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Dali Estate [hub]

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Source: https://www.valucre.com/topic/40402-lost-house-of-dali/?do=findComment&comment=725522

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For aesthetic purposes; not an inflexible representation

On 8/6/2018 at 10:25 AM, supernal said:

Dali Estate

  • Beachfront Property: Private paths lead from the manor to a beach house overlooking the shore (and with means of nautical egress tucked into the cliff side).
  • Farmland: Although enough food is grown for the family to sustain itself indefinitely, the main use of the farmland is for cash crops such as coffee, tobacco, and medicinal plants to bolster the estate economically. 
  • Gardens and Hedge Maze: The matriarch Dali likes pretty things, and puzzles, and has over the decades of her life carefully cultivated a breathtaking combination garden and hedge maze coddling the eastern side of the estate. Plant species that aren't native to Ursa Madeum here flourish and setup a dazzling display of color and fragrance to anyone traipsing through the half-mile tract. 
  • Roads: Paved and maintained paths which connect the village, the estate, the various fields and parts of the Dali islet. 
  • Village: The outlying homes and farmland occupied and maintained by serfs. The wealth and quality of homes in the village is moderate. 
  • Woodlands: On the peninsula connecting the small islet on which Dali Manor rests is a thick forest which doubles as an always-in-use training ground for one on one combat, squad tactics, and large-scale war games.

Dali Manor - Layouts

The below is the layout of the estate of House Dali. The map is adopted from another game called Highdark Hall. Where the label is generic such as 'Lunar Ballroom', you can reference it normally. Where the naming is specific like 'Lord Gerald's Courtyard', either call it the just 'the courtyard' or in the text of your post replace it with 'Lady Halisera'.

This layout is inclusive only of the manor and not of the outlying properties. 

Edited by supernal

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It had been two days since her return to the Estate when Merida finally woke up from her deep slumber. Ever since she was placed in her bed, she hadn't bother to wake until now. Her body had been so tired, so beaten, and it all felt so heavy. It weighed on the girl, and despite all the pain she felt, she slept through it all.

Her mother stayed by her as she slept, having returned days after hearing the news. She sat rigid, like a statue the entire time, seething with anger and disappointment. Disappointment in Greta, the Governess she had hired, and in Vesper Moontraveler. "Moontravelers are nothing but trouble!" Her mother always said to her, but Merida never believed a word of it. Especially now. 

When Merida woke, her body ached, her joints stiff from laying so still. Her wounds hurt, but since her arrival home she had been visited by many healers, per her mother's orders. Her hands were scarred, but her magick was no longer blocked, and her left hand was heavily bandaged to prevent it from getting dirty, the missing ring finger safe from infection. The many wounds she received from her week in Hell would most likely scar, but those things she could hide. For Francine however, she was worried about the bruises on her daughter's face, and the state of her hair. 

The cursed red hair. 

"You're awake." Francine said, not looking up from the tome she held in her lap. She sat in a large overstuffed armchair that Greta normally sat in, but now the old crone stood behind the Spidervalley Master, her gray eyes staring at Merida with little to no emotion. They were cold, dead eyes. Merida could always feel the icy chill whenever they set their sights on her. Francine shifted in her seat, and she licked her thumb before turning the page, only glancing up at her daughter while she awaited a response. "Well, did they take out your tongue as well?" 

Merida slowly sat up in her bed, her back leaning up gently against the headboard. She was shocked to hear her mother's voice instead of Greta's, and it nearly stopped her heart in her chest. The girl saw the outline of the Governess in the corner by the window, and her mothers silhouette just under it. She didn't know what to say, she hadn't heard from her mother in months, she wasn't even aware she was even here. Merida turned her head away, her good hand finding it's way nervously into her butchered hair, tugging on a curl anxiously. She flinched as her mother spoke again, and Merida bit her lip just slightly before turning her head back into her mother's direction. "G-good Afternoon, Mother. How long was I asleep?" She asked, and she heard her mother shut the heavy book. 

Francine handed the tome to Greta, and she sat up more in the chair. "Two days. You slept quite a long time. We were worried you wouldn't wake. You had a fever, but thankfully it broke, due to the Healers I found for you." Her mother's voice was curt, and not a word was wasted. Francine felt like every second of her time was valuable, so she didn't waste time with idle chatter unless it suited her. She looked at her daughter, and wondered how that cowering girl had even survived that week in the Descartes Twins custody. "I see your Aunt let you go to the Reverie, after Greta told you you weren't to attend." 

Every conversation with her mother went like this. Merida bowed her head, her fingers tugging on her hair. The only positive thing her mother had to say shocked her. "Ampelos tells me you're the manager of the Vineyard on Baizo." She said. "Good, do it well and it may move your rank within the Guild." Merida smiled at this, but then Francine cleared her throat and spoke again. "Your cousin, Evienne Goldcourt has been asking to see you. Seems she feels guilty about letting you slip through her fingers." Francine smiled, and put a hand to her mouth to gently dab at the corner of her lips. "I've arranged a luncheon for you both. You need to eat before you waste away, seems like those Twins didn't feed you adequately." She rose from the chair, and motioned for Greta to move. "Get her washed and dressed, then take her to see that woman. Her constant questioning is getting annoying, and I have work to do." Greta smiled, and dipped her head. "Yes my Lady, of course." 

Merida sat through a bath and yet another haircut, just to even out the ends. The girl tried not to cry as a brush was yanked through her curls, her head being sharply shoved back to face frontwards each time she tried to squirm away. She was dressed in a black velvet gown that hugged her frame, and with long sleeves to hide bruises and cuts that adorned her skin. Her hair was trimmed and evened out, now complete with bangs, and the longest strands touched her chin. Her curls wanted to spring everywhere, but Greta managed to style it, her bangs hanging just above her eyes. She wore black slippers, nothing too fancy, just something to put on her feet so that the outfit was decent, and she wasn't wandering around barefoot. Merida found it painful to walk, so she was reduced to sit in a wheelchair, with Greta to push her around. 

She was wheeled into a study, that had a small table placed in the center of the room, with a tea set placed ontop of the white lace tablecloth, with a plate setting set for two. Greta would not be joining them, she would go serve Francine while Evienne and Merida dined and reconciled. "Your cousin will be here shortly. I'm going to leave you here while I go assist your Lady Mother. Have Lady Goldcourt send for me when you're ready to retire." Greta said sharply, locking the wheels on the chair as she was placed at the table. Greta left after, leaving Merida alone in the study while she awaited for her cousin to arrive. It was safe to say Merida was nervous, she hadn't seen Evienne since the maze, and she heard that Evie had even gotten married, to an Uldwar. Though Merida knew now it wasn't really Luis who did this to her, she still felt like the Uldwars were to blame. 

 

@LikelyMissFortune

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Aunt Francine had always irked Evienne. 

She had always been nice enough, curteous if a little snippy. She was everything Evienne should admire, on paper, organized, well dressed polite. But, the way she treated Merida, her impatience with her, Merida's subsequent nervousness-- the distaste for anything Moontraveller, sat uncomfortably with Evienne. So, when Evienne did start hassling Francine to see Merida after she was found, it became quickly evident that Francine hated anything she couldn't control.

Her Aunt was able to keep her away two days. For Evienne it was two days too many.

She's taken to wearing dresses with high necks, and today was no different. Perhaps, if no one else could see the faint white lines streaking past her neck, she wouldn't see them either. And perhaps if they stopped asking Leizhen, she would stop seeing the girls' specter. But they do see, and they do comment and Leizhen is forever burned into Evienne's mind as are the thin scars, too faint for her to be satisfied. Next time, she would scratch at jugular.

Atleast, that was what she had promised herself, if they never found Merida. Battered beyond belief, she was informed that Merida had slept for two days. They were afraid she wouldn't wake at one point, but she had, and the relief that came from that was almost too much for her to bear. She didn't deserve as much. And, still, Evienne found herself running-- rushing to see Merida. It was too good to be true, if Merida was alive, if she was well, if she was whole...

She was in the study, in a wheel chair- and the black of her dress did nothing to hide how it sagged. Merida was pale and drawn, bruises and cuts mottled her face, the back of her visible hand-- the other, covered in gauze, her eyes were ringed with circles that could've been a mirror to Evienne's under her paint and powder. But still, she was alive and whole, and she couldn't quite stop herself from seizing her by the shoulder, and sinking into a desperate embrace. Merida was here, she was alive, she was well and she was whole. She did not have a bullet in her head.

Unbidden tears stung her eyes, and Evienne made a valiant effort to keep them at bay. It would do no good to let Merida see her in such dire straights, it would be silly to let her worry, all was alright. Traitorously still, her was quivered when spoke, "Oh, my dear girl, won't you forgive me? I've done you wrong."

@Witches Brew

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The Dali manor loomed overhead - a foreboding thing as far the petite Delaney was concerned. She was accustomed to fancy homes, or so she had thought, but this manor definitely reminded her that there was still a long way between her and the people that actually ruled. The pale woman wrinkled her little nose, near-white eyes skimming over the old stone bricks and columns as if she could discern some hidden secrets from it. Really, she was just putting off actually having to enter the place.  She was tense and ill at ease here for several reasons, but the largest being the circumstances that brought her here in the first place. Her summons to come stay at the Dali Estate may have been written politely enough, but she had been able to read between the lines and the message was clear as day to her; she was not fully free from the investigation into her husbands untimely death. She'd been brought here because she was a potential suspect.

Leviticus Wyrmwalker had had his fair share of enemies - he caused a lot of trouble for some very powerful people, after all. However, it was also no secret that the pretty little wife he had plucked from some up-and-coming family was not being treated like the precious little gem he had pretended she was while courting her. Truth be told, this trip to the Manor was the first time Delaney had been past the garden walls of the country home Leviticus had housed her in ever since her marriage to him 4 years ago. If only imprisoning her was the worst thing he'd subjected her too in that time. 

Delaney chased those thoughts away and lifted a hand to pull down the short veil that obscured her eyes from view just enough to make a person question if she simply looked tired or if she was trying to hide her tear swollen eyes. 

She felt like she made a convincing widow at least; she wore black and had purchased enough black clothing to last her far longer then custom would demand she wear it, and the elegant golden band Leviticus had given her still encircled her finger. The only other jewelry she wore was a pin fashioned into the shape of a blue rose that contained a drop of blood from her late husband at it's very centre. She had ordered it made in the days following Leviticus' death and eventual enterrement though she wasn't sure if she had done so because she felt she had too or if some part of her was actually going to miss the man. Four years was a long time to have someone in your life, even if they had been a constant torment... And Delaney was fairly far from the cold hearted woman so many people assumed upon meeting her.  

"Lady Wyrmwalker?" A soft, uncertain voice called out from behind her, startling her from her thoughts. She almost jumped. 

"I... Yes?" She asked, not even turning to see who had spoken to her. That much uncertainty meant it was most likely staff... and not one that had a lot of power. 

"I'm to bring your things to your rooms. If you'd like to follow me, I'd be happy to show you them to you at the same time?" 

The upward inflection turned the statement into more of a question then a request. Delaney let out a heavy sigh, guessing she had stalled enough and gave a little nod of her head, finally looking over at the young man with a mop of dark brown hair. He had two others with him, each laden with her luggage and trunks of her possessions. 

"Yes, I suppose that would be for the best," she agreed, motioning for the three to lead the way. When they passed, she followed on silent feet, arms crossed over her chest and shoulders hunched up towards her ears as if she could shrink away and out of existence. 

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She could hear the hurried footsteps from down the hall clearly, the tapping of the heels against marble was unmistakeable, and Merida instantly sat up straighter, in case it was someone other than her cousin. She hadn’t had much company since her return, Lady Halisera of course greeted her and her captors through the door, but other than her Mother and Greta, no one had been allowed to visit. Merida’s head looked down at her lap, her fingers brushing over the heavy gauze that covered her burned and mutilated hand and forearm. The hurried tapping stopped, and slowed as they entered the room, all the way up to Merida’s wheelchair. A light hand gripped her shoulder, and the body fell into her lap, clinging tightly to her malnourished frame. 

It was Evienne. She could tell by the smell of her shampoo, and from the touch of her hands. She quickly wrapped her arms around the older girl, her head buried into the crook of her cousin’s neck, and held back tears that instantly sprung into her sightless eyes. Evienne begged her forgiveness, and she could hear her voice wobbling, she was clearly upset. 

“Oh Evie,” She said, her voice trembling as tears rolled from her eyes, down her cheeks and onto Evienne’s gown. “You have n-nothing to apologize fo-for!” She lifted her head from the blonde’s shoulder, and she planted a soft kiss on her cheek, her hand brushing her hair back from her cousin’s face, her thumb tapping her gently on the nose before she withdrew her hand. 

Merida held Evienne for as long as she needed it, and when she finally broke away and took a seat, Merida slowly reached for the teapot, the liquid inside hot and steeped already, and carefully poured two cups, one for each of them. “I’m not quite sure how you take your tea, or I would fix it for you.” She admitted, as she let her hand search the table for the sugar. Upon finding it, she labeled two small spoonfuls into her cup, and used a different spoon to stir it together, and then she slowly brought the cup to her lips, trying her hardest to keep her hand from shaking. 

Being back home was difficult, the past week was still so fresh and prominent in her mind, she was afraid this was all a ruse created by the Descartes Twins, to make her feel safe before crushing her down once again. She now knew of their ventriloquy skills, so in the back of her mind, Evienne couldn’t have really been here, it could be Ursula, or Marcella. It could all be a trick... a dirty, nasty trick. Merida was stiff, on edge, constantly trying to use the angles of light in the room to reassure herself she was actually home, and not back on that ship. Her mind wouldn’t accept she was actually home, it was constantly toying with her, breaking her down again and again with unnecessary fear. She was terrified, and she hoped her cousin wouldn’t take offense to it. 

Evienne had nothing to do with her capture or her torture, and she didn’t understand why the woman was beating herself up about it all. Could it be the fact that Aunt Vesper left her in charge of her care? Had Aunt Vesper gotten mad at Evienne? Where was her Aunt? Had she left the estate? She had so many questions, hopefully Evie could answer some if not all of them. 

@LikelyMissFortune

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So much had changed since Reverie. It was evident in the way that Evienne held her shoulders, and the twitch of Merida's hands. The sight of her cousin eased her heart as much as it was struck with panic. Merida was too thin, her hair too short, her movements slow and pained, but there wasn't much she could do but to be wipe her tears-- gently. And bubble with near hysteric laughter at her attempts at making Evie feel better. Were she not the older one, and Merida the younger?

She would've liked to sit like so forever, time for her luxuriate in Merida's lap, forgiveness assured as a lamb would forgive an errant shepherd. Silly lamb, she wanted to wail. But, a sense of normalcy, of poise, of shoulders held back-- of her chin held up must be established. Even if Merida couldn't see, to stop the tremors in her voice and assert a degree of gaudy, careless lady Evienne had been. To at least seem it, even as she was learning to not be so. Still, the reversal that felt about as odd as Leizhen's absence. But, there was tea cooling in a pot and questions to be answered.

It was a hopeless charade, to pretend that one had not spend a week being tortured at Sea. All due to that damned carelessness.

One was dead. The other barely clung to life.

"You didn't need to pour me tea, darling. Look at you, you're shaking, shall I help?" She was more nervous, suspicious of her surroundings, as though it all were a fantasy that was too loud- too real and shiny to be reality. It was a feeling Evienne could sympathize with. "Moonie's not back yet. She felt as responsible as I do for your disappearance, she even wrote me a letter when she left-- I didn't come back to the manor after labyrinth you see, I had to make sure they would never hurt you again, Lamb. Oh, Moonie's still at see and she shall not be happy with me when she comes back."

Evienne didn't add sugar to her tea, nor did she add cream. She didn't blow on it, but she sipped and sighed in the bitter- scalding liquid, the perfect temperature. "If Moonie were here, you would've seen her earlier. I'm sorry for that... I had somethings to see to. What has Aunt Francine told you, Mer? I shall try to fill in the blanks, it's the least I could do to help."

@Witches Brew

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Two people enter the room that both Merida and Evienne inhabit. One is an older woman, the other, her daughter. They are outsiders to the Dali home, and fled there in the hopes for having safety against a dangerous world. With gifts in hand, they carefully walked towards the two, in hopes of fostering a good relationship between them. 

First came Cassandra, formerly Uldwar, now Grinnich, carrying a package in her arms, dressed in humility of greens and browns, far below her normal attire, but fitting for a woman with less than nothing now to her name. Wearing simple satin slippers, she took a breath and respectfully cleared her throat. "Excuse me, my daughter and I wanted to have a word, if you will. We have heard of what has happened recently, so we wanted to offer both our condolences and congratulations. Erica, please step forward, dear, show them the pretty dress you sewed."

The timid girl, with hair as golden as her father's blood suggested, came forward in similar garb as her mother, holding a dress in her hands. "I thought you might like this." She said in a voice just above a whisper, handing her the shoddy, if not sincere attempt at making a beautiful gown of blue and gray. "Welcome to the family, big sister." She seemed so small, as if she wanted to be the last thing seen in the entire room. 

Following suit, she opened the box, handing first Evienne her gift, and then something for Merida. "As one of my daughters you deserve something dear to me. Those are ear rings that my mother gave to me, passed down from her mother, and her mother before her. I hope you will find them well in your coming days of happiness." They were made of silver, crafted to look like vines, with emeralds cut in the shape of flowers in the center of them. 

"For you, Lady Merida...I know at least something of what those dreadful Descartes twins could do in matters of their brutality. Had they accomplished their previous schemes, my...Oscar would be dead, and I in prison for his murder, while our son Luis was forced into a position he wasn't ready for, controlled by those horrible snakes. May this give you some comfort, as it did me in the nights that followed." The object in question was a small coin, inscribed with the old words of the monarchy before King Damien came to power. 

After giving her gifts, Cassandra politely waited, hoping to receive praise and thanks for the thought put behind each one.

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Aunt Vesper wasn’t here. She was away again, at sea. Deep down Merida wished that her Aunt had found her, and had killed everyone on that damned ship. But that might have been too good to be true. Now the culprits sat in the dungeons, and her Aunt was still out there, searching for something. It must have been very important, this mission, and Merida wished her beloved Aunt the best of luck out there, and hoped that she returned soon. She didn’t know how much longer she could sanely be around her mother. 

When Evie mentioned her mother, Merida couldn’t help but flinch. Her mother was such a demanding woman, wanting nothing less than greatness from her offspring. She suspected her mother loved her, at least a little, right? But she couldn’t help but feel as if Francine resented her. For being a bastard. For being a Moontraveller. 

“Mother? Oh, Mother has told me-“ She was cut off by the sudden unexpected arrival of two people. Uldwars. She knew that they had been offered asylum here at the Estate, she just didn’t know that they remained. Cassandra’s voice she recognized, they had met at the Ball, where the woman ignored her, hadn’t spoken a word to her. She paid all her attention to Evienne. But according to rumors she’s heard, Evienne was now married to Godric Uldwar, and was now Cassandra’s daughter by marriage. How ironic that must’ve been. Cassandra must’ve been furious when she found out her son married that Dali upstart. Despite arriving uninvited and unannounced, Cassandra spoke of condolences and congratulations, but once again it seemed like Merida had melted into the background, unimportant, only seen at a second glance. 

Mad the gifts were exchanged, Merida held the coin in her hand, running her thumb over the raised inscriptions that had been near rubbed smooth by what had been Cassandra’s nervous hands. See could barely make it out. Evienne would perhaps be gracious and accept these gifts, but Merida felt something swirling inside her. Cassandra’s apology was shit. It meant nothing to her. She spoke of her expirence like Merida was supposed to care, like she was supposed to feel sorry for the Uldwars. Sorry for what happened to them. Merida felt a new surge of anger within her. Something she rarely felt, and it felt like it was about to burst free from her chest at any moment. 

They sat in silence as Cassandra awaited praise and thanks, but Merida wasn’t going to give it. Instead she placed the coin on the table, and she stared in the direction of Cassandra and her child. Under the table, Merida began to unwrap the bandages and gauze from her hand, trying not to give away anything that may suggest she was in pain. 

“Lady Cassandra.” Merida hissed the name. She wasn’t a lady. She was a snake. “You think I care about what happened to you? What happened to your husband, or L-Lui-“ She couldn’t finish that name. That name struck fear into her each time she heard it. Hearing Cassandra say it made her sick. “I don’t care what happened to you. Who gave you permission to come in here? What balls do you posses under your gawdy gown allowed you to come in here?” Her voice rose higher and higher. For Evienne, witnessing Merida’s anger would be a new thing for her. The tiny girl who’s voice barely rose above a whisper was loud, and her stutter was basically nonexistent. She felt her hand free itself from its bindings, and she rose the mangled limb, holding it out in front of her own face. 

“You think going to jail would have been awful?” She scoffed. “They tortured me. Sealed my magick away.” She felt tears come to her eyes once again. “They burned me, molested me, cut me, hung me from hooks like I was nothing more than a piece of meat that they fed to people like you.”  The fresh air hitting her wounds stung, but she kept going. “While you were here exploiting my families generosity, I was suffering. My family was suffering. And you think that some coin you happened to have will bring me comfort? Hmm? Will it grow back my finger? Will it take away the scars? My fear? Will it bring back my Father?” She continued this like of questioning, but she felt it going nowhere. 

“Get out. I don’t ever want to catch even the slightest glimpse of your shadow in these halls.” She lowered her hand, holding the shaking thing in her lap. “GET OUT!” She screamed, tears now flowing down her face, anger and pain wracked her small body. She curled in towards herself, not wanting them to see her cry. 

She hated them. All of them. Luis, Cassandra, Oscar, Godric, the whole lot of them. They deserved to burn. 

@Grubbistch @LikelyMissFortune

 

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