Fahral Mikin Crafting School

Built in honor of Fahral Mikin, the founder of Light's Reach who lost a son during the Valley of the Blades betrayal in the First Wildling War, this academic mecca is devoted to introducing unskilled citizens to the prominent crafts of Fastheld.
The main lobby is a great chamber with a dome that's been illustrated with images of tradesmen working at forges, looms, cook stoves, easels and vineyards, as well as tracking animals through wilderness and snaring fish along a river.
The white marble floor is emblazoned with a mosaic featuring the sigils of the various guilds that dominate Fastheld's Market District. A statue of Fahral Mikin, ever-burning torch in hand, rises from the center of the mosaic and looms over the lobby, gazing southwest toward Light's Reach. Archways lead off to several different wings of the facility.

With naery a sound for warning, Eliul enters from the westerly wing of the massive building. His clothes, while still worn and old, look clean and pressed, and he wears his long hair down and unbraided. A small smile seems etched onto his usually steely visage as he shuffles slowly about, hands clasped behind him and taking in the surroundings.

Orell Mikin smiles towards Eliul as he sees him, "Ahh, Master Eliul, isn't it? I hope your stay has been pleasant."

Eliul smiles broadly and approaches the Duke. "Aye, Your Grace, my stay has been most pleasant. The beds here do be much softer than the one I have at the shop!" He laughs slightly, a throaty sound akin to shuffling gravel. "I do thank you for letting me stay here, aye. I was hoping I would find you here, actually. I do have some questions for you."

Orell Mikin tilts his head, as he replies to Eliul, "Indeed? I'm pleased indeed of that. What question do you have? If I can answer them, I will."

From the Chapel's arched doorway comes a soft chittering of a noise. Presence betrayed to the other voices that echo faintly in the grand hall, Rowena hesitates there. Her hair has been meticulously combed and washed since her last escape into the school, returning some of the lost dignity she suffered in the line of duty. Paired now with velvet slippers upon her feet, her chemise could pass for more appropriate attire. Loungewear, perhaps, but far from immodest.

"You're full of chatter tonight, Veda." Rowena notes softly to the mongoose that currently uses her shoulder as a resting place. She tickles teasingly at the ebony chin, drawing forth another burst of trills and chittering from the creature. Veda rolls belly-up, dangling over the shoulder with the reknown agility of her species.

"Well," Eliul says pensively, "the first is not so much a question..." He straightens his back and tilts his chin up just so, as to make himself more presentable. "I did hear that you were going to be, well, ruling over the area where my shop do be. I was hoping I could give my respects to you in person." He then bows slightly, keeping his head tilted so as to maintain eye contact with Orell. He straightens, saying "The second was about the school. I was wondering when I could begin classes." He smiles again, a broad, bright smile that makes the scar tissue on his face pucker obscenely.

Orell Mikin smiles towards Rowena as he sees her, inviting her to join him in the conversation. At the sound of those chitters, a grey little mongoose peers out from the master wing curious and then rushes out on his clawed feet to investigate the unfamiliar Veda while Orell replies Eliul, "Well, the first isn't confirmed yet, but i am taking care of the citizens for now and want to be sure all of Light's Reach citizens are safe. The second I am most pleased to hear and we can begin arranging for tutors for you?"

Eliul watches the two creatures with a curious fascination that momentarily draws his attention away from the Duke's engaging gaze. He smiles briefly at Rowena upon recognizing her from another evening previous, offering a courteous half-bow in her direction. Returning his attention to Orell, he says "Aye, tutors. I would be interested in learning several things, and getting better at what I know. Your plan seems fair too, after I had a couple of nights to think on it, so I would like to start learning as soon as possible."

Smiling a silent greeting, Rowena permits their conversation to continue without intrusion. She does venture further into the hall however at the sight of another mongoose skittering her way. Veda twists her neck, then body, back to its original position and braces her forepaws upon Rowena's breast to lean forward and peer. Her tail bristles slightly, little muscles tensing as her twitching nose affirms the scent of this stranger. Not intending to protect her mistress if the gray mongoose insisted on pursuing them, Veda wiggles around to hide her midsection beneath the cover of Rowena's hair.

"Don't be so shy." Rowena murmurs and reaches behind to free her pendant's chain from tiny, clutching paws. Veda grunts in response but doesn't move, eyes fixated over Lumiere.

Lumiere now stands near Orell, also peering at Veda with those blue eyes that are so alike his owner's. Orell then replies, "That'd be great. The tutors are learned in various fields and can help you with that. Have you been inside the Crafters' wing to look around yet?

Eliul shakes his head. "No, Your Grace, I have not. I have nae spent much time here but fer bathing and resting, aye. I have been trying to find good forests for timber when I have nae been here." He tilts his head and watches the mongoose scurry around Rowena's neck and his face takes on a quizzical look. "My apologies, Your Grace, but what do you call these animals you both carry?"

Seeing that Veda is not going to initiate any introduction other than perhaps an imprint of her little fangs, Rowena bends gracefully to a knee and sweeps her hair over a shoulder, free of mongoose inhabitance. "You can fend for yourself, little one." She chuckles and plucks Veda's paws one-by-one from her clothing. Narrowly evading a nip of warning, the duchess places the mongoose gently onto the floor and then stands. While pacing here and there to keep her chemise fuzzy-free, she looks to Eliul with warm, patient eyes. "The mongoose. It is house Mikin's symbol of swift justice. Agility. Loyalty."

Or so one would think, but it seems as though Veda does not intend to abide by the contract laid by the nobility for her species. For loyalty...she may lack. Finding that Rowena is clearly not going to rescue her from this four-legged intruder, the patch-eyed female slinks away from her mistress, keeping a couple-meter radius from Lumiere as she circles to investigate.

A laugh bellows from deep within Eliul's chest. "Strange creatures, those. I have nae seen one before, much less two in one place." He quickly straightens once more, a pained expression seeping onto his face after uttering what might have been offensive statements about Rowena's noble pet. "By strange I mean, well... different. That is... most interesting..." His words trail off and he casts his gaze to the ground, shuffling his feet softly in place.

"Forests.. Well, I have a nice patch of forest in Light's Crossing that I can give you access to." Orell nods at his sister's explanation, "This is your new one, sister? Lumiere seems to have taken to her." he observes as indeed, the taller grey mongoose does not approach Vera, but just swivels his eyes to her as she circles, and chitters loudly out to her, a courtship ritual at work?

Eliul returns his attention to the Duke, smiling upon hearing his news. "Aye, access to your forests would be most fine, Your Grace. I would be most grateful, aye." He bows deeply, if akwardly, remaining so for some time before straightening once more. Dignity seems to have returned to his senses, if only slightly.

A grin creases Rowena's cheeks and she nods both in agreement to Eliul and her brother's observation. Strange they were indeed, for who would suspect such a seemingly small animal to have the capacity to best a fierce serpent, killer of man? "I'm not certain that Veda is quite as open to suggestions as Zareef..." Her smile fades slightly in memory of her assumed to be deceased 'child' and she goes quiet to skeptically watch the furry interaction.

Veda keeps her belly low, stalking, until Lumiere displays the brazen act of chittering *at* her. The female freezes, belly lifting off the floor to arch her back in attempts to make herself appear larger. She ceases the vocalizations and merely stares now, uncertain of a wiser approach.

Orell Mikin understands the change in his sister's expression and nods, lifting a hand to place on her arm, comforting her unspeakingly. They have lost.. so much that dreadful day. Lumiere then lowers himself into a crouch and takes two quick steps forward, and chitters again less loudly, perhaps in order not to startle, but displaying his bright sharp teeth no less.

Eliul stands tall and still, his hands clasped loosely in front of him, watching the two strange creatures interact. A small smile creeps onto his face as the Mongooses chitter and bark at one another, lurching and darting about in sleek, if awkward, motions.

Rowena glances to the hand upon her arm for a moment, then sighs. "I should pass through the kitchens to check on the status of my tea." She excuses to Orell, then offers Eliul a polite bow of her head. "I wish you well on your way to finding a tutor. I'm sure you'll be quite an asset to the guild." Slipping away from Orell's touch, she casts her pet a final look, then turns to sway calmly out of sight.

Veda startles with a flinch as Lumiere ventures forward and is quick to bare her own teeth. A growl, strangled by the sound of a whining squeak rolls from her slender throat as she darts foward in mock charge, only to skirt away before she's in reach of his paws. Scampering off a ways then over the contrasting marble, she pauses in the shadow of the massive statue, peeping over her shoulder to see if the male dared to follow her.

Return to Season 3 (2005)

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