Conservatory Conversations: Theology
Sept. 7, 2018, 6 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Thrax - Grimhall Longhouse - Conservatory
Comments and Log
3 Tyde Houseguard arrives, following Lethe.
The early afternoon light streams through the windows and makes the Conservatory especially lovely, sunbeams filter through plants and dance over the floors. The space is different from much of the Grimhall Longhouse, bright and cheerful and created with aesthetic pleasure in mind. There are instruments everywhere, though currently none are being played. Instead the Lady Vanora Grimhall directs guests from the Great Hall into the space, where wine has been left out and there are plenty of comfortable places to sit and converse.
Lethe smiles as she takes a look around. "Lady Vanora everything looks so nice." She goes to get a glass of wine.
Sable makes her way into the conservatory, because all are welcome. That is what she heard, anyway. She looks like she might be regretting her decision, however, because she probably looks extremely out of place. And it doesn't help that she's extremely uncomfortable, too. The huntress nods to Vanora politely and eyes the room for a place to sit.
"Lady Lethe! I'm so glad you could make it. There's plenty of wine, and goblets out and around, help yourself to whatever you'd like. I was hoping Archlector Vayne was joining us, but I think he's not able. We shall have to manage on our own." Vanora's smile is one of mirth and warmth, given over to Sable with curiosity. "Good day, my lady. I am Vanora Grimhall, lady of this house and hostess of this very intimate gathering. Do you like wine? If not there's other libations around somewhere I'm sure. Please, make yourself comfortable."
Valdemar is sitting quietly in the conservatory as well when guests arrive. "Welcome to the Grimhall Longhouse, Lady Tyde...and you as well, though I am afraid we've not met before," he greets the two women who have joined them for this discussion, the latter addressed to Sable, before he goes on to introduce himself, "I am Lord Valdemar Grimhall, Vanora's husband and heir to the house."
Lethe takes a sip of wine. "It's to bad he couldn't make it." She looks to Sable with a smile and then to Valdemar. "Hello Lord Grimhall. It is nice to see you again."
Sable nods again, her braid swaying with the movement. "I'm Sable." There's a pause. "Of Greenwood. Lord Grimhall, Lady Vanora, Lady Lethe, thank you for having me. Wine? That's... tempting." Very tempting.
"Sable of Greenwood. Welcome to our home. If wine tempts you by all means, be tempted. Giving in just a bit never hurt anyone I'm sure." Probably. Vanora's smile for Sable is engaging. "How are things...there? Speaking of the theology that we may get around to discussing, I heard some very disturbing...I don't suppose its news, but portents, regarding your home." The pale redhead glances about and determines to settle on the green couch, kicking off her boots and tucking her feet under her. It's an informal gathering clearly.
"It is good to see you again as well, Lady Tyde," Valdemar replies to Lethe, inclining his head a little in her direction. He then takes a glass of wine for himself, sipping from it before telling Sable, "And it is a pleasure to meet you as well. I hope you enjoy...whatever discussion my wife has planned for the evening. She hasn't even shared her plans with me, so I will be just as surprised as anyone else here." He then grins over at Vanora for a moment.
Lethe finds a seat. She looks to Sable. "It is nice to meet you. I'm glad you also decided to come." She smiles and nods to Valdemar. "I'm hoping it will be a discussion I enjoy."
Sable collects herself a glass of wine and eases herself onto a seat. Clad in her leathers, she looks more suited to sitting at a campfire. "I've been in Arx of late," she tells Vanora. "Or, I suppose, outside it. I stay by the Lodge of Petrichor." She glances between Vanora and Valdemar. "I thought it was to be a discussion about theology. One reason I came to Arx was to learn more about the Pantheon. Mostly Petrichor." She glances at the door. "Um. Are more people coming?" Which is a very awkward thing to ask.
"Of course it will be, Lady Lethe, for its a discussion that you are part of shaping. I don't have a lecture planned or a guest speaker or anything of the sort. " Vanora selects her own glass of Lenosian red and tucks back onto the sofa. "The Lodge of Petrichor. I'm going to guess that you are a shaman...or were? That is something of theology I know very very little about, my expertise is in the Pantheon. It is of the Thirteenth in particular, but I studied Petrichor too. Are you wondering something in particular? I don't know if more people are coming, truly. We'll see. If it is only us though, I expect we can still entertain ourselves."
Lethe looks toward Sable. "I was interested in learning about the Queen of Endings when I came here. I don't know much about Shamanism." She nods to Vanora. "Maybe some others will show up. Either way I'm sure the discussion will still be interesting."
Sable shakes her head, her braid swaying again. "A shaman? No, I'm not blessed with the gift," she says. "But I was raised to honour the spirits. The Pantheon is... new to me." She has a sip of wine. Then a bigger sip.
Vanora nods to Lethe. "Lady Tyde, will you tell me more about your calling to the Queen of Endings? I wonder what that experience must have been like, to have a goddess emerge and call out to you. I worshipped the Thirteenth from childhood, it's my faith but also part of my history and heritage too. What called you to the Queen of Endings and Mother of Beginnings?" She smiles at Sable too. "I know very little of the spirits...will you tell me how you honored them?"
Valdemar nods his head a bit. "Yes, it is to be a discussion on theology, of course. But as has already been established, that is a pretty broad topic, with lots of room for talking about different aspects of it. Though it sounds like I know the least about it in the room," he remarks in response before letting out a low laugh as he glances around at the three noblewomen.
Lethe ponders. "I don't think my story is all that exciting. She's never spoken to me or anything. I just have a deep reverence for Death. I'd sit with people who were dying, and tell them it was ok to let go. All things must die, but it's not just an ending but a beginning. When I first heard about the Queen of Endings I really wanted to learn more about her. I have although there is a lot I don't know. I like being a Harlequin."
Sable shifts in her seat, looking distinctly uncomfortable. Her free hand touches the feathers on the talisman at her throat. "We do small things. Sometimes an offering. Mostly, it's about respect." She has another sip of wine and asks Lethe, "Why did you spend so much time around dying people? Are you a healer?"
"I particularly like a love story related to the Queen and Mother...to the wheel and turns of different lives. That when a human woman died, after the Lost gods were found, it turned out that this human woman was a Seraph, and beloved by the First Choice. That he'd kept close to her through all of her different lives, even as he did not change. Death is not usually romantic, but that story is." Vanora muses as she sips her wine, considering. "Love, what do you suppose your father would say about Lady Tyde's reverence for finality. It seems he usually encourages us not to think on it...not to dwell, that it will come when it is time." She listens to Sable and keeps her attention on Lethe, now curious for the lady's response.
Lethe nods to Sable. "I am a healer. I was raised as an Ashford, and I'd help people injured in the Grey Forest. Sometimes when they couldn't be save I'd just sit with them." She listens to Vanora and smiles. "That is a romantic story. I don't know if I have any past lives or not, but I do what I can to enjoy this one."
Valdemar sips wine slowly as he listens to the story his wife tells of Skald and the Seraph. When she goes on to ask him what his father would think of Lethe's reverence for finality, he looks ponderous for a moment. "I don't believe he'd have an issue with it. He doesn't want us dwelling on it, because death is something that most fear, that it is easy to fear. And you know what he thinks of fear. What Lady Tyde speaks of, though, is nothing to do with fear...it is a different way to encourage people to not fear, really," he finally answers her.
Sable looks hesitant. She pauses, then asks, "Pardon my interruption. What's a Seraph, again?" She releases her talisman and curls both hands around the base of her glass of wine.
Teiddwen the Otter, A fiery headed prodigal named Gwddfgwyn arrive, following Asger.
The Grimhalls and their guests are seated around a collection of couches, and wine is flowing freely. "That is lovely. My cousin Juliana is a healer as well, she's been teaching me some very, very basic skills. I'm hoping to learn more, only because it is a way to be of use when the men go reaving." Vanora states to Lethe and then turns towards Sable. "Oh! You see, that's a wonderful question. A Seraph is something like an angel..a mortal being very dear to one of the Gods, usually for personifying one of their aspects perfectly. They are beloved by the deities...something like the reflection of Heralds, which are not as lovely."
Lethe smiles as she speaks to Vanora. "I have met Lady Juliana before. She is very fashionable. Perhaps someone in the Physicians Guild can help teach you a little more. I'd show you myself, but I'm not as good a teacher. Maybe that's something I'll learn someday."
"That is an excellent suggestion. Juliana had mentioned she'd make introductions for me." Vanora responds to Lethe with a smile. "Lady Tyde, did you know that before the Queen of Endings was 'discovered' again, that funeral rites were frequently performed by Mirrormasks? Juliet, a Third Reflection, voiced the prayers and sermons for Prince Donrai Thrax when he passed." A careful sip of wine.
Sable's frow furrows at this explanation of what a Seraph is. She just nods, however, and has another sip of wine. But then, there's another question. "Why did you need to rediscover a god?" she inquires.
Asger like all good Crovane knows how to make a hell of an entrance, he is obviously prelubricated with a bottle of whiskey in his hand and is several steps ahead of the servant who is supposed to be escorting him as he bursts into the conservatory, all grinns "Evenin' friends, I brought a bottle of whiskey but it looks as if someone has already gotten into it." The man regarding the bottle with a suspicious look as if he is unsure who might have been hitting it, before he shrugs and takes a drink
"Because we had forgotten her. A couple of others, too. As to how /that/ happened..." Valdemar answers Sable, his shoulders lifting in a shrug as his voice trails off at the end. Grinning back at Asger as he enters, the Grimhall heir goes on, "Welcome, Duke Crovane, it is wonderful to see you again. As for the whiskey, its quite alright. We have plenty to drink here already. Come and have a seat."
"That's another fine question. You'd think it impossible to lose track of a deity. We lost track of three." Vanora tells Sable between sips. "It's a complicated and convoluted story I think, but much of our knowledge of the world was suppressed or lost, and we are only finding it again now. So dependent on our books that one little usurper King could set the archives on fire and we forget whom to worship. King Darius Thrax. Maybe /that/ is where the friction between the Faith and the Isles truly began." The ginger-haired Lycene muses. "Duke Asger! So glad you came. Come. Drink and speak of gods."
Lethe nods. "They do have to be performed by someone. Even now we don't do all the funerals. Did you attend Prince Donrai's funeral?" She looks to Sable. "Because they were lost. We had forgotten them. Not everyone forgot. The Noxalfar still worshipped Death for instance." She looks to Asger with a friendly smile. " Hello. "
Sable tilts her head as Asger arrives; she tips her chin to him, her expression thoughtful. Then she's glancing between the others. "Weren't there shrines and things to these lost gods? The Compact likes Shrines."
Vanora shakes her head at Lethe. "He died /just/ after I came to the city, I never met him, and was not present at the funeral. I knew very little of the Isles until I was suddenly a Marquessa here. That required very quick study. I still don't know as much of our home and people as I'd like to, but there is time yet." She shakes her head at Sable's question about shrines. "No. Though I don't know why. Actually, Mistress Sable. There's something you can help me with perhaps. I'm working on plans for a school of theology in the Isles, a way to bring the people to the Gods. Both our citizens, and those Abandoned who will become our citizens given time. What is it about the pantheon that convinced you to bend the knee to the Compact? What would convince another in a different place?"
Asger trots on over to take a seat with the others "Seems a wee bit odd to lose a god, but I'm not one to talk when I lost Silain once." looking around he tells the groun "Ya can't go tellin' Ann that though, I'd lose rights to my heir." his lip quiring up in a wolfish grin. Leaning back into his seat he takes another long drag from the whiskey as he listens
Sable sits very still. She stares at Vanora, and then looks to the door. Back to Vanora, and a wary look at all the others, looking at their faces. Lethe. Valdemar. Asger. Her gaze lingers on Asger. Finally, it shifts back to Vanora. "The leaders of my people bent the knee. Had I not followed them, I would have been unwelcome in the very woods I'd grown up in and protected. Yes, I can believe in your gods. I will never abandon the spirits, however."
Lethe finishes her wine and starts to stand. "I've really enjoyed the discussion, but it's probably time I be going."
Shaking her head emphatically, Vanora looks distressed at Sable's apparent distress. "Oh, no Mistress please...I did not mean to make you nervous or cause insult, I promise. I genuinely wondered. This is not a trap for you, truly. I would never be so graceless." Pale green eyes shift to Lethe. "If you are sure, Lady Lethe. It was lovely to see you again."
3 Tyde Houseguard leaves, following Lethe.
"...Alright," Sable says, her tone still wary. She watches Lethe go, then considers the wine in her glass. She raises it to her lips for a sip. Just a sip. No chugging.
Asger snorts softly and tells Sable "There is no shame in the Spirits lass, and if anyone tells you otherwise tell 'em where they can stick that high horse of theirs. To forget the spirits that watched your ancestors and protect your lands would be a disgrace." with a rumble of laughter Asger tells the Grimhall "Outside of Mangata and Petrichor I can't debate theology, but when it comes to the spirits I know a few things."
"Asger. My questions make Mistress Sable nervous clearly. I don't know if a thing exists anywhere that makes /you/ nervous. Tell us about the spirits. I grew up in the Lyceum, where even in the few areas of territory unclaimed there weren't really large groups of shavs...I really know nothing. Less than nothing. Change that for me?" Vanora asks. "In return I'll tell you all about the Thirteenth if you like. Or, your reward can be my /not/ doing that, whichever you prefer."
Sable's right eye squints slightly when Asger refers to her as 'lass', but she doesn't say anything. She does, however, take a larger sip of wine. And some of the tension leaves her shoulders when she's no longer the focus of attention. Not all.
Valdemar finishes off his glass of wine, and then leans over to brush a kiss across his wife's cheek before he stands up. "Unfortunately, I must be going now," he announces, giving her a smile before looking at their guests, "There is a meeting I need to attend on behalf of the Mirrorguard. I hope you enjoy the rest of your evening here, though." With this, he walks toward the door to depart.
Valdemar is overheard praising Vanora.
Valdemar is overheard praising Grimhall.
Vanora gives her husband a brief kiss in parting and settles back onto the sofa alone, green eyes fixed to Asger.
Asger tucks his arm over the back of the couch, wrinkling his nose he warns "I'm not shaman and I might be off a technical point or two, from my experience with the spirits they reflect the natural world in a way where the forms they take and their natures are not dissimilar to something found in our world." with a laugh and a gleam in his eye "For instance, I've talked with a spirit of the air before in its words it was light and carefree, flowing from conversation to conversation at its whim, like the breeze through the trees. Meanwhile I've also communed with the spirit of storms that watched over Stormwall, it was unknowable and full of gravitas." gesturing outwards as if to encompass the world he continues "I've talked with clans that follow paths that say there are two great spirits, the spirit of the ocean and the spirit of the wilderness. The spirit of the wilderness according to them tests us with the predators of the wilds, and the cruel unforgiving nature of the frozen ground beneath our feet. Every passing an hour a test to see if we are worthy to continue on. Whilst the spirit of the ocean, provides life with water and sustains us with the bounty of the waves. Where the wilderness tests us, she demands our constant attention for to ply the waves to not give her her respect for even a moment, or a lapse in judgment will see her claiming you down to the briny deep."
"You've spoken with them? Spirits? That's amazing." Vanora appears genuinely impressed. "What...are they exactly. Not gods but...something else? Aspects of gods maybe? That is why you said that you were most comfortable with Mangata and Petrichor...they are the closest to that spirit of the ocean and spirit of the wilderness pairing, yes? What...do they talk about? What interest do they have in humans?" Her curiosity is palpable. "Supposing that /you/ were living wild and free and godless in the Isles...what would convince you to consider the pantheon and the Compact. What..did actually, since Crovane bent the knee rather recently relatively speaking?" She likely has further questions to pepper him with, but realizes she ought pause first.
Sable leans back in her seat, her leathers creaking. She carefully sets her glass of wine aside; she emptied it not all that long ago. The huntress folds her arms across her chest, watching.
Asger shakes his head "I think it would be hard to get them to change, the Spirits moved openly in defense of Stormwall. While rare, there are those who can seek out and communicate with the Spirits....Meanwhile, while the Gods undoubtedly exist and are powerful and are worthy of worship, they move mainly through paladins, and the faith actively crushes those who don't at least acknowledge them." all grins Asger says "So don't get them to change, make sure they aren't worshipping the abyss or some shit like that then get them to acknowledge that Faith is great and definitely right." eyeballing Vanora he tells her "Because with Crovane, we have not given up the path of our ancestors, or the traditional worship of the spirits despite having bent knee. The aerie of storms was filled with the wisdom of the storm spirits from the shaman who communed with them, and the spirits of the land rose up to defend us from the evil that sought to overrun us. We've paid homage to them, and worshipped since generations immemorial and in return they have not forsaken us in our time of need, or shy from guidance." with a click of his tongue he mentions "Though through that we still acknowledge the gods and build shrines to them. I know in my own personal life while I talked with the spirit of the air they had mentioned that Mangata had seen fit to use the spirits at least once to see her will done."
"Oh don't you go giving me that look." Vanora quips to Asger. "I'm not looking to preach at you, this is why its a theology discussion in my home with wine, not a sermon in a shrine. I am fascinated with what you tell me though, I did not know that spirits were so...visible in the North, and such a part of the people. That does remind me though...aerie of Storms and Stormwall...do you know what the Isle of Storms is? I've never heard of it, I only know that Countess Titania was on her way there when she died. I've wondered where she was going more than once. I'll keep your guidance in mind though, should I be in the business of convincing anyone to bend the knee and accept the Pantheon." Pale green eyes dance silvery with mirth. "I'm so delighted you both came, truly."
Back to list