(514-09-01) Strike for the Heart
Summary: Conversations and anger in the Black Boar.
Date: 514-09-01
Related: None
acwel ailil amalthea heulwen martyn steffan 

Amalthea checked her orate of 4, she rolled 8.

"And so I said to him, I shall save this horse whether you like it or not and if you will not step aside and let me to it, your judgement will be swift come the day, however soon, you assay heaven's gates!" Amalthea, surrounded by a small group of younger lads and lasses, holds court. The stablemaster in gesturing in her expansive, energetic way, though it's not enough to keep the group interested. One of the girls rises, edging away. "Well, we'd best be getting back to our duties, hadn't we, m'lady stablemaster? Stables to muck, and all that…" One by one they flee, leaving Amalthea sitting alone at her table by the fire, drinking wine by herself.

Stepping in from the outside, Martyn looks around carefully. He pauses as he sees Amalthea, making his way over in that direction, with a smile on his face. "Is the wine good today?" It's asked a bit lightly as he makes his way the rest of the way over to her table.

"It is, though you wouldn't know it by the way I'm driving folks out of here with my tales of daring," Amalthea replies with a chuckle that is both wry and warm. Her golden-dark eyes are upon Martyn, welcoming, and her lips split into a corresponding smile that lights her plain face. "How do you do, Martyn? Will you be joining me, or running scared?"

Martyn is unable to hold back a chuckle as he hears that. "Well, have you ever known me to be running scared, dear Thea?" Taking a place at her table, he smiles, gesturing to the serving person. "I'll have some of what she's having, thanks." Turning back to the lady stablemaster, he smiles, "So, how are you today?"

The server scurries off to get Martyn a wine, leaving Thea to watch the man with a canny glance. "Only from me, else we might have been betrothed right now," the Lady points out with a pointed glance, lifting her wine to him. "I fare well, aside from knowing how terrible my stablelads and lasses think my stories are. And you, Martyn? Does happiness follow in your wake?"

Martyn pauses for a few moments at what she says, before he shrugs a little. "Something I will forever regret," he offers quietly, before he shrugs, "Happiness? I don't know about that. Does it ever?"

"It should," Amalthea replies, and then seeing her joke backfire, she softens, reaches out a hand to him. "Not forever, Martyn. I promise you that. You are too wonderful and you will meet a woman," she murmurs, though the thought clearly doesn't sit easy with her, either, "whom you will love more, and you will be wed, and I shall shed a tear at your wedding."

Taking the offered hand, Martyn holds it in his for a few moments, before he smiles, a sadder kind of smile. "It is a lovely idea, at least," he offers, with a quiet smile. "Not everyone can be that happy."

Amalthea checked her honest of 10, she rolled 16.

Amalthea checked her deceitful of 10, she rolled 4.

"Of course they can!" Amalthea tells Martyn, a blatant lie. "And you will. Lysanor speaks very highly of your cousin, and I cannot believe he would force you into a union you found distasteful." She sets her chin stubbornly, and waps his retreating hand in gentle reprimand."

"It's just… they won't be you," Martyn replies, words kept rather quietly. He smiles momentarily. "But it is what it is. I will have to do my best to make sure that the woman is happy, or anything close to that…"

"I am only mortal," Amalthea says, gently, her own words a bare murmur as a blush strikes twin pink arrows across her cheeks. "With flaws and faults, and there are women who are far superior. You will find one, I feel certain. Just," she wrinkles her lightly freckled nose, "do not do as my cousin Kamron, who wishes to take to wife a /pagan/." The stablemaster blows out a thin stream of breath from pursed lips. "I do not know that I shall even get used to such a notion.""

Martyn pauses as he hears that. "He wishes that? Who is the woman?" A brief pause as his wine arrives, and he takes a sip. "Quite good," he offers.

Amalthea's nose is still wrinkled, still out of joint. "The Lady Arian de Laverstock. Do not get me wrong," Amalthea is quick to add. "She seems nice, very affectionate but… she is pagan, at the end of it all. Unless she truly converts," the lady murmurs, "and even then, how often is a conversion in truth these days?" There is a sigh. "It fair breaks my heart."

"Arian de Laverstock…" Martyn looks like he's trying to remember if he might know the woman in question. "I don't think I have met her. I know I have met a few of her relatives, though."

"I have not," Amalthea replies, toying with her glass of wine absently as she speaks, "but I went with Kamron and Heulwen to their Beltane ceremony, and I saw all I needed to see there. People were drugged, lost to drink, there was much in the way of indecent displays, and," Thea's voice notches up, as if this were beyond the pale, "they sprinkled flowers upon /me/ to try and /bless/ me with /fertility/!"

Martyn nods as he hears that, "Sounds like an interesting event, even if it is a bit sinful." A brief pause, as he glances around the room again.

"A bit?" Amalthea shakes her chestnut head. "More than just a bit. Truly, I left early because I could stomach it no longer. I have seen enough to know that no good can come of such a union." She settles back, finally, nursing her wine. "But, Kamron will do as he will do, and I will live with it as best I can." There is a low sigh. "At least I have my work. And perhaps, more lessons with the spear?" She glances the knight's way, hopeful.

"I see…" Martyn replies, looking thoughtful for a few moments. "Do you think Sir Kamron will be happy?" Taking another sip from his wine, he smiles, "More lessons with the spear, of course."

Amalthea is pleased at the acquiesence to more spear practice, but the former question has her chewing her lower lip. "It is a love match, I think, so he will be as happy as he can be, though it might trouble him, as he does have faith in God. Will he ever be truly at ease in the marriage, should it come to pass? I cannot say. I do not think it possible."

"I see…" Martyn pauses once more as he hears that, taking another sip of his wine, hiding the grimace behind it. "Who knows, maybe it can?" He pauses for a few moments, before he adds, "But like I said, not everyone will be happy…"

Amalthea seems content to let to issue slide, with a shrug of her shoulders. "Do you think that this winter will be a hard one?" she politely changes the course of the conversation, having said all she might on the former matter. "It has been a beautiful summer, has it not?" Some courtly ability, she does have, for all that she was raised in the stables.

Martyn smiles as he hears that. "The winter will probably be just as hard as ever, right? And aside from various battlefield things, the summer has truly been beautiful." There's a brief pause, as there's a few things he's thinking through. "When…" he begins, going silent again.

"It has been a beautiful summer, the raids and fighting notwithstanding," Amalthea mentions, a brief cloud scudding across her brow before it clears and her customary smile returns. "Though I suspect the winter might be easier for me, now that I will be sheltered by the Earl. It will be hard to be away from Dinton, though," the lady muses. "I'm sorry. You were saying? When…?" she prompts him, grinning across the table.

"At least Dinton's not far from here, right?" A brief pause, and Martyn considers. "Neither are Baverstock, or Wylye, or… most places?" At the prodding, he grimaces momentarily. "Nevermind…"


Amalthea checked her merciful of 10, she rolled 17.

Amalthea checked her cruel of 10, she rolled 6.

"I will not nevermind," Amalthea informs Martyn primly, shifting in her seat to be closer to the knight. "Clearly this is a matter on your mind, and if you cannot discuss it with a close friend, then who can you discuss it with? Or," she adds, a touch hurt, a touch sharp, "perhaps we are not so close as I had thought?"

Martyn pauses as he hears that, grimacing a little. "I was just…" Taking a few deep breaths, before he continues. "Is there a wedding date set yet?" A brief pause, as he continues, "That is what I was curious about…"

Amalthea immediately pales and looks apologetic, almost wincing in visible discomfit. "Ah. Ah, that. Yes. Well." She pauses, chewing her lower lip hard, a bad habit of hers. "Tis to be in… the fall. Just following the harvest." So very, very soon.

Martyn smiles, nodding a bit quietly. "That's quite soon…" he offers, words kept rather quiet for now.

Martyn is seated at a table with Amalthea, the two of them enjoying some wine and quiet conversation.

"Needless to say, I am going to be riding to Ebble Keep as soon as I am recovered from my wounds; may others forgive me, but with Gwion dead, I do not think competing at the tournament will be at all a good idea," Acwel is with his betrothed, Heulwen, who is on his arm as they wander into the Boar's Beard. His attention is solely upon her for those moments, though a particularly greedy barmaid seems to be stalking after them to take their order. His green eyes look into hers, "But I could fight a couple personal challenges, just so you watch me fight," he flashes her a mischievous smile at that, as they approach the table where her cousin and Martyn de Baverstock happen to be sitting at.

"My Lady, Sir Martyn. Hello. How is the wine tonight?" He wonders, offering both of them a nod. "We came here because we heard there was to be a bard perform tonight," he looks around, "but I suppose not."

Heulwen is quiet as she walks beside Acwel, leaning in close from time to time as someone brushes past her on the other side. While the Boar isn't particularly busy tonight, it isn't empty either; people bustle to and fro to fetch their orders, barmaids slither adroitly between tables and customers to deliver orders, and there is a general din of conversation and merriment. The aforementioned bard is sadly lacking, however, and she notes this foremost with a slight frown of disappointment. Still, her attention is called back to the conversation, and she squeezes the hand holding Acwel's elbow. "If you insist on going back, nothing I say will stop you," she replies in a slightly passive-aggressive manner before turning a cheerful smile on Martyn and Amalthea as they approach.

"Good evening, Sir Martyn, cousin! I had not expected to run into you two here, but I suppose my lack of foresight is nothing over which to boast." Wen reaches up to sweep a lock of hair behind her ear, and she glances first at the wine on the table and then up to Acwel. Clearly she is hesitant to interrupt her cousin's tete-a-tete. "Lack of music aside, I am quite parched. This table nearby is empty, Sir Acwel. We shouldn't impose upon them." She lifts her chin in a vague gesture toward a table a couple of feet away tucked further into the corner.

"You need not attend, Martyn," Amalthea is saying to the knight who shares her table. "I would not wish you-" OH! Look! A cousin, and her betrothed. Amalthea quickly bites off her words and gives Heulwen and Acwel a cheery smile, full of her usual energy and vim. "There is nothing to impose upon, Heulwen, for surely any time I might spend with you now is cherished." Oh she of the smooth tongue. "Please, won't you both join us? I have yet to be formally introduced to your intended, cousin."

Opening his mouth to say something to Amalthea, Martyn closes his mouth again now. Looking to Heulwen and Acwel, he offers them both a nod and a smile. "Lady Heulwen, Sir Acwel. I hope you both are well today?" A brief pause, before he adds, "And the wine is quite good, yes."

The door opens to admit another patron into the Boar's Beard and stepping through is yet another knight, this one back from the southern front for a few days of rest. With his gear removed and stored away, the de Wylye Knight has chosen to stop by the tavern tonight for a drink, becoming one of his usual haunts when he is in town. Stepping through the entrance, he begins to make his way towards where the barkeep tending to a few of his other customers. Steffan takes care when he moves through the tavern, attempting to avoid disrupting the busy serving staff as they move about with their work. For now, his focus is his destination instead looking around, lest an accident is caused while in transit.

"Duty is duty," is what the Woodford has to say to Heulwen's remark, as she squeezes him on his arm. It prompts a smile from Acwel, who murmurs a sentence to his betrothed before kissing her cheek as he turns to regard Amalthea and Martyn when both reply to his greeting. Seemingly in good spirits, and with a touch less bandages than before, the knight grins at them. "Excellent. We'll have the strongest red they've got in the house, then. Thank you for letting us know." Wennie's direction to an empty table draw a thoughtful, perhaps confused, look from him, but he remains where he's led them to, for now.

"I am Sir Acwel de Woodford, my Lady. At your pleasure. I would guess that you are Lady Amalthea, then? I heard a great deal about you and how skilled you are when it comes to handling animals, but especially horses. A fine calling to have." Her invitation brings some pause to him before he acquiesces with, "We would be glad to. Thank you."

Yet another diner wants ale and a tureen of whatever meat constitutes supper, easing his way in. Scraping his hand through his wet black hair, Ailil holds the door open for anyone planning on leaving to make their escape and open him up a seat somewhere. The polite behaviour has something to do with personal gain, though not much. He rolls his shoulders to ease some residual stiffness, heading inwards without much of a bearing other than towards the neareset source of food or a place to sit and watch the world go by. Plain dress doesn't do much for him and he actually carries a bit of parchment, nothing expansive, but enough to be unusual.

"Oh yes, I do apologize, cousin - Sir Acwel de Woodford, this is my cousin Lady Amalthea, yes - she is quite gifted with horses, no?" Smiling, Heulwen gestures to each person in turn before taking up Thea's invitation. She shuffles around to a chair beside her cousin with an open seat to her the other side and beckons for Acwel to follow. "When I was younger, I was a little jealous of Thea's talent with the creatures. I can ride, but I not so well as she. Oh, that does remind me! I was hoping to get your opinion, coz, on my poor mare Ffionn. She is a gentle dear, but she startles such that sometimes it is all I can do to stay in the saddle. Should I bring her 'round the stables sometime soon?"

Tucking her skirts beneath her, Heulwen settles into her chair and gestures for Acwel to order the wine. Her hands clasp together in her lap and she looks between Martyn and Amalthea with a warm smile. "Sir Martyn, with so many men being called to Dorset and - was it Norgales? - I was curious if you had a mind to attend to either of these campaigns of the Earl's?"

Amalthea checked her modest of 13, she rolled 11.

Amalthea inclines her chestnut head to Acwel, the motion causing her to miss the arrival of Steffan quite completely; fortunate, since her cheeks are pink from all the compliments. "I do only what I have been trained to do," she demures, fiddling with her wine glass for moment before returning her head to its upright position. "Tis a pleasure, Sir Acwel. You seem the steady type. That's… very good." There's a pointed glance to Heulwen, and then the cracking of a grin. "Of course bring Ffion by one evening, or it might take several, and I will work with the both of you." That said, she turns to Martyn, eyes curious for his answer.

Acwel checked his awareness of 10, he rolled 1.

Acwel checked his prudent of 10, he rolled 6.

"Ale." Is the request when Steffan sidles up to the bar where the barkeep just wiped off the counter, ensuring the surface is clean once he spotted the knight's arrival. The simple order is seen to without an issue as an empty mug is retrieved and from a cask, the mug is filled to the brim with the liquid. Coin is exchanged as the full mug is plopped down on the counter, a little bit of the suds flowing over the side. Bringing the drink to his lips, the de Wylye begins drinking the refreshing beverage and only now takes the time to sweep his gaze over the interior of the Boar's Beard. The knight, Ailil, is noted with passing familiarity as one who was there defending Ebbesbourne Wake where they cut down the Dorset with ease. A slight nod if offered to the other knight if their eyes meet but then his gaze moves on, brows furrowing a bit when he spots Amalthea and Martyn together at a table, eyes narrowing as well at what he sees.

Ailil checked his awareness of 10, he rolled 16.

Certain familiarity for brothers in arms will do something, as Ailil pulls his nose out of the disorganized collection of papers he carries easily in his hand. He wanders for the bar and gives a pointed look to the loiterers at the bar, making fairly clear in that long, frigidly-bright stare that he wants to move forward and take up their spot. Paying coin wins out over gabbing and the annoyed pair part, leaving room with the large Broughton knight to slip in. He glances down the bar to the Wylye, and signals to the tender. "Next round for him is on me." The book is still tucked against his side rather than let it come to harm with so many liquids about, a hazardous peril. "Try not to pick something from the Earl's cellar, I'm no king, you hear?" The slight smirk follows while he orders himself a tankard of a nutty brown ale, more foam than any actual bite, which serves to be passable to wash down.

The pointed glance to Heulwen does not go amiss by Acwel, and his eyebrow lifts a little in response before he schools his expression once again. "It seems as though that is my reputation, though what I have done to deserve it, my Lady, I know not. Still, thank you, for the compliment," the Woodford then turns to issue some quiet orders to the waitress, and pay for their fare ahead of time. Thankfully, the place isn't as expensive as the Cony. Just as good, but not as fanciful.

He settles down on the chair beside Wen's, then, as he waits for the barmaid to return with their wine, and food.

His betrothed's question to the Baverstock has him interested in the topic at hand, but he is momentarily distracted when the maid brings their cups of wine and a large platter with slices of cured ham.

Heulwen checked her awareness of 5, she rolled 14.

Heulwen eyes Amalthea in return, furrowing her brow and sending her cousin a rather questioning look; she follows Thea's gaze toward the bar briefly, but is too distracted to note the figure of her cousin's attention. The wine has arrived, and she casts Acwel a small smile as she accepts the cup and cradles it with her hands. For a moment, the lady is silent while she savors the drink; it isn't particularly amazing wine, but it will do. Her gaze wanders again, and she curiously considers the myriad occupants at the bar - but her attention falls upon a man with a..book? Who brings a book to a tavern? One thin eyebrow arches upward and she leans toward Acwel, "Do you happen to know that man, Sir Acwel?" She points with one finger briefly toward Ailil and then turns her questioning gaze upon Amalthea.

Ailil rolls 1d20 and gets (8) for a total of: (8)

Martyn makes his excuses and slips out, leaving Amalthea watching him as he goes for a moment before turning back to her companions. Her attention directed to the bar, she shakes her head. "I know him not, though I know the man near him. He is sir Steffan de Wylye, Rowan's younger brother. He is very… steady."

Watching as the Broughton knight bullies away two commoners from the bar does give Steffan a bit of joy, an amused smirk surfacing to his features as he tries to hide it behind the mug of ale and failing miserably, perhaps on purpose. At least the pair knew to make way for their betters, lest they draw the nobles' wrath. Now, when a free round is gifted to him, that surprises the de Wylye and the mug is raised in thanks, "Unless we are celebrating something special, we do not require his finest. I thank you just the same for your generosity, Sir. If I recall correctly, we were there punishing the foolish invaders from Dorest at Ebbesbourne, no?" What Ailil brings with him is a curious item and Steffan's gaze does show interest. Papers usually contain interesting information.

"We should celebrate one front going quiet. Though Dorset…" Ailil curls his lip in distaste there, showing a harsh judgment on the affair of the southern county burning up in open warfare. A turn puts his back to the bar, a convenient position to let him look out over the various goings on at the Boar's Beard and those involved. Rote motions strip the leather tethers binding a long, narrow bundle of soft leather bound. When it rolls open in his lap, he plucks out two interesting styluses that might be more familiar to a medieval illuminator than a knight, but he selects one. No ink, though, for all it matters. "Would some great storm drown their burning desire to die in our forests and fields. Has there been good news come from that quarter?"
Once he's done picking a stylus, then he picks a piece of parchment and lies it out on the hard cover of the 'book.' The book is really a sheaf of painted and written papers, with a hard plate to do exactly this: start to impress little dots in a straight row with painstaking care to outline something. It would legitimately be reasonable to ask who or what, but Ailil looks over the ladies and settles upon Heulwen. His pale eyes register her not in the spirit of someone leering, but determining odd factors. The space between neck and shoulder, the proportion of her shoulder. Dots form a line, and in time, ink will link the dots in a very definitively humanistic outline. Not right away, of course.

Indeed, the wine isn't the best, but it does its trick well. Acwel sips deeply from his cup before setting it upon the table, smiling back to Heulwen. He runs his thumb against the corner of his lip to brush a stray, red drop from it as he follows his betrothed's gaze to the man with the book, tilting his head to her slightly as he listens to her question, "I do not think I do, Lady Heulwen, but let us ask him," he murmurs his reply as he taps his chin - trying to pin a name to the face, but coming up short. What he does, though, prompts an inquisitive expression from the Woodford, in trying to ascertain the man's motives for staring overlong at his betrothed. After a moment, though, the slight tensing relaxes as he calls out, "Why would you carry a book with yourself to a tavern, sir?"

Heulwen glances sidelong to Amalthea again and offers her cousin a faint shrug of one shoulder as she rolls her cup of wine between her palms and watches the ruby liquid slosh about merrily. The general conversation about the tavern drifts about her, but the word on everybody's lips that seems to ring the loudest is 'Dorset', prompting the Dinton lady to frown deeply at Amalthea. "Did you hear the news out of Dorset last, Lady Amalthea?" The volume of her voice drops a bit, and Wen keeps her attention focused on her cousin. "Two men executed; one was kin to Sir Acwel."

Lips pressed together into a thin line of disapproval, Wennie glances back to the bar and to Ailil. She watches him for a moment, but blushes faintly when he watches her right back. When Acwel calls out, she jumps in her seat and reaches out to place a placating hand on his arm. "Perhaps he is a bard, Sir Acwel, making notes on the people around him. That's the sort of thing they do, isn't it?"

"I'd not heard," Amalthea gives a quick shake of her chestnut head to her fairer cousin, shifting back in her seat. Eyes rest on the two at her table once more. "Though I have been busy with a multitude of saddle-sore and wounded horses returned by the Earl's men. This is one of the first time's I've been out of the stables in some time, though," she offers, quietly, "I took a small trip to Wylye as well." Their eyes are on the bar, but hers are in her wine glass, smiling a fond remembrance. "Speaking of bards, I've not seen the bard Iolo around lately. I miss his cheerful presence."

The question delivered by the Broughton Knight has Steffan shaking his head in answer, a bit subdued when he has to deliver the knews, "Unfortunately not, Sir. A couple of our knights were captured and executed. The group that was sent to find out what happened to our missing brothers were not able to save them, though they were able to extract themselves, but not without heavy wounds." That mission made his patrols seem like childs play but there are no complaints from the de Wylye as he was assigned a role and that is one he fulfills without question.
At first, Steffan was confused at what the other knight was doing but when Ailil pulls out a stylus as well as a sheet of parchment, then begins to draw, realization dawns on him. There is a quiet 'ah' that accompanies a nod of his head. No words are offered for now, not wishing to disturb the artistic process, as he is working on the vision of the Dinton lady. Instead, Stellan works on his mug of ale, draining most of the contents from the large mug. When the question is flung in their direction by Sir Acwel, the Wylye Knight chooses not to answer for the artistic knight, not wishing to ruin the surprise if that was the plan.

The Broughton stands out for the selection of inks produced from the same leather satchel, except opened in the second layer. He draws out a little ceramic vial blocked by a chunk of wood, and he opens that to dip the stylus' tip into the dark liquid. Neat, elaborate fletch marks impressed upon the parchment deliberately bring into being a thick border tracing out a shoulder, the rounded contour of a bliaut sleeve. Every word dropped by the Wylye knight and other news conveyed through the bustling tavern is caught in the strokes he uses to lengthen the sleeve of Heulwen's gown captured eternally upon the page. Pauses exist to dip the pen in the ink again, gathering enough in the reservoir to continue his painstaking work against the divots that drink up the walnut extract in the most unimpressive quality of parchment known to this part of Salisbury. But still, the design has its purpose: it stops the ink from traveling any further or bleeding out. He takes his time on the work, but someone trying to pick out the details there will find the beginnings of a face outlined in detail after a time.
"I had hoped there might be a change in recent days," Ailil says. He keeps looking up to reference what he sees, and gives Acwel a polite, curt nod. Nothing about admiring his betrothed; his is the eye of an artisan. "Instead they continue to reap their unwelcome harvest. I will have to speak with my cousin about a stronger effort." Instead of dallying with his new betrothed, besides. Ailil's can't even say she has seen him more than once, and this is the standard to which a knight is held, no doubt. "The integrity of those good men who were lost there cannot be forgotten."

"Indeed, my cousin, Sir Gwion, was killed. By all reports it was a brutal and unjust execution, and I can only hope to find the man responsible for this killing and have my blade embed itself deep into his chest so he knows the pain my uncle Sir Gwydion must be feeling right now," Acwel tells Amalthea, his voice laced with a certain uncharacteristic, edged coolness.

"That, among the other things that Dorset has visited upon us, should not stand." His eyes drift from the cousin of his betrothed to the artist again, watching the man. Then Steffan is given an appraising look as well, a nod offered to the knight though he is silently assessing the Broughton's every move. After a moment, he leans back against his seat after Heulwen's words, reaching to take her hand in his and lacing his fingers with hers as he nods affirmatively. "Perhaps it is and he will create a composition about the Muse of Dinton, whose fabled beauty and wit strike passion and fear in the hearts of knights," he teases his betrothed.

Heulwen squeezes Acwel's fingers lightly and smiles, and the expression is touched with a mingled tinge of regret and sadness. With the tip of her index finger of her free hand, she traces the rim of her wine glass lazily and does her best to put the matter of Dorset out of her mind; the low murmur, however, is difficult to ignore. "You visited Wylye manor?" she inquires suddenly of Amalthea, pensive gaze breaking into one of interest as she glances up to her cousin. The corner of her mouth tilts upward in a half-smile that borders on a smirk but for the fact that it softens gently. "How far was the ride, then? And did you enjoy yourself there? Did he have time to give you a tour, or did you spent more time with his mother or female relatives?"

Wennie's gaze flicks to Ailil repeatedly as she sustains the conversation, despite her many attempts to tilt and turn her head so he is out of her line of sight. Ever present at the periphery makes it hard to completely ignore the artist. "The Muse of Dinton? I think a bard would prepare and ode to Lysie long before me, but you are a wicked beast to say so." She laughs quietly and lifts her cup to her lips for another sip.

Amalthea checked her vengeful of 10, she rolled 8.

At Acwel's declaration, the homely Dinton slants a sharp, offended look. She pushes back from the table in that sudden motion, unfolding her long legs and rising. "I had better get back to work. We cannot all be muses." She slants the knight a cutting look. "I wish that I could say it was a pleasure, but I find myself lacking the words. Cousin." She dips her dark head to Heulwen. "Perhaps we might catch up when you bring Ffion to the stables. I suddenly find myself wishing for solitude. Good eve."

Shaking his head, Steffan agrees with Ailil's words on the integrity of the knights that had been slain mercilessly, "No, they will never be forgotten. Though their brutish decision requires reprisal, we must also remain steadfast in the defense of our southern line." The lives of all those that perished when the Dorset initially raided into Salisbury lands was also a dark mark in the chapter that has the two counties embroiled in conflict. "Which means I will be returning to the south when my brief reprieve here in Sarum is at an end." A rotation of knights that are patrolling the border to prevent more incursions and raids. Catching Acwel's nod, a similar one is returned, a cordial greeting between knights that have not been properly introduced yet holding the same title as he. When Amalthea suddenly rises to her feet and raises her voice though, Steffan is surprised by such reaction and what brought it on as he wasn't able to hear the actual conversation taking place at the table.

"No, they shall certainly not be forgotten. I intend to find their stories, for those who will hear it, and chronicle what I can." Ailil speaks with a grim fortitude of someone who wades into battle, the same implacable force guiding each word hammered out on the anvil of his tongue. He stops drawing long enough to take a swig of the nutty ale he forgot about seemingly, something left upon the counter. A swallow remedies his parched throat, and then he returns to dipping the pen back in the ink and continuing the outline of Lady Heulwen on the page. A bit of scrollwork is already emerging, a line of black dots to go with the black of her bliaut and the shape of her face. He's caught her nose fairly enough though the most difficult stages will be painting in the other details and he simply isn't about to do that in an inn. Clerics don't go making manuscripts at the bar, and he cannot draw a lady fairly seated on a keg. "I have no intention to stay in Sarum while the borders are at risk. Assuming they have need of another sword, I will head south. Broughton lands are as much at risk." As if he needs to explain himself on why he would go. He rather notes Amalthea passing by, but too much effort goes into managing a conversation and painting whatever amuses him.

Critical Success!
Acwel checked his merciful of 13, he rolled 13.

"I think a bard would just as readily prepare an ode to you, my Lady. And they would have much to sing of you, all good things," Acwel smiles to Heulwen, his gaze focused upon her for a moment before his attention is abruptly cut to Amalthea as she slants the sharp, offended look, and the sudden rising from the table. "My Lady, I would bid you wait. As I render these compliments to your cousin, who I admire and hold deeply in my heart, I should add, you should keep in mind that the Dinton ladies, all of you, are fabled in your fairness; both of character and of appearance," He sets his cup on the table, looking up to her.

"As such, I bid you not to take my words as offense, as surely, such a compliment paid to one must reflect upon all. It was a pleasure to meet you, and I do hope to make your acquaintance better, if you must go. Otherwise, please, sit down with us. Enjoy some wine. The stables will remain where they are, I promise."

Heulwen is mid-sip when Amalthea stands up abruptly, causing the girl to startle and slosh wine over the rim and onto the table. Frowning, she listens to her cousin and her expression darkens just a shade. First she purses her lips as if winding up for a pitched battle, and then she opens her mouth to reply something rather tart. Luckily for Wen, Acwel eases in to smooth things over, and so she works at settling her ruffled feathers while turning a slight pout down toward the wine-splattered surface beneath her hands. Silently she signals for a barmaid to bring a cloth, and she assists in dabbing up the spill and wiping the side of her cup before settling back into her seat with a loud "hmph!" Her left arm slings across her middle and she rests the elbow of the right on the back of left hand, right hand left to cradle her cup. Her dark gaze cuts a fiery swath across the room and bores into Ailil with an angry intensity.

Ailil checked his Awareness of 10, he rolled 12.

Amalthea checked her merciful of 10, she rolled 16.

Amalthea checked her cruel of 10, she rolled 1.

"I have come across decomposing animal carcasses," Amalthea replies to Acwel, low and angry even after, or perhaps because of his continued speech. She turns her willowy form away, completing the thought as she does, "that are less offensive than you are." That seems to be enough for the stablemaster, for she completes her turn and storms off in true dramatic fashion.

Heulwen checked her forgiving of 10, she rolled 8.

How, exactly, is Ailil responsible for this? He decided to draw something. He isn't even paying attention to how irritated the Dinton woman is, either, caught in the process of outlining his next subject between the pointed stylus with ink and that quirky one without a firm point. He starts in on the next subject, which happens to be a curling line that eventually will resolve itself into a knight, though at least the form facing her is probably an estimation of Acwel on the page. Though they are very likely allegories in an era where humanity is best portrayed in sculpture and the two-dimensional arts are rather laughable outside the Indian subcontinent. Because really, they do so much better in metal and stone. Not one way or another, he continues etching out a man's arm and the resolute posture at odds with the woman's. Tappity draw thing.

For the time being, Steffan's only response to Ailil is a simple nod, as he will be doing the same though after taking the leave given to him. He see the Broughton Knight again in a few days at the southern border. But for the time being, his attention is more or less focused on the exchange between family and a knight. Only Lady Amalthea is the one he knows of the three. The de Wylye, however, does not intercede, as it appears to be only words exchanged for the time being, by the lady who feels slighted. Perhaps another time, he will speak with her, but for the moment, it appears the one who is betrothed to his Lord Brother is departing to try to calm her fury.

"Suit yourself," Acwel states to Amalthea, a smirk forming across his lips. He chuckles, and it could even be considered darkly, before he bids her goodbye with, "Farewell, Mistress of the Horses. I hope your time in solitude teaches you proper Ladylike manners instead of the cardinal sin of envy. It can be very unbecoming, especially to someone born to a family known for their strong sense of justice and honesty. But I suppose one must fall short of such things, at times." That sharp aside made, he looks to Heulwen before reaching to pick a slice of ham for himself and eat it slowly. "I suppose that she won't be attending, then," he comments, glancing over to Ailil and to Steffan once again before he ever looks to the departing figure of Wennie's cousin.

Reaching for his cup, he takes a deep draught from it before setting the empty vessel on the table, gesturing to the barmaid for a refill.

With her cheeks turning red in anger, Heulwen stares at Amalthea with an expression that bodes nothing but the danger of an oncoming storm. Slender knuckles go white from the pressure as she grips her cup, trying so very fiercely to keep her temper under control lest she make a scene. Instead, she hisses a quiet, "What a childish tantrum. Go before you embarrass yourself." There, that ought to do nicely; it's quite a bit nicer than the nearly overwhelming desire to toss the rest of her wine in the woman's face. It helps, too, that Amalthea is already flouncing away in her fit of pique.

One might liken Wen's appearance to a bristling cat baring its teeth and hissing as it dances sideways in an attempt to intimidate. She simmers like oil just ready to catch a single spark and burst into a billow of flame, and her jaw is clenched so hard that the sound of her teeth grinding together is clearly audible to anyone within a foot of her…so, mainly Acwel. "What a pompous, spoiled little brat. What a foul little jealous beast. Suddenly one can almost understand why some husbands beat their wives. I would too if they acted as ridiculous as that. No, she shan't come. She won't be welcome after that outburst."

There are no more words to say, and Acwel drinks all of the refilled cup's contents as soon as it's placed back on the table. He stands up, then, nodding to Heulwen's words with his jaw sets, before he offers his hand down to her after pushing back his seat. "It does not matter, at any rate. She can stay miserable in her own corner; such people have been sheltered from the adversities of life and cannot comprehend the greater picture."

Once he takes her hand, and she rises to her feet, his fingers entwine with hers before he reaches with his other hand to place a couple coins on the table. Fair payment for the services. He leads them out, then, the matter soon forgotten as they start to wander outside, a wicked smile blooming on his lips. "You know, I had an idea…"

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