(514-02-16) - The Embassy to Lonazep
Summary: The Knights of Salisbury, under command of Sir Aeron have finally reached Lonazep, only to find the count is not there. After two days, they decide to go out into the county to track down the count and deliver their message!
Date: 514-02-16
Related: http://knightlytales.wikidot.com/log:514-02-01-bovine-compliance , http://knightlytales.wikidot.com/log:514-02-14-the-saxon-menace
aeron catryn gideon ewin rose 

It has been a few days in Lonazep, with the only word from the Seneschal being that the Count is out with some of his men, dealing with the problem Saxons. No doubt, the stay has been a comfortable one for the knights of Salisbury, but time is wearing on for the knights to finish their mission and return to Salisbury, something that can't happen until they have received the return message from the Count.

"As I see it." Aeron says to the others, sitting in a study with them, "We can go out and try to find the Count." He says, "Perhaps hunt for a few Saxons ourselves, or wait here for the Count to return." He explains, "I'm eager to have your council on how we should proceed."
As Aeron is talking to the Knights, the Lady Rose takes the moment to settle herself into the window seat of the study, spreading her travel skirt with a soft rustle. It's clear she is listening to the conversation though as her head is tilted to the side to better hear what they might decide.
Catryn is already pacing like a caged animal and upon hearing the words, she jumps on that wagon. "Yes," she answers in a clipped tone. "We should go hunt the Saxons." Realizing her miswording, she smirks, "We should hunt the Count. Kill the Saxons."
Over the past few days in Lonazep, Ewin has kept himself busy by attending the meetings called by Sir Aeron, exploring the parts of the COunt's manor that he's allowed to, talking with the Count's men-at-arms about the Saxon problem. And making shy conversation with Lady Rose. But here, Ewin is focused on the task at hand. "I think it might be best to seek out the Count and his entorage," Ewin opines. "In addition to hastening our mission, the Count may be in trouble with the Saxon raiders."
Gideon is the sort of knight no one sees but somehow is always there. Although bandaged by Rose he has mostly been resting to recover from his rather vicious encounter with the Saxon. He has been keeping track of whom is important in Lonazep, which servants have the loosest lips, the gossip of the moment which may be useful should any returns to Lonazep be justified. "Either word would be appropriate." He points out towards Catryn, though the glance he gives is rather withering. "And your bloodthirst is easy to possess when you have not actually taken a spear." His shoulder rolling back as he winces in pain. "My survival instinct says we stay. I am uncertain how much use I would be in a fight in my current condition." He says on the subject of a possible plan of action. "If you wish to court the favor of Michael, I shall not stop you."

Aeron hmns faintly and nods his head as he looks across the others, "So, it sounds like you're all in agreement that we should go out and find the Count then." He says, "If we should find Saxons on the way, of course, it would be only expected of us to dispatch them." He agrees, "This is the course of action I favor as well." He adds, "So, with that settled, has anyone heard where the Count may be at, most recently?"

Green eyes flicker towards Gideon and while there is a distinct lack of sympathy, there is only the mildest touch of concern. "I favor action, though the question then would be, does the wounded one feel up to it?" Brows arch and Catryn looks between Aeron and Gideon, expecting an objection, "So perhaps he would prefer to stay here in the safety of the room while we go out?"

When Aeron asks the question of rumors where the count might be, Ewin shakes his head. "I am afraid not, Sir Aeron. I spoke with the men of the manor mostly on the subject of the severity of the Saxon raids. It has been hard upon the manor." Catryn's words towards Gideon elicits a frown from the young knight. "Sir Catryn, Sir Gideon acquited himself as befits a knight agains the raiders we encountered. His wounds were suffered honorably and were harsh, indeed. It is a credit to the skills of the Lady Rose that Sir Gideon is not injured more gravely. No one would, nor should they, cast aspersions upon Sir Gideon for wanting to heal more before facing an opponent again."

A soft voice comes from the window. "Maybe there is another path? One can hunt for the Count without trying to find the Saxon's; there is little doubt that one of the servants would know just where he is. They keep track of their own and many a common man has gone out from what the rumors have said.." Rose offers as she glances towards the Knights.

Gideon shrugs and meets Catryn's gaze placidly, rather than rise to the bait. "More is my envy that my household is not so prodigeously blessed as your own that I may gamble so freely." Rose's suggestion elicits a grunt and a nod. "I know a fair bit of woodcraft, so hopefully we can quickly cut through the terrain. We are messengers, not a battalion in force. There is no shame in realizing the limitations of our capacity and our mandate. If we stop to kill every Saxon and brigand in the road we will be no closer to accomplishing our actual mission." Ewin's defense is barely acknowledged, though there is a cursory glance to convey approval at the intent, if not the verbosity of the comment. He leans back, spear held as a kind of walking stick and something to put his weight upon while he heals.

"If you feel your injuries would keep hinder you, Sir Gideon, there is no shame in remaining behind in Lonazep until you've recovered." Aeron says with a slight nod of his head at the statements. He casts a glance towards where Rose sits and nods his head slightly towards the woman, "I assume someone has a thought on where the Count is. Why don't we plan to leave after our mid-day meal."

Since she had ceased her pacing, Catryn laces her fingers together to keep them from fidgeting with her energy being tamped down rather ineffectively. Transferring her gaze to Ewin, it lands squarely on her features, something akin to a mild curiosity there but sorely overshadowed by the mocking smirk that curves her lips. "Have I questioned his honor? Indeed, have I questioned even his fortitude? You would do best to hold your tongue and unleash it at someone who would appreciate the gesture." Her tone stops just short of scathing. The concern from before when she looked at Gideon has been masked now, rather effectively and no further words are offered to him.

"Dear Cousin, I am sure all are worried in there own way.." Rose says as she comes over to Catryn and gives her a soft smile, "But as Sir Aeron has said, why don't we find what we can of the location and then break for the midday meal. This should give all time to gather the horses and we will see if we will more in mass or if two directions might be needed.." She keeps her voice even and calm as she nods towards Aeron's first words.

"That sounds prudent," Ewin agrees with Rose, giving the Lady a slight smile as he glances over at her. "Our squires can prepare the horses while we talk more with the Count's household on his whereabouts." If Catryn's scathing response ruffles him, he doesn't show it.

Gideon listens, and slips up to his feet. "Indeed. Perhaps a repast will prevent misunderstanding and clarify our efforts." He says, his gaze sweeping about as he slips to his feet, still leaning on the spear occasionally but moving far more under his own power. The interplay between Ewin and Rose is not unnoticed, but he dismisses it with a slight chuckle. "So…whom did you wish to question first?"

Aeron nods his head, "We'll meet at the stables after our afternoon meal, I'll see you all then." he says, "I'm going to go and make sure I have everything ready to travel. If all goes well, we may not be returning to Lonazep." He adds, then excuses himself off to do his thing!
As always, Rose immediately draws her attention and Catryn's shoulders relax ever so slightly and she releases her hands to allow them to hang loosely at her side. The barest of nods is given her, acquiescing to the wisdom of her words. "Perhaps even he will show during the midday meal and the need to go seeking him out will be a moot point." There is not hope of this if her expression is any indication, but it is suggested all the same. "I am going to go see what I can find out."

Gideon folds his hands, his eyes half closed. "Most of the birds around here seem to be chattering in a thousand different directions." This entire trip has been one gigantic assurance of his confidence in his competence. Rose's commentary gets a smirk. "When have things ever been that easy?" He asks, an eyebrow arched though it is not necessarily unkind, more at the cosmic nature of such things than disproval.

There is a half smiles aimed at Gideon, "Never, but that does not mean we can't express our desire and hope for the best.." Rose offers as she touches her cousins shoulder before she moves to make her way out."I will see what can be found, maybe a direction and a rumor of the last raids whereabouts.." She dips her chin towards the Knights as she moves out into the hall..

Catryn watches Rose go with a considering look, curiosity bringing an arch to her brows as she glances back at Gideon, "I'll be back." The pronouncement is made to no one in particular, to everyone? And she follows suit, slipping out of the room to go find out what she can.

It isn't long later, in the grand scheme of things, when the Knights reconvene, having had their meal they now are out at the stables, mounted up and heading out of the gate into the countryside beyond, "So, what leads do we have?" Aeron asks, looking to the various companions of his on the grand trip.

Ewin pats the neck of his horse, giving the beast a bit of comfort and affection. When Sir Aeron asks for more information, Ewin sighs and shakes his head. "Sadly, it seems that the Saxons are spread too much this far north to identify an area where they might be attacking from. I'm afriad my questioning yeilded no results."

Gideon is still noticeably vexed that his hosts did not fulfill his fervent wish to boil the obnoxious four legged bag of fleas and ill temper he sits atop. Whatever equestrian grace Ewin possesses Gideon has long since decided it is not in the cards for him. There is still a fair bit of pain, but he's functional for the moment. "May need to revise whom is a valuable source in this castle. I've gotten a thousand different answers. Still, maybe once we're out in the open I can at least make sure we catch the trail quickly."

The lady is the last to arrive, dressed in a long cloak that does well to hide the spilt in her riding dress, something most Lady's don't wear, but works well for battlefield medics as it were. She brings her gelding up to the group of Knights and dips her chin in greeting. "I sadly do not know this County well, but he headed along the eastern edges and is traveling from manor to manor. I would doubt if he stayed more than 1 night at each Manor, so this might give us an idea of where to start.." Her voice carries to the group as she settles a little more in the staddle.

Her own mount is being conspicuously good at the moment so much that Catryn gives it a calculating look, "The beast looks in a good mood," she mutters to herself. Holding the reins loosely, her squire in tow on a horse behind her, she glances over at Gideon, raking her eyes over his form in the most impersonal manner possible, perhaps looking for weaknesses. A nod is given to her cousin. "I have heard much the same. I wonder if one group should start more northern and one a little more southern and meet up in the middle? Or are we all determined to stick together?"

"Best to stick together, I think." Aeron says after a moment's thought after hearing the various reports on people's findings. He gives them a slight nod of his head, "To the east then, we can inquire at the manors, and perhaps Sir Gideon might find sign of his progression as well."

That decided, the group sets off down the way to the east. The first few Manor's the group comes across haven't been visited by the Count's progression. However, on their way to the next Manor, Gideon's expert eye would come across signs of a larger group having passed through, relatively recently, headed in a generally northerly direction.

That decided, the group sets off down the way to the east. The first few Manor's the group comes across haven't been visited by the Count's progression. However, on their way to the next Manor, Gideon's expert eye would come across signs of a larger group having passed through, relatively recently, headed in a generally northerly direction.

Just behind him and to the right, Catryn tugs up on the reins to stop also. There's a glance all around their immediate area before she resigns herself to looking ahead for whatever it is Gideon had seen. Her glove covered hands tighten momentarily with unease. "Further north. No, I don't like it at all." She takes another look around. "Well we can ride hard until we catch up to the group, I'm not going back before completing the task set to us."

As the company rides along, Ewin sticks near Rose. Just incase there's a Saxon ambush, of course. He keeps his eyes peeled to the path that Gideon leads them down, frowning along with the other knights. He nods in agreement with both Gideon and Catryn in their assessment. "While I agree we need to get to the Count and his men, we also need to move with caution as we go further north, lest we find some Saxons circled around behind us."

Heading north, and a good day and a half later, the group of Salisbury knights finally meets up with the Count of Lonazep and his band of knights and armsmen. It's a day later that the Count actually recieves the message delivered, and two more after that he finally has a response for them to take back to the Earl in Sarum. With that done, the long trip back to Salisbury can commence, the long trip through the winter muck and rain and nastiness goes rather unventful, with nights spent under the hospitality of other knights, and the occasional inn or other accomodations.

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