A family reunion plus one stranger

A family reunion plus one stranger
Summary: A reunion between several Sollingers is stumbled upon by the new Royal guard, once Westmarkian Knight. And somehow everyone walks away in one piece.
Date: 2 August 2013
Related: None
Alek Cordelia Corwin Gustav 

Wolveshire Castle - Main Courtyard
The main courtyard is relatively large and open, and the ground is cobbled to avoid an excess of mud and dust. When entering from the gatehouse, one can follow the wall along the right toward a small well-tower that houses the freshwater source for those living in the keep. To the left of the gatehouse, a long two-story building houses the stables, the barracks, and the infirmary in three distinct but connected sections. Hidden in the corner created by the main keep's stairs and the adjacent curtain wall, the cobbles give way to hard-packed dirt that serves as a training area for the castle's guards. The smithy stands directly to the right of the practice arena.

Between the barracks and the main keep, a gently sloping walkway connects the main grounds with the garden courtyard. To the left of the gatehouse's main entrance a wide stair leads into the keep.

Fri Aug 02, 1329

"My horse hates maneuvering on the deck of a ship, Cordelia." Corwin replies dryly. "Not that I'm in any rush to part again. Let's hope that whatever arrangements are made we have no more goodbyes for a spell." The tall knight loosens his grip on his sister slightly and allows her feet to drop back down to the dirt - though he still seems in no rush to unfold her from his embrace. He does, however, lean back a little to take a better look at her. "You look good. Really good. It has been far too long."

It's probably inconvenient to the rest of the practicing men that they must dance around the cuddling pair. Her feet hit the ground once more and she grins, tilting her head back to get her own look at him. However, she is still quite clingy. "I always look good." A hand lifts to touch his hair and she laughs, shaking her head. "What is this? Why so short? Your ears are not nearly as attractive as you think they are…" The teasing stops, her expression sobering as she sighs softly. "When did you grow up?"

Once just a simple Knight who fought Corsairs and served the noble Westmarks, Sir Alek the Pretty had found himself thrust into an entirely different world all within a matter of breathes. Royal Guard, check. Prince Jerric's Champion, check. Assigned to guard Princess Niniane, check. Stuck in the south because all of the above changes, check. The Northern Knight still wasn't entirely sure about it, but at least there was one thing that did at least make sense, being able to have a sword in hand and the ability to thrash a practice dummy. It was at least something, and thus the pretty Knight was making his way out into the practice yard. His eyes kept forward enough, though pausing to find an open target for him to take to. A slight blink occurs when he notes the pair stuck in that embrace in the practice area, giving a shake of his head. Odd southerners.

"Long sweaty hair in a helmet for long hours turns out to be pretty gross." Corwin admits, shrugging his shoulders and raising his hand to push it through the short cropped hair. "I decided I had enough other attractive features to make up for it." He grins with a quick roll of his eyes and shaking of his head at the final question that she asks. "Shit, Cord. I grew up way too long ago. Everyone grows up too fast though when war is afoot. I could ask the same of you. I had a girl in my mind when I came looking for you." He pauses and grins once again - "I suppose I'll get slapped if I ask why your arm has no husband."

"I should slap you just for old time's sake," Cordy teases in reply. Finally, she releases him. Well, partially. The woman grabs his arm in both of hers to walk alongside him. "But, really… who would have me? I notice that you are hardly walking about with a wife on your arm." She leans her head against his shoulder as they begin to move along. Dark eyes spy another familiar figure and the already wide smile widens even more. Her head lifts as she cries out. "Sir Alek! Sir A- Come on. I want you to meet someone." Looking again to her brother, she winks. "He's almost a Westmark but we're not holding that against him." That said, she drags Corwin Alek's direction, her grip not loosening a bit.

Alek looks back to the pair to hear his name called, now offering a bow of his head to the woman since she is looking his way. The knight stepping over towards them, the occasional flicker of his ice blue eyes move over the rest of the practice yard. Another bow of his head is offered upon reaching the pair,"Good day, Lady Cordelia. I hope you have been well since we met?" The man is more wiry then the 'usual' muscle bound sort of knight.

"I don't think mother would be pleased if I found a wife amongst the women I've seen while on the road. I mean, nice enough in their own ways, but she has certain expectations. And I'm not fool enough to cross her, I know just how good she is with a sword. She'd likely leave me unable to properly consummate a union if she didn't agree with it." Is she really that bad? Not likely. But still, don't cross mom. Corwin grins as his sister clings to his arm and drags him across the yard. "Sir." He offers as a greeting when they come into range, rubbing at his arm where the entire weight of his sister was clinging.

Cordelia laughs at the notion of their mother in a rage. Nearing the northern knight, the sailor inclines her head in greeting. "Sir Corwin Sollinger, I give to you Sir Alek Gorthron. Sir Alek, Sir Corwin." The woman offers the introductions and, while she's been pleasant in the time that Alek has known her, she seems truly happy now. Her arm remains linked with Corwin's. "I am quite well," she answers. "And you? How are you finding the south now?"

A bow of his head is offered to Corwin as Cordelia goes about the introductions,"An honor, Sir Corwin." Alek giving a glance to Cordelia,"Long lost family returned, I presume, m'Lady?" Rather seeming to take noticed of the woman's 'improved' attitude and there is the whole…Sollinger thing. "I am well. And the south…is well the south. It is not quite home, and it is a little odd to be set upon a guard detail and yet guarded myself." His hand giving a slight flick to the Taniford guards that shadow, more keeping an eye upon the southern Knight then guarding him.

"Perhaps not long lost, but still too long." Corwin admits, standing beside his sister and nodding in greeting to the other knight when he is properly introduced. His eyes lift as well to the guards that seem to shadow the other man and is certain the situation is more complex than he cares to worry about at this moment. "War has done a pretty fine job of keeping my sister and I in different places for too many years. We occasionally end up in the same space, but not for long enough. Hopefully that will change going forward."

Cordelia squeezes her brother's arm, beaming up at him as Alek guesses correctly. "You are no being mistreated, though, I trust. And your princess? Sir Alek is one of the royal guard for Rhaedan," she explains to Corwin, giving him another smile. One hand reaches up to brush his hair back a bit before looking again to Alek.

Not terribly far away, another couple enters the training yard - a knight and his squire, one armed for combat and the other for the court. Upon spotting the group chatting to one side of the yard, the squire is dismissed to go make his challenges as he sees fit - the mentor wishes instead to have a chat. And so, he approaches, close enough that any can now easily identify him.

The eyepatch and fact that he walks with a cane give him away as Sir Gustav, also of House Sollinger, and formerly Alek's counterpart on the southern royal protectorate, the Blue Guard. His facial features are a typically a perpetual sneer of distaste, but Cordelia has a way of dismissing that…as does other family besides. "Cousin," he greets, arriving. "And…cousin. Goodness, it must have been quite the trip," he notes to Corwin, before turning to Alek. "And…Sir. Well met."

"She is treated as well as can be expected, though I know she grows tired of having to keep inside as much as is required. But then she has been far from home longer than I, and desires a return home as well. But it seems such things are well outside our abilities to see done, but in the hands of others." The joys of politics. Alek inclines his head to Corwin,"War does have a way of doing that, it separates friends and family easily and without care. But at least it seems an easier reason to be far from home."

The pretty knight yet keep watch upon the practice area, it really just habit now. A bow of his head to Gustav and respectful,"Sir Gustav, good day." Once counterpart perhaps, but Alek is yet really quite new to the Royal Guard.

"Gustav! Cousin! Sir." Corwin grins widely at the approach of the dour man. "It has been too long. However, unlike my dear sister, you haven't changed a bit since the last time I saw you. It was nice to visit home and now equally nice to arrive here to see more family. Good for the soul to see familiar faces." The tall knight squeezes Cordelia's arm again when he says this, and seems quite happy with the world at this very moment. Sometimes it's nice to not be killing people.

"How is Tharnham these days, coz? Or have you been too long at sea to know?" inquires the cyclopian steward, as he leans a little heavier on his cane. His cloth-of-silver half cape begins to drape downward a bit farther as the cane sinks further into the dirt.

Alek smiles to see how Cordelia yet clings to Corwin's arm, family can be entertaining at times. The northern Knight simply falling silent as the family exchanges take place, ice blue eyes flitting over the busy practice yard now and again before returning to the Sollingers. Shouldn't he have combusted by now for being in their presence?

"Home is quiet." Corwin's expression of general delight lessens considerably at the mention. "Far too quiet. I only passed through briefly. The harbour is too empty." He shrugs, rubbing at his jaw with the knuckle of his thumb and shaking his head. "Not for long though, I'm sure. Spirits seemed to be high, despite the years of hard work ahead." He shifts his eyes to Alek a moment and then back to Gustav. "What has been keeping you busy, cousin?"

"And now they shall bore you to tears with talk of a home you have never seen," Cordelia jests, grinning widely at Alek. "You'll have to forgive us. Family reunions and all of that. What of your own family, Sir Alek? Who is worrying about you in Sipdon?"

"The north," Gustav replies, easily. His eye shifts to Alek, then back to Corwin. "And the Princess Fayre. They've made me her Steward, you know. Which only makes me even closer to the business with our…neighbors," he offers, taking a moment to elect the right word before his glance finds its way to Alek again. No one has comubsted yet, but that doesn't mean it hasn't tried!

Alek inclines his head to Cordelia,"It is easy to forgive, I have seen many family reunions and no matter the family, they are a pleasant matter to behold. Family is important." The first question is answered with simple fact by the knight,"My family by blood were all killed by the Corsairs. " He shrugs after a moment before saying,"I imagine if anyone is worrying, it would be Cricket. I did not get to speak with her after all the….changes and I was sent southwards. I do not imagine the news pleased her to greatly." Alek glances between the other two men before saying,"If you would prefer I find my way onwards again so you may feel more comfortable speaking more plainly, I can oblige, Sirs." One of his semi-charming smiles going to Gustav,"Some of your neighbors might be but simple folk who serve as called to, but we are not all ill mannered."

"No, no need for anyone to depart. It wasn't my intention to sail into the murky seas of politics. It's honestly not my best subject - too many years spent focusing on just the next day rather than some grand scheme. Perhaps that will change with some time back at court. Either that, or I'll just spend my days in the yard hitting others with sticks. It has a certain simple appeal to it." Corwin rolls his shoulders, casting a quick glance toward the yard and then back to the small group.

"That, I think, is something that we can all understand… We lost many of our own, as well," Cordelia offers. She seems to have no issue with the northern knights. Her arm still entwined with Corwin's, she regards her cousin with a bit of a smirk. "There has been speculation about the keep that the only reason you appear so dour is the eyepatch. I keep telling those that talk that the eyepatch does make you far cheerier looking than before you did earn it."

A glower at Cordelia. "Is that so?" is all he answers to her, and to her twin he adds, "You asked what kept me busy, and I ensured those waters were as murkless as could be managed. Despite your collective unease, I simply meant to keep the conversation light - for our guests' sake. One must not enjoy hearing the opposition's opinions so often. " Another glance at Alek. "But there will be much time for catching up, and more time for our wayward friend here to hear all. Good mornin, everyone." And with that, he slips further into the yard to find his squire.

"It's like he brings the sunshine with him wherever he goes." Corwin comments when Gustav gives his farewells and wanters off to find his squire. He returns his attention to his sister and the northern knight. "I do have a lot of catching up to do. I'm sure everyone will be eager to help me. I haven't gone out of my way to keep tabs on the political landscape, but I suppose it's in my best interest to not be totally ignorant. But, today I'm just happy to see family again."

Alek nods to Corwin,"Having been raised upon the battlefield, I make no claim to doing well within the swells of politics, but it is something that has taken a forefront in many lives of late, whether we wish for it or not." Smiling,"Though i would prefer to stay in the yard hitting others with sticks myself. The rules are certainly simpler." A shrug comes from Alek,"I am not so thin skinned to hackle and draw sword at ill words spoken. An honest opinion is often far better heard then honeyed words that truly hold nothing but vinegar and contempt within." Giving a respectful bow of his head to the patch eyed knight as he makes his leave,"Good day, Sir."

Cordelia laughs as Corwin teases her cousin but the sounds fades as Gustav starts to head away. "Cousin… shall we meet for dinner this evening? A proper family meal?" Dark eyes shift between the three gentlemen. "And, Sir Alek, perhaps we might share a drink again some time soon." Squeezing Corwin's arm again, she grins. "And, if my brother does look to try to escape, I want him arrested and locked in the dungeon. Chains, if necessary." The woman kisses her brother's cheek, grinning widely. "I fear that I have something I must attend to. Will you gentlemen please be so kind as to excuse me?"

"A dungeon with chains? I can certainly feel the love." Corwin grins, finally untangling his arm from that of his sister. "I'm not going anywhere. Well, not to my knowledge, at least. I intend to hunker down here and enjoy these times where no one is trying to cut off parts of my body." He tugs at his shirt to clear away a wrinkle and then glances over his shoulder. "I might excuse myself as well. I only just arrived and should see about getting properly settled. Good to meet you, Sir Alek. And dinner sounds perfect, Cord."

"It would be a pleasure to share a drink, Lady Cordelia, I have enjoyed the company you have been kind enough to provide." The Southern Knight, once of Westmark, actually seeming quite genuine on that point even. Perhaps it is Paule who is combusting? Alek looks towards Corwin on the matter of arresting, lightly joking, "I fear, that would be beyond my abilities here." Giving a bow of his head to each of the Sollinger nobles as they take their leave,"Of course, a good day to you both. And I best get in some practice before I return to my duties." Or blow off some restless energy as the case may be.

Gustav turns back only for half a moment, to add a quick, "Dinner will do,", before departing.

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