Botanical Tour to Benefit the Mist Harbor Militia Safehaven 5119-6-15 (log)

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This log is from a fundraising event hosted by the Ilyan Syndicate to benefit the construction efforts of the Mist Harbor Militia in the lead up to Chapter 2 of The Nazhor Chronicles. Presented from the point of view of Avawren Fiora Nalfein.


Anemone

[Ceiluir Glade, Temple]
Pale periwinkle wisteria vines drape across the smooth white marble of an aged temple as it rises suddenly across the pathway and blocks further progress to the north.  Painted windows shimmer as they reflect golden sunlight into the pools that ring the temple's base, their waters speckled with anemones and water lilies and bisected by a pair of smooth marble steps etched with the image of frolicking sea otters playing with dolphins.
Obvious paths: south

You say, "Good afternoon, everyone! We will get started in just a moment."
Faella cluelessly continues, "Day. Anyway."
Speaking warmly to you, Respen says, "From Anweth, Kaldiniel, and I.  Thank you."
You beam happily at Respen!
Speaking to Respen, you say, "I will be sure to thank them."
You tuck the promissory note into a narrow slot inside the fireleaf case.
You fold your hands.
Lucrecea smiles at Elaejia.
Respen leans softly against Anweth.
Ordim takes a few steps away from Khobra.
Ordim squints.
Speaking pleasedly in Elven to Lucrecea, Elaejia says, "Good afternoon, it's been too long miss Ruin."
You say, "Several of the flowers we'll be viewing today are at the hight of bloom, and welcome to picking. I've provided some baskets in the knapsack, if anyone would like one."
Khobra smirks.
A liveried attendant quietly enters the room and whispers something in Ilsola's ear.  Ilsola nods once and the attendant departs just as quietly.
Speaking in Elven to Elaejia, Lucrecea says, "It's lovely to see you again, Miss Silithyr.  I hope that you have been well."
Speaking to you, Ordim inquires, "Any edible?"
You give a sidelong glance at Ordim.
Speaking quietly to you, Ilsola murmurs, "I will catch up with you, Lady.  My apologies."
Speaking flatly to Ordim, you say, "The azaleas are tasty."
Ordim adopts an agreeable expression.
Ordim removes a petite gatherer's basket from in a shell-print coral orange knapsack.
Anweth shows Respen her gatherer's basket.
Rohese wrinkles her nose.
Anweth's eyes light up and she trembles with excitement.
Ilsola wanders off.
Anweth quietly whispers aloud, "Going to be so much fun."
Speaking warmly to Anweth, Respen says, "You came prepared."
Ordim says, "Almost all azaleas are almost agreeable."
Ordim twitches, trying to control a vocal outburst, before settling into a disdained grumble while regaining composure.
Speaking in Elven to Lucrecea, Elaejia says, "Quite well, the time just flies away from me it seems."
Faella says, "I do hope we will find some marigolds and pansies. They're delicious in salad."
Speaking shyly to Faella, Anweth says, "Never tried that."
Ordim put a full burgundy anemone in his gatherer's basket.
Ordim exclaims, "I win!"
Ordim lets out a cheer!
Rohese gazes in amusement at Ordim.
Ordim raises his gatherer's basket skyward!
Speaking brightly to Anweth, Faella exclaims, "A touch of apples, shaved white cheese and light greens, a little poppyseed dressing. Simply divine!"
You pleasantly say, "We will wait a few moments more, for any stragglers."
Anweth licks her lips.
Speaking softly to Respen, Anweth says, "Apples and cheese."
Respen warmly says, "It sounds delightful."
You remove an opalescent black silk cloth from in your woven teak basket.
Ordim fidgets.
You adopt an agreeable expression.
You ask, "Did anyone else wish to grab a basket?"
You point at a shell-print coral orange knapsack.
You nod approvingly.
You warmly say, "We we will get started then."
You clear your throat.
You say, "Welcome everyone, and thank you so much for coming."
Anweth smiles at you.
Rohese inclines her head.
You say, "This afternoon we'll be viewing only a small amount of the impressive ammount of flora that thrives here on the Isle of Four Winds."
(Anweth nonchalant reaches up to feel one of her ears.)
You say, "I will tell you a bit about each one, and will be using the Black Rose deck as guide to their symbology as well."
You reverently run your hands across the black silk cloth, your fingers tracing lazy patterns in the fabric before you gently untie the bindings.  You fold the edges back, revealing a whorled black rose deck cradled within.
You remove a whorled black rose deck from in your black silk cloth.
Rohese gives Aendir a lingering kiss on the cheek.
You pleasantly say, "We will begin here, with the anemone."
Ordim nervously giggles.
You say, "Please feel free to interupt with questions. I will gladly let you know if you have stumped me."
You wink.
Rohese plucks a full burgundy anemone from a tiny pool.
You warmly begin, "Despite standing on the steps of the Wavedancer's temple we will begin this afternoon's tour with Jaston. Anemones, also known as wind flowers, are said to have been created by Jaston when he encountered a young girl who had seen Niima dancing along the waves and coveted her sea anemones."
Jossarian gazes with interest at you.
Apsaras beams happily at you!
You nod in agreement at Apsaras.
You say, "Niima told the child that she could not give her an anemone, as they could not survive outside of water. Kind hearted Jaston, seeing the little one so distraught, gifted her an anemone of his own creation."
Faella places a hand over her heart.
Anweth smiles hearing the story.
Faella says, "How thoughtful of him."
Anweth adopts an agreeable expression.
You amusedly say, "I don't know that I see the similarity between the ocean dwelling creature and these lovely flowers, but apparently they are pretty enough that the child didn t quibble."
You chuckle.

With careful, discrete movements, you pull Anemone from the deck and slip it to the top.  With a casual grace, you draw the top card on the deck and turn it over to display a transparent, multi-petaled dark purple anemone trapped within a tangled vine border dotted with partially unfurled black roses.

Ordim nods understandingly.

Tracing your finger along the decorative border of the card at the bottom of black rose deck, you draw a slow circle around a transparent, multi-petaled dark purple anemone painted at the card's heart.

You continue, "If you were gifted an anemone, or if a lady of House Nalfein were to draw that card from her black rose deck, what is being communicated would be 'expectation.'."
(Anweth peers with interest at the card's illustration.)
Faella knowingly says, "They sway in the wind, not unlike the tendrils of their ocean counterparts."
You ponder the meaning of Faella's existence.
Apsaras agrees with Faella.
Speaking to Faella, you say, "That is true, I had not made that connection."
You smile at Faella.
Faella winks at you.
You say, "We'll be moving on now, I don't wish to leave anyone behind."
You cock your head.
Lucrecea turns over her burgundy anemone.
Speaking in Elven to Ordim, Aendir says, "For you. You may need them someday."
Ordim blinks at Aendir.
Aendir smiles at Ordim.
You try hard not to grin.
Speaking to Aendir, Ordim exclaims, "Just like a pinata!"
Ordim beams!

Azalea

[Ceiluir Glade, Quiet Path]
Blanketed in azalea and wild lilac bushes, the cobblestone path forms a gentle curve that hugs the landscape and ambles through an intricate wrought iron gate.  Thin blades of grass, coached into artful tufts, are bright green in the sunlight and speckled with tiny violets the hue of periwinkle feystones.  A slender post dangles a dormant lantern, which creaks lightly as it sways gently in a seaward breeze that is warm and inviting.
Obvious paths: north, west

You tap a dark coral azalea.
Lucrecea sniffs at her burgundy anemone.
Aendir just handed Rohese some coins.
Rohese laughs softly, trying to hide her amusement.
Ordim plucks a dark coral azalea from the verdant green bush.
Ordim raises his coral azalea skyward!
Anweth breathes in slightly.
Ordim put a dark coral azalea in his gatherer's basket.
You say, "Azaleas are a plant that make a statement. They are a  rhododendron, and at the high of their blooming season the flowers are so thick upon the shrubs that you can hardly see the leaves.  They prefer the shade, and usually grow under or near trees, making them ideal for country gardens."
You caution, "Like many beautiful things, however, azaleas are highly poisonous. Flowers, leaves and even the nectar are toxic to the point that even the honey produced by bees who feed on azaleas can cause blurred vision, dizziness and hallucinations..."
You smile at Ordim.
Rohese purses her mouth, pondering her coral azalea.  The expression on her face speaks volumes.
Ordim furrows his brow.
Ordim glances nervously at a petite gatherer's basket in his hand.
Aendir gazes in amusement at you.
Ordim runs his fingers discretely across the front of his frilly pink apron, adding a few stains in the process.
Faella snickers to herself.
Faella exclaims, "How dreadful!"

With careful, discrete movements, you pull Azalea from the deck and slip it to the top.  With a casual grace, you draw the top card on the deck and turn it over to display a cluster of pale purple trumpet-shaped azaleas trapped within a tangled vine border dotted with partially unfurled black roses.

You nod once.

Tracing your finger along the decorative border of the card at the bottom of black rose deck, you draw a slow circle around a cluster of pale purple trumpet-shaped azaleas painted at the card's heart.

Blades says, "Sounds like a fun evening."
Blades smirks as a haughty expression flits across his face.
You cover your mouth, then give a small, discreet cough.
Faella remarks, "Doesn't smell like much."
You continue, "Such honey is  referred to as "mad honey", and while it is used ... recreationally, it can very easily lead to death. I expect that is why the flower symbolizes "temperance." As a warning."

Honeysuckle

[Ceiluir Glade, Small Park]
Heavily laden with sweet, clean-scented honeysuckle vines, a trellis arches over the pathway to create a tunnel that opens into three sections.  Enormous vases mark each area and are painted with cobalt patterns that mimic the rolling of waves.  Carefully cultivated flowerbeds are segmented by smoothed stones, while blown glass feeders offer a tantalizing treat to lapis and emerald hummingbirds.
Obvious paths: north, east, south
Aendir, Rohese, Anweth, Respen, Elaejia, Apsaras, Faella, Khobra, Jossarian, Ordim and Lucrecea followed.
You hum quietly to yourself.
Faella wryly says, "You're a gambling man, aren't you."
You admit, "Honeysuckle is one of my favorites ... besides being beautiful to look at and to smell, they are known for their sweet nectar. In Ta'Ardenai it is a common summer distraction for children to pluck honeysuckle from their vines and suck the nectar from the stamen, like large elven honeybees."
Ordim repeats, "Large elven bees?"
Anweth plucks a bloom-laden honeysuckle vine from the verdant green vine.
Ordim frets.
Ordim glances nervously around the area.
Faella exclaims, "You can do this with columbine and lilacs as well!"
You say, "These hardy vines are known to be invasive, and many a gardener has waged endless wars against their encroachment, but I find their persistence to be charming.... perhaps because they are so pretty."
Speaking in Elven to Lucrecea, Aendir asks, "Did you ever do such a thing?"
Lucrecea says, "It does smell a bit like home here."
Lucrecea laughs softly, trying to hide her amusement.
You nod in agreement at Faella.
Apsaras exclaims, "And clover!"
Speaking to Aendir, Lucrecea says, "Of course I did."
Anweth sneezes loudly!
Anweth blushes a nice shade of pink.
Aendir grins.
You say, "All equally delicious."
You flash a quick grin.
Lucrecea says, "There isn't much nectar on them, but it is a tiny treat."
Speaking softly to Anweth, Rohese says, "Bless you."

With careful, discrete movements, you pull Honeysuckle from the deck and slip it to the top.  With a casual grace, you draw the top card on the deck and turn it over to display a tangle of pale white honeysuckle trapped within a tangled vine border dotted with partially unfurled black roses.

Lucrecea says, "The gold ones were my favorite always."
Aendir laughs softly, trying to hide his amusement.
Speaking shyly to Rohese, Anweth says, "Thank you."
Skyduv put a dark coral azalea in her gatherer's basket.
You say, "It is because of both their sweetness and stubbornness that honeysuckle represents "devoted love" amongst the Ardenai."

Tracing your finger along the decorative border of the card at the bottom of black rose deck, you draw a slow circle around a tangle of pale white honeysuckle painted at the card's heart.

Faella says, "I heard you can make wonderful infusions for the hair with honeysuckle."
Ordim ponders.
Rohese smiles at Faella.
Ordim works his fingers under his ora horseman's pot and scratches his head.
You say, "Our next stop is a bit of a walk, but there are many plants here in the Glade, I encourage you all to explore when you have the time. It is a beautiful area."
Speaking to Faella, Ordim asks, "Like alchemy?"
Speaking awkwardly to Ordim, Faella asks, "Sort of?"
Ordim furrows his brow.
Aendir leans softly against Rohese.
Ordim says, "Terrible."
Ordim folds his arms over his chest in a display of stubborn pride, tilting his chin up slightly in defiance.
You hum quietly to yourself.

Buddleia

[Honeysuckle Avenue]
In lieu of window boxes, the shops lining this lane have hedges and bushes of various species along their storefronts.  Hydrangea and buddleia bloom in a riot of pastel colors, while bright yellow berries wrapped in a lantern-like husk dangle from the small shrubs that surround a green-shuttered cottage.  A few of the shopkeepers have pruned their bushes into various shapes and animals, lending the street a whimsical appearance.
Obvious paths: east, west
Skyduv, Blades, Aendir, Rohese, Anweth, Respen, Elaejia, Apsaras, Faella, Khobra, Jossarian, Ordim and Lucrecea followed.
Speaking to Ordim, Faella says, "It might not require as much alchemical knowledge. Perhaps more along the lines of soapmaking."
Faella giggles to herself.
Ordim nods slowly at Faella.
You say, "Though we aren't able to add these flowers to our collections, I would like to pause here and point out the buddleia."
Respen removes a painted vineyard-motif bottle from in his slate grey jacket.
Respen carefully pours a little bit of blush pink liquid from his vineyard-motif bottle into the mist grey wine glass.
Rohese glances around the area.
Speaking to Faella, Ordim confirms, "Even worse."
Ordim furrows his brow.
You fold your hands.
You continue, "Otherwise known as butterfly bush, buddleia is a favorite lunch stop for ... butterflies.  The next time you dash through here on your way to the Commons, stop and see if any fluttering friends are having a drink."
You smile.
Apsaras grins.
You say, "You can plant buddleia in your own gardens to attract butterflies, but be certain to plant them alongside other plants that support the butterfly's full life cycle, if you want them to linger past lunch. Milkweed, aster and dill are beloved by caterpillars."
Rohese glances at Aendir, her lips curving up in a slow, coy fashion.
Aendir looks at Rohese and hums.
Anweth smiles listening to Avawren, darting glances around at the buddleia.
You smile.
You pleasantly say, "We'll stroll over into the eastern harbor now, where there are several examples of tropic plants native to the Isle of Four Winds."

Anthurium, Heliconia, Dahlia

[Eastern Harbor, Approach]
Wide cobblestone steps fall in a gentle progression from the white picket fence that separates Mist Harbor proper from the Eastern Harbor to the streets below.  Following the curve and contrast of the winding stairs are tile-inlaid planters, the vibrant vegetation filling them displayed in a rainbow pattern.  Lamp posts wrought in the image of shepherd's crooks, their quiescent windows glinting in the sunlight, are evenly spaced amid the plants.
Obvious paths: southeast
You point at a tile-inlaid planter.
Lucrecea gazes thoughtfully at a tile-inlaid planter.
You say, "There are so many things to look at in these planters I wasn't sure where to begin."
Ordim gawks at a tile-inlaid planter.
You chuckle.
Speaking to a tile-inlaid planter, Ordim says, "Doesn't seem fair if they are just all lined up in the planters."
You pleasantly offer, "The bright red flowers are anthurium, also known as laceleaf or flamingo flower. You might recognize them as very common house plants. The yellow flower with the lovely gold edges is a heliconia, frequently called a toucan beak."
Ordim furrows his brow.
Jossarian wrinkles his nose.
Jossarian lets out a great honking sneeze!
Jossarian mutters under his breath.
You flash a quick grin.
You say, "You can see the similarity in colors to our resident isle birds signature beaks, no?  They are also a favorite nectar source for hummingbirds."
Rohese brushes her fingers lightly against her cream yellow heliconia.
Speaking to Jossarian, Ordim says, "Bless you."
Ordim nods once.
Speaking softly to Jossarian, Rohese says, "Bless you."
A pained expression crosses Jossarian's face.
Faella whispers aloud, "How pretty."
You smile at Jossarian.
Speaking in Elven, Jossarian embarrassedly says, "...pardon me, please."
Speaking to Jossarian, you say, "Lots of things in bloom."
You nod understandingly.
Jossarian nods in agreement.
You continue, "The orchid here is just one of several varieties you will find growing around Mist Harbor, as are the dahlias. If a lady draws the dahlia card for you, it is a compliment to your "good taste"."

With careful, discrete movements, you pull Orchid from the deck and slip it to the top.  With a casual grace, you draw the top card on the deck and turn it over to display a softly white-speckled bright pink orchid trapped within a tangled vine border dotted with partially unfurled black roses.

Lucrecea laughs softly, trying to hide her amusement.
You mutter something inaudible.
You comment, "218 cards, this is complicated trick .."
You cover your mouth, then give a small, discreet cough.
Ordim's jaw drops.

With careful, discrete movements, you pull Dahlia from the deck and slip it to the top.  With a casual grace, you draw the top card on the deck and turn it over to display a fire-tipped bright pink dahlia trapped within a tangled vine border dotted with partially unfurled black roses.

Ordim asks, "Are we going to see that many plants today?"
Ordim frets.
You adopt an agreeable expression.
You look at Ordim and shake your head.
Speaking to his gatherer's basket, Ordim says, "I hope you got deepend."
Rohese giggles at Ordim.
Faella applauds you.
Anweth flirts with Respen, tossing him an inviting smile.
You amusedly say, "There we are, correct card. Dahliah, speaking to good taste."
You casually observe your surroundings.
You hum quietly to yourself.

Clematis

[Eastern Harbor, Crane Lane]
White picket fences, their thick and thin slats entangled with vines laden with niveous violet-striped clematis and red-throated saffron hibiscus, encircle the yards of the houses that line the cobbled street.  Shell-lined pathways wind their way through the verdant lawns that the fences encircle and allow easy passage from the street to the cottages beyond, some of which have signs proclaiming them to be shops.  Lamps, their glass windows glinting in the sunlight, dangle from wrought iron shepherd's crooks that line the streets.
Obvious paths: east, northwest
Faella exclaims, "Hibiscus, my favorite!"
Faella turns to face a red-throated saffron hibiscus.
You say, "Though clematis is an interesting flower in it's own right, a member of the buttercup family with over three hundred different varieties, you will pardon me instead for sharing a story from my homeland."
Ordim put a niveous violet-striped clematis in his gatherer's basket.
Anweth says, "Ooh."
You try hard not to grin.
You happily say, "There was in Ta'Nalfein a famed noblewoman by the name of Clematis. She was remarkably vain, even for a Nalfein, and was never seen even in private without her face carefully painted. She took this flower as her signature, and wore it constantly in her hair."
You reach out and touch a niveous violet-striped clematis.
Aendir gazes in amusement at you.
Apsaras flashes a quick grin.
You amusedly say, "Such was her popularity that she created a market for these specific flowers that took the city by storm. Gardens were plucked clean, merchants traveled as far as Ta'Loenthra to procure the rarest variety, the most striking color, which the nobles were happy to pay exorbitantly for."
Aendir chuckles to himself.
You smile at Aendir.

With careful, discrete movements, you pull Clematis from the deck and slip it to the top.  With a casual grace, you draw the top card on the deck and turn it over to display a violet-striped fuchsia clematis with scalloped petals trapped within a tangled vine border dotted with partially unfurled black roses.

You say, "The fad has long since faded ... as has the original name for this flower. What hasn t faded is the meaning. Clematis still represents artifice and vanity."
Anweth glances at you.
You ask, "Can you imagine being so infamouse that the name of a flower is forgotten, and replaced with your own?"
You shake your head.

Plumeria

[Eastern Harbor, Crane Lane]
Sunlight slants across the cobblestone street and illuminates the windows of the edifice that has an elegant painted sign dangling over its entry.  Lost in the shadows of the large building, a small alley stretches to the south and offers a glimpse of the street below.  Entwined with sunset-hued plumerias and lined with benches, a white picket fence creates a protective barrier that prevents pedestrians from falling down the sheer cliff on the other side.
Obvious paths: southwest, west
Speaking in Elven, Elaejia amusedly says, "Since the flower is so beautiful, I imagine the lady would not overthink it much and would be rather pleased."
Speaking to Respen, Anweth says, "That one is lovely."
Rohese agrees with Elaejia.
Speaking to Elaejia, you say, "You are likely right, I am sure she is quite proud of it."
You smile at Elaejia.
Rohese sniffs at her sunset-hued plumeria.
You say, "I admit that I am not certain of the symbology of the next few tropical plants along this street, but they are too lovely not to stop."
You pleasantly say, "Here we have a gorgeous plumeria, in the sort of oranges and reds usually reserved for stunning sunsets."
You say, "Plumeria are most fragrant at night, and are beloved by gardeners because they are so easy to hybridize. They take very well to cross pollinations between varieties and are known to create little surprises if you plant several types of plumeria next to each other."
Rohese softly comments, "So pretty."
You command, "I am told that in Ta'Loenthra, florists often compete to create the newest and most beautiful plumeria, holding unveiling parties as if they were art."
You cough.
Ordim's jaw drops.
You ask, "I am not sure if any of our Loenthrans here can confirm or deny?"
Rohese brushes her fingers lightly against her sunset-hued plumeria.
You grin at Elaejia.
Rohese glances expectantly at Aendir.
Elaejia laughs softly, trying to hide her amusement.
Speaking quietly to Anweth, Respen whispers aloud, "That sounds like an interesting event."
Rohese glances between Jossarian and Elaejia.
Speaking in Elven, Elaejia agrees, "There is almost no reason to avoid throwing a party in Loenthra."
Speaking to you, Faella says, "Well, having been there, I can confirm."
Faella snickers.
You grin at Elaejia.
Rohese giggles at Elaejia.
You nod approvingly at Faella.
Speaking to Faella, you say, "I admit that it is not a rumor that I doubted."
Faella exclaims, "Far more excitement over new varieties than over births, in some circles!"
Faella looks thoughtful for a moment, then shrugs.
Faella examines her fingernails.

Bird of Paradise

[Eastern Harbor, Sea Turtle Lane]
Slender ebon veins riddle the marble face of the reed-thatched building located along the northern edge of the cobblestone street, while golden sunlight reflects off of the elegant bronze sign that is bolted to the structure's walls.  Overlooking the buildings of the lane below, the southern edge of the street is covered with lush lawns and a series of cultivated exotic flowers.  Several shepherd's crook lamp posts run in a solid line from east to west, their dormant lanterns glistening in the sunlight.  You also see a pale verdant leaf bug that is flying around and a dark-haired slim elven priestess.
Obvious paths: northeast, west
You point at a series of cultivated flowers.
Surrounded by lush, verdant foliage, the exotic flowers are specially cultivated to grow in slender rows.  The thick leaves are reminiscent of those found on a banana tree and range in size between several finger lengths to several hand spans.  Arranged on the far left, purple-bodied yellow crane flowers complement the vibrant hues of the blue-tongued orange crane flowers, while the white bird of paradise flowers provide a pleasant contrast to the other plants surrounding them.
Rohese softly says, "Oh my."
Speaking to Rohese, you say, "Aren't they impressive? Another native species."
Ordim giggles.
You adopt an agreeable expression.
Rohese nods enthusiastically to you!
Ordim put a blue-tongued orange crane flower in his gatherer's basket.
You say, "The bird of paradise, also called crane flower, is an evergreen perennial. You will find it here, bright and happy through both seasons on the Isle. They can grow nearly seven feet tall and are so sturdy that they are pollienated not by bees or butterflies, but by sunbirds."
You chuckle.
Ordim gazes with awe at a series of cultivated flowers.
You say, "When the birds settle in for a drink, the petals open to cover their little feet in pollen."
Ordim glances down.
Ordim pulls his dark grey robe aside for a moment.
Spying a bit of frosting in his toe-hair, Ordim adjusts his black leather tunic and gracefully bows and scoops it up.
Faella cheekily says, "That's so sensual sounding."
Rohese softly says, "Oh, how adorable."
Faella giggles to herself.
Apsaras nods.
Speaking to himself, Ordim says, "I just have frosting in my toes..."
Ordim ponders.
Ordim folds his arms across his chest and with a shrug, grins deviously.  He must be up to something!
Rohese laughs softly, trying to hide her amusement from Ordim.
Khobra squints at Ordim.
Khobra takes a drink from her blood red rum.
Blades glances at Ordim.
Blades says, "Thats probably not frosting."
Blades smirks as a haughty expression flits across his face.
You say, "They do require a warmer climate to flourish, so you will only see them in hot houses outside of places like the Isle."
Rolling her eyes and tossing her head back, Lucrecea titters loudly, then abruptly quiets, immediately shifting to a calm, composed demeanor.

Jasmine

[Eastern Harbor, Sea Turtle Lane]
Resting upon the northern edge of the cobblestone street, the dainty little cottage has enormous windows and a slanted roof of terra cotta tiles.  Lanterns dangling from their perches on wrought iron posts reflect the sunlight in prismatic sprays across the lawns surrounding the dwelling, while a small fence encircling the property attempts to confine the dozens of lush, exotic flowers and has an elegant white sign bolted to its pickets.
Perfuming the air with their exotic fragrances, the flowers that surround the dainty cottage range in hue from pink to white and every shade in between.  Standing out amid the dark green foliage, tropical lilacs rise above the web of leaves, stems, flowers, and vines, while white-blossoming jasmine vines clear close to the ground.
You tap some exotic flowers.
You take a deep breath.
The light blue glow leaves Blades.
You ask, "Ah, you could spell the jasmine before you saw it, no?"
Speaking in Elven, Elaejia pleasedly sighs, "Jasmine."
Faella exclaims, "Oh, lilacs! My favorite!"
You beam!
You nod in agreement at Faella.
Speaking softly to Faella, Rohese exclaims, "Mine too!"
You say, "This is such a delighfully fragrant spot, appropriate for the shop we are outside of."
You adopt an agreeable expression.
Ordim surveys the area.
You tap an elegant white sign.
In the Common language, it reads:
         _____
        `.___,'
         (___)
          ) (
         /`-.\
        /     \
       / _The _\
      :,' `-.' `:
      | Crystal |
      :         ;
       \ Lotus /
        `.___.'
       Circa 5104
You hum quietly to yourself.
You say, "Jasmine, believe it or not, is related to the olive. They are shrubs or low climbing vines that come in a wide number of varieties. These appear to an evergreen variety, and even after the small clusters of flowers fade, the dark green ground cover will remain."
Faella sniffs at her tropical lilac.
Anweth raises an eyebrow in your direction.
Anweth glances at some exotic flowers.
Anweth plucks a white-petaled jasmine blossom from the verdant foliage.

With careful, discrete movements, you pull Jasmine from the deck and slip it to the top.  With a casual grace, you draw the top card on the deck and turn it over to display a cluster of bright white jasmine clinging to a delicate vine trapped within a tangled vine border dotted with partially unfurled black roses.

You say, "Jasmines have a pleasant scent, small but pretty little flowers and are useful in making teas and perfumes. In Ta'Ardenai it's said that no one can dislike jasmin, and so they represent "amiability"."
You smile.
You quietly comment, "Though ... now I want jasmine tea."
You chuckle.
Respen agrees with you.
You politely say, "We are nearing the end of our tour and the next two stops are on the other side of town, so please bear with me for a bit of a walk."
You smile.
Speaking in Elven, Elaejia says, "An arbor laden with jasmine vines is a common entryway to country estates in Loenthra for that reason."
You smile at Elaejia.
Speaking to Elaejia, you say, "Is it? I truely haven't spent enough time in Ta'Loenthra ..."
You sigh.

Passion Flower, Hibiscus, Dendrobium Orchid

[A Violet and Verdant Courtyard]
Brilliant sunlight streams through a bamboo trellis replete with blue crown passion flower vines wound around the engraved posts.  Neatly tended beds of dendrobium orchids create a colorful backdrop to a short walkway lined with variegated crushed coral.  A small white cottage with peach-tinged eaves sits at the end of the path, a wreath of dried protea hangs from the blue-washed door.  Encircling the rear of the lush property is a smooth teakwood fence festooned with dainty garlands of fiery hibiscus.  You also see a delicate bamboo arch.
Obvious paths: none
You dust yourself off.
Faella gazes with interest at a vibrant dendrobium orchid.
You say, "Several of us have probably made use of this lovely garden to rest from a busy day, but there is something noteworthy here that I had only recently realized."
Apsaras cocks her head at you.
You furrow your brow, probably adding a wrinkle or two in the process.
You say, "In addition to the well cared for dendrobium orchids, you will also notice the trellis is laden with passion flower vines and the fence is garlanded with hibiscus."
You say, "All three of these flowers are edible. The orchids, in fact, are battered and fried to create a famous Elothian delicacy. What struck me however, is that all three are commonly used in teas that provide treatment for what is politely referred to as "disquiet."
Faella nods in agreement.
Ordim gazes with awe at his surroundings.
Rohese purses her mouth, pondering her dendrobium orchid.  The expression on her face speaks volumes.
You explain, "That is, anxiety and fretfulness. As well as hypertension, insomnia, and ... femine troubles."
Shadows dance upon the cottage's bright roof as the tropical breeze sets the nearby palm trees swaying and their foliage rustling gently.
You cover your mouth, then give a small, discreet cough.
Anweth blushes a nice shade of pink.
Speaking in Elven, Elaejia says, "Interesting."
You quietly marvel, "The artistry of Imaera combined with the  practicality of Kuon never ceases to amaze."
Rohese smiles at you.
You fold your hands.
You ask, "One last stop, are we all ready?"
Lucrecea primly says, "Imaera is quite skilled at stitching together the most fascinating things."
You smile.
You nod in agreement at Lucrecea.
Rohese nods to you.

Dogwood and the Temple of Jaston

[Western Harbor, Fishmonger Way]
Small and large cottages line the cobblestone street and are surrounded by bright pink dog roses and verdant beach grass.  Wrought iron posts, their lamp's glaesine sides glittering in the day's light, mark the entry to each home.  One end of the street empties out into a central plaza, while the other culminates in a tiny cemetery ringed by a simple white picket fence.  You also see a red-haired freckled human pirate.
Obvious paths: southwest
You tap a scrollwork wrought iron gate.

[Western Harbor, Cemetery]
Dark shadows, created by the cliff above, lay across the tombstones and markers that line the simple, crushed seashell pathway as it winds its way through the cemetery.  Pale pink and white blossoms litter the ground, strewn haphazardly by the errant sea breezes which have tugged them free of the dogwoods that punctuate the four corners of the tiny lot.  You also see a scrollwork wrought iron gate.
Obvious paths: none
Rohese smiles.
Lucrecea adopts an agreeable expression.
Anweth casually observes her surroundings.
Elaejia gazes with interest at her surroundings.
You reverently say, "A graveyard may seem an unusual place to end a botanical tour, but I encourage you to appreciate the vibrancy of this dogwood tree and the symbology of it's placement here."
Anweth breathlessly says, "Ohh dogwoods."
Ordim shivers.
Speaking softly to you, Rohese says, "What a perfect place to end your walk."
Lucrecea agrees with Rohese.
You smile at Rohese.
Blades stands in front of a pale white memorial tombstone.
With careful, discrete movements, you pull Dogwood from the deck and slip it to the top.  With a casual grace, you draw the top card on the deck and turn it over to display a wide teardrop-shaped white dogwood blossom trapped within a tangled vine border dotted with partially unfurled black roses.
You explain, "The dogwood is a hardy tree that represents  durability . They displays pale pink or white blossoms in the spring and the leaves put on a  vibrant show of reds and oranges later in the year. The small red berries it produces provides food for at least thirty-two different varieties of game birds, including quail and grouse."
You adopt an agreeable expression.
You say, "We began with Jaston, and thus we weill end with Jaston. If you would turn your attention toward the cliff ..."
Rising high into the air, its top too difficult to make out from this proximity, is a sheer wall of stone.  Dark green ivy and russet brown stones riddle the smooth facing, which is interrupted at the center by a simple door.  No locks or signs mark the entry, though it is clearly crafted of wrought iron and has been burnished to a deep black hue.
Faella knowingly says, "It can also be used as a tea before bedtime to ensure restful slumber."
Rohese purses her mouth, pondering a sheer ivy-covered cliff.  The expression on her face speaks volumes.
Faella folds her hands.
You smile at Faella.
Lucrecea turns around.
Khobra glances at a sheer ivy-covered cliff.
Apsaras smiles brightly.
Speaking to Faella, you say, "So it is, yes. Though I am not over fond it's taste ..."
You chuckle.
You point at a large wrought iron door.

[Cavern, Entry]
Enormous black iron doors, their faces carved with labyrinthine whorls and bas-relief tunnels, stand as a formidable guard to the world beyond the cavern.  Wide bronze braziers, each set equidistant from their neighbor, line the long corridor, their brightly glowing coals casting shadows on the distant ceiling.  Painted onto the smooth walls are a series of bright blue, azure, and white murals.
Obvious exits: northwest
Faella says, "One does what they must."
Jossarian glances up.
Elaejia furrows her brow.
Rohese folds her hands.
You proudly say, "This is first room of the Temple of Jaston, and will soon be home to the militia's safehaven."
You grin.
Faella says, "What better place than deep inside the earth! Such a good choice."
You continue, "We've plans to place an arch here in the hallway with designs to match the lovely braziers here."
Faella beams!
You grin at Faella.
Rohese glances appraisingly at a wide bronze brazier.
You say, "The Safehaven is intended to provide both a place of safety to the residents of the city as well as a gathering space and common room that will be open to use during times of peace."
You glance at Ordim.
Ordim compulsively brushes his hands all over his body, sending a sprinkling of crumbs into the air.
Speaking to you, Ordim says, "And close to the cemetary."
Elaejia folds her arms at the waist.
Ordim nods approvingly to you.
Apsaras glances at Ordim.
You add, "The Safehaven is not just for protection from attack but from natural disaster as well. The monsoons on the isle can be a yearly threat."
Khobra stares at Ordim with an unreadable look of utter blankness.
You nod approvingly.
Faella cautiously exclaims, "Hopefully no earthquakes!"
Rohese's face turns slightly pale.
Lucrecea quietly adds, "Or floods."
Ordim nods in agreement at Lucrecea.
You chuckle.
Ordim exclaims, "Or worm invasions!"
Ordim frets.
Faella says, "We're pretty high up, the floods shouldn't be an issue."
You pleasantly say, "I will lead you all back to the Commons now."
You smile.
You say, "Thank you all for joining me today. I hope it was enjoyable."