(1866-06-27) Wolfhound Whisperer
Wolfhound Whisperer
Summary: After they have cleaned up a bit, Adrienne, Destrian and Emilia share a bit to eat and talk about recent tidings.
Date: 1866-06-27
Related: Follows after A Horseman's Musings on Huntress Hair
Adrienne  Destrian  Emilia  

Great Hall - Castle Roseguard - Ironhold - Rivana
See scene…

The Great Hall of Castle Roseguard is moderately filled with people on this early afternoon - most of them scattered about at the tables further down the hall. A light repast can be had at this hour, bread, cheese, some smoked ham, and a bit of stew. Perfect to be washed down with ale - or wine, for those of higher standing and more elaborate taste. Conversations are hardly more than a moderate murmur at the moment, the sounds of voices perhaps muffled further by the impressive decoration on the walls, elaborate tapestries depicting noteworthy scenes of Cassomir history and banners showing off the red and blue of the House in charge of the county. Further down the banners of the vassal barony Hogan and the lordships Fendral and Volstak are on display, as well as the coats of arms of a number of lower knightly families.

Adrienne has just entered the Great Hall through the double doors, still attired in her Huntress garb of leggings and tunic. While bow and quiver have been deposited in her quarters she is not unarmed, carrying a hunting dagger in a fine leather scabbard at her belt. Her dark brown hair is still pulled back into that convenient ponytail, and she is not alone. A huge black wolfhound follows in her wake, all the way to the table reserved for members of House Cassomir and noble guests. A gesture of the hand is given, the animal lowering itself onto the stone floor beside where her feet will be after this Cassomir has claimed her seat.


<FS3> Destrian rolls Animal Handling: Great Success. (7 6 4 4 3 7 7 8 6 3 3)

The bearded, brown-maned figure of Sir Destrian Rosendal appears in the Great Hall unaccompanied, and wearing a fresh tunic with a cloak displaying Rosendal colours. Gone are the stains of dirt and grime from a long horse-ride back to the county of Ironhold, and now he looks more or less presentable. His spear is not with him, but he wears a ceremonial dagger at his hip.

Grinning broadly — in contrast and perhaps light defiance of the many stoic faces in the room — the Gatefinder makes his way lightly across the floor toward the Cassomir's table. Upon reaching the table, the man crouches down beside Lady Adrienne's wolfhound and tilts his head to the side, smiling.

"Greetings, friend," he tells the animal in a tone of some respect. "Would you mind if I have a word or two with your human?" Destrian glances sidelong and upward at the now-seated Lady Adrienne, still smiling.

If the knight of Rosley has offended anyone at the table, he appears completely oblivious of the fact.


Stoic. Yes, perhaps she had appeared that way, upon entering. The approaching Rosendal knight will elicit a slight lift of a brow, above eyes that show a hint of curious anticipation. Adrienne leans a bit forward, one hand reaching to pat Dougie’s head, scratching him gently behind the ears. “An odd one, that,” she murmurs, more for the animal to hear than any in their vicinity, lowering her gaze to have it linger for a moment on the wolfhound. “But in a nice, agreeable way…” Green eyes are raised, when boots are glimpsed coming to a halt before them. Just a tad. When the knight seems eager to lower himself onto Douglas’ level.

“Sir… Destrian…”, greets the Cassomir Huntress, looking a touch bemused at his rather dog-friendly approach, while Douglas looks up to meet the knight’s gaze and gives a somewhat friendly bark of moderate volume. Instantly raising onto his four legs, the tail developing a life of its own, as enthusiastically as it is being wagged, while the wolfhound regards the strange man with eager curiosity, his ears turned towards him. “Oh… I believe that’s a ‘yes’,” Adrienne chimes in, when stoic features are warmed by a smile. “This is Douglas, my wolfhound. A gift from my father, I got him on my last birthday.” And, playing along with Destrian’s odd little game, she looks to Douglas, and points her index finger at the knight. “This, my dearest Dougie, is Sir Destrian Rosendal. A poet, I believe, and a brave man who is not afraid to taste some leaves of the forest.” She smirks, her eyes lifting from her dog to the Gatefinder. “By the way, have you had the chance yet to wash the taste out of your mouth? There is ale and wine, whatever you prefer.” Inviting him with the gesture of her hand to join her at the table.

There may be a disconcerted glance here and there from others at this and the adjoining table, caused by the odd behaviour of the knight, a bit of a murmur occurring, along with an occasional finger being pointed at Destrian. Which will subside, once the man will straighten and assume a more human, and dignified bearing.


Odd behaviour should be a thing most who frequent Roseguard are used to, least those who might frequent the particular table, least the peculiarities that come with the 'touched' Cassomir. Quietly had Emilia taken to the dining room, looking a touch refreshed from the ride back as well. Dressed in that simple leggings and tunic of simple forest colors, though it did bear the fine tailoring and hint of embroidery upon the edges one might expect one of her station to have.

A solemn and stoic nod had been given to a few of those in the dining as Emilia had moved to her seat, not being entirely unnoticed. Sliding quietly to her seat, her arm gently arching for the silvery ferret with his black tipped ears and tail to bound down it and scamper over to the miniature chair that was set there at Emilia's place. The creature took to sniffing towards the food, though a faint turn of a finger and light tap at a bowel had him churrring at Emilia before dunking paws into the water within.

All the while, Emilia is offering greeting,"Of evening cousin, Sir of Destrian." Her dark eyes gently touching to the latter,"Of hope you have had chance to be of settling of some?"


"Indeed!" Destrian replies with a cocky smile up at his foster-sister, and then he returns his attention back to the wolfhound. Giving the hound an affectionate scratch behind his ear, Destrian remarks:

"Don't you just pity the two-leg hes and shes at these dinners, eh Dougie? They put the food so high on the wooden-legs that they have to make other wooden-legs to sit on just to reach it." He pauses and smirks. "So impractical, we humans. Still…" and he leans in closer to the animal in a conspiratorial manner. "Your human and I will see some of the good stuff finds its way down to you, eh? Where it should be. Now. If you'll excuse me, this human has to go bark at some other humans on the wooden-legs for a while…"

The knight stands up once more, flashes a bright 'it all seems perfectly normal to me' smile, and steps over to a seat at the table. "Now where were we…?"


Adrienne’s green eyes shift away from Douglas and Destrian, when she notices another Cassomir approaching – sensing her perhaps more than she hears her, given the quiet way in which Emilia slips into the Great Hall, and moves to take her seat by the high table. “Good afternoon, cousin Emilia,” the freckled Huntress greets, with a light incline of her head, allowing her gaze then to slip from touched one to the ferret on his miniature throne. “And hello, Naois.” Studying the animal with an expression somewhere between curiosity and another sentiment. With Emilia being odd, her choice of pet perhaps was even more so. One corner of Adrienne’s mouth lifts into a faint version of a wry grin, as her gaze lingers for a moment on Emilia and Naois, before her attention returns to her wolfhound and the knight.

Suppressing a chuckle at the words Destrian has for her dog, whereas Douglas’ hind legs fold beneath him, as he sits, panting merrily while he appears to listen attentively to the Gatefinder’s comments, a low and eager bark coming at the promise of “nice and tasty things” being passed his way soon.

“That taste of leaves,” Adrienne replies to Destrian’s question, her green eyes sparkling with amusement. “Did you have anything to drink, since we’ve arrived?”


Paws were pattered about in the bowl of water for a moment, though hearing his name cause Naois to look round to Adrienne and give a mild churr at her before a twitch of his nose. Another turn of his paws in the water before the ferret chittered at Emilia and tapped along at his plate with a sniffing of his nose at the food.

Emilia shook her head at him,"Of fine, you of greedy and of impatient of thing." Reaching and long and seeing several small pieces of the smoked ham plucked from a platter and delivered to the ferret's plate. It was perhaps an odd choice in pet, most had dogs or hawks rightly. Yet Emilia had bonded quite quickly with the little beast when presented with it the summer prior by another huntress. Though it might be debatable in the moment who had who trained!

Dark eyes flickering in Destrian's direction as he does finally seem to take to sitting, seeming to find nothing odd with the conversation he was just having. Awaiting as well the answer to her cousin's question. Though a hand is lightly drifting along to the small bowl of grapes that has been set at her place. A single grape being drawn from it and slowly turned about before being place to the table just so after a moment. Another soon to follow, though her fingers seem to content themselves to this by themselves as there is not even a flicker of her eyes to the grapes.


Destrian opens his mouth in an exaggerated (if silent) 'ahhhh', and replies to Adrienne with a nod of his head. "Aye. It took quite the amount of red wine to rid me of the taste of…" he frowns. "Green," he finally says. He glances across at Emilia and her ferret and puts a hand over his heart, assuming a 'mock-pained' expression.

"I'll have you know, Lady Emilia, that I am neither of greedy nor of impat — oh. You meant him." The knight's eyes twinkle as he indicates the ferret with a nod of his head. "In that case, all is forgiven." He turns then to the Naois.

"No offense."


Adrienne’s head tilts slightly to the side, smiling at the churr of Emilia’s pet, one brow lifting when she notices Naois‘ twitch of nose. “Aww, hungry, are you?”, she comments with a smile to the ferret, watching it as it scurries towards Emilia’s plate. A glance spared for the touched Huntress and her bowl of grapes before Adrienne’s attention returns to the Gatefinder.

“Using red to fight the green, Sir Destrian? That sounds interesting,” the freckled Cassomir quips with a wry grin, as she sips from her goblet of red wine. Her hand moves to pat the wolfhound sitting at her feet, before she reaches for a piece of smoked ham from her plate to offer it to Dougie.


"Of aye, I meant of him," Emilia shakes her head just a touch. Her hand that isn't busied by the moving and placing of grapes, a habit her cousin would least be familiar with, moves lightly in the air as introductions are given. "Sir of Destrian, this is of Naois new of friend and companion, Naois, Sir of Destrian, wayward of brother who has found way of home again. " With ham, Naois is busy tearing into it and barely gives an ear twitch at the introductions. Emilia gives Destrian a solemn look,"See, of greedy, worse when it is being of shiney of things."

Ferret fed. Check. Grapes being stacked. Check. Now Emilia actually sees about some ham and cheese, a bit of bread for her own plate. "Next of time you go of eating of leaves, of truly, pick of the not of so crunchy of ones. They are of having to much of shadow in of them."


"I'll try to remember that," Destrian replies with an eyebrow raised at his foster-sister — then he, too, settles down to eat. Putting various meats and vegetables on his plate, the knight of Rosley surveys the Great Hall with mild curiosity. A hand goes to his brow in order to brush some errant strands of hair out of his face and he reaches with his other hand for a goblet of wine.

"This is the first real meal to which I've sat down, in…" he blows out a small gust of air from between his lips in a muted sigh. "Too long. Have either of you ever had to enjoy salted meats and cheeses from atop a tree? I… strongly recommend against dousing either the meat or the cheese in tree-sap. It… does not go down well."


Again, green eyes will drift to her touched cousin as she speaks, a fleeting glance given the grape tower in the progress of being built. One brow arched at this display of fruity architecture, the skill of performing such acknowledged with a faint smile. Adrienne lets out a chuckle, when she overhears Emilia’s advice for Destrian. “Stay away from all kinds of leaves, perhaps?”, she adds with a grin. A grin that will broaden even further at this next question.

“Never tried that,” the freckled Cassomir admits. “Tree-sap may have its uses, but not really as ingredient in a meal on the road.” Another piece of ham is offered to Douglas below the table, the teeth of the wolfhound snatching it from her grasp without even touching Adrienne’s fingers. “Enjoy this real meal then, Sir Destrian. With recommendations, from House Cassomir.“


"Have of eaten of such while in if tree of top, though not of trying with of tree sap, nor would be of saying that was cause of having of to, " notes Emilia. "Can find much of fine of dinner if view from such if place. Better to be of watching of…" There is a mild blink as she thinks better of continuing that particular sentence and line of thought, least out loud. Simply warbling the current grape between her fingers through the air before it is placed to the slowly growing structure.

The next plucked from the bowl and being turned about by her fingers as each before it had been, finding just that perfect balance and way to position the grape before it is placed into the developing pyramid. All while, Emilia's eyes do seem to keep attention to those at the table. "Would be of agreeing, sap is perhaps not of best for of ingredient to of meal. Unless perhaps in tapping of freshly of so, even of then…perhaps of only a little of having."


His mouth full with a modest forkful of meat and potatoes, Sir Destrian nods politely — and waits until he has swallowed both food and more wine before venturing to reply to the two Cassomir ladies.

"I will bear that in mind, for future reference," he admits with such solemnity that it could only be put on. "The creatures below the tree did not appreciate the sap any more than I… or the other things I threw down at them."

He pauses — to eat more of his meal.

"This… is delicious," the man admits (with some food still in his mouth, such is his eagerness to express his gratitude). "Now. What of Ironhold? And for that matter, what of Rivana? I know a few of the things that I've missed. There must have been more, come now."


Adrienne takes a spoonful of the stew, falling silent for a moment, while Dougie below the table seems to be content to munch on his prize. She swallows her mouthful, her head coming up to regard Destrian when he divulges more details of his story. “You threw your food at them, Sir? Didn’t fend them off with more… valiant means…?”; she inquires with an incredulous smirk. “The story must have ended well for you though, as you are sitting before me now in one piece. Pray tell me… how could you manage to escape from these mysterious creatures?” The glance she shoots Destrian, intrigued, to say the least. Until his next question brings about a slight change of her demeanour, as it turns a little thoughtful.

Green eyes shift from the Gatefinder towards Emilia, when Adrienne remarks: “I don’t know. Something seems to be the matter though..” This said to the touched Cassomir before her gaze drifts to where some people in the hall are engaged in hushed conversations.


"Well, of aye, most of things and of people are not of liking when you are throwing of things at of them, it is much of impolite," comments Emilia quite solemnly, just a hint of mirth to those dark eyes perhaps though.

A few bites of her food being taken here and there, a bit of watered wine to wash it all down with. Naois being kept busy with his own small plate of ham, a little bit of a chir as he gnaws away upon it.

The question does bring a minor hesitation with the next grape to be stacked, though her expression being rather stoic and solemn as it is, seems to change little in and of itself. Emilia does take a small breath,"Given you were not of knowing about of Jaren and soon to being of King, then you likely are not of knowing there was of….little, " that grape is waved slightly in the air when she says little before finally being added to the pyramid," of problem with some of Thorns of again this of past of year. " Likely not quite so little from how she so speaks. "But is all of taken of care of now. Of again. " Hopefully. Surely.

Emilia's dark eyes catch the glance from her cousin before looking toward the rest of the hall and the whispering a foot before there is a faint breathe let out. "Though of there is of never seeming lack of ill of news, for is of seeming some of rumor was of carried of forth from of Sunreach this of after of noon, whispering that Uncle of Robert mayhaps of been of murdered. " Her eyes drop a moment, the grape currently in her fingers is slowly squeezed before becoming squished. A few drops of juice dropping to the table. "Have heard nothing of official of word of yet."


"Most news seems to be ill news," Destrian comments in a low, pensive tone. Then his mood brightens, along with his smile — directed toward Adrienne. "I threw some food," he explains as if that made a difference to the mental image. "They did not like it, so… I threw knives instead." As if in demonstration, the knight stabs a grape on his fork and motions about with it as he talks. "That seemed to do the trick."

Pausing briefly, he looks from Adrienne to Emilia, and back again.

"My brother will no doubt expect an audience," the bearded fellow remarks with just a hint of emphasis upon the word audience — such a reunion would likely be more formal than familiar. "Between the three of us, I'm sure we can come up with a series of excuses to keep me busy. Roseguard, for one, has a goodly appearance — built in the light, as it were, upon the memory of shadow." Destrian focuses his gaze upon Emilia, momentarily serious, then he continues gesticulating with his fork and the grape upon it.

"Remind me to sketch it. I want to see all the best vantage points — " and in goes the grape to his mouth. "If at least one of them is not in a tree, methinks I should be disappointed."

Smirking brightly, the man's grey eyes flick toward Naois and then Douglas — although he has to lean forward and peer over the table to see the wolfhound properly. "And these marvellous treasures. Methinks both deserve a portrait, eh?" Grinning slightly at Adrienne, Destrian tells the hound: "Quite the sparrow your human is, is she not?" says he. "Take good care of her."


More stew is had while Emilia informs the Rosendal knight very briefly of the recent troubles with the Thorns, Adrienne at first not commenting on that further, apart from an affirmative nod. "Aye, there have been major troubles," she chimes in after a moment, her demeanour thoughtful. "They somehow had managed to infiltrate Sunsreach, and take the Queen hostage…" Green eyes shifting to Emilia there, when the freckled Cassomir decides to leave it at that for the moment. Enough of troubling news left for Destrian to receive at a later time - among other things the Cassomir residence in Sunsreach being stormed, and Emilia abducted as well. "But the Capital has been reclaimed, and the Thorn threat quashed.", she states, her attention shifting then back to the meal before her, and an eager Douglas nudging against her leg below the table.

Adrienne's gaze flits up again when Emilia becomes more specific on recent news. "Uncle Robert? The baron of Grimwood?", she gasps, putting the spoon down beside the bowl. "Murdered, in Sunsreach?" Taking a moment there to digest these grave tidings. "Now, that's horrible news indeed, if it is true. He was… a most loyal supporter of the Queen…" Her voice trails off, when her thoughts seem to be engaged with her own memories of her relative.

It is when Destrian replies to her question from before, that Adrienne's mood lightens ever-so-slightly. "Ah. Knives… Effective," she comments, with a faint smirk, some shadow of the ill-boding news still present in her features and bearing. A glance is spared for the grape on Destrian's fork, the freckled Cassomir shaking her head with amusement before she snatches one vacant grape - not one from Emilia's elaborate building in progress - and pops it into her mouth, chewing on it as she considers Destrian's comments on the castle.

"So you are a painter as well?" Not that it would be much of a surprise, given his frequent references to colours and such.


Destrian stops chewing his food and sits there for several moments, frowning. He scarcely notices Adrienne's question re painting, and nods absently to her, swallowing.

"Aye, Sparrow… Well, I draw. 'Tis little Firefly here who paints…" With that, he turns his grey eyes toward Emilia and taps his fork on the table lightly. "Forgive me," he murmurs in low, foreboding tones. "I should have been paying more attention. You said 'of Thorns' and 'of murdered' in the same sentence. Sunsreach?"

The man is all serious now, his meal all but forgotten.


When Adrienne elaborates further upon the matter of the troubles of the Thorn, the breech of Sunsreach, Emilia’s eye drop and her meal is forgone for a few moments as memories come floating back. A brief darkening of Emilia’s eyes coming, surely just a play of shadows for that moment. Before she blinks, pushing aside the thoughts and looks back up again.

The remains of the squished grape being put aside before Emilia wipes her fingers along on a napkin. “Of aye, he does more of sketching, of drawing. Though is of beautiful of work, you should be of ensuring he is of showing you some of it of some of time. “ This directed on to Adrienne.

Another little bit of ham is drawn over to Naois’ plate when the ferret starts inching over towards Emilia and snuffling a bit at her plate and food, trying to be sneaky about it. But a ferret on a table is a fairly easy to notice! “Of here, you greedy of thing,” she murmurs to him as she give him the piece.

Her eyes shift over to Destrian as he murmurs in those low tones. “Not of quite same of sentence. Thorns were of past of year, though of aye, involved of murder, of death…attacked. Much of….unpleasant.” Her eyes sweep away for a moment before she draws a breath, that solemn edge to her stoic expression perhaps becoming more so for a moment. “Thorns have been of taken of care of….quashed, as Adrienne was of saying…Different of murder of now,” a faint nod to Adrienne now. “Of aye, Baron of Grimwood, Uncle of Robert. Being of murdered in of Sunsreach.”

Another grape is taken up, her fingers turning it about a bit listlessly,”Could be of finding of excuses, reasons for keeping of busy. But may need to of yet of go to of Sunsreach, to of have audience of with brother of at some of point…Jaren is in of Sunsreach, and is of things that could be of drawn of there, different of light, of turn. Different of colors with near of water, different from all of the trees. “


"Oh," Adrienne replies, raising a brow when she is informed about Destrian being more of a drawer than a painter. "Even though imagination is left to add colours in drawings, I presume? For that, you seem to be surprisingly susceptible for the various hues and casts," is added with a smile. "I myself am scarcely talented in that area. At least… I have never been particularly interested in art, and the like. I prefer to spend my time outside, on horseback, preferably. In the woods. Enjoying nature rather, than aiming to create a likeness of it." Her lips are pursed at the nickname Destrian has picked for her. "Aye, a sparrow. Content to fly and observe," she quips with a wink, one hand moving once again below the table to scratch Douglas behind his ears.

Green eyes shift to Emilia, the smile dimming a little. "Perhaps we should ride to Sunsreach, to the Cassomir Manse. Not only for an audience with cousin Jaren, but… to look into this dreadful matter with Uncle Robert.", the freckled Huntress suggests after a moment. “Mayhaps we could pay the Baroness Victoria Hogan a visit, if she should happen to be there. If not, maybe ask around a little. What do you think?”


Sir Destrian gives Emilia a look as if to say, 'There, see — she understands,' after Adrienne makes her comments about painting and colours — and particularly the difficulty of expression colour… in charcoal drawings. His eyes sparkle, and for the moment it would seem that he has laid aside any darker emotions (relating to the Thorns, or murders in Sunsreach).

"Actually I rather like painting, but… 'tis a difficult pastime to indulge when on the ever-changing, never-ending road. Taking up charcoal drawing proved a not-unhappy alternative." He snorts lightly and grins at both ladies. "I should take up painting again, now that I am home again." He glances at Emilia. "Some of those sketches might look more interesting in colour…"

He trails off, nods to Emilia to indicate his understanding now of the aforementioned recent events, and resumes eating for a while. Glancing back at Adrienne, Destrian nods his head to indicate the young Huntress' suggestion of visiting Sunsreach. Unable to speak (with his mouth full) he instead raises his eyebrows to echo Adrienne's question: what do you think?


A nod went to Destrian from Emilia, in the ‘Aye, I see that she understands’ fashion. It was difficult, if not impossible to truly convey color with just charcoals. But one could least capture that shadow of what was seen, sometimes better than nothing. “Sometimes, is not always of option to be of doing what one is of wishing,”murmurs Emilia softly, to her cousin's words. Her painting had become her world for a time. The forests and riding had not been an option for her.

Her dark eyes dance up a little as Destrian speaks of taking up painting, canting her head as she looks over to him. “You of could, I am of having of plenty of supplies that could be of borrowed, of lent of along, if you are of truly of wishing to of being of doing of so? Many of colors to be of choosing of from, to be of using. Of aye?”

A bit more of her dinner is managed as Emilia does listen to Adrienne, giving a faint nod to her words. A hint more solemn perhaps as she does consider the matter when Destrian is looking to her as well. “If to go to of Sunsreach, am thinking to of ride i of better of way to be of going, have been of long of away from Ironhold. Would be of good to take of time to of people,” and perhaps for Emilia delay actually going to Sunsreach some. “Might give of chance to be of hearing of anything about this of matter along of way, perhaps of asking about within of Ironhold as of going.” Though her eyes do look to Adrienne,”Though we should take of care in of asking of about of Sunsreach I am of thinking, take of direction from mine-sister in of this and what she may of wish of there, so to not be of stepping on toes of what of Wardens tasked to be of looking of into.” A finger lightly taps at the table,”Though could of be that get of tasked to of help of along, as with of trade of issues. But…will have to find of out once of there, and can still of perhaps inquire of information along of way all of the same.”

There is a slight breathe let out. Sunsreach meant. Court. “So of aye, let us of go, of ride,” Emilia looking to Destrian,”Though perhaps of in day, or two, once you have been of having time to of rest and get of meals of fine of food. Perhaps of few of raids upon of wine celler?” A mild tugging to the corners of her lips.


Interesting, this exchange of glances following Adrienne’s comment about painting and drawing. If she is aware of it remains unclear though – that slightly amused glint in her eyes may have a different cause altogether. The freckled Cassomir reaches for a piece of bread now, to gather and soak up the rest of the stew left in the bowl. When Emilia speaks up about a possible delay of their departure but seems to otherwise agree to the suggestion to ride to the Capital, Adrienne looks up, inclining her head. “Aye, we should ask Raelyn, before really engaging in any investigations. And… I will make sure to ask around a bit, while we are still here.” She smiles, her gaze going a bit thoughtful. “A few days will fit me nicely, actually. We all can use some time to recover from the gate travel, and I… can await Graham’s return to see how his camping trip with Cathrynn went.” She rolls her eyes in ever-so-slightly in mock offense. “Can’t believe he insisted to go alone, with her. Instead of spending some time with us here…”


There is a 'hmm!' and a nod from Sir Destrian as he finishes the rest of his meal, laying aside his utensils in the appropriate manner. He reaches for his goblet next, and takes a moment or three to enjoy the wine.

"A few — oh excuse me," he starts to say, and then licks his teeth behind his closed lips to remove an errant piece of meat from betwixt them. "A few days sounds like a capital idea — anything to avoid Court just that little while longer. Besides, 'twould take at least a two-day or so for Old Friend to rest properly ere we set out again — he would ne'er forgive me if I were to deny him his rightful share of Ironhold oats…"

His voice trails off and he smirks sidelong at Adrienne.

"I must say, having been a Gatewarden, 'tis… most amusing to observe the various states in which travellers exit a Faegate — for the most part, of course. Someday I should read from the pages of the Book of Wardens where we collect — oh." Destrian grimaces, despite the playful twinkle in his eyes. "I shouldn't have mentioned the Book." He reaches for more wine. "Please, forget the Book. There is no Book. My, what lovely cutlery we have here… "

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