Murdered Princess: The Silver Ring

The Silver Ring
Summary: Collette Lohstren finds new evidence in the ruins.
Date: 21/May/2013
Related: None
Collette Pawel Samwell Stefan Augustus Lyam Elenore 

Wolveshire's Castle Gatehouse
Solid iron and wood gates stand at both ends of the long the tunnel running between the main courtyard and the main road toward Wolveshire. An iron portcullis can be lowered behind the gates, adding a second obstacle that can be only be raised by accessing the mechanisms from the floor above. Both arrow slits and pitch holes dot the ceiling, allowing the guards above to attack invaders throughout the tunnel.

A handful of paces away from the courtyard-side gate, a door in the wall leads to a winding stone stair accessing guardhouse above.

May 21, 1329

Perhaps to some of the people that have seen Pawel today, he could be described as something like an adder with a toothache. He's been grouchy all day, it would seem, and now he's made his way out into the gatehouse on this fine evening, looking around as he mutters something to one of the guards there.

The Duke of Wolveshire is not the only one in bad mood tonight, it seems. The Blue Guard commander, Samwell Taniford, walks slowly to get some fresh air. Eyes narrowed and the clear expression of a headache. Words are muttered for himself, but after all he manages to smile frequently, without any apparent reason. Not the most common of nobles, or even people in general, but regardless of that he keeps his regal posture and even manners.
"Good night, cousin. How are you?" the question might be rhetorical, as it is more than evident. A water skin by his hand is raised to let him sip a little before an answer is heard.

"Cousin." Short and to the point, the greeting from Pawel, as he shakes his head a bit. "Good." Probably not the whole truth, or any truth, really. But he still offers it as he studies the prince carefully at the moment. "You?"

The crowd moves apart in the way and people start whispering something to each other. A small wind carries some hissing around, when a tall young noble woman in a tight black leathern trousers and jerkin shows up in the horizon. She covers her shoulders with a burgundy cloak, which is decorated with a brilliant fur of her hunting plunder. Her hand enfolds reins of a raven-black stallion, which trots next to her very haughtily. However, stud's rider walks slowly with a slight limp and there is a shadow in her amber eyes. Moreover, the wild curls, which usualy sticks this way and that, right now looks even more crazily, having a few leaves between them.
The young lady runs with her fingers through her hair, as she would like to make them look a litle bit more ladylike, but she just catches one of the leaves. Collette takes it off her hair and tosses it away angrily. If it's not enough, her fine learnern clothes and burgundy cloak are muddy and even a little bit flawed. Mumbling something under her nose, likely, some horrible curses, Collette walks to the Gates. She is followed by her guard, the young one, however, he looks very neat, but very very disappointed or even ashamed. He gives some space for his lady, following a few steps behind.

"I am good too, cousin." perhaps not the whole truth, either. "I just had too much wine last night." the Prince chuckles quickly, "But I am otherwise good. As good as we all can be, that is." a look of understanding is offered to the Duke, but not long enough to delay anymore than necessary a new drink from the waterskin.
The sight of a horse and a lady, however, get some attention from his narrowed and tired eyes. Not enough to recognize her, but he looks curiously on her way.

"Lightweight," Pawel mutters, shaking his head a little bit now. Looking about to say something more at that look of understanding, he simply shakes his head as he takes a few deep breaths. "Any particular reason for drinking too much, cousin?" Turning to watch the approaching horse and lady. "Who is it?" he asks, after a few moments. After all, she's still a distance away.

Collette slightly limps forward, taking each step quite carefully. Her russet eyes stare at the road, not looking around. A silent sigh leaves her throat, when she decides to stop. Girl releases the reins and starts cleaning a spot on her trousers. However, everything becomes just even more muddy. Understanding, that she will have to enter the Gates being so not ladylike, Collette just shrugs and continues her marginal limping.
The young lady tries to straighten and get her pride back, before entering the gates, but each step makes her frown a little bit.
Now she is much more closer, when her look raises a little bit just to observe all the people near the gates. At the moment, when her sight catches the Duke and the Prince, the young lady gasps and she stops in hesitation. Her orbs start looking around as they would try to find the best place to hide. The youngest daughter of house of Lohstren even withdraw a little, but her guard and some people, who makes their way to the Gate too, blocks the way back.
The young lady takes reins of her horse and mumbles something to his ear, trying to push Arrow a little bit from the sight, but he stands as digged. The guard just sighs and shakes his head fatherly watching at his lady. One leaf, still sticking in her curls makes a little common girl to grin, when she passes by Collette. However, the young lady does not care about it and still tries to find a possibility to hide unsuccessfully. Likely, she is so afraid, because at these days, when such things happens the riding is in the forbbiden things list.

The black eyes of the Taniford, or as close as black as they can be, return for a moment to the Duke. "No particular reason, cousin. Drinking is something I had not done in a while, at least not so much, so I guess I'm indeed turning a bit lightweight." he smiles but doesn't chuckle, letting the curiosity slips to the Lohstren. "Lady Collette?" he says rather loudly, just enough to be heard by her. "Did you fall from your horse? I doubt Arrow would make it, though. Were you playing with him? Is everything good?"

Pawel just offers a brief grin to Samwell now, before his attention goes to Collette. "Lady Collette. What's wrong?" he asks, after a few moments now, starting to move in the lady's direction.

Comming in thru the gates and with the enteruge of Augustus's guards and that of the contingent of pawels, who are escorting the prince. When both Augustus see how the lady collette's limping and having trouble with her mount. Augustus has his two guards walk up and expertly get Arrow to move, just as Augustus and Stefan discuss a polite means to aid the lady as they link hands while comming up behind Collette and slip them under the sweet woman and hoist her up so that she's grabbing onto them while they respectfully carry her into the castle. "Now dear lady please just hold on. My men will take good care of your beloved mount. Were to escort you to where ever you wish for your own safety."

If Collette does stay still and let them acctually lift her, Stefan will give her a playful grin. "Easy, my lady. We'll have you taken care of." The Varghem guards following in a tight formation as they all start to step inside. "Your highness, your grace!" He greet the other two.

When she hears people addressing her, the young lady turns to her horse, trying to pretend that she is not Collette. The young lady looks quite nervous. However, when she suddenly feels some hands and hears another two people talking, she flinches and looks a little bit confused, not understanding what is happening. Likely, for this reason, she does not resist for the intention of the two noble northerners. Her guard does not interrupt, because he already met both of them.
Finally, when she is lead near the gates, closer to the Duke and Prince Samwell, her look slips around, trying to catch the sight of her beloved stud. However, this moment makes her finally see, that Prince Stefan and her neighbour from the Inn are those who holds her.
Collette escapes from their hands in a very sudden movement, which brings a lot of pain to her. However a heat comes to her cheeks. Russet eyes nervously run from one person, to another, when she finally bows to them all "Good evening," and she glances at the Prince Stefan, before starting quickly to clean herself "I am sorry, that I am so… That I look so… horrible in your company…" she mutters.

Samwell nods politely to the pair of northerners, slightly raising a brow at their behavior. "Your Highness, Sir." he says slowly, examining the Lohstren lady as she is finally let in the ground and starts cleaning herself. "What happened?" he asks plainly, still a little confused by the situation and preferring to just drink a little more from the skin.

Augustus does his absoulte best to keep his smile as refined as possible at the antics of Collette. "Dear lady if you wish'd to be lowered, the prince and I would have complied so that you didn't hurt yourself, as your safety was our primary goal. " he looks to his own guards. "See your mount is being properly tended too. " and once her mount is in the right hands Augustus's guards return to their post. "you happen to look just fine, Lady collette honetly you do. " as he tries to reassure the southern lady as best he can.

As Collete comes loose perhaps he notices that she is hurting, or from her appearance being worried. OR it is Samwell's words that bring it to attention. Either way Stefan tilts his head, "It's quite fine, lady Collette. Are you quite alright?" He asks and furrows his brows. "And indeed it is quite fine. If either of us minded we would not offer to carry you, my lady." Holding a calm tone before turning to SAmwell and the duke. "Is all well, your highness?" He asks curiously.

Pawel shakes his head a little now as he sees the northerners, but he doesn't say anything at the moment. Letting Samwell anser Stefan, he turns all his attention towards Collette now, offering her a quiet smile.

"I am very well, Your Highness," the Taniford Prince answers, finally managing a more gentle smile, "But she does seem… a little… not well?" his sight moves to Collette, and then back to the Rhaedan. "How are you, Prince Stefan? I see you were having fresh air outside? It has been a while since we talked last time." an amiable voice at all times, perhaps a little hushed for the headache.

Collette turns her ashamed look at the ground. Her finger starts whirling the one of her curls, what makes finally the last leaf in her locks fly somewhere with the wind. She mutters in a silent voice as a young child for his father, when he done something wrong "I couldn't sit in the Inn or walk around the castle or town… I thought I will die from boredom," Collette sighs and adds "My brother is away, and everybody is so busy… I missed my Arrow… So, I took my morning ride," she explains for the Prince of the north and glances at Stefan and others. The youngest daughter of house of Lohstren chuckles "But it is evening… Oh yes… Evening!" She raises her russet look. Now, she looks quite excited and she starts telling with a lot of passion "I ride to the Deep woods! But you have no idea, what happened!" The young lady forgets about her ankle or other questions and she even stands more firmly on the ground. However, this makes her frown and she leans to give ankle a stroke with her soft, but a little bit muddy fingers.

Stefan gives Pawel a silent nod before looking to Samwell and Collette. Listening to both, "I am quite well. And yes, a brief day around town. But you are right, the lady seem a bit unwell perhaps." Focusing on her then. Still seeming quite cnootent with everything. "Oh? The deep woods? Nothing bad happened I hope?" He says as he keeps his eyes on her. There is a glance to Augustus as well but for now the lady get most of his attention.

Augustus watches the two royals and then Pawel and as Collette moves to stand firmly on her injured foot he moves to help support her, should she wish it. "Lady collette, please lean on me so that your not putting such weight on that injured foot. " he slips his arm gently around her waist to help her keep her balance as she goes to tell her story. He looks now to both stefan and sam as well as the duke while he helps support Collette until she's ready to move on.

Samwell stares for a while as the Lohstren lady explains the situation to the Prince from the, another, Kingdom. But he pays attention all the same, and tilts his head to a side. "I certainly have no idea, Lady Collette. What happened?" his natural curiosity is accentuated by now, but he opts to, yet again, drink more water and wait for her answer.

"Then I'm sure you are going to tell us what happened, Lady Collette. Whatever it was seems to have you a bit worried now," Pawel replies, offering her a quiet smile. Glancing over at the northerners again for a few moments, then focuses fully on the lady now.

"Thank you, Sir Augustus," Collette warmly smiles to him and takes his offer to lean to him. Her excited eyes slip through all her company. It looks like, that the young girl now takes a lot of pleasure from all this attention. "Well… a wild dog. That's what happened! Really wild and I think he was crazy or something. He ran straight under feet of my stud and… I tried to speed my poor Arrow to run from him, but… I am not sure if the dog took a bite to my Arrow or something, but my stud started to…" Collette takes a gently scratch of her head "So, I had a ride for a fall, you know… And this time was impossible to stop him…." her ashamed look slips to the sky for a moment. "Like that time in my childhood…" drawls young girl.
"Actually, I had no idea, where he was running… And…" Collette bites her lip quite firmly and intently observes people, as she would be calculating how angry they will be about the last words she will say, frowing a little bit, she opens her mouth a few times, but stops all the sound, which may leave her throat, when finally the young lady blurts under her nose, maybe not intirely what she wanted to say before, but she quite good hides it with her blush "He reached the ruins and stood on his back feet to throw me in a small bush near a few stones very close to all these old and amazing ruins…" her look slips to her strained ankle "I wasn't sure how to get back… It took awhile, till I found the right way here…"

Stefan nods slowly while listening. "Ah, I see. Let's make sure that your ankle is looked at and treated. At least you are fine, overall. How come he ran for the ruins?" He asks with a raise of his brow. "Although you should be careful if there are a lot of those wild hounds around." Giving a nod of his head to Augustus as the man offers his support to the lady. Most attention staying on the lady though, but with a brief glance to see the others reactions.

Augustus keeps supporting Collette as he watches Stefan, as he examines Collettes leg. "Sprained you think? " he asks. before looking to the other royal (samwell) and then over to pawel.

"How common are those savage hounds near this place, cousin?" the Taniford knight quietly asks Pawel, "And it was in the ruins. The same ones we are going to inspect, where the previous clues came from…" he waits a little for the Duke to answer, but for a moment seems lost in his thought.

„Did something else happen, Lady Collette," Pawel asks a bit quietly after a few moments now, before he shrugs a little at Samwell's words. "Well, they're not uncommon. It's not that common that they behave like that, though."

"Oh, please!" Collette chuckles at Stefan "My ankle will be fine. This is not the first time and not the last, you know!" However, she grins quite strangely and her look finds Prince Samwell. She watches a man quite suspiciously. Collette also glances at the Prince Stefan once more, but this time with the same strange look and smile. "I am sorry," she whispers to the sir Augustus and withdraws from him.
The young lady limps closer near the Duke and utters "Yes yes! My story is not finished," her hand reaches for a pouch near her belt. She takes that pouch and slowly turns back to others. "So, I get back on my feet and took a few steps to sit on one of the stones. At first I watched my stallion. However, my gaze sliped to all these strange ruins and everything," she stops for a moment. Likely, just to keep the interest to her a little bit longer.
"And finally, I felt a pain in my ankle. I turned my eyes down… and I saw something glinting…" Collette unties her pouch and puts her hand inside, letting a few coins to jingle. Her suspicious look slips through both northerners and the prince from the south. Collette turns back to the Duke, she is quite close and she takes her hand out from the pouch. "And I found this, what I could call…. clues, which the Prince just mentioned. I thought I need to bring it to you, because that looked strange," she says it to the Duke directly and unclasp her hand to him. There is long strands of red hair clumped around a silver ring with the clear markings of Taniford in her hand. The russet eyes now watches at the Duke intently.

Stefan nods to Augustus. "Most likely." Though he still focuses on Collette. "Ah." Not seeming too surprised that they found something. Although he is keeping quiet for a bit longer. Letting his gaze go between them to see if anyone recognizes the clue that was found. "It seems that pieces are left on purpose. Be it by them or by those captured, if there are more than one." He offers with a slight shrug. Seeing as they have been running in circles lately. Though now he falls silent and waits.

Augustus nods his head and watchs as Collette moves to stand by pawel and hand him something. "Lady collette you really should get your leg looked at, I hear they have some skilled priests and healers in lake town." he offers while the rest confer on what pawel was given.

"Laketown is half a day away, and traveling with all this problems is not something I would recommend to Lady Collette." the Blue Guard commander shakes his head, "There are also excellent healers in this castle, I am sure Duke Pawel can help in that regard. And about it," the dark gaze examines the ring at length, "I can't recall this ring, to be honest. I should if it was Aylanora's, but maybe she was wearing a new one. But please let us keep it. The ring and the hair. Your help is very welcomed, thank you very much, my lady."
There is solemnity in the Prince's voice, but his attention is drawn completely to the ring.

Pawel looks about to say something to Augustus, but as Samwell points it out, Pawel turns his attention to the ring as it's handed to him. Nodding a little as he hears his cousin's words, he frowns a little bit. "Would be interesting if we found something more useful. The only thing we have to go on now is that one of several thousand or something red-haired people have lost both this ring and that thing we were shown earlier, cousin. Not too much to go on, after all."

When Collette finishes her story, and gives the things she found to the Duke, she turns back to Augustus "Thank you ser, but I am sure, it will be good. It is not the first time," she explains once more and her curious look looks around, looking for her stallion. "I would like to go now…" she drawls.

Stepping into the courtyard with her hand resting lightly upon Lyam's arm as they go about their walk, Elenore notes lightly,"I did write mother the other day, I would expect a response within the next day. As I am sure she will not find fault in the figures and offer I outlined, I would expect the extra stores to arrive in a few days after, least beginning to arrive." Eyes flit to the group gathered, the bright smile that comes easily for her most adored cousin does dim a bit for some reason after seeing him. Murmuring gently,"Something…" She frown before simply turning the direction of their walking towards the group, giving gentle greeting,"Most adored cousin Samwell," and so forth down the line of importance and protocol.

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