Page 023: Let Me Count the Ways
Let Me Count the Ways
Summary: Isolde helps Igara compose her letter to Rowan
Date: 05/08/2011
Related Logs: Your Gentle Gender, Secrets
Igara Isolde 
Igara's Chambers
A high headboard crowns the bed with carved flowers and vines at the top, a faded green velvet over blanket settled to decorate over the quilt beneath. A few pill pillows decorate the standard affair and a robe and dressing gown rest over the footboard. A chest is set at the side of the bed, open and showing a few personal items beneath folded blankets and robes. On the opposite side of the bed is the double slitted windows, a small table and chair set next to it with quill and scrolls rolled atop. Next to the chair and directly inward from the door is the hearth. Upon the mantle is strapped several dried bundles of lavender and rosemary that gives the room it's scent. An oval shaped rug of soft creams and greens decorates the main floor and the right wall holds the low chest of drawers.
Thurs July 4, 288

A draught of wine, a subtle loosening of her dress lacing, and some cool water and Igara is at her little writing-desk, several ruined sheets of paper scrawled with drafts and torn in disappointment, her head bowed over a fresh sheet, elbow on the desk, head in her hand, tooth worrying at her lower lip.

Isolde had excused herself and let Igara start without her for obvious reasons. With a blistering hand, she had taken the time to try to make a salve for it but has since decided to wrap it with cool soaked bandages and keep it at least, somewhat hidden. There is a soft knock on the door to Igara's rooms that were once Isolde's, leaning to listen, "Dear cousin…do you wish me to join? I came to see how your letter writing is going."

Igara sits up from her despondent slouch, straightening her back and looking toward the door, "Isolde… come in," she calls back, waiting 'til she's indoors. "How fruitless everything I write seems to me. He has come so far from his days as a sickly youth, and I— I'm still so frail. He will want me to go riding with him, and I will hardly be able to go on my little pony without needing a rest. I fear he shall be much displeased."

Sliding inside, Isolde closes the door behind her and fixes her dressing gown, the wrapped hand kept to her side to make it less obvious a thing. "Well my dear Igara, we shall start riding more often, a little each day to build your stamina for when he is well to visit. You are not so delicate as that." She smiles some and moves to find a seat beside her cousin. "When you are finished, I had thought to speak with you of matters concerning the poisoning. But..! Pleasant thoughts first. You are to be betrothed!." A shift of her dress and she is setting herself down on the edge of her old bed.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Igara=Alertness Vs Isolde=Stealth
Igara: Success Isolde: Failure
Net Result: Igara wins - Marginal Victory

Igara has her mind on so many other matters that the hand might have gone unnoticed had Isolde not tried to hide it from her. Igara's developed a keen sense over the years of looking for that which people wish the very least to show her, and so when Isolde tries to keep that hand hidden in the folds of her robe, Igara's brow furrows and she leans about to try to get a look. "What's the matter with your hand, cous?" she wonders. "I am… if the Lord assents to it. I only hope he will find the match to his liking enough. If only I had had the courage to send him a favor after his great day on the field. But I was ashamed to do such a thing."

Looking to her hand, she shakes her head, "Little miss hap with my herbs…wolfsbane." She smiles and looks to Igara. "Send him one. Embroider a ribbon for him.." Isolde suggests a smoothing brush of her unaffected hand to her skirts. "You are a Lady of gentle make in the public eye, why not start there? Be coy and sweet. Speak not too directly of your feelings. But let him know how it pleases you. This way it allows for him to notice your subtle nature." She winks to her and rises. "If I were you, that is what I would do, but I am not and my flavors tend to the bold side…"

Igara looks down to her latest draft, and, taking it up, tears it, and then the halves, and then the quarters, taking a fresh sheet and pressing her lips together. "I doubt Lord Rygar would wish to wait for me to embroider a ribbon before he sends the letters. I will… work on something after he sends them, a mark of favor, if he will take it." She folds her hands in her lap, gathering her composure. "You ought to be more careful with your garden, cous. I did not know you grew such things as wolfbane. Is it very useful to you?" she wonders openly, since it's just the pair of them. "It wasn't you who sent the pennyroyal wine to the base blade who assaulted you, was it? If it be you— know that I do not hold you any animosity for it accidentally sickening the Lord Rowan. Nobody should be let to lay his hands upon you with impunity."

A brow lifts and Isolde can not help but sit there a long moment in silence. "Does it appear that way? That I would do such a thing?" She asks curiously. It is a question but her green eyes are sharpening with the prospective of this new perception. She shifts, riding from her once bed and moves across the room towards the window as her arms fold before her. "Forget what I asked, let us finish your letter so that Lord Rygar might have it for your bethrothed."

"It's not a bad thing to stand up for yourself, Isolde," Igara presses the issue with a gentle voice, seeing her cousin potentially upset. "Men are allowed much more protection of themselves than we are. When their honor is offended, they have recourse to steeds and weapons and battle. We women are denied those things, and so must take to other methods to revenge ourselves, from time to time," she speaks with a slow, reasoning pace. "To hear of your gardening wolfsbane so soon after getting news of the poisoning… I apologize if I jumped to a conclusion I shouldn't have. I dare say I -was- a little surprised. But I wanted you to know that I would not be upset with you, did you do it."

There is an accord in much of what Igara says for Isolde nods, "You are quite right. I have a right to stand for myself, but in the eyes of the Law. If you, Igara can suspect me, than I worry about what other suspicions may lie in wait in regards to my character. Strength is one thing, but a show of ruthlessness like that …without results is foolish. It accomplishes nothing but pointing the finger away from the one attacked. It gives rise to blame and gives clout to these matters." She hesitates, but keeps further thoughts to herself. She then adds in reserve, "I do not think my mother would be so foolish a woman to chance such a thing to protect me or herself. I have my suspicions, dear cousin. But the letter, let us right a letter as long as you are even a little surprised." She smiles to that. "Thank you."

"Without results, ay," Igara assents. "If only my Lord Rowan had not taken of the wine…" she begins with a lorn sigh— though whether she's more sad Rowan got sick or Gedeon didn't die is a question most up for debate. She looks to the blank sheet of paper, and, straightening her back, she takes up the quill once more. "My Lord Rowan," she repeats, feeling the words out in her mouth as though seeing how it will feel to say it very often for the rest of her days. At the same time she sets quill to paper and draws the words thereon in her fine, neat hand, lettering small and delicate.

A breath is released and with the topic turning back to the letter, she shifts away from the window to move to join her cousin. Isolde meanders, arcing her way indirectly till she stands behind Igara and leans slightly, curious cat getting the better of her. She smiles some, "Just be genuine, truly that is all you need, Igara. If he is to love you, let him love you for yourself." She reaches out a hand before she adds, "Besides, if you hide yourself, what good is that?" But there is a knowing look offered before she circles around to the side of the desk.

Igara takes a deep breath, looking at the words on the page, then up to her cousin with a tender little smile, clearing her throat and letting her eyes turn to a neutral space of thought, cheeks resuming a little bit of shy color as she considers the words. "This day," she finally begins, "Has lifted me from the dread grip of fear…" she pauses to let her writing catch up. "Into the free flight of gladness." A full stop set down and the pen lifted in a hop from the page. "I am… dizzy… with the change, and hardly know how to hold the quill… my hand… does tremble so. For, you see, this morning I thought that you would surely die, and, though I would have blushed for you to have known, I did weep to think so. But now it is fair for you to know such things, and I dare to write to you that I am most glad that you will be well— and most content that your father has offered you this match for your consideration."

Tilting her head, Isolde listens without looking, her gaze distant. Her smile is a fond one as it spreads, fingers of her good hand curling into her dressing gown. She finally turns, dark hair shifting about her shoulders as she half leans into the wall. Nodding her head. "It is well to give him confidence in the fact this match is his choice.." She presses a finger to her lips, brushing it there as she lets out a breath. "It will not make him feel cornered. Men can sometimes…when they feel they don't have choices." She grins a bit, casting a look of her green eyes back over her shoulder.

Igara looks up at the encouragement, lips drawn into a small, nervous frown. "Ay, cous. I would not push myself upon him. It would hardly be seemly, in any case," she blushes a little further, looking over the letter so far. "And yet it seems so like a business negotiaton, there, at the end… for your consideration." She sighs, but leaves the letter untorn. "I should add something… of fondness. Of why I would be glad of the match. A gentleman can only be flattered to hear compliments, can't he?"

"From you my cousin, compliments are a boon…" Isolde says and moves to her side, gently taking her shoulders as she leans in. She grins broadly and kisses her cheek. "Should he be smitten with his own ego by the way you give it clout, he shall away to you and kiss your cheek just as I have. He will turn his bright eye to the sky and proclaim, 'Ahh for the love of my betrothed!' He will fly to you, for in his heart, he seeks that fondness and that gentle hand you shall afford him. Everyone man longs for it, be he brute or gentle make. So come, write of some fondness but make it a tease, a touch of what you do feel and what I saw when the news was delivered. He will come to hear more." She motions to the paper and ruffles Igara's hair.

Igara giggles brightly as her cous comes and kisses her, then hides her face in her hands when she's bidden to imagine such coming from Rowan, instead. She peeps up again with a smudge of ink on her cheek for her trouble. "Such fancies, cousin. I cannot think that he would shout for me. But would he come and visit when he is well…" she trails off with a girlish smile, considering the next move before she returns pen to paper. "Many a girl is justified in the first fear of her betrothal, neither knowing what kind of man her husband will be nor how he will treat her. But I am Seven blessed to know that you are kind and gentle, for you were kind and gentle with me when we were young; that you are strong and able, for you danced so finely in the melee that none other had hope to be your match" she breaks off there, for a moment, and, slowly drawing the next semicolon, she knows she must fill the third colon her teachers in literature and rhetoric have not done her wrong but she hesitates whether to step so far in a first letter, and she looks up to her cousin for advice, lowering her voice to a whisper, "Shall I say I find him fair to look upon?"

"Oh yes, perhaps he will not say exactly that…but that is why we are given to dream and imagine such things.." Isolde says with a wistful look. She shifts upon her foot and moves to the other side of Igara's head to gaze down, watching her ink down her words. "It does not hurt to dream of fancies..we are still allowed that sweet cous." She says, letting her continue on as she grins and nods, but as the question is posed to her, she tilts her head and leans down over that slender shoulder once more, taking her again in hand. She presses her cheek to Igara's lightly and whispers, "Is that what you feel? If so I think it would suit your letter well to add such a thing."

"Between us two," Igara begins, sharing the ink on her cheek with Isolde's cheek, nudge-nuzzling against it and turning to give the ink spot a kiss and thence to whisper in Isolde's ear, "I find him much more fair than I ever recall him being. Why, I would say that were there a contest for beauty, he should surpass me by miles. I know well I have no call to crow of my own features, but, in truth, of all the notions I ever carried in my mind about a future marriage, I never once thought that I would be betrothed to a man who was prettier than I," she adds with a shy smile.

There is given a short laugh as she lifts a finger to rub at her cheek. Isolde shakes her head, "Nonsense, if he be fairier than you, then the Seven take him." The Lady smirks and rises back, "Hint at your fondness of his fair face. Do not share it all for then what would you give him later while he courts you probably and well? Nothing. He mustbe fed slowly.." It seems she knows this. "Better to start that when the time comes you two will have much shared and find each other gentle because of it. Though in honesty, you are both gentle as it is.."

"His features call to mind, somehow, those of my flown Blackbird," Igara muses to herself as she resupplies the quill with ink and reads over the last sentence so that she can resume. "Semi-colon…" she traces the mark again before continuing, "… that you are fair to look upon, for, I confess, now that such confession be not unseemly, that I did… look, my Lord." Full stop. A hop of the pen, and a breath: "I wish you to know that I am happy for this match, and I pray the match finds you content as well— and finds you hale and hearty in recovery from your sad illness. Be well, my Lord Rowan. For, I remain—" she draws it out, then, with a scratch, a single word above where she might sign: "Yours."

"Sweet and as endearing as one can be, given the news so recently. I think it is a lovely letter." Isolde comments and straightens to move about Igara and look down at her. "See, you didn't need me at all…you faired well on your own." She praises and then tilts her head, her bandaged hand curling about her arm. "I am sure he will enjoy the letter to great extent.." She says and smiles, moving to perch on the edge of the bed and rub at the ink spot on her cheek.

Igara looks the letter over once more, then sets her signature to it, her initials dominating the signature with the rest of the letters dwarfed in commparison. She tosses a bit of sawdust ontot he letter to let it sop up any dots of wet ink, and stands with a stretch, looking toward the bed, "You were a great help to me, cous," she encourages the woman, coming to sit by her. "I think he might. I only hope that he is amenable to the match. Come, let me see your hand," she murmurs. "What have you put on it?"