05.13.2013: Gossiping Khournis
Summary: A few people bump into each other in the Gardens.
Date: 13 05 2013
Related: None
Lucretia Asher Nikomachos Ellinor Michram 

Gardens of Erkwin
While the Arborenin may like their greenery wild and lush, the Gardens of Erkwin are carefully and precisely manicured, even if they are no less green for all the attention they have received at the clippers of gardening drones. Broad expanses of grass are trimmed to exactly the same height, grown to exactly the same verdant shade. Hedges are neatly clipped back into exacting shapes. Some form mythical creatures, others living statues of famous historical figures, and one section even rises in geometric patterns to create a hedge maze. Between the hedges and lining paths of crushed gravel are beds full of flowers from all over Imperius — and before that, from all over Old Earth.

As beautiful as the gardens are, however, all of the paths lead through them toward the stadium on the water's edge. A final parade of flags draws the attention of most onlookers up toward the bulbous blue shape of the stadium's half-roof, which is lit from within by the glow of the lights when a tournament is taking place or a soccer game being played.


Nikomachos makes his way through the parade of flags from the Stadium training grounds and into the wide expanse of the Gardens, his hair wet and spiky from a recent shower. His spurs chime softly with each step, and he strays close to one of the flower beds, lingering around a particularly flush spray of pink roses. Centering in on a particular budding bloom, he crouches low, tilting his head this way and that to study it from different angles.

Michram enters the area with long strides, pace quickly carrying him along on path until he finally comes into viewing distance of the hedge sculptures. Then the strides of the burly man slow, hands shifting to clasp behind his as he makes a study of them. Soon enough however his attention gets drawn by the figure crouching the next path over and he inquires, "Looking to gift her flowers now?"

Settled on a bench in the Gardens, Lucretia wears a simple, but elegantly embroidered black dress with turquoise accents. Her black hat sits upon her head, riding boots reach calf-high, both accessorized with bits of silver to match the bangles hanging in a bunch upon her left wrist and the thin chain wrapped around her waist. Legs crossed, the foot upon the ground bounces idly as the middle-aged brunette seemingly talks to herself, her eyes idly glancing around the Gardens, lingering on this patch of flowers or that, watching the people go by. Spying a familiar figure, Lucretia has a good mind for faces, she watches Nikomachos a moment as he pokes around a pink flower. A thin brow arches in amusement, and she lifts a hand to her ear, ending her call as she spies someone joining him. She rises to her feet and calls out loudly as she moves in their direction, "Cousin, what has caught your attention?"

Nikomachos looks up as Michram approaches, "Hrm?" His eyebrows rise high on his forehead, and he looks back to the rose a moment, "Oh, no…" Reaching into a pocket, he pulls out a slim-line digital camera, shifting about in his crouch to get just the right angle, and then snapping a quick picture, "If I were going to do that, I wouldn't steal it from the Gardens, I would go to a florist." The approach of his fellow Cindravale causes his smile to redouble, and he rises to his feet, "Lulu, so good to see you." Stepping forward to meet his cousin, he opens his arms to enfold her in a hug. Whether accepted or rebuffed, he steps back quickly enough, gesturing over to the other nobleman, "Lulu, may I present…" there's just a moment's hesitation as he wracks his memory, "Sir Michram Khournas." The title and House were clear in his brain, just not the first name. "Sir Michram, my cousin, the Lady Lucretia Cindravale."

Michram gives an acknowledging nod at the introduction. "It is nice to meet you" he offers gamely, "and you have an interest in photography then. I was unaware." His brow furrows for a moment in thought and he leans forward to get a better look at the plant, "So is that one special? It does seem very.. pink." Other adjectives having failed him he shifts a look back towards one of the the non pink topiary sculptures.

Laughing, Lucretia lets herself to be drawn into the hug, returning it as her arms wrap briefly about her younger cousin, "And it is wonderful to see you, Niko. Someone actually mentioned you, just the other day." Her emerald gaze settles on Michram, a brilliant smile on the brunette's lips, "Ah, Sir Michram, a delight to make your acquaintance of course. Related somehow I imagine, aren't we? Distantly." She laughs again, louder at the large man's description of the flower, and she turns to it herself, fingers reaching out to touch the petals of one of the flowers, "It is a lovely species. What are you taking pictures for, Niko?"

Nikomachos chuckles at Lucretia's words, his eyebrows raising again, "I do hope that my name was sweet on their tongue, Lulu." A touch more laughter slips into his light tenor voice, and he adds, "Or at least green with jealousy." Stepping back over to the half-opened flower, he crouches down once more, pointing one finger carefully at the bud, "There's this bit of dew here, Sir Michram, Lulu, caught up in the unfolding petals, and it caught the light just so…" He shrugs a little helplessly, an easy smile crossing his lips, "I simply couldn't resist the picture, just for my personal collection."

Michram echoes, "Dew". There is a long lingering moment afterwards as the man appears to ponder this and he finally adds a "Huh". Eloquent. Shaking that off he looks back over towards Lucretia and says, "Related? No doubt. Though I don't spend nearly enough time staring at the family trees to know how."

"Understood." Asher says into his communications device, "I'm going tomorrow." He takes a pause, "Okay, I'll let you know how it turns out." And his call is completed as he continues walking along. He spots the trio of nobles faily readily and begins approaching the small group, "Lady Lucretia, Sir Michram, Sir Nikos." He says, bowing his head politely to the trio.

"Oh, they didn't say much, just mentioned that I should perhaps track you down for a small chat," Lucretia responds as she continues to peek down at the flowers, "It is quite lovely. How big is this personal collection of yours, cousin?" The last question is offered in an amused tone before glancing back to Michram, "Neither do I, I fear. But it is wonderful to meet, all the same. Not a fan of flowers, are you?" Laughing, she turns upon hearing her name and nods to Asher, "Sir Asher, good afternoon. Lovely in the Gardens today, isn't it?"

Nikomachos wags a finger at Michram's long lingering moment, "Mind out of the gutter, Sir Michram." Rising back up to his feet, he flashes a smile over to his cousin, "Let's just say that despite constant pruning, it's not nearly so neat or controlled as the topiaries here. And that I had to spend a good portion of the stipend Cousin Kallista gives me on upgrading the storage on my bracer-comp." Asher's arrival draws Niko's attention over in that direction, and the Cindravale knight bows his head in greeting.

"Well it is not that I am actually offended by them. You don't see me taking on the gardens with an axe to the considerable distress of the gardeners." Michram responds with a chuckle, "But I don't really grasp them, they seem so terribly fragile. Maybe that is the point, but all in all I am convinced we could manufacture much better alternatives." He shrugs helplessly and then nods towards Asher as he approaches the group, "What about you? Do you understand flowers?"

"Well, sure. They're decorative, and the young ladies titter when you bring them a boquet, Cousin." Asher replies, "And they make good scenic areas like this." He gestures around, "But they're hardly practical for Volkan's climate and environment." He admits, "And it is quite lovely, Lady Lucretia, a bit of tamed nature we don't see back home."

"Beauty is a fragile, delicate thing. I do believe you are correct, that is part of the point," Lucretia comments to Michram, "And it is also a living thing, which adds to the sense of delicacy. Life, so easily ripped away. A painting is fragile, but not in the way a flower is." Smiling, she laughs at Asher's comment, "Every lady appreciates a lovely surprised such as flowers. Such areas are delightful for relaxing I think. You can just sit, and look around for an hour or two and let everything else out of your mind."

Nikomachos chuckles softly as the Khournas knights demonstrate their Khournacity. He nods to Lucretia, "The fragility of beauty such as a pink rose is also a reminder of our duty as Knights, Sirs." He reaches down to drape long fingers around one of the blooms, drawing it up lightly to call attention to it, "When something can be snuffed out with the flick of a wrist, it's a reminder that our sworn duty is to protect those weaker than us." A crooked sort of smirk slips onto his lips, and he adds, "Also, they're pretty."

Michram muses on the flower and says, "An axe is pretty. In simple lines and efficient purpose. A factory is pretty, all the buzzing and humming and scurrying about as the engines go about their business. I don't know if I see the beauty in a flower. For all that it is fragile it simply seems it should /do/ something more." He drums fingers on his thigh while looking about, "I guess they do the ladies tittering thing though. You're right. Guess it's better than nothing."

"Well, Sir Michram, flowers are a luxury that some choose to enjoy, we don't have time for Luxury back home, or the resources. Flowers don't grow in the black wastes afterall." Asher explains, "I see no reason Sir Niko can't enjoy the gardens, it's good to appreciate what we have, I suppose, since most of us will be quite busy in the coming months."

Lucretia's expression exudes amusement, laughing as Niko gets around to simply saying it's pretty again. She looks to Michram, smiling, "Sir Michram, I certainly understand the beauty in something that efficiently functions as designed, such as a well-forged sword, but I think there is also great beauty to be found in things with no intent behind them other than to be aesthetically pleasing. Paintings, sculptures, statues, gardens." She gestures around the gardens with one hand, the charms dangling from her hat swaying as she moves and nods as Asher speaks before she simply adds, "Everyone has different tastes and interests."

Ellinor Sauveur is entering the gardens from the esplanade to the west. She is on foot, but that hasn't stopped the monstrous destrier named Merrymaker from following after her with a sort of earnest dependency. The beast of a horse is dappled grey with a great length of mane and tail, heavy and shaggy hooves, and dark metallic silver eagles tattooed on his flanks. His back is bare save for a simple blanket, which perhaps suggests his greatcoat-wearing rider has decided to give him the day off from hauling her butt around. He continues to sniff at the back of her head as Ellinor walks deeper into the gardens, but the Knight does not seem to mind.

Nikomachos nods his agreement with Lucretia, "There is a difference between beauty in efficiency and beauty in looks." Reaching his fingers back past the pink bloom of the rose, he carefully draws his finger over one of the little hooked thorns, "Beauty in looks is often a great deal more dangerous, in very hidden ways." He looks down at his finger to make sure that he hasn't actually pierced his skin, nodding in faint satisfaction at the lack of welling blood. "Of course, there is also the beauty of a clean lance hit, or a very pretty manuever with a sword. I quite accept that, and agree wholeheartedly, but I don't know that I would call a factory beautiful, personally." Once again, it is the destrier that catches the knight's attention, rather than the Sauveur, although his eyes quickly shift to the redhead, one hand rising up to touch his brow in a not-quite-mocking-salute.

"Well…" Michram draws out after all have said their peace, "Guess we are just all going to go on finding beauty where we can, then." Looking back over towards Asher he nods his head, "For as you say, soon we may all be too busy to find it anywhere." A moment to consider and he wryly adds, "Although my weapon transports more easily than flowers, so I'll likely be taking mine with me. Hard to fit a factory in one's pocket though. Pity."

Asher's attention turns as well towards the arriving Destrier, and a polite bow of his head is offered in the direction of the arriving Sauveur. "And not all of us are the romantics Sir Niko is either." He adds with a grin to the others, "So, are you planning to enter the tournament, Cousin?" he asks of Michram.

"Oh, I think they're just being obstinate, Niko. Stubborn lot, aren't they? I'm sure they'll remember to buy their ladies flowers, though," Lucretia grins briefly before her attention is drawn to the horse and woman as well, a smile and slight nod offered before she glances back to the others, "I am certain we could arrange somewhere handy for a flower, Sir Michram. Maybe a rose over your ear? Wouldn't that look -wonderful- as you marched out onto the field."

Ellinor looks up as she spies the salute and bow from the pair of Knights, and she starts to adjust her steps toward them with a tilt of her head and a curve of her smile. As she nears, its easy to see the tiredness that surrounds her usually bright green eyes. She looks toward the older woman, and she bows her head in gentle respect toward the Cindravale. "My Lady, Sirs," the Sauveur greets as she comes to a stop; Merrymaker slows a couple steps later, and drops his nose over the woman's shoulder to give the gathering a critical look with his dark, sombrous eyes.

Nikomachos flashes a grin at Michram, raising up his left arm to display the braided bronze bracelet there, "Display latest pic." And a holographic shot of the photo he just snapped appears hanging there in thin air, delicate petals still unfolding, a touch of dew catching the light. Apparently, he believes he can take his beauty wherever he goes. Nodding to Lucretia, he adds, "Stubborn as any Khourni." Raising his voice slightly as Ellinor approaches, he adds, "Or anyone squired to a Khourni." A light teasing touches his voice at that, and he shuts off the holographic picture and reaches up to ruffle his left hand through his still-drying hair. That teasing fades as he studies Ellinor and asks, "You've been in Arboren, Ellie?"

Michram gives an amiable nod of his head towards Ellinor at her arrival. "Would probably interfere with the helmet optics" he muses in response to Lucretia, "Not to mention I think the scent would get a bit cloying. Still I suppose I could find storage for one, on the off chance I were to rescue any damsels and require a quick gift." Then Niko is putting on his display and he simply stares for a moment, "Hrm. Are damsels satisfied with flowery pictures? I just don't know." Shaking off the question he looks back over towards Asher, "I think I may. It is a good time to come together. Are you planning to compete?"

"Well, at least we know that Sir Ellinor can fight on the battlefield, even if she is a bit stubborn." Asher says with a laugh, "And I haven't decided yet." He says non-commitally, "I may, though it feels almost like handing over my entry fee." he turns to address Ellinor, "We were just discussing the merits of flowers."

"I'll have Merry kick you in the teeth, Sir Nikomachos Cindravale," Ellinor says firmly, though a smile dances at the corners of her lips. She reaches up to give the velvet nose of her destrier an adoring knuckling. She tucks her hands into the pockets of her greatcoat. "I passed through," she admits with a roll of her shoulders. "I was looking for Lady Lyrienne… ended up back up at the Ring… I don't encourage you to ever try to go drink for drink with my brother-in-law… those Navy boys can hold their own." She glances toward Michram at the question of damsels and flowery pictures, and she arches up her brows curiously. Though Asher earns a bit of a snort. "I am not stubbon." And she juts out her chin a bit.

Lucretia glances to the holo-photo, then laughs warmly at Michram's query, "No. Damsels are most certainly not happy with photographs of pretty things. Maybe a painting. A thin brow arches as she regards Asher after his comment, "Not fond of your chances in the competition, Sir Asher? Surpising to hear. But, it's all in good fun, isn't it? Might as well help make the show more interesting!" As Asher mentions the flowers to Ellinor, Lu inquires, "And what do you think of flowers, Sir Ellinor?"

"Bah" Michram opines, "Not carrying a painting around with me. Though I am sure any foes I faced would find it to be a terribly confusing tactic. While I am sure some knight out there could be encouraged to set their camo field to a floral pattern, I'll have to pass." Then he looks back to Asher, "You shouldn't let that hold you back. Win.. lose.. seems it might at least be some good sport and a chance to throw a few blows. Wouldn't you hate to miss that?"

Asher laughs, "Your boyfriend's words, not my, Sir Drakefire." Asher says to Ellinor with a twinkle in his eyes and a little nod, "How is Lady Lyrienne's recovery going?" he glances back towards Lucretia, "It is harder to blunt my method of combat then it is an axe, or a lance." He explains, "But I may enter none the less."

Nikomachos looks up to the giant destrier, "Merry wouldn't do that to me, now would he? Not when I've been so nice and complimentary to him." The mention of going drink-for-drink with Navy men draws a laugh, "That does sound like it might upset a morning." Lucretia's inquiry toward Ellinor causes Niko to turn his attention toward the female knight, raising his eyebrows high in query, only to have his look of questioning innocence completely disrupted by Asher's characterization of him as 'boyfriend,' coughing into his hand and tilting his head quizically at Ellinor.

At the question, Ellinor looks toward Lucretia with a slow smile. "Don't tell the rest of them, but I rather like them… its a girly pleasure." The Knight shrugs her shoulders beneath the lapels of the greatcoat, and she is grinning broadly when Asher bestows Nikomachos with his new title. Her expression falters, and she blinks several times as she casts a glance between Asher and Nikomachos rapidly. "B-boyfriend? What… no." And she scoffs perhaps a bit unconvincingly. "We had… we just had dinner. Come on." And she latches onto a new topic rapidly. "My sister will recover just fine." Yes, there.

"I am certain there are better weapons for the battlefield than a painting," Lucretia muses, "But not all wars take place on the battlefield, do they?" At the exchange between the others, one of the brunette's brows arches curiously, her amusement growing, "Oh, my, oh my. Do we have a pair of lovebirds on our hands? Young love is such a delightful thing. So vibrant and full of energy." The older woman regards her cousing and then looks to Asher, grinning playfully, "I am certain I can teach a Khourni to gossip, you must tell me all about this!"

Michram offers towards Lucretia, "One of them won each other in a bet. I think. Or had to take the other because they lost a bet. I don't recall if the horse was involved, but it seems it really should have been for the purposes of a good story. Flowers were probably involved." He frowns looking a bit perplexed and lifts a shoulder, "Well. You know this Khourani can't gossip convincingly, but perhaps there is still hope for Sir Asher to get the details right."

"Oh right, my mistake, Sir Drakefire." Asher says cracking a grin towards her, "And give her my regards when you see your sister next." He nods, turning his attention more fully back to Lucretia, "I think my cousin has explained it quite as accurately as I can, Lady Lucretia."

Nikomachos shakes his head at Ellinor's words to Lucretia, "Nothing wrong with flowers. They were my second choice." A gesture toward his vest just as a wave of flames washes over the fabric demonstrates his first choice. The awkward change of topic causes him to laugh softly, shaking his head, "We had a nice dinner, drinks, and dancing." The Valen gives the Sauveur a soft sort of smirk, "I hardly think that betrothal discussions are under way." Turning a much more baleful gaze on his kinswoman, he adds, "And don't you dare start them, Lulu."

Michram is about to speak further when a chiming comes from one of his pockets. A tilt of his head towards the group and he says, "Excuse me. I seem to be having demands made upon my attention. A good day to you all." With that the man makes a quick departure.

"Not all wars will take place on the battlefield," Ellinor agrees to Lucretia, outright refusing to acknowledge the premise of lovebirds, though as the b-word gets dropped, she narrows her gaze on Nikomachos. "We're just… finding things in common. Enjoying one another's company." And she rolls her shoulders beneath those of her coat as she busies herself petting the side of Merrymaker's beastly head.

"-Of course- flowers were involved," Lucretia draws the words out, laughing lightly at the responses from the Khourni. She glances to Niko, hmm'ing, "Start them? Why, they seemed to start themselves, I think. I was just fanning the flames a tiny bit." She grins at her cousin, "I am sure it was a wonderful, perfectly harmless evening." A heart beat's pause, "But, it would be a beneficial match, wouldn't it?" The older woman grows even more amused at Ellinor's comments, but she doesn't prod any further, looking to Niko, "Do remind me to ask a bit about the Spine business sometime when we're somewhere a bit quieter."

Nikomachos shakes his head at Lucretia, "Lulu… just…" Running his fingers back through his hair sends it spiking up even more so than usual. He turns to Ellinor, "And now, I find myself needing to apologize for my dear cousin. She is, of course a meddler." Winking at Lucretia, he gestures back toward the Esplanade, across the greensward of the garden, "Can I apologize with a drink?" The Sauveur favors him with a snappy and wry response, but agrees, leaving Niko to nod to Michram and Asher, and point a finger at his cousin, "No. Bad Lady. Bad." He says it with a grin and a chuckle, however, then bows his head to her as well, "I'm sure we can find a time."

And then he's off.

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