(1874-11-26) Family Secrets
Family Secrets
Summary: Myrana and Ivo find they havemore in common than just family ties.
Date: 27/11/2018
Related: Almost immediately after When The World Was New
NPCs: None
Myrana  Ivo  

Hellsmouth - Keep Candeo
Set on a hilltop is Keep Candeo, passing the earthenworks that look recently dug, one can see two round, barracks-like structures that flank the Keep. On either side the road way leading toward the door are two fenced off areas that make up some kind of training grounds.

As Ludovic speaks with the Imperial who comes to greet their small party (forewarned by their scouts and the two men sent riding ahead of them by Ludovic that afternoon), Myrana and Ivo are left a little ways back.
As they came within a few miles of Candeo, Myrana drew a long-toothed tortoiseshell comb from her saddlebags and, counting on the lady's palfrey to follow the warhorses without the guidance of the reins on her knee, fixed her thick braid into a crown, and raised the hood of her mantle.
Now she's kept her head bowed and her hands on the reins, fidgeting as she watches Ludovic out of the corner of her eye.
"This makes me nervous," she says to Ivo, watching the D'Korbina.

Ivo is watching the Imperials when Myrana speaks, meaning he has to turn his head towards her as it becomes apparent there is conversation to be had. "Hmm?" he starts, then has enough time to think about it and nods, "in general, or right now? I'm definitely unhappy that they've been bold enough to steal this keep, but right now, I think we're probably safe enough." He glances back to those talking, looking for any sign of duplicity on the part of the Imperials, but finding none as of yet.
"They can't really stop us here," Myra nods. "Not if they want to keep their status as Least Pressing Invasion."
Turning to her cousin, she sighs, and gives him a wry smile. "Still, I don't like our chances of sleeping with any privacy here. If I talk in my sleep," she mimes an elbow jab, and tosses the reins down to one side of Thyme's neck, getting a stray lock of hair out of her mouth with a sputter. The chances of the little palfrey shying seem small, or so she seems to think as she tugs on her hood and grumbles in the back of her throat, hoping that Ludovic doesn't name all three of them. "Bleh!"
Myrana looks at Ivo, shaking her head a little and blinking in irritation. Her hair has a mind of its own, but at a glance she might seem to be just rather aggressively on the platinum side of blonde, with that hood concealing her hair, and not a trace of Armaz colours anywhere on her person. Her riding cotte is of a rich juniper green, trimmed with beaver and appliqued with black roses, while her felted angora hood is white. The silver tips on her riding boots may be infamous in Four Corners, but this is decidedly the ass-end of nowhere.
"Did you sleep?" she asks, bluntly.

"Sure," Ivo replies with a surprisingly amused smile given the circumstances, "you sleep, I'll keep watch in case you start telling everyone where your father hides the family lightsilver." He becomes serious as she asks her question though, looking briefly ahead as he shakes his head, "not really. A bit here and there, but some of the things I saw.." he stops, suppressing a shudder into a faint twitch. Saw is the wrong word, but he doesn't want to say 'felt', it's too raw in places. He's silent for a few moments, then finally does turn back to her to look her directly in the eye. "There is one question I would ask, before we're surrounded by Imperial walls."

Myrana smiles, rolling her eyes with a shake of her head as if to say 'like Adriono tells me where he keeps his money'. "It was my curse in Lyionesse," she says, leaning over conspiratorially. "Ladies in waiting are expected to sleep surreptitiously, the better to go unnoticed while attending. Behind a drape, in an alcove, or most infortuitously, standing in a wardrobe with one's skirts stuck in the door.
But she looks down at her gloved hands on the polished horn hook of the saddle, uppermost foot fidgeting with a little bob of the heel, the way a woman will give a little kick while sitting with one knee hitched over the other in a chair. The harnessing jingles as the palfrey shifts forward a step, then settles back, snorting.
"I'm sorry, Ivo. I've never seen anything like that. I thought something might happen, but not that."
Glancing back at Ludovic a moment, she reaches up and fiddles with something under her mantle before shifting to face Ivo more fully. When she sees the look on his face she nudges her horse closer to his. "What is it?"

Ivo does give a hint of a smile as he thinks of his own activities in the alcoves of Lyionesse, but this is not the time for that kind of reminiscing. Instead he takes a moment to turn his horse round, so they can talk closely without having to lean over. And so he can keep an eye on the road behind them, but that's a minor factor. "I know I'm not an expert on these things," he starts, not by way of apology, more scene setting, "but I know that strong emotions can trigger certain odd things to happen around some people." Sorcerers. "I noticed, when you were reading that book, that an odd thing was happening to the pages." It's harder than he thought it would be to say this, and he's still not entirely sure how far he wants to delve, so for now he keeps things at the vague end of the spectrum. "I'm not going to ask anything that might put you in danger, I just need to know if there's anything I need to know to make sure you get safely back from this trip."

Myrana's pendant makes a dull tnk under the muffling of her mantle as she jerks a little, involuntarily sitting rigid in the saddle. But, an instant later she lifts a hand and using her teeth strips the glove from it to delicately wipe at her eye.
As close as Ivo is, there's no way it's going to feel her cousin, but she finishes the motion anyway, more for the benefit of anyone watching them at that moment, cheeks burning.
"I-I was hoping you'd think it was the book," she admits, and wipes her hand on her skirt, shifting uncomfortably. For a long moment she just gathers herself, putting her glove back on at length. "W..well, y-yes. I'd rather, I'd rather not say it, uh, if it's all the same." A slight motion of her head to indicate Ludovic.
"He knows," she says, and in the gloves her hands must be bloodless where they've settled in her skirts, working at a fold of the warm wool. "At Mathis."

Ivo sucks in a deep breath then lets it out slowly as his suspicion is confirmed. Giving a slow, shallow nod he doesn't push for anything further, apparently entirely satisfied with the information imparted. "I'll confess," he says slowly, quietly, "I wasn't entirely convinced it wasn't the book, but that didn't fit as well with the scant information I do have." He's glad he now has his back to the others, given the weight of the expression on his features, but as he considers what's been said he uncorks the wineskin and offers it across again. It's not much, but it's meant as a show that all is still well between them. There is something that’s bothering him though, she's close enough to see that, not fear, or revulsion, or anything of that ilk, more guilt-like as he sits silently atop his horse. Eventually though he does speak again, asking simply, "is there anything in particular I should be looking out for? Any warning signs? Any times I should be interjecting or causing a distraction?"

Myrana's head plummets back onto her shoulders. He would have believed it was the book!!
She snaps it back up and Thyme shifts restlessly, shifting to nose about the side of the road, crinkling the first autumn leaves. "I don't know," she says, uncomfortably. "A-ah…" It occurs to her, suddenly, that she's never talked frankly about magic. To anyone. At least, not on a personal level, and all at once she's tongue-tied, stuttering.
The wineskin, therefore, is accepted in a sort of flustered silence. Once she sees it, which isn't till quite a bit after all of this. As she takes it, Ivo might note that his cousin is careful to take it by the strap, rather than close to his hand.
"I don't want to shock you," she mumbles, a little lamely.
Myrana does not notice the potential for wordplay here. Somewhere, a troubadour dies of a tragic stroke, falsely attributed to age.
After a while, and a few sips of wine, by which time her transparent complexion is a little rosy. But they're Aequorans; the Devil's own Debauchees, and in enemy territory. It would be unpatriotic to be utterly polite. Waiting to be let in and drinking is to be expected.
"Sometimes," she says, wineskin hovering and decidedly not offered back just yet. "I get scared, and if a-anyone grabs me, it shocks them." She sneaks a glance over at him, then puts her mouth all but back on the wineskin mouth, basically muttering all this reluctantly into the wine. "And me," she adds in a bitter grumble. "b-burned my best noile sleeves…"

Ivo is in no rush, the conversation being mightily awkward for him too. Giving Myrana all the time she needs he lets his eyes drift to the road behind them, then back to her a couple of times, giving her the proverbial space to centre herself again in whatever time she needs. "Lightening?" he asks, then immediately regrets it and follows quickly with "no. Don't answer that, I shouldn't have asked. I'm sorry." Looking away for a few moments he steadies himself with a few slow breaths, then turns back to try and start again. "I'll be careful of touch," he says, "and keep an eye in case it seems anyone else might not be." He's still quite clearly conflicted about something though, and looks over his shoulder towards where Ludovic and the Imperials are talking. Then, apparently making up his mind he looks back to her, eyes determined but also anxious as the flick to her's. "I think, cousin," he starts, not breaking eye contact, "that there is something you should know, lest you think I have not been entirely honest with you about all this. It is not an easy thing to say, but I will, if you wish it."

"No." Myra's eyes cut to Ivo, knifelike in the shade of her hood and the disarray of her hair. "No, it's, not the sort of thing I'll be able to hide, if anything happens." She turns her head to look out somewhere through the trees, sloshing the wineskin once pensively. "I just wouldn't want you to have to say to my father, I just, told you, if it was asked. I can't hide it. Not all the time. You're right." She takes a deep breath and lets it out with a softening of her narrow shoulders, shifting to be more comfortable in the saddle again. She gives a swat to her skirts down one side, and smoothes out an imaginary wrinkle in the bedroll tucked to the free side, keeping her hip warm in a wild fringe of blanket and luxurious shaggy fleece. The manuscript is tucked there, kept in place by soft leather scraps in its oiled wallet. At hand.
"I would rather die than draw the Witch Hunters on our family."
She tilts her head back toward Ivo, the tension eased out of her a little and her hands softer on the reins. "It's why I am not so afraid for us to be out here with only two of Ludovic's men. In a way, it is better; in a retinue I am always on edge. It's dreadful to be in a carriage, stuffed up out of the air. I have always startled easily." One toe taps, and she looks at Ivo.
A long, long moment passes, in which the only sound is the stirring of horses and harness.
She searches Ivo's face, watching him now and seeming to wait for what he's about to say with an unnerving, quiet gaze. He can see her mind working, for while she doesn't break off looking at him her eyes flicker and change, shifting with a sort of intrinsic honesty that leads to her rarely maintaining eye contact. Lyionesse really must have been hell.
"…25 crowns."

"If it comes to it," Ivo says, the faintest hint of a smile breaking some of the tension on his face, "I'll tell him I worked it out for myself. It has the benefit of almost being entirely true." Almost. He breaks his gaze as the Inquisition is mentioned though, looking away and down, fighting to keep down the memory of that smell of ash and burnt flesh that comes to mind, the screaming agony.. If he still had the wineskin he'd be taking a gulp, but he's passed it over, so he has to rely on just swallowing hard. "Yes, well," he starts awkwardly, deciding that using that as his starting point is as good as any, "you are not the only one with that concern." He's looking back at her now, ready to read her reaction as he gives just a little bit more, without ever actually saying, just as she had. "It's eight years now since I left the Cavaliers, medical reasons they called it, as good a term as any I suppose. It certainly made things.. simpler."

Myrana shudders, thinking perhaps what it'd be like to be an active Cavalier, knight of the Queen of Aequor, while hiding something as ravenous and impudent as magic. And she's shaking her head, wonderingly and a little irritatedly.
"Twenty five crowns and not a chipped piece more, you jerk."
She jabs a finger at him accusingly, huffing. "You tricked me!"
Myrana gives Ivo a dirty look, growing more irritated and restless in the saddle. The boat race. OH THE BOAT RACE! Steam just about stutters out of her ears as she turns her gaze UP, at HEAVEN, to silently implore with god for justice to smite her cousin dead, and her face in this moment writes it all out in big neon letters. Ivo's face. That wave as he went mysteriously flying by.
Myrana pushes herself up with her one stirruped foot into a half stand, and drops her butt back down a little higher in the saddle, containing a minor fit.
Thyme puts up with this, probably just grateful that it isn't a knight doing this in armour.

Watching as realisation dawns, Ivo takes the precaution to just inch his horse away a foot or so, just in case. He certainly makes no more to try and reclaim the wine, or in any other way put any part of any limb in range of a zap. Or what he guesses might be range. "Twenty five," he agrees without haggling, for despite the strength of Myrana's reaction, it does feel better to have it off his chest at last. "I can't claim any degree of mastery, that was the most success I've had in a very long time. It helps sometimes, at night or in fog, if the water gets shallow, but other than that I've spent those years learning how to hide it, not use it. With hindsight I suspect I was lucky I didn't wreck my boat instead, it was reckless, but the moment felt right."

Myrana lets out a final huff. "Honestly!" But then she laughs, turning around and giving him a grin, disbelieving and relieved in a bizarre way, despite Candeo, and despite the seriousness of their situation. "God! What a horrible thing to have to tell someone! Ivo! I'm sorry, don't be mad. You would have won anyway, I hardly kept my little boat upright in those rapids, and that you were able to do it is incredible." She shakes her head, making the ridiculous liripipes wave. "I'm the same way. It doesn't usually help me."
Looking back up towards Ludovic and the Imperials, it seems that their talk is at a close, so she folds her hands back over the hook of her saddle, settling in with a clink of stirrup. "Let's be careful, cousin; it's going to be interesting, I think."
Myrana lofts her finger later, as they're following their new guides, and in a quiet aside to Ivo adds, very belatedly: "But I never get bug bites." And doesn't say another word till they're inside.

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