Thedor 8th, 229: Just a Walk in the Garden

Just a Walk in the Garden
Summary: In the Gardens of Stormvale does the paths cross between Friends and Enemies, Noble and Commoner.
OOC Date: 09/01/2014 (OOC)
Related: Precedes Of Chess and Contracts
Elisabeth Adlivun Avi Ronan Roslin 
Public Garden
A broad path of crushed white stone runs in a wide circle around a fountain, ringed in turn by flowerbeds. Beyond them, the lawn continues, smooth and softly green. A row of rosebushes, in full bloom, are planted along the stone wall to the north, flanking the gate. The path branches off to the south, where it joins a shady avenue lined with lush green trees, and to the east toward a quiet grove.
Thedor 8, 229

The day is cold, but fair with no hint of snow or inclement weather to lock people in their homes. With her princess in private meetings for now, Lady Elisabeth has found her way out to the City Gardens. She is becloaked against the cold as she moves through down the paths of hibernating plants. She pauses as she reaches a decorative plot of herbs, "Oh now what is going on with you?" She murmurs as she crouches removing a glove, delicate fingers reaching out to inspect the wintry growth. Looking more gardener than lady just then as fingers brush at the dirt at its base.

Adlivun wlkas into the park, Darrius and Ailos, his full-grown hounds, and their pups following him. He is wearing thick, dark leathers, like those of a ranger. The hood of his cloak is down and he's smiling at his pups. They bound about the place, but when he ticks and snaps his fingers, they stop and sit, all of them. He kneels down and pets them each individually, lookign about to find a stick for them to fetch for him, noticing the woman but not approaching her.

A man who's not been very socialable the past few days has come out to escape the walls of the castle. Dressed entirely in black, Ronan is wearing a thick black wool cloak lined with black wolf pelts as he walks quietly with his squire, speaking low. Kierne is likewise garbedin black, though more for his Kincaid House with touches of subdued silver in respect for Ronan's House being in mourning.
The Duke gives a nod to something his squire says but his dark eyes flick up at the sound of Adlivun with his dogs. The Crawford's gloved hands are hooked loosely in his arming belt as he walks, his gaze going from man and dogs to Elisabeth, whom he has seen with the Princess Roslin many times. A pause in his step and then the Duke of Sutherland changes his direction slightly to head in Elisabeth's direction.

Avi isn't in the palace, so he has no noticeable guard as he steps into the garden. The only man with him is a smaller man, with bland, forgetable features who looks more beaurocrat than bodyguard. Avi, as usual, wears the golden breastplate with the shield of the Finger Isles on his chest. He has a cloak around his shoulders to help deal with the cold. When he steps in his eyes drift about the gardens, taking in those present, before finally settling on Adlivun and his pups. Avi smiles and wanders over to the man, giving him a nod, "Master Adlivun wasn't it? And your fine pups as well. How are you this day?" Well, he doesn't know anyone else, and he found the man's company pleasant the last time he saw him. Besides, Victoria likes him so that must mean something, right?

The lady has knelt in the snow seemingly obvlivious of the world around her as she builds up some dirt around the base of the plant. She then snaps off a few flowers from the top of the plant and nods. "That should set you to right." She says in a low tone before turning her head to look upon the others that now share the garden. She glances towards first the bounding puppies with a touch of a smile at their antics before being called to heel. Her gaze then turns upon the duke. Recognizing him she quickly rises, brushing the dirt from her hand onto her cloak. She dips into a curtsey, "Your grace." Indeed it is a figure well familiar to her by now.

Adlivun looks at the foreign gentleman and nods to him, still kneeling. "Ambassador. A pleasure to see you again. I am quite well, just though the pups could use a bit of exercise." he finds a stick nearby and picks it up, standing. He points one end at a female pup, then throws it, making sure it isn't in the direction of the woman and the duke. The one pup runs after it and brings it back, dropping it at her master's feet before sitting down.

Is it rosemary the Princess Roslin's Lady in Waiting was plucking at? It's probably the only winter herb Ronan knows will often bloom in winter. As he comes up, he studies it briefly and then returns his attention to the woman, "Lady Elisabeth… I am surprised to find you out here without Princess Roslin. All is well, I trust?" Kierne stops next to his lord and offers Elisabeth a smile, having smiled to her before. Ronan glances to his squire, then to her, "I trust also, you know my squire, Lord Kierne Kincaid? Forgive me if I do not remeber if you have been properly introduced."
The Crawford Duke has shifted his stance so that Ronan might also keep half an eye on the hunter conversing with some other man the Sutherlander does not know. Avi he then studies, curious and his eye drawn to that breastplate.

As the duke greets her Elisabeth rises from her curtsey. "She was in a private meeting this morning. I thought to take the opportunity.." She starts finishing the sentence with a motion of her hand towards the plants. "All is as well as can be expected in these most uncertain times." She replies matter of factly as she pulls a glove back on. There is a nod towards the squire as he is introduced, "We have passed each other a time or two." She offers politely before she follows the duke's gaze to Avi and Adlivun. As her gaze focuses on the Ambassador though she seems to freeze in place, fingers clenching at her sides.

Avi smiles as he watches the pup chase the stick, "I am sure they require lots of exercise…. and that they keep you on your toes." He glances over at the Lady, and the two men with her and gives a nod in their direction. He hasn't met either of them yet, but then he hasn't been hanging too much around the palace if he could help it. His welcome there is always hit or miss, but at least the common people tend to be happy to see his coin purse. If he notices Elisabeth's reaction to seeing him, he doesn't show it, keeping most of his attention on the pups, "So Master Adlivun, is it always this cold around these parts? I'm thinking I will petition my brother that if he wants to send me on a trade mission again, to do so when it is warmer." Admittedly that would just make Lucan wait until the coldest time of year to send Avi again, but Avi won't mention that.

Adlivun chuckles. "No, only for a few months. It shoudl be getting to be warmer fairly soon." he then takes the stick and points to a male pup, throwing it. The male pup repeats the process his sister took part in. Then a few are pointed at, and they go after the stick, the one getting to it bringing it back, the others not fighting for it.

Kierne offers Elisabeth a slight bow, this not being a formal occasion or anything. "We have a few times, yes." He's young though, 17 and far too shy and interested in the young noble women at the same time. He falls quiet since his Rioga is standing so near. Ronan studies Avi and his attire and then returns the man's polite nod. His attention returns to listen to Elisabeth in time to see her reaction. Ronan glances back to the man, then back to her, "Are you all right, Lady Elisabeth? Who is that man that he seems to give you some alarm?"

At the entrance of the gardents, there is some sound. Ah, woe for the peace of the place! It is about to be gone. For a guard in Kilgour purple comes around the corner, turning to speak to someone (or someones) not visible to the groups yet. Soon after he speaks, a woman steps out from the same route. She is draped in a long fur-lined cloak of Kilgour purple that cinches tight along the front to keep her dress hidden. Fine gloves, a fine matching purple and fur hat nestled atop her crown of red braids. She is the Princess Roslin Kilgour, if her appearance and her guards did not give it away.
The Princess nods to the guard and starts making her way over to Elisabeth. The guard stays with her, and another comes behind. As she passes the two men she doesn't know, the guard is sure to keep his body between them and her. "Elisabeth," Roslin finally says. The cold has made her pale, but flushed her cheeks. "There you are, we wondered where you had gotten off to." And there he is. Duke Ronan Crawford. Good thing she's already blushing. "Forgive me, Your Grace," Roslin says, lowering herself into a respectful bob. "I am so sorry - I did not realize I was interrupting. I just became so worried when we could find Elisabeth. What with all the poor news regarding nobles in teh city of late, we do not wish her to be alone out here. But I can see now she is well looked-after."

Avi nods his head to Adlivun, "That is good to hear, though I may not be here long enough to see it warm up again." Though for all Avi knows Lucan will leave him here for years. Avi catches sight of the Kilgour guards and runs through his mind the possible personages they could be escorting. He offers a bow in their direction, then turns back to Adlivun and his pups. The man with him watches everything carefully, and despite not looking like a bodyguard he definitely moves to cover Avi's back from any and all comers. "So Master Adlivun, in training your pups do you prefer the rewards method or just simple repetition?"

It is the Duke's voice that draws Elisabeth from her frozen moment with a catch of her breath. She looks quickly to him then back to the Ambassedor. Words are whispered to the duke and she steps closer to him. Her breathing is a bit tight and she draws her cloak hood down her face a bit more. As if not being seen is armour enough against her fears.
Then she notices a familiar guard and then the princess's arrival. Normally she might cross to meet her princess but for now she is rooted in place. She at least manages a curtsey when Roslin approaches."I am sorry your highness. I had left word with one of the maids. I had hoped to return before your meetings let out."

Ronan is watching Elisabeth and listens to something she says, he slightly frowns. It is therefore Kierne himself who notices the Kilgour parade in route. He puts out a hand to get his Rioga's attention and Ronan first looks back to Avi, then on to see who is arriving. The Duke stands there quietly and takes in Roslin, her attire, the blush of her face in the cold, and especially when she realises he's standing there with her Lady in Waiting. Ronan offers his fist over his heart and then bows to her, "Your Highness, you are not an interruption. I had seen your Lady in Waiting here in the garden and inquired if all was well, seeing her alone out here." The Duke's gaze returns to Elisabeth, "It is true that you should not be out here without another woman to attend to you, lest your virtue be tarnished to be found in the company of men." Oh, like himself. Ronan looks around … does she have a handmaiden out here too he hadn't yet seen, collection winter rose hips or the like?
Kierne likewise bows low to Roslin but he keeps himself quiet, stepping back out of the way. He'll keep an eye on those other two men over there with the dogs.

Adlivun smirks. "A mix, actually. I like to use repetition to really make sure they understand, and rewards to start the idea in their heads. Of course, I use the rewards sparingly, making sure they don't just do it all to get some sort of treat." He watches the guards go by, raising an eyebrow but also bowing in their general direction.

Roslin glances once more at Ronan, catching his eye - or trying to - but then glancing away. Is there a slight pull at the corner of her lips to draw them minto a smile? It fades, at last, when she looks to Elisabeth. Something has the girl distressed, it becomes easier to see now. "My dear, you really shouldn't be out this way. And it's far too cold for all this." She does not appear to even suspect impropriety on the Duke or her Lady's part. "I thank you, Your Grace, for seeing to her well-being. It was very gracious of you." She says no more, though, and instead looks to the unhappy elisabeth.

Avi nods to Adlivun, keeping his attention on the man and his pups. If he is aware he is being watched or discussed he is quite good at ignoring it. "I can understand that. That way you can begin to phase out the treats after a fashion and they will still follow commands. I know my brother Lucan has some wonderful hunting dogs, though I think yours are better trained. I'm not certain where he gets them from though." Probably Laniveer, but Avi won't mention that. People here tend to be touchy on the subject of Laniveer after all. Of course Lucan's dogs are also probably meaner then Adlivun's, but Avi won't mention that either. The man Avi arches his brow up at Kierne when he notices the lad, but he he doesn't do more than that as his gaze never settles long anywhere.

At the comment of her being alone, Elisabeth blinks and looks about the garden, "Cassandra is here somewhere.." Her gaze scanning around the garden until they fall upon her own maid a few rows over. Given her own interest in herb craft, no doubt has trained her own maid in the picking of certain herbs. She looks a little flustered, slowly returning to herself after the shock of seeing the ambasseder. At the admonishment from the princess she nods, "I was told there was some winter herbs growing here not available in the castle garden. I could not resist the visit." She admits and finally her legs seem to start working and she moves from Ronan's side to Roslin's.

Adlivun chuckles. "Well, helps to make sure you train them yourself while they're still young, eh?" he reaches down and pets the pups.

Ronan rehooks the thumbs of his gloves into his arming belt, "Very good then, lady Elisabeth. The Princess is right that it is cold. Shall I walk you back to the castle or …?" a careful look to Roslin whom maybe he's supposed to be avoiding, or no? Perhaps not anymore. "I believe she was safe enough in the garden today. Nonetheless, her Highness is correct that times are more dangerous of late than they had been."
Kierne is watching the other two men but he offers a polite nod all the same when Avi looks his way. No reaosn not to. The Kincaid looks more curious than cautious and drawn to the dogs no less, but he keeps his place.
"Perhaps a glass of warmed, mulled wine in the game room. Do either of you play chess?" Ronan asks low as he turns to start heading back, if the women are as well and do not object to his company. It could be that he shares a glance with Roslin but positions himself with Elisabeth between them.

"If you are going back now, Your Grace, I see no reason that we might not all go together. We have a carriage nearby, if you care to ride with us." Roslin moves to hook her arm in with Elisabeth's. Did she speak too fast? Sound too eager? No, of course not. She's well-trained to sound just as she intends, surely it was all fine. "And when we locate Cassandra we must make sure she recieves a stern talking-to, Elisabeth. For her own sake. I have no intention of being so lenient with my maids and the maids of those I care about as Ruthgar Ruxton is with his." She nods once, firmly, a bit of Kilgour fire in her eyes. But in this cold, even that cannot last for terribly long. Instead, she look directly to Ronan, unabashad and smiling. She would do the same with any Lord, so why is this one any different. "You are cruel, Your Grace - mulled wine and chess. You know just the sort of things to tempt me."

Avi nods to Adlivun, "This is very true. But I think the skill of the trainer has something to do with it as well… which in case you have not guessed was meant as a compliment." Avi glances over at the group that seems to be departing. He gives a smile and a wave to the group… though it seems his gaze lingers a bit longer on Elisabeth. Of course if the woman has heard any tales Avi seems like he enjoys taunting the Haravean family. Let it never be said he can't be a jerk at times.

Elisabeth glances up at towards the Ambaseder to find him looking at her and she quickly looks to the duke then the princess. "Yes, I do think it is a good time to return to the castle. I am sorry the message did not make it to your ears and you had to come all this way in the cold." By this time Cassandra has scurred over to trail the group. She glances up at the duke, looking more pale than blushed. At his question she shakes her head, "But I am happy to play some entertainment for you both while you play." She responds as she clasps gloved hands before her.

Adlivun smiles and nods to Avi. "Thank you for the compliment." he then looks to the nobles and lowers his head whilst kneeling to pet the pups, the pups and hounds turning to look, and, on cue, all lower their heads in a sort of bow.

Well, he is pleased to see Roslin smiling and it even coaxes a little of a smile from him, which is much rarer, and the first in several days. "Certainly, I would be pleased to ride back in hte carriage. If there is room enough for all. If not, Kierne and I can walk and meet you shortly." Almost Ronan will give a short laugh, but not quite, "I had no idea if either of you played chess, actually. Though, if you are musically inclined, Lady Elisabeth, that would be most welcome."
Aye, he will walk them to the carriage and if his gaze in passing lingers a moment on Adlivun with his dogs, and Avi standing with him, the Duke says nothing and continues in the fine company of the noble women. Kierne comes along after, probably looking forward to getting out of the cold himself.

Avi smiles at Adlivun, "I do not give out compliments lightly. Your pups are fine specimens and you deserve to be recognized for that." When the group goes to exit, Avi turns to them and offers a sweeping bow, "Your Highness, My Lady," He pauses a moment until the man next to him whispers something in his ear, "Your Grace. So sad you are leaving us. I hope you have a lovely evening." He gives a slight wink to Elisabeth before turning back to Adlivun and admiring the dogs, apparently not caring how his farewell is taken.

Roslin turns, walking beside Elisabeth and Ronan beside her - yes, keeping her distance, even now. She pauses to the gentlemen, nodding her head to them as they greet her. Their whispers, their looks to Elisabeth, have her brow furrowed in unhappy confusion, but she says nothing for now and continues on to the carriage.

Elisabeth for her part does not respond to Avi's greeting. Indeed she seems to just freeze again, hands clenching at her sides. Her gaze does not lift from the ground at his feet. It is clear she is uncomfortable in his presence and is glad at the offer to take a carriage from these gardens. So much she finally uproots herself and starts toward the carriage as soon as Avi turns back to the dogs and their handler.

The Duke does not know who the man is, only that for some reason he makes the lady Elisabeth uneasy and that she had said something he'll wish to ask her to explain, later. Therefore, Ronan gives a nod, "Good evening." But offers no more than that for he does not know the man or any title. The Sutherlander's dark eyes are upon Adlivun briefly, whom he has met, and so he gives the huntsman a nod in passing as well to be polite. Then they are proceeding on towards the carriage to see the ladies settled and heading back to the castle where they will be warmer.

Avi actually chuckles as the group leaves. His gaze is fully on Adlivun, "Be glad you are not a nobleman Master Adlivun. I know many aspire to it, but they do not know the sheer annoyance that can come with titles. Whole houses can hate you for reasons they don't even understand because they, by and large, do not know the whole story… or that you actually did more to help their house then harm it. There are days I wish I were a simple sailor." Whether the words were truly meant for Adlivun, or someone else is hard to tell, though Avi is looking at the man and his pups as he speaks.

Adlivun smirks. "Believe me, I'm glad I'm a commoner, as well. Not only is there more problems with past grievances and not knowing the whole story within the noble houses, I feel… I feel commoners are actually more free. Sure, we do not have the ability to do whatever we want. But we can live without a schedule set by advisors. We can love and get married to who we want, for the most part. We can be free to do as we please for ourselves."

Avi smiles at Adlivun, his eyes softening a moment, "Oh you have no idea how true you are. And you are only used to nobility here, which while very title dependant… they are really hooked on proper titles… most of them wouldn't survive long in politics on the Isles. For instance, despite having children together which look too much like my brother to not be his, I am pretty certain my brother and his wife truly hate one another. They would probably kill each other in their sleep if they thought they could get away with it. Personally I am seriously hoping that my sister-in-law doesn't succeed until her sons are older as I have no desire to be King. I might seriously think of sailing my ship off in some random direction to never be seen from again if that happened."

Elisabeth, Ronan and Roslin Depart

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