(514-01-16) Snowball Effect
Summary: Kamron meets Arian in an unexpected manner.
Date: January 16, 514
Related: None directly
kamron arian 

Sarum is blanketed by a soft coat of snow that sludges into greyish brown around the commonly-used tracks and paths through the walled city. But there are still wide swathes of untouched white, which are rapidly being consumed as ammunition by pages and squires of every age from eight through twenty. Plus a knight of twenty-three, because you're never too old for a snowball fight, or at least that's Kam's thinking. Laughing aloud, he ducks under the first of a barrage of snowballs, and then another three explode on his cloak. Patting together a rough sphere of snow between his mittens, he hurls it at his nearest attacker without really looking, missing by a good two feet. "Traitors! Betrayers! Saxon dogs!" Laughter makes the words hard to understand, sending them bouncing off the walls of nearby buildings.

Arian de Laverstock has joined the fellowship into Sarum, mostly as an excuse to get away from the stifling confines of a winter day. What was meant to be a quick journey into the city for supplies has turned into a lagging affair thanks to the snow. Her brother is quite certain they won't be departing before tomorrow, leaving the petite woman with very little to do and almost no company to keep besides her stout and shaggy mare and the neverending presence of her chaperone — a sour-looking, ageless woman who is obviously living day to day on ill-temper. They are nearing the swathe of snow being hastily eaten away by snowball crafting, and the bellows from the squires and pages draw Arian's attention. Her chaperone speaks first, muttering a grimacing, "What a waste of time… waste of youth."

Kamron hasn't noticed that the merry war has an audience, stomping over toward a page of about ten, taking a snowball to the chest with an aggrieved sound, and then scooping the young lad up and tossing him into a particularly deep-looking patch of snow. The page laughs uproariously as he falls, then squeals as the snow gets inside his cloak, and Kamron takes another snowball to the back. The knight laughs, "Hey! At least have the decency," another snowball is loosely crafted, "to face me face to face!" He whirls, and sends the snowball downrange… right into the peanut gallery. Oops.

Arian turns to her chaperone with an amused smirk. "I don't think they see it that way," she says dryly. She is about ready to turn back around, but that is before the icy snowball slams into her shoulder, spraying white across her dark cloak. She stumbles in surprise, grasping onto her chaperone's forearm for balance. She turns her head swiftly, the furlined hood of her cloak almost falling from her dark-haired head in the gesture. "Wh-what was that for!" She calls out to the lot, her pale eyes going from wide to narrow.

Kamron's eyes widen in shock as he finds himself looking at a pair of women, one young and beautiful and the other old and not. For once, his words fail him—although that may be because he gets a face full of snowball from a crafty squire a moment later. Sputtering and wiping off his face with one mitten, he holds up his other hand to try to forestall any more snowballs coming his way. He's only hit by two more before the youngsters decide to fire on targets that are actually still playing the game. His features flushing red with embarrassment, Kamron steps over in the direction of the two women, "I'm terribly sorry M'Lady. I can only blame it on a most horrible lack of skill on my part." For all that he's going the self-deprecating route, his bushy brows are lifted in worry and concern. "I assure you it was unintentional… are you alright?"

Arian brushes snow from her shoulder as the knight approaches, attempting to maintain her affronted expression. It is quite difficult to do when you have a rather good-looking knight offering up apologies. She soldiers forward however. "If you don't have the skill to throw a proper snowball, Sir, then I might suggest you find something more innocuous on these winter days… perhaps snow faeries." Her expression does soften slightly as a hint of a smirk touches the corner of her lips. "But yes… I think we both managed to survive the attack." She casts a glance toward her chaperone, who merely snorts and stares at Kamron without a hint of forgiveness. She didn't even get pegged!

You check your just at 16, you rolled 8.

Kamron bows his head slightly first to the young lady, then to the elder. He can't help himself, reaching out with his left mitten, then stopping just shy of her brow before finishing the movement to brush a little chunk of snow from the young woman's dark tumble of hair. For a moment, his blush runs darker, reaching back into his hood to tinge his slightly too-big ears, and his hand snaps back to his side, even tucking behind his back like a youngster caught with his hand in the honeycomb. "I'm very glad that you both survived the incident. I'm ashamed that such an incident occurred in my presence." Or, you know, that he caused it. Laughter touches his lips and his words, and he steps back just a bit, spreading his hands to his sides, "I think, in the name of justice, that you should have the opportunity to do better, M'Lady."

The Laverstock blinks in surprise as the knight reaches for her, and she goes very still. The brush of his mitten across her hair causes a sudden flush at her own cheeks, though it is a rather lovely pink rather than a fiery red. Her pale, rose-colored lips part slightly with comment, but then press tight as he offers up his apologies. She casts a glance toward her chaperone, who has only gone more pickled since the knight stepped forward, but then her attention falls more steadily on the knight. "You mean that you caused such an incident," she points out. Though at the offer, she tilts her head and narrows her eyes. "You want me to throw a snowball at you?"

Kamron shrugs just a little beneath the rabbit-fur-lined cloak, "Well, we can quibble about who caused the incident if you'd like…" there's a beat pause, and then he adds, sotto voce, "I did," and brings one hand up to his chest as he continues in a more normal tone of voice, "And I do think it would only be fair. After all, I accidentally struck you with a snowball, so it is only fair that I suffer the same fate in return." Granted, he's already suffered it a dozen other times in the past five minutes, "Also, I think you impugned my honor as a hurler of snowballs, so I believe it only fair that you back up your suggestion that you are superior in that regard."

"Arian," her chaperone says sternly. "I would hate to send such a report to your father, that you—" But before the old woman can finish, the pale-eyed woman is stepping forward into the field of gnarled snow and tossing off her hood completely from her dark waves. "Sounds only fair, but I don't think it is at all worthwhile to hit a stationary target… needless to say one who is just standing there, dumb." She swoops down, collecting a modest handful of snow between her own mittens and beginning to shape it with a hint of expertise.

Kamron takes a couple of steps back as the woman advances, glancing over to the chaperone as she names the beauty. "Were you ducking and dodging when I so accidentally hit you, Lady Arian? It would not be fair for me to dodge your return volley otherwise, now would it?" Laughter dances in his blue-gray eyes, and in his voice as he notes, "And I don't think I would quite call myself 'dumb.' 'Clumsy' perhaps, or 'rude,' but 'dumb' is something I would never sit still for, as I am very rarely without something to say."

"Well, I just want it to be known that I did give you a chance to avoid getting struck," Arian says as she puts the finishing touches on her snowball. She lifts her own pale eyes to meet his, holding the gaze steadily and without the demureness of some noble creatures. She does offer a rather lavish smile at the knight, including the faintest press of dimples. "And I can see that you are quite the wordy one… I dare say you have eaten through two score or more syllables in just this brief passing of time." She brushes past him now, taking several steps into the field to offer a wider berth between the two. Her chaperone continues to look on in perfect disapproval.

The smile is like the winter sun peeking free of of the clouds above, and the knight answers it with one of his own, broad, boyish, and crooked. As she closes with him, Kamron tenses a little, expecting a point-blank snowball, but when she passes, he turns easily to face her once more, spreading his arms out at his sides again to make himself an easier target. "When words are this sweet to share, why should they not be eaten, Lady Arian?" His flush has faded by now, save the pink gathered at the apples of his cheeks and at his ears by the cold.

Arian is now a good few yards away from the knight, and she turns to face him with her snowball lofted. She narrows her gaze slightly, as if thinking. Though she does offer him another smile. She does not respond to his words right away, but focuses on hurling the snowball at the knight — which she does, with impressive accuracy. Helps that he isn't moving, of course. Once the snowball has gone splat, she starts to laugh, speaking through the laughter easily, "I guess we are even now."

Kamron checks his Valorous at 15, he rolled 8.

Kamron squeezes up his features as the woman draws back the snowball, prying one eye open to watch… mostly for effect. When she throws, he manages not to flinch in the slightest, matching her laughter as the snowball spatters on his chest and he 'oof's theatrically, rubbing at his chest with one mitten. "I wouldn't have it any other way, Lady Arian. It wouldn't do for a beautiful lady to be indebted to a knight, even if the only thing she owes him is a snowball."

Arian's weathered chaperone looks more than a bit impatient at the back and forth flirtations, though she keeps that thin, puckered mouth tight and silent. Arian is too busy smiling at the knight to notice. She steps forward again, snow gathering easily at her skirts and to her sensible boots. She draws the furlined cloak around her a bit more, shielding her from the chill that has started to seep in. "I'm glad to see you get your debts paid rather quickly, Sir." She then turns to her chaperone, dark brows knitted. She resumes her path back toward the woman, though she does turn to look after the knight briefly.

Kamron reaches up to brush aside the snow applied to his cloak and tunic by the noblewoman, turning once more to remain facing her as she steps back to the snow-free path. "/My/ debts, Lady Arian? I fear you may be mistaken, it was you who owed me a snowball. I simply made sure you had the opportunity to discharge that debt as soon as possible." His voice remains light, evidently bantering with her rather than attempting to correct her.

"Is that so?" Arian laughs, stopping in her retreat back to her chaperone. "And here I thought you owed me because you are poorly skilled in snowball hurling." Her nose wrinkles slightly in amusement, and then she crosses her arms at her chest. "I mean, best I could see you were being outmatched by squires and pages." She tilts her head, and her smile redoubles. "Or were you just making the lads feel good about themselves?"

Kamron presses a hand to his chest, adopting a wounded expression, "Poorly skilled? You wound me, Lady Arian. Say rather that I was beset and bedeviled on all sides by pernicious foes. A knight can only do so much when surrounded on all sides by foes, although to your point, I certainly should have watched where I was throwing." The question from the lady draws a chuckle to his lips, "As for the pages and squires, no… I was simply enjoying myself. A few snowballs won't hurt me, nor will a few dozen, and if it does them good to piffle a knight with some snow, I'll not begrudge them that."

Arian is somewhat surprised to find herself still in a dimpled smile with the knight. She quickly clears her throat, trying to sober away that expression a bit as she cast a glance toward her minder. "Well, it is very gracious of you to let the pages and squires best you in something." She twists her fingers up in the reins of the shaggy mare who continues to chew idly at whatever it is she has in her jowls. "I suppose even Knights must find something to entertain themselves in these long, cold winter months."

Kamron checks his modest at 13, he rolled 14.

Kamron checks his proud at 7, he rolled 6.

Kamron responds easily to that dimpled smile, his own crooked grin ready and light. "Well, it's such a rare occurrence, I do like to give them the opportunity to succeed where they always fail." Gathering his furred cloak around him a little closer and then clapping his mittened hands together to warm them, "Of course, because so few of us can do anything productive like stitching or weaving."

Arian checked her modest of 7, she rolled 15.

Arian checked her proud of 13, she rolled 3.

Arian arches a dark brow at the Knight, and she casts a glance toward Morla whose soured expression has taken on something far more smug and haughty. The Laverstock woman smiles back to Kamron, and there is a certain sharpness at the corners of her mouth. "Oh, come now, Sir Knight… there is so much more productive things women do beyond stitching and weaving… but I should not share such things. They are bound by the secrecy of women's code."

Kamron arches his eyebrows, honesty painting his features, "Oh no… you mistake me, Lady Arian. I find stitching and weaving quite useful. More useful than most anything knights do during winter, since all we do is train and stand garrison barring a task from Earl Robert. Not even the Saxons are foolish enough to go on campaign during the winter." Chuckling softly, "Although now you have me intensely curious about this women's code."

Morla scoffs slightly, though that is as far as the sour woman will comment. Arian just looks amused. She sweeps her hands behind her back, standing tall despite her abbreviated height. Her smile is fully dimpled and her eyes reflect mischief and secrecy. "Now, Sir Knight… I'm afraid you lack the proper parts to be privy to such code. You will just have to be left out of that particular Code of Conduct." She turns back to her minder now who has lightly touched her elbow. "Ah… you'll have to excuse me, Sir Knight… I have another engagement." She offers him a hand. "May the remainder of your snowball escapades be successful."

Kamron brushes the hand down his chest at the mention of his parts, chuckling from low in his chest. "You're thinking of my proper parts, Lady Arian?" And then he coughs, a light flush touching his lips, "I'm sorry. A bit too far, Madam." When Arian extends her hand, he reaches out to take it, bowing low over her mitten, just short of kissing it, "Please do not let me keep you."

Arian checked her lustful of 13, she rolled 4.

Arian's smile gains a crooked edge as if she is trying to suppress a more sly grin. She offers his hand a soft squeeze as he bends, and then she starts to step away. As she does, she casts a comment over her shoulder with a smoldering note, "I'm certain your proper parts are quite… satisfactory, Sir." Then she draws her horse along, falling into stride with her minder. She smiles once over her shoulder before she continues down the snowy road, leaving the knight with his pages and squires.

Kamron straightens up after bowing over Arian's hand, his slightly-crooked smile returning. And then she makes that last comment, and he coughs on a lungfull of icy air, blinking hard at the implication. Turning back around after a long moment, he rubs his hand with both mittens—and gets a snowball straight in the chest.

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