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    A walk in the gardens

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    elanya
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    A walk in the gardens

    Post by elanya on 16/02/13, 12:46 pm

    The Arbor's gardens we one of Highmark's marvels, and on the few days a year where they were open to the public, flocks of visitors wound through the paths to marvel at the beautiful arrangements, the exotic plants (some of which, it was rumoured, existed nowhere else on Arth), and the subtle messages they implied to those properly educated. A chance to stroll through them with no disturbances was a much rarer treat.

    Some may have thought fall - the dying season - would have been one of the garden's duller seasons, especially once most of the city's trees had begun to drop their leaves. But the Arbor was still washed in colour from late blooming plants - bare branches proved natural trellises for flowering vines, arranged around splashes of brilliant orange from trees that had not yet abandoned their colour, and beds carpeted by daisies, coneflowers and lilies.

    Vedran smiled, wrapping his coat around himself a little more tightly against the chill, offering Ardith his arm as they stepped outside into he courtyard - an archway hanging heaving with grapevine and clematis led from there to the gardens proper.

    "We won't have time to see all of it," he apologized in advance, "but I can show you the highlights, at least."
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    Re: A walk in the gardens

    Post by Josh on 16/02/13, 03:40 pm

    Ardith favored Vedran with a coy smile.

    "A private tour of the Arbor more than makes up for any brevity with novelty."

    She let him lead her through, admiring Jesseryn's masterful work.

    "You know, my parents had their first kiss here," she offered idly.
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    Re: A walk in the gardens

    Post by elanya on 16/02/13, 04:08 pm

    "Oh?" Vedran returned her smile. It was nice to get a little more time with her alone, and he was feeling a little more relaxed now that dinner was over. Hopefully he could stay that way. "It's a lovely spot for it."
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    Re: A walk in the gardens

    Post by Josh on 17/02/13, 03:08 am

    "I'd say so," she said, giving Vedran a sidelong grin.

    "They're pretty fond of the story. It was around this time of year, too, at a party Lord Jesseryn was throwing. One of his old campaigns on the Council. They lagged behind a group touring the grounds, stopping under one of your father's hybrid witch-hazels. Dad said it matched mom's scales perfectly; mom said it cast a spell on them."

    She smiled brightly.

    "As you might have guessed, the story's been embellished over the years," she said with a wink.
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    Re: A walk in the gardens

    Post by elanya on 17/02/13, 09:50 am

    Vedran grinned in return. "Oh, I can imagine - memories like that tend to be so special to the tellers that the stories struggle to keep up. I'm sure my father isn't complaining, either, if people are attributing more magical properties to his works."
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    Re: A walk in the gardens

    Post by Josh on 18/02/13, 12:13 am

    "I'm sure that's true, on both accounts," Ardith replied. She raised a eyebrow at Vedran as she continued. "And you? Any 'magical' stories of the Arbor to share?"
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    Re: A walk in the gardens

    Post by elanya on 18/02/13, 12:41 am

    Vedran smiled, blushing a little as he recalled some 'magical' memories that wouldn't make appropriate conversation topics even if he felt more at ease with them. "Oh, you can get in to all sorts of trouble out here," he answered vaguely, trying to think of something he *could* share. "I remember showing Brenn around the experimental gardens once time - I'm still not even really sure what we got into, but the rashes were very unfortunate."
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    Re: A walk in the gardens

    Post by Josh on 18/02/13, 07:36 am

    "I'll remember to be careful," Ardith said, chuckling. "So, did you spend a lot of time here in the gardens growing up?"
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    Re: A walk in the gardens

    Post by elanya on 18/02/13, 07:57 am

    "As much as I could," he answered, "but not as much as I might have liked, I suppose. I was mostly raised by my mother. If I was up here it was usually to visit my father, but he did try to make sure I has some opportunities to explore." He smiled again. "I'm sure he'd have been quite pleased if we'd all turned out to be druids."
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    Re: A walk in the gardens

    Post by Josh on 18/02/13, 12:39 pm

    "I get the impression Jesseryn is fairly particular in his pruning, yes," Ardith replied with a sly smile. "So, why didn't you? Become a druid I mean. Lack of interest, youthful rebellion, a hatred of dirt?"
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    Re: A walk in the gardens

    Post by elanya on 18/02/13, 01:01 pm

    Vedran chuckled at that. "Oh, a combination of things. I never had much aptitude for it, or the right kind of patience. He already had Jeremyn too, so I never really felt a lot of pressure to follow after him... And maybe a little pressure not to, from other sources," he admitted with a shrug. "I always liked people more than plants anyway. How about you - did you ever consider not going in to politics?"
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    Re: A walk in the gardens

    Post by Josh on 19/02/13, 12:21 am

    "Should I feel self-conscious if I say no?" Ardith asked somewhat sheepishly. "I mean, I didn't necessarily know I'd end up where I am. I thought about just staying with the temple, but you know how it is. It'd be hard to be anywhere in the leadership of the Erathan temples and not be involved in politics. This seemed more expedient for the kind of work I want to do."
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    Re: A walk in the gardens

    Post by elanya on 19/02/13, 12:30 am

    Vedran smiled. "No, not at all. But how did you figure out what kind of work you wanted to do? Following up more on your grandfather's legacy?"
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    Re: A walk in the gardens

    Post by Josh on 19/02/13, 05:16 am

    "Essentially, yes," Ardith replied. "I don't know if you remember, when the Northern Campaign ended, things were pretty bad for NPCs here in Highmark. The work the temples were doing, great though it was, wasn't enough."
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    Re: A walk in the gardens

    Post by elanya on 19/02/13, 08:25 am

    "I do remember - I came home from Ahkas in 1006, after travelling around with my cousin for five years... He's a cleric of Avandra, and a complete pacifist. It was really jarring to learn we were at war, and then to see how we were treating our own people afterwards."
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    Re: A walk in the gardens

    Post by Josh on 19/02/13, 08:29 am

    "I can imagine," Ardith commented gloomily. She forcibly brightened as she continued, changing the subject.

    "How was it in Ahkas? I've never been."
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    Re: A walk in the gardens

    Post by elanya on 19/02/13, 09:35 am

    "Overall, it was wonderful - it was an amazing experience, and it was really exactly what I needed at that time in my life, though of course I didn't realize it right away." He smiled a bit ruefully at that - having just been back to Ahkas recently made it easier to remember how hard it had been to adjust the first time to being an actual target of prejudice. "I really learned a lot about people, as well as just having a chance to see more of the world. I think if I'd never gone, I'd never have looked to adventuring later on."
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    Re: A walk in the gardens

    Post by Josh on 19/02/13, 09:46 am

    "I take it you're liking adventuring then?" Ardith asked pleasantly. "Certainly you seem successful, but I would imagine it gets...tedious, I guess. Frustrating, maybe? I love my friends, but spending weeks at a time cooped up with them or traipsing through the wilderness with them, I don't think I could handle."
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    Re: A walk in the gardens

    Post by elanya on 19/02/13, 09:58 am

    "Parts of it are tedious, sure - but I really enjoy it, and I find travel very freeing. And ah, being cooped up isn't always so bad..." he said, blushing again before continuing. "I also find it helps give me better perspective on what's going on in the world. We have a chance to see things that are happening and make connections in ways that people who aren't doing the same combination of travel and troubleshooting might miss."
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    Re: A walk in the gardens

    Post by Josh on 20/02/13, 07:12 am

    "Hmm. Maybe I should try traveling when its not business-related," Ardith mused with a smile. "What exactly do you mean by connections others might miss?"
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    Re: A walk in the gardens

    Post by elanya on 20/02/13, 09:31 am

    "Well," he admitted apologetically, "It isn't really light after dinner conversation, but it does, for me, tie in to what we're trying to do in Nachtur. The short version is that there are groups operating in Nerath who have been taking advantage of existing unrest, especially in NPC populations, to cause greater destabilization... The riots in Thantopolis were part of it, but it is spread further than that, and we know that it is a concerted effort."
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    Re: A walk in the gardens

    Post by Josh on 20/02/13, 10:28 pm

    Ardith made a small frown, considering. She wanted to know more about what Vedran was talking about, but he was right: this wasn't light after dinner conversation. Maybe she could schedule another meeting soon, or there would be a good time later tonight to talk about it. For now, she tried to refocus on the plan of getting to know each other better.

    "So, for all you haven't followed your father's footsteps, it seems like you have big plans for Nerath regardless," she said with somewhat obviously-forced lightness.
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    Re: A walk in the gardens

    Post by elanya on 20/02/13, 10:59 pm

    "I don't know about plans," he said, shrugging and mentally chiding himself for letting things fall into a more politically serious tone, but it would be an excuse to talk more later, at least. "I know there are changes that I would like to see, but I don't have the same kind of vision, in terms of figuring out how to help them come about." He smiled at Ardith. "I need to find the right people to help me with that."
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    Re: A walk in the gardens

    Post by Josh on 21/02/13, 12:08 am

    "Well, I'd like to think you're on the right track," Ardith replied cheerily.

    She allowed a bit of a pause, just taking in the garden for a moment.

    "Speaking of plans, though, and I hope this doesn't sound like thinking too far ahead, but have you given thought to what you want to do after you stop adventuring? Aleyn mentioned he had considered being a guild manager, and I think I recall Capulette saying you'd been doing some of that side of things for your team already."
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    Re: A walk in the gardens

    Post by elanya on 21/02/13, 12:23 am

    "It's something I've been giving a lot of thought to recently, really. We'll be pushing tenth level soon, and that tends to be about the upper limit as far as guild work goes. I had thought about GMing, because I think adventuring is important for all the reasons I told you before... But now I think is it more important to make sure I see things through as far as I can with Nachtur, in whatever way I can make myself most useful."

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