(514-09-13) Vesper's Quest
Summary: Joachim meets with his sister at home, and tasks her a very dangerous quest - to learn more about Lydia de Horton.
Date: 09-13-514
Related: None
joachim vesper 


With the tournament in full swing, Newton is seeing it's fair share of visitors as people pass over it's bridges to head to the north and west to make their way to Sarum for the games. At the Newton Manor, repairs are still in full swing to shore up parts of the home that have existed since the Roman occupation that still need work. Joachim was down their earlier watching the repairs for his absent brother, however, the knight has found himself in the courtyard, having recently recieved a bad news from the south. He sits in the courtyard, his expression grim as he's mulling over the news.

Failed.
Vesper checked her awareness of 10, she rolled 14.
Success
Vesper checked her dex of 15, she rolled 14.

Out slips the pint-sized ray of meddlesome sunshine that is more commonly known as Vesper. The little brunette, clad in a gown of her own making, a pleasant shade of grassy green with fine blackstitch at collar and cuffs, checks her step when her gaze lands upon Joachim. Mischievous now, she turns her stride without heed to her older brother's displeased state. Behind him she sneaks, bare feet making hardly more than a whisper over the courtyard ground. Closer, ever closer, until finally she tries to jump upon his back in a childish game, with a cry of, "Gotcha!"

Failed.
Joachim checked his dex of 9, he rolled 10.
Failed.
Joachim checked his honest of 10, he rolled 14.

Unaware of the approach of his sister, Joachim is lost in his thoughts before he's jumped upon by Vesper. For a moment, the briefest of moments, she may have felt a hand on her wrist as if preparing to throw her, but instead the knight twists to give her a tight squeeze. "Hello, Vesper." he offers with a laugh that doesn't quite match his eyes as he gives her a fierce squeeze, before setting her down.

"I was just handling some things after failing to get out of the first round of the joust." It makes a good cover story, "But I plan to return to the tournament soon. Were you planning to attend? Perhaps to participate?" It would be a good distraction for the young woman.

Vesper's tiny bones are squeezed soundly, and the lady makes a little 'oof' sound, slightly exaggerating the wince upon her lovely, pert features. "Oh, 'Chim! You know me so well," Vesper teases her older brother, coming to stand in front of him, hands clasped together in a very reasonable facsimile of primness. If it weren't for the devious light in her clear blue eyes… "I had come to beg permission to attend, in fact. I thought I might sing. What do you think? Until they make a sport out of chirurgery, it's all I've got." The trick of his eyes goes right over her head, unlooked for.

Joachim can sense Vesper's investment in getting out and enjoying herself - and now is not the time to weigh her down with news of their brother. "Yes, that is very much approved, Vesper." the knight gives a warm smile of approval as he sets the young woman back on the ground. "Perhaps you can even do a little bit of.. scouting for me." he says, a slight grin playing his features, as he actually gets a blush that his sister may very well notice. "There is a Lady in attendance of the tournament I would like to know more about so that I may surprise her with a gift."

Critical Success!
Vesper checked her indulgent of 7, she rolled 7.

"A Lady, is it?" Vesper makes her reply, all curiosity and eagerness. She leans in to her brother, eyes a sparkle of blue flame, dancing back at his. "A Lady who has, perhaps, captured the heart of one of my older brothers? She must be formidable, to have accomplished such a thing." The tiny brunette does a little spin, a warm, musical laughter as accompaniement. "Ah, amor! Romance and love! Is there any greater a thing?" She executes another little half turn, ever so sweetly winking at a passing stableboy. "What is her name, 'Chim, and I will stalk the Lady until I know her deepest desires, all for you!"

The knight laughs a little, but it's quickly hidden beneath a shushing motion, as Joachim is actually embarassed by his sister's outbrust. Oh the things he gets himself into to protect her sometimes. It comes with protecting their home, he figures - it extends to the family as well as he considers his sister. "She is very prudent in her behaviour, Vesper, you will not be able to approach with your own unique enthusiasms." he points out. So, not a pagan, obviously. "Her name is Lydia, of the House of Horton. I visited her home when I was in Up Avon, and was charmed by her company, even as she dismantled my defenses on the draught board. I.." there's that blush again as he settles his hands to his sides, trying not to look at his sister directly. The idea of having feelings for the Horton Lady had come to mind, but he was trying his best not to indulge in them. "..asked her for a favor, but I fear I made a poor showing of it in her honor at the tournament." he says, reaching into his pocket to pull out the purple and azure ribbon that Lydia had gifted him with as part of her blessing.

"That you asked her at all should do her great enough honor," Vesper says, her chin thrust high, lips curving of a sudden. "You, the most handsome of my brothers," she flatters him gratuitously, in her flagrant way, "but, shh! Tell not the others for I'll deny it at every pass!" She rocks back and forth on her toes, thoughtful, after that declaration. "Lady Lydia de Horton. I swear it, 'Chim, I shall make sure this Lady is worthy of you before the tourney ends! Upon the Newton name, upon the bounty of our lands, upon the very stars and the moon, the sun that shines down upon us 'ere it fades to the chill of winter! All these things, I do so swear upon!" One hand is clutched dramatically to her breast, and she sweeps a bow over it.

"I'm sure there are other houses that she may find herself more accompanied to, sister.." Joachim doesn't quite chide her, but he has that tone in his voice. His generosity is hard to match, but his piety comes close as he sighs a little. "..you are going to leave so many hearts in your trail at the tournament, I fear releasing you upon them." There's a hint of amusement that pulls at his features, but again, it's forced, not quite reaching to his eyes to crinkle them. "It is I that wants to be worthy of her, Vesper. I want her to love our home and land as much as I do." And it is quite normal for ladies to move to the houses of their husband, unless she is the oldest - so he's able to sneak that one by her.

"If she is worthy of you," Vesper insists, setting her chin in a stubborn slant in the face of his chiding, clear love for the man radiating from her dramatic self, "then she will. If she does not, then I shall find you someone far superior." There is a succinct nod of her wild brown curls. "And anyway, you need not rush, and you'll still need Gwion's approval. As for," she adds, an afterthought with a wicked grin attached to it, "the trail of hearts I shall leave, worry not. I will leave them happily broken. And mend them with a fair needle, should it be necessary."

The mention of Gwion cannot hide the sudden flicker of concern that touches his features. He tries to shake it off, hiding it beneath some amusement. "You lure them in with your song, and then mend them after taking their heart - I swear you are part siren, my dear sister." he says with a small chuckle, as he closes his eyes to steel himself from what's about to come. "We should talk, Vesper. Please, sit with me a moment?"

For all her faults, and they are legion, Vesper rarely refuses a solemn request from her family. Her brows wrinkle and it makes her no less attractive, unfortunately for the watching stableboy. A step is taken towards a seat next to Joachim, and Vesper settles herself upon it like a lark alighting on a willow branch. "Of course, Joachim. What is it? If you are concerned that I will cause havoc in Sarum, then I shall reassure you it is not my intent."

"It is not that, Vesper." The knight turns solemn as he catches his hands into hers to support her as much himself as Joachim draws in a breath. "Word has come from Dorset. Gwion was involved in skirmishes along the Dorset border and has been taken captive. No demand for ransom has been made yet, and father has started to petition for his release."

And just like that, all the color leeches from Vesper's cheeks, leaving the rosy bloom ashen. The hands in Joachim's, dwarfed by them, clench reflexively, heedless of the half-crescents her nails might make in his skin. "But they will demand ransom, won't they? Of course they will. And father will meet it, and he shall be home safe with us and," her voice notches, shaded by worry and determination both, "you may tease him that you have yet to cause so much trouble, that I have been replaced as troublemaker in the family."

"We will continue to pray for his safe return to us, Vesper." Joachim says. He's unused to this role. Between Gwdwyn and Gwion, he has not had to take on the role of household lead. He's been allowed to go out and be ambassador, but now, this new spot has him glancing down. "We will continue to show our House, we will be strong during this time, Vesper. And when he is returned to us, we will have a feast to celebrate his recovery whole and hale."

Failed.
Vesper checked her trusting of 10, she rolled 14.
Failed.
Vesper checked her suspicious of 10, she rolled 12.

Because she wants to be, Vesper allows herself to be optimistic, to trust Joachim's words at face value. "If you say so, 'Chim, then it must be true," the lady opines, her finely-boned chin taking on the stubborn slant all too familiar to her close family, cutting like the razor's edge. "I shall start a new tunic for him to wear, finer than any I have stitched yet, so that he might know we have thought of nothing but his safety this whole time."

"You will not!" Joachim says, taking Vesper's small shoulders in his large hands so that he may get a firm look at her. "What you will do is go to the Tournament, and you will be our brightest beacon and ambassador. You will show them that Newton is not as.. rigid.. as we once were, even if we remain devout to our faith. I need you to have fun and enjoy yourself. And I have tasked you with a quest. I hope you have not decided to accept it?" he worries on his large lower lip for a moment - he's clearing trying to shoulder the responsibility for Gwion's captured status.

Vesper is as fragile as a tiny sparrow under those hands. Completely opposite her weak body, though, is her wealth of spirit, and it rises to Joachim's challenge as he likely knew it would. "Of course I have accepted it," she bristles at him, blue ices snapping icy little darts his way. "And of course I will go. But," she adds, steel creeping through her voice, weaving with drama, "I can sew in the evenings when there is naught else to do. Gwion will have a fine new tunic," she pauses, then says forcefully, "/when/ he comes home. Fair?"

"When he is home, sister, you may knit for him a whole suit of armor from head to toe should it be your desire." Joachim offers with a warm smile as he reaches up to give her locks a playful ruffle. "For now, will you allow me the honor of accompanying you to Sarum so that I may enjoy watching your eyes widen and dance with joy in delight of the tournament?"

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