Evening Counsel

Evening Counsel
Summary: A priest and a princess meet by night.
Date: 22/August/2013
Related: None
Ravos Amira 

Brivey Keep - Temple of the Four
Like all temples of the Four, this one is a slightly stretched diamond in structure with lofty cathedral ceilings that let natural light shine in and illuminate this sacred place. It is accessed by a graceful archway on each of the four straight walls, emphasizing that neither direction holds prescedence over the other. Combined with the stone walls and polished floors create a wonderful echo that catches almost every footstep and whisper.

At each of the four corners of the temple are the altars of the Four. The northern corner belongs to Bornas the Mountain God; a tall effigy of a bulking, bear of a man with his sigil carved into the platform at his feet. There is an offering dish that is often filled with handfuls of earth, leaves, or seeds. Directly opposite of him in the south is the handsome and youthful statue of Ravas the Fire God, and his offering bowl often contains hearth ash or bits of tinder. To Ravas's left in the western corner is the old and wise Stilltha; river stones and water occupy her offering bowl, including the occasional fishbone. Last, but not least, opposite of Stilltha in the east is the young Altheara with her long, windswept hair and fiercely beautiful features. In her bowl is held bird feathers and bones, as well as small carved flutes and chimes.

Thur Aug 22, 1329

Night falls upon Eikeren as easy as a sheet falls across bedding. But in the cover of darkness there are pinpricks of light shining far off in realms of heaven which hover above the Northron kingdom, Brivey and the small temple therein.

A robed Priest does his work for the evening, keeping the polished floors free of stain and mire with each sweep of a brush. In these quiet hours chores help to focus the mind - - or at least that’s what the plainly dressed Priest mutters to himself.

"Bornas, Ravas, give me the endurance and passion to complete the night's mission."

Sweep, sweep, sweep.

"And the clarity, Stilltha, to see it done right!"

A night such as that which falls upon Eikeren often holds secrets of the realm to its breast. One such be that of a Northern lady coming to call upon the guidance from those above, now, when darkness reigns. Like the stars which break through with glimmers of hope in the otherwise perpetual gloom, the Temple here in Brivey does it offer a sanctuary for a condemned daughter of Rhaedan. Almost upon sight, with the Rhaedan cloak drawn about her shoulders, as the young woman enters, her presence will be known. While proud of her house, her bloodline, and her name, Amira does not deny the need for some spiritual release and stops her travels to seek some time in prayer.

Her guards, while not admitted further within, due to the nature of being armed, are replaced by the Chosen who often walk these halls to protect the peace that goes within. So, she comes alone, walking forward, the train of her gown flowing behind her, the curls of her blond hair bouncing out from around the frame of her hood, her hands clasped neatly so underneath her cloak. Her decision of which of the Four to honour first remains unspoken in body language or voice, rather, she stands evenly spaced between them, as much as she can without actually interrupting the sweeping duties of one of the Priests.

"Excuse me Father," her voice is soft, willful, but respectful, as her hands lift up to draw her hood down and aside, "Is it alright if I speak with the Guardians tonight? I am in sore need of their guidance."

The sound of doors drawn open and heavy boots shuffling across the polished stone of the temple rouse Ravos Althearin from his broom duties. With one last sweep he straightens his back and rises from his knees, hardened from years of prayer and house cleaning. But even before he can stand fully, the figure of… "Your Highness?" appears before him alongside temple Chosen.

"Your Highness Amira!?" Ravos nearly drops the brush from his grasp. Who wouldn't recognize a royal princess of Rhaedan - and in his temple. Straightening his green robes he offers a sharp bow as stern as it is sudden.
"Please," he gestures with the broom still in hand, "I welcome you to Brivey Temple. Make your offerings as you will."
His eyes glance to the four corners of the room. "And should you need counsel," he clears his voice. "Ahem. I am also at your eternal disposal."

The Chosen replace her own guards well enough though are soon dismissed with a gentle brush of her hand to each, accepting and appreciating their guard but thereby calling an end to it, safe under the roof of the Four. The recognition she earns from the Father priest has her nod with a solemn acknowledgement, appreciating the bow but shaking her head, "Father, we are all equals under your roof, please…" she insists that he straighten with gesture and tone.

Her hands settle at her sides, eyes peering around the temple, then back to the startled Priest, "I apologize for not warning your Convenant of my arrival. It is to be done with discretion, if you please, as I as everyone else needs time to speak with the Four." She considers the four corners, and at last, the offer comes before a decision can be made. "On this night, I would be grateful for some counsel," she nods to him and reaches out a hand towards his own

Ravos Althearin can't help but grow more firm in his countenance and position. With a heavy bearing and onerous countenance he takes a step toward Amira to accept her hand. "Equal, perhaps your Highness." His free hand clings to the brush, a poor prop for such an occasion. "But not the same."

"I cannot govern a country, your Highness." For a moment Ravos' green eyes catch a second glimpse of his sweeping brush. His cheeks redden at the thought of it, before his he casually sneaks the offending hand behind his back. "Let alone govern myself properly at times."

"But I can in act help you with whatever you desire, should it oblige the will of The Four."
Ravos smiles, hoping to guide her to a temple pew. "What troubles your heart?"

Amira tilts her head, eyes contemplative, though no comments are made about the ways they are different. That is glaring and obvious for indeed, they may be equal in this moment under the eyes of the Guardians, but as soon as she steps out that door, the power of Rhaedan trails along behind her. She lets her fingers be held and puts her other on top of his, "I did not mean to interrupt your duties Father," as the brush that he tries to hide she had already seen upon walking in. "Bless you for hearing my troubles," she looks back behind her, as if someone had followed other than the Chosen, before she looks toward a bench. There, she'll move to and hopefully encourage him over toward.

After taking a seat, fixing her skirts, and sitting proper like a young woman in her station demands, she softly murmurs, "And I hope I never have to govern alone, the treasury is enough for me to manage at times," she pauses, considering her words before she speaks more gently, "Though it is not my tasks that I'm required to do which brings me here, nor that causes me sorrows." She'll turn her knees in toward him, position herself to hear the advice she so desperately looks to need, "Father… Awful things have been said, of me. I fear such words have labelled me a harlot, a manipulator, despoiled." She frowns, "You know as well as I do what that means for a woman in my station. There is already talk of marrying me off before my reputation takes a further dive." She shakes her head, her hand squeezing his own, "I did nothing to incur this. While I try to forgive and forget those vile words, it has impacted every person that knows me. It breaks my heart Father, to lose the faith of those I called friends and to cause disgrace to my family, when in fact, none was caused."

The young priest takes his seat alongside the princess. For a moment he can barely breathe as the princess takes certain liberties with his person. A hand squeeze? My heavens, what a trial this night. Ravos Althearin musters his most disciplined expression as she reveals her worries to his reddening ears.

"This is a test, your Highness," he says, absent mindedly waving the brush in his hands. "A test, not only of your character, but of the strength of your spirit."

The youthful gaze of the priest catches the figure of the mighty Bornas standing upright on his podium. "But you are not alone. The Guardians themselves were tested likewise. Pitted against themselves, their strengths and virtues becoming their weaknesses and iniquities."

Ravos catches himself in the midst of a grand gesture. He stops, noticing the brush and gently places it beside him. "No, never alone. It is Chaos that stirs ill will in the world. And to dispel it, what you seek is balance. Just as the four balance each other."
The priest takes a deep, calm breath. "What, do you think, my 'child' is the cause your imbalance? Is it merely this gossip? Is it the fear of a marriage unprepared for? Speak it so, that we might know the root and weed it out."

Liberties! Had the young princess known that it would be taken as a liberty to seek comfort from one who can convey the message of the Guardians, she wouldn't have proceeded to gesture such, but she is naive to the world and thinks such gestures are welcomed in the holy house of the Four. Her fingers do eventually loosen, for the man's waving of the brush does naturally break the need for that connection.

"A test?" She reiterates, eyes of wonder, becoming pensive at the nature of the man's words, worrying her bottom lip as she allows her sudden self-consciousness show in those subtle mannerisms. She falls silent, putting the pieces together, her eyes following the priest and his movements, listening to his explanation of what could be happening, words responded to with soft nods.

"The rumor was that a man laid with me. There is no truth in that, I remain with my virtue. How can I prove that to the world Father?" She looks down, fingers toying with the edge of her cloak, "I may have hurt people along the way too. I have heard rumors of my friend trying to end her own life and I can't fathom why she wouldn't talk to me… unless, unless I hurt her by allowing these rumors to continue… By being too free with my emotions…"

"The Four preserve us," escapes Ravos Althearin's lips, words seemingly spoken of their own accord. At the princess' revelation he hastily places a hand atop hers. The blush in his cheeks rise to a blistering boil, hot as Ravas' wings, before simmering to a near instantaneous cool. The priest speaks with a level tone and clear voice.

"The truth is a key capable of unbinding the chains of regret. Use it in your time of need as you've used it today. I believe in your sincerity, Highness." A concerned look warps Ravos' placid demeanor. "Although I suspect protestation would only serve to make an untruth a truth. Let these base accusations fall to your feet. Step over them and move yourself as if the utterance had never been heard. Nay, never spoken in the first. For to lend any attention to such wicked words would only lend them credibility to tempt ignoble minds and unscrupulous ears."

"If more people sought the truth, we wouldn't have so much… chaos in the world, as deception often builds a seed faster than honesty…" She sighs quietly, ignoring the fact that the priest may be uncomfortable with such admissions. But the truth is, she was a princess and knew the virtue of staying pure while unwedded.

Standing abruptly from the bench, she looks toward her father's Guardian, Bornas. "Then I must speak to Bornas and ask for his strength to help me crush these vile words from my soul and my mind," she looks down over at the Priest, offering a gentle smile, "Thank you Father. This advice I was given before and now, given here, under the roof of the Four, I can whole heartedly absorb. I shant be long, though I do mean to visit each of the Four in turn, for balance as you said, is quite necessary." She shows her appreciation in a grateful nod before gliding with soft steps towards Bornas, to whom she kneels before…

The Princess will spend about an hour in prayer, to each of the Four. Only then, after sufficent time with them, does she rise gracefully, a burden seemingly lifted from her feature, the confidence of a ruler returned. Where she goes from here, only the Four know.

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