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Tea for Two at Ten

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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Thu May 29, 2014 4:24 pm

The aasimar folded her legs and sunk into the overstuffed chair, her glowing eyes never leaving those of the man beside her. Silent for an uncomfortably long time, it seemed almost as if she were listening to something, waiting for a pause in some other voiceless conversation.

"I used to wonder why the gods decided to bring the four of you together," she began abruptly, with a soft smile playing upon her lips. "Surely, I thought, a more like-minded company would be more effective in battling what is to come! However, I have come to the conclusion that it is your differences that are your strength in this situation. Granted this could also be your downfall if you let them come between you. . .

"Each of you bring a wholly different perspective to the task and each of you approach problems surprisingly varied ways. . . see things that another might not. These qualities will be necessary in the coming turmoil. Perhaps it is difficult to see this as a boon within the moment, as proximate to it as you are."

Wynnsaren pivoted her head to the side, her attention momentarily drawn to her desk before she stood and moved over to retrieve a small teak box that rested upon it.

"I wish to share something with you," she grinned, propping open the lid of the box and setting it upon the stand beside the Magister. "I just received these in a parcel from a friend yesterday and I find them quite delectable! I do not take sugar in my tea, but I do enjoy a bit of sugar with my tea, if you understand my meaning."

The luxuriously lined box was filled with small yellow drops, about half the size of a copper coin.

"She told me they were imported from Osirion. They dissolve almost instantly upon the tongue and taste of honey with enticingly delicate lavender overtones that I believe you will enjoy. Please, help yourself!"

Wynn returned to her seat and took her own advice, helping herself to one of the sweets before continuing the conversation where she left off.

"It is my perception that you and King Thaddeus suffer in large part from misunderstanding rather than deep seated grievance. You two are rather dissimilar in personality after all, but this is nothing that cannot be worked through with proper communication," she concluded optimistically. "You wish for him to be a strong and decisive ruler, and therefore he needs your support, in public and in private, not your condescension. Along a similar vein, you wish for him to respect you and give your thoughts the proper weight you feel they deserve without the negative commentary.

"Perhaps you should arrange a meeting with him to discuss the matter? If you feel you need an arbitrator to facilitate better understanding, than I would be happy to oblige."

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Zaistrun Garess

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Thu May 29, 2014 4:34 pm

"Perhaps that might someday be necessary. I know you are committed to our success and if it gets to be a greater misunderstanding, then an intercessor would be welcome. I am not sure it will get to that point, but it could. If the king is willing, then I would do it. I may have to learn to deal with him at some point since it has been going well with Sarala. We have been working together more, and it's been delightful. She is actually pretty comfortable with me now, which has been an ease to the mind."

"About the cross of flavors, I totally agree. The spicy and slightly bitter flavors of this particular tea would be well complimented by the astringent of the lavender and the sweet of the honey. I concur with your assessment that this particular combination would be quite reflreshing."

Zaistrun took the offered candy and savored the tasty morsel, frowning his approval. "That's quite good. What is it called?"
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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Thu May 29, 2014 5:42 pm

"It is a type of halawa, a type of sweet quite common in that region I have been told," Wynnsaren explained, as she placed another drop on her tongue closing her eyes to the taste as it dissolved and released the burst of flavor. "But specifically, this type goes by the name of. . . dutaleta." She scowled at her poor attempt to pronounce it phonetically. "The name was written in a language and script I am not at all familiar with so I had to use a bit of magic. It means Angel Tears."

The aasimar sat back in her seat smirking at a private joke as she stared into the coals.

"Lady Volk has been curious about my heritage during my visits to Mivon, but I have never spoken of it, and she is far too noble. . . too proper to be asking me outright. This," she indicated the box of candies, "is a nod to her belief that she has come to a conclusion.

"Little does the lady know that her guess is as good as mine!" The smirk became a grin and the grin split into a warm, purring chuckle. "Ahh I do so love such little games! I will say that the nobility plays them far more frequently than the peasantry, and on a deeper level. A pleasurable aspect of my given position to be sure!"

Turning to her companion in the far less comfortable chair beside her, She offered an enveloping smile.

"Speaking of sweet things, I am very glad to hear that your time with Sarala has been productive. Tell me, my friend," Wynn leaned in intently, curiously, placing her elbow on the arm of the chair and resting her head in her hand. "Are you the type of man to hold the line and let things transpire as they may? Or are you the type that has a plan. . .attack and conquer as it were?"

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Zaistrun Garess

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Fri May 30, 2014 9:41 am

Zaistrun gave the oracle a skeptical eye. "I believe you are aware of the old proverb, 'those who fail to plan, plan to fail'. I most certainly do have a plan, although some of it does rely on waiting for opportunity. There are certain times when pursuing a course of action where inaction is your best choice, although I would use it with caution."

The Magister wiggled his fingers and another candy floated from the box into his mouth in a lazy, meandering path. "Right now, the business relationship we do have allows me to set up social dates of convenience." He looked through his eyebrows as he emphasized his next point. "Her pride won't allow her to admit she was wrong about me, so she lies to herself about this. Really, she's enjoying our time together. I've never seen her smile as much doing anything else."

"In the course of time when she feels more grown up, I'll propose a marriage of convenience. Or it will be one of love if she's ready to accept the truth about us. A few years after that, I'll be able to convince her that a child or two would be a boon to the kingdom, and she'll reluctantly accept as long as it doesn't interfere with her ability to do her job. I'll make sure the children get a proper Abadaran education, and they will develop into a decent noble house over the years. She'll live long enough to see they remain loyal for a few generations and we will let them master their own destiny after that." Another candy floated to his mouth, and he stayed silent for a moment, studying the flavor.

"What about your interest in Master Winter? I know your divine movements keep you from making long term plans, but do you have any way to satisfy your heart in this matter? With my new abilities of communication and transportation, I may be able to bring you back from wherever you go, even if it is for a short time. Although, I'm pretty sure that Rasven himself could find you with minimal effort."
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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Fri May 30, 2014 11:32 am

"A way to satisfy my heart. . ."

The aasimar whispered the phrase, almost as if savoring the words on the tip of her tongue. The idea intrigued her. It was a rare thing for her to think upon her needs, only because it was easier -- less fraught with emotional turmoil, to dwell in the immediate where her personal life was concerned. Her missions were paramount and to hold out real hope for what her own future might hold seemed. . .masochistic. After all, the gods had long ago demonstrated how little they were concerned for her desires.

But Rasven Winter had come along and pried open a door that she believed permanently shut. Nailed and boarded. He'd done so not with force or coercion, but with gentleness, thoughtfulness and patience. Qualities that she believed few, if any realized the dreaded merchant prince possessed!

Wynnsaren sighed and leaned against the back of the cushion as her eyes drifted toward the frame above the mantle. As they did so, the playful and flirtatious guise that she so often wore in the Magister's presence, fell away completely, leaving behind something softer and altogether more vulnerable.

Herself.

"My heart is not so easily satisfied, I fear," she finally responded in her natural, and almost otherworldly resonant tones. "It will not settle for dalliance, nor would it ever consider such a possibility. Such is not in my nature. Neither is it in his. So that leads me unerringly toward considering the long term and that, as you so astutely point out, I cannot do. Or perhaps, have not yet had the courage to do. Fear holds me back, you see, though I label it practicality so that my pride is less pricked by the notion."

The aasimar chuffed at her own weakness.

"Two obstacles stand between us. Rasven lives in service to Silverhall, bound by an Oath that torments him horribly if he steps beyond the statutes of that agreement. It is such that to even speak to me of it, will wrack him with a pain that I cannot fathom. Not even after seeing it firsthand." She swallowed with difficulty the lump of sorrow that had welled in her throat at the memory.

"The second obstacle, for my own part, is that I live in service to the gods, as you know, and am not always in control of my comings and goings. Once I thought this to be an insurmountable complication, but Master Winter has swept this obstacle away with ingenuity and assurances. He provided me a cloak, the starry one you have seen me wear," she explained, "which will allow him to do much as you suggested. With it, he might locate and come to me when I call for him."

She turned to Zaistrun with a warm smile playing at her lips. "I cannot say with absolute certainty, but I have come to believe that he has something of a plan himself, perhaps not as detailed as your own, my friend, but you and he both have calculating minds and when such minds are set to a goal, there is little that cannot be accomplished. It is in that light that Rasven has systematically removed each facet of my own obstacle, only to leave the first to deal with.

"And as to that. . ." Wynnsaren grinned and pressed her hand against her chest, against the worn leather pouch containing his orb that lay beneath the folds of her robe. "To that, he has given me a key. That is why it is so important for me to get to the Mwangi to learn as much about this as I can."

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Zaistrun Garess

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Fri May 30, 2014 11:42 am

"Then that is what we shall do." The sorcerer stood from his sturdy and straight backed chair, beckoned another candy into his mouth and made his way to the door. "But not today. Tomorrow, I am running an errand for my brother. He has graciously informed us of a problem in Silverholm that we will have to see to before we can take any trips for personal reasons. Hopefully it will not take too long. We have a Kingdom anniversary to plan and a tournament in Pitax in under a month. Hopefully after that, we'll shall go as soon as we can, and I do make good on my word. Not that I need to tell you."

He took a few steps more toward her door and then looked back. "If you are anything like me, you'll be tired. That look in your eyes is a bit unusual, even I could see it. If you are out of practice on that line of thinking, you'll tire easily. If you aren't anything like me, then you'll take it in stride. But I want you to know, beauty can tame the beast. I'm living proof."

The magister wove his hands in an intricate pattern and then stopped suddenly. And he gave her a smile, full, warm genuine. A rare gem, scarcely glimpsed demonstrated a hidden trump buried deep within the mountain. He could be winning if he wished. And then he vanished.
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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Fri May 30, 2014 1:26 pm

A throaty chuckle bubbled from Wynnsaren's lips, in as much response to the abrupt -- yet so apropos exit, as to the final message with which the Magister left her.

While attempting to puzzle out which of the pair he considered the beauty, and which the beast, she rose to snuff out the candles. All Novastasia recognized Sarala Medvyed as a beauty. That would seem the obvious reference, but Zaistrun was the one actively trying to do the taming here, what with his regimented plan for what he saw to be benevolent manipulation of their future. Whichever the case, she wished him luck in the endeavor, for he would need it. If her sylphian friend felt any inkling that she was being. . .managed, her reaction might just be explosive.

Wynn said a silent prayer for Zaistrun's well-being.

In her own case, Rasven must have been the one he cast as the beast, as the Magister only knew him by reputation alone. The fearsome merchant prince certainly had a beastly reputation but even beyond that, a shroud of power and authority clung to him like a second skin and even his movements mirrored the deceptively languorous and silent gait of a predator. It was clear to anyone with a sense of self-preservation that Master Winter was a dangerous man. Not to her, she understood, but even the knowing didn't stop her pulse from skittering wildly when he was near. Granted, this had nothing to do with fear. . .

Perhaps he was the beast in this allegory but she had no interest in taming him, Wynnsaren considered with a sultry smile. Freeing him yes. That was one thing. . . one personal goal that she wished to see accomplished, no matter what the future might hold for them.

The room fell into eye-soothing blackness once more, with only the fading coals and angelic peculiarities casting their soft glows. The aasimar shrugged out of the silk dressing gown, draping it gently over the chair which her guest had so recently abandoned, and leaving her much more comfortably in the simple, white night shift. She quit the room then, gliding up the staircase to the roof without resting so much as a toe on the steps.

A small doorway opened to the cool air of the evening. The night had deepened and the stars enveloped her in their song as soon as she emerged from the confinement of the stone tower. With a satisfied sigh, Wynnsaren drifted over to the chaise lounge that had been made up with her bedding, and sat, taking in hand the half-imbibed glass of mead she'd been enjoying before the knowing came upon her.

Between Zander's suspicious visit and an impending journey to the Mwangi Expanse, Zaistrun had certainly given her much to think about. Conflicting emotions of excitement and foreboding struggled for supremacy, but she could do nothing about either at the moment and this evening was hers. In the end, the aasimar set those thoughts aside in favor of the battleground of black and gray quartz waiting on the table beside her.

She fingered the ridges of the black knight's equine head and smiled softly.

"Now.. . where were we. . . "

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