|Summary:||In Lord Aleister's absence Lord Bastien receives a letter from Lord Brennart|
|Related Logs:||Current events between Houses Ashwood, Erenford and Terrick|
|Courtyard ~ Tanglewood Manor|
|The courtyard opens up into a barren expanse of well-trodden, hard-packed dirt underfoot. Surrounded on three sides by the looming structure of the Keep, and on the fourth by the outer wall and gatehouse, the courtyard benefits from both sunlight and shade at most hours of the day, illuminated in the evening by well-placed lanterns. Through the western wall, an arching, covered walkway leads to the paddock and stables beyond, by way of the Lord's kennels and hawking mews, while the opposite building houses the Keep's barracks and armory. The main building looms tallest, dominating the area with it's weighty double-doors - easily twice the height of a man - at the pinnacle of a clean-swept set of steps.|
|Thu Dec 27, 289|
Highfield. A land normally calm on the outside and broiling within, has finally started to bubble out through its cracks with the absence of Lord Aleister. There is no greater sign of this than the state of the courtyard. Silence, eery in its notability, seems to touch every inch of the grounds and where one would expect to at least hear servants, there is nothing. Aside from the occasional bark from the kennels, there only rest a few half dozen signs of life here. Bastien is outside of the Tanglewood Manor, looking quite regal and ever so stoic, as he talks to a group of rather hardened looking men. His voice is too low to hear, and from the looks of their outfits and traveling packs, they are dressed for some sort of venture that might take a while.
Having ridden as far as the edge of the town surrounding Highfield, Courier Valen leads her horse into the town proper and through it to Tanglewood Manor. The courier pouch at her side is carried openly, the mourning colors of her household add another note to the formality of her presence. Reaching the entrance to the courtyard, Kalira makes a polite bow before introducing herself as Heronhurst's courier, bearing a message for Lord Aleister or - in his absence - his designated second.
It's anything but hard to notice the arrival of another soul in the courtyard, with that strange silence bearing down upon everything. Turning away from the men, Bastien simply says, "You've your orders, you may leave." With that, the men file out of the courtyard and leave Kalira and Bastien alone to face that quiet on their own. "I am Lord Bastien. In Lord Aleister's absence, I am the one you would seek."
Bastien strides towards Kalira, and holds his head high, but he's a look in his eyes which betrays fear. It is not a fear of death, nor the courier or her message, but the fear of lost family. It is a look which manages to capture mourning and terror in one tumultuous sphere and attempts to hide it behind the stoicism of nobility. When he's close enough, the large man simply raises a hand, palm upward and hand open to whatever she carries.
By the time the courtyard has emptied Kalira has retrieved the folded sheaf of paper sealed with a flat circle of wax bearing the impression of Heronhurst - but not just Heronhurst, the emblem of Lord Brennart's personal correspondence - ready in her hand for Lord Bastien. Kalira gives a formal bow, one hand resting against her lower back before she straightens, the letter offered outward to Lord Bastien by the time he reaches for it. "For Lord Aleister, Lord Bastien, from my Lord Brennart," she explains as she sets the letter into his palm. Her words are clearly if quietly spoken, as it would take a genuine ninny and possibly a blind and deaf ninny to be unaware of the serious climate that surrounds Tanglewood at the moment.
Turning the letter over twice in his hands, Bastien's thumb slides over and takes in the texture of the courier's message. He is a trained Knight and Lord, and it takes little effort for the man to recognize the symbol on the seal and its significance. Taking a deep breath through his nose, the man breaks the seal on the letter and opens it.
As his eyes scan along the letters and take in the message brought by Kalira, the man's already sour mood seems to only get worse. The note is crushed between his fingers as his hand drops to his side, a seething rage resting beneath the surface, though in a strange act that might be quite telling of the man, he does not aim it at anybody in particular. Not the woman who delivered the message, not the horse she rode upon, nor the dogs breaking the silence from the kennels. He remains quiet for a moment longer before nodding to himself. "Stay and rest while I ready a reply for your Lord. It will not take long, and you must be hungry." Motioning a hand towards the entrance to the Keep, Bastien turns and starts in the direction of the Entrance Hall.
Kalira's pale green eyes and the look upon her face convey nothing more than polite and studied neutrality while observing Lord Bastien's response to the delivered missive. The sound of the rough paper being crushed makes Kalira lift one hand to rest it lightly upon the neck of the mare standing patiently at her side. A gentle pat is given as Kalira aims a slow look around the courtyard before back to Lord Bastien, "If it pleases you, milord, we've ridden a good bit and I need to water my horse and rearrange some of the weight we're carrying. If you'll allow me a moments to see to my horse?"
"Of course. I suggest you not stray too far, but you will have free reign to do what is needed." With that, the man disappears into the gatehouse, in search of some parchment and a quill.
It seems the place is not as dead as it seems, as there's a young lad and older woman residing within the stables. They are quite intentionally quiet, keeping their heads low lest they enact the rage of a Lord who's habits they aren't yet entirely sure of.
Kalira nods but turns to her horse and leads her mount to the stables to water and brush down the mare, giving her a chance to rest and take a few mouths of feed from the grain that Kalira carries in one of the saddle bags. Kalira unfastens some of the gear and balances out the weight of the saddlebags that she's carrying. A measured nod is given to the lad and the older woman residing within the stables, one hand lifting in fact to touch her fingertips against the edge of the broad brimmed hat that she's wearing. The broad brim can be buttoned up at the front or sides, depending on what sort of weather she's riding in.
It only takes her a few moments, truth be told, and she's spending as much time on her feet for her own sake as she is tending to her mount before leading her horse back into the courtyard. She hitches the mare to a post near the entrance of the courtyard, beats some of the dust off of her jacket before she unhooks the canteen attached to her saddle and takes a long drink from it's contents before she caps it again and tucks it back into the pouch from which she's taken it, then heads into the keep for a moment to accept the hospitality offered by Lord Bastien.
It isn't long before the Lord Bastien is making his way out of the gatehouse and back into the courtyard, a sealed letter in hand. Making his way to the stables, the large man walks inside and frowns as the older woman gasps at the sight of him. No words leave the man's mouth as he simply shakes his head at her, the woman's knee-jerk reaction garnering a blush to her cheeks as she turns her gaze down. Taking a few steps over to Kalira, the man lifts the letter towards her. "You are welcome to stay here and rest until you are ready to head back."
Having returned to where her mount is hitched, checking the hooves of her mare while she waits, Kalira straightens upon the return of Lord Bastien. "Thank you, Lord Bastien, but no," Kalira replies. "My lord also bid me to convey the offer to assist with the search parties, if you're making search parties my lord. We can aid with scouring the land north and west of Heronhurst, the lay of the land between Heronhurst and The Twins." She offers these words with measured care to the cadence and pitch of her words, simply conveying the offer without any effort to force the offer - unwanted - upon Bastien.
"I am not so prideful to turn down such aid when it is offered." Bowing his head to the courier, Bastien turns around and starts to walk towards the door. "I will not hesitate at the opportunity to recover my brother and cousin." With those last words, he disappears out into the courtyard and towards the Entrance Hall.
Kalira nods as she accepts the offered letter and stores it safely in the courier pouch at her side. "Consider it done then, Lord Bastien, we'll send out search parties." She offers another polite bow before she unhitches the reins, mounts up and leads her mare out of the courtyard once Lord Bastien disappears from the courtyard.