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A settlement east of Rynmere across a stretch of water called 'the eastern trench' broken into three regions: Welles, Oakleigh, and Berwick.

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A tapatea for four

Wed Dec 07, 2016 1:33 am

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16th Zi'da, 716
During this thread
"I was not complaining, exactly" she explained "I was just wondering why it is that you get to drive the horse. We have equally limited experience after all. It is blatant assumption that men drive horses better, you know. Lady Elyna is a skyrider, and she and I have flown on a dragon. Well. She drove that and I had my eyes closed, but that really is not the point" Faith was more relaxed than she had been for the last two trials, as the two of them had made their way here, quite content to hold on to his waist and just rest against him. When they got there, she jumped down, somehow still full of energy and, when he joined her on the floor, she kissed him, pulling herself into his arms and holding on to him briefly as she breathed in deeply, relaxing into his embrace. But then, things to do.

"You get the horse stabled. I'll take care of our rooms. I'll try and get us rooms next door to each other. Or one with two beds if I can. I'll do my best", and while he took care of the horse she did just that. She had no intention whatsoever of getting two rooms at all, Faith had decided that she'd had enough of all this messing around and she went and got them one double room with a bath. Preferably a large one that they could both fit in. As she turned around from that she saw, sitting in the Inn already, Lady Elyna and Lord Krome and the young woman smiled in absolute delight. It was a pleasure to see them, away from the formality of the military camp, as she saw it. Moving over to them, she smiled and dropped a curtsy, the habit not something broken yet. "It is good to see you. How are you?" There was no hesitation from her, she would hug them both if they allowed it, although her hug for Lady Elyna was much more earnest and she held on longer.

When invited to join them, she beamed in delight. Somehow, the young woman was full of energy still. "I'd like that. I'd love for you to meet Padraig, he's just stabling the horse." She had an expression on her face which there was little doubt about when she spoke the man's name, but turned to them and asked, with her usual earnest concern "How is baby Elsie? I have some things for her when we get back." Of an evening she spent time making clothing, blankets and so on and she always made sure that she made things for Elsie in that. She took her duties seriously in all things and she was, simply put, like family to Faith by virtue of her parents. Both of them, although she was much more demonstrative with the young babe's mother, she could honestly say that she had a deep love and regard for them both.

As Padraig came in, though, she smiled and waved, her face lit with pleasure. As he came over, she handed him a key "Your room key. Padraig, these are my friends. Ser Malcolm Krome, Warden of the North and Lady Elyna Burhan, Captain of the Skyriders. I don't know if I said all of that right. But these are my friends and this is Padraig. He's a student at the university and my... " she considered for a moment and shrugged slightly "Mine. We're having a cup of tea" she explained to Padraig and sat down. Sipping at her tea she glanced at Lady Elyna and gave her an almost helpless look, but the young woman was happy, like she had never been and it showed.
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2gn deducted cos I don't know how much but she wants a nice room! With a big bath!
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A tapatea for four

Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:06 pm

"You were complaining," Padraig argued dryly while reaching up to help Faith get down off the horse. He'd like to have said that his choice was made, based on the fact that he was taller, broader of shoulder, and would act as a shield for her against the cold, biting winds of winter. And stray arrows, should there be any aimed in their general direction. There was a great deal of truth to that. But he chose a different tact, and teased her instead. "And I thought you'd prefer it, since you seem to have embraced your role as back-saddle driver with a great deal of enthusiasm."

He could have remained there in the open, cold or no, with his arms wrapped around her, lips pressed together. But there was a horse to stable, and a room to rent. Two rooms, two beds? He did his best not to let on the spark of frustration that came rushing in, but could hardly hide it completely. Still, he let her go, and saw to their mount while she made the arrangements.

It didn't take long to see the mare settled into a warm stall with plenty of oats, hay and fresh water to keep her content through the night. And with what was left of his belongings slung over his shoulder, Padraig made his way back to the inn. It didn't take but a glance to find her in the common room. She could have been a room of a thousand, and his gaze would have made its way there. But she wasn't alone.

He'd never met the couple she was speaking to. Not formally or in passing, but she'd pointed them out to him earlier, and he recognized them as friends of hers. Friends she cared very much about. And leaders too, of this expedition they were on. He was headed over before she waved him that way. And then before all else, she handed him a key. His key...Dammit. Still, though he quirked a brow at her, he smiled in response to the introduction. Mine? It took him by surprise. But he did like the sound of it. "Lord Krome," he said before he sat down. "Lady Burhan. Faith has told me a something about you. It's a pleasure to finally make your acquaintance." He'd come to realize, since she'd moved in with him, just how many friends Faith had. It didn't surprise him. But it was also nice to know just how many others seemed to care for her.
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Elyna
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A tapatea for four

Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:40 pm

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A hot bath on a cold day was a beautiful thing. The woman had luxuriated in the wash of water over her skin. Lying back in the water and tilting her head until she could see her fanning out behind her. Dust and travel had been scrubbed from every inch of her skin and she’d even managed to wash her hair, running rose oil through the long tresses as it dried. The skyrider had been reluctant to emerge from the water but having left the main encampment before dinner, her stomach had summoned her from the tub.

Elyna had indulged in a soft cream rubbed into glowing skin. She’d dried her hair as thoroughly as the cold weather would allow and left it lose around her shoulders. Dressed in fresh breaches of dark brown and a fawn coloured shirt she’d made her way downstairs, following the scent of cooked meat and gravy. Stomach rumbling as her boots echoed on the wooden stairs.

The skyrider had booked her own room and ensured that a room fit for a Warden was reserved and paid for, for Malcolm. If they’d had any discussion about the correct protocol for travelling together under these circumstances, her mind was a little foggy on the details and outcome of the discussion. She’d slid into the cosy booth beside the fire and ordered herself dinner and a large pot of ginger tea. Dark eyes fixed on the door, she’d found herself wondering if the Warden had left the encampment and managed to clean himself up. If he was warm enough and if her instructions to ensure he had water for a hot bath had been followed.

No matter what had taken place on the beach in Ymiden, they were not married. They were tracking leaders of a rebellion who, with the wrong breath could reveal and undo the bonds of their vows. One wrong word from Marcus, or Yoreth and everyone would know that their marriage was false and invalid. So why tell anyone at all? Why leave their vulnerability out in the open for all the world to pick at? Unmarried, the situation between them was…complicated as they travelled with the army. Malcolm was her commander and she doubted that either one of them was keen to provide his other captains with anything they could claim as favoritism.

The woman devoured the hot steak soup she’d been provided, spearing the beans with her fork and savouring the rich gravy. She needed to speak to Malcolm really to know his mind, but she’d taken the precaution of separate rooms for the time being. Besides, hopefully it meant they’d both been able to bathe.

Food removed and a platter of bread remaining, Elyna poured herself a cup of steeped tea. She curled cold hands around the baked clay to warm them and looked up. The familiar footsteps of her lover, enough to draw her attention. Malcolm was greeted with a warm, if somewhat shy smile as she tried to discern his reaction to the room and their current sleeping situation. He barely had time to take a seat before Faith appeared.

The former slave advanced towards the table with all the force of a tiny hurricane and left the skyrider with her mouth open. Lips parted in a greeting that held, suspended in air before her gaze lifted to the man who had appeared behind her friend. A grin spread across her features and the skyrider stood, pulling more cups closer and lifting the tea pot.

She looked down to try and take control of her smirk as she poured drinks for the small party. Confident that she’d regained possession of her features, Elyna pressed a drink into the man’s hands; Padraig. She committed the name to memory with a smile. Mine, Faith had made the claim and Elyna felt her own heart flutter. Such a simple claim and a determined one.

“A pleasure to meet you, I’m sure,” she sank back into her seat and returned her hands to the comfort of her drink. She studied his features, the unruly hair blown wayward by the elements. The serviceable clothes. Not a fighter, thought nor was Faith…not a soldier anyway. Not a Skyrider either. Curious the woman glanced at Malcolm to try and gauge his thoughts once more before she settled back and took a slow sip, “I prefer to be known as Elyna usually,” she encouraged informality before letting out a sigh, “although in these circumstances, beyond this…brief reprieve tonight, it’s Ser or Captain. I prefer Ser really, it saves me the trouble of remembering the correct term for everyone’s rank, noble or otherwise,” the young woman’s gaze drifted to the former slave and her smile returned, “you seem to have tamed yourself a wild Faith, Master Padraig?” She teased gently.

Her friend seemed smitten. That was obvious. Elyna took another gulp of warm liquid. She could only hope that the romance was less disastrous then her own forays of the heart. Faith was here as the campaign chef, what though…was Padraig’s skill and contribution to the army? Surely not to warm Faith’s bed alone…the thought returned the smirk to the corner of her mouth and the colour to her cheeks.
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Malcolm
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A tapatea for four

Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:55 pm

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Malcolm had been here before, wrestling with the reins of an untrained horse, or one that had been put to saddle long enough to make it seem rideable, but would lash out suddenly, turn to try and bite his knee, and walk under low tree branches in an attempt to remove the lump of a man from its back. The warden knew how to deal with wayward horses though, if only the skill was transferable to women. He shortened the reins, moved his legs forward away from the soft belly of the gelding, and kept his arms locked but flexible to the sudden jerks and movements of the horse. Stabling was cheap enough, and the horse was fed and watered before Malcolm ventured into the inn.
It was difficult not to smile as soon as he laid eyes on Elyna. He embraced her, holding the woman a few inches from him with his hands around the tops of her arms, and pressed a kiss to her temple. She smelt a lot better than he did, still harbouring the strong scents of horsehair, travel, and sweat from his match with some of the younger recruits. When she set a key in his hand, he was disappointed to find that they would not be sharing a room, but had little time to protest her decision as Faith arrived and swept them both up in a hug. Malcolm wrapped his left arm around Faith and pressed a kiss to her cheek, apologising for the smell. He moved to sit down before realising Faith had been followed in by a stranger, and waited as she introduced the man as Padraig. Malcolm shook the man’s hand after removing a black, leather glove, and sat down to pour himself a cup of tea.
The tea was too hot to drink, but a pleasure to hold cupped in his hands against the table. “You're a student at the university?” Malcolm echoed. “Tell me, Padraig, what do you study? I know it isn't history or languages,” he fixed his gaze on the man, curious, “as I teach both of those classes.”
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Faith Augustin
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A tapatea for four

Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:32 pm

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If she noticed his almost pained expression (which she did), Faith didn't seem to notice. It was a little cruel of her, she knew, but she very much hoped that it would be worth it. She thought, all in all, that he might just forgive her. Her delight at seeing Lady Elyna and Ser Krome, however, was completely without guile and she shook her head at Malcolm's apology and hugged them both. "It is so very good to see you both", she was delighted to see them, there was no doubting it. The look that Lady Elyna gave her caused a blush to stain the young girl's cheeks and she smiled at her friend with a slight tilt of her head and an almost imperceptible shrug of her shoulders. How could she explain? She didn't have to, she knew, because these people were her people as much as she was theirs.

Mine, she'd called him and he quirked an eyebrow at her, Lady Elyna couldn't quite hide the smile on her face and Ser Krome remained, as always, stoic. She resisted the urge to grumble at Padraig and took, it had to be said, more than a fair amount of pleasure in handing him his, solitary key. But when Lady Elyna said that he had tamed a wild Faith, the young woman lifted her face and smiled in delight at her friend "I may be wrong, but I think it would be a foolish man who would claim to tame any woman. Especially in earshot." She looked at Lady Elyna and her silver eyes told the happiness the young woman felt. Faith hoped that, at some point, she might get some time with Lady Elyna, just the two of them. It had been too long since she had the chance to talk to the woman and there were so many things that she wanted to say.

When Malcolm asked his question, though, Faith turned to Padraig and looked at him with a very obvious pride shining out of her eyes. Tell him, she thought to herself, willing him to do so. She was as proud as she could be of Padraig's achievements and she smiled at him encouragingly. She wanted, very much, for the people around the table to like each other and she thought that they would. As he had sat down, Faith ignored the tea for the moment and instead slipped her hand into Padraig's under the table and resting on his knee. She squeezed gently and waited to see what he had to say.
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A tapatea for four

Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:55 pm

In spite of all the layers he wore, the trial had been a long one, and the cold outdoors, carried on the breeze, had begun to cut right through him. The warmth of the indoors, made that way by the hearth in the commons, was welcome. As was the cup pressed into his hands once he'd pulled off his gloves and stowed them away in his pocket. "Elyna it is then," he agreed. So long as it was only the four of them.

Had Faith told him that the other couple was married? Or only that they were together and had a child between them? He couldn't quite remember now. Either way, it wasn't for him to ask. Though he grinned a little as he sat down, and took a swallow of his tea before considering the lady's question. Tame a wild Faith? Faith said it best, probably, and she might remain a mystery to him in a number of ways. So too the finer points of a woman's thinking. But he was no fool after all.

"I'm forced to agree with Faith," he said dryly, but Faith knew him well enough. He teased her, while addressing Elyna's question. "As someone with an interest in the sciences, I tend to believe that there are no unanswerable questions. Only those whose solutions haven't been found yet. But outside the usual sciences?" A woman's mind, whims and disposition, he meant, which ought be a science of it's own. "Not so," he maintained. Unanswerable question, that's what that was.

So, Malcolm was a professor then. Of history, languages. Curious they'd never crossed paths at the university that he could remember. Then again, the focus of study was different one from the other. Maybe not so surprising after all. He smiled again when Faith took his hand, and he folded her smaller one in his. "I am," he confirmed. A student, that was. "I earned a letter in physics at Viden before moving to Andaris, and hope to receive my certificate by season's end. I offer private tutoring to help pay my tuition," he explained. "Primarily physics, chemistry, mathematics. I dabble a little in alchemy."

He too wondered how much use he'd be on this expedition. He could handle a sword well enough, and himself just as well in the middle of a scrap. Though he didn't consider himself to be a fighter. Although Faith had convinced him that some of his skills might prove useful after all. "At Faith's urging, I've devised and brought along a couple of things that might be of some help. Ranged devices," he added for clarification. Explosives, poisoned bolts, not the sort of thing to toss into the middle of a close proximity dust up. But with space enough between opposing combatants? Maybe.
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Elyna
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A tapatea for four

Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:45 pm

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Malcolm had seemed surprised about her choice of accommodation but there was little time to discuss the matter. Elyna watched Faith reaching for Padraig’s hand and felt a knot forming in the centre of her chest. Her own gaze drifting to the man beside her. She took almost a guilty pleasure in watching him in the half-light and yet, in many ways she didn’t dare reach out and touch him. The knot was formed with envy. Whatever was between Padraig and Faith it was…pure, untarnished so far with pain and simple. What lay between herself and the mortalborn was a knotted mess of tangled string. Where did they end or begin?

The replies to her teasing comments were jovial enough and she smiled at the gathered party. Moving her leg a little to press against Malcolm’s. Wondering, with her heart in her throat if the simple action would be received, or returned? She waited, curious for the answers the young man would provide, before realising that he was probably her own age. Was she starting to feel older than her arcs because of her new station and responsibilities in life, or because her lover was nearly four centuries older than anyone else around the table? Another glance in his direction beneath her lashes before she lifted her gaze to the pair before them. She took a careful sip of tea. Viden, she wet her lips but held back the dozen questions. What was it like? How cold did it truly get? What was his favourite place, why had he chosen to come to Rynmere…

Ranged weapons? The cautious smile returned, “what kind of blast do they have? Have you tested them?” Usually a woman of fewer words than even the Warden, it was easy to tell when she was intrigued or excited by an idea. “I’ve had to moderate shots from a long bow to compensate for the drift that fire adds to flaming arrows. I’d be interested to see what adjustments you’re making to explosives if they’re ranged – oh!” She sat up suddenly before remembering to drop her voice, “do you carry the antidotes to your poison. We’ve had some trouble this year with poison,” she glanced at Malcolm again, “it’s an effective attack but I prefer to use it than be on the receiving end.”
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Malcolm
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A tapatea for four

Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:15 am

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Malcolm let Elyna do the talking. He was tired and distracted, but took the opportunity to enjoy the tea that had been set down in front of him. Indeed they had run into their fair share of poisons this year. Malcolm had lost a good knight to a poison attack, and almost lost Elyna. Theirs was a noble cause, which had always led the Iron Hand to steer clear of sinking to the level of their enemies in regards to the use of poisons, but he would hear the man out, especially in the case of these ‘explosives’.
There had been too many mixed messages, and not about to entertain anymore, Malcolm positioned his feet closer together so that his knee no longer touched Elyna’s. She couldn't give him a key to his own room and then expect him to want to get cosy before bed. He lifted the mug of tea to his lips, blew on the water closest to the edge, and took a sip.
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A tapatea for four

Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:46 am

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"Yes, we have the antidote, I've made up a few doses, in case." Faith was serious as she spoke, they had discussed that and she glanced at Padraig and then made sure that she, too, was speaking in hushed tones. It wasn't tricky, she was never normally loud, but it was as well to be cautious. "We worked together, combining knowledge to try and think of some way that this beast might be stopped. It was that we had in mind with the poison specifically. Aeon, he's in the Iron Hand, I don't know if you know him, he fought it and lost his hand in the process." She was worried about Aeon, Padraig knew because she'd told him, and it showed on her face. "He told me about it." In quite some detail as it turned out, but then that was as much because of Tristan's entirely inappropriate forms of questioning.

"What he described was something which healed within trills, so we determined a bolt would be the best delivery system to get to it's blood. Then, one of the two active ingredients is a medical one. It's an anticoagulant, so we reasoned that since it stops the blood clotting, it might slow down the fast healing, or at least slow it enough that the actual poison gets into it's system. Then, well we might stand a chance I suppose. That was what we were thinking. Poison isn't a weapon I would normally use but if we encounter that beast, I imagine all bets are off." She didn't know if it would work, and she said so, but they'd worked on it in the hope that it might. And of course, because she was who she was and she had this insatiable need to be useful? "We could share out the antidote, if you decide that they are something you would like to use, but we have limited supplies of both the poison and the antidote. More of the latter." Which had seemed, and continued to feel, sensible.

Her hand in Padraig's, she squeezed gently and looked up at him with a smile. "On the explosive kind, I must admit to knowing very little in terms of practicality. We didn't test them at home." She gave a grin and then looked at Lady Elyna, her expression seeming to be serious although she was hard pressed to hide the amusement from her eyes. "It's one of the rules, apparently. No explosives in the living room. But we've practiced a little with bolts which Padraig mocked up to have the same weight and shape. I don't think either of us are good enough with the crossbow to be able to fire at the range where the impact would be seen." But in reality, in terms of the explosive stuff, Padraig was by far and away the one best to answer that question, so she fell silent and sipped her tea.
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A tapatea for four

Thu Dec 15, 2016 5:53 pm

"Faith is right," Padraig added in an equally quiet tone, so only the others at the table might hear. Maybe he should have elaborated a little more, explained what exactly he'd meant by ranged weapons.

"What I've crafted, and what we've crafted together are two different devices. The poison is meant specifically for use against the beast, should we stumble across it. I've combined a poison with the anti-coagulant that should shut down the respiratory system quite once it gets into the bloodstream."


"I've equipped the bolts with hollow points," he added after savoring a swallow of his tea, and took time to appreciate the warming effects as it went down. "But there's no flame or heat required. They need only be fired the same as any bolt. The ones I've used are suitable for a crossbow."

Still, he grinned a little when Faith squeezed his hand. "She's right there too. We didn't test the explosives at home. I think our neighbors would have objected as well." As for those, "Black powder weapons, with a few extras like shrapnel, pine sap...They can be lit with a fuse and thrown by hand, or with a sling."

"The science is there, they should work as intended. But if I can find some open ground without innocent bystanders nearby, I can test those two and adjust the recipe as necessary for a smaller or larger blast. And I can create more of them, so long as I've enough clay pots or bottles to do it."
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