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vielle

where the wild thyme blows [penderyn]

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Ah, yes. Of course it is he they send to this transaction for land with the House of Sheathe.

It is not too long ago that the other noble house had been given the chance to stand on its own feet, separating itself from House Hildebrand with its acquired lands and assets all intact. Jasper had once been against this edict his Lady had enforced; however, hindsight suggests that perhaps he had gazed upon this matter with too-selfish eyes. Now, he expects only the very best from the former vassal house, and so today, he has come with a proposition that might stimulate further growth to both of their parties.

Once again, as before, he arrives to the fields surrounding the Sheathe’s humble estate flanked with a few knights, their armor gleaming in the hot sun. Jasper steps up to a farmer and nods his head at him in greeting. 

“Is Holly home? If she is, please do send word that Jasper Hildebrand wishes to speak business with her.”

 

@Thotification


 

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95hTg87.pngThe shack's doors open to reveal a rather sorry figure. She was a woman, soft, gentle, perhaps even delicate if only her face and body wasn't covered in burns and scars. One could say she was  disfigured to the point that it was hard too look at her directly. Most people would have looked away but not the farmers of this land.

Greetings were given to her all around, the usual 'good days' and 'good mornings.' They were always the cheerful bunch and the woman kindly took the time to say her thanks or even engage in what small talk she can offer as she strolled past them. The woman would have wanted to linger more but her presence is needed elsewhere.

She was astounded that her visitor would once more come to her place in person. The woman was never regarded herself with that much stature that even one of the great noble houses would directly ask for an audience with her. Intriguing at most, but nothing to worry about. Still, she was thankful for that farmer who brought the message to her earlier, thus she was more or less prepared to face the man. As the man's face came into view, the woman finally addressed her guest.

"Hello, Jasper," the woman started. "Back so soon?"

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Jasper does not hide the fact of his frank appraisal of Holly’s appearance; the widespread burns creeping over her skin like ivy vines around a trellis are a new addition to her scarred figure. He’s heard of the Lady Sheathe’s acquisition of the Oathblade Sunscar, but he never would have thought the cost of wielding it—the price one would exact on their own body to use it—would be of this magnitude.

Magic and all things arcane can be altogether ghastly. It’s a blessing, perhaps, to have an avenue to use magic but to not have to use it. He can leave such things to the branch houses and the mystical arts they pursue.

“What can I say,” Jasper smirks, nodding his head towards the woman in greeting. “It’s quite refreshing to visit your lands and your self. Makes for a different view, a change of scenery from all the stuffy nobles you assume us all to be.” He gazes about the room for a moment, lost in thought, before continuing. “I’ve a proposal to make that might pique your interest.”

 


 

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95hTg87.png"It has been quite a while," Holly spoke as she returned the man's nod, "I rarely get any visitors nowadays seeing an old face coming back sort of brightens the mood."

An old stuffy face at that. 

The burnt woman cocked her head at the man's words. He seemed to have some kind of proposal in mind but as to what such thing entails, perhaps it would be the next topic for discussion.

"A proposal?" Holly replied, her tone filled with suspicion. "I hope it's a good one."

The man might be a snake but Holly knew he won't do anything that outright and blatant. She figured it would just be another business proposal but there really isn't much in her farm to begin with. Who knows what one can buy with a sack of potatoes? Still, he would hear the man out, if only because Holly held deep respect for him.

A stuffy pampered ninny.

Edited by Thotification

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A brief moment of silence to gather his thoughts. Jasper entwines his fingers together as he gazes upon the Lady of House Sheathe and begins to speak. 

“I was wondering,” he muses in an altogether casual manner, “if we might be able to purchase land from you. You see, we’ve just recently reestablished House Penderyn, one of Hildebrand’s branch houses. Their ancestral home Villa Meliae is to be refurbished after a long period of absence and neglect, and some of Sheathe’s land borders its original area.”

The Lord Hildebrand turns his eyes to the window overlooking the fields beyond, focus almost assessing in its quality. “We wish to expand Penderyn’s land for large-scale production of floriculture and the establishment of greenhouses in this matter. Therefore, I am extending this deal to you: the purchase of five square miles of land at the price of a generous monetary sum and a trade deal of tonics and potions straight from the apothecaries of the Gilded Gardens. What do you think?”

 


 

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hanako1.pngHer full lips pursed as she regarded the man's proposition. Although it was a good deal but she has nothing to gain from it. Money was never the problem as she there's more than enough funding coming from the Silverbush group and their many enterprises. Nor did she need any of those tonics and potions. She could pretty much do a better job than those third-rate wannabe alchemists and enchanters. What she needed was something more abstract, something less concrete.

Holly's mouth curved in what seemed like a smile but looked too painful with all the scars and burn marks. "Jasper, Jasper, my dear friend. You should know by now that material gain and financial gain mean nothing to me, much less the magical kind. Instead, I propose a counter-offer."

"Knowledge, history and experience. If you were to dig deeper into my personal history then you this request would most likely make sense."

"I would be very much interested instead, in learning of the history of the Penderyns, their way of life, and what type of sorcery they have if they do dabble in that sort of thing." 

Edited by Thotification

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As expected, a peek into the enterprising nature of the Sheathe lady. He isn’t quite surprised, but the thought had come with a bit of sourness: he’d have to maneuver through the discussion more carefully. 

“Of course, if that is what you wish. The history of the Penderyns is available in many tomes throughout the libraries and areas of study throughout the islands, most especially in Andelusia and Decamron Academy.” Jasper steeples his fingers, smile as casual as ever even as he assesses the woman’s facade. “I agree that information is more valuable to those of our standing, and so  I’d be happy to provide you a fair amount of books on the subject of the House’s botanical and herbal expertise.” 

He says nothing on the matter of sorcery; assumptions are a powerful tool, and so there need not be any words to push the woman any further towards the truth of the Gilded Gardens. Fleuromancy is a well-guarded secret, and a secret it would remain.

 


 

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Holly shrugged at the man's words. "Eh? I guess that should do. You do know that land is rather easy to reclaim. One only needs to put enough effort and labor."

Then she frowned as if realizing something. "Although, I would love to have that tour around the Gilded Gardens. I'm sure the place would be very lovely. It's not everyday I get to explore one of the newly built branch houses."

Which is weird because she has heard it just now. She might have to look into it later, given that her previous knowledge of the Hildebrands does not match with what she is hearing right now.

"Since you have been so generous not to mention what kind of sorcery the Penderyn's were dabbling with, I'll go ahead and assume that there's a good reason for that. Well either way, I could only hope it cures the HIldebrand's allegies for magic. Such a shame that I was unable to see a brand new art of sorcery but seeing that you might have changed your stance now is good enough for me."

"No need to fear the unknown, my friend."

hanako1.png

Edited by Thotification

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It’s quite unclear where exactly the woman is taking her assumptions from, but Jasper knows the ways of diplomacy rather intimately: when in doubt, choose your words carefully. He has not spoken of any sort of sorcery connected to the Gilded Gardens, and as an outsider to the Hildebrand family, Holly is not in the position to know of the very existence of fleuromancy. 

It is no matter of concern. He merely offers a nod in response to her words, reining back the subject matter to the topic he’s come here for.

“You would know that I aim to familiarize all that is unknown,” Jasper shrugs, a knowing smile on his mouth. “So, do we have a deal, then, Miss Sheathe? As charming as this visit has been, I have other pressing matters to handle.”

 


 

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The kind Lady Sheathe narrowed her already narrow slits she called eyes at the man. Surely he did not come all this way just to give her this 'pressing concern' speech. The audacity! Clearly such manner is quite attributed to those only belonging to the highest of social standings, the noble asses.

"I see," Holly started, "If you put it that way. Then I have no more reason to say no." She paused then to put a scarred finger on her lip in thought. "Although, it was a rather short visit. But you go along now and take of these "pressing matters' of yours."

After having said her piece, the woman known as the Lady Sheathe motioned to leave. Her back turned against the man, she gave him one last advise.

"My people have recently cleared a small patch of land near Hidebrand's borders. I'll inform my farmers there of our agreement. Farewell, Jasper."

Then the Lady was on her way back from where she came from.

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With the deal struck and the proceedings thereupon transferred into the hands of the most enterprising son of the Hildebrands (at least, he’d like to think himself as such, and all the evidence points to the affirmative), the next matter of business rests on just how quickly the land can be worked on. It takes half a day for the farmers to vacate the area, and by the end of it all, Jasper makes a show of glaring at the group’s retreating backs like they’ve personally wronged him.

“If you don’t mind me saying, my Lord,” says the foreman, in a way one would definitely mind the words about to be spoken, “you’ve grown far too impatient in your dealings nowadays.”

It is not the man’s place to speak on such a thing, but Jasper humors him. Let him think it mean anything other than an expendable remark. “Time is simply of the essence, my good man,” he retorts, “and I intend to make every last portion of mine worthy.”

 


 

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His interest has long been piqued by the extensive stone walls that encircle the perimeter of Penderyn land, but it is only by walking along the enclosure in person that Jasper begins to think of what it might actually mean, for those living within and without. Is it a matter of keeping suspicious trespassers out or keeping the secrets of fleuromancy in? Is it a matter of only one choice or perhaps the validity of both?

It is quite possible that the true answer to this has disappeared along with most of the family secrets when Penderyn had gone underground during the reign of the Tyrant King, but it leaves one telltale clue in the midst of its decrepit state: the written work on fleuromancy had remained safe and unlooted even after years and years: a secret left untouched in the depths of Villa Meliae’s crumbling ruin.

Despite himself, Jasper is impressed—perhaps there is some use to the walls after all, even in nonuse as they are.
 

 


 

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A week into the reconstruction efforts, the Lady Chamelis travels from her manor to visit the ancestral structure that her family have never called home, not once. He catches her staring out into the half-built ruins and strides over to her side.

“What do you make of Villa Meliae, Lady Chamelis?” If one were to look more closely, one would realize that this is not at all an innocent question of any sort, but Jasper poses it with practiced nonchalance. He’d sooner distinguish the inner workings of this woman’s mind before he is to put any amount of faith in her authority.

The Lady takes one long glance at the patchwork colored glass windows and then turns away. “Like it needs someone to flick the cobwebs away from our sacred tomes,” is what she replies, and yes, alright, that is acceptable enough. 


 


 

Edited by vielle

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As they set out to clear out what little more is left on the land Hildebrand has bought from House Sheathe, the workers stumble upon a much-awaited discovery, hidden amongst the thickest greenery.

“We’ve found Daphne’s Rest, my Lord,” the foreman reports to Jasper, who immediately takes it upon himself to grab a horse and make his way to inspect the hidden spring. Upon arrival, he is greeted by towering trees, their leafy arms splayed wide out towards the sky, giant roots twisting and entangling through the shallow banks of the pools. The waters are still as clear and as cool as he remembers, visiting here once or twice in his youth, and if that does not mean a great many things, then—well.

“Perhaps there are things even the Tyrant King cannot taint,” he muses under his breath, urging his steed to ride out once more into the open fields, ensuring that none but the chosen of the Penderyns may have access to its hallowed ground. The Chamelis family will need to hear about this.

 


 

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