Umbra 11, 228: Arrival from the South

Arrival from the South
Summary: A vassal of the Crawfords arrives with word for the Ruxton family and confirmation of sad news in the south.
OOC Date: 16/10/2013
Related: None
Roslin Arto 
Darfield Castle Courtyard
A bustling courtyard before the palace keep.
11 Umbra 228

The weather is cold but clear today, and the wind sweeping across the courtyard seems to be sweeping away feelings of ill and forboding that had so recently struck the people of Stormvale, when it was believed that a fleet of Stewart and Moniwid ships were on their way to invade. Now, however, that threat seems lessened and may even be gone, and heads are a little higher, voices a little louder, laughs a little brighter. For most, anyway. Among those here is a Princess, dressed in a velvet dress of pale yellow, embroidered with bright red and orange flowers and green vines. The dress is trimmed along the high neck and the sleeves and the hem with purple velvet and embroidered with a few pearl beads. Over the dress she has a warm cloak of dyed maroon. A gold tiara sits among her crown of red braids folded up over her head, and she accents it all with a simple gold eight-pointed star around her throat on a choker. She moves with two guards, a clerk and a maid, her head held high and her stance and posture perfect for a woman who has practiced both since she could lift her head in a cradle. As she passes through the area, commoners pause in their blacksmithing, their shoo-ing of chickens and goats, their chatter and their carrying of barrels and burlap bags to kneel briefly for the woman. She nods here and there to them as she passes, moving to a darker corner of the courtyard and gesturing with a hand. “There,” she says to the clerk beside her, who begins to write furiously on the peice of wood he has brought - which is cleverly complete with a built-in slot for an inkwell. “The building will begin back there, behind these buildings. They will have to be moved to provide access, but it will be around to a quieter side of the keep where the noise of this area shalln’t distrub the peace.” Whatever could she be talking about?

A white sutherland strider comes trotting into the courtyard heading in the direction of the stables. Atop the horse is a tall knight with golden hair. The man dismounts and hands the horse off to a stable boy. The stallion seems somewhat ill tempered neighing and stomping his feet the second his reins are handed off to the stable hand. The blonde knight chuckles and pats the horse on the shoulder looking at the boy with a cool blue gaze. “Give him something good to eat he has had a long journey. Oh and if you give him an apple he might not kick you.” The man then turns away spotting the princess walking through the courtyard. He salutes her and eyes the group curiously before glancing around at the rest of the courtyard. He wears chainmail with a red tunic underneath and has a sword at his belt and a shield across his back. Ice blue eyes watch his surroundings carefully alert and cautious. Taking a few steps forward he moves through the courtyard unconsciously drawing closer to where the princess and her group are talking.

It is the noise from the unruly horse that causes the Princess to turn. Granted, she is not the first one to turn - her guards are. Men who take their charge quite seriously, no doubt. The maid turns too, curiously, though the clerk keeps his attention focused on the young redhead. At least, until she turns. Then the clerk is free to turn as well. Upon seeing the young man with Sutherland colors, she waves a dismissive hand to the clerk, who bows and steps back, while the Princess and her maid and guards move forward. “Sir,” she says to the man she does not know, intent on stopping him to speak with him. “Do you hail from the south? Is there news?” She asks nothing more for now, instead pausing to wait for the man to bow and speak on the recent rumors that are all but fact now - that pirates invaded the keep, that the Duke and his pregnant wife are dead, that the younger brother is now Duke in Cedric’s place.

The blonde haired knight pauses when the princess moves towards him. Crossing an arm over his heart he bows at the waist before straightening up to his full six foot eight inches of height. He studies her a breif moment and then he replies. “Well met Your Highness I recently returned from Ruxton. The Duke of Sutherland sent me there about four months ago to fight. I was sent to Darfield with a message from the Duke of Ruxton but on my way I paused back home to see if the rumors are true….sadly they are. Duke Cedric and his wife and unborn child are dead and the younger brother was made Duke. I am deeply sorry I could not bring better news.” He frowns slightly and watching the young womans reaction carefully with those cool eyes and a calm expression.

Roslin is towered over by the man. She is but a child to most eyes - sixteen years old - and though she is young she carries herself with the confidence and poise of any queen. But that does not mean that she is anything but a sixteen year old girl by sight and by size. She is nearly looking straight up at the man, who towers over her own guards too. Her face is solemn, and as she nods in understanding her eyes lower and a hand touches the eight-pointed star at her throat in a gesture of piety. “I had hoped, perhaps, that somehow the news was wrong. But if you have been there and seen it as you say, then hope must be set aside for this.” She is quiet for a moment, perhaps a silent prayer passes from her heart to the Gods, but then her attention rises to the blonde Knight once more. “You were in Ruxton for the fighting, sir, when the Stewarts invaded so recently? We have heard little news of it, other than the good and that the Duke still requires our prayers and gentle thoughts.” She nods once more, a bit lower, more respectful. “On behalf of my family and of Mobrin, I thank you for your defense of our people, our borders, and our way of life.”

Arto lowers his head slightly for a moment his expression mostly calm but his eyes show a hint of concern and worry when he looks up once more. “Hope is a good thing Your Highness but reality at times can be cruel. You have my sympathies and my prayers for your cousin all the same though.” He nods to her when she asks about him being on the front lines. “Indeed I was. It was a bit rough at times but we have managed to hold our borders so far.” When she thanks him he smiles faintly and salutes her once more. “It is an honor to serve this fine kingdom Your Highness I would not have it any other way. Still I have not introduced myself yet. I am Sir Arto Benthur, and its a pleasure to meet you.

“Sir Benthur,” Roslin says, nodding her head once more at the introduction. She, however, does not introduce herself - it is clear from the title that he already knows her. “Well met, Sir. And I thank you for your prayers. They are always welcome and most appreciated.” As she rises, the light catches the choker about her throat - this one, it seems, is a poius young thing indeed. “Particularly from one who has served us so bravely against the usurpers of the true crown of Laniveer.” No doubt, by now, Arto has head of the news: That bloodlines have indicated the Kilgours to be rightful rulers of not only Mobrin but Laniveer. That is according to the King, anyway, who has crowned himself as monarch over both lands. “The world exists as it will, with little regard for hope or hearts. We must all do our best to shape it around us to the benefit of ourselves and of others. I would not keep you too long - you have just arrived, I see, and likely want little to spend your time chirping with a simple girl. May I ask, though - your family is sworn to the Crawfords, then? I must confess I do not know all of the names of the bannermen of the realm.”

That faint smile returns and Arto nods to her. “Those are very wise words Your Highness. I believe you are right. The world will go on regardless of how we feel but we can help to shape it into something better and direct its people if we have faith and determination.” He studies her a moment and shakes his head softly. “Your Highness you are surely one of the least simple young ladies I have met so far. Even having just met you I can tell you are far from the typical girl your age.” He smirks slightly and the question has him nodding once more. “Yes my family is a vassal to House Crawford and has been for a very long time.” He looks thoughtful for a moment his eyes locked on the princess with a calculating look.

Roslin smiles, a rosyness in her cheeks beneath the compliment - or the cool chill. She gestures forward with her left hand to indicate that they should walk inside together, and does not wait for an answer. She begins to walk - a very slow, thoughtful walk, with her maid and guards just behind. “You are too kind, Sir Arto Benthur,” she says, letting her hands fold in front of her once more. “I am glad to hear it - it gives me peace to know that men such as yourself arrive ready to assist the Crawfords during this difficult time. I cannot imagine such tragety as they have known. But then, it is tragety such as this that so many familes of soldiers of my own country know that the Gods thus far have spared me from. I am not without my trials, of course,” she nods, “None of us are. But such a trial as this loss … I do not know that my strength would allow me to endure such pain.” The steps seem to be leading the pair inside, where the warmth of the fires await. “But as you say, Sir - faith and determination. With such things, what can we not accomplish?”

Arto follows, walking beside her as they head inside. “I only speak what I see to be true Your Highness.” He pauses frowning slightly his head turning to the side to look at her. “It is hard to lose someone but I firmly believe that it is our struggles that make us stronger. If we do not endure trials then we will never grow. I have a feeling that you are stronger than you think and your faith would likely help you through that time if you were to lose someone.” He smiles softly as they walk turning to look ahead once more. “I lost my elder brother when I was a child….I never really got to know him as we were both very young when he passed on. Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like had he lived. Still reflecting on what could have been is not very productive…better to focus on the present so the future will be better. Memories are good but you should not dwell on them they shaped you but they are the past and cannot be changed.”

Roslin nods as she listens, cheeks still pink. The color fades as she man speaks of his brother, even as the slow steps lead the up the stairs toward the main entrance of the keep. “I am sorry for your loss, Sir Arto. I shall surely keep your brother’s spirit in my prayers tonight.” She nods once more, moving into the entrance of the castle and stopping to face the man. “You are right in what you say. We must make the world what we want it to be. For my own part I only hope that I may in some small way make it safe and prosperous for the people of Mobrin, that I may serve the Gods as well as I may, and that my family shall always have reason to be proud of me.” She tilts her head up to look at the obscenely tall man again. “May I ask before I leave you, Sir Arto - what do you aim to shape in this world? Or, at least, shape here at court?”

Arto looks thoughtful smiling faintly once more. “I think I was too young to really understand what it meant when he died, still thank you for your prayers. I hope he is at peace and maybe one day I will join him wherever he is.” He nods to her looking at her carefully, studying her. “That is a noble goal Your Highness.” The question she asks has him smiling once again. “I wish to serve and protect my lords and kingdom as best as I can. I would prefer to do this on a larger scale than I have lately though. There are many soldiers but so few great leaders. I wish to serve a great leader and possibly make a difference for myself and them.” He smiles softly. “It was very nice to meet and speak with you Your Highness. You are quite intelligent and pleasant company as well.” He bows at the waist politely.

“Thank you, Sir Arto. Your words have warmed my heart, though my skin I think is still quite chilled. If you will excuse me, I will retire to my rooms.” She nods once more to him. “I do look forward to seeing you more at court. If there is a place for a man to make a name for himself, surely it is here.” With that, the Princess turns with her guards and her maid to move deeper into the castle.

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