(515-04-04) Of Sheep and Tafl
Summary: Garannon is invited to break his fast with Joachim de Newton. And of course, there is a certain request behind it all.
Date: April 4th, 515
Related: Joachim/Lydia logs. And Garannon stuff, too.
joachim garannon 

When Lydia and Joachim arrived in town for the Spring Pageant, Joachim made sure an invitation was sent out to Father Garannon to meet with them and that they would be staying in town. With Lydia's due date only a couple of months away, it was safer for them to get a room at the Cony, which is where nobles tend to stay. Coming down for breakfast this morning, the head of House Newton settles at a table, waiting to be served as he takes a few moments to himself in thoughtful prayer.

That invitation has certainly reached its recipient, for it does not take long, and a young man enters, clad in the black cassock that marks him as a priest of the Roman Christian faith. Blue eyes narrow briefly as they get used to the dim lighting at the Cony, and his head turns as he lets his gaze sweep over the room; his demeanour lightening up when he spots Joachim de Newton. And so Garannon will approach, his hand clasped behind his back, with a friendly smile curving his lips as he inclines his head in greeting. "Well met, Sir Joachim." His smile deepens ever so slightly, when the priests notes the posture of the Head of House Newton. "I hope you and your family are well…?"

There's a few moments pause before Joachim ends his prayer and rises polietly to offer Garannon his own friendly smile. "Hello, Father." he greets. "I had not seen you since you assisted my dear cousin with balancing her faith with the faith of the family she was marrying into." Bryn and Talfryn's wedding. "Thank you for allowing yourself to be placed in a situation ill at ease, surely, so that you may assist her." There's a bow of his head. "Would you like to join me? How was your winter? Uneventful, I hope?"

Those hands unclasp behind his back as Garannon straightens. A bit of amusement flashes in his gaze when Joachim brings up the wedding of Lady Bryn. "It was a nice festivity, and I didn't feel ill at ease, I assure you. On the contrary, I found the conversation to be quite enlightening." Then, the amusement fades from his features as it dims into a more thoughtful cast. "My winter," the young priest begins, "was more uneventful than the autumn, I had. There has been a loss in my family. My brother has passed away." The shadow in his demeanor is faint, yet it is there. "Our Lord giveth and he taketh. I have spent much time in prayer for my kin and those of my acquaintance." He exhales, the weight suddenly lifted off his shoulders, and Garannon smiles. "I have prayed for you and your wife as well, Sir. How is Lydia? Well, I hope?"

"Lydia informed me of the events in Willcott, as she is still attuned to her homelands." Joachim admits. "In paticular, she was concerned for Eirlys, but we have no news of her." He sighs at that, and shakes his head before he nods. "Your family was in our prayers at the news. Our condolences for you and yours." When the conversation turns, Joachim's smile blossoms, unable to hide his love for his wife. "She is about ready to burst." he says with a little laugh.

"We had the luck of wedding night blessings, it seems, as she is due before the start of summer, and considering we were hale until marriage, she must be as fertile as the lands she hails from." There's a little blush at talking about his wife as such in front of the priest, and he clears his throat. "It is our hope she carries the heir of Newton within her. I have suffered my own loss - not in death, but might as well have been." Vesper's dismissal from the family. "Lydia is doing well. She finished runner-up in the prettiest contest, and her cloak was close to perfect for the craft show. And she made it through the first round of both the wit and performance contest. She has done quite well, and I am very proud of my wife." he admits with a smile of pride. "For with all this, and carrying our child, she is also learning to run the manor as well, something neither of us were prepared for."

Garannon nods solemnly, accepting the condolences, but obviously glad not linger overly long on the subject. It has obviously not been a coincidence that he addressed the matter of Lydia after all. His brows jump upwards at Joachim's rather drastic praise. "About to burst…?", he echoes in quiet yet also fond amusement. "By God, I am glad to hear that." The hint about Vesper is received without actually comprehending the meaning, a surprised glance being shot Joachim's way. But then Garannon's smile is back in place, when the Newto continues to speak of his wife's success at the current lady's pageant contests. "She is special indeed, and I am glad for you, that she makes you proud." His gaze flits downward for a moment, before the priest gestures towards the table. "Mind if I join you here…?" The question more of a polite one, as Garannon lowers himself onto the seat.

"Yes, please. I had hoped that Lydia would be down for breakfast, but she needs her rest." Joachim says with a thoughtful shrug before he turns his attention to his meal and flags a barmaid. "A second breakfast for the priest, please. Place it upon my tab." he offers before he nods. "She is a one of a kind beauty and intelligent. I fear that the betrothal and wedding caused some friction with my sisters. I am working to sooth the worries of my youngest sister, who was worried about marriage so soon after our older brother's death.. but my older sister.. I fear she is lost." he says with a little frown, "For I can no longer reach her, and have lost the desire to do so."

Garannon's brows lift briefly, in reaction to the explanation given about Lydia still needing her rest. "I can imagine," he smiles, before he gives the barmaid a kind smile. "Thank you." Once she is off to get the breakfast for him, the priest turns his attention back to Joachim. Noting the concern and the frown, he gives the knight a long look, before posing the inevitable question: "What happened?" Two words, bound to provoke a much longer explanation.

"Vesper. Formerly Lady Vesper de Newton. She.. has never been one to stand on propriety of her faith. And.. has desires that would possible cause a pagan to blush." Joachim admits, the subject a sore one for him as he pushes the sausage around on the plate. "After I caught her being improper with one of our stable boys, it was recommended that she marry a pagan so that she could have her chance to be.. free." There's a disgusted shadow that crosses the knight's face as he sighs. "Instead, when the offer was made, she admitted to her potential match of her infidelities and that even a marriage to him would not sate her desires of the flesh. My father saw little choice than to prune her branch of the family tree. And it is a decision I stand beside. She brought a shadow upon our family, and now through my little sister, she speaks ill of my wife. I am not pleased with this. I loved my sister - and to have to seen her forced from the house went in the face of all forgiveness I can foster for her."

The priest is silent, allowing the Newton to speak of his woes and worries. And Garannon listens, his own demeanor thoughtful, as his blue eyes drift towards the window, his gaze becoming distant for a moment. "I see," he states when Joachim is done, his eyes cutting back to the knight. "Your sister has lost her way. And while I understand that she has caused you grief… Has there been really any effort. Anything. Been undertaken to save her soul?" His tone is calm as he inquires this. "Even so… Her speaking ill of Lady Lydia does not count in her favor."

"I have prayed to our Lord, God, and Mother for her soul, Father. But I cannot reach her - nor do I have the time to reach her. For Newton, she is a lost cause." Even if Joachim is unaware of any kindness offered to Vesper. "If you feel that her soul may still be saved for our God, then I urge you to speak to her. I hear she is here in Sarum, offering her service as a healer, but I dare not search for her." he admits. "I have forgiven her, but she is also lost to me. But if you feel that you can speak to her as I cannot, I bid and beg you to do so." There's no challenge there, instead, perhaps the flicker of concern for his sister's soul.

"I shall try to seek her out then," Garannon states with a faint smile. "I find it hard to accept a cause is lost, when there may be still a chance left." There is confidence in his tone, the kind that stems from a deep belief in his faith. "Any sheep has deserved for the shepherd to be brought back onto the right track. Especially those that have lost their way. I shall do what is in my power," the priest then assures, lifting his gaze to meet that of Joachim de Newton. "And while I cannot make any promises, I believe, she deserves this effort to be taken, for her sake."

"As one that comes from a land that deals in wool, I know the importance of a single sheep to the flock, even if her fleece is black as night." Joachim agrees with a nod of his head. "I will not hinder your attempt by seeking her out - nor will Lydia, I assume." the knight offers. "Her younger sister, Eibhlin, who is also in town for the pageant, may know of her whereabouts, if you wish to seek her out." he suggests as Joachim finishes his breakfast finally as Garannon's is delivered to him. "And I have a favor to ask." It's an attempt to change the subject. "When Lydia brings forth our child - will you be the one to bring him or her the first blessings of our faith?"

No further word leaves Garannon on the matter of the lost and apparently black sheep. A flicker of encouragement and confidence flashes in his blue eyes, and he nods, both to Joachim's statement of not trying to keep him from his efforts, and to the information of his sister Eibhlin. His attention is drawn to his breakfast that is brought just in this moment, a fact that makes his smile deepen in open admission of the grumbling stomach he brought along. Even so he will wait until the serving maid has withdrawn, leaving them to their conversation, before he lifts a brow when Joachim announces the request, studying him attentively. The priest relaxes at once when he hears what the knight asks, a bit of a chuckle escaping the man of the faith, warmth flashing in his features. "I would be honored to perform the task, Sir Joachim.", he admits. "If that is your wish."

"Lydia sees you as a trusted friend and a man of faith - and as such, a family friend." Joachim says thoughtfully. "As a knight that practices in the faith, I cannot see the harm and in fact, believe that such offerings from someone trusted by our family would only hold more meaning. As such, it would not only be her honor, but my own, for you to bring our child into the faith. If he be the heir, then he will learn there is a man of the faith that he can rely on for guidance in the way of the words for questions that Lydia and I may not be able to answer. If she brings a daughter to our hearts, then she will know that we are not the only stern protectors of her life and virtue. Either way, I see only good from you baptizing him or her into the faith and providing the first prayers."

Garannon takes a sip from his mug of ale - because yes, he is thirsty! - but soon the mug will be placed upon the table, as the priest regards Joachim de Newton with an attitude of serene optimism. "I will gladly oblige. Especially, since I've known Lady Lydia when we were children. It seems this match has already contributed much to her happiness. Even so. If you see her… Could you pass her my regards and the humble hope for a match of tafl - should she be at leisure for such one day…?" A glint of mischief sneaks into his gaze, briefly. Before it is gone, the priest lowering his gaze to the plate before him, studying the bread and cheese there with obvious appetite.

"Lydia spent the entire winter chasing me around the board, I may very well be a challenge to you now with the strategies she taught me." What, they didn't spend the whole winter tangled up in bed. Joachim chuckles. "I am sure she would appreciate a challenge outside of me. Perhaps in the next pageant there will be a gaming competition that she can show her skills in." There's a fondness there, "Her showings here in the pageant remind me of God's blessing upon me for her love in her heart she holds for me and our land. And I am blessed to love her deeply as well. She has been the best thing to have been brought into my life, and I am happy to share her smile and wit with the world." he says as he lifts his mug. "To Lydia de Newton. A more perfectly rounded lady, Salisbury may never know."

"True words indeed," the priest chimes in, raising his own mug as he joins the toast. His enthusiasm obvious as well, even if of course not as pronounced as that of Lady Lydia's husband. Even so, there is warmth flickering in his gaze, when he extends the toast even: "To Lady Lydia and on you, Sir. Let the Lord above bestow his blessing upon you and your future offspring, forevermore."

"As for my tafl skills… They have become a little rusty, that much I admit," Garannon smiles, as he meets Joachim de Newton's gaze with his own.

"Well, I believe there is a tafl board around here someplace, and I can show you some of Lydia's strategies, so maybe you have a chance." Joachim says with a conspiratorial smile. Why not give the young Father a chance to hold his own against his wife. After all, he spent all winter trying to gain an upper hand on her.

Joachim checked his gaming of 13, he rolled 12.
Garannon checked his Gaming of 3, he rolled 16.

Garannon's eyes widen ever so slightly, but of course, how could he decline such a subtle request? His own skill is indeed, as he said already, rather rusty. The last match of tafl probably being a thing that had happened, before young Garannon de Willcott was sent away to become a priest. Even so, the priest will take his defeat in good humor, offering a good-natured chuckle as he acknowledges Joachim's win. "Indeed, I haven't, as you can see. Mayhaps I should practice my tafl skills more…?"

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