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The Kingdom of Ilia > Eutropia

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message 1: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 547 comments Mod
Eutropia is one of Ilia's most inhabited islands, and therefore one of the biggest. The land and its climate are varied, from snow-dusted rolling hills to endless plains under a summer sky. There are Ilian people living all over, and even some fragments of island hovering above this main one; usually only a house or two will fit up there. In the centre of the island, there is a marketplace that boasts a variety of shops and is always bustling with people. Here, you can find anything you that you may need.


message 2: by Jo (new)

Jo (Penname8) | 252 comments The marketplace at Eutropia was one of the most impressive sights he had ever seen. Apollo, having been born in a little isolated settlement in Anastasia, the least inhabited island of Ilia (unless you counted Adelma) he had never seen such a crowd. He loved to see the bustling mass of people in the streetways, the sides lined with stands that offered every variety of trinket-thingamajigs. Amongst other merchandise.

He pushed past a particularly rude old woman in his way who cried out to him angrily and threw a pebble at the lute strapped on his back as he sped towards the stand he was looking for. Strings. The marketplace was the best place to get his strings, from the right seller-merchant.


message 3: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 547 comments Mod
Basil was not a stranger to the merchants of Eutropia's famous marketplace. Most of her travels brought her there, where a Eutropian would spend a good amount of money for the wares she transported from distant islands.

On this particular day, her loftwing had stayed back at the inn, choosing a few more hours of sleep over the bustling crowds. The flight here had been long and the winds had been tricky; it was understandable that Altair was tired.

And so Basil sought out a nearby music stand run by a gruff but endearing middle-aged man, messenger bag strapped over her shoulder. For all its loud business, the marketplace had a fairly organised, systematic placement of stands that made it easier for people to get around.


message 4: by Jo (new)

Jo (Penname8) | 252 comments Apollo finally made his way to the stand he sought. A few onlookers surrounded the stand with curious and sometimes critical eyes, at the instruments at the back out of the reach of naughty children-tykes who tried to grab them and the various assortments of strings, reeds, resins and other helpful tools at his disposal.

Apollo leaned on a poster and called out lazily, "The lute strings at what price today, Ludovic?" His eyes then darted to the girl next to him, in a dress-attire of a female errand girl. Of lovely blonde hair and eyes. His hands casually tied behind his back as the seller-merchant smiled at him kindly. "The entire set is at thirty two crowns," he answered hoarsely with a voice gruff with drink.

[Unknown in Ilian monetary terms I went with "crown".]


message 5: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 547 comments Mod
[So now that we've established the monetary system...]

"Three gold and twenty silver?" Basil repeated. "I hope that includes the lute as well." The merchant responded to her light-hearted humour with a low, resonant laugh.

"What have you got for me today, Basil?"

"Only the finest in Esmeraldan bells." From her bag, she produced a small wooden box in a dark, glossy finish. Inside, a set of small silver bells were tucked into dark green velvet. Ludovic tested each with care. The delicate chime reminded Basil of the way the water shimmered in Esmeralda, if shimmers could make a sound.

"How much are you asking for?" the merchant inquired.

The sweetness in Basil's smile would not lead one to believe her parsimonious nature. "How much are you willing to give?" she replied. Ludovic gave her a half-amused grunt, and an "I'll see" before turning back to the boy with the lyre on his back.


message 6: by Jo (new)

Jo (Penname8) | 252 comments Apollo couldn't help but laugh along with the pretty girl's humor, but before he could speak Ludovic's attention was set on the messenger, whose name seemed to be Basil. His mind automatically struggled to avoid giving her an epithet--if it wasn't overly flattering it might turn out to be embarrassing--when she pulled out these crafted silver bells. Apollo's eyes brightened as a lover of music should at the sight of them, and he patiently waited until they bartered-traded for a few moments until Ludovic turned to him again.

"Oh, I'll have them. Fortunately I can afford them right now," he admitted. He rarely brought money with him, and Ludovic knew. "And I'll put them to good use," he added, his eyes playfully looking sideways at the silver-voiced Basil.


message 7: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 547 comments Mod
"As long as you've paid for 'em, I don't care what you do," replied Ludovic as he turned to fetch the strings for the boy. The placed them on the counter, saying mostly to Basil, "Good quality, and for a fair price, too."

Then Basil felt his eyes on her again. "It's nothing personal, Ludovic. A girl's gotta eat."

"I should expect as much coldness from you," he chortled at his own little joke, though the merchant reached for his belt and pulled out six gold pieces. The Raissan girl held her cool smile, not betraying any surprise or disappointment at the money.

"Pleasure doing business with you," she said as Ludovic dropped the gold coins into her hand.


message 8: by Jo (new)

Jo (Penname8) | 252 comments Apollo took out the coins needed and placed them on the wooden counter carefully, counting them so he wouldn't accidentally cheat on Ludovic. He had done that once with a lady that selled apples, and he predicted he would never eat another Eutropian apple as long as she was selling them. Something similar had happened with the cheese seller-merchant in Anastasia but it had been the other way around. Apollo had always been careless with money.

Basil began to banter with Ludovic over the price of the bells, and once Ludovic had kindly given in to her demands he mumbled out on purpose, "If business is a pleasure I wonder what personal is like with you."


message 9: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 547 comments Mod
[*sold]

The boy's comment might have offended her had Basil not encountered such remarks before. In her motherland, people were generally reserved and cordial whenever they were with company. Raissans were known for being quiet and dignified. But upon leaving Raissa, Basil had found herself facing a multitude of different kinds of people. She could deal with them all.

Pocketing the gold, Basil let out a laugh. "And wonder is all you'll do," she countered, clearly not impressed.


message 10: by Jo (new)

Jo (Penname8) | 252 comments Apollo smiled when silver-voiced Basil laughed, and instead he held out his hand. "I'm sure I won't for now. Apollo Erion," he said cheerfully. He was used to being brushed off like that (not everyone liked to have a hothead like him around) and so his spirits weren't dampened. He just wantd to meet her, for now. But she probably wasn't from Eutropia, anyway. She looked like she might be from Raissa, and she was an errand girl after all.


message 11: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 547 comments Mod
Basil returned the smile. "Hi," she replied, taking Apollo's hand without hesitation. It seemed that he was merely being harmlessly joking, if a bit immature, which she had no problem with. There were less wholesome men in the world, and he did not look like one of them.


message 12: by Jo (new)

Jo (Penname8) | 252 comments "I assume you're Basil, based on what Ludovic has said, but may I know your last name? It's only fair; I've said my whole name," objected Apollo jokingly. He ran his fingers through his hair absently, and looked away to a group of minstrels on the street playing a lovely tune-jig.


message 13: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 547 comments Mod
"I don't really play fair," she said, as if Apollo should have known that from the start. After all, Ludovic had given her an impressive sum of money without much of a struggle; he'd learned not to try such a thing with Basil. She would only find a poor, dim sap and cheat him out of the clothes on his back with that innocent smile.

"But I'll be happy to tell you if you've something for me in exchange," Basil said, her lilting voice playful enough that one could not help but be tempted by it.


message 14: by Jo (new)

Jo (Penname8) | 252 comments Apollo chuckled, but still a little more wary of silver-voiced Basil. "Raissan to the roots, I should think so. About as silver-voiced as that lot." He was desperately trying not to call her by the silly epithet he'd instantly cooked up. "You're far better cut out to be a seller+merchant, Basil."


message 15: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 547 comments Mod
Her head tipped to the side as she recognised the familiar juxtaposition of the two words. "You are from our sisterland, I presume." The cadence was not as pronounced as Basil was used to, although it was present in Apollo's voice.

"I am not," she laughed. "The sky calls to me louder and clearer than the harsh business of people."


message 16: by Jo (new)

Jo (Penname8) | 252 comments Apollo nodded amiably when she located his way of speaking accurately. "That I am." In Anastasia most foreign-strangers were mistrusted, especially Raissans. But Apollo's light heart had no room for petty prejudices from his hometown.

"But there is no doubt you would be well suited to the job, s--Basil," he replied, stammering a little in the last word.


message 17: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 547 comments Mod
Her brows raised at the slip-up. It did not sound at all like any sort of accent or language quirk Basil had ever heard. No matter. "I fear that if I was so inclined, everyone else would be out of a job. No, it's best that I stay in the clouds, where I belong."


message 18: by Jo (new)

Jo (Penname8) | 252 comments Apollo laughed. He was liking her sense of humor more and more. "No, if I took to the world of economics, like my parents, I would be the one without a job. It takes a seller-merchant's persuasiveness but coldheartedness at the same time," he confessed. All the same, a hand went to the firm chord that kept the lute on his back, just in case.

The old man was back now, and squinted at them. "I'm sorry to say I have more clients than you two, higher on my priority list. I suggest you keep walking."


message 19: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 547 comments Mod
"I'll be seeing you another time, then, Ludovic." When her travels brought her back to this little music stand again. Basil nodded a farewell to the merchant, moving out of the way of his clients. She looked over her shoulder at Apollo, calling, "I have a few more deliveries. Care to join me?"


message 20: by Jo (new)

Jo (Penname8) | 252 comments Apollo gave his winning smile and hung to his lute instinctively. "Sure. Why not? I was given all day, miraculously." He wondered if she was going back to Raissa. He really wouldn't mind; he had no plans for this morning. Made everything so much better.

He just hoped Calliope was agreeable.


message 21: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 547 comments Mod
"Come along, then." Basil sashayed further down into the marketplace, heading towards where textiles were sold. She had some debts to pay and a couple of things to sell, and then she was free to go. Usually Basil stayed for a few days, allowing Altair to rest up before they took to the skies again.


message 22: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 547 comments Mod
~*~*~*~*~

The Council building was located on the eastern side of Eutropia, close to the centre of Camden Square. Here the buildings were regal and powerful, and it was not unusual to find a couple of guards on duty. Not just anyone was allowed into their impressive halls.

Odette was not just anyone. She was, by now, fairly well-acquainted with most everyone, despite sticking close to Antontio's side. At the moment, he was busy with more private matters; the council had deemed it best for Odette to wait outside the meeting room.

It was probably Lady Helen's idea, she thought fondly as she strode down a quiet corridor. She was meant to shadow the councilwoman, and had befriended the stubborn yet kind woman quickly. She understood how boring some of the meetings could get for a young person. Sparing Odette the boredom was much appreciated.

"I'd much rather be outside," she told Alma with a yawn, stroking the Loftwing's soft neck. They had risen early to make the flight from Eudoxia. Odette was not exactly a morning person. But at least she had been allowed to go in the more relaxed garb of a simple day-dress.


message 23: by Jo (new)

Jo (Penname8) | 252 comments The Councilmen and the lords and ladies could keep their comments, Apollo had permission to be wandering around the palace-building of the Council. Not on his own of course, he reflected as he ran down a corridor he did not instantly recoginze. He certainly must have been a strange sight, in his finer clothes with a tune-fiddle in his hand, running down the halls of the palace-building on his own trying to look for the rest of his mates, but it wasn't illegal.

Lady Mia had arranged the concert for the end of the reunion, to lighten the mood before the feast that was to be given. Most of the musicians were refined people who had already been in the palace-building before, with elegant backgrounds and experience. Not so him with Apollo. He had gotten lost in the first twenty minutes, having been distracted by someone who had taken him for a street0thief. Thief? Him? Maybe in his youth, but nothing he could instantly recall.

In the hall he could see the young girl, probably a little younger than him, with a snowy white Loftwing. It just made him think about how he missed Calliope right now, his right-hand. But of course she couldn't come see him perform.


message 24: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 547 comments Mod
Hearing footsteps in the otherwise empty corridor, Odette turned towards the sound. A boy, seemingly older than her in years from his face, although he wasn't quite a tall fellow. He looked lost, as well. She didn't recognise him, so presumably he was not used to the building. She made a move forward, but was stopped by the soft, guttural clicks coming from her Loftwing.

"Hush," she pushed the protective bird's head away gently, deciding that the boy with the instrument was not dangerous to her.

"Hello," Odette ventured. "Are you lost?"


message 25: by Jo (new)

Jo (Penname8) | 252 comments Apollo halted to stop and listen to the blond girl before him. No doubt she was some rich daughter of a Councilman; with her impeccable dress and elegant poise. Just the sort of acquaintance Apollo would flirt with at the market and them laugh at behind his back far away from the ears of the lady. He just had a mild disdain for the higher class of Ilia.

But this was not the market. He made his trademark smile and ducked his head humbly to the lady. "I am, madam. I'll play with the musicians at lunch, and I may have more or less lost my way through this labyrinth-maze. Can you tell me were the Western Courtyard would be?" he asked politely, trying his best to act dignified.


message 26: by Vanessa (last edited Aug 04, 2013 04:08PM) (new)

Vanessa | 547 comments Mod
"I could," the words floated playfully out into the air. Any high and mighty girl would snootily shrug the boy off with a laugh at his cluelessness. "Or," she said, giving the musician a sidelong glance. "I could show you? If you don't mind the company." Odette gave a small smile. "It's just that it gets so boring here, waiting for the council to finish."

"And this way, you won't get lost again. I know this - " A pause as she tilted her head at the strange use of words, smile widening. " - 'labyrinth-maze' like the back of my hand."


message 27: by Jo (new)

Jo (Penname8) | 252 comments Apollo resisted the impulse to raise an eyebrow quizzically and instead looked down with an honest grin. "Well, if you'd like to accompany me...I was supposed to be late, but I suppose I could extended my tardiness a little..." it would be worth it.

His grip on the leather strap around the instrument loosened and he approached the beautiful girl a lot more confidently now.


message 28: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 547 comments Mod
"Nonsense. A lady is never late," she replied, remembering the line from one of Lady Helen's counsels. Not if she is worth waiting for. And although Odette was not very pompous, she was aware of her social standing. She started towards the West Wing, calling to her Loftwing, "Come now, Alma," and the bird obeyed, coming to trot by Odette's side.


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