|Summary:||In the courtyard, Kathryna beats the practice pole and Anais watches servants beat rugs.|
|Courtyard — Four Eagles Tower|
|The Courtyard of Four Eagles Tower is floored with a fine grey stone that match the color and tone of the interior structure of the castle's yard. Plants have been potted and placed around the entrances to add some color, the greenery accompanied by several trellises of flowers that climb the support columns. The most prominent structure in the area is the set of large slab steps that lead up to the great oak doors of the Great Hall. Several hallways and accesses lead off into different sections of Four Eagles which makes this the hub of noble activity when court is not being held.|
|November 26, 288|
Kathryna 's ego is hurting over the loss to Jarod yesterday. It means her fighting post has gotten quite a lot of practice most of this late afternoon, especially since the men of the house couldn't see her until tonight, if even then. A mix between frustrations on all levels, and Kate is practically hacking away at that post like it killed her first born child. She's out of her black leather long coat, just in her dark bodice and slacks, and is moving bodily as fast as her blade, pushing herself to the brink of her skill. Trying to go beyond. She's a whirl of silver blade, blonde hair and black leather.
On the periphery of the court, Alise hurries along while holding a bundle of folded fabric. Is it a voluminous gown? Tapestry? Without unfolding the bundle, there's not real way to tell. Catching sight of the figure from the corner of her eyes, Alise slows down when she notices it's not one of the Terrick knights, but… a woman? Blinking uncertainly, Alise stops completely to watch, and gradually gravitates towards the ball of fury determined to murder the practice post.
"Do you know when would have been the perfect time for this?" There's a bit of a caravan coming out of the keep, serving women carrying rugs and tapestries out to the courtyard as Anais walks next to a stout older woman who's been at the Roost her whole life. "When a good ninety percent of the household was away at Riverrun. Gods bless, if I'd known how much dirt the wedding guests would track in, I'd have had the entire affair outside."
The sound of voices, multiple voices, behind her is enough to make Kate stop. One last long slice to the post and she pauses, turning around at an adrenaline speed to see just who is coming out of the castle, her sword still in hand. Her eyes light upon the unfamiliar Alise first, studying the servant, before she then notices Anais behind her and realizes that initial voice belonged to the young lady of the house. Kate is still panting a touch ragged, having pushed herself far harder today than she did with Jarod yesterday. Probably -because- of yesterday. She sheaths her sword into the leather belt at her side and walks a few steps closer, bowing her head respectfully to Anais. "Lady." She shallowly breathes out.
Alise would have said something to the swordswoman, but she too hears Anais coming up behind her, and turns to bow her head respectfully. "Lady Anais." She may be Lady Evangeline's handmaiden, but she's still a lowly servant. Immediately, she takes a step back to take herself out of the immediate circle of conversation.
Anais tips her chin up toward the source of the first greeting, a faint smile touching her features for the other woman. "Lady Harlaw," she calls back. "I don't suppose you'd like to trade that sword for a stick and take to beating something a little more productively?" Surely she jests. Surely. In the meantime, the women bearing rugs and tapestries start to hang them out on lines, taking out their own sticks. "Alise, isn't it?" Anais adds with a small smile for the handmaid. "Did Lady Evangeline need something?"
Surely indeed. Kate lofts both pale brows and smirks a hint deeper as she looks from Anais to the tapestries, then back to the woman. She then coughs out a bit of a deep laugh, shaking her head slowly, "Oh, no, no… Sadly, there isn't nearly so much pleasure in beating a rug as there is in beating a man, I will admit. Or a post who you are imagining looks like a certain man." She gives a slightly wider smile to them both, though Alise's quiet eyes gain a touch more attention. Yes. She saw the woman looking. As Anais asks the question, she studies the handmaiden a bit further.
"I was just taking this tapestry to Lady Evangeline for repairs, milady. There was some tearing along the edges." Alise answers Anais' inquiry, finally lifting her eyes to the lady's face, then shifting a sidelong glance at Kathryna. "I fear I have not yet made the acquaintance of the swordlady yet. I did not mean to stare at her practice. My apologies."
"You might be surprised," Anais smiles crookedly back at Kathryna. "Or rather, for those of us for whom beating a post with a sword isn't an option, sometimes a rug with a stick is a suitable substitute. Alise, this is Lady Kathryna Harlaw," she continues, introducing the pair. "She's here as a diplomatic envoy from the Iron Isles. Lady Kathryna, this is Alise, one of Lady Evangeline's handmaids."
Kathryna looks over Alise as the inquiry is made, and though she doesn't bow her head, she flashes a somewhat mischevious smile in the woman's direction. "Alise, is it? Good to meet you. Glad to see that you sometimes get out from under the Lady Evangeline's skirts. I've heard she's quite a… Skirt-ful woman." Kate improvises that adjective to be polite, the mischief in her smile translating clearly to her ice pale eyes. She then looks back to Anais and sighs a touch, "Or, if you'd be interested, you could learn to pick up a blade. I promise I'd go more gentle on you than Ser Jarod. He deserved that spanking."
Alise takes a slight bow to Kathryna. "Lady Harlaw." She greets, then lifts her gaze to meet the swordswoman. If Kate has mischief in her eyes, for a moment there is a hint of the same in Alise's. "Lady Evangeline's skirts are most elegant and resplendent, milady, but they don't reach quite so far." But at Kate's suggestion that Anais should learn the blate, Alise is quick to intercede. "Oh, Lady Harlaw. In these parts noble ladies must not be seen with a sword. It is something of a custom."
"Which is to say that it would be a bit impractical, since I could hardly carry one around anyhow," Anais adds to Alise's words in explanation, smile crooked. "Though I do know my way around a bow, even those sorts of expeditions are…limited. And I can't really carry one of those around, either." She looks to the women beating rugs, reaching up to tuck a piece of hair behind her ear. "Though I appreciate the offer, of course," she adds, catching the other woman's gaze with some significance.
Kathryna catches sight of Alise's own momentary mischief, her grin widening. "Elegant and resplendent, eh? I'll have to remember that. It is good to see that their hoops have not caught you, Mistress Alise." The commentary about the sword, though, makes Kate's smile falter just a little bit. "Custom? Now that I had not heard. I was told it was not lady like but, well… Many things are not lady like, including breathing if you ask the right person! I did not realize it went deeper than that. Lady Anais, forgive me if I offered any insult." She bows her head apologetically, though there is not really any apology in her voice. Her tone might be rather closer to pity. "It is a shame, though… I could use a touch more training in a bow. An exchange of knowledge might have gone well for better relations between our oft-pained houses."
Alise merely smiles serenely at Kate's comments about Evangeline's skirts, but otherwise falls into a servant's silence as the ladies talk.
"I'm sure there are better archers here in the house guard than I am," Anais assures Kathryna with an easy smile. "And I'm sure we can find other things to discuss here, as well." Watching the cleaning in progress, she arches a brow to the Iron Islander, curious. "Do you keep many tapestries and rugs on the Iron Isles? Or would that be considered soft?"
Kathryna smirks a moment at Anais' implication of anything pretty being called soft, though as her eyes flicker across the beaten cloths, Kate half frowns, "There are some tapestries, yes, but the damp and moisture does not do well for such things keeping over the years. Salt in the air stains and pales everything. Leather is far more… Survivable in such a climate, though expensive and hard to make. It is not a matter of softness, but simply a matter of practicality. As is with -much- in the iron isles." Kate responds earnestly, her husky voice a touch distant with thought.
"If I may, milady," Alise pipes up, glancing from Anais to Kathryna. "Have you visited the town of Terrick's Roost, outside of the keep? I trust you will find the smallfolk share much with the Iron Isles in practicality." She offers. "The great lords and ladies, if I may be so bold, are not 'soft' nor 'impractical', but rather the fineries are status symbols. If you would like to see the town, I will be most happy to be your guide, Lady Harlaw."
"Interesting," Anais muses, then laughs softly. "I suppose if we didn't have to worry about beating all of the dust and dirt from rugs and tapestries so often, we'd have plenty of time to learn how to fight as well. Practical indeed." As Alise offers her invitation, she holds a hand out to indicate the handmaid. "Alise has a point, I think. Here in the Riverlands, there are more…trappings."
Kathryna tilts her head somewhat curiously at Alise, most definitely surprised by the offer. "If the Lady of the house would not mind your missing presence, I would be… honoured for the guide. I have been out among the town here and there, but nothing formal. It would be quite nice to see it through another's eyes. A local's." Kate smiles almost serenely to her, all polite thanks and warm despite the ice in her features and eyes. She then looks back to Anais, tilting her head in consideration. "Trappings… indeed. You might also say when one does not have to constantly fight day and night for their own survival, it means they can worry about less… dramatic things. Like beating rugs." Kate bows her head to both of them, then, and dips to pick up her long coat. "That being said, I think I might go enjoy the soft trapping of a bath. I sweat like a horse in these lands. It was good meeting you, Alise. Perhaps on the morrow we shall go walking? And, of course, good seeing you, Lady Anais."
"I will ask for Lady Evangeline's leave for tomorrow, then." Alise takes another bow to Kathryna. "I am certain she will agree, especially if it means making such an esteemed guest feel welcome." Still, as Kate moves to go, Alise takes one step to follow. "A bath, you say? May I offer my assistance to prepare one for you, milady?" She quickly pauses and turns back to Anais. "With your permission, that is, Lady Anais."
"A pleasure, Lady Kathryna," Anais nods to the Harlaw, smile crooked. "And of course, Alise. Please let Lady Evangeline know where I am if she needs anything." The smile loses something as she looks out at the rug-beating, rueful. "I suspect I'll be out here for some time."