Farewell to Angrave -- Forward to Adventure!   Posted by Storyteller.Group: 0
Storyteller
 GM, 15 posts
 Mercy to him that asketh;
 Succor unto her in need
Wed 7 Apr 2021
at 06:25
Farewell to Angrave -- Forward to Adventure!
ASTLE ANGRAVE stands stark and black before the crashing waves, battered by sheets of rain. Spring has come to the northernmost shores of Britain, but for days, the green heaths of Angrave, divided by low stone walls and copses of trees, have been shrouded by ominous grey skies.

Yet the mood inside the lord's hall is undimmed by the gloom of spring showers. The great fire burning in the center of the hall illuminates the finery of Lord and Lady Angrave, worn for this evening's celebration. Candles have been lit and hoisted above the hall in chandeliers, and oil lamps and rushlights bathe all but the most withdrawn corners in amber light.

"Upon the morrow, my son rides forth for Camelot," Sir Aedric announces, holding his horn cup aloft. "Upon his shoulders, he carries the pride of our name. May our King receive him with grace, and may word of his deeds find us even here in the utmost north!"

A cheer rises from the assembled guests, local lords and ladies from nearby holdings who, together, maintain Arthur's domain against the warlike Picts and Viking raiders who seek to take advantage of their remote location. Other, unfamiliar faces are also seen at the long tables lining the hall -- those of noble blood and even a few commoners who have made the pilgrimage to Angcrist to see its holy relic, the Skull of St. Allistor. Given the weight of the occasion, Sir Aedric has seen fit to extend his hospitality to many.

"Where is that girl?" Cheeks flushed, Sir Aedric casts about himself unsteadily, having indulged in his mead early this evening. "Let us have some music! A ballad, a song! Something to clear away the cobwebs and dust of the long winter from this place."

Unseen by most, the hand of Sir Aedric's lady wife steadies him from behind, preventing an undignified fall backward into his seat.

This message was last edited by the GM at 14:36, Wed 07 Apr.

Torah
 player, 14 posts
 Viking Lass
 Self styled 'Bard'
Wed 7 Apr 2021
at 14:35
Farewell to Angrave -- Forward to Adventure!
Torah had been seated down the end of the table, sitting next to a man who wouldn’t stop talking about his boat.  Most of her attention was focused on Gerod and how he was navigating the evening.  But for appearance sakes she had to be polite and feign interest in her neighbor’s ‘river adventures’... half of them probably made up just to impress her.  So when Lord Aedric called for music, Torah breathed a sigh of relief and excused herself.  Reclaiming her instrument, the Viking lass strummed a few notes and stood off to the side of the table.

Perhaps a tune of past glories, Lord Angrave?”

Torah strung together a melody that shaped the content of her song.

♫  Upon a horse, a man did sit, in colours dark and blue ♫
♫ Across from him, his rival waited, a steady heart all true ♫
♫ The signal given, chargers bolted, a clash began anew ♫
♫ but score a hit, the pair did not, and so began round two ♫
♫ again they rode and shields held fast, the round became a few ♫
♫ Til last the knight, of noble heart, turned black his rival’s view ♫

♪  Aedric, the victor crowned... triumphant of North faire ♪
♪  Now his lance, passed down to son, glory to the heir! ♪


Torah finished off with a repeat of her first verse, encouraging others to sing along...
Storyteller
 GM, 16 posts
 Mercy to him that asketh;
 Succor unto her in need
Wed 7 Apr 2021
at 15:21
Farewell to Angrave -- Forward to Adventure!

OOC: An excellent composition, sure to flatter Lord Angrave and embolden his son! Let us have a Simple Skill Resolution. Torah, please throw your Presence + Poetry/Song coins to see how the audience reacts.

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:21, Wed 07 Apr.

Torah
 player, 15 posts
 Viking Lass
 Self styled 'Bard'
Wed 7 Apr 2021
at 16:40
Farewell to Angrave -- Forward to Adventure!
Ooc: not very well, lol.  02:38, Today: Torah rolled 13 using 7d2 with rolls of 2,2,2,2,1,2,2.  Pres+Song .
Sir Gerod Angrave
 player, 18 posts
 To Dream the Impossible
 Dream...
Thu 8 Apr 2021
at 17:35
Farewell to Angrave -- Forward to Adventure!
The night before the day of leaving had finally come. Gerod found his heart beating with joy and excitement. For almost a year he had been quietly planning this moment. Then, a few months ago, he'd made his plans known to his father. Now, now it was finally here.

Listening to his father's speech Gerod felt his pride swell. He knew that his father didn't whole-heartedly approve of letting his only son and heir leave on such a long and parlous journey. They had argued about it more than once in the past few weeks. Yet, when he'd made up his mind to go his father had finally given his blessing.

He looked over at his mother, and smiled. He was one of the few who could see the way she propped up her husband. Her strength and support had helped keep them both on the straight and narrow as Gerod grew to manhood. He thought about the way that she had gone over all of his possessions with him several times that morning. She'd been determined to make sure that he had packed his warm clothing, plenty of food, and even some medicines and a medal of a saint for good luck.

He could feel that medal now as its cold surface pressed against his chest from beneath his feast tunic. Saint George's likeness was carved into the silver disk, and he hoped that it would keep him safe on the road ahead. Or at least give him the strength to overcome the obstacles he was likely to face between home and Camelot.

Such thoughts filled his mind when Torah began her song. Gerod found himself quickly distracted by the words she sang. It was an older story, and did honor to his father. Gerod closed his eyes and imagined the scene her words and melody painted. He imagined himself in that role, thinking that he could feel the wind upon his cheeks, the horse straining between his legs, the weight of the lance, and the final blow. His hand reflexively gripped the hilt of his feasting dagger tighter as he smiled.

Then, Gerod opened his eyes once more. He smiled across the room at Torah, then nodded his thanks. Smoothly Gerod stood up from his own seat. "I thank my father for his kind words, and I thank each of you for your continued support and loyalty to my family. While my heart is saddened by leaving home, no matter the glory I shall strive to earn, its burden is lessoned knowing that such excellent and capable people shall be safeguarding my home while I am gone. I propose a toast, to each of you. Health, happiness, and long life!"
Storyteller
 GM, 18 posts
 Mercy to him that asketh;
 Succor unto her in need
Fri 9 Apr 2021
at 06:38
Two Conversations
The guests raised their cups and echoed Sir Gerod's toast:

"To your health, Sir Gerod!"

"To Lord Angrave!"

"Up, Angrave!"

"Salus!"

As the merriment of the evening continued, Sir Aedric took his son aside, walking the length of the hall as he nodded in greeting to his guests. His weathered features appeared even more craggy and wrinkled by the stark shadows that the roaring hearth fire threw across his face.

"My son," he began. "I know we have not seen eye to eye on the matter of your journey, and as you can see I will not try to bar you. Yet I must make one last appeal to you, as your father, if not as your lord.

"Go to Camelot, if you must. But I have made arrangement with a ship captain to carry you some of the distance. It is but a merchant vessel, but sturdy, and its master will take you down the eastern coast to the lands of Lothian, where once old King Lot ruled. The land has since held by Arthur's stewards, and so your proper treatment as a knight will be assured upon your arrival.

"Take this ship, for the sake of your mother if not for me. I know you must long for battle, but I assure you you will find more than enough south of the Wall. If you travel overland, down through the Highlands, the savage Picts will show you no mercy."


~~~


Meanwhile, Dame Heledd, Gerod's mother, met Torah's eye as she finished her song. With a subtle nod, she wordlessly invited the Viking girl to accompany her from the hall. Leading her up the spiraling staircase through lamplit stone passages poorly insulated by threadbare tapestries and frayed banners, Dame Heledd stepped out onto the battlements of Castle Angrave, looking out over the sea. A drizzling mist wet the sea air, and Heledd held her fur-mantled cloak close as she spoke in confidence to the girl.

"In truth, I am glad that you have chosen to accompany my son. Of all not of his blood who know him, I think you know him best. Even more than some of his kin, I daresay.

"But that is not why I beckoned you here. I have a request to make of you."


She withdrew from the folds of her cloak a small scroll, bound with red wax bearing her lozenge-shaped personal seal. "I wish for you to deliver this to Camelot on my behalf. When you arrive, you are to give it to Sir Kay, the King's seneschal. He will know my seal." She turned to face Torah, her expression grave, but beneath her dignity as a noblewoman, Torah could sense her vulnerability.

"I must have your word that neither you nor Gerod will read this letter's contents," she said. "Torah, will you give me your oath?"


OOC: Fortunately for Torah, since this was a Simple Resolution, only one Success was required. Torah may be self-aware that she was not performing anywhere near as well as she could have done, but her performance was sufficient to entertain a poor, provincial court like Angrave and suitably flatter its lord.
Sir Gerod Angrave
 player, 19 posts
 To Dream the Impossible
 Dream...
Fri 9 Apr 2021
at 08:16
Two Conversations
Gerod, having indulged perhaps more than he intended to, felt the warmth of his cheeks as he listened to his father's request. Blinking he nodded his head and placed a hand upon his sire's shoulder. "I know that our arguments were born from love, father. I could no more hate you than I could hate my own heart. I am glad and honored to finally have your blessing."  Gerod paused, than continued. "I have no fear of the Picts. They would fall before my lance and sword before ever managing to take me from my saddle." He grinned, "However, for the love I bear you and my mother I shall take the ship South as you ask."

He smiled and gazed out the nearby window towards the moon. "Do not worry, father. No matter what road I take I'll not be taking it alone. I confess I didn't expect Torah would agree to come with me, but I can hardly imagine a more capable person for this journey." He smiled again. "If nothing else, she knows how to keep me from getting too full of myself. Few enough have the courage to tell a noble to their face that they are wrong or pig-headed. Such courage and strength of will is worth more than gold in the world King Arthur seeks to create. I think that she'll love it at Camelot as much as I will. I just hope I can help her achieve her own dreams too. Whatever they may be."

He paused for a moment as his wine-addled brain tried to make sense of the jumbled thoughts and emotions which rattled around within him. Shaking his head Gerod cleared his throat. When he spoke next his voice was full of conviction and the certainty that came from youth and too much wine. "We shall make it to Camelot. Then, when I return, I'll bring honor and glory with me. Maybe I'll even find a wife to help carry on our family's words to a new generation. I'll make sure our family name will be remembered in the halls of King Arthur, and I'll find a way to improve our lands here so that none go hungry over the long winters. All of these things will be found at Camelot. I know it in my heart."

This message was last edited by the player at 08:17, Fri 09 Apr.

Torah
 player, 16 posts
 Viking Lass
 Self styled 'Bard'
Fri 9 Apr 2021
at 12:36
Two Conversations
A little disappointed in not finding a larger purchase with her audience, Torah resolved to do better the next time.  At any rate, the lady Angrave desired a word with her and that was more important.  Torah followed Dame Heledd to the battlements and hugged herself against the chill wind.  But her discomfort was forgotten upon the revelation of Heledd's unusual request.

"You desire a message delivered?  I can do that, Lady Angrave.  And whatever your need for secrecy, I shall respect it.  I swear.  Gerod will respect your wishes too, I know it.  Pardon my question, but if Sir Kay is ill, absent, or worse... would you have me keep this message... or destroy it?"

She doubted that anything would go wrong, but if this scroll was important... Torah wanted to be thorough in understanding her task.
Storyteller
 GM, 19 posts
 Mercy to him that asketh;
 Succor unto her in need
Mon 12 Apr 2021
at 14:08
A Good Omen
Dame Heledd considered the question with an unexpected chuckle of amusement. "I do not think anything short of the end of the world could bring down that stubborn old goat. But if you cannot give it to him..." She looked at the scroll for a long moment, and a wistful expression passed across her face as she debated the question inwardly. It was with reluctant finality that she eventually declared, "Yes. If for any reason you cannot give it directly to Sir Kay, then it is best that you consign it to the flames. If nothing else, the poetry of that would be fitting."

She remembered to whom she spoke and abandoned whatever bittersweet reverie had occupied her thoughts, assuming her regal poise once more. "I thank you for your oath, and for your discretion on this matter." She looked at the blonde lass appraisingly. "You have come so very far from being that forlorn, angry child the Northmen left here with barnyard straw for hair and feet all a-muddy. Just look at you now."

She smiled at Torah with the fondness of a mother. "In sooth, you have grown into too fine a singer for poor old Angrave. This land is too mean and dreary and her people, though honest, are too unsophisticated to give you a properly appreciative audience. Oh, it has given me pride to watch you grow into your talent, and by God and Saint Mary I shall surely miss the sweet plucking and rosining of your strings once you are gone. But it would be a sin against heaven to keep you prisoner here when it is obvious that Camelot is where you belong." She allowed herself to tenderly touch Torah's cheek. "You were delivered unto us as a gift of God, and so by God must I let you go as freely as you came."

Eleri, Dame Heledd's lady-in-waiting, appeared from behind the heavy oaken door leading to the stairs. "My lady," she said, "your daughter seeks you in the hall."

The drizzle at last relented. The fog broke and soon scattered, driven by the wind from the sea. The vast dome of the night revealed itself to the three women upon the battlements, bathing them in an emerald glow. Above them, vast and ghostly ribbons of green light played across the northern sky, like the lowest folds of a celestial curtain descending from the sphere of the moon. Their luminescence danced upon the black waves of the midnight sea.

"Tell her I'm coming," Lady Angrave replied. "I have unburdened my heart, I think."

~~~

Sir Aedric nodded, seemingly satisfied with his son's declaration, but the occasion -- and the substantial mead he had consumed that evening -- brought on a melancholy mood, and his voice became somber. "As sure as I am of anything in this uncertain life, I am sure you will bring us honor in the court of the High King.

"I have taught you all I know, of riding and fighting and commanding men, but the things you carry beyond the rudimentary are none of my doing. A monk once told me a Greek quotation: 'I know that I know nothing.' I am not so proud as to think that I am much more than a barbarian chieftain in Roman mail.

"But you, my son,"
he continued, placing his heavy hand on Gerod's shoulder and looking him in the eye. "There is a spark in you like to kindle a flame in the hearts of other men. They will follow a man like you. I did not think that the tales of Arthur's knights and his Round Table could be more than the fancy of idealistic scops and feverish monks. But you make me believe a new age could indeed be upon us.

"It's not from me that you learned those things. Perhaps it is fitting that Torah goes with you to chronicle your deeds. It is her verses that live in your heart, and in turn, you give life to them."


Lord Angrave turned back to face the hearth fire and his noble guests at revelry, and clapped his son's back fondly as he tried to obscure the dew in his eyes from him. "Enough of these maudlin words. Our guests await your return. I've held their hero for ransom long enough."
Torah
 player, 17 posts
 Viking Lass
 Self styled 'Bard'
Mon 12 Apr 2021
at 17:33
A Good Omen
Naturally Torah was deeply touched by such words.  At times she had felt the call of her ancestoral lands.. or doubted her place among this adopted home.  It was irrational, but no less a feeling.  However she had people like the Angraves to thank for greater opportunities than she probably deserved.  Yes, Camelot beckoned... but what sort of reception awaited her there?  Nothing as warm as her true home here.

I’ve never felt better than the people, but I cannot deny excitement at the prospect of travel and adventure.  I’ll never forget their kindness... or yours, Lady Angrave.  Gerod and myself will strive to represent them well.”

Had the servant not appeared, Torah might have been tempted into an embrace.  She often appeared to wear her heart on her sleeve, but inwardly Torah was a little reserved and very sly (which she liked to term ‘quick witted’).  Her true emotions were under lock and key... to be doled out with consideration.  She bowed again and took her leave.  Instead of returning directly to the hall, Torah took the scenic route... via the kitchen.  It gave her time to ponder a few things.

I’d forgotten the abundance of ladies at Camelot.  Until Gerod wins acclaim, there is little to fear... but some will still try to sink hooks into him.  And Gerod’s knightly ways will place him at a disadvantage in such situations.  I shall have to watch his back then, as he would watch mine...

Helping herself to a snack, Torah left the cursing cook behind and returned to the hall... just in time to intercept Gerod.  She held a hand to her ear when the heir received a cheer of return from the guests, pretending that she had trouble hearing him.

What?  Oh a dance... why not!  It’s your party...”

Torah offered Gerod her hand... but otherwise let him take the lead, if he dared.
Sir Gerod Angrave
 player, 20 posts
 To Dream the Impossible
 Dream...
Tue 13 Apr 2021
at 07:47
A Good Omen
Gerod was tempted to try and offer some reassurance to his father that he wasn't an unsophisticated man, but held his tongue. Partly because he understood enough to know that he didn't know if such words would be empty and meaningless. Yet, also because he thought that trying to argue with the man would be wrong. Better to take the compliment, however undeserved, and not look it to deeply in the mouth. Instead he simply laughed with his sire and made his way back into the main part of the hall where the rest of the guests awaited him.

Where was Mother? For that matter, where was Torah?

Gerod resisted the urge to laugh at himself. This was a party. They must be around here somewhere. Then one of the local lesser nobles engaged him in conversation about hunting dogs and how best to corner a bear during winter. Gerod found the conversation itself interesting, but knew that he couldn't allow himself to be monopolized by one person. At the earliest opportunity he attempted to pass the conversation off to another young man who was far more interested in the details of dogs and hunting than Gerod.

Another old comrade of his father raised a toast to him, and Gerod began to reach for a new goblet of wine as those around him cheered, then found Torah there instead. He blinked for a moment as she accepted his 'request' to dance with her. Maybe it was the drink, maybe it was the party, but he couldn't resist taking her hand and heading to a clear spot on the dance floor.

As the tune started Gerod took his position for the dance and began to lead Torah through the now familiar steps. "I imagine that we'll both have to learn many new things when we get to Camelot. They probably have new dances there too." Gerod attempted to cover up his lack of skill at this sort of thing with sheer boldness of movement, and prayed that he didn't step on his partner's toes... again.

"My father has gained us passage upon a ship heading South. It should shorten the journey by some time. I trust that you don't object to the notion of risking our necks against the sea and pirates instead of against the Picts." He grinned at Torah, "So, which Knight of legend do you most look forward to meeting when we arrive?"
Torah
 player, 18 posts
 Viking Lass
 Self styled 'Bard'
Tue 13 Apr 2021
at 13:07
A Good Omen
Torah followed Gerod and made up any shortcomings (he’d do the same for her).  Besides it was nice to dance and just live in a happy moment.

You’re right, there will be a lot to learn... It’s both exciting and intimidating.  A ship sounds pretty good, because those Picts make me nervous.  You might not fear them in battle but I’m not nearly so trained for that.”

She took a long moment to think about the knight question... spinning away and then coming back a few moments later.

Sir Lancelot perhaps?  Despite a their many stories, I do not know them, Gerod... not really.  I’m probably more interested in those who ‘you’ find friendship with.”
Sir Gerod Angrave
 player, 21 posts
 To Dream the Impossible
 Dream...
Tue 13 Apr 2021
at 16:49
A Good Omen
Gerod chuckled as she turned his own question back upon him. His eyes were bright from the joy of the occasion, and the expectation he held for the journey ahead. "So engraved are the stories upon my heart I feel like I know them already. Yet, it is the good Sir Gawain whom I look forward to meeting and testing myself against."

He extends his arm guiding her through another turn of the dance. Then, as she returns, he transitions into a dip. "I expect he would have a lot to teach me about battle, and courtship." He straightens them both up and begins the next step. "I plan to be a quick study. Then maybe I can teach him a thing or two before returning home." This last boast is accompanied by a smile and a wink.

"I also look forward to seeing their faces when you sing and play for the first time." Gerod grins at the thought. "You'll have no end of knights wanting you to tell their stories. I promise not to let any of them steal you away. Unless you want them to, of course."
Storyteller
 GM, 20 posts
 Mercy to him that asketh;
 Succor unto her in need
Tue 13 Apr 2021
at 20:54
A Good Omen
The other nobles of Angrave's court revolved and reeled along with Sir Gerod and Torah, all participating together in dancing the steps, maintaining a formation that held loosely to the ritual of southerly court dance while envigorated by the hot blood of the northerners.

As the dance progressed, so did the pace of the steps, set by the lively tabor and recorder of the minstrels. Many a whistle and hoot were given as each lord and lady took their own turn in the center of the ring to demonstrate their mastery of the steps (or lack thereof due to drink or clumsiness, to much laughter) before resuming their position in the greater procession.

The display admittedly must have fallen far short of the dignified ritual described in tales of Camelot, but it was uniquely typical of the uncouth, stubborn cheer of Angrave.
OOC: Let us have Sir Gerod throw a Basic Presence + Courtesie Skill Resolution. Torah is assisting, but Sir Gerod is currently at the center of the court's attention -- and very aware of it -- so the throw will be unmodified.
Sir Gerod Angrave
 player, 22 posts
 To Dream the Impossible
 Dream...
Tue 13 Apr 2021
at 21:33
A Good Omen
(OOC: Well, I got one success. Looks like I at least avoided stomping on your toes.
Sir Gerod Angrave rolled 7 using 4d2 with rolls of 2,2,2,1.)

Torah
 player, 19 posts
 Viking Lass
 Self styled 'Bard'
Wed 14 Apr 2021
at 06:58
A Good Omen
Torah held Gerod's shoulders firmly, but shot him a smile regardless.

"Whoah, come down from the clouds Gerod... for Sir Gawain is no ordinary knight.  If you intend to best him, it will take many bruising hours."

The comment about her being swamped by Knights and Gerod's intention to protect her from them... was likewise amusing.

"They might be renowned heroes, but I'm no starry eyed maid.  I won't forget you."

Otherwise she didn't seem to mind Gerod's dancing.
Storyteller
 GM, 22 posts
 Mercy to him that asketh;
 Succor unto her in need
Wed 14 Apr 2021
at 17:58
Dragan of Gaul
Sir Gerod and Torah set the example for the rest of Angrave's court, and by the dance's successful conclusion merry applause punctuated by toasts and well-wishes reverberated throughout the old hall.

The merry-making continued well into the night, and the servants who awakened before the dawn to tend to their chores discovered more than one reveler still slumped in their seats at the long tables, snoring away. All agreed that the evening had been one to remember, even those who had to reflect upon it with spotty memories or through wretched hangovers.

~~~

Clouds laid upon the ocean's horizon at dawn, illuminated brilliantly by the rising sun. There were few clouds higher in the deepening blue sky, and scarcely a breeze as the drawbridge of Castle Angrave was lowered. A noble procession, fresh from taking morning mass and breaking fast together, rode forth across the bridged moat -- foamy seawater crashing between the rocky walls beneath them -- and descended from the castle into the surrounding village. Peasants followed after the parade of liveried horses, enjoying the colorful sight before they had to return to the more mundane pruning and weeding work of the day.

Lord and Lady Angrave accompanied their son and his companion to the wharves, where fishermen and sailors stood back and tugged their forelocks or bowed and scraped. The portly middle-aged Lord Varrick, Sir Eogan, who had talked off Torah's ear about boats the night before, awaited Sir Aedric and his family upon the dock. Next to him stood a man in a pale blue woolen tunic and brilliant scarlet cloak, with a necklace of amber about his brown throat. Beneath the amber, two tokens dangled from simple leather thongs strung from his neck: a Christian cross and a Norse hammer.

"This is Dragan," Sir Eogan announced as the procession arrived. "A man wedded to the North Sea, a true son of Neptune himself. I measure him as bold and capable a sailor as any I've ever met, and I should know, being a bit of a seaman myself."

"You flatter me, Lord Varrick," Dragan said in a noticeable Occitanian accent, following a bow before Sir Aedric. "I am but a humble merchant who has made many voyages to the north. May God grant me many more."

Sir Eogan carried on, gesturing in a grand sweep of his hand toward the square-sailed knarr lashed to the dock. "This ship is a fine vessel, sturdy and quick. She will see you safely south of Caledonia, I warrant you." He smoothed his mustache and winked at Sir Gerod and Torah. "I've an eye for these things. I might have been a shipwright in another life."

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:49, Wed 14 Apr.

Dragan
 NPC, 1 post
 Merchant Captain
 of Gaul
Wed 14 Apr 2021
at 17:58
Dragan of Gaul
Dragan gave a respectful nod to Sir Gerod. "My men and I await you at your leisure, Sir Knight. At your word we shall secure your belongings and ensure your horses are steadied for the voyage."
Sir Gerod Angrave
 player, 26 posts
 To Dream the Impossible
 Dream...
Wed 14 Apr 2021
at 20:24
Dragan of Gaul
Sir Gerod dismounted from his horse in one smooth motion as Sir Eogan introduced them to the captain of the vessel. His armor, along with most of his personal clothing and possessions, had been carefully stored in a sea chest for the voyage, but Gerod still wore his sword-belt with the sword and dagger resting upon opposite hips. His shield hung by a strap from the high canted pommel of his saddle. Unlike his fine festival clothing from the night before today he was now dressed more simply in a knee length green tunic with yellow hemlines. A sturdy pair of brown leggings keep his calves warm in the colder northern climate while thick leather riding boots adorn his feet. His deep green cloak is wrapped about his shoulders with a sturdy bronze brooch securing it at his left breast.

"Captain Dragan," Gerod smiles at the man and extends his hand out to clasp the captain's own in greeting. "I am pleased to see that this journey will begin aboard such a fine vessel." He gestures towards Torah, "This is Torah, my friend and companion. It is a pleasure to meet you."
Dragan
 NPC, 2 posts
 Merchant Captain
 of Gaul
Thu 15 Apr 2021
at 17:49
Dragan of Gaul
"Torah," Dragan said, offering a courteous bow to the blonde bard, making his necklaces clink one against the other. "We are well-met." He regarded the knight with a broad smile. "The pleasure is mine, Sir Gerod. We will be honored to have the company of a knight and his companion aboard."

He turned briefly to wave his men over, and at this gesture, the sailors cleared the way for Sir Gerod's horse to be brought across the gangplank and came to collect any baggage he might have for them. Looking to Sir Gerod for permission, they gathered around his sea chest to heft it up and carry it aboard to be stowed.

"Though the wind is not strong this day," Dragan continued, "our oarsmen will serve until we can catch a breeze in our sail. I believe this fine weather will hold, and even if it does not, we will not need to drift out of sight of the shore. I expect our voyage to be an easy one."

This message was last edited by the player at 19:49, Thu 15 Apr.

Sir Blaiyse
 NPC, 1 post
 Lord Marrondale
 Christian
Thu 15 Apr 2021
at 17:52
Dragan of Gaul
Moving through the assembled crowd, Lord Marrondale stepped forward. He had been a guest at the revels the night previous, though his conversations had kept him from much interaction with Sir Gerod or Torah. Now he made his presence known to the young man by first addressing his father.

"Old friend," he began, "if I may? I should like to offer a parting gift to your son, to bring him luck on his voyage."

Sir Aedric smiled and nodded. "Generous as ever, Blaiyse. You have always been a true friend of Angrave. Of course."

Sir Blaiyse, lord of Marrondale, approached Sir Gerod and Torah. With a brief glance and smile of acknowledgment to the young woman, he regarded Sir Gerod with a wistful sigh. "Too soon they grow to manhood, these sons of ours. It is the burden of the old to watch them fly the nest, and we can do little but offer our prayers for their safety as they take wing into an uncertain world."

He reached out to his side, and a servant stepped forward to hand him a small wooden box. Marrondale unclasped the latch and opened its lid, withdrawing a talisman on a gold chain; the image of a man bearing an infant on his back, wrought in brilliant red and green garnet cloisonné inlay, adorned its face as it gleamed in the morning sunlight.

"Saint Christopher," Marrondale said as he placed the talisman around Sir Gerod's neck. "To see you safely to Camelot." In a quieter voice, meant only for the two of them, he added, "and if he does not serve you, the garnets in that bauble are worth enough silver to see you through."

This message was last edited by the player at 18:04, Thu 15 Apr.

Torah
 player, 20 posts
 Viking Lass
 Self styled 'Bard'
Thu 15 Apr 2021
at 21:51
Dragan of Gaul
Torah had dressed down for the voyage, wearing a simple dress, gloves, and a woolen cloak.  When she discovered which boat had been arranged, she inwardly mused over the irony.

Of course, it is sir Eogan’s ship.  I’ve certainly heard enough about it, so perhaps last nights conversation wasn’t such a bad thing after all.  I’m glad to have stayed polite....

Torah wordlessly greeted Dragan with a courtsie and then set about stowing her things.  Her expression tightened when Lord Marondale presented Gerod with a good luck talisman.  Given his unproven link with the bandits, Torah suspected the gift was perhaps a means to mark Gerod for future attackers.  As soon as they were underway, she would encourage Gerod to stow it.
Sir Gerod Angrave
 player, 31 posts
 To Dream the Impossible
 Dream...
Fri 16 Apr 2021
at 07:43
Dragan of Gaul
Sir Gerod smiled as Captain Dragan spoke of the journey ahead. He was only half listening as his mind was already wondering towards where their possessions were being loaded and he horse was being guided aboard. Then, blinking, he force his attention back to the captain. He tried to smile to cover his lapse. "I shall put myself in your care, good Captain. May I ask a question?"

Before he gets a chance he is interrupted by Sir Blaiyse. Gerod's young and innocent eyes widen when they see the St. Christopher medal that the man presented him. "Sir. Blaiyse, your friendship with my father has meant that at times you've been like an uncle to me. Now with this gift I feel blessed indeed. Thank you. I shall keep it close." Gerod gratefully accepts the gift and places it around his neck so that all might see and admire the gift of his father's friend. He remains completely oblivious to the way that Torah had reacted to Sir Blaiyse, as well as the way she looked at the St. Christopher medal.

"With that, I must bid you all a last farewell. Thank you, Father, Mother, Sir. Blaiyse, and all of you. Peace be with you all!" Sir Gerod turns back towards the ship, then stops, smiles and looks to Captain Dragan. "I nearly forgot. I understand that ships are often given names by their captains. May I inquire as to the name of your vessel, Captain Dragan?"
Dragan
 NPC, 3 posts
 Merchant Captain
 of Gaul
Fri 16 Apr 2021
at 17:50
Dragan of Gaul
Dragan looked back at his ship at dock, and with a subtle but noticeable measure of pride, he said, "the Cormorant. She has served me and my crew well." With a respectful nod to Sir Eogan, he added, "thanks to Lord Varrick's gracious patronage."

Sir Eogan's chest puffed up and he beamed with gratification, glancing to either side of himself to make certain others heard the compliment.
Storyteller
 GM, 26 posts
 Mercy to him that asketh;
 Succor unto her in need
Fri 16 Apr 2021
at 17:52
Dragan of Gaul
Sir Blaiyse stepped back to stand beside Sir Eogan and allow Lord and Lady Angrave to approach their departing son. Each in their turn embraced the young man, whispering affection and prayers of safety as they did so. At last, having said their farewells, they allowed Sir Gerod to join Torah, Dragan, and the knight's stallion aboard the Cormorant.

Dragan called out his orders and his sailors tended to their tasks, pushing off from the dock and taking their places at the oars. A youthful coxswain sat at the stern and straddled a drum with his legs, beating a rhythm to row to. The sailors pulled on their oars in unison, propelling the merchant ship into deeper, darker waters.

Sir Gerod and Torah watched their home recede as the Cormorant began her voyage. The crowd of well-wishers remained to see them off, but folk slowly departed from the company to tend to the day's responsibilities until only Lord and Lady Angrave remained with their servants. At last Dame Heledd raised one hand to wave a final farewell. Then her husband shepherded her back toward squat, black Castle Angrave perched upon its rocky promontory above the village.

Eventually, a passing breeze caught up the Cormorant's square sail, making it flutter until it could be angled to catch the wind. The sail billowed and snapped to its fullness, and the men withdrew their oars and set to other various tasks about the merchant knarr.
Sir Gerod Angrave
 player, 34 posts
 To Dream the Impossible
 Dream...
Sat 17 Apr 2021
at 05:13
Dragan of Gaul
Sir Gerod remained towards the rear of the ship for as long as his parents were in sight. He gazed back at them with a fondness and joy which failed to fully acknowledge that this might be the last time he would see them. He could feel the cool wind of home blowing upon his face and making his unruly hair shift about. He touched a hand to the St. Christopher medal he now wore about his neck and smiled.

When wind finally caught the vessel Sir Gerod grinned like a squire with his first lance. He turned away from hearth and home. Away from childhood and youth, he instead turned towards the bow of the ship and the uncertain future. As he walked the length of the vessel he stopped to check on his horse, Hermes. Having satisfied himself that his steed was well cared for he turned his attention back towards the bow.

With youthful enthusiasm he clambered as far off the bow as he could holding onto a rope to steady himself, then stood there with the spray and wind buffeting him in equal measure. One hand shaded his eyes as he keenly scanned the land around them, as well as the horizon ahead. "Camelot, here I come." He spoke softly, and grinned from ear to ear.
Torah
 player, 22 posts
 Viking Lass
 Self styled 'Bard'
Sat 17 Apr 2021
at 14:53
Dragan of Gaul
Unlike Gerod, Torah did not look back... instead she looked forward from the Cormorant's bow.  She'd said her goodbyes last night.  No doubt she'd feel a 'longing' in the future... but Torah's mind was on getting Gerod (and Sir Kay's message) to Camelot as safely as possible.  She spoke up when Gerod straddled out to the water's edge.

"Don't fall off, Gerod... I'm not getting wet to fish you back up."

Despite her mischievous grin, Torah was lying.  She would jump in to save Gerod, even if there were sharks in the water.  However she didn't want Gerod taking foolish chances just because he had her backing.

"Your new 'necklace' is pretty, but I'd prefer you not to wear it openly.  Don't forget what we know of Lord Marondale.  I suspect it might be a target, so wear it with care."
Sir Gerod Angrave
 player, 35 posts
 To Dream the Impossible
 Dream...
Tue 20 Apr 2021
at 07:23
Dragan of Gaul
Gerod frowned as Torah spoke of the necklace and her suspicions. He looked away from the coastline to meet her eyes with his own open honest expression. "I confess that I still find it hard to imagine that a loyal friend to my father could be so involved in such schemes. Perhaps we were mistaken?" He smiled and shook his head, "Still, if it pleases you, I'll conceal the charm for now." Suiting actions to words he reaches one hand up and tucks the St. Christopher medal into the front of his tunic so it is out of sight. "There, safe and sound until this evening when I can return it to my trunk."

"The Cormorant seems to be a fine vessel indeed." Gerod continued. "By this evening I think this will be the furthest South I have ever been." He looks over at Torah, and asks, "Do you ever miss it? The land you came from?"
Torah
 player, 23 posts
 Viking Lass
 Self styled 'Bard'
Tue 20 Apr 2021
at 12:50
Dragan of Gaul
Torah replied back... with a question.  She sounded a little wistful, but it was tempered with the fact that all thoughts were mere theory.  She wasn’t going ‘home’ any time soon.  Were the people she knew still alive?

I do miss them a little, but now that I am older... would I really be happy there and would I find acceptance?”

While she could understand Gerod’s reluctance to think the worst of Lord Marondale, Torah could not allow her guard to be lowered.  If the man meant ill for her friend, he would not have it easy.

How do you feel about burned dinners and hard earth to sleep upon?  I can’t imagine we will find lodgings each night on the road to Camelot...”
Dragan
 NPC, 4 posts
 Merchant Captain
 of Gaul
Tue 20 Apr 2021
at 21:11
Dragan of Gaul
As the two passengers conversed, Dragan moved about the Cormorant, tending to tasks and minor commands as needed. He was a fair master, it seemed, and he shared camaraderie with his men that eased those tensions that might arise due to the gap in their stations. They worked together diligently, though now that they were well underway, chores were few. Some of the men fell to talking with one another or dicing with knucklebones.

Dragan, however, squinted as he looked into the distance behind them. After a moment, he roused his men from their leisure and put them back to work.

Hermes sensed the rising tension in the air and whinnied nervously, tossing his head.

"Look there, do you see?" Dragan asked Sir Gerod and Torah, interrupting their conversation. "We are being followed."

They could, indeed, see a ship dark on the water far behind them, in the direction Dragan pointed. Neither could recall having seen the ship a few minutes ago.

"They must have come from a cove or inlet. And I did not see any ships at anchor, so I must assume they took pains to conceal themselves from us as we passed them.

"I do not suppose they are any of your people?"

Sir Gerod Angrave
 player, 36 posts
 To Dream the Impossible
 Dream...
Fri 23 Apr 2021
at 06:59
Dragan of Gaul
As the import of Dragan's message struck home Sir Gerod's attitude and expression shifted into something far more serious. Gone was the excited passionate youth. Present now was the serious minded warrior assessing his surroundings and weighing options. His eyes narrowed as he swung himself back onto the solid deck. "I think if my father had intended an escort I'd have been told about it." He unconsciously tested the sword in its scabbard at his left hip to make sure it could be easily drawn.

"Captain, I suspect that these are pirates, or worse. I'll go don my armor so I'm ready to help defend your ship." Beginning to walk away, Gerod stopped. "Torah, if you're willing, I could use some help in putting it on quickly."
Torah
 player, 24 posts
 Viking Lass
 Self styled 'Bard'
Fri 23 Apr 2021
at 11:16
Dragan of Gaul
Torah didn't know if the pursuing ship had anything to do with Lord Marondale, but she certainly entertained the possibility.  At Gerod's request for help, she nodded in agreement.

"Always be prepared.  I just need to check on my instrument first..."

Finding her Rebec, Torah took the message Lady Angrave had given her and slipped it inside.  She did have to briefly remove a string, but felt safer if the message was hidden.  Only then did she return to Gerod and help him with the rest of his armor... mostly securing straps and shifting plates to better hug his frame.

"If a fight breaks out, where do you want me Gerod?  By your side or out of harms way..."
Sir Gerod Angrave
 player, 37 posts
 To Dream the Impossible
 Dream...
Mon 26 Apr 2021
at 08:21
Dragan of Gaul
Gerod nodded his head as they worked on getting his armor to rest comfortably around his body. First, he threw on the thickly padded gambeson without taking the time to remove his traveler's tunic first. This was then tied in place at his neck and sides. His legs are covered by thick cloth padding that is likewise tied to the leather belt around his waist.

From there the chain chausses are pulled over the padding on his legs. He stamped his feet in order to settle them into the leather soled chain boots that are part of the chausses. The leather ties attached to the top of the chausses are quickly tied to the front and back of his belt.

The next part of his armor was the chain hauberk that goes on over his head and shoulders like a tunic, and leather thongs at the neck must be tied in order to close the gap around his neck. Over this his tabard was worn to display his coat of arms, with the chain coif covering his head and offering double protection to his shoulders. Then, he picks up his plumed helm and sword.

He looked at Torah as she asked the question. His expression is serious, "I doubt that there will be any place here that is out of harms way. Watch me back, please." Then he smiles at her. "So much for a safer route South."

Then, with his helmet still held under his arm, Sir Gerod returns to the deck of the ship to see how close their pursuers have come.
Dragan
 NPC, 5 posts
 Merchant Captain
 of Gaul
Tue 27 Apr 2021
at 21:10
Pirates!
Dragan stood upon the stern of the Cormorant, squinting into the distance to observe the ship behind them.

"She is a sleek craft," he mused grimly. "Running shallower in the water than us. They will catch us."

He turned to Sir Gerod, and seeing him for the first time outfitted in his mail, he nodded approvingly, despite its age and wear. "You make a formidable sight, Sir Gerod," he said. "I hope that the sight of an armed and armored knight may shake the will of some of these pirates.

"Though I fear the worst,"
he continued, returning his gaze to the trailing ship. "In these far northern waters, there are two great dangers among men. The first are the Norsemen, of which I do not think these dogs are made. They do not have the look of them to me.

"Which leaves the second danger. Queen Margawse's men prowl the seas so close to the Orkneys. King Lot may be buried, but his widow is made of the same stern stuff as he was, and she has never forgiven King Arthur for his death. Any swearing fealty to the Pendragon makes himself her hated foe."
He spoke the truth -- both Sir Gerod and Torah knew well the enmity of Queen Morgawse of the Orkney Isles toward the knights who held the northern fiefs in Arthur's name. Worse, the ruler of Caithness, the Pictish kingdom which bordered them to the south, was little more than a puppet dancing to Morgawse's tune.

Dragan continued to speak with the eerie emotional distance of a man reciting a tale he'd heard by the campfire, but keeping his voice low enough so that only Sir Gerod and Torah could hear. He did not want to add to the fears of his men, but judging by their grim expressions as they silently toiled, they had been told the same tales as he.

"Queen Margawse is said to be a sorceress, ruling her islands with darkness, drawing upon mysterious powers no man can fathom without imperiling his soul. I am not certain if it is better to be slain by her men or taken captive to be subjected to her tender mercies." He glanced at the two passengers. "But I have no desire to die."

It was difficult to tell whether he meant that last statement as a declaration of defiance or admission to thoughts of treachery.
Storyteller
 GM, 28 posts
 Mercy to him that asketh;
 Succor unto her in need
Tue 27 Apr 2021
at 21:10
Pirates!
It was a slow torment, being unable to do more than watch helplessly as the pursuing ship gradually closed the distance between them. Without archers or ballistae, all the men could do was tend to their sailing, trying to catch the wind as best they could to delay the inevitable. Dragan would not waste his men's strength on manning the oars for what would merely offer a momentary respite. It was not unlike watching sand draining through an hourglass, but heightened by the knowledge that when the sand ran out, lives would be ended. Tedium tempered with growing terror.

The ship grew nearer and nearer. Hermes stamped his hooves on the deck and pulled at the ropes that bound him, snorting in anxious anticipation. At the last, as the sailors could make out the features of the rough, unshaven men who plotted their demise, the pirate ship began to draw alongside the Cormorant. Steel was drawn, teeth were bared, and battle cries were given fierce, savage voice.

The pirates were upon them!

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:11, Tue 27 Apr.

Sir Gerod Angrave
 player, 41 posts
 To Dream the Impossible
 Dream...
Fri 30 Apr 2021
at 07:06
Pirates!
Keeping a solid stance is important when fighting. It prevents the knight from being pushed or knocked prone. It can also help them avoid getting flanked. These thoughts were foremost on Gerod's mind as he took up a position towards the stern of the little ship. His feet were placed slightly more than shoulder-width apart as he held his sword in two hands.

Thinking those thoughts was one thing. Putting them into practice was something else. Especially when the 'ground' you were standing on happened to be the constantly moving deck of a small ship. However, the green plumed knight did his best to prevent his face from matching his feather.

Trying to keep Torah to his back he faced down the first pair of pirates that charged towards him. His eyes took in their rough clothing, their unshaven heads, and the crazed look in their faces. "Cowards! Attacking a ship in this way! Who do you serve?!" He shouted at his assailants as he swung his sword in a wide arc trying to nick one of them in the leading leg. He needed to even the odds for the sailors of the Cormorant.

(OOC: Sir Gerod Angrave rolled 9d2 with rolls of 2,2,1,1,1,2,2,2,1.  Combat Roll with 4 heads.)
Torah
 player, 27 posts
 Viking Lass
 Self styled 'Bard'
Fri 30 Apr 2021
at 11:10
Pirates!
Battle was still something new to Torah.  Apart from some childhood scuffles and the encounter with the 'Margrave' bandits, everything she knew was just rudimentary training and things observed from Gerod's practice.  Showing fear wasn't going to do her any good, so she tapped into her pride.  She wouldn't let Gerod down!

Holding her sword in one hand, Torah took up a wet mop in the other.  She twirled her off hand 'weapon' at the pirates, trying to splash deck water in their faces while seeking to stab them in the legs.  It probably looked more impressive than effective...

OOC: 21:07, Today: Torah rolled 9 using 5d2 with rolls of 2,2,1,2,2.  Torah's Mop fu! (combat roll).
Storyteller
 GM, 33 posts
 Mercy to him that asketh;
 Succor unto her in need
Tue 4 May 2021
at 00:15
Pirates!
The pirates seemed well-prepared for their assault. Even with the aid of Dragan’s sailors, Sir Gerod and Torah faced an onslaught of attackers bent on exacting a heavy toll. Sir Gerod’s demands were met only with cruel laughter from the fearsome brigands. Up close, they were viler than they had appeared at a distance; all furs, unkempt beards, wild hair spiked with animal fat and blue whorls of woad painting their leering faces. Dark tattoos depicting ravens, axes, leafless trees and skulls adorned their filthy, discolored skin, and many a hideous scar and missing tooth made their taunting grimaces even more nightmarish.

Though Sir Gerod fought with courage, aboard the rocking deck of the Cormorant he was out of his element, and his vulnerability was the pirates’ strength. Two of the brigands took their turns alternately drawing the focus of his blade and striking him where he was left open by his attack. Cuts and bruises quickly accumulated on the young knight’s armored body.

Torah swung her mop to douse the blue-painted face of her attacker, but it must have been that the Pictish sea-dog had swabbed his fair share of decks and knew his way around a mop. He grasped the handle as Torah swung it, and used his leverage to wrench her sprawling to the gunwale.
OOC: Sir Gerod suffers a loss of -3 to his Brawn, and despite her bonus thanks to the mop trick,Torah loses the throw by 2 Brawn, removing that from her current total. As this exhausts Torah’s Brawn, she is now incapacitated and may not participate further in the fight. I’ll leave it to Torah to describe what has happened to her to prevent her from aiding any further. The battle may continue if Sir Gerod wishes to keep fighting onward, but his next throw will be at a reduced amount.

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:20, Tue 04 May.

Torah
 player, 28 posts
 Viking Lass
 Self styled 'Bard'
Tue 4 May 2021
at 12:46
Pirates!
Torah gave a yelp and found herself airborne for a long moment... before coming down hard on the deck.

What... was that?!

She shook her head in a groggy fashion, but couldn't find the strength to rise.  Worse still, Torah took a few knocks from people's feet as fighting swirled around her.  All she could do was to curl up in a ball and roll to the side of the ship... to avoid getting trampled.