Of Family and Nemesis

Of Family and Nemesis
Summary: Stefan and Pawel have a bit of a talk, as Fayre and Samwell arrives.
Date: 16/04/2013
Related: The Wolves in the Wild, Swords and Flames and other current events.
Stefan Pawel Fayre Samwell Roltoff 

Laketown is a series of dichotomies laid out in the open. Grand cobbled stone boulevards feed into winding and cramped dusty alleyways and muddy side roads. The shimmering gleaming halls of polished stone that the merchants, guildmasters, local gentry, and nobles have built hide the dilapidated and grimy hovels and dirt and mud that seems to pervasively linger in a town always under construction. Even at night, the beating heart of the Laketown market square is filled with spectacles and merchants and the constant flow of money, although not always between buyers and sellers. All roads lead to the gold and marble pillars and bright cobalt tile roofing of the Blue Duck Inn, the unofficial hub of the business in Laketown set just across the way from the large, glittering temple.

The town tapers towards the Deep Woods and Wolveshire to the south, the fertile Open Field to the west, Brivey Keep to the Northwest, and the expansive Docks to the east. Laketown never sleeps, the constant clang of blacksmiths, shouting merchants, and the thunder of heavy carts constantly moving about town.

Tue Apr 16, 1329

Riding back into the town from the south, Pawel is followed by four guards now. His expression looking quite dark at the moment, as he leads the mounted party over in the direction of the inn. Notably is that the man is wearing his armor, and has his greatsword with him now.

Stefan is wearing his weapon. Though not clad in full armor currently. Though he does have two of his guards with him currently. Not seeming that dark on his expression though there is a mix between good and bad on his face. Sighing a bit. Having only heard what has been going on. Spotting Pawel soon and the duke get a nod in greeting. "Your Grace."

The darkness in Pawel's expression doesn't turn any less dark as he notices Stefan. But for now, he offers the man a bit of a nod now. "Your Highness," he offers, words perhaps coming out a bit too sharply as he dismounts. Turning to face the Prince again, he studies the man a bit carefully for the moment.

Stefan studies the man in turn. "What is it?" He asks and stands straight. Studying the man for a longer time now. "I heard word of more people showing up and what not. The princess…" He shakes his head.

"The Princess, yes." Pawel keeps his words quiet, as he steps over further in the direction of the man now, keeping his gaze on him for now. "I don't suppose you have any idea about where she might have gone, do you?" Removing the gauntlet from his left hand now.

Stefan shakes his head, "I was going to offer to help. I was preferring us not having a war break out. Not much I can do on your side of the river though." He offers and eyes still focused on Pawel.

Pawel nods a little as he hears Stefan's words, studying him for a few moments as he steps closer. "How can I know I can trust you?" The quiet words are said rather carefully, as he steps even closer to the man now.

Stefan shrugs. "Up to you." He tells him and tilts his head. "Though do remember that you have my twin sister. If there are suspicions against the Rhaedans then she is badly out. I won't let you touch a hair on her head." Completely serious at that before sighing. "Besides, if I wished to hurt any of you then I would had dealt with it in the fire and not try to help you."

Narrowing his eyes for a few moments, Pawel takes a few deep breaths, before he shrugs. "As your family have my cousin, Prince Darrin," he points out. A brief pause, before he adds, "If I have a way to do it, I will try to keep your sister from harm. But if there's uncovered evidence that points to your kingdom having anything to do with the disappearance of Princess Aylanora, I don't think I would be able to hold the Queen back. Not even if I get my uncle, the King to help me."

Stefan nods and shrugs a bit. "I understand. If there is anything then I will try to help." He tells Pawel. Though there is a bit of a frown then. "The day I would willingly offer help to Tanifords. He would believe it would be so soon?" A smirk then.

"You're a good man, for being a male member of your family," Pawel offers, a bit quietly, offering the other man a bit of a smile now. Glancing around again for a few moments.

Stefan shrugs, "My brother is good as well." He tells him with a fixed gaze before look around as well. "Besides. You wolves have been fun so far." Not clarifying on that more than so though.

"I'll take your word for that," Pawel replies to the part about Stefan's brother, before he raises an eyebrow at that last part. "Really? How so?" Sounding a bit curious now.

"Well, you keep drinking with me. Your uncle was funny and your sister has been sweet." Stefan says with a grin. Running a hand through his hair. "Though. Back to the issue." He says and studies. "I've been trying to help out here in Laketown. If anything leads to Rhaedan lands then let me know. Tracks or anything." The two of them in the middle of the area, more or less, with Pawel having arrived with horse. Standing with the Prince. Four Varghem guards and two Rhaedan ones. With two more coming from the east, towards Stefan and the rest.

The approach of a group on horseback is discernable before their actual arrival, as is the fact they're Tanifords. Amidst the group, an especially fine pair of horses with a pair of finely dressed royals. The more diminutive of the figures is not in any sort of uniform, and her silk flutters behind her in an appropriately lady-like fashion, though without too much train, for this is no show-ride.
Breaking away from the group, the female canters her horse— a fine dappled grey with an exquisite mane and flowing tail— toward Pawel and the Prince.
"Cousin!" she calls, and in short order it's easy to see that the fair-haired girl is the for-once-not-the-one-missing Fayre Taniford. "You've heard haven't you? I /just/ found out. They weren't going to tell me! By the four if I caused /half/ this much hubub when I got lost I am heartily sorry for it!" She's a little breathless and in high color, her horse pawing the ground and likewise (except for the color). It seems she's just ridden hard from somewhere. Her guards have also broken away from the group with whom she arrived, and gallop up to pause a few yards behind her.

Pawel's eyes narrow for a few moments at the description of his sister, before he nods a little bit. "I see," he replies, looking about to say something else as he hears the sound of the approaching horses. Turning in their direction now, he seems to relax a little as he hears who it is. Nodding a bit as Fayre moves her horse over. "Cousin," he greets her, with a more polite bow now. "Your Highness." Formalities handled, he nods a bit as he hears the rest. "I've heard. And I've sent out uncle Antyllus…" The younger brother of both Pawel's now-dead father and the father of the Princes and Princesses. "…to search. We will find her again very soon, I promise."

A finger trails carefully, slowly caressing a horse's rein in the most delicate of gestures. And still, the face of the man betrays only the deepest of concerns. Deep dark eyes steal the surrounding light, letting out an unmatched proper, always gentle, smile.
A fine attire, as if can't be otherwise in him. Royal blue doublet, cut by a shadowy black cape. Graceful and elegant enough for a prince, but for those who have met the Prince and Knight of the Citadel before, it lacks some of the impressiveness he uses at court.
"I just hope she is missing for the same motifs as you, sister." he offers softly. Sadness is evident, but his tone is as gentle as it can be. "I just…" the sentence is left unfinished, at least with words. Instead, a respectful nod is spared, "Cousin." and a smile, slightly forced but seemingly honest, completes the greeting.
And, for a heartbeat or two, a quick exchange of looks can be noticed between Samwell and a knight of the Blue Guard, closely following the pair of Tanifords.

Stefan raises a brow at the narrowing eyes. Perhaps able to guess. "Don't worry. I do try to be respectful." Is all he says about it. Turning to bow his head to the princess. "Your highness." He offers to both Tanifords and smiles. Falling silent as they speak.

Fayre inclines her head and bows her upper body to the two noblemen, hastily offering her own formalities. "Your highness," she adds as a greeting to the Rhaedan. "I'm really quite sure she can't have been abducted, Ayla's really not the type, you know! not at all damselly, and she would not find it at all amusing, she never thinks anything's worth doing just for the sake of having a story to tell, so I am sure she would have put a stop to it and called it nonsense and slayed anyone who tried. I think she's probably just on a very long ride." Fayre knows all about very long rides that make the family worried. She may be but a Taniford princess, but she's queen of the Very Long Ride. "In fact maybe she's just trying to teach me a lesson." She smiles, but a hint of hesitancy to the smile suggests she's uncertain. "But I'd like to go on the search too." She glances at Samwell. "I absolutely won't go off on my own if you let me come, though I am not sure I could help myself if you make me stay behind."

"Whatever has happened, we will find out of it, and get your sister back safely," Pawel replies, offering a nod to Samwell as well. "Cousin." A brief pause as he hears Fayre's words. "If she's just out like that, I think both your father and our uncle will be very cross with her," he offers, before he adds. "And if someone's done anything to her, they will regret the day when I get my hands on them, I can promise you that." Another brief pause, before he adds, "Perhaps, if your brother thinks you should stay behind, you should stay at the Castle in Wolveshire? I mean, it's close enough to get here if needed, and a bit safer than being here." After all, he nearly got caught in an attempted sacrifice by fire himself just yesterday. "Besides, I'm sure my sisters would love your company."

The sound of a hit to the ground can be heard, as the dark haired Prince gets down from his mount. A dry sound, considerably loud. His horse, black as starless night, is impressively tall and muscular, a trait it shares with its rider. Nevertheless, Samwell lands with as naturally as if he had just left his bed. Trained and skilled, he doesn't hide it in any way.
And a glance tinted in dusk and curiosity moves around.
"Your Highness." he says as a slight smile is drawn. Not one that tells anything about his feelings, but a one that tells enough of his manners. "Oh sister," the Taniford's eyes take a little longer than his words to reach the Princess, "I am in charge of her security. How does it speak of me?" a long sigh, quickly dismissed by a warm smile. "But, if you are right, I will just say of how I respect her time alone. Anyway," the Prince shrugs, "Who could be so fool to attempt a kidnap? I can't even count how many swords would return his effort."
A couple of steps are walked. But the sense of concern, deep down, is present at all times.
"Right now I prefer to stay near you. At least I can take care of a Princess. And," the knight's smile turns to the Duke, "It seems our cousin will as well."

Stefan nods about Aylanora as well. "Indeed. I have my thoughts. If she is kidnapped then we fix it. If not, then she probably has a good reason for it." Looking to Pawel as well with a slow nod. Though it is Taniford business so he stays out of it. Even if he has offered to help. Smiling still. Having already greeted them all he just stands there. "Fanatics?" Does a word slip out though, about who might do it. Looking to Pawel again.

Fayre is too much a well-trained lady to slump, but she does wilt a little at Pawel's words. "I would never forgo the opportunity to spend time with your dear sisters, cousin, if it were not such a very serious matter." Fayre tries to appear serious, but at sixteen it is evident she is having a hard time being afraid for her sister. She seems certain everything is fine, and the whole affair is a lucky excuse for her to have some excitement. Nothing truly bad ever happens to her family. "But I would be of great use. No one sees so well as I, isn't it true Sammy?" She looks to her brother with that look she has on reserve for her siblings, the one that she uses on them when she needs their help in getting her way. It's the 'don't you love me? Aren't I precious? You know YOU are my favorite of all!' look. And his willingness to keep her close encourages her.
"What do you mean fanatics?" she then continues, turning to Stefan, and remaining mounted herself. If she gets off her horse she'll be smaller than they.

"You know your sister," Pawel offers to Samwell. "If she wanted to get away, she'd find a way." With a bit of a sigh, he adds, "And of course I will not leave the two of you. Even if you do not bear the name, there's Varghem blood in you, and we don't let our family face things like this alone." Looking over towards Stefan for a few moments now, his eyes narrows again at the mention of fanatics. And then as Fayre asks about it, he lets out a bit of a sigh. "Quite a few of us had a run-in with a group of religious fanatics in the Bad Clam Tavern yesterday. They tried using us all as sacrifice to their so-called Guardian." Not saying anything about what his business might have been in a place like that.

Samwell can't contain a laugh. A friendly one, a little louder than it should be, and noticeably more relaxed than any of his previous gestures. "Of course, Fay." a little pat is conceded to the black Charger. "With your help we will find her in no time. Just remember to give me some credit after the rescue is done, and our parents want to reward us in some lovely way." the horse moves the head to a side, in a clear show of appreciation.
"Cousin, you have our thanks. And loyalty, of course. Well," the deep eyes move to meet Pawel's, "I just hope next time you want to spare some time at the tavern, I can be there. Fanatics or otherwise, I think I need a drink." the Prince laughs one more time, a bit more nervous, it could be said.

The Duke of Wolveshire is not telling about his own business and Stefan is not asking. Himself mostly being there to enjoy himself perhaps. Though he doesn't really say either. Just nodding. "We took them out but they cut down some folks." Shaking his head at that. "If they are willing to do that then who knows what they would do." Keeping his own appearance with that pleasant smile. If only a small thing. "I think we all could do well with a drink at some point."

Fayre's sense of lightheartedness is not daunted by talk of sacrifice and fanatics. It's still hard for her to accept any real danger. "What do you mean, so-called Guardian?" she asks, ever the curious one. "What do you mean? What sort of place is the bad Clam? What a peculiar name. I've never been there." Of course this is Fayre's first time in Lakeshore, and she's only been here a couple of days.

Pawel nods a little bit at Samwell's words, "As long as it's not the same tavern, cousin. The place is just some smoking remains now, unfortunately." Expression hardening as he hears Stefan mentioning the people cut down, his fists clenches for a few brief moments. After all, he didn't only lose a guard, but at the same time a good friend. Shrugging a bit at Fayre's words, he lets out a bit of a sigh. "None of the Four, but the Other One," he replies to Fayre, with a bit of a sigh, before he adds, "And you will not be able to go there, I fear. Those fanatics burned the place down."

"I think so." the Knight of the Citadel nods gently to the Rhaedan Prince, letting his comment to that point.
Then, a new nod, this time of acceptance, is glanced towards Pawel. The mysterious darkened eyes inspect him carefully. "Another place, of course. And it will be my invitation. But, as my sister, I know nothing of this city, so it makes everything a little bit more difficult." a little new smile, and his gaze is lost on the horizon for a while.

Stefan grins at Fayre. "It's a place to enjoy drinking and so on. A tavern." He offers and shrugs. Shrugging to Pawel. "There is always the inn." He suggests. Taking note of Pawel's appearance. Nodding his head a bit. "Things will hopefully work out. It's not the easiest thing to disappear with an heir." He says and does seem thoughtful.

"Well, we have the tourney coming up soon back home, so we could always go for one of the taverns there," Pawel offers, with a momentary smile, before he adds, "After all, once we get your sister safely back, I think I've had enough of Laketown for a while."

"Tourney?" Samwell's features enlighten. "Home?" a bright smile emerges. "As soon as my sister, I mean, Princess Aylanora, reappears, that will be magnificent, wonderful." the intensity of his eyes make them burn in black fire. The Prince's heart beats by the thunderous acclaim of the multitude and the battlefield. "Wolveshire Castle, one of the best places in the world. Both known are unknown." a dreamy look takes over the knight. "Awesome." he whispers to himself.

Stefan grins and nods, "A tavern in Wolveshire sounds fun. At some point." He offers and shrugs. "Indeed. I think the princess needs to be found. Although. I wonder about the message that was delivered at the apothecary. Anyone know who the girl was?" Shrugging and letting it go. "I would want to see the inside of Wolveshire castle at some point." Grinning and glancing to Pawel at that.

Pawel smiles as he hears Samwell's praise of his home, unable to hold back a bit of a grin now. Pausing for a few moments as he hears Stefan's words, turning to study him a bit carefully. "Message at the apothecary?" he asks. After all, he was out and about to get his sister on her way back home, and give some instructions to his uncle. As he hears that last part from Stefan, he grins, "Like I said, we'll have one of the cells in the dungeon reserved for you, Prince Stefan." Spoken quite lightly, though.

The Taniford Prince's eyes narrow for a moment, his voice full of solemnity. "Message at the apothecary?" he echoes Pawel's words. His eyes, as always and as his true intentions, are not easy to read, but the overall seriousness is clear enough.

"Oh! Haha! I was lectured quite sternly to be very polite to the Rhaedans and not cause any wars," Fayre laughs, when she hears Pawel's jest. "But…" she shifts her bright gaze to Stefan, and furrows her brow a touch, "We're all getting along very well, and that's a little dull, don't you think? I was hoping to meet a nemesis. I have never had one, unless you count Governess Tamana, and I don't. A proper nemesis." She must have read the word in one of her books. "Is Darrin yours, Prince Stefan?"

Stefan nods, "I was trying to find information through Laketown and ran into some folks. Apparently there was someone at the apothecary. I am not sure about who it was though. I thought of speaking to the one at the apothecary." He explains and shrugs. "They talked about a messenger coming. It was something about someone else being alive. Husband or something. Though the girl seems to be nowhere to be found. Which worries me. The messenger that is." As for Fayre's words on nemesis he chuckles and shrugs. "I wouldn't be too wise to give up a nemesis, now would I?" It is said lightly though. "I think your cousin's is my brother though."

Pawel is unable to hold back a bit of a smile as he hears Fayre's words, shaking his head a bit although the smile is one of true amusement now. "Don't worry, cousin. Sooner or later, you'll find that nemesis." He doesn't say anything to Stefan's words about nemesises now, nodding a bit at the mention of the messenger. "Interesting…" he remarks, frowning a bit again now.

"Interesting." the Taniford's comment about the messenger and the apothecary is gentle, but unsurprised. A deep breath later and his horse receives one more pat.
"Not cause any wars?" Samwell asks to his sister, "I'm quite disappointed. Whose job is it? Darrin's?" entertainment is all that can be said about the smile he offers to the Rhaedan Prince. And, in some way, the admiration the knight feels for his brother is made evident by the tone of his voice at the sole mention. "Talking about nemesis, I am always eager to get a few. But, my conscience doesn't allow me. I am usually too busy to have a proper feud, so I don't want to disappoint anyone with a nemesis with less hatred than it is expected." he grins.

Emerging from the deep woods comes Roltoff, looking quite tired from his excursions in the forest. His burlap sacks both quite empty. He looks extremely tired from all that work as he walks down the road. From a distance he can hear voices but has yet to put faces to them, due to the encroaching darkness. He looks like he's been doing some digging and as such smells a bit ripe but yet not as bad as if he's rubbed up against some fragrant plants of some kind.

Stefan grins about the talk of nemesis and about Darrin. "I do think that a nemesis for me need to be someone that never drinks." He says with a bit of amusement. Letting the talk of the messenger be for now. But curious as well. As Roltoff is emerging from the woods to the south his eyes go towards him and studies the man. "All well?" He asks with a brow rising. Looking back to the others. In case any of them might know what Roltoff has been up to. As well as just alerting them of him. Knowing he has been involved in quite a bit currently. Nodding to Fayre as she is pulled away. "Be well, your highness." Turning back to the others.

Pawel looks over at Roltoff as well, frowning a bit now. Expression unreadable for a few moments, before he looks back to the others, offering a quiet word and a smile in parting as Fayre takes her leave. "Don't worry about it, cousin," he offers to Samwell, with a brief grin. "Nemesis things are hard work."

"You go with her, please." the solemn voice of the Taniford Prince is directed to the Blue Guard, as his sister starts her depart. "Have a good day, Fay, and I hope to see you later." he nods, turning again to the gathered nobles. And the newcomer.
After noticing no one addresses the stranger, nor a proper presentation is given, he speaks softly. "Good day, my lord." the title is given lightly, but the words are kept in the air, as if expecting the man to complete his own words.

Looking at Prince Stefan, Duke Pawel and the other gentleman, Roltoff says, "Ahhh… no!" in a clearly deadpan and tired expression. "Found out some things Sir Rae and I did, but then it got too dark…" He staggers a few steps closer, and it’s that drop dead tired stagger compared to the 'I’m blitzed stagger' though they do look similar. Roltoff then Pauses to look at the new man, "Delmort, Roltoff Delmort.. A simple Sellsword at your service." He then says as respectfully as he can to the prince and duke without falling on his face. "So I think I’m going to head in and get a bath, a few shots of rum, and maybe a game of Dice." He waggles his finger a tiny bit. "Although not generally in that order." He adds with an amused and tired smile.

Stefan grins at Samwell's greeting. "Sellsword Delmort." Comes his own greeting to the man. Nodding to him. "Sounds interesting." Furrowing his brows a bit. Despite it being brief there seemed to be something at least. Then he sighs. "I should take my leave as well. Be well both of you…" Bowing his head. "Your highness, your grace." Then he and his guards are off as well.

There's just a nod to the sellsword from Pawel, before he nods a little bit at what's being said. "I have a few quick things I need to take care of. I'll see you soon, cousin," he offers to Samwell, before he nods a bit at Stefan. "Your Highness." And after a few moments of pause, he heads off with his guards.

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