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 [Secfenia RP] In search of.....

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Kaireth
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PostSubject: [Secfenia RP] In search of.....   Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:42 pm

After Eva was born, there was only one thing Camelia could think of: a baby of her own. At Casimir's insistence, she spent some time caring for the orphans at the temple with Aida. As she had expected, those children were not satisfying to her in the same way as a brand new, never before used baby. Casimir told her in no uncertain terms that she was never to say anything like that in front of Dahlia again, which mystified Camelia, but she agreed out of love for her brother and his wife.

That still left her with a dilemma. She wanted a baby, but Cassie was, as ever, reluctant to assist her with romantic endeavors. Even when she'd still been a good girl, pure of heart and body, her brothers seemed to think that marriage was not something she should consider. She'd gone so far as to fall in love once, which seemed to have made Cassie slightly more accommodating, but produced no better results than simply nagging her brother weekly for a marriage.

It was time, Camelia decided, to take matters in to her own hands. She wasn't a good girl any more, and she wasn't sure bad girls even married. It didn't seem particularly naughty, but she knew so little about being married she supposed she could be wrong. Marrying did seem time consuming and indirect, though her brother seemed convinced it was a necessary step to having a baby. Camelia thought he was probably mistaken, because she'd met any number of ladies who had babies but no husband through the somewhat uncomfortable intervention of a succubus some months ago. Now, as a newly minted bad girl, Camelia decided it was time to pay those ladies a visit again to find out how they got what they wanted in the absence of a husband.

She came away from the brothel surprised, and more than a little shocked, but with the utmost confidence that her scantily clad friends had told her what she needed to know to get her baby. She shopped. She preened. She traded a series of outfits before settling on one. She had the dining room at Rosendale House decked in candles, since this was a meeting that couldn't very well take place at the castle, where her judgmental brother could walk in at any time.

So it was that Camelia Grimstad found herself dining every night for a couple of weeks with a new table mate. She provided a spread of all sorts of things (except salad), and spent hours each day on her appearance before sitting down to the table each night with her beau, such as he was. He didn't provide much in the way of conversation, and to tell the truth, she wasn't even entirely sure he was male. She was determined though, so she persisted with her efforts. Her lady friends knew everything about men, and they'd been very clear that a cucumber was a reliable method to achieve satisfaction in the absence of a husband. It was simply a pity that the cucumber didn't make better company. It was almost enough to make Camelia reconsider marriage.
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PostSubject: Re: [Secfenia RP] In search of.....   Wed Feb 18, 2015 3:26 pm

Camelia was deeply disappointed.  She'd been so sure after all her efforts that she must be pregnant, right up until her sister-in-law provided some helpful information that dashed her hopes.  Apparently, this was not a case of animal, vegetable, or mineral being suitable for the job.  She stood over the kitchen waste bucket, letting cucumber shavings and tears fall into it from above.  The woman who managed the small staff found her like this and clucked, then set her mistress in a chair and made them both a pot of tea.  Her face turned bright red as she heard out Camelia's story, which made the lady of the house fear her housekeeper was having apoplexy.  After an interval of trying to loosen the housekeeper's garments and lay her out on the floor, Camelia was finally made to understand that everything was fine, that good lady was just prone to coloring under certain circumstances.  Camelia was doubtful, but since her friend seemed to have all her wits about her, she decided perhaps all was well with her.

With this new crisis settled, the plump housekeeper laid a motherly hand over Camelia's (after restoring her mussed clothing) and gave the younger woman some motherly advice.  "You'll have your own little ones someday, I'm sure of it.  You just have to wait your time for the stork to visit.  You can't rush it."

Camelia left this encounter thoughtful, and took herself immediately to the market where she acquired the materials for a large aviary to be added to the house and ordered 12 storks to be brought in at the soonest possibility.  She had no interest in waiting any longer, since she was practically an old maid already.  She would be 20 at her next birthday, and then her life may as well be over anyway.

Besides, if this plan didn't work, Camelia was fairly sure she could make some very nice dinners out of stork.  She just couldn't tell Cassie what dinner was made of those nights, the poor delicate thing.
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PostSubject: Re: [Secfenia RP] In search of.....   Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:06 pm

Camelia felt fairly sure after a couple of more weeks that she must be pregnant, though they had already turned one of the storks in to a very tasty pot pie when the pantry was empty one evening. Eleven should still be more than enough for one woman, she thought, so she didn't worry over much about it. Others seemed to regard the announcement of her pregnancy with doubt, but Camelia had faith that things would work out for her as she wished. If they didn't, she'd make them.

While she waited for the pregnancy to be obvious enough to silence the naysayers, she decided to invest more time in Rosendale House. She'd neglected it badly since being granted the land by the King, and she'd only really realized that during the sad episode of the cucumber. Thinking on this led her to decide that while the staff aired and thoroughly cleaned the inside, she would start a winter garden behind the kitchen. It would help provide wholesome food for her new baby, whenever he or she chose to arrive, and a project to fill her time while she waited. She didn't feel obligated to practice patience so much these days, since she was no longer a good girl and didn't need virtue any more, but she had not yet found that being impatient made things happen any faster. Thus far, her exploration of being a bad girl had led her to decide the most efficient thing to do was have a really good tantrum first thing in the morning, preferably with no one around to frighten or cause to laugh at her, and then go on about her day much as she would have before. That got all of her bad behavior out of the way quickly so she was free to do as she pleased afterwards.

The garden took shape quickly, helped along perhaps by the secret in her blood that she was as yet unaware of. Seeds took root and became sprouts in a few days in the kitchen windows, and thrived when they were eventually transplanted to the well tilled earth outside. The garden didn't provide much variety at this time of year, due to the cold. She had some potatoes and cabbages that looked very promising, but she hadn't been able to think of anything else that might withstand the winter. She'd been told that it was important to talk to plants to help them thrive, so after her morning tantrum every day she put on her warmest cloak and went out into the garden to have a good chat before breakfast.

Even she was surprised when one of her cabbages answered her one day, surprised enough that she squeaked and hurried away, and didn't return to the garden for the rest of the day.
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PostSubject: Re: [Secfenia RP] In search of.....   Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:17 pm

The next morning, Camelia's tantrum came easier than usual. She even felt inspired to throw a few things, though she was immediately apologetic when a vase almost hit the poor girl lighting the fires for the day. She hovered over the waif, who couldn't have been more than twelve and probably 70 pounds soaking wet, but the girl cheerfully waved her apologies away.

"Look miss, my last mistress threw things all the time," she said as she scrambled up from where she'd dove into a corner. "It's just what nobles do. I was starting to think maybe you wasn't really noble at all," she went on as she swept up the sooty mess she'd made and returned to her chores.

Camelia filed this information away, suddenly aware that Redfay and Fenia must have very different practices for their nobility. This was obviously something she'd have to study. She'd probably done any number of other things wrong by now, and hadn't even realized the offense she was giving.

She threw on her cloak and a determined expression, then made her way out to the garden armed with a list of things to discuss with the potatoes and cabbages. She visited the potatoes first, since they'd never talked back to her and she was consequently more at ease with them, but saved her best topics of conversation for the cabbages. When she made it round to the cabbages, she prattled on a mile a minute with barely a breath until she'd exhausted her list of topics. Camelia knew she should begin a fast march back to the house at that point, but something made her pause and listen carefully, both afraid and hopeful that she might hear the small voice again. She heard the sighing of the distant wind and swish of her own skirts as the wind caught them, but nothing else. I must have been imagining things. Or heard the wind whistling, she thought sensibly. She smiled a little at her own silliness of the day before as she took a deep breath of fresh, chill air and looked off toward the rising sun.

"Is it very pretty?"

"It is," she replied, enraptured by the sight.

"Tell me what it looks like."

Camelia drew a breath to try to describe it, then froze and looked around to see who she was talking to. There was no one there. "Where are you? Who are you?"

"I'm down here," came the small voice, from somewhere around her toes.

Camelia looked down and saw she was standing over a particularly ample purple cabbage, not too far from where she'd been yesterday morning when she thought she heard a voice. She gulped but refused to flee this time. It was her garden and she was Lady of this house, and now she knew she could throw things whensoever she felt like it, too. She'd throw things at the cabbage until it stopped talking back to her if she had to. "Look," she said firmly, "you're really not supposed to talk at all. Cabbages don't even have mouths or tongues. If you're not going to be properly silent and leafy and whatever else a cabbage is supposed to be, I'll have you made into soup for dinner tonight."

"I'm not a cabbage," the tiny voice replied.

"Are too," Camelia retorted.

The cabbage shot back, "Am not!" and they proceeded in this way until one of them proved to be sensible enough to interrupt what could have been an endless argument.

"I can prove it," the cabbage told her. "Take me inside where it's warm and peel away the leaves of the cabbage. You'll find me inside."

Anyone else probably would have thought this a very bad idea, but Camelia thought it seemed sensible. After all, the cabbage would have to be taken apart to make soup anyway if it turned out to be just a cabbage. And if it was something else, she wasn't sure soup was the proper recipe for it. She pulled the cabbage from where it grew, tucked it under one arm, and returned to the kitchen of Rosendale House.
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PostSubject: Re: [Secfenia RP] In search of.....   Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:53 am

Camelia set the cabbage on the kitchen work table, shrugged her cloak off on a nearby bench, and got her favorite kitchen knife.  Somehow, the cabbage managed to squeal in dismay when she approached the table with the knife.  Camelia was used to her ingredients protesting, so it didn't slow her down.  She arranged the cabbage just so, positioning it to be able to lop off the stem in one fell swoop of her well sharpened knife.  

"STOP!" the cabbage shrilled.  "I'll give you a gift if you stop!"

Camelia hesitated with her knife poised mid air.  "What sort of gift?"

"What do you want most?" the cabbage asked.  Camelia thought she saw a bead of sweat roll down its exterior, which seemed odd since it was a vegetable, though less odd as a reaction of one of her more animated ingredients.

"I want a baby," she replied automatically.

"I can give you a baby," the cabbage replied.  Somehow it sensed Camelia's knife lowering and finally resting gently on the table.  "I can give you a baby," the cabbage repeated more calmly, its small voice becoming almost seductive.  "And it won't take nine months.  It'll just be a little time, not so long at all, but you have to do exactly as I say."  

The lure of a baby was enough to make Camelia agree readily, even when the cabbage informed her that the first step would be to nestle it in her own bed, on her own pillow, and wrap it in a silk scarf.  She thought this all seemed a bit extravagant for a cabbage, but it was certainly cheaper than her aviary had been, so she complied.  "Now what?" she asked the cabbage eagerly as she perched on the edge of her bed.  

"Peel away one leaf," the cabbage said.  

Camelia enthusiastically reached for the cabbage and began to tear at the outermost leaf.  

"Gently," the cabbage warned, and she amended her approach.  She was surprised at how warm and soft the cabbage felt now, very different from how it had felt out in the garden.  It was almost like touching skin.  By the time she'd peeled away enough of the outermost leaf to snap it free, she was hesitant to do so, fearing that it might hurt the cabbage.  "Go ahead," it told her coaxingly.  She snapped the leaf free quickly, trying to get it over with as fast as possible.  The cabbage sighed as if in relief and she gently arranged the silk scarf more snuggle around it.

"Leave me now," it directed her, "and come back tomorrow."

Camelia blinked and stared at it for a moment, confused at being put out of her own bedroom by a vegetable, but then she silently left the room to order the housekeeper to prepare one of the guest rooms for her use for a short while.
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PostSubject: Re: [Secfenia RP] In search of.....   Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:18 pm

The next day, Camelia went back to her room first thing in the morning, even before her tantrum.  She was too eager to get one step closer to her baby to suffer any delays.  The cabbage seemed to be waiting for her.  As soon as it sensed her entry, it greeted her in a voice that seemed a little stronger and clearer than the day before.  She perched on the edge of the bed again and reached for the cabbage eagerly to being peeling away another layer.

"Wait," the cabbage said in a tone that seemed almost coy.

Camelia frowned and hesitated with her hand outstretched, tempted to just go ahead and unwrap the remaining leaves to find what she wanted.  The cabbage seemed to know what she was thinking, though.

"You can't rush this, Camelia Grimstad.  You must be patient to get what you most desire."

Camelia frowned more deeply but her hand dropped to join its mate in a ladylike position in her lap.  She silently counted to ten, then reached for the cabbage again.

"Wait, Camelia," the cabbage sighed.  "First you must do something for me."

Camelia's frown took on thunderous proportions as her hand fell to her lap once more.  "What do you want now?" she asked in the same tone she'd used on her brothers when they were all much younger and squabbling over a game.  

"You must help..... to shape me," the cabbage replied as if trying to find words to put on a difficult concept.

"You have a shape," Camelia replied sensibly.  "Mostly round, with a little stumpy bit and-"

"No, you must help shape the person I will become.  You must help shape me in to your baby."

Camelia had made gingerbread men, so this didn't seem too terrible a task.  She began rattling off a list of ideas and ingredients and recipes that should result in a baby shaped cabbage something, but she was interrupted again.

"NO," the cabbage said once more, sounding thoroughly exasperated by now.  "Not like that.  Just-- tell me what color my hair will be."

Camelia blinked, but accepted this as a reasonable request.  After all, babies had hair.  Maybe it was just a little sometimes, but they all had at least some hair.  "I don't care what color your hair is," she told the cabbage.

"You have to choose," the cabbage insisted.  

"Fine," Camelia said as she chose a color at random.  "Very dark brown.  Almost black."

There was a short pause as if the cabbage was absorbing this, and then it directed her to uncover it and peel another leaf away.  When Camelia pulled the silk scarf off, the cabbage seemed larger and darker than the day before, but still warm and soft to the touch.  She pulled the leaf away with no compunction about hurting it this time, based both on the experience of the day before and a small vindictive streak that made her want to take out her frustration with the waiting and directions on the cabbage, who had somehow become her master.  The cabbage tolerated this with no signs of discomfort, but when she snapped the leaf free, she thought she saw a tiny drop of blood. She stared at it, then touched it with her finger tip.

Again, the cabbage seemed to have some oddly clear sense of all that happened around it. "You must put it on your tongue," it said softly.

Part of Camelia rebelled, thinking this seemed a bit too much like magic, but another part of her was entranced by the ruby tone and inviting scent of the teensy droplet. Before she could make a decision, her finger had popped itself in her mouth and the drop was gone. She hurried from the room after that and directed a maid to wrap the cabbage back up in the scarf as she fled down the stairs.
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PostSubject: Re: [Secfenia RP] In search of.....   Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:27 pm

It was a few days before Camelia returned to her chamber again, but she dreamt every night in between about the taste of that one, tiny, ruby droplet.  In her dreams, it became rivers and oceans that were still not enough to quench her thirst.  When she sat in the kitchen and helped Cook to prepare dinner, the russet hues of the setting sun became streaks of blood in her vision.  Finally, one night when she woke breathless from a dream of blood, she slipped down the hall and entered her chamber again to perch on the edge of the bed.  

In the darkness, the lump under the bed covers seemed larger, and almost looked as it if could be pulsing with the steady rhythm of breath or a heart beat.  Camelia knew this couldn't be so, but she still reached out a hand to touch it to assure herself that it was just a cabbage.  It sighed at her touch and the wrappings around it fell away as Camelia watched, transfixed.  She pulled the dark form to her lap to cradle it close to her.

"Again," it whispered to her in the darkness.  "Pull away another layer."

Camelia obeyed, slowly, working more by touch than by sight.  When she snapped the leaf free this time, there was a blinding flash and she fell senseless to the bed, still cradling her mysterious treasure.
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