Tea Time for Scholars
If anyone wants to give a brief lecture or even entertain the crowd, send a message ahead of time to be added to the list.
May 31, 2023, 8 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Compact - Vellichorian Academy - A Cup of Teaology
Comments and Log
Cosimo has joined the a set of sofas upholstered in forest green silk.
A Cup of Teaology has been arranged for mingling and conversation today. Each of the small wooden tables has a fresh floral arrangement in the center and the pedestal has been brought out to the front of the platform at the far end of the room. A small sign has been set up near the entrance, announcing the event and the names of four teas that will be part of today’s tasting, all from various areas of the Crownlands.
Agric stands next to the sign, wearing polished black boots, and a pressed black suit with a purplish bowtie. On the raised platform is his assistant, Eve, who is setting up a small drum alongside a chair. Both bears quite serious expressions.
As people begin to file in and make themselves comfortable, Agric turns to Eve and points to some of the staff here, before focusing on greeting the arrivals. “Welcome. Wonderful to see you all. Please, find a seat and make yourselves comfortable, I’ll be announcing a small activity for us shortly.”
A lanky shadow seated in a corner of a green silk sofa, Cosimo was already loitering and thumbing his way through a slim volume bound in cracking leather. Dressed in black seasilk almost as mournful as the expression on his face, dark amber eyes rise to Agric along with a slender, ink-stained set of fingers to wave with a sort of weariness about them. "Lord Agric Leary. Thank you. A pleasure." He lifts a cup of aromatic coffee to his lips for a hearty sip.
Seated nestled in the green silk upholstered sofas, is Denica Thrax. Always curious, like a cat, she sits quietly and observes as people come in. There's a sketchbook on her lap, because that's her default tool to aid in engaging and or avoiding social interactions. Paint-stained fingers busy themselves with a piece of broken charcoal as she waits for the event to start. The serious expressions on the hosts faces make her fidget. Agric got a wave as she entered, but she seemed to be early enough to find a cozy spot out of the way.
Ryhalt enters the room though he disdains helping himself to tea. Instead he settles into a seat and smiles to Agric as he welcomes them all."
Oswyn makes his way into the room, looking a bit windblown and vaguely sweaty, as though perhaps he had to walk very quickly to get here. Or run, maybe.
1 Saik Guard, Micana, an efficient assistant arrive, following Lucita.
Lucita quietly slips into the gathering, a quick glance around given those who are attending. She stays silent at the moment, not disturbing anyone.
Ann wanders into the A Cup of Teaology. A satchel to her back. She must have come from the stacks. Nods given to those familiar to her and a smile for Agric as he greets everyone as she moves to find a seat.
Titania comes walking into into the room, her eyes looking around as she never been here before. Her cloak pulled about her form as she looks around to find a place to take a seat.
Intrigued by the tea event, Marquessa Quenia Igniseri has made her way to the Vellichorian Academy. She's dressed warmly for the fall season and shrugs off her cloak upon arrival, then goes to find a place to settle down. She makes note of those people who have also arrived, perhaps to ask questions later.
Oswyn squints at everyone gathered even as he pulls out a seat and drops down into it. "Wonderful to see you all," he announces cheerfully.
The greetings are quick and efficient, which Agric actually appreciates, and as people settle down he takes a moment to scan the room. There are both new and familiar faces all around, including the Archscholar, which may induce a flutter of anxiety. Not that he's going to show it.
With a nod to Eve, he approaches the podium on the raised platform while she takes the seat in front of the drum. Three swift taps are given to the instrument before Agric clears his throat.
"Thank you all for coming. I thought it would be nice to gather some of the city's scholars together to discuss current research topics, trends, and methods. As some of you know, I have only recently returned to Arx from Leaholdt and I am still getting to know many of you." Pause to scan the room again. "As such, I've arranged a tasting of Crownland teas and a series of questions for all of us to get to know each other a little better. Should you wish to partake, I ask that you find a partner for the evening."
Eve taps the drums three more times. A signal to partner up, perhaps.
Ann looks around and then approaches Oswyn, "Would you like to partner with me?" Smiling at him. "This time its not alcohol."
Titania looks over to Ryhalt and gets up, "Duke Ryhalt, would you be my partner for the evening?" she asks in a soft tone, a soft smile is given as she waits for his answer.
Quenia glances around the room and after a moment her eyes settle upon Cosimo. "Lord Cosimo?" she inquires. "Would you mind partnering? After all of our tutoring sessions, I don't think we've ever had a chance to get to know one another properly." Lucita is given a warm smile of recognition, as is Oswyn.
Oswyn looks up at Ann, squinting, and then smiles. "Yes, of course," he tells the woman. He gestures to the seat nearest him. "I trust you've been well?"
Defiantly sipping from his cup of coffee, Cosimo nods somberly at Quenia with a fleeting smile. "Marquessa Quenia, I would be honored to be your partner. You are right, with all the tutoring we've hardly spoke of anything of substance besides it." Inky fingers brush through his messy black locks, rendering them even more unruly.
Ryhalt smiles warmly to Titania as she asks and gestures to the seat beside him. "It'd be my pleasure, Lady Titania. I hope one of the questions isn't 'do you like tea'. It'll be awkward."
Lucita glances around as she spots people partnering up and spots Denica. "Have you a partner yet?
Ann smiles when Oswyn takes up her offer and finds her place next to him. "I have been well. I sincerely hope the same can be said of you, Archscholar." Giving him another smile as blue eyes track the room in general as she waits for further instructions and goes towards Agric.
Glancing up, Denica wiggles her eyebrows at Lucita, "happy to join you Lucita."
Titania chuckles as she moves to sit down and join the Duke, her gloved hands resting in her lap. "Tea is good if it is spiked." she winks at him and looks around.
"Mostly very very busy and not spending enough time here," Oswyn admits to Ann, though he turns his squinty attention to Agric shortly thereafter.
Lucita moves over toward Denica and says softly. "What might be your area of interest now? I've nothing particular of myself, just helping others with their research for the most part. The explorers have been researching the travels of the Sunset Wanderer lately. Lady Medeia is trying to find out if there is any information we have overlooked regarding Saikland Greens. We've been looking into that for months but not turned up anything new yet.... well new as in we did not know it.
"Excellent," Quenia grins in Cosimo's direction, pleased that he'd be willing to be her partner for the evening. She goes to settle in the seats near to him, arranging her skirts neatly around her as she does. She then pours one of the blends of tea for herself, not at all opposed to the drink as some others might be. She then turns her attention to Agric to see what the next steps of this meeting might be.
Agric watches from behind the podium as people begin to pair up, pleased to see that things are running smoothly and that everyone does seem in the mood to chat and get to know each other better.
Once partners are made and everyone has rearranged their seating, Agric gives a look to the staff and the first round of tea is served. “We begin today with a Deepwood fruit tea, light and slightly sweet, like a pleasant memory.” Small cups are given to everyone who accepts, and then a sampling pour.
“For me, a lust for research and knowledge began at an early age, when my family first told me stories of the Nox’Alfar. I thought it might be nice to share with each the topic or experience you can best remember that set you on your path as a scholar.” He opens his arms as a gesture to the room, and Eve gets groovy with the drums.
"I actually like tea just fine, but since I was already working on a very delicious cup of coffee from Bold Expressions I didn't feel like getting rid of it," Cosimo confides quietly to Quenia with a most subtle of winks, then sets a hand below the cup, absorbing the warmth. "So, Marquessa. What sparked your interest first and when? I imagine Granato and House Igniseri must have a very storied history." Facing her with a keen look in his eyes, he politely declines the small cup of tea to avoid a beverage disaster.
"I'm interesting in everything. Perhaps that is the challenge, trying to narrow things down. Though, admittedly I haven't had much time for research. Trying to finish up projects, but I suppose I was looking into mass dreams and or collective visions, for lack of a better term, but that's neither here nor there," she says conversationally to Lucita. Then Denica lets her attention drift to Agric and then to Eve on the drums. The tea is received and tasted, lips pursing together as she considers the flavour. "I'm not adverse to tea, I like it. I just don't opt for it when I want something to drink. Coffee or whisky, usually. Depending on what I'm trying to achieve," then a small shrug and she looks at Lucita to see how the woman enjoys the brew.
Quenia checks composure at hard. Quenia marginally fails.
Oswyn quietly thanks whoever pours him the tea sample, glancing from them with a smile back to Ann. He raises the cup to his lips and has a sip. "Ah. Interesting. I suppose I've always enjoyed books? My family is, uh, they run an archery shop in the Lowers. I was always a very bad shot, though I can make arrows fine, believe it or not. Books don't really require seeing into the distance, however. What gave you your interest in knowledge and reading?"
Quenia grins widely at Cosimo and his banter about the coffee. "There's nothing wrong wanting to finish a drink you brought with you," she confides in him. She accepts a cup of the tea to be sampled and sips at it delicately. However, when the question is posed to Quenia not once but twice, from both Agric and Cosimo, about what got her into scholarship, of all things, she ends up staring openly and blankly at the both of them. "I... I don't know," she says, her voice sounding rather uncertain at the question. She looks confused for a moment.
Ryhalt grins at Titania. "Now, I'm going to argue that spiked tea is a complete waste of booze! If you need to fix a drink to make it drinkable, what's the point!" He shakes his head as the server comes along with tea, grimacing a bit. With the prompt for discussion, he turns his seat towards Titania. "I came about my scholarly fever a bit because of the events leading up to me becoming unexpected Duke. I didn't have the breadth of knowledge required to run the Duchy, let alone improve upon it. From there, I also study matters of personal interest or those of friendly interest. I am not disciplined enough to claim I'm a scholar for I treat it more a hobby." He grins slightly. "It's just a hobby I take seriously and do as often as I may."
Ann turns in her seat to get the tea sample from the one who is doing the server and there is a smile for the one who did it. She is smelling the tea before she drinks it. Or waiting for it to cool. But it gives her a few minutes to process Oswyn's words and his own inquiry about her. Nodding her head a time or two to indicate she is listening and hearing what it is he's saying. "That is a talent in of itself making arrows. I think I am okay in archery but to make arrows? I think that is beyond me." Smiling as she finally takes a sip and makes an mmm sound. She did notice how Oswyn squints but doesn't call on that as she figures out the man before her that she is having a conversation with. "Don't get me wrong I loved adventuring in the woods and in the mountains but there is something to be said in being lost in books and finding your own adventure and different worlds there. It made me want to know more and gain more knowledge as a result."
As the discussions begin, Agric weaves his way through the small room, just picking up things here and there and making slight noises of interest, approval, or surprise. He makes sure to have his own cup of tea to sip from. Quenia catches his attention early on and he frowns at her response. "Well, that's quite alright. This isn't a test and you're in good company," he says, hoping to ease her confusion as he passes by.
"Whole worlds in the pages before ever setting foot outside Arx," Oswyn tells Ann cheerfully. "I suppose I started with books and then eventually went outside."
Titania takes the cup of tea and nods a thank you, she brings it up to smell and then a light sip is taken. She does not mind tea," Okay I will give you that, but I have tasted a mix before that it was very pleasant." she chuckles as she watches him turn to her, she in t "I think my hunger and interest for books started at a young age but did not fully come into force till I came here to the city. My cousin gave me a book to read and it went from there, I am much the same I do not call myself a scholar but it is something I enjoy doing. Reading and learning."
Quenia glances up at Agric as he tries to soothe her and seems to take some comfort in his words. She gives Cosimo an apologetic look. "I /think/ it had something to do with Princess Cara Grayson showing me some of the papers her husband Prince Laric Grayson wrote for the King, but I cannot remember, for the life of me, why that happened. Just - that I felt pretty shaken by whatever that information was. She was trying to get me up to speed on events in Arx, as I'd arrived just after the Silent War, but... I can't remember why I'd come to Arx in the first place." There's a long pause as though this is a recent development, then a nervous sip of her tea, and then she asks Cosimo, "What about you? What got you into scholarship?" That's probably as much to get the topic off of her at present.
Smiling faintly at Quenia with a little shrug of his slender shoulders, Cosimo breezily replies, "Oh, that's fine. I imagine for most of us it started young. I can't quite remember exactly either. With Sabella being groomed to rule I was more or less left to do as I liked. Part of what I liked was digging into our library in Iriscal about all sorts of things." Musing with his fingers going for a second brush through his unruly mop and remaining there, he squints and snaps slim fingers together. "Right! I think I recall some of the first ones, it was about family history back in the very old days. When we were known for being quite different than we are now." Stated with confidence, fingers finish their travels and return to the cup. But then his chin tilts up, eyes wide with curiosity. "Oh, really? Hmm. Perhaps it was so disturbing as to make your mind seal it off in unease. Very interesting, that."
There's another sip taken from the Redrain princess as she glances over at Oswyn. Putting her cup down. "What is your favorite thing to do outside?"
Lucita listens to the others speak and to the prompt given for conversations. She accepts a cup of tea and takes a sip. Finally she says to Denica. "It has been over a dozen years since I started to research things. I think the first ones were about 'singing' or perhaps the Metallic Traitor. It all blurs together after a few years. It really hit a peak though back in 1008 and 1009 when having to research the blackened glass in Saikland and events surrounding it.
"Oh. Drawing," Oswyn tells Ann. "I like getting right down on the ground and drawing whatever interesting things I find there. Mushrooms, flowers, other plants. Birds, if they're close enough and I can sit still enough not to bother them. And you? What's your favourite thing to do outdoors?"
Ryhalt grins and nods thoughtfully to Titania's start in scholarship. "It's definitely something to enjoy. Plus it's very satisfying to be able to converse with someone and be able to hold up your half of the conversation. That and I find enjoyment in puzzling out the mysteries of our world. The more I learn about some things, the more I realize how very little I know. Makes me wish I had time for more, but I do what I can."
"Perhaps," Quenia replies uncertainly to Cosimo, but does her best to shrug that away. "They were pretty disturbing papers about the dangers of the world we might be facing," she confides. "After that, I started looking into dreams and visions, which I've completely exhausted in the library's findings" she seems to echo on the heels of Denica's own admission to Lucita. "And then into some of the threats my holdings might be facing with the Sylv'alfar," she adds. "Now, I'm interested in most fire related topics, although I've nearly exhausted those and everything on fire related topics save interests in Goldenpyre and Brimstone. Right now my research is focused on Goldenpyre."
Ann looks thrilled when Oswyn speaks of drawing. "That sounds delightful." There's a small laugh but she answers the man, "I like climbing trees and reading in a hammock."
Agric takes the podium again after enough time for people to share and finish their tea samples. There’s a gentle rumble of the drums. “Fascinating discussion,” he says to the room. “I thought we would have different sparks in our lives to bring us here today, but I didn’t realize just how varied they would be.”
He waits a moment, then lays his hands flat on the podium. “Now, while it can take only a spark, a moment, or a single event to get us started, I’m sure that we can all agree that our pursuits take time and effort. They are often beset by hurdles. As we enjoy our second tea from my own home, the famous Leaholdt mint tea, I pose this question: When times are difficult, and it seems like you might be getting nowhere, what is your approach to problem-solving during your research? I myself could not have completed a number of projects without the help of talented mentors and assistants.”
Picking up the teacup with paint stained fingers, Denica studies the shape of it in silence. The steam plumes and the princess leans to catch its aroma. There's enough time to pause and consider this, divesting from the general conversation for a moment. Then something catches her attention, and she tilts her head, her side-long look directed at Ryhalt. "Do you find your views on tea are met with controversy in the Oathlands?." Denica can't help but ask the question. It's been on her mind and this is an open conversation. Then she glances briefly at Quenia and then in general her shoulders shrug, "I suppose I approach things differently. What works for me. When I want information, I talk to people. Their experiences will tell me what I want to know, stories or their own academic pursuits. That, and I have very hard time sitting still for any period of time." Glancing about, the princess offers a warm smile and then takes a sip of the tea, tasting it finally.
3 House Velenosa Guards, Matteo arrive, following Arman.
Arman makes as unobtrusive entrance as possible before quietly seating himself amongst the other guests.
Face rather solemn again, Cosimo murmurs gravely to Quenia, "Quite serious reading indeed, Marquessa. I can see why they'd spark dreams, although visions is another topic altogether. Are you at all familiar with a sort of waking dream triggered by touching something?" This time, his curiosity seems to take a slightly less professional tone, a sharper interest. He rests an arm on the back of the couch, elbow planted like a hinge where coffee can be easily delivered to his mouth. "Fire? Is this something to do with your lands and the Igniseri seal? Or something altogether different? I have my own Metallic interests, so to speak. A very interesting bunch! I imagine one could study them for years and years and not run out of information to dig up."
Oswyn nods in Denica's direction and adds, "I do, too. Talk to people. If I think I know someone who might know, I'll ask them. Or I'll put out a general notice that I'm looking into something. I also try to cultivate a list of experts so I can guide others to people who can help them when I'm not able to. Which is fairly often." He smiles at Ann. "Or sometimes I just send assistants into the archives."
"Oh yes!" she says with a bit of excitement in her voice, "It becomes mind blowing some times when you think your grasping something and you understand it just to have something come along and make you realize you did not." she oohs as new tea comes around and she puts the other she had in her hand down. She looks over and gives Denica a smile and finger wave. She hmmms at the next question that is asked of them, "I will look to my cousins to ask questions and if I find I am struggling I find myself turning to speak to Mangata often when I am stumped." she smiles, "It is something I have done since I was a young girl." she tells Ryhalt and sips her new tea.
Ann grins as she listens to the conversation in general. When Oswyn looks at her she's nodding. But then she answers maybe in an unconventional way, "When things are troubling for me in my own research I have found if I get good sleep it makes things look fresher and brighter in the morning. Mind you, I have stayed up all night worrying over things as I study but it seems sleep is the best solution for me."
Lucita listens to Agric then back to Denica as she accepts the second variety of tea, gently blows across the steaming surface and takes a small sip, nodding in approval. "I use a combination of talking to people, asking guidance from some scholars, and speaking to other bards about ancient songs that might give hints or hold information. Talking to people, as you said though Princess Denica, is amid one of the best methods, others may have already found that which you seak.
Agric happily takes a cup of the Leaholdt mint tea and walks around the room with it, sipping now and then as he listens. "I might be interested in speaking to you about those experts, Archscholar," he tells Oswyn as he passes by. Then, to Lucita, "There is so much history in songs and art, isn't there?"
"I also like how people get, when they talk about something they know. That passion that comes through in either the words they chose, or how they present their story." A small shrug and the small princess picks up her charcoal and begins to sketch again. Though she's looking down, she seems fully engaged in the conversation. The question though is met with a response, "I do a lot of things. Sometimes I will, do something different. Or, I might paint. Painting usually helps me put my thoughts together." Then a pause, "but mostly, I will poke at things and I will cause trouble until something happens, and then go from there." Another honest shrug, Denica returns to her sketching.
"Family history," Quenia answers with regards to the fire topic first. "It was suggested that I study it by Prince Laric," there's a pause as she once more becomes confused about something. "Although I cannot remember the reasons why he asked I look into it," she admits again, ducking her head behind her glass of tea a moment to hide whatever expression that might be on her face. She clears her throat, then lowers her tea to sip at the minty goodness, then says, "As for dreams... no. My Dreams aren't like that." There seems to be something of an emphasis on the latter usage of dreams. "As for problem solving, I often go to friends and family to talk things through, or colleagues - in the case of the Mirrorguard. Sometimes they might have an insight or another piece of the puzzle that I might not have considered previously." A pause then she asks, "What about you?"
"Of course," Oswyn tells Agric. "And I'm always looking for more, too." Focusing his attention back to Ann, he has a taste of this second tea offering and remarks, "You know what? A good night's sleep is very, very helpful. You're quite right."
Ryhalt grins wryly at Denica's question about tea. "I'm afraid even my House is divided on the topic. My wife cannot stand coffee, I cannot stand tea." He laughs merrily, though. It probably wasn't a martial problem! "I swear everyone tries to make me drink it just to see my utter annoyance! It's practically a sport to invite me to a teaparty." Agric's next question causes him to scratch his sidewhisker in thought and he nods in complete sympathy to Titania's saying sometimes new knowledge changes everything. "Oh man, that is frustrating, too. Had a few times where I was certain I completely understood something, then I discussed it with someone and found I had to change my mind entirely. Thankfully it's the nature of the beast that we continually find and hone our understanding. Otherwise, it'd be discouraging." He answers the next question by saying, "When I encounter problems, I tend to try a different tack and see if I can get a better angle on it. Things are more related than most give credit to." He looks curious about Mangata. "Does she give you answers or do you sort of have a feeling where to look to find the answer?"
Ann has gone quiet. Content to listen for a few as she takes in the mint tea now. There's a slight thumbs up for Agric when he comes around. Silently complimenting him on his homeland tea
Lucita sets her cup of tea aside as she uses her hands to gesture. "Sometimes the information no only changes how one might think, change a mind, sometimes it contradicts other information you have till you don't know which to actually believe, or perhaps wonder if a missing bit of information might clarify the difference.
"Family history. Always a fascinating topic to delve into, even if you can't recall why. No doubt you will in time." Cosimo is not so rude as to peer at Quenia's expression being hidden away behind the teacup, although the slight lift of brows indicates a curiosity building up about the holes in the Marquessa's memory. Sniffing at the minty fragrance in the air, he sighs and nods slowly, "I have wondered about the Mirrorguard. Perhaps someday you can tell me more about it. As far as when I am stuck," he murmurs sadly with a mournful, downcast gaze, "I would go to my sisters. Without them, I am bereft of that solution. I wander the halls of the palazzo in the dark, or the stacks, brooding. Sometimes it helps."
Agric smiles at Ann’s thumbs up, glad to know there’s at least one fan of the mint tea here. Speaking of tea, he has a third to announce, one that maybe even Ryhalt will like!
He waits until the conversations wind down and then takes the ‘stage’ again. This time, he’s approached by Eve, who whispers something in his ear and hands over a small folded piece of paper. With a nod, he approaches the podium.
“Our next tea hails from the Mercier family. It’s an experimental fermented type, sure to deliver a stronger flavor than those you just tried.” His gaze sweeps the room. “Now, my research assistant, Eve, a recent graduate of Leary Academy, has interjected with a question of her own.” He unfolds the paper, clears his throat and reads.
“If your research was...an ice cream flavor...what would it be and why?” Agric turns to Eve with *a look* and gets an energetic drumroll in response.
"I'd go to my sisters, but Iovita is often traveling as a Mercy and Leena is off galavanting all over the place trying to find new things to invent," Quenia says with a wry expression. "Not that I fault them. I'd be off traveling more too if duty didn't call and I didn't have to lead the family. . . " her voice trails off a bit as she answers Cosimo and she's looking confused again. She sets down her tea and absently rubs at the the still healing scar of a large bite on her arm, her brows drawing together.
Oswyn is squinting at a younger scholar who's appeared at his elbow to whisper something to the Archscholar. Oswyn smiles faintly, tiredly, and nods to the assistant. To Ann, he says, "Pardon me. It appears I ought to attend to some other matters. I'm sure there's a group that would be pleased to have you join." He squints about, then gestures. "Perhaps the Marquessa Quenia and Lord Cosimo?" Oswyn rises to his feet, adjusting the strap of his satchel as he moves.
1 Templar Knight guards leaves, following Oswyn.
Ann is overheard praising Oswyn.
Titania smiles at Rayhalt, some of her hair falling into her face. She leans in to say something to him in a soft tone, then she looks up as the next question is asked. She moves a gloved hand over her mouth as she covers her giggle. After a moment she tries the next tea and her nose wrinkles, putting the tea down. "What flavor would my would my research be?" she hmmms softly. "Chocolate with a dash of sea salt." she nods her head.
Lucita finishes the latest offering of tea and rises. "This is so interesting I am really tempted to remain and continue the discussions but duty calls and I need to leave. Thank all of you. And the tea was very good."
1 Saik Guard, Micana, an efficient assistant leave, following Lucita.
Ann watches as Oswyn looks to be leaving. She understands how sometimes duty calls. She shifts in her seat to look at the group as as a whole and tells the other princess, Denica, "If I had to choose an ice cream flavor as my research it would have to be something involved with whiskey because from being from the North it is my favorite and research at times makes me the happiest." A hand raised in good bye for Lucita when she too takes her leave.
"I am very glad that you perhaps will see them again though, even if they are currently running about. Likely they'll return home again, yes? You sound like you wish you could be in their place. Ruling is a heavy, serious duty," Cosimo opines to Quenia with a respectful dip of his head, glancing down at the bite scar on her arm with an openly questioning expression. "What happened there?"
"Hot pepper. Can that be an ice cream flavour? I imagine it could be, I mean anything can be added to ice-cream, hot pepper and wild strawberry," Denica decides of ice-cream and research. There's a smile to Ann as she comes over and sits down and nods agreeably with her answer, "whisky ice cream would taste good. I'd like that."
Fermented tea? The look on Ryhalt's face is priceless in the way he's totally thinking why anyone would ever want to do that. He turns that one down, an avowed coffee addict that won't be converted by tricks like this!!! Instead he leans his head closer to Titania to hear what she whispers, nodding to her with a smile as he whispers in return. Now the next question has him laughing. "I have to pick just one?! I'm going to rebel! I'd say mine is vanilla with every single toping you can put on then you stir it together and taste it and find that you need to add in more. Then you realize you need a bigger bowl. It's everything flavored?" He grins widely. "But chocolate with salt sounds nice. Keeps you focused, I imagine? Me? I just... I get distracted by a 'wow that is very neat, I need to know more' moments."
"I'd say that my current ice cream flavor would be cinnamon," Quenia answers the question posed first before addressing any other comments by Cosimo. "Because it is a bit spicy and can burn your tongue at times, like hot things tend to do." She also passes on the fermented tea, having set her cup down for the moment to rub at her arm. "Leading is a serious duty," she agrees, furrowing her brow again in that confused manner. "And I used to be like my sisters, I helped the family in various ways but that all changed . . . when I took over leading the house. . . " Quenia's voice trails off because it seems to be another thing she's forgotten, which seems to be a pretty big thing to forget things about. She looks down at her left arm that she's been scratching when Cosimo asks her what happened. "Oh? That?" She clears her throat, looking a little sheepish. She hasn't forgotten this, it seems. "I got bit by a wolf while out on an expedition." The bite is pretty deep and still healing.
Agric steps over to Oswyn and offers his thanks for the Archscholar's presence today, says goodbye to Lucita, then makes sure Ann is comfortable with the new arrangement. Though he didn't approve Eve's question, it appears some people enjoy it, so he lets it ride. Still, he feels the need to tell Ryhalt not to get too carried away, despite almost smiling at his rebellion.
"Is tedium a flavor?" Arman asks quietly with a wry smile. "Because that's something I distinctly taste when squinting at a ledger deep into the night with all the candles burned low." He then looks to Cosimo and offers lightly, "You asked about the Mirrorguard. Think of it as the Night's Watch, but for the entirety of the Lyceum, not just Lenosia or Southport."
Titania chuckles hearing Ryhalt speak about his Ice cream, "So the Duke is very chaotic." she grins, she picks up the cup of tea she was drinking before the last one came out and sips at it more. "So you like to have more a milk shake then a bowl of ice cream."
Denica looks up briefly from her sketch to laugh at Arman's choice of flavour, appreciatively.
Coffee forgotten in his left hand, Cosimo's dark brows furrow into an expression of concern for Quenia as the confusion continues. "Marquessa, cinnamon is an excellent flavor and I do like that reason for it. I was thinking it over and I came to the conclusion that I'd like one of berries." His eyes glance over to the side at Arman with an amused smile, "No doubt a dusty ledger by candlelight deep into the night would evoke strong notes of tedium with hints of weariness, Prince Arman. Yes, the Mirrorguard sounds like a rather worthwhile bunch, so to speak. The good of the Lyceum is important to all of us." He strokes his chin with a hum towards Quenia again, "I see. My sister had much to learn, much preparation to lead. I had the freedom of a spare. It was rather nice. A wolf? Does that happen a lot? Where was this expedition, around Granato?"
Denica is overheard praising Agric.
Ann is overheard praising Agric.
Denica has left the a set of sofas upholstered in forest green silk.
Cato, a stealthy non-descript man leaves, following Denica.
Ryhalt laughs to Titania and nods. "As a Farshaw is expected to be. I'd be strange if my research were perfectly ordered and categorized. There's stuff in there I have to wonder why it even got in there! But, then some of those turn out useful later." He laughs at Titania's question if he'd rather have milkshake to ice cream. "Yes! Research on the go is the best way. I'm still waiting on that invention that lets me read while exploring, after all. I need to take breaks, so I'll come back to a milkshake regardless! May as well embrace it." By his broad grin, he more than embraces it, but then he never claimed to be a professional scholar.
Agric turns to Arman and lifts his brows. "Ah, glad you could join us," he says. And since the man has found some people to speak to, he doesn't feel the need to force another arrangement. Instead, he takes the stage one last time.
"I have certainly learned about some interesting flavor choices today. My own, at the moment, would be distinctly minty." He pauses to compose himself and then lifts his chin. "Our final tea will be out shortly, Ashford linden tea with honey. As you try it, I want you to think of the future. Share what you hope your research will bring to you or the world. Then, I hope you will stick around to continue your discussions and perhaps even find a suitable partner to assist you with your project. After all, together we can work to preserve the knowledge that makes our world and society whole."
"No, I don't imagine it happens a lot," Quenia responds to Cosimo. "I was out in the Gray Forest and met a wolf." She seems to shrug the bite away as if it was something inconsequential. "I'm fine, it'll heal," she assures him. "What flavor of ice cream would your research be?"
Titania laughs at Ryhalts talk of being chaotic." Duke Ryhalt, I look forward to the day we work on something together." her smile widens at him. She looks to Agric as he speaks his last question, her smile falters slightly as she looks from Ryhalt to her gloved hands now. Perhaps finding herself becoming a tad with drawn or shy, she licks her lips as she thinks of how to answer it.
Arman takes up the newly offered tea and wafts its aroma under his nose before setting it down gently again. He says to the group, "I must admit my research is entirely focused on the Lyceum. As Prince of the ruling House and one of its eldest members I considered myself somewhat of a historian. What, if anything that might offer the world I cannot rightly say. But each of us has a storied lineage, one worthy of record and remembrance."
Ann takes her time to take in this last tea that is offered. She tells the group in general when Denica takes her leave now. "I do my research for the future generation as well as for those of us here now." Those that know her know that she is a Mother of three. It seems fitting that would be her answer. Always seeking to make a better future no matter what that looks like. Then she is making that mmm sound. She must have found the honey.
That question seems to have an easier answer on the tip of Quenia's lips to respond with. "I do my research to help save the world from the dangers that lurk." It is short, simple, and to the point.
Finishing his now cool cup of coffee and placing the empty clay vessel on a nearby table, Cosimo nods once at Quenia with a hum, one brow arched upwards. "I have heard there's all sorts of wild beasts in the Gray. I've gone on some travels in there, but I've not yet come face to face with a wolf. From that bite on your arm I'm going to consider myself fortunate. My research? What flavor?" Squinting for a moment, he guesses slowly, "What's the flavor of forgetting? Of absence? Of emptiness? I have no idea," he finally sighs with a chuckle, then smiling at Arman. "I do some research on the Lyceum as well. Our homeland is a vast and interesting place."
Ryhalt hears Ashford for the last tea and is torn, but his sister is well aware that tea is his natural enemy, so he declines it too! "Wow, that's a question..." He looks to Titania and smiles in some quiet understanding at her hesitancy in answering. He reaches over and gives her arm a gentle squeeze. "The future of my research is to better lives. As many lives as I can reach, whether it be those living within my fealty or friends whom I'm helping. While there are some topics I'd dearly love to write some treatise on like the scholars of old, I don't have the time for that. My brand of research isn't well suited to that. I find those rays of light to give guidance to stuff like that, though."
Agric steps off the stage and takes the honeyed tea down with him, finding a seat among the crowd. "I don't know very much about the Lyceum," he admits, hearing Arman and Cosimo speaking of it. "It would be interesting to learn more." He blows on his tea a bit and then sips from the small cup.
Quenia glances over at Arman a moment, tilting her head curiously. "I do wonder what the origination of the Lyceum is. Or, at least, why House Velenosa chose a fox as its symbol. I was once told that House symbols often go back to the original animals of the world." There's a pause, then she cautiously states. "And, uh, if ever approached by Fox... uh... watch out. She's very tricky." Which might be cryptic, or not, depending on who you're talking to.
Titania looks to Ryhalt as he touches her arm and the smile returns to her lips, "And you have helped Duke Ryhalt." she smiles as she looks to the new Tea, picking it up but she does not sip it right away. "I find this question hard to answer." she says softly looking to Ryhalt. "I apologize." she looks back to the tea in her hands.
Cosimo has left the a set of sofas upholstered in forest green silk.
2 Tessere trained guards have been dismissed.
Arman murmurs some apologies as he begins to stand to take his leave, answering Quenia as he does, "Procella Pravus united the hundred cities prior to the Reckoning, forming the Lyceum. Unfortunately the bulk of our histories were destroyed during the Crusade of Shattered Mirrors by Oathland... invaders..." He dips his head politely to all gathered, "I would be delighted to sit with anyone to discuss Lycene history at any time. Simply send missive. Good day to you all."
Arman is overheard praising Agric.
Ryhalt smiles with true pleasure as Titania says that. "I'm glad to hear that. Sometimes one only needs a little light in the dark to find the answer's been there all along." He rubs his sidewhisker as she finds the question difficult to answer. "No, no need to apologize. If I took a guess at what it'll be it's just enjoying what you discover, having it inspire you."
3 House Velenosa Guards, Matteo leave, following Arman.
Titania smiles at Ryhalt a look given of thanks, "It has and I have you to thank you for it." she smiles and brings the tea up to sip from it. She looks around at everyone else then to Ryhalt. "After we spoke last I ended up speaking with someone and found some things out that lead me to the Shrine of Mangata to pray to her." she grins, for the disciple all things lead back to the goddess in her eyes.
Ann puts her cup down and then rises from her seat. Straightening her skirts and pulling her satchel to a more comfortable position. Looking to all but especially to the man of the hour Agric. "Thank you for hosting. But I should go check on the children and give those that were taking care of them a break." Smiling to all, "If I can be of a help in any future research with any of you please let me know." Then she proceeds to make her way out.
Ryhalt glances about as he seems to realize he's gone somewhat quiet around them. He smiles a little sheepishly, having gotten into the topics a bit much. He was a Farshaw, it happened. Looking back to Titania, he chuckles. "That is good to hear. For an Oathlander I am terrible at that sort of advice. Or, I guess oblivious? It's just obvious to go pray?" He laughs lightly and shrugs. "I forget that isn't always obvious and sometimes encouragement is needed. Even for those with strong faith."
Quenia finishes up her tea and everything else, and then offers her excuses to go before she leaves.
Captain Curls, an attentive, ebony guard poodle, Aspira leave, following Quenia.
2 Armed Confessors, Angwyn the otter, Mordred, Abner, 2 Redrain Guards leave, following Ann.
Titania is overheard praising Agric.
Titania smiles, "Perhaps we can go and continue this talk over a drink?" she says with a smile, her eyes find Agric, "Lord Agric, I think you for holding this." she says to him, her eyes meeting his. "I enjoyed it very much."
"Ah, I must go. Seems like there's a thing needs to be handled back home," Cosimo states after getting a message from his messenger, leaving quickly with a wave.
Ryhalt nods to Titania and chuckles lightly, flashing a playful grin. "As long as said drink is not tea." As it seemed time to be leaving, he unfolded his seat and waited to escort Titania to wherever they decided to have a drink. "Yes, thank you Lord Agric."
Agric lifts his cup of tea to everyone departing and says, "It was nice to see you all. Thank you for coming."
2 Farshaw trained guards, Suzette - a Westrock Aerie Page leave, following Ryhalt.
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