(514-01-19) Backscene to 507 - Beguiled
Summary: In the Summer of 507, Landon narrowly escapes two temptresses.
Date: Spring 507
Related: None
landon signe 


It's a warm spring day, and new growth is everywhere budding as summer draws near. It was a rare day he'd have had to himself, his knight perhaps sympathizing with a youth on the cusp of manhood, had encouraged him to go out and have a pleasure day, while he nursed a sprained wrist. On such a day, a lot of things might call to a young man, but ultimately, a good ride and a dip in the lake were too tempting to pass up.
CLothes hung in a tree, horse tethered near the water, he might hve simply plunged in. The shock of the cold lake is surrpising though— it seems as if it should have warmed by now, at least a little. It feels…icy.
But once in, it's hard to turn back. More manly to just go with it, right? And something about it all— there's an urge to feel manly just now. Strange?
He may assume the sun just slipped beind a cloud, for the atmosphere has that subtle shadowing about it suddenly. He may forget the sky had been cloudless. Especially when delicate, feminine laughter reaches his ears.

Success
Landon checked his Swimming of 10, he rolled 2.

The odd thing about this Baverstock boy was that he was a water baby. Since he could recall, his escape had been to the water's edge; either to swim or skim the surface of the water on a row boat to fish. Now it was about nursing his wrist and his pride. His uncle's blade had cut down on him swifly in training, showing him again, that he needed to guard better and that he relied too much on his height to do it for him - which had surpassed Bryce at that point. And while the water was absolutely cold, he could tolerate it, especially since it reduced the throbbing ache in his wrist. He plunged the limb into the water as he further went in, cursing at the point where the water went above his crotch - the most uncomfortable part of cold water. Shaking it off, he forced himself to dive under. It was easier to be over with the cold if one just dove. As he comes up, he slicks his hair back, only to shake it out like a wet dog would. Shivers run down his spine for the iciness of the water that day, turning not to glare at the sun, but to suddenly look for the source of that warm and rich laughter. The teen was intrigued and no doubt would wade through the water to draw nearer to the sound. Maybe around the vegetation that overhung some of the shoreline there were girls bathing. And hell, at that point, a boy was curious!

But no… Not in the vegetation. The laughter seems to be coming from…
Further in? He might turn this way and that before his attention is drawn toward a stone that breaks the surface of the water, and then he'll see her. Gorgeous, fair…nude? Oh yes, she's nude, though extraordinarily voluminous flowing red locks that reflect the sun's light cascade over her breasts, and she's turned just enough that other parts are hard to see. Of course almost nude can sometimes be worse than entirely nude, depending on the composure and nature of a man.
She crouches a little on the rock, surely having just drawn herself up there, for she hadn't been there before. No one had…
And wait— why is her hair so lustrous in the son when…hadn't the sun passedbehind a cloud? Well, nevermind. A naked woman may make rational thought kind of irrelevant. She's smiling too.

The squire turns on a dime as the direction of the laughter catches his ears once more. The water around him swishes, rippling around his arms that cast the wide circle around him from the abrupt motion - too used to training to be more subtle about it than that. Further in could hardly make sense. He glances back at the shoreline, as if to consider crawling out because of the way his skin was prickling from the cold. Yet…
His blue and hazel eyes discovers the silhouette breaking against the glimmer of … sunlight. Nude. Rational thoughts be damned as his breath catches. There comes a time in every young man's life that he just wants a glimpse at the real thing. Talking of it no longer suffices. The bathing beauty has his attention. He swallows hard, drawing recognition that the shapes he sees are the forms of a woman, the curvature of breast, the hourglass of hips and backside. She must have swam there just recently.
"Hylo!!" He decides from a distance it was safer to call upon a naked woman than swim up on her and startle her! His arm lifts from the water and gives a wave that rocks his back and forth. See him. Please see him! Oh wonders let be wonders, see him!

Oh, she sees him. In fact, her laughter might be…at him? No! no, the way she has her hand covering her lips, and the sweet blush on her cheeks surely suggest it's simply her own modest reaction to seeing a nude man. He might be able to judge her of about the same age as he. Could there be any brothers lurking about who might gut him if he doesn't get the hell out of there? Well. Who cares, right?
In response to his greeting, the maiden lifts her free hand— the one not used to cover her smile— and flutters her fingers back at him. Then she speaks, and oh, in what sweet tones! "Young man! Oh! Thank heavens, will you help me?"
What could e more perfect? A young women, naked, begging for his help.

A demure creature to behold! His eyes widened at the gesture of her hand covering her mouth and thereby her laughter. The realization that he too was nude has him sink down in the water in earnest, abruptly red faced himself for the humiliation of being seen without at least skivvies on! The water will cover him. He's waded in until it provides security. Had she laughed at him for his size! It was the cold water - really! And so the blush remains on his own face. Better to have brothers come charging in at him now than face her? No. No. This was the thing legends were made of! How possibly perfect.
Seeing her greeting, his confidence rebuilds. His composure turns toward one of dashing hero come to save the day. The gawky almost gangly youth puffs up his chest at the dramatics. She needs his help! His response is a stout, "Yes yes! I know how to swim. I can save you—" assuming she needed saving, but, what else could it be? She was stranded on those rocks. That's what his mind puts together.
He starts to wade further out, then as the lake's depth is too much for even his stature to reach with his feet, to swim.

The pretty thing contnues to sit helpless on the rock. No brothers emerge. He may not notice, what with the swimming, but the birds have gone quiet. The whole forest has gone quiet. The dimness intensifies— lots of clouds? Rain coming soon? But if he has a chance to glimpse, she is still radiant, and inviting in every way. Yes, inviting. There's no doubt about it. It -is- like a story. The kind of story a mn can sit around a tavern table and tell with pride. The kind of story that -makes- a man.
When he reaches the rock, she wil explain her grave dilemma.
"Oh good sir, I come to this rock always with apples from the prchard of the Earl— he lets me gather up the fallen— and I tow my clothing and the apples on a little bit of wood to keep my clothes dry— but as I came to the rock, to sit here in the sun and enjoy my rare solitude, I tipped the barge and my apples and clothing fell and sank. I'm terrified to go down so deep. But I cannot go home without the apples and certainly not without my clothes! But you— you have come to save my honor!"

These things a more experienced man might know to check - but a sixteen year old who has glimpsed a damsel in distress and whose mind was full of story book wonders and romantic tales?! Clearly, the absence of birds or sound in the forest does not prick into his consciousness. In fact, the splashing of the water as he swims surely dims all other sound out anyway, not to mention the distance from the shore. The lapping of the waves would also cut the sounds out. He does poke his head up to ensure she was still there as he swam the length. He had good strong arms and a build that suited the hobby - and he had been swimming since he could remember, maybe before he could even walk! The water was easily cut through, his arms working like the prow of a ship to cut him through the darkening waters.
Once there, at the rock, he takes a moment to hang off them, to catch his breath. Breathless more so by the stunning beauty before him. Had his eyes ever beheld such grace and wonder?! She was more than any storybook could speak of. He gulped for air as he clung to the rocks to hear of her dilemma. And does he correct her when she names him sir? Nope. It's all about impressing her right then and to name himself but a squire might dim him in her eyes!
The request however, has him laugh. A confident laugh, rich and boastful. "Is that all fair maiden? Well, we must preserve your modesty and ensure no rogues come to dash your honour!" He looked down into the brackish water, the surface which was rippling and the depths which had darkened. "Do you know where abouts your barge was tipped?" His one arm clings to the rocks now, while the other swept afore him, so that he could tred and angle himself to regard the depths. "I may not be able to save your apples, but surely I can find your dress! For both I will try."

"Oh, you are my savior!" she declares. A pause. A strange pause, and then, "Oh Christ himself is with me today! it could have been an evil man who came upon me, a lust -pagan— but the Lord has sent you. But you see, I must have those apples— if it is at all possible. My poor little sister has been ill and all she will eat is apples. If you can ry, I will be so grateful! forever in your debt." She leans forward, and a tantalizing glimpse of cleavage might distract him from where she dips her arm in the water, showing him the place.

"Certainly -not- a pagan! The Lord is with you fair maiden!" He laughs a bit, a proud little smile sitting on his face. His luck surely couldn't be any better! Of all the days for his uncle to send him off to relax, to come across one such as perfect as she. He sighs quietly. Infatuated. "I will get them.. every one-" he promises before he really contemplates how to go about such a thing. His first quest! Really. That's what it was. He chuckled and made a pump of his fist, "I will find them for you!" He boldly makes the declaration of his success before he has even gone below the surface of the water. He wasn't afraid of the water by any means. And there was the glimpse of … wow. His eyes caught longer there than they should otherwise! No. He was not a lusty pagan! He would give this woman back her modesty and then ask for her name! Yes. A name, like in the stories. After a rescue the knight always found out her name and shared a kiss! Oh man! His brother would never believe this!
In the process, he does miss the exact location of her arm dipping in the water, but, close enough. "I'll be right back! You wait here and hide should anyone else come along!" His arm swishing out in front makes a swirl of water as he tucks his legs into the rocks and pushes himself off, to dive below! A large gasp of air is taken before he disappears with a splosh under the water, legs kicking to propel him toward the depths of the lake.

How…strange. Remarkable. The water seems so clear and radint. It is deep but not so deep as he might have though, and there, lying at the bottom amidst some underwater grass that waves like a woman's hair, lies the bag. Apples and clothing must all be in the same. Smooth and brilliant stones sparkle around it, like the sun's rays are catching them even this deep. The bag will be easy enough to scoop up. In fact, when he's retelling this tale, the ease with which he accomplishes his mission might be a little embarassing. Alas, no water dragon to slay.

Like a fish, he manages the dive with ease. His lungs hold the required amount of air to make it to the bottom, which, yes, indeed, seems a lot more shallow than he originally thought. And clear - so when he swam with his eyes open, he could actually make out the shapes of the objects on the lake floor. There he reached for the bag, letting his fingers sweep around a strap while ensuring that nothing fell from it. Though he was curious, to see the stones that sparkle around it and the coils of underwater grass waving in the currents. No bother though. He'll make for the grab and go!

Nothing stops him from surfacing. When he breaks the water, the maiden, in her excitement and relief, claps. Her delight interferes with her modesty. As the water clears his eyes, he may see enough that it becomes far too little.
"Oh my apples! Oh thank you sir! You must come upon the rock and rest a while now, it is so far to shore. And you must be exhausted."
And, strange enough…he suddenly seems to have lost his breath a bit. The euphoria of success must have made him neglect to realize how deep it was, after all.

The victory is sweet! He surfaces holding the bag. The rush of exhileration at finding it, that it -was- that easy, has him grin when she claps for him! He might just not tell her how easy that was! Rubbing his hand down his face and whisking back the longer lengths of his hair, he notices that she's done away with her modesty in her own thrill of his success. That… was a reward but… he tried not to stare - overly much!
Then it hits him. That wave of breathlessness. He reaches for the rockside with his arm, pulls the bag up on the rocks before he slinks himself over, not enough air left in his lungs to do more than sprawl on the rocks. He flashes her a grin as he stretches over the rock, resting as she wanted him to. "You need not worry now for your sister." Oh … exhausted. He had swam out a distance. A breather would do him right.

My whole family will owe you such a debt of grattitude!" she promises, moving to his side. She is again artfully concealed behind her luxurious hair. Close up, her skin glistens with damp.
And, can it get any better? Rather than be wroth with him for being a young man, naked next to their naked daughter, the family will -owe- him? A peasant family at that, one that. -Just- a peasant family.
"Share this apple with me my brave hero. It will restore you, and I have enough here for my sister besides." She has an apple in hand, now. SGlistening and red, almost a ruby tresure.

"They will?" He sounds confused by the payment of such a debt, "Surely I have not done such a great deed that your family will owe me. It is good enough for me to know that your sister will not go hungry and that you do not have to walk shamefully back to your home as you are now." He really shouldn't look but he was. How could he not, when her skin glistened like a nymph.
He smiles though, accepting of her gratitude. He pops up on an elbow when the apple is offered to him. "If you are certain that the loss of one will not come to harm your sister's hunger… I surely could use a bite," to be restored yes. His hand reaches out to encircle the treasure, "What is your name, my lady?"
Signe rolls 1D20 and gets (11) for a total of: (11)

Signe rolls 1D20 and gets (10) for a total of: (10)

An arrow wizzes by, flying just a few inches above the apple and then skimming the surface of the water before disappearing in its depths. The maiden jerks back her hand, hissing. Wait— that's not
Swirrrp! A moment later, another arrow comes toward them and pierces the very heart of the apple, so that the thing falls from the hand of the shocked maiden, split in two. And she
the maiden— is left with a slightly scratched hand, from which blood wells.

The first arrow - it takes him by surprise. It may have well gone through his head for how clearly he had forgotten his surroundings. But it only proves to make him alert to being under fire - literally!
"Get down!" He hollars and tries to lunge for the fair maiden, assuming it was because of him that someone was firing arrows! He goes to protect her with his body, trying to glimpse over his shoulder which direction the attack had come from. "Can you swim?" he asks her, "We may have to jump to the other side of the rock!"

The maiden— well she doesn't react precisely how he might expect. She hisses, and looks past him to the shore.
The shore— wait, how can it be so close by? Didn't he have to swim quite a ways to get there?
"DARE you interefere!" screams the red-haired beauty in a manner not becoming a modest, dainty maid.
And who is that standing on it?
For upon the shore is a figure, possibly feminine considering its svelte size and wilowy frame, cloaked in a robe of gray and aon overhanging hood. Upon it's shoulder is a quiver bristling with finely fletched arrows, and in its hands is a beautiful bow carved of some white wood and trimmed in silver. It has another arrow knocked.

The maiden— well she doesn't react precisely how he might expect. She hisses, and looks past him to the shore.
The shore— wait, how can it be so close by? Didn't he have to swim quite a ways to get there?
"DARE you interefere!" screams the red-haired beauty in a manner not becoming a modest, dainty maid.
And who is that standing on it?
For upon the shore is a figure, possibly feminine considering its svelte size and wilowy frame, cloaked in a robe of gray and aon overhanging hood. Upon it's shoulder is a quiver bristling with finely fletched arrows, and in its hands is a beautiful bow carved of some white wood and trimmed in silver. It has another arrow knocked.

Failed.
Landon checked his FaerieLore of 1, he rolled 7.

Hissing! That was unexpected. Maybe he didn't hear it right. She's looking passed him toward the shore. His eyes turn to follow.
It was very close! He could have sworn he swam out a great distance to reach the maiden, to rescue her dress and apples from the bottom of the lake. Confusion strays on his expression as he twists about to see the archer. The screaming having him hesitate—
Then the figure upon the shore has another arrow knocked! His limbs were tired. Yet, he manages to stand up and thrust his arms to either side, "STOP!"

Failed.
You check your faerielore at 10, you rolled 14.

"Step aside!" The distinctly female voice seems to come from the figure on the shore, but also sort of…all around. A trick? The figure hasn't fired yet but she stands with the posture of a talented archer, where every intent is to let an arrow loose and make a kill.
"Go back to your weeds-xxxxx- " and it's hard to tell what she utters. A name? A word? Something kind of strange that is hard, if at all possible, to recognize.
And from the girl on the rock, near Landon, comes a lilting laugh. "Ah, little Signe ap -Dumont-. You don't know my name, but I know yours. And I know his too. or will soon enough. Do you think you're helping him? it is every young man's dream, the things I will do and show to him." The girl moves to Landon, curling an arm around him
But this may not be at all what Landon hears or feels.
"Oh! it's one of -them-! the wicked ones, the pagans. She's here to take me as a sacrifice to her lord Lucifer. I have seen her lurking near the village, watching us. Oh save me brave hero!" And the water-logged girl, naked, throws her arms desperately around Landon.

Landon's eyes seem transfixed and oddly drawn in confusion of the female voice that slips around all sides of him. Still the arrow is knocked back and his arms continue to shield the maiden behind him, "You will not hurt her—!" His own voice sounded hollow, though it billowed all the same.
He's stuck in the haze that has clouded his mind and hears not what is said in that lilting laugh. Rather, he hears the desperate cry of the fair maiden. "A pagan?" He looks across at woman with the weapon aimed at him, "Yes. She is." He puffs up his chest as he feels the arms thrown around him, bellowing over again, "I'll give you one last chance to drop your weapon!" And… what… will he do, completely in the buff! Not that it makes any difference to him. He'll defend the weak and helpless.
"I'm Sir Baverstock!-" he growls, "-And by the authority of Earl Robert, stand down!"

Success
You check your faerielore at 10, you rolled 2.
Failed.
Landon checked his FaerieLore of 1, he rolled 6.

But the pagan— the witch!— she doesn't falter at all. If anything changes, it's only the shift of the wicked point of the arrow she has drawn. It might be hard to see where it's pointing, but Landon may also be able to tell that it's not aimed at his heart, at least. Or his crotch. Crotch could be an option with those filthy pagans.
Landon -might- hear "Oh stop her, stop her! horrible witch, her master will ravish and violate me, and then she and her coven will dine upon my flesh!"
But that's not what she actually says."What is he to you anyway, little one? A christian. A silly, foolish christian. He can't even understand a word I say. Look at him, glistening with water. Look lower. We can share him. I know you're tempted. And it will please your lord to no ends to see you embrace what is natural and pure. Your people used to sacrifice to us. You don't any more and so we must take. And I like this one, and I will have him." She slides her arms across his chest, posessively, from behind him.
"No." The single word from the unknown figure on the shore— landon will not have understood the name that the fiary uttered— delivers only that. Firmly. Well, okay, there's a -slight- pause before she does. "You can't just take every stray that wanders into your lake. You've taken too many, greedy -XXXXX-." There's that weird word again. It's slightly different this time, a different inflection, pronounciation. And this time, it has its intended effect.
"AWRARWR!" The maiden behind Landon shrieks in a decidedly unpretty voice. "You defy me, you defy your master!" she howls. Suddenly claws are digging into Landon's chest.

"She'll not! I will not allow her master to touch you! No!" His arm swipes through the air in a cutting motion, as if he had been holding a sword, staggering his stance and squating somewhat on his knees in an aggressive stance, that would also defend the maiden behind him. His eyes are cloudy with the haze of the entrapment of the creature, though his anger was a real extension stemming from it. Hear not, of her real words.
The words from the woman on shore however, conflict with what he's heard already from the woman behind him. He cannot understand the context. Something about greed and taking stray wanderers. "I did not wander here. I was coming to swim. Leave us now. You have no honour, attacking while neither of us are clothed. Fight me on equal ground, Pagan!" He hisses that word at the last.
And then the claws that are digging into his flesh. His eyes widen as he makes a guttural grunt as the claws dig into his exposed flesh, drawing blood as they dig in… His mouth draws agape as he seems too shocked to respond as his face turns to cast a glance over his shoulder…

Oh, she's beautiful, the creature behind him! But she is not what he thought she was. It's a terribe and inhuman beauty. Her hair is like sea grass, her eyes orbs of pure black like shadowed spots in the water where teh sun can't reach. Her skin has a greenish blue tint, and her teeth are fanged. With her ears sharply pointed and a look of rage on her face, it's no longer a fragile and helpless maiden he's protecting. It's a monster.
On the shore, the cloaked figure has seen her success. The spell is broken with the utterance of the creature's true name. Unfortunately, apparently that's not a perfect resolution. The spell is broken, yes, and Landon can see what he's been in thrall to, but the fairy still has her talons in him. Literally.
"Throw her off!" the pagan exclaims. It's a critical and adrenaline fueled moment, but he might have just enough wherewithal to notice how lovely the voice is, even when it's yelling commands at him. "Refuse her!" The pagan is no longer still, instead scrambling down the shore, her bow shouldered.
-

Success
Landon checked his Valorous of 15, he rolled 1.

Failed.
Landon checked his STR of 15, he rolled 16.

Signe rolls 1d20 and gets (15) for a total of: (15) (for Creature)

While the pagan girl makes to scramble across the stones toward the rock island, the fairy seems unshakable. Her grip on Landon has tightened almost unbearably. But the truly unbearable thing is that only one hand is still digging into his chest. The other— well, it's embarassing. She latches on to him. HIM. The important part. And not with a vice like damaging grip, but with a grip certain to cause enormous embarassment.
"Oh no, my lovely boy! there's no escape. It is too late. But why would you want to? I will show you worlds you've never even seen in your dreams, things that are good and wonderful though forbidden by your foolish, shortsighted and jealous god. I have been lonely, but now we shall be together, you and I, in bliss."

"Monster… I shall vanquish you" his breath was weak, caught in the ravages of the spell that while broken, lingers still on the fragments of his mind. His will is strong as well as his strength, though leeched with her arm around him, those claws digging into his chest where his heart beat is thundering.
His eyes reach out toward the pagan, eyebrows lifting, mouth moving to call out to her maybe, as if he could offer a fight against the monster that has entangled him

No such victory of strength can wrestle him out of the aquatic monster's grip. Her weave has gotten strong around him, especially when the other hand clutches him caressingly… Here is another moan but it sounds conflicted between the pain of the claws digging into his chest and the pleasure derived from the grip about his manhood. His eyes hopelessly and haplessly look for the girl that was there with the bow, before he seems to melt back into the grip. He's trying to fight it, but his head starts to lull to the promises that have been whispered into his mind. Embarrassing it was - but only for the moment he realized there had been someone else there. It was getting harder to think beyond the press of the.. monst-no-maiden-no-moster…

"Oh -gods-," he might hear, an exasperated sigh from somewhere. He might not care too much anymore, though. It could be like a voice trying to reach through the fog of sleep. But with way more strength, intensity, vibrance, it comes again. A command as imperious as any king ever gave his courtiers, any husband his wife, any hunter his dog.
"FIGHT her for the love of— whatever it is you people love!"
The robed pagan makes the final leap to the rock, but it is just too far, and she plunges into the water, though catching herself at the rock. She pulls herself up with a gasp, scrambling onto the rock while Landon begins to succumb.

Success
Landon checked his Chaste of 13, he rolled 7.

Success
Landon checked his pious of 10, he rolled 1.

Success
Landon checked his STR of 15, he rolled 6.

Signe rolls 1d20 and gets (8) for a total of: (8) (for creature)

He might not care, if he wasn't raised to care! As a knight, he was raised to honour certain vows and one was to keep himself as virtuous as possible. But it was… hard (pun intended). His eyes flickered open at the exasperated sigh. It was close. Somewhere. Though that fog of sleep was getting more enticing, the bliss was getting more enticing, the sweet honey in his ears had promises of things he always dreamed off and more. His body was responding to the monster's coaxing grip…
"Jesus…"
The word reminds him of his faith. Of his people. That lust outside of marriage was the devil's work. He struggles against the claws that have dug deeper into him, "Vile… demon… Jesus stands with me! God is GOOD!!" he grunts out, his hand going up toward the one on his chest, while he was hoping for some salvation as he made a twist, as if to throw her off or at least turn her… put her in the path—
His eyes looked hopefully toward the rocks…

"Oh -gods-," he hears again. If it sounded exasperated before— well it's more exasperated now. Signe is about to drag herself onto the rock when, with a triumphant laugh, the fairy falls backward. Maybe it's the fact she hasn't let go of Landon's manhood, but he goes with her. Is all lost?
The pagan cries out, "NO!" and though she hesitates a half a split second, she pulls herself quickly onto the rock, whipping out her bow. She selects an arrow and after a split second glance at it, discards it. Another— discards it. And finally a third, this one with a black shaft.
So the thing is, if she misses, he's gonna go get to play with the fairy down below. And if she misses and hits -him- then he might get to go to Heaven or whatever where that guy Jesus lives, and that's a plus, right? Christians are into that? Either way, she's irritated that she lacks the authority or power to get the fairy to listen. It might have hurt her pride a little. And maybe she's at the age where it rubs her the wrong way when the -other girl- gets the boy.
Either way, she aims.

Success
You check your bow at 10, you rolled 7.

The black shafted arrow hasn't far to go. And she knows there're a few 'people' she might have to answer to for this, but she sends the arrow smack into the fairy's back. It goes through, just piercing Landon— just.

There's a scream underwater, the creature's grip loosens.

Success
Landon checked his Swimming of 10, he rolled 5.

"Nooo—-" is the knight's hapless cry when once again the monster overpowers him, somehow! There's another gasp for the continued grip below! It was if he lost control of his body and barely had wit of his mind, when he staggers backward, his one arm reaching up to grasp at nothing as he falls…
Falls…
And then the water surrounds him, waves after waves plunging down over him, as the hungry grip of the monster carries him below - deeper and deeper. Or so it seems!
When her grip loosens, it is not without further pain. Something sharp knicked him, bit into his flesh… her talons raked as they let go… His blood mixed with the water. But he wasn't going down any further. A breath took in water!
Instinctively he kicked upward, his arms reaching, his eyes widen as he surges out of the water like a damn merman - or a whale that was about to beach itself. Arms flail forward as he hooks over the nearest rock, coughing and sputtering up water, sagging as he rasps for breaths between trying not to choke on the water he coughed up…

The urgency persists, however. He might have heard a water-muffled command of "Up! UP!" and he'll hear the voice more clearly once he breaches the surface. That pagan again. Urging him, beseeching him almost. What? What's she saying?
"GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE WATER!" How unladylike! At least she's moving to help him.

Out of the water? Out… of the water! He looks back over his shoulder as his arms are already pushing up and hauling him over, his legs giving a kick. It will take the pagan's aid to help him completely out of the water, where he'll sag from the exhaustion - streaks of red running down his chest as the beads of blood continue to bud and run from each place those talons raked into his chest. And on his back, the extent of that black tipped arrow's point having dug into him.
"What… what… was that?" He breaths out as he flops onto his back, because let's face it, it's easier to recover breath on one's back than it is on one's stomach. His chest inflates with each drawn breath. Embarrassment not even considered at this point. He's made of good stuff after all!

Success
Landon checked his APP of 10, he rolled 1.

But that's not enough. She's not letting him rest. "Get up," she demands, free of any nonsense, urgency in her tone. "Get the fuck up already," she barely gives him time to even comply before she's demanding it again. "Move. Now. Follow me!" And she's off. Leaping the rocks to shore as best she can. If she fumbles, she drags herself back out of the water, scrambling on, like Lucifer's on her heels.

Failed.
Landon checked his Energetic of 13, he rolled 15.
Failed.
Landon checked his lazy of 7, he rolled 10.

Landon blinks at the demanding tone. Pushing up on his elbows at the urgency in the tone. He flops over again to scramble up on his knees, pushing neither swiftly nor too slowly to his feet, legs giving a shake for the exertion that he's already spent - that the monster already leeched out of him. He follows behind her, picking across the rocks, leaping whe he has to. "What .. -was- that?!" He demands again, when a foot splashes into the water and he's staring at the water as if it would come up and drag him down again. So he moves! He doesn't haul ass as fast as he could, but he's trying!

Failed.
You check your energetic at 10, you rolled 18.

Success
You check your lazy at 10, you rolled 9.

Mayyyybe she ran to get there in the first place. And then you know, rapid rock jumping and… Whatever. She's making her way across the rocks, though not as fast as she might like. Waterlogged. Yeah that's it. Still she urges him to go faster.
The pagan is still hooded, but— well the voice already killed the mystery— it's definitely a girl. Svelte and lithe in sopping linen robes, the strung bow slung over her shoulder with the quiver. She makes the final leap to shore— or at least close enough that she can hastily wade out of the lake. She only turns back long enough to see if he's close, and though she backs up the shore, she stays facing him.

Landon makes the last few steps with a slopping footing, catching his toe against a rock as he goes sprawling toward the shoreline, knees skidding into the muddy bottom as he catches himself with his hands. On hands and knees, he's panting to catch his breath, clear of the lake's water - at least not in it. When the woman who rescued him hasn't formed an answer to his question, he grunts to gather himself upward again.
He's searching for his pile of clothes that he left on the shore, for his saddle bag, for his weapons, for his horse… All the while the blood runs down in slow beading streaks, as his hand goes up to his chest to run over the marks of those claws that hooked him. Confusion lingers in his eyes. He needs his sword!

She sees him hesitate and darts down to snatch his arm. "No time!" she exclaims. Another cunning ruse to get— keep— him naked by an attractive woman? Well he doesn't know she's attractive. But she doesn't seem willing to even wait for him to collect his things. And it depends on how suspicious he has time and attitude to be. His horse seems gone, which is also certainly strange. Maybe frightened away by the tumult, by the thing in the lake, it bolted?
"JUST COME," she says again, this time a pleading note with the urgency in her voice. "Run like Gwynn's on your heals because he might be!" And whether he moves to follow or not, she's off.
Success
Landon checked his Trusting of 10, he rolled 7.

Landon's arm is snagged! He shoots a look toward the woman in the hood, one whose face was still shrouded by that hood. His things though - his sword! "I can't leave my sword…!" Is his protest. Swords were damn expensive and one should last a man his entire lifetime if he was lucky! Still, he's getting dragged up onto his feet. He curses under his breath… and streaks after her. Maybe he'll be fortunate that his things will be there when he gets back. Once the threat has passed!

Success
You check your energetic at 10, you rolled 9.

She runs, fast, leaping over fallen trees. Not quite with the agility of a deer, but determined. It's not for a good five minutes before she finally stops, leaning against a tree and shrugging her bow and quiver so that they fall down her arm and dangle from her fingers, while she leans back and catches her breath. The tilt of her head reveals a chin. A rather white and pointed chin of delicate make. A lock of pale hair spills out too.

Success
Landon checked his energetic of 13, he rolled 2.

Landon is surprisingly right there behind her, a couple paces but he's bounding over logs and darting around obstacles as well as she. He doesn't stop until she stops. And at that point he'll dive behind a bush and come up against a treet truck. Little cuts and scrapes dots his frame now, for running through trees and bushes did that when one was naked! He does have modesty enough to sit in a fashion that keeps his bits covered. He pants as he leans his head down into his uplifted knees. "Lorcan is going to kill me…" he mutters into those knees. A lost horse, sword, armor… those things were going to put him in grave debt if he cannot find them!

The pagan catches her breath a little after Landon, and then a moment later she bows her head, hands to her knees before straightening again and finally pushing back her hood. "You almost lost something that can't be replaced," she advises him, a vague humor mingling with gravity.
Once he looks up, he'll see just whom he's followed deep into the woods. Another spirit, another monster, another trick? No. She's human. Beautiful, but human. Pale perfect skin a little flushed from exertion, pale hair undarkened by her dunk in the water. Vivid eyes smudged all around with the black of soot or something dark. She might be a touch frightening for one used to demure and golden maidens sitting in the sunlight streaming through church glass, but she's very young— perhaps younger than Landon himself— and once you get past the sort of edginess about her dress, demeanor, and features…it's not hard to keep looking at all.
Plus, wet linen robes.
"You're bloody."

Success
Landon checked his Chaste of 13, he rolled 7.

Success
Landon checked his Pious of 10, he rolled 2.

Landon runs his hand back through his wet hair, spiking it up on the down stroke as his hand falls away from the crown of his head, trying to sort it out in his Christian mind what the hell had just happened. "A witch?" he asks, breathless, as he glances over toward the pagan, "Was that it? A witch had seduced me into the lake? Yes. A devil." He sorts it out by himself, "Lucifer tempted me, as he Adam was tempted."
His eyes stole up toward the woman-no-girl who had helped him. She must have been considerably younger than he. But that pale perfection of her skin, though flushed, had him gawking. Eyes running the length of those wet linen robes! UNTIL—
"God help me…!" He looked away! He sucked in a breath and closed his eyes. A breath to calm him, a breath not to think of the temptations he's been faced with. "God is good-" he mutters. Then yes, he looks down at himself, "I am bloody and not fit to be seen my Lady-" he keep his eyes shielded now on purpose, she could tell, to be virtuous. "My lady. I owe you my life, I am in your debt. Could you forgive my words of anger?"

Laughter greets him. Laughter that is not unpleasant to hear though it has threads of irony, perhaps even of the sardonic. Mild enough that it could easily pass without offense. It helps that the laughter comes from a pretty throat, through pretty lips, in a very pretty voice.
"God," she says, the word also laced with irony. "I doubt it was 'Lucifer' as you people like to call him. back there? A witch? I'm not sure. I thought…there was something of Faerie going on. But we survived so it can't have been…" She pauses and leans forward, peering the way they came. "We survived," she repeats, much more softly.
And then she's straightening and disrobing. God help you indeed! Ah, but she stops short of stripping down beyond her shift. Sure it makes thinks more visible. The shape of her body in ghosted visibility. The sopping robe is held out.
"I'm not a temptress, you know. You -can- look. There's no harm. And uhm…" He may not see the blush on her cheeks that intensifies the flush, but he might hear the way it affects her tone. "And you…can wrap this around yourself lest I be overcome." There's still laughter in her tone too. Mild. All many droplets into the liquid that fuels her voice.

Laughter greets him. Laughter that is not unpleasant to hear though it has threads of irony, perhaps even of the sardonic. Mild enough that it could easily pass without offense. It helps that the laughter comes from a pretty throat, through pretty lips, in a very pretty voice.
"God," she says, the word also laced with irony. "I doubt it was 'Lucifer' as you people like to call him. back there? A witch? I'm not sure. I thought…there was something of Faerie going on. But we survived so it can't have been…" She pauses and leans forward, peering the way they came. "We survived," she repeats, much more softly.
And then she's straightening and disrobing. God help you indeed! Ah, but she stops short of stripping down beyond her shift. Sure it makes things more visible. The shape of her body in ghosted visibility. The sopping robe is held out.
"I'm not a temptress, you know. You -can- look. There's no harm. And uhm…" He may not see the blush on her cheeks that intensifies the flush, but he might hear the way it affects her tone. "And you…can wrap this around yourself lest I be overcome." There's still laughter in her tone too. Mild. All many droplets into the liquid that fuels her voice.

Right now the laughter grates on the situation, on his nerves, because he should not have been so stupid as to be seduced! "She cried out for help-" he grumbles, more for himself than the woman who had came to HIS rescue. His hand runs down over his chest to check the wounds. They weren't deep enough that he'd have to worry over stitches, but he'd have to make sure they kept clean. All the things a man had to do to ignore the pretty voice - another creature come to tempt him!
"Faerie? Pagan beliefs then?" He grumbles, "I'm happy to assign it as a witch. She compelled me." And he did indeed survive! He nods firmly to that note.
He keeps himself chivalrous in the measure that he doesn't gawk. Okay, he might catch some of how she looks in the side of his gaze, but he doesn't mean to steal an open look at her. Until she tells him too—which is just mean! A young man in his prime couldn't look away. Hell, it's what got him in trouble in the first place. But he looks.
Two toned colour eyes linger and his own cheeks heat, his neck heats, his ears turn red. There had been vows involved with knighthood and with being a Christian. Such vows didn't keep him from looking, hwoever. He reaches out for the robe to drag it over his lap at least. The laughter making his face turn down and crimson even more!

Oh…right. Boys don't like it when she laughs at them. She's still gaining experience beyond her brothers, and young men are different than older men who are different from VERY old men. And sometimes you just shouldn't laugh. Something about the way he says 'pagan beliefs' makes her straighten her shoulders. She mellows, though, her tone more serious, but cautious. Men can also be very proud.
"Pagan beliefs— you say it as if they don't affect you, these pagan things." It -is- hard to keep that mildly sardonic tone out. "You almost died— or worse. And because I happened along and thought I'd salvage a handsome man for gods' know what purpose, I almost died too. If they taught you anything… (a pause) "…relevant in those churches, maybe you would have avoided this trouble." She leans over and lifts her bow and quiver again.
"You're right that she compelled you, so I suppose you don't need to go do any massive penances unless you start gawking at me overlong." Straightening she shoulders the items, and moves, but pauses to look back at him.
"Coming? My fire is just near."

Critical Success!
Landon checked his Worldly of 10, he rolled 10.

Failed.
Landon checked his romance of 2, he rolled 14.

It was something in the way she spoke in response to his that has his chin lifting and his brows furrowing, flexing under the weight of the pensive thoughts churning in that fool head of his. His chin pops up toward her sardonic tone, "You almost did. I'm grateful for your efforts and for the risk you took in saving a fool Baverstock who hasn't the slightest clue of how to properly thank his heroine." His eyes squint, "..and I admit I could use some lessons in your beliefs. I should know, if such things are true as what I saw. But, you do. You know it?" He got that drift when she told him to run and managed to flee from it.
He stands with the robe held with a hand to cover the front of him, working out the best possible solution to have it tied around him. His cheeks did give rise to more colour and he coughed, "Uh.. yes well. Excuse me for that. I'm sorry. It's just that… well.." he shrugs, "You're uh… you know, easy to look at." You could almost see it in him, the way his expression twitched on itself and he closed his eyes and pursed his lips. An inward chide given. He's not allowed to mull over his stammering overly long.
"What about my gear? I -need- to go back for it."

She looks back at him as he speaks, her face a little dark, but by the end of it she's got something akin to a smile. She actually steps toward him as if to reach for the robe and help— falters, steps forward again, halts, and then simply turns. So pagans aren't all total tarts?
"We'll…sort that out," she murmurs, beckoning with a low hand for him to come on. "Whatever happened there, I think we should give it a little time to…mmmm…relax."
And she walks, leaving him to tie himself up and follow or be left behind. Assuming he does follow, it is not far, just as she promised. A creek actually seems to feed the lake, and up it a ways, a bubbling spring, a small fire, and a bundle hanging from a high branch. A white horse grazes nearby, its ears twisting and flicking every so often. The animal lifts her head as they approach, watching them alertly.
"You'll dry quickly but uhm…I might have a blanket or something you can wrap yourself in while the robe dries, then you can wear it back."

"Hope so," Landon says with some measure of a look over his shoulder back the way they came, "Wonder if that's the lady…" he trails off with his thoughts, leaving them unaired as his jaw clamps together. He's beckoned on and he agrees, "Aye. The days trials have been a strain," he admits in part, looking toward the rake marks across his back, not to mention the rip in his back where the arrow struck him. At least his constitution was relatively high and he stood on his own two feet!
Drifting along behind her, with a hand kept on the robe that's been made into a makeshift uh, sarong. His eyes note the fire, the horse, and the creek. He can get washed up at the very least. In fact, he moves for the creek, falls to his knees, and all but plunges his face into it, slurping up handfuls of water.
As the last dribble of water from his slurping runs down his chin, he looks back over at her, a nod made, "Thank you, for your kindness."

Signe watches him for a moment before she sets about stoking the fire, kneeling down and blowing on the embers as she adds more kindling, until its dancing flames crackle audibly. She watches it a moment too, with the same steadiness with which her eyes settled on him, and then she rocks back onto her feet, rising smoothly to fetch the bag from the tree.
"Well if I had -known- you were a Christian," she says, tone faintly wry. there is a seriousness about her but traces of amusement or humor trickle through. Perhaps just enough. Her tone drops an octave, more serious, briefly. "You're welcome. Baverstock?"
Once back at the little fire she opens her bundle and pulls out a small blanekt as well as some dried provisions.

The water is then splashed onto his chest. Handfuls of it, then dogging paddling some splashes up toward his chest while fingers soothed over the wounds. He was trying to clean his wounds the best he could, not without a discomfort from the cold. Stretching up from the creek with his hands shaking off the beads of water that remain, he stomps back over toward the fire. His feet were bare too and that run just tore the crap out of them. He favoured the one big toe on the left foot and the heel on the right foot as he settled down by the fire. Shuddering, he rubs his hands together to warm them.
"You would have left me?" He says incredulously, then feigns a wounded look, "Even if you said I was handsome?" He inquires with a slight smirk as he pulls in his one foot, picking at the toe. "Damn… Slivers… Do you have a knife? Need to pick it out," He asks, considering the other foot, which he had stepped on a sharp object and had it dig into his heel - likely a rock. It was bleeding.
"It's Landon," he offers as he was trying to CHEW out the sliver, literal FOOT IN MOUTH moment. Chew. Spit. Chew. Spit.

She stares at him a moment as he minsiters to his foot, a little blank— or inscrutable— then she rises and takes a shard of pottery to the creek, digging a little and then scooping up clay instead of water, once she is satisfied of the quality. Back at the fire, she further unwraps her bundle to reveal herbs. Her hands work quickly, water is boiled, the mud is slowly added, herbs are rolled and crushed in her hands then also added.
She hesitates, and then says, "My shift will dry faster— I'll wear the blanket first, then you while the robe dries." A beat. "That is, if you can manage to contain your rampant passions." She probably doesn't mean to at all, as indicated by the slight flushing of her cheeks, but her eyes flicker down at him. A half smile might again mitigate whatever gentle mockery is in her tone, as if, though she may be making sport of his raging pubescent desires, she does it light of heart.
"That is the problem with your god, you know," she continues as she works at whatever concoction she's making over the fire. "If you kept to the old ways you wouldn't have gone diving in a deep lake the moment some bizarre situation with a nude woman interrupted your bathing. You'd have tended to your desires so that you could think with your head and not your…Well."

He manages to chew and then PICK out the sliver, spitting to the side several more times, tongue working out of the corner of his lips. While he's doing this, he catches that blank look that watches him in return, mouthing, "What?" to interrupt her stare. Finally he's satisfied the thorn or piece of wood was out. His foot falls back into the grass by the fire, tingling with the irritation of injury.
"Can't we share the blanket? I'm freezing…" To make his point clear, he rubs at his arms, grunting as he looks over at her when she accuses of him of having rampant passions. The sport of such desires has him roll his eyes, no doubt, he does look down between his legs finally to ensure that the root of all those desires was intact and not damaged from the grip of that monster. He's good! He looks up from it then.
Eyes trail over the herbs and mud mix she's making, brow arched in question to it, while she then accuses his god of being unjust and problematic to the nature of living. "What?! No. No way. It wasn't like that!" He protests once she declares shenanigans for his reason of diving into the lake, "I -was- taking a bath. Then she was there, calling help. I'm not a knight yet, but I have trained to be. The vows of our Knighthood include aiding any woman in need. She was in need. She called out to me to help her." He fumes a little, "I wasn't because of that."
Critical Fail!
You check your profession at 10, you rolled 20. (switched to fail from botch due to backscene)

The blank look she gives him upon his suggestion that they share the blanket proves she is not even close to the pagan seductress she might have hinted of being. Her blush is very real. If anyone were keeping score, that would be one notch for him. Her lashes flutter a little and she drops her eyes back to her work, having stopped it completely. It takes her a moment to begin again. "Ah, you can have it," she says with a slit sniff. The sniff turns into an actual inhalation as she leans over the bowl, which is faintly steaming and bubbling now. She takes it up with a bit of leather— it seems she's actually fairly well-prepared for this— and promptly moves toward him in her damp shift. "Hold still."

"You'll be coooooold…" he drawls with an exhaled sigh and slump forward against his knees, putting his face into them and waving to her as he mutters, "You have it." This knight stuff was tough! He'll just have to scoot closer to the fire was all, which he did, with a wiggle butt movement or two, heads dragging into the ground. "If I stopped to get my clothes…" he protests with a whine, knowing the flogging he'll get if he comes back without! He rolls his face back up off his knees to look across at her and the bubbling stuff in the bowl, "Waoh wait. What's that?"

"It should, maybe, stave off the affects of its blood. If my arrow pierced you too—" amazingly she dips her smooth white fingers into the bowl, which must be pretty damn hot. She doesn't seem to notice. She leans forward, close in that manner that might make two young people catch their breaths a little, her mouth inches from his, her shift a little too open at the neck…
Her fingers touch him with the near-boiling clay…
And if he knows any curses he might now feel the need to utter them.

His hand moves to stall her, put up in defense… but she's suddenly so close! His breath might have very well caught in the circumstances as he leaned back on his other hand, palm supporting his weight as he stared into her eyes. Such a moment…
One that is ripped to shreds in the next by his HOWLING—-
Curses! He smacks at her hand, the one with the bowl in it, and clutches his chest with the other, to smear the stuff off. Defensive scooting backwards! Eyes wide as he looks at her. "OW OW OW OUCH!!!!" He starts to wipe off the clay because it was stupid hot. "ARE YOU CRAZY!" he blusters at her, "That's HOT."
A wheezy breath as he regains some composure, well, trying too. His eyes are still bugged out. "What do you mean… affects of it's blood?"

Well that's like slapping a kitten.
She's as startled as he is, drawing back suddenly from the ruined moment she didn't realize was a potential moment at all. Her hand flies to her mouth, and she exclaims, "Oh fuck sorry!" AGAIN so unladylike.
But then she's grabbed the bowl and rushed to the creek where she quickly taps out the contents, washes it, and fills it with water. "Over here!" she calls meanwhile. Well, if he'll ever let her near him with a bowl full of anything again.

Good thing the ground was cold! And that the other mud was cold as the clay continues to BURN him! He instinctively grabs mud and slimes it on over the hot clay. SMEEEEAR. A greasy trail of it. It works. It starts to calm down the hotter clay almost instantly. But mud on wounds? Not a good thing!
He crawls onto his feet and stomps over toward the creek, kneels, down, then starts splashing up again. The water cupped in his hand and smooshing water and mud down, he even goes so far as to belly lean toward the rushing water. He side glances at her, furrowing his brows, "I owe you a little less now for saving my life, I think." As for the bad word used, he doesn't seem to care, not in the moment. "What's your name anyway?"

It's a bad time to ask her anything— at least as far as she's concerned. The young maiden finally reveals herself, and it may or may not be what he's expecting. "Signe of Steeple Langford," she admits, tone apologetic. Now, that doesn't mean for sure she's a lady— she could be random villager of Steeple Langford. But it will be easy to track her down and tell her brother she said 'fuck' several times in one day in front of a young Christian nobleman.
A pause, and then a sincere, "I'm sorry," with a side to side shake of her head. "I…distracted." She offers him the bowl of water, her brow furrowed delicately.

"Signe of Steeple Langford, the lovely pale maiden who rescued a promising fine young squire of House Baverstock from the ravage maulings of a beautiful monster from down in the lake, then stole away with him, naked save the robe that kept him from being bare, into the woods where after nearly falling to kiss him - because he was so handsome and drove her to distraction -, burned him alive" he looks across the creek into the woods, then muses, "No one in their right mind is going to believe this story." He rinses off more of the mud, "Good thing I have the proof-" and sure enough where the clay had plastered against his skin, the flesh was red. It was more a taunt of a young man than anything, to make light of the situation and any blistering from the heat.
He smirks at her admission of being distracted, pushing back to sit propped on the edge of the creek, "Tsch. Don't be. Honest mistake right?" See, he's over it. But then the mirth of his story tells him he's just getting started.

A vague smile flickers over her lips, failing to entirely catch them alight and leave them glowing. She's not about to cry, at least. She sets the bowl down, if he didn't take it to use in dousing himself, and then settles back on her knees too, a grassy patch staining her shift.
She lifts her hand and looks at her own red fingers. "Sometimes I don't really feel pain," she notes quietly. "I don't really know what that creature was, and if it was something from Faerie, then it might…affect you. Not to mention the risk of malicious essences in your blood, you can't just put raw mud in wounds, you know." She then shifts to dip her hand in the water. "So I am usually more cautious, but yes, you distracted me. With your—I wasn't going to kiss you!" she says suddenly, as if it only just registered.

"You weren't—?" he questions, as if the kiss (however imaginary) was the most important thing to ask about. "What do you mean you weren't? You did he /lean/ thing… And hey-" he tilts his head, accusing lightly, "I'm the damsel here and they always get kissed by the hero. You owe me one. It's in the rules." He doesn't say who rules!
And on the more serious note, he hrms to her pain threshold, "Weird. How could you not have felt that?" And then, "What? What do you mean? Malicious essences?! Am I going to turn into a Monster?!" Because that… is totally where his mind went. "I /can't/ be a monster. I'm supposed to be a knight - one day-" he grunts, "Can you help me Signe?! I really don't want to be a monster."

Her lips twist a little, and she gives him a look between bemused and helpless with a very vague smile. "You are rather acting like a damsel," she notes, pulling her fingers from the cold spring and with a flick of the wrist scattering droplets. "I…I don't know. I do know that if wounds aren't cleaned properly, even normal wounds, they will fester and you can die. You must be a squire? You must know -that-. So, will you let me try again?"
She adds as an afterthought, "I do not kiss random boys." Yes, she said it. Boys. BOY.

"You'll look back on this someday and think about how you missed your chance-" he waggles that thought in front of her as he scoots back, pushing up to his feet again, dusting off dead grass and whatever clingy things there were by the creek bed.
He's moving back to the fire, and plops down, "Only I get to make fun of myself," he tells her without looking at her, with some grumble to his tone. Then he gestures absently, "If you don't burn me again… I might have to call you a witch next time." He's teasing but he can be borderline with it. Then there goes his elbow, propping up on a knee, face going then into up lifted hand as he tosses a twig or two into the fire.

She glances uncertainly to her bowl as he accepts the offer of a second try, and then slowly shifts on her knees to scoop up more mud. Also…maybe she put too much of the particular…oh yes. That measurement was actually off wasn't it? Just a bit. She won't mention that part.
Having the clay she needs and some water, she moves back to the fire and once more sets the little bowl in. Her herb preparation recommences. He'd have to be rather sharp to catch her doing anything diffferently, because it's all a matter of just more of THIS and less of THAT.
"I do imagine I shall have many, many more chances," she replies as she works, faint humor returning. "

"That's wishful thinking! Someone's a little bit full of themselves-" he notes with his own wry amusement for her faint humour on having many more chances. He doesn't have much more to add, watching her with a faint look of amusement as he casually adjusts the robe now and again to make sure it wasn't like, out there. For now, warming by the fire helped and he certainly didn't notice anything different about her methods. He wasn't watching the first time!

Success
You check your profession at 10, you rolled 8.

Wait…did she mess up again? three of those flowers— no, those are…wrong. Discretely she tosses the contents of her small mortar. Argal would have her hide if he saw what she was doi— wait? Could he be watching?
For some reason the girl quickly looks up and around, swallowing at the afternoon sun. She glances at Landon and again tosses the contents of her mortar out.
"I hope you know you must never touch the water of that lake again, Landon of Baverstock. And I hope you understand it's really unusual that we're both not being ravished or eaten by Fae at the moment." Hopefully such shocking words will distract him from the massive amount of flowers she keeps tossing over her shoulder.

Failed.
Landon checked his FaerieLore of 1, he rolled 10.

Landon started to feel the need to look around when she did, but then settled with a owlish blink, "Er? What? Why? Why can't I?" Another blink, as he looks around, "Eaten?" His hand went up to his neck, as he grumbles, "I really wish I had my sword right about now." A beat, "I should go get it." And the conversation of the Fae's have completely managed to distract him from watching her mix the ingredients.

"Perhaps you'd be the one being ravished and I'd be the one being eaten," she goes on to say as she once again begins grinding bits of twig, leaves, and flowers in the mortar. Then they go in the bowl of bubbling clay, she mixes it with a stick…
"Which would you prefer?" she asks, very seriously. Hm, does that smell right?
"We'll go back with my horse in case we need to flee again. But that— whatever it was— will want you more than anything its ever wanted before, now. And it wanted you rather badly to begin with. I'm sure I'm not entirely welcome back either. The Hunter wouldn't blame me for doing as I feel I needed— I think— but IT will. And if it is not Faerie in nature—" she shivers slightly. Well she does look a little chilled despite the Summer.

"Being ravished sounds uh… better than being eaten," he concludes as he doesn't actually move to leave the camp despite his concern for his sword out there somewhere. And his horse. And his other belongings. Like his pants. "Probably that one," he offers, "You can die with your toes nibbled on one at a time. I was actually…" and then he stops himself, tossing another random twig into the fire.
"It'll hunt me then?" He looks disturbed at that, then shoots his eye toward the lake, "There's other lakes I can swim in. And the river." He's totally over it.

"I see," she murmurs, removing the bowl from the fire with her leather mit and stirring the clay up to cool it this time. "You'd rather I be eaten. And moments ago you thought you deserved a kiss?" Her tone is challenging. She has utterly retrieved her composure— or else she has made peace with herself as to whether this next attempt may kill him. She did save him, no? She can kill him now and it will be alright. Balance. Whatever.
She takes a deep breath and once more rocks back to her feet, rising gracefully and moving around the fire. She tests the clay, and it feels warm in a soothing sort of way. "Ready?"

Failed.
Landon checked his Romance of 2, he rolled 14.

"Yes. Because if you were ravished you wouldn't be a maiden and all that-" but then she's not Christian and that has him sitting back with some confusion on his face, "I mean… I guess you don't value that sort of stuff…" he works his chin, "SO you can be ravished? I mean. Maybe you'd enjoy it." Oh he was just digging deeper with every second, wasn't he? Not really a romantic sort this one! Kind of a bumbling oaf in that department - but he was young and his god spoke about sinning and how wrong it was! "And no, I don't deserve the kiss, you deserve to have one for saving me. That's how it works." A proper spin on things was everything!
He looks reluctant at the clay but then nods, "Okay. Ready." Nose scrunch, finger flex. OMG don't kill me look fixed on his expression!

She is actually wrinkling her nose at him back, the conversation somewhere between making her want to laugh and just…awkward. And really, despite the fact she's not swooning at the fact there's only her wet robe between herself and his fleshy sword (she heard a maid call it that once, is that the right term amongst Christians?)
"Does your mother think it's alright to talk to young girls like that?" she asks, tucking her amusement away. "We -do- value it," she clarifies, leaning close. Once again, if he dares, he might glimpse down her shift. While she's talking about valuing her chastity. One of life's sweet ironies. "It's a treasure, the springtime of the body. And there is no greater moment in a girl's life than when…" She's touching him now with her clay smeared fingertips, and suddenly the conversation, though it is full of truths she has grown up believing, feels a bit uncomfortable. She bites her lip. There's a bit of pain as she carefully applies the clay, but nothing like the pain of before. This pain…MIGHT be okay?
"Besides all the men in my family are Christians," she concludes.
Oh. Good. He's naked in the forest, alone, with a half naked wet girl whose entire family is Christian men.

"My… Uh," cue the embarrassment, "No no. I mean, no. You asked!" Blame was totally her own! He was faultless! His chest even puffs up a bit, "I wouldn't suggest such things. There aren't any creatures that would ravish or eat us. I'll protect us-" then low murmur, "-if I had my sword." He sighs a bit. Trying to listen to her prattle on then about their culture putting a value to chastity - trying because there's a glimpse which he is daring enough to take. Rogue! It's right in his face!
The clay is not scolding hot at least. He glances away, trying to be chaste himself! The pain is a neat reminder to keep it that way. Oh those boobies he saw earlier and the way that thing grabbed him! And now … He's a hormonal teen! It happens. Until she drops the bomb that her family had been mostly Christians.
Head snaps about, then he looks at her, "Uh… and I don't suppose you came out to the woods alone?" A moment of panic, "I should probably go. Yeah.. I'm running late and my uncle will take the strap to me if I don't make it back before dark."

"-Hold still-" she chides, pausing in her careful dabbing as if repressing irritation that might make her mess up. "They know I am -out-. They don't need to know more than that. I am here with my master. He's somewhere." She pauses to waves her hand randomly in the air. "Here or there. That's all they need to know." Her voice is low as she speaks so close to him, her breath has a herbal, almost floral smell. And her lips are slightly redder than the average woman's.
"In fact he probably knows exactly what's going on." Her eyes flit up to the trees again as a raven caws.
Her touch has been almost feathery now. The pain seems dulled, and she'll pause to wipe a bit of blood away with the back of her hand or her knuckle before gently applying more clay. She is focused on his chest. "There…"

"Your master? Oh Lord…" he cringes at that proclamation, shooting a look around their immediate camp area. Landon's eyebrows shoot up high and his face snaps back to her when she mentions he likely knows what's going on. Immediately: "Nothing's going on. Right? Right? You pulled me out of the waters, patched me up… Nothing's going on. I should go. I really need to make it home before dark."
He looks down at the clay, where her fingers have added more to clot the wounds. He sits back on his hands as he pops his eyes back to her, "How… do I repay you?"

She actually nudges him on the cheek, kind of hard, well short of a slap but it's still a little bit of a 'snap out of it' nudge. "Oh if anything he might want us to…" She smiles vaguely, then shakes her head. "Repay me? You will not today. Debts are best aged like wine. So, does it feel better?"

"Hey - OUCH—" to the cheek nudge, sputtering out quickly, "What'dyadothatfor!" His hand lifts to his face and rubs out the hard press, staring at her as if he's undecided now what if anything he can do about it. "To what?" The young Baverstock squire says, catching onto the sentiment that's trailed off, wanting to better understand what sort of predicament he was in. Then his eyes widen for her suggestion that debts are better with age, "Fine." He sighs, "You'll find me at the manor if it ever comes to you what I owe you in return." He looks down at his chest then nods, "Yeah. Kinda. Thanks."

A subtle and inscrutable smile settles about her lips and she draws back, straightening. "Eat some bread and I'll get my horse ready. If you're anxious to be back to your knight by dusk, we had better go and see what we can retrieve. Can you ride bareback? I'm not the best rider so I'll have to hold on to you astride." She moves back to her fire, unwraps some bread and throws it his way. Unless he's clumsy, she practically lands it right in his hand.

"Didn't I say he'd strap me? He's my uncle but he's ruthless about routine. I need to become a knight otherwise I'm destined to swing an axe and chop down trees—" he makes a face at that, then pushes up off his rump to make it a point that he was ready to go back. "Of course I can ride bareback!" He says with a haughty tone - whether or not he can will remain to be seen. Then there's the toss and the catch, with only a slight fumble. He clutches the bread to his chest before he hastily eats it, ravishing the damn thing. He was famished!

Meanwhile she removes the saddle to make it easier for them both to ride, hers being a lady's saddle in contrast of the fact she's a teenaged girl off in the wilds alone…ish. She's not deft about it, showing as well that she probably usually has someone doing it for her, and the horse actually looks like a pretty good one.
Soon it's ready and she walks it a bit closer, retrieving her bow and quiver, quickly changing the string on the latter to make sure the bow's dunking doesn't leave it imperfect. "Well then, let's go a-quest," she says, standing by the horse and waiting for him.

Landon watches the girl struggle with the saddle and comes over to lend some aid for it. Squires are good like that. "You'll come back for it, when we find my horse…" if they find it! He was rather queasy over that feeling, of losing his horse. He looks to her and then back to the horse. That robe was hapazard still around his waist, but it wasn't going to sit well at all once he was up on horseback. "Mind your eyes," he tells her as he moves to leap onto the horse's back, young and spry enough to do so without having to find a stump to stand on. She might get mooned if she doesn't listen to his advice as he goes up, but all the same…

She sweeps her gaze away, showing, also, as little hints have been dropped, that there's some training of the prudent in her that hasn't yet been paganned out of her. Well she did say the men of her family were all Christian. But she mutters, "Why don't you just wear it…won't poison you with godspells…" Turning back, she offers him her hand so he can pull her up behind him.

Well, and true, though it might be voluminous on her he is a mite bigger.

His larger hand reaches down to clasp the smaller feminine hand in his own - if he was only wearing clothes and wasn't butt ass naked with only that bit of cloth around his hips to give him some sense of modesty, he'd look rather chivalrous. He all but hauls her up to sit behind him as his other hand turns to gather the reins. "It won't fit-" he confesses, "I'd rip it at the seams of the shoulders." He is quite larger than she around the span of the shoulders at least. Once she is settled behind him, his legs wrap around the barrel like girth of the horse and he uses his heels to step it forward.

Suddenly it is actually easier for her to see that size difference too. She springs up with his air, rather nibmle and light on her own feet, and settles behind him— astride like she said. But how's she gonne put both legs to the side behind him? Apparently her shift is split, too, and to one side she has a bare leg. Sneaky pagans and their sneaky clothes that let them be unladylike!
After a moment that might be awkward on someone's part, she slides her arms around his waist to hold on. "Keep an eye out. I can't see…around…you. If anything feels odd, stop. Go home naked if you have to."

Suddenly it is actually easier for her to see that size difference too. She springs up with his aid, rather nimble and light on her own feet, and settles behind him— astride like she said. But how's she gonne put both legs to the side behind him? Apparently her shift is split, too, and to one side she has a bare leg. Sneaky pagans and their sneaky clothes that let them be unladylike!
After a moment that might be awkward on someone's part, she slides her arms around his waist to hold on. "Keep an eye out. I can't see…around…you. If anything feels odd, stop. Go home naked if you have to."

And so the pair ride through the forest at as brisk a pace as the horse will safely manage, biding their own awkward thoughts at being so ill-clothed, one against the other. But there is serious business afoot, the one possibly over nervous about his precious sword, horse, and armor- and his pants- while the other considers internal theological considerations.

The Lake is near, but Landon, slowing the horse, gestures that all seems well. Signe seems to agree, and they cautiously approach. Once they come upon his own horse and things, they both dismount, Landon ensuring he doesn't offend the young girl with too much skin. His things fetched, they quickly move a safe distance, where he changes into his clothes behind a tree, tossing her crotch-sweat saturated robe back to her. She takes it, musingly dons it. It's a moment they may both never forget.

Landon gallantly lifts her back on his horse so as to give her a saddle, mounts her own, and they ride back to her camp, whereupon they both dismount and he helps her saddle her steed again. Then, both look at each other- but mostly a bit away from each other- for a time. Until the cawing of a crow overhead sounds loudly.

"I had best go," Landon says suddenly. Signe replies with a solemn nod, and watches him ride away.

Returning to her fire moments later, a raven flutters down to perch upon the remains of a rotted stump, tilting it's head at her.
"I don't understand," she tells it.
"CAAAWWWW!" and the flames of her fire leap.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License