Page 547: A Day For Painting
A Day for Painting
Summary: Nedra sets out to paint but somehow conversation happens instead.
Date: 21/Jan/2013
Related Logs: Nothing specific
Mortimer Nedra 
Entrance Hall, Four Eagles Tower
The Entrance Hall is more than two dozen feet high with ornate columns hefting the fresco ceiling above all. Plush seating is arranged around one side for visiting nobility while the other has less comfortable slab stone or wood benches for the peasantry. Alcoves dot the walls for more private discussions and sworn Guards patrol this hall at all times and especially during court. Several hallways and doorways lead off to different areas of the castle with a spiral staircase carved neatly into one corner that winds its way up.
Mon Jan 21, 290

Mortimer is not the most regular of visitors to the tower, what with the vast majority of his work being in the town below or the surrounding lands but even so, he's not exactly the most unusual of sights about the place. It's almost always business of one sort or another that brings him up this far though as he's not really the type to be socialising with the nobility. Today that business seems to be non-urgent, or maybe even already complete as he's taking a few moments to chat conversationally with one of the patrolling guards and the topic certainly does not seem to be business. They both seem to be far too cheerful for that. It's not a long conversation though and soon enough the pair break off, the guard going back to his patrol and the deputy heading for the sunlight in the courtyard.

It's precisely the sunlight in the courtyard that is drawing Nedra's attention as well as she - armed with blank canvass and her paint kit - is heading through the entrance hall for the doors that lead to the courtyard. Accompanied by Maid and one of her armsmen, and wearing a gown that already sports more than few flecks of paint and smudges of charcoal, Nedra is speaking in a rather animated tone of voice to her maid as the last of the steps is taken and the way forward is made at a brisk pace. Spotting Mortimer, Nedra aims a sudden smile at the Deputy Sheriff and detours in his direction, "Master Trevelyan, how fares your day thus far?"

Mortimer had been briefly off on his own little world, although if his thoughts had been on work or something more frivolous it's impossible to tell. The sound of his name being called snaps him out of it though and he half turns to make glancing over his shoulder to spot the source that much easier. Needless to say, the lady in question is quickly seen and identified, the manner of her greeting suggesting strongly to him that this is not an urgent work matter. Returning the smile with one of his own he bows, as is polite, then replies easily enough, "Not so bad thank you m'Lady. Yourself?" The main and guard both then get a brief nod too, although it's fair to say that they do not keep his attention for long.

"Quite well, thank you," Nedra says, giving the deputy sheriff a quick bob of a curtsy to accompany her words, the measure of respect given to the man who's done such work to defend Terrick's Roost and help with all manner of calamities that have befallen this area in the recent months. "I'll be doing some painting in the courtyard, catching the last of the afternoon sunlight," she explains as her armsman reaches the door and tugs it open with a small measure of effort to move the heavy doors. "Come with me, if you've the time? I'll send for a pitcher of tea and perhaps you can share with me any news of our neighbors?"

The bob serves well enough to confuse Mortimer for a brief moment, this not being the usual direction for such obediencesto flow. He makes nothing of it though, preferring instead to glance out of the door as the guard opens it. Said late afternoon sunlight is indeed making its presence known and given he has not particular need to be elsewhere he simply nods his acceptance to the offer. Or some of it at least. Moving out towards the steps into the courtyard he offers, briefly, "do you need another pair of hands to carry anything m'Lady?" The offer is then extended to the servants via a silent glance before he then adds to the Mallister, "I'm afraid that my best source of news has not yet returned from Highfield, but there is still talk in the town. 'm not sure I rate most above idle gossip, but there might be truth in other fragments."

"Oh no, I have it," is the cheerful reply as she carries the blank canvass through the door, her maid carrying the easel that the canvass will be propped on once she finds the best location. "There's plenty of idle gossip to bandy about, Master Trevelyan, but I've enough for that, to be fair. But if you have the moment to spare I'd be glad of what bits or fragments you have to share, perhaps enough fragments will be assembled to amount to a single grain of truth," she says in a tone of voice that is almost annoyingly cheerful. "Come, the afternoon light is waiting."

Mortimer does offer to carry the easel, but is politely informed that it's be more hassle to swap it over and so lets it lie there. "Of course m'Lady," he answers with a slight nod, although he's already going through in his head to sort out what is simply bored gossip and what he actually believes may have one resembled real events. The gossip you hear round the craftsmen and merchants in town not being the sort to idly pass to a lady after all. He has no idea where is good for painting and where isn't so simply follows a half pace behind as he starts, "I was meaning to thank you for letting the lad keep that kite by the way m'Lady, he's been up on the Green with it and his friends a few times now."

Nedra leads the way toward the garden in the courtyard and sets her easel along the edge of it, the afternoon sunlight illuminating a trellis of flowers blooming in the warm air. "I'm glad he's enjoying it, Master Trevelyan," she says with a smile, centering the canvass on the easel and studying the play of light as she considers the view for a moment. "I know that kites, that play, is considered a frivolous activity. But I believe that any day that is spent where laughter is shared is worth the risk of being considered frivolous."

Mortimer keeps a pace or two out of the way as things are set up an readied. He knows a well practiced team when he sees it so makes no move to interfere. "Master Corbitt is being good enough to teach him his letters, when he's in town, so I figure he's young enough yet to still have time for such things. Once he's 'prenticed," or such, "there be precious little, so best he enjoys it now while he can."

"Master Corbitt is a fine teacher, i would imagine," Nedra agrees with a nod as she turns towards Mortimer, another smile forming on her face. "I would imagine that any master that he is apprenticed to will find him to be a welcome addition, with his ability to read and do sums."

"He seems to be so m'Lady," Mortimer replies with a nod of agreement. Not that he's been sitting in on things or such, but it's still easy enough to get an idea of how things are progressing and such. The second comment get another nod and a faintly knowing smile, "I'll admit that that was the point of it. Give him options, and choices, when the time comes. Still a few years off though, thankfully. Plenty of time."

Nedra is laying out paint brushes and setting up the colors she may use as Mortimer replies, "Where will you apprentice him, when the time comes?" she wonders. Her attention lifting easily from Mortimer to the flowers climbing the trellis, watching the play of light and shadow, a thoughtful expression now settling upon her face as she waits for just the right light. "It seems to me that I recall there being a number of orphans whose parents were killed in the invasion. What becomes of the children, will they be apprenticed according to their skills or will they have to fend for themselves when the come of age?"

"We're not sure yet m'Lady," Mortimer answers, reaching up with one hand to scratch at the back of his head for a moment. "There's his uncles, or Mistress Huntington at the brewery a little ways out of time has offered. I don't rightly think we can do much more 'en speculate for a bit yet though. Til he's older, 'n has a better idea of what he might want to do." Like any parent, the deputy seems to be standing just that fraction prouder while talking about his child, but the question of the orphans deflates him just a tiny fraction and he raises his hand again, rubbing his chin a moment this time. "I believe that Lady Anais is taking charge of their care now that Lady Saffron has.. other things to concern herself with. I'm afraid m'Lady that you'd have to ask her for the details."

"I'm sure, Master Trevelyan, that he'll do you proud when the decision is made," Nedra says quietly, seeing the way that Mortimer stands a bit taller, the pride and affection easily read even by her in that moment. The sight of it makes her smile again, "and I hope that he find something that he enjoys, a challenge that makes the day worth spending upon." She selects a single paint brush as she speaks, smoothing the tip of it with her fingertips, the bristles clean and pointed. "I'll speak with my goodsister then," she adds with another measured nod. "she is a bit preoccupied at the moment," the faint smile tugging to a grin. "But I confess, I greatly look forward to being called Aunt."

"I'm sure he will," Mortimer replies with an agreeable smile, before adding after a moment's thought, "an' also, I'm sure he'll do himself proud too. He's a good lad, bright as they come." But then all parents say that don't they. Nodding to the comments about Saffron being preoccupied he adds what he hopes is a reassuring sounding, "I'm sure they'll not be forgotten m'Lady, rest assured of that."

"Things are forgotten all the time, Master Trevelyan," Nedra says quietly in return. "It's far easier to look forward, to keep moving on, than it is to keep bring things up that make people uncomfortable, that remind us of what was lost, of the hard times that we've endured. It's easier to just.. move on. But you're right, they won't be forgotten, there's to many of us who are too blessed stubborn to just ignore the details and pretend that it's all cake and bardic fetes. Now," and she tilts her head slightly to the side as she studies Mortimer, "have you any news as to what our neighbors have been up to of late? I would imagine that there's some nervous shuffling about in the wake of the murder of Lord Aleister and Lady Miranda. Have the roads been any more dangerous?"

"I don't think there's many of us that lost that'll ever forget," Mortimer replies, his tone a fraction less cheery and his eyes flicking momentarily to the ground. Then comes the change of topic and he thinking for a moment before shaking his head. "We've seen no extra issues on our roads, and I've heard nothing much from out past Stonebridge. All seems pretty quiet. Mind you, There was an Erenford or two killed a while back, and now these Ashwoods. If it's the same lot they know how to keep themselves quiet and hidden. They'll not do something foolish like attack a passing merchant and draw attention to themselves."