Harvest Festival

Re: Harvest Festival

Postby Tolleson » Sun Nov 06, 2016 12:40 pm

((Thank you everyone who participated in the forum and chat up to this point. We've decided to post the log from the chat and open up the forum again so anyone who wants to jump in can participate. We'll meet again next Sunday, November 13th to wrap up the Festival on IRC - please join!))

[ Tennant ] The evening’s festivities are underway. The most skilled of participants are finishing their contests, with a particular commotion at the pie tent where a particularly malicious rhubarb pie has attacked the server and participants alike. Meanwhile, the tall redheaded dishwasher, and partial host, crosses the lawn, slipping quietly away from the crowd. Watching the spectacle until he has crossed too far a distance to make out anything but the crimson skirt of an attractive festival goer, he merely smiled to himself. There is a small tent on the far side of the field, no crowd, nothing of note nearby, and not large enough to be any manner of attraction. As the commotion continued he slipped inside with the barrel he had been carrying on his shoulder.

[ Genny ] On the outskirts of the pie-judging tent the tall redhaired Genny stands with her hand daintily placed on the arm of a large, but well-dressed, bearded man. Despite that he’d sent Daryl to fetch him wine he already holds a mug of ale. Meanwhile, Genny’s young messenger Daryl seems to have gotten himself into a bit of trouble, though it’s a bit different than the Rhubarb spray everyone else in the tent wears like a splatter of blood with a horrified expression to match. "He's in a bit of trouble I'd wager," the ale sipping man at her side notes. But Genny does not look so concerned, her eyes scanning over those gathered. Maybe worried about how this would impact the judging of her own pie.

[ Niabh ] The dark girl was surprised, almost amused at young Daryl's response--she had read him as too young and possibly too shy to actually lick her hand, but she had not expected him to kiss it either. Normally she might have been irked at the presumption but then, it was she who had initiated the gesture, and her spirits in general were too high to be easily annoyed. One expected a little presumption at a fire-feast, after all. "I am not a m'lady but good neighbor to you all the same." She peered up at his face, trying to place him. In her Niabh-seeming, she quite literally had to look up at almost everyone. A small smile played upon her face. "Do I know you?" she asked politely. This one was too young to play with, she suspected; it would be most unfair to dally. Ginny was noted as part of the general crowd of onlookers, but no particular attention was paid. She'd been meaning to cause a little chaos, and had successed. One expected onlookers with the more showy displays of troublemaking; indeed, one was disappointed if they did not arrive.

[ Maitiu ] Maitiu had crept out of the Dagger at the first sign of milling-about upon the lawn. It was very...peoply out there, and he was already developing a slight tic under one pale grey eye. As it was, it was the music that caught his attention. Music. It tapped into a place in his mind where he felt some comfort, some familiarity--he liked music, didn't he? Fine. Go out far enough to see where it was coming from. Like a cat inspecting an unfamiliar room, he eased down the front stairs, rubbing slowly at the back of his freshly-shaved neck.

[ Genny ] “You’re right there, I'm na' a lady,” he was all of thirteen, if one was generous in their estimation. A floppy, moppy top of brown scruffy hair and caramel eyes, his appearance was nothing out of the ordinary. Aside from his relatively respectable clothes and attempts at manners, he was like any other urchin of the small city. Daryl gave her a look over, glancing back to Genny and the man at her side, as if she had called out to him. Returning his attention to her he shrugged. “Do you?”

[ Niabh ] "It would seem I do not, more's the pity." Holding the very corners of her apron by the very tips of her finger and thumb--not that it was going to spare her getting any more rhubarb on her than she already wore--she crossed her ankles and dipped into a small, polite curtsey that befitted her current station. Too young to play with, aye, but too old to stir her instinctive urge to acquire him. If anything, he was just at the right age to remind her of her brother, which made her feel a little warm and protective of him. Straightening, she caught his glance backwards and quickly followed it to the red-haired lady--a chaperoning sister?--and her companion. It might not have taken it so long to dawn upon her if things were not so busy and were there not so many folks abroad. As it was, it was the red hair that clued her in, and the height, before the rest of the features fell into place, and her face brightened. So this was Tennant's mysterious sister! And twins, too. Twins were lucky. "Do you dance, young sir?" she asked Daryl.

[ Genny ] Genny’s expression towards Daryl was chiding and then a gentle smile, though she hadn’t yelled at him for being disrespectful in the exchange. Maybe it was best he handled his own affairs, especially with young women, else he’d never really understand how best to behave. As for the evening, it was peopley indeed. It wasn’t just for looks that Genny held onto her companion’s arm. Though the grip is feather light and their posture wasn’t really that of a couple, her distance enough to maintain a sort of professional air. As if she heard their conversation clearly, the corner of her mount rose into a small grin. “My lady knows lots of people,” Daryl shrugged, as if this explained how they might have met before, despite that he obviously didn’t know her. “Dance? Na… don’t really know how. Do you?” Couldn’t take a hint this one, but then it did seem to dawn on him, “Oh, you mean ta dance?” The back of his hand wiped at the rhubarb splotch still on his face, as if to make himself more presentable for the task.

[ Niabh ] She grinned at his gesture of wiping his face, then looked down at herself, feeling a little helpless. "Aye, to dance. With you," she clarified, "though perhaps not at present. I seem to be...jellied." Reaching behind her cloud of frizzy curls, she untied the knot at the back of her neck and let the apron's bib fall forward so that she looked a little less as if she'd been standing too close in a slaughterhouse. Now that he had mentioned her, she took it as permission to directly regard Genny, blinking in polite confusion. "Your lady?" She recognized that little distance; it was the precise distance that Moirin often took when Niabh was called upon to do anything formal--out of the way, but ready to intervene if necessary. She took a small step aside from Daryl and curtseyed once more, this time with her palm resting on her breast, to Genny and her companion. "How d'you do? I hope you are enjoying yourselves." Out of habit, she addressed herself more to the lady than to the gentleman.

[ Genny ] Jellied. “Maybe the pie didn’ like you.” he seemed about to laugh again but caught himself and merely smiled. At the question of the lady whom he served he nodded, “Miss Genny,” then looked her way. Seeing that the young woman now addressed her, Genny stepped forward, offering her own formal nod as if she were a station above or perhaps too fatigued to bother with a full curtsy. “Indeed we are,” the gentleman answered regardless of whom the young woman addressed. He seemed to look the girl up and down in a rather assessing manner, “fine young lady such as yourself, Daryl here doesn’t know his luck.” He gave a very fatherly sort of wink to the young man. “Indeed.” She sighed with a smile, “This is Walter, Daryl, and I am Genevieve Tolleson,” she gestured to each including herself. “Daryl would most surely enjoy a dance.” Throwing him under the carriage, so to speak, she offered a mild, amicable smile.

[ Niabh ] Bold as brass, she looked Walter up and down with the same sort of scrutiny, found nothing that immediately offended, and offered him a demure smile in return. "Well, I don't know about luck, sir, considering that already this evening I have been the victim of a rogue pie. But I do not step on my partner's feet." Even as she spoke to him, her eyes kept flicking over to Genny--Genevieve--about whom she was decidedly more curious. Finally she addressed Daryl. "You can beg off," she said more kindly. "I will not oblige you. There's too much else to do tonight, other than some dull dance. Besides, I've already promised a dance...if I can ever find the rascal." Hand on her hip, she tapped her toe on the ground and made a show of looking the grounds over.

[ Genny ] Walter seemed to like the assessing look that was offered in return, he is noticeably older, perhaps thirty-something with slight patches of grey hair above each ear. To her summary of luck he raised a glass, “a salut to you then, perhaps a drink as well?” Genny gave a look with a lifted brow to Walter but he merely shrugged. Daryl looked offended then, as the girl told him to sod off, not that he even wanted to dance with her. But before he could say anything in offended reply Genny faced him with a fairly placid expression. “Perhaps you can help Walter finish his business with Mister Treadwell, before he forgets,” her hand lifted from the forearm of her companion freeing the two men to leave them. “Perhaps I can assist, miss…” speaking to the young woman she waited expectantly to hear their new acquaintance's name.

[ Niabh ] Daryl's look of offense was noted, and she gave him enough respect not to smile at the look on his face. Boys that age still had a soft belly, too easy to wound with a jab. Probably another reason why it was best to keep her hands off him: there was no real sport in it, and too much potential to be unwittingly cruel. To him she gave her back as she deliberately turned herself to face Genevieve and said, with as much a straight face as she could muster. "Tennant, actually, mistress." Tennant himself, much to her amazement, had actually slipped to a second priority in favor of his sister. She was not sure just why...but she was ever keen to puzzle it out.

[ Genny ] “Mistress Tennant,” Genny offered without skipping a beat. There were microscopic changes to her expression, perhaps an eyebrow lifted a half of a centimeter and lips tightened a near imperceptible amount. She wasn’t always to good at restraining her emotion, whether it was surprise or disgust, but in this instance she might have come away with an award for keeping a straight face. “I apologize, we’re not entirely close,” as if to explain why she had never heard of this woman. There was a small, almost fatigued shrug of indifference. However, her eyes lifted and surveyed the crowd around them with newfound purpose, perhaps to see if she might spot her brother and actually assist this young woman.

[ Niabh ] Aaaand there it was: a subtle reaction, but more of one than she had expected. There was the same small thrill of elation as she might have felt at successfully picking a lock. Still, it was enough to satisfy. The party must be kept hospitable...and now, at least, everyone had a speck of warning on where the other stood. Except for Tennant. She wondered if Genevieve's presences she needed to run ahead and warn him about. "Understood, Mistress Tolleson," she said, with a grave nod. "No need for apologies. We've been working together on the festival organization, is all, and I've lost track of him, but he's not needed at present." No need to bring these two into proximity if it was going to be volitile.

[ Genny ] Not finding her brother, who would likely be as easy to spot as herself, she returned her attentions to the young woman. Volatile? Hardly. The two of them would be entirely cordial, before she called upon a constable to check his pockets and lock him up regardless. He might not be a petty thief any more but it hardly meant he’d foregone his loathsome trade. “It is a lovely event,” she offered, the compliment genuine but her focus seemed distant. “He tends to slink off when night falls. The tent across the lawn, would be my guess” a long blink later her eyes opened and flicked the direction which he had run earlier. “That way,” she nodded, as if to offer the young lady a direction to start. Though it was far better than a guess, without a doubt he was there.

[ Niabh ] Settled. When next she saw Tennant, she would be giving him a look-out call. It was faintly irritating, as this mundane mischief was not the sort she had signed on for, but the lady seemed decidedly humorless on the subject. Better to cool trouble ere it could bubble over. She wondered if they could...or should...be steered apart. A faintly catlike, calculating look crossed the girl's sharp, dark features...but tonight, she was being Niabh, and Niabh's nature was nervous and subservient. She backed away from Genevieve with an apologetic and somewhat awkward curtsey, getting her feet twisted under her and half stumbling to rise from it. "Good neighbor, mistress. Do, please, enjoy the festivities." Another step backwards, then she turned, and started, without a hint of a hurry, toward the tent.

[ Genny ] Humorless, yes, that seemed about right. But then again this young woman and whatever fondness she held for Genny’s brother were of little concern. Genny had her own business and needn’t be wasting time with, but still, there was something. The girl was too clever and quick, perhaps Genny noted the calculating flash just before the sweet words and show of awkwardness. She didn’t bother stopping the girl, her eyes trailing after. But she watched until the crowd obscured her.

[ Tennant ] Tennant was in fact in the small tent, but emerged suddenly with wide eyes and a mischievous grin, looking back to the tent expectantly.

[ Niabh ] As she moved largely unnoticed through the merrymakers--and in general below the eyelevel of most of them--the girl made a quick effort of glamming over the worst of the pie-marks on her face and the little specks clinging to her hair. She arrived, looking mostly well-kempt but for the apron, at the flap of the tent just in time to catch Tennant coming out of it. She was so used to dealing with Tennant in her taller seeming that it was a bit strange having to look up at him; her neck twisted, and she felt ridiculous and faintly childlike. "Your sister is here," she announced without preamble. "And didn't her eyes spit sparks when your name was mentioned?" Curious, she tried to peek around him into the tent flap. "I do hope you weren't banging a barmaid in there."

[ Tennant ] Without reaction to her words he took her hand firmly, not making a choice out of it and pulled her out, literal sparks starting to simmer down small fuses set on the ground. “Glad she could come,” he almost yelled, excitedly pulling her along until they were a good distance away. Watching the tent expectantly his expression dropped when a moment later nothing happened. “No… no barmaid, not even,” BOOM! The tent shuttered and ripping out the top were several burst of colorful flame, trails of them up into the sky, high, high above the festival. BANG! The shot of light exploded, sending smaller sparks away in a an expanding circle of brilliant, colorful light. The sparks began to fall and fade and several others followed, erupting from the now flaming tent.

[ Niabh ] She did not object to having her hand taken and allowed herself to be pulled along, sensing with the instinct of a born troublemaker that there was probably some reason they were retreating...but the first explosion made her jump out of her skin, nerves sizzling as if she'd been struck by a bolt of lighting. The second burst of light and noise forced an unfeigned animal scream out of her. In the part of her mind not frozen in terror, she felt a sinking despair: she'd signed herself on to help him, and Tennant, for insane reasons of his own, had used her as a pawn in his scheme to murder the entire town. "What have you done?" Indecision snapped. She wheeled on him, teeth bared and eyes blazing, and flung her arms around his waist in a mad effort to tackle him to the ground. "You madman! You've killed us all!"

[ Tennant ] The fire in the tent continued but sputtered out as the last of the fireworks erupted. There were other screams, and then exclamations of delight from the Dagger and crowd. Perhaps he was surprised or let her tackle him, but he did drop to the ground his eyes wide on her. When she began yelling about the state of his sanity he grabbed her likewise and rolled until he had her pinned. “Loony girl, they’re for show.” He wasn’t laughing, at least not so much to really offer an insult. Turning a shoulder so she could see past, the trickle of sparks shimmered down from the sky. Brilliant colors illuminated the drifting smoke against the mostly dark sky. “Kind of violent I guess, but pretty,” he pried her off and eased up a bit so as to not give the entirely wrong idea. “Bit like a girl I know.”

[ Treadwell ] Meanwhile, at the pie table, a sated Treadwell sits in place, mentally mulling over decisions for the best three pies he has spent part of the afternoon sampling. He says nothing at all to the exploding lights and colors, his eyes widening and glasses slipping on his shnozz as he pales and quivers. Now, what, he wonders, is all of that?

* Niabh is now known as Fionnuala

[ Fionnuala ] The moment her back hit the ground, the tiny dark girl vanished--Tennant would find himself pinning a much taller, heavier creature with blazing red hair spread around her face, narrowed coal-black eyes, and enough upper body muscle to put up a more than decent struggle. One knee rose up and wormed between them, pressed against Tennant's stomach to shove him off...but he chose that moment to ease away on his own power, so that she was forced to actually listen to what he was saying. "Ah." Another firework crackled, and she let out a small, frightened yelp. But the shower of silver sparkled fixed her attention. She whipped her head to the side, looking out at the lawn; no one seemed to be panicking, and she was under the impression that this lot panicked at everything. Sheepishly, she reached up to pull a wild strand of hair from the corner of her mouth. "Right. So. They're...meant to be on fire. My mistake." Another pause. "Would you mind terribly getting off me now?"

[ Tennant ] When Tennant looked back from the shimmering spectacle to the girl, who became the woman he pinned, he hardly needed to be told to get off. Now it was his turn to jump out of his skin. Perhaps in the dark his eyes played tricks but he scrambled back, jumping to his feet, and an otherwise graceful creature, he awkwardly stepped, searching for purchase to stand and twisted his ankle. Falling straight back to his ass he stared. “Yeah… meant to be..” the breath was punched right out of him.
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Re: Harvest Festival

Postby Treadwell » Sun Nov 13, 2016 7:31 am

Three pies.

There were three judges, the group being meant to serve as the authority on the best of the pies made for the contest. This was all before Jack Alldale, town crier and Tubbian faithful, had to scurry homeward on getting word of his wife and a child both ending up dreadfully ill in short order. That left two judges: Aloisius Treadwell and his cousin, Regis Drivel. However, Regis took poorly to one of the pies, ending up sick, himself, in one of the privies behind the Broken Dagger.

That left Treadwell as the only judge left of the three who was well enough and hungry enough to finish the monumental task before him, choosing three pies out of a good dozen and some.

The rhubarb pie, despite its explosion, proved splendidly delicious, what was left of it. It would lose some points on presentation, of course, but its flavor alone meant a reasonable third finish.

The apple-raisin pie that was given first to Treadwell was certainly tasty, as well. The old man has always had something of a soft spot for this combination, and this entry was quite deserving of honor. However. . . no pie at all in Myrkentown can top one crafted so lovingly by Miss Genevieve Tolleson. Even if Treadwell was not overwhelmingly partial to blueberries, no other pie maker can beat the young lady who has fed the Lord Steward gooey, goopy, deeeeelightful morsels on many occasions.

Colored ribbons are quickly distributed with gentle taps of the hand to push the ribbons through skewers driven into the pies themselves--third, rhubarb; second, apple-raisin; first, blueberry. Lord Steward Treadwell then slowly hefts himself to his feet, taking hold of his chair, and then the table, as he rises, soon putting his cane under his arm and stuffing plump thumbs beneath the suspenders hidden by the straps of his coveralls. Plump fingers spread out, disappearing into the white fluff of his beard. . . for but a moment. A glance is given around, and then a pudgy left pointer slips out fast and straight, scooping up another finger's worth of blueberry filling for the sucking away as Tready toddles back to his bench on the Dagger's porch.
"Looks like a table to me. Do you think it could hold up someone as bulbous as Treadwell?" -- Dr. Brennan, Myrken Wood Rememdium Edificium
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Re: Harvest Festival

Postby Tolleson » Sun Nov 13, 2016 6:13 pm

((Harvest Festival chat part 2 log...))

[ Tennant ] He didn’t even feel the sudden, sharp pain in his ankle as he stared, now sitting essentially dumbfounded several feet from Fionnuala. Of course, she had said something to this degree, or rather, tried to explain it. Obviously it hadn’t really set in.

[ Fionnuala ] "Careful! Easy there. Are you all right?" The woman sat up, the heel of her hand pressed to the outer corner of her eyebrow where something hard in the grass had clipped her. Her long ears twitched toward another unexpected pop and fizzle, and the acrid, gritty smoke drifting from the silvery explosions raised all her primal hackles against brushfire. "This was not," she said, with wry humor, "the way I meant to get a tussle in the grass with you." She lowered her hand to smile, only to have the smile falter once she caught sight his expression. A sick, heavy certainty plunged straight to the pit of her stomach. Slowly she sank back to a kneel, shoulders slumped, hands limp on her thighs. "Ah gods. You didn't know. I thought you knew." Her lids flicked up, the eyes beneath them black half-moons, the face beneath expectant and hopeful. "That was the game. Remember? You were meant to pick me out in the crowd."

[ Tennant ] With her reaction he became suddenly self conscious of his expression and eased it back to something more calm, more flat. But there was less of himself in this. Deflated, even afraid, he sat still for a moment, his shoulders slumping as well, but controlled. The muscles still tense. “You win,” he rose carefully and sighed. The smoke drifted down, becoming a thin fog over the field. “Forgive my reaction, but I’d rather you look as your true self,” if only she knew how much courage this much had taken. He limped forward and knelt, offering his hand down as if to help her back to her feet.

[ Genny ] Tennant’s friend was watched until the crowd obscured her, moments later fireworks erupted stealing the attention of just about everyone on the lawn. To the brilliant but short-lived display she smiled. Regardless that she already knew who was responsible for the display it was a wondrous sight. As people began to return to their tasks and the commotion began anew the ribbons in the
[ Genny ] pie contest tent got her attention. At least the apple-raisin pie was a suitable opponent. Pies that made the judges sick? It was an awful way to win. Genny frowned and headed to the porch where the Lord Steward now rested. “Thank you for the compliment of the award,” she offered without much jubilance in her voice as she climbed the steps. Perhaps it felt a little unfair to have won given the circumstances.

[ Treadwell ] "Mmph?" A little dazed, a little drowsy, a great deal sluggish! Beady little eyes widen briefly and finally squint at the upcoming Genny. He hears words of thanks, and up goes a hand of his, waving her closer so that he might wrap an arm around her in a warm half-hug and a pat-pat to the back. "You are quite welcome, dearie! It is a shame, mmph, that Jack had to leave before the finish and. . . well, Regis didn't realize that there were blackberries in one pie. Those make him terribly ill, mmph mmph. But!" A pudgy finger pokes upward as he pulls his other hand back to rest on his gurgling stomach. "one of us had to endure, hee hee!" A wink, playful.

[ Fionnuala ] Cautiously, she slipped her hand in his, using the slight leverage to bounce back up to her feet. Now it was she who felt oddly self-conscious, undone, guilty of a terrible faux-pas. Something warm slipped from her eyebrow down to her cheek; absently she pulled her hand from his to touch the broken skin. With a small scowl of disgust, she wiped it away on the hem of the apron. "Well. Since the challenge as set was for you to find me, and since I have been fool enough to out myself, I think that means you won." A touch of nervous levity, a desperate attempt to lighten a situation that had rapidly stopped feeling funny. "This is myself. Minus a few freckles. Plus a nicer gown." His tension did not escape her, and she was torn between a deep, weary disgust with all tultharian and their unfounded fears--did she look as if she would bite, for pity's sake--and feeling ashamed of herself. "You...you are all right?"

[ Tennant ] His hand released hers but stayed held out, palm open. The sight of her blood, the odd color of it, was definitely noticed. His eyes darted there and lingered a moment, but he didn’t react nearly so badly at this. As to who won the bet or arrangement, which he clearly misunderstood, well it wasn’t important. It was reassuring that she wouldn’t suddenly take his likeness or at least, she hadn’t; which would be like biting... or stabbing him. There is only a minor hesitation before he spoke again. “I’m fine. But you’re bleeding,” his outstretched hand was extended further, obviously offering to lead her somewhere to help remedy this situation.

[ Genny ] A half hug, she physically cannot wrap her arm around him, but she accepts the embrace and pats his large arm gently. “A misfortune indeed,” and she seemed to truly mean this. A fair fight was always more rewarding. Stepping back until she leaned against the railing, facing the round Treadwell. “Contests aside I had hoped to introduce you to my architect,” she gestured behind her to a well dressed man near the pie tent on the lawn, Walter. He wore a mustache and was making an conspicuous display of flirting with several young women from party goers to barmaids. He must have just arrived, she had said he would come from Thessilane, and he must have taken a scenic route for the delay. “But it appears it may have to wait.” She offered with a small smile and a slight shrug, returning her attention to Treadwell.

[ Treadwell ] "Architect? Oh! For the meetinghouse! Well, you shall have to do that when he is free, mmph mmph." Both hands come to rest on that well-fed stomach. A slice of each of a dozen and some pies means that Treadwell is physically happily full, even if feelings on the edge of everything scream otherwise--eat, his belly demands, giving the occasional starved rumble despite its current state. "You ought to either sit, mmph, and rest, or you ought to get out there on the lawn and enjoy yourself, hm hm! There is music sometimes, mmph, and, well, while I can hardly dance or even walk, my dear, hrm, I don't mind seeing others do so."

[ Fionnuala ] She touched the scratch again and shrugged. "Ach, it's nothing. I found a rock, is all. There." The wound sealed up to clear brown skin, and the little blue smudge of blood faded and vanished without a trace. On her side of things, it still stung, but it was scarcely worth worrying about. "All gone. I..." What was it you were supposed to say when something had gone wrong? Didn't they have a word for that? "I'm sorry. I really did think you knew. I...perhaps I did not explain right." She was not, however, about to pass up an opportunity, and she laid her hand on his again, lightly, ready to snatch it back. "The dance is won, if you still care to claim it. Though I wish it did not come to scaring you witless to call you the victor. Is...is there something I can do to make up for it?"

[ Genny ] “Indeed.” Walter was practically a genius when he worked, it was get motivating him to work that took effort. The promise of the harvest festival was enough to get him into town, and at that success Genny felt a small victory. The new meeting house and school would be a dream realized. “Watching is a bit easier,” she smiled and turned again to face the dancing, eating, and otherwise boisterous crowd. With her back turned, she still spoke to Treadwell, “I’m surprised your Alice didn’t accompany you. Surely your official business is complete now?”

[ Treadwell ] "Alice felt it best to stay home tonight, mmph. Her legs have been ailing her as of late, hm hm, so she thought it wise to watch after the children while I came here. Besides, mmph, 'Aloisius,' she said, 'I would rather not see you make a pig of yourself as a judge.'" Tready snorts and chortles merrily, rubbing his belly. "I do not see how that differs from any night we have supper together, mmph mmph, but, well, that was her excuse! Now, dearie, this Walter of yours--is he a good fellow? Is he sensible about what he means to do, hm hm, to the meetinghouse? Does he know I aim to keep my office where it is, mmph, and how I want the doors a little wider throughout, as we agreed earlier, I think?"

[ Tennant ] His skin visibly prickled at the sight of her flesh sealing itself and his muscles grew slightly stiff. It ought to be nothing, Tennant was usually so casual and by all accounts, even his own admission, not a Myrken native. Nor had he only seen his home of Thessilane and Myrkenwood, the two not so distant from one another. He had traveled. Actually traveled. He had met amazing people and creatures, and experienced things that most farmers could surely never even dream of. And yet… he let her hold his hand, but his palm sweat like a teenaged boy upon his first introductions to someone he admired. “A dance,” his voice lacked some of the warm timbre it had once held. He looked to his ankle, slightly raised, obviously in pain. At least he hadn’t forgotten his sarcastic humor, “it looks like I will owe you, yet again.” His consolation was spoken, but the offer seemed less enthusiastic than before. “Perhaps it is best I tend to myself then,” he offered that she might release his hand, though he didn’t immediately pull away.

[ Genny ] Chucking at the pig comment, Genny raised a hand to her lips to stifle the noise. “She means well,” Alice was a sweet dear and it was a shame that she had any health problems. “Walter is one of the finest and yes, I’ve relayed all of your requests.” They weren’t many, most were merely to install double doors at all the rooms Treadwell frequented. But the addition of extra floors required an expert, a strong base, and would enable them to expand the building significantly. “It will be a fine building, we will do great things for Myrken,” nodding to herself she smiled, watching the frivolities play out on the lawn.

[ Treadwell ] "And the floors! I'll not have them crumpling under added weight!" Of himself or of foot traffic in general? "And, yes, we will, dear Genny! We will! Have you given any thought, mmph, to what particular subjects you might see taught at this school? You, err, would not have need of an occasional visit, mmph, from an old actor or, hm hm, head of government, eh?"

[ Fionnuala ] Her head tipped down to look frankly at his foot before directing her gaze back to his face. "There'll be no dancing on that. Come. We'll get you back to the festivities and find you a bench. Lean on me; I'm a braw lass." Although still a good head shorter than Tennant, she was a large woman, big-boned and broad-shouldered. She looked quite as if she might be able to carry him, if it came to it. Part of her still hoped that by being brisk and matter-of-fact and cheerful, she might still be able to convince him that this was all quite normal, that there was nothing to be afraid of--though she had a sinking feeling about that, too. "And then I will leave you be, if you wish," she said in a quieter voice. "But let me help you first."

[ @Catch ] Celebration. Catch did not know what it was all for. Was it for a dimming World? Was it a party for the falling of the leaves, the crumpling of the grass, for water dragons bidding their farewell? A celebration for slaughtered beasts, crying yellow, sour notes as their lives spattered and dripped away? Catch's dim wandering had left him with a bit of pie in one tremmbling hand, some mug of the blood of dead apples in the other. He walked. He watched. Things happened, and he gazed on them without comprehension. He was a godling of the season, towering in his scarecrow's clothes, his pale complexion and near-white curls a mix of lunar and earth.

[ Genny ] “All manner of things,” she offered with a hint of excitement, though she didn’t turn. Her eyes continued to watch the jubilance of the folks celebrating. “Practical and theoretical,” in her mind she thought of Rhaena and the good she’s hope to accomplish before her desire to realize the results outweighed her patience. If she could offer things that people actually needed and wanted to learn perhaps they would seek the knowledge of their own volition. And then… near the pie tent she saw Catch. It had been a long time... and things were confusing. Her eyes locked on him and followed, perhaps trying to see what he carried, was it blueberry?

[ Tennant ] “I’m perfectly capable,” he offered, taking one step and nearly collapsing. At that he nodded, “yes, well,” he stabilized and smiled. “Assistance would be much appreciated.” None of this was normal, or maybe it was, but there was something about it that to him, specifically was not a good sort of normal. He needn’t be carried, but he lifted his arm as if to invite her near so that he might lean on her and hobble back to the festivities.

[ Treadwell ] "Splendid! Well, should you need me, mmph mmph, you know whereabouts to find me, dear." And then Catch is sighted. The eternal wanting of Treadwell's belly is one thing the old man easily picks up on, instinctively; the presence of Catch is another. Fingers give a suddenly nervous tightening on one of the stomach's flabbier rolls, and those beady eyes widen just a smidgeon. He's watching this lunatic, this madman, this oaf who has assaulted him in the past, and if Treadwell must scurry hastily into the inn (or through it, to his carriage by the stable!), he will.

[ Fionnuala ] Still contrite--and not a little miffed at the irony that this, then, was how she was going to get the man's arm around her--she settled Tennant's arm over her shoulder and set off toward the light and company nearer the Dagger, none too sympathetic about who she had to nudge or, in one case, shove, to get to a prime bench near the fire. This late into the proceedings, it was crowded, but there was still enough space at the end. "Here you are, back again and all on the same day you left." A flat note had crept into her purposefully light-hearted tone. Laying her hand upon her breastbone, she bowed her head to him, her brown face still and sober. "And if there's nothing more you need, here I will leave you, sir." For a wonder, she made no notice of Catch; though she had looked for him earlier, she had assumed that he was staying away. His strange season was on him, too, after all.

[ @Catch ] For a moment, their eyes must meet - Genny's are on him, and his are on everything, traveling from one thing to another without fully absorbing their meaning. She has seen him at his best, and at his worst, from Myrkenwood and Thessilane. She, of all people, may know the lean of his Moods. This one was not well. For while his eyes did wander, and his path was meaningless, they were not as dull as they should be. Must be. His eyes linger on her for only a moment, and no greeting came to him. His eyes passed to Treadwell, and only then did it elict a small furrowing of his brow. He, too, thought of Rhaena. This was a party, after all, and though no puppet's tendons forced the dolls to dance, the addled man struggled to see them more than dolls.

[ Tennant ] Perhaps he is truly so injured, but he does make a grand show his probably acute pain. Unapologetically shoving and nudging as much as Fionnuala. He sits and sighs, his amicable smile returned, though there is unease biting the edge of it. “Sir?” His eyes went a little wide with a raised brow. “How formal of you… I am sorry,” he could take a hint after all. “You are welcome" he scooted over a bit "I’m just not… entirely used to,” he gestured a little wildly with his hand. “That sort of thing,” whatever it was, they both used different terms. But certainly not magic.

* Lessa is now known as Erek

[ Genny ] Eyes as dull as they ought to be. She sighed, picking up on Treadwell’s discomfort even without looking at him. She already knew, of course, there was a lot of history here. There was a way to call out to him, without making the situation worse for Treadwell. Of course, it might mean an end to the festival and a far more dangerous situation for the crowd at large. Instead she offers a nod to Treadwell, “If you can pardon me Lord Steward,” her tone held none of the trepidation he so clearly felt, even hinting towards jovial, as if she meant to join the festivities as he had recommended earlier. Down the steps and part way to the tent she called out to the sulking behemoth, “Ser Catch?”

[ Treadwell ] "Of course, dearie." Treadwell shudders, the breath bringing a shuddering all over. To his feet he creaks stiffly, soon planting cane in place, and into the Dagger he steps. He returns to his still-warmed porch bench in short order, but this time he brings his lit, puffing pipe between his lips. It soothes the nerves, and it gives his mouth something to do when a meal is not involved. There he will rest, watching, waiting, fingers still holding tightly onto the head of his cane.

[ Fionnuala ] "'That sort of thing' is the whole of my nature," she replied coolly. "I cannot change it, and so cannot apologize for it." The cool formality left almost as soon as she summoned it. She bit her lip, turned her head to glance at the dancers in the light, rubbed lightly at her own arm and looked, for a moment, exactly as she felt--gormish and awkward. It was not a feeling she appreciated, but she could not muster up the necessary indignation required as an antidote. Finally she let out a sigh. "There is no harm in it. Except, plainly, that it's done harm." Her palm took him in with a gesture, not merely the injured ankle, but all of him. "I could have been more cautious," she admitted reluctantly. "Will you have me stay or go? I could always go back to being Niabh again." A glimmer of humor crept back into her voice. "She's the one that's good at fetching hot drinks and warm compresses."

* Erek It had taken a while for everyone to get ready, but he had decided to take his family to the festival so that everyone could have some fun! Eventually they had arrived and all went their separate ways; some alone, others in a small group. The Harpwind was large, so it was no surprise everyone rode their steeds and they were left in a secure spot. Making his way towards the festivities, he looked around, wondering what sorts of fun there was to be had. He knew Farima and Anna would find the party a blast considering they hadn't attended a party in a long while.

[ Tennant ] He was silent, letting her be honest in how she felt rather than guilty. He looked away, laughed a small, humorless thing, as if recalling some memory and waving it off. His eyes rose up from the ground, “if it were anyone else, I’m certain it would not have done quite so much harm.” There was something to be explained here, and he seemed about to. But instead he just nodded neutrally, “the choice is always yours…” as for changing he started to smile, but his eyebrows betrayed him, a hint of fright at the idea of her changing forms so readily. The latecomers took his attention and at this he smiled meekly, happy for a distraction, “I suppose I set the surprise too soon… could have frightened a fair few more.”

[ @Catch ] He does not see her until she is nearer to him, until she calls out his name - no, it wasn't his name - she couldn't say his name. Neither could he. There were far too many around. "Lady Genny," he says, his tenor flat. Meanings within meanings for those with history. The words and titles came to him without his conscious thought. It is what she was. He looks at the pie - some sort of fruit-and-cream concoction - his chin tilting as he looked between it and the mug of cider. "SH-sh-should I go? Am I ruining th-th-things?"

[ Fionnuala ] "Aye, and I wish I'd held off on the pie prank 'til I had more than Treadwell about. If your sister had turned up a few minutes sooner, she would have been caught in the thick of it, too." The tall woman flopped down in a patch of grass beside the end of the bench, drew one knee up to her chest, and hooked her ankle with both hands. Her head cocked to the side, as if she were listening to what he had almost said. "May I ask you a question? This...thing. Whatever it is that troubles you. Is it in the past now? It can't find you again?"

* Erek His family was a sight and could be a distraction if one wished. There was his mother, and his siblings, and then he had his beloved beside him, and Gaelan had his lady beside him. So there were two additions to the large family! As everyone went their own way, he took 'Phyre' off to the dancing, or rather she drug him along in her excitement, which made him chuckle! Was he a good dancer? He supposed he was about to find out.

[ Genny ] Letters weren’t adequate, names paled in comparison to the thing itself and they had seen the truth of one another. Though, the essence of a being, even Catch was not without change, even if they could be spoken would their truths still hold, would names still be the same? It still made her smile to hear him say it. “Stay if you like, if you can.” Before replying about the ruin she looked at what he held, where he walked, as if for the first time observing the reality of where they were physically. “No, all seems well.” Her words were unbroken and she didn’t even press at his mind. Didn’t dare.

[ Treadwell ] By this point, Treadwell has begun to create a small gray haze of a cloud with his pipe, there on the porch. He watches Genny and Catch carefully from where he sits. They seem to be well, at least, and Catch doesn't appear to be making any movements toward the Lord Steward. Meanwhile, Treadwell's middle gives an inquisitive burbling: more pie? Eyes flit back to the contest table some distance away. "Belly," he softly notes, "you have to convince the legs, mmph, to haul you over there, hm hm."

[ Tennant ] The pie comment almost has him recovered, a wide smile at the idea of a prank on his sister’s dear pie. Of course she might never forgive the poor girl, or him, though it was really already too late for the latter. He watched her sit and sighed, looking up at the stars; moments of silence passed as he seemed to consider the inquiry. “If it were only so easy, after all it involves a broken heart” he looked down at her then as if to gauge her reaction. A deep breath and he lowered himself down to sit beside her, leaving the valuable bench space as a backrest. He leaned closer as if he might tell her a secret, waiting for her to lean closer too. Though the idea of it was ridiculous, if something needed saying between the music and the crowd it was sure that no one would hear.

* Erek Seems he wasn't the only one drug to the dancing, his twin was dragged by his lady as well and the four blended into the dancers and were soon swept up into the rhythms of the music being played by the bards. Missy and Windlyn found themselves wandering around, taking in all there was to see. Asher and Vasilis and all his other siblings were mingling too, drifting here and there, taking their time as they enjoyed themselves.

[ @Catch ] Catch is distracted, for a moment, by a large and chattering family, dragging his eyes away from Genny's head of fire to gaze at them. The young giant did not understand them. They laughed, and smiled, as did most everyone else here. Celebrated the bounty of death. Stay here. "Should I?" She should know, better than himself, whether he should stay or he should go. He has no taste for the sweets. These things came to him, and he knew not how. "Are th-th-they happy?" His voice lowers, so that only she might hear. "ARe th-th-they happy I'm in a Room in the g-g-ground?" That wasn't why. It couldn't be why. His head burns, and - heedless of the pie - Catch's hand turns, dropping it, dragging a creamed hand across his beaten, sweat-stained cap - across his ruined brow. "Why are you sp-speaking t-t-to the Fat Man?"

[ Fionnuala ] One eyebrow lifted and the corner of her mouth turned in skeptically. In the nick of time, she barely remembered that she was supposed to be contrite and receptive. Her face smoothed down to something like concern. Still, a broken heart? Really? That was for girls half her age. And then she remembered, too, that girls half her age were still twenty years older than Tennant, and the contrition struck again, with a bitter sting that nearly made her wince. Almost audibly she heard Meg's voice in her head, scolding her: mayhaps you'd better still your high-and-mighty thoughts, Miss Wickedness, and listen instead of natter. Sober now, she shifted from her backside to her knees and shuffled a quarter-turn to face him, hands pressed in her lap and bottomless black eyes grave and still. Waiting.

* Erek As for loving sweets, the Harpwind family did! The ones not dancing were sampling the food and drinks when each was ready for such. Asher found himself wandering towards what looked like some sort of game while Vas drifted off to investigate what looked like a street juggler doing some tricks.

[ Genny ] “Happy to be among friends, I think,” she offered plainly, not even addressing the rest of the inquiry, the second inquiry. Her hand lifted gently touching, a graze of the soiled hand that brushed his brow. She’d hold it if he’d let her, but it was so slight she could just as easily pull it away. Her body was unfortunately, or fortunately, very much unlike his. “He has things I need,” her voice was soft and matter-of-fact. Almost as if she spoke to a frightened animal; though perhaps he would see through it or be angry at her for it. Perhaps they ought to step away, leave the crowd of revelers intact. “Is it too loud here?” Of course, this was terminology from her own experience in a crowd, it was hard for her to know exactly what it was that itched being around so many people. The voices were overwhelming, or they had been once.

[ Tennant ] “I do apologize,” he whispered, hesitantly, his hand rising as if to further shield them, block anyone from reading his lips as he spoke. His tone lowered and he took a deep breath, mustering further courage to reveal the greater truth. “But she may never be gone,” his hand then pressed onto her cheek to hold her and his lips upon hers. He’d kiss her, tongue and all if she didn’t immediately recoil. After all, there was one well, two really, surefire ways that he could know for certain that this woman he had come to know wasn’t the woman. The same woman. She was terribly clever after all.

[ Treadwell ] A yawwawwwn ripples Treadwell's jowls, nearly causing the old toymaker to drop his pipe. Teeth clamp down to prevent that unfortunate event, and, taking the hint from his body, Aloisius worms to his feet and lumbers into the Dagger. He will toddle through the building and out the back, making the straightest possible line for the stables where Gregory, Arnold, and his carriage await, and he will soon be snoring on his way home. An evening's meal of pies has left him drowsy and sated, too tired to stay and enjoy much more of the fun.

[ @Catch ] She spoke rational, and without any fear. She handled him so well, so deftly, that even he could not be angered by it. It was the way Cherny did it. Softness, distraction. It was where Glenn and Rhaena had went far too wrong. Had they consulted Genny - had they used her - then things would have been far, far worse. His scarred, calloused hand, sweets and all, did not resist her touch. His fingers took hers without even needing to think about it. "Yes. N-n-no. I d-don't know." Catch watches the Harpwind family as they disperse to the festivities, predelictions and preferences drawing them as sure as strings. "Wh-what sorts of th-th-things?"

* Erek None of them felt as if strings were attached, because they had been at home for the last few months. Farima and Anna, had to catch up on so much, considering what each lady had individually endured. That was tales for another time maybe. Each one just wanted to spend a night of fun with their beloved man! Both ladies were smiling and laughing; Farima was garbed in deep crimson and black, Anna in a lovely gown of dark emerald green and silver.

[ Fionnuala ] The woman leaned closer as his voice dropped lower, the tips of the long ears literally straining to hear whatever terrible secret there was to hear...only to find herself, at the last possible moment, completely blindsided. There was a brief "mrph!" of surprise, and she had half-a-heartbeat to decide whether or not she wanted to be indignant about being so easily duped. Dash it all, she'd though herself better than this. Then she resigned herself, closed her eyes, and leaned into him, her own lips softening and parting, lingering long, long. Her teeth raked gently over his lower lip as she drew apart from him. "I have had five kisses since I came to this place. And of those five, yours is the only one I would have again." Her tongue ran over her lips as if to catch some lingering flavor, before she leaned back further, propped herself on her hands, and gave him a rather roguish, slanted grin. "You might have just said you didn't want to talk about it, you know."

[ Genny ] Her fingers hug his gently, not squeezing, sticky and sweet. She watched where his eyes went and let her eyes follow. She couldn’t see the strings, not the way he could, but the thoughts pressed upon her. The memories that informed decisions, that all but made a person’s choices for them - she couldn’t see with certainty, but she was not blind to it. Glenn and Rhaena had used her, but it never seemed to work as they had intended; perhaps ironically because of Catch. “Permission, mostly. He makes decisions for the town and I want to do something nice for the town.” Treadwell was a lot of things to a lot of people, but he was an enemy to Catch. “It is easier for me to ask nicely,” she amended her statement with this because there were other ways, but she was not gifted at being persuasive in the way Catch was and she had rather not be persuasive in the way she could be.

[ Tennant ] As he pulled away he seemed more matter of fact, more content, but far from the doe-eyed romantic gaze that usually followed a passionate kiss under the stars, beside the cozy blaze of an autumn fire. “Five, you haven’t even been here that long,” or had she, he could hardly keep track of the time anymore. “And hardly, that spoke volumes. Quite the dialogue” he offered with a cool comfort, genuinely himself again, satisfied with whatever had transpired. Obviously there was some part of this that he left out, he didn’t seem as willing to talk about the crux of the issue between them. But resolve it with a kiss. “It does make me uncomfortable that you change so easily, just… promise you’ll never use my face,” he laughed, some of the uneasiness finding it’s way back into his tone.

[ @Catch ] "He sh-sh-shouldn't." As it did, Catch's voice dropped, and it was a flat finality. "He shouldn't." Could he tell her? Should he? Catch holds her hand like the life-line it was, a clinging to the insanity that kept everyone, everything, safe. "I c-c-could. I'd - I'd let you d-d-d-do anything. You'd p-p-put me in a maze, so I c-c-couldn't get out, and that w-w-would be fine with me. So long as it's n-n-not a worm-hole. You'd have - have all the cakes, and the p-p-parties." It was a drowsy, sing-song, slow way of speaking, his cadence drifting, a half-remembered dream that was Reality. It was what Rhaena had always wanted, wasn't it? "You w-w-wouldn't have t-t-to - to bow and sc-scrape to him. He's no Serjo."

[ Fionnuala ] In spite of her efforts, she let out a high surprised laugh. "Is that all that troubles you? Very well." Behind the mirth, another one of those sharp razor flashes of insight: someone's borrowed him before. That or something like it. That's what it was. But she shrugged, as if it were a mere trifle. Her fingers touched the bare spot around the base of her neck. "I swear on my torc, which I am not currently wearing, that I will never present myself as you, unless you change your mind and give me leave directly." She leaned forward again, more serious now. "So far as I know, I am the only one of my folk in this place. If any others should ever come, like as not I will know them. But if it will put you at ease, I tell you this: if you would keep your seeming safe from us, do not give away your name." Her black eyes held his for a long moment, to let him know she was serious. "And as I have given you that knowledge without your asking for it, I have no right to demand you keep it secret. But I will ask it of you instead, as a friend." And she held out her hand to shake on it.

[ Genny ] He shouldn’t. Perhaps. He could squeeze her hand until it was purple, or knowing how strong he was until he might pull it free of her arm all together. But for the time she didn’t cringe or cry, she watched. “You’re more clever than me, and I found my way through the maze,” she whispered, her other hand clapping over top of the pair, held together already. She took a slow step away from the commotion of the party, a gentle pull. “Perhaps he is not, but there should be no more cakes” her tone was equally final on the last bit. No more cakes, no more lace, no more red and gold, and forgotten people. She winced a little, in her mind the voice of Elliot, his dream body flashed. It’s not about me, his voice echoed loud in her mind, the memory still fresh even though his presence had long been gone. But he was right, it wasn’t about her and she had no desire to lead, not the way Rhaena had.

[ Tennant ] There is some surprise on his face, but happy surprise accompanied by a wry, uneven smile. “See you know my secret without my telling,” he seemed entirely proud of her deduction skills. Or glad he didn’t have to say it outright. “I’ll mind your secret and thank you for the knowledge, but alas, the one that worries me already has that,” and much more if she intended to deduce further. He probably hadn’t been lying about that broken heart. He took her hand and clapped it with the other, shaking firmly and warmly with a seemingly honest intent. “I’m a terrible liar and would be with a name. Perhaps you can just warn me, as a friend, should any of your kin come to town.”

[ @Catch ] How long would such scars take to heal? The Red Summer, the aftermath. For Genny it lingers. Perhaps it always would, and the reason why was a wince, a squinting of his eyes against feelings and words. Like Ember, like Zilliah. Like Rhaena. In reflex he draws his hand away, his breath catching in his throat. But he is not angry. He doesn't know if he could be angry, at her or at Eater. For a moment, he only looks old - incredibly old - his too-bred, handsome face pulled tight, wrinkles fastering at the corners of his eyes, at the ends of his lips. He flickers, the silver of him faded to sea-foam white. "I'm n-n-not clever," he says, denying what she says in fright. Both hands grip his mug of cider, cold and untouched. "I c-c-can't be clever, you know th-that."

[ Fionnuala ] "I am an excellent liar and I'll cover for us both," she promised, chin lifting slightly with not-unfounded confidence in her skill. She shrugged again and patted the back of his wrist before taking her hand away. "I know none of your secrets. But my folk are old. We've played every trick that can be done with a little skill and a change of seeming, and I already knew something of the trouble in this town, so I can hazard a fairly good guess. You can tell me your secrets if you wish, or not. I would be your friend whatever you chose." The smile slipped up on her face again. "But as we are being honest, my only intentions toward you this night was the dance. That is all I promised, and all I have a right to claim. If I got the dance, I might have tried for a kiss, and if the kiss happened, I might have seen how far I could get down the road to bedding you. Beyond that, my scheming ends." And there she spread her hands and made a pretty bow, still kneeling, to conclude the speech--though her eyes flashed slyly under her shaded lids.

[ Genny ] Of course she let his hands go. In part because he pulled them, but she also seemed surprised with herself. How could those scars heal? The were still wounds, existing in her mind to some extent outside of time. His old face holds her eyes, somewhat wider, still finding wonder or surprise at the silver. “Smart then,” she offered, only partially recovered. “I don’t think there is a maze that could hold you, and I wouldn’t build one even if I was able.” Perhaps… if she had to, but like he could not be angry, how could she contain him. Trap him. The madness of the maze was likely much different for her, but it had taken years to solve, to see it whole. And now she had emerged? “I’m sorry,” she offered, pulling her hand back to her chest and looking up, out at the family and festival goers, the physical reality of their surroundings. She obviously hadn’t meant to startle him, parties, as she recalled, never did sit well with Catch.

[ Tennant ] “Your plan is far better detailed than mine,” he offered, somewhat taken aback by her forwardness. “But I think you mistake my attempts as far more forward than my intent,” he leaned back, setting his foot as to keep any pressure off his already swelling ankle. “I may not seem it, but I assure you I’m a gentleman of honor,” he smiled and without much pause let his eyes wander up and squinting, “alright, just a gentleman,” he clarified. Honor implied something he was quite certain he’d forsaken a long time ago. “For tonight, let us have this chat and the kiss… and I’ll let my ankle rest on a pillow rather than subject it to any… physical exertions,” which would require ankles? Undoubtedly.

[ @Catch ] "Th-th-there's one th-that c-c-could." He says it, gentle and afraid, recovering himself as much as he is able - his face smoothing, his color returning. It must. He musn't lose it, and not here; musn't go inside his head, and then come back with blood in his mouth. After Rhaena, after everything, that would destroy him. All the work put into him - by Glenn, when he was benevolent and then when he was cruel, with Rhaena, with Cinnabar, Cherny, Lamai, and Gloria - Genny herself - would send him away, far away. That would be bad. But this maze - Golben - the Haunted Pit - languishes, still. "You'd - you'd b-b-be far better th-than the Fat Man." No. Parties were too much for him, yet they drew him in. He could not avoid them. He had tried to stay in the forest, on the Farms, but the colors and the lights, the sounds and smells, had proven too strong a draw. Perhaps, for the first time, he notices Fionnuala and Tennant, and the sight of Genny's twin forced his mind to slide into blessed blankness. "Th-th-there's t-t-too many if you here," his stutter bordering on hysteria. And he does not, entirely, mean only Genny's brother. With that, mug still gripped like a chalice, the addled man fairly turns and flees, plunging away before he regrets.

[ Fionnuala ] The woman chuckled at his reaction, which had been more or less as she expected. Forward was really the only direction she went when it came to such matters. She smiled and shrugged both shoulders again, almost ego-shatteringly blithe for a woman who had just been rebuffed. "Ah well. There's always the Midwinter Festival." Carefully holding out her skirts so as not to get her feet tangled in the hem, she hoisted herself from the grass. "Are you going to want a shoulder to lean on to get back to your quarters? I promise to deliver you with all honor intact."

[ Genny ] Catch had been cruel, but he had also been one of the most patient, the most kind, and the only one who came remotely close to understanding the madness. Rhaena had been the other, and she was still, where her memories resided within the mind maze. But the Golben, a physical and mental prison that held at least one dark mystery she hoped to solve. Genny had once sought to fill it up and close it off forever. There were more pressing matters at this moment though. Perhaps she would be better suited, or perhaps she would be no better than Rhaena and despite her best efforts those fears were still there. And at that, Catch’s proclamation and sudden tense fingers whips Genny’s attention to her brother across the lawn. Catch leaves but this was not unusual, he would be safe and the guests here would be safe. “Daryl,” Genny called out, sending the boy to scurry back and mentally flicking her brother as she walked the opposite direction, away to her coach. Apparently to leave her business partner, Walter, to his flirtatious endeavors.

[ Tennant ] “It’d be a tedious endeavor, what honor is left is likely to slip through your lovely fingers,” he offered cooly. A moment later though his head fell forward for a moment and then was caught, like a child trying like mad to stay awake during a drawn out lesson. His hand went to hold it and he blinked several times. “I suppose this cider got the best of me,” he rose too, unsteady for a moment, especially given the use of only one leg. “Enjoy the rest of the festival, while I take my leave,” he gave a bow and moved setting a small amount of weight on his toes, managing an awkward walk, to cross the short distance to the inn and call it a night.
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