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 Candles have been lit and hoisted above the hall in chandeliers, and oil lamps and rushlights bathe all but the most withdrawn corners in amber light.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.