(514-04-15) A Day at Court
Summary: A day at court of Earl Robert (Part 1)
Date: April 15th, 514
Related: Recent mission stuff and upcoming King Arthur wedding feast and tourney
robert seren tomas coelwulf cerys arta eirian bryce caerwyn quillian custennin laurwyn aeryn jaradan cyndeyrn brynmor aeron perin kamron lysanor nalia catryn cynrain uwain signe landon aluksander deryn acwel bronwen neroven tomas 



Sarum Castle Sarum

April of the year 514 — Fri Jan 08 10:17:14 2016


A high walled stone castle atop a hillock, Sarum Castle is complete with four massive stone towers. The gate lets into a courtyard which turns and leads to the Great Hall. The rest of the castle generally closed off to visitors, the center of focus is the Great Hall itself. Most furniture is removed from the main floor of the great hall, save the high lord's chairs, though the great chests lining this space can be glimpsed. The vassal knights of Earl Robert stay here over night. Glimpses of banners, armor, and weapons can be seen amongst their personal gear that isn't tucked into a chest. The Earl's own armor and banners lining the hall. The scent of old feasts mingled with whatever the knights were fed last night linger in the air, tinged with the scent of the old wood beams forming the supports of the aging castle.


Robert, having ate first again, nears the end of his meal. More food being supplied, but he finds it is time to be up and about. Taking a tankard/flagon/big mug of ale along with him, he has standed and is talking to knights along the way. At present he is at a table nearby where sits Seren, the current court scribe due to the late illness of Lady de Ebble. "I hope you are enjoying yourself Lady Seren. And the food is tasted this time? I do mean to ask if you're enjoying it again you know?" Something between them. He does ponder to her, "Any news from Lord Knight Oswallt of late, a few have been sent to help quill border troubles." From her he glances down towards the small end, were the youngers would be seated, those Knights and Ladies coming of an age to be amongst the feast proper (not at the squires table).

Dressed in a party colored doublet (Red and White) Colewulf arrives, he does not however make straight to a table, preferring to remain standing until the hall starts to fill. He rakes his fingers through his unruly blond hair, perhap wishing he had spent more time on grooming before he arrived at a courth function.

Already seated at a table, Seren has the paraphernalia of her trade on the table beside her. Parchment, ink, a quill (or three) all placed neatly in a row. Also a small basket that holds other like items is on the floor beside her. Her handmaid stands behind her, hands clasped, observing. Seren has food on a plate, but it is placed in a secondary position, to the side, as the focus is her work. A smile is given to Robert when he addresses her, a polite and respectful look. "I am, it seems to have gotten easier with the passage of time. Truly." The smile turns towards the playful. "I have even remembered to eat this time as well." A regretful shake of her head follows the question. "I regret there has been no word as of yet, but I have sent word to them, asking for a response."

Such glance of Earl Robert would certainly catch the angular features of one Sir Bryce de Baverstock, a knight of short and lanky built, who seems to be enjoying his meal in pensive quietude. The colors of his family are apparent in his attire, tunic and breeches of black and red, the yellow bear embroidered onto the fabric that covers his chest. As if aware of the sweeping look of their liege, Bryce looks up, hazel eyes lowering then as he inclines his head in respectful yet unobtrusive greeting, his gaze shifting briefly towards Seren, and the pieces of parchment, the quill and the inkwell will elicit a lift of a brow on the Baverstock's part, the expression on his face curious. Before his attention shifts away from her, to those arriving.

A tiny young ginger follows other nobles inside. Her eyes like the green spring grass curiously observes not just the room, but outfits and faces of other nobles. With a squared neckline, Cerys' gown is black and appears to be made of silk or satin. Floor-length, the long sleeves descends far enough to fully envelop even the hands, yet loose enough that simply lifting the lower arm is enough to allow use of the hands. The sleeves are cinched a little above the elbow, leaving the upper part of the sleeve a bit more billowy. Fitted along the neckline, a gold cord laces around the bodice under the bust and down to the waistline. A black ribbon surrounds the neck, from which hangs a silver pendant with gold accents, as the two metals twist and spiral around each other in a decorative knot-like design captured within a circle of silver with a matching clasp.

The girl, suffering from the curse of freckles will offer a proper curtsy to each and everyone who will look at her, but mostly she will be trying to find familiar faces and listen.

On the outside, but ever aware of Earl Robert's movements is a knight, dressed for more than just feasting and chit chat. His reinforced chain, and breastplate emblazoned with the Trout of Broughton, though in sable- give him a more martial bearing. This knight remains perched just on the borders, as his sword hangs heavy in scabbard, and a mug is clasped in his hand. A long pull is taken as with free hand he reaches to spear a bit of meat with his knife before pulling it back. By this point Sir Quillian de Broughton is merely eating for appearances. He will likely either tuck in later or has already eaten a more heartier meal.

Standing slightly to one side of the hall, and positioned between the knights' and squires' tables, two tall men in noble attire are engaged in sotto voce conversation. Even though the elder of the duo is around six feet in height, the other has to bend his thick neck to lower his head to his superior's level. Their livery might be recognised as that of one of Sir Oswallt's vassal manors - Falt. When the Earl asks his question, both of them pause, and turn their attention to him, then look around for whoever else might be present from their liege's lands in case someone of higher rank wishes to speak up.

Look at the assembled lords and ladies of the West Country in all their finery, an assortment of wildflowers springing up in the warmth of coming spring. The youngest daughter of Burcombe Manor's junior line somewhat resembles Eostre, her hair piled up into ringlets and curls, strewn with a few choice blooms carefully sheltered from the cool weather and showers running off the sea. More intriguing might be the fragrance of them blended around her, an attar carefully fashioned to leave a signature in her wake without being an overpowering bouquet likely to fell a knight. The subtle hues of her house are woven into the long gown Eirian wears, and the devices of the Burcombes are embroidered into the neckline, sleeves, and girdle. As for her pagan faith, its emblems are there among that same embroidery if one knows what to look for, in addition to the small crescent moon marking her brow. No weapon comes with her unless it's that brilliant smile, awash in interest for fellow landowners, warriors, eligible peers, and a scribe! Of course her first indication of a greeting goes to Earl Robert, and she waits her turn to make her genuflection, hands clasped together and clear, startling gaze lifted briefly to take the measure of the man in his own environment. If nothing else, the young woman is bold within the confines of appropriate behaviour. She glances towards Seren, too, and those instruments she wields in particular. There will be a friendly smile in that direction, but no words as yet because rank and file exceed her, where such tides flow.

Arta enters the hall. SHe is wearing a long-sleeved dress which is an almost knee-length knit wool dress decorated with a cabled pattern, with long sleeves and a wide, loose collar that spreads all the way to the shoulders. The hem and cuffs are ribbed, providing an extra bit of detail. She is also wearing a pair of leather shoes fashioned out of leather with cords of leather to fasten them securely around the ankle. They seem to be thicker about the heel. Arta is wearing her hair on a bun. She wears a subtle smile as she knows she is not here alone with strangers today.

Grinning to Seran, Robert nods, "Ah see, a perfect fit." In selecting her, he implies. Showing he did some research perhaps, or that he likes to think he makes all the right decisions. Those that know him better know it's the former, he doesn't rush to conclusions, more prudent in thought. "I think we shall muster an embassy, I do not want worry of this trouble during the tourney. There may be more trouble nearby." It's more said to her as the scribe, it could mean more busy work for her to come, a forewarning perhaps. "You could walk with me perhaps?" He offers, in her role she does need to know what is going on and no telling what could pass as he moves about the room. Which he does after his offer, looking to see if she eats more or follows. There is a pause near the Broughton, "You are feasting some at least Sir Quillian, we do not want you starved this day?" A grin given. He'll reach to pat the man on the shoulder in thanks for being vigilant this day just the same.

Then he'll pause closer to the little end, near the youngers. "We have a great honor," he addresses the room broadly, "To visit with King Arthur at his wedding, and to request a gift from the gift giver. From Salisbury, we must be respectful of our liege and King, remember our stations, this will bring us honor. Keep us close to the Pendragon, as Salisbury always has been." Addressed to all, but perhaps just a thought for the youngers going to this big event. "I have news from Lonazep, they have saxons pressing from the north, their team for the grand melee will be short. It has been asked of us if we may have swords to spare." It is open statement, but looking around at those nearby when he says that. Older knights say little, knowing where the offer was made.

Coelwulf clears his throat, "My Lord, I would be honored to add my sword to their teams ranks, if it would please you." He offers a slight bow, respectful, but perhaps not just right, Coelwulf being more of a Knight of the field.

"Of course, Your Grace." Seren immediately vacates her position at the table to walk around it and come to stand at his side. He need not ask twice, the Scribe is there. "Perhaps an organized party should ride to the borders and get a first hand knowledge of the happenings." As they approach Quillian, she dips her head in a greeting but voices nothing as Robert greets him. She does catch the look from Eirian and smiles warmly in response. With the mention of adding swords, she turns her attention to the newer knights, catching the brief look from Bryce, she inclines her head respectfully to the Baverstock.

The hand that was raised to bring his mug of ale closer to the Baverstock knight's mouth for a good sip is bound to pause, dark eyes focusing on Earl Robert as he walks over and then stands to address all of them. The information about border troubles and royal wedding is taken in with attentive curiosity, even so, when the matter of available places for the Grand Melee are mentioned, Bryce de Baverstock reclines in his seat, his eyes flitting down as he takes a good sip of ale; the smile curving his lips indicating, that he had already managed to earn his right to compete in this rather exclusive contest. Even so, when Seren looks his way, he will return her courtesy with a nod of his own.

Quillian gives a good natured laugh which comes out through his cup and rolls over. "Aye my Lord. A bit of mutton to go with me mead. Never you worry. I will be sure my bones keep meat on em." the aforementioned wild Broughton says with a pat to his stomach. And there the knight looks back at Robert before he hitches his hand in his belt. "Your Grace, I am ever at your disposal." meaning there he will do as needed either for Lonazep or as the Earl needs. Then Quill drops his eyes to regard the others in attendance.

Upon the lady Burcombe's side, having arrived as her escort, is none other than Sir Tomas de Idmiston, cousin to his manor's current heiress. The dour man is ostensibly less garish than his noble counterparts, dressing down in muted black with green trim, accentuated by an ever-present cloak that bears the coat of arms stitched into the upper back. It is foisted over his shoulders, revealing the arming sword that hangs from his belt.

He is listening intently to the Earl as he speaks, politeness and respect in equal measure for the man who knighted him but two years prior. When the question is posed, there is no hesitation when Tomas speaks. "I will put forth my sword for Lonazep, if it pleases Your Grace." Succinctly put.

The two Falt representatives exchange glances, before the elder (and less lofty) of the duo steps forward. "If all goes as we hope, with wedding and knighting, and with Sir Oswallt's permission… my nephew Custennin would be delighted to make himself available to aid our allies, your Grace." He gestures to the huge brute of a man next to him.

Failed.
Robert checked its loyalty for vassals of , it rolled 3.
Robert rolls 1d20 and gets (16) for a total of: (16)

Attentive to the slightest nuances of response around her, Eirian's glittering gaze turns back towards the earl upon his announcement, lips parting slightly. She presents no news then, for it might be a very strange undertaking if she possessed any knowledge. The slow nod nonetheless indicates hearing him. She then tips her head towards Tomas, awaiting a pause in which to murmur a few selective words. Fingers interlace against the front of her flowing, light gown and she once more becomes the witness and sentry of ladylike behaviour. Something renders a faint smile to form, though.

A grin to Seren, Robert nods, "This is a good plan indeed." Of riding to the borders, he offers his arm to Seren in the walk, keeping pleasant company just the same. "Hopefully some of those that remain behind will attend to an embassy in my stead." The conversation continued lightly amongst them, and with Sir Quillian the same, "Your sword is welcome as always. Take arms with Count Ioan, if Salisbury must carry this melee, so be it." And eyes to the others volunteering their arms, "I knew my knights could be trusted." As if he could say more on the topic, bolster them some to inspire them before the wedding, but he accepts it at that. "Some of you must stay, and yes, we must be vigilant. News from the west, Saxons have been camped in the forests, they may be planning something. A party to travel and bring news before they are on our doorsteps would be in order I believe." That is open, "And amongst those behind, an Embassy to Woodyates to see if we can find piece along the border with Dorset."

Arta tries to spot those friendly faces with her eyes. Her eyes wander from the food and drink to Seren and Earl Robert and then about the people present at this occasion. She then spots Cerys and Eirian she offers them both a subtle smile before she focuses herself back on the conversations at hand. This wasn't going to be as awkward as Arta would had first thought after all.

Critical Fail!
Coelwulf checked his Recognize of 3, he rolled 20.

Coewulf continues standing near the back, so many people, not recognizing a dang person. He chooses stoic silence and great interest in the tapestries.

The slightest cant of Tomas' head might be seen as he takes counsel of Eirian's whispering. Lips move as he responds in kind, before he too straightens respectfully. If he had more to say aloud on the matter, it was withheld, trusting in the Earl's deference. Pale eyes risk a survey of the others present.

First of all, Cerys notices sir Tomas in the crowd. So, she approaches him boldly, offers a curtsy to the man, followed by a smile, "It's a pleasure to see you again. Did you find the garment you were looking for?" The ginger chuckles, covering her lips politely with her palm to muffle the sound. But then she catches the sight of Arta. So, not even waiting for an answer, the girl offers, "Excuse me, I need to talk to someone…" A curtsy is offered again to sir Tomas and Cerys hurries to great Arta.

Once she gets close, redhead smiles to another woman, "A pleasure to see you here! How have you been, lady Arta?"

"We can call for a small garrison, my lord. I can take the others with me to the Count, and see what aid we can give them." Quillian states with a glance to the others who offer up their services. There's a raised brow at the Falts, but nothing more there. If anything a good home presence should dissuade the Saxons a little.

Given she stands adjacent to Tomas, Eirian is well-placed to observe both Cerys' approach and her greeting to Arta. The slim arc of her smile widens to something far more socially friendly, though it's a far cry from a knife to the guts which some women possess. Restraint serves her well as she modulates her voice to a lower, dulcet volume. "Blessings of the Lady upon you." No querying look is thrown to Tomas. He will explain or not. Then she follows the retreat to Arta, and she nods in that direction. "The very lady fished me from the Bourne, same as you rescued the boat. I should have that oar turned into a trophy to mark upon her pragmatism." Then she pauses to touch the knight's arm briefly and heads in Robert's direction, the muffled whisper of her dress like the cascade of petals and leaves across a swept walk. "My lord, as it pleases you, I offer my services to the task to negotiate fairly and well with Dorset while our good knights honour our king and secure the western reaches against our enemies."

Failed.
Caerwyn checked his awareness of 5, he rolled 17.

"Oh… I am sure Landon will be sorry to have missed out on that opportunity," Bryce can be overheard saying to another young knight seated beside him. "But it is not on me to speak up in his stead." There is a slightly amused twinkle in his eyes, a ghost of a smile there on his angular features. He allows his gaze to wander then, taking in the confident announcement of one Sir Quillian before his attention shifts to one lady de Burcombe, who is little more than a passing acquaintance to him - as most Burcombes are, even though… seeing her approach the Earl with such confidence earns her a surprised lift of a brow - behind her back.

There is something to be said about the entrance of the Burcombe party. The Lord Knight of House Burcombe is Roawan 'the Dark' de Burcombe - an imposing, solemn man of dark hair and darker temperament with the proclivity to rise to anger and strike like the proverbial lightning. The man of the house is always prompt, always on time, always ready to engage enemies at a moment's notice. However, it seems that instead of the elder Burcombe warrior, he has sent his firstborn son instead, perhaps as a test of loyalty or skill. The milder Burcombe twin (also comes in the flavors of spicy, crunchy and cruel) has seen fit to appear in woolen finery on this spring evening. Black has always been in fashion, and it's in black and limned silver embroidery that Caerwyn dresses in, a single silver-gray band wrapped around his waist attractively, emphasizing his lithe hips in comparison to his broad shoulders. Late - but not so late as to incur Robertly wrath - Caerwyn comes accompanied with an attachment of men, dressed in dunne brown and earthly greens themselves, except for the slight splash of red and yellow of the coat of arms of Burcombe - sharp daggers on a field of gold and red, quartered with a crescented cross within.

Caerwyn pauses briefly and scans those emerald eyes of his across the room - some know the Burcombe only by reputation, but his is a wide reaching one. Alternately claimed to have the touch of fae in his roguish grin and his sparkling eyes, Caerwyn is also known as a fickle youth with voracious appetites for wine, women and wealth. No lack of ambition here. He pauses briefly and dips his head in a nod of acknowledgment at the guards at the door before descending further into Robert's Court. Apparently, he awaits his Lordship's attention. He espies no other family members in the midst, and is, thus, unprepared as of yet.

Sir Cadogan de Falt turns back to his immense nephew, flashing a grin. "Offer accepted, and 'his knights', lad," he murmurs. "Double confirmation, without making a fuss of it. Deftly done by his Grace, that was." For his part, Custennin nods, relief passing across his broad features. Then his gaze lights upon the elfin Eirian and her interception of the Earl, prompting a look of quizzical surprise - that is swiftly followed by a grin.

Failed.
Quillian checked his Awareness of 10, he rolled 16.
Success
Tomas checked his awareness of 5, he rolled 2.
Success
Bryce checked his Awareness at 10, he rolled 7.
Critical Success!
Coelwulf checked his Awareness of 5, he rolled 5.

Boldness from the lady Cerys de Tisbury does not seem to have the impact it should on the Idmiston knight, as if it were expected from her based on past experience. His mouth is open to respond shortly after a slight bow is offered to her curtsy, and she is off to converse with another!

A touch from the lady Burcombe alerts him to what her intentions are, and she has retained the full attention of pale blues as she approaches the Earl. It is enough to break the grim expression that normally overtakes the man's countenance with a small smile. It is all but interrupted by Caerwyn's arrival. Another Burcombe! He'd have to be on his best behavior now, straightening a bit more than usual.

Lord above! Even if Earl Robert's attention may perhaps not be so swift to be claimed by the grandiose entrance of the heir to Burcombe, this heir can be sure that the Lord Knight of Baverstock did notice. Bryce straightens where he is seated, a flicker there in his dark gaze as it studies Sir Caerwyn from afar. Well, to be honest, to think this scion of the rival family to the Baverstock would not attend would be an idle hope. But it is not hatred that shows in the almost glare Bryce gives the man… rather an odd kind of amused fascination.

Apparently Quillian is focused in on the woman who speaks with the Earl, given his furrow of brow and eyes glued to them, that he wholly doesn't notice the approach and appearance of Caerwyn, nor the other Burcombe men. Not right away, anyway. When he does notice them it will be too late to catch Robert's attention. Instead when he does finally notice Caerwynn, Quill the Blackfish- chooses his mug over words.

Success
Robert checked its modest of 16, it rolled 5.

Arta smiles at Cerys brightly "It has been rather pleasant in Cholderton. Despite the lack of good company." She then nods at Eirian "I am glad to see you too. You look lot better now that you are not wet like a soaked cat." she chuckles almost inaudibly. "I am glad you are both here, i would feel out of place with all these people that i do not know."

There are offers abound, affirmations are made. Robert listens to one and all. Seren in his company, she is attending and names will be recorded of these events and offerings made to the Earl. At first he turns to Sir Quillian, "Ah, a valiant offer, this would be appreciated. I shall have those wishing to volunteer to make cause with Lonazep see you at once that you bring him the offer when we reach Cameliard." Then of course, he turns to Eirian who has offered help with the details of Dorset. "Good Lady, this is greatly appreciated. Forgive me not knowing your name," he leaves a place for her to identify herself, he wishes not to make a fool of himself to guess if he knows her or not, he leaves it for her out of courtesy. "There will be knights behind, they may join your cause and assure your safety, but a good word with our neighbors that we enjoy peace, as Arthur has sought it for us all in vanquishing his enemies." The last of the 12 kings in rebellion since the sword pulling finished not to long ago. "If you have news and I am not hear, Lady Seren can take what news you have. Perhaps before I am gone to Cameliard, we three may meet to discuss the details of this embassy. You speak well of yourself …" Her offer noted. The proud entrance of Burcombe noticed by Robert, but he makes no indication of his concern for the grand entrance. His focus still on the knights and ladies feasting as he has opened court in a manor by beginning to speak with them all.

the Shrewton, makes his way about the edges of the crowd, avoiding others where he can not wanting to make an ass of himself. Coelwulf edges to the table to get a tankard of ale, then starts to eye the door, pretty sure he can make it without too much fuss.

Failed.
Caerwyn checked his proud of 13, he rolled 15.
Failed.
Caerwyn checked his modest of 7, he rolled 19.

"House Burcombe arrives to share their support, my Lord Salisbury. My father, Roaman the Dark, sends his regards," Caerwyn says in a mild, cultured voice, before dipping down into an elegant bow, one leg bending while the other sweeps behind it. His hand is pressed to his heart - if you believe the local barmaids, there in his chest cavity sits his rotting heart, slowly being consumed by a Worm of Apathy, for all the times he shared his affections and then didn't. Those barmaids had a little poetic help from a local bard most likely, who heard their lamentations - such language is beyond the average commoner.

Caerwyn makes his way to the Lordship himself and then dips down into another bow. He slyly notices Eirian - his beloved cousin - before inclining his head to her. "My kinsfolk, sweet Eirian, is bold to offer her help. I have missed the previous proceedings, but I am sure she will brief me. And then, in time, with level head and stout heart, I will judge where best House Burcombe can be assistance, if you please, m'Lord." While there are questions in his words, Caerwyn never lets his voice waver with the tone of questioning. "How is your Lady wife at present, m'Lord Robert?" This, he inquires gently, arching one lofty brow.

Success
Robert checked its forgiving of 14, it rolled 6.
Failed.
Caerwyn checked his courtesy of 3, he rolled 8.

Success
Bryce checked his Modest at 13, he rolled 12.
Failed.
Custennin checked his recognize of 3, he rolled 11.

Another of those effortless genuflections drop Eirian from the general height much lower, a calculated degree measured out to be respectful. She bows her head in turn, and the spill of night dark curls around her back does nothing to diminish the bright flowers woven into her hair with an artful hand. It's not quite Beltaine, but the impending great spring festival has its marks even now. "Lady Eirian de Burcombe, daughter of Sir Alwyn de Burcombe," she intones quietly, affording recognition effortlessly upon all those who may not recognize her, and accepting the gesture bestowed upon her. She tips her head up briefly and smiles, the small arc of metal adorning her brow catching the light. "My heart is lighter for the opportunity that Salisbury might flourish in the summer, her farms and forests secure under your and the Pendragon's banners." One small stroke for the woman, and one blazing entrance requiring a serenade of rattling sistrums, clashing cymbals, and blaring horns somehow makes the dark-haired maiden all the more modest. It's easy to be a swan beside Caerwyn's hawk-in-peacock feathers approach. She yields the field graciously enough when permitted, three steps back and a rotation putting her aligned to face the Falt men. The greater of the two men in size, being the younger, receives a smile and therein lies the safety of escape if she needs to flee from trouble itself. She can execute a fine substitution of herself with the twin who is not hers, slipping nearer to offer her greetings to Custennin. In time she'll get back to hiding behind Tomas and Arta with all the grace of her modest station in life.

A small group has made it's way into the feasting hall, Knights and squires all but one. That one seems to be a young lady dressed in white, under/over tunics in the pure color with hints of painstakingly done embroidery and a foxfur cloak having come to rest on delicate shoulders. The Knights seem to be of house Woodford and Laurwyn seems to be in there charge for one has placed an arm to help the tiny form that is just slightly limping, but in such a way it still looks like swaying movements of a dance. They do get in line to greet lord Robert with the others.

Bryce de Baverstock observes the great show of the Burcombe heir, and yes, he is not going to regret it. And while the assurance Caerwyn gives Earl Robert, of the support of his absent father manages to provoke a twitch of his limbs - considering perhaps to jump to his feet and offer a similar statement - Bryce leans back again in his seat with an almost silent sigh, little more than a slight noise of breath leaving his lungs. He is here, and Earl Robert is aware of it. And Bryce is by no means the obtrusive character that needs to bring himself to his liege's attention, in the way Caerwyn does!

As he eyes the late-arriving popinjay now seeking to monopolise the Earl's time, Custennin's features sink into what might be an habitual scowl. He can't immediately put name to face, amidst the bewildering swirl of the court - but it's clear that this particular Burcombe scion is intent on making an impression. Still, the huge heir to Falt satisfies himself with no more than a muttered comment to his uncle… which is followed by another one, as the ethereal lady in white makes her entrance. The expression accompanying the second observation is markedly more appreciative than that for the first.

Coelwulf sips from his tankard edging to the door from the hall, the tall Shrewton offers polite nods as he passes, then prepares to slip out. He pauses to take one last look at all those gathered, before making his way out.

With her hand in the bend of Earl Robert's arm, Seren does take heed of those offering so that she may list it for the Earl and present them to him after court. A nod is given to Earl Robert in regards to the Embassy, she would be at the meeting. As the elder of the Burcombe arrive, she dips her head in greeting, but says nothing as he greets Caerwyn. As each greet the Earl, she will remain silent only speaking when spoken to, but each time she dips her head respectfully. A glance is given her handmaid who remains at the table with her parchment, ink and quills.

Ever still are more arriving; Nearly every house has its representatives present in the Earl's court, some drifting away, but it is his cousin heiress lacking that weighs upon him. It seems Tomas will have to catch her up on the latest intrigue from the court. These thoughts serve as a distraction for the most part, rooting him in place rather than seeking out any attempts at socializing. The dark-haired knight preferred his brooding, leaving the peacocks to strut and flap their gums for him. He's said his piece.

Quillian snorts at Caerwyn's performance and sets his mug down long enough to eat a piece of meat. Chewing thoughtfully, the knight dare not speaks up instead he is watches the posturing of the other lordlings, that is till Caerwyn's last declaration. "I think the Earl has a good handle on how his vassals and knights may serve Salisbury." Quill barks, just short of calling the Burcombe a pup. Still word said, its back to chewing.

Those watching the show from the Burcombe heir may notice the draw of breath from Robert. As if he's getting too much at once, all not asked for. A few breaths even, steadying himself as he takes it in. "Yes, thank you Sir Caerwyn, and to your relative here …" He turns more to Eirian, she may be the saving grace, as Robert let's all the miscellaneous offerings from Caerwyn slide away for the moment. Those may notice that this detracts his attention from the group at large, the pride showing on Caerwyn in his family may be overbearing.

"Lady Eirian," he says her name, thankful for her grace it would seem, a turn to Lady Seren, liking that they should indeed get to know each other. "Perhaps we could arrange that time to discuss more amongst us." Eyes between the Ladies at least. "I wish I had more time here, but I've a household of guests and cannot neglect them all. It is good to make acquaintance and I am glad you could attend this day." A nod of his head. Yes, he doesn't go into personal on his wife and his affairs with Caerwyn it could be noted. Eirian may be a balance at present, in this situation, a slight nod even, at the response from Sir Quillian. That bark may get a slight nod from a few of the olders. Then again, some may like the boldness of Burcombe and think it is what Salisbury needs.

Critical Fail!
Caerwyn checked his prudent of 10, he rolled 20.
Failed.
Arta checked her awareness of 10, she rolled 16.
Failed.
Tomas checked his awareness of 5, he rolled 12.
Success
Caerwyn checked his orate of 3, he rolled 2.

The dusky-haired willow of Burcombe must take much more after her mother. Eirian has manners, and dares even to duck her head appreciatively when called out by her liege. "I will not ask more than I have already requested, my lord. It will be my pleasure to speak later, at your convenience." That's a plural you, including Seren as well, for a smile muted for the public display is cast upon the lovely scribe dutifully mastering the conversation with the pen and inks. Then she will take her leave further, rather than hold more of a field than strictly suitable for someone without a crown, halo, or propensity to toss snakes from a county or threaten with the wit of the gods. Maybe witty, but not up to levels of the great bards.

It is clear the Woodford party must have missed something…interesting as they pause in line behind the Burcombe heir. And for good or bad it does put their party in the light as the Earl continues to deal with the insuring chaos of words spoken. Laurwyn for her own part simply watches with slightly widened eyes and does well not to be directly in the path if Caerwyn needs….withdraw to one of the tables. But she does seem to sway as if a soft wind is blowing, the edges of her cloak making a soft swirl along the floor. There is patients on her features, the halo of red curls making a splash of color of the whiteness of her dress. The Knights simply stand at attention, though a few will look at each other as comments appear and disappear.

Critical Fail!
Caerwyn checked his energetic of 13, he rolled 20.

Caerwyn de Burcombe turns to look at Quillian and then smiles good-naturedly. "I'm sure, Sir," he says with a devil-begone glint in his eye. Caerwyn turns instead to regard Robert's departing back. Roaman the Dark was a prudent man, raised in near-poverty and total strife, a byproduct of being a mercenary man raised in the Old Ways during a time when one reckless bastard of a king decided to unite all the other kings in some faerie tale of 'peace and love' that no sword-wielding knight believes. But his son, Caerwyn de Burcombe, was raised differently. Instead, he lifts his voice up to include not only the Lord but also the room as a whole:

"Cousin Eirian speaks fair of Salisbury prospering in the summer - farms and forests secure under the Pendragon's banner. But peace is what we make of it. Last winter had a cold, cruel grasp on the people of Salisbury's, freezing the land solid. Breaking the land is like shattering ice - our flocks have thinned, our bellies have emptied. Some of our starving farmers turn to banditry, taking residence in the sacred grove of Faefyre south of Burcombe lands. I do not doubt — " he says sharply at Sir Quillian, " — that Earl Robert is a most capable liege. But unless our Lord has the Morrigan herself on his side, or some manner of some other god or goddess, he needs his vassals to report faithfully on the condition. Salisbury -does- not prosper. War drums beat to the south despite our intentions for parlay to peace and the small folk say a curse is in the wind. The crops grow crooked and the roads are not safe. We can speak of happier times, certainly, but…"

A little roll of his shoulders. "Perhaps I should take Burcombe and weather out the last of this long winter should the Earl not want to deal with this. I certainly don't want to, but a small voice at the back of my head - responsibility, it whispers - says I should."

His house is not high in honorifics, that is true, but Perin is dutiful. He is a vassal of Robert and as such, he is present at the feast. Not newly arrived, but not at the tables themselves. As if he'd gotten up for a walk and is now just returning. He looks around, noting faces, some Burcombe, some Idmiston, that dampens his spirits a little. But its to be expected, instead he makes for a table at the small end, moving away from where the Earl stands, just returning to listen, maybe ask table mates to catch him up on what he's missed so far, picking up Caerwyn's speech as he does so. One might notice eyes turning up just a little, if they were actually looking away from the proceedings with the Earl himself.

Failed.
Perin checked his modest of 13, he rolled 18.
Success
Robert checked its modest of 16, it rolled 7.
Success
Robert checked its merciful of 15, it rolled 12.
Critical Success!
Tomas checked his prudent of 10, he rolled 10.
Failed.
Quillian checked his Prudent of 10, he rolled 16.
Failed.
Tomas checked his just of 10, he rolled 11.
Success
Tomas checked his vengeful of 16, he rolled 2.
Success
Bryce checks his Prudent at 10, he rolled 2.

The rather flamboyant arrival of the Burcombe heir is met with an amused look in return and as he approaches, she glances between he and his cousin. "Oh of course," she agrees to discussing things, yet at the mention of having a house of guests and his imminent departure, she dips her head, "Of course, Priorities." A glance given to Earl Robert just then before she directs a question at Caerwyn, "Will you be volunteering as well for the Grand Melee at the tournament? Some have already." As Eirian agrees to the meeting, she smiles. "I will arrange it."

What an impassioned speech on behalf of Burcombe; It cut to the point and it broke the Idmiston knight from his contemplation. However, it boiled blood somewhere in his veins, yet prudence and rationality win him over. He had wanted to outburst, to decry that Caerwyn speaks out of place towards their liege, but he stays his voice, although his hand is *dangerously* upon the hilt of the arming sword strung from his belt and the Burcombe peacock has earned a burning glare from Tomas' pale orbs. He will not forget this.

Bryce de Baverstock just rolls his eyes, but stays silent, arms crossing before him as he remains seated as he is. Even though a murmured: "dramatic entrance and attention seeking speech," towards the knight seated beside him, might be overheard by some attentive people close by.

Failed.
Eirian checked her prudent of 10, she rolled 18.
Failed.
Quillian checked his Orate of 6, he rolled 13.

"Sir, if you think that His Grace does not know the state of his lands or people, or that others do not suffer-" The ire and anger comes quick as the Knight's scowl deepens in direction to Caerwyn, red showing at ruddy cheeks and grip tightening on his cup. "Winter is always lean and it's damned foolish to think your field has wolves an the rest do not!" It seems the rest of the words are lost as Quillian pushes off of his table moving to stand a bit more forward, the anger clearly clapping the Blackfish's tongue down hard. Teeth though-that shows.

"I appreciate your being forward, and I do wish to know how my lands are being cared for," returns Earl Robert to the, close to speaking on what he thinks of free advice on the whole of Salisbury. Sir Quillian speaks up, a few knights at the big end do stand up of course at how the younger knight speaks to Robert. Jaradan certainly amongst them. Jaradan more out of the shadow as if standing the whole time, the Marshall of Salisbury ever present it would seem. The speech heard, light of words to some of the comments made within the context itself. A nod to the heir's cousin is given, Eirian's respect showing a great deal more to his patience for the moment. He may have more to say, though Seren deflects, asking the man of something on another matter.

More in general, Robert offers,"I think that settles our needs with Dorset for the moment." Lady Eirian and any such that would go with her, his eyes soft to her and Seren for diplomacy in the current moment. He then seems to step aside, if others wish to address him, they have that space without interrupting the eloquent Caerwyn who does seem to go on about duties and places as if informing the Earl of something Robert was overlooking. "It does leave the matter of our saxon neighbors."

Success
Perin checked his forgiving of 10, he rolled 2.

Family solidarity above all, is that not a pressing concern? And loyalty to one's liege? Eirian's shoulders straighten beneath her sleeveless gown and every last iota of ease spills from her spine, pouring down her back, leaving an iron bar hammered out by Govannon in its stead. Those facing her might see the masks exchanged in a heartbeat, ebullient if restrained young woman for the ever so fleeting glimmer of social neutrality. Had the soliloquy stopped upon the consequence of happier times, leaving all to stew their thoughts around the tourney or Salisbury's state, maybe it would last. But Caerwyn's parting shots shatter her composure as ice and snow tumble aside on the Avon at thaw, and her vivid summer sky gaze swipes back towards her cousin an instant too late. Blood is blood. And half hers belongs to the brother of said demon, the other half to a woman rumoured to be a pagan witch. Her breath is pulled in, and those very close or very acute in hearing might pick out, "Mother Don, succor me." She curls her fingers lightly into the soft folds of her skirt, the digits sinking in as she aims to tug the hem higher in case running is indeed the most prudent course of action. How far it is to Caerwyn's side, who is to say? But she's about to cover that distance at a gliding step, the sibilant outpouring of her voice still under conversational cover. Daggers, wit and beauty are a woman's weapons. She has only the one to fall back on. "Dear cousin, our lord already offered a chance to speak privately." Emphasis there on privately, a slight sharpening. "Would your counsel not be suitable then as my chaperone? For it would seem my own audacity has set all things awry on the bright spirits of an occasion intended to bring us together, not divide us." Someone just hand her a dagger, please.

If Perin notices Ser Aeron de Berwick St. James, that might be his choice of seat for the current spectacle. Listening to Caerwyn go on about the lands, he's torn. He's speaking out of turn to their Liege. After a thought, it slides there, a silly thing to be mad about, when there was other things closer to home for him, like sisters. He turns to Sir Aeron, "I don't mind coming to court, but I think this is why I prefer the field. I'd rather be focused on something other than bantering words. Are you ready for travels to Cameliard?" Its half token gesture, conversational, and still half focus given to what Robert is doing as most watch the current situation.

A Burcombe annoying someone important? There has to be a Dinton around to see that. Sir Kamron de Dinton slips into the rear of the room, brushing back his cloak and scrubbing spring rain from his short-cropped hair. He lingers at the back for a long moment, starting forward once, twice, but failing to advance more than a step or two each time. The Dinton's lips thin, but eventually he clenches his jaw, puts on a slightly-forced smile, and drives himself forward to join the rest of the court.

Aeron nods his head aside to Perin, watching the courtly shenanigans go on and he cracks a grin, "I agree, hopefully feasting later has more entertainment. I'm of course ready to go." He says, "How early did we want to arrive at Cameliard?"

A glance is given between Caerwyn, Eirian and Robert. But seeing as the Earl takes a moment to slip from that conversation to the side, the Woodford lady takes that moment to nudge the Knight helping her to the side and moves into a graceful curtsy, white cloak and skirts flaring and swirling to make a small ring on the floor. She doesn't speak just yet, allowing Robert to either greet her or be pulled back into the ongoing conversation. Laurwyn's pale eyes do look up slightly and a smile touches her lips as she gives her grand Niece (Seren) a tiny greeting as well.

"I shall await Lord Robert with temerity then," Caerwyn says - confidence and courtesy are a man's sword and shield out of the dreary ranks of battle, and these two, he bears with grace. He dips his head down and - ignoring the wild-haired Quillian - turns to make his way away from the procession leading up to the Earl's attendance. His men follow wordlessly - there's a dividing line between loyalty to blood and lord, and loyalty to the lord's lord. But the men follow dutifully - force of personality and the very real words that Caerwyn spoke of, bandits poaching flocks to the south, hunger striking, compelling them to toe the line with their captain. He pauses briefly and then disappears again. If Roaman, his father, made a reputation as 'Roaman the Dark' Burcombe, Caerwyn certainly tops it by extremes as Caerwyn the Black Burcombe.

Failed.
Quillian checked his Forgiving of 4, he rolled 5.

And to his cousin, Caerwyn wordlessly offers her his elbow, a place by the side of the Devil himself. Whether or not she takes it, though, is her prerogative.

Aeryn has no trouble in finding a few familiar and friendly faces. Winterbourne Stoke, present and accounted for! Walking over, she has a seat with Aeron and Perin, offering both a smile. Food, there was food and she could not even look at it. "So.. nervous." She confesses to the two as the butterflies threaten to make her take flight. Then she catches sight of the rather intimidating Jaradan and her hands clasp together as she falls silent.

A curl of lips and the Blackfish of Broughton slides his hand down to rest on the hilt of his sword, but he does nothing beyond stare daggers into the back of the fleeing Burcombes. Then he grabs up his eating knife and stabs it into his meat, moving to go and sit with the rest of the household knights and mull over meat and drink. A slight whether true or not to his lord is not easily forgotten or forgiven. Quillian stands next to one of the elder knights and drinks before passing soft words

Cyndeyrn is a little late arriving, and when he does, it is not with the look of someone fresh and eager for the social grandeur (such as it is) of court, but rather someone who has been a bit long and hard on the road. In fact, he's also a bit damp, much like his cousin. Entering the familiar hall, and finding it bustling with busy activity, he does not make any rush to approach their lord, who is surely overwhelmed with business at the moment, but instead moves to the hearth, finding something to eat first. This too may attest to his long journey. After some bread and drink is acquired, he looks around enough to spot out Kamron and goes to bother him first, "What have I missed? Lysanor is still with the boy, until we figure out exactly what to do. Take him home, I suppose, and hope that the ghost of his father knows we have come and appears once more? Or if not, simply trust that he has his relief and has gone on to his final reward."

With Sir Caerwyn de Burcombe's impending retreat from the court, the Idmiston knight can relax. The hand upon his blade hilt falls into the grasp of its counterpart behind the brooding man's back. Pale eyes are remiss to rest upon any but the lady Burcombe and the party surrounding that Steeple Langford dog before he redirects attention onto his liege. It seems he is intent on having another word with him, as he shifts somewhat closer towards the lady in white.

The Blackfish at least receives a mild look from the better Burcombe, though one has to wonder where the bar is set upon that. Not totally absconding from court, the young woman does escort Caerwyn to the back of the room for a time. Only a time. However, the task of observing and learning the ways of diplomacy among the peers of the realm mean she cannot sulk in a corner. Eirian has other work to do, and it will not be long before Sir Tomas de Mischieveuse has the lady of not quite misrule to deal with.

Robert does turn to the lady before him. He could talk about saxons, plans for what to do after Spring wedding, plain some raids even. Instead he turns to look at her, "Welcome." He says, so she doesn't have to remain as she is. A nod of his head even in return. "A pleasure good lady, forgive me that i do not know your name, it has been a day of many faces." An asking, subtle, for her name at least.

Jaradan steps back just a little, seeing that Caerwyn has stopped trying to impress Robert in some way and the older knights at their end of the tables have settled back into conversation amongst themselves while Robert remains at the lower end. A brief look towards Sir Aeryn, and a nod from him even. He has been watching, he watches all the knights, its respectful in its manner, given the slight rise of tension in the air.

Perin has a slight lack to his smile, only at the display by Caerwyn. The Idmiston forgotten for now, the move of hand unnoticed by the Steeple Langford. He nods, "I'm sure he'll be cordial despite this outburst." Jaradan that is, not holding this and bringing it to a glory match. Perin will lean slightly more towards Aeryn, "Your practice will show when it is your time." Then between the three. "Within the week we mean to set forth for Cameliard. Enough time to not be on the outskirts of the city of pavilions that we have to exhaust ourselves just to get the lists I think?"

Kamron glances back as his cousin steps up alongside him, unconsciously straightening up for all that he barely comes up to Cyndeyrn's shoulder. His response is low and quiet so as to not interrupt, "You made good time, Coz. I just made it here myself. Something the Burcombe," he gestures in the wake of the just-departed Caerwyn to make it plain which one he's talking about, "said caused a stir, and I think almost got him a challenge or three, but other than that, I don't know what's happened." Changing topics, he shrugs slightly, "Lord willing, we will see Sir Ifron's shade once more, for he was a charming fellow, and I should like to see him happy to see his son home with family once more." Shuffling his feet a little in the rushes, he looks about, "I was hoping you or Sir Acwel would be here to give your report on the trip south." Forcing a little joviality, he adds, "I did not want to steal all the glory for myself." Or he's nervous about speaking with the Earl just now, given the weight that still hangs on his shoulders.

Another Woodford remains at the side of the Earl though as he speaks to others, her attention drifts to that of her relative. A smile is returned, warm in its delivery, to Laurwyn. "My lady," she greets, "So wonderful to see you made it this day." As the Burcombe does seem to back off, an approving look is given to Quillian for his quick defense. As for the lack of response from Caerwyn, Seren does not seem to mind the slight in any way, her attention remains more on her aunt and Robert. Though as she notices Kamron and Cyndeyrn arrive, she gives a friendly smile, "Sir Kamron, Sir Cyndeyrn, so glad you made it back in time as well. It is good to see you both." Thusly, hopefully, drawing Robert's attention to them.

Thankfully Laurwyn did not turn into looking like a rug as the Burcombe made his way to the back and as Robert greets her, she raises a little more slowly than normal, but still with movements that seem more like a dance than actions one thinks of. A smile, soft and lovely touches pale features as Laurwyn dips her chin gracefully. "Thank you for your welcome. I am Lady Laurwyn de Woodford and simply wanted to add the greetings of another part of Woodford to Court this day.." This is offers in a soft voice, sweet and almost lyrical. Laurwyn gives another smile and nod Seren's way, "It is a pleasure to see you as well, Lady cousin." Cousin is used so not to confuse the Court anymore than needed. The attention of both her and the escort Knights turns to Robert. The Knights give there own proper greeting though no words are spoken.

Strolling into the packed hall, a little perturbed at just how crowded the place really is, Brynmor de Steeple Langford stands near the entryway, almost hesitant to proceed forward. Dressed in his family's colors, the young knight looks presentable enough to be at a function such as this, even if he lacks the enthusiasm that others may display. Blue eyes squint and narrow as he scans the room for a familiar face and then he sees his cousin! There is a moment's hesitation as to whether he ought join Perin and his betrothed and by the look of it, just the idea is giving him a bad taste in his mouth. Thus, he hangs back to mingle, or at the very least, blend in with the rest of the crowd. If he's in the back of the room, hardly anyone will be watching him and that's good enough for him!

"I do look forward to the journey to Cameliard. We are all still traveling together?" A look given to Aeron also, to include him in the question. At the look from Jaradan, Aeryn bows her head respectfully, but does not presume to speak to him yet. Instead, she keeps her attention on those nearest her. "Thank you for your faith and favor, Sir Perin."

Glowering angrily after the disappeared Burcombe popinjay, Custennin restricts himself to nothing more than a clenching of his huge fists… then a few deep breaths, and a muttered aside to the older Falt beside him. That latter snorts a laugh, then clears his throat and makes a few mollifying comments. A nod from Sir Cadogn towards Eirian results in Custennin relaxing still further, though the huge man still lurks at the edge of the hall as an onlooker rather than an active participant.

"Well, nothing new in Burcombes making poor showings of themselves and generally causing much stir that comes to nothing," Cyndeyrn answers his cousin, in one of the rare times he will ever be heard to make such a pointed remark. "If the Earl is not too busy with any others, let us go and report on some of our recent doings." Then there is a pause, as Acwel is mentioned. "We would be remiss to visit here and not report what we have witnessed or done. Sir Acwel we will name in his due part. But the picts at least should not go unmentioned. The rest is a longer story at any rate, we might speak briefly and leave Acwel his own recounting later." So with that, he seemed determined to approach, and indeed for Kamron to accompany him, nervous or not - though he will not be physically dragged, just encouraged with a nod before the larger Dinton sets off. Of course when they approach, Cyndeyrn is given his own reason to suddenly develop some nerves, and it is not Robert. "Ah, Lady Seren. I am, ah, well yes. I home you have rested well from our journies, and are enjoying the warm hospitality of a hall not under… distress." Which is his segue to face Robert, perhaps, waiting to have his turn acknowledged.

"Then I retain that pleasure, Lady Laurwyn," returns Robert at the greeting. A look to Seren, noting the familial relation, or curious of the full context at least. "The Lady Seren has been a welcome addition here, her grace speaks highly of the Woodfords." Of this generation implied, he knows not the olders so well other than in council perhaps. And on Seren's words, he follows attention towards Kamron and Cyndeyrn the same. The topic of Saxons curtailed, conversations pickig up as Robert turns more sociable than open courtly for all to address. He turns to the two indicated. It is good that they join company amongs the woodfords in his presence. "Sirs," he greets them, a look to Kamron, known from his time squiring in the courts here, "I confess a curiousity, in the matter of spirits. I have spent time in the chapel praying for some resolution to our departed friend that you spoke of." More towards Kamron, as if to assure some loyalty is there, not knowing his recent bouts of doubt of course.

Cynderyn's comment, if audible at a distance, brings the slight arch of an eyebrow from the remaining Burcombe. Yes, hello, that's Eirian. She has less to focus on now that the source of disruption vacated himself. Details worthy of curiosity and applied perception hold her fast, though she does flash the man speaking disparagingly of her home a serene, even smile unperturbed in the least.

Kamron hesitates a little despite Cyndeyrn's words, but eventually he nods, tugging down on the front of his tunic a little to get squared (unnecessarily) away. "Alright, Deyr." When they're greeted by first Robert's Scribe and then the Earl himself, Kamron offers a smile and a bow of his head to each in turn. The Lady gets the greater smile and the lesser bow, the Earl the lesser smile and the greater bow. Cyndeyrn's charming fumbling with Seren is enough to revitalize Kam's good humor, and it's with a slightly wider smile that he greets Robert, "My Lord. The trip to Devonshire was long, and not without its travails, but through God's Grace and Sir Acwel de Woodford's good leadership, we left Sir Ifron's son in Arnsford, with what parts of his birth family remain there." That is to say, the mission was successful. He glances over to his cousin to allow him to put in more detail if he wishes.

Success
Laurwyn checked her awareness of 10, she rolled 4.

Is happy it seems to take that as a dismissal from Robert, but a beautiful smile is offered as she moves to withdraw, words offered before she gives the floor to the appearing Knights. "My niece has always offered such grace, I am pleased it shows so greatly here at court.." A smile to Seren and then the delicate lady takes a step to the side and has to be steady by one of the Woodford Knights. A tiny flush touches her cheeks but she allows herself to be lead towards one table of another with swaying and oddly graceful steps. Even if the slight limp is present. Oh and Cynder's nervous greeting of her Niece is not missed! Conversations will surely be had.

Seren does not fail to hear Cyndeyrn since her attention was directed there anyway, though at his words, she sends a thoughtful look towards where the Burcombe in question had moved to. It is a brief stray before she looks back to Laurnwyn, a smile back in place. "Have you seen Sir Acwel yet? I do know he has been so terribly busy." When Cyndeyrn addresses her, a blush climbs in her cheeks, but there is also a brief, stark look in her expression. "I am happy to have returned home, yet the experiences I gained I will not forget." Dipping her head respectfully. When Robert addresses her, the attention is given back to him, her lips quirk and she offers a nod. "Thank you, Your Grace." Falling silent as the formalities are given between Robert and Kamron, she curtsies before the two.

Cyndeyrn bows as he approaches, although this does little to diminish the great towering height of the Dinton knight. "My Lord," he addresses Robert solemnly. Waiting on Kamron to offer his portion, first giving confirmation of his cousin's account before adding much elaboration of his own. "And with no trouble stirred in Stoke Cannon, it should be said, although they do seem to have some wariness over old wars. At least here, peace was maintained, even in asking to take away his adopted son." A pause, and he then continues, "I feel I should add of the travails my cousin mentioned, that en route we found a manor that had been beset by pictish raiders. They had killed some of the men and were engaged in looting and other dishonorable acts when we came upon them, and though we slew the lot, much damage had been done. Their own knight did soonafter return from some other business, to secure things, but it seemed worthy of note. I have word also of some saxon troubles within your own border, although these perhaps you would allow me to report to you in private, there being some delicate matters with your own vassals involved." All of this said, he will step back a little, allowing his Lord whatever response, and while he glances back at Seren again, he seems lost on an immediate further reply to her.

As the Knights start to report, it causes Laurwyn to hold her worded replace to Seren, but a slow shake of her head is the answer to seeing Sir Acewl as of yet. And while someone dressed in white with red hair can't really disappear into the shadows Laurywn nods the Knights towards a table suitable for there rank and place to get out of the limelight. If anyone does take note, once she is settled a look of the release of pain washes across her delicate features and she offers a grateful smile to the Knight who was escorting her.

Apparently, Acwel is the sort of guy who joins a party when it's ongoing, not before or at the end. As such, the Woodford knight arrives with his squire in tow and though his armor is somewhat chipped in places, he seems to have replaced his blood-soaked tabard with a fresh one on the way here. He readjusts his mail gloves before removing his helmet and bowing towards the dais — in deference to Robert.

Earl Robert stands with Lady Seren, the court Scribe. They are making rounds about the court, meeting with individuals. They have met her cousin, Lady Laurwyn and two knights returned from some adventure, Sirs Kamron and Cyndeyrn. A grin to the scribe, she is welcome, confidence growing in her abilities. There is a lowering of eye lids at the mention of God's Grace, though a slight deviatio in practice, the faith is the same in the end. Nearly a nod of thanks in that. "I should like to thank Sir Acwel for leading this cause, that we may find a friend in the world to come." As soon as that can be, he's a believer, even if not overtly showing of that faith like some others may be. A turn to Laurwyn then Cynderyn as he explains of the picts as well on this mission. "This is troubling news. I am curious if you could ascertain, was this a wandering band of picts, or signs that they are ranging regularly again this far. Perhaps with the demise of King Lot, they're brave enough to venture here, and without leadership that they each make up their own mind."

Seren does not seem to be expecting a response from Cyndeyrn, but she does give him a smile once he has relayed the information. "It all sounds so impersonal when delivered in such a way, but when you are actually there experiencing it, it is all too real." It is then she notices Acwel and hails him with delight. "Sir Acwel," the happiness in her voice is all too apparent. Her brother. A smile is given Earl Robert, "This is my brother, Sir Acwel de Woodford." Certain they had met, it was still her position to know who was who and inform him. Speaking only once the Earl had finished, she draws Acwel into it, for his own report.

Cyndeyrn bows as he approaches, although this does little to diminish the great towering height of the Dinton knight. "My Lord," he addresses Robert solemnly. Waiting on Kamron to offer his portion, first giving confirmation of his cousin's account before adding much elaboration of his own. "And with no trouble stirred in Stoke Cannon, it should be said, although they do seem to have some wariness over old wars. At least here, peace was maintained, even in asking to take away his adopted son." A pause, and he then continues, "I feel I should add of the travails my cousin mentioned, that en route we found a manor that had been beset by pictish raiders. They had killed some of the men and were engaged in looting and other dishonorable acts when we came upon them, and though we slew the lot, much damage had been done. Their own knight did soonafter return from some other business, to secure things, but it seemed worthy of note. I have word also of some saxon troubles within your own border, although these perhaps you would allow me to report to you in private, there being some delicate matters with your own vassals involved." All of this said, he will step back a little, allowing his Lord whatever response, and while he glances back at Seren again, he seems lost on an immediate further reply to her.

As the Knights start to report, it causes Laurwyn to hold her worded replace to Seren, but a slow shake of her head is the answer to seeing Sir Acewl as of yet. And while someone dressed in white with red hair can't really disappear into the shadows Laurywn nods the Knights towards a table suitable for there rank and place to get out of the limelight. If anyone does take note, once she is settled a look of the release of pain washes across her delicate features and she offers a grateful smile to the Knight who was escorting her.

Apparently, Acwel is the sort of guy who joins a party when it's ongoing, not before or at the end. As such, the Woodford knight arrives with his squire in tow and though his armor is somewhat chipped in places, he seems to have replaced his blood-soaked tabard with a fresh one on the way here. He readjusts his mail gloves before removing his helmet and bowing towards the dais — in deference to Robert.

Earl Robert stands with Lady Seren, the court Scribe. They are making rounds about the court, meeting with individuals. They have met her cousin, Lady Laurwyn and two knights returned from some adventure, Sirs Kamron and Cyndeyrn. A grin to the scribe, she is welcome, confidence growing in her abilities. There is a lowering of eye lids at the mention of God's Grace, though a slight deviation in practice, the faith is the same in the end. Nearly a nod of thanks in that. "I should like to thank Sir Acwel for leading this cause, that we may find a friend in the world to come." As soon as that can be, he's a believer, even if not overtly showing of that faith like some others may be. A turn to Laurwyn then Cynderyn as he explains of the picts as well on this mission. "This is troubling news. I am curious if you could ascertain, was this a wandering band of picts, or signs that they are ranging regularly again this far. Perhaps with the demise of King Lot, they're brave enough to venture here, and without leadership that they each make up their own mind."

Seren does not seem to be expecting a response from Cyndeyrn, but she does give him a smile once he has relayed the information. "It all sounds so impersonal when delivered in such a way, but when you are actually there experiencing it, it is all too real." It is then she notices Acwel and hails him with delight. "Sir Acwel," the happiness in her voice is all too apparent. Her brother. A smile is given Earl Robert, "This is my brother, Sir Acwel de Woodford." Certain they had met, it was still her position to know who was who and inform him. Speaking only once the Earl had finished, she draws Acwel into it, for his own report.

Success
Kamron checked his modest of 13, he rolled 3.

Oh, if there is ever anything to cheer up Sir Kamron de Dinton, it is setting up two dear friends who obviously could not manage such a thing on their own. And so, with a hint of his usual boyish mischief finally sparking back to his smile, he adds to Robert, "And, My Lord Salisbury, your kind willingness to allow your scribe, Lady Seren, to accompany us certainly brightened the trip wonderfully," and here he glances up to his cousin at his side, "Didn't it, Sir Cyndeyrn?" Subtlety, thy name is not Kam. The commentary on the Picts draws a slow nod, "It seemed a lone marauding band, My Lord, although we cannot be certain of that. There were near a score of them, and we might have been overwhelmed were it not for Sir Acwel," at Seren's introduction, Kamron half-turns toward the newly-arrived knight, inclining his head in a nod as well, "Holding off six with some assistance from myself until Sir Arian could arrive to assist us both. In the end, none of the raiders escaped. All were killed or captured and turned over to the knight of the manor when he returned."

"The whole of it was a great miracle, I would say," Cydeyrn will say, clear in his own faith and how the whole thing impressed him as well. And while he might have some other word on his lip, he hears Seren greet Acwel first and glances back by reflex. With his sister to introduce the other man, he has little need to say more beyond the fact, "Sir Acwel, now that he too is here, can tell you more of it I am sure. From my own judgment, they themselves seemed a strong band, as they had good numbers. But I could not attest to larger organization, one way or the other. We did not see any others, though we spent several days, both directions, riding in that territory, so it did not seem an invasion in numbers. But the earlier ones could has easily have been probing or scouting for weakness." When in turn Kamron decides to play a bit on his awkward interactions with Seren and indeed force him to -speak- about her. In public! "Ah yes, well, of course, their presence was most… ah, good." Smooth. "And they were of help in speaking with Sir De Stoke Cannon. I wish only that they did not have to witness the misdeeds of the blasphemous picti."

The matter of spirits had lifted Roberts following the Burcombe situation that transpired. His graces about him then and now, the news of the Picts has him curious of course. The Saxons more pressing as ever and Dorset in his mind, the picts are something new at least. The Earl listens as it is explained, greeting the arrival, "Ah, Sir Acwel, I have heard your quest to aid the spirit was a success, praise the Lord." Not the worldly sort either. Cynderyn nearly echoing those words. "I would be glad to hear more from you on this mission."

"It is a shame for others to witness this, but not all are privy to what it is we do and make cause to do to keep peace. They instead cry of wolves in our forests, when some of those wolves have axes or blue skin." Saxons and Picts respectfully, a slight on the plight of Burcbome and the despair of Salisbury in the young heir's eyes. He turns slightly from the group, raising his voice some, "I shall put a reward on this, should any find picts in our borders, bring news at once to me." And proof of course. "That we may know more certain if they are sneaking under our walls and through our fields." The olders will make note of that, something to do after the tourney when the knights have time to go beyond where normal patrols are kept on Salisbury roads. He comes back to the group at hand though. An eye more towards Acwel, curious of his take on the mission and the new pict issue.

"My Lord, it was my honor as your knight to make friends in the name of great Salisbury, and to bring you positive results of our journey in your name, by the grace of God," Acwel approaches when announced by Seren, smiling warmly at his sister and courteously bowing to her in a gesture of chivalry. As he straightens up, he looks at Kamron when he mentions that they might have been overwhelmed were it not for him, but adds, to the man's statement, still smiling, "Sir Kamron charged bravely to defend the honor of a maid in distress. His courage and sense of justice are unfaltering, and were an inspiration to follow against the dreaded Picts. The man was filled with such a righteous anger the first Pict he struck was nearly split in half, my Lord. And Sir Cyndeyrn, well, his size is not for naught — he was their terror. The Dinton knights are certainly of the finest quality, both in character and skill at arms. I am honored to have journeyed with them. And yes, I thank you for allowing Lady Seren to come with us to this enterprise. Her gift for words, certainly a trade refined here, in your magnificent court, was of great help to us, as were the sword of Lady Arian and Lady Lysanor's magnificent display of the ideal courtly skills a Lady ought to have."

Now, for the Pict business. The Woodford's expression becomes serious, "I believe there is a serious threat if the Pict savages have ventured this far south from their borders, my Lord. It means they are getting bold again and they must be taught a severe lesson in humility, lest they continue their depredations against our brave folk."

Acwel adds, "Their apparent leader, whom I have struck down myself, carried a sword that seemed to be an heirloom belonging to a knight, not to an impious savage such as he was. It implies a certain range of success with their raiding, which, as my family has been the unfortunate recipient of one such raid in our past, I feel concerned about."

Not only does it suddenly become awkward for Cyndeyrn, but Seren can feel the pink rising in her cheeks enough that she deliberately looks away from the blatant attempt by Kamron. The others in the court are given a glance over, a nod to Sir Perin and Sir Aeron, though with the conversation at hand she does not allow her attention to wander too long. "Thank you, Sir Kamron, Sir Cyndyrn." Quite awkward herself in the delivery. A more personal look to Acwel as she hears him explain, though the description of the landed blow brings a wince in remembrance of the battle she had witnessed. The color from before slowly fades, leaving her a sort of pale shade. Trusting her brother at his word, she gives a nod of support as he relays his own findings.

Kamron has the good grace to blush some at Sir Acwel's return praise, his ears burning red. Still, he nods with agreement at Acwel's description of the actions of the others, "Sirs Edwyn de Burcombe and Emrys de Newton also did great service against the Picts, and throughout our travels, My Lord." Did a Dinton just compliment a Burcombe? Well, at least he was not particularly specific about it, but the compliment is still there. Cyndeyrn gets a hopeless, long-suffering sigh at his less than stellar complimenting skills, and Seren receives an apologetic shrug, but Kamron puts his smile on again, "It would be our pleasure to aide you in protecting the good people of Salisbury, and of our manors within," the words are perhaps a little stilted, but at least he's making the attempt to suggest something more than dutiful submission to the requirements of fealty, "from the depredations of wolves in gray, blue, or with axes… although I hope you will not judge all who carry axes so harshly, My Lord." He may not be wearing his axe here at court, but it is a little joking reminder that he often carries one at his hip.

Cyndeyrn seems happy enough now to use Acwel's own presentation as chance to retreat somewhat from the spotlight. Rather than Kamron who may be embarrassed by the martial praise, he instead is clearly a bit so by his cousin's own romantic needling. And so much like the other Dinton, he will conclude merely with agreement over dealing with the various raiders that may threaten Salisbury, of various stripes and colors. "We are your swords, my lord. Such heathen vagabonds and scoundrels we will meet wherever they might appear, and grant them all they are due."

Robert listens to Acwel's telling, some stir perhaps among others on having an opportunity to scout and explore, to look for picts. If something comes of this, more news on this issue certainly. "Sir Edwyn and Sir Emrys, I'll take this as an account of all parties that joined your cause Sir Acwel." A look around, including Kamron, Cyndeyrn and Seren, who all attended the journey to Exeter. "This sword, should it heir not be found, should be safe in your keeping." A side comment, "I am surrounded by Woodfords, and am thankful of this." A relief following the Burcombe instance of the day so far. "Those who stay back to garrison will at least now know we may have an enemy within, least they surprise us. And when we return, this is something to look into." A grin to Kamron of course, "Aye, not too harshly know, I cannot deny one who prefers the axe, but some day we may convince him of the virtue of a sword." Said full well knowing that day will most likely never come.

"Aye," Acwel agrees with Kamron's statement, regarding Edwyn and Emrys' contributions. Then he states something regarding the fate of the sword and Acwel angles his head again, "It is under the safe custody of Sir Arian, who I have no doubt will honor its safekeeping as though it was her own family's. We shall endeavor to look for the recipient of the sword in the time afforded to us, my Lord." He then bows deeply at the side comment, offering the sovereign of Salisbury a smile — a little measure of pride, perhaps, for this compliment bestowed upon his family — "Our only desire is to serve as your loyal and unfaltering vassals and give our blood to Salisbury as Salisbury has given us the unmatched honor of faithful keepers of our manor." The rest of the words is given a nod as he straightens, and he falls silent when the Earl addresses Kamron.

There it is, the little joke from the Earl to remind Kamron that Robert is human as well, and it seems to melt some of the last vestiges of ice around his demeanor. His laugh is easy and good-natured, if not quite reaching the rich heights of his usual mirth, the short knight nodding willingly, "I'll warrant that they're good for cutting bread, My Lord." Not that even he would ever use a sword to cut bread. He nods at Acwel's mention of the fate of the sword, shifting back just a touch so that the Earl can speak with the Woodfords he has praised so well.

"With your leave then, my lord," Cyndeyrn will himself request as the reporting seems mostly at an end, and there are no doubt other vassals and retainers who have business with the Earl. "I will return later on to speak with you of the saxons near Tilshead, in more detail." With a further bow and some backpeddling steps, he will then turn to make his own withdrawal, leaving room for others to seek audience with their lord.

With an eye to Acwel, Robert listens with care. An incline of his head at the choice of words used by his vassal. The sword safe, and like the others, in his service. "This is good, we will be well represented at the tourny come May. My faith is increased in my men." A pause, a look to Laurwyn and Seren, "And ladies." Burcombe's saving grace in Eirian as well. "Our future is secured under Pendragon and God." He seems to be pleased with this news, maybe ready to continue rounds. Kamron's return does get a chuckle from him, "Aye, very good indeed, as good as an axe is at shaving." See, all weapons have their use it seem, everything is in order. He'll reach a hand to pat Kam's shoulder lightly in the jest. A nod given to Cyndeyrn, leave granted. "I will be glad to hear this news, it may direct our intents later this year." He moves aside lightly, seeing if Seren is staying with family or accompanying him. Her choice of course.

Another from Woodford soon arrives, the lady knight Deryn in light armor covered by a cloak. Having made the ride from home, she is fresh from her horse, pausing only long enough to brush the trail dust from her before entering the castle proper. Having heard her cousin finally made it back from his mission, she seems eager to not only find him, but to hear what might be said. Pausing at the entrance, she glances about, then behind for whatever reason.

Court. Bleh. But, having been knighted and now the 'official' head of his house, it is now Aluksander's privilege, honor, and duty. Though, personally, he feels it far more of the latter than either of the former. Plus, he was having such a pleasant time, before he had to make the ride in from his manor. Thankfully, he did have some pleasant company to make the ride with, even if that company was pressured in to riding ahead so that they could not have been mistaken as arriving 'together.' Because appearances are important! Especially at court!

Somewhat unused to the pomp and circumstance, having never really /needed/ to pay attention to it, Aluksander's head swivels as he enters, nodding politely to any who notice him, as he moves to find an empty space for himself to occupy. And, since it's court, one can be sure he's dressed in his finest regalia, Pitton orange and green throughout.

As Robert moves, Seren does as well, remaining at his side, but Laurwyn does get a warm smile. As Deryn arrives as well, she offers her cousin a brief wave. Seren had notes to take, missives to write, lists to make and the content of those would be in what transpires between Robert and the others, so she remains with him to do her duties.

Moving along for the moment, another Woodford is nearby it would seem. Robert looks to Seren again, as if recognizing this one at least. "Sir Deryn, you seem to have recovered well from the tourney, it is good to see you in the courts again." He does recall her staying awhile after being unhorsed during the winter months. "I've had opportunity to meet your kin, I am pleased to know there are so many of you." She was unhorsed, but showed well all the same. He is near the table with Perin, Aeron, and Aeryn. Only one he notices, and at a curious time, as Aluksander comes in too, "And of the winter tourney, our champions are here. I hope we are both ready for the melee, Lonazep has need of support, but we have are brightest," and upcoming, "Knights already. You two are practiced I hope?" And more to Aeryn, "Sir Jaradan gladly awaits meeting with you, he has enjoyed your prowess Sir Aeryn."

Acwel smiles at his Laurwyn, offering his Lady cousin a nod before he watches Seren accompany Robert, content to bow to the Earl once again and step back, allowing others to take the fore and make their own petitions and such should they want it. A glance to Deryn as she comes in, and the lord of the Woodford manor smiles at his cousin, offering her a knightly salute. Then one to Aluksander, though their timing certainly draws a look of curiosity from the man.

Sir Deryn is quick to bow her head as she's immediately spoken to by the Earl, "Milord, thank you. The skill of your healer made certain I would be up and on my feet again sooner than later." A smile is given then, though it's hard to say whether or not it is to the Earl, or to the man who walked in behind her at that moment. "I hope to prove myself better at the Tourney, though not on your team.." She's certain to sign up for all she can while there! Catching the salute from her cousin, Deryn is sure to return it,nevermind the hint of color that might come to her cheeks at his curious look given afterwards. Ah, Seren! A welcome distraction is her other cousin, the scribe earning a smile and nod of her head as she moves to the side.

Has made his way into the feast after many others (and after the weather knocked out his internets for awhile) And manages to find a nice innocuous spot at a table. At least asn innocuous as the big lumox is capable of being.. He settles and finds a place to sit nodding briefly to knights and ladies he recognizes from recently dealings and the occasional roadside joust since the winter tourney.

Aeryn looks up from her quiet contemplation at the table with Sir Perin and Sir Aeron, startled when the Earl addresses her. Rising immediately, she bows deeply, "Your Grace, I am honored to represent your new knights in the challenge this evening." Her eyes slip over to Jaradan and she gives a nervous sort of smile before looking back to the Earl. "I have indeed been practicing, Your Grace, I look forward to meeting with him as well."

Discussing the trip perhaps in quiet, Perin pauses with a look to those neary him, Aeryn and Aeron. No, that doesn't get confusing much. He feels a sense to rise to his feet too, offering a bow of his head only for the Earl being so close. He had been discussing tokens perhaps and looking about for Jaradan when he arrived. This brings their conversation to a pause at least. Perin remains quiet near Aeryn at least. Looking from her to his Liege Lord.

A little surprised at being addressed (and noticed, since he certainly wasn't /early/) right away, Aluksander can only grimace and bow at first. But, he does find his voice after a moment. "Aye, milord. Practiced and ready, and quite proud that the only person to defeat me was the champion, who will help me represent the best we have to offer," he states, with a look to Aeryn and a brief nod of commendation. He scans the hall a little more, looking around at the tables and all of the places to sit, and then he sees Acwel, raising a hand to hail the man as he makes his way in his direction.

Seren catches the smile and nod from her cousin and gives another smile in response before she finds herself approaching the table with Robert. She dips her head respectfully to the gathered knights, listening to each in turn as they speak before offering a smile of encouragement. For the moment, she remains silent, listening.

Sir Dalan continues to sit quietly at one of the feast tables, nibbling at his meal as he watches things unfold. He was excited for court and to see the upcoming challenge, that he realized he doesn't really have anything to talk to Earl Robert or report to him about. Still, he does his best to look and knightly and engaged. Gotta represent Newton well after all. The big man sees Seren smile, and offers her a little wave… Which is when he looks over his shoulder and notices her cousin and promptly looks down at his plate as his big ears turn red.

Looking between those gathered, letting Seren get to know them as who they are from the winter tourney, Robert nods. "I am sure you will, its was a good hit you took but you were resliant. I look forward to hearing of your progress the same." As she looks more to Seren for distraction, Robert turns to the others. "I am looking forward to this, Jaradan is quick to teach me when I still do wrong by the sword in his eyes, he is a good teacher even when sparring. I might suggest padding a little, he will not hold back in that regard." A chuckle even from Robert, as he looks to Aluksander, "Well said, it is a feat to be proud of, and to let our team represent well, Sir Aluksander." Then Aluksander is headed for Acwel, a grin and the Earl turns back to those still present. Other eyes may watch that move. There is a turn to a nearby knight. "The feast is well, sir … Newton isn't it?" He tries to place the face. He doesn't not kid himself in knowing every knight by face in the manors, leaving it to the families to choose who and how.

Sir Deryn bows her head to Robert's words, "Thank you, your grace." As he turns his attention to others, she makes a soft sound of relief, moving to the side further as she looks over the tables for a place to sit. Just as she begins to head in Acwel's direction, she's passed by Aluksander who's heading in that direction as well. Steps pause briefly, but then begin again, leaving her to tail Aluksander towards the table where Woodford sits.

Acwel has /just/ chosen a table! At any rate, when Deryn and Aluksander approach, he gestures for them to join him, all in the better interests of Woodford hospitality. Flagging a waitress who passes by, he requests: "I want your strongest ale, and some slices of meat. I am hungry after a long travel and I wish to quench my thirst and my hunger."

Dalan quickly stands when he's addressed. Almost toppling his goblet and spilling it as he does, catching it just in time, "Yes, Sir Dalan of Newton your Grace. I was knighted at your mass knighting ceremony just before the Winter Tourney." Dalan explains. "I am looking forward to doing you proud in the coming year your Grace." Dalan says trying to sound as confident as possible.

Aluksander had totally not even noticed that he was walking directly by Deryn, such was his surprise at being addressed by the Earl. Coupled with his focus on speaking with Acwel, Aluk simply walks right by the woman, lost in his own thoughts for the moment. As he approaches Acwel, he opens his mouth to speak but is first offered a seat. He stops, mouth open, and straightens up. He goes to say something, but stops again, frowning and looking back towards the entrance, before considering the table Acwel's chosen. His brow furrows and he frowns, shifting his weight as he considers things, and then sighs and shakes his head. "No, thank you so much, Sir Acwel, but … my mother, you see, and grandmother have yet to arrive, and … well, as much as I might like …," he trails off, only now turning to notice Deryn as she comes by him. He pauses and watches her for a second, leaving the sentence hang before he remembers he was saying something. "Thank you, but no, I should likewise find a table, that my house may sit together as well. But, I do have a matter of some import that I'd like to discuss with you, at a later time, at your earliest convenience. That is, if it /is/ convenient. For you to discuss, with me, I mean. I …," Aluksander says, looking back to Deryn and utterly fumbling his etiquette rolls. With another sigh of resolve, he nods once, and finishes. "At your leisure, Sir Acwel. But in private."

"Thank you, Your Grace." Aeryn offers the Earl. "I look most forward to learning from him tonight, I have watched him since my page and my squire days and I am truly honored to meet him on the field and learn all I can." Her lips quirk into a smile, "I will add extra padding, thank you for the advice."

"At a later occasion?" Acwel glances between Aluksander and Deryn, narrowing his eyes briefly before his lips curl up. "You should just be out with it, Sir Aluksander. You are the lord of your manor, after all, and we are among peers, no need to be circumspect about it. Besides, your aunt, and mother, and grandmother can wait while we discuss what I presume it is quietly, in the privacy of this table." He looks to Deryn, "Sir Deryn, please join us as well, cousin."

Deryn is caught, perhaps half way to her seat when Aluksander asks for the moment with Acwel. When he clarifies it as 'later', she takes the seat, only to glance between the two men with Acwel's comment. She does lean in, perhaps to make a quiet comment to her cousin, something softly offered before drawing back again.

"… /now/!?" Aluksander asks, terribly surprised as he looks between Acwel and Deryn rapidly. "Well … I … it …. but … well, it's not /proper/ to just discuss these in public …," he says, rubbing at the back of his neck nervously. "I shouldn't want to cause anyone embarassment," he adds. Like he's not already embarassed.

A nod to the knight, Robert grins, "Ah, Sir Dalan,I shall do better by you to recall your name next we meet Sir. And I am impressed with our young knights this year." Says him only a few years older than the rest. The Woodfords seem to be settling as does Aluksander with the Woodford, left with Aeryn and Dalan. "Your lot has already shown promise. And with the current peace bought us by Arthur, we may strengten our position in the Realms. You will be attending the wedding tourney, Sir Dalan, with your peers … Sir Aeryn, Sir Perin and Sir Aeron …" He tries to recal, the names come from the challenges and the joust. Aeryns' the quickest, the other two after a moments pause.

For her own part, Seren offers to Robert, "I shall go and prepare the lists for you, Your Grace, and the notes on the embassy and what was spoken of here today." Gracefully she retracts her arm from his and dips into a curtsy before returning to the table she was frequenting before the rounds with the Earl. Once seated, she gets right to work on the parchment she brought with her.

"Very well," Acwel concedes, after conferring quietly with Deryn in an exchange of murmurs, "We will talk about this at a later time. Do not worry about it, Sir Aluksander," he mentions, smiling reassuringly at the man.

Sigh and relaxing visibly, Aluksander smiles and then bows from the waist. "Many thanks, Sir Acwel," he says. He then turns and heads towards a table that is still mostly empty, preparing to claim it for his manor to fill.

Aeryn is still standing as Robert addresses her, but she dips into another bow, "I do look forward to the match, it is an honor." Straightening, she glances once more towards Jaradan. "I should go and prepare for the challenge." Another smile is given and she looks to Perin. "Would you accompany me and my squire, Sir Perin?"

A bow to Robert from Perin, "By your leave, my lord." And he waits, then turns to Aeryn, "I would be glad to accompany you both. I am at your command, Sir Aeryn." Not to say he's a squire, but to say he's similar enough that she is the focus as she gets ready to face Sir Jaradan.

Deryn exchanges a few words with Acwel before drawing back, listening to the conversation going on between others. She hmms as it's mentioned that Jaradan and Aeryn will spar later that evening, a glance given to the other female knight that's proven herself so far. As Aluksander heads off, a few more quiet words are exchanged with her cousin at the table.

Yawning, Sir Uwain emerges from elsewhere, like a groundhog come to look for his shadow. He holds a large tankard half full, despite having fallen asleep, and proceeds to call for more ale as he goes a-wandering about the keep, looking for signs of random spirits that have been sprinkling dew in his ears. Prodding aside a tapestry with a foot, he checks behind it, and seeing that everything is right, he moves along. All is well. Drink, drink. Smiling to one and all, he seems in good spirits and greets people with friendly good cheer.

Acwel replies to the words his cousin tells him at the table, reaching out to place his hand upon her shoulder in a brotherly, almost understanding fashion. He smiles at the end of whatever he says, apparently amused. "It is how they show their appreciation."

Deryn nods once, a hint of color upon her cheeks for whatever reason. Still, the smile she offers to her cousin in return is warm and thankful, his words to gain a soft chuckle from her. "Yes.. yes.." She finally says before looking up as the server arrives with the ale and food ordered. "So the fight is tonight? And how did things go for you?" She wonders of her cousin.

While Robert goes over to greet the more experienced knights, such as Jaradan and the rest, Seren continues taking down notes, but she gets distracted briefly from the writing as different conversations happen around her. A curious look is given her brother, her cousin and the Pitton Knight, but it is brief and she affords them their privacy. Another glance around the room, perhaps looking for someone.

Acwel nods faintly for whatever reason, grinning when he notices the blush on Deryn's cheeks, just as the servant comes with the ale he requested earlier. He picks it up and drinks deeply from it before he tells her, "It went well, all things considered. We brought the rightful heir of a fief back to his fold and we fought off a Pictish raid. Our family was also praised by His Lordship today, for which we should be honored." He gestures for Seren to join them, should she wish, flashing his sister a brief grin.

As others come and go, Deryn does take a moment while the ale is delivered, to give a look about the room. Uwain's arrival does gain her attention briefly, though once Acwel begins to speak, her attention returns to her cousin. Quick is the smile when he speaks of the honor given the family by Robert's words, "Good. I wish I'd been able to ride out with you.." Wasn't quite healed up when they left. "Here's hoping that we can bring more honor with the coming tourney.."

It's at this moment that the Lady Lysanor de Dinton enters with her entourage - one lady-in-waiting, a comely woman named Myfanwy, attends to her restlessly just within sight, hovering from the left and behind. It's easy to see why the lady-in-waiting would be restless; Caerwyn de Burcombe seems to be walking alongside Lysanor, his coloring a contrast of extremes: black of hair, white of skin and green of eyes, the kind of figure that seems to stand for sin, disloyalty and improperly coiffed ladies nowadays. But he has a restrained smile - still in black and silver finery, he folds his arms behind him, walking alongside Lysanor and looking attentive. He listens closely, one turned to her, gaze glued to the ground, pondering whatever she's saying.

The rest of the retainers linger fretfully behind, of course - no lady is safe from Caerwyn de Burcombe's advances, they say. But acting the utter gentleman, keeping outside of personal space, Caerwyn comes to a stop and gestures towards the crowded Great Hall. "M'Lady Lysanor. After you." His nod deepens into a bow as he gestures chivalrously towards a table with yet an empty space. The footmen escorting Lysanor - good Christians, surely - look suspiciously at Caerwyn, but take up positions nonetheless.

Yes, Lysanor is being escorted into the great hall by no other than Caerwyn Burcombe. It is an oddity if only one knows about their long standing House rivalries, other wise, the Burcombes themselves have cultivated a rather dark and unsavory reputation for themselves as it is. With her maid now removing and securing her riding cloak, the small Dinton lady steps forward with a graceful step, dressed in colors of her house, the undertunic showing blue while the one over it is dark crimson. While the Burcome does, indeed, escort her into the room, the pair due retain a polite and formal distance from one another. Lysanor's own features are warm, her expression soft. For now, her guard seems to be down, though on the other hand, her personal guards and retainers seem to be all the more guarded. Once inside, her brilliant eyes quickly look about the area, hoping to find signs of her brother or her cousin. "They should be here somewhere, less they had already departed."

When someone's shadow crosses his, thrown clear as day across him, Sir Uwain is able to clearly spot some sort of spirit and proceeds to chase after it for a moment or two, trying to avoid stepping on it. He is careful to keep his tankard balanced, so that it doesn't slosh. Catching whatever it is, he corners it, as the person who'd been moving stops moving, and heads back towards the many revelers. "Good evening, my friends and countrymen!" he declares in good cheer, and lifts his tankard.

Having handled his own obligations with the Earl sometime earlier, Cyndeyrn has since retreated off to one corner to enjoy something to eat and some quiet while other business is conducted. He does not seem to give much mind to the majority of other comings and goings, for the hall is a busy place at this time, but his sister does catch his notice, her familiar flame of hair always easily recognizable to brotherly eyes. At first he might just wave her over, but seeing Caerwyn… following her? Harassing her, perhaps? Well, whatever it is, he does seem to find that cause enough to stand up and go greet her. "Lys," he calls, when he has stood and wandered nearer. "Are you… alright?"

Acwel leans towards Deryn to murmur something as he watches Caerwyn walk right beside Lysanor, his brow raised somewhat, as if in suspicion. He notices Cyndeyrn approaching her to ask a question and so he leans back.

Signe entered the hall at some point, a female companion with her. She wears, as usual, a gown of grey, more suited for court though it is than her robes. She stands a while, scanning the crowd for the promised presence of at least one brother, but notes with mild vexation that none seem to be present.

Paying attention to the food laid out before her is Deryn, though once Acwel leans into her to murmur something, her attention soon turns away from the meal. Her gaze finds Lysanor, Caerwyn and the entourage that has just filed in, studying the group while nodding her head to her cousin.

Dalan has mostly been enjoying his meal, just happy the Earl took a moment to say hello to him. Truth be told he told he's kinda been oblivious to what is going on, He hears his cousin Cyndeyrn's voice and looks up to see what is afoot. He double takes then seeing Lysanor with Caerwyn. Yeah he's a little surprised by this.

Failed.
Caerwyn checked his awareness of 5, he rolled 16.
Failed.
Caerwyn checked his valorous of 15, he rolled 17.
Success
Caerwyn checked his cowardly of 5, he rolled 2.

"I don't think I see your bro—"

Caerwyn cranes his head and is still trying to spot the good Dinton man to pass Lysanor off to when a stout chin, a thickly muscled neck, and a pair of wide shoulders apparates in front of him. Caerwyn is not a short man, nor a small man. He's got muscles and height and all those things girls love, but it unfortunately doesn't compare with Cyndeyrn. And so, Caerwyn squints up at the shadow that just blocked out the light and lifts his green gaze just a stitch, before recognizing Cyndeyrn.

"Oh. There he is. Well, milady, I deliver you unto your… rather beefy brother," he says, a mild smile on his lips. The smile wavers a bit. For one thing, Cyndeyrn has got armor and sword, plus the kind of expression that could wither plants. For another, Caerwyn feels naked without his family heirloom chainmail - he's dressed in finery that's fine for feckin' females (say that ten times fast!), but not so good for armed solo combat. A Burcombe always walks into a room expecting every last person there to be his enemy… but an entire Great Hall is looking at him, and he immediately dips his head down and mumbles an incoherent, 'Sorry, Sir,' before apologetically extricating himself from the situation. He dips down into a bow and mumbles something else: "Ibegyourpardonandyourleaveplz", and he does, indeed, start sauntering away like some guilty dog having relieved itself somewhere it shouldn't have.

Spying at least one family member, Signe makes her way to Bryn and nods graciously to a knight that makes room for her by her stepbrother nee cousin. Food is set before her, and wine, but it's only the wine she takes up, perhaps nibbling at corners of bread between long drinks. She's never really been part of the social scene, but when a brother pressures her to attend one that brother better damn well show up himself.

And, as apparently the only member of the crowd who isn't in tune with the drama of a Burcombe hovering over a lady, she soon grows bored and restless.

Once Seren has written down what she has to write, she replaces the parchment and other items in the basket and hooks it over her arm before walking over to where Acwel is with her handmaid is in tow. To her brother, she gives a hug and a warm smile, and to Deryn, she gets an equally warm smile before she seats herself.

Success
Lysanor checked her merciful of 10, she rolled 1.

She knows that the their entrance may seem outright bizarre to those who know either family, already feeling the eyes upon her, but Lysanor isn't here for Caerwyn, even if she is here /with/ him at the moment. No, her features brighten all the more when she notices the intimidating form of her big brother making his way through the crowd to join her. "Cynderyn!" She calls out when the man draws near. And yet, one can still feel the tension in the room beween the large Dinton and the charming Burcombe when their distance lessens. "Of course, I am fine." She remarks, her eyes now turning to look up at Caerwyn, noting that this is who Cyndeyrn's attention seems focused on, as well as many other's. "Sir Caerwyn was kind enough to escort me here just as I was having my horse secured." There is a careful glance between the two now and she can sense the Burcombe practically shirking beneath her brother's gaze. "It is fine. He has been a perfect gentleman and.." There is a pause, just as Caerwyn looks to be making his own retreat and here she quickly states, "I do not mean to have you chased away, kind Sir." If not 'good' Sir!' "But I do appreciate your taking the time to ensure that I was safely delivered into my Lord Brother's care."

What if the matter is a Burcombe lady? The business of superficial or real stirs happened earlier in the day when the fresh air and revelry were not overtaken by business, bad news, and bratty provocation by the agent provocateur, Caerwyn the Black. Bad. Eirian has been absent some while from most affairs, conducting herself among peers and acquaintances as one does. The long winter denies a chance to socialize, but full on greetings and gossip, proposals and practical information, so enters the willowy pagan on a whisper of a warm wool cloak over finer material for a long dress without sleeves. She's unrushed in her approach, gliding with certainty while studying the crowd for signs of the familiar or at least interesting. Rosewater announces her, a soft wash of fragrance intimated like a secret shared. She has just captured a sweet roll upon hearing the commotion and stating, in no uncertain terms, "Cousin." Because he's somewhere. Somewhere she is not.

Into the theater that seems to be all about Caerwyn this day steps a vibrate form. Dressed in a flowing dress of greens and gold with the undertunic being of fine linen and doing nothing to distract from the form of the lady, is Nalia. The lady of Durnford pauses just inside the door, her steel eyes taking in the scene unfolding before a little smile touches her lips and she glances over towards where Earl Robert should be, noting he is not there, she moves farther into the crowd doing well not to get stepped on atleast for the moment.

Brynmor, evidently, has been here all along! Listening to the gossip and all the important things which the other Knights seemed to have been up to. Not that it mattered much to him. So when Signe joins him where he is leaning against the wall, lazily in the back of the hall, he gives her this silent nod of greeting. Yep, not expending energy nor a breath for a verbal greeting. However, as there is food now (why didn't he get that earlier?), he does partake of his cousin's plate, nabbing a slice of bread to chew on.

Surely Cyndeyrn has little idea what to make of Caerwyn's reaction or display, but obviously he is not overly bothered by the Burcombe making himself scarce, either. With the man withdrawing, his attention falls more squarely on his sister, who he moves closer to greet, and perhaps ward off any further approaches. "Well, I am sure that is quite good of him, to look out for you," the man will allow, especially given his sister making a point of it, although it is clear enough to any looking at him that he speaks only for politeness' sake and is little convinced of any good intentions! And while she continues to try and make peace of the situation, he seems quite of the mind to forget it. "Shall we go and sit and eat a little? Robert has finished for the time being, I believe, although it all seemed quite productive while he was here."

Failed.
Uwain checked his worldly of 4, he rolled 10.
Success
Uwain checked his pious of 16, he rolled 15.

Being merry, Sir Uwain is drinking and raising a toast with anyone who'll give him the time to do so. Spotting Lady Eirian, he gets a slightly perplexed look on his face and stares down into his tankard for a long moment as if trying to make sense of something. In the end, he rises to his feet and goes over toward the Lady, "Lady of the Wood," he greets her quietly, "I did not realize that you would come to a place like this." He bows his head to her, as if greeting royalty of some nature and then scratches his nose with the back of a gauntlet covered fist. He does not want to give away her nature as a creature of the forest, as that might provoke her, so he speaks quietly, and a bit wide eyed. The large man stooped slightly.

Dalan looks out the window and sighs as the shadows that are getting long and remind him of duties he has yet to take care of this day. Quietly he slips gets up from his spot at the table and slips out with as little fuss as possible.

"Seren," Acwel returns the hug, kissing his sister on the cheek as he gestures for her to take her seat by his left. "Now I see that the Lord Robert rather values your expertise and diligence. I am rather proud that the hallmark of a Woodford is our dutifulness. Something that we shall impart to our children and grandchildren, no doubt, to the betterment of this Kingdom."

Cynrain currently enjoys food and drink. He doesn't seem to be actively engaged in conversation or any interaction of sorts with those around him. During proceedings, he would have been quiet and attentive. Once things become a bit more celebratory, he brings his mug to his lips and drinks deep. From appearances, he looks rather content in solitude.

Alas and alack, the Lady of the Wood dares even to descend from Faefyre and attend the court of Earl Robert, such is the good man's reach and power. He can command connections among the eldritch maiden masquerading as a common noble in a fine gown, pale blue as moonlight on the ocean and gracefully embroidered with the daggers of her house intermingled among elaborate designs meant to speak to her ancient faith. The winding webwork delicately frosts her and gives a glistening finish by any manner of light, including the shadows romancing her from the periphery of the room. Well, Burcombe is synonymous with demon and darkling; how then not to be the Otherworld consort to some poor knight caught within the evolutions of a spell?

A kindness, then, brings a practical response, first a smile and then a dip of her head. She does not bow to Uwain, but brings together her hands and executes a slight rotation to face him properly. "Sir Knight of the lowlands, how enchanting to find you hale and prosperous away from the long road."

Signe thrusts the plate at Brynmor in a way that would make it very awkward for him to not take it, though she plucks the bread from it, leaving him meat and whatever accompanies it. "It's like a cauldron without inspiration in here," she murmurs, furrowing her brow and passing the back of her hand— goblet held— over her forehead. "Wine heat and pleasantries— I'm not being snide." She tilts her head back against the cool stone wall, assuming she isn't interfered with by a tapestry.

Seren leans in and offers her cheek to her brother, settling her basket on the table beside her so that she can concentrate on him and the new arrivals. "It gladdens me, Acwel, that you are proud." A smile finds her features, she settles her hands in her lap, clasped and demure in manner. "Will you be going to the challenge this evening?"

Unlike some lady of the wood, Sir Uwain wears nothing so dramatic. He wears the same dented and slightly unpolished armor, his hair still all messy and cut by a knife at some point in recent memory. His face lightly sunburnt and windchafed from time staring at the horizon, and too much time exposed to the rougher weather. He moves well for a man of his grand size, however, and bows a bit at the waist. "After you and your sister saw me away, I did quite well, thank you again for your kindness," Sir Uwain replies sincerely and smiles at the lady. "I did not wish to interfere with you, but only to thank you again and hope that you come to bring good tidings to these people," he tells her, as if speaking to a foreign diplomat and seems like he might withdraw, not wanting to disturb her for too long.

With as little fanfare as possible, Catryn makes her appearance in court, even if more than fashionably late was several hours ago. With her cloak about her, the Burcombe reaches for the clasp at her throat and unfastens it, leaving it with her squire. "Anais, find.." Then further words are unnecessary as her eyes land on the Durnford she had been about to instruct her squire to seek. With determined steps, she approaches and once there, dips her head politely. "Sir Cynrain."

Caerwyn is already out of earshot, ears burning and turning a mottled red. Morrigan curse this. He starts to glance over his shoulder once more, but instead disappears into the crowd. Being one of the taller knights in attendance, dressed splendidly in black and silver, and having the reputation as one of the Blackest of the Burcombes, Caerwyn does not hide well. In fact, all eyes are on him when he sinks into a seat besides Eirian on the other side of Sir Uwain. "… Blood of my blood, flesh of my flesh - kinswoman - do introduce me to this good knight, aye?" His hopes dashed on the rocks of craggy elder brother, his romances (was he escorting Lysanor for the love of Romance?) denied by the cruel fates, he glances over at Uwain and offers a slight nod. Ears still pink from the effort, he gives a cautious look-see around the room. Does he still have the limelight? Sometimes it's -not- good, the attention.

A serving girl sets a plate of meat in front of him and perhaps the largest mug of mead that they're serving in this room. "M'Lord," she murmurs demurely, before backing away. Perhaps someone intends to get Caerwyn drunk.

"I shall," Acwel tells his sister, reaching for his tankard again now that things have since become less tense. He drinks from it, glancing to Seren as he murmurs a few words quietly, chuckling to himself about something, afterwards. The tankard placed back upon the table, he reaches for a slice of the meats he requested, eating them slowly, appreciating the food.

The lady in gold has paused in her footsteps towards her brother there in the shadows as Catryn arrives at the seat the Durnford lord has taken. Nalia tilts her head to the side, a pondering look coming into her eyes, but she simply offers her brother a smile if he catches her there before she turns and sees where a lady might find a seat without hovering over her brother. Or is it the other way around?

Being drawn away by her brother, Lysanor doesn't halt in her steps and obediently follows the big ox. A final gaze is given in Caerwyn's direction, offering the man a faint, apologetic look, but she has said all that she needed to and there was nothing more to be discussed. Cyndeyrn was always right, of course, and maybe she did have a lapse in judgment for a brief moment, but she trails behind her brother all the same. "Of course it was good of him, he is a knight, after all." Chivalry and all that. "I came here to see if you or Kamron were still in attendance. I was told that bards would be singing in an inn tonight as well," Though already her brother seems to be keeping himself busy with food, so offering him more food… well, sometimes it tends to work. "Where is Kamron anyhow?" There are several familiar faces, of course, and when she sees her friend Seren in the distance, she graces the Robert's scribe with a warm smile.

At the whispered words from her brother, Seren lifts her head and takes a quick glance around the room, settling on no one in particular before they come back to her brother and she offers a warm smile. "Perhaps a touch of both," she speaks to him softly, a playful smile given. It is then, when she lifts her eyes again, she notices Lysanor and her smile blossoms brighter. The distance is too great for conversation, but she does offer a warm smile in return, seeming genuinely glad to see her here.

Oof. Brynmor feels the edge of a plate cramming its way against his midsection. If only he were wearing his maile! The move is so sudden that he practically fumbles with it, but manages to keep hold of it before it clattered to the floor. "Yes, it is exactly as you say." He murmurs, more than likely not catching a word of it as he concentrates on the food so kindly offered to him. "Perin was here earlier and his lovely betrothed. There's going to be a challenge of sorts tonight with Sir Jaradan, I believe. Against your brother's intended."

Hearing the voice of Catryn brings Cynrain's attention from his drink to her appearance. Setting it down, he gets to his feet, placing a hand behind his back as he bows slightly towards her, "My lady… Sir Catryn." he slowly straightens his posture as a small smile curves along his lips. His eyes shift for a few moments, catching sight of his sister, Nalia. The smile widens as he returns her smile with one of his own before returning his attention to Catryn. "I am happy to be within your presence once more. And best of luck to you in the coming events. Would you care to join me.. or are you passing by to say hello before you go and join your family?"

"Not every knight's honor is the same, sister." This is all the more Cyndeyrn has to say of her entrance, not chiding Lysanor any further nor otherwise arguing the point beyond making that simple one of their own. For there are more important concerns now, namely a bite to eat for both of them. That is easily enough arranged, bread and soup for now. "Kamron was here, though he has left on some smaller duty or errand I imagine. He remains in Sarum for all that is yet going on, and will likely return before long." And then turning topics to the other she seemed mention, he wonders, "What will the bards be singing of? Or is it just the usual sort of entertainment? I wouldn't mind going, I suppose. We have been long on the road and on hard business." So even the large Dinton can find room for entertainment on occasion, at least when -well- exhausted by various duties.

Signe is leaning against a cool wall beside Brynmor, goblet in one hand, bit of bread in the other. She looks very different from how she usually looks— dressed for court. No weird smudges on her face. Hair prettily done.
"She seems pleasant, very pretty. Competent. Perin should be pleased. But isn't it strange for two knights to wed? It feels strange." She reaches out and tosses the hunk of bread to a passing wench's tray. No appetite for anything but wine.

Green eyes flicker towards her brother with a calculating expression before Catryn answers in the negative, "I believe Caerwyn is likely busy attempting to charm ladies. Equally, I believe he is not doing as well at it as he imagines." Despite the words being to the contrary, there is genuine affection for Caerwyn somewhere in there. "I would join you, thank you." It is then her attention is drawn to Nalia and she dips her head in greeting. "Sir Catryn de Burcombe," she offers, whether the introduction was necessary or not. At the moment she does not seat herself, awaiting Nalia's choice for seating first.

Cariste enters the castle, wearing a nice blue dress. She seems out of place, with her unsure eyes, though her hair has been braided and styled in an elabrate updoe. She holds a parcel in her fingers slowly tucking it delicately under her arm. She looks around for anyone she might know and slowly ever so slowly watches the crowd.

"Yes, perhaps you are right," Acwel replies to Seren after a moment's consideration, following her gaze over to Lysanor and Cyndeyrn. He smiles briefly to the Lady, perhaps in a silent greeting of sorts, and then goes back to his food, until the plate is finished and he pushes it aside. "Then again, we are in mixed company. It is to be expected."

Success
Brynmor checks his dex at 10, he rolled 3.

Brynmor doesn't mind eating his cousin's leftovers, it's food. One of the three things which he enjoys. He then idly says, between bites of meaty goodness, speaking while chewing, "You look… different today." That's all he can muster. When Signe discards her piece of bread onto a passing tray, Brynmor, with a strange nimbleness, leans over to catch it before it makes contact. He then munches on that one too. "In a way, it is. But who knows, she may have the upbringing to oversee household duties like any other lady."

Nalia was to slip away, but as Catryn catches her because of Cynrain smile, she pauses and steps forward gently, a soft smile touches her lips but her steel grey eyes do take a moment to look the female Knight over. After a moment she dips her chin gracefully "It is a pleasure Sir Catryn, I have heard many things and I am pleased we could meet.." She then steps one more step closer and kisses her Cynrain's cheek in greeting, "Brother.." She says brightly, but it seems clear she is waiting to see if Cynrain wants double company.

Success
Landon checked his Energetic of 13, he rolled 4.

The taller of the Baverstock brothers finally makes an appearance. He's at least a good head above most in the court, distinguished by height alone, or the way he can carry those lumbering limbs with an amount of energy that threatens to bulldoze anyone down that gets in his way. He's wearing rather modest tunic with some red threads embroidering the edges, though otherwise hasn't made a splash that others make. Landon looks over the crowd, to see if he can spot his brother, amongst them. Maybe it was too late in the day and he had slept too long!

Success
Caerwyn checked his temperate of 10, he rolled 9.
Failed.
Caerwyn checked his awareness of 5, he rolled 9.

The moment Caerwyn sits down, a lamb shank placed in front of him with a glass of mead, he holds a hand up, declining. But it's already there. Parsley potatoes and lamb shank, anointed with cloves of garlic. Delicious fare, along with, of course, mead. Instead, he slides the burgeoning plate in front of his cousin Eirian and considers Uwain for a moment. And then Eirian again. And he realizes then that perhaps he's intruding - asking his cousin for introductions to a strapping young man, sitting next to her. Killing her - or his - game. Instead, however, he lifts his chin and then gestures for Uwain and Eirian to continue speaking. "Please," he murmurs, as he rises again. Like some kind of unwanted child, he bounces from pair to pair - this time, he extricates himself from the compromising position intruding over Eirian, and instead, goes to glue himself to the wall.

However, something catches the Black Caerwyn's attention - some otherworldly instinct tells him his darker half is there. For though Caerwyn may be black in reputation, he is the full moon to his sister's new moon - openly visible, bright, shining and consistently transparent in the night sky compared to the stern opaqueness of his sister. Three paces over from Signe's conversation, he ponders whether or not to approach his sister and the knight with her. This hesitation holds him like ice. Even twins can be afraid of their other halves - perhaps it's because they know better.

Signe smiles faintly, almost strained in manner, and murmurs back to Bryn, "We must hope. Otherwise it's our Rose who will manage." Unspoken is the declaration that Signe herself will do no such thing. She folds her arms, barely seeming to hold the goblet though it balances in her fingers haphazardly. "Have you…heard any whispers regarding your father having other plans for potential…" In her tone the clear suggestion she does not trust Bryn's father and his plans.

Of course, Cyndeyrn is ever the protective brother and for this Lysanor does love him. "You are right and I understand that fully. I have not forgotten that family's misdeeds and acts of cruelty, even against us as well." Here, she speaks of the Burcombes. And yet, she is only mildly distracted by all of this when her brother tries to lure her with food, though admittedly, the meals being served did smell delicious. "If Kamron were still in Sarum, I thought that we could share supper and perhaps stay the night at an inn, then set off back to Dinton in the morning. Unless you have other plans, brother?" When she catches Acwel's silent smile, she returns the same, offering the man a polite bow of her head as well, but it is her brother whom she continues to speak with. "I do not know, to be honest. I was curious about the event. It will be fun, I'm sure." Even if the entire idea was Caerwyn's to begin with!

Cariste too has glued herself to the wall, for the moment then as she listens to the conversations around her. She dose select a slender glass of wine from a passing server. She sips this nervously as her offhand clenches her parcel. She lets her eyes flicker from person to person - as the whispers and conversation flows.

Cynrain lifts his hand to wave to Cariste, alerting her that there was family here and she was welcome to join if she chose. His gaze shifts to Nalia as he feels her lips upon his cheek. "Sister." he says with a quiet and welcoming voice. Returning his attention to Sir Catryn, he gestures for her to take his seat if she would so choose. "It is my pleasure, Sir Catryn.. Please.." he nods towards his chair before looking to Nalia, "There are plenty of seats, Lady Nalia, please join us if it be your wish. No Durnford should be alone on festive occassion and besides I think I saw Lady Cariste enter a moment ago. She may, too, be joining us presently. Should her desire for company bring her steps to this table. And all the better.. the more Durnford's that have the opportunity to meet with my promised.. the better."

Brynmor murmurs with a chunk of bread in his mouth, "Ro..e ha.. ben ta..king.." He finally tears off a big piece, freeing his mouth to better speak, even as he does so while chewing, "care of my family since our mum died. I'm sure she can manage and if she's not busy with her healing thing, she would be more than happy to do so." He then lifts a brow at his Signe's next question and here he looks a bit sour as he has to fill in the blank, "Potential ways to make my life miserable? Sure.

"Bryn…let's go for a walk, mm? I have misgivings and it is best to resolve certain things. Beltaine is coming, and with it, obligations. As you well know. A promise is expiring this year." Signe lifts from the wall, moving and setting her empty goblet upon another passing platter all in the same breath. "And we can talk about your father." Duh duh duhn. With that, Signe takes skirts in hand, carefully stepping across the fresh reeds on the floor without dragging any after her, expecting Bryn will follow.

Nalia simply grins brightly at her brother and nods as she slips to the side, leaving a seat open next to the one he is offering Catryn. This also gives her a better view of the coming and going around her, and it gets a little better as she pushes her long hair behind her shoulder and let's her cloak fall to the back of the chair. Two seem to be noticed at once. Sir Landon de Bacerstock and her cousin Cariste. The former is given a long peek, a blush touching her cheeks as she squares her shoulders and lifts a hand in greeting and a way to get his attention. As for her cousin Nalia graces over and smiles in welcome if the other lady wishes to pull herself from the wall.

Success
Catryn checked her awareness of 10, she rolled 5.

Catryn was unaware of the intentions of Nalia, but since they were foiled, she offers a return gesture, "The pleasure is mine, m'lady." Her lips curve into a knowing smile, "I would imagine you have heard many things about me. Most of them would likely be true." Some internal radar goes off and her gaze lands unerringly on her brother. For a moment her eyes lock onto his and her own narrow slightly before she looks at those he is surrounding himself with. The moment is brief. The Baverstock is then noticed and that cruel twist to her expression can be seen before she schools it and she inclines her head marginally to Landon. Finally, she draws her gaze back to Cynrain, taking his chair when he offers it. "Thank you, Sir Cynrain." Leaving the other chairs available for him and his family.

Cariste sees the wave and she slowly pushes herself from the wall she attached herself to. She approaches her family with a gentle movement to her steps. Casually she maneuvers through the crowd as she carefully winds her way around and through some couples. Her eyes move over Landon as she catches Catryn's own and she offers "you may come as well" she offers as she moves to the table and takes her seat near Cynrain and Nalia.

"Since business has finished here, I would not mind holing up somewhere a little quieter for a while, with our cousin or otherwise," Cyndeyrn admits. As for talk of maybe taking supper later, this does not stop him from enjoying a bit of the food he already has in front of him. Where it comes to the oversized Dinton, there is always room for more food, and rarely a strict accounting of meals! "I was anxious to give word to the Earl, but that was my only pressing business here. Maybe the bards, then." Of course he has no clue what he might be agreeing to with that.

"Perhaps we ought to retreat somewhere, Seren," Acwel suggests, "I should tell you some rather entertaining news outside of here, anyways, that I'd like to pick your mind about." He finishes his ale, sets it on the table, and glances to the exit before his attention returns to his sister, "It was nevertheless a fortuitious day for our family."

And finally, it's with a newly found resolve that Caerwyn crosses the Great Hall and approaches his twin sister - it has been a long fortnight that she has been gone, and that they last talked. For two who have grown up nearly together all the time, side by side, he glances first from Catryn to Cynrain, and then to Nalia. The telltale marks of House Durnford, the tabard, the colors - he deduces (quite correctly) the nature of things. "Dear sister, I lose track of you for two weeks and father agrees to a betrothal to a man I've never met." Caerwyn pauses before setting his eyes on Cynrain meaningfully. "That I have yet to meet." He turns back to Catryn. "But I am here and we must talk. You are well?" He coolly ignores Cynrain and Nalia before staring down his sister. "… You'll introduce me, I hope?"

By way of virtue of his height, Landon sees the hand lifted in greeting from a familiar face. His own hand lofts over the crowd with an energetic sweep. However, it'll be a bit before he can get to her table, considering there's a jam packed room to contend with. He might miss Catryn's feral grin, or maybe he didn't and chooses to ignore her - utterly. If she doesn't see him, maybe he can escape the consequences of another run in? Maybe?! He'll snag a tankard of ale on the way over to their table, taking a good swallow of the ale on his way over.

"Good day," Landon offers all those at Lady Nalia's table, his eyes distinctly for her, a smile too, before he turns to regard the others, such as her brother, Sir Cynrain. A simple nod for Catyrn. One for Cariste.

Seren has no issue with agreeing, the basket is reached for and tucked onto her arm before she rises and offers her smile to her brother. "Was it? I would like to hear about it." Her handmaid falls in line with them as well, prepared to walk out with them.

Though she had only just arrived, Lysanor has no qualms over her brother's suggestion, knowing full well of what his business here was about. "And was the good Earl Roberts pleased to hear of your endeavors? From what Sir Acwel had told us before we even set out to Exeter was that he the Earl showed great interest in this mission of ours. I do hope that he believes that you and the others served him well, dear brother." Unlike her brother, Lysanor doesn't have quite the same appetite, but the journey from Dinton was long enough and despite their being such fine foods being served right here, she did crave a bit of quiet for conversation as well. "Very well, to the Boars Head.." Her face lights up when she says this, a gentle laughter can be heard in her voice.

Cariste looks around her table a little nervously as she looks to Caerwyn her eyes focus upon him and his sister. She sets her parcel on the table and she touches it gently with her fingertips. A smile touches her lips as she looks to Nalia "I hope you did not mind me calling him over, it seemed as if he was known."

"To the Wainwrights', then," After all, Acwel knows that Seren detests the Boar's Head. He doesn't know why, but far be it from him to lose his dear sister's company. So he rises to his feet, waiting for Seren to do so before offering his arm to her, ready to depart. The Dintons are offered a silent goodbye - a nod of his head or whatever would pass for 'silent' when it comes to other peers, before they head to the exit.

Landon offers in return to Cynrian's greeting, "Ahh, well met. Sir Landon de Baverstock, also a second son, of Sir Nyles de Baverstock." His eyes are flashing over toward Caerwyn, to check the Burcombe's intent, before he carries on, "If there the company is currently amiable to the idea, Sir. I've had the pleasure of speaking with two at this very table," his eyes check Nalia and then Catryn. "Though the occassion could use for a proper welcome all the same, to make introductions complete for those less travelled-" this spoken as he indicates Caerwyn with his chin. Taunt.

The arrival of Cariste is met with a nod of acknowledgement, but she was unfamiliar with her, assuming she was with the Durnfords. Then there is Landon, approaching and giving his attention to Nalia. One corner of her lips quirk in a not exactly friendly look, eyelids hooded as she regards him and the simple nod he offers almost simultaneously with her twin, the two offer a scowl in his direction. His saving grace is her brother does approach and with an arched brow, she regards Caerwyn with an expression bordering on cool. "I was gone on a mission and I have returned and went home. With the match tonight, I thought to come and wager bets on Jaradon to defeat the unfortunate Winterbourne Stoke knight." There's a hesitation as she looks to Cynrain and back to her brother. "Are you incapable of introducing yourself? Must I do everything for you?"

Contemplating the question a moment, Cyndeyrn replies, "I think he was pleased. He seemed… glad of the old knight's rest, as were we all, I think. The rest, of all the pictish raiders, did draw some concern and he has suggested more patrols to deal with their kind, in case that was just the first of many raids further south. But that is not something for us to dwell on." And by us, he may mean her! "Yet, let us depart then for now." But not before he finishes his soup! Rising then, the young man waits upon his sister and then begins for the great doors of the hall, seeing that she has only -his- escort, this time around!

The lady in green and gold has gotten atleast comfortable before the two large Knights make their way to the table. The first being Caerwyn who gets a curious look, those steel grey eyes sharp and curious before they flicker to Catyrn and lets her handle those introductions. That leaves to Landon to get the lady's attention and he gets a lovely smile and a touch of a blush as she glances sideways to Cariste and Cynrain, "Of course not cousin. I happen to know Sir Landon.." She admits and then turns those unusual eyes up to the Knight and the smile grows. "Sir Landon, a good day to you. I'd like to…." She then pauses as it seems the others already know eachother and just closes her lips with a little snap.

Seren slips her hand through the offered arm, a warm smile given him before she offers a nod towards the Dintons. Noticing Landon and those surrounding him she only gives a nod and a smile as not to interrupt. Finally, she looks back at her brother, "I am ready."

It is perhaps at the same time (or exactly the same time) as when Catryn gives Landon a not too entirely friendly look, that the scowl blossoms on both their faces. "Ah. Landon de Baverstock," Caerwyn greets. "The merry sheep herders across the river. I trust your Christian God has been kind to your and your sheep?" He cants his head to the side and levels his gaze on Landon, eyebrow quirking up in challenge. "I think it not appropriate to resort to tradition. I also trust your goods are safely locked away, so sport without risk is really rather dull." He pauses and then regards Nalia, Cariste and Cynrain.

"You must've heard terrible things about myself. I am Caerwyn, the other half of Catryn, and I am heir de Burcombe. My father was Roaman the Dark, and I hear they call me 'Caerwyn the Black'. I'm sure it simply has to do with my choice of attire," he says with a rascal's smile, briefly pinching at the black tunic he wears. It cuts him a rather dashing figure. "You," Caerwyn says, leveling his gaze at Cynrain, "must be Cynrain de Durnford. We know our neighbors, the Baverstocks… and if you ladies are both Durnford, that makes us family, no?" Caerwyn flashes his most winning grin and dips into a half-bow. "It's my pleasure to join our houses then in celebration."

A hand lifts up, catching a serving lass by the hip. "Wine. Lamb and barley bread. Now."

Rather than partaking in any meal, Lysanor sates some of her hunger with a cup of tea and a piece bread. She knows that the will share a meal proper soon enough and be highly entertained at that, or so she hoped. To her brother's words, however, she smiles proudly, knowing that of course the Earl was pleased by their work! It was a holy mission, a miracle after all. And while he tells her that the Pict raiders or anything of the sort is nothing for them to worry about, she surely knows that they remain in her brother's mind to some degree. These raiders are a threat after all. When he is ready, she will rise to stand as well and walk alongside the much larger Dinton who towers over her.

Alas, Landon does not see Seren as she slips out! Nor Signe, nor any of the others that have been and came before he did! It's just what it was. His attention was on the table and those he was greeting. Namely Caerwyn for the challenge that is raised. "We don't lie with our sheep, like those across the river do, Sir Caerwyn, so yes, they do fair better." The mirth was lacking in his eyes. "At least you got the name right this time Burcombe…" His tone flat as he takes a sip of his ale, returning his attention to the ladies around the table, keeping his eye on Nalia as he offers, "It is good to see you as well again, my Lady." Then to Caerwyn as he speaks of sport, "The only good sport is the dangling of a Burcombe by their toes and dipping them in the river." He tilts his head at Catryn, but rather than smile at her or even offer a greeting, it seems he completely steers away from it, using an opportunity to take a swig of his ale rather than offer her politeness.

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