The Back-Up Plan

The Back-Up Plan
Summary: Sir Jaren briefly meets the Princess of Taniford, and then he and Sir Gauvain concoct a plan….
Date: 29/10/2013
Related: Summons, Summons Too, and Preparations for a Journey
Jaren Gauvain Fayre 

The Royal Gardens of the Taniford Palace

It had been a hard, brisk ride to reach the Royal Palace after Prince Samwell summoned Sir Jaren Cassomir, and so the Knight decided it would be best to let his war-horse rest a while longer before making the return-trip back towards Laketown. Given somewhat free reign (and obviously smart enough not to try going anywhere that guards are barring the path), he has decided to idly peruse those areas of the grounds open to him. With no particular agenda in mind, the Gardens seemed as pleasant a spot as any, and the seeming seclusion welcome as he wanders amidst the various bits of fauna, smiling just a bit as the colors of autumn have clearly descended upon many of them. The idle thought flits through his head that for the first time in four years, he's not entirely sure where he's going to end up spending the winter. Not that any such thought is apparent on his face as he pauses in front of a particularly colorful tree, reaching up to ever-so-lightly brush a few of the leaves with his fingertips.

Out in the gardens is a place that Fayre likes to spend a lot of her time here actually and is here at the moment sitting upon a bench and reading a book that rests upon her lap. The young princess is dressed in a royal blue dress that has gold trim, long flowing sleeves that are tucked close to her while the skirt bit of the dress rests rather neatly which works to cover her feet and thus offer some added bit of warmth to her thanks to the cooler day. A fur of some type is curled around her shoulders and pulled close while her slender fingers of her right hand taps lightly upon the page of the book that she is reading over. Her hair is tucked back loosely and has a few slight curls across the locks. A pair of blue guards rests some feet from her, the two have a conversation going on but they are very aware of what is going on around the guards and the movement of the Knight is indeed caught. Settled down next to the princess is a slender pale colored hunting type dog, the thick collar upon its slender neck matching the colors of the princess's dress. His fuzzy ears perk flick forward, nose twitching before the canine is up on his paws and is slowly trotting on over towards where Jaren is and goes about sniffing out at him curious like.

Jaren does indeed draw to a halt when he spots the Blue Guards. He has every intention of simply turning about and being on his way, having no desire to interrupt a member of the royal family while at their leisure, but then the dog comes trotting over, and Jaren offers a hand towards the canine, letting him sniff away at his leisure, and if so permitted by the animal, will then reach to give it a good skritch behind the ears.

"Yet another of the brave defenders of our beloved Princess, eh?" Jaren murmurs, perhaps just loud enough to be heard by more than just the dog as he crouches down to get a closer look at the animal.

The canine shifts, a ear flicking forward while his head tilts, a soft wruff escapes him as he leans out to sniff once more before leaning into the skritching behind his ears, which he gladly takes in. Fayre looks up curious to see what her canine is going about doing. A soft smile is seen while she shifts, closing the book and soon stands to move on towards where Jaren and the canine can be found. "Oh he does a very good job of protecting me." This said with an amused yet friendly tone. A soft smile is offered to the knight along with a slight nod of her head. "What brings you to Castle Wolveshire Sir Knight?" She has yet to know of this one's name so any more of a formal greeting will have to wait it seems.

Sir Jaren rises to his feet, and offers a deep bow from the waist, eyes shifting to study the ground for a moment before he straightens, "Your Highness, I was summoned by your brother to discuss a particular matter." Jaren folds his hands in front of himself, mindful to keep them well clear of the weapons that hang at his waist. "Sir Jaren Cassomir, at your service, your Highness." He makes the more proper introduction, "Please forgive me for interrupting your leisure. It certainly was not my intent." Dark eyes do study the Princess' face for a moment as a reserved yet mildly sheepish smile spreads across his own.

He accidently left Jaren alone. In the Royal castle. With his… affliction…


Bethany looked at her father with a raised eyebrow. "Father? Where is Ser Uncle Jaren?"

"Ser Uncle Jaren?" Gauvian said with a smirk. "You've never called him that before."

The young squire pinched the bridge of her nose, her auburn tresses falling to frame her face. "Oh Four. Father. You didn't leave him alone." She gestures to herself and then to Gauvain. "Think Father. I'm calling him UNCLE so I don't be an idiot around a man who has a certain AFFLICTION."

Gauvain stared at Bethany. His eyes locked on hers. Then he bolted for the door of the Inn they were staying at.


Gauvain comes into the Garden, eyes scanning the Garden quickly and falling on Jaren. Until… Until he saw the Princess. He had never met her, but he'd have to be an idiot not to know who the Princess was. The corner of his lip, and the left eye twitches slightly. He then moves quickly to pop up behind Jaren and give his freind a massive, and HARD clap on the back. "SIR JAREN!" He says with a big grin. "I thought you'd gone home! So much to talk with you about!" He laughs nervously and turns to the Princess, before he bows deeply. "So sorry for the interruption your highness! I hope I'm not interrupting …. anything!" He laughs nervously again. That only makes his tattoo'd face jsut that much scarrier.

Fayre offers a slight nod of her head as she curiously watches Jaren, a soft chuckle escapes her. "Think nothing of it. You did not interrupt me that much in the least, was merely reading my book while having a bit of free time." There is a slight pause as she ponders what her brother would have called the knight to the castle on, though she does not question the matter. "Well met Sir Jaren. I do hope that your stay here at the castle has been a good one so far. No one bothering you to much as of yet I do hope?" Meaning the guards that are following some distance behind her. There is a pause, a blink and she looks towards the new voice and looks a touch amused while eyeing Gauvain. "No no, not in the least Sir Gauvain. How are you this day?" She questions with a soft friendly tone.

Jaren doesn't budge under the clap to his back, though he does roll the shoulder it landed nearest a moment afterwards, tilting a brow towards Gauvain, "Not interrupting anything at all, Sir Gauvain. I just happened along while taking a look at the gardens after his Highness the Prince dismissed me." He gestures towards the Princess and notes, "And accidentally came across her highness the Princess." He looks back to Fayre, "And my stay has been entirely pleasant thus far, your Highness, thank you. All is well." That last seems a -bit- more directed at Sir Gauvain than at Fayre, his eyes flicking in that direction before once again meeting the Princesses' own, "Again, my apologies, Highness. Even if it is just a bit of reading, I would imagine your free moments are rather precious."

Gauvain inclines his head in a slight bow to the Princess. "I am well Your Highness." He says evenly, clearly breathing a slight sigh of relief at Jaren. He nods to the man and the Princess. "Indeed, all is currently well. Clearly." He then looks back to the Princess. "I can wisk this Knight away if you wish to return to your book. We have much to discuss." He smiles slightly. Again, the tattoo's make the face look like he isn't smiling. More like being an evil evil Knight.

Fayre shakes her head slightly, a soft chuckle escaping her as a result while she eyes the pair a few moments. "I'm glad to hear that you have been well Sir Gauvain. He has not been a bother in the least." There is a pause as someone calls out to her, one of the blue guards needing her for something it would seem. There is a slight pause and a soft breath escapes her before she looks to Jaren. "It is good to hear that your stay has been well. If you both would excuse me I have a few things that need my attention this moment." There is a slight bow of her head before she turns to move off towards the pair of guards that happen to be waiting for her. The slender canine is following at her side.

Sir Jaren bows from the waist again as Fayre excuses herself, then turns towards Sir Gauvain, taking in a deep breath and exhaling slowly before noting, "It's all right, my friend. Matters may still be a bit out of sorts, but not to the point that prudence cannot reign." He tilts his head, "So we've both spoken with the Prince by now, I gather. We'll need to draft a list of provisions. I'm calling for a handful of the Cassomir Armsmen that remain. They should meet us en-route. Solid, seasoned men." He shifts to face Gauvain more squarely, perhaps so he's not tempted to watch the Princess too closely as she departs.

Gauvain doens't have that problem. He watches the Princess depart. You know. Respectfully. To make sure she is safe. He then turns and nods to Jaren. "Aye. I spoke with him." He sighs. "The plan is sound, but I don't like the numbers he has us taking. I'm heading out in a few hours to the Point, to gather my Men at arms, and five archers." He shrugs a shoulder. "We can gather provisions at Griffon Point, thanks to the Trade agreement with Mistress D'Armaz, I have beyond amble supplies. Enough to fund the whole expedition." He gestures, "I figure your River fort is on the way to the Point. We gather the men there, get mine, the provisions, and come back here."

"Did the Prince ask for the full complement of your men? I offered mine and he requested only a handful." Jaren asks Gauvain, curious. "He seemed quite clear that he wanted a smaller party. Only a bit larger than what we had before. i think he hopes to avoid open battle with a bit of subterfuge, and likely several bottles of wine or brandy." He adds, "But we both know that the best of intentions find themselves quickly disabused by the whims of the battlefield." Jaren considers, "We could, perhaps, bring the rest of my men, and have them move in a smaller party some distance behind. A reserve, if you will. Albeit one that would only be able to be triggered on a timeline. We would be unlikely to have any other means of communicating with them."

"It's unlikely they would be able to effect a rescue themselves if circumstances swing for the worst, but at the very least they could report back and garner greater reinforcement to recover the Prince." Because the rest of them would likely be dead, but Jaren is betting Robard isn't -quite- so foolish as to kill the Prince even if the opportunity to do so arose.

"Now there is an idea." Gauvain says with a thought. "And no, I'm not bringing my full compliment. I only have twenty five." He shrugs and sighs. "I'll be bringing my Five Men at Arms, and five of my twenty archers." He ponders. "If we combine the remaining, which would be my fifteen archers and the rest of your men," He looks to Jaren and raises an eyebrow. "How many is that by the by?" He asks.

"25 Armsmen of House Cassomir remain." Jaren notes, "All veterans of the War. Fifteen Men-at-Arms, Five archers, and Five Cavalrymen." He adds, "But I was planning on bringing only five of the Armsmen in the official party." He smiles, just a touch, "So Ten Men-at-Arms, Twenty Archers, and Five Light Cavalrymen. On second thought, they might be able to effect a rescue on their own…but while I think having the reserve would be prudent, I do not believe they will be necessary." Jaren adds, "And they'll have to hold at the entrance to the Canyon, which puts them an hour or so away. Have scouts scale the cliffs so they can see the Fortress and give the signal to move if, for example, it seems to catch fire?"

Gauvain shakes his head. "Have them hold at Rikton. It's only twenty minutes form the fortress, and we can have them disguised as a trade caravan stopping for the night." He considers for a moment. "And it will keep Bethany out of trouble if we assign her and my remaining fifteen archers with your remaining twenty men. We put Bethany in charge, and if she doens't hear anything from us via some form of signal, She can lead the rescue party."

"They'll still need to be far enough behind us to not look suspicious. And they'll have to be mindful…there are still some bandits out there that could distract them…though with the Prince's party passing through again, I would imagine they will keep their heads down." Jaren notes, reaching up to rub at his chin in thought. "So two parties. The question being…do we tell the Prince of this plan, or risk his ire should we be discovered and they prove unnecessary?"

The big knight considers for a moment, before he finally nods. "We risk his ire." He says after a long moment's thought. "Normally I wouldn't. But the Prince is dead set against us bringing more. I voiced my concerns, but he clearly wasn't interested. He is young and just like us at that age, not considering the possibility we could fail." He sighs, he doesn't like this line of thought, clearly, but he also knows he has to follow it. Nodding he continues, "Have them disguised as a trade caravan. We can easily have men sent to Rikton from the Fortress on errands if the Prince's ruse works." He pauses and considers. "I've instructed bethany on Siege craft. We leave your Master at Arms with her to advise her, if I remember right, he is a helluva swordsman. That is one hell of rescue party that would have hammered most Corsairs we ran across."

"All right then. I'm no more comfortable with it than you are, I suspect, but I see the need." Jaren considers, "And if, perhaps, our "caravan" were laden with some fresh, genuine, much-needed supplies…in addition to their own…for Rikton given their recent troubles…so much the better."

Gauvain nods once. "Agreed." he says as he taps his chin in thought. He then looks off with a slight smile as he fingers the favor. "That will give me an excuse to speak to Mistress D'Armaz. Organize some trade for Rikton. Our men can simply be hired to escort the trade wagons." He shrugs a shoulder wiht a wink. "Surely the Prince can't be upset at us for protecting our investments."

Jaren smirks ever-so-slightly, "No of course not, and the purely coincidental timing of our efforts to provide for the people of our Lord's lands just before the winter." He shakes his head, chuckling just a bit, "I practically feel like a squire again, trying to plan mischief behind my brother's back."

Gauvain scoffs with a "Pft." As he hears that and chuckles. "You didn't squire for MY father. He'd have my hide, yours, and our horses for even thinking of this little scheme." He shakes his head. "But it is the right thing. We both know battles need back up plans."

"I think the last thing we need is to start comparing dire tales of squire-dom." Jaren notes with continued mild amusement. "But yes. A back-up plan." Jaren nods sagely, falling silent a moment, "On a completely unrelated matter…"Ser Uncle Jaren?" He chuckles, "Did you put Bethany up to that?"

"No I did not." Gauvain says with a smirk. "That one is all her's. According to her, if she thought of you as family she wouldn't be tempted." He makes a fluttering motion with his hand to his face, like one would expect of a teenage girl. "You know. To prevent her form falling for your manly wiles." He clears his throat with a snicker. "I think this whole Daughter coming into womanhood thing is going to be the death of me. Or the death of a lot of young men."

"Four help you, my friend. I think we both know she's inherited your stub- *ahem* -determined- nature." Jaren notes, clapping the larger man on the shoulder lightly, "But rest assured I won't be directing my overpowering wiles towards her. Sorry to disappoint her." He shakes his head slightly, "As terrifying a notion as it may be, take some comfort in the fact that it will be far more likely she'll be leading her chosen fellow around by the nose than the other way around, when the proper time comes." He laughs, this time with open, warm humor, "Which you no doubt feel is some twenty, thirty years from now."

Gauvain makes a hand wobble. "I'd be more content with fifty years from now." He gives a grin to Jaren, "You know. Shortly after I'm dead." He chuckles slightly. "All joking aside, I should try to find some Lordling for her. Try to give her a better life than she would get trying to live as a Bastard."

"A better life…" Jaren considers, a bit more somber, "Better can mean many things, though. I would imagine living as a bastard would not be so terrible so long as one was content with the path they walked." Jaren considers, "Of course, there -is- another possibility. Serve the Prince well enough, and you might ask him to beseech the Queen to allow you to name her your legitimate heir." He considers, "Though I would imagine it would only require Lord Lohstren's consent, in all truth."

Gauvain nods to Jaren. "I had considered that. It is why I re-entered service. Try to earn back some honor so they'd let me." He nods once. "the Four know it'll be trying as all hell, but it is who we are."

"You never truly lost your honor, my friend." Jaren smiles, genuinely and openly for a change, "Many would have left the child to their own devices. An unwanted inconvenience. You did precisely the opposite, as any good and true Knight would." He looks more somber, then, "Though it is an unfortunate truth that not all would see it as I do."

Gauvain grins to Jaren and gives the man a nod. "Thanks Jaren." He sighs and then looks to the sun. "We should get to the Inn, get our Horses, and head to your Fort before we go to the Point and get our supplies. I had Bethany send a bird, so they should be getting the provisions ready. I'll find Myrana and get the Trade Caravan purchased and ready."

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