|Summary:||Isolde of 14 and Lucienne of 12 tend to the wildflowers.|
|Fields North of Four Eagle's Tower|
Golden waves of grass hinted in green where the sun has not scorched them yet, the heavy beat of the september sky expanding out over the cape and through Terrick lands. A soft laugh and the flow of dark hair, undone from it's proper braid shifts down Isolde's back. A woven wreath of chrysanthemum's, smelling sweet in their loft upon her brow is fixed to sit better with slender fingers. "Come Luci…come. The Anise is this way." She bids her companion, having stopped a breath to let her skirts settle and to wipe at her brow. It is a blessing, the wind that rolls in from the sea to cool the air and she casts a look over her shoulder. The basket in her hand is switched to the other, flowers, leaves, roots all gathered therein.
The cry of a bird of prey fills the air and the rustling of the spotting of trees here and there beyond their pond is a little more foreign as they normally don't stray so far from the Tower. Isolde skips a few more feet forward.
Just a wisp of a girl, so slim that the breeze itself might knock her over, young Lucienne's face is almost lost in the volume of her curly, unbraided hair. The pink in her cheeks isn't a blush, nor a flush; it comes from the touch of the sun. She tugs free a few more hairs of a prickly grass, roots and all, and tucks them hurriedly into her own basket. "Coming! I'm coming!" Up she bobs, eyes scouring the landscape firstly to place Isolde, and then to survey the somewhat unfamiliar landscape. "Wait for me, Issie!" A fist balls in her skirts, hitching them high enough for her to scurry after her companion.
A brow lifts, arched in merriment to the cry of her young companion. Isolde can not help but grin and bob to a stop, her prancing ended with a quiet shift of skirts. The whisper of air through the taller grass rising up in conversation, has her turning her face to the wind, back towards Lucienne while she waits. Then the hand without the basket extends in welcome, fingers outstretched to seize hold of the other young Lady once she is near enough. "I am not so much like your brothers that I would leave you, pesky things they are." She wrinkles her nose and once she has hold, there is a growing grin as she scans. "Okay, look for something brown…dried, but there will be flat white flowers to the small bush." She instructs, her own gaze warily narrowing in its pursuit of their target. "I saw them here last season…." She admits and her head turns, not seeing anything yet. Now faced away from the wind, her own dark waves of hair tug and strain about her face, whipping forward as they hamper her view.
A breath of that sea breeze tosses a tendril of the younger girl's hair into her eyes, and she shakes her head as she skips along, trying to free the ends that have slipped between her lips. Lucienne's tongue peeks out to help with the effort after a quick squeak, and as she catches up she drops her skirts, rakes her hair back with that free hand and then reaches out willingly to Isolde. "Girls stick together," she announces in a soft, affectionate voice, a childlike paraphrasing of something she's heard elsewhere no doubt. Her squinting is uneccessarily narrow, her mouth pressing thin in concentration and a quiet hum vibrating from her throat, until: "Aha! Is that it?" Her basket gestures to indicate a patch of brown several yards yonder, too far to determine by the eye if it bears the correct coloured blooms.
There is a look of amusement at poor Lucienne's battle with her hair but Isolde continues to scan. Hand in hand now, she pauses and leans over to look to where the other girl is pointing, her own hair giving her obvious effort to not react much the same as the younger. "I think you may be right! But we shall have to get closer." She proclaims and with a gentle tug, starts forward, her long legs spry and swift. Yet she minds Luci's gate and slows a step, skirts hampering her now that a hand is secured her own and basket in the other. As they draw closer, finder details come to light and she grins. "You found it Luci! Well spotted." She proclaims and soon they draw up beside it, the dark haired elder Dropping before it in a puffed pool of her skirts.
Lucienne perks up at the prospect of being found right, blinking her eyes wide and shining as her footsteps start on the cue of that tug. Her stride is shorter, obviously, and though her light steps are taken more frequently to keep up, she seems not hindered even by her swathe of skirts billowing. "I did?" Surprised, her smile is bright and eager - an quality that will shade into rarity as she ages. "Oh! Thankyou, Issie, it was just a guess. Is it the flowers we'll pick, then? Or the leaves?" She falls to her knees beside the older girl, keen to inspect the plant.
Beaming at Lucienne, Isolde is a patient teacher and waits for the chime of questions to cease before she taps the spent seedpods which respond with a gentle tinking sound of something loose inside. "Neither, Luci." She puts the basket in front of her and with narrow-eyed care she bends and snaps off a seven pointed star shaped seedpod. "This is an Anise seedpod, each of these points have a seed inside…smell.." She holds it out in the palm of her hand. It has a distinctly black licorice scent that is rather strong and she allows Luci to take it while she goes about plucking them to her lap, sheltering them in a pool of cloth. "These, when steeped in hot water to make a tincture helps clear up coughs and sore throats. It doesn't taste so well but it is common enough…" She explains as if she were instructing, perhaps exactly what she had been taught. "Open one.." She digs a dirty nail into the edge of one of the half parted points and tears it free to show a shiny black seed. "The pods and the seeds can be used.."
Ever so gently, Lucienne stretches a hand out towards one of the clusters of little white flowers on the bush. She brushes a finger against the tiny petals, withdrawing sharply as though afraid of damaging the thing. "Neither?" Her face turns toward Isolde, melding from puzzled to understanding as it is explained. Her lips have formed a large 'o', and she breathes out the accompanying sound before catching herself in the unladylike expression and snapping her mouth closed sheepishly. She shifts her delicate nose toward the pod in the older girl's hand and inhales the scent, brow wrinkling a little with distaste. "It tastes how it smells, then? I almost think I would rather a sore throat and rattling cough than to drink a tea that smells like /that/."
Laughing a bit as her dislike of it, Isolde shakes her head, "It does taste similar, somewhat bitter, but I am sure if you were actually afflicted you might say otherwise, Luci." The Tordane Lady squeezes out a few more seeds and offers them to the younger. "This is what you use mostly..for strong cases. The seedpod can be boiled down for the broth it leaves." She explains and then starts to tug off the other pods, the small plant shivering with her efforts before she deposits them in her lap.
Her head lifts and she looks towards the sky, the cry of a hawk piercing the air. But that is when she stills and clears her throat. "Luci…look.." She whispers and her wide green eyes gaze up the knoll towards a striding deer, a few points on its antlers. A young stag. She blinks and stays as still as she can.
With a devoted glance toward the heavens, Lucienne declares in her quiet little voice, "May the Seven keep me from ever needing to partake of such a horrid concoction!" That done, she returns her attention to the little seeds Isolde offers, gingerly plucking just the one between her forefinger and thumb to bring it closer to her eyes for a look. She's still inspecting the surface of the seed and committing it's appearance to memory as the hawk screeches, and at first it's just her eyes that flicker to the older girl as she's bid. Those eyes of middling brown blink wide again, and she lifts her chin in the direction of the stag. All but forgotten, the small seed tumbles from her grasp as she sucks a delighted sharp breath in, hand reaching to hide her grin. She daren't make another noise, for fear of startling the animal, but she looks on with wonder.
In her quiet, Isolde slowly rises, the seedpods abandoned for all her care or want now turned towards the stag. It is a gentle thing the way her legs straighten first and then her torso, wanting to stay low. She says in a hushed tone as she hazards a step forward, hand drawing up her skirts to show her knees. "Father says if you stay low…you do not give them fright. Come Luci, we be quiet and slow.." She bids the other girl follow as she steps about her basket. Her dark hair falls about her face and the flower wreath pitches forward a bit to fall over a brow, but she doesn't move to fix it. Another step and another, the stag remains unworried as it's head dips to feast on the rich morsels that lay before it. A slow opened mouthed smile spreads as she sidles forward, skirts bundled to her for with one hand, the other reaching to her side and out to help keep her balance as she navigates the hidden rocks on the hillside.
There's a moment's hesitation from the younger girl, but not to be left behind, she mimics the slow rising of Tordane's daughter in her own graceful manner. "Are you sure?" Her whisper is almost lost in the sussurus of the grasses tossed by the gentle breeze and the myriad of distant clicking and chirping insects. There's a bit of a wobble as Lucienne missteps onto a smaller rock that teeters underfoot, but her balance is ultimately regained; she winces, and shifts her glance back to the animal to be certain it hasn't taken fright.
"Yes, pretty..certain.." Isolde says but this means not entirely. The stag's head rises swiftly to look at the wobbling Lucienne and chews, watching her cautiously until she gets her footing again. Then slowly it lowers it's head back to the food beneath it's hoof. Releasing a huff of a breath, the Lady turns her head to look back at her younger counterpart. "You okay Luci?" She checks a moment, holding her position till all is found well. "Come on, we can take a few more steps.." They are not too far away, and her next steps are carefully placed, testing the heave and give of the hillside before placing her full weight there.
Freeze! Back in balance, the younger girl freezes dead still, her hands most notably tense with fingers splayed at either of her sides. Rather than startle the animal further by speaking, Luci bobs her head a couple times in a row to Isolde, the rest of her kept perfectly still: she's fine. She ducks her head as the older girl continues on, this time studying the ground more carefully before placing her feet one in front of the other. A couple steps closer, she pauses for another look at the stag, marveling mostly at the shape of it's antlers. Her chest rises and falls visibly, but the enthralled breath surging in and out of her lungs is kept silent. Painstakingly slow, she turns a palm to face up and starts to offer it experimentally out.
But unfortunately the stag is not a dog and as the girls draw closer, the palm offered is not a thing to signal it to draw close. Instead it lifts, nose shifting and ears tilting forward. Isolde grins a bit to herself and her own wonder well hidden as her blood rushes through her veins. Her hand hand starts to lift out, but not palm up, she leans instead. There is a half stumbled step forward and she strains, trying to touch the stag. Fingers waver in the air, willing herself beyond her actualy reach. Biting at her lip, she holds her breath. The Stag lifts its head rather swiftly, agitated by the encroaching ladie. It's ears flick and tense and it waits, hesitating but it's legs bend and bound! It is rushing away like the wind itself.
Rebuked, Lucienne drops her eyes briefly to her upturned palm; is there something wrong with it? Isolde's attempts are much more bold, and she's quick to shift her gaze admiringly back to the other girl. Her chest stills, a sign that her breath is held anticipatingly in her lungs - and continues to be, even as it starts to burn. Time seems to slow, stretching mere seconds out as the excitement builds… and then all in a rush, as swift as the stag's departure, the world catches up. Luci inhales sharply and gasps on the exhale, her delighted grin returning and her eyes dancing as she congratulates. "Issie! Did you touch it? You touched it! I saw!"
She alas, had not touched it and spills forward with giggling glee to try to touch the tail in a last bid for such a triumph. In a plume of airy seeds rising as she disturbs them and flailing limbs, she hits the ground. She looks up, her head rising with a scramble of fingers through her hair to watch the retreating backside of the stag himself. But Luci's chirp, she is grinning and pushing herself to her knees, smoothing her skirts and not caring whether they are stained or not. "I did in thought but I couldn't quite reach..had I been but a little taller I might very well have fallen into it's legs and then what would we have? A mess! But you are oh so brave, Luci! He is quite bigger than you are and you did well!" She compliments the Lady who is all but her sister.
"Oh, Issie, your skirts," expresses the younger girl in dismay, surging forward with scurrying footfalls to help her treasured companion up. "I could swear you touched him! He moves so fast…" She extends a hand for the other girl, in case it's needed, her sunkissed cheeks disguising the mild flush that creeps as she's complimented. The duck of her head betrays her. "Not as brave as you, Is. You're as brave as the boys, no - braver! As brave as… as…" Her eyes start to flit, desperately searching the landscape for the right metaphor. "As brave as the wind, that rushes onward past any obstacle, Issie. Wait 'till we tell Jammy and Jarod!"
Taking the offered hand, Isolde rises, trying her best not to step her skirts and make a tangled mess of them both. She grins a bit, flushed yet with her own excitement, green eyes flickering towards where the stag had disappeared. Her smile grows more as she is proclaimed brave and she straightens some. "The boys think we can not keep up with them, but I plan to prove them entirely wrong…and this. They will wish they had not snubbed us for sword play when they could have been gathering." She nods her head and gives a squeeze to Luci's hand. Her eyes widen and a mischevious glint suddenly sparks as she gives Lucienne a tug towards her and falls back. A tumble be of them and she laughs, a puff of cotton like seeds rising to the air.
Lucienne's eyes gleam with a mixture of pride, excitement and affection that's matched in her grin that spreads as Isolde makes her declaration. She starts to reply, but the tug into tumble interrupts her and the sentence is aborted, a high-pitched yelp taking it's place instead. She laughs freely, arms flailing about momentarily until she gives in long enough settle her head with a gentle thud on the ground, barely missing a rock. "You're my favourite, Is," she announces breathlessly, fixing the older girl with a meaningful look before springing back up. "Come on, race you back to the stinky plant!"
A backwards fall and she gasps out, giggling uncontrollably still in the throws of her excitement. Isolde lays there a time until Lucienne proclaims as she does. She turns, rolling a little to look at the other girl a moment. "As you are mine..Luci.." She says, "We are sisters…" She beams, Isolde with no such thing by blood rolls towards her and pushes herself up to try to match the rather exuberant nature of the Terrick. "Ah ha! Then I best run fast for you are like a little sprite.." She cheers out, twisting her hands into her skirts to bulk them up to her hips. "Run you must!" She proclaims and is off like a shot.