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Those summer dresses...~Nona~


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Perfection of any sort is very hard to achieve. Impossible according to some-there is no such thing as ‘perfection’ and all the rest of that philosophy. Sometimes, it would make sense to her and she would find herself admiring how much sense things can make. Sometimes, it would add up too brilliantly and she’d find herself annoyed and very ready to snap at every foul being to have stood before her and basked in the sun. And then there were others time when she would just wish that things were of illogical nature because they added so much character to one’s life. And then there were other times still when she couldn’t care less.


In any case, she had achieved perfection best there was concerning certain things. The first of course, was doing whatsoever she pleased; No matter whether she was in the wrong and knew it, no matter what anyone else said- there were some things one just had to do and in her case, she had to do just about ‘everything’. No harm in trying. Well, at least she tried to believe it. Occasionally. The second out of the certain things was what she was most proud of, because every time she turned around or tilted her head to eye Kayla, she wanted to laugh rather badly. Hysterically sometimes when she noticed the looks the sweaty woman was giving her. And perhaps she should let it out as well- it’d only add to all the mirth. She had never realized that silence of all things was her strongest ally, the most profound of all gifts she prided herself in. To a degree, she even thanked her mother for this delightful trip with Kayla. Only to a degree though, she found herself thinking, her grip on Argus’ reins tightening.


Perhaps she should’ve just admitted it to her while she could have:“Yes, of course I’m bloody well offended. You’re sending me away-what else could you possibly expect?†She had been tempted by such words and painfully stark statements for so long a period before they’d left. There had been times when she’d tried of course- a word here, a few bitter sentences slipping past all of them occasionally. One would’ve thought these hints were more than enough. But then, this was Cathlyn she was dealing with. Cathlyn who was so bent on the idea of Adela having an extremely passionate hate for her parents-her mother atleast- that there was no way she would’ve believed her anyway. Glancing at Kayla from a tangle of blue and midnight hair, she wondered if the woman knew anything about it. Knowing her though, she probably didn’t and if she asked, knowing her even better, Kayla would probably compile a series of half-truths that would come together to form the most brilliant, most dramatic little story.


Kayla should’ve taken up work in the field of Theatre; she should’ve stood back stage and watched the proceedings and when an actor forgot his or her lines, Kayla should’ve been the creative brilliance that ensured that success prevailed. Ultimately.


It took Adela a while to realize that they had reached there destination. As she continued to stare on, almost expectantly for rolling grasslands and the gentle blue of the sky, understanding was being sent her way in small doses thus causing her to stare at the buildings before her with a certain amount of blank stupidity present on her face.


A tall wooden structure rose out of the skyline and flat green oceans of grass. At first, the blue trims on the doors against the plain white reminded Adela very much of a young girl’s first summer dress- perhaps she had worn one herself? For a moment her face screwed up as she thought of how absurd it might be if she wore one of those cotton dresses now. That was when she saw some of the women at the Ranch- it looked like her future may consist of only cotton dresses of the pale hues. Well. Maybe…maybe she’d get used to it. Getting off Argus smoothly, she raised one hand above her eyes to shade her view as she watched Kayla approach the front door which struck Adela as rather grand when brought in consideration with its surroundings. A man had appeared from behind the wooden entrance who Adela instantly knew was the Master of the Ranch. Or whatever it was that he was called. There was a certain sense of command that he was layered in that ensured you knew him for what he was.


It was only a short while later that Kayla came back, her forehead coated with sweat as usual, her face a little tight. It struck her that Kayla would look quite becoming in one of those summer dresses. Much better at any rate than the sack she wore now, she found herself thinking, her lips pressed together in silent disapproval. “I’ll be leaving now Adela. Have a lot of work to do and there isn’t much time. No time at all really. This boy here will lead you to where you’re to live.†With a sense of self-consciousness, she eyed the ‘boy’ Kayla was talking about, her hands itching to reach up to her black waves and smoothen them just a little. He was not extremely dashing, but then he was much better than Adela had hoped for and right in the middle of adolescence as well. She wondered if he too was a Darkfriend. She knew that studying him now would not tell her in any way, but it was good to question. And enjoyable, certainly. They walked at a slow easy pace, the silence a long one but not uncomfortable. But perhaps that was because she was so accustomed to it.




Halvie's Neice

Nona's assistant. Of sorts. ;)

(First post first post!)

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The letter had received some time ago now, and Nona Doronas found herself wondering if her wretched cousin had learnt to keep her word, or if she was once more in the process of proving to Nona that she had been right, all along. And while part of her was excited about the arrival of a young girl, a charge of sorts, another part of her knew far too well not to put too much faith in the words of a pathological liar. Really… she wondered why any woman would send her child on a trip with a woman like Kayla. She sighed briefly. Her mother had told her there would be times like these, when it felt like the world worked hard to deny her what she wanted. And there really was no point in ignoring it, Nona had always been fond of children, and she had been looking forward to having a young girl stay with her for a while. At least it would chase away the silence that some times haunted her.


She found herself rising from the desk and walking out of her bedroom, into the large kitchen Liam and Glen had installed at her insistence. It was nowhere near the size of the kitchen in the main building of the Ranch, but it lived up to her standards. Today she wasn’t particularly interested in it though. She smoothed the fold of her dark blue wide skirt, and tugged on the cuffs of her light blue blouse for a moment. A nervous habit. She was still more used to having her sleeves rolled up so that she would have her hands free to cook. She wandered towards the room she had reserved for the girl. Adela, the letter had said. She opened the door, and peered inside. A bed, a desk, a closet. Some shelves. The bare minimum, but Nona liked it that way. Enough room for Adela to make it her own. That was important for a girl her age. “Thirteen.†She mumbled. “I don’t even remember what thirteen was like.â€


A knock on her door interrupted her musings. She closed the door to Adela’s room, and opened her front door. On her porch she found Taylor Rashad, looking a little disgruntled. If his red ear meant anything, she’d say that that and the scolding that had no doubt been involved with it were the reason for his solemn stare. Nona rather liked the troublesome young boy, and she knew the troublesome young boy rather liked her cookies. “Taylor, this do be a sweet surprise, why don’t you come in for a moment?†he shook his head, shuffling with his feet. “Grandda says I have to get back immediately.†The boy muttered something about horses and cows and stupid. Nona’s mouth formed a silent ah, before she winked at him. He shuffled his feet some more. “Grandda says there’s going to be a girl here soon. She’s almost here now.†He’d said the world girl with the same old disgust only nine year old boys could muster for the other gender.


His eyes went wide for a moment as he realised something. “You’re not going to give her all the cookies, are you?†Nona laughed for a moment, a warm, heartfelt laughter. Then she reached over to ruffle his hair. “No love, there will always be cookies for you.†He let out a relieved sigh before shaking of her hand. “Okay… gotta go.†He was out of her sight before the last word left his mouth. Nona glanced briefly at her straw hat, which was placed on a peg by the door. Then she shook her head, deciding that her red hair was better of without her hat today. Besides, if Taylor said the girl would arrive soon, it probably meant she was already there. Nona closed the door behind her, and walked around her little house, towards the main building. She was just in time to see Adela arrive.


By the looks of it a young boy from town had brought her there. Nona sighed briefly, realising that Kayla had dumped the girl on her doorstep without as much as a “hello, how do you be on this fine day?†Not that it truly surprised her though. Kayla had no manners what so ever. She decided to ignore her disappointment at that, and focus on her guest for now. The girl was garbed in breeches and a white shirt. Probably for travelling, she assumed. She waved at the girl, meanwhile trying to remember the name of the boy. “Adela, welcome.†She greeted the girl, nodding at the boy. “That’ll do. I’ll take over for now.†He nodded, scurrying away, no doubt to find Taylor or to look at the horses. “My name be Norena Doronas. You may call me Nona. I do be trusting that Kayla told you a little about this place?â€



~Norena Doronas


poisonous but sweet :wink:

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The first and last sentence Kayla had ever squeezed into their usual status of no conversation whatsoever about Nona Doronas had been, if she rightly remembered: “She’s my cousin but that don’t mean we’re anything similar. Remember that Adela.†It did not take much for her to note the dislike behind those words, but more than that…there was a certain amount a pride that was being held high if she wasn’t wrong. Perhaps there had been a level of competition when they’d grown up together? If they’d grown up together? As she studied the woman infront of her now, she wondered how it was possible for two such completely different personalities to have been brought up together. She ultimately decided against the hypothesis. Nona was really quite pretty, Adela decided at the end of the long study. But more than that, she realized the moment Norena spoke to her that there was a blissful, completely uncontained warmth in her that brought her far beyond the superficial descriptions of ‘pretty’ or ‘attractive’. With a small pang of reluctance she watched as the boy began to saunter towards where he’d come from- he’d begun to grow on her…that is if anyone can grow on you in a walk of primarily three minutes or less. Well, she thought as she watched his back fade into the distance, I’ll find out his name the next time.


“My name be Norena Doronas. You may call me Nona. I do be trusting that Kayla told you a little about this place?†Adela took in each curve and roll of Nona’s accent with a small twinge of pleasure- she had never talked to an Illianer before and this was just the sort of experience she’d been looking for. Nodding, she gave the woman a small smile before replying, “We talked a little ‘bout it before we came.†She hesitated for a few moments before deciding to let the silence continue. In that vague sentence, she had just broken a silence that had held for a month till then. But then, she thought, softening slightly as she watched Nona’s back to and fro in rapid motion, she couldn’t have possibly replied with a nod to her. Not to a woman like her, certainly.


As she stepped through the doorway, her eyes curious, her senses awakened, the first thing that hit her were the aromas. Nothing out of the ordinary, she knew as she took it in the second time, but these were smells she hadn’t chanced upon in a while. “Do you like to bake, Nona? Judging by the smells..â€


Well, atleast she was trying to make conversation.



~The Little Killer ;)

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The girl seemed something between nervous and solemn. None smiled for a moment. She’d probably be the same if she’d been sent away from her mother, and with Kayla at that. She shuddered at the thought. Well, at least Adela didn’t look malnourished and dirty, so either Kayla had grown a caring streak, or the girl had already learnt to take care of herself. She guided the girl over to her own house, quite sure that she would react better to having her own room first, before being introduced to all those living and working at the ranch.


It seemed like the curious streak all children had was awakened by the smell of baking that still originated from Nona’s kitchen. “Why yes, I do like to bake. I be the cook here at the ranch. I get up early every morning to bake them all their bread. That doesn’t mean I don’t like baking as a bit of a hobby though.†She walked over to one of the windows, where a plate of freshly baked cookies was set to cool. They should be cool enough to eat now. She offered one to Adela. “There, try one. I do be interested in what you think of my baking skills.†She said with a wink.


She placed the plate on the table, and walked over to the room she had reserved for Adela. She opened the door widely, and stepped back, allowing Adela to enter her new domain first. “This will be your room. You can pretty it up as much as you like, and if you need help, do let me know†She pondered for a moment if she should leave Adela to explore her new room for a moment. She decided against it. “Next to this room you be finding the bathroom, and the other door you see there is the one leading to my bedroom. If you do be ready for it, I’ll show you the way to the basement, and what not to touch.†She said with a wink.

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It was with a certain amount of caution that Adela took the cookie from the woman who called herself Nona. She knew of course, that if she was the cook here, it would probably be very good. Had she not seen that little boy run her way just a few minutes ago? It had been so quaint. For a few moments he had stopped and stared at her, clutching at something like it was the most precious possession he had ever been graced with. It was only as he flew past her that she noticed what was being held with such fierce love.


A cookie.


It had seemed so very preposterous to her. So very comical that she gave the boy who she had walked with in complete ignorance till now a sidelong glance, her eyes glittering with amusement as she did so. He returned it with a small shrug and a smile, which confirmed to Adela that there may be a chance still for that much awaited summer romance. Fantasies, she’d thought with a sigh. As she bit into to the cookie she had been staring vaguely at for the past few minutes, it was with much less caution that she took the second bite. Grinning for the first time in a while, she finished the rest and let her eyes wander around the rest of the house. The cookies could be appreciated again, a little later, she told herself. It reminded her very much of a well crafted earthen pot because of the hues and nature of most of the furniture present inside it. The only things that seemed present in the room of real ‘colour’ were the curtains and…Nona herself.


For a moment or two she wondered about what had led a woman like Norena to the Dark. She seemed so….content, so happy with life. And she baked cookies. But then, she thought as she followed her out of the room, perhaps it was the love for irony in this world that had caused such things. “This will be your room. You can pretty it up as much as you like, and if you need help, do let me know.†Cream white walls met her eyes as she peeked through the doorway. It was a nicely done room- one with all the essentials one needed, which Adela thought was very thoughtful of Nona and told her so. She had found that she had already taken a liking to the woman before her with her cotton dress and thick Illianer accent. But most of all, she liked the warmth, she added, almost nodding to herself. As she heard what Nona had to say next, she grinned, the reply coming swiftly: “Oh but Nona! That makes it so much harder to resist…â€


About time that things started looking up.



~See, she can be social as well. ;)

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The girl followed her slowly, hesitantly even, as if she was not used to following anyone. Nona had seen a rebellious streak in her, and just thinking about the trouble she must have given Kayla curved her lips into a smile. Not her usual pleasant smile, but a malicious once. She rarely ever killed someone without a solid reason, but when it came to Kayla… well, their instinctive dislike of each other should be reason enough for her, and she knew the Great Lord of the Dark didn’t particularly care which if His servants lived through the end. Survival of the fittest, and all that, and Nona was quite sure that she was in fact endlessly more fit than Kayla. “Wretched woman.†She muttered, shuddering slightly before recovering with a smile, a lot warmer than the previous one.


The smile turned into a laugh when Adela replied to her warning about not heading into the cellar without her permission. “I know, dear, I know.†She walked back into her kitchen. “But you’ll have to restrain your curiosity for now. Dangerous things do be residing there, and I wouldn’t want you to be getting hurt just because you don’t know how to handle them yet.†She sighed briefly, reminding herself that she still had to find a better way to persuade the three snakes she kept that they had to give their poison to her. Animal poison was so much more potent than herbal poisons were, but it was also a lot harder to get. For the past few months Nona had used her many contacts to acquire three of the most dangerous snakes on the continent, and she found that neither of them really liked her all that much. She supposed it made sense.


“So, what do you think? Content with your living arrangements so far?†she asked, smiling again. She realised she’d have to introduce the girl to Nathan and Sara soon, but for now she wanted to keep her for herself just a little longer.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Now, Adela had never been one for loud exclamations and delighted whoops of joy but seeing the questioning smile that Nona wore, her grin turned a little wider. Yes, she was going to enjoy it here. “Of course I like it. It’s lovely.†The warmth rolled off her tongue a little awkwardly but atleast it was genuine, she thought defiantly. It would take a while to get used to smiles and the laughter and the various complimentary tones, but she’d get there and then she’d probably have sunk in so deep that she would find it hard to reach the surface again. She would get used to it. Or actually, she would get used to it…again.


Her mind wandered through pages of her memory, seeking a time when things had been even slightly like they were to be now. There had to be something. She was not the dramatic tale that a gleeman could speak of-that, she knew well. But then, how many gleemen did she know of who would want to tell tales of a Darkfriend anyway? She for one could not imagine five year olds sitting around an old bearded man and listen wide eyed to tales about Adela Llafynne. Suddenly an image of her mother appeared in her mind- short, slightly plump with a beauty mark on her chin. Was it the general love for irony the world had that had ensured that she would never share the sort of relationship she was starting to feel her way into with Nona, with her own mother?


“What does one do around here, Nona?â€


~The psycho-killer child is back and is found to be a rusty poster ;)

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If Nona was forced to put words to the image she saw before her, she would say that to her, Adela’s acceptance of the little room she had given her, as well as the way the child’s curious eyes glanced over the rest of the little house reminded her of the way flowers bloomed in the late winter and early spring. Hesitantly the girl opened herself up to the little hints of warmth she felt in Nona’s house. The elder woman smiled at the girl, allowing her to explore as much as she wanted, at first. Eventually there would have to be rules, where the girl could go and where she could not, but for now Nona was content to let things be the way they were.


Adela had a innocent look on her face, something that covered up the true nature of the child. No one raised within a circle friends of the Dark ever really retained the pure innocence children had, but Nona felt that, within the walls of her little house at least, Adela was able to grasp a little piece of it. She smiled, as she often did in the sight of children. Absentmindedly her hand moved down to her stomach, and a little lower where her womb was. It would have been so different, if she had been able to keep the little life that grew within her. Would she have turned to the Great Lord then? She doubted it. When she came to her mother, heartbroken because she would never have what she desired most, the old woman had had a look of sorrow on her face. “I always prayed it wouldn’t come to this.†Her mother had said. Yet it had, and now, watching the young woman in her house, Nona was glad for it. If she could not have what she wanted most, she would settle for vengeance, and when vengeance was had, she would settle for having a substitute for the child she had lost.


She smiled again when Adela spoke. “Well, that certainly is a good question. We do many things around here. Soon I will take you to meet Akasha, who is a seamstress, and to Cari, who teaches the boys and girls around here to take care of themselves. You’ll find master Rashad around here somewhere as well. He has many horses, which he tends to along with the hands. Too many names for you to remember now, but you will, in time. Young Talyn Rashad went to Tar Valon not too long ago, to become a warder. Young Taylor, whom you’ve seen here earlier goes to school in the village, where his mother teaches. Perhaps you would like to go there as well, though I don’t doubt that you’re bright enough to surpass most of them.â€


She walked up to the girl and ruffled her hair, a friendly gesture. “But if you want, you can also help me. I’m the cook here, so I spend a lot of time cooking. But when I’m not cooking, I may be found gathering herbs, and making… ointments and other things. Perhaps you would like to know about herbs?†she asked, suddenly seeing a bit of an apprentice in Adela.

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Had it not been for the fact that the words had left her lips the moment she turned to face Nona, Adela felt that she might’ve waited, had she have chanced upon the expression the woman had worn. Curiousity, although tinged with guilt for trampling on the other’s ‘space’, made her continue to study Nona. She found it rather hard to take in the change the woman’s face had undergone- from the cheerful warmth that had almost instantly won her over to…that. Her eyes had seemed suddenly veiled, distant. And then there had the Nona she had just come into acquaintance with: the twinkling eyes, the warming smile and of course, that wonderful thick Illianer accent. “Well, that certainly is a good question. We do many things around here.†And just like that, it was gone completely she noted, with some disappointment. Every friend of the Dark had her secrets it seemed. Her mother had certainly had a rather large number of them, she thought a little bitterly. If only she could’ve trusted Adela….but no, those were the nuances of the past. Steering her mind back to the little house and the scent of baking, she listened with unnatural focus to Nona. Instantly she found her mood regaining its lost cheer.




Would these names hold great importance to her in the coming years? Months even? She looked around her absentmindedly, as if expecting an answer. Since none came she willed herself to remember the mentioned names anyway- who knew who she might stumble upon soon? It would certainly help if she knew their names. Looking up at Nona, she once more felt a wave of love that she took comfort in. Not everything happened the way one wanted it and yet sometimes, it was for the best that it was just so. Looking beyond the angsty surface concerning being abandoned, being alone in the world as she had so often found herself believing, this was right. This was….likeable. And then it was almost as if that brief space of regret and bitterness had never been, for Adela was grinning again by the time she heard the mention of horses. Not only were horses the most loveable companions, they brought the best sort of other company of people to the stables. Boys especially, she thought half jokingly half wistfully.


“Perhaps you would like to go there as well, though I don’t doubt that you’re bright enough to surpass most of them.â€


Adela had never given much importance to school- no one in her family ever had. Education was important to an extent, but for her, education on the world and the world of Dark alone was to be most important and excellence in that, could be achieved in no better way than to be part of Darkfriend community, she thought mockingly. Detecting a certain pause of hesitancy in Nona’s tone, she looked up as if to urge her on but instead she was greeted with the slightest ruffling of her black-blue hair. Unable to muffle her giggles, she pushed the elder woman away with mock disgust.


Upon hearing Nona’s suggestions Adela found herself delighted. Excited. But contained ofcourse, she told herself. She replied with the best control she could muster: “I would like to learn as long as you would like to teach,†she offered Nona, a little hesitantly.




Lover of all sharp and shiny objects. And herbs now. ;)

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  • 1 month later...

A radiant smile lit up Norena’s face. She had expected it would take longer for Adela to get accustomed to the way things were around here, but the girl was accepting everything in stride. It was a relief, after her own struggled with the mistress of the farm. The woman still hadn’t gotten used to the fact that Nona did the cooking now. Nona pushed those thoughts aside in favour of more pleasing thoughts. She walked over to one of the drawers in her kitchen, and fetched a small sickle knife from it. She handed it to Adela, who looked at it, and her, with barely veiled curiosity.


“Well, if be teaching you about herbs I might as well be giving you the means to collect them, no? if you ever be feeling the need to be collecting them by yourself, don’t be worried about taking one of my baskets. That’s what they’re there for.†She pointed to the wall, where several subtle baskets were hanging. She also showed Adela how to hang the sickle from her belt in a way that would keep her from cutting herself on it. “Now we can’t be out to look for herbs immediately, but I do be thinking that it might be a good way to spend our afternoon. First you be needing to know more about the Ranch and the people who live here.â€


Nona beckoned Adela to follow her out of the house. “What you must be understanding is that not every man here has sworn fealty to the Great Lord of the Dark. We leave them be, because they be handy to avoid the questions from people. The Rashad’s are all Darkfriends though. If you ever have questions about that subject, you can come to me, Akasha, Cari, or one of the Rashad’s. Some of the villagers are also sworn to the Dark Lord, but I do be pointing them out later, when we be at the village. There do be visitors from time to time, and you will be finding that most of those be of our particular persuasion, though some seek to serve themselves above all other things.â€


They rounded the corner of the Ranch, and headed towards the entrance to the main kitchen. “Now, my dear, it be time for you to be meeting the Rashad’s.â€


Ooc: if you want I can play the Rashads for you, or we can move on to another thread. Something about summer dresses? ;)

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