|Sharp As Words|
|Summary:||Ilaria and Alric meet by chance again; later, Alric tries to shield Ilaria from Trajan's eccentricities.|
|Town Square - Terrick's Roost|
|The town square of Terrick's Roost was once considered well-kept. The stone streets run right up to the building fronts around the edge and the locals have kept the spaces between free of grass and weeds that might otherwise sprung up between them, although dark streaks of stubborn soot have crawled in between the stones. There are several homes and shops located here which show the scars and cinders of the sacking of the town at Ironborn hands. The ruin of the town's Sept can also be seen from here with its ornate stone front rising above the surrounding structures just down the cobblestone road.|
|15 October 289|
Alric is just coming towards the square from the tower to try and search for his sister, whom he spots approaching from the marketplace. Being fascinated and having bought things. "Perhaps the coastline or just taking it easy for a moment, dear sister." Comes the reply to her words. Talbot having been about to answer, but leaves the talking to the siblings when Alric comes. A bright smile is on the heir's face. "It is good to see you enjoying town." Corrin not around currently, it seems. Perhaps watching someone else. Or just off drinking.
Arabella had been looking to Talbot for his answer when she notices her brother approaching. Her inquisitive look rapidly changes to one of delight. "Alric! Oh it is so lovely here! I never want to leave." A regular walking advertisement for the Roost. "I wonder if you could take me soon to see the coast? There were musings from the marketplace about the view of the sea from there." Lifting a hand she absently coils a lock of hair around her finger while awaiting his reply.
Corrin is not drinking. Rather, he is trying to ward off the doe-eyed advances of Ilaria's rather silly maid, Heolla. Rapidly growing exasperated with her maid's antics, Ilaria dismisses Heolla with a curt, "See to the tailor, Heolla. He should at least have the one dress ready." The girl flounces away with a pout, heading deeper into the square. If the guardsman is relieved, he keeps it to himself.
Linked arm-in-arm with Septa Shiella, Ilaria dawdles at a stand selling baubles and trinkets, none of which are absolutely necessary but all of which beckon with richly hued gems and shiny metal. "This to go with the purple?" she inquires of her companion, but her attention is drawn away in a snap as the feminine cry for her betrothed alerts her to his presence nearby. For a moment her expression is that of a wide-eyed rabbit caught in a hunter's trap, but it is quickly replaced by something more neutral. Exchanging glances with her Septa, the noblewoman leads her small entourage slowly in the direction of Alric and Arabella.
Alric chuckles and shakes his head before nodding to her, "And here I thought you would have enjoyed Hollyholt more than here." He teases before nodding. "Alright, the coast." He tells her and just smiles. Getting a nod by Talbot and gestures discreetly towards the approaching group, turning to bow to the lady. "My lady. I hope you are well" Glancing to Corrin, the man that usually keeps his duties. Unless released for the day. Then he can be a bit looser as well. Though it soon goes back to Ilaria. "This is lady Arabella Fenster, my sister. She came with us back to the Roost." Gesturing to his sister before looking to her and gesturing to Ilaria, "Lady Ilaria Haigh, my betrothed." Slightly awkward saying it still.
"The coast." Arabella echoes, still delighted at the tour she is receiving from her brother and his guard. "I think I was in Hollyholt too long to enjoy much of anything about it anymore. Everything had become so commonplace." Noticing the guard who had been assigned her for the day indicating the arrival of another, she turns enough to watch the approaching group, recognizing Corrin from their travels. Though it is the lady who her attention rests on with unmasked curiosity. "Lady Haigh," offering a deep curtsy, "I am quite pleased to meet you!" The awkwardness of her brother earns a grin as she looks back at him briefly.
All three people return Alric's bow with their own courtesies, although Ilaria's is interrupted when she is forced by the grip on her arm to help Septa Shiella to stand. "Old bones," the robed woman laments to her ward by way of apology, to which Ilaria responds with a gentle and forgiving smile. Hazel eyes turn on Alric for a moment, curious but guarded, before her gaze is swept downward modestly upon being introduced.
"Lady Arabella, the pleasure is mine in making your acquaintance," Ilaria replies, and the dulcet, slightly breathy soprano carries with it a touch of genuine interest. "The coast is, indeed, a delight for many at Four Eagles. They even arrange regular picnics, and afterward the groups split into men and women. They each go to different cliffs and spend an afternoon diving from on high into the sea. If you are interested, my lady, I could speak to Lady Anais about forming another outing."
Alric nods to his sister as she continues to speak and seeming rather cheerful. Glad to see her happy. Raising a brow at the grin offered to him. Though his attention soon goes to Ilaria as well. Glancing to the septa as well. A hint of a smile to her. Then looking to meet Ilaria's curious gaze. Letting the ladies talk then. Nodding but not speaking for the time being.
"It sounds very lovely and I eagerly await a tour there." Widening her eyes at the mention of the diving from the cliffs. "Is it terribly high?" Almost breathlessly voicing the question, a hand splaying across her middle. "I imagine it would be rather… exhilarating. If Lady Anais would not mind organizing another, I would be most agreeable to going!" There is a sparkle in Arabella's eyes as she looks back to her brother, curious as to why he has fallen silent.
Arabella's enthusiasm is infectious, and Ilaria finds herself smiling widely despite her usual solemnity. "I must confess I have never been, but my sister has. I do not know of any ladies being injured, so I imagine our cliff is not quite so high, but I have heard that the gentlemen's jumping cliff is quite daunting, to say the least." She casts a glance toward Alric out of the corner of her eye, and utilizing a charming smile she attempts to coax him back into the conversation. "Surely you would try it at least once, my lord?"
Alric smiles rather brightly as his eyes goes back and forth between the two. Seeing the look from his sister as well. "I am sure something can be arrange. Do be careful." He tells her, showing a slight worry for his youngest sister. Though then Ilaria is dragging him back into the conversation and a warm smile is given back to her, "I did. Not the highest plateau but it was quite the experience. Went there before the dance with the rest. Jumped along with Ser Justin." He explains. Glad to see the two ladies bonding. "I think you should perhaps join my sister in trying then. If it is safe of course." He offers to Ilaria. "And you both can keep an eye on one another as well then." He suggests rather happy it seems. Most likely from Arabella's cheerful behaviour.
Finding somewhat of a kindred spirit in her brothers betrothed, Arabella responds to the wide smile with one of her own. "Then we should go and try together sometime. If you are agreeable." Though her gaze also goes to her brother and she attempts to cajole him into going also. "Would you take us if there is another event coordinated? Please, my dearest brother?" Hearing him mention having been diving already, a delighted laugh escapes. "My fearless brother. I should have expected you had already done something so challenging."
"I am agreeable," Ilaria answers Arabella with a dip of her head, although this earns a grumble from Septa Shiella - something about younglings not understanding old bodies somethingsomething. Before she can continue, Ilaria interrupts with a gentle touch to her Septa's arm. "I will make Heolla attend to me that day, do not worry." The corners of Ilaria's eyes crinkle with a suppressed smile, and she turns her gaze back to Alric and Arabella both. "I was at the tailor today discussing new dresses, although my sense of fashion has been dulled by staying in one place for too long. Perhaps one day over tea you would be willing to share the fashions of Hollyholt with me, my lady? I never had the privilege of visiting."
Alric chuckles and nods, "I could take you. Although probably only to the main part, don't think they would appreciate if I joined you on the women's side." He teases. Shaking his head as she goes on and complimenting him. Looking over to Ilaria and giving her a comforting smile, as perhaps his sister's happy appearance can be a bit much at times. Then he looks back over to his sister. "You have been quite excited since we left Tavin's Rest, how can you still have energy?" Sure, she slept during the night. But until then and after that she has been in high spirits.
Looking over to Ilaria at her words, smiling and nodding. As for her fashion sense, he shrugs. "They seem rather good still. At least compared to mine." He says and chuckles. "And you do look lovely, my lady." He offers before adding, "I am sure the both of you can show one another a lot."
"Oh, I would like that very much!" Arabella exclaims, "I regret I have not met anyone since my arrival here, and I would be glad to have a friend to talk with and compare fashions. And perhaps you could share the name of your tailor with me? I would adore a new dress." Clasping her hands together, she has that same eager, delighted smile that seems her constant companion.
When her brother offers his agreement to taking them, impulsively she releases her own hands and gives him a brief hug. "Thank you, Alric! I shall look forward to it. You are right, though, I should leave you both to get acquainted for a moment, while I go and tend to an errand I have been meaning to." Telling him as if he suggested it himself. "If you both will excuse me, I will try and return shortly, if I am unable, I will see you both very soon."
Ilaria blinks rapidly at Arabella's exuberance. Her cheeks flush and she glances away as the girl hugs her brother, perhaps out of respect for the moment. But it is when Arabella is departing that the Haigh is brought out of her momentary silence. "Of course, my lady. I will be here for quite some time," she murmurs politely, exchanging glances with Septa Shiella that convey a mixture of confused amusement. Left alone again together - or, well, as 'alone' as two people can be accompanied by servants and standing in a public square - Ilaria takes a moment to study Alric. "Your sister has a very sweet disposition, my lord."
Alric smiles at his sister, enjoying the bright light that she is. Hugging her in return. "Urhm… I didn't mean." Clearing his throat before laughing. "Take care." He says and Talbot moves after the young Fenster lady. Looking over to Ilaria then. Smiling wide. "I understand if she can be a bit much. Although I enjoy it. It tells me that she is happy." He offers to the lady. In case she thought of his sister to be too cheerful. Some like a bit calmer places. Though at the lady's words, he beams. "She does indeed."
With a tilt of her head, Ilaria sends a silent inquiry for Alric to accompany her through the market stalls. It seems the young lady is adept at spending money. "It is refreshing to meet someone who seems free of cynicism and disgust with, well, everything. Lady Arabella is a breath of fresh air at a time when all around life seems gloomy," she offers by way of wordy compliment, keeping her voice quiet. Turning, Ilaria clasps her hands behind her back and begins to lead at a leisurely pace between rows of stalls. Behind her, Septa Shiella and Corrin are also side-by-side; the former is busy staring holes into Alric's back while the latter is scanning the vicinity.
Alric and Ilaria are talking together near a cluster of stalls, accompanied by Ilaria's Septa and Alric's borrowed guard.
Alric follows along with Ilaria, smiling and nodding to her words about his sister. Truly happy that they got along well. Offering his arm to her, to escort her. Keeping proper other than so. Being in the afternoon and the stalls are all still full of things. Glancing through the stalls as well as letting his gaze move over to the lady once in awhile.
At the proffered arm, Ilaria glances back toward Septa Shiella. The old woman's lips purse, but the gesture is polite and proper enough to earn a nod. Smiling gently, the young Haigh rests her hand on Alric's forearm and is thusly escorted from stall to stall. "I tend to keep my promises, you know. When I see her next, I will speak to Lady Anais about a proper cliff diving outing. I think everyone could use some fresh air around here, what with all of the troubles… Oh! That does remind me, I am arranging a visit to Highfield soon, so I will be gone for a week or so. I will make sure Corrin returns to you."
The Dark Jester emerges it seems from almost nowhere almost materialising behind the soon to be married couple and walking right next to Lady Ilaria's Septa who might receive something of a shock at this mad mutilated knight showing up like the stranger. Mercifully he has his hood down, "Cousin…" he says in his accent-less even voice that seems to come from nowhere and carries with it the chill of his presence. "And Lady Ilaria - what an honor."
Talbot, having left with Alric's sister, leaves Corrin alone as a guard for the nobles. There is a nod from Alric to the words of his betrothed. "I understand, my lady. It will be quite nice to have everyone out there once more." He offers. As for going to Highfield, there is another nod. "Keep Corrin, my lady. Unless you wish me to come along, then I will await your return here." He offers. Studying her to see her reaction to that offer.
Corrin has of course noticed the man before he approaches, offering a nod to Trajan. Alric being a bit startled though as he turns to incline his head to his cousin. Pulling the lady an inch closer to give her a sign of him trying to comfort her. Without being improper.
A startled gasp from behind causes Ilaria to whip her head around, and she too emits a squeak of alarm. Of course, the sight of Trajan appearing out of nowhere is likely to give anyone a start. Ilaria's free hand reaches up to touch her throat while she catches her breath, and it's a miracle that Septa Shiella doesn't collapse right there with a heart attack. The girl allows Alric to draw her closer, finding comfort in his presence as her lips tremble before offering Trajan a smile. "My lord," she greets, her voice carrying far more warmth than his, while casting a questioning look toward her companion.
Trajan touches his knife covered chest, "Oh forgive me Septa - didn't see you there," slight amusement on his cruel face, "What a fine day - what brings you two lovebirds out - shopping perchance? I myself am looking for a new dagger," he has no less than ten on him openly and probably more hidden. "And please don't stand on ceremony - call me Trajan."
Alric was of course startled, and that had some effect on how much he did draw her closer. Hopefully still proper. "You should not startle people so much." He offers with a look to his cousin. Though of course he means people he isn't suppose to scare. Looking over to the lady, seeing her trembling lips. Letting his free hand come to brush over her hand. Though letting it drop soon after, not wanting to be too improper. For furter comfort of course and a ghost of a smile seen. Looking over to his cousin again then.
If looks could kill, Septa Shiella's glare would drop Trajan in his tracks. The insincere apology only deepens the anger behind her expression, enough so that Ilaria must shak her head quickly to prevent the old woman from unleashing the fury of a thousand women scorned upon the nobleman. Instead, she snorts to communicate her anger and turns her head away. Inevitably, her gaze falls to Alric's hand upon Ilaria's, and her anger is forgotten.
The tight-lipped look from her Septa has Ilaria blushing, and she glances sidelong to Alric before attempting to keep up the conversation. "I am shopping. Lord Alric has opted to accompany me, Lord Trajan," she answers in as slight and flippant a tone as possible, offering the man's scarred visage a smile. "Are you fond of daggers, my lord? I once heard a knight liken them to poison - 'for gutting deer and unfaithful husbands alike, daggers are a woman's weapon' - I think were his words. Do you find them to be more useful than that?"
Trajan turns to his cousin, "I can but startle with my appearance or disappearance - during the Ironborn invasions our enemies looked startled when I showed up in the distance. But I'm sure your new family will get used to me," even though Alric plainly hadn't.
A smile at Lady Ilaria which is a horrid expression on his face. "I have a practical familiarity with the axe and the sword. But a dagger is a more personal weapon. When you use it and look into the eyes of your opponent you can learn things about him. Is he a coward? Is there someone that he was desperate to see just one last time before you came along? Is death a mercy?" Trajan likes knives yes he does. "But daggers are not as personal as fingers. Trouncing a man with your bare hands. Fracturing his bones. That is a journey into the depths of his soul." Trajan sighs whimsically. "The things I could have told you about that sailor that was menacing me the other night cousin…" Trajan wanted to break both of his arms.
Alric nods to Trjan and just studies the man a bit. Trying to just continue to study his cousin. Letting things go on. "Cousin, you should try and not scare people." He tells Trajan and studies him for a moment. Not saying much though.
The muscles in Ilaria's jaws flex visibly as she clamps her teeth together, fighting back waves of frustration as Trajan continues to discuss topics not fit for public consumption. Septa Shiella, having regained her composure, interrupts the gathering with a clearing of her throat. "My lord," she offers to Alric, casting the most withering glare she can manage upon Trajan, "I am afraid this conversation is not at all suitable for a lady. If you please, I will be escorting her back to the tower." She doesn't add "if this continues" to the end, for that would be a degree too petulant.
The young Haigh's grip on Alric's arm is tight, fingers digging into him as she struggles to remain composed. "Septa Shiella, it is quite alright. We must be understanding when facing adversity, even in the form of the socially inept." Turning her gaze to Trajan, she presents him with a ghost of a smile. "I am sure, my lord, there are a great many things you could learn from a man in the midst of killing him. Fortunately for me, I will never find it a need to know these things. I feel it must fall to me to remind you, Lord Trajan, that in mixed company one speaks of politely boring topics such as the weather, the harvest, the quality of the local wine, or even politics. Please, for my sake, let us stick to these subjects."
Trajan bursts out into peals of laughter, "The Lady has backbone Alric - you'll want to make sure she doesn't run into Varag - he might take that as insolence. And he hates women albeit secretly," Trajan refers to his treacherous elder brother.
"My apologies my lady and lady Septa - I will change the topic if you will allow me. How about theology? I have heard… that that raises your interest. I cannot stand being boring. Ser Harold Charlton called me boring a month or so ago and it was the first time I can ever remember actually being insulted by someone in years."
Alric nods to the septa's words, but not looking over to her. Looking to the lady and trying to comfort her, in what little way that he could as he looks to his cousin, "Trajan. As I told you. To be respectful." He tells him with a bit of a more demanding look on his face. Having been able to come in control of himself. Nodding in agreement with Ilaria. "Lady Ilaria is right, cousin." He tells him. As for Trajan's brother, he shakes his head. "Your brother would be wise not to come near in such case." He says and shakes his head. Pushing such talk aside then and continues to focus on his cousin for another moment before looking to Ilaria. "Apologies." He offers, trying to keep himself calm. Though apparently this time talk of Varag upsets him.
Ilaria looks to Alric once more, offering him a smile and a slight shake of her head. "Think nothing of it, my lord. We cannot always control what comes out of others' mouths despite our great desire to have such power." With a sigh she turns back to attend to the conversation with Trajan, and when he mentions religion she squints at him with a somewhat shrewd expression. "There is something about your mien, Lord Trajan, that warns me not to address The Seven with you. Besides, I get enough of such chatter with Septa Shiella. I would rather talk - I don't even know what. Not theology." She turns to take in Alric once more, and her demeanor softens perceptibly. "Actually, I am feeling a bit fatigued, my lord," she murmurs to Alric. "Would you mind terribly if I went ahead to the tower? I am sure I will see you at supper."
Trajan smiles at Alric, "Apologies cousin - I often forget my manners - or do they forget me. If Varag shows up count on me being near. It has been years since we have embraced. I'd like him as a 'guest' one day." All of Trajan's torture victims he euphemistically refers to as 'guests'.
Mock astonishment at Lady Ilaria's dissemblage. "Why I am a very devout man. Even had something of a religious experience myself," though a profoundly dystheistic one. To Alric, "Unless you need to discuss anything urgently with me cousin you should escort your fair lady back to her tower." Trajan tries to avoid looking at Ilaria's angry Septa just in case the sight causes him to laugh himself to death.
Alric nods to her words and has a hint of a smile present for her. Looking over to his cousin, "Perhaps you two could talk more about arts or such at some point." He suggests instead before looking to Ilaria again and inclining his head. "Not at all, my lady. Corrin will go along with you and septa Shiella. I will see you at supper my lady." He tells her and gives her a gentle squeeze to her hand before letting her leave with the septa and his own guard.
Eyes sliding over to his cousin. His eyes studying the man, sighing a bit. "It is fine. Do act a bit more thoughtful next time. Please." He offers. Though about guiding the lady, he nods. "Unless you needed me, cousin, I will do so." Looking to Ilaria at that. Not wanting to intrude too much. So if she wishes to go alone, he won't force himself upon her. "I will find you after." He tells his cousin.
For Trajan's parting words, Ilaria spares him any rhetoric and instead dips her head in farewell. As for Alric, when he makes to accompany her to the tower, she accepts the offer with an amused smile. "Thank you, my lord, if it is not an inconvenience. Good evening, Lord Trajan." With that, she turns to make her way through the market in the direction of Four Eagles.
Alric shakes his head, "Not at all." He tells her before bowing his farewell to his cousin and then joining Ilaria to the tower. Having felt the grip on him he just smiles back at her. Not saying much, just trying to keep her calm and comfort a bit.