Chess

Chess
Summary: Samwell and Niniane meet and enjoy a game of chess.
Date: 03/08/13
Related: None
Players:
Samwell Niniane 

The weather is cooler today leading Niniane to forgo the solitude the northern princess has kept herself in once again. The Taniford guards watching over the blonde princess look a mixture between bored and annoyed up towards the cloudy sky, as if they are expecting to be drenched at any moment. The northern 'guest' sits on a bench in the main courtyard, a book open on her lap as she shakes her head at the words. A small sigh escapes the woman as she closes the tomb and holds it lightly between her fingers as she looks upwards once again.

Prince Samwell has been avoiding the northrons for obvious reasons for some time, but he just happens to cross the courtyard and spots the blonde lady nearby. Whatever her flaws, like her place of birth or her being related to certain other northrons, his manners forbid to simply rush past her, so he slows down and bows. "Lady Niniane."

A voice interrupts Niniane's quiet revelry and she lowers her gaze to Samwell, blinking a little at the sight of the not often (or at all) seen prince, "Good day your highness." She says politely and moves to rise from the bench, setting the book down so she can give a small, quick curtsy.

"Good Day.", Samwell returns the greeting, then hovers uncertainly. He can almost feel his mother breathing down his neck and yet his big heart can't just ignore the lady's situation. "Are you being well looked after, Lady Niniane?", he asks politely, "I hope you don't find Taniford hospitality wanting in any form."

Niniane's back straightens at the southern princes' lack of title usage, though she smiles brightly to the man. "I have been well looked after of course cousin, her majesty I am sure would not have it any other way. Though I appreciate your concern." Her eyes flicker towards the ground a moment before she looks to Samwell again and she folds her hands in front of her, clasping them tightly.

Samwell inclines his head in response to the last bit, the hovers once more, not really sure what to say. "Well, I am glad to hear that, Mylady. If… if I can be of service, please feel free to call upon me. I… I imagine that things can be a little quiet for you here sometimes."

The more awkward Samwell appears, Niniane seems to follow suit as the princess shifts her feet and looks upon the ground once again, "I appreciate your concern your highness, but I do not expect to be continually entertained until my brother finishes his half of the bargain." She response before looking back up towards Samwell.

"Well, I'm trying to help!", Samwell bursts out before he catches himself and straightens again, clasping his hands behind his back. "Have you heard from your brother, Mylady? Is he… working on finishing his half of the bargain?"

Niniane bites her bottom lip, stopping a small smile that springs to her face, "I appreciate it of course Sir." She shakes her head at the question however, "I have not had any correspondence from Jerric no, though I am sure he is hurrying too."

"If he is indeed.", Samwell replies darkly, though it's quickly replaced by a polite little smile. "What would entertain you, Mylady? A game perhaps? Some music? Stories by the fire?"

Niniane raises an eyebrow to this, "My brother has given your mother his word. I am sure, despite your experiences with my family, your highness he can be trusted. Jerric is not one for idle words." The northerner then gives a sheepish smile with her words, fully aware of her sister's actions or what is said at least of her, "I enjoy reading, I have been keeping myself entertained with your library your highness, but a game of some sort would be a good break in the solitude."

Samwell smiles a little. "Well, there are some games at my disposal… if you would accept my company?", he asks and offers her a hand, "Which game would meet your preference? Draughts? Chess? Dice?" Do they even have chess here?

A touch wary in her movements, Niniane does take the offered hand from the southern prince and looks to him a little confused, "You are either very courtly your highness, or just not at all what I expected." She blushes and shakes her head, "Chess? Are you any good?"

"I'm not too bad.", Samwell replies politely and starts leading her off into the residence… not to his private chambers of course, but to a pleasant solar where a fire is crackling and a big chessboard with elaborately carved figures is waiting for players. "What did you expect then, Mylady?", he can't resist asking as they walk.

Niniane's face lights up at the sight of the chessboard, "Lovely set." She comments quietly before moving to take one of the seats, leaving asking servants or anyone from drinks to the prince. The guards assigned to her follow at a far enough distance to allow privacy. The women then gives a rather unladylike shrug, "I expected more along the lines of your sister's hated if we are being frank your highness."

Samwell gestures for a servant to bring them some fine wine to the table on which the chessboard sits and waits for Niniane to take her seat before he sits down himself. "I hold no love for the North.", he says softly once the drinks have been brought and the servant has withdrawn, "But in the grand scheme of things…" he looks down at the chessboard, "You and I are just pawns, are we not? You are here, why make your stay more miserable than necessary?"

Folding her hands politely in her lap Niniane still seems wary of Samwell, looking more like a dog waiting to be kicked then her princess demeanor, she does chance another smile to the young man though at his words. "A rather night and day attitude it seems then I had expected, but I thank you for it your highness." She looks towards the board and since Samwell is situated in front of the white pieces she gestures to indicate he take the first move. "I admit I have no hate for the south, to be honest your highness. I do not see a reason to."

"Perhaps you don't…. I admit I'm not too keen on the North… seeing as it should be ours by right.", Samwell replies softly and moves one of the pawns on the board ahead, "Still, it's not your fault? You didn't ask to be born a princess of the North… just as I did not ask to be born a Prince of the South."

"Oh of course the south should be under my father's control." Niniane chuckles then, a light one she quickly stops as her fingers first flit to a pawn, then she decides on a different one to move, "But that is by far not our greatest concern at the moment." She looks back up to Samwell and offers him another genuine, for once, smile, "And yes, neither of us asked for this I fully comprehend that. However neither of us asked for our siblings either."

"Well, you shouldn't voice that opinion when my mother is in earshot.", Samwell recommends dryly and nods to her last comment. "Indeed." He pauses to consider his next move and pushes another pawn forward at last, before he responds. "We didn't… though I for one am glad that my sister's responsibilities do not rest on my shoulders."

Another smile is given to the young man across from her as Niniane quickly moves her horse out to play, "I think that would be detrimental to my health your highness." Niniane agrees before shaking her head at this, "And I thank the guardian's everyday I am not a man and of the north."

"What do you see in your future?", Samwell asks thoughtfully, "Once you've left us again, I mean." He ponders moves for a while, then opts for the tower and shifts it forward some fields.

Niniane's hand darts out quickly to move her horse once again, but pauses as she considers the question or her move, perhaps both. "My future is far from my own your highness. I see whatever I am needed for as always, be it ambassador duties to the south as I have for years, or perhaps a marriage to solidify alliances. As you said, I am merely a pawn." With the last word she moves her slender hand to move her pawn forward, forgoing the knight for the moment.

"Well, we all are.", Samwell replies thoughtfully, as his eyes follow her hand moving the pawn. "Do you like living in the South?", he asks for some reason and, realizing what he'S saying adds quickly: "Under … regular circumstances, I mean."

"The Summer Citadel is lovely, I do miss my time there." Niniane replies, ignoring the awkwardness of the question and looks back up towards Samwell, a small smile on her lips before she reaches out to pick up her glass, "Have you ever been north your highness?"

"No, I have not.", Samwell admits, "I have… little interest until two halves become reunited. I have been busy training here." Lots of princely stuff to train! HE picks up his glass and takes a big sip of wine, then falls silent to focus on the match.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Niniane=Mind Vs Samwell=Mind
< Niniane: Failure Samwell: Good Success
< Net Result: Samwell wins - Solid Victory

Once the chess game begins in earnest, the conversation dries up, save for some mutters here and there. After a while the Taniford prince emerges victorious, having created a nice little check-mate. He leans back, arms folded over his chest, watching the young lady across the board with a smile.

Niniane seems to be moving her pieces without much thought as she looks over to the prince, a small smile on her lips before he wins. She takes it graciously though, tipping her queen over and a small chuckle passes the princess' lips, "A sound trashing your highness, I will have to ask you for a rematch sometime."

"I would not mind that, Mylady.", Samwell replies politely, "You are a worthy opponent… far more so than my sister. She lacks the… imagination, I suppose." He gestures for the servant to approach and refill their wine cups, then looks at the woman again. "Would you care for a light meal?"

"That in entirely up to you your highness, I would not mind if I am not taking up to much of your time." Niniane responds quickly as she watches the prince from behind her wine glass. A slightly contemplative look on the young woman's face as she sips at the dark liquid then sets the cup aside, "I think your sister has quick the imagination Prince Samwell." She address him a touch less formally, though it comes out hesitant as if the blonde is testing his reaction.

Samwell hesitates for a moment and there's a chance that a dozen dutiful tasks wander through his brain, but he banishes them all to a backseat. ""I feel a little peckish after this game.", he admits and nods to the servant. "Bring us some light repast, Calian. Whatever you can rustle up in the kitchen." The boy nods and hurries off, so the prince can look at the Woman again. The new address doesn't seem to bother him, he just smiles. "My sister is quite the character."

Niniane's smile grows at the lack of recourse from the use of his name, "I have to agree, she is young however. Princess Aylanora, may the guardians keep her, was a wonder at chess, I know the south felt her loss sorely as did the north." She pauses with her hand hovering over the glass of wine a moment before saying quietly with an apologetic smile, "Sorry I was never talented at remembering to keep conversations lighter."

A shadow crosses Samwell's face when his sister's name falls, but the apology brings the light smile back again. "It's hard to find meaningless chit chat.", he admits, "I am sure you are not very interested in the progress of my guards or my studies in history…."

A small chuckle and Niniane leans forward, putting her chin in her hand and watching the prince with what seems to be intense interest, "Oh yes please, how does your studies in history go your highness? For we can not claim to know anything until we understand the reasoning behind it."

Samwell sighs a little. "It's what my tutor says too. I just don't have a head for numbers.", he admits and runs a hand through his nice dark wavy hair. Yea, distract the chick with his handsomeness, "I'm learning though… reading a lot of books my tutor suggests." Which means looking at the first page, then have them disappear under the bed.

"There is more to history then dates and numbers Prince Samwell." Niniane leans back and finally picks up her glass, her green eyes flitting towards the exit the boy left from for a moment, "Perhaps you need a more exciting tutor." Her shoulders give another small shrug before she absentmindedly smooths down her dress and looking ponderous for a moment asks, "So what do you enjoy your highness? Other then beating me in chess apparently."

Samwell ponders this for a moment, then shrugs. "I like the outdoors… riding… hunting… or a good dance. I like dancing. Don'T you? I mean, who doesn't?", he wonders, just as the servant returns with a large tray filled with southern goodies - fresh bread with delicious herbs, cheese, smoked ham, grapes and berries.

Her expression once again brightening Niniane smiles to Samwell, "I do love dancing Prince Samwell. I wish you had been at the closing feast for the Tournament, I missed all the dancing for lack of a partner." Her cheeks color as she shakes her head, "Of course you had more important duties to attend to at the summer citadel." She smilings to the returning servant, "It looks and smells wonderful, thank you." She acknowledges with a nod.

Samwell dismisses the servant with a nod and begins placing the small bowls and plates onto a nearby table at the window, then takes his own wine glass there as well. "I'm sorry to hear that, Mylady. Though I am not sure my mother would have allowed me to dance.", he admits, "Come sit, enjoy a little repast.", he invites with a gesture towards the other chair.

Niniane rises from her seat and moves to follow Samwell towards the spread of delicious smelling food. She picks up her wine and a bowl herself, not above helping out of course, "Your mother is a rather courtly woman, I am sure she would not have begrudged you a dance, besides my sister was not there." She bites her lip, having let slip the idea at least of Amira (on purpose or not, who knows).

Sam smirks at the mention of the sister in question and tears some bread off the chunk to pop into his mouth and chew slowly, winning time to think a little. "My mother is not keen on me being touch with northrons. That includes dancing these days.", he explains somewhat diplomatically, then starts cutting into the cheese, offering her a small block first.

Niniane watches Samwell's reaction carefully as he pauses to respond to her, "I am sure your mother has her reasons, however she is far to intelligent to hold someone else accountable for the deeds of their siblings." She feels safe obviously pushing the subject (even after Fayre threatened to cut her up in little pieces for her siblings actions).

Samwell smirks. "My mother felt that I had rather overstretched her patience with my … interest in your sister. And the Queen can be very impressive when she is angry." In other words, the princeling was very much scared of Mommy sometimes. "I just need to…. lay low for a while." He pops a block of cheese into his own mouth, then adds a bit of bread.

Niniane stops herself from rolling her eyes, "I think it was more my sister tried her patience then yourself your highness." She picks up a piece of bread and starts to rip it into small pieces, almost a little nervously at the thread of conversation. She picks up her wine with her free hand, setting the unriped bread down, "But alas, such in the way of royal parents of course. As mentioned earlier, allow me to reiterate, pawns." She gives Samwell a small smile.

Samwell smirks wryly. "Indeed, pawns.", he confirms, giving her a long thoughtful look. "Do you know what your parents have in store for you? A betrothal already planned?"

Niniane swallows the bread she finally tried a piece off and then quickly shakes her head to Samwell, "I believe my father's plans for a Westmark alliance we're waylaid by Sir Castor joining the chosen, though I understand he has not taken his oath's yet so who knows in that regard. Otherwise I am sure my father has his expert mind thinking of plans in my regard. Yourself?" She asks with interest in her tone despite her rather neutral tone when it involved her own future.

Samwell shrugs a little. "I am sure my mother has grand plans.", is all he replies and chuckles. "I believe that after… recent events she's more eager than ever. I doubt I'll see the end of the year as an unmarried man." Yes, he actually sighs and reaches for his wine cup for a big gulp to drown his woes in.

"I am sure she does and besides how bad can the wife chosen for a prince really be?" Niniane jokingly asks, trying to lighten his apparent grump with a small smile, "You mother would not pick someone lacking in intelligence, just be wary she may have buck teeth to satisfy an alliance." The northerner winks and then shudders as she wrinkles up her nose in distaste, "Just watch, my husband will be 20 years my senior."

"And what'S wrong with some experience?", Samwell asks with a wink, teasing her right back. "It's no worse than buck teeth!" He might say some more, but suddenly the servant is back in the room, clearing his throat. "Your Highness, your mother wishes to see you." Samwell sighs and offers Niniane an apologetic look. "I shall endeavour to be back soon, Mylady. Enjoy your repast in the meantime."

Niniane giggles a touch girlishly at this and rolls her eyes, "Too much experience, your highness." She gives him a bright smile though, "I am sure we will enjoy…" She is cut off as well from responding by the servants arrival and nods her head, "Best not to keep a mother waiting Prince Samwell, thank you once again and if I fail to see your return, it was a pleasure." She stands up to curtsy before he rushes off.

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