(514-02-04) Late Hours
Summary: Arian and Lorengel have a late night conversation in the common room of the Boar's Beard.
Date: February 4, 514
Related: Drinks and Distractions and Ghostly Festivities
arian lorengel 

It is quite late in the hour, and the common room's activity has dissipated into a handful of patrons, including a drunk fast asleep next to what is left of his trencher. Arian has returned to the common room after she had seen to the last preparations for tomorrow's departure for the Henge. She cannot sleep, but that is not anything new on the evenings before Festival days. She still bubbles with excitement and anticipation. So, she sits quietly by the hearth, sipping at a cup of hot wine and watching the embers fade.

"You keep late hours, Sir Arian," comes Lorengel's voice quietly behind her. His boots are quiet as he comes up alongside, reaching for a poker to stir the coals to flame as he glances sidelong. "But you seem in good spirits," he adds with his own smile, adjusting his cloak around himself. "Might I join you?"

The familiar voice draws up her head, and she blinks up at the newly familiar face of Lorengel. She smiles softly, and offers a small gesture for him to join her. "Of course, Sir Lorengel…" She takes another slow sip of wine, and she shrugs slightly. "I got Sir Kamron squared away, so I feel as though the night has turned successful." She tilts her head. "And you should talk about late hours… you're awake as well."

Lorengel heaves a quiet little chuckle. "Fair enough," he muses, "Though we poets and bards are supposed to be up late into the evening." He chuckles. "It's a common defect of our character. How is sir Kamron? And what was amiss with him?" He eases onto the seat nearby, setting down his own cup to warm his hands before the flames.

"I've heard that… that music comes more easily to the bard at late hours, when there is less clutter in the world, because all of us musicless oafs are in bed." Arian dimples good-naturedly. Though, at his question of Sir Kamron, she releases a heavy exhale. "He made a fool of himself in front of Earl Robert… apparently had a less-than-favorable reaction to being seconded to a mission to Cornwall. I think what wore on him was how unlike his normal self the reaction was." She sips her wine. "But, I think he is feeling more like himself after some gentle encouragement… and wine." Her pale eyes sparkle with amusement.

His face lit orangey gold by the flames, Lorengel rubs his palms and flexes his fingers, wringing his hands in the heat emanating from the fire. "That's just what we tell everyone. In truth, it's to flirt and carouse when there are fewer eyes to spy," he murmurs sidelong in a playfully contrived tone of conspiracy. He peers over towards her, thoughtfully, though, as she answers, frowning for a moment, then snorting a little with a kind of rueful relief. "Ah, poor Kamron. But, of all the ailments, embarrassment is one of the more merciful. If a man could die from putting his foot in his mouth our kind would have perished long ago." He smiles sidelong towards her. "He's fortunate to have a sweetheart so adept at encouragement. I had no idea."

Arian laughs brightly at his confession. Her smile is in full bloom, and it even warms her eyes. "I'll keep that in mind… bards are just as mischieveous as any other." She takes another sip of wine, listening to his own thoughts of Kamron. The last comment and sidelong smile draw a sudden blush at her cheeks, and she shakes her head. "No… I'm not much of Kamron's sweetheart." She intakes a breath, curling her hands around her cup. "The Ladies at court have already observed… he's not much for genuine affairs of affection. I find him…" She rolls her lower lip between her teeth thoughtfully. "I find him intriguing, and perhaps I am affectionate toward him, but…" She waves off her hand. "Bards… you are far too easy to confess to. Like a Christian priest." She shakes her head, taking another swallow of wine.

Lorengel feigns a look of sober solemnity, giving a slow, ponderous nod. "Aye, that seems a fair assessment. Just as mischievous," he agrees, "But more devilishly and clever about the mischief we get up to." The last part is added with a sly wink and he laughs outright at her later observation; a pleasant unguarded sound that he catches himself and quiets, peering around to make sure he hasn't awakened anyone. "Oh, that is I, pious and mild," he chortles. Then he narrows his eyes. "Now you must confess all your gossip to me, vouchsafed by my trustworthiness." He shakes his head. "I like you, if I might say so, Arian. If Kamron isn't wooing you, he has far more to feel foolish about than the earl's court."

Arian warms at the easy flirtations from the bard, and she shakes her head. "I'm afraid I am the least ideal person when it comes to offering gossip. I'm not terribly grounded in the maiden circles, though I will share what little I do know." She takes another swallow, which allows her a moment to think about the bard's words. Her smile softens a touch, though there is a hint of dryness in her next words. "I think it is my Faith, Sir Lorengel. You are a good Christian… certainly you would find my Pagan ways uncomfortable and queer. If I was a good Christian girl, I'm certain Sir Kamron would be far more interested in… wooing, as you say."

Lorengel hefts his shoulders in a mild gesture. "It's an issue," he concedes with a sigh, "But not an uncommon one. Most of the local folk change the faith they name based on the company they keep or which shire they're peddling in at the moment. And neither Kamron nor I are elders or heirs, that have much in the way of family expectation to be concerned about. His cousin Cyndeyrn; there might be a different story."

"Well, his cousin Cynderyn only tolerates me as long as he thinks I am both a man and Christian." Arian at least sounds humored by that fact. Then she shakes her head slightly, looking into the flames once more. Then her shoulders rise and fall in a vague shrug. "The one thing that we can all agree on is the matters of fate, I suppose. If the Gods will it, then I suppose Kamron will get past his discomfort and consider the feasibility of affections." She offers him a soft smile. "But thank you, Sir Lorengel… for the compliments and admonishment of the foolish. Few have done that… almost none, actually. I have never found myself to be… a desired match. A Knight, a Pagan, and far too many fair cousins around." Her self-deprecation is at least well-humored.

The apparent gender confusion on Cy's part does win a quizzical twist of Lorengel's brows for a second or two, before, with another shrug, he hefts both with a shake of his head to press ahead. "I think you fret without need, M'lady. You're likely simply too modest to notice your admirers. In fact, were my heart not set on wooing another, I'd have to tilt Kamron to win your eye, myself," he muses with a crooked smile.

Arian pinks one more at his compliment, and she shakes her head slightly. "Well, maybe you can tilt him anyway… he probably could use a good unhorsing." Her smile remains light and easy now, and she releases a heavy breath that relaxes her shoulders. "Who is she then?" She tilts her head, offering a small smile toward the bard. "Your desired lady." Her nose wrinkles slightly as her smile broadens. "Perhaps I know her… I could help."

With a laugh, he modestly admits, "Actually the sword is my better weapon. I'm decent in the saddle, but my form and technique need some work." Arching a brow, Lorengel pauses to cast a glance about them, ensuring himself of their privacy and that all ears are either somnolent or distant enough for him to continue. "I suppose it's only fair," he sighs, his deep timbered tone a touch quieter, now, "Since you took me into your confidence I should do the same." The look on his face turns a bit abashed, and maybe, for the first time, his cheek might color just subtly, as hers has frequently done. "When we were squires, I was visiting Kamron's family. Being young lads with more energy than patience, we found our way to the practice list. I had a tumble from the saddle. I kid Kamron that it was more due to my own foolishness than any particular skill on his part." He flashes a playful grin. "However I was knocked out cold, apparently hit my head on a rock. When I awoke, there she was; Lysanor, Kamron's cousin. She looked like an angel, dabbing my fevered brow with a cool cloth, and smile down at me all gentle and kind. I couldn't keep her out of my thoughts after that. And I swore that after I was knighted, I'd woo her properly." He smiles wryly. "I should probably mention that part to her, though."

Arian listens with the dutiful ear of a friend. She rests her cheek in her hand, elbow perched on her knee, and one brow starts to arch at his description of how this wonderful love has unfolded. She brightens when she realizes who the man is speaking of, and she starts to smile fully with teeth and dimples. "Lady Lysanor is quite a wonderful match, Sir Lorengel. I have spent some time with her… a proper lady, and yes, exceptionally fair and beautiful." She offers a light laugh. "And yes, letting the Lady know of your interests would be most wise… we are not mind-readers, no matter how much you men think we do." Her nose wrinkles again good-naturedly. Then she pauses, leaning back a bit. "Lady Lysanor is headed to Cornwall with her brother and cousin soon… perhaps you could see if you could join them. Sir Acwel certainly wouldn't turn you down with Sir Kamron's endorsement."

"When you came in earlier, that song I was singing, about the knight and the sunset and the red haired damsel? I composed that for her. But I haven't sung it for her, yet, of course," explains Lorengel. He draws in a deep breath, squinting. "Are you sure you're not mind readers? I'm not sure if that would make everything easier or more difficult." But his brows do knit, then, his disposition sobering somewhat. "To Cornwall? What business have they in Cornwall?"

"It is good to practice a song before you present it to the intended listener," the Laverstock agrees with a wry smile. Then she shakes her head. "No, Sir… not mind-readers. Unless we've been blessed by Fae." Then at his sobering question, she cannot help but remain amused. "Business with a ghost," Arian says mysteriously. She continues with a slight flourish. "At the Presentation… ah, no. The Deliverance? Your recent feast… apparently a ghost arrived and asked that his hostage son finally be retrieved from his captors in Cornwall. With Earl Robert's blessing, several knights and ladies are headed as ambassadors to see to his release and return home."

All in all, given the givens, Lorengel takes in all this information with perhaps more aplomb than most men might, though, of course, he does arch a brow. "Well, that's perfect!" he announces. "A hostage, a perilous journey, heroic deeds to be done, and Lysanor will be right there to see!" he breathes enthusiastically. "I shall have to speak them. Surely they'll be able to at least use another sword arm, and I'm quite experienced as a herald and diplomat as well. Yeeees," he croons, rubbing scratchily in his fringe beard. He abruptly peers at her. "You're a very clever lady, has anyone ever told you this, Sir Arian?"

Arian arches her brows high, and her smile breaks one more into its fullness. "I'm glad you approve," she says with a laugh. At his compliment, she waves him off a scoff. "No, I was merely brought up around five brothers, Sir Lorengel. I have sat in on too much plotting on how to woo a maiden to not have picked up on what is a good idea and what is a terrible idea." She wrinkles her nose before she sets aside her empty cup. "But, I suppose I could also be a bit clever." And the corner of her smile quirks with mischief.

Again, she wins a pleasant, easy laugh from Lorengel with her later admission. "Ahh, Sir Arian, I wish I had a sister like you. So why would you not be going, then? A chance to impress the earl with your prowess? I should have thought you'd be as eager as I." He smirks playfully then, and leans to murmur in a more hushed tone, "Or were you afraid of risking showing up Kamron?"

"Ah…" Arian sobers a bit at his question, and she reaches up to gently touch the side of her neck in a bashful gesture. His final comment though does draw another cheered laugh from her, and she shakes her head. "No… I'm Pagan, Sir Lorengel… a quest given by a ghost during a Christian feast… I might be quite bad fortune on such a mission." She offers a wry smile. "Though, Kamron plans to speak to his cousins to see if I might be welcomed."

Lorengel frowns mildly with a sigh and a rueful shake of his head. "Well, I cannot speak for anyone else, but for my own part, I would always be honored to travel with you, Sir Arian. There's no knight Christian or Pagan I'd sooner have by my side in battle," he informs her with a bow. "And as a matter of fact, you're far more pleasant company than most," he adds with his playfully crooked smirk at the end.

Arian smiles gently at his frown. She reaches to gently rest her hand on his, offering a gentle comfort. "Thank you, Sir Lorengel… I'm certain that if I am invited to go, I will do my best to see we succeed. If I'm not, well, then there is plenty to do around Sarum without a trip to Cornwall. I will not be bored, that is for certain…" Always looking on the bright side, it seems. Now she turns to other topics. "So, how exactly did you decide to become a bard and a knight?"

Lorengel accepts her reassurance with a reluctant mirror of her smile, though clearly the matter nags at him. "It's a matter of principle, Sir Arian. I'm a Christian, aye, like our earl and our king. But I'm foremost a knight, as are you in their service, as well. It's not for me or any but them to question the prowess and valor you display on any other grounds." But having spoken his peace on it, he moves past the matter. "Actually, I was being trained to be a minstrel and courtier, first. I come from a poorer branch of the Berwick clan, and a younger son at that. But since I was a child I wished to be knight. Some of the warriors of the family, despite my being Christian," he adds, a touch ironically, "Gave me the chance to prove myself as a page and then a squire. I think my having a bit of a way with words had something to do with it, and the likelihood of my composing more ballads of their valor, should they see me knighted," he grins.

"That is why you must get along so well with Kamron," Arian says with a small smile. "I know he came from similar… restrictions." She shakes her head slightly. "So, you started out as a minstrel and courier, but ended up a knight." She tilts her head slightly. "I suppose we are all actually from similar roots… my father despised my desire to become a knight, and I already had five brothers on the route to knighthood. My armor is all hand-me-downs… my armor now is my brother Lainn's old squire armor, adjusted a bit, of course. The only thing my father invested in was my horse… a gift for my knighthood." She offers a wry smile. "We all have a bit to prove."

Lorengel chuckles warmly at the mention of Kamron, the thought alone inspiring him to a deep drink from his almost forgotten cup. "I think he and I get along so well because we were being miscreants together before we were old enough to know better." But he chuckles. "That might have sounded more harsh than I meant it. Sometimes I resort to too much humor. The Berwicks have always been kind and generous to me, especially given my humbler roots, and like you, I love my family and seek to honor them, to repay their faith in me. I suppose that's our lot, as knights. But I assure you, whatever deeds we go onto, I'm not among those you need feel you prove yourself to." He smirks, some earlier mischief reemerging in his gaze. "Though we should fight, sometime. Most of the people who try to beat me senseless are far less lovely and charming, it will be a fun change of pace."

The Laverstock arches her brows. "Miscreants… now, that is information I require to know Kamron better." She offers the knight a blossoming smile that includes dimples. She then smiles warmly at the knightly bard, offering a slight tilt of her head. "You are a good man, Sir Lorengel… and a fine knight. I'm sure you will repay them without much effort." She idly turns the cup around in her hands. When he mentions a possible spar, she laughs. "I will happily oblige, Sir Lorengel… though I'm afraid I'm a bit of a lug in that tired old armor of mine. I will try to maintain a colorful conversation while we cross blades, though." She sets her empty cup aside now, starting to stand from her warmed seat. "But, I should retire… we depart in just a matter of hours for Stonehenge." She gestures. "Festival of Candles."

Lorengel follows suit, rising courteously to offer the lady farewell. "I shall look forward to it. And to telling you all the sorded details of our youth. Don't worry, I'm very good at colorful embellishments of the boring parts." He winks and bows to the lady, his smile warm. "You'll no doubt see many of my kin at the festival. I have to admit, I half wish I could attend. But for the time being, God give you gentle eve, my lady, and my thinks for your company."

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