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Meeting the Ladies

Writers: Estelle, Miriah, Suzee
Date Posted: 16th January 2020

Characters: Brina, Asaile, Tarani, Noriya
Description: Brina meets the ladies
Location: Sunstone Seahold
Date: month 13, day 9 of Turn 9
Notes: Mentioned: Bryvin

Notes: backdated as it got lost in the shuffle.


Brina
Brina
Asaile
Asaile

"Thank you. You can put those on the small table." Brina gestured to
show the drudge carrying a tray of small pastries where she meant, then
turned to bring the pot of tea over from the hearth. Really, she'd had
to do very little with the Lady's sitting room, which had been decorated
in the best of taste with subtle shades and the delicate scent of
flowers in the air. It was an entirely suitable setting to make the
acquaintance of the Hold's young lady fosterlings.

Satisfied that all was as it should be, she seated herself by the tea
table and waited for her guests to arrive. She couldn't help feeling a
little flutter of nerves, for although she'd brought up her husband's
children and her own daughter alongside other well-born girls, there had
never been so many of such high rank. It was a grave responsibility,
especially since one of them might become her brother's wife and Lady
Holder.

A light tap on the door announced the first arrival. Asaile, clothed
in one of her better gowns, blushed as the door opened and she gave a
curtsy. "Thank you for the invitation, Lady Brina. May I come in?" She
knew that if she had any chance of success at the Hold, this was the
woman that she _had_ to impress. For a moment, she wished fervently
that she was still at home in the comfort of her own solar with her
mother, who had always handled such matters.

"Of course. You must be Lady Asaile." Brina rose gracefully with a warm
smile, the habits of hospitality returning to her with ease. "Please,
come in and sit down. I'm expecting a few of the other young ladies, so
that we can get to know one another. May I offer you some tea?"

Asaile blinked, then flushed, embarrassed by her own forgetfulness. Of
course she should have introduced herself! "Oh, yes Lady Brina. I am
Lady Asaile. Forgive me for my lack of manners, I'm usually much
better, but everything is so new, that I'm afraid I forgot myself."
She entered at the invitation and sat, neatly folding her hands in her
lap, though her fingers twitched with her own nerves. "Yes please, I
would love some tea, thank you."

"Of course. And don't give it another thought. I know how hard it can
be, when you leave your home for the first time." She carefully poured
out the fragrant tea into Asaile's cup. "As you know, I've only recently
arrived at Sunstone myself, but I was lucky to have my brother here to
welcome me. I hope you're settling in well."

Noriya arrived a moment later and after stepping into the room dropped
a small curtsey to Lady Brina. Then she smiled at Asaile as she took
her seat. "Good afternoon," she smiled. She was impressed with the
room and obvious class of Lord Bryvin's sister. "This is a lovely
room," she said.

"Thank you, though I can't take the credit. I understand the decorations
were chosen by my brother and the Headwoman, but I couldn't be more
delighted with them." Brina handed the teacup to Asaile and began to
pour another for Noriya. "Please, help yourselves to pastries. I'm also
expecting Lady Tarani, and then we'll all be here."

"Thank you, Lady Brina." Asaile took the cup and sipped delicately.
"I'm sure Tarani will be here any moment. We did remind her this morning
after breakfast. "

"Well, we'll give her a little time. When she arrives, we can speak more
about your fostering, and how you'll be spending your time here at
Sunstone." Brina passed a second teacup to Noriya. "I understand all
three of you traveled here together by ship, so you must know each
other well by now?"

"Yes," Noriya smiled at Asaile. "We've become rather good friends I
think. Thank you," she said as she took the cup from Lady Brina. She
wasn't so sure about Tarani but perhaps it was just how different they
were personality wise. She tried to be generous with her thoughts even
though she found it personally a bit difficult to like the girl.

Asaile also smiled. She liked Tarani's spunk and she was much more
daring than Asaile had ever dreamed of being. She admired Tarani, even
if she was astounded by her behavior sometimes. "Yes, I think so. The
three of us got to know each other well. I'm afraid it's been a little
more difficult with the other girls that came after us, if I may be
honest." She didn't like her own roommate. Oufelle was sometimes so
crass and spoke of things that ladies simply should not! "I'm sure
though, that after some time, we'll all be a happy family."

"I'm sure we will." Brina hoped that would be the case, and she returned
their smiles with perfect courtesy, but she couldn't help but feel a
moment's doubt. It wasn't so long since her own daughter had been their
age, and she well knew how rivalries could develop over an eligible man.
And who was more eligible than an unmarried Lord Holder?

These two girls seemed most polite and ladylike, though, with a genuine
warmth between them. There was no sense in worrying without cause.
Before she could think too much about it, a third visitor appeared at
the door, out of breath and with a red curl hanging loose from her
hastily arranged hair.

"Oh, Lady Brina, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to be late. Please forgive me,
I was just...looking around the Hold and I lost track of the time." She
tucked the lock of hair back behind her ear. "I am Lady Tarani."

"Don't worry about it in the least. The Hold is very beautiful, isn't
it? There's so much to see and it's easy to become absorbed. Please,
take a seat and a moment to compose yourself. I'll pour you some tea."
Brina watched as the girl sank gratefully into the last chair. "We were
just speaking of your journey to the Hold, and how you'd become friends."

"Oh, yes. We have." Tarani smoothed down her skirts and accepted the
cup. Actually, she thought Noriya was too good to be true and wished she
was sharing with Asaile instead, even if she did all but jump at her own
shadow, but she kept that to herself.

"Well, now that you're here, I thought we could talk a little about your
duties here." Brina started to pour out a last cup of tea for herself.
"I expect you've all been taught about the role of a Lady by your
mothers, but every Hold is different and there'll be much to learn at
Sunstone. I'm a new arrival, too, so we'll be relying on the Headwoman a
great deal at first."

Asaile gave a little shudder at the thought. She found the Headwoman
here to be extremely intimidating; those dark eyes of hers seemed so
hard and flinty and for a moment, she wished longingly for her own
Hold's Headwoman, a jolly, plump elderly woman who always seemed to
have sweets in her pocket. "Will we all have the same duties?"

"Yes, though not all at once. You'll have the chance to practice all of
a Lady's duties in turn. Keeping the accounts and tallying stores,
negotiating with traders and crafters, assigning duties to the drudges.
Of course, Headwoman Yriadha is very competent in that regard, but if
you marry and go to live in another Hold, you may have to take more of
those responsibilities on yourselves." Brina sipped her tea. "Then,
you'll need to welcome the Lord Holder's guests, see to their comfort,
and plan entertainments. And there'll be dancing lessons, and music. Did
any of you learn to sing or play an instrument, or study at the Harper
Hall?"

Many of the duties Asaile had started learning at a young age, but had
never had sole responsibility for. She had of course watched her
mother and father interact with the residents of the Hold, but not
with outside crafters or traders, who her mother had proclaimed as
inappropriate company for her. The thought of making a mistake and
disappointing the darkly handsome Lord Holder filled her with anxiety.
She so wanted to make a good impression on him! She wished she could
be forward enough to ask what Lord Bryvin liked and what his
preferences were. "I sing." She admitted. "But I wasn't allowed to go
to Harper Hall or any such thing."

"We had a Master Harper at home, who taught me how to play the gitar a
little, and sing," Tarani admitted, with some reluctance. "I'm not very
good." The long hours of practice had never been her favorite activity,
and she'd always secretly preferred the rowdy singing of the miners and
traders in her uncle's dining hall.

"Noriya, didn't you have quite a bit of access to Harpers? Garnet
Valley is much bigger than our Holds." Asaile questioned the other
lady.

"I did," Noriya smiled at Asaile. "I play harp and sing," she ducked
her head slightly at Lady Brina. "The master said I was talented and
wanted to send me to the Hall but my father wouldn't allow it because
the Hall was at the Weyr at the time." She shrugged.

"Oh, that is a shame. My own daughter spent a short time there, but
fortunately she left before all of their troubles started." Brina wasn't
sure she would send a girl there now, since they'd started accepting
female apprentices. It was a pity, for the time away from home with
girls of her own rank had given Ebria a valuable polish and confidence,
as well as improving her musical skills. Fostering at Sunstone, she
hoped, might do the same for these young ladies. "I'd be happy to
arrange music lessons for any of you who would like it. And of course, I
look forward to hearing you play, Lady Noriya."

"We all do," Tarani said sweetly. **Of _course_ Lady Noriya plays
beautifully.** She suppressed the sting of jealousy and turned to a
different topic. "What about riding, Lady Brina, and excursions? I'd
love to explore the land around the Hold. It's so lush and green, and
different to my home."

"I'd like that, too." Brina smiled at the girl's enthusiasm. "But first
we'll need to arrange for a suitable escort and establish which routes
are safe. I'm told the weather can be changeable here. I'll speak to my
brother about it."

Noriya's eyes widened in surprise and she smiled. "Oh that would be
wonderful my lady," she said. "And I would be happy to play for you
anytime," she smiled sweetly at the others including Tarani.

"Perhaps we can all perform together one night at dinner. " Asaile spoke
up, glancing at the other two. "That might be really enjoyable." She
took a quick sip of her tea and then hesitating for a moment while she
swirled the liquid in her cup, gently cleared her throat. "Perhaps we
can go riding with Lord Bryvin... when he has time of course."

"Oh, I'd like that. Who would be better, to show us the sights of the
Hold?" Tarani's voice rose in delight. What with the long sea journey
and the time spent adjusting to her new home, it had been too long since
she'd spent more than a few moments outdoors.

"I'm sure he would find that most enjoyable. I'll suggest it," Brina
said, thinking that Bryvin would like that better than dining together.
She smiled. "Though I remember my brother being a fine rider when we
were young. I expect we'd have to work hard to keep up with him."

Last updated on the February 1st 2020


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