2017-03-30: Spice Girl

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  • Log: Spice Girl
  • Cast: Riesenlied, Catenna
  • Where: Adelyn Ranchlands
  • Date: March 30, 2017
  • Summary: In which Riesenlied tries Zortroa food.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

"Baby, I compare you to..."

Odjn is having trouble with her newest hit single, furrowing her brow as she continues to scrimmage on her notebook. Yesterday's advice didn't really pan out and she couldn't really make anything rhyme with 'blame' that sounded good, so...

Riese sighs as she strides along with a package on her arm, looking around for the tent and campsite of a certain someone she first met in Adlehyde and wanted to meet again. "Hmm... around here?"

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

For the most part, Catenna tries not to come to town more than she needs to. It's part of why she's difficult to actually catch. Most people can be found at the bar, or at the fairground; she can't be found anywhere.

Or rather, not within the walls. Outside the walls, however, a few open fields and stands of trees remain. On one of those open fields, a large tent has been set up. In fact it's quite a bit larger than a typical tent - it's draped with grey fabric accented with colourful gold and orange and yellow and black and white, with heavy curtains veiling the entrance, a ring of poles and a frame supporting it. Out front, a ring of stones circles a campfire, a larger stone pulled up to it.

Prodding at a steaming black pot hanging over the fire, Catenna leans and gives her pot of stew a slow stir. Whatever she's making, it smells distinctive. It's probably easy to smell the spices from a ways off, before even spotting the tent. It's not typical Adlehyde food, that's for sure.

The sound of singing draws her ear, and she looks up with a blink, eyes tracking towards the incoming winged lady.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riese is currently still shrouded in her cloak, which somehow folds down her wings sufficiently to not be atrociously bulky. There's a very practiced folding measure there. She tilts her head with amusement at the tent, and then she calls out, "Excuse me? Catenna?" She recalled that she set camp outside of town, but she had to be sure...

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

It's not a terrible tent! It's the sort of tent you can live in for a long time.

The voice is one Catenna recognizes, cloak or not. Canting her head, she gives her food another stir, spoon rolling through the pot. At close range, one can peer into it and see something thick and orange.

"Riese," she greets politely, her eyes searching the woman's face - or what she can see of it beneath that hood. "I hope you are well... though I wonder what has brought you to my camp this evening."

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riese looks very lightly pleased as she draws in gently and says, "Oh, I just wanted to visit you again. I'd not seen you for a while, after that Dig we both went on. I hope you're well?" She sniffs gently. "That's a pleasant scent. It isn't one I've had before..."

Odjn bobbles up and down and says, "Kinda reminds me of that tribe outside one of the shrines!"

Riese holds the package out for Catenna to say, "I brought you a small gift from town. Just a little note of gratitude for your help back then."

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

"It is a mixture," Catenna explains with an incline of her head. "Chili pepper, paprika, saffron, cinnamon, cardamom. And lamb. Would you care for some?" She gives it another stir.

It probably has another name in Filgaia, but it looks and smells a lot like rogan josh.

Odjn gets a curious look from her, but she lets the statement hang, instead blinking with mild surprise as Riese offers up the gift. "Oh. Thank you," she murmurs with a hint of a blush as she steps forward to accept the gift. "I did not think my assistance made that great an impression." With care, she opens the package and takes a look in.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riese appears to have acquired a number of small glass bottles with various kinds of dried, but aromatic herbs -- rose hip, lavender, and a few kinds of fresh ones in a bouquet for cooking as well; tarragon, sage, thyme. "I figure you would appreciate this kind of gift more than, say, wine or a baked snack..."

She tilts her head to the pot with another whiff of the scent. "It is rather pleasant, I would like to try some, please."

Odjn bobs up and exclaims, "Me too, please? I'll sing you a song!"

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Eyebrows coming up, Catenna's expression gives way to a rare, full smile, setting her face alight. "It is a... it is a splendid gift," she murmurs before lifting her eyes to bring the full force of the smile to bear on Riese. It's like the sun coming up.

It softens soon enough, though from the way her eyes settle on Riese more steadily, it seems some inner ward has come down. Tucking the spice box to one side, she reaches for a small stack of bowls, spooning out some of the thick, aromatic lamb dish into each. "There is enough for both of you. And a song may be pleasant. I would warn you that it may be more spicy than you are used to, if you tend to prefer Adlehyde food." She hands the bowls over.

"I hope you two have been well."

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

"I was injured in one of the Digs, but I have since recovered..." Riese relates, slacking her cloak very gently and neatly folding it to one side. Her sleeveless shirt is partially covered with rather extensive bandaging around her chest, though it looks to have been secured and tended to for quite a while now. "And yourself?"

Odjn lets out a little hum as she watches Catenna ladle them food, and starts digging in. "Mmm!! Wow, the lamb's fall-apart tender! And-- whoo!! Spicy!"

Riese blinks, and takes a little bite and--

Politely covers her mouth and starts coughing. Oh dear, can someone not handle their spice?

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

At the sight of those bandages, Catenna bites firmly down to her bottom lip, eyes exploring Riese's upper half a little. "I hope that you saw a very competent healer," she murmurs. "Being wounded in the chest is nothing to take lightly. But I have been... well enough. Going on few adventures, of late, though one a week or two ago."

She smiles patiently as Riese starts coughing, reaching for a tall ceramic jug sitting not far away. She pours some cold milk out into a polished wooden cup, handing it over to Riese.

"I take it you prefer milder food," she suggests.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riesenlied accepts the glass of milk and bowed her head, drinking to soothe the attack of the capsaicin on her taste buds! Demonic taste buds. How do they even work.

Odjn lets out a snigger and says, "Oh, you should have seen Riese the other day, we went to this cool old man's hovel and he was servin' curry and Riese couldn't even stand the 'mild'! She had to put sugar in it!"

Riese's face flares a little bit with a blush, as she mumbles, "N-nonsense! I was merely a bit-- caught off guard."

She takes a deep breath, then says, "Ah, but... I am fine now. Fortunately, there will be no lasting damage as a result of the injury." Her wings slip out and stretch gently to the sides, the winged woman mindful to not knock anything over.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Demonic taste buds: More confused than magnets.

"Oh, you were eating curry?" Catenna asks with a spark of interest, pausing to take a bite of her own food. Her reaction is quite the opposite: She doesn't so much as blink at the spiciness of her own concoction, simply swallowing her bite. "I tried not to make it too spicy, but I was not expecting to share it. I am sorry if it is too much for you."

The blush from the winged woman is enough to draw a faint smile from her. "Next time I will prepare something less... ah... piquant," she murmurs.

Swallowing another bite without so much as a flinch, she nods quietly up to Riese. "I should wonder," she asks, "are you from Adlehyde natively...?"

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riese lowers her head with a polite smile, saying, "N-no, no, please... if this is the level of spice you enjoy, then that is what you should do." A pause as the question, as she places a hand to her cheek. "Odjn and I are from... all the way from the far east, from Elru. We have travelled quite a far way away from home..."

Odjn bobbles up and down. "Lotsa potatoes back in Elru!" The dragon's loving the heat in the rogan josh.

Riese takes another spoonful -- noticeably smaller -- and nips from it, and you could just see her valiant effort to not tremble. Then, a drink of milk. The smile stays on. Forcefully.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

"I tend to prefer spicier," Catenna admits as she lowers herself to a seat near the fire, gesturing to Riese and Odjn to do the same. No need to stand on ceremony. She watches the other woman trying to handle the spice. Her hand moves to her cheek, that hint of a smile lingering.

Then Elru comes up. The dusky-skinned woman blinks a couple of times, clearly startled. She lifts her cup and takes a sip of her milk. Even the milk has a hint of flavour to it - a touch of something sweet.

"Where in Elru?" she asks. "There are not many places there left to be from, after all." She cants her head to the side.

"I am from Elru."

Thessaly has arrived.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

"That's right..." Riese sounds rather regretful, sorrowful, even. She doesn't comment on how Catenna prefers spicier. Perhaps Riese will become a true angel and ascend to Heaven the day she tries Catenna's preferred level of spice.

Riese sits down and Odjn does the same, beaming to say, "I'd love to try the heat!"

"My settlement is not one with a proper name... but it is a small gathering of like-minded fellows who have eked out a meagre living out along the northern borders of the Arctican mountain ranges. I met Odjn in a mine when we were trying to scavenge for usable materials, deep below the Earth, and have been travelling with her ever since."

She sighs a bit fondly, smiling as she sips more milk. "Elru has seen much hardship, but I want to see it come back to life one day." Even if there's a lot of enigmatic notes in her tone... there, at that one moment, she sounds extremely genuine.

Ironic, for a metal demon.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Delicately, Catenna nibbles down another bite of delicious, tender lamb, tongue-searing spices and all. Her capsaicin tolerance seems to be fairly advanced. Upon swallowing, she nods quietly to the winged woman. "It takes some time for your tongue to get used to the heat... perhaps you will get used to it with time, if you choose. It helps to have it with milk."

As the other woman explains, the darker-skinned woman moues her lips. "I did not think anyone in Arctica lived," she murmurs. Again her eyes search Riese's face, as if trying to verify whether or not the woman is lying again.

She can't find a sign of it. She merely nods, sighing faintly. "Yes... it has suffered much, and those who linger there are... troubled. Greatly, I think." She sips her milk before clearing her throat.

"I am from the other side of Elru... the south, near Elesius," she explains. "My people are the Zortroa Kinship."

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

It's not an outright lie. It's just not the whole truth. Riese did spend so much of her life, starting out, in the harsh snowy wastes of Arctica and its surroundings, after all, along with the Tainted. Riese's face seems ... nostalgic, but it is a nostalgia that is reverent, couched in the distant yet kindled memory of hardship.

"I--I'll certainly practice it," Riese nods, taking another careful nip-and-milk. Odjn sniggers to say, "You can't even stand ground black pepper... you should start with that first!"

Riese huffs at Odjn, before she says, "The Zortroa Kinship... is that one of the tribes around the kingdom?"

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

"Even ground black pepper?" Catenna murmurs, her eyes widening ever so slightly. "Perhaps... perhaps that is a place to start, then. It is one of the most simple form of pepper."

One more bite later, she clears her throat lightly. "Yes... we are the... original people of those lands. Long ago, the Elesius men took our lands and drove us to the outskirts. There we have lived since."

Crossing one leg over the other, she lowers her bowl to rest in her lap, giving the edge of it a small tap with her fork. "Do you find Ignas strange?" she asks with a tilt of her head. "The customs are strange here."

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

She frowns on the explanation of the Kinship, nodding slowly. "Elru hasn't been a land of peace and unity... which is a deep shame. And recently, there is that meteor as well -- the Sorcery Globe, which has set people on edge, fearing for the worst..."

A pause, as Catenna moves topics to the question of Ignas. "Hmm... it is certainly strange," she admits, but then she looks a bit wistful as she gazes out the tent door. "But I have always had a love of travel, to see new and distant horizons... to see what the people and culture may be like, and how curious their idiosyncracies are..." A pause. "Ah, I do go on sometimes."

Odjn laughs and says, "And I love hearin' what new folk songs the locals are singin'! I'm writin' a music book, y'know!"

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

"Yes... the Globe, and the Strangers," Catenna murmurs, scratching at her cheek for a moment. "Though I have had few... encounters with them. They are strange... and dangerous."

The woman scuffs a heel against the turf for a moment, tilting her head forward and lowering her hands to fold neatly in her lap. Her bowl has been set aside now, mostly picked clean; she's in no hurry to get more, at least for the moment. "I have... come to appreciate travel, in recent times. Most of my people chose to remain near Elesius, and some to work for them. Coming to Ignas has been... interesting."

As Odjn laughs, she smiles faintly. "I would also like to hear some of this music," she murmurs.

"As much as I am a stranger here... I do not regret coming."

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Odjn wipes her mouth and bobs up. "Then, in exchange for that wonderful and hearty meal!"

She begins whistling a few bars, surprisingly good! She gets herself in the mood, then croons,

"I follow the Ranchlands

Down to Adlehyde
Listenin' to the wind... of change...
An August summer night
Soldiers passin' by
Listenin' to the winds of change..."

"I haven't heard this one in a while," Riese muses. "She wrote it when we first travelled off Elru on a salvage ship. Those were rather trying times. I have to hope your own journey here was at least eventless...?"

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

"The winds of change, you say," Catenna murmurs, leaning forward and cupping her chin in one palm. Her eyes linger a moment on the metal dragon. For a moment, there's an obscure sadness in that look, something profoundly self-mocking in the little hint of a smile that creeps into her expression.

It fades. She shakes her head and lifts her eyes to Riese once more. "Elru itself was more trying than the voyage... I sought for some time to go north and discover what had happened. I... did not achieve much luck at this. The centre of Elru is quite... lawless, and with only the Strangers, now."

Knitting her brows, she straightens herself once again and clears her throat. "...It causes me to wonder why those men of Garlyle were also here."

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

"Yes, that discovery did give me some alarm as well," Riesenlied murmurs with a bit of a frown. She hadn't been able to get any more details on Garlyle, but their presence here was... surprising. And perhaps, in a way, unwelcome.

"It is harsh, and I am glad the snowy wastes did not claim you," she expresses. "The Strangers... yes, they have caused trouble for us as well. I am fortunate to have escaped their notice and wrath before anything truly untoward happened."

At some point, they'll come to blows with the Veruni. Was that their fate, to clash with every other faction and organisation in Filgaia? Theirs was a difficult road indeed.

"The world is closin' in...

Did you ever think
That we could be so close, like sisters?
The future's in the air
I can feel it everywhere
Blowing with the wind... of change..." 

"If I might ask, what brought you to Ignas? Unless it was a journey of discovery...?" Riese tilts her head.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

"The winter is unpleasant... but bearable. It helps that I have a dress with a fur collar for when the cold season arrives," Catenna says with an incline of her head. "As to the strangers, I was... not regarded, especially, by them. I think one wanderer was... unworthy of their notice, perhaps. And I did not seek to change the world, knowing that I... lacked any measure of the power to do such a thing. Elru has been badly wounded. I do not know what has the power to heal her."

As the metal dragon sings in the background, Catenna weaves her fingers together and lets out a slow rush of breath through her nose, considering Riese's question. "...I was no longer welcome there," she says simply, but doesn't elaborate.

She lifts her cup of milk and sips, slowly. Her eyes close for a moment.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riese's expression falls just a bit, and then she nods gently. She closes her eyes. "I would not pry too much to what happened, but... I hope that, if nothing else, you will have the opportunity to make new friends and bonds abroad, as Odjn and I have."

Friends and bonds... but what will happen when she has to discard all matter of subtlety? Will her desire to seek a new world for her brethren be truly irreconcilable?

She opens her eyes again, as the dragon hits a peak with her singing.

"Take me to the magic of the moment!

On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away...
In the wind of change..."
<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

For a long moment, Catenna's silence hangs there. Only the singing of the little metal dragon fills the emptiness.

The woman finally inclines her head, letting out a slow breath through her nose, a muted sigh, of a sort. "Perhaps that will happen," she says, tone one of quiet reserve once more.

She eases to her feet, stepping forward and holding out a hand to collect any empty bowls. "Or perhaps it will be the case that there is no place in this world for me," she says with a simple, dignified shrug. "Whatever the case is, I can only walk forward."

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

"... that is the case for me as well," Riese says, and when she sees Catenna collect Odjn's bowl, she summons all the bravery she has!

And takes a big spoonful.

"Mm..." She politely chews and... and ... and ... You could just see her trembling now ... oh gosh, there comes a single tear rolling down her cheek!

She swallows, and takes the remaining cup of milk and gulps it down. "M-my! But your cooking really brings out the spices to their fullest..." She coughs twice afterwards. She pauses, as she gratefully hands her the empty bowl and cup.

"Once, I thought that I had no place in this world. But ever since then, finding others who were similarly disillusioned... I swore that I would seek a new world instead." A pause. "A world that will accept us, that will know coexistence and understanding..."

She scratches her cheek. "It sounds like sentimental drivel at times, but I do believe in it, in that creed." She wipes the tear off her cheek.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Poor Riese. Poor, poor Riese. Catenna watches the woman suffer politely. She can see that tear. It's enough to bring a gentle blush to her cheek.s "...You do not have to pretend to feel comfortable with it," she says with a bow of her head. "But I am grateful for your praise. Thank you."

Lifting her eyes again, she listens to Riese's thoughts. She collects the bowls in a neat stack, then clears her throat quietly. "I am not sure I see that being... overly much of a problem, for you, if you do not mind my saying so. You seem to be... most outgoing, and rather well-liked. I have always seen you as one who is fairly popular among her peers, and one to attract the eye and the interest of strangers."

Shrugging, she admits, "I am not so easy to love."

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riese tilts her head with a soft smile, saying, "Do you think so? Thank you. But I do have my own moments of introspection and doubt. There are many things I cannot say I am proud of doing."

She pauses, and then smiles as she keeps her hand held out. "And... if no one else, then am I not your friend, at least?"

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

"We all have such times in our lives, I suppose," Catenna murmurs, brushing a lock of hair away from her cheek.

Her eyes fall for a moment to Riese's hand, then lift to the woman's face. It seems like she's digesting what the woman says, sorting through one thought or another. Finally, however, she reaches out - and rather than a handshake, she slides her fingers slowly into the spaces between Riese's, guiding her hand to rest palm-up. With the pad of her thumb, she draws a slow circle across Riese's palm, her touch light, just enough to leave nerves in the creases of the woman's hand tingling as it passes.

"I would be glad to call you so," she says. "Friend."

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

I'm too soft.

Riese ignores her own chiding for a moment, looking towards their hands as she brushes her thumb against the palm of her soft, though glove-covered, palm. Her fingers, at least, are uncovered, for the glove ends with a single ring at her middle finger. "And if you would allow me to, I would be happy to introduce you to other friends I have as well..."

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Catenna doesn't have a glove on. Her hands are slender and neat, delicate in a way, though with calluses that suggest she's no stranger to working for her supper.

"I would be pleased to meet them, if you wish to make the introductions," she says agreeably, before sliding her hand back and folding it with her opposite, bowls set aside for washing soon enough - but not right now. "I do not... know many in the village, for I do not often go there."

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riese nods and says, "I know a few who would be glad to meet you." She tilts her head to say, "And I'd be happy to explore more of the Ruins with you as well, if you've cause to venture into the depths of the unknown sometime." Odjn starts to float up, and Riese gently gets to her feet, pulling her hand up. "Hmm... it is a bit early, but I'd best be moving if I want to catch the caravans southbound. But I am glad we got the chance to catch up."

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

"I am always pleased to explore with you. Please seek me out any time you wish to adventure into one," Catenna says agreeably, taking a step back.

Though her tone remains quiet and calm, the smile she offers Riese, while small, seems quite genuine. "I am also glad. Thank you for your gift... and for your conversation. Please be well, until we next meet."