Like a Bell on a Cat

Like a Bell on a Cat
Summary: A Temple Chosen passing through Wolveshire during the Tourney has a discussion about justice with Lord Samwell Taniford.
Date: 3 May 2013
Related: None
Alyona Samwell 

Wolveshire Castle - Garden Court
The garden court is a large area housed between the curtain walls, the main keep, the temple and the barracks. The cobbled main walkway links the temple to the main courtyard, circling around a tiered fountain carved into the shape of four wolves holding up a bowl. Well-kept dirt paths lead into various directions, winding amongst the trees and flowers and topiaries that decorate the courtyard. Stone benches found along each path serve as resting places for visitors.
Following the cobbled main path takes one to the arched doorway leading into the temple or back between buildings and into the main courtyard.
Friday, May 3, 1329

Game of Kings - Friday, May 03, 2013, 11:22 PM

It is well after the dramatic events of the afternoon. The moon rests pleasantly high above the walls of the keep and illuminates the gardens and whatever their normal nocturnal traffic may consist of. It may or may not normally consist of Chosen wandering out from the Temple, but it has not in the past ever been this particular lady Chosen. She tugs a cloak over her tabard before beginning to wander the gardens with a meandering purposefulness - as if she is looking for someone.
<FS3> Samwell rolls Reaction: Good Success.

The sound of a lute may precede the arrival of a noble in his walk. Sweet chords, followed by little passages of playful notes, tell a story to the wind itself, gracing the air with a music meant to only describe this very moment, as ethereal and even childish it can be. The steps itself mark their rhythm, everything about the player talks of his melody, developing around him as his dark eyes are lost in his thought.

Dark eyes, burning in black fire, with the same shade of his hair. A royal blue doublet with his House's sigil only confirm the musician's identity. And tonight, Samwell Taniford, Prince and Knight of the Citadel, wanders lazily with a pleasant smile, without any hint of worry - which is something not very common in him as of late.

Until, that is, the distracted knight stops just before hitting a lady in his path. The shadowy eyes open widely, and a deep bow is offered, maybe a little smile as well. "Excuse me, my lady. That was close."

<FS3> Alyona rolls Perception: Good Success.

Of course, it was not close at all. The lute was not an aid to stealth, and at sight of the noble careening towards her, the lady Chosen had simply stopped and watched him. A brow flickered upwards and a lip twisted downwards in a mildly sardonic expression is her only reaction until he finally notices her. "Your Highness, your lute makes a poor guide." Her voice is pleasant, if a touch provincial, and the bemused quip is accompanied by a polite bow and salute. "Luckily, I believe I'm the most sinister thing in the gardens."

Though the Chosen rendered her cross-chest salute with her right hand, as proper, her left arm remains tucked against her side and cloaked even after she straightens.

"Oh," the Prince lets a laugh escape, "That is exactly why I play the lute while walking. It makes harder for the people to be hit by me by mistake." a little blush of shame, and he examines the Chosen closely. "'Your Highness'? Well, it seems you know me, but I cannot say the same. We should introduce ourselves as if you didn't know who I am, and that way it would be more fair." clearing his throat, he bows deeply. "Samwell Taniford. What is your name, my lady?"

Even without tearing out a sound at least none audible outside of his head, the knight's fingers continue to caress the wine wood, touched by the years, and the strings, as he waits for an answer.

"Like a bell on a cat." The lady Chosen offers with another rise of her brows, though she remains just short of a laugh herself. Lit only by the moon, all of her expressions seem just that - just short of full, a touch too long in coming, like ripples from the opposite side of a deep lake. She offers the matching obeisance in return, left arm still tucked close. "Alyona the Still, of the Chosen. I am here on errand from Mother Superior Stillvin of Laketown." She glances aside, towards the manicured plants and the magnificant fountain. "A lovely home you have, Sir Taniford." It seemed the right thing to say, though it is offered with a slight, awkward pause, of one trying to remember long taught lessons of ill-used etiquette.

"Lovely indeed, but my house is the Summer Citadel." Samwell corrects with a smile at all times. "Though I wouldn't mind living in this castle. The gardens are just beautiful and inspiring. The landscape is gorgeous, and my Varghem cousins are so kind and hospitable. Which makes me wonder, does that errand have something to do with the tourney?" the inspecting eyes examine her one more time. "It is an honor to meet you, Alyona the Still, of the Chosen." the knight finally adds, his own eyes moving to rest on the fountain. A little flash of enjoyment can be seen in the ever-raging gaze. "I have met Priestess Tylon and the Acolyte Kerianne. Very nice couple, I think all the faith followers tend to be that way." it seemed the right thing to say.

<FS3> Alyona rolls Reaction: Success.

If she blushes at the mistake, it is not immediately obvious; though naturally fair of skin, the lady Chosen has sun-dappled cheeks that would horrify most high-born ladies. Many years unshielded in the sun. She simply dips her head in acquiescence of the fact, with no profuse apologies given. Short of word, she seems. "It is my honor to serve." She offers, humbly. "I am afraid I missed the tourney thus far, Sir. This is a far simpler errand. A matter of minor justice. Nothing to bother the guard abou—"

A nearby hedge rustles as if on cue, and Alyona darts towards it with a swiftness unhinted in her manner. There is a rustle of leather and fabric, the crash of leaves, a jostle of a bell, and finally, a high-pitched complaint. In a few seconds, the melee is over, the Chosen fallen to her knees and barely grasped in her free arm is a rather upset kitchen cat. "There is the little poacher." Alyona offers, simply.

The Prince's eyes open as wide as they can, once more. The curious succession of events catches his attention instantly, submerging him in the deepest of amusements, and he barely can contain himself to offer a clap.

"Like a bell on a cat, now it makes so much sense." he whispers, perhaps to himself, but his gaze is fixed in the Chosen. "You fought well, sadly outside of one of the tourney's main events, but still. Let me tell you my House is very proud of your valor and skill." how much of it is just jesting, and how much is truth recognition of Alyiona's impressive show, is very hard to tell. But his tone is gentle and formal all the time, though touched with entertainment and a childish bright in his eyes.

"What will be the destiny of your hostage, my lady? If such a battle triumph and its details can be shares with a humble knight, of course."

The lady Chosen sways softly before gathering herself up to her feet. It is not the great power of her opponent that causes the unsteady balance, however; with her cloak thrown back in disarray from the joust, it is seen that Alyona's left arm is not merely protected but tightly splinted and in a sling. Combat with a handicap, no less! With a shrug of this shoulder, she manages to toss a section of her cloak upon the cat, who is quickly bound and sedated. "I have been told that the evening events of a tourney are the most telling of a knight's skill and chivalry, is it not?" Wait, is the Chosen making an innuendo?

Once in a proper grip and swaddled, the cat settles down quite quickly, proving to be very tame - and indeed trussed with a bell upon a ribbon - indeed. It grips Alyona's shoulder with claws just enough to secure a perch, though its tail flickers with haughty displeasure. The Chosen flares her nostrils softly, again with that not-quite-smile. One might wonder if that is what passes for deep amusement in the veteran's face. "Well, the grimalkin is not a corsair, so it is likely that she will be spared. It is the Temple's justice to be merciful to those who atone…" Swish-swish-swish goes the cat's tail, and Alyona flickers her eyebrows up. "Though one sometimes wonders the cat's capability for true penitence."

Raising an eyebrow at the late notice of her arm, Samwell moves closer to her to try to offer some help. That is, of course, if any help is needed, after such a demonstration of skill. "Are you okay?" he asks softly, with not a single hint of a jest. "I didn't see your arm before. You should have told me, and I would have tried to catch it for you. I don't know if I would have succeeded - most probably I would not. But at least we both would have tried and it would have been a little easier for you." the apologetic voice comes out with a little blush.

"And he deserves mercy. Every cat has a space in his feline heart for repent. And me, as a fellow bell-preceded one, have to talk on his favor. No crime is too big for the Guardians to turn their faces from it, and-" but the words are cut by a guard, rushing in the knight's direction. After a quick whisper in his ear, some heartbeats are left to fade in silence and the Prince returns to the Chosen with a little sad nod of his head. "There is something I need to do. But I hope you have a good night, and I will pray for your fast healing. If I can help you in any way, you can ask for my presence at any time, for serving is an honor for me as well." a slight smile and a respectful bow take place before he departs. "It was a pleasure, Alyona the Still, of the Chosen."

The concern for her discomfort is brushed off politely but firmly. "It is nothing, Sir Taniford. Another scrap with a poacher, just one with bigger claws." And that seems to be that; if anything, Alyona seems slightly embarrassed by his apology and attention, and stubbornly stands straight, feline burden and all - as if she can simply will the injury away by ignoring it.

As her life is plead for by the Prince, the cat starts to purr, the pendulum of her tail slowing. Strangely, the Chosen crooks her hand around to scratch behind the cat's ear, though the plea for justice is met with the stony indifference one would expect from a prosecutor of her station. Only after the interruption, Alyona smiles - a real smile, though small, and reassuring. "Thank you very much for your concern, Your Highness. The Four Guardians will see me through, as I hope they watch over your evening as well." The salute cannot be rendered without upending her prisoner, so Alyona the Still bows in return. "And do watch your step, Sir Taniford. I would not like your lute to lead you heels over head into the fountain."

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