Umbra 35, 228: Rainy Night Pleasure

Rainy Night Pleasure
Summary: A cold drizzly evening turns into an unexpected gathering in the City Center. The party decides to go to the tavern for food, drink, and to accept the Ranger's offer of music.
OOC Date: 08/11/2013 (OOC)
Related: None.
Players:
Araltaidan Caedmon Wenna Eliylw Aldren Moria Faerinia 
City Center, City of Stormvale
This lovely city stands in the shadow of Darfield Castle. Most of the local peasants reside in the city, carrying out their daily lives under the protection of the royal family. The cobblestone path veers off into darkness southwards towards the marketplace and to the north, it leads towards the castle along Ruxton Street. Crossroads also pass by, making this an intersection where all roads meet in Stormvale. Torch sconces illuminate the buildings and the narrow path at night time, shadows cast all about. The City Watch can be seen every so often, day and night, on their routine patrols.
35th of Umbra, 228

Evening finds it chilly and it has been raining. Perhaps it has let up somewhat now. A man walks up the street from the south garbed in a warm wool cloak of grey coloring with his hood drawn up. He would be an archer by the bow and quiver he has slung over his back at an angle. In his hand is a fruit, an apple, from which he has taken a bite. An additional item is carried by a shoulder strap in an oiled sack, large enough to be a string instrument. Araltaidan keeps an eye out as he walks.

Two figures approach the center of town from the direction of Market Street. One is a slender man of average height, with red hair, wearing dark gray breeches and a dark blue tunic beneath a matching dark gray hooded cloak. The other is a woman in similar dark gray wool gown, with much of her chestnut brown hair confined in a warm woolen Biggins cap. In her right hand, she holds mahogany cane with delicate silver inlays, the sole thing that might distinguish her as something more than a commoner under the circumstances. They walk slowly, arm in arm. When they see the lamplighter perching on his ladder and checking an oil lamp on a high pole, they stop and chat with him for a moment before continuing on their stroll. They greet other people who are still on the streets. When they see the stranger, the redhead waves to the stranger as well. "Good evening!" he calls merrily.

Araltaidan is not entirely a stranger for those of House Kilgour might know him, serving their Lord. In the darkness and with his hood up it may be difficult to make out his face and it is likely he has been away for some while on the King's business. The ranger shifts his package and in the doing so he drops his apple. The archer stops to pick it up and catching the couple giving him a nod, he offers a faint smile and a low volume, "Good evening." The color of the man's hair makes Aralt check the face more carefully before he adds, "My lord." He makes certain to not be in their way as he wipes his apple off on the edge of his cloak.

Walking in, hand on Aldren's arm, Moira's usual calm demeanor is displayed. Her gown is blue, with red trim; her cloak, her favorite one of smokey purple grey, the hood up over her hair. But as well, she carries an air of even more quietness than normal, although being out in the air seems to revive her somewhat, and make her seem more lively. As the days have grown shorter, she's taken to spending as much time in the gardens as she can while the weather holds before winter sets in; and, if not, then she seems to be content to sit before the fire gathering warmth, while sipping tea. A few quiet words are murmured to Aldren, stopping a moment at a stall that's closing, to eye the items that are there.

There are, the usually guards and Moira's maid Kayal, tagging along.

Another figure comes into the area, un-escorted and, for now, unidentifiable thanks to the cowled cloak she wears, the hood drawn up over Eliylw's head. In her hand the handles of a basket can be found, the container large enough to hold perhaps a little bit of shopping and not much more. Her path eventually draws her closer to those present already, her gaze held down enough to keep her from realizing she might bump into one, if not several, of the others if she doesn't look up soon.

Aldren listens to Moira as she whispers something and they examine some of the wares. As she is more intently checking on the items the Count looks around. A bored and painful expression etched across his face. As he is looking about he notices his sister and Caedmon. He offers a nod to them if and when he catches their glance and says to the Kerrigan lady. "Let us see what they are up too." His words are almost begging as he even begins to move away from the stand with her on his arm. He looks to his sister now and smiles before catching sight of the hooded figure moving towards them.

The tall woman with the cane walks with the man in grey when they come to a halt she leans her weight against him and her cane. Her eyes then peer at the man with the lute. She smiles at him in greeting. Then she turns her head to the man on the lady arm and she grins. "Lady Moira and my brother, good evening," Her moss green eyes are dancing. When the man with the instrument and apple speaks she turns her head and offer him a bow of it in greeting and she says "Good evening". Out of the cornier of her eye she spots the figure moving towards them with their head bowed, she call out warning in a warm voice. "I would watch where you walk, or you may lose the contents of your basket."

Caedmon smiles warmly, and with traces of amusement in the expression, when he sees Aldren attempting to lure Moira away from the stall. He nods and calls, "Good evening, count! I'm glad to see that you're enjoying some shopping with the lady." He glances to Wenna and then adds, "We came to speak to a woodworker. Now, with evening upon us, I think that a bowl of stew at the inn or tavern might be just the thing to set this chill to flight." His gaze passes the other couple and he watches while the stranger attempts to clean his apple. "Enjoy those apples while they last, sir," he encourages. When Wenna offers her warning to the cloaked woman, he also looks toward the woman and her basket, but adds nothing at the moment.

Araltaidan does not at once notice the young woman walking their way carrying a basket for his attention is upon Caedmon and Wenna, whom he knows less well by sight. Though one hand has the apple in it and the other shoulder the lute in the bag with carry strap, the bowman nonetheless raises both of his hands to lower his hood that they might see his face, rather than conceal it. His gaze goes to the others who approach just in time for Eliylw to bump into him if she doesn't glance up. He might look amused at Caedmon calling him sir.

Moira smiles back to Aldren, shaking her head. "You did not have to take me fora walk and to look at the wares, if you truly did not want to you know. I simply needed to be outside for awhile, that is all. I could have walked the gardens instead." Still her words are soft; but, as she spies Wenna and Caedmon as they move in that direction, her step becomes marginally livelier. "Good evening, Lady Wenna, Lord Caedmon." giving them a quick little curtsy as she comes to a stop.

The speed in which she whips her head up has the hood falling away from her head, revealing that it's Eliylw who suddenly bumps against Araltaidan's side lightly. Seems like Wenna's warning came a little too late. "Oh. Please excuse me." A quick smile is given to her victim, someone she doesn't recall having met just yet, her brow creasing slightly when she tries to place his name with his face. It's given up on after a few seconds and she turns to address the others now, bobbing a curtsy once she takes notice of Wenna and Caedmon, Moira and Aldren given a polite bow of her head.

Laine has left his brother sleeping, which is the best thing for him right now. Laine is back on duty, like always. He likes to be out and available to people, hopefully to make them feel safer. He checks with the watch members assigned to the area, making certain that everything is going well. He nods to those he passes, offering bows when necessary. He seems to have a lot on his mind at the moment, so initially he does not speak to anyone but his guard.

As he isn't required to speak for a moment, Aralt takes a bite of his apple and chews it, about to walk on his way. Until he's bumped into. He side steps out of the girl's way at once and puts his free hand out to steady her, "Are you all right?" Likewise Aidan does not know her at first glance and his instinct is to check his belt pouch hasn't been filched. "Excuse me for being in your way…" Araltaidan looks at her more carefully, "Eli, the herb gatherer?"

Faerinia arrives from the Ruxton Street.

Wenna says, "I think he and Lord Eldan have an understanding." Wenna chuckles before she speaks of the woodworker, "Yes and it was not to my liking." She makes a face.

Looking to Moira she grins. "He is about to chew his arm off, but I would suggest that perhaps you will join us? I promise not to drink him under the table again." She looks to her brother and she offers him a wink.

Her gaze then goes to the man. As her journeyman/Apprentice bumps into him. "Mistress Eliylw, careful my dear, I need you in one piece and I am sure he would like to be in piece as well." This is said in a kindly manner.

She casts a quick glance at her husband and offers him a small loving smile. "Stew and I have a satchel for tea. Perhaps we can stay in the inn if my brother and I try another round of drinking." Then she spots the familiar figure of laine and she waves. "Captain is he asleep again?""

When the archer pushes back his hood to reveal his face, Caedmon considers it for a moment. As his face indicates, it seems familiar but it does not register fully. Still, he bows his head slightly. "You have the look of a hunter about you," he says to the man. "Yet if that is a weapon, it is unknown to me." He nods to indicate the instrument. When Eli bumps into the stranger, and then Wenna speaks of her with familiarity, he glances from one to the other. "Perhaps we should head for the inn from the beginning, then, to be safe," he suggests. When Wenna then draws attention to Laine, Caedmon's eyes shift to the captain, he beckons to the man. "Captain? are the Rioga help or hindrance at this time?"

"It is fine. I like to get out as well." Aldren says to Moira. He nods to Araltaidan and Eliyw now as they come closer to the forming group. "Hello." Is all he offers before seeing the Captain and the man receives a nod as well. Allbeit from a distance. Wenna now receives a little laugh and he says, "Yes, tell your /pillow/ that." He listens to Caedmon now and adds, "If they have drink and a roof it may not be a bad idea."

Laine isn't entirely sure that he wants to be pulled into conversation, especially being that he isn't the world's most social person, but he has been addressed by both the Voice and his wife. He changes his path and heads over, bowing to those gathered, "My Lords, My Ladies." He straightens up and decides to answer Wenna first, as it is not only polite but the easiest answer, "Yes Lady Healer, he sleeps again. He was better by the time I left. We spoke and he was clearer on things." He then turns to Caedmon, thinking a bit how to best answer, "At present the Rioga have been more help than hinderance. I am sure some are not happy about their use in patrols, but I have received no major complaints as yet. I suppose only time will tell though, but for now it is going well enough."

Eliylw flusters slightly, first upon hearing Araltaidan call her by name and then again when Lady Wenna reminds her to take care. "I am sorry, Lady Wenna. I did not mean to lose track of where I was." For the moment she merely stands there, looking at the man, her expression changing from bafflement to recognition. "I.. yes. That's me. I remember you. You'd walk with me when I'd go to gather herbs. It has entirely been too long, Master Araltaidan." A quick look is given before she leans in a little closer to Wenna. "I was going to do a little shopping to make sure we are not in need of anything, Lady Wenna, but I forgot to ask you if there was anything we might be in need of. Imagine my embarrassment when I could only stand there, looking at one poor merchant's wares, keeping her waiting while I merely stared." Caedmon is regarded and given a smile but she doesn't ask if she can join them, instead deferring to the Lady whom she learns from as to whether or not she'll be allowed to join or not.

Araltaidan happens to carry both bow across his back and long sword off his hip, but indeed the lute in the sack does not look much like a bludgeon. "Aye, my lord. A hunter in the service of our King, and little else." Amusement might be back in his pale eyes but for Caedmon or for the young woman whom bumped into him, it is not clear. His gaze sharpens briefly upon Laine ere it refocuses upon Eliylw with a lifted brow for her calling him 'Master' as if he were a craftsman. "It has been a year or more." He takes another bite of his apple, interested in the news of the Rioga.

Moira says, "if you would like, Lady Wenna. I am simply enjoying being outside int eh fresh air. I've been feeling so closed up lately with winter coming on; but then, I usually do, when it gets harder to be outside." She gives the others gathering, giving polite nods as needed. For now,s he's content to stand with her hand on Aldren's arm, waiting to see what plans there will be."

Out in the chilly streets walks a young woman, hemline damp from the collected puddles lining the stone pavement. Her pale hair braided up, the lady wears a set of spectacles that are in a word, unusual. A smoky, glassy hue, spared the transparency of real glass and set in a thin, wire frame. Approaching the considerable gathering, dark haired handmaiden in tow as the light casts her face with the added glow of colour it sorely lacks. A shadowed gaze turns to regard the healer and her apprentice, and she gives them a faint smile before the rest are put underneath scrutiny.

Caedmon turns slightly toward Wenna and chuckles. "So, you have an assistant now?" he questions. "She would be welcome to dine with us if you like, love." When Eli puts a name to the face, the russet eyebrows quirk for a moment, and then he nods. "Now I know why you look familiar, although some time has passed, Master Araltaidan. You have arrived when the king is absent, but that is no cause for worry. I welcome you on his behalf." Turning to the others, he begins the introductions. "These are my wife, Baroness Wenna Kilgour, her brother Count Aldren Haravean, Lady Moira Kerrigan, and finally, Laine Rhenfeld, Captain of the City Watch."

Wenna smiles at Eliylw. "Nay my dear Mistress I have no need of anything unless you can make the wood work carve faster for me." She chuckles. "But you should join us at the tavern as it is cold and I would not have you without an escort this time of the night."

She then looks at Moira and she nods her head. "You and I shall go riding I think, it would be wise." She smiles again and she casts a look to Caedmon. "Yes, she is Journeyman Apothecary in her own right, but an apprentice healer. She worked under the old Royal Physician." She explains to bother Aldren and Caedmon. She then looks to Laine. "Good, I worry about him and I would speak with him again." Then her gaze goes to the pale figure moving through the lamplight and towards them.

"It has indeed been a year, if not more. I was beginning to think you got yourself killed while hunting. Perhaps gorged by a boar. Or, as loathed as I was to think it, that perhaps I bored you and you, so desiring to rid yourself of my company, ran away so that you'd never have to see me again." The words are spoken lightly, Eliylw merely teasing Araltaidan, her banter that of someone who is talking with a friend she just saw several days ago, not someone who has been absent out of her life for many months. Now made to realize that there are other nobles here, Eli bobs a graceful curtsy before addressing Wenna and Caedmon both. "If it would not be an inconvenience, my lord. Thank you." The smile from the woman across from them is given a quick smile in return but when she speaks it is to the group she is with as a whole. "It is an honor meeting you all."

Ah, Araltaidan's ruse that he is nothing but a hunter does not fool Lord Caedmon, no. The Royal Ranger twists his mouth in continued amusement, "Thank you, my Lord." His gaze goes back to Laine, whom he knows but has not yet addressed for Eli is speaking to him then. And she's a talker! The bowman looks as though he might laugh at the stories she comes up with, "No, I have not yet been eaten by boars, though I have bored a few into letting me eat them, mistress."

Aldren nods for his introduction and says, "Well met." Catching the sight of Faerinia he raises a brow and it takes a moment for her dress and maid to realize she may be of noble birth. Turning back to the group he says, "Well, I care not. Tis', not raining that hard." He looks now to the banter between Araltaidan and Eli and smiles as he watches it unfold. He looks back to his sister now and says, "Do you know her?" In referal to the look she received from the girl from Lakeshire.. He looks back to her now and says, "What colors are those you wear, Lady?" He knows a Kincaid when he sees one.

Laine nods to Wenna, "I am concerned as well, but he seems open to assistance. I am keeping him on down time until he is cleared by your people. I am hoping more rest and talking will bring him back to where he should be." When Laine is introduced he does turn and offer a nod, his lone eye scanning Aral up and down, noting all of the trappings of a Ranger, "Welcome to the City Master Ranger. If you need anything let me know." Well he does still identify with the Rangers. Part of him misses it and part of him is happy where he is now. Of course recent events have made him definitely miss the open road.

Halting in a rustle of skirts, the spectral apparition gains a voice. A soft, evenly spoken and delivered with a polite bend at the waist. "Evening to you all." Seemingly not inclined to excess chatter, given that the apprentice healer has said enough for two of them with words to spare. Perhaps realising that her voice might not carry the distance, she continues on, stepping into the light fully. For Aldren she grants him a faint crease of the brow, answer delayed. "If you refer to my house colours, by the modulation in your tone you already have the answer. Kincaid, my lord."

Moira's eyes brighten at Wenna's offer, and her smile fills her face. "You are most kind, I would enjoy that greatly." Then was Laine speaks to Wenna regarding his brother, she listens thoughtfully. She has some knowledge of these sorts of things and much can be pcikedup merely by listening to retain for later use in similar situations. Then she looks around gain after Laine and Wenna's conversation fades somewhat to see and nod to the lady to whom Aldren spoke as well.

Eliylw merely smiles at the Ranger, a brow arching. "You will have to do a better job of convincing me that, Master Araltaidan. But now is not time for such discussion although, if you'd like to prove it to me perhaps you will avail yourself to me first thing in the morning? I have herbs to pick and I do not like to be without my favorite escort." And it's right then that she realizes that she is being excessively talkative and she falls silent for now. What's the saying? 'Best be silent and be thought a fool than speak and remove all doubt'? Can that apply here?

When he speaks again, Caedmon nods and urges, "If you have any difficulties with the reinforcements, speak to me. Either Prince Tyrel or I will speak to them if that becomes necessary." He nods to Eli, and then to Aralt. "The tavern is a public place, but even more, both of you are welcome to join us if we can find a large table." He chuckles. Aldren directs his attention to the pale woman, and he bows courteously to her. "Lady Kincaid," he greets after she has confirmed the meaning of her colors. "This season seems to encourage visitors to this part of the kingdom. If you are newly arrived, then I welcome you on behalf of the king, who is otherwise occupied at this time." He looks around at the others in the group before returning his attention to the bespectacled lady. "We were on our way to the tavern for a meal. If you and your attendants wish to join us, I would be greatly honored."

"A Kincaid, one whom I have not seen before when I was traveling with my father. But it is a pleasure." She then grins at Eliylw. "Oh, as I stated before I would rather you not be out on the streets without and escort."

She looks at her brother. She can count look every much alike. They are the same height, the same jaw, nose, facial features, and eye color. She would be considered handsome and stately instead of beautiful. The only difference between them is that one is female and the other is male and she walks with cane. She looks at her husband next as she stands there leaning against him. "Lady Moira it is settled then we will ride in two days. Now with that said I think we should introduce our selves to the Lady whom I know I am not familiar with. This is my husband the Lord Caedmon Kilgour the Voice if the King and the Baron of Albion, I am Wenna the Royal Physcian. Over there whom you just met is my dear Borther Count Aldren Haravean. I will allow the rest of you to introduce yourselves to her or I will be hoarse by the end."

Araltaidan faintly offers a smile to Eli at her bossiness, "I have my rightful duties to attend to first, mistress. But if they do not detain me long, aye. It would be my pleasure." The ranger lifts his head slightly to look back to Caedmon, "Thank you, my Lord."

Aldren frowns at Faerinia and says, "I knew the colors, was just attempting to find out who was wearing them." As the girl has made no attempt to introduce herself, neither does he. He goes on listening to the talkative Eli and Caedmon in turn. To he and the Captain he says, "I daresay, he should have all he requires, and earlier you mentioned the Rioga. Did they not accompany his majesty?"

His sister speaks now and he turns his head to listen. "Yes, you two should take a ride. Wenna needs all the reason to leave the castle she can find. And Moira, you will be cooped up more in the coming months." When she introduces him he barely looks the girls way but now as he is forced, offers a small nod.

"That we would be, on behalf of our respective stomachs." The spectacled woman gives a crooked grin then, radiating a muted amusement at the notion of a noble possessing the earthly desire to eat like any peasant, commoner and gentry. On mention of her apparent absence, she appends a few additional words, coupled with formalities. "I was…not oft at the functions, my lady and lord. Spare your throat, for they have tongues of their own." There is no brother to match her and what could match the skin of white, that hair placing her beyond conventional loveliness. When granted the barest of formalities by Aldren, she just looks at him. Not even the shadow of a smile.

The ranger has not been introduced and that suits Araltaidan just fine. The strange pale woman with the oddly colored eyes is studied for he has never seen her like, so pale.

Laine nods to Caedmon, "If there are any problems I will make certain that you are informed, as well as Crown Prince Tyrel." Laine is a cover your bases sort. "I hope there is no issue, but we never know." At times Laine worries that the Rioga will be resistant to taking orders from him, but so far he has not run into a problem. He has heard some grumbles from his people, but not enough to be of concern.

Faerinia looks at Aldren and the Count frowns. His little nod quickly drawn back, apparently the girl is like the other Kincaids he has met, lacking in courtsys. As Aldren has received not even the barest of formalities by now, he simply pretends he has not noticed. "Well, I for one could use a drink. And the rain is becoming an annoyance." He whispers to his something to Moira before saying to Araltadain, "Have you been out scouting for the Forrester girl? I would be interested in how that is going."

Aldren mutters to Moira, "Could… girl… as… Lynette? They must be…"

"Now this is when I become formal, and since The voice of the king has introduced himself to your and you are not the Lady Kincaide it would be wise to give us your first name, Lady." Wenna says in gentle manner but there is a sense there is an underlying tone of firmness to it. "You are outranked if you wish for me to be more formal."

Eliylw nods. "I know, Lady Wenna. I try not to go out alone too much." Often times she forgets to request someone to accompany her while running errands for her and that has been a sticking point for her mentor, such being proven at the moment. Aralt is patted lightly upon his arm. "Will you dine with us, please?" The other banter is listened to but left uncommented upon for now although she does look at the pale woman quite a lot.

Moira would offer her name to the woman, but sidetracked by whatever it is Aldren is saying to her, gives only a bright smile and a nod of greeting to the pale woman. Her brow furrows ever so slightly as she returns quiet murmurings to Aldren, then looks back, ready to continue the journey to wherever they are going as a group, depending on what Aldren decides. she gives a glance to Kayla (her maid) during any decision making.

Sensing she has insulted him, the girl amends it. Barely. "It has been a long journey. I…my name is Faerinia and this is my handmaiden, Venya." The additional warning by the healer is enough to bring faint colour to her cheeks. A moment passes before she has recovered her composure to give a second bend at the waist, lifting her skirts slightly. The others are given a glance of informal, brief interest.

Moira mutters to Aldren, "… do not… a… quiet and… seeming…"

Aldren draws his attention when Aralt is addressed. "Do you reference the Lady Nimue, my Lord?" He hasn't managed to eat any more of his apple and has decided for the time being to tuck it into his quiver for safe keeping. His hands draw the hood back up over his dark and now dampened head. Eli manages to coax that hint of smile back out of him, "I would be pleased to do so, or perhaps play if it would please the party." Araltaidan lays a hand upon the lute in the oiled bag that hangs from his shoulder.

Caedmon looks to Moira and smiles when Wenna invites her for a ride. "You will enjoy the ride, Lady," he assures. "We ride as often as duty allows, both for exercise and for fresh air." Then he glances from face to face. When Faerinia offers her name, he bows deeply to her, although his arm remains in place for Wenna and he straightens from the bow quickly. "If you are at the end of a long journey from, then you are especially welcome to dine with us. If you wish to lodge with us in Darfield Castle, where your family has a suite, you are welcome to ride with us there as well." From the pale lady, he shifts to Aralt, and inclines his head. "I remember your playing, master, and would welcome it on this evening, if you are inclined."

Aldren nods to Moira's whispered words and says, "Most likely." The girl now addresses him and he simply says, "Lovely." That is all. Answering Aralt he says, "Yes, that is who I speak of. Have your duties landed you outside the city yet?" He laughs now at Caedmon and when the man is done he says, "Exercise? You mean for your horses I presume?" He looks to all now and says, "If we shall go let it be now." He after a moment turns to the pale skinned girl and says, "You can tell us of which branch you stem from in regards to your name."

There's a slight nod from Eli who has never once heard Aralt play. "To hear you play would truly be a blessing," she murmurs, placing a hand on his arm. A look is given to the others and nods her agreement with Aldren. She's hungry, having left before she ate dinner, and her stomach is about to growl. Food is most certainly needed.

"Aye, my lord," answers Araltaiden to Aldren, "I have served House Kilgour for nearly a decade and am oft away from the city." The ranger didn't actually answer the original question. He glances to Eli laying her hand on his arm and gives her a nod, "Let us get you out of the drizzle. You shall have to judge for yourself if I play well or poorly."

"It is a pleasure Lady Faerinia." Wenna offers the Kincade a stiff curtsy and she manages to hold on to Caedmon and balance herself on her cane when she offers it to her.

Then her attention is drawn back to Laine. "Captain, can you join me in my office as you as you can I would like to speak more about your brother, and I promise there will be no spiders involved." Her gaze then moves to the Man with the apple and her Apperntice/Journeyman.

"Brother we mean the horses and Lady Moira, I have something for you later when we returns to the apartments. I will send one of my servant to bring it to you." She says to both of them in a single breath.

Named, the handmaiden follows suit in her mistresses actions. When the young Araltaidan reaches for his lute, the unexpected occurs. A sincere enough smile that helps improve the residual tension in the atmosphere, relaxing her stiffly held shoulders. Encouraged to speak up by his suggestion. "Rarely is music not employed to benefit all present…I mean, play on." For Wennas lord husband she replies with a second, polite version of a smile. "A tempting offer that we can fully and unreservedly accept, my lord." Then Aldren, the counts question again forcing her cheeks to darken and brow to crease. "I am the daughter of Lord Aidans brother."

Faerinia adds belatedly, "My brother is relatively settled in court. A…shining paragon of knighthood, you might say. Shall we proceed?" Her mouth twists a little upon mention of her estimable sibling.

Laine nods to Wenna and offers a bow, "Of course My Lady. There are a few things I would like to discuss with you. I appreciate the lack of spiders though." Well he's at least in his usual sleep pattern. It may not be great, but it works for him. He offers a bow to all, "Have a good night all. For those new to the City, Welcome. Now, I must return to work." That said he does turn and begin his trek back through the City.

Bards Tale Tavern City of Stormvale

It is day 35 of the month of Umbra, 228 2E - 09:51 PM

The Bard's Tale Tavern is where the locals come to drink, game, talk, and generally relax. The atmosphere in the main room is crowded, smoke-filled and noisy. In the southeast corner, to the right of the main door as you enter, is a large stone fireplace; on the other side of the door, a window shows the flickering torchlight from the village street. The furniture is coarse, yet comfortable; mostly plain wood, but a few of the chairs have upholstered seats. Hardly any of it has escaped the years unscathed, though; nearly every table, chair and barstool carries nicks, dents and stains, whether from bar fights or simply clumsy customers. The wooden floorboards are regularly swept clean.

At the far end of the room is a long bar, and on the wall over it a large, hand painted sign. Behind the bar you can see a door leading to the tavern kitchen. A staircase along the west wall leads up to guest quarters where weary travellers can rest and relax.

_

And in they come out of the night and into the warm cheeriness of the tavern. Araltaidan gets the door and holds it for the nobility, and more importantly, for the womenfolk with Eli presumably going in behind Lady Wenna. The ranger waits to step in last. He watches to see where the others wish to locate and then goes to find a chair of his own. The bag is set down and the lightly battered lute taken out for his long fingers to check the tuning.

Eliylw is content to sit close enough to the rest of those present so to be involved without being to far removed from Araltaidan so that conversation won't drown out his playing. A soft smile is present as is a sparkle to her eye, a little twinkle that is enhanced by the lighting inside.

Faerinia follows her handmaiden, adopting the shadowy areas where her paleness is liberally softened to a more acceptable level. The spectacles are kept on, fingers gently pushing them up to keep disguised the colour of her eyes. Oddly, she insists on granting her handmaiden the better seat as she keeps on the edge of the assembled table, at a decorous distance from the couple that seem to be the lady and her count.

Aldren and Moira enter with some guards in tow along with Kayla, theever present maid. After finding a seat the Count calls for wine and looks to the others, "Should we eat here?" The idea seems proposterous to him but quickly the wine is brought and he says, "Oh, and tea as well." He looks now to the man as he readys to play. "Something lively." He requests.

Moira settles into a sat, with a glance to the other ladies. And then, a bright smile fills her face. "I remember this place now, we were here once before…" with a twinkle in her eyes as she now looks at Wenna and Caedmon. "This is where the two of you were caught out in your wedding plans. That was a marvelous evening." She gives a happy sigh at that and at the thought of a cup of tea.

Aye, something 'lively' is requested by Lord Aldren. Aralt takes a seat and reaches a hand around behind him to tug his long bow and quiver into a better position. His hands check the strings of the lute as he waits for the group to settle. A serving maid and the barhelp both come over to take orders rather than leaving such a distinguished party waiting. And while they do, Araltaiden begins to play - not too loud for conversation as he has sat himself back a little distance from the table.

Wenna comes into the tavern with Caedmon, she offers a thankful nod to Araltaidan as they pass. She is leaning against Caedmon's arm. When they reach a table he makes sure she seated comfortably before he takes her cane from her. She laughs and nods to Moria. "Aye we had planned to get our contract blessed and only have the two of you there and not be wearing our riding clothing. I am fond of that habit." She then looks to Aldren and she smiles sweetly.

<FS3> Araltaidan rolls Instrument: Success.
<FS3> Araltaidan rolls Singing: Great Success.

Araltaidan sings a familiar and rowdy favorite, but not too loudly:

"I've been a wild rover for many's a year,
And I've spent all my money on whiskey and beer
And now I'm returning with gold in great store,
And I never will play the wild rover no more

And it's no, nay, never!
No nay never no more
And I'll play the wild rover,
No never no more

I went to an alehouse I used to frequent,
And I told the landlady my money was spent
I asked her for credit, she answered me, "Nay",
Saying, "Custom like yours I can have any day"

And it's no, nay, never!
No nay never no more
And I'll play the wild rover,
No never no more

I took from my pocket ten sovereigns bright,
And the landlady's eyes opened wide with delight
She said, "I have whiskeys and wines of the best,
And the words that I told you were only in jest!"

The Ranger's baritone turns out to be a surprise - Aralt can sing very well. He'll not go dry for want of drinks when he travels, that is certain. And a bardly type can get into places and hear things others might not, if he so chose. At the moment he chooses to finish his song, alas with no drink on hand yet.

"And it's no, nay, never!
No nay never no more
And I'll play the wild rover,
No never no more

I'll go home to my parents, confess what I've done,
And I'll ask them to pardon their prodigal son
And when they have kissed me as oft-times before,
I never will play the wild rover no more

And it's no, nay, never!
No nay never no more
And I'll play the wild rover,
No never no more!"

Listening to the music places the young woman in a reflective position of mind, lulled by the song to smile as it washes over her. Faerinia reaches up then to pull off her smoke lensed spectacles, faltering when she remembers the company. Her expression quietly contented, creases up in faint anxiety. "An inviting enough establishment." A lone remark, glancing to her handmaiden with a raised motion of the hand towards the drinkless bard. Venya immediately remedies the situation.

Eliylw finds her eyes slowly drifting closed until there just mere slits, certainly lidded enough to lend the impression that she has fallen asleep already. Perhaps it wouldn't be such a surprise to those with her as it's warm and the company pleasant, lending a homey feeling that lulls the healer-in-training into such a state.

When the man finishes Aldren raises his cup to him, "Well done. Well done." He takes this opportunity to drink now and a look of relief enters his face. He looks around now a bit confused and to no one in particular he says, "Didn't the Kincaid girl come?" Then he spots her, "Ahh, Lady. What did you think of the song?" His words are a polite and his demeanour measurably relaxed now with a bit of wine in him and no rain falling on his head. He spies the girl drifting away but does not see any reason to bother her. Turning now to the Voice he says, "A good idea." He looks around at the common folk and says, none to excitedly, "It has been some time since I have mixed it up with the base-born folks." He shrugs and refills his cup and flashes a knowing look to his sister.

Caedmon smiles and taps his hand on the table in time with the lively tune. He looks to Aldren and comments, "He is as good as I recall. He should have been here for the challenge that the king issued not long ago, if only to add another voice and instrument to the battle." Then he smiles warmly to Wenna before allowing his gaze to rove around the area to note the reactions of the others.

Aldren mutters to Moira, "… man… quite well. don't you think?"

<FS3> Araltaidan rolls Instrument: Good Success.

Ah, but of course Aralt will play the wild rover for many a year yet if he's able. The song dies away and Venya's effort is rewarded by a frothy tall tankard set by the ranger's arm. His hood once more skimmed back, Araltaidan inclines his head politely towards Faerinia, "Thank you, my Lady." As surely they will desire to discourse, and he notices Eli looking so sleepy, his hands begin to pick out a gentler tune. It is one he played for Lady Caillin earlier in the day - Greensleeves, though without singing it. "Thank you also, my Lord." is offered to Aldren. The ranger is content to fade into the background with his drink and observe those around him while he plays a bit more quietly.

Well, if stories of Aldren's tavern runs, as related to one maid belonging to a woman here were given any credence, that statement might be considered somewhat untrue. However, Moira knows little of those things. Instead, a toe almost goes tapping at the sound of the song, and with a look to Aldren she listens to his words and murmurs back, after taking a sip of the tea that has been brought to her. Following that, she looks to Caedmon and his lady wife, Wenna, offering "You two looked very happy that night, indeed." The other women at table are regarded for a moment, one falling asleep, one being generous in getting Aralt a drink, as she slips her hood back from her head, the rain not seeming to have really bothered her over much at all.

Moira mutters to Aldren, "… talented,… his voice… indeed."

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