Road to Pamplona (Spring 1234)

Well, just don't tell us you tell a story. Actually tell a stoy :laughing:
You see me do it all the time with my long soliloquies and expositions. Tell us a story about Fedora, reveal her history, develop some back story, flesh out the character even further.
Or not. Roleplay whatever inspires you :smiley:

"I don't really have a lot of stories." Fleur begins.
"Ha!" emerges from Felicia, "You have lots of stories, just most of them are fit for a bawdy house, and you often come off in a poor light. Like that poor mute man you took to your bed. His mouth never got such a workout and the way you held his hands to your bosom the man couldn't get a word in edgewise."

Armand snickers :slight_smile:

"Hmm." Fleur flounces. "Fine, maybe you and Fedora should take turns telling stories. You have a lot more of them anyways, and a lot of them aren't even about me."

"True." Felicia smiles like she has just eaten a canary. "Did I ever tell you about the time when Jerbiton got his blackberry paint reduction mixed up with his mugwort? His apprentice was really new, and hadn't been in the lab before that season, I told Jerbiton he wasn't ready, but did he listen to his faithfull familiar? No, f course not. So anyways, the apprentice was sent into the lab to fetch the mugwort..."

Armand shakes his head. You expect us to believe you were once Jerbiton's familiar? Didn't that guy die, like, a hundred years ago?

"I know, it feels like it was only decades ago."

Armand shakes his head and mutters to Fleur "Crec que el seu gat està boig." (I think your cat is crazy)

Felicia looks at Armand and says, in perfect Catallan. "She doesn't speak Catallan." and grins, the sort of grin that made it clear that the cat agreed that one of them was crazy if not both, and it really didn't care if it was one of the crazy ones. She the turns her head and begins looking for a place to lie down and sun herself.

(that was quite correct Catalan, in fact). I think this cat needs storyteller 5 :smiley:

Fédora looks off in the distance for a moment before she starts to speak.

[color=blue]Once upon a time, in the land of Kiev, there was a girl who was a princess. Or at least she thought she was a princess, as that was what she had always been told. But then one day, a woman came from the icy lands of the three lakes, who told her that her whole life up to that point had been a lie. No, she was not a princess, after all, for her mother the princess had been unfaithful to the prince, and her daughter was the result of her affair. Not even her father had known the truth until the stranger came to Kiev on the eve of the girl's sixth birthday.

The stranger told the girls so-called parents that the price they must pay for her silence would be the girl's life. She would take the girl and raise her as her own, and they would tell everyone at court that the girl had died a tragic death. Faced with the humiliation that her infidelity would cause them both, they had no choice but to agree.

So the stranger took the princess in and raised her as well as she could. She taught the girl everything she needed to know in order to serve the mysterious sect of wizards and witches that had spread across the world. But, try as she might, there was one lesson that the stranger could never teach her foster-daughter: how to love. That was something that she would have to learn at the hands of another.

Many years passed, and the little girl had blossomed into a fair young lady. And, as a reward for her years of faithful study, the young lady was allowed time to herself, to wander, to enjoy the world around her, so long as she did not stray very far.

Far, however, is a relative term, and one day the young lady found herself lost, on the shore of a frozen lake. She was not scared, however, for something about the place felt familiar, as though she belonged there.

The princess, for she still thought of herself as one in her deepest thoughts, sat in the snow, her cloak spread before her to keep herself dry, and sang softly. She thought she was singing to herself, until she heard footsteps crunching behind her. She gasped and turned, only to see the fairest man she had ever seen in her life standing there, with a basket in his hand. Tall, slim, fair complected, with hair and beard the color of the snow. And yet, she could tell by his face that he was no older than she. And on his head sat a crown of silver, with the points fashioned like snowflakes.

"Please, do not stop," the man said. "You have a beautiful voice."

The princess thanked him for the compliment, and continued to sing for a while. When she was done, the man opened his basket and shared some bread and wine with her. They talked for a long time, until the sun started to go down.

"My apologies, princess, I did not mean to keep you away so long. Please allow me to walk you home, to see that you arrive safely." The princess saw no harm in that, so agreed. When she spied her home, she turned to thank the man, but he had vanished, and the sun was higher in the sky than it had been when they started their trip. The princess thought this curious, but he had kept his word and gotten her home safely, so thought little more of it.

It was some weeks before she was allowed more time to herself, and she found herself by the same lake she was at before. She again started to sing, and the man once more appeared to listen. And things happened much as they had before.

The next time she came to the lake, in addition to the bread and wine, the man offered her with a fine fur stole. Although the stole was beautiful, the princess felt she could not accept such a valuable gift, and asked that the man give it to someone who truly needed it. He smiled, nodded, put the stole back in his basket, and walked her home once more.

The next time, he tried to gift her with a silver diamond necklace. The princess smiled and shook her head. "I cannot accept such a is too beautiful and valuable for one such as me. But I would be honored if you were to give this to someone truly deserving of it." The man smiled, nodded, and told her, "As you wish" before walking her home.

This went on for some months. Every time he would try to give her something beautiful and valuable, and she would always decline, asking that he find someone more worthy to give her gifts to. And they would talk for hours, before he would walk her home only to vanish just before they arrived. Finally, one day, she realized that the reason he kept trying to give her these things was that, in his eyes, there was no one more beautiful or more worthy than she. And so, when he tried to give her a set of fur-lined gloves, she graciously accepted and slipped them on. They fit as though they had been especially made just for her. The man smiled brighter than the sun that day, and once again he walked her home, only to vanish when she was within sight of where she lived with her.

As she waited for the next time she would go out and meet with the man, she realized that in all this time he had offered her all these things, but she had never offered him anything. And yet, what did she have to offer? She thought and thought, but everything she had belonged to her foster-mother.

She was still thinking when she next went to the lake, and when she saw him again, she knew the one thing she could offer: herself. When she finished her song, she started to speak before he could say anything. "All these months that we have known each other, that we have visited here and when you walked me home, all the fine things you have tried to give me, and I have been most ungracious. I have never offered you anything until now. I do not have much to give you, but I will give you these: I would give you my heart, and I would give you my body, now and forever, if you will only love me as I love you."

The man was surprised, but agreed, as he had loved the princess from the moment he first laid eyes on her. And they lay together the next two times they met, as well. But then the princess found that she was with child, and she had no choice but to tell her foster-mother what she had done.

Her foster-mother was furious, for she knew what the princess did not tell her about her lover: that the man was Saam, the Winter King, with whom the wizards had agreements, and she believed that Saam was using the princess to find a way to get out of the agreements.

The princess was almost finished with her training, so her foster-mother told the princess that she would have to go to a village in far-away France to live and never to see her love again. Her foster-mother, along with her foster-mother's friends, would speak with Saam to ensure that he would not try to see the princess again, or to claim his son.

And so, with tears in her eyes and an inconsolable ache in her heart, the princess did as she was told, and never saw or heard from the only man she had ever loved again.

By the time Fédora's tale is done, she is plainly fighting back tears.

OOC: really? I thought Occitan was more closely related to modern French, where cat would be la Chat instead of El Gato

Fleur responds with "No, but it is close enough to Provencal, and you should not torture the man like a mouse after accusing me of being so harsh with sharing my gifts."

After hearing Fedora's story, Fleur seemed puzzled. "If she gave her body as a gift, did she not enjoy him as well?"

[color=blue]"Immensely," Fédora replies with a blush and a hint of a smile.

Fleur stares at the floor for a while deep in thought. "I just don't get it, why refer to a woman choosing a man as if it were property? Certainly she doesn't lose anything when she takes a partner, or partners, to herself."


It is more related to Catalan and other southern romance languages than modern French. I can actually read Occitan if I pay attention, and I do not speak French :slight_smile: Gato would be Spanish. Gat is catalan. All are latin languages, so you are likely to find a lot of similar words there, even if the modern French grammar is the more evolved from Latin.[/i]

Armand is openly weeping...

Armand shakes his head. You are young and still have much to learn. You confuse sex and love. They can be intermingled, but they are two separate things. The tale that was told was one of lost love.

"That part I understood, I asked about the parts which confused me." She paused, "Did the girl in the story think they were the same thing?"

Ooooh! That is a good question. They are beautiful as individual aspects, but ther are even more beautiful when interwined. What was in the mind of the girl in the story? And did she ever find love again? And now that she is a grown woman, why does she not seek him out? Or did she find another man, and is no responsible for several more children?
Armand gives Fedora that wise sagely look :wink:

Fédora thinks for a couple of minutes, not quite sure she understands the question (or Fleur's confusion).

[color=blue]"Sex can be done out of duty, or out of love. If one is truly lucky, both. I lay with my husband because he is my husband, and although I am fond of him, I do not love him. I laid with Semyon's father because I loved him with all my heart, and I still miss him terribly."

[color=blue]"I expect that, to her, at that time, love and sex were intertwined. She loved her king, and could think of nothing she wanted to do to show him how much she loved him than to lay with him. And he felt the same way about her, both physically and emotionally. They loved each other in every sense of the word.

"As to why she did not seek out the man she loved? Her duties kept her very busy, and still do to this day. She and her husband have considered a trek, but for one reason or another they have not had the time to go."

During your conversations, your group is unpacking and setting up at the covenants house in Poble Sec, the shipyard district just outside of the city. The window overlooks the shore and gazes out into the mid morning haze. There are six of you; two magi, three soldiers, and a cat. Fedora's to-do list is pretty much up to herself, as she is a chief Redcap after all. I might suggest checking in with the local Mercere lodge in the city (I forget the name, it is mentioned in True Lineages somewhere). I might also suggest checking in on the other suburban portal houses, greeting the Barcelona magi, checking in on the Mallorca portal, and partaking in a night on the town.

Help me flesh out the idea of this house in Poble Sec. The idea is that the other Iberian covenants have their suburban houses and portals, and instead of going into the city proper, they come here to use the portal to Andorra, where they can transfer to Doisettep or Harco. And this portal here leads directly into our covenant. So it is important to consider exactly what this place is. There is certainly a resident staff here, and staff can easilly be shared with the Redcap Quarter at Andorra. And this is all Fedora's responsibility. Partly Tiana. Whom I don't know what to do ith. So let us say that Tiana keeps permenant residence here and transferred membership to Barcelona. That makes things tidy :smiley: Fedora runs the Andorra House, Tiana runs the Poble Sec House. She has a clerk and security staff of about a dozen, and Redcaps lodging here all the time in and out and such.
But what is this place? What does it front as? A tavern? Fish and chips stand? Fake warehouse?
For security, I shall presume the portal is kept in a nigh-impregnable location. Such as a hollow space under the sub basement with no access other than a magic device with the restricted use clause that can only be activated by Redcaps. The device to get out can be activated from inside by anyone. Just an idea.
But what is this place?