A Few Fingers

A Few Fingers
Summary: Corwin encounters Isold in the Garden Court of Wolveshire.
Date: 8/Oct./2013
Related: None
Players:
Corwin Isold 

Wolveshire Castle - Garden Court
The garden court is a large area housed between the curtain walls, the main keep, the temple and the barracks. The cobbled main walkway links the temple to the main courtyard, circling around a tiered fountain carved into the shape of four wolves holding up a bowl. Well-kept dirt paths lead into various directions, winding amongst the trees and flowers and topiaries that decorate the courtyard. Stone benches found along each path serve as resting places for visitors.

Following the cobbled main path takes one to the arched doorway leading into the temple or back between buildings and into the main courtyard.

Tue Oct 08, 1329

After an extended visit in Laketown, it's strange to be back at the castle where life is considerably more quiet. Not that the castle isn't busy in its own way, but the life style isn't the same as it was even in the small town. And Corwin isn't really quite adjusted back to court life in any sense. How does one even fill the hours? Eating and drinking for the most part.

Today finds the knight wandering the grounds to kill some time. He's dressed in court attire, with no signs of armour and only a small blade hung at his waist as far as weapons go. His hands are set behind his back and his pace is slow while his boots crunch along the garden paths. Whatever he's thinking about, he's paying much more attention to the thoughts than his immediate surroundings.

Is it solace that brings Isold to the winding paths of the Garden Court? No, it's the quiet location for her to practice throwing her axes. An audible *thwap* can be heard every time she looses her weapon on an unsuspecting tree. She's not always dead center, but she doesn't miss entirely very often.

Right now Lady Isold Breaktide is striding her way to retrieve a blade that has skittered off into the surrounding shrubbery. She grumbles as she peels through the rough hedges, thankfully, she rarely wears gowns. Instead, she crawls through the shrubbery on her knees in tan leather breeches and a fine white velvet and gold doublet over a tan tunic that pokes through the slashed elbows and shoulders of the sleeves. Her long, dark hair braided and flopped over her shoulder as she wiggles her way into the bushes and slowly back out again with an audible mutter.

Corwin isn't quite so lost in his thoughts as to miss a grown woman rooting around in the bushes. His steps slow and eventually stop as he considers the scene before him. It actually takes a moment for him to spot the other axes in the tree and determine what it is exactly that the lady is doing amongst the brambles. He watches in silence for a moment while she crawls out of the mess.

"I'm certain that many of the younger occupants of the castle sneak out into these gardens and into the bushes to explore unsanctioned activities. I've seen the gardeners poke around in the bushes with a dulled pole arm before, but sharp throwing axes is a new level." Given that he has walked reasonably close, he reaches out his arm to offer Isold a hand up while he speaks.

She strikes her head on a low branch of the bush as a voice startles her from her mutterings. Isold looks at the offered hand for a moment and decides against grabbing it, jumping to her feet as graceful as any seafarer could possible manage — the decks of a ship aren't the sturdiest, after all.

"I care not for sanctions, err, sir," the tall woman says as she dusts off her breeches and adds, "have you never thrown an axe before? They do not have things in the training yard for me to practice, not that provides any amount of… protection." Isold gestures at the hedges that act as a protective barrier.

The knight seems unperturbed by the silent refusal of his hand, settling it back at his side. "I have thrown an axe. But, very poorly. And, I'd note that I didn't really suggest you should be throwing them somewhere else. These bushes do a fine job catching any that miss the mark. Though, if I tried it, I'd likely end up putting one over the hedge completely. I've never had much of a knack for throwing." Corwin pauses a moment, considering the woman and then continuing - "Lady Isold, right? Corwin Sollinger. You might know my sister more than myself, Cordelia Sollinger. She's the one that has spent her life on the water. I didn't know you were in Wolveshire."

"You didn't did you, ah well, 'tis easier to explain oneself first than have to do so later." Isold says as her sailor-servant, Becca, comes around a corner in he hedge rows with a few wineskins. "Aye. I know of your sister, a fine one that. I was first-mate on one of your cousin's ships, if truths be told. That is," she says as she heaves the axe and watches it with a keen eye as it sticks to the center of the tree, a grin spreads across her face as she turns back toward Corwin, "until my father gave me 'the River Bitch,' he did not name her, of course. That was me."

She takes the skins from Becca, holding one out to Corwin as she takes a swig. "Aye. Wolveshire, my youngest sister is here, she squires for the Duke. I do not know this man.." she leaves it at that as she returns to her wineskin.

Corwin isn't one to refuse a skin of wine. He accepts it with a nod of thanks and tips it back, taking a long pull of the heavy, dark wine. "Oh. That's good." He comments, mostly to himself, before returning his attention to the axe wielding woman. "The River Bitch. Yes. I think I've heard of her. I know I laughed when I first heard the name. But, honestly, I liked it. Shit - all the ship names tend to be boring. If I see one more named The Gull, I might - well, I honestly wouldn't to anything. But, it's a lack of spirit to say the least." Speaking of spirits, he enjoys a bit more of that wine.

"I've put my hours in on the water. Not really much room in my family to not spend time on the sea. But, I didn't take to it like Cordelia did. I've always been more use on solid ground."

"Trade," Isold says simply. "She's a merchant vessel, where I am not the merchant, but I take coin to take the river on and see the supplies dropped safely. I don't do it much more, though. Just when the mood and urge strikes me. My first-mate takes her in my stead most days." There's a small frown on her face as she tips the wineskin back once more, bringing it down to wipe a drop of wine off of her chin with the back of her hand. "I named her because that is what those whisper about me behind my back. I am aware of this, you see, so I make it known." There is a horse chuckle that comes from the woman as she passes the skin to Becca.

"Indeed. You would not be much of a Sollinger if you had not, I rather liked the sea, but the river is my home when I step foot on planks." Isold's smile is crooked, not nearly as bright and charming as the usual ladies around the southern court. "One cannot blame you for wanting life on land, it is not for everyone to take to water."

"I'd say it's nothing to hide. If my peers and enemies were to come up with an excellent handle like that, I'd wear it proudly. I suppose I could see how some might not think it a compliment, but it seems you've embraced it to a greater extent. It's wise to foster a bit of a reputation - especially on the waters and even more so when you're carrying goods of some value. You could no doubt hold your own, but it's always easier if the enemy decides not to engage. I always prefer the battles that have no fighting." Corwin enjoys a last pull from the skin and then returns it to Becca.

"The thing that always made me nervous was wearing armour on the ships. Even with lighter outfits, you still sink when they get full and heavy. Steady footing seems to be in the Sollinger blood and I'm grateful for that, but it doesn't take much to get yourself knocked into the waves and never come back up." He shrugs. "How are you filling your days if not on the river with your ship?"

"I am a bitch, sir," Isold cackles, "I don't even see the reason of hiding it, when it's the truth!" The Breaktide woman walks herself to one of the stone benches that dot the winding paths in the gardens and settles herself onto it. "More than one peasant fellow has learned to fear my blades, I do not need armor like a knight, just a few small blades, a bow, and some axes…" she smirks, "I handle myself well enough."

She nods along as he speaks of armor. "Aye. I wear nothing but leathers for that purpose. Leathers and linens. The water slides off of leather, it does not absorb like all your knightly padding. I do not sink in calmer waters, but I'm not the strongest of swimmers anyhow." Isold slides a dark curly lock out of her eyes. " However, I have seen my fair share of deck-hands get swept overboard. It is a rarity to see them come back alive." Isold shrugs at his last question. "Less than I'd like to be doing, sir. For now, I've come to visit my sister, but more oft than not I set up hauls for my River Bitch. There is modest coin to be made, at least my father needs not take care of me."

"It's refreshing." Corwin admits with a quiet smile, shrugging his shoulders. "Not necessarily the bitch part, though that is amusing in itself. But to embrace what you enjoy and thrive at it. I haven't been at court long, but many seem too set on being proper ladies or courtiers to actually be themselves." He brushes away the topic like a bothersome fly with a sweep of his hand. "Not that I mean to get philosophical. That's boring too. It's good to meet you though. I'll have to track down my sister and get her to tell me all the stories that they speak of you around the docks." He grins at that. "And then I'll track you down to ask how many have any truth to them."

Isold just stares as he rambles on a little, giving him a little chuckle as he stops and brushes it all away. "They should be set on such things. They are not me," Isold shrugs lightly, fiddling with the lock of hair that has fallen loose from her braid after all of the crawling about. "There may or may not be much to know about me from her lips, she is of the sea and I am of the river." Isold waves her hand, dismissing the comment, "I assure you. They're all true," there's a wicked grin that crosses her features, "men will be men, as bastards will be bastards. But when a man deigns to grab at me like some strumpet at the local brothel, well, he may lose a finger or two."

"Indeed. I've had to do the same to a my share of women who were getting far too forward." Corwin does a fair job delivering this comment without cracking a grin, through his resolve gives way a little toward the end of the statement. Finally he grins. "I suppose I should let you return to your axes and deal with my own duties for the day. I'm sure I'll run across you from time to time if you're staying at the castle long. And if you need a pair of hands for a run up the river sometime, let me know. It's not the life for me, but I could handle a bit of adventure from time to time."

"Oh?" she says with a bit of mock-shock, "far too forward. How many fingers have you claimed, good sir?" There's a laugh there, but nothing too forceful. "Do tell me you've claimed at least one hand's worth, if not but for your own house and pleasure." Isold grins widely at this, a mischievous glint in her eyes as she looks back to her axes that are being dislodged by her servant-sailor, Becca. "I think, I'm done for the day, actually," she gestures to Becca to pack the axes away in her bag. "I should, however, go see if I can find my dear sister."

"A hands worth indeed - that's the least a man can hope for." Corwin is clearly amused by this, laughing at first and letting it dissolve into a grin on his lips and shaking of his head. "I feel like I walked right into that. it was worth it, though." He dips himself into a bow - one that is likely more aimed at respect for her words rather than any particular title or position. "Enjoy your time with your sister. As I said, I'm certain I'll see you about. Keep well until then."

"Clever one you are, most would not catch my meaning." She smirks as he gives her a bow. "Then you must go find your hand, or your sister will do it for you! Good day to you, sir. I am quite sure you'll see me about, until then, Guardians be with you." Isold rises and give Corwin a curtsy, one that oddly looks more like a bow than any proper curtsy, turning from him to join her servant.

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