The Westmark Commission - Part 2

The Westmark Commission - Part 2
Summary: Master Johan meets with Countess-Palatine Katarina to discuss the details about her wants.
Date: July 28, 2013
Related: The Westmark Commission - Part 1
The Westmark Commission - Part 3
The Westmark Commission - Part 4
Players:
Johan Katarina Oliaf Bryony 

Blue Duck Inn, Laketown - Common Room
The Common Room of the Blue Duck Inn is a more intimate space of comfortable chairs and a roaring fireplace, away from the general public outside. Unlike the main room of the Inn, the Common Room is with exquisite appointments and fine glass, wood, and metal work. There is a shelf of the finest drinks available on display, waitstaff happy to serve, provided one can pay. Reds and oranges and other warm hues dominate this part of the Inn, with intricate rugs and upholstery that truly displays the craftsmanship manifest in Laketown or its ability to import whatever it cannot properly make locally. Heads of bears, deer, and other game are displayed on the walls with small plaques indicating the record hunts of the various animals native to the area.
The twin ornate ebony doors lead back to the main room of the Blue Duck Inn.
Sun Jul 28, 1329

If ever there were a good reason to stay away from Rhaedan longer than necessary - a good commissoin is it. Johan is in Laketown another morning for that specific reason. It's the same tunic he wore before, meeing Katarina here in the more upscale inn compared to the clam. He's even cleaned up some and gotten a little more of the black from under his nails. He also has a tube with him today, and a bound roll of coal pencils hanging from his belt when he arrives and asks to be directed to the Countess' table for this meeting.

Seated at one of the tables that stands near to one of the windows, the warm afternoon light spilling through the small window panes and casting light across her table to gleam off of the bottle of spiced cider, the glass she is drinking from, the quieter gleam off of cutlery and the clean edge of the plate she is eating off of. Beside her are a stack of heavy looking tomes, books or ledgers of some kind, and a faint smudge of ink can be observed on the tip of her left earlobe or along the curve of her chin. The approach of the weaponsmith has her glancing up from the plate, blue eyes focusing as she smiles, "Master Johan, good day to you," she closes the tome, "please join me?"

When Johan reaches the table, he gives a dip of his head and partial bow at his waist, murmuring his ever quiet, "Milady," in greeting. "Thank you," is added when the seat is offered, expected as it might be. Business didn't go well without observing certain formalities. Once he was seated thoug, he relaxes somewhat and removes his few parcels from his belt to lay on the table. "I do hope you are well this morning," he begins, taking a pause to order an ale from a passing bar maid. When he turns back he smiles to her. "I have secured the use of a forge here in town at the guild, and a surpus of quite pure iron to work with, and some time to dedicate purely to the project. I believe I will be able to stay on in town here for a while longer, and have you your swords much sooner rather than later, Milady, if we are able to settle what you would like this afternoon."

"This is most fortuitous news," Katarina declares in return, sounding pleased by this turn of events. "I hope that the Guild did not put up such a fight as to harm your future negotiations," she says as she takes the tomes off of the table to rest on the empty chair beside her, sliding the bottle, her plate and the rest of the items on the table to the side to make room for the items that Johan has with him. "The question that remains is what blades to make, rather, what will suit each. It is difficult to find the perfect weight of a blade without seeing to the handling of each sword bearer. My daughter, I confess, is much the same as I am, in reach and weight. My son, however, is much the same in height and reach as his father. Which presents more of a challenge when I wish to make all a gift that is equally wonderful for the surprise value."

Oliaf rumbles on into the common room and seems none too pleased as he is followed by staff brushing off his back as light dust falls onto the floor. " Leave me well enough alone ya lot. Bad enough the clam is cram'd to capacity that I have to come here for a drink so get me a large flaggon of ale and some beef.. " as he sits down and hears the chair start to creek a bit due to his weight and groan …

Johan rolls out his bundle of pencils, and opens the tube to pull a sheaf of coarse parchment to make his notes on. "Yes, the manner of sword is perhaps the most important. I can assure they will be equally impressive, in each of their purposes. Does your husband favor a one handed blade, like a broadsword, or something more like a bastard or greatsword? The twin blades…Most will look to the hilt to see they are twins. I can vary the blades to suit each of their preferred fighting styles, if your twins fight very differently, and just pair the design of the guard and grip- And the youngest you said would have the lighest blade of them?" While he speaks, he sketches out four boxes to mark down answers in, organizing his notes.He does glance up to the grumbling though, and the rumbling, to nod to the other guildsman when he comes into view.

"Our youngest will be training in some unorthodox methods of fighting, so her blade will need to be light, not quite a fencing foil as my child is not a court dandy. But. . slim blade is what I am thinking, or perhaps a series of daggers that she can conceal easily and a short sword for close blade work. I do not envision her needing to fight with us on the battlefield, no matter what is or is not coming. She is not to be a foot soldier." She eyes the paper and pencils, the notes, glances over at the grumbling and rumbling before turning back to Johan. "For my husband, a one handed sword, the broadsword style would be best."

Oliaf waits patiently for his ale to arrive and food and he, lightly restrains the serving girl and with a gentleness "some fresh bread if you please lass " as he slips a coin into her hand and lets her go.. The girl looks to the coin and her eyes go wide as she bows and bolts to fill Oliaf's order.

The marks ticked down are some manner of short hand that, initially, probably make sense, but the more detailed they become, the more complex the abbreviations. "Something precise, and more subtle, than a rapier, then?" Johan asks, glancng up with a small questioning lift to his brow. "A dirk or shortsword?" Looking back down to the notes, he asks, "And the twin blades? Broadswords also, or something a little lighter?" Johan is drawn, briefly, from his notes, when his own ale arrives, which he greets with a new grin and a mumbles, "There you are," like it were some old friend.

Bryony's hands smooth over her skirts as she enters the common room. A basket hangs off of one elbow containing small parcels and a few bits of fabric tucked about to protect the contents. It takes a moment for her to find a seat but she finally settles into a seat at a table far from the wall. "Wine, please," the healer requests softly, giving the server a warm smile. "And a bit of bread and cheese. Oh… Red wine. Sorry." As the server leaves, Bryony's eyes wander the patrons idly.

"A short sword, her reach is much like mine as well, longer blades like the greatsword are more of a trial to my wrists and shoulders than are worth the effort in a fight, especially a long one. A short sword would be best, fit for a cross draw," Katarina replies, one hand resting briefly on the sword at her side that is angled for precisely that, a swift cross draw. She considers her twins next, "Something light but there must be a medium that will work for both?"

The serving girl return to Oliaf table with the requseted bread and meat and drink. It seems even some cheese was added and she gives Oliaf his change. Oliaf looks at it and says. "lass you gave me too much back and the girl seems to stiffen as to say I did no s uch thing but as Oliaf place four coins in her hands and winks. "There much better. " the girl just goes red as a rose and quickly pockets the well earned coin.

"It is easy enough to lighten the blade," Johan assures. "I might deepen the fuller, and on the overall, make it a slightly smaller twin to better match it's balance to her reach and build." He pauses then, because something had been said it warrants another swallow of ale. When he sets it down, he leans back a moment and catches a glimpse of Bryony, which sparks a small crack of a grin, and a nod, should he catch her eye, across the room. A brief moment, before he looks back to Katarina, sets down the pencil, and asks, "Now…practicalities set aside, what does it matter to you to convey with these swords? A pride of house?"

Bryony's gaze shifts towards Oliaf and the serving girl, the female's protestations drawing her attention. As it is resolved, the healer finds herself smiling, suddenly fond for the gruff guildmaster without even knowing him. A hand lifts and tugs her braid over her shoulder, pulling it into her lap so that she can fuss with the end as she waits. Johan's nod is caught and returned, her lips curving upwards at the corners and one eyebrow arching very slightly as she takes in his appearance. Another nod is given, approving of the change.

Katarina's gaze follows that of Master Johan to spot the healer, sending a cordial nod paired with a smile as she greets the healer from afar before turning back to Johan. "Pride of house is all well and good, but no. Pride of purpose. We serve the crown, we always have, and our house always will. Our methods may be unorthodox, we may be infuriating to the other noble houses, but tradition and grand standing are one thing, but achieving the desired ends is more important than the appearance of antiquated customs. So." And Katarina leans back in her chair for a moment, hands thoughtfully curled around the glass she's holding, "Our honor is ours. And it cannot be taken away it can't be stolen, it cannot be given away. only surrendered. And that.. is something we will never do. That is what I wish to convey, to remind my children, my husband. The blades in hour hands are not just tools, they are extensions of our selves, our purpose. not to be used as toys or for play."

Oliaf glances over to Bryony and smiles, dipping his head her way. "Something I can do for ye lass?" he asks Bryony and points to a seat at his table should she wish to join him. He is currently making a sammich of the bread, meat and cheese and then wash's it down with the ale. Though from his facial expressions the ale doesn't seem to appeal to him.

What the hell? Bryony's smile manages to widen at the invitation from Oliaf. Gathering her things, she rises to her feet and moves away from the table. Along the way she does spy Katarina's greeting and finds herself returning the smile, bending the knees enough to offer the woman a small curtsy before she continues to the guildmaster. "I hope you will forgive me. I did not mean to stare, truly. I know you…" she insists as she settles down at his table. "I just… I cannot place it. I am Bryony Fearn."

Johan lifts a hand to idly scruff his thumb along his jaw and over the blond growth there. He nods slowly while he listens to Katarina and absorbs her answer into the churning gears of his mind. By the time she is through, he looks up toward her and cracks a new grin, admitting, "You want these blades to say great things in a very short-winded language." He drops his hand to take the pencil up again, jotting down abbreviated notes as to her answer. "I will work on some final design this evening, and have sketches sent over to you first in the morning, Milady."

"I am a soldier, Master Johan, and as a soldier, the gods have not tasked me with gentle things. I am in the business of killing, when and as needed, the sword that I carry is not merely a threat or a deterrent, it is how I live, how my family lives, how we have freed our lands and hold them safely. My children know this, but are young enough, still, to not really understand in the core of their sense of self. but they will, some day," she says quietly as Katarina nods to Johan. "I look forward to these sketches and seeing the end result."

Johan lifts his ale and tips it slightly to Katarina, with a momentary bow of his head. "With a mother as you to impress it upon them, I am certain they will grow into the understanding in short order." Bringing the flagon back, he drains it back and sets it aside, to begin rolling his things back up, binding them off, and dropping them into the tube. "I have a thought, to something for your truly youngest," he adds, with something of a sly grin. "But I would have it be a surprise."

Katarina's answering glance is curious, one hand resting ever so lightly on her abdomen in a gesture that is as old as time itself, that warm gesture that guards the child she carries. "A surprise? That is most thoughtful of you, Master Johan. And I confess, now I'm most intrigued and will try to refrain from deviling you with questions to try to prize free your ideas."

Johan touches his finger to the side of his nose. "No fears, Milady, devil as you like, I will protect you from ruining the intrigue," he tells her with a faux sense of bravado to his voice, rising ever so slightly from the usual soft rumble. When the maid tries to top him off, Johan sets a hand over the top, instead leaning up from his seat and gathering his things. "It was a pleasure to speak with you again," he finishes with a nod, and glancing to the others, lifts a hand in farewell to them as well. "Now, I should be off to work."

A quiet laugh comes from Katarina before she nods, "I'll try to contain my curiosity then," she promises as she watches Johan gathering his things to depart. "Thank you for your time and for your work on this, it means a great deal to me," said quietly but quite honestly.

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