|Lending an Ear|
|Summary:||Tiaryn offers a willing ear to Alric who has a lot on his mind.|
|Highfield Keep - Courtyard|
|Across the drawbridge and under the latticed grill of the portcullis, the courtyard opens up into a sprawling expanse of barren dirt. Several simple structures with thatched roofs are strategically erected across the large courtyard, some enclosed by rustic rail fencing. New cobbles has been laid to create pathways leading to the barracks, the hawking mews, and the stables. The only bit of natural green springs up within the fencing of the paddock attached to the stables. In the daylight hours, horses are often seen grazing on these patches of grass. Straight up from the portcullis, along a path leading to the rear of the courtyard, is a squat little tower that funnel traffic through the tower and then up a steady inclining ramp to the interior palisade and thus the keep itself. In this tower is also the subterrean access to the dungeons.|
|23 Sep, 289 AL|
Sitting and being bored in the courtyard is Alric. So many thoughts he has and being all alone with them can be a dangerous thing. Sitting and glancing upwards as he tries to figure things out.
With all that's going on, Tia has been quiet, her music perhaps often enough the only thing to be heard from her. She has her harp in hand, a maid and guard trailing after her, as she comes out of the keep into the courtyard, heading slowly towards the portcullis and the town outside. However, as she passes, she catches sight of the bored, seated Alric, and so she angles her steps that way. "Good day, m'Lord," she greets politely with an appropriate curtsey.
Alric doesn't seem to notice the approaching lady until she speaks. Glancing over to catch the curtsey. Rising to give her a respectful bow. "Lady Tiaryn. It's a pleasure." He tells her. Forcing a smile onto his lips. "Would you care to join me?"
Tia blinks as she glances around, and then she shrugs slightly. "I could do so, certainly. Is all well with you, m'Lord? You look to be deep in thought. I almost did not come over, for fear of interrupting such thoughts and perhaps causing a headache."
Alric shakes his head, "It is fine, my lady." He tells her. "I think it is better if I have company at the moment. The thoughts I have, have no answer. Or at least none that I could use at the moment." He sighs and shrugs. "Never good to be alone for too long." He offers playfully though hinting towards being serious as well.
Tia blinks and then she offers a gentle smile. "But Lord Alric, I am never alone," is her reply. Truthfully, there is of course the maids and guards, one or more always present when she is in public of course. Her blue eyes dance with amusement.
Alric chuckles, "Perhaps not, but I am. At times. And I think you are at night as well. It makes for a lot of thinking. Not all being good for the mind." Trying to offer a smile to her. "How are you and ser Saethwyr?"
Tia inclines her head at that comment, acknowledging the truth of it. "Lord Saethwyr is a wonderful man, and I venture to say we are doing well. And what are these thoughts of yours that have you thinking too much?" Her maid sets a blanket easily, so there is some place somewhat comfortable to sit for a moment or two, and Tia makes use of it.
Alric smiles and nods, "That is good!" He offers quite happily. Though then he shrugs at her question. "Decisions, decisions and decision. I wish I had a wife to help me with some. To offer comfort and advice. Unfortunately that is one of the decisions." He sighs and smiles. "But we will just have to trust that things go well, right?"
Tia laughs, letting the musical sound wash out and around her. "Indeed, I expect we will," she replies. Her harp case is opened, and she pulls out the harp, her maid taking the case to one side. She sets the harp to where it should be and runs her fingers over the strings, testing the tuning. "Is there something which I might perhaps assist you with? I am not a wife, nor even family, really. However, I might yet provide an ear to listen?"
Alric smiles at her and nods. "Perhaps. Though I can not offer much." He explains. Shrugging a bit. "I am rumored to be against the Charltons, though it is untrue. One of my cousins might wish to kill me. I have no idea what to do about, a lot of other things." He sighs. "I have been feeling devided between different ladies as well. I care for them all, a bit. Yet I can probably have none."
Tia does listen to the list of items that cause deep thought. "Oh, Lord Alric, I can definitely see that would be cause for some dark and worrisome thoughts." She considers for a moment, before she says, "I am not certain about the first, what I might suggest. It is difficult to combat rumours, other than with actions to the opposite. As for your cousin, it is a sad thing when family comes to such disagreement. Is there cause for the ill feeling?" She hesitates on the question of ladies though, leaving it for the moment.
Alric nods, shrugging thoug has well. "It is. Though I try to show that they are untrue." He explains. Then, for the ill feelings, he shrugs. "I am the heir. That branch of the family wants the house to themselves. I am uncertain if you have met my cousin Trajan. Though if you have, and what he says is truth, then his family did what had happened to him." He explains.
Tia blinks and shakes her head. "Is he here? I must confess I have been somewhat reticent to make myself known of late, preferring to stay out of the way and out of mind. I have not met Lord Trajan, as yet." She considers for a long moment, before she says, "I must admit I find myself at a loss, as these are weighty issues. What says Lord Aleister on the matter? Do you have his trust?"
Alric smiles and nods. "That he is. I often is at the dungeons though." Leaving out the reason. Though she might guess. As for Aleister, he chuckles. "I do not think so. Though I have tried to seek counsel. As for my cousin unle and cousin branch of family wanting to have me killed, I think it would be wise to alert ser Keegan." He shrugs though. "I will seek ser Aleister's advice. Though I am not sure to what degree he trusts me."
Tia blinks and then she shivers a bit, perhaps just at the idea of the dungeons. Though there are times they are required of course. Still, tis not ladylike to be anywhere near them. "In that case, I am quite sure I've not met the man," she says, easily enough. "Perhaps talking to Lord Aleister is a good thought, on the other matter. And that, I think, leads only to the last issue met, of too many ladies to choose between?"
Alric nods about his cousin and even about Aleister. "Ah yes. Ladies. Well, I can't say much. Other than I had plans to court lady Muirenn. But they became only words and no action. Then when action was taken, it was too late. I found comfort in her cousin, yet now I am not allowed to speak to her. Upon her own wishes. Then there are others for political reasons." And some he can't mention because it would not be good if it became known.
"Why Lord Alric, you are quite the charmer, it seems," Tia replies, letting a bit of teasing warmth into her voice. "It is indeed too late to woo Lady Muirenn, I must agree. And her cousin, you mean Lady Nedra? And she has asked you to not even speak with her? Whatever happened?" She finds that somewhat disconcerting, and it perhaps shows.
Alric nods about Muirenn. Then about Nedra. "Indeed. Lady Nedra. I was a bit pushy when she was not ready for a commitment. I just. Wished she trust me." He offers and sighs. Though he smiles then. "Thank you though. To stick around and listen."
Tia smiles at that, her skilled fingers on the harp playing a soft and gentle thinking song. "You are most welcome," she says, with a delicate half shrug. "Though I do not think I was of much help, I hope I at least provided a willing ear." She takes a breath, considering the entire scenario. "I do hope that things look up for you, Lord Alric. It may sound trite, but it truly is often darkest just before the sun rises."
Alric smiles and nods, "It helped, as has your music. But there is still so much that I have no idea what to do about." He explains and shrugs. "I would hope that it is. But for some the sun never rises as their bodies are burned." Grim perhaps, but it only speaks for two ways. Either it will get better or it is just a matter of time before he is dead and buried.
Tia stills a bit, her fingers the only thing moving for a long moment, and then she inclines her head. "There is one inescapable truth, Lord Alric. Eventually, we all will die. But what we make of our lives while we have the opportunity, that is where we stand, or fall, with honour."
Alric chuckles. "I am a diplomat. I do what I must. I think I know where I might end up and so on. In the end, no one trusts a diplomat." He offers and shrugs. Then he studies her for a moment, along with her playing. "How about you my lady? Anything on your mind?"
Tia chuckles softly as the questions come her way. "Oh, yes," she says with a nod. "I am concerned for my goodcousin Cordelya, and her unborn babe. I am concerned for poor Lady Cherise - such unexpected news comes when we little know what to do about it, I think. But as you can see, my concerns are those of women, as I know little of the wars, diplomacy and politics which you are concerning yourself with."
Alric smiles softly and nods. "I am sure that lady Cordelya's babe will be fine, and so will she. As for lady Cherise, I feel sad for her. I truly do." He offers to her and nods. "It is quite fine. I know that our worries probably aren't the same. But the importance still is the same, right?"
Tia flashes a smile, and she says, "In some ways they are similar - kin and relationships," she says softly. "But apart from that, it becomes a matter of sphere, and my sphere is generally my home, whereas I think yours spreads out to a wider arena."
Alric smiles and nods, "Something like that I suppose. I do thank you for yout thoughts though, lady Tiaryn. Perhaps I will ask for your company again at some point." It's nice to have a normal talk with ladies at times. Without something thinking that he is hitting on them.
Well, if he hits on her, Saethwyr will have his head. And Anders. And Einar. And … let's just say it wouldn't be pretty. So, better he avoids that idea entirely. Tia chuckles and inclines her head. "You are most welcome, my lord. I am certain that my fiance would be able to spare me for a bit of conversation, in future. Should you need an ear to listen, please do let me know."
Well, having done worse and survived, one can't be sure about him. Though Alric isn't hitting on her. Even if some probably would manage to think so. Smiling and nodding, "That would be quite nice. I am glad to have you around more often soon enough then." Even if he might not get to be around more than onc in awhile.
Tia gets to her feet now, and the maid collects the blanket. She sets the harp back into its case, and gives a polite curtsey. "On that note, I think it's time I left you to your thoughts and continued about my business," she says. "Good day to you, Lord Alric. Until next time."