[Soirée] The things we say [Oliver]

Warning: Waxing poetic about romantic things possible.

The seven Duchies of Central Rynmere and their respective baronies, cities, towns, villages, and landmarks each overseen by a Duke of one of the seven noble families and ultimately controlled by the King of Rynmere.

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Caius Gawyne
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[Soirée] The things we say [Oliver]

Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:30 pm

Zi'da 49, 717

Venora Charity Gala


A breath, that's all he really wanted—just a sarding moment to breathe. Caius had taken it all in stride for a good break longer than he thought he could, the weight of the Gala crowd with all of its shallow conversational demands and well-conditioned laughter and obligational prying into his preferably private life becoming heavier and heavier on his narrow shoulders until he simply needed a moment in his own head, a moment out of everyone else's view. He couldn't explain what he did at the Gazette one more time. He couldn't chuckle his way through a discussion on the political affairs of Gawyne one more trill. He couldn't smile about how lovely Darcyanna was next to him, not again. It had been enough already. Too sarding much.

With a shy smile and too warm lips against the delicate pianist's cheek, Caius dismissed himself from yet another sarding conversation as casually as possible, the cavity of his chest heavy with so much cast off lead. He disengaged himself from making more pretentious words and slipped away, fleeing the concentration of well-dressed bodies and slinking toward a far less occupied corner of the main ballroom, just to escape the chatter and the noise.

He could have picked up a drink on the way, but he didn't, perhaps bordering too close to the edge of over stimulated to find alcohol of any use. Instead, the young Gawyne ran ink-stained fingers listlessly over the polished silver buttons of his long, House purple velvet jacket, straying upward to toy thoughtlessly with the silver chain that decorated the collar before finally curling one hand into the strangely eloquently unkempt mess of his hair.

Quiet. Finally.

The noise faded just enough, closer now to the music than anything else, and the northern noble could relax, eyes fluttering shut for a moment just to tuck everything away and find a bit of calm in all of the bustle of the Gala's atmosphere. He thought about the simple, repetitive nature of sorting type, the wordless effort of carving an image into a block of wood, and the soft wave of freshly hung paper on the drying rack, retreating into the process that he'd come to find so necessary in order to literally keep his restless, too full of thought self sane.

Caius sighed, unable to help opening his eyes again and let his sharp blue gaze fall back onto Darcyanna as she moved from one conversation to the next even from across the room, the hint of a smile warming his otherwise tired expression—wistful. Bogs, he had no idea what he was doing but it sure as the Seven felt mostly alright. Better than alright, no matter how crazy the ride.

He felt the weighty awareness of eyes on him, but in the well-dressed crowd before him saw no one. Everyone had already surely been given their eyeful of himself and the blonde Venora together, and he was thankful that his friends at the Gazette had already had their fill of gossip long before the Gala. Smirking before looking at the other man, the young Gawyne anticipated his presence,

"Yes, Oliver?" His words were quiet, a softer, greener shift of color in his irises as he tilted his head in the older Venora's direction, unashamed to admit his own weaknesses if only because the other man was the brother to one of them, "Did you need a moment of quiet, too?"
Last edited by Caius Gawyne on Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Oliver Venora
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[Gala] The things we say [Oliver]

Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:58 pm

"Take a breath. Steadiness is close to godsliness."
The gala was splendid; At least, that's what he'd heard from lip after lip as placations were served too him like the most intoxicating wine. The music, the food, the ambience... His gala was a success of Venoran proportions, though he anticipated being held to loftier standings due to his actually belonging to the house which lent its name to the scale. His guests were dancing, and singing, and eating, and all the while, Oliver had only eyes for Charlotte. Though occasionally, he would spy a glance of his sister's flaxen hair and her date's terse smile, and he could only imagine Caius' discomfort.

Standing too with Charlie, Oliver noticed the Gawyne slip away, slinking quietly towards a corner of the room. Nodding his head in approval, Oliver turned back to the conversation at large, discussing Kingdom economy and its sure downturn in the coming arc. Oliver expressed that he knew the influx of anti-nobility sentiment would certainly cause artisan prices to rise, which in turn would make the goods far too expensive for the commoner to afford.

"They are cutting off their noses to spite their own faces," he'd said, and he stood by it. He wanted nothing more than to help bolster the economy of the kingdom, and this gala was his first step in ensuring that the infrastructure was taken care of in a proper fashion. The orphanages in the kingdom were becoming overrun, and this gala would help provide more space and food for those children, so that they may be trained and apprenticed to benefit the kingdom. At least, that was Oliver's dream.

But he could only explain the same political stance so many times. How many times would he have to make mention of trickle down economy and its pitfalls? Oh, the Royal Economist this, the Royal Treasurer that... These nobles sputtered nonsense peppered with jargon to impress him. He wasn't. Instead, lavender-to-gold irises rose across the room again to find Caius, his eyes closed as he stood in a corner. Squeezing Charlie's forearm, he muttered an excuse about making an appearance, and also slunk to the corner. Standing behind Caius, whose eyes were still closed, the scent of burning wood and lavender filled the space, easily giving the noble away. Also drinkless, Oliver searched for a servant girl, but instead chose not to go searching for one.

"Nothing, qy'akor," he said, his voice light. He sighed and leaned against a wall, watching as Caius turned to him. Eyes melted back to black, and he examined the young noble's face, which didn't take an Empath to see was overwhelmed. He smiled softly, like an older sibling would to one just stung by his parents' words.

"She was raised in this, you know? Darcy, that is. Our parents were far more active than even I am, and we were always attending this event or that. The Gawynes, they were weren't known for their attendance. Father always told me it was because at a gathering like these, personal space became a sought-after commodity," he mentioned, amusement evident in his voice. "I do not blame you wishing to escape. Know, though, that Darcy will come find you soon. Until then, if it doesn't disinterest you, I thought I'd stand here with you."

He chuckled, surveying the crowds with their hustle and bustle.

"I could use a break, yes." He sighed again, this time in contentment, looking over at Caius. "Seems we're two peas, eh?"
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Caius Gawyne
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[Gala] The things we say [Oliver]

Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:27 am

Caius appreciated that Oliver understood some words in Common paled in comparison to the depths of meaning achievable in the combining of syllables in other languages, though it was especially pleasing to the scholarly Gawyne that they shared a bit of Rakahi between the two of them. It wasn't much, but enough of the words he did know weren't just the foul ones no matter how well he pretended that was the case. The Biqaj concept of family went far deeper than the shallow bloodlines of Rynmere nobility, a concept more fluid like the currents they sailed by or more openly imagined than the constellations they used to navigate the sea. Family concepts among the privileged were often weighed by history and value, and yet Darcy's brother chose to use a word for Caius that stepped past conventional meanings and waded into something less defined, more full of feeling.

It was a comfortable compliment that the young Gawyne appreciated selfishly, the other man's willingness to include him with the word hinting at his somewhat unique form of approval of the printer's diri. He wondered for a moment what his own family would eventually have to say, how they would feel. His brother, Hunter? Ivy? His parents? Caius had been far more caught up in his tumultuous, budding relationship with a particular delicate pianist and her immediate, currently present family than thinking much about his own or how they would feel about the choices he'd made so far from home. He had until Ashan to find out, given how much snow and ice was coating all the roads to Umbridge this very moment.

The older Venora's first words weren't really much of a comfort for the northern noble who was hardly a socialite, and he held in the grimace that considered stretching across his face, aware that he was in the minority as a noble when it came to his social discomfort. Instead, he smiled at the next comment,

"Us Gawynes don't attend a lot of events this time of the arc because it's sarding far. That and there's hardly much travel after the first snows of Vhalar anyway. We're a sparse, isolated people, it's true, but, not everyone in my family needs space as I do, I'll admit. The Baronness, my mother, would be most comfortable here where I'm not, and I'm certain she'd have nothing but praises for how your Gala has turned out thus far. I mean, myself too, of course, but maybe I'm more here for the company." Caius both complimented and teased Oliver in the same breath, his smile lopsided in his honesty.

He couldn't help but look away at the mention of Darcy, finding her still where his vision had left her and following her for a moment as she moved through a conversation with far more smiling ease than he felt capable of mustering,

"You don't entirely disinterest me, no, and this is your home, after all." The young Gawyne chuckled, looking back to Oliver with only a hint of reluctance from the face he favored, "In a pod, then? Because of how you look at the Lady Warrick this evening is in a similar fashion to how I've gazed on your sister for nearly half a season ..."

There was Caius' usual sarcasm, his smile becoming a wry grin, "... or because you're finally admitting I'm an adult?"
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[Gala] The things we say [Oliver]

Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:16 am

"It's like staring in the mirror, if the mirror was insulting you."
Oliver matched the man's cheeky grin, his eyes hovering between gray and black, like salt-and-pepper. He clapped a strong hand on Caius' shoulder, smiling. His eyes drifted to Charlie as he stood there, still grasping Caius.

"Perhaps a bit of both, 'raqat," he muttered begrudgingly, matching the wry smile with a rueful smirk of his own. It was true that the Gawyne had dug his way through Oliver's defenses, much more quickly than the older noble would have admitted or assumed he would. And Oliver found that he did not dislike the prospect. In the short time that Darcy had known Caius, it was clear that he Gawyne held her best interests at heart, and despite the sardonic and sarcastic exterior, he cared deeply for the girl's wellbeing. Oliver could ask little else of the man.

"Not that I'll ever admit that in front of Darcy. You've done well with her, especially considering the vrung that comes with being one of us. The Venoras are a strange bunch," he admitted, looking at the ground. His memories of Pythera, now coloured with the lenses of her torturing Darcyanna when they were children, rotted in his mind, raising ire in his stomach and chest. He clenched his fists so hard the blood drained from them, and a sensation of anxiety worked its way through his veins. Looking back up to ensure that Charlotte and Darcyanna were still occupied, he flicked his head towards the door leading to the patio, where the couch was stored earlier.

"Care for a breath of fresh air? It's hotter than Cyrene's clam in here." It was an interesting metaphor, considering the Patron Saint of Honour was a Venoran in name, but Oliver's father used to use it, and it stuck with him. Leading Caius, the two men slipped through the door, where Oliver stuck a manicured hand into his suit and produced a silver cigarette case. On it was a rose carved in wondrous detail, so much that it looked as if one had been pressed into the metal while it was still molten.

Opening the case, the smell of a flavoured tobacco wafted out, not nearly as pungent as the ones his mother used to smoke. There was a farmer in the Settlements who grew tobacco with frighteningly accurate flavours. The one in the case now was simple apple, and though it did not taste exactly like an apple, it was enough for the sentiment to get across. But rumours carried notes that the farmer had learned to infuse his tobacco with the flavours of bacon and maple, making them a breakfast staple in some of the smaller villages in the Settlements. Though Oliver doubted he would enjoy it, he assumed it tasted phenomenal. Holding one of the rolled cigarettes out to Caius, he smiled.

"When we were kids, I was outside a party just like this one. Smoking one of Kalani's cigarettes, because I was not yet old enough to begin forming my own habit. Anyway, Darcy was outside, and she was sniffling among the flowers. I don't know, something in me could sense there was something truly wrong, but she was just upset about Thera spilling wine on her dress. Pythera was always a rough child, so I just assumed it was something like that..."

He trailed off, lighting his own cigarette with a match made by a local alchemist. He took a drag, and the scent of apple and tobacco filled the air.

"I've always counted it among my happiest memories. I cheered DA up that trial, you know? I promised to buy her a new dress, and I took her back in and danced with her to Merudda's Fifth. Right there, in front of every noble in the kingdom, Darcy and I danced and made a spectacle of it. She beamed like the sunslight, qa'akor. I mean, right then, she was the Ivory Rose. It's where she got her name, I think," he said. A glaze had come over his eyes in that moment. "I never considered that the torment went deeper than just a sibling rivalry."

He shook his head, pushing away the thoughts. He took another drag and smiled.

"Though I'm not always around, you've done a damn good job. I think you're good for her, Caius. Truly." He smiled, turning to the man, his eyes dancing to a light pink. His pupils were slightly dilated from the nicotine. "I'm glad she's met you, even if I can't ever admit that to her. She'd never let me live it down." He smirked, leaning on the stone railing of the patio.
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[Soirée] The things we say [Oliver]

Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:00 pm

Atmosphere.
I dunno. There's something about the distance in this song that translates into my feels when Caius tells this story.

Both. So be it.

Caius laughed, more subdued given the formal atmosphere, but genuine none the less. He couldn't help it, really: his own too-warm hand reached up and gave the older. Venora's on his shoulder an unashamed squeeze. He'd been close to his own brother. Once. But things had changed over the arcs. The young Gawyne had no objections to gaining a better one,

"Mes'me perto—there's just enough of that vrung on the boots of every sarding House, not just Venora's. It just so happens this arc, yours is freshest. The winds will shift. You'll see." He teased, for as far as he knew, there was no avoiding scandal regardless of which name one found themselves born into; everyone had their own problems. Some were just more public than others.

The promise of outside was always acceptable to the northern noble, who chuckled at the older Venora's choice of descriptors, rolling his eyes before making a show of allowing himself to be lead, "Pick that one up at The Sacred, did you?" Caius smirked, though the words only brought up the Lord Inquisitor's face from his memories and he bit his lip instead of found something equally unsavory to retort with, quiet until the mild southern chill of Zi'da filled his needy lungs. It wasn't cold enough, but it would do. Ink-stained fingers curled into unkempt hair as he watched Oliver retrieve his cigarette case, unable to help but appreciate the craftsmanship as one familiar with the processes involved in a similar fashion in printmaking.

Accepting the offer, the strong scent of apples reminding him of his childhood, of the rare fruit trees that managed to endure the frigid Umbridge weather, particularly the scraggly crab apple trees that clung desperately to the cliffside near Warren's End and all of their pie-worthy bounty come the final trials of the brief but beautiful hot cycles of the north. They were stubborn old things, to be sure, sturdy for climbing and falling out of, the hard little fruits wonderful ammunition for playing at war and breaking a window or two. All it took was a smell to unlock the treasury of memory, and Caius smiled wistfully for a moment, always distracted by how the mind worked, even his own.

The younger Gawyne looked to Oliver for a light because he had none and watched his face as he talked of his siblings through a singular event, unsure if he really needed to speak to his story or if he was just meant to hear it. He heard it, and his narrow shoulders sagged a little, the weight of their mutual burdens suddenly tangible. The older Venora's relationship with Darcyanna was an enviable one as far as brothers went, and the northern noble couldn't help but think of the purposeful distance he'd chosen to put between himself and his sister, Ivy. Purposeful because of his self-blame, because of how a singular event unraveled the tight weave of what his family had once been.

He still blamed himself.

With a long drag and a slow exhale, Caius watched Zi'da's chill turn the scented smoke into something even more visible with the cloud of his breath, looking away into the dark at Oliver's compliments, attempting to bridge the sudden gap between his past and his present that the other man had talked him into without even knowing,

"Sard it all, I'm not—I don't, really." He hissed quietly, irises fading in color toward silver, no longer vibrant, "I'm trying, Oliver. I am. Your kindness isn't deserved, but thank you."

Shifting to slouch over the same railing as the other man, digging elbows into the chilled stone, he chose to keep his eyes on the barren cold cycle garden than meet Oliver's gaze, "Growing up, we were close as children—my eldest brother Hunter and my younger sister Ivy, especially. Robert, too. Inseparable, I suppose. Always finding something to get into, but always managing to get each other out of it, you know? Adventurers and trouble makers. Wild as all Umbridge children should be. Well," Caius paused for a moment with the cigarette as if it was an integral part of his ability to tell the story that seared like hot lead at the back of his throat, smoke weaving his thoughts into words, "Ivy got it into her mind over whatever sarding offense children find in the decisions of their parents to run away. I wasn't about to let her do that alone. I was fourteen, and I made a promise. Only, damn it, I chickened out—"

Sparks and more smoke and Caius rolled his narrow shoulders, listless already,

"—I let her go by herself, too afraid of the consequences if we got caught. If we got sarding caught! Like that would have mattered. She didn't come home, and only I knew why. When I finally confessed, it was far too late. By the time she was returned home, twelve and pregnant mind you, her captors slipping through the cracks, everything fell apart. We Gawynes hide our stories behind nice covers with marbled endpapers and gilded edges, the pages of our histories no less ugly than yours on the shelf."

There was more to it all, of course, but this beginning was, perhaps for Caius, the most important part: what he hadn't done, what he'd failed to do. While Oliver had at least made an effort to protect Darcyanna when he could see and could know, the young Gawyne had not.

"I won't make the same mistake twice." He said quietly, finally looking at the older Venora with a sincerity unfiltered by his usual aloof sarcasm, "I'm not convinced I'm good for anybody, Oliver, but you have my word I'm not aiming to fuck up again."
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[Soirée] The things we say [Oliver]

Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:52 pm

"With five bits 'till infinity, we found ourselves sheathed in armour of nostalgia."
The muscles of his stomach clenched, wrenching in distress as he thought ever deeper about Darcy and Pythera. So wrapped in his own nostalgia, he didn't seen the silvery sheen of Caius', growing over the younger man's face to harden into a mask. When Oliver did snap from his own world, though, he saw the same sensation he imagined on his own face over the past few bits. Allowing Caius to make the decision for himself, without prying, Oliver took another drag of the apple cigarette, allowing the thick white smoke to trail from his mouth in a thin tendril, dancing ever skyward.

When Caius did finally speak, though, dark eyes found the man's blue orbs, and Oliver's jaw clenched. Every family had their woes, that was true, but the two of them seemed to have struck a similar cord. Ivy's running away, Darcyanna's abandonment of her home for so many arcs... Oliver considered Caius' words, turning them over in his mind, savouring them for their bitterness and desperation. Outlined through his trimmed beard, the muscles of his jaw clenched and unclenched rapidly, and his eyes turned from shark-black to a strange charcoal grey, dotted with specks of yellow.

He listened to the story, physically flinching as Caius mentioned Ivy's pregnancy. She ran away and came home fruitful, and Oliver had a brief flash of an alternate existence where that had been Darcy. Fire burned in the pit of his stomach, and his face flushed. At some imaginary scenario. He has to live this every trial. The thought burned him from within, drawing the charcoal eyes back to Caius as the man looked at him, promising he would never fuck up again. Standing there, staring at Caius, Oliver's composure broke slightly, the tall and straight noble hunching for the first time in arcs. Out came a perfectly manicured hand, untouched by ink or labour, to rest on Caius' shoulder.

"Qa'akor." He wanted to say so much more, but the word hung so heavily in the air between them, Oliver let it rest on that. He wanted to say that it wasn't Caius' fault, that he couldn't have known she would fall upon danger. He wanted to say that stopping her from leaving may have resulted in her unhappiness reaching an apex, and that the consequences may have been more severe. But he couldn't. He couldn't bring himself too. Instead, all he could do was stand in the silence of solidarity. He took another drag of his cigarette, turning to face the stars that were slowly peaking their heads from the sky, flecks of light in constellations praising the Seven, or the Immortals, or the old gods. Standing there, overwhelmed by their shared histories, under the weight of the universe, Oliver felt how truly small and insignificant they were, truly.

Seven ancestors! The swear jumped into his mind, eliciting a physical response. The cigarette in his hand had burned down too low, burning his finger. He dropped the paper wrapping and stamped on it with his shoe, swearing under his breath as he shook his hand in the cool air, Oliver turned back to Caius. His eyes had liquefied into a metallic iron grey, and he sighed.

"There is no changing the past. It's taken me all season of prayer and reasoning and begging the Seven, but I think I've finally accepted it. I cannot go back and save Darcyanna, though I'd give everything I have and more to do so. You can't go back and protect Ivy, though I know that it eats at you as Darcy's pain eats at me. The only thing we can do is move forward, carrying on our lapels the desire to protect them as we should have in their youths. It's a small fucking consolation, but perhaps this is our penance for inattentiveness and fear as children. Perhaps this is the Seven showing us their Virtues hold true, always."

And then, indigo eyes.

"Or perhaps it's all bullshit, and there is no real rhyme or reason to any of this. Perhaps atrocity exists for atrocity's sake, and we're meant to deal with it or buckle beneath it. I don't know. I just know that I have made the very same promise."

He turned to Caius again, eyes sparkling in the growing darkness.

"I won't fuck up again either. It's our blessing they remain alive for us to make amends."
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[Soirée] The things we say [Oliver]

Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:17 am

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REWARDS

Caius Gawyne

  • Knowledge:
    • Linguistics: The semantics of family
    • Linguistics: Word choices matter
    • Meditation: Imagining your place of contentment
    • Meditation: Seeking inner quiet
    • Psychology: Brothers
    • Psychology: Honesty is a binding force
    • Rhetoric: Self-deprecation
    • Rhetoric: Making promises
    • Oliver Venora: Calls you brother
    • Oliver Venora: Told his side of the story
    • Oliver Venora: Knows your story, too
    • Oliver Venora: Thinks you've done a damn good job
    Loot: No.
    Injuries: No.
    Fame: +3 - Being seen with Oliver

    Story: 5/5
    Collaboration: 5/5
    Structure: 5/5


- - - - - - -

Oliver Venora

  • Knowledge:
    • Endurance: The sting of smoke in your lungs
    • Endurance: Cold air on the skin hurts
    • Etiquette: Offering a reprieve to one in need
    • Etiquette: Catering to a guest's needs
    • Linguistics: A shared language makes for familiar conversation
    • Rhetoric: Sharing your memories with someone
    • Politics: Playing the host
    • Psychology: Relating to emotions in others
    • Caius Gawyne: Shared his history with you
    • Caius Gawyne: Calls you brother
    • Caius Gawyne: Foul mouthed but earnest
    • Caius Gawyne: Thinks he failed
    • Ivy Gawyne: Ran away
    • Ivy Gawyne: Pregnant at 12
    Loot: No.
    Injuries: No.
    Fame: +5 - Hosting

    Story: 5/5
    Collaboration: 5/5
    Structure: 5/5


- - - - - - -

Comments: Brotherly bonding! Protectiveness! Cuteness all round! You guys play such cute bros. I'd leave a longer comment but you know how I feel about these two.

If you feel I've missed anything or if you have questions about your review, please don't hesitate to send me a quick PM. Thank you!
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