|Useful are the peacemakers|
|Summary:||Luck aids Ser Gedeon in the stables.|
|Stables and kennels - Four Eagles Tower|
|The Tower's Main Stables are nestled into the corner of the courtyard near the portcullis to facilitate quick, easy exits when required. The rear of the structure is backed right against the interior wall of the castle with the heavy wooden roofing gently sloped down towards the slate out front, the floor of the stables kept to dirt. Thick wooden beams are plunged into the ground and serve as a base for the walls between each stall. Hay serves as most of the flooring in the area with a large stack of it off to the side. Each stall has a thick layer on the ground to serve as bedding, with most of the space dedicated to horses though a few have pens of dogs and hounds. An enclosed structure at the end serves as dry storage for riding equipment and saddles.|
|Sun Aug 14, 288|
Not leaving the care of their horses completely to those of the Roost, though the feeding and turning out done by the grooms is beyond reproach, the Captain of the Guard for Tall Oaks is without, checking on hay and grain, but more making sure their mounts are sound for their eventual ride home.
So, after rising, meetings, and brief exercise, Lord Dafydd Camden finds himself in the stall with a small, dark bay, lifting a hoof and clearing it.. and pulling it to stretch the muscles. The sun has begun its path downwards from the apex of the day, leading now into afternoon hours. Still, there is enough light that illuminates the stables for his non-exacting work. Tucking a thumb in once his pick clears the foot from debris, he presses in and judges his animal's reaction. The horse, in response, pulls his head up, ears forward, and tugs at the foot held captive to regain his footing on all-fours.
With a scowl, Dafydd rises from his crouch and takes a step back, twisting his head around to see if what, if anything, has taken the horse's attention— the ears tell all. Sometimes, they're better than dogs..
The ears are good and they announce an arrival even before the clopping of hooves does. It's a slim, blond knight on the back of a red bay courser, though the horse is pulled into a halt so his rider can slide off of him outside of the stables proper. The beast is given a fond pat on his neck before the young knight takes up the reins and leads him back into the stables and over to a stall that's been cleaned and holds fresh water and hay. There is a smile offered for the other man tending his own mount. "Good afternoon to you. Just give me a moment to have him settled, and we can make proper introductions."
Indeed, the Camden Lord doesn't look quite presentable for proper company, as he's in the stalls, getting dirty with the horses; blue shirt is mottled with bits of brown dirt, and a smattering of green that can only be a product of horse's lips..
Watching the approach of the horse and rider, Dafydd exhales, a smile coming to him as he's not confused from some lowborn, a groom to his Lord's horses. Raising his voice slightly in response, it's the cadence of one who is easy in command. "I can wait. He carried you, and it's only right you tend him."
Turning briefly, Dafydd leans in to run his hand down the back of his horse's neck, and a whisper is given in the large ear before he pats the mount and turns away, towards the activity. He steps out, stamps his feet to get the remnants of.. whatever he may have stepped in off his boots and watches.
Again, his voice rises, "A good looking mount. Strong in the chest. Good lungs, I bet."
The knight in the other stall chuckles. "Not so very much to carry, but it's still a courtesy I greatly appreciate." He unstraps the saddle and slides it off before removing the bit from the red bay's mouth and leaving him with only his halter still on. It's the flank that gets a fond pat this time as the horse shifts in his stall until his lips come across the hay and he begins to contentedly draw bites into his mouth. The man seeing to him steps out and shuts the stable door behind him. "He's a good horse," he agrees, "and does his duty well. Good afternoon, again, sir. I am…" and then he must pause to tug a bit of straw from his sleeve and another bit from his hair. he offers is companion a sheepish smile before extending his hand again. "I'm Gedeon Rivers, sworn knight of Oldstones."
Dafydd has to chuckle at the phrasing, though there isn't any way he could gainsay it. "All too true. It's a courtesy afforded."
Brushing himself off as best he can, which isn't much, sadly, a brushed hand is extended, "Lord Dafydd Camden. Captain of my brother's Guards. And visitor that has been well received. Well met, Ser Gedeon Rivers."
Looking back at his own mount, he doesn't make any apologies for his size, but, "Mine has chosen to carry me thus far, and I'm making sure he has no excuses for our return trip. So far, all looks well."
"Ah, a Camden!" Gedeon replies with another smile as he clasps the other man's arm briefly but firmly before releasing it. "You must be blood of the Lady Liliana Camden, then. I have had the pleasure of her hospitality here at Four Eagles, and she is a most talented woman at putting together a great deal with absolutely no time."
Brows shoot up in response to the exclamation, and as the clasp grows firmer, he returns it. Surprised, certainly.. and it is all made a bit clearer in the next words. Rolling his head back slightly, an 'Ah' exits before he nods. "My niece, yes." The virtues, as they're extolled, brings another amused expression of surprise.
"She's.. certainly talented. Of course, I remember the child she was and still need to resign myself to the Lady she is becoming. She has undoubtedly learned a great deal since coming here. With all the ladies that she may emulate, one day she will make someone a fine wife."
"I imagine that's so," Gedeon agrees with a courteous nod, "she certainly seems prepared for the trials of a busy household. Not that my lord and I have made her duties much lighter, we stay as guests of The Roost as well. It has been… quiet an interesting grouping all here at once. If it is not too bold to ask, what is it that brought yourself and your Lord brother to visit the Terricks?"
"Ah, yes.." It's a light, dismissive wave that's given in terms of lightening his kin's load. "She never would have learned it at home. I think children learn more when away. Less chance of doting, which means there's more chance of actually learning what is required."
Dafydd cants his head and takes a step back, twisting briefly to check a final time on his own horse before taking the step closer once again. "Your Lord.. Valentin, I understand?" Known only to him by word. "As for our presence, my Brother enjoys being a peace envoy and mediator. In order to do the job correctly, one has to be involved and understand those involved. One can hardly walk under the boughs of our woods and understand the world without, aye?" It's a gentle lecture, but one all the same.
"And where better to begin than at a House where we can claim some kinship, thanks to the offering of one of our own for service." Inclining his head in modest deference, a smile hints at the sides of his lips. "And I have to admit some surprise that we were greeted in such a pleasant fashion. So far, no.. harshness has invaded my hearing." Or there'd have been some note of it later at the feasting tables.
And all is fair, "May I ask the same of you?"
"Valentin is my Lord's family name, yes," Gedeon agrees. "It's interesting that you say that of your Lord's trip here as well as the Lady Liliana's travels. I had always been given to understand that your house guarded its impartiality by keeping itself carefully removed from the others. I'm afraid I'd even heard a nickname about it." That slightly sheepish smile returns as the Oldstones knight runs a hand through his mussed, pale hair. "But I would say, as a fellow traveler, I rather more agree with this changed outlook. To know the world is to be a better arbiter for it." For his own reasons to come to the Roost, Gedeon's smile dims somewhat. "Ah, that is a bit of a nasty business, I am sorry to say. I was… poisoned at the Tourney in Stonebridge. The Terricks were kind enough to invite us here while the issue was investigated."
"Then you hadn't heard the entire story. The Lord and Lady Camden, our parents, traveled out of their lands to serve as mediators during the conflict. All we know is that they did not reach their destination. My brother then opened our land for envoys, specifically for peaceful deliberations. They did come, they did discuss.. and whether it had an effect, I don't know. What I do know is that conflicts did erupt, and I showed them our borders. Quickly."
Taking a deep breath through his nose, Dafydd exhales, a hold on his good mood a tenuous one. He's quite aware this is the first of what could be many, and at least it is all in a courteous discourse.
"I have my disagreements with the way things work, and my brother takes my counsel. Heeding, however, is something completely different." A tight smile is offered, and inclining his head again, he offers some forebearance. "I'm sure I've heard quite a bit more of what we are called than even you." And those who said the words lived.. mostly.
The word of the young knight's poisoning, however, brings the Camden Lord around, and his expression turns.. almost insulted. "You were poisoned?" Poisoned? "Did they find the cur?"
There is a slow nod for the truth of it. Gedeon was poisoned indeed. "There are suspicions being bandied about, but I don't believe anybody has been accused of it. It's all a complicated business. One I was actually hoping for your brother's assistance with, in point of fact. It has been difficult, with so many important men all in the same place and interested in speaking to one another, to find a time when he might be free to hear me. Perhaps it was fortuitous that I ended my ride and returned to the stables when I did."
The word is greeted with a scowl again, his expression concerned and grave. Straightening, Dafydd considers and looks as if he comes to something of a decision. "I'm sure that if anyone can discover the culprit, my brother can." With his disagreements with the Lord of Tall Oaks, he is still fiercely loyal, as his faith can attest. "I can speak to him to be sure he gives you a hearing." His voice lowers, his brows rising in askance once more, "Tell me that there is no one you suspect within these walls." He does have the need to be sure is niece is safe.. even if she has been gone these two years.
"No," Gedeon says firmly with a shake of his head, "no one within these walls, that was why we came. What I have to ask of your brother has less to do with what happened to me and speaks more to the likely reasons behind it. That is to say, certain events occurred before that seem… very probably connected. Well, the whole thing is rather a mess, to be frank, and I could use some assistance from somebody impartial."
Dafydd listens carefully, his eyes attentive, hearing and seeing as well as listening. He knows his brother will ask questions even before the pair meet, and he's pretty sure what those questions will be. How did he seem? Was there any hesitation? Any searching with his eyes even when he said he was sure there was none within that would threaten his life again? are just some..
"That is my brother. Impartial. Patient. Unwilling to jump to conclusions." Unwilling to take a stand.. as opposed to indecisive, which his brother is not.
"Who have you spoken to regarding your concerns as to the progression of events? Anyone?"
"The Terricks are aware, of course, and the Naylands, too, I expect. And my lord. It is no great secret, how this all came about," Gedeon says. "If there is still any threat to my life, I expect it's in Stonebridge, where the attack occurred. I cannot believe it followed us here, there would be little point."
"Humour me, if you would." Perhaps Dafydd sounds a little shorter than he should, but it's more his frustration at having been absent from a good deal of news. Granted, courriers and heralds are in great use, but it's rarely as good as speaking directly. There's that one point that he'll grant Sarojyn. "No great secret, but how accurate is all the telling? Rumours and stories change in the telling."
Shaking his head, the Oak's Captain of the Guard exhales audibly, and takes a step to the side to lean upon a stall. "Unless there was something to gain to bring trouble in official relationships with one or another. I can't speak to that, of course.. but perhaps my brother can and will." Dafydd isn't quite as good at 'the game' as his brother. Small mercies.
"But, perhaps I can have the two of you ride out to discuss it so there is no question of your conversation being overheard. I'll be sure the horses are ready and waiting for you."
"I… my lord, I am sorry, I think you misunderstand me. What I ask to speak to your brother about has nothing directly to do with the poisoning. I believe that 'mystery' will be uncovered in its own time without further assistance," Gedeon explains calmly. "It is a different matter, though related, I wish to bring to his ear, and I would ask to do it in a manner that did not suggest secrecy."
"Ah.." Once again, surprise. "I apologize. It appears that I do misunderstand. May I ask what it is that you wish to speak to him about so that he'll be prepared?" Dafydd dislikes being caught off guard, and his mind races as to how the misunderstanding could have cropped up. He'll have to consider the conversation later, at a tavern, over a drink perhaps. Things usually fall into place after one or two ales.
"And if it's your wish that it be in the open.." then by all means.
"Thank you, my lord, I'd be happy to explain," Gedeon replies with a slightly relieved smile, "And, as I said, all of this is now known to those present, here. I will do my best to give you the short of it. I am the bastard son of Lord Geoffrey Tordane and I was his squire at the battle of the Trident, where he and his heir, my half-brother, fell. Just before his death, he gave me a collection of letters that state the Lady Isolde, much though he loves her, is not of his get and that the last of Tordane blood lay with me. I was fifteen, and though I kept the letters, I hadn't the heart to reveal them. Instead, I became Lord Valentin's squire and we traveled for a time, until his father passed and he was obliged to return and take up the mantel of his title. The Lady Isolde had been promised to wed Jaremy Terrick, it was a verbal agreement between my father and Lord Jerold. I believed the letters my father gave me were true, but I also felt he would be well enough pleased to see Stonebridge under the rule of the Terricks. However, the agreement was dissolved and Lady Isolde was to wed Lord Ryker Nayland, instead, a family for which my father had no alliance or love. I brought the letters to Jarod Rivers for counsel, and we decided I must speak to Isolde directly before the wedding so that she might know the truth of the matter and we could bring them to the King to let him decide what should best be done. She took them and fled from me, though for the shock of it, she could hardly be blamed. A couple days after, when Lord Valentin and I were set to depart Stonebridge, I was given a skin of wine that had been poisoned. The letters, I have not seen since, for all Isolde had promised to return them. I thought, perhaps, if I might prevail upon Lord Camden to take ownership of these letters, as a neutral party to have them protected and verified, the Naylands might be willing to hand them over and I might, once again, see about bringing this issue to King's Landing."
In the recounting of the troubles, Dafydd's expression shifts from concern, to understanding.. and settling into a semblance of resolve. A young lordling, a Ser, that in his opinion, should have the right of sitting for his land, as his father had.
Just his opinion, of course.
"I will certainly speak to my brother about this, and be sure this is something that he attends to with proper measure." Though it concerns him somewhat about offering land away from an heir, regardless of how much love is shown an ally.
It's afternoon, after lunch, after the feeding and watering of the horses. The two men, one Ser, the other a Lord, stand in the area just beyond the stalls of their horses, looking as if they'd put in their day's work. Gedeon is in from riding, Dafydd has dirt from checking his horses and their feet.. and just general response to the day's activities. They speak in low voices, though not so much for privacy's sake but for the fact they are within easy conversational distance. It's a seemingly amicable discussion, with gives and takes..
"I hope they'll be willing to hand the letters over. There are still some roads that must be remade there, thanks to the actions," or inactions, "in our recent past." Though they've never given away their neutral stance. So that should be enough to carry them?
"As do I, my lord," Gedeon replies. "I can understand their distrust of me, of what I say, but I have hopes they would be amenable to handing them over to a party that's impartial. After all, if it is as they say, and my claims are nonsense, the letters forgery, it is in their interests to have them revealed as such, is it not? If your brother, Lord Sarojyn would be willing to act in this manner, I had hoped to make the request to Lord Ser Ryker Nayland, in his presence, though I now understand the Lord Nayland had left The Roost earlier today."
Down at the other end of the building, the kennels have been suspiciously quiet all this while. Now, distantly, there's some excited barking and yapping, getting louder. And amidst that increasing racket, there's a voice singing lustily. Slightly more enthusiastic than tuneful.
And there was Brown, upside down, licking up the whiskey off the floor!
Booze, booze! The Constable cried as he cam knocking at the door!
Well don't let him in til it's all drunk up —
And the skinny, slender form of Rowan Nayland careens into the kennels, surrounded by leaping, cavorting hounds. He's flushed and laughing, and picks up singing, "And somebody shouted, 'MacIntyre!'" He points at the dogs — there have to be nearly a dozen — and their collective hindquarters hit the ground as they HOWL! Rowan beams, "Good dogs!" he praises, concluding his song as he hands out treats, "And we all got blue-blind paralytic drunk when the Old Dun Cow caught fire!"
The lad laughs and kneels to scruff and hug and wrestle the pack, getting pawed and licked and leaned on. "We should really take this on the road, you lot. We'd be famous! Yes, we would! Who's a good dog?"
Even before the singing truly begins, horse ears prick forward, catching the sound of things that, while not particularly scary, are out of the ordinary. For them. At that moment in time.
There's no nickering, however, so it isn't anyone with food. Or known people that bear treats.
Dafydd doesn't catch his own dark bay's movements, but some of the other chargers do look forward, and there.. there comes the yapping and singing.
"I think that would be an excellent idea. And should he truly have departed, we can send runners with missives, requesting audience. For this, I'm sure we would take the journey." Again, if it means the honest seating of a land?
The response part of the song comes, and while he doesn't call out MacIntyre, a smile creeps upon his face. Dancing back to keep some of the dog noses and slobbers off, though it is a losing battle, he's well aware.. he calls over the noise, "Is there a hunt scheduled today? If so, I'd have not filled the grain bucket quite so full had I known."
Gedeon glances over as the horses begin to notice somebody about, and his smile is a lopsided and bemused thing as the pack of animals comes charging into the kennels, out of them singing. He's laughing by the time they're through. "Rowan, are you sure you're set on becoming a knight? You could make an admirable living as a master of the kennels. My Lord Camden, let me introduce your Lord Rowan Nayland, my squire. Rowan, this is Lord Dafydd Camen, Captain of the Guard for Tall Oaks and Lord Sarojyn Camden's brother."
"Oi!" The boy's head of dark curls snaps up and he stands. "Sorry, there. Dragon! Kitty! T'me, you two!" he calls back the enthusiastic year-olds — overgrown puppies, really — who've broken away from the pack to pester the other two men. The dogs bark and lope back to the kennels. "Home, now," Rowan commands, and the dogs return to the kennel proper, turning in circles and yawning hugely before flopping down to rest. "It's fine," he shakes his head at Dafydd, smiling as he comes to join them. "No hunt today. S'why I had 'em out. Went for a bit of run, stretch their legs a bit." At Gedeon's introductions, the squire sketches a bow to the Camden lord, then offers his hand in friendlier greeting. "Well met! Welcome to the Roost, m'lord. You're enjoying your visit, I hope?"
Leaning over to protect what other parts may be open to the noses, Dafydd puts his hands out for the dogs to sniff. Out of the kennels in the early afternoon of a beautiful day.. certainly isn't a crime as far as Dafydd is concerned.
"Ah, almost a shame." He's by his smaller horse (in comparison to the others), a dark bay that is eating noisily in his bucket. Wiping his now thoroughly sniffed hand on his pants, his clothing is certainly a little worse for wear due to the day's activities, he extends his own in greeting.
"Lord Rowan. Well met.. and thank you. So far, the visit has been enjoyable. I look forward to a hunt, however, now that I see the dogs' eagerness to run."
There's a bit more laughing as Gedeon fends off his ow friendly canine investigator before the pair of pups are recalled. They leaves a few muddy paw prints on shirt and trousers, but the knight doesn't seem overly concerned. He just dusts them idly as the Lords Camden and Nayland speak.
"Well maybe one can be arranged — I know Cayt and me're always up for a hunt, duties permitting, and Ser Jarod, too," the younger lord says, clasping Dafydd's hand firmly. Such delicate, feminine hands as the boy has, they're much stronger than they appear. He glances back at the hounds settled in their domain, smiling proudly. "They're beauties, aren't they? I've always been fond of animals, long before I came to the Roost, so it was a pleasure to learn from the Masters of Horse and Hound, here. My duties permitting, I'm often here helping in one way or another. Got to know the hounds best, I daresay. Trained the youngest myself." He glances wryly at the muddy pawprints on Ser Gedeon. "We're still working out the finer points of etiquette with some."
Neither accompanied by a horse, nor a hound, but bearing a small basket. So does the youngest Camden in residence make her way into the stables, pausing at the inside, to allow her eyes to adjust to the dimness, after the overabundance of sunlight from the outside. There's a moment, when it isn't certain precisely what her direction is, but that lasts hardly long enough to make note, before she begins in the direction of the small trio, but perhaps hanging back a bit, as though her destination were something not in their midst, but slightly behind them.
"Cayt.." Not a name Dafydd immediately recognizes, but no matter. From the sounds of it, a squire brother, given the familiarity of the reference.
Once the greeting and introductions are done, he retrieves his hand and looks to the dogs. "They're fine looking hounds. And he'll learn his placeo out on the hunt. The others will teach him, I'm sure."
"Ser Gedeon, join us, should we organize this. It would do you good, and an afternoon out is good for—"
Before he can finish, however, there's a rather low whicker, a deep nicker, ears kipped completely forward of the dark bay that Dafydd lays claim to. There's a little dancing in the
stall added, which brings the Captain's attention around first to the horse, then in the direction the horse is looking and listening.
"Someone," his voice is a little louder, easily carried, "is trying to spoil the horses.. like usual." Of course he recognizes the silhouette. There's no sneaking as far as Dafydd is concerned.
And it's back, just briefly, "It's good to get out, Ser.. and it allows for clear thinking."
And back once again to the sneaking figure that isn't quite sneaking. "There are some things that never change.." His tones have that gruff affection; the sign of a man who isn't quite so used to the softer points of life. Like kids. Female children that grow to be ladies.
Calling back, he chides the horse. "Nothing for you.." Though he's sure the horse will get an apple out of the deal…
Gedeon smirks over at Rowan as his hands rub again, idly, over the mudprints. "We'll forgive him for his youth," the knight answers with a smirk. As Dafydd and the horse glances over, but as he cannot yet identify the lady in question, he holds onto his greeting. "I'd enjoy hunting with you, my lord. Thank you for the invitation."
Rowan beams. "Splendid! Sounds like a plan. I'll see if I can't get Cayt and Jarod to join us, maybe a few of the other men. After supper, perhaps? Good time for fox hunting, and much cooler than the brutal heat of the day's been, lately." He snaps his fingers and digs into his pocket. "Here's that list you wanted, Ser," he says to Gedeon, pulling out a bit of folded parchment and handing it to Gedeon. Then, to Dafydd, "You look like you're more a man to hunt with the bow than the spear, am I right?" The approaching lady gets a respectful nod and a bow. "Lady Liliana. Good day."
Alas! Discovery. Not that the young woman had any nor has ever had any hope of sneaking near or around wherever her uncle might be. Sharp eyes and q quick mind have ever been Dafydd Camden's grace. But she does continue forward, doing her right best to school her expression into something mild and demure. Thankfully, through training and naturtal inclination, that is rather an easy thing, as she slips closer, coming around Gethin's stall, basket swinging down to be hind behind her with both hands. There's none of the childish glee with which she greeted the elder Camden Lord, but the smile offered to Dafydd first, and then to Rowan and the knight in their company is still proof enough of the woman's obvious affection for this younger, sterner uncle, "I came only to see you, Uncle. And Gethin. Lord Rowan, Ser Gedeon, it's good to see you both so well."
"After supper is perfect." There's a scowl that appears upon his face at the naming of a known superior, so casually mentioned as if a peer, and he turns to look at Gedeon. It is at the same time as his response, however, and the expression lifts somewhat at the response. "If that time is acceptable to you, I'll be sure that Lord Camden is in attendance as well."
Returning his attention to Rowan, though a hand is put backwards to the nose of his still nickering horse (and the horse lips wiggle around it, rooting for something!), "Bow or spear is fine. We have both, and I am as handy in one as with the other."
Alas, discovery! Yes.
"Mmmhmm.." Dafydd doesn't believe it of course, though he does, but in a slightly different order if Gethin is in the lineup. He steps away from the horse, giving some room. "Two years has truly done some remarkable things." That is a compliment. Really. The smile, devoid of that disapproval of seconds ago, should attest. "I understand you're near fit enough to run a Household."
Gedeon accepts the list Rowan offers him, opening the little parchment to read its contents before he nods and slips it into the pouch on his belt. "Thank you, Rowan. I'll have that seen to." Then looking over to Liliana as she reveals herself… or gets revealed… he offers her a smile and a bow. "Lady Camden, good afternoon. I hope the day treats you well." To Dafydd, the blond knight nods. "After supper would suit me well, let us plan for that."
Rowan flashes a boyish grin, cheeky and dimpled. "Thank you, my lady. I'd wager it's been…" he glances at Gedeon, lifting his eyebrows a little. "What would you say, Ser? A good week since anyone's tried to kill us? More?" He inclines his head to Liliana. "We're hoping we can make it two."
"I have tried to be a credit to our House and to this one. But I think I will not soon have that opportunity, Uncle, though I have done my utmost to see that I am fit for the duties of keeping a Household." Liliana, bless her, is so far down the Camden foodchain, she'll likely end up in some backwater of beyond, if she ends up anywhere at all. "And I am well, and my thanks for the asking." Still, she continues towards Dafydd, and Gethin, basket still behind her back, one hand on the handle, the other slipping in to palm and apple. The attempt to pass the apple to the horse, once she gets close enough, seems something born of long practice. "Well, you would do well to remain within the stables, if you wish to survive the next week, Lord Rowan. With a full supply of apples, sugar cubes and scraps, the animal here are not likely to allow anyone to assault you, if only to save you for the use of your hands in feeding them." And more softly, almost tentatively, as she gets close enough to Dafydd, "I am so glad to see you, Uncle, I have missed you dreadfully these two years."
Now it's getting a little more difficult to determine banter from actuality. He's aware of the attempt on the young knight, but on the squire as well? Or—? Dafydd is sure the confusion is plain upon his face. "There was an attempt on you as well, Lord Rowan?" Blue eyes flicker back to Gedeon in question.
Still, not to be overshadowed with such talk is the visit with his niece. As brief as it probably will be for the moment. "I haven't heard any discussion regarding any marriage, so practice continues." Finally, he does lean over to give the now grown girl a brief, somewhat awkward hug. "You are a credit. I've heard stories, already, of your mark upon the household. There is nothing we've heard that would even begin to suggest anything other than honour to the House."
His voice lowers to a stage whisper, "But if I find Gethin is getting too fat or doesn't want to work, to whom shall I turn to ask why?"
"Nearly two," Gedeon smirks at Rowan for his guess on the latest attempt at their lives. At Dafydd's confusion, the knight explains, a bit more somberly, "Rowan and I had been sparring. The wine was offered to me, but we shared it and were both struck ill. Lad saved my life, as I understand it."
"Or you, mine. I maintain the poison might have been for me! When do I get to be the important one people want dead?" But seriously, folks. Rowan shrugs and shakes his head. "We were both very fortunate. I am certain serving Ser Gedeon will continue to be an exciting exercise. Nothing to keep you on your toes like a little death!" He flourishes another bow. "By your gentle leaves, my friends, I'm going to see if Cayt'll join us in the hunt, or if Ser Jaremy's beat him into the ground."
The hug, so perfectly timed, likely by the Lord Camden's designs, gives enough time for an apple to be passed back to Gethin behind her, before it is returned. Not nearly so effluent as the one given Sarojyn upon his arrival, but hold within it something of that young girl she was, affectionate, but not quite certain how that affection might be recieved. But genuine, all the same, "I will always do my utmost to uphold the good name of our House." And, as she puls back from the hug, "And Gethin is as slender as ever he was as a foal, he has need of an apple to fortify him." That's her story and she's sticking to it. Attention turns, in easy succession, from Dafydd to Rowan, and she offers a polite dip of her head, genuine respect, given for one of similar rank to herself, "Mine you may have, and my wishes for your continued health, Lord Rowan." of the poisoning she comments not at all, likely for good reason. She's been given little knowledge of the truth of it.
It's all in the timing, and Dafydd is certain he'll have to ask any further questions later. Perhaps during the hunt?
"Well met, Lord Rowan.. and thank you for organizing the hunt."
With that offered, his attention falls next to Gedeon, or rather back to the young knight and his niece. He'll be in the stables for a good portion of the day, and light conversation after discussing the more pressing issues, is relaxing— and in some cases, enlightening.
"Oh, he is not. He carries me without a problem. Look at him.." He turns with his niece in arm before the end of the hug, and sees a happily chewing horse. "He's..
Turning back, Dafydd releases his niece after the show of affection. "Hold your Uncle Sarojyn's horse while I check his feet.."
Voice rising as he continues a conversation with Gedeon, "Sparring is thirsty work. If you can't trust your wine… It didn't occur here, I take it?"
"Actually, I think death tends to leave you on your back," Gedeon chuckles, shaking his head bemusedly at the departing boy before returning his attention to Dafydd and his niece. "No, my lord. It occurred in Stonebridge during the tourney. If you will both forgive me, if there is to be a hunt this evening, there are some duties I must attend to before we eat. I shall loo forward to the pursuit. Until later, Lord Camden. Lady Camden." Each is offered a nod before Gedeon turns to step from the stables.
"He bears all burdens well. he is a credit to your training, Uncle." But Liliana does as she's bid, setting aside the basket, out of the horse's reach, before she goes to do as instructed, seeming to pay little mind to the potential for the mess of it. "A good day to you as well, Ser Gedeon," offered before she moves into the stall set for Sarojyn's steed, and a moment of three later, "He is ready when you are, Uncle."