Princess in the Park

Princess in the Park
Summary: Sir Corwin stumbles into Princess Amira in Wolveshire Town and they share some wine and conversation
Date: 18/Oct/2013
Related: None
Corwin Amira 

Wolveshire - Fountain Courtyard
Near the center of town, many separate roads lead into this courtyard. With carefully tended pathways and open greens, this is a place for gatherings both casual and formal. Tall, craggy trees with heavy limbs and moss - the staple of the region - thrive here and provide ample shade for visitors. At the center of the park four gravelled paths meet to form a circle around the base of an ornate, white-stone fountain. The fountain itself stands in three tiers with a bubbling stream of water emanating from the cap. Etched into the stone of each circular tier are many small figures depicting some of the more famous moments of Taniford history. Iron benches are placed in even intervals around the fountain and at discreet distances along the paths.

The park serves as a popular meeting place for the Wolveshire locals, and city-appointed gardeners tend to the plants and trees all year round. The oft-trod paths wandering through the park all lead toward the gate that exits into the city proper.

October 18, 1329

Autumn has turned the grasses into a blend of golden browns and greens, though at least the late afternoon holds a certain warmth to it that allows for visitors to enjoy the last fleeting glimpses of nice weather before the storms start to roll in and bring with it the breath of winter. Amira is out today in the town, having been spotted riding out of the castle earlier with only one knight to provide her escort - a brave thing considering she's in the 'South.' She's actually sitting under the shade of a craggy tree, on a blanket, observing the people as they come and go, having a book on her lap to provide some sort of facade to her purpose for just… sitting. A princess ought to have something worth while to do, after all, one would think! Though the lack of a big escort certainly diminishes the curiosity of people, most not seeing a Princess, but rather a local, wearing a noble blue dress but no more noble than their own - though the top bodice is a little more cut and fashioned than most could afford to wear at a festival, let alone just going to the park. The skirt of the dress is fanned out over her legs as she sits side pose, with her feet tucked near under her and to the side. The knight with her is known as Raulin Caine and he is very often at her side if Sir Kameron isn't.

"You can return to the castle if you want. No, I won't disappear for four days this time. You're far too young to worry about whether I'm coming home at night. Trust me, if I manage to get myself killed somehow, they'll find you another knight to squire with. Go, go. I'm just going to wander for a spell." Corwin shoos away his squire, the young man turning away while Corwin continues straight away into the courtyard. He's dressed simply, even though the cut of the clothes is clearly fine. A simple green doublet, tied down the front with leather strings, brown pants, high black boots and a belt wrapped around his waist to keep everything in place. His sword hangs at his hip.

It seems clear that he told his squire the truth, wandering aimlessly and slowly through the courtyard, his boots crunching the fallen leaves, paying very little attention to his surroundings or other people that occupy the space.

Sir Raulin Caine has actually moved far enough away from the Princess that no one will see him, as his back is up against the nearest tree trunk, shadowing him under the tree - but close enough that he can make use of his bow should someone threaten the Princess. By the bruise on his cheek, it's likely that the knight has recently been in a scuffle, though if someone put their ears to the ground, Princess Amira was in a feisty mood this morning and wanted to be left alone, her personal guards getting the brunt of a hung over ill feeling angry young woman. So the man is keeping his distance but still doing his duty.

Amira's attention span only goes so far, faces vague as her gaze flips over one person to the next, lost in thought more so than studying specific features about those that walk by. It just so happens that when Corwin passes by close enough, she sees him but doesn't allow that to sink in until he's nearly beyond her. That's when she does a double take, yet, she hesitates on calling him over. When it seems too late, she twists around in her spot, "Sir Corwin?"

Corwin hesitates, the sound of his name hardly reaching his ears. Then he slows. His eyes sweep around the courtyard quickly, still not immediately seeing the princess at the base of the tree. When he's about to turn away, he finally does catch sight of her, blinking in surprise, a quiet smile touching his lips. The knight turns fully and takes a few easy strides back toward where the princess is resting. "Highness." He offers in a voice that shouldn't carry far. "I'd bow, but I get the feeling that you're down here in the town to avoid the constant attention your position deserves. I don't want to draw the entire town down upon you. I'm sure half the town would like to come gawk." While he speaks, he casually approaches the tree and then crouches a few feet away from Amira so he doesn't tower above the seated princess. "How does the day find you?"

Amira does wince softly at the use of 'Highness' this far out away from protection that could really do something to keep her safe. Yet some how, by the absence of a larger entourage, she doesn't seem to demonstrate the fact that she cares about her own safety. Still, she does look to appreciate his discretion when he fails to bow, "A day away from the stuffiness of politics and proper etiquette is certainly what drew me down here," she does admit, "Thank you for not… making me a spectacle. I've done that enough in the last few days." Clearly the girl isn't used to putting herself on centre stage, namely, when she feels like a sack of potatoes. "If you've no business that you need to attend Corwin, please sit. I've some snacks and a water skin in the basket if you're hungry or in need of a drink." She then looks toward the three tiered fountain and Wolveshire castle in the back drop, "It's a beautiful town."

"It is a pretty spot. A lot of this area is. I'm sure your lands are as well. Everywhere seems to have something unique about it. It was really all about the sea where I grew up. But, you don't have to go so far for it to be rolling hills and plains. Then here, the little town nestled in the forest." Corwin silently accepts the offers, slipping from his squatting position into a more comfortable cross legged seat on the ground, a couple feet in front of where Amira is against the tree. "Feeling a little worse for the wear today?" He wonders. "You put on an impressive event last night, really, but I can understand it being exhausting if you're not used to it."

"Too be honest," she looks over at him, "I haven't seen a lot, outside of pristine courts, high towers and throne rooms. There are many places a Princess shouldn't go or ever be caught…having been," she hesitates there but that rumour and news is long since old and holds little weight, so she shakes her head, "I can list the places I've been on one hand. Rhaedan, Brivey, Laketown, Wolveshire." She gives a half sad smirk as she turns her gaze away, toward the fountain and the groups that saunter languidly around, "Any hunts I've been on have never been excessively far from town or castle. Safe, always safe." She brushes a hand through her hair, grabbing up the loose swept hair and curling it over one shoulder with an absent minded twist. She looks bemused for a moment at his statement, casting toward him a rather miserable look, though her eyes remain playful, "Is it that obvious?" She softly laughs, "I was a wreck this morning and wanted nothing more than to have slept the day away. They kept shoving the idea of fresh air in my face that I finally took their advice." She shifts the book closed that she was evidently reading, "Thank you. I'm glad no one died."

"Glad no one died? You set the bar pretty high, Highness." Corwin laughs at that, shaking his head. "And you were hardly the only one that didn't want to get out of bed this morning. I saw many a bleary eyed noble around the castle today. And I'm sure the ones that I didn't see were wise enough to stay beneath their blankets." The knight fall silent for a moment, regarding the princess while she speaks of her sheltered existence. He takes a long breath and nods. "Such is the way we treat our royalty. Birds in a cage. You're important, and for something to happen to you would have devastating effects across your kingdom - no doubt both kingdoms were it to happen here. But, you know all that. It doesn't make it any better." His eyes dip down to the grass and fingers pluck at a few blades. "Where would you go if you could? What would you do?" Rather forward statements from a southern knight to northern royalty.

Amira gives the man a knowing look, "How many festivals and welcomed tournaments have been shattered by beasts of Ellowe, Corsair barbarians, or even the hatred between North and South? So yes, I'm glad no one died and that I can not have the guilt of someone's death on my conscience. Though, there were a few arrows gone astray in the competition that had me worry for a moment or two." At least she's trying to be upbeat though it's clear the world not being as perfect as she once thought it to have been weighs on her. A naive girl she is no longer, at least, in some aspects. She's still very sheltered. She falls quiet to listen of the other bleary eyed nobles, until he mentions a bird in a cage, sitting up a little straighter where she sits at that metaphorical reference. "Importance is only a matter of perspective. I'm the youngest of my household and my reputation is clearly not on high." She shrugs, listening all the same, "I thought it would be different, I thought I could make a difference." She draws her legs up as she shifts, the skirt long enough to cover her as she moves and then decides to sit with knees up toward her chest, again, skirt long enough to keep her decent. Her arms wrap around her knees as she leans forward, considering his question, "South, west… North. Certainly not east, but in any other direction I could fly free." She turns her face toward him, "What I would do…? I've no notion of that for it would never happen. I'm bound to my duty, just like the rest of you are to yours."

"Being bound to your duty doesn't exclude taking joy in your life. I understand that it's difficult for you to simply take a horse and ride off in search of some dream, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't have the dreams. It's surprising how opportunities come up to live them out. For years I had myself convinced I'd be very much dead before I ever had a chance to really live a life. And now, here I am, and I hardly know what to do with myself. I don't want to go back to fighting, but it's all I've known and all I thought I'd ever know." Corwin tosses away the strand of grass, looking up to watch Amira again as she speaks, a small frown touching his lips. "You thought you could make a difference? Have you not done so? I've gotten the impression that relations between the kingdoms are as strong as they've ever been. Have you not found the reception as welcoming as you'd hoped?"

For the most part, Amira is listening, pensive and yet captivated by the encouragement. The self expressed experience that Corwin offers to the conversation has her question him, "And now that you have a chance to live a life, how do you want to live? If you could stop the fighting, what would you -do-?" She's completely turned the tables on him, seeing if he has a better answer to her own, the fact that she needs to do what needs to be done, whether that is becoming an ambassador for Wolveshire or a treasurer for her father once again. She makes a soft apologetic expression, "Was it truly me that made the difference? I doubt it, since it seems like I was sent here just in time to hear about the betrothal of my dear sister to someone my father forbade me to see." Princess Niniane is being referred too. She continues, "The difference was long since made before I ever stepped a foot into Wolveshire." She lets out a stiff noise as if having been played, "I'm a carrier pigeon, I came to deliver a message to your Princess and your Queen, that was it." She smiles at him, but everything about that smile is wrong, "Soon enough I must fly back to my gilded cage." She reaches for the basket, which, she lied, there's a wineskin in there too. Best cure for a hangover, more drinking!! She doesn't say anything as she pulls out the wine, uncorks it, and sips very unceremoniously for a Princess from the mouth of it. She smacks her lips and nods at him as she passes it toward him, "The reception has been remarkable. I've no complaints there."

"Hopefully you're not called away too soon. For my selfish reasons, of course, but I've enjoyed your company while you've been here. I'd have to find some excuse to get myself sent north when you've returned home." If Corwin is surprised at the wineskin that is pulled from the basket, he doesn't show it in his features. After the princess drinks, he accepts the offered skin and takes a deep drink himself. When was the last day he didn't drink? It has been a long week.

"I don't know yet what I'll do. This is the problem with never having any dreams beyond living out your next day. Suddenly you're drowned in opportunities. I will keep fighting if that is where I'm needed - no matter what I'm a knight first and I can best serve the kingdom in that capacity. But, between that? I'm not sure. I share a hope for a north and south that work together, and I feel like I may be able to play some part in that. I'm not certain what, but I'm looking for the best way to aid that effort." Corwin lifts the skin for another drink before passing it back to Amira, rolling his lips to capture the flavour of the grapes from them. "And I'm sorry that you've been used as a pawn in this game. I still feel like you being here has created a wealth of good will. Often that goes further than any marriage or written contract."

Amira pops up her brow at the admission of his selfishness, earning a true smile in response to that, not one soured by the game of kings as it were, "I shouldn't think it'll be soon, I'm still waiting to collect my message in response to the one I've sent here. Royalty take their time making decisions, after all," she flashes a rather deepening grin, looking down toward the basket, pulling it close and between them, rummaging around and pulling out a small box, inside, prepared cheeses and crackers - a variety to go right along with that wine.

"Then here's the deal," she tells him between small nibbling bites of cheese, "If you start thinking about a dream outside of survival, I'll try to think of one outside of my duties too. Clearly, I have the better advantage, but you've more freedom to dream without limits." She nods at the sentiment about the North and South working together, taking the wineskin, shrugging a shoulder at his apology, "Don't be. That's part of who I am, so I've tried to learn to play the game better than I play chess." She gives him a soft nod, "I hope others have seen it as such. I know some merely see my return here as trying to secure a written contract of my own." She looks at the wineskin, then simply just lifts it upward. Finally, after a drink, she asks, "Would you show me further reaches of the South? Does that offer still stand?"

"Was it not a royal order that I do so?" Corwin grins now. The Princess was rather direct with her language the night before. "Of course the offer stands. In that I can offer my escort to wherever you'd like to travel. I'm sure you'd still need to clear it with your current host and no doubt be saddled with some entourage beyond myself. I fear that if I just took you down to the docks and commissioned I ship, I'd have most of the standing army of both nations chasing after us." He's still grinning. It's an amusing scene running through his mind.

"And I'll take your challenge. Though, I'm good at taking challenges and not following up on them. I'll still have to let you punish me in the practice yard one of these days. That aside, I'll keep my mind open as to what I'll do with myself between fighting." The knight reaches into the basket to secure some snacks for himself, lifting his eyes toward Amira as he does so. "I'm certain most see it as more than that. Though, it's inevitable it will be in many minds when unattached and powerful royalty travel."

Amira gives a good natured laugh at his grin and his remark, "You know, I hadn't thought about it that way, nor did I think you would've taken it as an order, as I'm not your liege Princess." It must've been all the wine talking to be so direct. A reason for her trouble with the courts, a matter of speaking too frankly and with too much innocence to lie about it. Then another laugh, lighter, for the trouble that whisking her away on some random ship would cause both nations, "I'm fairly sure it would cause some heart attacks and rile up the nations to stand in the fields. Wars have been fought for less." Women were certainly one of the deadliest causes of war! Look at Darrin, who abandoned everything to be with the woman he desired, a Northern Princess.

She shakes out her hair as she looks up toward the sky as a flock of large geese honk their way overhead, flying south for the winter. She watches them for a time, flying in a formation that armies would envy, switching back and forth as the lead gets tired and falls back to the rear, a process repeated until they cannot be seen any longer. Her gaze travels back to Corwin, "It would seem I'm free of obligations and extravagant events for a short while. Perhaps in a few days?" She asks him, then reaches for the wineskin to take another sip, completely ignoring the fact of what this could look like to anyone who walks by and recognizes her. Rumours be damned. They come regardless of what she does or doesn't do. "And I'll keep my mind open as well," she reiterates the intent to dream, softly humming to herself as she nibbles. The last remark from him causes her to smirk, "Indeed."

"I'm completely at your disposal." Corwin replies, lightly enough to indicate he may not be entirely serious. "I don't have a lot of obligations right now. I've been trying to help Lady Isold with her stolen ship, but I doubt it will show up any time too soon. Make whatever arrangements need to be made with your host, and we'll travel. We should at least send word a day or so ahead of our pace. As much as I'd like to take to the road quietly, I imagine the nobility in the other towns would be upset if we showed up with a northern princess with no warning. Unless you can convince your entourage to dress down so that we didn't travel with so much fan fare." The knight shrugs - he leaves that in Amira's hands. He doesn't know much about traveling with royalty - only that it's certainly more complicated than when he rides out alone.

"I wonder how many passers by have recognized you now? I don't supposes it matters. They can't make too much fuss about a picnic in the town."

Amira flashes quite the coquettish look to Corwin for his first response, speaking as if a phenomenon had suddenly befallen her, "What have I done to deserve so much dedication?" she gives a lighthearted laugh, hrming softly at the mention of a stolen ship. "Oh, I had heard Princess Fayre speaking of something in regards to a stolen ship… Was it pirates?" She asks, since she hadn't shown interest during the previous night.

"Yes, of course, I'll see to them as I have nothing else pressing to attend," she waves a hand at the matter, "Why don't we do both? There's no harm in dressing down and being ready to extend your sigil's and house colours if pressed to do so. Hrm, I'll have to give it some thought, debate the pros and cons… As I already said it takes Royalty a while to make up their minds." She apparently is included in that.

The last, has her give a sudden look about, to see if anyone other than her second shadow has kept a close eye on them. She rolls her eyes a bit, "Be prepared for it Sir Corwin, anything about me is scandalous in these parts. Your house might soon chase you away if they know the Princess Amira has shared a wineskin with you. I imagine it'll be similar to being forbidden to speak to or see your Prince. Cheers!" She winks as she takes another long sip.

"That's what knights do. We dedicate ourselves to things. It's in the rule book somewhere, I'm certain of it." Corwin flashes a quick grin and shakes his head. "I don't think I'm nearly important enough to cause much of a scandal, Highness. I honestly do not know what happened with the Prince - you'll have to forgive my ignorance of such court affairs - but I doubt this really parallels that. You've been very approachable since I first met you in Laketown. It was refreshing. At times I find myself forgetting your position. Which is surely going to get me in trouble one of these days. I'll beg forgiveness in advance."

He waits until the wineskin is free again and takes it for himself, drinking a heavy pull before commenting about the stolen ship. "Her crew turned on her. Put her out in the middle of the river in a dingy. They 'paid' her for the ship, but it was some tiny amount and it was accepted under duress. Being thrown into the river to die was the other option. Of course, she'd like her ship back and some retribution against the crew. Mutiny is seldom tolerated."

"I should read that rule book sometime," she playfully remarks, letting her lips fall into a quieter smile, relaxed and attentive. As for the drama with the Prince, she rolls her eyes and looks aside, "Young and stupid is what that was all about. A fancy that was deemed too traitorous for both our houses to encourage." She doesn't seem all that disappointed, "Our parents forbid us to see one another. Though, I'm sure what my si… what Kerilyn and Darrin did was the root cause of all of it." She tilts her head, "I of course had another misfortunate adventure with a knight, he fell into the bed I was borrowing dead drunk and out of his mind. Quite the scandal that all was, so don't think yourself so immune simply because you're not a Lord." She seems to have had some experience with the court and the outside world, enough to cause her to sound cynical about it.

There's a gentle noise in her throat, dismissive of his request, "My position is not who I am. While we all should follow the practices expected of our titles in social outings, I truly appreciate being treated like a human being. So your begging won't be necessary." Of course, this is when she falls into listening of his story, explaining Lady Isold's stolen ship. There is a fleeting look of sympathy, before she asks, "What'd she do to make the crew turn on her? She -had- to do something to warrant it." Besides being a woman on a ship. Indeed.

"Not to point out the terribly obvious, but being in your bed and having some crackers on a public lawn are two very different activities, Highness." Corwin laughs, shaking his head. "I don't mean to make light of your past. Honestly. I can't imagine how difficult it is to have to look at your every action and consider what the public perception of that is going to be. You seem to have a good attitude about it at this point, but I'm sure that was difficult to come by." The knight leans back a bit in the grass, shrugging his shoulders at the questions about Isold. "The reason seems to be that Lady Isold herself was not often captaining the ship and it had been left mostly to her first mate to run. The crew decided that should be permanent and forced the issue. If that is the extent of it, it's a very bad reason for a mutiny. If they were unhappy with running on a ship owned by someone who wasn't captaining it, they should have just left."

Amira's eye widen a bit, because she nearly choked on a cracker at the insight that Corwin brings with his sentiment, causing her to immediately laugh afterward, granted, behind an uplifted hand as she tries not to spew crumbs of the cracker she was nibbling on. "When you say it like that," she giggles and reaches for the wine to wash the rest down, shaking her head after, unceremoniously wiping a dribble of wine off her chin with her fingers, "There -is- no comparison." She muses, nodding slightly to appreciate his concern, "I've had to come a long way to reach this… point of joking about it. It really bothered me for a time and when I went back North, I stayed locked up for quite sometime, namely, in the arms of the Four." She tilts her head, "I see it's all for naught, the worry about what people will think. While I have to show proper decorum, someone is always going to say something. It's part of the big picture." Then as for Isold, she wrinkles her nose, "I suppose that'd be like our kingdoms run by an advisor rather than the King himself, or in case of the south, the Queen. Or an army with a general who would rather sit back and make his second in command make the battle plans. Doesn't seem to be a point in having a Captain that doesn't Captain, excuse me if that's too bold." Speaking her mind again, sometimes that doesn't help issues, "In any case, I do hope she recovers what is hers."

"I don't disagree that the crew may have had a beef. It's just how they acted upon that which went outside the boundaries. The ship is a business - Lady Isold owned the business. She left the running of it to competent staff. Just because they do a good job does not mean they have a right to own the business and throw her on the street. They are welcome to quit her business and start their own if they think so highly of themselves … but not simply cut her out of the picture." Corwin slips his feet beneath him on the ground and slowly rises up to his feet. "Again, pretend I bow. I'm glad to have run into you, Highness. You've made the afternoon brighter. But, I should get back before my squire thinks I've run off again. Thank you for the wine, food and company."

Amira reconsiders as Corwin puts it in a different light, as a business, not a unit or a household, "Ahh, putting it that way, it makes sense that she'd be outraged. Forgive me, I have no notion of what it really means to be a captain of a ship or even a general of an army." She watches him slip to his feet, herself staying put, apparently not yet wanting to return to the castle. "Thank you for the company Sir Corwin. Enjoy the rest of your eve." She bobs her head gently and continues to sip her wine, like any royal would be expected to do - regardless if it's on a grassy knoll or not!

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