed rather glaringly, as it had tonight. She'd all but snapped when one of the more "showy" and catty nobles had insinuated that Lhurriel made her bed with every knight in the palace. Roland had watched as Lhurriel had flushed, said something that made the woman blanch and turn green, then flounced away after saying something else that made the other ladies turn pale. Sensing pain in her, he had followed after making his excuses.

"Lhurriel... you would not be in such a temper were there nothing wrong," Roland said softly, the lilting voice of his out-Land accent cooling her conflicting emotions. She stopped silently when his hand touched her shoulder briefly, where he could feel stiffness, tension, fury... and trembling?

"Ree?" He asked, surprised.

"How do you do it everyday, Roland?"

"Do what, my dear?"

"You are a knight of this country, sworn to its and its people's protection. You have taken the oath of knighthood to defend her and her people to your last days, or die doing your duty." She whirled around. Roland saw the angry, despairing tears clouding her eyes, and when he drew the weeping girl into his arms, he felt the pain that knifed so deeply inside her. "How can you not regret having to defend such despicable people, who would probably leave you for dead were you in need, despite all that you have done for them and theirs?"

Kissing her hair and folding his arms about her defeated form, Roland smiled gently, tilting her head up to look at him.

"I do not regret it because even as there are the selfish and the greedy, there are also the selfless and the giving. There are kind souls who aid others in need, even when they are themselves in need of aid." Roland smiled down at Lhurriel, his affection for her obvious when he stopped briefly to lay a gentle kiss on her lips.

"There are those with compassionate hearts and strong minds, who will do all in their power to spread good." He smoothed back tendrils of hair that had escaped her simple hairdo, framing a face that looked up at him with love sparkling in gray eyes.

"And every day that I see the sunrise, I do not regret taking the oath of knighthood. Because I made the vow to protect people like you, Lhurriel."




"Are you all right, Ree?"

"Corsair, I'm fine. Alasdair, you needn't put your hand on my shoulder as if I'm about to race back to that room and blow it up in my temper. There is nothing wrong, you two, however well-meaning your actions," Lhurriel snapped, shaking her arm and shoulder free of her two friends. Corsair sighed, but bowed and returned to his guests, knowing she was not to be consoled at the moment.

"And yet you would not be so disturbed were you fine... now would you?" Alasdair murmured quietly as he escorted her up the stairs.

They were silent as entered her dark room, and the crystal mage lit the fireplace and crystals using his magic. The crystals and fire flickered in the violet of his magic before returning to their natural colors. He turned around as Lhurriel stepped behind a screen and changed into simple robes to work in.

They were still silent when they walked back down the stairs, but the younger water mage finally spoke. They headed in the direction of the parlor room, in which Lhurriel had so recently told off the local ladies of society. She would have to apologize to the knights for disturbing their evening with such rude words. They both stopped when they reached the door, staring through it at the men, who were now coversing calmly, seated around the fireplace opposite the door.

"I find it difficult, sometimes, when mingling among the well-born, as they are known... that they are so determined to tarnish my name and ruin my credibility, despite the fact that I am probably more well-learned than they, understand the workings of the country better, and risk my life everytime I leave the palace to protect them and theirs. Sometimes I wonder why I ever thought to take the Mage's Oath of protection and healing, when I would be protecting those who would not be grateful... healing those who do not deserve to keep their life. And those who deserved to live long, rich lives and die in warm beds from old age... It is disheartening to know that often those who deserve our aid the most are the ones who die first of danger."

Alasdair cracked a haunted smile. "I wondered the same thing, when a close friend of mine was killed during a failed diplomacy outing. He was a knight, and we had uncovered evidence of traitors. Traitors whom he and his fellow soldiers had been in service protecting for their entire careers. He told me that he did not regret it because even as there were the selfish and the greedy, there were also the selfless and the giving. That there were kind souls who aided others in need, even when they needed aid themselves. And also, he said that there are those with compassionate hearts and strong minds, who did all in their power to spread good despite the obstacles they faced."

He paused and watched Lhurriel as her face went blank in recognition of the words she had heard before. She struggled to remember who had given her the sage advice, but she could not bring a face to mind. "He said that every day that he saw the sunrise, he did not regret taking the oath of knighthood because he had made that vow to protect people like the beautiful young mage waiting for him to come home to her." When she turned her head to look at him, Alasdair smiled and straightened mysteriously.

Those words- so familiar... Features began piecing themselves together in her mind, slowly because time had blurred them quite thoroughly.

"The others in the factory will be retiring for the night, Lhurriel. Good night, my dear... and do cheer up. You certainly gave those women a piece of your mind... I doubt they'll come sniffing by our Corsair anytime soon."

Lhurriel put together a handsome, roguish face with a gentle smile before she laughed at Alasdair's words, her humor banishing the long-lost features. She didn't sense the experienced, light touch of the crystal mage blurring the recognition in her mind... she did not need to know that it was he who had three years ago been the messenger of death, with news that her beloved and his company of men had been slaughtered brutally to prevent traitors from getting their due. She did not need old wounds to be reopened... not now, with so much on her mind.

"Good night, Alasdair." She bowed, as did he - Alasdair's lips curled in a satisfied smile as the young woman he had been charged with guarding strode into the parlor room to greet the others.

Roland... she continues to spread her wings.



"Ah - Lhurriel. I was afraid you wouldn't be coming back. I was just telling Sir Kaeden and the others that I had enlisted your services tonight in my factory, and that perhaps after our little disturbance you might be headed straight there." Corsair smiled apologetically, but the mage waved them away assuredly.

"I'm quite sorry for my rather indelicate words earlier this evening," she chuckled, greeting the gathered men with a bow.

"I hope you are not too disappointed, and I sincerely hope that I did not spoil your evening by inciting them to leave."

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Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #40 on: December 06, 2009, 11:54:51 PM »
Kaeden had managed a bit of tea between then and Corsair's return. It did him well to rest his storming mind. It wasn't enough that he had issues about the stolen artifact, but the sheer gall of those women to be as pompous as they were. One would have thought Kae was familiar with the aristocratic hens and, truth be told, he was. He just never managed to get used to their pillowed egos and dreadfully charming characteristic exaggerations. Such people always brought him to his wit's end.

"Worry not, my lady." Kae shook his head lightly, "The words were well deserved. You have a right to defend your own honor as well as that of Master Atadel. There is certainly no need for apology from you... To be perfectly honest, the men and I were entirely relieved to be able to have a reason to escort them out."

At the last statement, Kae had taken to giving the lady mage a smile and a nodding thanks. It was certainly a nightmare until Lhurriel had arrived to, more or less, save them from the social vultures. With them gone and the remained of the night left to Kaeden, he felt relieved to be given the chance to ponder their next move with the new information Corsair had given him earlier that day. He would need to call a small meeting in the morning to consult his soliders.

Shaking the thoughts of tomorrow's coming from his mind, "I do hope that you don't work yourself terribly hard in Lord Corsair's factory tonight. I'll need you for that tomorrow." He finished with a light wink, obviously a light joke between the three of them.

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #41 on: December 06, 2009, 11:55:25 PM »
Blinking at Kae's odd statement about working late, Lhurriel had to ponder the sentence before the meaning dawned on her. She managed to choke back a snort of laughter and only just managed a straight face.

"I'll be sure not to. Now... I just wanted to come down and see if there was anything else you wanted, before I went to work in the shop."

She felt much more comfortable in her mage's robes, fitted and tailored to fit her slim, petite body. Perhaps the feeling of soft cotton draped over her entire body eased her nervousness - though Lhurriel could vocally dismiss and outwit those who insulted her dignity by calling her ten kinds of trash unfit to walk the earth, she truly cared about making appearances. Not that she believed all these statements; they were mostly untrue and ridiculous, and none of the people who really mattered would believe them.

Even if they are untrue... there will always be somebody who will use any ammunition they can to tear down my reputation, Lhurriel thought with a frown. As a mage on the King's Council, she had a high influence among several of its members, especially the artisans and Advisors who recognized her steady mind and sound logic; nobles who disliked that someone not of the First Class of the country often took rumors and such to the Advisors who disliked her, or strew false rumors about the Palace to turn others against her. It didn't work since Lhurriel (quite literally) went about the entire Palace doing her work; she saw everybody from the servants to the Palace students, to the knights and pages and various ambassadors and lords and ladies outside of the capital.

At least, with her clothing and boots swathed about her entire body, nobody could accuse her of using womanly wiles to get her way. If anything, Lhurriel was known as the Ice Princess among those who held a candle for her.

Still - it doesn't hurt! Lhurriel smiled sweetly at Corsair, glad to help him out after he had gifted her with such a beautiful magicycle. "And if there're any special projects you want done with the crystals, I'll throw in my services in that area as well," she promised.

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Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #42 on: December 06, 2009, 11:56:59 PM »
The air about Lhurriel was noticeably different that moments before and Kae was pleased to pick up on it. He felt a little awkward after realizing how ridiculous he must have sounded with his last comment. He was never any good at joking, but he felt the want to attempt to lighten her spirits - though, she apparently didn't seem to need it any longer.

"No, my lady." Sir Alydarr answer with a light turn of his head, "I believe we've talked enough of our business for the day already. Let me worry about the amulet for the rest of the night."

Of course he was going to worry about. What evidence they've gathered pointed in a direction Kae didn't want to go. Thoughts couldn't be kept from clouding his mind, they had been storming all day since the news Corsair had relayed. He sighed, realizing that he had wandered off in his own troubled world for but a moment.

"Lord Atadel, I do thank you for the wonderful meal as well as the kind accommodations for the evening. My men and I appreciate it very much. I will leave the rest of the night to you both."

Kaeden bowed respectfully to the both of them before excusing himself from the room. He casually made his way up to his room, intending to turn in of course, but not without at least an hour or so pondering their next move.

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #43 on: December 06, 2009, 11:57:21 PM »
    
As was his custom, Corsair woke bright and early the next morning, stretching and walking over to his curtained windows before doing anything else. The sun had not yet peeked above the far-off horizon, but had begun casting its glowing light on the night sky, erasing the darkness bit by bit as each ray pushed the light of dawn in its wake.

The biting breeze of morning chilled the noble for a short moment, before he shook it off and began rummaging through his closet for the day's garments. He quickly threw on a simple, unimpressive shirt and a pair of plain trousers, wrinkling his nose at the overwhelming smell of flower in his closet (one of his servants must have decided that the previous odor of moth-preventing powder was too hideous to endure. Boots took but a moment to pull on, and before five minutes had passed his jaw was clean of overnight bristles and the lord of the estate was striding quickly down the hall, buttoning the cuffs of a dignified-looking black overcoat.

He fully expected to be the first person in the dining hall; to his surprise, two females glanced up when he entered the room.

The housekeeper, Mrs. Bertram, immediately stood up and curtsied awkwardly, though Corsair tried to stop her before she injured herself again. Giving Lhurriel a motherly pat on the shoulder, the woman told Corsair she would bring his usual breakfast palate in herself, leaving before the young lord could protest or find someone else to do the task.

"Still matchmaking," Lhurriel laughed sheepishly, a furious blush staining her cheeks. "I wish you would tell her that we won't ever marry - couldn't ever marry."

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Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #44 on: December 07, 2009, 12:00:27 AM »
Kaeden, as scheduled as ever, rose before the sun as he did everyday. The outside greeted him with a calming cool, the morning dew still remaining a moment before the sun drank it up with it's daily rise. His men, trained as he was, were about as well. William, generally taken to leisurely reading at this hour, found the library's vast amount of knowledge a room to his liking. There were several books he had noticed along Lord Atadel's shelves on magicycles he hadn't particularly remembered seeing within the royal archives. Ghestin, as large and intimidating as he was, took the dawning hours as a time of relief and remembrance. Meditation was a ritual usually performed by his brother and partaking in such activities was his daily tribute. Tolan spent his early activities in a manner more similar to that of their captain.

Tolan had chanced to meet up with Kaeden before he had gotten too far into his morning stroll. Kae was certainly glad for the company, having so much weighing on his mind from the prior night. He needed someone to talk with. At least with the morning stroll things could get a little organized for their gathering. As for Rohwik...

Well, remembering what a joy dessert had been last night, he had hoped to acquire any that might have been spared by the sly water mage in their company. Well, the kitchen was certainly not what he had expected it to be. When he snuck in he expected a quaint tidy kitchen coupled with a small scullery. Not quite what he found. It was quite the sight for someone who spent a good amount of his life slinking in kitchens for a bit of extra appreciation for fine food. It was quite vast and filled with numerous stoves and ovens, giving the room a warm glow and comfortably warm atmosphere. Before he could root around and rummage for what sort of treats Corsair's cooks had stashed around the place, a seemingly well fed man promptly booted him from the kitchen. Couldn't have been any more perfect in timing, as Rohwik stumbled into the dining hall from the kitchen entrance only to catch Lhurriel and the idea of marriage.

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #45 on: December 07, 2009, 12:16:07 AM »
Corsair shook his head as he chuckled at Lhurriel's embarrassed blush, but leaned forward to take her hand in both of his. Fully unaware of their audience (who, by his vantage point, could see most of Corsair's face but none of Lhurriel's, and everything that was happening at the table), the young lord smiled wistfully as he squeezed her hand. She glanced up at him, more curious than startled at his actions, but affection filled her eyes as she looked up at him. Their past intimacy had only served to make them closer friends than before -- though she knew that sometimes, Corsair still wanted more than mere friendship...

"You know that I would marry you in a heartbeat if my honor demanded it, my dear," he said softly, gently brushing a suitor-like kiss across her knuckles. She held his gaze, wondering just how deeply his feelings still ran. He claimed that he was perfectly fine with the current state of their relationship - but Corsair would do anything to see to her happiness, even cover up his own feelings for her.

Before she could respond, Lhurriel heard the familiar sound of Mrs. Bertram bustling her way back up the stairs with the food - and as the mage reclaimed her hand and tried to calm her blushes, she heard (to her alarm) the housekeeper scold one of Kaeden's soldiers-

"Now, young man, you should have seated yourself at the table instead of trying to sneak your way into the kitchen! We don't stint our guests here, especially guests of our Lady-Mage," she said, quite efficiently hustling both the trays of food and the dumbfounded soldier towards the table. Turning, both Lhurriel and Corsair stood to greet him - Corsair wondered how much the soldier had heard, and Lhurriel only hoped that the other man hadn't heard anything incriminating. Or at least, nothing that he could blow into awesome proportions.

"Make sure he never hears anything important - or if he does, he hears it in full. That man could turn a sapling into a forest if he had a mind to," William had told her when she had been showing him more of the magicycle factory last night, and what she worked on in particular. Lhurriel tried to hide a wince - if he had heard any part of their conversation...

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Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #46 on: December 07, 2009, 11:31:54 AM »
There was a curious blink earned from the intimate looking scene before him as Rohwik stumbled out of the kitchen. With the proximity the two had as well as the mention of marriage, perhaps there was more to Master Atadel and the Lady Mage than they had first thought. Before Rohwik's twisted mind could start turning, a portly lass scooted through the door and danced around him with a tray of food. Suddenly, he was enchanted by the wicked spell of this kitchen imp as she carted to the dining table, her outlandish charm on his stomach easily won over his meddlesome mind. With the reward of food, he immediately obeyed this entree siren and claimed a seat at the table, his hands knitted neatly together on the table before him. The ever perfect picture of a model son awaiting his morning meal.

Not long after Rohwik poised himself at the table, postured as some royal prince with a board down his back, the others had been led in by the scullery maids sent to fetch them. Passing by, Kae noticed the unusual stiffness in Rohwik's spine and ruffled the brilliant red locks that sprouted from his skull.

"What trouble have you gotten yourself into that's lashed you into such a stated of stoned obedience I could never throw you into?" Smirk.
"Why, Captain..." a hand rested over his heart, a mock look of shock and utter appall at the idea, "I am no cause for concern, Sir! I am a guest in an honorable man's home and I mean to keep my wits about me and welcome such kindness with grace and dignity. What other cause would I have?"

The other men seated themselves in one of many comfortable chairs about the table, a simultaneous dance of eyes accompanying the motion as they all rolled incredulously at how utterly rehearsed Hawk was this morning. Kae, however remained on his feet, making his way to Lord Atadel's side and offering his hand.

"A glorious morning, good Lord." he greeted with a hardy shake, "I've gotten the chance to taken in the full beauty of your home estate and it is most certainly a sight to see. We are indebted to you for your great kindness." His eyes fell to the lady figure seated just near their host, "And as vibrant as the morning sun, a good morning to you as well, My Lady Mage. I do not mean to be one to tear you from such a wonderful hostel, but I hope that you are ready for our departure today?"

The question really wasn't one he expected answered, merely an excuse to speak with Lhurriel a moment longer. Strange, Kaeden found it, how he was finding himself most glad to see her; most especially with the light glow on her cheeks and the shy smile she seemed to wear this morning. He cleared his throat lightly and nodded his head to her before moving to a seat of his own - Mrs. Bertram had returned with several more trays, assisted by kitchen hands of course, and nudged him so.

The covers were lifted and all were washed over by a delighted aroma of breakfast; a medley of omelets to choose from as well as muffins, cakes, and other sweet breads. There were stakes of sausages of many kinds and strips of crispy bacon, cups were filled with tea or a special blend of the Lord's finest coffee. The food seemed endless and comprised of many different treats, some possibly never seen before. Kae suddenly felt as though Corsair had outdone himself and gone a bit overboard for him and his men.

"Figures." William huffed as Rohwik immediately began filling his platter to its edge and stacking even higher with everything he could reach, managing a slick maneuver of snatching whatever was on a passing plate.

With his plate filled completely, Rohwik wasted no time moving the food into his mouth. Pity that didn't stop him from speaking...

"I couldn't.." Swallow. Shovel." Help but overhear..." Swallow. Drink. "Overhear something of a marriage? Are our Lord and Lady to be wed? If so, would we chance an invitation to the ceremony?" ...Shovel.

All eyes fell over to Lhurriel as forks and spoons ceased their scraping, cups slowly set back onto the table, and mouths swallowed the half chewed bite to hear the answer to the sudden, and most unexpected, question.

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #47 on: December 07, 2009, 02:34:52 PM »
Lhurriel happily greeted the others as they trooped in, followed last by Kae. She giggled at their exaggerated comments about Rowhik's stellar table manners, contributing one or two of her own comments about his otherwise not-so-perfect behavior.

"A glorious morning indeed, Sir Kaeden," Corsair immediately answered, standing with a genuine smile on his face. "I am always grateful that Fate awarded me with such a beautiful home, as She is not nearly so kind with others of my peers. And do not worry; it is no great debt to see that the friends of my own dearest friend are comfortable and in want of nothing, except that which I cannot provide them."

When Kae addressed Lhurriel, she stood politely as well, bowing the exact degree required of an Aladellan Master Mage to the captain of a special guard contingent. "I'm well used to the rigors of travel, Sir Kaeden. I am reluctant to leave such good company, and wonderful accomodations-" Corsair grinned at that, but declined to comment, merely chuckling as he seated himself, "-but I do realize we have a mission to accomplish. Nothing will keep me from reaching my goal." Kae was then hustled off to his seat by the housekeeper, and plates of food began circulating, the pleasant exchange of conversation beginning almost simultaneously.

The matching of wits always left Lhurriel in a happy state of mind, and she was pleased to see that the soldiers found her in good company, and were willing to let down class and rank barriers to poke fun at her. Though their camarederie was slightly stiffer with Corsair present, her open acceptance of Corsair as an equal (and thus a highly acceptable target for teasing and wit) allowed the others to bring him into the pleasant chatter after most of the food had been passed around.

However, almost all sound and movement in the room halted when Rowhik brought up marriage... and Lhurriel... and Corsair. The mage, startled by the sudden change in topic, flushed a deep rose as embarassment bottled up her usual quick responses; Corsair stopped mid-bite through a piece of toast, and colored slightly... even the servants in the room halted (if they were balanced) and stumbled slightly in mid-step before regaining their footing.

"I- no! It isn't anything... l-like that! Or- at least, not now there isn't..." Lhurriel managed to choke out, completely unable to form a coherent sentence. While she tried to convince Rowhik that what he'd heard was nothing about any marriage, Corsair gave his servants a LOOK - they all nodded, paused guiltily, and filed out quietly.

When all of the servants had disappeared silently from the room, Corsair stood up smoothly. "Rowhik's got it all wrong," he said, with an irritated glare at the soldier in question. "There is nothing you've need to concern yourselves about. Lady-Mage Keladar and I are not getting married - we are of different classes, after all. It was simply a misinterpretation on Sir Rowhik's part." His tone bade the entire group to mention the topic no more, and he took his seat silently, continuuing his breakfast where he had left off.

After a silent second, the others did the same, though the atmosphere was slightly awkward thanks to Rowhik's blundering mouth. Lhurriel and Corsair carefully avoided each other's gazes during the rest of the meal; when he finished, Corsair bade them an early farewell, pleading a busy schedule and estate paperwork. Lhurriel promised to come get him prior to their departure, but those were the only words she said to him for the rest of the morning.

Offline Mascherari

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Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #48 on: December 07, 2009, 05:11:07 PM »
Suddenly the delicious morsels of food lost it's tantalizing taste and it felt as though Rohwik was suddenly swallowing stones. His eyes sunk to his plate and didn't move from them until he was one of the few left at the table. He would be wallowing in this guilt for a while. Rohwik generally had a loosely hinged jaw and he rarely monitored what it was that came out, but he never meant to offend anyone. Quite contrary, he was almost excited over the news of a wedding. He had, personally, never attended one and was delighted to believe that Lhurriel was betrothed to a seemingly well-deserved man like Lord Atadel.

"Honestly Rohwik." Tolan sighed as he stood from his seat, "Perhaps it would be best to hold back on such leaps of faith until we've come to know our companions a bit more than a day or so."
"..." Rohwik really had no retort to Tolans words, looking away quite sheepishly as he and the others departed.

Feeling the sudden cage of tension around him, he offered the servants his assistance, hoping they would allow it in sympathy for his situation.

Kaeden had found it quite unusual that the idea of social class would be the first thing to building the barrier between him and Lhurriel. It wasn't a reason he didn't approve of personally, but it was not his place to speak of it. It was Atadel's home and Rohwik had overstepped his boundaries, even if he hadn't meant to. There was no reason for Alydarr to come to his companion's aid. The bite was earned and Kaeden believed in proper discipline. Kaeden had managed to pull Lhurriel aside - though he wouldn't come to his soldier's rescue under the stabbing gaze of Corsair, he wouldn't leave him stranded in the water. He was responsible for his men's actions, after all.

"Lhurriel.." Kae sighed softly, "I sincerely apologize for the misunderstanding. Rohwik can be a bit of a loose cannon at times and tends to say things he truly doesn't intend to be so insulting. He meant well..."

Kae's eyes wandered, finding it somewhat difficult to look at Lhurriel straight in the eye. Everytime he tried he would lose his words and forget what he was saying completely. He knew it was a bit rude not to look to her as he spoke, but he wouldn't get a word out otherwise. None coherent, anyway.

"But his actions shouldn't go without reprimand, I assure you. I will have a word with him personally." Though, he should probably attempt to get an apology to Lord Corsair as well.

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #49 on: December 07, 2009, 09:33:35 PM »
Lhurriel shifted uncomfortably when Kae took her aside for his apology. She couldn't meet his eyes either, because Corsair had just told disproved a rumor that he wished were very true.

"I understand, really. It would have been easy for anyone to misunderstand the conversation we'd been having," Lhurriel quickly said, the faint blush still lingering on her cheeks. Of course, unsaid was the obvious statement: that any other person would not have mentioned it, and so publicly no less. She had to roll her shoulders slightly, they were so tense.

"And- don't worry about Lord Atadel. I'm sure he didn't really mind... I'll go speak with him. He was just- s-surprised by the mention of it. Like me. Yes. And- and- and... I suppose I'll go speak with him now. Really, don't worry about Corsair. I can take care of it." The normally articulate, well-spoken mage stammered her way through the simple sentences and decided that it might be best to retreat before she made a complete and utter fool of herself.

Making a hasty exit from the dining hall, she couldn't help but give a sigh of relief. She didn't like to lie, or dance around the truth - but in this case, it would be impossible to tell Kae why the mention of marriage had disturbed Corsair and her both, without telling the entire sad story. And though it had happened so many months ago, Ree did not like to relive the accident by retelling the story.

I told Corsair... reassured him, over and over again... that I was alright. That the accident had been nothing, just bad luck. I almost believed it myself, but maybe those types of things never go away completely. Sometimes when Lhurriel was stressed out or worked herself to near-exhaustion at the Palace, she would still have nightmares of torrential rain... shards of crystal slicing through the air straight at her.

Rocks.

A mangled body.

A blood-chilling scream as the ground rushed up-

Lhurriel shuddered , her white-clad arms suddenly chilled. Folding her arms about herself, she walked quickly to the library, where she knew Corsair would be brooding.

As she thought, he had seated himself in front of the fireplace, chin resting on top of one lightly curled fist. When she knocked lightly on the open door, he glanced back, but only turned his head back towards the dark fireplace. She sat with a sigh next to him, resting her head comfortably on his shoulder as he continued to brood over his thoughts.

They sifted through their thoughts silence for a long while, neither wanting to bring up the subject at hand. Finally, Corsair turned his head slightly to look down at the lovely young woman seated at his side.

"For the past six months... I had thought I was past our relationship. But I see I am still at a stalemate - unwilling to let go of our past, and unwilling to move onto the future. Ree, you know I love you, and deeply. I would marry you in a heartbeat - after what happened..."

With difficulty, Lhurriel restrained a frustrated moan. This again... he brought it up everytime, much to her dismay. She was silent for long moments as she pondered his words, and tried to think of what she could say to remind him of his duty - and hers - to their kingdom.