(514-03-19) Springtime Betrothal
Summary: … is what two young heads of manors are… plotting? Anyway, seems like Bryce and Rowan come swiftly to an agreement, regarding a betrothal between their cousins Sir Malcolm de Wylye and Lady Syndra de Baverstock.
Date: March 19th, 123
Related: Next chapter in this story: Better Than We First Thought.
rowan bryce 


Spring has blissfully arrived in Wylye, a picturesque village nestled within a valley near the shore of the Wylye river. The dreariness of the cold winter season had finally lifted and the spirits of the people were noticeably lighter as they went on with their business, no longer trapped by the embrace of the cold.

On his impromptu arrival, Sir Bryce was ushered into the Wylye Manor hall with due haste, but initially the lord of the manor is nowhere to be found. The Wylye brothers had planned to celebrate the arrival of the new season by sailing the champagne clear water on their skiff, but word from a messenger forces the eldest to withdraw and return to the manor well before sundown. A disappointment, perhaps, but with this unexpected news came curiosity; Rowan rarely had guests, let alone important ones!

Sir Rowan arrives in the hall, looking a mite more disheveled than he would have liked, but eager to learn what this was about. He was clad in a long gray tunic, boots, and trousers used to wear and tear.

Sir Bryce has already settled somewhat in when the Lord of the manor enters the hall, his own cloak deposited over the back of a chair while he sits on another, a young man of angular features, dark hair that frames a pensive face with dark eyes that lighten up in the moment Sir Rowan arrives. The Baverstock knight rises, and now it becomes apparent he is a rather short fellow, lanky but not without a certain nimbleness in his movements. Despite the chainmail he wears beneath the tabard of red and black, that sports the coat of arms of his family, the yellow bear of Baverstock. “Sir Rowan de Wylye, I presume?”, comes the greeting, along with a hint of a bow, enough to acknowledge the other knight’s presence with the required respect. “I am Bryce of Baverstock.” A pause, as his dark eyes flicker, perhaps a hint of uncertainty there on how to proceed. “I come here on business pertaining to our families, Sir. I am glad you could be available,” Bryce says then, with a faint smile, but even so, it is clear he is not used to paying such official visits, judging from the slightly nervous twitch of a brow.

They were both new to this game! His brown eyes alight on the other lord as he greets Rowan, clearly showing his curiosity towards the purpose behind Bryce's presence, and he dips his head respectfully to the other man. "So I've been informed, Sir Bryce. It is no bother; it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance." He moves to seat himself in a chair facing the hearth, and gestures for Bryce to take the accompanying chair. He was at ease, mostly because it was Bryce coming to him. "What business do you intend to discuss with me?" Then, a brief pause, as Rowan remembers Bryce had just travelled some ways. "Are you thirsty?"

Success
Bryce checked his Honest at 16, he rolled 9.

“The pleasure is all mine,” comes the reply from Bryce, his manner all polite, even so he seems to relax a little when Rowan addresses him. “It is business I am admittedly not very versed in,” he concedes as he takes the indicated seat beside Rowan, the chainmail giving low clinking noises as he does, yet the Baverstock does not seem to feel uncomfortable in his armor. “My father died… more than ten years ago. I was fortunate enough that my uncle Lorcan has seen to most duties that come with running a manor, until last year.” A ghost of a smile appears on Bryce’s features at Rowan’s next inquiry and he nods. “Some ale would be nice.” Accepting the hospitality and appreciating it.

“In fact, it is my uncle who sends me… No, asked me to approach you.”, Bryce de Baverstock continues after a moment. “He has a daughter. Lady Syndra. And he wishes her to be settled in marriage.”

His gaze flickers upward to regard a rotund servant who happened to be passing through the nearby doorway. "Marke! Bring us ale, if you would?" Marke abruptly stops, startled, but nods back and hurries towards the kitchen. Rowan's attention returns to Bryce, now reclining in his seat. The familiar noise of armor clinking was noted, and found strange in such a setting, but just as quickly disregarded.

"We both are trying to do our fathers proud, then," he retorts. "Though I have not been without mine for as long. We do have an abundance of sons… who does your uncle have in mind, for his daughter?" He inclines his head thoughtfully towards Bryce, clearly open to the suggestion, but also unsure of what to anticipate.

Marke returns, a tankard of ale in each hand, which are set upon an end table within reach. He bows politely to them both before he takes his leave, returning to his previous duties.

Dark eyes lift and regard Marke when the lord of the manor addresses the man, Bryce giving the servant a brief assessing glance, before his attention returns to Rowan. The martial attire of the Baverstock being actually more the consequence of the official nature of his visit, as well as the ride that would take him through the woods – and only a fool would brave such a distance unprotected. The sword of the knight, however leans casually where the cloak has been deposited, as to avoid misunderstandings.

“Indeed we are,” Bryce agrees with Rowan, one corner of his mouth lifting. “And I believe we shall grow with our tasks to make them proud,” he continues after a moment, reclining in his seat as well now, as he studies the Wylye attentively. “My uncle was thinking perhaps of a cousin…” No, they were not as bold as to assume they could offer a mere cousin to Bryce as option for a match to the Lord of Wylye Manor himself. “Your family has a good reputation… You are known to follow the right faith, as we are. But so far our families haven’t been linked in any manner. I’d very much like to change that.”

The tankard of ale is accepted with a grateful incline of his head, and the ghost of a smile, aimed towards Marke.

The Wylye's posture and expression mirrored the Baverstock's, save for his fingers curling on the armrest of his chair as he becomes momentarily lost in thought. His own tankard is left alone, for now. His brown eyes soften when it appears he's found an answer to the question rolling about in his head. "An alliance between our houses would be excellent. I do have one cousin who may within age and worth Lady Syndra's hand."

He leans forward slightly. "Sir Malcolm is my first cousin, born before me, and fostered by my father when his died on the battlefield. In a sense, he was just as much of a son to him as I was, even if the law may not see it as such. He has also expressed an interest in helping our House more than he has in recent years." Rowan had no idea what that meant in actuality - Malcolm had always proven himself useful in his eyes - but perhaps this was a good opportunity to 'use' him more. "I could have him travel to your manor to meet Lady Syndra and get better acquainted, if desired, so it may go more smoothly."

Bryce is not really the outgoing sort of person, rather the kind that prefers to observe and act cautiously before actually allowing more of his sentiments to show. The purpose of his visit being of such official sort has clearly kept him from feeling too much at ease; and perhaps there had been a faint uncertainty, the fear to blunder. Which might explain the flicker of relief in his hazel eyes, when Sir Rowan de Wylye seems to be agreeable to the plan of an alliance, and even bringing forth a suggested match for his cousin.

“Lady Syndra is two and twenty,” Bryce elaborates, “a woman of fair beauty; even if I do have to admit I haven’t seen much of her lately. I am sure, your cousin will find her to be comely enough. Also… being the daughter of my uncle who has run the manor for many years, she may have picked up some knowledge that may serve him, and mayhaps even you.” A nod then, to Rowan’s suggestion, of sending Malcolm to visit Baverstock. “That would be a good idea.” His lips twitch into a vague smile. “Lady Syndra and Sir Malcolm. Let us drink to their future.”, he says, raising his tankard. “And to ours, as allies.”

Bryce is rewarded with a faint grin. "He could use an astute wife. It should be done." He reaches for his tankard. "Sir Malcolm and Lady Syndra shall be wed, then, and our houses united. Details can be arranged after they're properly acquainted." He lifts the tankard, which clinks soundly against the other's. A toast well done. "To us, and our future prosperity."

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