lethevale_mods: (Default)
Lethevale Mods ([personal profile] lethevale_mods) wrote in [community profile] lethevale2016-10-30 10:20 pm

{GAME OPENING} the old life blowing and roaring

Who: Everyone!
Where: The whole of Lethevale
When: October 31st, from mid-afternoon onwards
What: A storm, a town, and a beginning.
Warnings: TBC

The storm blows in apparently from nowhere, on a cold October afternoon. The bright autumn sunlight is blotted out within moments by thick, roiling black clouds, shrouding the mountains in shadow, and a cool breeze quickly becomes a howling gale. In Lethevale, and the countryside all around, windows are shuttered and lanterns lit, and townsfolk wrap themselves in blankets and huddle by the fire to wait out the storm. The inns set lights at their windows, and wait for a night's business - probably a poor one, with so many huddled in their homes.

Not everyone's so lucky. There are plenty of travellers on the road, and why not - until the storm came in, today looked set to be a fine day for journeying.

By the time the sun goes down, an hour or so into the storm, the lashing rain has become hail, stones of ice a good inch across thudding into the wet loam. Lightning flashes in the sky, and when the thunder rolls, it echoes against the mountains, coming back on itself over and over again so that it seems to last forever. This is no time to be outside. Better seek shelter, and company, if you're trapped out on the road.
insufficientjewel: (Injured)

[personal profile] insufficientjewel 2016-11-01 05:25 pm (UTC)(link)
If Waver's travel had left him tired, it was doubtless nothing to the new arrival's. When Francis ducked into the inn, he was a mess, drenched in mud and dripping rainwater, shivering from the cold and with a large bruise starting to form under the grime on his face.

He stopped in the doorway, still shivering, to scrape the worst of the mud off his boots and pull off his cloak. It wouldn't do to start his visit by making more work than necessary for whoever cleaned up this tavern when the night was over. Once he was satisfied that he'd done what he could, he picked up the heavy-looking bags he carried, and, limping a little, headed for the bar, exchanging a few words with the landlord. A few coins changed hands, and the landlord beckoned him through a back door, to the rooms upstairs.

Around ten minutes later, Francis came over to where Waver was sitting, carrying a cup of wine and a plate of stew. He'd cleaned his face and hands a little, but not changed his clothes, and he was still shivering.

"Excuse me," he said, his voice clipped and polite, "but would you mind my coming to sit here? It's close to the fire, and I'm afraid I..." He broke off, sneezing explosively. "...I could use the warmth."
teratias: (04. Shoves at)

[personal profile] teratias 2016-11-01 06:31 pm (UTC)(link)
Waver's first reaction was to be mildly annoyed that anyone was talking to him. He was fairly sure he had the look of a man who wanted to be left alone, but then again, sitting near the fire negated all of the go-away atmosphere he had tried to create.

"You could use dry clothes," he said, arid as a desert. He looked from Francis to the nearest seat, then back to Francis without hiding his judgmental tone. "Because you'll just be sitting in a puddle, and that doesn't actually help you warm up. If anything, it'll get you sick."

It came out more condescending than intended, and Waver flinched after the words left his mouth.

"I mean, yeah, sure, but you really might want to change before hand. I can watch your food."
insufficientjewel: (Small smile)

[personal profile] insufficientjewel 2016-11-02 06:51 pm (UTC)(link)
If Francis was offended, he didn't show it. He just nodded, murmuring thanks, and settled into the seat nearest the fire with only a mild squishing sound.

"I'm afraid I have nothing to change into," he said, taking a small sip of his wine. "Thank God, not everything in my packs is soaked, but a goodly portion of it is. And the storm spared my books at the expense of my Sunday clothes. They're drying upstairs, I hope." Wrapping his cold hands around the cup, he smiled ruefully. "I suppose, if nothing else, this suit will dry faster from my wearing it."
teratias: (12. Breathe out)

[personal profile] teratias 2016-11-02 10:26 pm (UTC)(link)
"I suppose your books were well hidden and deep in the baggage then?" Waver asked with mild interest. Books were always worth talking about, even if he ended up being bored to death by the subject. He hoped, against all odds, that he might find a miniature library to rely on if the contents were indeed interesting.

"And on the topic of drying, I'd think not. Better to put them near a heat source overnight. How long were you in the storm for, exactly?"
insufficientjewel: (Alone)

[personal profile] insufficientjewel 2016-11-03 09:39 pm (UTC)(link)
That was a question Francis had to consider for several moments. How long had he been out for? Truthfully, he had only the vaguest kind of idea. It turned out to be very easy to lose track of time, when one was lost and freezing.

"A few hours, I imagine?" he hazarded, at last. "Long enough to fear for my books, well-hidden or not." He cleared his throat, considered for a moment, then put out his hand to shake. "I'm afraid I haven't introduced myself. That was remiss of me. Francis Fletcher."
teratias: (07. Grabbing a book)

[personal profile] teratias 2016-11-03 11:28 pm (UTC)(link)
Back to formalities. Waver had to admit, he was a little disappointed by that, but he didn't let the thought show on his face. He also wasn't quite looking forward to shaking a cold, wet hand, but he did so anyway.

"Waver Velvet. Arrived earlier, before the storm hit."
insufficientjewel: (New dawn)

[personal profile] insufficientjewel 2016-11-04 05:19 pm (UTC)(link)
"Ah, very fortunate of you." Faramir shook the younger man's hand, his grip firm even with his fingers still awakening from numbness, and inclined his head a little. "I had assumed you were local, I'm afraid. Did you come far?"
teratias: (06. Thinking)

[personal profile] teratias 2016-11-04 05:38 pm (UTC)(link)
When his hand was released, Waver was quick to put it back around his wine cup. The man was truly chilled to the bone, to an extent that was almost comedic if Waver was being absolutely candid.

"I'm a student at Cambridge, so," he said breezily. "Yes. Very much so."
insufficientjewel: (New dawn)

[personal profile] insufficientjewel 2016-11-05 10:50 pm (UTC)(link)
"Cambridge?" Francis leaned in a little, his eyes alight with sudden interest. "You don't say! I've been there only once, to my grief, but I have always wondered how it would be to study there, under such renowned tutelage. What subject are you reading there, if you don't mind my asking?"
teratias: (06. Thinking)

[personal profile] teratias 2016-11-05 11:07 pm (UTC)(link)
Waver swore internally. He had hoped for some small level of anonymity for the day, to just be alone and uninteresting to anyone around him. But other forces would chide him for such a thought.

"Chemistry," was the reply, simple and direct. He wasn't keen to dwell on academia for the evening. Work could begin in earnest tomorrow. "Where are you from, may I ask?"
insufficientjewel: (Small smile)

[personal profile] insufficientjewel 2016-11-05 11:41 pm (UTC)(link)
"Originally, Krakow." That wasn't technically true, of course, but it was the closest thing to the truth that he knew. "I work in Warsaw now, for the most part. Though Professor Beregond and I have travelled a great deal."

It may have come as a surprise to hear that Francis was Polish; there was barely a trace of an accent to his English.
teratias: (14. Science)

[personal profile] teratias 2016-11-06 12:00 am (UTC)(link)
"Ah," he said. Unkindly, Waver thought that Warsaw might also be the butt of a few jokes by other Cambridge students. "Not familiar with that professor's work. His field is--?"
insufficientjewel: (Small smile)

[personal profile] insufficientjewel 2016-11-06 03:45 pm (UTC)(link)
"Folklore and anthropological study." Francis brightened a little, always happy to discuss his mentor's work. "I suppose a chemist would have no reason to have heard of him, but in his own circles of academia, he's gaining something of a following. These last ten years, he's made it his aim to write the definitive treatise on the pagan roots of Central and Eastern European folk traditions."
teratias: (08. Study corner)

[personal profile] teratias 2016-11-06 05:03 pm (UTC)(link)
Waver paused. It was actually somewhat pertinent, if the angle was right. His work was focusing on the properties of folk remedies and how they could inform modern chemistry going forward. He took a sip of his wine, gently playing out potential routes to get the information he'd like without talking about himself.

"That's broad. When it comes to traditions, is he focusing on healing and medicine, belief, or--?"
insufficientjewel: (Distant)

[personal profile] insufficientjewel 2016-11-06 05:47 pm (UTC)(link)
"Rituals and folk festivals." Francis appeared to belatedly remember his stew, pulling it towards him and starting to eat. "We're particularly interested in weddings, funerals, and the major seasonal celebrations - Easter, Christmas, the summer solstice... Still rather broad, I'm afraid. But Professor Beregond never expected this work to be done quickly. In fact, I don't believe he expects to finish it in his lifetime."
teratias: (14. Science)

[personal profile] teratias 2016-11-06 06:07 pm (UTC)(link)
Damn. So close, and yet just that inch off the mark.

"You being the obvious successor to this rich academic heritage."
insufficientjewel: (Rest)

[personal profile] insufficientjewel 2016-11-06 06:15 pm (UTC)(link)
"So he says." Francis shrugged one shoulder, clearly a little uncomfortable with the thought, and ducked his head. "I hope I am scholar enough to meet the faith he puts in me. I still suspect he might do better to take a protege of a better class, but he will do as he will do."
teratias: (11. Annoyed)

[personal profile] teratias 2016-11-06 06:25 pm (UTC)(link)
"If you've got someone like that, then don't question it."

Waver managed to exclude the bitterness of the backstory behind such a statement from his tone. It was neutral, even if the mix of class and academia was the most potent combination for him.
insufficientjewel: (Happy)

[personal profile] insufficientjewel 2016-11-06 08:00 pm (UTC)(link)
Francis frowned a little, shaking his head, and reached for his cup of wine again. "Don't mistake me, I'm far from blind to my good fortune. I thank God every day for it."
teratias: (Default)

[personal profile] teratias 2016-11-06 09:41 pm (UTC)(link)
"I misunderstood the statement and retract the comment then."

Waver sighed, leaning back in his seat. His eyes moved to the window, and the storm just beyond it. "Is this a stopover for you then, or research ground?"
insufficientjewel: (Alone)

[personal profile] insufficientjewel 2016-11-08 05:38 pm (UTC)(link)
"The latter." Francis followed the younger man's gaze, frowning as he looked out at the lashing rain and flashes of lightning. "For which, too, I might have cause to thank God, if this weather continues," he added drily, and turned back to his meal, clearing his throat. "In any case, yes, I plan to stay here some time. Three months, unless I hear otherwise from the Professor."

Or his doctors. Francis was waved away from Warsaw with the assurance that Professor Beregond would be fine, and no doubt that was true - the professor wasn't that old, and the flu was not that severe - but it was hard not to worry, when he had no means of getting word.
teratias: (05.Consideration)

[personal profile] teratias 2016-11-10 02:39 am (UTC)(link)
"I see. Library research then, or face to face oral histories?"

Waver's own plan was to use the city as a jumping off point for short day trips and explorations, totaling no more than a month before heading further south. The weather was hardly a concern, he had built enough flexible time into his scheduling.
insufficientjewel: (Small smile)

[personal profile] insufficientjewel 2016-11-10 09:36 pm (UTC)(link)
"Oral histories," Francis agreed, with a little nod. "And, hopefully, some first-hand observations. That's part of why I hope to stay a few months - long enough to see through Christmas and the New Year, and perhaps the beginnings of Lent."

Rubbing his hands together, he cleared his throat and reached for his wine again. "And you, if I may ask? Is this a research trip, or a holiday?"
teratias: (05.Consideration)

[personal profile] teratias 2016-11-11 08:23 pm (UTC)(link)
"Research," Waver said, disappointed to no longer be able to avoid the question. "This area is to act as a camp of sorts and all other exploratory journeys will branch out from here for a month or so, before I move further south."
insufficientjewel: (Rest)

[personal profile] insufficientjewel 2016-11-14 04:53 pm (UTC)(link)
"Oh, really?" Francis leant in slightly, clearly interested. "Exploring what, if it's not too impudent to ask? I'm afraid I don't know so much about chemistry as to be able to hazard a guess." But he did know enough that he was hungry to know more, as indeed he was with most subjects. The sciences had never been particularly open to him, and he was very curious.

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