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    Dinner with the Harrowdens

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    Curtana
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    Re: Dinner with the Harrowdens

    Post by Curtana on 20/07/12, 12:07 pm

    "She works at the Rack," said a lightly teasing man's voice. "Which is very appropriate, if you've ever seen the barmaids' outfits." He bore a resemblance to Aleyn, but had more conventionally handsome features, long hair tied back from his face, and an easy smile.

    "Bretyn! It's the Rack of Antlers," Tavya corrected her brother, rolling her eyes. "Kallista, please ignore my obnoxious brother."
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    Re: Dinner with the Harrowdens

    Post by tuck on 20/07/12, 12:12 pm

    "Well, I'm sure the other rack is almost as impressive," she said with a grin to Tavya. She offered her hand to Bretyn.

    "Nice to meet you Bretyn. I'm Kallista."
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    Re: Dinner with the Harrowdens

    Post by Curtana on 20/07/12, 12:17 pm

    Bretyn raised her hand to his lips to kiss it. "Charmed to meet you, Kallista. The guests Aleyn brings home aren't usually so lovely."

    Behind his back, Tavya rolled her eyes yet again.
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    Re: Dinner with the Harrowdens

    Post by tuck on 20/07/12, 12:36 pm

    Kallista laughed as Bretyn gently kissed her hand.

    "Such a gentleman," she said "I'm guessing you're the charming brother then? I'm surprised you're not here with a date. You must have to beat the women off of you with a stick."
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    Re: Dinner with the Harrowdens

    Post by Curtana on 20/07/12, 01:22 pm

    "Only if they ask very nicely," he said with a sly smile.

    "Ugh, Bretyn!" Tavya exclaimed. "He doesn't have a girl right now because his last one wanted him to cut his hair and he was too vain to do it."

    "Well, just look at Aleyn - at least with it long I can keep it from looking totally ridiculous," Bretyn said with a shrug that suggested he wasn't too upset about having lost a girl over something so petty as a haircut.
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    Re: Dinner with the Harrowdens

    Post by tuck on 20/07/12, 01:25 pm

    "I don't know," Kallista said, "I kinda like Aleyn's hair. It always looks like he just got done having entirely too much fun."
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    Re: Dinner with the Harrowdens

    Post by Curtana on 20/07/12, 01:31 pm

    "What did I do now?" Aleyn asked as he reappeared from the kitchen, having evidently caught his name but not the rest of the conversation.
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    Re: Dinner with the Harrowdens

    Post by tuck on 20/07/12, 01:35 pm

    "Oh!" Kallista said with a smile as Aleyn approached once more, "I was just telling your brother how much I like your hair. It's fun to tousle."

    She immediately demonstrated this fact, much to Aleyn's dismay.

    "How's dinner coming? Is there anything I can do to help?"
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    Re: Dinner with the Harrowdens

    Post by Curtana on 20/07/12, 01:56 pm

    Aleyn made a futile effort to smooth out his hair. "Actually, I think we're just about ready to eat. They're bringing things out to the table. If you'd care to join me?" He offered Kallista his arm politely.
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    Re: Dinner with the Harrowdens

    Post by tuck on 20/07/12, 02:01 pm

    "Awesome! I'm starving!" Kallista said

    She took Aleyn's arm graciously, waving to his two siblings with a wink as they headed towards the large table.

    "Should I sit anyplace in particular?" she asked.
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    Re: Dinner with the Harrowdens

    Post by Curtana on 20/07/12, 03:07 pm

    "You can sit beside me," Aleyn told her as they made their way to the table. "I'll try to defend you from any annoying siblings," he added with a smile.

    The large table was set with places for all the adults, and a small table was set off to the side for the children. The centerpiece of the dinner was a roast of lamb, but the rest of the table was practically covered with heaping platters of vegetables, rice, bread, and various little bowls of sauces and pickles and spices.

    The family were beginning to take their seats at the table - everyone seemed to know where they were supposed to go. Aleyn quietly pointed out the family members Kallista hadn't been formally introduced to yet, his brothers Maynard and Ciryl, Maynard's wife Korrine, who seemed mostly occupied with the baby she was holding, and Lystra's husband Tomas, easily distinguished from the others by his blond hair and ruddy complexion.

    Aleyn was just preparing to take a seat when his mother stopped him. "Aleyn, you're at the head now, remember."

    "Oh. Of course," he said quietly, and moved obediently to the head of the table, beckoning for Kallista to come sit to his left. The family members shuffled around as necessary until finally everyone was seated.
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    Re: Dinner with the Harrowdens

    Post by tuck on 20/07/12, 03:23 pm

    Kallista smiled a bit nervously, keenly aware of just how much her red skin and horns made her stand out from every other person in the room. Still, everyone she had met so far had been welcoming and friendly, and she was easily adaptable to most any social situation.

    She sat down and winced slightly as her tail got stuck between her backside and the seat, forcing her to shift it around and accidentally lightly smack Ciryl, who was sitting next to her, with the end of it.

    "Oh, gosh, I'm so sorry!" she said awkwardly, with an apologetic smile at the young man. Looking beyond him she saw Tavya looking back at her with an amused grin.

    "I'm not used to chairs with solid backs.."
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    Re: Dinner with the Harrowdens

    Post by Curtana on 20/07/12, 03:30 pm

    "Oh, I didn't even think of that," Aleyn said. "Is it too uncomfortable? There's a stool in the kitchen if you want that instead, I could just go get it..."
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    Re: Dinner with the Harrowdens

    Post by tuck on 20/07/12, 03:32 pm

    "Oh, no!" Kallista said, "It's fine! Really! I just kind of... heh... lost control of the tail for a second. It has a mind of its own sometimes. It's fine now."

    She turned back to Ciryl, slightly redder than before.

    "Sorry again."
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    Re: Dinner with the Harrowdens

    Post by Curtana on 20/07/12, 03:42 pm

    Ciryl, who was somewhat shorter and less skinny than his brothers, gave a little shrug and a nod. "It's okay," he said, so quietly he could barely be heard over the chatter from others at the table.

    The commotion died down, however, at some unseen signal from Aleyn's mother. "We should give thanks for this," she said. "Maybe our guest would like to say some words?"

    Aleyn shot Kallista a look, ready to intervene in case she wanted to be rescued from this unexpected request.
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    Re: Dinner with the Harrowdens

    Post by tuck on 20/07/12, 04:05 pm

    Kallista turned to the matron of the house, her smile frozen in surprise and slight panic.

    "Uhhh... sure?" she said, uncertainly.

    She hadn't seen any specific shrines or altars in the house, or even any holy symbols, so it was hard to tell what god or goddess the Harrowdens revered. Unfortunately most of her own religious observation was limited to Avandra worship, and she doubted that the deity of luck and travel would particularly stand out to a stable family of city-dwelling glass smiths. She guessed that Erathis would probably be a safe bet here in Highmark, but she also knew that Aleyn's mother was an immigrant. Kallista knew next to nothing about Akhasian religion. Did they even have the same gods there?

    "Ummm... ok. Uhhh..." she muttered to herself as all of this ran through her head. Finally she took a deep breathe, closed her eyes, and folded her hands, deciding to simply plunge in and make it up as she went. After all, that was how she operated best.

    "Gods above and below us, thank you all you have given us. We praise you, Erathis, for the safety we find in this home and the company of friends and family. We thank you Melora, for the food we now share and the earth that provides for us. We send our prayers to you, Pelor, for the sun that warms us and the light that guides us. We beseech you Avandra, to guide our steps and protect us in the darkness. We are grateful to you all, and to all of the other gods and spirits who have blessed this house."

    She opened one eye cautiously, peering at Aleyn.

    "Was... was that ok?"
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    Re: Dinner with the Harrowdens

    Post by Curtana on 20/07/12, 05:47 pm

    "It was great," Aleyn assured her with a smile. Everyone else seemed to find her words acceptable as well, or at least no one complained, and soon the food was being passed around, and the conversation resumed, and Aleyn's mother kept encouraging everyone to take more, because apparently they were all far too skinny for her liking, Kallista included.
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    Re: Dinner with the Harrowdens

    Post by tuck on 20/07/12, 06:41 pm

    Kallista breathed a sigh of relief and smiled as the Harrowdens began passing dishes around the table in a haphazard manner. Before she was even aware of it, her plate was filled to overflowing with all sorts of delicious smelling foods. She ate delicately at first, unsure what polite table manners might be in this situation, but after a few moments she dug in more heartily to the delicious meal.

    "Gods, this is delicious..." she said to the matriarch, "I don't think I've ever had any of these dishes before. Are they Akhasian?"

    As she spoke to Aleyn's mother, her tail slowly crawled along the ground underneath Ciryl's chair, before brushing very lightly against Tavya's ankle.
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    Re: Dinner with the Harrowdens

    Post by Curtana on 20/07/12, 06:54 pm

    "With some adaptations," Nasira nodded. "Some of the spices and herbs you can't get here, so I try to find things that are at least a little similar."

    Tavya started when Kallista's tail touched her, but fortunately no one seemed to notice her odd little jump. "Um, so, Kallista!" she said brightly. "Do you have a boyfriend or.. or anything like that?" Several heads turned at the table - apparently there was some interest in the answer to that question.
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    Re: Dinner with the Harrowdens

    Post by tuck on 20/07/12, 07:08 pm

    Kallista thought for a moment. There wasn't really an easy answer to that question, or at least not one that most people would understand.

    "Sort of," she said, "It's kinda complicated."

    She pondered how to best phrase things to not shock Mrs. Harrowden and not scare off Tavya.

    "Nothing exclusive, though," she settled on.
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    Re: Dinner with the Harrowdens

    Post by Curtana on 20/07/12, 07:33 pm

    "Well, you're still young," Nasira said tolerantly. "Lots of time for settling down."

    "Yeah, and if I was traveling all over Nerath I wouldn't want to get tied down to one person either," Tavya said with a grin.

    "You don't travel anywhere, Tav, so what's your excuse?" Bretyn replied sweetly.

    "What Mom said," Tavya retorted. "I'm still young. You're a whole two years older than me, so you don't even get that excuse anymore."

    "Ciryl's two years older than me," Bretyn defended himself. "Get on his case first."

    Ciryl mostly just looked alarmed, green eyes going wide.

    Aleyn intervened before his siblings could get the knives out. "No one has to get married if they don't want to. Since I'm sitting at the head of the table, I think I'm allowed to decree that."
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    Re: Dinner with the Harrowdens

    Post by tuck on 20/07/12, 08:21 pm

    Kallista laughed to see the siblings squabbling. At least that much she remembered from her own childhood, although there seemed to be significantly less chance of *actual* bloodshed in the Harrowden household.

    "I'm glad to hear that!" she said with a wink to Aleyn.

    She popped another piece of bread in her mouth before turning to his mother.

    "So, Mrs. Harrowden, how long have you lived in Highmark?"
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    Re: Dinner with the Harrowdens

    Post by Curtana on 20/07/12, 08:58 pm

    Nasira's brow furrowed. "Aleyn, how old are you turning?"

    "Thirty-two, Mom," Aleyn supplied between bites of bread. He didn't seem disconcerted that his own mother couldn't remember how old he was - maybe with so many kids in the family it was a frequent matter of confusion.

    "Well then, thirty-two years, or a little more, because Aleyn was already on the way when we got here." She looked a little wistful, her tough expression softening. "I was twenty. For all of you who are complaining you're too young to settle down - I don't mean you, though, dear," she added to Kallista. "I do try to keep the nagging confined to my own children, at least."
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    Re: Dinner with the Harrowdens

    Post by tuck on 20/07/12, 11:27 pm

    "Oh, don't worry, sometimes I need nagging," Kallista said with a grin.

    "Twenty is pretty young. My mother didnt have me until she was... thirty two, I think. I was her only child. Although, I've noticed here in Highmark people seem to be eager to have kids as soon as they're able. Personally, I love kids, but I plan to wait a good long while."

    Her tail coiled very gently around Tavya's ankle.

    "There's still way too much fun I need to have before I settle down."
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    Re: Dinner with the Harrowdens

    Post by Curtana on 21/07/12, 09:35 am

    Tavya giggled for no obvious reason. Lystra gave her sister a sharp look, and then turned to ask Maynard how business was going, which took that side of the table off in a lengthy conversation about glass-making. As far as Kallista was able to follow, several of the siblings worked in that trade, although possibly making different ... kinds of glass? Even Ciryl chimed in occasionally to interject some brief comment.

    Aleyn turned to Kallista and said quietly, "They'll talk shop as long as no one interrupts them - I don't even understand all of the technical stuff, so don't worry."

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