Sess 15, 229: Puff Puff Pass

Puff Puff Pass
Summary: Kierne's last night of freedom involves booze, sky herb, and boner-inducing mapmaking skills.
OOC Date: 01/03/2014
Related: Some
Players:
Trevian Kierne Ronan 
Darfield Castle Salon
Swank salon o' swankness.
Sess 15, 229

Kierne comes prowling through the castle hallways, restless, having spent the day in training and finding the evening encroaching far too early for his liking. Spring wants for later light than this. When he makes his way into the salon, he pauses. Well, here's a place, isn't it? Soon enough he's scavenging through the sideboard and pouring himself a glass of wine.

Trevian Forrester sits quietly in the salon. He's working on something- a drawing table brought up to his chair as he makes mark on a largish piece of paper. He smokes a pipe, and mead sits in a mug not far off. As he puffs away on that musky scented herb he so enjoys his drawing continues- the quiet scratching of quill to parchment the only sound.

Kierne stops pouring the wine, then, after a moment, fills the rest of the glass before stopping it up again and lifting the glass straight from sideboard to lips, completing a draught that would have drained a moderate glass, but which leaves him with more yet to go. That's what he needed. Taking the glass away with him, his eyes fix on the profile of the artist, skirting briefly down to the work itself, and then, since it's hard to see the work from this angle, back up again. "Isn't it sad that wine lives longer than a man?" he wonders, by way of announcing himself.

Looking up, Trevian smiles simply. "I'm not sure what that means, Friend." Ink continues to fall on the paper- sharp eyes might note its not a sketch, or a piece of artwork- rather, something more useful. A map. "But, I drink little and smoke much. In the Forests there are many safe places to drink pure water, if you know the signs to look for."

"What poet was it who said that water was best?" Kierne wrinkles up his nose in thought. "Water is best, and the sun, like gleaming gold, of all the lights in heaven," he shakes his head. "Ah, well. You hear of wine a hundred, a hundred and fifty years old. Why can't a man live so long and so well?" he asks again, as if the universe were essentially unfair and Trevian could somehow re-write the nature of it on that map of his, which Kierne, by the way, is strolling up alongside to look at.

<FS3> Trevian rolls Cartography: Amazing Success.

That map. That absolutely *amazing* map. Upon closer inspection one could see the most amazing detail- a map of the city of such wonder and artistry one might think it was a work of art and not a perfectly scaled map of every inch of the city around the castle's keep. "Are you a fan of cartography?" he wonders, taking another long pull on his pipe.

Kierne is not into cartography, per se, but even so he's stricken mute by the quality of the drawing for a moment, leaning down with his mouth open and his words sticking behind a hitch in his throat. He holds out his wine to the side, "Oh my god," they finally come out. "It's like I'm right there walking through it. Everything just so. I know that corner there, where the wall doesn't quite match up the other before it goes on downt he street… I think I took a leak in that corner one night." Oversharing, a little.

Trevian laughs softly. Luckily for Kierne, Trevian was trained among the common people. Its normal, in Sky Forest, for the nobility to be close to their citizens. Such talk clearly doesn't phase the ranger whatsoever. "I had made other maps of the city, but I've had more time with everyone getting ready to go to war." he notes, "Luckily, I'm not a soldier- but the home guard could certainly use a map of this sort of detail, I imagine." he says with a smile. "Its a hobby that's become something more."

Kierne is, sadly, not a commoner, despite his common work garb and coarse manner of speech. Just a crude and pathetic excuse for a nobleman, gawking at a map. His lips pull to the side in a dry half-smile when Trevian claims to have had good luck in not being a soldier, and he glances aside from the masterpiece for a half-second or so before returning to its perusal. "Luckily," he agrees. "And lucky, that, as well. My hobbies are hunting and philosophy, the former of which is a useful enough skill, but the latter of which only gets one stared at oddly at the bardic," he winks jestfully.

"I miss my nearly daily hunts in Sky Forest, I admit." Trevian replies with an easy smile as he puts his mark on the map- The Forrester heraldic tree with a Foxglove coiled around the trunk. "Hunting is something I'm always happy to do- though the last one didn't go as well as I'd like. Not my style to use flushers as they did. I'd rather stalk the prey. Hunt it down like a predator- not have it driven towards me by a bunch of servants… See if I can't trap it, or set up a deadfall of some sort. A little more sporting on foot and with stealth."

Kierne makes a face. "And I had to stay back and guard the women," he agrees to the whole affair being a little less than suitable. "I don't like the use of servants, either. Not to say I don't care for the men themselves— but men ought to band together in the hunt, if nowhere else, in a state of commonwealth, and dissolve our social barriers. Where can we best be men than when faced with the ferocious glory of nature? Who wants to be reminded of all the ills we do to one another in the meanwhile?" Kierne stands up straight, suddenly finding himself in need of more wine.

"I am at one, and at home in nature, Friend. Lord Scout Trevian Forrester." He finally offers with a nod of his head, and a smile to the other. "I think you'd find yourself more than just surviving on a hunt led by myself. We'd stalk an animal for a day or more, camp under the stars and be comfortable regardless of weather. I'd show you the plants to gather to make your bushmeat tasty, and the bounty of the forest would be yours- a veritable feast like you've never seen on the table of nobility." he says with a grin, "I trap, I stalk, I hunt like the forest wildcat- quiet and unseen until its too late."

Kierne drains his glass and fills it back up at the sideboard, glancing back over his shoulder and smiling crookedly at Trevian. "Kierne," he introduces himself, sans name or title, uncouth though that might be. "And that sounds awesome. When do we get out of here?" he laughs, lifting up his drink in a toast to his new favorite mapmaker. "I was actually hoping to have a hunt here before everyone comes back from the wedding. But there'd have to be a petition for the king, so on and so forth," he shrugs. "Bureaucracy over bounty."

"What? No.. surely you have friends of the family with land near here? Well, I know we do." Trevian replies with a laugh, "We'd go hunting on their land, with their permission. Although, I'm sure I could convince just about any royal to give me a bit of time to hunt. I can be persuasive when I'd like. I'd ask for a hunt, and they'd get a map of their hunting grounds out of it." he explains with a grin, "Some friends of the Forrester family have land not far from here, and I'm sure with all the wolves gone they've got a deer problem we can help them with."

Kierne paces the room, grin blossoming into something seriously eager as he plies himself with wine and thoughts of the hunt. "Oh, I'd be glad to help, that's for sure. I'll have to ask my Lord Knight, of course, but I doubt he'd mind. I mean," he pauses, lifting a shoulder, "If you were keen on going. You needn't bother your family friends on my behalf."

"Who's that then, Squire?" Trevian wonders with an easy smile as he packs his pipe once more with the famous Sky Herb and lights it with a taper kept near a lamp he's been using for better light. "Anyone I know?"

"Ah, Sir Ronan," Kierne answers. Duke, he should say, but this kid just seems to be allergic to titles and privilege; as if to say that he was squiring for the Duke Crawford would be bragging, he shies away from doing so, looking down and rubbing his figners up through the hair at the side of his head while he sips his wine shyly. "What's that you're smoking, there?" Maybe he guesses, but he doesn't want to guess wrong, by any means.

"Sky Herb. Care for a few puffs?" Trevian wonders as he offers the pipe over to Kierne with a quiet smile and a nod of his head. "I rather enjoy it. A taste of home, if you will. Grows wild all over the place in Sky Forest. The best is found near small streams with just the right amount of light. It farms easy enough, and the stalks make a handy cord. The buds smoke best, and I have quite a bit squirreled away in my room." Luckily for Kierne, Trevian isn't the most formal of nobles.

Kierne is coming to understand as much, and it endears this nobleman to him no end. And if that didn't do it, now he's offering him sky herb. He's heard of it, sure, but has never actually had opportunity to try any. "Sure, okay," he reaches out with his wine glass, trading the glass for the pipe and using his other hand to rest against the back of the chair Trevian's sitting in. He draws his lower lip into his mouth and then takes the pipe between his lips, taking an experimental breath.

"Just hold it a moment, or don't. I have plenty." Trevian offers with a smile, even as he lifts the map to take a good look at it. Now that the ink has set he's able to get a better look, and with a nod he stands and puts it off to one side near the fire to set fully. "Should make a fine gift to someone who wants a map of the city." he says with a grin. ."I made a few in the winter- but things shift by spring. Everything is free of snow and its much easier to make a map when you don't have piles of white on top of everything."

Kierne resists the urge to cough, though his eyes water a little bit, not used to smoking anything at all. He holds it in for only a little bit longer, then lets it out in a rush of air from his nostrils, looking like an angry bull, then coughing once, anyhow, as that was probably a poor choice of manners to exhale. "You'll have to mark the new potholes, too," he pipes up, then is trying his fortitude at the sky herb again, taking another puff.

"Well, not so many of those in the city. The King takes his roads seriously." Trevian says simply, "At least those in his city. Its mostly mud ruts out in Sky Forest. Tough to pave a road in the forest. We mostly go by foot, maybe a cart or two. Horses, generally, don't get on too well in the deep forest." Trevian says, just talking random- Sky Herb being what it is. "Still, I do miss the forest. I feel.. I don't know. Unsafe in a building made from rocks. They're cold, uncaring. And while I know this place is built as solid as the oaks of Sky Forest, its the Oaks I trust in my heart." he admits as he turns his parchment, and that amazingly detailed map of the capitol city.

Kierne feels less of an urge to cough on the second puff, holding the pipe up near his lips with one hand, resting the other hand on the back of a seat recently vacated by Trevian, in front of a drawing board which Trevian has yet to get back to. He lets the second breath of smoke out of his mouth, which he finds a lot easier than the earlier route. "Even with all the care in the world winter makes gaps in the stones. You know why that is? Water expands when it freezes, so all the water down in the cracks grows, and there's no stopping this… unstoppable force of nature, not even the stones that surround it. And so, in the spring, pot holes. Lots of them. Sure, they'll be patched 'ere long, but they'll be there, nonetheless. Perhaps a place on your map is the only hope to monument they'll ever have."

The door to the salon is pushed open and having heard Rosley say that Kierne was there, the Duke of Sutherland arrives with Rosley in tow. Married life seems to be suiting him for the Rioga Duke has been a little more laid back and enjoying his new wife. Therefore he has also been keeping somewhat looser tabs on his squire of late, for good or ill.

Rosley trails behind, the elderly man servant carrying a flaggon of wine and two cups. Ronan takes note of whom is here and approaches the other two, "Good evening, Lord Trevian, Lord Kierne." The Rioga stops when he sees that Kierne is … smoking. Ronan inhales the scent of it and yes, as a Sutherlander, he knows that sweet scent of Sky Herb. He lifts a dark brow at the both of them, "What are we up to this evening, besides …. the obvious?" Rosley, damn him, looks amused.

"Introducing your squire to my forest's herb. Care to join us?" Trevian asks, as he takes one last look at the map of the capitol city before pulling the parchment away from the fire- its set, that ink. It won't be going anywhere. "Ah, now to find someone who could actually use a map like this. Some of my finest work, if I do say so myself." he says, with a nod of his head. "Enjoying it, Squire? It might take a minute or two before it fully washes over you. Its quite a nice feeling, if I do say so myself." Ah, the Ranger takes whatever blame. Clearly, the squire was just being polite and trying something that dirty Lord Scout offered.

Kierne is in for it, now. He freezes briefly, meeting Ronan's eyes with a heavily-lidded look of one completely swathed in wine, if not particularly feeling the sky herb, yet. The only indication that he might be sorry for his actions shows in a little bob of his adam's apple. "I don't really feel anything, yet," he admits. But he's also quite drunk, so the effects might well disguise each other for a little bit. Still, he begins to offer the pipe back to its owner before the owner makes the offer to Ronan, and he holds it out for his Lord Knight, instead, brows aloft to see whether he'll take the pipe or no.

Oddly enough, Ronan will accept the pipe from Kierne. He glances at it to see if it needs to be refreshed or has a bit still glowing yet in the bowel before he takes a seat. The Duke looks to Trevian, "As long as it doesn't become his newest addiction, and takes it in /moderation/ on his own free time, it's fine. Otherwise I'll knock his head off his shoulders." Again. Rosley looks a bit agast at his Duke but Ronan leans back in the chair and draws on the pipe slowly a few times.

Once he's had a few good puffs of it, he hands it back to Kierne. "Used to smoke it entirely too often when I was about Kierne's age. Sir Connelly didn't approve." Of course, no slacking! Yet he did hand the pipe back to his squire. "Best not drink too much tonight. Want you up early and bright eyed, Kierne. Resume daily sparring practice now you have had some personal days."

Trevian's pipe is a finely carved thing- it appears made mostly by hand from some dark, hard wood. The resins of years of sky herb smoking being cleaned out had left it burnished and well worn. It was a beloved part of the Ranger's kit- but one he never minded to share. Hands rubbing at the bowl had left it naturally polished, and the Herb inside was second to none. Lord Trevian clearly knew where to find the best Sky Herb in Sky Forest- its funny the time one will give their distractions.

"Quite a bit different among the Rangers of Sky Forest- although, its somewhat more rare to be apprenticed to a noble ranger. My training was mostly with the best of the best of Sky Forest and they, universally, were of the common folk. We'd sit daily around the fire and smoke Sky Herb, talk about what we'd learn, our dreams and hopes. Eat the fresh meat we'd hunted, enjoy the Forest's bounty and riches. Of course, staying out there two, three weeks at a time and making a map, setting a trap for poachers or just having a string of bad luck hunting could change it from a divine experience outside in Cri's cathedral to a slag through the pits." he says with a laugh and a smile, "The herb's a good thing after a particularly rough day of training, or sparing. Excellent pain reliever and no hangover the next day."

"Yes, sir," Kierne answers, obedient enough even if it's pretty clear that clear-eyed isn't in his immediate future. "I went to the training grounds this morning," he wrinkles up his nose, quirking up one side of his mouth while scratching his finger up through his hair. "I dunno, I thought we were sparring, I guess. But Lady Lis' brother was there, and he sparred with me for a while, then let me the use of his bow. It was a little heavy for me, my hunting bow's pretty light," he frowns at his own frialty, but soon enough the dark thoughts are lost and he grins goofily at Ronan's admission and Trevian's story. "Oh! Trevian and I were talking about maybe going out hunting sometime, too. Is that OK?" he asks.

Admittedly Trevian's tale brings a hint of a smile to Ronan's face, "Many a time I have spent such nights around a fire. Military camps, hunting, or merely traveling over the land. Often knights, sometimes with a few rangers to serve as our trusted guides. Soon enough, Lord Trevian, we shall do so again, in the north." Rosley pours Ronan a cup of Sutherland red wine and hands it to his Duke. The Rioga accepts it, but as Kierne already appears to be in his cups, none is offered to the squire.

A taste of his wine, his gaze shifting to Kierne. "I have no objection, as long as you do not avoid your duties. It would do you well to go in the company of rangers and appreciate their skills, especially tracking, their knowledge of the weather and the land. Useful men." Ronan lifts his cup slightly to Trevian before he takes another drink.

Trevian bows his head to Ronan when the words and salute come. "High praise. It is appreciated. I admit- like most of my fellows- I am focused more to the forested places that Cri has gifted us with. Still, many of those skills can be of use in less forested places. Luckily, there are many forests in these lands- even if few can compare to Sky Forest. Both of you should visit, when there is more time." Trevian offers, "I'd gladly ensure you had the hunt of your lives. We'd stalk a white stag, and see if we couldn't find you a trophy worthy of your station, your grace."

Kierne flattens his palm against the side of his head, looking thoroughly touched by the memories shared by his Lord Knight. "That's just… that's everything a good hunt should be. Trophy or no, it's not about… proving anything, or… or status of station, it's just… just guys, y'know? Brothers in survival and brothers in joy, living according to the sway of nature," he goes on, growing philosophical, as he always does when drunk. He moves his hand out of his hair and starts chewing on his thumbnail, another bad habit of his when he gets all thoughtful.

Ronan smirks a little, "I've not much use for trophies, though I do enjoy a good hunt." The Duke shrugs, "I have many a ranger in Sutherland, thanks both to Sky Forest and Greenshire's training. They do well enough on the plains and in the mountains too. I find them to be of particular use in keeping an eye on the mines, that we do not have poachers of them." The Rioga eyes Kierne, then leans over to snag the pipe out of the boy's hand, since Kierne isn't smoking it. Alas, they don't last long before you have to refill them. Ronan taps out the ash and looks over the carving of the handsome instrument before he gets up to take it back to Trevian, handing it back to the Sky Forest Lord, "Aye, that is what being a knight should be about. Brothers in arms, watching each other's backs. Brothers forged by blood, their own spilt as well as their enemies."

Once Trevian has his pipe returned, Ronan takes a good drink of his own wine and walks leisurely about the room with his other hand behind his back, "Soon enough we will be hunting men, and you will be properly blooded. Gods willing, you'll live through it to earn your spurs. And if not, I'll try to see your body is brought back to your kin for good burial." Though that's not always possible.

Ronan has stopped his few paces to look at Kierne. he thins his mouth a little.

This was talk of knights, and of battles that Rangers would not- most likely- be a part of. It was not their forte to be on the front line. Trevian, in the Forest, could take on a whole squad of knights. On the plains, where horses could gallop- he'd be a smear in the grass. He repacks his pipe and relights as he sits back. "I do believe Count Aldren would like the map. He seems fond of maps." he says, of course, it wasn't a big secret that Trevian rather liked Aldren's sister Rorey. If talks of rare birds as gifts were true.

Kierne stands at an easy slouch, blinking lethargically over the images of his own death as his Lord Knight brings them up for consideration. Then a sound, kind of like a half-stifled hiccup. A wriggle of one side of his mouth. For a moment he looks oh-so-precariously perched between weeping and laughter, before he finally falls off of the fence on the side of laughter, just too tickled by the out of body experience. "You know it doesn't matter, about burial. I'm not going to exist anymore, so it doesn't really matter. I won't feel one way or the other, so you may as well not put yourself to the trouble. I will find just as good rest as fodder for the dogs and birds as anywhere else you might stick me," he reasons, cackling as he goes back over the arguments he'd studied long and hard in advance of his performance at the bardic. "So we hunt for men. I'd rather hunt for bunnies, on the whole, but I guess men will have to do, in a pinch."

Ronan does not entirely look pleased with his squire, "It may not matter to you, but it will matter to me, to your family, and to the gods, Kierne. Should I fall, I hope you will keep that in mind, should it be practical. Of course, it isn't always and a few stones might have to serve for a kairn and be done with it." Obviously Kierne isn't in a condition for any serious talk. The Rioga finishes off his wine, "You've had your fun for a few days. Sober yourself up, then we ride for Lakeshire." Nope, no more booze on the road for Kierne.

Trevian stands, after a moment- still smoking quietly. "Its not about you, at that point, Squire." The Ranger states, simply. "Its about your mother and father. Your brother and sister. Your Uncle, and your Lord Knight." Trevian offers simply. "While Cri will welcome you again to her bosom, you must remember your duty to those whom keep you in their heart. It will break them, shatter them… You may be gone, Squire, but they will remain on this world with a piece of their heart forever missing. Should you never forget that you are never alone in this world. Be it Cri's constant love in the form of nature, and all she provides- or the tears of your mother who outlived her son." Trevian, high as he is, doesn't care the state Kierne is in. He doesn't need to. "

Kierne takes a deep breath as his philosophies fall on deaf ears. "W— wait, we're going to Lakeshire?" he wonders. Yeah, that's what he got out of all of that, having spent the rest of his energy trying to stifle his inclination to argue back and anger his Lord Knight the worse. "I didn't think we were going to the thing," he scratches the side of his neck, confused. The 'thing,' of course, is his own cousin's wedding, but he had bidden her farewell before she left on the understanding that he wouldn't be there.

Trevian rolls the map up and flags down a servant, as he ties it off. He hands it over to the servant. "Bring this to Count Aldren. A gift from Trevian Forrester." he says with a bow of his head. He grins over to Kierne and Ronan both. "If you'll excuse me, I'll take my leave. Squire, you seem an interesting sort. We'll see you defend those beliefs one night over some spiced wine and a good amount of Sky Herb, no?" he wonders, before turning to the Duke. "It has been a pleasure, Your Grace. Thank you for sharing a smoke with me." Polite, at least, this Forrester boy.

"The Duchess was ill. Now she is better, so if there is time enough, we will depart soon. I would prefer not to miss my and your cousin's wedding. There are things to smooth over with my Uncle." Ronan's baritone rumbles low. He inclines his head to Trevian, "I bid you a good night, Lord Forrester. We shall also retire, that we might get to our duties with the rising sun, shall we not?" The last is pointedly directly to Kierne, "Come along. Clearly you need to sleep off whatever you have been indulging in, lad." The empty wine cup is handed to Rosley who knows his Duke well enough to know they were about to depart as well. Ronan stands awaiting Keirne to come along with them back to the Sutherland Suite.

That's going to be a hellish ride, trying to get there by the wedding. On the other hand, his new concubine is in Lakeshire, so he's eager enough to get there for reasons other than filial piety. "Yes, sir," he answers Ronan mutedly, moving to follow, looking back to Trevian with a grin, "Sounds perfect," he tells the guy. "Night!"

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