(1867-03-15) Preparing for Battle
Preparing for Battle
Summary: Clara visits the Cassomir Manse, where she, Adrienne and Emilia discuss the dangers and preparations associated with a battle all three are familiar with, a battle upon the social front.
Date: 03/15/1867
Related: General Clara/Adrienne/Emilia stuff
Adrienne  Clara  Emilia  

Sitting Room - Cassomir Manse - Sunsreach
In Scene Set
15th of Marse, 1867

With the Venderos Tournament Wrapping up and Prince Tristan’s wedding fast approaching, Emilia had headed to Sunsreach along with Clara. And while she remained there, there were several of the Huntresses, as well as some of the others who had traveled with her and Devlin, that had returned to Roseguard to return to their duties. The faegate trip back from Venderos was a bit rougher than a ‘simple’ hop between Iron March, but Emilia had managed to take her mind of ‘recovering’ (and a few other things) by having Casella to her rooms for the two to catch up and have a bit of painting time.

It had been arranged for Clara to come visit a few days after their return (and when everyone was sufficiently recovered from said gatesickness). Emilia had ensured word had reached Adrienne about the planned visit upon reaching Sunsreach. And with the time approaching, one of the small sitting rooms had been readied for their use, light snacks and tea had been delivered for them already, to help ensure some measure of privacy for the young Ladies.

Wearing a simple tunic with a hint of embroidery and her usual leggings, Emilia was already present, standing near one of the windows with Naois perched upon her shoulder as he chewed on a bit of jerky. “I of know, you don’t much of like the travel.” Someone having brought him Roseguard to Sunsreach for her.


Adrienne would have been expected to come to Sunreach soon anyway, with the impending nuptials of Prince Tristan Tracano and his Lady Elaida Toulan. So word of Emilia’s arrival at Sunsreach and the wish to see her freckled cousin had reached Adrienne as she was already in the state of preparing for her departure - which now would happen bit earlier than planned, requiring her to travel ahead, with Raelyn and Stephen following one or two days later.

She has arrived in the late hours of the morning, in the company of her trusted Cassomir guard Deidre and two others, and after settling in, and claiming the chamber she usually occupied during her visits, Adrienne arrives in the sitting room pointed out to her by a servant, she as well still wearing Huntress tunic and leggings, her dark brown hair done in a fresh braid. Spotting Emilia she will walk over to Emilia, to offer her a familial hug of greeting, keeping her eyes on Naois warily as she does so. “Emilia, so you’ve made it back,” the freckled Cassomir intones, taking a step back as she releases her touched cousin from her embrace, her green eyes giving the other young woman an assessing look, while her lips are curled into a faint smile, “I heard, you didn’t win the archery competition…?”

It doesn’t take much to know when the princess has arrived. The servants all seem to rush just a little bit more as the royal escort (much to Clara’s chagrin) walks up to the front door. Fortunately, for Clara, all but one Royal Lancer is left at the doorstep, with the solitary lancer, Sir Alaina Cassomir, walking with the princess through the manse. All things considering, it is a favorable trade-off for everyone. The servants get a break from having to deal with ‘royalty’, and the two friends, for that’s what Alaina and Clara are now, get to have a couple of moments of private gossip before Clara reaches the private sitting room, courtesy of a friendly servant with clear directions. It is at the doorway that the two part, Alaina onwards towards her own quarters and Clara into the room beyond.

When Clara does enter, it is with a dress box under one arm. Just one, much to the relief of certainly at least one person in the awaiting sitting room. The box is set alongside the wall, out of the way, even as Adrienne asks about the archery competition. Clara herself does not answer…but waits until Emilia answers before making her greetings. After all, it is only polite to do so.


With Adrienne’s arrival, Emilia does rise to greet her cousin and return the hug. Naois giving a little snuffle and bit of a nose wiggle at Adrienne, but it would seem he has a preference for the jerky over the Cassomir cousin. Emilia did look well enough, no signs of lingering gatesickness and as stoic as ever. “Oh aye. I made it of make. And you did hear of correct, Master of Fremont took of the win by a single of point.” There is a small shrug, seeming not put out by it…After all, Raelyn had lost to the particular commoner before as well. And it was only one point.

There is certainly some flicker of relief that Clara hasn’t opted for a surprise and brought more than one dress. There is a corner tugging smile given to Clara as well as a hug in greeting before commenting to Adrienne,”And this one managed to come in of third herself. “ And all so stoic look as Emilia adds,”Though I of think she might have done better if she had not allowed herself to be of distracted by Master of Fremont.” Someone had noticed that bit of pink in a certain Princess's cheeks it would seem!


Adrienne steps away from Emilia when the door opens again, admitting the Tracano princess into the room, and indeed, that ominous box held below Clara's arm draws her gaze for a brief spell. "Clara," she greets, her smile growing in warmth, once the princess has deposited the box, and moves over to offer her a hug of greeting. "It's good to see you," she murmurs, her eyelids lowering a tad. Ignoring the box for now, and any potential contents it might hold.

Letting go of Clara then, Adrienne makes room for Emilia if she might wish for a more heartfelt greeting, her head turning just so as she glances towards her touched cousin. A brow lifts to the information Emilia gives on the outcome of the archery contest. "That Master Corvin Fremont whom I found to be more of an annoyment?", the freckled Cassomir inquires with a twinkle in her eyes, a sideways glance given Clara, her smile turning into a lopsided grin when distraction is mentioned - this a discipline in which all three of them apparently now and then seemed to excel in. "Is that so?", she asks, with a hint of teasing sweetness in her tone. "He does look handsome, does he not?" At which she allows a giggle to escape. Teenage ladies and a princess, finally united again!

“Yes, that Master Fremont.” There is an exasperated sigh from the princess, complete with the rolling of the eyes as Clara releases Adrienne from the hug, only to have not only Adrienne, but Emilia as well join in the teasing of the Tracano. “Really, you two…I have no idea why I told one of you about him. Much less both of you. You two are incorrigible!” The scolding devolves into a slight giggle…”much like how I was when insisting on checking on Devlin with a certain Gerrell. Really, you two, you simply must stop associating with me. I am a horrible influence.” That slight giggle erupts into a full laugh, even as Clara turns to hug Emilia in greeting. “Oh, you should have seen it, Adrienne. Poor Tiadora…practically tripping over herself doing everything she can to avoid eye contact with Devlin. Why, I feel almost ashamed of myself.” Then…with a wink, Clara adds. “Almost.” For Emilia, it is an admission of guilt. Clara fully knew of the young Gerrell’s attraction to her brother….and took advantage of it. Wicked little princess, indeed.

But then…back to the matter at hand. “And yes, he is handsome. And a rogue. And a l’Sainger, in spirit if not in name. I know this quite well. But, I also know he has a good streak within him, even if it is buried. And…yes, I do blush when I see him, but only because I know exactly what could have been.” And what could have been remains unspoken, for now. “As it was, we really only saw him for the archery. He was very hard to find otherwise.” Not that Clara was looking. “But…we did have some fun in Venderos, despite ourselves. Did Emilia tell you how I held a shop privately, just for we girls?”


A nod goes to Adrienne as Emilia’s words echo Clara’s in the agreement of just whom it was,,”Of aye, the one and of the same.” Was there really more than one Master Corvin Fremont? More importantly, could the Edge handle more than one of them? A brow rises just a little bit at Clara’s protest of sorts about the pair of Cassomirs being incorrigible. “And quite of true, a most horrible of influence you are of being. “ With the hug imparted to Clara, Emilia offers another glance towards Adrienne,”It is of true, I am not of sure who was of worse off, Devlin after that of hit to the neck he was taking, it was making the most colorful of bruises and he could barely of talk for a bit…or of poor of Tiadora with Clara of pulling her of along when I went to check of upon him. “ Just giving a shake of her head with Clara giving the mild admission of guilt.
For her part, Emilia really doesn’t voice whether she thinks Corvin is handsome or not. “A could have of been, but not of a what could of be…Do we not have to be of considering Shah Kabede Aman for of that? Perhaps we might of see just of how you of blush if you get of a chance to be of dancing with him at the Prince of Tristan’s wedding in of a few days?” There is a shake of Emilia’s head,”I had of not had of a chance to speak much of Venderos with of Adrienne. But of aye,” her dark gaze drifting back to her cousin,”she got of a whole of shop held for just of us, Tiadora, herself and me. It was quite of something. Of granted, I think she was just of over the moon to have a chance to put of us in dresses again.” A mild motion is made to the chairs in a silent invitation for everyone to settle and become comfortable with the greetings exchanged.


"The same then," Adrienne agrees, observing that exasperated sigh of the princess with hardly concealed amusement - and oh how she enjoys being not the focus of teasing at the moment! Even so, Clara's tactic of diverting attention towards her knightly Cassomir cousin and Tiadora Gerell seems to succeed at first. When Adrienne's eyes narrow just so, one corner of her lips lifting in obvious mischievous delight at the described awkwardness of Devlin's admirer. Wicked princess, well matched as it would seem by a wicked Cassomir Huntress. "You are horrible, Clara, and you know it!", the freckled Cassomir admits with a chuckle. "But I doubt we can claim to have been corrupted by your doing." A shake of her head there, making that dark brown braid of hers jump a little on her back. A sideways glance she gives Emilia, murmuring with a raised brow: "We are Cassomirs, aren't we?" That attitude shifts into a more concerned one, when Adrienne adds: "Devlin wasn't too badly hurt, I hope?" He is a relative, after all!

"l’Saigner. Wraiths.", Adrienne Cassomir continues then with a slight roll of her eyes. "It would be a lie to say I am overly fond of either. But I know you have a weakness for Master Corvin, and I will not insist on needling you any further on the matter." She smirks as she follows Emilia's invitation to sit, her green eyes then flitting from her touched cousin to Clara, and her smile deepens. "Shah Kabede Aman, hmm? I remember someone told me he has made an impression."

Then enthusiasm dims a little, even if Adrienne's eyes continue to gleam with faint curiosity at the tale of the private shopping session of three young ladies. "So I believe, you were… Successful?", comes the slightly hesitant question, and her gaze flits briefly towards that ominous box Clara had deposited after entering the room.

“Had. Had a weakness.” Clara corrects…perhaps a bit too quickly. That weakness may very well still be there. And the mention of Kabede does earn both Emilia and Adrienne both a slight rouge within Clara’s cheeks. However, true to Clara’s style whenever someone catches her in a spot, she just moves right on to another topic, deflecting attention. “And yes. I am so delightfully horrible. To place Tiadora in the same room as her infatuation and watching the situation unfold. So terribly wicked.” Another giggle punctuates the statement, as she turns to both Emilia and Adrienne. “But…it worked. Devlin would not have known of Tia’s sentiment had I not insisted…and you all know Tia wouldn’t have gone to see Devlin on her own. Sometimes, she just needs a little nudge.” Another chuckle. “She didn’t seem all that angry with me on the shopping excursion. I think the dress I bought her may have taken away any resentment she might have had.”

And then, Adrienne asks the question…and snaps Clara right to the moment. “Of course we were successful! They didn’t have the dress that Emilia needed, though…so I designed one and had it commissioned. It was a good thing we went shopping when we did, because it took the rest of the time in Venderos before it was ready…just in time for the ball. We all added a bit to the design…Emilia, Tia and myself. You should have seen it, Adri! It was delightful!” Clara pauses to take a breath…but only long enough to dash over to grab the dress box, before placing it upon Adrienne’s lap as the Huntress sits. “And I got you one, too! Don’t worry…I bought one of my own, too. Needed to replace the red dress I gave you, you know. This one is a different color…but still perfectly appropriate for a Cassomir.” At least, a Cassomir that Clara dresses. Clara then herself sits down, smiling brightly. “And no, you really shouldn’t fear this ensemble. Really, you two. You act like wearing a dress is the most horrible fate imaginable.”


A nod goes to Adrienne with a quiet murmur of agreement, “Of aye, we are.” And while Emilia does not press Clara any further about either of the men, she does offer a slight raising of her brow to Adrienne when Clara is oh so very quick to say ‘had’ in regards to Corvin. “He was of not, Devlin was of diving into dinner well of enough that evening and continued of competing. Was not of his best of tournament, but not of his worst of either.” Shaking her head a little as Emilia settles into a chair herself,”Perhaps of not, but it is not of like Devlin with do of much to of act upon of it even in of knowing. Though of aye, she did not seem of put of out by of it in of the end.” Those dark eyes settling on Clara a moment,”And it was far of more than just of a nudge of there.”

Fingers select a bit of cheese as the topic does turn to the dresses, Emilia simply nodding as Clara does well in answering the question at hand. Noting softly to Adrienne as Clara darts to get the box,”Be of glad she was so of distracted with mine of otherwise you might have ended up of worse. “ That ever stoic look going over to Clara,”I am believing my only real of addition to of the design was of setting you of loose to be of doing of it. “ But Emilia cannot deny “It was of quite of lovely. I can of show you of some of time if you are wishing, Adrienne.” After all, it wasn’t like Emilia left the dress behind.

“No, it is not the most of horrible fate of imaginable,” this Emilia does contest a bit. A mild pause,” But it is of getting of close. And I am certainly not of going to be of dressing and trying anything like of in Venderos anytime of soon. “ So many dances, the attention. “Of truly…No more….Not beyond what I am having to do for of Court.” Which means just barely fashionable dresses that allow her to blend well into the shadows and be ignored.


"Well…" Adrienne seems quick to accept Clara's correction, one corner of her lips curving slightly upwards, as her head turns and she shoots Emilia a glance - the Cassomir way of checking whether to take that statement seriously? But supposed past weaknesses suddenly become less interesting when the rosy hue on princess features hints at a current… weakness? Such observation has the freckled Cassomir lady lift both her brows - briefly - before her features soften into an expression of almost empathy, when Clara goes into detail about her terrible wickedness. "You are the most cruel creature I've ever met," Adrienne states after a moment, shooting Clara an ominous glance. "To confront Tia with charming Devlin, and what is worse, to make him aware of her admiration! A risky move, which could very well mark the end of… whatever it is that could have been." A vague gesture of her hand there. "Or… provide the needed attention, to make it grow into something more."

Her gaze shifts to Emilia then, catching her remark, and Adrienne smiles. "I thank you then, for providing the distraction." That smile deepening when confronted with Emilia's stoicness - or indeed, maybe even because of it. "I would like to see it, yes, your new dress; should the opportunity occur.", the freckled Cassomir agrees. Her own expression shifting now into more Cassomir stoic common ground, as the smile dims into a more matter-of-factly version. "Dresses aren't the most practical garments, Clara, even you have to admit that.", she says then, a faint glint sneaking into her green eyes as they find the Tracano princess. "Even so… they have their uses. Such as to be worn at official occasions where we are to look our best. Such as the upcoming wedding, of Prince Tristan and his lady." The remark leaves her lips in the moment the box is placed in her lap, and Adrienne eyes it with a bit of wary hesitation. A breath is drawn, and she gets to open the box, to review its contents, bracing herself for whatever the princess's whim had decided for her to wear.

"What will you two be wearing at the wedding feast?", Adrienne asks then in a conversational tone, as if to divert attention from her first reaction to the dress as she unwraps it.

As Adrienne frees the dress from its packaging, the first thing she will notice is the feel of the fabric…a soft silk, dyed in a pleasant blue tone. Appropriately, Cassomir blue, or as near as one could get. The dress itself has a little frills, particularly on the shoulders, with more of an open sleeve design to allow for more freedom of movement. It is most certainly an appropriate ensemble for Courtly function, if perhaps a little extravagant…but certainly not out of place for a ballroom. Even as Adrienne frees the dress from its wrappings, Clara shifts to talk about the wedding. “Oh, I plan on wearing my new red dress! Red silk, with a black skirt panel…the same cut as the dress in your lap now, Adrienne. So, you know, you won’t be the only one with a particular style there.” It is apparent that Clara did that on purpose. She wanted to make sure that Adrienne is comfortable…and what better way of doing so than ensuring that she won’t be alone? “I am not sure about Emilia, though. I haven’t had enough time to convince her of one dress over another yet. Maybe you could help me with that?”

Riiiight. As if Adrienne would want to subject Emilia to that kind of torture.


A nod goes Adrienne’s way,”Perhaps some of time in the next few of days if you like,” where it concerns the dress spoken of. “As I cannot of wear it for of the wedding with of having worn it for the banquet. “ Emilia cutting off that idea before Clara might have it. After all it would be poor social form since Tristan and his betrothed were both there. “Though you are much of welcome, Adrienne.” A thing Adrienne may truly appreciate when she actually sees the dress Emilia ended up with!

“You were of busy with the last of dress,” points out Emilia. Even if she /did/ ask for that. Fingers faintly flutter in the air before settling over to the table pick up a bit of cubed meat. A thing that is soon being offered to Naois, who has moved to occupy Emilia’s lap now that she has settled. “I will probably just of wear of mine-leathers…blend of with the security.” And it is the ferret that she is looking at as she says this. It is hard to tell if she is serious or it is some turn of that deadpan Cassomir humor at work, the ever present stoicness and her looking down to the greedy little beast that is all to eager to snatch away the offering…it is anyone’s guess on which it might be.

“Of see, it is not of so bad,” notes Emilia as Adrienne does work to reveal the dress picked out for her. “I am of sure Sir of Aidric will much of appreciate of it.”


Adrienne's first reaction is… relief. And wonder, as she lets her fingers drift over the fabric of the dress, admiring the color. "Adequately colored," she says with a little smile, perhaps considering the dress worn at the last wedding she attended, the Royal wedding of her cousin Jaren. "And lovely." The statement genuine expression of her opinion, or so it seems. Her gaze lifts at once when Clara elaborates on her own choice of color, and the freckled Cassomir shoots the princess a curious glance. "Red? So it is you who wants to draw attention this time…? But yes, such would make sense perhaps. At an official occasion, the guests from Alhazred will attend as well." A slight wink there, as she delivers her guess in a light tease. Her brows wrinkle a touch at the suggestion, Adrienne could become fashion advisor to her touched cousin.

And then said cousin speaks up, and what she says draws a chuckle from Adrienne's lips. "Leathers at Prince Tristan's wedding! Emilia, I'd like to see it to believe it; as I know such won't happen." She shakes her head, amused. "A dress will be required, something courtly and nice which befits your station…" Words trail off then, green eyes widening in a hint of astonishment but also of a glare, when a certain gentleman is mentioned. Adrienne straightens, and a faint line appears between brows that are drawn together in a slightly stubborn attitude. "I've never heard Sir Aidric being much into fashion…", she remarks in a slightly grumbling drawl. "And besides, I'll wear the dress in honor of the Prince and his lovely wife - not for that grumpy former Thorn." A daring remark, that; and one that is probably bound to provoke protest on the part of Clara and Emilia.

"Anyway… I should try this on…" And with that said, Adrienne rises to her feet, holding onto the dress. "I shall be right back", she promises with a sweet smile and a wink towards the two young ladies - so not Cassomir - before she disappears for a moment, to change in her chamber.

As much as Clara wants to say something to the effect that Aidric would most likely prefer fashion as it was lying on the floor of his chambers….somehow the princess retains enough willpower to keep the comment reigned in. That glare to Emilia from Adrienne might have helped things, though Clara does have to lift up a hand, to stifle a sly little sneer that she feels growing upon her lips. The comment about drawing attention effectively draws Clara’s attention….and she drops her hand to offer a smile to Adrienne. “Actually, I was thinking more that I needed a red dress replacement at the time of the purchase. However, drawing attention is an unexpected and welcomed bonus. It should help to make both you and Emilia, in whatever ensemble she chooses, more comfortable.” Because Clara is perfectly willing to draw attention away from the Huntresses if it means they will be more willing to wear something that flatters them. “I was not considering the attention of our honored guests, either.” Something that is perfectly truthful now…but obviously Clara is thinking about it now. The gears in her head are turning, for both Cassomirs to see.

As Adrienne disappears with the blue dress in tow, Clara shifts to Emilia. “You are not going to wear the leathers to Tristan’s wedding, silly. You want to blend in, not stand out. And those leathers will do nothing to camouflage you in the ballroom.” Of course, Clara suspects that Emilia was only joking before…but it is so hard to read her, sometimes. “If you do, then I will just have to wear mine, too. I simply cannot have you starting a fashion statement without me, you know.” That…was most certainly a joke. Complete with teasing and topped with a wink. “Of course, we shouldn’t tell Adri, then. Because I really want to see her in that dress…and watch Aidric’s reaction. I think they are so cute…”


“No of doubt the Alhazred will be of there,” they were certainly getting to witness enough Rivana weddings! “And of likely might be of willing to have of a dance or of two.” Dark eyes dancing over towards Clara to see those gears a turning now. Though as she gets a mild chiding from her cousin,”,There is nothing of wrong with of leathers for a wedding, I could just wear of the nice ones…like of the guards do when of on duty for such of things.” Granted, Raelyn would likely have her head…maybe Jaren too. There might be a bit of a ‘Are you of all people telling someone they have to wear a dress’ look also being given to her cousin.

“Of aye, you will wear of the dress in of honor of Prince Tristan and of his bride, but you are no of doubt considering of how Sir of Aidric might of appreciate it as of well.” Emilia meeting that glare with a rather stoic look in return,”Besides, even if he is not up on of fashion, I do of imagining he has of his preference of whether you are in of your leathers or of a dress. “ And which is easier to see more quickly to an artful pile upon the floor. “But of aye, go and try it on.” Her fingers fluttering briefly in the air before dancing a pet upon Naois.

Though it seems the matter of her own outfit for the wedding is not settled as Clara brings things back to it with Adrienne’s departure. “Of true, they would not if be much for fading in when of in the ballroom. But there is no of requirement for me to be of there, of aye? Everyone of will be of focused upon of Prince of Tristan, his of bride…the other of royals like of yourself….the honored of guests from Alhazred…and of course of posturing about the archducal of vote….” All so very much was occurring in Rivana really, the ‘touched’ sister of the King was not something that rated high on the overall scale of focus…unless one was a Huntress. “Of true, besides, only of the Queen is actually of being of allowed to start of fashion statements.” Fingers lightly pet Naois’ head,”That and Raelyn would be much of displeased with me if I did of such a thing,” and really Emilia was to dutiful to actually do something like that. Though out of them all….could perhaps actually get away with it. Being ‘touched’ and all. “You will be of seeing her of soon in of the dress….But of aye, it should be of fun to see of Sir of Aidric’s reaction to of it. And of watch as they do of their dance of pretending to be un-of-concerned that the other is even of there. “ Dark eyes shifting to Clara,”And should I of watch to see if any of one seems to take of particular of interest of you in of your dress?”


Luckily enough, Adrienne is oblivious to Clara's train of thought, in regards to Aidric preferring dresses piled on the floor to covering a certain Cassomir Huntress. But oddly enough, Clara's mention of the red dress she gave to Adrienne for the Royal wedding brings about a faint rosiness on the freckled cheeks - as if that dress in particular were stirring somewhat stirring memories. "Thank you," Adrienne offers, lowering her gaze as if to hide the sudden glint of her green eyes, "Emilia and I shall be grateful for it." Drawing attention away from them! She turns her head, a quick sideways glance given Emilia, before Adrienne's gaze shifts back to Clara, noting those turning gears. Oh my!

"I will wear a dress, and so will you!", the freckled Cassomir states then, towards her touched cousin, her tone conveying likewise bewildered amusement and stubborn insistence. "No leathers. One above!" Rolling her eyes there, in mock despair. "And what's up with you two bringing Aidric’s name up, again and again?" Words of faint protest that leave Adrienne's lips before she shrugs and moves off, with the dress on her arm. Leaving the two other ladies to their amusing thoughts and conversation.

When she comes back, shortly after - because Adrienne is usually quite efficient when it comes to tinkering with dresses, and maybe she even enlisted the help of a maid this time, as not to keep Emilia and Clara waiting - Adrienne will administer a knock to the door as to announce her return, and then enter. The new dress seems adequately fitted to her form, the blue color actually a nice contrast to the pale skin of her neck and arms. Her hair is done in a swift version of a courtly hairdo, no longer a braid but a fashionable whirl, kept in place with three hair needles at the back of her head.

Adrienne turns slowly, allowing her cousin and the princess a good view of her new attire, and she smiles when she glances towards the two over her shoulder. "An adequate dress, for a royal wedding, I daresay?", she asks, with the slight tremble of excitement in her tone.

Commentary as to why Aidric’s name keeps popping up is not offered by the princess. Clara certainly wasn’t the one that brought him up first. That…and Clara’s considerations over who just might like to see that red dress of hers has her tied up for the moment mentally. However, when Adrienne returns, with blue dress on and even her hair up…those cerebral gymnastics seize as Clara shifts to her feet. “Certainly more than adequate, Adrienne! It is fantastic!” Clara, ever exuberate when it comes friends and fashion, immediately performs a slow orbit around the blue-clad Huntress, those brown eyes of hers examining the ensemble in detail. “See, I knew it would look good on you. You and I are so similar in build…was just a matter of picking the right shade of blue.” Clara refrains herself from embracing Adrienne…catching herself just in time. Perhaps it is that she doesn’t want to jeopardize marring the dress.

As Clara returns back to her seat, a sidelong cast of the eyes is given to Emilia. “You can watch, if you want. But, I doubt there will be any immediate interest in me, dear Emilia, regardless of what I chose to wear.” There is a light shrug, accompanied with a smile. “I will most likely be playing the hostess role once more, so I will be much too busy to notice. And, I am sure there won’t be many who will be looking for me….or at least many that would be able to make it past Alaina and her detail to get to me. Your mutual cousin is awfully protective…and extremely good at her duties.”

Ah, innocent naive Clara. Always assuming no one is focused on her and always surprised when she discovers people are.


A faint shrug is given to answer why Aidric’s name is coming up. Though Emilia is all to happy to let the matter of what she is to wear to Tristan’s wedding fade off…especially after being ‘chastised’ by both of them on the idea of wearing leathers.

Dark eyes do turn to the door to watch Adrienne reappear wearing the dress. Though her eyes do flicker towards Clara when she goes bounding up out of her chair. The corners of her lips briefly tugging up with a hint of amusement. “It is quite of lovely upon you, Adrienne. And I of agree, more than of adequate to wear to of the wedding.” A few light ear scratches being given to Naois’ as she watches Clara orbit Adrienne.

But what Clara says as she returns to her seat had Emilia sending Adrienne a faint look. As if people would be paying attention to the two of them /over/ Clara. “Hostess you might yet be of playing, but you are of yet being a Princess and that of alone has of people giving you of interest. Never of mind, as you were of saying you and Adrienne are being of a similiar-ish of build…if you think she of looks quite of grand in of her dress….how do you of think you are looking in of your own?” Those lips do their odd tugging thing, ”And of while Alaina is quite of good at her of job,” Emilia would expect nothing less from a Lancer, especially a Cassomir Lancer, ”I do of doubt she will deflect away those seeking of dances at of such a function.”

“Jaren’s new of position might of bring of interest to Adrienne and I of now, of which we are both quite of aware” Emilia sharing a faint look with Adrienne, might…it was a certainty…”But of Clara, your position alone brings you of attention all of upon its own.”


Adrienne will complete her turn nonetheless, giving the skirts a slightly daring whirl as she comes to a halt, to receive the verdicts of the princess and the lady cousin. "It fits perfectly," she announces to Clara, "and yes, such has proven quite the advantage with the other dress as well." Her arms come up to return the embrace - only to lower again when the royal refrains from giving her a hug, out of compassion for the fine dress.

"Oh sure," Adrienne continues then with a giggle. "No immediate interest, Clara. Who are you trying to fool here? A beautiful young Princess, clad in a dashing red dress… Your humility is an affront to our quite developed Cassomir sense." She shakes her head, a little bit too enthusiastically, as one strand of hair escapes the rather rushed hairdo and needs to be tucked back behind an ear. Rolling her eyes in a good-natured way at the mention of their Lancer cousin, before Adrienne agrees with Emilia's assessment. "She is right. You will be bound to attract attention even more than Emi and I. We are merely relatives of the Queen's husband, while you," and here her green eyes flash in a brief dramatic glare, "have royal blood rolling through your veins! Which will cause you to receive far more requests for dances than Emilia and I together."

“And more need to filter such requests appropriately.” Now it is Clara’s turn to roll her eyes. “It isn’t me that they want to dance with. It is the Princess….the title. Just because my father happened to be brothers with Alysande’s father. I didn’t do anything to deserve such attention.” A toss of the head causes auburn locks of hair to fly in the air, which are promptly placed in check with a casual flip of Clara’s hand. “My blood isn’t any more royal than either of yours. It is the same as everyone else. I am just a fortunate victim of happenstance.” There is almost an undertone of disgust in there…just buried underneath. “People dance with me to make a name for themselves. I oblige, because to tell them otherwise would be impolite at best and scandalous at worst. Yet, if I dance, then there will always be someone around a corner whispering that I shouldn’t have danced with such-and-such, because he is only a upjumped noble or that I shouldn’t have chosen that song to dance to because that song is much too spirited or whatnot.” Those eyes return to Adrienne, and there is a smile…but it is a sadder sort of smile. “You see, it doesn’t matter what I personally do. Everyone is going to be expecting the Princess….not me. And, no matter what, there will always be some sort of fault found…all because of a title.”

A sigh from the Tracano…then Clara rather unceremoniously flops back in her chair, her limps sprawling rather un-royal-like about. “That’s what I meant by no immediate interest. It isn’t me that those would-be suitors are seeing.” Her hands flutter about, shooing away the negativity that just leaped into her brain. “Oh, forgive me! I just get soooo tired of people thinking that one surname automatically makes one better than another. I am no better than either of you…and yet I think that the three of us are quite better than half of the Rivanan court, merely because we know who we are supposed to be.” Then, a laugh. “But, yes…I will do my duty as distraction so that the two of you can bear wearing such frivolous garments to the wedding ball. If, for any other reason, for me to actually see what reactions may come from all those pretenders. I so do love surprising them.”


There is just a very mild rising of one brow as Emilia listens on to Clara’s little…tangent. Of all the people to…preach about that too. “And of like any of one cared to of dance with of me before mine brother was betrothed? That there was if any of interest in of me before Jaren was to be of King? They do not care about of me…they wish to dance with the King’s sister…to have a connection to the King. “ She shakes her head a little bit,” They at least of respect of you, first because of the title…no of doubt. But they do not of think you are some weak of minded dim-of-wit that your of family would be of happy to be rid of, or have of settled. That they might of jump at the first offer of your hand because you are of ‘touched’ and the only of worth is that of whom you might share of blood with. That of blood, and family might be what first of draws of their interest to you, whether you are liking it of not..or even seeing of it…but they at least find of worth of beyond of that. Perhaps they do only of see the Princess and not truly of who you are but at least they do not see of you as some of dim of witted fool who ought to be of given to the of church to be kept.” For all of the…energy that might actually risk showing up in those words, least for Emilia, that stoic mein stays well in place. “They may of whisper about of whom you of dance with but they do not of speak in tones dripping with of pity because someone ought to of dance with you.”

There is a pause if only to take a slight breath. “Do you not of notice that the attention I get when I wear of such…frivolous of garments, to actually wear of a fine dress…comes with whispers of how someone must have of dressed of me? Decided for of me? That it surely cannot be of the ‘touched’ Cassomir, not of her of all of people.” Emilia’s hand dances at both Clara and Adrienne in turn,”You of wear such of things and people of admire the look, the fashion of sense…of you. We are all of looked of upon, attention of give and of brought because of titles, of whom we are related of to….it is not of a thing we can be of changing. Nor of put of end to of the whispers. But in of the end, Clara, you are going to have interest and attention your of way whether you take of notice of it or not.”

Who knew Emilia had such a sore spot for the topic! “So do not of think I do not of understand why of the attention is given to of any of us….just of understand that when you or Adrienne of wear of a fine of dress the attention that you of get is different from what I of get.” Her dark eyes drifting over to Adrienne,”Which you will draw of attention in of that, for you do look stunning in of it.” A small tugging at the corners of her lips,”Sir of Aidric will of quite of appreciate it.” Her comments were sincere, Adrienne did look quite lovely in the dress. And well..how could Aidric /not/ appreciate it.


"Again, you are bringing up Sir Aidric!", Adrienne exclaims in faint protest, giving Emilia another faint glare. Even so, the conversation has obviously taken on a direction that leads away from all the giggling lightness they had shared prior. Adrienne's mirth dims when the princess laments the lack of interest in her person by those that request dances with her. And then the mood turns even more somber, when the touched Cassomir vents her own frustrations on the topic. This is too much to be endured standing as she was just a moment ago, and so Adrienne Cassomir needs to take a seat. Her hands moving to assist in arranging the skirts of her lovely dress as she draws the chair out further, and then settles herself upon it, hands folding before her in her lap. "This is serious talk indeed…", the freckled lady intones thoughtfully. "And talk that makes me dread the upcoming festivity for the sakes of you both! I, for my part, am glad I'm just an insignificant cousin to the King, and things people might whisper behind my back may only be minor offensive remarks, such as… 'When did she crawl out of the woods?' or, 'Did you see those freckles?'" A faint chuckle leaves Adrienne's lips and she shakes her head, thereby bringing a little more disorder to her hastily arranged hair-do.

"Honestly… Why do we put up with this? Because that is how the game is played. We are aware, but shall we allow that to bring us down?" Her head comes up, Adrienne lifting her chin as she glances from Emilia to Clara. "This brings… rather undutiful ideas to my mind, like… not going at all; that we should perhaps dress up as commoners and sneak off to enjoy the wedding at one of the feasts for the commoners. Where they perform those scandalous dances of old Rivana tradition," Adrienne's smile returns, and an amused glint flashes in her green eyes. "Anyone there would be completely oblivious to our identities. Of course, a lad that would ask either of us to dance would do so, because he'd think us comely. But would he really be that different from the courtiers we'd encounter at court? Judging us for our looks, not our personality. And yes, I am sure you two would once again fare much better there, than I." Her shoulders lift in a shrug. "Foolish idea, I know. Not a feasible plan, but an amusing game of make believe. Besides. We wouldn't get to wear those lovely courtly dresses. And all three of us are too dutiful and sensible… and would probably have a bad conscience not to be there in person to congratulate the Prince of Fools and his lady to their union.", muses Adrienne Cassomir with another light shake of her head. "So I believe, there are no other options open to us, than just to attend the feast, and bear with it."

The smile that was on Clara’s lips fades as Emilia sets her straight on the manner of perceptions. That fading smile swiftly morphs into a frown….and then an unabashed look of shame, as Clara realizes that she has been entirely too selfish, even when she thought otherwise. One of the points Emilia makes spins around in Clara’s head…enough for Clara to vocalize it, if only quietly…merely a whisper. “Dresses decided for you…” That only grows with the realization that Clara had been doing exactly that, even if she was doing it as a friend. “Oh…by the One above! I…I am doing that! To…to both of you! I feel absolutely horrid now…” Nothing like a slap of reality to bring Clara back down to the level she preaches she is on. The tone, once happy if not a little pretentious, is reserved and humbled. “I….I apologize. I didn’t realize…” Clara didn’t realize that yes, even she was doing the very same thing Emilia lamented about, at least in the perception of others. An epiphany that has very much taken the wind out of Clara’s sails.

The suggestion of abandoning the political game…to masquerade as commoners….causes Clara to sit up, to turn her attention to Adrienne. “If…if only we could. I…I daresay that we could get away with that. Certainly not here…in Sunsreach.” Those brown eyes drop as Clara speaks, soft and demure. “Perhaps…if we went to some far flung corner of the kingdom, it might work. But…it will be nearly impossible. Not with the Lancer guard, nor your own Huntress detail.” The eyes don’t look up…and the princess just slouches. “I…I am afraid you are correct, Adrienne. There….are no options left. It is…a duty…and a burden. To attend the feast.” Duty and burden to go eat and be seen. Spoken like a true noble. Still…Clara doesn’t look up. Not to Adrienne and certainly not to Emilia. She keeps her eyes downward…upon her feet, or the floor. Never up. Not now.

“I’m sorry.” The words are softly spoken…and with no specific address as to whom they are for. But…under the circumstances, it is almost obvious. They are for both Cassomirs, but for one over another.


After Emilia had said her piece, her fingers had taken up a block of cheese only to discard it and find way to the small bowl of grapes. One being selected and lightly turned about in her fingers before being placed on the table. Then another is taken up, and slowly turned about before it too is placed upon the table. At Adrienne's faint protest, Emilia raises a faint brow at her, but gives no response. In truth, Emilia sits silently as she listens to both of them respond to her little…rant. It was uncommon for her to actually voice those sorts of thoughts, that vein of discord of her life. More rare than actual smiles to hear such voiced from her. And the result is perhaps why… As she listens, more grapes are selected, each slowly being turned before being added to the table, a small pyramid slowly resulting. A habit that both present are likely familiar with, even if not fully understanding. After that soft apology comes from Clara, fingers select up another grape, it is slowly turned. That perfect side being found before it is put into position to be the top grape atop the pyramid. After it is placed, wordlessly does Emilia move from her seat but she does not stand, but slip to settle at the foot of Clara's chair. And thus, it is no longer her feet that Clara has a view of…but that dark eyed, stoic Cassomir.

Emilia's hands slip to grasp Clara's. "If you are of having anything to be of sorry for, is being of such a person I can be so of free to say such of things and be of listened of to, dear of Clara. Just as you are of free to say of such things, and be of reminded that others do of understand of such frustrations. After of all, would it be just of any of one who would of dare to say such of a thing to of Princess of Clara?" As if most the rest of Rivana's Court would dare to counter a opinion of a Tracano Princess (least not to her face). "You do of dress of me, and of Adrienne, but not in the way they are of thinking. I am not of some mindless of doll that you play of with and try to of help House of Cassomir with of their 'touched' one. You help of us with dresses because we are of asking for such of help. And of continue to of ask for of it because you do have good of taste and…" there is just a faint tugging at the corners of Emilia's lips, "because I can of see you enjoy to of do. It brings of you happiness to be let of loose to be of creative and not just find of a dress, but to of design of one." Yes, Emilia had noticed the fun Clara had when she got a chance to sketch away when given leave to the task. "Do not be of sorry for of the reactions that I must of endure, for they always find of something to whisper of about. Just of know now what it is of exactly you are of asking me to of embrace and of seek. And that we of under-of-stand much of what you of endure, even if in different of ways." Each of the three had their lives turned about in some way, even if to different degrees and in different ways. Her voice drops a little as she speaks to Clara, "Remember of why I risked to invite you to the trees that first or time and remember you are not of alone." The Cassomir giving Clara's hands a little squeeze.

There is that dead pan turn as Emilia's voice returns to normal levels, "And you of all chastised of me for wishing to wear of leathers and blend of in, and now you of want to go sneaking of out?" Emilia shakes her head a bit at this, speaking to both of them as she shifts back from Clara after another squeeze of her hands. But there is just a hint of mirth to be found in those dark eyes as this suggestion seems to be coming up. "But of aye, I will wear of a dress…and we will not be of sneaking of out upon the Prince’s of wedding, for we are of too dutiful to do of such a thing and risk of marring our of Houses with such of behavior at an of event where there will be so many of eyes." A pause comes as she gives Clara a slight look, "But you are of wrong upon one of account, Clara of Tracano, we need not of flee to some of hidden corner to slip of away in such a fashion. Do you really of think that many give much of notice to me when I am with another of Huntress? More of oft they only of see a pair of Huntresses, nothing of more. " A faint little tugging occurs at the corners of those lips, "While we will of do our duty as is of expected of us, there are of options. Perhaps of not to fully of shed the of burdens we each of carry, but to at of least forget of them for a time." Giving Clara a meaningful look as she continues, "So after of this business with the wedding, we will find of a day to meet of again of here and remember of what it is of being to be of pixies and," looking between Clara and Adrienne both, "so of what should the pixies of scale of the wall after of the trees and take to exploring of the city? Of aye?"

Oh and if Adrienne hoped there would be no further comment about Aidric that hope is dashed, for as Emilia does return to her seat finally, she gives a glance towards Adrienne, "And Sir of Aidric is yet of brought up, because you cannot be of denying you lack of thoughts in of wondering just how he is to react in seeing of you dressed of so, and what he will be of thinking." A flickering glance towards Clara before adding, "And I am of thinking Clara likes to see of us of blush as much as she likes of seeing of us in fine dresses, that suit us more than we are of liking to agree to."


Adrienne can hardly remain seated as she is, when she sees and hears Clara's reaction to Emilia's venting of frustrations. The Huntress rises to her feet, her steps taking her swiftly over to where Clara sits. Her hand comes to rest on the Tracano Princess's arm, green eyes shifting to Emilia suddenly kneeling before Clara on the ground, and then - very briefly - towards the table with the tower of grapes the touched Cassomir had begun to construct.

"I am grateful for the help you've given me," the freckled Huntress assures softly towards Clara then, "and regardless, how clever we try to come off, we simply do not know how it feels to be a princess." Saying as much in attempt to smooth the waves, "So, don't you dare to apologize!" A snort then, to Clara's rather hopeless outline and conclusion, even so, Adrienne stays silent for a moment, when her cousin speaks up, she leaving the talking to Emilia, a slow nod occurring here and there to show agreement with the touched Cassomir's words.

Then, freckled features twist into an attitude of amusement, green eyes glinting with daring mischief. "Aye, we can easily get away with such a ruse," Adrienne opines with a soft chuckle, "Emilia and I are Huntresses and could easily choose a more common garb. One more Huntress may not catch anyone's notice. Especially if we mask this by inviting you to stay with us at the Cassomir Manse overnight. We can sneak easily off, using the darkness to our advantage. The only question is… where shall our daring adventure take us…?" Delighted optimism is evident in her smile, that dims just so when Emilia persists on the Aidric matter. And air leaves her lungs in a pronounced exhale. "I will not deny I am wondering what he will think of the dress," she finally admits. "Even if I don’t know whether I will even get the chance to speak with him at the feast." No blush there, but a slight wrinkling of her brows, as Adrienne Cassomir considers. Before her features shift into a more amiable expression. "And true, Emilia. We owe Clara the sincerest gratitude for causing us to blush even more, and making us actually look good and adequately dressed while we do."

“You owe me nothing.” Clara chooses to respond to the most recent sentiment, before attempting to work her way back through the conversation. “You…you both have offered your friendship. I could not possibly ask for anything else, including gratitude. I…only offer what I do because I enjoy your company and it allows me to contribute back.” The soft tone strengthens, somewhat, as Clara’s attention shifts from the spot of floor formerly occupied by Emilia upwards, to both Huntresses in the room. “While it does amuse me to see you fret so over a simple matter of fabric and thread, I would never do so maliciously. It doesn’t matter if I am a princess, a minor lady, or a simple peasant. I would do the same regardless.” There is a pause. “It just so happens that I can afford more elaborate displays now. But, would it be necessary, I would make the dresses myself for you, rather than merely draw them.” Judging from her quarters, where both Cassomirs have been in, Clara seems to have enough skill to do that, albeit perhaps not as fancy.

The Tracano’s attention shifts, ever so slightly, to Emilia. “I..sometimes wish people would be as candid and honest as you, dear Emilia. It is a refreshing alternative to the usual absurdness of Courtly interactions. I daresay that more of us could be of benefit of such daring. Even Her Highness, Princess Clara Tracano.” The whole title is given, but not without a slight mocking tone. After all, this is still Clara, scoffer of titles, speaking. “It helps to remind people that there are others outside of their solitary existence that have similar issues. It helps to remind me that we are all the same in our struggles. It…is something the rest of the nobles could use as a reminder.” Clara takes a moment to straighten herself in her chair, regaining some of that lost composure….looking more like her usual self. “Just as I needed the jolt of awareness…to realize that I have been depriving the pixie within me of her time in the trees.” A slight smile curls the corners of Clara’s lips. “She…will need to be released soon. Not during the wedding, for yes, we all have obligations to perform and honor to bring to our houses. But…soon afterwards, I would imagine.” A beat, as a thought clouds Clara’s features. “Though…if that pixie were to clamber over the wall and escape…she might need assistance in disguising herself. She looks far too much like me to likely get away much farther than the wall itself.”

As Clara addresses the pixie within, that smile grows and grows. “I always did want to be a Huntress. Even in Lonnaire, where it was nearly blasphemous to think of such, I thought it would be rather thrilling to be one…back when I had less cares.” A chuckle escapes her throat. “Perhaps I will find out what is it like soon enough. Though….I still think it will be difficult to disguise. But….the more I think about it…the more fun it seems to be.”


There is a faint tugging at the corners of Emilia’s lips,”And our friendship is of offered because we of enjoy of your company and you being of you.” It was a rather circular cause and effect thing that. “It is because that you would of do so of regardless, that is is of who you are being, that I ask such of help of you. Because I know you would of give help for any of other reason because of a true wish to of help and enjoyment that is not of malicious of intent. As you know I of ask because I wish of mine-friends true of help, not because I am of wishing to stay I was of ‘dressed’ by of Princess of Clara.” Just as when Emilia, or Adrienne, ever offered their help in turn, it was not because they wished to earn favor, they simply wished to help a friend when and if they can.

“Of perhaps, they could use of such candid-of-ness, but you know as well as of I, they could not of handle of it. Their sensibilities would be to of bruised. It is of against of the game and dance of Court and politics.” A thing all present knew to some extent. Dark eyes drift from Adrienne to Clara,”Clara…you may come to be of surprised at of how easy it can of be. When the pixie is set of free and let to of explore and of wander, dress in of simple of enough leathers…do you really of think that people give of much mind to look of close? “ A somewhat knowing look in her eyes as she gives that bit for Clara to consider. “But it is of seeming we are of agreed of then, duties to be of seen to and then of time for another of gathering to see to the freeing of pixies, with help of being of given to properly of dress a Clara pixie. “

Emilia gives Adrienne an incline of her head when there is that admission about Aidric and his thoughts. Not pressing the issue any longer, especially as she does see there are more thoughts behind those eyes. And not about to point out that the blushing mostly occurs when it was a team effort, no need to give people ideas! “With such of things of decided, I am of thinking it is of time for you to be of getting out of the lovely of dress,” a glance to Adrienne,” and we enjoy of the food before Naois is of claiming it of all for him-of-self.” The ferret in question having gotten on to exploring the table…and knocking over that little pyramid of grapes in the processes!

"So…", Adrienne drawls shifting her gaze from Clara to Emilia and back to the Princess again, her fingers smoothing the skirts of her lovely blue dress. "It seems we have lots of trouble ahead of us.", she says, with mischief evident in the glint of her green eyes and her tone. "There is the battle of a ball to be braved, where we are to fend off some and engage others in duels of dancing. I'll look forward to verbal skirmishes, if there are to be had any…" Words trailing off, as her freckled features twist in a half-smile. "And then… there is the challenge of abducting a pixie…, to help it escape from its golden prison, at least for a time, hmm?" She chuckles, an ease in her manner as she shares conspiratorial glances with the charming Tracano and the touched Cassomir.

It is Emilia though that directs her attention towards the Tower of Grapes, in the moment a certain ferret decides its untimely destruction. "Tsk! Bad Naois!", Adrienne comments with a slightly reproachful shake of her head, a movement that causes more dark brown strands to escape the hairdo. And suddenly she realizes she is still wearing the dress and exposing it to possible dangers before it is to be paraded around at the wedding feast. "I shall change back to my Huntress attire," the freckled one announces with an odd smile. "This… I shan't wear until the day of the wedding. Which will happen in a few days anyway." Her eyes demurely lowered, the freckled Cassomir lady executes a slightly exaggerated curtsey - which looks even more hilarious given her slightly dishevelled hair. "If you would excuse me, Your Highness. Dear lady cousin. I shall be right back" And then she moves to the door, shooting Clara and Emilia an amused glance before she leaves them to their company, a faint giggle echoing in the hallway after the door has closed behind her.

A chorkle escapes from Clara…a highly un-princess-like sound. “Battle of the Ball? You make it sound like a war zone, Adrienne.” Still, it did bring a smile to Clara’s face…one that remains as Clara nods in the affirmative to Emilia’s statements. “And we certainly don’t want to bruise sensibilities. They take the longest to heal. We can’t have that.” There might have been more, but Naois provides the distraction that derails Clara’s train of thought. Though, judging from the delight in seeing the ferret do his usual duty, Clara doesn’t seem to care much that she was interrupted. “No…not Bad Naois. Simply mischievous Naois. He is being his usual charming self.” Though, the ferret hardly needs any defending from Clara as he goes about his business.

With a completely false exasperated sigh, Clara shoos Adrienne out with both hands towards the door. “Go on, silly! Go change back. We must save our strength for the skirmishes on the dance floor. Now is not the time for the silk armor to be worn.” The princess shifts to sit up fully, offering a wry little smirk as Adrienne heads for the door. “But, hurry back, and we can coordinate when we can set that hidden pixie free.” Then, with an aside to Emilia, Clara adds. “And then you two can finally get payback for all my wardrobe meddling and play dress up with me.”

As Adrienne closes the door, her giggle in the hallway is joined by a distinctive laugh from within the sitting room. The two tones intermingle, merging into one shared expression, before fading as the pair left within the room talk amongst themselves, patiently awaiting the return of their fellow conspirator, so that the true plans of future mischief can be crafted.

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