Evening, 44 day of Autumn, 45 turn, 10 passPlayers:
Veldara, Ylisa, FaladaLocation:
Main Hall and Ballroom, Harper LoungeSummary:
Veldara arrives at Harper Hall...
--Main Hall and Ballroom
It's early evening, and a time when many of the inhabitants of the Harper Hall are thinking about food, so there are plenty of people heading across the Ballroom towards the rest of the Hold, or chattering in groups as they meet up before their meal. Ylisa is one of the passers through, but she's going in the other directions: she emerges from the office with a sheaf of papers in her hand and turns towards the stairs.
Ylisa is tall and slender, with searching ice-blue eyes and long lashes set in a slim, pointed face that is starting to show the signs of maturity. The palest of blonde hair has been cut with precision into a short style with a side parting. Her complexion is fair, with a light golden tan from the Istan sun. Long legs and an upright carriage give her a dignified appearance, and she moves with easy grace.
Ylisa is wearing a short-sleeved, ankle-length dress made from a fine, soft, blue-grey sisal that flows easily as she walks. A round-necked close-fitting bodice gives way to a fuller skirt that allows free movement, while a half-belt in the same fabric, tied at the back, serves to give shape at the waistline. It's a typical Ylisa outfit, cut to flatter her slim figure. Over the dress is a short sleeveless waistcoat in a slightly deeper blue, its front embroidered with stylised floral patterns in a mixture of bright blues and greens. Round her neck is a simple necklace: three beads of opaque harper-blue glass on a fine grey thong. Flat sandals with narrow straps of grey-dyed wherhide complete the outfit. A gold firelizard is perched on her shoulder.
Ylisa's shoulder knot is an elaborate affair that identifies her as a Master in the Harper Craft.
She is an adult of about 36. She is awake, but seems rather distracted.
Veldara walks in slowly from the main section of the Hold, followed by a small entourage of people. She surveys the passing Harpers for a couple seconds while slowly smoothing out the invisible creases in her gown. A young man, with a knot of Ista Hold, stops next to her and whispers quietly, scanning the ballroom before pointing out Ylisa. Veldara nods once, dismisses him, and begins to cross the room towards the Harper Master, entourage following, and disrupting the normal flow of dinner-seeking residents.
Both elegant and stark, Veldara has a hard look about her that has nothing to do with her age. Her blue eyes can rage from a hazy shade of tainted fog to that of brilliant ice at winter solstice. A narrow and mildly hooked nose give her a sterner look that can either accentuate or counter the refined and groomed shape of her brows. Lips that are usually emphasized with paint of bright red can look either imperious or simpering with the tiniest shift in her smile. All is framed by deep dark hair of utter ebony, the thick ringlets either combed out to send a cascade of curls down to the middle of her back, or put up in a braided bun that lies thick and tight against her head. Her nearly porcelain white complexion makes hair appear all the more dark.
While a little past her prime, the woman has lost little of her original presence--if anything, her straight-backed carriage lends an air that is both matronly and imperial. Her neck is long, her slender shoulders gently sloped, and her posture is nearly picture-perfect. She is taller than average and more slender than might strictly be healthy, which causes her prominent, rounded hips to stand out somewhat.
A gown of deepest harper blue in the finest sisal weave cascades like a Grecian robe from the commanding woman's shoulders, leaving her pale arms bare. A single bracelet of delicate gold links dangles from her right wrist, and a band of ruby-gemmed gold encircles the bicep of her left arm. A necklace of similar design dangles from her neck, teasing the deep decollete of her dress, while a pure white rope of woven sisal circles around her waist, left slightly loose to give a trim appearance. Beneath the gown, she wears sandals of fine leather dyed to pure black.
She is an adult of about 46. She is awake, but seems rather distracted.
Falada exits the art room after a day of lessons and cleaning up thereafter. She wipes paint from her fingers and face ineffectually with a rag as she heads for the stairs and her room to clean up before dinner. She slows, then pauses, then stops altogether, patting her pockets absently as if she's forgotten something as she observes the entrance of the entourage and, specifically, the Master whose entourage it is.
She appears to be young, small at about five and a half feet. What baby fat she ever had is long gone, leaving her face with a sharp, lean look. Her waist-length black hair retains a baby-fine quality, strands escaping from restraint to float about her face, ears and neck. Almond shaped eyes look through long, dark lashes, the color so light a shade of brown as to appear golden, sometimes with a green or blue hue.
She is thin, nearly anorexic in appearance, with womanly curves at hip and breast. Dimples flash when she smiles, and her cheeks, though pale, are rosy-hued. Snow white skin is untouched by freckle or blemish and soft as a new rose petal and there is a glow about her which hints at something more. Each ear sports two tiny red solitaire studs and a thin golden ring with an equally tiny red stone dangling from it.
She is wearing a modest red shirt, blousy and soft and a red skirt which hangs to about mid-calf with a pair of red knee-high boots. Her hair is pulled back in two pigtails which fall to her waist.
She proudly sports the knot of a harper journeyman.
She is an adult of about 38. She is awake and looks alert.
Some overheard comment causes Ylisa to turn towards the main door. She surveys the newly arrived group for a few seconds before she starts to move smoothly in their direction. A small frown creases her forehead, but she fixes a smile to her face as she greets the woman who appears to be in the lead. "Good evening. Welcome to the Harper Hall. I think you must be Master Veldara?" She darts an uncertain glance at the 'entourage.'
Veldara meets the other Harper Master about half a way and nods slightly to confirm her identity. The paint spotted Falada receives a cool once-over before Veldara looks back to Ylisa and smiles. Slightly. "And you are?" she asks, her voice dry and perhaps a touch unimpressed.
Falada blinks once at the daunting woman's cool regard of her and, suddenly self-conscious of her appearance, she bites her lip and glances around briefly like a trapped animal. She considers the art room as an escape, all the while the wiping of her hands becomes slowly more frantic.
"Ylisa," that name's owner responds. Her knot will supply her rank. "And this is journeyman Falada, our resident artist." That's said with a smile for the paint-spattered woman. "I hope you've had a good journey. We have your quarters ready for you. Do you need luggage collected from anywhere?" She sends an enquiring glance towards the entourage.
Veldara arches a brow at the responding Harper Master, then glances at Falada again. "You only have one?" she asks quietly, one nicely trimmed brow rising sharply. And it subsides just as quickly. "I apologize," continues Veldara, "Ylisa, was it? It's been a /dreadful/ trip, actually. Exhausting." As she says this, her gaze wanders away from Ylisa's face to study certain faces, and certain parts of the ballroom before she smiles once more at Ylisa, and even Falada. "If you'd be so kind as to show them were to carry everything?" says the invading master with a wave for the handful of people behind her.
"Certainly," Ylisa replies, and takes a few moments to show the nearest of the entourage to a door on the landing at the top of the staircase before returning to the Crafthead. On her way back, she shoots a stern look at some gawping apprentices before asking, "Do you want to go straight up there, or would you like some refreshment first, after your journey?"
Veldara watches as the mix of people from Fort Hold and Ista Hold march up the stairs with her things, the smiles calmly at the others. "Oh, I daresay a glass of wine is in order," she... suggests, pausing a moment to check her carefully arranged hair with her hands. "No need to announce my presence just yet, is there?" she asks, giving Ylisa a slightly smug grin.
Falada stops hyperventilating and licks her lips before returning Master Veldara's smile with a nod at her introduction.
Ylisa smiles back. "Well, we have a lounge upstairs that we can use, or if you'd rather go somewhere more secluded, there's the Cloudscraper Lounge in the Hold, where you wouldn't be in the way of curious Harpers - but that's a few more yards to walk. I'd suggest upstairs." The look she shoots the curious apprentices is now becoming more like a glare, and at last they take the hint. Ylisa catches Falada's eye, giving the artist a quick, conspiratorial grin as the apprentices move away.
Falada grins back, briefly, and darts up the stairs very suddenly. She can be seen shooing apprentices clustered at the top and peeking out of doors before she disappears herself.
"Oh, the lounge upstairs sound fine," Veldara replies airily before giving a Ylisa a rather mild imitation of that shooing motion. "Has Jueann left yet?" she adds as she begins to climb the stairs. She gives the other master a curious sideglance.
Falada apparently has run up ahead of the party to lay out refreshments and clear the halls and lounge of curious onlookers. She is selecting wineskins and turns when the masters enter to ask softly, "Do you prefer red or white? There's a blush from Keroon..."
"Yes, she left a few days ago, shortly after her retirement party." There's a hint of sadness in Ylisa's tone. She turns back towards the staircase and leads the way up. "Just along here." Pushing open the door to the lounge, she holds it to let the other woman enter. "Do make yourself comfortable." A grateful smile is sent towards Falada. "The blush is excellent. I'm not sure how Majori got hold of it."
Veldara nods slightly to Ylisa as she listens closely, an overly satisfied smile appearing briefly on her lips as they walk into the lounge. The smile starts to turn into a disgusted sneer at the mention of the wine until she catches it to smile blankly at Ylisa. "I'm sure it is," states the master from Fort, though she doesn't sound terribly convincing. Very well. A glass, please, journeyman," she waves towards Falada before gliding quickly towards a chair, taking care with her gown as she slowly sits. "Is everything in order for me to assume leadership of the hall?"
Ylisa gives a small but decisive nod, her eyes resting on the other Master for a moment before she speaks. "Yes, indeed: we've been expecting you. Master Liesana - the craftheadsecond - has been in charge while we awaited your arrival. I believe she's at dinner at the moment. I can let her know you're here, however." That offered, she walks towards Falada and the wine. "I think I might have a glass of that, too," she smiles. "Very crisp."
Falada shrugs and shakes her head but pours a glass of the blush and hands it to Veldara and then another to Ylisa. Guests first. "I asked, she wouldn't say."
"Liesana... yes," Veldara drawls quietly, no longer looking at either Falada or Ylisa. After a long moment of thought, the woman nods slowly, the corners of her mouth lifting into a cool smile. "I'm sure we will meet in the morning. No need to rush things, is there?" She takes the offered glass of wine with a proper nod of thanks, then waits for the others to join her.
Ylisa nods again. "As you wish." She accepts the glass from Falada with a chuckle. "Thanks. She must have some good contacts." Then she carries the wine towards a chair and sits gracefully before raising her glass to the new arrival. "Welcome."
Falada pours herself a glass of the white and follows suit with a lifted glass as she sits perhaps just a little too comfortably in a chair. "Welcome," she echoes stiffly.
Veldara's smile tilts a fraction to the side as she nods to the others and lifts her glass slightly before sipping. And whatever her impression of the wine, she keeps to herself. "So. How are... things?" she asks, injecting a rather fake tone of interest into the question, trying her best at the small talk.
Ylisa considers the question, then delivers her response in measured tones. "Things are going quite smoothly at present, and the agreement that Master Jueann made with the Hall at Fort will help a lot with the financial difficulties that we were experiencing. We've had several new apprentices over the last few sevendays. The ranking staff is a little smaller than it used to be, so I suppose we've improved our efficiency in that regard. Relations with the Hold are good."
"Then this transition should take little time, I would hope," Veldara replies easily over her glass of wine before taking another sip. The glass is then set on the table as the woman makes careful work of getting to her feet once more. "I believe the trials of my journey here have caught up with me. If you don't mind, I think I'll retire to my rooms for the night."
Falada stands also, out of deference, but remains silent. At least she doesn't look like her head is going to explode anymore.
"Of course." Ylisa stands too, leaving her own scarcely touched glass on the side table. "Let me show you to your room." She leads the way towards the balcony hallway.