A discussion of blood...
A discussion of blood…
Location: Main room of the Crown and Rose
Date: September 14th, 14 (OOC Year 2017)
Summary: Iolion takes Veronica to see their cousin Giselle. The two women discuss Roni's desire to divine the metaphysical nature of her blood and the alchemist suggests a means. (This scene was RPed across two sessions on 9/14 and 9/16/2017.)
Characters: Giselle, Iolion, and Veronica
NPCs: none

Giselle has claimed a table, and seems very comfortable and relaxed there. It's possible she's been there for some time, actually. Her freakish amount of braided hair is curled up on the chair under her rear, and for now her feet are up on another one. The table's set for sharing - a variety of finger foods like chicken tenders, potato skins - as well as a cheeseburger and fries in front of her. Yes, people have been teaching the staff shadow foods. There is also a bottle of wine on the table that's already half empty.

Having been referred to her by two people for two different reasons, Veronica has decided to seek out a certain Pathi-Royal. A few nights ago, though the application of Chantris magic, she asked Iolion to arrange for them to meet with their red-headed cousin he'd mentioned to her - - on the fourteenth or some other time if that is better for all involved - - and meet her at the house manor that evening. She dresses in one of her favorite Mon-styled outfits for the meeting and sits on the porch of the manor… reading a book quite naturally… while she waits for her cousin/uncle/lover to appear or inform her of a reschedule…

Editor's Note: Iolion requested it be noted that ICly he is Veronica's third cousin and her (half-)granduncle.

Iolion has apparently been hanging out with Shao for too long, because he's cultivating - - perhaps unintentionally - - that strange Jadean art of sneaking up on people politely. There's the rude kind of sneaking up, where one says 'boo' and frightens people to let them know one has arrived; and there's the Jadean way, where one simply stands politely until people realize they're not alone and wonder how long that's been going on and whether they were seen scratching themselves a few minutes ago. In this case, once Veronica finishes her chapter Iolion is standing nearby, and for how long is anyone's guess.

"Giselle's awaiting us at the Crown and Rose," he offers in lieu of a hello, but his smile is a warm greeting in its own right. "Shall we?"

And this is how a few minutes later the two of them entered the Crown and Rose, Veronica's hand in the crook of his arm, properly. Iolion led her to the main room, where Giselle awaited; and a few moments later, after attending to seating, the scene began.

Giselle is seated so that she can see the door, and when she spots the pair there's a wave in their direction. She doesn't move her feet until they're mostly to her though, sitting up a bit before saying "Hallooo!" The glass of wine in her hand is sipped, then set down next to her plate. "S'up? Food?" She gestures towards the dishes on the table, clearly meant to share. "I always get plenty for company."

Veronica smiles as Iolion introduce them to each other. She then says, in perfect but Mon-accented Thari, "It's a pleasure to meet you, and yes, I'd enjoy a meal also but Iolion actually brought me here because I hoped to discuss something with you." She adds, "Both he and Lady Celeste de'Mandrake - - in agreement amazingly - - referred me to you."

"Giselle," Iolion greets his fire-haired cousin, a faint smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. "As ever, you're among the most hospitable of our generation. Thank you." Without ceremony, he takes the serving-fork and one of his own daggers to move a thick cut of beef onto his plate. He remains otherwise silent, though: the ladies have business, and it doesn't particularly involve him.

Giselle looks curious about the something to discuss, but not so curious that she tunnels in on it immediately. "Oh, sure. Okay." she says, smiling. She looks at Iolion then, and says "Why was the agreement amazing? Do you mostly disagree? I don't really know Celeste well. She does seem to have a stick up her ass often, though."

Veronica grins at Iolion before saying, "I guess it's more of an inside joke," to Giselle in answer to her question as she follows Iolion's lead and serves herself some food also as well as asking a server to bring them a bottle of Fiorrian red wine with three cups to accompany the meal. She chooses not to comment on Celeste's demeanor, and instead waits to allow some conversation or eating to occur before approaching business.

"She lied to me," Iolion interjects calmly, which may be a sign of the depth of his enduring fury. "Heaping personal abuse on me is bad enough: but lying to me, telling me my sister was on her deathbed from Portia's blade? I imagine she was much amused by the thought of me racing over Amber to find Beatrix, hale, healthy, well. Uninjured, and swearing to me she'd not taken any serious injury. I will keep quiet henceforth on the subject of that woman, but I will thank you both to keep mention of her to a minimum."

Giselle looks back and forth between the two, and her head tilts a little to the side. Clearly, she has no opinion on the subject at all. After a moment her head tilt back the other way, then she just says to Iolion "Sure." She smiles again, then looks back to Veronica before taking a bite of a few fries. "So, referred me. Has to be either stone work or alchemy. Alchemy, I'm guessing."

"Got it in one," Veronica says with a grin. "Because I'm not that keen on consulting a blood mage," she explains before saying, "It has to do with my ancestry and possible bloodlines. I'm curious if I carry the Blood of Oberon or not and I don't want to use the Pattern to experiment as… failure would be fairly permanent I understand."

For the moment Iolion is content to prove true all the slanderous whispers about him: yes, he's a scoundrel, and a total leg man. Admittedly, the salacious rumors didn't specify leg of lamb with mint jelly, but the way he's carving it up suggests an almost carnal delight. Truly, the way to a man's heart is by filling his stomach with well-prepared meat.

Giselle listens, her head tipping back the other way again. "Ohhhhh…" she says with a grin. "Yeah. You don't want to get that one wrong. Poof!" The last word is accompanied by gestures with both hands mimicking something blowing up. She pauses long enough to enjoy a bite of her cheeseburger, apparently not nearly the gourmand Iolion is. "It's actually pretty hard to do that sort of science in Amber. Determine specific bloodlines, I mean. There isn't quite the tech for blood tests like that. No matter what, it's probably going to end with a leap of faith if the evidence is strong enough. But, it can be narrowed down a lot, at least. You don't know your specific parentage, then?" she asks, then drinks more wine.

Veronica chuckles before speaking. "Well, it's a bit complicated…" she says before explaining, "My father was Nathan Chantris and my mother was the daughter of a Mon and Princess Deirdre's son Mordred. So I know I'm descended from Oberon, but that's distant… I have access to Chantris magic, so I know I'm a blooded member of the family… but do I have that quality that your parents and so many of your generation do? That's my question."

"Normally there are other, clearer signs," Iolion offers constructively between bites of lamb. (Oh, look, and hummus! Let's grab some of that, too.) "Do they have any flatbread? The Blood of Oberon comes with more than just the ability to walk Pattern. Inhuman endurance, strength, resiliency. When two of the Blood really go at it, whether for blood or for lust - - hand waving the lust for blood so many of our parents have - - property values tend to take a real plunge. When Corwin and Eric had their fight in the library, all manner of things got broken - - including things one normally wouldn't think of as breakable. And let's just say it's common knowledge that Gerard is an extremely compassionate lover, as evidenced by the fact that bedding him is rarely fatal… it's funny, but it's /not/ a joke. So, that would be one sign. Have you exhibited the ability to keep up with a galloping horse until it dies of exhaustion? Because I daresay Giselle can, as can I."

Giselle smirks. "It's Amber. It's always complicated." she says. "Well, it's not really always complicated, but people seem to think it is. Usually, it's pretty simple. People like to complicate stuff. Mordred was your grandfather." She thinks for a moment. "I'm not sure how far down makes the blood too thin, but it's an interesting question. Actually, it's a useful question for the research I'm doing." To Iolion's observations, she chuckles. "Yeah, but things like the strength and endurance can come from other bloodlines, too. Mandrake's really, really sturdy, for example." She notes then "I happen to have a potion made that exaggerates inherited blood traits. You could take it, and we see what comes out." She looks really, really interested in seeing how that works.

Veronica nods. "Well, there's the other side of the coin… I'm not as strong as a typical royal and I didn't used to be as tough… but maybe I'm a weakling who only seems as strong as a normal person /because/ of the family strength?" she explains as she gives both of her companions a questioning look to see if this added concern makes sense to them as well as her.

Iolion gives a faint shrug. "The hell do I know? I haven't even celebrated my hundredth birthday yet." He reaches for a goblet of wine, grabs Giselle's by mistake, realizes his error, discovers the horror: he has no goblet. He returns Giselle's goblet with a smile before calling out to the waiter, "A goblet!" Pause, beat beat, "And flatbread!"

Turning back towards Veronica he continues with, "I'm not in a position to judge. I've never heard of that happening before, but I'm well-known for being an utter naif when it comes to the Blood. Other considerations: do you ever feel haunted, like there's some dark ghost living in your subconscious that you desperately want to pretend isn't you?" Then, over towards Giselle: "That isn't just me, right?"

Giselle smirks at Iolion. "It might be. I don't feel haunted, but I'm drunk and stoned a *lot*." she says. "Heed these wise words:" she says to him then, her grin suggesting they're not so wise. "Don't let the existential dread set it. Don't let it set in!" Back to Veronica then, she says "Who knows? I'm not sure there are a lot of fourth generation royals running around Amber."

"Iolion, that nightmare of someone or something pursuing me in the dark hasn't stopped," Veronica says regarding his question about feeling hunted after letting her 'elders' speak first. "I'm not sure either but… fifth generation generations like me are likely even rarer. Do you think you could use alchemy to help me find an answer to my quandary?" she asks.

"Who am I to say how the dark ghost haunts us? All I know is how Oberon haunts me," Iolion answers lightly before looking around for the server who hasn't taken notice. "GOBLET!" he shouts to the hapless fellow who didn't hear him the first time. "FLATBREAD! But for the love of the Unicorn, a goblet already!"

Giselle pauses, and then stops further to count off the generations on the fingers of one hand. She mouths 'Oberon, Deirdre, Mordred, mother, Veronica', then ohhs. "Right." she says with a grin, then has another drink of wine. The last in her glass actually, so she then has to refill it. "I don't think I've ever met Mordred, but there's a lot of the family I've never met." Her shrug says she doesn't think that's a huge loss. She smirks when Iolion has to repeat his order, then thinks about something else. "Huh." That's all she says on whatever came to mind, though. She looks again at Veronica, then says "I'm sure I can help you narrow down the likelihood, at least."

Veronica smiles as the redhead counts out her ancestry. When her cousin mouths 'mother' she softly says, "Elenor," informatively - - which some, especially any who are truly observant, might see as interesting as Roni introduces herself as 'Veronica Nayelenor'. "You are exactly right that you shouldn't count that as much of a loss," she says, having interpreted the shrug, and then explains, "As I apparently bear striking resemblance to my grandmother in her youth and I wasn't amenable to his advances, my grandfather attempted to assault me one night. I kept my rooms in the manor locked often after that," she explains on the subject of Mordred and then, changing the subject, she smiles and says, "That would be great," then, assuming it won't be terribly easy, she asks, "What do I need to do to help make that happen?"

"Faiella's looks do tend to run through the line," Iolion observes lightly. "For many years Beatrix and I suspected we were full siblings on the basis of how our appearances differ only in gender and eye color. There's little of Ashby de' Mandrake in her visage, and little of my father in mine."

Giselle sips her wine again as the staff finally brings Iolion his goblet and flatbread. "Yeah, I've heard that Mordred's a real nutter. I mean, way past the fact that we're all bugfuck crazy in our own ways. That's why I won't screw family. Just the thought of it kind of turns my stomach. I've got enough crazy of my own. Don't need anyone else's." She thinks then, before saying "Well, we'll see what the potion churns up. I don't really do much blood work, but I'll take some of yours and see what I can find there. There are blood mages around though, right? I don't know them, but I've heard. Know of any you wouldn't mind studying yours?" she asks Veronica, then nods to Iolion. "Like Clarissa's line, and the red hair."

"I don't know any blood mages personally and - -" Veronica lowers her voice conspiratorially and leans in closer before saying, "- - I was advised to take caution with them anyway." She then takes a sip of her wine and, returning to normal conversational tones, she asks "What type of potion are you thinking of?" in such a way to show she'd rather know what the expected effects are /before/ drinking a concoction than finding out by doing so.

"Think long and hard on that, Veronica," Iolion counsels. "Not all data is information. Alchemy follows its own strange rules, and unless you're a practitioner of the art the answer of 'what type are you thinking of?' is likely to provide you with only the illusion of knowledge, rather than the real thing."

Giselle mms. "Yeah, there's power in blood. The less pieces of yourself you leave with others, the better. Can't be helped for this, though. Part of the answer's there, after all." she says, then has another bite of her cheeseburger before she explains "The potion I made exaggerates personality traits you've inherited through your bloodlines. So, you'd have Amber, Chantris, Tir, Montevalnan… That's a lot to have to filter through. Oberon's is the strongest bloodline, but like you've said there's a lot of diluted with other things. But, taking your blood while you've under its influence might be useful."

A quick nod to Iolion shows that Veronica understands this won't be Alchemy 101 - - more a Cliff Notes version of Alchemy for Dummies… if even that - - and then, showing instant confusion already, frowns at Giselle's explication. "How…" she starts to ask and then resumes with: "What do you mean by under its influence. If I don't have Blood of Oberon - - capital B - - how can I be under its influence?"

"Under the potion's influence, not Oberon's. The elixir magnifies the effect of bloodlines in general; it's just that Oberon's, being the most potent bloodline, gets magnified the most. In someone who's of the Blood, you … basically get your own mini-Oberon running the show for a while. Or, at least, it's how I understand it to be." A pause, and then a realization: he stands up, turns to the waiter, and calls "My goblet or your life! Which is it going to be?"

Iolion resumes his seat, and in just a few more seconds the waiter arrives to deliver a goblet and flatbread, with a heaping side order of abject apologies.

Giselle gestures towards Iolion, as he somewhat clarifies. "It was really only designed to bring out inherited personality traits because I'm trying to distill Oberon's essence into a potion. It doesn't really take over, as such. I'm using it to help identify those traits inherited in order to get as full an idea of him as possible. Which is kind of like trying to make a trump of someone without their presence. I don't know whether it would impact the blood, but it doesn't hurt to try. Actually, I should take samples both before you take the potion and after, to compare them. That would be interesting."

"So… you're actually trying to find what I'm looking for already?" Veronica asks in amazement. She turns to Iolion and, placing her hand on the back of his as she speaks, says, "I'm so glad you mentioned Giselle to me - -" no credit given to a certain Mandrake now, no not at all, "- - this is a delightful development, darling." Then, addressing Giselle again but not moving her hand, she says, "I'm willing but have you worked with people who have as much mixed bloodlines as I have in the past?"

Mmmffph. Flatbread. Hummus. Iolion is in his happy place right now, yielding the conversation back to Giselle and Veronica.

Giselle grins. "Nice when things work out, isn't it?" she says to Veronica. "And nope. You're probably the first one I've met, since my focus has been on isolating the one bloodline. I was just practicing, on Jondrim."

A slight shake of her head at the name indicates that Veronica isn't familiar with Jondrim but her expression is more telling as she has obviously put two and two together now. This sums up to a quick turn of her head as she swivels her attention to Iolion. Staring daggers is the verbal expression and her facial expression illustrates it well. "Is that what you were referring to when you mentioned her - -" she obviously means Giselle and her head tilts slightly toward their cousin although she does not look away from her grand uncle even then, "- - you're going to let her enhance that part of you that you've been trying to avoid?"

"Not 'avoid'. Pretending the dark ghost doesn't exist doesn't do me any favors, Veronica. It's something which haunts me; by accepting it I've made a kind of peace with it." Iolion drags a piece of flatbread over his plate to collect the last of the hummus (lovely hummus). "But yes. Without going into details - - there is something afoot involving the Blood of Oberon, and this ichor is necessary - - Giselle's experiment with it is necessary - - for the security of Amber."

Giselle enjoys more of her cheeseburger while the two get their thing sorted. She doesn't look interested in getting in the middle of it. At all. Nope. She chews on a potato skin then, before saying "Anyway… While I haven't done a lot with blood what you should do is get me as many samples as will help me exclude the other bloodlines. Not just general Mons, for example. Specifically something as related to you as possible. I don't know Nathan Chantris, but his blood or close. But pure Chantris, not mixed with yet another bloodline. I have no idea how to separate Tir, but I'd think if you have Tir, you must have Amber. No? It's the same generation down."

Veronica nods. "I understand. Can you recommend how I should gather these things. Do you need actual blood or…?" Veronica trails off because - - shocking perhaps as she is Chantris after all - - her words escape her.$r

Iolion, distracted by lamb tagine, has better sense than to speak up. After all, that would get in the way of enjoying the Alhambran delicacy.

Giselle thinks about that. "Well, you can always bring them here, and I can draw their blood as part of it. And I can get the idea of their blood from them, maybe again with the potion, so I can in turn separate what they are from my idea of you?" She looks like she's aware she's not exactly explaining it perfectly.

Veronica nods and says, "Well, we have two reasons to go to Montevalno now, Iolion," and then asks Giselle, "Would you be willing to accompany us?" explaining this by adding, "I don't want to make my grandmother have to travel unnecessarily. But… I guess I could bring her to you if that is better?" Her vocal tone, on mentioning her grandmother, shows how much she loves and is concerned for the elderly woman.

"Or you could go there, send a message on arrival, and we Trump in," Iolion points out. "When Trump are involved there's much less reason to go as a group. I have your Trump, remember."

Giselle tilts her head a little to the side. "Never been there to Montevalno. Haven't been to a lot of the Golden Circle, though." Nor does she look overwhelmingly interested in them. She nods to Iolion then, and says "Could do that. And then I just trump back when I'm done."

Veronica laughs - - at herself - - following Iolion's reminder and nods as she says, "Of course, that would work as well," while shaking her head - - again at herself - - over her not thinking of the Royal tools she is only passingly familiar with still. "I still need to figure out which libraries I might be able to get to there on my own also but that's not a problem," she says and adds, "Thanks, I'll look into getting this taken care of then," to Giselle. To Iolion she adds, "Do you want to be with me when I go looking for a map that I think may lead us to a location for that coat I'm looking for or only to the location once I've pinned it down?"

"If you're of a mind for company, certainly," Iolion answers, finally clearing his plate. (The downside of the strength of Oberon is the hunger of Oberon; those of the Blood are not known for birdlike appetites.) "When have I ever abjured your company, Veronica?"

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