(1866-09-30) A Day In the Mercat
A Day In the Mercat
Summary: A day in the Mercat district as various people come and go.
Date: 1866-09-30
Related: None
Elaida  Thaddeus  Ariane  Dawn  Michael  Tiadora  

Mercat District - Pacitta City - Pacitta
See scene…

The morning sun glints on the canals, the Mercat slowly coming to life. Stalls are being filled with wares. Bakers, up since before the dawn, open their doors to allow the warm, comforting smell of baking bread and pastries to fill the air. The tearoom (near the High Sector on the Grand Canal) and tavern (nearer the Low Sector between one of the side canals and side streets) open their doors. Tailors shops, spice shops, apothecaries and alchemists, jewelcrafters and embroiderers, butcher's shops and grocers… all neatly placed and opening for the day.

Elaida yawns and blinks as she makes her way down the main street running perpendicular to the Grand Canal. She comes from the direction of the Marchander sector, where the Vice Chancellor and family makes their home within the keep there. She comes to shop some before leaving, soon enough, with her betrothed and the others returning to Sunsreach. A trio of guards in the black and white of Toulan escort her, alert enough but not overly so. They are used to Pacitta, after all.

Elaida stops at one of the baker's heading towards the higher class section of the mercat and purchases a freshly made pastry stuffed with a raspberry jam. Pleased with her breakfast, she shifts off, wandering towards one of the bookbinders.

For Dawn in the days in Pacitta since the ending of the tournament, her time has been focused on shopping in the Mercat and buying things to take back with her before returning to her home. And catching up on some things wtih some of the other attendees of the tournament before she will be returning home, and then likely to be preparing for the coming rounds of tournemnt and the wedding of the queen in the future.

But now, seeing a woman being escorted over by some guards, Dawn turns to dip her head at Elaida then as she smells the fresh scent of warmed bake goods fresh out of the ovens, and her own stomach reminds her she has not yet eaten, so her course of shopping is interrupted as she heads towards some of the stalls selling pastries.

Walking through the mercat are two nobles flanked by guards in blue. Upon closer inspection it is revealed that they are Greycen guards and their charges are Thaddeus and Ariane Greycen. Thaddeus himself is in a fairly decent mood, considering it is morning, and is looking around quietly as they make their way through the market, occasionally stopping at stands that would catch Ariane's or his eye, though only a couple have had their patronage since they are just opening.

Ariane stops at a stall selling rich textiles. She stops to examine a bolt of brilliant emerald-green velvet. "Thaddeus, take a look. I know you'd probably never wear it, but… consider? It would look so /sumptuous/ with your coloration." She holds the fabric out, raising an imploring eyebrow.

Elaida nods back to Dawn, though she is being polite— she has not yet met the Bazan woman, and does not recognize her. Finishing the last bite of her pastry, she steps up to the bookbinder's stall and skims over the books there. "Do you have any copies of love stories?" she asks with a cheerful expression. Tristan was a romantic after all, perhaps they could read these together.

When the bookseller turns to check what he has stacked behind the stall, Elaida lets her eyes wander, then resting on Thaddeus— a friend of her betrothed, whom she has met— and his wife… whom she has not. She gives them a cheery wave and a quick bow of the head before her attention is drawn by the bookseller.

Coin exchanges hands and Elaida moves towards Thaddeus and his wife, pleased with her purchases… to be delivered to the Tracano manse this evening.

Dawn gives a low smile over to Elaida then as she glances over at the woman and her guards then, and then she spots Thaddeus and his wife along with him, and the pastry which she had otherwise just procured is tucked to her hand a litlte more securely then as Dawn goes over to give a more formal curtsy to him to make sure she doesn't drop it, giving a bow to him and his wife then and then waiting to be acknowledged before rising back up to give a quick glance once more at Elaida.

Thaddeus is skeptical but holds the velvet and gives it a look over. He ponders for a moment, weighing the costs and benefits of his decision and says, "Very well, I will consider it." He is about to say something else when Elaida and Dawn approach, each getting a slight nod. "Lady Elaida, dear aunt." Thad smiles and looks to Ariane and says, "This is the Lady Elaida Toulon, recently betrothed to Prince Tristan, and my aunt Lady Dawn Bazan." Turning to the new arrivals he says, "My ladies, this is my dear wife, Lady Ariane Greycen."

"Oh, please do. Green is good on you," Ariane insists. At the approach of the ladies and the subsequent introductions, she smiles warmly. "It is a pleasure, Lady Elaida, Lady Dawn," she gives a polite, graceful curtsey. "Enjoying this lovely day as well, I take it?" she asks them.

Elaida dips into a curtsey, then grins as she rises. "It is good to meet you both, Lady Ariane and Lady Dawn." She nods. "It is a good morning. I suspect my betrothed is still abed, but I wanted to purchase a few things before we leave." She frowns. "Whenever that will be. It may be some time yet if there is business with the treaty."

Dawn then takes a moment to bow her hands over in a curtsy to Elaida, "Lady Elaida, a pleasure and an honor." Going to then slip her pastry over to the other hand then. "And always a good way to spend time in the Mercat." She gives a low bow to Thaddeus, "An honor to meet you. I do not think we have extensively met in person. Something I am very happy to remedy."

Thaddeus resists the urge to ask Elaida with whom Tristan was still abed. He nods, "If there is to be such business I am sure many of us will be busy dealing with it." Thaddeus relaxes for a moment and thinks, "So what have you two been purchasing?"

Ariane smiles at Lady Dawn and rests a hand on the lady's arm. "Indeed! I would be quire pleased to remedy this grievous oversight." With her free hand, she tucks a loose strand of fine blonde hair behind her ear.

"Books," Elaida says. "And I may find some sweets as well." A good thing Thaddeus resisted that urge, as the young woman would have likely been quite hurt at the thought.

Dawn smiles, "A pleasure then." Nodding at Elaida in turn, "And a pleasure to make your acquaintance as well Lady Elaida." Smiling at Ariane as she let her arm be tugged. "And some silks."

"Aha," Thaddeus remarks, "So a productive morning for all, so far, it seems." He smiles and sets the velvet down that he had been holding, "We have been more or less idly walking around seeing if anything catches our eyes."

"Perhaps you ladies could aid me — I am trying to convince dear Thad that he would look fetching in this green velvet." Ariane holds it up next to his face. "Look at how it works with his eye color. Stunning."

Elaida squints and looks from the cloth to Thaddeus and back again. "You should," she says decisively. "It looks like the sort of cloth Prince Tristan would wear, and he is extremely fashionable."

Having all the fashion sense of a peasant, Dawn has to squint over at it then over and then back to Thaddeus after a few moments to look over at the velvet and back again.

Thaddeus holds back a grumble and then nods to the Toulon lady, "Very well, then. I think we will purchase it." He does not want to die on this hill, and perhaps it will work out for him.

With a self-satisfied grin, Ariane threads her arm through Thaddeus'. "You will not regret this," she says with great certainty. She pats his shoulder before disentangling herself and going to haggle with the merchant about yardage and price.

Elaida knows nothing of those sorts of things. But she keeps her cheery grin on her face. "I would get some for Tristan," she notes, "but he has a lot of clothing already." And she wouldnt have the first clue how much yardage to get.

Dawn nods lightly over and hmms, "Yes." She clucks over at Ariane, "And I'm sure you will attire him properly for any occasion."

"I hope not!" Thaddeus says with a smile and then looks to the others with them, "I am not terribly worried about being properly attired, though I will say it was one benefit of being on campaign, no one really cares about it that much."

Ariane nods behind him and mouths, "Yes, I will." She points at him emphatically.

Elaida shudders. "Campaigning. So much violence," she says softly. "I am glad my future husband is not a warrior. I had thought I wished to wed a knight, but the idea of having to bind his wounds terrifies me. I like the knowledge my husband will be ever in one piece."

There is a palapatable shiver over from Dawn over and she nods quietly over. Then at hearing Elaida's words.. "Oh, ar eyou a healer of sorts then?" Dawn looks over at the woman mor eappreciatively. "Do you mind my inquiring as to whom you studied under?"

"Oh, you both are healers? It seems I am surrounded by them, today." Thaddeus looks back to his wife and then to the others, "Well, if it all goes well, we should have this bit of peace for a long while, and I pray that we do. I can handle annoying fashion tips more than having to work my way through a battlefield."

Ariane's hand flutters to her chest in mock offense. "Annoying? Oh! Well, I never!" She grins, rolling her eyes good-naturedly. "Indeed," she says, now serious, "The fewer opportunities I have to use my healing skills, the happier I am."

Elaida blushes and peers at her feet. "I studied at the school in the Holy City. It has been my calling since I was a little girl."

At the comments coming from the other healers, Dawn nods emphatically and goes quietly, "One Grant it and make it so." She gives a formal curtsy to Elaida, "As one who has had to use her talents for many years on campaigns, the thing which would make me happiest is to never have to do so again, so I thank the both of you for sharing such things." Giving a formal curtsy to Ariane as well.

"Well, I hope that we all have idleness on our hands in the future then," Thaddeus shrugs and continues after a sneeze, "Well, we will see. There will always be issues, the question is how big of issues they will be."

"Don't borrow trouble," Ariane chides her husband. "Prepare, but do not anticipate, hm?" She turns to the other ladies. "What are your plans for the rest of the day, then?"

Elaida shuffles her feet. "Well, I was going to make sure I had herbs and appropriate medicines for a faegate trip," she says simply, "Then I was going to call upon my betrothed and see what his plans were for the afternoon." She is obviously a girl smitten witht he Prince, but then again, with his reputation as a charmer, this shouldn't be entirely surprising.

Dawn nods over at Elaida with a half smile, "And should you ever need some assistance with preparation of any medicines or have questions, I would be more than happy to answer or correspond of them." Nodding over at Ariane, "And the same to you, of course." Her mood quite lightened. "And the remainder of my day will likely be shopping and then likely in the next day or so heading back home by the gates."

"Absolutely," Ariane says to the ladies' offers, "And I offer my assistance should you ever need it. While I am not one to complain about lack of war, it is always good to find ways to occupy the idle time that peacetime affords." She turns back to the merchant, who has packaged up her purchase. She pays him and thanks him before turning back. "Hm. Is anyone else hungry? I could certainly entertain the thought of lunch."

"Lunch sounds wonderful," Elaida says, "but I may have to meet you and be late— I do need to pick up at least one more thing before I can give myself to idleness."

Dawn nods over at Ariane and smiles, "Yes, lunch sounds wonderful. I would love to become more acquaintanted with the wife of my nephew, so thank you very much for the opportunity." And likely by her eyes, her nephew as well as she moves to join wtih the group and gives a quick bow to Elaida. "Of course."

Thaddeus' mood changes when lunch is brought up. "Lunch is certainly an option I could support, even if it is a bit early."

"Call it a late breakfast, then," Ariane grins. "Shall we?" she asks, looking to the assembled nobles.

Dawn nods over and smiles, "Yes, let us." Finishing up her pastry a little quickly wtih a few nibbles now that a proper meal is on the agenda.

"That could work," Thaddeus remarks, "food is always welcome, in my opinion." He ponders and thinks, "What are you thinking of having, Ariane?"

Ariane wrinkles her nose in thought. "Nothing sweet. Something hearty and savory, but not too heavy. Seafood, perhaps? I would adore shrimp."

Dawn nods over at Ariane, "A lovely idea then." She nods over at Thaddeus, "Having not eaten much in the area, do any places come to mind appropriate?"

Although the games have ended and the larger bulk of the crowds have gone back through the Gates to their respective nations, the merchants and mongers of Pacitta City still do a brisk trade. One such locale is the Gilded Gondola, a cafe sitting on the canals with a picturesque view of the men sailing by in their narrow boats coming in from the harbor. The weather is cool with a storm distant on the horizon occasionally whipping at hair and cloaks.

The Gondola has a bruncheon going on, with a table laden with food suitable for either meal, cool pitchers of juices and wines, and a chef preparing eggs to order. The dark-garbed, rounded figure of Tiadora Gerrell sits alone at one of the tables with a platter of fruit, with her stoic Normont guardsmen standing at attention nearby.

Thaddeus is interecepted on the way to the Gondola by a messenger in Greycen livery, "It seems my bird has arrived, though it seems a bit displeased. I had best go tend to it." He gives Ariane a light squeeze and nods to Dawn, "Until I see you again, have a good day." WIth that, Thad makes his way back to the manse.

Over then as the group departs over towards the restaurant, Lady Dawn perks over as she sees Tiadora then, and Dawn gives a light curtsy over at her, "Lady, a pleasure to see you again." She moves to the side then to let Ariane introduce herself over as the group heads and she otherwise looks over the food that is being laid out then with a hungry but amused eye.

Ariane returns her husband's gentle hug and nods. "I hope it is good news," she says with a smile, though her eyes show some small concern. She then takes a deep, cleansing breath and heads to the restaurant with the other ladies. Her face brightens when she sees Lady Tiadora. "Oh, hello! What a pleasant surprise," she says warmly, slipping into a chair.

Tiadora rises abruptly as she sees familiar faces. "O-Oh! Lady.. .Dawn? The doctor?" She offers a shy smile and then makes a slight curtsey for the pair. "And Lady Ariane. H-hello. Um… are you both—- are you having brea… lunch… food?" She makes a vague wave to the buffett table. "I ha-have room if you want to join me."

Dawn rises to give another smile to Tiadora, "Yes, your memory is excellent. It has been some time, a pleasure to see you again." She smiles over at Tiadora and gives a nod, "And we would be honored to join you, thank you very much for the invitation." Moving to if Ariane agrees to sit down over with Tiadora.

Ariane smiles a little sheepishly, as she sat down uninvited. "My apologies, I'm just so tired lately," she says with a small shrug. "How are you today, Lady Tiadora?"

Tiadora pushes the fruit platter over to share, blushing a little. "I'm good. I had a lovely time at the.. um… the games?" She can't recall the word for a moment. "I got second in the painting c-contest. Behind Lady Emilia. I sold my painting for a nice bit of m-money, and bought the pretty sunburst brooch t-that was in the craft contest."

Dawn nods over at Tiadora, "That is wonderful. And Lady Emilia is a most.. Interesting individual. I am sure that she would be willing to otherwise share some.. Tips iwth you so in the future you might perhaps beat her in another contest. And congratulations on your placement and your sale."

Ariane arches her eyebrows and takes a handful of cherries. "I would love to see your paintings some time. Perhaps I could commission something?"

Tiadora's dark blue eyes widen in panic. "I'm… uh.. working on a special project. For the q-queen's wedding." She grabs at a few grapes and worries with them instead of eating. "I'm not that good anyhow. Unless it's… um… really like… a painting of the saints. Or landscapes."

Dawn nods over at Tiadora and smiles, "I'm sure that with practice you shall become better. Because all talents improve themselves with time, patience, and perseverence."

"Absolutely. I was about to say very much the same thing — clearly you are very good to have won second place, and you will only become better with practice. I would very much like to own one of your paintings someday, if you would permit me to buy one from you," Ariane says kindly.

Tiadora blushes as she looks down at the table, eyes resting on her necklace. "I p-painted this?" She leans forward, offering a look at her saint's medalion around her neck - the patron of Temperence. "A-and I think my painting is going to end up being a gift for a f-friend's wedding. Which will make me happy."

Dawn nods softly and smiles, "You are allowed a bit of cheer, Milady. And you can use your gifts to give others cheer and hope as well. That is what they are best served for."

Ariane coos softly. "Oh, that is lovely! Would you paint one for me of Saint Sarah? I would treasure it always."

"The Great Father asks we give of ourselves as we were given; I-I have a gift for painting a-and writing, so it's only f-fair to share it." Tiadora seems able to quote the first part flawlessly before her shy stammer returns. "I c-could easily do one of Saint Sarah for you. A locket painting is easy. I c-can do it while my illuminations are drying."

Dawn is sitting with Tiadora and Ariane in a seafood restaurant eating and talking about Tiadora's paintings then. Dawn smiles, "Yes, such a gift should be shared. And you are most humble with thier sharing as well."

Tiadora's guard is approached by a servant with the black eagle of Normont on their livery. The man whispers to the guard, and the guard leans in and whispers somthing to her. She nods slowly. "E-excuse me. I think it's time for me to return t-to our manse. N-othing bad, j-just some business. Excuse me, my ladies?"

There is a bit of a commotion at the door of the restaurant when the future Duke of Murnord enters. Michael l'Corren is dressed simply, in a blue doublet and breeches, a light cloak pulled around his shoulders, and his companions, young knights of the Argent Legion, are likewise dressed down. Still his face is hard to miss and so a few come up to offer him congratulations until he makes his way into the establishment and spots a familiar face. "Ariane," he greets with a warm smile. Fostered by the l'Valdan, he is practically part of the family. Still he bows when he comes to her table. "Forgive my intrusion, but I wanted to give my regards and hope that you and your new husband are well." A nod is given to the elder lady, whom he eyes warily. Wait, could this be Duchess Greycen? The infamous Lioness.

Ariane rises to greet him. "Oh, isn't this the day for pleasant surprises!" she says, delighted. She walks over to Michael and gives him a friendly kiss on each cheek. "Please! Join us!"

Dawn half rises up as well as Michael joins them, taking a note of the wary glance he gives her out of the corner of her eye. She quickly looks him over, but cannot place him over in her mind, but still, the elder woman does not quite frown them. "Yes, I was merely conversing with the ladies over a midday meal. A privilege to meet you Milord, if you would do me the honor of introducing yourself since you seem to be familiar with the Lady while I am not with yourself then?" A light edge of not quite caution in her voice, but merely attempting to ascertain why there is an edge of wariness in the newcomer directed at her when she does not know the reason for even as she makes sure both of her hands are up and on the table.

Michael grins when he is greeted and give Ariane a quick hug of greeting. "Thank you," he says when he is invited to join them. He looks back to his companions, gesturing at them to find their own table. Which they do, with a slight rolling of their eyes. This was not the first outing they'd had where Michael had been pulled away by some connection or another. He takes a seat looking over to Dawn. "True, we've not been presented formally, Your Grace, but I am right in guessing that you are Ariane's goodmother, the Duchess of Seaguard?" he keeps his voice low, given that the 'Duchess' has opted to dress down for the day.

Ariane clears her throat. "Shall I make introductions, then, or do you feel you have managed well enough on your own?" She cants her head, hands on her slender hips, arms akimbo.

Dawn lets out a silent 'ahh' then over as some things quickly become clear, "No, this is the first time that I have met the Lady Ariane, who is married to my nephew, Thaddeus Greyson." She dips he rhead over at Michael then. "And the Duchess is married to my brother, Lord Greyson." She relaxes quite a bit now. "I am Dawn, currently of Bazan." Long since a widow.

"Forgive me," Michael says with a glance towards Ariane. Then he laughs as his mistake is made plain by Dawn. "Clearly I should have waited and I wouldn't have made an ass of myself. I hope you will both forgive me and let me make amends by paying for your drinks?" he asks looking between the women.

Ariane grins. "I wouldn't dare insult you by refusing. Do have a seat, will you? I am just going to go get a plate of that shrimp," she says, standing up and delicately winding her way across the room to the buffet table.

Dawn laughs softly at Michael, "All is forgiven. I must admit it is a somewhat disconcerting experience to have a young man looking me over with something other than 'please, milady, stop regaling us with stories of the boring times' a smy children always put it to my face. And you are more than welcome to."

"Good then," Michael says to Ariane, before he rises as she departs the table. Best ot start showing manners now at the very least. When he sits again he nods to Dawn. "Glad to be of service," he remarks with an easy smile before he says, "So what did I interrupt with my arrival?" he asks.

Ariane returns to the table with a plate piled high with steamed shrimp, with a small dish of melted cheese balanced precariously on the edge. She sets the dishes down carefully and says with great dignity, "I believe this will be sufficient."

Dawn laughs quietly, "Some discussion over paintings I believe and getting to know one naother. And my trying to make up for many years of not paying attnetion to my family and thus trying to catch up on such things."

Michael eyes the plate of shrimp and raises his eyebrow at Ariane. "Quite the meal," he remarks with a smile. He looks like he is about to say more but a glance to Dawn keeps him silent. He moves on. "Paintings? The ones from the art contest? I am sorry I missed it. Was there anything of note?"

"This lady knows what she wants and is not afraid to make it happen," Ariane says, returning the quirked eyebrow with her own mirror of the expression. Without breaking her gaze, the picks up a shrimp delicately by the tail, dips it in the cheese, and pops it in her mouth.

Dawn looks at Ariane, "I believe we were discussing iwth Lady Tiadora that Ariane wished to commission her some things before the Lady had to depart on other business." A light sparkle in her eyes then as Dawn likewise digs over into her own seafood. "And I could not make it either, to my own disappointment." A light nod is given to Michael at his silence expressing her appreciation.

A slow smile crosses his face as Ariane eats her shrimp in such a particular fashion. He laughs and lowers his head in something of a bow, "Well said," he says before he sneaks one of the shrimp and pops it into his mouth. "Ah, a commission? What of?" he asks. "And yes it was a shame I missed, it I understand my brother-in-law won the craftsman event with some very fine hand cannons."

Ariane smirks at Michael and his shrimp theft. "I will allow it," she says loftily. "As for the commission for Lady Tiadora, I saw the lovely saint medallion she had painted for herself and requested one of Saint Sarah. I do hope she accepts — she is such a sweet girl and her work is lovely."

Dawn smiles, "Yes, she said it would not take her long to perform such a thing so hopefully it would not be a pressing thing." She nods over at Michael, "Impressive. I have not encountered such things extensively myself." Looking back over at Ariane with a quick smile.

"Kind of you, my lady," Michael says with a gracious nod of his head. "Hmm, a saint medallion," he says considering it. "I wonder if she could do ones of Saint Eduard. It would make a fine gift for my new nephews." He looks to Dawn. "And indeed, I've seen their work as well. Deadly. My wife adores them," which says a good deal about Lady Bella l'Corren.

"I truly have little interest in such devices. They are purely destructive. A sword is a tool that can be used for other purposes. Hand-cannons have no other purpose than to kill and maim," Ariane says with bald distaste.

Dawn nods over at Michael, "Yes, they are very.. Messy to deal with." She has only seen on one end of them. Those who have been on the receiving end of such things. For what treatment can be done is best clean the wound and pray.

Michael frowns a little as he glances to Ariane. "They have their uses," he says. "Hunting for one." He waves for a servant to bring him a drink. "That said I prefer my sword and I am well-pleased these cannons are too expensive to be widespread."

"As a healer, I see such devices and they frighten me. We do not need better ways to kill one another." Ariane taps a hand emphatically on the table. "But this is not pleasant luncheon discussion. Tell me, what is new and exciting?"

Dawn Quirks a brow at th emention of use of it for hunting, "I would assume that while hitting a target with one is possible, it would leave little left of what had been hit, either for fit for consumption or for showcasign as a trophy, but yes." She smiles.

Tiadora looks mildly annoyed as she makes her way back to the cafe. Her guards follow behind looking actually chastized instead of imposing. The chubby girl scowls as she finds Dawn and Ariane at her old table, pausing only to soften her expression as she spies the unfamiliar Michael. "I am -so- sorry, my ladies. May I join you a-again?" Her irritation fades back into her usual uncertainty.

"Smaller shot," Michael says to Dawn about using the guns to hunt. Then he bows conceding to Ariane's request. "New and exciting?" he asks tapping his chin. "Well I won the tourney, that is something, though, it has taught me much. Though I am much more curious about your new life in Rivana. How is it in the south? As strange as the stories suggest?"

He rises when Tiadora joins them. "My lady," he says inclining his head.

"Of course you may rejoin us, dear child. We were just singing your praises. I am sure your paintings will become quite the fasion in court," Ariane smiles. She turns to Michael and presses her lips together diplomatically. "It certainly has required much adjustment. I am not sure I will ever truly feel at home there, but one does what one must."

Dawn smiles, "But of course." She glances over at MIchael, "And do you mind extending your kind offer to us over to the Lady Tiadora as well?" She rises to give a half bow over to Tiadora as well. "And yes, your performance over was excellent." Now recalling which knight he was in the melee she watched..

Tiadora makes a demi-curtsy for Michael. "M'lord," she returns politely, shyly looking downward. "I'm so sorry I had to leave. One of the servants knocked over a vase of my mother's and they -thought- I would want to know right away." She shoots a look over her shoulder at her guards, gaze dark for a brief moment. "But I t-think we were talking about a locket, m'lady Ariane? Unless you've c-changed the subject?"

Michael sits back down but waits for Ariane to make introductions this time. "We had been talking about Ariane's impressions of her new home, but I think the lockets may be a safer subject," he says with a smile and a sip of his newly arrived wine.

"Your small painted lockets, yes. I was vague," Ariane explains, eating some more shrimp. She nods subtly at Michael, giving him a look that clearly says, 'we'll talk later'.

Dawn nods lightly over at the exchange as she goes to sit up and watches over at the exchange in a half smile then as hse eats at her own food, looking bemused.

Tiadora has a momentary lock until social convention reminds her. "Forgive me my sitting back down, my lord. I'm Tiadora Gerrell, of Normont - in Rivana." She makes another demi-curtsey before settling into her old chair.

Michael eyes flicker with acknowledgement of Ariane's look. He smiles then to Tiadora. "Good to meet you Lady Tiadora, I am Michael l'Corren of Normont. I hope the duke is well? I'd hoped to meet him but it seems we did not get the chance."

Ariane tucks into her shrimp with gusto, ostensibly not wanting the cheese to cool and congeal.

Dawn leans quietly over as she listens, eating over at her own seafood with a smile over as she glances at Tiadora, "I think it would also be a good way for you to practice your skills, and it is never a bad thing.."

Tiadora nods absently. "I don't have a locket, but I can p-paint a miniature big enough for one, Lady Ariane. I can give it you when we're back in Sunsreach…" She smiles hesitantly and then nods to Michael. "My lord, a pleasure. My brother had a long ride ahead of him a-and with the games done, needed to go home." In case he didn't know, she adds, "We have no Feygates in Falconsholme, s-so he needed to go the long way. Luckily, it's not -too- far south from here." She looks around and smiles faintly.

Michael nods, "I'd heard that about Normont, the faegates," he says without judgment. "Anyhow, I shall hope to catch him at the Queen's wedding, if not before." Then, with a look around the table he rises and picks up his wine. "I should return to my friends, but enjoy the day, I will tell the barman your drinks should be added to my bill."

Ariane nods appreciatively. "My thanks. Please don't be a stranger, hm? Write when you get home and we can arrange a visit."

Dawn nods over at Tiadora, "I'm sure you'll be back with him soon enough." She clasps her hands together then, and looks over back to Michael, "A pleasure then to have had your company wtih us Milord, and I thank you for paying for our meal then." She flashes him a smile, "And good luck wtih the rest of your time."

Tiadora bows her head politely. "The One ever guide and guard you, m'lord," she says with formal politeness. "A-and thank you for the drinks."

Dawn gives a light rise, "And I must get the rest of my time at the market in before I must depart as well." Giving a bow and a smile.

Michael nods. "I promise I shall," he says to Ariane before smiles to Tiadora. "You as well, lady." Then he moves of to re-join his friends.

Tiadora blinks at Araine. "W-Was it something I said?" She looks as the two make their exits to go on their own business.

Ariane shakes her head. "Oh, sweet child, hardly."

Tiadora takes one of the shrimp and twists the tail off anxiously. "I apologize, m-m'lady. I am used to people not being too p-pleased to be around those of my h-house." Since her mother and father tried to create a holy war.

Ariane shakes her head sadly. "That is hardly /your/ fault. You are always welcome at my table. I don't care who turns up their nose."

The girl pops the shrimp into her mouth and nods. "T-that's very kind of you. So the miniature, do you, ummm. Want just her? Or imagry behind her? Or, um… a verse of scripture as well? I can do really tiny details."

Ariane smiles. "I trust your artistic judgment. I am excited to see what you do with the idea."

Tiadora winces a little. "I would hate t-to let you down, m'lady." She places her hand over her own medallion. "I-I'm used to doing very specific things. Artistic license is a n-new concept to me. I-I'm used to making things look exactly like the original if I'm doing a reproduction - l-like the holy tomes."

"Then let this be a new experiment!" Ariane says encouragingly. "Unless there is a specific image that you think is perfect, then by all means, recreate that."

Tiadora is hesitant but nods slowly. "A-all right. Like I said, I c-can do it between the illuminations in the b-book. I need to m-make sure it dries before I can add more details. A-and gold leaf needs to be completely dry before m-moving on."

Ariane nods, eating her lunch. "Fascinating. You are quite the craftswoman," she says indulgently.

Tiadora shrugs absently as she twists another shrimp-tail. "I-I spent most of my life in my rooms, reading holy books and c-copying them for my mother's library. I liked doing the artwork in the margins best," she says, flushing as if that's a guilty admission.

"Have you ever had any formal instruction, or are you entirely self-taught?" Ariane asks.

"I had tutors," she replies. "Good ones. Mostly from the holy libraries at Saint Sandoval's. And a few secular painters she reluctantly brought in."

Ariane nods. "So she clearly recognized your talent."

An odd look flashes over Tia's round face. She nods with true reluctance. "I suppose… It's probaby the only n-nice thing my mother ever did for me." Guilt washes completely over her.

Ariane frowns. "Shh, let us talk of other things, then. Are you enjoying your time here?"

Tiadora slowly pushes any remainder of her food away from her. "It's nice," she says quietly. "Different from S-sunsreach, which is the o-opposite of Falconholme."

Ariane eyes the girl sympathetically, hoping to distract her further. "How are they all different, you think?"

Tiadora replies simply. "Water." She looks at the canals and the harbor. "W-we're landlocked. Mines. Mountains. N-nothing flat like this. Or wet."

"And which do you prefer?" Ariane works slowly on her massive pile of steamed shrimp.

Her head shakes slowly as she looks back to the water. "I-I don't know yet, m'lady. I-I miss my home, b-but only because it's familiar. But I like the color of the ocean and the way it sounds."

Ariane smiles sadly. "I know very much how you feel, believe it or not," she says.

Tiadora says, "H-have you and the Lord Marshall b-been married long? He fought very well at the games, I cheered for him. He's f-friends with my brother a-and his cousins. My cousins, I guess."

"It will be a year next month," Ariane replies. "He is a good man, but very, very serious. It has been interesting all around. Rivana is… quite different than home. Louder, I suppose, in many ways."

Tiadora almost giggles, "Yelling is an acceptable form of communication," she jokes. "A-and One bless you both. Together you are strong. I-I guess that's what your marriage is? U-unity between our kingdoms."

Oh bother, shopping. All the things Elaida needed have been accounted for now, and either sent to the Tracano manse or the Marchander keep, depending on what they are. A bit worn out from her excursion, she makes her way to the cafe on the canal, intending to get something to eat and drink (and some rest for her tired feet!) before heading into the High Sector.

Spying Tiadora as she enters the cafe, and with Lady Ariane, whom she had just met this morning, no less! she waves to them both before approaching. "Lady Tiadora!" she exclaims merrily. "I've not had time to congratulate you for doing so well in the artistic competition. My father says your tryptich was inspired by the One Himself." She grins towards Ariane. "Lady Ariane. Did the rest of your shopping go well this morning?"

Ariane nods "Indeed, it is. I certainly hope it continues to act as such," Ariane replies to Tiadora. She turns to smile at Elaida. "It did, thank you! We convinced Thaddeus to purchase the green velvet, though I suspect it will be yet another battle to convince the man to actually /wear/ it…"

Tiadora smiles and stands to greet Elaida. "Oh thank you. I was, actually. I went to the Cathedral here at sunset and it inspired me!" She seems to lose her usual shy hesitation around the other young lady, speaking with some enthusiasm. "I-I thought it would be a nice contrast between both here and t-there. B-But Emilia is way better than I am, so I am happy it did so well." She smiles to Ariane and adds, "Green velvets are pretty. I don't own anything in green, b-but I might get another dress made here b-before we go back to Sunsreach."

Elaida giggles. "Perhaps he will not argue too much. He seems to be very fond of you!" she points out cheerfully to Ariane. "And I love your painting, Tiadora. Father showed it to me— he liked it so much he purchased it, after all. It was his opinion your piece was the better piece, but he was not a judge this year." She beams. "Do you know when you'll be traveling back to Sunsreach? I had hoped we would all go together."

Ariane gives a somewhat shy smile. "We work well together, now that we've gotten to know each other better. I am very fortunate," she replies to Elaida. "As for travel… I am unsure. I suspect that is entirely contingent upon Thaddeus' duties."

Tiadora also gives a vague nod. "W-Whenever Aidric decides we go? And Tristan?"

"Tristan is about as helpful as a cat when it comes to letting me know when he plans to leave," Elaida replies with a slight roll of her eyes, though the curve of her smile indicates more fondness than annoyance. "I suspect he is torn between needing to return to his duties to his cousin and desiring to stay and enjoy himself here." His reputation, after all, procedes him. And Aidric. Those boys enjoy their parties.

Tiadora has to laugh. Tristan as a cat is perfect.

Ariane grins, in spite of herself. "Shh, not so loud!" she chuckles.

"I think Lord Aidric is waiting on the Prince's pleasure to depart as well," Elaida considers. "So truly, I'll have to wheedle a decision out of him, it seems."

Tiadora begrudgingly admits, "Although, my ladies? I th-think we all needed a bit of a vacation. A-and I can't blame them for being loath to go back to the m-mess that is politics in our duchy. B-but we DO have the wedding to look forward to!"

"Mmhmm," says Ariane delicately around a mouthful of shrimp, swallowing. "That should be quite the affair. I am quite looking forward to it."

Elaida flushes darkly. "Yes, the wedding." She might look forward to it because Tristan has told her he was petitioning his cousin to have their wedding soon after. And that was something she was looking forward to as well— not because she would be a Princess after, but because… well… Tristan. He's quite the charming fellow.

Tiadora smiles as Elaida blushes. "I told you, a man of many sins but no heavy ones. I am sure you are a good influence on him. He needs the guiding light of the Divine Father in his life. He's had enough darkness," she concludes. As usual, when speaking on matters of faith, her confidence is unshakeable.

Ariane picks at the last of her shrimp. "You must be terribly excited for your own wedding. You do seem terribly fond of Tristan — that's a very good start."

Elaida blushes deeper. "Well… he is a… he's a very handsome man, and very kind. And despite his reputation, he's very—" …much like his reputation. Charming. Lustful. Good at finding temptation and leading others directly into it. Elaida swallows. "…ah, he's a good man…" and her tone is a slight bit less assured of itself in that last one. Whoops.

Tiadora giggles behind her hand, her smile dimpling her plump cheeks. "He will be very good to you, or I will throw something at his head," she says resolutely. And then she has a better idea. "I will grab him by the ear and throw him in a confessional box until he has absolved himself. We'll have to wait another six months or so before the wedding though."

Ariane pinches the bridge of her nose. "Surely even he wouldn't spend that long in a confession box…"

"Oh!! He is quite good to me! He spoils me, too much!" Elaida protests.

Noted: she does not try and say he would not spend that long in confession.

"He is generous," Tia agrees. "But you are both very lucky. I think you were well matched. Her Majesty chose wisely for you two - you bring him faith, he brings you joy. You both bring friendship between our nations." She nods to Ariane. "Like yourself and t-the Lord Marshall. I can only pray my b-brother can find me someone who will care for m-me as a person a-and not a political possession."

"As I said, I am very, very fortunate that Thaddeus is a good man. My match was entirely political. These things happen when one is born into such families," Ariane says carefully. "It took some time to learn that he is simply very serious and frank, and that this does not mean he is cold or unkind. We did not have the luxury of getting to know each other very well before the wedding, you see," she explains. "But we became good friends once we came to know each other better."

Elaida nods in agreement. "I am quite grateful the One has allowed me this chance to get to know Tristan before we wed." The One and her cousin, the Baron of the house, of course. He could have recalled her from the court in Sunsreach, after all. "And I am sure, Tiadora, your brother will find you someone worthy of you."

Tiadora offers a smile. "N-Not for a while. I'm only sixteen, after all. A-and I have an older sister." The look that flashes across her face says she's not going to talk much on that one.

"I was thinking you look awfully young, so surely you will not have to worry about such matters for some time yet. I am sure your brother will find someone wonderful for you, and if he doesn't, he will hear about it from me," Ariane says with a reassuring smile.

"It must be wonderful to have an older sister!" Elaida chirps cheerfully. "I only have an older brother, Gerard. He is wonderful, and one of the low Councillors of Pacitta now." She smiles, oblivious to Tiadora's discomfort regarding her sister, just too cheerful to notice.

Ariane glances at the shrimp left from her massive pile. "I don't think I could eat another bite, and I have business to attend to at the manse. Feel free to help yourselves, ladies. I am sure I will see the both of you very soon." She rises, curtseying politely.

Tiadora smiles as the northern-born princess departs. "She's a nice lady. I met her and her brother the other day, Prince Silvio? I hope she and the Lord Marshall are indeed happy. Happy marriages help keep alliances strong." She says with the conviction of a teenager. "So I guess we're waiting for Tristan to plan our going home?" Tia pauses in surprise. "Did I just call Sunreach home?"

Elaida shrugs. "For you and me both, it is for now," she replies merrily. "So I do not see it as mispeaking."

Tiadora traces a pattern on the table with her finger. "I though I was just going to the capital to deal with the murder… show my house is loyal to the Queen and thankful for her mercy… but I'd come home when it was done." She looks a little guilty as she raises her gaze. "I know what my brother's doing now. He had much the same chance when he was my age, to get out of Normont and see the world, meet new people. It really made him who he is."

"He was the heir," Elaida nods. "That makes sense for him to have done." She frowns. "I am saddened to hear about your parents and their misunderstanding of the One and His wishes before their deaths. I can only hope that in death they received enlightenment and the One shows mercy to them."

Tiadora bites her lip as she nods. "I pray every night for them. I don't think they were evil. I think they were misled by the Cardinal. He poisoned their souls. Turned them to the Great Enemy somehow and possessed them with power-madness." She looks as if she may start to cry. "I-I can't say this around my brother. He… he thinks it's utter nonsense."

Elaida frowns. "I am sorry to hear that. I will pray for his heart to be softened and shown the light of merciful judgment."

Tiadora finally breaks down and starts sobbing, pulling a handkerchief out of her sleeve and crying into it.

Elaida reaches over and hugs the younger girl, murmuring soothing noises. "There, there," she says softly. "It will all be all right."

Tiadora regains some composure after a moment or two. "I-I don't know if I'm more scared for them, in h-hell, or for my brother not believing in it. He thinks it's all s-superstition."

Elaida frowns. "I am sure the One was merciful," she says finally, "abd that your parents were enlightened and brought into His light, and not sent to the Abyss."

The girl gives a tiny nod. "I am sure He will be. It's not their fault they were led astray." So she has convinced herself so she can sleep at night. "I'm sorry I'm crying. I just… I can't talk about this to anyone. Rhea is mad at me for giving Symon mother's letters… a-and Aaron and I never talk. Symon looks at me like I'm crazy. I pray for them all the time but it's… different when not in the confessional. Saying it to a person I k-know."

Elaida nods, patting the other girl kindly. "I will pray for them as well," she says decisively. "That your brother's heart is opened, and that your sister finds the ability for forgiveness."

Tiadora smiles weakly as she wipes at her eyes. "Thank you, Elaida. I-I really appreciate it. I'm really sorry I s-started to cry." She offers a tiny shrug of apology, shoulders shifting. "Nobody else understands I think… and I mean, I barely know you but I know you understand, in the Faith."

Elaida nods sagely. "We will bring them around. You will see."

That draws a better smile from Tia and she nods. "Where one candle burns bright, it can illumine a second. And those two, four." She shoves her hanky back into her sleeve as she cites the verse. "We have all been in such darkness with all the fighting. I-it's time to bring more light to the world," she agrees. Speaking of, "I think I-I should go to confession, anyhow. For not trusting enough in the One to be merciful." She doesn't sound guilty, more hopeful.

Elaida grins. "I'll go with you," she says. "We can go now." She rises, offering her hand to help the other girl up.

Tiadora accepts the help and stands. "Together we are strong," she says with a nod. "Thank you for being my friend, too. I am glad I have them now."

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