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Kingsport The smaller (population 8,000) but northernmost port of the 'Reach, Kingsport's fortunes faltered and fell in the last ten years with Zaksalam cutting off the northern trade routes, but the city is recuperating with the return of trade. The town's name is from the Vellfyre summer palace which is built nearby and serves as a seat for younger sons and a place for the court to flee in case of plague in Tal Volorro.
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Old 01-10-2015, 02:47 AM   #1
(Lady) Parissa Harrowmont
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Default 8.30 night, @ the camp - a thousand fireflies - Parissa, (OPEN)

Melantha had decided to keep an eye on her retinue. Or maybe it was just Parissa. Or maybe Parissa was just sick of people not ignoring her like they usually did. Even though she'd been allowed to leave Lady Melantha's side, she now had a man-at-arms shadow, and Kaelyn kept clinging. It was beginning to get on Pari's nerves.

Also on Pari's nerves were the cramps emanating from her stomach. Of bloody course she'd have this problem when she was busy and couldn't just hide off in her room for two days. Her solution was snow wine and normal wine mixed up in her cup, and a honey cake she was nibbling on to get rid of the taste of the willow tea she'd taken.

Since they were being shadowed anyway, there wasn't any point to sneaking off and Parissa gave up, deciding to settle down by one of the camp circles not far from Lady Melantha's, where a few nobles she now vaguely recognized were reclining and listening to a singer whose ballad was some dusty, dull old thing about Kadreth's War. At least his voice was pretty.
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Old 01-10-2015, 02:51 AM   #2
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It took a moment for Lucia to recognize her... All of the Harrowmonts looked similar, she figured, but she was at least more familiar with Salindra and so it was just a matter of figuring that most of the blondes at court were not so short. She was sitting listening to the singer as well, but after the other girl seemed to settle herself, Lucia got up and approached her with a pleasant smile on her face.

"Greetings, Lady Parissa," she said in a warm, rich voice. She'd had some wine and she felt nice, but she was far from drunk. It was a good place to be. "Would you care for some company?"
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Old 01-10-2015, 03:01 AM   #3
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She looked up at the newcomer with a slightly blank if welcoming smile. "Oh, of course not, my lady... please, join us." Vellfyre. Vellfyre. Which Vellfyre? Lenore? Leandra? Leah-- no, Leah was the older one, Shiera's mother. Why did they all have the same names? It was almost as bad as House Wolfe..

"Did you enjoy the day's hunting?" Pari asked politely.
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Old 01-10-2015, 03:18 AM   #4
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Lucia took her seat beside her, adjusted her skirts, and then reached for her drinking horn. "Would you like some? It's just wine... None of the exotic stuff that's been going around of late," she assured her. "It was fun to watch when I was able," she answered. "Did you enjoy it, though? I've never had skill for a hunt... Quite clumsy and all... but I've been told you're rather good at it."
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Old 01-10-2015, 03:29 AM   #5
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"Oh, no thank you." She smiled and held up her cup. "I'm full up for the moment. But... I'm all right, I suppose. I just took well to archery when I was little. And I like chasing things on my horse." Pari grinned. "That may be my favorite part. Do you run in the chases or just sit back to see how many of us fools are coming back unhorsed?" she asked.
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Old 01-10-2015, 03:37 AM   #6
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"Well... normally I would sit back and hope very few of you came back unhorsed," she said with a sweet smile. "My father does not approve of me riding out with the hunters. I've a terrible sense of direction and a propensity for getting lost easily. But there's no small amount of wishful thinking... and a healthy dose of envy," she added with a chuckle. "You've been doing archery for a while now, then? And to be good enough to shoot from horseback...? Surely my lady is being modest about her skill then."
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Old 01-10-2015, 07:27 PM   #7
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"I am good on the ground- on hoseback..." Parissa laughed. "Well, I'm, um, I think the term is serviceable. When I hunt with a bow I generally dismount and go on foot with the hunters. It's simply easier not to account for the horse's movements. But yes, I've been shooting since I was six.... it's a matter of practicality at home, really, but my uncle Adhemar allowed me to continue in Solarii."
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Old 01-10-2015, 07:41 PM   #8
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Lucia's eyes widened. "Since six? Wow. I wish..." she smiled but shook her head. "All my father would allow me is a collection of daggers. Never learned how to use them properly, though. Perhaps when we get back to Vellesca, I might be able to see you practice with your bow? How exciting that we're going to have a queen who is skilled in archery," she said genuinely, thinking of what that might mean for the ladies of the Reach. "You must be so nervous about that? Marrying Jason? But he's a good man. One of the best I know. And his sister is the sweetest. I think you'll really like it in Vellesca. Becoming a part of the family. We're a strange bunch, but we take care of one another."
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Old 01-10-2015, 08:01 PM   #9
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"Of course, if you wish. It's very dull to watch, though. Not even as exciting as an archery match at the tourneys." She took a drink. "Why would I be nervous? The prince is handsome, chivalrous, kind... everything a prince should be and more than any maid would wish for. I'm nervous about being a good enough princess to match him, but I think anyone would worry about that."
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Old 01-10-2015, 08:14 PM   #10
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"Well... for that reason. All that comes with it," she shrugged. "A good enough princess? Oh, I don't have any doubts about that. You're still quite young, aren't you? There are so many people who will wish to help you, Jason included. I think you'll do wonderfully," she grinned at her. "And... I don't think I'll be of much help, but I can certainly try if you ever need it. I'm... mostly good for... well... um..." she looked up and thought about it. "I'm good at history... and things of that nature, so if you ever wanted to know more about the Vellfyres, I am your person."
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Old 01-10-2015, 08:40 PM   #11
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"That's true, but I don't think I'm as young as I look." She smiled. "Are you good at knowing people? I am hopeless at matching up all the names and faces. I know Lady Rosina we just said farewell to, and I've spoken with Lord Kalden... and of course I know hte princesses, but there are so many other Vellfyres... and a milliard courtiers."
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Old 01-10-2015, 09:49 PM   #12
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"I'm... good with names to faces. I don't know people very well, but I know WHO they are so long as they've been at court. There's a few new faces that I need to learn names to. I'm good at memorizing... Better at that than talking... evidently," she said with a bit of a blush. "Oh...! I'm sorry... I didn't tell you my name, did I?" She took for granted that people just knew, but she had forgotten the Harrowmonts weren't so frequent to court. "I'm Lucia... Kadreth's youngest."
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Old 01-10-2015, 10:28 PM   #13
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"Kadreth..." Parissa's thoughts were foggy. "He's the... um, constable for Tal Volorro. And if you are... Lady Elinor's younger sister?" She hazarded but her lips turned in a smile. "I'm pleased to meet you, Lady Lucia. I'm serving Lady Melantha until my wedding."
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Old 01-10-2015, 10:44 PM   #14
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"Yes. The frowny Vellfyre," she said as if it would be even more helpful. "And yes... the other frowny Vellfyre. Don't worry, my lady... I'm not nearly so frowny," she said, smiling as if to prove her point. "Lady Melantha is really wonderful. Strict and a little scary if you get on her bad side, but she's at least very fair." The same could not be said about all the female elders. "Well... Let's see... Melantha... That means you'll be serving with Lady Shiera. I adore her. Very smart woman... She helped me remember I wasn't a swan... Long story involving dream fish and a fountain."
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Old 01-10-2015, 10:47 PM   #15
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Parissa grimaced. "Ugh, dreamfish. That got us all in so much trouble..." She laughed. "I think I was chasing sprites with one of the prince's squires? Or someone's squire. It got a bit confusing after a while. Though being a swan sounds fun, at least in theory."
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Old 01-10-2015, 10:53 PM   #16
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"It could have," she chuckled. "But Shiera found me and kept me out of it. A real friend, that one. I... ought to thank her better for it," she said, putting a finger to her lip and suddenly going into deep thought. Then she perked as if she decided and turned back to Parissa. "Sprites? I heard Varric was doing that. It was probably him. He was trying to catch Princess Ziamara because of her dress, I think. And it was a little sad... Swans are so very lonely. At least it felt that way when I was one. I'd have much rather been chasing sprites."
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Old 01-11-2015, 03:44 AM   #17
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"Mm, Varric... yes. And Lord Rhaegar's squire.. the chubby one. He's very sweet. Luckily the prince kept me from too much mischief." Pari smiled a little more softly, her cheeks brightening. "I'm sorry to hear that you felt so lonely though. I cannot imagine being alone at this court. So many people! But Shiera's terriffic, isn't she? She's so far the only thing that keeps me sane in serving Melantha some days."
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Old 01-11-2015, 03:54 AM   #18
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She went quiet at the mention of Lord Rhaegar. He had not spoken to her since that day when he'd left so quickly and had Alek help her. She imagined that Alek had to have told him about how they found Chuckles. How she wept and how upset she was. How he helped her bury her... For all that talk of how he said they were friends... Shit, she did not want to think of him right now. "Sometimes... so many people can cause that loneliness..." To be surrounded by a sea of faces, but to still be ignored? Lucia knew all too well how the swan felt. "I hope that you and the prince become great friends. Jason is a good friend to have. Very trustworthy... and terribly honest. Sometimes, too honest," she added with a fond smile. "I'm not so close to him as his sister is, though, but I see how he is with her and it's very touching. I like Shiera, too. She's so very smart, I think. About things that you can't find in books, too. I admire her so."
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Old 01-11-2015, 04:31 AM   #19
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Parissa considered the woman in front of her. Lucia didn't seem so very much older... "Are you betrothed, Lady Lucia? I think it is good to be friends with my future husband, but so many people seem not to think the same way."
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Old 01-11-2015, 04:48 AM   #20
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She went quiet again. "No... I'm not... I... do like somebody... but... he likes somebody else." Or many other elses. She looked at her feet. "I should like to think I'll be friends with whoever I marry, I suppose. It would make marriage a good deal easier... But I'm not sure that's what my purpose is." At her age to not already be betrothed... Rothgar must be waiting for her to be ready for a tower, or something...
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Old 01-11-2015, 04:54 AM   #21
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"Oh, no! I do loathe when that happens," Parissa admitted with a sympathetic look. "I swore I was in love with a boy but he wouldn't look twice at me and I bet even when I'm wed to the Crown Prince he won't remember my name. It was so awful! I always felt like I must've been turned invisible."
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Old 01-11-2015, 07:08 PM   #22
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"I... can't say he hasn't looked at me... I think it's worse when they do, my lady. When you know they've seen you... and they know who you are... and they don't like you anyway. Or maybe because of it... It's hard to say."
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Old 01-11-2015, 09:20 PM   #23
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"That seems silly, Lady Lucia. You're very pretty- and very nice. Surely if a man noticed you, he'd like you. Perhaps he's shy." She took a sip of her drink. "Or thinks too much of honor. Some men are apparently quite keen on the idea that affection can be dishonorable. Obviously they don't understand courtly love at all."
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Old 01-11-2015, 09:30 PM   #24
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"He's not shy," she said with a shake of her head. "And I might believe the honor excuse if he'd not- I'm sorry," she said, shaking her head. "Just because I feel rejected does not mean I should speak ill of him. He's, in all other ways, a good man. Brave. Anyway, thank you, my lady. For the compliments." She laughed. "No, they don't. Maybe that's why our fathers and patriarchs arrange matches for us... Because the men don't know any better. So, aside from archery, my lady, what else do you enjoy?"
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Old 01-11-2015, 09:49 PM   #25
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Parissa shrugged. "Riding, and hunting, hawking... Candy?" she laughed. "And, of course, gossip. Princess Zorayda said we were all dreadful little whisperers in Solarii, but there's no one at all worth whispering about in Ashmark." She tilted her head at Lucia. "You know, men are silly. You could just flirt with another one. Maybe that will help you feel better? It always works for my cousins."
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:11 PM   #26
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"Candy... There's a great sweet shop not far from the palace in Volorro. Perhaps one day we might visit it together. Or send somebody to bring us back something. They've the best strawberry tarts... Which I happen to know is a favorite of your intended considering how many Ziamara got him one year... I think after that many, I'd have been sick of them, but he must have a stomach of iron," she laughed. "I've... tried. They're all so... transparent. They see the name before the face. And the face before the mind. Such is the way." She sighed. "I prefer this to flirting. Making friends. Real friends. Who I don't have to flirt with... and who I feel at ease speaking to. I should like to be your friend, Lady Parissa. I think we will get along very well."
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Old 01-11-2015, 11:16 PM   #27
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"I'm sure we will if you know where to find strawberry tarts," Parissa said with a bright laugh. "But I wouldn't mind if men flirted with me for my face or my name- I'd just be happy they tried. I mean, it's not as if you're flirting with them for any more reason- they're there and they're pretty and it's all to forget everythinig for a little while. Like... dancing. Or going swimming."
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Old 01-11-2015, 11:26 PM   #28
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"I never thought of it that way..." she said honestly. "You may be on to something. And another... I know where we can find some sweets, my lady. If you would indulge me on a silly adventure... into a tent... that may or may not be a Vellfyre's... Though, if we are caught, we won't be in too much trouble... See, my father has a bit of a sweet tooth... and he'll probably thank us for getting to the sweets before the ants or birds do. But... we can at least act like getting caught would be dreadful. Makes it more fun that way."
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Old 01-11-2015, 11:30 PM   #29
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"Now that I sounds like an adventure I would love!" Parissa said excitedly. Her smile was a bit wider and she sat up, then got up and began dusting her dress off. "Let's make an attack now. Just say you're humoring the future king's future wife. I'm sure they have to pardon you for that."
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Old 01-11-2015, 11:43 PM   #30
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Lucia stood as well, reaching down to pull a leather band that she'd wrapped around her drinking horn to tie her hair back. She did not worry about dusting her dress off. That was a habit she still had to learn. "It's not that far. Let's try not to be seen by any of my kin, though. Make a game of it," she grinned. All right... strictly speaking... this was a bit childish. But... it was fun, too, and even the most adult of her cousins had fun and did silly games. At least nobody was falling down drunk from this one. "All right... Kellan was that way so... let's go this way," she said, running towards a gathering of tents to go around the opening where her cousin had been spotted telling stories.
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