A Meeting In The Garden

11/01/2004
PCs : Augustine, Falennt, Isabella

The Keep's Herb Garden
A circular path of well-placed fieldstone surrounds and contains this once wellkeptherb garden. The path continues through the middle to meet a huge stone sundial encrusted with greenish patina, weathered and crumbling beyond ken, at the very center of it. Summer savory, thyme, marjoram, basil, sage, rosemary and garlic intermixed with comfrey and foxglove grow wild with the weeds. Large shrubs and the fruit and flowering trees planted in there took their chance to grow unabashedly, littering the path with fallen twigs and leaves. The garden's atmosphere is heady, moist, the earthy smells of the plants thick in the air. To the south, a wooden door painted ruby red, leads to the interior of the castle.

Augustine peers over his shoulder, fingers working furiously to unlock the particular boon he is looking to reveal. "Keep your eyes closed Dama. There is something grand I wish you to see."

Augustine scowls at the reflection of himself in the polished steel lock, you are incredible, the first time you have worked a lock in a number of years and it is to play surprise game. Fool. He smiles thoughtfully as the lock responds "CLICK"

An ancient wooden door creaks in response but gives way to the untouched garden within. "Aha! A moment longer Isabella!, only a moment I promise."

Isabella fidgets behind him, semi resisting the urge to peek over his shoulder. She nods enthusiastically, gently nudging the edge of his shoulders from behind with the tips of her fingers. "Will you let me look already?"

He had been gone for several hours on his own exploration and by the mischievous yet untelling grin he greeted her with upon his return he'd been teasing her with the portent of his discovery ever since.

Augustine pushes through the door, the overgrowth strong in some areas, all in all the garden remained unaffected by Lo'Kier's so called curse. "Ora questo 'e un suprise eh? (now this is a suprise eh?)" Sweeping his hands towards the neglected garden

Isabella peers past him, a tiny delighted squeal soon to follow as she slips past and into the garden itself. The organic, dense humidity in the air seems to her almost a refreshing taste of nostalgia, so much like the heated greenhouses from home.

She immerses fully into the overgrowth, the newly unpacked simple black velvet gown already marred by the tiny clinging bits of prickly brush collecting at its hem.

"Agostino, it is beautiful! Come see!" She calls back to him, already heading up the half concealed pathway cutting through the greenery.

Peasants stare past the black-cloaked thin figure stalking down the wide crumbling hallway - where knights used to stand, bright in the glory of their silver armor and pages ran with errands, garbed in the livery of their masters.

Gone are such days, of knightly glory and darker magic. Now the stench of urchins and street-rats, drawn to the opportunities these ruins might bring, pervade the halls. The shields that hung in the great Hall, depicting the grandiose names of knights,were all but taken down to be smelted into bars of silver and iron and taken to profit in the black markets.

Augustine laughs loudly, she finds beauty where looters and peasants can not. Augustine looks down to his thigh high leather boots and shrugs. "Well if horse shit can ruin them, we can always test their steel against Madre nature.."

Augustine slinks across the expanse with feline grace, this one can find trouble in a church, I should watch her better. Though with self-goading Augustine pursues with a smirk, fine leather boots loosing the battle against the proclaimed Madre Nature.

Falennt continues to walk, half-glancing at families huddled in a corner, of thieves trying to pry the last bit of metal or marble from pillars and statues. He frowns, more of unneeded memory as he turns down the corridor leading towards the kitchens. At least, the Garden is locked, though he does not exactly trust an unwarded steel lock.

The flagstone pathway is largely littered with the unkempt patches of weed that stretch across and between the stones, causing a bit of an obstacle to wade through but by her ginger step none so much the nuisance.

Isabella stops to stoop down near a thick clump of sorts, unceremoniously shoving the fine velvet fabric of her sleeves up to her elbows. She plucks these up, bringing them expertly to her nose. "Basil!" She smiles up to him, holding the treasure out triumphantly.

The empty kitchens do not prove to bring a smile to Falennt's face. Instead, a silver of anger seems to cut across his usual placid expression when the sight of the broken lock on the red door leading into the herb garden meets his eyes. He mutters no oath no curse, and with a frown of silverly eyebrows meeting together, the Archmage pads into the overgrown garden, pushing the door just wide enough for himself to slip in, not unnoticed however.

Augustine stalks behind her, he will have to preserve this for her once the Duke and his clumsy soldiers start to lay claim to the lands. There will be no defiling of this place. "No bounty such as you will be pillaged as long as she wishes."

His voice echoes through the forgotten garden "Basil?! These folk know of Basil, hah, be that rich!" He slips through the makeshift maze of overgrowth easily "How charming."

She grins, rather proud of the find, and sets the small bundle aside for future gathering. "Too long since you've seen the likes of those, especially in that town of yours."

Isabella stands, dusting her hands against her thighs. Her voice falls quiet at the glimpse of movement back at the garden entrance. She peers back, craning her neck to catch a better view despite the darkening twilight.

Falennt tilts his chin slightly, listening to the two voices adrift in the quiet garden - a man, and a woman, their accents foreign and he'd made out some words they exchanged. He moves easily over the weed-wretched path, finding a spot near a broken-down marble pillar, his hands pulled into a clasp behind his back as he silently watches the couple's shadowy outlines in the failing light of the day.

Augustine watches her smile fade and concentration set in, she is curious, dangerously so. "What trouble are you stepping in now." Augustine crosses his arms, both from habit and to check the assortment of arms still well hidden about his person. The voice is careful but he is a lion amidst jackals, and there will be no feeding time unscheduled this evening.

Likely more of the peasants that seemed to rear themselves at the most inopportune times, but still.. mannerisms were still in order. She smoothes her sleeves back down, patting back the few errant black locks that had slipped from the long braid down her back. "Hello?" Isabella calls out to whomever the guest might be, her accent indeed thick but insistent on using their dialect.

A brief pose of surprise finds its way onto Falennt's otherwise expressionless face as the woman calls out in greeting. He steps from the pillar, finding a spot still lighted, his eyes still fixated upon the two.

'Greetings.' He returns his response, nodding just lightly in acknowledgement to them. His prior anger at their infiltration into the garden has seemingly vanished to be replaced by a mild curiosity at who they are.

Augustine loses himself for a moment in thought, he called it an …arc'e bus.. It cost him a boat in gold, a week of work, and a month of lessons. He insisted it the dark skinned man mount it atop the cruelly curving kris.

Augustine pats the lump in his jacket fondly. Unreliable, loud, clumsy,yet capable of stopping a lupine, or far worser "Salute, and greetings friend?"

Augustine whirls around to discern the nature of the voice: This one was living at least. The sudden appearance of the masses of Ka'aine children had suddenly made Lo'Kier a lot less hospitable. "Friend si?"

Isabella falls a step behind Augustine, as seemingly was becoming her habit of late. She lets him incite the formal greetings, if there were to be any.

Falennt's eyes cast their surveying glance over the clothes both man and woman wore, finding them familiar and somewhere deeply etched inside his memory. The Theatre, of course, he would have remembered. Their accents are like the nobles who frequented Shadowport's West End, even their cut of their clothes and the mannerisms.

'Friend.' He nods but once, taking a step closer for the light is starting to stray into darkness. The man speaks with the air of civility; unlike the stares Falennt had been receiving from the waifs and strays loosened in Lo'kier's yards.

In exchanged appraisal each of the other, Isabella finds this stranger a vastly welcome sight both in his demeanor and courtly air. Not the tattered rags or disheveled poverty upon this one, instead an appearance all together unexpected.

She smiles sincerely in greeting, though still allows Augustine the leisure of the introduction.

Augustine removes his hand from the surcoat bulge, offering a low bow. Augustine decides the time for mystery has since passed. He was not accustomed to garden frolic, but being seen mid-act was even more alien to him. "Augustine Canto Rosa."

Augustine rises yet, raven locks seem to frame his skin dramatically enhancing the shadows of his features. "At your disposal and service friend."

Falennt's glance break from the couple and the obsidian gaze travels around the garden in a slow arch; a deliberate inspection of each and every unbridled weed, herb and shrub before they return to rest upon Augustine.

'Falennt Ladisvale.' He returns the introduction with an almost theatrical bow of his own - a faint memory returned from the glided masks and gaudy costumes of Shadowport's theatre. He pauses, his gaze iridescent like mercury pools at the delicate woman behind the man before poising another question. 'You find this garden delightful?'

Isabella seems momentarily mesmerized by the characteristics of this stranger's eyes, having never seen such the hues before. It takes her a moment to realize he's addressing her and with a notable hint of embarrassment at her open staring she quickly nods,

"Very much so, yes." Her smile remains in check, but she forcibly pulls her gaze away from those eyes averting her own to the gardens in turn.

Augustine snaps his head to gaze upon her, a shard of something stirs within him, something dark, something cold. "The garden is like a slice of jade amidst fetid black waters. I am truly…. impressed."

Nodding, Falennt moves from his spot, yet not stepping within the radius of territory Augustine would had obviously staked out. 'A slice of jade, yet not living.' He smiles, the corners of thin lips curled.

As he speaks, a gloved hand moves out from folds of dark cloak, breaking away a tip of lavender to bring to his nose. 'And some of them smell of stone too. Not all, some.' The sprig is half-heartedly tossed away and he regards the couple again carefully.

'What brought the both of you here - you have no want of riches nor broken blocks of marble. Is there something more?' He asks, gazing broodingly at Augustine.

Isabella's smile fades a notch under Augustine's glance, something seemingly amiss in his demeanor not present only moments before. She offers little to the conversation, yet keeps a keen ear to the exchange.

Augustine holds back a wave of revulsion, the garden is cursed, by the gods, can't it ever just be simplicity, never a quick break. Always you must work for it Gustino. "We are here to enjoy the sights, the lands, to understand better what is in store for us.

There is a wicked streak of confidence that slips loose. Unsure of his brewing emotion, Augustine merely nods towards the woman as his lips tighten around the unatural smile. "And you, you are no crafts man, what draws you here Senoir Ladisvale."

'Visitors?' He offers the word in replacement for the long explanation he gave, an eyebrow quirking and cut by the falling wisps of silver locks across his face. 'I am a resident of this place.'

Falennt takes a moment to observe the language of nods and expressions between the two, though not able to conclude any idea of them. 'What should I say; what attracted me here is no longer here. You intend to stay, Sir?'

Augustine responds in kind "I am capable of saying Sir if you mean." Pausing Augustine grins coolly "Ah, a resident, now this is a streak of gamblers luck Lord Ladisvale, I offer you my admiration of these lands Friend. There is still so much beauty here."

Augustine snaps his heals together and bows again, surely this one is patient to deal with peasant and beggar alike, he is blessed with the company of two nobles of exotic company and fair intent. This might remain friendly after all.

Isabella steals another glance at the oddity of the man's eyes through her own lowered gaze, fingers fidgeting at the almost too-large faceted sapphire affixed to a wide ribbon choker at her neck. She seems disquieted, perhaps unnerved, despite the ease in which this apparent noble facilitates cordiality.

A fey-like laugh litters the atmosphere as Falennt finds himself most amused at the mention of gamblers' luck at finding /him/. 'The crumbling stones and putrefaction are most exquisite if you are inclined to such.'

Falennt inclines his head in apology; these two are far noble than mere destitutes eager for a broken piece of marble. 'I apologize for being a poor host; the lords of these lands are far gone and we would had received the both of you in better fashion compared to such improverishness.'

With a slow arching brow, her indignation steals the best of her judgment, inciting the out of turn commentary. "Do you see nothing else of your home, senoire? You speak of it as though with no passion." She now fixates her dark eyes pointedly upon him in quiet scrutiny.

Augustine chuckles back, his darker mood coming about, her gaze is unfamiliar to him, he has known her for too long, yet, he still no completely accustomed to her ways. Is this a fire of anger, the pang of jealousy. Gustino is not some heart struck fool..

Lips curl into a predatory grin. "Feh, your remaining people have been more than gracious." There is always the wee hours, he could visit this Baron Edain in the bordering dale and release some of this pent-up aggression. Murder in the worst degree.

'A husk of its former self, this place, Madame.' He replies her, the vertical irises dilating in a strange mirth at her curiosity. 'If anyone would have the ability to come and breathe back full life into the trees, into the gardens, I would welcome him, or her to do at will. I possess no such power to put life to a flower; or give it scent again.' He seems to sigh and his eyes drift upwards towards the lighted windows of the Northwest Tower where she, of similar raven locks, is asleep.

She appears to contemplate the validity of the reply, though the tinges of sadness laced in his words are by far more convincing than the actual words themselves. Her smile softens, "Forgive my forward tongue, senoire. You have lost much, you have right to grieve."

She lifts her chin, casting a lofty gaze over the gardens before settling it back to him, "A breath of life is a promise, senoire Ladisvale."

A smote of contemplation lingers in his alien eyes as his silver gaze moves from woman to man after hearing the utterance of a promise spill from her so eagerly. 'I would hold you to it then, Madame.' He smiles, the sadness still protracted in his words.

Augustine considers the exchange, yes, he would give her his considerable coffers be it only to build sand castles or make mud pie, a garden she desires and a garden she would have. Patting his surcoat pocket Augustine gazes into the distance.

The sound of his leather gloves squealing in protest as he squeezes the concealed kris. Mud pies, promises, peasants, and occular oddities, this warranted a murder to be sure. Nodding eagerly as if accepting the promise whole heartedly, yes warranted.

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