(514-06-15) A Bard comes to Burcombe
Summary: Iolo the bard is traveling the roads and stops in at Burcombe, meeting a gaggle of nobles, and Burcombes alike! Kittens clog the roads.
Date: 514-06-15
Related: None
iolo eirian braelynn uwain morag catryn caerwyn morwenna cynrain 

Log text goes here

Down the road that leads to the Burcombe village comes the form of Iolo, riding atop a brown rouncy, clad in a dark green cloak, and a harp hanging at his side, as well as an assortment of other traveling gear hanging from saddle bags. He has a smile upon his face as he starts through the cluster of hovels, attention drifting a bit towards the white walled manor itself, his likely destination.

Moving up the road toward the manor house, Braelynn walks slowly, carrying a large basket. The basket, while large, is overflowing with small pieces of parchment that have been folded into envelopes. She follows the minstrel toward the manor house, moving the basket from her right hand to her left, and then to her right again uncomfortably.

All manner of activity throngs around Burcombe Manor in the springtime, for the quickening of June brings out all the labourers at dawn and the activity lasts long after dusk. Ewes escort gamboling sheep across the lush fields, birds on the wing court one another in dazzling displays of courtship, and grumbling peasants wish they had the fortune to drag out a sword from a stone under the tutelage of a grumpy, churlish scholar. Thatched homes bear a fresh roof here and there, and the activity along the road from Wilton mirroring the river is well enough trafficked that the village benefits from a steady stream of merchants. A bay horse quickens its pace upon approaching some invisible boundary telling her to hurry, the mare's head picking up and her hooves striking faster against the ground. Eirian cuts a path away from the melange of activity inevitably found during an opportunity for gossip or market, her platform suitable for finding a quick route past the traffic. Somewhere she's found roses, probably among the first in the season, and the buds and opening blooms are woven in among her hair so well they might well be naturally blooming to prove she is, in fact, entirely fae or one of Annwn's subjects. "This way. We can escape the activity 'round the well," she calls back to the other rider.

Riding after Eirian, Sir Uwain rides his horse high in the saddle. Trotting after his betrothed, his horse keeps to the path she sets, his horse making little noises as it unhappily is forced to act like some common rider's horse. His helmet has been adorned with a pair of deer antlers, and he wears a cloak lined with wolf fur. "Not thirsty?" he calls after her, and laughs a little. The tall man seems to be in good spirits and prods his horse to catch up to her a bit more tightly, so that they can speak without calling out quite so loudly.

It is not uncommon for Morwenna to ride by the village of Burcombe, close along the road as it lies to her own post in the larger city of Wilton. In this case, she must be riding from there rather than to, her course taking her west along the road. As ever, she is a proud sight upon her steed, her white stallion clomping a path upon the dirty road, hitting some patches of mud from a welcomed spring rain. Behind her, the scrawny, underfed youth that is her squire rides a smaller horse of dappled grey. Normally, she would likely ride past and only raise a brief hail to any locals caught in passing, and then only if they were the few she knew better, but it seems as though she's come upon a small traffic jam of sorts, with sheep on the road, as well as riders, local and otherwise. And so she slows, as not to spook the livestock or cause any undue trouble, though spotting a familiar face, she will call out, "Lady Eirian, good day."

Critical Success!
You check your recognize at 3, you rolled 3. (To recognize Braelynn)

Iolo slows his steed as he spots Braelynn walking along, flashing a smile to the woman, "Good day, Lady Braelynn." he calls out, rather uncanninly recognizing the woman, "It must be quite the story that brings you from Cholderton today. Mind if I walk with you the rest of the way to the manor? Perhaps you might tell me the tale of what brings you here this day!" he says with a smile, bowing his head to the woman.

Green eyes blink in surprise as she hears Iolo's greeting, but she looks in his direction and gives him a brief wave with her free hand. "It's you! The one who sang to us in the tavern!" She moves closer, eyeing his horse as she lifts up the obviously heavy basket. "I had tea. Lots of it. I thought maybe Lady Moreg could use it." The basket drops back down, and she gives a little groan. "I think I overestimated my strength, or underestimated the weight. Or maybe both."

Roses thrown in her hair, Eirian seems relatively unperturbed by someone like enough to Herne to possibly send younger children scampering for their parents in a squawl of fear or terrified amusement. Her bay responds to the lightest of touches to walk towards a dirt lane unceremoniously chopped behind a rather sizeable property that might serve as a waystation for travelers and the centre of town when the weather trends towards rainfall and storm clouds. Her head swivels to the welcome and she raises her hand to her eyes, shielding them, a look thrown towards Uwain in case the knight might carry right along without noticing. Iolo is less familiar, as is Braelynn, but neither are unwelcome. A nod to them is followed up quickly by a friendly smile. "Morwenna! Brigid smiles to send you in our path. You're well after the raid?"
The pause is well-timed. One irate cat with an unfortunate kitten in its mouth, recovered from dreams of sleeping on a pile of discarded rags, goes marching past. She pulls up short and tilts in the saddle, eyeing another of the tiny hunters on the prowl. A chorus of insistent mews resists any fear for horse, rider or divine imprecations. So much for traffic jams, this is a cat jam.

Coming to a stop beside Eirian, Sir Uwain looks down at the cats and smiles a little. Sitting astride his angry horse, it shuffles a bit from side to side, but seems to be comfortable enough beside Eirian's that it doesn't start biting. Snorting even, it looks at the cats far less amicably than the knight, but doesn't start trying to bite them just yet. Just stares with wide wild horse eyes at the kittens, and gets its nose right down into their business.
"I sometimes suspect that you know everyone, and I'm only just along to be introduced to everyone we meet, second-hand," he tells her with a smirk and pulls back on his reins a little to keep the wild animal in check.

"I was left unscathed by our battle with the saxons," Morwenna replies, not in a boastful fashion but as if merely to describe her good spirit, if it could really be called as such. "So I am well." As ever she is rarely overflowing in flowery enthusiasm or cheer, but outdoors and astride her steed, she does look well-humored. "Things have been quiet in Wilton the days since. I would say that such is good news, but I feel… I feel as though those raiders were but the very first of yet many more we are soon to see." And so there is some tension in her even now, although it seems to relax in the company of various knights, acquaintances and sheep! And cats? She does obviously note the man riding up alongside Eirian, although with no introductions made, she seems disinclined to be the first to volunteer one of her own.

The mother cat carries a tabby in her mouth, while her little pride attack the shadows and pounce on spindrift.

"Ah, that's rather thoughtful of you, M'lady." Iolo says with a smile to the woman, "I was coming, hoping to perform here for the evening, before continuing on my way across the county." he lets his gaze wander towards the other cluster of gathered nobles upon their horses before looking back at Braelynn, "Would you like me to carry the basket for you? My horse, I imagine, can handle the burden for you without complaint."

A sigh of relief escapes as Braelynn hears the offer. She doesn't hesitate to move both hands to the basket and lift it toward Iolo. "That would be so welcome! Thank you!" As he takes the basket she lets her arms drop, and she rubs red hands together, trying to get the feeling back in her fingers. "And I'm not so very thoughtful. I just have so much of it that I'll never need." She nods politely to Eiran to return the nod given to her, squinting at the woman to see if she knows her. She does not, but she smiles none the less as if they are aquainted. After all, it wouldn't be the first time she's forgotten someone.

Politeness falls to the young woman in fine enough clothes to make her ennobled, and clearly recognized by everyone short of the kittens. Eirian straightens just a fraction and extends a pair of roses down to Braelynn, the fresh pink flush to their petals suggesting a bloom so new it probably transpired on the morning. "Lady Eirian de Burcombe, merry met. Welcome to Burcombe Village, and may the peace of the day remain with you so long as you enjoy our hospitality." The mare flicks her ears forward and eyes Morwenna's warhorse as it might Uwain's, but otherwise is relaxed. "Know you Sir Uwain de Tisbury or Sir Morwenna verch Cadwaladyr?" Cymric doesn't tangle her tongue in the least, and she spins names with an ease.
Her cheer brightens by tones when the news is delivered. "You did marvelously, Sir Morwenna. Buckholt will be grateful for the assistance given that day. Your suspicions are much my own." A nod to both Iolo and Braelynn follows. "Have either of you heard tidings about Saxons or bandits and raiders upon the road?"

When introduced, Sir Uwain lifts a hand in greeting, but is otherwise as quiet as the grave. He seems to be focused on the kittens still, and contemplating them at some great length. The antlers upon his helm, the bulk and height of his body and horse, and the trim of his wolf-lined garb might be depicted as some sort of strange mirror of Eirian's fey-being. He is certainly a head taller than most men and his eyes dwell long on the creatures before him. Only after he has ascertained some unknown purpose from the cats does he look up as if realizing that even more people have arrived, "Good day, children of men. May your crops be plentiful."

Such is the price of fancy clothes! No one is really ever going to expect much in the way of social grace out of a woman with a fondness for wolfskins. Morwenna remains silent, but seems most obviously curious of the man riding with Lady Eirian, giving a small nod in recognition when he is at last declared. And since the lady has done her part in kindness too, she need not repeat it, though she does add, seemingly as an improtant point of clarification, "In the service of Lord Knight Earc of Wilton." Which does still make her a neighbor to the Burcombes, of a sort! "Well met." This offered to Uwain more directly, although she soon glances over at the other pair who have seemingly encountered them on the road. But by Eirian, her attention is quickly enough turned back to the topic of the other day. She does dip her head again, a little further maybe, as the other woman speaks so well of her accomplishment. "I am simply happy to have removed a few more foreigners from our land. More will come, but I will send them on to the same end as their fellows."

One of the kittens prowling around leaps after a butterfly only it can see. A stiff tail lashed back and forth indicates a dire threat to exactly no one. The kitten raises a paw and ferociously mews in a pitch so high as to be almost inaudible. Fear, fear the kittenish believers.

Iolo hefts up that basket, and settles it upon the saddle infront of him, nodding his head towards Braelynn at her words, though soon turns his attention to Eirian as she approaches, "And a pleasant da to you as well, M'lady. I am Iolo the Bard, at your service, and this is the lady Braelynn de Cholderton." he gives as introduction, "And I've heard no word of bandit, nor Saxon, though I've been on the road a bit so it is little suprise I've not. Perhaps you could tell tale of this news, so I might be better informed as I travel the roads?"

"When they come," says Eirian in a soft undertone, "we shall stand ready. Greater defenses will certainly help and the River Nadder and forest offer much temptation to the others. I do not like it." Stratagems from a common girl? Say it isn't so! But absorbing the news from them, she casts a troubled look off into the distance for a moment or two. They never last long, not so with one so clearly cut from an odd, ethereal cloth unlike even Morwenna, who is a rather forbidding person in her own right, or Uwain with his antlers. Sunshine returns out of cloud in a heartbeat. "Lady Braelynn, I do owe your kinswoman Sir Arta my thanks for rescuing me from the Bourne River when my boat sank. If there is ever a way to repay her kindness by showing you favour, you must tell me how. I have a fondness in my heart for the fortunes of the Choldertons, and I hope one day we may be friends. No doubt you shall want to know the details, both of you. Ser Morwenna is wiser on the tactics than I." Says a woman who was shooting Saxons in the chest rather than admiring their foreignness. Patriotism runs hot. "Saxons raised at Buckholt near Du Plain, to the far east of the Salisbury Plain. My cousin Sir Caerwyn de Burcombe, Sir Morwenna, and I were among those who came to Buckholt's aid. Clearly this was an organized raid. They came in numbers. I fear that so bold an enemy striking in the heart of Salisbury bodes ill for Sarum."

An apple of pink rises on Braelynn's pale cheeks as she is addressed. She accepts the offered roses, and sniffs them quickly before addressing the woman on horseback in a quiet voice that reveals the shyness she struggles to overcome. "Well met, Lady Eirian, Sir Morwenn, and Sir Uwain. Thank you for the blooms." Her head tilts as she eyes Morwenna. Surprise is evident in her voice as she says, "I remember you!"

"I am sure the manors here are well-prepared for raiding, and of course, should Burcombe or its neighbors come under such, Wilton will send aid swiftly." Translation: Morwenna shall ride elegantly to the rescue, further entrenching her glory in the eyes of her increasing selection of pagan fangirls! Or something. "But if there are major attacks, the situation might well be reversed, and you will come instead to Wilton. The river is not deep enough to slow an army proper, but orders have been given to make all the cities and castles ready to take in the populace if we come under heavy attack." A grim reminder of what can be an even grimmer necessity, of leaving one's home behind, to be sacked and burned, and then rebuilt, rather than stay to defend it and lose the lives of the people and animals within. And then she says something a little odd, at least for her: "But it is a nice day, we ought not dwell on this future." The woman then glances toward Iolo and Braelynn, although as Eirian retells the Buckholt story, she does not bother to repeat any details, assuming the bard will have enough from that. Instead, she nods at the other woman. "Yes, you were there on Beltaine, when Sir Basilisk and that drunken lout of a 'god' held their selection." No love for Lugh.

As quiet as can be, Sir Uwain brings his leg around his saddle and slides down on his chest so stand beside his horse. Approaching the kittens then, he picks one up and inspects it before looking toward the mother and the others there. "This one is well made for chasing rats," he decides, and seems to be thinking about dropping it into his basket, but instead puts it back down and returns to his horse slowly. Not wanting to take it from its mother.

"My, that is quite the tale, I'll be certain to spread news of the Saxons, and the exploits you speak of as I ride." Iolo says, offering assurance to Eirian as he hears her story. He then looks towards Morwenna as she adds a few more details, and inclines his head to her as well, "Well met to you as well. It seems quite a bit has occured, only just now reaching my ear. Many thanks to both of you ladies." He adds, settling a bit more in his saddle, a smile creeping onto his lips a bit at the last bit of Morwenna's words, "Surely, Lugh could not have been that much of a lout, certainly the priests would not have chosen him to be their avatar, had the gods not spoken their desires to them!"

There's a small hut not far from the grainery, and that's where Morag emerges from. She's got an apron over her dress, and she smells heavily of lavender and heather, and she wipes her hands absently on the linen as she steps out and peers around.

A delicate brow raises as Braelynn glances at Iolo and confirms "Oh yes he was." She wrinkles her nose in distaste. Her head turns toward Uwain as she plays with the kittens and she eyes him quizically. She speaks up curiously as she asks, "What are you doing?" Her eyes dart nervously to the basket as she awaits a response, checking to assure that her precious herbs are safe, then she looks back toward him.

Pagan fangirls will probably include the fate-twisting lady a short distance away. "My hope is such we see fewer trials now but with summer and campaign season coming, it cannot be so." Morwenna's response earns a nod from Eirian, and one of those fleeting rare smiles evaporating into the spring sunshine. "Sir Basilisk. I heard of him, said to be a rather impressive knight, certainly one who held in thrall all kinds if the stories are to be told. Did you see him up close in the festivities?"
The cat picked up by Uwain mews and bats its paw at him. Tag! Those poor claws don't retract very well. It will not complain about being restored to the ground, gamboling off.

"I saw him well," Morwenna begins, as she now will take her turn in telling a tale, one that the bard might well also take interest in. "The man, a knight of unknown affiliation, was, ah, an impressive figure, quickly finding some favor from the ladies there and engaging in the revels some. But I thought there something strange or otherwordly about bit. There were a few signs of it, which I can speak of more in detail if you care. In any case, the he went to the man who had played the Sun God in the earlier ceremony, who was, by then acting little divine and very drunk. But Sir Basilisk addressed him in honor of his ceremonial place, and asked that he pick three women of virtue to serve as his champions. I offered my service, as did Sir Seraphina, and after some… deliberation Lady Cariste as well." She obviosuly seems intent on glossing over some of it, maybe to downplay the more ridiculous portions. "In any case, he soon had us follow him into the forest and there told us of a fae curse, that bound him there and allowed him freedom only on the night of Beltaine. Thus we three were tasked with various quests, that together might free him. There is… more to it, of course, that we might speak of if you care. I know you take interest in such otherworldy matters." To Iolo then she will turn and state, more abruptly: "Perhaps the man they chose was suitable for the ritual, but I have my doubts that divinity followed him once unmasked and drunk."

Iolo listens to Morwenna quite intently, the basket still rather loosely held upon the saddle, though looking like it's in little risk of going anywhere. He even leans in a bit as Morwenna tells her story, "My, that is fascinating, I should hope to hear your tale in great detail at some point, My lady." He says after a moment, nodding his head, "I've many a question I would ask, at the very least!" the antics of 'Lugh' seeming forgotten, for the moment, he glances to the other women, "How fascinating, a shame I missed that portion of the Beltaine festivities, it would have been quite wonderful to see them first hand."

And so the world tilts on its gracious axis and Eirian listens with uncanny focus for the likes of her. She makes no comment throughout the commentary, her cornflower eyes venturing askance to behold the familiar silhouette cut by Morag. Brows raise in mute question, and no more. "I should care to hear of this later, Sir Morwenna, if you are not given towards describing the outcome now. Though certainly that makes for a memorable Beltaine eve. Tell me this, if you can, was he freed and upon his way?" So light an inquiry dances from her lips, spun gracefully on a delicate edge.

Braelynn shakes her head at Uwain's kitten molestation murmuring quietly, almost to herself. "One should never touch kittens. They carry fleas, and from what I understand their bites itch frightfully!" She then turns her attention back to Morwenna and Iolo. She speaks up quietly, but she is obviously making an effort to be heard. "I'd like to hear about it." She looks up at Morwenna again, her eyes narrowing as she studies the knight, listening curiously to the tale she spins.

Having put the cat back down, Sir Uwain says, "My horse has more fleas than cats," and mounts up again onto his big angry warhorse. Looking over toward Eirian he smiles a little, but seems content to sit quietly and abide the silence. His helmet tilted back on his head, he sits straight in the saddle again and goes back to looking like the overgrown figure of lore.

"I am happy to speak about it," Morwenna says, an answer that addresses both her friend and the bard alike. "Though if we are to speak on it at length, I might prefer to do so in your hall, or back in Wilton." She reaches down to touch the next of her stallion, as if in light apology for having to simply stand about with her weight on his back! "For there are not just many details, but also further questions. He gave us tasks, but some of them seem riddles themselves." And here she quickly shakes her head, and clarifies. "He gave us his tasks, and eventually we were off, but as he is cursed and only free upon Beltaine eve, the resolution of the whole affair must wait. We will attend these quests, and hopefully free him one year hence."

"I agree, the best story's are told with drink, and comfortable surroundings." Iolo affirms, flashing a grin towards Morwenna, "Perhaps we should do just that, find a comfortable spot to sit, and some drink to fill our cups and listen to Sir Morwenna's tale of this strange knight in some detail?"

Braelynn hears Uwain's words and then eyes him dubiously. She takes a step further from his horse. Her eyes then begin to eye the *other* horses. Oh dear. She then eyes the basket that rests atop Iolo's horse, and seems to be considering something. As Lady Morag approaches, her eyes light up and she calls out to her cheerfully, "Lady Morag! I've brought you something! You can keep the basket too!" Her smile now widens into a happy smugness.

It is a leisurely pace that a mounted figure ambles along atop a roan-colored mare, slowly plodding along with the urgency of summer clouds, hot and hazy in the sky. Though kittens compose a great deal of traffic on the road down from Burcombe manor right now, the spring planting is finished for the most part and the villeins who usually carve their heart, blood and soul into the dirt furrows of the evenly spaced barley fields, rows holding precious seed, they are now currently occupying their time with a newly created initiative - carving their heart, blood and soul into lumber, crafting the most wondrously tasteless wooden fertility idols and blocky furniture, for export. Hounds laze in the fields - the two pairs of hunting hounds that the heir had requested of the Pendragon came with two she-dogs fat with litters, and the pups, recently introduced into this world, have found homes quickly, clambering over each other and chasing any kitten too slow to flee.

It becomes clear that Caerwyn is the culprit - he has cast off his chainmail for an appropriately light summer tunic, black still as is appropriate for a man named the Black Burcombe, but of sheer linen, a little finer than local-spun cloth. His pair of riding breeches is a hand-me-down, a size too large, and he angles his horse towards the group. Stopping as a hen followed by a line of chicks cross the path (why did the chicken cross the road?), he eggs his horse on with a light pat on the head, before coming into another traffic jam: the visitors from other manors, being hosted graciously by his cousin Eirian, along with a murder of kittens. "Merry met," he drawls sardonically.

At her sister's side, Catryn walks, not in armor or anything overbearing. It's downtime but she's not in a dress either. A tunic and breeches and boots are the design of the day. Same as any other day. Hair is pulled back in a braid. Simple. The kitten does nothing to soften her expression, but the woman at her side does, Morag. "I don't want to get married." The words are blunt and out of the blue. "Would if you could marry him in my stead."

Did a danger ever present itself that unsettled the blood bay mare owned by Burcombe manor, it has not a name or a physical form. The creature stands proud and tall, alert to the sounds of voices, and particularly those most familiar to it. Ears flick forward and swivel in Morag's direction at the first, whereas the maiden ensconced in that lofty perch passes a gentle smile upon Braelynn as reassurance unspoken. Eirian rolls her shoulders back a fraction beneath her cloak, easing the tension pilfered from some distant shore. "Which is to say it has none, and the cat likely to have the same. Poor cat. Sir Morwenna, I would be glad for either. You have my hospitality or I will ride to Wilton on the morrow for the portents for the day are myriad." Odd statement, but her narrowing eyes flick towards the horizon and a measure of shadow fluttering upon. "Then we should be seeking an abandoned statue in a forest. Sensible for something transformed to stone from flesh to come animate and the curse to have a catch limited on a high sabbat, at the year's start. He gave you a year to set you upon your tasks. That speaks well." An offhanded comment comes like a scrap tossed from a book without forethought for its consequence, the reflection that she knows exactly the topic of which she speaks.
The murder of kittens contains one bold-ass cat that goes chasing after her boot. A tiny little black and white fuzzball bolts for it, rolling off, and insistently chirping, "Gnewwww!"

Morag lifts her hand to offer a wave to Braelynn. "You did? Why, thank you, I - " and then she's pausing to turn her head and stare at Catryn. "Wh - what?" she echoes uncertainly. "But you seem so well suited, Cat? Are you sure you just aren't - I've heard that ladies often feel hesitant prior to nuptials. He's your betrothed. I don't know him altogether well, and Father surely wouldn't hear of it." She cast a glance Eirian's way, catching a few key words of the other woman's conversation. "Can I be of help?" she calls out, somewhat eager to skid past Catryn's proposal.

Iolo shifts that basket just a bit, where it rests atop the brown horse he sits upon, indicating further the gift Braelynn mentioned, though any further response is cut off by Morag and Catryn exchanging words with one another. He shrugs just a bit towards Braelynn, "I can carry it up to the Manor, and she can fetch it there perhaps?" his gaze drifts towards Eirian at her statement and he nods his head, "I had rather hoped to hear where the statue was myself, it would be fascinating to see!"

Braelynn nods her agreement to Iolo and smiles. Now that the crowd had grown she seems much less willing to speak, and she begins to eye the road back home. She looks toward Morwenna, and then the road. Inside the basket are many small strips of parchment folded to make packets that hold herbs. They are in various stages of yellowing, and it's apparent that some of them are quite old. She looks toward Morwenna again. Shyness battles curiosity as she listens for more of the story.

There is a way that Morwenna looks back at the bard when he suggests what sounds like a lovely afternoon spent laying in the grass and sipping wine that suggests she is on to his ways and perhaps not enthusiastic! This bit of a glare delivered, she will then say, "Here is fine, if you do not mind the company, Lady Eirian, nor have other business- I did come upon you riding, and with a guest." That Uwain not be forgotten or ignored on her behalf! "If so, I am happy to see you when you are able to come to Wilton, else I will share what more I know now. Though as for finding the place…" Here she turns her head, presumably to glance in whatever direction the man had led her off that night, since their little journey began right there in Burcombe, "… I could try, though I cannot promise I would successfully lead us back to the spot. The ride was not short, and while I pride myself as both a rider and a woodswoman, it was the dead of night, and I often had the feeling when in his presence, of… well, of some confusion, I suppose. Fae trickery, perhaps, or just some trick of the dark."

"Merry met," Caerwyn announces, a little louder to the guests present: Morwenna, Braelynn, Iolo, Uwain and Eirian. He clears his throat and glances down atop his little mare. "… Ahem. Hello?"
When the heir's twin and his baby sister come trotting along, he widens his smirk into a genuinely warm smile. "… We've a bunch of knight errants on our land, waiting to be entertained. Well, let us show them Burcombe hospitality." He swings one leg over and dismounts with a spry bounce to his step. Jet-haired, ivory-skinned - almost translucent, despite the high summer sun above - Caerwyn turns to look at Morwenna and Morag. "… I see you are petting tonight's aperitifs. We will have stewed cat with glaze of apricot for the entree," he announces loftily, keeping an entirely straight face. The only sign that he might be joking is the usual smirk he wears everywhere. Always playful, dripping with sarcasm, if a facial expression is capable of that.
And then Caerbear turns to Iolo before sweeping one arm in front of him and one arm behind in a mild, half-bow. "Is that your horse over there yonder, with the harp slung on the saddle, friend? If you'll play for us to-day, you'll not want for food nor drink. Come, let us go to the manor proper."

Catryn feels the gaze of her sister on her and presses her lips together, the reaction all she knew it would be. "Well suited?" That brings her pause and she offers a shrug, "The wedding is still some distance away, hopefully years." Tugging on her tunic, she frowns, uncomfortable without her armor. A nod of greeting is offered the bard. Her brother's commanding presence gets him an arch of a brow. "Caerwyn, where is your lady love?"

"Then you'll have time," Morag says firmly, "Time to get to know him and know for certain. Right now you're just…you're reacting. You need time to think. You need more information. This is your opportunity." And then she elbows Cat lightly at the lady-love comment. That's supposed to be a secret! She focuses instead on Braelynn presenting her with a gift. "Oh, my lady. This is so thoughtful! I'll add it all to the stock I have already. It will be a welcome addition. Thank you very much." A pause, and she looks over her shoulder, "You're horrible." This to Caerwyn, in a loving tongue.

Braelynn furrows her brow as she hears the mention of cats for dinner. She looks at Caerwyn dubiously, narrowing her eyes. She says quietly, "That's not healthy." She turns her head toward Iolo, and lifts a pale hand to nudge his leg, waiting for his attention. She says quietly, "Thank you" Before she begins to back away with a little curtsey. "Well met, all of you." With that, she turns on her heels and begins to walk back toward home. Or is she fleeing? So many people!

"It would be my pleasure, Sir Knight." Iolo replies, "I'm the bard, Iolo, at your service." He says, glancing to Braelynn as she nudges at him and smiles, "You're welcome, m'lady." He says to the departing woman, offering another little bow, from atop his horse, to the woman.

Eirian says scarcely a sound as she dips her head to Morwenna. "Wilton, then, at your leisure. I have business to attend in town and at least two of the merchants claim they received a reasonably good shipment from Armorica. I mean to determine if they are good as their word." She dips her head towards her kindred, the appearance of them shared in various shades and forms: the slope of their noses, the dark hair, the wide eyes. Though her mold is infinitely more delicate in some respects. "Merry met, and what an element of joy this is. Sir Catryn, Sir Caerwyn, a fine day to you both. Morag, do make sure the cat's given savoury otherwise it comes out terribly strange." Her dark hair studded by roses spins its own heady scent up close, but not overpowering, just as she is not. "Lady Braelynn, I could not let you go all the way to Cholderton without accompaniment, much less this late into the day. Would you permit me to escort you? There's room enough to take two on my mare, even should we go slow. Sir Uwain, would I prevail upon you to join us or will you prefer to enjoy Burcombe village?"

Obliquely, Caerwyn replies to his twin sister: "What lady love?" And then continues speaking, back to his other sister, the baby one: "You still love me very much. This I know." And then to the party at large: "Well, what wait you? Cometh here, we'll feed and water the lot of you, as the laws of hospitality mandate." He rolls his eyes. "And the lot of you can give me news beyond these walls." He clears his throat. "Typically, I'd have Aengus introduce me - where hath the Furies hidden that blasted Irishman? - but I suppose I shall have to do the honors myself."

Clearing his throat, Caerwyn turns to look at the party at large: "I am Sir Caerwyn de Burcombe, firstborn son to the Vassal Knight, Sir Roaman de Burcombe and the lord of the land you tread. We extend to you bread and water, and I was joking about the main dish." He turns to regard Eirian and the departing Braelynn. "The strange lady yonder should not walk alone, especially as far as Cholderton. Though the better question is, how she got here from Cholderton in the first place, with no escort. Sir Uwain, if you are to take my cousin and this lady, I respectfully ask you return my kinswoman at a reasonable hour." He arches a lofty brow. "Though I suppose I can get my brother Edwyn and my squire as additional escort. Chaperones, if you will." He considers Uwain blithely, but not with malice or suspicion - simply the predetermined role of the alleged man of the house to keep an eye on his female relatives safely.

"I will go where you go, my lady," Sir Uwain replies, he is wearing that antlered helmet and heavy wolf fur, and otherwise is as quiet as the wind. He just stares off into space, listening in, but not intruding on the business of the other manors or their people. All the same, he looks at her a moment before nodding towards Caerwyn. "On my life, I would see her safely anywhere she wished to go," he replies. Simple as that.

Cynrain Cynrain rides to Burcombe with his squire in tow. They slow upon arrival as he observes the busy grounds with a slight grin on his lips, "I love coming here." Cynrain confesses to his squire. "There's always something occurring." They press forward.

Braelynn stops as she hears Eirian speaking to her. She turns to glance at the Lady on the horse. She seems to be considering the offer, eyeing the horse nervously. She then looks toward the long walk home. A slow sigh escapes her lips, and she turns in Eirian's direction. She gives a little nod in her direction and answers, "Thank you." Though as Uwain, the cat molester, and stated flea-ridden horse voice their intent to follow she questions her decision.

"You are horrible and I love you very much." Morag agrees with Caerwyn, before leaning against Catryn. "I promise you, just give it time, and if you're still feeling uncertain…talk to father. I'm sure some arrangement can be made, but if you don't at least seem to be trying he'll dismiss it out of hand."

Caerwyn stares down Iolo for a moment longer - it's a little perturbing, to be under the relentless surveillance of those emerald green eyes - before he turns away from the bard without another word. It seems like a rejection, almost, and more sensitive types might fear that the hospitality given has since been withdrawn. He turns to look at Catryn. "… You can visit if you'd like. Cynrain is not a bad man. You could do worse," he says with a shrug before pulling himself onto his horse's saddled back. And then he nods at Iolo. "A short ride over to the manor. What news do you bring outside of Salisbury? And what are they wearing in the cities? Fine wool, no doubt, of good embroidery and fair stitching?" He turns to regard Catryn and Morag. "Sisters, come. I never have made a decision on an empty stomach."

"I am about to go back to the manor and find sleep. Blissful, blissful sleep." Catryn offers, stopping to brush a kiss on her sisters brow. "Of course I could do worse," she tells her brother. A solemn nod is given her sister. "I am going to go think about things. First, a marriage, then a fae knight showing here during Beltaine.." she sighs, waves the the bard, before heading back to the manor.

"I would not wish to impose upon your manor." Iolo says to the nobleman, "It seems perhaps the hour is not fortuitous for my visit. I shall continue to ride on, I think, Sir Caerwyn, perhaps camp aside the road, or see if the next Manor down should have be for the eve. I bid you a good eve, Sir Knight, and perhaps when next I visit I can share tales with your family!"

"Well, suit yourself, bard. On your return to Wilton or Sarum, drop by — perhaps there is a larger crowd to appreciate your ministrations," Caerwyn says, not bothering to alter his horse's course. He too goes home, regardless of whether his bardly guest chooses to stay or not. Food is promised in the manor's halls, and companionship does not come at a premium quite yet.

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