(1312-07-08) Bathing at Naamah's Temple
Summary: The one in which the difficulties in bathing as a White Rose are conquered, and new acquaintences are made.
RL Date: Mon Jul 06 and Tue Jul 07, 2020
Related: None
tavi perpetua 

Temple Baths

A large circular window of colorful stained-glass depicting Naamah is framed by two crescent shaped ones, sitting further up the wall as to allow for generous lighting during the day, with the shades of the glass used in the center painting the interior of the Temple Baths in colorful hues. The light beige tiles of the stone floor are arranged in a pattern, spaces between filled with darker shade mosaic stones. The changing area is divided into two spaces, hidden away behind semi-opaque drapes. Here, visitors can leave their clothing and move over towards the pools that are filled with the warm waters of a hot well, a faint layer of steam lingering occasionally in the air directly above the waterline. A larger pool of white marble is in the center, between two smaller pools that offer room enough for two or three people each. At the edge of the pools, trays are provided at regular intervals, some holding various flagons of bathing oils while others hold bars of flowery soap and other bath implements.

Acolytes of Naamah, clad in the red flowing robes of the temple stand at the ready, to provide towels or robes when needed and make sure a peaceful atmosphere is maintained within the baths.

A lovely late evening, where even the summer turns a little bit cool, is a fine time to come to the baths and hope that there isn't much traffic. And that is true this evening as well, as the Temple Baths prove to be almost deserted—save for one red haired young man, soaking gently with his bare feet resting just out of the pool.

The likelihood of the baths being unpopulated is one of the reasons why the unusual sight of a courtesan of La Rose Blanche is to be found here this evening. She emerges from one of the changing alcoves, her modestly covered figure screened from view by fabric held aloft by three of the temple adepts. In their midst she walks to the edge of the pool, and as a single body they descend the steps to the water until the courtesan is submerged to neck. The veil that wraps her hair and swaddles the lower half of her face from the bridge of her nose to her throat quickly saturates, and it's only once she's comfortably settled do the three adepts give her a little more space in which to relax. To bathe properly in a temple pool as opposed to a copper tub at her salon is a rare indulgence for the young woman, and a dark pair of eyes finally settle on Tavi to whom she's relatively close. "Good morning," comes her quietly murmured greeting.

Tavi does actually have to blink a little it to realize someone else has come in, smiling as he sees the courtesan entering. He adjusts himself to perhaps not be quite so close to showing all of himself to her, blushing slightly. "Good evening, my lady!" He greets happily as he adjusts himself back in to a reasonable situation. "Another laste night bather, I see. I'm Tavi," he introduces himself.

Perpetua blushes deeply, and Tavi will readily be able to see the darkening of her complexion since the water has turned her veil near translucent. Gentle, doe-like eyes drop from his, and a tiny shake of her head is given. "It is mademoiselle," she quietly corrects. "Mademoiselle Perpetua Rousse nó Rose Blanche." An introduction is given as one of her three attendants unwraps the top of her veiling from her head and pulls pins from her hair, leaving the other two to close ranks with their screens of fabric. Not even in the bath house will a hair of her head be observed.

"Ah, I am always more polite than need be to Courtesans," Tavi says happily as he finishes adjusting himself. "You will always be noble to me, because my mother came from Coquelicot house," he explains. "And if we're being formal," he says almost with a sigh, "I'm Brother Tavi Delaunay. A pleasure to meet you." He doesn't fail to note the new Salon named in her name. "How are you finding the new Salon? I pray things are settling well for you?"

"Oh yes, indeed," comes the low-pitched voice of Perpetua from behind the screens of cloth. "I found it so strange on first arriving at La Rose Blanche, for I was raised in House Alyssum on Mont Nuit. It was rare for me to encounter those of the other houses of the Night Court, and suddenly there was I, living amongst them." With the barrier of a screen between them, it seems that the shy rose isn't quite as shy as she usually might be, and a brief silence descends that's filled with the sound of water being poured as her hair is rubbed through with soap. "Which of the temples," she eventually asks, "are you devoted to?"

"The Blessed Elua," Tavi explains, the smile obvious in his voice even if he is out of sight. "My goal for as long as I can remember having one." There is a slight sound of water swirling—perhaps he decided to go back to floating a bit while she is behind the screen. "Although if I had not felt chosen to for His service, I likely would have found myself in the Temple of Eisheth."

"His temple is my most favourite after Naamah's," Perpetua admits beneath the sound of more water being poured. She must have her head tipped back as the soap is worked into her hair, for her words vibrate as her scalp is massaged. "It's the open air, and feeling His artistry beneath my feet when I visit." She pauses, and a quiet murmuring of voices as she speaks with the adepts fills the void. "I've not been to His temple that much since arriving here in Marsilikos," she further adds after a moment or two, "But when I next do, I shall look for you."

Tavi smiles broadly, even though he knows she cannot see it; but it continues to carry in his response. "Elua's Temple, outside of the capital, is always…quieter. The lack of walls means it isn't echoing, there is no tradition of roving lovemaking or secret punishments. But it is peace, and acceptance, and quiet love," Tavi agrees. "During the darkest moment of my life I found myself there and felt at peace; that's how I knew I was meant to be there, and help others find it. I will look forward to your visit; just let me know that it is you."

"I am happy that He found you," Perpetua tells Tavi. "I haven't had a time in my life like you describe, but I do believe that we have a destiny chosen for us, and that the Companions guide us towards it." Again there comes the sound of a jug being filled with water from the pool, and then the sound of it being poured over her head. "But…" and she hesitates, and an embarrased silence hangs for a second between them. "Roving lovemaking?" It'd be difficult for Tavi to tell whether she's genuinely embarrassed, or simply taking the opportunity to tease him under the guise of her naive persona, and she says no more than that, allowing him the opportunity to read that as he will.

"It is perhaps not the most technical definition of the apprenticeship for the Priesthood of Naamah, but it is also not technically inaccurate," Tavi offers wryly, letting out a laugh. "It is a beautiful year of service, however, and one I am not dismissive of in any way—especially not in Her temple. But it is a much more…open way of serving than most of the other temples get, although what better sums up the difference between the Lady and the Blessed Elua than that difference?"

Soft laughter spills, not only from Perpetua but from the three adepts that attend her. Clearly, then, she had teased. The adept working on her hair hums softly as she braids Perpetua's hair and wraps it high on her head, and a fresh veil is called for as the four of them make their way to the edge of the pool. It's all well-co-ordinated, and runs as smoothly as a well-oiled machine as they mount the steps as one and swathe her head in fresh white gauze. "Thank you. That's most kind of you," that quiet voice comes again. "I'll stay a minute or two longer, but you may go." She's finally revealed as the adepts disappear; a slender figure of a woman in a wet bathing dress that shrouds her from shoulder to feet, with all but her eyes hidden by the wrap of her veil.

Tavi is definitely keeping an eye on things as they develop, so that by the time she is no longer behind the veil he is completely underneath the water once more. Definitely like he did not just float on the water with everything out in the open. "Ah, lovely. I always love a chance to get bathed and clean?" He says happily. "That was quite impressive, what I could see of it at least."

A faint rosiness claims Perpetua's cheeks as she lowers herself to sit on the edge of the pool. "We have bathing facilities at the salon," she admits as she fusses at her bathing dress with unadorned fingers. The saturated fabric clings too closely and reveals too much of her curves for her liking, and her veil stirs beneath the weight of a suffering sigh. "It's more of a luxury to come here." She drops her feet into the water and the fabric billows about her ankles until it mushrooms out and floats on the surface. "Have you served long in Marsilikos?" she enquires.

"It is, and a delightful one. And, if I may say so, you seem very well bathed for the effort, and have lovely feet," Tavi says with a smile. "I've been in Marsilikos for several years, basically the entire time I've been a full Priest. Before that I was training in the capital," he explains. "Since my mother was from the Court here, we spent most of my childhood here. I was thrilled when I was given the chance to serve here."

The compliment sees a re-occurence of Perpetua's blush, and her eyes drop to her hands as they finally stop their fussing and fold in her lap. "I was in Marsilikos once before now," she says, her embarrasment showing in the dip of her voice. "But I was a child, so I don't remember it well. I went to the Night Court at six, and any visits home have been to my family's estate, and not beyond that." A slow breath is drawn, and her eyes finally lift back to his. "There is nowhere quite so splendid as the capital, but I'm finding that I quite enjoy the peaceful and more leisurely pace of the south. I especially love the sea and the beaches." Well she would. She's a Rousse.

"We're Eisandine, so it is perfectly natural that we would both enjoy the south and the sea," Tavi agrees happily. "And also natural that when my father was on the out and out with his father that they would come here, and I would come to love the city. I am glad that you have been given the chance to come back to a place you love as well. I miss the capital at times, but I am happy to be closer to my sisters."

"Yes," Perpetua agrees. "And perhaps, if you're able, we might visit one of the beaches together." She stirs the water with her feet and watches the way the cotton of her bathing dress billows in the swirls and eddies. "I collect the prettier pieces of sea glass that I come across, I find them fascinating." But her time is limited insofar as her visit to the temple pool allows, and with a huff of her breath through her veils, she rises from her sit. "I have to go, but I will be sure to ask if you are around when next I visit the temple."

Tavi beams. "I would like that," Tavi says genuinely. "And if I see a piece of sea glass that is particularly breath taking, I will make sure to send it your way regardless." He nods as she rises, the smile never leaving his features. "Of course. Forgive me if I don't rise politely, but it seems it would be more impolite. I will look forward to seeing you at the Temple, and wish you the best in the new Salon!"

"That's very kind of you," Perpetua smiles. Tavi will be able to tell that she's smiling by the softness of the tone in which those words are delivered and his reason for not rising has her lifting an elegant hand, her palm turned towards him. "That is perfectly fine Brother Tavi," she quickly confirms as a fresh wave of colour finds a home in her cheeks. She turns, and that treacherous dress she wears moulds itself outrageously to her curves as she drips her way across towards the dressing alcoves.

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