|Summary:||After leaving Cherise, her babe, Jac, and Ramsey at Highfield; Alric and a sore Alys (as well as escort in the form of Charlton men-at-arms and Alys' maid)make way for Hollyholt. Talk of the plans they have for when they get there ensued.|
|Related Logs:||All things Charlton|
|Beaten Path — Wilderness|
|A number of beaten paths lead the way to Hollyholt from Highfield. It was a dry and sunny day, and the sky was littered with big fluffy white clouds. Now the sun begins to decend from the sky and a light breeze accompanies them cooling them as the ride.|
|Sunday June 17, 289|
Eventful day it has been indeed as Alric and Alys set off from Highfield; leaving behind Cherise, her babe Aerick, and Ramsey. Having given leave for her personal guard Ser Jac to stay behind and tend to Cherise and the rest. Now having dropped half their host it is just Alys, her maid, Alric, and the Charlton men-at-arms making way for Hollyholt.
She is in a Mistletoe red gown, the same as that morning when they were pushed from the Tordane Towers in Stonebridge. Alys has managed to gain a strap of leather, at least, so that she can tie her hair to the nape of her neck instead of it flowing freely behind her and into a tangled mess.
Guards riding in front of them she says a few words to her maid who is riding a grey mare before dropping back on her chestnut palfrey to speak to Lord Alric. "My lord. How fare you? Well, I hope." Loud enough for the others to hear, though slowing her horse a bit so she can speak quietly with privacy. "Are you well, Alric?" with a bit of concern creased in her brow.
As for Alric, he's wearing a light blue tunic along with a belt around his waist, dark green breeches and brown boots. Riding calmly alongside the Lady Alys as they make their way towards Hollyholt.
Looking over to Alys as she speaks and he raises a brow. "I am, now that we have been released. How about you?" He asks, speaking in a normal speaking voice. Though as she comes closer to speak quietly he just nods, "I truly am well, my Lady." He tells her and continues to ride for a bit, studying her upon her horse.
"Sore." She says bluntly and shifts in her saddle. Though she does perk up a smile, "But happy to be free, yes." Though that is short lived as Alys heaves a sigh and turns her eyes forward to survey the road. She closes her eyes for a moment to listen to the clip-clopping of the horses whenever they pass over a bunch of stones, and the light chink of armor from the guards that ride ahead. Opening her eyes she continues, "Nervous for my cousin, Aleister, and his wife and babe. Hells for myself." She breaks her gaze forward to look at Alric, "Most of all us." she says cautious of those who ride ahead. Even if the sound of their own armor is all they may hear at present.
Alric nods to her words and keeps studying her for another moment before looking ahead. Though not before seeing the smile on her lips. "Free is good." Hearing her sigh though keeping his eyes straight ahead. "I understand that. I will do what I can to get Ser Aleister out of there. I am to ride to speak with my father as well and then I will see what I can do. Perhaps Lord Keegan or Ser Andrey have some idea about what to do. I am guessing an attack, but that is risky to do right away." He offers and sighs before looking over to her. "We'll just have to see what happens I guess."
"Aye, that would be wise, my father should be able to tell you what you can do." She tips a brow and then smiles a bit. "Speak to your father, hmm?" She chuckles lightly, "Yes, you should. And I think you are right. It would be far too soon for an attack, if my father even wants Stonebridge, that is." Alys looks over to Alric and nods just a touch solemnly. "I do not like waiting on such things. It turns my stomach, Alric." She says quietly shifting again in her saddle with just a sliver of a wince.
"I am sure that he can. I thought of perhaps riding back to Stonebridge to try and have a hearing for the release of your cousin, Ser Aleister." Alric shrugs though. At her chuckle, he grins. Though the grin disappears as fast as it appeared. "Indeed." Though as she continues on there is a little bit of a concerned face on him. Watching her ride her horse for the time being. The escort can keep an eye around them well enough to ensure their safety.
"That would be a fools errand, it is better to talk to father. It is wise you chose not to risk yourself. Trust, if I knew it was safe for me to go back right now I would." Alys looks saddened. "They have my Shane." She says of her prized part sand steed, the very same horse she raised and trained from a foal, who's coat and mane match that of her own curly locks. "This horse is a fat thing," Alys gestures to the mare she sits on. "she needs to stop eating so much grain. She only serves to make me more… er… Uncomfortable." She takes a deep breath and sighs. "I forgot how lovely the open air is." She says deflecting with a bright smile.
Alric nods, "I know. That comes first. But if he gives me the go ahead I will be riding in, no matter if we are to trick them or come to a peaceful decision. If your father agrees that is." It does serve to give him a bit more favor in the eyes of the Charlton Lord as well, most likely. As for her horse, he only offers a sad look. "I am sure that you will get her back." He looks at her for another moment, though doesn't speak. As she mentions the open air, he nods and looks to the sky.
"I know, and you will do as you must. But going there without my father's wants in mind would be unwise and dangerous. I thank you for sparing me that worry." Alys smiles at him. "I will hold audience with my father to see if we cannot get some help receiving our belongings and Aleister back. As well as my betrothal, perhaps my mother even, on that bit of business." Alys looks over to Alric with a warm smile.
Alric smiles and nods, "I am no fool, dear friend." He says with a loud and proud voice, probably having at least one person looking over at them. Also getting to see Alric sitting straight with a hand on his chest. Though he soon grins and looks to Alys. Talking at a more normal tone again. "That sounds like a good idea. I hope you get to speak with your father as soon as possible." Returning her smile with one just as warm.
Alys looses a light chuckle as Alric proclaims his lack of foolishness out loud, Alys' maid turns to look at him and shakes her head as if to say to the contrary and turns back around after casting them a grin. "If the horse could carry me faster and not cause me so much pain, I would be back to Hollyholt now begging for a break in the betrothal. But alas, that is not the case, and I am in no shape to ride that hard." She blushes ever so slightly and pats the horses mane shifting in her saddle again as if to confirm her pains. "I hope I can be of some help to the cause, well both of them." She smiles at Alric, "It will be good to be back home again I should think, I will be happy to walk around freely again, to go to the library or outside without a maid and guards trailing me."
Alric grins as he notices the maid as she looks and shakes her head. He looks over to Alys and smiles. "I am sure we will be there soon. Hold on just a bit longer." He offers to comfort her paired with a soft sweet smile. He grins a bit about being home and walking freely. "Indeed, no more having four guards chasing and tailing me around all of the time."
"I will be alright, Alric." Alys casts him a warm smile. "It was worth it." She wishers with a blush and turns her eyes to the horse, patting the mares mane. She is staring a bit as if lost in thought with a silly smile on her face. Alric's next words snap her out of her stagnate gaze. It takes her a moment to get a handle on what he has said. "Hmm?… Oh, yes, well I should think this would be far more pleasant than that ever was." Alys didn't have four guards trailing her while in the Tower, she was meant to believe she was a 'guest' after all. Well, unless she went outside that is.
Alric smiles warmly at her, though a slight blush on his own cheeks. He smiles but doesn't say much more for the moment. Just taking the time to admire her. Though looking to make sure that the pain isn't unbearable.
She smiles at his blush and stands in her stirrups to adjust her skirts. "A whole day in this saddle." Alys grumbles a little at the idea of it all, shoving her shirts under her bottom and down the sides of the horse to form a pillow of sorts for her rear and legs before she sits. "What other tasks do you have at Hollyholt besides, well, me and Aleister of course." Alys takes a bit of the horses mane as they trot along at a lumbering pace and begins to braid the horses hair as she listens for Alric's reply.
Alric looks a bit sad for how she is doing, though not much he can do about that at the moment. "I have got to search for some information and also find who we can trust to help us in this matter. About Aleister I mean."
"The claim is silliness, it is warning for my father. The Naylands want father to see what will happen if he tries to use Danae to take Stonebridge. My father will not be swayed. I do not think Riordan even asked Aleister to remove his men. He might have drove people away from the Inn by sheer presence, but otherwise did no wrong, hurt no person. It is madness to arrest a man and his family for having men at an inn. Perhaps he was treating them to a bit of a respite, to leave Highfield and Hollyholt to go visit the brothels and inns." Alys reasons.
"They would not know these things because they never asked. They just locked us all up and stored away the key for a time until they could no longer keep my Lord-Father at bay. Aleister is just a consequence of that, and a constant warning. They have no claim, not if they did not ask him to take his men and leave. They were all otherwise peaceful, and not a direct threat at all, as no threats were made." Alys sighs as she crosses a few pieces of the wiry strands of horse hair. "This will not stand in a trial, you will see." She brings her horse a little closer to his and smiles.
"I know. That is, most likely, why they have not taken the issue to trial yet. Though they do not need solid proof to keep him. As long as they have something then they will be able to keep him prisoner. For now." He tells her and sighs. "I think they did not know of Highfield, and thus wondered why so many men were this far out." He suggests, though shrugs. He smiles warmly as he listens to her. "You are still the same as always at least."
"Precisely, all they need is an idle thought and they can keep him. Though this claim will only serve to make them look weak, and scared. This is good, good for my father, and good for his endeavors. If anything, this did well to discredit the Nayland hold on Stonebridge, and our release only makes things worse for them." Alys moves a strand of curl from her face. "I have no reason to change for you, I like that. What I say is not embarrassing when I say it to you. At least you do not treat me as a dimwitted and naive little girl. Let us hope my father has the same good sense to listen to me as well."
She looks forward to make sure no others are turned around. There is a guard looking back at them who shouts, "Is all well my lord, my lady?" Alys nods to him and shouts back over the din of hooves and clanking armor. "Aye, well enough, my thanks! How far to Hollyholt?" The guard nods back, "Not much longer now, my lady!" He shouts a bit over-loudly, must be the armor clanking in his ears. "Very well, my thanks, ser." She shouts then smiles to the guard who then smiles before turning back round to look forward at the road ahead, ever vigilant to the horizon. Alys takes a milky white hand and reaches over to brush Alric's horse's mane, subsequently brushing across Alric's hands before sitting back up in her saddle with a wince. "Not soon enough I should think." She smiles to Alric.
Alric is silent as he listens to her, having much of the same thoughts about it all. The words about not having to change brings a wide smile to settle on his face. Her hand against his causes him to give it a squeeze back. "It will all be fine." He offers, as much to himself as to her. He will keep his normal appearances though, continuing to look forwards as they ride along for awhile.
Alys nods unsure if it will all be fine, in this she is still a bit of a child. She knows nothing about relationships besides what she feels for Alric, and knowing she would do whatever she can to be with him. "We shall see, Alric. I will remain as positive as I can until I am given reason to feel otherwise. I will do all I can for all things, especially Cherise, sweet Aerick, my cousin Aleister, and you of course." She flits her gaze on those in front of her as the last words said in a whisper.
Alric doesn't know too much either, but he has to stay strong and determined. As he almost always is. "I understand. And I have promised to do everything to get your cousin out of that tower." He offers, keeping the conversation to that for now. Not wanting her to worry more about anything else.
"You and the whole Charlton force, and family." Alys smiles and continues. "Aleister is both well liked, and feared. Not to mention, a leader to be reckoned with. There isn't a soul in Hollyholt and Highfield that do not want to see to his release. Whether it comes to a battle or a more peaceful thing such as a trial, it will happen."
Alys states. "The Naylands and the Naylands of Stonebridge should be wary of committing any disservice to him. They will do best to hide behind the shield of a pending trial and hope no ill comes to Aleister because of their misguided claims. Ser Rygar has led Lord Riordan astray, giving him erroneous misinformation. this misinformation that he is so adamant on believing is true. All this because of the trust he bares his family. Trust, it seems that is just as misguided as the information he is given. It could be thought that the Naylands will even hurt family and deceive them to get what they want. Trust, I think we will find Lord Riordan taking the fall for what his brother and cousin had urged him do."
Alys nods at this, her thoughts are taken off of the question of her betrothal for a moment to deal with this frustrating thought on her mind. She adds to make it clear she is not naive on the matter. "Do not think that Lord Riordan said these things just to deceive me, trust, he truly believes he has done no wrong. That is saddening."
Alric listens, though does not question her for now, he has told her what he thinks already. Which isn't far off from what she says. "Lord Riordan still has part in it. He might not have wanted to do things they way he did. But I still think he wanted to do something. But indeed, he is easily affected by those around him it would seem. At least if what you say is true." He then considers it before smiling and shaking his head. Turning to look at the path ahead of them.
Alys' brow furrows after a moment of consideration to Alric's words, knowing that is probably the view of many in the land. "Lord Riordan is a dimwitted politician who relies on his family for help. He never wanted to be a Regent, or be in any position of power at all. He told me this himself. He hated keeping me to the tower, and hated restricting me to it as well. If you just saw the pain he had in that. I know he would have never done this if he didn't feel pushed to, or believed wholeheartedly that his family was in danger. Or because he was told to do something about Aleister and his men."
Alys sighs. "I do not mean to sound as if I support his actions, but I do understand them, to a point. I do, however, think he is a dimwit. He ruined a strong bond with my brother, my brother who looked less than pleased with the negotiations he made. It was ill-advised. I do not blame my Lord-Father, brother, and all of those who are Charlton by name or nature, for wanting Riordan to pay for this folly. He should."
Alys bristles a bit, part angry at herself for the words she said, and more so for the situation in general. She calms herself and looks to Alric with a saddened air. "I am sorry, my love, I did not mean to take my frustrations out on you. You did not mean to cause me distress, forgive me?" She whispers with a bit of a solemn feel to it.
Alric nods, "That might be true. But we can only focus on our side of it all. We will deal with the Naylands later." He tells her. Though as she apologizes, he chuckles. "It is alright. We share that anger, we just have keep it at bay." He tells her. While the others are busy, he will kiss her cheek and whisper. "I am sorry for causing any pain."
"It is true, and if it is not noted then all will be just as uninformed as he is. My father must know who to go after in all this. That it is not just Riordan but his cousin Rygar that uses his known knowledge of the law to, I think, deceive and use Riordan for his families means. Discredit his cousin with logic and the truth of it all, then Riordan may fold." Alys sighs. "That is my thought at least, let us just hope that Riordan is not so blind and dimwitted that he cannot see logic."
Alys brings up the corner of her mouth in a half grin. "Though, that last bit remains to be seen as even I am not sure if he can." She will lean over so he may kiss her cheek and bring in a sharp breath caused by the shift in the saddle and the pain that causes. She smiles to him with a bit of a blush. "You caused me no pain that I did not want, nor receive for mine own actions or words." She smiles and looks forward for a moment to the guards and her maid who all look weary enough to fall from their saddles, she brushes Alric's cheek with the index finger of her right hand quickly.
Alric shrugs, "I would not be surprised if others are in this as well. Perhaps his father even." Well, seeing how they both oblige to their fathers, then perhaps he does as well. Seeing her looking a bit pained has him a bit sad, but at her words he smiles and nods. Looking ahead after feeling her finger to his cheek. "There is Hollyholt." He says, seeing it in the not-so-far distance.
Alys nods to his words on Lord Nayland. "Possibly, but I think his children are more than capable of causing trouble for themselves. Though, I suppose not a thing gets past Lord Nayland, I am sure he had some input." She smiles back at him and looks forward as they crest over a small hill and the battlements of Hollyholt can be seen. "So it is, and just in time for sup I should think."
Alys looks as if she could be sick as the color drains from her face leaving her an ill-shade of stark white. "Alric, I cannot lie and tell you I am not scared of what is to come. I am petrified." She offers him with a look that concurs her words. She heaves a heavy sigh, shifting once more in the saddle so she is comfortable for the last leg of this trip.
Alric drops the matter of Nayland for now, as he going to talk enough about that later as it is. Though about Hollyholt he nods, "Stay calm, my dear. I am sure we can find a way." He isn't sure what else to say. Things being quite hard to figure out for him as well.
Swallowing back the ill feeling that seems to rise up in her chest she takes comfort in his words. Alys' cheeks start to hold a little color as she is calmed. She nods to Alric giving him a light yet warm smile. "I am sure you are right, I must remain positive for now. I am quite happy that I will get to see our library again." She sighs with relief as the rest of Hollyholt comes into view, a smile brightens on her face. "Aye, that would bring me great joy."
Alric smiles and nods, glad to see her smile. Glad that she seems happy. "And tomorrow is your nameday. I still owe you a dance." He tells her and grins, continuing to ride silently towards Hollyholt. For now glad to have her company.
As they near the gate to Hollyholt Alys beams a smile to Alric's words ,as the gates are opened she whispers to him. "You should find me in the Library on the morrow," She turns her eyes forward and speaks in a normal tone. "For now though, I should wash the dust of the road off of me, gain a new gown, and greet my mother. I can bet she has missed me." Alys watches as her maid turns and nods as if understanding the lady's request for a bath. "It will be nice to feel free again and in the comfort of mine own home nonetheless."
Alys smiles to Alric as she lurches her horse forward and a stable boy and the stable hand take the reigns of their horses as they dismount. She curtsies a bit wobbly to Alric. "Good eve, my lord. I shall see you soon enough, I should think they are in the great hall having sup at this moment. I will be along shortly to join them." With that Alys is off to her rooms, road weary and undeniably saddle sore. She walks side by side with her maid, chattering about what is to be done next, before disappearing into the doors that lead into the entrance of Hollyholt itself.