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Kingsreach Home to the king and his court, the 'reach is a warm and lovely landscape, where nobles love songs, chivalry, and pageantry.
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Tal Volorro . Blacktide . Kingsport . Oldcastle . Delving .


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The king's company is set upon along the road from Mirrormount to Moonspire...



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Old 05-27-2015, 09:48 PM   #1
(Lady) Raisa Verrun
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Default 3.19.31 The Leaving of the Bees (road to Lumberton, noon, Ziamara/open)

Something in the food or drink around Honeywell troubled her stomach, leaving Raisa without an appetite. The moment she had the chance and privacy, she relieved herself, though it could hardly be called relief because after, her stomach still ached. It had for the time-being hampered her excitement in travelling. While others ate, she had drunk wine under the presumption that it would help but left the rest of her cold meal when the idea of consuming anything disgusted her.

No longer on horseback, she found her harp and carried it with her in the manner a child did on the Day of Gifts. People were moving back and forth as she sat on some seating laid out beneath a tree. She looked up for a moment and narrowed her eyes at the glare of the sun. Even though the day was grey, the sun was still peeking behind a thin veil of clouds. "Ziamara!" she exclaimed in greeting at the first face her eyes fell upon.
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:19 PM   #2
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She looked up in surprise at the voice then smiled warmly at Raisa. "Oh, good afternoon, my lady!" Ziamara called back, waving Raisa over. "Care to join me? I'm hiding from my aunt before she bids me do something useful." Ziamara was resting on a blanket strewn with a few cushions, all laid in the shade of a spreading tree. Her servants had set out some food, and a pair of guards stood on hand nearby while Carissa was unfastening Ziamara's hood with a comb and box of hair ornaments at her side- the princess would have to look less like she'd been traveling all day when they arrived at the evening's abode.
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Old 05-27-2015, 11:10 PM   #3
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Raisa eagerly left where she had been at Ziamara’s beckon and joined her, settling down. Her eyes cast over the food in disinterest as her stomach had a will of its own, then the ornaments in admiration before she looked up with a bright smile. "I cannot wait to reach Lumberton. How excited are you to see Delving? I’ve heard good words about it, such as the Tower of Prior… I think it has wide windows where you can see things… from… prior, like the past. Would you like to visit it with me when we are there?"
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Old 05-27-2015, 11:20 PM   #4
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"I think you mean the Prayer Tower?" Ziamara asked. "And it's nothing so interesting. I believe people reside in it to dedicate themselves to communing with the gods." Ziamara picked up a piece of smoked meat and nibbled at it. "Are you not hungry, Raisa? I always eat so much when I've been riding. If I'm not careful, Cari will have to loosen my gowns."
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Old 05-28-2015, 12:00 AM   #5
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"Oh, I’m not hungry," Raisa said innocently. Her upset stomach destroyed her romantic daydreams of herself strolling hand-in-hand with the king in Lumberton. Now the town would bear witness to the crap of the century and she would be crouching and sweating over a chamberpot. "You could eat an oliphaunt and I still think you would fit your gowns," she smiled.

"But the Prayer Tower sounds beautiful. I think I will go there and sing hymns with them," she considered. "I hope the gods to grant me more inspiration… Is the journey treating you well, though? Would you like me to give you another cushion, maybe to sit on? Or music?" She gestured at her harp, which she admittedly hadn’t played since getting it. "Or chocolate, maybe I can find chocolate?"
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Old 05-28-2015, 12:19 AM   #6
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"You're very sweet," Ziamara said with a laugh. Though at the moment it was closer to true than false- her illness had drawn weight from her and left her former curves rather lacking. She was hoping to regain some of them.

Her expression dimmed. "It's not a voluntary retreat, Raisa. It's Lord Seyfert's version of a prison. I don't know if anyone will be singing."

She smiled again. "You can play if you like. I am giving my musicians a break until we arrive at the tourney."
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Old 05-28-2015, 01:18 AM   #7
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"Thank you," she said, though she hadn’t considered what to play. She warmed up by brushing the strings with her fingers before she chose the first tune that sprung to mind to pluck. "Though I suppose he ought to put his lawbreakers somewhere, why not a tower?" She shrugged. "Anyways, the tourney should be very exciting. There was a very awful musician who my former lady was so fond of… I cannot remember his name but he was handsome with curls and he couldn’t keep his leg off the balcony wall. I haven’t seen him, I hope no one brought him," she said honestly.
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Old 05-28-2015, 01:23 AM   #8
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"He was in Summerhall last I saw him," Ziamara said honestly. She shrugged. "Minstrels are ever given to wandering. Perhaps he might turn up... or perhaps not. I am still trying to find someone to replace my dear Thomas," she said with a sadder note in her voice. "I am hoping the tourney might attract some singers worth taking on."
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Old 05-28-2015, 02:03 AM   #9
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Raisa gave Ziamara an expression of sympathy. "I am very sorry about your Thomas. There are some you meet in life who are jewels that can never be replaced. My lady Ausla was like that," she said, as if she were mourning her. "Apart from the fact that I am too evil or too stupid," she said casually, "everyone else is stupider or looks like a… questionable."
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Old 05-28-2015, 05:55 PM   #10
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"Ausla is a darling. I think she's become quite the favorite with Parissa's retinue..." Ziamara's voice trailed off and she turned a puzzled frown to Raisa. "I'm sorry, perhaps I misunderstood you just now... You are too... what?"
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Old 05-28-2015, 07:59 PM   #11
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Though she felt proud and happy for Ausla, Raisa barely hid the envious look in her eyes as she tried to concentrate on the strings of the harp. She wished she still had her. "Too evil or too stupid," she repeated and again, it was spoken casually. "I did not mean anything by it," she said, even though she had long begun believing it, and smiled. "Only that Ausla is better off where she is now."
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:01 PM   #12
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Ziamara's head tilted. "Surely you cannot speak of yourself in such terms lightly, Raisa. That is such a... steep allegation to hold against one's self. Whatever makes you think thus?"
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:44 PM   #13
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"Ausla was in my service, she did not change retinue by chance," Raisa answered simply, unknowingly changing the song she was playing to a dramatic tune but then it returned to the lighter one that preceded it. "But that is all I can say of it, I would rather not be worrying, that’s all I am good at and sucking cock, that as well. So let’s speak of anything else, like Honeywell and their apiary. I truly meant nothing by it."
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:54 PM   #14
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She reached out to gently put her hand over Raisa's and still her playing. "Enough, Raisa. Say whatever it is that's upsetting you. You do not say something so hurtful about yourself and then brush it away- so speak."
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Old 05-28-2015, 10:30 PM   #15
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Raisa’s gaze had some resistance in it, she remembered telling others that she bothered Ziamara with all her crises and again, she was doing it. Ultimately, she gave in. "I cannot tell you everything but you must promise that you will tell no one of what I do tell," she said as her eyes went from Carissa to the guards.
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Old 05-28-2015, 10:34 PM   #16
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"Carissa is always silent in such matters, you know this." Still she straightened up enough to pause Cari's ministrations to her hair. "Bid the guards take a few steps back, Cari, and fetch me some sekanjabin. The mint might help settle Raisa's nerves."

Her eyes settled on Raisa. "Tell me what's going on. As much as you can. You know I'll speak to no one."
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Old 05-28-2015, 11:15 PM   #17
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Raisa paused to think of where to begin, especially to keep the tale as nameless as she could. "It started in the first month when I found a man creeping in my apartments at night, leaving my lady’s chamber. Ausla was still mine at the time and he was a stranger to us both, yet I believe he had lured her into drinking with him. I always told her no more than half a cup of wine but she’s too trusting of men. Nothing happened between them, I am certain," she added.

"I still thought him to be drunk until the twenty-first when he approached me and a quarrel began. I don’t remember how. I only remember he said that I enjoyed seeing pain in him… or something and even after apologising, I sensed he still saw the fault lay with me, so I lied and ran. Then days later, I was confronted again by another man about Lady Ausla, I cannot remember much of the conversation then either. I do remember that I was told I kept her as a pet and my keeping her at court was cruelty. So that it was not once but twice that I found myself in such situations means that I am at indeed a fault. I am either stupid or I am evil."
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Old 05-28-2015, 11:25 PM   #18
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Ziamara listened, her expression sympathetic as Raisa spoke. "Would that fight have had something to do with the broken harp that this one replaced?" she asked gently, pointing to the harp Raisa held. "As for the rest... Leave the altercations aside. Do you feel badly about some actions that lends these criticisms weight in your mind?"
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Old 05-29-2015, 12:03 AM   #19
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"It was not, the fight had happened long after," Raisa explained, thinking it was better to avoid mentioning the harp-breaking had occurred before the riots. "And their criticism… it does hurt but sometimes I do not know what I feel. At first I am justified and then they speak and I begin feeling that they are speaking the truth and that troubles me. If two men find issue with me, how can it not be anything but right? Do you ever feel that way? And before them, something else happened which I believe lends it even more weight."
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Old 05-29-2015, 12:17 AM   #20
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"I didn't mean that sort of related. I meant was it the same person..." She finally pursed her lips. "And what is that other thing?"
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Old 05-29-2015, 12:28 AM   #21
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"Oh," Raisa answered dumbly, blinking. "It wasn’t, it was a whole other man, much more dangerous than Lord Sollis." Her luck with men was poor, they all wanted to find fault with her. She hoped Lord Ryam got devoured by starving bandits on his way back from court. "The other thing includes your father. We were in his bed chamber. He was in the midst of tearing off my clothing and my loins were warm and at the ready… then a fire broke out. It ruined everything."
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Old 05-29-2015, 12:33 AM   #22
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"Ah." She'd heard of that in passing from some of the servants during their overnight stay in Volorro. Ziamara shrugged. "Flames and Vellfyres are often close companions. I doubt it was more than father spilling oil on his table one morning and forgetting about it."

She hesitated and looked at Raisa again. "But... I have to ask you... if you caught a man sneaking out of your lady-in-waiting's chamber... why did you not summon the guards and have him hauled before father at once? Strangers near any private quarters of the family or your own... that's a serious matter, Raisa."
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Old 05-29-2015, 12:55 AM   #23
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Raisa looked blank for a moment at the mention of the fire and then her cheeks coloured, she had gone for a better part of the past months brewing in her conspiracy theories in how it connected to everything, even telling Elinor that it all signalled her death by fire.

"I cannot remember what I was thinking, I was scared," she said. "I thought he was drunk and he left when I asked him to… But you’re right. I had my son in the other room. I should have called for guards." She brushed her brow with her fingers, wondering why it had never crossed her mind. "It’s too late to say anything now, it looks terrible to keep quiet this long. Besides I cannot distract him by pulling up my skirts. I think tonight I am going to be spending every moment at the chamber pot."
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Old 05-29-2015, 01:01 AM   #24
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She raised a brow. "If you're ill, sekanjebin will help- the mint can settle your stomach and the honey can keep your strength up. It's not another pregnancy, is it? You might distract father with that announcement. Do you know who the man was that you caught? Even if we don't tell father, it can't hurt to be wary of someone who was so intent upon slipping near the king's children in the dark of night..."
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Old 05-29-2015, 01:23 AM   #25
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"I think I ate something that does not agree with me," she said as she placed her harp down gently for once since they had stopped along the road so that she could accept the drink. "I know who the man was, he’s unmistakable as is his brother but his brother is nothing like him." She gave Ziamara a long look as if she had only just noticed something, there was a matter of blood-sharing and she did not know how close Ziamara was to her cousin. "Perhaps it should be better to tell your father…" she considered indecisively. "I would rather you not hear anymore."
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Old 05-29-2015, 01:44 AM   #26
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Carissa had returned and filled two cups from a basket by the princess's side. Like all Ziamara's traveling kit, they were made especially for her. This set had been part of a wedding gift from Artos: the cups were engraved with gryffins rearing over the Vayth tower. Ziamara held one cup out to Raisa. "I had thought you trusted me, Raisa." There was hurt in Ziamara's eyes and in her voice. "We are friends- what secret could make you speak in riddles? But no... don't explain. If you think it is best to talk to father, then that is what you should do. Not today, though- perhaps once you're feeling better? You can say that the fear from the illness made you regret not speaking sooner? Something like that. Men are far more forgiving when we're looking fragile."
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Old 05-29-2015, 02:00 AM   #27
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Raisa took the cup and for a moment admired its ornamentation, tracing her finger over it with a guilty expression. She did not yet drink and looking down, she said quickly as if she were drawing a knife from her gut, "it was your cousin, Lord Ryam."
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Old 05-29-2015, 02:03 AM   #28
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"Oh, good grief." She sighed heavily before she drank from her own cup. "Now my stomach needs settling. That ridiculous boy... Well. When was this and... was he the one you were worried about with Ausla...? If so, that part at least I might be able to assist with."
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Old 05-29-2015, 02:28 AM   #29
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Raisa was both relieved and surprised by Ziamara’s response. She had thought that the fact that it was Lord Ryam would have put her in a position to be blamed or be at fault. "He was that man," she answered, remembering she too was holding a cup so she brought it to her lips and drank, enjoying mostly the honey. "You wanted to know when he was in my apartments or when he yelled at me? He was wandering from her chamber on... the sixteenth of the first month. You will be able to help?"
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Old 05-29-2015, 02:36 AM   #30
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"When and why did he yell at you?" Ziamara asked, taking another sip. "Ryam's always been so... peaceable before. Had something gone terribly wrong?"
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