Page 482: Visitors at Braeburn House
Visitors at Braeburn House
Summary: Lady Aeliana and Lady Nedra, along with Lord Martyn, spend time with Ser Stafford and Ser Kerrigan. Lord Ozric joins.
Date: 17/10/2012
Related Logs: Social Niceties
Stafford Kerrigan Aeliana 

Guest Starring

Martyn Nedra Ozric 
Courtyard ~ Braeburn House ~ Kingsgrove

The centerpiece of this courtyard is an old oak tree, a sapling rumored to be born of the oldest within the King's Grove itself; as old as Braeburn House it stands tall, weathering time and commanding attention and respect. Beneath it, in the center of well manicured lawns and carefully stoned pathways for walking there nestles a marble bench, crafted by a skilled Master where the supports on either end depict the Grove for which this House bares its name.

Neatly shaped hedges fill each corner to keep the odd soul from attempting to scale them, while thickly growing ivy has taken over the walls that frame this space; trimmed just short of invading the windows on its heavenward climb. All around are the scents that waft up from well maintained beds of flowers whose blooms vary with all the colors of the rainbow, adding to the sense of peace and respect commanded by the space.

Theres an open drill space on the north-western corner, another holds the well.

The courtyard is framed to the north by the stables and kennels, to the east by the Gatehouse and the East Wing, to the south by the Main Wing - three stories tall where the other are two and with beautiful carved double doors - and to the west by the West Wing. There is a small kitchen garden by the kitchen entrance.

Sat Nov 17, 289

With her head tipped back and hands resting on her hips, Nedra is studying the centerpiece of the courtyard with a rather thoughtful expression on her face. She's well back from the tree, though with it's size there's no good location - save for, perhaps, being not actually ON the ground itself - to get a good vantage point to do so, but she seems to be putting serious consideration into the tree. With no one immediately at her side, her maid Shalla is seated in the grass just a small ways away and one of her guards is standing nearby, she approaches the tree and rests one hand on the rough bark and eyes the nearest tree limb with a look of open speculation.

Kerrigan seems to have arrived from the stables, or at least, he's been there at some point today. He finds a piece of straw on his jacket and plucks it off with a look of distaste. Really? He didn't shave this morning, but he's worried about a piece of straw? PRIORITIES. In any case, he doesn't seem in any particular hurry to return to the main house, and is loitering in the courtyard.

Stepping out from the stables, Martyn looks around for a few moments, taking some time to get to know his surroundings it would seem. Looking a bit thoughtful as he studies the courtyard, humming a little bit to himself at the moment.

There's the not so polite little thunder of hooves announcing the arrival of another in the courtyard; Aeliana's courser, Stranger was coming forward full tilt while the lady was laughing in the saddle; head thrown back, fey hair gone wild and more than just a little lost of it's mornings elegant bindings. Ribbons askew and streaming down her back. Her entourage had been forgotten too, and so…had Young Lord Stafford. But the collection of people, including Kerrigan's presence in front of the stable, meant that she had the courser dancing again, just to keep from running down Kerrigan. Stranger pranced a circle around the lord instead, while her gleeful proclimation rang free in the court yard, "I win!"

Stafford hated losing. You could see it in his face, closed up and hateful, bitter about coming second to a girl no less, when he was one of the more renowed horsemen of the region. By all rights he should have come out ahead, especially since Aeliana was riding a courser, which meant it was built for brute strength rather than the long legged strides required to win races. He was so far behind that there was not even a shred of dignify offered to him, either, and as a result the Young Lord Groves was fuming in his saddle when he finally emerged from them Gatehouse tunnel and into the courtyard, and then slowly rode up to the stables that lined the north side of the courtyard.

He swung down from his saddle, frowning, but being the courteous lord that he was, he still offered Aeliana his hand in support to getting down. "I swear you cheated," he muttered.

Part of Stafford's fuming might also have to do with the wager.

"It's not going to move, no matter how much you stare at it," Kerrigan says, sneaking up on Nedra and interrupting her study of the old oak tree. Perhaps he might've added something with a little more substance to the conversation, but he's distracted by the arrival of Stafford and Aeliana. Did he almost get run over? Does he care? He barely seems to have noticed that he was in the way — or perhaps he just takes his invincibility for granted, and assumed he'd be fine.

The sound of thundering hooves makes Nedra turn around in time to see Kerrigan, then Stafford, their horses and of course her cousin Martyn. Thanks to the thundering hooves she isn't startled by Kerrigan's words OR that he snuck up behind her so quietly that she nearly jumped out of her skin. Nearly. "It might, Ser Confident, it just might," she counters in return, glancing back Up at the tree once more. "I can't decide if I want to paint the tree or if I want to climb it and paint the view FROM the tree," is admitted in a lower voice. Pitched to not quite carry all the way over to where Stafford is muttering to/at Aeliana, a grin of amusement forming on her face as she sees her friend prancing her horse around.

Martyn shakes his head at the horses racing and all that, before he makes his way over to Nedra, Kerrigan and the tree. Catching the quieter words from Nedra, he shakes his head a little. "Knowing how you forget everything around when you paint, cousin, I would have to insist you paint the tree. Kamron would kill me if I let you fall from a tree and injure yourself." Spoken quietly and a bit lightly, before he offers a nod to Kerrigan as well. "Ser." Looking over at Aeliana and Stafford now, offering the two of them a bit of a nod.

"Cheated?" Aeliana intoned, her air one of complete innocence once she'd drawn up near the stables; leaning forward to stroke in against Stranger's mane. "My Lord, I do not cheat. I merely ride Death and he always wins in the end, would you not agree?" Humor dancing there in her eyes as she accepted his hand and slid down from the corsers back to her feet. Clearly she wasn't religious at all. But she was amused, that grin said as much. "Lady Nedra, Ser Kerrigan," the girl greeted, "And Ser Martyn, I didn't know that we'd get to see you so soon!" But she went right back to grinning at Stafford. "They make a very lovely crowd, wouldn't you agree?" Smug? Aeliana was not smug. She was SMUG.

"It worries me," Kerrigan mentions conversationally to Aeliana, in a tone of voice so completely unconcerned, "when you grin like that." He gives a belated nod of welcome to Martyn, "I'm glad that you could join us. We met in Highfield, didn't we?" He glances back towards the rest of the group. "Tree climbing, winning at horse racing, I daresay these ladies are putting us to shame."

"I suppose," said the darkly handsome young lord, with grudging admiration for the girl he had been picked out to marry, "that if I was going to lose to anyone, at least if it's my future wife then I can claim share of the victory by default." Since it was a union, wasn't it? His defeat still wasn't sitting well with him, but he tried to make it less blatantly obvious, putting instead on a show of graceful acceptance. While the fires of irritation still smoldered in the background, because he really did hate, *HATE* losing. "Even if she cheated. We're having a rematch." And it wasn't a question, either, or a request. Hmph.

His eyes traveled to their company. The two Mallisters.. and of course his younger brother. The last presence was the greatest blow to his pride. Damn it. Especially since, once their horses were taken out of their hands and into the possession of the stable staff, he had no excuses to procrastinate with.

"Lovely," Stafford said without conviction. But he *did* get down on one knee, even if he didnt take to kneeling anymore than he did to losing. He let his fingertips play a light brush down the length of Aeliana's slender arm, until he had her palm into his. His lips brushed against her soft dignits, while he intoned, loudly: "I am perpetually in awe of your greatness, my Lady Aeliana. You are wonderful beyond measure, and with.." gritted teeth, some of his grace failing, "beyond doubt," the words drawn out of him by torture, "the better upon the horse."

Life was unfair. He was trying not to scowl as he got back up to his feet.

Nedra aims a look at Martyn, a long LONG look, "I would not fall out of the tree," she counters firmly. "I haven't fallen out of a tree in ages," she adds in a much lower tone of voice. A grin forms on her face as she listens to Ae's words, and leaps in with: "My lords, my lady, may I introduce my cousin, Ser Martyn? Cousin, this is Ser Stafford," a gesture with one hand towards Stafford, "and of course Ser Conf- Ser Kerrigan, that is," hastily correcting herself mid-sentence. All this said, mind, as she watches Stafford with eyes gone slightly wide before she starts to fight back a bubble of laughter that is trying - and almost quite nearly - escaping as she watches Stafford go to one knee, "oh my, how adorable," she murmurs before she starts to laugh silently.

To Kerrigan Aeliana said, "It should," before a smile was afford Ser Martyn and a little dip of her head in greeting, before the murmuring Stafford drew her attention once more. "Do tell me then how your half of 'our' victory feels whilst your down there on your knees, would you?" Was she enjoying herself? Oh yes. Oh very much indeed. That smile had gone practically wolfish, as her hand came to rest in his and the demand for a rematch was rewarded with, "Any time you please." Because she was, as happens, feeling just a tinsy bit full of herself.

Full of herself, but every inch the charming coquette as her attention was on her knight; those fingers fluttering out in a caress against his cheek in the wake of his kiss. "My Lord Stafford, you are…" she said when he was through, in the tone most often followed with, 'you are too kind', that she always used to deflect compliments. But in this case was misleading because what she said instead was, "Exactly right. And I am humbly," HAHA, "honored that you can see it. Thank you." At which point she kissed his cheek and murmured softly, "That was very well done."

"Just remember how you seemed to have lost all sense of where or when last night when I arrived," Martyn offers a bit quietly to Nedra, offering her a bit of a grin. "Wouldn't want you to forget you were up in the tree, and then fall." It's offered with a chuckle, before he adds, "And true, it's been a while since the last time. I still remember it, though." Taking a few quick steps back, to be out of range of any elbows, feet or hands now. Turning his attention to Aeliana, he offers her a bit of a smile. "Then I'm glad I was able to surprise you, Lady Aeliana." A look between her and Stafford now, he offers them both a smile. "Since I don't believe I've had the chance yet, I offer the two of you my congratulations." He then looks to Kerrigan, offering him a bit of a smile, before he shakes his head slightly. "Heronhurst, I believe. And I must apologize for my behavior back then. I had a lot on my mind and some things I needed to deal with. Thankfully those things have been dealt with now." Looking to Nedra for a few moments again.

"A kind introduction, my Lady Nedra," Stafford said dryly, some of his ire bleeding away at the Mallister Lady's silent laughter. When laughed at, the choice was between taking it personally and feeding the fires of injustice, or crack one's own smile. If nothing else, the Young Lord had a charismatic smile, white teeth ammidst his dark and scruffy beard. "Though we know of each other already. We both faught in the war," and there were only so many noble knights, so some interaction was inevitable, "and.." here his smile grew wider while he watched Nedra with an amused light in his eyes. "There was the wonderfully outrageously disgraceful festivities at Heronhurst not that long ago." Where they'd all been together, bar Kerrigan.

"So how're you finding Kingsgrove, my Lady, Ser? I'll have to warn you about that tree. It's vicious. There's not a child grown up in Braeburn House who doesn't have a scar or two courtesy of it. It loves nothing more than throwing over confident climbers down head first."

To Aeliana he gave a sideways look, then rolled his eyes. He might've said something, too, when she kissed his cheek, but if so it was a quiet roll of sound barely audiable at all.

"Adorable," Kerrigan agrees with Nedra for emphasis, and if he's smirking at the lovebirds, well, that can't be helped. He eyes Martyn with a little more interest than before. "No apologies are necessary," he insists, quite firmly. "I am glad to know that whatever it was, it's been taken care of." His eyebrows lift. "Wonderfully outrageously disgraceful festivities and I /missed it/?" he asks, sounding so very disappointed.

Nedra's face colors faintly as she gives a good glare at Martyn, though it doesn't last long, it is a glare for what it's worth. "That wouldn't happen," there's a silent 'again' in there somewhere and she launches immediately into, "and that last time wasn't my fault. It's not as though I fall out of trees on purpose, our out of boats, for that matter, it's just bad luck." She smooths one hand lightly over her hair, trying NOT to babble in her own defense, "And I am finding Kingsgrove quite lovely, Ser Stafford, and please accept my thanks for the gracious invitation. I had no idea it was going to be quite as lovely as this," she admits before a laugh escapes her, faintly impish amusement making her eyes sparkle. "Outrageous is such a good word," she agrees before glancing up at the tree again, "and that.. just makes the tree a challenge. I do appreciate a good challenge." A glance is sent back to Kerrigan as she grins again, "Call it a nameday event that didn't go off exactly as planned, but your brother was brave enough to risk his toes to dance with me just the once all the same."

"A most welcome surprise, Ser Martyn. I recall feeling most cheated when you didn't partner me for a dance," she teases, amusement glinting in her eyes as she laces her arm through Stafford's own and moves to join the group taking him along, and if she dropped a quiet word in his ear well, twas neither here nor there. "Though it was a disgraceful party. Perhaps I should beg the moat here be filled with rosepetals for my nameday. The front walk filled with trumpeters." A wry smirk twisted her lips as she schooled her expression and bobbed her head in agreement with Nedra's remark about challenges.

"Yes. There is something…thrilling about knowing one has a worthy competitor and then leaving them behind in the dust." Blink blink, innocent blink.

"Maybe a herald to march through the town proclaiming the exact hour of your birth?" Nedra suggests with another impish grin.

Stafford had still not quite gotten over his ignoble defeat at the hands of Aeliana and her vicious mount, but accepted her arm though his with courtly elegance none the less. "I fear it was one of a kind, brother," he told Kerrigan when his younger brother made his lament. "I strongly doubt they'll let the twins have another, or that any other lady of the cape will dare try to trumph it." He chuckled and shook his head in equal measure.

"You're welcome my Lady Nedra. We're always happy to have some visitors. And it was hardly that big of a risk." To his toes. "Now if you'd been anything of the size of Fat Walda.." of House Frey..

"I'm to take from your tone of voice, Lady Aeliana, that you will never forget this moment?"

Martyn bows his head a little at Aeliana's words, offering her a bit of a grin. "I'm so sorry for that, my lady. I hope there will come a time when I can put that right again, of course," he offers, a bit lightly. Not commenting anything about that nameday event, but he offers a smile to Stafford. "So far, I must admit it's truly beautiful here, Ser Stafford," he offers. "I'm glad I took the trip here." A brief pause as he hears that last part of what Stafford said to Aeliana, and he offers them both a smile. "Remember your victories, forget your defeats, isn't that how it goes, Ser?" It's spoken a bit lightly. Smiling a bit at Kerrigan as well, offering him a quiet "Thank you." A bit of a grin to Nedra, "Sure, cousin," he offers, a bit lightly.

"Yes!" Aeliana agrees with Nedra, that wolfish grin curling up the corners of her lips. "And we'll give away….I'm sorry," somewhere amidst grand mock planning she catches herself, "I'm being terrible." But she doesn't sound entirely apologetic about it. At all. And there's still laughter in her eyes. It's tempered with kindness when she looks to Ser Martyn a gently given, "I would enjoy that and mean, most surely to take you up on it, have no fear." A wink draws her attention fleetingly towards Kerrigan, if only for the way he seems to be…being…quiet. "I say Ser Kerrigan, it's not like you to be so quiet," prodded lightly, before she flashed a grin in Stafford's direction. "My lord, you insult me. All moments with you are worthy of being remembered." Pokerface.

"I like to keep you guessing," Kerrigan answers Aeliana, lightly. "Wouldn't want to start being predictable. In any case, I'm busy being fascinated by the current conversation. I'm trying to figure out exactly what happened, but it sounds like it isn't a story for polite conversation." Or he hopes it's not, more like. Honestly, sometimes guys can be worse gossipers than girls!

"I'd have to respectfully disagree, Ser Maryn," Stafford said, dipping his head in a brief gesture of companionable courtesy. "Victory builds confidence and satisfaction, but it's the defeats that build character and teach who you truly are." And while the words had been said in seriousness, that tone was broken with a grin as he flashed a look in Aeliana's direction. "And who I am is someone who really wants to accidentaly shove the lovely and memorable Lady Aeliana into the moat."

Nedra's amused laugh accompanies the grin that she shares with Aeliana, a grin that - in turn - accompanies the not gentle elbow nudge that she favors her cousin with. "Meanie," he is declared, "Awful," is added, "Oaf," joins the first two followed by another not-subtle elbow-jab. "I managed to make my day a Non-event, which took a good bit of fancy maneuvering, but was worth the effort. No town crier, that's for sure," before she turns towards Kerrigan to explain: "The young ladies, Raina and Roisin Erenford, hosted a name day celebration that was a few degrees over the top, to say the last. Rose petals showered on arriving guests, fanfare, all the trimming and fancy trappings to accompany it, dancing children, flower garlands too, if I recall correctly. Which, while I'm sure they were having a rather fantastic moment of being sixteen, was not precisely in the most respectful taste for the state of mourning that House Erenford is observing in the wake of the loss of Young Lord Marvish. There was a bit of," and she IS tactful, "exchange of words between the Lady Roisin and Lady Bryliesa - betrothed of Ser Brennart - and resulting .. drama."

"After which," Aeliana picks up where Nedra leaves off, "The young Roisin decided that she was going to run away and engage in a yelling fit with her brother, rather," Ae's not so tactful, probably on purpose, "Like the one she enjoyed with the ever so lovely Lady Bryliesa who truly didn't deserve such treatment." That finished and without ever missing a beat, "Honestly, I think she wanted to come smother Stafford in his sleep for considering shoving me into a moat or! That could just be me." Cheeky grin.

"See, Sers?" Martyn offers as he's elbowed by Nedra. "If someone ever tells you to speak the truth, it's a trap." The talk about the event at Heronhurst makes his expression go blank for the moment as he listens now, gaze a bit thoughtful at the moment. But not saying anything about it, it would seem.

Kerrigan dissolves into laughter. "I know that all too well," he agrees with Martyn, wryly. "If you'll all excuse me." He gives a small bow. "I'm sure I'll see you all later."

Nedra aims a mock glare at her cousin before nodding at Kerrigan as he takes his leave.

Stafford listened to Nedra and Aeliana's description of the events at Heronhurst with a roll of his eyes, but didn't add anything further to it. They'd summed it up pretty well, and besides, a knight didn't gossip *too* much. Just as he was standing there listening, a servant started to cross the courtyard in his direction. So while Kerrigan made his farewells, Stafford too was soon enveloped in an exit of his own.

"Ser, Ladies, I fear I am going to have to take my leave of you, with something requiring my attentions." He dipped a bow to both Aeliana and Nedra. "It was good to see you, Lady Nedra. Hopefully we'll catch each other again, soon."

"Of course," Ae replied with a low bow of her head and a smile for Stafford as he made his departure. She'd offered the same to Kerrigan when he'd gone as well, sans a smile that tempered and sweet.

Martyn smiles a little, to both the departing men. "Of course. Take care," he offers to them, with a bit of a nod. Then looking back to the two ladies now, smiling a little bit.

"So.. a moat?" Nedra asks of Aeliana once Kerrigan and then Stafford have withdrawn, laughter coloring her voice. another small nudge of her elbow is given to Martyn, "You do realize you're outnumbered, cousin," she teases with a trace of a grin.

"It's a pretty moat," Aeliana offers, in regards to the lovely lilypad filled moat that surrounds Braeburn and has all sorts of ways of keeping people from sneaking out the windows unless they've a boat waiting to drop down too or can swim. "And he's a sour loser." Because she wasn't a glutton, at all. Instead she flashed a grin at Martyn. "Will you flee from our joined company as quickly as Ser Kerrigan often does?"

"I have my eyes, cousin," Martyn offers with a bit of a grin to Nedra, before he shakes his head a little bit as he hears Aeliana's words. "It would probably be the smartest thing to do, but I'm not always that smart," he offers a bit lightly, with a completely straight face now.

"That you do, my cousin, that you do. But that doesn't mean you always use them," Nedra teases in return to Martyn before she laughs. "Sour loser and just think, you have years and years and years ahead of you, Ae, to work on that particular facet of his charm."

"Nedra…," Ae said in a tone that was somewhat deadpan, "Let's just…let's get through the present first, yes? Ser Martyn, tell her to let me get through the present before she starts going on about years and years. I'm not that old and she's older!"

Martyn chuckles, "Let her get through the present first, cousin. The future comes… when it comes…" Offered with a bit of a half-smile, before he looks to Aeliana. "I must apologize for her behavior. After all she's getting old now…" There's a bit of a grin and a light tone to the words, as he hold up his hands, as if to guard himself from any incoming elbows.

Nedra laughs quietly, or not so quietly, a grin of pure amusement on her face, "Just think, two more months and a bit before you can actually set the wedding date, or something like that. And then the planning shall begin in earnest," she teases her friend light. "And, my many years of age to your senior allows me to be as amused as I want to be." This said, of course, as she neatly trods on Martyn's toes instead of using her elbows on him - various methods being employed to chastise her cousin. "Cousin, don't make me smother you in your sleep."

"Two months," Aeliana sighs, "They've dotted all I's and crossed all T's. As for the planning, would you believe we've already accomplished that. We both know precisely what we want and managed it in less than fifteen minutes. I don't have to think on it at all." Which was a blessing. Even if her going on about many years her senior had the girl sticking out her tongue and then, "Oh no wonder I thought I saw some grey…." Teased of Nedra, while she flashed a little grin in Nedra's direction. "Oo, look there, Ser Martyn I see a few more hairs already."

Grimacing a bit as his toes are trod on, Martyn offers a bit of a chuckle at Aeliana's words. Looking to Nedra again now, offering a bit of a grin. "If you wanted to do that, wouldn't you have done it a while back, hmm?" A brief grin, before he nods, "Looks like they're coming fast now, those grey hairs…"

Nedra runs one hand lightly over her hair, refusing to be dismayed, "I grew them myself, thank you," she says in a lofty tone of voice. "Silver IS the thing, after all, and only a lady can grow her own silver."

Aeliana gives over to laughter, head thrown back and amusement in her eyes. "Oh, oh my goodness, that was -very- well done. I am in awe, my fair lady, of your wit." And it comes with a low courtly bow, the sort a knight might favor. "I humbly bow the floor."

Martyn chuckles a bit as he listens now, shaking his head a bit lightly. Grinning as he looks between the others now. "Nicely put, cousin…" Offered a bit quietly.

Nedra gives a gracious curtsy in return, amusement coloring her tone of voice when she says: "As well you should be, my dear," before laughing again. "Fifteen minutes, only?" is asked in a tone of incredulity. "My goodness, may I enlist your aid for planning my cousins wedding?" she wonders, elbowing Martyn again. "We do need to get him married off before he becomes dottering, decrepit and, you know, senile. I've drawn up a list of acceptable young ladies," she adds, a wicked grin curving her lips.

"Indeed. I confess, I hate planning and fussy affairs. We'll hold a tourney and some competitions for local bards and such like and the rest will tend itself. I suspect Lady Ada has some plans as well which we'll be more than happy to incorperate." Because oddly, Ae got along with her goodmother to be rather well. "Though I find it funner planning someone else's instead of my own." Because for them she could be fussy. Less so for herself, even though she was realizing Nedra had a bruising nature! Poor Martyn. "I'm not sure if I should come wedge in between you two or not. I've never seen a lady poke a knight to death before," mused thoughtfully before that list was mentioned, "I certainly hope that Ser Stafford's sister is on it!"

For those paying attention now, it seems that Martyn's pained expression comes a bit before he's elbowed. "Cousin…" he begins, his words a bit quiet. "No…" Shaking his head a little bit now, letting out a bit of a sigh. "I assure you there are far more suited men as husband material than me…" Taking a few deep breaths, he shakes his head looking between the two ladies, aagain offering the simple answer. "No…" Was that to the whole idea, or the list and who's on it, or both?

Nedra favors her cousin with a look that is both amused and arch, "If I must, cousin, then you must, but. We won't discuss it now." She turns back to Aeliana and shakes her head, "I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Ser Stafford's sister, but I'm sure that she's just as nice as Ser Stafford and Ser Kerrigan are. I look forward to having a chance to make her acquaintance."

"Oh come now, Ser Martyn, surely you underestimate yourself. You're a handsome man and a very well renown knight, I daresay there are many lady's who'd be more than fortunate to call themselves your wife." Because she's not quite his cousin, so she doesn't read those lines as well as he does. "And smile, I pray, please?" She bids, those dark eyes turned hopeful and imploring in his direction.

"Could we just… drop this part of the conversation, please…?" Martyn shakes his head after a few moments of pause, before he offers a bit of a grin. "Smiling…" And he does, although it doesn't quite reach his eyes at the moment now.

"Ae, you must have a unwed cousin or something you can introduce me to, we have to figure out how to tie our families together so we can be related," Nedra decides after she stops laughing. She nudges Martyn gently with one fingertip, "Smile more, cousin, it looks good on you. And yes," she glances toward Ae, "we'll drop the line of conversation. I'm sure you have .. other plans already in mind," she says simply. "Now, when is the wedding set for, Ae?" is wondered.

"It'll have to be in the Groves, in which case I have a plethora of unwed cousins or soon to be cousins. I refuse to have you stuck far away in Highfield. How about…a nice lord? One who's going to be moving to Kingsgrove instead?" There's a glimmer of mischief in her eyes, but she doesn't explain further instead, with Martyn's pressing and Nedra's insistance, she relents, "Alright alright, you're as bad as Kerrigan, moping and moaning around about the lack of freedom that he's going to have. He's convienced that he's going to be next, the coward. As for the date…," she trails off, frowning thoughtfully. "You'll have to ask Ser Stafford, I haven't the faintest."

"I'll smile at the times when there's something to smile about, thank you," Martyn offers to Nedra, shaking his head a little. "And if you want our families tied together, you get to be the glue for that, dear cousin." Martyn rthen hakes his head a little bit at Aeliana. "I'm not moping about things. It's just…"A brief pause as he considers it. "Like she said, other plans already in mind…" Leaving it at that now.

Nedra detects the glimmer of mischief, most certainly, and eyes Ae with a laugh, "Tell me.. does he bathe on a frequent basis? Chew his food with his mouth closed? Hold coherent and intelligent conversation? Refrain from tossing the skirts of ever wench he passes just to prove how manly he is?" she wonders, laughing AGAIN after her own words. "Though I do sympathize, I really do. I sort of feel the same way at times. But, logic states that as long as I stay out of line of sight and below notice, my Lord Patrek won't notice me. IF he doesn't notice me then he won't remember to shuffle me off anytime soon."

"Well," says Aeliana, ever the voice of reason, "One's plans do not often matter when one's lord is the deciding factor. It's a Game of houses and seats, dear Ser, not passion and love and romance. But then, you've far more years than I have so I'm sure you know that," the lady smiled, giving a faint bow of her head to her elder before her attention settled once more on Nedra and she had to reign herself in to keep from laughing outright. "Oh my goodness, you're terrible. Still, if I can't have you for a member of the family, I'd not mind having you for a neighbour." Brow waggle, the brightest of mischevious twinkles in her eyes.

Martyn just nods a little bit at Aeliana's words, but keeps silent for the moment, just listening now. Shaking his head a bit at Nedra. "So, it's okay if he just tosses the skirts of half the wenches he passes, hmmm?" Unable to hold back a chuckle. "And what you call a frequent basis, is that a year, two…?" Sounds like he's just joking now.

"Being neighbors would be just as much fun, being family more so. and yes, I am terrible, someone simply has to be. It's really, really so much more fun this way, Ae." Nedra turns slightly and fixes Martyn with a narrow look, "Oh by all means, who ever He ends up being, he's welcome to toss the skirt of any pretty thing that comes his way. He won't ever be sharing my bed again, mind, or I'll be doing some redecorating at the point of a knife. but by all means, enjoy," she says in a calm and rather reasonable tone of voice.

Aeliana sounded like she was going to choke to death that point. There'd been a hard snort when Nedra spoke and it was followed with a lot of coughing and what was decidedly choking there at the end, red faced and fanning herself to catch her breath. "I…oh my goodness, I admire you. At least you've the gumption to say something. I suppose I sound tradtionally prefuctory in my thinking." Which was as long as it wasn't one of her peers or someone under her roof then it didn't matter.

"I see…" Martyn offers with a bit of a shrug, nodding a little now. Looking between the two, he lets out a bit of a sigh, shaking his head a little bit. "I should be getting some rest. Was a long day yesterday, and a long day today. I will hopefully see you both in the morning, right?"

Nedra aims a smile at Ae but nods to Martyn before speaking further, "I should imagine so, cousin. We were able to get the paint off of your clothing, cousin, and Shalla had everything sent to your room," she adds. "I hope that you have a good evening and sleep well, coz."

"I hope I haven't run you off!" Aeliana gushes when Martyn announces that he's going to leave. "I really am good company, I swear just…ask anyone but Sers Kerrigan and Stafford. Ask Nedra!" Hah. That brought a triumphant little smile in her friend's direction, before she bowed to the impending departure with grace. "I hope you've a wonderful evening, however and that you'll stay here in Kingsgrove with us for a while."

Martyn smiles s bit, "Of course not, Lady Aeliana," he offers to the part about running him off. "Just a bit tired. Thank you for the company, both of you." A bit of a grin in Nedra's direction, "And thank you for getting the paint off of my clothes." A brief pause, before he adds, "And thanks, I hope you both will have a wonderful evening as well." And with that, he's heading off.

Once Martyn departs, and after Nedra stops studying his departing form with a worried look on her face, Nedra turns at last back to Ae and smooths the frown away and places a smile on her face instead. "My apologies, he's.. complicated," is the best thing that Nedra can think of to say. "And you aren't traditionally perfunctory in your thinking. I just have some experience in the vein of being betrothed to someone who whored his way up one side of the cape and down the other. I've no interest, what so ever, in repeating this experience," she says quietly before smoothing one hand over her hair and turning slightly to eye the impressively tall tree in the courtyard. "I still think i could climb it, you know. It look sound enough, though I wouldn't try it in full skirts and useless but pretty shoes."

Aeliana, who was much less interested in Martyn's departure than Nedra, was instead regarding the woman beside her and finally becoming aware of the fact that riding pellmell on a horse had thoroughly ruined her hair. So she was working a ribbon out of the mess of tangles that it had unwittingly collected. "He's going to have to get over that," it's a bit flat that, but to the point. "Or he's going to ruin himself. Completely. I can't fix anyone who shuts down like he does and boy-oh-boy, does he shut down." Which made her sigh, because she quite liked meddling. "And I am sorry about your former betrothed. Mine died. I'm not sure if he whored or not. I wouldn't accept someone who threated to ruin my reputation along with his. If you should ever need something to be ah…rid, of someone let me know." Sweet smile. An innocent smile. One that turned into a stern, Septa-be-proud look, "We are NOT climbing trees, Nedra. You can go up on the parapets if you want to see the view."

"My Jhames did not return from Pyke," Nedra says quietly, calmly even, "and I didn't know he was sewing his seed in every direction until after he'd died. But.. I will remember that, just in case," she promises. And at this point Nedra's hands are resting lightly on her hips as she tilts her head back, still studying the tree with a decidedly speculative gleam in her eyes, after all - if she can climb the rigging while a ship is in full sail, what's the challenge presented by a tree that doesn't really move all that much? "Now now, Ae, who said anything about We? I'm positive I could climb it," and she lowers her gaze to aim a grin that's all challenge to her friend, "I wouldn't want you to get your hair messed up," she teases.

A clamber of hooves and a call from the gate house-enough to solidify that someone is coming, and someone whom is allowed. A small lance of men, though none arrayed in splendor or armor. Rather they all seem stained of the road and of travel-despite the short distance between one holding to the other. One fellow behind their wall eyed leader, holds a spear in which stripes of Gold and purple are flown in a rather impromptu banner. Nothing fancy-nor is the party which consists of boys and perhaps one Armsmen-and the knight in the lead. A simple and small lance indeed. Once through the gate house the gait of the horses slows into a polite trot, coming to stop as the knight holds up a gloved fist, and then seeks to dismount as guards do come to meet. Pleasantries are dispersed with between the men as the rest of the party dismounts, and the Armsmen goes with the two squires and pages on towards the stables.

Ser Ozric Terrick pauses as eye accumulates data and gloves are peeled off and stuck into his belt. Dirt knocked free-it is the tree with the marble bench that holds his interest, and so for it he makes.

"Nedra," this time it's with the tone of one who doesn't want to be pressed into something but could be with just enough peer pressure, "You're…," it took a moment, this fishing for the right word while she gave a vicious tug to her hair, "Older than I am." Hah. Found it. "You're supposed to set the /example/. I'm sure it does not include…," where the Groves-to-be trails off and turns to look towards the gatehouse when that call is heralded and further a brow lofts when marking the colors upon that spear. "climbing trees," is the quieter finish of the prior thought before, "And entirely unexpected."

"Ser Ozric Terrick," her memory is tugged into being, a name supplied by both description and colors gleam. "On behalf of House Groves, welcome, to Braeburn House." The curtsy was a spot on piece of elegance, much as the rise. "And apologies, on behalf of Ser Stafford that he could not be here to greet you himself. Though if you are but with us long, then I am sure when business frees him he will come and say as much himself."

"Older.." Nedra is saying, from the other side of the massive tree trunk, "does not translate to," and she pats one hand on the tree trunk, "stick in the mud or boring," she promises before the sound of approaching riders and hails being exchanged draws her around the tree and toward Aeliana. Her eyes widen as she recognizes the colors and the knight at the head of the spear as Ozric dismounts and strides forward. Grateful that it's Aeliana that voices the first greeting, the small flurry of activity in the courtyard that heralds the ebb and flow of household staff, Nedra's Septa and guard among those who are enjoying the pleasant air in the courtyard and turn toward the new arrivals with interest. Nedra's curtsy follows Aeliana's and a small smile is tugging at her lips as she rises, holding silent for the moment so that Ser Ozric has room to reply before she voices her own greeting.

A turn of his head and his steps and swagger slow to a stop. A faint grin is given out of politeness before the knight is curtly bowing his head in Aeliana's direction. "Lady Aeliana..Ashwood." he says after a moment there- a brief bit of memory, before he comes to stand straighter. "Thank you, for such a warm welcome. And please, please let your Lord know that I do understand." A wave of his hand given as if that should assuage any thought of the Terrick being put out, that Stafford is rather busy. "I do hope I can meet with him. I know things did not shake out with my kin-and I would like to go about repairing what damage has been done, if that means I wait-then so be it." he states before smiling as he catches a glance towards Nedra Mallister. "My Lady Mallister, another surprise. It seems I do manage to run into you all over the river lands." a faint chuckle there. "Your poor horse must be having the life run out of it, or discipline run into it." he adds with a nod. "Good to see you, Lady."

The woman's smile spread slow when the topic of interest was broached and addressed and accepted on her part with a gracious bow of her head. "Indeed," is murmured as her head rises and there's a welcoming measure of warmth in her eyes. "My Lord will be most pleased to hear of it and you will be made welcome the duration. Shall I have a room made ready?" Hosting is Stafford's job, or Kerrigan's, by the gods and yet in the absence of both, she'll make sure it's done as it should be. There is already a beckon made for a servant to come forward; for her own retinue lingers back, lounging comfortable with that of Nedra's. Though that's the last question that she poses the pair; instead as she smooths at her skirts, content to watch the by-play that results.

"My Lord Ozric, well met," Nedra offers in return, her words accompanying a small nod, that trace of a smile still tugging at her lips, eyes sparkling faintly with humor. "It seems that we are destined, perhaps, to continue to run into each other, one holding after another. Perhaps I should send a copy of my travel plans to your squire so as to make these things less startling," she suggests with a glimpse of a grin. "And mostly the latter, I assure you, not the former. My mare is not precisely appreciating the refresher course in manners but we're working on it, all the same. And it is good to see you again as well, my lord."

"How about you let me know of your next destination and I shall do my duty to politely keep from crashing. I would hate to keep all your time when amongst friends." Ozric offers with a grin before he is looking back to Aeliana. "Aye, that would be wonderful. My squires will be fine to bunk in the stables." he adds. "As long as I am able to train them as their schedule permits without offense-we should be fine all around." he adds before he looks back towards Nedra. "I received your correspondence before we left." he merely states to the Mallister woman, before he moves closer to the bench. "It uplifted my spirits, thank you." he adds before looking over to Aeliana. "And I do hope lady, I've not interrupted your day with my arrival."

With a small glance in Nedra's direction a faint near knowing grin dotes on the Ashwood's lips, though it's wisked away with Ser Ozric's response and she's all polite smiles and formality once more. "There should be no problem at all with that, Ser Ozric. I daresay my Lord will be most understanding and now," now she allowed her smile to grow as she watches the Terrick lord circle nearer to her friend, "I believe I shall go ensure that your room is made ready. T'will be the Ash room, Ser and if I am not back in time, I believe that the Lady Nedra may show you the way." No. No she's not attempting to meddle with these two at ALL. "So on that note and with the assurance that your presence has only brightened my day, not lessened it, I pray the pair of you excuse me." Was that smile impish? Oh no, not at all. Aeliana swept off for the main hall.

Ozric chuckles in Aeliana's direction, a bow given as she excuses herself. "Lady, your presence has brightened my day." echoed there for a moment before he is looking back towards Lady Nedra, his own brow arching up ever so slightly. "So you will be my willing, or rather now, unwilling and forced guide to my room. Excellent." words drummed out dryly. A faint grin and the knight moves to sit down on the bench, his hand moving over the cool marble before he is looking back to the young Mallister. "How is it, you are all over the place. I would think your cousin would pin you down somewhere. Or I would."

Nedra casts a glance after Aeliana's retreating form before turning back to Ozric, briefly at a loss as to where and how to logically reply to his words. She settles for taking his statements in order: "I believe that my next destination will be either Seagard or back to Terrick Roost, depending on how this week shapes up, my lord," she explains with a slow trace of a smile again. "And I'm glad that you received my correspondence, I was surprised and glad to receive yours," she admits.

"So, willing or unwilling but guide I shall be," she promises, her hands tucking behind her back, one hand curled over the opposite wrist as she consider what she recalls of the layout of the House. "It's a bit of a bemusing labyrinth, i must say. I have mapped about half of it, though I tend to get turned around still, but it's a nice enough house to get lost in, so it's not exactly a painful ordeal to turn around and try another direction. And.." she glances up at Ozric again, "I have no specific need to be in any one place at any one time for long periods of time. There's no reason for me to be underfoot constantly, either at Heronhurst, to visit with Lady Muirenn again, or Talon Point, then to Stonebridge to visit with Lady Jocelyn. It seems reasonable that I go where I may so long as it does not pose some political or security issue. and.. by cousin, you mean Lord Patrek? If I am lucky, my lord, Lord Patrek doesn't really remember my name, and I like it just fine that way."

With this said, and calling upon the able memory of her Septa and guided by her armsman, Petyr, Nedra gives Ozric a brief tour of Braeburn house before guiding him to the hallway where the guest chambers are found and leaving him to the good offices of the household staff.