1223-1226 In the Living Years

Rashid walks past with his basket of silkworm cocoons, and sees the crying woman. He pulls off his own silk cloak and drapes it around her shoulders. He says something flowing and beautiful in Arabic, and encourages the strange woman to follow him.

Blanche takes the cloak gratefully, and gets to her feet. [color=blue]"I'm sorry, I don't understand," she replies to his flowering Arabic in Latin. [color=blue]"Do you speak Latin?"

She does go with him, not really knowing what else to do.

[color=brown]"Yes, I speak Latin. A very modest amount. You look sad. Come, I will make you some tea."

[color=blue]"Do you speak Gaelic? Or French?" she asks.

[color=blue]"Thank you, that would be appreciated. My name is Blanche, by the way." She adjusts the blanket/robe around her as she walks, trying to get it to where it will stay up.

[color=brown]"French? Yes. I can say...Oui. I can say, How much for these tomatoes? They look delicious and I can say I would not pay half that price for such shoddy merchandise, my starving wife would kill me. What more does a man need to know to say?

((Italics are in French. The rest is in Latin. Latin 3(commerce). I just checked, and this is happening in 1225.4, so that's....French 5 (commerce). Which means he sounds quite fluent in the Italics, and is clearly trying to make her smile.))

When she stands, he adjusts the silk cloak around her, fussing like a father. It is, she can easily note, an Excellent Quality Cloak, made up the mystically patterned vis-source silks (after they've been drained of vis), making her looking quite the sorceress.

[color=blue]"That all depends on how much talking the man plans on doing, doesn't it?" Blanche replies.

((Close. It's winter of 1226.))

If the cloak fits well enough, she will discard the robe that she had wrapped around her (which, Rashid may note, is incredibly large, white, and has designs of leaves and cauldrons woven into the linen. May look familiar).

If there's a mirror that she will be seeing herself in after he gets her adjusted, she will stand there for a moment, looking at her reflection with growing confusion on her face. [color=blue]"That's...not right," she whispers to herself.

There is a mirror there. There's also a rather fantastically designed loom that clearly looks like a prototype in the developmental stage.

As it is Winter, the shop is busy. ((OOC: If it's winter, the Rashid doesn't have a basket of coccoons, he was running some other errand)) Gennon des Vers and Hermessent, and a third (as yet unidentified) person are working there. From Fiona's knowledge of weaving, she can tell that they are working with a material she has never seen before.

[color=blue]"That's...have you done something different with the loom?" Blanche asks as she reaches for, but doesn't touch, the prototype. She looks around at what everyone's doing, soaking it in, looking like she has a clue.

[color=blue]"What are you all working with?" (She starts off speaking Latin, unless she hears everyone else speak French or they don't understand her, in which case she will switch to French and start again.)

[color=brown]"A kind of egg shell. Unprocessed, we call it a cocoon. When we are done, it becomes silk. You see these husks here? So tiny. Left behind by butterflies have they have eaten the worms of the mulberry tree. You see, about the size of my thumb, yet to unwind a single cocoon takes a man more than a month. Yet, it is so thin that this amounts to very little cloth."

Excited to have someone who takes a keen interest, he begins pointing out his little inventions. [color=brown]"Over here, we have collected the spider web. A different creature, yes, and quite different from the cocoon. Yet the material, once woven....you see? Ah, yes, I see you do. To collect the webbing, it is quite a difficult process, for the song of the spider is not to be heard. But with this....it is much easier! And it does not tangle, much less brushing."

[color=brown]"The loom! Yes, it is a notion I have had, but it works....how do you say? Not well. Badly. Like the thing that comes out of a stubborn mule when you kick it. This idea, do you see? Neither warp nor weft, yet both at the same time! So simple."

((Rashid has inadvertently invented the takadai, which is notably different in that it creates a braided cloth, not a woven one. As a result, it will be much less prone to unraveling.))

Blanche's brows furrow as she listens intently. [color=blue]"That...sounds vaguely familiar," she says absently.

[color=blue]"That is interesting. Do you mind if I try my hand at it for a few minutes, see how it feels different than my loom?"

(As Blanche follows Rashid around the room, listening to him speak, she leans in very close to him, brushing against him not quite absently. And when she first saw his mutilated face, she didn't show any signs of repulsion that he may be used to ((Com 2 + Guile (hide true feelings) 3 + die roll of 6 = 11)). In fact, when they're talking, she looks him directly in the eyes with a smile...and lets her eyes roam over him when she thinks he's not looking.)

He happily sits you at the loom and shows you how it works which is not at all like working a normal loom, but has something of the same rhythm to it. It is quite easy to create the mystical patterns needed to convert the silkworm threads into Muto Vis using this system, but hard for her to imagine making a bolt of fabric.

((Plus, he's only had 1 level of technological innovation, so the system isn't quite perfect yet.))

Rashid, at age 35, acts like a grandfather to everyone. He is a sort of sexless being. Trying to flirt with him is a bit like trying to kill the Buddha.

Luckily, "patterns" is Blanche's specialization in Weaving. Just for grins, let's see how she does. Dex 0 + Weaving (patterns) 3 + die roll of 8 = 11. Not too shabby.

Once it becomes apparent that Rashid isn't exactly responsive, she will flirt with the others (Gennon and the third man). She doesn't abandon or ignore Rashid, but she will smile, wink, etc at the others, talk to them as she's working, etc.

Blanche can spend the day there, weaving, talking and flirting if she wants. Working in a workshop, surrounded by coworkers, is probably an extremely novel experience for Blanche/Fiona.

What happens at dinner time? Does the mansion serve all the covenfolk in some great hall, or does each person fend for themselves?

((I had kind of assumed that, for the most part, people with families tend to fend for themselves, but there's likely a communal dining hall where people can eat together, where people who don't really have families or don't have the time or the ability to cook can not starve to death.))

Barring anyone tracking her down (like Alexei), she will continue to work at least as long as anyone else, feeling as comfortable as being around people affected by her Gift will let her be.

If anyone asks her about herself or her background, she will give answers. They don't necessarily add up, though, and if someone asks her the same question an hour or two apart, there's a chance they might get a different answer. And sometimes she gets confused by the question, pausing to apparently think really hard about the answer (such as "Have you ever been to Autun?").

Rashid's a war refugee. There is no talking about the past in his workshop. It makes his scars itch. Anytime anyone asks a question about the past, he interrupts it with a question/statement about the future.

[color=brown]"I'm thinking about going to Autun in the winter, talk to those weavers on Blossom Hill. They make a very impressive burgundy cotton."

That sort of thing.

That solves that, then, doesn't it? :smiley: She won't volunteer any information about her until at least dinner.

After dinner, Blanche stalls as long as she can. If it's a pub/tavern type setting where people gather, hang out until it's time to go home, she will hang out, singing and dancing if anyone would dance with her, basically closing the place down. When she's pretty much the last one there, unless anyone asks if she wants to go back to their place, she will either try to bed down in the great hall or (using her Survival skill) go out and try to find a place to camp for the night, out of the wind and snow where she can get a good safe fire going and hope for the best until Rashid starts up again (assuming he doesn't mind her showing up again to work the loom or whatever the next day).

((I'm assuming that she can spend her Moon working at the silkweaver's shop as an apprentice, if she wants. Could probably sleep in there too. The others don't.))

She may well do that, if she can't find someone to take her home at the tavern. She's done worse, she thinks...but when she tries to remember when, she draws a complete blank.

((I'm going to wait until the weekend to see if Alexei ever gets around to tracking her down before trying to wrap it up.))

Yeah, I would have liked for Sheelagh to learn that Blanche is Fiona :laughing: