The Inn that didn't Burn

The Inn that didn't Burn
Summary: A Prince takes a walk outside. A free day to meet new people and have a drink or two. Talking, good and bad news, new friends, dices and gambling, it had it all. Except, of course, the fire a similar place had not too long ago.
Date: 17/April/2013
Related: None
Players:
Samwell Collette Pawel Roltoff Anton Moirae 

The Blue Duck Inn
The Blue Duck Inn is where all of the real business in Laketown take place. An imposing edifice of stone and wood, the tall stone fireplace rises high above the ceiling above, decorated with the banners of the three Guilds and other prominent merchant-dynasties and local nobles that hold sway over Laketown. It is a lively if subdued place, a bard or a small instrument troupe always on hand and fine wine, rather than some cheap ale or grog, the preferred drink of the crowd. The ornate bar with a long marble top holds fine liquors and other odd bottles to satisfy the most discerning Rhaedan lord or Taniford lady, as well as accomdate the eclectic fads of Laketown proper. The staff is a full compliment of waitresses, hostesses, bartenders, and other staff constantly in motion, much like the town it inhabits.

The rooms of the Inn are at the Upstairs landing, a more intimate Common Room for the Blue Duck Inn's more distinguished guests. An ornate door leads to the world outside to Laketown.

Wed Apr 17, 1329

The sky is opened in bright delight. Perfect blue, adorned with a little cloud here and there, with free way for the sun to embrace the crowded Laketown.

Nobles and small folk rush through the marketplace, as a sea raging in a storm.

And there, walking as if there was no one else around, giving small glances to the road ahead but without any worry of being interrupted by the path of another hurried buyer, a man dressed in the finest royal blue doublet rivaling with the sky above and the imaginary multitude sea around and a beautiful lute on his hand, which wood steals the light of the sun and capable of marveling someone before the first swipe, smiles to himself, with the proud of ancient kings, but the glance of innocence of a young knight.

"A beautiful day." he says in his usual tone, a mixture of solemnity and a little bit of unexplainable amusement. "Don't you think?" Naturally, the guards at his back nod with the highest of respects. And he, Samwell Taniford, Prince and Knight of the Citadel, cannot hide a smile. A free day, full of duties, most would say just looking at his deep, mysterious eyes. His armor, loyal silver companion, is nowhere to be seen. And, beside from the grace of his gestures, his elaborated and refined attire, and the coat of arms of his House, proudly exhibited on his chest, the guard of the future Queen seems a little less of a prince, and a little more of a young man.

Pounding of hoofs reaches the Laketown. With each heartbeat you could hear it better and better. Finally, after a small breeze turnes around the town just a few times, more than five riders show up from the Deep woods. The most sublime is the black stallion with a brilliant hide. He stops the first and the young haughty woman jumps on the ground. She enfolds her stallion and whispers something in his ear. Then she just pets him and gives reins to the young stableboy. The stallion snorts aggrieved, but follows the boy remaining very superior.

The lady colly or even angrily waves for two guards. They jump from their horses too and leave them to the stableboys. The woman rider looks around very slowly and starts walking straight to the Inn. Her eyes colour of amber looks at the surroundings lordly. However, you could see a few grains of sorrow glinting in her look. As usually, curly dark brown hair wriggles on her head as crazy. She is wedged in a tight leathern trousers and jacket colour of the black crow. These clothes emphasises her strong body and ample bust. The young lady covers her shoulders with burgundy cloak, which is decorated with a dark fur and sways near the ground with each step. Even she is dressed as a man, her pace remains graceful. Two proud guards follow the lady, resting their hands on the handles of their swords. Blazon of house of Lohstren swanks on their armour and cloaks. They give some space to the lady. She silently mumbles something under her nose.

"Lothstren." the musician whispers to himself, at the only thing that catches his attention in the middle of a multitude. "Lothstren." he repeats slowly, even more quietly.

Samwell's gaze rests lengthly on the lady, but even more on her guards. No one can say exactly what color his eyes are, but if they are not pitch black, they must be very close. And those dark torches, burning and shining in strange nature, inspect every single aspect in the pair of armored men. A finger swipes slowly through the lute. Slow enough to avoid any sound. But the little smile in his face betrays the sound was real enough for him.

"My lady." the Prince greets, getting a little closer. A respectful, courteous nod is spared, lasting a heartbeat or two more than it is needed. The words are left at that, as both guards in Taniford livery get closer to gathered ones.

Collette stops and sticks her look to the man, who greets her. She stares at him for awhile, than finally she undertsnads, who he is. "You Highness," she bows to the prince as all the men should. he guards comes closer to her and does the same. However, Collette turns to her guards with anger in her eyes "What did I said for you two?! Give me some space. You can't be closer than four steps near me!" she waves with her hands to go a few steps back. Guards does, what she tolds. Then Collette turns back to the Prince and gives a respectful formal smile "I am sorry, you Highness," she utters and her look slips to the lute.

A single, entertained, laugh escapes the Knight of the Citadel. "Your highness?" he says in curiosity, as his eyes move to meet the guards one more time. "Have we met before?" he asks softly.

After a few steps around, first in the opposite direction from Collette, and then closer to her, a more formal voice can be heard surprisingly, from the same musician as before, "My own guards need that kind of teaching. Discipline. The only way to achieve perfection. So," both Taniford dressed men-at-arms shrug as the mysterious gaze touches them, "For the time being, if Lady," the Prince returns quickly, whispering, "Did you tell me your name, my lady?" and with the same swiftness tracing back to his guards, "If my lady of Lothstren instructs you in any way, you will do better by following her."

A final nod, full of respect, is casted to Collette.

Stepping out from the Blue Duck Inn, along with a few guardsmen, Pawel looks around for a few moments, unable to hold back a smile at the weather now. Stepping further out, he spots some familiar faces, and heads over in their direction now. Catching some of the words being said, he's unable to hold back a grin. "Don't you know you're famous, Your Highness?" It's offered a bit lightly now, before he looks to Collette, offering her a polite nod as well. "My lady."

"Your Highness," Collette starts, trying to be as pleasant as she can, however, a strange anger do not let her to smile warmly "We haven't met. But everybody knows the Royal family," irony tunes in her voice. "I am Collette Lohstren. It is a pleasure to meet you in person, You Highness," and she one more time bows as a man. However, she can't fake the joy in her voice. Than the Duke interupts in their conversation, the lady bows to him as well. and then she just gives a quick look to the Prince's guards, than to hers. Her look is fulfilled with discontent. "I was going to the Inn," Collette explains to the Prince "I need some wine. Maybe your Higness would like to join me? I promise, I will become much more fun and interesting, than the wine will moistens my lips."

"Famous?" the Taniford asks, before turning to see where the new voice comes from. "Oh, cousin." a smile and a nod are quickly offered. "Well, in this city, I didn't think so. I have even thought of using regular clothing and perform as a bard in the inn. But," a glimpse of pride can be noticed, "It seems that would be in vain."

"The inn. Wine. I wish I could, but." a little, almost imperceptible sigh serves as bridge, "Well, if that will help you to be more calmed, I think I actually can, my lady." turning just a little, he concludes. "Cousin, do you want to join us?"

"Well, there's always some people knowing you everywhere, cousin," Pawel replies, smiling a little bit now. "It would be a pleasure to join the two of you," he offers, with a nod. Looking around the area for a few moments, he nods to two of his guards, who heads off in another direction.

"Very well," blurts Collette and goes straight to the Inn in a hurry. Than she steps in a crowded place, she looks around intently. Her eyes catches a free table in the darker corner of the Inn. She firmly and haughttily steps forward, but suddenly stops. She turns to her guards, who wanted to follow the lady "You both, stand here. I want you to be near the entrance," she orders angrily and just then sits near the table, nodding to the Prince and the Duke to do the same. She waves for a serving girl and blurts "Wine for me," inquiring look is given to the company.

"Of course." Samwell says to his cousin, as the lady and her guards make their way towards the inn. He follows, with an ever-present look of curiosity, while further inspection is given to the armed men.

"You heard her, stand /here/." he repeats after Collette has spoken, this time referring to his own guards. "Yes, near the entrance." and an accomplishment nod takes place, and both men at his service stop hear the Lothstren ones. "Oh, please, bring us a full bottle. The best wine you have." the Prince says lightly to the serving girl, "Do you want some, Duke Pawel? And also," a few heartbeats are taken, "Did you mention your name, my lady? My own is not really, 'Your Highness'. Samwell Taniford, it is a pleasure to meet you."

Moving in with the others, Pawel nods at his own two remaining guards, who moves to take places in different parts of the room now. "And some wine would be quite fine, yes. Thank you, Prince Samwell." Moving to join the others now, he offers a bit of a smile, "So, how are you two today?" Looking to Collette, he offers her a smile. "I hope you have recovered well from the events at the Tavern, Lady Collette?" A brief pause, as he listens to Samwell's question about the name. "You're talking with Lady Collette Lohstren, cousin Samwell. Youngest of the children of Count and Countess Lohstren, I believe?" Looking to Collette again now.

Collette frowns, than the Prince asks her name one more time, and opens her mouth resentful, but quickly bites her lip stopping words leaving her throat. She remains silent for a moment, than the wine she ordered is put down on the table. She takes jug and fulls her cup. Collette raises her cup noding to the two men in front of her and then drinks half drink from her cup at once. She cleans her lips with an arm and offers unnatural smile "I already said that, but thank you the Duke, for reminding the Prince. Yes, it is me. The youngest in my family" the last words she says in some kind of disappointment and drawns in her wine again. The cup is empty very quickly and the young lady fulfills it one more time. It looks like, that playfulness slowly comes back to her amber eyes. Now the corners of her lips raises a little bit from the real strange but pleasant feeling. However, than Pawel mentions the last events she frowns one more time "I am good," she just stammers and it is obviously, that she is lieing.

"Lady Collette, I am sorry, I may have missed it." the Taniford shakes his head. "These have been troubling times, and the little head of a knight can be messed up so easily. But a musician, on the other hand, can find a way to remember things." he ponders his own words for a moment, as he starts to fill his cup himself. "Mayhaps I will write a song and include 'Collette' in the title. I love the sound of it. A name with a rhythm of its own." the glass is raised and tilted to both nobles, "Wonderful." he exclaims.

To the words of fire and destruction, no comment is made. he already heard the news about it, but the mention of the lady being part of it certainly takes out a look of surprise from the Prince. A sip of wine, though, replaces the need for any answer.

Pawel smiles, raising his own glass now. "To better times, then?" he offers, before taking a sip from the wine, before he nods a bit to Collette. "I'm glad to hear that, my lady." From his expression, it's clear that he's aware of her not being entirely truthful now, but he lets it pass. "I'm glad to hear that you have not given up on your music, cousin." It's offered to the Prince, with a smile.

At first Collette just stares at the wine in the cup and gives not attention to the Prince explanation. However, than he mentions a song, she quickly sticks her eyes to him. Just for a moment a fire of playfulness and joyfulness glints in her eyes. Even her cheeks becomes a little bit reddish. However, it lasts just a few seconds and it's really hard to see that. She takes one more sip of wine and mumbles under her nose "Just a simple name…" However, Collette remembers a promise. She raises her head and tries to smile, but she looks more thoughtful than happy. "Than you, Your Highness for such a nice words," she says as all the formality orders.

Another little shake of head from the royal noble, "No need to, my lady." the dark eyes are fixed in the wine for moment. And then, maybe for just an instant, maybe because of the mention of music, a wide smile emerges. To no one in particular, more of a smile to himself. "Of course, cousin. Art is part of myself. I live for the glory, the lute, and the words. And, that said, if I fail to perform good in the tourney at your home, be sure a song or two, sung by me about the heroes of the lists, will give a little relief to my name." the Prince grins and sips some more. "For better times, it is. So," Samwell clears his throat, "Is there any bard here to cheer us up?" the question is loudly asked to the inn's crowd.

Pawel smiles a bit as he hears that, a bit of a grin to Samwell. "I'll be looking forward to the songs, if they come," he promises, before he takes another sip of his wine now. Listening to what the others say, a bit thoughtfully as his gaze scans the room a bit carefully now.

Collette chews her lip and whirls her cup in the hands. "Maybe a Prince can honoured us with his song?" she just asks and smiles to the wine. She raises the cup closer to her lips and drinks everything in one breath. Then Collette puts a cup on the table firmly, but finally a wide smile is given and she sticks her curious look to the dark eyes of Prince.

"Of course." the words are spoken to Collette as the cup hits, rather gently, the wooden table. Little less than half the wine inside of it remains. And a finger, distractedly, touches it in unexplainable amusement. "But not today." Samwell points as his expression turns a little bit sadder. "Today is not a day for songs. At least, not for the songs I can play." he sighs. "My sister is missing, and no matter how much do I try to hide it, a way or another, a song is the purest expression of a feeling." the cup is arisen one more time, but it doesn't reach his lips. "I don't know any sad song. And even if I did, why would I like to, when we came here to give you a moment of relax, my lady'" the cup, one more time, is put to rest on the table. "So, until the day you can hear my song, we can use the fine entertainment of a well-skilled master bard."

A brief pause as he hears what's being said now, and Pawel nods a little bit. "No news so far, cousin?" Expression hardening for a few moments as he asks the question, before he leans back again now, studying Samwell for a few careful moments.

"Missing sister?" Collette asks in a little shock "I did not knew that! I was drawn in my problems… I am sorry," she whispers and adds "Can I help somehow?" now her look becomes motherly and she looks worried.

Samwell breathes slowly. "No news so far. Her Ladies in Waiting and maids cannot put together a decent story about how they missed my sister disappearing. Not even her other guards, or the Blue Guard itself. Can you believe she didn't even take out a cloak? And she had many meetings, important ones, so it is not understandable if she just left." finally, the wine from his cup is graced with a sip. "And don't worry, my lady. I am just worried, but we will find her. That didn't happen in my guard, by the way. In none of my guards, not a single one, I had missed the Princess, in the middle of a city full of friends and enemies. Oh gods." the remaining wine is quickly drained.

Pawel nods a little bit as he hears that, "It doesn't seem like her to just walk out on things like that. If there's one person I would believe not to do that, it is your sister." A brief pause, as he takes another sip. "Any sign of a struggle, or anything?" Nodding a little again now. "But don't worry, we will find her. I mentioned that uncle Antyllus is out searching with some of his best men?"

Lady Collette nods "I believe all kingdom is looking for her. So, she will be found quickly," states Collette and becomes thoughtful, letting the men to talk about their business.

"No sign of anything in her room. Anything strange, at least. You know, the usual pretty dresses and everything is there. She just left, without no one noticing, and disappeared. How can it be a kidnap? Did she willingly walk to her captors? I don't think so. She is, well, the rightful future Queen, trained for it since she was born. That must be something different." Samwell's words are dry, some sounding more worried than the others. "And yes, your House help is always welcomed, cousin. And I think it will be quick, or so I hope, my lady. But, that aside, what kind of songs do you both like? And where are the bards? In the Citadel, no inn can be conceived without bards. An inn without wine is awful, but still more seemly than one without a bard."

Pawel nods a little bit as he hears. "Quite strange. I don't know how it can have happened. Some kind of drug, or something?" Sounding a bit frustrated now, before he nods, "As I said yesterday, you and your siblings are family. We do not turn our backs on family." A brief pause at the part about the kind of songs. "Different ones for differing kinds of moods, I suppose. Not a good answer, but still."

"Sometimes strange things happens… Maybe she is even closer than you think?" Collette asks, but more for herself than for the Prince. She starts starts whirling one lock with her soft fingers. "I am not a music person, Prince ," the young lady tries to explain "I like a writtin word more. However, I love dancing! Sometimes, than I dance, I feel like I am flying," Collette chuckles.

"Well," the Prince's eyes burn for an instant, a new smile is drawn, and he sips his recently-filled cup before continuing, "Dancing needs music. And I must say, I completely share that feeling, my lady."

From the far side of the place, one of the guards in Taniford uniform nods for no apparent reason to his companion. It is quickly noticed.

"Perhaps you could be my guest one of these days. We can dance -Well, I am not as good dancer as a musician or a knight, but some practice would be wonderful." his eyes meet Collette's for a moment, and then they are taken away. "If it is good with you, my lady, of course."

"What he means is that he's more modest as a dancer than as a musician or a knight, my lady," Pawel offers a bit lightly, before he looks around the room again, rather carefully now. Taking another sip from his wine, before he adds, "And dancing is a good way to spend some time, and some good company, that's true."

The strawberries decorates the young woman's cheeks. She turns her shy look back to the spot on the table, which get a lot of attention, than they all just arrived. Collette still whirls her lock around finger. Slowly a smile grows in her face. Sorrow and anger leaves her amber eyes and joy with astonishment stands in its place. "I would be honoured, You Highness," she whispers and gives a quick look to the Duke. However, after a few heartbeats her look slips to the Prince and his dark eyes. "I am not a very good dance, either. However, the most important thing, while dancing is to have some fun," Collette titters. "Maybe after a dance, your Highness will want to go hunting?" she asks and becomes even more reddish. She glances at the Duke and quickly adds "I wanted to say, that the hunting is even more interesting way to spend your time."

"Oh cousin, not everyone of us is as good as you as a knight. I don't know about your dance skills or technique, but I would bet my part of the Kingdom -in case I have one- that it is equally impressive." the Knight of the Citadel smiles and takes a long drink.

His eyes seem to be lost, yet again, in Collette. The curiosity he has not tried to hide is still there, but somehow different. "I would be delighted, then." he smiles a different smile. "And hunting, you say, my lady?" his hand takes the cup down, and his head is shaken. "Hunting is one of the things I love most. It is not a common thing to ask a lady to, though, but now that you bring it, hunting would be magnificent!" the joy of his voice is clear. "What do you say, cousin?"

"You're too kind, cousin," Pawel replies with a smile to Samwell's words, bowing his head a little bit as he takes another sip from his glass now. "And hunting is an interesting thing, although it's one of the things I cannot say I'm very skilled at."

"I remember," Collette addresses to the Duke "We already talked about it. You said, that you do not like hunting very much." Collette crosses her hands on her abdomen and leans near the wall. She looks around the Inn and gives a gloomy gaze to her guards,w ho were standint near the endrance and looks really tense. "I am glad to hear, that the Prince loves hunting. Art and hunting in one body. Strange combination," the young lady giggles "The creation and the destruction in one place…" she fixes her eyes to the Prince and a grain of admiration now is glistening in her eyes.

"Oh well, but I'm sure Duke Pawel will still like the feast after the hunt." Samwell grins, filling his cup for a third time today. "There is no destruction without creation, my lady. And, in the most discrete of cases, both of them are," his eyes fix in Collette's, "Impossible to differentiate." a slow sip. "And a lady who likes to dance and hunt, where were you hiding? I'm surprised we had not met before, to be honest. Being your House so important and close to my own."

Pawel shakes his head a bit lightly as he listens to what's being said now. "You know me too well, Prince Samwell." It's offered, quite lightly now, with a bit of a chuckle. Draining the rest of his wine, he fills it up again now. "Or maybe enjoying the feasts is something running in your father's family, right?" Still spoken quite lightly as he studies Samwell for a few moments, before he smiles a little bit, listening to the rest.

Collette starts laughing loudly and playfulness finally comes back in her eyes in a full shape. "Where I was hiding?" she repeats the question "My dearest Prince, I guess you already know the answer. I was hiding in the woods. Hunting and dancing with a wind," she continues laughing till the need of breath stops her. She tries to respire, but her amber eyes full of jocosity or maybe her look is even arch. "But here I am," she raises her hands and stands up as she would be talking for a huge crowd of viewers "Finally you found me!" This time the young woman tries to hold her laugh. She sits back in her place. At this moment one of her guards comes closer and fearfully leans near her ear. He whispers something, what makes Collette frown "I don't care! I already said it. I - DO - NOT - CARE. You are here to do it. Go," she point at the door for the guard and he hastens away. Now just the one guard is left. Collette looks at him and shakes her head. However, this time all the good emetions comes back very quickly. She just gently or even thoughtfully bites her lip and continues gazing at the Prince.

Samwell smiles, "I would say enjoying a feast has to be in every family, cousin." he laughs and examines his cup for a while, as Collette speaks. "I see." further inspection is given to her eyes, "Well, I can consider myself lucky of having found you, I am sure. My lady." and then, as the guard enters, whispers, and the subsequent reaction to take place, the Prince's eyes open wide. "Can I ask what just happened?" he says quickly.

Pawel raises an eyebrow at the exachange between Collette and her guard, but he doesn't say much more for the moment, just looking between the Lady and the Prince for now. Expression a bit thoughtful, as if he's considering something now.

"You are a Prince. You can everything, Your Highness," Collette chukles and starts talking without any dwell for breathing "Actually, nothing important or interesting. They," she point at the only guard who left "ask me a lot of stupid questions. To be honest…," she starts whispering "I am not sure they have brains under those brilliant armor things. I do not have what to talk about with them. They are good just to fight. I hate, than I am left with them," she frowns a little bit "I had the best guard ever! He was so brave and clever. He was like a father for me. But he died from those bastards from the Inn," now the anger appears "Maybe I do not like them all right now. Because noone can be as good as he was…" Collette shakes her head and playfulness with arch comes back to her eyes. She stares at the Prince as a child to the riped cherry on the top of the three.

After a hard afternoon of training and help searching more for the bandits Roltoff decides to step into the Duck for a cool drink and possibly a game of dice. Today's been a good day so far and he's in a bright and chipper mood.

The Taniford knight nods solemnly. "I am sad to hear it." he says. A long pondering is given, in which the cup remains sitting on the wood. "If you find someone, close as good as he was, I would be glad to help you get him under your service. After all," he smiles warmly, "You said I can do anything." his eyes, previously inspecting hers, now go to meet the cup, all the way until it reaches his lips. "But you would be surprised how many knights are that way. As your current guards. I just hope to don't be counted as one." the dark gaze moves to a side, as a newcomer approaches. A gentle nod is spared.

"I know that feeling quite well, Lady Collette," Pawel replies a bit quietly now, before he glances around the room as well. "One of my best guards died in that very same attack. Not only was he a good guard, but a good friend too, and he will be missed." Taking another sip from his wine now, he glances around for a few moments.

Roltoff steps into the Inn further and pauses as he catches sounds and turns to See Lady Collette and his smile seems to brighten, even as he spots Duke Pawel and the man from last night that he can barely recall. Roltoff wave to all as he heads to the bar to get himself so rum, and a small loaf of bread.

She offers a gently smile to the Pawel and a nod "I am sorry about you friend," she says and wants to add something, but the newcommer gets her attention. She waves to the man before he goes near the bar. Then her looks goes back to her company. "Well, but maybe we need to forget just for a moment about such things. " The lady starts breathing very deeply and closes her eyes, leaning near the wall. But after a few minutes, she slowly open her eyes and fixes it on the Prince again. "Of course, you are not like them. How you can even talk like this?" she asks than remembers Prince words.

Samwell nods one more time, choosing to remain silent. His silence may take too long, but his eyes, full of grief and confusion for a moment, can tell any of the words that crossed his mind. And then, as a good noble, Prince, and knight, he dismisses it all to return to a perfectly gentle smile. "Your words are kind, my lady." is his only answer on that matter. "But still, many find the steel as a perfect cover for an empty head. Nevertheless, you will need some swords, willing to die by your side. As the recent events have shown. So take your guards meanwhile, and someday you will find someone who will not only die for you, but someone worthy enough to die for." he sips. "Or maybe not, it can happen too." a little chuckle. "But not you, I mean."

Pawel nods a little as he listens, shrugging a little bit to what's being said, as he takes another sip from his wine. "Thank you," he offers to Collette, offering her a bit of a smile. "And I'm sorry about yours as well." Another brief pause as he glances around once more, offering a momentary nod to Roltoff.

Oh no, oh no! The door of the Blue Duck comes flying open and a menacing figure dressed in a Taniford livery comes striding in, half-dragging, half-carrying a small wisp of a youth by one arm. The man looks around and then immediately turns towards Samwell, bringing the child with struggling bundle of over-sized clothes and floppy hat with him. "Your Highness, we have found the one responsible for stealing from the guards!" he says loudly, giving Anton's arm a shake to prove his point.

Anton, for her part, is struggling against the much larger force, digging in her heels wherever she can and scratching ineffectively against the finely made armor. "I didn't steal nothin'!" is her indignant reply. "You got the wrong person. I haven't even been near any of yer guards! Ask anyone, I don't cause trouble 'round here." But her protests of innocence are ignored as the guard manhandles her and tosses her down to Samwell's feet, one hand resting on a sword, just in case she might try to do the Prince harm.

Roltoff moves from the bar and slowly walks over to the spot where the three of you are. Stopping short as the commotion happens before he can get there so his customary greetings of "Greetings, Duke Pawel, Lady Collette. " he looks at Samwell and nods. "I Do appologize sir but I dont recall your name, as I was quite tired last night when I ran across you all. " he then smiles and adds, "Not sure if I did introduce myself or not, but Im Roltoff Delmort, Im a sellsword. " are put on hold as this new developement happens.

Than a little Anton is dragged near the table, Collettes eyes glints with curiousity. She slowly utters "I know this girl…" and Collette starts laughing "Did you catch your butterfly? The last time I saw you, you were so happy." Than Roltoff comes closer, Collette moves letting him to sit next to her and offers him a smile. Then her attention goes back to the Anton "Somehow, I believe t his girl," she nods.

"Good day, good man, my name is Samwell—" The Taniford Prince's eyes open abruptly. His lips open and close quickly, but no word comes out. At least, until Collette speaks on her favor.

"Stay behind, and don't get that sword so close to us." he says promptly to the guard, at the time he holds tight his lute, made of the finest wood, caressing it slowly. For some reason, and as his glazing eyes can tell, it brings calm to him. Eventually. "So," the knight starts, "Were you caught for catching butterflies? It doesn't sound like a good motif to me. Or should it?" the last question is asked to the Taniford-dressed man.

Pawel raises an eyebrow as Anton is dragged in, studying her a bit carefully for a few moments now. "What did she steal?" he asks after a few moments of pause now, a bit quietly. Taking another sip from his wine as he watches the happenings now.

Anton inches closer toward Samwell on her hands and knees. "I didn't take nothing! I promise is, Your Highness. They musta gotten me confused with someone else!" she protests, her normally husky voice growing a bit more shrill with her panic. "I'm just an honest worker trying to earn a living here."

The Guard is livid, nudging at the girl's back with his foot. "Food and supplies have been taken, Your Highness," he protests in return. "They have eyewitnesses of a young boy about fifteen or sixteen taking these things. Scrawny bit of nothing, just like this one."

But shocker! Anton drags her hat off. "I'm a girl. I didn't take nothing. I'm a Journeyman Smith, not a thief. I have a trade, Your Highness. I don't need to steal nothing." She dares a peek up at Samwell, her bright hazel eyes filled with tears. "I swear on the Four, I didn't do nothing wrong."

Roltoff bows politely to Collette as he takes the offered seat but respectfully slides it a bit away as he knows his place even amongst nobles who treat him kindly. He looks to Samwell and nods and smiles. "greetings sir.. A pleasu…. " as he too pauses to allow this delima to get resolved. He does look at Anton and smiles, "well Im not sure about thievery but I know she did aid a bit in the help of putting out the fire on the tavern. "

Collette starts laughing and adresses to the Prince "remember, we were talking about men in armor today. They were looking for a boy and brought a girl for you. Then she turns to the Roltoff and gently touches his shoulder "It is nice to see you!" then she turns to the Prince again and explains "This was the man, who helped my half-dead… Well, he was very injured young man… So, my half-dead guard to take my out of the burning house. In other words He saved my life" Than she turns her eyes to the Duke "It was nice to meet you, but I need to go. I am sitting too long in one place. My legs are begging some action." Collette leans closer near the Roltoff "Again, it was nice to meet you." Finally she catches a dark eyes of the Prince "Your Highness, I can't wait our dance and hunting trip," she winks and stands up. However, before going out she turns to Anton "Little girl, do not cry, do not shout. If you are not guilty, stand proudly and calm. And I can assure you, that the Prince is just!" With these words she leaves the Inn. Her guard follows the lady dully.

"She seems like a girl to me." the Knight of the Citadel says plainly to the guard. "Look at her, please." his words are soft at this point. "See?" he takes a deep breath and lets out loudly, "A girl." the angered Prince's eyes burn as the darkest of fires as he continues, "Now, help /her/ to get up. Then, you will fill her a cup, and the Gods help you if she doesn't think you are kind enough." the coldness of his words is cut by the warmth of his smile. "Please, accept my apologies. I am sure it won't happen again." and the young royal musician gives a nod, full of respect.

To Collette, a long look is given. A brief sigh, and his hand is taken away from the lute. "I am so glad to have met you, my lady. And of course, I wish that day comes fast. Until then, I wish the Gods be with you and keep you safe." and with that, his shadow gaze follows her until she has gone.

Pawel nods a little bit as he listens to what's being said now. Shrugging a little bit as he sees how Samwell is dealing with this, he takes another sip of his wine, nodding a little bit at Collette's departure. "Take care, my lady," he offers, with a smile now.

"It's easier to stand proud and calm when you're taught that way from birth," Anton murmurs, almost to herself as she's helped to her feet, dusting off the already dirty clothes she wears and pushes back the few wavelets of frazzled hair that poke free from the braid she normally wears. "You're kind and good, Your Highness," she says, dipping down into as graceful a curtsey as she can handle, even if she doesn't succeed too much on the graceful part. "I'm forever in your debt."

Roltoff looks up as Collette is departing, "M'lday. you have a good day. " he smiles warmly and then turns to prince Samwell and then too Anton as she's allowed to get up. " I beg forgiveness your highness " he directs to Samwell. "I ..well I wasn't told whom I was addressing until now. I've been running into so much nobility it kind of makes this sellswords head spin." as he smiles softly trying his best to lighten the mood a touch.

The knight smiles. "Not that easy, even if you have been taught all your life to be, trust me." he offers as the girl stands up. "My name is Samwell Taniford. What is your name?" and then, turning to the man he knew the night before, an equally gentle smile is spared. "Do not worry. Last time I checked, we were in the inn, not in the court. I am nothing more than a knight, or a lute player, at most. No offense has been taken, or at least, as long as you accept a cup of wine."

Pawel nods a little bit as he listens, smiling a little bit. He seems content with listening and observing as Samwell runs the show, so to speak.

"Anton, Your Highness," is the meek reply. Her eyes remain averted as she takes a few steps back, hands clasped in front of her. A pause as she thinks. "Antoinette, Your Highness. But everyone knows me as Anton. Anton Little." She bites on her lower lip, muscles twitching her own nervousness as she stands before royalty.

Roltoff smiels at Samwell, and says. "make it a cup of rum and you got yourself a deal." as he takes a swollow of the rum he's currently drinking then adds. "Dont think rum and wine would mix all that well. " he replies He glances at anton and cant help but smile softly.

"Anton." Samwell repeats, "It's good to meet you, Anton." his voice, although courteous at all times, sounds a little quieter and thoughtful. The cup trails through the air, but it is quickly put down as the Prince notices it is empty. "Wine and rum are not a good combination, but they have something in common. There is never enough." after a sigh, the dark eyes meet the guard the same from the previous incident, and without the need of further words, he goes to ask the innkeeper for a new bottle of the finest red vintage.

"A pleasure to meet you, Anton Little," Pawel offers after a few more moments of pause, raising his own glass to drain the rest of the wine from his own cup. "Well, how bad the combination is would depend on what you would be trying to accomplish, Prince Samwell," he adds, a bit thoughtfully.

"I, uh…" Anton says, biting on her lower lip again. "I should leave you fine Lords to your business. Thank you for saving me, Your Highness." She gives another awkward curtsey to the royal as she takes a few steps back.

"agreed " Roltoff says and then looks to Anton. "please stay, I kinda feel out matched here and you'd be a welcomed addition Miss little.. " as he gives Anton his warmes and most charming of smiles, and motions to a empty seat. " for the life of me dont understand how I got so luky to be included but I find it quite enlightening to sit and listen and most importantly learn. "

"As Roltoff said, you can stay. We are just sitting, drinking, and waiting forever until a good bard comes." Samwell grins, giving constant looks at the entrance, and to any armed person he can spot. His gaze is always inquisitive, so it is hard to know when he is watching for possible trouble, or just glancing curious around. "And," finally, he stops at the sellsword, "You know my cousin and Lady Collette well, so I am sure you are a good person, but," he clears his throat, "What do you do for a living? I don't think you mentioned it."

Rae strolls into the inn, looking dusty and a bit out of sorts, accompanied by a handful of guards from her sister's detail, all who look dusty in fact and a bit out of sorts.

"If no bard comes, you will have to handle that yourself, I fear," Pawel offers to Samwell, along with a brief grin. Looking over as he spots Rae's entrance, he offers her a bit of a nod. "One Lohstren go, one come," he mutters under his breath.

Anton hesitates and then gives a small nod, sinking down into the empty seat that was indicated by Roltoff. "You are kind and good, Your Highness," she says again, staring at her hands. She sits quietly, squirming in the seat as she listens.

Roltoff looks at Pawl's comment and turns his head to see whom he's talking about and grins at seeing Sir Rae. He then turns back to address the prince. "I know then decently, Sir.. I'd not say well, as Its not been long enough for that assessment. Though as for what I do well I am an independant soldier Beholding to no kingdom or any place. I am up for the highest bidder for my services with the blade and bow. I also have a few other skills that help in my trade. I am currently inbetween jobs, though it seems that with the bandits and the recent fires in this town I've managed to keep myself entertained. " he gives a soft grin. He then asks Rae… " How's the shoulder doing.." as he turns his head to look at the Lady Knight.

"Oh no. I cannot act as a bard if she keeps saying me 'Your Highness'", the Taniford laughs briefly, and smiles to both Pawel and Anton.

Although, a finger caress the lute, delicately, carefully, gently stealing a long and sweet chord, which dies slowly in the air.

"Sir Rae." the Prince says, after the others have made clear the newcomer's identity. "It is a pleasure." he nods, his hand slowly getting back from the fine instrument. "The last Lothstren I met, just moments ago, was very kind. Lady Collette. Is she your sister or cousin, sir?"

Rae nods to her fellow guards as they split up so that each can go their own way, Rae doing the obligation-dance and heading to where she sees the Duke, then the Prince and of course Roltoff. "Your grace," she says first, "your highness," then around to Roltoff, "hey, and thanks for your help with that," she says with another nod before back to Stefan. "She's my sister, your highness," though she doesn't dwell more into who is older than whom.

"Of course you can," Pawel replies. "The Prince of Bards, or something like that?" he offers, rather lightly now. Glancing around the room again, a bit thoughtfully.

It all seems to be too much for Anton. All of the people, especially the royals, are frightening for her. She dips her head once and then slips off her seat and scurries for the door.

Roltoff nods his head as he sips his rum. "your quite welcome, and if it's still hurting I can always dig it back out and we can apply some more. " his head craned back to look at Rae and tilts his head a bit as Anton bolts. "seems we have a empty seat if you'd like to join us?" he licks his lips and grins. "Im almost pondering a game of dice with the duke and prince to see if I cant advance my funds a bit. " a dry grin on his face as he tease those present.

Samwell smiles, rather sadly, "Well, again, I can't right now. My sister." he keeps his words at that, knowing well his cousin know what is the case. As Anton leaves, another respectful nod is offered. "Take care, and I'm sorry for my guard's actions, one more time."

Moments of attention and distraction, strangely mixed from time to time, take the Prince's mind for a while. Until some words return him to the reality. "Game? I am not good at dice, I have never played it seriously. But I would not be a Taniford if I can't at least try."

Rae looks after the scurrying Anton, a small frown before she shakes her head then turns back to the table at large. "Sure, though I'm over fond of my coin, personally," she says as she slides into the now-empty chair.

"Ah, but are you sure you can afford to lose those funds?" Pawel remarks a bit lightly now, shaking his head a little bit. Nodding once more at Samwell. "I know. We'll find her," he offers, rather quietly now. Looking between the others for a few brief moments.

Roltoff looks to rae as she sits down. "Sir Rae Lochstren, this is his higness Prince Samwell Taniford. Prince this is Sir Rae Lohstren, the woman who helped me twice now, once to save those in the clam as it was afire, and the second is most recent as were hunting down the bandits who took a womans husband and two guards. "

"Sir Rae, of course, your name precedes you." the Taniford knight says with a smile, full of solemnity, and a new nod. "So, did anyone bring some dices? I have enough wine inside my head to play without knowing the rules, and enough money to match any bet here. Maybe not one from my cousin, but I will manage it." he grins friendly.

Rae inclines her head and then her upper body in a bow of respect to Prince Samwell, "Your highness," she says, aborting the motion to take the seat long enough to give that respectful bow and only THEN does she take a seat, the haze of spending all of her evening on the training ground fading a bit from her eyes.

"Taking a woman's husband anf two guards… One would normally think they'd take the husband's wife or something," Pawel says a bit absently. Shaking his head a little bit at the part about having brought some dice. "No, not me."

Roltoff cant help but smile as he reaches into his kit and pulls out a set of dice (4) and toss's them onto the table. They land near Samwell and Roltoff says. "we can use them, and they aren't weighted or anything like that. Though you can test them if you wish. I prefer a fair game where skill and luck prevail over cheating."

The Prince nods, "I trust you. Now tell me the rules and your bet."

"They left the bodies fully dressed, down to the boots," Rae says as she smooths one hand over her hair - which is a bit dusty - and shakes her head slowly. "Which does tend to make me wonder, why didn't they strip the bodies?" she asks of the table at large. "Why leave them dressed when there was perfectly good gear, sans weapons," she adds. "Bury them in shallow graves, what - trust that no one will follow the smell or the sight of flies in a haze over the bodies? It doesn't sort. Why bother to bury them at all .. so either there's a deeper puzzle here or we're looking at amateurs."

Pawel shrugs a little at the part about the dice, before he looks over to Rae now. "Are you entirely sure they were bandits?" Another brief pause, before he shrugs a little bit. "And tell me more about the people that was targeted?"

Roltoff looks at rae and asks. "you in or out.. " As he turns to the prince and begins to explain how the game works. The point system after the three rolls are toss'd and the like. He then turns to include. "Well I mean we found two Items to Ident the husband but we cant talk to the widow yet as from what I've been told she's still not concious. "

"I think amateurs would have taken everything, unless they were only motivated by the kill itself, or money was simply not important for them." dark eyes move to Rae. "In any case, it is worse than simple thieves. Would you like if I help you in that matter?" the gaze moves between the Lothstren knight and Roltoff. "Who else is after this case?"

At the game's explanation, the Prince sips and adds over his wine, "Understood. You start, please."

"Until I have these possible bandits to talk to," quiet emphasis on that phrase, "I don't know they're bandits. Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck," one shoulder moves in a shrug, "usually doesn't turn out to be a stag leaping through the brush."

"But what kind of people are they? Merchants, farmers, and so on. And from where do they come." Pawel offers, before he looks over to Samwell for a few moments, raising an eyebrow. "Are you thinking this might have something to do with your sister, cousin?" A brief pause, before he adds, "Until I know the answer to those questions I just ask, I don't know if it's banditry, something politically motivated, or maybe more of those discusting fanatics from before." Shrugging a little bit as he looks to the people with the dice, but not making any moves to join in the game now.

Roltoff plays with the prince and grumbles as he ties him in the first match, only to get slightly beaten in the second and then tied again in the third. "well dang it either Im a better teacher then I look, or you prince are just very lucky. " as he waches the prince rake in all the copper. "Just my luck to try and gamble with a prince. What was I thinking. " and as he says it he's still grining ear to ear as he as enjoying himself.

A few pondering moments delay Samwell's answer. "I don't know, cousin." his hand touches the table, fingers drumming to it. Harder, and then a little harder. "I don't know."

But his mood improves as dices roll and victory shows at the end. A mischievous smile emerges, as he takes the prize. "Fifteen cooper? I am so glad. But I think you let me won. No one loses so gracefully." the knight grins, returning the coins to the table. "It is yours to bet again, my friend. Maybe against Sir Rae?"

And, with a smile, he returns to the previous topic. "So, do you think you both could use a little help? My sword is sworn to justice. It is the least I can do."

Roltoff looks at samwell and blinks and definately takes back the offered coin as well as the aid. "sure prince we could use the all the aid we can get. "he looks to Rae and adds. " the woman Kaelea also offered to help track, she explained she's had extensive training in tracking. So with her aid and now the prices I have a feeling our would be bandits are in for some trouble."

Pawel keeps on looking towards the door every now and then, frowning a bit to himself. "I hope you all will excuse me, but I have something I need to take care of," he offers, after a few moments of pause.

"The help would be appreciated, thank you, your Highness," Rae chimes in from where she is seated watching the game.

Roltoff watches as the duke departs and looks to Rae and then the prince "I have a feeling the mood to gamble has left the building. " he says teasingly and places the four dice back into his kit, then he take a sip of his rum and leans back. "It should be the next day or two before we go after them your highness.

The royal knight nods to his cousin at his departure. "Have a good night and take care." he adds. His eyes, always so expressive, are fading out slowly. Something seems to bother the knight, and now that it is too evident to be hidden, there is only one thing he can do. "Please, whenever you need me help, send word to me and I will be there. For now, I beg you can excuse me. There is something I need to take care as well." getting up from his chair, and after two nods, equally full of respect, he takes his lute and adds, "Sir Rae, it was a pleasure to meet you. And you too, Roltoff. I hope to see you both soon."

And with it, and the usual grace on his movements, Samwell Taniford, Knight of the Citadel, leaves the inn.

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