|Shopping in Stonebridge|
|Summary:||Lady Elinor encounters Ser Kell while in Stonebridge.|
|December 5, 288|
For most of the morning and into the afternoon, Kell had once again been traveling on the road of Westeros, continuing with the contract he had agreed on with the merchant though it seems like this trip is the last leg of the agreement. The sound of a wagon that is being pulled by pack animals can be heard as the hooves make contact with the path. The Knight's mount makes a slightly lighter sound as he is riding at the merchant's side though now that they are in town, Kell is sitting on his horse in a more relaxed manner. With his charge safely escorted back to civilization, the knight gives the merchant a nod and a slight wave of his hand before dismounting, then he guides his horse towards the Stables for housing.
Emerging from the local Inn as the hour of the mid-day meal had just passed, Lady Banefort, her two maidens and house guards take to the streets of the bustling market. It's alive with merchants pushing carts or setting up displays in hopes that buyers will take interest in their wares. She was in need of new threads and perhaps some fabrics too, her mind recalled as a light stroll took the trio along the road. The day of mourning had passed so her garments were colorful in lieu of warm season. Thin layers of silks and cloth kept the chill at bay however the heat of the sun flushed her cheeks with warmth, coloring it a blushing rose-like shade from perhaps too much time outdoors. Elinor raised a hand, shielding the sun glow from her eyes which allowed her a clearer view of the street and what timing to notice a familiar face that may have also traveled to Stonebridge during the evening hours. Nearing the stables, Elinor voice chirped, "Ser Drakmoor, what a pleasant surprise. To see you in Stonebridge."
Passing the reigns of the horse to a young but energetic stable boy, Kell also slips a few coins into the young lad's hand as well with a smile bfeore turning away, knowing that his loyal mount will be taken care of. Before the knight could decide on what to do next, he hears the familiar voice of Elinor, sensing that her mood is different than their first encounter, most likely due to the new locale and passing of the Day of Remembrance.
A warm smile appears on Kell's lips as he dips his head respectfully towards the Lady, "Good Afternoon to you, Lady Banefort. A pleasant surprise indeed, on my part as well, to see you here in Stonebridge. I have returned here due to obligation, for I have been riding escort for a merchant who's final stop appears to be this town. I am pleased to see you again, M'lady, certainly earlier than I had expected." Despite being a commoner, it seems like Kell is putting extra effort into being polite and proper, atleast when it comes to speaking with nobility.
The pair of maidens accompanying Elinor stand off to the side, participants only in escorting rather than the conversation. Still all three award the Knight his due with a curtsey of greeting. "Your arrival is recent then?" She queries while herself had taken most of the night to arrive, perhaps some few hours after their last encounter. "Have you spare time for leisure? I would enjoy some companionship as I browse the merchant's wares. One can never be too careful when bartering with coin."
A nod is also graced to the two maidens that accompany Elinor as they curtsey with the Lady before Kell returns his full attention back to Elinor. "Indeed, I have just arrived into town moments ago, the merchant and I departed early this morning. Luckily, it was an uneventful trip and we entered town without much trouble." It looks like any sort of adventure to seek out danger has been ironed out of this knight, perhaps due to the experiences of his past. As for the Lady's request for an escort, Kell inclines his head in her direction, "It would be a pleasure and an honor to be your escort, Lady Banefort, so you can fully enjoy your time here in the market."
"Praise the Seven your arrival was without complications Ser Drakmoor." Elinor returns, indeed pleased that no harm had fallen to him. Or the merchant as danger lurked everywhere for greed, lust, and envy did not discriminate. After Kell had agreed to provide himself as escort the noblewoman would nod her head, "Thank you Ser." engaging their leisured stroll towards the market. Her maidens would shift in line upon their shadows. "Would you mind telling me the lands of your origin?"
Falling in step with the Lady, Kell does seem to hold a relaxed posture though his eyes maintain the alertness as he keeps an eye on the area around him. As for her question of inquiry on his pat, the knight does seem to be slightly hesitant as he still isn't sure how different nobles would react to a common born knight. But he is one who speaks the truth and is willing to share the information with Elinor, "I was not born into a noble house, I am just a common man and I grew up in a town just off of the Kingsroad towards the north. Whether by luck or the will of the Warrior, I was knighted in the war on the side of Robert, having fought at the side of the late Ser Marc Ryswell." Kell slowly brings his gaze back to the Lady, as if to gage her reactions to his words.
Elinor's head inclined towards Kell yet her eyes remained to the stone paved path before them as he spoke. Her brows lifted briefly, the woman's demeanor maintaing the poise every noble female is expected to have. Even the smallfolk could bring worth into their destinies, "A wise choice to join the Knighthood Ser Drakmoor." The woman sums as they near a fish vendor hawking for a customer's interest in his morning's catch. The foul odor in the air wrinkled her features momentarily before they had distanced themselves, "You are a common man no longer, but a man sworn by oath, honor and virtue. They are a caste of their own."
The smell of raw fish also causes Kell to wrinkle his nose slightly, even though he has probably smelled worse his nose still tells him what is pleasant and what isn't. As they move away from that particular vendor, the knight seems to be considering Elinor's words, perhaps not expecting them from a Nobleborn Lady. "And it is by the oath, honor, and virtue of a Knight I now live by. However, and you may find it odd for me to say this, I actually do not regret growing up as a commoner. It is certainly a different station in life and there lacks the luxuries, but it also presents one a different set of life experiences." Experiences that may have made Kell into the man he is today, then again if he had experienced the life of a noble, he may change his tune all together.
Elinor drifted towards an enclosed shop with a banner above the doors that note it is a house of fabrics and tailoring. Naturally she'll wait for Kell to open the door before entering herself. "It is odd." The woman meets his gaze, a steel tone in her voice that borders the line of offensive. Elinor then turns to the door, waiting as both hands are latched into one another and rest against the abdomen. Eventually her shoulders would relax some and her voice softens, "Nevertheless, those qualities expected of Knights do not distinguish a man from common or noble birth. I take faith that such an honor to befall any man is bound to respect such an oath." Not to imply she looked down on the commoners, not all, just some. Her noble stature allowed her the right to be snooty and egotistical, "Have you pledged your loyalty to the Terricks?" Not just any house but specifically the Terricks.
Following proper ettiquette, Kell does indeed step forward to open the door for Lady Elinor and her direct words doesn't seem to offend the knight in the bit, in fact it may actually be refreshing due to his common upbringing, preferring more direct exchange of words than being playful and tactful with the choice of speech. "I will have to agree with you there, M'Lady, odd indeed, I am sure most would speak of it in the same manner. And you are also right, in the brotherhood of Knights, we are all held to a higher standard which we strive for." Now, whether there is a heirarchy within the Knighthood itself, he does hot share. As for the question about the Terricks presented to him, Kell can only shake his head in response, "I'm afraid I am what you call a Free Lance, M'Lady, some would call a Hedge Knight."
Elinor nods before entering the fabric house though once inside she permits her maidens to move about freely as she strolls along the displayed racks of various fabrics. Colors, textures, embroidered, both wool, furs and just about everything necessary to create garments from simple to lavish quality. A hand brushes against the purple velvet, a physical inspection of it's quality. Without looking to Kell directly their conversation continues as she carouses. "Ah." She says at first, "Have you thought of returning to the town that birthed you? What has brought you here instead of seeking service in King's landing?"
Following inside the fabric shop behind the Lady and her maidens, Kell's eyes takes a brief look around the shop though as expected, an establishment like this doesn't hold too much of the night's interest, his attention still focused on Elinor. The pair of question asked does have the knight taking a moment to consider what answers he will give. The first is responded to first, "I have returned once since the war, to visit my parents, who were certainly pleased with my new station in life. But my duties as a knight carries me throughout Westeros, mostly coming to the defense of those who cannot defend themselves." Like the merchant he was escorting today, nothing extraordinary or heroic but still duty itself. "As for King's Landing, life there is a lot different than life here. I think one common born like myself is more suited here than in King's Landing."
While agreeing Elinor does not vocalize her opinion, a simple "I see." would suffice. She moved onto the next fabric of green silk, then yellow and another white. The shopkeeper was quick to offer their service and for a brief while the two exchanged words before Elinor would settle on a few selections. She was finished when the shopkeeper departed to cut away the amount desired and prepare them for sale. "Should I require your service again Ser Drakmoor during my short stay here in Stonebridge I am in need of an escort when I return the roost." She failed to ensure that one would be secured though they were friendly enough that his companionship was entrusted with the lady's safekeeping. "Unless you have duties here that bind you otherwise?" She raised her brow in question to Kell.
"My duties with the merchant I have been escorting is completed so I am free, Lady Elinor, so I am pleased to lend my services to the protection of one as fair as yourself, M'Lady." Kell answers with a slight bow, the light words of complement also added as he has been told, though over drinks at various tarverns, that noble ladies enjoy hearing nice things about themselves. Now whether or not it is smart of the knight to listen to advice parted over drinks, it is still to be seen. He does continue with his words so there isn't any miscommunication that may inadvertantly cause Kell to go back on his word, which is very important to the man.
Blandishments in her favor are certainly the means to beckon a smile from the noblewoman. Unable to be concealed she wears it with a measure of pride and knowing, "Good." She returns as she makes her way towards the counter, dropping the amount of coin necessary to pay for her fabrics. That is when her maidens take over to carry Elinor's purchases. A simple task really however she cannot be bothered to carry such things. Renewing Kell's purpose she makes a subtle gesture for the door, noting she is ready to depart. "I arrived here to meet the Lady Lucienne though I believe she might have returned to Terrick's Roost. Do you have familiars here Ser Drakmoor? Companions or friends? Or are your days solely spent in duties when arranged?"
Kell is perhaps relieved that his words brought out a smile from the Lady instead of a look of admonishment or worse, a slap to the face. With the purchase finished and goods passed onto the maidens, the knight was prepared to head to the door with Elinor and her gesture merely confirms it as he moves to open the door for the Lady and her maidens. As for anyone he knows here at Stonebridge, Kell shakes his head at the question, "No M'Lady, I have not visited this town often enough to have long term friends, perhaps the barkeep at the tavern at best but no one I would consider a companion or an actual friend. I guess I have been focusing my time more on my duties and self-training with the way of the blade."
Elinor and her maidens re-emerge outdoors, instantly blinded by the sun which causes her to shield those eyes once again when turning about to see that Kell is nearby. She'll initiate the direction for their stroll, more vendors to spy and new scents to either turn in disgust or coo in satisfaction. "Then it would be wise to forge a bond with persons of impressive stations hmm?" A question though not really one to be answered, Elinor probed the Knight a new inquiry, "Tell me more about your efforts in the war Ser Drakmoor." Indeed curious and naturally so for seeing such things would never be allowed for women. And shouldn't.
ollowing the ladies back outside, Kell lets the door shut gently behind him before taking up position at Elinor's side once again as his eyes sweep to the right and then the left, regaining the various possible points or people of interest in the immediate area. The first rhetorical asked by the Lady is responded with a slight shrug, as if the question had been dwelled on from time to time though not exactly at the top of his priority of ambition. As for telling her of the war, Kell is certainly surprised a Lady like her would be interested since it could be boorish or inappropriately uncivilized, "I am not sure what I could share that would be of interest, M'Lady. War is… unpleasant and not something anyone should wish to see. My family supported Robert's Rebellion and I was at an age where adventure and thoughts of misplaced heroism urged me on to join."
"Your thoughts, perspective. The challenges you overcame." Such tales were marveled on by those who lived outside the field of battle or would never touch such gruesome sights. "Clearly you survived." As he stands beside her living and breathing. "I know the battlefield is less than pretty. It is dark, unsightly and many wish to never see it again. It is not those aspects I am curious of but your own." Elinor had explained as they caroused through the display huts and other vendor shops where nothing had particularly caught her interest.
With Kell's attention more or less on Elinor, the knight has no interest on what the merchants have on display. As for the clarification she gives him on what she wishes to know, he inclines his head in understanding, "I see, well, from my perspective of survival in the war, it has more to do with luck than anything else, atleast from where I started. Though you are correct on the challenges I had to overcome, starting out as a commoner soldier, I had to rely on luck, or perhaps it was by the grace of the Seven that I had lived and surpassed expectations. The dark reality you speak of is the first thing one who has never been to war will see and I mean really see, not just hearing of it from others, to see it first hand is different. But if one is able to overcome the fear that accompanies such sights, then the chances your survival of the following battles are increased." Perhaps that is how one slowly matures from a raw recruit to veteranship in battles. Kell does pause as he glances towards Elinor, as if to see if she wishes for him to continue.
Caution keeps her eyes forward as courtliness devotes an ear to Kell's account. "I would assume one must overcome that fear very quickly." She adds, a brief look is given to the Knight before she pauses at another display of some fine jewelry and baubles of the Seven, though not unique enough to turn her expression into favor. Elinor surveys over the collection, allowing the merchant's rabble to flow in one ear than out the other. "I hear that men change after surviving war. They are hardened. More callous in tone. You do not seem to be either, quite pleasant in fact and easy to speak with." Elinor then, with permission from the merchant, lifts one of the necklaces designed with a leather thong holding a silver symbol of the warrior within a seven point star. "Have you considered becoming one of the Warrior's Sons?" Elinor then pointed to the necklace representing the crone, exchanging one for the other as she settled on purchasing the second. Coin changed hands and the crone religious piece was settled inside a small pocket within her cloak.
"Indeed, to succumb to the fear is to embrace death, I'm afraid. Sadly not everyone knew to war was able to see that." Kell answers with a brief tightening of his lips, having seen commoners who also fought for Robert's cause either become rooted in fear or turn to flee, only to be cut down. As for how Elinor views him as a war veteran, the knight can only incline his head graciously as he gives her a warm smile of appreciation of her words, "Thank you, M'Lady, you are most kind in say that. Men do change after war, but not all change in the same manner. Some, as you say, lose compassion, some mature and grow wiser, and some may be plagued with eternal nightmares. I guess becoming Knighted helped me become a better person." Kell does watch as Elinor shops for a religious trinket, looking at the necklace of the Warrior held in her hands before eyes moving to the one with the Crone. Her question has him shaking his head though, "The Warrior's Sons… no, I have no considered joining such an order. I am not as… religious as one would need to be to join such an order." Perhaps the most diplomatic way for him to respond about the fanaticism of the order.
Amused, Elinor smiles to herself. "Many are not counted amongst the deeply devout." As he is one of them it wouldn't appear to bother her. "It is alright Ser Drakmoor, I will not think less of you should you admit to hold little faith. Especially when one has seen what you have seen, do you not believe your 'luck', or some say skill, was a blessing by the Warrior?" She asked then holds up a finger before he may answer, "You need not answer that. Hold your mind to reflect upon it." Another smile for the Knight as she turns towards the Inn nearby and orders her maidens to join those purchases with the traveling trunks in her room. "Will you be ready for departure in two days?"
Kell had some sort of answer for the Lady but at her request to hold his tongue for now and to put more thought into the subject before answering, the knight can only incline his head and grin at how she is able to put out a lure of the subject on faith, only to teasingly pull it back but it does keep the conversation interesting. As for her question about his status in two days, Kell does nod his head in answer, "I will be ready, M'Lady, and will be waiting for you in preparation. If you have any special requests for the trip, please let me know and I will be as accomodating as I can." Escorting nobility isn't something that this Hedge Knight is use to, so he seems to be taking extra care to make sure nothing goes wrong.
Ah there were numerous special requests. "Yes. It will be a day's journey to return the Roost and I will require a carriage for my maidens and I. We will depart before morning's first light. I trust you are a decent enough hunter Ser Drakmoor?" The woman asks while standing near the door of the Inn, not at all going to reveal just how horrible she is with a bow.
As the requests are listed, Kell takes care to remember each, already have expecting that the carriage is a necessity since having a noble lady and maidens walking would be torturous and downright evil. The time of depature seems to not be a problem for the knight though he had assumed the Lady would want to sleep in a little later. As for the issue with hunting, Kell does give Elinor a confident grin, "I've learned to hunt since I was a youth and I do have a bow with my pack, so you need not worry."
"Wonderful. Two days and until then, enjoy your leisure Ser Drakmoor." Elinor pinches the side of her skirt, lowering her frame into a traditional gesture of parting. When, and after, Kell would issue his own the noblewoman slips in through the open door of the Inn where she should be safe, secluded and amongst her own possessions. How boring.
A bow is returned to the lady in ritualistic civility before Kell watches as Elinor turns to slip into the Inn, seeing that his responsibility to her safety for now has ended tonight unless something unexpected happens. He finally turns and resituates himself in the Town Square, trying to locate the stable before moving in that direction to gather the belongings that he had left with his mount upon arrival.