Of Wine and Horses

Of Wine and Horses
Summary: Two Northerners and a Southerner walk into a common room…
Date: 22/April/2013
Related: Drinking and Dancing
Paidrig Samwell Victricia 

Common Room - Blue Duck Inn - Laketown
The Common Room of the Blue Duck Inn is a more intimate space of comfortable chairs and a roaring fireplace, away from the general public outside. Unlike the main room of the Inn, the Common Room is with exquisite appointments and fine glass, wood, and metal work. There is a shelf of the finest drinks available on display, waitstaff happy to serve, provided one can pay. Reds and oranges and other warm hues dominate this part of the Inn, with intricate rugs and upholstery that truly displays the craftsmanship manifest in Laketown or its ability to import whatever it cannot properly make locally. Heads of bears, deer, and other game are displayed on the walls with small plaques indicating the record hunts of the various animals native to the area.

The twin ornate ebony doors lead back to the main room of the Blue Duck Inn.

April 22, 1329

The Lady of Auldholme has become what might be considered a permanent fixture as of late to the Inn. In fact her food is done and been pushed to the side as she lounges in her seat. That red overdress is trimmed in gold fur with a beautiful pale blue embroidered underdress to set the rich color off. Her circlet is on the table, allowing her to run her fingers through her hair briefly and relax. She sighs and quickly hides a yawn that blossoms across her lips as she then taps her foot to the light lull of music that has been picked up by the locals. Her eyes briefly close before lashes part slightly to watch the figures passing her vsion.

"Are you going to eat it?" a voice calls the northerner lady, as a knight in royal blue doublet walks by her side. "Not that I want it. We south people have not that," he ponders his words for a moment, "What was it? Oh yes, 'surprisingly good taste' in everything." the jesting tone is amiably enough, even coming from a Taniford Prince. His eyes shine, as they always do, without burning in black fire. More of a warm, quietly way. Two guards, following him closely to this moment, continue their walk to ask for Samwell's food to the innkeeper.

And he, nodding respectfully, gives a proper and probably 'unexpected' greeting.

"Good night, my lady. Do you care if I join you?"

Arriving from the main room and trailed by a guard who looks rather nervous this evening, is a tall Northernman. Blond hair and pale blue eyes and an expression that suggests the man is not all together pleased with the fact that he's got company, is what preceeds Paidrig as he wanders into the common room. A wait at the entry to survey the scene and catching sight of the Lady Victricia causes the courner of his lips to pull up into a more neutral expression. He waits for a moment, noting that she has taken the company of another, or it would appear that way. His eyes survey the colours and the heraldry of the guards and the man himself, should he wear them, and there's a slight pinching of his features. He makes his way for the bar, content with ordering himself a mead this evening.

The comment causes her eyes to open wider from her lazy repose and Victricia does not yet look. In fact that rueful amusement starts to claim her expression and she laughs. Her head turns, tilting up to look at the Taniford Prince and she eyes the bowl. "I ate some of it, I found I was not as hungry as I usually am. BUt you are welcome to what is left, so you can be reminded of what good taste is." When he lingers, she pushes herself up to sitting straighter and looks to her empty cup of wine. She makes a motion of her hand and dips her head deeply to him. "Be welcome, I could not say no to royalty, now can I?" There is a sharpness to her gaze as she follows the Southern Prince. "I trust that your guards are ordering wine too or shall I do that for us?" She has yet to notice Paidrig who is as quiet as ever.

The Taniford shakes his head. "You are too kind, Lady Victricia, but my guards most likely unaware of your gentle heart, have already asked for my meal." his gaze, even before the northerner has made her cup evident, are already resting in it. "They will bring wine, of course. After your compliments about it, I have decided it will never be out of my dinner. One never knows when a new kind word comes from such a wonderful vintage."

The guards, not far away, asking for that specific wine at the bar, let slip a piece of chicken upon some northerner lord. Proper and rushed words asking for excuse are offered, but as the Prince notices, he can just smile.

Liquid courage in hand, Paidrig turns and leans against the bar. He watches the interplay of the musicians and the flames as they dance in their sconces. For now he seems willing to relax and prop the bar up for a spell. His waiting is interupted by a clumsy oaf, whether intentional, or not and the lord slides up to his full height, lifting his mug towards the guardsman. "Tis alright, my good Sir, you are a Sir, are you not? I have come to expect such things. We've cured such mishaps with the use of cutlery, let me see about getting you a fork," he explains, his lips drawing upwards into that straight line. He looks at the greasy stain from the chicken leg and shakes his head slightly, "I am sure that your kind master will settle all laundering costs and the like. So have no fear, there will be a marked victory towards the advancement of silverware this evening."

Her hand touches her collarbone at the mention of her gentle heart and she can not help but adopt a coy expression briefly. A shake of her head and she glances to his guards as well. "It was a lovely wine, I must admit that it has done quite some good for our conversations." As most drinks will. "Tell me, have you discovered any other areas where your tastes have improved since venturing so far North?" A brow is lofted but as the Prince looks to the bar so does she and there is a loss of some of her smile when she notes Paidrig. She does however nod to him and then look to her glass. "It seems my table is been shared quite a few times since my arrival here with Southerners. I met a wonderful Lord of Lohstren. It is likely best I came without my father or brothers though, they may not have felt the same way."

The smile quickly turns to a laugh. "Oh excuse me." Samwell says, still looking at the unfolding events around the man of the North and the chicken of Laketown. The guards, blushing at what it seems an unexpected event, try to settle the situation with the workers of the establishment. And it only takes a little gesture from the Prince, to let one of them know it is time to bring the bottle to the table.

"I am sure my father would share the feeling of yours. His Majesty is too 'selective' on those who share his table." taking the lady's cup, and not after tilting it to her, he starts to fill it with the recently arrived wine. "And so I am, of course." he adds as he offers it back. "I must say the landscape is beautiful here, Lady Victricia. Riding is one of my favorite entertainments, and I have had quite a few opportunities to explore this town and its surroundings. The discovery of new things, does it count?" he fills a cup for himself, gracing Paidrig with a smile and a nod of salute. "Have your refined taste had any improvement since venturing so far South?"

Reaching over the counter, Paidrig helps himself to a fork and casually sets it down upon the guardsman's plate, "There you are sir, and very much like a sword, you ensure that you trap the food wit hthe pointy end. The creator of such things has also realized that when one has been heavily into their cups, their accuracy may be lacking and has thusly compensated by adding several extra tines to maximize the chances of skewering one's food. Do be a good sir and see that your Prince is well taken care of this evening." Done with berating the poor guardsman, Paidrig disengages from the the knight and moves towards the table, mead mug in hand. "Ah, my Lady Victricia, I had believed we…" he notes the presence of the Prince, then again, who could not, still he seems a little out of his element, "Ah, the Prince Taniford graces us with his presence this evening, I do not believe we have met," there's a nod of his ead towards the lady, as though waiting for something to happen.

The counter on his part is accepted, especially when he is so keen to refill her glass. Victricia smiles and then laughs as well, reaching out to take the wine. "My thanks," she sips at it and considers his words, "I can not say I have tried anything here that can not be bettered in the North." Confidence? Yes. Humble? No. But she says it all in good humor before she sets the glass down and shakes her head, "As I said to the Lord Eldrick, horses are an unpredictable element. Far better to use one's legs. Trustworthy." She states and the topic of equines seems foreign to the woman. Yet it is Paidrig that causes her words to falter and she turns her head to look up at him, that warm smile still present. "We…oh yes. WHat you said earlier. Are you not fearful I will blunder again? I could ruin the dance once more."

"I don't believe we had, my lord." the knight in blue clothing nods gently, "My name is Samwell Tanniford, Knight of the Citadel." his Prince title is not mentioned, perhaps since it was already noticed by the newcomer, perhaps not. Whatever the case, it takes him several heartbeats of concentration in Victricia's words, and a few more on the simple enjoyment of his drink, to continue his part on the conversation. "I have met Lord Eldrick just briefly. Two of his sisters a bit more. Though, if I recall correctly, one was holding a sword by my side in the docks. Or wasn't she?" he sips calmed, his expression the one of a person who tries to remind a light incident, of minor importance. "There was a few around, I cannot tell. But, as it happens with a fork and a sword," the deep dark eyes slip to Paidrig briefly, "If one of your legs has a problem, it is easier to thrust of two extra pairs in a good mount."

A new sip takes place as the north nobles talk to themselves.

"Ah, well the blunder has passed, I imagine that such things will not happen again and so I do feel much safer with our next encounter upon the floor," Paidrig replies, lifting his mug to his lips and just allowing his gaze to hang over the brim for the woman. Another mouthful of mead placed where it belongs, in the belly, Paidrig lowers the mug and gives a polite, one handed bow to the royalty, though it is not as deep as the one given to Stefan the night before, for those who measure such things, truly just a very slight bending of the waist if any. "Ah, we talk of horses, or was it wine? I had noticed the…what shall we call them…guards, yes, I suppose they do seem dressed the part, let us call them that, anything else would be rude, I imagine, but where was I? Oh right, I had noticed the guards there had taken to seeing about getting this table some wine, which of course I am most pleased to see. I do hope that you're enjoying it?" The question is asked of the Prince, though there's enough spillover in his glance that Vi could answer without interuption. "Ah, Sir Tanniford then, my apologies," he offers the man a friendly wink and then carries on, "I am Paidrig Riedel, you most likely know of my Father and my glory-seeking brother no doubt?" He smiles and joins them anyways, taking a seat opposite the Prince, and putting Vi on his left.

Victricia trails a finger along the edge of her drink as she listens, giving a nod to Paidrig, "Then when you feel the need to dance, ask. It is your turn to do so, Lord Paidrig." But the talk of horses again causes her to sit up a bit straighter and she pulls her glass up to her lips, drinking from it so she does not have to comment on the topic. "The wine is exquisite, as it was the first night I met Sir Samwell." She says and steadies her gaze briefly on the Prince before looking to Paidrig. "That night I did feel quite outnumbered, far more than a Lady should. Southerners all around and it was only a sellsword that rose to the occasion to dance with me. But the Sir here did pour me wine, at least I think it was he that did, because I was too busy dancing with a sellsword that was eyeing the Sir's companion."

The mention of the guards is enough to make Samwell chuckle. "We are enjoying the wine they brought. Without a doubt, they are making and excellent job tonight." the cup is arisen and tilted towards the lord before he sips one more time. "And of course, words of your father and your brother's endless seek of glory reach more south than you would think." it may be truth or not, but from someone raised in the royal family, it is hard enough to tell. Even trying to read his raven colored eyes or so they seem, now fixed again in those of the Auldholme lady. And her expression, or more of the drastic change of it, is not something that escapes him.

"I see you love horses, I can see it in your eyes." and a smile full delight gives his gaze a new bright. "You would love to see my home. My black charger, the one I brought here, is just as beautiful as the white one I left in the Citadel. Our stables are full of horses, every breed, every color, every size. You see new horses every day, and the sound of their steps is a beautiful melody I'm sure you would love to hear." and only then, after a new smile of satisfaction, his eyes move away from Victricia's and he takes a long, long drink. "Oh yes, this wine is wonderful too.

"A sellsword you say? I do believe I have met at least one in this town, though I do suppose they are prolific around these parts, neutral territory and all. Still, he spoke of you, then again you were there, so how could he not?" Paidrig shrugs his shoulders and sips his mead, well a little more than sips. "The wine though, of course it would be, I hear there are fields upon fields of grapes in the Northern lands that are raised and harvested with such care and so delicately watched day in and day out to ensure that only the finest of the fruit would be pressed to create such a perfect vintage. I had even heard rumour that there was a private reserve at one such vineyard. The taste of such wine that was plugged would cause everything else by which one had to taste not unlike the aroma of ash. I believe, if you were truly interested in such things, I am sure that I could put a word in for you?" Paidrig asks and then settles himself rather comfortably in his chair.

"Horses though? I am sure that you raise them well and it is a marvel at how well they truly do at plowing fields and pulling heavy laden carts, but sitting so high up there, looking down on everything and everyone, it truly is a shame that one is forced to miss out on the truth of the world. Do not misundertand me, I can respect a wonderfully bred horse and I can see that some would appeal to others, but it is when one's feet are upon the ground, that they can truly experience what we were created to understand. I am sure that you have many pressing engagements and the need for travelling swiftly is always upon you, but do take the time to enjoy life, step into the fields, walk among the forests, and follow the trails of one's quarry, it is worth the /sacrifice/ I assure you." Sacrifice clearly a matter of opinion says the tone.

The sudden return to horses and Victricia looks over her glass at the Taniford Prince with a little less than a grateful smile. The Lady Auldholme plasters a smile to her lips and sets her glass back to the table. She lets the Lord and Sir have their conversation first about northern wine and also about horses that seems to just put a cork in the young woman. She however lifts her gaze and glances to Paidrig, "Sir Samwell here likely has never had Riedel wine, he is just discovering the wine he can find here and its taste. Do not overwhelm him with such a shock to the poor assessment he has had all his life." She looks to Samwell, "It is not his fault. Nor is it his fault that all he can do is faun over horses when there are no suitable matches for him in the South. I suppose I would pour myself into a task rather eagerly if it were so." She lets her words bite perhaps more than she intended for even as her gaze linger, she quickly looks down at her glass, chin still lifted. "Forgive me, I think the wine has gone to my head, perhaps I should seek some air." This is more hushed, a quick glance to them both and she makes to rise from her seat.

"I have to concur, my lord. Watching everything from so high tends to give a different perspective of the world." the southern knight caresses his cup before raising it for a new sip. "But," it is tilted a little, "It is the joy of developing such a synchrony, in which your mount and you, your friend and you, even more than that, the rest of your soul and yours, ride together as one being." he sighs, and the smile he casts is not filled of guilty satisfaction, as just instants before, but of true happiness at the mere feeling. The wine topic is not touched, more than the nods of understanding and a few smiles, here and then at the careful descriptions provided.

But then, as the voce from the lady is heard again, there is not anger or bitterness what tints the Prince's eyes. It is guilt, but this time, without a smile. He knows well the reasons she has, and for first time, he is willing to step back.

"I am sorry." he lets out directly, getting a little closer. "Please, forgive me. There are times when I just cannot—" a sigh and a little head of shake interrupt his speech. The cup lands softly on the wooden table. "Please forgive me, Lady Victricia. And I don't want to ruin your night, please continue enjoying the time with Lord Paidrig. I think it is me who had too much wine in the head." and, for being talking about two northerners, the Taniford knight cannot show more sorrow and honesty in every look and every word.

Paidrig nods his head slowly, after Victricia speaks, himself rising as she makes to rise, his lips frown a little, though they had started to go that way when she had mentioned Riedel wine, clearly a little disappointed that the game was up. He nods his head to the Prince and his smile returns, "Ah, a good wine will do that, an unfortunate, but pleasant side effect. Still, I imagine that we can still enjoy our evening one way or another. Perhaps a dance to clear your head and then we can all be on our ways?" Paidrig asks, turning back to Vi. "We men do get caught up in that which causes us fulfillment, it is sad, but true." It's his way of apologizing without actually saying the words, almost like a 'ditto' to the Prince's own.

The Lady, now risen stares between the two of them, looking back and forth and parts her lips, closing them. "You need to eat, Sir Samwell and I do believe Lord Paidrig wished to speak to you more in depth about wine." Her smiles is soft, convincing even as she lets out a long breath. "I am tired from my day, you are both being chivalrous, speak together." She motions to them both and Lord Paidrig she smiles again, "I fear I am not quite in the mood to dance," which is an odd thing for the vibrant Lady to say, dipping low to both in a curtsey. "Stay, eat, drink, speak together and do not worry yourselves. I will see myself to my room. I must thank you both for your company." The young Lady and steps out from about her seat. "Perhaps tomorrow, Lord Paidrig." She starts to turn and slip away if allowed to go.

"You are right, Lady Victricia." the Taniford nods and says gently. "I am enjoying the company of Lord Paidrig, and the way he talks is mesmerizing, to say the least. But, as kind as his words are," he shrugs, "I am afraid I must decline on his offering to dance. So, that only leaves me to the hope of your company and talk." he smiles, and it is not even a grin, but a smile. "I gave you credit once, for being the only northerner a Prince has poured wine. And now, you are the only one who has been asked twice to stay in his presence, and not even as an order for obvious reasons" now a grin, a friendly one, indeed can be seen, "But as a favor. So, can we continue enjoying your company, with my solemn promise of not talking about any creature with more than a pair of legs?"

"Indeed, tomorrow then, a pity, for I had hoped we could settle such things between us sooner, rather than later, but if you truly are without the mood to partake in such enjoyments, then…" Paidrig replies to Vi's excusal. He remains standing however, watching the two of them, his words having trailed to silence, the offer still hanging there for her. "As much as I would love to stay and chat this evening, I do find myself needing to stand and stretch my legs, but I can remain, if you desire the company of a Northernman," he offers Samwell, then grins, though it never reaches his eyes, though there's something that Samwell says and Paidrig falls silent, standing there, a little awkwardly, waiting now that everything has been said.

Now Victricia looks at a loss for a brief second, that rather confident exterior floundering as she looks from the standing Paidrig to the southern Prince who is bidding her to stay. Warm brown eyes consider a moment before she puts on one those brilliant smiles she is known for that reaches up to her eyes and creates those dimples in her cheeks. "Very well." Something to hang over his head later and she glances down to him. "I will dance with the Lord Paidrig now…you should eat and drink wine and we will give you some breathing room and then come back to join you should you still wish us." She dips into a curtsey to Samwell, perhaps deeper than she had before as a sort of truce as she rises. She dips her head and then looks to Paidrig, moving about the table to offer her hand, the graceful movements bringing her closer. "I promise not to scare you away this time, my Lord."

"All my flattering to you, my lord, and you ask me if I desire the company of a Northern man." Samwell turns to the Riedel lord. "The only thing I pray, though, is you don't repeat my words. If they reach my family, by the time the sun rises again, I would be disowned and in need of a job." now the friendly grin is offered to Paidrig. "Please enjoy your dance." he nods in the same solemnity as before, turning to the lady as he raises again. "I am glad you will stay. But it is me who has to depart. I will have my dinner on duty. These have been difficult times. But I hope you both enjoy the wine. I have heard this Riedel vintage is delightful." a new smile is offered to both, and the dutiful, recently-appointed guards follow the Prince as he turns back to take his leave.

With the agreement so forthcoming, Paidrig nods his head, caught off guard all of a sudden. The mug is quickly recovered and he downs it in one long swallow. A slight clunk as it's set down and his hand moves over to take the circlet from the table, "It's a good thing too, I fear I would have had to have this brought up to your room, and then there would have been all manner of rumour. Still it is good that you wish to dance, I will take you up upon that reception." He holds out both his hands to her, one with the circlet and the other just his bare hand, offered in proposal.

To the Prince the man responds, "Well, should that happen, I imagine that we could find you a position among the vineyards, or if you have a taste for something a little different, we could provide you with something else to keep your hands busy. Still I would much prefer that you keep your status and your house, such as it is. It would be a pity to not have the ability to to speak as plainly as we have, and perhaps to produce some form of trade in the future, but for now, I will be in Laketown for the remainder of the moon, I imagine. Please do visit us again, and your guards too, I look forward to seeing how they take to silverware." He gives the Prince a bow of his head, his smile growing slightly at the amicable exchange.

About to reply to Paidrig, it is Samwell's departure that keeps her attention. Her head tilts and she dips her head to him. "Perhaps next time we can have a conversation that does not cause us to apologize." There is a sharpness to her eyes as she watches the Prince go and then turns to regard the Riedel Lord, the circlet in his hand noticed and her smile growing, "I nearly left it..it is an old..rough thing but it means something to me. Thank you." She reaches out her hand for it first, drawing it up and using it to restrain her full wild hair from her face before accepting his hand and moving with him, keeping her voice low as she speaks with him, which forestalls their dancing.

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