08.15.3013: Love and Marriage
Summary: Elodie visits the Sky Palace and speaks with Ariana about betrothals, marriage, love, fashion!
Date: 15 August 2013
Related: The Jewel in the Rough
Ariana Elodie 

Ariana's Chambers — Sky Palace, Summit
As one enters this room, they are presented with a sweeping vista of the spires of Summit and the clouds of Nubilus beyond, a window arcing from one corner of the room to the other, spanning an entire wall. The high-strength glass responds by voice command to dim or tint, allowing the room to be lit naturally, or by the soft almost moonlike glow of the interior lights. While the room is every bit as modern as every part of the Sky Palace, the furniture here has been designed to suggest the elegance of pre-Havenite culture, with elegantly curling, antique-styled scrollwork in modern brushed steel and chrome, upholstered in sky-blue silk. It is also all decidedly feminine, leaving little doubt to the sort of person in residence. Seating for guests is arrayed along part of the window, with low divans that allow a lounging guest to either look inward toward another guest or outward at the beautiful view. The window opens, floor to ceiling, near the center, allowing passage onto a balcony with similar seating, open to the clouds themselves (and protected by an emergency light shield).

The bedroom area is set at the furthest end of the window's arc, where sits a poster bed of similar sleek metal and faux-antique design, with draping curtains of semi-sheer silk, able to be layered for privacy or drawn and parted for better light. Not far from the bed is a full vanity, while two nearby doors lead to a full bathroom and massive walk-in closet. The latter is highly automated, storing and retrieving outfits by command, and able to project holographic 'previews' of stored outfits for consideration.

While the cool metal might yield a slightly sterile feeling, the room is given life by many plants set about on side tables or climbing elegant trellises.

15 August 3013

With the Peake Hostile Trap coming up in the next day or so and with all of the various other things which Ariana must deal with, she seems to have forgetten that today was the day which she agreed to entertain a visit from one of her friends, Lady Elodie Iah. For the most part, her private chambers looks pristine and elegant, though upon closer inspection, perhaps, there are tell-tale signs of… some sort of disturbance here. Upon her vanity, several of her perfume bottles have been knocked over and across the way, upon her bed, rests an opened package — the wrapping paper having been neatly removed, as was the bow, but the white frilly garment seemed to have been simply dropped back into the opened box, laying haphazardly so.
The young Larent maiden paces almost frantically around her chambers, every muscle in her body tight and tense as she seethes out heavily, more than likely speaking to herself in the privacy of her own personal sanctuary. "What was he even thinking. Getting me something like… /that/? How did he expect me to take such a gift?"
Such an inopportune moment for a visitor, but it is at this very second that a servant to House Larent leads Elodie towards the young Lady's chambers, calling out to her, "My Lady, Lady Elodie of House Iah has come to see you."
"What kind of woman does he think I…" Then her words are cut short and the sounds of more footsteps can be heard. "Right… please, do let her in." When the door to her room slides open, Ariana looks to be idly tidying up her vanity. Dressed in a simple gown made dyed in a robin blue hue, despite whatever she may have been feeling just prior to the announcement, she looks as elegant and poised… and composed as usual. "Lady Elodie! My apologies. I…" She notices the unwrapped gift on her bed and quickly, yet gracefully, moves to clear that up. "I've been so preoccupied with so many things. I'm afraid that I practically had forgotten that you were coming over today. Please, come in."

Lady Elodie is wearing her simple, peach colored gown with the capelike sleeves that flutter behind her as she enters. "It's fine, there's no need to apologize," she reassures, her eyes glancing around the room, taking in the decor and plants, the view with a light, interested smile. As Ariana returns the garment to its box, her smile broadens a little. "More shopping?" the question is unsuspecting as she crosses the room, closing the distance between her and the blonde noblewoman.

Carefully and swiftly, she tucks the bit of lingerie back into its box, before resting the neatly folded wrapping paper, along with its ribbon and bow, right on top of the box. The pretty wrappings may hint that whatever is in the box is a gift rather, but, there are some dressmakers who like to fancy up their own packaging for their customers as well. With box in hand to quickly hide away, she shakes her head, "Oh this? Well… something like that. But nevermind that, how are you? You look as lovely as usual. Please, have a seat." And here she indicates the seating area.

Elodie isn't one to pry, and sensitive to the indications that Ariana doesn't wish to discuss the present, she instead gives a little smile to the remark to her appearance. "Thank you, Lady Ariana," she replies, following the woman's guidance to the seating area. "I am doing well. I have been looking forward to Lord Sir Erik and Lady Sir Johana's wedding coming soon. I am hoping to see if there are any Cindravale customs that I might wish to add to the traditional Niveun ceremony. Una has requested her favorite seamstress, Kira Graves, to design my dress. I'm trying to give Niveun practicality a little Cindravale flair." She looks over, tilting her head curiously. "How about you? Any ideas for your dress, yet?"

With the box safely tucked away and hopefully forgotten, Ariana makes her way towards the seating area to join her guest just as one of the servants soon enters with some tea and a pair of elegant tea cups. "Oh yes. Their wedding is coming up very shortly. It would seem as if we'll have a long line of weddings to attend, one after the other. I do wonder which wedding will soon follow." When the name of a seamstress is given, the Larent maiden arches a gentle brow, "There are no seamstresses on Niveus?" She then laughs, "I tend to get lectured if I go with a seamstress from elsewhere, for I should be promoting all of the lovely dressmakers on Nubilus. Though… my Lady Mother doesn't mind if I use her favorite seamstresses from Phylon." Whether Elodie feels like tea or not, Ariana fills up both cups. The tea is accompanied by an array of light pastries and desserts. "Please, be my guest. As for my own gown. I more than likely will use a seamstress here on Summit. I've not picked one out just yet. There are so many designs and design elements to choose from." A pause, "Do you have any ideas on your gown?"

Elodie takes the tea with a gracious nod of gratitude. "Thank you," she says quietly without interrupting. After taking a sip, she nods. "We do have seamstresses on Niveus. I think that Una is trying to reach out around Haven to broaden Niveus's influence and to bring in other ideas. I think she's challenging the general perception that House Iah is insulated from the rest of the Haven the way that Shelter is insulated from the harsh conditions of our moon. Maybe… trying to challenge how people think of Niveus itself." She gives a gently amused smile. "It always amazes me how people walk out of the Ways into Shelter already dressed for ice cold weather. It seems as if they think we live in caves of ice or something of that nature. In truth, we have as much to offer in the way of technological comforts as any other house of Orelle." Her gaze flickers over the pastries, but she forbears for the time being. "I've chosen the materials."

"Interesting that you would say that…" Ariana notes as she takes up a pastry and carefully tears a piece from it before nibbling at it. "I was speaking with Young Lord Declan about… well, Arborenin fashion. He insists, that as I will eventually be Lady Arboren, that I do what I can to influence the Arborens and their vassals and citizens with my own sense of style." Letting the rest of the pastry sit upon the side of her tea cup, she lifts the cup to her lips so that the warming beverage within can soothe her throat. "I think that would be a difficult cause, truly. From what I've seen of the Arborens, they dress in their forest garb and gear whether they are in the Arborenin forest or wandering around the Ring or the posh shops at Landing or even in one of our casinos at Summit. But we shall see." She does have to lightly laugh at something Elodie says, "What do you expect, My Lady," Her tone is one of mere mirth and light joking, nothing particularly condescending at all, "Niveus is known as the ice moon. And besides… it gives us a chance to show off our winter best. And as for your wedding gown, I would love to compare dress designs with you or at least help one another sift through various designs."

Elodie tips her head slightly as she listens. "Well, perhaps that is what he is suggesting you could influence… the idea that wearing forest clothing is all right for being the forest, but that when visiting other, more formal places, one should consider dressing more appropriately?" Her eyebrows a little at the idea over the rim of her teacup as she takes another sip. Then she has to put her tea down because she is chuckling and doesn't wish to choke. "Well, yes, we are an ice moon," she agrees. "But Nubilis is known for being an airy moon, but one does not wear wings to visit," she teases, her tone lacking sarcasm and actually being more silly in nature. "However, if we can provide an excuse for showing off of any kind of fashion, we are happy to oblige."

"Well, like I told the Young Lord many a time, it will be difficult to change the mind of those who care nothing for fashion or frivolities." Ariana says with a dismissive wave of her hand, "Nevertheless, they can look upon my gowns in all of their glory and radiance. Just maybe this will spark some interest in fashion. I, for one, would not want to drag each and every member of House Arboren to get fitted into fashionable clothing." Though the way that she says this, she very well might like to try. Then to the mention of an airy moon, "Oh, I do have a few gowns that sport wings of sorts, but yes. Still, we give visitors the heavenly views that they expect when visiting Nubilus. Anyway, I for one will be up to this task.I mean, I would never lower myself to dress as they do." They, meaning the Arboren.

Blue eyes are directed towards the window at the mention of heavenly views, and Elodie nods. "You do indeed, deliver, Lady Ariana. No wonder my brother began hallucinating that you were an angel sent down to heal him…" she turns back to smile at the Larent noble woman. "You do live among the heavens as an angel." Her brow draws together slightly at the mention of 'lowering' to dress as another family. She somewhat hastily raises her teacup for another sip.

Ariana can't help but laugh gently when reminded of Ronan in his delirious state. "How is your Lord Brother doing as of late? I can't say that I've seen much of him recently." Setting her teacup down now, both hands rest lightly within her lap when she says, "Young Lord Declan asked me about my favorite things and places to visit. I just recently took him on a trip to Obsidia. It is lovelier than I remembered, though I've always known it to be beautiful and pristine… despite the volcanic backdrop. We went to see the Black Glass falls. He now promises to show me one of Arborenin's own waterfalls to contrast with that. So I am a little curious of this, but, I'm afraid all of our time will be taken up with my work in the lab among other things. How have you and Lord Sir Sammel been?"

"He is doing well," Elodie replies to the question of her brother. "I have not had a chance to visit Obsidia. Truthfully, I've done more travelling since the start of the war than I have in all my life. I admit that I've been spending most of my free time in the Vale of late. I've been taking some more advanced riding lessons," the mention of which brings a little smile to her face, where as the question of Sir Sammel brings a little pink tinge to accompany her smile. "Sir Sammel and I have been going along quite well." She pauses, looking at the cup she holds. "I do believe I am falling in love with him, which is most unexpected."

My. The actual flushing of Elodie's cheeks and the way in which she speaks of Sammel does seem to pique Ariana's full attention, making her sit erect and tall all the more, while leaning forward as if to share or listen to a little secret. "Falling in love with him? Already? How… wonderful! That is wonderful news, indeed." Resettling herself back into her seat, she reaches for her teacup once more and takes a light sip. "He seemed to be the charming sort and he is a Valen, so I shouldn't be overly surprised. Though I am envious that you are spending so much time in the Vale. Perhaps, I'll be able to join you in your endeavors."

There's a little chuckle as she nods her head. "Yes, already. I… well, I knew after Una married Tiriel that I would have to make a good political match, and House Cindravale is a good alliance for us. And I just hoped that I'd be able to get along with my match." Elodie loosely wraps her fingers around her cup, not seeming as interested in drinking it at the moment. "At first, I was just trying to learn how to fit in, because I will be moving to Phylon when we marry. Then the more time we spent together, the more I found myself liking him. I think we are coming to an agreement." She looks up to Ariana, and gives a smile. "I would always enjoy your company, Lady Ariana," she encourages. "Although I don't have the authority to invite you at present. But perhaps later, when you can take some time away from your lab, I would love to have you visit."

Ariana seems rather fascinated by Elodie's experience and she listens with rapt attention when the young noblewoman speaks of her growing feelings towards this once stranger. "Do tell me as I am curious, My Lady, what exactly has Sir Sammel done to gain your affections? Was it anything in particular or has he not needed to do a thing and simply his charm and such was enough to woo you?" Ariana doesn't speak all that often about how her own betrothal is progressing, but she does seem very interested in the lives of other young nobles. "Of course, My Lady. I'm certain that the both of us are as busy as can be, though visiting the beautiful meadows and lakesides of the Vale would be simply charming. We shall set such a date for the near future, hopefully."

Elodie shakes her head as she looks up. "It's not really that he's /done/ anything," she informs Ariana, seeming almost glad to have a chance to puzzle things out out loud. "He came to Niveus to visit the Bridge of Fire with me. We've been riding together, and, of course, we've been in battle together and I've had to care for him." The cup rotates in her slender fingers, but never seems to be in danger of falling, even though her eyes are so far away that they aren't even paying attention. "I can't say… there just seems to be something about him that… is right for me." She blushes again at sounding so prosaic. "I'm afraid that I don't have a real answer, since it's as much of a mystery to me as anyone else." She pauses, then comes back to the present. "Speaking of setting a date… have you and Young Lord Declan set a date, yet? We are waiting until after Sir Erik and Sir Johana are married to set our own."

Ariana continues to simply watch Elodie, taking in the girl's every reaction still as if there was something which she were seeking from the Iah Lady's experiences. "And how did Sir Sammel find Niveus? Will he be spending time with you and your family then? Rather than your spending the rest of your life in Phylon?" This is a question that Ariana ponders, herself, all the time. "As for my own wedding… I was hoping that we could do a proper betrothal athat lasts for 6 months or so. That is, unless the Arboren need Young Lord Declan to be wed sooner so that he may have his heir."

Elodie smiles. "Sir Sammel seems to enjoy Niveus well enough. He even surprised me with a visit the other night." Her head tilts as she considers the question. "I don't know. We haven't really discussed anything about how much time we'll spend in each place, although… my room will need tending. I don't want it to die just because I've been married." Her brows pull together as she considers something new. The mention of needing an heir brings her attention to the other girl. "So soon, you think? I suppose, with the battles going on, and some of the heirs that have already been lost, that might be on people's minds."

"What woman doesn't like surprises, hmm? Has he brought you any gifts?" Ariana inquires suddenly, training her bright blue eyes on Elodie's face as she awaits a response. "I find that you can learn much from someone from the gifts which they bear." She then releases a quiet sigh, her eyes roaming about her room, "Yes, I am hoping that my Lord Father will allow me to keep my chambers here even after marriage. I like to think of this as my sanctuary… and I know very well that once I am married, I will lose some of the privacy which I sometimes" Often "crave." Returning now to her guest, she quickly shakes her head, "That is merely what I assume. I am marrying an heir in order to give him an heir after all. Though, I cannot say that I've thought much about having children of my own, but even I know that this is what is expected of us as nobles."

Elodie smiles again. "Surprises are good," she agrees, although she is not unaware of the sudden attention, and the mention of types of gifts. She pauses before she shakes her head slowly, setting her tea cup back on the tray. "No. He hasn't bought me any gifts, yet. I don't think he's the kind of person to try and win me with… gifts you can buy. Just…" she smiles a little and gives another shake of her head, her eyes straying to the box on the bed. "Lady Ariana," she pauses for a moment, then forges on ahead. "Has Young Lord Declan given you a gift that… you don't quite like?" Her gaze returns with concern to her friend.

In a gentle good-natured tone, Ariana muses, "I do agree, Lady Elodie. One does not need to purchase gifts to impress anyone and sometimes the most beautiful and memorable treasures are ones that nature has crafted." Rising from her seat now, she drifts off towards her vanity before leaning forward to open up a drawer. Withdrawing a tiny package, she then returns back to Elodie and as she settles herself back down into her chair, nimble fingers pull the drawstring of the velvet pouch open. Holding the pouch in one hand, she reaches into it with her finger and thumb, taking out a decent sized shard of obsidian glass. "This is a gift that Lord Nitrim had given me a while ago. It is lovely, isn't it? And crafted by nature." Oh, how she ignores the question about whether Declan has brought her a gift!

Dark eyebrows raise in surprise as Ariana pulls out the shard of obsidian, and announces who gifted it to her. "Lord Nitrim gave you a gift?" Elodie's surprise is evident in her tone. She studies the other young woman for a moment, then gives a small sigh. "Well, I'm sure the Young Lord Declan would not wish to upset you. I'm sure whatever it is was meant kindly." She finally says, leaning back in her chair.

"It was months ago and I believe that this was gifted to me in thanks for allowing him to stay here at the Sky Palace for the evening as he wanted to see whether he could 'feel' the Hostiles presence from the Lashes." Ariana goes on to explain her beliefs on why the Khournas noble would give her such a present. Carefully, she then tucks the shiny shard of glass back into its pouch, pulling the strings to close it tight. Though this time, she does not rise to make her way back to the vanity to return it. Or not just yet. "Oh, I am sure that the Young Lord will. And I'm more than certain that it will be every bit as lovely as this glass shard or even the beautiful flowers which you have given me for my assistance on Niveus. They were truly lovely, Lady Elodie."

Elodie nods at Ariana's explanation. "Oh! Did Lord Nitrim sense anything?" she asks. "I didn't know the Awakened could do that. It would be interesting… if they could give us warning." Her gaze turns inwards as she considers this train of thought, before being brought back by the compliment to the flowers. She smiles, "I am pleased you enjoyed them. You have so many beautiful and exotic flowers here, I was sure they would pale in comparison."

In quick response to Elodie's question, Ariana's lips purse gently as she shakes her head, "I'm afraid not. Though, they are able to give us some kind of warning, but this is not something which they feel. It is in their dreams." The grip which holds the velvet pouch tightens around it. "Lord Aidan Peake's latest dream regarding the Hostile gives us cryptic messages of many things. Thus, his plan to capture some of them and keep them alive so that we may run tests on them…perhaps to find a 'human' beneath all that armor. We've already gotten our hands on many a Hostile corpse and while I am wary of keeping a Hostile alive and imprisoned, this does seem like an intruiging enough idea. If it can be done and if these things can be contained safely."

Apparently, Elodie hasn't heard so much about the dreams. "Messages? An Awakened can receive a message in a dream?" she asks curiously. "What kind of messages?" She sits up alertly in her chair again, her curiosity bringing her head up and her gaze directly into Ariana's eyes as she quizzes the noblewoman. "Did Lord Nitrim have any of these dreams when he stayed here? Or does he have them often?"

Ariana blinks at Elodie, a little surprised of how little she knows of the Awakened. Then again, Ariana, herself, has had a few Awakened friends. "Their dreams are like premonitions. Some of the time. During the celebration after the tournaments this year, something happened at the gala which the Awakaned had all dreamt of earlier. But they did not understand until that moment. The same, I suppose, goes for this current dream. Lord Aidan had said that in this dream, the city was overflowing with Hostile. One of these Hostile, who looked very much like we do. Human. This human-Hostile grabbed him by the throat…" Her eyes narrow as she tries to remember the full tale, "And said the words 'Release Me.'. From that dream, Lord Aidan put a plan in motion to capture some of these Hostiles. Perhaps to learn more about them. Perhaps to find out, in what way, they need to be released." Slowly, she shakes her head to the latter question, "No… or, if Lord Nitrim did have a dream, he did not bring it up to me. I honestly, do not know more about the Awakened at their dreams, but I would highly doubt that they share all of their dreams with one other in their slumber… It's something to inquire about as we continue to learn more about the Awakened community."

Elodie's eyes widen slightly at the narration of the dream Lord Aidan had. "What happened at the tournament?" she asks curiously, then forces her shoulders to relax as she realized that she had tensed while listening. "He said the Hostile looked a lot like us? Like a human? They do sometimes speak our language, although I've never heard more than a word, or two. But they seem to understand what we're saying, from what some of my patients tell me."

The tournament gala was so long ago, so Ariana takes a moment to consider the details. "The tournament party event… was the event that led Lord Nitrim to stay here for the evening. It seems the Awakened all had the same dream, but they did not understand what it was about — except, for some song lyrics that, I guess, fully stood out in their minds. At the gala, one of the performers went on stage and sang that exact song and at that moment, you could see the auras and… well… everything. All the Awakened who were there at the time were touched by this and seemed to either be losing control of their own powers or having them magnified in some way. All at the same time."

"That must have been something to see," Elodie breathes in wonder. "But… the song actually had an effect that they were unable to do anything about? That is also quite scary." She folds her hands together as she looks over to Ariana, and asks a few more questions about the Awakened, before she moves on to the topic of the upcoming wedding, and what to wear. The talk relaxes into less stressful topics of dress and hair and accessories, before Lady Elodie's visit must come to an end.

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