Inouv 23, 228: The Lion Approaches

A Lion Approaches
Summary: After some hunting, the Laniveeri party is finally found and escorted to Darfield Castle. This is the scene that officially puts the Laniveeri on the grid.
OOC Date: 12/12/2013
Related: TBA
Players:
Rowena Robben Araltaidan Tyrel Roslin Emerit Renden Trevian Laetitia 
Courtyard - Darfield Castle
Above you to the north, a silhouette against the sky, is the Castle, set on the side of an immense cliff overlooking the sea. A road leading to the south leads through the gatehouse and to Darfield Village. In between is the courtyard, a fairly large space that is kept neat at all times. Against the walls to the east, there are storage buildings, a stable, the dog kennel, and the mews. To the west, the kitchen, garden, and smithy, as well as their storage area and barracks for those who guard the castle. There is an area of the courtyard often used for training purposes by the knights and men-at-arms. The squires are often at work setting up or taking down practice targets and the like.
23 Inouv, 228 2E

The Laniveer party is impressive if only in presence and not in number although there should be no question as to whether or not those of noble birth are properly protected. Twelve guards and a solitary knight have several carriages bracketed and flanked, those the ones used for transport by the nobles and a select group of delegate members who were asked to come along should their talents be needed. The knight and guards all ride a hearty breed of horse that seems to be well-suited for traveling during this time of year and a similarly suitable breed of horse pulls each carriage. One last carriage follows the progression of guardians, nobles and delegates, this one bearing the provisions needed for a lengthy trip as well as a couple cooks to prepare the daily meals and a few attendants as well.

While Laniveer colors are flown there is one banner that should stand out, that being the all-white banner that is meant to signify that the party is arriving with peaceful intentions. Of course, that will raise questions. Just what do the Laniveeri have in mind if not to fight?

Once within the courtyard proper the progression comes to a stop. The knight who has ridden point this entire time raises his helmet's visor and then that hand is held aloft, palm facing out, to show respect at the same time show he's unarmed, his sword peace-bound and kept out of reach. The guards are similarly unarmed, their swords given the same treatment as the knight's, but they refrain from lifting their hands. That's a gesture left for the knighted noble to make with.

Standing at the steps leading up into the keep from the courtyard is quite a sight. A tall man, handsome, clad in Kilgour colors stands with a sword at his side, looking grimly down at the sight below. He is a royal man, that much is certain, but it is difficult to say who he may be beyond that.

The woman beside him, however, is likely known for anyone with even a smattering of knowledge of the royal family. Her red hair gives her away as Princess Roslin Kilgour. She too wears Kilgour colors - a dress and cloak of fine purple velvet, pressed with a pattern of vines and leaves. The thing is trimmed in white fur and upon her hands are white gloves. She wears a gold tiara upon her crown of red braids.

Beside each of them are Kilgour guards - guards on every step leading down. Surely part of this sight is for pomp and circumstance. But the rest may well be for security. The royal pair wait at the top of the steps for the Laniveeri to approach.

Among those waiting in the courtyard is Emerit, the bastard princess of House Moniwid. What is visible of her dress beneath that thick woolen cloak, is in a dark blue colour, her head and most of her fiery red hair hidden away in that hood of the cloak. Her mien is beaming though despite the cold, and moss green eyes turn here and there, lingering for a short moment on her chaperone and the two Moniwid Guards that look after her safety. Another glance is shot towards Roslin as she will probably keep close to her if allowed to do so.

Escorting the Laniveer arrivals are a number of the King's knights and rangers. Among these, Araltaiden is on foot while others are horsed. The bowman has no trouble jogging along for incredible distances even with the snow and seems infatiguable. After days searching the coastline at his Crown Prince's orders, one can assume the Royal Ranger is probably exhausted, even if his stride is light and keeps pace.

Long recurve bow in his right hand, Aralt finally can slow his pace as they come into the courtyard. His boots are wet from the melting snow and his cloak isn't as clean as usual.

Once the group of Laniveeri halt the knight calls out, his voice easily lifting. "We have come under a banner of peace. Princess Rowena of Laniveer wishes audience with His Majesty, King Callem." Sure, unwavering, it is clear that the armored figure is used to being in tense situations like this one, most likely a veteran of combat.

While awaiting permission to exit the front-most carriage one of the curtains is drawn back slightly from within and a woman peeks out. Details are mostly hard to make out although it is easy to tell that she's blonde and either fairly young or one of those fortunate women who has the luck to be aging gracefully as she does not look to be a day over twenty, if that. A moment is spent to quell her curiosity before the curtain is allowed to fall back into place, hiding whomever is within the carriage once more.

Emerit pulls the cloak a little tighter about her lender form as a chilly gust of wind hits her. Her cheeks are rosy from the fresh air, her moss green eyes wide with excitement as she studies the Laniveeran delegation curiously, but also the knights and rangers that accompany them. The redhaired Moniwid rises to her tiptoes to get a better view when she notices the curtain being drawn, and she lets out a low sound when he manages to get a glimpse of the blonde beauty within the carriage, before she disappears again behind that curtain.

Roslin looks to her brother, who nods with authority. She turns her head then, leaning forward to speak softly to the guard nearest her. The man's voice booms in return - "His Young Highness, Prince Tyrel Kilgour and his beloved sister, Her Highness Roslin Kilgour accept Lady Rowena Stewart under a banner of peace!" All then, is quiet. Likely there is tension in the air, the very cold air, waiting for the woman to reveal herself that this bit of ceremony may continue. For her own part, Roslin looks a bit cold with pale skin and red cheeks. But she is grim, showing little of the elements, watching the carriage and waiting.

Renden hadn't come to see the new faces to be added to the Court at the castle, though, he was in search of someone else, he gets caught up in the crowd regardless and is rather forced to watch the delegation arrival like everyone else. He's a little further in the back, but close enough to Emerit to watch her bouncing up onto her tippy toes to catch a glimpse of the Laniveeri party. The man sighs with some exasperation at the show going on ahead of him, folding his arms across his chest as he lifts a brow, clearly not impressed with the novelty, like so many others are.

Araltaidan has run a very long way with the party of arrivals, cold and damp from the days spent toiling in the melting snow. The Royal Ranger walks on up the last distance through the courtyard until he can set one foot on the first step leading up to the castle. There he stops and setting his strung bow tip to the top of his boot toe, there he pauses to watch, listen and rest.

The rest of the Mobrin side of the Laniveer escort has gathered in a ring, knights and soldiers sent out by the Crown to greet and bring in the party safely under escort.

Tyrel moves his gaze from the guests to the guards. Looking for sign that there has been trouble or difficulty. Each flicker of his eyes is quick and deliberate, but the majority of his attention is on the new arrivals waiting for them to make thier move.

The Princess was warned that there would be just enough courtesy shown to them for the Kilgour to adhere to protocol and not much more so it not a shock to her when she's called 'Lady'. But, while she has been reduced to a noble during her visit, there's is no doubt the blonde haired woman who exits the carriage with help of an attendant has spent a lifetime as a royal. Everything about her speaks of the best training and upbringing one could hope for, her posture and demeanor spot on. Once where she can be seen she dips into a very graceful, courtly curtsey, the full skirt of her gown and her heavy fur cloak pooling about her as she holds that pose for several seconds.

"Young Majesty, I am…" There's a pause while Rowena reminds herself of how things have to be, even if only just temporarily, "… Lady Rowena Stewert. My father has sent me here in hopes to be the catalyst by which a line of communications can be opened between our families." While she explains why she's here the others start to exit the carriages with her brother and lady-in-waiting exiting the same carriage she was in and the others being the delegates who were selected to join them.

Emerit glances from the Laniveer delegation to the crown prince, a light shiver rippling through her as she pulls that woolen cloak tighter about her. Her face is pale, but her mien is attentive and curious. Should Roslin meet her gaze with her own she will offer a smile. No, she is not tense at all, this is not her war, it never was, and she is but a guest at this court, a girl of sixteen summers. Moss green eyes flit swiftly to the blonde Stewert princess as she leaves the comfort of the carriage, while the Moniwid remains silent, observing closely the proceedings with attentive eyes.

Stepping out from the castle itself, Robben looks around a bit quietly as he sees the people present. Moving to a place where he can observe in quiet for now. Shrugging a little as he does.

There does not seem to be any sign of skirmish or other difficulty among the knights and rangers who have brought the party in. Araltaiden watches, weary and wary both yet shows no indication that he's been injured or used up most of his arrows. The Royal Ranger's eyes skim over all who are gathered, lingering on those he does not know here or upon the actions of various of the Laniveer. He then looks up the steps to his Crown Prince and Princess Roslin so fine and regal at the top of the steps. They make a fine sight to greet the Laniveer delegation.

Tyrel holds still for a few moments after the introduction, his head not dipping in the slightest in return to the curtsey. "Lady Rowena Stewert, from my recollection the latest communication between our families was the hanging of my relatives. If you have come to offer us the ability to respond in kind you will find that we are not so base in methods." He shifts his hands from his side to rest on his sword, "You have arrived at a time of great celebration, an heir has been born to the crowns of Mobrin and Laniveer. When the celebration has finished we will find time to consider our responses to your family's communications. You will be provided with accommodations befitting your behavior."

Laetitia is apparently there as well to greet the group, the Queen appearing, Winifred at her side, and the usual accoutrement of guards. All stealthy like, crown upon her head, dressed in the new colors her husband has taken to wearing, not a smile curved upon her gracious lips as she watches her son speak after the introduction.

As the blonde woman, a bit taller than average, steps out of the carriage, Roslin watches her like an eagle watches prey. Her eyes flit to the party behind her, and then back to the woman. She nods her head, respectfully, as the Lady approaches - but it is no further than one would expect when a Princess greets a lady. "Lady Rowena," she says, her tone and voice both well-contained. "When you are ready, I shall have you led to your rooms." She otherwise remains still, poised and quiet. Just watching. And listening, gods be good. Listening to everything.

Renden isn't going to make for entrance or the exit now, not with the crowd loitering around and all the other suspicious eyes turning about to see daggers in shadows. He merely keeps his arms folded over his chest, eyes pinned forward, trying to catch what's being said. It'll be important for his liege lord to know about, after all, and anything to help the Count is good enough for him. His gaze did flicker over toward Araltaiden, assessing the other's condition from where he stands, in amongst the crowd. Casually, his gaze turns back toward the front, where Rowena is presenting herself and getting chided for doing so. Interesting.

Rowena's face tightens and she finally speaks up, her hands curled into loose fists, the way she now holds them a sign of frustration. "I thank you, Young Majesty. Although, I must make one request before I put myself into your hands." Someone passing by her touches her arm quickly as if to remind her of her place but the woman seems to not even notice it. "I am no Lady although I called myself such to try and ease the tension between our peoples. I am a princess and am as deserving of the proper courtesy shown to me as anyone else who holds such a position within a court." Not quite a demand but it is pretty damn close. "I thank you for the hospitality you are willing to extend to us. We will accept the use of your rooms."

Now ready, she allows Roslin to lead them on, her poise returned. "I do hope our men and horses will be properly tended to," she adds, this time a bit more gently, a carefully-worded, gently spoken request.

Robben shakes his head a little as he watches and listens. Shrugging a little now, he seems to hold his thoughts to himself at the moment. Studying Rowena a bit carefully for a few moments now, a raised eyebrow and a brief smile as he hears her words.

Tyrel looks to Roslin, "You are kind to see to them, Roslin." He turns his attention to his knights and rangers. "See that the men are housed and horses stabled apart from other animals. They are to have such food and drink as they require, both the men and the horses." He then turns back towards Roslin, "If you require any assistance with seeing them housed send word." He turns then and bows his head towards Laetitia, "Mother, I did not wish to have you disturbed, is there any further instruction you should wish given in the hosting of our guests?"

Araltaidan shifts his hands on his bow and unstringing it, pulls his bowcase around to slip it in there, then resettle it behind, "Aye, Young Majesty." The knight who lead the party says the same, then starts giving orders to his men to see that it's started. The Royal Ranger turns and picks up a short jog to take Aralt over to the stables and speak to one of the grooms about alternate housing for the Laniveer beasts in town, since there may not be room enough to accommodate them all here. Words are exchanged and the groom agrees he can go and show the way to a rider so that it may be arranged.

That is when Araltaiden turns and sees Renden. His grey eyes catch on that man and he studies him before he starts walking over closer.

Laetitia's green eyes take in Rowena and their entourage, the Queen standing in her usual regal manner, staring down the steps with an unreadable face, "Dearest Lady Rowena-" The Queen murmurs softly as she allows for the barest of smiles, "We can always greet you in the manner in which our family was greeted with a noose about the neck, but as my son, the Crown Prince has said, we are far more civilized than that. Be pleased with that much." A glance to Roslin, the Queen nodding, indicating that her daughter may lead the group off and onwards, "Perhaps in time you will show such civilities and our conversations will blossom to something more productive than in the past, hmm?" To Tyrel she'll look, slight shake of her head given in response to his question, "Ensure they are well guarded, I'd hate to see the emotions of a Kingdom come down upon them while they enjoy our hospitality."

Renden's gaze is constantly switching over faces and listening to shouts of authority and the like, though the master ranger of Greenshire is content to blend in with the crowd for now, his eyes searching for familiar faces that should be coming in through the gates. None seem to appear, save for the one coming at him straight away. His dull brown eyes snap rapidly upon the figure of Araltaidan, earning a slight twitch of his lips as Araltaiden gets closer. It would seem that Renden is now moving to meet him, extending his arm when close enough to greet the fellow, who he's likely not seen since the case of the missing Nimue. "Araltaidan," he greets in that gruff familiarity, "I heard you're moving up in the world."

Roslin is tickled pink by the hospitality of her family. But she doesn't show it. Instead, she simply nods her head once to Rowena and gestures onward the castle. "If you will be so kind as to follow me, My Lady, we shall see you comfortably situated. No doubt your journey has been long, and you are in need to rest and safe respite." She nods once more to her family, and moves to lead the Laniveer group inside of the keep - with several guards and maids accompanying them.

Tyrel dips his head to the Queen's instruction and moves for a quieter word with the commanders to clarify the arrangements. The members of nobility among Rowena's party are permitted to follow Roslin's lead, with Kilgour guards between them. Tyrel then moves to leave.

Trevian exits the castle as everyone seems to be heading on inside. He gives a bow to the Royals who follow- as is proper. He then moves on to pack his pipe and light up some of that sweet Sky Herb.

The Queen is given a quick bow of the Princess' head although it's not out of rudeness that Rowena doesn't stop and curtsey. It is instead out of a hurry to get everyone inside and taken care of that causes her to do so. Odelia, the noble who attends to Rowena, falls into step at Rowena's left, her hands held before her in a fur muff. "Thank you, Princess. You and your family are very kind." The one in charge of the servants and the head guard will undoubtedly make a request to have their people be seen by a healer to make sure no one's suffering any sickness or harmful effect of the cold but they are more than capable of asking for such attention on their own, once they're settled in.

Laetitia will turn to make her way back into the castle as well, the cold air outside quite nippy, and everything seems to be taken care of. She will give one last look to those coming into the castle being led by her daughter, her path taking her on a different route through the castle, ladies and guards moving with her.

Robben remains where he is for the moment, a thoughtful expression on his face as he does. Watching all the people heading this way, or that.

"I thought that was you, Renden. Good to see you, old Dog." Aralt offers his fellow ranger a warm welcome, despite his soiled condition. A thump of the Greenshire's back and then he has stopped to stand with the other woodsman, "Aye, a little. I've served his house for a number of years though, as you know." The Sky Forester keeps his baritone pitched low to not to interrupt the important affairs of the nobility. Araltaiden throne frowns and lowers his voice, "Have you come to seek your Lord, the Count? You have heard, have you not, that the Voice and the Baroness have gone missing? Count Havarean has been said to have let out after them. I heard the news this morning but I was too far out and heard it too late to get back in time to offer him aid in his search. I am surprised to see you here, and not gone after!"

Renden clasps arms and returns the thump on the back, a quick greeting of old counterparts. He nods at the greeting, "I got in last week," he explains for his appearance here in the castle now and not on the hills of Greenshire, where he ought to be. The affairs of the nobility are no longer his concern, as the groups start to shuffle indoors. "The Count has taken capable men with him," as much as it is obvious that it burns the old dog to say it, insulting him in a manner to be left behind, "I'm an old dog as you say Aralt," he looks idly down toward the gatehouse and then back, "I'm better leashed to the dog house." He thumps Aralt on the shoulder, "I'm to ensure none of the other Haravean girls go… missing." He says delicately and softly, "Seems to be a considerable effort taken steal nobles these days. Not like the good old days, when people would steal gold." He looks toward the delegation and then asks of Aralt, "What's all this about then?"

"Leashed my fiery arse. You're and old dog who knows a lot of tricks the rest of us still don't know." Araltaidan chuckles, keeping his voice down a bit so not to offend any who might overhear, hopefully. He loosely hooks his gloved thumbs into his sword belt and stands slightly hipshot, "I … somehow doubt the Voice and the Baroness have been taken captive." The Royal Ranger lifts his chin towards the departing nobles, "Certainly not by the likes of them. If they thought to take them to vouchsafe their safety while their nobility visits, they stand to loose a good deal more than we. On our home ground." A pause to draw his hood back up over his head, "I don't know what's happened but … maybe a gut instinct that I think something else is afoot."

As Trevian comes up and more or less asks the same question of him, Aralt explains for them both, "Those folk are from Laniveer. Supposedly a Prince and Princess, only our King claims their crown so they aren't." the Royal Ranger shifts his weight, stiff and sore, "Been out days seeking their group. Their ship hit a storm, forced landing back along the coast. Found them out there with their truce flag and brought them in by the Crown Prince's order." Aralt runs a hand over his bearded jaw that hasn't seen a razor for a while, "Not sure what'll be done with them. Ransom them, execute'm, discuss alliance, I don't know. Everyone here has been gearing up to go to war against Laniveer come the spring. They could be spies."

FTB

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