A Family That Felt Whole

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Log Info

  • Title: A Family That Felt Whole
  • Emitter: Telamon
  • Place: The TarRaCe
  • Summary: It's the big night. Ravenstongue meets Telamon's mother, Ariana, sporting the splendid gown that Aryia made for her. Ariana seems not only impressed; she is rather taken by her son's girlfriend. The three (plus Pothy) sit down and have a nice conversation... until Ariana reveals her hand and asks Ravenstongue and Telamon what they're hiding. Ravenstongue reveals her secret and informs Ariana of the Feathered One and the Lúpecyll family arrangement. Ariana takes the news quite well, only wanting to know if Ravenstongue is to be spirited away immediately after marriage. When that matter is cleared up, Ariana gives her approval of the whole situation, although she certainly wants to speak to 'Grandfather' at a later date with her husband in tow.

-=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=-<* The TarRaCe *>--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=-

Inside, this two-story structure has been almost completely opened up. Generous windows on both stories allow daytime sunlight and cooling night breezes to flow in as needed, while the brick walls have been whitewashed - contrasting with the dark-stained beams and supports, and the rich polish on the wooden floor. A broad strip of stone runs from the entrance to a framed doorway set into the opposite wall, with a sign above the lintel declaring that the baths are to be found that way.

The ground floor is sprinkled with tables and chairs of assorted sizes, offering welcome to guests both large and small. One whole corner of the building - into which guests are not permitted entry - has been given over to the kitchen, which serves as the domain of the famed monster chef Ligum Serforus. Mundane meals are available, but the chef delights in offering up obscure dishes made from the freshest of monster ingredients.

Opposite the kitchen a small bar runs in front of an array of shelves, displaying a broad selection of beverages (most of them alcoholic). The bar-top has been fashioned from what looks to have been old pieces of armor, fused and welded together before being polished to provide a near-smooth finish. Set above it, three human-sized statues have been built into an alcove in the wall: Tarien, Rada and Ceinara jointly keep benevolent watch over the room and its occupants.

To the right of the entrance, a small stage offers a platform for a handful of performers at a time. To the left of the door, a spiral staircase of wrought iron winds its way up to a balcony dining area, that is chiefly reserved for special events and parties.

-=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=- Dramatis Personae =--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=-     
Ravenstongue         5'0"     99 Lb      Half-Elf          Female    Short half-elf girl with violet eyes and black hair.                       
Telamon              5'6"     140 Lb     Half-Elf          Male      A platinum-blond half-sil man with dancing dark eyes                       

The big night. Suffice to say, Telamon is on edge.

He arrives at the TarRaCe, dressed in his usual dark colors -- this time a deep, navy-blue ensemble of tunic and hose, with his half boots cleaned and the buckles polished to a mirror shine. No jewelry, save for the slender headband on his brow, and his cloak around his shoulders to ward off the cold. But he's clearly not worried about that, because of who he's escorting from the airship station.

The woman is clearly human, with a shock of red-gold hair spilling down her back, caught up in a simple ponytail for ease of management. Her own dress is practical, but elegant all the same -- a modest bodice and long skirts, with a heavy fur cloak wrapped around her. The only signs of age are the laugh lines around her mouth, and her blue eyes sparkle the same way Telamon's do. His features favor hers; he looks more like his mother indeed.

The half-elf young woman that strides into the TarRaCe is less 'Ravenstongue the adventurer' and more 'Cor'lana Lúpecyll, child of the Feathered One'.

Her raven-dark hair falls down to her waist in gentle waves, brushed carefully so not a strand is out of place. Her violet eyes are unaccompanied by glasses this evening, so the subtle strength and conviction within them shine through in the light. More importantly, the black and gray gown that starts at her neck and terminates at her shins catches the eye, especially with the black and white feathers that wreath her shoulders and the collar. Gold thread on the gown matches the curuchuil mark underneath the gown only known to Telamon, Ravenstongue, and (of course) Pothy. The look is finished with her more practical long adventuring boots that go up past her shins.

To sum it up, she looks more than ever like a sorceress, a person of great and terrible power... Well, one day she will be. But until then, she can at least look it partway.

Pothy, of course, rides in on her shoulder. His blue eyes hone in on the woman who is clearly Telamon's mother. But rather than immediately announce his presence, he actually looks to Ravenstongue for guidance.

Cor'lana Lúpecyll stops short of Telamon and his mother, smiling serenely. "Good evening," she says, curtsying politely. "I am so happy to finally meet you. I am called Cor'lana Lúpecyll. Please, call me Lana or Raven."

The woman returns the curtsey, deeply, before looking Raven up and down and then smiling broadly. Suddenly it's clear why Telperius was smitten with her; she radiates a kind of joy of life that would put a Tarienite to shame. "So you are the formidable Cor'lana," she says with a grin. "Call me Ariana; it's a pleasure to meet you, finally." Her eyes twinkle, just like Telamon's do. "Tel's letters clearly understated things."

Telamon, for his part, blushes a tiny bit. "Why don't we sit down? I... well, I imagine we have some things to discuss, or at least we should get to know each other." When his mother isn't looking (or at least, he thinks she's not), he gives Raven a wink; clearly this is getting off to a good start, as Tel leads Lana and his mother to the table reserved for them, pulling out their chairs to seat them before taking a seat himself.

Ravenstogue smiles a little wider for being called the 'formidable'. It's not a word often used to describe her, but her appearance today certainly sells that word a bit more than she otherwise would. "It really is a pleasure to meet you, Madame Ariana," she says. "But I think if anyone here was to be described as formidable, it would be you. Tel has told me some wonderful stories about you."

She takes the seat that Telamon has pulled out for her, her hands politely folding onto her lap. It's at this point that Pothy makes himself known, as he whistles to Cor'lana, then says, in his usual manner, "Snacks."

"This is my familiar, Apotheosis--but we call him Pothy for short," Ravenstongue says, gesturing to him. "He eats anything and everything that's edible. Don't mind his manners, please--he's a bit of a brat when it comes to food."

Ariana laughs softly, covering her mouth briefly. Close attention might note that her nails are cut short, as she replies, "Oh, Tel has told me about Pothy as well. I promise I won't be offended -- I'm not some soft, mincing type who clutches her cheeks at a faux pas." Her eyes cut to Telamon and she grins. "Which has stood me well some times over the years. Nobody expects me to peel them verbally like an orange."

Taking the cue, Telamon signals for the wine to be poured, before he chimes in. "Mother grew up on the road as part of a trading caravan, but she loves to mock high-strung noble ladies." Tel gives his mother a wry grin. "In fact, I think I learned my first curse words from you, not father. You've never hidden your feelings and you say what you think."

"Well, despite my current appearance, I was not raised as nobility, either--I'm sure you know the story of my upbringing already," Ravenstongue responds. "Much of what I learned was from my own mother. We'll not speak on fathers, however, except to say that Tel's father is a good man."

She smiles as she takes her first glass of wine. The embroidered mark of the feather on her chest shimmers a little in the light as the fabric moves with her. "I have been fortunate to receive guidance even in the face of a missing family," she says. "But I am much more than happy at the prospect of becoming part of yours."

Well, mostly missing family. The mark of the feather is a clue that hides in plain sight.

"Ah yes. Telperius had some... trenchant commentary about that. I think your tale offended him. I know I wasn't terribly impressed either." Ariana sips her wine, her eyes thoughtful and perceptive. "I am very happy that Tel has found someone. Although I'm a bit surprised there's been no window-climbing."

Telamon's cheeks turn startlingly crimson at that, and he immediately takes a gulp of wine. "Ah, mother, Lana and I were both... kind of surprised at how we connected. We've been taking it slow so there's no misunderstandings with either of us."

Ariana nods approvingly. "That's your father's influence. He's the type to measure twice before cutting. Not that I dislike that about him, but it didn't stop him from window-climbing either." Her grin is sly. She's enjoying this.

Ravenstongue somehow manages to keep from coughing mid-sip on her wine as Ariana discusses window-climbing, having taken the glass up to have a sip as it was Ariana's turn to talk. She sets it back down onto the table and politely smiles despite the subject, although her face is certainly a bit flushed. "Well, Madame Ariana--I will be blunt. Your son is the very first person to have ever made me feel anything that someone ordinarily feels when they fall in love," she says. "I didn't have many opportunities to meet other people when I was a teenager. It wasn't love at first sight--not in the way that they describe it in storybooks. When I met him for the first time, I immediately felt kinship that I had never felt before."

She smiles a little, her hands linking together in her lap as she speaks. "I've been trying to be respectful to him, as a result. I don't want to rush something along and risk ruining what we have."

Ravenstongue's smile turns into a grin. "Besides, since we live together in a house I bought with my adventuring money now--if he's climbing windows, something is seriously wrong."

Ariana tsks. "It's a figure of speech. Not literal. But," and here her eyes soften, and the teasing, sly tone falls away, "I guess it wouldn't surprise you that I felt the same when I saw Telperius. Forget all the silly 'elven grace' garbage. When he walks into a room it's like he's taking ownership of it. That kind of confidence..." She gives a playful shiver. "No, I don't think I'll be squawking too much at you or Tel. Or even Pothy." She gifts the white raven with a dazzling smile.

Telamon, for his part, chuckles. "Well, Lana, if you want we could unlock the window in your bedroom, and I could climb in that way, just for tradition's sake. Although I think we should wait till it warms up a bit. It's a bit brisk to be gallivanting around outside and leaving windows open right now."

Ravenstongue snickers a little. "Sure, but only when I'm ready. Otherwise, you'll do all that work and find the only thing I have to offer you are my Sylvan poems for you to puzzle over."

There's the faint thread of realization in her eyes, just a split second later, that she's mentioned something related to the fey, but it vanishes just as quickly. Her hand goes to her chest--right to the feather mark--for a moment, in the way she often does when she's momentarily anxious.

Meanwhile, Pothy has maintained a quiet perch on Ravenstongue's shoulder for the most part. The white raven seems to come to life as Ariana gives him the smile that most likely won Telperius's heart years ago. Unexpectedly, he flies over from Ravenstongue's shoulder... to sit on Ariana's. "Snack," he says.

That's right. A singular snack. He's either on a diet or he's adding his own contribution to the conversation. Knowing Pothy's proclivities for food, it's probably the latter.

The appetizers are arriving, fortunately, and Ariana seems remarkably unfazed by Pothy taking up a new perch on her shoulder. "Well, well! And I thought I'd have to bribe you first before luring you over." She strokes Pothy's feathers, before feeding him a nut from the bowl brought over.

Telamon just shakes his head in bemusement. "I guess this is a good sign... although I'm not sure how it's supposed to work." He offers Raven a smile in turn, reaching over to take her hand briefly. A show of support.

And then, of course, Ariana shows why she's considered formidable. After another sip of wine and some of the appetizers, she purrs, "So, what's hanging over the two of you that you don't want to mention?"

There's a moment where Ravenstongue is seemingly stunned into silence. She takes a deep breath, squeezes Telamon's hand, and looks Ariana in the eyes. Woman to woman. Mortal to mortal. Person to person.

"Telamon chose not to write about this, and not to tell his father, because he was worried about how it would come off. And honestly--it would have taken many more pages to explain in a letter. But I think you will understand."

She lets go of Telamon's hand and sits up straighter. "I am Cor'lana Lúpecyll--Lúpecyll is my father's family name. If you were to translate my name from Sylvan in full, it would roughly mean 'raven speaker; blessed one of feathers'. This is because we are descended from the Feathered One, who is a fey lord--albeit one who is greatly distanced from the matters of fey court matters due to his own reclusive nature. Due to what I can only call a 'curse of loneliness' that he has struggled with for thousands of years, it has become tradition in the Lúpecyll family to give the head of the family's firstborn's firstborn up to the Feathered One once every few generations, where they live full and happy lives with him in Quelynos until they pass away from the natural end of their lifespans."

She puts her hand to her chest, where the feather mark is embroidered. "Under my dress is the family curuchuil, placed on all firstborns, to indicate our pride in being descended from fey nobility. But my father's family had forgotten all of this due to their more recent efforts in the last few generations to pursue status and fame at Llyranost's court. As a result, my father believed that he was sacrificing me to the Feathered One when I was a baby, and so did my mother. The reason why I was raised by her and her alone is that, despite the fact she was weak from childbirth, she saw her infant daughter being placed in the hands of what she believed to be a monster."

Her voice takes on more emotion, her hand shaking. "But that's not true. He isn't a monster. He is the only family I have left now--he named me when my father had no love in his heart to name me. He had searched for twenty years for me when my father could only be compelled to look for me when his noble-born wife nagged him to so they could have children of their own. And one day, when I am ready, I will go to Quelynos to live with him. He is patient, because he loves me and he wants me to be happy."

Tears well in her violet eyes. "So that's my secret. That's why I was spirited away to Rune when I was a baby. That's why my mother modified my memories and let me be a shut-in for so many years until she died. It was all a misunderstanding gone horribly wrong--but if it wasn't for Grandfather, Tel and I wouldn't be together right now, and you wouldn't be sitting here."

She takes a moment to wipe the tears from her eyes, and she adds, "He's also sitting outside right now if you'd like to meet him. I'm sure he'd love to talk."

Telamon holds onto Raven's hand. Acting as her lifeline, her anchor, as she pours it out to Ariana, who looks... surprised, even a little stunned. Tel squeezes her hand in return, knowing the hurt she bore for so many years. The loneliness, that he's been spending so much time trying to heal. Time he has no regret spending, for her happiness has become integral to his own. He turns his eyes to his mother, nervously.

Ariana blinks slowly, then picks up her wineglass and downs it in a single motion. Then she picks up the bottle, pouring herself another. "Well," she says after a moment. "I suppose that beats the hells out of what I was thinking. Telperius thought something was a little odd as well, but he chalked it up to nerves, not some secret." She pauses as the main courses arrive, and takes a bite before continuing. "First, eat your food. Life's too short to miss a perfectly good meal. Second..."

Telamon opens his mouth to say something, but Ariana gives him a look. "Hush, Tel. It's rude to interrupt. Secondly... this changes nothing. Or at least, very little. I presume your Feathered One, this Grandfather, isn't going to spirit you away right after you marry? I won't have that." Her eyes are stern, even a little flinty.

Ravenstongue's emotional turmoil that she has laid bare seems to lift almost instantly as Ariana says the words, "this changes nothing." It's clear the weight of holding all of this back has been a lot to bear. She takes Ariana's advice and eats. Just two bites before she replies to what's been said. She eats like the bird that was observed to eat little before the world invented Pothy as a response.

"He has no intention of taking me away," Ravenstongue says at last. "Grandfather wants me to live a happy life and experience all the things that I want to. It's completely on my terms as to when I go. This is an experiment, admittedly, that we're running--as he's always received Lúpecyll children when they were young. Most are babies or toddlers when they arrive to him. He had a nursery set up for me that he never got to use."

She takes a sip of wine to chase the food. "Furthermore," she says, over the rim of her glass, "he has expressed an interest in me continuing the line, which I can't very well do if I'm in Quelynos and Telamon is stuck here in the land of the mundane. He's disappointed in my father's family, and he sees me as an opportunity to right the course. And before you ask--me being half-elven isn't an issue at all, and neither is Tel being half-elven, or the fact our children would be more of the same."

Pothy has finished his nut, and has no care for any of this talk. The raven looks expectantly at Ariana, hoping that she will remember him in the middle of all of this disgustingly boring talk. After all, it doesn't concern Pothy and his glorious plumage, nor--and this is the most disappointing of all--does it concern feeding Pothy. So it is utterly dull and, most of all, useless. "Snacks," he whispers. Don't you forget about me.

Ariana seems to relax at that. "Well, we all have... unusual family. Or embarrassing ones, although I think the former applies here more than the latter." She turns to regard Pothy with amusement. "No, I'm not talking about you, you gluttonous little fellow." She feeds him another couple nuts, before turning her attention back to the couple.

"My concern has only been for Tel's happiness. Nothing less. At some point I think both Telperius and I will need to speak to your Grandfather -- but together. Your father's hair would fly off if he found I was speaking to one of the Firstborn by myself." She smiles at Raven gently. "I'll handle breaking this to him as well. Don't worry about it."

Telamon exhales a bit shakily. "Thank you, mother. It... was a bit of a shock to me as well, the whole thing. Learning about what had happened, how things had become muddled. I'm still shocked I had the brass bearings to demand to know what his intentions were, when we called him forth the first time."

"It's true," Ravenstongue says, smiling at Telamon as he mentions the confrontation with the Feathered One. She takes his hand again, squeezing it gently. Her hand still shakes, but only a minute amount--the type that can be felt, but not seen. "He went with me into the woods, as well as some other friends of ours, and we summoned the Feathered One. He demanded to know what Grandfather wanted of me. Not a fear in his voice, and he walked out in front of me like he was going to protect me even if it meant his own doom. I think that might be when I really did fall for you, Tel--when kinship turned into love."

She continues to smile as she sets out to eat again. "Maybe that's your influence on him, Madame Ariana."

Pothy is also taken with Ariana. After all, she's feeding him nuts and talking to him with affection. There is almost nothing greater.

Telamon colors a little, but he doesn't let go of Raven's hand until she lets go first. Even then, they stay close together, as he returns to his meal. He's not quite as prone to blushing as Raven is, but it's definitely there.

Ariana regards her son with affection and amusement. "Oh, I don't know. If I'd done that I'd have had at least three different plans in case things went awry. His father would've had five." She moves her gaze back to Raven, smiling. "I think you can call me Ariana at the very least, 'Lana. I don't think we'll be on formal terms for much longer, and 'Ari' trips off the tongue quite nicely." She seems perfectly at ease eating as well as feeding Pothy the occasional treat. "Well, now that that's taken care of, Tel, how is Raspberry? I assume you're treating her well?"

"Of course," Tel replies. "Although she hasn't been able to get out much from the stable. The weather's been atrocious of late. Still, she's warm and well fed."

"I'll call you Ari, then," Ravenstongue replies. She smiles genuinely, however, as she then adds, "Although I hope to not call you that for much longer, either. I'd prefer 'Mother'. Just as I'd like to call your husband 'Father'. But we'll have to wait until we make things formal, right? That's the general tradition, at least--the bride does not become part of the groom's family until the ink is on the right documents and they are wed."

Once Raspberry's brought up, Pothy says, "Raspberry," just like how Ariana said it. He looks at her expectantly, as though hoping demonstrating his talent for mimicry will get him even more snacks.

"Yes, well fed indeed," Ravenstongue says with a smirk. "Luckily for Raspberry, Pothy will eat a lot of the same things that she does. Cheaper to buy things in bulk, after all--and, ah, it's a lot of bulk."

"Which reminds me, Tel," Ariana remarks. "Why DID you opt for a donkey? I mean, there's nothing wrong with humility, but you know you could've probably afforded a good horse."

Telamon looks pained, "I never learned to properly ride horseback, mother. I decided I'd rather ride in a cart or lead a donkey instead of falling off a horse and hurting myself." He shrugs lightly. "Besides, I think people with 'talent' are expected to ride around on magic chairs or something."

He smiles at Raven's declaration, as does Ariana. "I certainly won't mind you calling them 'mother' and 'father', Lana," Tel says. "I know father... well, he wants to at least try to give you a little of what you missed out on. Family."

"Well, you are talented--and we're both getting stronger in that regard day by day," Ravenstongue says with a smile and her own wink to Telamon. Mother doesn't have to know about the charming incident. Not right away, at least. "We'll get there, and then Raspberry can become just a family member instead of a working animal to carry your burdens."

She smiles at Ariana on the sentiment of family. "I certainly wouldn't mind that," she says. "Honestly... I think my whole life, that was what I wanted more than anything. A family that felt whole."

"Snacks," Pothy says. Which is the right response, in a way. A family has to always have snacks, too. That way, their bellies are full of love in addition to their hearts.