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Author Topic: [Open] What to get the person who has everything  (Read 6975 times)

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Offline Ailish Argall

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[Open] What to get the person who has everything
« on: June 24, 2012, 06:12:47 AM »
Ailish has kept to herself over the past couple of days.  It's as much she needed a break from the constant nitpicking and judging that comes with the eyes, and jealousies of court, as it is just seeking some quiet. She doubts her home has this much noise in a year, as the castle does in the time since her arrival. 

As she's never one to not be busy, or useful in some way, today she's itemizing things, a lot of things, stuff, and some rather cheeky items.   Everyone in Myrica seems to be trying to curry favour with the Duchess by sending more presents than several castles could use in several dynasties.  Then again, that is Ailish's opinion on things, though she's been gracious with the arrival of each new thing.

Each gift, she's recording: giver, item, description, since there are plenty of similar gifts.  For instance, there have been 5 decorative screens given.  Four feature the expected, Voss crests, nature scenes, etc., but one has a rather racy scene of a beautiful redheaded woman in the middle of a tryst, with two other equally as beautiful women.  Ailish believes it's both an insult, and a way to undermine her position, but she didn't blink twice at its arrival.  If the sender expected a reaction, they didn't get one.  Then again, it's not the only sexually-explicit gift to be delivered. She records the details, as she would the plain dresser, sent by one of the families nearer Ailish's home. 

Ailish prefers the dresser.  The screen is beautiful, and titillating, but the dresser's been made to look simple, but only on the outside.  Hand-crafted, there are three hidden compartments, all extremely hard to find.  In one of them, she found a note offering her a way to keep at least some things private.

Sitting at a gifted table, she's on her third piece of velum. On the first piece is furniture, the second, decorations, the third, everything else. Her handwriting is neat and basic, none of the flourishes that may come from years of fine education. 

Offline Jael

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Re: What to get the person who has everything
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2012, 07:11:37 AM »
Jael always found it strange when she was the one in the position to make amends first. She spent much of her life trying her hardest to not offend those around her, without due cause, not those who mattered. So for the first time, in a very long time, she found herself wandering the castle halls, unobserved, and troubled over the matter between herself and Ailla. They weren't in a fight, not by traditional conventions, but they weren't on the best of terms either, a place Jael had never once found herself. Especially when she found herself there by her own doing. Avoidance had seemed easy at first, a way for Ailla to stop her fixation and focus on her future wife, but that had earned her nothing more than a nasty temper tantrum and the incessant urge to keep apologizing until Ailla stopped looking at her like she might try to do hide again.

Unfortunately, or not, that was what Jael seemed to be doing now. So of course it was her luck, that she found Ailish first, by the most rude means possible, entering a room without knocking.

"My lady, I apologize."

Offline Ailish Argall

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Re: What to get the person who has everything
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2012, 02:35:56 PM »
Ailish is so absorbed in what she's doing that the sudden arrival, startles her.  She stands up: something she's taken to doing whenever anyone enters, as it seems everyone here is technically above, status-wise, at least, until her marriage they are.  Unfortunately, between the start, and the sudden standing, there is a rather loud knock, as her knee hits a leg of the table.  She doesn't say anything in response, but Ailish knows she's going to have quite the bruise as a reminder.

This would be a joke at home, whereas here, Ailish wonders if a moment of clumsiness will become a hilarioius anecdote at court.  One that is told to sound endearing, with an undertone of nastiness.

"Pardon me."  She doesn't even think to chastise the other woman.  This room is not Ailish's private chambers, and the other woman appears to free reign of most places here, given her relationship with Aillia.


Offline Jael

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Re: What to get the person who has everything
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2012, 09:42:47 AM »
Jael winced. Not at the moment of clumsiness or her own blunder of entering a room unasked for, but at the way Ailish had apologized to her. There was nothing to pardon. Not even the knock on the table, something she would not let anyone other than Ailla know of.

"I am the one at fault, my lady. I hadn't been aware anyone would be in here. Are you all right?"

Offline Ailish Argall

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Re: What to get the person who has everything
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2012, 10:24:45 AM »
"Nothing worse than a bruise."  She smiles, trying to put the other woman at ease.  "I received worse as a child climbing things I shouldn't."  Anyone at court who didn't think a country child didn't climb things, would be too ridiculous.

"I was working on itemizing all the gifts that have arrived.  I think I will be 10 years, simply sending thank you notes."  The room she's in now is all but crammed to the gills.  With little enthusiasm, she waves at the plethora of gifts.

"Were you looking for the Duchess?" Ailish is already quite sure that no on in the castle is ever really looking for her.

Offline Jael

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Re: What to get the person who has everything
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2012, 10:33:01 AM »
"Truthfully?" Jael was not in the least bit surprised that Ailish used to get into trouble as a child, Ailla would find a kindred soul in that, if they ever talked about it. Some of it must have passed between them for Ailla to have accepted her. Ailish looked so lost amongst the gifts, many of which were worth less thanks than a good burning. She would gladly help with the last point, if ever needed. "I was hoping to hide."

Offline Ailish Argall

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Re: What to get the person who has everything
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2012, 11:13:04 AM »
"Then you've come to the best room.  I think someone could hunt for another for weeks in here, and not find them."   Given how many things to hid behind, or under, it's likely not an exaggeration.  "There are a couple of screens that reach the floor.  I'm sure I can find you a few pillows as well, though they are really meant for decoration.  You could be quite comfortable and still hide."

The screen she discusses is a beautiful one embroidered with leaves, not the racier one. 

Ailish doesn't inquire as to what she is hiding from. There seems to be a great deal to hide from in this place.

"Perhaps that would help?"

Offline Jael

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Re: What to get the person who has everything
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2012, 08:48:21 AM »
"Unfortunately not." Jael smiled and shook her head. The offer did a lot to soothe some of her nerves surrounding Ailish, but it made many of her feelings all the harder to come to terms with. She wouldn't turn and flee from the other woman, but that didn't mean the instinct was subdued.  There was much to be afraid of here, too many things she could say without meaning too.

It was one of the very reasons she hadn't sought Ailla out already.

"I cannot hide from my own thoughts. Such as they are."

Offline Ailish Argall

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Re: What to get the person who has everything
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2012, 12:04:59 PM »
"If someone could provide an  escape from that, they would be the most popular person in history."  Ailish still doesn't pry, as she doesn't feel it's her right.

"The best I can offer is the pillows and nooks."  Ailish offers a smile.  "Though I could also offer my silence if someone else comes looking."

Offline Jael

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Re: What to get the person who has everything
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2012, 10:25:23 AM »
"Even if it's Ailla?" Jael wouldn't ask Ailish to do so. She shouldn't be hiding from Ailla to start with. She had to divorce herself from her own disquiet. She would always be Ailla's friend, but times like these she needed to be there as her confidant first and foremost, the liason, the priestess, all else was secondary.

"I see you're settling in. How are you enjoying the city?"

Offline Ailish Argall

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Re: What to get the person who has everything
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2012, 10:49:07 AM »
"I don't think I could keep Ailla from you.  Even with my silence, I think that's beyond my abilities."  The question does give Ailish a great deal to think about, as she looks at the other woman.

"I haven't had a chance to see as much as I would like."  She's rarely been out of the palace walls, save for her times to pray -- not at the temples where Ailla goes, but at the small altar just outside the city.

Offline Jael

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Re: What to get the person who has everything
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2012, 10:55:10 AM »
"It's difficult right now, but give it time." Jael knew how being confined felt. There were days she wasn't allowed to leave the temple as she would like. It was more than a frustration and like a burning need instead. "You'll be able to soon. Perhaps you can arrange something with the guards..."

It would be good for Ailish to see more of what would soon be her city. She needed to know it as well as the rest of them as she is staying. And staying with Ailla. She was a corruptive influence.

Offline Ailish Argall

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Re: What to get the person who has everything
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2012, 11:05:43 AM »
Ailish is hard to corrupt.  Her family always said she was more internally led, than influenced by those around her.  "The guards' duty is to the Duchess, not me."  And they have made that rather clear, in the subtle ways people do.

"But I understood that was likely to be the case when I arrived."  It's likely her arrival was one of the least fanfare-filled, considering her intended, in Myrica history.

Offline Jael

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Re: What to get the person who has everything
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2012, 11:08:20 AM »
"Once you are married it is every bit as much their job to protect you as it is to protect Ailla. They should be treating you nearly equal now."

Words. They will be had. Jael dreaded that conversation. It was bad enough they already had reasons to dislike her, this would only add to it all. But she would do it, because that injustice shouldn't stand. Whether or not they disapproved of Ailish, she was their guest, and an honored one at that, and they should be treating her appropriately.

Offline Ailish Argall

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Re: What to get the person who has everything
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2012, 11:38:23 AM »
"I think they accept the reality that there isn't an equal to the Duchess, anywhere."  Ailla seems to take up most of this castle with her personality.  She means the joke to put the matter aside.  Ailish doesn't feel mistreated, as Myrica will have to get used to her the way she has to get used to Myrica.

"I have enjoyed being allowed my privacy."  She knows it will be invaded, eventually.  She doesn't know how, or when, but it will happen.  The nobles here have far too many fingers in far too many parts of this palace.  It's something she's slowly making a study of, a cataloging, like the wedding presents.

Offline Jael

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Re: What to get the person who has everything
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2012, 11:42:37 AM »
"You will keep some of it." Jael could promise that much. She knew enough ways to threaten others into silence, but there would always be gossip, as vicious and nasty as any. "There are only so many ways for them to hurt you."

Offline Ailish Argall

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Re: What to get the person who has everything
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2012, 11:57:18 AM »
"I am not hurt."  She genuinely isn't.  It would take a great deal more to hurt her.  None of what is happening is personal.  "I arrive, a relative unknown, so people are suspicious.  There are many families who expected their daughters to be where I am now.  People who are instantly accepting of strangers is easily taken advantage of."

Offline Jael

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Re: What to get the person who has everything
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2012, 11:59:39 AM »
"It's likely their daughters were rejected." More than rejected. They were downright insulted in some instances before Melisande stepped in and let Ailla know what she was doing was beyond unacceptable. "Utterly. Ailla had...a time of great indecision before selecting you."

Jael stared at the collected gifts and shook her head. "Would you like help?"

Offline Ailish Argall

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Re: What to get the person who has everything
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2012, 12:19:45 PM »
"I was Lady Banik's choice, not Ailla's though I am relieved the Duchess seems to approve of me."  How she got here is really a matter of record, so, again, she's not feeling slighted.  This is an arranged noble marriage.  "I wonder if Ailla would ever have made a choice if left to her."

Leaning over slightly, she rubs her hand a little, over the spot she hit.  It's feeling a little sore.  "I would.  Perhaps you would know why certain people have sent certain things?"  It's all part of the cataloging process, of course.

Offline Jael

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Re: What to get the person who has everything
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2012, 12:23:27 PM »
Ailla would never have picked. That was why Melisande picked for her. It would have been politically unwise to remain single. Doubly so when Ailla spent so much of her childhood trying to reject her roles.

"Dare I ask what gift you're referring too?" From a quick look, Jael estimated there were at least half a dozen gifts of dubious quality and intent.

Offline Ailish Argall

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Re: What to get the person who has everything
« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2012, 12:33:52 PM »
There are only two other people in the castle Ailish would address this with -- other than the Duchess herself -- and Ailla's religious adviser is one of them.  "There is one, that was sent only to attempt to cause embarrassment."

"It is over here."  There are narrow pathways, past the prettiest of pieces, and the generic, even the dresser Ailish likes so much, upon which she has left a note about having it moved to her room.  In the very back, is the screen in question.  No one could argue the embroidery is fine, one might say extremely detailed.  There are slight marks on the skin of the other women that are personal: a birthmark on one, a mole or two on the other, the one with her head between Ailla's legs.

"You see my concern."

Offline Jael

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Re: What to get the person who has everything
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2012, 12:40:22 PM »
Jael drew up short before the screen, eyes slightly widening at the sight of the screen. A brothel would be a more fitting place for the item, and even that was too good for it. Jael contemplated lighting it on fire within the confines of the courtyard, but that would likely draw Ailla. She hoped the duchess hadn't seen it yet. Even with her sense of humor, the inappropriateness would be immediately apparent.

"Ah. Yes, I can see your concern perfectly. Do we know who sent it?"

Offline Ailish Argall

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Re: What to get the person who has everything
« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2012, 12:56:18 PM »
"I don't.  It was delivered with little fanfare yesterday.  The guards did not inspect it either, before it came up here, for me to finally look at."  Ailish knew two things, though they were contradictory.  It wasn't right that anything delivered as a present, wasn't thoroughly inspected before being brought up.  On the other hand, she's glad the guard who finally help her uncover it, was quick enough to know, upon the screen's reveal, to excuse himself.

For all the titillating subject matter, Ailish finds no thrill from looking at it.

Offline Jael

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Re: What to get the person who has everything
« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2012, 01:00:34 PM »
"What?" Jael's expression became as flat as her tone. Her stomach knotted briefly in rage but calmed just as quickly. Ailish didn't deserve her anger. It wasn't her she was upset with, after all, she merely presented the problem. "They're supposed to inspect every gift, no matter how...large they are."

She stepped forward and stared long and hard at the women expressed upon the screen, taking in the tiny, personal details. Jael pursed her lips. "Where is Ailla? Has she seen this yet?"

Offline Ailish Argall

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Re: What to get the person who has everything
« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2012, 01:12:39 PM »
"There have been so many," then again, Ailish isn't making an excuse.  She would never excuse laziness in one's duties. 

"But no, Ailla's not seen this."  She shrugs her shoulders, a much more unrefined move, and much more natural than her usual movements.  Usually, everything she does is very thought-out, to avoid causing any talk.

 


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