Troubling Thoughts

Troubling Thoughts
Summary: Lady Claire waits for and in some ways, seeks out her cousin, Sir Corwin to discuss the developments from her earlier talk with Prince Samwell and Sir Jaren. The latter joins the discussion.
Date: 16/11/1329
Related: The Nature of Corsairs
Corwin Claire Jaren 

Wolveshire Castle - Garden Court
The garden court is a large area housed between the curtain walls, the main keep, the temple and the barracks. The cobbled main walkway links the temple to the main courtyard, circling around a tiered fountain carved into the shape of four wolves holding up a bowl. Well-kept dirt paths lead into various directions, winding amongst the trees and flowers and topiaries that decorate the courtyard. Stone benches found along each path serve as resting places for visitors.

Following the cobbled main path takes one to the arched doorway leading into the temple or back between buildings and into the main courtyard.

Nov 16, 1329

The day has passed from day to late afternoon by the time Claire and her maid are walking through the gardens, the chill not bothering the pair in any noticeable manner. Attired in a warm woolen cloak however, the shorter of the pair stands alone from her companion and escort near one of the benches in possible wait for someone or something. Given that there are few passerby at this hour, it may be futile and yet she stands patiently confident.

It's amazing what fruits a little patience will bear. Corwin is moving without much real purpose through the gardens, enjoying the last bit of daylight that the day has to offer before driving him inside to small quarters once again. He has a heavy cloak pulled over his shoulders, but is otherwise in normal court dress - he doesn't seem bothered by the slight chill that the late afternoon has to offer. His path takes him toward Claire's bench, and he slows as he approaches his cousin, giving a polite bow. "Lady Claire. Cool afternoon for sitting in the gardens."

With a twitch of her lips, Claire regards Corwin with a tilt of her head before lowering into a polite curtsey in kind. Only after rising does one hand reveal itself from the folds of her cloak to gesture towards the bench in unspoken invitation. Yet, the spoken proves to counter such ideas as she replies, "It is. But far better to be here than mulling over a number of troubling thoughts as of late. I was hoping that you would be out here today, Sir Corwin."

"I've always fancied myself the sort that makes dreams come true." Corwin quips in reply, finding himself a place on the cool bench and settling down onto it. "I try to enjoy the daylight while it lasts. I don't have nearly as much to entertain myself within the castle walls." He waves away the comment, focusing back on her words instead - "Troubling thoughts? And you were hoping to run across me? I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that association."

"And I find it to be the opposite with my potential student and travels between here and Laketown, there is very little to regard as dull," Claire answers, fingers pulling the cloak closer to herself before settling herself along the edge of the bench. Precariously perched, in some ways, as the smile that had been present on greeting fades somewhat as she glances up at the trees. "His Highness is likely to summon you to a council soon, if what we have been told is true. About the threat of Corsairs in the coming weeks. Have you or your sister heard anything?"

"My sister is absent again. She doesn't consult with me about her travels, but I'd assume she returned to Tharnham and to her ship. Perhaps she knows something that I do not." Corwin pauses for a few moments, letting the comments sink in before he nods his head just slightly. "And I have certainly not heard anything. His Highness has intelligence that leads him to believe that there is an impending Corsair threat? A particular location, or just movement that gives us belief that they'll be striking?"

"It was a missive sent to His Highness, myself and Sir Jaren. I suppose to find out more details, I will have to travel back to Laketown," she says with a wry smile tugging into place. "If nothing else than to find out how Sir Gauvain found out such things. Granted, he is in a good position to likely hear of some rumors and the like. Especially when Laketown seems to be the target. But, I… am not sure how to find out such information myself. It may be best left up to Sir Jaren as they are both friends of many years," she notes begrudgingly, shifting both hands to set folded in her lap and briefly seen from the cloak in doing so. "But in speaking with Prince Samwell earlier this afternoon with Sir Jaren, I mentioned you by name during our meeting. While he will meet with you and Gustav - hence my remark about the invitation to Council, should it truly come to pass. But, he does have to consult with the Queen first and foremost, I understand. But I also sorely hope that he sees the purpose of the Sollinger navy rather than letting his dislike of our cousin's courtship of his sister prejudice him in any manner."

"Let us hope that no anger regarding something as trivial as a courtship would cause his highness to make decision that may put civilians lives at risk. That strikes well beyond petty into a nearly criminal mind set." Corwin seems visibly surprised that it's even a consideration. Would anyone not deploy their troops because of personal grudges? "Let us also hope that all this consulting doesn't get us into the same trouble we had during the last war. When the rest of the kingdom was arguing about what to do, the Sollinger fleet was out on the front lines pouring blood into the ocean. If we know of an attack, we should be preparing to repel it as quickly as possible." With that, he sighs and shakes his head. "However, unless they truly intend to bring force against the kingdoms again, I'm not sure how much the navy will assist. We are much stronger in the open waters of the ocean rather than the tight confines of the Rothim."

Claire waves off the thought with a dismissive hand, waving once and then pausing. "He would not do that." Convinced? Firm in that belief? Apparently so. Or, just enough. "Only.. his comments made me wonder if he has ever /been/ on a ship before to understand the value of the navy. I think that he's displeased with the courtship but it ends there. Maybe it is just the fact he is being a protective brother. Especially of note is that he stopped embarking on that particular line of thought when he saw how displeased I was becoming." Glancing to one side with her words, she continues, "But, what I know is small, cousin. Laketown is the rumored target. The means… I would like to have confirmation of that before I share that, if only I cannot believe it myself. The means of getting that far inland is a challenge. I know that, even though I am not military minded like others. How will they manage such a feat and unseen, as it were? In the meantime before any summons, I would suggest seeking out Sir Jaren Cassomir. He is, for the moment, here in Wolveshire. Between him and Sir Gauvain, I hold them in good regard and they are trustworthy."

"It would appear I have good timing." Sir Jaren Cassomir's voice pipes up as the Knight moves along one of the garden court pathways, bringing him close to where Claire and Corwin are conversing. He pauses a respectful distance away, bowing from the waist towards Claire, and then giving Corwin a nod of his head in greeting once he straightens, "Lady Claire. Sir." He offers a faint, polite smile, but his expression grows serious, "I assume you were discussing the matter we spoke of with his Highness?" He queries towards Claire.

"They've done it at least once. Guided a river ship right into the harbour and started unloading men. I know that was being investigated at the time, but I didn't ever hear what the results of that investigation where. As far as I last heard, no one knew quite how they avoided detection all the way up the river and how they were allowed to dock uncontested." Corwin shrugs his shoulders, seated on the bench with Claire, speaking in quiet tones. "And the Prince has no need to step foot upon a ship to know their worth. No living adult should be ignorant of the part that the navy played during the war. Clearly the Queen was well impressed, given the attention she gave our house after the war. Still, it can only do so much if the enemy is sneaking smaller river boats up the channel." He pauses at the sound of footsteps and turns to regard Jaren, nodding his head to the knight after he approaches. "Sir." He replies.

Claire shoots Corwin a dubious expression timed with the mention of the prince and ships, indicating her opinion but remains silent with Jaren's approach. It's to the newly arrived that she smiles with a dip of her head in acknowledgement, Janelle respectfully a few paces away being the maid and companion of the lady. Visible but not paying much attention, given the family already present. "You are. At least, the first point of Sir Gauvain's list." The rest? That goes unspoken with a glance between both men, "Sir Corwin, this is Sir Jaren Cassomir. Sir Jaren, I think it goes without saying that Sir Corwin Sollinger is my cousin." The last name alone, should give that away.

Jaren nods, turning that reserved smile towards Corwin and inclining his head once more, "Sir Corwin, a pleasure." He looks back to Claire and nods, "It does seem that regardless of the details, -something- must be afoot. Though I remain wary that this could all be some sort of feint." Jaren's smile ripples with a touch of humor as he tilts an amused brow at Claire, "But you knew that already. It seems his Highness intends to consult Her Majesty on the matter. I suppose we will see what comes of that meeting before any action is taken." He adds, "But that doesn't mean we cannot try to work out some preliminaries in the interim." After all, some extra prior planning proved invaluable at Brenton.

"I had just finished saying something along those lines before you approached, Sir Jaren. If there is some threat afoot, it would do well to have some men in place to deal with it. We are fighting no wars this day - the kingdom has enough soldiers that moving some men into Laketown wouldn't likely compromise any other positions." Corwin shrugs his shoulders, waving vaguely in the direction of Laketown. "I simply worry that too much time is taking with gathering men in council and then going to consult with the queen. Of course, I'm sure I'm not privy to all the details. From my point of view, the decision seems simple."

"I already thought that the two of you would get along rather well, given your mutual lines of thinking when it comes to matters such as these," Claire replies smoothly even though the hint of a smile still remains before fading in the light of the discussion at hand. "I agree that some plans seem obvious, but this is not Tharnham. And, more importantly, I would be seeing this from quite a different viewpoint - wondering how the people can be supported, should something happen. The Temple can deal with wounded, of course. However, if there is anything I can do to help either of you? Ask."

"Moving men into Laketown is often a more sticky proposition than it seems. They remain neutral ground, and while they might appreciate the help in the midst of a crisis, they would not likely welcome being occupied by Taniford troops outside of it. Not to mention that the Northern Kingdom may think we have designs upon Laketown should we position troops within easy striking distance of it." Jaren notes, "Which isn't to say that it should not be considered anyway, but if the rumors are true, I believe our more sure course may be to keep the March on alert and pay particular attention to the Rothim River…though as you note, Sir Corwin, it has seemed in the past that the Corsairs can strike with relative impunity." Somehow…they're going to have to find out how the heck the bastards do that, someday.

"Valid points." Corwin agrees, shifting his eyes from Jaren and back to Claire for a moment. "As Lady Claire says, it would likely be wise to cautiously alert some factions to potential danger. Though, being careful to not set the entire town into panic. And while we can't march an army into the city, having more than the usual number of men floating about the area likely wouldn't be noticed, so long as they were told to not all go to the same tavern every night." He nods once more to the suggestion of watching the Rothim, but is clearly as unconvinced as Jaren is that the tact would succeed. "Are you both aware that Lady Cassia has been attempting to raise a local militia in Laketown, ideally with the support of both southern and northern troops? It is nothing as it stands, but might be well worth supporting in the future."

"The location in and of itself is the problem, ultimately. But, Sir Corwin might have a point. The question is, how much can we truly do now which will not cause problems with the North while hoping to protect Laketown? Though.." The suggestion of a militia has her gaze setting on an unfixed point beyond her feet and both men as she considers, "That might allow some troops to go and assist Lady Cassia in her venture as possible instructors with the hopes of keeping alert for anything amiss. Furthermore, is there any reason that the Lady has thought of this or has it been a long standing hope of hers to come to pass?"

"It seems a sound suggestion, though I've often wondered why Laketown did not already have its' own militia." Jaren shrugs, shaking his head slightly, "But Lady Claire does make a strong point…entertaining Lady Cassia's suggestion would indeed allow us to have men stationed to provide assistance…and wouldn't even require any pretense." He adds, "And at the risk of sounding less warlike than a Knight is expected to be, any endeavor that can take North and South a step further away from each others' throats seems a worthy one in my eyes."

"You run no risk in my company, Sir Jaren. I have little desire to shed the blood of those north of us. And I've been pleased at the message that Princess Amira and Lady Cassia have been spreading since they have been here - and trying to do anything in my power to further the philosophy. We have a peace, let us keep it and flourish from a new partnership rather than war over old grudges." Corwin seems genuinely pleased at Jaren's words. Plenty of knights would be ready to go to war tomorrow if they had the chance. He shifts his gaze back over to Claire once more, shrugging his shoulders before answering her question. "My understanding is that Lady Cassia sees it as a way to bring northern and southern knights together to fight shoulder to shoulder. That it would be small step in the right direction. And at the same time it would provide some useful cover to Laketown, which seems to have come under many different stresses these last few months."

"For all that they are in such a neutral area, Laketown seems to befall some difficulties more than one would expect. It would be nice if we did have some measure of peace between north and south - with a mutual foe, for now. And afterwards? Nothing at all," Claire remarks, sharing the sentiments made thus far regarding the differences between the two countries and the need for peace to hold.

"I had my fill of blood fighting Corsairs. I've never had cause to spill the blood of a Northman, and that's a habit I would prefer I continue cultivating." Jaren notes towards Corwin, smiling faintly, then looking back to Claire, "In any case, I had best see to some other matters." He inclines his head to Corwin once more, "Sir Corwin." And Claire once again gets a bow and a brief smile, if a bit warmer than his usual, "Lady Claire. Until later."

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