Nahid arrives from the out.
Latifa y'Bolgari glides in from the out, her extravagant jewelry glittering with each sway.
Amidst a clatter of bone jewelry, Jinlu Ilithyia enters from the out.
A viscanti guard says, "Nice try, viscanti."
Latifa y'Bolgari glides away to the out amidst a rustle of chiffon and clink of heavy bracelets.
Amidst a clatter of bone jewelry, Jinlu Ilithyia leaves to the out.
Snapping into motion, the tearoom guard advances on Nahid, grasping her firmly by the upper arm and removing her from the building.
Othero utters a deep, rumbling laugh.
Entering the Market complex.
There is a moderate breeze here. A sewer grate looms darkly beneath your feet. A shuttered glass gas lamp lies dark and unlit atop a tall, ornately gilded post. A statue of a decaying gargoyle stands here, memorialising his noble spirit. Latifa y'Bolgari stands poised, a polite smile pressed to her lips. Jinlu Ilithyia stands off to the side demurely. Penitent Nahid, Attendant to the Mystagogue is here.
Scoffing, Latifa y'Bolgari exclaims, "Oh bother!"
Nahid curtseys gracefully before you.
Jinlu Ilithyia, the Boneseer curtseys gracefully before you.
Jinlu Ilithyia, the Boneseer curtseys gracefully before Othero.
Penitent Nahid, Attendant to the Mystagogue says, "Hello Mystagogue! Have you met the Lady Latifa y'Bolgari and Lady Jinlu?"
Bowing stiffly at the waist, you say, "Lady y'Bolgari. How lovely to see you."
Othero stands and bows to Lady y'Bolgari.
Latifa y'Bolgari dips into a curt curtsey, the ivory muslin gown scarcely grazing against the ground.
Seditionist Othero d'Vanecu, Dark Star says to Jinlu Ilithyia, the Boneseer, "And I don't believe we have met."
You say, "I know of Lady Latifa, though we aren't well acquainted. It is a pleasure to meet you, Lady Jinlu. May I escort the three of you inside?"
Beaming, Jinlu Ilithyia, the Boneseer says, "The pleasure is mine, gentlemen, we would be delighted."
Nahid begins to follow you.
Jinlu Ilithyia, the Boneseer begins to follow you.
Latifa y'Bolgari begins to follow you.
Nahid follows you in.
A tastefully appointed tearoom.
The interior of this teahouse is sizable, intended to provide a comfortable and tasteful social environment. The floor has been constructed of boards, waxed and polished to a sheen, highlighting the natural grain of the wood. The lower half of the walls are panelled to match and above this, a dark fabric has been used in broad drapes over narrow shuttered windows, keeping the thick smog without from penetrating into the room. Small, screened alcoves are set against the far wall, each holding a low table surrounded by plush divans and scattered pillows. Over the arched doorway are miniature carvings, each one carved to represent the notable families of Magnagora. A viscanti guard in formal uniform stands here, hands behind his back. Latifa y'Bolgari stands poised, a polite smile pressed to her lips. Jinlu Ilithyia stands off to the side demurely. Seditionist Othero d'Vanecu, Dark Star is here, shrouded. He wields a golden whip of the pious in his left hand. Penitent Nahid, Attendant to the Mystagogue is here.
A viscanti guard bows respectfully to you.
Penitent Nahid, Attendant to the Mystagogue says to a viscanti guard, "Thank you for letting me
Gavriel directs a particularly withering stare towards the guard, -daring- a word from him.
Othero curls his lip and sneers arrogantly at a viscanti guard.
You say, "Please be seated, ladies. Make yourself comfortable."
A viscanti guard murmurs something under his breath but remains watchful at the door like a stone gargoyle.
Strolling forwards first with the confidence of the nobility, Latifa y'Bolgari says, "Oh how quaint."
Gavriel strides smoothly past the guardsman, knocking against his shoulder with the curve of one massive wing and not a single whisper of 'excuse me.'
Latifa y'Bolgari settles herself comfortably upon one of the couches besides the table. Jinlu Ilithyia follows suit, settling herself near her friend.
The quiet clink of cutlery echoes across the room from within the darkened alcoves.
You say, "Of course, Lady y'Bolgari. A lovely place for lovely clientele."
Possessed of astounding beauty, this viscanti lady is the epitome of elegance and refinement, carrying herself with the idle grace and poise of nobility. The colour of her skin is that of early dawn, neither too warm, nor too cold in hue; velvety in its texture and devoid of any signs of aging. Luscious carmine tresses fall down her back, red ribbons threaded with gold woven into them. Her alluring amber gaze is framed by long eyelashes and sits upon a face of soft and distinctly aristocratic features. She is wearing a corseted gown of ivory muslin slashed with glimmering, pale gold chiffon whilst her throat is adorned with a white gold choker bearing the crest of House y'Bolgari inlaid in smouldering ambers.
Nahid smiles broadly at the guard as she steps past and makes her way to one of the couches. She seats herself upon it with carefully folded skirts and tucked ankles.
You say, "Lady y'Bolgari. If I may say," he settles in alongside her as he speaks, pinions brushing against the cushions, "you're looking especially lovely. Familiar, too, though I can't place it. Did you attend the Gala?"
Latifa y'Bolgari smiles ever so politely at the words, pride swelling in her bearing. "Afraid not," she says lightly and then pauses, weighing her words carefully, "That would have been my Mother, Lady Afifah y'Bolgari."
Listening to Latifa, Jinlu Ilithyia, the Boneseer gestures languidly for the serving staff to attend them. Immediately, a maiden appears, all in black and gold, carrying a silver tray laden with sunset-coloured teacups.
Picking up one of the teacups lightly, Jinlu Ilithyia, the Boneseer says, "Still not on speaking terms...?"
Without looking at her, you say to Nahid, "Observe the serving maiden carefully, Penitent." Eyes ever on Latifa, "I see you've inherited many of her positive qualities. I'm surprised you chose not to attend."
The warm, sweet scents of tea and mignardises swirl about the tearoom, mingling with the spiced aroma of the aperitifs waiting by the entrance.
Latifa y'Bolgari waits for the serving maiden to place the teacup in front of her rather than attend to it herself. Slowly, measuring the words, "I have a rather strained relationship with my Mother, Mystagogue d'Vanecu" she offers, "I would not wish to burden you with my personal issues."
Nahid blinks towards the tray, slightly dazed at the quality of the china and the sheer beauty of the artistry. Her eyes follow the movements of the maiden as she serves the tea.
Jinlu Ilithyia, the Boneseer lays a hand on Latifa's and squeezes it gently before returning to cupping her tea in front of her.
Utterly sympathetic, you say, "I understand. Please forgive my ignorance of the matter, it wasn't my intention to touch upon an especially sore spot." Briefly, he places a comforting touch to Latifa's wrist before reaching for his own cup. "If it would ease your mind, I'm certain we are all quite willing to listen and aid as we are able."
Gavriel flashes an especially winning smile, only partly hidden by his mask. It's too white, too sharp, like the glint of a knife in the dark.
Made out of gleaming vermeil, the tray is of a rectangular shape and large enough to carry a handful of teacups at once. Latticework designs wind about its circumference, adding a touch of opulence.
A latticework vermeil tray is holding:
"teacup266658" an opulent teacup of sunset hues (filled with black tea)
"teacup266660" an opulent teacup of sunset hues (filled with black tea)
"teacup47723" an opulent teacup of sunset hues (filled with black tea)
"teacup266640" an opulent teacup of sunset hues (filled with black tea)
"teacup266657" an opulent teacup of sunset hues (filled with black tea)
"teapot94049" an opulent teapot of sunset hues (filled with black tea)
You give an opulent teacup of sunset hues to Penitent Nahid, Attendant to the Mystagogue.
You give an opulent teacup of sunset hues to Seditionist Othero d'Vanecu, Dark Star.
Latifa y'Bolgari's composure wavers momentarily and her lips almost move to speak immediately, betraying how deeply she is moved. Instead, she picks the teacup and swirls the steaming contents within to cool it first.
Offering a bow of her head in thanks towards the Mystagogue, Penitent Nahid, Attendant to the Mystagogue murmurs, "Thank you."
Othero quietly sits himself down on one of the pillows and takes a long sip of his tea.
Glancing into the teacup surprised, Latifa y'Bolgari says, "Black tea? Is this the best Magnagora has to offer in its finest teahouse?"
Jinlu Ilithyia, the Boneseer glances into her own teacup inquisitively, not seeming the least surprised but gestures for the serving maiden to approach.
Gavriel's smile is instantly gone at Latifa's complaint. It is replaced with a venomous scowl, punctuated with a snarl to the serving maiden.
Without taking his eyes from the woman, you say, "I am sure the staff is quite willing to correct this misstep."
Dipping her head towards the other woman, Penitent Nahid, Attendant to the Mystagogue whispers to Jinlu Ilithyia, the Boneseer, "Is black tea bad, Lady Jinlu?"
Whispering to Nahid, Jinlu Ilithyia, the Boneseer says, "... apparently?"
The serving maiden approaches, dips into a quick curtsey and inquires, "How may I help you?"
Othero waves off the serving maiden. "Nothing, I am fine with what I have".
Voice low and measured, you say, "The Lady Latifa has a most delicate palate. She will require something less crude, more nuanced in its taste. I trust you can accomodate this?"
Nahid gives a slight shake of her head to the maiden. Her smile is warm and friendly as she says "No thank you. I am fine with mine."
Arching a sculpted eyebrow, Latifa y'Bolgari says, "Is black tea the only thing you serve? Surely you would not serve -us- swill a serf can get even in the Undercity around here I am given to understand?"
Nahid takes a drink from an opulent teacup of sunset hues.
A helpful smile pressed to her lips, the serving maiden says in a trembling voice, "I... umm, Lady y'Bolgari, Lord d'Vanecu, I'm afraid that is... in fact all we have. The only alternative our Gourmonds cartel provides is a sweet black tea with a touch of milk. Would you prefer that?"
Latifa y'Bolgari rolls her eyes and sighs ostensibly.
Gavriel bristles, casting a sidelong glance to Latifa to study her response.
Nonplussed, making a comment to her friend, Latifa y'Bolgari says, "I don't know how you live here, Jinlu, without your mentor's black cherry tea."
Latifa y'Bolgari says to you, "Lord d'Vanecu, is this truly the case? Magnagora, the house of culture, has to offer one kind of tea?"
Dreamily, elbow resting upon the side of the table, Jinlu Ilithyia, the Boneseer says, "Lady Allegra's black cherry tea is divine... She'd send me to tend to the blossoms and pick off these awful aphids so often but it was worth it."
Low, you say, "I should not expect so, Lady y'Bolgari. Given the import of customers such as ourselves, I am surprised the lady does not run out and retrieve something more acceptable to serve her most honoured guests."
The serving maiden utters a nervous laugh-like noise and wrings her hands, awaiting orders.
Gavriel stares expectantly.
Laying a hand upon Gavriel's forearm, Latifa y'Bolgari says, "Ah, a pity, we will make do this time, this not like they could procure anything on short notice that would be of any worth."
Latifa y'Bolgari waves hand hand dismissively of the serving maiden who bows and scuttles away to the kitchens a little faster than necessary.
Gavriel breaks his stare at the touch, tips of his fingers alighting on Latifa's hand.
Penitent Nahid, Attendant to the Mystagogue says to Jinlu Ilithyia, the Boneseer, "May I ask you about the cherry tea? What does it taste like?"
You say, "If you can make do, Lady y'Bolgari, I will allow it. This will not pass a second time."
Latifa y'Bolgari shares a pleased smile with Gavriel, her amber eyes glittering with amusement.
Othero stands and bows.
Gently, you say to Latifa y'Bolgari, "Regardless. Lady y'Bolgari, whatever the trouble with your mother, I am most assuredly at your service. You take sugar?"
You glance askance at Othero.
Seditionist Othero d'Vanecu, Dark Star says, "If you'll excuse me for a moment. I have something I need to do."
You say, "Seditionist, tell the guard to let you back in."
Jinlu Ilithyia, the Boneseer says to Nahid, "It is remarkably light for a black tea, you can feel its invigorating kick early on but then it mellows, melts, and unravels into this... poetry of a tea. The scarlet cherry blossoms are unique to the climate of the Presidio and so is their distinct taste lingers within the tea - sweet, enticing, promising..."
Jinlu Ilithyia, the Boneseer loses herself in her speech, almost as if reciting it from memory but with a passion of her own.
The warm, sweet scents of tea and mignardises swirl about the tearoom, mingling with the spiced aroma of the aperitifs waiting by the entrance.
Latifa y'Bolgari says to you, "Yes please, two spoons."
Briefly distracted by the subject of tea still, Latifa y'Bolgari says, "My family cultivated a famous blend once too... what was its name."
Nahid's gaze stares down into the dark liquid of her cup, soft and dreamy with consideration.
Latifa y'Bolgari purses her lips while her delicate fingertips glide softly across the curves of the teacup.
Lifting her eyes, Penitent Nahid, Attendant to the Mystagogue says to Jinlu Ilithyia, the Boneseer, "You describe it as if it is a perfume. Perhaps that is what it is, a perfume on the tongue! A lasting cloud of fragrance and flavour."
Gavriel bobs his head in a shallow nod. Lazily, he moves the sugar dish and spoons two careful, even scoops into Latifa's cup. He finishes it with few slow clockwise stirs to dissolve the crystals before replacing the spoon alongside the dish.
Jinlu Ilithyia, the Boneseer flashes a smile and nods while she offers softly, "Tea traditions are a big deal at the Presidio, I was born here but I spent most of my life there under the tutelage of Lady n'Lochli. She's very strict as regards her teatime."
Finally remembering, Latifa y'Bolgari says, "Ah yes, Golden Smoke! We used to have bushes growing just off Wraith Lane by the manorhouse."
Smiling to her own memories, amber eyes glistening mischeviously, Latifa y'Bolgari says, "Quite the scandalous story with them too, I hear a version of it made it into a book."
Steam wafts into the tearoom from the baths beyond, bringing with it dark, coppery scents.
Suddenly interested, Jinlu Ilithyia, the Boneseer says, "Oh, do you mean to say the story in Teatime in the Engine is based on fact?"
Smiling coyly, Latifa y'Bolgari says, "Guess we'll never know."
Penitent Nahid, Attendant to the Mystagogue says, "Oh I wish to hear the story! Please Lady y'Bolgari?"
With a conspiratorial grin, you say, "Lady y'Bolgari, you mustn't tease. You're making the Penitent squirm."