The Long Way Home

The Long Way Home
Summary: Sirs Gauvain and Jaren accompany Mistress Myrana and Lady Claire back to Laketown with idle conversation about what they may or may not do once there.
Date: 21/10/1329
Related: On the return trip back to Laketown two days after:
Gauvain Jaren Myrana Claire 

Taniford Wilderness - Deep Woods
The road connecting Laketown in the north and Wolveshire in the south is a winding one. Made with carts and wagons in mind, the road winds around the larger of the hills. Tall hardwoods tower overhead; in summer the leaves provide a canopy from the sun and skeletons of the branches reach out in the winter, like a dead man's fingers. Around one of the bends the road opens up and grass has grown in a meadow, free from the shade of the trees. A favorite spot for weary travelers, a small spring provides a steady stream of fresh, cool water. And since it's a favorite of travelers, it is also a favorite of bandits that make the woods their home. Some call it a waystation, while other's name it the 'bandit hole.'

To the north, one may find themselves in Laketown, while the south leads to Wolveshire.

Oct 21, 1329

After the events at the Fortress of Brenton, Prince Samwell's party made the brief excursion back to Estermarch, and there they divided, with the Prince and the Blue Guard returning to the capital to urge Her Majesty the Queen to let them deal with the matter of the corrupt soldiers of the fort and their leader. Meanwhile, Sir Gauvain, Sir Jaren, Lady Claire and her Armsmen, Myrana and her maidservant, and of course Bethany have split off into a smaller group to head to Laketown. After a long day's ride, however, they begin to draw near the town, though it's still a couple of hours away.

Unsurprisingly, Sir Jaren has largely been silent for much of the trip, at least unless engaged in conversation. He rides out near the front of the small party, eyes watching the woods for any sign of trouble, though he's not expecting it nearly as much as he was near Brenton. Still…these have been dark times. Best to remain vigilant. The midafternoon son is not overly warm, but for men in full armor just a bit of warmth can make things a wee bit uncomfortable, and so as they ride, Jaren uncorks a waterskin, taking a few healthy swallows before capping it and lightly lobbing the skin over towards Gauvain.

"It's been years since I've seen Laketown." He finally comments, breaking his long silence.

Gauvain rode next to Jaren, where he himself had remained silent for the trip as well. After Jaren speaks, the knight nods and says evenly, "Aye. The last I saw you there was…. Was that the Tournament of Flowers? During that year lull in the war." He looks off toward the direction fo Laketown and hrms in thought.

"Are you both looking forward to it," Claire ventures to ask, listening to the two knights ahead of her with a rueful tug of her lips forming at one corner. Attired in one of the darker gowns that managed to make the trip with her, it at least keeps any signs of the road discreetly masked. If such things exist. "Although, it sounds as if you both would rather be anywhere -else- other than our intended destination."

The Guild wagon trundles along, bumping on the rocky road. It is loaded down with bundles now, trade from the Villages along the way. Myrana rides before it on an old speckled grey warhorse, one who bears the maroon saddle hangings of the Merchant's Guild. Her maid, Sophie, is driving the wagon. Dressed warmly against the chill, she seems much more at ease now that the terrible Hold is behind them and they are on the road back to Laketown. In fact she seems only to be occasionally looking up from the journal that rests balanced on her uppermost knee as she writes in it with a charcoal stylus. The old horse knows the way, though, and plods along, seemingly sleepy in the sunlight.

"Yes, the Tournament. I was one of the last three standing in the Melee, until my own father thumped me on the head." Jaren notes with a faint smile. He glances back towards Claire, that expression remaining in place, "I believe my desire matches Sir Gauvain's, milady. While the head reminds me that it is wiser to seek greater support before dealing with those scum at Brenton, the heart pushed me close to considering deeds that would likely be considered quite Un-knightly in their execution to end the problem sooner rather than later, no matter the risk to myself." He shakes his head, "But to do so would have placed you and Mistress D'Armaz in an unacceptable degree of danger, and likely would have accomplished little more than our own deaths in the process, given the numbers."

The taciturn knight shrugs, looking back towards the road, "But I'm not opposed to seeing Laketown again. It's been good to get away from the Riverfort for a while. Remind myself of the things worth fighting for…"

"Like garlic roasted catfish," Myrana murmurs dreamily under her breath. Because she knows what living in a trade hub full of creative people is -really- about, damnit.

"At some point I need to return to Griffon Point." Gauvain says evenly to Claire, and then he nods to Jaren. "Aye. And before that he thumped me in the chest hard enough to remove the breath from my lungs and knock me out." He shrugs a shoulder as he listens about Brenton. "With any luck, the Prince will summon us to see to this man. We'll be there, and if the Four are kind either myself or you will cut his throat out."

"Your father sounds like a very formidable man and for all of what happened at Brenton, I think that we should be glad to have left in such a state as we did. Unfortunately, politics do weigh in such situations." Something that Claire sounds or implies that she knows quite well, nudging her horse forward to maintain the conversation. "Does anyone know of the fort's current commander and his connections or why he was sent there in the first place?" Myrana's comment isn't without awareness, her lips tugging slightly as she says nothing but hears.

"My father -was- a fell hand with that mace of his, Guardians guide his soul." Jaren notes with a touch of wistful amusement, which is only amplified as he catches that snippet from Myrana, causing him to turn and regard her with a mildly sardonic expression, "That…was not the first thing that sprang to mind, Mistress Myrana, but I will be sure to give careful consideration to adding it to the list." See? He -does- have a sense of humor. Sometimes.

"Perhaps I'll travel with you, to Griffon Point. It's not a terribly long ride from there to the Riverfort." Jaren notes towards Gauvain, "Assuming we don't find some other mischief afoot in Laketown that dominates our attentions." At Gauvain's comment on Sir Daylan and his lot, Jaren simply nods, once, "He -will- face the Queen's justice for his crimes, one way or another."

"May the Four watch him," Gauvain says in remembrance. He listens to the rest of the conversation. He then turns toward Jaren with a grin, and nods to his fellow Knight. "I'm sure my mother would be thrilled to see you again, as well as my younger sister." He shrugs. "If Bethany is half a judge, Cat should be drooling once she gets a raven." He looks to Myrana and smiles. "Anything with garlic is delicious truth be told." Shrugging a shoulder, he looks to Claire and asks, "Are you going to speak with the guild?"

"That is because you have never had this fish," Myrana replies primly, though her excellent (and seriously, she is capable of a terrifyingly good) pokerface does quirk and twitch. "It is nigh on perfect. If I were a catfish, I would gladly give my life so that this man could fry me in a spiced crumb." She doesn't look up from the book she's writing in, though, and seems cheerily contented to ride behind the nobles.

"The guild? Which one," Claire inquires, mostly innocent as she mulls over the possibilities of doing such a thing while wrapping the reins about one wrist idly as the continue. "Granted, I have a few people that I must seek out first before addressing anything of personal interest to myself. Namely some of my cousins who may be in the city. Then, resume some errands for my brother before considering such things. But why do you think I have to visit them?"

Jaren rolls his eyes a touch and looks bemused at Gauvain's talk of Bethany and Caterina, before shaking his head slightly towards Claire, "I don't believe Sir Gauvain intended to imply you -had- to, Milady. But I would think the Healer's Guild would be of interest to you, given your more-than-considerable skill in that particular art." Jaren notes, turning his attention to Myrana and adding, "Well then, is there some establishment in Laketown that regularly serves this delicacy? It seems we would be deeply remiss if we didn't experience it for ourselves." Yes, he still looks mildly amused.

Gauvain chuckles and rides along in silence, listening to the banter they give each other as they ride. He runs a hand through his hair and looks over his shoulder to check on Bethany, nodding to her in that way fathers have. When he looks back forward he gives strider a friendly pat on the neck, as he continues to listen to the group.

Claire nods once, "While I am sure the guild would fine my abilities of good use, there is the fact that I happen to also be of the noble ranks." Not outright dismissed, but it's enough to imply that it's good enough for her to mention. Follow? That's another matter. "I wonder if they would accept me but there are other agreements to be made in such a situation. Though, even if I am on good terms with them would go a long way."

Myrana folds her hands on the book, closing it. "There is— Its right on the dock."

"We'll have to look for it, then." Jaren affirms, nodding to Claire in agreement with her words, and then turning his attention back to the road…falling back into that silence he seems so very comfortable in.

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