(514-06-09) Southern Hospitality
Summary: A weary and injured Lady Rose stumbles upon House Chalke lands and encounters Sir Kylan who extends the Chalke brand of Southern Hospitality to the weary traveler.
Date: June 9, 514
Related: None
kylan rose 

Privacy. Peace. Utter Tranquility. The Southern woods have been known to provide such things when at rest. Late in the afternoon - the sun already creeping its descent upon the horizon to herald the approach of eventide, the proclaimed woods surrounding the Chalke manor appear to slowly awakening upon their own. A small pond nestles just past a clearing with a cluster of large stones warm from the recently departed sun.

It is upon these such stones that the shaggy knight sits sharpening his daggers. At the base of the stones and just off to the side lays a scrawny youth, somewhere within his twelfth summer, clearly too engaged in his current slumber to tend to his knight, as evidenced by the steady drone of his snore.

As the sun is creeping into it's sleep, the sound of a single horse can be heard slowly making it's way down one of the pathways that lead towards Chalke. By the sound the horse is smaller, and then there is a flicker of color just to the left of where the Knight is sitting.

A hint of white appears and disappears in the trees of the coming summer, and then the flicker of a golden hued cloak, and finally long blood red curls tumbling from the hood of the single rider. A soft voice seems to be promising the horse they will stop soon.

The sound of the horse manages to draw the man's attention, his hands slowly sliding the dagger back into it's sheath, "The woods are no place for a lady, I am afraid. At least not upon this hour," he calls out upon rising. He rises from the rock, leaping down with minimal effort before reaching to lightly kick his squire in the boot to jostle the youth back to the land of the waking.

The boy nearly sprints up with a fright as his hands wipe the sleepiness from his eyes. Taking slow purposeful strides towards the path of the approaching lady and horse, the shaggy man continues, "Tranquil they may appear, but things are very seldom as they seem. Thieves, wolves, and worse all claim dominion under the shadows of night and the embrace of the woods welcomes them all,"

The horse and rider come into the full light, a shadow mist seem to cling to both in the setting sun, but as they move to a stop, he can see it is sweat from the horse itself. The scent of blood lingers in the air, and the form on top of the horse stiffens slowly at the voice.

Eyes a blue that seem almost purple peer down at the Knight as he comes into full view, and then they relax slightly as she reaches up and pushes the hood to fall along her shoulders. That mass of red falls more to sparkle in the dusk and a face that has had ballads written appears from the shadows.

Rose looks pale though, paler than her normal visage and a weak smile touches her lips. "A worse when the guards you were traveling with have disappeared and allowed a lovely horse to come to harm.." She seems to agree as she runs her hand over her sweating steed. "Forgive me for upsetting your Tranquil eve…" She dips her chin gently at that, and a flicker of pain appears with the movement.

"Horses are tough creatures and will recover given enough time and nourishment. Ladies, on the other hand, are a far more delicate sort," he continues as he finally reaches the rider and mount. The knight reaches out slowly towards the horse's reigns as if to offer assistance, "For their sake, I would hope your escorts are no longer within the realm of the living. It can be the only logical explanation for abandoning one's charge… and if they are currently, I would venture to say it is a condition that should be remedied at the earliest convenience."

The apology actually inspires a snort from the man, his lethargic squire finally coming to shadow him to the left, "I would hardly call the arrival of a Lady in need of escort a disruption. If anything, your arrival has granted a temporary reprieve from boredom."

He pauses for a moment in thought, "Tell me, Milady, who might I have the pleasure of escorting? You bear a familiar face, but your name escapes me. I fear it is the curse of knighthood. We spend more time staring down the flat of a blade than recalling the fairer faces we encounter."

Rose is really in no shape to fight the taken of the reins, but she does sit as still as possible on top of her horses, maybe as not to shift her weight and hurt the horse more. This close he can see a slash in the rump of the white flesh, tho some herbal mixture has been added to slow the bleeding.

As for the lady in question she can only give a tiny smile at his words, the blood thirsty manner does not seem to upset her much. "I am not sure what has happened, we were riding north returning from Eddi Castle and we were separated…." There is probably more but she then blushes softly.

"Lady Rose de Steeple Langford, if I remember we passed the other at the battle of (add a name in the last year).." her voice is soft and warm, even holding a comforting lyrical harmony, but she seems abit tired and that shows as she gives him another smile. "One must give up some things as they protect the land, it is understandable.

"Ah, yes, now I remember…" he chuckles slightly, "… a small sacrifice to be sure. I tend to prefer leaving the prancing about in courtly fashion to others. Sir Kylan de Chalke," the man adds with a crisp bow from his waist.

From the close proximity it is hard to miss the marring of the horseflesh or even the exhaustion radiating from the young noblewoman. "I have not had the chance to engage in discourse with too many from your house - a situation I believe will be remedied in time, but please, milady - let us get you from these woods and somewhere a bit more suitable for the gentler sort." Kylan begins to lead the horse down the path in the direction of the Chalke manor with a slow stride, "While I cannot promise our manor will be as refined as your own, I can assure you it shall be suitably warm and hospitable all the same. You shall be safe within the company of my mother, sisters, and female cousins to ensure your honor remains completely in tact. We will share our evening meal and provide for accommodations if necessary while I send word to your family to let them know of the circumstances."

"Sir Kylan, you are most kind. I will admit that I do have need of your hospitality and hope to be able to return the kindness that you have shown.." Rose's shoulders drop just a little, the proud stance of sitting on the horse not as easy now that she seems to know that help has been offered. A hand rests on the horses main and it seems to be shaking as she caresses the horse gently.

As she is not sure how far they might have to go, she let's her voice carry gently to the Knight and squires ears. "I have heard good things of house Chalke, but have only been able to travel this far south in the last month or so. And had not yet made it within your manors land…" She pauses at that and flushes gently, "Well, I guess that is incorrect if I did stumble over your quite pond…"

"Oh have you now?" he cocks a brow curiously, "That is not the usual sentiment around here. I believe folks prefer cursing our name. They do tend to be quite fond of damning us. Still, I will accept the compliment and thank you all the same."

Almost as if sensing her uncertainty, Kylan offers kindly, "The manor is just around the bend in the road… not too far. I will see to it that the horse is fed and tended within our stables. You may take him with you in the morning once you both have rested." Though kind, there is an element of authority within his voice that seems to suggest the offer is fact and less of a request. Mention of the pond is given somewhat of an afterthought as he continues along the way, "The pond is a memory from long ago. A promise of what once was and can never be again. It is good to be reminded of these things from time to time. We are pleased to welcome you to our home, though perhaps it would have been better to do so under better circumstances. Nonetheless, my mother will delight in having a female guest for the evening." He pauses for a moment before adding,"… She does so love to talk about womanly things," followed by an exasperated sigh.

For his part, the squire tags along in silence, kicking pebbles from the road along the way.

"Chalke might be a proud house, but that does not mean they are not without reason.." Mmm, sounds like someone has been told something about Chalke, but the young lady let's that go for the moment, those dark indigo eyes flicker from the surrounding forest and then back to the Knight walking beside her.

Rose takes a few moments to watch the Knight, those eyes curious as if judging his words for what they are. She does not flirt or faint like most woman might in this case, but she is also not the cold maiden scared of her own shadow. It is simply the pain that causes her to watch more when she should be speaking.

But finally she shakes her head gently, long curls falling freer from her hood before she must reach up and push a curl behind her ear, a wince and a deep flicker of pain coming from the movement but she tries to distract from it with her words. "I thank you, he has been a good mount and I would not have written him this far if I had a choice.." Her finger still run gently along the neck of the horse as she speaks on. "And I would be honored to meet your lady Mother, I understand the need to have someone new to speak to, and if I might… give her a distraction for the evening all the better.." It goes without saying, that maybe that means he can escape if he so desires.

"Aye, a good mount is deeply underrated. At times it can make or break whether one survives to see his next battle," Kylan agrees with a steady nod, "So I know all too well what it is to tax one more than you desire. Once you and the beast are properly tended, I will send a missive via courier to your father or brother to inform them of your whereabouts lest they worry. No need to complicate circumstances due to a negligence of communication."

The young squire accidentally sends a pebble rocketing to the left only for it to hit a squirrel, yielding a shriek before the critter skitters on away. The shaggy knight shoots the boy a reprimanding glare which effectively elicits a shirk and further sulk from the lad.

Shaking his head, Kylan continues as he finally leads the horse around the bend - the manor clearly in sight, "We do not often get visitors this far South, and almost never from those loyal to Sir Robert. I think she will enjoy the company, yes. And should you, yourself, need a reprieve…" he leans in a little more conspiratorially, "… you may always feign a headache. It has always worked for me."

At the later, a little chuckle comes from those full lips and she has to admit gently. "I am not sure if she will expect that from a Healer, but I will keep it in mind.." Rose might be about to say something more, but it is cut off, as the horse jerks under her.

The rein's in Kylan's hand are jerked hard as the horse reacts either to the rocketing pebble or the shriek that the squirrel makes. Whatever the cause, the jerk is enough to cause a stumble and a displacement of it's rider.

Rose makes a hissing sound as the horse decides to go one way and she slides the other, she grabs for the edge of the reins to keep herself in her seat, but it displaces her cloak which tumbles to the ground, in a sad golden heap, as the clasp brakes. If that is not enough to make the lady go pale, the dark line of blood that slips down her shoulder and disappears into fabric in hair would be good enough to make even a harden warrior pale. BUT! She clings to the horse enough that it doesn't try and bolt and drag Kylan with it.

From copacetic to chaos courtesy of a pebble, the poor squire seems to shrink by another foot or two before sprinting off in the direction of the manor house - likely before his ears get boxed. Muttering a curse under his breath, Kylan lets go of the reins so as to not impede Rose's progress with calming her mount. He does shoot a certifiably murderous look after his sprinting squire before returning his concerns back to his guest.

The dark line of blood does not go without notice, but the knight takes the visage of such in stride as he comments dryly, "A healer, who by all accounts, appears negligent in healing herself. No matter, I will send for our healer once we are inside. Skilled or not within the art, tonight you will rest and you will mend. I will not permit anything less." He pauses before adding, "Harsh though it may seem, I know. I have been told I can be positively boorish at times - but I assure you I have only your best interests at heart."

Once the horse is calmed again, those eyes find his and she shakes her head gently with a sigh. "There is only so much that I could do on horseback. Trees are both beautiful and dangerous.." She explains without trying to shrug this time. But she does have to frown softly.

The words though might not be what he is expecting. "You are looking after a lady that is not your own, you are offering a place to rest and be guarded throughout the night, you have offered food and care for my mount, care for myself as well as sending word to my family. Of that, what should I find harsh? You are a honorable and just Knight and Lord and I can only thank you if this is considered boorish.." Her lips twist into a smile at the last.

Once they are within the courtyard though, she will not be silly and try to dismount herself, but she does keep giving you a curious look and finally says softly, "Forgive me for my forwardness Sir Kylan, but I believe you are to harsh on yourself, or have listened to those who don't understand why you are what you are."

His lips twist into a wry smile, "You have caught me upon a good day, milady." Kylan ponders her words with a nod, "You have given me no reason to behave untoward you. I have done only as any man would when encountered with such a situation, given my station. I do not believe acting accordingly truly warrants any form of recognition for such."

Upon their arrival, he summons forth a stable hand and footman to come and assist their young noble guest with her dismount, "I believe, Lady Rose, this is where I bid you a fair evening. If you have need of anything during your stay, please do not hesitate to ask. If it is something we are able to provide, we will do such. Should you wish to return to your manor once you have rested and had a chance to mend a little, I will see to it that proper escort is provided for you."

He turns to speak with one of the guards wearing Chalke livery before turning again to regard the young woman, "Perhaps we shall meet again sometime under better circumstances. But for now, I have matters of business to attend to that I have already delayed longer than necessary. Good evening, Lady Rose de Steeple Langford, and welcome to our humble manor." With a crisp bow from the waist and clip of his boots, he begins to set off, passing a few serving maids who bustle on out of the manor house heading towards their new guest in a flurry.

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