(514-02-04) Drinks and Distractions
Summary: A small gathering of knights and a priest meet in the Boar's Beard and there is much in the way of drinks and distractions.
Date: February 4, 415
Related: Ghostly Festivities and Feasts and Festivals
lorengel arian kamron caerwyn daveth 

The wintery nights make the fire more attractive, and in air heavy with the scents of pine smoke, cooking meat, ale, and mead, whafts music as well. The figure is perched upon one of the tables, using one of the benches as a footrest, his cloak hung by the fire to dry from the snows. His finger work strings over frets, and the din is unusually placid, listening to a sad song of a tragic love; just the sort the local celts love on a winter's night such as this.
It is a night. The weather is cool today not yet nearing the threat of snow but getting there and the skies are mingled with billowing white clouds mixed with whispy racing clouds closer to the ground, blue overhead..

Lorengel checked his play of 14, he rolled 10.
Lorengel checked his sing of 13, he rolled 7.

The door to the inn opens, bringing in a sudden, whooshing chill until it is closed tightly behind the newcomer. Arian is dressed in a furlined cloak and simple gown, and old snow clings to her boots. She brushes away her hood, revealing short dark hair tied back in loose braids and twisted together. The Laverstock lady takes quick stock of the room, and she smiles to a familiar barmaid as she steps deeper in. With the minstrel playing, she whispers to the barmaid rather than interrupt the music, and then takes a seat near the man and his lute.

The man fixes the newcomer with an affable smile and courteous dip of his head in greeting, continuing the playing. She's late to get the whole story. The words are something to do with a dying knight staring up at a sunset, likened unto the silken red locks of his love. Surely the specifics aren't necessary when such sweet, sad words carry the tune over the arpeggiated plucking of an ornate lute's strings. A few eyes are dabbed, and surely the few sniffles are explained away as parts of winter colds and nothing more. "Well, that's enough of that!" he announces at the melody's end, launching into a few bars of something Jaunty and Iberian to liven the spirits of the place. He shares a laugh with a few of the locals, before setting aside his instrument and sliding from the table. "Good evening, M'lady," he greets her, gesturing towards a nearby seat. "Might I join you?"

The Lady Knight looks up when the minstrel approaches, and her dark brows arch high over her pale eyes. She starts to smile though, and her dimples are warm and soft. She offers a quick bob, gesturing to the seat across from her. "Of course. Please, sit." She glances over toward where he had just been playing, and then regards the singer once more. "It was quite lovely… sad, but quite lovely." She leans back a bit when the barmaid comes in, dropping off a hot mug of wine for the lady. Arian's hands immediately curl around the vessel, drawing it close to her to warm her palms and fingers which are still cold and stiff from the bitter winter outside.

Lorengel humbly inclines into a gentle bow form the waist after a fashion that seems quite polished and practiced. "Sir Lorengel of Berwick Saint James, at your service, then," he greets before taking the seat. He chuckles, and wrinkles his nose a bit. "My lady is too kind. And, aye, sad, but the people ~love~ sad songs. It's perplexing. I could play cheerful little ditties all evening, but one or two that wrench the heart and they're always a bit happier." He grins crookedly and shrugs, noticing her chill. "Might I ask what's brought a gentlewoman away from a warm hearth on a night such as this?" he asks, apparently himself sufficiently warmed not to be tempted away from some wine.

Arian takes a warming sip of her wine as she regards the man — who is not a minstrel, but a Knight. Her smile broadens, and warms her pale eyes light sun hitting window glass. She bows her head lightly in turn. "Lady Sir Arian de Laverstock," she returns. Then she offers a light laugh, shaking her head slightly. "Ah, well… love is sad, I suppose." Her smile falters just a moment, and then she focuses on his question rather than her own thoughts. "Oh, well… we are preparing to head North for the Festival of Candles tomorrow. I thought a walk before dusk would be nice, but… it went a bit longer than anticipated." She brings up her cup to her lips once more, sipping before she inquires, "What has a knight singing such sad songs this eve, if I can inquire?"

His smile broadens, and Lorengel again dips an appreciative little nod. "I thought so. I've heard of you though we've never met. It's an honor and pleasure, Sir Arian," he smiles, thoughtfully. "Love is more madness, I should think, and gallops form joy to sadness like a foal let loose for the first time in the spring," he muses. "Though my opinion on it imay change, one day," he chuckles with a crooked grin. "And you would seem of sterner stuff than myself. My evening strolls tend to halt in the late autumn. I was simply serving on some errands in Sarum and thought this place seemed a livelier place to pass the evening than the earl's servant wing. The common folk always seem to enjoy a good tune more than our fellow knights, at any rate."

"Heard of me?" Arian pinks at such a compliment — being heard of is better in this woman's eyes to being called the most beautiful in the land. Reputation counts. She offers him a small smile after a moment, and then she sighs. "Yes… I would say that any sort of love is madness… even if it is a minor, first-bloomed sort of love." Her laughter returns at his comment of her mettle, and she shakes her head slightly. "I don't know. My father would call me a fool, not compliment." She takes another sip of wine, and then starts to nod in earnest agreement. "I rather like the inns and taverns over anywhere else… I don't know… people seem far more… vivid here than anywhere else." Quite vivid, in fact, based on the robust joys around them of laughing, drinking, and jesting abound.

Smiles around a deep sip from his goblet before reaching for a flagon to refill both their cups. "I would imagine, like our first jousts, the first love is the most mad. It's those hurts that teach us caution entering into later bouts." He smiles playfully, but his head cocks, brows twisting into a knot at her comments. "I'm sure you are being modest, Sir Arian; your father must be quite proud of the glory that your prowess wins for your house. As for the company? Yes, I have a fondness for the simpler folks zest for living." As he says the last part he peers around them, at the locals gathered in the firelight.

Arian happily accepts him refilling her cup. His words on first love does cause the corner of her smile to upturn into a smirk. "First loves are quite annoying then." She takes a swallow of wine before she starts to turn the cup around and around in her hands. She does look up at his compliments on her status, and she pinks once more — quite a lovely, feminine response despite her knightly ways. She shakes her head slightly. "My father is proud, but he would love nothing more than for me to retire my spurs and become a good, proper Lady…" Her laughter returns once more. "But, yes… I know my father is proud."

Her slight demurring wins a gentler smirk from Lorengel. "And my father wishes I was my cousin," he laughs, as though trying to tug her out of her mood with his light humor. "It's a father's job to disapprove of something, is it not? " The pair sits opposite eachother at one of the tables, drinking wine and chatting quietly. Next to Lorengel, a lute and a sword belt wrapped around a broadsword's scabbard rests, as the in chatters merrily about them.

"Well, that is quite an unusual wish for a father… I mean, if you were your cousin, you could not possibly be his son." Arian's logic is painfully sound, or at least from her perpective. She takes another swallow of the freshly poured wine, and the warmth soon spreads to her toes. She even looks a touch warmer, though that blush might be because of the compliments being bestowed onto her. "I suppose… and my father has mastered disapproval. Perhaps we should get our fathers together… they can be disapproving together." She smiles around the edge of her cup now before she takes another swallow.

There's a double knock before the heavy wooden door creaks open, admitting the handsome figure of Caerwyn de Burcombe. This man, Caerwyn de Burcombe, needs no such accoutrements as lute nor sword to attract the ladies. Caerwyn puts the capital 'C' in Cinner - or at least that's how he would spell the word were he to write it on a piece of parchment. Wearing a sleek black tunic of the finest wool with silver embroidery etched into a wolf's head on his chest, the younger Burcombe twin steps into the Boar's Beard, having forgone his armor tonight. Though he carries the sword at his waist (the sword, really a rather un-utilitarian weapon - not useful for chopping trees or whittling wood, it is a gentleman's weapon and as such, useful only for decapitating enemies and expressing prestige), he walks with a most unknightly swagger as he makes his way to one of the tables - one over from Arian and Lorengel.

"Father Daveth, I promised you a meal," Caerwyn says, turning to regard the small man that accompanies him. "Sit. We'll talk." He gestures at the table with a regal air, before sitting himself. There, he pauses and spares a glance at Arian and Lorengel. "G'day, Sir and Lady."

"I shouldn't be surprised," muses Lorengel, "If they served together. They must have had the same tutor in dour-faced glances. But honestly, I wouldn't fret, Sir Arian. While I'm sure he worries about his daughter, I'd wager wherever he is, he's boasting of his child's prowess. Unlike my own, who is probably only thankful for the quiet in my absence." But, seeming placated by Arian's warming mood, his gaze lifts from where he was chatting quietly with Arian. Each of the newcomers is fixed with an affable smile and a courteous nod. Each, that is, except for Kamron, who gets a look of recognition and a crooked grin. "Good evening, Sirs," he greets, rising with a light bow.

Kamron is usually a bright, bubbling presence. Usually. At the moment, however, he could best be described as 'schlumped.' His hair is disheveled (okay, more disheveled than normal), and there is a sizeable smudge of dirt under his left eye. His cloak and belt are askew, and he doesn't even notice that he is following a Burcombe and a priest into the tavern. In fact, he actually staggers into the table on the other side of Lorengel and Arian, glancing off and bracing himself for a moment, his head down and his walk stalled.

Father Daveth, the short, stocky young priest that accompanies Caerwyn, could very well have been written into reality by some cheeky goliard as a foil for the swaggering lord. Small and plain, wearing only the utilitarian garments of a parish priest, tonsure and all, he is the opposite of de Burcombe's dark beauty. Like a candle on a scribe's desk, he is easy to overlook because he has nothing to hide. "Thank you, my liege," he replies to Caerwyn, and sits opposite him. He then looks up at the dour, disheveled knight that has entered the room, and a look of unmasked concern appears on his face. "My son, have you slept?" he asks.

And there's that Pagan Knight again. Arian cannot help herself when she glances Caerwyn's way, and she offers him a soft smile of greeting. "Hello again, Sir Caerwyn," she says. She even recognizes Daveth, and smiles quite gently to the Priest in greeting. Her attention returns to Lorengel, and she shakes her head a bit. "If my father can find it within him to speak highly of me, Sir Lorengel, then your father can find it within him to speak highly of you." She reaches out to tap her cup gently against his in a companionable exchange. She looks up now as Kamron enters the Boar's Beard, and promptly bumps into a table. She is surprised by his state, and she casts a worried glance to Lorengel. "Sir Kamron?" She asks, her voice soft and a touch concerned. She finds her favorite barmaid and quickly gestures for a third cup. It seems as though Kamron might need a bit of wine himself.

Lorengel draws in a breath, brow arching when Kamron's condition becomes apparent to him. His brows knit and his forehead creases, casting a dubious glance sidelong towards Arian, as though not quite certain whether to assist him or how to. "Sir Kamron," he sighs, suspecting his courtliness may be lost on his friend just at the moment, but putting up a valiant front, anyway. "Have you met Sir Arian? Sir Arian, my old friend, Sir Kamron." In a lower tone, he adds aside to her, "..Who seems to have seen better days," before clearing his throat wryly if bemusedly. "Ah, good, you two have met," he observes lightly, before nodding to the other two recent arrivals. "I don't believe we have, though. Sir Lorengel, at your service."

Caerwyn checked his app of 15, he rolled 7.

"Sir Dinton merely needs a fortifying drink and the attentions of a spry maiden," Caerwyn says, summoning the same barmaid with a lift of his hand and a curl of his finger. His is a natural-given directive to command; his alabaster looks, matched with hair dark as night and eyes more vibrant than the shiniest emerald (Lord knows the womenfolk who have been spurned by this man might name those green eyes the mark of the Fallen Angel himself, a true sign of green Envy provoked in mortal hearts) have a way of distracting even the straightest arrows from their true trajectory. The bar maid quivers - there's her -usual- customer, Arian, who probably tips well and speaks kindly of her family, but then there's God (Devil?) sent Caerwyn, who has leveraged his bedroom eyes to pure perfection at her. She turns to Caerwyn and dips into a curtsey, "Yes, m'Lord?"

Caerwyn up-nods at Kamron. "Fortified wine for the sir there, on my coin, dear." A smile. "Do come back, the Father and I need earthly victuals." And then he pivots his seat to face Arian and her companions. "Sir Arian, I have not made the acquaintance of your good friend here, the Poet Knight with both lute and sword. Do you play well? I do enjoy a good song. Will you play for us?" He turns to look at Lorengel expectantly.

Daveth checked his Honest of 16, he rolled 13.

Kamron looks up at the question, rubbing at his face with the heel of one hand. Somehow, he looks past the two friends between him and the priest, mumbling, "Too long, Father. Too long." And then the two more familiar voices interject, and he blinks, shortening his gaze to the nearer table. "Sir Arian. Sir Lorengel." The names are almost questions, and he rubs at his face once more, "Yes. I have met Sir Arian. I've even seen her fight. It's quite impressive." Even those words sound half-hearted, muted from his usual tenor. The offer of wine causes him to blink at the tall man, shaking his head sharply and his voice and gaze starting to sharpen, "No. Some of us are not that sort."

Caerwyn checked his flirting of 8, he rolled 17.

"I have been blessed by his acquaintance," Arian says to Lorengel, though the blessing is constantly being reconsidered in recent weeks. She glances over toward Caerwyn as he distracts her barmaid, and she rolls her eyes slightly. Must be the beauty and good looks of others be a constant bane. Only once Kamron seems to have focused on her does she stand to offer him a seat. "Sit." Her voice is firm, but gentle, and she will even put a bit weight on Kamron's shoulders if he does not quickly comply. Caerwyn and Lorengel capture her attention once more. "Sir Caerwyn de Burcombe, this is Sir Lorengel de Berwick St. James."

"Sir Kamron?" asks Lorengel, distracted in reassessing Kamron's condition, his eyes narrowing in a prolonged survey of the man. "I beg pardon, I'd thought you were just deep in your cups, again," he admits, abashed. "Are you alright?"But his glance to the others is questioning, as though extending the same query to them. At Caer's words, and Arian's introduction, he again dips into a light, humble bow. "A pleasure and honor, Sir, you are far too kind. If it please everyone, a tune would be my pleasure." He glances about him, checking on the sentiment before reaching for his instrument, though he still eyes Kamron with concern. Though Arian's taking the situation in hand reassures him sufficiently that he rises and perches himself on the edge of one of the tables, testing the tuning with some plucks at the strings for a few moments.

Lorengel checked his play of 14, he rolled 10.
Lorengel checked his sing of 13, he rolled 6.

It's hard not to notice Caerwyn when he's putting the moves on some hapless peasant girl, which sets his honest tongue to speak. "You wished to study Cicero this evening, my Lord," he tells Caerwyn in a dry tone. "Learn the Latin well enough, and you may ply thy 'ars amatoria' as did your pagan forebears." He doesn't sound particularly pleased with it, but then, being pushy would likely make it worse. Oh, a song! Hrm, let's hope it's not too pretty. It wouldn't do for a man of God to listen to too much profane music.

"Cicero - sounds like an infection one might catch. But you'll tell me about this Cicero, I'm sure, Father. Later, though." The witty repartee to Father Daveth's words from Caerwyn is directed with good humor. He turns to the rest of the party at hand. "For now? Drink, song and dance. Something quick, Sir Lorengel," Caerwyn announces, rising from his seat with Father Daveth. He looks just about ready to spring into a lively Pictish jig when he quite literally nabs on of the barmaids away from her path away from a patron and onto the kitchen in the back. With a yelp, the barmaid tries her best to shuffle along to Caerwyn's steps. Caerwyn, though, is not a great dancer - his intent, it seems, is to bear her shortly for a moment before passing her on, like a used sack of potatoes.

She looks up into his eyes, just about ready to faint from closeness, before Caerwyn deposits her into Kamron's care. "Drink, song and dance," he reminds the man, before tapping the table. "Girl, a drink or five for Sir Dinton. Did the ancients not say, there is Truth in wine, and what better, more beautiful thing is Truth?" A laugh, a smile, and then Caerwyn steps away. This master manipulator is composing the downfall of a good knight and a good man, apparently.

Kamron is guided into the seat by Arian without any actual resistance, dropping bonelessly down into the chair and glancing to the hands on his shoulders for a moment before he shakes his head as if to clear it, looking back out at those around him, "No, Lore," evidently, he knows the man rather well, if he is willing to forego title and full name, "Not after the night of Terrabil." Sighing heavily, he shakes his head, rubbing at his face with both hands once more, "But a song would be a pleasant distraction." The arrival of the barmaid at his side gets little attention save for a slightly distracted wave of dismissal, "No drink, thank you Mistress." And then he looks back to Arian, "Blessed, Sir Arian?" Yeah, he caught that.

Lorengel's eyes screw narrowed and concerned on Kameron. His look is communicative; a 'we'll talk, later' sort of message implied. But there's work to be done at the moment! His fingers work the strings over the frets, playing long, slow arpeggios that in ponderous time begin to spell out a brooding, melancholic key. There is a priest present, after all, and several local knights, now. So he lifts his voice in the traditional words of a local favorite. There's a local ancestor hero, godless Saxons invading, helpless innocents at stake, a battle against insurmountable numbers, and a valiant yet tragic death. Something nice and romantically depressing. What proper Celt could ask for more, by a tavern hearth on a chilly winter's evening? He plays through the verses and stanzas in his low timbered tone at a volume that allows for conversation about the room. And just when everything seemed like it would become irredeemably sober, he begins to strum away at something jaunty and Iberian, and that would, if one were to swipe up one of the tavern girls, be ideal for dancing to.

Coming fresh off losing thie final bout of the melee to Sir Aeryn, Aluksander trudges into the pub. He looks around as he enters, noticing a few familiar faces before he makes his way for the bar. Yes, booze. That is what he seeks. And it won't be long before he'll have acquired a mug full of alcohol to help drown his loss.

Arian flashes a dangerous look at the barmaid who is dropped into Kamron's care, and then she looks after Caerwyn with a narrowed glance that promises pain later. She then shakes her head, dropping back into her chair now that Lorengel has resumed his play and song. She glances over to Daveth. "I pity you, Father… I don't know how you will manage, but that man there is a complete handful." She points at Caerwyn meaningfully, though there is a small hint of good-naturedness in her gaze before she looks back to Kamron. "I'm reassessing that as we speak, Sir Kamron." Completely and utterly ignoring what some may say, she reaches up to gently cup his cheek, brushing a thumb under his eye where the dirt has smudged. She's trying to tidy him up! Obviously. "Did one of the pageboys get you with a mudball?"

It's at this point that Father Daveth stands, looks in Kamron's direction, and moves to sit beside him. A cross of ash still marks his forehead. "Allow me, my son," he says, before the song begins, sitting a quiet vigil with the somber knight. He does appreciate the music, for what it's worth. He enjoys the story, and seems to nod along, occasionally smiling for a moment as he marks a particularly skilled bit of singing. Any ale brought before Kamron is appropriated by the priest, mercifully relieving him of the drinks.

When Arian speaks to him, he just smiles at her, in a way that seems to say 'Jesus I'm ready, take my life now', before quaffing a bit more. Yep, having a great time! Hnnnghrr!

If God's man were to stand vigil by the battered knight, Sir Kamron de Dinton, standing on his right… who stands on the priest's side? Or sits, more like. Caerwyn ingratiates himself into a spot next to Daveth, on the other side of the priest from Kamron, and then waggles his brows at Arian. "I am two handfuls, for when one fights in la posta de falcone - high guard - one uses two hands to hold the sword," he languishes before gesturing at the barmaid to fill his own cup. It's ale he asks for, rather than fortified wine, and at some point early this evening, he'll cover his cup with his palm, to indicate no more should be poured. A wise man. However, his largesse seems to extend to the priest instead, who will most likely be sotted by morning.

Arian checked her lustful at 16, she rolled 9.

Lorengel is watching the goings on mildly as he plays. Daveth wins a smirk, which he keeps mostly hidden with his face towards his instrument. Then there's Kamron and Arian. He smiles at them, looking a bit wistful and appreciative. He plays one more tune directed towards them; something sweet and more romantical, with a bit of unrequited love, but a happy ending! Though, of course, he doesn't meet Daveth's eyes as he does.

Caerwyn checked his prudent of 10, he rolled 17.

Kamron checked his merciful of 10, he rolled 6.
Kamron checked his chaste of 13, he rolled 3.

Kamron leans back into the seat as the music washes over him, apparently suiting his current mood quite well—at least the Cymric portion of the offerings. His right hand begins to tap lightly at the arm of the chair, and then Arian is at one side and Daveth at the other, and he blinks. There's an innate sense of danger there, pagan and priest juxtaposed. The touch of Arian's hand to his cheek causes him to blink, sitting up more straight in his seat and casting a glance to Daveth before he responds to the woman at his other side, "Hrm? What was…?" The new smear of dirt on her thumb causes him to blink again, "Dirt? No… no mudballs." And then an ale appears before him and disappears, and Kamron is having trouble keeping up with everything going on, "Thank you, Father." Lorengel's song isn't helping anything, and Caerwyn's words only make it worse, "Really? You have no sense of shame, Sir Caerwyn?" The words are quiet, weary, rather than cutting.

It's at this point that Father Daveth quietly rises, "I beg my leave, Sir Caerwyn. I must tend to a man of God's flock. If it be your wish, I shall return presently." With that, if he's not stopped, he'll politely bid Kamron rise and accompany him away from the noise and haste of the Boar's Beard, perhaps to hear the troubled knight's thoughts.

"Two handfuls, you say?" Arian says, her voice smoldering with amusement. "I thought that it was only women who were supposed to be two handfuls." Then she offers the other Pagan Knight quite a sympathetic look. "Though now it appears we are speaking to how many hands are required for your sword…" Her pale eyes flash with amusement before she returns her focus to Kamron, and she reaches for a handkerchief in her pocket, dampening it before she gently dashes away the bit of dirt on Kamron's cheek. When the Priest hastily stands, Arian feels a small twang of guilt. When Daveth bids Kamron to follow, she sits back from the knight.

Lorengel finally lets the din of his strings fade into quietude, before, with a bow to the assembled, he once again lays his instrument aside. He reaches for a flagon to refill those cups nearby; Arian's, Kam if he has one, probably fetching him one if he doesn't, and Daveth with a bow that seems subtly contrite for the places where his music drifted towards the insufficiently chaste. At the departures he frowns with mild concern. "Alas, my friends, I had best retire for the evening, as well," he addresses with glances cast about generally and severally, lifting his cup in a departing salute and quaffing most of it, as he takes up his sword belt and cloak from where it had been drying by the fire.

Completely innocent-looking, Caerwyn stares back at Arian: "Well, of course, Sir Arian. I know there are knights who favor shield and sword over the double-handed sword-technique, but perhaps you will try your steel against mine? See which sword bears the best at some point. Perhaps I shall hold a tournament just for the occasion," he says before he initiates a round of applause for Lorengel's playing. He rises and then flicks a glance at the departing Kamron before arching both eyebrows at Arian. The, 'What's his problem?' kind of look, but still amused at the same time. "Sir Arian, I beg your pardon, I should depart as well. One would not think highly of two unrelated knights, a lady and a gentleman, sitting here, merely sharing drink." He dips into a courtesy bow before standing. "Perhaps we shall meet on the tournament grounds."

Kamron looks up to Daveth as the priest rises, raising a hand to stall the man's step away—and then his head snaps over to look at Arian as she responds to the Burcombe's dirty comment, his eyes widening slightly, "Sir Arian." Shock rips through his voice, and he shakes his head, chuckling wearily. Only then does he look back to Daveth, "I… I may not be in the ideal state, Father, but I will survive, I do believe." His voice is a little rough and tired, but it has regained a little more of its life, "Thank you for the concern." Lorengel gets a nod of his head, "Fare thee well, Lorengel. Thank you for the song." Finally, the Dinton knight turns his head toward Caerwyn, "Would you stop trying to further blacken the Burcombe name, Sir Caerwyn? It is tiresome and unbecoming of a knight." Still, there is no real cutting tone to his voice, just the same weariness.

"Of course," Arian notes dryly to Caerwyn. "I prefer the sword and shield, personally." The challenge causes her gaze to narrow slightly, though she does continue to smile to the Burcombe. "Please, Sir Caerwyn… let me know when you would like to test your steel with mine. I will oblige happily." Then she looks up as Lorengel departs, bowing her head gently to him as he goes. She sighs a bit at the look the other Pagan Knight gives her, and she shakes her head, expressing her own uncertainty. She has her suspicions, but they are quite self-centered ones. She sobers a bit when the Burcombe begins to say his own farewells, and she nods dutifully. "Blessed be your journeys, Sir Caerwyn. I look forward to our next… clash." Her smile quirks a touch, though Kamron causes her attention to snap back around to him with a slight arch of her brows. "Sir Kamron… it is all in good fun," she says, feeling a bit admonished even if she was not included in Kamron's weary words.

Daveth stops at Kamron's behest, allowing him to say what he wants to say in the meantime. "I do believe I shall take in some air without," he says, in general. "I shall not be far." He does offer Arian a weary, yet genuine smile. "Fear not, Dame Laverstock. Lose no heart over such trifles. Only, endeavor to respect Sir Dinton's sensibilities more attentively in future, yes?"

"The name's actually gilded covering on blackened iron," Caerwyn explains helpfully to Kamron, "On the family coat of arms. Blackened iron neither rusts nor breaks so easily, with the addition of the coal coloring. So were I to further blacken the Burcombe name — all that is gold will be gone at some point." Again, either he misses the point or he's been incredibly clever with his response. He clears his throat and waggles his brows at Kamron as well. "You Dintons do what's best for Salisbury, and I'm glad for it. I am in the firm believer of balance. The full moon must be accompanied by the new — the interesting must come beside the boring. Someone has to be boring." A quirk of his lips - all in good fun indeed - Caerwyn doesn't rise to the bait quite so much as send needles backwards. He turns and then glances at Daveth. "Father, come. Let's talk about churches and buildings and this God's will you've been going on about."

Having had his order filled, Aluksander claims the mug and moves towards the end of the bar. Once there, he settles in on a stool by himself and settles in, content to just watch the goings on of the other gathered knights.

Kamron looks slightly surprised when Arian takes his words as chastisement for her as well, but is distracted by Daveth's intended departure, nodding, "Thank you for your concern, Father. Sir Arian has not offended me." And then he turns his head slowly back to Caerwyn, "Yes, Sir Caerwyn, someone must play the fool, mustn't they? Fare thee well." And then he leans back in his chair, pressing his right palm over his eyes. "I'm sorry, Sir Arian, for driving away all of your company. I assure you it wasn't my intention."

The Laverstock Knight breathes out a sigh as the company that had gathered around her dissipates. She looks up to the lackluster Kamron, and her voice drops a bit as self-deprecation laces her words. "It is alright… I'm sure it was my doing more than yours." She leans back in her own chair, resting her cheek into her hand as she regards the weary-looking knight. She presses her lips together into a tight line. "You sure you won't have a bit of wine, Sir Kamron? You look as though you could use something warm. I can see to it that it is hot and spiced."

With that, Daveth inclines his head in farewell to the two, and hastens to accompany his liege. "Where shall I begin, my lord?" he asks. "I have been surveying the available land of late, and I have tabulated it for your convenience…" Ah, so he's not just a priest, but a cleric!

"This doesn't work, Sir Arian. We cannot both be sunk into the depths of despair." Kamron's words are dry, but still laced with a sour sort of humor. "Lore seemed to enjoy your company, however, Lady Arian." He considers the suggestion of wine, and then he reaches out and gathers up a cup, cradling it in both hands beneath his nose, "Did I really have dirt on my cheek? Not that I'm complaining of your removal of it, just surprised."

"I'm not in the depths of despair." Arian tilts her head slightly toward the Knight. Her smile lightens a touch at his observation of Lorengel. "I rather enjoyed his," she admits quietly. She then clears her throat, cradling her own cup. She looks sidelong at him then, and she offers a nod and a smile. "Yes… quite unusual for you." She takes in a breath, drawing her shoulders back a touch. "You seem a bit… melancholy." She taps lightly at her cup, looking down into what remains of her own wine before she pushes on a bit. "Is it a Lady?"

"Duly noted," Caerwyn says with a smile back at Kamron. He tips an imaginary hat in Arian's direction before putting a hand on the smaller priest's back, guiding him out the door. "What is it exactly that you need? Stone? Sheep? You mentioned that more merchants were likely to stop at a manor which has a church, yes? I see much of the little folk following this God, melding it with traditions more of the Old Way. This God of yours - where does he rank in hierarchy against Llew the Long Armed or the Morrigan? The Three Sisters?" He asks this clinically, as if the gods were racing horses one bet on - some had lame legs, others had a stronger spirit, and still others ran in a canter rather than a gallop.

Kamron shifts in his seat, his shoulders sinking just a little more as he looks sideways to Arian and responds, "Lore is a good man. Quick with his wit and an excellent singer and lute player." The question causes him to shake his head, although his words are not a response, "Is that the sort of man you like then, Arian? A troubadour?" There's no sourness in the question, but the weariness remains, "If that's so, you won't find a better man of that sort, although he is a Christian too." Eventually, he submits, and adds, "And yes… I am… discouraged. Shaken, perhaps."

Daveth is hit with the tough questions right out the gate, it seems! "The Lord my God is the creator of Heaven and Earth, my liege," he tells the long-striding knight, keeping pace with the taller man with a quickened step. "The Old Ways have their virtue, but none may give to humankind what our Lord grants - eternal life in the hereafter. My God is called the Lord of Hosts, and he is terrible in battle, yet merciful to those who cast away sin by His grace. The Old Gods have their world, and their time, yet the news of my God's new covenant with all people is too good to let lie. As far as practical concerns, however, we may arrange for the builders to be ready to begin construction of a chapel. The people must normally go to Winton for Mass, but I do believe a sense of pride would come from our Burcombe having a house of God all her own. More people would come. Not just merchants, but craftsmen."

Arian catches the casual way he says her name, without the courteous titles or flourishes. It catches her off-guard a bit, considering how formal the Knight has been up until now. "He could be the sort of man I would like, though I have only just met him." She cannot help the smirk that takes over her smile. "And I am not bothered by his Christianity. Oft it is a Christian who is bothered by my Paganism." Her shoulders shift uneasily, but then with a deep breath she draws herself up taller in her seat and turns her pale gaze fully to him once more. "Tell me about her… what has you discouraged, shaken?"

"Well, men and women who work with their hands — grand. So these craftsmen will require work stations within this church? It will be a place of work as well as this… what do you call it? Worship?" Caerwyn opens the door and allows Daveth to go first - courtesy towards a learned man, always! - before stepping out once more. "I need consult my sister about this. Does your God object to women who fights in battle, if he be so terrible in battle? Few have seen the likes of my sister, who is a hellion unto herself on the battlefield." Pausing at the door, he winks one of those emerald-glinting eyes of his at Arian, before disappearing out with the priest.

Kamron frowns at Arian's assumption, apparently not having noticed he dropped the honorific previously, "He, not she, actually, Sir Arian." He takes another draught of his wine, closing his eyes a moment before he presses his free hand to his chest, lighting his blue-gray gaze once more as he continues, "Me, in fact. My own jealousy and ambition have shamed me and caused me to do my Lord, Earl Robert, wrong. In thought certainly, if not necessarily in deed."

Daveth checked his temperate of 13, he rolled 1.

"In some cases, but manual labor is not the point, my liege," Daveth replies, keeping his voice as smooth as silk despite the rather grand scale of ignorance Caerwyn is still evidently carrying around. "We made parchment at Glastonbury Abbey, but for the internal workings of the abbey itself, not for sale to others. What I mean is, Burcombe shall gain a greater measure of regard in the wider area. It may be best to explain in detail at another time…"

Arian's confusion furrows her brow and she frowns. She listens dutifully, and only when he speaks of Earl Robert does some of this tale become more clear. "Sir Kamron, I'm certain that you could not have wrong the Earl as deeply as you say… and if it is in thought, then how is he to know that you wronged him?" She curls her hands around her cup, holding it steadily between her palms. "Tell me what has happened… let me help you." Her smile returns faintly. "As a friend…" Arian does notice the wink from the Burcombe as she glances Kamron's way, and she leans back slightly in her chair to give him a passing wave. 'Til we meet again, it seems.

Kamron sets down the cup, running the fingers of both hands back through his hair, further setting it askew. "Father Church teaches us that sin in thought is as dire as sin in fact." The words are murmured, and he lets out another sigh, turning his eyes to study her strong features, "Sir Acwel and I met with Earl Robert about the quest laid before us. Sir Acwel neatly obtained permission, but… I'm not certain what it was… something about being there to merely assist a younger knight of no greater reputation or ability than my own, it rankled me, and I behaved like a boor. I failed Earl Robert… and the worst part is, I don't know that he even noticed."

Arian's lip thins at the Knight's words on sin. Sin — something she could never really understand. She sets aside her own cup, turning to face him in her chair. The motion allows her focus to hone on the melancholic Knight, letting the rest of the common room to fall into her subconscious. She reaches out to his arm, which is not a far reach considering they are seated so close. Her fingers touch his wrist in a whispering pressure. "You are not a boor, Kamron… and if you behaved as such, then it was a moment where your true character did not come through." She brushes her fingers up to his forearm, and there her hand rests. "And, if all you say is true and not just your own perceptions of yourself, then this is an opportunity to prove yourself to Earl Robert. Is that not a worthy opportunity?"

Speaking of sin in thought. The touch at Kamron's wrist draws his eyes downward, and sends a jolt up his limb. It even draws a little hint of a smile to one corner of his mouth. "I am not usually a boor, Lady Arian. And perhaps it was not the best description. Perhaps… sullen… is more accurate, but thank you for your kind words." Letting out another breath, he reaches down to pat her hand lightly, then drop that hand back to his cup of wine, "Thank you indeed, although I think that most of the glory for this task, at least in Earl Robert's eyes, will reflect on our leader, Sir Acwel, who is himself a worthy knight, and who I am doing my very best not to bear any ill will toward."

The touch to her hand — specifically the patting — causes her to immediately withdraw, as if her comfort has been dismissed. Arian returns to her own cup, using it as a physical distraction as she listens to his words. "I'm paraphrasing my father, but… he would say that every leader requires a strong second." She offers him a slight smile, and there is even a soft hint of dimples at the corners of the curve of her lips. "If the glory falls to Acwel, then so be it… but if you are Acwel's second, and help the mission succeed, I am certain that you will be given glory for its success as well."

The quick withdrawal of Arian's hand from Kamron's arm causes him to frown again, looking down to the his cup of wine — or the disdained hand holding it. After a moment, he draws in another breath and releases it in a long sigh, "Perhaps you're right. And perhaps I'm too concerned with the possible rewards of such a quest. I do not consider myself a vain or proud man, Arian." This time the lack of title is… almost conscious. At least, he recognizes it, and although he glances down for a moment, and his ears begin to go red, he pushes onward, "Perhaps it was just that it did not seem fair to me that Sir Acwel proclaimed himself our leader simply because he heard the ghost before the rest of us knights. Especially when Cyndeyrn is of as noble birth as he, and was even the first to recognize we were speaking to a ghost."

Arian checked her lustful at 16, she rolled 10.

Arian cannot help herself. She laughs. It isn't cruel, but a soft and smoldering noise that is filled with humor and affection. She does not let herself be deterred nor demured, and her hand is immediately at his cheek to draw his gaze around to hers. Her hand does not slip away even as their eyes meet. "Do not take a quest for its rewards, Kamron… take it because it is the right thing to do." Unconsciously, her fingers brush carress his cheek and almost touch his red ear. "That is the Knight that I value more than the one who seeks glory, riches, and fame." Then her hand falls away, and she begins to turn back to her cup once more.

Kamron checked his chaste of 13, he rolled 12.

At some point, Kamron will get used to Arian's forward nature, but that point is definitely in the future. The flush touches his cheeks as well as his ears when her fingers touch them, but his face snaps around readily, blue gazes meeting squarely. He takes in an unconscious breath, his forward lean the next best thing to imperceptible. "I thought that's why I was doing it." His lips curl into a slow smile that is closer to his usual grin, "And the knight that you value is the knight that I usually am?"

"Usually," Arian says, and her dimples have returned as she regards the Dinton, forgetting her cup for a moment as he seems to have captured her attention once more. "I wish to see that Knight now, be in his company… I have missed him lately." The hand that had just been at his cheek is now brushing lightly against her own cheek, rubbing softly at the strong line of her jaw and apple of her cheek. Her gaze remains connected with his own.

There is something to her response, and the dimpling smile, that draws Kamron's smile wider. Letting out another slow breath, he straightens his shoulders, "I may not be quite the man you admire so," There's a teasing lilt to that word, for all the lingering hint of dullness in his voice and expression, "but I can be some slightly paler imitation of him, perhaps." His eyes flicker away from hers to where her fingers touch her cheek, then drop down to his cup as he takes it up and drains off another measure, "So what is it that your family and friends call you, Lady Arian?" He lifts his cup slightly before supplying, "I, for example, am often shortened to Kam." Yes, that was a short joke at his own expense. It's easy when you have a giant for a cousin.

Arian's smile widens a touch more at hsi teasing words, and she turns her gaze aside finally as he accepts being at least a close approximate to the Kamron she has grown to know over the last few eeks. She turns to her own cup, nudging it lightly between her fingers and palms. His question draw a slight arch of her brow, and she rolls her lip between her teeth thoughtfully before she answers. "Ary," she says softly, and the pronouncation is more like airy. "You may call me that if you wish… in the appropriate company." Of course.

There she goes with the lip again, and the gesture draws Kamron's attention once more, "I had been thinking of 'Ria,' but 'Ari' is quite beautiful as well." There's a moment, and then whoop, his blush starts to return, since his words could be taken as calling her beautiful. Odd, he doesn't usually blush when calling women beautiful, no matter where they might actually fall on his personal spectrum of beauty. Clearing his throat and taking another swallow of wine, he nods, "I haven't talked to anyone about your coming to Exeter with us yet, I'm sorry. I…" he grimaces and looks down into his cup once more, "…I was quite distracted for most of yesterday. I'll talk to my cousins before we go north. Once I have their agreement, the rest can hang themselves if they want to protest." The last could have been a threat, but instead it is tossed off with a little, crooked grin.

It is Arian's turn to blush, and she does quite readily with pink blooming at her cheeks. "I would not ignore you if you called me Ria, Sir Kam," she says, gently combining his honorific with his given diminutive. When he carefully changes the topic from names and their so-called beauty, she allows herself a moment to drink some of her own wine and hopefully wash away the blush. "Of course… whatever you decide." Then something he says reminds her, and she sets down her cup. "I should be going… there is still much to prepare before we head north tomorrow." She hesitates. "We will be leaving just after breakfast, if you wish to ride with us. If not…" She hesitates, but only for a moment. "There is a small copse of trees just west of the standing stones, just beyond the knolls… you could always meet me there once the bonfire dances have begun." With that, she starts to rise from her seat.

Kamron spreads his hands, "I will have to ride with someone…" and then she's rising, and he sets down his cup to stand as well, "Since I had been planning to leave Newt here to make sure my harness is in good condition for the trip." A touch of laughter alights on his lips, "Someone will have to show me the way, although I suppose that I could simply ride north and look for the big rocks." Nodding his head, he reaches out to take her hand, hesitating for the barest heartbeats before completing the gesture, and bow over it. "I'll be ready to travel then. Be well," again, there's the hint of a hesitation, and then he manages a quiet, "Ria."

Arian dimples softly at his thoughtful consideration of how he is to get to the standing stones. "We will wait for you then." Before she can step away however, he has her hand and it stops her almost instantly. She drops her chin and eyes when he bows over her hand and murmurs his farewell. The use of her diminutive draws a sudden flush at her cheeks. For the barest moment, her hand curls around his. And then she lets go. "Until tomorrow." She steps away then, heading to the door even while she gathers her cloak up around her.

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