Page 435: Strangers No More
Strangers No More
Summary: Lady Faline catches her cousin, Ser Justin, before his departure to patrol.
Date: 30/9/2012
Related Logs: A Harpy, a Wolf, and a Eagle Walk Into a Hall...
Faline Justin Lothar 
Courtyard, Four Eagles Tower
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.
Sun Sep 30, 289

Early morning finds the sun on the brink of departing the earth's embrace to rise up into the sky. A sky rosy tinted shading over into a rich teal with the very last of the night's stars loath to give up their place to the greater star. The sea whispers and rumbles below upon the rocks around the base of the keep's high cliffs, a constant murmur. A breeze gently ripples the Terrick banners overhead in the growing light.

Below in the courtyard, Justin walks out of the tower after a brief meeting and stops, trying to readjust a strap on the side of his breastplate - which he can hardly reach. As he has no squire of his own, putting on and taking off his armour is something of an ordeal, though he's become more deft at it than many. It would seem he is about to go out on patrol once others arrive to join him.

It may come to no surprise that Faline was up and about, still awaken from the prior day and robbed of another good night's rest. In these hours the Roost was barely awaken with activity, mostly by those who served the house and prepared it for the nobility rising. The young female stepped out into the courtyard, handkerchief fingered by a pair of hands. "Lord Justin?" She called out cautiously, still beneath one of the archways that offered shade. "If I may prevail a few spare moments of your time?"

He turns at the sound of the feminine voice. Justin studies Faline in the pale morning light, then nods, "Of course, but only if you reserve 'Lord' for my father. Ser suits me better… though, among family I prefer to drop the formalities, lady Faline." The Sheriff nonetheless uses her honorific in case she prefers it. He leaves off snugging the side strap and clasping his hands loosely behind his back, Justin leisurely walks in her direction. "I hope you are settling in well with us. Do you need for anything, cousin?"

Lothar comes out of the stables and readjusts his quiver and his slung bow as he glances around as he leaves the shade of the stables and into the sunlight of the courtyard. He ends up pausing for a bit as well to be sure that well he doesn't walk into anything as his eyes adjust.

Even this early the lady wasn't without proper companionship. Suriya maintained her silence, offering a respectable curtsy for her lady's kin while the pair conversed. The pale female smiled softly at the Sheriff. "Ser Justin. When you were just Justin to what seems like ages ago." Faline remarked while her honey brown gaze latched upon his features. "Well enough, it is an adjustment of course. With things so different. But thank you." Her eyes take one glimpse of the courtyard. "I had hoped I did not cause offense. From yesterday. I forgotten we are all strangers once more."

Justin likewise studies her in turn, having some vague memories at best of his cousins. He was only 5 years old when Bolland departed and took his children with him. "I am not so easily offended, Faline. However, I do not care to be compared to my brothers. Not at least until such time as I prove to be no better. Then you may say as you like and I shall deserve it, if it comes to pass."
His own face looks older than his 20 years, signs of the months of hunger having left it leaner and harsher planed. Justin is slowly regaining the weight he lost. He idly walks a few steps closer to the garden portion and pausing near a rose, turns his head when someone comes from the stables. There is a nod for Lothar. Jerold's remaining son allows his gaze to roam over the garden lady Muirenn laboured so long to rebuild which includes a selection of herbs in raised beds along the courtyard wall with benches, trellis and even a few small trees planted to cast shade in time.

"We will be strangers no more. This is your home, whatever you think of it, and you have a right to be here. It strengthens our House that my father's brother has returned." Even if Justin maybe isn't too sure what Bolland is up to, yet.

"We are all mere shadows to our elders, Ser. Justin." Even she compared to her elder siblings though she was not one to try and outshine any of them. It will come in time. "You are here, where duty binds you. You should take pride cousin that your brothers cannot compare to the efforts you've made thus far." Manipulating the words into a positive one she follows the Sheriff's gaze first to the rose and then to her brother departing from the stables. Faline smirked inwardly. "I should like that." On no longer being strangers. "That it does. The years lost shall be amended." A comment made before asking, "Do you remember our sitter? The portly woman always running out of breath when we ran up the stairs?"

Lothar pats his side and realizes he'd forgotten something back in his room and turns to head back into the stables which tends to smell funny for some reason…

"Perhaps," Justin gives warily in answer to his own accomplishments so far, compared to his brothers. They, all of them, did well enough until … they didn't. He shifts his jaw and turns the more fully from the roses to watch his cousin, listening. A faint negative movement of his head, "No, not really. I do have memories of my siblings. I don't remember much from the time ere your family departed. You may well remember more than I, cousin. I, like your father, probably think of Riverrun and it's valley as being my home more than this place. Everything here has changed from what I remember. I have felt the outsider, here."

Justin notes Lothar turning and going back into the stable. He faintly frowns, likely waiting on the younger cousin for that patrol, as well as Ser Kell, likely. A groom brings out Justin's horse, the grey gelding already saddled. His pale coat gleams like a stormy pearl in the morning light.

"She was kind but we were cruel. She could never catch us." Faline recalls of the woman who was tasked as watching over the nursery. "Just pieces of memories here and there. I, as you, feel more at home in the Eyrie than here. The Roost is a place, where I should feel some connection and yet…" She doesn't finish that though as the knight's gelding is guided from the stables. "I should leave you to your duties Ser. Do be safe cousin."

Ah, but her memory eases Justin's face into a smile, and even a brief laugh which she might not have known he was capable of. "I bet we were! Children often are, though they be mostly innocent and surely we meant only joy of escaping her minding, rather than any harm." Aye, he smiles, "I should like to see the Eyrie some day. Except for the sea, there is little I love more than to roam the mountains. I do miss them."

He turns his head as the horse is lead out, followed by others who lead theirs out to mount. They are yet lacking a few to come out from the tower, yet. Justin is impatient to depart, an early riser himself who chafes at such delays. Still, he looks back to Faline, dressed in his partial maile with partial plate - almost but not quite full brigadine. For he lacks the maile leggings and proper gauntlets, yet. His is a relatively poor House and it is well known that Jaremy's set of plate was lost to Ser Riordan. It will likely be many a year before such is had again within this House.

Justin tugs his riding gloves out of his belt and draws them on, "Thank you. We must combine our patrols of the roads with searching for my brother or his horse. May the Crone guide us and the Warrior keep our blades hungry for bandits." Faline's cousin is a man who is always hungry for the hunt, especially if it be for men who do ill. Becoming Sheriff suits Justin while he struggles to learn more law. He gives Faline a bow and turns to go to his horse.

The Terrick starts laying into the others for dragging their feet. Justin's baritone turns gruff, chastising them briefly for not being ready to depart an hour ago. He steps up into his saddle and turns his impatient grey gelding, and once the others are finally up, he heads them out with a clatter of iron shod hooves upon the courtyard's stone.