Thedor 21, 229: What Binds Us Together

What Binds Us Together
Summary: Lord Shepard Kerrigan has some words of comfort for Lady Elisabeth Haravean in the wake of Queen Laetitia's death.
OOC Date: 21/1/2014 (OOC)
Related: Takes place immediately following Count Vs Lord
Elisabeth Shepard Aldren 
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.

It is a winter evening. The weather is cold and snowing. The planet Cri hangs over the western sky.

Thedor 21, 229

Elisabeth is walking in the courtyard of the castle, snow spotting her dark cloak as she walks with her maid. A trio of guards shadow her movements at a pace. Despite the chill, Elisabeth has the hood down of her cloak and her face turned to the falling flakes. A stretch of legs, some fresh air? Distraction? Perhaps all of the above. She is dressed in black of mourning under her cloak.

Elisabeth is walking in the courtyard of the castle, snow spotting her dark cloak as she walks with her maid. A trio of guards shadow her movements at a pace. Despite the chill, Elisabeth has the hood down of her cloak and her face turned to the falling flakes. A stretch of legs, some fresh air? Distraction? Perhaps all of the above. She is dressed in black of mourning under her cloak.

Aldren stalks by. A friendly flip of the bird to Shep and a loving smile as best he can manage for Lis.

Lord Shepard Kerrigan strides out of the Knight's Chantry, clad in his suit of plate, with his helmet tucked under one arm and a shield being carried by a strap over his shoulder. His young squire moves alongside and a pace or two back. Curls of mist mark Shepard's breath as he glances about, his expression neutral and calm. His own cloak is midnight-black as well, much like many of those in and around the castle have adopted the color in mourning for the Queen. He spots Lady Elisabeth and her entourage and smiles, inclining his head towards her, "Lady Elisabeth. Out for a breath of chilly night air?" He glances towards Aldren as he passes, laughing softly and shaking his head at the rude gesture, before looking back to Elisabeth, "I hope you are as well as can be expected?" He does, naturally, move over to offer an armored arm to the Lady as they chat.

As the men come from the Chantry, Elisabeth looks up. There is a blink at the gesture given to Shepard before she nods slightly to her cousin. She opens her mouth to say something, but closes it leaving him to his stalking. To Shepard she nods slightly, "I had to get out for a bit, I was feeling a little oppressed by all the stone. In Greenshire I never spent quite so much time inside as I do now, but the weather was fairer there." As the arm is offered she takes it after a moment's hesitation. She glances the way Aldren left then back to Shepard, "How fares my cousin?" She asks with a note of concern before answering to his own question. "As well as can be expected. I worry for the Princess…for us all." She inclines her head to him. "To you my lord?"

"Truth be told he seems in reasonably good spirits." Shepard smiles slightly, "If a bit sore over yielding to me in a sparring match. He'll be over it by the next time we spar, I'm sure." His expression does grow more serious, though, at the mention of the Princess and all the context that entails. "I am…reasonably well. I did not know the Queen, but we all feel her loss nonetheless." He tilts his head towards the Chantry, "In truth I fear for the Rioga. These past months have been most sorely trying for them, and I fear that they might lose heart after losing several of their brethren and taking hard strikes against their reputation." Between Caedmon and Wenna, Ciarrah, and now Laetitia…it's no doubt been a dark time for them. "The seem…mostly all right. Though some may end up pushing themselves too hard in days to come to compensate for any perceived shortcomings." That's the military mind thinking, obviously.

Elisabeth nods slightly to the words about Aldren, a faint smile touching her lips. "That I did see in his …salute just now." She responds ever so politely of the gesture. The smile does not quite meet her eyes. The words about the Rioga cause her to look up to him, seriousness cast upon her features. "It does not make sense. What could overpower such a group of trained knights with no cry going up? I could only imagine those with the Queen were amoung the best and they were killed to the man." She says with a troubled note to her voice. "Perhaps that which caused this wanted to sow such discord. They can not lose the will to fight when war is upon us or all will be lost."

Shepard looks to Elisabeth, his expression quite grave, "I do not know. I have heard whispered in the Chantry that no signs of battle marked the bodies. That it was as if they simply…laid down." And died, but Shepard doesn't voice that latter aspect. "And the King's words…" Shepard shakes his head, banishing dark thoughts from his head. "The Rioga will fight." Shepard opines, "As I said, my only fear is that they may see these calamities as cause to abandon sense in favor of glory that they might rebuild any harm their reputation has taken."

Elisabeth walks along with a serious look considering his words. She then looks up, her pale cheeks brought pink from the chill winds. Snow dampening her braided hair. "Poison? There are many a herb that might cause a person to sleep or even brought to death. Though surely it would be rare that such a large group would have cause to ingest such at the same time." Her knowledge of herbcraft showing through here. She shakes her head, "I was warned against such manners. That we can not treat our enemies or foes with dishonour as such will be reaped back upon us."

"Perhaps, but as you say….it seems unlikely a whole group could have ingested the same poison, much less to have it take effect all at the same time." Shepard shakes his head, "I…truly do not know that we may ever fully know the cause of this. Even for Laniveer or Jadda, this seems far beyond any bounds of animosity that exist between our nations. There would be nothing for them to gain by it."

"Already they have the princess and as far as we know have kept her alive. To attack the Queen…as much as I want to hate them for it, seems…beyond reason save to provoke a war as if the abduction was not provocation enough." Her gaze casts to in the general direction of the coast for a moment before looking back to the Lord, "They mean to travel back to Greenshire, do you think it safe?" They meaning Aldren and Moira perhaps.

"Precisely. Such a maneuver would only serve to enrage us. I simply cannot fathom they would be behind it. This is not so much a maneuver that would sow discord so much as fury against whoever claimed the act, and…" Shepard frowns, shaking his head slightly, "The King's words…that she died in peace. He seemed to allay that this was some strike of our enemies against us." He sighs, heavily, "Such things are not for me to reason, I suppose. I am a Knight, and will fight when and where called upon to do so." He looks to Elisabeth, "Travel by land seems to have been largely safe in these past months, so long as they do not stray too close to the coasts. And Aldren is a cautious man when it comes to the safety of those he holds dear. He will have more than simply the minimum number of armsmen along with him."

Elisabeth is quiet and thoughtful to the man's words, before suddenly she pauses as some idea came to her. "Surely not…" She murmurs to herself before shaking her head, the idea drawing from her no wish to explore it further. Her arm tightens around his and she is distracted by that thought when he speaks of her cousin's travel. "Of course he is a cautious man. I only worry about my family. My brother out on the seas and the rest of my family so far away. It makes me feel helpless." She says though her voice sounds distracted.

Shepard glances to Elisabeth, and there may be something in that glance that seems to have an inkling of what she might be thinking, though whether his hunch is correct or not remains a mystery as he simply nods emphatically, "Surely not. And best not spoken of save in the strictest of confidence." He considers her words and smiles a bit, "I think men often underestimate the courage that women hold, to be in such a position yet still carry on with the duties that need be done of hearth and home while we are away at war." He places a hand on Elisabeth's for just a moment in a reassuring gesture, "There is never any unbreakable promise that all will be well, or that the ones dearest to us will not suffer misfortune. All we can do is hold true to ourselves…to our kin and to our kingdom…perform the duties that we are tasked with shouldering to the best of our abilities, and trust in our King and our Gods. In so doing, no matter what fate might befall us, or our dearest ones, we know that they will find peace in whatever lies beyond this mortal life." His smile is warm, if a bit sad, "The Princess will need you now. More than ever, I should think. You will be strong for her, and for Eoin, and for all the rest of us." He laughs, softly, "You're a Haravean, how could you do any less?"

Elisabeth looks up to Shepard as he perhaps catches her thoughts and gives a quick nod. Thoughts of Suicide remaining behind her lips. The words about women draw her attention and her own fears draw clear in her gaze at him. By the end of his words moisture breams in her eyes but do not fall down her cheeks, holding herself just in check. "But no person can hold the burdens for over long without breaking or having someone share the burden. Pride though often keeps us from asking for such help. I am a Haravean and will be strong for the Princess and offer her aid less she wish it or not." She nods to cement that vow.

"That's the beauty of friends and family though, milady. While you are strong for them, they too can be strong for you." Shepard unlaces his arm from hers and twines his fingers together, making a show of trying to pull them apart and failing, "It may be a silly and romantic notion, but I think this above all things is what binds us together and makes the whole stronger than the sum of its' parts. Trust." He smiles with a touch of humor in his eyes now, "And right now, I suspect my squire is trusting me to get him out of this cold, so I bid you farewell, Lady Elisabeth." He bows slightly from the waist, "Be well…until we have occasion to speak again."

Elisabeth smiles at the example given, clasping his hand briefly before releasing it. "And I must go check on the princess. Thank you for your words my lord, they have settled well upon my heart and mind. My cousin was right about you and I am glad you are part of our family now." With those words said she and her group depart for the castle but to the royal wing.


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