Home for the Mourning Days

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Vigot Thidrandisson

    White to Rose
  • Warlord Healer
  • Played By: kayndred

    Steward to the Territory Queen
    Glacia Kaeleer
    12 Posts    455 marks
Home for the Mourning Days
« on: October 28, 2020, 04:04:38 PM »
It had been some time since Vigot had been home. His family had been supportive of his move, of course, and he had been diligent in keeping in contact as frequently as his schedule allowed. His letters might not have been the longest - Astrid and his mother were far more verbose - but he had kept up with them. It was why their bundled letters had not been a surprise. They always stacked them by order of how they should be read, and there were always entreaty to visit in varying degrees.

Astrid's letter had been damp with tears when he'd finished, even though he'd followed her instruction to breathe in the middle.

He'd entered his request for a leave of absence that same day, and left the following morning, with instructions delivered to his staff regarding where to forward whatever important mail might come in. They were competent. He trusted he wouldn't return to a burning husk of a city.

Travel south had been swift by skyship, even if the vessel had been packed. Travel expenses had gone up after... everything, but he hadn't cared about the tight quarters. He'd needed to get back.

Only to immediately find himself balking at the idea of addressing the situation while the ship descended. He'd debated, briefly, sending ahead to his family, letting them know of his arrival, but he wanted time, too, to face the numbness that had bloomed in his chest. It'd been sometime since he'd walked the Reric gate markets. He'd brought gifts from Meols, but he couldn't bring himself to submit himself to the attention of his family just yet. He knew his sisters would be more than willing to take him by the hand and lead him around, acting at once as entourage and tour guide, and it was attention he looked forward to but couldn't yet face.

Instead he followed the crowd, weaving away from the air dock into the mass that seethed around the North Gate.

Passing form stall to stall, squeezing between shoulders, weaving around children, Vigot found himself unable to truly engage. None of the wares were distracting enough, or the hawkers convincing enough. He found himself standing in front of a food stall, holding a dish he didn't remember paying for, looking at something he wasn't sure he could eat, let alone wanted to. The void inside felt only that much more present surrounded by the bustling market, and Vigot wanted, very suddenly, to simply bury himself in the snow and wait out the pain.

Unable to pursue that line of action, he addressed a more immediate issue: the hot food he'd apparently purchased in his fugue state wasn't something he wanted to waste. Turning to his closest neighbor, not really paying attention to who that happened to be, he asked, "Would you like this? I've changed my mind."

Starling

    Tiger Eye to Summer-sky
  • Healer
  • Played By: dergon

    Glacia Kaeleer
    9 Posts    537 marks
Re: Home for the Mourning Days
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2020, 07:34:03 AM »

These were moments she could thank Birdy for. The baby took so much time from everyone, Starling had found it easier to slip away unescorted. Peregrine especially was so wholly distracted by the cherub faced little creature that he hardly harped at Starling about her virgin night.

Sure, they'd been edgy lately. Kite the worse of the two thanks to his caste, but things had settled. The Lady Solveig wouldn't let them go unsettled for long. The queen had swept this way and that all over Reric seeing things put back together. Even Starling had helped, craft put to use in hastily raised infirmaries. Kite had helped with repairs.

What Peregrine had been up to, Starling wasn't wholly sure. He and the queen had had one brief clash, and otherwise avoided each other. Honestly, it was better they did. He was always impossible to deal with after a visit with the lady of Reric.

Starling sighed. Fingers running a length of silk between them. There wasn't a snag to be felt, though her fingertips were turning pink in the cold. She let go and slipped her gloves back on, eyes sweeping the crowd for fussy brothers when someone spoke at her shoulder. Twisting, Starling looked up.

And up some more. Oh why, why, why Mother Night, did all these bedamned men have to be so tall? Offended, Starling frowned, cheeks rosy, and lips dry with cold, she looked very much like a petulant child. All in the face of a kind offer, which took a moment to sink into her brain. Glancing at the offered dish, Starling blinked, and blushed.

"Sorry," she mumbled, tucking into the fur lining of her hood. Peregrine and bought the coat for her. Kite had probably told him which one. She eyed the male shyly. Men didn't just offer you things in the middle of the market for no good reason. They always had a reason. And agenda. She knew that, thanks to her brothers.

Frozen by indecision, Starling pulled her hood down, hair spilling free, and tried to buy herself some time. "Why have you?" She asked. It sounded less suspicions, or insulting, than asking why he'd offered it. Was it spoiled? Poisoned? Was he trying to use it as some sort of bait for nefarious ends? Or worse, sexual ones? Starling had had worse courting techniques used on her.

Though she really enjoyed the chocolate sort. This was much meatier than that. And very awkwardly presented.

Vigot Thidrandisson

    White to Rose
  • Warlord Healer
  • Played By: kayndred

    Steward to the Territory Queen
    Glacia Kaeleer
    12 Posts    455 marks
Re: Home for the Mourning Days
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2020, 11:04:29 PM »
Over the - very brief - interaction, Vigot could find no reason for an apology, and chose to acknowledge it with a twitch of his eyebrows and nothing else. He was more than used to being frowned at, and didn't know definitively she'd intended to frown at him at all. Perhaps more frowning at strange men was warranted - beyond Sigrunn's recent attempted medical failure, Vigot wasn't abreast with the civil politics of the city like he was with Meols. It wasn't his responsibility.

It felt like a glaring error, not knowing.

He blinked down at the dish, which appeared to him at once perfectly acceptable and at the same time supremely unappetizing. Maybe he'd seek out a bread vendor, if they were out yet. His stomach twisted at the idea of eating anything, but something less rich might stay down better.

"I've lost the appetite for it," if he'd had it in the first place. It felt more like he'd agreed to the purchase by rote because it was the polite thing to do. "Returning it seemed tactless." Doable, of course, but it was as likely to be thrown out as eaten by the proprietor. He glanced back, debating. Maybe it would be stolen - a strange thing to hope for, and ultimately not worth any prospective punishment.

"Apologies, Lady. I can find someone else. Your hands looked cold." If not for his gloves, a gift of Hala's, Vigot was sure his own would be. Weather or not he would care was different, but the little puffs of steam that came out with his breaths were tell enough. "Forgive me, I didn't mean to both you." His attention skittered over the crowd, the stalls, the items, looking for escape. He recognized the traders stamp on the stall, even if the face manning the stall wasn't one of the ones he was used to seeing in Meols. "This vendor is better, for silk. Their cargo travels more securely than their competition, and they don't inflate their prices to cover the loss." He threw out, an effort to leave the lady better off than when he'd so rudely interrupted her shopping.

He'd have time to beat himself up about it later, his failing social graces and how poor a representative of his Queen he was, but right the he just felt like he'd taken a step too far in a lake, the water rising more quickly than he'd been ready for. He didn't want the strange, tumultuous numb panic sloshing inside him to affect anyone else. But he didn't want to be alone, either. He was caught, pinned in place by hot meat products and the confused eyes of a woman he didn't know.

Starling

    Tiger Eye to Summer-sky
  • Healer
  • Played By: dergon

    Glacia Kaeleer
    9 Posts    537 marks
Re: Home for the Mourning Days
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2020, 07:02:51 AM »

He didn't smile at all, Starling realized slowly. Most men smiled at her, especially when presenting presents. Maybe left over food dishes didn't warrant smiles. Or, unwanted dishes, it looked perfectly untouched. Was she hungry? Starling couldn't decide, letting the moment play out between them out of curiosity.

"Much frowned upon, I'm sure." Head tilting, Starling's hair pooled on one side, gathering into a puddle of dark layers against her hood. So curious! She tried to get a read for his caste, and Jewels, but didn't press too hard, unwilling to open herself up to return interest. Just yet.

Surely he wasn't courting, if he wasn't smiling.

"Oh?" She looked at her bare fingers, pink in the chill air. Naked to feel the texture of the silk she'd been fondling. She'd also forgotten her gloves, but Starling didn't want to admit that, even to herself. Grown women did not forget their gloves, and it would only give her brothers more reason to set babysitters on her.

"You didn't. Give it here." Whether she wanted it or not, Starling couldn't bear the idea of someone else having what had been offered to her first. Her heart was a greedy one. Hands cupped together, she held them out for the dish. "Thank you." She did have manners! Cradling the dish awkwardly, she turned with him, to view the stall he'd pointed out.

Glancing slyly up at him, Starling tried to get a better read on him. His caste was settling, and familiar feeling. He be a healer, she decided, fingers curling around the dish in her hands. It was very pleasantly warm. "Are you familiar with Reric, then? I don't recall seeing you before." Not that there weren't dozens and dozens of faces she hadn't glimpsed moving in and out of the city every day.

Vigot Thidrandisson

    White to Rose
  • Warlord Healer
  • Played By: kayndred

    Steward to the Territory Queen
    Glacia Kaeleer
    12 Posts    455 marks
Re: Home for the Mourning Days
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2020, 03:41:03 PM »
Vigot would be the first to allow that he considered much of the mystery of people vanished if one reviewed those they'd grown with, and conceded that there was always new things to learn if one allowed themselves to be taught. That said, Vigot's first interactions with women were his grandmothers and his sisters, and some patterns held true.

Most of them were want to receive that which was offered to them rather than to allow it away. Vigot had frequently had difficulty executing a similar drive, and they delighted to the day in trying to game him into receiving impromptu gifts. Evidently, he'd only succeeded in turning it around.

Relief flooded him, and he handed off the hot dish carefully to ease the transition. "You're welcome. I hope it's good." Went unsaid was that he'd not tried it himself. There wasn't any reason for her to suspect that he hadn't, besides the undisturbed appearance of the dish. Maybe it was terrible and that's why it had appeared in his hand, the vendor hawking their wares to any unsuspecting or absentminded passer-bye.

Who could say.

That flush of relief settled to a low ebb, buoyed by their exchange. Conversational rules were something Vigot knew well, and had only gained a better understanding of in his position as Steward. It was... good, to engage, he decided. This person held no bias for or against him, and didn't know the heavy reasoning for his return. Ostensibly, she wasn't after his money, either, and the transactional nature of their conversation had already been addressed. "I was born here," he stated, gaze sweeping briefly out to pass overhead of the crowd, about the stall covers, the myriad alleys, the wall. "This vendor sells in Meols as well. I am only just returning."

Perhaps she was of high enough circle standing that there was the expectation of knowing a face - many, many people passed before Vigot's eyes as Steward, and although he wasn't expected to retain more than the barest of information about them, he still called upon himself to go a bit beyond. Relations were often bolstered in the little details, and having to go through introductions more than once tended to have the opposite effect.

"Vigot Thidrandisson, Steward of Meols," he continued, leaning forward to bow as much as etiquette and the space provided by the crowd would allow without being improper. He tried to avoid jabbing people with his chin where at all possible. "Are you of the city?" And baton passed. He gave himself a soft mental applause for minimal fumbling with a lady who seemed to be made of better manners and greater strength, although her caste appeared to mirror his. Always a pleasant experience to meet another Healer. If worse came to worse, Vigot could opine about work with the best of them.

Starling

    Tiger Eye to Summer-sky
  • Healer
  • Played By: dergon

    Glacia Kaeleer
    9 Posts    537 marks
Re: Home for the Mourning Days
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2020, 06:32:43 AM »

Starling made a pleased, but noncommittal sound. She was hopeful that would indeed be good. It didn't look unappealing. It simply was a very strange way to come about a meal. However, she would hold neither them to her hope. It either would be, or would not, through no fault of their own. However, she would get the name of the vendor and ostracize them for eternity.

They made room at the stall for others, and shuffling of feet that rearranged for the crowd. Not as large as it usually was. People were still a little shook up from the quake. But the lady Solveig's constant stomping around was helping to settle them. "Oh?" Starling encouraged. Not many left the city of their birth. Starling herself couldn't imagine living anywhere else. Reric was home, down to her bones. Even if it was overrun by one very annoying brother.

She finally broke off a piece of pastry, gravy sticking to her fingers. Steam rose from the meat stuffed insides, making her chin damp. Taking a bike, Starling wrinkled her nose at the mention of Meols. Gaze a sharp cut over her fingers. She licked her thumb clean and chewed. Did he know her, she wondered? If they were friends, Starling would have to scorn him.

Or maybe he could help her. Maybe he had information, being the Steward and all.

"I'm surprised they let you leave your city, things being what they are." Starling sniffed. Meols wasn't so great a city as Reric, healing springs or not. "I am. Starling, by name, healer by trade." Not that she had a proper healers job. Neither brother was too found of her being out on her own for any length of time. Starling forgave Kite, it was his caste. Peregrine was simply stuck on sex, and the most annoying of the two.

She smiled, to make up for the face she'd made over Meols. "It is good, by the by."

 

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