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* Plot Information for Hayll

Hayll has sought a suitable Queen to rule for years, but the one it has chosen has become the pawn of a manipulative Prince plotting genocide. While slaves fight for their lives in the Coliseum, Nero Augustus, Consul of Hayll, plunges the Territory towards war safely behind his puppet Queen.
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Author Topic: Tale of a Moonlight Garden  (Read 223 times)

Description: Late Winter 191//Tag Jupiter

Offline Caelissine Agrippina

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Tale of a Moonlight Garden
« on: Sep 30, 17, 01:32:56 AM »
Locale: 191, Late Autumn. Draega, Hayll. Numinicus Dinner Party.


Typically, dinner parties held practically no interested for the Lady Caelissine, for many were vapid functions with naught save ornamental use. While there might have been a modicum of truth that all such events were out of the range of those outside of the Hundred Families, many held a political use, and it was for such a purpose that the Lady Augustinus-Agrippina presented herself. Given the rarity in which she made herself available for parties, it had taken little time at all to end up nearly swarmed by both men that were political allies of her elder Senator brother.

Those seeking to gain further status particularly of the smaller, lesser families out in parts of Northern Faro were as well, a thickened presence so much to the point that breathing past them had seemed a difficulty in extremis. Her family possessed a variety of trade agreements alone in this sense, thus the hours wound by as the Priestess was focused in ensuring that any of her familial contacts had what they required: reassurance, additional funding toward previously understood projects, or much more rare, but not unexpected were the occasional Lady or Blooded Male seeking her out for arranged and scheduled Priestess' rites.

By the time dinner itself was ended, and most present withdrew to one or another of the lounges arranged by gender, Lady Caelissine instead took herself off to the outdoor garden to sit. Given that this particular house was just outside of the city, the air was fresher here, and it made clear precisely why the Numinicus parties were always filled in with a crush worth of anyone whom was everyone.

Her brother had escorted the Priestess to the event, only to withdraw with the arrival of one of his favoured mistresses', thus she had made arrangements to depart later on her own, which was a relief given the tension between Caelissine's and her eldest sibling. A soft breath released, the emeralds that decorated her deepened midnight hair. Rather than worn down, the thick mass was coiled up in an intricate design, matched the hint of luminescent green glitter that decorated arms and sloping shoulders.

Despite being terribly not fond of the extravagance that most women of her social class went to, given the importance of the evening, Lady Caelissine had given in. A nearly sheer piece in all measure save for a thin obscuring band around her hips and breasts, the pale, delicate green silk displayed her form to perfection. The colour for the party had been a selection of green, gold, and silver, of which each quest could have worn a blend of the three, or choose. For herself she had chosen two. The slits in the dress were high, nearly to her waist and the tiniest bit of Craft held it in place.

Modest, really, compared to half of the female invitees, which had given the Priestess a little of a chuckle, that even upon her own best attempts fell short of the expected display despite the loveliness. Golden be-ringed hands laid to the railing that she'd leaned against, attention upon the stars in the evening sky.

Though her ears caught the lovely sounds of laughter, and sensual teasing that she had decided partaking upon might confuse matters, she remained in her chosen spot. There was nearly a fortnight left in her waiting the proper interval before contacting Prince Jupiter, which of course thinking of that very fact wound the tension up in her psyche. 

She had not chosen to dance earlier, thus the music wafting its way to this part of the garden caused a smile to brighten her face. While her efforts to change at minimum how her siblings and those closest to her family viewed matters were that of a snails' pace, this evening at least provided a little of a breather to the task she had set herself and its importance. 

Craft calling a small book for writing notes within she began to carefully mark those that had been spoken to, and what their reactions had been for procuring donations for the rehabilitation of one of the poorest sectors in Draega. Certainly a less obvious start in what the Lady Caelissine wanted to do for Hayll, but less suspicious than partaking in obvious, violent rebellion, even if there were times that was precisely how the Priestess felt.

Twirling in a circle, she loosed a sigh, quill scratching over the vellum. "That the Lady Numinicus herself had been willing to donate toward my intended cause was nothing short of Mother Night granting a kiss to mine fingertips ..."

Attention to her surroundings Caelissine was however, not paying enough heed.

Offline Jupiter Cinerus

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Re: Tale of a Moonlight Garden
« Reply #1 on: Oct 02, 17, 11:35:30 PM »
Jupiter Cinerus had known of Lady Numinicus most of his life. He’d not expected the invitation to the party, but when it arrived in personal stationery and closed with her family's wax seal, Jupiter sighed. Her parties were often the social event of the season; invitations went to the scions of the Hundred Families, important members of the Territory and Province Courts, and even to the Territory Queen and her males. Sabine had not, in their five years together, deigned to attend Lady Numinicus’s parties, unwilling to endure the press and crush of people sought her favor on a daily basis.

Jupiter, on the other hand, was not so fortunate.

He was a scion of the Hundred Families, a member of the First Circle of Hayll, and bonded to the Queen of Hayll herself. When he left Sabine this evening, however, something was wrong. He sensed a deep sadness in her, one that he couldn’t determine a cause for in that moment. Sabine wished him well and then went to her rooms, leaving Jupiter more confused than ever on where he stood with his Queen.

He was still ruminating on it when he arrived at the dinner party. He considered it during dinner and while having a glass of wine and making small talk. He watched the interactions of the people around him, paid attention to those who quieted whenever he came close. Jupiter engaged in polite conversation with a few people and discussed the matter of the revolution that had made its way down to Faro. A few people, deep in their cups, were less charitable and more free to speak their minds.

We should kill every last one of those ungrateful bastards. How dare they damage our Coliseum and then advocate for slaves! Of all things! Slaves!

Someone came and gathered up the drunken Prince before Jupiter broke his neck.

It was later in the evening when Jupiter headed out to the gardens, unable to stomach the presence of so many upstanding members of the Hundred Families any longer. No wonder the Daily Hayll ripped them apart on a regular basis. Jupiter almost believed that this rebellion might change Hayll, might make it better once it swept away the corruption that the Hundred bred in their wake.

Almost.

He walked through the garden, glass of wine in hand, trying to decide when he’d go home, when the scents of honey, jasmine, and rain water. Jupiter paused to bask in that scent, to burn it into his nostrils and memory the way he had nearly two weeks ago when he saw her last. He dropped the glass where he stood. Lady Numinicus could buy another one if she missed it so damned much.

He wandered through the twists and turns of the garden, heart hammering as he made his way toward the source of the scent. Made his way toward the only person who seemed to understand him.

That the Lady Numinicus herself had been willing to donate toward my intended cause was nothing short of Mother Night granting a kiss to mine fingertips ..."

If Lady Numinicus didn’t donate generously toward whatever cause you’re supporting, she’d be a fool.” Jupiter said, stepping into view from behind a tall bush on her left. He smiled a real, genuine smile for the first time all night, maybe the first time in weeks. His black suit was freshly pressed and his leather shoes sported a high sheen. His Summer Sky was set into a new, silver ring on his left hand while his Green hung from a silver chain at his neck.

He inclined his head in a deep nod of respect toward the Priestess and smiled, moving to take her hands if she allowed it.

Good evening, Lady Agrippina. May I join you for a moment?” he asked.

Offline Caelissine Agrippina

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Re: Tale of a Moonlight Garden
« Reply #2 on: Nov 27, 17, 05:08:07 AM »
Certainly, the baritone voice she heard that seemed to respond just precisely where she might have imagined it, wasn't real. So, as such, the distracted woman didn't actually look up and around her. No doubt, she could have been collected and carried off and might have still been contemplating the list of families drawn in a very neat graph marking each preference and requirement. Given the sound was precisely whom she had been thinking of, who would believe it?

Yet, the Priestess' reaction when believed unseen ... just for a few moments, entirely unguarded, might have been worthy of the delay in greeting. Caelissine's eyes fluttered closed and she shivered as her right hand, complete with the signet ring she almost never wore imprisoning the lady in precisely the status she often tried to avoid, rested upon her lips for a full half of a minute. "Sweet Jupiter. Only in my most fool of a fevered dream would he be here of all places," she murmured while crossing one leg over the other upon her pleasant previously hidden seat, revealing without plan the entire expanse of her left thigh, which was equally covered as her arms and shoulders in a pretty green leaf pattern as the glitter affixed in such a way to her that touch wouldn't remove it.

A slow smile slid over her face, while she wrote in the box next to his name without even realising he'd see it, that he'd been standing just there before her for some moments at least. With a gentle, sloping but very well trained script as perfectly as any ruling Queen could manage given that her mother was one such, Caelissine penned in giving the ink itself a Summer Sky sight shield: delightful, powerful, heart-wounded. healable, given time; heart-bonded to the Hayllian Queen, dangerously charming, keeper--

At least until there was that sense of a person's presence that she'd fully missed, given the depth of the man's standing in the Abyss, and as well, the number of hands that had touched her either with wanting, needing to give a handshake, or a variety of other moments, Caelissine's senses were well more than off center. So, given it had been that kind of evening, the Priestess' awareness of him, after weeks of forcing herself to sit on her hands and not be a pest as if she were a full millennia younger, was very overwhelming.

But not at all in a way she didn't like.

The book and quill were vanished with a good few seconds of concentration, but thereafter she raised her gaze to his positioning just beyond the hedge line. "I am relieved that I wasn't imagining the sound of your voice and what you said just a moment ago, but at once somewhat gently anxious that you've caught me doing so," she responded, thankfully stopping herself from stupidly saying that he could join her for all of his moments or some other drivel.

Keep it together, Tati.

"Of course you may join me. Attending the crush of a party because you must? You have very, very luckily just missed my elder brother. Prince Julian left to attend upon his most recent lady light o' love before I could shove him in Lady Numincus' perfect rosebushes. I was gauging the reactions to ... the rehabilitation of one of the worst sectors of Draega on the southern side of the Coliseum as an experiment."

His response, and how he took what she was potentially leading to, would mean much as most Hayllians were not swift minded enough to understand that she was meaning to attempt to push the support of her family behind the root causes of the rebellion, or at minimum, legal reparations to what had caused it. While she did not perhaps believe in direct warfare unless needed in dire cases, Caelissine had never, ever been blind to the abuses the Hundred Families were permitted, and what was often simply done in their name. The space that Caelissine meant to rebuild was a tiny section of the city, really, not enough for most to notice her intent, but it was not called "tent city" or other worse epithets for naught.

"It is not much," she said then, the tilt of her head exuding the class of her birth, just a hint, "but it needs to happen and I will do what I damned well please with my funds, as one might expect. That I've managed to rub a few hearts raw tonight with my goals, yes. The Lady of the evening, and our hostess proved herself less a fool than I ever could have hoped for." Caelissine was still a bit pained that her family did not sympathize as much as she'd have hoped.

"But ... how are you?" In asking the question, it was plain in the subtle ways that Caelissine reacted that she was not asking of Jupiter for the sake of asking a question, as some did. Her eyes settled upon his face and held, noting the way he smiled and even if she couldn't be sure if his smile was for her in the way she wished it was, she drank it in all the same, in a very delicate way, that neither assumed he needed to, nor made any demands.

The Priestess curious manner noted, even while being fully occupied on another matter important to her but moments before, the newness of the ring holding his Birthright Summer Sky Jewel, and the very elegant display of his Green. Her attention carried even as far to the lines of his suit and how it fit him. So distracted was Caelissine of the details of Jupiter Cinerus, that she noticed only his wish to clasp her hands at the very last, while the glide of just his hands against hers woke up every single sense.

"You are well, aren't you? Nothing troubling nor paining you, Prince? I am near convinced by your smile, but I remembered that almost no one asks you ... how are you really, and are prepared to listen ..." She gripped his hands a little tighter than intended, aware intently how nice just that tiny thing felt. How draining it wasn't, compared to the rest of the evening. As with their last meetings, Caelissine asked questions based on what felt exactly right as what to ask, and how to display the needed amount of care without trying to pull too much. Much as she understood Draega, and the rest of Hayll would not be repaired in one sitting, or even one rebellion. But a little change went a long way, sometimes. With an easy manner that she was relieved to be able to give, Caelissine moved over so that Jupiter could join her on the bench.

Offline Jupiter Cinerus

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Re: Tale of a Moonlight Garden
« Reply #3 on: Jan 02, 18, 10:35:49 PM »
A wide grin, warm and genuine, lit up the Warlord Prince’s face when Caelissine invited him to join her. Jupiter did so, striding over and joining her where she sat. He paused only to unbutton the coat of his suit, then sat and oriented himself to face her. Here, under the light of the moon, she gained an ethereal quality and Jupiter thought for a second that he saw a halo of the moon’s energy outline the form of the Priestess. She looked happy to see him and that made him, in turn, happier to see her.

His eyes slipped downward, briefly, and caught a flash of her thigh. Jupiter’s eyes lingered on that revealed skin for a beat longer than was proper before his gaze returned to her face. His hand lifted, tentatively, to graze the curve of her jaw with his fingertips, stroking softly for a moment before he drew back. He wanted to pull her into his lap and hold her there, ask her about everything that had happened with her since the last time they saw each other. He refrained solely because this wasn’t his home. He did not want to embarrass Caelissine or take undue liberties with her.

They could go elsewhere for that.

I thought I saw Prince Julian in there. But if I’m honest, I waged that you were here because he was.” Jupiter said.

I’m glad that I wasn’t wrong.

He relaxed, visibly, as she turned her attention toward tending to him. Even outside of the confines of the temple, she still worked to balm his soul. Jupiter was thankful for her kindness and grace. Hayll was fortunate to count Caelissine among its Priestesses and Jupiter had increased his own donations and volunteering to the temple due to his time spent with her. When he wasn’t tending to Sabine or quarreling with Cassica about something or other, at least.

I’m good, actually. I’m glad I found you, though. I almost ripped some idiot’s tongue out and it would have caused a scene. You know we can’t make a scene. It’s so gauche.” he said, returning the squeeze of Cassiline’s hands with his own. Her hands were soft, but stronger than one might expect. To him, that encapsulated Caelissine in full. She could yield, but she could also remain firm and strong, asserting herself when needed to care for someone who had issues doing so.

He couldn’t stop smiling. What was wrong with his face? He still watched her intently, noting every one of her movements, noting any tension she carried in her body. But he was just glad to be here with her.

Things with Lady Vicentius are not ideal, but they are better. You helped with that and I thank you. There have been some...other issues. Cassica says hello, by the way.” Jupiter said, declining to deliver Cassica’s actual message to the Priestess.
 
Thank you, Lady Caelissine, for helping Jupiter take the stick out of his ass. I knew if we kept digging, we’d find a personality under all that Warlord Prince!

Jupiter fought the urge to roll his eyes at Cassica then, just as he did now when he thought of her message.

What about you? I mean, your project sounds worthy. I’d love to help out, if I can. If not, I’ll encourage you as best I can.” Jupiter said.

First, though, tell me how you’ve been.” he said.

Offline Caelissine Agrippina

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Re: Tale of a Moonlight Garden
« Reply #4 on: Jan 03, 18, 12:32:16 AM »
Foolish though it might have been, Caelissine's breath caught at the simple unbuttoning of Jupiter's suit coat. While he turned toward her and spoke, that her book of notes even still existed was a fact of no interest at all. In his staring at her thigh, the Priestess couldn't help but shift her knee to give his eyes more to devour. It had been ages since any man had allowed or encouraged the kind of intensity he made her feel. Cheek turning toward the Warlord Prince's touch, and as much as he considered holding her closer, a terribly lost, dream-filled expression centered upon Jupiter's face might have offered a very obvious, strong clue that he would have needed to barely say the words.

Indeed, of all people, the Lady Agrippina was damnably close to allowing herself an apology for the owner of the house later, and given the scattered sounds in the garden, there were at least a few that were around the same idea. The last man she had permitted to have her in that sort of way, in public, she was steps from becoming his wife, a handful of years before the Purge. Sheer intensity caused Caelissine to close her eyes, while the blush upon her face was almost unending. She wanted as well however, to talk with Jupiter before falling into sex. Finding a compromise for the moment which did nothing for the hammering of her pulse, the Priestess moved in a terribly gentle fashion, and rested her forehead upon the man's shoulder.

"I was, somewhat," she eventually murmured, aware of the breathlessness of the manner in which she spoke. Tension in the Priestess was incredibly sharp, and her hand smoothed over Jupiter's in repetition all the while as he held her hand. For all of his relaxation, she was coiled as taut as a wire with a bubbly sense of delight threaded through the balmy, fresh rain presence of her psychic scent."Tonight I wanted donations for my project, though if I am at all pleased you did not tear out any tongues it would be to save your attire from splatter. I know the manner of fools that attend these galas. As I am intending to give out donations in one of the ... most dangerous places in Draega once my preliminary work is complete, I will indeed, require your help. Call it a social experiment, and one that would be far wiser not done alone."

Given the hours she'd already been here, it was shockingly easy to laugh at least internally at the people of their shared social class. That Jupiter just kept smiling was, it seemed shorting out her senses, and twice, she caught herself staring at him. More so, when Jupiter spoke of the Lady Sabine, she could no longer resist and dragged soft hands down one of his cheeks. "Your bonded Queen is everything. Even if you two do not mesh fully, the world we live in informs who she is, who we are. I will always help you, I will always be here." Caelissine said after some thought regarding Jupiter's troubles, past, and current ones.

In doing so, the Priestess was aware what fully she was saying to calmly make such a statement to a Warlord Prince of any Jewel Rank. Gently, she laid her hand upon where his heart beat. "It is not easy to serve any Queen, and certainly not the Queen of Hayll. My opinion upon that has not changed from the moment you told me until now. There are so many one must please for the business of ruling. Even my own parents, when both were alive, had so many layers needed to love each other but also rule. Husband and wife, Councilman and Queen, Queen and Consort. Neither of you have it simple or easy. Our home is not an easy place," she sad so very gently as Jupiter had come quite far from where he was now simply in a spiritual place, to where he had been when they met. A shiver rolled through Caelissine, and she pressed closer yet; she could feel his heart against her own pounding one.

Brilliantly the Priestess' own smile came out of hiding truly at the news of the Lady Cassica, as recalling precisely how the woman spoke, she knew it must have been something that made Jupiter groan, and perhaps if not in that moment for pleasure, then for laughter. Rather than all the several sorts of jealousy she could have felt, or even insecurity or puzzled thoughts, it was entirely on a whim that Caelissine not only shifted to kiss Jupiter's cheek, but moved to settle herself upon his lap. In doing so, she held eye contact, so that he'd be aware she was neither inebriated nor under any influence save delight between them. "Tell the lovely Lady Cassica I return her greetings, by all means. She truly was a pleasure to speak with, though it was brief. I believe it does depend on the type of scene one intends," she remarked, tapping softly upon his outer barriers. If Jupiter allowed her, the Priestess was swift to surround him in her gifts, the unwavering trust and belief in Mother Night's blessings.

"I have been well. Better now, with my daily dreams presently becoming blissful reality. I cannot stop thinking about you. Everything comes up Jupiter." More familiar with him now, than the first time, Caelissine scoured efficiently and sweetly through him, plucking away any spiritual imbalance, burning each away with the focus and fire of a woman knowing keenly what she wants and believes in. Particularly, though it had not been within the plans, it was him she believed in with a near ferocious intent. "Now, please. Tell me what troubles you. Talk around the issues even in code if you must, but speak them all the same. Everything. Give me all of it, and I will heal your spirit. Piece by piece."

Offline Jupiter Cinerus

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Re: Tale of a Moonlight Garden
« Reply #5 on: Jan 10, 18, 11:57:24 PM »
Jupiter forced himself to ignore the sounds of the people who didn’t possess the same restraint as Caelissine and he. Muffled cries and audible gasps sounded here and there, but Jupiter kept his attention focused on the female holding his hands. He wondered, idly, how she always kept them so soft, despite her daily work. While he wondered, he didn’t want to know. He considered such a thing its own special magic, magic that would lose its potency if explained. He chuckled when she talked about saving his attire from the splatter of fools, but that chuckle turned into a leonine smile  as Caelissine said that she’d be going to give out her donations to the people who needed them most.

Then consider me your escort on that day and any day that you’re going to those areas. Those are rougher areas of town, Caelissine.” Jupiter said, looking her square in the eyes. His mind was already plotting routes through the area, determining where to stand as she moved. Perhaps he could get a few of his old friends from the Guard to join him that day as well to ensure that anyone else who went with Caelissine from the temple would have an escort as well.

Her hand rose to his cheek after he spoke of Sabine. She must tire so much of hearing about her. Jupiter thought. He expected patient and measured words about his Queen from her, words that Caelissine might have to force out because she hated Sabine. A lot of people hated Sabine, as Jupiter gathered it. It angered him on behalf of his Queen because they owed her their loyalty. They owed her their support.

Of course, he knew how most men wanted to support Sabine and that made Jupiter want to kill anyone who even looked at her. He pushed that aside when the (his) Priestess swore that she’d always be there for him. Did she just say what he’d heard? She couldn’t have meant it that way...right? But Caelissine didn’t backpedal or amend her statement. She soothed him, but differently from Sabine. He never had to wage war with Caelissine to gain an inch of ground. He never struggled to get her to share her feelings with him. She just did those things and helped him to do the same.

But Caelissine went on to empathize with Sabine in a way that Jupiter hadn't expected.

Neither of you have it simple or easy. Our home is not an easy place…

The words dropped like a stone into the still waters of his mind, rippling back and forth through his memories. Jupiter questioned, privately, if he’d been bound to Sabine as a punishment for how he’d treated his father. He’d tested Brennan d’Maris to the limit and beyond in his youth, all because he thought he knew better than his father what it meant to have a name. Jupiter fought anyone and everyone who spoke poorly of the Cinerus or d’Maris lines, considering the act of shedding blood the highest honor he could pay his family. Eleven-hundred years later, Jupiter recognized his past self as an idiot of the highest order, wishing he could reach back and slap the stupid out of himself before harder lessons made him the man that sat with Caelissine now.

He’d never once considered that he could guide Sabine away from his mistakes. He just judged her and moved on.

You...I don’t think I’ve ever shown her any real compassion. She...we infuriate each other regularly. I guess I just thought she had it better...easier, because she’s a Queen. I never thought about the effect that Hayll could have on her. After the incident with the Eyriens, I didn’t know how to talk to her. I still don’t.” Jupiter said.

So I do my duty and we just exist. I hate it. But I don’t know how to help her.” Jupiter said.

Just like I don’t know how to help Cassica.” he said. Caelissine slid into his lap and he held her close. He inhaled her scent, letting his fingertips trail along the curve of her thigh, past her knee, down to her calf. He reversed course and caressed her skin for a minute as she implored him to talk to her. She admitted to thinking about him all the time and Jupiter looked up at her then and kissed her full on the lips.

*Then next time I’m not thinking about you, I’ll be sure to point it out. Hasn’t happened yet, though.*

The kiss broke and Jupiter looked down for a moment.

Cassica’s in trouble. I’m afraid that I’ll have to do some bad things to help her. Bad things to people I’ve already wronged, once upon a time.” he said softly.

I’d like to avoid it but I don’t know if I can. I promised some people that I wouldn’t be that man anymore, enforcing my will with a weapon. But if I don’t, my friend either dies or has to leave Hayll for good.” he said.

There’s trouble in Faro, people starving in the streets...and I’m trying to figure out how to save someone who’ll probably be angry that I went to this trouble.” he said.

 

 

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