Temple Temptations

Temple Temptations
Summary: It is immediately after the Westmark Baron and Baroness have retired for the night, and the twins (Castor and Coriaria) are left in the care of the Chosen, Alyona, to ponder their situation…
Date: 31/05/2013
Related: Westmarks in Laketown
Players:
Castor Coriaria Alyona 

Temple Chambers, Temple of the Four
Slightly vaulted ceilings continue into the common room of the Temple of Four. The common room begins the area of the Temple that serves as living quarters for the Covenant and Chosen of the Four. Before the hearth that usually has a fire within it, a small collection of tables and benches for the residents of the temple to share meals, give and take lessons, or simply take a break from the day.

Along the far wall to the west are several alcoves that serve as kitchen and several panties. And to the east a doorway to a long hallway can be spotted. Off of the hallway are the individual quarters for the Priests and Priestess and their Chosen along with the group rooms for the orphans and Acolytes

31st May 1329

Castor, still looking tense, turns to watch his father and mother depart soon after Tylon, and some of the tension leaves his body in a single breath. He turns to the opposite to look at his sister. Alyona is given another glance, a curious glance.

"I told you he meant to leave us here," he murmurs dryly - triumphant at being right, and dejected as well for exactly the same reason. He glances at Alyona, and then at the walls. "What happens now, dare I ask? Scrawling runes on the walls in charcoal? Uncle Kristopher was not… into this sort of thing…"

His voice trails off and he has to resist the urge to rub at his eyes.

It is really not Alyona's decision about who gets to see the evidence from their troublemakers. In fact, a man of the Shadow Baron's reputation may be just as well, since he seems fond of and indebted to the Mother Superior. Just as well, too, so that Alyona did not have to sit up and fret about whether the priestess was going to prick her own finger with the poison in the midst of her experiments. Yes, that decides that quite easily the Chosen's mind.

But then. Then they up and leave her. As the other adults disappear to duties of hospitality and she is not bade to accompany, Alyona looks stricken for a bare moment. Then she slowly levels her gaze at the twins, and tilts her head over ever so softly. "Ah, charcoal? The priests of Ravas might appreciate it, but 'tis not customary." They're old enough to be soldiers or acolytes, but they're not. And thus, Alyona scrambles for a manner of relating to them. Was she left here to protect them? Keep them out of trouble? Castor is not the only one that feels abandoned.

But Cricket has no thoughts of charcoal or runes. Instead, she glances about the room as if to reassure herself that nobody is, in fact, lurking in the shadows. By the Four, the Baron and Baroness are finally out of earshot! Then she pivots towards Alyona, gesturing for the Chosen to lean in a little closer. "Say," the girl whispers, "Do you have any… men? Here at the temple, I mean?" Is it obvious she's usually kept under lock and key, forbidden from forming any kind of attachments? A look to her twin, and she smiles wolfishly. "Don't worry about Cas," she reassures the woman, "He won't tell our parents anything. I can offer a most handsome donation for your… assistance."

"The priests of Ravas draw on the walls?" Castor asks dubiously with a shadow of a grin returning to his uncharacteristically grim features today. He glances sidelong at his sister, and then both his eyebrows shoot upward.

"Perhaps there is something of a holy man in me after all? In you too, Sister -" he frowns, then his cheeks colour a little. "I mean… well, you know what I mean - wait, men??? You're asking for men??? Can you do that?"

He looks to Alyona, eyebrows still raised. "Can she do that?"

"The priests of Ravas do draw on many, many things. I'd not be surprised if it included the walls." Neither of the Westmark children seem appropriately familiar with the Temple, and so neither would know that the peculiar motion the Chosen makes with her hands - pressing her thumbs to their respective ring fingers - is a simple meditation to Stilltha for calm. Instead, she would seem to just be making a weird shape with her hands, and Alyona is otherwise featureless except for a slight widening of her eyes. They widen further when Castor asks that question. Then slowly, deeply, she starts to … laugh. Well, this she can associate with. Teenagers are, in fact, teenagers. "There are men that live here in the temple, lass - some handsome and certainly your age - but you would have to ask them if they wanted your company or not. You might have better luck in the barracks in the city, but really, I don't recommend it. Those lads will lay with any, and come up with all the fleas you'd expect."

She makes a face when Alyona mentions the barracks. "I'd sooner mate with a —" But she cuts herself off just in time so as not to cause her poor twin's ears to bleed. A sigh escapes her; it seems the Chosen isn't the sort to play the go-between. More's the pity: Cricket has enough coin to prove more than tempting to most. But she isn't bold enough to go about making such requests herself, which is why she'd asked Alyona. For all of her bravado and bluster, she's an unsure child of nineteen winters who has never been out of her parents' sight long enough to get into any kind of 'trouble.' She doesn't want to look bitter here in the Temple — but she can't help it. Castor certainly never seems to have any problems finding women, and any scoldings he gets are always after the fact. It isn't remotely fair. But then, neither are most things in her life.

Castor glances firstly from his sister to the Chosen, looking even more 'dazed and perplexed' by what he is seeing and hearing. His tongue snakes out to wet his lips and he lifts a hand to rub at the side of his jaw, where stubble is beginning to grow back, since he shaved this morning.

He blinks at Coriaria.

He blinks at Alyona.

"Priests can laugh?"

He shakes his head dubiously and starts to chuckle himself. "And here I thought all you were allowed to do was… pray, preach and… pray some more." As if in explanation, he shrugs his shoulders at Coriaria. "Our uncle never took me to the temple near his home. I only know what the common-folk would say - and most of that is oaths and curses."

He finds himself gaping at his sister.

And then, waiting to see if she will finish her fateful sentence. "Oh please, don't leave me in suspense, Polly! You may inspire me for what I might scrawl on the wall when the fancy takes me." He grins.

When Coriaria descends into a sulk, Alyona just shrugs. She doesn't entertain pouting. The girl had been presented with pretty clear cut options to get what she wanted, after all; it's not the old veteran's fault if she's too shy to get it. But the boy - he invokes even more laughter, almost in a choke. The mirth makes her normally stony expression fairly close to pretty, though her scar puckers up in a strange fashion. It is a long moment that she enjoys the laugh, before settling with a sigh. "Son, I'm no priest. But even they can laugh, too. I don't care who you are, you kids are funny." She tucks a fallen lock of just-barely silvered black hair back behind her ear, then moves to settle back into the seat that she'd vacated long before. "Alright, let's hear it."

Perhaps it's time for a change in tactics. "What if I gave you ten pieces of silver — the donation, you know — to just go and tell one or two of these nice young men that they're needed out here? This way I can see for myself what my options are," Cricket begins with fresh energy, leveling an index finger towards Alyona, "You live here, after all. They'll trust you and not think twice about following your request." Yes, this way she can eye the merchandise rather discreetly — oh, it's even more clever than her first idea! — and take the time to decide whether she's actually going to follow through with any of her crazy ideas or not (probably not, as she doesn't want to be disinherited… it's just such fun to dream!). What's more, the Westmark girl looks entirely placid about the whole affair, as if she were asking Alyona to show her the gardens. Then, to Castor, "You may find all of this terribly funny, but see for yourself what lengths I must go to for even the barest hints of attention from… gentlemen."

The Westmark youth shakes his head, grinning impishly at his sister - but the mention of 'the lengths to which she has to go, to get men' also elicits another reaction from Castor.

Chagrin.

"Well…" he ventures to say, halting before continuing the sentence. "some of them probably only want…" and he opts against finishing his train of thought.

"I'm hungry!" he declares a moment later. "Which way to the dining hall?" and without really pausing for directions, he starts walking toward the nearest exit, trying to hide the colour in his cheeks.

Alyona waves down another offer of money. That is another thing that separates their worlds; she has no need for it, and Temple-born and raised, even the desire for money is vaguely foreign. Fund-raising was another chore she avoided by dodging the priesthood, thankfully. "Some boys will be along shortly, I'm sure." The light from the distant entryway is waning, and voices can be heard from the Temple proper. "All nice and sweaty from the practice fields or their chores, even." The Chosen is likewise rather passive, even lethargic, though one gets the impression that no matter how far she leans back she could be on her feet, sword in hand, quicker than a cat upon a mouse. "Are you shy? Is that the problem? Best keep your eye out for an initiate of Ravas. They do not tend to be shy, not at all."

"Shy?" Cricket scoffs, her bravado coming out to play again, "Nonsense. I was still a child when I first killed a man in defense of my House. Shy is for weaklings." But she /is/ shy — at least where men are concerned — and she knows Alyona is no fool. The woman is more than a decade her senior and has spent a life dedicated to observation and precise action. "I simply do not have the luxury that most ladies have of making pleasant little conversations with some lord or other. My time is spent attending my duties as the heir to my parents' lands. When I am wed, it will be only to myself, for I will not see any Westmark property fall into the hands of the unworthy. There are /many/ who are unworthy," she concludes archly. When all is said and done, she is her father's daughter first and foremost, with all of the stubborn pride and will to power that this entails.

And so. Alyona lofts a brow, and her lips quirk into the tiniest of smirks. Yes, indeed, she is not fooled, for she is all those things. But neither does she go about embarassing the girl in public. "Well, bedding a man is quite a bit different than killing a man, or so I hear." She motions absently towards the doorway; sure as snow in the winter, cliques of Chosen and young Priests and acolytes of both flavours begin to filter through the common room towards their choice of evening freedom. The littlest acolytes were long since tucked into their beds, so this is the crowd closer in age to Coriaria, which is, of course, to Alyona still a bustle of children. Even the frocked Covenant and Chosen were starting to seem mighty young to her eyes. "The ones in red." She explains in a murmur, unsure of whether the sister shared the brother's ignorance of the Temple's ways. "It has always seemed to me that being happy with yourself was the first step in finding happiness in another, though you might be right not to take an old soldier's advice in this way. I spend most of my time alone, myself."

Though her eyes are hooded, almost somnolent, it seems Alyona is not above enjoying the show, herself. Her tastes may be slightly … wider ranging than the young noble's, though. Her lashes flicker appreciatively over a whip-slender, swarthy man in purple, then just as appreciatively over a curvy dark-haired woman. Ah, the pretty young priests in the springtime. She was old enough to be either one's mother. Sigh.

"But you're a baronet, so even just a tumble in the sheets requires a bit more, discretion, does it not? You can't know if your pretty boy will be discreet unless you talk to him first."

….

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