(514-02-01) Bovine Compliance
Summary: On their way to Lonazep, near the northern border of the Salisbury, the Knights run across an odd sight, a group of men and their cow, trying to cross the road to 'get it home'.
Date: 514-02-01
Related: None
aeron catryn gideon ewin 

The sky is overcast, steely gray clouds letting the occasional drizzle add to the damp, unpleasantness of the travel. The roads are muddy, and the weather is cold, but regardless the group of knights travel onward! The first day had the group of knights passing north through Salisbury, spending the night at the town of Upavon. The second day has them moving northward towards the edge of Salisbury, crossing out of the counties borders on their way to Mildenhall.

The group currently finds themselves riding along the outskirts of the Savernake Forest, nearing the Ambrosius Dike that often is considered the northern boundry of the County, with a ride through the western reaches of the forest in the group's afternoon before eventually arriving at the city of Mildenhall. "Perhaps we should break for lunch soon?" Aeron suggests to the other knights riding along with him.

Being his first official mission for the Earl, Ewin de Winterbourne Stoke is taking things rather seriously. The young knighthas stayed straight in his saddle for the duration of the ride, keeping his wool cloak wraped tight around him for warmth. As stoic as he's trying to be, there's a brief look of relief when Sir Aeron calls for a halt for lunch. "I think that would be an excellent idea, Sir Aeron,: trying not to sound eager for a rest.

Unusually quiet, Catryn had ridden and observed their surroundings, tossed a few directions here and there to her squire and generally listened to the banter of the others in the party. Her horse makes the customary whinnying sounds now and then and a toss of his head. Seems the horse is as equally lacking in social graces as the rider. The terrain has started running together by now, each new area looking the same as the last, so anything new is met with a palpable approval in the Burcombe knight. "Agreed," she says in a terse tone, because being friendly takes too much work apparently. Pulling gently on her reins, she slows her horse, looking for an appropriate place to stop.

Gideon's been quiet too for the most part, mostly because he has been riding at the ranges of earshot as the eyes of the company. He returns as if compelled by the spectral allure of lunch, dismounting from his horse and nodding amicably. In stoicism, he probably ranks somewhere between Catryn and Ewin. "It is not so swift a trip that riding with all haste will do us any good." The Stapleford knight nods in agreement with his fellows. His cloak drapes lightly over him, hood pulled back so as to make him less like some overdamp wraith. His own horse seems rather indifferent to the whole venture, though whether this is grim determination or apathy Gideon himself had never been able to determine.

As the knights begin to slow, and Gideon dismounts, coming out from the brush further ahead are a group of ragged looking men, "Hurry up!" One exclaims, gesturing his hand, two more come along, one tugging a cow along by a rope lead, another behind it trying to push it across the road, and it seems there's at least one other somewhere behind them. The group of cow-handlers sort of stop and look at the group of knights not terribly far off from them.

Aeron meanwhile nods his head to the others, and as Catryn starts looking about for a spot he pipes up, "Perhaps we can find someplace sheltered by some of the.." He pauses though as he sees the emerging men, brow lifting just a touch.

As the travellers start to close up their formation in search of a rest-spot, Ewin glances over to his squire, Kensit, riding on a palfrey with their gear. Even all bundled up, Kensit is clearly feeling the chill, and Ewin has to smile. "Don't wory, my first campaign north was just as miserable as this. Hopefully, we'll have less Saxons, hey?" As the commoners driving the cattle approach, Ewin watches them, and, noticing the concern in Sir Aeron's posture, rests his hands on his saddle pommel and this sword hilt. Just in case.

Catryn looks expectantly at Aeron for him to finish until she follows his line of sight and sees the men with the animal. Not a word is said of the Burcombe knight but the unmistakable sound of a whisper of fabric as she tosses one side of her cloak back and the soft sound of steel as she withdraws her sword from the sheath. Better prepared than not. Even still not a word is said by her, but she does let it be known she is armed and likely dangerous.

"From what I know of the Saxon cold does not reduce their numbers below a certain threshold." Gideon observes dryly. He looks over towards Aeron and the other knights who seem bent on showing how ferocious they are, and there is a suppressed groan. Still, he directs his squire silently to bring his spear from his saddlebags. "I don't suppose we should at least try asking first?" Not born of cowardice, but practicality. Alec chucks over the length of wood with its deadly point to Gideon, and he leanas on it much as one might with a walking stick. Hunching just a bit does seem to make the cold less biting.

"What's going on here?" Aeron calls out to the group of men with the cow ahead of them, he's not gone for a weapon or anything yet, but gives the odd group a bit of a look, glancing towards his companions that make themselves more battle ready, his attention turning to rest on the men once more.

"Just ah.. trying to get our heffer.." He thumbs at the beast, "Back home before nightfall, ahh, sir Knights." He adds, "We'll just be going on our way.." There is a hushed murmur from the two manuevering the cow, words not really audible so far down the road, but it is clear they try to yank the cow back into the tree line the way they came, a loud "MOOOOOOO!" of protest being unleashed, before ultimately the bovine offers compliance.

You check your suspicious at 10, you rolled 15.
You check your Trusting at 10, you rolled 8.

As Sir Aeron speaks with the commoners, Ewin watches the exchange. The whispering amongst themselves down the road gives him some room for concern, but he doesn't draw a weapon like the others. Ewin does turn to his squire and whispers. "Be especially on your guard for the rest of the day and the night. If you see something out of place, tell me immediately."

Catryn gives a dubious look to the group, a healthy skepticism, surely, after all everything about this seemed off. For the moment, she still manages to hold her tongue, but sensing her mood, her horse tosses his head again, hooves prancing a little. She tugs the reins, a gentle reminder.

"Standard nervousness for encountering knights in the road…" Gideon muses, the spear serving as a leaning post than anything else. He seldom is the sort to brandish a sword, particularly in front of the common folk. "Perhaps we can escort these good folk home, and insure they come to no incident? It would be forsaking our duty as protectors of the common people." All the while he watches the reactions of the peasants carefully, his face a placid mask, frost blues flicking between the men and their bovine companion.

The common folk seem to have no interest in waiting around for the knights to decide, another Mooo escaping the cow's mouthparts as it's hauled back into the treeline. "Ahh, good day, Sirs!" The leader sort calls out, backpeddling towards the tree line himself.

Aeron gives a little look towards the other knights, brow lifting up just a bit, "The commoners up here are… rather odd, aren't they?" he asks, frowning just a touch but giving a bit of a shrug. He remains upon his hore still, for the moment.

With the cattle dirvers moving along and the party started again once more, Ewin pulls his horse up towards Aeron's. The question from the kinght in charge gets a nods from Ewin. "A bit on edge, perhaps. Possibly raiders. Although they could have just been nervous with everyone readying their weapons."

"Odd." Catryn agrees, watching them with that same suspicion for a long moment. She glances over at Ewin then the others, realizing in this great big nowhere, it was better to have a team. Any scathing remarks she would have are held in check for now. "So are we all of the same mind something was happening there?"

"Well if you wouldn't mind taking a detour we could see about making sure their cows make it…safely home?" Gideon suggests, moving to remount his horse and looking towards where the fellows go off with their cow. "Though if you wish to pursue our duty with all speed I will not protest, though there is some advantage in knowing potential….issues amongst the common folk of the border. It is of course up to our leader, though." The Stapleford knight says, deferring.

The commoners have already disappeared into the treeline, though no doubt they haven't made it far with their cow. Aeron gives a nod towards the others, "Lunch can wait, and we can ride a bit longer if need be, but perhaps we should go and investigate these men." he agrees with the general sentiment, waiting f or Gideon to remount his horse again then gesturing towards the treeline.

"As you say, Sir Aeron," Ewin replies. He turns his charger towards the treeline and the path the men took with the cow and starts riding forward. He's preceeding at a good, but cautious pace, trying to avoid any hazards that could injure his horse.

Gideon takes up the flank once he is on his horse, leaning in a bit before settling in the sattle and picking up his pace just a bit. He is utterly silent, not so muh intending to sneak up on the cattle 'escrt' but certainly doing little to draw attention to himself. That thick neck rolls as he holds his spear astride his lap with one hand on the reins. "Lonazep is still far, even with the occasional diversion."

A short ride later finds the group of men have vanished into the woods, leaving the cow mooing behind. It isn't long before the owner, an older man, huffing and puffing catches up to the group of knights, inquiring if they've seen those damned kids, and offering praise for the safe recovery of his prized heffer.

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