(514-10-02) Your Sister The Enigma
Summary: Sir Mari Woodborough travels to Shrewton to meet with the new Lord of Shrewton, Arngeir. They discuss trade, but mostly the mysteries of Mari's elder sister.
Date: 514-10-02
Related: None
arngeir mari 

So ever since Arngeir has taken over Shrewton, things have changed for the better. The manor house, which had stood empty for an unknown time, has been repaired, mostly through the efforts of it's own lord and his knightly companion. They've managed to convince commoners who left the village for greener pastures to come back, now that someone was in charge to lead the area and it was a downright miracle that bandits didn't get the idea to take the place over for themselves during the time where nobody was in charge.

As for Arngeir himself, he's outside the manor, which sits on a hill that overlooks the village. He's sent a letter to the Woodborough, hoping to convince one or two of them to drop by, allowing him a discussion that likely needs to take place at some point. Also, there was suggestion that trade negotiations could take place, Shrewton being as heavily focused in industry as it is. In a chair, the Lord of Shrewton sits, reading. The man prefers reading outside when he has time for it. Also gives him a good look on the progress of the fields being harvested, as fall started to roll in.

Fall was as good a time for any to go traveling. Mari was with only a small entourage from Woodborough, her squire and a couple of other knights out for the fun of the travel. With the invitation issued, she had come at the blessing of her older brother Hydd who had remained back at the manor. Enjoying the weather, the heat of the summer breaking and easing into the cooler weather, she had been riding at a sedate pace. When they approach Shrewton Manor, she gives it a curious once over before looking at the surrounding lands. It was so near Stonehenge, a place she, as Pagan, had spent a lot of time in the past.

When she catches sight of a man seated outside the manor, she directs her horse towards him but stops well short to dismount and leave her horse with her squire and the other couple of people. As she approaches, it's on foot, and she wears a bit of a curious look tinged with a natural suspicion that is part of her demeanor almost always.

Arngeir was a knight, this much is known about the current and new Lord of Shrewton. His knee was serverly injured in the war with the Saxons, so he's hung up his spurs, so to speak. The man can still fight, considering his build has not gone to waste, and the way he carries his walking staff suggests he's moving from fighting with a sword to a staff still gives the impression that the man can give a good fight when pressed. The same staff he picks up when he pulls himself from his chair, his book being set down.

There are few servants wandering around the manor, appearing as though he has not yet hired as many. There's activity, but it's more the quiet kind. There's a light wave with his ha freen hand, the other occupied by his staff, which indeed, there is a slight limp to one of his legs. "Sir Woodborough, I presume?" he asks, walking up. "Merry meet and welcome to Shrewton."

Mari does watch him take to his feet with the staff in hand and if there is a flicker of surprise in her eyes she manages to disguise it with that ever present suspicion. There is no offer of assistance as he stands because pride, especially in knights, is a thing. When he waves, she returns the greeting but with a bow of her head instead. "Sir Mari de Woodborough," she gently inserts.

Once she has finished closing the distance, Mari regards him with a more openly curious look but the questions bounding in her mind are not asked. Instead, she gives one more nod, "Well met, Sir Arngeir de Shrewton, thank you for the invitation."

"It's just Lord these days." Arngeir chuckles at the use of his knighthood title. "But I appreciate making me feel like I could take on a hundred Saxons." There's a nod to her retuine, but Mari gets the lion's share of his attention. "Well, I suppose if I'm going to be proper about these things, it would be wise for the rest of the family to know about it. Though, Dhani doesn't really talk much of family. Granted, getting her to talk about anything is a task in itself. She is rather…taciturn. And blunt. Very, very blunt. But, I owe her my life. I story in which I'll have recite for you if she hasn't already written what happened to us over the summer."

There's a flick of his hand, and the waiting servants venture forward to help assist in bringing the horses into the stable and whatever else needs to be brought. "But please, come in. The manor has been newly repaired and I've been looking for an excuse to show it off."

"When you're faced with a foe, especially the Saxons and now Dorset, it's amazing what strength you can find. I believe you've earned the title of Sir so there's no use in taking it back now." Mari offers with a light shrug, not making light of it in any way, but submitting her own opinion and view. Hearing her sisters name does bring her focus back to the man instead of the title. Her lips twitch ever so slightly. "I see you have come to know my sister fairly well then. Perhaps better than even some of her family know her."

There's another slight arch to one of her eyebrows, "Saved your life? No, she hadn't mentioned it. Or you, but I admit that I have not been easily found of late. I've been incredibly busy and for that I regret not knowing about her intentions." With the further invitation issued, she gives a nod and moves to follow. "So, you mentioned intentions. What did you mean?" Not drawing her own conclusions.

"Oh I would've gladly of gone to Dorset if they had wanted me to. But I fear I would've done little good." Arngeir doesn't seem to mind making light of it. In his case anyways, it is a way to cope, one would suppose. "But I heard you were present for the surrendering of a certain King recently? Taking their fortifications? That news had reached me, even if I found out after the face. But, my time, since Dhani and I escaped our turmoil in the south, eventually made our way here, where my father had me take control of Shrewton after his brother and my uncle died in combat."

Showing her inside, he leads the way to the sitting room. "My uncle had been away for some time from Shrewton, leaving his children in charge. My cousins…gods love them, but they don't appear to know much of how to run a hold. I came here, and this building was vacant, I have no idea where my cousins have vanished to. Perhaps they live in Sarum. Or went to see the rest of my family Carlion, I don't know. What I do know, is that it's strange, but we've managed to put the home in working order. Spent far too many days rethatching the roof and repairing the motar on the walls." There's a bottle of honey mead waiting for them.

"As for your sister. Well, I don't know if I would say that. You grew up with her, but I get the feeling she's always been distant? With everyone? She's very…tomboyish. I don't think I could imagine the woman in a dress. She's said as much anyhow. But to explain things a bit better, yes, she did save my life. As much as I saved her's, I suppose. It was a mutal gesture. When you wind up hanging upside down in a old mine by men looking to sell us as slaves, well…you do what one can to survive. That meant the two of us working together." A tankard is poured and offered to Mari. "This may require some explaining."

Of course once inside, Mari doesn't hide her curiosity as she takes a look around. A visual once over, she doesn't actually walk around the room putting her nose into things. "It seems you've somehow gotten rid of the vacant, abandoned feel they get when they have sit empty for long. It's a nice manor house from what I can tell." It is strange that people have disappeared and she tilts her head, but the usual suspicion is notably vacant. Apparently she takes him for his word his family just up and left.

"My sister has always kept mostly to herself. I can't claim to know her all that well and that I do regret." There's a genuine smile given as well as a nod. "I suppose she could be considered a bit tomboyish, but.. I guess most females knights could be the same." Even Mari! Except those peach scented soaps she uses that even now permeate the air as she turns her head and her hair rustles a little, to take another look around. Only at the mention of the mutual saving of the lives does she give her attention fully back to him. Reaching for the tankard, she nods, "Thank you, this looks good." Indeed she even takes a sip. "So, hanging upside down and sold as slaves? I suppose she doesn't talk much to any of us at all."

"Thank you. It wasn't much when Dhani and I arrived. She wouldn't say so outloud, but I don't think was willing to let me shoulder all the work alone, and trying to work the commoners to help. But…heh, I think she more or less ordered, where I would've asked. She's more a knight than I. And she's deadly good in a spar, I've learned. I always considered myself a rather good swordsman, but she matches me blow for blow. It's…frustrating." he admits that with a chuckle. "But yes, it acutally looks rather livable in now. I would'nt of asked any of her relatives to visit unless it was ready for guests."

As for the mead, he smiles. "We make our own. One thing I've found when I came here is that we have a hearty share of beekeepers and aparies here. But..yes. I was travelling to Shrewton from Carlion. My father had tasked me with taking over Shrewton, getting it back into running shape. He could not do as much because of his own prorities as a Sherriff in Carlion, so it was something he deemed me with. I met Dhani on the road here, to the south, near Ebble. We struck up conversation, happened to be going the same way, decided to share a campe together. And…proceeded to drink far too much. When we awoke, we were in a mine, tied up, hanging upside down. We managed to free ourselves, kill the slavers and free others they had imprisoned." he goes onto to explain how he and her sister had initially met. "After getting information from those capturted, we learned that the slavers had been using other abandoned mines as staging areas for other selling camps. We spent the majority of the summer investigating these mines, posing as mercenaries or buyers. We never did find their leader, a man we only know as The Redeye. But he knows of us, as I'm fairly certain we put a hefty dent in his operations. I look forward when he and I finally meet." there's a pause in the story to take a drink from his own tankard. "So instead of going to Shrewton, we spent the summer raiding slaving rings. Though when she discovered that I wasn't just a lord, but a lord of an entire manor…and don't tell her I said this, she fainted." he marks a grin at the last part. "But then again, I don't particuarlly /look/ like a man who runs an entire house."

There's a considering look towards the head of the house and Mari doesn't pull any punches at all. "It sounds as if the two of you have spent a good deal of time here together." She takes a sip of the drink she was given, savoring the honey mead. "I do appreciate the invitation to come visit, Sir Hydd sends his regards. He has been staying home with his wife of late, they are expecting their second child and Sara is not handling it as well as she did with Ivor, their first son and the heir to Woodborough."

Another look into the tankard when he mentions making it, she gives a pleased smile. "It's really good, perhaps we could work out a trade deal at some point. We have sublime orchards and we're near the river so there are bonuses there also." Her brows arch again and the suspicious look returns, this time in full force. "Camped together, drank too much." Echoing the words he gives. It seems there was much, much more to it than that though and she exhales softly, looking down into the tankard she holds. "It seems the two of you work well together," she lifts her gaze to land on his. "However, I was under the impression that the Earl Robert only allowed active knights to head up his manor houses, for protection, I assume? I don't know, but either way, I am glad she seems to be safe around you." She smirks, "And you around her." The thought of her sister fainting does bring her pause. "So, as close as the two of you are getting.. I ask, what are your intentions towards her?"

"That /was/ the other reason, I suppose. Shrewton seems to lost all contact with whatever allies we had here. And I can't claim what my cousin had happened to of been doing all this time. I'm still looking for whatever records he kept and I'm beginning to think it's a losing endevour, making me wonder if he kept any records at all." Arngeir explains, putting his tankard down, nodding at information about her brother. "I hope it all goes well for the Lord Woodborough and his wife."

"You speak plainly. So I suppose that's more of a family trait. Being blunt. Then I will be too." the Shrewton Lord seems to be used to this kind of thing. Or been made to. "I love your sister. And I have been for some time, so I want to do proper by her and ask her family their blessing to marry her. And Dhani is an excellent knight. I may not be active as a knight myself, but I still know how to protect what's mine. Perhaps Earl Robert would be satisfied if the possible Lady of Shrewton was an active knight. Dhani has admitted she has no taste for the running of a house, that was something I was trained in. SHe would much rather protect it. And I know, this all seems out of the blue Sir Mari, it was no less shock to us, let me assure you. But I suppose, when you spent three months fighting slavers, freeing slaves, and camping out every night, you learn a lot about a person. I wasn't…well, I wasn't intending on falling in love with your sister, nor she with me. And I get the impression that all Woodborough women are very particular about who they give their heart to just by this conversationw ith you. But…she told me, if we were to do this, she wanted to be courted properly. And well, I've done as best as I can." There may be a hint of nerves showing, covered by a laugh. "I'm thankful she's out hunting right now. I doubt she'd want to be present for this. She loathes to talking about this kind of thing openly. Exceedingly private, your sister is."

"I suppose alliances are always a good place to start when you're running one of the Earl's manors. I also admit my brother isn't centered or focused on doing that either at the moment so I may work on it for him. I could meet with some of the heads of the houses and see what we could set up. As for Shrewton and Woodborough," Mari gives a crooked smile that borders on a smirk. "I think you and my sister have that well in hand." A nod of acknowledgement is given to him as well, "Thank you, I will return the good wishes for them."

"I suppose that both Dhani and myself don't suffer fools gladly and we speak what we feel. Our youngest sister is a bit of a dreamer and not a knight." Mari's twin that is. There is a grateful look. "I do prefer bluntness in return, thank you." At the mention of the love though, she looks back down into her tankard, suddenly becoming all girl like where she had been tomboyish before. "Love," she says with just a touch of wistfulness. "My brother has it with his wife, you have it with Dhani." An audible sigh is given before she looks at him again. "I hope you do rule your house with your head and not your heart but either way I think that Dhani is a perfect match for you. I could go and speak with our brother, if you like? I'm certain he would like an alliance, it would be a good match for her being with the head of the house. And with love added, well.. he knows how that is, so he would likely be agreeable." There's a glance towards the door but she nods about the last. "If I give my heart away, Sir Niclas will certainly have to earn it first." Her lips quirk then, perhaps giving away more in that than anything she has said so far about herself. "If you have earned her love, I think then that you are very worthy of her hand as well."

"Turning a profit is what matters at the moment. Or at the very least, a show that I'm competent. And frankly, I'm more worried about my father's wrath than I am of the Earl's. The Earl could always have me killed. My father? No, he'd let me linger awhile." Arngeir smirks lighly. "I would be more than happy to talk trade with you, but that can wait, however, I'm pleased you think it's not out of the realm of possibility."

"No, that much is true. I don't know Dhani to be one that minces words. …over anything. And ruling, well, Dhani is better at it than she thinks. She's practical, which is exactly the kind of person I need to help me run things. I just honestly thinks she doesn't want to deal with the mathematics revolving around it. Not that she couldn't do it, she just doesn't want to be bothered with it." He wasn't expecting her a personal admittance from her so readily, so he cocks a brow. "Ah, I take you're a bit…enamored over a Sir Niclas?" he asks curiously. "But yes, she doesn't often say it directly, but she shows it. Mostly in the fact that she hasn't left yet. I've learned I've had to read between the lines to get what she's actually feeling. She's blunt in everything but that."

At the turn of the conversation the wistful expression doesn't fade, "Ah, I wish I could say I understand but my father is not someone I much remember. Dhani was only a year older than I when he was killed." Mari doesn't look as if she's feeling self pity, more the opposite, putting on a sign of strength. "There is plenty of time for talks of trade, I agree, as for Dhani and yourself, I agree, I think she's not one for sitting home doing nothing, much like myself."

There's another considering look, "Practical, that does seem to suit her perfectly. She is better with things than she gives herself credit for, I agree." A light shrug again, with the question. "An observant man, yes. Sir Niclas de Horton, but I have yet to decide if I will forgive him for disappearing for awhile." Leaving that matter there, she allows it to drift back to the reason she was invited here. "I could see where she is protective over her heart, I suppose that is also a trait directly from our family. All I can say is if you have her agreeable to take the courting and eventual marriage, then you are a far better man than most. I adore my sister, but she does not give of herself so easily, from what I can tell. My own interpretation anyway."

"My father, much to the realm's disapproval, is still alive. I'm sure eventually warnings to naughty children will be made in his form, to keep them in line. Good man, but very…stern." That's putt ing it lightly. "I think he wanted to be a better parent than his brother. I assume, I don't deign to know what goes on in that man's head. And no, when I tell her to take a day to relax, she gives me the dirtiest of look. I think she'll learn to appreciate it, but right now, I just don't think she knows how to enjoy it. Though neither of you seem to be very much the 'sitting at home and sewing' type."

There's an 'ah' gesture at the man in particular. "I can't say I've had the pleasure, but I'm sure if he cares for you, he'll show up eventually. I…if there's anything I could offer to help, but I'm afraid that I'm just as inexperienced as the next person. Dhani is the first person I ever honestly wanted to marry. And either she enjoys my company or she's taken extreme pity on me. Still not sure which yet." Another drink. "You know, it's a bit ironic. I was hoping that when I met Dhani's family or one of her siblings, I could learn some insight on the person she is. But apparently, she's something of an enigma to all of us."

"Perhaps some people shouldn't be parents if it's a competition." Mari delivers the words in a musing tone, curious mostly as to the role of a father. Or his in particular. "I think Dhani would be bored sitting at home doing nothing. We have been on the go since we were paging for our respective knights. I squired with our grandfather, my mother's father, in Roundway. Dhani has turned out to be a very accomplished knight and I am proud of her."

Much to her dismay, a flush finds her cheeks. "He was gone for two weeks after an argument he had with his brother, Sir Wilhelm. He returned not aware of what had happened or how long he was gone." It's all the explanation she gives.. it's all she knows. She does give him a bit of a smile. "Perhaps you would enjoy learning more about her yourself instead of family giving you insight. And if you find a way to do that, to find out how to get her to volunteer more about herself, let me know."

"I'm not sure my father thought that. I think he always thought his brother was an idiot and couldn't father his way out of burlap sack. Or so he used to say. So I just think he was going to make sure his children could at least pass a literacy test." Arngeir remarks, tone dry. "Needless to say, we did. The man was a lover of Latin and made sure we were as well. I don't think he he would say out loud that it was competition, especially now that his brother's dead, but privately, I'm sure he's smug as hell over it."

"If she doesn't have a task to do, she fidgets. She paces like a caged lioness. It's not something she enjoys. So I suppose, in a way, Shrewton needing as much as it has, has been a benefit to her. Gives her something to do everyday and I think, to her, it's gratifying, satisfying work." There a light smile, and then a helpless shrug. "You'll be the first to know as soon as I find out anything about her that you don't know. Or whatever secret it takes to unlock that chained up chest that qualifies as her mind. No, I have been learning, and oddly enough, she's opening up. At least, I think." Pause. "…I hope."

"Ah, I think I understand what you mean. I don't know any of your cousins or anything so I've nothing to compare anything to, but it seems he has raised you with a good head on your shoulders. That you can read and do mathematics is a charming bonus." Mari finishes off the honey mead with delight, placing the tankard aside on a table if there is one. "I do think we should eventually work out a trade agreement at some point." Apparently she had enjoyed the drink.

"I suppose in another way than literally you both have saved each other then. She helped you here and you gave her something meaningful to do. Who wouldn't want to feel like they made a difference? Perhaps that is part of her too, but either way, it seems you are both good for each other. Perhaps a missive to my brother? I could deliver it to him and bring a response back from him if you like? To sort of make an alliance or betrothal all formal like?"

"That's alright, I hardly know my cousins either. Just by what they left here." Arngeir gestures around the room. "But," he takes a moment to finish off his own drink, rising to his feet. "Thank you. We Shrewtons tend to focus more on academics than anything else. Seems like a family pasttime. I like to call us warrior-sages. Adds a dramatic flair to it."

"I think we work on trade matters if you like, I have some paperwork that you should look over in terms of a proposal, we can hammer out the details and your brother can look it over and decide if he likes it or not. As for Dhani and I, it would mean a great deal to me if you could take a missive to him. I'm partially tempted to speak with him myself, as a show of respect but…that can come with time I suppose. But, let's speak of what we can agree on, for the benefit of both of our houses."

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