Inouv 13, 228: Ruthgar's Questions

Ruthgar's Questions
Summary: Ruthgar summons Araltaidan to his office to question the Royal Ranger about recent past events concerning his lady wife, the Baroness Caillin.
OOC Date: 02/12/2013 (OOC)
Related: Bad Place and Time
Ruthgar Araltaidan 
Dellhaven Attache's Study, Darfield Castle
The study is governed by a table, made of dark red cherry wood, with a few papers arranged into an orderly heap on top of it, beside a quill and a small inkwell standing at the ready. Before the table is a chair, half drawn from the table as it stands there facing the table diagonally, as well as another chair for an occasional visitor. At one of the walls there is a shelf with a moderate amount of books and still a lot of space to be filled.

In one corner of the room there is a stand, a dummy carrying the armor of the Rioga with the crest of House Kilgour etched onto it, when it is not being worn by the Baron; beside it stands a chest, made of oak and about two feet high, with the coat of arms and words of House Ruxton carved onto its lid.

13th day of Inouv, 228

An late morning it is, the castle is bustling with activity, servants are rushing along the hallways, busy with errands. What a contrast to the tranquitlity at the Dellhaven quarters. It is here that servants move about as noiselessly as possible, conversation happens with hushed voices at most, because on the day before the baroness has returned from the infirmary. She is tended to in the baronial chamber, and so far there have been neither cries nor screams.

In the study at the table sits Ruthgar, his demeanour rather cheerful compared to what it has looked like on the days before, before him on the table are several prachments organized into an orderly heap, but untouched, for now. The baron leans back in his chair, his pale grey eyes turned towards the door as he seems to be expecting someone.

The summons has been sent out and finds the archer in the castle's barracks recovering from both his wounds as well as recent illness. Nothing more than a cold but one that was nasty enough with coughing and fever. A winter thing, now shaken off as the Sky Forester is a hardy man.

Araltaidan comes now to Sir Ruthgar's office as requested. The Royal Ranger has bathed and changed into some of his least worn clothes so to make himself presentable to the Baron Rioga. Long grey cloak clads him, dressed otherwise in shades of greens and browns. A long recurve bow with quiver is worn at an angle over his back, an arming sword and dagger at his belt - though settled for left handed use rather than right. The Sky Forester wears an archer's glove on his right hand and enters into Ruthgar's chambers quietly, escorted by one of the door guards.

Grey eyes meet grey and Aralt lays fist to his chest when he stops, "My Lord."

The baron rises, a surprising courtesy perhaps to a common ranger, and inclines his head towards the man, his gaze friendly as he studies him for a moment. "Master… Araltaidan. I am pleased to see you were able to follow my invitation this swiftly. Won't you have a seat?" He gestures towards the vacant chair on the other side of the table, before he lowers him self back onto his own. "Would you like something to drink? Wine? Water?" Ruthgar raises a brow as his gaze flits towards a servant who is peeking through the still opened door, and he waves his hand not even waiting for the ranger's answer.

Araltaidan inclines his head politely a fraction back and lifts a hand to slip off his bow and quiver. These he hangs from the back of the chair ere he moves to take the seat he was offered, "Thank you, m'lord. Wine is acceptable but really, I require nothing, Sir." Of course he doesn't want water, that's liable to make him ill again unless it were boiled. Aralt lightly shifts the chair, not caring to have his back to the door where he can not see it. Thusly angled, he may view it as well as the Rioga with the barest movement of his head, hood lowered.

"I … hope that your lady wife is recovering. My sincerest condolences upon your loss. I regret that I was unable to prevent it, Sir. I have known the Baroness since she herself was a child."

The servant has already disappeared, before Araltaidan gives his answer. But Ruthgar inclines his head as if acknowledging it, as he watches the ranger bringing the chair into position before he takes a seat. "Very well. Wine then.", the baron remarks. His mien grows a little pensive at the inquiry, but he is quick to answer: "She is already feeling better. And thank you. It seems I am in your debt for saving my wife's life at least." He pauses, and his grey gaze once again assesses the ranger for a moment when he ponders his last remark. "Is that so? I wasn't aware of that."

The ranger keeps his baritone pitched low in volume, "I have been in the service of House Kilgour as a Royal Ranger for nearly ten years, my Lord. Though I do not know her well, I remember her laughing in the garden. I remember more the pranks of her siblings." Aralt smiles, being around 30 years of age himself. He looks as though he is recovering well for there is no longer paleness about his features, nor signs of pain.

"I understand. Well, she was lucky you were around then," Ruthgar replies, being merely 21 years old and far younger than the experienced man in service of House Kilgour. He returns the smile, his attention only shifting for a short moment to the returning servant who arrives with wine and two cups. "However, I have wondered…", the baron continues, "what strange coincidence led to you being at this particular quarter of the city, a part were the filthiest and poorest scum is to be found." His pale grey eyes look inquiringly at the ranger as he folds his hands before him on the table.

Araltaidan turns his head slightly at the sound of foot steps when the servant returns. He waits patiently while things are settled and Ruthgar asks his question, getting around to what the ranger was summoned here for. Aralt's attention refocuses upon the knight, "It was not coincidence, my lord. A woman in the street came and took my arm, concerned. She said she thought she had just seen the Baroness, or /some/ noble woman, walking alone in the city. She asked if I might go and see, then pointed the direction. We were on the east side, not far from the docks, Sir." Aralt does not flinch from meeting Ruthgar's gaze while he relates these details, "I caught some glimpse of her ahead and did not know for certain it was the Baroness until I got the alley where she was crouching to pick something up. That is when I saw the man coming up behind her.

Ruthgar leans back in his seat and his head turns to the servant for a moment as he observes the cups being poured. He dismisses him with a nod when the man is done, his grey eyes following him till he has left through the door. Then the baron takes a sip from his cup and listens to Araltaidan's explanation. "I see," he mutters, lowering his gaze thoughtfully. "It makes sense, of course. She has been many times in the city, in her eagerness to help the poor." Nothing in his bearing suggests he distrusts the ranger. "It was some divine interference, maybe. Caillin would have died, if you hadn't come to her aid. Whatever made her go there, the Gods were watching over her." Ruthgar does not try to speak at a low volume, he speaks with the soft voice as usual. There is a flicker in his gaze as he shifts a little in his seat. "You seem to have recovered well from your wounds, Master Araltaidan. I hear you were in a bad state when you were brought back to the castle."

The wine is accepted, the cup taken up with his quiet thanks to the server who poured it. Aralt tastes of it lightly for the sake of courtesy as he listens. A faint nod, "Aye, my Lord. I was … foolish, and thought to change from sword to bow. The man rushed me and put his dirk through me. I had expected to be able to back away from him to gain time enough to draw and nock arrow but the Baroness did not flee as I bid her, but came right behind me and fouled my attempt to manuver." He considers a moment, "The woman, I believe she works at temple to cook or wash, I do not recall. I could seek her and bid her come to speak with you concerning the event."

Aralt pauses, thins his mouth, "If the City Watch had not heard my shouting and come, I surely would have bled out. I do not know if they intended your wife's death, or sought sport with her, robbery, or ransom, Sir."

Ruthgar frowns when he hears the ranger's report, his mien darkens for a moment, as he hears how Caillin did not flee when told to do so. A light shake of his head, and he lowers his gaze. "I am… quite sorry to hear that. She shouldn't have gone there in the first place. But this woman of the temple you speak of. I would like to speak with her." A low grumble leaves the depth of his chest, at the ranger's last remark. "She certainly didn't expect it. She's always told me about the poor, how she's helped them, and how they would never harm her… Well, she was obviously wrong about that." A low mirthless chuckle escapes him, before he takes another sip from the wine. "It's not that I haven't warned her. If I had known… I would have prevented her from acting so foolishly. Alas, when I heard she was gone it was too late. The damage had been done already."

Araltaidan tastes his wine and considers, "I do not know the woman, only her face. I will ask after her at temple. Surely they will know of whom I seek. I will find her, m'lord." The ranger quiets to hear Ruthgar out. A thinning of his mouth ere he speaks, "The former Princess has ever been … innocent, niave, if you will forgive my bluntness, Sir. She is yet like a child but she does mean well." He frowns, "I wish the world were the sort of place she desires but the truth it isn't. Likely the men who accosted us did not know or care who she was, only that she was well dressed and thought an easy mark. Had they been of Laniveer and it a planned attack, I doubt I could have stopped them.

Another light taste of his wine and setting the cup down, Aralt asks low, "Do you require anything else of me, m'lord?"

Ruthgar has fallen silent, a hint of a smile appears on his face when he hears the ranger's assessment of Caillin's character, and he nods, the expression in his grey eyes still pained. "Aye, Master Araltaidan, she is innocent and naive. I will never forgive myself to have allowed this to happen." He pauses, shooting the man a glance. "I owe you my gratitude. If there is anything you need, a favor, a position… If it lies within my power to grant it to you, pray do not hesitate to tell me." Another sip from the cup and he adds: "That will be all, master ranger. I thank you for your time and your help in this."

It was a risk to speak so bluntly, a commoner to the Baron Rioga. Aralt inclines his head and moves to stand, "No, my lord. I serve House Kilgour, not House Ruxton, and I need for nothing. My service is my reward. It is my duty. Thank you." Briefly he lays fist over his heart again and when he is properly dismissed, the Ranger picks up his bow and quiver to remove himself quietly from Ruthgar's office.

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