To Find a Cloak

To Find a Cloak
Summary: A casual shopping outing turns up a cousin (Corwin) that Claire hasn’t seen in quite sometime. A little catchup ensues as well.
Date: 26/10/1329
Related: None
Corwin Claire 

Laketown - Laketown
Laketown is a series of dichotomies laid out in the open. Grand cobbled stone boulevards feed into winding and cramped dusty alleyways and muddy side roads. The shimmering gleaming halls of polished stone that the merchants, guildmasters, local gentry, and nobles have built hide the dilapidated and grimy hovels and dirt and mud that seems to pervasively linger in a town always under construction. Even at night, the beating heart of the Laketown market square is filled with spectacles and merchants and the constant flow of money, although not always between buyers and sellers. All roads lead to the gold and marble pillars and bright cobalt tile roofing of the Blue Duck Inn, the unofficial hub of the business in Laketown set just across the way from the large, glittering temple.

The town tapers towards the Deep Woods and Wolveshire to the south, the fertile Open Field to the west, Brivey Keep to the Northwest, and the expansive Docks to the east. Laketown never sleeps, the constant clang of blacksmiths, shouting merchants, and the thunder of heavy carts constantly moving about town.

Oct 26, 1329

The mid-afternoon light peeks out from between grayish clouds hinting to the approach of winter still some weeks away. Nevertheless, Claire and her lady maid are braving the environs as they pass between some of the shops in the better part of the city. Not too far from the central area of the Blue Duck, it doesn't matter. Not with the current interest to the noblewoman being the buyers and sellers ahead at the market square. And the murmur of advisement of the slightly older woman beside her.

"Perhaps you don't understand. I'm simply looking for a cloak - a good warm one. I'm not attempting to purchase a tapestry to display in Wolveshire Hall, which is about what I should get for the price you're suggesting. Of course, I understand. Terribly expensive materials. It can be simple. Just looking for something for riding in the colder months. No need for gold thread or silver clasps." Corwin stands at one of the many stalls, the tall Sollinger knight's voice seems to carry well on the cool air of the afternoon. "See what you can do. Maybe you can find some places to cut costs. I'll see what others have to offer and make my way back around here later on." The merchant seems about to protest, but Corwin is quick to turn and depart, his hurried exit taking him almost directly into Claire and her companion. He's quick enough on his feet to avoid it by stepping to the side and sliding into a polite bow instead. "Excuse me, Lady. I should pay more attention to where I'm going."

It's not unfamiliar to hear such haggling between potential customers and merchants. But in the moment that Claire turns slightly to regard the woman nearly beside her with the beginnings of a laugh, however brief is the same moment in which she comes face to face with the taller man. Blinking immediately in surprise with a cautious step back which causes the cloak around her to follow the movement taken. "Good day, my lord," she returns in kind, hands briefly fingering the edges of her gown in a returned curtsey. "It seems to be a productive day?"

"Productive might be a stretch. I haven't managed to purchase a single thing yet. But, I suppose I'm working toward it. Another hour and I'm sure I'll find a merchant willing to talk reasonable prices." Corwin straightens and considers Claire more carefully, his brow furrowing a moment before he finally speaks again - "I shouldn't presume that every lady who wears green is doing so in the name of house Sollinger, but you have a familiar look about you beyond just the shade of your dress." That said, he introduces himself first - "Sir Corwin Sollinger."

"Perhaps, if we both work towards the goal you have in mind there might be some success by dinner?" It's a proffered statement. One that, on the heels of his introduction, finds Claire's features growing more amused as she straightens with both hands smoothing out her cloak. "And it is a pleasure to meet you, Sir Sollinger. You would be aptly correct, I should think about my appearance," she says with the slightest tilt of her head to one side before continuing - with a suitable pause between words. "Lady Claire Sollinger. And my lady maid, Janelle."

"Lady Claire! That's a name I know. Or knew." Corwin gives an easy smile as he considers the woman before him more carefully. "I think she was a few feet shorter than you are now, however, and more than a decade younger. Regardless, it's a pleasure to see another cousin traveling away from Tharnham. We're not so well known for leaving our comfortable home and coming out abroad. But, we're starting to have quite a little presence in the area. I don't know if you remember my sister at all - Cordelia - but she's staying at Wolveshire as well." The knight seems genuinely pleased to re-introduce himself to his cousin. He motions toward the market. "Let's walk. No reason we can't enjoy the market while talking. And perhaps I'll find a cloak yet."

Claire ruefully remarks with a teasing quality to her voice, "Shorter? Was you certain that it was not that you were the one lacking feet in height? As you can tell.." With a gesture slightly towards herself with one hand. "I am not exactly what one could call 'tall'." Maybe 'just tall enough'. "Still, I have recently returned with a smaller party. I can tell you all about it later, since I seem to be staying in the area for some time. Maybe I can reacquaint myself with Cordelia. I faintly remember her, but it would be alright if she did not." With the admission of the cloak and for whom it's meant to be, she nods to the invitation and will fall into step with him. "Are you looking for something rather… dare I say, simple?"

"Warm is the important factor. I have a few cloaks that settle on the more stylish side of the bar as it is. And they're quite good for flourishing about and looking excellent, but they don't do much once the winter months start to strike. It doesn't have to be simple, but I don't need anything that looks better than it wears." Corwin glances over at his newly found companion, raising his eyebrows a moment at her words. "You've come here with a small party? We you all out taking care of some other business before arriving in Laketown, then?"

Claire glances off in the distance for a moment, weighing those words before deciding on a press of both lips together in a line. "You could say that, given that we came across Prince Samwell Taniford's party during their travels. Purely by happenstance, yet it was fortuitous when one looks at what happened. But," she notes with more of a smile surfacing. "I can tell you all about that later. If matters proceed as I suspect, then I may be in the position for a warmer cloak as well. Has there been anything of interest happening here in Laketown though? I can only catch snips here and there, usually in the mornings or evenings."

"The Prince! Indeed. I'm sure that is quite the tale. But, as you wish, we'll discuss it another time." The Sollinger knight casts his gaze lazily around the stalls to see if any wares catch his attention. They don't seem to. "Laketown has been quiet as far as I know. I've honestly just ridden in this morning, as I've been spending most of my time in Wolveshire and just travel back and forth as necessary. Wolveshire has had a little bit of excitement, as a delegation from the North, including Princess Amira, has been visiting. That makes for dancing, feasting and a fair bit of politics thrown in. A little more exciting than it had been there previously. But, not too much else … "

Something about that causes Claire's step to miss a beat as she looks sideways at Corwin with interest. "The Princess Amira? Have you met her directly," she inquires, pausing to regard one of the stalls to match her footsteps before resuming her pace alongside. "And are things in a state of peace right now, politically? I admit that I care not too greatly for them and yet I must keep my attention about them all the same."

"Met her directly? Indeed. I've had the chance to speak with her on a number of occasions. She's quite delightful, actually. Why do you ask?" Corwin responds glancing back over toward Claire, then shrugging one of his shoulders. "If you're riding down to Wolveshire soon, I expect you'll run into her. She's often out and about." Corwin pauses at another stand to inspect a couple cloaks that are on display - just samples of a final product. He continues speaking as he does so. "Things are peaceful, I suppose. The relationship is still a little strained in places, but no actual wars are occurring. We still have mutual enemies striking at our borders, so it's good that we're at peace. And it sounds as though Princess Amira would have it stay that way. She seems very supportive of a strong relationship between the kingdoms." By the tone of Corwin's voice, he approves of that stance.

"Because," Claire notes. "If I were to travel on to Wolveshire, the odds of my meeting the Princess would be quite high. And I know little aside from what I have heard second and perhaps, third hand. But, she sounds quite pleasant. Was she planning and held an archery contest in recent days? I had heard that much at the inn," she says, looking towards the pair of cloaks with interest before she suggests. "You could consider a cloak already being made. Early enough and your exact adjustments could be made more easily."

"So long as it's long enough." Corwin agrees. He's tall enough that pre made items don't tend to be aimed for his height. He continues to consider the items while he nods again. "She did hold an archery contest. I didn't actually attend or participate. I'm not a terrible shot with a bow, but not nearly good enough to bother entering any contents. If I'm not mistaken, Lady Cassia ended up winning the contest. She's also part of the northern delegation and seems to have a great passion for the kingdoms being united as well. I haven't really talked with her as much. She's more guarded. Or was with me, anyway." He looks back toward Claire - "I imagine you'll meet them both."

"I would have liked to have tried my own skill in the contest. Whether or not winning was an option.. I would have not thrown anything in favor of anyone else winning," Claire answers with a slow nod in consideration of the cloak. "You could have them lengthen the cloak accordingly. Surely, that would not cost too much extra. If you could find an agreeable merchant. And, I should think that meeting the northern delegation will be quite interesting. Are you residing at Wolveshire or will you have lodgings here in Laketown?"

"Cordelia is a decent hand with the bow. She spent all the time practicing. I concentrated more with the blade. I'm sure they'll have other contests before too long - I expect you'd impress and have a fair chance of winning." Corwin nods about the cloak, clearly uncertain. He finally steps away from the stall and continues through the market. "Perhaps I'll come back here if I don't find anything else. I'm living in Wolveshire. The Duke has been kind enough to open up the guest quarters for several traveling nobles. It has become a bit of a hub of late." He glances over at Claire once more - "Did the Prince arrive here as well then? Or did you part ways with him?"

"Do you think that the Duke would mind another noble residing at Wolveshire? Granted." With a more subdued smile, Claire continues with a glance here and there at some of the stalls. Not with overt interest, though. "I would not want to impose. If I had to make more significant arrangements.. I suppose that I could. And, His Highness parted ways with us before our return here. I believe that he returned home, but I heard murmurs that he might have continued on to our lands in his touring."

"Too bad. I wouldn't have minded a chance to meet him. I've met so many interesting people of late - it would be a cherry on top to add the prince to the list." Corwin shrugs, clearly not terribly distressed. "I'm sure he'll venture this way again before too long. And I doubt the Duke would have any problem with another guest moving into the wing. Really, it's the servants that have to put up with us. I'd stayed there well over a month before I even had the chance to introduce myself to the duke and inform him that I was living under his roof. He's very busy, of course, so not always the easiest man to track down."

Fade to Black

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