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 Post subject: The Verdant Garden (A Tavern for Mortals in Rosewater)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 11:15 pm 
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:04 pm
Posts: 72
The Verdant Garden truly lived up to its name. In a county infused to its core with death magic the cheerful Tavern defied the macabre. It's ancient brick walls were covered in the vivid greens, blues, and light purples of hanging wisteria. Its hearth was warm and welcoming and the rich scents of cooking wafted from the hidden kitchen.

Of all the places in Allure, Rayet found this to be the most fitting. The perfect getaway from the pervasive death to celebrate the end of the Dark Conjunction and the endless possibilities of the future. Soon he would be taking up the Mantle of Exarch in earnest and begin training within the Plane of Fire. Soon he would no longer be able to so casually rest, but first he had some unfinished business in this realm.

The fire mage set about moving one of the tavern's smaller wooden tables closer to the hearth. His twin stone necklaces, Hoarfrost and Vexar's favor, clacked quietly together as he readied the table. Once in a suitable position Rayet quickly produced a candle from his lone leather belt pouch. Its wax had been inlaid with silver and seemed a fancy affair or the mage's usual spartan tastes, but once lit its light was warm and no smoke rose from the wick.

Satisfied with the setup Rayet sat in one of the thick oak chairs at the table and relaxed. His gaze drifted to the dancing flames of the fireplace as he waited for his guest. Mesmerized by the flame he began to hum a slow deep tune.

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Rayet Sterling
Avatar of Fire
Master Sorcerer


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 Post subject: Re: The Verdant Garden (A Tavern for Mortals in Rosewater)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 11:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:19 pm
Posts: 579
To say that Shalva's demeanor was uncharacteristic would be an understatement. She wears no armor, having even left her Shadowsong belt behind. The sword at her hip is a simple blade. The black dress has been cast aside in favor of something brighter. https://img0.etsystatic.com/070/0/9406765/il_570xN.804948562_jzjw.jpg Her hair is in its usual style, but appears freshly washed and braided.

Pausing in the doorway to let her eyes adjust, everything about her stance reads uncertainty, almost fear. Much of that vanishes with a smile once she spots Rayet, but not all.

The edge of her dress flutters behind her feet as she approaches the table. Her stride begins timid, ready to flee, but her resolve solidifies and the last two steps are taken boldly. She sits herself in the chair opposite Rayet and makes a show of casually taking in the ambiance.


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 Post subject: Re: The Verdant Garden (A Tavern for Mortals in Rosewater)
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:05 pm 
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:04 pm
Posts: 72
Rayet remained lost in thought for a few more moments, his eyes reflecting the flame of the hearth. A blink and the spell was broken. He turned away from the fire and was surprised to find Shalva seated across from him already.


His eyes continued to dance with the reflected embers for a second longer than they should have and a smile formed on his lips. He took in the dress Shalva was wearing. It was a happy moment, knowing that at least in this very moment there was enough peace that they could relax. Their latest war put to rest.


The fire mage paused for a moment, taking in his own state of dress. His once fine shirt faded, its collar worn. The two trinkets that constantly adorned his neck quietly clacking together. The ratty cloak covered in skulls wrapped around his shoulders was tucked behind his Exarch’s blade. Perhaps the war was not done or everyone.


Rayet’s smile returned as his eyes moved back to his guest. “I am glad that you made it,” he said chuckling. “I was worried that you would miss the place among the rest of the luscious green of the land.”

It had probably been a few dozen years since he had last been on a date, but he quickly remembered his manners. “You look beautiful,” he spoke honestly.

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Rayet Sterling
Avatar of Fire
Master Sorcerer


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 Post subject: Re: The Verdant Garden (A Tavern for Mortals in Rosewater)
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:19 pm
Posts: 579
Just like that, the casual facade is broken and a blush touches her cheeks. She looks down and plays with the ends of her hair before remembering herself and looking up sharply.

"Thank you. You look...warm...and dashing like always, but that's a weird thing to say, isn't it?"

She laughs nervously and looks down again.

"Sorry. The closest I've come to anything like this was...well, you know that story, and the other story, and I don't think...I mean...it wasn't...They were fake."

Her gaze drifts to the candle and an idea sparks in her eyes before she quickly looks to Rayet's face and down again.


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 Post subject: Re: The Verdant Garden (A Tavern for Mortals in Rosewater)
PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:09 pm 
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:04 pm
Posts: 72
“Why thank you,” he replied to her compliment.


Rayet broke eye contact for a moment to reach to the side of his chair where a basket sat. From it he pulled a black clay bottle and two pewter glasses.


He nodded and gave her a smile before responding to her last statement. “I must admit… I am out of practice myself, it’s probably been two dozen years since I truly went out on a date. The last one end up with a furious Troll coming after me with an Axe,” he joked.


With a graceful hand Rayet filled their glasses before setting one in front of Shalva.


He raised his glasses in cheers and gave her a smile. “To using the pain of the past as fuel for the future.”

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Rayet Sterling
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Master Sorcerer


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 Post subject: Re: The Verdant Garden (A Tavern for Mortals in Rosewater)
PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 10:27 pm 
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The joke gets a smile from her. "Well, I think I can at least do better than that."

She's thoughtful a moment before raising her own glass.

"And to no longer being shackled by the past."

She sips and sets her glass down gently, turning it between her hands and looking again at the candle. She takes a quick deep breath.

She speaks quickly, almost sounding accusatory, hardly stopping for breath. “I’m sorry. I have to have this out, and I know it’s early in the night, but I’m still waiting for the next terrible thing to come waltzing through the door and ruin all of this and if I don’t say this now I might not get to later.”

“You’ve been there since I first came to Varos. Not just there. Kind and...and trusting! I always feel better when you’re nearby no matter how fucked up the situation is. What kept me from sinking into darkness as the Spear was that I wouldn’t let myself subjugate you. Specifically you, and I was afraid we’d all be stuck as un-constellations and the Plane of Fire might be too far from the space between the stars and that I might never see you again and I KNOW I won’t get to see you as often as I’d like from here on but I hope you’ll still let me call on the fire that holds my heart to render me aid and grant me Control Fire.”

The candle flame shapes itself into a heart just for a moment before she breaks her concentration and abruptly lowers her face to stare at her wine glass. Her blush creeps its way to the tips of her ears as she says much more calmly, “and imagine that maybe you can feel it.”


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 Post subject: Re: The Verdant Garden (A Tavern for Mortals in Rosewater)
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:30 am 
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:04 pm
Posts: 72
Rayet listened as Shalva poured her heart out, the speech catching him off guard. As he watched the once inert elf manipulate the candle between them he took the words in, turning them over for a long moment.


Looking at Shalva he slowly lifted a finger and the candle flame between them split into two figures that began to dance around the wick. His voice was low as he spoke, but gained in strength. “You are right… I will not be around as much. That isn’t going to stop me from feeling your heartfire wherever it is.”


The two flames danced faster atop the candle and began to pulse with light, mimicking a heartbeat. "I have spent far too long focusing on the threat right in front of me, but I always felt more optimistic when you had my back," he said as one of the dancers dipped the other.

_________________
Rayet Sterling
Avatar of Fire
Master Sorcerer


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 Post subject: Re: The Verdant Garden (A Tavern for Mortals in Rosewater)
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:41 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:19 pm
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She is slow to look up, but a hope shines in her eyes, watching the dancers, then Rayet. Her smile is bright and unrestrained. She's animated now. All the shyness has burned away.

"Then I won't care how long you're away. I don't have an actual token for you, but you'll take my heart." The smile drops a bit. "Not my physical heart. I'm not a lich... You know what I mean."

She takes a bit more than a sip of wine as she thinks.

"I could be VERY traditional and give you a lock of my hair, but if it were all singed the next time I saw you, I'd be upset."


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 Post subject: Re: The Verdant Garden (A Tavern for Mortals in Rosewater)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:01 pm 
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:04 pm
Posts: 72
A wide slow smile spread across his lips as he took in the change in her demeanor.

“I can promise you that I would never let flame touch a lock of your hair except to warm it like like early morning rays,” he said. He reached into one of his few remaining pouches and withdrew something wrapped in blue leather. Unwrapping the package carefully he revealed a beautiful crystal figurine of two dancers nearly identical to those of the flame he had wrought, but formed of pure ice. “Please... I want you to have this. It is Everfrozen ice. The same that forms the the apple in my ritual kit. Even I cannot melt it without incredible effort.”

Rayet offered both the blue wrapping and the figurine to her, his face was still bright and warm with joy as he spoke. “Let that serve as a counterpoint to the what we feel for each other.”

Their feelings finally revealed he relaxed and took a drink from his pewter goblet in his other hand.

_________________
Rayet Sterling
Avatar of Fire
Master Sorcerer


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 Post subject: Re: The Verdant Garden (A Tavern for Mortals in Rosewater)
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:05 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:19 pm
Posts: 579
She quirks an eyebrow at the incredibly cheesy line, but it's obvious she's pleased by it.

When the figurine is unwrapped, she is stunned, sitting in silence for just a bit too long before she remembers that breathing is a thing.

"Then you...I thought..."

She shakes herself, letting the figurine stay in his hand for now and looking him in the eyes as she draws her sword.

"So it comes to this, then," she says, seeming almost angry again as she grips a lock from the underside of her hair with her other hand, pulling it taut. With a swift clean motion, she slices it off, missing her ear by a breath. She sheathes the simple sword and begins tying a knot in the center of the hair to lock the strands together.

"I tell you I can't give you anything but hair and you present this...this beautiful priceless thing?"

She begins tying a second knot on top of the first.

"Not that I should be surprised, I guess, except I was happy just loving you on my own. Now I don't eve know what to be."

A third knot.

"It's not like I even have a choice. As soon as I decided on this the last thing keeping me from magic vanished, kind of like the last click in a puzzle lock, you know?"

A fourth knot. She looks up from her work to meet his gaze again and the agitation fades.

"Not that I'm complaining though. Not at all. It's really a wonderful feeling. All of it."

A fifth knot as the angry edge comes back to her voice.

"And now I know where I'm going and what I'm doing, which is also new and wonderful."

A sixth.

"And since you feel the same, I'll work even harder to free myself from my husband one way or the other."

Seven.

"It shouldn't be difficult if I'm using my own name from now on."

Eight.

"That's the other thing I've decided. No more hiding."

Nine.

"No more running."

Ten. She gently tips the candle just enough to drip wax on the last knot, sealing all 10 in place. Laying her work across both her palms, she presents it as she would a sword. All of the (what was now obviously) feigned anger has gone, and she speaks with the clear, sure tones of the warrior she is at heart.

[Elvish]
"I am yours, Rayet Sterling, not for obligation or hope of salvation, but because it is the path that feels right, and so it is the only path I can walk. I walk it gladly."

If she's at all apologetic for leaving him holding his gift for so long, she doesn't show it.


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 Post subject: Re: The Verdant Garden (A Tavern for Mortals in Rosewater)
PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:33 pm 
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:04 pm
Posts: 72
For a brief moment the Fire mage was taken aback by the apparent anger in her voice, but as he listened to her words he released the words rang with truth the anger did not. He set his goblet down and watched as she tied the lock of her hair into small tight knots, enjoying the passion of her speech.

Hearing her declaration and seeing the gift offered in front of him Rayet did not hesitate. He placed his left hand over the top of her own, covering her lock and intoned in Pyron, “And my heart is yours for as long as it’s light flickers against the Void.”

He let his hand rest against hers for a long moment, feeling the warmth of them. Slowly he removed the lock of her hair from her palm and replaced it with the cloth covered dancers.

_________________
Rayet Sterling
Avatar of Fire
Master Sorcerer


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 Post subject: Re: The Verdant Garden (A Tavern for Mortals in Rosewater)
PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:19 pm
Posts: 579
As his hand rests on hers, the blush returns to her cheeks.

The Pyron earns him a confused look, but she seems to grasp the tone well enough.

"One day you'll have to say that again when I can understand it," she teases as she admires the figurine. Carefully, she covers it with the cloth and begins to tuck it in her tunic over her heart, but quickly decides against it and sets the cloth bundle on the table next to her.

"What are they serving tonight?"


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