|Onward and Roostward|
|Summary:||Cherise discusses her travel plans with Danae and Ceinlys.|
|Date:||24th January 2012|
|Related Logs:||The Ironborn Invasion|
|Crane's Crossing Inn - Charlton Chambers|
|The rooms at Crane's Crossing are of the finest quality to be found at any guest quarters among the Riverlands, though not as finely done as those in the castles — by far. The rooms are spacious with plenty of room for not just a noble but a small entourage to gather in. The sprawling beds are finished with fine sheets and goosedown-stuffed pillows. Rugs are lain about except nearest the door with a few couches placed to one corner for guests of the room holder. Chambermaidens are on call at all hours to clean and refill the wash basins or provide new washclothes - or to even take sullied clothing for cleaning. The windows are set out a bit from the wall to provide bench seating that overlooks the sprawling green of meadows, distant forests, and bubbling creeks.|
|24 January 289 A.L.|
The hour was marked too early for lunch, the appointed time she would expect both her cousin and the Lady Ceinlys to arrive after sending a messenger just a day prior. In waiting Cherise was seated beside the fire, lounging against plenty of pillows as her feet were raised onto the thighs of one of her maidservants. Being spoiled, as usual, she was enduring a relaxing treatment of her ankles and heels after being soaked inside a basin filled with heated water. Nearby was a smaller table that hosted a half drained glass of wine. Nearby were two other chairs plumped with a set of pillows as well for the women to sit themselves when they should arrive. Beyond that the chamber of this rented room looked much of the same minus Aleister's armaments and chests.
"At ease, cousin," a low feminine voice drawls from the doorway, one freckled hand pressed against its frame. A wry smile compliments Danae's features, blonde hair pulled neatly back from her face today in a low slung braid. A small wooden box is held between her hands, gently closed by a metal clasp with a space for a key. She waits for no command, drawing herself into the room and placing the box on the small table that holds the wine before settling herself into a chair.
It's a rare thing to see the Lady Erenford anything other than immaculate. And, truth be told, she's not exactly a mess this late morning - just perhaps a little more rosy-cheeked and windswept than usual as she arrives at the door to her Lady's chambers, still attired in her riding habit. Somebody managed to sneak in an outing, before heading to the appointed meeting place. But at least she doesn't come empty handed, in a manner of speaking. Trailing in her wake is the ever-present, ever-dutiful, ever-sourfaced Brigid, her chaperone, today tasked with carrying a platter of something sweetly and deliciously scented. Ginger cookies, if one bothers to inhale the aroma, covered for now with a drape of clean white cloth and still steaming a little. Ceinlys knocks twice, arriving shortly after Lady Danae, and waits for the door to be opened before sweeping into the room, all black velvet and blue eyes, hands clasped as ever upon her abdomen, as is befitting. "M'lady." With a warm smile, she dips a swift and graceful curtsey of greeting toward the comfortably seated noblewoman.
At ease she would remain. Heavy lidded and utterly sinking into the warm sensations washing over her. "Dearest Danae…" She lazily greets before allowing her gaze to sweep over to her left where a small box was delivered. "Oh you brought gifts!" The gesture instantly perking the Charlton woman into a wakened status. One hand fluttered a 'shoo-shoo' gesture to the handmaid massaging at her heels, slipping both feet back into the warm waters of her basin.
Before she could add anything else a knock came from the door and was opened by another one of Cherise's handservants, permitting Ceinlys to enter. She too was greeted with a warm though not so sated smile. "Lady Erenford, most excellent that you were able to come. May I introduce you to do my cousin, Lady Danae Westerling. Danae this is Lady Ceinlys Erenford, my lady in waiting." Noticing the woman's demeanor and obvious riding cloths she smirks inwardly. "I trust your ride was well? The horse granted to you is a fine one is it not?"
"Hello dear one," Danae offers, low laughter breaking the air as her cousin perks up with timely excitement. Cherise has never changed. Just so soon as the Westerling lady has taken her seat, she rises against to her feet to greet the Erenford lady with a polite smile and delicate curtsey. "My Lady Erenford, it is a pleasure. I have heard such charming things about you from my dear cousin," she offers, pale eyes bright as they flit over the dark haired woman's figure.
With a flick of her fingertips gesturing her wizened chaperone to set the platter down on a side-table - it will keep for whenever the Lady has need of a new distraction - Ceinlys then turns her gaze upon the young lady to whom she is introduced, inclining her head politely. "A pleasure, I am sure." The subtle arch of a brow betrays curiosity, perhaps, at just what might have been said, but that's hardly of any consequence. Returning the shallow curtsey once more, flashing Danae a perfectly friendly smile in the face of her appraisal, Ceinlys then looks to the one they have both been summoned to see. "My apologies for not having changed, m'lady. I had less time than I had hoped. And yes.." The curve across her lips widens a touch, with genuine appreciation as she nods in assent. "..the palfrey is exquisite. I could not be more pleased."
"Wonderful." She says to both though speaking to one in particular. Cherise then gestured to the two chairs before her, herself seated somewhat at an angle before them. "Please, do sit." A curious pale gaze eyes the tray of delicious treats however she prolongs sampling from the dish for now. The box however received another intrigued stare as if whatever was inside would be revealed to her in that instant. Waiting until both would seat themselves they are instantly offered a glass of wine by Cherise's chamber maids. "I have asked you both here concerning a matter of my relocation." She starts, smoothing a hand over the lengths of untamed blonde hair, gathered and draped over the right shoulder. "To the Roost in particular where we are certain the men will return to after the lift of the invaders at Seagard. Particularly my husband and so, as I will be leaving tomorrow at first light." She eyed the Erenford woman first, "I am sure I know your answer though I will still extend the courtesy of asking if you should wish to accompany me." Then to Danae, Cherise smiles fondly, "I would be ever pleased and grateful if you would come."
Inclining her head in the barest dip of a nod, Danae smiles warmly at the two women before gracefully folding herself into her seat. Her fingers arrange her green skirts with an easy gesture as she looks towards Cherise as she details the reasons for their summons, accepting the glass of wine without really paying it much heed at the moment. "Are their arrangements adequate for you condition as of yet?" She wonders pointedly, before giving an answer to the request, although a smile softens inquiry.
Smoothing her skirts and the lengths of her coat beneath herself, Ceinlys eases into one of the indicated chairs at the noblewoman's invitation, a single nod to the handmaiden who offers her some wine accompanied by a distracted half-smile that reveals a dimple in one cheek. Her focus is plainly upon Cherise' words, aside from a brief glance toward the mystery box. All women love an intrigue, after all. Settling comfortably, with a drink now firmly in hand, the young lady inclines her head in acknowledgement of the question put to her. "I shall, of course, m'lady." If the entire notion warrants further question - which of course it does - she holds her tongue for now, busying herself instead with a delicate sip of her wine. Wise choice. Danae says it for her. A pregnant woman of considerable station, travelling to lodge in a residence half-destroyed and surely short on provisions? Curiouser and curiouser.
Cherise reaches for her wine glass, holding it before her lips that move to speak rather than drink. "The tower and a chamber for myself to reside in." As for the other two she should be making suitable arrangements for them as well. In that thought she did sip from her glass. After her words continued. "My duration there will be until my husband is no longer required at Seagard. Beyond that, depending on how things progress, I may stay longer however that is not be required of you Danae. Your company there would be appreciated." When she looks to Ceinlys the woman is given a nod of her head. "Lovely. I do wonder how those women there are maintaining themselves with all the death and loss. Their towns were raided. So much of what they had has been taken. This could be a good opportunity for you Danae, to broaden your trade relations."
Wine dark against pale lips, Danae slips slowly at her glass as she considers Cherise's arrangements for the venture. "A good will and hopeful venture, it is. I understand the lady Cordelya has renewed her own residence there, has she not?" There is another smile for Cherise, this one soft and genuine at that desired admittance for her companionship. "I shall think on it a little cousin, I certainly shall join you for a duration of your stay — but I have some matters in Stonebridge I have want to see settled before I relocate for a more lenghtly time." There is a hint in her tone that she might be willing to visit often though, even perhaps join her cousin for that initial trip. "It shall be good for the Lady Erenford to reacquaint with her family upon their return as well, shall it not? I understand that you have two brothers in the fray, m'lady," Danae says, directing the conversation towards Ceinlys.
Ceinlys looks suitably unruffled as the noblewoman's plans are laid out, savoring her small sip of wine thoughtfully before swallowing and studying the exchange between the cousins with idle interest, lingering a little upon Danae to note the young lady's responses. There's nothing of particular import to keep the Lady Erenford in Stonebridge.. but what of the pretty, sparkly-eyed trade envoy? Back near the door, faithful old Brigid has settled properly off to one side, hands clasped before herself; watchful without directly watching. Does she ever speak? How fabulous a mute handmaiden must be.
Only when a natural lull comes to the conversation does Ceinlys interject her quiet tones, addressing Cherise calmly. "Terrick's Roost is not a place I have had the opportunity to visit, m'lady. But I assume, if you see fit to venture there, you expect a fitting reception from the household. Have you any particular requirements?" Though she phrases it sweetly, the brunette's meaning is deliberately clear. Is there anyone I should keep an eye on for you? When Danae, in turn, addresses her, she dips a simple nod as her blue eyes move to the cheerful features regarding her. "I do, indeed. As well as the sworn blades of other fine Houses, currently marching alongside. There are many I would desire to see return safely with my own eyes."
"Has she?" Speaking of the Lady Cordelya who simply 'vanished' without word. "I was not aware she had departed. No word of her departure had reached my ears." Before now. "I am sure she's somewhere mucking around in some mud or bandaging a wounded rabbit instead of cooking it." Cherise muses for a moment as the conversation continues. "At the current Lady Ceinlys I should wish to come to know those who reside in the Roost. I am sure they will provided an adequate welcoming to a member of House Charlton especially as I foresee many of the provisions coined by our own purse rather than theirs as a suitable host would." She would then look to Ceinlys as the conversation flowed in her direction.
"I had thought," Danae begins delicately, adjusting her grip of the glass as the thought forms, "That she might have followed her husband to the Roost, judging by their attachment and her lacking presence here at Stonebridge." Certain attachment. She regards Ceinlys with an easy smile at her response. "The attachments to one's kin are that which are most fond. I had the pleasant experience of meeting the elder brother, Ser Aron prior to his departure."
Lady Erenford chuckles softly at this impromptu summary of Cordelya, whom she has yet to meet, to her knowledge, offering no comment. But her amusement becomes better voiced at the mention of her elder brother - he of the dashing good looks and gutter mind. "A pleasant experience, m'lady? Truly, you are a fortunate one. Most who experience Ser Aron experience him either drunk, flagrantly rude or wildly inappropriate." Even such words, though, are spoken with undeniable affection, a smile lingering as the young lady studies Danae. "..though less so in the presence of beauty and charm, of course. Generally, Harlyn is thought to be the sweetest of us." With another quick sip of her own wine - Haighs apparently have a real fondness for the stuff - the raven-haired woman then nods her understanding toward Cherise, with a murmured, "M'lady." Everyone has different interpretations of 'getting to know' a noble House.. and especially getting to know whether they are considered friends or enemies.
Eyes swept over to the nearby chamber maid, a finger pointing to the cooling waters of the basin. As it would be drained then replaced with heated water, Cherise rested her damp feet upon a nearby folded square of linens. As the two conversed. "From the day we left the camps, to remove her from those grounds required utterly too much effort from my part. Heavy was her concern for the wounded and overflowing with doubt of that servant girl's abilities." She speaks while eying the small box that Danae had brought, choosing now to reach for it and settle the gift onto her lap. "Then we should ever keep to have his cup filled hmm Lady Ceinlys?"
"Men are neither without virtures nor flaws, my lady. It is not a troublesome manner to openly weigh such upon their sleeves," Danae notes quietly, arching a slight brow as she looks to the dark haired lady over the rim of her wine. "I would not presume it was less a boon to my nature alone, then." Cherise's shifts and manner draw her attention as the Westerling lady clicks her tounge at her cousin. "Here dear, you'll need this," she says, pulling out a key in offering. One of the servant takes it and offers it to the Charlton lady.
There's an absent 'hmmm' of agreement to precede Ceinlys' spoken response. "I know the flaws of my elder brother well enough, Lady Danae.." she murmurs, "..be they upon his sleeve or otherwise, and recognise them plainly if only to provide a gentle warning. Be careful of him. His affinity for things pretty enough to catch his eye is no secret." True enough, Aron Haigh has a formidable reptation on the tourney circuit as a womaniser.. among other things. But the young lady keeps her tone gently, seeming to seek only to bid the other take care. And, if one looks closely, pay her a compliment. With that, she falls thoughtfully quiet, watching as Cherise finally seizes possession of the box that has evidently been plaguing her so.
She's listening of course although more intrigued by what is within the box. After the key has changed ownership, it was used to unlock the latch and tilt back the lid. Her nose was assaulted by the familiar herbal scents. Instantly drawing a smile to the woman's lips, "Thank you Danae. And this seems to be quite an amount should I not see you for quite some time." She laughed sweetly before closing the lid and using the key to lock it once more in order to pass the box into the possession of one the chamber maids. They knew what to do instantly. "Such a compliment Danae!" She retorts after the mention of Aron's affinity for the 'pretties'. "Our encounter was all too brief."
"As flattering as that might be, my lady. He seemed more keen to recommend your brother Ser Harlyn to me than to dwell on my own meager beauties," Danae assures with an amused smile, drawing her wine to her lips. Blotting her lower one gently with a finger, she turns towards her cousin at the thanks. "It seemed prudent, dear one. These are such uncertain times. I made certain to find you a lovely key, should you chose to wear it on a chain…Master Matrin Calpert's make, should you recall him from home." A metal worker who often leaned towards jewellery, it is a pretty box so well as a secure one. A keen nose can detect that that herbal scents, so blended as they are, lean towards those plants which sooth nausea, sweeten temper, ease nerves and embolden appetite. Nothing harsh or too sharp.
With a distracted, but still warm smile at this chatter regarding her absent siblings, the Lady Erenford remains quiet and thoughtful as the gift is exchanged, perhaps the twitch of an approving curve tugging at the corner of her lips as the scents of the mixed herbs waft toward her with the closing of the lid. However, with a last sip of her sweet wine, she gently sets it down and aside, laying her palms more briskly upon her thighs. "How beautiful, indeed. And considerate." This to Danae, blue eyes observing her with more interest for a few beats. Little wonder her company and counsel is so enjoyed by the Lady. "..do excuse me, m'lady.. Lady Westerling.." she looks to each in turn, obviously Cherise first of all. "..if we are to depart come morning's light, there are things I ought to tend to without delay." A smooth motion brings her to a stand once more, hands settling against her abdomen in a clasp. "My Lady Charlton, if it please you, I can see to arrangements for your carriage, while I see that the horses are readied for departure..?"
After the box had been passed off the basin was lowered near her feet refreshed with heated and floral oils in the water. "Ser Harlyn Haigh…" She murmurs as an available male is encouraged by the rakish Ser Aron. The sweet one. "They are Danae, they truly are. Especially if I am to go to the Roost." Speaking of the necessity for a key to her herbs. "Master Calpert? I had not known he was here." She displayed a warm smile, living briefly on her lips before turning her attention to Ceinlys who was preparing to depart and see her belongings loaded into traveling trunks. "There is no need to worry about the carriage arrangements lady Erenford, one of my mistresses will see to it. You will also be able to enjoy the voyage upon the thoughtful gift my husband bestowed to you. I see no reason as to why you should not make the voyage upon your very own steed." Unfortunately, or fortunately, she'll be residing within the carriage all the while, perhaps sleeping for the time.
"Only till he can move on…although he still does beautiful work," Danae offers, almost fond of the tradesman or at least of that which he crafts. "I am glad it is to be a timely gift then. Although, I also have need to take my leave of your soon, dear one and let you return to your maid's tender ministrations. I will see your answer comes to you before the eve," she says quietly, rising slowly from her seat. "Lady Erenford." The other lady is given a slight nod of her head.
With a swift curtsey by way of response, Ceinlys doesn't bother to hide a smile at the notion of a further journey upon her new 'gift'. A discreet nod toward her chaperone and the young lady takes her leave striding unhurriedly for the chamber door.