|Summary:||Ser Bastien arrives at the Roost and introductions are made with the Lady Faline as Nathaniel tends to the nobleman's warhorse.|
|Courtyard, The Four Eagles|
|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.|
|Mon Oct 01, 289|
In the eastern region of the Roost there had been a recent rainfall, muddying up the grounds and creating a dense wetness in the air. Those who have been out on patrols for the majority of the day were still damp in their leathers while others remained contently dry. Faline was part of the later group now preparing to leave the stables.
The pale green shawl upon her shoulders received a minor adjustment upon stepping out into the warm and damp air. She had cast another look behind her, appearing disappointed at something in that general area. Thankfully the grounds were laid with fine grey stone rather than dirt. Her slippers remained untainted by mud tracked in upon the heels of those passing back and forth from the portcullis. There was the occasional puddle she needed to avoid. Suriya, her olive skinned handmaiden was ever attentive against them.
The sound of horse hooves trodding on sodden ground precedes the arrival of Bastien, brother to Aleister Charlton. The large Knight is dressed for travel, a simple chain shirt covered by a tabbard providing minimal protection for the man while at the same time identifying his allegiance. A wool cloak rests wrapped around his shoulders, tucked tightly about his muscular frame to do what little it can to keep him dry during his trip. The hilt of his sword, ornately crafted, peeks out beside his waist.
The large destrier's trot slows to a standstill as Bastien makes his way into the Courtyard of the Four Eagles Tower. After a brief moment, it becomes apparent that he is alone and without escort.
With so many visitors making their way to the Roost, Haigh, Nayland, Mallister, extended Terrick family and now another Charlton. Due to the calming weather only those who's purpose was maintaining the security of the keep remained outside or was otherwise on their way elsewhere. Such as Faline, paused on her return for the inside of the keep where a warm room was awaiting her. Since no other Terrick was in sight at the present, she looked, those honey brown eyes watched for any to approach the newly arrived visitor and sparing herself. She was without luck this day.
Chin up the pale skinned woman redirected her course, Suriya followed in step behind her. With a courtly smile dawned she greeted, "My Lord Charlton?" One of the many though who in particular she was uncertain of. "I bid you welcome to the Four Eagles." She delivered on a pleasant tone as her gaze was made to rise due to his still mounted seating.
For a prolonged moment, the large man does not answer the greeting given to him. Cold, dark eyes gaze around the courtyard and take in their surroundings before finally settling upon the source of the previously mentioned welcome. Swinging a foot over the backside of his destrier, the large man dismounts and sets his feet upon the courtyard's stones. Holding the reigns to his horse in his left hand, Bastien nods his head towards Faline. "Ser Bastien Charlton, of Highfield. Your skill in heraldry is commendable." The man's words are laced with an emotionless tone, though no sarcasm marks their passing from his lips. If one word might describe him, Bastien seems quite serious. "I have come unbeknownst to my brother, to learn what I can of the people with whom he deals, from their own mouths if possible. Tell me, Lady, what is your name?"
At this hour, even guards are more cautious than during the broad day, but Nathaniel knows this, and so he comes through the portcullis on foot, leading his dark chocolate mare as an indication of friendly intentions. He nods to the sentries and exchanges greetings with them before entering the courtyard where torches still burn in their sconces along with a brazier to provide warmth to any venturing into the chill night. He slows his mare, however, upon seeing an unknown man on horseback and a woman whom he has seen but not met. To be on the safe side, he stops and bows, and then he gives a soft clicck of his tongue, after which his mare steps forward beside him and lower her head. Having stopped, he overhears the stranger's call into the otherwise quiet courtyard, and he remains where he is for now to gauge the situation.
Though she was not unsettled by a delayed greeting in return the soft haired female had quietly cleared her throat. Delicately raising a single hand over her deep pinks as the knight dismounted. Patience was another skill to be commended. "Thank you, Ser Bastien of Highfield." She is minded to say before offering her own name. "I am Lady Faline Terrick. My uncle is Lord Jerold." Which should be a well enough starting point to make connections. "I should try my best to offer what knowledge I may." Giving she herself had only arrived a little over a week ago. "These part of the Riverlands have been quite an interesting storm of details over these last few months." She paused, a look given to his steed. "Do you wish to have your horse settled or…"
"The Lord of Terrick's own niece? I am in luck." The words speak of pleasant surprise, but once more his tone does not. A respectful bow of the head is given to Faline by the seemingly apathetic knight. Readjusting his cloak to allow for a more comfortable and open countance, Bastien contemplates her question for a moment before giving another nod of his head. "If it isn't too much trouble." Cautious brown eyes break their stare to wander towards the sound of clicking. Bastien stares at Nathaniel as if trying to read him like one might a poster, but no words leave his lips in reference to the polite man.
When the knight agrees to some provision for his horse, Nathaniel steps forward while still holding the reins of his own comparatively smaller and leaner mare. "If it pleases you, lady and ser, I will see to your horse." He bows once more.
Faline smiled inwardly, dimples deep in her cheeks, "His very own, Ser." She confirms over the exchange of their proper greetings and gestures. "No, of course not. We have so much to be thankful for, from your brother's accord. Many of those who were once starving have their bellies filled once again." Even this thin retainer of the house who steps in and assumes his duty. "Thank you." Faline states to the young man but tacks on, "When you see his horse to the stables have the hall prepared for a guest. I am certain the good Ser here would desire some comforts such as wine and food from his journey." Her bright honey brown eyes then sweep to Bastien, "Is that well and good for you Ser?"
Bastien bows forward, his head lowered once more in thanks to the Lady's hospitality. "Your generosity is appreciated, Lady Faline. The journey here, while not arduous, was besieged by less than pleasant weather. The longer I can spend inside amongst the warmth of your home, the better." Raising his gaze, the large Knight offers the reigns to his horse towards the retainer. "Thank you, lad."
Nathaniel bows to the lady and answers, "As you wish, lady." Then he releases the reins on his own mare, and she stands quite still while the servant steps forward to take the new reins. He looks with admiration at the warhorse. and offers it his hand first, as sign of trust, before tugging gently at the rein and speaking softly to the animal, coaxing it patiently toward the stables. He stops at the door and surrenders the reins to a stable-boy who then leads the horse into the darkened interior of the building while the courier sprints across the yard to the great doors. He raps on one of the doors, and it opens enough for him to slip inside and give instructions to the staff to prepare for their guest.
That smile remained for quite some time at least until the mention of a lingered stay. "I am simply glad it is well received Ser Bastien and you arrived seemingly uninjured." She pauses, Though I regret to inform you our guest chambers here in the keep are all occupied." Both hands join into one another against her abdomen as she speaks, "However we would not deny you the comforts of a warm hearth and should you desire to stay beyond the evening I know the Inn, in the township, is vacant." Better set the expectations now than later Faline glances to the young man tasked with seeing the man's horse. "That young man would be more than willing to lead you there." Of course he was, the younger man was given a purpose. The woman's handmaiden awarded her curtsy as due though in silence. The Lord's niece asked, "You've come alone Ser Bastien?" Braving the roads littered with bandit activity her tone was a touch surprised.
Tucking his thumbs behind his belt, Bastien stretches slightly in his boots as the horse is led away. As the young woman permits the unfortunate news of occupancy, Bastien's head shakes from side to side, dismissing her concern. "Highfield has been in the same straits, you need not concern yourself with my sleeping arrangements." Her mention of being escorted to an inn seems adequate for the knight. "An Inn would be perfect. Yes, alone. I need no escort to care for myself, and a lone horse moves faster. I've always found that prolonged travel is dangerous travel."
The Inn had ales, working women and food, the three necessities for any man knighted or not. "Then I shall not delay your comforts any longer Ser Bastien." The mirth resumed after the delivery of information not too disappointing. A graceful gesture was made for the doors of the keep as she'll take the lead in guiding their visitor towards the Entrance Hall were preparations should have been completed by now. "He seems like a fine horse." The creature lead away to the stables. "I've heard the roads were dangerous, still peaking with bandit activity and recently caused the deaths of former retainers. I believe they were of your house." She shares of the rumors that reached her ears. Gossip mostly. "You would think by now they would have found themselves something better to occupy their time with. Much of the Riverlands that have been raided or destroy are seeking to rebuild. Strong men are highly desired."
"Desperate men show their true colors during trying times and moments of opportunity. Unfortunately, we cannot be every where at once." Following suit behind Faline, Bastien walks at a casual pace, the larger man easily keeping up with the smaller Lady. As they enter into the entrance hall, Bastien stops for a brief moment to take in his surroundings. "You've a beautiful home, Lady Faline."
"It is disappointing really. They truly do not value the rewards that come with hard work." Says the kettle on their casual relocation through the halls of the keep until reaching their destination. As promised a hearth was lit, filling the great chamber with a warmth comparable to summer at midday. Suriya followed beside her lady as dedicated as a shadow and equally silent. Two goblets for serving were already placed, recently too. Along with a few selections of finger dishes to stave one's appetite. Fruits, cheese and breads mostly.
Further inside Faline carefully removed the pale green shawl that covered her shoulders to pass into her handmaiden's guardianship for now. Turning partially to Bastien she gestures to the table, "Please…" Encouraging him to sit wherever he desired. Near the hearth or furthest from it, it would not matter. "Thank you though I cannot be truly accredited to this great hall's construction. My family and I have returned just past a week ago. I shall pass your compliments to the Lady Anais and Lord Justin, my cousins."
Bastien does not bother to remove his cloak as he moves towards a seat near the two nobles. "It is easy for us to look down upon them. Those born to such lives cannot be blamed, but word has it there are knights amongst them. Any man who has ever called himself a knight should know better and keep himself to stronger principles than theft and murder." A shake of the man's head is given as he finally shows some sign of emotion. The distaste is left behind as he snacks slightly. The man's banter is small, and he tends to remain quiet through most of the meal, allowing Faline the floor should she so choose to take it. It might even become apparent that he's not apathetic, so much as simply shyly closed off. After a short while, the man draws himself up out of his chair. "Your company has been a blessing, Lady Faline, but I must retire. I wish to be well rested when the rest of your family receives me."
Hard times pressed for hard decisions to made. While she did not know the truth of their motivations, to choose banditry over honest living Faline was cautious about casting judgement. "Other avenues have been offered I am told. I suppose the calling may be too strong for some. To live violently and dishonorably." Particularly of those rumored knights that have adopted the thieving lifestyle.
Over the course of light topics and pecking away at her served dish Faline tried to maintain the easy flow of conversation until the desire for rest was weighing heavily upon the man. "Of course Ser Bastien. You're very welcomed here and I bid you a good night's rest." She remarks softly, standing from her seat gesturing to one of the servants, "See that our visitor arrives to the Rockcliff Inn." Command given Faline offers a nod of her head to the Charlton man. "Until we meet again."