With Love and Flowers

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This is a creative work set in the world of Elanthia, attributed to its original author(s). It does not necessarily represent the official lore of GemStone IV.

Title: With Love and Flowers

Author: Kayse Thaellian

This story was written for the 5117 Bardfest SEMIS for Argent Aspis. Kayse went on to FINALS and for the second time won Bardfest with her finals piece, "Perception."

On this night, she dressed the part of a gardener:

You see Kayse Thaellian the Botanist. She appears to be an Aelotoi of the Vaer'sah Clan. She is moderately tall. She appears to be young. She has voluminously lashed, viridian-specked pear green eyes and sun-kissed, lightly freckled skin. She has long, lustrous mournbloom black hair messily swept up in a twist and tucked into a loosely-woven dried reed hat with a wide brim. She has a dirt-smeared face. She has strong and toned features, yet still possesses alluring feminine qualities enhanced by her soft full blush-hued lips. She has a pair of oval niveous-veined sparkling champagne wings.

She has a trio of flowers tattoo on her wrist, a primitively inked white jagged heart on her finger, an inked vine laden with blossoms on her waist, and a multi-colored ink splotched lily on her arm.

She is in good shape.

She is holding a worn brown leather book in her right hand.

She is wearing a pale carved sephwir lily suspended on an ivy vine choker, and a sun-beaten floral painted apron over an off-shoulder blouse of canary chiffon held with thin suede straps, a pair of faded moss green canvas gloves, a brushed leather seed pouch, some dirt-smudged leather leggings with rolled cuffs, and a pair of dusty brown cordovan boots.

With Love and Flowers by Kayse Thaellian

The backstage curtains part slightly, and Kayse steps out onto the stage.  A glimpse of the shadowy backstage is briefly visible before the curtains close behind her.

(Kayse walks to stage right and takes a place on a kakore stool that is revealed in a wash of golden-hued spotlight as it slowly dims up.  A pensive expression paints her features as she admires a dirt-filled vine-etched pot that sits on her lap.)

Kayse reflectively begins, "Love...a concept all of us know.  It has many sides, many emotions, many facets...and can be expressed in many ways."

Kayse dips her fingers into her vine-etched pot's soil and pinches it between her thumb and forefinger.  She nods approvingly.

Kayse brightly observes, "It is much like a flower.  It starts off as a seed..."

Kayse pokes the soil inside her vine-etched pot with her fingertip.

Kayse removes a small plain packet of seeds from in her leather seed pouch.

Kayse carefully opened a small plain packet of seeds and poured it into her vine-etched pot, a single seed falling into the pot.  She pushes the seed down into the dirt, covering it completely.  It now looks like something is growing out of the soil!

Kayse tenderly comments, "Much like flowers, love requires patience and effort to nurture and maintain.  It is only fitting that love is expressed so commonly with flowers--that "I love you" can be said with a simple red rose."

Kayse shakes her vine-etched pot.  A faint smell of fresh soil drifts through the air.

Kayse smiles briefly as she adjusts her weight on the kakore stool, her gaze shifting to curiosity as she observes the flower pot.

Kayse sniffs at some tiny white alyssum.

Kayse happily remarks, "This is a tale of blossoming flowers and love."

Kayse carefully places a dirt-filled vine-etched pot on the floor.

Kayse simply introduces, "Just outside the lush fields of Ta'Loenthra was the summer chateau of a noble Elven family: Tyriel, a prominent Elven magistrate, his wife Krystia, and their five year old daughter, Caelynne.  Two others also lived on the estate full time: A human farmer and his seven year old half-elf son, Vituran."

Kayse nonchalantly acknowledges, "As they were they only two children, Caelynne and Vituran were destined to become friends.  Yet issues arose when the two would want to communicate to each other for they did not share a language."

Kayse interestedly interrupts, "Since Vituran's mother died in childbirth, he was never taught the Elven language.  Due to her father's wishes, Caelynne had to perfect the Elven tongue before learning common, so she decided to teach Vituran a few Elven terms."

Kayse ruefully intones, "As the cold months approached, it was time for the family to leave for the winter."  Kayse jumps off the stool and moves to the front of the stage.  "On the eve before their departure, Vituran knocked on the chateau's door. Tyriel answered."

Kayse surprisedly says, "In butchered elven, Vituran greeted Tyriel.  Caelynne excitedly came to the door and pushed her father aside, beaming at Vituran's unexpected visit."

Kayse delightedly says, "Vituran revealed a purple orchid and presented it to Caelynne, muttering "beauty" in Common, as he did not know the Elvish word.  Caelynne expectedly glanced at her father, who reluctantly translated."

Kayse gleefully coos, "As the word washed over her, Caelynne's eyes lit up.  She thanked Vituran and ran down the hall to find her mother."

Kayse merrily says, "Caelynne snuggled up to her mother as Krystia explained to her daughter that many flowers have meanings and in a sense have their own language.  Krystia had a book that held all the meanings."

Kayse removes a worn brown leather book from in her leather seed pouch.

(Kayse opens the book and skims a few pages before pausing a moment, a brief smile curling over her lips.)

Kayse recites didactically:

    "Many types of flowers are classified as orchids,
     One thing in common that they have, their beauty is euphoric."
     Kayse closes the book and tucks it under her arm as she continues,
     "Whether it lies from within or is only just outside,
     The orchid purely means beauty and that can not be denied."

Kayse happily enthuses, "Fascinated that Vituran was also trying to teach her a new language, Caelynne asked if her mother would help her pick out a flower for Vituran."  Kayse takes a few steps forward as her voice drops to a menacing tone.  "As the smile crept across Caelynn's face, Tyriel entered the doorway, a dark scowl darkening his features as he realized the implications."

Kayse put a worn brown leather book in her leather seed pouch.

Kayse sleepily says, "As the sun rose the next day, Caelynne scoured the fields for the flower her mother and her had found."

(Kayse crosses to center stage and the lights dim up to show a large yew-bordered flower box filled with a variety of wildflowers and plant life.)

Kayse removes a pair of mithril shears from in her leather seed pouch.

Kayse smiles to herself as she leans into the makeshift garden and snips off a blue violet.

Kayse put a pair of mithril shears in her leather seed pouch.

Kayse warmly says, "Caelynne pounded on the door of Vituran's hut and when he opened the door, she held out a blue violet.  He snatched the flower from her hand and in common confidently said, "Friendship." Caelynne furrowed her brow, but as Vituran pulled her in for a hug, she felt a warmth in her chest."

(Kayse brings the blue violet to her nose and sighs softly.)

Kayse puts on a pale blue violet.

Kayse smiles broadly as she steps into the flower box, carefully walking through the flowers to admire them as she runs her fingertips over some of the blooms.

Kayse contentedly continues, "Summers passed and the friendship between the elf and the half-elf began to blossom.  The language barrier between the two faded but that didn't stop them from communicating in their favorite way."

(Kayse gives a brief nod towards the flowers that surround her.)

Kayse gently prompts, "At the end of every summer when they said their goodbyes, each picked a flower to represent their friendship.  They then placed them into an envelope for the other to open."

Kayse cautiously warns, "Krystia encouraged her daughter's friendship, but the bond growing between Caelynne and Vituran infuriated Tyriel.  He decided that things needed to change."

Kayse's grin fades.

Kayse adoringly says, "Today Caelynne was leaving for the summer again and Vituran picked two flowers to give to her.  He decided to use the opportunity to tell her how he truly felt.  Caelynne was also having the same feelings as Vituran.  She ventured out to find a red rosebud which meant, "a confession of love."

Kayse carefully says, "While Caelynne was off in the gardens, Tyriel answered the door when Vituran had arrived.  Tyriel decided to make his move."

Kayse furrows her brow.

Kayse suspiciously mentions, "Tyriel explained that he would take the envelope from Vituran and give it to Caelynne since she wasn't feeling well.  Thinking this was odd, but not wanting to cross her father, Vituran reluctantly agreed."

(Kayse narrows her eyes, her head slightly tilting upward.)

Kayse grimly grumbles, "Taking careful note to open the envelope without disrupting it too much, Tyriel removed Vituran's flowers and replaced them with a sprig of butterfly weed."

Kayse uneasily says, "Caelynne rushed through the front door and Tyriel stopped her.  He mentioned Vituran hadn't been feeling well, but wanted to drop off the envelope before going to rest.  Caelynne was concerned but eagerly approached her father and grabbed the envelope."

Kayse removes a worn brown leather book from in her leather seed pouch.

Kayse frustratedly says, "Krystia had full knowledge of her husband's plan as she watched from the doorway, but did not have the courage to tell her daughter."

(Kayse quickly opens the book and leans forward, her eyes lit up with anticipation as she reads from the book.)

Kayse recites excitedly:

    "Named for the insect it attracts--the orange bloom is to enjoy.
     Children chased after the butterflies and in turn the plant got destroyed."
     Kayse stops as the light from her eyes quickly fades.  She glances up hesitantly at the audience.
     "Over eager suitors were compared to the children--why couldn't they let the maiden be?
     And that is how butterfly weed got the meaning, please just..."

Kayse dejectedly murmurs, "Let me go free."

(Kayse slowly closes the book and tucks it under her arm, a dejected expression appears on her face as the lights on the vibrant garden in center stage fade out.  A single diffused spotlight remains on Kayse.)

Kayse embarrassedly mumbles, "Caelynne kept to her room until they were to depart that evening--thinking she was a fool to think that Vituran loved her too."

Kayse perplexedly says, "Vituran ran up to the family as they were leaving, hoping to find Caelynn's response.  Instead, she ignored him and slipped into the wagon, not uttering a single word.  Tyriel sneered at Vituran and forbid him from seeing Caelynne ever again.  Vituran was visibly destroyed, watching his friend and love leave the chateau--never to return."

Kayse quietly says, "Twenty years went by and Caelynne never forgot the young man who had taught her the language of flowers."

Kayse regretfully says, "Eventually, Caelynne's mother became ill.  As Krystia lay on her deathbed, the guilt of the secret still weighed on her.  Krystia used her last breaths to beg that Caelynne return to the chateau and find out what Vituran meant to tell her years ago."

(Kayse disappears into the darkness and a rose gold light fades up on stage left.  A large yew-bordered flower box holds dried weeds and dirt, nothing in the planter is alive as Kayse walks through it with a look of dismay on her face.)

Kayse sadly says, "The chateau had changed drastically since Caelynne's childhood.  No longer did the building hold its rustic charm nor were the fields plowed or the gardens kept."

(Kayse bends over to pick up a handful of dirt, the dry soil running through her fingertips.  Her green eyes flash a look of concern as she lets the rest of the earth fall to the ground.)

Kayse sorrowfully says, "An elderly human woman opened the front door and Caelynne's heart sank.  The boy had passed away a few years back from an unknown disease, some rumored that he had died of a broken heart.  His father left the property soon after."

(Kayse steps out of the flower box and makes her way to center stage, the lights still illuminating the box of dead plants in the background.)

Kayse tearfully says, "Her blue eyes now puffy and red and her cheeks freshly coated with tears, Caelynne stood outside of Vituran's hut.  She took a deep breath and stepped into the dwelling."

(Kayse quirks her eyebrows up suddenly and takes a few steps closer to the front of the stage.)

Kayse curiously says, "Within the dappled sunlight, Caelynne noticed a worn leather book amongst the clutter.  Turning to the first page, revealed the names "Vituran & Caelynne" poorly handwritten in child-like elven."

Kayse smiles slightly and removes the book from under her arm and opens it.

Kayse interestedly says, "Flipping to the second page, on the left was a pressed orchid with the meaning written underneath.  On the right was the first flower Caelynne had given to Vituran."

Kayse fondly reminds, "A blue violet."

Kayse reflectively says, "Turning to the next page, Vituran's second flower he had given Caelynne sat opposite of the second flower she had given him."

Kayse tenderly says, "She found the snow pansy Vituran had given her one year, which meant "think of me" and side by side was the bougainvillea she had given him to show the "playfulness" they had in their relationship."

(Kayse glances down at the book and quickly back up at the audience, her features containing a look of realization.  She rapidly begins flipping through the pages of the book.)

Kayse quickly says, "Years of friendship contained in mere pages..."  Kayse's voice trails off as she pauses on a page she has flipped open.  She quietly continues,   "On Vituran's side sat two flowers, first a lilac and written in perfect scripted elven the words, "first emotion of love" next to a bleeding heart that said, "longing."

Kayse distantly says, "Caelynne's side was blank."

(Kayse glances abruptly over her shoulder at stage left.)

Kayse hurriedly says, "Caelynne bolted out of the hut and took off sprinting.  The old woman had mentioned that Vituran had been buried under one of the oak trees in the fields."

Kayse put a worn brown leather book in her leather seed pouch.

Kayse removes a wide-scooped green steel trowel from in her leather seed pouch.

(Kayse moves swiftly back to stage left and drops to the dirt inside the flower box.  She begins to dig furiously in the soil, pulling the dead foliage out of the ground and tossing it aside.)

Kayse measuredly says, "Upon raiding the property's supply shed, she was lucky to find a variety of flower seeds and tools."

Kayse breathlessly says, "Hidden beneath the weeds and overgrowth, Caelynne found Vituran's tombstone."

Kayse put a wide-scooped green steel trowel in her leather seed pouch.

(Kayse removes the seed packet from her pouch and haphazardly tosses the seeds into the soil.  She stands up, wipes the sweat from her brow and proceeds to move to the front of the stage.)

Kayse exasperatedly says, "The sun had almost set as Caelynne finished her project."  Kayse sighs heavily as the lights dim on stage left, concealing the plot of dirt.  "On her way back home, she picked two flowers and set them inside of the book--pressing them firmly into the pages."

Kayse serenely continues, "Caelynne sat down at her desk with Vituran's book.  Opening to the last page that Vituran had logged his flowers, Caelynne took some glue and carefully placed an amaranth and rosemary on "her" page."

Kayse affectionately breathes, "Meaning everlasting love and remembrance."

Kayse smiles softly as the a golden spotlight bathes center stage, highlighting once again the vibrant garden in the flower box.

Kayse sweetly says, "Every summer Caelynne returned to the chateau to pay her respects.  No longer was the grave surrounded by weeds, but now a magnificent garden grew under the oak."

(Kayse crosses the stage to step into the yew-boarded flower box.  A wide smile painted on her lips as she leans down to smell a honeysuckle vine.)

Kayse lovingly concludes, "Caelynne had planted every flower Vituran and her ever exchanged and each one had grown and blossomed as a reminder of how beautiful and loving their friendship once was."

(Kayse raises her hand with a flourish, then quickly crosses it against her chest as she takes a step backwards and bows.)

Kayse concludes, "The end."

Kayse picks up a dirt-filled vine-etched pot.

Kayse slowly empties her lungs.

Kayse retreats through the backstage curtains, vanishing from sight.