It's still cold, but at least the sky is clear and that makes people more inclined to venture outside. One of them is Ben that comes from the outside, with a quick stop by the mudroom to leave his coat and whatever else he's carrying to get protected from the harsh enviroment. Once in the living room, he glances around calmly as he unbuttons his suit."This place didn't change much since the last time we were in here." He says to apparently no one but a second later, from the still open mudroom comes a small-ugly creature in poor clothing that nods and, with its very big eyes, looks around with curiosity and fear. The Hobgoblin doesn't answer the big Autumn courtier whose mantle fulfills the room with the smell of burnt herbs and unlit candles everywhere."Hello? Anybody home?" The Ogre asks as he wanders around the room as he continues looking at the place like a resident coming back home after a very long time away.
The smell of baked goods perfumes the air of the wayhouse and not long after asking if anyone is home a head pops out from the direction to which the living room can eventually be found. "Hello." The voice is small and nearer the ground than most adult people can be found. It is also very melodic and soprano. "Care for some cupcakes? I just made some vanilla cupcakes with peanut butter frosting and chocolate filling and some lemon ones with a lemon cream filling and vanilla frosting." She has the faint mantle of Spring about her and only barely registers on the 'not human' radar, possibly fairly fresh out of Arcadia. Her green eyes seem to finally settle on Benn and she freezes at the sight of the ogre who is a bit intimidating to the three foot tall woman. "Hi... I'm Alora..."
"Hello, Alora. I'm Ben." The Ogre says as he gets closer to the very small delicate woman offering a hand to a shake. If taken his right hand is cold to the touch like any inanimate object left on the outside but his grisp is gentle."I'd love to have some of your cupcakes. And tea." He says as he heads for the couch where he sits crossing one leg over the other in a very ellegant way. The Hobgoblin that comes along like a shadow eyes Alora quickly but goes to stand still by the couch's side.
Alora takes the Ogre's finger in her hand and gives it a friendly shake. "It is nice ta meetcha Ben." She eventually withdraws her hand and withdraws with it warm Spring air. "I made a couple dozen of each. I'm not sure how else to contribute around here but I can cook so that is what I've been doing." She heads over to the coffee table and with a napkin puts one cupcake of each flavor on a plate and brings it back over to Ben. "Here you go." She looks to the Hob and offers a smile. "Would you like one or two as well?"
"Thank you very much." Ben says when he gets the plate with the cupcakes. The first one he picks, though, doesn't go to his mouth. Instead it's offered to the Hobgoblin that picks the small cake with both hands and starts eating it in an almost beastly way."Done." Ben says and smiles gently to Alora."I know that feeling. Trying to be helpful for the community. I'm trying to pledge to the Freehold so I can start helping with the Custodians again. I'm a Magi of the Gilded Thorn." He then picks one of the cupcakes and with all the manners possible, he starts eating it calmly.
Alora smiles as the cupcake is handed to the Hob and nods her head in appreciation of the act. "Very good." She nods again. "I'll go fetch some tea. I just put some water on a bi..." A whistling sound comes from the direction of the kitchen. "And that's that." She starts to walk off and though she is very short it seems she can walk just fine with no wobbling or something like she might be disabled or just learning to walk like a small child, she's even proportioned correctly for a human... she's just very very short.
Once down the hall though she's gone for an unnaturally brief period of time, things clinking and clacking quickly, opening and shutting, before she returns with a tray of tea cups, a tea pot, tea balls, cream, sugar, and a few varieties of loose leaf tea. "Earl Grey, English Breakfast, and Masala Chai. There were others too if you prefer something else. I just grabbed three." She puts the tray on the table and carefully pours out three glasses of hot water. "What would you like, Mr. Ben?"
The tiny woman pauses. "You'll have to pardon me... I'm very new to all of this. What is a Custodian and what do they do? And what do the Magi of the Gilded Thorn do? If you don't mind educating me, that is."
Ben looks really impressed by the speed the very small woman set everything up and grins when she's back."Earl Grey, please." He answers."The third glass is not necessary. Gru doesn't drink tea. Since he discovered Coke he's addicted to it and doesn't drink anything other than that." He says calmly and then he straights himself up on his spot as getting ready to enter in more important matters."Well. The Custodians form a group of schollars and investigators of the occult inside our Freehold. They're most composed of Autumn courtier, but are not exclusive. Everyone is welcomed to join. Their leader is someone I know for a few years now. A very intelligent man. And smart." He then pauses for a second to check on his tea."The Magi of the Gilded Thorn are an Entitlement that deals with the secrets of the Hedge. We're part rangers, part schollars. We're like Indiana Jones of the Hedge." He then grins."What about yourself, Alora? Tell me something about you. You look still fresh from the Hedge."
"Oh..." Alora nods her head and pulls off the top of the tea pot and pours the water back in. "Would you like me to go grab him a Coke then?" She seems more than happy to if that is what is needed.
"Ah... That is neat. I don't really know where I belong just yet. I am good with making all things consumable, basically. If I have to fight I use a bow... but I prefer not to fight... and I'm good at singing and talking to people and I'm good at finding things and I like studying the strange magic side of things too. Otherwise... I'm a Manikin, Spring Court and... yeah, I've only been out since November 12, 2019. So not very long."
At the mention of Coke being brought, Gru huge eyes shine with excitement and hope as he looks at the diminutive woman."If that would bother you at all, I think my friend here will love having some coke. But I need to tell you he likes it chill. You know, when you buy it straight from the shelves of the supermarket." The Ogre explains calmly and then he offers a grin."I have one more question. Do you have a proper job already? Because I have a place where you could put your skills in test." And then his grins becomes wider and temptive.
"We have some cold in the kitchen, I think. If not we have ice." Alora looks to the Gob and then goes off to the kitchen, returning with haste and offering a cold can of Coke to the Gob before looking back up to Ben while she readies her own glass of Masala and takes a sits at the table... which is the perfect height for someone of her size. "I do not have a job here yet, no. I just got into town a few days ago." She pulls a small plate over for herself and gets one of the cupcakes for herself.
Once the coke is offered to the Hobgoblin, the creature quickly picks the can and starts drinking the liquid. He does so all at once and when he finishes, he lets a loud gutural noise comes from the inside of his belly and grins. At that, Ben just grins and shakes his head lightly."I'm sorry for that. I still need to teach him some manners." The Autumn courtier says as he picks his glass of tea and blows it gently."I'm the assistant manager of the Red Clover Hotel. We're in need of a new chef. What would you say?"
The little woman's eyes light up and she nods her head swiftly, short blonde hair bobbing at her shoulders as she agrees to accept the job... not minding the Hob long enough to seem worried about his manners. "I would love to do something like that. It would be a fun job for me. What kind of food does your hotel like to serve?"
Ben grins in satisfaction. The towering ogre is sitting at the couch in the living room on his usual expensive looking suits while a very small woman no more than 3 ft tall is sitting on the coffee table in front of the couch. By the furniture's side, half hidding, half guarding it a very ugly small-framed Hobgoblin."The basics, mostly. Our patrons are not very sofisticated, to be honest. But as the chef, you could totally offer different dishes based on your own imagination and skills, I'm pretty sure my mother wouldn't mind." He offers and then pauses."All I want is your loyalty in regarding everything that goes on inside the hotel. And I tell you there is a lot going on." The Autumn courtier than smiles with malice again."What do you say?
Alora takes a slow sip of her tea after blowing across the hot surface a handful of seconds. She looks thoughtfully into the tea for a couple of seconds before looking back to Ben. "Does something bad happen inside the hotel?" She looks kinda unsure about this now, her excitement at cooking for the hotel eclipsed by a leery kinda look. Still, she's not yet changed her mind it would seem or she, perhaps, would not be asking clarifying questions.
Ben shakes his head lightly."Nothing to worry about. But my family is known for its members plotting against each other so could be very good to have someone having my back in the hotel right now." He explains calmly and sips from his tea."Here. Take my card. My number is in there. You can take your time to decide." Then he lands a greeting card over the coffee table.
Snow White, in old fairy tales, is said to have had skin as white as milk, though a human never would. Not without cosmetic artifice to whiten it. November? She doesn't have to worry about human physiology. Mask strengthened as it is, the colourful young woman is very nearly snowy white, herself, skin only saved from it by the faintest hints of peaches-and-cream warmth.
Snow White, however, would never wear November's garb...
Heels first audible on the kitchen's tiles, then the dining room's hardwood, then the hallway's carpet runner, the tall androgyne's stride is steady and confident as she approaches from the rear of the building, crystalline hair drawn up into a single high and swaying ponytail behind her. That hair is all the brighter in comparison to the high-necked bodysuit she wears, pitch black with only a few fine, thin accents of ice white along its skin-hugging seams. Really, she looks like a Marvel universe assassin just waiting for a target.
Or she would, if she weren't already holding a dead rabbit by the ears in one gloved hand.
Upon spotting Ben and Alora, she flashes the two a brilliant smile and asks, "Apologies for interrupting. Have you seen a tall fellow? Scantily clad, likes fur?"
At November's entrance, Alora pauses and stares very unpolitely. She is, herself, just wearing a simple pair of blue jeans, black ballet flats, and a green tank top with Tinker Bell on it. She probably has to shop in the children's section of stores given her size
"Hello again, Miss." Alora finally says as her eyes drop to the rabit, her small self shaking off the aura that comes with November as she enters after a few seconds of staring. "I... have not seen any Scantily clad fellows today, no." She reaches over and takes the card that Ben hands her and nods her head. "I am glad your hotel is not quite so... Al Capone retro. Who are your family if you don't mind my asking?"
It's not easy for Alexander to actually vanish anywhere, but he got lost somewhere, somehow. Probably distracted. And thus coming in from the front, door slam with his accustomary lack of finesse for the material world in general. Ducking to get through the door he snorts in general annoyance but then gives a wide tusked smile at the sight of November. He can indeed be the man in question, seeing his lack of attire even in the cold winter, wearing only a pair of loose linen trousers that look like they were made by a child. "THERE YOU ARE!" he calls out, his voice booming and large. His bare feet leaving tracks of water and well, outside after him where he walks.
Ben looks November from tip to toe."You look really impressive these days, November." He greets the woman and then he looks at the other man in the room. The contrast between the two is obvious and makes Ben smiles before turning his attention back to Alora."We're the Utridge. But we're not Al Capone style. We just like a good and healthy challenge among ourselves." He grins to the very small woman.
"In other words," November tells Alora, "they are criminals, but they would rather ruin your reputation or hire someone else to do their dirty work if they decide you're problematic." So reassuring.
Alexander's abrupt and noisy entrance, so quintessentially Alexanderish, prompts a swift smile and a heft of the dead, dangling rabbit. At this time of year, it isn't very plump, though its fur is very fluffy. "Was this yours? I heard some racketing about outside, and found this in the woods, half-flattened by a log."
The woman sitting by the cupcake and tea tray covered coffee table is really small. Small enough she could be a child at first glance. When he gets closer and closer she sets her saucer and tea cup down and moves to the other side of the table with wide eyes. "Holy macaroni."
Though Alora seems to be a bit startled by Alexander's large presence and large being she doesn't stare terribly too long she just looks back to Ben. "Oh good, no Al Capone style hotels for me. Nice respectable ones..." She glances over at the man radiating Summer and back to Ben. "Do I have to wash the dishes I would cook on or would you have a dish washer specifically for that task?"
Then there is November's comment and she turns her face back to Ben and looks just as horrified and startled as she did when Alex and November walked into the room. "When you said 'washing dishes' you meant 'washing dishes', right?" She clears her throat. "I'm not so good with the whole lying, cheating, and stealing thing. I mean... I am really noisy and... well, I'd prefer not to tick anyone off my first week here."
The raging mantle of Summer comes with Alexander, oppressive and warm, the scent of burnt rubber and coal. But it starts to change almost as soon as he is in there, the corruption of Dawn making itself known, shifting and changing to the scent of rain during a scortching hot day. He grunts again, making a tusked grimace and giving November an accusatory look down at her. "Yes." he says finally with a humpf. "Mine." his crimson gaze turns to the other two then, as if noticing them first now. The runic tattoos along his body shift as well, a few of the brutish figures forever moving along his marble skin shifting as well, as if to get a better look at the strangers too.
Ben grins when November talks about his family instead of looking hurt."In my family defense I say that the Red Clover Hotel opperates totally under the law and follows all the protocols to such kind of business. So don't you worry, Alora. You'd be just a normal chef of a fully staffed and well equiped hotel kitchen. There is no after hours extra job for you there. You have my word." He says lifting with his palm to Alora like in a swearing. The intense look of Alexander is met with curiosity but no reaction.
'Corruption' -- pffft. Dawn doesn't corrupt! Dawn reveals potentials. Much nicer way of phrasing the fact that November's Mantle alters the Mantles of anyone within range, whether or not they want it to. Ahemhem.
November smiles up at the Summer in response to his accusatory look, unspoken mischief dancing in gold-amber eyes. Stepping forward, she offers the very dead rabbit to Alexander, unconcerned, and asks, "How much weight -can- you throw?" These are the important questions, and these questions are also why things break.
Looking down to Alora, the faerie Ancient adds, "If you're interested in joining the local freehold, I would be happy to get in touch with Queen Zillah for you. There are protections against slaying other members of the 'hold, among other things."
There is a nod of her head at Ben before Alora answers November which is probably as much a reply to Ben as it is to November. "Yes, perhaps before I enter into other arrangements I should do that." Alora smiles over at November. "I think I would like that, thank you." She looks over at Alexander and then walks over towards them. "You are maybe the largest person I have ever seen. It is nice to meet you and your tats are really cool. I'm Alora." As she reaches out a hand and starts to offer it up to Alex her phone buzzes and she frowns and grabs it. "Excuse me. I need to take this call." She offers a parting smile at everyone in the room and makes her way back towards the kitchen.