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Fairgrove A town of 3,958, ruled by a lesser branch of House Solvitreo and treated as Lord Solvitreo's summer retreat. Fairgrove is named for its citrus groves and located along the Godswash, a main transit route from the mountains to the Tal Solarii port.


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Old 06-07-2016, 08:14 PM   #1
(Lady) Melantha Solvitreo Vellfyre
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Default 5.05 Midmorning - Broken things - Melantha/Alys (open)

The scented summer air, replete with the orange smells Melantha remembered from her childhood, were calming. She had not been to Fairgrove in some years, but the memories had not dulled. The only part that was tainted now was that she could not share it with her children, as she had planned as the progress began. Kalden remained in dire repose, and Lenore tarried behind to watch over him. Kellan....he had sobered much, even before Kalden's injury, but not enough to face much of what she needed him to. He spent most of his time avoiding her and haunting Kain, these days. She only wished she could manage to connect with her youngest child....but he was not a child anymore, not for many a year.

Still, thoughts of her children was what sent her on a path to locate Alys. It seemed that the girl had started to come out of her snow wine stupor for longer periods these days, and some even murmured that she had quit the stuff. For her part, Melantha wished to speak with her about how Alys had helped Kalden when the attack had come.
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Old 06-07-2016, 08:34 PM   #2
(Lady) Alys Fairwind
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Alys sat on a windowsill overlooking the grounds, such as they were. It was a beautiful place, and the air was inviting and warm. Far more than the mountains from what she could remember. And yet, there hung a heaviness in the air that threatened to suffocate her at any moment. She at least knew what it was. Knew why she hated being so aware.

Her thoughts raced across her mind and then back. Never a quiet moment. It was worse in the silence. Worse when she was alone. And she found that she was almost always alone. Not a retinue to serve in. Kain was present at times, but not often. Whether by duty or desire, it seemed they did not spend much time together. It was clear whose company he preferred. And Alys only resented it because she was lonely. She missed Ziamara. She missed her dearest and truest friend. She missed Brandon. Gods, did she miss Brandon.

She heard the footsteps behind her and turned to see Melantha and a couple of guards who followed but were usually ignored. Her body followed her head, turning so she could get to her feet, dipping low out of respect and casting her blue eyes down. "My lady," she greeted, expecting that Melantha would walk on by. After all... nobody every sought Alys out. Especially when she'd done nothing worth yelling at.
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Old 06-07-2016, 08:39 PM   #3
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"Lady Alys," Melantha greeted her, her tone kind as she stopped. She even smiled, visible through the sheerness of her simple veil. Dark eyes flicked past Alys to look out at the groves. "I hope I am not disturbing you. The view here has always been lovely. I did not grow up here, but I spent enough summers in the halls to make it a near thing. What do you think of Fairgrove so far?"
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Old 06-07-2016, 08:47 PM   #4
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What did she think of Fairgrove? She didn't. She didn't hate it, but she didn't know if she liked it either. She hadn't considered one way or another. Nor had she considered anywhere between home and here. It almost seemed unimportant. None of it was important.

"It is beautiful as you say, my lady," she answered, still a little surprised to be spoken to. She knew that they had shared a moment over Kalden after he was looked after by a magister, but she didn't think that would extend beyond that. After all, she was the girl none of the Vellfyre women cared much for. Which is why she'd been punished with the marriage. A marriage that Kain was being punished with, too. "You are not disturbing me, my lady," she said, finally catching that. "In fact, if there is anything you need done, I would be glad to offer my help. I find myself quite... useless of late."
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:05 PM   #5
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"Don't fret overmuch, we have all been useless on this progress," Melantha admitted, with a slight roll of her eyes as she moved over to the window to look out. "Households shifted, none knowing their duties half so well, constant repairs and mending to be done in quarters only slightly better than a peasant's hovel..." It was all said good-naturedly, at least. "But I shall remember your offer. My own household has been quite disheveled, itself."

Turning to take a closer look at Alys, Melantha observed, "You certainly look more alert these days. You have been taking better care of yourself, and I am glad to see it."
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:13 PM   #6
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She looked out, following Melantha's gaze but seeing nothing in particular. Why did the world seem so gray? She forced a smile and wrapped her arms around herself. "My husband wishes me to be so, and so I am," she said. "For as long as the king wishes me to be his wife, I will do what I can to please him. It has been... difficult," she confessed. "At times, it seems all too easy to reach for the snow again..."
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:24 PM   #7
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"I could say something poetic and pithy, but I won't. It would largely be unhelpful," Melantha pointed out. "It's going to be hard for a while yet. I've seen my son put away wine for a short time, only to lose himself again. And each time he does, he breaks my heart a little bit more." She lowered her gaze to Alys, the dark depths penetrating. "I imagine there's little love between you and your husband, but he has a decent heart somewhere beneath all that new sharpness he gained. He wants you to leave off the snow because he knows it does you no favors. You could do much without it, Alys."
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:49 PM   #8
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"Never underestimate the power of a good poem. If I've learned anything from being so close to the princess, it's that a well-timed poem can be most helpful in the right situation," she said with a more genuine smile. And... there was one theory about why Kain was having her set it aside. She had a few others, but none she would share out loud with another Vellfyre. "I know," she nodded. "And I will continue to try to do right by him. I may not love my husband, but I respect him as a wife should."
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:03 PM   #9
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"Ziamara always had a much better ear for poetry than I could ever pretend to." Absently, Melantha rubbed at her arm; the split was smaller these days and could be hidden by her gown, but it still ached from time to time. "I hope you have learned that from her, as someone in this court should have by now."

She had a moment to reflect that this was likely the longest conversation, and the most cohesive, that she'd had with Alys in quite some time. "Respect is all he needs from you," she finally said, although it seemed there were other thoughts she was holding. "And perhaps some stability. He returned from the war much changed."
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:26 PM   #10
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"At least he returned from it," she pointed out. "Not every man was so lucky. But, you are right. So many came back so different. I have heard it said that war makes happy boys into serious men, and it would appear to be the truth of it. It seems our court smiles much less these days."
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:38 PM   #11
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"It does." Melantha's eyes grew unfocused for a moment. "I was spared such grief, for my sons are safe....as safe as they can be, even struggling right now. But I miss Garrett, and Rollant, and others. I watched them grow up, little boys who ran and played and laughed with the careless abandon of youth. I still see them that way, now." She blinked, bringing her attention back to the present. "Kain, admittedly, was always a bit of a handful, long before he was groomed for war. But the grim faces these days are because war is not so far behind us, and could be in front of us shortly."
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:54 PM   #12
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"Is that not always the way it is. War, peace, tension... It is an endless dance, isn't it? Men will never learn to live in harmony, for others will always possess something another wants. Honor will always been called to question and defended. Men make war and their sons suffer for it... And yet, without war, where would Edolon be? It is an unfortunate necessity... And those who can fight it and come back with only scars... they possess much to be admired. I know I could never be so brave as that."
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