(514-06-24) Talk of Decor and More
Summary: A group of ladies and knights meet at the Boar's Beard and discussion turns to the hanging of Saxon heads.
Date: 514-06-24
Related: None
amalthea cailin dillion steffan 

Where do the lonely go when their men are out of town? To get drunk, obvi! Except for Amalthea. She goes to the tavern to… read. The tall brunette is folded into a cozy chair by the firepit (which isn't burning because it's a warm summer evening) with a parchment-stack on her lap, her tongue half-sticking out of her mouth, deep in thought. Wine sits on the table before her, untouched, along with a forgotten plate of pastries and seasonal fruit.

No gown does she wear, but a tunic and tights, with tall boots that have seen better days. The lady doth stink like the stables.

Having arrived in Sarum just today, Steffan is apparently one of the knights that have come to town a bit late after the Saxon siege, though with the number of knights about, one would be hard pressed to tell if he has been here since. Pushing the door open, the Wylye Knight steps inside, his gaze more in search of someone in particular than just a stop at the local drinking hole. This knight may look oddly familiar to some, being the younger brother of Rowan, though a little bigger in size and longer, straighter hair.

Sir Dillion de Bishopstone swings into the tavern like he doesn't belong there. It's in the way he edges through the other patrons like he's afraid of accidentally touching them, the slightly excessive looking-around, the heading roughly towards a chair, pausing, and then heading away. He is as comfortable as an ant in a rugby sweater, just scurrying about blind and lost.

When Dillion sits down in the firepit neighborhood, he looks at the boar's heads mounted above and blinks a couple times. "We'll replace them with Saxons next, God willing," he says to himself, nervously, but that cheers him up.

Amalthea looks up from her sheets, idly scanning the perimeter for distractions from her work. It's enough that Steffan looks even mildly like the man who is courting her. Thea's golden-dark eyes follow him with immeasurable curiosity… that is until she overhears Dillion's comment. That wins a startled laugh from the lady. "I beg pardon," she offers to the knight when she regains her faculties. "I pictured it. I should not have pictured it."

Cailin has been to the Boar's Beard a few times in the past, but mostly she remained in Wilton. With the initial siege over and the murder of the Tisbury found, she is back again. Of course she had nothing to do with either one, but travel was pretty safe. As her usual, she wears pants and boots and a tunic, the leather armor absent, since she'd been in town long enough to discard it somewhere. When she walks in, she overhears the last and glances up towards the boar's heads and crinkles her nose, quite agreeing with the lady!

Steffan has a more serious bearing about him than most, despite the youthful appearance, his gaze more focused especially when there is intent like right now. What others would note as well is that this knight is still in his armor, reinforced chainmail, shield slung over his back, and the blade sheathed at his hip revealing that he is a knight.

His eyes not finding the quarry that he searches for, Steffan releases a sigh of disappointment and almost turns around to depart, almost bumping the Bishipstone that entered behind him. Waiting for the other man to pass by, it gives him enough pause to reconsider and wet his tongue with a drink after the hard ride from home. Decision made, Steffan heads towards the bar, motioning for a cup of the local ale. That same knight that that passed him by draws the Wylye's attention, eyes then looking up at the mounted boar's head.

Dillion leans back in his chair as his stupid remark gets a reaction, and allows himself the ghost of a smile. "It would be a distinctive decoration," he says in reply to Amalthea, flicking his eyes back to the dismembered pig faces stuck to the wall. "An inspiring sight for everyone to… to have a drink to!" He catches himself in his discomfort for just a second but, ice broken, is able to sink down on that chair a bit more comfortably, left arm draped almost louchely over the side, right set up on the table.

The bright laughter in Amalthea's eyes remains, but her gaze drifts from the boar's heads back to the conversation at hand. "It will not be soon enough for me. I know that there is glory in fighting for the safety of one's land and people, but it is always the innocent who suffer the most." The horses. She's talking about the horses. "So I will be glad when it is over and matters can turn back to who is betrothed to whom, and what the King and Queen are wearing these days."

Far enough back that she's in no danger of a collision from the indecisive knight, Cailin does follow his example as she walks to the bar area and leans her elbows on the scarred surface, awaiting her turn for ordering. A glance goes over the armored individual, curious for sure. Despite the lingering curiosity in her eyes, she voices none of the questions. Instead, she absently taps the pads of her fingers on the bar as she waits. When it is her turn, she places an order for an ale and grapes and once it's delivered, she pays for it before turning to lean her back against the bar and observe the patrons, perhaps overhearing the conversation.

The timing of the arrival of Steffan's drink seems perfect as he takes the cup of ale in hand, his voice finally shared, "That is something I would certainly drink to." His hatred for the Saxons obvious as he brings the ale to his lips, taking a long, slow sip. Tongue wetted, his gaze focuses on Amalthea as she speaks of innocents suffering, thus bringing a nod to the Wylye's head, "The sooner we ride down the fleeing Saxons and push them from our lands, the sooner the people of Salisbury can return to their lives, to rebuilding." When the bar that he is occupying increases by another occupant, Steffan inclines his head respectfully to Cailin's arrival.

Dillion lifts both eyebrows briefly at Amalthea's answer - after all, he can't pick up on the horses thing. He glances down, for a moment, then stands up, grunting a bit awkwardly from some lingering discomfort as he heads to the bar to fetch himself a drink.

"But it is only when we test ourselves against something formidable that we can achieve all that we are capable of," Dillion answers, both to Amalthea and, from the slight turn of his head as he hits the bar, to the armoured Steffan as well. "The Lord does not give us a task beyond our power, if we apply ourselves."

Surrounded by knights as she is, Amalthea only dips her chestnut head in acknowledgment of each person who speaks. "I can only defer to your knowledge of martial matters," the lady replies circumspectly. "I have little ken of the way war works, and only the desire to see it end and my family and this land remain safe and unmolested. Your efforts, though," the stablemaster murmurs, earnest, "are much appreciated. My cousin Lysanor has been in the healers tents non-stop, and she has told me many a tale of your valor."

Hearing the armored knight talking, Cailin looks up to him, turning a bit to get a better look. "I agree, I would drink to dead Saxons, my cousin was recently killed by one." She reaches for her drink and does exactly that, a long drink from the mug. "I take it you are a knight of the realm? I'm Cailin," she announces to those in the general conversation.

The debate of what their Lord gives or doesn't give isn't a subject that Steffan is choosing to take up right now, not to mention he isn't too keen on his religious studies. So the statement by the Bishopstone remains unchallenged. As for what Amalthea offers about war, the Wylye can only nod again, "War brings only destruction and loss, and it is something we wish see at an end as soon as possible." A brief pause is taken for another quick sip of ale, "Sadly, to end war, more destruction and loss is needed. One must not only be valorous, but prudent as well, minimizing the cost that these conflicts bring." So serious and boring are his words! Steffan's gaze shifts back to Cailin and he bows his head respectfully once more, "I am sorry to hear of the loss of your cousin." As for introductions, it is reciprocated, "Sir Steffan de Wylye at your service."

Dillion inclines his head towards Amalthea in gratitude but adds, "My efforts, alas, have not been what they could, and my sacrifices trifles compared to those made already." An odd way to put it, but Dillion speaks firmly enough that he seems to know what he meant, anyway. Then he orders his drink, taking it when it arrives, looking at it, having a gulp, and not finding a thing to complain about.

"Ah," that refreshing draught forces Dillion to conclude, "there's no purpose to preaching about these things. The crisis will be sent, whether we will it or no, and we will see what we are worth in the moment."

"I think our realm is worth a great deal," Amalthea relates to Dillion with a firm nod of her head. "Tis to the glory of God that our people make it such, when they sacrifice their lives so that others might remain unharmed." This, to Cailin's family's sacrifice. The Dinton lady remains solemn a moment longer, honoring her loss, before she turns her regard to Steffan. "De Wylye, did you say, sir?" Eyes brighten, studying him anew. "You do look much like sir Rowan de Wylye. Close ties, perhaps? I am Lady Amalthea de Dinton," she introduces herself. "Stablemaster to Earl Robert."

Cailin checks her flirting at 5, she rolled 13.

"Bold words," Cailin teases the Wylye knight in return. "At my service." Amusement plays over her lips, likely teasing. Of course it doesn't come across that way so well, in fact it's a little flat. Probably because she had brought up her cousin. "Thank you, my lady, I tend to agree, I appreciate the words of kindness." Dipping her head to the lady as well. "Dinton, ah, strong family those. I have heard good things about them."

When Amalthea addresses him with some familiarity that he was not expecting, Steffan's attention shifts to the young woman and studies her for a brief moment, as if re-evaluating her, especially when Rowan's name is mentioned. "I did, and he is my older brother. We both have one younger but he remains home at the de Wylye Manor." When she offers her name, the Wylye Knight recognizes the Dinton name and inclines his head respectfully, certainly not having expected her to be a noble lady, "Honored, Lady Amalthea. I was actually looking for Sir Rowan, though it appears that my first choice of where to search came up empty." At Cailin's response to his greeting though, Steffan can only incline his head again, as if it is part of his usual, courteous introductionary words.

Having said his fill, and done what he's come for, Dillion returns to his chair with his drink, there to sit, and kill time, and generally not be involved in conversation.

You check your modest at 13, you rolled 15.
You check your proud at 7, you rolled 10.

Cailin's observation at the goodness of her family is just a little more than Amalthea can take and keep a small head. Her smile is bright as the sun, flashing towards the other woman. "I thank you, sir Cailin. It maybe be unchristian of me, but I am proud of their good deeds." Her chestnut head is held just a touch higher, her gaze shines just a bit more as she returns it to Steffan. "I saw sir Rowan last not more than a week ago at the castle stables, sir. I wish I could be of more help to you than that, having just praised the helpfulness of my family. But I am pleased beyond all else to meet you." She cannot help, it seems, the rosy blush that rises to her cheeks.

With things turning on a more personal bent between the knight and the lady, Cailin turns back to face the bar to replace her mug and reach for the grapes that were delivered. Fruit. Popping one into her mouth, she chews the follows it with the remainder of her ale. Collecting the small bunch of grapes in her hand, she stands nearby the lady. "I'm not a knight, but thank you, I always wanted to be." She dips her head, "Lady Cailin de Steeple Langford, though I live at Wilton since my family serves them." Her smile is warm. "You have every right to be proud of your family. I am proud of my own." She glances between the two once more, "It was a pleasure meeting you both." Certainly not wanting to intrude, she dips her head before walking towards the door.

Steffan checked his awareness of 12, he rolled 1.

"As we all are, for our families have served faithfully and loyally, and will continue to do so. The Saxons will know soon enough as well." Steffan says as the subject of pride is briefly touched on, since all three Houses are of respectable nature. When Cailin chooses to depart aftering finishing her refreshments, the Wylye Knight dips his head once more in the Steeple Langford Lady's direction, "Likewise, Lady Cailin, a pleasure indeed." Then the attention shifts once again, returning to Amalthea, catching blush that surfaces which is noted, "At the stables, then you must be caring for his steed with your impressive talents as His Grace's stablemaster. Worry not, I will find my brother soon enough, I am sure. And I am also pleased to meet a friend of my brother's."

"Ah, I beg your pardon, my lady," Amalthea replies to Cailin. "Well and you should be proud, and once more, I am so very sorry for your loss." Her head is dipped to the other lady, and it serves to both honor the loss, and this time, to hide the brighter blush that claims her cheeks at Steffan's assumption about Rowan's business. "Ah. I do not care for your brother's steed, any more than I care for all horses in general, sir Steffan. He was visiting… erm." She pauses a moment, peeking up from under dark lashes. "I think it is not my place to say." The wine glass is used as a distraction, and she takes a steadying swallow.

When the subject of his brother is cut off by the Dinton Lady, Steffan is not one to press and also not one to make reaching assumptions without clear facts, quite prudent of him. His fingers does tap at the lip of his cup of ale that is almost drained, "Then consider the subject dropped, Lady Amalthea, as I would not wish to cause you to spill words you do not intent to." Instead, the younger de Wylye shifts subjects rather fluidly, "How does Sarum fair? I am afraid I was not here to assist in the city's defenses nor was I able to come to the city until today as I was tasked with the duty of ensuring our manor's safety. Patrols around our lands."

Amalthea looks much relieved, and much impressed, by the ease of the Wylye knight. "I am grateful, sir Steffan," she offers with a sincere smile, and then turns to the change of subject. "As for Sarum, the fires have been extinguished, the Saxons driven off at least far enough that we might regroup and start to repair the damage done." The wine remains in one hand, becoming an extension of that hand, sloshing expressively though never quite spilling. Still, it might be enough to make one nervous. "The Earl has taken a great hit, but nothing from which he will not recover, I think. At least we are entering summer, and not at the brink of winter where loss is felt a bit more sharply. How did Wylye fair, if I might ask?"

Inclining his head as if it was no matter, Steffan listens to the update provided by the Dinton Lady on the conditions of Sarum, unable to keep the wince from forming on his face. "I pray the damage is worse than it looks, the loss of life, I am sure, was not insignificant." Looking down at his cup of ale, the Wylye Knight chooses to drain the rest of its contents before placing the empty vessel on the bar top, allowing it to be reclaimed without replacement, "Structures can be rebuilt over time, but lives cannot. My home stands undisturbed, either the Saxons have choosen a different path of their incursion or their scouts reported that Wylye was not worth the cost it would have taken to take. Thank you for asking, and Dinton, I pray that it was spared of Saxon attention?"

"I am exceedingly pleased to hear that Wylye was spared," Amalthea replies to that, a wealth of emphasis in her voice. Because, you know, she doesn't want to live somewhere with damaged stables! "As for Dinton, I have not been back. The Earl required me here to oversee the care of his mounts during the battles. There were no few wounded horses, I fear, and we were run ragged trying to save the ones we could. Not all of them," she murmurs, and a rare sadness clouds her brow. "Not enough of them." But a shake of her plain head is given, and she summons a smile. "But it is as you say. We shall rebuild, and stronger for our experience. Then we will go on to enjoy our lives. Pray, what do you do in times of peace, sir Steffan? Do you have any leisurely pursuits you particularly enjoy?"

With one hand laid flat on the counter top and other hanging loosely at his side, Steffan can only shake his head at the thought of such loss, "Our trusted companions that we ride into battle with share the same risks we do. Moreso even as they are not armored like us." As the subject changes once more, to something more pleasant than loss and war, the de Wylye pauses to consider an answer, trying find something that is not directly related to war which much to his surprise, he is unable to come up with, "I have just finished my squire training so I'm afraid time for leisurely activities was at a minimum. I do like to ride though, to see our world at an elevated level, a most interesting perspective."

This, Amalthea hears with evident approval. "You like to ride, sir? And you speak well of horses, which I myself could not agree more with! Before I was stablemaster for the Earl, I was stablemaster at Dinton. My father," she relates, "he was stablemaster before me, and trained me to the position. When he died not a year passed, I took over instead of pursuing a more ladylike pasttime, but truth is, I have always been more at ease in the stables with the horses than in grand ballrooms with flowery speech. Do you hunt, perhaps? Or swim? I have heard your brother is a passing fair dancer. Do you perhaps dance?"

Unfortunately, that is where their similarities end, after revealing that they had a bit in common in their outlooks of particular subjects in life and to ride. Steffan manages a friendly smile as he shakes his head slightly, "I do like to ride, but sadly I do not have the gift with our riding companions that you do. I, myself, have been trained in the arts of flowery speech, and the courtesies required in our station of life, which includes dancing as well. As for hunting? I understand the basics of tracking and setting traps, but have no skills in the bow which I have heard that hunters preferred tool."

"Then you have a true gift," Amalthea replies to Steffan with a low chuckle. "For I spent many a fruitless hour trying to master such courtly skills, much to the despair of my mother. I envy you your ability a little, sir. I can dance, at least," she adds, lest he think her a complete heathen. "But beyond that, I am better off writing, adding sums, and caring for house and horse. Might…" she pauses, a bit of a flush creeping to her cheeks once more, "… might I ask you about Wylye, sir? And your experience growing up there? Who was the wild one, I wonder, amongst your brothers?" A smile tugs absently at her lips as she asks.

When Amalthea speaks about her talents with numbers and writing, Steffan does actually appear a bit more interested, as those are rare talents to have. "We all have talents that may lie in different areas, the ones yours fall into are just as important as the ones I have been trained in." He won't say further how her talents would be very fitting for a wife of a young lord, that would not be a prudent thing to point out at this current juncture of time. As for her question though, there is an actual light chuckle that escapes from the younger de Wylye, "I'm afraid life with at Wylye is not as interesting as you are hoping. We are a close family, but a dutiful one, as responsibility has been pushed upon my brother, Rowan, at a much younger age than most would expect." Meaning their father had fallen in battle, an unfortuante event, "Perhaps my brother can offer more insight if you wish to ask him." A glance to the exit though has him recalling why he was here, "Perhaps Rowan will be willing to extend an invitation to you, Lady Amalthea, to visit Wylye when you are free of your duties from His Grace. Unfortunately, I should beg your pardon and excuse myself, as I should set up temporary shelter here in Sarum and continue my search for him."

Amalthea ducks her chestnut head to Steffan, her thick braid sliding over one shoulder with the motion. She nearly laughs when he mentions Rowan extending her an invitation, but instead chokes it back on a cough. "Oh. Perhaps he will. I should certainly welcome it. He is… an extraordinary man, your brother. Should you be unable to find shelter, sir, I can offer mean accommodations in the stables until such time as you are able to secure more palatable arrangements. I wish you luck with your search, however. Good evening, Sir Steffan. Thank you for such an enjoyable repast."

"He certainly can be, yes. Though some would say that I serve as his counter-balance, and I would dutifully do so." The way Steffan explains his role and relationship with his brother, one may interpret that he is the 'no fun' brother while Rowan is the opposite. As for the hospitality and courtesy that Amalthea shows him, the younger de Wylye is surprised and inclines his head appreciatively, "If it comes to that, I may accept your invitation to hospitality. It would not be the first stable I have taken shelter in while away from home. Thank you and take care, I am sure we shall speak again, My Lady." This time, a respectful bow of head is offered prior to departure.

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