Casual Encounters

Casual Encounters
Summary: Pushing his luck Stefan as his disguise, Thedius Barknell, meet with Cordelia and later on Alek joins them.
Date: 28/07/2013
Related: None
Cordelia Stefan Alek 

Golden Crown Inn, Wolveshire - Common Room
A lowered ceiling and rafters combined with a clutter of tables and chairs create a far cozier atmosphere than the foyer. To the right of the room is a long wooden bar behind which mirrors and shelves are arranged to display the carafes and bottles of liquor available to patrons. Cushioned stools line the outside of the bar to provide seating for customers. The room is bisected by a long half-wall topped by panels of glass etched with an artistic rendering of famous moments in Taniford history. The partial wall reaches nearly to the ceiling and creates a unique acoustical environment while also serving to divide portions of the room. On the side closer to the door, the tables and chairs are larger and more crammed together. he other side has smaller, more intimate settings: low booths aginst a wall with curtains that can be drawn closed, small tables with plush, low-slung chairs. There is a kitchen beyond the bar and servers often bustle in and out.

The door to the kitchen is behind the bar, set in a hinge that makes it easy to go in and out for someone with full hands. A low archway leads back into the main room of the inn.

Sun Jul 28, 1329

Midday in Wolveshire finds the inn filling with those seeking food. Among them is Cordelia. She finds a place to sit, her lips pursing slightly as she sees thst the common side seems mostly full. The woman is seated at a small table as close to the divider as she can possibly manage. For the moment, she is seated with a commoner woman, samples of fabric strewn across the table which they discuss. Sipping at her ale, it's evident that the conversation is not one that she truly cares about.

Off in the corner sits a man and talks with some women. Showing some bracelets of metal and other jewelry for them. "Indeed. Name's Thedius Barknell." The man offers. Wearing a common traveling robe and hood, as most merchants that wander around tend to have. The voice being a rather raspy one. Showing a few things and people come and go. Sipping from his ale slowly. Soon enough they head on to go somewhere else. Leaving the man alone. Going on with eating instead.

Another scrap of cloth is produced and Cordelia arches an eyebrow. "Pink? No. Green or blue and none of that soft frilly stuff." She sets her ale down onto the table and begins to tick off her desires on her fingers. "Simple. No lace. No ruffles. And, above all else, comfortable. If I am going to have to wear the damned thing it will need to be comfortable. The rest I leave to your discretion. Just… stick with the deeper shades, yes?" The woman reaches into the pouch at her belt, producing coin and sliding it across the table. "You have my thanks, Mistress. If there is anything else thst you do need, find me here."

Dismissed, the sesamstress leaves which frees Cordy up to look about. The hooded cloak draws her attention and she studies the man as she takes to her ale again.

Stefan just sots and gathers the few items he has. Spotting the lady that is studying him he does offer a wave of his hand. If she can see his lips then there is a smile present. With a bit of brownish red beard/stubble. "Feel free to join me." Comes the man's voice.

Cordelia arches a single eyebrow at the invitation over the rim of her mug. Shaking her head, she grins. "I fear I would be of little use to you. I do not find myself to be one who favors baubles and the like. They do not serve me overly well. I thank you for the opportunity, however."

Stefan chuckles and shrugs, "I am sure there is an item for everyone. If I am wrong I'll still get to spend a day with a lovely woman." He says and shrugs. Sipping a bit before turning to his food.

Cordelia tsks ans shakes her head once again in mock disappointment. "And you would have that woman leave her comfortable seat to come to yours instead of you joining her where she's comfortable?" she teases with a wry grin.

Stefan chuckles and shrugs. "Well, I suppose I could move. But I have food and things to carry over." He explains and grins. "Thedius Barknell." He introduces himself. Trying to prepare to move over.

Cordelia laughs at his explanation ans raises her hand enough to get the attention of one of the servers. She indicates the man doing all of the gathering and sends him some help while she takes another pull from her mug. "Well met, Master Barknell. I am Cordelia and you are welcome to join me." When the server is within range again, she places an order for some bread, cheese and fruit. And another ale.

Thedius nods and comes over towards Cordelia while carrying food. Though thanks to Cordelia at least he has help to get the food over and once he is he will settle down with her. "Thank you. It is a pleasure to meet you." He says and sits comfortably in his new seat.

As a hand goes brushing some dark blonde hair out of his face, Alek steps into the common room of the inn. Having gotten a brief span of time to be 'off' from his duties, the castle had been fled from for what might pretend to be a brief bit of freedom from all the craziness that had invaded his life. His eyes flicker over the room as he searches out a place to sit, his gaze centering towards the common area after only a brief look at the side for the upper crust folk.

"And you," the sailor returns with a grin. Cordelia leans back in her chair, one arm draping over the back as she takes a moment or two to examine the man before her. "And where do you hale from, Master Barknell?" she asks genially. The door opens again and her dark eyes lift to see what comes next. It's hard not to know who that man is and a wide grin curves her lips as she confides to Thedius, "We are going to have another to join us." Rising to her feet, she beams at Alek, one corner of her mouth quirked upwards. "The Champion of the North. Join us, good Sir knight. Let me honor a fellow warrior with a drink."

The disguised prince/smith sits as Thedius over with Cordelia for now. Eyes spotting Alek but not making any indication as to knowing the man. Clearly for a reason. Turning his gaze back to Cordelia then, "Not far from here actually. A bit to the north between here and Laketown. Since I do a lot of work over there as well." He offers in a raspy voice. "How about you, Cordelia?" He asks in turn. Nodding a bit as she calls over Alek.

There is just the faintest of twitches to his lips when Alek hears the words of the woman, it is not like she could be talking to anyone else for him to be able to pretend that she is as much as he might like to. He brings his gaze back around to the section he'd passed over in looking for a seat to settle upon the woman, offering a respectful incline of his head, before stepping over to the table,"How could I pass up such a kind offer…especially from a fellow warrior as you say." A half smile managed for the northern woman before he inclines his head to the smith that already sits at the table,"A fair day to you, good man."

Cordelia gives the barest bow of her head to the knight. Reaching out, she claps him on the arm and pulls a chair out for him. "Good man," she decides approvingly and motions for the server to the table for the knight's drink. "This is Master Thedius Barknell. A jewelry peddler, I believe. He's from around here. And I am Cordelia," she offers as she settles into her sest again. Looking back towards her first table companion, she chuckles. "Me? A bit further west, myself. I am hoping to return home soon."

Stefan smiles over to Alek. "Pleasure. Northerner, you say?" Shaking his head a bit. "A lot of you around lately. I get worried." He says. The hood covering part of his face. Though at the smile he offered Alek might see a bit more. Fibbling a bit with his sleeve. Nodding to Cordelia then, "Ah, I see. I do hope you get to do so then." He says politely before finishing his food. Continuing to drink a bit of his ale.

Alek simply offers the woman a somewhat charming smile when she claps him on the arm, least she is friendly than a fair number of the southerners. Setting himself into the chair she directs to be his,"An honor Master Barknell, a jewlery peddler you don't say? I may need to have a word with you, I could use a few trinkets to take home with me. When I manage to go that way again." The pretty man incling his head towards the woman,"A fine pleasure, Cordelia…I have to say you are a fair bit more curteous thatn many I have met so far here. That or you are just waiting for the right moment to spring at me." Hard to say if he is teasing or not on that particular point.

A smile for the server as Alek orders up,"An ale, and just whateve the house sandwich is today, misteress." Before he nods to the man,"Yeah, I am from the north, Sir Alek Gorthorn is the name, Master Barknell. I can't say I had want to travel this far, but others thought otherwise. "

"Maybe it's a combination of the two," Cordelia replies to Alek, giving him a wink before returning her attention to the peddler. "How often do you pass through, then? I do have a few friends who like sparkly things. Perhaps, if you give me notice, I can arrange fdor them to be present for your next visit." She's content to be quiet to let Alek and Barknell conduct business, though.

Stefan nods to Alek, "Ah, well. Do find me tomorrow. I am sure we can work something out." He offers before looking to Cordelia. "And thank you for being quite kind. Although I must take my leave." He admits and rises to bow. Letting either offer any words before he will turn to leave.

"It is always a possiblity, though might I suggest for least the sake of the innkeeper, any pouciing does wait until we leave the establishment, it is in my experience, not something they particular enjoy seeing occur inside," a smooth offering and suggestion from the norther knight. Alek giving a incline of his head to the smith,"I will be certain to, I fear if I return home without something I shall hear no end of it, especially if I mention having come across a man such as yourself in my time here. Good day, Master."

Cordelia appears disappointed as the peddler rises. "Perhaps next time we will meet again," she offers, amusement lighting her eyes. "It was a pleasure. Guardians guide you." Alek's warning is taken with a laugh, one that is full and far from shy, not that maidenly giggling stuff. "Tell me, Sir knight… How do you find the south? To your liking? Shall I give a confession?" Her voice drops to a stage whisper. "I find Wolveshire to be dull and truly mind numbing."

The peddler is given a brief glance as he departs and then Alek is giving a shrug at the question,"I am finding it fine enough, things are different as to be expected." An eyebrow rises at the mention of a confession and the stage whisper that comes bring about a husky laugh. "Then I would recommend avoiding any travel to Brivey, I have found that city to have similar qualities. But then it would seem my job to stand by and protect in either place, difficult to take the measure of a place that way. But neither is home to us, and I suspect as you spoke of returning to your home not but a few moments ago, any place but there would not do for you."

"You speak most sagely," she discloses, raising her ale to her lips and taking a draw. "Were our places exchanged, Sir Alek, I would be ranting and railing against everyone and everything northerly. No offense to the north. None at all, mind you. But… well… perhaps you but have more control than I do." Leaning back in her chair again, she studies the man boldly. "Brivey? Yeah. I don't think I'd be welcome there anyway. No. My home is… well, Stilltha's Spear. Ah… you should see her." Her voice is wistful, forehead creased slightly. "The most beautiful ship I have ever sailed and I fell in love the moment my foot touched the deck."

Alek gives the server who shows up with the ordered ale and food a smile. Drawing a much needed drink from the mug before offering a smile to Cordelia. "I have found over the years, ranting and railing really does not get one very far." Especially when one serves under one such as the Baron of Shadows. "I cannot say I am….entirely…pleased about the turn of events. But perhaps the Guardians have Their reason for upending my life as They have. "

"And I do imagine I would be less welcome here than I already am, if I had come on my own, verses under the circumstances that have brought me here. " Drawing more ale from the mug as Alek listens to the woman speak of her home. "A ship? I suppose they serve as a home to many. I fear, I have not spent much time upon them. I am sure it is a lovely vessel, you are it's Captain then or do you simply serve upon her? How long have you been parted from her?"

"That's right. You are to guard the princess… A month, now. It is far too long, but this is where I am to be until certain people decide it is time for me to come home. I am… I am not a political creature, Sir Alek. I fear, however, that it falls to my lot somehow to play about here at court with my cousin. This north and south competition… It is not to my understanding at all. But… I am just a sailor. The Corsairs… that's fighting I understood." A hand lifts, motioning for more ale.

"That is what I have been assigned to do at this time, I am used to guarding well enough. Just….not someone who is quite so political. So as you say of yourself, nor am I a political creature or used to having to look after one who is." Alek gives a smile,"At least as a guard, I do not have to quite play at court, but stand and watch. Admittedly, I would prefer to not have to be a spectator either. But it is as it is now." He dips his head,"On that we can agree as well, fighting the Corsairs, this I was raised upon. A much simpler thing to understand. Not that I would wish us back to fighting, but sometimes it does seem all got along better then. No?"

"Nothing makes friends of enemies faster or better than a common enemy," Cordelia mutters with that now familiar wry grin. "Now, however, they have naught to do but natter at each other like children. 'Tis a pity that the two who did run off to Ellowe cannot find it in their hearts to torment both kingdoms… They might unite once more." Shifting in her seat to better face him, the woman reaches up to peel back a bit of the strap of her bodice from her shoulder, showing off a scar with a few years of healing on it. "A scuffle aboard the second ship I served on. Head to head with one of those foreign bastards…"

"It is a bit like siblings, family at how they go at one another at times. And from what I have witnessed over time, family have a way of getting under the skin far better than any other can." Alek shakes his head,"Oh, I do not believe we've seen nor heard the last of those two. I fear they could prove worse enemies than the Corsairs, for they were raised amongst us and know us. It gives them insight that the Corsairs do not have. I doubt their attacks will be so open." Snatching a bite of his sandwich before washing it back with ale. "In truth, the bickering serves them and the Coriars better than it does either side. Least in my opinion, but I am but a common Knight, what do I know." The northern knight gives a bit of a shrug.

Peering at the scar displayed before Alek motions to the thin scar on his right cheek,"A token from one of them, they finally got in a knick after having killed quite a few of 'em. They didn't take kindly to that fer some reason." Peeling back the sleeve over his left arm to reveal a long scar that curves along his forearm,"From the same skirmish. I admit, it took them long enough to get anything on me that would last. Bound to happen sometime though. How long did you end up having to fight against them?"

Cordelia laughs at the battle scars. "I've a few others as well but… I'm fairly certain that this type of establishment would frown upon one of the patrons removing their clothing." Lashes flutter as she tosses him a wink and then tosses back a bit more of her new drink. "Five years. Five years, I fought them. Saw lots of good men and women fall to those blades and lots more of those bastards fall beneath ours. I lost a lot of family during all of that. And you?"

Alek laughs with a shake of his head,"I imagine that some would, though I am sure there are other patrons who would be quite happy if you did. Though truly, there is not need to go about showing them to the likes of me. I doubt you'd wish to sully your reputation on the likes of a northerner." Giving a wink in return before he drinks back more of his own ale. "I do not doubt that you saw many good men and women fall, for many were lost in the years we fought them. I saw my first battle with them…eighteen years past….more of a distance that first time, being but a squire back then…and…it's been about three since we managed ta pust the last of them off our lands. I guess that makes it about fifteen years of fighting them some form or another." The knight just giving a shrug as he states that all rather simply. He is how old again? "I lost all of my family to them, least of blood. We sort of get moer family out of those we fight along side, wouldn't ya say?"

Cordelia gives a low whistle as he starts listing off the years. "That, my friend, is a long time. But you're still here so… Not just a fair hand in the tourney field then." Again she raises her glass and takes a swallow or two before nodding. "'Tis true. There's a bond deeper than any when you've fought alongside someone. Still… to not have family. Northerner or no, I'm sorry to hear it. But they've got to be damned proud of you to still be standing and now… a royal guard, even. Not too badly done, Sir Alek."

His lips form a brief smile before he notes,"Some would call it a life time." Alek nods,"In truth, that was my first tourney, I allowed myself get talked into it and now…." he shrugs with a motion of his hands, one yet having that mug of ale which thusly gets waved around as well. "I suspect so…though I admit, or as your words were…a confession of sorts" leaning as his husky voice drops to that whipery quality," my mind is not yet made up if this Royal Guard business is honor, blessing or curse…or all of them at once, Lady Cordelia." Adding her proper title for once, and even giving a wink before he leans back and takes a swig of his ale.

As he calls her out, she laughs, leaning back in her chair once more. The woman has no issue with making herself comfortable, letting her arm rest across the back of the chair beside her. "And that's why you're the man for the job, Sir Alek. Those that want it and see it as status… they're looking at it for the wrong reasons. You'll do it properly and that's what your prince is counting on, I fear. 'Tis a shame for you."

"A truth well enough of those that seek status, a bunch of prancing peacocks if you ask me. I'd bet near half of those who turned out to compete hadn't ever set a foot on the battlefield. Ain't a matter of north or south at that point, ya can spot 'em, they walk like they own the world, and everyone should bow and scrape ta them. Think cause they can beat the stuffing out of some practice dummies and a trainer that puts 'em through the same paces everytime, that they're all that and a box of rocks." Tearing a mouthful from his sandwich before he shakes his head. Alek gives a patient sigh,"I fear the same, yet, ta be honest, I ain't sure that prince o'mine much has a clue about me in the least. Though I wreckin' he knows those I serve a right bit more, perhaps that is what he is bankin' on. But then, that'd be them prancing polticing bits that are often more tangled than a spider's web."

Cordelia tilts her head at the shifting in his speech, impressed and amused. She continues to nurse her ale, stealing a bit of fruit or bread from the plate she had ordered earlier. "That's why I like being me. I'm a noble… technically. But, to be honest, most of the others don't consider my kind to be noble at all. We're a tool much as anything else is. It's why we just stay the hell out of the games. There's so much more to life than worrying about who's got the prettiest dress or who's sleeping with whom. The sort of things that go on in court…. that is what stems from idle hands."

"I can't say I much minded being what I was, better than a lot of folk manage. Don't get me wrong, weren't perfect, but I knew my place and what needed doing. Now…" Alek shrugs a little, Guardian's only knew where this path was leading for him. "Ah yes, a fine line being walked by you and your kin. And rightly be me, if my former Baron knew…ah he'd have my head, no doubt. He does not let rivalry die at all….As i am sure you are more than informed about." There is a smirk that forms,"Perhaps that is more the reason for me having been sent, I was the prettiest Knight around at the time." Yes, even the Pretty Knight has a sense of humour and can make fun of himself.

"I won't tell if you won't," Cordelia singsongs, giving him a playful wink over the rim of her glass. Another swallow and then she grins at him. "I'd wager that you are the prettiest knight in both kingdoms. You are safe, however. Your Baron need not fear my seducing you over to our side. I fear I prefer my men a bit more rough and tumble. I make it a rule never to bed a man prettier than me."

Alek laughs and shakes his head,"I do fear you may be right on that, I have come to terms with being pretty. Truth be told, it does throw some off. They figure someone as pretty as me is just all show." Giving a shrug before his husky laugh rumbles again. "Now that was not a thing I think he would, nor do I fear, my Lady. As I do have a rule of knowing a woman far better than from some chance encounter before ending up in bed with them. Not that there is ever time for such things. I do not find that being pretty gives me the need to prove myself and add up the notches in the bed post as it seems some feel they have to do. "

"If it makes you feel any better, Sir Alek… There's not a man tumbled me yet. It's not good for a woman to earn a certain reputation. Especially on a ship." Lashes flutter as, again she winks, enjoying herself immensely. "I think, however, that most women appreciate a man who doesn't feel the need to stab at anything that moves with the little 'him'. Makes a girl feel more special. They whisper about you, don't they? That you aren't bedding them? And you're so pretty?"

"It is rather rough to repair a reputation at that, seems a few are rather learning that the hard way these days. Don't matter what was actually done nor said, but them gossips do like to talk and once they get a hold of something. Ain't no changing what people think." Chewing on the last few mouthfuls of his sandwich and washing it along with whats left of his ale. "Course, rather like a man feeling better in knowing the woman he ends up wanting hasn't gone and spread her legs for any lad or man who's shown a lick of interest in her. " Alek gives a smirk and a shrug,"They whisper a lot of things about me. People do like to talk about what they think they know. "

Cordelia sighs and shakes her head. "People are idiots," she decides. "Those things don't matter. A man is what he is. That's what matters. What he is. Not north or south. Not sly or skirtchaser. All of that is incidental. It's what he is at his core that matters." She sets her drink down on the table and regards the man evenly. "If it comes to it, I'll run you through in a heartbeat, Sir Alek. But Guardians know that it is not my wish to do so."

Alek smirks a bit,"It is good we know where we stand then, Lady Cordelia. And truth be told, I'd mush rather run through Corairs than you, but if it ends up my duty to do otherwise, it'd be done. But let us hope the Guardians keep it from being that." Rising to his feet and offering a bow of his head,"I fear I must get back, short leash and all. It has been a fine time meeting you." The Knight giving a wink before he takes his leave.

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