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All Too Well

Timestamp
Spring, Era XXVII
Location
Primus Guado, Centripax
Content Warnings
Potentially NSFW
Ta-da!
Succubus? Apparently not,
Going to be any Problem (well, hopefully!)
And more or less given directions to where to (hopefully!) cause less when making their way Home!
Which really did feel a little bit silly,
But it was, t’was Important to Anna, and so? That was that!
Plus, even if Melissa was a little more used to the denizens of Necromancy and Aeternia? Well, no reason for Anna to have had the same inkling - even if Clairé was trying to sever what ties she could and put a little more distance after the whole, Fiends Issue and then Chaosland’s entities having qualms with her summoning so,​
Mostly?
What Clairé had learned?
Needed to find some long socks and large jumpers for Her Loves come winter,
T’was a Look that she was quietly certain was going to look far better upon her Wives than say, Sonya,​
Did so need more,
Laze about wear!
”I mean, it sounded… similar?”
She but hedged, not going to insist even if Clairé was quietly confident she’d,
At least got part of the Name right! Couldn’t be that hard to find a Family Tree somewhere for Maarkan and peruse!​
And no, library hadn’t burned down!
At least, not yet, and if it happened, didn’t think they’d be the ones responsible,
So that too was pretty Important! No setting fires within Miss Tiyribi’s city, nuh-uh!​
“Sounds good though!”
Onwards! Might be worthwhile,
Looking into if they had books on fashion though,
Knitting perhaps too!
 

Indefinite

Administrator
Staff member
Mundane academic and technical references - fiction and fantasy - hadn't even been to the sections that Clairé might have thought contained material of 'interest' and yet they'd already had a rather peculiar encounter. What was next?

Well, let's see... it seemed there was some more practical nonfiction available at that. Utility! Exactly what the Jorelite might have wanted.

Cookbooks!

Knitting!

Fashion!

All that sort of thing. True, their presence in a library did mean that if it was a matter of trends, these might be rather outdated. But there were some things that would always remain classics - surely good food was always delicious? And knitting techniques would always be useful, regardless of what you wound up making out of them?
 
Non-fiction!
Risks of another gaudy book,
And Fairy Tales made for a touch of wariness now from Clairé,
Especially after Sonya the Succubus - and well, truly didn’t need anything within the Romance section when all that Interested the young woman was Melissa and Anna - much rather live their own story than read about others,
Plus, tended to be,
So ‘toy’ centric and that was just so much,
Of a dud-bash to Clairé. No, even the idea of it felt more like reading about her chosen profession - Holiday! Not for ‘work!’,​
Cookbooks for Anna!​
Fashion?
Even if it was outdated enough,
That it’d become something that was written down?
Was happy enough looking through any pictures and who knew,
Maybe there was, t’was something in there that might warrant a revival of sorts if it looked cute,
Knitting though,
Was a touch more practical,
And given, well, had picked up one book as a ‘Preventative’,
It felt… well, couldn’t really practice Ballet in the Brothel sooooo….
Being able to curl up on the quiet days and make stuff for Melissa and Anna felt kind of… nice, productive! Couldn’t hurt picking up a hobby on the side!​
 

Indefinite

Administrator
Staff member
Cookbooks! All sorts of recipes, and thankfully ones beyond just dwarven fare as well. A surprisingly decent spread, from the Charismean and Jaedaxian styles, to those more local to what had been Enamoria, even the simpler fare that those in Arium had contented themselves with. Well hey, if Clairé wanted anything in particular, it was fair game if she picked and chose what Anna might look at, right?

Fashion? Lots of writing, lots of drawings. Thankfully the people involved had made sure to do more than just try and describe with text. Was it really possible to convey this sort of thing without at least a little bit of actual visualization? Of course, all of this was still just a little bit dry, having more to do with the "history of" than anything, but at least the pictures looked nice!

Knitting! "How To." Convenient.

Several books found, and the question remained as Clairé perused whether there was anything else she might be interested in looking up?
 
Ooh! Fud!
Not that Clairé knew where to start,
And for all that there was a sense of relief,
Most genuine when it came to potentially avoiding too much Dwarven fare - Clairé drifted inevitably towards the Charismaen style. Looking for something that might be more in Melissa’s favour and the style of cuisine that would likely feature more heavily once they settled in Medonia proper,
Fashion!
Picture books! Well, sure there was words,
But Clairé was all about the designs - curious, even if the history was carefully avoided,
In favour of instead looking at the various styles before - resolved, that no, this too was something probably best off left for Melissa to navigate and determine when it came to public appearances,​
’How to Knit’?
Ooh, definitely adding that to the collection of books though,
And one that was probably going to end up ‘Borrowed’ if at all possible,
Intent upon picking up something new - especially if it resulted in a winter involving Her Lovers and large jumpers and socks and not a whole lot else when in the comfort of their own Home,​
Umm,
What else!
Did so want Ballet, but didn’t think that’d be a Thing,
And Necromancy was well… a lot less Important these days…
Uh…maybe, possibly, something upon fishing spots in the Great Centripax Basin? Not sure!
 

Indefinite

Administrator
Staff member
Ballet? ...oh? Hm? Hey, here was something! Centripax, apparently, really not giving a hoot about a certain Emperor's decree. There wasn't much, but there were a few ones here - general descriptions of technique, histories of, treatises on certain schools of dance.

Necromancy? That one, not so much. Dancing was one thing, magic was another it seemed. Although perhaps Clairé was just in the wrong section for that. Maybe there was one specifically for all things magical?

Great Centripax Basin? Fishing spots? Oh, yes, there was a section on fishing. There wasn't one specifically on the Great Centripax Basin from the look of it, so it was up to the Jorelite to decide if she wanted to flip through the books to see if the large lake was included in any of them. Although that too was something that could perhaps be narrowed down... there was apparently a certain halfling author here who'd had a province-by-province breakdown of the best fishing spots he'd encountered. So, probably safe to assume that the Great Centripax Basin would be in his book on Centripax, right?

Oh! Here came Anna, apparently having rather similar thoughts on looking up books on fishing. "Find anything good?" she'd whisper, scooting over to see what Clairé was looking at.
 
Ooh!
That was an unexpected surprise,
And sure, probably not too much useful when it came to learning Ballet from a book,
But still? Dibs! If anything was getting ‘Borrowed Indefinitely’ this was it lest someone decide to do away with the book now that it’d seen the light of day,
Still, yoink!​
Necromancy?
Really didn’t have any expectations there,
And given how often the average Necromancy was instead focused upon hordes of Undead, taking over cities and generally doing things in the worst way possible? No, Clairé was quite happy to have her methods of the darker arts separated from the general rigmarole,​
Fishing though,
While not really Clairé’s thing?
Could well see it being a part of their Future,
Especially between Vacation and eventually Eunesia too and then Medonia!
Be good to know any fishing spots!
Probably more useful information too,
For all that Clairé really wasn’t sure what she was even looking for,
Tending to treat that particular hobby of Anna’s more as an excuse to sunbathe with Melissa and an eventual yummy meal afterwards and a potential swim. Supportive! Just, wasn’t quite fascinated by catching some animals with a stick and twine,​
Grinning though,
Holding the book up for Anna to see,
“Not sure! But I figure if we’re travelling more, then this might be a good starter for finding places to visit!”​
 

Indefinite

Administrator
Staff member
"Oooooooh." Anna couldn't help but 'gimme gimme' with her hands and offer her wife a smooch at that.

Editions for Centripax, Lauryl, and Enamoria were nabbed while she was here, too. Wouldn't hurt to do a bit of studying for the places they'd be going soon, right? Of course, it was just a touch inefficient for the latter two - not Lauryl so much as Moonstone and not Enamoria so much as Medonia. Still! Work with what you got, right?

Anna, it seemed, had also grabbed a few books on hiking and mountaineering and the nearby Great Mountains, just to see if there was anything interesting besides what they'd already planned on seeing, while also being viable for relatively casual groups like theirs. Obviously, no matter how nice the sight was, if they had to do some proper mountain climbing, it'd be out of the question.

"Do you think Medonia still has anything like a library, in their rebuilt city?" Anna pondered. "Never thought I'd see the day that I'd really find myself in one, just grabbing books to read. Not the sort of recreational activity a lot of people get to enjoy, I feel."
 
Kisses for Book?
Mwah~! Don’t mind if she did!
As that was a trade Clairé was all too keen to make,
Slipping about behind Anna,
Once she’d claimed her dues and token bribery,
Arms wrapping about Her Lover’s waist as she settled in to cuddle from behind,​
Truly not sure,
As to how useful the Fishing Book was?
But that was probably like everything within the li-bra-ry really - potentially useful, but only until it was actually checked! After all, there was nothing really stopping just anybody from writing anything was there?​
Lauryl, Enamoria?
Sure, the Provinces might have split,
But the territories were much the same! Bound to be fine!
It wasn’t as if the Fishies cared about what the river’s location was bound within what borders - only that it was their stream or river or lake and the like!
That Anna had picked up some other books?
Oooh! Definitely up for some more exploring! Sure the Great Mountains,
Were potentially scary, but well, Clairé had agreed that they needed to get out and about more and adventuring and this was definitely a good start!​
”No clue!
I mean, I haven’t really gone back,
After the Xet Wars… I left right before the start, only encountered one…two? within Medonia really… soooo, no clue what kind of damage was caused really Love.”​
“But if not,
Well, maybe in time,
Everything has to start somewhere and if there’s an interest then maybe it’ll be a thing, even if it starts out much smaller than Primus Gaudeo’s one…”
 

Indefinite

Administrator
Staff member
They'd really just have to see. They said Medonia had been properly sacked and razed by the Xet, but how comprehensive had the damage to the city actually been before the Xet had been driven off? Was the totality of the city destroyed, or had there been sections that had managed to survive? If there had been a library within Medonia, was there a chance that it had managed to come through unscathed - or at least, not entirely annihilated?

Only one way to find out.

For somebody like Anna, the idea of just going to a library and spending leisure time reading did feel quite foreign. Who had time to just sit there and read? ...her, apparently! It was one of those moments where Anna realized the privilege that was granted by being the wife of people like Clairé and Melissa. Wealth! Privilege! And her, just a humble ex-guard and baker.

"I have a few other sections I wanted to check out," Anna noted. "Wanna come along? Or are there other things you wanted to take a look at?"
 
Time would tell!
But Clairé was certain,
It’d work out! Malice had hardly been a Home after all when Clairé had first arrived,
And turning it into a place for them, of Home and Temperance had taken time - Medonia would ultimately be no different - all things Changed!
Humming happily,
There was a pause, realising,
Just a touch belatedly as Clairé’s embrace tightened into a hug before separating,
Reluctant as ever, for all that Clairé spun with the neat dancer’s grace,​
Couldn’t after all,
Not so easily anyway, continue Anna’s exploration of the li-bra-ry shelves so!​
“I’ll tag along,
I mean, I think I have everything I’m after,”
Though, Clairé had thought that too, beyond inspiration when it came to knitted goods had struck courtesy of Sonya the Succubus,
”So where next,
Anna Love?”​
 

Indefinite

Administrator
Staff member
Where next?

Well, Anna had gotten the fishing and the hiking stuff that she'd wanted. What else was there?

Swimming! Which, you'd think that fishing and swimming went hand-in-hand, surely, but always good to be thorough with this sort of thing, right? Some spots were good to fish in but not so great for swimming, and some spots were great for swimming but you couldn't swim at all in! Anna, just trying to get a comprehensive understanding of the waterways of the land, it seemed, both the ones local to where they were now and where they might plan to go in future.

Baking! Always good to want to learn more, right?

Loading up on a few good books for each?

"Shall we go find Meli?" Anna was done with her search! Because, well... at a certain point, too, perhaps one just had too many books to read through in one sitting.
 
Fishing and Hiking!
Cook Books explored,
Fashion and Ballet, Knitting and… Contraceptives,
Romance section in the Fiction and Fairy Tales!
Really, Clairé wasn’t even sure what else lurked within the li-bra-ry,
Which was, t’was,
Kind of the point in the explorations of course!
Swimming? Was a little suspicious of how that might be useful given it felt more like the kind of thing that was more about the practical. Certainly, Clairé even learning to swim had come through Anna’s efforts rather than anything she could even imagine coming from the written word,​
But trusted in Anna’s process!
Quiet as she tagged along curiously,​
Baking?
Made sense!
Certainly went with the Enamorian Cook Books that had been ‘liberated’,
”Romance section again maybe?”
Given that was where they’d found their Love last time,
But nodding happily, Clairé but claiming Anna’s hand as she clasped the books against her chest with the other. Off to find their third!​
 

Indefinite

Administrator
Staff member
Melissa!

Which, well, somehow the three of them always knew exactly how to run into one another. "Aimless" wandering from Anna that practically beelined right for the Countess, who it seemed was looking up books on ballroom dancing. It'd been a while since she'd really needed to bother with it in Maeve, but it felt like those sorts of parties might be a little more important in Medonia, so surely it wouldn't hurt to brush up a bit on the basics?

"Hello!" she'd chirp at the pair as they approached. "Find everything you wanted to? I'm more or less done here as well!"

There was more of the library to explore, but at the same time? Well... they'd gotten a lot of books already, the lot of them. So perhaps they should just call it and find somewhere to sit and read?
 
Meli!
Drawn happily towards,
And as ever, Clairé’s angelic countenance lighting up,
Whenever with Melissa and Anna together, that mixture of realising that something had been missing - and now once more was whole again when all together,
”Hi-Hi!”
Grinning from ear to ear,
All dimples at the sight of their ‘Doll’, their Princess!​
”Think so!
I mean, I’m good!” with a glance towards Anna,
Making sure to confirm! Melissa seemed quite happy with her own haul? Niftiness!​
Which as far as Clairé was concerned?
Finding somewhere nice and comfy to curl up and read?
Most definitely a treat until they got hungry and pursued the whole, lunch and afternoon shopping component of their day together,
 

Indefinite

Administrator
Staff member
No need to overly load up on things, right? Might as well take their time with things. It wasn't as if the books were going to be going anywhere, after all! And, well, there was definitely the schedule for the rest of the day to keep in mind as well. Lunch, and afternoon plans, and everything after that - lots to potentially do! Perhaps they'd decide to stay, and pick up new books from other sections. Or perhaps they'd decide to go!

So might as well at least get started reading in some of it, right?

So - a private study, just for them! Courtesy of being guests of the Duchess, of course! Read at a desk? Read while sitting in a chair? Read while sprawled out on a lounge chair? So many options! However one might want to go about it!

Go forth and read to your heart's content!
 
Could always come back,
Wasn’t as if they’d been banned (Yet!),
Which was probably at least some incentive,
Not to actively pursue anything that might have ended up with Clairé being banned… however tempting!
Private study?
Ooh, nifty! Uh, soooo…
Anything they did would end up reflecting upon Miss Tiyribi?
Oh. Then t’was probably just fine then! Sonya’s location, Tiyribi and the Lampshades and what not? Neat!​
Desk? Boring!
Chair? Lounge chair? Oh, that was far more Clairé’s style!​
Which largely made,
For curling up happily,
All but throwing herself at the couch,
With Book Uno for Clairé? Ballet!
Contraceptive Recipe?
Fine, would take some notes there,
Knitting… felt harder to do anything much with given didn’t have any of the supplies to even begin learning how to make anything. So? T’was that or Fashion, and Clairé, well, Ballet!!​
 

Indefinite

Administrator
Staff member
Everybody would go and find their respective space for reading.

Melissa? Definitely a 'sitting at a table' sort. Reading like she was studying!

Anna? Reading on the floor, lying on her stomach. Somehow it just didn't feel quite right to be... sitting somewhere. Lounging somewhere. Well, maybe lounging somewhere could also work. She'd move around after every few books to see how it felt!

Reading!

Ballet! (Oh, wow, there were lots of styles and techniques that Clairé hadn't seen before. But that probably wasn't too surprising given Ilph's specific way of doing things. The fundamentals were all there, of course.) Huh. What was a 'tutu'?

Recipe! Notes. All of this seemed like it should be commonly available, too. Something that could be made no matter where you were, more or less.

Knitting! Uh, well, at least this way Clairé might have a general idea of what to do with it in future?

Fashion? All the clothes! Lots and lots of drawing to accompany the rather dry spiels about how these sorts of things were made and what they looked like and so on. Ack. Corsets were really popular for whatever reason. Even in the drawings, those people looked uncomfortable.
 
Humming softly,
All the while as Clairé curled up on the couch,
Stealing periodic glances thrown Melissa and Anna’s way,
The token fond adoration, ever the distraction,
Literate? Certainly,
But there too was no escaping that,
It was a bit of a struggle at times as Clairé was slow and ponderous,
Working her way through and every now and again quietly sounding the words out underneath her breath,​
Ballet!
Which when Clairé’s experiences,
Tended to be opposite ends of the spectrum it’d felt like with Moonbeard and Ilph?
That there’d once (was still maybe?) other styles too? All kinds of neat!​
Tutu!
Had one, for all,
That Clairé had almost never worn the gossamer garment,
Only ever having performed with it during her first presentation and performance before the Plushy Jorel’s and Her Loves!
Recipe?
Simple? Easy access? Neat!
Really, really wasn’t keen upon being knocked up again after the Parasite,
Plus some token Tribute to Miss Haya that wasn’t Plague or Disease did feel quite appropriate, so, ta-da! Sorted just in case any of Natulcien’s supplies were ever delayed,​
Knitting?
Uh, that felt a little more problematic than expected,
Sure, it was a decision largely born out of whimsy after seeing Sonya’s attire but also one that was feeling like needed a touch more research (and supplies!)​
Fashion was…
Oh… that was a lot of corsets…
Which really ran contrary to the whole, liked being able to breathe…
Looked amazing, just, breathing wasn’t optional,
Which afterwards?
Made for Clairé plopping down alongside Anna on the floor,
And a curious, “Find anything fun within your lot Love?”​
 

Indefinite

Administrator
Staff member
Fashion! Really was the sort of thing where, oh yeah, hadn't Melissa firmly tried to push an anti-corset stance from Temperance for a reason? Because corsets had been all the rage elsewhere, after all. It turned out that fashion trends could be tricky things because sometimes fashion took a turn for the dumb, like thinking that it was really neat that you couldn't breathe when wearing clothes - and don't even get Melissa started on the fad of ripping a perfectly good pair of clothes for the sake of "aesthetic."

Sooooo many words, though. Kind of inevitable given, well, that was sort of how reading worked! Some people could sit and read all day, and some people couldn't help but need to get up, stretch, have a walk, take a break every now and again.

Melissa? The former.

Anna? The latter! Lots of stretching, pacing, staring out windows, amidst the reading.

All smiles when Clairé decided to plop down, though! Mwah~! "Going on a trip down nostalgia lane with some of these!" she beamed, gesturing towards some of the storybooks she'd found. "Not quite the same without the camp mother making all the sound effects, though."

"I'd just started to take a look at some of the fishing spots, although I have to wonder how accurate it is these days. I figure the Black Fog did a number on the local ecology,"
Anna shrugged. "Better to have something to start with than go in blind, I guess! How about you, how's your reading been?"
 
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