(1310-07-03) Son of Many Fathers
Summary: Lois encounters Abraham again, and they engage in a quite intriguing conversation.
RL Date: 03+04/07/2018
Related: This and this log.
lois abraham 

Abraham's Waggon — Eisandine Countryside

A medium size waggon is hidden in the shelter of an old, tall and branched out oak just a little bit away from the main road. It's built from wood but is colored in dark red shades. The waggon is obviously old and the shades of red do not match each other suggesting that the paint peeled off more than once and was repainted with whatever the owner had at hand. The ornaments of the walls are also barely visible and mostly covered in road dust.

This van has windows at the sides and back. At both the front and back, porches with carved side brackets give a little shelter. Portable steps lead up to the front door, which opens separately at the top and bottom. At the back a cratch, hay rack for the horse, is fixed beneath the back window, and a kettle box swings between the wheels to carry ironware. The front wheels are about 3'6" high, the back ones much bigger at 5'. Running along the center top of the van is a raised roof with small side windows. Lastly, a chimney pokes out of the main roof on the right keeping clear of nearside trees and overhead bridges.

The side walls of the waggon have some nails which are used to hang various leather belts, leather bags, pendants and bracelets. Some new and old leather scabbards are also laying close the the waggon. There is a small camp established beside the van as well. Not used fireplace, but still warm after the night, a blanket and various trinkets, leather-work equipment, and unknown pieces of metal and wood are scattered around. All this treasure is kept safe by an old horse whose reins are attached to the oak as well as the medium size hound whose leash is wrapped around one of the wheels.


On this pleasant summer day, a small group of riders approaches the Tsingani camp just outside of Marsilikos. Three people on two horses, a man in flowing shirt and trousers of blue and white silk sitting on a tall white mare, and slightly to the side and behind of him, a lanky fellow in his early twenties, attired similarly but in less costly fabric, who has one arm wrapped about the waist of a young girl of 15 or 16 who sits before him on a dapple grey horse. The man leading the group comes to a halt and is greeted by a few Tsingani whom he obviously has business with. A nod is given to the pair on the other horse, dismissing them for the moment.

And so Lois slips off the horse carefully, making sure her skirts don’t reveal too much of her legs as she glides down to the ground. Her hair may attract attention, and indeed there is a low whistle here and there, as it glows fiery red in the light of the sun. She wears a modest dress, long skirts, sleeves that go all the way to the elbow, and her long tresses have been worked into a single braid that dangles down her back. The other Coquelicot gets off the horse next and hands the reins to a Tsingani boy, along with a few coppers for taking care of the horse for a moment.

While the majority of Tsingani men take time to enjoy a pretty presence of a young fiery woman, there is one who does not even raise his gaze up. His small waggon is a little bit aside from the general camp of Tsignani. There are few blankets lay down around the waggon and they seem to be overloaded with various pieces of leather. Currently Abraham is kneeled down and is carefully cutting through the leather following a very specific imprint. His old hound is beside him and seems to be watching his master’s work.

The man himself wears leather trousers and messily tied boots. Some metal trinkets with symbols common to Tsignani people are hanging from his belt. His colorful shirt are unbuttoned and many more pieces of metal marked with specific symbols are dangling from his neck. A few drops of sweat are running across his forehead and he brushes it off together with some strands of dark curly hair. “I really hope I will manage. It’s quite hard but I remember one of them doing it…” He speaks to his dog.

One of his colleagues, a young Tsignani lad takes a sip of wine from a medium-sized flask and nudges Abraham to look up. “What?” he asks in their language and his companion points toward the newly arrived. Abraham offers a smile and a wink to the ginger girl, obviously recognizing her from the market. His eyes find her attendant and a polite nod is offered to him as well before that Tsignani focuses back on his work.

There is that first moment, when Lois looks a bit lost. Her hands lacing before her loosely, she will stand there and let her gaze drift, eyes of sky blue glancing curiously towards the various Tsingani people looking her way.

She doesn't mind them staring.

She smiles. It is a warm expression that lights her freckled features. Features that show the evidence of her d’Angeline heritage.

Catching the glance of Abraham, she meets his gaze, a small nod given as sign for her recognizing him as well. She murmurs a few words towards her chaperone, and Jacquet looks up, when she indicates the leatherworker from the market promenade. Even so. The Courtesan of Salon de Coquelicot will first look towards their Dowayne and ask for permission, for Lois and him to look around a little.

The permission is granted, Philandre giving the pair an encouraging nod along with a wide gesture about the camp. And so Lois tarries no longer, and walks over to Abraham is working.

“Good day, Monsieur,” she greets, her tone soft and somewhat reflective. “What are you working on?”

When he is approached, Abraham looks up with that same warm smile in his features, “Mademoiselle, I am glad to see that you decided to visit our modest camp. I am working on something quite difficult,” he gestures toward the leather pieces around him. “I usually make accessories but one lady asked me to create her a unique slippers. Usually, this is a work of shoemakers. However, the lady was quite persistent that the work made by my hands would adorn her delicate feet. Good that one of my fathers was a shoemaker.”

He turns around a bit to settle more comfortably and he pats a blanket beside himself, “Would you and your companion like to join me? I have no refreshments to offer, but we can take a look at some designs of my accessories if you are interested?”

“It was more like…”, Lois begins, her eyes brightening as she glances towards where Philandre speaks with an older Tsingano, “the Dowayne of my salon wished to ride out today, and come here to speak with some of your people. Philandre Chalasse nó Coquelicot.” She says his name, and her voice shows awe and respect for the man. Her gaze shifts back to Abraham kneeling there on the rug, and she adds, “He offered that I could come along. I have never been outside of Marsilikos before.” Attention turns to his work and she smiles. “Slippers? Oh, how interesting. One of your fathers, you say? Do Tsingani people have more than one father?”

His gesture to join him on the rug is met with a bit of hesitation, and yet, Lois moves then to settle herself, sitting down beside him on the rug while making sure to pull her skirts back in place so that her legs are covered.

The Tsingani man laughs and nods his head, “Of course, silly,” he playfully addresses the novice courtesan, meaning no actual offense and more just trying to tease the girl. “We have to have three fathers and two mothers. There is a very long and very special ritual done in order for a woman to bear a child. Each of the fathers-to-be have to cut into their palms,” he demonstrates it by brushing with his finger across one of his palms, “They have to spill blood into a ritual goblet. Their blood has to be mixed and such a drink is shared between both mothers-to-be. Then there is a very unique but magnificently beautiful dance done by the women. They have to wear all those pendants and coins, and make as much noise as possible to call open the God of Fertility. You’ve seen our jewelry, right?” He points at the bunch of pendants on his chest. “Women have even more of them. You can always hear when they are approaching! You know, that the men would know when to hide wine,” he laughs.

“Anyway, one of the woman’s name is whispered during the dance by the God of Fertility. That means that the woman was chosen to bear a child. The other woman has to give to the named one her own pendant which she wore since her birth. That pendant has a small piece of her soul and energy which helps to the named woman to bear a healthy and strong child,” He nods having quite serious expression in his features. His dark brown eyes stare into Lois’ ones quite intensively studying her reaction.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Lois=Perception Vs Abraham=Subterfuge
< Lois: Good Success (6 4 2 7 2 5 2 5 4 7) Abraham: Great Success (8 8 7 6 8 5 6 2)
< Net Result: Abraham wins - Solid Victory

Silvery laughter ripples from young Lois, after a somewhat long astonished silence when hearing his tale. “What strange customs you have,” she opines softly, blue eyes lifting to regard Abraham as she sits beside him. “It does sound painful. And what happens to the poor woman who’ll have to give up her luck charm? Will she end up eventually without husband?” A soft sigh, of empathy there for the hypothetical female who’ll be left behind. “As for opening the gates of wombs… our own customs are far less complicated.” She shrugs. “One visit to the Temple of Eisheth, speak the words, receive the anointing with the oils, then light a candle. So much simpler.” An explanation that is given without the faintest hint of a blush.

If his tale was a lie, she obviously didn’t catch it. With her legs joined and slightly angled upon the rug, her arms wrap about her knees and she falls silent for just a moment, obviously in thoughts. Until one hand of hers reaches into that small pouch she is carrying - and she takes out a pebble with nicely rounded edges. “See this? Isn’t it beautiful?”, the young novice asks Abraham, clearly interested in his reaction now.

Abraham looks the young woman over and then gestures towards her jewelry, “If you would wear it day and night for many years, that object would absorb a small part of you, of your soul, of your energy. It’s not your luck charm. It’s who you are. That is why you should be very careful about giving away what you worn for many years, and be careful with sharing jewelry with other ladies. You would be giving small parts of yourself to everyone. But that is why our women wear so many jewelry. They help each other to bear healthy children. They all always have a chance to be chosen to bear a child. None is left behind. They are called upon the right time.”

The man’s eyes go to the stone a young courtesan shows to him, “Indeed it’s very beautiful. If you will carry it with yourself a small part of your soul will surround it. Then you can give it to a very special person. This way you will be able to be beside that person all the time and keep him or her safe,” he explains to Lois with a smile.

Lois looks at Abraham, her eyes wide open as if they were a window into her soul, inviting him into her world. She smiles and places the pebble into his hand, whether he will accept it or not. “I have many of those,” she murmurs, one corner of her mouth lifting into a wry smile. And indeed. Again she reaches into the leather pouch at her belt and produces another pebble, this one slightly darker in shade. There is a twinkle in her gaze. “I collect them wherever I can. Jacquet once brought me a handful, from the beach.” She turns her head to look to where her chaperone courtesan stands, catching his gaze.

Then, some of what Abraham has told her seems to sink in belatedly, and Lois reaches for the small pendant she wears on a strap of leather about her neck, a brass circle with the shape of a bird etched onto it. “Do you think this here is my luck charm? My mother gave it to me.”, she confides, lowering her voice to a murmur Jacquet won’t be able to overhear.

Abraham takes the pebble wrapping his fingers around it, “Thank you. It’s very generous of you to share it with me. Though, may I ask why pebbles? Why not something more shiny, or something more unique? Why is such a girl as you so interested in simple sea stones?” He then hears out her question regarding the pendant she has on her neck and he corrects the girl one more time, “No no no. Those items are not luck charms. They are more like…” The man takes a moment to ponder and his smile brightens when he finds the answer, “… more like guardians! So, if your mother gave it to you after wearing it herself for awhile, your mother is with you wherever you go. She can watch you and keep you safe or comfort you when it’s hard. A small piece of her soul lives in that pendant and this way she can protect her daughter.”

“Pebbles.”

Lois echoes the word, with her voice taking on another quality that makes it sound very mysterious. “They are considered worthless by many, and yet, they have a simple beauty to them. They feel nice when they lay in your palm, and you can hold them, turn them in your hand as you walk and think about things.”

“You think so, hmm?” Her fingers touch absently against the pendant, the smile lingering on features still looking so very young and untouched by the grieves of the world. “My mother retired from her service to Naamah a year ago. She lives in Marsilikos, and she comes often around to visit me. But yes. It may be as you say. She is here with me. In this pendant.” A notion that has her eyes alight again.

Her gaze drifts towards the waggon and Lois asks, “Is this where you live? Your home?”

The man listens to the girl’s explanation about her interest in pebbles. Amusement increases in his gaze with almost each word which leaves Lois’ lips. Though, at the same time his forehead makes those small wrinkles which appear when someone sees something or someone absolutely cute. Cute in a very innocent and adorable way. Maybe someone also naive. Naive in that childish way when one has still very little experience in life. He does not make any comments about the pebbles itself but asks, “What are you usually thinking of, little fiery sparrow?”

He then also takes a look around, leaving the young girl’s mother aside. He slowly nods, “That’s where I live for now. They are all my family,” he gestures showing the rest of Tsingano around. “Soon we are going to leave. So, I heard. We are planning to go south. We do not stay much in one place.”

There may be a certain innocence in Lois’s musings, an obliviousness to the ways of the world, that shows in the way, her blue eyes alight when she speaks of her pebbles and stones. “Oh, it doesn't end there,” she continues, taking a few more stones from her pouch, flat in shape as she begins to place one on the other upon the rug, as if she were aiming to build a fragile tower. “See…? How perfect they look when they are all in balance?” Looking up, she catches the look the Tsingani gives her, and as she is no Alyssum, there is a flicker in her gaze, a curving of her lips that indicates she is very much aware of him being impressed with her. There is, however, a faint blush that touches her cheeks as well. And a quick glance to Jacquet, who takes a step closer to them, carefully observing the two.

“What am I usually thinking of?”, Lois echoes, and her smile deepens. “A lot of things, these days. The date for my debut has been set, and it is to happen a month from now. It is… exciting, in a way. And it is good to have something to remind myself of the balance…” Gently she places yet another stone upon the delicate tower, holding her breath.

“You will be leaving soon then?”, she asks in a low murmur. “Doesn't that make you sad?”

<FS3> Lois rolls Reaction+Reaction: Good Success. (6 2 3 8 5 5 4 8)

Her fingers let go of the stone, and it moves slightly before it settles upon the tower of other stones — and it holds, for now.

When Abraham sees what a young woman is trying to achieve, the man almost freezes. One wrong move and he might make the rug wrinkle what may tremble the ground under the stolen tower. “Doesn’t that make you sad?” He answers with the same question, “That the day of your debut is so close? I heard about the ways of your kind and it seems that this debut is almost like a finale of your freedom and childhood, and dreams, and inno-…” He pauses for a moment. His gaze slides over the edges of the small tower of pebbles as if that would actually be a fragile toward of liberty. “I mean no offense, Mademoiselle, but aren’t you scared to become a slave to desires of strangers?” The man’s smile fades when he looks into the girl’s eyes. His forehead is touched by an apologetic wrinkle.

“Sad?” This question seems to baffle Lois, and she blinks before she shakes her head. “No! Not sad… It is the day I am being trained towards.. To finally be allowed to serve Naamah. It has been my dream and my purpose for many years now.” A light chuckle escapes her and she shakes her head, again. “It is not like that, Monsieur. Not at all. But… I suppose this is hard to understand for someone who isn’t d’Angeline. Worship of Naamah is holy. Each assignation reminds us about how She gave herself to King Persis, in return for Elua’s freedom. I am of the Salon de Coquelicot. Patrons that seek us out have bruises, either physical ones or those of the soul. We are helping them to recover, and… sometimes help them to find… answers.”

The young novice doesn't look offended by his question, rather a bit amused at his ignorance. “Tsingani people have different views and customs, I suppose,” she adds, regarding Abraham curiously.

The tower of stones begins to sway marginally, from her slight shift of posture upon the blanket.

Abraham lets out a prolonged deep sigh. A sigh which speaks better than a thousand words would. Especially, when the way he looks at the girl gives even more weight to the meaning. Living a lie, that’s how Tsingani perceives his companion’s past and future. It seems that he sees a young girl tricked by wicked men who just wanted to create a world where their desires are pleased anywhere and any time by hundreds of willing servants who come to such a ‘profession’ from various different steps of social ladders. Expanding types of goods. That’s what has been done upon creation of Night Court Holiness.

The man just shakes his head after taking few moments to think on the topic and then speaks out, “We respect woman’s chastity. Unsullied virtue. Women and men have to marry and women have to bear children, and they have to save all their innocence to the man they are going to create a family with. That’s a devotion, that’s a sign of health, a sign of loyalty at some point…” Abraham looks back at the tower which sways and sighs one more time when it remains standing.

Lois nó Coquelicot tilts her head a little, holding his gaze as he gives her that look. “How strange!”, she cannot help but chuckle at the notion. “To remain a virgin till marriage? What if… a woman’s husband dies? Will no one else have her? As she has been ‘sullied’ already by another? And what about you Tsingani men? You will remain chaste as well, I suppose, and save yourself up for the right woman?” The young novice smiles. “How can you be sure she would be the right one for you? And where can there be much pleasure found in lack of experience?” Not that she herself has much. “But… I am sorry. I don’t mean to insult you or the ways of your people. They are just so… different.”

In shifting a little away from him, her leg brushes the tower, and the careful construction of stones placed upon each other begins to sway more dramatically, before it collapses, and flat stones with rounded edges tumble and fall onto the blanket to lay there scattered in disarray.

“A woman can marry one more time if her husband dies,” Abraham explains. “You see… we travel a lot and we do not make unions with others. Not that others would actually want… Since we never tasted the other traditions we just can not understand how one can live differently. Marriage is not just love but also a promise to stay on the same road. A lone wolf is weak in its journey but a family of wolves is strong.” Abraham stops by wrinkling his nose. He almost wandered off too far from the subject. “There is a lot of pleasure in knowing that you are the special and only one to someone…”

The questions of different rules set to men than women is left aside. Instead, the Tsingani brings his hands forward as if willing to catch tumbling pebbles. He is of course unsuccessful. That draws a chuckle out of his lips. “Indeed, we are different…” He then just adds.

The novice receives his explanation with a nod and an expression that soon indicates her thoughts having wandered off again. The smile remains on her features though. Lois doesn't add any further comments on the Tsingani ways, she falls silent. When Abraham’s motion forwards to catch some of the stones draws her attention to her scattered treasures upon the blanket. Unhurriedly, she begins to pick them up, one after the other, and stow them back into her pouch. “You had a leather bracelet you showed to me in the market,” she muses aloud. Pausing then in her task to look at Abraham with her blue eyes. “Once I’ve debuted… and earned my first patron gifts… I would like to buy it. Could you put it aside for me? If you haven’t sold it yet, that is?”

Abraham smiles watching the girl gather her treasure. “You know what,” he suggests, “I will make a special bracelet. A one just for you. That other one was just made to anyone but someone so unique as you should have something different. Agreed?” He turns towards the leather piece he was cutting, “But if you will excuse me, I must go back to work. I need to finish it by the end of this week.”

“I would like that,” Lois smiles, lifting her head to meet the gaze of the Tsingano. “But you’ll have to make it at least as beautiful a bracelet as the other was.” Her fingers are nimble in gathering her stones she stows away, and when she has gathered all of them, she pulls at the leather strap and laces it so that they are kept safe within the pouch. “Thank you for the conversation,” the redhead says as she moves to stand, in that fluid motion of effortless grace found in so many of the Night Court. A nod then, to Jacquet, who walks at her side as she returns to where their Dowayne is almost done with concluding his business.

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