(514-08-22) Couples at Court
Summary: Acwel, Heulwen, Kamron, Arian, Seren, and Cyndeyrn talk at Sarum Castle
Date: August 22, 514
Related: None directly, several generally referenced.
acwel heulwen kamron arian seren cyndeyrn 

It is the start of the afternoon at Sarum Castle and though the Earl is absent, the court remains abuzz. Petitioners come and go to speak with one of the Earl's officers, sometimes making lines in order to present their cases. Others, however, are here to discuss matters with the other courtiers, likely to sell or buy a percentage of th surplus crops, either for money or for the harshness of Winter.

Some, still, are discussing the recent troubles with the Saxons, and Dorset, grandstanding on how immediate retaliation for both of the recent conflicts should be in order, while some discuss the recent news from Norgales. Acwel and Heulwen, on the other hand, are doing none of that.

The pair have each a goblet of wine in hand, never quite stopping in one place overly long though the Woodford pauses their leisurely stroll to regard a map laid out by one of the more warmongering courtiers. It denotes Salisbury, its manors and the various roads. "Strange. I thought Dinton was more to the east," he murmurs to her, "perhaps he got it wrong."

While Acwel may sip idly from his cup, Heulwen is of a more temperate nature; her glass is still quite full and threatens to be spilt upon some poor woman's bliant at some point during the afternoon court. She frowns at Acwel and glances over her shoulder as they pass a table, catching a glimpse of the map but not enough to explain his comment. "East of what? Tisbury? The manor is west of Sarum, if that's what you mean," she politely corrects him, casually linking her arm with his and scanning the crowd for a familiar face; the poor girl looks slightly bored.

Kamron has a job to do. Sometimes, that job involves riding off into the back of beyond in order to hit someone with his axe. Sometimes it involves worrying about the logistics of a trip into the back of beyond, which is a lot less entertaining. He's not in his armor, because that's just gauche, but he's not in his usual courtly best either, just an old tunic and trousers. And his axe is at his hip. He has to turn and walk backwards, laughing slightly as he does, "Come come, Sir Arian. There's nothing to be afraid of this time. The Earl and the prettiest peacocks of the Court are not here at the moment."

Arian is looking more than a little discontent at being both drawn into the Earl's court and mocked simultaneously. She sets her jaw, narrowing her eyes slightly as she steps in after him. "Continue to laugh, Sir Kamron, and we will see who wins out in the end…" Like her companion, Arian is not at all dressed for a courtly presentation. She is in an old riding blaise of softened woad, an undyed underdress, and slouched shoes. Her hair is not braided, but brushed loose around her shoulders — a full display of the shortness of her hair compared to the long, graceful locks of other Ladies. She glances just slightly over his shoulder, and she spots Heulwen and Acwel, and then her smile turns toothy. "You would say your sister is quite pretty, wouldn't you, Kam?"

Acwel checked his proud of 7, he rolled 2.

"Indeed, Heulwen, it's west of Sarum. But it's not right below Vagon." Acwel smirks at his betrothed, finishing with his wine though he still holds the goblet idly. One might notice the Knight of Woodford still looks like a half-mummy, which is probably an accurate description of the extensive bandage his arm, shoulder and torso has received as of late. Other than that, he is clad in casual courtly garb, nothing to impress, a faded green tunic with black trousers. And the sword at his side, since that is pretty much the badge of his station.

Turning away from the map, it only takes a moment for him to spot Kamron and Arian. Flashing a smile at the two, he offers them both something of a knightly salute with the hand carrying the goblet. It ends up spilling some leftover drink at some poor fellow behind him. On a white tunic. Oh well.

Heulwen's reply to Acwel is something rather bland and non-committal, and considering the subject matter it is a little miracle that she bothers to reply at all; nobody could blame her for falling catatonic on the spot. Still, she summons up the energy to offer people her best, most bland smile as they mill about uselessly, nodding in support of some random comment here or there to which she pays not even half a mind. Only when her gaze lands on her brother, and only when Acwel spills half of his wine bowing to them, does Wennie begin to revive.

"Kam!" The greeting is a stifled, high-pitched, breathy squeak in deference to their location, but she parts from Acwel's side with a reassuring squeeze to his arm as she threads her way through the throng to his side. "Kam," she announces louder in order to be heard above the general din, and she turns a cheerful smile on Arian. "And Sir Arian!"

Kamron checked his awareness at 9, he rolled 4.

"You will, of course, Sir Arian." Kamron takes two more steps backwards, and then turns around to offer his arm out to the lady knight, starting to shake his head with further amusement, but then her question stalls him. It's a trap, and he knows it, but there's nothing that he can do about it now, "Why yes, I would. Of course, she's my sister, so even if she weren't beautiful, I would have to say it. Let me guess, she's here, isn't she?" And then he spots Acwel's wave, and he raises a hand in greeting, wincing just a little as he sees the wine spill down behind the Knight of Woodford. Heulwen's greeting causes him to laugh easily and direct Arian's steps that way, "Wen, and Sir Acwel. Fancy that. Pleasure to see you, Sir Acwel."

"I'm glad that you are accustomed to how this always goes…" Arian winning that is. She steps up to him when he offers out his arm, and she accepts it with the air of a proper lady. Mostly proper, at least. She continues to grin at Kamron as he works through the possibilities, and when he asks after whether or not Heulwen is here, her shoulders shrug slightly. "Perhaps…" Then she laughs as he notices Acwel and his sister, drawing the Lady knight along toward the pair. "Sir Acwel, Lady Heulwen… good to see you both." She bobs her head in polite greeting, though she offers Wen a broader smile that dimples at the corners.

Another Woodford comes along inside, but she hesitates at the entrance only to speak with an assistant at her side. There is a bit of a serious conversation before the assistant parts ways, hurrying off for something or other. Taking a deep breath, Seren glances back into the room where she notices her brother and his betrothed, both easily discernible among the masses. With a light step, she directs her attentions there as she approaches, a smile given to the two just as Heulwen breaks off to greet another Dinton.

"Ah, yes, forgive me, it will not happen again," the Woodford replies to the man of the now temporarily ruined white tunic that he has accidentally stained with wine.

When Heulwen squeezes his arm, his attention drifts back to her again, watching as she heads over to Kamron and Arian. "Sir Kamron, Sir Arian, good to see you both around these parts," he greets them in turn as they approach, though his steps are a touch more sedate than those of his betrothed's. And, to prevent more unfortunate accidents, he places the goblet in the tray of a passing servant with a nod, smiling politely to his future brother-in-law and his Laverstock companion. "We've missed eachother by quite a bit in recent times, I'd say," he comments to both, though he turns just in time to see his sister, and his smile brightens. "Seren!" When she's close enough, he pulls her in for a brotherly hug. "Must be family reunion day on Sarum. Glad to see you out and about, my sister. How are you?"

It is Heulwen's mission to bestow upon her brother's cheek the chaste sibling kiss of greeting, and so she does - one to each, in fact - before pulling away and flocking to Arian's side. Without ado, she slips her arm through Arian's free one and presumes to walk beside them. "I was hoping someone lovely and smart would come pretty up the drab proceedings today, Sir Arian." She leans forward to peer at Kamron and then looks back to the Laverstock knight and quirks an eyebrow. "Hmm, yes, but at least I have you. Do tell me you're both staying at least for a little while, even if it is a lie. I have a feeling you're off on some next grand adventure, and you're going to leave me here drowning in parchment and ledgers and permanently stained with ink."

"Just passing through, I assure you, Sir Acwel. You'll have the ladies of the Court to yourself once again shortly." He winks briefly at his sister, leaning in to accept the kiss on the cheek and responding with a hug for his sister before he shrugs a little at Acwel, "No, we're just passing through, picking up supplies and a few other knights before we go out on the Earl's business. I would invite you along, but it seems that you've had a little too much fun already." And that is accompanied by a gesture toward the man's bandages. Seren's arrival causes Kamron to raise up his brows, "Ah, and here I was promising Sir Arian that there would be no other beautiful women in Court," A mischievous grin touches one corner of his lips, "and here you've gone and made me a liar." Pressing his hand to his chest, he introduces himself (quite unnecessarily), "Sir Kamron de Dinton." And then his sister's words work into his brain, and he protests laughingly, "Are you saying that I am not lovely and smart, Wen? Just for that, I'm leaving you to the parchment, ledgers, and ink."

Cyndeyrn emerges from some rear part of the hall, whether another room or just some nook or the like, and from the fact that he is, in rare fashion for visitors, actually in his arms, suggests that he has likely been attending to the Earl in his more formal capacity, standing guard as he sees to various guests and visitors on the business of the realm. Being that the Earl is now, well, notably absent, likely suggests that this duty is at its end, and he may be departing for other matters - yet this escape is slowed as the hall is full of familiar personages. Well, some more familiar than others in the current day, at least. Which does bring him upon what seems to be the meeting of his cousins and his intended, and he announces himself with a little clearing of his throat, since Kamron seems to be in a… flattering mood. "Cousins, good day." And then, with a less certain glance that reflects what is still a lingering awkwardness in their meetings, he addresses Seren. "My lady, are you… still at the business of the day?" They may well see more of each other now, that he is often loitering about making sure the Earl is not stabbed!

"Lovely and smart?" Arian laughs brightly as her arm links with Heulwen, leaving her neatly sandwiched between Kamron and Heulwen. She then shakes her head slightly, still looking humored. "I will take the compliments." Then she breathes out a heavy sigh, accepting her fate here in the Earl's halls. She glances over at Kamron at the mention of how long they will be staying, as if his opinion counts in that. "But we will be returning, of course." Then Seren emerges, and the self-conscious Lady knight does her best to maintain her air of confidence and smiling even while Kamron launches into his playful greetings with the Woodford. My, these Woodfords certainly know how to grab everyone's attention! Arian bobs her head gently to Sir Cyndeyrn when he arrives, and she dimples gently in polite greeting.

A hug is returned to her brother, warm and squeezing, having missed him. Careful though she is of the bandages, Seren gives him a concerned look once she has straightened. "Why are you hurt?" It has been asked many a time to him, but she asks it still. A tentative and tender touch is grazed over the bandage at his shoulder and a frown accompanies the gesture. "Be careful, Acwel, please." The plaintive plea in her voice is apparent. As Arian, Kamron and Heulwen approach, she turns towards them, a smile filled with mischief dances over her features. "Sir Kamron de Dinton, what a pleasure making your acquaintance, I am Lady Seren de Woodford," dipping into a curtsy, she does not lose the smile. A look is cast on the Laverstock and the accompanying Dinton, "My lady, Sir Arian, I would have to disagree and say the beauty was already present before my arrival." It is then Cyndeyrn arrives and a blush rises in her cheeks, "Sir Cyndeyrn," she cannot keep the breathless quality out of her voice, "So good to see you." The words are heartfelt, because it was always good to see him, just look at him!

"Dorset raid at Odstock. It was a bit of a difficult fight." Acwel replies, though he reaches up with a hand to ruffle at Seren's temple, nodding slowly. "I will take care. Well, for quite some time, I've been told," he chuckles, kissing his sister's forehead before she turns towards the three. "Oh, good to know, Sir Kamron. Though I am happy to share the burden. So much attention can drive a man crazy," he offers the man a brief smile. "Ah, well, yes, I would certainly have accepted and gone with you were it not for that," he admits, rubbing at his side briefly. "Godspeed, good Sirs," he says to Kamron and Arian, "and if possible, bring some souvenirs or stories back. Staying in Woodford during my recovery has been pleasant, but a bit lacking in life-risking excitement." He glances to Heulwen briefly, then adds, "Mostly."

"Sir Cyndeyrn, good to see you again. It has been sometime," the Woodford offers, with a respectful nod of his head to the Dinton heir, and his sister's intended. And, perhaps knowingly, he wanders a little closer to Heulwen, Arian and Kamron in order to let the two talk.

"Lady Seren. Sir Cyndeyrn," Heulwen greets them both with a bob of her head in turn, offering a smile that is fleeting if only because her attention is called back to her brother an his companion. Her lips turn down in a slight frown and she leans away from Arian a bit as if affecting to disengage and retreat altogether. "About business yet again? I think you officially spend more time abroad than you ever have at home, even growing up. Cumulatively, I mean." She fans out the fingers of her left hand and taps each tip as if counting up the years spent away from family and friends. With a heavy sigh, she casts a forlorn gaze at Arian once more. "Do be sure he returns safely, Sir Arian. I know I can count upon you to watch his back even if he will not care for it himself. He is much too honorable."

Heulwen finally releases her prisoner, pressing a quick kiss upon the Laverstock's cheek before returning to Acwel's side. "And I am sure you are quite jealous, hmm."

Kamron laughs easily at Seren's return of his greeting, his polite expression fading into something much more familiar. He nods a greeting to his cousin, "Deyr. Good to see you looking all noble and ferocious in His Grace's defense." Nudging Arian lightly with his shoulder — an easy thing considering that their heights are only an inch or so apart — he chuckles, "You're quite right that we'll accept the compliments, Sir Arian." Seren then gets a nod of her own, "And Lady Seren is quite right." Another little laugh touches his lips, "About beauty having been already present. I'm not certain about whether or not it is good to see my outrageously-tall cousin, nor whether he is worthy of such a becoming blush." Acwel's response causes him to chuckle, "I have been ever wary of gaining too much attention from the Ladies of the Court," although he had a rather strange way of 'avoiding' that attention. "So I'm afraid that I'll have to leave you to that concern. But we will do what we can to bring back stories or trophies if there is anything worthy." Heulwen's complaint causes him to shake his head in amusement, "Of course. The life of a knight, and especially one with a position with the Sheriff. And will you be asking me to watch Sir Arian's back as well, Wennie? Or am I the only one you are concerned for?" Beat pause, and then he chuckles, "Or do you trust Sir Arian to look after herself, but think that I am incapable?"

"Indeed, Sir Acwel, it is good to see you whole and well after all that has been going on. I imagine our missing each other is a consequence of that, as we have all of us been hustling from this corner of Salisbury to that for the duration of the Summer. Or so it would seem." Cyndeyrn does not seem inclined to be overly bold or openly amorous, as is surprise to likely no one who knows him the least bit, but he does at least move to… stand near Seren, taking up the place her brother has thoughtfully vacated for him. And with both Heulwen and Arian there as well, he should at least not be making anyone feel the extra wheel! In fact, their group comprises quite the set of pairs. "How has the day's work been?" he will inquire of her, in the fashion of polite small-talk, which is more in his style than an abundance of compliments. Of course, he makes no comment on being worthy of a blush nor of even noticing such a thing, but instead neatly shifts the topic toward what else Kamron seems to be up to. "Where are you two off to then?" he will proceed to inquire of his cousin and his own more amigerous lady companion, since there is talk of them setting off and concern from Heulwen over their well being, or at least, half of their collective well-being.

The peck to her cheek draws a small smile on her lips, and Arian looks after Heulwen with a slightly impish look. "Your brother looks after me quite well… it is that caring pull of a Dinton knight. He does not like to see his friends harmed." Then she smiles toward Kamron in her light and easy presence, still looking a bit on the impish side even while she regards Kamron. Their shoulders linger together after the nudge — but just for a moment. Then she scoffs and rolls her eyes a bit at Kamron's mention of the Ladies of the Court. "He thinks he is avoiding them, but that only makes them hunt him more hungrily. He doesn't seem to understand that." Then she regards Cyndeyrn. "Sir Kamron, acting as a Keeper of the Law, has been dispatched to see to some banditry up in Littleworth. I have volunteered to accompany him."

Seren checked her chaste of 13, she rolled 15.
Seren checked her lustful of 7, she rolled 17.

"Dorset," Seren echoes with dismay, closing her eyes at the kiss to her forehead, she uses that moment to compose her features. "He vowed revenge. Earl Robert is currently beside himself, he was called up to the rooms only a bit ago as his wife is perhaps giving birth to their child." She glances towards the door out that would lead to the stairs, but she is not a lady in waiting, so she remains here. When Acwel vacates the place at her side, she simply clasps her fingers together and directs her attention to the Dintons and the Laverstock as well. Heulwen is given a more warm and friendly smile, working with her she is at least hopefully getting more familiar with her. "Lovely to see you, my lady." The laughter from Kamron draws her gaze and coaxes a return laugh from her, it is quiet, soft, the blush not lessening any. "I am happy to see him at least." As Cyndeyrn takes the recently vacated place at her side, she hesitates only briefly before tentatively slipping her hand into the bend of his. Likely it is the first time she has voluntarily touched him in any capacity. It is slightly forward on her part, but she does it all the same.

"She is?" Seren's remarks do not go unnoticed by her older brother, whose eyebrows furrow for a moment. "Who vowed revenge, Seren?" Acwel presses, though evidently the question might have to be answered later with Cyndeyrn's arrival and his relocation to stand closer to Arian, Kamron and Heulwen. His soon-to-be brother-in-law's remark on avoiding the ladies' attention has the Woodford laugh, pressing his hand against his side as though it might hurt to do so. "I find that to be a wise wariness to have, good Sir," he grins at him, watching Wen speak with Arian before he nods once to Kamron's words once again. "Perhaps you two might stop by Woodford sometime when you return, and you can tell me all about the journey over ale and food," he invites, pleasantly, reaching out to take Heulwen's hand in his and caress it with his thumb when she returns to his side. Her remark has him grinning again, this time at his betrothed, "Oh, yes. Very much." To the taller Dinton, he nods once. "It has been a rather busy Summer, both for personal reasons and for purposes of our duty. I do hope I get better soon so that I might take the fight to the bastards in the south, however. Should the Earl still want me to, of course."

"The question answers itself, brother," Heulwen replies somewhat tartly, pursing her lips into a slight pout and lifting her chin toward him defiantly. The expression is fleeting, however, and she relents enough to flap a hand at him in dismissal. "I only felt you needn't be asked at all, Sir Kamron. Only felt you needn't be asked. No desire to be insulting, hmm?" She curls a hand around Acwel's arm and leans into his side, but her attention is called away at once by Seren. "The Earl's wife is having her baby? Now? God go with her, then."

Speaking of pairing off, the old Kamron would likely have felt rather uncomfortable in a group comprising of two betrothed pairs, a lovely lady, and himself. The new Kamron seems quite comfortable standing arm in arm with Arian. "Don't worry," the shorter Dinton reassures the taller in the wake of Arian's response, "There will be more than just the pair of us going." He scoffs at Heulwen's words, "You know me, I do not take insult so easily." Seren's dismay, however, wipes the smile from his face, replacing it with a pained grimace. "I know how His Grace feels, to some degree. I feel responsible as well." He responds to Acwel there for a moment, "The knights of Dorset who saw Sir Sior face His Grace's justice." Nodding his agreement with his sister's best wishes, he crosses himself, "God watch over them both." And then he looks back to Acwel, "Of course, Sir Acwel. I cannot speak for Sir Arian, but I would welcome a stop on the way back to the Dorset border."

Of course, even that rather tame gesture from Seren is a little shocking to Cyndeyrn, or at least surprising, for indeed the two have never been 'touchy' in any capacity. So while the light sensation at his elbow draws a brief, reflexive look in that direction registering his sudden awareness, the large young man otherwise remains his stoic self, indeed even holding his posture rigid so that Seren's hand can rest precisely as it is without disturbance. And so, this becomes the new status quo of things, for the time being. "Ah, yet more bandits. I admit, I feel odd feeling some…. relief in that, only because it is not some further Saxon attack, or another raid in force from our neighbors." Which seems to bring him to Acwel's point, where he professes: "I would hope first that the situation there eventually runs its course and returns to the normal way of things. But realistically, there may yet be quite more of it before their tempers are exhausted." And while he avoids the discussion of such, ah, sensitive matters as the birth, he will repeat what he told Kamron earlier, and now including the Earl as well: "Neither of you should feel to blame. Justice was done, and… well, we have spoken of it, but surely this incident was merely an excuse to act as they wished to anyway, for the death of one man not of higher birth or station seems poor cause for violence on such a scale."

The news of the Earl's wife having her baby has Arian's brows arched and her gaze turning upward as if she is also seeking some kind of notification that things are well. She then offers a small nod with Heulwen's blessing, offering a murmured one herself. "I see no reason why not," Arian replies in regard to the Dorset border. She then starts to slide her arm from Kamron's, offering his forearm a gentle squeeze as he does. "I should go and finish preparations for the ride out, Sir Kamron…" She looks at the others, offering a polite smile and bob of her chin. "Ladies, Sirs… if you will excuse me."

Critical Success!
Seren checked her honest of 10, she rolled 10.

As Acwel's question is answered by Kamron, Seren gives the latter a grateful look for relaying the information from that day. Her brow furrows a little with worry for Lady Esyte, but for the moment she remains where she is. "She is," she confirms to Heulwen, "I have only just come back from praying for both her and the baby." She does still fret though. When Cyndeyrn stiffens his posture, she slooooowly removes her hand from the bend of his arm, perhaps misreading the gesture. Or perhaps not. She once again clasps her hands together, trying for all the world to look nonchalant about the whole thing. Except she fails at it.

Kamron checked his awareness at 9, he rolled 7.

Kamron nods at Cyndeyrn's words, "Indeed. Better bandits than more Saxons or knights. And thank you again." He looks back to Seren just in time to catch her withdrawal, shaking his head and reaching over to pat Arian's hand at his arm demonstrably. And then he is nodding to the Pagan knight, "I will be right with you, Sir Arian." Back to Seren, he answers more seriously, "Please, convey our best wishes to Earl Robert, Lady Seren, and to his Lady Wife as well." Clapping his hands softly and rubbing them together, he nods about the group, "Sir Acwel, I'll be happy to speak with you after, whether we have time for a full visit by Woodford or not before we're back to facing Dorset again. Good luck to you all." And then he offers one more hug to Heulwen, departs, and then he's off.

Acwel checked his awareness of 10, he rolled 2.

OOC: The scene continues, and someone else adding in the rest of the poses would be wonderful.

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