(1866-07-28) An Afternoon Away From Court
An Afternoon Away From Court
Summary: Clara comes to the Cassomir manse in Sunsreach upon invitation from Emilia. The two discuss the pains of court and possible possible trip plans to Lonnaire for the upcoming wedding masque. The conversation shifts as Graham and then Raelyn join the pair for an afternoon upon the patio.
Date: 06/28/1866
Related: None
Emilia  Clara  Graham  Raelyn  

Cassomir Manse - Sunsreach
In Scene Set
28th of Juillet, 1866

Duty..It was the thing that had brought Emilia to Sunsreach, it is what kept her there…it was what saw her attending dinners and lunches, teas and Court. Duty..a thing sometimes joked, that they as Cassomirs, dined upon such for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Duty…to do what was required of her, no matter the pain or sacrifice. But it was not a matter of duty that had seen the invitation for this day sent, even if the Court would likely view it in that way. It was expected was it not, Cassomir and Tracano.

But no, it was not duty that had seen that invitation from Lady Emilia Cassomir sent on to Princess Clara Tracano and invited her on to the Cassomir manse, to spend the day. Or simply to while away the worst heat of the day. It was that need for something other than fake Courtly faces and whispering words. A thing her friend would understand.

The Tracano would be greeted well upon arriving to the manse by one of the servants before being lead back to where Emilia was. A small shaded patio at the back of the manse, where currently a gentle breeze does move through. And it seems the 'touched' Cassomir is more seen than heard at the moment. "Be of coming back of here with that!"

Clara herself was no stranger to duty. For a Tracano in Sunsreach, especially within the Palace proper, it was expected to fulfill one’s duty. It was the Princess’ duty to attend court. It was her duty to smile at all the proper times and nod at all the proper pauses. It was her duty to field inquiries regarding the pending royal nuptials, to be a filter between the Crown and those who would seek favor via the backdoor that the upcoming wedding provided. It was Clara’s duty to always be ‘royal’ in the public’s eye, even if she herself felt far from it on any particular day.

One knows that a break from duty, from established expectation, was always needed. And Clara recognized the invitation, written with Emilia’s flowing script, for what it was. A moment to escape. Not just for Emilia, but for Clara as well. A chance to depart from the walls of the Palace, to cast off the ‘royal’ facade and to enjoy the day as just herself, in the company of a good friend. There would be no need for the spectre of ‘duty’ to loom over Clara’s actions once within the Cassomir manse, out of sight of the public eye.

With her usual complement of two Lancers (she could never go anywhere without them, even if she tried), Clara arrives at the Cassomir manse. She is dressed much like she may go for a ride, in a modest riding dress for a Tracano. That means it still looks the part of a royal, but is loose and flowing, certainly appropriate for a lady about to take a ride on horseback. However, slung over a shoulder is a smaller bag, looking for all the world like a fabric saddle bag, only a bit smaller. This bag she keeps on her person, even after the servant asked to carry it for Clara, as the servant and noblewoman leave the pair of Lancers to rest and do as they will at the front door. The walk to the patio is short, but pleasant, as the worries of the day fall by the wayside with each step.

Therefore, it is with a mixture of delight and amused confusion when, upon reaching the patio, Clara hears Emilia’s command of return. She turns her head, the red pleated braid of her hair falling across her right shoulder as she does so. “Come back here with what?”

Thankfully, Emilia did not stay at the palace, and did not have the constant swirl of the Court about her. Keeping her mind might truly become an issue in such a case. Especially with the Royal Wedding upcoming, the interest that it had suddenly stirred up in the ‘touched’ Cassomir. It was more than enough for her to manage, thankfully, she did not actually have an active part or place in actually planning or otherwise with the wedding. The One help her what horrors that would bring with it if it were so.

The presence of Lancers was not uncommon at the dwelling of the Cassomirs, nor they unexpected with the invited guest. There were refreshments for them as they settled to rest by that door. While the offer was made to carry the bag, the servant did not press when it was waved off, serving amongst a House with the Lady Huntresses, one did learn to not push on such matters.

Hearing the voice of her friend has Emilia saying,”Not of you!” There is another moment before the Cassomir is appearing out of a nearby grouping of plants, seeming to be half crawling in a fashion. And with a rather wiggling-squirming ferret in one hand. “Of him,” lifting Naois a little as she says this. The ferret trying to do his best to keep a hold of something shiny, when Emilia goes to try to pull it from his paws once she straightens. “Give of that back, is not of yours.” Having the mini tug of war with the little critter as she walks over. The young woman dressed in a simple tunic with just a hint of embroidery along the edges and leggings, her typical enough Huntress like fashion. Her dark hair was drawn back into a braid that settled down her back once she had stood up.

Though to Clara, Emilia does offer,”Of glad you could be of getting away and of coming to visit. I was of finding it having been to of long since of seeing,” a pause for a beat,” well of seeing not at some stuffy of function.” As there was certainly times seen, just at one or several of those Courtly like functions. And one just could not be themselves or have proper friend-like conversation during them.

A giggle escapes from Clara’s throat…a decidedly girlish giggle…at the sight of the argument between owner and pet. And amused that, at the moment, it may not be wholly apparent as to who will be the victor. As Emilia walks over, engaged in retrieving the gleaming object from Naois’ paws, Clara places her bag down upon the patio floor, a little off to the side as to not be under foot. The purpose of freeing herself from the bag becomes clear when Clara steps forward, closing the gap between the two ladies and reaches up, to stroke the ferret gently with a fingertip. With a mischievous smile, she leans in, murmuring softly to the ferret. “Don’t you worry, Naois. I am sure I can find you something just as sparkling. Now…be a good boy and give that back.” Not that the ferret will listen to Clara, but it still entertains her, nonetheless.

Stepping back, Clara turns her attention to Emilia. “It is not often I get a chance to break away. Besides, an invitation to the Cassomir manse is not one I would ever turn down. The last visit I have had the pleasure of was most exhilarating, indeed.” The consideration of courtly conversations floats in the air, prompting Clara to nod once in response. “Court has become somewhat of a chore. Well…even more so than usual. All those courtiers with their antiquated concepts of nobility. Thinking it is a right of birth when they do nothing with their actions to support it.” With a “Bah!” to show her displeasure at the thought, Clara turns around, walking away for a step or two before returning her attention to Emilia. “If it weren’t for the more important matters of court, why…I would give those old codgers such a tongue lashing that they will not soon forget!”

Then, out of the blue, a laugh escapes from the red-haired girl, with the smile returning fully to Clara’s lips. “So, it is a good thing we are here. We are spared from the tedium of stiff looks and unwavering opinion while they are spared from precocious young women pointing out their flaws.” With a flip of her braid off her shoulder, the last little bit of the ‘Princess’ aspect is tossed aside for now, revealing Clara to be every bit of that precocious young woman. “Truly, it is a benefit for all, wouldn’t you agree?”

The mini tug of war continues on as Emilia pulls on the shiny bit and Naois pulls right on back, even trying to nose Emilia's fingers away in the process. Even if not Clara's words, the stroking that comes distracts Naois a bit as he looks around with a 'chirring' sound. It seems just enough to allow Emilia to reclaim the shiny, which as it is pulled from his paws has his head coming back about with a protesting chir at her. Little.paws trying to grab at it again. "He could be of having all of the shiny, and he would still want more." The retrieved piece seeming to be an earring. A mild sigh coming,"He I'd always taking of Raelyn's earrings." Shaking her head at the little beast, though her hold upon him loosens enough for him to scamper up her arm. Perching on her shoulder a moment as he eyes her other hand…or more precisely the earring held there.

There is a mild eyebrow lift that touches the solemn expression of Emilia when Clara says Court is becoming a chore, though it shifts back as that clarification comes. It really is always such. "Can be of seeing of that. With of Royal Wedding of coming, the talks of peace and of many of yet positions need of filling. Never of mind need of new Archduke or of Duchess. " A hand turns with a faint motion to a near table and pair of chairs that resides safely within the shade,"Please, be of sitting and of comfortable, of aye?" Lightly stepping with that ethereal grace of hers to the area, "It hard for them to be of having actions to be of supporting their notions when so of many are rarely of doing anything but wagging of tongues about Court."

The thought and image of Clara giving such a tongue lashing does cause the corners of Emilia's lips to tug up briefly. "Now that would be of something worth going to of Court to be of seeing and hearing. But of aye, is likely for of best to be of here and not there. saving them from such of a talk, and we of the tedium," a minor pause before Emilia adds,"and of dress wearing. " Least on her part! "Though I am quite of sure they would not of listen if I were of doing of similar…or saying much of anything. " As Emilia walks Naois does sneak back around her neck and under her braid to her other shoulder. Getting settled there just before she might take a seat.

There is a sinking into a chair with a sigh and a heap of dress and limbs….not at all lady-like. The sigh quickly breaks down into giggles as Clara overhears Emilia’s comment about seeing Clara lay down the verbal barrage. It prompts a response…”Oh, I had already, Emilia! You would have loved it! It was in response to that dreadful business with your…uncle, I believe? In any case, a lord, of course, started wild speculation and accusations of newly ennobled houses.” Clara manages to stifle the giggles…but still speaks with a wide grin as she continues. “I questioned his trust in our Queen first, since it was her decision to raise the houses up. Then….I called him a Couvieri. It was so satisfying, I must tell you.” She chuckles once more, then sits up more fully, as if to present a better front.

Of course, it is just so Clara can see Emilia and her delightful pet ferret better. With a nod to the bag close to Clara’s feet, she speaks in regards to the dress. “Well…I still had to keep some appearances up as I left the palace. But…I remember what we had done before…so I came prepared.” She hooks the bag and pulls it over to her chair, from which she picks it up and places it on the table. She flips the bag open and tips the opening towards Emilia, showing the contents within. It is clothing that, while neatly folded, betrays the fact that Clara has packed a similar tunic and leggings ensemble that would make any Huntress proud. “As you can see…I have the opportunity to be free of dress wearing as well.”

The un-lady-like display in taking a seat is not something that Emilia seems to rightly take issue with, one should be allowed to be comfortable and settle thusly now and again. Emilia perks up a little in her chair as Clara speaks about having already laid down a verbal thrashing. A mild nod, confirming, ”Of aye, he is…was…of being mine-uncle.” Listening on with interest, in that stoic fashion of hers to this tale. “You didn’t really tell him of that?” There is a tugging to the corners of her mouth as she shakes her head,”I am of betting he was not of liking to have his loyalty or of trust in of the Queen of being called into of question, especially if there were of all to many about to hear of it. I am of betting it was of satisfying, and to have been of missing of seeing of this. Would have been of a delight to of see, such do not get called to of task oft enough.” There is a mild sigh,”Of granted, cannot be of occurring. That is not of how that of all works of really, the dance of politics.”

Naois takes time to peer down along at the hand with the earring, least that is until the shiny bit gets tucked away into a small pocket. For then he is peering down from her shoulder, certainly contemplating just best out to steal it along again.

“Of true, some appearances must be kept of up,” concedes Emilia. She did know duty and her place as well. Just thankfully, she wasn’t expected to wear dresses quite as oft. Leaning a bit to check out the contents of the bag once Clara has flipped it open. Which now has Naois’ attention as well. The ferret snuffing with a few twitches of his nose towards the bag, before clamouring down to the table with a small jump in the end. And scuttling over towards the bag to take a closer look. “I am of seeing of that. And we can certainly be of putting it to of use, trees do always have a need to be of climbed. Has been of a while. “

The bag remains open, remaining as such for invitation to those of the furred curiosity persuasion. Clara herself watches with interest, the slow smile more than enough proof that she finds the antics of Naois rather enjoyable. But, when Clara speaks, it is more in lines with the courtly reprimand. “I most assuredly did. Called the lord a Couvieri in full view of Tristan, Thaddeus, Aidric…they can all claim witness. It might not have been the most politically correct thing to say…but it was certainly the most accurate.” There is a wave of the hand, as if dismissing the thought from her mind. After all…Clara came here to take a break from such issues, not bring them with her.

“Have you been able to do anything fun lately in Sunsreach, Emilia?” The question may be a little out of left field, so to speak, but is asked in earnest. “I know how little you care for the usual forms of entertainment within Sunsreach…which, of course, I mean watching who is trying to gave favor from who. Have you had a chance to paint lately?” Clara tilts her head, looking over towards Emilia while the little furry thief is forgotten for the moment. “I haven’t done much practicing lately…be it with bow and string or needle and thread. Though, I will need to practice more in the near future…at least my seamstress abilities. I have need to either create a dress or alter an existing one for a soiree that will be upcoming in Couviere…Lonnaire, to be precise.”

The thought of an upcoming trip back to Lonnaire opens a floodgate of chatter from Clara. “Did you know? An invitation had arrived to the palace to attend the wedding of Lady Alina l’Saigner and Lord Gabriel l’Corren. It was a generic invitation, of course, to house Tracano, so it ended up in the Queen’s hands. I know that Alysande would be too busy to go, most likely…and Tristan…poor Tristan…he wouldn’t want to go at all. So it will most likely be me going.” Despite the seemingly nonchalant word spoken, there is an undercurrent of excitement lying beneath. “It seems perfectly logical that I would go. Gabriel is my first cousin on my mother’s side, and I know Lonnaire quite well, considering my previous life. But…then that leaves one question.” There is a pause, perhaps for dramatic effect but more due to Clara actually falling back into her own thoughts. Then…a response. “The question is…what sort of masquerade gown should I wear…and what should I disguise myself as?”

There is a tilt to Emilia’s head as she tries to envision this particular scene, it would have been something to see. Not politically correct, but likely several found it highly entertaining and the Lord deserving, even if they wouldn’t publicly state so. This ponderance does give Naois fine opening to go clambering into that yet open bag to explore about the contents. A mild chirring sound coming as he vanishes into it. New ferret playground-home!

The question does have Emilia blinking herself back to the moment. “Of aye, not much to my of liking that. Especially since there is being an added inclination of many to be of gaining favour with mine-brother right now. “ That just draws a faint sigh. It was to be expected with him to be King before to long. “I have been of practicing of some, though not sure that is counted quite of being fun, since that is being of normal.” Least for her. “Have managed a few rides outside of the city, which has been of refreshing. But have not spent much of time to painting as I would be of wishing. “ Briefly reminded of her own need for more dresses, having worn most of the presentable ones with all the silly social engagements in having been in Sunsreach for so long. Recycling through them so soon…..the delights of appearances that had to be kept.

Emilia shakes her head,”I was not of knowing. I had been hearing some of talk about the betrothal and of a wedding to be of soon of enough.” A ducal heir getting married did make for gossip fodder and speculation. And well the whole birth when they were all up for the Coronation and tournament. “Of true, makes of sense that you would be of one to of go, especially with being family as of it were. “ The question, of there being only one, does cause a mild rise or an eyebrow. Some hint of curiosity of what that question is. Though as Clara makes note of it, Emilia nods just a little. “What is of being of…well usual for such of a thing? I have heard of little of about such, the masques they are of throwing. Though…am guessing, what are you of wanting to be disguising of yourself as? Something of muchly different from of yourself, or something that is of being of aspect of yourself that is not always of allowed to come of out?”

“Well…being a Lonnaire event, everyone will be masked. Well…most everyone, if I remember correctly. The bride and groom will not be. Still, with it being a joining of two ducal houses, it promises to be a grand affair with a great many people. So…the disguise must be unique enough to be set apart from the rest, but yet not as personalized as so people know who you are.” Clara settles back in the chair, those eyes shifting over with amusement as the fabric of the bag ripples at the antics of the ferret at play. “I had a thought…something that was partially inspired by here, no less. A dryad, with a gold mask, a brown corset resembling tree bark, and plenty of green and gold accents.” With a glance over towards Emilia, a smile plays across Clara’s lips. “A tree pixie, if you will.”

Then Clara leans back, tilting her head up to peer into the heavens…or at least as far upward as she can see. “That is, of course, if I went alone, which I fear I must do. It is always more enjoyable to include others in the masquerade.” There is a soft sign…”When I went for my first masque, dressed as I was, it was enjoyable, certainly. But, going with someone..including them within the joke. Why…that would be delightful.”

Then…a pause, as an idea seems to strike Clara. She sits up, and turns her full attention to Emilia. There is an inquisitive look about her, as the Tracano glances downward, at her own hair, then back to Emilia. “You…wouldn’t like to come with me, would you, Emilia?” It is a tentative question, spoken as if there was no chance for a positive answer. “I…just thought that we could..” Then a pause, and a shake of her head. “No, it wouldn’t work. You…you wouldn’t want to go. It is too much like court, even with the ability to fool everyone simply by pretending to be something else.” Another furtive glance back to Emilia. “Besides…it may require wearing a dress. And we can’t have that.” That produces a giggle from Clara as she laughs at her own joke. Yet…there is an idea there, that refuses to disappear. Of that much, it is certain.

“Of aye, I would be of imagining it to be a grand affair with the of marriage being of two Ducal Houses,”agrees Emilia. Pondering just a moment before she nods,”I have been of hearing of a little of such events in of Lonnaire. Just never have been to of such of a thing of mine-self.” Naois continues to rifle about the bag and the clothes within, and seeing that Clara is amused by him more than anything, she does not hurry to fetch the curious critter back out of the bag. “Makes of sense, that would want it to be of unique of enough to make of impression. But not of telling of whom of you are. As this is of being the purpose of the masques, of aye?” Really only having heard some about them, the reputation more than anything.

Emilia listens to the idea Clara speaks of having had for herself, a brow quirking just a little at the start. Though the corners of her lips tug a little in that fashion of an Emilia-smile,”That does sound of like a fun of idea. And I am not of thinking any other would quite of guess to it being of you. “ Settling back into her chair a bit, her head canting,”Will not there be of others from Rivana of going? And you will be of knowing of some amongst of the Couviere, of aye?” Not that Clara has ever spoken of being particularly close to any of them.

There is a flicker of confusion in that stoic expression as Clara sits up suddenly and sends that inquisitive look Emilia’s way. Especially with the rather uncertain way Clara acts next with the looking away and back. “We could of…what?” asks Emilia a bit tentatively. “I have been of curious about such things,” she does admit, even if slowly. “But not of knowing if I would be of allowed to go, or if there was even of invite to be allowing of such.” Her siblings had not spoken of any such thing, or least not to her. There is a mild look at the dress joke,”It is not of that I mind of wearing of the dresses in and of themselves, it is of the reasons for which I am of usually having to of wear them. Which are usually of being of courtly of matters, of true. “ Thus perhaps more the association in it all, reminders to how people view her. Quietly eyeing Clara as there seems this idea that hasn’t quite spilled out.

That inquisitive look of Clara’s is turned away, reflected inward, as Clara considers the question of who is going. “I am not sure if there will be others from Rivana. I would certainly know some from Couviere, that is certain. However, the purpose of the masque, as you surmised, is not telling anyone who you are. It is the perfect time to see people as to how they are, rather than how they wish to be.” It might be a confusing thought, for some, but Clara clarifies anyways. “For some, wearing a mask allows them to express who they truly are. It casts aside the everyday masks of courtier or knight or whatnot. You are locked into what people perceive your role to be. The masque allows you to not be seen as how you are supposed to be, but how you truly are. It is all made possible via the blessing of anonymity the mask brings.” Then, the eyes are brought back to Emilia. “You can probably guess who people are. After all, there are some features that betray us all. But, it isn’t allowed to call out one by his or her name. One can only be taken at face value at a masque, which is the novelty of it all when all faces are masked.”

When there is curiosity reflected back towards Clara from the usually stoic Emilia, even a glimmer of such, Clara is quick to pick up on it. Of course, it helps when Emilia admits her curious nature, as well. “Well….I had thought to take you along with me. You would most certainly be allowed to go, as you would be most certainly welcomed as sister of the future king of Rivana as well as my companion.” Clara seems to be speaking as if she is reading off a list…just stating fact with no true inflections in her voice. After all, what she is speaking is perfectly true. “You may not receive an invitation specifically, but House Cassomir is forever tied to House Tracano and they will not refute you if I insisted you come.” A smile is given to Emilia, a reassuring smile more than anything else. “So, I know that you would be able to go, should you wanted to.” There is a pause, as that self- reflection passes over Clara. It is as if she is considering if she should go forward or not.

Then, with a slight nod to herself, Clara proceeds. “as I said…there are some features that may betray people at the masque. Our voices, most certainly. Our stature, height, hair color, and so forth.” Another pause. Should she really ask? Well…Clara’s already this far along. Might as well complete the journey. “I had thought that, should you wish to join me at the masque, that we dress alike. As in matching costumes. We can adjust so that we end up approximately the same height, using different shoe styles. I can dye my hair brown to match your shade. We are close to the same build, so it would just be a matter of adopting the same sort of mannerisms. Not exact, but close, as to give the impressions of twins at worse…and the same person at best.” Then, with that sly little grin of hers, Clara offers the kicker. “And…to add to the mystery and make us true enigmas….we don’t speak out loud at the masque.”

Clara watches Emilia closely, the ferret all but forgotten for the moment. “In short, we pretend we are each other. Could you imagine the utter confusion that would cause? It would be absolutely delightful!”

Emilia considers a moment,"I would be of thinking there would be others to of go from Rivana, for having of ties to one of the of Houses and for being of posh event as it is to of be." With the joining of two Ducal Houses and the wedding of a heir, though certainly not as grand and posh as the Royal wedding shall surely be. "It is of an interesting of idea, to be allowed of being of one's true self simply because a mask is of worn. That others would, if of figuring out whom one is of being, they of yet cast aside their notions of that person, who they are perceived as of being." It is truly an interesting idea to the Cassomir, given the many preconceived notions about her that exist.

There is a small fluttering and turn of Emilia's hand in the air after listening to Clara cover the list of why her presence would not be refuted. "Of aye, no of doubt that of having of a Cassomir of along would be of allowed." Politically there would surely be no questioning or push back on the matter. Who knows, perhaps even some of the Houses of Couviere might be as interested as some Rivana Houses are in trying to snag themselves a match to a sister of the future King. "But that is not of my meaning on being if allowed to go, I was of meaning more if mine-brother would be of allowing of such travel." There had been times when the protective siblings had disallowed her to go traveling… Anywhere. "I would have to perhaps be of clearing it with of him of first. Though…" considering faintly,” have been of allowed to of travel as of wishing as long as just leaving information of where I am of going.” So what if all prior trips had been close and short term. But surely if she has heard nothing about the event from them, neither had plans to go.

Those dark eyes do study Clara for a moment after the suggestion is voiced, perhaps trying to discern if the other is being serious, or simply trying to digest the idea all around. Hard to tell with that stoic expression. "That would be…of interesting. Is such being of allowed, of though? Two of going as of one, or more so of planning in such a way? " Fingers lightly dance in the air as the idea is considered,"Could of both be of dying of hair, turning it more of black, then just of dark brown…both would be of changed of then.". Emilia cants her head a little,"No of talking would be of must, I am thinking, for of at least of me, if I were to be of going, no matter how I was dressing. To of speak, would of instantly be of giving of away." She was keenly aware of her strange speech, it was distinctive for certain.

The idea is toyed with, and certainly seems to not be instantly tossed along, especially with the considerations and ideas voiced to make it work. "Of aye, can see of the confusion….would think to be arriving of differently as of well…so people would not at of first have chance to realize that there were two of being the same. Of aye? " Emilia considers a moment before asking,"But two of what?"

There is a blink of mild surprise from Clara. Emilia is actually considering the idea? That wasn’t exactly an expected reaction. It draws a warm smile to the Tracano’s face, as she leans forward, engaging with her friend more fully. “Well, what would you wish to dress as? With it being a masquerade, almost anything goes. And, from what I am hearing, this would be your first…so we really should pick something that you would like to do.” Nevermind the fact that it would only be Clara’s second actual masque attended on her own. She seems much more intent on winning her friend over and seems genuinely curious as to what or who Emilia would like to go as. “But yes, exactly, Emilia! We stagger our entrances and watch amused as others try to determine if there are really two of us or if they are simply seeing double. It will be most amusing…”

The thought of Jaren or Raelyn not allowing Emilia to go is batted down with a flick of a wrist. “Oh, they will most assuredly will let you go. We both know that I wouldn’t be allowed to go without a retinue of Lancers as my escort. Simply state that I am willing to allow Jaren the luxury to choose our guard and he should be more than content that you will be safe. After all, he is probably going to select my guard anyways. Knowing that I will not object should certainly smooth things over.” There is a light laugh, then a conspiratorial whisper offered in play. “Besides, I know Lonnaire better than I know Rovilon. And you saw how well I know Rovilon. I would daresay think that traveling with me to Lonnaire would be more safe than traveling without, for we have a pre-ordained guide in the form of myself.” Clara is certainly not hiding the fact that she was Couvieri-raised, that is for certain. She does seem rather confident she knows the lay of the land…much like she did with the pair’s excursion to Garfana with Adrienne.

But, then the topic shifts right back to the idea of the masque. “I am sure that, between your art and my seamstress skills, we should be able to fabricate any costume that can be imagined. And, if it lies outside of my skill as a seamstress, it certainly does not lie outside of the realm of purchase. I would be more than willing to finance our disguises, for it is the least that I can do. We simply need to decide, should you truly wish to join me in my little charade, what we should dress as.” Then, as Clara leans back, she remembers there a ferret in her bag, which prompts her to place her hand just in front of the opened bag, her fingertips sneaking inside to play with the furry intruder within. As she does this, seemingly absent-mindedly, Clara asks her question once more.

“So, dearest Emilia, what do you want to be?”

Aye, Emilia does actually seem to be considering it. The trip would get her away from Sunsreach, and out of more social functions then she would she would attend. And well, she would not be easily known at the masque, if even known at all….she was not a familiar presence to those of Couviere, her mannerisms unknown. The Voices, might also be on board as it will keep her from lessons even more so and those They deem as 'bad' influences upon her. The question being turned back upon her causes Emilia to give a slow blink. "I had never been of giving thought to what would be or worn to such of a thing. Have always thought could be interesting to see, but just was never thinking I would ever actually go to such." After all, the first time she even ever traveled into Couviere was the trip for Jean-Paul's coronation.

Emilia casts Clara a side-long look with those dark eyes,"Not if sure he would of be of content that I would be of safe." Overprotective siblings! "Might of add extra of Lancers, or be of having Raelyn add of extra Huntress to mine own detail." As it wasn't like Emilia did not have her own assigned detail when traveling, especially since a certain betrothal. There were always shadows now when she went somewhere. There is a nod at talk of Clara being able to be a guide, that her friend knows Couviere better then Rivana, was raised there…seems not a thing that has ever quite bothered Emilia. "Would be if nice to of have personal of escort who is familiar with of getting around and not having to ask for of help from of a local." Likely meaning, not risking having to trust in a Wraith, for even if she has never quite displayed the depth of animosity as her sister or cousin might have for Wraiths, Emilia is not likely to easily trust one.

"Of true, I could be of helping to of sketch of things out, as I am certainly lacking in of skills in seeing," embroidery and the like were not quite a focus when there were Thorns trying to take over in those childhood years. Naois has seemed to taken to 'nesting' in the bag with things arranged to suit him. The 'invading' hand is chirred at in semi-disgruntled fashion, a paw batting at Clara's fingers before he realizes there are pettings and it is a much more pleased chirring' that comes. "Am of thinking would be easier in of hiding to of take to such of a charade, less likely to be of figured of out. Though of truly anything of goes? Had of heard there is much of…" She hesitates, a hand fluttering a little in the air as she tries to find the right words,"….'getting of together' with of being able to of hide behind of masks…Are not most of then dressing to be of beautiful and appealing in such of a way?" The masques did have that sort of reputation!

"Am not of sure…of exactly…." Emilia having to give thought to what she would wish, even if there are many a suggestion being given in her head! "Could of yet go with something of foresty or from of legends. Perhaps something that would include long of skirts, or if similar to help of obscure adjustments coming from shoes?"

The petting do not show signs of slowing, much to the pleasure of the furry interloper within Clara's bag. The comment about expanded guards draws a nod from the Tracano, as Clara rolls her eyes at the thought. "Oh…yes. It will certainly be an expanded retinue. And we won't be able to outrun them on horses like we did at Rovilon. But…that is to be expected." Of course it is to be expected, at least for Clara. "But, once we do get to Lonnaire, we might be able to cycle the guard so that we do not have the full complement with us all the time." There is a bit of consideration, which does slow the fingers for the pets, but soon they pick up once more. "We will certainly not take the guards in to the masque. It will ruin the whole mystique if we are flanked with Huntresses and Lancers." Because, of course, that makes perfect sense

Then…thought goes into the actual possibility of costumes. "Well, dryads would work. Long, flowing skirts will certainly cover the legs. A brown corset, perhaps some gloves, and matching jewelry. It would not be hard at all to do." Another pause…"It would certainly fit the pixie within us, I would imagine."

Naois chirrs happily at the petting, wiggling around a little further into the clothing in the bag. The wet nose pressing briefly at Clara's hand. Emilia gives a light nod at Clara's words,"Of true, out running would not be so much of an option. Out sneaking, of perhaps." Speaking the last with a little turn of her hand. Certainly, with both of them, the retinue would be expanded. "But of aye, once of to Lonnaire, would be able to of rotate them of some. Would not of need of so of many once settled to of the city. " A mild incline of her head,"Makes of sense, to not of have them within the masque. Unless they are of attending of themselves, in of costume." Certainly some might!

The pair of women being out in the garden behind the manse, situated at a table. There is a small bag upon the table that is a bit wiggling and Clara has her hand within, petting the Naois who has taken to nesting in it. "It would of yet, and still works of with your original of idea for of yourself. And would yet of be of fitting in of that way, perhaps of needing of crown of leaves and flowers in some of fashion as of well?" The conversation is quiet enough between them, likely not to be overheard until one is actually upon them.

The Cassomir Manse is rather full of people though not always at the same time, and at different places often enough. It is thus that while he hasn't heard or will pretend not to hear the bits of conversation spoken. The Lily knight will step out into the gardens he's dressed comfortably today instead of as if for travel he notices the two seated, and though there is a pause while he thinks of he should do so. He will move over, the young man looks to Clara and bows though he does have a friendly smile to his face. "Your Highness, an honor to see you again." Graham will look to Emilia "Cousin Emilia. I hope I am not disturbing anything I can continue along my way of course."

"A crown of leaves and flowers would be exquisite…" More might have been spoken, but any words are silenced as Sir Graham finds the two ladies. There is just the slightest of gestures….the free hand holding up a single finger, but hidden from view of the knight. It was, literally, for Emilia's eyes only.

Then, with the grace of one that is seasoned with the ways of court, Clara changes the topic smoothly, not even hinting at the subject matter before Graham had arrived. A small nod is offered to Graham, with a smile. "Good day, Sir Graham. Please…we are in the presence of friends and not stuffy old codgers angling for royal favors. You do not need to call me by my title. Clara is more than sufficient." There is one of those typical Clara smiles, as she glances to Emilia first, then back to Graham. "You are not intruding at all. Please, feel free to tarry a while, should you wish. I am but the visitor here, therefore I have no command over you within these walls." Probably not the truest statement, but a most sincere one.

There is a nod from Emilia…perhaps to both the words Clara had been speaking and that hand that hold sup the finger. Naois is of course soaking up all the attention…as well as enjoying his new digs.

Inclining her head along towards Graham when he appears,"Cousin of Graham, of indeed, you are not intruding." Speaking after Clara has given her small turn on not needing that title when not about stuffy Courtly sorts. "Of aye, come and sit if you would be of liking. We were just talking about of this and of that. "

The Lord and Knight will return the smile and indeed say "Clara." he corrects himself to her wishes and looks between them each before nodding he'll finish his approach. "Thank you, the gardens at the Manse are one of my favorite features of them. Especially after a long day of training, lest I get out of practice while here." he smiles "I had ordered some drinks be brought out should be enough for all just in case." Graham says easily enough and he will indeed take a seat after its offered.

Clara has a hand in a fabric bag on a table and seems to be stroking…something. The flash of fur and an audible chirring would betray that Naois has taken up residence in Clara's bag, and that Clara herself seems to be enjoying the mad antics of the ferret. Clara continues to pet the pet as she agrees with Emilia. "Yes…we were discussing nothing in particular, which is a refreshing change from speaking about nothing in general at the Royal court." There is a bit of a giggle at that. "Emilia invited me over and I could not, in good conscience, deny such an honored invitation. It was most welcomed." Clara nods solemnly…but cannot hold the straight face as she breaks into giggles.

After collecting herself, Clara addresses Graham more directly. "So, have you been enjoying your time in Sunsreach? Or, like the two of us, has the political climate of Sunsreach cause longing for more open surroundings?"

There is a tugging at the corners of Emilia's lips as Clara speaks about talking about nothing in particular. "It is muchly a refreshing change," agrees the younger Cassomir. Another little tug occurring at the corners of her lips as Clara fights to keep that straight face and has to take the moment to collect herself. "Oh, drinks would be of lovely. " Naois continuing to happily soak up all the attention as Clara's petting continues. Quite content with his new home as well! All the comfy clothing to nest in. "I am not of thinking you shall ever risk being out of practice, you are to of diligent in of your practicing, cousin."

"Unlike some sisters I know," Raelyn's teasing voice comes on the heels of Emilia's statement. Raelyn walks into the room, bow in hand and dressed her her regular garb of Huntress-style. That can only mean one thing, she'd just got done practicing. Though, whether it was for actual practice or stress relief? That remains a bit more murky to discern. "But I will take drinks, if we are having drinks. Welcome, Lady Clara. Cousin. Always good to see you. Taking a rest after trouncing all of Couivere, are you?"

Graham looks over to the bag wondering though he spots a bit of the animal "Ah Lord Naois, we meet again." he says formally though he looks back to Clara when she speaks and nods "At least this nothing comes at a comfortable table and among friends." The Lily Knight says and nods "You are of course always welcome here, i'm sure that my cousin has likely said as much already though." The question about his time spent here or well drawing on here rather gets a small chuckle "I am afraid I too must join those who wish for more open surroundings or to return home a bit of both?" He looks back as another steps forward "Ah, Raelyn good to see you." he smiles her way as well "Drinks are forthcoming, and I don’t know about trouncing them though I practiced today for quite a few hours to not get rusty." he looks to Emilia "Thank you Emilia, I will try not to, have too much fretting to do anyways." he winks.

"It is not so much a question of being welcomed, Bane of Couvieri, but more so a matter of finding the opportunity to escape." The faux title is given without so much as a batting of an eye, as Clara continues. "You would be surprised at how difficult it is to escape from the palace without having someone waylay me on party business. Any excuse to leave is welcomed."

Then…the Mistress of the Hunt walks in…and Clara seems to lose a bit of her normal calm, yet playful demeanor. She seems more enamored, as if she is a bit of a fan of Raelyn. However, she quickly recovers, and offers a smile to the older Cassomir sister. "Thank you, Lady Raelyn. I would have to admit, I have not been able to practice as much as I would like, either." Then, with a glance to Emilia, Clara offers a wry little grin. "But, from the sound of it, at least I am in good company with my lack of archery practice."

Dark eyes flicker up as Raelyn comes into the gardens with such a teasing statement. "I am of being plenty of diligent with mine-practice," counters Emilia smoothly,"still not of a Huntress that can track me into of the shadows." Likely a bit of both on the matter of Raelyn's practice. A hand simply giving a minor turn and flutter in the air to invite Raelyn to take up one of the chairs at the table, not that her sister actually needs an invitation! Naois gives a noncommital chir in hearing his name.

Emilia glances towards Clara,"Do of bet that it can be of difficult. Should of learn better to walk in shadows and of best ways of exiting of the palace without being of so easily of seen." A mild twitch to the corner of her lips at Clara's reaction to Raelyn's appears. Noting to Graham as Clara composes herself again,"Graham, you fret of no matter of what, but of true, keeping it to of a minimum is always of advisable." There is just a little glance towards Clara,"I have been of practicing. Of really. You are of welcome to come and join in of such, if you are of wishing?"

Patting Emilia's arm, Raelyn explains, "I am honorbound to make Emilia always think she hasn't practiced enough," in good humor. She moves, then, to sit comfortably and she smiles to Clara. "I am certain you practice as much as you can. But either Emilia or I would be content to practice with you, should it be desired," she agrees with Emilia's offer. She glances back to Emilia, "-I- can track you," she retorts. "At least, some of the time." She grins at that last.

The title given by Clara brings a smirk to his face and he tips his head "Thank you Clara you honor me indeed, and understood there is not always enough time to accomplish all that we wish. It is true enough." Graham thinks about escaping and nods "Indeed, I suppose I have not the experience with that myself." he smiles and gives an understanding look to Clara. Emilia catches his next attention and he smirks "Well I will never run empty of fret, but I can at least stop hopefully from annoying you too much." the knight looks over to Raelyn and chuckles but nods "That is good idea combined practice."

"Tis an excellent idea, indeed." Clara withdraws her hand finally from her bag, leaving Naois to do as he wishes within. "Not only will it improve my skill…but again offers an avenue to escape from the palace. After all, practice with the Mistress of the Hunt is something that should not be taken lightly." Of course, it was the offer to get out that really sold Clara…that is most certain. "Then, perhaps, I can take the opportunity to learn to walk in the shadows as well. Never know when that will come in handy."

"I would be of worried if you ever ran out of fretting, mine-cousin. You just would not be of you," mildly teasing Graham in that deadpan Cassomir fashion. Emilia ponders just a little,"Though I would wonder just how much fret actually of come if there was ever of truly of reason to be of fretting." Ok, perhaps there has been a time of two in the past year where there was reason for fretting. There is a mild chir from within the bag as Clara's had withdraws, Naois turning about before resettling within the new nest. There is a mild flicker of what might be a smirk upon Emilia's lips as she looks towards Raelyn, lightly teasing,"Of aye…some of the time." Though her attention turns towards Clara as she gives a small incline of her head,"Would be of pleasure to be of teaching if you of wish? Have taught Graham of some." A mild glance up as the servants arrive with the drinks spoken of earlier.

Graham looks over to Emilia and chuckles a little but arches a brow to his cousin a smirk coming to his face. "Let us hope I need not ever fully fret, but you have seen some of what that is like." The knight looks back as the drinks arrive and he smiles "Thank you." he says to the server working at the manse. He does look back "She is a good teacher Lady Clara, allowed me to accompany Raelyn and the huntresses at Goldhollow." he explains "She taught me to be less squeaky." he chuckles.

Raelyn inclines her head, "Emilia could, if she wanted, elude a wolf or deer, I think, and their senses. We all have talents, it's just that, perhaps, we Cassomirs are keen at finding them and honing them more than others? I don't know." She smiles, a little proudly at that, before taking a sip of wine as indeed drinks are brought.

There is a bit of consideration….then Clara speaks up. "I…could offer a trade. I happen to be more versed in the art of stewardship than in the martial arts. I would be happy to impart some of my knowledge in that regard. I know that you have a master steward in your employ, but it really does not hurt to have more resources available." Still…Clara seems rather inclined with getting out more. "I am sure that I will be able to assist in that regard, especially after the Royal wedding, unless Her Majesty has something more planned for me beyond her wedding."

"I am not of sure, I could quite of do that, mine-sister," refutes Emilia softly. After all, ducking a Huntress was one thing…a wolf? A whole different story. Shaking her head a little at Graham after taking up a drink as well,"I am of sure there will never be of reason for full on of fret." At Clara's offer, Emilia does cant her head a little bit, before sending a glance towards Raelyn, that soon to be more her sister's area than anything.

"That is a good trade lady Clara, and quite sticking with tradition. I have been teaching my cousin more of the use of swords for her teaching me to not being squeaky which I think is going fairly well I won't be out smarting wolves or deer anytime soon though." Graham looks back to Emilia "Indeed I hope not that wouldn't be a good day at all if there were." He will take a sip from his own drink while he ponders.

And so the chatter continues on, drinks are had….and it is a lovely afternoon away from court!

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