Crystal Mind and Magenta Feelings

Description: Niniel works some healing made possible by her dual crafts, and outwits her brother for an evening of fun instead of drudgery.

Niniel Galasrinion

    Rose to Summer-sky
  • Healer Hearth Witch
  • Played By: Idariel

    Trauma Surgeon
    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    4 Posts    526 marks
Crystal Mind and Magenta Feelings
« on: June 26, 2021, 01:53:33 AM »

Musical Inspiration: Link to Spotify for I want you by Savage Garden
Attire: Off the shoulder shirt in a fine, soft, navy blue cotton. Well fitted, and stops just above the hips, leaving a tempting swath of skin. Low slung, wide jeans skirt, full of useful pockets and sturdy enough for hiking in heavy wilderness, yet dressy enough for attending to her duties. Both carry a whisper of Craft about them. A heavy gold collar at her neck carries her Rose jewel, and an arm band in matching gold carries her Summer Sky. Half boots with lace and just enough heal to be good in combat complete her ensemble. She wears neither gloves, nor hat, nor physical Shields of any kind. Only her Jewels and mind are guarded.
Purpose: Introducing Niniel, then meeting Filaesion.
Time: Late Spring AW 104, NOW
Place: First, the Red Guard’s Rehabilitation Center in Polod. Second, the Sunleaf Tavern.
Voices: “Niniel,”, “Aldarion,”, “The Sergeant,”

Come stand a little bit closer
Breathe in and get a bit higher
You'll never know what hit you
When I get to you

Aldarion all but growled, the young Prince’s dagger-like gaze a heavy weight upon Niniel’s back. Nothing to worry about yet, though; he wasn’t seriously annoyed until that gimlet gaze was at least the weight of a sword.

Keeping her back to her duty-torn Escort, the Healer-Hearthwitch’s laughing, morning-glory eyes met the pine-green gaze of her gloomy patient, daring him to share her silent laughter at her youngest brother’s antics. As if she needed an Escort, at her age! “Weren’t you just on your way to an important meeting, Aldarion?” she gently teased her fretful brother.

Sometimes, laughter did more to heal than all of the Craft in the world, and this time a faint smile glimmered to life upon the grizzled Sergeant’s grief-riven face, despite the pain involved as Niniel’s strong, supple fingers identified yet another bone spur growing from his mangled shoulder. Her brother’s presence faded, as she once more honed her will and slid her awareness beneath the (in her opinion) prematurely applied Healing Webs.

Summer Sky power formed a tightly woven Shield around the mis-growth, then burrowed into the bone below. More akin to something you’d find on the battlefield than in a Healer’s repertoire, Niniel could hear the Sergeant’s teeth grind as he braced against the pain of it. Shared agony flared along her senses, like a lightening flash or a searing burn the moment the sharpened base of her Shield sliced through a bare hairsbreadth of healthy bone. Spots danced before her eyes, and her pulse pounded a frantic counterpoint to her measured, controlled breathing. The Healer-Hearthwitch froze the Shield, yet flooded it with Rose power in an even tighter, more unique weave. There could be no distraction now, no carelessness, as Niniel wove the battle-shield into a Healing sieve, filtering out any impurities, testing his blood and bone. A fourth, complex weave  formed of the merest breath of her power slid all through him, seeking any more of that taint, Cleansing his shoulder’s Psychic Scent, blood and bone of all matching impurities.

“The Sergeant has an assigned Healer.” Despite Aldarion’s protest, resigned amusement and curiosity lured the Prince another step into the room. “Niniel, that is not Heal Craft … or at least, not only Healing.” He shook his head, clearly torn. “Yes, we were due at a meeting to review some of your non-standard surgical techniques and discuss how they have been over utilizing you.” A familiar touch of power brushed over her, as he slid just deep enough inside her shields to monitor her Jewel Strength, without being drawn into either the pain or joy of her Healing. A hiss of disapproval, mixed with admiration, followed.

“How do you twine so many different Weaves at once? They are draining you too fast.”

The Healer-Hearthwitch had no time to answer her brother, just then; Layer upon layer of the most delicate Craft wove and moved together, removing inflammation, stabilizing his joint, fighting fever. Every scrap of her attention was upon the delicate, nearly impossible-to-sense work she was doing.

The final step, the one many Healer’s couldn’t do.

This sort of miss-growth had to be removed, dug clear out of the bone marrow, rather than simply being reshaped, or else it grew back again, or even spread! Yet it was painful for the patient, in a way that rang along a Healer’s senses and pained Niniel deeply. Sweat dappled her cheeks and sun-borne freckles glinted against skin grown pale from her efforts. Despite the flashes of profound hurt she caused, Niniel dare not cushion the Sergeant overmuch from his shock or pain, less the disconnect in his body cause her to miss a scrap of disease, sever a filament of nerve or misshape a ligament as she eased the dreadful thing out of his body.

This had to be achieved without ever breaking the skin. Or shattering a delicate blood vessel. Or severing a nerve, stretching a tendon — anything that would allow the captured essence of the diseased bone to spread throughout his body. The net of Niniel’s power was so fine, so delicate, as it caused the spur to Pass Through his body and settle onto her surgery tray, that not even a trace of contamination escaped.

The warm, heavy weight of her brother’s gaze became a sharp, warning nudge. Though she had not exhausted her Jewel Strength, she clearly had exhausted his patience.

The deeper webs relaxed. A deep breath was taken in unison, as Niniel’s sensitive fingers soothed over the Sergeant’s shoulder, weaving excess power back into energy for them both. A soft breath of power spun away from her touch, banishing pain even as it cleansed the fear-sweat and stress from him. A touch more Summer Sky power wove a faint Healing Web through his shoulder, mending the one his previous Healer had placed.

“Niniel, enough. The rest can wait until you are rested. Better still, the Healer assigned to his case can see to it!” 

A shudder swept through her, as she released the last of her weaves, measured breathing giving way to broken gasps and a delighted laugh. They had accomplished so very much! “Indeed, yes; this should do the trick, Sergeant. It should Heal properly this time, and be well within your Healer’s abilities. She was wise to ask for a consult.”

Aldarion shook his head. “A consult,” he muttered, eyeing Niniel warily. In the distance, a beautifully constructed water clock rang out the song for afternoon tea, and he startled.

“I’ll watch her, if you’d like, Prince. Make sure she gets a good meal …”

Niniel held out her hands, surrendering gracefully to the pull of both love and Protocol.

“Peace, peace. I shall simply walk down to the Tavern and have a fine meal. I leave paperwork and wrestling with administration entirely to you, dear Prince.” A glint of mischief appeared in her eyes, though otherwise she was all meek surrender.

Aldarion knew better. He knew better. But it was just the local tavern; she was well known there. She’d just eat, rest, and wait for him. And really, he needed to deal with these matters, else she’d work herself to the bone.

Who better to straighten out a contract, then a Prince?

Filaesion Rilindisil

    Rose to Summer-sky
  • Black Widow Prince
  • Played By: Cerebearstare

    Major, Black Guard
    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    14 Posts    127 marks
Re: Crystal Mind and Magenta Feelings
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2021, 11:57:26 PM »
Musical Inspiration(s):No Love - Nine One One | Dark Reverie - Queensrÿche
Attire: Near Uniform Craft Armoured Black Suiting Set, Summer Sky Embroidery
Purpose: Attempting to metaphorically drown in alcohol and failing
Time: Late Spring AW 104, Late Afternoon

Hey there, lover.
It's always love or hate, my dear.
You better find another;
Cause there ain't no love around here ...
If I leave, would you wait for me?
If I fall, would you pray for me?
When I'm gone, will they remember me,
Or fade away into eternity?

Filaesion took the Summer Sky wind home first. It was still silent when he arrived, as his children were still with his Aunt. He had convinced himself this was better than going to the tavern first. His home was, the Major rationalised, somewhat on the way. The assumption was that the brief detour was supposed to help. Filaesion ended up taking an admittedly luxurious bath in the quiet and lingered for an additional twenty minutes. He'd badly needed the water on his skin after what he'd dealt with. Water was life for his kind.

Yet, in startled horror, the man discovered that Namaire's psychic scent was still stuck to his skin and hair; worse yet, every time scrubbed again or tried to remove Namaire's presence from his belongings or himself, it hurt. However, this was not a result of the poison as he'd processed that through his system by the time he'd arrived at his tree bound home. Filaesion had expected worse but had to some degree been able to handle what the woman had to gift in a physical sense. The mental strain took a toll, but it was nothing beyond what he had faced previously.

Emotionally, however, ignoring the frustration and rage had a Price.

Rather than relaxation, trying to cleanse himself mostly riled the man up further. The ritual of putting on fresh attire gave him enough mental space that he could stand still going to the tavern and being relatively sociable or trying. Relacing his shoes, buttoning his trousers, retying a fresh cravat were all ritualistic moments for an offering of peace he seemed to be completely denied. The silver embroidered suited pairing also went into the shielded, wooden chest of items he couldn't wear because Namaire's presence had ruined them. The rage arose once he walked through his once immense closet and realised that at least two-thirds of his wardrobe, carefully curated over the decades before and after he'd Bonded his Queen, was unwearable.

It had taken ten minutes of meditation not to begin throwing items around the closet, ten further minutes to remember that though belongings were merely physical possessions, Filaesion would never have enjoyed attending to the mess of his closet if he broke and shredded items. Moreover, such an explosion of temper would have been no example to his children. Yet, as it was a twenty-minute walk to the tavern, he did decide to go there on foot. The walk allowed Major Rilindisil to clear his head a little more than he might have otherwise. He wore his waist-length silver hair loose as it was still damp from washing three times.

By the time he arrived, there was a short line waiting for admittance to the Sunleaf Tavern. He needed only wait ten additional minutes for entry. The tall, graceful trees were a lovely accent to the building, almost invisible except for the stairs that marched very close to one immense tree trunk. They spiralled up the side, disappearing into the canopy. It offered an incredible view out of all the tavern windows, visible after he was offered a good seat for that purpose. One not too distant from the other tables so that he could interact, but a large enough table for at least two more people. "Prince, do you mind my seating another party here?"

Filaesion lightly shook his head. "No, I do not mind. A hearth witch, if you see any, would be especially welcome. Still, not more than one person, additionally, please," he murmured in gravelly bass tones while flashing the long pale nails and pointing his index finger at the subtle, black hourglass pendant near his high collar covered clavicle. While Hearth Witches were painful to him still, they were also the sweetest solace he knew. His indication was a gentle way of explaining why he was so choosy with people; Filaesion was not a Warlord Prince or darker jewelled, even if he might have carried some of that edged presence due to personality and life experience. "A glass of wine, red, at least seventy years old, if you would?"

In response, Filaesion received a careful bow. The Sunleaf Tavern was a local community place with dancing and dining, while careful with chosen seating arrangements by Caste. It took greater effort for any warm regard, for which Filaesion had no energy. He hoped that informing the male Dea al Mon, medium height blonde-haired server of his preferences alone was enough. One, he could handle and did not mind the element of surprise.

Literally, anyone was better than where he'd come from before his trip home. The Black Widow Prince had changed into a suit with a little less of Namaire's scent, very subtle, and a different, summer sky embroidery. So, an annoyance, but not one that reminded him of the last two hours spent. He turned to stare out of the window, which at least had an absolutely stunning view out of every vantage point. He'd previously believed it good, but now that he needed the greenery vision, Major Rilindisil updated his opinion to a truly flawless beautiful landscape. Leaning back in his seat, Filaesion dropped his head back against the hand-sewn pillowed neck roll, drawing in a slow and very unsteady breath.

Every time he breathed in or out, the subtle hint of his Queen was there. To many, he knew this was an ironic detail to despise. Indeed, for most, it would have been a rare, deep, indulgently beautiful pleasure. Crazed laughter bubbled up his throat, and he forced it back down twice. Then again. What was he to do? It was absolutely hopeless, as while he was a wealthy man, his lady would easily live as long as he might, and he couldn't countenance the waste of resources. The list was short of women he could marry or court to subject to what he dealt with, so even the idea of trying to seek a helpmate for his young children was an impossible, painful thought. He loved them both more than anything, would have done both safe and unsafe things to keep his little Queen daughter and not so little Warlord Prince son safe.

One breath in, then out.

Would he always belong to her? Was that how this would end? Filaesion had deliberately kept his son away from Lady Namaire due to a deep fear the boy would bond her, too. He'd hoped when his daughter was born a Queen that his children would Bond, and that would be the end. But now, it was much worse a concern rather than only being about himself.

In, then out again. A soft clap twice sounded at a little distance from Filaesion; he opened his eyes to find the server with a slightly anxious expression with a glass of red wine on a tray with a bottle.

"Prince? Your wine?"

Tightly, Major Rilindisil nodded. "My pardon, I was thinking rather than observing. You need not be so alarmed."

"Is there anything I can do to help, Prince?"

Filaesion grimaced and shook his head in the negative. "Other than leaving the bottle, no, thank you. Just keep the table open for one more, really. It is acceptable to me not to be entirely alone with my thoughts."

Understanding flashed across the young server's face, and he nodded, setting down the tray so that he could more easily leave the bottle and glass, then picked up the empty tray with a flourish.

"Of course. Prince."

Filaesion inclined his head carefully but dropped his gaze as he felt his eyes gathering power, which meant glowing. Thankfully, the server turned away before it was visible, and as far as he could tell, no one else noticed what often, but not always meant closer to fully blooded Krenaiai. Major Rilindisil drank half the glass after letting it air for a mere two minutes, which was rapid for anyone, then he refilled it.

Niniel Galasrinion

    Rose to Summer-sky
  • Healer Hearth Witch
  • Played By: Idariel

    Trauma Surgeon
    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    4 Posts    526 marks
Re: Crystal Mind and Magenta Feelings
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2021, 02:06:49 PM »

Musical Inspiration: I want you - Savage Garden
Attire: Off the shoulder shirt in a fine, soft, navy blue cotton. Well fitted, and stops just above the hips, leaving a tempting swath of skin. Low slung, wide jeans skirt, full of useful pockets and sturdy enough for hiking in heavy wilderness, yet dressy enough for attending to her duties. Both carry a whisper of Craft about them. A heavy gold collar at her neck carries her Rose jewel, and an arm band in matching gold carries her Summer Sky. Half boots with lace and just enough heal to be good in combat complete her ensemble. She wears neither gloves, nor hat, nor physical Shields of any kind. Only her Jewels and mind are guarded.
Purpose: Dancing, discovering Filaesion.
Time: Late Spring AW 104, NOW
Place: the Sunleaf Tavern.
Voices: “Niniel,”, “Warlord Fenier,”, “Lavanor.”

Niniel walked along the lake shore, following the cobbled-stone pathway as it wove between trees, tree-homes, and flowing bushes of all sorts. Sun dappled through the trees, warming her goldenrod hair and summoning a light dusting of freckles along her ear tips and the bridge of her nose. Slipping out of her shoes for a moment, she walked in the shore lake, soothed beyond all reason by the lap of water along her ankles. The Golden scales upon her shoulder and waist glinted, drawing power to her. For a moment she was tempted to simply swim into the deep water and change, but too many eyes were upon her here.

A free-floating waterlily was captured before it could dash itself to death upon the shore, and Niniel settled it in her hair next to the pair of roses she’d been gifted along the way. A single trickle of cool lake water slid its soft blessing down the back of her neck, and her hands glinted with water droplets that clung to her lovingly.

The doorman at the tavern had seen the Healer-Hearthwitch coming, greeting her with a smile, a warm towel and his normal warning, “Lady Niniel, shoes, please!”

Morning glory eyes glinted amusement at the beleaguered Tiger Eye Warlord; ought she be difficult today, just to make him laugh? Some faint tension in his shoulders decided her upon gentleness, instead. “If you insist, Lord Fenier, though the dance floor is far to fine to require them. Your brother would never permit a splinter or rough spot! Surely the floor has not been harmed since the last New Moon?” New Moon celebrations were Niniel’s favorite way to celebrate Mother Night. The Tavern here was an ideal venue for such fêtes, and excellent acoustics that kept the booths quiet and private. Fenier’s brother, who owned the establishment, was an accomplished wood worker, despite having no Jewels of his own

Reaching down, Niniel slid soft stockings onto damp toes, and stamped into her boots with a simple disregard for either showmanship or ostentation.

Fenier stopped her just short of lacing her own boots, with no more than a stern look, and firmly handed her the warm, craft-enhanced towel to cleanse her hands and face. “Indeed not, Milady, but with so many soldiers here we can’t risk broken toes. Especially with an Officer here!” He sounded delighted at the appearance of his prestigious guest, and her dimpled winked into existence in response.

“Oh, an officer?” the gentle query was enough to set him off in a rapture of delight over the fine embroidery upon the gentleman’s uniform, the exquisite, Protocol-perfect manners offered to even the Landen servers the officer had encountered, the deep voice and cool distance.

All of which gave Niniel a perhaps unwise desire to loosen the poor man up a bit.

No more than a few fingertips delicately balanced upon the Warlord’s shoulder kept her steady while he laced up her boots. Niniel kept to herself her thoughts about how dancing for the glory of Mother Night would do a world of good for nearly any Officer, shoes or no shoes, and murmured sympathy to the Warlord tasked with keeping order in an establishment that welcomed all.

After lacing her boots (with quite an elegantly looped bow, testament that he was a father to three lovely girls), he straightened the impromptu flower arrangement in her goldenrod hair to something more elegant. “You’ve been working at the Rehabilitation Center again?” His voice was studiously bland; his gaze gentle upon her.

It took a moment to realize he was checking on her! A sweet, warm smile flowed from her like a hug, and she squeezed his arm reassuringly.  “It went really, really well. I’m just a bit more drained than I like. I need great food, good company and dance. Lots of dancing.” Her head angled to the side, to see if her plea for dance overwhelmed the Warlord’s urge to sit her down and feed her at once.

She held her breath.

A thoughtful glance over his shoulder, a moment of silent communication, and then he smiled. With a gentle hand upon her arm, Fenier turned the Healer-Hearthwitch towards the dance floor. “We’re full on booths, Lady Niniel, but you dance and I’ll have my nephew see you to your table when I’ve arranged it.”

Victory! … though something about his self-satisfied smile made her a touch suspicious.

Niniel offered a rare courtesy to the Warlord, who grinned back and bowed with a court-perfect flourish as he released her to plunge into the music with a whole heart. Or a nearly whole one, anyway. The music was rhythmic and pounding, movement the perfect counterbalance to the abundant use of her Craft. There was no self-reflection, no thought, no sense of time or place, a near-perfect suspension of the outside world and all of it’s troubles. After several dances, when her outer barriers had softened from the fiercely, reflexive defensiveness of a difficult Healing, a soft entreaty to her outer barriers summoned her away from the glories of the dance floor, to smile at the young server.

Lavanor’s grin flared, and he bowed gracefully, if not quite with the flare of his older uncle. Blood, though not (she thought) Jeweled, he ought to be be serving the higher-strung Castes, not Healers and Hearthwitches like herself. While it was undoubtedly safer to sort servers and customers by temperament and Caste, it could feel just a bit confining to Niniel.

But not this time

Oh, no.

As he led her to a fine table with a view of the lake, the dancing, and the nearby booths, yet shaded beneath it’s own gazebo, a single occupant came into focus. Recognition shocked through her, enough that Niniel slowed and ended up just a bit behind the eager young server. Lavanor bowed carefully to the Officer in question, then produced her with a flourish, as he might a fine, rare wine or exquisite desert.

“Prince Rilindisil, Major of the Black Guards, may I present to you Lady Niniel Galasrinion …” Her name trailed off, as his Protocol training insisted he give more information, and Ninel’s non-conformist lifestyle made it too complicated to be summed up in a few words. “… of the Lady’s Aid Society.” He finally decided, as being the least confusing of her afflictions.

Amusement danced in her eyes, at being presented as some sort of rare treat. She glanced at solemn, grimacing Prince, inviting him to share her warm amusement at the situation. Wait … was that a glimmer of power in his eyes, swiftly stifled, or a mere reflection of light from the lake?

Niniel gave a softer version of a Court courtesy, warm and welcoming rather than cool and off-putting. But she neither spoke, nor took a seat, until the Major invited her to do so.

Filaesion Rilindisil

    Rose to Summer-sky
  • Black Widow Prince
  • Played By: Cerebearstare

    Major, Black Guard
    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    14 Posts    127 marks
Re: Crystal Mind and Magenta Feelings
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2021, 09:12:23 PM »
Musical Inspiration(s):No Love - Nine One One | Dark Reverie - Queensrÿche
Attire: Near Uniform Craft Armoured Black Suiting Set, Summer Sky Embroidery
Purpose: Attempting to metaphorically drown in alcohol and failing
Time: Late Spring AW 104, Late Afternoon

You’ve been wondering
If there's a hero near
He ain't coming
Cause there ain't no love around here ...
Nothing lasts forever
I can't forget the past
I'm searching for the answers
Through the bottom of a glass...

It was quiet, save for the soft sounds of the Tavern in surround. Paired with the view out of the elegantly carved wide window, which was Craft protected not to allow in rain or other elements, he was almost feeling peaceful. Well, as peaceful as one could with the psychic scent of a hated and loved individual all over one's attire. Filaesion had no idea whether a person would be seated with him or not as, during this time of day, a Hearth Witch that wasn't busily working was an admittedly tall order. He expected that at least if one could not be found, he would have space alone, which was very much fine by him. It suited Filaesion well these days. His eyes closed at the heavy feeling that gripped him suddenly. His wife would have known what to do. She had always been skilled at removing Namaire's scent from his belongings so that he could exist in a less painful space. He recalled the last time she attended to him, carefully washing his hair with a soap that could help pull psychic scents from the skin and hair without pain to the psyche. He had run out of it three months ago. Filaesion accepted that he did not respond appropriately to his Bonded Queen, even considering their history. However, he could never forgive her for trying to sabotage his marriage not once but thrice.

While he sat in the comfortable space, Filaesion's markers of Krenaiai were not at all visible. He kept them tightly concealed, though those that needed to know what he was did know, like the owner of the establishment and his brother. His pale nails tapped lightly upon the table; despite closed eyes, Filaesion was aware of every single nuance of movement that passed in the entire Tavern. He knew when customers entered or exited, when people danced or sat when they ate or conversed. He smelled the lake water from across the establishment, which caused the Black Widow Prince to slightly open his eyes, which for the moment still glowed, so he closed them back. It was fair because he was still extremely angry, and the glow tended to burn through any webs that he tried to hide. The only illusions that worked were ones his half-sister tended to make. One young woman passed by him in curiosity while the owners were busy, and he bared his teeth just enough to make her leave. She did not take the hint.

The Major inwardly sighed and quickly took stock of the Tavern and dance floor, finding the young woman the perfect partner in the thirty seconds it took her to gather the courage to speak. For that alone, that self-preserving pause to think, she deserved to have her heart flutter warmly, Filaesion thought.


"No. Leave me be before I throw you out the window," Major Rilindisil said with such neutrality that the Dea al Mon witch startled. "Do not worry. You would slide down a tree nearly harmlessly."

The witch's eyes widened with shock and half laughter. Soft brunette curls framed a heart-shaped face. "But my mother said that I should--"

"Your mother is trying to get you severely harmed, at least in approaching a Black Widow Prince unknown to you without planning. Try the Warlord dancing on the left side of the floor, Lady. Your families live alongside each other."

The pretty brown-haired, pale pink-skinned witch turned to look and blushed, which only brightened the loveliness of her face. Her ears twitched nervously. "Why help me?"

"Because it suits me. Now go, please, before it does not."

She went, still shivering at the way he said the word please, leaving the witch well primed for a dashing Warlord.

There were no more disturbances for some time, but it amused Filaesion that he had made a pair with almost no effort even if there was no evidence in his icy expression. It also soothed the shattered pieces of his heart. The man's eyes closed once more. After a while, he sensed a disturbance closing in on his space with a beacon of calming excitement, which did not quite make sense. Cracking one eye open, he saw it was Lord Lavanor. So Filaesion lifted his head from the wonderful neck pillow upon his seat. His gaze he kept half averted to avoid frightening the presented second occupant of the table but inclined his head elegantly toward the young man. Filaesion chose to do little about the intense aura of sensuality that surrounded himself, and he smirked arrogantly. "Lord Lavanor," he said graciously, voice tuned so low as to be a pure, elegant rumble.

As he presented Lady Niniel Galasrinion, a sharp pain sliced through Major Rilindisil, though he bore it so aloof and stoically that it would have been hard to detect save for by a skilled healer. "Lady Galasrinion. Your family and works are very well known to me," and the man rose silkily, predatorily to his feet.

All six foot five inches of him, making him more than a foot taller than her and well tall enough that he loomed over Lady Niniel by just existing. Filaesion did not need to put effort forth. He offered his left hand, clad in a black leather half glove with visible fingertips, for Craft attending. However, he waited until she offered the slightest permission to touch and was so tightly shielded that even a skilled Queen could not have read his emotion unless they forced through.

Thus, his hand was merely a hand and nothing more. He bowed over Lady Niniel's hand if she might allow him to have hers even briefly; there were no breaks between glove and embroidered sleeve, signalling perfect tailoring to suit even movement of Filaesion's body. His endlessly seeming silver hair was loose past his waist in wild curls that were still a little dampened, and it all moved with him.

"Lady Niniel Galasrinion, I claim the pleasure of your presence," he said smoothly, with a whisper of the sibilant speech more common to fully blooded Aycaiya, with each of the precise notes of the Healer Hearth Witch's name lingered over in the way moonlight waves crested a lonely beachfront. His nails were hardened in the manner advanced Black Widows ensured their affectation was also a weapon. More, it was a warning to any other person regardless of gender that might think to approach: do not.

He gestured to the seat opposite to the one that he had been occupying with his right hand. "If you would? Join me if it pleases you? I am on leave," he said bluntly to Lord Lavanor with the lift of his left brow. "So my presence here is hardly notable as some might think." The dry manner he spoke was the closest anyone tended to achieve amusements of any kind with Filaesion anymore. He did, however, offer a second bow to Lord Lavanor in appreciation for finding a suitable person to share a table with and expected startled confusion at the idea he ever took any vacations.

"Your skill grows alike your elder kin, Lord Lavanor. You have my gratitude, truly."

He waited with his hands clasped at his lower back for Lady Niniel to seek her comfort in sitting before again addressing Lavanor. "Whatever the lady needs or desires for sustenance, place on my family tab if you would." The iron in his expression made clear he was attending to her as a Prince at that moment. Looking directly at her made Filaesion feel strangely dizzy as if he were missing something. Still, he quietly weathered the oddness until his mind settled as he recognised her scent almost too intimately. It meant he was missing memories of her specifically.

"Like many, you might recall me as a Captain of the Red Guard, I wonder, but at this moment, I am only a Black Widow Prince, Lady Galasrinion. Pray, do not assign any particular grace to my presence." Prince Filaesion continued to stand waiting, of course, until Lady Niniel indicated she was perfectly settled and not a little less.

Niniel Galasrinion

    Rose to Summer-sky
  • Healer Hearth Witch
  • Played By: Idariel

    Trauma Surgeon
    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    4 Posts    526 marks
Re: Crystal Mind and Magenta Feelings
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2021, 12:36:23 AM »

Musical Inspiration: I want you - Savage Garden
Attire: Off the shoulder shirt in a fine, soft, navy blue cotton. Well fitted, and stops just above the hips, leaving a tempting swath of skin. Low slung, wide jeans skirt, full of useful pockets and sturdy enough for hiking in heavy wilderness, yet dressy enough for attending to her duties. Both carry a whisper of Craft about them. A heavy gold collar at her neck carries her Rose jewel, and an arm band in matching gold carries her Summer Sky. Half boots with lace and just enough heal to be good in combat complete her ensemble. She wears neither gloves, nor hat, nor physical Shields of any kind. Only her Jewels and mind are guarded.
Purpose: Introducing Niniel, then meeting Filaesion.
Time: Late Spring AW 104, Late Afternoon
Place: The Sunleaf Tavern.
Voices: “Niniel,”, “Aldarion,”, “Lavanor”

Anytime I need to see your face, I just close my eyes
And I am taken to a place where your crystal mind
And magenta feelings take up shelter in the base of my spine
Sweet like a chic-a-cherry cola

The Prince couldn’t look at her, when she was first presented; was he one of those powerful men who was simply shy in social situations? (Had she thought, for even one second, that he assumed she would be afraid of any man’s gaze, she’d have burst out laughing.)

Or was he so hunted he feared to look at her for fear she’d seduce him with a glance? Mind you, she could see why some ladies wrestled with that temptation, as he loomed over her in that deliciously perfect uniform. As he hadn't dared to look at her, Niniel gleefully took the extra time to look him over thoroughly and appreciatively, from his pale-tinted nails to his black gloves and tailored jacket. The workmanship was just exquisite, and as much worth the extra attention as the man it clothed.

There was an odd juxtaposition between averted gaze and the arrogance with which he greeted Lavanor. Perhaps he thought one could smirk arrogantly and still be gracious - she did not find it to be so. Oh, his voice was an elegant weapon, well edged and practiced, a delightful rumble that rolled through the room, hinting at the natural sensuality of a Black Widow that the rest of his demeanor and attire sought so profoundly to hide. No, there was far too much of the hungry predator (however pleased he was at both his unlooked for notoriety and her presence) for gracious to be a word she’d ever apply to the encounter.

A pain - a real, profoundly physical pain - tore across her Healers senses, from the afflicted Major when he finally turned and spoke to her. His words caused her eyebrows to raise in gentle query; did he mean he recalled her, at last? A moment’s more study, and she decided he did not.

He did not hurt nearly enough to have finally recalled her clearly.

When he offered his hand, she accepted it easily and without fear. He may not know her, but she knew him, and feared no trick or trap from his exposed fingertips, despite his Dual Castes. Even as his hand settled safely around hers, she wondered aloud, “Does it not pain you, Captain, to go about virtually ungloved? Most every Black Widow I have spoken with feels a need to veil themselves.”

That the same was true of healers, and that Niniel did not do so was apparent both from her lack of gloves (and the evidence of cross crossed tan lines and delicate golden freckles that attested to the fact the lack was more common than not) and in the fact that she had no physical Shields up at all. None; and she was swiftly growing chilled now that she’d stopped dancing.

Not being insane, both her mind and her Jewels were well Shielded. But Niniel’s emotions danced around him in gentle waves of summery good cheer, her Caste Scent equally free and unhampered to inherently soothe and ease any who permitted it.

And it was utterly apparent she could no more conceive of being afraid of him than of flying.

(Well no. She often dreamt of flying.)

Strong, supple fingers curled for a moment around his hand, fingertips touching, allowing his aura and presence to seep into her. He was nicely Shielded, as if bracing against the sort of intrusion a Queen might force upon one. No doubt another Black Widow would find him equally unreadable. But Niniel was a Healer, and she particularly appreciated his attempt to mute his physical ailments, though that first, jagged barb was yet reeling through her senses.

She did not yet discern the cause of it.


Any attempt to mute his emotional state was utterly lost upon her. But if she had known, she would have been grateful.

As opposed to properly swooning at having his undivided attention, Niniel’s gaze studied the movement and flow of his sleeve, the perfect jointure at the elbow and shoulder. Her hand tightened for an instant upon his, as she wrestled with the temptation to touch such a well-crafted piece of art. A murmured, “Oh, so lovely; that’s so hard to do properly,” followed promptly by a softly satisfied, “Why it is all hair,” carried her past the dangerous moment. Twinkling eyes looked up into his, wondering if he’d be brave enough to meet her gaze this time, but she didn’t force the issue if he was still averting.

As he spoke her name, the soft smile widened beat by beat, in time to the beautiful cadence of his lovely speech. She heard the ocean in his voice, sensed it in his movements. It made sense, for how he had survived so very long.

Or perhaps it was wishful thinking, she warned herself.

If you would? Join me if it pleases you? I am on leave,

Niniel might be forgiven for feeling that all three of those statements were directed to her, so close upon each other did they follow. The follow-up salvo, that his presence would somehow be unremarkable because he was on leave left both Lavanor and Niniel a touch off balance. They exchanged amused glances, but Lavanor merely bowed gracefully (and really, quite low!) to the Prince.

“Sir,” the young man was clearly baffled for a moment, then visibly decided the Major-and-Captain-and-Prince-and-BlackWidow was on a secret mission, and simply couldn’t speak of it! His eyes widened, he nodded firmly as if decoding a secret message.

 After a moment’s thought, the young man added, “You might be on leave a thousand times, and retired besides, and still you would be a most notable and honored guest here.”

A sharp and satisfied glance was sent to Lady Niniel at the Dual Caste Prince’s firm instructions on the care and feeding of the Dual Caste Healer. “I shall fetch Lady Niniel precisely what she requires, and of the best quality!” His smile was, just briefly, fiercely appreciative of the Prince’s high handed manner with the dual Lady Niniel. She may not want to eat what she should, but it was very clear the Prince would take matters in hand.

Niniel herself slid easily into the seat indicated, still contemplating why the Captain (Major, now!) wanted her to know he was on leave. He was so painfully aware of every move she made, clasping his hands in a stance that ought to look like simple parade rest but reminded her of an attempt no to touch something much desired. It made skin sing and body tingle in a most delightful way. Not a pressing way; she didn’t feel hunted or demeaned. Merely … beautiful. Not even truly desired, so much as noticed. And if she was entirely wrong (being so unable to read him directly), well, no harm was done.

Such speculation was banished as Niniel realized the Captain was going to pay for her meal. He had her neatly trapped by Protocol, and knew it. Worse, her body trembled at the mere mention of food! So embarrassing; she was painfully hungry. But the two were getting along far to well for her to hope for a reprieve. And there would be no help from Lavanor’s Uncle, either; he had thought she should eat at once, and would have snuck her into the kitchen to warm herself and eat before dancing.

With a deep breath, steeling herself to endure just a bit longer, Niniel leaned back, folding her arms across her chest as a faint chill sent goose bumps up and down her arms.

“I do apologize, Captain,” she murmured softly, touched by his willingness to let her choose the rank and title she wished, when addressing him. “The meal is likely to be quite specific and expansive; they are so proud to host you. A Red Captain, a Black Major, a personal hero, as well as Dual Caste?” A single dimple flared.

“The meal shall be exquisite, I promise you.”

Niniel gestured gracefully, indicating he was free to sit, and her smile softened to something almost shy, as she realized he was waiting to be certain all was well with her before resuming his seat.

“I know of you, Sir Prince; may I ask how you ran across my mother’s work?”

Filaesion Rilindisil

    Rose to Summer-sky
  • Black Widow Prince
  • Played By: Cerebearstare

    Major, Black Guard
    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    14 Posts    127 marks
Re: Crystal Mind and Magenta Feelings
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2021, 09:29:23 PM »
Musical Inspiration(s):No Love - Nine One One | Dark Reverie - Queensrÿche
Attire: Near Uniform Craft Armoured Black Suiting Set, Summer Sky Embroidery
Purpose: Attempting to metaphorically drown in alcohol and failing
Time: Late Spring AW 104, Late Afternoon

Run, run, run;
Cause there ain’t no love around here.
Ain't no love around here,
Ain't no love around here.
Now, this empty road,
I'm too weak to ride alone.
I’ve come this far,
But I’ve so far to go...

Filaesion continued to evade Lady Niniel's gaze directly for the present, though he managed it elegantly rather than awkward motions. It was simple politeness as he saw it, though there was no expectation of her to understand or notice, especially while there remained another present. Nor was he bothered over being stared at or observed in any fashion, being one that had commanded many people among the Dea al Mon. More, if he could deal with poisonous Namaire, then Niniel was like a fresh ocean breeze by comparison. Filaesion's arrogance was as much a part of him as his hands and not directed at anyone specifically. He had no reason to be humble as he saw it, which was the purest opposite of his hauteur. In his experience, humility was often a lie. His Queen had pretended humility to sway his heart once, and since then, the display often made him wary. Filaesion came from a very old line of Dea al Mon long before blending with the Aycaiya, and he was pleased with that.

It was not at all that he thought it through and chose to see himself as more; he was, by the grace of Mother Night. It was her Darkness blessed grace that he claimed to be wrapped in as a Black Widow Prince, grandson of a Queen, father of a Queen and a Warlord Prince. In turn, he was exceedingly pious to the one responsible for the blessings he possessed. However, had Niniel bothered to ask the reason for his manner, he would have said the Galasrinion line was equally well favoured and worthy of any grace. Instead, he was puzzled by her layered and rapidly shifting emotions, each of which was a warm comfort, even in possible dislike. After all, healthy dislike was more beautiful than poisonous tar at any time. At all times, Filaesion embraced the beast of what he was and found himself enthralled and joyous of the wilder parts of his personality and type.

He had not noticed Lady Niniel was aware of the ripping pain that flickered through his head occasionally and rather more accustomed to pain than he ought to have been, so of course, he continued to make no mention of it. More particularly, it was exclusively a physical malady. Filaesion almost smiled when she asked about his gloves, and he watched Niniel with the weight of a man unhurried about desire; the Healer Hearth Witch was beautiful, and he imagined she knew it well enough. "I do not always choose to wear partial gloves, but my shielding is more than sufficient. Also, when in a crowd like this, the visible nails help mark me out for those that are less attentive than they should be. I never veil myself, Lady, unless I am hunting."

He liked that she did not swoon and was focused as he had not been trying to make her do so. It was eternally an irritant when people were faint at his approach simply for his existence. Her attentiveness to his attire and hair for a moment held the Black Widow of him coiled and poised to inhale her entirely, but then it passed, luckily for them both. He still did not meet her gaze directly, as too much rage burned in him then, and it was not her fault.

Filaesion realised he had spoken a little too rapidly as Lady Galasrinion did not note he was also addressing Lord Lavanor. Still, he found it charming enough that his pulse picked up delightfully in speed. As it was different from the rage he felt, the Major leaned into that emotion, even if he could not get rid of the other. A smile flashed at Lavanor's words. "As you wish, Lord Lavanor. I would never deny you or your family the joy of any service. What she requires, my Lord, even better than what I had considered," he said with deep amusement.

"Lady Niniel Galasrinion will not depart my presence until it is attended and her Escort has arrived, or I will attend to the matter myself as her family would expect." Revelling in that bit of joy in serving someone truly worthy, he finally did lock gazes with Lady Galasrinion, and the reason might have been apparent finally. He did not hide his rage, and the manner it was decades old in his face, the shredding grief from being recently widowed was as well enfolded in his expression. Threaded through now, though, was how he felt to help her. His ultramarine eyes glowed a little less now, and thankfully he had thorough training as to how the voices of the Aycaiya could grip people completely for a time. Filaesion was able to soften his to the point that he sounded stunning but did not stun. That Lady Niniel was near starved pricked at him more than his health concerns. He coaxed one of her hands into his by way of dragging the nails of his safer hand--the left--down those sensitive spots along her arm.

"Allow me, rather than folding your arms. Please, Lady Niniel," the man said in a near snarl that was difficult to hold back, though he gave her name the correct oceanic quality every single time he spoke it. If she allowed him to collect her hand again after she was seated, it was better, but Filaesion was entirely prepared to force the point if needed for Niniel's safety. As the Healer Hearth Witch was unshielded, he threaded one of his shields around her for warmth while letting it spin open so that she could still feel the world around her. Through that, he laced flickers of his energy. It was not as good as eating but would keep her from fainting.

"No apologies are needed at all, except for the one where you likely attended a patient and then did not eat afterwards. I do not mind the accolades; it is more that I do not feel I have done quite enough to earn them truly. But that is a personality flaw, more than a commentary on anyone else. I am equally aware of the skill of the chefs here and delighted by them." Still attending to her hand, he could feel that Lady Galasrinion was cold. Though he did not like it, he sat down across from her despite the desire to pull the woman hard upon his lap. As his head hurt more at the thought, he connected that it must have had something to do with the pain. The information was carefully considered and filed away with a Princely precision.

Her Caste scent was as welcoming as it was brutally painful, but those emotions he did not allow out, containing them tightly to the self and chalice. Mostly because he did not understand the reason for the emotions, it would require consideration; Filaesion had long kept a series of coded journals where he wrote down everything he had experienced like a nested bowl of memories. After a moment of consideration, he realised he might need Lady Niniel after all, but in a professional manner rather than to have a meal of her entire body.

But both would do nicely, Filaesion thought.

"Who could be unawares of Lady Ivriniel Galasrinion anywhere in Polod?" Filaesion allowed a flicker of a smile. "Besides, some of the Rilindisil lands share a boundary with the Galasrinion, part of my paternal sister's inheritance." Particularly, it was a portion some Galasrinion cousins of hers had wished to purchase many times over the last hundred years at least; Lady Lhúthien had long convinced her mother, Lady Iluina, not to give in, however. He was uncertain how much to say on the matter, particularly because of just how viciously Lhúthien had phrased the matter.

"My aunt, Lady Iluina Rilindisil, is among the ruling Queens in this area. You have a sister that is a Queen as well, correct?" He felt a searing pain at the word sister connected to Niniel, so some of it was a traumatic memory. Filaesion carefully allowed that feeling to flow over him, not choosing to fight it, waiting until it settled. He still maintained the warming shield, and though he paused, offering whisper sized hints of energy to Lady Niniel, once his head settled, he continued, more than capable and aware of his limits. The Black Widow webs embedded in his mind absorbed and deflected any possible damage, what was more.

"I will keep your hand for the present until your meal has arrived, but only because you will need it to eat," Filaesion said firmly. Then he vanished the glove from his hand, not even wanting any hint of his bonded Queen to touch her. Why this was necessary, the Black Widow Prince had no explanation for, but the longer the minutes dragged, the more he felt like snapping Namaire's neck. The glove fell unattended upon the table, and he glared at it, eyes glowing like ultramarine coals for a moment. He was sure that Niniel's presence was a perfectly gilded distraction.

Niniel Galasrinion

    Rose to Summer-sky
  • Healer Hearth Witch
  • Played By: Idariel

    Trauma Surgeon
    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    4 Posts    526 marks
Re: Crystal Mind and Magenta Feelings
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2021, 04:03:18 AM »

Musical Inspiration: I want you - Savage Garden
Attire: Off the shoulder shirt in a fine, soft, navy blue cotton. Well fitted, and stops just above the hips, leaving a tempting swath of skin. Low slung, wide jeans skirt, full of useful pockets and sturdy enough for hiking in heavy wilderness, yet dressy enough for attending to her duties. Both carry a whisper of Craft about them. A heavy gold collar at her neck carries her Rose jewel, and an arm band in matching gold carries her Summer Sky. Half boots with lace and just enough heal to be good in combat complete her ensemble. She wears neither gloves, nor hat, nor physical Shields of any kind. Only her Jewels and mind are guarded.
Purpose: Introducing Niniel, then meeting Filaesion.
Time: Late Spring AW 104, Late Afternoon
Place: The Sunleaf Tavern.
Voices: “Niniel,”, “Aldarion,”, “Lavanor”

I don't need to try to explain; I just hold on tight
And if it happens again, I might move so slightly
To the arms and the lips and the face of the human cannonball
That I need to, I want to

Everything about the Captain was elegant, deadly, refined. The pressure of it was delightful, as the heat of him danced along Niniel’s skin. His moment of weakness passed her by utterly, for she was too busy studying his exquisite attire to note his body language, and he had successfully Shielded all else. The signs of nobility about his person spoke to her of constancy, loyalty and service. Her own heritage she cherished in a quiet, private manner, but she would have been surprised to find another conversant with it for the simple matter that she and hers were associated with no Court.

And for all the skilled Black Widow Prince might parse Niniel’s emotions, he would only find a veritable kaleidoscope of positive sensations. A firm, warm foundation of trust and respect, like a sun-warmed rock gleaming on the edge of the forest. Sheer delight sparked here and there like dandelions exploding their precious, floating seeds into the wind, greeting him as if he were a long-looked for friend. A deep concern for him, like the cooling shadows of a beloved home tree from time-to-time took center place. A dusting of mingled consternation and pleasure at being outmaneuvered was like a sudden spring squall, appearing now and again, then vanishing into the sky.

All of that — and the surge of desire.

But not a sickly, pressing thing; a light brush that danced and flowed with the simple delight of existing. The pleasure of feeling desire considered a gift in its own right, that demanded no more of him but his existence somewhere in the world. There was neither shame in it, nor fear, nor expectation, only a rejoicing that invited him to feel the same, should he be so inclined.

The near-smile offered to Niniel lightened her morning-glory eyes, the weight of his gaze a welcome one, however elegantly indirect it was. Golden-rod hair curled sweetly around her bared shoulders, revealing the exquisite patterning of golden scales and a heavy torc with her Summer-sky Jewel. Elegant ear cuffs highlighted her nearly perfect ears, without damaging them one whit. Dangling from the golden cuffs in pride were an assortment of odd, random-seeming charms and gems that fell all the way to her bare shoulders. There is nothing quite like the texture or draping of soft, well-worn cotton warmed by the skin, and Niniel’s blouse clung to her curves in a delightfully familiar fashion, despite the hint of a chill upon her arms and hands. Seated now, he could just make out that thin strip of flesh between blouse and skirt.

She twinkled under his gaze, not one whit ashamed or embarrassed. Head angled to the side, she listened intently to his thoughts upon gloves and shields. The partial gloves drew her gaze as she studied the subtleness of the message he was trying to give, before turning a faintly doubtful expression back towards him, as if she felt perhaps he was giving too much credit to the thick-headed.

That the Captain and the Warlord were of one mind concerning the welfare of the Dual Caste Lady sent a burst of warm affection and purpose through Lavanor. He gave another appreciative bow, deeply pleased that the Major accepted the Protocol-driven responsibility for Lady Niniel’s safety.

Protocol was all about the Blood safely navigating their own instincts, and Lavanor was all about keeping everyone safe. There was something subtle in the Major’s bearing that had the young Warlord on high alert, a deeply masculine understanding that the Black-Widow Prince was walking a razor’s edge between violence and protection. Turning those sharp, predatory instincts towards protecting dear Lady Niniel gave those instincts focus without in anyway denying their purpose. Growing up here, in the family run Tavern, had given Lavanor a fine instinct as to whom might trigger protection, and whom destruction, when a Blood patron was so on edge.

Lavanor had already failed once in protecting his charge - err, his guest. His guest from a young person who had too little understanding of Protocol and too large an opinion of herself. He was determined not fail again; daring a second grin he bid farewell with a quiet, “It is an honor to serve, Prince, Lady. All that you require shall be delivered.” Even as he stepped away from the booth (Protocol-perfect, neither rushing away nor turning his back too soon), the young Warlord determined to send all the way to the Rilindisil matriarch, if that’s what it took, just to see that the Prince-and-Major’s favorite dishes and drinks would be delivered … and to be certain Niniel’s Escort did not appear until the Black Widow Prince was fully attended to. Lavanor had friends, and they could delay Niniel’s brother indefinitely.

Niniel waved farewell to the departing Warlord, turning to speak to the Captain-and-Major, but falling still and silent as he met her gaze at last. His ultra marine eyes were utterly beautiful, embers of deep emotion only just fading a bit from the fierce golden glow of the sea. Old anger had settled like a weight in the planes of his face, and a terrible, unrelieved grief shadowed every other nuance of his expression. Without fear, or pain, or turning away, Niniel accepted the gift he gave, studying his expression carefully for every nuance. Balancing the terrible loss and old, bitter anger was a fierce protectiveness, currently settled upon her; and purpose, a deep and driving purpose.

He reached for her arm, soothing her, as if knowing or reading in her emotions that his pain saddened and sobered her. Warmth ran down her arm, more than simply his body heat, as he hit every soft, sensual curve and subtle secret of her arm. Oh, it was well done. As his hand slid to hers, she’d return a warm, trusting clasp. Heat and warmth and life flowed from him, and she reveled in it. So intense was the Captain’s command that she allow him to warm her, that he all but snarled her name. Yet even so the elegant, glorious intonation of the sea simmered in every syllable he spoke. A faint flush crept over her cheeks, revealing golden, sun-summoned freckles along her nose and ear tips. Even she was unsure if it was his touch, his voice (oh, Mother Night, his voice!) or the awareness she’d over extended herself.

“I am quite chilled, Sir. Your aid and warmth is deeply appreciated, however embarrassing it is to admit to you that I may have misjudged my endurance.” Niniel could not quite manage a title for him, just then; Prince was called for, as she was accepting his protection, but some instinct, some esoteric part of that deep hurt she had observed, warned her away from that particular form of address. So she went with the intimate address you would use with a beloved officer.

Morning-glory eyes veiled as precious heat soothed over her. The world receded, but not beyond her reach. Quite skilled at Shields, indeed! Tension eased out of her, and with it some of the energy that helped keep her going despite her exhaustion level. But along with the warmth, came a subtle breath of power, enough to tide her over until the meal finally arrived.   The gift of energy was bestowed with such skill and care, that she dimpled at him, even though he had correctly diagnosed the problem.

“It was a beautiful Healing,” Pride and satisfaction shivered through her. “I saved a man’s shoulder. His career. Not with raw power,” A flick of her free hand made clear her rejection of wasted power, in any sense. “Skill, and melding some unusual techniques together.” Her smile flared to brilliant. “I’m sure you understand; Dual Caste can blend skills in a way even two of the Blood working closely together can’t always manage. Now, if I can perform it a few more times, I might just be able to break the technique down into discrete steps, and teach that technique to Healing duos.” Her hand tightened its grip upon his, as excitement heightened her pulse.

Suddenly aware she’d spent too much time upon esoteric things, she deftly turned the conversation back to the intriguing information he’d revealed. Gently, she squeezed his hand. “Dear Sir,” She sought to find his gaze once more. “We remember, even if you cannot.” Her brow furrowed in thought, and concern once more dominated the emotions coming from her. He could not recall, still? And yet felt it was a fault of his personality? That didn’t sound right, to her. Or more precisely, it didn't sound like a natural result of any of the wounds she had treated him for. Was someone obscuring the truth from him? But why?

Another one of those excruciating stabs of pain flared across her senses. It hurt, but she remained wide open, letting the after-images of the strobing pain dapple across her own body, to help her localize where his pain originated. Deliberately, she extended her senses as far as possible, to read him as fully as he would permit. Wisely, she expended no power nor energy - he would growl at her (which in itself was not necessarily a bad thing), and then Shield her out (which would be.)

The Black-Widow-Prince stopped looming over her at last, although it was not to sit beside her as she’d half-expected. No, he decorously and properly settled in across from her, though he did not release her hand. Which meant the cold didn’t eat at her, and those gentle flows of power didn’t stop.

That he knew her mother by name delighted Niniel; the reference to the shared, disputed border lands less so. She had so hoped he was from a branch of the family unrelated to the angry Queen. As if anticipating her reticence, he swiftly moved the topic away from his sister to his ruling aunt. It was a boast, indeed, but not as most people meant it.

Lady Ilunia Rilindisil was nearly universally beloved. A clever balance to his more sharp tongued, sister, perhaps? “Lady Ilunia is known to me,” Niniel assured him, the delight in her voice not at all feigned. “The Smiling Queen sometimes hosts our charity events.”

“Indeed, I do have a Queen sister.” Niniel’s dimples flashed, in response to his query. “Irimivae badly wishes to pester your sweet Aunt, Captain, but so far we have contained her.” the darling thing desperately wanted to ask Lady Ilunia to host the charity ball this year. So far, cooler heads had kept her sister’s wishes in the family. Niniel hoped, anyway.

A stillness slipped over the Hearth-witch Healer.  A resonate stab of pain from the Captain washed through and over her. It seemed like a combination of the old wound in her own heart and the peculiar ache that suggested Chalice damage, echoing to each heart-rending memory of lost siblings. Yet surely, given his skills and knowledge, he would have had any such damage repaired? He’d saved her sanity, Jewels and life … but surely someone in his vast family had tended to him?

Carefully, concentrating intently to speak past the shared pain, she asked, “How does the Smiling Queen fare this year?” A few too many carefully worded requests for consults and queries for new medications had come from that Court of late.

Attention was drawn away from his family when he vanished the glove which interfered with their hand-clasp -  and dropped it upon the table, where she might study it at her leisure. Another smile flared, and her focus was drawn not only to the perfect embroidery, but to how skillfully the seams and joins were done. Gloves were hard; hands were both highly sensitive and constantly used. A single finger tip slid along the table top, though it was careful to stop well clear of so much as implying a claim upon the glove itself.

Yet it was enough.

Close enough that an echo of twisted pain reached her from the glove. A powerful Psychic Scent, so torn and disfigured Niniel couldn’t decipher Caste, clung to the leather and lace like a poison, still actively attacking the Captain’s own Psychic Scent. Odd shadows upon the glove suddenly resolved into a deadly pattern of pain-etched attacks. A battle, of some sort. Bitter, angry, hurtful. Sexual pain, as well as need. Shattered trust. Her hand fisted, careful still not to touch the tormented glove, even though the tangle of Psychic Scents called to her to Cleanse it as deeply as any bleeding wound. That was Healing, to Niniel. A Healing of the environment. A Cleansing away of remembered pain and hurt, so that those things didn’t continually re-injure.

In this case, perhaps, even more so.

Never before had Niniel seen one person’s Psychic Scent literally try to eat and remake another’s! Though she raised her gaze to sweep over the rest of the Captain, expecting blood to be seeping from open wounds, no hint of the torment radiating from the glove slipped past the skilled and multi-layered Shields which cloaked the clothing still upon his person.
Fearing she’d have squeezed his hand in half if she gave him yet another reassuring squeeze, she chose to gently twine and untwine her fingers with his. The movement offered a simple here-ness, that neither confined nor controlled. A gentle “Thank you,” accompanied by a nod to the glove was all of her commentary upon that poisonous situation. Further investigation must wait until he either volunteered it, or she had recovered further, and could deal with the matter properly.

For the life of her, Niniel could not recall what he’d said last. Small talk seemed insulting, to one hurting so badly, and anything to the point cruel, until she was rested enough to mend it. The silence stretched, quite awkwardly on her end - both Healer and Hearthwitch demanded action, but her body and Jewels required rest.

“I’ll help.” the words just slipped free, will-she or nil-she.

“Will you tell me about it?”

*Sensations, interpretations and pain felt all approved in messages. <3


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