Away From the Circus

Away From The Circus
Summary: Lohstrens and near-Lohstren privately discuss news and plans in Laketown.
Date: 12/July/1329
Related: A Meeting of the South, Two Matters
Players:
Eldrick Morla Prada Xander 

Laketown, The Drunken Clam - Private Room
A room, with a table, chairs, and even drinks.
12 July, 1329

While the arrival of the festival's circus and performers on the outskirts of town have drawn the lion's share of Laketown's denizens, the less spectacular arrival of several nobles has led to a private meeting in a more private sitting room within the Clam. His horse freshly stabled, Sir Eldrick has taken the time to shed his armor before adjourning to join the others already present.

And yet another arrives, though this one has not removed the armor she wears nor does the lady exactly dress like lady or noble. Trousers of brown, a simple white shirt, and black boots completes the attire of Prada Varghem. Who has spent the day gathering names for those to be sent to Ellowe. From the door way the lady has pushed open with her booted foot, she enters much as entered life. Loudly. "Ale me." she calls to one serving wench as she makes her way toward the private room, "Sir Eldrick we meet again." she offers with a dimpled grin as she moves to take a seat.

Having participated in the opening ceremonies, Xander is the late comer to the party. Arriving in the Inn, he shedded his armor as soon as possible as he finally makes his way in. "Prada! Cut the cards, prepare the dice and make sure your clothes are layered!" he calls out to her.. then he notices his cousin and grins in a Chaos-may-care matter. "Evening, cousin. I'll have what the Lady is having."

"Lady Prada," Eldrick greets the new arrival, with a short bow of the head and shoulders. "..and my good cousin. I am relieved to learn that you have maintained such demure courtesy toward Lady Varghem, as we discussed when last we met." Dry in tone and deadpan in delivery, his manner lacks any edge of displeasure. Once Prada has taken a chair, the solemn knight will seat himself, and note, "I trust your travels here were untroubled?"

Prada waves an idle hand toward Xander yet her words and mischievous smile is given toward Eldrick, "Never worry, he all ready knows I am far better at playing cards. He would never truly dare to lose the shirt off his back again. It is just his way or tormenting me." the hand used to wave now motions Xander forward and she grins at him, "For your evening entertainment Sir, I have spoken with my brother and it seems he is more than greatful to have me taken off his hands." her gaze then travels back to Eldrick a moment and she shrugs, "What can I say I am sucker for a pretty face. You should be receiving word from him at any time of the arrangement."

"Oh. Are you all we get out of the deal? Surely he should give up much more to release such a meddlesome woman." A wink is sent to Prada by Xander as he graces her cheek with a kiss and takes a seat. "This is your chance to escape and run away." he says with a wink and then settles down. "And she knows better than to play cards with me and she sticks with dice for a reason."

"Excellent, this is most fine news," Eldrick voices to Prada's announcement. "May the Guardians smile upon you both, and Lady Prada-" he adds evenly, looking to his imminent counsin-in-law, "My deepest sympathies to you, madam." Shaking his head briefly, he observes, "I confess Duke Pawel puzzles me. I have never met so cautious a man in all my life."

'That is because you cheat. I've have more than once saw your slight of hand when shuffling." Prada laughs a soft laugh of ease at the kiss to the cheek and lightly pats Xanders in return, " Your sympathies are appreciated, I have a feeling I may be in over my head with this one." she teases a moment as she turns her chair to face both men at once, "My brother puzzles everyone. Deep grief he refuses to part with has made him into a man I hardly know at times. Certainly not the man he was once. Though I believe, or hope at the least, Lady Tamara may be tempting him back to the man I know."

Xander makes a displeased face at the mention of his sister and Pawel. "I am not sure I am exactly happy that my sister must compete with a ghost for his attentions. I thought for sure that she did not want this, and she suddenly changed her mind. It is most.. curious." he admits as he settles down next to the woman he is supposed to be courting whenever such things are decided. "Oh, and you do not think I can't feel the slight extra weight in the die that you use?"

"In deferring his answer to me, Duke Pawel inquired after Tamara, toward the intent of betrothal, I believe," Eldrick comments at the mention of Xander's sister. "I informed him that she is of Taniford now, and that he must ask after her with the royal family. Xander, if you wish to speak with your sister on the subject, I suggest you do it soon."

It is with those words that Morla finds herself entering the private room, arching a slow brow with inquiry, "Pray tell me she has not let the potential of a title go to her head? Surely love cannot be so blind as to inspire any woman to suffer being made a fool because of dalliances with the Northern Harlot." Her words flow freely and without much guard as she draws back her cloak and moves to take a seat over near her brother, "El… cousin… Lady Prada," the greetings are offered with a slow smile, "All are well, I trust?"

"Though gentle of heart I believe your sister faced the ghost down with Pawel in attendance. Perhaps he finally saw what was before him." Prada leans back in her chair and tosses a booted foot on Xanders knee, "Am I to blame you have weak hands and the die is too heavy for them?" she taunts while pointing repeated times to her foot, "You may begin." she conjoles before her attention turns serious and searches her pocket for piece of piece of parchment, "Being that you Sir Eldrick are the military mind of the South in my opinion I have compliled a list of 5 names for your venture to Ellowe as requested." she tells him as she opens the parchment and begins to read, "I only pray families do not hate me for this. Malcolm and Tyler Sollinger as surely a boat or ship will be needed to get there. Maeve and Termiane of the Red Hand Mercenary group, they can be trusted as long as the coin holds out and of course it would truely matter little if they lost what remains of their minds. And last. Dalyros Lohstren." at this name she looks up as she takes a heavy breath, "If he is truly honest of his desire to redeem himself with the Queen, family, and Kingdom, he can do so there."

"Though gentle of heart I believe your sister faced the ghost down with Pawel in attendance. Perhaps he finally saw what was before him." Prada leans back in her chair and tosses a booted foot on Xanders knee, "Am I to blame you have weak hands and the die is too heavy for them?" she taunts while pointing repeated times to her foot, "You may begin." she conjoles before her attention turns serious and searches her pocket for piece of piece of parchment, "Being that you Sir Eldrick are the military mind of the South and Lady Morla has a way with words in my opinion I have compliled a list of 5 names for your venture to Ellowe as requested for your approval." she tells him as she opens the parchment and begins to read,

"I only pray families do not hate me for this. Malcolm and Tyler Sollinger as surely a boat or ship will be needed to get there. Maeve and Termiane of the Red Hand Mercenary group, they can be trusted as long as the coin holds out and of course it would truely matter little if they lost what remains of their minds. And last. Dalyros Lohstren." at this name she looks up as she takes a heavy breath, "If he is truly honest of his desire to redeem himself with the Queen, family, and Kingdom, he can do so there."

At the arrival of Morla, Xander starts to rise to greet his cousin, only to get nudged back down by Prada's foot. "Perhaps." he says as he removes her boot and starts to give Prada a proper foot rub and roughly tugs on her toes to pop them back into place. "If my hands were so weak you would not desire them on you so, unless you were serious about requiring the attentions of a woman in the bedroom." he smirks right back Prada as he continues to work on her foot, the two of them daring each other, apparently.

"I will speak to my sister, Eldrick. I want to make sure that she is truly in this for her own reasons and she does not feel coerced simply because she is a noble widow. There are other men that could accomodate her needs." he says as he moves to smile towards Morla. "Good evening, cousin. We have plenty of ale and sarcasm to go around. The sarcasm is free."

"Dalliances?" Eldrick echoes his sister, brows knitting in a frown. "Duke Pawel, as well?" A hand is raised and presses into the bridge of his nose, as though by pinching hard enough he would smooth out the frown lines. Mercifully, Prada speaks up, and with a terse sigh, Eldrick leaves the former matter in favor of the new one. He nods once at each name, including the last. "Let the families loose venom at me, if they must hate. It is necessary to learn how long a foothold on the eastern shore may be held, even at the cost of my youngest brother. For if we cannot move east, then I regret to say we are doomed to the defensive, and cannot truly win a war with Ellowe, unless the Royal Traitors make a dire mistake."

"Sarcasm, dear Xan, I have in abundance. It is tolerance and patience with some I am sorely lacking these days," the pale Flowers lips twist a bit wryly before turning to address her brother's comment, "Aye, His Grace as well. It would appear there are very few that have not sown their oats in that field." Blue eyes drift on over towards Prada before adding thoughtfully, "We must all be willing to come together in this endeavor. It is only fair we send our brother as a representative of House Lohstren, and House Sollinger would be quite insulted if they were left out of such an important mission." Pausing for a moment she considers, "Perhaps the only true concern with the list is the apparent absence of any member of House Varghem. As it is the seat of the Southern Duchy, the lack of His Grace's own contribution could give potential raise to ire from some of the others. I am sure it was not an intentional oversight, and to be fair, I do not quite know if this is truly an ideal mission for them. However there does need to be some further assistance than merely your own skilled talents for honing the list, Milady."

"Youre a pig Xander. Thank the guardians." Prada hisses at the man then brings her other foot hard to his knee as well. "I believe Lady Morla is speaking of the rumors the Whore was seen coming late at night, without escort and rather unkempt from my brother private chamber. I attempted to speak to this of him, stating while she may be pretty and lives her life of playing at love, she pales in comparison to Lady Tamara. He would well do good to thank the guardians for giving him such a woman twice. He said rumors happen, though he neither confirmed nor denied them."

Rapt attention is given to Sir Eldrick and she nods in agreement, "It would also seem Sir the Westmarks have set along the borders several trebucht to prevent the passage of any Sollinger ship. Perhaps during the northern attention of the coming week it would serve purpose to either send a small group to destroy them, or at the very least place one of our own across from theirs. It is not an oversight I assure you my Lady. Rather what remains in Varghem to be poor pickings. Athel is gods know where, doing gods know what. Our Uncle unable to stand without assistance. That would leave my brother, enough water to wade without the additional tears added by him, and Lyam? Recently married and for some time was missing as well. Im none to certain of his status, though if you wish I can certainly learn. If it is supplies or coin that is need, Pawel can easily be convinced, if not, my mother will."

"Do you wish to find out from my sister if he confirmed or denied that he slept with that paticular whore?" Xander asks and pinches Prada's calf in response as he gives a smirk towards the others, and then shakes his head. "There's a reason why I stay out of the politics. Just tell me when to show up and tell this one here that our union is all guaranteed by the Guardians, and I'll make her fat with a child soon after that she can cuss at me daily about."

Eldrick sits forward in his chair, elbows leaned on the tabletop, chin supported on his thumbs and fingers woven together in front of his mouth. He draws a slow breath through the nose before answering Prada, "I do not believe the Westmark trebuchets placed for that purpose, Lady Prada. They have no guards on them of any note, and have not fired on any vessels yet, to my knowledge. They appear to me an invitation to raid." Eldrick explains in the next breath, "If I send men to remove them, Prince Jerric has his first blow struck, blood spilled on Rhaedan soil and a ready excuse for war. I would indeed recommend that the Sollingers travel by horse to Laketown, but that a boat of no significance be sent under Lohstren colors near to our own shore to tempt a shot. Let us see how willing Baron Paule is to openly strike a first blow, and whether these machines of his are more than bravado."

Xander's words inspire a visible twist of her lips in distaste, "The matter of whom His Grace may or may not be sharing his private chambers with is a detail I could care very little for normally. But if he bears a deep affection or intimacy for Amira, then it compromises the strength and stability of the South as a whole." It is then that her focus shifts on back over towards Prada, "Though your house might lack in the way of promising men or women of arms, Milady, the purse strings of the Varghem are indeed deep. I would never mean to suggest your brother's loyalties might ever come under question, yet we have seen a great many stranger things happen when it comes to the persuasive powers of the northern female royals." Drawing a deep breath, Morla just shakes her head slowly, "I simply cannot understand how any woman, no matter how desperate, would consider marriage to one so emotionally compromised as Duke Pawel. A pleasing visage and promising title do not, by any means, atone for a lack of commitment to duty and wavering spine. We were taught to want for something better than he offers in a potential match. It saddens me that Tamara has not been a bit more stern upon the matter."

"And that is exactly why you are the man handling combat and not I. I do know they were not used during the recent event to find the two traitors as they were ordered by their King not to. Such as it is now, with a hothead such as Jerric leading, he may in fact use them." Prada chews on her lip moment as the toes wiggle under Xanders hand and she leans forward to bap his arm, "We have long ago agreed, any child will bore by you. /Dear/." She then turns head slowly toward Lady Morla as an arching of her brow develops thoughts, "Perhaps one Syd Stormbreak could be aquired for Varghem coin to take them there. He has proven easily he will travel wherever the coin takes him."

Reaching to scratch her nose ever slight, she nods to Lady Morla once again, "This venture is to remain secret is not? A Sollinger ship would in fact attract attention as where one from a pirate would not. I will see that my brother opens the purse strings for the ship and supplies. If they arrive on horsback they can easily be moved by Syd without attracting attention." she falls silent for several moments looking between the pair before offering a decided nod and speaking of her brother, "Do not forget violent temper and demon of drink in the list. If we were speaking of the Pawel I grew up with it would quite a different story. As it is, we are speaking of a man I know in apperance alone."

"Whether Tamara desires such a match or not, it is beyond such as we to decide for her," Eldrick notes. "Should the Crown decide that she ought marry Duke Pawel- whether for affection or ambition- then she shall." The knight says nothing further on the matter, shifting to the former topic. "Secrecy is greatly to be desired in this, yes. Presuming a swift ride, and ready choice of ships, when shall the eastern expedition be ready to depart, Lady Prada?"

Considering the proposal, Morla nods in agreement, "I think it would be preferential that the vessel used be unmarked of any specific House. Any mobilization by Southern houses, even so much as a small Sollinger vessel, could perhaps tip too much against us in favor when it comes to this sort of thing. I would readily accept monetary contributions from House Varghem for this excursion. As loathe as I am to place my trust completely in any sort of pirate, it would maintain the cloak of secrecy." Eldrick's words elicit a slight curl of her upper lip in response, "Just so that we remain clear, my dearest El, my ambitions - though high, shall never impart me to even remotely entertain a match like the one for which Tamara is being currently considered."

Prada watches the exchange between brother and sister, and while she chuckles there is present in her eyes a longing. One perhaps for the time she could speak the same with her brother. "The two of the Red Hand await nearby and prepared to leave, Master Roltoff has saw to that. Syd should be in Lake Town looking for work with the events in place, I will find him today and see to his 'aquirement and silence. There will be many coming going by boat and they will draw no attention. Pawel can be sent word to immediatly send further coin and provisions. Little will be thought of in those being brought in. All will easily believe they are simply for the weeks entertainment. As soon as the remaining three arrive they can set sail. What is the approximate travel time from their homes Sir?"

"Of course not," Eldrick returns evenly to Morla's clarity. "Such a match would remove the Flower from the March," which is not something that Lohstrens do. "Although soon enough we must both look to marriage; fortune has robbed our House of too many scions, already. We cannot afford the.. patience of a Pawel." Prada's query is answered with a moment's thought. "If they await in Tharnham? A travel of perhaps three days upon being called. I will send the small boat we had discussed and a rider overland, besides. In either case, I expect they may attend here by the end of festivities."

"Guardians preserve us all from ignorant matches," Morla grumbles a little at the thought of marriage. When talk turns again towards the imprending mission, she lets her gaze pass between Prada and Eldrick both, "Is there anything we have failed to account for regarding the scouts?"

"Very well then, I see to Syd right away and have him prepared for the end of the festivities." Prada comments as she removes her feet from Xander lap and begins to pull her boots back on, "My only misgiving is we have no included anyone from the Temple. Though in truth how we can do such? They answer the call of no side. The men will certainly need guidance in that pit, though I for one do not enough of them to venture asking." Once her boots are pulled back on the lady stands and nods to each return with respect before tugging at Xanders hair as she heads toward the door. "Let me search for the man and ensure Master Roltoff is in place. Good eve."

"Only to ensure that a written record of the expedition is kept," Eldrick answers Prada. "Should they sail, and naught be heard from them, we have gained nothing by their departure. It is of paramount import that this band which travels over the water return knowledge to us of the fallen lands. In their persons, if fortune holds; in their writings, if fortune is cruel."

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