Private Tales The Long Way Down

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Lyssia D'avore

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"A lovely name for a lovely lady," Lyssia murmured as she took the offered apple. She took the offered apple lightly, and offered it to the pegasi with true delight in her eyes. A rare smile burst through the clouds of the last many days, and it changed her face in shocking ways. The wariness and weariness of her plight seemed to melt away.

She offered the treat to the winged horse with the practiced care of someone who had dealt with the equine often enough, and absently wiped the expected slobber from her hand. "They say they are more intelligent and spirited than normal horses," she said half to herself and half to him. "Too rare though; the Dynast keeps them for the Pegasi, and we had very few among us."

Speaking as though she were still a part of the exclusive club of Bursars and high born. For once, she didn't seem to notice, so rapt was she with Gypsy.
 
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Elijah

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"Oh, they definitely are," Elijah sounded almost proud and rightly so as Captain of the specialised unit. The horses were just as much a part of the team as the soldiers who rode them were. He watched as Gypsy took a bite from the apple with more delicacy than most would credit a horse with being able to show. Her ears twitched forward, intent fully on the ripe red prize in the woman's outstretched hand.

"It was Gypsy here who spotted you acting strangely in the square, she thought something was amiss," he stroked down the horses flank and smiled when she stood up, munching happily on the last bite of the apple. If it hadn't been for her he would have overlooked Lyssia as just another commoner going about their day. But he trusted his horse, she had seen him through the darkest situations and some of his brightest. He wouldn't be the man he was without her or Sam.

"She should probably be the Captain," he said with a chuckle.
 
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Lyssia D'avore

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The reminder was jarring, and her hand hesitated for a moment in its stroking of the beasts' graceful neck. A moment only, but for that one moment she felt as though she were naked before him, every deceit exposed and easily discerned. A moment only, and then she was stroking the lady horse again.

The smile remained, but it was fixed thing. She could not recall if he had ever really tried to dig in to what it was she had been doing in that street in the first place. Likely, had he known, he wouldn't have been near so friendly. "Yes, she probably should be," she said faintly, but earnestly. The little mare - she did not know if that was what one called a female pegasus, but she assumed so - would have found her involved in illegal trade, or at least involved in ordering illegal trade be conducted.

That, after all, had been what she was about. Foolish, naive, thinking like a noblewoman when she was no longer held the protections afforded one. Had she still been a member of a Bursar's family, those hooligans wouldn't have dreamed of doing what they attempted. But to a seeming villein woman, well...the only protection afforded her was the same as any other citizen of Dornoch.

She felt the weight of those days and everything that came with them fall upon her shoulders then, and visibly sagged though she tried to hide it. "A delightful young lady," she murmured. She would not ask to ride the beast, though; not only was it unlikely to be granted, but it might draw attention not only to her, but to him. She did not need to cause further problems beyond what she had already caused; she owed him that much at the very least, and likely a great deal more. "Where to next?" she asked, still gently stroking the pegasi.
 
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Elijah

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Either the Captain was truly blind not to see and sense the change that came over his charge, or he chose not to pass comment on it to spare her. He cast one more doting eye over Gypsy and gave her a scratch underneath the mane just behind her ears which had her eyes closing in pure bliss, before he abruptly dropped his hand and canted his head to the side.

"This way."

There was not much in the grounds. Soldiers were ever practical people and their room was preciously granted by the Dynast so it seemed a waste to spend it on anything that wasn't necessary. Even so, it was important for both mind and body for a soldier to decompress off of the battlefield. It couldn't be training all day and all night. As such they had preserved a small area of the gardens that had originally stood here and turned it into a park of sorts. Those who were not on duty often found their way here for quiet meditation and conversation with friends.

Tiny paths coiled off in different directions leading walkers past small koi ponds, over delicate wooden bridges, intricate rock and fauna displays with beautiful flowers, and a small walkway lined with blossom trees on either side. They were at their most beautiful in spring, but at this time of year in the autumn they took on another charm with their golden and red leaves.

Elijah stopped on one of the wooden bridges and watched the golden and white fish as they swam below.

"This park is the original Dynast gardens. When the land was given to the soldiers they decided to preserve a small section for them and their families to enjoy on their days off."
 
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Lyssia D'avore

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She would have mimicked Elijah's scratching if she could reach, and almost as though the mare could hear her thoughts, the beauty dropped her head so Lyssia could. It was a brief offering, but Gypsy accepted it anyway as her divine due, which made the little sidhe smile.

She turned from the animal and followed behind, gliding along with her thoughts concealed and her face a carefully maintained mask. The few others that moved about and were not actually working or training paid her little heed, and she was content to be just another woman crossing the yards.

When they had arrived at the gate leading into the secluded gardens, though, she hesitated on the border. Within, the scent of wild life, carefully cultivated and cared for so that each leaf was in its place, every stone set just so in the little paths that wended this way and that. The birds twittered and frolicked about on bush and branch, the fish swam in all their colors...

...was a portal back in time. And it hurt so very much, hurt more than she could admit to. It was places like this that she and her Mother had gone for seclusion, and her brother and her had played when she was little. She had spent so much time in the gardens of her home that she could scarcely be found round the home unless Mother sent someone off to fetch her - often a vain effort.

"So beautiful," she said in a small voice, looking upon it with lorn eyes, tracing every branch and every bush herself. "There is meaning in every single stone, its placement among the colors and plants. Everything is tied together in a place like this, filled with symbolic meanings and portents and omens, wishes for a future to come and never to come," she said. "A gardener once told me that, when I was little. I scoffed at him, then...but, well...can you feel it? This place is a gift without measure. The Dynast knew well what she was doing..."

If only she thought the same. She had no idea what she was doing; only a desire - however weak it might be - to find her way forward. She felt incredibly tired, right then. "I miss my mothers' grove," she said quietly.
 
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Elijah

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He couldn't feel it.

A small part of him wished he could but as he watched the fish all he could think about was how nice it was that this area of the soldiers grounds wasn't so regimental. To him it seemed almost wild in comparison; ivy left to grow where it wanted to, flowers poking up between rocks... Perhaps it had all been choreographed but nature didn't confirm or care about a persons vision.

He couldn't feel it, no, but he agreed with her it was beautiful nevertheless.

Her words brought Elijah out of his thoughts and he cast a look down to the petite woman at his side. He opened his mouth then shut it again, deciding she wouldn't appreciate his sympathy for something he had had no control over or could change. Lyssia was a proud woman and he thought that acknowledging her fragility would probably end up a few sharp words.

"What was it like?" he asked instead, leaning on the railings of the bridge.
 
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Lyssia D'avore

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"It was not here in Dornoch," she said in reply. They had - had - a place in Dornoch, as was proper; the Dynast, may she live forever, kept a court like many other rulers did. As the center of power in all of Erdeniin, many of the more notable Bursars maintained some presence her during the year. D'avore had been no different than any of them, though her family only came here a dozen times a year at best.

"Esterhold is not Dornoch," she begin, knowing he probably knew of that province well enough. "The great isle has plenty of space, and so the manor Mother governed from had proper gardens, similar to those in the Palace grounds here." As she spoke, she was taken back to that place. She was not young, not in human years, but as a fae she was but a babe. Most of her life had been spent within the walls of the D'avore manor.

"Mother loved foxglove and peonies and orchids, she loved roses and those little ornamental trees with the vibrant purple leaves and white blossoms." She closed her eyes as she came to stand beside the Captain, resting against the rails but not resting easily atop it. She could see those places in her minds' eye as clearly as if she walked between branch and bough, between cultivated flower beds, bushes, and arranged stone pathways and displays. "It was where Mother went when things grew rough, when the pressure of the expectation grew too heavy."

She knew a bit of that weight, but not for the same reason as her Mother had. "I spent most of my life within those walls," she said aloud what she had though moments before. "The world...is not what I had expected."
 
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Elijah

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Elijah reached up and carefully plucked one of the low hanging blossoms that hung over the bridge. He twirled the tiny flower between his thumb and forefinger as he mulled over his next few words.

"The world is not what I had expected either," and he had seen much of it during his time in the army. They were tasked after all with keeping the Dynast and her family safe, along with the boarders of the Dynasty itself which reached far across the Steppes. This job had taken him North and beyond the Spine, south to Alliria and Cortos, and even West towards the Anirian Empire in order to protect trade from their country or the royals on diplomatic missions.

"The more I see, the less I feel like I know of my place in it," he smiled and dropped the petal into the water below. One of the dish bobbed up to see if it was edible and swam away in disappointment when it realised it was not. "But in a way that is a good thing, it means there is something still to discover. That I have not reached my end yet."
 
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Lyssia D'avore

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"I lost my sense of belonging the day they died," she said quietly. It hurt to say those words, and her voice trembled a little on the mention of their death, but she steeled herself and continued on. "I knew my place, my purpose, and the role I would carry forward with the certainty of a member of the clergy. But..."

She trailed off, staring into the clear water as the colorful koi moved lazily through the waters.

Purpose dashed against the rocks of reality, her place and role stripped from her. It had left her bereft of even the most basic of dignities, stranded in a city that hated her without any goal or purpose. And losing purpose was a quick road to losing the will to go on. So she had struggled, thrashing around like a woman drowning in the sea, trying to grab at any bit of flotsam to keep her head above the water of her fears.

Loneliness, powerlessness, and worthlessness. She feared above everything else not that she might die, but that she might do so without the ability to have any say in how it came about. Independence was a thing deeply ground into her, a stubborn will that, while common enough among the women of Dornoch, was enhanced ten fold by an inner resolve.

"...but I won't give up," she said grimly. "I came so close to it, to just...letting go," she whispered.

But someone had stopped her. Someone had granted her the time to reflect upon all that had happened, and to firm the resolve that was already there. "I shall not do so again. I just...." She trailed off, staring into the middle distance.
 
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Elijah

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"You possess an admirable strength, Lyssia," Elijah said quietly once the silence had stretched for a while. "Not many people could still possess that fire after what you have endured," himself included. Here he was years after the loss of Samantha and he was still in the same position as he had been then. A higher rank, yes, but he loathed it because of what it had cost him to get there. Perhaps it was time to stop wallowing in his grief and start to look at the world once more. Find a new direction. A new purpose. That might even mean leaving the guard but would that be such a bad thing? This place was full of ghosts.

With a sigh he pushed himself off the railing and canted his head towards the East.

"Come, we have a few more stops," he smiled and led her out through the little park to more housing. It seemed as though most of the homes had been built to put the park, stables and training ground in its centre. But that was not where he took her now. Instead he wound through the copy and pasted streets to one in particular. Where as they had only past a few people before now life suddenly bloomed. Market stalls were jammed together, soldiers and merchants filled every nook and cranny. Shouting and the smells of wares filled the air.

"Often we do not have time to go down town to get what it is we need, so select merchants are allowed to come and trade up here," he explained.
 
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Lyssia D'avore

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She disagreed with him, but she kept it to herself. If she held any strength, it was a fragile kind of strength that might break at the first shocking contact with any rebuff. Was it a lack of confidence in herself, the withering of self-esteem, or was it a genuine introspective analysis of herself? No one could tell her, and even if they did she would outright refute their assertions.

"If you say so," she said in a quiet voice. It was as close to disagreement as she could come without stating it aloud. Paradoxically, though, she felt...something entirely else at his observation. It was an emotion she could not identify, and so chose not to even try. She pushed herself off the rail as well, sighing wearily as she did. She felt like she was made of stone, but she did as she had since getting out of bed: hid it, concealed it as stubbornly as ever.

Offering him a wan smile, she fell in step beside him, eyes tracing every bit of greenery, the water, the bridges, until they were gone from sight. She would have to come back, later, and stand there among the memories of what had come before.

There was nothing to see among the streets once they had left that secluded place, and her heart remained back there among the glade in the city. Here, it was the city which was pretty after a fashion, but did not carry the weight of memory as did that place. Like a wraith, she moved through the city next to her companion without sound. Even when they got to the markets, she looked lorn; here, a place filled with life that she could not partake in, could not revel in. Queerly, she felt the need not to step upon Elijah's clear enjoyment of this place, no doubt filled with the ghostly memories of that which was gone.

"The merchants must be pleased to be granted a captive market," she said, looking about her at all the life. There was a longing to be a part of that life, but she had no place in it. "The soldiers, as well."
 
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Elijah

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"Oh, I'm sure. But it's not the trinkets and things I really like about this place..." he threw her an embarrassed and shy smile, as though he had suspected such things might be the reason why she would visit a market. Instead of explaining why for Elijah was never good with words, he simply decided to show her. Mindful to keep his pace slow so that she didn't lose him in the crowds, he cleared a way through for them with his bulky frame until they passed all the vegetable stalls, the clothing merchants, the cobblers and weaponsmiths. Right on the edge were stalls that looked more like ramshackle houses.

If you could get over the look however the most incredible smell wafted out of them.

Elijah didn't hesitate to turn their path towards one of them. A tallish man with a greying beard grinned when he saw them.

"Eli!" the two clapped forearms before he glanced to Lyssia. "You brought a friend! Come, come eat," he motioned them inside to where a series of small little tables were set up, crowded full. Everyone was laughing and joking over the noise of a lute somewhere and the food smell was stronger here.

"Are you hungry? I know I didn't have anything much at the house so I thought... I know you don't need to eat but... do you like to?" he fumbled, suddenly realising his error.
 

Lyssia D'avore

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The noise was beyond comprehension. Lyssia stared at the tableau spread before her, the tables, the people crowded together and seemingly struggling to see who could be louder - them, their neighbors, or the lute. The crowd was clearly winning. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely, and even Elijah's spirits seemed to have lifted.

Suddenly, though, she felt a chill come over her. Someone would recognize her, and then the merriment would stop and it would be cold stares and brooding atmosphere afterwards. She imagined them as being her former peers at one of the many parties the elites held among themselves, and being the one that was currently involved in some publicized scandal walking into the room. She could feel the temperature drop, even though it was all in her mind.

"I..," she began uncertainly. The number of people here were quite overwhelming, but her unease was not at the crowds, but rather the perception of them towards her. She was waiting for someone to remark on her presence, waiting for it like the headsmans' axe. "I...do," she admitted reluctantly. "I just can not eat very much," she said faintly. Not very surprising, that; she was considerably smaller than he, and most of the patrons of that place. "Are you sure it is acceptable, though?"
 
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Elijah

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Despite Lyssia's fears it seemed everyone in the small little restaurant couldn't care less about who had just walked in. Only one or two cast a glance over at Eli and nodded but the rest were too busy with their own merriment to give a thought to those outside their little bubbles. It was part of the reason why the Captain liked it so much in here, that and the fact it was a little bit of his life before. At her question he gave a good belly laugh.

"They don't really do small portions but leaving some isn't a big deal," he reassured her, totally missing the real reason for her question no doubt. But before she could clarify he was forging a way through the crowds for them both to the little booth his friend who had greeted them was waving them over to. Ever the gentlemen though, even here, Eli pulled out the chair for Lyssia before taking his own seat once she was settled.

"The usual?" the man asked, glancing up towards the door as someone else popped their head through.

"Yes, please Dharrin," with a nod the guy was off shouting welcomes to those at the door.
 
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Lyssia D'avore

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She cast a glance back to the street, to the safe anonymity that they offered her. A moment only, before she turned back and followed behind, a tiny ship sailing on a sea of humanity. Thusfar, Elijah had not steered her wrong and even though she though that he downplayed her notoriety a fair bit, she did not think he would deliberately put her into a place where she might be harmed, physically or otherwise.

The man seemed to enjoy this place a great deal. As they moved through the crowd, she could not help but notice he seemed to be...more at ease, here. There was the light of life in his eyes that, not long before, had been absent in the presence of insensitive words. The ghost of that conversation still hung in the air between them, even if he had seemingly forgotten it. Quick words of anger, wounding for the sake of wounding.

And yet...here she was, sitting in this place with him with his actions speaking of no consequences for that bit of nastiness.

The chair was, of course, not designed for her. All the same, it was good enough for her to at least be chest and head above the table. She eyed the man - Dharrin - warily, and the other tables. Waiting for the harsh accusation that did not come.

"What is this place?" She had never really gone to any place like this in Dornoch. She kept to the quiet places, out of the way. Out of sight, out of mind as they always used to say. Before, when she had been of the noble class...well, the nobles did not come down to places like this, and certainly not the Bursars. "Living in this city off an on for fifty years and I've never been to a thing like it..."
 
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Elijah

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Elijah chuckled but saved the answers to her questions as a slim waitress slipped over and set down some drinks for the pair. The Captain offered a small murmur of thanks to the woman who gently squeezed his shoulder before sashaying back to the tiny little bar rammed in to the corner. He poured them both a glass of the cloudy pink liquid and then took a sip with a content sigh.

"I doubt you'll find many places like this in the parts you're used to," he smiled faintly as if reading her own train of thought. Not that there was any judgement at all in his eyes about it, if anything he seemed to find the whole idea of her in such a place... amusing. "In fairness, you never used to be able to find places like this here either. Most of the soldiers shun it, it is filled mostly with people who work at the palace," he waved his hands to the people around the room in a vague gesture.

"It belongs to my cousin - who you met - and his wife who brought us the drinks. The rent for their own place was too high in the town so I suggested they try up here. There wasn't really anywhere for... ordinary people to go. They've made quite a bit of money out of it," he smiled, pride shining in his eyes.
 
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Lyssia D'avore

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At mention of the palace, and that most of those that were here worked there as well, she fell quiet. She never stopped to wonder how she had become so cowed by the idea of simply being seen by any that might know her, as though the shame of their accusing stares could make her bleed.

She pushed aside her misgivings. Looking around, she shook her head slowly. "I can see why," she muttered. There had to be thirty or forty patrons in here now, and all the while she looked, people came and people left, and the general din never changed enough to note. "If they can keep up with this madness," she said in a lower tone of voice.

Lyssia did not think she could keep pace with the tides of this place. And yet...and yet, there was something soothing about it. Not in the same way as the garden had been, for that place had carried familiarity with it. No...here, there was something else. Perhaps the company of people who were filled with life, and most importantly, were either ignorant or uncaring of the troubles of others.

"What is this pink stuff," she asked, indicating the glass.
 
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Elijah

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Elijah watched the way his companion looked around the room with barely hidden horror. At least, that was how he would have described the wide-eyed look on her face. His lips twitched in amusement especially when she pronounced the scene madness and decided not to inform her if she was destined to spend the rest of her life amongst this level of society it was a madness she would need to get used to. That was definitely in the column of things not to say to the Lady Lyssia, he thought to himself wisely.

"It's a family recipe," he smiled and picked up the bottle his cousin's wife had left for them, turning the label towards her so she could read the description of the strawberry and cherry blossom wine.

"My mother said it has been in our family since the first settlers here brought from where it was they came from out in the steppes," it was a harsh land and many of the first settlers had left their tribe lands behind without a backward glance.
 
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Lyssia D'avore

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It was difficult for her to comprehend timelines in human terms. Her Mother, for instance, had served under several Dynasts across hundreds of year, and even then she had been alive long before she had become a Bursar. Long before she had come to the steppes. She knew herself as fae, but also knew that she was unlike her kindred in so many ways. The stories told to her by her mother and father, those of the places they had been before coming among the mortals, had seemed fanciful if not outright ludicrous.

Time was a thing that she thought little of. It was a thing that consumed a great deal of energy among human and elf, people who could count the years and see the gap between that and the final rest slowly approach.

And, in any case, she herself could not understand the span of her own life stretching before her. She was only in her fifties, and she might as well be a child as far as her kindred would be concerned.

She picked up the glass, and tasted it. It was lightly sweet with a tart finish, and for something cheap enough for the commons to afford, it was actually quite good. She said as much. "It is delicious," she murmured, a hint of surprise in her voice. "What is it like to have something like that," she wondered aloud. "My family..."

She sighed. "I never met anyone other than my brother and Mother and Father," she said. "We live a long time and do not have many children. Grand parents, cousins, all the like...I have none, and had none before all of this came to pass..."
 
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Elijah

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Elijah mentally tried to calculate whether the question and his subsequent answer were going to upset her. He had learnt pretty early on that the topic of her family made her draw in to herself, snap at him, or cry - all options he wanted to avoid in a place like this. A place where he had brought her to make her forget about her worries and problems. At least for the moment. He studied her face for a pregnant pause before cautiously deciding she didn't seem about to do anything to endanger his life for answering.

"Chaotic," he admitted then laughed at his own honesty. A deep, rumbling thing that started in his chest and turned his words husky with every huffed syllable. "My father is one of 12 siblings and my mother one of five," not unusual for the lower tiers of society who had less access to the expensive contraceptives that would stop pregnancies. "So I have... a lot of cousins and they were always around when growing up. It is hard to get away with much when you have a relative in every street, or a friend of the family," he chuckled.
 
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Lyssia D'avore

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"It sounds like it was a lot more interesting than my childhood," she said faintly. It sounded like a chaotic mess, as he had described it. The idea of a dozen children borne of one couple was staggering, and that was even considering that she knew it happened. She had no idea, in truth, why she had no more siblings than she'd had. "We did not get away with much, if anything."

There was no point in dwelling on her own close family, though. Enough tears had been shed over that of recent and over the last year to last her the rest of her life. Instead, she said: "There were always retainers, always maids or tutors to snitch on me if I misbehaved. They wouldn't dare lay a hand on me," she said, and winced at the thought of the one who would lay a hand on her. "Probably would have been better if they had, though; Father was strict, and Mother was a million times worse..."

She thought she could still feel the familiar hand print on her rear, and one or two still burned on her cheek. Unaware of it, she rubbed at her face and, realizing what she had done, covered by taking a sip of her wine and glaring at Elijah as if to dare him to make a comment.
 
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Elijah

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Elijah called that look I'll-Make-You-Wish-You-Had-Never-Been-Born.

"Eli's mum still scares the shit out of me," Dharrin said, having appeared with his hands full of small little plates. From a glance around the room it seemed that was the theme of the place; lots of little plates with different types of food that people shared. The Captain winced at his cousin's words and warily glanced around as though he half expected his mother to somehow be here in the crowd.

"Penelope is lovely, it's you that's the problem," his wife chirped from his side, brandishing more plates. Between them they set down about ten of the small dishes ranging from meats to cheeses, breads and vegetables. No two things looked the same. Dharrin was glaring at his wife.

"Dharrin, Helena this is Lyssia, she's going to be staying with me for a while," Eli said smoothly, attempting to defuse the situation.

"Nice to mee-- LEON!" Dharrin was off, heading for the door where a new customer had come in. Helena shook her head and wiped her hands on her apron.

"I apologise for my husband - it's a pleasure to meet you Lyssia."
 
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Lyssia D'avore

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She did not see how the pair of them managed to work the floor personally. She winced involuntarily at Dharrin's comment, too, imagining the same being said about Mother and how well that would have ended. Likely with him having to be pried from the wall with a spatula, at the end of the day.

"Couldn't be that much of a problem if you married him," she said very, very much under her breath. Aloud, she did not repeat it. "The pleasure is mine, I'm sure," she said with a little tilt of her head to acknowledge his wife's comment. She cast a look to the door, but whoever Leon was was nothing to her. "Thank you for the warm welcome," she added. You've no idea how much it means to me to receive it.

She raised an eyebrow at Elijah's assertion. He seemed dead set on shielding her from the new depths of the nightmare she'd been thrust into, even after she had been so callous and harsh with her own words. It made confused her, after a fashion, that he would care that much.

Perplexing. So very perplexing.

"What...are all of these," she said, gesturing to the variety of plates.
 
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Helena offered a smile it seemed as though she might have said something else when another customer called her attention. With an apology she whisked off, collecting plates and glasses as she went. Eli watched her go with a shake of his head before turning his attention back to Lyssia and her question.

"Ah," the giant of a man suddenly went a dark shade of red. He'd asked for the usual and was now rather embarrassed to admit the food in front of him was what he ordered for himself when he visited his cousins. "They're called Pata's. Tiny plates of lots of different foods which you pick from the menu then the idea is you share and sample a bit of everything," he motioned to the large blackboard when he spoke of the menu before picking up one of the serving spoons and helping himself to a good portion of some smoked sausage in some kind of sauce.

"It originated from leftover night - the last night of the week when families had bits and pieces of food that needed using up. They would dish up all the different plates and people would help themselves to bits of what they wanted. It evolved and turned into this - it's seen as a good communal way of eating."
 
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Lyssia D'avore

Lady Fae
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This man seemed to have more colors for his cheeks than she did, but she tactfully decided to not remark on it. Instead, she looked at the plates arranged before her, marveling at the fact that she did not think she recognized a single item on display here.

"I rather meant, what is each plate here?" She gestured to the smoked sausage that he had already helped himself with, and had dark thoughts about what could be in it. Certainly this place was not so much of a dive as to serve unnamed meats, but she definitely knew that such places existed.

"I mean, I know what cheese is....but that?" She pointed to a plate that had some kind of shredded meat on it, cooked with peppers and onions and offering a delicious, spicy scent. "Or that?" A plate that was probably beef, thinly sliced and with some kind of sauce poured over it.
 
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