(514-05-17) Right and Prerogative
Summary: Two that remain in Sarum find unexpected company for dinner.
Date: May 17, 514
Related: None
abigail drustan 

The Cony
The Cony is perhaps the largest Inn in the city of Sarum, established in the Market Quarter to cater to visiting merchants who can afford to stay here. One of the only such Inn's in the city that offers private rooms. The main room is open with a hearth in the middle, smoke venting through a small opening in the roof. Here is usually brewed a stew or a soup that is offered to those wishing to stay here for the evening. This location tends to gather a few in the evenings to tell stories of their day, and to hear news traveling from the realms.

Many people have found their way off to Carlion. Not all, certainly. There's commonfolk who simply cannot take the time. Nobles whose family couldn't afford to take everyone along. Then there's the ilk of a knight dressed in all black. Well, not quite. More grey and black. There's little imagery to be had in his attire in general, really. The padded coat he wears is a dusky grey, but upon the breast there is a black raven. Some may perhaps know such colors and image well: Falt. He sits at a table alone, resting upon his elbows. There's a finished bowl of stew pushed off to the side and the man is picking at a loaf of bread, staring off… well, into the air. The inn is generally quiet, as there's a proper tavern so near, but with so many off at the castle- it's even moreso than usual.

Abigail is certainly one of those people who either cannot go or doesn't have the time. She sort of falls into both categories. Arriving at the Inn, she's dressed rather nicely for the place and the clientele, but the bliant, upon closer inspection, seems to have been worn many, many times. Little things like a loose thread or a bit of scuffing to the hem by her feet. Entering, she smiles tiredly to the Innkeeper and moves to sit at a table, and just happens to be facing Drustan from her own just across. It seems she's a regular, or at least stops in often enough, because one of the innkeepers brings her a bowl of soup and a few pieces of bread with a plain wooden goblet. She flashes a smile to them, then looking to Drustan and giving him a smile as well before picking at the bread to dip.

It's only by luck or circumstance — movement in line of sight — that Drustan happens to catch the woman being served by the innkeeper. The whole of the motions being played out before him seem to bring him back into the moment. There's a glance down and he spots that he's managed to tear off decent chunks of bread from his loaf and leave them to fall to the table before him. The grunt that issues is more in frustration at self than anything else. The bits are gathered up and unceremoniously dropped in the empty stew bowl. After brushing crumbs from his fingers, the Falt reaches for his own goblet and lifts it in silent greeting/toast to the woman across (and a ways) from him.

Abigail checked her recognize of 3, she rolled 10.

The girl eats a few bites before looking across to the number of torn bread pieces in front of him. She lifts her goblet in return and takes a sip, smiling over it at him. "Might you be planning to attend to fowl?" she offers easily, glancing to the bread bits. "Or simply drown the remnants of the soup?" The girl looks entertained with herself and dips some of her own bread and eats another bite. She tilts the goblet to the crest. "I'm afraid I don't recognize the crest, but I fear I also do not spend much time out among the markets. Though the colors might identify you Stapleford." That same easy smile sits on her face, hiding whatever she's thinking.

The initial question has him blinking a few times. It doesn't seem to make any sense. Until it does. He takes a long drink from the goblet after clearing his throat. "Neither, though I wish I was that quick of thinking. Might explain why my siblings always made excuses for me when we were younger." He sets his drink aside, lifting the bread again. This time, at least, when he tears a piece away- he eats it. "Falt. Though I would not protest being thought Stapleford. I squired with Sir Cadoc of their house." A long pause, as if remembering something. Maybe social cues just don't come quickly. He finally nods, swallowing the bread he'd been chewing. "Sir Drustan de Falt. And, I'm sorry, but I may be wrong- Laverstock?" The lands are close. She's lucky.

"Possibly. It does appear you are to venture off to a pond, though. It might prove to be an elaborate way of trapping dinner. Ponder these things as you tear your bread to bits." The young woman just smiles before popping another piece of soupy-bread into her mouth. She washes it down with a sip of ale and a loft of one brow at the name. "Falt. I'm afraid I don't know much but the things people say across the markets and town. It would seem untoward to judge such things so easily." She looks him over a moment. The Laverstocks are very, very Pagan. "Interesting," she says with a small laugh. "Sorry, I find no humor in the names or your business with the Staplefords - only at my poor attempt at humor falling so flat." If she can laugh at her own dumb moments, maybe she isn't terrible. Maybe. "Lady Abigail de Laverstock. Good eye. Pendant always gives it away." She picks up her goblet and bowl. "May I join you at your table, Sir Drustan?"

"I'm not sure Sir Cadoc would approve of that means of hunting." There is, maybe, the beginnings of a smile. It twitches at the corner of his mouth, as if his body's forgotten how to do the thing. Still, amusement is obvious enough at her words. It disappears when she apologizes, his brow furrowing. He's thinking about this. At length. "Apology accepted. I didn't think you meant anything by it." When she picks up her things, he seems to at least gather the intent. He goes to kick out the chair across from him… but stops himself. There's a somewhat embarrassed hunch of shoulders as his own chair scrapes as he stands. The one meant for her, then, is pulled out. "Of course. Those of us left behind shouldn't isolate ourselves further."

"Trapping fowl would be such a novel thing, though, would it not?" Abigail seems quick with a smile and some wit. Probably not one of the noble women that sits around all day spinning, sighing for a husband. "No, I certainly meant nothing untoward. I come here often enough and I'd rather not raise issues where I find supper." The movement of her chair out has her dip her head in appreciation. "A gentleman Knight. Thank you, Sir Drustan." She takes the seat and gets herself settled once more. Fingers work at more bread while she watches him. "Mm. I wouldn't say I've been so much left behind. I have duties here that require my presence. While the ladies I attend to are at the wedding, I've been asked to take care of other needed tasks. Filling shoes, as it were. But-" She tilts the goblet towards him. "I don't recall seeing you before. Visiting home? Or returning?" The offerings are easily made.

"To be perfectly frank, after training a hawk, I find it hard to hunt its kin. Butchering a chicken for dinner is one thing, but hunting a bird already free?" One of Drustan's shoulders shifts in a mild shrug. "It must be done, but I would feel passing strange to trick one into my bag." At the appreciation, his brows lower as he settles into his seat. "No thanks needed. It's what's proper, or so I recall. Unless things have changed." It might be his turn for a joke. There is a quiver at his cheek again. The left side of his face doesn't move quite as much, maybe because of the scar. "There are always those left behind. Maybe next event, you'll find you are sent away while someone must remain in your place." He retrieves his goblet again, having a drink before answering. "Returning. Recently Knighted and it is time to serve the family."

"Oh? You know falconry? My sister does that as well. She's quite fond of them. I wonder if she has similar feelings about them." Abigail looks thoughtful for a moment while she tears off more bread. "But I will admit you may have a point to your thoughts. I would not want to eat a horse." She makes a face at the idea. Washing it down with ale is a better idea. The innkeeper does take note, though, and refills the goblet. The bit of humor does have her tuck her smile closer. "Mind you manner, Sir Drustan. You're in danger of a full expression. Dare part the clouds over the stoic master of mystery?" It's all in good fun, though. Lady Abigail's own manner is that of someone who probably spends all day being serious and has a hard time not being a reckless teenage girl. Even at 22. "Mm. That's unlikely, unless something large changes in my ranking of duties. For now, I'm tied to them. Though you make a point I'd not considered, I don't think." The goblet is picked up and held beneath the cup. "Perhaps if I make myself vital, I could be invited to travel. That would be something."

"I do. My Knight felt it important to be capable of many aspects of hunting. We did not bother with bows, however." If you're gone most of the year, dealing with arrows is a pain. Especially for a skill most Knights eschew. Drustan does nod at her figuring. "We work too closely with horses. It would be strange to eat them." His own vessel is held out to be filled as well. The tease takes a moment to process and he blinks, rapidly, as he does so. Free hand lifts, back of fingers scrubbing at the stubble on his cheek. "I'm afraid my social skills may have faded away somewhat. I seem to recall something as a child about not laughing too much. Maybe it was just my mother's beliefs." He drags in his goblet for a long drink, considering her words. Finally, he shrugs. "I would like to offer advice, but I have none. Perhaps if you were trying to hunt a fox or track a band of Saxons. The duties of women escape me."

"A wise man once said that it is good to be versed in the skills with multiple weapons lest you become too reliant upon just one." Abigail says it and then looks down quickly to stuff some food in her mouth. A rather astute view for a Noble woman, to be sure. But she dutifully keeps herself from replying more for a few moments. Its washed down with ale and she clears her throat once. "Excuse me, something was caught in my throat." She looks back to him and moves along. "Mm, yes. The view is that smiling and laughter is for those of simple mind. I find humor to be a relief. Too many are so serious. I understand that the lands have seen trouble and war, but seeing humor isn't a sin. At least it was not the last I asked." The woman shrugs happily, eating another bite. "The duties of women are are mystery to most men. Typically there are children, tending to the home, cooking, sewing, much of that. It fills the day. My duties are more to the tending of a home, but not my own. I'm a handmaiden, but with some more visible duties. Think of a-" The girl considers this. "Think of a Knight who serves their liege, but does so more visibly than most - but without an unusual title."

Wise man or wise women. Drustan watches Abigail for a moment before he laughs. It's a quiet thing- more of a chuckle, really. "We were gone too much of the year to worry over arrows. I assure you, I am trained in more than just one weapon." He's amused, at least. The apology earns a tilt of head in concession as he picks up his own bread, tearing some away to chew upon as she speaks. "Seeing humor is not a sin, no. At least not last we received word from Rome." Okay, he does smirk now. It's lopsided and that scar becomes more visible. "I don't think social cues and sin are tied up in each other, though." As she explains what women do, his expression slackens a touch. He's lost. It only gets worse as she makes the comparison. There's a long moment of quiet, which Drustan fills by eating. It's a good way o avoid speaking right away. "I think I understand." He doesn't.

Abigail dips her head. "Despite my words, I will say that I've much skill with a bow. I lack many other skills with the blade or flail. But mother and father wanted to ensure I were a proper Lady and not too attached to the martial." A single finger extends, waggling a bit as she looks off, mocking the expression of figuring something out. "I- Yes, I am just realizing I may have had my future as a wife planned when I was younger." She drops the hand as if surprised and then bursts into a snickering laugh, endlessly entertained with her own joke. "How -unusual!-" It's all good humor, though. A girl as attractive as her would certainly be held aside for marriage away to great value to the family. It does likely help to have a sense of humor to go with it. "Mm, yes, I agree Sir Drustan. It would help if I believed in Sin, but I believe you and I hold the same value with the humor. Even if yours is understated." She seems to slow with the food, her hands pliant with the bread as she eats small nibbles here and there. "I-" Abigail takes a long breath and shakes her head. "My duties have me under employ of the Earl's family. I look after very certain areas of responsibility within the walls. I am a handmaiden, there is little more detail to be had with it."

"I'd be remiss to my squiring house if I said there was issue with a woman knowing how to at least defend herself." In this, he is serious. "Though we can hope it never comes to that." The laugh is confusing, this time. He looks from finger to woman, blinking. There's a slight shift in his seat and Drustan might be uncomfortable, but striving not to show it. The man, at least, doesn't smell of forest and horse too much. So he bathes. It's only when the more simply-stated explanation comes that the Falt seems to relax again. This he understands. "An important place, if in service to the Earl. Your family is, I'm sure, quite proud."

"Then you're a good man, Sir Drustan." Its a suddenly more serious tone to her, but the bubbly girl can be caught glimpses of at the edge of her visage. "I would ask, in rhetoric, if we do not all have the right to protect ourselves and our families?" It may be a difficult question for a Roman Christian where people simply walk God's path for them. Or not. The bowl is slid aside and the goblet is pulled closer to center in front of her. Both hands lightly rest fingertips on the base while she watches him. There's the impression this young Lady has a lot more going on in her head than she will ever reveal. "My family is pleased with me, yes. I bring honor to the family and the value I bring has thus far not been decided. That is, if the Earl's family permits me marriage. I am likely next in line to be Lady in Waiting to the Countess Ella." The most powerful woman, save Arthur's wife, for days or potentially weeks walks. Confidant, advisor, and personal assistant. Abigail underplays her hand, it would seem. "I hold a great deal of personal pride as well. They are good people and worthy of the bent knee they demand."

"It may be less a right and more a prerogative, though one would hope, perhaps expect, that a husband and father could protect his family." It may be a point close to home for a Falt, for his brow lowers and furrows. "But the Saxons seem to not care if a man has a child on the way, or a son not yet of age. So we all must fight and those women who prove to be especially capable fight by my side." He, at least, doesn't disparage in the female knights of the realm. When she reveals further, his features remain smooth. He, at least, doesn't seem about to overreact, though maybe it's an underreaction. For a long moment, Drustan just takes this knowledge before grabbing his goblet for a sip. He nods, at last. "As you should. To serve so closely to a member of the Earl's family is something few, obviously, can speak to. You seem young, yet," he glances to her, appraising. Trying not to seem like he's looking too closely, but men will be men. "…even more an accomplishment, to prove yourself thus."

"One would hope." She glances about the room for a moment. There are not a lot of old men here. Or anywhere. Her eyes drift back to him. "Too oft our husbands do not return from battle. The Saxonry has taken some of our most precious treasures: Good men." Undoubtedly not just for fathering children, but also to do as Drustan suggested. "Thusly, it falls to the woman of the house to stand before her family in the face of danger. I have pride for the women and Ladies and Sirs of the land that do such things, that I cannot deny." The young Lady sips at the goblet once more, watching him. It isn't just the reaction she watches, but she seems to also be evaluating the man. Indeed, there is a lot going on behind those eyes - almost like there were decades of experience looking back at him. The glance to her curves does have her smile, but not displeasingly so. "My body has an attractive quality the family finds use for. I find they believe it represents their interests to have someone like me greet certain guests. It also serves to let me look upon someone while they are distracted. I learned many things as a young girl. More than any should. But the knowledge has served me well." A finger taps at the base of the goblet. "How did you find squireship with the Stapletons? I admit to finding the rumors about them fascinating." Though the woman doesn't look like she holds much stock in them.

"It also often falls to the women to wait." Something a Falt would know well of, in tale. "Which can be the more difficult duty. There's distraction in action-" Drustan cuts himself off and frowns. Deeply. Someone doesn't like rhyming, even accidental. He realizes he's been caught looking. Even moreso when she speaks of the qualities and uses her family has found in her. The man coughs and begins to stand, suddenly. "I'm sorry to cut you short. Perhaps we can discuss the Staplefords another time, as I am quite fond of them. But I should be going-" he's fumbling with a coinpurse until there's enough on the table for his meal. And hers. "Please, my treat. Have a good evening, Lady Abigail."

The young woman nods. She seems to agree with it on several levels. But she watches him easily, noting the suddenly stop. It seems to surprise her, as if not expecting it. Fingers tap gently on the base of the goblet a few times as he apologizes, her gaze up watching him. That smile lingers. "I'm interested to hear about your opinions. If you feel you must go, it has been a pleasure, Sir Drustan. Be well." She glances to the coin and then back to him. Still surprised. "Hope I did not offend."

"Perhaps another time. Those of us left behind for the wedding festivities have to entertain one another?" Drustan at least wears embarrassment well. He gathers up his cloak, pinning it at his shoulder. He's about to depart when she speaks her last. Leaning back on his heels, the knight looks over his shoulder and gives a brief shake of his head. He even tries to smile. "No, you did not. Not in the least." With a nod and parting gesture, the Falt departs into the night air.

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