Tea, Cousins And Blood
Tea, Cousins and Blood
Location: The garden conservatory at House Chantris
Date: October 1st 14 (OOC Year 2017)
Summary: Veronica invites her cousins Giselle and Prudence to tea at Chantris Manor. Over the afternoon meal alchemy and her self-discovery quest is discussed. Prudence agrees to be the donor of Chantris blood and Giselle collects the required sample.
Characters: Giselle, Prudence and Veronica
NPCs: none

This morning, on the first of October almost ten years since the battle of the Guns of Avalon (fifteen years since the return of Corwin to Amber), Veronica had notes delivered to her cousins Giselle and Prudence. Both notes were invitations to an intimate tea time that afternoon, mentioning the other in it as well; Giselle's also requests that she bring the accoutrements required for gathering samples of blood for the experiment they are working on.

As the time approached, Veronica had the kitchen staff prepare the food and drinks and the house staff set up the garden conservatory for the event. Additionally, the butler - - Alfred Butler - - has been asked to escort Lady Giselle to the conservatory when she arrives. The maid who delivered the note to Prudence informed her where the small gathering was to be held.

At the appointed time Veronica is standing in the room, prepared to greet her cousin-guests.


Prudence arrives promptly as a proper Chantris should. She carries only a small satchel with her as she steps in and smiles, enjoying the first hints of autumn through the glimpses she sees through the greenhouse panes.


Giselle skipped her way to Chantris, looking her usual unburdened by cares. Her massive braid sways along behind her as she reaches Chantris and shows her invitation. She continues to skip as she's shown to the conservatory, looking around with great interest. This is the House with all the books somewhere, after all. She smiles then, and waves to Veronica.


"Good afternoon cousins," Veronica says to both of the women as they arrive - - within minutes of each other. "I do not know if you know each other so… Prudence, this is Lady Giselle, daughter to Prince Bleys, a friend of Iolion's and mine as well as an alchemist extraordinaire. Giselle, this is Lady Prdence Chantris, older sister to Duchess Talia and granddaughter of the late Duke Harold." She motions to low chairs set out for the three of them with low tables next to them as is fitting for a proper low tea. She sits only after her guests have chosen their seats and says, "Thank you both for joining me," as a servant brings in the tea and sandwiches to begin the afternoon meal.


Prudence inclines her head politely to Giselle and offers a smile, "Lovely to meet you, Giselle." She glances to both then, "I trust this day finds you both well?"


Giselle makes a bit of a face as she's introduced. Maybe it was the way she was introduced. "Okay." she starts with, though, "Well, hi first. Nice to meet you." she says to Prudence. Then to Veronica, "No Lady, and no Bleys, and we'll be fine. Hearing his name puts me off." She drops into the seat nearest her, the braid tucked under her rear like usual, then smiles again. "It's not bad. Less drunk than I'd like to be. You?"


Veronica nods to Giselle and says, "I apologize Giselle, but for the sake of formal introductions it was necessary - - I promise to not use them unnecessarily in the future." She smiles and indicates the tray containing sandwiche options consisting of ham or tuna salad, salmon with cucumber disks or ham with a rich orange Mon cheese and dill pickle slices which has been set upon a common table their chairs surround. At the same time she asks, "Would you like lemon or milk with your tea and, of course, how much sugar as well ladies?"


Prudence blink-blinks at Giselle's reply. After a moment her hands fold primly in her lap as she replies, "Two lumps of sugar and no lemon, please." And when she's given the cup she smiles "Thank you."


Mmmm… food. Giselle looks at the sandwiches, then says "Just sugar, thanks." before reaching for some tuna and some salmon. She is far, far less prim, and apparently not the sort to try to pretend.


Veronica prepares the drinks and pours her own also with sugar but with the addition of a slice of lemon. "Giselle, Lady Prudence - -" not having been excused from formality by her Chantris cousin she maintains it at this time " - - may be curious about your research into alchemy as, I must admit, am I beyond the meager understanding I have from our previous conversations." As she speaks she looks to Prudence to see if she agrees with this line of inquiry.


Prudence's eyebrows lift and big brown eyes settle on Giselle with a look of great interest, "I am only a novice Alchemist myself. I had been told it merges esoteric knowledge, artistry by craftsmanship, and chemistry-I had to learn more of such a curious thing." She gestures "The solarium and the gardens outside have spared me a good deal of travel in expanding my very limited understanding." She smiles to Giselle, "I would be delighted to hear from a true master."


Giselle says as she bounces a little on the chair "Oh, it's a fascinating area of study. I'm having a lot of fun with it. I mean, when I'm not doing serious things with it. Seems to be a lot of that going on, but I try to break it up a little by cooking random things." Somehow, she manages not to spill her tea despite that bouncing. "For Veronica," she says to Prudence, "I'm trying to identify her bloodlines by gathering pure samples of each and then trying to find them in hers.
Prudence's eyebrows lift at the bouncing and her smile grows wider, "It is always more fun to study something one is passionate about, isn't it?" Her brows knits gently at the mention of bloodlines she hesitates, sensing a delicate topic she considers her words carefully, "I see. How do you plan to do this?"


Veronica nods to reinforce Giselle's words about their common quest and enjoys a ham salad sandwich while she watches the conversation between her cousin-alchemists.


Giselle sips her tea, then says "Well, I took a blood sample from a pure Lyon, and spoke with her some to get an idea of what it is to be of that blood. The sciency side of it can't really do it alone. I don't actually work with blood much, so I took a full vial so I had some spare in case I screw up the first couple tries. My other project us all about distilling the idea of someone, so I'm not taking blood at all. This is different."


"And so I am looking for single bloodline individuals of all the blood lines I may carry… Lyon being one of those, but also Mon and Faiella - -" she then interjects " - - Oberon is quite impossible of course." She then looks intently at Prudence, "And of course Chantris as well."


Prudence ahhhs and blink-blinks again "That is quite a spread of hypothesis to test. Any one of those endeavors would take me months or even years of methodical isolation, study, and eventually experiments. Have you contacted a blood mage? I understand the preservation of blood's essential qualities requires…a great deal of consideration though sadly I don't know what those considerations would be." She looks to Veronica and ahhs and glances between the pair, "So you are devising a test that would validate the blood based on each of these bloodlines?"


Giselle says "I don't actually know any of the blood mages. I really should fix that." She takes a bite of a sandwich, then adds "I'm sure I could learn some really interesting things from them. And yeah, it all takes a while to learn. And it's going to take me a while to finish it all, so Veronica's going to have to be patient even once I have the samples. This isn't simple stuff, even for someone who's been at it a while." She shrugs, then sips her tea. "But it's fun."


"I was advised, by someone I have no reason to mistrust, to steer clear of blood mages in this endeavor, dear cousin," Veronica says in response to Prudence's question. She then says, "And I must admit to having had an ulterior motive here as I believe - - based on my genealogical research - - that you would be a candidate for my search for a pure blooded Chantris. I hope that unless you have reason to doubt that yourself that you might be willing to help me out?" She then adds, to both of her guests, "This may also help our cousin Iolion as well since it seems that Talia doubts the validity of his claim to be a Chantris."


Prudence purses her lips and seems confused, "I don't see why? Blood congeals and…hrrm." She considers, "Well if there weren't already so many other questions to answer might be wise to consider if blood is necessary or if there are more shelf stable collections that could be used to distill one's essence, It is no matter." She blinks at the comment, "Pure blooded?" she ahhhs and smiles in a moment of chagrin, "You would like a sample. Very well, I see no harm in giving you blood samples."


Giselle seems pretty happy to drink her tea and eat her little sandwiches as they talk. She continues to be a little bouncy. "Oh, blood mages know more about how to use blood to affect the person it's from. It's simple transference through the connection. So I get that concern. I don't do that stuff. Causes too much drama. I'm not into drama." she says then. "And there are ways to keep blood from congealing, with other compounds that are still neutral enough not to really change it." The suggestion of other things to collect makes her nod, though she says "Sure, but there's a metaphysical quality to blood, that really isn't there in most other parts that people can part with without really suffering. So it's better than all the easy alternatives." When Prudence seems willing, she smiles.


Veronica again allows the alchemists to continue their conversation, not wanting to press or rush the favor once asked. Instead she continues to snack on the small sandwiches between sips of tea.


Prudence blinks at this and oh's, "I suppose blood mages ought to call to mind something sinister now that you mention it." her cheeks color. She wonders, "Is it to be collected now or shall I visit your lab, Giselle?"


Giselle shrugs, then says "They don't necessarily do sinister things. I don't really believe that just because you know how to do something, you will. I mean, we all know how to hurt people in some way. Doesn't mean we will, right? I'm sure blood mages can also heal and do other good things." Then, "I could do it here, sure. If you don't mind?"


Veronica remains studiously quiet on the subject of not hurting someone - - sure, those times she has in the past there were justifications but it is an unnecessary argument to bring up. Instead she says, "She collected the blood of a Lyon - - Queen Igraine to be specific - - in the garden of my great-grandmother's manor elsewhere in Amber," to testify the ease at which this can be done.


Prudence shakes her head, "Not at all. How do you wish to collect it?:


Giselle smiles again, then takes out a few things from a pouch. A small vial of clear liquid, and then another that's empty. Another bag of small, clean cloths. A thin wrapped bundle of a few inches long. "It's not too complicated. I'll clean the area, we'll make a cut, then let the blood drip down a glass rod into the vial. Igraine just sliced her palm. It was dramatic." She smirks slightly. "I get the impression she likes dramatic."


Veronica smiles. "One would think she was part Mon if both she and her husband - -" she adds, "Sir Harold of Lyonesse," for Prudence's benefit, " - - hadn't sworn to the contrary."


Prudence ahhhs and allows a wry smile "I am sorry to have to dissapoint you there, I'm afraid. Blood I will gladly give you however." She ahhhs and smiles "I suppose we must take them at their word, I suppose." As if Pru is wholly new to Amber.


Giselle chuckles. "I'm okay with skipping the drama." she says to Prudence. "Anyway, it worked well enough." Meanwhile, she's put down her food and drink to put some of the clear liquid on a cloth. She uses that to disinfect the spot being punctured. "You're welcome to watch when I work on it, if you want. I'm not exactly cagey about how I do stuff."


Veronica's face lights up with pleasure at Giselle's offer to her fellow Chantris. "I am pleased to hear this offer since - - as I see it - - this benefits you in such a way that it might be seen as the beginning of a repayment for your favor you are gifting me right now, Lady Prudence," she exclaims before adding, "As far as I am concerned you have my thanks yet again for this offer you have made, Giselle," to the redhead.


Prudence rolls up her sleeve and readies a handkerchief in case there's a less to tend to, looking to Giselle and following her instructions.


Giselle smiles at Veronica, then turns her attention to Prudence again. The one vial is stoppered, and the other opened. The wrapped bundle turns out to be a thin glass rod of a few inches tall, and it's set in the empty vial so that it stands perfectly straight. It helps to be an earth mage, who causes a small piece of stone to appear at the bottom, holding it in place so the rod doesn't lean. She has a long, thin blade as well that's been cleaned, and makes a small puncture enough to draw blood and let it make its way down the rod into the vial.


Veronica, having been distracted the other day in the garden of the Obsidian Townhouse, watches the gathering of the blood more closely this time and - - so as not to distract and possibly lead to injury of Prudence - - remains quiet as she does so.


Prudence offers her arm and looks away so she doesn't flinch or jump, allowing Giselle to collect her samble and staying still.


Giselle is very careful, and takes her time with it. She fills the vial as much as possible, then moves the thin rod away and puts another clean cloth against the hole. The rod is removed, and the vial stoppered. "I'll let you know when I'm going to do the work?" she says to Prudence.


Veronica seems pleased with Prudence's fortitude though this as - - in her apparent opinion and personal experience - - it is unusual amongst most noblewomen. She asks, "Do you think you could verify Iolion's Chantris blood as well as the work you will be doing in regards to trying to find out if I bear the metaphysical markings of my twice-great grandfather's blood, Giselle?" of the Pathi-Royal.


Prudence ahhs and there's a look of discomfort but not at the bloodletting but rather about Veronica's request though she keeps her attention elsewhere.


Giselle starts getting everything cleaned up. "It's really not that easy a thing to do." she says to Veronica. "Verifying a bloodline even through alchemy. If it was easy, there wouldn't have been so many people not sure of their bloodlines throughout Amber's history." She has another sip of her tea.

Giselle suggests "Why doesn't Iolion try to learn something that only Chantris blood could let him learn?"


"Talia - -" Veronica again leaves out the Duchess' title "- - seems to consider him not to be family. Many things that would qualify require some access to the manor that she denies him. Thus there is a paradox that to gain access to the house he must learn something that requires access to the house…" she trails off at this and adds, "But if it is not possible then it is not possible. I am convinced simply by his faculty with languages, I have seen none other but those of our family that are that talented in such an arena."


Prudence frowns gently, "Her grace and I have discussed the matter and the terms by which he would be able to gain recognition were very clearly expressed to him. If he would look and should he ask it of me I will revisit this topic with Her Grace."


Giselle looks from one to the other, listening. Her lips purse, then she says "Sounds like more drama. I'll just focus on the things I'm already doing." She says then with a smile, then reaches for another sandwich.


Veronica ohs at Prudence's comments and nods - - with a smile - - to Giselle. Not adverse towards drama herself, the Montris asks, "What were those terms and conditions, Lady Prudence?"


Prudence says, "That he make a contribution to the house. The title of Lord or Lady is one of duty as much as it is of priviledge."
Giselle grins after another sip of tea. "Another reason not to call me 'Lady'. I don't do duty. I'm just here for the fun."


Veronica frowns and shakes her head. "The gal that woman has," she says about the Duchess - - she is obviously not a fan.


Prudence frowns gently, "My sister has man more sacrifices for this house than nearly the entire family combined and she has never complained not once." She moves to stand, "She certainly is not obligated to fret and coddle every stray or rogue cousin who somehow feel as if they are entitled to demand more while offering little. All I know is Lord Iolion has yet refused any invitation to be anything other than selfish." She sniffs and holds pressure to the cut, "I beg your pardon for losing my temper. Thank you for the invitation." She dips her head, "Lovely to meet you, Giselle. Good luck on your projects." She turns then to whisk off.


Giselle looks like her mind is simply not clinging to the issue between the women. It just slides off her. When Prudence prepares to go, she smiles to the Chantris woman and says "Nice to meet you, too! And thanks."


As Prudence departs, Veronica says, "Drama is in my blood so I extend my apologies to you both," to her guests.

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