valdemars: (lady 2)
Lady and Lord Valdemar ([personal profile] valdemars) wrote in [community profile] aungier2013-07-01 02:21 pm

All Soul's Day- November 2nd, 1888

Date: November 2nd, 1888
Time: 10:00am - 10:30 am (service- characters may stay for longer, though)
Location: The chapel
Characters: Everyone [OPEN/CLOSED]

Summary: The household gathers together in the chapel for a short All Soul's Day service.
Warnings: None.

The Valdemar family are not, by and large, particularly religious. "My faith," proclaimed Lady Valdemar once, to the horror of her husband's parents, "lies while science and science alone. If God should have a hand in that, so be it. I couldn't care less either way."

Yet here they were, gathered together in silent prayer before the altar and the glassy purview of King Solomon and a host of angels, huddled in the dark pews at the front as if in collective repentance- not that Her Ladyship seems particularly repentant. From the slant of her shoulders to her poker-straight back to the upward jut of her chin, all of her bearing is far too proud for a humble servant; she watches her husband take to the lectern with an almost feline boredom, thin lips pursed. Even a servant watching from a second floor balcony might note the smear of carmine on them, as if brushed on for the sole purpose of better expressing her disdain.

"The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil." Lord Valdemar seems uncomfortable with so many eyes upon him, and he studiously avoids his wife's stare. He dabs at his brow with a handkerchief before continuing. "Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death."

His voice, though low and quiet, echoes throughout the space with a new importance that could only have been built into place by a canny architect with an ear for dramatics. A Madonna relief rolls her eyes piously to the ceiling; a spider inches its way down her shoulder and drops onto the organ, silent for years now.

The final stretch now. "I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite," he finishes- and, the bible closes in a dusty thump. With another mop of the brow, he murmurs something pleading about feeling faint before bolting for the hallway wearing a martyred look.

Lady Valdemar sniffs. "A migraine," she informs no one in particular, rising from the pew. She makes it sound like an accusation. "His health is so tenuous these days."

But for all of her snide comments, that she is the one left rather than her husband does allow for a little breathing room. If anyone should want to light a candle or speak a silent prayer of their own, now is the time.

[This is an open post for all of the household. Threads may either take place during, before or after the service. Lady Valdemar will also be available to speak with, assuming your character is either of the right station or has an excuse to do so- say so in your post's subject line if that would interest you.]
mouthbreathing: (lonely night)

[personal profile] mouthbreathing 2013-07-01 06:59 pm (UTC)(link)
Our father who... the words evade his thoughts and Warsman glances sideways, ever aware of his own presence and trying not to raise his line of sight to the point where it might just cross Lady Valdemar's. He'd like to admire the chapel in all its gothic splendour, but he finds himself waiting until her back is turned before he gets to his feet and pads softly to the side as though he were a thief rather than a guest. A subject, too. Maybe that's why he's so eager to remove himself from Lady Valdemar's sight; when she looks at him, he feels her eyes blueprinting his entire body.

And he doesn't want to feel that. Not on today of all days, when simply sitting before the altar was enough to make him wonder if a man with a metal heart could truly call himself a Godly creation.

But that line of thought could only make him maudlin, and so he focuses instead on the elegant white walls- he'd rather worry about whether his own dark suit, perfectly acceptable by most people's standards, looks shabby by comparison, or whether wearing his helmet in here is disrespectful. Then again, he isn't sure that anyone here looks particularly at ease this morning. It's too quiet in here, the space too large for so few people to fill it comfortably.

With his size, though, standing around like this is making Warsman feel even more conspicuous, and so he quickly makes towards the trays of candles towards the back of the chapel. Taking one of the lit candles, he carefully tilts it so that the flame touches an unlit wick until it flares up itself. He might not be in any position to ask God for mercy even in the name of others, but going through the motions is soothing in its own way and he finds himself lighting a second and a third just to find something to do with his hands.
professorwolf: (smilesmall)

[personal profile] professorwolf 2013-07-02 04:09 am (UTC)(link)
Church is not really Lyall's cup of tea. It never really has been. He knows perfectly well he'd be as likely to be cast out as accepted, and he's not really interested in a deity that is so harsh with his supplicants. He sits thought the service politely, of course, as it is expected for his position within the house, if not necessarily required. Instead of thinking on the homily, however, his mind is moving through lists of things that need doing today, people he needs to check in with on various tasks, and a shipment due to arrive in the next couple days that will need people reassigned to handle organizing. When Lord Valdemar finally flees, he breathe a small and silent sigh of relief, and rises smoothly. He'll light a candle of his own, if just to see the altar light up with warmth, and then be on his way.

Warsman is there first, his much longer stride and more awkward impatience moving him more quickly. The quiet butler offers him an amiable nod and a small smile. "Someone on your mind?" he asks, voice soft in the open space, eyes on the slowly growing collection of votive candles.
mouthbreathing: (friendship equation)

[personal profile] mouthbreathing 2013-07-02 03:19 pm (UTC)(link)
Soft though the voice that addresses him is, Warsman still finds himself instinctively twitching a little, his head jerking as if to weave away from a left-hook-- but for all his defensive instincts the blow never comes. It's just the butler: a friendly enough man by all accounts, though he's never really found the occasion to speak to him all that much. Truthfully he's still trying to figure out where he sits in the house's admittedly unusual hierarchy. Would his hosts be insulted if they caught him speaking to servants, or is he barely one step above them himself?

Regardless, he tilts his head both to return the nod and direct what he hopes seems like a smile in Lyall's direction, the eyes of his mask softening around the edges. It's much easier to offer a response when the silence has already been broken for him.

"I think everyone has someone they like to remember on days like this." A pause. "Mr. Lyall, isn't it...?" Or is it just 'Lyall'? He doesn't want to seem rude, but...
professorwolf: (gentleman)

[personal profile] professorwolf 2013-07-02 08:55 pm (UTC)(link)
"Yes, Mr. Volkoff," Lyall agrees amiably enough. He always tries to be polite with the live-in visitors, in particular, since in his experience they always seem to be the ones most likely to complain about something insignificant. This fellow at least hasn't caused much in the way of trouble, yet, and Lyall prefers that kind of guest in the house long-term. "Randolph Lyall. I'm not certain we've been formally introduced. I take care of the house."

He turns a little to offer his hand, his own candle lit and flickering.
mouthbreathing: (jet black mask)

[personal profile] mouthbreathing 2013-07-03 04:22 pm (UTC)(link)
It's a nice, clean, untroubling answer, and for moment Warsman wonders if Lyall is just humouring him because he's a guest, which in turn only makes him worry that he's putting the man on edge as well as his best behaviour. But if he were all that worried about speaking to him he wouldn't have approached him in the first place, and so Warsman forces himself to shake off the thought and instead clasps Lyall's hand lightly.

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Lyall- I'd seen you around, but..." He trails off for a moment, before, ducking his head, he quickly adds, "... just 'Warsman' is fine. I hardly ever go by anything else these days." He wasn't just trying to be humble. What had started as a stage name that pinched and rubbed had been worn hard and stretched over the years; it was strange to think of being called by any other name anymore.
professorwolf: (lookback)

[personal profile] professorwolf 2013-07-05 05:05 am (UTC)(link)
"Mister Warsman, then." Who is Lyall to question what the guests want to call themselves? The title isn't going away, though. That would just be improper. "It certainly is a name that stands out. I don't think I should do quite so well with a name like that."

That would be a joke. Lyall isn't really very good with them.

He does turn to start out, pausing mid-step to see if Warsman is coming with him. "Do you have plans for the rest of the afternoon, Mister Warsman?"
mouthbreathing: (palo special)

[personal profile] mouthbreathing 2013-07-05 07:10 pm (UTC)(link)
With a name like... Warsman watches him uncertainly from behind his mask, breathing those soft, metallic little breaths of his while he tries to work out who the butt of that particular joke was supposed to be before deciding that he's being overly sensitive.

"It's... something you earn, I suppose," he answers, a fraction too late to really be worth saying, and just as Lyall starts to turn to boot. Very quickly indeed, he dives in to answer the more immediate question. "I wouldn't say so... I was only going to familiarise myself with the libraries. I didn't even realise there was more than one until the other day," he admits, following the man's step. "Of course, if you need help anywhere else around the house..."
Edited 2013-07-05 19:11 (UTC)
professorwolf: (huh)

[personal profile] professorwolf 2013-07-06 05:29 am (UTC)(link)
Yup, the attempt at humor-- self-deprecating, of course, as Lyall would never do anything else with someone he doesn't know, and thus doesn't know if he respects or not-- falls fairly flat. Ah well, Lyall is used to that. Butlers probably aren't supposed to be funny, anyway.

He glances back at the odd masked face at the last comment. While probably kindly meant, it's entirely out of the question. "Oh goodness, no," he says mildly. "You're a guest, not staff. Whatever gave you the idea that you should be put to work?"
mouthbreathing: (storm elbow)

[personal profile] mouthbreathing 2013-07-07 08:55 am (UTC)(link)
Lyall's tone wasn't scolding by any stretch of the imagination, but he still finds his mask warming with embarrassment. That is, he's learning quickly, the downside of not being grandfathered into this sort of life; he's got a lot of ground to cover as quickly as possible.

"I'm sorry, I-" He cuts himself off in favour of offering a self-deprecating little laugh, glancing sidelong at Lyall. "I've never been anyone's guest before. Not like this, at least. I didn't mean to imply anything about your staff." He tilts his head. "I... can call them 'your staff', can't I?"
professorwolf: (chuckle)

[personal profile] professorwolf 2013-07-08 01:59 am (UTC)(link)
"Oh, of course you can. I certainly do." That time the amusement is a little more obvious. "And I didn't take offense, I assure you. I doubted your offer had anything to do with any of our behavior. Still, unless you wish to be paid for your services, and spurn the Master's hospitality, I might in the future keep such offers to yourself."

Not only might the staff be annoyed, but he'd likely get laughed at by the family and other guests. Lyall likes the humility the fellow shows, certainly, and he'd rather spare him that embarrassment. He's mild enough to not make him feel it too badly; others, not quite so much.

He opens the chapel door, holding it for Warsman, and any other household members following behind them.

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loosethedogs: (white lace panties and calm it)

[personal profile] loosethedogs 2013-07-02 11:26 pm (UTC)(link)
Unfortunately, Lady Valdemar's granddaughter isn't much better. There are few things that would prompt Misaya to linger inside the chapel after the end of a service; Warsman is one of them.

And she truly does think of him as a thing, her gaze, bright with compassionless curiosity, darting up and down his body as she sweeps over to him. This is hardly the first time she has fantasized about quite literally pulling him apart and examining what makes him tick, and it's unlikely to be the last. Her eyes flick to the candles briefly, then up again. "Much on your mind?"
mouthbreathing: (palo special)

[personal profile] mouthbreathing 2013-07-03 02:55 pm (UTC)(link)
Though he could never be so crass as to admit it, in her own way Misaya almost makes him as nervous as Lady Valdemar herself. He's been told that she's something of a prodigy, more than clever enough to carry on the family's legacy with a little nurturing, but maybe that's what unsettles him about her. They'd never have been left alone together of course, a fact for which Warsman was generally grateful (and then felt terrible about being grateful for) but as she approaches him in the church he nonetheless feels oddly cornered by her. Ridiculous, considering the immense difference in their size.

"I... nothing worth mentioning." Should he really be speaking to her like this? He finds himself glancing over her head briefly, trying to reassure himself that this is a very open and visible space- though he doesn't know why he's worrying about intimidating someone like her. "Did you want to light a candle for someone?"
loosethedogs: (so many nights spent soaking beans)

[personal profile] loosethedogs 2013-07-09 12:43 am (UTC)(link)
"I don't have anyone worth lighting a candle for," she tells him in reply, the answer coming quickly and perhaps more blithely than is appropriate for the holiday. With that said, she doesn't hesitate to bring the conversation back around to him; after all, she hadn't approached him to talk about herself. "Nothing worth mentioning, though? Don't be so modest. Your thoughts are worth just as much as anyone else's, I'm sure."

Her words come out sounding more probing than encouraging, but her smile stays in place and unchanged.
Edited 2013-07-09 00:44 (UTC)
mouthbreathing: (borscht)

[personal profile] mouthbreathing 2013-07-09 02:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Hmm. Rather than take the less favourable interpretation- that no one would be 'worth' remembering- Warsman chooses to be charitable. "How fortunate that no one close to you has passed on," he answers blandly, but the whole time his thoughts are charged with both suspicion and then guilt for being suspicious in the first place. She's just a girl.

Though he wouldn't share his actual thoughts with her even if he did completely trust her intentions, he does try to improvise and answer her with something. "That's kind of you to say, though I'm afraid they aren't very interesting. I was just wondering if I should go to confession in the village church."
loosethedogs: (your body is warm‚ but i'm not cold)

[personal profile] loosethedogs 2013-07-10 10:59 pm (UTC)(link)
"Hm. Is that so?" Despite his claim that it's nothing of interest, her tone remains interested. "I wonder, what could you be feeling guilty for? Well, in any case, if you're wondering whether or not to go, it'll probably be good for you to do so."

She thinks that's how it's supposed to work, anyway. Rarely has she done something that leaves her feeling guilty.
mouthbreathing: (copy fiend)

[personal profile] mouthbreathing 2013-07-11 03:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Warsman tilts his head at her, a little bewildered that she'd go so far as to ask such a personal question. When he'd given his answer he'd assumed that she wouldn't try to pry out a reason simply out of respect, but...

"Nothing important," he answers again, looking thoughtful for a moment. It seems to be turning into something of a mantra. "I'm... afraid that I haven't been the most dutiful churchgoer lately. I always thought it was important to make a regular thing of it, though- aren't you?" As he slips into the question his voice becomes almost seeking, turned more on Misaya than he quite anticipated when he started to speak.
dracobin: (human | thinking)

[personal profile] dracobin 2013-07-03 03:13 am (UTC)(link)
Temeraire's visits to the chapel have been few and far between, thanks to the Valdemars' typically lax attitude toward religion; he can count the number of times he has attended a service here on the fingers of one hand. Now he takes in the sights around him with undisguised curiosity: the ramrod-straight posture of Lady Valdemar; the blank, stony stares of the saints; the dull gleam of the organ in the half-light of the chapel. It is all terribly stiff, once the novelty of it all has faded away, but there is nevertheless something familiar in the pomp and the circumstance. Temeraire himself has never been particularly religious, but he remembers the funerals in the village where he was raised, and there is not such a great difference between those ceremonies and this. He draws some comfort from the thought, if nothing else: a memory of home, so very far away.

All the same, he breathes a small sigh of relief when Lord Valdemar makes a hasty exit, and he pushes to his feet and stretches his aching back as the low murmur of the other congregants begins to fill the chapel. He is about to take his own leave when the unmistakable figure of Warsman catches his eye.

He has introduced himself to the Russian before, though only briefly; he would be lying if he said his current interest in the big man were not primarily motivated by academic curiosity. Still, even that curiosity is accompanied by a simple, straightforward interest in getting to know the other residents of the manor better, and this--a lit candle, a silent prayer--this, too, is not unfamiliar.

"Pray, what are you doing?" His voice is meant to be pitched low, but it comes out a little louder than he intended; with any luck, Warsman will interpret it as the friendly inquiry it is meant to be, rather than an accusation.
mouthbreathing: (14)

[personal profile] mouthbreathing 2013-07-03 06:40 pm (UTC)(link)
He knows Temeraire in passing- they were introduced on arrival, but since then they haven't really run into each other all that often. He's always been working on something or another of either his own design or Master Valdemar's, while Warsman has felt too much like an imposition here to insert himself into someone else's plans as well, besides which... well. He's never been very good at talking to strangers. Or even acquaintances, if he's completely honest.

Still, the young man has caught his eye in the past. When they met he hadn't quite been bold (or, more to the point, rude) enough to ask for specifics, but it had been mentioned that he was a student from abroad- and knowing that he wasn't the only fish out of water, so to speak, was soothing in its own silly little way. He'd felt so out of place when first he'd arrived, so obvious whenever he'd ventured into St. Erasmus...

And now he has a chance to make amends for what Warsman finds himself remembering (probably unreasonably) as an awkward first impression. He hears Temeraire's footsteps over his voice and so he's already glancing back to meet him.

Warsman steps back a little, giving him a better view of the trays. "Just... lighting a couple of candles. In remembrance," he adds, in explanation. His own voice is soft, too, though now it's out of general respect for the church than any serious uncertainty on his behalf. "You've never...?"
dracobin: (human | cravat)

[personal profile] dracobin 2013-07-03 08:11 pm (UTC)(link)
Temeraire is halfway to shaking his head when he stops and nods slowly instead. "We used to go to a temple, near my village, and sweep the ancestral graves, and light incense for them. But we would do it in the spring, not the autumn: I do not think there would be much point in sweeping a grave, only for it to be buried by leaves and snow immediately after."

He is quiet for a moment, watching the candles flicker in their trays, before he ventures, "Is that what these are for? Prayers to the dead?"
mouthbreathing: (06)

[personal profile] mouthbreathing 2013-07-03 08:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Warsman tilts his head thoughtfully, trying to imagine the sort of temple he has in mind, the sort of graves- he can't fill in the details, but he can understand the sentiment behind it well enough for it to immediately bring to mind his own parents' graves back on the outskirts of Saint Petersburg.

"It's something similar," he answers. His mask creases around his eyes a little in an approximation of a smile. "I didn't have anyone specifically in mind this time, but it's a nice thought, isn't it?" A beat- then he takes a little risk. "Even if they aren't really here... it's respectful."
dracobin: (human | :D)

[personal profile] dracobin 2013-07-04 06:29 pm (UTC)(link)
Temeraire returns what he decides is probably a smile, nodding immediately.

"I suppose the people we are are remembering have a little further to travel than most," he offers, "so it is not as if we can blame them for not being here."

He hesitates, then after a moment carefully lights a candle of his own: he has half-forgotten all the old prayers, even if there were anyone he were inclined to pray for, but he supposes the other man is right, and it is the thought that counts.
mouthbreathing: (palo special)

[personal profile] mouthbreathing 2013-07-04 06:53 pm (UTC)(link)
Temeraire's response isn't quite the mild skepticism Warsman was suggesting, but maybe that's for the best- he doesn't know that religious crises are really the ideal topic for light conversation, even if their starting place was a little heavy anyway.

Quickly, he gives a soft, slightly embarrassed laugh, loosening his collar a touch where the thick, starched edges dig into his neck. He wasn't made for clothes like these, and with a family's worth of eyes to dress for he feels more obvious in them than ever. "This is a fine way to start a relationship, isn't it? I'm sorry. I didn't mean to slip into philosophy. My thoughts... sometimes they..." He gives a helpless shrug, then tries for something a little safer. "Your name is Temeraire, isn't it?"
dracobin: (human | :D)

[personal profile] dracobin 2013-07-04 08:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Temeraire, for his part, has never held much truck with spirits, but has never entirely closed himself to the idea, either, and he shrugs slightly, still smiling. "The subject matter is fitting, in any case, given our surroundings, and I do not mind."

He inclines his head in response to the question. "It is. Well," he adds, "it was T'ien-hsiang, to start with, but my professors in Peking all despaired of ever getting it right: so now my name is Temeraire, and I find I like it as well as my last. And your name is Volkoff, is it not? I am sorry: I know we have been introduced, before."
mouthbreathing: (friendship equation)

[personal profile] mouthbreathing 2013-07-05 06:09 pm (UTC)(link)
T'ien-hsiang... he could try to pronounce it, but he has a distinct feeling that he'd make a fool of himself and seem vaguely insulting in a single breath if he does, and so Warsman simply nods. It is, actually, something of a relief to find himself using another handle; it makes his own name seem so much less conspicuous.

"Nikolai Volkoff- but most people only ever call me 'Warsman' these days." It might not be the most elegant of names, all brute force and violent suggestion, but he is more the boxer now than the derelict and somehow it sits better with him. A pause. "You're from China, then? Where did 'Temeraire' come from?"
dracobin: (human | cravat)

[personal profile] dracobin 2013-07-06 03:14 am (UTC)(link)
"Oh, that is right! I overheard one of the servants mention as much." Temeraire makes the admission without much shame; eavesdropping has always been a habit of his. "You have made quite a name for yourself in the ring, have you not? There was evidently a great to-do, when you arrived."

At Warsman's question, however, he grows a little sheepish, shrugging slightly. "They had us study a great many things at the T'ung-wen Kuang, among them European art: there was a painting I saw, by Turner, of a ship being towed away, and I quite liked both the painting and the name. I can never remember how the nickname stuck, but I am certain some measure of alcohol was involved."

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