An Unlikely Group

An Unlikely Group
Summary: Collette has waited for an entourage to escort her to Estermarch. Brother Merrick and Sir Jaren seem to be the unlikely duo to help her on this venture.
Date: 08/11/2013
Related: [http://gameofkings.wikidot.com/pie-and-prayers]
Players:
Collette Jaren Merrick 

Tp Room
A meeting point to head toward Estermarch.
November 8 1329

The day has come… And quite beautiful day! The one, who reminds summer more than autumn. Sun is high and very bright. There are no wind at all as there are no clouds. Pure blueness above the head of the young woman, who quite nervously paces around her black stud. The stud shakes his manes in understanding, when girl whispers someyhing to him, pats and walks around again, looking this way or another.

"What if they won't come? What if something happened?" She mumbles under her nose hundreds of times. Arrow just snorts, obviously becoming a bit irritated and taps the ground with his hooves.

The girl takes out of the hood one curl, just to whirl it around her fingers. She is covering all her riding clothes: tight leathern trousers and jacket, with the black cloak, which is decorated with some kind of fur.

The girl and her stud are standing on the road close to the entrace to fforest, which leads to eastermarch.

Merrick has been with Collette since the night before, bent and bowed in this quest to make amends to the vile rumors that had been spread about each of them together. He was resolved and would not be swayed to turn back. He waited on top of his sorrel gelding, a loaner from the Laketown Temple, though a massive beast capable of ensuring his rider would not fall off but yet would be protected by the sheer size and presence of the gelding.

The Chosen was dressed in his dark leathers, of which a dark black surcoat was thrown overtop, the sigil of the Temple Chosen showing in brillian silver thread. Slowly he moved in the saddle to give the ache in his rump a moment of ease, his hands crossed and resting on the horn, the man's apparent attention drawn toward the nervous woman. Where she was showing her emotions, Merrick was stone, rigid in the saddle and expressions tightly controlled. He was not a man fearful of the road ahead of him, as the sword on his saddle and the pair of sheathed dirks on the back of his shoulder blades would suggest.

"Peace Collette," he tells her, watching her pace and fret, "What will be will be. We must ride on with or without their company. It is in your best interest to not be late in this."

Sir Jaren Cassomir arrives just a half-minute or two later, atop a powerful chestnut mare, clad in his armor and showing no signs of saddle-soreness, he pulls alongside Merrick and Collette and bows in the saddle, "Milady. Brother. I apologize on behalf of Sir Gauvain. He took wounds in the battle at Brenton. He will be all right, but needs time to heal properly." Jaren smiles just a touch, "So I fear you'll have to make do with just me as an escort. I hope you will still find it satisfactory company."

"A peace?!" Nervously shakes her head Collette at Merrick, "What will be will be? Thay is not what I want. That is the wrong results. You know very well, how everything /must/ end up, or I will… I will…"

Though,before she finishes, another knight arrives and gets all the attention from Collette, "Sir Jaren…" deep curtsy is offered, and worried voice continues, "Oh… poor sir Gauvain. It is really sad he won't be around, but I wish him get better as soon as possible. However, I am very pleased and happy, that you could came and are without any wounds, sir! I will aLways be in your dept for helping me. Thank you…" The girl turns to her stud, cuddles to his neck, but hesitates to jump on him for now.

Merrick doesn't hear the approach of the rider, perhaps because he was too caught up in what he was saying or the gelding below him was pawing at the ground, or the wind was travelling the wrong direction - either way, he seems a little bewildered at Sir Jaren's approach when he does pull alongside them. He does a double take over his shoulder, lips thinning as if frustrated with his lack of perception on that one. Though he does nod all the same to the man, waiting for Collette to verify him, having a throwing knife ready in the palm of his one hand if she fails to identify him as one of her escorts. Rogue thugs weren't something he would anticipate coming across them at this rendezvous point, but nobles sent out to kill a woman, wasn't far fetched at all, so it made the man a little edgy.

To Collete's angry reaction, he watches curiously, as if he just poked at a bee and was waiting to see if it would sting him. "They will end up the way the Four needs them too," he tells her, "Though fear not for yourself, as your life has meaning yet and a purpose to serve. I am assured of that." He's really drawing on his Templar studies to guide his tongue, more priest than Chosen currently, but a matter of being both always.

Merrick does seem troubled by the words that Collette uses toward Jaren however, his eyes turning toward Jaren with something of a recollection dawning on him. Yet it is not his place to excuse a woman of her debts. He simply shows his discontentment at her sentiments.

"You owe me no debt, milady. Any Knight worth his title would not refuse you aid." Jaren reassures Collette. "I'm beginning to grow concerned, Brother…" He looks to Merrick, though his tone is laced with a bit of humor. "Twice now you've been ready to attack me. Though neither case would I judge imprudent." He smiles just a touch once more. "In either case, I certainly cannot complain of having one of the Chosen with us." He tilts his head, dark eyes assessing Merrick, "I confess some curiosity as to how you came to be involved in this matter, but ultimately it is not my affair. We share common purpose, and so for the span of at least this journey, you are friend and brother to me." He inclines his head to Merrick once more, then looks to Collette, "If you do not have any other escorts joining us…we can depart at your leisure, Milady."

Collette does not hear the conversation between two man.She is too much involved in the conversation with her Arrow, who now looks as understand as a human. Just when Jaren speaks to her again, the girl nods with her hooded head and quickly and easy appears on her stud. She looks much more calm on Arrow than on her feet. She is Lohstren after all. Daughter of the horse lord, and no rumors or other decisions can change the blood in her veins.

The girl pats the neck of her stud and he starts moving in a slow pace, "We coukd have a race. It would cheer my Arrow so much. He suffered too much these days of not bsing able to run with the wind," giggles Collette, sometimes tossing the amber gazes at Jaren and a bit longer ones at the Chosen. "Sir Jaren, would you careto tell us about the battle and share the news of winning with us?" Though she frowns a bit under her hood, likely, thinking that it is stupid to ask this. But she can't think straight and the silance would drive her mad.

Merrick methodically in plain view so that Jaren could see, indeed, to slide his throwing knife back in his belt, just underneath his surcoat. He stays quiet for a moment as Jaren addresses him with absurdity, allowing the man to go on before he adds, "Then it shouldn't concern you if such actions held merit to them." There is no smile on Merrick's face. He simply reaches for the reins, noting as an aside, "And such complaints had you any, would be ignored." Merrick knows the weight behind those eyes upon him, has seen them his entire life, one man assessing the other, debating if or who would be best. Merrick does well to just regard Jaren back, simply, as one does with an ill-witted child, telling him in a gruff almost wolfish tone about the curiosity, "Then keep it that way." As for the bit of being brothers, well, that seems to offer the opportunity to smirk with some disbelief, nodding all the same, "As all men are, sir." There he leans forward some in the saddle again, leaning on the horn of as he waits for Collette to be ready.

For Collette's suggestion, that makes Merrick grimace, openly at the idea of running the horses. Instead, of speaking up though, he listens, eyes on the Lohstren woman, saying nothing only reacting to her question to Jaren. That makes Merrick turn some in his saddle, eyes sardonically held wide for the expectation of the story to come.

"Or not." Jaren murmurs with a tilted brow at Merrick's sour and sardonic manner. At Collette's suggestion, he frowns a bit, "I fear there is no tale of glory and heroism to be had here, milady, and I've little tongue for boasting. It was as most battles…dirty, bloody, and ever-questionable as to whether the costs in lives is fair trade for whatever was gained." Jaren is silent a few moments, then adds, "Though in this case, I would narrowly judge it so. A knight in command of the Fortress had allows his mend to become derelict in their duty. They conspired with local bandits to take plunder and women for their pleasure. Prince Samwell led a party to root out both bandits and false knights from the fortress…and narrowly claimed victory. Many perished, more still wounded, but some thirty peasants were freed from unjust imprisonment, several bandits were slain or taken prisoner, and the Fortress was passed into the hands of a more responsible commander and his troops."

Jaren ambles along on his steed, offering an apologetic smile towards Collette, "I apologize if the tale is less exciting than you hoped for, milady. I fear I had my fill of battle long ago. They hold little allure for me now, but I fear I've little skill in anything else."

Collette watches Merrick with the gaze in which many emotions are lurking, while the man is speaking with Jaren. Some of them shows the wish to calm the Chosen down, some are a bit worried, some surprised or amused. However Jaren starts speaking about the battle and Collette listens carefully, gasping at the part about women, taken for a pleasure by bandits, "How dare they! Damned! Sad you did not take me with yourself as I offered at first for the Prince. When I said that I am good at archery. I would like that a few arrows of mine would be in their chests for hurting these poor fragile women!" And indeed, while she speaks, the girl looks like not as a former lady or lady at all. More she becomes some kjnd of wild and angry ranger or something, who could grab a weapon right now!

However, Arrow snorts a bit playfully and starts trotinga bit faster. Likely, he is as Collette. Can't be tok slow. That distracts the girl from anger and she starts laughing softly,"It may be that we will have to have a race if my Arrow wil be stubborn today," and she continues laughing libely and softly.

The gust of wind comes from nowhere, tossing the hood away andfreeing these dark playful serpentine curls.

Merrick seems satisfied that Jaren has thusly turned his attention toward the woman, as it should be. The Chosen reaches up to pull his hood up, taking up the last position behind the two of them as they decide to move on, tapping his heels on the sides of the gelding to get the beast moving onwards, large hooves plopping heavily with each step. He wasn't going to say anything further, until at least, Collette had said a word in the matter of the defenseless women. To that, Merrick calmly suggests, "The Order can always be called upon in such matters, the Brothers would lend their swords to defend against the wicked." Perhaps why he is along now? Maybe. Though his words might be lost as the young woman has quickened the pace. Merrick can only grit his teeth and bare it the best he can, for his gelding starts to trot automatically, keeping up to the others.

Jaren's war horse easily keeps pace with the spritely Arrow. He glances to Collette and nods his head as they trot along, "I'm sure your arrows would have been welcome milady, but those that have not met justice will soon do so." Jaren replies to her in regards to her indignation over the situation. He keeps slightly ahead of her, and though his words are directed towards her in polite conversation, his eyes constantly scan their surroundings, focused on the task of remaining alert.

"Hopefully not too long a race…we wouldn't want to tire our horses too early in our trek." Jaren notes with a faint smile, "But if you wish it, there is no reason we couldn't quicken the pace a bit."

Collette grins at Jaren about offer to go more quickly, "We could do that or the Chosen could tell us his own stories about battles. I am sure he has some really interesting ones!" And the girl turns her head to look at Merrick. Though, she is distracted by surrounding. The girl glances at one side and another, fowning a bit.

After a pause she suddenly stops her stud. Amused smile flashes in her features. Some small bushes are separating the road from opened area of the woods. There is a huge rounded stone and a wide very old dead tree lies on the ground in front of it.

The young girl as a gust of wind jumps from her stud and just the cloak flashes in the air, before she appears on that tree. Collette extands her arms and walk on it as it would be a rope. She laughs softly, "I remember this place! I remeber! I had no idea then, that I was so close to the Wolveshire… It was one of the first huntings, when my Arrow became crazy, stood in his back legs and run away as fast as he could, leaving my guards behind. Then I understood he was the fastest stud in the world. Though, I was missing for the rest of the evening, whole night, whole day and almost the other night, when I finally find home on my own. Father was so angry at guards that theh did not find me first," laughs Collette, taking a seat on the stone and just lieing on it, letting wild curls to cover it. The stone is rounded but huge as table. "I was here then. I rested here. We should do the same! I have the most tasty tiny pies of wolveshire! Lemon pies! They are in the bag on my stud…" She says, expecting that someone will take them. She remains lieing and staring at the sky thoughtfully.

Merrick is bracing himself for every jarring motion that the quicker speed is causing his body, though, for the most part he is interested in the surroundings, keeping his eyes on the road, looking about him for signs or trails that could possibly be warning of some danger near by. Though, when Collette seems to drag him back into the conversation - hey he was happy being at the back of the group - he drags his gaze forward as she looks back, "If stories allow us to keep a steady pace," he says with a tone that hints he really isn't up for story telling, or that the current situation would benefit from him trying to tell one while he's bouncing around in the saddle. Not the most graceful knight on horseback.

And just as suddenly, the party comes to a roaring halt. It takes Merrick a little extra effort to turn the nose of the horse toward the opening in the woods that Collette has decided to make her playground. At this point, Merrick exchanges looks with Jaren, one that shows his dismay for the decision to halt their trip. Yet, he stays saddled, looking back and forth on the road, then toward the lady Collette, "My Lady," he tells her boldly, "Perhaps it is best that we continue, for we still have a better part of the afternoon to ride." Although he probably wasn't as certain as Jaren would be with this land and the estimations of time.

Jaren pulls the reins of his steed lightly, to bring his mare to a halt. He looks on as Collette dismounts with a touch of curiosity. He exchanges that glance with Merrick, looking a bit perplexed at Collette's actions, but shrugs after a moment, "The Brother is right, milady."Jaren notes in a soft voice. "We did not bring supplies to make a camp should we be caught out after dark. Though a short pause to take food and drink would not be an issue, I should think."

Collette pats the stone with her pale fingers, remaining thoughtful, but with a wide smile. She does not raise. She lies and sways with her legs staring at the sky.

"This might be my last journey…" soft voice speaks, "This might be my last meal. I may be counting my last minutes… I don't want that my last minutes would be so quick… I don't want them to be so serious, sad… without smiles and fun… It may be my last feast with two friends left…" She pats the stone again, "And you two look grumpy. Nothing cheers more than lemon pies of Wolveshire!" She slightly turns her head to the pair. The girl's amber gaze sparkles with so natural joy and amusement. The girl looks incredibly calm at this moment. Maybe strangely calm.

The Chosen seems to be a little frustrated with the abrupt decision to stay on. Delaying the venture was not going to keep it from coming. Yet, he was wise enough to not say it, even if his body language says it all. His eyes flick over toward Collette, "My Lady, this will not be your last of anything, you have my word on it that the Four are watching over you." The gelding he's on spins where he stands, tugging at the reins, feeling the man's irritation. He applies a pressure to the reins to keep the beast there, though seeing that he is not getting the support from the fellow knight, he nods, "I'm going to scout up ahead…" he tells them both, before he clucks his tongue and puts his heels into the animal, getting the sorrel to break hard and rear up slightly, enough that those front legs come up off the ground. Unintentional! Merrick looks relieved when the horse finds its front two legs again before bounding off into a lope down the road.

Jaren's faith in the Four is not so great as to take Merrick's reassurances for given, even if his hopes lie in the similar path. He brings his horse around, and clambers off, moving to Arrow and extracting the lemon pies from the saddlebag, and moving over to offer one towards Collette. He'll not hurry the woman on towards what could be her end. Merrick gets a nod as he suggests that he will scout ahead further. "Well, I wasn't expecting a picnic, but I'm not sure your other Guardian is inclined to enjoy this delay." Jaren moves to settle down a respectful distance away, "But that does not mean that you should not…" Estermarch will, after all, still be there regardless of when they arrive.

Collette sighs following Merrick as far she can with her eyes, when he decides not to come. She carefully puts the third pie in the hankerchief placing it on her knees, "He will get this pie later. I make sure," she giggles, "I think he feels as he would be on his duty, though… He is not!"

The girl glances at Jaren, "How is the pie?"

"Among the finest I've had." Jaren notes with a faint smile, after having sampled a couple bites. "Been years since I've had one of these, but I remember the first time." He chuckles softly, "The last time…" He pauses, "Mishala…my wife…was with me. She insisted I try them." He shakes his head slightly, "She loved them. Always tried to bring some back every time she went to Wolveshire. Also tried to get our cook to make them herself, but it never quite was he same. Much to Mishala's frustration."

"Sir… You speak about it in the past time…I am… So sorry… If I would have known she loved these… I wouldn't ask… I didn't wanted to raise these memories…" Coll lowers her gaze at takes a bite of her pie, "There is nothing more horrible than loosing the ones you love… If someone would take away those who I love…. I couldn't… I always thought it is better to…" but she stops and shakes her head. No need of such talks! Girl concentrates on her pie.

"I still had my duty. Precious little else, but at least it was something." Jaren looks distant a few moments, still munching on the pie, "But do not worry yourself. While I do still grieve, all I can do is keep moving forward." Jaren shrugs a shoulder, "I may not see the destination…beyond the obvious…but that does not mean the journey is not worth taking."

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