|A Tree Unmasked|
|Summary:||A Swan gets the chance to talk to a Tree that has caught his interest.|
|Related Logs:||Right after Stranger's Masquerade|
|Town Square, Stonebridge|
|Weary party guests, a minstrel, and only few flagons of wine left.|
|February 17th, 290|
It is late at night, but on the Town Square there are still a few costumed people hanging about. The beverages on the table with the refreshments have diminished to a three flagons of wine and one pitcher of Mire beer. And it is easy to read in those masked faces that the evening and the immense consumption of said beverages have taken their toll on them. A minstrel stands beside the dancefloor and strums a merry tune on his lute, while one or two pairs move a bit wearily to hardly remembered steps of a line dance.
A tired Tree sits on the ground, leaning against the trunk of a real tree as she watches the dancers. A wide grin of contentment is on her face despite her obviously very weary eyes. The mask still in place, and most of the costume too, the maid turns her gaze to the Dragon beside her, beaming as she beholds his impressive presence.
The Dragon has long stopped breathing fire. In fact he has removed his head which had started to feel like it was made of solid stone and gave him a headache. He is also watching the last of the dancers and drinkers thoughtfully, until he realizes that the Tree is smiling up at him. "Hrm?", he wonders.
The Swan has been enjoying the night, although disappearing every once in awhile to find a certain lady. This time he has made his way over towards the refreshment table and brought close to where the Dragon and the Tree is. Studying the woman. Bowing to both. "Enjoying the night, I presume?" A friendly smile offered which holds some warmth to the Tree.
"It's been such a wonderful day, ser. I only wish… it would go on forever." the Tree says softly to the Dragon. "Tomorrow, everything will be like it used to be. Me the kitchen maid and you the knight. And Tree and Dragon will be no more…" Her arm moves to her face to wipe away a single tear with the sleeve of her shirt she wears below that leather vest. Sniffling a little, the Tree turns her attention to the new arrival - a noble as can be easily deduced from his exquisite costume. "We are, M'lord Swan." she replies as she tries to regain some of her composure.
Egads, tears. The Dragon sits shock-frozen for a few seconds, at a complete loss of what to say. Luckily someone literally swans in and saves him. Since the tree is already answering, he just nods in agreement. "Quite the feast.", he adds, since he feels the need to say something more.
There is a smile towards the Tree. Trying to comfort her as he sees the tears. Moving a bit closer. Glancing over towards Dragon as well and nods. "It indeed was." The Swan replies before looking to the Tree. "Is everything well, dear lady?" He does however look between them both. Not certain what to say but wanting to say or do something.
The Tree's gaze flits to the Dragon beside her for a moment and she offers him a smile, biting her lip. As if to reassure him that she won't spill any more tears this evening. But the Swan's address puzzles her visibly. "M'lord… I… I am not a lady, but a kitchen maid." she explains with a bewildered grin. "Not of high birth as yourself. But yes, I'm okay. A wonderful feast… I'm sad it's almost over."
Since nobody is talking directly to him, the Dragon seems content to remain silent. Obviously he is brooding on something. And finally he speaks up again, apparently more to himself: "It's a long ride back and the night is fraught with danger…"
A smile is given to the Tree along with a nod. "I see." Looking somewhat more at ease. Glancing over towards the Dragon then. "I would recommend taking rooms at the common house." There still seem to be something on the Swan's mind as he keeps studying the Tree. "Which house are you from, dear Tree?" Glancing to Dragon to include him in the question.
Turning her head as she hears the Dragon's words, the twigs on her cap entangle themselves with some of the real ones hanging above her head. "You mean, like… we need to find someplace to sleep, ser?" The maid starts fumbling at the cap and removes it, setting it down beside her after she has freed it from the branches' grasp. Her hair is light brown with a touch of red. And after a shrug she starts loosening the strap that keeps her mask in place. "House Groves, M'lord." she replies as she lowers her mask and smiles at the Swan, grey eyes in a face with rosy cheeks.
"We do.", the Dragon confirms dryly, giving the Swan a look at his recommendation: "I would assume that with the feast, the common house will be booked full, don't you think? It won't hurt to check though." And sensing that introductions might be the decent thing right now, he rises to his feet: "Mistress Evayne Potter of House Groves, Ser. I am Ser Leon Undyl… I used to live here in Stonebridge."
A frozen shape of a Swan is the state of the noble as the mask of Evayne's falls. Nodding to her words. Some things being off but most still keeping his attention. Though a telling would be those eyes of hers. Having been thinking of light blue but hers are grey. Finally a deep breath is let out. Shrugging a bit about it being booked full. "I do think that some of the richer people and all the nobles would try and stay at the Crane. Besides, the common house is quite large. I am sure that at least one or two rooms exist." Nodding as he listens to Leon. "I see. Well, my own costume might be telling enough of which house I am from." Seemingly teasing them.
The Tree unmasked turns to the Dragon and bites her lip thoughtfully as she nods to his words. "We should try our luck there, ser. At the Common House." The Swan's strange stare however, makes her feel awkward for a moment. "M'lord, I… have you been to Braeburn House before? Maybe you've spotted me there among the servants in the Grand Hall…?"
The Dragon rises to his feet then. "I suppose I can leave Mistress Evayne in your care for a moment, Ser?", he asks the Swan, then looks down at the Tree with a warm smile. "I shall go to the Common House and inquire about rooms. I will be back soon.", he promises and heads off into the darkness… spooking a sleepless kid in a house nearby that just happened to peek out of the window and will tell his parents for years to come "But I DID see a dragon, Pop!"
The Swan nods to Evayne, "Something like that." He knows perfectly well why he is staring. Memories and thoughts that had been put aside resurfacing just a bit and he sighs as he looks away and then to the dragon. "Hm? Oh, yes. That works." He agrees. Perhaps seeming slightly odd bit he will do what he can. Turning back to Evayne then. "You just… Remind me of something."
The kitchen maid's gaze flits to the Dragon as he rises, her grey eyes looking slightly alarmed as she realizes he will leave for a short moment. "But, Ser Leon, are you sure the Dragon can leave the Tree unguarded?" she objects, but seeing him depart she turns her attention back to the Swan, studying him for a short moment with a bit of unease. "Remind you… of what, M'lord?" she inqires, fumbling at her braid as she watches him with wary eyes.
The Swan smiles and shakes his head. "A dear friend." He explains to her and offers his hand. "How about a dance, mistress? Until the dragon returns." He suggests. A pleasant smile upon his lips as he tries to reassure her that htings will be fine. "It has just been that. One could almost take you for twins." He admits but not going further onto it at the moment.
Evayne hesitates for a short moment, before she shrugs and rises, stretching a bit. A shy smile is offered to the Swan before she lowers herself in a curtsey. "Sure, M'lord. I'd love to dance, although these feet are a bit weary." As she straightens again she shoots him a curious look. "Twins, you say? I have many siblings, but no twin, M'lord."
There is a grin on the Swan's face as he nods. "I understand. Weary feet are no issue, I assure you." Bringing her along towards the dance floor. "I see. Well I am curious although I do not think that she is your sibling." He says and ponders on that for a moment. Once on the dance floor he does start to danc with her.
<FS3> Evayne rolls Dancing: Great Success.
<FS3> Alric rolls Dancing: Success.
As if the short rest at the foot of the tree had given her back some of the energy she had spent on so many previous dances, Evayne is moving perfectly about the dancefloor, beaming and spinning and… with swift and surefooted steps from her proclaimed tired feet. The unease is gone as soon as the lone minstrel starts playing his jig, and enlivened by the dance she starts talking about her family. "My mother was a handmaiden and my father a Potter, I have seven siblings… Who is it, tell me, M'lord, that looks like me of all? A noble lady? It must be a noble lady if you call her friend…"
Soon enough the Dragon returns… to find the tree deserted. His gaze turns to the dance floor where the -other- tree is in motion and he stands amid those too tired or awkward to dance to watch.
Laughter and fun seems to be what is offered on the dance floor. Trying his best to keep up with the dancing Evayne but clearly she outstages him. The Swan only continues and nods a bit. "She is. And from a whole other area." He explains and smiles. Perhaps the reason why they had not met before. "She used to stay a lot in Highfield." Offering some about her at the very least. Soon enough he does spot the return of the dragon. "Your friend is back." He offers though is still smiling brightly to the Tree.
Evayne smiles as she hears the scarce information the Swan is giving her. "A lady, how strange…" she remarks her cheeks rosy from the exercise. "…how strange that I would look like her, as we can't be related." The former Tree gasps a little as the jig is indeed a fast one. Hearing the Swan's remark about the Dragon's return however makes her turn her head, her face brightening as she spots him among the bystanders. As if the minstrel were finally realizing how he challenged the weary dancers with this particular fast tune, he shows pity at last and brings the tune to an end with a few well-placed chords from his lute.
"Thanks for the dance, M'lord." the Tree offers with a smile and a slurred curtsey. "I… will go to my friend the Dragon, to see where his wings will carry me…" And then she is already on her way to Ser Leon.
The Dragon nods a quick greeting to the Swan to acknowledge him, before offering a steadying arm to the tree, wrapping it around her waist. "You still dance prettily, despite the late hour.", he says softly, "Do you wish to stay a while yet? I did secure us quarters…" There's an unspoken 'but' hanging in the air but he leaves it at that for now.
"Indeed. It is a bit strange." The Swan says. They then do head to Leon but after a bow the lord moves back. "Well, I should leave you both to get your rest as I also should be going on. It was a pleasure to dance with you, A-. Mistress." He then heads on out of there.
Leaning into the Dragon's arm, Evayne beams and shakes her head with a tired sigh. "Now that I've left the dancefloor, I'm weary like a stone at the bottom of a river. All I can think now is sleep, sleep, sleep…" A nod is offered to the departing nobleman. "A good night to you, M'lord Swann."