Talking Chess

Talking Chess…
Summary: Princess Amira and Lady Cassia happen upon each other in the temple and talk Religion and Chess.
Date: 24/09/1329
Amira Cassia 

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.
Tue Sep 24, 1329

A feminine figure outlined by a rather regale crimson cloak has situated herself in the center of the room, arms at her sides, palms turned outwards, gaze raised upward. Her loose curls fall in neat curls behind her, spilling in over the hood of her cloak down toward the middle of her back. The nobility of her standing tall to face the Four is evident by her attire alone, yet, her bearing screams just as loud. In this way, she faces it all, though no priest or priestess moves to interrupt the girl from her prayers, even if done in such a way to express her devoutness. She's alone, no guards, no security around her - if you discount the Chosen that naturally are a part of the Temple.

Another figure enters the temple returned from her journeys to the southern lands. Cassia notes the princess in her devotions and makes no move to interupt her. Her own guards remain outside the room as well as she makes light footsteps around the room, leaving offerings at the each of the four guardians. Leaves for Bornas. Tinder for Ravas. A river stone for Stilltha. Finally she pauses at Altheara. It is here she lingers as she presents an elaborate offering of bound feathers with small bones dangling from them. It is clear where her bias lies, as a famed archer, it is no shock perhaps.

Despite the fact that Cassia means to not interrupt Amira, it happens naturally from the echoing of footsteps to the placements of the offerings. Amira watches the other woman for a time, simply observing the decorated ring of feathers that has been placed at Altheara's shrine. She too walks over toward the Guardian reverred by the archers, pausing a few paces away from Cassia with her hands steepled in a prayer. Any offerings she brought with her has already been placed, so she has no further gifts to bear the Guardian. Instead, a kind word to a familiar face, "She truly inspires the heart, doesn't she?" Asked as her eyes travel up the length of the sculpture defining their chosen Guardian.

As Amira approaches, Cassia turns her gaze to the young princess before dipping a slight curtsey. Courtesies must be seen to, but once they are she looks back to the Guardian before her. "Yes she does. I suppose most warriors are inspired by Bornas, but it is she that has always inspired me in battle. Perhaps because she is female, but I think more because of her subtle strength. She is free, and yet still invites danger." Her gaze remains on the sculpture for a moment more before looking to the princess, "How fare thee today your highness?"

Cassia's curtsey is met with an instinctive glance, appreciating the value of such a gesture and otherwise bred to understand that it is common place where ever she goes. There's a bare hint of a chin nod from her to met it though, otherwise preoccupied with the current study of the Guardian's statuette. "It does seem more common for the men to believe in Bornas and the women, such as ourselves, to humble before Altheara's swiftness and feminine strengths," she says as her hands come together before her, saying naught more on the subject other than the fine lines of her face that depict her ability to wonder at such a graceful goddess. Her attention does eventually fall toward the other, "Well, Lady Auldholme." She at least can recall faces and names on the spot, most of the time - though maybe this one more so than others due to their last reunion, as brief an affair as that was. "It is a good sign then, that you have returned," she states with a calm tone, less worried and less girlish than she was last time, more matured, wise, as if she spent hours under Stilltha's guidance.

Cassia looks towards Bornas for a moment and nods, "I admire his strength and will make my offerings to him, but to Altheara does my heart call." She comments before stepping away from the altar with the princess. At the comment of her return Cassia nods with a faint touch of humour to her lips. "Indeed, I believe I have seem more of Wolveshire than I had hoped. The queen insisted on extending her…hospitality to me even after your sister was returned to the North." Well she seems little worse for wear from the experience, "And your sister, I presume she has returned safe and sound to her family. It is no easy think to be a token in a political game."

Amira only walks a few paces back toward the center of the temple, hands folding loosely into the sleeves of her cloak, "Somedays I have to wonder if that isn't all we are though, tokens, in some grand game far above any of us." She flashes the woman a soft quiet but conflicted smile, "It's our place to figure out where our pieces must go, though sometimes, a hand above decides for us and pushes us into a square where we'd rather not be." Her eyes brighten, "Do you play chess?" It would seem that political ramblings are best left to those who can assert themselves into the fold more strongly than the Princess herself can. She is after all, the youngest. "I often was left wondering also, how they hoped to keep you entertained for all those long weeks in Wolveshire."

Cassia follows a step behind the princess towards the centre of the room. Her gaze flickers over the guardians and any acolytes or chosen here present. The look of someone battle ready and knowing the lay of the land. The words draw a faint smile to Cassia's lips. "We are tokens, but sometimes we might be able to direct the hand that guides us if we have enough will. Do not let such thoughts pull you down but give you strength. It is far worse to be a pawn and not realize it. When you know you are part of the game, then you can play as well." She says in a conspiratoreal tone to the princess." She nods to the question of Chess. "It is a good game to prepare the mind for battle." She suggests before looking back to her chosen guardian once more. "Our time there was not all bad. Hostages we might have been considered, but we were given much freedom and I met many a person down south. There are many who hold to the old grudges it is true, but also there are people who are just like us. Wanting to find peace."

"Nicely said Lady Cassia," Amira compliments the other woman, settling to take a seat upon one of the benches, hands sweeping back behind her to settle cloak and skirts, a frustrating task but again, trained long enough in doing something and it seems effortless. "I suppose it's not the size of the piece you play but how well you move around the obstacles in your path that gets you to the end goal," is she talking of chess or of the big game, her hands smooth over her skirts, "I have played for a time, though I do not claim to be an expert at Chess. There is still plenty that I yet to learn, as my piece is currently being moved without direction of my own hand." She grows quiet, listening to the consideration the Lady was given while she was a token of another province, "Peace is a justifiable cause to seek, a hope all good people could want."

Cassia inclines her head to Amira at the compliment. As the princess settles on the bench, the Lady follows suit. Elegent in her court dress that it is hard to believe that she is a proven field commander as well. Ah the Auldhomes. A house full of knights and fighters. "Even in chess a pawn can win the game." Cassia advises the princess as she shifts on the bench to face her. "You are young yet but not so young that you can not see the game board unfold before you. Know what pieces are on the board, who protects what. Who the enemies are and realize that not all of them live across the board." She smiles a touch, "It is not all so very hopeless when you have knowledge." Cassia responds before nodding to the last. "Some people wonder how I can be a field commander and a diplomat. Who best knows the cost of war and what is needed to prevent it?"

Amira calmly appraises the Lady with her blue eyes, thoughtful though a touch sad, it would seem. Yet, the education of the game, both of chess and politics in that one moment, earns a blossoming look of confidence from Amira, "How very metaphorical. I'm certain that Auldhomes are perhaps one of the best to know this." The compliment returned with a quick diverting eye, "It may not be hopeless, though, when you start, it's hard to know which pieces to move and how your own moves can in turn, decide the fate for all." Her back presses against the bench, a quick look flashed over toward Cassia, "I would beg to differ! A king's treasurer knows the best of the costs of war," she knowingly smiles.

"Maybe not the best, but we have our skills." Cassia responds with a touch of modesty. "Yes it is, but the game does get…easier with time. As your grow in skill and knowledge, moves start becoming clearer. Where to move the pieces and what pieces to keep near you. The pieces that need removing from the board and those to remain. It is a long game, but knowing the game helps you play it." She suggests and should any ears be hearing may hear a couple ladies speaking game logistics. At the last words, Cassia can not help but laugh softly, "Indeed." Amusement flickering in her eyes.

"Please excuse me Lady Cassia," she dips her head as she rises from her seat, "speaking of such tasks has reminded me of my current obligation to meet with a head of a Guild within the hour. Such talk of games has made me considerably more determined to play it with my eyes open and certainly with more focus," she fixes her cloak with minor adjustments to the hasps, "I should think I would like to play sometime with you. There is no doubt plenty more that you could teach me of," her eyes flicker curiously across the other woman's face, "You're delightful with the bow as well, so it would seem by the bias you have for our Guardian Altheara. I would certainly enjoy the chance of a good competition, if ever you should be up for a friendly game of target shot." Her fingers dance through her hair, before hands pick up her skirts, "Time does have a way of hurrying by when under the house of the Four. Enjoy the rest of our evening Lady Cassia. It pleases me to see you've returned."

As the princess prepares to depart, Cassia rises to her feet offering a hand to the princess if she wishes help to rise. "I am glad I could be of help your highness and I would enjoy a game of chess with you too I think." She says with an incline of her head. Then as she speaks of archery, Cassia's eyes seem to brighten. "Oh that I would certainly be up for. I am always up for a friendly competition." With those words said she drops into a curtsey for the princess. "It pleases me also to return. Fare thee well your higness and may this meeting go as you desire."

Amira smiles, more impishly, the youth spreading across her like a blossoming bud, "Then we shall have a game of both." Though the when and the where are yet to be spoken of. "Bless you and fare thee well," with this she's rustling out the door on swifter feet than had she arrived. There's something about being late for a meeting that her father wouldn't appreciate!

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