06.15.3013: The Gardens of Sky Palace
Summary: Declan finally gets to see the gardens at Summit with Ariana. The rest of the Larents show up for a casual chat.
Date: 15 June 2013
Related: Nubilus Welcomes the Arborens
Ariana Declan Percival Densoric 

Sky Palace Gardens — Summit, Nubilus
A beautiful garden at Sky Palace.
15 June 3013

The gardens of Sky Palace are a heavenly sight to behold in all of its exotic beauty, with blossoms and plant life not seen in nature for they have been scientifically manufactured in a laboratory to bring out their best and most beautiful qualities. For someone who surrounds themselves in the true beauty of nature, some of these flowers may look a touch alien — familiar, yet slightly different. Their bioluminescence glowing all the more brightly and far more intricately than many flowers found in the wild. High marble arches and artistic benches are placed conveniently throughout the garden, while a fountain in the center offers a cool sound of the trickling of water for any of the garden's patrons. All of this, before the backdrop of the heavenly Nubilus sky.

Lady Ariana leads the Heir of Arboren out to these gardens to sate his curiousity about them. "This is one of my favorite gardens of all of Summit." She explains. "Perhaps, my most favorite place in all of Nubilus. Her eyes settle on each bunch of flowers which they pass by, more than likely calling out their name silently, in her mind. "What do you think, My Lord?"

Having returned from their day's outings and activities, Declan has finally had a chance to settle into the room prepared for him, his various things already unpacked by servants while they all were out. But he is not one just to linger in his chambers. Absent his appointment with Lady Ariana, he might go and wander the Palace on his own, out of both natural curiousity and wariness. But the two have agreed to see the gardens and he is ready when she calls on him, and soon the two have made their way to the beautiful, ethereal, and somewhat unnatural gardens of the Sky Palace. As they first walk, he is silent, letting his gaze roam freely from one plant to another, noting those he finds familiar and those he does not in equal number. "It is truly impressive," he finally intones, when she speaks of her love of the place and inquires of his own opinion. "Although I must say, it is very much unlike anything I have ever seen in our lands and quite different than I imagined. Quite a contrast to the gardens of Nora." He stops before one of the glowing plants, basking in the cool light it sheds.

Leaning in close to a lovely flower glowing a vibrant blue, Ariana cups the blossom gently within her hand, so that she may bring it closer as she may inhale its delicate scent. "When I was a child, I remember being entranced by the beauty of these gardens and as I grew older, I offered my assistance to help maintain its beauty. From there, I enrolled into many a class on botany, among the other sciences. If you truly were curious as to why I became a scientist." Pulling away from the bloom, she half-turns to look upon Declan once more. "Yes, I did notice the difference between our flowers. Not that I've never come across flowers from the wild, but usually, I tend to handle those in the laboratory. Gracefully, she twirls about twice, her hands outstretched in an elegant manner. "Do you not find this all so beautiful, My Lord? So inspirational."

Declan stands back slightly and watches as Ariana moves closer to the blooming flowers, bending to take in their scents. Of course, for him, there is far more beauty in the botanist than in her creations, although the sight of one set against the other may well enhance the image. "It seems like everything about this place is… I don't know, it's hard to put it to words. But the scenery, the clouds, your palace, these flowers, they do all fit together. I suppose the notion shouldn't be that strange, for a different world to have a different sort of nature, one that is alien to others but somehow self-contained and complimentary with its various parts." As she rises and twirls, its a little harder for the man not to be caught staring at her as much as at the flowers, but he answers her question with a ready smile. "It is all very beautiful, to be sure. So are all of these flowers strains developed uniquely here, in your lab? I can only imagine that Nubilus has little or no native plantlife, or at least, none that any human can appreciate, since they would be growing deep inside toxic canyons and valleys?"

"Actually, some of these flowers are native to the planet. In some cities, the city itself is built around a natural, craggy patch of land and then beautified, usually." Ariana starts off as she drifts forward to walk pass several of these plants, perhaps ensuring that they have recently been cared for. She does expect the Young Lord to follow suit, or else she can speak to him from the distance. No one else is here to interrupt their conversation. However, as she catches sight of something disturbing, she takes steps towards the a little section of the garden that contains their gardening supplies and this is where she reaches for a pair of pruning shears. "But yes, for gardens such as this, the plant life themselves were collected and then replanted, if not cultivated further in our laboratories." As she speaks and walks, she affords the Heir to Arboren with a polite smile, just as she reaches a branch covered in white flowers. One of them seems to be wilting and this, she neatly snips, removing it from the rest of the bush. "There. All better."

Declan learns something new, it seems! "I had no idea. Well, that's interesting, that the moon has some of its own native species." He looks around a bit, maybe as if to try and pick them out for their differences, although as even many of the transplated specimens have been modified, he's really not able to sort out which might be local and which might simply be elaborate alterations of plants he would be more familiar with. "Which are some of the local ones?" he goes on to ask her, relying on her expert opinion. Naturally, he follows along as she does her work, and watches at a short distance as she pauses to prune the dead flower from the branch. "I see that you keep things utterly pristine."

The pruned flower is gracefully disposed of as Ariana moves to return the shears back to its rightful place. "Of course, My Lord. That and it's never healthy for flowers or plants to continue to carry 'dead weight', so to speak. Hmm, which are our natives. Let me see." She knows her way well enough around these gardens that she immediately saunters over to to what looks like a white flower growing within the petals of a large blue flower, the coloring so deep. It is the inner parts of the of the white portion of the flower that possesses a touch of bioluminesence. "This is called Aquilegia Caerulea. It is a herbaceous perennial columbine flower that can primarily be found growing on the slopes of high rocky mountains. It's basically like two flowers in one. This, of course, has been engineered so that the center portion glows all the more brightly than it normally would." (OOC: Similar to this http://www.plant-and-flower-guide.com/images/blue-columbine.jpg with the blue in the center aglow as well as the sprouts in the middle)

"Well, usually that's why the dead flowers and leaves fall off," Declan observes, taking up the more naturalistic stance on the whole thing. "And their fallen material provides life to further growth. But I suppose in a garden environment, you may need to be a little more precise with things, and unable to take advantage of natural composting and the like." The man shifts to watch as she moves over to identify a native plant as the man has asked, and when she finds it, he moves closer to her so that he can peer down to examine it more closely. "Is the luminesence a common natural feature of the native plants? One that you've gone on to enhance? Or is it something you've introduced from elsewhere? The effect is quite dramatic, and I can see a number of practical applications for it as well, obviously enough."

The echo of bootsteps sounds along the garden path, heralding the arrival of Lord Captain Percival Larent even before he appears before his daughter and her guest. When he does arrive, the man's appearance is crisp and formal, and of course respectful, offering a bow of his head toward the Arboren heir. "Young Lord Arboren, welcome. My daughter has spoken with some enthusiasm over your visit, and we are honored by it. I trust my daughter has made you and your siblings comfortable in our home." There is no sense that he doubts this; Ariana is an impressive young lady! If anything, its an assertion that he knows everything to be perfect and will tolerate little criticism. But put politely.

Ariana brushes gentle fingertips along the soft inner portion of this buttercup flower as she listens to the Heir speak. "That is so true, but in a controlled and rather formal environment such as this, yes. We do need to keep our plant life looking as lively and lovely as that would be expected of our gardens." Her eyes continue to linger over the glowing sections of the flower, when she notes, "For this particular flower, yes. It possessed a natural glow originally, which we have worked to enhance. However, not all of the plants native to Nubilus hold this quality. This is just one of the more beautiful examples." The sound of footsteps now heard, the Larent lady turns to curiously regard the new arrival with a cautious look. When she realizes that it is her father, she quickly lowers herself into a soft curtsey, one reserved for family. "Good evening, Lord Father. I am glad that you are able to join us."

Declan examines the flower a little longer, nodding along in quiet understanding as she details out the origins of the plant. "I do think this is an area of science we could probably use to expand our own house's expertise in. Of course, we do have many with such training, but I am sure there are ways it might be expanded. Perhaps there are plants from other worlds and moons that could be imported or hybridized with our own to some advantage? Its not something I'm well qualified to speak on myself, but I am sure there is… opportunity, there." When Percival joins them, Declan immediately rises and faces the man, echoing his nod of greeting with one of his own. "It is so good of you to have us, Lord Larent. And you can be certain that your daughter has made us completely comfortable and at home here. Our rooms are lovely, and she has done a wonderful job showing us all the attractions and highlights that Summit has to offer."

After greeting their high-placed visitor, Percival looks to his daughter, smiling down in a rather warm fashion as she rises from her curtsey. "Sadly, I had a bit of work that kept me in my office for the better part of the day. But I had every confidence in you handling our guests, and I see that it was not misplaced." Now he quickly returns his attention to Declan, a swift turn of the clear blue eyes that seem widely presented in his family. "I am glad you have found everything to your liking. We do pride ourselves on the beauty of our little moon, and on the many sights and pleasures that it has to offer. It is less frequenty that we have visitors from your or your vassal houses, but I hope the contrast of life in the clouds provides some unique experiences."

Listening to the Heir to Arboren's words, a thought pops into Ariana's mind and despite the shift in conversation, she half-inquires, "Are you certain that you would wish to introduce foreign strains of plant life into the true nature of your forest. I'm certain that there are plants that shouldn't hurt or begin to invade the environment…" And here her words trail off as she looks thoughtful of this, "We shall have time to discuss this further later, I'm certain, My Lord." To her father, she quickly states, "Do not worry yourself, Lord Father. Everything went smoothly so far. And I do have the Cloud Cruiser reserved for tomorrow." Now it is her turn to remain quiet and listen as the men converse.

It isn't much longer before yet another Larent enters. Dressed in his best, after all they have guests, Lord Densoric joins the others and says, "Forgive the intrusion, I thought I heard our guests had arrived and even my Lord Uncle was on his way to greet them." He then offers a polite nod to each present saying, "My Lords and My Lady." He then simply moves to stand to the side seemingly not wishing to interrupt further, at least not yet.

"Well no, you're absolutely right," Declan answers Ariana. "But that's why it would require extremely talented minds to be involved in any such effort. To make sure that such things were studied carefully, planned out precisely, and implemented in only the most purposeful manner. I am sure with the heights of scientific advancement and expertise in the field, such things could be done, but I agree that it would not be a simple project. Still, it is something I am always thinking about, how to strengthen my House's natural resources. We value them for their sustainability, but that does not mean that we should be content with an entirely static state of affairs." To Percival he notes. "It's very different, you are right about that, although as I mentioned to your daughter, we also live above a more dangerous land below. Not in the clouds of course, but in our canopies, with the darkest and most primal wilds sometimes far below." As Densoric arrives, he offers him a smile and slight nod in greeting. "We've been here for a short while, but do not worry, Lady Ariana has done very well keeping us entertained."

Its just now, with the pleasantries and talk of hosting duties and the like all done away with, that Percival seems to focus in on what Declan and his daughter are discussing. "You have a bit of interest in my daughter's botanical skills?" he wonders. "I suppose I can see that, with the sort of resources your family is built on. Nubilus' greatest asset is mined from the earth, and there is relatively little that can be grown on most of the surface, at least usefully. Of course we do have hydroponic farms, artificial greenhouses and all the like as well, although they limited in scope. Most food needs we purchase and bring in through the Gates. But my daughter does seem to have a talent for it, and these gardens," he gestures around them, "are a treasure for reasons beyond the pragmatic. They really are quite beautiful." Densoric gets a quick nod as he joins them. "We do seem to be hosting quite the gathering, although most of the others are off on other entertainments at the moment. Do you know the Young Lord Arboren?"

When her father picks up on their conversation, Ariana is happy to chime in to both of them in regards to these talks of botany and flowers, though Declan's description of his own home does pique her curiosity. "The darkest and most primal wilds…?" That certainly sounds ominous, "Like what sort of things? Wild animals?" On the rare occasions that she did venture to the Spine, she has never traveled further than their main areas, usually, where shopping is concerned, though it's hard to say whether the Arborenin fashions impress her or whatnot. "And yes, Father. We were just discussing our own native plants, the few species that they are. We don't have too much room for farming and the like, this much is true." A polite smile is then flashed over to her cousin as some form of silent greeting, before she adds in, "I think most of them may have turned in for bed, though Lord Keanen knows Summit well enough, to venture off on his own."

Densoric nods to percival and says, "I believe once or twice in passing, but not for anything overly in-depth my Lord Uncle." He then nods to Declan and says, "I wouldn't mind hearing of the wilds myself, I've visited Arboren, but never ventured past the main city, given the threat from the Hostiles and my limited skills in combat."

For whatever reason, Ariana's somewhat active imagination regarding the denizens of the Spine causes Declan to grin. "Among other things," he replies. "The areas away from the main settlements are rarely developed, aside from those developed for farming or similar uses, and even those tend to be rotated. We preserve a great deal in its natural state, and much of it is unexplored, even by my own family." As fond as he and his siblings supposedly are of running loose in the woods. "I wouldn't mind sharing a few stories, but I am afraid that like my siblings, it might soon be time for me to truly enjoy your hospitality by turning in. It has been quite a day. I do look forward to whatever you have planned for the morrow, Lady Ariana. And I was thinking that it might be nice if we took breakfast here in the garden? I am curious how things look by daylight, for comparison." Before any departure he looks to Percival again and once more offers a polite dip of his head. "And if you have time, Lord Larent, I would not mind a moment to speak with you. When your own busy schedule allows, of course."

Percival listens as the others do as Declan speaks about the deep forests of his homeland. "Ah. I believe I understand, what you mean about the similarities between our elevated cities. It's not something that had ever crossed my mind, but there is a certain parallel." However, as Declan announces his intent to depart, the whole earlier process of formal pleasantries between the two is by necessity repeated. "Of course, Young Lord Arboren. I wish you a good evening, and hope you are most comfortable here within my home, and I am sure we will all look forward to hearing more about your own lands." Then, a somewhat more subtle nod, as that clear blue gaze again flashes in brief study of his fellow Lord. "We can speak more tomorrow, I will put you at the top of my schedule."

"I do hope that you enjoyed your first day on Nubilus then, My Lord." Ariana says as she lowers herself into a light, sweeping curtsey before rising to remind him and the rest of her family, "Remember, we will be serving breakfast in the Great Hall tomorrow morning, where you can enjoy some of the most beautiful views from Summit and from there we can breakfast here, of course. Afterwards, we shall move on to the Cloud Cruiser. I'm sure there will be many chances for us all to speak there. Maybe even some of your siblings will be able to chime in with their own tales of Arboren. Do have a good night's rest, My Lord, for a full day of events in the morrow." That said, she smiles up at her father, pleased as punch that everything has worked out well so far.

Densoric smiles to Declan and says, "During the day is the best view, especially from a glider. The endless 'ocean' of cloud is beautiful, if you would accept my own biased opinion." He then nods as well to Declan as he speaks of retiring for the evening and gives his own fair wells before turning to leave unless stopped of course. He is the lowest ranking member here, and he did intrude more then the others.

"Oh, I enjoyed it very much," Declan answers Ariana. "And I trust the rest of my stay will be equally pleasant. Thank you, Lady Ariana, for the personal effort you have taken in making me and my siblings feel welcome here. And again, thank you, Lord Larent, for your hospitality and allowing us within your home." These pleasantries do tend to be echoed back and forth, almost as if trying to get the last word in graciousness, but the Arboren is ultimately forced to abandon the 'field' by his need for rest. "I will see you all tomorrow then, and look forward to whatever else you have in store." He offers Densoric a quick nod as well, and then finally turns to depart, a servant catching him along the way to show him back to his room, although the Arboren has likely figured out the way back on his own by now!

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