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Thread: Selecting the Best [9/11, morning, Silvia, OPEN]

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    House De Angelis Silvia De Angelis's Avatar  
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    Selecting the Best [9/11, morning, Silvia, OPEN]

    Pouring a small portion of hot water into each cup, Silvia began the delicate process in the grand dining hall as a couple of the servants stood by and assisted with providing what she needed. In the realm of tea it was called ‘cupping’, and currently she was handling several batches of white tea from the different areas around Welch Run. Dastan had managed to solidify business trade with a few families already and part of that negotiation involved their tea crop. She wanted to make sure everything was perfect and that the right batches were selected for export.

    Her delicate fingers wrapped around the first cup after a short minute of brewing and she sipped audibly at the liquid. The mixture of air and tea enhanced the sense of taste as she analyzed every note and flavor coming from the liquor of the white tea leaves. Just a hint of rose danced on the back of her tongue and she wrote down her notes under the section of where the leaves were harvested from.

    Moving onto the next batch she performed the same ritual and noticed a dull, bitter tone. At first she figured the temperature was off. Maybe she had accidentally burned the leaves? Silvia decided to check the next cup and found it to be the same exact temperature but the taste and tones were elevated more compared to the second cup. Something was certain wrong with that batch, and thinking back on some of the things that her brothers had mentioned, there were parts of Welch Run that weren’t receiving proper amounts of water.

    “Is this from the southwestern region of the fields?” She asked the nearby purveyor.

    Clearing his throat he nodded, “It is, My Lady.”

    Now the mystery was solved, “Ah, that explains it.”

    Once again she took to her notes and overheard someone new stepping into the room. Figuring it was the next batches of oolong leaves, she immediately began conversing with the person before even realizing they weren’t who she thought they were supposed to be.

    “Lucien, did you manage to speak to the northern purveyor about the Lilac-…oh!” Blinking in surprise, she then smiled and replied, “I’m sorry, I thought you were someone else. I’ve not seen you here before, are you looking for my brother?”


    @Seamus Hepburn

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    House Hepburn Seamus Hepburn's Avatar  

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    Seamus was adjusting pretty well, if anyone were to ask him. Mostly, his days were quiet, and he was allowed to train as he wished, and read as he wished. He had no trouble with the tasks that had fallen to him thus far, and nobody bothered to ask him if he needed anything. It was not very demanding being the Shield of Riverwatch. Even then, he had been relaxing in his room, with his letters when he noted something on the air. Tea? Not unusual given the hour, but in order for him to smell it from his rooms, there must have been quite a bit brewing. That much tea could only mean...company?

    Rising from the seat and reaching for his cloak where it hung on the door, Hepburn quickly fastened it about his neck and made for the dining hall. It would not do for him to be derelict in this first potential ceremony as the king's representative. Knowing that running would be unseemly, Seamus walked at a brisk pace until he heard voices from the hall and rounded the corner into the room.

    Stopping, he looked quite puzzled, seeing an extremely large setup of tea, but without the finery or the guests. The blond woman inside was not familiar, but from her appearance, she must be the other sister. The one who hadn't kept him up all night. Sylvia? With a small shake of his head, Hepburn regarded the table. "No," he said, moving over to the table. "I smelled the tea," he added, looking into the cups quizzically. "What are you doing?"

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    House De Angelis Silvia De Angelis's Avatar  
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    The man’s sudden appearance was surprising enough, but he came up to her and conversed with her as though he were part of the castle at this point. Dastan hadn’t informed her of anyone in particular arriving unexpectedly. Then again, her brother wasn’t one to keep her up to speed on a lot of things; mostly because he would forget. Details and semantics weren’t really his forte.

    For now she decided to act natural about the whole endeavor. The scent of tea wafting in the air seemed to be what lured him in. When asked what she was doing, Silvia smiled and replied, “Cupping.”

    Letting that word sink in a bit, she cleared the table of the cups and had the servant bring her new ones, only this time she doubled up on a few of them. From there she placed a few tea leaves from different bags that were presented to her, and then poured water into each of them. As she went through this process she took the time to illuminate a little, “It is the process of tasting the tea to see if the quality matches last year’s bounty. Different parts of Welch Run have tea that grows around different kinds of plants. The tea plant is very receptive to the cross-pollenating and picks up the flavors and aromas of the other flowers around it.”

    Picking up two cups, she handed him one and blew on it slightly. The tea leaves stayed on the bottom as she took the time to absorb the smell a bit and jotted down a couple of words. “The process of tasting requires you to kind of slurp it. Take in a lot of air so that the liquor of the tea hits all of your taste buds.” As she was about to take a sip from hers she glanced over and asked delicately, “I didn’t quite catch your name.”

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    House Hepburn Seamus Hepburn's Avatar  

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    Seamus looked like he didn't completely understand, but he was willing to try anything once. As he tipped the cup up and slurped at it, his eyes flashed at her over the rim to see if he was doing it right. When she didn't frown at him, he smiled and lowered the cup. To be honest, Seamus was not a sophisticated man. He thought the tea was tasty, but if he was asked to differentiate the flavor, he would likely be at a loss for how to describe it, other than to say that it was "good".

    "It seems like a lot of work," he told her innocently. "And a lot of drinking." And a few trips to the privy, but he didn't add that bit. "Is this something that you do regularly? You must have an incredible palette." Content that he knew nothing about the tea, Seamus lifted the cup and drained it unceremoniously, apparently more thirsty than he thought.

    Smiling as he set the cup down, Seamus shrugged. "Maera never let us throw things indoors," he said with a grin. It was the kind of ridiculous remark that Grant would have made he knew, playing on words to seem witty. The youngest brother knew it didn't suit him and shook his head in an apology. "I'm sorry," he told her. "My name is Seamus."

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    House De Angelis Silvia De Angelis's Avatar  
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    She couldn’t help but smile as she watched him taste it. He seemed to like it but going into the fine details of things was perhaps not something quite his style. That was fine as far as she was concerned. Silvia simply enjoyed the fact that he was willing to give it a try. As he gulped down the rest of his tea he made further assessment on the parameters of the job that it entailed.

    Taking a moment to sip hers, she set down the cup and wrote a couple of quick words before replying, “Yes, it is one of the things that I help assist with in overseeing our exports in Welch Run. I am the quality taster. Dastan prefers his mead a bit more, so I take over assessing the tea…among other things. Since my brother is not married at the moment, I guess you could say I am the lady of the house to make sure things are in order.”

    There was some odd comment made in regards to not being allowed to throw things indoors. She blinked a bit in confusion but kept a polite smile on her face all the same. But eventually she was able to obtain his name and from there she replied, “Lord Seamus? Sir Seamus? Or just…Seamus?”

    The clothing he wore suggested that perhaps he was part of the royal guard, but she wasn’t entirely certain.

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    House Hepburn Seamus Hepburn's Avatar  

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    The knight went around the table and observed the other cups as Sylvia explained her duties in the house. He of course knew that Dastan had a son, but did not inquire about the mother, or why she was not the lady of the house. All of those details would no doubt come in time. Pausing, he looked at her suspiciously, but shook it off, assuming that her comment was merely coincidental, and that she couldn't have meant that she was assessing...him? "I have no doubt that you are quite thorough in your work," he said, satisfied that the statement safely answered both eventualities.

    It all smelled like tea. Just as it had from his room. How she was able to differentiate, via sight or taste or smell, he had no idea. Though honestly, thirsty men were thirsty men, and how often did they bother with the question of how something tasted or smelled. If it wasn't urine or mud, boys drank it. A smile crept over the knight's face as he recalled when Leigh had accidentally drank a small bottle of Maera's perfume in one gulp. He coughed up the scent of roses for an hour.

    Looking up from the inspection of the cups, Seamus shrugged. "Whatever suits you," he said with a smile. Anything Silvia could dream up was likely better than what Trina had called him over the years. "I'm a knight, if that's what your asking," he said before moving off to one of the buffet tables and leaning against it so that he was out of her way. "King Cailen has sent me here to act as Shield of Welch Run," he explained.

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