(514-02-01) Baverstock Brothers
Summary: Landon comes home to find his brother returned with an arrow wound.
Date: February 1st, in the Year of Our Lord 514, late evening
Related: Happens on the same day as but after Pursuing Justice and Inspiring Bravery
bryce landon 

Baverstock Manor - Salisbury

It is late evening, and the hall of Baverstock Manor is almost deserted due to the late hour. Almost. Save for a chair by the hearth where a fire burns to chase away the chill of winter, where Sir Bryce sits. His angular face turned towards the flickering flames of the fire, his eyes staring into the light, but actually beyond it, as the knight's thoughts are obviously engaged elsewhere. After being away for a few days, he has returned in the afternoon, to the seat of his family. With him currently holding the position of Lord Knight, and head of the Manor. He is clad in a tunic of dark grey and breeches of black color, a pair of comfortable leather boots covering his feet, legs crossed one over the other beneath knee level; a slight bulging beneath the tunic hinting at some fresh bandage about his left shoulder. Bryce holds a cup of ale in his hand, even if he does not seem particularly thirsty at the moment.

Landon had been out when his brother returned, likely on a ferreting mission that was of his uncle's doing - a task to keep Landon busy and preoccupied rather than sitting in idle at the Manor. Thus, when Landon trods heavily into the hall, his steps are taken with long strides that speak of energetic excitement at seeing his brother. In fact, there's a canted smirk on his face as he passes the threshold into the hallway, breaking those pensive thought bubbles by a boisterous good natured, "You've returned to us Brother!" He clods over the floor, his boots leaving traces of mud behind with every step. His arm casts out to beckon Bryce off the chair to greet him as brother to brother.

Dark eyes are drawn away from the fire, Bryce turning his head just so that he can glimpse the source of the ruckus. But yes, there is no way to mistake that characteristic footfall, and his pensive expression shifts into a smile. "Brother!" He moves to stand, giving Landon a brief assessing glance. "Where've you been?" The older Baverstock ironically enough slightly shorter than his younger brother, and decidedly lighter in build. He greets Landon with a brotherly hug, and a goodnatured chuckle. "Either way… somewhere outside, I'd wager.", he remarks with a smile, eyeing the muddy mess on the stone floor. Even so… there may be slight flinch if the younger Baverstock should return the hug.

Slightly shorter in Bryce's eyes maybe. Somewhere along Landon's teenage years, he grew like a weed! He looms over his elder brother, topping over six feet one. How the hell he got those genes and Bryce didn't, well, some good old stock his Uncle used to say. Either way, his arms seem to bloody well wrap around his older but smaller brother, subsequently followed up with a good stout hard smack of his hand to the GOOD shoulder. Landon got to abuse his brother that way, if not in the lists, certainly just by being able to clout him with those gnarly big hands or bear hug the other. Giant in his age, probably! But for Landon, he filled out the tall frame easily enough. "You know Lorcan, always joking about how I should be able to rip a few trees down with my arms." He glances down to note the wrapping, then answers, "Yea, outside, you know me, I stretch these ferret runs out. If I known you'd be back-" he points to the shoulder, protectively asking, "Who the hell did that? What happened?"

Right. Landon towering over Bryce who obviously inherited the genes from his mother. It must have been some challenge for Bryce as he grew up to deal with the fact that his younger brother soon would surpass him in regards to strength and physical presence. But being short and lanky has its benefits, it makes you quicker and harder to get hit. His smile freezes somewhat though in the moment Landon's arms indulge in that squeeze, and by the Lord above, it is a convenient coincidence the hard clap to a shoulder is administered to the one that has not been pierced by an arrow. "Rather a few trees," Bryce echoes with a chuckle when those strong arms give him free, "than me, brother…" His gaze follows the finger that points to his bad shoulder and he sighs. "I went for a bit of bandit hunting in the woods with the Dintons. Cyndeyrn, Kamron and…" Here he pauses for a fraction of a second, "Lady Lysanor. Sir Acwel de Woodford. And a female knight was with us as well, Sir Arian de Laverstock." A dismissive shrug with the GOOD shoulder there, before the older Baverstock knight lowers himself back onto his chair, gesturing towards the table where a pitcher of ale and two or three unused cups are at the ready. "Help yourself, if you're thirsty."

Landon didn't lord his height advantage over Bryce too often, as to not put salt on the wound that he got the short (hah) end of the stick. If their father's death hadn't intervened, it could be otherwise. Instead, it seems especially in these later years after his growth spurt, Landon's used it to muscle anyone who tried to mess with Bryce aside - taking a role reversal of protective brother, again, when it counted. Otherwise Landon would somehow make light of it, such as pulling up trees as he did now. "And you didn't invite me?" He feigned a hurt look on his face, as he strode over toward the pitcher of ale, making haste with the pour since he was terribly thirsty. Half of the first pour goes down in the first gulp! He tops it off and lumbers back over toward a vacant chair, hauls it across the floor to sit more aligned with his brother. "What's old Cyndeyrn up to these days?" OLD, said as a lark and a naturally easy smile. Landon got the better looks too in the family, some would say.

“I didn’t invite you, as we were on our way back from Sarum,” Bryce clarifies, raising a brow at the fake look of hurt ego in his brother’s visage. “Besides, I was not aware you were around. As with your recent knighting, I’m sure Lorcan had some errand to send you off on. I even thought you’d join us in Sarum. Earl Robert called for knightly challenges, to determine his candidates to send to the Grand Melee, when our King Arthur is to marry his future queen.” A slight twitch at the corners of his lips there, as they rise just so to indicate a smile. “I competed as well.”, he adds after a moment. “Not with the lance, alas. A few days of illness prevented that. But in the challenges I was able to give a good showing.” His hand holding the mug of ale lifts in a toast. “You see here before you one of the lucky few that will compete in the Grand Melee.” A hint of undeniable pride there in the glance Bryce gives Landon, even if tempered a little by the following addition, “I suppose I had a good day.”

A good sip of ale is had, Bryce leaning back then in his seat as he considers Landon’s next question. “Cyndeyrn is well enough,” he smiles. “He and the others took care of the bandits, and quite capably so. While I,” his mirth dims a little, “had to deal with a bloody archer hiding in a tree.”

"Not an errand of considerable glory," he remarks with a nonchalant shrug as he puts back a bit more of that ale. Glug glug. "One that got me stuck in the mud of the spring thaws and little time to run to Sarum to play at tourney," he tries not to be prickly about missing the events, but, he can't hide it from his elder brother. He was! His blue and hazel eyes flash up at the indication of pride on his brother's tone. "You will be competing?" He says, at first, peeved, and then astonished, and then accepting. "That is where you shine brother. Good on you. I will wish you well. I would ask for the honour to be your squire if I wasn't already a knight-" he jests, "So I reckon I'll be forced to merely watch your performance. You'll do us proud. Do you reckon one of the Knights of the Round will be there to challenge?"

"Bloody dishonourable men, those-" he snarks about the archers, "Cowards, the lot of them. I'm glad they did not have better aim, though that looks near enough to threaten the heart." A few inches to the side and the arrow may have lodged elsewhere - in chest or neck.

“We all start with small deeds,” Bryce remarks with a faint smile, when Landon speaks of what kept him, noting the displeasure there, of course, why, he would have felt the same. Even so, the surprise his brother displays elicits an amused glint in the older Baverstock brother’s eyes. “I would hope so,” he states, to the possibility of facing one of the famous knights of the Round. Because, after all, this was what it all was about. “But don’t you dare sitting around and watching, brother, when there will be a number of other contests that are open to all knights.” He smiles and extends his right arm to pat Landon on the shoulder. “I am eager to see how you will fare!”, words of fond respect, as Bryce knows very well about the strengths of his younger brother. “And I’m glad you got knighted just in time to be part of this.”

As for the comment about archers, Bryce de Baverstock lets out a sigh. “The archer, as it turned out, was a woman. She has been taken to the Earl to face justice.” For putting an arrow into a knight. “I commanded her to get off that tree, and she followed my suggestion. The arrow… didn’t cause much more than a slight scratch, brother. Nothing to worry about, and it will heal nicely, due to Lady Lysanor’s kind assistance.”

Landon is surprised, "I thought the tournament was restricted to those who had qualified in other events already?" This has him considering the possibility, his eyes brightening, "You mean… I can go and see King Arthur’s court?" He makes a hearty chortle over it, "Then by what's all holy, I will compete. The Baverstock boys will make a good showing and the Earl will take shine to us." He hoists his glass and finishes off the ale in the wooden mug. "Aye! Me as well brother! Imagine who will be there to compete against! That alone will be worth the ride."

The matter of the archer has him mutter, "Was she at least good to look at that you could forgive her arrow?" He wrinkles his nose at the manner of her going to face the Earl's judgement, "Mercy on her soul then. Perhaps the Earl will take pity on her kind." And then he's curious, then teased, "Did she give you a kiss too brother? I hear that cures all!"

“No, it actually isn’t,” Bryce smiles. “We are all going to go and compete, or watch. Apart from Lorcan, that is, and a few others that need to stay here.” Taking another sip from his ale, he observes Landon with a glint in his dark eyes. “We shall see,” he offers in a murmur of dimmed excitement – not because he is not excited about it all, but because that is his personality, never loud, always considerate. Even so, a snort will leave his nose at Landon’s tease about the archer. “She is a mother,” he states quietly. “And I think at least one of her children was watching. So yes, I believe the others will make that point when addressing the matter before the Earl.”

The next tease about Lysanor will elicit a quite different reaction. Brows lift in astonishment, when Bryce stares at Landon, needing a moment to digest that particular remark. “No!”, he finally replies, his brows knitting as he shakes his head, indicating… what exactly. Such would be so unlikely, indeed? “Lady Lysanor is an honorable lady, and anyone assuming otherwise…” Chivalrous words, but why do they seem slightly misplaced when spoken to the own brother? Bryce shrugs, this time with both shoulders, and comes to regret that particular mistake at once, when a sharp wave of pain races through his left arm. “I’ve known her since… we were playing as children.” Actually, that would have been more the boys playing with sticks, in playful imitation of the grown knights and their swords. But Lysanor always seemed to have been near, filling the role of princess or damsel in distress, when needed.

Bryce checked his Honest at 16, he rolled 18.
Bryce checked his Deceitful at 4, he rolled 14.

“We are… good friends, nothing more.”, Bryce de Baverstock states then, his tone a low rumble and his gaze lowered, still, there is a faint glitter in his dark eyes when he lifts them to meet Landon’s inquisitive gaze.

Landon checked his Trusting at 10, he rolled 2.

"Being a mother does not condone such conduct. If that was so, everyone would hasten to be with child, including the men!" He states with a measure of regret, "The Earl will exercise the proper judgement for her crimes. Will you have to attend to give an accounting of what happened?" He was curious to that, at least. "It would be an excuse to drag me along with you to court - since you have more of a duty to appear there than I." He might be taller, but Bryce got all the perks of position!

"Hold, pray you, hold! I had not intended to declare that the Lady Lysanor was anything but chaste good brother," he leans with a chuckle, "It was a jest. A jest!" His hand lifts to stall any grousing from his brother on the proper measure of Chivalry or that any contest dare not come of it, not when he was savoring the joys of a bit of ale in his cups. A smile followed the motion. "I know you have. I've known a few girls in my day too since I was younger. The one water nymph, I call her that, has caused me some awkward moments. This does not mean she isn't chaste either. But mine eye likes to watch her all the same."

He slumps back agains the chair, "If you are good friends, then I believe you brother. Forgive my jest."

"It doesn't condone such conduct," Bryce agrees, "but it explains the need to resort to such misled measures. I believe the Earl will be merciful, and offer the family of the woman an alternative… A place to live, maybe, and the means to earn money in an honorable manner."

Another sip of ale is taken, before he replies to Landon's next question: "If such is required, Earl Robert will send for me. If not… well, there are a number of knights to give testimony. As for court… well, if you feel the need to got there and present yourself, please do so. It won't require a misled soul to drag you there, brother."

Then things turn slightly awkward, and Landon insists he was only teasing in regards to Lady Lysanor. "Water nymph?", Bryce inquires. "No… I've never regarded her in such a manner." He shakes his head, dark eyes lingering on Landon, perhaps slightly relieved to divert attention from his person. "Who is this water nymph, you've never told me of her before?"

“I hardly have good reason to seek court when it’s not requested I do,” as a family knight he merely followed orders that were passed down to the Vassal knight - which in this case was his uncle or in time, his good brother. “I may go, when the invitation once again opens to all good knights of the land.” The matter of the woman is left as it is, no longer work remarking on.

“I haven’t?” Landon says with a mild shock registering, all in good jest, “There likely hasn’t been a good opening to do so, until now.” He shrugs his shoulders, “I never thought her pretty until the last few times I saw her. I taught her how to swim. Well, rescued her first off from the ravages of the river.” He glances across over his mug at Bryce, “I don’t get to see her too often for the distances between us.” He adds, “We’re friends. But lately I like to think that one day we will be more.” He speaks of it so casually, as if to make light of the matter.

"You want to go to Sarum? I'll think of some errand that can take you there," Bryce remarks, raising a brow. "As for court… I hardly go there myself, only when Earl Robert summons me." Then the older but shorter Baverstock knight moves to stand and walks over to the table, to refill his mug with ale, but just a rather small swig of it. "You haven't, but I can understand why.", a faint smirk there as he turns to regard his brother. Brotherly teasing. "You taught her to swim? That does have a romantic ring to it." Not returning to the topic of Lysanor, as he feels that has already been sufficiently tackled.

"I am glad to be home again. Even if it won't be for long, I suspect.", Bryce states warmly.

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