(1874-11-25) Not Looking
Not Looking
Summary: Announcing Breakfast is ready multiple times does not mean your guest is ready for a visitor.. Also talk about Ludovic's horses and the mystery of the Elementi.
Date: 20th December 2018
Related: (1874-11-20) Sleep Walking, (1874-11-21) A Close Shave, Probably more. All social though.
NPCs: None
Players:
Ludovic  Myrana  

Chervaise, Hellsmouth
The Fortified Manor and Stud at Chervaise
about 1874-11-25

As declared during the evening where the group huddled around the campfire in the aftermath of winter storms Ludovic takes the group to the fortified manor Chervaise instead of the steep incline that leads to the castle. The castle itself is only a couple of hours away and the soaring crags of the mountain fill up the horizon.

A matronly woman comes out into the courtyard as the group pulls up to a halt. Her hands already brushing flour from her fingers onto her apron "My Lord!" she exclaims, honestly sounding quite pleased to see the group. "I'm afraid you have taken me by surprise." Ludovic just grins down at her and swings down from his saddle before clapping her on the shoulder. "Know you'll do me proud Mavie." He gestures across to Myrana, already moving to take her palfreys bridle and hold the mount steady "Can you help Lady Myrana inside? She's not well." Seems he's finally learned not to grab the little d'armaz.

A day and a night is given during which Myrana is plied with hot food cooked by someone with both supplies and skill, given a hot bath scented with herbs and then finally led off to rest. The room she's given is small but it boasts a proper bed, shuttered window (with real glass) and a quality fireplace. Peace and quiet is given until the morning when Ludovic, looking well scrubbed and wearing fresh clothes, bangs on Myrana's door. "Breakfast!" is declared with his usual boyancy (and volume) "You wont want to miss this! I dont keep Mavie just for her looks!" Mavie, for the record, looks exactly how you'd expect the sort of servant who manages a noblemans home to look. Matronly.

Myrana opens one eye from the reflexive scrunch of head and shoulders- then lifts her head a little, relaxing as no-one reaches up to lift her bodily from the side-saddle and giving Ludovic a silent side-eye. Whether it is appreciative or not is hard to tell under the messy white fluff of her wind-blown hair inside the hood of the double liripiped mantle. Wearing that, it's a miracle she can see at all, having been more or less expressively reduced to a pair of lips and a snub nose. It's like being peered at by a sheepdog.

"Miracles abound," she drawls in her smoky little voice, and those lips tug into a wry smile before she turns her attention to giving the long-suffering palfrey a somewhat shaky pat. Apologetic, one might imagine. "Thank you, D'Korbina."

THEN.

BAAAAAAAAAATH

Myrana wakes up a new species, and also literally on the floor.

This state is known to her when she jerks up from a dead sleep in a rumple of sheepskin and blankets, knocking the manuscript down and onto the rug with a dull thump and upsetting the fire-iron, which clangs like the devil on the stone of the hearth.

The little Armaz cringes from head to toe, hair all in wild dissaray about her face and looking around in confusion as she tries to remember how she came to sleep on the floor, instead of the bed, and when she began reading last night as close to the heat of the fire as she could draw herself and the fleece.

"F…Fie," she mutters.

Ludovic bangs on the door some more. "MYRANA! Hurry Up! Do I need to come in there?"

Myrana gets up. A little weakly, a little dizzily. But she gets up. Oh does she get up. And stalks, almost falling at first until she catches herself on the foot of the bed, gets her feet more securely under her, clears the pile of the foriegn lent nightdress on the floor where she threw it in disgust at having tripped on it after her bath—

Wait a second.

Myrana looks back over her shoulder at the nightdress on the floor. Then down at herself, and the smart cambric Morgiana smallclothes that she was ever so pleased to commission in her favorite colours, which apparantly, passed unconscious muster. And back at the nightdress.

"Come back later!" She tells the door, changing her mind entirely about putting her foot up D'Korbina's ass. Turning around, she picks up the chemise, glowering at it. Even just, holding it up, inches of fabric are on the ground.

"This whole county spites me," she grumbles. "Why does everyone get so big close to these stupid mountains?"

Ludovic pushes open the door with a statement that started with a "Myrana." and quickly stops as he suddenly finds it far more important that he stares at the wall. "Uh." he says in a low mumble. "Why aren't you wearing anything?

Looking at the wall or the cieling is how 100 percent of Ludovic's get hit with flying boots.

Cause that's what happens. Myrana just starts throwing shit at him.

"Out!" She suggests.

The first boot hits him somewhere around the shoulder and he just sort of flinches and starts to turn, his forearm coming up just in time to protect his head from the second one "OWw! What the" Course now he's able to just about see her out the corner of his eyes again and that makes him turn sharply back, with a bit of a blush of all things, just in time to catch another piece of Myrana's luggage. "HEY! I'm going!" Thunk. "Stop" He starts trying to back out of the room without turning around again. "I didn't see anything. I'm going!"

Once he makes the door he slams it shut for his own safety and leans his weight against it. Just in case the barrage will follow him out into the corridor. Its only once he's sure that the doors going to stop her that he somewhat tentatively says "I'll be.. downstairs." Then theres just the sound of dissapearing footsteps.

Myrana swears blisteringly in Old Tongue on the other side of the door, stomping around audibly and exclaiming her offense like an irate bantam.

"Honestly!"

Before Ludovic can get down the hall, the door snaps open and Myrana, belting a kirtle on over the nightdress, the skirts of which drag and which she must hold up with one hand, stumbling on the hem.

"Did you get USED to the BIG DOORS?" She stalks alongside him toward the stairs, hair still in it's wild state and loose down her back and in fluffy dissaray about her face, clean and sweet-smelling from the bath and twice its usual mass thanks to sleeping crammed up next to the fireplace.

She points an evil blue glare up at him, still mad, and suspicious as hell!

"What'd you see?" she demands. A woman doesn't get dressed that fast to NOT get a list of crimes she needs to be mad about.

Ludovic stops when challenged and turns around to face her. His eyes dont quite meet hers though. "Its just late." he mumbles with all the conviction of a small boy caught trying to coax a cookie jar off the top of the cupboard. "And its winter." he looks at her now, starting to sound more indignant than ashamed. "How was I supposed to know you'd be the only person in the whole world who doesn't sleep in three layers of clothing during the winter?" The final question makes him hesitate before offering up, a somewhat hopeful answer of "Ankles."

WHAT LUDOVIC SAW:

Myrana in some very expensive smallclothes, from behind, lifting up a nightdress to pull it on over her head with her hair over her shoulder. And, branded onto the small of her back and not entirely all visible, a sorcerer's mark in the shape of a winged sickle moon with some shape like a brushstroke vanishing into the top of her smallclothes.

Where many sorcerer's Brands are small, it'd seem that whatever mysterious force marks each of them with that mysterious brush really had it out for Myrana D'Armaz.

PRESENTLY:

Myrana peers up at Ludovic's face, getting right up into his space so that she's almost standing on his feet, radiating malignancy and suspicion like a cat.

"How many ankles?"

There are times when Ludovic really really wishes he could lie worth a damn. But he just doesn't have the talent so when he queries "Two?" whilst being stared at like a mouse that just tried to talk its way out of being cat-chow it is rather obvious that he is making it up as he goes. "The umm robe was already down by your knees. I really didnt see much."

Myrana's eyes narrow to knife slits.

"Are you…" A phantom instrument gives a wicked sting! She turns her head to one side, to glare at him sideways as she resumes their walk towards breakfast, the main concern of the day. If she's gonna be mad, its going to be with a full stomach!

But also, Myrana still has a fever; it's high in her cheeks and the brightness of her eyes, and blunt in how she immediately forgets to hold up the too-long skirts of the borrowed (dry! clean!) kirtle, trods upon it, and stumbles face-first into the corner by the door.

Leaning there, a little dazed, she tries to recombobulate her focus, and her dignity. Which do you do first? And hrrrmghs, glaring into the middle space, sensing that today is not the day she challenges Ludovic to a duel.

"…I was going to ask if you're lying," she says. "But now I've messed up the delivery and I really just want kaffe. And," a deep, longing sigh. "SALT."

Ludovic is still that guy who picks up women who fall over in front of him. So he's forgotten all about the fact that Myrana's likely to electrocute him and is moving to put her back on her feet even before he thinks it through. "Its closer to noon than breakfast." A sheepish smile. "Do you really want to know if I was lying? Really?" He blinks, the other part of what she said finally finding a home. "Salt?"

If Myrana electrocuted every single person to pick her up and put her down, there'd be a lot of smoke in the throneroom of Herensurge. She has gotten used to it. That's not to say it isn't zap roulette, but it's at least mostly safe.

"You don't use enough salt," she says, looking up at him accusingly as he sets her on her feet, not seeming to have a lot of strength or energy. The journey drained her. "I almost died."

You cannot die of bland food, Myrana. That is impossible.

"Man needs flavor to live!" She continues.

"Ahh." Ludovic says. "So not like a cow and a salt lick then." he gives her a quick smile, takes a half step away from her and then starts moving back downstairs again. "You sure it was a lack of salt?" he asks. "And not just my cooking?"

"I am trying to critique your cooking," she tells hin, following him down the stairs, seemingly having forgiven him after throwing half of her trunk at him. Her temper is very direct; keeping a grudge is much harder than just violently objecting when offended. "If you add more salt, it will taste better. It works on everything."

"Oh." Ludovic glances across at her. "Thanks?" In a tone that suggests he will do no such thing but sees no reason not to be polite he adds. "I'll keep that in mind." A few more stairs and he holds the door to the main living floor open. "Would you like to see my mares? Its to early in the year for foals although I do have some yearlings that you might enjoy."

"And fat!" Myrana takes Ludovic's arm at the foot of the stairs, catching his sleeve to ask him to wait before they go to the stables. Once that's settled, she nods, eyes lighting up. "I would like that. Thank you for your hospitality, and that of the matron here. She's very kind."

"Salt and fat are important," she adds, authoratatively. Ignoring Ludovic's attempts to escape advice.

Ludovic is still heading into the main room for that breakfast he broke into her room in his desire for but that look in her eyes is enough to make the stables the next stop. Besides, unlike Myrana, he's already eaten this morning. "Trail foods nothing but salt and fat." Is what he says in response. "I get sick of it. Besides, if my cooking was that good, how would I get my knights to willingly cook for me?" Another door is opened and held open for long enough for the two elementi inside to come out for a fuss. Faith is just as bold as ever, moving right up to Ludovic's right side as if he belongs, but the other is a lot more timid, sniffing tentatively at the both of them as she follows along. "The bitch is Aurora. You'll want yours fetching I expect? Or are you planning to go up and stay in the Keep instead of down here or in the city? Or were you gonna go home?" He takes a few more steps and then glances down and across at her. "Your marks beautiful you know? Real shame its always hidden."

"Good morning," says Myrana with sotto-voce politeness to Ludovic's Elementi, and the other that comes up to them, letting go of the Korbina's arm to offer Aurora her palms before burying her fingers gently in the thick ruff of the Elementi's fur, using her long nails to scritch unthinkingly where her own Ouros is usually itchy. Far from the higher pitched greeting for a pet, it's a little more reserved, as if after the events at Mathis, the Armaz is thinking of Elementi in a new light.

Of course, after seeing them as they were perhaps meant to be, devouring evil and burning in the brackish aura of the monstrous Thing they fought, it might be hard to treat them the same as before.

"I always liked being in the kitchen in the manor at Four Corners," Myra says, smiling a little to herself. "My favorite nurse took me there at night when I couldn't sleep and made me ginger milk." Straightening, she relinquishes Aurora's softness and hrmms. "I'll stay here. I think I'd better rest for a while. And if you don't mind, I'll finish my translations here." Smoothing her hands to her cheeks, she closes her eyes, brows dipping in thought. "That's a good idea. Sir Fionn will probably be waiting at Hellsmouth for me." A sigh, and she grumbles. "I feel like I might have written to Ramius before I left Fiorello, but I was so scared I don't really remember what I did that night."

While her hands are still laid on her cheeks in thought, she opens one eye to give Ludovic and embarrassed sideways look.

"It's a problem," she finally mutters, squirming uncomfortably. "Everyone in Gendiel uses these… steam houses, and I'm always having to find excuses not to join them."

"Don't think Jasmina knew how much of a gift that bitch actually is." Ludovic says as Myrana accepts the dogs. "Was so tempted to keep all eight of them but I just couldnt bring myself to keep the gifts. Kept her though." he takes a moment to let Aurora sniff his hand. "Learned there were promises made so I needed her to keep them."

And then they are outside heading across the yard that this early in the day is bustling with activity. It's obvious that there are servants a plenty to handle all the manual labour. "I used to like the kitchen too." he admits. "But when I got to about.. six?" he contemplates that and then shrugs. "A couple of years before I was a page anyway. When i got to a certain size I guess I was more in the way than cute so now they just chase me out. You'd think i'd be master of my own castle." he gives Myrana the sort of grin that suggests he really doesn't mind it. "But I know better than to get under cooks feet."

The confession about the mark being a problem makes him make a soft hrm sound. "Yeah I imagine it would be." he admits. "You'd have to bind up your whole torso. One of your husbands shirts not work?"

Myrana looks at Ludovic like; 'what kind of Aequoran are you?'. "It looks ridiculous."

Her flat slippers pat over the stones of the courtyard, and as they walk through the busy weave of servants going about their days she busies her free hand with raking the bangs from her face with her fingers, seeming to relax in the beautiful fresh air and sunshine. Ludovic is still leaned on; Myrana is stubborn, but not particularly proud when she's sick. One of the many benefits of being a small marshmallowy nerd is that people assume you're forgetting to eat, sleeping poorly thanks to bad habits, and absentmindedly forgetting things like rice powder and mascaro and other little social niceties.

"I'm sure Jasmina knew," says Myrana. "She is allowed to be generous."

"Then wear a corset." Ludovic suggests with a grin that suggests he noticed the look and is playing on it. "Or a fancy nightshirt. Or keep making excuses."

He glances down at her and gives her a smile, evidently more than comfortable with being used as a crutch. "I didn't mean the gift exactly, although it was really generous, I meant that theres something strange about Elementi. I dont understand it. But I do know that whatever was happening with that dog - it helped."

"In the-" Myrana almost exclaims 'bath?!', but then catches herself, and huffs, shaking her head. "You're messing with me, aren't you? Look, you try reasoning with the Arrani. They keep picking me up when they get excited. They just, embrace each other." She shudders. "Horrible. Always shouting, banging tables, grappling- I am constantly in terror of one of them tripping. And they're so nice." She says this like it's a serious crime, to be exuberant and loving, boisterous even. Rowdy. But she also sounds like she knows she's being a grouchy, nervous little prude about it. The cultural divide is noticable.

"They're smart," she says, nodding finally. "Ouros has been becoming more and more difficult to trick."

Ludovic looks at Myrana. "Huh. That sounds like a great time to me. Heck, sounds like I'm more like them than not. But I can see why you'd not like it. You get all prickly when anyone touches you. Aint the only person I ever met like that so dont think I'm having a go. Heck, been hit more than once for being overly familiar myself."

"Its not that they are smart." Ludovic comments about the hounds. "It was the way it.. did you see the way it seemed to glow? I don't know if i'm a fool for not keeping Faith with me that night." he taps his cheekbone under the stone eye. "Or if he would have died. Heck sometimes I think I'm a fool for not carrying the sidhe sword thats sitting gathering dust in my vault."

The stable doors opened and held until Myrana comes through and then he points towards the first stall on the left. A big powerful horse with a dusty yellow body and black everywhere else. "This heres my best mare - Sandstorms Dam. Most of the horses here are destriers. Much as I hate to admit it, the tribesmen have the best coursers by a long shot." a beat and he adds "She bites."

Myrana's arm jerks just so slightly at mention of the sidhe steel, tightening in a subtle flinch to anyone other than the person she's walking with would be hard pressed to notice. But she releases his arm and steps aside as they come to the doors of the stable, lacing her fingers lightly together behind her back.

"I wonder… I saw that too." Her blue eyes soften watching the flurry of dust pushed by the sweep of the door as they swirl over the brushed slope and across the front of her skirts in a tiny drift. A smile touches her lips, just slightly.

"That's how I'll remember dear Sir Wulfred," she says, almost to herself.

Only to come out of it, shaking her head to dismiss the memory and the train of thought following after them. "We must bring them with us, your hound and my Ouros when we go to our investigation in Four Corners. I'd like if you investigated this, Ludovic, and I'd be happy to fund your researches."

Myrana walks in after him, skirts stirring the dust in the slanting light coming in through the doors behind her. Where Ludovic points, she approaches the stall door and peers in.

"Ah!" She exclaims. "She's beautiful! I don't think I've ever seen a horse with a coat like this. Does- Oh," she jerks her hand back down to her chest, settling her fingers over the bell at her throat. She'd been about to put her hand on the door to lean up, but reconsiders this prudently.

"Sandstorms not as pretty its true. Been hoping to get one thats even closer to gold than she is but I reckon I just dont have the right stud." Ludovic agrees. "Its strange how people consider a beautiful warhorse more important than a plain one isnt it?" He points to the stall next door that contains a very plain brown looking horse. She's bigger than the dun one he just showed Myrana. "This girl has given us two mud-brown colts. So far they seem like some of the best ones I've ever trained but they just lack that.. impact. Pity really." this mare he offers a bit of grain from out of a nearby sack and when she takes it from his hand he adds "She probably wont bite."

"Theres the most beautiful mare you've ever seen out near Lavaise but I've tried everything I can to get her or even her first foal and they just wont sell." He looks at her. "Think that sort of avarice is a bad thing or should I just go tell them how wrong it is to deny your viscount what he truly wants?"

Moving onto the next stall he looks over at Myrana with curiosity. "What investigation?"

"I count on my Sage to be just as he is," says Myrana with a stout loyalty. She loves that charger that the Betrayer gave to her years ago, grey and mottled with an inky face.

Still a little nervous of being bitten perhaps, Myrana watches Ludovic give the mare some grain, dark eyes flickering, but doesn't move her hands from where they're folded away behind her.

A wry smile: "A beautiful horse is art in it's own self, like a falcon, or a ship-cat." She glances away from the horse back to Ludovic. "Gauvain gave me Sage, I think, to impress my father. He's beautiful, but not so beautiful that I am afraid to ride him on the battlefield." Her eyes half-hooded, she adds: "God bless the beautiful knights." in a charnel tone.

Which is to say: The mirror-polished targets.

She looks back up at him. "What it is that the Elementi are. You can speak to the breeders, can't you? Ask to look at their records. Perhaps… suggest that you want to trace the lineage of your new hound."

"And observe them. You have a rare opportunity," she says, nodding to his Elementi at his side.

"Ah. Yeah." Ludovic looks thoughtful. "Maybe I could do some of that. I reckon we should start in Rhone though or maybe Paras. The al'Mordran bloodlines are famous for having genuine imperial roots afterall. So that suggests that the imperials must have good lines too. Maybe Jasmina will let me talk to her kennel master."

He gives her a quick grin. "You've not seen me in tourney finery have you? We should fix that one day. Get out the full plate and the horned helm and the full barding and everything."

He looks back at her, jumping back to the subject of elementi. "What made you suggest Four Corners?"

"The house," Myrana says, quiet, as if someone might pass by and hear. Finally, she sinks her hand into the sack of grain to offer the mare some of it, though wary. Meaning, of course, Teleko's manor in Four Corners. "I have arranged to investigate it, and only need to have the right preperations."

"Ah." Ludovic says. "Yeah. I'll come and help you with that." He pats the white mares neck. "But I'm going east in a couple of days so if you want me in particular to help you'll have to wait. I can ask Augin to find you a couple of knights if you want?"

"I'll settle for company while I finish this translation," Myrana demurs, smiling her thanks. "You should take your knights with you when you return to the front. I won't go alone, in any case. But you mentioned breakfast; can we do that? I am starving."

"I'm going east in a day or two Myrana." Ludovic starts towards the door and the promised food. "So I cant do it. Not unless you feel like riding along on a raid. But lets talk about it later."

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