(1866-06-27) A Horseman's Musings on Huntress Hair
A Horseman's Musings on Huntress Hair
Summary: Sir Destrian Rosendal, a foster-brother to the Viscount Jaren Cassomir, returns to Ironhold after three years of absence, and comes across a freckled and a touched Cassomir; the long dark hair of the latter proves to be a source of fascination - for Sir Destrian's horse. (OOC: IC date has been adjusted due to faegate travel)
Date: 22-24/06/2015 (Date of RP)
Related: Coronation Tourney logs
Players:
Destrian  Adrienne  Emilia  

Woods of Ironhold - Rivana
In the scene.
Juin 27th, 1866

Dawn's first rays over the countryside of Ironhold are white when they first caress the earth with their radiance. For those up and about early enough to see it, the sunlight appears to set both land and town, hovel and castle afire - washing over the county with equal measure.

Just as the eyes of the One fall upon man, woman and child with equal love and care - or so the Church of the One Faith would say. As for Sir Destrian of House Rosendal, he might have other words with which to describe the dawn - this, or any other - but as he trots through the woods on his shaggy-maned stallion, the expression on his face would serve as a dead give-away as to his mood:

Serenity.

Clad in comfortable leather armour for travelling, his purple cloak draped over the hind-quarters of his dark-bay horse - 'Old Friend', he named the beast, despite its young age - and his spear slung over his back in a harness, Sir Destrian wears a slight grin on his face, whistling as he goes by. The woods are generally considered lovely at this time of day (despite whatever dangers may hide in them), and the path winding its way through them is well-kept, and well-travelled.

The Spear-Dancer turns to nod at a wine-seller heading back in the opposite direction - away from Ironhold - smirking brightly. Old Friend snorts and shakes his head and neck, then the stallion's ears prick up and he looks across to the side, further into the woods. The animal is not so much alarmed as he is curious…

*

What Old Friend may have picked up on is the sound of hooves on the soft soil of the road leading through the woods. Hooves that move in a cheerful gallop. It does not take long and a mahogany bay mare comes into view, carrying a young woman attired in leather tunic and leggings, beneath a light cloak of dark green colour, that billows at her back from the sheer speed of the ride. Slung over her shoulder are a bow and a quiver with arrows. Plump lips are curled into a broad grin, beneath cheeks and nose that sport a great number of freckles. Dark brown hair has been pulled back and tied into a ponytail that bounces at the back of her head. Taking note of the Rosendal on his horse, this young Huntress will pull at the reins of her steed, to slow the animal to a moderate trot first before bringing it to a halt, eyeing the man with attentive curiosity.

Considering they had been in Rovilon, the Capital of Couviere a week ago, it would have been impossible to assume, the Cassomir party had already returned from the coronation festivities held in honour of the new Couvieri King. Were it not for the faegates, a handy thing to brave long distances in a fraction of the time usually needed for such voyage. It had its side effects though, on both humans and animals who would dare to take such means of travel upon them. Even though Adrienne is of a healthy disposition, the gate sickness had affected her nonetheless. Cramps of her stomach, the dizziness… had led to her breakfast forcing its way back up shortly after she had felt the soil of her home country beneath her feet. The remainder of the day had been used to rest and recover at Castle Roseguard. The discomfort had passed when she woke up early today, with the urge to venture outside to enjoy the fresh air, and an early morning ride through the woods surrounding Castle Roseguard on her mare going by the name of Checkmate.

Green eyes flicker with recognition, and Adrienne leans a bit forward in her saddle, as she gives Checkmate a pat to the side. “Sir Destrian.”, she greets, her tone polite with a hint of friendliness to it. After all, this lord has been almost part of the family, growing up at Ironhold with the Cassomirs.

*

The shaggy stallion clip-clops along for several strides more, until finally it comes to a halt on the side of the woodland path, tossing its head in a greeting of its own to the other horse and its young rider. As for Sir Destrian, the knight of Rosley lifts his chin, letting his eyes fall closed for just a brief moment as he takes a breath, and smiles.

"A touch of gold upon the green - though a bit deeper and darker than I remember," he remarks to himself, but loud enough for the young Cassomir Huntress to hear. Sir Destrian opens his eyes, blinks slowly and his smile widens at Lady Adrienne. "Light of the One find you well and happy, I trust, Lady Adrienne?" he asks in a jovial, light tenor voice.

The wind picks up and send ripples through the knight's cloak, causing Old Friend to swish irritably at it with his tail.

*

A low snort comes from Adrienne’s mare, even though there is a moderate toss of its head as well, perhaps in reaction to Old Friend’s greeting. Even though Checkmate seems to be moderately interested, dark eyes taking in the stallion as if considering him carefully. “You are referring to the morning rays of the sun dancing on the leaves of this forest?”, Adrienne replies to the knight’s remark, her tone confident and clear, her hands holding onto the reins in the casual manner that gives away the experienced rider. That wide smile on the Rosendal’s features will find an echo in those of Adrienne, as her lips curve upwards.

“Happy indeed, Sir Destrian Rosendal. And… a Huntress. I went through my Harrowing in Janvier.” She was still in training when they last met, some years ago, and there certainly is some pride discernible in her voice, beside the overall cheerfulness to be expected in a young lady of her age. “I trust you are also well, Sir. You certainly look like the One has watched over you since our last encounter.” A strand of hair is blown into the freckled Cassomir’s view, fingers soon moving to tuck it back behind one of her ears.

“What brings you to Ironhold? You are lucky, as we have just returned yesterday, from Rovilon. The Coronation Tournament.” The latter part added casually, in a way expecting him to know which coronation she is referring to.

*

"The Tournament?" Destrian's head comes up with interest, only to have his expression change to one of disappointment. Old Friend appears to share his rider's reaction, and hangs his head - uttering a dejected snort. "Truly, I am sorry to have missed such an event," the knight murmurs in reply as he reaches with a gloved hand up to massage his brow for a few moments. "I go Gatefinding for a short spell and everyone I know grows up without telling me… typical.

Old Friend snorts again, craning his head to the left in order to eyeball his rider.

Destrian gives the stallion's neck a fond scratch. His eyes focus upon Adrienne and he shrugs his shoulders lightly. "Actually, I was referring to you," he explains in answer to her first question. "You were not quite so… grown when last I looked upon you. How long as it been? Two? - Three years? My, my… Oh, Light forgive me! Congratulations on your Harrowing. "

He pauses again, frowning.

"Erm, whose coronation was it?"

*

Adrienne nods, looking perhaps a little surprised he was not aware. “Aye. The Tournament in Rovilon.” Checkmate’s head comes up, regarding Old Friend with an expression akin to surprise when the stallion hangs his head. An encouraging whinny comes from the Huntress’s mare, a bit of prancing occurring, along with a slight shake of the black mane. “And yes, you did miss it obviously. Didn’t really miss much though, that is, if you’re not exactly eager to meet Couvieri courtiers and nobility.” Her hands tighten about the reins, bringing Checkmate back under her control. “It has been an interesting trip though. We did get to see the Great Library in Garfana.”

“You were referring to… me?” This does take Adrienne by surprise, obviously. A bit of bewilderment playing on her features there. “I didn’t know you were a flatterer, Sir Destrian.” A touch of rosiness claiming her freckled cheeks there, but she is quick to regain her composure. “It has been three years, Sir.” Her lips curl into a smile. “And thank you.”, she replies to his congratulations, straightening in her saddle.

“His Royal Highness, Jean-Paul l'Valdan, the new King of Couviere.”, the freckled Cassomir lady remarks then to Destrian’s latter question. Her brows lift, both in consternation and light amusement. “Where have you been, that you have to ask?”

*

The knight lets the reins go loose as Old Friend stretches out his neck and nickers in Checkmate's direction. Destrian smirks at his horse and gives him another playing scratch along his neck, whilst listening to the young Huntress.

"Three years…" he murmurs with a mouth-shrug and a smile. The man raises a hand to rub at the back of his neck. "My, my… I wonder what - or who - else has changed. Do colours age? And have they aged well? Like wine… Beard of the One, now I want wine.."

As his voice trails off he blinks, then shifts his attention to glance back down the road the way he has come. "Oh… here and there - everywhere. All over. And under. Where one road ends another begins - or it doesn't. You know, I put some thought into noting every place I've been where one could really use a good, solid road… or a Faegate. A working Faegate…"

He rubs his neck again, frowning.

*

It is from the shadows an answer comes, least to one of the questions posed. To the left and just up a ways, a soft voice,"They of age, some of well, some of not. Some of darken, some of lighten. Changing of shades, some of times blending and of joining as of the path of time is of taken of together, for of colors ages as of all of things. Perhaps in of different of aging, but they are of changing with the changing of time. Changing in of the ways that the shadows and lights are of changing, is of a dance they are of taking. If they have changed of to much, aged not of well, or danced to of far, what of then, " asks Emilia Cassomir as she appears from that shadow with a faint sound, the sound coming as she lands. Having lightly dropped from the branch of the tree she was perched within, ending her query with,"Finder of Gates?"

A few moments pass as those dark eyes of hers do take in Destrian, then Old Friend. A faint tugging coming to the corner of her lips as she looks back to her foster brother,"You are of late. But we will still find of wine for of you. "

She does incline her head along to her cousin as well, noting,"He is much of flatter, take of care, he will be of seeking to tempt into troubles of next. " An added glance lingering, perhaps checking for lingering gatesickness, no one did escape from it, no matter how healthy. Even if the alchemist and apothecaries still tried their best to find some way around, or a cure.

*

The mahogany bay mare raises its head a touch, one foreleg stomping playfully before that neck stretches and Checkmate turns her gaze to the side, with a low snort leaving her nostrils. A gentle pat to Checkmate's neck is given by the freckled Huntress sitting on her back. "Yes. It has been a while, Sir Destrian. Oh my, if you haven't heard of the coronation in Couviere, are you aware that Jaren's a Viscount now, and is betrothed to Queen Alysande?" Spilling a bit of more potential news there, green eyes glinting with excitement. "Raelyn is to become Viscountess. Oh… and Emilia is Huntress now as well." The latter added after a moment, while Adrienne watches Destrian to gauge his reaction.

The remark about wine draws a chuckle from the freckled Cassomir. "I believe you missed the wine seller, you must have come across him. But anyway…" Words trail off when a touched Cassomir makes her dramatic entrance, offering some deep musings on colours whilst hiding behind a canopy of leaves before literally dropping down from a branch somewhere above them. Green eyes widen in surprise, then narrow a touch, with that smile remaining on Adrienne's freckled features all the while.

"Aww Emilia. You certainly have a way of making an appearance.", she comments, shaking her head in mild amusement. "Is that so?", this the reply to the warning of Destrian the flattering trouble-seeker. Green eyes flit from the touched one to the Gatefinder, and a brow is raised in curiosity. While her hands are busy with keeping Checkmate in check, as the spooky apparition of Emilia Cassomir has startled the mare just enough to make her prance again.

*

"Me?"

Destrian's roguish, bearded face assumes an expression of innocence and injury combined, with just a hint of confusion… only that his joy at seeing his foster-sister overshadows - and outright banishes - any other emotions visible on his face. Old Friend, in response, tosses his head up and whinnies.

"I'm no temptress, I'll have you know, Little Firefly," he starts to protest to the Lady Emilia - hand raised, finger poised and lips smirking. The gallant knight blinks twice in the next moment, and frowns, "…because I'm a man, not a woman. Aye." He drops his hand to his side, and lets out a breath.

"That looked better in my head… Wait." The Rosendal frowns at Emilia and then at Adrienne. "Jaren is a Viscount now?" Briefly - very briefly - his eyes flicker towards Emilia as if acknowledging some hidden detail, or perhaps asking a silent question. Destrian rests back in his saddle, staring at a blank space of air over his horse's neck.

"Silver in the scabbard," he murmurs to himself. "It all makes sense now. Oh - no," he remarks to Emilia. "No 'Gates - no working 'Gates. All round, 'twas a boring three years. Dull. Grey. Boring. Did I mention the boring?" Minutely, the man's eyes twinkle whenever he says the word 'boring', but he almost flinches on the word 'grey'.

*

There is a solemn nod to Adrienne,"Am fearing that it is of so, much of troubles and of dances he will of try to be of getting. " Emilia's dark eyes flitting back to Destrian at his particular protest upon the matter. A tugging at the corners of her lips,"Of aye, I am of knowing, only because you are of man. But of tempt you of do all of the same." A flicker of amusement at his protest though she steps to greet Old Friend, a gentle stroking to his nose, murmuring,"Been of at least keeping him out of some of the troubles he of likes to of dance head of long into, I am of hoping? "

With the question of Jaren directed back to her, Emilia looks up from her conversation with the horse and gives a nod,"Is of true, he is of being Viscount, Ironhold is of County now…but soon he will be of King." A small twitch of her lips comes after this answer, her dark eyes looking back to Old Friend, it was still a matter that did not exactly make her happy, even if it did most others….especially bards for the epic tales of love winning out, the Queen getting to marry her Champion. Emilia sighed a moment and touched her forehead to that of the horse.

Pulling back after a moment and giving a shake of her head,"Of aye, you mentioned of the boring." Emilia's head canting a little as she watches the twinkle to his eyes and there is that flinch as well. "I am of think, mine-cousin, some of wine for of the Finder of Gates and am betting we will be of getting of tales of just of how boring of it was. Giant of mushrooms as big as of dogs, birds that are of flying of backwards, hmmm…that was trip of before last was it of not, the tale of it?" A gentle twinkle touching her eyes as she does tease with a bit of that deadpan delivery known to the Cassomir. But there is a brief moment where there is a different look, a study of a different kind. But a blink and it is gone.

*

“No temptress, perhaps, but someone who is aware of words. And colours,” remarks Adrienne, even though she feels the focus of conversation drifts more towards the other two, when the meaning of glances, hints and riddles eludes the freckled Cassomir. Even so, she will chime in, after the knight’s latter remark: “And so you’ve come back, to escape boredom, Sir Destrian? It certainly never gets boring here in Ironhold.” Checkmate‘s head turns to regard Old Friend once again, her eyes blinking at the whinny, and another snort leaves her nostrils, her hind legs stomping ever so slightly as the mare shoos some insects away with a wave of her tail.

Adrienne’s gaze shifts to Emilia, raising a brow at her words. “Are you serious? How could dancing ever be troublesome? I mean… Apart from at a palace in Rovilon, when a certain freckled Huntress has forgotten the steps…?” Shaking off the memory with a shrug and a soft chuckle, the Cassomir cousin smiles. But falls silent then, her brows lifting ever-so-slightly as she observes the teasing manner in which Emilia speaks with her foster-brother.

*

Destrian listens with an expression of innocence on his face… for as long as he can maintain it. Eventually, he relents in favour of his foster sister and her cousin, and releases a breath of consignment and defeat from his nostrils. Raising a gloved hand to his face, the bearded man hides his eyes in a gesture of mock-dismay and incredulity, and gives his head a shake.

"Viscount? Ah — King??" The umber-haired knight slowly lowers his hand from his face, his gaze directed upwards over his forefinger and thumb that cover his nose, then his mouth. With his body still in that pose, Destrian's eyes glance downward at Emilia and then back toward Adrienne.

And once again at Emilia.

"They were not flying backwards, my lady," he corrects her as he finally lowers his hand from covering his mouth. "But upside-down — I swear it all made perfect sense at the time. But… King??"

Clearly the man's mind changes course as often and acutely as fashion trends in Sunsreach. "Poor Jaren…" Meanwhile, Old Friend — happy to receive so much attention — nudges Emilia playfully with his muzzle and idly attempts to chomp at her hair with his mouth. He is more than happy to ignore his rider, whose attention focuses upon Adrienne.

"'Twould appear I have stayed away too long, Lady Adrienne; although it is well past time that the One smiled upon this poor barony — I mean county, of course." He then flashes a brilliant grin at both ladies. "At least I came here first, instead of Rosley — hearing such news from my brother would…" Destrian leaves the sentence hanging and effects a dramatic heave of his shoulders.

Old Friend tries again to munch on Emilia's hair.

*

"Oh aye, most of serious, mine-cousin," states Emilia. "There is that if way, only of minor of trouble and the one of freckles recovered of well, no toes were of squished. and there then there is of the spear-dancing of way of getting into of troubles of well. There is of also…" a blink. Another blink, some memory perhaps dancing into the young Cassomir's head, for the ever stoic and solemn one does the darnest of things. She blushes. It is quite the lovely shade at that, a fine pink. Not a common sight for certain. A hand does a little wave and turn in the air a she murmurs,"There are just of ways, much of unexpected of ways. " A small wince comes.

And it is Emilia who is happy to have Old Friend to hide behind a bit, as he nuzzles at her. Burying her face a little, it was a fine way to try and hide the blush, til he started to try and chomp her hair. "Of hey, that is not for of eating, not being of hay. No tasting of me, not of allowed." Giving a bit of a finger wagging at the horse as she tries to pull her hair out of his mouth.

But she looks up to Destrian,"Of aye, of King…he will be of King…King Jaren. " Emilia glance to Adrienne with a…'how many times must it be said before he'll believe it' sort of look. "And I was of telling you that you were of late. " A slight cant to her head as her gaze shift back to Destrian,"Of course you would come of home, of first, Des…."

"Of hey, said not of tasting," her attention going back to Old Friend as Emilia's hair seems a favoured target. "Of here…have of this," a small pale green little oblong orb pulled out and offered to the beast, a grape.

*

It seems her mare offers far less distraction to the Huntress, as Checkmate keeps perfectly still, being content for now just to observe instead of trying to attract attention while Old Friend is happily entangled and occupied with the dark hair of the touched Cassomir. Adrienne arches a brow, when her cousin goes into a more detailed discourse of dances. A faint grin sneaking onto her freckled features when Emilia mentions toes that were spared. Her Green eyes widen as soon as Adrienne glimpses that colouring of her cousin's cheeks, and more than the usual curiosity dances in the freckled Cassomir's gaze. Her brows are drawn together when Adrienne considers this particular blush, the fact memorized and stowed away for later. Or not.

"Gosh, Emilia! I had no idea you've engaged in dances of the confusing kind," she remarks lightly, shooting her cousin a most attentive and surprised glance. Leaving it at that, though, as she grants Emilia a break from her attention, which is soon drawn to the Rosendal knight again.

"I believe Jaren is quite happy with his lot," Adrienne dares to assume. "It seems only fair that his efforts to save and protect the Queen should be acknowledged with such a reward." Of course, there is that tinge of irony to her voice, that hint of deadpan humor, even If it is slightly tempered by affectionate admiration, for her famous and valiant cousin.

*

Frowning reproachfully, Destrian subtly squeezes Old Friend with his lower leg, guiding the mischievous stallion a few feet away from Emilia - effectively putting himself at the 'third point' of the vague triangle formed by the three people and their horses.

But not before the horses manages to snag the apple offered him by the Lady Emilia.

Destrian frowns some more.

"You spoil him, little Firefly," he murmurs with a faint smirk betraying his inner amusement. The knight turns his attention toward Adrienne, broadening his smile. The winds picks up as he opens his mouth to speak, blowing a large tree-leaf into his face. Destrian coughs foliage for a few moments.

"What — bleh! Ugh, what a taste. What of your own family, Lady Adrienne? Do you see much of them now that you are a Huntress?"

*

Old Friend is being guided away, but not without his prize. Emilia's hair is safe. But not Emilia herself, for her cover and hiding place is now gone! For her cousin's light remark seems to have the light pink shifting to a deeper crimson. Yes, yes, the ever stoic, solemn one is blushing even more! "I was not of…meaning, was….of accident," she stampers out. Her hand giving a little wobble about in the air. Taking a breath and trying to put the whole matter out of the way as Adrienne's attention does turn onwards.

"He needs of spoiling," notes Emilia. "Be of sides, tactical of distraction from of hair is not of exactly spoiling. " Giving a looking to her now semi-horse slobbered hair. Well…it has suffered worse.

Looking back up from her spot on the ground when there is the cough, canting her head,"Funny of thing to try and be of eating, of drinking instead of wine. We can be of moving of on, making towards way of getting of this. Can talking and walk. Of aye? Unless you are of waiting for better of tasting of leaf?"

*

Adrienne smiles back when she catches Destrian's gaze, her brows twitching upwards when a gust of wind starts to tear at her hair, the same gust of wind that blows a tree leaf right into the knight's face - and the freckled Cassomir barely manages to suppress a giggle at the sight. She straightens in the saddle, enough so to cause another round of moderate prancing of her mare. Lips pressing together momentarily, as Adrienne does her best at regaining a more or less earnest air. "I see enough of them, I daresay," the freckled one replies, "especially since my dear brother Graham somehow keeps hovering about us Huntresses." She smirks, before leaning a tad forward in her saddle, adding: "You know, he's got himself a very capable Huntress for a consort, Sir Destrian. Mistress Cathrynn DeSalvo."

Green eyes shift back to Emilia, probing the blush once again as it gains in colour before it slowly subsides. "An… accident?", echoes the Cassomir cousin, raising a brow. Leaving it at that, though. "Shall we ride back to the castle, then?", Adrienne asks, looking from Emilia to Destrian. Her gaze lingering for a moment longer on the touched Huntress sister. "Do you want to join me on Checkmate? You could sit right behind me… And we can chat while riding back at a moderate trot?" As if on cue, the mahogany bay mare lets out a spirited whinny, shaking her mane a bit; dark eyes glancing for a brief moment towards Old Friend.

*

One whinny triggers another, and immediately Old Friend joins in with Checkmate's own eagerness to get moving. Sir Destrian shrugs his shoulders at the horses and gives a nod. Leaving the reins loose, he guides the stallion with tiny motions of his legs to move closer to Adrienne, and the middle of the road.

Grimacing once again, he removes a glove and picks away at pieces of treeleaf that somehow ended up either in his mouth or in his beard. "Be righ' wid yuh," he attempts to say at the same time.

A few moments pass.

"Aye, we should be off. I daresay the thought of a hot bath and a decent meal is sorely tempting - especially to get the taste of dead leaf out of my mouth…" Destrian's voice trails off briefly, then he glances between both Cassomir ladies.

"Sir Graham is betrothed?" he asks, blinking. "Already?" His eyes look toward Emilia specifically. "And what of you - the both of you, actually. If I've missed a wedding or three, I should like to hear of it."

*

The matter of dancing and accidents, Emilia does try to put out of her mind. Even as her cousin echoes the statement, causing a mild wince of sorts. But Emilia is offering nothing further either, allowing that blush to fully subside away. Her dark eyes faintly shifting between then the two horses at their whickering and prancing displays.

A mild sigh but Emilia nods,"Of aye, should be of riding of with back." Moving over and offering Checkmate a couple of pats, before seeking to accept her cousin's offer. eventually bouncing up behind her, with aid of a vacated stirrup and settling in, a murmur,"Of thanking."

Looking to Destrian as he fusses with the bits of leaf,"Next of time do not be of eating of it of then. Especially of one of so much of crunchy, is just being of everywhere. No wonder was tasting so of bad. " Emilia just shaking her head, like there was a way to selecting leaves for tasting.

"Not of betrothed, Graham is having of consort," says Emilia. " Cathrynn is of Huntress, became of such, hmmmm, spring of before last…been almost of year of now." When he looks to her and asks as he does, Emilia blinks in surprise. Did he not….no…he had been gone, he wouldn't know how the Court felt about her, still. "There is no of betrothal for of me," her eyes perhaps adding the nor ever," nor of yet for of Adrienne of either. Shall be one of soon before of long for of Raelyn, of though. "

Her eyes widen a touch,"You were of missing Sir of Thaddeus, he is of married of now. To princess of North. Wedding was in of Pacitta, was not of going, so cannot be speaking of about. But was of seeing of him at of tournament, he is of well. Won of joust."

*

Adrienne turns in the saddle, offering Emilia an arm to help her mount Checkmate behind her, as her lips twist into a grin when the Rosendal asks about Graham being betrothed. She will however be content to leave it to Emilia to clarify her brother's status, only to add: "No weddings, alas. And it seems you will be even able to make the big Royal Wedding, Sir Destrian. Even if it is still many months away." Her head turns towards her shoulder, hearing Emilia's statement of not being on the betrothal market, one brow lifting as her mien turns slightly pensive there. Her grin returns however when her green eyes find Destrian's gaze again. "Nope. Not even a betrothal planned for me, as far as I know. And I do hope, it will take a bit until such will be considered." But with her illustrious cousin soon becoming King, even a cousin to said King might have better marriage perspectives than before.

"But yes, our Mistress of the Hunt wore a mysterious favor at the archery competition. I believe that she may at least already have someone in mind, who would qualify for marriage.", Adrienne continues with a raised brow and a smile that hints she may know more about said marriage prospect than she lets slip right now. A conspiratorial glance is shot over her shoulder to where Emilia sits, raising a brow. Before her legs nudge Checkmate on to fall into a light trot, riding beside the Rosendal knight to allow for their chat to continue, over the sound of hooves on the soft soil of the road towards Castle Roseguard. Checkmate doing her best to make this moderate trot a show off of elegance and grace, now and then shooting a glance towards Old Friend, to see if he can keep up with her. The party moving towards where a meal awaits, and the prospect of more interesting conversations, in the Great Hall of Castle Roseguard.

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