(514-06-24) Blessed Baverstocks
Summary: Betrothals, positions and squires are the topics that are being discussed between Landon and his older brother Bryce.
Date: June 24th, 514
Related: Favorable Baverstocks and Lysanor/Bryce logs.
bryce landon 

Cathedral of the Blessed Mary - Sarum

One of the few stone buildings in Sarum, aside from Sarum Castle itself, this cathedral is spacious enough to easily fit 50 people seated and perhaps 100 with standing room in the eaves. The large wooden doors face east, with thin but colorful windows lining the outsides. A wooden floor gives echoes to feet that walk upon it, the same wood as the pews and the support beams. The rafters are evident, showing some artisan spent time making them more than functional. The stone has been standing a while and despite the best efforts of the clergy here, there is a little tinge of green near the windows and door, where cool, wet air does seep in from time to time.

The day has already progressed into afternoon, and the Cathedral of Blessed Mary is bathed in the golden light of a sun that is past its zenith, rays caressing the image of Jesus Christ nailed to a cross. Before the altar, in one of the benches to the front, sits Sir Bryce de Baverstock, clad in courtly attire of tunic and breeches of red and black; his hands folded before him, his face lowered and his eyes closed as he seems to be in prayer. His short curly hair is lightened as well in places by the rays of the sun that pass through the windows. And the faint smile curling the lips of the Baverstock as he is so intently engaged in his silent interaction with God gives away his thoughts are lingering on pleasant things. Even if the smile is barely a hint. Even if there is no open grin to be perceived on his angular features.

Landon had been acting strange of late. Maybe it was the fact that he took a wound in battle, that he had been called before the Earl Robert and had to present a case when he would otherwise like to remain modest when it came to his own skills and granted a position of Tax Collector, or maybe it was something else entirely. His chain was being repaired by what blacksmiths were left after the raid in Sarum, a costly sum required to fix the links that the spear had hacked through and opened up, which could ultimately explain his stay within the city - beyond the measure of keeping any more Saxon threats at bay with the others.

He eventually found the location that his brother had gone off too. And unlike the sun that beams radiant down upon his brother’s bowed head, Landon brought with him a shadow, one that competed with the light as his heavy foot falls came up behind Bryce. Where once Landon might have gotten to his own knees beside Bryce, the younger Baverstock’s eyes were lifted up at the cross before them, without a kneel before it.

Strange? Bryce maybe had been no better, as he had decided to prolong their stay at Sarum for a few days longer, even if he knew that his presence was required at Baverstock. Lingering perhaps in the hope to have more moments with a certain Dinton lady. Or was it that he wished to assure Earl Robert of his loyalty and readiness to follow orders, if the Earl should need his sword? Be it as it may, Bryce had been rather withdrawn these past days, as if he was waiting for something.

Critical Fail!
Bryce checked his Awareness at 10, he rolled 20.

Had his hazel eyes not been closed, the older Baverstock might have noticed the shadow falling over his frame, and even the heavy footfalls do not alert him - or maybe he just suspects it must be someone else. It is when he senses someone standing there beside him, that Bryce opens his eyes and glances towards his brother, surprise there in his demeanor, but a certain warmth as well. "Landon." Hands unclasp and are lowered, as the older Baverstock studies the taller one with an attentive gaze. "It's good to see you… But what are you doing here?"

“Am I not allowed to be here?” Landon asks with his eyes pointed upon the cross, as if not really asking Bryce but seeking answer from their one God above. His chin lowers well before his eyes do and when they do, it seems the blue and hazel gaze has a more pronounced weight to it, as if he was on the precipice of vengeance.

Then all of a sudden that shadow in his eyes leaves, replaced by a subtle gleam as he turns to consider his brother who is on his knees in worship, “Have I interrupted your prayers? I can wait until you’re finished. There are a few things that we should speak of. Rumors on the wind that I need to dispel.”

Critical Success!
Bryce checked his Awareness at 10, he rolled 10.

A bit of air leaving Bryce’s nose and a slight shake of his head are the reaction to that mock question uttered towards the cross, even if that special quality to Landon’s gaze is noted by the perceptive eyes of his brother. His chin lifts and he rises to his feet, saying: “I was done with my prayers anyway, so it is fine. So… what do you wish to speak about? Is this about you wanting to go out and hunt some Saxons…?” Bryce shoots Landon an attentive glance, as he gestures for them both to sit down on one of the benches. The cathedral is a place for prayer, but also for interaction. “And what rumors are you referring to?”

Landon’s smirk doesn’t necessarily leave his lips as he turns and claps his brute hand over Bryce’s smaller shoulder, “I will go hunt out some Saxon’s. Yes. In time I’m sure there will be need of that. And I will try to return home in one piece-” his other hand gesturing toward the wound that had been seen too by now so it didn’t fester. He moves with Bryce with his arm slipping over to the further shoulder of his brother, squeezing in a half assed bear hug, “Maybe it is not rumor but I hear it upon the wind. You, my brother, are going to be wed?” He gets right to the point, blunt as always, as they head to the benches but the Bear doesn’t sit down as of yet.

“And I shan’t keep you from it,” Bryce responds to Landon’s announcement of hunting Saxons, “as much as I’d like to see you return to us. As much as I’d like to go on such a hunt myself, I can already hear Lorcan telling me to stand back… I have heard rumors of some being sent out on a mission by Earl Robert. But I am sure there will be more to follow.” Following along as he walks with his taller brother, a faint smile that had been absent prior lightens up the angular features of the Baverstock knight. “Yes… It seems Sir Cynfarch has seen it fit to make the announcement,” he replies to the blunt question with a similar candidness. “We’ve spoken some weeks ago, and… he was agreeable to the match.” Still, the quiet and thoughtful Bryce has somehow failed to make mention of this to his brother. “I would have told you earlier… But I wanted to wait for the announcement.”, is added, Hazel eyes looking up into Landon’s face beside him, this Baverstock remaining standing as his brother.

“As long as there are Saxon’s bastards alive, there will be other opportunities for you to wet your blade on Saxon blood,” Landon confirms in a subtle way that there was a mission and that he may be part of it, or he was just very confident that due to the recent activity, there wasn’t likely to be a shortage of Saxon’s any time soon. Now, after he takes a seat on one of the pews, making the wooden bench creak under his weight, long legs causing bent knees to crack into the back of the pew in front of them - this world was not built for men taller than Bryce.

As for the confirmation, Landon fidgets to the discomfort of finding out after the announcement by rubbing absently at his knees. Then he thunks back against the pew, crossing his arms loosely as he nods, “Seems you have right to do as much. It is quite the private affair at any rate.” Not one that Bryce would like to have confided in his brother about. Maybe the younger’s back was up about it. Though it generally meant now that as soon as Bryce had an heir, Landon’s importance diminished - when it came to land holdings of the Manor estate. “You have my congratulations brother,” he breathes out with a quiet joviality in his voice.

That subtle almost confirmation earns Landon a curious glance and a smile from his shorter brother, and Bryce takes a seat shortly after his brother does, a slight twitch of his brows occurring when the pew creaks beneath them. But even so, he seems to be in much better spirits than his brother. "What do you mean… I have the right? You were aware of my feelings towards Lady Lysanor," Bryce intones in faint protest to the slight irritation of his brother, which may not be directly voiced but is nonetheless there. "And if I recall correctly," he continues with amusement lacing his tone, "you were the one yelling from our tent at the Carlion tourney field, that your brother was in love…?" He smirks and gives Landon a brotherly nudge with his elbow. "Come on, it's not like you didn't know anything. And besides…" His mirth dims just a touch. "I wanted to be sure, to hear the announcement first, which I left to Sir Cynfarch to make when he saw fit."

Life in Salisbury being as perilous as ever, Landon could easily enough become the heir anytime; the wedding date being perhaps little less than a year away from them, and the matter still unclear, if there would be children, and if they would survive the perils of the first few years. So there is little to be noticed of this 'diminished importance' Landon seems to feel, in the bearing and address of the current Lord Knight of Baverstock. A warmth conquers Bryce's features when he receives his brother's congratulations, the shorter brother turning to give the taller brother a hug. "Thank you. I believe you have quite an idea about how much this means to me." The betrothal, a thing he would not have dared to deem possible some months ago. But now it seemed to be settled.

Landon checked his trusting at 10, he rolled 8.

Landon tilts his head over toward Bryce at his faint protest, "I knew your feelings, but I wasn't aware they were so strong to pursue a marriage with her. I would have thought that would have been a joyful conspiracy between us-" meaning he would've likely thought to be involved with every step that Bryce took, to encourage him, to laugh with him, to wait and wonder with him. Instead, he like everyone else in Salisbury found out in the relative same span of time. "We were speaking of favours and possibilities, so abrupt was this to marriage contract written that it had my face red that I did not know of it when asked to validate the truth of it," Landon scratches as his chin, looking aside at Bryce when he's elbowed. "But as you say, you yourself did not know of it's successful potential. I'm glad it worked out for you brother," His tone suggests he would've still enjoyed being a part of his brother's life in that aspect and that some how he would've been more jovial had he known of Bryce speaking to Sir Cynfarch.

Though he is no less accommodating to the hug. One arm slings around his brother, a faint grin holding to him. "Yes, I reckon I do. I will hope to be there for your wedding and to see what fruits it bears you in the future," his eyes glint a bit, shadowed again, "Just pay your taxes on time…" Quite the lead in!

Bryce smiles, but it is a pensive smile. “You know me. It is not like I am an outgoing person. I usually keep my feelings to myself,” a statement that leaves him along with a shrug. Landon may remember. When the news of their father’s death reached them when they were boys of ten and eleven years of age, this had brought about a change in his older brother – as it certainly had affected Landon as well. Even so, the mention of a ‘joyful conspiracy’ that did not come to be draws a sigh from the lips of the shorter Baverstock. “Maybe I was reluctant to tell you of it all, because my feelings are that strong…?”, he muses. “It would have been enough for me to deal with my own disappointment, but… to admit a decline after getting your hopes up? That was foolish thinking, maybe. And I am glad Sir Cynfarch agreed to this and made the announcement.”

His smile deepens, “And I insist you’ll be there for the wedding, even if we still have to fix the day.” But then, a curious glance is shot Landon’s way when Bryce inquires: “Taxes? Why do you say that?”

"And you know me," Landon says in short retort, "I like to be there for my brother when he thinks he's alone in the world." He flashes Bryce a gentle grin, his arm stretching over the backside of the pew as he tries to get comfortable in such a tight space, a matter that's always been an issue - banged up knees were a constant with this fellow. The change their father's death created in Landon was subtle at first and had grown over time to something of a fevered loyalty to Bryce, to the point that it could be smothering and thus, it was better that Bryce squired away from the manor. Today, such loyalty was controlled but no less dangerous and reckless, if his break from the line to go aid his brother in battle was any proof.

"You should not be afraid to admit that, to me or to anyone," he grins, "Now I suppose you wished to have asked for marriage bands from King Arthur instead, hrm?" There's a friendly jostle of his arm to nudge against Bryce, "Ach. I would've been there for you all the same. I'm glad it worked out in the positive then." Then a deep barrel chested laugh rumbles out of him, a sharp noise in the venue they currently sit. "Fix the day brother, I'll be there," he claps Bryce on the back, pat pat underneath the base of his neck along the shoulder line.

The last has him look rueful and somewhat discomforted, "I received a position in court, brother. Earl Robert has seen fit to promote my name forward for a tax collector." Here he takes a moment to think about that, something chafing against the man he was, "In his words, he liked the idea of a big 'bear' of a man ensuring the debts are paid on time. Perhaps he's not too worried that I'd be a target for robbery…" He shrugs, "It will keep me busy when the Saxon's don't." Then a curl of a grin, almost wicked, "I'll be happy enough to visit the Burcombes…"

That gentle grin is returned, and Bryce nods, even if his demeanor remains slightly pensive. "No!", he counters to Landon's question with surprising determination. "I got us a new family sword, gifted from the High King himself. So the old family sword can get a place at the wall beside the hearth in the hall of Baverstock Manor. What use are expensive marriage bands… also… back then I couldn't have hoped for things to develop as they did." Then another nod, when his brother assures he would be there for the wedding. "I am counting on you," Bryce utters, lowering his gaze, his lips curling into a fine smile.

Then his eyes and fullest attention are on Landon when he speaks of the new office. "Oh! That is marvelous, Landon! I wasn't aware you were seeking a position at court…" A bit of surprise there in his gaze, and pride as well. "I am sure you will see to your duties as required, brother." A low snort when the Burcombes are mentioned, and he shakes his head, with a low chuckle. "Oh, I shall make sure to pay my taxes then!" Even so, his dark eyes linger on Landon's face, seeing the slight discomfort there. "Something tells me you are not quite content with becoming tax collector…" Words uttered softly, half observation, half question.

"Peace brother," he laughs at Bryce, "You get so defensive over a jest. Of course I recognize the merit of the sword-" he says with familial pride, "Your ask for a gift was one that will be honoured for many generations to come. Your sons and your son's sons, and your son's son's sons will wear and fight with that sword. It'll become an heirloom of great worth to our clan." He chuckled again and shook his head. "Sometimes you can be a little too serious," he winks, knowing such reminders do rankle his brother.

Then with sincere assurances, he nods, "I'll be there."

Facial features seem surprised at the enthusiasm that Bryce shows in the next instance for his obtained position of office. "Well I wasn't really… I mean… I did petition, because, well, a man in my position… what do I have to lose? Lorcan suggested I make a presence and that with my leadership in Tilshead-" by leadership he means the reckless charge, "-our uncle believed Earl Robert would be favourable to my petition." The pride does not mirror in his own eyes, a humbleness there instead.

The last has Landon nod, "I cannot … refuse the position. I can’t. I'd be mad to relinquish the duty granted to me." So he took it but with a heaved breath, he tells Bryce, "Honestly, I would've rather been riding with Sir Kamron to dispense the law than take hard worked coin from the coffers of good folk like us. It won't be an easy task, to determine who is truthful in their plight and who is greedy and wishes to convince me."

"Yes, I am said to be quite serious, most often," Bryce de Baverstock allows with a faint smile, a slight roll of his eyes acknowledging the jab while he deflects most of it with elder-brotherly leniency. He falls silent then, observant of what Landon says and how he says it. "You showed courage at Tilshead, I can attest to that!", Bryce smiles, the pride flickering there in his dark gaze that may be lacking in his brother's demeanor. "Yes, in a way, being a tax collector may be the harder office, but it shows the trust of the Earl in your abilities, and it allows you to learn, to collect taxes from friends and foes alike."

Landon wasn't going to push that brotherly leniency too far, he knew when he needed to quit the jabs and take his elder brother's words at face value. Bryce would never be anything other than who he had grown to be now. There may be some hope that Lysanor could make him smile more often and take away some of the burden - but, their father's death did a lot of things to each of them that living such a life as they did only cemented it further. Theirs was not an easy life. What they worked for they - worked for! Often times their lives were put at risk to gain what little they had.

A title such as this, was a thing to be proud about, for it meant a possibility of greater income, of higher standing, of a way to be recognized, a way to secure a better future for himself when he hadn't a manor. He might be the Heir to one, until such a time that Bryce's son's were born. "Courage but also recklessness. I put my brothers of the sword at risk, you and our companions. But we did rescue Sir Imber." He nods slowly at the matter of trust, knowing the position relied heavily upon that, "I'll embrace it. If anything, it allows me to travel." And travel meant he could go see someone, or someones, in particular.

"Yes, we did rescue Sir Imber," Bryce sighs, his gaze going distant for a moment, "and this earned you the fame you needed perhaps to be given this chance." His hazel eyes shift to Landon, focusing on him with attentive urgency. "Prove to the Earl, his confidence in your abilities wasn't unfounded. Make yourself a name, and Baverstock Manor proud. I know you have it in you, Landon." Travel or no travel.

“We did. Sir Imber and his family, and his people. We’d want others to do that much for us if our manor ever became besieged by Saxon’s,” he admits, looking upon what they did proudly despite his modest reservations that he played a significant role. “Perhaps it did, yes,” Landon agrees with Bryce, “The Earl just has to put me in front of Saxon’s and I’ll go gladly, with sword gleaming ready.” He chuckles, “But, if he sees collecting taxes as tough as Saxon’s, then, he’ll have the right man for the job. At any rate, I’ll see what I can do to prove he made the right decision in me.” He swats Bryce in the chest, back handed there, “Speaking of decisions. I need to go. There’s a couple of lads I’m supposed to meet to see if either of them are fit to squire for me. Imagine that, a squire?” He jostles Bryce in a good brotherly hug once more, jokingly offering, “I’m moving up in the world huh?”

"Squires…?" Bryce's demeanor lights up at that, despite that backhanded swat against his chest. "You mean, you'll finally leave Carl to concentrate on his tasks and duties he has to see to for me?" He chuckles, quirking a brow at his younger brother. "Now, that is a thing I would appreciate." A ghost of a wink there, not that he truly has minded much, to 'share' his squire with Landon on various occasions. "And, yes you are." Moving up in the world. "And I'm glad for it." The older Baverstock moves to stand as well, after sharing that brotherly hug. "Oh… and good luck! Good squires are hard to find these days.", he offers with a that hint of warmth in his tone, his dark gaze following his brother as he heads out of the cathedral..

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