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Tal Volorro The capital city, first of the Asseryan consuls and now of House Vellfyre. Tal Volorro is both a magnificent feat of Asseryan engineering and a convoluted maze of narrow streets and dark alleys that has grown rapidly and unplanned since Kadreth's War.
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Old 04-06-2015, 09:43 PM   #1
(Lady) Parissa Harrowmont
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Default 1.18 afternoon: You Get What You Pay For (Pari, Retinue, Vellfyres== OPEN TO ANYONE/ALL))

The day had dawned bright and cold and clear: a good day for butchery. It would be a good night as well- for many of those screaming would be doing so for hours yet. Some had yet to be cut.

The king's box was crowded, but so were all the seats of the nobility: not just with nobles but with guards. She knew her brother was prowling somewhere, as were the champions, sworn swords, Crownsguard, Royal Guard- any man who could wield a sword, really. Most of the noblemen even wore leathers if not mail beneath their silks.

Parissa was just in silks- white ones. Mourning clothes that weren't just for the dead Vellfyres but symbolic too: a white silk gown with full sleeves lined in blood-red crimson was half-covered by a circular cloak of white lambswool with a blood-red silk lining. Her red silk and wool hood (red all through, not just lined) was pushed back from her head to show her blond wavy hair loose and tousled in a sign of mourning too but a band of wrought gold and rubies gleamed at her brow.

She sat with her household, watching the executions with the nonchalance of any Southshores noblewoman: it was just one more act of gory theater, different from the arena only in purpose and the fact the crowd was rather closer to the victims. But her father, uncles and Lord Adhemar all had public executions from time to time, so that part wasn't new either... only this one was dragging on.

Her nose wrinkled a little as yet another youth's lungs were ripped through his ribs and he was hoisted up as another dying eagle for the crowd's appraisal. At least they didn't scream for long... though the drawing and quartering of the Vayth son was probably going to be an ordeal of shrieking. She wondered if she shouldn't go beg her goodfather to be merciful to Lady Ganiya and just stone her or something...

She clenched her jaw to hide a tired yawn and looked along the rows, her attention diverted to what other people (especially her cousins but not just them) were wearing.
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Old 04-08-2015, 01:45 PM   #2
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With a veil of purple catching the breeze, held by a thin circlet of bronze, Elinor sat with her hands folded on her lap. Her gown was simple in design, white with a pattern of gray and purple stripes. She wore a long cape of gray, trimmed with fur at the collar. She sat still. Her pale blue eyes often finding a focal point at the hem of he dress. Anything to avert her gaze from the gruesome sights of death. Gods, she hated executions. Mercy was loved higher than justice, and she could not stand to watch bodies torn and mangled. The screaming got worse just then, Elinor began to study the rings on her fingers, her jaw tightening. She wanted to leave so badly, she would have ran if she dared. How awful to suffer, how terrible to die.
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Old 04-08-2015, 02:15 PM   #3
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Parissa stood, finally having enough of howling for a bit. She stretched and gave the Crownsguard assigned to her a smile as he moved to shadow her while she stepped from her seat and began to walk to the stairs. Partway there she tread on someone's hem- and almost on their foot. Parissa stumbled a little with a startled sound and caught herself but looked in distress at the striped fabric to be sure it wasn't hurt. "Oh, I'm so sorry, my lady--" She paused as she looked at the face under the purple veil. Lucia's sister... "Lady Elinor." Who looked a bit pale and tense. "Are you feeling well?"
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Old 04-08-2015, 04:18 PM   #4
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Holding out a hand in case Parissa needed help steadying herself, Elinor got to her feet. She offered a stiff half curtsey. She was growing more used to the feel of her injured rib, but still moved gingerly. "Princess." She said with a bow of her head. "Please do not worry yourself, there is no harm done." She said, "I am afraid bloodshed of any kind unsettles my humors. I never grow use to this sort of thing.." She waved a hand in a vague gesture toward the sounds of agony. "It is good to see you looking well. I trust you are gathering your strength from the sickness?"
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Old 04-08-2015, 05:20 PM   #5
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"Really?" she asked with some surprise and glanced over at the executioners' bloody display then at Elinor. "Perhaps you should spend some time in Solarii? The arena makes a much better showing . Lord Solvitreo might even have flooded the arena and let some of them try their luck with the sharks. My cousin Alodie's quite fond of shark-battles, though I've always liked the lions better. Maybe if they were fighting one another it wouldn't be such a trial for you? It is kind of distressing when they can't even run around to try to avoid it..."

She smiled and took Elinor's hand. "Why don't we go for a walk? It won't be very elegant if you lose your stomach here in front of the smallfolk."
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Old 04-08-2015, 07:30 PM   #6
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Elinor had heard tell of the arenas, and for a moment she debated if watching wild beasts or sharks tear people limb by limb was an improvement from the current scene. Somehow she suspected neither suited her humors. "Yes, it is distressing." She replied neutrally. Though she was small, and gentle looking, Parissa obviously had better head and stomach for executions.

Elinor offered Parissa the trace of a smile. "Thank you, that sounds like a good idea." She accepted Parissa's hand gratefully, glad for an excuse to drift away from the viewing.
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Old 04-08-2015, 08:10 PM   #7
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"One time for Alo's nameday, Lord Adhemar gave her a whole day of naval battles in the arena. With the sharks. It was only criminals, of course, so no one minded. It's not like this where people might know the men up there... did you know some of them?" she asked as they walked. "I don't mean any offense, of course, I had only wondered if some of the traitors might not be known to people who lived in the palace."
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:35 PM   #8
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"That must have been quite the show." Elinor said, trying to sound less sick than she felt. The idea of a young woman enjoying such entertainment for her namesday made her feel a little dizzy. She should have downed some brandy before coming out today... Maybe it would have helped her nerves. "No...not personally. I knew of them of course." She answered. Gods, did she look that awful...like she was watching friends die? That wasn't how she felt, she just didn't like watching people being tortured to death. "I must confess, I have always been curious about Solarii...books and tutors can only tell you so much." Elinor spoke trying to change the subject.
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:42 PM   #9
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Parissa daintily lifted her hem out of her way as she started down the steps of the risers. "Hmm? Oh, Solarii's amazing. You should talk to Zanara or 'Mina, but you'd absolutely love it... once you got accustomed to the arena, I guess. It's grand, and so much more crowded than here- with all sorts of languages and people, not just mostly Edolene like Volorro--" She looked up at Elinor. "My, you are a bit gray... should I send for a magister? Didn't your lord father ever take you to the executions before?" she asked, her eyes a little wide in surprise.
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Old 04-09-2015, 12:40 AM   #10
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Elinor tried to focus on each word as Parissa spoke. "It must be pleasant to have your cousins here." She remarked, "I have not graced to spend time in the company of either. " Seeing the stairs ahead, she cleared the toes of her shoes, by raising her skirts. Elinor felt her knees shaking as they walked. When Parissa met her gaze, Elinor lifted a hand to her circlet, as if making certain her veil had not slipped. " I think I will be fine..." She said, willing herself to be. "Yes, I have viewed executions before...once six men were hung... And beheadings.." Elinor trailed off, shutting her mouth, and swallowing. "I am sorry, I am getting a bit dizzy."
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Old 04-09-2015, 12:50 AM   #11
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Parissa nodded and moved to put her hand on Elinor's arm. "Come on. Down the steps... and..." she turned up to look at her shadow-guard. "You- can you get one of the boys to run for some wine?" She looked again at Elinor. "Once we're down, you can sit and if you like I'll send someone for a litter. You can go back and say you were just catching a chill."

She bit her lip as she kept moving slowly to help Elinor negotiate the stairs. "It's really not so bad. Some magisterium students can't stand the sight of blood either- my brother's told me all about some of his classmates fainting when they have to cut things open."
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Old 04-09-2015, 01:32 PM   #12
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Elinor leaned against Parissa, nodding. "Sitting down will help." She spoke for her own benefit as much as anything. Focusing on putting one foot in front the other. Wine was good, wine would help calm her. She would be okay, she was just upset.

She was thankful for the slowness of Parissa's careful steps as they made their way down the stairs. Breathe, long deep breaths...she kept telling herself. The word 'cut' brought the image of pain and gore before her eyes. Elinor tried to push it away. "I...don't know how...they do it. Caring for the ill is one thing...." Elinor swallowed, "but...cutting..." Elinor bit her lip. "You must forgive me, Your Highness. I am out of sorts." That was an understatement.
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Old 04-09-2015, 05:02 PM   #13
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"How else to clean a wound or try to remove an arrow that's stuck?" Pari asked carelessly. But they'd come to the end of the steps and she waited while her maid ran for one of the folding camp chairs the lesser retinues were using- some had already left and inevitably there were spares momentarily forgotten by servants still enjoying the show.

Parissa wrinkled her nose and brought her kerchief-wrapped pomander up to her nose from her belt- the scents of herbs and flowers wasn't quite enough to escape the scent of Tal Volorro mud but it helped. "Solarii smells better, except at low tide," she added. "I do miss the sea. Maybe you should wed a sea-lord, Lady Elinor? You might find the miasmas of the city wouldn't affect you so..."

Her maid rushed back with the seat for Elinor and unfolded it off to the side where they wouldn't be quite as likely to be interrupted by anyone else fleeing the top of the risers. "You can use the litter that brought me here if you want to," she offered. "It's one of Queen Charlotte's- she lent it to me. You can just send a groom back with my horse."
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Old 04-10-2015, 06:49 PM   #14
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Elinor marveled at Parissa's casual manner toward bloodshed. She almost envied her... Although, on another level she was a bit disturbed. Maybe once you had witnessed lions ripping people to shreds, and sharks tearing bodies in bloody waters it became commonplace.

Once they reached the last of the stairs, breathing deeply became uncomfortable. The dank small of mud filled her nose, and Elinor reached into the folds of her gown to retrieve a small vial of lavender oil and mint. Maybe that would keep her from fainting. "The stench is quite offensive." Elinor opened the vial and sniffed deeply, the contents making her eyes water. "The sea must be beautiful.. Perhaps, you will visit again." she said, trying to keep her mind on something postive. "I trust my current betrothal will hold, so I shall find myself in Cliffton."

Elinor nodded thanks for the chair, and gratefully slumped into it. "That is very kind, Your Highnes, I believe I will recover enough to ride back." She sniffed the lavender. Gods, at least she hadn't fainted.

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Old 04-10-2015, 10:03 PM   #15
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'Oh, are you betrothed? I haven't quite learned all the arrangements yet," she admitted. "The fever and then everything else... I feel like I missed quite a lot being locked in a room for half a month." Pari laughed softly. "Cliffton... that's the newer Vikary house, isn't it? Lord... Raethan. So it must be his son you're to wed? I haven't met any of the Vikarys though your future good-sister's to join my retinue once the gates open."
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Old 04-10-2015, 10:30 PM   #16
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"Yes, I am to wed Lord Reathan's eldest son, Ryam. We are close kin by blood on my mother's side, but there is a formal lack of familiarity between us since childhood." Elinor spoke with weary acceptance. She sighed, feeling less dizzy now that she was seated. "It has been sometime since I have spoken with Carolei ...I am certain you will be pleased to have her in your service. She is well experienced as the former Lady of Snakewood." Elinor pushed aside the trail of her veil from her shoulders. "It must have been awful to be confined during your bout with fever. I can only imagine how odd it must be to awake to all that has happened..." Elinor fanned herself with her hand.
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Old 04-10-2015, 10:36 PM   #17
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"Odd was waking up when it was happening," Pari admitted. "His highness was kind enough to speak with me and calm my immediate fears but this..." She looked toward the gallows, now hidden behind the risers but still she could hear one of the dead men howling.

"My father would have strung them up in crows cages along the road and left them to starve," she informed Elinor. "This is a bit more like Sunspire... so not quite as odd. I doubt the commons will try rioting again. That's a good thing. But I'll be happy to go to Summerhall; less commonfolk so less chance of anything like this being needed."
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Old 04-11-2015, 06:45 PM   #18
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"I would not blame you if you believed the sky was falling." Elinor replied, imagining the horror of awaking and finding a nightmare playing out in your midst. "His Highness was at the gates the night I returned...I was grateful for his pressance." Her tone was soft, as she recalled the scene of seeing Jason. It had restored sanity to have someone strong and familiar there.

The howl of the dying reverberated Elinor's nerves. She placed a hand to her head, trying to block out the images Parissa's words conjured. "So many of the smallfolk are already starving...it would have been quick end." She nodded faintly about the riots. "The sheer evils of the day ...I beg to the gods it will never see repeat. I hope you do not confuse my intolerant humors for blood, with upset for the punishments reaped." Elinor lifted her gaze. "My sorrows are for those killed and mimed in the riots, my sister, Princess Ziamara... My friends, and the brave men who rode out to see us safe. I know the guilty must pay, I just lack the heart to take satisfaction in gruesome deaths." She was rambling now, spilling her thoughts like grain. Realizing it, she stopped.

Elinor sighed, talk of the riots made her feel empty. "Summerhall is a lovely place...a good place to forget unpleasantness."
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Old 04-11-2015, 09:33 PM   #19
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"His highness has a talent for being steady in chaos, it seems. A good trait for our future king," she said with a slight smile. "But don't worry- I know a lot ladies who are not fond of bloodsport. My Harrowmont cousins are not so used to the arenas either," she offered. "But... do you happen to know anything of your cousin? Princess Ziamara, I mean. His highness as asked about her often but I have not been allowed to see her for myself."
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Old 04-12-2015, 11:34 PM   #20
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Elinor nodded agreement. She did not doubt Jason would be anything but a fine ruler when the time came. She appreciated the lack of judgmental nature toward her imbalanced humors. More howls echoed from beyond. Elinor lifted her gaze to Parissa's question. "I looked in on her once. She was lost to poppy sleep." Elinor sighed heavily. "Battered, bruised... And the fever. How can anyone know truly, save the gods." She said somberly. Elinor closed the vial of lavender and mint, slipping it back into the folds of her gown. "My head is clearing a bit. I may have fainted had you not aided me." She offered a small smile.
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Old 04-12-2015, 11:40 PM   #21
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"I am glad I could be helpful," she said with a bright smile. "After all, we are kin now." Pari paused. "Oh, and speaking of that, I hadn't asked after your new brother and sister. How are they? I hadn't dared Lady Lorna's wrath in checking in on their room yet."
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:30 PM   #22
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Having lost so many kin, it was nice to be reminded some new members like Parissa had been gained. The shadow of a smile crossed Elinor's lips. "Lorna's bark is as bad as her bite...but if you catch her in a good mood, she can be tamed momentarily." Elinor said, not entirely without humor. "Rosaline is still not healed, but she is given the best of care. I chanced to spend a few hours with Kade the day past. He is a lively boy, with bright eyes...I suspect I adore him already." Elinor admitted. "It takes getting used to...but I am glad they will know me as their sister." Her heart had softened in that regard. "You have many siblings yourself. Will your sister ever come to court, you think?"
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Old 04-13-2015, 10:11 PM   #23
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Parissa shook her head at the question. "Not for a long time; she's only eleven and Kaiden's here already. If father decides to move her further from the fighting, she'll probably go to our aunt in Solarii, or else to Ashmark." She laughed. "Anyway, thanks to Princess Alianor, I think we'll have enough children to mind at Summerhall: we're meant to take your Rosaline and Kade, I think, and then Lord Kain's daughter and some of the wards and the king's youngest son and daughter... I wonder if there'll be any room left if I have a child."
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:32 PM   #24
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Elinor smiled at the sound of Parissa's laughter. "Hardly a worry, your child among all would be the joy of the nursery. It is nice to think Kade and Rosaline will have a store of playmates..." She said, imagining the gleeful giggles of children filling the corridors of Summerhall. It seemed pleasant to imagine her little brother and sister would grow up beside Raisa's Jayme and Cendrine. "I am curious to meet Kain's daughter." she admitted. "I wonder if she will be like either his sisters." Her smile subdued, thinking of Leandra dead, and Rosina so very far away.

Pulling herself from her thoughts, Elinor said quietly, "Do not let the courtiers pester you too much. You are very young still, plenty of time to give the prince his heir." Elinor felt sorry for the insane amount of pressure Parissa was not doubt under. It was shameless in her opinion.
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Old 04-16-2015, 10:33 PM   #25
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She smiled at Elinor. "I do look forward to giving the prince his heir. He said the same thing though... that there's time. But I do hope it doesn't take too terribly long." Strange thing to discuss here and now of all places, she realized... but then had she not spent many an hour laughing over squires' mischief at the arenas?

Her expression was more curious. "What were Lord Kain's sisters like? I know my husbaand loved his cousins but I only ever met them in passing and I didn't think it would be nice of me to ask him about sad things too often."
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Old 04-21-2015, 10:47 AM   #26
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Elinor thought for a moment. "Rosina, I looked up to her when I was a little girl. She is graceful, and dignified... a true lady, though sometimes I think she may have desired to be less than such." Elinor's smile grew mischievous. Weren't there times they all did? It was short lived however and her smile subdued. "Leandra, she was gentle, sweet, and very modest...she lived her life in a way that none could find ill with her... I was very fond of her." Elinor fingered the rim of her mantle. She slowly rose from her chair. "I better stand up awhile." She offered.
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Old 04-23-2015, 11:14 PM   #27
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"I'm sorry for your loss," she said, chastened. "I cannot imagine losing one of my cousins. I would still be weeping- you're much more dignified than I am, I think." Parissa watched Elinor rise. "Are you... all right? You aren't feeling feverish, you're sure?"
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Old 04-25-2015, 03:25 PM   #28
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Elinor heard Parissa's chastened tone, but at the word 'dignified' the wave of nausea hit her so hard, all she could do was cover her mouth.Sitting she had thought she wanted to stand. Standing, everything went muted, her hands clammy, knees shaking, head pounding... And that sick feeling surfaced stronger than before. Her pale blue eyes widened, and she doubled over retching. Gods, not even with the plague had she been this sick.
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Old 04-25-2015, 04:35 PM   #29
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She yelped and skipped backward as Elinor bent and emptied her stomach. The cry unfortunate brought the Crownsguards assigned to her rushing forward, though they stopped short as they saw what had caused it.

Parissa's handmaiden meanwhile moved to Lady Elinor's side to catch her elbow and keep her from stumbling forward or falling. "Get it out, my lady," Kesya murmured. "Better on the street than in your lap as you ride."

"Ew." Parissa's nose was still wrinkled and she glared at the guards. "She needs to go back to the palace."

"You cannot accompany her, highness. If she's ill, it is not advisable." Ser Derek Glover was looking warily between Parissa and Elinor.

"Then she's taking my litter. She can't ride and any of you would just squeeze her into throwing up her breakfast if you tried to ride with her." Parissa put her hand over her mouth as Elinor gagged. Ugh, she hated that sound, it always made her stomach twitch too. If she vomited now, she would scream. Instead she looked down at her dress to make sure the hem had avoided getting splashed. Small favors, for now...

Kesya put a careful hand on Elinor's shoulders. "A page can ride ahead, and the magisters can have a tonic for your stomach waiting when you arrive."
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Old 04-26-2015, 12:24 PM   #30
(Lady) Elinor Vellfyre
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Elinor finally stopped vomiting. It left her hands shaking, her face ashen, and her eyes watering. If it hadn't been for Parissa's handmaiden she would have toppled onto the ground. Wiping her mouth with the sleeve of her gown, she silently vowed too have the thing burned when she got back to the palace. The rancid smells of the streets, combined with her own offerings filled her nose. She coughed, and her throat felt painfuly raw. "I am so...sorry." She choked out, with evident shame. It was likely the most embarrassing scene she had caused in public. She nodded, coughing again, then fingered her eyes dry. There was nothing else she could say, nothing she could do...except wait to be led from thr scene of shame.
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