(514-01-19) Falcons Ho
Summary: A group of nobles go out hawking in the vicinity of Sarum Castle
Date: Winter 513
Related: None
aeron signe cyndeyrn lysanor caerdin seren 

The gathering of lords and ladies meets at Sarum Castle, a group of retainers is present to help fetch kills, and other little tasks, as well as a master falconer to help rouse the prey animals from their nests and hiding spots. Aeron is there amongst them, with his squire, and a retainer to tend to the birds of the two, "Off we go that, I suppose, Lords, Ladies." Aeron says, gesturing the others to follow as he turns to start his horse out of the castle and towards the western fields. "I'm Sir Aeron of Berwick." He adds as way of introduction.

Caerdin of Broughton looks happy as a falcon who has caught its prey, but then, for those who know the newly knighted heir of Broughton, he almost always looks happy. A wide smile cuts across his face as he sways easily in the saddle, riding with the assembled group. His squire holds a hooded and tethered Goshawk beside him. "A pleasure, Sir Aeron," he greets the other knight in a warm baritone. "Thank you for arranging the outing. It is good to get out of doors for a bit."

Signe has come to be social, as bidden by her brother, whom, she discovers, is not even present. She's fairly certain she hasn't been introduced to any of these people, either— so she's been silent, focussing on the pleasures of the ride. She is dressed in white, upon a white horse, and has gone without her usual trappings. Sitting side saddle, her skirts billow one way, her long sleeves to either side, and her loose hair behind. Just behind her rides her groom, and upon his arm perches a fine, hooded merlin. The bird has his wings slightly out for balance, or in anticipation.
"I am Signe of Langford," she finally says, when others seem a little slow to introduce themselves.

Accompanied by a handmaid, Seren has ventured out into the open today with the group. On her own horse, while the maid rides by her side, she tilts her head back to take a look at the sky as she inhales deeply. "The weather has held out for the tournament. I only hope it does for the wedding of our King." Her attention is brought back from the social talk with her maid to the surrounding Knights and ladies, by the talking among the group. An eager smile is worn as she looks back the way they had come and the way ahead. Like Signe, she had come to be social, she was not a falconer. "Lovely to meet you, Lady Signe, I am Lady Seren de Woodford, Scribe of the Court to Earl Robert de Salisbury."

Cyndeyrn and Lysanor come as a pair, riding side-by-side while their multitude of attendants trail behind, carrying everything from supplies for the day, to spare gear and horses, and of course the birds themselves, for the time being hooded and tethered to keep them calm throughout the ride. Although the siblings arrive as a unit, Cyndeyrn at least is quick enough to ride up and meet some of the others, calling "Coz," toward Caerdin as he passes and then giving Aeron a nod at the lead. Making sure Lysanor has kept along, he makes apoint of introducing her to those gathered, "I am Sir Cyndeyrn ap Cynfarch, of Dinton, and this is my sister, Lysanor." Noting Seren, he offers her a smile and adds, "I think we had spoke earlier, of introducing the two of you. Sister, Lady Seren here is Sir Acwel's sister. We had met up earlier and spoke of some gathering, and now it seems to have come true, albeit missing a brother." He will of course offer a polite bow of his head from his spot on his horse to Signe as well. "Well met, my lady."

Dressed comfortably for the day's event, Lysanor wears a light green tunic trimmed in intricately patterned gold thread, the chemise which peeks out from beneath the tunic's hem is left pure and white. A golden braided girdle encircles her slender waist, while a cloak of hunter green drapes over her lithe frame for warmth. Her vibrant red locks are gathered within a loose braid which rests upon her left shoulder. She rides between her brother, Cyndeyrn and her cousin, Caerdin, while her own handmaid trails just behind the trio. "I'm afraid it's been a while since I've tried my hand at falconing, but being out so deep into the woods like this is refreshing." A polite smile is shown those in the group whom have introduced themselves, though as Cynderyn makes her own introduction, the young woman's attention flickers in Seren's direction, "Ah, Lady Seren. I have heard of your work for the Earl. It is finally nice to get this chance to meet you." Her attention turning to Signe now too, "You as well, My lady."

"A pleasure to meet you all." Aeron says with a nod, riding along out of the city with the group, "I'm quite fond of falconry myself, I try to keep my Manor's Mews as well appointed as my Manor itself, at times!" He says with a laugh, "I'm always looking for an excuse to go hawking." he says. The hill that houses Sarum grows a bit more distant, as the nobles ride further and further out towards their first bit of hawking.

"Cousins!" Caerdin's smile only grows wider, though it also twists into a slightly lopsided grimace as he responds to Lysanor's negligence of her falconry. "I have no skill whatsoever," he tells her light-heartedly. "So you are in good company. I am convinced half of the time that the animal will go for my eyes rather than the prey upon which it has been set." He winks, then glances to the other ladies. "And, please forgive my lack of manners. I am Sir Caerdin of Broughton."

Signe inclines her head politely to the others as they introduce themselves, a slight tightness about her lips as she realizes what company she is in, though it's barely discernable. More notable is her sober, almost grave air, which may excuse her lack of ready smile. "They are very likely to do just that," she tells Caerdin." As they come to a general halt, she checks the cuff on her arm before turning to her groom and accepting the merlin.
At least she has been told a little something about the leader of their group, part of her brother's enticement to get her out. Once started again she edges her horse a little nearer the host.

Listening to Aeron, Seren is attentive even if she does not offer a verbal response. With the further introductions, her attention shifts to each one in turn, "Sir Caerdin," a dip of her head, "A pleasure making your acquaintance." A glance is given to the Lady Signe as she edges nearer Aeron so she angles closer to the cousins and siblings. A warm smile is given to Lysanor as she nears, "My Lady, it is indeed a pleasure and an honor. I have only heard wonderful things about you. I am pleased to finally meet you." Her brother at her side is offered a smile as well. "Sir Cyndeyrn. So good to see you again."

"I shall endeavor not let our family go home without a catch," Cyndeyrn will say as both cousin and sister beg off on their lack of hawking talents. "Though you may have some luck at it. So long as you know how the very basics of how to handle the birds, and do not frighten them or cause them to fly off, they have their own talents in taking the prey." Whether they come back is another matter, but he doesn't get into that! The exchange between his sister and her counterpart is observed without interruption on his part, allowing them to take up whatever subjects of ladylike conversation is normal. Because… yep, he has little idea of such things! So, for at least the next part of the ride, the large Dinton knight holds silent.

Lysanor cannot help but openly cringe just a tiny bit when Signe confirms the eye stabbing falcon ordeal, but that soon melts away and her usual warm smile returns. "It looks like this will be quite the adventure for all of us then." A quick glance is given over her shoulder to view her own merlin on her groom's arm. "And a good way for our birds to grow used to our presence." Returning forward once more, she adjusts herself within her seat. "I'm certain that we all shall return home with more appreciation for hawking." She turns to Caerdin now, speaking warmly to him, "And how have you been, dear cousin?"

It isn't very much longer riding before the group arrives at their first location, it would seem the Master Falconer indicating the group stop, as he heads off towards a small area of light woods to prepare to chase some game out of their hidey holes. Aeron moves to dismount from his horse, handing the reigns over towards his squire, "Sir Caerdin, Lady Seren, why don't you have the first flights?" he suggests, "If you need any tips, Lady Seren, just ask!"

"I am well, lady cousin," Caerdin announces cheerfully, nodding and tugging on the fingers of one gloved hand to free the garment. His hand, when naked, rises to scratch at his cheek. "Old Sally…do you remember my father's favorite bitch? Well, we thought she was old and dying, but it turns out the old girl was simply pregnant again. She gave birth to a fine litter and they've just whelped. We've had our hands full, but it's been nice to have new life in the manor, even if it is the four-legged kind." As his name is called for the hunt, he blinks and quickly moves toward his squire, assisting the young man in the transfer of the goshawk to his own arm. He carefull removes the hood and releases the tether, then holds his arm aloft, urging the bird to seek the flushed prey.

Signe isn't much for conversation, or it may be that she's simply shy. EIther way she doesn't speak with the rest. She glances at them, especially when Lysanor mentions getting to know their birds. She looks away, skywards.

Hearing her name from the leader of the hunt, Seren turns her attention to her maid briefly, dismounting with graceful ease by aide of a retainer and she collects her own small merlin. It looks too small to hunt anything too terribly large but too large, hopefully, for one of the larger birds to hunt. The cuff already in place on her arm, she has only the most basic skill in falconry, so she winces a little as the bird is handed over. A tentative opening of her eyes finds the bird perched there, awaiting a directive from her. After a cursory look towards Sir Caerdin, she attempts to mimic his actions and releases the bird into the air for the hunt, watching to see if the bird actually does indeed do what she encourages it to do.

Observing from her place upon her horse, Lysanor perks up when the master falconer calls out the pair within their party. This truly was exciting in her mind. "I am certain that you both will do well." She says in reassurance of the two who are just as experienced as she was. From there, she falls silent, her chin lifted in anticipation of what is to come next. She knows that it will be her turn soon, so for now, she merely takes in the actions of the first participants, before turning her gaze briefly to her brother, pondering on whether he will offer tips and the like after watching this first attempt.

Signe draws in a very quiet breath, her demeanor remaining calm though she's eyeing Seren with a slight twist of the lips. After a moment she walks her horse closer, and in a grave voice, with hints of dark and light tones mingling, says, "There's hardly a nobler creature, than one who commands both earth and air. It looks down upon us. Its beak and talons can disembowel us. Even the small ones dream of skies and blood. It isn't the sort of creature one wants to…trifle with. Show confidence lest she decide you are not worthy of her."

"I don't know about a merlin disembowling anyone," Cyndeyrn will note in his typical matter-of-fact sort of fashion, as Signe goes on about the birds. "Mayhap a babe. Or an eagle a small child. To a man grown most such creatures are not a mortal threat, though there may be beasts that hold some of their countenance and features. I fear a griffon, not a goshawk." No, he is fond of his hawk, if anything!

Out of the trees comes rustling, a GROUSE is scared from it's roost, and a little flock of starlings bursts from the trees and out into the open, that's the signal for the nobles to launch their birds, of course, and Aeron stands by, watching the releases and waiting to see if the birds get anything!

Caerdin checked his falconry of 3, he rolled 6.

Seren checked her Falconry of 3, she rolled 17.

Seren rolls 1d20 and gets (13) for a total of: (13)

Caerdin rolls 1d20 and gets (7) for a total of: (7)

Caerdin seems awkward with his goshawk, and the poor bird has difficulty understand just what the upward thrust of the arm means. Instead of taking flight immediately, it latches on and it takes another awkward thrust of the appendage to get the bird airborn. Once it is in flight, however, it is a wonderful thing to behold. It rides a current, then seems to spot the grouse almost immediately. There is a cry from the bird and it dives, exploding into the other bird with a flurry of feathers. They tumble to the ground out of sight.

As if on its own accord, the merlin flies off, but it is too late, Seren had hesitated too long in the release and the Starlings are saved for another day thanks to the inept hunting of the owner of the bird. Suddenly though, the bird is coming back towards her and with Signe's warning ringing in her thoughts, she gives the lady and then the bird an uncertain look. Disembowel? Scary! In the nick of time, Cyndeyrn offers his own reassurances, or skepticism? Either way, Seren looks back towards her bird and her arm with the cuff on it is extended just before the bird drops down and lands. Bracing herself for the weight, her arm only dips a bit and she catches it. A smile blossoms over her features and she looks to Lysanor, pleased.. not realizing at first she had completely failed in the end goal, catching a starling. "It is more difficult than I thought," she confesses, looking towards where Caerdin's bird seems to have disappeared.

That pleasant smile remains on Lysanor's lips as both Caerdin and Seren try to urge their birds forward to follow their prey. After her cousin's failed first start, his goshawk finally takes off, soaring through the air on its very own mission: Capture that grouse! "Perhaps you were feigning inexperience after all, cousin?" She jests warmly, not blind to the difficulty Caerdin had at the beginning. Seren's own bird does not go unnoticed, though the creature seems to have lost its pray. On the merlin's return, Lysanor watches with wide-eyed fascination, sensing the other young lady's concern at first, but as the thing does not go pecking Seren's eyes out, the young Dinton looks relieved and she carefully walks her horse in the other woman's direction, "I can believe that. Still, a nice try and at least your bird followed some of your direction. In due time, things will work itself out."

"Well done, Sir Caerdin." Aeron says as the grouse is snatched, his attention shifting towards Seren next, "Your bird flew magnificently, Lady Seren. I've always enjoyed watching the Merlin's in flight, such a noble bird! You should have released it a touch earlier though, perhaps I can give you pointers at some point." he offers.

The birds take flight and Cyndeyrn watches with some interest as they fly off, tracking their progress as they sail in search of their respective prey. And though Seren's returns empty handed, he cannot help but give a small smile as he watches her reaction to the whole affair. No one disemboweled so far! "It is not an easy sport, so you should not feel embarassed if you are new to it. Even among experienced falconers, it is common enough to release a bird but not see it make a catch. If it were that easy, they would all grow fat and slow in the wild, would they not?" Watching Caerdin's, there does seem some doubt at first if it has made a catch, as is often enough the case when they are far off from the handlers and the bush and grass and shrub is all about, but it seems after some time that the catch is confirmed. "Well done, cousin."

Looking to Cyndeyrn with a small, almost wry shadow-smile, "Do you think the merlin knows she's small? Do you think her spirit is smaller?" She looks at her own bird on her arm, and carefully plucks off its hood. "I don't think that." She doesn't pet the bird at all, doesn't touch a single feather. "And whether the bird -can- disembowel a man is not really the concern. A simple gouge on the cheek would be enough." She offers a nod to Seren as the lady's bird returns, a faint smile. Encouragement? Hard to say when it comes to Signe.

Caerdin frowns as he stares at the treeline where the goshawk and its prey went down. The expression doesn't linger, however, and soon his bright smile is back. Broad shoulders rise and fall in and easy shrug as his cheek dimples. "Please, go on. Rurid and I will go check on the bird, and I don't want to hold you up. Your merlin is a beauty to behold in flight," he adds to Seren before he puts his heels to his steed and sets of at a canter. As he goes, Caerdin calls brightly over his shoulder to Cyndeyrn, "Thanks, Cousin!"

Seren very carefully hands the bird back over, letting it go from her arm to the arm of the retainer before she turns to smile at the approaching Lysanor, "Thank you, My lady. I admit it is a little frightening after thinking what they could do to a person. I wish you luck in your own venture." The smile remains as she offers the encouragement. At the offer from Aeron, she bobs her head in agreement, "I would be willing to learn more, certainly." Her lips quirk in a more lopsided smile, holding a touch of wryness, "It is all together new for me yet, though to see your cousin he makes it look incredibly easy." A glance is given back to her own bird, "Fat and lazy indeed, if he got any fatter, he likely would be unable to fly any longer. I think he has been catching his own prey and having it for his meal in between work." Her head turns in the direction of Signe and with a nod of acknowledgement, she accepts the words of advice, "Thank you, My Lady, I will be careful." As Caerdin mentions going to check on his bird, she steps smiles brightly, "Thank you. You did so very well."

"Oh yes," Lysanor starts, her gaze following Caerdin as her cousin searches for his own bird in the bush. "I almost have a feeling as if he were merely teasing us regarding his skills. So that we do not feel badly about our performances. I'd be surprised if he truly weren't a better hawker. It seems like something he would be interested in." Her eyes then flicker in Signe's direction, listening to the woman's words spoken to Seren and taking notice of the way she doesn't coddle her merlin. "I cannot wait to see your bird in action. I'm sure that we all can learn a lot from you."

The master falconer makes his way back, with the game flushed from the immediate hour, and the falcons having driven anything else to ground immediately, "Perhaps we should ride on and find a new spot to let our birds fly next?" Aeron suggests, moving to remount his horse. He looks towards Seren and Lysanor, "So ladies, you'd mentioned you weren't avid falconers, what hobbies do you both fancy?" he asks, waiting for everyone else to mount up before starting to make his way on with the rest of the group.

"I am sure the birds are possessed of great spirit, at least insofar as beasts may be - even the most majestic is still not equal to man." There is a point, of course, where Cyndeyrn's love of the wild butts up against some simple Christian premises that likely are no factor for the pagan woman. "But it does not change some basic realities of the creatures involved. It is silly to act as if one might swoop down and carry us off." As they seem to be setting on toward their next destination, he gives his horse a bit of a squeeze to encourage its pace. "Like any task, expertise requires practice and familiarity, yes."

After regarding Cyndeyrn's back for a moment, Signe replies, "I never said they could do that. Still, it's how they see us little spots upon the plains. A raptor's technique would be to gouge your eyes, first." She nudges her horse forward.

"Hobbies? I Scribe for Earl Robert. Court is tomorrow, so I will be rather busy during it. After though, I shall put on my dancing shoes and twirl about, I suppose, should I have the honor of being asked to dance. Surely, Acwel will ask, my brother has always indulged me my fancies." A smile plays over Seren's features, a dip of her head to the retainer as he assists her back onto her horse so they can carry on. A look between Signe and Cyndeyrn before she turns her attention to Lysanor, "He does seem very talented with the bird."

"There's barely any time for hobbies." Lysanor says with a gentle laugh, one hand gently patting the side of her horse's neck in an idle manner. "When I'm not assisting my mother in the running of our household, I like to spend time by the riverside or picking flowers. Enjoying some bit of solitude, especially when one is part of a large family. And yourself, My Lord?" She now asks of Aeron, her gaze only momentarily looking between her brother and Signe as well. "Perhaps, we will have the chance to see Cyndeyrn and his bird in action soon."

"Ah, do you have nice wild flowers over by your manor?" Aeron asks, "Myself, when I'm not training I spend a lot of time with my raptors." he says, "But I quite fancy dancing as well when at court." He adds, "I'm sure you'll be quite a popular dance partner at the feast, Lady Seren." He adds. The group is leaving that small lightly forested area now, approaching some of the open undeveloped grasslands out in the vicinity of the Castle, out past the farmlands and such, probably a good spot to find some more critters for the birds!

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