(514-03-30) Bring the Boy Home?
Summary: The group arrives at Stoke Canon near Exeter, meets with Sir Brannok
Date: 514-03-30
Related: Ghost and Picts near Exeter
acwel seren kamron cyndeyrn lysanor edwyn 

The land is flat here, not unlike Salisbury Plain and yet, that scrub typical to chapparrel regions. The coast is closer here, one could almost catch scent of the sea around Cornwall. Certainly in riding, the occasional seafearing bird seems to wander acorss the horizon of the sky. Stoke Canon itself is a stone manor, thatched roof. Several smaller buildings for the manor and a nearby collection of homes for the common families that gather around the manors. There is no church to be scene here, pagan in their roots. One could easily see the signs, one of the faith at least, standing stones in a field, tell tale posts of branches. Spring is being prepared for here. From whatever distance the group stops at, they can see the village going bout its regular business. Fields being torn up and sewn, ready for planting, cattle being moved where they need to go. Smoke from some chimneys rises up quitly into the sky as white clouds drift from the sea to the west, off to the Saxon shores distant to the east.

A spring rain a few days past, following the find of the pict raiders worming their way through the southlands, has left the ground slightly damp but its drying today. A few puddles along the way for hooves to trod and splash, leaving chores for squires to dig rocks out come this evening. Otherwise travel is pleasant. After a small rise, the sought after location comes into view, Stoke Canon. Checking with those as they travelled, following the tales and signs, this is by all rights the location.

Awareness and Heraldry checked at onset:
Seren checked her awareness of 8, she rolled 7.
Critical Fail!
Seren checked her heraldry of 5, she rolled 20.
Cyndeyrn checked his heraldry of 8, he rolled 11.
Edwyn checked his awareness of 5, he rolled 13.
Critical Success!
Cyndeyrn checked his awareness of 8, he rolled 8.
Edwyn checked his heraldry of 5, he rolled 11.
Acwel checked his awareness of 10, he rolled 19.
Acwel checked his heraldry of 3, he rolled 11.

Unfortunately, Acwel is none the wiser about where they might be, as such, he simply continues riding, though at a slower pace as he looks to the others. After all, they might have a better idea of where they are. He simply doesn't, and he cannot recognize the place at all. Good thing he brought so many capable knights and ladies with him.

The pict encounter has changed the tone of the ride considerably for Cyndeyrn. While it was long and somewhat tiring before, he now spends every waking moment in at least some state of alert. The women he has insisted take a defensible position in the midst of their train of riders, and when they camp along the way it is with well-ordered watches. Even now in the more or less 'pleasant' stretch of land they are covering, he is wary, sitting high in the saddle and scanning about them as they go. This does seem to have some benefit, at least, for even if he does not spot raiders, he will call back, turning to Acwel, "I see some young man ahead, with a shock of red hair as described."

Awarness by Stoke Canon lot to spot distant Knights: SirKay rolls 1d20 and gets (4) for a total of: (4)
Heraldry check by Stoke Canon lot to see if they are knowng: SirKay rolls 1d20 and gets (8) for a total of: (8) (Critical, the squire of someone at the Somerset Liberation is recognized by someone in the group)

Stoke Canon was in sight. Seren sits straighter in the saddle as relief rushes through her. With a brief look around, she tries to gauge the mood of the others. Even with the manor in sight did not mean there was something good going to come of it. The raiders from before had taught her that. Despite being in the middle of the train of riders, she keeps a vigilant watch on the road ahead. "I see him too," she supports the words of Cyndeyrn.

Edwyn rides along watching his surroundings. Unfortunately he has yet to figure out where they might be. He sees the area but does not recognize it in the slightest. He keeps his eyes open watching for any dangers that might be present, staying silent with a thoughtful expression. Surely someone knows where they are going?

Round about the time the distant knights approaching make note of Stoke Canon, or what they presume is Stoke Canon, one of the folks gathered make note of the approach. Word of course taken to the manor, there is a stir of activity. Such that there is a party mustered to greet the approaching group. The fiery haired man of course, thick of jaw. Given 20 years, one could see Sir Ifron in the boy if he was indulgent like his father. Anther is a grizzled older man, dark of hair but snow started to crest the darkness. Green eyes though, deep green eyes. He has a shield and an axe in hand. The boy a shield and a sword. Another man of age bearing arms as well. Only the shields and arms, given the time they have to prepare. Something in spotting and seeing them caused the change to arms, one could note from the viewing distance. The group sees the lad who they may have came for, and the residents of the manor have seen them. They do not advance or make pressure, but there is suspicion at least.

"Alright, we head there, then," Acwel makes the calls, perhaps quite a bit more quiet than before. "Stoke Cannon, Sir Edwyn," he comments to the Burcombe knight, "where we are supposed to go, in the first place, or at least, where the noble spirit supposed that his son would be." Having explained this, he nods once to Seren and Cyndeyrn for their keen observation, and the scenery that unfolds is something he watches studiously. "We must deal with this carefully."

Kamron checked his heraldry of 5, he rolled 14.
Lysanor checked her awareness of 9, she rolled 5.

Oh look, another axe-wielder. Sir Kamron de Dinton has his at his hip, however, with a leather cover over the axehead. His shield is slung across his back as well, to limit the threat of his appearance while still keeping himself a little safe after the run-in with the Picts earlier. He rides up from where he and Arian were guarding the trail of the group, slowing his horse's pace as he rejoins the fore of the group. He raises up his right hand to his brow, to show that it is empty and he is wearing no helmet. Just polite courtesy, after all, but he'll allow the leader of their little group to take the lead.

Lysanor checked her heraldry of 3, she rolled 18.

Cyndeyrn gives a small nod back at Acwel, and now turns back to the women to suggest, since the 'danger' of the situation has moved from the lands all around them to the suspicious men ahead: "Sister, Lady Seren, we will all approach, as our intentions are just… but be cautious not to get out ahead of us in case things should go poorly. If there is trouble, ride clear of it, with the squires." When that is said, he will pull on his reins to guide his horse forward to and meet the men with the others.

The long journey was proving to be a weary one, especially with their encounter the day or so before, but once they arrive at what should be their location, Lysanor's mood lifts all the more. They were here and she was somewhat relieved, if just a touch nervous over the fact. Dressed in the blues and reds of her own House colors, along with a heavy blue cloak to keep her warm. Her eyes curiously watch the figures in the distance, just as she listens to the other knights dicuss their plan of approach and only then does the turn to reggard her brother with a look of understanding, before cautiously guiding her horse forward alongside the rest.

Seren does exactly as she is instructed. Nudging her horse forward, she remains flanked by the rest of the group, having no desire to put herself out in front of anything. A nod of acknowledgement is given to Cyndeyrn. letting him know she had heard. Dressed in the colors of her own house, she sits on her horse with a deceptively relaxed air, saying nothing.

The group watches the approach of the knights, or if they stand still, they make the approach. The elder, the young red haired man, and the thirds, also dark of hair and green of eye. Giving the moment to gather and talk themselves much as the Salisbury Knights do the same. Though given that span, they move by foot to cross the gap. Not moving to get horses, or assume outright trouble, the arms and weapons enough to indicate they remain leery of the situation. The will cross until they can be heard, "Hail knights!" The man talks, taking the lead. "What business here Sirs and Ladies?" He looks about the group, chin nods towards the one strapping fellow, with broad shoulders. "What's this … one come to finish some business from the Battle of Somerset, the pup is grown?"

"Hail," Acwel greets as he has Saint trot over to where the man with the red hair and the other is. "I am Sir Acwel de Woodford, of Salisbury," he introduces himself, then lets the others make their introductions as well before continuing, "We mean you and yours no harm nor disrespect, as we would like to speak. Our journey was long and troubled, and we would not be here were it not for a miracle we have witnessed."

Kamron lowers his hand as the men approach, resting his forearms atop the front of his saddle, leaning just a little into the leather. It's a comfortable look, and he offers up a smile that is only slightly crooked. He allows Acwel and Cynderyn in particular to introduce themselves first, and then puts in, "Sir Kamron de Dinton, of Salisbury. We've also Sir Arian de Laverstock of Salisbury with us, but unfortunately her horse found a stone." Glancing over to his fellow questers, he adds quietly, "Newt stayed back to help her." Which explains where his squire is as well. "We have not come to quarrel, sirs, I assure you."

Cyndeyrn glances left, and then right, in a bit of a "who, me?" gesture when the man below wonders about someone coming to finish old business. "I am Cyndeyrn ap Cynfarch de Dinton, and this is my sister, Lady Lysanor," he will add further on her behalf, gesturing back toward the woman riding behind. Still, his answer will be a somewhat neutral, "It is not some old war we come to settle, though our concern does stem from days past." And then he will say little more, leaving one of the otehrs to explain the whole crazy thing in more detail.

And that leaves Seren. For a moment she looks expectantly at Acwel, but his introduction is for but himself, so she dips her head politely, "Lady Seren de Woodford," offering hers. Other than that alone, she offers silence, but there is a polite and respectful manner about her, she means no ill will and is trying to convey that with her actions and demeanor. Her attention drifts between each as they speak.

"Aye, it was a miracle." Lysanor says in echo to Acwel's words, her cold hand tightening upon the reigns of her horse as she remembers not only the tale told to her, but also who, or what the tale-teller truly was. Urging her horse forward in a slow manner so that she may get a better view of the men in the distance and so that they may see her more clearly as well, "We wish to speak to Sir Branok de Cannon Stoke if he is available to accept our company." Blue eyes look from one unfamiliar face to the other, though they do settle upon the one most evident as Irfon's son for a moment longer.

Looking around the lot of the knights and ladies, the elder man takes in the names offered. Not a one giving him too much more than he may already have in his mind. "Sir Brannock de Stoke Canon," a confirmation that he is the one the seek, and the red haired man most likely the missing son. "Ya found him all right, just what business is this miracle you speak of," suspicion right back upon him. "Not sure I follow, we pay homage to the gods, they provide. What, one of them has come to chance upon you, knowing I might need a few new ox to help get these fields ready in time?" But he nods a little, lowering his arms, curious now. The red haired man does the same, the third main keeps weapon up even as his shield lowers. "Not sure I believe in miracles, don't know what you're after just yet either."

Intrigue Roll asked by SirKay:
Seren checked her intrigue of 12, she rolled 3.
Lysanor checked her intrigue of 9, she rolled 2.
Kamron checked his intrigue of 3, he rolled 4.
Cyndeyrn checked his intrigue of 3, he rolled 7.
Success: You paged Seren and Lysanor with 'you two will notice a shift in the red headed boy, at the mention of miracles, he becomes more curious with eyes going to Acwel and then Lysanor, the pagan signs of the manor evident enough, he latches onto that idea of a miracle with a curiosity, but leery as if not to let anyone near him notice'

Kamron nods to the elder man's words, gesturing back behind him, "Our delayed companion keeps to the old ways as well, Sir Brannock." Perhaps the agreement is a little too quick, the claim of a delayed Pagan a little too easy, but at least it's made (and it happens to be true, not that they know it). Moving on quickly, he nods a greeting to the younger men, "Are these your sons then, Sir Brannock? They seem good, strapping men as well, as strong of oxen as any father could hope for." He'll let someone craftier than him try to explain the miracle.

Seren has her gaze settles on the red haired boy when the talk of miracles is exchanged. Because of that, she notices the curiosity of his gaze to Acwel and Lysanor, but the way he tries not to let the others notice brings a wariness to the Woodford lady. An encouraging smile is given to the young man, but it is brief and she says nothing to call him out to the others. Instead, she looks towards her brother right after. "Miracles have been known to happen," she tells him softly.

As her eyes linger on the redhead lad the longest, Lysanor does take notice of a change in his demeanor then this miracle is spoken of. A casual glance is then given her companions to see whether they had witnessed what she had. The smile which she grace the lad with is a kind one, a reassuring one and a touch sympathetic. Allowing her cousin to further inquire on the men before then, Lysanor decides to add her voice to the explanation of this miracle, her words warm and inspired when she speaks, "We had a visitor over the holiday at our abbey in Salisbury. A hardy man with a jolly nature whose very word lifted our spirits. However, for one so gregarious in nature, he was also filled with a deep regret. One of a loss so deep." And here, her eyes shine upon the red-headed lad once again, if only briefly, when she states, "For you see, he had lost his son to a raid, many, many years ago and that had filled him with such woe." Here, her tone quiets down just a touch, her body stiffening as she speaks, before she relates, "It was later found out that our visitor was a… spirit, I suppose, one who sought our aid within the sanctuary of our abbey on such a holy day." She then adds in, "I know that our religious beliefs do differ, but I'm sure that you can understand the magnitude of this visitation." There is then a quiet, before she states, "The tale has brought us here now."

<OOC> SirKay says, "folks can do orate check on explaining the miracle if they wish"
Lysanor checked her orate of 10, she rolled 2.
Acwel checked his orate of 2, he rolled 8.

A curious eye for certain from Brannok regarding pagans and them being delayed. As if he half suspects they offed some pagans and he needs to send his son out to investigate when they leave. Though he hears them out. First to Kamron, "Aye, this is my boy, Locryn." The one with dark hair. Then to the red headed child, "And this is Arwel." (recognize or heraldry take pick, only one).

He turns to listen to Lysanor then, who relates the message. Arwel favors a look to Seren, but then to Lysanor to listen to the tale. Brannok does the same, nodding and listening. He takes in the entire tale, his face more stoic, some brows lowering at war and woes and differente beliefs. "Ah, the boy was taken, rightfully. An orphan of war that I've raised as my own. How am I to believe it was some spirit, and not simply my neighbors spreading word, wanting to distress my family take my lands?"

(Recognize or heraldry)
Seren checked her recognize of 5, she rolled 10.
Cyndeyrn checked his heraldry of 8, he rolled 7.
Lysanor checked her heraldry of 3, she rolled 6.
Kamron checked his recognize of 5, he rolled 6.
Acwel checked his recognize of 3, he rolled 5.

Cyndeyrn gives Lysanor time to speak the full of the tale - much the reason she accompanied the lot of them. He does not have any details to add to the story, but does speak to echo the being's spiritual nature, one fact that he at least might know by his own eyes and swear to. "I can tell you sir, that I did see this spirit as well and with my own eyes, that he walked and sat amongst us despite dead. I swear to it by God, and though you may not worship as we do, you must know our honor and word is no less, nor our oaths less serious." That said, he glances between the two of the younger men, while waiting to see if the elder pays much mind to their various offerings and testimonies, and then inquires a little further. "Locryn is your natural son, then? What cause do you have to worry over neighbors taking your lands."

"Because we are not here to take your lands." Acwel replies, simply. "We have seen the spirit with our own eyes, and we know that he ate and spoke and laughed as though he was one of us. And by God, I swear as do my fellow knights and the ladies, that what we speak is the absolute truth." He looks to Arwel, then back to Brannok. He waits, until he listens to the response to Cyndeyrn's question.

It was the first time Seren had heard the full tale and the reason for coming. There had been hints, but nothing outright spoken. A look is given to her brother, a slight tilt of her head, the curiosity reflecting in her eyes. When her gaze lands back on the red haired one, she feels a rush of sympathy for him. He believes Lady Lysanor. Which meant there was reason for him to. When Acwel speaks of seeing the spirit, she hurriedly draws her gaze to him again but wisely says nothing.

Kamron nods to the two young men, "Sir Locryn. Sir Arwel. Well met." And then he goes straight to it, following the lead of his fellows, "Sir Ifron of Arnsford, who named his son Siarl, was he who spoke to us in ghostly guise. He says that Arnsford cries out for a strong leader, and what better man to lead than a firstborn son? And what better, unassailable proof of the excellent job you have obviously done in raising these men from boyhood than to see one following in your footsteps, and the other in the footsteps of his birth father?" Turning his head to the flame-haired youth, he adds, "Sir Ifron was a good man, and true, strong, courtly, and loving to his people and family." Some of that is assumed from the good impression the ghost-knight made on Kamron, but he would likely extend the same courtesy to any unknown knight against whom he has no issue, "And he had hair as red as fire, and a strong build."

"Sir Arwel, is it?" Lysanor repeats the offered name, a pleasant smile upon her lips when her vibrant eyes make contact with the young lad's once again. "The one who came to us, the one who sought out our aid was a Sir Irfon de Ansford." She waits to see whether the name rings a bell with Brannok, though she continues on, "He last saw his son when Idres invaded Jargent. There, Sir Irfon fought alongside his cousin and when they were defeated." The smile on her lips fades, her features looking rather somber when she speaks, "Where his son was taken captive. It is all a sorrowful tale and how even in death, his spirit does pine over this loss."

<OOC> SirKay says, "modest of 5, pride of 15, rolling for Ifron … FYI"
Modest 5: SirKay rolls 1d20 and gets (14) for a total of: (14)
Pride 15: SirKay rolls 1d20 and gets (16) for a total of: (16)

He listens to the words, but he's not one with mess with spirits just the same. "There is another place he could go here." He grumps a bit, but then breaths in, collecting himself. Brannok then looks to the boy, who nods at the name Kamron supplies Siarl. A slight nod, another name of his, Arwel perhaps just as natural to the boy, at least Cymric in origin. "The boy is mine by rights of conquest." The he humphs again. "And all this based on a spirit. I don't want this on my hands. Take your tales to Manacca O'Derwa, let her cast her stones to determine if what you say is truth. Even in the eyes of my gods, if you speak the truth, I cannot deny this." He looks over at Arwel, a slight tense look as if he could just back hand the boy even. "If she can confirm this … then get the runt out of my sight." Then again, if she days its not truth ….

"Sir Irfon yearned to see his son take his birthright as a knight," Acwel replies, somewhat somberly, "He could not find eternal rest until the lord of his lands was restored to them." He looks to Seren, trotting the horse closer to hers, and murmurs a few words before offering, "Very well, we shall, Sir Brannok," at the man's demands, "You shall hear from us very soon." One way or another.

"We speak true, and the truth is the same before any test," Cyndeyrn answers for his own part. "If the woman's wisdom will convince you of what we already know to be true, then so be it. We do not wish conflict here, not to restart some war from long ago that is now ended and its dead buried. But the young man, by whatever name he would call hismelf, deserves to know his heritage and to follow his birthright. So we will see this woman, and then return."

<OOC> SirKay says, "She's a pagan witch, and only asks to hear why you each think the boy should be returned, roll a modest check after each telling (a common christian > > trait you all have), based on that she'll determine if you're honest in having seen the spirit, if anyone feels a passion their free to roll it"
Kamron checked his loyalty for Robert of 15, he rolled 16.
Critical Success!
Seren checked her modest of 13, she rolled 13.
Acwel checked his modest of 13, he rolled 9.
Kamron checked his modest of 13 (8 from failed passion), he rolled 1.
Critical Success!
Cyndeyrn checked his modest of 13, he rolled 13.
Lysanor checked her modest of 4, she rolled 1.

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