Sess 3, 229: Sage Counsel

Sage Counsel
Summary: Prince Amando receives sage counsel from Priestess Luna
OOC Date: 19/02/2014(OOC)
Related: None
Amando Luna 
Temple of the Light
The temple surrounding you shows brightly it's demeanor; painted primarily in bright whites, light blues and yellows, with superimposed clouds and a chandelier reminiscent of the sun itself, this is a glorious show of the morning in its full bursting splendor. Fading red around the west edge, the hilltops are painted rather ingeniously around the entire scene.
Three archways lead off; one of them the double-door that leads to the street. All around the large chamber are places of worship and offering for the Eight. Each God or Goddess has an alcove with a finely wrought statue and a carved altar. Upon the altars one may set up candles and the leaving of offerings. Places are arranged before each for kneeling and the center of the chamber has pews for listening to sermons.
Alcoves line the right and left walls of the large room. Each of these confessionals can be closed off with a heavy white curtain bearing the symbol of the Eight in large gold embroidery.
Sess 3, 229

Among the people bustling around the temple in the morning is one rather fancily clad stranger, whose fine clothes and upright carriage speak of noble breeding. At the same time he seems rather young and overwhelmed by the beautiful structure, walking around with his eyes on the paintings above, his mouth slightly open.

A priestess who appears to be in her late twenties, despite the stark white of her tight curly tresses, steps out of a confessional booth behind a middle-aged parishioner. The congregant thanks Luna and drops some coin at the altar of Sheat before moving toward the exit.
With so many of all walks of life making their way through the doors, it takes Luna a moment to notice the newcomer who has yet to be greeted by any of her peers or acolytes. While he looks around in amazement, amusement touches her vivid green eyes and a light smirk tugs on her lips as she presses her palms in traditional greeting to him. "Light illuminate your path, my lord. How may this Servant of the Eight aid you this day?"

Amando seems ready to jump out of his skin when the white apparation suddenly appears in front of him and actually speaks to him. He gasps something in a foreign tongue that would probably translate to something dumb like "You… what?" before catching himself. "I… uh… Good morning, Light One.", he greets, with just a vague idea of how to greet priestesses. That wasn't in his travel guide. Then his breeding kicks in and he bows deeply. "Prince Amando Kirarcic of Skingaard, at your service. This is a really pretty temple, Ma'am."

The mirth in Luna's eyes only heightens as the man verbally stumbles, but her mouth is forced into a smile that shows only serenity. Her head dips in a deep nod above the pressed palms and she intones, "Thank you, Your Highness." Although her arms mostly fall, her fingertips touch and hands are steepled casually at her waist in a looser version of the greeting gesture she offered him a moment earlier.
That smirk returns, however, as she quietly says, "Servants of the Eight are addressed either as Blessed or as Priest or Priestess. You can use the given name with the latter, if you wish. For example, I am Priestess Luna." A graceful gesture toward the altar of Umbra reveals soft, slender fingers. This, combined with her educated and cultured accent, implies she is also like a product of high breeding.
"Although I serve all of the Eight, they One with Whom I affiliate most strongly is Umbra, the Goddess of Shadow." A genuine smile accentuates the tan woman's high cheekbones. "I take it there is no need for me to lead you to a priest, as I imagine you are not here to make confession. Is that correct?"

"Ah, a pleasure to meet you… Priestess Luna." Amando repeats that carefully, "I… um, no, I am not here for confession." His cheeks colour a little at the very thought that would probably give the hapless priest an earful. "I'm… I was just curious… see your temple building. We have nice one in Skingaard, but not so big. Not so nice. And we have private chapel at castle, too. Priest comes to us for service." He follows her gaze towards the altar and nods, obviously familiar with the eight gods. "You do confessions?"

Although she smiles and nods through much of what the prince says, the last makes Luna cant her head and give him a curious look. "Yes, Your Highness. That is a large part of the role of the clergy. Priests take confession from men, guide them to take specific actions to help prevent a recurrence of those sins, then absolve them. Priestesses do the same, but for women." Full lips purse in consideration, her brow gently creasing. "Do the Servants of the Eight in Skingaard not do this?"

"Yes… I have been to confession.", Amando admits, looking a little shifty. "But only from men. I don't talk much to lady priestesses. My sister has one. A priestess for confessions, I mean. I bet her ears burn.", he smirks, "Do people make your ears burn sometimes?"

"As it should be," Luna confirms with a nod of approval when the prince admits to having contact mainly with male clergy. Although she takes no visible notice of his comment regarding his sister, the question earns him a gentle lift of her eyebrow and a deepening of her smirk. "As I spend time with those high and low, it would take a great deal to make my ears burn when receiving confession, Your Highness. I have been the personal priestess for a princess before and brook neither nonsense, nor excuses. Were I assigned to your sister, she would likely hate me with the passion of a thousand suns. I am not the most popular to come to for guidance, but after the anger subsides most admit my words and tasks I give them help them fulfill much more of their potential."

"Oh?" Now Amando looks clearly intrigued, "You make them angry? How? Why? What advice would you give me?" Since they are still standing, he folds his arms in front of his chest and looks up to eagerly, forgetting the bustle around them. "I may have need for advice…"

A laugh bubbles from the white-haired priestess, the sound rich and throaty, like her voice. Her hair shakes gently with the vibration, causing some of those rebellious curls to escape their binding and pop out in a frizzy halo about her tan face. "Why? My dear prince, rare gems are those who welcome criticism and being told when they are simply rationalizing wrongdoing… despite the fact they come to us for guidance. I do not mince words in the confession chamber. For this, I have been called a harsh mistress and… well, and a great deal more colorful terms when they believed I could not hear them."
She lifts an index finger in polite, but firm, warning. "Any more detail than that, I cannot give. Confessions are quite private, as you know. And you also know that I cannot take one from a man, Your Highness." Looking around at the very busy area — and busy priests — she relents slightly. "However, if you need a bit of simple guidance, I could certainly aid you in that." She gestures invitingly toward a pew several paces off that is only half-full.

"That would be nice.", Amando agrees and follows her towards the pew. "You are stranger, which is good. I cannot talk to my sister. Or to Matty. Matty is great, but she would laugh. I don't have any female person to talk to.", the young prince admits with a sigh, the colour on his cheeks intensifying. "It's about this girl…" What else could it be?

Luna's smile softens, shifting to one that is simply warm and open. Eyes trained on him, she sits and adjusts her white robe as well as the golden rope tied at her waist. In truth, she perches more than sits, another mark of perhaps a noble upbringing. Without a word, she gestures for him to continue.

There isn't really much for him to continue. The young Skingaardian fiddles nervously with the sleeve of his long fancy shirt and shrugs. "She's cute. Nice. You know… nice?" He might be lost for more vocabulary in his Common or simply lost for words. "I have not met a young lady before like her. Only … girls. Tavern girls, you know? I don't know… shall I… can I… I want her, but she's a lady." He lets her sort that out for herself.

The smile remains as Luna listens without judgment. Once he seems finished, she asks, "What, precisely, is your challenge? Is she unsuitable as a potential bride? Are you simply having trouble contending with your base urges around her?" After a light purse of her lips, she adds, "What does His Majesty think of her?"

Amando frowns a little as he's trying to follow her words in Common. Base urges, whazzat. He does get the word 'bride' though and his eyes widen almost in fright. "I… I don't want bride! Not yet. I'm sixteen.", the young prince protests, "I just… she is pretty. I want …" He gestures vaguely. Base urges indeed. "I cannot besmirch her honour though. And how I know what Majesty thinks? I don't know Majesty."

An eyebrow slowly lifts as the young man continues and Luna's lips press together tightly for a moment. "His Majesty refers to the King, Your Highness." However, there is little I can advise you in regard to your desire for this lady. You wish her body, but not her hand in marriage. You know well this is a sin and simply not allowed, regardless of her rank. In addition to that, there would be strong political ramif-… problems."
It is a clear effort for her to simplify her words, but she has at least been speaking slowly enough this time to hopefully allow him to follow along. Dryly, she asks, "Are you asking me to offer ideas on how you can control your… Little Prince…" A brief gesture downward makes her meaning clear, although her eyes do not leave his. "Rather than have it control you?"

Amando looks rather baffled when the priestess talks about his Little Prince. How did she even know? These priestesses may have second sight? He shifts a little, looking anxious. "I… um. I'm in control. I just… do you think…", he stutters, then catches himself and inhales deeply. "I am sorry, Light One. My Common is … not as good as I thought. I find it hard to express my … feeling. I like her. I wish to… yes, desire her. I thought ladies here were… more open. They do archery!", he points out.

That quirked eyebrow rises ever higher before Luna smooths her features once more. "The ladies may be more open, but their legs are not," she says quietly, but firmly. "I am no fool. I am well aware that many noblemen and royalty take their pleasures with women of lower classes, as though somehow that makes it less of a sin. Be assured, it is not. If your urges are so great they drive you to distraction, then perhaps you /do/ need a bride. Many are married at sixteen, Your Highness." Then, all too sweetly, she smiles and asks, "Shall I make the recommendation to your King to have you wedded immediately?"

"No!", Amando protests promptly, then hurries to add: "I must wait anyway. First my brother, the crown prince. And my sister, the princess. I am not important.", he assures her quickly. And hoping to fly under Dad's radar. "You think I can… this lady… we can … know each other close now? Marry later? Is this girl I like. Is no problem with urges. Tavern girls are for urges." He puffs himself up a bit, hoping to come across all savvy and mature.

"You are a son of the King. You are important and it is not difficult to believe you may be married before your sister, since you are a man," Luna replies pragmatically. "If you and this lady were betrothed and the contract already given its blessing by the Temple, there would be little harm in you spending more time with her." Her eyes narrow slightly. "With proper supervision of course. No alone time," she clarifies. "However, if there may be no future for you two, it would be a very bad idea to become too attached. Especially if it makes others think you have taken her virtue. If you truly admire her, you will do everything you can to ensure her honor is well-protected. Do you understand?"

So that's what she meant with blunt speaking. Amando pushes his lower lip out sullenly while he listens. "I get betrothed but can not be alone with her?", he sums up what he gets out of her advice and shakes his head. "That is… stupid. I do not… I don't know." His shoulders slump as everything starts getting too complicated for him. "I will not hurt her virtue, no. I am Skingaardian, we protect honor of our girls, too." He heaves a big sigh, mentally saying goodbye to his fancy lady apparently. "Have you loved, Light One?"

"Stupid? On the contrary, I think it is very smart not to tempt a betrothed couple by leaving them entirely alone. As I said, it is a sin to fully join bodies before marriage. Betrothal is not the same as marriage. If the marriage does not occur, for any reason, and the lady were to suddenly be with child, it would be horrible." Luna shakes her head. "Even if nothing happened, people would /believe/ it did simply because the couple was alone. People would respect her far less, consider her a bad influence, and she would be shunned."
The question brings a small, sad smile to her lips and a bittersweet light to her eyes. "I love all the time, Your Highness. But if you mean romantic love, then I shall say I have learned love of the Eight is far more important than anything else. There is good reason we Servants, who must remain chaste, do not become close to those of the opposite gender." In case those words are unknown to him, she adds, "Why priestesses do not become close to men and priests do not speak much with women."

Amando sighs once morei as she is being mercilessly realistic. "I can write her letter, yes? I wrote song for. Song will not get her with child.", he points out eagerly. Of course songs also don't help with his urges. He seems glad to shift his focus to the priestess, and thus away from his crush. "So if you become close to other gender… you get temptation? You have temptation now?", he asks hopefully, looking at her with what he hopes is a really nice little smile.

The question catches Luna off-guard. Those green eyes widen and she is momentarily silent. Her lips subtly press tightly together as she looks at him as though he were an adorable pup or a little boy whose cheeks were just begging to be pinched. Finally, she manages a brief, "I meant close emotionally." She taps the left side of her chest to indicate her heart. "Close in here."
The priestess' tone becomes gentler, but her pragmatism still rules. "No, a song will not get her with child, but it will make her aware of your interest. If you cannot or will not marry her, it is cruel to get her hopes up, Your Highness… and it will make it harder for you to let go of her when the time comes."

Oh. Amando visibly deflates as he is forced to shelve -that- fantasy. "Oh but the song is ready… I even translate it to Common, so she understands…" And he can't resist to give her a sample of his song, where lovely eyes rhyme with heavenly skies. "I don't say I will not marry her. Maybe I will. In two-three years. Not now. I must make honour first. My brother is crown prince, see, but I must make name for myself. Become war hero…“

"Maybe you will. It is more likely that, in the meantime, her father will arrange for her to marry someone else," Luna points out with a small shake of her head. "Do you want her to go to another man's home, another man's bed, sad because you have become too close to her? It would be cruel to her and her husband. Besides, in these lands, if a man is about to go to war, he is more likely to marry and try to make sure his wife is with child. That way, if he does not return, his name will continue."

"Oh?" Amando seems to entertain the idea for one and a half seconds, then shakes his head. "I do not know, Light One. I think of beautiful girls and joy of a kiss… not of marriage and baby. Maybe I not send poem. Suffer in silence." Which will lead to plenty -more- poems. Trees will die for all the paper he needs. Luna has the forests of Skingaard on her conscience! Amando heaves a sigh as he starts liking the idea of suffering from love and offers the woman an impish smile. "I thank you from bottom of my heart, priestess Luna. You give me wise counsel. But I must go.. things wait." Like, food.

Thankfully, parchment is what's used for writing, so she only has literal skin (of animals) on her conscience. Tasty, tasty animals. Luna smirks slightly as she watches the play of emotions on his face. Ah, youth. Pressing her palms together and dipping her head again, she intones, "May the Light shine upon you always, Your Highness."

"Thank you, Light One. Priestess. Good day." Once he's stood up from the pew, he bows deeply, then leaves the temple in a sulk.

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