Guest Gifts

Mellia — Guest Gifts

????, Storm Season, Disorder Week


Context

Storm Season, Disorder Week, Windsay, in the hall of Silor Cracks-Rock. [[[s02:session-24|Session 24]]]

CONTAINS SPOILERS

Events
With noon approaching, Mellia makes her way to the Cinder Fox house. It is crowded now, with well dressed men and women. Silor and Aelna are at the high table, looking for all the world like a chief and his wife should look. Venlar and Hengrast are there too, and Mellia is ushered to a seat next to Venlar.

Mellia thanks the usher and sits down quietly. Mellia would watch everything and try to behave around Venlar.

The usher is a boy of about ten, who gives Mellia a bright smile. There not as many chairs as she would expect.

Venlar leans over for the dish of salt once, to pass it to someone, and manages to brush against Mellia by accident on purpose, but other than that he too is well behaved.

Food is served, and there is a harpist playing, and Venlar is called on to sing, and dedicates a praise poem to his father and a love poem to the woman he is going to marry. There are various points of business called, as this is a working meeting, not a feast – it just happened to have feast food and harps and other such things.

A woman Mellia does not recognise who is dressed in the colours and hairstyle of the house of Saiciae is one of those who steps in, to present a modest gift from the house to the family her cousin will be joining. It is a really good speech, expounding the praises of Silor, and then the gift is given – it is enough valuables that it needs three chests to carry them, with jewellery featuring, as well as fabrics, spices, and red wine and oils and pigments with sacred uses. Cosmetics, perfumes… as a gift, it is embarassingly large, and even Silor can only manage polite thanks.

Hengrast is easy to read – he is amazed and stares at Mellia and Venlar and Mellia again.

Venlar looks like he is certain this is indeed a modest gift and entirely normal, but underneath he seems a little worried. That worry does not entirely go away when Silor makes a few gifts in return – each of them something local – and thanks the woman, Lady Effinya. Mellia knows the name, vaguely. She is an aunt-level power in the house, but not closely related.

As Silor’s gifts pile up as well, the mood in the room seems to be that somehow, Grandmother has won this round.1Effinya made a special Orate and Silor failed his. Effinya got a critical Intrigue and Silor only got a special. They’ve been angling to do better than each other for a while, hence Intrigue working – this is Silor’s court. Nevertheless, the presence of such things is cheering, and Effinya is invited to come eat, and a seat moved in next to Mellia. A chair is brought for her.

Mellia would make polite small talk with Effinya, mostly about the journey from Nochet.

Effinya does that, although there is something about her that is not entirely present. She seems to be thinking hard about the room, all the time. However, she introduces herself to Venlar and replies to his off-the-cuff composition about her gifts with polite thanks, but no return poem. She says she came up the river path, but did not stop at Wilmskirk, and Venlar asks when she set out – two days after Silor left, and thus two days before Venlar.