Title: A Garden at the House of Elenren
RP Thread Number: 25
When Occured: Between Sessions #16 and #17
Location: Dawn Manor (House of Dawn)
Out of Game Date: Nov 04 – Nov 06, 2018
Participants: Anglerond, Alluvian, Keyleth
Original Thread: http://silkandspices.freeforums.net/thread/245/garden-house-ellenren
Previous Thread: The Room Where Jack Slept (11/05/18 – 11/06/18)
Next Thread: Duin Cafe (11/06/18 – 11/10/18)
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Key wanders into the garden just as the sun begins to rise. She’s wearing loose, flowing clothing and no weapons. Her hair in in one long braid down her back. She sets a jug of water on a bench and steps out into the center of the garden where there is the most room to move. Taking a few deep breaths to center herself, she begins to move her arms and legs in slow fluid motions that resemble the martial arts she practices.
After about an hour she reaches a graceful conclusion. She takes another deep breath and seems to appear lighter. As if she was able to shed some inner turmoil with the shapes she made. She sits down on the bench and drinks off half the water and sets the jug down. She closes her eyes and lifts her head, letting the sun warm her.
Alluvian detaches herself from the rose bushes surrounding the garden area that Keyleth is sitting in. She glances over at Anglerond who hasn’t moved from the entrance of the garden and a small, mischievous smile crosses her face, as if she has won something. She walks up to Keyleth, warmth and happiness at seeing her big sister, and sits down beside her.
“That looks tiring, kind of seems boring too. Is that how you fight? Sort of like the weird dancing that Rabbit does when she is alone here?”
Key opens her eyes and smiles down at her little sister. Tranquility radiates from her. “It is a bit tiring, but not boring to me. I’ve never seen what Rabbit does here so I can’t make any comparisons there. What I was doing is based on a very old style of fighting yes, but now it’s used more for exercise and meditation. I could teach you if you like, it may help after you have a vision.” She pauses for a moment, looking Alluvian over.
“How are you after the last few days? A lot has happened. How do you feel about becoming queen?”
Alluvian smiles brighter. “I would like that. Rabbit hissed at me and told me it wasn’t for me when I asked her. I think she was trying to scare me off, but it was kind of funny, I am about as tall as her.”
She looks out at the garden, “I feel fine about what has happened. I have slept well and I know Nestrim is a little lost because he gave up the throne, something he has always known he was on. But I think he is happier now, he can focus on what he believes is more important.
She looks back up at Key, “As for me, I don’t worry about it. I won’t ever become queen so it isn’t a big deal. I don’t even really think about it, except to dread the tutoring mother will make me do.”
Key chuckles. “I suspect that what I do and what she does are two very different things.” She pauses for a moment thinking about which question to ask first.
“I have a lot to thank Nestrim for. Is he really okay with all this? No, don’t answer thst I will ask him myself.” She looks Alluvian over.
“When you say sleep, do you mean meditate? What do you mean you’ll never be queen? Of course you will. Did you say that mother is going to make you torture people?”
Alluvian looks confused. “I said tutoring… she is going to make me be tutored… but that is sort of like torture. Instead of me torturing someone, they will torture me. Oh and I always sleep when I have visions, they say its a trance but I am sure those are dreams I am having, not ‘visions’.” with that Alluvian uses air quotes.
Key pulls an ‘oops’ face. “Sorry, not sure why I heard the word torture. But learning is important. If Ive learned nothing from all that’s happened in the last few days its that educating your self so you have a basic understanding of what is being done and why is crucial.” She elbows Alluvian lightly.
“Maybe we can take some lessons together. I think that you may be in a class or two ahead of me.”
Alluvian has a small look of relief that quickly disappears, as if almost falling off a step and avoiding it. “I think it would be great to take classes together. Are you going to stay with the order now that you are going to be queen?”
Key takes in a big breath and lets it out. “That is a very good question. I think I need to talk with my order and see what they think. Im not sure it will be possible though.” Her eyes flick up to Anglerond.
“More than one oath can create more issues than it solves.”
Alluvian looks up at Anglerond as well and smirks when she notices he doesn’t even twitch at Key’s needling. “I think everyone will have a problem if you can be ordered by the head of a Monk outpost. Besides, your people need you badly. A lot of things will happen before things get better.”
Key wraps an arm around Alluvian’s shoulder and pulls her closer into a hug. “You are much wiser than I sister. When Im in Kokand next I’ll visit the monastery and have them release me from my vows.” She seems a bit sad when she says it.
“Have you dreamt about anything in the future yer?”
Alluvian buries her head into Key’s chest chuckling. Hugging her as tight as she can. “I sometimes know things, but I don’t see them. Sometimes something just seems it will happen and it does, or doesn’t depending. Veronwe says I am a scribe oracle, not a… premonitory oracle. I think he is making arbitrary distinctions because the gods don’t even know why some people have sight.”
Key cocks her head. “What’s the difference between the two? You know I’ll help you find a way to set this power aside if you want to. All I want is for you to be happy.”
Alluvian sits back down, she watches Anglerond’s back for some time thinking, a sad look crosses her face before it disappears with a smile. She then looks at the rose she had picked sitting in her hand. “The way Veronwe explains it. There are four kinds of oracles, each has their own place and there is bleed over between them. The first sees the future, the premonitory Oracle. The future however is cloudy and minor details can change so you can never be sure what will happen specifically or how.”
She turns back towards Key, “I am a clairvoyant oracle, or at least he believes. I can see with clarity what has happened, when it has happened. However, I have a hard time looking back in time, so I can miss things.”
She sets the rose on the bench beside her, “The other two are historical oracles… he had some big name for them, they can see what has happened in the past. Then there are the questioning oracles, they see nothing unless they are asked a question and sometimes they can give an answer that would be unknown otherwise. There is what he calls bleed over, I can sometimes get feelings about the future, or maybe sometimes I might know part of an answer unbidden, but my area is quite soundly a clairvoyant oracle.”
She looks up again, “Does that make sense to you?”
Key watches her while she speaks. Taking in all that she says. “It makes perfect sense. Thank you. You didn’t answer my second question though, do you want me to try and find a way to get rid of this power for you?” She looks over to Anglerond for a moment, then back to her sister.
Alluvian shrugs. “I wouldn’t worry about it, I do know it won’t go away.”
Key rolls her eyes and smiles. “If you change your mind just let me know.” She shifts her weight on the bench.
“The house in Kokand is coming along nicely. I have a room all planned out for you. I know it will be harder logistically for you to come, but I still want you to spend time there with us.” She leans in to whisper.
“Would you mind if Anglerond joined us? I feel like Im talking behind his back with him sitting all the way over there.”
“Of course he can come over and talk, although I don’t think he takes orders from me so that is up to you to convince him to come over.”
“I can’t give him orders either. But I’ll ask him politely and we’ll see if that works.” She raises her voice to carry.
“Anglerond, would you like to come over here and sit with us?” She turns back to talk to Alluvian while she waits for him to answer.
“Should I add some space for you to sculpt into my house in Kokand?”
Alluvian laughs and then looks pleasantly surprised“He would do anything for you on a single word. I would love to have a place their for my artistic outlets. Nestrim is talking about getting me direct access to Kokand too..”
Anglerond turns on his heel after looking twice more around the garden. He walks over and sits down on the other side of Key. “How can I help my queen?”
Key smiles uncomfortably. “Im not so sure about that.” She quickly changes the subject.
“That would be amazing. Is he thinking about setting up a gate? He and I should talk, he could put the other end of the gate right in our compound.” She turns to Anglerond.
“I’d just like to talk to both of you to get to know you both a bit better. You can watch the door just as well from here right?” She smiles and rests a hand lightly on his knee.
Anglerond’s face becomes softer, a small smile peeking out as he looks down at his knee. “Where would you like me to start Key? Or perhaps you want to tell us a bit about what it is like growing up a Surana.”
Alluvian rolls her eyes“He was complaining about how much it would cost and how old I would be to repay that with my allowance.”
She then notices the looks between the two…
“Maybe I should go. I could go bother Jack or Luke. Maybe Rabbit would show me her dancing.” Alluvian begins standing
Key looks at Alluvian. “I think that Nestrim was kidding about your allowance. I can think of several reasons that he would want to build a gate. You don’t need to go if you don’t want to.” She smiles and answers Anglerond.
“I didn’t grow up Surana. I grew up Galanodel. And Inwas a spoiled brat.” She elbows him lightly.
He touches her leg in return. “I can’t see you a spoilt brat, it doesn’t seem you would be like that if you joined an order helping others. Why did you join?”
Alluvian looks unsure and sits back down“As long as you don’t mind. I know he is joking, he always gives me a hard time. Artherien never understood that Nestrim loves me, he just isn’t as friendly about it as Glorion”
Her face grows dark for a moment, then it passes and it returns to her sunny smile.
“I don’t mind at all.” Her face is sad for a moment. “Anyone with eyes can tell Nestrim loves you. Arthurian didn’t understand a lot of things. You haven’t dreamt about him lately have you” She looks to Anglerond.
“I was a petulant child. I didn’t take my adult name until I was forced to at the last possible minute. The only thing I was ever interested in was weapons and weapon practice. My parents heard about the order and the monastery and so I went thinking I would quit after a few weeks. Twenty years later I was still there and found myself a changed person.” She shrugs.
Alluvian shrugs noncommittally“Not that I remember. I don’t think you were spoilt, you just hadn’t found yourself.”
He laughs abruptly and fairly loudly at Alluvian’s comment. “What is important is that you learned Key. You are a great person. You don’t have any regrets do you?”
Key looks mildly uncomfortable. She asks Alluvian. “How do you know about my childhood? I thought you couldn’t look backwards?”
She looks over to Anglerond. “Im going to turn the tables on you. It occurred to my late last night. Who is your other oath to? I know your first oath was to the Rangers. But you said you had another. Who is it to?”
Alluvian freezes when she hears the question asked of Anglerond and immediately looks away as if she saw something very interesting. “Nestrim had a bunch of people look into you after the first time you showed up and then again when you announced your Surana blood Alluvian still won’t look at the two others sitting there, she seems to be waiting.
Anglerond freezes momentarily, his face hardening almost immediately with undirected anger and a flicker of something else. He sits for a few moments thinking, then realizing his queen has asked him a direct question he turns his face towards her, watching, evaluating. He answers her in two words. “My wife.”
Key shoots up off the bench and turns around to face the pair. There is shock and anger on her face, but she schools her features to talk with Alluvian.
“I guess that’s fair. Im sure he would have wanted to know what kind of person his brother was going to marry. I’d be interested to know what he found out on the second go around. Im trying to put together a genealogy. He and I will definitely have to talk.”
She turns to face Anglerond. She lets the shock, anger and hurt bleed back into her features. When she speaks she is calm.
“Why wouldn’t you have told me that after I kissed you? Better question, why wouldn’t you have told me that before?”
She lets her head hang for a moment, whispering chastisement to herself. Then she lifts her head looking him straight in the eye and waits for him to answer.
Alluvian looks down and stops breathing, squinting her face as if she wished she wasn’t there.
Anglerond appears confused momentarily which turns into anger and hardness as he realizes what Key is insinuating. His words are hard edged. “My wife and family died a long time ago. I owe you nothing about them.”
Most of the emotion fades from her face. She narrows her eyes and crosses her arms across her chest.
“You would be right under normal circumstances, like if you had led with that piece of information. But instead the only two words that were the answer to my question were ‘my wife’. I don’t know your history. What would you have thought had I given you a cryptic response like that?” She holds up a hand to stall his response and her expression softens.
“Before you answer that let’s take this whole queen thing out of the equation. Let’s look at it the way I have been. I..” She gestures to herself. “am a woman who is attracted to a man.” She moves a graceful hand to indicate Anglerond.
“I have been trying to make it clear to said man that I am interested in him. I even kissed him. A clear enough indication of intent.” She kneels down so that they are eye to eye and rests her hands on his knees.
“Even though I have been hurt in the very recent past, I wanted this, I left myself open to it. You are right, you owe me nothing of your past. But I think that I’m not wrong in reacting the way I did given the way in which you answered me.”
Alluvian seems to find the ants in the garden incredibly interesting and worthy of her full attention. She steps away and bends down as if no one else was present in the garden.
Anglerond’s face softens. A flurry of emotion that ends in hesitation. “I am sorry about my response. It was overreacting and not right.”
He looks down. ”My attraction and feelings for you are there. You are the first woman I have thought of like this in a very very long time. Don’t get me wrong I wasn’t celibate, but there is a difference in this attraction.” He flashes a mischievous smile at her.
He looks away, “I wasn’t sure if that kiss was a desperate attempt to save your sister, or if maybe you had changed your mind because of what happened.”
Key takes her hands in his. “I thought I was kissing you good bye. I thought that the lies I would need to tell would put us on the opposite sides of a golf that could never be bridge. Since then things have been emotionally charged in different directions. Today is the first day Ive felt anything like normal.”
Anglerond looks confused and anxious. A quick panic hits him and his arms shoot out as he gently cups Key’s head as he leans in and presses his lips against hers.
Key leans forward into the kiss. Settling herself between his legs to get as close as possible. She lets the kiss linger for a while, then pulls away and her eyes dart toward her sister for a moment.
“Well, Im glad we are on the same page. Im okay with a repeat, but I don’t want to make Alluvian uncomfortable.” She gives him one last quick kiss on the lips then stands up and sits back down between the two. She rests a casual hand on his leg and continues talking.
“Are you okay Alluvian?”
A befuddled Anglerond lets go of Key, more intense emotions warring in his eyes as they settle into a calm state.
He rubs Key’s thigh affectionately as he watched Alluvian.
Alluvian looks up at Key and smiles. “I am fine, I just didny want to see a fight. His eyes have never been that happy before that I have seen.” She gives Key a wink.
As soon as she knows that her sister is okay she turns to Anglerond. “Are you okay? Whats going through your head?”
He smiles at Key, “Lots of thoughts. Some ranging from the worry that I will weaken my ability to protect you. I don’t want to add any risk because of personal emotions. That is followed with barely enough willpower not to see if I could explore you right here and now in the garden.”
He rolls is eyes in self-mockery. “I feel like a very very old teenager.”
She smiles and squeezes his knee. She goes a bit pink.
“I trust you to protect me to the absolute best of your abilities. If you are seriously worried about it then I can ask for another guard. I could always use your help in other areas.” Her mouth turns up at the corner.
“I only want you to do as you wish though. I’ll never as you or anyone else to be anything other than what you are.”
Seeing Key go pink just brings a larger smirk on his face and his eyes become more intense as he begins to chuckle, “I worry my feelings for you would slow down a necessary response. Although to be honest I am slowing down anyways so I shouldn’t even worry about it. Besides between you and Rabbit I am not sure I am even necessary.”
He looks at Key a little more seriously. “You are going to have a lot of obligations, including ones that will exclude me. If we are going to pursue anything, you have to promise me you will focus on what needs to be done in the end. I am always going to be here, but I understand what you being a queen means for eventual succession planning and alliances.”
Key tilts her head, smiling. Her voice is solemn and serious when she speaks. “I do so promise. The promise being made I will tell you two things. First, when I marry it will be a political arrangement. So as long as you are comfortable with the title of Queens Consort then I will marry to seal an alliance when the time comes. Second, house Surana is now and forever will be a matriarchy. So my daughters and my daughters daughters will inherit after me. No matter who their sires are.” Her smile is smug and she bats her eyelashes coquettishly.
“Fortunately if you make it a matriarchy no one will ask you who the father is… well maybe the man you marry. You also might consider not having a ‘king’, you could make them something like First Prince, or some other title. I have heard other cultures do similar things.”
Her face lights up with thought. “That’s a really good idea. That would keep people from trying to circumvent me don’t you think.” She gets up and manifest her sword, going through a series of practices while she talks.
“I don’t plan to have sex with the person I marry. Unless you think that would cause problems.”
Angelrond considers the question, then looks at her seriously. “First, this is always your choice. You have no obligation to me, or to anyone else to have sex with anyone, that definitely includes even me.”
He shifts uncomfortably “That being said, the biggest goal of joining political houses is a union that results in children from both houses. It is used as a way to cement a family line, even if matrilineal. There may be some expectations on the other side that you will want to deal with that way beforehand.”
You can see Key roll her eyes as she moves, but her movements give you no indication of her annoyance. She keeps moving for a few minutes, then nods her head ever so slightly as if she has accepted yet another duty to be placed on her shoulders. She flashes Anglerond a quick smile.
“Are you uncomfortable with possibly producing the next queen? Or with giving advice? If its the later I’ll try not to ask you anymore questions. If its the former… “ She trails off for a moment.
“I need to talk with Nestrim about that. It just seems to me that if Im the one doing the bearing, and Im the queen, shouldn’t I have a say?”
Angelrond nods. “It is always your say, but I suspect he will tell you that it is pointless to marry another house if they don’t feel they have a say in the new situation. It would have to be mutually beneficial.”
He smiles “I have no problem dispensing advice… as to whether you want to hear it would be another thing.”
Anglerond is pointedly silent about the subject of children.
Key keeps moving taking in what he said.. and didn’t say. “Okay, Ive been with someone that doesn’t talk about what’s going on at all. I may be talking to much about things but I think I prefer that to the other. If you don’t want any more children all you need to say so.” In a quick series of movements her sword vanishes and she ends up straddling his lap with his face in her hands.
“Or you can say Im not comfortable talking about it now and we will table the discussion for a later date.”
Angelrond once again surprised that the sword could disappear raises an eyebrow and without a thought reaches around and supports her behind as she is wrapped around him. He looks at her calmly. “I prefer the talking more than the silence. It doesn’t seem like you to be quiet anyways, so it works.”
There is affection in his eyes as he talks “I am not saying I don’t want children. To be honest that is something I hadn’t considered a possibility for centuries. One of the oaths of the Rangers is to bear no children. Also I am old as dirt, so not sure if I am capable and even so you deserve to have children with someone who is as young as you.”
Anglerond kisses her on the lips softly, “We can talk about that when you are ready to have children. You do have an advantage, you can have children and leave them safe and continue your adventures… I assume you won’t be giving up your life as it is, even when you do have children in the future?”
Key chuckles and a slow smile spreads across her lips. She leans back and unfastens the too few buttons on her top and exposes the top of her right breast and the dragon tattoo with the sword in its grip. She winks.
“You are right, I have a chronic inability to keep my mouth shut.” She refastens her top and leans forward.
“Im not sure I dump my children off to be raised by someone else. Also we need to finish our quest or there won’t be a world worth producing children in.” She sighs happily and leans forward to kiss his neck.
“Children can be a discussion for a later time. So what should we talk about instead?”
Angelrond can’t stop smiling from the peek he was given. “Whether you are a queen or an adventurer, you won’t have time for children. We sadly aren’t farmers with day jobs.”
His voice shivers at her attention “I am wondering if maybe you should get a gander at me before you even consider children. You haven’t seen me under these clothes… it could be all flat.” With that Anglerond seems to be looking around for a secluded part of the garden.
She stops kissing and pulls back to look at him. “That makes me a bit sad. Please don’t tell me I’ll never see my children?” Her smile turns sultry.
“Im confident that I will like what I see. Most armor is designed to be form fitting. You couldn’t fight the way you did yesterday if you had gone to fat. You should be more concerned about me. I wear no armor and baggy clothes.”
Key has Anglerond’s full attention.. “you would definitely see your kids between adventures or political missions.”
His voice gets a little raspier as he chuckles “Fat I am not, but pretty not so much. We don’t have clerics travel with us generally. The forest and the crow hunt them so they are too vulnerable out there. As for you, I have no fears, you don’t hide your body in armor so I can see enough of it, and I know Luke is a damn good healer.”
She lets her eyes travel the length of his body. “Scars add distinction. They are badges of honor to be carried proudly. They mean you survived.” She tilts her head, her brows draw together in question.
“How old are you? Or is it rude of me to ask?”
He smiles at her, “I am north of 550.”
He bursts out laughing, “I had hit middle age before you were born… oh gods I am probably going to hell… but I am thinking it’s worth it.”
“Huh, you are aging quite gracefully.” She suddenly looks self conscious.
“I feel as though I have a lot of catching up to do.” She picks up a lock of his hair and begins to toy with it. She shrugs, the light, playful expression coming back to her face.
“I guess I make up for a lack of experience with exuberance. Maybe I should get myself another body guard. I think you may find yourself to tired to do your duties more often than you would like.”
He runs his hand up her back, supporting her in his other hand while trying to look at her and look for a quiet spot , “You do not have to ever worry if you have experience or not. I like you and everything about you..”
He smiles at Key, “I look forward to being tired, but I don’t trust anyone to guard you but me, your sister or Luke and Jack, so we don’t need more guards.”
Key gives him a playful shrug. “Suit yourself. I guess we can table that discussion too.” She leans forward to whisper in his ear
“The first time we’re together isn’t going to be under a shrub with people looking on. So let me give our excuses to my sister then we can go to my rooms where I can lock the door. I think you may be a bit more relaxed that way.” She leans back to look at him, the question in her eyes.
He smiles at Alluvian, “have a good day little blossom”
He then turns to Key as they begin walking;“should we order food on our way in?.”
“No need to be sorry.” She leans forward again licking the side of his neck that Alluvian can’t see. She whispers.
“I want to take my time.” She leans back and turns to Alluvian.
“Will you excuse us sister? We have some things to discuss in private. We’re going to go back to my rooms.” She smiles sweetly at hwr and climbs off Anglerond’s lap and grabs her water container.
Alluvian has already been walking away from the two. She absent mindedly waves back. “Go have fun, I have to find Luke anyways” she looks back at the two and gives Key a huge smile..
She waves. A bit befuddled and embraced. She hadn’t noticed her rise. She turns back to Anglerond, holding out a hand to help him up.
“You need a hand up old man?” She askes playfully.
“You’ve been sitting there a while. Im sure your a bit stiff.” She chuckles at her own joke.
He smirks back at Key, “Stiffer then I have been in a long time, I need to work on that. Wouldn’t want to have my back go out in the middle of combat and leave you stuck with an old man.”
Key throws her head back and laughs. She looks down at him. A bit of seriousness leaks into her expression.
“Ive had to drag dead weight through a fight. Glorian passed out and started his transformation while we were recovering the banner. But we won’t let that happen. We’ll start with a message, then we’ll see how invigorated you are.” She smirks.
“Now lets go, the sooner we leave the more time we’ll have.”