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The Andelusian High Tea Society [Hub]

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November 24 | 29 AO


Her guest seems to have an aura of confidence that oozes through every pore, rolls off her in waves as she strides her way into the seat across from her, her hips swaying almost uncontrollably with each footfall. Dahlia’s smile widens at this; it’s always a pleasure to meet women radiant and bold with their mannerisms, the way they hold themselves in the eyes of many. She greets the white-haired lady, gestures for her to sit before taking the teapot to pour a cup of tea for her guest.

"I do apologize for the misunderstanding, the late Lady Blackhead has been--rather indisposed for a while now. I was her successor, the Mistress Blackhead. Or you may just call me the Mistress. My full title can be quite a mouthful to speak."

“Ah, my apologies,” Dahlia demures, places a hand over her chest as she inclines her head. “Lady Ravenbush, then? The Mistress,” she pauses, tests the name on her tongue; it sounds familiar, somehow, but there is no time to wonder quite yet, “yes, that name will work just fine. I must confess, I’m still at a loss as to what brings a seemingly well-travelled woman such as yourself to my humble teahouse’s doorstep.” Dahlia takes a dainty sip from her own teacup before continuing, a smile slow-growing on her lips. “May I ask where you are from?” It is rather obvious in the stranger’s bearing that she is not from Ursa Madeum, so there is surely a story behind this visit.


@Thotification


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The Mistress' lips curled into a rather coy grin as she regarded this lady before her. The lady looks as tasty as the tea the Mistress held in her dainty hands,  leaving the Mistress' rather flustered and at a loss for words. It was but a moment, her emotions flickered for a bit before returning to that playful demeanor she was rather infamous of. Oh she was quite the character, this Mistress. The lonely woman who laughs at the face of adversary.

"Oh dear me," the Mistress gasped, "Ravenbush was my sister. I would have brought her here but our sibling relationship have been a tad strained this past few montha." She paused to take a sip of the wonderful tea. "But by all means, feel free to call me, the Mistress. It's what people call me in the mainlands especially to those in criminal underworld." 

She shrugged then as if her words aren't that big of a deal. "I am a connoiseur my lady and a hedonist at that. My interests are plenty, my wants are endless. I've been to almost every place in this continent and the lands beyond."

The Mistress gazed deep into the lady's eyes. "But my beginnings are a mystery even to me. My late mother was rather vague in that regard. My whole life I spent on a ship. My family were merchants."

"But where are my manners. My appearance here was merely to partake of your delectable merchandise and perhaps also partake with the company of this establishment's owner."

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November 23 | 29 AO


Lady Goldcourt—Evie, the noble stresses, offers the nickname up between them in an offer of intimacy, of goodwill, and who is she to refuse?—must have been raised to be a businesswoman, must have been molded to play the part so well. Only that fact can explain the almost-imperceptible shift in her demeanor, one that the teahouse owner most certainly finds agreeable, even as many others do not.

There is a gleam in the young woman’s eyes that a part of Dahlia recognizes, raises a toast towards in silent solidarity. It sits well with her: the idea of having another savvy business partner to add to her assemblage of like-minded peers.

“My, Lady Goldcourt, that is a most noble quest indeed,” she replies to the woman’s declaration of her new fashion trend, rubbing her chin with pale fingers. “I’ve yet to come into acquaintance with Mrs. Sedley, though I am aware of her shop’s existence. Perhaps I should pay her a visit sometime soon.” Dahlia’s lips curl with amiability even as she puts upon a look of someone deep in thought. “I find myself flattered by your thoughts, but concerned as well. Am I really the best option for your crusade to change the face of Andelusian fashion?”

Her eyes flick back towards her guest, acting almost as if she hadn’t realized the other is still there. “Ah, but no matter. I am pleased you think me suitable. And I quite enjoy seeing others triumph in their own fields of expertise.” She grins, waves towards the sketch still in Evienne’s possession. “Tell me, when can we begin? I have a mind to specifically commission something for the grand reopening of the Andelusian High Tea Society. A rather extravagant affair, and even the nobility and our rulers themselves are invited to attend. Any thoughts on this?”


@LikelyMissFortune


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November 24 | 29 AO


The Mistress’ expression turns contemplative, almost hungry as her guest regards her, and Dahlia can feel her eyebrows raising in mild curiosity. The tension is almost palpable for a moment, but then the Mistress blinks, and her easy smile returns. She does not have time to wonder about it when the white-haired woman jumps back into the conversation, explaining the connection with her sister and then discussing her personal traits and interests.

Somewhere in the conversation, she mentions the criminal underworld, and Dahlia takes a moment to stuff her mouth with a bite of pastry so as not to give her surprise away. Her suspicions have been proven to be correct. However, she has always considered the teahouse to be neutral ground, and there hasn’t been a hint of violent behavior emanating from the lady seated across from her, and so she swallows down the bit of scone and listens quietly as the woman continues.

"But where are my manners. My appearance here was merely to partake of your delectable merchandise and perhaps also partake with the company of this establishment's owner."

My, with those words and the intense stare levelled her way, the Mistress is being most certainly forward. Dahlia allows her cheeks to bloom red for a moment before taking a sip from her teacup, hiding the evidence of her bashfulness behind polished porcelain. “I see. I’m quite pleased to make an acquaintance of someone so cultured. What is it that you do? Are you a business owner or perhaps something else?”


@Thotification


Edited by vielle

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The aroma of the tea, the absence of light- and the soothing tones of Dahlia's voice lulls Evienne; her characteristically sharp smiles gains padding. Even her iron gaze acquires a soft gleam to it, certainly, she is the last anyone would expect to talk of revolutions and tyrants and ambition. And, that, is what most found so unsettling about the young lady; unflinching resolve hidden behind elegant manners and a gentle countenance. How could someone trust the soft words uttered under such sharp intentions?

So, she appreciates Dahlia's candidness; and is absolutely flattered by her proposal. Evienne's smile widens.

"You say you enjoy watching people prosper in their chosen fields, and, that is precisely why I believe you, Miss Chamelis, are perfect for my brand." She laughs, raising a hand in an all encompassing wave, "has this establishment not withstood through the tyranny of the tyrant? And, just like our Empire, rises from the ashes better and far more beautiful than before? That is what I envisage in my clothes, dear Miss Chamelis, and I am absolutely- absolutely flattered by your readiness to accept this."

Evienne leans onto her elbows, gazing out onto the street; victory sweetens the vixens. Whatever thought that flits between her ears has to be pleasant, Evienne's smile and languid countenance betrays is as such. 

"Why don't we start right now, then. I'd like to first, know what you're looking for Miss Chamelis. And, next, I'd like to meet the staff you plan on clothing- if you don't mind that is..." And so, she lists off inquiries about time, time of day, theme and so on; until a sudden realisation startles her- throwing her off mid sentence. "Will you be attending the Reverie celebrations, Miss Chamelis? If so, I'd love to take on a special commission for it." 

Once more, her gaze is sly- and her smile almost smug, "We at Goldcourt have been patenting a new type of fabric. If you'd like to take a chance on that, I promise no to disappoint."

Who could doubt the sincerity behind the childlike mischievousness?

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November 23 | 29 AO


Lady Evienne’s speech rather uplifts Dahlia’s spirits, if anything else. The outspokenness dripping from every syllable, the tiny bit of flattery embellishing the ribbon-wrapped words with complimentary grace—she rather admires how well-versed the Goldcourt noble is when it comes to polite dialogue.

"Why don't we start right now, then. I'd like to first, know what you're looking for Miss Chamelis. And, next, I'd like to meet the staff you plan on clothing- if you don't mind that is..."

“What I’m looking for?” Dahlia pauses, meaning to think about it a little while longer, but then the woman barrels on, lists a variety of queries, generates a whirlwind of ideas that she is barely able to keep up with. Opting to laugh deprecatingly at herself instead, she is about to call on the staff when Evienne pauses in her discourse, shifts towards a different topic.

"Will you be attending the Reverie celebrations, Miss Chamelis? If so, I'd love to take on a special commission for it."

There is no other word for it; Dahlia’s eyes sparkle with anticipation. “Why, of course we’d be attending! The most splendid celebration of the year; of course we’ll be there representing the teahouse.” She smiles widely as the noblewoman continues, discusses Goldcourt’s new patented fabric and a special commission just for the Reverie events. “We’d be very much honored to wear your designs for Reverie. It is a chance I would not be disappointed to take, in any case.” Dahlia hums to herself as she leans back in her chair, a thoughtful smile absently making itself a home on her lips. “As for the thematic quality of said fashion, I quite like the idea of simple yet stunning elegance, don’t you? I do not care much for convoluted garments; they often come across as too gaudy, in my honest opinion.” Her eyes flick back towards the noblewoman, and they shimmer in amusement. “Of course, in your capable hands, I believe none of those concerns would be necessary. When may we begin preparations for this?”


@LikelyMissFortune


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blb4tiytvj0z.jpgNovember 24 | 29 AO                                                            THE MISTRESS


Her yellow eyes flashed as she noticed the sudden redness of the lady's cheeks. Was it a reaction to the Mistress' rather suggestive words? Perhaps. Perhaps not. It was her fault by the way, for forgetting that she was no longer a man but a bona fide woman both in her nubile figure and feminine spirit. But old habits die hard, and the Mistress' cannot help but take necessary action when faced with such a splendid organism. Gender after all is the least of her worries. With that it mind the Mistress opened her mouth to speak-

“I see. I’m quite pleased to make an acquaintance of someone so cultured. What is it that you do? Are you a business owner or perhaps something else?”

-and almost choked at the lady's sudden inquiry. Thankfully it never developed to a coughing fit but once more her calm and composed disposition was undone by a mere few words coming out of this delectable lady's lips. Now what would the Mistress reply given her rather nefarious activities in the mainland. She's not a saint but even then her actions earned her the ire of a whole region. She was rather outstanding for that. For now the Mistress would have play it safe. Coy but safe.

So the Mistress took another gentle sip from her marvelous tea. "Well, one can say I'm an entrepreneur. No, an outsourcing company to be precise. Sometimes I do assist in transporting goods (definitely not smuggling). And often times, I receive contracts for escorting certain individuals (definitely not crime lords). All in all, I offer a rather broad service to all my clients, well to thiose who can afford the price."

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November 24 | 29 AO


At her query, the woman had paused, even as her mouth had been open and poised to speak. The brief silence afforded by the sip of tea speaks volumes, though Dahlia will not be the first to breach that particular subject. She opts to smile in encouragement as the Mistress discusses her entrepreneurial occupation, the diversity of roles she dabbles in, and aren't those rather telling as well?

Dahlia glances down at her tea for a moment. “I see,” she replies then, catching the woman’s eyes, her gaze shrewd and faintly amused. “Well then, you must know that the Andelusian High Tea Society welcomes everyone from all walks of life. No one need worry of their welcome here, much less a business-savvy individual of your caliber.” She leans back against her chair, assessing the one across from her as she casts about for a suitable topic to latch upon. A suggestion sparks bright in her mind, and she muses that conversing about business usually does the trick when it comes to idle talk.

“Transporting goods, you said? Do tell me more, if you can. My old contact has gone missing since the days of the Tyrant King,” her eyes dull with the mention of the ruler, “and so I've been making do with substandard transportation services, so to speak.”


@Thotification


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another-jalter-post-i-lost-count-now.jpgNovember 24 | 29 AO


The Mistress' eyes perk up at the sound of a possible 'job'. Will she take the bait? Especially from a luscious woman such as this lady? Perhaps. Perhaps not. The Mistress' body is willing but her mind says no until the terms are perfectly laid out. Such a dilemma. Oh what will the Mistress choose?

As she inwardly debated the pros and cons of either choices, the Mistress coyly sipped from her tea, her eyes once more glued to the lady's, never leaving for a moment. Yes, let the lady think that the Mistress is actually planning something while deep inside she's just lost and confused on how to approach the lady's proposal. For now the Mistress should play it safe.

Setting the cup on the saucer, the Mistress wiped her dainty lips with whatever the tea house provided as a napkin. The cloth smelled nice, too. And it would smell even nicer once it has tasted the Mistress' lips. Even napkins are not immune to the Mistress' charm. Perhaps the lady before her is not immune as well.

"Weeeeeell...." the Mistress started, and a rather poor start at that, "I always fancy myself as a delivery girl. So do tell me more my lady."

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November 24 | 29 AO


"I always fancy myself as a delivery girl. So do tell me more my lady."

Dahlia lifts an eyebrow, smiles enigmatically as she takes a sip from her own teacup then places the saucer back down onto the table. “I am in need of a service transporting uncommon plants and produce for our tea brews. We are in partnership with the noble House Hildebrand as well as many local farmers and apothecaries in the city. A regular delivery service to and from our suppliers would be very much appreciated.” She tilts her head, gaze unfocused as she recalls more information for the Mistress to peruse.

“We also require some transportation services delivering the goods Farmhouse De’Laire supplies us for our guests. With the type of baked fare they provide us, it’ll require a bit more finesse and—well, careful handling?” Dahlia laughs, taking a small piece of pastry from the table and presenting it to the Mistress, wordlessly explaining that it had come from Farmhouse De’Laire.

“Now, do tell me about your own transportation services. I’d like to know if they’re suitable for what I have in mind.”


@Thotification


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November 24 | 29 AO

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Transportation? Surely there'a more to it that just that? The Mistress pondered on that thought. She could only hope she won't have to smuggle anything. The last time she did, it was odd enough thoguh

Leaning back in her seat, the Mistress eyed the Lady Chamelis. "It seems my services might be useful after all. Well I can at least assure you I am no stranger in transporting goods. There were times when it was just plain boring items, sometimes produce, other times coin and then there's the occasional species trafficking. All in all, I never botched a transport yet. That said, my people are veteran escorts as that is out main trade. One can say, my organization is similar to a shady security company."

"The regular delivery transport would be simple enough for my people. We do need to confer with your regular suppliers though, after all they know best on how to transport their produce. As for the more exotic ones...."

She paused then, her eyes down cast. "-Tell me my lady, have you heard of sorcery?"

@vielle

Edited by Thotification

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"Splendid!" Evienne sat back, enjoying the look of pleasure making the enchanting specimen of a woman in front of her even more so. "If you were to say you weren't invited I would've  extended an invitation to you on behalf of the Dali's! This is splendid."

Her gaze, then was pulled back, a slow arc across the room- the alcove, the customers and the chatter. It paused on the curtains, evaluating the brocade, and the table cloth- and even the fine China with its slowly cooling tea- that she sipped from lazily. She hummed in response, drawing her time out as long as she could, soon Evienne would have to run along home, and get started on the Mr. Swan's commissions.

Finally, she rested her gaze, most heavily on Dahlia's. "I can get started as soon as I return back to the Manor. Shall I first get started on the Ball costumes then?"

She pouted, finding her cup too light- devoid of the amber, magical liquid; and another excuse to lounge around the Tea House, procrastinating. "I'll go back soon, and collect some sample fabrics- and first sketch out a few designs for Marceu and you, Miss Chamelis?" 

A movement of fair hair caught her eye, and the bounding silhouette of her maid, Leizhen was close, and soon, her time under Miss Chamelis' charming company would end- too soon for her liking. Too soon, indeed.

Then, sounding petulant; averting her gaze, Evienne posed a simple question, "Perhaps, it would be possible for me to return tomorrow? With a few sketches? I've some ideas for both uniforms and fancier stuff- but, I'm afraid I must leave."

Evienne hoped she wasn't being high handed, or rude, she didn't want to leave.

But, if she didn't the later she would be able to work on her newest patrons- and the more she'd have to Leizhen whine about not being introduced to the charming owner. A quick glance to where she last spotted the energetic bundle caught her by surprise, their gazes were locked- and Evienne's expression turned sullen at her approach. 

"If you'll excuse me, Miss Chamelis," She sighed, casting a long- desperate look at the proprietress, "But, I must make haste- It's been such a pleasure, really. I didn't expect such lovely company or time better spent. I'd love to frequent more often, if you'd allow it... Thank you. So much."

And, with a bob of her head- and in a flurry of pearls, peonies and pink- Lady Evienne was out of her seat, linking arms with her maid, and, much too soon, back into the unforgiving glare of the Andelusian afternoon Sun. 

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November 23 | 29 AO


Lady Evienne leans back, satisfaction evident in her gaze as she absorbs the knowledge of the teahouse’s presence in the festivities of Reverie, even going so far as to offering them an invitation on behalf of her noble house. Dahlia cannot help the bright smile, then, in the face of such amity from a stranger she has just met this very day. She nods in response to the query of starting their fashion endeavor with the garments for the Reverie Ball; the excitement stirring in her belly is a feeling she has long since forgotten. To be reminded of how things would have been before, had the only concern been the fashion choices they adorn themselves with during events and had the Tyrant King been nothing but fictitious—it’s bittersweet, to say the least.

"I'll go back soon, and collect some sample fabrics- and first sketch out a few designs for Marceau and you, Miss Chamelis?"

“That would be marvelous,” Dahlia grins, shifting her gaze for a brief moment to latch upon her maître d′, weaving his way across the room to wait upon the dwindling number of tables still replete with guests. Of all the staff under her employ, Marcy is the most flamboyant, and of course the best choice for the first among them to sketch a design for.

"Perhaps, it would be possible for me to return tomorrow? With a few sketches? I've some ideas for both uniforms and fancier stuff- but, I'm afraid I must leave."

Dahlia tilts her head curiously; her departure is altogether too sudden, but there is no reason for her to deny the noblewoman her leave. “Ah, yes, of course. No worries,” she smiles, trying to placate the unease in the Lady’s bearing, “I must have been taking too much of your time today, really. Tomorrow should be fine; I shall gladly await your return.”

From the corner of her eyes, Dahlia notices a young woman make her slow approach towards their table, all furrowed eyebrows and flushed cheeks. Evienne catches the stranger’s gaze, and perhaps they must know each other after all, with the way the noblewoman’s expression turns sour.

"If you'll excuse me, Miss Chamelis, but, I must make haste- It's been such a pleasure, really. I didn't expect such lovely company or time better spent. I'd love to frequent more often, if you'd allow it... Thank you. So much."

She opens her mouth to reply, but is given no time to answer. The woman finally reaches them, and Lady Evienne sweeps out of the establishment with a flourish of her dress and the rattle of the doorbell. Dahlia blinks for a moment, then laughs as she begins to clear the table of used plates.

Their fashion plans will have to wait; she has more work to do.


@LikelyMissFortune


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November 24 | 29 AO


"It seems my services might be useful after all. Well I can at least assure you I am no stranger in transporting goods. There were times when it was just plain boring items, sometimes produce, other times coin and then there's the occasional species trafficking. All in all, I never botched a transport yet. That said, my people are veteran escorts as that is out main trade. One can say, my organization is similar to a shady security company."

Dahlia takes a casual sip of tea and does not in any way attempt to untangle the confusing jumble of words coming from the Mistress’ mouth. Species trafficking? Shady security company? There’s one mystery solved, at the very least; there is no doubt left that her foreign guest does indeed dabble in the unsavory sort of deals. Not that Dahlia is one to judge, as a pillar of neutrality, but a little uncomfortable all the same.

However, the woman seems to be genuine when it comes to her transport services, which is really all that Dahlia cares about, in the name of improving the business. She is very close to considering the idea of hiring the Mistress already.

"The regular delivery transport would be simple enough for my people. We do need to confer with your regular suppliers though, after all they know best on how to transport their produce. As for the more exotic ones....tell me my lady, have you heard of sorcery?"

Nodding in agreement to the  Dahlia then pauses for a moment, her expression unreadable, before her lips tick up, a wicked smirk curving deep. “Sorcery, you say?” She picks up a piece of pastry and pops it in her mouth, waiting to chew and swallow before continuing. “I rather think I know a fair amount about it.” The grin vanishes, replaced with a more serious expression as she returns to the more formal matters at hand. “However, if you mean sorcery merged with transport, it is uncommon around these parts. Available, yes, but uncommon.” Another pastry disappears when Dahlia takes another moment of silence to eat it. “My suppliers prefer the more, let’s say—traditional sort of methods, but I am personally not averse to using magic. How will you be dealing with the more exotic forms of transportation, exactly?”


@Thotification


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another-jalter-post-i-lost-count-now.jpgNovember 24 | 29 AO


“My suppliers prefer the more, let’s say—traditional sort of methods, but I am personaly not averse to using magic. How will you be dealing with the more exotic forms of transportation, exactly?”

"Eh?" Confusion splattered all over the Mistress' face. Now how does she explain this? Clearly, there should be something she could say to make the lady believe. After all, there are multiple ways she can employ. Guess she'll have to spill the beans.

"One would, of course, be through the portals but that takes too much energy. Saves a lot of time though. However, there might be plants allergic to plants and ingredients allergic to sorcery and whatnots."

"Another one is through the use of more mundane means albeit with more advanced technology. My people could procure some preservation thingies depending on the materials' requirement. Perhaps through preservatives or refrigeration? Each ingredient does her its own specifications. The more exotic, the more troubling."

"Lastly, there's my flying ghost ship. When it turns into ghost form, well stuff inside gets locked in a kind of translucent stasis state. As long as I maintain it the anything inside is preserved, somewhat locked in time until the ship's power stops. But that's too much already. Actually, I prefer the second option."

The Mistress paused then to gaze at Dahlia. "Tell me, what do you prefer?"

Edited by Thotification

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