• Solo • For The Children [Venora]

Andras visits the local orphanage to discuss funding.

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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Andráska Venora
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For The Children [Venora]

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"My two natures had memory in common."
  • 31st of Zi'da, 716
  • Andráska stopped in front of the orphanage, three books from the library tucked under his arm. A dirty face stared back at him from the second story window, its pane streaked with snot and frost. The eyes of the child were lifeless, the boy's mouth set into a thin line of suspicion. András lifted a hand to wave, but the boy retreated further inside, disappearing from sight.

    Just then, another face, this time a young girl with brunette hair, popped up in another. She smiled shyly, her grin toothy when she giggled. Andras smiled and took a step away, but paused, something not quite letting him pass by.

    The door the the establishment opened, “Can I help you, sir?” The voice was kind enough, belonging a middle aged woman with large breasts and broad hips. The apron she wore over her brown dress was covered in flour and bits of it had dotted her hair and flushed cheeks. In her youth, he could tell she had been beautiful, and by circumstance or passion, now devoted her life to the city's parent less children.

    “Uh....” Could she? He glanced skyward to see if he could see more faces of the children, “Do you mind if I come in for a bit?”

    This seemed to surprise her, and she looked the noble up and down, “Of course, sir. It's just... You're so young. Usually those wanting to adopt have been married for awhile.” She was not trying to be rude, and knew she shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, “But please, the children would enjoy the company, I'm sure.” Andráska said nothing about this comment, and followed her into the building.

    Inside was unremarkable, and not at all what he had been expecting. Well, he wasn't quite sure what he was expecting. There was very little color and the walls were a dull gray. The wooden floors were sturdy but in need of a shine. The moment he walked in, a few small bodies watched him from the stairs and doorways, their pants or skirts patched. The few pairs of stockings worn were ripped and stitched, and when he looked to the Matron, she seemed subtly embarrassed. “Would you like me to call the children down?” she asked.

    “Ah, no, I mean. Yes. But, I was actually interested in your work here.” He began, looking around, “My name is Andráska Venora,” he extended a hand, watching recognition of his surname light up the woman's eyes, “I was passing through. Is this a bad time?”

    He nodded towards her state, “Oh! Seven no. I was just preparing bread for the children tomorrow.” she took a step back in the direction of the kitchens, wiping her hand on her apron as if it could rectify her state of dress before the higher class.

    “May I have a tour?”

    “Of course, Lord Venora.” she glanced around, spotting the curious faces, and shoo'd them away. “Would you like to start in the bedrooms, or the foyer, perhaps?”

    “The kitchen is fine.”

    If she seemed surprised by his choice, she said nothing. She started to lead the way, the details of the place not lost on Andras. The few paintings on the walls were old and dusty, but overall the place was clean enough. There were no toys around, which was the most notable absence. Maybe they were upstairs in the bedrooms, “How many children are in your charge at this time?”
    “Ten at this moment, others come and go, depending...” Depending on the parents. Or illness. Depending on many things, he imagined.

    Into the kitchen they walked. It was larger than he had thought it would be, but that was a good thing. The pots and pans needed scrubbing, and the island was covered in flour, a ball of dough waiting to be recovered, “Please,” Andras began, sliding into a chair, “Continue with the bread. You can tell me about them.”

    He smiled genuinely, and it was then the woman knew he wasn't here to assess the orphanage, or use his authority to judge it. He was honestly curious about her work, about the livelihood of the common class; Of the children that society liked to ignore.

    “Of course,” she repeated, this time more relaxed. And then she began to talk...
word count: 765
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Andráska Venora
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For The Children [Venora]

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"My two natures had memory in common."
  • 31st of Zi'da, 716
  • Andras learned very quickly the problems facing the orphanage. For one, despite the beauty of Venora, the orphanage was seen as an unseen eyesore by the general public. In warmer months, green ivy decorated the outer walls, but the inside was lack luster at best. The taxes used to fund the place were almost non existent, and had Andras thought a plea to his father would help, he would have left right then and there to say something.

    Instead, he knew if he showed interest to such a place, his father would likely do whatever he could to use it as a manipulation tactic, and so he pondered everything the woman had said. There were a few ways in which he could help.

    “How often do people come in to look at the children?”

    The woman, who Andras learned was named Mrs. Maybella, was kneading the bread, “Oh, once or twice every few months. I'm afraid most residents don't find the place glamorous enough for their tastes. But all the children are wonderful.”

    “Do you think popularity is an issue?”

    She shrugged, “It's possible. I'm not sure most know we exist. I try to spread the word as often as I can, but most of my time is spent looking after the children. We had to let our last employee go, due to money restrictions.”

    “Hm,” The books Andras brought with him were forgotten for a moment and silence passed in the room, “We should have a celebration. A way for potential parents to mingle with the children. Maybe a fundraiser,” the more he talked about it, the more he liked the idea, “We could make food, maybe repaint the main room. The children could look their best.”

    Mrs. Maybella seemed to like the idea, but shrugged sadly, “It's a lovely thought, my lord. But we simply do not have the funding for something extravagant.”

    “It doesn't need to be,” Andras pushed, his mind brainstorming ways to draw the people in. “I played the cello before the king. Perhaps I could send out invitations, put in ad in the Gazette...” he smiled slightly, “I'm not the baron, but Sabbaisant is in my family's charge. I think it is time we looked after everyone.”

    She seemed surprised, her hands slowing as they worked, “That is... a very generous way to look at things.”

    “What's wrong?”

    “I just...” she took a shaky breath, her eyes moist when she looked up at the man before her, “I am very happy. And relieved.” she laughed to try and lighten the mood, wiping away a tear that had fallen down her cheek, “I have prayed for this... For, help. With winter coming and the shortage of wood and food... I just.... I was afraid of what would happen, and now you're here... Out of nowhere, it just feels like a blessing.”

    Another tear fell down her cheek, “This will mean so much to the children, you simply have no idea, Lord Venora.”

    Seeing Mrs. Maybella like this gripped at Andraska's soft heart, “Here,” he reached into his pocket and removed his coin purse, handing it to her.

    She grabbed it before she really knew what it was, but when the weight was pressed into her hand, she started shaking her head, “Oh my lord.... This... This is...”

    “Exactly what you need,” he finished, sliding from his chair and retrieving his books. He wouldn't be duke. But he could still be a leader. 'Being a leader means taking care of your followers,' he thought, nodding towards her, “I want you to take this.” he ordered, “Repaint the rooms. Bright colors, allow the children to pick out a few for the bedrooms. If there are any holes in the ceiling, have them patched. Buy more blankets, food and wood. It's going to get cold and dark soon, I want these kids to be warm.”

    Her fingers had opened the drawstring bag and her mouth dropped, “My lord,” she said again, “This must be close to a hundred gold. This...” Her voice died, unable to finish her sentence.

    “Closer to one-fifty. You do good work,” he complimented, “You deserve some peace of mind. Take this and do what I say. I'll be in touch about the fundraiser, but in the meantime, use the money wisely. If you need more, write to me in Fort Venora, and I'll see what I can do.”

    He went to turn towards the door, the eyes of at least five children piled into the doorway, looks of awe on their faces. The boy from the window was there now, staring at him with his mouth agape. Andráska said nothing about what would happen if the money was used incorrectly, but seeing the matron break into tears of joy seemed authentic enough for him. He headed towards the door when an older girl stepped forward. She must have been closer to fourteen, older then some of the others, and no doubt less likely to be adopted now. She blocked his path for a moment, and then went forward, wrapping her skinny arms around him.

    Another child gasped at the audacity, but when Andráska returned the hug, other children followed, piling around him. These weren't the kind of children who were spoiled their whole lives, who took toys and food for granted. They had seen the harsher sides of the world, and Andras felt it necessary to ensure them a good future. He believed they deserved it.

    “Thank you,” the girl whispered, her grip loosening as one by one, the children began to pull away.

    “Don't thank me yet,” he grinned, patting her on the shoulder, and then to the matron who had begun to compose herself, “When I come back, I want this place bright and cheery. And if I don't trip over at least three toys, I'll be thoroughly disappointed.”

    He smiled and a number of the children engaged him in conversation. They asked about his house, about his parents. What his favorite animal was. He tried to address each question, but eventually had to excuse himself. “I'll be back,” he promised, and out the front door he went.
    To the Reviewer
    I have deducted 150gn from my ledger for the donation.
word count: 1095
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Avrae Kyric
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For The Children [Venora]

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A Review by Summer Rain


Name: Andraska Venora

Knowledge:
Location: Venora's Orphanage
Mrs. Maybella: Had Been Beautiful Once
Leadership: Caring for More Than Just Nobles
Leadership: The Health and Happiness of Your Less Fortunate Citizens
Leadership: You Don't Have to Be THE Leader to Be A Leader
Leadership: Being a Leader Means Caring For Others
Leadership: Taking Time To Talk To Your Subjects

Loot: Thank you for deducting the donation from your ledger
Injuries: N/A
Fame:
+1 General Good Deed
+3 Funding a Public Celebration
+3 Timely Delivery of Goods
Total: +7
Devotion: N/A

Story: 5/5
Collaboration: 0/5
Structure: 5/5
Magic: These Points may NOT be used for Magic

Comment: More of Andraska with kids. I think I'm starting to fall in love with him. Has he always been so good? XD I really adore him, to be honest. This was a very heartwarming and well written thread. I hope to see more of him. <3 Keep up the generosity of Andraska Venora.
word count: 178
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