Coryn Introductions [22 Hispis 4385]
Not long afterwards, an assortment of wrongfolk and Eigrachters came to the sweet terraces and blooming lily garden of the great longhouse on Via Tydirdi. It was a palace of a longhouse, a vast meringue-topped dessert of spires and crenellations and twists and balconies, all built out of pure white wicker and adorned with beads of bright rainbow glass. It was one of the fancier houses on the street, and Via Tydirdi seems to be one of the fancier neighborhoods of the city.
Jempjinga:"Behold! The headquarters of Clan Coryn in Eigrach; the headquarters of Clan Coryn in Srineia; and, through my wife Frise, the county palace of the Plipil March."
Arfaen, Phaniet, Este, and Mellilot: Admiring exclamations! Entirely deserved admiring exclamations! Architectural comparisons with various count's residences of Vheshrame and Oorah Thrassen, emphasizing that they are smaller than this one, and carefully not mentioning that the counts in question are not Cani and thus have smaller families! Particular admiration of the white elegance of the building, as contrasted with the gaudy polychrome of the surrounding manors!
Quendry:"You have a rabbit! Right there! In the lily garden there is a rabbit! It is brown and hoppy! What does it eat? I do not know what it eats! Do rabbits eat lilies? Maybe there are mushrooms! Mushrooms under the lilies!"
In due course, they entered the meringue. A pair of busby-hatted Khtsoyis wearing the family's colors (viz. white highlighted by white, with glass beads) floated lazily by the door. "G'day to you-nob-colo, Jempjinga."
"And to your-low-unhi-selves as well. Where are Bwipin and Frise? We have notable guests," said Jempjinga.
"Bwipin is in the solarium slurpin' down his-nob-colo kathia like he's a pig and it's raisin stew. Frise is disportin' her-nob-colo-self with the butler, probably got his pointy pointy superintendant crammed up her eagerly waitin' fishycakes right now, if you know what I mean and I think you do."
Jempjinga curled his tail a quarter of an inch, spread his whiskers a touch, and said, "Hm." Nobody howled at Jempjinga's fearsome displeasure, though the Khtsoyis did curl up in a ball. "No need to interrupt. When she and our spouse are finished, please inform her that I request the honor of her company in the solarium."
"That's rather a lot of detail for the doormen to know," I mused to Vae.
"The hearing and smelling of the countess the Khtsoyis can surely make. Well ... not so sure am I of the smelling, but of the hearing, definitely. The wicker walls are none too solid," said Vae.
I listened, and I thought I could hear a bit of cisaffectionate marital attention going on in the distance, too.
Jempjinga lead the wrongfolk to the solarium. Which was a wide round basket of a room, roofed over with lacy wicker arches and occasional panes of glass. A tall and wolfy and nearly spherical Cani man wearing stained velvet stood by a bench, evidently trying to teach a dozen potted plants to sing. A substantial glass kathia-pot stood at the end of the bench, a quarter full; the Khtsoyis had been right about his potations.
Jempjinga:"Bwipin! Behold, the visitors from Vheshrame have come among us, and behold! Three of them claim to be of Clan Coryn. Leave off your melismatic lessons and perform your duties, my brother-brother!"
Bwipin:"Ah, well. Welcome, welcome! Have you come to present your credentials, then?"
Phaniet:"I tail-waggingly affirm so!"
Jempjinga:"Bwipin, perhaps you could see to this woman Phaniet, who is of higher status, and I will take care of this other woman Arfaen?"
Bwipin:"I don't see why not." He peered at Este and Mellilot. "Blasted glad to welcome you two here also. Vlemo! Vlemo, where are you, you slow bug? Get your many-balled tail over here! Can't you see we have company for you to attend to?"
A white-and-white-and-glass liveried Herethroy co-lover trotted into the solarium, proclaimed various polite things, and lead the non-Cani off to a parlor and started to fill them up with sweetmeats, sweet sausages, Kathia, and perry.
Phaniet's Credentials (when things go right)
Bwipin:"Well then. Clan Coryn, are you?"
Phaniet:"Yes I am, since birth."
Bwipin:"Ah, yes, very good. And what year would that be?"
Phaniet:"4320. In Vheshrame."
Bwipin lead Phaniet to a more private and better rainproofed room. A substantial and stout bookcase held a substantial and stout collection of books, titled "Clan Coryn". He picked out volume 1 (Ketheria) from the 4300-4319 series, whuffed annoyedly, put it back, and picked out volume 1 (Ketheria) from the 4320-4339 series instead. He shuffled through it. "Vheshrame, you say? Father's a baron? That's your natural fur color, right? Could you sit up there for a moment? I'm a bit too stout to reach."
Phaniet hopped onto a bench, turned her back, and lifted her tail. He planted his nose under it, sniffing carefully. "H'm, well, yes." He consulted the book again, consulted her tailbase again. "Ah, you've washed with strong rosemary soap this morning."
"Yes, I'm afraid I did. That's what we've got on Strayway."
"Blasted troublesome for presenting your credentials though. I could barely smell the churfnard and praegilium under it!"
Phaniet rubbed a finger across the bottom of her tail and sniffed it. "Very true. I'm quite sorry, Lord Bwipin; I wasn't thinking this morning. I was half asleep and all." (Not true! She was up for quite many hours between dawn and the hour after dawn! And we have several kinds of soap too. She knew what she was doing. She didn't want to smell too much like Este.)
"Ah, I never get up before noon when I can help it, myself. But I want to get that chorus working, and my plants are most active nowabouts."
Phaniet hopped off the bench. "So, am I myself, according to the register?"
"Blast it, I think you are!" he exclaimed, and embraced her closely. "You should do me the great courtesy and favor of wearing this emblem ... where is it? ... hah, there, it's gone and hidden itself in the box marked 'Clan Emblems'." He gave her a ribbon with a small ivory stylized nendrai seal on it. "May I tie it upon your arm?"
"Yes, if you please!" she said, and he did.
"Now then. Would you like any assistance from Clan Coryn? Introductions? Invitations to social occasions? A temporary marriage into a local longhouse -- which isn't quite a Coryn matter, since of course you can't marry a Coryn, but I'm sure we could find someone suitable."
"Introductions and invitations would be most appreciated, Lord Bwipin." said Phaniet.
Bwipin wagged his tail. "I'd be blasted happy to do that! Your father's a baron? You're the assistant to that wizard? I'll introduce you to myself!"
Phaniet smiled and wagged back. "You are too kind, Lord Bwipin!"
"Just a bit, m'dear, just a bit! This far from Vheshrame, we can scarcely see the difference between a courtesy title there and an actual one! And it'll get Frise to stop chewing my tail too. Still! As your friend, I must tell you -- we have the most excellent opera in Srineia. What performance would you like to go to? Bromabu or The Dibbing of Jaraz?" (I had never heard of either one -- they sound Srineian in any case -- and Phaniet cares less for the arts than I do.)
"The Dibbing of Jaraz, of course!" barked Phaniet. "How could I possibly choose the other?"
"Excellent, excellent!" And they chatted about clan matters and opera and singing plants and sky pirates for the next two-thirds of an hour, as if they were old and dear friends. Which I guess they were, Cani-style.