Long Road Nearly Ended

Long Road, Nearly Ended
Summary: Neale and Sammel catch up on the day's events, while Amira drops by for a visit on her way home
Date: 4/22/2013
Related: None
Neale Sammel Amira 

Lower Bailey - Brivey Keep
The lower bailey of the keep is devoted to the working class and the bulk of Brivey's soldiers with a main gravelled path leading toward the upper bailey. To the left past the portcullis sit the stables, and beside that the two-story barracks for the men-at-arms. To the right of the barracks a makeshift training arena is roped off to keep passersby at a safe distance. To the right of the path, a long, low building houses the healers' clinic.

The path heads west toward the barbican and east to a stone three-step stairway leading into the adjoining courtyard. One is able to look through the arch into the upper bailey.


The sun beams down upon the open Lower Baily of Brivey Keep. Commoner and Noble alike move through the open-air area, most going about their business stoically, occasionally a bit of haggling between vendors turns into an argument that rises above the din, but is shortly brought back to a reasonable level. All in all, a standard day at Brivey Keep.

Neale can be found in the same place he is every day in the afternoon, on the training ground near the Barracks, going through the smooth, refined motions that only years of repetition can create. An oddity among many of Rhaedan's swordsmen, Neale is bedecked in brigandine armor (covered in black velvet, of course) instead of the heavy plate, and weilds a sword in each hand, instead of the usual sword and shield techniques. The weapons appear, at first glance, to be sabres, but those well-versed in swordplay recognize the truth: they are shimshars, curved blades with points sharp enough to pierce with.

Two rows of knights herald Sammel's presence; behind them is a gaggle of servants, carrying a multitude of boars, rabbits and other things. Apparently, the heir to Brivey has kept himself rather busy with large-scale hunts, which, one supposes, can be explained with preparatio nfor an upcoming feast of some sort. He wears both mail and brigandine for such occasions, unlike most of the traditional knights who prefer the stiffling sensation of a full plate armor. It is not a surprise that the son of the Duke comes across his father on the training ground.

Neale continues with the swift, practiced movements, ending the last of them with a full twirl of his body, his lead weapon snapping out to the side to block an imaginary incoming blow, but his right blade snaking foward toward the throat of his invisible opponent. He stops there, drawing himself up to a standing position, blades comfortably at his sides, before turning to spot Sammel and his entourage. A ghost of a smile tugs at the edges of his mouth, and once he has managed to catch Sammel's attention, gives his son a dip of his head in greeting. "Good Hunt?"

Never one to undermine the authority of his father, and thus erode his own future authority and that which he has by proxy, Sammel bows to Neale, low enough that other knights are compelled to do the same. He straightens up, before stating, "Keeping in good sword form, father, I see." And then, on to Neale's second question: "Very good, as a matter of fact. But it went so well we might have to do without hunting for the rest of the week."

"Of course, Sammel, of course." Neale manages a tight smile then, before continuing. "I fight an enemy that does not need food or shelter, and does not tire, and does not feel remorse." Feigned annoyance flickers across his features as he names the opponent. "Age." With a single, fluid motion, he sheaths his weapons and moves over toward Sammel to extend a hand to the man. Heir or no, Sammel is still his son, and a fellow warrior. "The entire week? Just what will you do with yourself?" Amusement lightly colors Neale's tone, as if the question were to ostensibly be taken seriously.

Once again, Amira is just returning to Brivey Keep and her guards have just stabled the horses. For a moment, she takes a moment to breathe in deeply of the air of home the air of the north. Instead of going towards the keep, she walks towards the Lower Bailey, two guards in tow, her cloak over her shoulders, though the hood is off, leaving her golden hair exposed. Upon seeing the familiar face of Sammel a smile curves over her lips and she continues nearer, perhaps a bit of spring in her step.

"Ha. I still have to figure out the judgement to pass on that man who knifed the other at the Golden Sword. I might make him pay some sort of fee for the murder, so that the family of the victim can sustain itself." Sammel takes Neale's hand and gives it a firm shake; there is an earnestness in the motion, perhaps due to the very strong ties of blood that unite the two Riedels. "And I know that foe already, father, believe it or not," he chuckles, nodding to some man who asks whether to bring the kills to the kitchen. Then Amira approaches, and the Knight of House Riedel bows toward the Rhaedan princess. "Your Highness, radiant as always, I see. Welcome back to Brivey Keep."

Neale nods then, huffing slightly as he mulls it over. "Perhaps have the man run his victim's mill for a fortnight. Not only is he supporting the family, but he'll actually know the man he's slain, and might calm his temper, even through the drink." Sammel's mention of the ravages of time gets a small chuckle from his father. "We can outsmart it for a while, at least. It, and the young pups that haven't yet felt it's keen sting." Amira's approach is responded to with a polite nod as well, his gaze pinned to the floor for a breath before meeting the young Princess' gaze. "Your Highness, to what do we owe the pleasure of your company this beautiful day?"

If Amira overhears any of the conversation prior to her immediate arrival, she is too much a lady to mention it. Eavesdropping is certainly not a becoming trait! Upon arrival though, when she is greeted, she offers a curtsy in return, ducking her head rather demurely for a moment before lifting it and regarding the two with a vibrant smile. "A good day to you both! I only just arrived back home and heard activity that was much more inviting than returning to the keep to my rooms. Are you both well?" Though her gaze is at first on the elder of the two as she asks it, it is immediately drawn towards the younger soon after. "Thank you for the welcome, I am very happy to have returned."

"I am fine, Your Highness, thank you for asking." Sammel bows his head lightly to Amira before looking over to Neale. "I keep saying that, myself. My sparring partners are often surprised when I decide to step onto the blade when it is lowered and then bash them with my pommel. Then again, I am somewhat of a savant for such styles of fighting." He chuckles, meeting the Princess' gaze. "How was Laketown, Princess Amira?"

"Noone ever expects the other weapon. It's been an ace of mine for years." Neale says, then turns to Amira, letting his hands fall to rest at the small of his back, clasped, as he speaks. "Ah, yes. The obligation of nobility. Do your rooms seem like a prison yet, or are they still a safe haven for you?" A knowing smile spreads across his features, as he remembers the restlessness of youth. Even though his hands are clasped behind his back, his index finger silently taps against his thumb as he speaks with his Heir and the Princess.

"You are most welcome, my lord." Amira straightens and clasps her hands together loosely at her midriff. "It alternates between the two, mostly. I seek reprieve there when I wish, yet when I am forced to be there with orders not to leave, they feel more like a prison. Prince Jerric is quiet indulging, as he allows me to travel with him often." Taking an interest in the sparring discussion, she listens but does not interrupt the two. Then suddenly it occurs to her. "Am I interrupting anything? I probably should get to the keep and let them know of my return. Would you be coming up soon?" The question is directed at Sammel and a blush colors her cheeks.

"Very shortly, in fact, Your Highness." Sammel answers Amira with a smile when she blushes. He glances to his father, then. "I have posted the orders as you ordered, speaking of which, and reinforced the lower motte patrols. The merchants should feel less harried about Southern raiders or whoever those people are, now." He bows once to Neale and then back to Amira. "You are welcome to remain with us should you wish, Princess Amira."

"If there is a safe place to be, it is at Prince Jerric's side, Your Highness." Neale dips his head in a polite bow then, and smiles once more to the Princess. "No interruption, Sir Sammel is simply updating me on the day's business." At Sammel's mention of Amira remaining, Neale nods once in response. "We would be happy to host you, should you desire some time off the road." He turns to Sammel then, rocking forward and back along his knees as he speaks. "That should suffice. We may also wish to increase our drills, they've been getting sloppy on the field lately."

As the reply is given in the affirmative, Amira offers a small but delighted smile. "Truly I should get back there and reassure them I have returned home once again. I do hope to see you again soon." Widening her eyes, she realizes and hurriedly inputs. "Both of you." Offering another curtsy, she again lowers her head. "Thank you both for the gracious offer."

"With Father's permission, then I shall accompany you to the Keep proper, Your Highness," Sammel offers, looking to Neale and bowing in deference to his father's command, either way. "Yes, I will have them trained; the drills need to be something along the lines of the unexpected. I will speak with Paidrig about it. Should be interesting to try out, at least." A salute as though he would open the plate helmet's visor is offered to the Duke of Riedel and he turns to Amira.

Neale pointedly ignores Amira's slip. Of course she meant both of them. He smiles politely but shakes his head in response. "It is our pleasure, Your Highness." When Sammel suggests that he accompany Amira, Neale actually laughs quietly and nods his head in agreement. "Breath stolen from my own mouth, my son." A quick glance to Amira then, and he adds, "A familiar face will do you good on the road. Please, I insist that you allow the second-finest swordsman in the realm to accompany you home." A quick smirk is fired Sammel's way. "One of these days, you'll finally beat me." It's a hollow joke, as Sammel has bested his father many times, but wounds of pride heal slower than any other.

"Oh! I had not meant to end your meeting, please do not leave on my account. My guards will accompany me. Please, I had no intentions on disrupting your talks with your father." Amira attempts to hurriedly reassure Sammel and Neale both. When she is outnumbered, she bows her head gracefully, deferring to their wishes. "Thank you then, both of you." Lips quirking into a smile as he mentions the second-finest swordsman. "Oh, I think we have all heard stories of your abilities with the sword, Duke Riedel. They have become legendary as bedtime tales in the nursery. You need not worry about your son usurping your own known skills for you have had a bit longer to practice." There is mischief in her eyes as she offers the compliment, though again, her gaze returns to Sammel.

"Perhaps, Father." Sammel replies with a laugh. Once again, this is the ever-dutiful son. Even if he did best Neale many times, he would never say otherwise to what the Duke of Riedel claims. It is their understanding. He steps forward, then, offering his arm to Amira. "Shall we, Princess?" A smile flashes across his lips, again, a bright one.

"On that note, Princess, I shall endeavor to do just that." With that, he beckons over a small boy, who hands the Duke a pair of wooden sticks, each three feet long and curved. To Sammel, he lifts his sword pommel before his own face, a warrior's battlefield salute, then dips head head in a polite bow to the Princess, before turning once more to the training circle, looking for an opponent.

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