(514-09-17) Dire News Over Breakfast
Summary: A pleasant breakfast is ruined by unfortunate news.
Date: 17 September 514
Related: Summer Tournament Logs, Heavy Rain.
elsane joachim lydia 

Morning in Sarum brings out the shared breakfast tables. It is not quite as busy as it will be as it is still early, but Joachim is used to being up early to head to the Abbey for prayer before he retires for breakfast. With news now from Dorset, the knight has more reason for prayer as he's found a fairly opened area of the table to settle down on the bench with a breakfast of roasted boar, a vegetable stew, and some meal with fruit mixed into it. While he may have a lot of food in front of him, he's only picking at the meal, his thoughts not finding voice.

Elsane checked her recognize of 9, she rolled 7.

Dawn is one of Elsane's favorite times of day, and after her morning stroll through Sarum watching the sunrise, she returns to the Wainwright to break her fast. Red-cheeked and fresh from her morning's exertion, she looks almost pleasant - almost smiling. The corners of her mouth tremble briefly as she passes through the door to the inn and pauses, looking around for a table at which to sit and finding none wholly unoccupied. Frowning, she dusts her skirt with a quick brush of her fingers and makes her way toward the counter, but she pauses as her gaze drifts over Joachim. Something in his features is familiar, and she loiters near his table for a moment. One hand reaches out to touch the surface of it briefly so as to catch his attention. "Why, Sir…Joachim?" she inquires, scrunching up her nose as she tries to conjure up his name. "Is that it, then?"

Joachim checked his recognize of 9, he rolled 2.
Lydia checked her awareness of 11, she rolled 19.

It would have been so much easier to just take breakfast in the Horton tents, but Lydia had a bout of what might be described someday as cabin fever. Rising early allows her to subvert any possibility of being waylaid by her family; it's better to beg forgiveness than ask permission, right? So she's yawning hugely against the back of her hand as she shuffles into the inn, completely oblivious in her sleepy state to the presence of her neighbor or the young knight.

Joachim checked his awareness of 10, he rolled 13.
Elsane checked her awareness of 8, she rolled 5.

Snapped from his dark thoughts, Joachim hears his name as he looks up at the fair woman and after a few moments, the knight's eyes flash with recoginition. "Lady Elsane." he greets as he rises to his feet to be proper. "You may join me if you wish, but I fear I may not be the best of company this morning." he confesses as his attention is upon Elsane at the moment, so misses the arrival of the tired Lady Horton whom he has spent so much time with at the tournament, the knight waiting for her to be seated before he retakes his own.

Flashing Joachim a brief, faint smile, Elsane half-turns toward the counter as if she were about to depart the table anyway, but the invitation stays her and she glances back to the Newton knight. "Oh? Of course, I will join you then. I am never the best of company, so together we shall fall into a couple of taciturn statues, and woe to those who make polite overtures for our attention, hmm?" The woman brushes back loose locks of hair briskly and takes another moment to seat herself, and in doing so she glances about the inn once more. A gimlet eye falls upon the stumbling form of Lydia, and after recognizing an acquaintance in the woman, she lifts one delicate hand to wave it and attract the lady's attention. "Lady Lydia," she calls out, pitching her voice to rise above the dull murmur of the inn's other patrons. "Would you mind terribly a third to this part, Sir Joachim?" The question, although polite, is offered merely as a pointless formal courtesy; she has already invited the lady over, after all.

Well, there's no missing it when a voice rises up above the general murmur, especially one that is quite familiar. Fortunately she's recovered from the yawn, though she is still a bit sleepy-eyed as she smiles to the other fair-haired lady. "Good morning, Lady Elsane!" she calls out and indeed does start to make her way over. As she takes note of the other woman's meal companion, there's a brief slow in her step, and her smile becomes just a shade more alert. "Good morning, Sir Joachim." She will blithely (and possibly purposefully) assume his consent, and moves to take a seat at the table.

Joachim checked his chaste of 13, he rolled 14.
Joachim checked his lustful of 7, he rolled 2.

"A pair of statues we shall be, then, silent gargoyles watching over the gentry as the flock arrives." It's meant as a tease, but it seems that Joachim's usual habit of humor is slightly lost this day as Elsane makes a second invitation as the knight feels a too-familiar name. And when his attention is drawn to the oldest Horton Lady, Joachim's own smile finds it's first blossom of the day as he rises to his feet, awaiting Lydia at the table, before taking her hand and placing a slight kiss upon it before waiting for her to be seated. "Morning, Lydia." he greets informally, a suggestion of the relationship that exists between the two before the expression falters slightly. "I was not aware that you knew the Lady Elsane, Lydia." he admits as he considers. He may have missed that Elsane is now a Wollcott.

Returning to his seat, the knight's tone is still dampened. "As I was telling Lady Stapleford, I may not be the best of company this morning, even with your presence, Lady Horton. I have recieved some rather distressing news from the Dorset lines that have put a dampener on my mood."

"There is no news from Dorset that is anything other than distressing," Elsane replies matter-of-factly as she lifts a hand to signal for a barmaid. She excuses herself from the conversation briefly to put in an order for breakfast before gesturing the girl over toward Lydia for her order. Turning back to Joachim, Els settles herself with her hands folded in her lap and offers him a wan smile. "Lady Willcott it is now, Sir Joachim. I have been married to Sir Morlois this past year now. How is it that you have become acquainted with dear Lady Lydia? I wasn't aware the Newtons were frequent visitors to Up Avon."

Lydia pinkens slightly at the kiss pressed to her hand, and uses the opportunity to place her order to recover herself. "Of course I know Lady Elsane," she says cheerfully. "The Willcotts are our neighbors in the north, as you may recall." And for Elsane, "Not as a general rule, but Sir Joachim was deployed at Up Avon to tour the border some months ago and we hosted him for an evening. Lady Eirlys was there as well, and he escorted her home the morning after before continuing on his way. Is your son well? He must be growing so quickly." Lydia is fond of children, often taking charge of the littles of the Horton manor who aren't still with their mother or a wetnurse.

"I had not realized that Lady Elsane had married Sir Willcott. My congratulations on your nuptuals - and child. My, you have been active since last we talked." Joachim offers with a small chuckle, though as he meets Lydia's eyes, there is a moment of gratitude offered for her distraction to his thoughts as he nods at her recall. "We have worked to become reacquainted during our time at the tournament, and I have come to quite enjoy her comapny." he comments before his lips tighten into a thin line. "My brother, the heir to Newton, was taken in skirmish, and the Dorsets have yet to offer a ransom. My father is hopeful one will arrive soon.. but.." he trails off, shaking his head and forcing himself back into the more pleasant conversation. "I must have missed you while you were there - I had been informed that Sir Morlois and his Lady wife were away when I visited."

Elsane watches as the barmaid flits about her tasks before eventually bringing over the ladyies' breakfast - naught more than porridge and a glass of wine for the Willcott. She lifts the cup to her lips for a delicate sip, letting the conversation drift over her and offer a polite bob of her head here and there. "Rhyecan is but an infant, still. Three months, perhaps four now." She presses her lips together and rolls the cup of wine between her palms while looking between Joachim and Lydia briefly before turning her attention down to the surface of the table. "We may have been away, Sir Joachim, or perhaps not taking visitors at the time. The child, you understand."

The cup clinks against the wooden surface as she sets it down and turns to her breakfast, nudging it about in the bowl without actually taking a bite. "I am sorry to hear of your brother's misfortunes, Sir Joachim. Sir Gwion, yes? I will keep him in my prayers."

"Oh. I am so sorry to hear of it. The knights of Dorset have been problematic here at the tourney, but our knights have routed most of them from victory. Surely they will recover your brother unharmed." Lydia says with sympathy and firm certainty. But indeed, now is not the tame to dwell upon it. She's elected for porridge as well, but idulged in a few shavings of bacon and a dollop of honey for flavor. She stirs them in lazily, considering Elsane and noting in a quiet tone, "I hope he is the joy of your life." She's quite sure the infant's father is not. Though she does add onto the other woman's thought, "Aye, and so to will my family speak of him in our prayers. I've no doubt one or both of my brothers will join the effort to retrieve him."

"I thank you both. I will have to share the news with my sister, and I feel I may wish to wait until after the tourney. She has come to enjoy herself here, and I would rather her not be forlon for the rest of the events." Lifting his mug, Joachim offers a simple toast. "May God provide for a safe return and further repairs." the knight seems to be willing to not dwell on things for the moment as he turns his attention towards the tournament itself. "I have been paying attention, Lydia, and it seems your family is doing quite well in many of the events." he suggests. "It has been a fine showing, not just from you, has it not?"

Elsane checked her intrigue of 10, she rolled 15.

"Although," Elsane murmurs, frowning thoughtfully as she pauses to take a bite of her porridge and contemplate her next words. "Although I could have sworn there was a rumor that a group of the Earl's men returned from Dorset with news of their executions." She frowns thoughtfully, picking apart the idea in her head before shaking it quickly at Joachim. "But of course the Earl would surely have told you personally of your brother's demise. They must be only rumors. Perhaps someone is interested in making unnecessary war with Dorset." She waves the spoon dismissively and falls quiet as the conversation drifts to talk of the tournament; her interests do not lie in martial matters, apparently. Instead, the Willcott woman pursues her breakfast in quiet contemplation.

Critical Success!
Joachim checked his temperate of 13, he rolled 13.

Elsane's words come to Joachim's ears, and the knight's fingers tighten on the mug. The humor, any he may have left, is now gone. Setting down his container, he turns, grabbing the nearest keep by the arm, and sends quick orders. "Find a page for Earl Robert. Ask him to bring me the news of Sir Gwion de Newton as soon as possible." the knight orders quickly as he turns back to the two women, his lips a thin line now.

Lydia's expression turns faintly appalled. "Oh, surely such a thing is only rumor. With so many Dorset knights here, would they do something so vile?" But wanting to dispell the notion of it, she answers Joachim quickly. "My family's done quite well, yes. Though Wilhelm was routed in the second round of the falconry contests. It's just me now. I can't quite believe it, he is so much more skilled than me. I'm sure it's only luck." She seems a bit eager to try and move past discussion of the rumor as she inquires swiftly to Elsane, "Are you enjoying Sarum? It's hard to remember there's so many people living so close together sometimes in Up Avon."

Elsane watches Joachim quietly, one eyebrow arched upward. She sips from her wine and shakes her head slightly at Lydia. "Not particularly, no, but I have never been fond of Sarum - not even when I lived closer. I prefer the solitude in Up Avon, time to contemplate my studies. Down here…" She gestures with the cup still in hand and offers a single-shoulder shrug to the pair. "Too many bodies pressed into too little space, and everyone's nose ends up in everyone else's cups, yes?" Knocking back the rest of the wine, Elsie sets the cup down carefully and nudges it forward in a silent signal for a refill whenever the barmaid should happen to pass by. The tasteless porridge is left barely touched, and she moves the bowl out of her way so her elbows don't accidentally knock it over. "Congratulations on your successes, Lady Lydia. I am sure your family is quite proud."

It takes a few minutes, as the knight is out of the conversation, Joachim awaiting the news. Eventually, a page does show up at the door, and coming over to the man, speaks a few words to him. The way Joachim's expression darkens and then falters.. it's rather easy for it to tell that it's not news. Apparently Elsane's rumor has not been proven false. Finally, when he speaks, his voice holds a tremor, anger and sadness embroiled under the surface. "I apologize, miladies.. but in light of learning of my brother's death, I must excuse myself." he manages quietly as he rises to his feet. There's a glance to Lydia - he doesn't expect her to follow, after all, they have barely discussed a relation between their houses, and he offers a weak bow of his head. "Do forgive my sudden departure." he manages as he presses away from the table to turn away.

"Thank you," Lydia replies, and starts to speak again when the page shows up, and well, she can read the writing on the wall. "Of course, Sir Joachim." she says quietly, distress creeping into her expression at the turmoil in his. She looks to Lady Elsane as suddenly her own appetite diminishes as well. She remains silent until Joachim departs and then says quietly, "I stand corrected, though I wish it were not so. Will you excuse me? If my brothers reported for the skirmish I should go see how they fared."

"Of course, Sir Joachim," Elsane replies quietly, lifting her chin to him in a gesture of farewell. She watches quietly as the knight departs, and at the same time the barmaid circles 'round to refill her cup. This she takes up in silence and sips, eventually turning her attention back to Lydia. One eyebrow arches upward again, and this expression is threatening to become something quite permanent at this point. "Mm, and of course to you, too, Lady Lydia. My prayers that they have returned safely to you. God go with you." She swirls the wine in her cup and adds as an afterthought: "And them."

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