(514-06-22) A Little Light Entrapment
Summary: Arian requests Heulwen's help in a matter of the heart.
Date: 22 June 514
Related: None
arian heulwen 


Arian de Laverstock is on a mission. Something since she returned to Sarum to find it in shambles and the Saxons on the move has instilled in her a need… a need to choose a path and make it reality. So, with the late morning sun streaming in across the rubbled city, she seeks out the Dintons. This time though she is not out to find Kamron, but to find his sister.

She has chosen a simple dress of light wool — something that is definitely not her general fit nor style, but perhaps something from the other ladies of the city as her own garments solely consist of armor and its layers of padded cloth. Her hair has been carefully woven back with a ribbon, and much of the dirt from her long ride has been washed away and her wounds carefully bandaged. She has her sword at her hip, however — a sign that she is still ready for what may lie ahead should the warning horn sound.

She approaches where the Dintons are camped, looking hopefully for Lady Heulwen — and more hopefully that Kamron is nowhere to be found.

Success
You check your craft at 15, you rolled 8.

Luckily for the wee Arian, neither Kamron nor his squire are anywhere in sight. Heulwen is seated on a stump with a pile of mending at her feet and a clean but faded blue tunic draped over her lap. With a glazed-eye expression, she is carefully employing needle and thread to sew up a series of tears along the seams; an attached patch of brighter blue down one side serves as evidence to her morning's work up to this point.

Around Wennie, the Dinton camp is fairly quiet; only a few of the younger cousins remain to tend the fire and tidy up after the morning scramble to break their fast before heading off to various employments. Thus she is enveloped in a certain cloud of silent contemplation as she sews mindlessly, dark hair touseled and unbound. While she may look a bit unkempt from a life without her usual amenities, the fact that she's humming to herself is a sign that she is cheerful nonetheless.

Eventually she finishes off the last seam, and after tying it off she uses a thin knife to sever the thread. Tossing down the mended tunic, Heulwen arches her back and stretches her arms over her head, finally daring to look up at the world around her. Immediately she spots Arian, and her frown melts into a cheerful smile as she calls out a "halloo" and beckons for the Laverstock knight to come hither.

In that first moment, Arian almost loses her nerve. She can feel her steps slow, and even the start of some backward pedalling begin. But, then Heulwen spots her and calls for her attention, and she has nothing else to do but push herself forward toward the Dinton woman. She approaches carefully, stepping over a bit of sodden ground to save her borrowed boots. She actually smiles, her dimples full — she almost looks quite pleasant save for her hint of nervousness in her pale eyes.

"Lady Heulwen?" She gestures a bit. "I hope I'm not interrupting… though I am pleased to see you." She tilts her head a bit, finally taking note of the garment she is working on. The blue is almost familiar, but not quite. "A skill I could never really master," she offers conversationally. "Needles are the most awkward, tiniest of swords."

"A good morning to you, Sir Arian," Heulwen greets, gesturing with a flap of one hand for Arian to find a seat amidst the piles of clothes (in baskets, mind you; she's not a heathen). "Come, sit, and you can watch as I torture these garments for information on enemy movements." Her own dimples appear as her grin widens briefly before she snatches up someone's torn bliaut. With her head tilted toward Arian, she takes on a listener's pose while her eyes and fingers evaluate the article for soundness; if old and too worn, it may be cut down for a child's use. "And aye, these are tiny swords, indeed. You should have seen my poor fingers when I was first learning. I looked practically poxed."

A moment of silence follows as Wen sucks the end of her thread and drives it deftly through the eye of her needle. "If you've come to see Kam, I'm afraid he's off for guard duty. Or is he scouting? I can never remember; he's been so busy since." No need to elaborate why. "If you've not broken your fast today, I'm sure Bri or one of the other girls can assemble something in a few minutes."

Arian waits to be invited to sit, and she then sweeps forward to take the offered seat. She brushes her hands down her rump, gathering up her skirts to sit as neatly as she can. Knightly as she is, she is pressing upon herself to be as ladylike as she can be — perhaps to set a particular tone for the conversation she hopes to achieve in this moment. She smiles a bit. "I gave up… my cousins are far better at such mending and craftsmanship, so I left it entirely to them — which speaks to how plain most of my chosen garments are. Never could just sit and embroider them."

Then she breathes out a slow exhale at the mention of Kam, and she shakes her head a touch dismissively. "I actually didn't come to see Sir Kamron…" She hesitates. "I came to see you, Lady Heulwen. I suppose, to seek an alliance of sorts…" She is stalled a bit at the mention of food, and then waves that offer off as well. Perhaps her stomach is too nervous to break her fast… quite yet.

"If your cousins were nicer, they would offer to embroider things for you," Heulwen replies quietly, perhaps sitting up a little straighter and with a note of pride; she certainly employs her skill in bestowing needlepoint gifts upon others. The small needle flashes in the morning sunlight as it zips in and out, neatly closing up another worn seam. Her lips are curved upward in a slight smile, and she glances up at Arian to see if the knight has taken her glib comment out of context.

Her sewing slows, however, when Arian mentions that Wen is the reason for the visit. Her eyebrows rise upward in surprise, and she holds up one finger in a silent plea for just another moment. Quickly she finishes off the mending and ties off the string before slicing it free. The bliaut is folded neatly and set aside to join the slowly growing pile of 'completes'. Only then does she jab the needle into a piece of leather and set it aside atop the 'needs mending' pile. "An alliance, my lady? I wonder if someone has given you a rather grander understanding of my importance." Nevertheless, the corners of her eyes crinkle with her smile.

Arian laughs self-deprecatingly. "I don't know… perhaps I was written off… I'm the only daughter of seven children, and we're all knights. I have often just been seen as one of Sir Gallaloc's sons rather than his daughter. Though…" And she gestures offhandedly. "I suppose I might have encouraged it… I muddied too many dresses in my childhood for my cousins or aunts to dare spend time on a lovely dress." But, this is entirely off-topic. So, she breathes out a sigh and brushes her palms nervously against her skirts.

"Yes, Lady Heulwen…" She looks nervously around the camp, noting its emptiness, and it helps her push forward. "I have a deep affection for your brother… ever since he hit me with a snowball this past winter, I suppose." She fights back the urge to pick nervously at her skirts. "He has expressed the same… but I do not know if he thinks he could ever be given such a banns."

Heulwen nods slowly to Arian, gazing contemplatively at some point over her left shoulder. Judging by the fact that she seems quite unsurprised by this declaration, it is obvious that she's fostered some suspicion for quite a while. "Aye, I'm aware of something of the sort," she clarifies in a quiet murmur, glancing around likewise to be sure none of the few remaining family members are within earshot. To be certain, however, she makes shift to move closer to Arian so that they may speak quietly.

Now that the point has been reached, Heulwen is free to take up another garment, and she does so in order to keep her hands busy while her mind wanders. "I think—well, I think my brother's concerns are not wholly without a little truth behind them, but I think, too, that he might agonize over trifling details overmuch. Young lovers are always certain of two things: that they will die if they cannot be together, and that naturally their parents will sense this and refuse on principle." Wen laughs quietly at her own sarcasm as she turns the tunic to a better angle for her work. "I'm not certain there is anything that would stand in the way of Kamron getting his wish. Well, except for delay, perhaps. I imagine if he doesn't bring to our parents' mind a potential suit, they are going to start seeking them out on his behalf. Has he mentioned speaking of this to Sir Cyndeyrn?"

Arian chews slightly at her inner cheek as Heulwen speaks, and she finds a small rent in the fabric of her borrowed skirts to nervously play with. She does offer a small laugh of amusement, and her head bobs gently. "I'm sure we are both agonizing over the trifling details…" Then she breathes out a slow sigh, her shoulders sinking a bit. "I believe that is both our fears… Though my father has not spoken about it, and Sir Trystan has only just found his footing, I'm at the age where marriage is quite inevitable, knightly status or not." Then she stops picking at the rent as to not make it worse. When Heulwen mentions Cyndeyrn, her mouth thins. "No… I do not believe he has spoken about this with anyone…" For whatever reason, her tone suggests.

"Well, there you have it. Bringing up the potential match is much more productive than furtive meetings and gazing longingly at each other from a distance." Heulwen speaks matter-of-factly, emphasizing her point as she snips the thread and shakes out the tunic. She squints a bit as she looks the garment over for any other points of weakness, but finding none readily apparent she folds it up neatly and moves on to the next. Arian's fidgeting draws her attention to the tear in her skirt, but the young Dinton is kind enough to say precisely nothing about fixing it. "If you would like me to, I am more than happy to goad Kamron into doing it. I am always fond of telling him to stop sitting around with his thumb up his arse. Could you hold this for me?" She holds out the needle to Arian with her right hand while rifling through a pile of clothes with her left.

Heulwen says nothing that Arian does not already know, but hearing it does pink her cheeks ever so lightly. She blinks as the needle is offered out to her, and she reaches to take it with a kind of uncertain fear that the little instrument will come to life and try to sew her fingers together. She holds it delicately beween her forefinger and thumb, her arm stretched out slightly to keep a close eye on this little sword. Then she looks up with a blink at Wen's offer, and she shakes her head. "No… I mean, if you would like, you certainly can, but… I also do not wish to, as you say, sit on my thumb and not do anything. I plan to speak with Trystan and my father once we return to Laverstock."

Success
You check your honest at 16, you rolled 1.

"I most certainly would like to see Kamron do more than moon about like an adolescent. Sometimes he is so wrapped up in his own head that I'm afraid it's going to end with him being killed." Heulwen's tone is light, but her digging ceases momentarily as she considers the very real implications of her brother's death. Her brow furrows painfully at the thought, and she shakes her head quickly to chase away the darkness. "Yes," she continues, finally selecting a pair of hose and checking the hole on the heel with a slight frown. "Yes, I think it very wise to bring up the matter with your family as well. It will expedite the discussion, to say the least, but also spare them the painful surprise when some Dinton arrives out of the blue one day to open up betrothal negotiations. Thank you." She snatches up the needle deftly from Arian's hand lest the knight drop it. "I will tell you with all honesty and sincerity, Sir Arian: truly, I see no particular impediment to this. You are honorable and skilled, not entirely unknown, and you come from a decent family with whom we hold no particular issue. All of this bodes well. Or is there a particular fear you have? Some single detail that would bring it all down about your ears?"

Arian looks a touch relieved when the needle is taken back, and she watches Heulwen with some strange curiosity as she starts in on the newest garment. She looks up at the question of her fears, and she catches her lip immediately between her teeth to worry at it. "I am not a Christian woman, Lady Heulwen… and you brother is quite a Christian man. Worse yet, I don't think I could honestly convert to the faith." She shifts uncomfortably on her seat, and then clasps her hands tighter together. "By no means do I think that our faiths will make it impossible, but… I do not wish to bring conflict with our banns… and the questions that will follow." She seems a bit awkward. "Not that I think that your family judges a person solely on their chosen faith, but it does seem to worry Kamron."

This particular tear is rather small, and only takes Heulwen a minute or two to mend it. She listens patiently to Arian, nodding in understanding as she knots off the final stitch before severing the thread. With a sigh, she places the needle between her lips for safekeeping while stretching out her fingers and massaging each hand at the base of the finger joints. The needle is then placed into the bit of leather, and she sets this aside for the moment with a quiet yawn. "Sometimes I am rather skeptical about how many honest converts come about as a means to the marriage end. Would you convert at least for the marriage to take place in a church? If so, then I feel you are joining a rather large group of like-minded spouses who have done the same."

Arian is quite entranced by Heulwen's skill and precision with that tiny sword, and she blinks a bit when the question is posed about a church wedding. She hestiates, but not because the answer gives her pause, but more the question catches her off-guard. "Oh." She then nods, folding her hands together. "Yes… I have told Kamron such. I imagine that the Dintons would ask for at least that… if not a promise that any Dinton children are raised in the family's faith." That seems to weigh on her a bit, but she tries not to linger on that thought. "I would do it… because marrying a Pagan because that is what I should do sounds like a terrible choice when I could marry a Christian I care deeply for."

"Well, to be honest, I am not sure what all the family would request with the betrothal…" Heulwen considers it for a moment, still absently massaging the cramps out of her fingers. "It is a tenet of the faith to be married in the church, else it would not be recognized before God. As for the children—I haven't ever thought about it. I haven't seen many family members married, and none to anyone of the pagan faith." She offers a slight shrug to Arian and runs her fingers through her hair in a nervous manner. Perhaps the young Dinton is more tightly-wound than she has been letting on. "I think, in the end, that if your feelings are strong enough you will both do whatever is necessary to see it through."

The Pagan woman frowns thoughtfully before offering a slow and thoughtful nod. "Yes… I suspect that there is little that could impede us." Then she swallows thickly, and works her fingers together. "Save a banns being set into motion before we can assure our own." There is something discomforting in her tone, but she tries to let it go. With a deep inhale, she starts to stand. "Thank you, Heulwen…" She works her hands into the hidden pockets at the side of her skirts. She tilts her head slighty. "We should find time to speak more… and perhaps with less of a…" And she glances around Sarum with a furrow of her brow. "Weight around us." She starts to smile, dimples flashing. "Kamron adores you, and that is enough to want me to know you better."

Heulwen is about ready to reach over and pick up more mending with a sigh of resignation, but Arian's movement calls her back. She rises with the knight and dusts off her skirts, pleased to have an excuse to take a leisurely break from the daily slog through backed-up mending. "Kamron secretly likes me because I boss him around," she replies by way of jest and with a small laugh. Her smile softens and she reaches out to grasp the knight's hand to offer a brief squeeze for moral support. "My brother is a good man, and good men are inclined to join forces with good women. He adores you, too, and that is enough to make me want to know you better as well, Sir Arian. But I shan't keep you away from your duties with my fireside chit-chat. I am very happy you called, and I will speak with Kamron as soon as I am able. Please, before you go, let me get Bri to pack something to eat for the road, shall I?"

The dark-haired woman smiles brightly at the Dinton lady, and she offers out a bright laugh. "Ah, well… he does make it easy to boss him around." Her pale eyes glitter. When the woman offers out the hand, Arian takes it between her own and squeezes gently. She pinks softly at the mention of Kamron's own affections. "He is a good man, yes." Then she gestures a bit, offering a nod. "If you insist, Lady Heulwen… I would like that." Then she retreats her hands back into her skirts.

"Come along, then, and I will see you well-stocked before you leave. Never let it be said the Dintons are inhospitable, and you are a firm friend now." Heulwen glances around at her clothes, and finding everything more or less to be in order, beckons Arian with a bending of her fingers before flouncing off to find her cousin.

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