(514-07-21) A Meet Cute By The Lake
Summary: Joachim patrols the northern border and meets the eldest daughter of House Horton.
Date: 07 July 514
Related: None
lydia joachim 

Lydia would honestly rather be indoors right now. Despite the fact that it's a beautiful summer day, Lydia has always by and large preferred to be indoors, except Alyson has always been just a spot worried about her health (for no reason, Lydia maintains, despite being sickly as a child, she's perfectly healthy now) and wants her to enjoy the fresh air. So Lydia has grudgingly trudged a mile or so away from the manor, a basket in arm and a blanket in the other that she may sit under one of the trees and read, or take out her little pim board and puzzle its formula. Wilhelm's out on patrol, and she's promised not to practice with Lilith - her little merlin - without his presence. So her options are limited, but at least she's also brought a little food and water to wile away the hours as well, as long as the weather stays good and she remains within sight of the manor.

Joachim checked his hunting of 7, he rolled 18.

The small grove that Lydia has decided to choose for her respite is popular with the residents of Horton - besides it's shade and fruit bearing trees, there's a small pond nearby for water and a respite. However, from said water as Lydia is starting to settle down comes splashing and prehaps some light cursing as Joachim had a fish in his sight in the pond and had made a grab for it with his hands, hoping for a filling breakfast. Instead the fish swatted and swam away, leaving the knight in a lurch after it. He shakes out his hands and looks over at his charger, who is merrily eating grass from the water's edge. "Do not look at me like that.." he grumps at his mount. "It has been quite a while since I tried bare-handed!"

Lydia checked her awareness of 11, she rolled 19.
Lydia checked her singing of 6, she rolled 14.

Lydia pays no heed at all to the man. In fact, she has't noticed him, so intent she is on situating herself. She's on the other side of the tree she's chosen's thick trunk that she doesn't see him at all. Instead, she puts her basket down and works on spreading out the blanket. As she works, she hums to herself, perhaps over loudly. Unfortunately, her tones are less than dulcet. She's not…terrible? But clearly singing is not the first amongst her talents.

Joachim checked his awareness of 10, he rolled 19.
Joachim checked his hunting of 7, he rolled 14.
Joachim checked his dex of 9, he rolled 18.

The faint hum on the wind is missed with the splashing around of the knight as he takes off his tunic, though he wears an undershirt. "Now watch this, Eclipse." the knight tells his horse. "Back in Newton, we used nets, even if catching them with your bare hands was the better challenge." Joachim says as he spies a rather large bass near the edge of the pond. His boots are over by his horse along with the rest of his gear, the knight working only in his trousers and shirt as starts to skulk up on the fish. "I'll get this one.." he promises, and as he stoops suddenly his feet catch on a rock at the edge of the water and he stumbles, taking a header into the pond, and sending the knight splashing out loudly as he struggles to regain his footing.

Lydia has just lain her blanket out when she hears the splashing and with a furrowed brow, half bends at the torso to appear around in the tree. Her eyes widen as she espies the man floundering in the water. "Oh, my." Abandoning her post, she pads down to the bank of the pond. "Put your feet down!" she calls out in an effort to be helpful. "It's quite shallow right in that spot!"

Joachim checked his modest of 13, he rolled 11.

There's a few more splashes, and Joachim manages to find his knees and feet - even without Lydia's helpful advice. "I grew up next to the River Wylie, you'd think I'd know how to stand in the water!" he starts to retort, and that's when he actually manages to notice the young woman addressing him and the knight shakes his head, trying to get it to dry a little. "Oh. My apologies. I wasn't addressing you, but my own clumsy feet." he admits as he starts towards the pond's edge and is quickly dunking back underwater to pull back on his tunic so he doesn't appear any further lecherous to the Lady of Horton, even if he hasn't tried to recognize her yet.

She blinks a bit at him, taking a few steps back from the pond and suddenly not quite sure of what she's doing. "I'm sure your feet have a lot of very clever things to say." she replies with a faint smile. "Are you going to be alright, Sir…?" she queries, adding, "I brought a blanket to sit on, but if you need it." It's not as if most knights go sojourning with towels.

Joachim checked his recognize of 9, he rolled 3.

"Oh yes. Pain is quite the popular term for one of them at the moment." Joachim manages as he makes it back to the shore near his charger and gives him a pat. "Some guard you are." he mutters. The horse snorts at him in response as he goes to pull on his boots. "It's a fine and warm day, Lady Horton.. I would not want to cause your blanket to become sodden and you have to explain why to your father." There's a touch of embarassment as he pushes his bangs out of his face, realizing it's time for a trim and he must look quite the fright to the Lady. "Sir Joachim, m'lady. Of House Newton. I was on patrol for Robert up here and I saw the pond and realized I was hunrgy." Shaking his head, he tries to clear the water from his ears. "It is quite warm and lovely up here."

"My father is no longer with us, God rest his soul." Lydia replies, with only a slight faltering in her expression. "It's my brother Sir Branoc who guides our House now." But that aside, she notes, "And I'm sure if I did not provide aid to a knight who is so kindly patrolling our border, he'd be quite put off. But if you insist, I could move my blanket into the sun and you could sit while you dry off?"

"My condolences, Lady Horton.." Joachim rubs the back of his head. He should have known that, but apparently he was caught flat-footed in this case. After pulling his boots on, he considers her offer and bows his head in defence. "If you are willing to keep me company and tell me more of where I am, m'lady, I would appreciate the kindness." he finally relents as he squeezes his tunic. "I would offer to share a meal, but I am only down to few dried fish and half a loaf of bread that you would probably find difficult on your palette."

"My palet is not quite particular as that, but I wouldn't want you to go out of your way, sodden as you are." She strides up the bank and moves to retrieve blanket and basket. "I've got fruit and cheese, so if you'd care to spend some bread, we could make quite a meal of it." She gives him an easy smile. If she's bothered by being alone with him, she gives no sign; perhaps she assumes a knight of virtue will give her no cause for concern.

"I would be honored to break bread with you, m'lady. Though I fear I have caught nothing more than a cold in the water, much less the name of my gracious hostess?" Joachim requests as he lifts up one of the packs on his charger, removing the wrapped package from it and a small glass container of wine in netting and capped off with wax. Brining his offerings to the makeshift table that Lydia is setting up, taking one of the sides of the blanket as to help to straighten and pull it taunt in the grass.

"Lydia de Horton." she offers in reply, seeming briefly pleased that he's willing to assist her. Once the blanket is resettled, she takes a her seat, and reaches into the basket. Out comes the aforementioned cheese, waterskin, and apple along with a paring knife. "Where are you staying, Sir Joachim?"

"Staying? This is a long patrol, m'lady.. Lady Lydia." Joachim tries it on, and finds it pleasant to the tongue. "I stay wherever I may find pitch of my oilskin and blanket for the evening some nights. An inn, should I come across one. I would not wish to impose on the hospitality of a house that may be ill-prepared for a visit." the young knight offers as he unwraps the loaf of bread from the cloth holding it. "I also brought a wine from Pitton. It is a rather good vintage." he says as he sets down the containers and as he does, a small carved white stone falls out of the cloth. Lydia may likely recognize it as a carved knight piece from a tafl set, he doesn't notice it's fallen as he moves to set down his part of their shared meal.

"Staying? This is a long patrol, m'lady.. Lady Lydia." Joachim tries it on, and finds it pleasant to the tongue. "I stay wherever I may find pitch of my oilskin and blanket for the evening some nights. An inn, should I come across one. I would not wish to impose on the hospitality of a house that may be ill-prepared for a visit." the young knight offers as he unwraps the loaf of bread from the cloth holding it. "I also brought a wine from Pitton. It is a rather good vintage." he says as he sets down the containers and as he does, a small carved white stone falls out of the cloth. Lydia may likely recognize it as a carved king piece from a tafl set, he doesn't notice it's fallen as he moves to set down his part of their shared meal.

"Any House of good standing is properly prepared for the possibility of a visit." Lydia replies forthrightly, "Or so my mother says. I'm afraid I'm still managing to learn a household's running half as well as she can." She begins to carefully slice the apple with the paring knife, eyes lowered. "So if you did wish to indulge in Horton's hospitality, you'd be well received." Smiling, she espies the king. "You play tafl?" she smiles. "My father taught me when I was quite small."

"I believe I have already been shown the best blessing that Horton may offer me." Joachim responds, a small attempt at a flirt before she calls him out on the tafle piece. "Ah, yes!" he says with a grin. "I used to practice it a lot when I was a squire, trying to map strategies and figure out a way to take down a king in the fewest amount of moves. However, my knight made sure that I knew that the price was to remain vigilant to protect the king when it was my turn." he says with a chuckle as he picks up the piece to put away for now. "I have a board, but it's missing a few pieces from my travels - perhaps if I were to visit your home, I would be offered a chance to play against you, Lady Lydia?"

Lydia checked her modest of 13, she rolled 11.

Her smile is fainty amused by his awkward effort, and her gaze stays lowered to the apple she continues to carefully slice. "I'm sure it would be a welcome challenge." she replies. If she has reason to find his level of skill suspect, she makes no sign. "I love any sort of game that calls for strategy in its maneuvering, really. I brought one with me that can be played by one or two. It's called pim."

"Perhaps after we have enjoyed our meal?" Joachim suggests, glancing down after his awkward flirt proves to be about as clumsy as he was earlier. As he offers the bread to be cut to join the apple and cheese, he works on uncorking the wine. "Do.. you happen to have a container to drink out of?" Not that he wouldn't mind sharing the bottle with her, but better to be polite and allow him to pour for her instead of just giving her the bottle to swig from. Once the meal is settled out, the knight bows his head, offering his hand to the lady. Prayer, even over a meal as slight as this, is a must for him.

With some regret, she shakes her head, and instead lifts up the waterskin. "You're welcome to some." she offers, holding it out. And then realizes what he's about, so she sheepishly puts it back down, bows her head, and carefully places her hand in his.

"Water's fine.." Joachim notices the skin before he bows his head. When her hand is gently placed in his, he doesn't squeeze, instead their fingers gently rest upon each other as he quietly recites,

"Bless us, O Father,
He makes the grass grow for cattle,
and plants for people to cultivate - bringing froth food from the earth:
wine that gladdens the heart,
oil to make their faces shine,
and bread that sustains their hearts.

With the prayer completed, he withdraws his hand from hers to allow her first service of their lunch.

"What a lovely prayer." Lydia says brightly, and plucks up the cheese. She begins to slice it just as she did with the apple, though more carefully as she's using the paring knife. "Your people follow the old Roman ways, I gather? We also follow Christ's teachings, but we're of the newer way." She doesn't seem bothered by the difference. "Do you know the Willcotts? They're a bit further south, but also follow Rome."

"I am from Newton, m'lady. My family is devout to the older faith, and have placed charity and piety above all. It is something I try to emulate while not causing.. fright? Suspicion, perhaps." Joachim says with a little amusement. "My father once told me that I may be second to the heir, but first to the impression." A grin touches upon his features as he watches her hands work for a moment. She's far more careful than he is, and her hands are worth watching. "The Willcotts? They are the Romans out this way, yes?" he asks. "I had hoped to meet with their family, but our paths have yet cross. It is rare these days to come across the Roman devout.. those of the new faith.. or those.." his expression sours just slightly, "..that have turned their backs fully, seem to be rather common. Not what I expected when I took on this role."

"Turned their backs?" There's a pause as she studies him. "Ah. Well. You speak of those who follow the Old Ways." There's a little chuckle. "Have you seldom left Newton, then? There are pagans a-plenty here, and I'm told, further South. I suppose the fate of their souls are of a concern, but as long as our liege lords accept them, and they continue to act in the defense of our King and our liege lords, they are best left to their own purposes." She gives him a faint smile. "Borderers are grateful for neighbors who will help keep this country safe from its enemies and guard their backs, regardless of who they worship."

"The old ways, yes. And not when I was young, no, Lady Lydia. It was a surprise to find the differences once I began to squire and travelled from Newton." Lydia would know, Netwon is a tight-knit community and tends to shy away from other communities except for those that share their faith. Her words may make sense, but it will be a while before Joachim becomes understanding. "While in the common defense is well, m'lady, it is also where their eternal soul shall rest that should be a concern as well, would you believe?" he asks as he draws in a little breath, brows knitting in concern.

"I find that often such a great change as like to one's faith is not undertaken lightly." says Lydia, initially silent for a few long moments before making her reply. "And that which is strange and new is also frightening. People seek what they know to be familiar and true. If we believe in the totality of Christ's rule as our Lord, then it is undoubtedly fated that in time, all shall come to know him. Perhaps not today or tomorrow, but in time."

"We'll see, Lady Lydia." Joachim hasn't asked permission to drop the formalities as he tries to get a little more comfortable in his sodden cloth. "My thoughts on the matter are still.. complicated." he admits though he offers a sigh. "Such as those that are willing to covert simply because they wish to have a match with a Lord or Lady. Can it be a true conversion if it is for aulturistic means? Or is it simply a way of satisfying a requirement with an empty promise?"

"That's not fair," Lydia chides, "As a woman who wishes to marry any man must convert to his faith regardless. One cannot bring others to Christ by force, and as it is, the pagans are promised their freedom to worship their gods by the King and all who hold sway in his name."

"It may not be fair," Joachim counters as he reaches over to snag one of the apple slices and considers it. "But did God allow Eve to recant the forbidden furit once she bit into it and allow her and Adam access back to the garden?" he says as he chews on the piece. "There are those that covert without knowing the true love of Christ in their heart. And it should be a concern."

"One problem at a time, perhaps, Sir Joachim." counsels the blonde in amusement, munching on a piece of cheese. "Honor God, king, and country, and I am fair certain your life will be as it should be. But what would I know?" She reaches into her basket, pullin out her pim board and apparently ready for a change of subject.

Joachim checked his modest of 13, he rolled 9.

For a moment, Joachim starts to say something, but something in Lydia's tone causes him to lower his head. "You sound as if you already know plenty, m'lady." he finds himself admitting. "Have you seen much of Salisbury?" The knight doesn't dare look up to her, perhaps realizing he has gone too far in this debate and has stepped back from the pulpit he was so easily willing to stand upon a moment ago. "I have been around, but it is usually because of duty."

"My travels thus far have only been resticted to the manors of the North for the most part." Lydia admits with a little sigh. "I did not even get to go to Carlion for the wedding." It's a good thing he's not looking at her, because she's pouting a little about it. I've only ever been to Sarum a few times in my life."

"I missed that event as well. I was assisting in Newton as my brother and cousin attended." Joachim admits. "However.. I was present when the sword was first drawn forth." he admits, a glance sidelong at her, and noticing her pout, the corners of his ears turn pink. "Lydia.. I did not mean insult or anger with my words." It's a venturing guess at why she's pouting. "I believe strongly in my faith. And perhaps, it is stronger than some like - and it could explain why some look upon my home with distrust and worry."

"I often find it wisest to take care when others speak of topics with great passion." Lydia says quietly. "Especially when the topics are so controversial and varied in opinion. I did not mean to deter you from your faith, only that…well. This is an odd encounter in which to debate the point." But would she debate him on the matter? Quite probably, or in as much as she could, were they more familiar. "And despite you perhaps finding it girlish of me, I must confess; I should have liked to see Guenevere's wedding dress. I have heard that she is a breathtaking beauty and virtually all the knights who met her fell in love with her."

Joachim checked his flirting of 3, he rolled 7.

"Not quite as captivating as preent company, surely." Joachim stumbles a little over the compliment, meant to be flirtatious, but it's easy for Lydia to catch on, his experience with the fairer sex has been quite limited. "I should probably be pleased that I missed the event then, I would have been forloned to be enraptured so." There's a faint chuckle at that. "If you have been to Sarum.. you have been close to Newton. We are betwixt Sarum and the walled city of Wilton."

Lydia's mouth quirks, curves a little to the side like she's suppressing a smile. "Be that as it may, I was quite young." And she's so old now. "I don't know if I'll have opportunity to visit again in the future, but if I do, I shall ride to your family's manor with all sorts of demands for cheese and apples and bread in recompense."

"If I recall right, it was I that provided the bread!" Joachim protests, then realizes the woman got his goat, and it causes him to smile and actually chuckle in a deep baritone, the tone a compliment to her own singing voice. "I will make sure that my father and brother prepare for such a demanding ray of sunlight such as yourself, m'lady." he rumbles as he finally lifts his wine. "To a soothing of feathers and forging a new relation?"

"Indeed." She lifts her water skin and drinks from it as he drinks from his wine. "But I pray you, if obligation does not require you elsewhere, please take shelter with Horton this night? My family would be honored to host you, and if nothing else, my brother Sir Branoc would wish to know how you find the state of defense along your travels."

It's a moment's thought. An evening with the beautiful blonde and her family, or another night under the warm stars and fireflies. It is a rather hard decision to make as he drinks his wind and then nods in agreement. "I would be honored to accept your generosity and offer of hospitality, m'lady." Joachim finally offers as he smiles just faintly. "The earthworks are strong, and united. Between your family, the Willcotts and Woodboroughs, I believe it is a strong defense present in this area."

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