GM:
respective places on the grounds...:: ((take it))

Ricardo:
::Ric is returning to his room after practicing fencing with his older brother::

Tien:
::Taking his daily meditation in the most brightly sunlit area.::

Ruiz:
::Moving to the plaza after practicing, noticing Tien::

Tien:
::Soaking in the sunlight.::

Ruiz:
::moving quietly to Tien's side::

Ricardo:
::He is sweating profusely and there is a scratch torn in his sleeve and some blood::

GM:
::a chill wind blows from the south::

Ruiz:
::places hand on Tien's shoulder, as he looks to the south::

An:
::is in the study reading::

Tien:
::Opens eyes. Smiles.::

GM:
::Edmundo is smiling greatly, following Ric up the stairs, his sleeve also torn in a place or two::

Ricardo:
::as he passes Maria on the stairs:: Ah, Maria. We missed you at practice this morning.

Tien:
Greeting brother. How was your training today?

GM:
::An sees the brothers coming up the stairs from his seat in the upper library::

Ruiz:
::turns back to Tien, and smiles quickly, which then fades:: Hello, friend Tein.

Maria:
::smirks:: I've been packing... didn't Alphonso tell you?

Ruiz:
((oops.. Tien..))

An:
::closes his book and watches::

Ricardo:
::his smile drops quickly:: No. He did not.

Maria:
::pokes him and her other brother whose serious expression is almost as intense::

Tien:
It is just two days til the darkest day of the year.

Maria:
We're going to New Castille soon for the ball

Tien:
What rites do your people observe on this occasion?

Ruiz:
::Takes hand off of Tien's shoulder:: I know, my friend. ::sits next to him::

Ricardo:
((Is that on Aragon?))

Ruiz:
It is going to be a grand party, is it not?

GM:
((equinox isnt the darkest day is it?))

Tien:
Intersting, yes. To have such a gathering and feasting on the darkest night.

Ruiz:
((I don't think so... Is it?))

Tien:
My order fasts and pray.

Ruiz:
Is there something bothering oyu, friend priest?

Ruiz:
((oops.. you.. hands tired.. lol..))

Tien:
It is nothing, just that this celerbration mirrors ths sins of mankind.

Maria:
Aquilina has packed for you already Edmundo ::she says indicating his wife:: but you still need to Ric

Tien:
We act as if there is nothing to fear as the darkness appears. We do "Party" on the day of the new sun. Not the night before.

Ricardo:
Well, I'll not pack until I've had a shower first.

GM:
::edmundo grins, claps his brother on the shoulder, and heads off to his room::

Ruiz:
Tien, the devout will do as they always do. ::worried look::

Tien:
I'm sorry. I appear to be upsetting you. Wehn on BZII, do as they do, ...

GM:
::Tien and Ruiz notice Elena walking.. well, drifting is the better term, up the road to the house::

Tien:
or as the Hazat do.

Ruiz:
No, my friend. I am worried about you...

Ricardo:
::continues upstairs to his room, passing by the library:: Good morning, An.

Ruiz:
::turns to Elena:: Hello, friend Elena.

Tien:
Sister, you appear happy. It is good to see this.

Elena:
::she smiles absently at the two of you, looking distinctly unhappy::

An:
::nods:: Good morning...

Tien:
((I thought you meant like she was without a care. Sorry.))

GM:
((that's what you get for jumping the gun on the description :) ))

Ruiz:
::stands:: I will be back Tien. ::moves to Elena's side::

Elena:
::she's wearing the darkest gray jumpsuit she owns, which isnt really uncommon, and her hair is pulled back with a black ribbon::

Ruiz:
Elena, what is wrong?

Tien:
((Anniversary, i bet))

Elena:
::just kind of looks at him for a minute before realizing he isn't teasing:: I finally had a chance to lay my husband to rest

Ruiz:
::nods, slowly:: I understand. I will not bother you anymore. ::steps away::

Tien:
SIster, is there anything that I can do to help?

Elena:
::she blinks:: No, I'm sorry, it's okay ...I'm dealing with it

Tien:
In tiomes like this, it is good to be surrounded by friends.

Tien:
((times like this...))

Elena:
::she nods:: The party will hopefully lift my spirits

Tien:
::Extends hand::

Tien:
COme sit with me and talk for a while.

Elena:
::she hesitates for a second, then allows tien to lead her where he will::

Tien:
::Sitting where I was. Pull her to his side and hug her.::

Elena:
::she smiles in spite of herself, and the thank you is barely audible::

Ruiz:
::walks behind at a distance, watches silently::

Tien:
::Kisses her on the cheek.::

GM:
::meanwhile, Alphonso finally gets around to stopping by the Don's room::

Tien:
Tell me of your life with your husband. Tell me happy memories.

Alphonso:
Master Ricardo?

GM:
((wow a in <> doesnt post))

Tien:
((Fade off Tien))

Ricardo:
::still cleaning the scratch on his arm:: Yes, Alphonso?

Alphonso:
Your father would like you to know that we will be taking the train to New Castille in a few hours. Do you need assistance with that sir?

Ricardo:
No. It looks worse than it is.

Maria:
::Maria enters the library with a couple of mugs of cinnamon cider and slides one to An::

Ricardo:
Do you know how long we will be staying in New Castille?

Maria:
What are you reading?

Alphonso:
Well, it is a planetwide ball.. it could last anywhere from two days to a week

An:
::takes the mug and begins to sip:: A collection of teachings of the prophet.

Alphonso:
I suspect you'll leave when your father can do so gracefully

Ricardo:
::rolls his eyes:: Very well. Have An, Tien and Ruiz been informed?

Maria:
::cocks her head and squints at the spine:: Ah, so it is

Alphonso:
I intend to get to them soon

An:
Instersting... someone with such good intentions...

Maria:
::grins and whispers:: Careful not to let Tien hear you talk like that...

GM:
it's borderline heresy

An:
Isn't everything? ::grins::

Ricardo:
Very good. Thank you, Alphonso. You may continue about your duties.

An:
::flaps his cape and smiles sadly::

Maria:
So I hear that Duke Enrico will be at the party.. I noticed that you've been training.. he could give you some advice

Alphonso:
Very good sir ::he bows out of the room::

Ricardo:
::finishes wrapping his arm and then takes a quick bath and then begins packing::

An:
Duke Enrico?

Maria:
::blinks, as if *everyone* knows of Enrico:: The grandmaster of Shaidan, one of my cousins

An:
Ahhh.... ::smiles and nods::

Alphonso:
::stops in front of the Library door:: Mr. Griffen?

An:
Yes.. ::looks up::

Alphonso:
We will be leaving for the ball soon, if you need to get ready

An:
I may at that... ::looks to Maria:: Help me pack?

Maria:
Sure

Alphonso:
::bows to Maria and heads downstairs::

Ricardo:
((hey, Tien will finally be able to wear his new clothes!!))

Tien:
((Pancreator forbids.))

GM:
((well, when in New Castille....))

Tien:
((LOL))

Alphonso:
::Alphonso walks out into the courtyard, careful not to break the moment in the way only a butler with years of etiquette can do:: For those of you unaware, we shall be leaving for New Castille soon, so it might be in your interests to prepare

Tien:
((Hopefully, E had a tale of how stupid her husband was while trying to impress her.))

GM:
((not really, it's a very engineer relationship, they were on the Academy Interrata together and they decided that they were genetically and personality compatible))

Ruiz:
::turns to Alphnzo and nods::

Alphonso:
::nods and goes back in out of the cold::

Tien:
Very well, sir.

Tien:
Sister, whenever you feel blue or sad, please come to me.

GM:
::time passes and everyone is prepared in time to hear the door open and a small retinue comes in::

GM:
::Alphonso's strong but aged voice is heard all over the house::

Ruiz:
::walks away quietly::

Alphonso:
"Announcing Baronet Alamar Aaron Manuel Justus de Aragon and Lady Lucinda Maria Eduardo ap Justus de Aragon"

Ricardo:
((hmmm, Justus))

Tien:
((How long have they been married?))

Maria:
::Maria drags her brothers down the stairs to see their sister::

GM:
((since the last time you were here in mid-summer))

An:
::follows down behind them keeping a large space between them::

GM:
::At the base of the stairs is assembling a throng of nobles...

Tien:
::Walk down to meet the couple.::

Ricardo:
((I have a horribly funny picture of Ric and Edmundo bouncing down each step as M drags them))

GM:
The Baron and Baroness, Edmundo, Ricardo, Maria... A tall man with close cropped dark hair and brown eyes, noble hispanic features, and yet another young woman who looks like the Baroness... if she weren't a bit older and better fed you'd swear she was Maria's twin::

GM:
::unless Ricardo's wearing something different it's also a sea of red::

Tien:
((We are not at the party yet, so, I'm wearing black ))

GM:
::elena is off to one side, and, has been stated, is also wearing black, but with a travel bag beside her::

Baron:
Well, We're all assembled, is everyone ready?

An:
::nods::

Tien:
Lord Alamar. Lady Lucinda. Congrandulations on your marrage.

Ruiz:
::enters the room wearing his black regalia::

Alamar:
Why thank you... ::he searches for a name::

Tien:
There is no more noble act then the union of two in the state of holy matrimony

GM:
((are you wearing your normal Ruiz or what an bought you?))

Tien:
I amd Brother Tien, Lord Richardo's confessor and giude.

Ricardo:
((Richardo??))

GM:
((but not spelling tutor, never spelling tutor ))

Ruiz:
((What An bought for me. ))

Tien:
((Sorry. Ricardo))

Baron:
Well, let's keep no one waiting ::he motions for everyone to follow him outside,

GM:
where a trio of carriages are lined up in the fading afternoon... large black war stallions hitched up to pull them::

GM:
::a contingent of several soldiers in red and black serves as honor guard to the ornamented crimson and ebony coaches::

Tien:
::Paryer of Saint Paulus::

Tien:
((On beginning a journey))

Tien:
((I can not type tonight))

Tien:
((Prayer...)

GM:
::the Baron and Baroness climb into the first coach, followed by Edmundo and Aquilina (a pretty young noblewoman, but nothing incredible), and Alamar and Lucinda::

GM:
::the door closes behind them, telling the two adventuresome children that they're still in the figurative dog house::

Alphonso:
::Alphonso shivers in the cold , holding the door of the second coach for our intrepid questers::

Tien:
::Helps Ric, Mar, AN, Ruiz, Elane into the second carrage, then mounts into the servant area

An:
::climbs inside::

Tien:
behind with the footmen.

Ruiz:
::moves inside::

Ricardo:
::leans outside:: Tien! Will you get in here.

Alphonso:
::Alphonso taps tien on the shoulder:: Humility is one thing young man, but it's very cold

Tien:
If there is room and your wish.

Ricardo:
Please. I insist.

Tien:
::Enters the coach.::

GM:
::Alphonso closes the door and gets into the third coach, and all three start rolling, heading into the city proper::

An:
Glad to see you could join us.

GM:
::the coaches roll for some time, the hooves of the horses clomping on the cobblestones::

GM:
::but far too short a time to even leave this city you find them rolling to a stop::

GM:
::looking out your window you see a large sleek feat of Engineering mounted on thick iron rails, smoke emerging from a row of chimneys::

Ruiz:
::looking outside::

An:
::watches interested::

GM:
::this is not the train used for troop and materials transport, but one for the nobles of the planet::

Tien:
What is that smell?

Elena:
Tri-bonded carbon silicate residue in vapor form

Tien:
Thank you, Sister.

GM:
::after a minute the door is opened by Alphonso and he indicates that you should board::

Ricardo:
The good thing is that this one is much cleaner than the one used for troops.

An:
::steps out::

Maria:
Well.. at least until some of the country cousins get on ::she smirks::

Ricardo:
::exits and heads for the train carriage that Alphonso indicates::

Tien:
:;Follows behind Ric.::

An:
::waits for everyone to board the train::

GM:
::the train is quite long, with many trailers, and the one before you has steps up to the door, lights on within because of the dusk::

Maria:
::Maria walks along beside her brother::

GM:
::inside the cabin is a row of bedrooms and a large common room with plush couches on which the nobles from the first carriage now sit::

Tien:
::Looks up and down for the engineer who runs the train::

GM:
::the dark metal of the train makes the engine hard to see in the dusk::

Ricardo:
Come, Tien. They're probably holding the train for us.

GM:
::Alphonso shows you to your rooms.. Tien, Ruiz, and An are sharing a stateroom with elena..

Ricardo:
::boards train::

An:
::follows behind all of them::

Tien:
::Not finding the engineer, bless the train.:: I hope that we will have an uneventful trip,

GM:
(since it wont be a long trip) and Ricardo and Maria likewise have a room::

GM:
::you do note that, though you cant tell from the outside, they seem smaller than the other rooms::

GM:
::the retainers board an adjoining car::

GM:
::with a slam that cuts off the flow of chill air the door closes and the train takes off::

Tien:
Lord, how long will we on this train?

GM:
((ric, from your trips to new years in the past you'd estimate between 12 and 15 hours, depending on how many stops))

GM:
::everyone stands absently in the hall::

Ricardo:
About 14 hours.

Ruiz:
::moves to the stateroom, to rest::

Ruiz:
((sorry, PC froze))

An:
::sits whereever and takes out the book again to read::

GM:
((okay 4 roomers, there's 2 floor beds and 2 folding top bunks, who takes which?))

Ruiz:
((I got top))

Tien:
((I'll take the side with Elane. She can choose top or bottom.))

Elena:
::chooses bottom::

Tien:
((Top it is. So, I can read my gosples.))

An:
::doesn't take a bunk::

GM:
::an's left with the bottom bunk across from elena::

GM:
::ric can choose either side of his room, it doesnt really matter::

GM:
::anyway, after you all get settled and used to the motion of the train, you start to realize that it's dinnertime... complicated by the good smells coming from an adjoining car:

Ricardo:
::ric has no preference and will let Maria choose first::

GM:
::after contemplation you realize that it must be some form of poultry, though you can't quite place which::

An:
::stomach growls realizing he hasn't eaten all day due to the fact that his attention is with the book::

Ruiz:
((hey people, I gotta go and get some studying before bed... sorry))

Tien:
What are you reading, AN?

GM:
((okay, not much left, you can stay in the stateroom for dinner))

Tien:
((OK>))

Ricardo:
((buh-bye))

Ruiz:
((have a good night all))

GM:
((night))

An:
A collection of the teachings of the prophet....

Tien:
Really, which one's?

An:
His earlier ones... when he first started to spread the word.

Alphonso:
::Alphonso knocks on the non-nobility door:: Dinner is ready

Tien:
Ah, the preaching of his vision and the hol;y flame.

Tien:
And the interconnectedness of the universe.

Alphonso:
::he continues on to Ric and Maria's suite and says the same::

An:
Yes... trying to bring us all together...

Tien:
I should review that, when you are finished. It has been may years since i have read those accounts. What do his teachings tell you about or group?

Tien:
((our group))

An:
It is the first time I've read this through. That we are all equals no matter our ...

An:
backgrounds are features... its here ::taps his heart:: that matters to the Pancreator.

Tien:
Truer words have never been spoken, friend AN.

An:
So they say... ::closes the book:: to diner then?

Elena:
::shakes her head to snap herself from listening to them:: yes, lets eat

Tien:
Yes.

Tien:
What has made you turn to his writtings?

An:
Knowledge...

Tien:
::Smiles::

GM:
::everyone moves to the dining car, which is well lit, and contains a long table with serving platforms to the side... The Baron sits at one end of the long table, Edmundo to his right, Aquilina to his, the Baroness to the baron's left.. Alamar and Lucinda following her... at the other end of the table are some other Hazat from the area, their baron at the foot of the table... but he likely sees himself the head.. but lets not get into politics::

GM:
::Ricardo is seated next to Aquilina, Maria next to Lucinda, Ruiz next to Ricardo, An next to Maria, Tien next to Ruiz, Elena next to An::

GM:
::Elena and Tien are the middle of the table, and meet the retinue of the other branch of the eduardos... notably sitting by Tien is a middle aged oriental man with long graying black hair, dressed in Orthodox robes::

An:
::looks to the two sitting next to him and smiles:: Not everyday I get to be between two beautiful ladies. ::grins:;

Tien:
::Bow and smile to our BAron, then the other baron and his retinue.::

Elena:
::smirks:: but to be polite you get to stare at Tien

An:
::laughs:: I don't think priests go for that sort of thing.

Tien:
FAther Adelbero?

Adelbero:
::the middle aged priest turns to Tien, looking a bit surprised:: Well my young friend, we meet once more

Tien:
::Rise and go to gret the priest::

Tien:
::Knee and kiss his ring.::

Adelbero:
I have not seen you since you gave such a rousing speech in the market on Kalik

Tien:
How many years have it been?

Ricardo:
((I hope Tien kneeled and didn't knee the old priest))

Tien:
((LOL. Yes. ))

Adelbero:
It's only been about 8 months Brother Tien, though the time does seem to stretch when one is trying to get as much devotion into it as possible

Tien:
And how have you been?

Adelbero:
I have been quite well, and have found a good place as Baron Cristobal's confessor

Tien:
Strange, ANd I have found Lord Ricardo as my liege. We are all but neighbors

Adelbero:
It would seem, though I have not been here for very long

Tien:
I have been with Lord Ricardo since I left my homeworld.

Adelbero:
::he smiles warmly on Tien's friends:: And shall I introduce myself?

GM:
((oh, i just realized I had Ruiz seating, strike that, Tien is next to Ric))

Tien:
The Pancreator sent me to his aid in a quest. I have forgotten my manners. My lord, this is father Adelbero of Midian.

Ricardo:
((so Ruiz is not at the table?))

GM:
((no, he's thinking about his woman in the room))

Tien:
FAther this is my lord Ricardo.

GM:
((ya know.. after reading the book, Ruiz seems very Quixotisch to me :) ))

Tien:
And the lady is his sister Maria. ::Bow to the lady::

Ricardo:
((so who is Sancho Panza?))

GM:
((who else?))

Ricardo:
((Brother Tien?))

GM:
((hehe))

Tien:
((My thoughts as well))

GM:
((Don Ruiziote and Tancho Panien))

Tien:
And two others of my extended family, Engineer Elena and Reeve AN.

Adelbero:
::the priest smiles to all of them as mentioned::

An:
Anhetepf Griffen. ::smiles back::

Ricardo:
Father, you are welcome at my table anytime.

Maria:
So how did you meet Tien? ::she asks trying to pay attention to several conversations at once::

Tien:
::Clasp his aging hand in my own:: tell me of your travels? What strange things has the pancreator shown you in the last few months?

Tien:
Oh, he was in the market place and was attacked by a youth gang. I came to his aid. THis was before I was a brother journeyman. Actually my first journey out of the monestary.

Ricardo:
((was he attacked by the Bloods or the Crypts?))

Adelbero:
Yes... in fact, he knocked them all down with his staff while simultaneously telling them exactly how they had sinned... and do you know, I think I saw one of those boys going guiltily to confession the next day

Tien:
::Blushes:: I was only doing what anyone would have.

Tien:
((Edit: I was a brother journeyman at the time.))

Adelbero:
::he grows a bit saddened:: If only that were true, we wouldn't have to work so hard to save souls... as it is the fact that there existed such young men indicates that no one in their lives did a proper job raising them

Tien:
I was on my way to meet Lord Ric and his bodyguard Ruiz when I see them attack you.

Tien:
Amazing how the Pancreator has brought us back together.

Adelbero:
Yes, I had been seeing Tien in church services for some time before, however, and was impressed by his devotion... he was often the only one in his row not dozing off during the lesson

Tien:
I had learned how to sleep father with my eyes opoen. ::Laughs::

GM:
::the conversation continues in the vein for the rest of the meal::

GM:
~~~ OOC ~~~

GM:
sorry guys, gotta call it

Tien:
OK.

Tien:
Experience next week.

GM:
Lee, anytime you see me on in the next week we can do a session with Tien and adelbero...

Ricardo:
OK.

GM:
and Tom, I need to run a scene with you sometime before then too

Ricardo:
I'll see y'all next week.

GM:
night

Ricardo:
Eek. Concerning who?

GM:
your dad needs to talk to you

Ricardo:
Ok. Goodnight.

Tien:
Good night all.

GM:
night