Blood of Dragons

The 'A Song of Ice and Fire' MUSH


A Little Sport
IC Date: Day 10 of Month 9, 161 AC.
RL Date: May 22, 2010.
Participants: Alek Reyne, Elmer Crakehall, Farin Prester, Fiona Reyne, Luthor Rivers, and Reyna Saltcliffe
Locations: Kingswood: Sandy Path

Summary: A day of light hunting in the Kingswood becomes a battle of words as tongues loosen away from the confines of court.

It is a fine rare day for autumn, bright and clear and -almost- warm. So little surprise there is a party of riders out taking advantage of the beauty of sunlight on the river, with the looming Kingswood to block the worst of the wind.

The party is a mixed bunch of nobles from the Keep, ladies and knights and courtiers with here and there the courser figures of lowborn guards and attendants. Reyna Saltcliffe is among them in a neat riding habit of green wool and tan leather, her sandsteed a sleek bay—one might almost suspect that she has coordinated the color of her riding kit to look well mounted upon the pretty beast. Her two guards are clad in black leather and ride with her in stony silence, content to simply be there while she chats and laughs with the riders around her.

Elmer is riding at one side of the group, the tall Crakehall knight wearing chainmail, and his heavy sword at his hip, a shield on the side of his saddle, as if this isn’t just a pleasure jaunt but something where dangers might arise. His large grey charger is fretting impatiently, though not as good looking as Reyna’s sandsteed. His eyes are clear, apparently he’s not drunk anything yet.

Among the riders the Lady from Castamere. Fiona Reyne sits astride her mount, not nearly so color coordinated but starkly dark against the pale green of her riding habit. Her skirts fan out across the horse’s back and while the split underlayer allows for easily sitting astride, the overskirt more than modestly covers any hint of it beneath. Perhaps unlike some of the ladies a bow is strapped to her saddle, and quiver of arrows, one just never knows when a hare will dart out and beg to be targetted. Her gloved hands hold the reins confidently and she sits stock-straight, head up, a brimmed hat atop her head keeping the sun from her face.

For once Ser Luthor Rivers is dressed as though he should number among the nobles and not among their guards. The bastard knight is dressed in supple tan riding leathers, wrapped in woolen cloak of Smallwood brown, and seated upon nimble grey palfrey, that before the tourney would have been well beyond his means. He’s armed of course, his longsword, wrapped in a new scabbard hangs at his side, with a plain dirk hanging opposite. After all it’s said the Starveling has been about his usual mischief in the Kingswood again, but he seems content to leave the security of the group with their guards and takes full part in the jokes and gossip going on around him.

Reyna looks to one side and holds out her left hand, which is covered with a surprisingly battered leather gauntlet that nearly reaches her elbow. A man rides up and allows the merlin hawk on his wrist to step onto hers. “It is a fine day for hawking, though there are rather more trees than I’d like,” she remarks to those around her.

Elmer makes his big charger dance by Fiona’s side. After all they’re both from the West and he doens’t really enjoy the company of the ironmen. he smiles at her. “Are you planning to dazzle us with your archery skills, my Lady?” He asks, aware of her reputation with the bow.

Fiona looks over to Elmer and smiles then her shoulders lift a bit, “I am not sure I’d call them dazzling but I might put my bow to use if the opportunity arises..or darts out..and show’s its beady little eyes..” she quips with a grin. Her eyes lift and focus on Reyna and her hawk, “A lovely bird,” she comments to Elmer as they ride.

Luthor watches as the hawk is transferred from the man’s wrist to Reyna’s with keen interest. Royal Huntsman or not, more than a decade has passed since he last went hawking, and even then he had not been given a bird to handle. Still, always keen to learn, Luthor urges his mount on towards the Saltcliffe lady. “Are there?” he asks Reyna with a smile.

“Are there what?” asks Reyna absently, turning to Luthor and blinking. “Oh, trees? Well, yes. He prefers a nice open field with low brush, don’t you my beauty?” she croons to the hawk, who looks unimpressed. “The forest is a bit close here, but he will do well enough.” She smiles then at Fiona. “I’ve had him for four years now. He was hatched and trained in the Highgarden mews.”

Elmer chuckles a little as he watches Reyna. “I suppose..I’ve never hunted with hawks, and I don’t know much about that. Give me a good boar spear….” he smiles charmingly at her. “But perhaps between that hawk and your bow we’ll catch enough for a fresh stew..”

Fiona smiles at Reyna, “Oh how interesting, what do you call him?” she asks, before turning a grin to Elmer. “We just might..especially if my arrow goes awry..” and she looks around as if to check, “ cattle or goats out here..” she says in a playfully quiet manner. She puts a hand atop her head and tilts her gaze skyward for a moment, her pale eyes illuminated as she basks in the crisp fall sunshine.

Luthor glances back over his shoulder to nod greetings to Elmer and Fiona. “Ser. My lady,” he says with a bright flash of teeth, before turning back to Lady Reyna and her hawk. “A fine bird, no doubt. I hope we will get to see him fly today, so Elmer can have his stew.”

“He’s called Charly,” answers Reyna with a wry smile. “My eldest son took to calling him that when the falconer said he’d been churlish one day.” Charly, as if he knows they are talking about him, fluffs his blue-feathered wings and tosses his hooded head. “My cousin, Almer, has a proper saker falcon—they’re for knights, you know—and Ardon can finally use a peregrine, since he’s Lord-Protector of the Reach. He’ll be pleased. I should love to fly a peregrine one day!”

Indeed, she looks quite pleased to be flying any bird at all, and now she draws the hood from the merlin’s head. “Off with you then,” she says, lifting her wrist sharply to set the bird flying.

Alek is riding along the bank in the opposite direction to the party. As soon as he spots the group, he slows his steed to a trot. Once in full veiw, he notices a fair few familiar faces, raising a hand in greeting. “Hail, friends!” He calls. “What brings you out in such force on this nice day?”

Fiona smiles, “Well Charly is a dashing fellow,” she says spritely toward the falcon, he likely understands and will appreciate the compliment surely. She listens to the explanation of the different sorts of birds then looks up to see her uncle, a pat to the bow and daring lift of brow, “Stew meat,” she answers without even the slightest pause.

Luthor turns away from watching the hawk in flight to grin at Fiona’s reply. Then to Alek, “Well met, Ser Alek, we’re out for a bit of hunting by bow and hawk, care to join us?”

“Hallo, Ser Alek,” Reyna says in her Highgarden drawl, smiling across Fiona and Elmer toward him. Then she laughs. “You may want stew meat, Lady Fiona, but -I- am hoping for some autumn-fat grouse for my cook to roast. It amuses my lord when I bring home game, I think.”

Reyna’s merlin, flying in great swoops through the sky, suddenly dives as the riding party flushes some of those very fat birds from the brush. There is a sharp cry from the hawk and then an explosion of feathers as it takes one of the grouse.

Elmer watche sthe hawk fly and as it tears through his prey, the Crakehall knight applauds loudly. “A magnificent kill, my Lady.” he offers Reyna a bow from his saddle. “It’s the hawk but the falconer’s skill too.”

Alek pulls his steed up. “Ladies Reyna and Fiona… Ser Luthor..And Ser Elmer, also!” He smiles. “A nice mixture of company.” He notices the kill of the grouse, smiling lighty. “Brilliant kill. Ser Elmer is correct in his statement.”

“Sloppy,” growls the falconer, apparently not a man to praise lightly. He rattles the lure that calls the bird back, and neatly catches the grouse to drop into his game bag before waving the merlin away again.

Reyna is not so stingy. “Oh, well done, Charly,” she says with pleasure. “Fetch another and you shall have earned an extra bit of meat for your dinner.” She beams proudly at her companions. “You should have one of the beaters flush a rabbit for you, Fiona,” she suggests, eager for everyone to share her entertainment.

Fiona grins a bit at Reyna and inclines her head, “Very good..” she agrees of the kill then with a hand on the reins the other goes for her bow. With the end of the reins draped loosely across her lap an arrow is taken and held in the same hand as the bow, for the moment as her keen, stormy green eyes dart here and there. A nudge keeps the horse on a certain path and then after a nod to Alek she turns and quickly draws. The horse draws up to a halt when the lady pulls back the bow, they have apparently done this before, then with a *ZING* the arrow flies to the edge of a brushline. It lands with a thunk that could be into the ground and she narrows her eyes, “Tis easier when they are not running,” she comments and a squire follows the line of the arrow, pulling it out with a fluffy hare attached. “Hah! I knew I saw a nose..” and she settles her bow back on its strap.

Luthor’s eyebrows raise as he watches Fiona make the shot almost blindly into the brush. Then applauds along with several others as the squire retrieves the arrow, and the hare now transfixed by it. “Well done,” he applauds the young lady of Reyne, before he turns to the men. “Shall we have a go?” he asks them.

Alek applauds his young neice. “Nice shot, Fiona! You truely are my brother’s daughter!” He smiles at Luthor, fishing out his own bow from the packs on the horse. “I daresay I might. And don’t expect me to use animals to aid my kill.”

Elmer shakes his head in surprise. “We have some deadly ladies among us, beware, sers.” he laughs applauding Fiona’s shot too, his eyes smiling in delight as he watches her.

Reyna grins at Fiona. “Well done!” she cries, happy to give praise where it is due. From time to time she glances at the merlin, who is flying just over their heads and watching for prey. But now she raises a brow at Alek. “To -aid- my kill? Do you disapprove of hawks, Ser Alek? I haven’t Lady Fiona’s skill with a bow.”

Fiona beams with pride at the shot and then looks to her uncle, “I am, indeed,” she says of the comparison to her father. “And I haven’t your skill with the birds, m’lady,” she says appreciatively to Reyna. Her eyes flick to Elmer and she nods, “Yes, ser, do be wary of drawing the Falconer’s ire..” and she grins.

Elmer smiles at Fiona…and as their eyes meet he ...seems surprised by something. “You do have an archer’s skill, my lady..I’d have you at my back in any battle.” he says, then…as if embarassed reaches down at his saddle bags to pick up a wineskin and drinks deeply, mostly to hide his face.

“Nothing wrong with hawking,” Luthor says. “Is there Ser Alek?” he says to the Reyne knight.

Then he waves away the huntsman running up with the bow. “You’re right Elmer, vary dangerous women. I yeild the sport to them.”

Alek frowns slightly. “I do not disapprove, my lady. Forgive me if my words were poorly thought out.” He bows his head. “I merely meant that I prefer to give my own senses a flex. Although, I do admire your handling of our feathered friends.” He looks to Elmer. “Be cautious, my Ser Crakehall.” He notes.

Reyna’s falconer seems unbothered when his lady receives the praise for the bird; he is otherwise occupied. “Ah, I see,” Reyna says to Alek, her eyes shining. “I am glad. I would not hunt at all if it were not for my lad there. I have no senses as you do.”

Fiona keeps a smile as Alek makes his apology to Reyna, that look from Elmer drawing a quirk of her brows just before she looks away. The sun has colored her cheeks pink and drawn freckles across her nose, despite the hat, and she flicks a glance to her uncle for a moment at is warning to the other man. Her gaze seeks out the brush once more but when a fat hare darts from one place to another she does not draw, “Now see.. that one is on the move.. I’d have to be completely unladylike to run her down..” she says with a grin.

Elmer takes another long drink and smiles at Alek. “Oh..I’m always bloody careful.” he says in a gruff voice and then watches Fiona. “And what will you do then, my Lady?” he asks, keeping his horse in a shorter rein.

Alek grunts lightly, notching an arrow, looking around.

Charly the Merlin-hawk takes care of the rabbit for Fiona, shrieking as he dives out of the air. There is the sharp squeak of dying bunny, and then the hawk is airborne again, bringing its prize to the falconer and coming to rest on Reyna’s raised wrist. There the falconer gives him a gobbet of meat in reward, and the bird rests a moment with its talons gripping the gauntlet. Reyna, for her part, looks rather sheepish. “I’ll give you the hare if you want it, Fiona,” she offers.

Fiona looks to Elmer then the falcon is in the air and she inclines her head toward Reyna, “Defer to the Lady,” she says with a grin. “No no, tis your kill, m’lady,” she answers, content to keep riding. She glances once at Alek, waiting, then shifts on her saddle and straightens her skirts.

Alek smirks suddenly. “Gotcha…” He mumbles. Within the next second, an arrow is loosed from the Reyne knight’s bow. The bleating sound of a dying deer can be heard. “A deer! What luck.” He states, reigning his horse to a stop. He hops down, disappearing into the brush.

Elmer watches Ieyna and beams. “A good choice, I am sure.” He chuckles as the hawk on her wrist does look deadly. “But…it is a delight to see you shoot.” He smiles towards Alek. “Would you enjoy a drink too, ser?”

Luthor smiles and shakes his head as Alek goes about his buisness. Turning to Ser Elmer, he raises a brow grinning. “And no wine for me?” he teases the Crakehall knight. “Or must I shoot something first?”

She just can’t resist temptation. Fiona halts her mount and pulls off the bow once more, an arrow carefully selected as if not in any hurry whatsoever. She should be though, a little hare is all a-hop along the edge of the brush, darting here and there. She pushes up a bit from the saddle to press in with her knees, though hidden beneath skirts, it would not be obvious, she has to be staying astride somehow! The bow is drawn and with a *chkchk* sound the horse moves forward while the lady takes aim, letting the arrow fly. Poor bunny. He zigs when zagging might’ve worked and the arrow clips his neck, not embedding but the wound will eventually be fatal. She sits with a huff, “I nearly missed!” she chirps disdainfully at herself.

Alek emerges from the brush, a deer over his left shoulder. “Poor thing was deaf. Savaged by a wolf or something.” He slings it over the back of his horse, climbing back on.

Elmer shakes his head at such skill. “Maginificently done, lady Fiona.” he says with a laugh, and then watches Alek. “it seems we do have indeed some game.” He offers his wineskin to Luthor. “Here, man..drink..we’re the only ones who haven’t killed anything today.”

Farin Prester, bedecked in his riding leathers, can be seen spurring his horse from the group of nobles he’d ridden with earlier over to the group his second cousin is party to. A look of mild surprise and approval flashes across his face as he rides up, his gaze going between Fiona and her prey, though he says nothing about the shot. “Ho, Coz,” he greets Luthor, casting about the rest of his entourage. “Might I join your group instead? The others and I do not seem to share a taste for humor.”

Luthor is in the midst of a swig when Farin rides up and he finishes and wipes his mouth with the back of his hand before finishing. “Humor, coz, or -your- humor?” he replies eyes glinting with amusement. “And of course you can join us. May I introduce Ladies, Reyna Saltcliffe and Fiona Reyne; and your fellow Westermen, Ser Elmer Crakehall, and Ser Alek Reyne,” the bastard knight rambles off the name easily then turns to his companions. “This is my cousin, Ser Farin Prester.” He takes another swig from the wine, and with a look for approval from Elmer, offers it to Farin.

The bow is returned to its loop and Fiona straightens her skirt then pulls off her had to fan herself with the brim of it, “I would be forced to argue, ser,” she says to Elmer. “That was a near miss and poorly shot.. I do not get nearly enough practice with moving targets..” she says with a sort of furrow-browed pout. “And why don’t I…” she muses aloud, loud enough for her guard to hear as she casts him a glance. He’s well trained and shows no reaction which only makes the lady huff. She looks to Farin and then smiles, “Only if you’re armed,” she chirps then nods her head, “Today you ride for your supper,” she says with a firm nod of head, though it’s clearly untrue. “Well met,” she says to the newcomer.

Reyna, who has been occupied with watching her merlin take two more grouse and is now engaged in slipping the hood over its head, looks around. “Hallo, Ser Farin,” she says to him in the tones of Highgarden, her drawl heavier than usual today. “Pleasure to… bloody hells, Charly!” she exclaims then, for the bird has no intention of being hooded and has nipped her fingers for her trouble.

Farin gives as good a bow as one can while horsed, in the general direction of the center of the group, before accepting the wineskin from Luthor and taking a hearty swig of his own. He doesn’t blanch at the taste, so it’s either of impeccable quality, or he’s just that parched from riding. “Well met to the lot of you,” he replies after wiping his mouth, and handing the wineskin back. Never met a Crakehall wasn’t worth his weight in something valuable, and the Reynes are always welcome at Feastfires. Usually,” he corrects himself, grinning. “And of course it’s /my/ humor, sadly,” he replies to Luthor. “Not unlike the Dornishwoman from last evening, though she carried it better.” He smirks over to Fiona, and shrugs lightly. “Arms I’ve brought, my lady, but I’ve left my bow behind. Little use a morningstar will be on a hare, I’m afraid.”

Elmer nods towards Farin. “my thoughts exactly, ser..I’ve only my sword..” he grins towards Fiona. “But I count on Lady Fiona’s skill and kindness not to leave us famished.” he chuckles and bows towards the said lady.

Alek smiles lightly. “If you wish arms to hunt with, I have a spare longbow and a crossbow in my packs, sers.”

“A morningstar might make an interesting jelly of a hare,” Luthor remarks with a hint of a smile before stealing one more swig of wine before tossing the skin to Elmer. “Still I’m with Elmer, I shall put my trust in Lady Fiona’s skill or churlish Charly’s sharp eyes above my own chances. Though if you’ve a mind to shoot, coz, by all means,” Luthor offers with a nod to Alek’s offer.

Fiona grins over at Reyna and taps her hat back atop her head, glancing to her uncle’s kill as the natural motion of the riding group meanders her horse nearer to his for a moment, “Nicely done..” she comments then her eyes dart up to Farin as Alek offers a choice of bows, “Four hare would make a nice catch.. we’ve three…” she says with a nod to him. She smiles over at Elmer and then lifts a brow, “Tis the cooks skill that will prevent your hunger..” and she winks before looking ahead as she rides on in a little trot ahead of the group, pausing to wait. That moment is spared to take a drink from a waterskin and she exhales, enjoying the exercise and sport.

Reyna, scowling fiercely, hoods the bird with a decisive motion, then passes it back to the falconer. “See the wretch is well fed,” she says, looking unhappily at her bleeding finger. She rides slowly, giving her guard Edmund her injured hand to have the finger tied up in her handkerchief. “What of Tyrells?” she asks Farin with a mischievous smile. “Are we welcome at your feastfires?”

Elmer laughs softly at Reyna’s question and he watches farin for an answer. His eyes follow Fiona as she moves away and he urges his horse forward, then makes it stop in his track, forcing it to turn sideways to conceal his move.

“Well, as it happens, I’ve a bit of skill at tracking the beasts, but as to shooting them?” Farin begins, casting a glace over to Elmer for support. “The Lannister I squiered for wasn’t keen on learning either weapon, and I’d rather not forsake my vows by missing and hitting one of our pretty ladies, hm? Besides,” he adds, “If my coz will place his faith in your collective skills, I shall honor his judgement by doing the same.”

To Reyna, Farin gives a wary glance, though an accomidating smile accompanies it. “Tyrells should find our halls most hospitable, should they say nothing of our Lannister leiges. Been a bit of bad blood recently, but nothing my dear grandfather won’t forgive, I should think.”

Luthor stifles a bit of a cough at his cousin’s reply to Lady Reyna. Eyes glinting as he rubs his chin to obscure whatever expression takes hold of his lips. Then, eyes still on Farin and Reyna, Luthor says to Alek. “Well shot, ser,” with the smallest of nods.

Alek nods at the acknowledgement of his kill from both Fiona and Luthor. “I thank you.” He states. “Though, I’d hardly call a deaf deer a worthy prey…”

Fiona looks with concern to Reyna then seeing she is being well tended she has to grin at her comment about ‘the wretch’ that was once her ‘beauty’. My, my how the fickle heart of a lady waxes and wanes from once sentiment to another. As for worthy prey, she won’t comment on that either, such as it relates to the horrific stories that circulate with regard to the Dornish, the thought, however, does make her nose wrinkle. The waterskin is put back on its loop and she pats her mount’s neck, rejoining the slow progression of the group.

Elmer stands straight in the saddle, and looks ahead. “Shall we stop here for a repast, my ladies?” Or shall we hunt some more. Since he hasn’t hunted, the question is rather weird. He catches Fiona’s look at reyna and he grins too as if understanding what went through her head.

Reyna raises a brow, her gaze moving from merry to something more calculating. “Bad blood?” she inquires. “But it was hardly a fortnight ago we joined with House Lannister to host the King’s coronation tournament. I was not aware of bad blood. Ser Jonn is rather a friend, so much as he is friend to anyone.”

She sends Luthor a smile then, though she says nothing. Instead she contents herself with removing the hawking gauntlet and handing it over to the falconer.

Elmer chuckles at Reyna’s words as indeed Jonn is almost his blood brother, and as the leader of the Lannister men-at-arms here, the Crakehall knight has never had any bad blood with the Tyrells.

Alek frowns slightly. “Being on good terms with Lord Loren… I haven’t been told anything, nor heard any rumours…”

Fiona looks from one to the other and then shifts in her saddle, “We are all good company here..and besides.. between hawk and bow you men would do well to take any help you can get against the ladies, regardless of House,” she says, making an attempt at lightening the conversation. Her impish smile and happy demeanor hopefully set the right tone for the comment and she reins her horse a bit, heading him for the shade of a tall tree.

Farin shrugs. If he’s embarassed at his indiscretion, he’s not doing a lot to show it. “My apologies then, perhaps I’m a little late in the times. I don’t hear much in the way of specifics. I shall have to get a man on that,” he decides, almost as if speaking to himself. Then he turns back to Reyna, and his smile is much more geniuine. “Then of /course/ the Tyrells would be welcome at Feastfires, should they deign to make such a journey. It would be our honor,” he announces, then turns his horse back towards Fiona. “It does seem as though we’ve been put to shame,” he agrees heartily.

“Oh, in another month or so it is very likely we shall be at odds again, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it,” Reyna assures Farin, smiling again. Then she follows Fiona toward the tree, her two evil-looking guards in tow.

Luthor returns Reyna’s smile with a brief nod, and a vaugely confused expression. However he keeps his silence until they she rides off to join Fiona and Elmer. Then he urges his horse forward to join his cousin. “The very soul of diplomacy as always, coz,” he deadpans with a slight shake of his head, before nodding for him to come along and join them at their meal.

Alek reigns in his horse once more, hopping off, stretching. The veteran groans lightly. “Riding all day doesn’t do one’s muscles good…” He mutters.

Elmer dismountes and ties his horse to a stump, as the big, mail clad knight joins the ladies. His eyes show that he’s been drinking stadily, but it’s the only hint as he keeps being charming.

“Diplomacy is one of those things that a good lord must practice, I’m told. I suppose I ought to be satisfied with being a /decent/ lord, when my time comes,” Farin replies with a tone of feigned disappointment, giving his cousin a sly grin, before following him along to join the meal.

Fiona smiles at Reyna as she draws near then glances toward the men and just grins. It is perhaps the most animated the Lady has been in quite some time but likely only Reyna might realize it. Men rarely pay attention to such things and even so, she hardly knows any of these. Her reins are lifted somewhat and the lady nods to a squire who takes them while she pushes up to dismount on her own. Yes. On her own. She lands on the ground with a poof of skirts and laughs as her hat flies off her head, “Bother..”
Elmer watches Fiona have a bit of trouble dismounting, and he moves quickly, gathering the hat before it lands on the grass, and he returns, kneeling in front of Fiona and presenting it ceremoniously. “I believe you lost this, my lady.”

REyna is not so brazen; she lets the smaller of her two guards—and the less evil-looking—lift her down from her mount. Her skirts, so perfect for riding modestly, are rather too long for easy walking, so she must gather them up and leave Edmund to take down a waterskin from her saddle. “Diplomacy,” she notes to Farin with a faint smile, “is really just a nice way of suggesting that we are all very good liars and dissemblers.”

Alek takes an aleskin from his pack on the horse, drinking deeply. Once done, he sighs, listening in at Reyna’s comment. “I agree with you there, my lady.”

“Which makes me a poor liar then. The septon will be thrilled to hear it, my lady,” Farin quips, dismounting himself. Lacking for a squire, he pulls aside some other idle lad, and humbly volunteers him for the task of putting his horse away.

Eyeing Elmer and Fiona, with a slight shake of his head, and a pleased smile, Luthor dismounts. “Well said, coz,” Luthor agrees, passing his reigns off to Barion, his squire. “Still, a rather hard view on diplomacy, don’t you think my lady?” he asks Reyna. “After I’ve always strove to be diplomatic in my dealings, I’d hate to think that makes me a great liar,” he says with a slightly teasing expression, as he finds a fallen log to sit upon.

“Yes, well, septons,” Reyna says with a sheepish shrug. “As for lying… well. We do not lie outright at court, do we? But how many of us find ourselves glossing over what we would like to say in order to keep the peace? My penancer would certainly call that lying, though he understands the necessity for it.”

She finds a nice soft patch of grass and settles there, her green skirts spread around her. “So dissembling, which isn’t really lying. Just… slanting the truth to suit the audience.” This from the King’s own steward.

Her long braid is still in tact even if there’s no hat but after wearing it all afternoon, it really is best to keep wearing it.. hat head just isn’t good on anyone. Her eyes fall to Elmer and she blinks a little, smiling kindly as he offers the hat back to her, “Thank you, ser,” she says then turns and finds a place to sit near Reyna. “For instance.. a Lady once asked me if I liked her hat..” and she takes hers off again and twirls it around on her hand, “I could tell she loved her hat.. though I thought it was hideous..” another spin. “I told her that I’d never seen one like it and that it had found a lovely home atop her head..which was not a lie.. just a slanted truth..” Her hat is tapped back atop her head, “It did come back to bite me, however, when I received one just like it as a gift..tis oft the way of dissembling..” she says with a pfft.

“This sounds like a time for my grandfather to warn that in the world of men, when things come back to bite us, the gift oft takes the form of a dagger in the back, not an ugly hat…” Farin begins, before looking about his audience one more time. “...but then, we’re far from Feastfires, so who’s going to care about him anyway?” Farin grins sheepishly himself, and sits along with Luthor. “You’d have gotten on well with Lord Prester, by the by, ser. He shares your view of diplomacy much better than mine.”

Elmer takes a seat by farin and Luthro too, looking rather forlorn at his empty wineskin. “That will teach me about logistics.” he chuckles, merrily and watches the two knights speak.
Alek takes the last spot near Luthor and the other males, but is still close enough to talk to the ladies if the situation calls for it. He drinks a bit more from his aleskin, offering some to the men seated.

Luthor nods the aleskin on to Elmer, who seems to be in greater need of a drink. “Then I am most definitely guilt of dissembling,” Luthor says to Reyna, before looking over at Farin. “Though hopefully only of the sort that earns me a ugly hat, and not a knife in the back. As to your grandfather, I haven’t been to Feastfires, but if we’re like to get along, he can always adopt me. I’d make a very good lord it seems.”

“No one ever died of dissemblage,” Reyna assures Luthor with a laugh. “It’s a polite way of getting on. The truly savvy know when you’re not being truthful, but we just pretend we do not.”

The Reyne girl nods to Reyna and reaches to pluck a little blade of grass to twist in her hands as they rest in her lap. Fiona grins, “Well then, I have a hat I shall send you,” she says teasingly to the Silver Rose,” and she squirms around to settle beneath her skirts, oh for a brook to put her feet in and time to do it. Toewriggle.

A hearty laugh fills the air, as Farin claps Luthor on the shoulder. “Aye, that might be, coz, but it’s my father you’ll be wanting to be adopted from if you’re looking for the lordship, and then it’ll be me you’d have to contend with. And who wants to see a pair of /honorable knights/ such as ourselves fight it out?” he asks Luthor with a wicked smile on his face…

...which he drops into a less wicked and more personable smile for Reyna, which he attempts to make look as faked as the subject matter. “I shall take your word for it then, and not send a man to look up the accuracy of your claim. Though ‘death by dissemblage’ might be difficult to find, as embarassing that would be on a tombstone.”
Elmer laughs as he watches the two ladies relax. This is different from the Red Keep, and everyone seems freer and less opresed. He takes the ale skin and nods his head at Luthor. “You are a true saviour, ser.” He says as he drinks deeply.

Reyna can only laugh at Farin. “You might want to practice a bit more, ser,” she advises.

“And so, like the Toland dragon, dissemblage, feeds upon itself,” Luthor remarks with a smile to Reyna. “Though I should hope there are not too many, truly saavy at court. I’d hate to be obvious.” He nods a quick, you’re welcome, to Elmer. Then as he’s clapped on the back, he grins over at his cousin. “Honorable? Can a confessed dissembler be called such?” he quirks a brow. “But yes, it would still be a shame if we were to fight.”

Fiona stretches her back upward then looks to her horse and in a fluid motion rises to stand. “I think tis time I wander back,” she says to the gathering. “We should do this more often..” she says as she angles around to mount with the horse between her and the group, no show for them nope. A squire gives her a step up with his hands and she’s astride once more only after a wave and a few trottig steps away she glances to her guards who are settling in their saddles and with a spur to the mare’s sides and a clips “Hyah!” she’s off like a shot. The guards exchange glances and groan then off they go as well, she’ll give them a run for their coppers alright.

Farin smirks towards Reyna, giving the woman a little nod. “I was hoping you would catch that.” Then, back to his cousin (whom he releases sometime between then and now), “I’d hope so, since milady believes I’m so poor at it, that I’d probably lose my ‘ser’ if that’s all it took to strip away honor. And fear not, Coz. We’ve no need to fight, and I should like to drink to that, when next we’re graced with wine.”

“Now, now, sers,” laughs Reyna chidingly. “There is no loss of honor in being unable to dissemble. My own lord rather -prides- himself on being both unable and uninterested, and he is a very honorable man. It is simply a useful talent, and one most court folk possess to some degree.”

Luthor watches Fiona go, with an admiring shake of the head. He reaches out to Elmer for the ale skin, saying as an aside. “A fine woman, my friend.”

Back to the conversation, Luthor smiles knowningly. “I have noted that of your lord,” Luthor says of Ser Dagur. “It’s quite refreshing to be honest. And I’ve no want to fight you either, coz. I shall be pleased to drink on it. I’d suggest this ale, but I know your tastes run towards an Arbor vintage.”

“There’s a Highgarden Gold I’m fond of as well, but the Arbor serves me well enough,” Farin nods, the lordling knight reclining a little, trying to lavish himself even in the current setting. “Though it saddens me that it’s a court skill, my lady,” he chimes over to Reyna. “I fear I shall never make it there, then.”

Elmer leans on his elbowand watches the interplay, the big knight laughing softly. “Aye..Ser Dagur…But i swore never to talk ill of him again. I may have thought myself his enemy a while ago, but he saved my life in Dorne and..ahd he fought very bravely.”

“Don’t favor any gold of Highgarden’s over the Arbor’s!” objects Reyna. “The Arbor vintages are superior in every way, and never let it be said that I said otherwise. As for court, I am sure you will do just fine. Hasn’t Dagur achieved some status? There -is- something to be said…”

But whatever it is that might said goes unsaid, for Reyna has looked toward Elmer, a strange smile on her lips. “Bravely indeed,” is all she says, however.

Luthor’s eyes shift towards Elmer, surprise registering on his face for a moment before being swallowed up by the detached amusement that has been his standard expression since the conversation began. “What is to be said?” he asks Reyna with a grin, filling the momentary silence.

Farin…grows silent as Dorne is mentioned, and takes a moment to listen rather than speak.

Elmer shakes his head a bit at the discussion on wines and confides to his fellow drinkers. “I always drank whatever was closest..never knew which wine was better.” He takes another long swig of ale and hands the skin back to Luthor.

Luthor nods, falling quiet now that things have become suddenly serious. “I like Lysene wine myself,” he remarks off-hand to Elmer as he takes the ale sips, and passes it on to Farin, if he’ll have a taste.

“Careful, Ser Elmer,” Reyna says, only half teasing. “You’re starting to sound like Dagur again.”

Farin takes a moment to himself, before seeming to look as though he’s just reclled something very important. “Not to be so short, sers, but I’m afraid I’ll have to run. Well met again, and I do hope to see you lot back in court,” he says quickly, giving a little bow, and striding off to find his horse.