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Era XXVII (27)
Great Mountains, Centripax
Content Warnings
Potential NSFW
Blushing happily,
For all that the loss of the heated pool really was going to hit hard come winter,
And pretty sure that wasn’t something to have easily relocated to where-ever in Medonia that they ended up. New Home! Just, so much unknown as to what it’d look like and even who amongst the Castle’s household might come join them,
But that was for the Future and to come,
Thereafter the Vacation! Still a ways off before having to worry about that!​
All would be well!
Positive thinking!​
And out and about and well,
For a space that had had, well, whatever caused the dead Froglocks?
Things at least at the Observatory, abandoned though it was, didn’t look all that bad really which was all kinds of nice,
Though Clairé having more of a black thumb,
Than a green one, and of a mind to leave well enough alone lest she spoil the goodies that potentially still lurked within,​
A place to have dinner outside,
Potentially? Nifty! Especially if they could make a fire,
To keep away the mountain’s evening chill a little bit,
And all the while,
A skip and a bounce to Clairé’s step,
As the three of them explored, and where courtesy was paid towards people’s private dwellings?
No such thing when it came to supplies and packages and, Clairé, without saying a word flicking the Unlock component of her Enchanted Ring to simply help herself into the room!​


Staff member

And into the room! From the smell of things, thankfully, it didn't seem like there had been any perishables that had been left in here. Still, it was entirely possible that there might be something unpleasant lurking in some of these packages, so... pay attention, and be careful!

There wasn't too much, though. Whether the Kalendryans had already sorted through most of it by the time they'd needed to evacuate or whether they just didn't get sent much in general? It wouldn't take too long to rifle through the loot.

Mail, mostly. Parchment. Letters. Forms and so on.

A few books. Some of them having to do with their work. At least one person had apparently put in an order for some trashy romance novel. (Hopefully, at some point, they'd managed to learn how the story went.)

A pair of hiking boots, far too big for any of the three.

Some packets of seeds, presumably for the areas they'd already seen.

And a... scroll! Full of runes, from the look of it! And instructions for their use - so it did seem like the Observatory had previously had an Ikonomancer, who was acquiring runes from elsewhere to apply to some of the items around here for practical purposes. Presumably, that was how the cold beer kegs had come to be, and it seemed like they'd planned on expanding into other utility around the observatory. Interesting!
Between the trinkets,
That Clairé had picked up after Nakasha’s birth,
And Her Mister Jorel’s Blessings? Quite confident that there really wasn’t all that many places,
That could actually bar her entry when given sufficient will and time,
Which given the risks,
Of well, hopefully people weren’t sending,
Things that were dangerous in the mail! Had never really sent anything in the old days when Lylles Co. managed that and the closest approximation? Running as a courier for Miss Tiyribi during the whole, Maeve/Deadbeat struggle,​
That most within?
Really wasn’t all that Interesting?
Made it that much more exciting when one of the books (definitely not the romance! Had Her Meli and Anna thanking you very much!) was a scroll on Rune Magic? All kinds of nifty!​
Which also,
Definitely made it Anna’s!
Having zero interest or inclination to put Her Love out,
And far more enjoying being Anna’s student for the Runes! Which…
Well… if there really was an Ikomancer about? It was increasingly also feeling like maybe, just maybe, they should start ransacking the private rooms after all to see if the Rune Mage had left anything of value behind!
Remained something of a work in progress…​


Staff member
Yoink indeed! No doubt the intention behind the scroll (and the reason why there had been instructions) was to nab the runes contained within and just slap them on whatever object was nearby. You didn't need to 'know' a rune to be able to use it, although naturally it was dangerous to try and do that with something completely unknown. By having instructions on which rune did what, you eliminated the 'unknown' bit. From there, it was essentially the same as having limited imbuement charges - only so many runes inscribed on the page.

But perhaps Anna could study the runes and 'learn' them? Or, failing that, just having the limited-use runes on her was useful in and of itself. Nice find!

'Cold', well, already knew that one, not useful.

'Hot', hey! That was good! Exactly what Clairé had been looking for.

'Warm', okay, also useful. Less intense versions. 'Cool', same idea. Gradients.

Kind of simple, but the more runes the better, right?

"Could have hot baths tonight!"
Anna grinned. Enough charges to spare, even if she wanted to do some studying!
And Clairé, completely and utterly ignorant,
Upon Ikomancy outside what Anna had demonstrated,
Really having treated its addition to her Chaos (Wonky!) Magic as a complete wildcard,
And still, even with Anna’s tutoring, oh so inexperienced,
Learn the Runes?
Consumed? Didn’t know, didn’t Understand,
And so? Clairé happily left that to Anna to figure out as the obvious Expert upon Rune Magic out of the trio!​
Cold? No thanks!
Hot though and Warm? Cool?
The prospect of a nice warm Bath really was all kinds of appealing!​
Better too,
If the Runes were available as needed,
Rather than burned out on a whim…
Still Clairé’s grin mirrored Anna’s,
Uncertain, but Her Love’s confidence entirely infectious, trusted! Believed in!​
”That would be all kinds of lovely!
I think this is the longest I’ve gone without a proper soak in years! Spoiled I know, but a cold bath really just doesn’t do the trick… cold just feels like should be swimming, y’know?”​


Staff member

But surely that was the point of a bit of wealth? Spoiling yourself with it?

It didn't seem like there was much else in the room that was of interest, and it seemed like this had been the last of the buildings scattered about the observatory site that they could see. Just a few small facilities to help make their lives here a little easier - it wasn't as if they were fully remote and needed to be self-sustaining, after all. There had been relatively regular shipments of supplies up to where they were, it wasn't as if they were that far from civilization.

So... hm!

"I can go and prepare lunch?" Anna offered as a 'what next'. Their explorations had taken a bit of time, after all!
In quite a lot of ways! Definitely the ones that mattered!
And that financial had only recently started to show some dividends in Clairé’s view,
Company? Priceless! But actual gold and silver really had been a little lacking, even if most of her actual needs had been largely taken care of,
This though?
A quiet, mountain retreat with views,
Yummy food, places to explore and a potential hot bath in their future? Woo!​
The ‘what next’?
“Sure! Did you need a hand at all Love?” Clairé wondered aloud,
Really uncertain as to how much value she was to be, given well, Clairé,​
But had to be asked!
T’was Important! Even if,
She knew she was more a hindrance than help except when it came time to eating,
Immensely useful then at making the yummies vanish!


Staff member
Did Anna need a hand? "I think I've got it under control!" Had managed dinner last night just fine, and this wasn't going to be much more complicated, after all.

Plus, you know, Clairé was Clairé and Melissa was Melissa, and did either of them really know anything about cooking anyway? On the one hand, polite to offer, sure. On the other hand, well... really was probably fine on her own!

"Why don't we see to airing out the linens, then?" Melissa suggested as something for her and Clairé to do in the meantime, since Anna had wanted to do so. "I don't know that a full-on wash is needed for them."
Trusted and believed in,
But also, mindful and wanted to help,
Even if quietly, Clairé tended to believe the best way not to be a hindrance was to keep her hands behind her back and try not to be a distraction,
That Clairé knew,
Next to nothing about cooking,
Beyond the eating phase and trying to occasionally help out with the cleaning when there weren’t servants about? Nope! Perks insofar as Clairé was concerned of having fallen in love with and married a baker - kind of got to avoid the pitfalls of the Jorelite in the kitchen,​
”Oh right, the whole,
Leaving the place in a ‘Kay state for anyone that follows after us!”
Had totally forgotten, rather than, well, being selective and trying to avoid said work. Truth!​
“Can’t imagine so,
I mean we had a bath and stuff…”
And far too tired to do anything untoward that necessitated a changing of the linens anyway,
At least insofar as she was, t’was concerned!
But a task set!
As Clairé but claimed Melissa’s hand,


Staff member
Back to the observatory tower!

Anna? Hunkering down in the base camp to get lunch prepared for them!

Melissa and Clairé? Let's get these linens somewhere they could be aired out! Which... led to the question, where had the Kalendryans done their laundry, exactly? A guess was that the bath house was something that they could more or less also use for that purpose? There was a water pump there, right? Where else would they get the water for this sort of thing?

And it was definitely a guess in the right line of thinking! They'd be able to find some lines to be set out and pins to get the linens up. Pin this, pin that... and linens, hanging and airing out!

"Do you think that's been enough time for lunch to get ready? Or shall we just have a bit of a stroll?" Melissa pondered. They should do their best not to get in the way of lunch, right?
How much harm could the pair of them cause anyway?
Surely the Xet Alliance had done all the damage that really,
Was about as much as could be, and given the distinct lack of any,
Xet-Bug corpses that they’d encountered thus far?
Well, that was,
T’was either a really Good Sign, or a reeeeally bad one…
But even then,
The Xet-Bugs had ended up in Centripax,
So evidently? Moving right along!​
”Not sure!” as Clairé,
Lines, sheets more or less hung out! Pin and hang and work together!​
“I mean,
So long as we don’t cause Anna any trouble,
I’m sure it’ll be fine, right?” Helping by keeping to themselves rather than Helping!
“Plus, better to be on time rather than make our Love wait - food might end up cold too!”


Staff member

Fair point! Wouldn't do to keep Anna waiting, either! Surely the two of them could behave and stay out of the way? Surely!

Hand in hand, then, the pair would make their way back up to the basecamp! Where... oooh! Smelled good!

And Melissa, seeing if she couldn't distract the both of them and stay out of Anna's way by asking if there was anything that needed setting up. Cutlery, maybe. Anything like that?

...nope! Because Anna was making burritos!

"Well, I guess we can just sit here and look pretty for when she's ready to bring the food over," Melissa noted simply, gesturing for Clairé to come join her. Anna, having a section over here where she was warming up the tortilla, and then a pan over here where everything had gone in to be mixed up and heated... chicken and rice and beans and so on...

...smelled good!
Plus, and something,
She didn’t want to voice - still,
Really wasn’t all that keen on the three of them being separated when in a strange, unknown place. That even if everything was fine? Had already dealt with spooky ghosts and didn’t know what else might be out there within the Great Mountains,
Hand in hand,
The fond squeeze, as well,
The token little reminder, wasn’t alone,​
Base camp!​
And the heady smell,
Of their forthcoming meal that was?
Definitely not drooling! Not yet anyway!
Could help? No? Ooh!
Burritos? Nice!
Really was all kinds of glad that they’d spent time,
Within that small village! Sure the Dolwoods had ended up as a misadventure,
But yummy food, their eloping and well, courtesy of a bit of time? Anna had still ended up with some New Runes too! Sure they weren’t Dolwood specific, but Clairé was all for the New regardless of where it came from!​
Melissa’s advice?
As if there was ever anyone better for such a task!​
Clairé happily joining Her Love,
The hint of rose colouring her cheeks as she settled in alongside Melissa,
Caught between curiosity, avidly watching Anna cook (drool!) and well, Clairé really never had been all that adept at sitting quiet and still,
Patting her lap,
“Come here, gorgeous. Braids?” Clairé but offered,
Curious if Melissa would let her play with her hair whilst they awaited lunch?​


Staff member
Would Melissa let Clairé play with her hair? Well, was there anything Melissa wouldn't let Clairé do to her?

Lap claimed! The Countess more than happy to pass time in such a fashion, as Anna was hard at work by the fireplace. All right, it was technically Anna's first time doing this, but you had to learn somehow, right? Take the mix of food, pour it into the tortilla. That was a pretty good blend, right? Everything looked uniform? Yup, seemed good! Chicken and beans and rice and vegetables - all right, now just take the edges of the tortilla? Fold it like... so...

...like... so...



...there! Took a few tries, but eventually Anna managed to get it to a point where it was undeniably a burrito, and didn't feel like it would fall apart at any second. And all the food was in there and everything! That was one, just had to do two... three! And still plenty leftover should they want to continue eating.

Burritos with sides of lemonade! And Anna would bring it over to where her pretty little wives were sitting, all smiles!

Didn’t know!
And as tempted as Clairé was to make good,
On the whole ganging up upon Melissa notion the sooner?
Behaved! Busied herself far more in contenting herself with playing with Melissa’s wavy blonde hair, the tip of Clairé’s tongue poking out between her cherry red lips as she concentrated,
This? No, maybe this?
Enamorian or Jaedaxian? Did so feel that,
Doing things the Charismaen way felt most appropriate for Melissa,
Even if eventually? Ended up in something of a makeshift crown - really did need a brush to do it properly, but was still quite happy with the end result!​
Burritos with Lemonade?
Nifty! Still the token wistful smile at the loss of Honey Mead, for all that neither could Clairé deny that it was, t’was probably doing her a world of good too in not drinking quite as heavily as she once had…​
“Smells amazing!” Clairé sung,
Giving Melissa a fond little boop on the nose once she too was satisfied with her own project,
“Hail to the chef!” she added in familiar praise, as genuine as ever and rosy of cheeks in her adoration of their Love,


Staff member
Good to go? Good to go! Melissa almost going cross-eyed as she stared down the finger that booped her nose, only to giggle and remove herself from Clairé's lap so that eating could commence properly.

What did Anna think of Melissa's new hairstyle? ...pretty! Fancy! Worth applauding!

Melissa could say the same of Anna's food!

Tucking in - and it was delicious! Hearty! Filling! Rich and tasty! Very comfortable after a morning of moving around, for all that it couldn't really be called strenuous, perhaps. Lemonade to offer a bit of sweetness amidst all the savory, and it was a very satisfying lunch!

Nom nom nom! Just, had to be a little careful with how it was held. Anna's wrapping skills... not quite the same as a professional just yet!
All adoration,
Between the prospective lunch that Anna had created all for them,
And that of her gorgeous wife being all kinds of cute!
That the finger-food that was,
The burritos was perhaps risking a bit of mess?
That too was ever so fine! Taking care all the while, but it wasn’t as if,
This was fine finding at some Medonian Court! Didn’t have to worry about manners when enjoying the meal that Anna had cooked up was Top Priority!​
Which admittedly,
Did tend to mean that Clairé was wiping her fingers,
A good bit upon the hem of her skirts,​
Probably didn’t matter,
Had the order of things down right!
But a good reasoning for doing Melissa’s braid crown,
Before they sat down to eat rather than afterwards!
”Tastes great too!”
Grinning as she polished off the last of her own,
“So any thoughts on what to spend the afternoon doing?”​


Staff member


And, Clairé getting caught wiping off her fingers, come on. There were spare linens here, Melissa encouraged Clairé to at least use those, please? Like it was a napkin? Behavior correction! No need to make a mess of their own things when there were such better alternatives! Especially if it was up in the air as to whether or not they'd actually get any washing done today - for all that the Countess did want to do so now, at least give Clairé's outfit a bit of a wiping.

Nom nom nom! Anna? Could honestly do with another burrito, for all that she offered a tilt of the head towards Melissa - caught by Clairé, unseen by the person in question - as a suggestion. Sure, there was some potential washing up to do, some more eating to be done, but, you know!

Priorities. Right?

And Melissa, unawares, more focused now on making sure that Clairé was wiping her mouth with one of the spare linens and not just the back of her hands. Wiping her fingers on her skirts had really made the noblewoman wary of further nonsense!
And to absolutely no surprise,
That for all Clairé tended to now be more,
Careful about how much she ate and what? The style of food that they’d uncovered from Taco Village? Clairé always seemed to have just that little bit extra room for more,
And what?! Innocent!
Fiiiine, but then they’d have to wash the linens and as it was,
Had to wash her dress after the hike and stuff anyway so wasn’t this saving time? Yes? Uh… fiiiiine….​
Really did suspect,
That in their own way? Melissa and Anna,
Were ‘training’ Clairé for polite society, even if there was a bit of difficulties in getting her to genuinely care - largely treating it as a case of, if it made Her Wives happy, then that was cause enough. The actual reason was entirely unimportant outside Anna and Melissa’s contentment,​
Anna’s askew glance?
Oh? Oh!
Definitely in the mood for ‘taco’!
The slightest of nods,
Dark eyes sparkling with mischief as,
Clairé considered the linens and the dirtied skirts and,
A soft little,​
”Now hold still,
I can’t at all take it seriously Meli,
When you have food on your face…hold still!” Clairé teased,
Leaning in with the napkin, only, nope! Mwah~!​
Definitely better methods,
Of keeping clean than making use of the linens,


Staff member
Mwah~! Melissa allowing herself to fall for the bait, in spite of what she'd been trying to accomplish. It might've been one thing if the context had been different - actually trying to train Clairé, knowing that there was some dinner party coming up that the Countess rather wanted the Jorelite to be able to behave properly during - but this was different, after all. Recreational, hanging out together somewhere, and so any 'training' was certainly secondary to kisses.

Anna? Well, was still actually hungry... so, content to leave the two of them alone for now! Besides, it wasn't as if they could run out of 'taco'! Quite content with working on that second burrito.

Satisfy one hunger before working on another!

Melissa? Definitely fine with just the one burrito, hence, moving on to snacking on Clairé! Deeper kiss, and if they were going to need to wash that dress anyway, then surely it'd be fine if it was taken off?
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