(1874-08-07) Not Far From The Apple Tree
Not Far From The Apple Tree
Summary: Alia and Pompey meet and discuss all manner of things.
Date: 2018-08-07
Related: None
NPCs: None
Alia  Pompey  

Keep, Paras
The keep grounds. Pavilion, bench, apple tree.

The day had been long, hot, literally sand figuratively, but instructive. Alia had spent the morning with her lessons in wielding the sword which she had been gifted and the afternoon with the pair of battle wizards who had been tasked with giving her instruction when the Princeps was not available. And now, a chance to rest. Outside of the keep, as was her wont, as the windows were not nearly enough to cool the building for her comfort, but still within the yard.

But the day was finally passing down into early evening, and Alia sat at a small pavilion she had set out for herself, currently reoccupied with applying a numbing salve to a swath of red skin on her right forearm. There was another on her shoulder, but that had not yet been tended. She was dressed, as was her wont, in shirt and pants, cut for ease of movement, in a neutral dark green.

Pompey had spent most of the day in the legion armory trying to make sense of a lazy Prefect's notes. Having most of the important things accomplished, such as payroll and inventory count, he then assigned a steward to the prefect, just to make sure the old lazy bones could keep good record. Walking across the courtyard with a youth in tow, Pompey stops to take note of the new Tribune. "Nik, bring those scrolls to my quarters, and then take the evening off to relax." he tells the youth as the boy nods and bounds off.

Walking over to the new Tribune, Pompey is dressing in a tunic and breeches as well, though with a much finer cut, as well as his Gladius hanging from his hip. "Tribune, rough day at sword practice?" he asks as he leans against a tree, his voice a deep and smooth baritone, like he should have been a storyteller.

Alia rarely missed movement in the yard when she was out, and certainly, the arrival of the Consul caught her attention, though it slowed her not at all from tending to her injuries. He was about his own business and she about hers. Once he moved to approach her, however, she set aside the jar she had been scooping the salve of, setting it on the bench, "Consul. Ah, the first days are always rough, but I am improving." It was easier to see, as he approached, that rather than being the beginning of bruises from the flat of a sword, they were mild burns. "I have been working on control of my sorcery. And in learning to defend against it, I came out slightly the lesser in one of my drills."

Pompey nods and smiles. "Another caster, it's good to see that we have such skilled and talented people on our side." He says as he draws his sword and cuts two apples from the blooming tree he leans against, tossing one of those said apples to Alia. "An apple a day keeps the medic at bay, or so I'm told." he says as he sheathes his sword and takes out a cutting knife to start on his own apple. "How do you find Paras so far Tribune? hopefully your past hasn't been a hindrance to you?

Alia returned the smile, though it was a thing of restraint, as she, having given the greeting with the respect Pompey was owed, settled back onto the bench, reclaiming the jar. She took only a small amount, seeming to want to be as frugal with the unguent as possible. And now, to her shoulder. She managed only to apply the ointment before she reached out to capture the apple with her strong left hand. "I have sought to provide what service I can, as both a sorcerer and as an alchemist. One has already been proven, the other soon will be." She had acquitted herself well enough with both, but the tone of her voice clearly indicated that only passable success was not her desire. "I have encountered fair reactions and less so. But I do not think that I would be here at all, if concern about how I would be welcomed had been part of my considerations before I left Four Corners."

Pompey nods. "Good, I'd hate to lose an alchemist and a sorcerer. So I'm to understand that your family 'ruled' part of these lands before the savages swarmed in?" he asks offhandedly as he takes a bite from the apple. He looks at her with his right eye and takes in her tone and look, measuring her somehow. "Five hundred years ago, my family was proconsul to these lands before the empire ordered us to leave."

"The d'Meloni were given lordship over the lands just beyond Paras, at what was once the border between the Qatunax and the border of Aequor." Alia waited to prepare the apple for eating, applying that dollop of salve which had begun to soften with the heat which radiated from her skin. A clean cloth wiped the remainder from her hands after the work was done, before she reached to her belt, removing a small dagger. Barely more than a paring knife, small enough to fit easily into her hand. Rather than biting into it, she used the knife to cut slices, eating slowly, her expression thoughtful, "Then this is something of a homecoming for you, Consul."

Pompey chuckles. "My home is Astreaa, regardless of what my family did before this, I don't plan on staying here once our work is done, I have a capital to see rebuilt and a Prince to put on a throne." he says with a smile. "We will rise from this Tribune, and we will be stronger for it, as messy as it is, this shows us that there can be no corruption, and we must have unity." He says as he looks down at her.

"Perhaps not, Consul, but there is history in a place. And even if it is only in passing, a possible benefit to see where you have come from and know where you are going." Alia worked her way slowly through the apple, taking care to see the core preserved as she turned the fruit in her hand in time to the slicing of her knife, "Rarely have truer words been spoken. A man who will not rise to his feet after defeat, to my mind, should perhaps stay on his knees, deserving nothing better."

Pompey puts his knife away, holding up the core of the apple to the fading sun. "A lecture tribune? You sound as if I don't realize that already." he says with half a smirk. "The past is gone, the future is yet to come, but today is a gift, that's why it's called the present." he says with a smile.

'A person who has no will to better themselves, or learn from their mistakes, is not a person you would want in your camp. A master has failed more times than an apprentice has tried, always remember that."

"A lecture?" Alia offered a shake of her head at the question, "Not at all, simply a comment made, a musing brought on by your question about the connection I have to the lands not so far from here and the people who once held it." Alia, seeing Pompey finished with his apple, held out her hand, once she's retrieved the cloth she's used to clean her own, for the core, "The seeds have some very interesting properties. And in truth, I had not lived in those lands for many years, so long that I think, even had the Qatunax not invaded, I would have been a stranger there."

Pompey smiles and hands her the core. "Yes, the seeds are poisonous, you could crush them into someone's wine and end them, a easy way to get rid of a rival." he says with a smile. "Stranger or not, those lands will be liberated, and we will see it's people saved and set to rights."

Alia accepted the core with a soft word of thanks, placing her own, and wiping her knife, before she closed the cloth over them, setting the small bundle down by her side, "Nature, more often than I think many alchemists might wish to admit, informs much of what we create. And so…I experiment." A dip of her head, "Should they still live. And if not? Then the empire will gain land which offer good service."

Pompey smiles. "We will offer them the protection of the empire, as we have done thus far. Aequor has failed them, their king is a lethargic dying old man in some far away capital, and this Archduchess seams to me to be disconnected from the world around her. Their military is a patch work of -nobles- who bicker among themselves, and no council or senate to reign everyone in." He says as he looks at her. "To be truthful, I wanted to play nice and try and gain their support willingly, but that was met with a rather rude attitude, so, we do things the imperial way."

"The noble houses of the Kingdoms of the West are a fractious lot, and unable to field the sheer force of numbers required to win the war against the Qatunax. They keep back as much of their troops for their own defense, from what I have seen and read and been told, than they send to battle. I have had time to consider, in the years since the Qatunax came to d'Meloni, that this desire to protect themselves from threats they know, has left them vulnerable to the threat they cannot seem to fathom." Alia reached down, beginning the process of retrieving what few supplies she had brought with her, packing them back into the satchel she had brought them in, until then at her feet, with the ease of long practice."

Pompey nods and pushes from the tree. "That and they are stagnant, they cannot adapt to what needs to be done, they feel that their views are the same throughout the world… it's why the Qatunax confound them, because war is not about honor, it's about survival, and an honorable man, wont survive a den of evil."

Alia sets aside the bag she was packing, once again rising out of respect as Pompey did, "The western kingdoms have spent many years at war with each other. In the aftermath of that, they have allowed the fatigue of battle to draw a sort of blindness over their eyes. In the kingdoms ruled by nobility more so, places like Four Corners less so. And perhaps that comes from believing in a system of privilege. Where place is earned by blood, rather than the work of your own hands or the skill of your own mind. Something I think that the empire, certainly has eradicated, in many ways, so far as I can tell."

Pompey nods and smiles. "Yes, we have for the most part." He says and gives a nod. "Well, I have to return to my chambers and finish up some of this work before I pass out, I'll probably have to be up with the sunrise on the morrow for no other reason than mornings around here are quite noisy." He says as he turns to head into the keep.

Alia offered a smile, a nod, as she stepped back, though she was not at all in Pompey's way, to allow the man clear passage back to his business, "Thank you for your time and the conversation, Consul. May the rest of the day find you well, and the morrow." She'd remain standing for a short while longer, long enough for him to be about his business, before she'd reclaim her seat and return to her own.

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