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* Plot Information for Little Terreille

A naive Black Jeweled witch has destroyed the Territory Court. From its ashes a new court is being constructed, one run by a manipulative killer. As the blood runs in the streets of Goth from open gang warfare, the Steward of Little Terreille begins a gambit to rebuild the Territory from the ground up and challenge the Star of Kaeleer.
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Author Topic: Definitions  (Read 539 times)

Description: Territory Seat, Hayden's Office // Tag: Amerys

Offline Hayden Sheane

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      phinneas

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Definitions
« on: Mar 16, 18, 03:37:37 PM »
It was early still, though not early enough that Hayden was still sleepy-eyed. She tended to rise before dawn most days, so by the time most of the rest of the Keep was stirring, Hayden was on her second cup of coffee or tea (and her second breakfast, though that was far less well-known). She sat at her desk, a steaming cup of Dharoan breakfast tea near her hand while she worked at expanding a list of gift ideas for the Little Terreille courtiers. She stopped with a sigh and told herself for the hundredth time this morning that she was no good at this sort of thing. She sat back in her seat and turned her head, and let herself be distracted by the nearby window, beyond which the city was slowly waking under the early morning light. She took her tea to herself and sipped it, and told herself that there was no shame in waiting for Amerys to arrive before she started in earnest. Yes, she was supposed to have already finished a decent-sized list, but it isn’t like Amerys was going to yell at her.

Hayden smirked at the idea. The mental image of the diminutive Queen yelling angrily at anyone was bizarre enough to be amusing. She checked the time, and reasoned that it was close enough to Amerys’ arrival to justify waiting for her before continuing. She ought to be done with her morning Roland time by now, and surely any minute she’d come sweeping through the door into Hayden’s space, all sunshine and smiles. The witch’s smirk shifted to something warmer. Amerys was so often the beacon of hope and optimism that made up the beating heart of the Territory Court, and Hayden was quietly pleased for not-the-first time that Jon had been on board with approaching her. Her thoughts turned back to that first meeting between Jon and Amerys and Roland, and how tense it’d been despite her and Jon’s best intentions. She and Amerys had bonded deeply since then, though she realized that there was still a great deal about Roland that she didn’t know. She thought she ought to make an effort to change that, if for no other reason than that he meant so very much to Amerys.

Her thoughts on how she might go about that were interrupted by the opening of the door, and Hayden turned to greet the oncoming Queen with a grin.

Offline Amerys Tiernan

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #1 on: Mar 17, 18, 04:32:19 AM »
192, winter, before Winsol: The Territory Court, Hayden’s Office

There was a magic, to mornings. A coming awake to the world that radiated through the Psychic Signatures present at the Territory Court. Some people greeted the coming day with unfettered delight, some with a grumpy despair that would only yield to a hot cup of coffee, a meal, or the sun passing to the darker side of noon. It was a delightful thing, to Amerys, that genuine and unique response to the dawning fo a new day.

Ice yet decorated the Tower, frosting over windows. Amerys could imagine it crunching under foot. If the Tower lacked one thing, it was an interior garden. Such a place, with sturdy walls and miles of guards between herself and the outer-world might be deemed safe enough for her to walk in without elaborate preparations. Though ... a roof garden was a possibility, if Hayden didn’t mind sharing part of the top most floor with a thousand plants. A rippling laugh was summoned by the thought, in part because Hayden cheered her, but mostly in anticipation of the rather stunned look that would grace Hayden’s face when asked.

This morning with Roland had gone well, lending zest to the day and a skip to Amerys’ step. Something had softened between them since the trip to Rockland, and Amerys was endlessly grateful. Still better would be picking out just the right Winsol present for him. He was a difficult man to get anything for. Most years, Amerys ended up simply buying gifts for his family, with only a wine and cheese basket, a few ties and socks, all brightly colored more to make him laugh than to make him wear them, and the traditional yearly ‘executive set.’ By now Roland boasted a rather large assortment of locally-made pen-and-pencil sets, always purchased from an up an coming craftsman. That part seemed to please Roland at least as much as the gift itself. The best part was picking out the yearly inscription, always a phrase or place that had made an impression upon them that year. The gift was a small way to commemorate each of their years together. What small rituals would develop between she and Davos? Mani?

Just what spectacular way would she find to immortalize each year with Hayden? A rippling laugh poured through her at the thought, and announced her presence to her friend even as Amerys swept through the door.

What could be more fun than figuring out Winsol presents for her Court with Hayden? Well fine; doing so with Lysander and Hayden! But Amerys fully hoped to coax that cheerful fellow into accompanying the two on several shopping expeditions.

The smell of a wonderful, rich tea filled Hayden’s office. The warm liquid misted the inside of the windows, even as the morning light glinted through the frost on the windows. Hayden’s welcoming grin summoned more delightful laughter, and a warm hug.

“Good morning, Hayden!” the hug was short, merely because Amerys had too much energy to hold still. And Hayden, Mother Night bless and keep her forever, was one of the few people Amerys knew without a compulsion to try to make her sit still.

She got enough of that in Court, thank you.

“How are you?” A crucial question, and one Hayden was given to dodging; therefore Amerys waited pointedly for an answer before speaking again, her eyes sparkling with mischief. She’d nod thoughtfully, as she listened to Hayden’s answer, enjoying as much a creative evasion as a truth.

“Have you eaten? I’m likely to get caught up in this and forge to eat.” Usually, Amerys went right from Roland’s side to working breakfasts with the Court. She’d be happy to eat with Hayden though she was just as prone to skip meals entirely, in the press of Court business.

“I woke up full of ideas this morning! How is your list going? Jonothan is going to be a challenge for you.”

Offline Hayden Sheane

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #2 on: Mar 17, 18, 08:49:36 AM »
Hayden welcomed the hug from Amerys, squeezing tightly despite the brevity of the gesture. She didn't expect the Queen to linger; the mornings were far too energetic a time for that, in Amerys' world. Hayden wasn't particularly sleepy-eyed herself, but she was by comparison a perfectly placid counter to what would eventually become Amerys' thoughtful pacing.

"I'm well, Amerys. How're you this morning?" she countered, not even having to skirt the issue, as she genuinely felt content for the moment. Her mind tended to grow heavier the longer the day went on, of late. By evening she'd have enough concerns stacked up to darken her brow and sober her mood, but mornings were a time of renewal and hopefulness. Her grin returned when Amerys asked about food.

"I asked the kitchen to send up some breakfast. I thought you wouldn't mind just having something casually here while we work. We may wind up eating nothing but pastries for breakfast, but.. eh..." She shrugged, feigned a sigh of resignation. "The sacrifices we make for the Court..." The cook's homemade fruit pastries were a known weakness of the Sceltic witch, so it was likely that Amerys would well understand the mischievous glint in the woman's eye.

The grin tapered into a light groan when the topic turned back to the list she was trying to make.

"Ugghhh. It's going so slowly. Whose idea was it to plan ahead?  I almost prefer my usual method of last-minute panic to this drawn-out torture of trying to find something fitting for dozens of people." She almost didn't want to ask, because she expected Amerys had made quite a bit more progress on her own list. But she asked anyway. "What about you? Got everyone decided yet?" The matter of Jonothan's gift made her smirk and shrug. "You know, we've never really exchanged big gifts. There's always been so much going on, the holidays have been kind of swept under the rug for the past few years. I don't imagine it'll be a big deal this year, either."

Offline Amerys Tiernan

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #3 on: Mar 17, 18, 05:59:52 PM »
192, winter, before Winsol: The Territory Court, Hayden’s Office

Amerys’ laughter rippled through the room again. Silvery eyes warmed; the luxury of a meal that wasn’t also a political event was both rare and treasured by Amerys. But even better was seeing mischief and glee mixed in Hayden’s face.

“The best fruit pastries in the Territory, and a nearly as good Dharoan tea, eaten with you, whilst planning gifts for our people. I think ... I shall endure. But only if there are enough strawberry pastries to go around.” she fixed Hayden with a mock-stern expression, thrilled that the shadow that had seemed to bedevil her friend lately had dissipated.

“You know, I tell myself, that as we settle in, we’ll be less busy.” as she spoke, she coursed through Hayden’s Office, her hands lightly tracing over the accouterments with her free hand.

“Efficiency of expertise, my father calls it. But I’m not sure; people are endlessly complex.” The words were amused, rather than sad; her excellent mood not in the least diminished. Yet she hit the word people with added emphasis, and tightened her grip on the wonderful letter flipping through her fingers, over and over.

Hayden’s dismayed response to her simple question won the witch another warm hug, and a reassuring smile.

“I have worked on it by reflecting upon my day ... like my meals.”

“The Working Breakfast with my Circles and their loved ones; useful as those are in more crucial matters, I know who should get a gift that’s strictly business, and who one for family, and who needs something to make them laugh. I know them all now, Hayden. Everyone who depends directly upon us.” more laughter escaped. In truth, she’d be be loath to cancel those meals.

Amerys ticked the meals off on the fingers of her free hand, reminded of Lysander’s gift for Hayden. Rings, that rang. The thought still made her grin. In an odd Segway, unless Hayden followed her train of thought, she added:

“You’ll need to get Lysander something fun. And rainbow colored; I think he’d laugh at a rainbow compass.” Pacing now away from the window, Amerys allowed her thoughts to follow their own path. It was a mark of her comfort with Hayden, of the deep friendship she felt for the scelt witchling.

“Morning tea with the staff, in my rooms, whilst I prepare for formal court later in the day, is  both delightful and critical. We eat crazy things, too; they experiment on me in there. I think you’d enjoy it, every now and then.” Her gaze danced over Hayden, expecting the habitual sweater and comfortable jeans. Her smile sharpened, but she bit back a comment.

Later, that was for later.

“I need something special, but practical for them. As Jonothan put every kitchen gadget known to womankind into the Tower, I’m a bit at a loss. They’d like another giant cauldron for the laundry, but that’s so ... dull.” Amerys treasured that time with her people, rather than resenting it, and it showed. “I was thinking about getting the staff one of those fancy looms, with too many settings, so that they can repair or create even their own lace.” Looms, sewing machines and fitting dummies were all things Little Terrielle did very well.

“Lunch is almost always a formal affair, out with the many craftsmen’s guilds, manufacturers and businessman who are the lifeblood of Little Terreille. Most of them will give me outlandish gifts in the next few weeks, especially the Aristos and old Craftsman families. Flowers and baskets of sweets will suit for most of those. We’ll need to find a good way to handle the gifts they’ll send.” Those visits were often fun, filled with tours and viewing with alarm, as much as paperwork and statistics. Her smile only dimmed a bit, recalling how such personal visits made it much easier to spot a lie when assessing business proposals, rights of ownership or building plans. They were fun, for many of them liked to do business outside, whilst golfing, playing croquet, lawn bowling or performing some other low key, esoteric not-quite-a-sport that served mainly to add an element of laughter to any meeting.

“Let’s see, Afternoon tea shouldn’t impact us, as far as gifts given or received.” Her Afternoon Tea was more formal and structured now; Amerys received people who needed a private meeting, or from whom Amerys needed more information. Which was a sad perversion of what that meal ought to be!

“I made a list of fun, low cost items we can place on the tables at the formal dinners, which ought to help with logistics, at least.” Amerys appeared said list into free hand, and settled it with a flourish in front of Hadyen. “Roland, Dax and Breck ... I think they’d all appreciate the sort of gift that benefited the desperately poor. That list I broke onto note cards, so we could cross reference and organize them with community requests, denied charity work, and reported need.”

Court Dinners were large affairs, honoring this or that establishment, as she diligently worked her way through the vast company of those that were responsible for the infrastructure of Little Terrielle. The schools, the temples, the Caste organizations, the Landing Pads consortium. The Aristos and old money, the balls, special announcements and nearly weekly cultural holidays. Amerys celebrated all of the many cultures that went into the organized chaos that was Little Terreille!

And she mightily enjoyed to dressing up for the events, too. Maybe some day they’d do a masquerade ball, at the tower?

“I think that most of our gifts, this year, should highlight our manufacturing ability. But also be fun, hopeful things. Opera glasses and kaleidoscopes, as well as navigation kits. Clock work gadgets; locks and puzzle boxes. Fine pen and pencil sets, paints and musical instruments. Reed pipes are amazing to those who don’t know how to make them, but cost very little in terms of material.”

Even while speaking, she Called in a sketch book with images of fun items, and placed it beside her assorted lists and resources on Hayden’s desk.

All of that, and she never either set down, or showed to hayden, the letter in her left hand.

But her gaze had sharpened upon Hayden, when the witch insisted she and Jonothan just sort of missed the classical midwinter’s celebration of the Blood. Amerys was fairly sure that what Hayden meant, was that Winsol just couldn’t be the same, with her Clan in abeyance and her family dead.

Still, laughter danced though her voice as she replied. “Planning is supposed to prevent panic. If its causing it, you’re doing it wrong.”

But Hayden was forging a new family, and maybe, maybe this year she’d be ready to embrace that. Or maybe next year; Amerys would wait patiently for ...

Well.

For as long as she could bear.

A heartbeat.

“I’ll help you, Hayden. I’ve not finished everyone; I have many figured out. My parents, most of the formal gifts. The few personal ones I want to send out to certain Queens. I’m lost on our Triangle, and my Bonded. I’ve got things sorted for about 1500 other people.”

Her grin flared.

“I picked out something for you. I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy it. But you might hate it!”

Offline Hayden Sheane

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #4 on: Mar 18, 18, 04:52:07 PM »
"Well that's an easy one. Your help here is worth all the strawberry pastries in the city," she countered with a chipper note. "And then some. I'm hopelessly behind."

Amerys began to explain how she'd addressed the matter of deciding on gifts for her courtiers, and Hayden listened in rapt amusement. It was always something of a wonder to listen to how the Queen's mind worked; it was so much more orderly and structured than Hayden felt her own mind was. Indeed, she was fairly sure she'd go mad if she tried to keep track of all of the angles and details that seemed to live easily in Amerys' busy awareness. The witch leaned forward over her desk, sweater-clad arms folding atop the papers she'd been working with, and she watched her friend pace about the room and speak of her daily meals. She nodded along to Amerys' points, finding them all well-reasoned, as usual. In particular, the idea of finding gifts for her males (Breck counted, regardless of the lack of formal Bond, in Hayden's mind) that benefited the impoverished seemed an especially brilliant idea, and won an approving grin from the witch.

That grin bloomed into a soft laugh when Amerys confessed to having already picked out Hayden's gift.

"I'll love it, I'm sure. You have a gift for that sort of thing. But really, you needn't get me anything, Amerys; it's enough that you're going to help me sort all this!" she gestured to her unfinished assignments, but then nodded to the letter about which the Queen had been suspiciously quiet.

"What are you carrying around with you?" she asked, lightly.

Offline Amerys Tiernan

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #5 on: Jun 30, 18, 04:04:39 AM »
192, winter, before Winsol: The Territory Court, Hayden’s Office

Silvery eyes laughed in delight, as Hayden conceded every strawberry tart in the city to her, if only she’d help fill out the daunting list of meaningful Winsol Gifts. Hayden’s following laughter, and nearly heretical assurance that Amerys needn’t get her a gift, won a brilliant peel of laughter in turn, and a firm shake of the head.

Nothing was getting Hayden out of a fun Winsol; a certain glint in Amerys’ gaze might well suggest to Hayden that more was in store for her than a mere gift.

“We’ll get through the list, I promise,” Amerys reassured her friend. “I’ve been wrangling Court-sized Winsol events since I was eight years old. The biggest difference here is shear size, and I’m sure Davos will have some pointers even on that.” Goodness knew, the Glacians wouldn’t be any help. Roland ... was conflicted, when it came to gifts, because he wanted to help the truly needy. Lysander and Trevor, though, would have valuable input.

That last thought threatened, for a moment, to put a shadow over her joy. But it was soon swallowed in another burst of delight won forth, and Amerys pranced over to Hayden, waving the letter about. “But first, this!” Shear delight shivered through the young Queen; only then did the she manage to sit across from Hayden, placing the heavy, high quality letter between them.

“I would like your help. Please. I can’t explain it to the boys; they get jealous of me.”

“I have a friend, a wonderful friend. He’s written to me every week, since I was born.”

“He has been out of the Territory all of my life. But he’s here, now! I want to see him. And I don’t want a huge Escort, or a giant fuss of jealousy and anger.”

“I’d like you to come.”

Offline Hayden Sheane

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #6 on: Jul 08, 18, 11:19:05 AM »
The matters of Winsol gifts and strawberry tarts were soon forgotten, as the matter of the letter was very clearly a dear one to the Queen. Hayden watched as she took a seat, marveling at the way excitement warmed the air around Amerys while she spoke. It was endearing, though not so much as to entirely distract the witch. Hayden reached out and picked up the letter from the desk, and looked down at it while listening to Amerys' plea. She didn't read the whole thing, though, before the Queen asked her to go with her on an un-escorted trip to meet this friend of hers. Hayden looked back over to Amerys then with a surprised lift of her brows.

"I don't understand," she admitted. "How has he been writing to you since you were born if he's been out of the Territory that whole time? Is he a friend of your parents?" She looked back down to the letter, trying to quickly read the last of it before she added, "...and what makes you want to meet him alone? Why can't he just come here to see you?"

The conversation was paused a moment when a witch from the kitchen knocked on the door. Once greeted, she brought in a tray of breakfast pastries for the women, which Hayden directed towards the coffee table. She took her tea but left her desk and encouraged Amerys to join her on the couch that faced the fireplace. With the tray of food before them, it made for a cozy space to eat and talk.

"Do you want tea?" Hayden offered, as they moved. She'd fix Amerys a cup if the Queen desired it, and once the pair resettled she turned towards her friend once more. "Do your guys know about the letters?"

Offline Merihem Striker

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #7 on: Jul 09, 18, 02:14:07 PM »
Dearest darling Amerys,

I have NEWS! Real news, not fish news like the letter a twelve years ago in response to the pretty drawing you sent me, though I admit that writing out one-hundred and one fish facts for you was the highlight of that month! Although finding out that Sharks are the only fish that have eyelids has given me a new life goal of getting into a staring contest with a shark…

ANYWAYS, on to the news!

I have at last arrived in Little Terreille as I promised so many years ago. I decided to at last take the plunge since Terreille ran out of decent entertainment and boredom is soooooo not my thing. I arrived a month or two ago but wanted to make sure I was settled before telling you. I’ve accepted a contract to open a school in Rockland. I was hoping to be closer to the Territory Seat to better provide you with occasional drop in visits, but alas, so is the life of an immigrant.

Plus, this way I get to corrupt the next generation into the fine art of writing pigeon poetry. It is a dying artform.

Just aside, it is work I believe I will enjoy and I’ve settled in nicely to life here. The local Court is small and filled will dull people, not nearly as interesting as you, but they don’t bother me too much which works well for me (except for a lovely Black Widow who is probably an evil sorceress for she had neatly stolen the heart from my chest with her cute little face. Why did you never mention how PRETTY everyone was here? Shame on you!).

Oh, and the Steward is fun to mess with. He needs to learn to relax and spend more time outside. In your honor I left a fish in the top drawer of his desk one day behind a sight shield. I assume he enjoyed it because it was gone next time I checked. Fish fact 102: the smell lingers foreeeeeeeever. Result: Steward now has a slight tan. See? I am already working for the public good!

Now that I’m settled, I’d like to find a time and place to meet with you, at last. Queen that you are I’m sure you’re busy, so I’ll let you choose the time and place, though I suggest wearing a hat, since it will be raining.

Please enjoy the starfish earrings, they come from a Territory called Chaillot on the other side of the Gate. Fun face 103: starfish are not actually fish! The more you know!

Love,

Moe

Offline Amerys Tiernan

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #8 on: Nov 03, 18, 12:43:41 AM »
192, winter, before Winsol: The Territory Court, Hayden’s Office
“It’s nothing sinister,” Amerys assured Hayden, addressing all three questions with a general reassurance. The expected knock on the door summoned a gleeful grin.

“Those pastries smell divine,” Amerys said, acknowledging the witch from the kitchens with a smile all her own. An eager nod was her answer to Hayden’s question of tea, her general energy and excitement driving her to her feet to pace once more. Watching tea being made was always fun, though admittedly Amerys’ attention was more on Hayden’s comfortable, warm sweater than the process by which warm water and dried leaves became something positively divine.

Not everything magical in the world came from Craft.

As Hayden gestured her to the couch, Amerys moved to join her there.

“Moe is Long Lived, from Dhemlan; he can do more with Basic Craft and Jeweled Craft than anyone I’ve ever met. He’s excellent at scrying, just amazing.” She paused not for a dainty bite of pastry, but to devour one whole. She felt 10 years old again, before the horrors of her teen years tainted the whole of Little Terreille. Her thoughts returned to Moe, a shadow in her gaze. He wasn’t nearly wary enough of Black Widows, for Amerys’ current state of mind. But once upon a time that most dangerous of Castes had merely seemed one more wonder of the Blood, to her. A touch of unease crept into her heart and voice, as she continued.

“His sister is a Black Widow who fell into the Twisted Kingdom long before I was born. So she has random, unguided visions of no vast importance. That was when he first learned about me.” Amerys could hardly fault him for his adoration of his sister, and felt only compassion that his only way to connect with her was to investigate her wild Visions and inexplicable Dreams.

“He’s fun, Hayden. Compassionate. He’s like the grandfather I never had. I want to be able to give him a hug. To just walk along the beach and talk to him. If he’s here it gets all wrapped up in the political drama around getting Dhemlan to re-negotiate our trade policies and forgive us for the death of their Priestess. It can’t be just ... us. Just Moe and Amerys.”

Another pastry vanished into nothing, and was followed by a few sips of tea, sweet and warm.

Comforting.

When you are going to say something someone won’t like, start with the positive.

“Dax knows about the letters. Dax is alive because of Moe.” Moe’s odd guidance, delivered via his letters, had led Amerys to be in just the right place, at just the right time, to save her foster-brother and oldest Bonded’s life.

“Roland ...” As always, Roland was complicated. “We didn’t get much time together before we were here. The letters simply haven’t come up, between us. But he is prone to a type of jealousy I don’t want to deal with, at this first meeting.”

A lighter note crept into her voice, one of rueful warmth, not bitterness or anger.

“I can’t imagine that Jon knows or would care about my mail!” a giggle escaped her, at imagining the sober-minded Glacian dealing with Moe’s random and colorful letters. Her dancing eyes invited Hayden to share her mirth, as she gestured at the letter. “I don’t think Jon cares to learn 103 Fish Facts.” Amery’s graceful movement then indicated a plaque upon the wall, in her finest calligraphy, that laid out the 101 Fish Facts Moe had sent to her all those years ago.

“Breck must know that I get weekly letters from Dhemlan, of course; all of my mail goes through his office before it is delivered to me.”

Offline Hayden Sheane

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #9 on: Nov 26, 18, 11:06:27 AM »
Hayden listened intently while Amerys explained how she'd come to know this Moe fellow. The witch's expression shifted from conspiratorial amusement to hesitance and back again a few times during the course of the Queen's explanation. When Amerys finished, Hayden paused long enough to finish off her pastry and take a sip of tea, clearly giving sober consideration to the words she wanted to say.

"I understand what you're saying, and I sympathize," she said, finally, when her thoughtful eyes returned to Amerys. "And I have no reason to believe this fellow has anything sinister in mind, especially if he's already proven himself concerned with helping you and those you love. But Amerys... I think you're coming at this from the wrong angle." She shifted, folding her legs beneath her while she turned to sit sideways on the couch. She faced Amerys fully this way, with her cup cradled between both hands.

"It doesn't have to be an official state visit if you're just meeting him as a friend. He's not part of Dhemlan's government as far as we know, and couldn't negotiate any decisions there even if he wanted to. But it not being a state visit doesn't change the fact that you're still Queen of Little Terreille, Amerys. If you go running around the Territory with no escort, you're going to drive this entire court batty with worry, and that's assuming nothing untoward happens to you. That's not to say you can't be out and about as much as you like, but for the sake of the people who serve you, you ought to take a few measures to ensure your safety while you're doing so. Even if Moe is as harmless as you believe, there are people here in the Territory that wouldn't pass up the opportunity to hurt you or use you somehow."

Hayden extended a hand towards Amerys, and settled it warmly atop one of the Queen's hands.

"Amerys, we need to talk about you and Roland, don't you think?" she proposed, concern softening her features and gentling her tone. "Because he's meant to be the solution to this kind of problem. You could take Breck with you, if you were worried about jealousy, or Draven, even. But neither one of them is your First Escort. This sort of protection and care is the crux of what the First Escort is supposed to be. If you aren't comfortable with Roland in that role, then maybe it's time we talk about finding another position for him, and then finding a First Escort you're more comfortable with. You know I'd go anywhere with you that you wanted me to, but I'm not going to be much use to you if we run into a situation where you need protecting." A lie, certainly, but it didn't feel like one. Here, in this setting, Hayden was so invested in the role of a Jewel-less Blood woman that it didn't even feel duplicitous to say such things.

Offline Amerys Tiernan

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #10 on: Nov 26, 18, 09:23:15 PM »
192, winter, before Winsol: The Territory Court, Hayden’s Office

In general, it wasn’t a good sign when someone thought carefully over their words. It nearly always heralded a risk, mistake or error that Amerys hadn’t seen coming. That the sober, careful consideration came from Hayden was not unusual. It was a touch disheartening, though, in this particular instance. Amerys listened, silvery gaze fixed upon Hayden. A nod followed Hayden’s assertion that simply avoiding political topics and places wouldn’t remove the weight of authority and power from Amerys.

Or the target from her back. In truth, Amerys did often forget people wanted to hurt her. It seemed so deeply unnatural; even Jonothan drew the line at willing harm to a Queen. Not so long ago Amerys had been able to walk the streets of Braedon-on-the-Strand unescorted, simply because she belonged to her people, and they to her. But at this level, that sort of intimacy was denied to her. Intimacy, respect, trust ... these were hard to build, when any single person could be given such a tiny, measured amount of her time and attention.

“I promised Draven that I wouldn’t ever go anywhere alone.” A low sigh bled out of her. Draven thought it was completely her responsibility to reassure her Bonded, to heal them, no matter what. Amerys agreed, wholeheartedly, and her utter failure where Roland was concerned baffled and crushed her. Tension bloomed and rooted within her, freezing her in place, as Hayden turned the conversation to that deeply personal failure. The warm hand over hers was all that kept Amerys from jumping to her feet and moving away as swiftly as possible. Her gaze fell away from Hayden, to the distant window of the high eyrie Hayden had chosen. How could she answer coherently, without breaking faith with anyone? A few stifled breaths went by, before a soft, tentative reply came.

“Roland becomes bitterly offended if I discus our situation with anyone.” It left her in an odd place, an island of isolation in the midst of the wild chaos of her tri-layered Court. Her throat closed on more words, heart pounding hard enough to feel as if she was shaking. Tiny flakes of snow twirled to adhere to the window, freezing in place in brilliant glory, before melting into nothing.

Like Amerys.

Winsol was a time of renewal, right? She strove to see past the habit of pain and despair, to a real solution. So many times, an assumed shared definition had cost her dearly.

“There are those who feel the position of First Escort is irrelevant. Unimportant. On occasion, it has been referred to in my hearing as baby sitting.” A particularly bitter comment, that rankled even yet. For a lot of reasons, especially given how hard she worked. Everyone understood what a Steward did: they were accountants. Understood what a Master of the Guard did: oh, a soldier. Easy to grasp. But a First Escort? That was tricky to define, could only be properly understood in terms of the Queen in question.

“How I see it ...”

“Politically, my First Escort speaks with the my voice when a judgement call is necessary and I can’t see to it myself. It is a vast trust, for lives and livelihoods are at stake.”

“Diplomatically, my First Escort attends events that I should be at but can’t be, or that I need a voice in but dare not go myself. A critical role, especially in Little Terreille.” Between the assorted Courts, old money, industry/new money, the temples, the Coven, shipping interests, Aristos and the gangs, there were a lot of must-attend events, even for someone as social and energetic as Amerys. Being able to split her whole Triangle up to deal with it helped immensely.

“Personally, he should should be someone I don’t have to be perfect for, and vice versa. Who values spending time with me, and our work in this Court, rather than seeing it as a burden or wasted time.” That, too, had been a painful conversation. It centered her, though, to recall it. A faint frown appeared, and finally she turned her troubled gaze upon Hayden.

“From a Court perspective, the First Escort should be someone that the Court trusts to keep me from doing anything stupid, and to keep me safe when I need a break the need for from 20 Escorts just to walk to the park.”

The silence lingered, vast and heavy. Amerys had hoped that laying out the assorted responsibilities one more time might give her some clarity. That some perfect fit might appear, and with it, an answer as to how to heal Roland. As usual, she was simply left with needing to find other people to do what he would or could not.

“No.”

“That’s not right, either. Those are all privileges a First Escort earns, if he or she can manage this one thing.” Her gaze fastened upon Hayden, her brow wrinkled, an alien, uncharacteristic frown upon her features.

“Resolve a disagreement ... a serious one, upon a subject that matters ... without resorting to scorched earth tactics. No sense of betrayal, because we have different opinions. No power struggle or accusations of incompetence, because I won’t automatically take his point of view. But a real attempt to understand each other’s stance, and find a workable compromise.”

Slowly, Amerys folded her letter from Moe, as if each fold could hide away the truth she’d just spoken. She felt oddly exposed, which she usually didn’t feel with Hayden. It left Amerys unbalanced, to feel that way now, for Hayden was genuine and honest with her in a way few people were. Her final words were no more than a whisper, as she attempted to fold Moe’s letter into invisibility, as if the letter were to blame for her impossible dilemma.

“I cannot imagine him ever forgiving me, if I ask him to step down from First Escort. Any other post must be seen as a demotion, as something less powerful.” Her throat squeezed closed and she refused to think, let alone speak, the rest of that thought.

Offline Hayden Sheane

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #11 on: Nov 27, 18, 10:55:14 AM »
"Hey," Hayden said gently, scooting closer to the Queen when tension and hesitance seemed to grip Amerys from within. "Listen, it's just me here, alright? And nothing we talk about has to go any further than this room. I'm not trying to grill you, Amerys I'm just trying to help." Amerys revealed that Roland would be upset with her if she spoke freely of their 'situation', and something in that angered Hayden, a little.

"Well that's ridiculous," she decided aloud, frowning gently. "Not that you're trying to honor his wish, but that he'd even demand such a thing. Your relationships, especially your relationship with him, are complex and delicate things. Even if things were perfect between the two of you, you still ought to be free to talk about it with whomever you wish. The fact that there's trouble between you only makes it more necessary that you're able to vent and discuss things. If that's really how he feels, that's an incredibly selfish stance for him to take."

Hayden set her tea aside so that she could reach for Amerys' second hand. Now holding both and trying to meet the Queen's burdened gaze, Hayden softened the irritation out of her tone. She didn't want the Queen to think it was her that'd earned that.

"Why do you think Queens need a court around them, Amerys?" she prompted, gently. "I mean, there are alot of reasons, but one of the big ones is that the interplay between all the relationships you must keep is alot of work. You need support. He can't expect you to keep your troubles bottled up for his sake."

Amerys opted for the diplomatic route, and began to speak of the First Escort position in general terms, rather than confessing specifics about the trouble between herself and Roland. Hayden fell quiet and listened, holding her tongue for the sake of letting her friend speak, even when it broke her heart to hear the sorrow in Amerys' voice. When the Queen's voice sank to a whisper at the last, it suddenly wasn't enough to merely hold her hands. Hayden had no power to magically fix the wounds between Amerys and Roland, though she would've gladly paid a mighty fee to be able to do so. In the absence of a solution she could only try to comfort Amerys however she could, which made her look for an opportunity to pull the other woman into a hug. She wouldn't force it, certainly, but if Amerys seemed open to the gesture, Hayden would shift around on the couch until she was flush against Amerys' side, and pull the Queen into a firm, somewhat protective squeeze.

"I hate that you're hurting," she murmured, frowning gently. "Frankly I wouldn't care if Roland was mad forever. It's the least he deserves for upsetting you, as far as I'm concerned." She knew it was a petty tone to take, but it felt true nonetheless. It was easy to plant herself firmly on Amerys' side of the matter, as she was far less acquainted with the Prince in question. "I want to talk to him, to see if there's a position he'd be happier in if he doesn't value his current one as it is. I could frame it like it's coming from me, if you want. He doesn't need to know we've talked about things. It's no secret that he's not on your arm very often, after all; I don't think it'd be out of place for someone to notice something's off. But I'd rather be up front with him, and let him know you're hurting and that we're both just looking for a solution that helps everyone, him included. If you two are already at odds, what's it matter if he gets a little madder?"

Offline Amerys Tiernan

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #12 on: Nov 28, 18, 06:35:50 AM »
192, winter, before Winsol: The Territory Court, Hayden’s Office

Amerys grinned, pained though it was, and settled into the gentle, reassuring hug Hayden offered. She craved touch, needed that visceral reminder that people cared. There was a connection and intimacy that could not be had without the gentle reassurance of touch. It drew her out of her own mind, and gave her an unarguable evidence of affection. It wasn’t sexual, but it was very powerful. Hayden never felt shy about holding her hand, or giving or receiving hugs. There was a profound sense of acceptance and healing in their relationship. Something clicked into place, inside Amerys, put right by Hayden’s concern and incipient anger at Roland. That acceptance let her defensiveness fade, gave her insight into her Bonded male. Even more, Hayden’s gentle assurance, it’s just me here, alright? soothed.

A long sigh of agreement was released when Hayden mentioned that relationships were complex and delicate things. Indeed they were. Like snowflakes, they evolved and changed without warning. And could melt away to nothing if not tended. For a long time, she sat in silence, letting the gentle hug work its own sort of magic.

“Thank you, Hayden.”

“Sometimes you put things into focus in just amazing ways. I tend to everyone because I care. Because I love them. I love Goth, and Little Terreille. Breadon-on-the-Strand. I am so aware of how fragile life is. I don’t often tell anyone when I’m down, stressed, or afraid. I am too stubborn. It should be my First Escort that I go to. I can’t right now, so I end up feeling like I’m stealing from Roland, if I talk to anyone.”

Amerys closed her eyes, and Appeared her lovely, delicate White Jewel. She studied it intently, baffled. It was so fragile, so amazing, so beautiful. It glittered and gleamed; to all of her senses, it was perfect. A perfect poison. There was one quick, easy cure to what ailed Roland, but so far Amerys had resisted taking it. For all it’s faults, she loved that precious White Jewel.

“It’s not his fault, though. None of this is; I handled him poorly. I hurt him, because I made some assumptions. I failed to be clear about my own needs. I thought he’d look for them and try to fill them. But I don’t know that he knows how to explore those things. He doesn’t ask very many questions.”

She grew silent, staring at the Jewel but seeing all the hurt and confusion it had so subtly spread.

“I think I told you once that something is wrong with our Bond?”

“I don’t think we can heal what’s wrong between Roland and I until I fix it.”

“But maybe we can Heal what’s wrong between Roland and the Court.”

Amerys was too afraid of Roland’s anger, and she knew it. He knew how to hurt her, and did so successfully whenever they disagreed. Yet ... Hayden was right, in that it did no good to leave things a mess between them.

“He seems to find a lot of his duties burdensome. I think it would be wonderful if you could discover what Roland actually enjoys doing. I know he loves numbers, and facts and figures. He yearns for Jonothan’s position of Steward at least partially because he feels comfortable with business deals and finance. He likes to have his own projects, but he does not like to share them with me. He prefers to bring me news only after it’s all done and perfect. Maybe it feels to him like keeping me informed is ‘asking permission’ and since he still struggles with the fact that I outrank him, he avoids it? I don’t know.”

She fell silent for a few minutes, thinking.

“I don’t read him very well. I’d love to know what motivates him. What he wants. How to win back his respect. It went away, when we slept together. And I don’t know how to get it back.”

A gentle head shake followed, though it was more dispelling a notion, than directed at Hayden.

“I don’t want any lies, between us. If you talk to him, feel free to speak the truth. Only gently, because despite it all he’s my Bonded and he’s precious to me.”

“I wish there was a post with the prestige of First Escort that he could take, but there isn’t. I sometimes suspect he values the power of Territory First Escort more than he does the time spent with me. Maybe because, by definition, he feels less powerful when I’m present?” that thought lingered with her. Maybe it offered a reason as to why he so often wanted to take her role in the Territory Court?

“I’m exhausted by the power struggle between us. I don’t know to make him feel powerful, when I won’t let him take away my power. You and I are both powerful, without any need to take power from each other. We can both be powerful together. He doesn’t seem to know how to do that.”

Offline Hayden Sheane

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #13 on: Nov 29, 18, 11:30:48 AM »
"How can you fix a Bond?" Hayden asked, intrigued by the way it almost sounded like Amerys had a plan for doing so, when she mentioned it. She wasn't aware such things could be fixed, once damaged, but it was a topic that certainly had her interest. She knew someone else for whom the Queen's bond was a source of irritation, but such things had always seemed beyond touch, in her mind. "But, sure. Maybe if we can find a way to make him feel happier with his position, it'll help him address everything else in a healthier way."

It saddened the witch to hear Amerys go on to talk about how she viewed her relationship with Roland, and how she thought Roland felt about her. It was hard for Hayden to believe, because Roland had always seemed to her to be present and open and ready to work. But she'd not been there for those private conversations, for those moments of tension between the Queen and her Bonded. She could only hope that Amerys was mistaken, and that Roland hadn't lost his respect for her like she feared.

"I don't think you can make him feel powerful, 'mrys," she murmured regretfully, squeezing the embrace as though trying to counter the reality of her words. "I think that's one of those things that has to come from inside, rather than out. But maybe if we clear away some of the more mundane things that are bothering him, he can find his own way towards confidence." She paused, then added, "It's worth trying, in any case. And of course I'll be gentle with him. I don't want to see him hurt any more than I enjoy seeing you hurt.

"As for this friend of yours..."
she continued, segueing after another pause. "Can we put off the meeting with him just a little longer? You know I'd go anywhere with you, Amerys, but if it was just the two of us and something happened to you, I'd never forgive myself. What about--" she started to say, then paused, surprised that she'd even been willing to say his name. But she pressed on, setting her personal feelings aside for the sake of finding a solution for Amerys.

"--Davos? He'd go with you, I'm sure, and he's never seemed the jealous sort, to me."

Offline Amerys Tiernan

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #14 on: Nov 30, 18, 07:03:28 PM »
192, winter, before Winsol: The Territory Court, Hayden’s Office

Hayden of course went right to the heart of the matter, and Amerys couldn’t help a smile. Yes, of course Hayden would want to know if a Queen Bond could be Healed through Craft. Amerys still wasn’t convinced it could be, not that way. Not that easily.

“You are right, it is a tricky thing. I mean, what we are all taught from the very beginning is that only Queens can influence Queen Bonds. Well that, and ... some males can break or ignore them. Even then, what I was taught was that only a Queen’s Emotional Healing could reach that deeply, only the Queen involved can touch the male deeply enough to really heal him in a way that translates into the vast spiritual/emotional/physical thing that a Queen’s Bond is.”

“That’s why I thought Lady Gold was behind the problem. She’s old, powerful, and briliant. If anyone could find away to break the rules, it would be her. She’s not, though, to my vast releif.” Amerys shuddered; if Laurel Gold had been behind the problem, then there wouldn’t have been a cure.

“While attacking a Bond directly still appears to be impossible, what a person can do, it turns out, is to hurt, or block, or twist the perceptions of one of the people involved. So the Bond works, but through a series of deep seated compulsions and complex Priestess Craft,” Amerys gestured with her White Jewel, before vanishing it. “The Bond is mis-read, or even simply disbelieved. Consistently. And if one of the two people is basically tormented, soon they both will be.”

“I’ve a team working on it, though ... we ... we hit a small problem when Emily was kidnapped.” The loss of her life-long best friend and High Priestess was bitterly personal, utterly private, and had been extremely difficult to deal with. Amerys had had a steady stream of skilled, competent and trusted Priestesses fill in, but she’d been unwilling to name a successor until some of her people found her and brought her home.

Amerys refused to consider any other possibility.

“I’d like to have my end untangled, and at least begin the process of healing me, so we can heal him, before anything is done. And that won’t be fast; it is basically talk therapy with Craft used to avoid certain traps or give emotional buffering. It’s work, it’s ritual, and you have to want to fix it. To understand, to ask questions.” Her smile fell away; she was not convinced Roland wanted to work that hard, to fix what was wrong. Work hard in other ways, yes. But these things were very, very difficult for him.

Then their was Jonothan, and the troubles he’d told Amerys about when he was so very hurting and so very angry. She offered softly, “If it works for us, I’ll give you all of the detials. I promise.”

Harder, far harder to handle was the notion that she couldn’t give Roland that one thing he most needed. To feel powerful. To feel confident and secure in his own person, so that her own power and confidence weren't a threat to him, but a source of pride. She stoped herself form an instinctual denial; Amerys herself was so confident, so certain, that it was a dilemma she truly didn’t understand or know how to address.

“Thank you, Hayden. Of course you would be kind. If Roland could see more tangible, external proof of his power and skill, I think he’d be happier. I want him to be happy.” She smiled at her friend, and wondered how in the world someone so warm, kind and good had ended up best friends with Jonothan. Maybe Jon needed her perspective, to keep his own balance. Maybe Hadyen was the balm that kept his own tormented Queen’s Bond from destroying him.

Slowly, she turned her mind towards Hayden’s request to put off seeing Moe. She nodded, and stuffed the tightly folded letter into her pocket. It was hard to say, if Hayden’s pause before speaking of Davos was due to going through other trusted members of the court and defaulting to her newest Bonded, or to the pain between the two.

There was a lingering silence, and Amerys’ brow furrowed. Roland could be touchy, on that subject. Well, on any of her other Bonded except Mani. But Davos seemed to rub him wrong, for no reason Amerys could detect.

“You are right; this needs to be considered more carefully. I will talk to Roland about Moe, and ask Davos what he thinks about taking me to see him.” The trip to Scelt, to formalize a place here for the ostracized Sheane’s was heavy in her mind. Amerys was afraid for everyone who undertook that trip, but especially for Davos. Even moreso for Hayden, if he succeeded in getting her to agree to go. Davos had much to consider, already; a lot of pain to bear.

Pain Hayden shared, that was inevitably and tragically wrapped up in Davos.

It was Amerys’ turn to hug Hayden gently, and murmur softly, “Hayden. Are you two doing ok? You know you don’t have to go with Davos, right? If there’s anything I can do to help you and he work through this, you know I will.”

Offline Hayden Sheane

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #15 on: Dec 04, 18, 10:56:23 AM »
It was a test of the friendship between them that Hayden managed to hold her tongue instead of launching into a series of decisions concerning the work that was being done to heal Amerys. She had a team of people working on it, and they were people she trusted, and she was more familiar with the problem than Hayden was by far, in the first place. The protective streak in Hayden made her want to insist that they go searching out the most skilled mind and spirit healers in the realm, and pool them together to get the matter resolved. She knew it had to be an intensely personal thing, though, and surely the effort would be hindered by forcing Amerys to expose that wound to strangers instead of letting her work at a slower pace with those she trusted.

It was difficult, but Hayden held her silence. She nodded in understanding, and let the Queen continue to speak. The matters of Roland, and of the bond between him and his Queen, were complex ones. She resolved in her mind to speak with the Prince, though she'd have to expend some thought on what approach to take with him. There really was no good reason that she hadn't spoken with him at length before now, aside from the very mundane reason that their schedules didn't seem to bring them to the same places often. Between Roland's business outside of the court and Hayden's penchant for wandering far and wide when she wasn't required in the keep, it'd been an easy thing to let the days pass without much shared time.

Amerys' assurance that she'd share what she learned about healing the Bond with her caught Hayden off guard, but after that initial beat of confusion, she understood where the offer had come from. She gave the Queen a grateful squeeze, but didn't comment. The matter of Jonothan and his Bond wasn't easy to talk about.

Neither was Davos, though that hadn't stopped Hayden from bringing him up. It bothered her deeply that Davos, whom she came so close to hating, sometimes, was aware of her secret and someone like Amerys was not. She didn't answer the Queen right away, and instead stared unseeing at the coffee table before them while the matter turned over in her mind. It was incredibly tempting to just explain everything to Amerys right then. Everything.   The longer she thought about it, though, the more it felt like that would make things harder on Amerys rather than easier. It wasn't worth complicating her life just to assuage Hayden's own guilty conscience, the witch decided.

"I know that it's my choice," she said, with a nod. "But I still feel like I have to go. I'd be lying if I said Davos and I are 'okay', but we're okay enough that the trip shouldn't be an issue. And... it will be good for me," she said, sounding less than convinced about the last bit. Physically she didn't move, but she retreated a little, all the same. The idea of seeing Scelt again was a weighty thing, one that tried to stir up emotions far more deep than she typically shared with others.

"Besides," she said, with the kind of sigh that suggested she was moving forward in spite of obstacles. "Someone's got to go and make sure Davos doesn't start a war with Tuathal." She allowed a half-smile, glancing to Amerys with a conspiratorial sort of look, as though the matter wasn't entirely a possibility.

Offline Amerys Tiernan

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #16 on: Dec 05, 18, 05:15:11 AM »
192, winter, before Winsol: The Territory Court, Hayden’s Office

Amerys watched the concern paint itself upon Hayden’s expressive features. Silently, Amerys prepared a whole slew of reasons why she didn’t want to change the group working with her. Counted out where and how she’d carve a few hours out of her day so that Hayden could meet her people, and feel more comfortable. But Hayden didn’t interrupt with demands, questions or ideas that Amerys couldn’t answer. She was deeply grateful for the restraint shown. Yet there was no way to express her appreciation that wouldn’t feel like she was keeping Hayden at arm’s distance. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to share with Hayden, but that she often could find no words to express it. The warm hug from Hayden when she promised to share any discoveries about her own healing with Hayden was equally wordless. Certain things were simply hard to speak of, no matter how close you were with someone.

Like Davos.

There was a long silence, when Amerys asked how Hayden and Davos were doing, and reassured Hayden that she need not join the mission to Scelt if she didn’t want to. Amerys waited patiently, to see what or how or even if Hayden would answer her. They’d spoken of Davos a few times, but so far the topic had not come any easier to Hayden. Or to Davos, on those instances when the situation was reversed. Tension radiated from Hayden, her gaze staring onto a past that seemed to weight down her very soul.

Amerys sighed, her lips thinning, when Hayden assured her that she was choosing to go to Scelt. It was hard to think of the Jewelless witch exposed to such risk. Such a bitter, horrid risk. Not only form the currently ruling Court of Scelt, but from her own fractured Clan. That topic was the closest Amerys and Davos had come to having a fight; Amerys couldn't understand Davos’ need to make Hayden face Scelt. According to Hayden, everyone in her Clan she had been close to was dead. She had no Jewels at all, and could not even defend herself. Yet she was brilliant, and warm; everyone liked her.

Hayden went on to assure Amerys that she could work with Davos, though Amerys couldn’t contain a soft, sympathetic snort at Hayden’s less-than-convinced conclusion that it would be good for her. Hayden already seemed very far away, and she hadn’t even left yet.

“Good for you, hmm? You make a stunning diplomat, Hayden; warm and true. Yet I admit I’m worried about you going. I could ask Draven to go with you, to protect you?”

Amerys would send half her Court, if she thought it would keep Hayden safe or help her deal with the burdens of seeing her homeland once more. But that pain lingered deep inside; even Hadyen’s brother couldn’t defeat that. Amerys’ serious, worried gaze softened to a gentle smile at Hayden’s quip and conspiratorial look. But her newest Bonded felt deeply about the matter, and desperately wanted not merely justice, but vengeance.

“I’ve considered going myself,” Amerys admitted. There we so many reasons why she wasn’t going, but the only one that mattered was that Davos hadn’t been happy with the notion. Whether that was concern for her safety or simply that he had no desire for her to see how deeply his pain ran, she couldn’t say. The first step here was trusting him to go and come back safely.

He wouldn’t start a war, right? At least not without Lord Black in tow.

“Somehow this mission has to focus on what is now, and on the future, not the past.” The notion of Hayden being the one to keep Davos calm seemed cruel, to Amerys. The two could barely speak to each other without the pain that pushed deeply into each other’s wounds hurting one or the other. On the other hand, the Red Jeweled Prince might just feel responsible for Hayden’s safety.

That might be enough to steady him.

“It seems a deep burden to place upon you, Hayden. Is there anyone you would like to have go with you?”

Offline Hayden Sheane

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #17 on: Dec 11, 18, 10:03:55 AM »
Hayden smiled, returning to Amerys with more than merely her eyes.

"Draven? On a diplomatic mission?" she said, humor warming the words. "Amerys, have you met him?" She laughed a little and shook her head. "He can behave when he needs to, but he'd be incredibly bored and uncomfortable the entire time. And besides, I won't need protecting," she pointed out. "It isn't as though we're going to Tuathal. We're going to Denford, to see what's left of the Clan, and invite them into safe harbor. If we do encounter real danger, Davos will be able to handle it; don't mistake his love of poetry for a lack of attention to the fighting arts, Amerys. He's more than capable. But in this case, he won't need it. We're going to see allies, and I don't expect trouble."

Amerys suggested that the trip should focus on the future rather than the past, and Hayden nodded her agreement.

"For what it's worth, I think it's finding you that's enabled the possibility for him to do that," she said, giving a squeeze to the Queen one more. "He finally has a reason to consider the future at all. I don't think he had that before. He can't get into too much trouble over there, because he has to be able to come back here and look after you."

Amerys insisted again that it was too much to ask of Hayden, and asked if there wasn't someone she'd take with her.

"Amerys," Hayden said, releasing the embrace of the Queen just so that she could turn and face her, meeting her eyes with an earnest expression. She took the other woman's hands and squeezed them gently. "You have to trust me. Alright? It'll be okay. I'll be fine, Davos will be fine. It'll be a short trip and we'll be back in Goth before you know it, hopefully with a ship full of Sheanes." Sheanes that she wouldn't be able to show herself to, she knew. Sheanes she'd have to avoid once they were in Little Terreille. It was unlikely that many of them knew her personally, given how much of her youth she'd spent in Dhemlan, but it would only take one or two who remembered her and her Birthright to bring the whole Lord Black charade down in flames.

Lies beget lies, her father had warned her once. It'd never felt more true than it did right then, while Hayden held the hands of her friend and continued to pretend that she wasn't who she was. She smiled anyway (she was getting good at that) and pulled Amerys back into a hug.

"I'll bring him back in one piece. I promise."

Offline Amerys Tiernan

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #18 on: Dec 12, 18, 02:00:26 AM »
192, winter, before Winsol: The Territory Court, Hayden’s Office

Amerys burst out laughing, as Hayden pointed out the obvious incompatibility of Draven’s temper with a delicate diplomatic mission. His language, too. More giggles assaulted her. “I like him. Sometimes when I sneak into the kitchen at night, he’s there too. He’s fun to talk to.” And oddly wise; she’d found some good advice hidden in the violent Warlord Prince.

A blush darkened her cheeks, as she considered what she knew about Davos’ fighting skills. A soldier; trained to be Master of the Guard. A passionate, hot tempered Scelt with a powerful sense of justice. Bearing a Red Jewel. Which also shouted that was a skilled fighter, or he’d be dead. But somehow Amerys always struggled to connect his fierce warrior’s body and powerful, calloused hands with her poet ever being in danger.

“I - I, uh ...” Amerys sputtered, for a few seconds, struggling to place into words her inability to accept the reality of Davos in a fight. “He told me he was trained to be Territory Master of the Guard,” Her eyes darkened. That, and executioner. Who would do that to Davos? “His body is hard and fine, when he hugs me; his spirit fierce, the power of his convictions overwhelming. But his aching eyes, the lyrical beauty of his words, his tender heart.” The young Queen attempted to explain herself, though she feared that between the blush and her recurring giggles she sounded more like an idiot than a Queen concerned for someone dear to her. “I can’t picture it. Dax is a fighter, Draven...” Though both were more thug, truly, than soldier, at least in Amerys’ hazy conception of the two.

“I’m embarrassingly dismayed that he’s going.” That they both were; it would be lonely here with the both of them so very far away. Terribly lightly Jeweled. Those with Darker Jewels could reach comfortably across a city, Territory or Ocean to contact far away loved ones. People like Amerys, with very light Jewels, did not have that comfort.

Hayden’s warm hug allowed her an out, but it was the softly spoken words that silenced Amerys’ giggles. She desperately wanted it to be true, that she’d given Davos a sense of purpose, of the future. “Thank you, Hayden.” It was vastly comforting to hear that he saw that new-found sense of purpose in him.  “I’ve felt the empty hurt and dismal rage, balanced by his intense sense of hopeless justice that can rise up to consume him. But I’ve also felt his ... his delight in me. That he’s found enough hope to believe in your shared mission thrills me, even though I hate to see you go.” Bringing home their Clan would form it’s own sense of future, folding back on itself, rising again, as each commitment to see the next day, week, or month through found new reasons to keep on living.

The magic of hope.

Hayden leaned back then, and squeezed her hands gently, assuring Amerys that they would both be ok. Asking Amerys to trust Hayden to know her own strength, and be able to navigate the land that had wounded her so.

With the Sheane Prince she had a long-standing feud with.

Amerys squeezed back, her smile rueful. Settled trustingly back into the warm hug Hayden offered. The Jeweless witch had a positive gift for knowing just when Amerys needed that physical reassurance. One which she would miss dearly, while she was gone. As she would Davos’ delight in her.

“I trust you Hayden.”

Unqualified trust.

Unbounded friendship.

Those things were rare and precious, to be savored and respected.

Her grin re-emerged, for she read in Hayden’s promise to bring Davos home in one piece not only a promise to keep him safe from himself and Scelt, but one to keep from hassling Davos too much, herself.

“I’ll count on you to be sensible, and him to be fierce. For the love of family and Clan you both carry to see you safely home. I can see you need to do this. And maybe it’s fate, or destiny, that you two need to do it together.”

“But I’m still likely to make the whole court miserable while you two are gone.”

 

 

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