A Promise of Unending Beauty
- Title: A Promise of Unending Beauty
- Emitter: Ravenstongue
- Characters: Ravenstongue, Verna
- Place: Ravenstongue and Telamon's house
- Summary: Verna stops by Ravenstongue's house to drop off snacks and learns about Pothy's bargain. What follows is a conversation about being feytouched that is then added onto with a visit from Grandfather. Discussion of another trip into Quelynos to visit Grandfather in his proper form is had, and Verna takes home some of Grandfather's cookies. (They're tasty.)
-=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=- Dramatis Personae =--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=- Ravenstongue 5'0" 99 Lb Half-Elf Female Short half-elf girl with violet eyes and black hair. Verna 4'5" 98 Lb Half-Elf Female Petite humanoid in bulky gray robes and cloak. -=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=- -=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=-=-= NPCs of Note =-=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=- The Feathered One 6'0" ?? Lb Fey Male A tall fey man with violet eyes and a primal appearance. -=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=-
- Lúpecyll-Atlon household, early evening.
'Lord Lúpecyll-to-be' of the house has gone out for a Shining Chalice meeting, leaving the 'Lady Lúpecyll' at home in the living room. Cor'lana scrawls furiously in her journal as she holds it open in her lap, the charcoal pencil moving like it's been bespelled with a quickening magic--if one is given to hyperbole.
The pixies Mirabilis and Lily-of-the-Valley spy on this writing fervor from the safety of the kitchen, their little hands clasped around equally little teacups. "Wow," Lily-of-the-Valley says quietly in awe. "What do you think she's writing about?"
"Best not to pry into the Lady's affairs," Mirabilis remarks, the green-haired girl shaking her head. "She does not like it when we interfere, remember?"
Lily-of-the-Valley pouts. "I'm not trying to interfere! Everything I do is in an attempt to make the Lady's life better!" she protests.
Mirabilis facepalms. "Yes, an attempt--but your attempts tend to not be successful."
The pixies continue quietly bickering as Cor'lana writes.
Just when one might prefer quiet writing... well, semi-quiet writing, at the least... attempts are interrupted by a knock upon the door. Verna does not mind that the 'Lord' of the house may be absent (not that she would object were he present), as it is the Lady she seeks. She arrives in the sundress to which she appears to have developed some attachment, as well as bearing a small basket of gifts: some home-baked tarts (not by herself) and a familiar jar of snacks.
The pixies react first to the knocking, Cor'lana apparently so invested in her scrawling that she either doesn't hear it right away or doesn't want to dignify it with a response, her brows knit together in concentration. "I'll go check, Lady Lúpecyll," Mirabilis replies.
"Me too!" Lily-of-the-Valley says, and the two pixies fly over to the door, peeking out of a peeping hole to see...
"It's Verna," Mirabilis says. "With gifts, it looks like."
Cor'lana nods, and she closes the journal, setting it down on the coffee table. "I'll let her in," she says.
And when the front door opens, what's waiting for Verna on the other side is a woman who certainly looks like someone befitting of the words "Cor'lana Lúpecyll, child of the Feathered One", wearing a finely embroidered purple gown with white feathers set into her long sleeves and skirt. Her wavy hair tumbles down, and her violet eyes are free of glasses. It's an appearance that seems a little... much, for someone just sitting at home, but perhaps Verna doesn't catch onto that. "Verna," she says with a smile. "Come on in, please."
Verna could be considered more fancifully dressed than her norm, as well. Or would it be more casual? Arguments could be made for either. "Cor'lana, you look well." Verna accepts the invitation and enters, only now looking to the pixies and offering a polite smile. "I hope that I do not interrupt. I brought tea and snacks."
Cor'lana makes a gesture with her hand, and the door closes and locks behind Verna. "Well, thank you for bringing them," she says. "Telamon and I won't say no to more food, nor more tea. And no, you weren't interrupting anything--Tel's off at his meeting, and I was just writing. Nothing that can't be saved for later."
She walks Verna into the living room again and gestures to the coffee table. "Put anything you'd like down there, or in the kitchen. It's... just me and the pixies, I'm afraid." Her tone is slightly downcast as she says it.
"You are most welcome," Verna notes before setting the basket upon the coffee table if just due to it being nearer. "You have both been a great aid to-" she stops cold and turns back to look at Cor'lana. Perhaps she noted the tone. The implications of the statement. The fact that it is relatively quiet. The current status of the basket yet remaining full. Her lips purse. "Something is wrong."
The pixies flitter back into the room with Cor'lana and Verna, and Lily-of-the-Valley looks like she's about to make a cheerful comment when Mirabilis clamps a hand across her mouth.
Cor'lana nods soberly, a weight in her violet eyes. "Yes," she says. "I went to meet the Queen of Air and Darkness with Aya, Aryia, Halani, Mikilos, myself, and Telamon, to seek a deal for the true death weapon, Mortal Dread. Pothy came with me. And... I offered up a tear of pain to get the Queen to meet with us. She accepted it, and then everyone except for myself and Telamon fell victim to her charming aura. But the Queen offered me a deal: stay in her court for a century, suffer terror and pain, and my comrades would be awarded Mortal Dread."
Cor'lana takes a seat down on the couch, pulling a lifelike plush replica of Pothy into her lap. "Telamon pleaded with me not to take it. So I said no--but Pothy said yes. He'll be back..."
Her arms wrap around the plush and she squeezes tightly. "...Eventually. The Queen said it'd be the blink of an eye, but it's been a week."
Verna's frown deepens, yet also softens at this revelation. "I ... I am sorry for your loss, Cor'lana, temporary as it might be. I have little experience with the fae," obviously she knows enough to make the connection. Uncertain of what other words she might offer, she simply moves to sit adjacent. Not that she is not familiar with dozens, if not hundreds, of consolations and platitudes for those in grief, but none seem especially relevant. As well, she is on vacation. In theory.
Cor'lana's gaze drops to the Pothy plushie as she squeezes it. "Thank you," she says, a little softer than her previous words were. "I... I just worry. Worry that he won't come back. I'm sure she'll offer him everything in the world to have him stay. She could give him almost anything he wanted. She is, after all, a fey queen."
The feytouched sorceress sighs and looks back to Verna. "I'm... trying not to think about it. But I got dressed up anyway just in case he came back with the Queen's Guard today. And, well, he hasn't. Not yet. But I doubt he will."
"While I understand it is not possible, " Verna offers along with a hand to Cor'lana's shoulder if allowed. "I suggest that you not worry. So far as I have determined, Pothy's primary interests are snacks, and you. Many others have offered him the former, but he never abandoned the latter. I do not expect that he would do so, now, regardless of what was offered."
After a pause, she adds, just as earnestly yet perhaps not so encouragingly. "He will return. If the timeframe is as you mentioned, however, you cannot expect him to be the same as he left. Afterall, I could not manage a few hours in Quelynos without change."
"I know he'll come back different," Cor'lana says, sighing. "I am feytouched too, Verna, although my changes came about before I ever... went to Quelynos."
She looks up at the Mourner-on-vacation, a thoughtful look on her face now. "I've... Hmm. I believe I've always been a bit feytouched in some way, from having Grandfather touch my heart as a babe. There were times where mortal food held no taste for me. Either way--I have to believe, like you said, that he will not abandon me. It was for me that he went, after all."
Verna's expression now turns rather abashed; as she noted, she is not so familiar with fey, and Cor'lana most certainly is. She lowers her hand and nods. "I envy your experience with it." She yet feels odd included in the demographic with the 'too,' never having considered herself as such, perhaps even now. They do share more than that and she re-iterates, "He shall return to you." A pause as she looks to her further, her own countenance turning thoughtful, though she does not speak further just yet.
This actually gets a little smile from Cor'lana--perhaps it's that feytouched nature of hers. She reaches over and pats Verna on the shoulder. "You experience it now, too," she says. "Just by existing, just by being you. Close your eyes."
She closes her own. "When I was a child, and I yearned to get closer to who I imagined my father to be, I read all sorts of books on the sylvanori. I learned that the sylvanori can listen to the whisper of the world--and can hear the whispers of Quelynos in places where the veil between our realm and the realm of the fey is thinner, in the whisper places. And I longed to hear those whispers as a child--and when I fully became Grandfather's child, I began to hear them. I began to feel them."
There's a pause, and a shudder as Cor'lana takes a deep breath--and she smiles fully, like the dawn is on her face despite it being the time for Eluna outside. "It's a call to come home."
Verna's lips purse at the first words, though she closes her eyes. "I would prefer that calls to home do not come. Not of the home I knew, that is."
"Ahhh, no, no, let me... paint you a picture in words." Cor'lana stands up from the couch and walks into the middle of the room. She looks for a moment at the large rocking chair in the corner of the room and gives it a fond smile.
"Picture a place, Verna, where breathing is rhythm, where words are melody. Picture a place of unspeakable beauty, a place where you could spend your whole life and still find more words to say. Picture..."
Cor'lana pauses, putting her hands together. "Picture a large tree in the woods, surrounded by gardens with flowers upon flowers. Picture a door on the tree that opens in and there's a place that feels like the home you should have been born into, a home that feels like it was always meant for you. Picture someone who loves you as family, more than any family you've ever had has, who has been waiting for you there all your life to come home. That is what Quelynos is for me--Grandfather's home in the trees, a promise of unending beauty, a song to accompany all of my days. I yearn for it greatly."
Verna's brow furrows, whether in concentration or consternation, as she attempts to follow Cor'lana's lead. Initially, her thoughts draw her to smile , though perhaps due to a person rather than a place coming to mind at spending one's life with unspeakable beauty. This, in turn, shifts to a place; a home, indeed. All before the direction to consider trees, doorways and flowers.
Her thoughts shift further, though her brow furrows again at the implications of those thoughts. "At expense of all else?" she wonders, now with some concern. Even if that is rather contrary to the assurances she made previously.
That question makes Cor'lana stop in her tracks. She looks a little bashful now. "No," she says. "I would not abandon everything to go there, to be there. I agreed to live there for the rest of my life with Grandfather, but only when I am older and have lived out a full life here in this realm. And... with Telamon in my life, it looks like it will be the two of us going to live with him in Quelynos when we are old and gray, our children grown and settled in the world with children of their own."
Just mentioning children makes her cheeks rosy with blushing, Cor'lana's violet eyes wandering in thought. "Telamon has insisted on marrying me, after all, and has referred to Grandfather as a member of his family--and, well, I must carry on the bloodline. Besides my father, who is recovering from induced insanity at the Soldier's Defense here in Alexandria, I am the only one who can carry on Grandfather's bloodline."
She looks down at the ring on her left hand and smiles fondly. "So would I rush headlong into living there forever? No. I have many decades of happiness to live with Telamon in this realm, first."
Verna's brow relaxes at that response, though it may be that it was asked for general context, not Cor'lana specifically. A smile forms. "Insisted. You nearly grant the connotation that you were not wholly interested in the notion or that it was not a mutual decision." Her eyes open to look to her. "I was not aware that eternal life was such a thing with the fae, if that is what you imply."
"Eternal life?" Cor'lana blinks. "Oh, no. Without being morbid--"
Or so Cor'lana says, and then she seems to realize who it is she's talking to, and she smiles sheepishly. "Nevermind, yes, I'm being morbid. Anyway, the deal Grandfather and I made was that I'd live out the rest of my life with him once I'm ready to. Many of my ancestors are buried at that tree home, Verna. So, once Telamon and I are ready... We will retire there, live our lives out in peace there, and hopefully pass on into the the Halls in each other's arms one day. I am sure that someone like the Queen of Air and Darkness could offer eternal life, but it would be far more pain than it'd be worth--that's sort of her thing, pain."
She grins, however. "I say insisted because... Well, every day it seems like a dream that he's interested in me, of all people. Let alone wanting to marry me and have children with me. It probably feels similar with Auranar, doesn't it?"
"Ah..." Verna nods at the correction of her misinterpretation. As for Cor'lana's question, the smile that forms upon Verna's lips is rather ... goofy. An answer to the question, perhaps, before she answers aloud. "It is a dream that I oft feel unworthy of. The notion of children has not arisen." For possibly conspicuous reasons.
Cor'lana nods simply. "It's something that you have time to decide on," she says. "We both do. That's a benefit of being half-elven, at least. Not every couple needs to have children, and children aren't required to have and be a family, but there are certainly plenty of orphans in the world that, I think, would love to have you and Auranar as loving mothers."
She gives Verna a smirk. "And maybe sometime between now and then, maybe you and I will have realized that our partners have deemed us worthy after all."
Verna ahs softly as her interpretation is corrected and matters clarified, once more. This is followed by a nod. "I understand, and I would argue vehemently against any such eternal promise, much less possibility. Not only is such blasphemous," considering to whom she is speaking, "I expect that one would quickly lose all that they valued in life."
A pause before she exhales a breath; not quite a sigh, yet not pleased. "As it is, even with the most blessed of lives, I shall face final judgement long before Aura would. For a time, I feared bringing her that eventual pain enough to consider it an argument against becoming a part of her life."
Cor'lana nods, too, at Verna's explanation. "That is the sort of sad tragedy that people face when they are born into different bodies with different life expectancies," she says. "Humans live only so long. Elves live much longer. Telamon's parents are happily married and have been for over two decades--but one day, Telamon's mother will pass, and Telamon's father will spend the rest of his life grappling with that pain. Yet, they insisted on it..."
The feytouched sorceress's thoughts are interrupted by a rapping, a tapping at the kitchen window. "Oh," she says. "That... Might be Grandfather. More accurately, the messenger he uses. Don't be alarmed--he's quite nice, and you don't have to worry about the usual precautions with him."
She walks over to the kitchen window and unlatches it. What flies in is a raven with violet eyes, landing into the middle of the living room--
And then the raven takes the form of a tall, tall man, his pale gray skin perhaps making him almost pass for a man of indeterminate mul'niessan heritage if one were not to know better. He is dressed in a gentleman's fine waistcoat, shirt, and slacks, his long, black hair tied neatly into a ponytail. His violet eyes settle onto Verna, and he smiles genially. "A friend of yours, Cor'lana?" he asks. The voice is intrinsically musical and deep, like the tolling of bells.
"Yes, Grandfather. This is Verna, a Mourner of Vardama--although she's currently on vacation." Cor'lana smiles as she follows Grandfather into the living room. She's a good foot smaller than her ancestor, meaning she looks up at him with that adoring expression of hers like a young child might with a parent.
"All of the years until that time will be worth that pain, I expect," Verna notes, adding a correction of "Hope." Her attention is (gratefully?) shifted from those thoughts by the tapping upon the window. The arrival of the raven, even if conspicuously not the one she knows, draws her briefly in that direction before the shapechanging occurs.
Verna rises out of propriety and decorum (or remembrance of such), dipping in a deep nod of polite respect. "I am. It is a pleasure to meet you. I trust that you are well?"
Grandfather smiles a little wider, which makes the subtle lines under his eyes and around his mouth crinkle just a little more--small indications of age that mask what is likely a much older number. "I am, yes," he says. "Any time in which I am able to visit my beloved grandchild in her home and meet her friends is a joyous occasion. Please, do not stand on my account."
"I have a pot of your tea in the kitchen," Cor'lana says, and then she blinks. "Oh, Verna, I'm so sorry. I don't think I ever offered you any tea."
This gets a click of the tongue from Grandfather. He points to the couch with a gloved hand and says, "Sit, child. Both of you. I will get the tea."
While this would ordinarily be a faux pas in someone else's home, Cor'lana nods obediently as a child would. "Yes, Grandfather," she says with a smile, and she sits down on the couch again.
As the fey ancestor walks into the kitchen to pour a cup of tea, Cor'lana grins with excitement at Verna. "He's the best," she says. "Maybe you'll get lucky and he brought his cookies--they're simply divine. Or perhaps he'll cook us something. It'd be lovely regardless."
One of Verna's brow lifts to Cor'lana, and she appears about to comment before recalling the comment of him being an exception to the rules. To her credit, she did recall at least a portion of the original rules generally applicable to fae. In the end, she mirrors a portion of Cor'lana's excitement back to her, albeit in the form of a small smile. "I expect it would be most delightful."
She re-seats herself, even as she silently compares potential fae-produced goods to known Auranar delights. The latter may ever remain reigning champion; Verna is wholly biased and well aware of that fact. "You are certainly fortunate, cookies or otherwise, that he is so willing and able to visit you."
In fact, it seems like almost all of that heavy worry Cor'lana carried in her body and face about Pothy has melted away with Grandfather's arrival. Cor'lana nods, still grinning. "I am," she says. "Thankfully, he has a lot of time on his hands, and he's gotten used to the spell that he uses to visit me here in this realm. In fact, he had so much time on his hands that he worked at a bookstore for a while... Selling copies of the Crimson Pen."
Grandfather comes out of the kitchen with a tray of three teacups and--rather joyously, judging by Cor'lana's excited squeal--a plate of lemon-lavender shortbread cookies. "Verna, please feel free to have some of the cookies," he says as he places it onto the coffee table. "The ingredients are all taken from the material plane, and so shouldn't affect you."
"Well, Verna is feytouched, anyway," Cor'lana says with a smile, "so I don't think your garden ingredients will ruin her taste buds." She takes her teacup and happily sips from it. Lavender-mint, as per usual in the Lúpecyll-Atlon household.
Grandfather lifts a dark brow, looking at Verna with those violet eyes. While it is not the 'real' man, there is still an interesting divide between his eyes and Cor'lana's--his violet eyes are far more inscrutable, whereas Cor'lana's display emotions so readily. "Intriguing," he says. "How did you come to be marked by my kind?"
While the shift in Cor'lana's mood is somewhat surprising, Verna has no objections to it whatsoever. "I see..." is her initial, uncertain response to the unexpected mention of The Crimson Pen. Yes, it is rather ubiquitous, and yet...
Then grandfather arrives and she looks to the tray. "My thanks, on all accounts." Cor'lana's comment and the subsequent interest in it causes her brow to furrow. "It is a recent state, one to which I yet acclimate, as well as a tale not wholly pleasant. I traveled to Quelynos with others and was promptly affected by afflictions I had inadvertently brought with me. I encountered a fae woman who ... reconciled my state with magic. I lacked the focus, at that time, to discern the nature nor details of said magic." She gestures to Cor'lana. "If her relation to you would be considered 'touched,' in her terms, I would consider my own more a ... 'grab.'"
Grandfather nods, although there's a wry twist of the lips that suggests amusement at Verna's words. "In my dear child's case," he says, "it was being touched. The mark that is on her chest was previously seen only via magic sight on her heart--the beginning of the curuchuil. The firstborns of my bloodline are given the mark of a feather on their chest to indicate that they might one day be called to live with me in Quelynos--and when I came for Cor'lana after her birth, I discovered that her father had not given her the mark nor had he named her. I gave the beautiful child a name, and I began to mark her--but, well, Cor'lana's mother awakened from the process of giving birth and... interrupted things." His tone goes flat from the nostalgic trip down memory lane at the bad end to his story.
"That being said," he says, taking his own cup and moving to the rocking chair that has sat empty in the corner for some time, "I am sorry your trip to the wilds was not a joyous occasion. Verna, if you were wishing it--I'd be happy to provide you with happier memories in my part of Quelynos, on the condition that you take Cor'lana with you."
Cor'lana's eyes widen--and then glisten with tears, the smile spreading on her face. "Really? Oh, Grandfather, I'd love to go," she says. "More than anything, I'd love to go. You know that. But... Verna deserves a respite from all of the things she's done lately. I couldn't trouble her for that."
Verna listens to this explanatory tale, nodding at points made clear. "I expect that the realm holds many wondrous sights, creatures, and persons, far beyond what little I viewed. There is much more to experience; I would and could readily return, and transport any who wished to make the journey as well. For Cor'lana," she looks to her, "it is the least I can do." In case there was any doubt of her willingness to do so.
"That said," she notes more flatly, "there is much to be addressed before that journey should be made: for myself, at the least; possibly for others as well. One foe has already sought me in your lands. It would be both impolite for me to draw others there and they would tend to make the experience far less pleasant."
Grandfather's inscrutable gaze turns hard as Verna mentions a foe seeking her in Quelynos. "Verna, I have plenty of experience dealing with intruders, invaders, and others who do not wish kindness to me, my kin, and the very rare visitor that I take," he says. "I have either turned them back to their masters with a strongly-worded warning, or I have torn them apart, fed their entrails to my birds, and then used the remainder left uneaten into lifegiving nutrients for my gardens. Rest assured that if an intruder was to come, I would take care of them before you ever had to lift a finger. My land is not often breached by outsiders due to my reputation, and I like to keep it that way."
He takes a sip of his tea. Cor'lana's eye twitches a little--which he notices. "Apologies for the 'scary talk', little bird," Grandfather says, that genial smile returning swiftly to his face. "I simply had to be direct. Your kind do appreciate transparency."
"Please don't talk about using corpses as fertilizer in my house, Grandfather," Cor'lana says with a huff. She simply takes a sip of her tea--but her little pout is chased away when she reaches for one of the shortbread cookies and has a bite. Apparently, it is delicious.
Verna blinks, her surprise possibly more at the forthright nature of the response rather than any doubts in ability mentioned. "I intended no offense, sir." She cannot well refer to him as 'grandfather,' of course. "As I mentioned, it would be impolite to be the cause of unwanted trespassers." She claims a cup, now, to take her own sip; apologetic politeness, protocol, a pause to gather her thoughts, or merely thirst.
"As well, I would better understand what has affected me, fae and otherwise, before a return trip of casual intent. I very nearly became a threat, unintentionally, myself, upon my last visit. That is a situation I do not wish to repeat, much less in Cor'lana's presence and as your guest."
"Please, call me Grandfather. And there is no offense taken, nor would it be impolite for you to visit my home even if it were accompanied by future corpses for my birds to eat." Grandfather smiles genially despite the subject matter at hand. Truly one of the fey. "If anything, my birds would thank you. However, I certainly can understand not wanting to harm anyone. I have... recently thought of myself as a danger to Cor'lana in a similar manner, and so I stopped visiting for a time."
Cor'lana huffs at that. "And as I told you, don't do that again. Please come visit whenever you'd like, both of you. Grandfather makes lovely things."
That last remark seems to perk some of Cor'lana's recollection, a look of thoughtfulness crossing her face. "Speaking of which, Grandfather, how is the wedding shawl coming along?"
Grandfather looks infinitely pleased by the question. "It's finished," he says. "So, I had to start knitting for the grandchildren. I have a complete wardrobe from infancy to adulthood for twenty children, but I don't imagine you and Telamon will have quite that many--"
Cor'lana almost chokes on her tea. "Twenty? Twenty!?" she mutters.
Verna is pleased to have not caused offense, and perhaps vindicated in her concerns by Grandfather, as well. "Very well... Grandfather." It is spoken tentatively, though also .. strangely. It made not be a title she has ever uttered previously. The topic then shifts, and she welcomes it. As for the topic, itself...
One brow lifts, followed by the other as her head pans to Cor'lana. "It sounds as if you have a rather lengthy series of tasks ahead of you. There is magic that might aid you, if indirectly by means of Telamon..." Other than the brows, her countenance is typical Verna neutral; flat, factual, objective.
Cor'lana just looks at Verna--and then she laughs, heartily. "I'm not having twenty children with Telamon. Two or three sounds just fine. Twenty? No. I'd never get a good night's rest ever again."
"Well, hold on," Grandfather says, grinning from ear to ear. "Perhaps you have the twenty, let me take seventeen of them, and let you raise the remainder. I'd be pleased as could be with seventeen children in the home."
It's Grandfather's turn to get the Look, but it doesn't last long as Cor'lana shakes her head. "Even if there's magic, imagine me having twins, triplets--I'm already tiny as it is. One will probably reduce me to a little waddling bird. Have you ever seen a hummingbird gravid with eggs?"
"Yes, many times. They manage just fine," Grandfather says, still grinning. "How about we compromise and cut it down the middle? Ten children?"
Cor'lana just sighs.
Verna's deadpan delivery fractures with the subsequent interplay. She skips past any concerns at the stewardship of seventeen straight to the proposal of half as many and Cor'lana's sigh. With a slight grin, she echoes Cor'lana's thoughts and bolsters her defense, "I expect that would yet be a few too many to handle for us mortals, much less simultaneously. Perhaps it best to begin with one, and see how all transpires?"
"Thank you," Cor'lana says with a sigh to Verna's sentiment. "At least someone's talking sense. Really, Grandfather--I know you adore children, but..."
Grandfather smirks a little as he drains the remainder of the tea in his cup. "Fine, fine," he says. "For the record, Cor'lana, I would be happy with any number of children, so long as I am able to see them. I've had quite enough of this 'distant ancestor' business."
Grandfather turns his attention now to Verna, smiling genially as he puts the teacup down into his gloved hands. "Now, Verna," he says, "I am admittedly always curious about my child's friends. When did you meet Cor'lana?"
That... is an excellent question, presuming he refers to their first meeting. Verna's lips promptly purse in consternation, possibly embarrassment. "Cor'lana and I have met on a number of occasions; more casually so as of late, which is a welcome divergence from interacting under times of duress or threat." She then looks to Cor'lana for aid. "I am in your company so often now, I am uncertain I can easily recall our first meeting..."
Cor'lana grins a little at Verna. "Well, the first time that Verna and I met was actually the first time that Telamon and I met," she says. "We all happened to be at the Arcanists' Society that day."
Grandfather leans forward in his rocking chair, raptly interested now. "Oho, truly?" he says. "How wonderful. Verna, it should come as little surprise, but I am rather fond of Telamon--after all, he will one day contribute to the family tree--and so learning that you were there that day is a happy occasion."
He rises from the rocking chair and walks from the living room into the kitchen, pouring himself a cup of tea from the pot. "Verna, have you tried any of my cookies yet? I won't be offended if you're abstaining for practical reasons--I simply want to know your opinion."
"Verna's fiancee is a splendid baker, too," Cor'lana says. "Maybe next time, you'll have to bring Auranar over so they can exchange baking tips."
You know. Bring Auranar. To meet the fey nobleman.
Verna blinks and dips her head, lifting a hand to pinch the bridge of her nose briefly between thumb and forefinger. Right. Of course. Cor'lana had even mentioned this fact not so long ago, and Verna had not realized until then it was the first meeting of the pair. Another apologetic glance follows to Cor'lana before she answers Grandfather's question and invitation. "I had not, yet, but I shall rectify that immediately."
Which she does by retrieving a cookie from the plate and promptly taking a bit. Her prompt smile is a positive response. Admittedly, it may also be fueled by Auranar's mention. "She is quite adept, and I freely admit that any comparisons I make to her will be wholly biased." She barely has time to even taste the morsel before her smile turns reserved at the final suggestion. "Possibly. That would be her decision, of course, but she is ever curious of a great many things."
"I would love to meet more of Cor'lana's friends," Grandfather says as he walks back into the living room, cup of tea in hand. He smiles broadly at the mere idea of it. "I have found I prefer the company of mortals compared to my own kind, and I love to meet those that participate in my child's happiness. So please, bring your fiancee. I would love to meet her."
Cor'lana smiles, but then she seems to realize something. She peers at Verna and says, "Speaking of which, I've probably kept you far too long, haven't I?" she asks. "I'm sure Auranar didn't expect you to be out this long. My apologies--when Grandfather drops by, I tend to forget all about the time."
"I will certainly make the opportunity known to her," Verna assures them both. At Cor'lana's note, she then glances to a window, as if she might discern the passage of time. "Indeed, I should not indulge in, nor abuse, your mutual hospitality much further today. I do not wish to cause Aura any undue concern." Unfortunately, given the current circumstances, a simple delay or unexpected absence could prompt worry. A hand gestures to the plate. "Might I take one to share with her?"
"Please, take as many as you'd like," Cor'lana says with a smile.
Grandfather nods to the notion. "I can, and will, bake many, many more of those cookies. I've made them for centuries for all of Cor'lana's ancestors that came to live with me in the wilds--and it fills my heart with joy to know that people might enjoy them. So please, take them. Especially where we do not have to share with Pothy for the time being."
That earns a sad little look from Cor'lana, but she does laugh a little. "You realize, Grandfather, I'm going to ask you to make a large batch just for him when he returns?" she says. "Anyway, Verna, don't let our idle chatter delay you any further. I can walk you to the door when you're ready."
Verna nods. "My thanks to you both," is offered before she takes another cookie--make that two--to wrap up and take with her. Both for Auranar. Honest. She then suggests to Grandfather, "It may be wise to begin that next batch sooner rather than later. I have every reason to expect Apotheosis to return at any moment, and likely more ravenous than is his norm." Afterwards, her eyes shift to Cor'lana to carry that assurance more directly to her.
After a moment, she rises. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Grandfather, if indirectly. I look forward to the opportunity to do so in person in the near future." A smile flickers upon her lips as she nods her head to the side, "Not as much as Cor'lana, of course. Until that day, I bid you farewell."