Matters of a Delicate Nature

Matters of a Delicate Nature
Summary: Morla is summoned by Prince Commander Samwell Taniford to discuss some recent murmurs heard through the South which lead to more delicate matters fit for discussion between House Lohstren and Taniford.
Date: 29 June 2013
Related: In Defense of a Prince
Samwell Morla Tamara Xander Fayre 

South - Blue Room
Heavy tapestries of pale blue hang from the walls of this guest room, brightening the dark wood of the floor. Hues of green come in at the base of the tapestries, giving the sense that one could look through the walls and out over the surrounding forest. A wide bed anchors one corner of the room, while high-backed chairs cluster between a table and fireplace.

A single door leads out into the Guest Hall.

Sat June 29, 1329

The door is half open. Rays of light make their way inside, stealing the colors of old maps hanging on the walls. Several annotations can be seen on top of them. Arrows drawn in many directions, circles and crosses. Different colors, different styles, different writing, but all of them with the mark of haste and the tint of worry.

Indeed, the Blue Room is nothing near to the other guest suites of the castle. Instead, it is now more akin to the headquarters of the Blue Guard.

And there, sitting by a table and a still untasted cup of wine, the commander of that royal order and the Taniford Army reads a series of parchments in silence. His armor, bright silver, contrasts direly with the blue cloak he wears. Some would say blue is everywhere here. But there is darkness as well. Black fire. Black fire raging in the dark eyes of the Prince, just as dark as his messy hair. A smile is drawn. A sweet and delicate smile. Perhaps not blue, but contrast is everywhere to be seen. The smile is drawn and remains for more than a heartbeat. The parchment, instants later, is let down on the table.

The sound of rustling fabric barely preceeds the arrival of the lady in red. Daylight is not her usual time, by all accounts, yet the slender woman slowly makes her way into the headquarters of the guard with a whisping grace. Pale milk hands lift to draw back the vibrant shawl as her normal hoarfrosted locks appear pinned up with only a single curl cresting to drape over her shoulder. Drawing up her rear, a lone guard stands near enough to provide escort but remain unobtrusive.

With a somber dip of her head in regard, Morla speaks with a calm manner, "Sir Samwell, I am honored at your request for I believe there is a great many matters of which we should discuss." Haunting frost-filled depths drift around the room in notation of the layout before finally landing upon him with an inquisitive lift her her brow, "I am at your service."

After a blink, the black fire fades to a warm look and a respectful nod of his head. Samwell stands up, pulling another chair near the table, and offering it with a gesture to the newcomer. "My lady." he starts. His voice is firm and fairly solemn. "I am who is honored by your presence. I am glad you arrived so fast. And I just hope I didn't interrupt any of your tasks, but I think you will agree this meeting was more than needed."

The Knight of the Citadel awaits in silence for the lady to take seat, or not, and then makes his way to a large basket, not far from them.

"Lady Aylin, my squire, has a special gift for cooking. I heave bread, biscuits, all freshly baked and delightful. Fruits, also. Please excuse me for the lack of decoration of this room - but I'll do my best to compensate it." he grins a bit lightly. "Do you want some wine?"

A quiet knock on the door can be heard from another of the Lohstren ladies. Tamara doesn't peek in so has no realized her cousin is present at the moment.

"Thank you, Sir Samwell," she hesitates for but a mere moment before adding, "Perhaps a glass of wine if you insist it is not too much trouble." Morla gracefully accepts the offered chair, her attentions drawn once more to the simplicity of the room by his own words, "There is never a need to apologize for one's choice of decor - sometimes the simple things truly are the greatest blessings. I am certain the room serves its purpose well enough and that truly is what is of most import, is it not?"

A passing glance is made back towards her own guard, granting a faint bow of her head which gives the guard's stance a mild degree of ease. Once more those pale depths follow towards the Prince Commander, as she settles her hands to fold over her shawl upon her lap, "I only wish my presence here was initiated by better tidings. Were it my preference, a meeting such as this would need not be necessary. However my brother's actions deem otherwise."

"Well, when Aylin left this morning," Samwell says in a whisper, perhaps unnecessary for the lack of more people around, "The room was perfectly organized. I just hope she thinks the same way you do, Lady Morla." a chuckle is heard to serve as accompaniment to the sound of wine being poured in another cup. Neither of them last long, but the first one leads to a gentle smile as the glass is offered.

"I think the same. Last time we met, which was the first one we met, was under harsh circumstances." the disappearance of a Crown Princess, that is. "But I would like to know, first, what do you think of the matter. Of your brother." the knight's gaze drifts to the door as a knocking takes over the silence. "Excuse me." he says before quickly opening and smiling with a bit of an arisen brow to the new guest. "Lady Tamara, it is good to see you. We were just going to talk about Lohstren matters."

Looking past the prince Tamara notices Morla in the room and the steward nods her head, "Well then perhaps I am not interupting? Though of course Lohstren matters are more of a concern to Lady Morla then myself, however I assume these involve my brother?" She asks and the red heads eyebrow raises slightly. She gives her cousin a small, polite smile then says in a low voice to Samwell, "I can return later if you wish. I just was checking on your well being your highness."

"I recall," the words come out almost hollow as her spine stiffens every so slightly at mention of their initial meeting. Still the arrival of her other cousin proves a welcome reprieve for the moment as she turns to greet her with a polite dip of her head, "Lady Tamara," her words echo with a hint of warmth. She falls silent for a moment or two as her attentions shift back to the Commander.

The Flower waits but a few short moments before granting a reply as her gaze slips once more to her flame-haired cousin, "In part, yes, though I do believe he is merely a small part of the grander issue. I will take full responsibility for Sir Xander's part in the duel. He was defending numerous slights and challenges issued to his personal honor by my brother. Slights which, by all accounts, would have led another to exhibit less restraint than your brother displayed. However, I do not believe he is by any means ready for the burden of responsibility that comes with the offering of a blue cloak."

"Your brother and your cousin. Please, come in." the Taniford knight keeps the door opened for Tamara and smiles at her whispered words. "It is good. But thank you, very much. How are you? And, do you want wine, as well? Perhaps we all will need a bit. Or two."

Samwell's attention returns to Morla. He listens to her, and a hint of confusion can be seen, at more of one part of her speech. "Sir Xander didn't ask for a formal duel for the Cloak. That would have to be authorized, previously, by the Queen or myself. And I don't know how prepared he is for it, or—Were you talking about Sir Dalyros, my lady?" after a few steps, the cup of wine is taken and he sips shortly. "And I beg your pardon, Lady Morla and Lady Tamara. But I have only heard of the fight and its outcome. Some other things from Sir Dalyros, as well, but as for the duel, I find myself clueless. Would you please tell me what happened? With every detail? I trust your judge, and I would appreciate it."

Tamara gives the prince a small genuine smile before stepping into the room and nodding to him, "Wine would be lovely and I am glad to hear you are alright your highness." She does give him a close look but then turns to her cousin and nods her head, "I was not at the duel and while it was not a formal one. I would be concerned of Sir Dalyros' skills if he can be beat by a tournament knight such a my brother. But yes Xander is by no means prepared for the responsibility of being a Blue Guard, for a sister's perspective."

"Sir Xander did not make request of formal duel because it was not Sir Xander that issued the challenge. My brother did so for reasons that are all his own. As honor decreed, Sir Xander could not properly call himself a knight if he ignored such a challenge. However, my cousin did come before me first to ensure it was properly adjudicated," Morla echoes with ease, her gaze slipping between the pair before again landing upon Samwell, "It was never intended to be a formal challenge for initiation into the Guard. However the defeat of one of the Guard by one such as my cousin has already lead to murmurings. In truth, Sir Samwell, my cousin is both unready to wear the cloak and recognizes such things."

"As for my brother…" she pauses for several more moments before adding with a softer tone, "I believe the folly of youth and excitement of his appointment have clouded his judgment - inciting him to act impulsively emboldened with a false sense of security he believes his position grants him. So emboldened, in fact, he has even seen fit to try and speak with Lord Equis' name in a desire to lead us closer to the brink of war. My brother, for all his faults, does mean well. But he has not yet the wisdom or experience needed to serve in the capacity requested of him."

After a polite knock, the door to the Blue Room opens slightly and Xander pokes his head in. "Beg your pardon, m'lady. Highness. Anything else you needed me for, or am I allowed to return to duty?" Apparently he's not that wounded if he's making that request.

Samwell nods a few times and drinks another ones. Since he doesn't know of the motifs or the facts, yet, he prefers to listen and stay in silence as long as it is needed. When both ladies have finished, the cup is tilted to a side and put to rest on the table, as another one is filled and offered to Tamara.

"Oh, sure. I am aware it was not a duel intended to take a cloak. But you both agree Sir Dalyros is not ready to wear it. So, even considering to give his spot to someone after an impromptu duel, never crossed my mind. And it seems you both agree he would not be worth of it, at least not yet." a long sigh and he continues. "Sadly, not every member of our order is as though are righteous as Sir Deidra, or as deadly and wise as Sir Marla or Sir Peronell. But, before continuing this river of thoughts, what was the exact reason of the fight?" the question is asked plainly. "Beside that, what would you think it would be an appropriate punishment for Sir Dalyros? In your opinion? Since I can not just let this happen and ignore it."

At the knock of the door, Samwell turns and slightly raises a brow. "Sir Xander. It is good to see you, since I have to ask you for a moment to speak. But, perhaps in private. And, perhaps right now is not the right moment."

Tamara takes the glass from Samwell with a smile for the prince again before she looks to her brother as he enters. "Xander." She says and inclines her head giving him a soft smile as well, "I am glad you are looking well brother." The Taniford lady raises an eyebrow to the prince however as he asks Xander to come back later, and says in the light tone she gets when in advisory mode, "Perhaps Prince Samwell, your question can best be answered by my brother?"

The interruption could not have arrived at a better time as Morla nods in concurrence with Tamara, "I believe Sir Xander can elaborate a bit more upon the official reasons for the duel. When it comes to questions of honor, I trust those who are bound by knightly oaths not to accept such challenges foolishly." She reaches for her own glass of wine, holding the base cradled in the palm of one of her hands as she continues, "As to my brother? I believe removing him from the order and time spent back in service to our family back at the March should suffice. It will give him time to reflect upon his humility and perhaps learn from his mistakes. Evidentally he is not quite ready. In time, I believe he could grow into the honor bestowed too early upon him. The punishment, Sir Commander, would allow for him to remain close at hand to take up arms in defense of the South should we come to such things yet away from the public eye enough to salvage the reputation of your Order and any others he has tarnished with the folly of youth."

So much for getting away. Xander notices his sister and offers Tamara a smile. "Tam." he says as he makes his way inside. His left arm is bandaged, and the slight bulge on the left side suggests where Dalyros caught him with his blade. It takes the Knight a moment, and then he straightens up. "I consider the Blue Guard to be the highest of all Knights, and I do not take such things, lightly." he starts with his explanation. "But I believe that sometimes, when one puts on such a heavy responsibility, they allow the power that comes with that repsonsibility to override their own thoughts in actions." he begins in explanation.

"Sir Dalyros has always seen me with an air of disdain, as I did not serve in combat, I was trained by an older Knight in the way of the Tournament and etiquette so that I could be a fair ambassador to the House Lohstren. Not just the face of the House, but someone that shows everything we stand for - pride, honor, loyalty, and the strength of our mounts." he says with a lift of his chin, a slight bruise marring his cheek.

"Months ago, I was asked to be Lady Prada Varghem's protector. We had a difficult road at times, but we have become companions and friends." he says finally. "So I did not question her when she was sent north to help advise King Breac of Rhaedan on the situation with our Prince and their Princess. Instead, I went faithfully by her side. It was her business by the Queen that we were completing when the edict was sent by Princess Fayre for all citizens to return. However, our business took a bit longer, and we had the Queen's permission to remain. When we finally made our way back, we came across Sir Dalyros and his men on our return." he comments. And then he draws in a breath.

"He immediately demanded to know why we were defying the Princess' orders. When we explaineed ourselves, that was not enough and began first with insulting myself as not being a Knight of his caliber, and then he turned his aggressions upon Lady Prada and suggested that the two of us had been sharing more than a friendship. When I asked him to stop such behaviours, he looked to me and said 'if you fancy that you can handle me, then dismount and get on with it.' Since he had dismounted as well, how could I not accept that this was not a challenge towards my own and Lady Prada's honour? It was Lady Morla that suggest we haandle our conflict in private and made the rules of the duel known. I am no kinslayer, but if Sir Dalyros insults the honor of my Lady again, I will make sure that he will never bear fruit for House Lohstren."

"Perhaps." the commander answers Tamara, but in any case, Xander makes his way in and begins to explain. Instead of returning to his seat, Samwell stays on his feet and looking at his glass from the distance. But he doesn't reach it in any way more than with his sight.

"I agree that the defense of my cousin's honor is a good cause, of course. And Sir Dalyros is certainly the hot-headed kind. I have known him for so long, and I can tell you that. Which is, in now way, an excuse for that behavior. Still, and taking your story in account, I may have to speak as well to Lady Prada and to Sir Dalyros." the dark gaze now moves to Morla, quiet and constant. As if trying to examine her for a while. "He needs to do something for the honor of House Lohstren. You, as a family, have always been close and cherished by my own. Be sure I will think about your words, and I thank you for it."

Tamara takes a quick sip of the wine she was given and the woman's blue eyes widen as her brother talks, "He talked to Lady Prada in such a manner?" She shakes her head in distaste before giving Morla a slight apologetic smile, "I mean I do have some experience with your brother but perhaps his recent experiences in the north have left him out of sorts, a break from court might be something that would benefit him on many levels." She moves to stand near her brother after saying this.

"And my brother shall atone for his transgressions towards my family in due time. I believe it is always better to let time dictate her own schedule for such things, for she is far wiser in these matters than any of the rest of us can hope to be," Morla adds thoughtfully, "I can assure you, Sir Commander, you have nothing to fear when it comes to the relations between our two houses. House Lohstren always has and forever more will always be loyal to the Southern Crown." Xander's rather long winded explanation does stir a slight tightening of her jaw, a motion that is quickly remedied by a slow rise of her glass to partake of the wine before glancing back towards Tamara with a nod, "In all fairness, I am not entirely certain my brother's mind has been his own as of late…"

Pale depths drift back towards Samwell as she continues, "Which brings me to an entirely different matter altogether. One that is significantly more delicate but in need of addressing nonetheless."

"He suggested that your cousin was my whore, Your Highness." Xander finally says bluntly. "And in light of recent events, I could not let that stand." he says with a tightening frown. He starts to say more, but with Tamara at his side and Morla speaking for him - in this case, the Knight knows to hold his tongue.

"Taking Sir Dalyros away from court would be the easy part." Samwell says to Tamara. "Though, if the decision to remove his cloak takes place, he will not mine to command anymore. It would be, let's say," a sour chuckle emerges, "Only part of my problem, but a bigger part of you two." the knight walks back to the table to finally retrieve his cup. "But, being fair, it happened while he was indeed under my orders. So I can't just remove him from his position and clean my hands. I have to take responsibility, and, therefore," he moves to meet Xander and offer a solemn and ceremonious bow. "Sir." it happens again, twice, "Lady Morla. Lady Tamara." the glass is lowered. "In my name, the name of my family, my Kingdom, and my Order, I ask for your forgiveness. For the actions you tell me do not represent that of us. And it will not be left, nor it will be forgotten."

After that, he looks at Morla once more and asks. "What is that entirely different matter, my lady?"

A frown emerges on Tamara's face as her brother speaks again and the red head looks annoyed at this but then Prince Samwell is taking responsibility and while she can not help herself but smile the hint of annoyance does not disappear, "I understand you feel somewhat responsible Prince Samwell, but I do not think the actions of all the Blue Guard are your responsibility." She comments but then looks to her cousin and an eyebrow raises slightly, "Do you need to speak to the Prince alone cousin?" She offers politely.

Slowly reaching to place her own glass down upon a setting near her, Morla replies simply, "With all due respect, Sir Commander, I must concur with Lady Tamara upon this factor. You are a testament to your order with honor of such a high degree it is nearly unparalleled. However you are but mortal. None save the Gods can claim responsibility for the actions of all, and even then I would beg to differ that we each, impart, must reap what we should sow. Still, should the House of Taniford seek further recompense for the actions of my brother - we, of Lohstren, will not find slight as it is the right of any rule to pass judgment upon their vassals."

Tamara's question inspires another bout of silence from the pale March Flower, granting her time enough to rise with a ghostly grace as she slips her hand to remove a folded piece of parchment from the folds of her gown, "I believe that is a question better suited for our gracious host to answer than I." With a few measured steps she crosses towards Samwell and makes offering of the parchment, her words solemn, "As regrettable as I am to be the bearer of such ill-tidings, I do believe it only fair you have a right to know the contents within, Sir Samwell."

And with that, Xander clears his throat. "It is not for you to apologize for the ill manners of a family member. It was handled amongst the family, and I do not wish for anything in return, as I have defended my honor and that of my Lady Prada." the young Knight offers. "If you do not mind, I will take my leave again and allow my arm to rest so that I am able to represent Lohstren in the upcoming Laketown tournament." Paying his sister a gentle kiss on the cheek. "We must talk later, sister." he says after presenting Samwell and Morla with a bow, and a light touch to the Flower's shoulder and a smile of assurance and compassion, he opens the door for Fayre, apparently, as he bows to the little Princess. "Highness." And with that, he slips out.

Fayre looks with bemusement to Xander, inclining her head to him before she turns with a faintly dour look to the rest of the room.

"Well," Samwell takes a moment to listen to the others, "Still, that is the sort of things that come with the cloak and the ring. I guess. I might be more severe and more clear with those of the Order. So, this kind of failures, which are not little to handle, can be traced back to a failure from myself. But it is not only words, but actions and corrections I will do. And thank you all for your words." he nods to each one of them and accepts the letter.

It takes the Blue Guard a while to read it. He reads it completely. Though he has done it several times, for he has owned a copy of it for a while. The black fire burns again in his eyes, but nothing more than that. No tears, or any sign of sadness to be seen. More of the and he showed last night. His gaze trails upwards to meet Tamara, who already saw it before, and even then, he gives it to her. Probably avoiding to damage the parchment if it stayed longer in his possession.

"Thank you." he says. "Don't feel bad. It is by no means your fault. I had known of it, though. But it takes… how could I say it?" the cup touches his lips in a new sip, "Courage?" he grins, "To deliver it personally to me. Not that something could happen, but some people have said I am quite… explosive." a friendly smile is offered to her, and a nod of farewell to Xander. "It was good to meet you here, sir. Have a good day. And, Fayre." the smile lightens a bit more at the entrance of his sister. "You are just in time."

Tamara nods her head to Samwell as she takes the letting, the red head worrying her bottom lip between her teeth a moment before she folds it over and holds the parchment out to Lady Morla again, "Yes his highness has been made aware of this Lady Morla." She nods in agreement again but then looks to Fayre with a small smile for the little heir.

"I suppose this is all about Sir Dalyros," Fayre says, meeting tamara's look with a tiny smile. "And I suppose, by the manner of Lord Xander's exit and the state in which I find you all, it is the former who bears the blame of things?"

Reaching slowly to reclaim the letter once more, Morla barely manages to take hold of it once more before the young princess enters the room. Granting a deep bow of her head, she issues in a polite manner, "Your Highness…" before once again sliding her focus back to the Commander of the Guard.

"It is not courage that guides my decisions, Sir Commander, but rather loyalty to Her Majesty and respect for your family that brings me here. Despite what testament might be issued with regards to your temper, you are an honorable man and no lady should ever fear lashings in temperament at your presence." Fayre's words are met with a slow nod, "I was merely presenting to your brother the missive received from Her Majesty regarding the actions of the Northern Princess and my brother, Your Highness." Pausing for a moment to spare a glance back towards Samwell and Tamara, she inquires simply back in Fayre's direction, "I trust you have had a chance to peruse the letter as well, Your Highness?"

Samwell grins a bit to Morla. "Oh, no lady, I hope. But perhaps a sailor. And a former commander, who is now in the dungeons. They may not share your gentle words." the smile goes to Tamara, as a try to relieve what she might think of what he might feel. "I showed them my copy of the letter, yes."

But it is Fayre who catches most of his attention afterwards. "Lady Morla came to show me Dalyros' letter. We were having a talk, and Lady Tamara joined us. Sir Xander made a quick appearance as well, but I cannot tell you there is a decision yet. Because there isn't. We have still to talk to Lady Prada and, of course, to Sir Dalyros. Perhaps the Queen, who has heard about him lately," a glance escapes him to the mentioned letter, "May have something to say as well. But, how are you, Fayre?"

Tamara sips at the wine held in her hand and gives Samwell a sympathetic smile. The Taniford/Lohstren lady a little quiet for once at the princess makes her inquiries.

"I think it's all very embarrassing," Fayre says with a pouting frown, the sort that's not at all petulant, but a show of just how seriously displeased she is. "I suppose at least it's a Northern princess and a southern Knight who are made to look bad, rather than the other way around. But is it right to be truly displeased with Sir Dalyros, if his attempt was to prove what sort of woman Amira was and save us all future heartache— has he not done well?" She paces a little before pausing behind a chair and leaning over it in the casual way she has about her.

"The blame for such actions does not lay with my brother alone, in that you are correct, Your Highness," Morla replies in kind, her tone even and soft in the offering, "I do believe he had good intentions, however, he is far from the first to have fallen susceptible to the enchantment of the Northern princesses and he will most assuredly not be the last. The Lady Prada has made equal testimony that the said Princess has made repeated attempts at her own brother as well. I do not believe any of this shall end anytime soon." A sympathetic glance is offered back towards Samwell as she continues gently, "I believe the princess is seeking out those men of influence within the Southern Kingdom in an effort to further pull sway and support from Her Majesty in favor of the North. She seems to be following quite earnestly in the footsteps of her elder sister - though perhaps less skillfully so."

"About Amira?" Samwell shakes his head a little to his sister. "That is not mine to judge, to be honest. I am more concerned for the accusations that point to him saying our cousin Prada is…" he blinks and gives a little hit with a finger to the cup, "Saying our cousin Prada is something she clearly is not, putting her honor in doubt. That is why I suggest we should talk to her, and to Sir Dalyros about it. The letter is just… Well, the letter is just what it is." the hatred of Samwell's eyes fades, helped by a long drink of wine.

Morla's words receive a sigh and a new shake of head. "That is not mine to judge, either. And for a reason or another, there are drums of war between Amira and us. So we should just keep moving." his words are dry, lacking of emotion, but never rude or harsh.

The mention of Amira and Pawel causes a visible wince from Lady Tamara, the Citadel's steward hides behind her cup of wine for a moment before nodding in agreement with Samwell's words, "True…" She says quietly, her jaw set in annoyance or some semblance of it before she says to Fayre, "While what Sir Dalyros claims to have done for country may be helpful in some ways, he then allowed a person the queen herself decreed stay in Wolveshire go north against her majesties orders."

"Jerric would love for us to call his sisters whores," Fayre says thoughtfully. "He wants any excuse. And as much as I would like to oblige him without obliging him, I think a better tactic is to…forgive them. At least one of them, that is. It's a silly idea but we could always offer Dalyros as a token of our sincere wish to part with any ill-will toward Amira and her attempts to gain the throne of the South. To save her honour, she can come and marry Dalyros and be a little lady in some little hamlet." Fayre always could be a little wicked, and the curl at the corner of her mouth shows she's being just as serious as she is wry. "Of course the offer might be mae with more diplomacy than that."

The mention of forgiveness and marriage seems to stir a visible twitch upon the upper lip of the March Flower, the pale Lohstren clearly not too pleased with the notion as she manages to reply simply, "With all due respect, Your Highness, calling a spade a spade is hardly a catalyst to launch an impending war. Prince Jerric might have a head filled of flames, but he is not so foolish to declare such over the honor of his sister. If we simply forgive the subtle attacks against our kingdom, we merely send a message summoning more attempts. My brother was far from the first to pluck her petals and he will not be the last," she pauses before adding almost bluntly, "We do not want her."

Samwell is granted a momentary nod before Tamara commands her full attention, "The Princesses of the North share the favor of the Chaos Bringers and Chasm, Your Highness, locked borders are not enough to protect the men of the South against them. They mean to rule all of Eikeren and have already stolen once Prince from us - condoning the actions of Princess Amira is to condone the actions of Kerilyn, herself."

"I doubt Jerric would be thankful for it. I even doubt he would consider it, not even for a moment. Probably he would send us the head of the messenger, but not Amira back." Samwell's brow is arisen and the empty cup is dismissed on the table. "We are still fighting against Darrin and Kerilyn, who were traitors to both Kingdoms and somehow managed to escape from the battlefield. Now we have the Westmarks whispering at the King's ear and killing southerners. We are about to face two wars at the same time, with only half of the forces who fought Darrin in our previous encounter. So, forgive me if I take the topic to a side, but I think we have more urgent matters than to discuss the validity of the accusations towards a Princess who is a world away from us." he sighs and shakes his head.

"True you highnesses, but forgive me if I overstep a touch. Perhaps an emissary of sorts could be sent to the north, someone we trust the northerners will not harm?" Tamara suggests with a small smile at Samwell's reasoning. The red head moving in his direction to place her glass upon the table again, only half empty. "And someone intelligent enough to not be taken for a fool. I know Lady Prada was recently north so they would know her already." She bites her lip, "And on that matter the queen needs to be asked about her decision regarding Princess Niniane who is still at the Citadel. Well she be remaining here?"

"You're correct," Fayre relents, a touch disappointed. It would have been nice to 'stick it to them' with that offer. "But I have an instinct to avoid giving Jerric what he wants. Poor Stefan! He seemed like a rather nice fellow, and to be enmeshed in such a family as that. Ugh." It's a distasteful sound for a princess to make, but Fay's wrinkled nose and looks of regal distaste soften the indecorous expression into tolerability. "I think it's dangerous to send anyone north, myself, as he — or she— may just be taken hostage. Of course— ah, is Niniane still here! I thought she went back north with Jerric when he ran away like the nancy-boy he is. Well! Then we have a bargaining chip— the only one of his sisters who still has any honour left."

Lips part as if to continue upon her train of thought, which is clearly derailed when the words of the Prince Commander intercede. Instead, Morla considers for a few moments more before echoing with a nod, "I think it would be poor of us not to at least entertain the notion that we might all be nothing more than some pawns within Kerilyn's game of chess. No one can fight a war upon two fronts - in that you are correct, Sir Commander." She sighs a little, delicate hand lifting to brush against her temple for a moment before glancing back in her cousin's direction, "I agree with Her Highness, it is a risk to send Lady Prada for negotiations. While known, the dangers would still be too great. However I do feel as though perhaps some measure of negotiations should be offered - perhaps on the border between the lands or a place of agreed neutrality?"

"Well, if Kerilyn's plan was to entertain us with gossiping about who sleeps with whom, while they regroup and take us by surprise," Samwell grins to Morla, "Probably she is doing a good job." since the conversation seems to continue its unfold, half of a cup is filled, but still not tasted. "From the Lohstrens, I may not need a bride for a Princess. I don't know about the rest of my family's plans, but I will like you to help me, my lady, with your banners. Lord Eldrick left Wolveshire when threatened by House Riedel, but if I can ask you, could you summon the cavalry once more? And command it if you want, meanwhile. It is more entertaining than how it sounds at first." a little grin is offered, but his words are serious. "And," returning to Tamara and Fayre, "About the messenger and the message, I will leave that to you. If a messenger leaves, he -or she- will need protection. I will give you that."

Tamara holds back the smallest of chuckles, though some of the sound escapes as the red head shakes her head, "Of course your highness." She gives Samwell a wry grin, "Though perhaps in terms of a messenger and message the fact the south has no ambassador north while we kep one of their princesses in the south can be address at the same time?" She raises an eyebrow to Fayre, "Again I do not suggest either of you go, but perhaps a royal cousin who is not a male, you can trust."

Giving the offerings of both Prince and Cousin equal consideration, Morla nods slowly, "A female emissary would be the best choice. I believe you are most absolutely right in that regard, Lady Tamara." Her chest rises and falls with a faint sigh at the notion, attentions once more settling upon the Prince with a slow curl of her lips, "When House Taniford has need of the Calvary, the Horse Lords shall be the first to answer the call. Our place always is and forever more will be at the side of the Tanifords, Sir Samwell. As Lord Protector of the March, it is Eldrick's right to lead the Calvary into battle - yet I promise you this…" she pauses for a moment before stating in a solemn manner, "…should he be unable to do so, I will ride in his stead. You have my word upon it."

Fayre has been listening to the three older nobles talk, tapping her lip thoughtfully. "I want to go to Laketown— for the festival of course. There, I have things to Speak to Mother Tylon about. The journal of Sir Wesson for one, but also…perhaps the temple would lend us their services as a neutral party. A dimplomat or go-between for the two kingdoms. Otherwise we can of course invite Jerric there himself. I want to be hands on. I will not learn how these things should be done otherwise, and before I am able to choose whom I want doing them, I need to know how they're best accomplished. The only problem with trusting the temple is…I don't know if anyone is /truly/ neutral in this war."

"Lady Prada would be an excellent choice, yes. If she wants to take such a risk" the Taniford Prince stops himself to make the proper correction, "I mean, she always wants to take risks, but if the Queen thinks it should be done, then so be it."

Samwell takes seat and rests his hands on the table. After a second thought, the basket that was on it is assaulted in sneaky fashion. Silently. Silent by deadly. Because, and before most could notice, a little biscuit is produced from it. Freshly and finely baked. The work of a professional, to be sure. The aroma can easily captivate the air around, and gracefully enough, it is bitten by the knight. "Do any of you want some?" he says quietly when his words may not interrupt another one's speech.

"Neutrality is little more than a dream, but I agree Laketown will be a good place, and the festivities will be a good moment, to achieve some political goals. Even when no one will remain 'neutral', everybody needs, or wants, something. Even the people of the Guardians. They won't answer to a coin or a sword. But there are other things, as well. We will see."

"Lady Morla," he says with a smile and a nod, "Thank you. Without the cavalry, we shouldn't have achieved what we did in our previous campaign. That means so much to us." and a second bite is given to the dessert.

Fayre waves off the offer of food. "That was to be all my sort of fun," she moans a little. "Fate is a mean old governess who wants to put one to work when one just wants to go riding. You know Ayla actually spoke with me about establishing an elite unit of scouts? She said once I proved I could be trusted not to bolt off into the woods willy-nilly, I could, perhaps, lead it. Imagine what splendid fun it would have been. Now…I suppose I can sit in the Citadel and hand out orders."

The young princess walks to the window and leans her forehead against it. "I should have listened all those years, then I would not feel so disappointed now."

"Fate, Your Highness, cares little of what the heart desires and sees only the grander vision for us all. I have no doubt you would have been an amazing scout, perhaps the best in any kingdom, were things different," Morla offers gently for the young Princess, her pale depths lingering with a degree of thoughtfulness, "And perhaps one day when you are Queen, things shall be different. Who can foretell what awaits us further down the path. In times of peace, things can be remarkably different than times like these."

The March Flower glances over to the Prince, declining the offer with a faint smile, "I fear I must humbly decline, Sir Commander, for in truth I fear I may have stolen far too much of your time as is."

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