Page 444: Art Criticism
Art Criticism
Summary: Samphire is quietly hired; Rebecca finds a kindred soul among the Terricks - sadly, not one she can marry.
Date: 10/10/2012
Related Logs: More Lichyard Levity
Gaelena Rebecca Samphire Martyn 
Roof Terrace, Four Eagles Tower
This is open to the air except for the rookery at the opposite end of the open walkway. Parapets and crenellations are about.
10th October, 289

In the afternoon light, the scene from the Roof Terrace was a breath taking view. One that allowed you to see the grounds to the coastline. A gentle breeze from the coast at this high elevation cooled the temperature from the blazing afternoon sun. The Terrace area brought solitude to those that sought it, a quiet place for conversation, thinking or in this case some sketching/painting.

Gaelena had arranged for a stool to be brought to the edge of the Terrace so that she could have a large view of the grounds. After picking the perfect spot for this, she'd taken to the stool and begin to lightly sketch on the canvas, marking her desired appeal to paint.

Beside here there was a small table set with a goblet and pitcher, behind here there was a table set up with fruits and dishes for the taking. And in a far corner sat a small young woman keeping to herself and working on some stitching, a maid that looked too scared to make a sound.

Perhaps the handmaid's fear is soon to be amply justified…the tapping of a Terrick guardsman's heavy spear-haft is the first announcement of a presence who has recently left many an ominous report in her wake. Lady Rebecca Nayland, attended only by her latest guardian-cum-gaoler, as her septa remains bedridden, strides tall and proud upon the Roost rooftop she has yet to inspect in any detail. But presented with its majestic architecture, the picturesque prospects it commands, and, indeed, the Terrick gentlewoman at her work, the eccentric noblewoman's eyes flash first…to the canvas. That she watches intently, and, for the present, in silence, though it is an oppressive, almost ostentatious brand of quiet, punctuated by her large hands at play in the winding knots of her bright red hair.

As it seems, the usually peaceable roof terrace is a highly frequented place this afternoon, for yet other noses join to smell the salty breeze in the height of the castle.
Climbing up the carved stairs, a young man, still with boyish features, approaches. On his heels, Samphire, a commoner in a dress of sea-washed maroon linen, follows, escaped wisps of her flaxen braid dancing in the wind. On her right hand, a ring of pale metal, assembled with a green gem stands out of her rather plain attire.
The young fellow bows deeply as he catches the sight of Lady Rebecca, his eyes widening as if he faces the Maiden herself. The additional pair of elbows, his youth seem to have lent him doesn't weaken the sincerity of his copious movement. "M'lady." he speaks, remaining in his position "This girl wanted to see you. She said, you might welcome her. "
A bit amused, Samphire blinks, as she watches her company, though not without dipping a modest curtsy of her own. "M'ladies.", she greets.

Mid-marking, the sound of tapping is heard and instantly the charcoal is removed from the canvas. She'd been disturbed. "I thought I said to keep all visitors away…?" Gaelena said softly and looked over at the maid in the corner, glaring at the young girl. It was all her fault. Then a second or two later, the Nayland arrives on the Terrace. However, the Terrick Lady had already turned away and was now focusing back to the canvas and up again at the scene before her.

The charcoal has returned to the canvas and small marks are made, if one looked and studied the canvas they'd see the coastline starting to be sketched onto the blank white fabric. Though with an untrained eye, it could just look like weird lines at the moment. The quiet had eerily continued, only hearing the soft breaths of the women and guard. With her concentration broken, Gaelena could not continue the detail she had been giving her work and decided it was time to break the deafening silence.

The first two finger and thumb of both of her hands are covered in dark black charcoal. Turning her head she looks up at the Nayland woman and inclines her neck that her head bows. "Good Day." Her tone was not welcoming, but it was not discouraging either. Eyes flicker to the party that follows after her, looking from Nayland to Boy to that girl she'd seen in the courtyard before. Lips pressed together, she said nothing else.

By contrast, Lady Rebecca does not seem to have decided it is time to lay down artistry in favour of petty discourse, and, as she drifts nearer to the canvas and its bedauber, she remains fixed on its first, tentative outlines - the natural view itself remaining, it seems, of little or no interest to her. "It is calm as yet," she remarks, presumably of this version of the sea. "It will be stormy come the night. I should think the tempest's majesty would be more breathtaking as a theme, my Lady…Gaelena?"
They have not been introduced, and Rebecca is worse than hopeless with faces, but she can still tell this one is elder than the startled maiden Faline she has encountered now and again, and her head for the names of noble cadets and lineages is phenomenal.

But at this point she is lured from her…painterly advice…by the incursion of the boy. "Lovel, can't you see we are at work upon *art*?" It's we, now, apparently. But then her sight - which by its abrupt habits of sudden observation might be reckoned as myopic - notices the girl. Strangely, her glance first settles downward, to the commoner's beringed hand. "Ah, good. Samphire. You came. Introduce yourself," she commands with a certain emphasis, "to Lady Gaelena here."

Eyes of murky green and grey wander curiously over Lady Gaelena's peace of work for a glimpse, carrying a rather sealed expression over to the artist, as they meet the lady's gaze. Jumping over to Lady Rebecca, they rest in thoughts for a heartbeat, before a small smirk sneaks around the corners of Samphire's mouth. Another curtsy is dipped, a bit deeper, a bit longer, maybe to mime a bit of young Lovel's devoutness in movement, but surely not as experienced as his army of elbows and knees. "M'lady Gaelena, Samphire Rivers is my name. Though my tongue might have slipped as I introduced me, the last time. Names aren't easy to remember to my humble self, I fear. My deepest apologies."
"My deepest apologies.", it resounds in almost the same moment, as the groom bows a second time, this time even trying to outbid himself -and more likely Samphire in the depth of his respect. "I won't interrupt my ladies work.", he says, before he descends the stairs again

By her duty, she had greeted the Lady and had done as she was suppose to do. Now that was done and Gaelena had no desire for pleasantry comments back and forth. Relieved that the other Lady saw no need for it either, she waited patiently for any words to come out from the woman’s mouth. "This is to simply keep me entertained until the night. I will be painting the mist that creeps from the coast and into the woods. A stormy sea is one thing, the mystical features of a forest far surpass it."

An eyebrow curves up when her name is spoken without introduction. She did have the coloring of a Terrick and it was supposed it was easy to guess with the process of elimination. "And who might you be? Another one of our guests, I am to assume?" It had been many years since she had been in these parts, and she relied on some sort of heraldry on a person to try and pinpoint who they were. A swift sweep of her hazel eyes looks of the woman before her, seeing nothing that could reveal to her who she was. "Since it appears /we/ are doing art. I should at least know whom my partner is."

"A name to go with the face. Hello Mistress Rivers." Gaelena dismisses her apology with a nod and shake of her fingers, "Yes, yes. Well, its been remedied now." Flickering a glance at the boy who had brought Samphire up, the Terrick can’t help but grin at the way the Nayland had handled him and sent him on his way. "Fetch a servant on your way out and have them bring more wine. If we are to have guests up here, let us entertain properly. Be quick about it." she calls out toward him before he can retreat completely.

A sad, haunting tune can be heard whistling from the direction of the stairs, and not too long afterwards, Martyn makes his way up onto the rooftop now, pausing for a few moments as he sees the people present now. Stopping his whistling, he starts to move over in the direction of an unoccupied corner of the rooftop, moving to lean against the parapet. Expression rather thoughtful for the moment.

"Samphire, dear, go and bring one of those stools over here so I can sit down as I give Lady Gaelena's work a proper surveillance," Rebecca drawls out in a low voice whose authority sounds long-established: though in fact it's initiating, not merely continuing, a bond of employment. The towering lady's large, glistening, playful eyes flicker next over the hapless Lovel, beaten by a rival, and not for the first time, and so she reassures him with a fresh errand - "And you, Lovel, go and find me some canvas and implements of my own. I should like to act, not merely talk."

Some talking, nevertheless, remains to be done, and it seems Rebecca very much approves of this Terrick lady's approach to the conversational, if not the visual art. "Wisely spoken, my lady. The forest is the faerie demesne of the Children, and nothing there may be counted on - save adventure and peril! A fitting scene, for the grandest of romances. I," she appends, as if her name itself leads naturally on from the subject of romance, "am Lady Rebecca Nayland, Young Lady of the Mire that was, should, and shall be. I am most thrilled to make your acquaintance properly at last…"

Rebecca tosses that carefully bound, elaborately hued head towards the source of the whistled air. "By the Seven's Truth, my lady, beware! That is the sound of an approaching lover, or I am no judge…"

Young Lovel turns around to add a diligent nod to Lady Gaelena's last words. And maybe to throw a last, yearning glimpse at Lady Rebecca and ah -she even speaks. A bow of his young head to show he heard, he embraced every syllable of her words, addressed to him. "At your services.", he answers.
Then the devastating sound of another word seems to cut the breeze -lover!- of Rebecca's mouth and a knight appears to reinforce the dire meaning. The boy throws a fierce, fierce look at Ser Martyn before he finally and definitively descends.

Samphire shakes her head lightly, as she observes the boy, the smirk still lingering around the corners of her mouth, a bit of amused wonder that seems to rest on her like dew on a grassy field, whenever she is around nobles. But she follows Lady Rebecca's words, walking over to the stools and bringing one over to the canvas. As the gesture seems to be a bit unadorned after the enthusiastic Lovel has left, she adds the wiping of invisible dust from the seat, before offering it with a little movement of her hand.

Again the curiosity returns, as she notices the knitting, quiet maid in the corner and a question is intended, as she looks from her to the hearty Lady Gaelena and back.
The new arriving knight gets another small curtsy and a smile. "M'lord, well met.", she greets Ser Martyn.

The commands are given and that is all that Gaelena needs to say towards the commoners present and those being dismissed for some task to be fulfilled. Though, on occasion a shift in her gaze is made to ensure they are doing as they are told. Good servants were so hard to find. Lifting a delicate and well manicured hand, loose locks of dark hair are tossed over her shoulder, extending her neck to an elegant angle, best suited for conversations where one party is standing and the other has remained seated.

"If only I'd be so lucky as to see such a thing. I have heard them, but not seen a Faerie." there is no humor in the Terricks voice, she was being serious. This woman was an obvious believer of the mystical unknown creatures of the forest. "A pleasure, Lady Nayland." the canvas is moved away from her person and set on a stand set up to hold it properly upright. "Romance is everything Mystical and Mysterious. It is only fitting that one is tied to the other."

Speaking of Romance and mystical things, the sad almost haunting whistle is heard and she cranes her neck to the said to see the person responsible for it. Before she can say anything at all, Rebecca's words are drifting to her ears. "Your own approaching lover?" intrigued, a look after Martyn and then back to the Nayland.

The maid in the corner has stopped her knitting and is clenching the fabric in her hands, staring after the Lady Gaelena as if she is going to be asked to do something as the rest have been ordered. Peaking a glance up at Samphire a small smile is given her.

Still looking a bit thoughtful as he studies the people present, Martyn offers a nod and a half-smile over to Samphire at her greeting. Remaining where he is, and quiet at the moment, though. Studying each of the ladies present for a few moments now, eyes slightly narrowed in thought, although he doesn't seem to have noticed it himself.

Indeed, with such pleasant attendants (if one ignored that sulky-looking Terrick guard) Rebecca is soon established quite according to her stated desires, sinking with luxurious restfulness down upon the stool, while poor Lovel presents a canvas - smaller than Gaelena's - before her. The boy then offers around good, dark red wine - even, as duty compels him, to the Mallister knight he is increasingly convinced is a rival; though he is unable to muster a very good grace as he extends a goblet in Ser Martyn's general direction.

His mistress - alas for him, only in the sense of employer - for herself, dismisses Lady Gaelena's suggestion with a rich, quiet chuckle. "You flatter me, my lady, but alas, Eagle Knights no longer slay and sing lightly at my command," she admits in a tenor that combines implicit satisfaction with her past beauty with still deeper confidence in her continued charm. "Do you know the brave Ser Martyn yet?"

As if swooping back to a much more interesting subject, Rebecca then adds, "Oh my lady, but I have seen them. Rarely at first, more and more oft since the Right Line of Kings fell. Faeries feared the dragons, but now they feel free to dance, to the misfortune of many snatched babes and ravished maids. I tell you what, my lady, shall I draw you one of them? One of the Faeries, otherwise known as the Children of the Forest, just as I have glimpsed her?"

Romance and Faeries.
As so often, Samphire's brows jump in the height of her forehead, when she listens to noble's conversation. But she keeps listening closely, since faeries and romance usually catch a maiden's attention in certain years of her life, for what ever reason. Other than the girl in the corner, she remains close to the ladies, standing behind their back, boldly eyeing the canvas.

As the speech wanders from tales of faeries to actually meeting them, her eyes widen in surprise though surely not upon the fact itself, but rather upon the way it is spoken. No hint of jest in the lady's tone, not enough wine gone down her throat to justify the certitude of her words.

Carefully Samphire steps an inch back. You never know.

The small smile of Gaelena's maid is answered with one of her own, the thoughtful knight receives another of those wordless questions, carried by looks, she tends to send around, when Samphire thinks her tongue has to lay down to stay in her mouth in the remote future.

"Finally." Gaelena remarks, taking the red wine from Lovel and setting her own on the small table that had been set up beside her. It held charcoals and some paints if the Lady had choosen to use them at this time in the starting of her sketch. But from looking at her sketch you can only see charcoal and so the paint was never used. In the boys defense, it hadnt been that long of a time. However, she had told him to be quick about it.

"I have." the Terrick says just before lifting her goblet to her lips and sipping on its contents. "Briefly. We both seem to enjoy the Terrace." Pursing her lips she looks after Martyn and choosing not to comment on the Lady's sly remarks of no longer getting the attention of knight. She was not far off herself. "Not a bad looking fellow, dear me, he is so pensive though. It only draws me to wonder what it is he is thinking to intently about." her eyes narrow just a touch trying to figure him out from where she stands. "Perhaps it best I do not know. A mans mind is a scary place."

"You tell a falsehood!" Turning her neck quickly to gape at Rebecca in disbelief, "You've not seen one! Surely not!" it was disbelief but it was laced with pure jealousy. How could she not have seen one in all the times she'd been in the forest, but this Lady had? "I'll certainly need the proof that of a drawing to know." that was her way of saying, yes she wanted a drawing of one. An idea strikes her, "If it is true, and I'll know after I see the drawing, perhaps you'll consider collaborating with me on my Mystical Forest piece. Painting one in after I'm finished."

It seems that while Lovel was going to serve and offer Martyn a cup of wine, he'd bumped into the Lady Terricks stool, foot caught and he almost fell in her nervous steppings. This was enough to move the chair and the wine that Gaelena was holding swashed about and jumped out of her cup and onto her dress. Gasp! "Blasted…" she bites her tongue to keep from other remarks that would deem her unkind. Jumping to her feet, there was a large wet spot on her purple gown. At least it was purple and it would not stain. In a flash, the young maid is up and running toward her Lady, "Oh m'Lady!" looking for something to pat her dry and only finding her knitted piece to try and sop up the wine. It did nothing. "Stop that!" pushing it away from her, Gaelena is on a brink of anger and closes her eyes to calm herself. "If you'll excuse me Lady Nayland, I need to attend to my dress." a scowling look is given in the direction Lovel before she makes haste and back into the Tower.

Martyn blinks a bit as he's offered the goblet, raising one eyebrow briefly, before he offers a bit of a smile and a nod to poor Lovel. "Thank you." Looking over at the Ladies for now, blinking a bit as Gaelena seems to run off. He doesn't say anything at the moment, raising both eyebrows this time, before he takes a sip of that wine now, rather thoughtfully.

"Oh, Lovel, you silly boy," Rebecca reprimands the groom in a tone which is, nonetheless, softer and fonder than any of the curter orders she has sent his way so far this afternoon. Perhaps she is not wholly displeased with a situation that allows her a good, uninterrupted look at the Terrick lady's abandoned canvas. Who knows, perhaps Lovel's apparent and uncharacteristic cackhandedness was, in fact, the fulfilment of a command from his lady…

At any rate, without paying much further attention to the knight's brooding presence, she picks up the lead instrument Lovel had brought up - easier on the hands than charcoal - and begins a spirited copy of Gaelena's marine scene. Or rather, a variation. For *now* Rebecca depicts the storm she claims to have seen coming.

When her sketch is as advanced as the abandoned Terrick one, she asks, almost shyly, as an artist, yet haughty, as a mistress, of her new maid, yes, decidedly, her new handmaid, Samphire Rivers: "Which do you like best, Samphire, and why?"

<FS3> Rebecca rolls Painting+Mind: Good Success.


Gaelena's sketch, above; Rebecca's sketch, below

Lovel's dignity seems to have sunk down like a limp flower, as he stands right before the knight Rebecca's words granted the favour of that word, that dreadful word. As the duty bids, he hands him the wine, as his stumbling ends right before him. The gown is spilled, as is his repute… that dreadful day. But it is a day, which allows him to throw a bold, little wink at his lady and her soft words.

Closely Samphire eyes the pieces, studying lines and colours. Pondering she narrows her eyes. "M'lady. Lady Gaelena's work is a piece of precious artistic work… the veil of mists over the sea and the forest, drawing what the sea itself is trying to cover, what is not to be seen. But I prefer the stormy sea. I always liked the salty foam around my ankles, you don't have to walk as far when the sea is storm-whipped.
And I probably should say, I like that one, m'lady, that's an other reason.", she suggest with one of her dry smiles. Again she looks expectantly over to the knight. "But I guess he would prefer the mists to the storm at the moment. That's at least, what his thoughtful expression seems to tell.", she adds.

Offering a bit of a grin to Lovel, Martyn shakes his head a little bit, "Don't worry, worse things happened when I was a page in Fairmarket back when I was at your age." It's said a bit lightly, before he drains the rest of the wine now. Handing back the empty goblet to the boy, he moves over to look at the paintings. "Both look quite wonderful, I'd say," he remarks, shrugging a little bit. "But then again, I'm no expert when it comes to art…" That said, he starts making his way over to the stairs, and heading off the rooftop terrace for now.