(1311-11-05) Novices Worship at the Temple of Elua
Summary: Two White Rose Novices go to the Temple of Elua and interact with the priest there.
RL Date: 2019-11-05
Related: Follows shortly after The Concept of Innocence.
alienor anse raimbaut elliot 

White Rose Second's Office — La Rose Sauvage

Situated on the ground floor, the room has tall casement windows that open out onto the south-westerly facing grounds of La Rose Sauvage. Soft white muslin drapes filter out the heat of the sun in the summer, and during the cooler months the heavier drapes of cream that hang at the sides add a layer of warmth to the room. The floor is of burnished golden oak, laid over with an Akkadian wool rug in muted shades of creams and golds. A desk of pale ash wood stands in the center of the room, its surface kept clear save for whatever contracts and paperwork relating to the running of the Salon might need to be dealt with at any one time. A small fireplace is on the eastern wall, and warms the office with a cheery brightness during long winter evenings, and a wider than average mantel above is the perfect spot for the numerous flower displays that are to be found there.

A tall bookcase filled with books on a variety of subjects stands on the wall opposite to the fireplace, and alongside it is a white-painted door that leads through to the Second's private chambers.

In a conservatively cut dress with long romantic bell sleeves that drape a bit over her hands when she stands, Alienor nonetheless has a pretty feminine form. Her gown is very plain, with a high scooped neckline, its fullness its greatest charm. Her face is covered by a loosely gauzy veil, and there's a white rose pinned in her dark locks. She smiles brightly at Raimbaut as he slinks in. "You just missed the Vicomte de Morteau," she volunteers eagerly. "He interrupted our discussion about my debut, but he seemed rather nice, if a bit stiff."

Raimbaut draws his eye and all back behind the doorframe, betrayed in his continues lurking only by his effrenate locks, and when Alienor speaks to him, he draws his whole face into view with a few long-lashed blinks, mouth held in a tight little purse of surprise. One finger lifts in wonder to his companion in chastity as his jaw drops further.

"Oh, pish, I can see you. I know you're there," Alienor says as she sweeps out of the room and into the doorframe so that she's staring up into his face. She is not what one might consider tall, after all. She flips up her veil so that she can see better and puts her hands on her hips, and while she might not precisely be the picture of innocence, she's definitely the picture of a teenaged girl. "What? What do you want? We should get an escort and go out into the city."

Raimbaut lowers his pointing hand, holding both palms shyly over his stomach, standing somewhat boyishly with hips somewhat forward and toes a little splayed. He shakes his head, wide-eyed, then thows both of his wide-sleeved arms over his head, serving him for a veil, though, as a boy, he wears none. What a shy boy he is! Or, at least, what a shy boy he's learning to play at. His own persona is as the Shy Mute, adopted years ago, and already the sound of his voice is a rarity in the halls, even when there are only the White Flowers about. He peeks between his arms, though, and gives Alienor an impish glimpse betwixt.

"You don't have to play coy with me," Alienor declares impatiently, pulling gently at his sleeve, which makes her own sleeves fall back a bit and show off fine wrists. Not exactly scandalous, but for a girl who's covered so completely in white, it almost feels racy. Even so, she's not really flirting with him. "We should go find something more interesting to do than lurk in the Second's office whilst she goes to have a nap."

Raimbaut lifts one white-sleeved hand to his mouth, a fingertip coming to his lips as a cheely little signal of confidence between them. His face turns agape when she tugs at his arm, then kindly pinches her sleeve-hems with his own white-draped fingers and tugs them back down with a bowing gesture, face brightening into a silent laughter, mouth open but sound failing to emerge. The notion of going on a mission of note makes him stand back straight up, tip his head to one side, then, grinning, he nods, offering out his hand for her to hold. Or. Presumably. It's still all up in his too-long sleeve. Sleeveholding.

Temple of Elua — Marsilikos

The edges of the temple are all done in white marble with four pillars reaching up into the sky done in the style of ancient Hellene. The pillars are encircled in vines which flower in a multitude of colors during the warm seasons and are carefully tended by the temple clergy. The temple grounds itself are left wide open to the air, the ground well cared for grass and bushes and flowers are found freely throughout, kept in careful order by the attendant clergy. At the center of the temple is a massive oak tree, nestled within its roots a stone statue of the blessed Elua, as if the tree formed around the statue itself. Here at the foot of the statue of Elua people leave offerings of incense and prayer, leaving a pleasant aroma as the various offerings are burnt throughout the day.

It is a fall day. The weather is cool and fair.

Its a fall day at the temple of Elua. Its a quiet and pleasent atmosphere, the fall leaves changing and falling and those clergy not busy speaking or helping with a worshiper work on maintaining the lit braziers at the edge of the temple grounds and making sure the paths are clear of debris. At the edge of the temple grounds one such blue-clad and barefoot priest is smiling as he sends off a worshiper who is finishing putting on their shoes.

With a chaperone to frown at the pair of novices who have come to the temples, Alienor is dragging Raimbaut physically by the hand, clearly the instigator of the outing. She's in a rather conservative white dress, very full, and she kicks off very simple little white shoes in a careless and childish sort of way, then peers around. There's a white rose pinned in her hair and a veil over her face, which she occasionally huffs at when it obscures her vision. "Hurry up and take your shoes off again," she murmurs to her companion. "It was work getting you into them. It should be easier getting you out of them."

Raimbaut toddles along behind Alienor, somehow keeping his footing despite the somewhat loose-held soles of his strappy sandals AND the fact that he holds the other arm over his face, as though afraid to know where they were even going. When released and told to look to his footwear, he descends into something more like a ball than a squat, snugged down over his knees and fiddling unsurely at the knots he'd only just recently tied to wheedle them loose again. Hurry up? What's hurry up?

Anse leaves the previous worshiper and his attention snaps to the the pair of young novices and their escort. He pads in their direction on his bare feet on the edge of the temple grounds and beams a smile at the pair. "Upcoming servants of namaah. Its always a pleasure to see you here." Anse nods and smiles at their escort then "and you of course as well, and your important task." He looks back to the pair of novices "anything I can help the pair of you with?"

"Raimbaut and I — this is Raimbaut — thought we'd come pray. And it's a lovely day to walk through the city. The weather is cool and fair, which is lovely when one is all covered up," Alienor explains, and naturally, she's in a fully floor-length gown that, while it follows her figure gracefully, is quite greedy about the amount of skin it covers. She rocks back and forth on her toes, but even swinging, her dress reveals very little.

Elliot slips in quietly, removing his boots and setting them aside. In one hand he carries a violin case crafted from dark ebony wood. Smiling gently to the novices and to Anse he moves towards the statue of Elua without interupting them. Removing the elegant violin from its case he offers up a soft prayer and then proceeds to make an offering…in the form of music.

<FS3> Elliot rolls Violin: Good Success. (5 8 1 2 3 1 2 8 7 1 1 1)

Raimbaut tugs on the thin leathern thongs which are tying the sandal to his foot, but only manages to secure the knot the further tight. He's introduced; a shy flicker of honey-blonde eyes glimpses to the priest, down again, and, slowly, back to the priest when the latter offers his aid. Wordlessly keeping sheepish eye contact, he slides the long, flowing leg of his pant back from the top of his foot and slides it aside and toward the priest himself, covering his face with his hands and resting both on top of his upward knee in a picturesque plea for aid.

Anse smiles at Alienor "and you my young, I take it white rose, are?" he asks her before turning his attention to Raimbaut and giving a roguish smile to the shyness "a pleasure Raimbaut. I am Anse. Brother Anse if you wish to be formal about it. Its a pleasure to have you both and it IS a pleasent day to be about. I am biased though, I think most days are pleasent to be about." Anse turns his attention towards the form of Elliot "and it seems today we are blessed with a particularly talented worshiper. Would the pair of you like to join him?"

"We are both novices of the White Rose," Alienor agrees with a little nod. "I'm Alienor. I've brought an offering, too." She reaches into the pocket of her dress, because of course it has pockets, and retrieves a perfect yellow lemon. It's one of the prettiest of lemons, with soft waxy yellow skin and not a hint of green to it. It looks almost too picaresque to be real. She drops it very seriously into the priest's hands, then turns to listen to the music, hands folded behind her back.

Raimbaut opens his hands to cup around his eyes, peeking down to his thus-proffered foot and knotted sandal, and, as nobody had aided in its unbinding, he sneak it back in toward himself, making it disappear under his wide-trailing fetlock of white, flowing trouser. He stands, and treads on as if about to give up and go on with sandals attached— but, lo! Behind on the ground the sandals remain, as though he had simply slid his feet from the ankle-holes and moved on without them, after all, hearkening shyly to the violin music… then looking to the lemon Alienor brought, nudging her with his elbow plaintively. Why? He pulls his pockets free insideout from his pants, displaying his offeringlessness with a puppy-eyed frown.

Anse laughs a little as the offering is handed to him and he offers it back to Ailenor "perhaps you should lay it at Eluas feet yourself?" Anse says, and then from his own robe pockets pulls a small half used incense stick "and if your companion Raimbaut would be so kind, he can light this for me at Elua's feet?" Anse asks, also hoping to make up for Raimbaut's seeming concern at not bringing anything of his own.

Alienor takes her lemon back quite seriously and nods to Anse, smiling at him charmingly, then heads up to the statue to pat the toes and lay the perfect lemon there at Elua's feet gently. She glances back to Raimbaut. "I'm sorry. I didn't have two really nice lemons. I could have given you a kind of squashed one, but that seems like less of a good offering. Take the incense. That's a good offering. You could maybe poke it into the lemon, if you like," she suggests.

Raimbaut leaves his pockets drooping outward like sad dog ears on the side of his flowy outfit, shuffling along from Alienor's side toward the priest, keeping his eyes to one side and lowered just slightly; with a grateful flutter of a smile he dips into a bow, lifting both hands to accept the little stick of incense, which he takes to his nose to sniff at. He nods energetically in excitement, standing up straight again and looking happy just to have something to give.

Anse seems happy to let the pair figure out their offerings and make their prayers. He steps to the side for a few moments, looking over the temple grounds before turning his head back towards the pair. "You know I knew a priestess who took a vow of silence. I think that for most servants of Namaah that would be a weakness, but I can see the appeal for a white rose, i'm sure you're going to try and tempt some noble an arm and a leg to make you speak" Anse teases before grinning at Alienor "you know, I think that this might be the first time I've seen someone offer a lemon. Any particular reason?"

"Lemons are an excellent fruit with which to clean. If you get a stain in your white gown, someone might tell you to put lemon juice on it, though I'd prefer just to get a new gown. I hate stains on white," Alienor admits, smoothing her dress a little self-consciously. "Lemons taste delicious, too. What's more refreshing than fresh lemonade? It's sweet and tart and delicious. I like the way they feel, with their waxy skin, the pulp the way it's spongey. And I like to paint them as part of a still life. They offer lovely contrast to flowers, I think."

Raimbaut attends diligently upon the priest's reminiscences about his friend and her vow of silence. But as he brings the comparison across to his own situation, and taunts him with the ways in which his muted chords may be a delight to those who seek him, the color rises from throat to cheek to the tips of his ears, and he lets the incense stick into one hand, using his other hand to slowly pull up the neck of his long white tunic until it covers his whole head. And he remains there, still and blinded, as though, having thus obscured his face, maybe nobody could now see him. For three, two, one more moment: then, as a wild hare, he begins to dash about bare-footed on the grass. Alienor might be averse to marks on her white, but the boy child seems intent on bringing at least one grass stain with him to-day.

Anse laughs and grins at Alienor's explination before bowing his head as if admiting defeat "I cannot dispute any of these arguments my young servant. Perhaps I will begin putting lemons in among my own offerings. Afterall, I'm sure Elua would like to be clean as well." Anse grins again "changing out your gown every time you get a stain must mean you're absurdly careful or outlandishly annoying to your houses tailor." Anse laughs at Raimbaut's antics. "Your friend is amusing. I think I embarassed him. Is he just as silent in the house of roses, or is this just a treat for us out beyond your gilded cage?"

"Yes, both. I get scolded for complaining about stains, so I am just very very careful about things. I admit that there are parts of this service that I did not anticipate when I entered it, but then, I was but a child," says Alienor, as if she is not still mostly a child now. She tilts her head, watching Raimbaut's antics and she sighs. "He's just silly. He says things, but it's not often, and it's usually because he's being shy. At this point, he's been shy so long that I don't think he realizes that he doesn't have to be shy." She sobers a bit. "We've started to plan my debut. I am to be an adept in the service of Naamah," she says. "I'm both anticipating that gladly and terribly nervous about it."

Raimbaut is probably glad to be over here, spreading his arms and letting his sleeves billow about the onrushing breezes, rather than over there, having to imagine what will ensue upon Alienor's debut. He wields his incense stick like a sword, or a magic wand, and he patters big circuits in the grass, getting his toes green, and maybe even the hems of his pants, too busy lifting the incense stick to the sky and looking at it against the light, offering it up in a childish prayer to Elua.

Anse folds his hands behind his back as he watches Raimbaut with a smile. "is it silly to enjoy life?" Anse asks hypothetically in response to Alienor's judgement of Raimbaut's personality. "Its good to be like that. Let yourself breathe. I am aware that its hard to do for a servant of Namaah. Even more so for one in your position, as a white rose and needing to be even more concerned about what you can and cannot do." Anse says before turning that smile on Alienor "you aren't the first white rose novice i've spoken with. If you ever need someone to talk to outside of your house about your debut, or anything in general, I am here to lend an ear." He nods his head towards Raimbaut "him as well, though maybe you best relay the message for me."

"He doesn't want to think about my debut. That would be less innocent of him. Even though it's a reality, and I'm going to have to… let a certain amount of innocence go, I think," Alienor admits as she watches Raimbaut. She grins at her friend, choosing to remain all prim and proper for a moment before turning wide pirouettes to make her skirts stand out. Her ankles might even show for a moment, the scandal! She turns back to Anse a little breathlessly, grinning broadly, her veil askew. "A lord today asked what I thought of innocence, and I told him that for me it was largely about lack of experience. And that every experience is different, and thus there's innocence in the anticipation of every new experience."

"A very alyssum answer of you" Anse says in return "I think thats a very common answer a servant of namaah in your position might give. I can see the logic in that reasoning as well. Every new person and experience you have is unique and you go into it fresh. I certainly feel that way speaking to people, hearing their story, no one has the same experience in life. Would you say then you might not feel innocent if you're with the same person twice?"

"I don't know. I've eaten a lot of lemons, but no two have been exactly alike. I've painted a lot of lemons, too, before I ate them, and none of my paintings are quite the same," Alienor muses thoughtfully, pressing her lips together as she considers. "Will they treat me the same? Will I come to expect, to predict their habits? Is there true innocence in pretending like I don't want the assignation? Will my debut truly destroy my true innocence?"

Anse smiles at you "those are the questions only you can answer I am afraid. But they are good questions to ask aren't they? I think your lemon analogy is more accurate. I've been with someone several times, and its still possible to surprise one another. And in a way isn't there innocence in familiarity?"

Alienor considers this for a moment. "Yes. Because there's no expectation of, I don't know, seduction? Just gentle giving?" she wonders, looking uncertain as to whether this may be the correct answer or not. "I'm supposed to get it right and know what I'm doing, but also be innocent and not really know what I'm doing. It's conflicted. Sometimes I'm conflicted. And we've started talking about my debut and I'm so excited about really serving, and so terrified, too."

"Those are all quite natural things to experience" Anse assures "its certainly more pronounced for a debut for a novice, but everyone is excited and scared their first time I think." Anse grins again "and there isn't a right or wrong answer to the question. Questions like that are just made to make you think. But I think you can certainly find that in many cases. I dont think you need to put all those expectations on yourself either. You will be fine your first time. Anticipation is often far worse than experience."

"I have a bit of an anticipation problem. I start to think about things, and they start to worry me, and… what if I would have been better off as a Red Rose instead? Or… no, I don't think I'd enjoy that as much. Or a Thorn? Though I don't think I have quite the forceful personality for it. I'd spend a lot of time apologizing, and that's not what a patron wants, I don't think," Alienor admits with a little sigh. She wrinkles her nose slightly.

Anse chuckles "trust me, its normal to worry. Think about if its the right choice, or whats going to happen. And some of that is good is it not? To look towards your future? But anticipation can also eat away at you. Its easier said than done to get rid of it though unfortunately. But I think just knowing that its normal helps sometimes. Most people are nervous and worry before big events."

"You know, I've spent so long covered up that I'm a little terrified of anyone seeing me in anything less modest," Alienor admits softly, mournfully looking up at the statue of Elua again. She reaches out to pat his toes again. "And what if I spill wine on my white dress?"

Anse laughs "ah, thats a very unique fear. Well, the companions blessed us all with beauty, i've never seen an ugly d'angeline. And the mont does not select any but the best among us, so, i'm certain you will look quite beautiful. Nerves because its unnatural… well… thats harder to get by. Perhaps you wont even need to get completely undressed. Or perhaps you can turn down the lamps if you're nervous. Help preserve some of the mystery as well. As to the wine? Well. Spilling on a gown is often a good excuse to take it out" Anse offers.

Alienor admittedly looks a bit sheepish at this, and she blushes a bit. "Is it even innocent to think about these sorts of things?" she wonders with a sigh. "Oh, I suppose it must be, because if I had experience, I wouldn't be fretting about it so very much, would I?"

"innocent in action, not so innocent in thought perhaps?" Anse posits, unable to help but grin a bit. "It is natural to think about these things, regardless of house. Elua did bid us to love as we will, and, well, we're all human aren't we?"

"I suppose that's true. I always imagine loving as we will to be just… being loving towards other people. Kindness. Gentleness. Empathy. I'm supposed to be a skilled political mover, good with facade, though," Alienor sighs. "Though I suppose, in the end, pretending to be innocent is also a facade. Though I am pretty innocent, for all of my lessons."

"Ah, love as thou wilt is both the simplest and most complex phrase i've ever heard I think. It can mean so much. I think it means to love everyone, love strangers as if they're your kin, love those who disagree with you, love strangers and love those closest to you. Never doing harm. but it also means all kinds of things. Love of your country perhaps, or love of animals." Anse meanders a bit "and it also means the physical act as well doesn't it? We all have facades we enact don't we? Different faces we present? Its not wrong to have facades we put on for others."

"In the end, it's intended that someone is going to pay me to pretend to have my sexual debut over and over again, I fear, and listening to his lordship talk to the Second today, I believe that he is not fooled by the show. Well, her show. She is experienced. She is a Second, but he got the better of her, I fear," Alienor admits, furrowing her brows together. "She flattered him, but he wasn't interested or impressed by her flattery or her coy flirting. He was interested in my honesty and curiosity." She stares at Elua's toe and the lemon she placed beside it.

Anse shrugs a little "you're in a position, as are most servants of Namaah, where you'll be in and out of peoples lives and they will be in and out of yours. Its not always an ideal thing, but its something to learn to live with. My situation isn't exactly the same, but I understand somewhat. I was on pilgramage for a while, wandering Terre D'Ange, and I never lingered in one place long. And even now, I speak with people, and perhaps grow close and become friends, but also sometimes they just drift back out of my life. But its not a bad thing. Its important to instead focus on what you had than what might have been. Your second had their moments with this lord, and the lord moved on. Is it worth dwelling on something fleeting like that?"

"No, probably not. I was just thinking about it," Alienor replies, turning back to face the priest now. "Afterwards, I found Raimbaut and we came here. We're both novices, and we end up spending a lot of time together because of it," she explains, then laughs brightly. "I think he likes me because I'll do all the talking for him."

"Well, you seem of a good sort as well. If I may be so bold, I might even go as far as to say one might enjoy your company for more than just your ability to talk" Anse says playfully. "but, you're always more than welcome to come here. I know that getting out is quite difficult for novices, but, I doubt that you'll have much trouble convincing your minders to make it out to the temples."

"I shall try to come to the temple more often, especially when I have a very good lemon to offer to Elua," Alienor replies with a little curtsey. Then she goes to fetch the other novice, grass-stained though he may be, convince him to put his shoes back on, and find her shoes and put them back on. All under the watchful eye of her chaperone. "It was lovely meeting you!" she calls to the priest as the chaperone attempts to herd the White Rose charges away.

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