December 2011 Featured RP: New Arrival

Staff Quarters
You stand in a circular tower which serves as a sort of corridor. In the
center is a stone pillar, around which stairs are placed, rising to the
Nobles' Quarters above. To the north is the Sewing Room. All around are
small tidy rooms, the staff quarters. To the west is the Inner Ward.

Tyren descends the stairwell at a fairly brisk pace, his glance searching. Upon spying Leta, he says simply, "She's looking for you."

Leta curtsies as Sir Tyren approaches. She nods her understanding and makes her way toward the stairs. "Best not keep her ladyship waiting, then."

Nobles' Quarters
You stand on the second story of a circular tower. In the center of the
chamber is a large stone pillar, around which stairs are placed, rising from
the Staff Quarters below, and continuing upward to the Tower Garden. The
Chancellor's Suite sits to the northwest, and to the north are several
chambers for guests. All around the rest of the perimeter are rooms assigned
to the nobility of Archenland to use on their visits to Anvard.

Leta knocks at the door.

Astera calls out "Come in".

Leta heads into Tyren's suite.

Tyren's Suite [Nobles Quarters]
This is a charming suite on the second level of Anvard. There is a canopied
bed with a trunk at its foot flanked by large windows which allow a generous
amount of light while providing a stunning view of the woods and eastern sea.
Armoires made from cherry wood are provided for clothing with a trunk nestled
between them. A desk with a finely carved chair is across from the armoires
with a small cabinet beside it. Two comfortable chairs are in the northeast
corner near a simple, yet elegant stone fireplace. A silver harp sits atop
the dark wood mantle with a finely drawn portrait of the couple displayed
over it. The door is on the west wall with several hooks for hanging things.
Sconces are used in the evening and a large carpet covers most of the floor.
A daughter of eve with honey-colored hair and deep blue eyes (Priya)
A daughter of eve with blue gray eyes (Astera)

Priya walks toward Astera. "What kind of not feeling right?" She also looks to the door at the knock and Astera's reply.

Astera takes a deep breath, "I... I don't know... I just feel... not well." Her eyes widen and her hand moves to her abdomen. Her expression becomes more nervous and she moves to a chair, gripping the back. "Maybe it's just nerves."

Leta walks in and curtsies to the two ladies, shutting the door behind her. She studies Astera for a moment before moving to her side and asking calmly, "Well then, what have we here?"

Priya steps aside, giving Leta and Astera space. She asks, "Should I step outside for a moment?"

Astera shakes her head no, "It's all right... I.. I'd prefer you here, Priya." She looks to Leta. "I haven't been feeling well today... and I'm... I feel a little tight in the abdomen." She grips the back of the chair, holding it for a few moments before releasing.

Leta frowns thoughtfully and places a hand on her back to support her. "Is it a pain, or merely the tightness of your skin? 'Twould be expected this late in your confinement."

Priya nods to Astera and remains. She keeps her distance to allow Leta to do her work.

Astera grimaces, gripping the back of the chair again. Her expression becomes mildly aggitated, although she tries to remain calm. "It... it hurts." She frowns. "Like... 'that time'--but more... uncomfortable."

Leta nods. "Does it wrap around you from your back and then retreat for a bit, even when you walk about?"

Astera nods eagerly, "Yes... and yes. Normally walking helps." She grips the chair again, looking uneasy. When she releases the chair she begins to walk towards the window, then thinks better of it and returns to the chair.

Priya listens quietly as they talk. She looks concerned, but not overly so.

Leta nods again, still calm. "Come, lie down for a moment. 'Tis best if I see for myself."

Astera looks for a moment as though she's going to protest this. When she opens her mouth she pauses, grips the chair and waits several moments, clamping her mouth shut. She nods and says, "All right." She moves to the bed and lies down carefully, looking to Priya. She gives a weak smile. "I really ought to be more calm about this."

Leta assists her to lie down and examines her, then smiles in satisfaction and says calmly, "You were right to call me. The time has come."

Astera gets wide eyes. She gives a nervous laugh, "Well... I suppose this isn't so bad..."

Priya walks over to the edge of the bed, standing by the head of the bed. She smiles. "You will be all right, milady."

Astera gives Priya a small smile and nervously jokes, "Well, you turned out fine and you tend to be more delicate than I."

Leta presses her lips together knowingly for a moment, but nods her agreement. "Aye, you've done well this far." She rises and goes to the door.

Priya gives a small chuckle. She pats Astera's arm gently. "Indeed. If I could sur..." she cuts herself off and says, "get through it, so can you."

Astera smiles a bit at this, taking a deep breath. Her expression becomes more calm.

Leta opens the door and curtsies to Sir Tyren. "I think you may expect your child before the night is over, Milord. If you will, send a servant to look for my sister Renna and tell her I have need of her here, and perhaps another to fetch Lady Astera's maid in case we should need her."

Tyren nods once, taking a small breath. "Thank you, Leta. They will be along shortly, I will see to it."

Leta nods and curtsies again. She gives him a small smile before she steps back and closes the door again.
Leta returns to the bedside and offers Astera her hand again. "Now then, Milady, 'tis time we made you a bit more comfortable. Where do you keep your nightdresses?"

Astera says, "In the wardrobe, the one on the right." she gestures.

Leta goes and retrieves one, then helps her into it.

Astera slips into her nightgown with assistance, giving a small nod. "Thank you Leta." She looks to Priya. "Do you think Hart will be very excited?"

Priya remains standing on the other side of the bed. She smiles. "Hart shall be very excited, milady. I have told him that he is to have a cousin, and he is quite curious and excited."

Leta puts Astera's things away, quiet for the moment.

Astera grins a little, "Do you think he will be disappointed he missed the birth?"

The servant returns shortly, carrying a large object draped in cloth. Behind her walks Renna, carrying a basket. The servant quietly sets down her burden and curtsies to Astera and Priya, then turns to leave. Renna sets to work preparing the room.

Astera suddenly grimaces.
Astera leans forward a bit, placing a hand on her abdomen. After several moments she relaxes and lies back again.

Leta moves back toward Astera. She looks up at the servant briefly. "Mind the outer door is always kept open. If the babe has made up his mind to come tonight, we mustn't shut him out." The servant nods, eyes a little wide, and retreats.

Priya observes Astera's motions. She holds out her hand and offers, "Squeeze my hand, if you need to. And Hart will hardly know what he missed."

Astera takes Priya's hand, trembling a bit. She grimaces once more, holding Priya's hand lightly before releasing several moments later. She laughs in a soft, nervous manner, "I do not think he should think this part very much fun."

Astera's grip tightens again and she squirms a little. Her breathing becomes a little heavier.

Leta waits beside her until the pain appears to have passed. "Aye, that's it. Breathe deeply, Milady."

Astera slows her breathing, drawing in a deep breath and releasing. She repeats the process, trying to remain calm.

Priya smiles, but before she can reply, Astera appears to be in more pain. She gives a faint wince when Astera tightens her grip, but she keeps her hand as it is for Astera. "You're doing well, Astera."

While the others are thus occupied, Renna closes the shutters and builds up the fire before dousing all of the other lights in the room. She sets a large kettle of water and rags to boil, and places several smaller jars in front of the fire to warm. Finally, she spreads clean rushes over part of the floor, and over them she places the object that the servant was carrying, which appears to be an odd sort of chair.

Astera loosens her grip, giving an apologetic look to Priya. "Thank you Priya... I'm..." She grimaces again, tightening her grip. She attempts to do so in a less painful manner. She gives a soft cry and winces.

Leta places her hand firmly against Astera's lower back until the pain appears to have passed, then extends her hand toward Astera's free one. "Shall we get you to your feet again? It may help hurry the birth along if you walk again for a bit."

Astera takes even breaths and sits up a bit more. She looks around the room, taking in the changes and looks nervous. "I... I suppose..." She keeps a tight hold on Priya's hand. "Does it have to be so dark in here?"

Astera gives a soft wince again, her grip tightening on Priya's hand before relaxing some moments later.

Priya sucks in a breath as Astera squeezes her hand. She says, "Do not be afraid to hurt me, milady." She also helps Astera to sit up, ready to move to help her walk.

Leta nods, supporting Astera's back with one hand and her arm with the other. "Aye, we mustn't risk a bright light blinding the babe's new eyes."

Astera grimaces!
Astera relaxes somewhat, panting.

Leta assists Astera to walk slowly to and fro across the room, pausing and speaking softly to her now and again as the the birth pains grow stronger. She checks her progress and gently rubs warm oil from one of the jars near the fire onto her belly from time to time.

Astera grimaces!
Astera allows herself to be guided, giving soft winces and cries over so often. She pauses suddenly, tightening her grip and cries out loudly.
Astera relaxes somewhat, panting.

Priya stays close by Astera, helping to support her as she walks. She looks concerned, keeping a firm hold on Astera to make sure she remains steady on her feet.

Astera grimaces!
Astera tightens her grip again, giving a soft whine through clenched teeth.
Astera relaxes somewhat, panting.
Astera gives a soft gasp as the pain subsides.

Leta reminds her quietly, "Aye, that's it. Breathe now."

Astera grimaces!

Priya nods a bit. She winces a little more as Astera grips her hand, but she stays close and says gently, "You're doing wonderfully, Astera."

Astera groans, and looks nervous. "Th--thank you..." She focuses on her breathing.
Astera relaxes somewhat, panting.
Astera grimaces!
Astera tries to keep her breaths even and deep. She cries out again and looks to Leta, "Should... Should... AUGH.... I.... lay...." She gives another cry, sweat forming. "Lay down?" Her voice is louder than she intends it to be.

Priya looks to Leta for direction, maintaining her hold on Astera.

Leta examines her again and shakes her head. "Nay, there is no need--'tis time." She guides Astera toward the chair that Renna has set up.

Astera relaxes somewhat, panting.
Astera cries out, struggling to remain calm. "Leta... it hurts!" She closes her eyes and draws in deep breaths. Her grip is tight. "It's... not stopping... Not like before..."

Leta nods, supporting her heavily. "Aye, Milady. It means your babe draws nearer."

Astera grimaces!
Astera relaxes somewhat, panting.

Priya holds on to Astera, staying with her and Leta. "It won't last too much longer, milady."

Astera grimaces!
Astera cries out again, relying heavily on the support from Leta and Priya. She works on her breathing, panting as the pain subsides somewhat. She groans softly, "Well... now... now... this is more... like I've heard." She attempts to smile but cries out again, tightening her grip.
Astera relaxes somewhat, panting.

Leta helps her to be seated, then says to Renna, "Go and open all of the chests and wardrobes in the room, and if you find any knots, mind you untie them. I'll not have her laboring with a closed womb."

Astera grimaces!

Priya remains by Astera, standing by her head.

Astera relaxes somewhat, panting.
Astera allows herself to be lowered into the strange looking chair, her expression almost wary of it--that is until she grimaces painfully. She leans back, keeping a tight hold on Priya's hand. "So... SORRY.... Priya... OH... this hurts..."
Astera grimaces!

Priya winces visibly. She shakes her head. "Squeeze... as hard as you need. You're doing great."

Leta wraps a knife in rags and places it on the floor underneath Astera's chair. "'Twill ease the pain a bit," she explains. Washing her hands in a basin of water that Renna has prepared, she takes a seat on a low stool in front of Astera and covers her own lap in soft, clean rags, then offers her hand to Astera again.

Astera relaxes somewhat, panting.
Astera cries out again, panting. "What... about... the knots?" She watches Leta, her expression one of pain and unease. She moans, "I do not /feel/ as though I am doing well."

Astera grimaces painfully!
Astera grimaces painfully!

Astera gives a loud scream. She leans forward a bit.

Leta looks up at Astera and speaks in a low, calm voice. "Now, then, when you feel the pains, push down with all your might. Do not rest until the pain itself does."

Priya remains by Astera's side, watching her and Leta closely. She winces at the grip, but does not seem to mind.

Astera strains, focusing on her breathing. She closes her eyes tightly, gripping Priya's hand and cries out as she pushes. She gives a loud gasp and cry, leaning back as the child is delivered.

Astera tenses, straining.
Astera gives birth to a female human baby!

You see a female human baby with black hair and green eyes.

Leta speaks quietly to Astera, instructing her and encouraging her as she labors. She soon guides the babe free and gathers her onto her lap. As she begins drying her skin, she declares with a soft smile, "You have borne a daughter, Lady Astera."

Astera closes her eyes a moment, starting to cry. "A girl..." She opens her eyes and strains to look, "Please, let me see her!"

Leta works with quick, deft hands. She sweeps her finger over the child's tongue, and when she has begun to cry, holds the baby up near her mother's belly for a few moments so that she can see or touch her if she wishes.

Priya smiles. She releases Astera's hand so Astera can reach out to her daughter, and she looks over to see the baby.

Astera gazes down and cries a little harder. Her eyes and smile are bright as she reaches for the child, "May--May I hold her?" Her voice is filled with emotion.

Leta nods and helps her to cradle the babe. "Aye for a few moments. We must wrap her soon so she shan't catch a chill."

Priya smiles wider. "Oh milady, she is beautiful."

Astera eagerly sweeps her baby girl into her arms, drawing her close. She examines her daughter closely, eyes bright. She kisses her forehead and whispers softly. "My little girl... my little girl!" She nuzzles the child lightly. "Oh Priya... have you ever seen such a beautiful girl!"

Leta makes sure the babe is safely in Astera's arms, then ties two lengths of string around the life-cord and cuts it with a scalded knife that Renna hands her. As she works, she nods her agreement. "With all that fine dark hair, she's sure to be as strong and healthy as ever a babe was."

Priya watches Astera with her daughter, her expression delighted. "I have never seen such a beautiful little girl."

Leta discreetly takes away the afterbirth while the babe's mother and aunt are thus occupied, and motions for Renna to bring warm water and clean cloths.

Astera kisses her little girl on the forehead, smiling up at Priya before returning her gaze to her little girl. "What a delightful surprise. Oh, the things I will teach you. Riding horses, using a bow, reading... You will make your father so happy sewing such lovely things for him." She chuckles, delicately stroking the baby's head. "And when you're older, you shall drive your father and cousin crazy with all the boys that look your way."

Leta smiles softly, watching mother and baby. After a time, she returns to Astera's side. "I ought to get her washed and swaddled, Milady, and once you have had a chance to wash as well, I am sure your lord husband will wish to name his daughter."

Astera looks up at Leta with a soft sigh, looking reluctant to hand over her baby. With one more kiss on the babe's forehead she hands the girl to Leta.

Priya smiles as well. "Should I step out and let him know you are well, Milady? I shall leave the telling that he has a daughter to you. But I am sure he is worried about you."

Astera says, "We've already settled on a name... but I... I do not think she is a Lucia." She pursues her lips and looks to Priya, "Please do." She smiles. "Tell him we are well."

Priya gently pats Astera's arm. "You were wonderful, Milady. I am so very happy for you. I'll go let him know that you are well." She says to Leta, "Thank you, Leta, for allowing me to stay and your fine work." She nods to them both and slips out of the door.

Leta takes the baby carefully, curtseying to Priya and motioning for Renna to help Astera bathe and don a fresh nightdress. She, meanwhile, gently bathes the child in a basin of warm milk, then takes a rabbit's foot from her apron pocket and gently rubs her skin with it before swaddling her tightly in linen strips. She carefully rubs the roof of her mouth with a drop of honey followed by a pinch of salt.

Astera allows herself to be helped up and slowly moves, washing away the less pleasant aspects of childbirth. She continually looks over to Leta, watching her movements and keeping an eagle eye on her baby. All these distractions make her own preparions slower and several reminders have to be offered before Astera completes her task. She gives a soft sigh as she dons a new nightgown, thanking Renna softly.

Leta joins Astera at the bedside once both mother and child are clean and warm and Astera is resting comfortably. She carefully holds out the baby, who has quieted now that she is not being prodded about.

Astera lies down, trying to look patient as Leta finishes with the baby. She beams, her smile brilliant and her eyes bright as she takes the child in her arms again. Drawing the baby girl close, she looks up at Leta. "Thank you so much, Leta."

Leta curtsies, smiling. "A duty and an honour, Milady. We will leave you now, but I shall not go far, and your maidservant waits in the next room to fetch me if you have need of me." She steps backward toward the door, where her sister--who has busied herself removing any evidence of things offensive to male sensibilities--waits.

Astera looks down at her little girl and asks quietly, "Leta? One thing before you go..."

Leta waits, nodding. "Aye, Milady?"

Astera asks softly, "Do you think there will be much talk because it was not an heir?" She looks up, holding her baby close in a protective manner.

Leta presses her lips together. "There is always talk, Lady Astera. It is a child's job to make it. But let us not forget that you are young and your husband's brother is hardly in his grave. Were it a boy-child, it might still not be Chesterton's heir."

Astera smiles a bit. "That really doesn't matter to me--but I know it's important to Tyren." she kisses her baby, gazing down fondly at her. "And I don't care /what/ her old crone of a grandmother thinks--I believe she is perfect and beautiful." She pauses, "And I am glad she is a girl--then she can't be taken from me for all the responsiblities that are expected of a boy." She looks at Leta. "Do you... think that is bad of me to think?"

Leta smiles knowingly. "You are her mother. You'd feel as you do even if it wasn't a question of heirs. Let the men worry about it if they must. A boy will come along in a few years and they'll forget the whole matter, like as not."

Astera looks relieved, offering Leta a grateful smile. "I do hope Tyren isn't disappointed." She looks down at her baby fondly. "I am not." She kisses her baby's forehead again, glowing.

Leta smiles and curtsies again. "I cannot say, Milady, but I will send him to you and let him tell you himself."

Astera grins and nods, "Thank you Leta. Have a good eve."

Leta nods her thanks. "And you, Lady Astera. Be sure to call me to sit with the babe if you wish to rest." With that, she turns and follows her sister into the outer room.

Tyren's Suite [Nobles Quarters]
For RP purposes, tonight's players decided that there is an outer
sitting room in the suite, and that is where the others are waiting.
A daughter of eve with honey-colored hair and deep blue eyes (Priya)
A daughter of eve with mid-back length hair (Dalia)
A son of adam with a scarred face and sharp features (Tyren)

Priya stands by Tyren. She smiles. "That's all you can do."

Tyren simply gives a small nod, still smiling a bit.

Leta comes out of the inner room with her sister. She looks a bit tired, but pleased. She curtsies and steps aside. "Sir Tyren, as you have likely heard"--here she nods to Lady Priya--"your wife is safely delivered of a strong, healthy child." She gestures toward the door. "They are ready to see you now, if it is your wish."

Tyren says swiftly, "No 'if' about it!" before making his way to the door at a rather rapid pace. He pauses briefly before opening it, glancing back to give Leta a small nod and smile. "And thank you." He lets that be that before slipping into the room.

Priya curtseys to Tyren as he leaves. She looks to the two women remaining and says, "Good night to you both." She then returns to her own suite.

Leta looks slightly amused at Tyren's hasty departure, but says nothing. She curtsies and says, "Good eve, Lady Priya," then turns to Dalia with a smile.

Dalia curtsies as Lady Priya leaves.

Leta addresses Dalia quietly. "Your mistress is well, though she is likely to be tired for some days. I will not stray from the castle, and I have told her that if she begins to feel ill, she must send you to fetch me."

Dalia nods, "Thank you. Do- Do you know what they will name the child?

Leta shakes her head. "No. I am sure that Sir Tyren will announce it to the court quite soon, but I think you need not wait until then. No doubt you may ask Lady Astera when you attend her later."

Dalia nods, looking momentarily towards the door. She still looks a little wistful but tries to hide it.

Leta smiles a little. "Lady Astera ought to stay mostly in bed for the next few days, and if she takes a fever, or if the babe falls ill or will not feed, you must come and get me at once."

Dalia nods, "I will. Certainly."

Leta nods. "Thank you, Dalia." She nods toward the door. "Renna and I will go and rest now for a bit. I will return later."

Dalia nods, "Thank you for telling me."

Leta smiles. "Of course. Good eve, Dalia."

Dalia says, "Good Eve. The Lion guard your dreams."

Leta nods, making her way toward the door. "Thank you."