(514-06-23) Family and Friends
Summary: In the wake of the Trouble in Sarum, Laverstocks and friends gather together to catch up.
Date: June 23, 514
Related: Trouble in Sarum, Unnamed Feeling, and others.
arian elrick padrig eirian kamron heulwen 


Sir Arian de Laverstock has heard that some of the Laverstocks were at the tourney grounds in Sarum — though these grounds no longer host the glory of the tournament, but instead makeshift tents for refugees from other areas of Sarum. Healers have set up areas to bring the wounded, which is where Arian initially starts to look for her family. It is late afternoon, and the sun is low in the sky as it approaches evening. Fires are being lit to prepare for the night.

Arian enters the grounds with her mulberry gelding led behind her. She is in damaged armor and her arm is secured to her side in a sling to suggest a shoulder or rib injury. Her cheek is scratched and hair tousled and dirty. She may have not been in Sarum during its attack, but she definitely looks as though she has been through her own hell.

Elrick numbers amongst those who are still searching for his family, not having the opportunity to reunite with them as when he had returned to Sarum, they were already on their mission to track down the vile criminal Sior. So since the siege had ended, he did not know if they were safely at the Laverstock Manor, or elsewhere. He has also chosen to remain the Burcombe maiden, Eirian, after she had received devastating news. His heart has gone out to her, perhaps also shielding himself in case the dark tendrils of death decides to brush over his own family as well.
Having just spent a few hours at the dead of night resting against the stone walls of Sarum, Elrick is now walking with Eirian on the tourney grounds that is littered with tents and those who are not wounded enough to be in the healer tents. Without any forms of communication or tracking, one can only aimlessly wander and pray that luck will see families, friends, and loved ones reunited. At the moment, the Laverstock Knight is still in armor, though one can that his left thigh is bandaged, the strips of cloth wrapped around the entire leg.

As always, by blessing of birth, Padrig was not exactly present in Sarum during the big hooplah, having been held "in reserve" at home to "watch after their people." It was very boring, and the moment he was given leave to come to town, he showed up with bells on. At the moment the young knight is sprawled on the grass, using his pile of armor as a makeshift pillow to lean against while watching other not-exhausted knights (i.e., the ones left out of the combat) practice their forms. Paddy frowns and plucks a stray blade of grass from his tunic, looking up as he flicks it away just in time to see his bedraggled cousin appear. Much like the rest, she seems a sort of refugee wandering amidst the rubble. "Arian!" he calls out cheerfully, raising a hand and waving it lazily to beckon her near.

Laverstocks one and Laverstocks aplenty ride roughshod over the grimmer fortunes spun by the dour cloaked fates. The richness of a family secured in their flesh is an insult upon injury to those trees felled or trimmed, boughs lopped off by Saxon great-axes. What god cherishes them so to spare their blood? Not all share the sentiment, naturally, but a few jealous looks may steal after them among the wounded and exhausted retinues. Dark linen and wool forms a wall against them for a figure too diminutive to be a full grown man and probably smooth-stepped to count as a squire of either sex. Cowl high, hair back, she makes a reasonable facsimile for an effigy of the Morrigan or one of the dreaded children of Llyr.
Soot and muddy earth stain her boots, along with blood likely mixed among the traces. Torn, undyed linen strips form a peculiar torc of sorts, woven around the cloak pin where they might be pulled away and gifted to especially needy healers or exhausted men bleeding through their makeshift bandages. Whether they came from a tunic or a bliaut or some other sacrificial source matters not one bit. Eirian says not a word, though she in her way orbits around the Laverstock knight; Elrick might rather unexpectedly find her blocking the way of someone not exactly paying attention, and she makes at least a discreet task of shielding his left side. It's no accident.

Kamron doesn't know that the Laverstocks are gathered in the tournament grounds, but he's not going to complain about their presence either. Instead, he's just looking to find some semi-open space to walk with his sister, who has a great deal of information to pass along. He's already given Heulwen a right, relieved hug that only hurt his wounded left hip and bruised rib-cage a little, and now he is escorting her down to… a tent city. "So. You're to be the Lady of Woodford. And what do you think of that?" He keeps his voice low, quiet, and blinks as he spots the armored knight with his bandage-wrapped leg first, idly turning his steps in the direction of Elrick and Eirian. The call of Arian's name draws his head up, and his brows lift, looking around for the other Laverstock — and whatever masculine voice is calling her name.

With her hand held securely in the crook of Kamron's elbow, Heulwen follows along at his side slowly; the occasional press of people and sprawling obstacles cause her to push him out of the way from time to time. Being of the delicate feminine persuasion, she is not altogether disheveled or dirty, although her features are wan and she is sporting an impressive set of undereye bags. "Oh watch out," Wen murmurs to Kamron, pulling on his elbow to slow him down as Elrick and Eirian pass; just as quickly she is back to moving again. Her gaze wanders restlessly even as she attempts to keep up with the conversation.

"I think mother has been secretly planning all of my life around this very possibility, brother; how I feel is rather irrelevant at this particular point in time." Heulwen offers him a faint smile as she lifts her skirt and hops over a murky, questionable puddle. By this time her brother is so distracted that she may just get off without having to answer his question. "Is Sir Arian around, do you think? Is that whose name I heard?"

"Padrig, thank the Morrigan," Arian breathes out when she notices her cousin across the tourney grounds. She heads toward him, drawing her gelding along who starts to trot to keep up with his fast-moving knight. She might actually hug her cousin, but she resists. She does deliver his shoulder a sharp punch of greeting once she is within reach. "Look at you, hardly worse for wear." Her nose wrinkles slightly. "Did you actually get a bath in?" Then her gaze falls on Elrick, and she squeezes Padrig's bicep, remaining a close connection with her cousin even while she calls out across the field. "Rick!" She lifts her hands, waving to capture his attention. "Over here!"

As the pair navigates the maze of makeshift tents and those who are resting their feet where they can find space, Elrick does his duty as the Burcombe's escort to ensure she isn't shouldered by another in passing. Sometimes a gentle tug at her arm is offered, a silent warning of someone passing, but most offers no trouble to the two. It is when the name of his sister being called out that catches Elrick's ear, ringing out clearly to him despite the hushed sounds littering the background. Gaze snapping to the source, he is able to locate the man calling out, who looks like his cousin. Then he follows Padrig's gaze and sees that it is indeed his sister, relief immediately rippling through his body as if the lead weight that has been weighing him down has been unchained from him.
Elrick does turn to his companion, the sympathy still in him as he knows of her great loss, therefore he doesn't just run off to join his family. Instead, he offers a quiet word to her, his tone one more soothing than filled with worry, "Eirian, this way. I believe I have found my sister and a cousin." Elrick would have recognized Kamron, especially this close, if he been paying attention but his focus right now is to rejoin his family, to be close to them again. To him, the pair of Dintons are just another pair of people in passing, obstacles to step around, for now.

Padrig has at least done Arian the good service of standing up as she approaches, and he brushes grass from his trousers. Her relieved greeting earns a cocky smile that fades into an exaggerated grimace as she punches him. "Ow! Always the fists with you, and you don't even know if I've broken this arm or knocked my shoulder out of joint - you just go right in for the kill. Rude." He rubs sullenly at the offended limb, affecting a mock pout for approximately five seconds before he slings an arm over her shoulders. Carefully, of course.

"How do I smell, hmm? Do I smell like I've bathed? I bathed. I just want to know if I smell like it. Lean in, take a whiff." He flaps a hand at Arian, attempting to waft his manly musk into her face right as she yells to catch Elrick's attention. Paddy's head turns, and he watches with cocked eyebrow as the pair approach and props his fisted free hand on his hip. "Damn, he didn't die."

Abundant nightfall secures Eirian against casual reflection, though the cloaked woman adjusts her position in the Elrick-synchronous orbit to interpose herself against a stray elbow or sword. Bruises mean very little insofar as she is concerned, the neutral set of her mouth indicating not the least pinch of pain if it happens. Her fingers curl into the abundant folds and sweep them aside as need be, allowing for a berth where it might be managed. Never is Eirian entirely out of arm's reach, adjusting to the everlasting chaos and narrowly avoiding being sluiced by some idle toss of a cracked cup full of a repugnant brew. It could be worse, but the splash radius sets off the rather harsh retort of something mineral. The charcoal shadow dripping down the stark lines of her face serves as an inverted halo, and so none might be terribly concerned who bothers to escort the knight. Just another healer. Just another guide or lost black lamb. She marks those who pass, though again, it is a matter of hastening to follow or being lost. Her fingers crook in greeting, nonetheless, seen or not.

Kamron chuckles at Heulwen's words, "And you'll do wonderfully at it, Wen. And yes, I think that was Sir Arian's name I heard." Smiling easily, he continues, "What I meant was…" and then he stops as they approach the Pagan group, nodding his head in greeting, "Sir Elrick." Eirian gets a little smile, "And I'm sure that I've seen you about, Lady, but I don't know that we've been introduced. Sir Kamron de Dinton, and my sister, Heulwen de Dinton, although she is to be de Woodford soon enough. I'm glad to see that you both made it through the chaos, although not, it seems, without injury, Sir Elrick." And then he's turning to see the direction that the Laverstock and Burcombe are headed, and there he sees Arian with her hand on the arm of a tall, well-built male knight… and then him slinging his arm over her shoulder. He straightens up to his full (though unimpressive) height, his jaw tightening slightly.

"Yes, well, so you say. Sir Acwel seems to think I have a great deal of room for improvement yet," Heulwen replies to Kamron, attempting - and failing - to keep the snippiness out of her voice; alas, she is doomed to be a bit of a harpy. Her pinched expression of mild distaste fades as Kamron pauses to greet the unfamiliar Laverstock, although the sight of Eirian causes her lips to spread into a warm smile. "Lady Eirian de Burcombe," she murmurs to her brother by way of introduction; "Sir Caerwyn's sister, aye? Lady, I am equally glad to see you whole and hale. Sir Elrick." The latter name is accompanied with a bob of courteous greeting, but her attention is more or less for the cloaked, ethereal Burcombe at his side.

"We were just—ah, there, do you see her, Kam? With the tall and..oh.." Wennie clears her throat and, thinking better of it, turns her gaze back to Eirian. "Will you walk with me a moment, Lady Eirian? I've something to ask you. I am certain my brother will see to it that Sir Elrick makes it safely to his family."

"Oh, Gods… if you cannot take a punch from a girl then you have a lot more to worry about than me furthering an injury." Arian smiles toothily at her cousin, leaning in to the thrown arm around her shoulders. She squeezes his middle, and takes in a deep breath. "You smell like you rolled in horse shit and peaches, Paddy. Which I'm sure is quite lovely to someone… perhaps that bar wench with the tits to her chin." She indicates this by waving her hand somewhere around her chin. Then she turns her gaze toward Elrick as he starts toward them, and then she notices the lady on his arm. She arches her brows, casting Padrig a knowing look… She does not immediately notice Kamron or Heulwen.

Before Elrick could make the approach towards the other two Laverstocks, he hears his own named called from the other direction, where he had started walking past. There, he is surprised to see the Dinton, and then another. The surprise is there for a brief moment before he remembers himself, "Sir Kamron, I am glad to see that you have survived the Saxon siege as well." When the lady at the Dinton's side is introduced, a proper bow of head is offered, "Honored, Lady Heulwen, and congratulations." A quick glance back in the direction of the pair of Laverstocks, Elrick raises a hand to beckon them over with a wave before his attention returns to the Dinton Lady, as she recognizes Eirian. "Sir Caerwyn's cousin, my Lady." A quick correction though only then does his mood sink a bit, continuing with the correction, "She is sister to Sir Rozenn Burcombe and Sir Maelgwyn Burcombe. The gave his life in the defense of Sarum and her people, one we will forever honor."

"Ah, you have the nose of a bloodhound!" Padrig kisses his fingertips and fans them out in a pantomime of great pleasure before reaching over to tweak Arian's cheek. "It is indeed shit and peaches. At first I rubbed myself over with a peach, but felt I smelled too much like a lady, so I mucked out the stables to reclaim a little of my manliness. Horse manure goes well with wet wool, if you ask me." He laughs quietly at his own joke, and is still laughing as Arian casts him a knowing glance; he turns his head to follow her gaze and murmurs a faint 'ahh' before lifting his chin in greeting to the still-distant Elrick and Eirian. "Oh look, we are being summoned. Shall we?" Paddy makes a gallant leg before offering his elbow to Arian.

"Then he's a plain fool, and you and the rest of your family will have to disabuse him of that notion, Wen." And then Kamron is getting the introduction from his sister, "Lady Eirian," Thankfully, oddly enough, he makes the connection to one of the notable losses of the battle before Heulwen gets to her relation, and so he bows his head once more to the Burcombe, "I'm sorry for the loss of…" and then Elrick is adding in the correct connection, and he winces just a little, "…of your brother. It may not help, but I assure you that vengeance will come to the Saxon brutes." Squeezing Heulwen's arm a little, he leaves her to the Burcombe's tender mercies, looking to Elrick then, "I was actually up north, chasing after the murderer Sir Sion." And then he finally deigns to notice the other man with the Lady Knight as they enter earshot, "Alongside your sister and cousin." He might have emphasized 'alongside' a little too much, but it is unconscious, given that as soon as he realizes it, his ears begin to go a little red. "Sir Arian, Sir."

Politeness is a curse, courtesy the soul of ruin. Chin lifted a fraction, the phantom shows she has a face after all and capacity to raise her soft voice out of the spectrum of silence. The soprano has a duskier, lower quality than it natively should, that much is apparent. "Blessings of the lady upon you, Sir Dinton, Lady Dinton." Such an invocation might splice either way, to Virgin or maiden goddess, selectively neutral. The fold to her knees drops her in proper obeisance and up again, a glass buoy cast upon the British Sea. The pause lingers a moment further, and she reaches her fingers back to push her cowl back and reveal her countenance fully by firelight. "Eirian de Burcombe. The token amongst the family who swore to the realm by a path apart from the sword." Titles eschewed, a simple introduction made, she turns her head up to Elrick in that tacit inquiry. She flips her fingers graze anew underneath the cloak, bearing no threat, but the fact she saw fit to briefly expose her open and bare palms is particularly unusual. Telling in its sense. Of Saxons she says nothing, moving expectantly in Heulwen's direction unless bidden otherwise.

"Oh goodness," Heulwen replies, bowing her head briefly to Elrick as he corrects her. "Of course, Caerwyn's cousin. I cannot even imagine confusing Lady Eirian with Lady Catryn; testament to how little sleep I've had. Do forgive me, my lady, and—" Oh, Maelgwyn died, he says? Wennie stops abruptly, stricken into silence, and she nods rather numbly as Kamron steps away to converse with the Laverstocks. "Oh, Eirian," she murmurs, reaching out with one hand as if to touch the lady's still-cloaked arm; she hesitates and then finally thinks better of it, resigning herself to merely clasping her hands together tightly. Her face grows a shade paler and she clears her throat, trying desperately to keep from crying. "I am so sorry for your loss. Sir Maelgwyn was… Well, you know it already. He carried a great spirit." Wen's jaw clenches briefly, and she holds out her elbow to Eirian in invitation; they may walk together, perhaps slowly, to give the others time to reunite.

"Nose, yes… but I am far fairer than a bloodhound," Arian says airily to her cousin, gracefully brushing her fingertips across her cheek and throat in a flirty gesture. Then she laughs brightly at Padrig's description of his scent application, and she shakes her head. "Well, at least you have a method, Paddy…" Then she glances back toward where Elrick is summoning them, and she loops her arm with Padrig's. "Quite, let's… though, remember that Elrick is quite delicate. You mustn't tease him." Too much. Her pale eyes glitter with amusement. As they start toward Elrick, it is only then that she notices the Dintons standing near, and her expression brightens doublefold. She squeezes Padrig's arm as they near. "Sir Kamron," she says, her voice a touch breathless. "I had expected you to be on your way back to Dinton." Which is why I am throwing myself at this handsome man beside me, could be assumed… by the unknowing that Padrig is Arian's cousin. She notices the exchange between Heulwen and Eirian, and she frowns suddenly as if she has missed some vital piece of interaction to explain the sudden stricken nature of Wen.

Watching as Eirian is being escorted away, Elrick's gaze may have lingered a touch too long than normal but his attention shifts towards the Dinton Knight. "Thank you for watching for her then, Sir Kamron. Sir Sion… another dark evil that plagued our lands, just like the Saxons do." When the word alongside was emphasized, there is a slight quirk of brow but no comment on it is made, "I trust you caught the blackguard and saw justice done?"
That is when Arian and Padrig approaches, the former is offered a familial hug by Elrick, "Ari, I am so happy to see that you are safe. Sir Kamron here assured me that he was at your side, at all times." Now was that a dig to the poor Dinton? Looking towards Padrig, an amused smirk appears on the other Laverstock's face, "Paddy, looking well as always. You're not bothering poor Ari again, are you?" It appears that Ari's brother is keeping up with the facade, perhaps amused at how Padrig is escorting his sister and most likely awaiting Kamron's reaction. No introduction of the cousin just yet.

In that shrouded whisper locked down into quiet neutrality, Eirian dips her head in acknowledgment. "More terrible a loss for his twin, my sister." Her unusual eyes are as mercurial as she, hungrily devouring the firelight and shadows in equal parts, lifted through a thicket of black lashes. Not a tear runs down her face, whatever grief taking a far more ephemeral form. Heulwen's discomfort finds a stony mirror in reflection, too fair features arranged into a polite mask. The invitation nevertheless she accepts, entwining her arm among the Dinton girl's and slipping in with all the upright, courtly grace of an animated statue stepped off its plinth. In another situation, the countess' solar perhaps, they might make an exceptionally striking pair of bookends to disrupt a conversation by. Nothing more is said; Heulwen speaks in her own time or not.

"Oh aye, he is delicate as a daisy, a wildflower tossed o' the breeze," Padrig mutters to Arian, taking great comforting in abusing Elrick before the man is even within earshot. He reaches over to pat Arian's hand, momentarily misreading her squeeze as a sign of affection rather than excitement at the sight of Kamron. Having not met the Dintons, Padrig lets his gaze slide over the smaller knight with a polite nod of greeting before he laughs and reaches out with his free hand to clasp fists with Elrick. For this is how men must greet each other, of course. At least he doesn't call his cousin 'you old so-and-so'.

Rather, Padrig offers his most winning grin before clapping Elrick on the shoulder. "Rick, you look as if you've been chewed up and spit out by a mad cow. Good to see you're still kicking around, though. And of course I'm not bothering your lovely sister! She craves my attention. How could my presence ever be a bother?" Insert one cheeky wink.

Kamron's expectations for the situation between Padrig and Arian are not being met by her reaction to seeing him, and he blinks a moment, mentally backpedaling and reassessing. "Not yet. I have some few duties here in Sarum. If all goes well, I may not even make it back to Dinton for another few weeks." Nodding aside to Elrick, he says, "We did, although Sir Dillion was sorely wounded, and the rest of us picked up a couple of slashes and bruises apiece." And then Elrick is reassuring his sister, and he clears his throat, "We all looked after one another quite well, actually." Padrig's easy comfort with the other Laverstocks somehow raises Kamron's hackles, although he hides it behind a polite smile, "You're a long-time friend of the family then? Sir Kamron de Dinton." And he offers out his right arm for clasping.

The younger Dinton casts a curious glance once or twice at Eirian's face, but finding her companion to be as silent of voice as she is impassive of face, Wen is left to wonder just precisely what the lady is thinking or feeling. Momentarily discomfited by this lack of social return, Heulwen is left to cast about for a topic of conversation; her life, it appears, is spent shuffling back and forth between topics of little consequence and the occasional gem of something deeper and more philosophical. She opts instead for several moments of silence, opening up enough to allow the sounds on the expansive tournament grounds to creep back into her mind. But then she is inspired by some tendril of a thought, and she looks up to Eirian again. "Where were you, my lady, when the Saxons raided? I had thought to see you and your family about Wilton, but of course there were a great many people taking refuge there."

"He's always bothering me," she says to Elrick. Arian narrows her eyes at Padrig, and she almost scoffs at his accusation of her liking his attention. She snorts. "I haven't liked your attention since you first rubbed my face in a mudpie." Finally, she realizes she hasn't appropriately introduced the devilishly handsome man linked with her arm, and so her smile softens as she regards Kamron, and she steps aside a bit to let Padrig exchange grips. "Sir Kamron, this is Sir Padrig de Laverstock… my cousin and brother to Sir Trystan." She then gestures to Kamron. "Paddy, this is Sir Kamron de Dinton… he's a… good friend." She dimples gently at the Knight, and her cheeks pink slightly. She looks over at Elrick now, squinting at her brother. "Are you still in one piece, Rick? Father will be upset if you've lost so much as a toe…"

The fist clasping is returned with vigor, Elrick no doubt genuinely happy to see his family alive and well, even if they are usually complete jerks to each other at home. The smirk returns when Padrig mentions his wounded leg, causing him to look down at it for a moment, a dull stiffness now. "Bloody Saxon great spear found its way past my shield. They are a formidable foe, even against mounted knights, which makes me hate them even more." As for Ari craving his cousin's attention, Elrick can only shake his head and release a sigh of resignation, "I don't know why she likes you so much, Lainn and I are much nicer. If she wasn't my sister, I'd be jealous." Just like Kamron is right now, the poor Dinton Knight, being drawn into Laverstock's odd humor once more, and when he voices his assumption that Padrig is a family friend, the Laverstock Knight almost has to bite the back of his hand to make the situation worse. A possible deja vu of the Laverstock Layover. But Arian is quick to clear the air, much to her older brother's disappointment. As for her concern, Elrick shakes his head once more, "Just a wound that will heal in time, Ari. Was able to return from Marlboro in one piece, and I was with Sir Jaradan when the Saxons broke through the gate to get into the city. Those motherless bastards have a lot to pay for and I will see each of them bleed out their last drop of blood."

An answer comes, as ever it might, from a distant source. Eirian belongs by that night among the otherworldly visions dancing beyond the fires as much as she does within that hallowed circle of warmth and light dissolved into blackness upon her. "Organizing the merchants to abandon their wares and aid the artisans to extinguish the fires," she says to Heulwen. It might end for the Dinton lady right there, and indeed the pause might suggest she completed her thoughts. And that would be a mistake, even as her focus splinters from the corner of her eye upon the joyous riot setting up poor Kamron for disaster. "Among the healers to lend a pair of hands for the wounded and succoring the dying through their passage to Annwn. Watching the Saxons die at the walls we tried to uphold. Nothing so great as those who drew their swords and rode to meet them, but we are not meant to stand idle." Her head shakes slightly, darkness spilling in glistening curls tangled to a thicket too difficult to tease perfectly smooth. "Sir Earc called; we are closest. We came." Brows rise at the tumult behind her, and she glances over her shoulder. Only a moment, but that Padrig's antics against his benighted relations are noted. Noted in the fell way of a hawk deciding from somewhere around 15,000 feet that a certain fuzzy brunette hare looks awfully tasty.

"Death to the damnable Saxons, anyway, but I am glad you are still walking. But you know, Ari, how do you think your father will feel to know Elrick lost his entire brain on the field but kept all his toes?" Padrig flashes his teeth at Elrick briefly, offering one more clap on the arm, before he turns to Kamron and clasps the proffered hand with much in the way of warmth and friendliness; it appears the jig is up and he, in fact, is not one of Arian's suitors circling her like a moth does the flame. "Sir Kamron, I think I have heard much more about you than you'd care to know. Padrig, as Rick said, but most everyone who cares to calls me Paddy. You may call me a long-time friend, and you would be ever so polite to do that, but I think the rest of them would correct you by calling me a long-time pain in the ass. Well met, nonetheless, and good to see everyone up and walking."

Kamron's shoulders loose a little at Arian's introduction of her cousin. "A pleasure, Sir Padrig… Paddy. My own friends and family call me Kam." He clasps the other man's forearm tightly, "Well, I think most of the world would be too polite to say it quite like that." Still, a smile has started to flicker over his lips, "But certainly 'long-time tormentor.'" Glancing over to Elrick, he notes, "They are big brutes, aren't they?" Granted, most knights are big brutes to the short Dinton. He gives Arian's brother a nudge of one elbow, "And were you trying to torment me in turn, Sir Elrick?" That much is easy and natural, and then he realizes what he's suggested, and he clears his throat, running a hand over his shoulder, "I'm hoping to arrange a counter-raid, although not so large, of course. Catch the Saxon homes while most of their forces are in the ground or scattered around Salisbury."

"You mean you remained behind in Sarum?" Heulwen peers intently at Eirian, curiosity piqued, and she nods slowly in understanding. "Alas, I was among those removed to Wilton, although my cousin and I did what we could to help others lay by stores of supplies for tending to the wounded. But my brother would likely have locked me in a tower before he would have allowed me to stay in Sarum during a siege." The Dinton cannot quite suppress the shudder that traces its way down her spine, accompanied by flashbacks to the rather violent confrontation in the market. She jolts, catching her boot on a rock, and stumbles a few paces. She lets loose Eirian's arm so as not to drag the lady down with her, but manages to right herself at the last moment.

This particular display of dexterity, or lack thereof, brings them in closer to the group, and Wen offers Eirian a polite nod before returning to attach herself to Kamron's side. She watches the exchange of greetings with wide-eyed curiosity before giving Arian the brightest smile she can conjure. "Sir Arian, I am ever so happy to see you well. Or, at least well enough."

Be it said Eirian is many things, but hardly a wilting daisy among them. Hers is a flower yet to be named or perhaps she is a peculiar Snowdon lily among orchids and daisies, but her arm wraps around Heulwen's when the Dinton woman starts to slip. The brace crooks harder to counterbalance being hauled over and her heels dig into the ground, boots giving some purchase even if it might bring the pair of them down. Sentiments count; even fey daughters of darkly canted houses possess the means to keep Christians buoyant. She wordlessly releases Wen from her clutches, though, and releases a breath through parted lips. So it comes to assault the defenses from another angle.
"Dangerous, are they not?" she lilts in a brighter frame of reference towards the others in their ilk. Slow, deliberate steps carry her up to Elrick's side, the only place she might fit. "Careful, Sir Dinton. They have tooth, claw, and tail, I'm told."

Arian actually looks a touch confused as Kamron seems to be relaxing at the introduction to her cousin. She starts to smile — a slow and lightly dimpled expression. Then she releases a heavy exhale. "Have you seen that all the Dintons are accounted for, Sir Kamron?" She glances over toward Eirian and Heulwen — particularly the latter, as she offers Wen a small, friendly smile. Then she shakes her head a bit. "My brothers and cousins are all rather good at torture, in their own ways. Josette even has had her fair share of tormenting me." She offers a grin, tipping her head aside lightly.

As introductions are being exchanged between the Dinton Knight and his cousin, Elrick's attention shifts away from family towards where the two ladies have walked off to, his gaze focused in that direction for a few moments. Even Padrig's dig against him on his loss of brain matter on the streets of Sarum flows over him, which is certainly unusual as he would usually give back as good as he takes it. When he feels the elbow at his side though, it draws the Laverstock to the present conversation at hand, an amused laugh offered in return, "Of course not, Sir Kamron. Why would I ever do that?" The question is answered with another question, the edge of his lips curling up slightly in innocent amusement.
When the two young ladies return to their little circle, Elrick takes a half step back, creating space between himself for Kamron, allowing the Dinton and Burcombe to join them. A mock expression of hurt appears as he looks down at Eirian's description, "We keep those hidden under our armor, you know."

"Don't listen to his sweet words, Sir Kamron; he, much like the rest of us, enjoys a good practical joke," Padrig butts in, casting Elrick a disparaging glance followed up by a solemn wink. While he affects to make light of the entire situation, still Paddy isn't immune to social undercurrents. His gaze darts to Lady Eirian briefly, curious, but his only offer in her direction is a stately bow of his head. "I'm keen to join in this engagement, Sir Kamron, if you would have me. I cannot let my brother have all the fun, and of course he must be spared the pain of separation from his familial duty, whilst I may frolic in the meadows merrily beheading mine enemies."

The momentary vision of slicing off Saxon heads leaves a wistful smile on Padrig's face, and claps his hands together and rubs his palms as if preparing to take up the task immediately. "Or dying by their blade, which I believe to be the more likely scenario."

Kamron shakes his head slightly at Arian's words, "I don't know anything about the manor or my brother yet, but I know that Deyr and Lysie and Thea all made it through." Despite the subject matter, he adds to Arian, "Yes, but in Lady Josette's case, it was not so intentional, I think." It could be teasing, but there's something more serious there too. Chuckling a little at Eirian's words, he shrugs a little, "I worry more about a smile, a gesture, or a jape, Lady Eirian, than tooth, claw, or tail." Heulwen's stagger causes Kamron to frown in worry, offering out a hand, but the Burcombe has already assisted his sister. He does his best to play off Elrick's question, shrugging a little helplessly before he looks back to the cousin, "If you're hearty and hale, and have no other obligations, I'm sure we can find room for another… provided the raid is approved by His Grace, of course."

The returned hellion of a hellion's house being the most well-behaved among them? Perish the notion. In grief she ought to be sixteen sheets to the wind; for why stop at six? Eirian nonetheless casts a knowing look towards her co-conspirator in this business, for Arian as the lone individual of her particular persuasion and fairer sex, even in armour, is surely an ally. "Concealing their tails? How imaginative. You must not let the others learn of our perfidy, or else they would never trust us to swan about the city again," she remarks sotto voce. "Is that a belt or a leathery appendage wrapped fetchingly around your tunic? They shall start a rage of peering under tunics and staring oddly at bliauts, and questioning every bump and lump in chainmail, convulsed with certain doubt that we've concealed something wicked and provocative under our garments. Next shall be said from the pulpit, 'ware those half-monstrous pagans for they are more beast than man, and hide their true nature under their hose."

Arian offers a small, but wry, smile to Kamron as he comments on Josette, and she shakes her head slightly. "Perhaps…" Then she breathes out a slow exhale, adjusting her injured arm against her side while also stretching out her shoulders. She winces ever so softly at the stretch, relaxing a moment later into the same half-slouched posture she has taken since they all paused to chat. "Perhaps we should sit down… I can see about some food brought to us." She gestures to where one of the fires is being stoked with various benches and logs gathered around it. Mention of the raid draws her brows together, but she nods in agreement to those volunteering to go back after the Saxons.

Heulwen seems content to keep out of the conversation, although she follows it politely. She hovers about Kamron's elbow, offering a smile here or a laugh there when appropriate. Rather than speak, she watches the faces of the others as the discussion drifts from Saxons to Saxon killing and back to Saxons again. Did we mention the Saxons yet? But perhaps most startling is Eirian's description with regards to pagans. Wennie laughs loudly, almost surprised at herself, and claps a hand over her mouth to stifle the sound. "You may speak some degree of the truth, my lady, but I wonder if it would merely serve as a cover for 'inquiring minds', to give them sanctioned leave to rifle under skirts and tunics to their own ends. We might say 'I will find your tail yet' to a pagan man, but what we grasp in our hands—well.." She offers a faint shrug, and although her cheeks turn pink with her own brazen words, she doesn't duck her head.

Ah, what timing. To cover her lapse in judgment, Heulwen turns to Arian and nods firmly in agreement. "Let us do find a seat, but I can help fetch the food, Sir Arian. Please, sit and rest." And before she can be stopped, the young Dinton has scurried off toward the growing campfires to see about a luncheon for friends.

For his part, Padrig is mostly amused by Eirian's descriptions of pagans in general, and he shakes his head in time with his periodic outbursts of relatively unmanly giggles. When Arian makes move to rest, he beckons to her and the rest before retreating the handful of paces to his discarded pile of gear. Keen on taking a seat, Paddy throws himself down to the ground gracelessly and clasps his hands together behind his head. "Sit, eat, drink, be merry! And Sir Kamron, I will see that my brother is not in great need of me elsewhere, and then should the Earl approve of the venture, I will meet up with you. I promise I'm a great deal less cheerful headed to battle, though. In any case, my cousins require a little healing before they butt heads again, and we Laverstocks will need a representative."

Since his cousin Padrig is volunteering himself for an attack on Saxon lands, Elrick appears to consider volunteering as well. There is a brief glance offered to the Burcombe at his side before he speaks up, "If you are looking for more swords, then you may count on mine as well. And I agree on keeping the group small, much easier to get in and out faster, without forewarning." They burned homes in Salisbury? Then they should feel the same wrath visited upon them.
Elrick's attention shifts from Eirian to Heulwen, especially when the latter bursts out in laughter before making comments about finding the tail. His mouth opens for a second, then closes again before shooting a glance to Padrig, as if to silently ask him if he had indeed heard a young, innocent Christian girl had those words leave her lips. Most likely rendered speechless for a moment, Elrick could do is follow the group, a gentle hand placed on Eirian's back for a moment as if to usher her ahead of him with the others.

Critical Success!
You check your lustful at 7, you rolled 7.

Kamron coughs at Heulwen's suggestion, reaching up to scrub a hand back over his head, "Wennie!" He's probably not as scandalized as he should be, but there's definitely some scandalized there. "I would not worry so much about searches for tails so much as I would worry about searches for flower petals by good Christian men." He should probably be blushing right about now, but instead he's laughing easily. He agrees to the suggestion of the ladies easily enough, moving over with the group to find a seat, "You'll have to forgive me, Sirs Laverstock, but I assumed that all and sundry would be interested, saving only those who have to remain behind to protect your manor and those with other tasks from the Earl. And close your mouth, Sir Elrick, you'll catch flies."

Pray escape be so easy. Not in the least should it be with the petite midnight falcon.
"How could the chaste and pious members of the community, especially those unwed, entertain such notions? I cannot for an instant countenance a flock of ladies, bright as butterflies, chasing around a hapless, vulnerable pagan such as that." A flick of Eirian's wrist indicates Padrig, fingers curled towards him as though to capture the raindrops, "Indeed, swarming him to 'find his tail,' as you so evocatively describe. How would he ever defend himself? Are you suggesting your meek, mild companions mean to inherit by grasping at grand treasures, rather than as an act of profound piety? I shall have to wonder in the future on the ladies who insist on concealing their hands behind their books, flowers, and cloaks. What are they up to?" Whatever has unhinged her tongue does so very prettily and without a trace of hesitation, lavishing the lilting sunny tones of her native soprano. To be sure, it is an instrument damaged as Sarum is damaged, worn and broken over certain chords where the notes generated in her larynx have a slightly minor key. She swivels slightly towards Kamron, an imploring look thrown his way through guileless eyes as depthless as a winter sky. "Is this so? Men plucking at the petals of every fresh flower they find, too? I suppose it's the forbidden bloom that proves the most intoxicating." Her serene expression turns upwards a moment, taking in the enormity of the vast entry to her library of lore. It puts those flowers she perpetually wears in her hair into dreadful perspective. "I see I have very much to learn about the White God's faith. These discourses were kept from me in the solars and my letters to a lady of such chaste qualities she might put a mother abbess to shame. I see Lady Ravenna has withheld these secrets from me."

Success
Arian checked her lustful of 16, she rolled 10.

The Laverstock woman bursts into wonderful, impish laughter. Her pale eyes dance with amusement as she sweeps into a seat, adjusting her mail shirt uncomfortably. Arian would love to strip away the shirt, but she would not scandalize the men- and womenfolk around her by sitting around in just her leather pants and padded tunic. So, she instead just finds a comfortable position with her arm slung close to her side and her other hand working her short hand free of its tight plaits. She glances up toward Kamron at the mention of Elrick's mouth hanging open, and she laughs delightfully. Then she gestures off-handedly at Eirian's words. "Come now, Lady Eirian… you speak as if the Christians do not eagerly hunt for that… tail… or flower…l as we are calling it. As if pleasure is meant solely for the Pagans… certainly a Christian man or woman has actually found pleasure in the arms of the opposite sex." Then she laughs. "I think they just try to hide it more than us Pagans do." And she casts a glance toward Kamron, her brows lightly arched and her smile impish. "Wouldn't you agree, Sir Kamron?"

Heulwen may be out of earshot, but she is not out of line of sight of the group, and she can see from the distance that expression on Kamron's face. Partially mortified - but mostly rather proud of her jest - Wennie gathers up an armful of bowls, balancing them carefully in crook of elbow and against her hip as needed. There is no drink to be had, at least not without cups or skins, so the young Dinton wanders back slowly toward the group, careful lest she spill down her one clean bliaut. She returns in time to catch the last of Arian's words, and her cheeks turn positively crimson in empathy for her brother. "Perhaps some of us try to hide it, Sir Arian, but I think most of us don't even realize what it is we're suppressing."

Heulwen circles among the small group, offering bowls of…well, maybe a stew?…to those who might accept food. "Although that does make me wonder at why men feel it is appropriate to offer a lady a flower as a token of their feelings. Would it not be more appropriate to perhaps offer a sausage? Stew, Sir Elrick? I cannot vouch for its contents, but it doesn't smell poisonous." She holds out the bowl to the man, smiling as sweetly as she can manage.

With the way that Elrick has been stunned to silence while Kamron and Heulwen both speak in rather bold natures may have one wondering if it is the former has converted to Christianity and the two Dintons swapped into Pagan arms. He certainly doesn't know how to make of the conversation at hand, though when his own sister begins making insinutations about what the Dinton Knight may have been implying, he can only clear his throught rather purposefully. When Heulwen returns with bowls of stew, Elrick moves to assist her until she mentions offering a lady sausage than a flower, and this causes him to snort while quickly bringing a balled hand over his mouth, as if pretending to cough instead. All he has words right now is one of thanks as he takes a bowl from Kamron's sistering.

Poor Padrig has missed half of the conversation, being as he seems rather keen on gazing at a particular knot of worried young ladies; they are all very pretty with fair skin and hair and expressions of worry and nervousness. Perhaps they require a little masculine comfort, a little attention from a robust young man whose mere presence brings with it the promises of virility and the continuation of their people… Ah, ahem. Paddy snaps his attention back to the conversation in time to offer Kamron a lopsided grin alongside Arian's teasing words. "I dunno, coz," he offers in a mild tone, accepting a bowl of stew and proceeding to poke at it with his finger to check for any living contents. "Sir Catmail was a Christian, and he was the most costive old man I ever did meet. So tightly bound he only shit once a week, and I never so much as saw him even look at a woman. Perhaps it's more of an individual choice rather than a prediliction based entirely on philosophy."

Kamron bows his head at Eirian's response to the rather risque comments made by the two Christians in the group, a faint pink touching his ears, "Please, forgive us, Lady Eirian. We meant only to jape and laugh, and not to offend. As we are often reassured that the Pagans do not mean harm to our mortal souls, I now assure you that we Christians mean no harm to your virtues." He freezes at Arian's question to him, caught midway through sitting down onto a log across the little space from her. The pink spreads from his ears to his cheeks, and he shrugs a little helplessly, finally settling down, "I think that a great much is made of the pleasure of the body, and while it may be intoxicating, there is also much to be said for the pleasure of courtly love, the smiles and soft words, the connection of heart to heart rather than body to body." And he gives Heulwen a sidelong look, his brows furrowing slightly as she continues in the same vein. Padrig's words draw a little shrug, however, and he adds in, "We come in all sorts, from the fanatic to the wayward, just as Pagans do."

"I believe that might be their definition of a saint. Or maybe the temptation for the Christos," Eirian suggests brightly. "Or maybe your Sir Catmail needed a sausage and proper meal of meat stew?" No such thing as innocence incarnate where she is involved. "I fear, Sir Dinton, to harm virtues implies I have them in the first place. Most soundly have I been disabused of that notion, and profess to be nothing other than myself. Whatever faults you find are spurred on by study of your people, and may vanish with time." She shrugs her shoulders gracefully enough, and Elrick is very much on his own a second or two thereafter. The very indications of that meaty bowl sets the colour draining from her face where no colour existed in the first place. Lucent as the pallid snow, she backs away a few inches and discreetly takes that moment to look over the array of various knights and wounded folk gathered around a battlefield. Apparently charcoal burning in a smoky fire are better suited.

"And is that what you lust for, Sir Kamron? Courtly love?" Arian's pale eyes dance with the warmth of the fire, and her smile remains soft and dimpled. She then looks up as Wen comes around with bowls of stew, and she accepts one in her grubby, bandaged hands. Her arm aches as she cradles the bowl between her hands, and she brings it up to inhale the scent wonderfully. Then she glances over toward the others before she uses a bit of bread to dig into the food, eating hungrily but still with an air of ladylike manners. She then looks at the others. "And yes… there is always a broad range of followers to any Faith."

Heulwen holds out a bowl to Eirian, but watches as the woman's color drains with an expression of growing alarm. She yanks the bowl back, splattering stew down her sleeve. "I'm sorry, my lady, but it was all they had to offer," Wen explains briefly before darting a quick look to Kamron; surely her brother can save her if she's made some egregious blunder? But no, it appears that the Burcombe has taken advantage of the moment to back away, and so Wennie takes up a seat beside her sibling with not one but two—well, one-and-a-half bowls. Rather than digging in as everyone else does, she begins to wipe her sleeve on the grass in the hopes of working out as much of the brown muck as possible before it stains the embroidery.

Likewise does Padrig fall into momentary silence, letting the rest of the humor fizzle away as everyone - or nearly everyone - tucks into their food. His approach is with somewhat more hesitation than his sister, and he dabs his bread into stew with dainty, ladylike precision. An exploratory nibble reveals that he will not be eating pig slops for the night, and so he is capable of proceeding with gusto. "There's something to be said for courtly love, you know; I find myself siding with Sir Kamron in this regard," he announces around a mouthful of food, pausing amidst his words to swallow before continuing. "If you are to spend the remainder of your years upon this fine crust with the woman, better to have made the best of it. No better way than the proper courtship, or so I hear."

From where Elrick is seated, it looks like he would prefer to dig into the bowl of stew in front of him than pay attention to the rather… friendly interaction between his sister and the Dinton Knight, as if staring at the stew would help drown out the interaction between the two. His own views of courtly love are kept to himself though, eyes narrow slightly at the thought and before he begins to take part in the stew that has been handed out, Elrick took notice of how Eirian reacted and winces inwardly. Seated next to her, he reaches over and places a hand on her forearm, as if that would help still her thoughts. How one handles grief is different than another, and he knows he is unable to truly help her through these dark times.

Kamron spreads his hands slightly at Arian's question, "All the ladies of Sarum know that I adore the courtly art of Romance, Sir Arian, seeking as I do for the woman who I will know as my heart's desire." Which would probably be why he spends so much time in the company of those ladies of Sarum, picnicking, riding, watching them practice their falconry, repeating poetry, and the like. Let it never be said that he does not keep busy even in the winter. He takes the bowls from Heulwen so that she can see to her sleeve, shrugging a little helplessly at her silent question. He has no more idea what motivates the Lady than his sister, probably less, in fact. Padrig's support is unexpected, but welcomed with a nod, "And until we find that one woman to spend the rest of your life courting, well… there's no harm in practicing the polite and merry war between the sexes."

Success
Eirian checked her con of 14, she rolled 6.

A shake of her head and Eirian grimly raises her hand to forestall the bowl rather than accept it, however much this might be a near breach of hospitality laws and her own instincts blown asunder. But the reason is well enough visible where the ankle-length cloak is concerned, the bandages strewn around her cloak pin like a mendicant's joyous cape of many colours or a jongleur's pageantry devoid of all colours. She tugs on one of the bandages to toss over her shoulder a moment, an errant gesture without real conscious effort behind her. The deep breath slips all the way down to her diaphragm in the intervening moments, and while her colour is nearly absent, she steadies herself on her feet rather than cause someone to bother with her. Shrink into the background? Not happening, not in this instance, but she shakes her head ever so slightly in Elrick's direction, the only encouragement she's bound to trust at the moment.

Failed.
Arian checked her selfish of 7, she rolled 10.
Critical Fail!
Arian checked her trusting of 10, she rolled 20.

"Well, certainly the Ladies of Sarum are quite well-off then with you around, Sir Kamron." Arian tries to maintain her amused tone, though there is something a touch suspicious behind her words as she regards Kamron with those pale, pale eyes. Then she drops her focus back to her stew, saying in a slightly haughty note, "Though if you continue to go abouts with so many Ladies, you might have quite a few of them scorned." Then she looks up toward Padrig as he sides with Kamron, and her brows arch high over her eyes. "You agree with Sir Kamron… you would like to see yourself in a proper courtship, Paddy?" Then she snorts a bit, looking far more broodingly at her stew. "I wish you all the best in that regard." Hmph. She is even too busy being moody to really follow the interactions between Wen and Eirian either.

Is Kamron entertaining many ladies at once? Heulwen would not know, and in order to avoid being questioned either directly or non- on the subject, she plucks a bowl hastily from Kamron's grasp and bends over it. She is intent upon her food now, and takes up her bread to chew with a contemplative silence. A thin, vertical furrow marks the center of her brow as her thoughts wander along the path of love and courtship and fluff and nonsense. "Fluff and nonsense," she repeats aloud, and the sound of her own voice causes her to jolt in surprise. "That he would scorn a lady, I mean," she amends hastily, blushing at her own outburst and gazing directly into the murky stew. "The women, too, are masters of the game, Sir Arian. I think if I were to keep a tally, we would note that women leave more knights crying for them than it happens the other way around." She takes a second bite and offers Arian a smile before returning to her supper.

Padrig has finished his food in only a few bites, and he gazes forlornly into the empty bowl as if perhaps his longing might conjure up another serving. Finding that he cannot spontaneously develop magical skills to create food out of thin air, he sets it aside and rolls his eyes toward Arian in an exaggerated expression of impatience. "See myself in a proper courtship? I think perhaps pigs may fly, or Sir Catmail first. But the art of the romance, the titillation, the flirting - all of these are the most enjoyable aspects. Once a lady has twigged on to my intentions, or lack thereof, she tends to put me in my place and move on to a more serious man. But the hours we spend together up until that moment - they are without rival." Padrig offers his cousin a sage wink before sprawling out onto the ground spread-eageled and groaning. "I could have eaten seven bowls, if only they weren't so stingy with the helpings. Are you going to finish yours, Rick?"

Releasing Eirian's arm, Elrick gaze remains for only a moment longer, the concern is there but he remains silent as she shakes her head at him. The banter at the table, though, appears to have returned to normal, as normal as can be with a bunch of Laverstocks. The pouting from his sister has the older brother smirking slightly, though he finally puts voice to words, "Sister, I am sure Sir Kamron was just doing his chivalrous duty as a knight, it would be quite rude of him to dismiss the ladies that invite him to such social gatherings." Interesting how the older brother is standing up for the Dinton Knight, "Now… if he was discovered in some private corner whispering sweet nothings to one of those ladies to make her blush, well, that is entirely another story. Isn't it, Sir Kamron?" The rhetorical question is offered and Elrick begins eating, though no longer hungry himself, just going through the motions. When Padrig speaks up, there is a slight shake of head as if rises to his feet with bowl in hand, "Nah, all yours Paddy if you want." It would be hilarious if he just dumped the contents on his cousin's head, which me might have done so if they were back home at the Laverstock Manor, but this time it is genuinely offered.

Kamron looks surprised at Arian's reaction, "I make no suggestion that I am after more than their smiles and laughter, Sir Arian. I have no desire for more than that from any woman but the one for whom my heart is meant." He keeps his eyes on the lady knight for a moment longer, then looks down to the bowl of stew still remaining in his hands, gathering up a chunk of the bread bowl and soaking it in the stew. Smiling over to his sister, he nods, "Thank you for the vote of confidence, Wen. And I agree that many times, if not most, it is the women who play the tune and the men who dance to it when it comes to romance." Chewing at his bite, he nods to Padrig at his description, swallowing before he nods to Elrick, "Quite right, Sir Elrick. That is something no true knight, nor any true man, would do with any but one he loved."

Dropping down to sit like a stone at Elrick's back, Eirian brings her knees towards her chest but the deep folds of the cloak certainly help to keep her occluded comfortably. She wraps her arms around her legs for a secure latch, and kicks at the dusty hemline to encourage the garment to flow away. Her breathing is still controlled and much too shallow to be wholly natural, though it helps to moderate the disruptive, choppy impression of the bowls of meat. It might also be said being that close to another person — or people — helps to moderate the effect, which might be helpful after spending a night combating fires, including people in the fire. Might put things in perspective, if she were to actually say it, but the meditative effect of their banter and laughter gives her a different panacea that's too tempting to let be without disruption. Some things are electric in the blood, others a balm in the soul.

Arian casts Elrick a look over her bowl of stew — a fire-touched glare that hints at her own frustrations. She doesn't say anything, but continues to brood over her bowl as she listens to the to and fro of conversation — or at least pretending to listen. It is only when Kamron speaks up does the Pagan knight finally speak up, "Of course… I was not suggesting you are after anything else… certainly they enjoy the public and private attentions." Those words are said dryly and she continues to eat somberly. "I'm sure it must be a rather wonderful thing." She sinks back into her food, and thus her own silence. That's now two ladies — Arian and Eirian — who seem to be settling into silence, but perhaps for starkly different reasons.

Make that three silent ladies. Heulwen pokes at her stew for another moment or two and, finding that she is unable to finish its contents, she holds it out quietly to Kamron in offering. Her words have not gone over so well, and so she is attempting to make peace with her sibling in whatever way she can manage; food is as good as anything else. Once the bowl is disposed of, she returns to rubbing her sleeve on the grass in a now more futile attempt to remove the stain from the earlier spill. Nothing is doing, however, and with a grunt of frustration she is reduced to using her fingernails to pick at the thread and attempt to clean it one damnable fiber at a time.

Padrig looks up as Elrick offers the stew, and he cringes in reflex as if expecting it to be dumped all over his nice and pristine tunic. When no foul splash is forthcoming, he cracks open one eye only to realize that his cousin his quite genuine with his generosity. Something must be amiss. Sitting up abruptly, the knight accepts the food with a murmured word of thanks and begins to gobble down his second helping. Even while he's working on this second bowl, his gaze wanders to the half-finished food that the Dinton lady casts off. Ah, alas. "Sir Kamron, have you any details in mind for the campaign you plan to pitch to the Earl? I would not mind musing over them a bit, nor would my crippled cousin here." He lifts his chin to gesture toward Elrick.

Returning to his seat after handing Padrig his stew, Elrick glances over his shoulder for a moment as he sees Eirian also settling down behind him. Something certainly is amiss as the Laverstock's usual antics are subdued, perhaps due to the dark aftermath of the siege from the Saxons, the state of the lady behind him, or a combination of the two. When the question is raised by his cousin to Kamron, with the unnecessary concern of his health added, a scowl does appear as he shakes his head, "I am not crippled, cousin. Just a spear to the thigh that the healer who tended it said it would heal without issue, perhaps only a small scar. We wear armor for a reason."

The Christian knight keeps eating on his stew, studying Arian across the little ring. Kamron is interrupted by the offer of Heulwen's bowl, and he has to juggle the two partial meals for a moment before setting one down in his lap and gathering the other, "I can assure you, Sir Arian, that I enjoy that time as well as any of the Ladies does." The words are quiet, and he looks like he might sink into silence himself. He is saved, however, by Padrig's question. Looking up, he nods slowly to the Laverstock knight, "I think that ahorse, we can beat the remains of this army south and east, following their tracks back to where they live. With the sheer numbers they send against us, I figure they must only be left with old men and women defending their homes. So we attack them, pay them back for what they did to us, and then come home with their richest goods to rebuild what was destroyed in Salisbury."

Arian doesn't look up as Kamron and Padrig turn toward discussions of tactics. She is almost done with her bowl of stew and bread, but she cannot seem to will herself to finish it. She releases a heavy breath, and tosses the remainder at the fire where it will be consumed. "I'm going to go for a walk," she announces. "I think I might see if I can find Trystan before he heads back to Laverstock." She hesitates, looking at Elrick. "Was Lainn here?" She brushes her hand across her leather pants, drawing her injured arm in closer against her frame.

'Tis but a flesh wound! The talk of crippling wounds and damage is enough to drag Eirian out of her fugue, not the least because the offensive bowl of stew is over there, largely emptied into the belly of the Paddy whale. It does not threaten her gorge, nor has it any impact whatsoever upon her ability to speak or breathe, those tacit activities most ladies enjoy. "They struck towards Du Plain, at Buckholt. You went north towards Malboro, yes? Then another place was treated to a rough wooing, Tilbury? The name eludes me at the moment. It begs the question wherein they originated from," murmurs the Burcombe, her diaphanous tone tumbling around a central axiom growing in definitive focus. "Have you determined the direction whence they came or where they retreated? I cannot imagine it was through Dorset, which suggests directly to the east."

Heulwen is saved from forcing another round of small talk in between the men's discussion of tactics, and in good time, too. As Eirian joins in the conversation, Wen's eyes threaten to glaze over with extreme boredom. Talk of war and fighting is not her thing, and so it is with a relieved smile that she looks up when Arian announces her intentions to depart. "Might I go with you, Sir Arian? I may come across other family members we haven't yet encountered, and can exchange with them the news of my brother's good health and safe return." For now, at least. Without waiting for a reply, she rises from the grass and glances down to Kamron, an eyebrow quirked. "If you will not mind, that is, brother. I may also find a Woodford and ask after Sir Acwel, too."

Everyone is leaving, and alas poor Padrig finds himself with another empty bowl and a stomach that is loathe to be satisfied. Still, he must content himself with this meager (hah!) lot, and he stacks up his dishes neatly before considering what next to do. He listens with half a mind on Kamron's words and the other on how best to finagle a third bowl out of someone, but when he hears his brother's name he glances up in surprise. "Trystan? I was certain I saw him not too long ago, although he was too far away to hail and headed in the opposite direction," Paddy supplies, pointing westward through the tourney grounds. "I may go along, Sir Arian, as I've a few thoughts to share with him, and I would like his permission to ride with Sir Kamron as soon as I may. Sir Kamron, we shall meet again, aye? I though perhaps later I'd poke my head in at the Boar; I hear they're still doing a roaring business, at any rate, and I would like to accompany you to meet the Earl. If you haven't another lot of men picked out already, that is."

At the question of their older brother, Elrick shakes his head to Arian, "No Sister, I did not see him behind the walls and I did not hear of a Laverstock fighting outside of it. I can only presume that he remained at home with Aedan, making sure that our Manor still stands in case a few Saxons decided to stray off their intended path." As for Eirian's words on where the invaders actually came from, the Laverstock Knight can only speculate, "I have a feeling that once more reports comes in from the manors that have been struck, or those who are in hiding have come out once they see our patrols, we will have a better idea." Not to mention there may be captives that are being… questioned for information. When the group is starting to break up, Elrick does not follow suit, apparently content to stay where he is. There is no need to tag along and stay close with the other Laverstocks, knowledge that they are safe is enough.

Kamron shrugs a little helplessly at Eirian's question, "Tilshead, Buckholt, and several others, from what I've seen and heard. But mostly, I was planning to follow the trail created by hundreds of men on the march on their way here. I'm pretty certain that even I can follow that." He keeps working on his own bowl(s) of stew, finally putting an end to the first to get started on Heulwen's leftovers. He may be a small man, but he has been exerting himself quite a lot recently. Still, he stands as Arian and Heulwen do, "Go go, Wen. I'm sure that Sir Arian can keep you quite safe." There's a little smile there at the end, a little chuckle, nodding to Padrig, "I'm sure I'll have little enough say as to who comes along, Sir Paddy," that feels a little odd, but he'll stick to something slightly proper for now, "but so far as I'm concerned you're all more than welcome. I've come to a good view of Laverstock men and women thus far, and I don't expect to be disabused any time soon."

Arian nods soberly to Elrick's words, giving her brother's shoulder a gentle squeeze before she starts to step away. She pauses to regard Padrig, and her expression softens with a bit of humor in her pale eyes. "Oh, alright… but if you annoy me, I'm not telling Trystan where I buried your body." She casts a glance toward Kamron, offering him a rather courteous, if not a little distant, nod. "Sir Kamron." Then she smiles a bit to Eirian. "Lady Eirian… be well." Then she continues her path to step away from the gathering with the small band of company that follows.

"Blessed be, Sir Arian, and all your kin." Eirian is not much for words at the moment, mulling over stratagems she has no business entertaining given her position as a voice for peace and conquest by a pretty phrase rather than a sword. That, and the girl is fading into another of those passing introspective moods that might well be called falling asleep — really, it's a twilight state! — against Elrick. If anyone looked too close, at least, they might get that impression, even though she sits neatly with her back to him.

At Kamron's idea of following the trail back to its source, Elrick can only nod his head understandingly, "Just follow the trampled trail, along with pillaged holdfasts, manors, and even villages. I don't think anyone expected such a large force to strike Salisbury, or this far into Sarum this quickly." To the Laverstock, only sheer numbers could allow that happen. When Arian places a hand on his shoulders, the older brother puts his own on hers for a moment before letting go. Once the others have departed, Elrick looks back to Kamron and sighs, "My sister can be rather… stubborn, I'm sure you know."

"No… I don't think they did, Sir Elrick. And that's something we will have to work on guarding against in the future." The comment on his sister draws a bit of a helpless shrug from the man, "She is a strong-willed woman, worthy of the titles of both knight and lady." Kamron settles back down on his log seat as the ladies depart with Padrig, looking down at the remains of his second part-bowl of stew. For all the gusto he was eating at it before, he seems subdued now, even introspective. His gaze lands on the trampled grass before him, and he stares through it. After a long moment, his right hand lifts up, his thumb brushing across his lower lip, but he does not say anything further. Poor Elrick may have trouble finding a conversation partner in this group of wild people.

Not all the ladies. There's still one, who by actual definition is in fact a lady, simply curled up with her arms around her knees under a cloak, and so still that she could be mistaken to be vigilant or communing with the powers that be. That could be true. Or Eirian has simply taken her leave and fallen asleep after an exhaustively long trial that finally pushes her to even her considerable limits. The Burcombe hasn't flipped over and curled up into a ball of darkness or levitated with will-o-wisps around, but she does indeed steal the heat offered her and shamelessly naps. Fear the nap!

Finally the amused smirk appears on Elrick as he releases a sigh, shaking his head, "Strong-willed for sure, one of her many… finer and sometimes frustrating qualities. But it is women like that, that we find most deserving of our attention, no? I prefer one who makes her wishes known, is intelligent, and can think for herself than a lady that sits at home, waiting to be doted on." There is a slight lean back against Eirian who has succumbed to her body's demand for rest, but makes no motion to glance back, lest he reveals too much to the Dinton.

Kamron may nod slightly at Elrick's words, but he certainly hasn't noticed that the Pagan lady is curled perhaps a little too close to a man who is not a relation. He draws in a slow breath, then lets it out again, something of a sigh brushing past his thumb where it lingers before his lips. He may not be sleeping, or communing with the powers that be, or particularly vigilant, but he is certainly… present. Physically at least.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License