|Page 265: A Little Light Music|
|Summary:||Desmond comes across Tiaryn as she's playing harp and sticks around to chivalrously escort her back into town. (No really, that's what he's doing. Isn't it? ;))|
|Related Logs:||Mud Squelches|
|The trails are worn and well tended here and the fields on either side are lush and full of wildflowers amidst the lightly scattered trees of the central Cape of Eagles. A few packed dirt trails converge with the main road from outlying hamlets around Stonbridge.|
|Mon Apr 09, 289|
Late afternoon is when she arrived, but it's now gone past sunset, and Tia is still sitting, in the dark for the most part, though there's the glow of someone's cooking fire to be seen aways off. She has a clear path back into town, her guard Jacob not too far from the rock she's seated upon. Adara is nearby as well, her embroidery put away for the moment, it being too late for such fine work. Tia however has a harp in hand and is playing, the music of the harp easily telegraphing her presence to anyone within earshot. She seems to be working on a new piece, as she continues to repeat the same phrase, as if not entirely happy with them. Though they might well sound just fine to anyone else's ear.
Like moth to a flame, Desmond is drawn by the music he hears in the distance. He approaches quietly, leaving his horse tethered to a tree nearby as he moves before Tiaryn, pleased to find that she's the source. After a hasty bow, he tries to sit before her, gesturing quietly to convey that she needn't stop to greet, no no, go on, don't stop. His own vassal, Ruddy, catches up shortly after, leaning against Desmond's horse to pant and glower.
Got to feel sorry for the poor panting fellow. Tia does glance up as she catches the motion in the corner of her eye, but as she sees who it is, she smiles. She inclines her head politely, but continues to play. She is dressed in relatively fine clothing today, having been engaged in ladylike endeavours, rather than fetching herbs out of beds of mud. Jacob mutters a greeting, and Adara actually gets to her feet to curtsey. Tia finally gets the phrasing how she likes it and then she replays the whole verse, before she says, "Lord Westerling, good evening. Is there a song you might like to hear?"
Desmond exhales in content when the revised song is finished. The servants get a quick nod. "Good evening," is his eventual, airy response to Tiaryn. "A song… Oh, I shan't request. Play whatever you wish. I'm very fond of music, sound. Play as if I weren't around." Which might be odd now that he's sitting there, cross-legged, looking expectant. Ruddy finally collapses into the grass somewhere. "Keep it together Ruddy!" Desmond barks over his shoulder.
Tia's gaze goes over the poor fellow who is collapsing, and then she offers a smile to Desmond. "He sort of looks like my previous maid used to, after a run through the forest," she mentions idly. Adara just smirks, and Jacob looks carefully neutral. Tia thinks for a long moment, before she starts to play a fun song for the squire, singing along with it, "Hey hey, laddie oh, we'll climb that hill and we'll fight the foe. Hey hey, laddie oh, we'll climb that hill and we'll fight the foe." She's relaxed and though it sounds like it should have a thrumming beat to go with it, there's enough skill in Tia that the idea still makes it.
"Oh don't mind him, he needs to lose some weight," Desmond grins. "He could take a few lessons from Jacob here." The squire sways and claps his hands to the song, and at the mention of a hill, he laughs. That damn hill. He doesn't interrupt, of course, though his horse snorts appreciatively at the music.
Well, Tia might have picked that song on purpose, she might. She continues to sing, until she gets to the end, all about the carter and how even the non-noble fighters are important in war. The muscled might of the foot soldiers making their way to the battle on foot, with a solid marching song to help encourage them along. She then lets her fingers continue to play, the music in the background. The horse and Ruddy get a sympathetic glance, though Tia then gives Desmond a grin. "That I think was also the problem with Marie, my previous maid. She did not like running much."
"Ahh, sweet art," Desmond sighs, leaning back on his palms and pulling away the cloth over his eyes now that it's dark enough. "Nicely played… You've got quite a talent. Men will fall at your feet with such skill, surely." He chuckles, "Did poor Marie have to chase you through the woods? Ruddy will be fine, honest! I just tend to drag him all over Stonebridge, and today has been an active day."
"Indeed she did, since it was her job to keep me chaperoned," Tia says lightly. "Though Adara manages well enough." See? There is hope. But it does seem as though Marie is no longer employed by Tia, at the least. "All over Stonebridge, is it? That does sound like quite a busy day. Was there anything amiss?" she asks softly. Gossip may be heard here and there, but so far as that goes, there's not much to be heard about Tia. So far. "I have to admit to having had a quiet day today, myself. Until I got to my harp, that is. I was starting to think I'd forgotten how to play, it had been a whole two days without any music." her tone is a bit wry as she makes fun of herself with that last bit.
"A whole two days," Desmond smiles, tone dipping into a light tease. "Well you clearly haven't lost your touch in that span. Yes, I've been off trying to spend the coins my sister gave to me… I suppose I ought to be saving." He leans forward. "Quiet days are good. Do you normally come out here? And, if I may, you seem to be fairing better." A slight head tilt towards the band on her arm.
The band is still there, but at least Tia is wearing colours that are more attractive and soothing than the stark black. She glances towards the band at Desmond's gesture and then she wrinkles her nose, her gaze going down briefly to her hands, before she looks up again. She does meet his gaze, not seeming to be one of those shy wall flowers afraid to meet anyone else's eyes for fear of … well, anything. "I am, one day at a time," she says softly. "Thank you. And thank you for the compliment on my playing. It is nice to hear. I haven't quite got that first song to where I like it, but almost. The second one I've played for quite a while, so it's almost easy. Perhaps you ought to be saving some? And spending some. I'm sure there's reason to spend after all."
Desmond shows a bit of his own wall-flowerness by averting his pale eyes, suddenly very transfixed on a blade of grass. "Think naught of it. The sound sounds pretty well done to me! But of course, the artist is their own worst critic. And, well, probably best to save. Our House isn't doing so well since the mines in The Crag were sold off. Your of Flint, yes? I know very little of the House. Well, Rodrick. How long will you be staying in Stonebridge, do you know?"
Tia considers as Desmond averts his gaze. She blinks in fact, not used to that, and then she glances down at her harp, lips curved in a smile. "I am indeed. My husband was Connell Flint, but he died at the battle of the Trident." Quite a while ago, in fact, leaving Tia by now heart whole and fancy free. "And oh - well, as to how long, we'll be here until the men come back from the Iron Isles. My goodbrother Einar is there, along with his cousin, Anders. And a contingent of the levies and so on. I'm not sure what will happen once they return though." She pauses though, her brain worrying over who the heck Rodrick is. Rodrick… hrm.. that name is so familiar - Oh! "Rodrick - you know, I never met him. I think that might not be a bad thing."
"I am sorry," Desmond feels the need to add, quietly, at the mention of Tiaryn's late husband. "I imagine we'll be here for that long as well, at least. Er, we as in Ser Garett. And… perhaps Lady Briallyn." Eventually, he musters enough will to look up at her. "Yes, that's probably a good thing, from what I know," he smiles. "May the Seven be with your relatives. It shouldn't be too much longer. Who taught you how to play?"
Tia smiles softly at the apology that Des adds, shaking her head. "Thank you, but that was quite some time ago. It's okay, I don't mind talking about it, if needed." She glances up again, tilting her head. "Lady Briallyn? I had thought she was staying for a while. Was there talk of her leaving?" she asks, oblivious to most of the rumours and gossip, at least lately. She lets her fingers run through the opening strains of a march, nodding briefly. "May all the gods keep them safe," she says simply, not choosing any one over another. "I learned from my mother, as well as from an instructor she hired. It was her way to coax me into learning the things I despised as boring and unworthy of my time, when I was younger. And you? Where did you learn such appreciation of music?"
Desmond bites his lip suddenly, staying his apparently free-flowing words. "Such appreciation? I needn't have /learned/. But… Well. I can't always see very well in the day. Sound became a lot more important. Music is not unlike a painting. Do you imagine things when you play? It's hard for me to believe that you found such a thing boring. Something you're so skilled at." He pauses with a small smile. "I imagine you enjoyed running around in the bush as a youth."
Tia chuckles softly and then she says. "Oh, it was never music that was boring, but embroidery or how to take care of the books or how to count the stores in the back room - those were all too boring, I thought. My mother used music to convince me to learn the other things, as I could only get the music lessons after the others were learned to her satisfaction," she explains, seeing that she wasn't quite clear before. "I do sometimes imagine things when I play, but often I'm concentrating on the next phrase or note, the way to sing it so that it ends just so. It often does not live up to my dreams of what I should be able to achieve." She rests her chin for a moment, atop the harp, and then she tilts her head. "Do you play? You are welcome to try, if you would like?" She even makes to hold the harp out.
Desmond grins broadly, taking the instrument. "You'll laugh at me, Lady Tiaryn. But I'll take the hit, just to see you smile. I don't know how to play, but behold…" He positions his hands before the strings and pulls them along in a simple strum. It's clear he is jesting, by the way he straightens and presents as if it were a musical masterpiece. Then he hands the harp back. "I know a few songs, however. Some of peace, some of war. Some of fire and rain. Where do you find entertainment, if not in your harp?"
Tia does laugh, a soft musical sound, initiated by Desmond's jesting. She takes the harp back when it's offered. "Oh, I do take entertainment in playing harp, and singing. But also - " a slight pause, and then a little bit of a sheepish glance, "- in running through the woods, even now. Not just when I was a child." She shrugs delicately and then she does study his face to see how he will take that particular bit of news. "You said though that you cannot always see in the day - that must present you with some challenges."
"I should take you through the nearby woods at some point, then," Desmond nods. "You need not be ashamed to enjoy nature." Then he gestures to their surroundings, the night finally settling in, the orange of the sky melting to a rich purple. "And yes, it does present some challenges… But I'm fortunte. I have a knight that is willing to give me the time of day. He trains with me at night. I'm very fortunate. Speaking of night… I wouldn't want to keep you out here for the duration of it."
Tia seems to be comfortable where she is, but as Desmond gestures to the setting sun, she wrinkles her nose. "I'd love to go through the woods at some time, if you do have the freedom," she says promptly. "And I'm glad that you have such an accommodating knight to learn from. I don't think I'd considered Ser Garett to be such a nice fellow, truthfully. I suppose I might have been in error in my assessment." She pauses, considering, and then sighs a bit. "You are probably correct, I should go back in, but I think, one more song first, if that's okay?" Not that she waits for his permission, instead tucking the harp into position and starting to play. "My kinsman and my brother, my shieldmate and my guide. May my arm always defend you and your honour lift you high. You are true and destined prince, and my sword is by your side. I will fight for you in glory 'til you die." she starts, an old battle song that can be marched along with, or enjoyed around a campfire. It's a good song to end up on, "where you lead my prince I'll follow, as we sweep to victory."
"Ser Garett's a gruff man, truly. But he's good where it counts, and has a brilliant sense of humor when it calls for it. He's not only my teacher but my close comrade." At the offer of one more song, Desmond only responds with a happy nod, leaning back on his palms again to listen with closed eyes. When she's finished, his smile has faded a bit. "Glory and honor." And with that curious statement, he rises, moving to help her up. "It's been a pleasure running into you out here. Perhaps I'll find you again another time. I hope to."
"And loyalty," Tia says softly about the song she just sang. "It's more about loyalty, than anything else. Or at least, that's what I think." She accepts Desmond's assistance in standing, wobbling a bit, since she's been sitting for quite a while. She does tend to lose track of time when she's singing, after all. "I look forward to chatting with you another time, Lord Westerling. It's been a pleasure." Once her balance is restored, she takes a step back properly. Jacob and Adara are ready to go in the blink of an eye, as efficient as they are, and so within heartbeats Tia is ready to return into the safety of the town. "Will you walk with me back towards the Inn?"
Desmond looks a bit surprised. But he whistles for his horse, and Ruddy to join him. "Most certainly, Lady Tiaryn. I've been used as something of a hound at night, lately," he chuckles. "That particular inn has become fairly popular from all of the nobles staying there. Come." He offers his hand, cautiously, as Ruddy grumbles and takes the reins. "Cheer up, you got that fresh air you wanted, didn't you?" Should Tiaryn take Desmond's hand, he'll lead her back towards the square.
Tia reaches out, intending to take Desmond's arm, as an escort. But when he offers his hand instead, it does give her a moment of pause. "I suppose," she says, "I can't complain, being as I am one of those nobles," she says softly. "But a hound? How do you mean?" she's not sure she's following his comment. She tucks her harp under her other arm, and then she does take Desmond's hand, appreciating the company. "Thank you, M'Lord, you are most kind."
Desmond takes on a voice deeper than his, imitating, "Go on Desmond, lead the way, you can see in this dark shroud." He shrugs. "I suppose I'm glad people have found a use for something I used to consider a curse. Well, still do, somewhat." At her touch, he grows a bit more nervous. "W-well it's not a problem in the least. It's good to have company. Nights can be very lonely." It's not long before they step from grass to stone, and the lamps light the path to the inn. "I shan't lead you to your room, I'm afraid. You know how rumors are around here."
Ah, that explains it. Tia nods her head, as she finally clues in on what Desmond was saying. "It is nice to be able to do something useful, I think. Though I suspect you've rather more such talents than I do." She walks companionably along to the stone path, stopping as Desmond does so. Mischief. It can't be helped at Desmond's comment, bringing a gleam to Tia's eyes, but it's a restrained and gentle sort of mischief. "Are there rumours around here? I've not heard a single one about me. Or you. So there can't be enough," she teases lightly. She does pause a moment, just a touch, before she retrieves her hand, letting her lips curve in a smile as she watches Desmond now.
Desmond pauses and studies her. "Yes, there are rumors. Unfortunately. Involving those who I am close with. And even perpetuated by those I am close with. I haven't heard any of you. But if you /do/ hear rumors, be sure to treat them as just that, and not facts. Some of the women here… They hve loose tongues. They'll spread poison and malice. I imagine they're a bit bored with all of the men away. I hope none ever spread about me, though. I try to stay out of that trouble." He shifts uneasily.
That gets a bit of a smile from Tia, and a slight curtsey. "I don't start rumours," she says simply and truthfully. "Thank you for your kindness, Lord Westerling. I am quite sure that I can make my way from here." She does offer a smile and a, "Until next time, gods keep you safe." And then she turns and heads towards the inn, Jacob and Adara falling in to keep her honour safe.