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Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:19 pm
Aldora did not consider herself to run in any true social circles in Casa; she had close friends and family sure, but she didn’t feel like she really fit in anywhere. However, she saw others flock together, in groups or even pairs; there were always certain members that would be seen at each other’s side. She missed that. She had had that with Howland for a time; it had been nice.
There was one pair in particular that was hard for her to ignore; she didn’t speak about it outright, but it always brought a smile to her face when she saw them; Teagan and Mako.
She and her relative were not close, in fact, they hadn’t really interacted much at all, even though they were pack mates and cousins. Perhaps it was a difference in age and rank, but Aldora was catching up with the Warlord in the latter regard; she knew eventually the societal barrier between them would have to come down. Already she outranked Mako, another member she did not interact with; Teagan and he were nearly connected at the hip, and obviously happy to be with each other over any one else; such was love she guessed.
It was time, she had decided, to take steps forward in her relationship with her cousin. For Aldora to be successful in Casa, she and Teagan would have to learn to work closely together, to trust each other. Aldora already trusted Teagan in most things, but she didn’t feel like she truly knew her the way she should.
So, with a gift in tow, she headed to meet the Warlord in her office in the Courthouse. Teagan had recently been injured, and had been resting; it was the best time to speak to her without feeling like she was disturbing her work.
She arrived at the Warlord’s office, and rapped on the worn door frame, Teagan, it’s Aldora. She said, announcing herself. For a brief moment, she thought she might be turned away.
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Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:58 pm
Teagan slumped back in her chair, resting her chin between her thumb and forefinger as she looked over the itemized list that had been handed to her by one of the pack’s leading blacksmiths. Being the military head, the Stryder thought it pertinent that she be in the know of what weapons and armor they had on hand, what was being produced, moved, repaired, traded, or destroyed by their blacksmith, armorsmith, and carpentry shops, as well as what was needed to ensure that the knights. The list Mako had given her was one that named a handful of weapons that would been produced or otherwise reforged, as well as a few with recommendations of either crafting, obtaining, or melting down.
She tapped a claw upon her desk as she read and re-read the list, mentally trying to inventory what she knew to be down in the armory, and trying to decide what was more or less important. “Melt down the two axes and take the wooden portions over to Guinevere and see if she can reuse them somehow. It’d almost be a waste of time to fix them in the state that they’re in.”
“Craft a few of lesser grade. They’ll be good for trading if the Salsolans have an eye for some without giving them our best steel.”
A knock came at her door then, and both Brotherhood members turned their heads towards it. When the individual announced themselves, Teagan sat up in her chair, wincing a bit as she felt tension on one of her stitches from the movement. “Come in,” she beckoned. Her canary eyes flicked to Mako and she gave a soft gesture to the door as her cousin came in. “You’re dismissed, Mako.”
Mako nodded and turned, offering a polite greeting to the Damaichu as he passed her before he showed himself out, shutting the door behind him as he went. Alone with Aldora, Teagan’s gaze moved from the item that she had brought with her to the younger Cavalier’s face. “What can I do for you, Aldora?”
Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:03 pm
Thankfully, the Warlord’s strong voice was quick to respond to Aldora’s knock, and it invited her inside. The Valiant opened the old, heavy door, just ask Mako made to exit; she gave him a bright smile and then turned to address Teagan.
She bowed her head slightly, I wanted to come to see how you were feeling, and also to bring you a gift. She placed the burlap wrapped parcel on her desk, I thought it might help you to feel better, or something that you might enjoy at any other time. She made well to speak in such a way that it did not seem as if Aldora was insulting or suggesting that Teagan was weak. The gift was nothing but genuine and cordial.
The present was one of Luperci made pig-fat soap, infused with various herbs and flowers; they smelled good enough to eat. Soap was a rarity but an indulgence Aldora afforded herself as often as she could. Whenever a trader came to call, or the Knight ran into a merchant on the road, she would always ask for soap. Because of this she had a healthy collection, and the circular bars she had for Teagan were some choice picks of her collection.
Aldora stood stiffly before the Warlord, very much aware that she may be seen as an interloper here, and then clasped her hands together, I was also hoping we could… talk. She said, realizing that sounded much more awkward than she had intended it to, If you have the time, of course. That didn’t help much. Was she really that intimidated by her cousin? There was so much of Lyris in her, all the parts that had scared Aldora straight she was a pup… perhaps that was the reason why she felt like a blubbering fool in front of Teagan.
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Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:32 am
Teagan sat up a bit straighter in her chair, her facial muscles twitching briefly at the tug on her still-healing wounds. Her interactions with her cousin were not a frequent occurrence, as their daily lives, duties, and interests often pulled them in separate directions than one another, so, to have the Valiant show up in her office was definitely not something that had been expected. Still, Teagan accepted her with a nod.
“I’ve been better,” Teagan replied with a single, dry chuckle, “I’ve been worse.” The bear had not brought her anywhere near death, after all.
The gift that Aldora had brought with her was placed on Teagan’s desk, and the Stryder took it in hand, not wanting to be rude and leave it unopened. Delicately, she pulled at the twine that had kept it tied. The items within clattered against each other; something solid, not like wood and not like metal either. Perhaps pebbles being dropped upon pebbles, yes. The smell hit her first, a light, but delectable, herb-y fragrance that was noticeable, but, not overpowering. Within the burlap, she found a lightly-colored bar that Teagan instantly recognized as soap.
She returned her cold, canary eyes upon her cousin once more. “Thank you, Aldora, that was thoughtful of you,” Teagan said respectfully. The War Lord didn’t use soaps, having never seen much point in them when she had no qualms with the wild smell of a forest’s riverbank. The bar had a nice scent to it though, and she was sure she could use it for special occasions, something, she was sure, Mako would, no doubt, tease her for.
There was a rigidness to Aldora then that told Teagan that there was more to this visit than her cousin simply wanting to check up on her well being and to give her a gift. It took a beat, but, the younger knight eventually confirmed the War Lord’s suspicions. Teagan could sense her nervousness, could see it in her cousin’s stance from across the desk, could hear it in her voice. It quietly amused the Stryder, as it seemed many were intimidated by her cold exterior that she had inherited from her late mother.
Teagan made a small noise as she stood from her seat, her injuries protesting from the movement. She ignored them though, gesturing with an open palm for Aldora to sit on the sofa situated before the room’s partially-boarded window. The sofa would hopefully make her cousin relax a bit instead of standing ramrod straight like some soldier reporting in.
“What would you like to talk about?” Teagan asked as she moved over to the sofa herself. She sat down a little slower than usual, not wanting to aggravate her injuries too much.
Sun Mar 31, 2019 2:16 pm
Teagan was quick to brush off the severity of her injuries with a chuckle, Aldora had expected no less. She did appear to be in better shape though than Aldora had originally thought; the Warlord was the epitome of stoic strength.
For the gift, she appeared thankful, but difficult to read; Aldora was not sure if she was truly happy with it or not; oh well, it had been the thought that counted.
The sofa nearby was offered to her, and Aldora was quick to find a seat on one side of it, while Teagan moved to claim the other side. The Valiant sat tall and somewhat stiff, her hands clasped in her lap. Once Teagan was settled, she asked what she wanted to talk about, Aldora took in a breath, About us, actually. She said. She wondered if that would surprise the Warlord, she didn’t let the shock of the subject linger; she went right into it.
I’m sure as you know, when I was younger I made a very serious mistake here in Casa. Since my return last winter I’ve been trying my hardest to rectify this mistake and prove myself worthy of the pack. she shifted slightly in her seat, and raised her hands to gesticulate as she spoke, I’ve risen in the ranks because of my hard work, but I feel like my position is being granted to me more out of policy than anything else. Veri knows of my skill and sentiment, but I have to admit, I feel pretty much ignored by both you and Luca.
She didn’t say this out of spite or anger, but it was clear in her voice that she recognized this as a fact, I’m not sure why, I can only imagine it is because you both see me still as a child, or perhaps you have not yet forgiven me for the mistakes of the past. It took some time for me to forgive myself even, so if that’s the case I do not blame you.
She folded her hands in her lap again, I need to understand why it is like this between you and I, I need to know so that I can start to figure out a way to fix it. Otherwise, if I do eventually make it to Council, I will feel my position meaningless, because at this point I believe that neither you, nor Luca, trust me.
Aldora looked at Teagan and tried her best not to falter; even now it felt as if a weight had been lifted from her. She had confronted this wall that had been separating her from her superiors, and now Teagan could either reject her, or help her find a way to move forward.
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Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:52 am
She raised a delicate brow at her cousin’s answer. Them? What was there to talk about that regarded the two of them? They rarely interacted other than in passing, their duties and interests having kept them largely apart despite Aldora having been born in the Fort. As the Valiant went on, it seemed that their lack of interaction was, actually, the problem that Aldora wanted to discuss.
Teagan politely let the Knight speak, remaining largely neutral up until her cousin specifically named Teagan’s father and herself as being a source of her distress. Her brows furrowed. If Aldora had come there because she felt she was overdue for recognition or glory for whatever she had done, she would leave sorely disappointed. The Stryder was not someone known for her friendliness, much less, to freely give out praises. Asking or demanding for such a thing would have only been a sign of arrogance in the War Lord’s eyes.
Thankfully for the Knight’s sake, Aldora continued on, explaining more in detail on why she felt as she did. At the very least, it did not seem like Aldora had come there for conceited reasons. Teagan closed her eyes and let out a shallow breath, considering her cousin’s words for a beat before she spoke. “Hnn. My father would not have promoted you to Valiant if he had not felt that you were worthy of the title,” she reassured, though, her words were not as warm as they perhaps should have been.
It was true. The Knight had come far from her youthful days. She had apprenticed under one of Casa di Cavalieri’s best and beloved fighters, Lyris. She had participated in protecting the pack from the likes of the Syndicate. It was unfortunate that Teagan knew little else about Aldora’s personal exploits or what she had done to earn her rank, but, the Stryder trusted her father’s judgement.
When Teagan thought of Aldora, her cousin’s connection to her mother, her participation in the Syndicate conflict, and her archery skills were of the first that came to mind. They were, of course, shadowed by the Valiant’s arrogant and foolhardy mistake that had left Arlen crippled and the rest of that summer’s apprentices badly injured. It had taken the War Lord a long time to not view her cousin with disappointment with her leadership of that event. She had been young though, just as Teagan had been once, and she had been just as brash and overconfident as Aldora had been.
The only difference was that Teagan had not gotten others hurt with her decisions.
“I don’t avoid you, if that is what you feel.” Teagan went on, her tone neutral. It would have been pointless to bring up that they were simply busy individuals, as the argument could have been that, if they wanted to spend time together, they would have made time to spend together. “Neither do I think of you as a child.” Aldora was coming up into in her third year, was more mature than Arlen, and more sensible than Myra or Remus in that regard.
Teagan let out another shallow breath as she moved to slowly stand. Her hands wove behind her back in a military-like manner as she paced over to look out the window. Canary eyes roved over the Fort below, watching as the Cavaliers and animals moved about. “And as far as forgiveness is concerned, it is not my place.”
She hadn’t been the one that had been hurt.
Arlen, Myra, Remus, Rohan, Sian, they had been the ones to pay the price for going along with such recklessness in going after a bear. Such arrogance. They’d thought that just because they’d passed their First Blood, that they should take on a beast that an experienced fighter would have had trouble with. Teagan’s injuries that she suffered right then and there were a testament of lucky the then-Second Cadets had been to not lose a single one of their number.
“If you do find yourself amongst the Council, it will be because you earned my father’s trust to help him lead this pack. He is not a fool to put someone in such a rank that they can neither handle nor deserve.” The War Lord’s eyes cut to her cousin, regarding her coldly. “Whatever my feelings towards you are, it should not change how well you perform in your tasks and duties given to you, Aldora. Your actions and loyalty should be for the good of Casa di Cavalieri, not on how worthy you are in someone else’s eyes or to thrive off of their praise.”
If Aldora had only strived to climb the ranks for attention, could only accept the title as one of the council if she was liked and noticed by her fellow Councilman, everything she had done so far would have been for the wrong reasons. As the daughter of Veyra Damaichu and Callum Knight, as the last apprentice under Lyris Stryder, she should have known better than that.
Teagan turned her eyes to look back out into the Fort. “I do not have to like or know every Cavalier in order to raise my sword to their defense. So long as they are a knight under the Sole and Lune, and have not performed some heinous crime, they will fall under my protection. I trust you enough to do the same.”
She would make no promises of how she might feel of her cousin being one of the council. As, in that moment, it was a hypothetical, Teagan felt it poor to say whether she could trust Aldora to do whatever position she had if she had yet to even hold the title. For now, it would have to be enough that Teagan could trust Aldora to have her back on the battlefield.
Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:04 pm
Aldora sat frozen as Teagan responded in her usual, stoic way. There was coldness there, as there always had been with the Warlord; the Valiant now decided, once and for all, that it was just how Teagan was.
While another may have felt slighted by Teagan’s words, Aldora saw them for what they truly were; honest advice and perspective from her superior. What was said was not meant to cut her down, but to remove from her any frivolous or worrying thoughts that were untrue. Teagan had been in her place in the pack for a long time, and she knew what she was talking about.
Still, part of Aldora yearned for some kind of affection, some kind of personal connection between her and her cousin, but it appeared that would not come to pass. At least not now; who knew what the future might bring.
After Teagan had said her piece, the chocolate lady put mismatched paws on her knees and huffed out a sigh, releasing the tension, and then smiled genuinely at her cousin, I appreciate your forthrightness, as I always have, Teagan. She then stood from the couch, and gave the Warlord a slight bow, I will do my best to prove to you and the Lune that I am worth my stars and that I meant what I said when I took the oath; through my actions I will help guide Casa to glory, and protect those who cannot protect themselves.
She waited for Teagan to dismiss her, and headed towards the door, but at the threshold hesitated and turned back to the Stryder woman, On another personal note, even if you did not intend to have avoided me, perhaps from time to time we could enjoy each other’s company in a more… leisurely fashion? She gave her cousin another soft smile, hoping that she would at least consider it.
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Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:39 pm
Her cousin took her advice well. Some might have been reduced to tears from her words of reality, others might have grown defensive or might have twisted the words in a way that made them a personal attack. The Knight looked and sounded to have taken them for what they were, and it earned her a small notch in the War Lord’s favor. The declaration that came from Aldora earned her a smirk from Teagan, who nodded and replied, “I will hold you to it.”
She made note that she’d have to be sure to pay more attention to Aldora and her actions in the pack.
“If that is all, you’re dismissed, Valiant.” The War Lord concluded, offering a nod to the door when it looked like Aldora was waiting for permission to leave. She was sure that the Knight had other work to do, just as Teagan did. With the her brother’s children and the Hushhowl boys becoming apprentices, Teagan needed to get some documentation finished before the end of the day.
Teagan made her way back to her desk, pausing when Aldora spoke up again. The War Lord regarded her cousin and her request for a beat before offering a single nod. “I am not opposed to that,” she agreed. As she moved to sit down slowly in her seat again, she added with a scowl, “I draw the line at flower crowns though.” Arlen had been close with Aldora, and her cousin had seemed more tolerant of Iorek that Teagan ever had been.
The War Lord of Casa di Cavalieri would not be found wearing a crown of brightly colored plant material.