A Lesson In Stealth

A Lesson in Stealth
Summary: Deidra and Samwell discuss their next steps regarding the investigation, when Samwell's squire Aylin makes an entrance of the surprising kind.
Date: 27/05/2013
Related: Logs regarding the missing princesses, especially Noone Expects the Tylon Inquisition
Deidra Samwell Aylin 

Blue Room, Wolveshire Castle
Heavy tapestries of pale blue hang from the walls of this guest room, brightening the dark wood of the floor. Hues of green come in at the base of the tapestries, giving the sense that one could look through the walls and out over the surrounding forest. A wide bed anchors one corner of the room, while high-backed chairs cluster between a table and fireplace. A single door leads out into the Guest Hall.
May 27th, 1329

The hours of afternoon have dimmed down the activity in the hall that leads to the guest quarters. Through the windows the warm almost orange glow brings the promise of a sun that is about to set in an hour or more, while the servants go about their business in much less of a hurry, knowing that evening soon will be upon them.

But there is one who does not share this feeling of relaxed anticipation. Firm steps resound from the walls as Sir Deidra the Swift, Deputy Commander of the Blue Guards resolutely approaches the door to the quarters of her Commander, Prince Samwell Taniford. Steely green eyes gleam with determination, the restless hand on the pommel of her sword points to a nervous state of mind. Many things have been on Sir Deidra's mind of late. And now there are some matters that need to be discussed.

Finding the door that is usually open closed with a guard standing beside it, the Deputy is quick to rouse that poor fellow from his almost sleepy state with a impatient order and a fierce glare. "Open the door, master. I need to see the prince. On matters of utmost urgency."

While his squire attends important matters somewhere else in the castle, the Taniford Prince in charge of the Blue Guard examines one of the maps at the wall. This one depicts the northern shores of the Rothim River, heading enough to the east to show Brivey and the Haven Lake. Notes have been written in a way it would show some rage at that time, and some arrows point East, to the very conduction of the port and the beginning of the Blasted Fens.

But his sense of a knight takes his sight to the door, open just a little but enough to let the words of the Deputy Commander slip through the room. He smiles, and for a moment the dark gaze flashes a little, as dark as his messy hair. A silver armor and blue cloak are his attire, as it is usual, and nothing special can be said today about it.

"Sir Deidra, please, come in." he calls, waiting for her to get closer, but asking with his fixed eyes, clearly enough, the reason of her visit. ALthough it is a pleasant one, as he shows.

Finally the guard obeys, and pulls the door open, but not swiftly enough obviously to please the impatient Deputy Commander. Hearing Prince Samwell's call of greeting Deidra snorts and offers the guard another glare as she walks past him stepping into the Blue Room and casting a glance about the place. But yes, the demands of courtesy must be answered first. The Deputy exhales deeply, before she bows from the waist, giving Samwell the respectful greeting he deserves. "My prince. Commander, sir." After she straightens again, her restless gaze seems drawn to the map at the wall, and more specifically, to the notes that have lately been scribbled onto it. "I hope I don't interupt you from any important… matters, sir. I surely did not mean to disturb.", she offers, a bit belatedly perhaps.

"Oh no, Sir Deidra, please, be comfortable." Samwell nods very respectfully, glancing quickly again to the map. 'Wolves can't swim' is what the note the Deputy Commander is watching says. If looking carefully, many of the maps that show Ellowe, or at least some parts of it, have similar annotations, and even the same words can be seen outside a circle drawn around the Laketown's port. The very same place where the Prince had an encounter with Derkin, some time ago.

"I am sure you bring more important matters, sir." he turns amiably to her, fixing all his attention in what she has to say. "Do you bring news? I am most interested in any news you may bring."

"News? I wish it were…" Deidra sighs, taking a step closer to the map, her gaze still fixed on it. "The kingdom of Ellowe, Sir?" she inquires with a frown as she almost forcefully averts her eyes to find her prince. "I see you are likewise unsettled by this mystery, as am I. It is what brought me here. It is… the fruitless expedition to the ruins… well, almost fruitless. We found a rock engraved with a strange sigil there, trying to combine elements of the Taniford and the Rhaedan sign. And some dead wolves - skinned apparently. Alas, apart from that we found nothing. But you already know that, my prince." The Deputy pauses lowering her gaze for a moment, while the corners of her mouth twist a touch upwards, in what appears to be an apologetic smile.

"No, it is what I've heard here upon my return… some little new pieces of evidence. Mother Tylon has brought a journal and given it to the Duke. A journal which contains some strange notes about… trying to unite the Tanifords and Rhaedan's into one single House. Then there was this bookmark, made of thin silver. A depiction of running horses, with a tassel attached to it, braided from strands of hair of three colours: blonde red and black." Deidra pauses, looking bewildered for a moment. "The Duke must have told you, I am sure…?"

Samwell sighs and nods, still watching the map as he answers the Blue Guard by his side. "You did a good job, that is something I heard as well." he smiles, trying to extend some relief to her. "And what you say relates very well with that journal you mention. Duke Pawel certainly didn't tell me about it, but it is just natural, as he is very busy ruling the city. I find it all most strange, but at some point it is understandable. Aylanora was an obstacle to it, and I know nothing of Kerilyn, but perhaps it was the same case. But to unite both Houses by force, they must have to target the heads of each one first. That, or they are still trying to mislead us, we still have to be careful. What do you think, Sir Deidra? What would you do?"

A little bit thoughtful, he finally answers the little inquiry she had stated. "Ellowe, yes. There were Fenwolves spotted in this side of the Shelter. Derkin warned us about pirate mercenaries, who had taken the Princess… or so he said. But what I know for sure, Sir Deidra, is that wolves, Fen or not, can't swim."

To the union between Kingdoms, perhaps some curious looks to her eyes could be noticed. But no more words are spoken beyond it.

"I find it quite strange that he would not share such a piece of information with you, my prince." Deidra can't help but remark. "Also… It appears to me that most clues have been found by northerners lately. There is a pair of a ranger and a healer. Duke Pawel said the woman ailed his wound at the tourney. They are loyal to the Rhaedans probably. And while I think it could be helpful to question Prince Stefan about these folks and other hints we may not even know about… It is this dubious pair that has me wondering… if it wouldn't be a good idea to follow them, persue them,… maybe not question them, but being on the trail while it is still fresh. Providing you with information as we move along, first-hand-information. And with the ability to act when actions need to be taken." That last part probably a bit cryptic. But the Deputy returns Samwell's gaze now, her steely green eyes flickering with her eagerness. "I mean… There remain many questions. Are these clues to be trusted? Is someone dropping them to mislead us… or are they after all genuine reflections of an insane mind…?"

The mention of the Fenwolves have Deidra raise a brow. "Oh? I didn't know about that. But… given the creepy history of those lands… Who knows. Maybe there is a connection we still need to find out about…"

"I have only seen that pair a couple of times, and I don't know them enough to know anything of their intentions. Perhaps it would be the best to escort them, offer help if they need, but always from the shadows. And if something else happens, well," the black fire gaze moves to Deidra, "Then you will manage it." the implication of it being a task to her is clear, but so it was her suggestion about doing it herself. At least that's what Samwell can take of it.

"A man killed himself at the inn, Fenwolves have mysteriously crossed the waters, a ranger and a healer find clue after clue, most of them in northern territory. At first I thought it was only a religious matter… the cult to the Fifth, but now it makes a little more sense. If what the journal and the modified sigil you found are true, such force could only be dealing with similar people who can do anything, and without any particular affiliation. Mercenaries, yes, but probably the sectarians were never the heart of this all, but only another way to their goal. They are a small organization, the followers of Kharnas, so they could never get the money to hire pirates and transport monsters from Ellowe without a proper support, and more than that, money."

Having lost her powers of healing it is not surprising that Aylin is not taking part in the indepth conversations going on between Deidra and Prince Samwell, that of course does not mean the honoured squire is idle in her silence, quite the contrary in fact. Throughout the conversation she has been in the background, at one moment mending Samwell's fine clothing with needle and thread while the next checking the fire to be sure that bread she is prepairing is indeed rising properly, of course everything is proceeding as expected. Though still a girl of sixteen she has in fact squired for the prince for many years, thus her presence is doubtlessly familiar to anyone who has spent much time in the royal presence. Evidently she is well cared for, wrapped in silks made of hues representing the Taniford family and sporting a tall slender frame beneath suggest over all good health, she is a cute kid also, auburn hair pulled back sever as it is with a blue ribbon intwined into such, her snug corset is also of this blue. "This is for you." Aylin states simply to Deidra as she approaches the table with a polite smile, her voice embued with that characteristic tonal disharmony typical of those who cannot hear, such is strangely endering in the girl. A silver cup is placed before the older woman as is a gold cup before Samwell and carefully the contents of a bottle is poured into each. She does not inturrupt, frankly she does not seem to be paying attention at all, just too much effort combined with all her other duties, Samwell always has her running around all day.

"From the shadows…" Deidra echoes and a light smirk appears on her features. "Aye, my Prince, I was thinking, since the pair was spotted last at Haven and they probably will move further northwards… it would probably be wisest to follow them… not recognizable as Blue Guards. Rather in a less flashy attire. Commander sir. We will not be very welcome up there, for obvious reasons." And after a pause, the Deputy adds: "Maybe I can take one Blue Guard with me. Who knows what awaits us up there?"

In response to Samwell's attempt at summing up all the craziness of the mystery so far Deidra gives a helpless shrug. "Whatever greater truth hides behind all this, it needs to be found, eventually. And it will be. I swear, by the Four Guardians."

The Deputy flinches as she is offered a silver cup of wine out of nowhere. "Um… thank you, my lady." she offers trying to hide her surprise behind the mask of the sour look she is so proficient at. An inquiring gaze is shot in Samwell's direction as if to ask if and when he has noticed his squire's return.

"Of course, sir. You don't dare to wear that blue cloak past Laketown," he chuckles. "I know you among all the members of the order love it, we all do. But for your own safety, I would suggest you to be more… anonymous, in that travel." Samwell smiles a little as she swears, and then he concludes. "You can take one Blue Guard with you. I will let you choose, I think I have showed before how much I trust you. Just promise me, Sir Deidra, promise me you will return safe."

Then a gold cup is offered to him and wine is poured in. Surprised, for he had not noticed her approaching, as surely the other Blue Guard in the room didn't either, he laughs a little, full of pride. "Aylin would be our perfect spy, don't you think? Not only she is the perfect squire, and lady, but she was able to stealth herself in a room with two members of the order." a smile is given to the young Sollinger. "How are you, my lady? I see—" now he does, watching the clothing, needle, and thread, "you are busy as always. Do you want something to drink yourself and a moment to relax?"

Aylin really is not paying the pair much attention, having left the wine bottle on the table the girl returns to the fire pit an begins to poke at the nearly ready bread which has apparently risen to perfection, she has returned to the princes chamber at percisely the right time. For all her skills in the masculine arts which she has learned from Samwell most skillfull, it is still the cooking and sewing which excels most, a fine pet to have no doubt. Kneeling before the fire and sliding on a pair of leather gloves, she lifts the suspended loaf out from its perch above the fire and strolls out of the room, she seems quite calmly content with her duties at the moment.

After a sip from her silver cup, Deidra's sour expression softens as she hears Samwell's confirmation of her plan. "I really do love the Blue Cloak, after all it took much to earn it… But in times as these we need to make sacrifices. In order for us to have any success… And about the Blue Guard… I already have made my choice. Sir Brennart of Wolveshire." she states, casting her Commander a curious glance to see if he approves of her decision.

Despite the chuckle that escapes her at Samwell's jest the Deputy shoots Aylin a wary glance. "Ah yes, indeed. We only can hope our foes are not as capable sneakers as your squire here, my prince." Her steely green eyes remain on Aylin for a moment, their gleam still slightly dimmed down with unease, as she watches the squire occupying herself with the bread at the fire.

Since Aylin cannot hear, and she has already turned when Samwell spoke, he understand the lack of an answer, but seems happy as the bread, and the scent, catches his attention. "Sir Brennart is a perfect choice, and he will like the travel outside of these walls, I'm sure." he grins lightly, "And no northerner or southerner can be an equal to Aylin's sneaking capabilities." his eyes return to Deidra, and without waiting for her to estate the date of her departure, he concedes he a respectful bow.

"Have a good travel, sir. As always, your actions bring honor to the Blue Guard. Write me as many times as you can, but never if that can put you in danger. And thank you again, Sir Deidra. Thank you."

Aylin knows her craft and you can bet that that bread was extracted from it's tray and sliced with expert effecincy, what is certain is that the aroma that is emitted by such when cut is magnifiecent, who does not like freshly cut bread after all. She is not gone lone, a few moments really, but when she does there is a silver plate in hand with four thick sliced pieces of bread sat upon it. Pridefully such is sat down between the prince and is guest, though before such can be sat down a bowl is slid out from the base of such and within rests one of Samwell's favorite olive spread. Knowing the prince will want his to pieces heavily smeared she starts going to town, but does not hesitated to turn her youthful eyes to Diedra and ask VERY softly in her off tone voice, "Olives? they are fresh too." a sweet smile is offered, clearly she expects that such will be woanted.

Emptying the rest of the cup with a swiftness that might hint at her determination to accomplish the mission, Deidra nods, relieved as she hears the prince's approval of her choice. "I am glad you think so, Commander sir. And I am sure Sir Brennart is most eager to prove his worth as I am. After all… we of the Blue Guard failed to prevent your sister's abduction, suffering and death. But rest assured, I'll take care to keep a cool head and not give in to hatred. After all this is an investigation not a campaign for revenge."

The smell of the freshly baked bread does not go unnoticed by Deidra, nor do the preparations of the squire. At least she seems to hesitate for a moment, before she rises with a light shrug. "Olives…" she muses, eyeing Aylin attentively for a moment, but not without a hint of regret in her voice. "Alas not now, my lady. Maybe next time we meet." And then she turns offering a bow of farewell to her Prince and his squire, before she disappears through the door - less impatient and more at ease with herself than when she had entered. Alas, for those olives… Who knows when and more importantly if any of the two she leaves behind in that Blue Room will ever see Deidra again.

Olive bread is indeed, by far, Samwell's favorite kind of bread. Happily surprised, and before gingerly taking a slice, he makes it even more clear, "Aylin, this is so thoughtful of you, thank you very much. Which one would you think is the most tasty?" letting a little for her to ponder it, he continues, "It is for you, then. Take it, all yours." a friendly grin, and the words the Blue Guard says take him off-guard.

"Sir Deidra, you did not fail. You, Sir Brennart, Sir Marla, you all were assigned to keep us safe, and you did it perfectly. Otherwise I would not be here, after all. The problem was with the previous commander and his decision to ultimately blame us all, instead of doing something." the memories from the meeting they had in Laketown move as a shadow through his mind. "The Blue Guard, or you, have never disappointed me. You would not be Deputy Commander if that was the case. And we will meet soon, sir. You still have to come back to taste this wonderful bread, keep that in mind."

A final solemn nod of farewell is given by the Prince and Commander as she leaves.

Aylin smiles sweetly at Samwell in light of the completment, she can tell he is happy but was not exactly paying attention to his comments. "Thank you." she states softly, her brown eyes drifting back to the doorway where Deidra had just exited. Folding her hands primly she offers a respectful nod but says nothing.

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