The Loom and Spindle (Vozhdya)
- Oak planks form the walls and floor of this shop in Vozhdya Square. Light streams from two windows on either side of the door, and from a single window on the east wall of the shop. Near the east wall window stands a short fat belly stove, two wooden chairs, and a wooden stool. Next to the stove, is the entrance to the shop's workroom.
- The back wall is covered with wood shelves stacked with fabric samples and finished clothing. A long wood counter runs in front of the back wall, leaving just enough room for one person to pass between shelves and the counter. A wood stool stands behind the counter. The west wall is empty save for a door leading to a set of stairs and two additional rooms.
Elymara Threadgoode trots over the doorstep, pausing on the threshold to stick a needle in the shoulder of her dress, to store it. She looks up and steps into the room.
Barit Smithy is currently seated in a chair by the stove, Isabella currently perched on his lap. He eyes her a moment, slowly, and remains mostly quiet. "There'll be no more o' that, Isa," He tells her, quietly, jumping a little bit as he notices Elymara enter the room. Quickly gaining his composure again, he grins faintly at Isabella. "I'll be takin' a guess that'd be your new partner. Should go up an' tell her 'fore I get kicked out."
Isabella kisses Barit again, pouting playfully, before blushing a deep red as she sees Elymara enter. "Good eve," she murmurs, shifting closer ot Barit. "I'm Isabella...Mistress Weaver's new apprentice," she murmurs.
Elymara Threadgoode looks over at the two sitting by the stove, her eyes widening slightly. She takes a step backwards into the other room saying, "Oh... erm... I didn't mean to disturb the two of you... um..." Her cheeks flush pink as she looks from Barit to Isabella.
Chase stares impassively at its surroundings.
Barit Smithy carefully places Isabella back into her chair, despite whatever protests she might have, and rising to stand. He grins idiotically at Elymara, nodding to her in greeting. "Very sorry, M'lady. I'm a friend o' Thea Weaver, and this is Isabella, I brought her here so she could learn the trade from Thea. She'd also be bunkin' with you, I think. Again, I apologise. I'm courtin' her, and we weren't expectin' anyone else to be in shop. Please, I'd like you two to meet. What'd be your name, lass?"
Elymara Threadgoode nods a little, stepping into the room, her cheeks still pink, "Er... yes, of course... I'm Elymara Threadgoode... I, um, think we met the other day..." Elymara Threadgoode says, "... or maybe I've confused you with someone else..."
Isabella mumbles a small protest as she's placed back into her chair, but matches Elymara in the cheek color as Barit mentions him courting her. She then gives a shy smile to the woman, "Hello," she say softly.
Elymara Threadgoode says, "Hullo", and rests her arm against the doorframe, leaning in against it. The fingers of her other hand reach down to toy with the edge of her sleeve.
Barit blinks, chuckling lightly, and shrugs in response. "I'm sorry. Me memory's pretty damn bad as o' late. Anyway, I'm pretty sure you two'll be sharin' the same room, so I'll let you two speak." Barit leans in a bit closer to Elymara, speaking quietly, "She's a bit...shy. Very. Just get to know her, she'll warm up, I'm sure o' it." He then stands tall again, smiling a little to Isabella. "I'll be headin' off now, Isa. G'night," He bows quickly, and moves off for the door.
Isabella rises to her feet hastily to follow after Barit, tossing her arms around his neck, hugging him tightly, kissing him gently. "Be well, Barit. May the Light shine down upon you," she whispers. "You'll come back soon?"
Elymara Threadgoode reaches up to twirl a lock of hair around her finger and says, "So, um, what did you say your names were again?" Elymara Threadgoode slips the tress off of her finger, stretching it out until the curl is straight, and then letting it go so it pops back up, bouncing into place.
Barit Smithy returns the hug to Isabella, nodding to her with a smile and a nod. "Yep, I will. Now, be just a little extroverted toward your co-workers, 'fore you drive me insane. Good luck." He smiles a bit to Elymara, nodding to her. "Barit Smithy. G'day." With that, he escapes out the doorway. Barit Smithy heads into Vozhdya Square.
Isabella watches Barit leave disappointedly, before turning back to Elymara slowly, "I'm Isabella Riverfield," she says softly.
Elymara Threadgoode claps her hand up over her mouth to stifle a giggle, her eyes widening, "Oh my goodness, I almost DIED, what if I'd been Mistress Weaver?! I won't tell her, I SWEAR! He's very handsome."
Isabella blushes slightly, "I am indeed glad that you were not Mistress Weaver...thank you that you won't," she says, before blushing again, nodding her head, "Yes, he is..." she adds, smiling.
Elymara Threadgoode rushes over to the door, opens it, and looks outside, craning her neck to catch a glimpse of him before shutting the door quickly and turning back into the room. Elymara Threadgoode says, "How'd you meet?"
Isabella gives Elymara a slightly embarrassed look, "Oh... well... um..." she sighs, sinking down into a chair. "It's a long story," she says eventually.
Elymara Threadgoode turns towards quartermaster Glen, saying over her shoulder, "Well, tell it to me!" She taps her lip in thought and says, "I'm going to bring some food to Mistress Weaver, actually... want to come?" Elymara Threadgoode says, "We'll drop the subject around her... naturally."
Isabella nods her head, "For a short while.. I have to get some rest, it's been a long day" she says softly, before blushing again. "Promise you won't tell anyone else, not even Mistress Weaver?" she asks, sounding worried.
Elymara Threadgoode says indignantly, "What do you take me for?! I'm not some sort of rat!"
Isabella blushes, before nodding her head, "My family has been suffering for money lately, because my father died..." she pauses, taking a breath, "I met Barit in the Crescent Moon...where I was staying for a short while. He helped me leave...and helped me come to Vozhdya to meet Mistress Weaver."
Elymara Threadgoode tucks the bowl of venison under her arm and turns towards the door. She looks up quickly, and says, "Gosh, I'm sorry to hear about your Dad!" Elymara Threadgoode says, "Where's the Crescent Moon?"
"Near Lightholder's Crossroads," Isabella says softly.
Elymara Threadgoode places her hand on the doorknob, turns it, and swings open the door, "Well, I won't tell her anything at all. I think you're awful lucky, anyhow, to have a suitor." Elymara Threadgoode says, "C'mon!"
- The city of Vozhdya is a bustling commercial center bordering the Aegis' major eastern gate. Hundreds of red brick cottages dot the shire's lowlands, populating the grassy hills and rolling valleys. The stone chalets grow more concentrated in the city, eventually clustering around a large central square. There, brightly colored tarpaulins cover small merchant shanties and larger brick storefronts. In the very center of the market is a large limestone fountain, supplying fresh water to the townsmen year-round. A few snaking chimneys protrude from the city's skyline, intermittently releasing plumes of black smoke in to the air.
- Vozhdya's outlying lands are a patchwork of fields divided by ivy-claimed stone walls. Her western borders are a chain of forested mountains and her eastern border is the Aegis itself - looming in the distance and dwarfing all in its shadow. To the north, behind high walls, the battlements of Vozhd Keep can be seen, and to the south the precipitous towers of The Warren. In the far east, the rippling purple banners of the East Aegis Garrison remind visitors that above all else, Vozhdya is a stronghold of Imperial authority.
Elymara Threadgoode closes the door behind her, sighing wistfully, casting an envious look at Isabella.
"I am lucky to have met him," Isabella says softly. "He is such a wonderful person..." she sighs happily. "He offered me money, and I didn't even have to do anything for him the first night we met!"
Elymara Threadgoode says, "He offered you money? Just like that? And you didn't even have to make him a shirt or anything?"
Isabella blushes, "The Crescent Moon is a high class brothel," she explains slowly, and hesitantly.
Elymara Threadgoode 's eyes widen, and she turns bright red. "Oh! Oh... oh! And... you met him there?"
Isabella nods her head silently.
Elymara Threadgoode nearly drops the bowl of venison, but she manages to catch it quickly.
Isabella glances at Elymara curiously, "Are you alright?"
Elymara Threadgoode nods quickly, and then opens her mouth to say something, closes it, and then blurts out, "What did it look like? Inside, I mean?"
"The building?" Isabella asks, before laughing softly, "It's a lovely place...but I wish I had never had to have seen it," She says, wrinkling her nose a little bit.
Elymara Threadgoode says, "Oh...er... was it a horrible place?" Elymara Threadgoode walks along the road
Broselov Circle (Vozhdya)
The loud bustle of the central square gives way to the fashionable neighborhood of Bröselov Circle. Famous for its wine gardens and high-end entertainment, the 'circle' is composed of a yawning stretch of cobblestone parkway bordered by bushy pink cherry trees. The streets are immaculate - horse carts are forbidden to travel upon them - and well lit, as wrought-iron lampposts illuminate the sidewalks after sundown. Well-dressed couples may be seen parading together at all hours.
The circle centre is host to Vozhdya's great war memorial. An intersection crossed by patches of grass and trees, the great statue of Viscount Bröselov stands high in the center of the park, forever mounted on his warhorse, Arbat. Positioned on a marble dais more then six-feet-high, the Viscount's stone visage commands all the grounds below him.
"Sort of..." Isabella says. "I was forced to bed all sorts of different men..."
Elymara Threadgoode tilts her head to the side, looking over at Isabella with a look of fascination. She quickly looks away, letting a few locks of hair fall down in front of her face, veiling it.
Isabella blushes a little bit, "Barit is so wonderful... he helped me leave it, and didn't ask for anything for himself. He said I could leave him the moment we left, and he would still be happy because I was out."
Elymara Threadgoode says, "Oh... well... good. That's very nice of him. I haven't got any suitors."
Isabella smiles slightly, "How old are you?" she asks curiously.
Elymara Threadgoode reaches up to scratch the back of her head, "Me? Oh! I'm fourteen... but... well... I sorta told Lotan Elkhorn I was seventeen, you won't tell him, will you?" Elymara Threadgoode clasps her hands together and looks imploringly at Isabella.
"I won't," Isabella promises. "I'm 16," she adds, smiling. "A little young for a suitor..." she then stops, head tilting to the side, "Lotan? Who is that? Are you sure you don't have a suitor?"
Elymara Threadgoode shakes her head and sighs sadly, a wisp of hair rising up on her breath, "Even seventeen was too young for him, I think! Anyhow... I won't tell Mistress Weaver..." She reaches up to knock on the door.
Isabella smiles, "Thank you," she says softly. "I'll have to tell Mistress Weaver eventually... but not now," she says. "And Barit is older than me... probaly by 10 years, or so..."
Elymara Threadgoode says, "I don't know how old Lotan is... twenty something, I guess..."
Isabella smiles, "We're both still young, and can have suitors when we're older, though all I want is Barit."
Elymara Threadgoode taps her foot a bit impatiently, before reaching out to open the door, precariously holding the bowl under one arm, "I don't know what I want at all!"
Main Room - Althea's Townhouse
- Oak planks form the walls and floor of this townhouse in Broselov Circle. Light streams from two windows on either side of the door. The room is tastefully, though sparsely, furnished with a wood table surrounded by four wood chairs. A wood couch sits against one wall and is strewn with overstuffed pillows and blankets. A footstool and a rocking chair sit next to a fireplace.
- A door leads to the upstairs bedrooms, while a second door leads to a studio and scullery. The door to the room is unlocked.
Elymara Threadgoode enters, precariously holding a bowl of venison stew onder one arm. She swings her foot behind her to shut the door with her toe, very nearly spilling the bowl, but managing to catch it before it falls.
Isabella slips in behind Elymara, a little more graceful than the younger girl, carefully shutting the door, before looking around slowly to Althea.
Lotan Elkhorn is standing near Althea's chair, quite easily the tallest being in the room, as he stands straight while noticing the occupants step in. He bows royally to both the entries, including the one he knows and the one he doesn't. He steps aside to leave Althea in the open, smiling down at her. "It's Elymara and another girl, Althea."
Althea struggles to look toward the door. She slumps down, sweat breaking on her forehead. "It's all right, Lotan," she says. "They are both Prentices of mine. Bring chairs for them, will you please?" Another coughing fit takes her.
Elymara Threadgoode steps into the room and says in a chipper, high-pitched voice, "Hullo, Master Elkhorn, Mistress Weaver... I brought you some bread and ale!"
Isabella slinks up, bowing before Althea and Lotan, "Good eve, Mistress Weaver, Sir," she says softly, tucking back some of her hair. She glances to Elymara, then back at the other two, looking slightly nervous.
Lotan Elkhorn nods to Althea, disappearing, well, somewhere, he guesses, to recover a couple chairs for the two new guests. He sets them out before Althea, while he himself spots the couch against one wall and takes a seat.
Elymara Threadgoode sets the cider and bread beside Althea, with a dip of her head, before plunking herself down on one of the chairs. She folds her hands in her lap, and carefreely swings her skinny legs
"Thank you for coming, Elymara," she says. "Isabella." Cough. Wheeze. "There's a pot of tea on the stove. Help yourself. I'm not feeling up to pouring tonight." Whachoo!
Isabella gives Althea a small look of concern, "Mistress, are you ill? Should you perhaps send for a healer?" she asks softly, giving Lotan a shy smile, slipping into a seat.
Lotan, ever dutiful, quickly rises from the couch before he gets too comfortable. He thus disappears into, well, wherever the stove would be, and returns later with a flat board with 4 cups of steaming hot tea arrayed ontop of it. He moves over to the 3 women, and presents a single cup to each of them, then taking one for himself and retiring the board. Finally, he sits back down to his spot on the couch, sipping his tea.
Elymara Threadgoode reaches up to take her cup between her small hands, relaxing back into the chair
Isabella smiles faintly at Lotan, taking the tea, before glancing at Lotan shyly again, before focusing her attention on Althea. "Mistress," she says softly, so Lotan can't hear her. "Mistress, I spoke with Master Smithy... he thought it best that you knew where I /started/..."
Elymara Threadgoode takes a sip of tea. The cup rests on her lip as she takes a small sip, partially obscuring her face.
Lotan Elkhorn is completely oblivious, occasionally sniffing at the drink before he sips.
Althea inclines her head toward Isabella. "Hmm?" she says. Whachoo! She takes a cup from Lotan. "Thank you very much. I'll be fine after a few days rest. The Duke sent a healer over right away and he did all he could for me. I'll be fine." Cough. "So much for my boat though and my adventure." Sniffle. "How's the shop?"
Elymara Threadgoode smiles brightly, bringing her tea down and looking at Lotan, "Quite well! I'll be making a cloak for Master Elkhorn as soon as I get his measurements!"
Isabella blushes faintly, "Mistress, Barit found me in the Crescent Moon," she says softly, swallowing a small sip of tea. She then glances at Elymara slowly.
Elymara Threadgoode takes another quick gulp of tea and says, "A brown one. Cloak, I mean."
Lotan Elkhorn remains oblivious, except to Elymara, who speaks quite loudly. He beams a smile at her and nods. "Thank you!"
Elymara Threadgoode babbles nervously, "Don't thank me yet, I mean, you know, I haven't made it yet, but, um, I will, you know, but I, you know, need your measurements first, you know? And then I can start, and maybe we should do a mock-up first and we'll have to have a fitting anyhow, because I want it to be perfect, you know?
Althea pats Isabella's hand reassuringly. "Then I'm glad he brought you to me, dear," she says. "I'll help you fashion a new life for yourself. Everyone deserves that, especially one as strong as you to leave a place such as that." She turns to Elymara. "Ah wonderful! Your first order, Yes? Well done. No need to wait. There's a measuring string in the cabinet over there. Measure him now while he's here." Cough. Hack. Wheeze.
Isabella smiles faintly, looking relieved, "Mistress, perhaps you should rest now..." she says softly, before yawning, "I fear that I must as well..."
Elymara Threadgoode balances her cup on the arm of her chair, hopping to her feet. "Right! Yes. Yes, that is what I'll do. Right, in the cabinet." She rushes over to the cabinet, flinging it open, and stands on her feet to look inside.
Lotan Elkhorn squints over at Althea, shaking his head slowly. "Althea. You realize, that I'm never letting you control anything on a body of any kind of water, now, after this, without my presence?" He chuckles at this, not as serious as one might think. "I just hope you feel better. I feel guilty about not being there."
Elymara Threadgoode balances her cup on the arm of her chair, hopping to her feet. "Right! Yes. Yes, that is what I'll do. Right, in the cabinet." She rushes over to the cabinet, flinging it open, and swoops down to look into the cabinet. Elymara Threadgoode winds the measuring tape around her fingers, turning to Lotan.
Althea smiles. 'Could have been you, Lotan,' she says. She sighs too tired to fight with the archer. 'I'll buy another boat /after/ I take a few more lessons. She was a fine one while she lasted." Cough cough. She watches Elymara walk to the low cabinet, more a small wardrobe resting on the floor. "Ah good you found it. Up with you Master Elkhorn!" She mockingly commands.
Elymara Threadgoode carefully closes the cabinet door, and then takes a few steps towards Lotan
Isabella watches the little group, shifing uneasily, bowing before Althea, "I will return to the Loom and Spindle, Mistress... I have things I wish to do. I bid you good eve..."
Elymara Threadgoode waves to Isabella, the end of the measuring tape flying out and hitting her on the top of the head. Elymara Threadgoode says, "Ow!"
"Light Keep, dear," Althea says. "Come visit me again, if you'd like." She gives a wave from her chair then stifles a laugh at Elymara's antics. Cough, wheeze.
Isabella nods her head, slipping of the door, and into the night cold night, wrapping her cloak tightly around her.