(1866-10-11) An Assignment for a Lancer
An Assignment for a Lancer
Summary: Queen Alysande intends to see Tristan's betrothed is safe.
Date: 1866-10-11
Related: None
Alysande  Jaren  Elaida  Quentyn  

Sunsreach Palace - Sunsreach = Rivana
See scene…

Midmorning in one of the courtyards of Sunsreach Palace, and the clatter of practice blades can be heard as two men square off in the usual manner of mock-duel. The first of these men is none other than the Queen's Champion and betrothed, Jaren Cassomir, and he's currently pressing the handsome, dark-skinned man he's sparring with quite hard. Indeed, after a flurry of strikes batter down his defenses, Jaren lands a solid strike on the man's arm. He doesn't cry out, but instead laughs, a bit breathlessly.

"You know…after more than fifteen years of training…and sparring with you…you still make me look like a squire almost every time we do this." The somewhat younger man grins, keeping his blade in a defensive posture as he tries to circle around Jaren, who's not having any of that, keeping himself squarely facing his opponent until the next flurry of strikes, this time the younger lunging at the Champion. The strikes are deflected, but it's clear that Jaren's having to work for that defense, given the sheen of sweat on his brow that matches his opponent.

"Well…maybe if you spent more time worrying over the sword in your hand instead of the one between your legs…" Jaren taunts his "foe", though it's laced with humor and the affection of long-held friendship.

"Hey now…just because yours almost rusted into the void because you never oiled it is no reason to take it out on me." The other man retorts, matching Jaren's grin, "But I guess that's not so much of a problem now, is it?"

"Not at all." Jaren replies quite conversationally, and this time he goes on the attack again, and his opponent manages to turn aside the strikes, and land one of his own on Jaren's side. Jaren yelps a bit, then steps back, and his expression grows more serious.

"Uh oh…I know that lo-" The other man starts, but doesn't get to finish, as Jaren renews the attack, and this time it ends with not one, but two solid strikes…one to the man's sword arm, and another to his shoulder, the combination of which makes him drop his sword. "All right, all right…I yield!"

Jaren smiles and reaches down to pluck up the other fellows practice blade, handing it back to him, "Well fought Sir Quentyn." Jaren adds, clearly a bit winded.

"And you, Sir Jaren." Quentyn replies, flashing a brilliant smile towards his former mentor, before they both move over to a nearby trough of clean water to splash a bit of it on their faces. Then take up skins of watered wine to quench their thirst, laughing at some quiet joke shared between them.

This might seem an odd place to summon a noble guest, but Lady Elaida Toulan was indeed invited by none other than the Queen herself to come see this particular little courtyard yard…right about now, as a matter of fact.

The Queen herself had been sitting in a seat off to the side of the practice yard, watching her future husband and protector spar with his former squire. She did not often get the chance to do such things, but she when given a good reason to do so, she took up the chance quite eagerly.

She nods, her expression one of deep consideration, as Jaren and Quentyn spar, and a playfully amused smile crosses her lips as Jaren wins the match handily. She is about to rise and make her way over to them when Lady Elaida arrives as requested.

Where Alysande is garbed in queenly satins decorated with pearls, and it fits her like she was born to wear such finery (well, she's a Tracano, of course!), Elaida's dress is almost as beautifully made but the girl seems more like a child wearing her mother's clothing. Alysande notes that the girl looks slightly less discomfited at the finery than she did when it had first been made for her, but only slightly.

Then again, Alysande muses, she might simply be nervous about being called before me, and in such an odd locale. The Queen gives her cousin's betrothed a warm smile, a reassuring one. "Lady Elaida, please. Come sit with me. We have a few things I would like to discuss."

Elaida curtsies deeply and nods, murmuring a "Thank you, your majesty" before moving to join Alysande and take a seat beside her on the bench.

Alysande gives the younger girl another warm smile, then looks to Jaren, nodding slightly to him and gesturing him and Quentyn over with a finger.

Jaren catches the beckoning, and nods towards Alysande, gesturing towards her when Quentyn glances at him. The pair takes only the slightest of detours to set their practice blades upon the rack off to one side before making their way towards where Alysande sits, both giving their best courtly bows, virtual twins of each other.

"Your Majesty." Jaren speaks, though there's a glimmer of a smile at the corners of his lips and a touch of warmth to his tone, "How may we serve?" A touch formal, perhaps, but this is mixed company after all, and he's not King yet. If Alysande wishes informality, she'll let them know.

Quentyn smiles towards Alysande and Elaida, but remains silent, given that there is a senior Lancer present.

Alysande gives Jaren a lopsided grin, biting her lower lip, for a brief moment giving him the sort of look that makes the two of them entirely alone with each other even among a crowd. She lets out a light laugh, shaking her head.

She turns to Elaida. "Lady Elaida," she says, "I do not think you've been formally introduced. This is Viscount Jaren Cassomir, my Champion and soon-to-be husband." Her tone is not quite so formal as she introduces him. "And this is Lord Sir Quentyn Bazan, one of the Royal Lancers."

Elaida moves to stand, curtsying to them both. "Your Excellency. My lord."

"Sit, sit," Alysande chides Elaida gently, though she looks pleased. She looks to Quentyn as the young girl takes her seat. "Quentyn, you rogue." It's almost (at least to Jaren, who knows her well) as if she is being purposefully light and cheerful, as if not to frighten the girl at her side. "Do you recall the decree I made regarding you and a certain cousin of mine? The one about how you are not to be allowed to work as his Lancer?" There's teasing in her tone. But she's serious.

Jaren adds another bow towards Elaida, smiling politely, but again not without a touch of congenial warmth, "Milady, a pleasure. I hope you are finding Sunsreach to your liking." He greets Elaida, then falls silent as Alysande asks her question of Quentyn.

"I'd be a very poor excuse for a Royal Lancer if I did not recall a decree particularly pointed towards me, Your Majesty." Quentyn replies, smiling both politely and with no small degree of good humor. "Actually I remember the formal decree and I remember you explaining it to me personally." He adds after a beat, "Not that I had any objection, of course."

Alysande chuckles. "Well, luckily that decree did not extend to his betrothed." The queen gestures to Elaida. "Lady Elaida is not yet a Tracano, but with the latest troubles," and her expression darkens some, though she gently places a hand on Elaida's arm and quickly pushes away the dark expression, "I feel that it is important that we move a bit more quickly on… ah, treating her like the family she is soon to become."

Elaida smiles politely, but looks confused. She doesn't say anything in response, unsure if she should.

Alysande glances to Jaren, as if searching him for agreement. "That is to say, I would wish to assign a Lancer to Lady Elaida's guard detail."

"Oh!" Elaida blushes. "You… you don't have to do that, your majesty."

"I insist." Alysande is gentle, but firm.

"A wise decision, Majesty." Jaren replies, nodding his own agreement, "Sir Quentyn is one of our best and most experienced of the currently active Lancers." Both quite true statements, because while he isn't all that old, not many of the older Lancers survived the Succession War, and of those that did, many retired after its' conclusion, whether from injury or age. Jaren then glances towards Quentyn, smiling in a fashion that's both teasing and proud all at the same time, "Of course I'll deny I said any of that later." He directs towards the younger man.

Quentyn does look mildly surprised for a moment, but then bows towards Alysande, then Elaida, "Your Majesty, it will be my honor to serve. I assume you would wish for the detail to begin immediately?" His eyes flick towards Jaren at his comment, and it's clear that he's fighting a bit of a laugh, mostly successfully, but it's still fairly clear upon his face.

"Yes, immediately," Alysande says with a nod. "I may be worrying too much, but I would rather be assured of her safety." Her eyes narrow. "Especially with what has been happening. I trust you've been made aware, Sir Quentyn, of the latest tragedies involving some of Tristan's former…" she frowns. "Lovers?" she decides on that term over 'conquests'. "Tristan is not only a Prince of this kingdom, but he is as a brother to me. And even if there were not a dozen other reasons I want Lady Elaida protected, that would be enough."

Elaida looks down at the floor. "Thank you, your majesty. Sir Quentyn. Sir Jaren. I will try not to be any trouble."

"Yes, Majesty, Sir Jaren gave us the pertinent details." Quentyn's expression grows appropriately serious as its' mentioned, glancing briefly to Jaren, then back to Alysande. When Elaida speaks up, Quentyn looks towards her, and smiles, though he tempers his usual flirtatious impulse to leave it simply kind and polite, "Much appreciated, Milady, though if you do feel the need to be trouble at some point, don't feel any need to refrain on my account." He looks back between Jaren and Alysande once more, "Do you wish me to operate as an overt or a more discrete protector, Majesty? Or shall it be Lady Elaida's decision?"

Alysande considers. "At her descretion, or if she has no preference, at your own. I trust you to do your duty, Sir Quentyn, but I also know this will be an adjustment for you, Lady Elaida." The younger girl nods almost involuntarily. The Queen gives her an almost sympathetic look. "You'll have to adjust. It shouldn't be too painful for you."

She turns back to Quentyn. "Lady Elaida has been staying in the palace, but she is by no means confined here. You know your duty, Quentyn. Keep her safe." And she smiles.

Patting Elaida's arm, she says, "Besides, Quentyn is one of the more entertaining Lancers. I'm sure you'll both get on quite well. And," she smirks at Quentyn, "this is the closest I dare let you get to guarding Tristan."

"I'll protect her as though she were you, Your Majesty." Quentyn replies, adding another bright smile, before looking to Elaida and bowing slightly once more, unable to suppress a bit of a grin at Alysande's words, "It's likely for the best, Majesty. As you say, I'm sure we would be a terrible influence on one another. But I will follow the example of the knight who trained me and focus solely upon my duty. As always, everything else can wait." His gaze returns to Elaida, and he notes, "I suppose I should clean up, and for convenience's sake have my squire get my equipment moved into some quarters nearer your own, Milady. I can meet you in…a half-hour's time?"

Jaren grins just a bit at the words between Alysande and Quentyn, before adding, more seriously, "If you need anything else, Quentyn, don't hesitate to ask."

"Well, if you don't think you're going to be using Winterthorn for a while…." Quentyn starts, but his mischievous grin belies the joke, not even requiring him to finish, nor Jaren to respond with anything beyond the bemused shake of his head.

Quentyn bows once more to Elaida, and then the Queen, "Have you need of anything further, Majesty?" Certainly, a Lancer will not leave the Queen's presence until she's made it reasonably clear he's dismissed.

Alysande shakes her head. "Nothing further. Thank you, Sir Quentyn," she dismisses him. "And thank you, Lady Elaida. Please pass along to Tristan we should have dinner soon." And with that, Elaida is dismissed as well.

Elaida nods slightly at the Lancer, and then rises and curtsies again to the Queen and future king. "Thank you, your majesty. Your excellency." And she isn't far behind Quentyn when it comes to departure.

Jaren watches Quentyn and Elaida leave, giving them collectively a nod of his head and another polite smile in departure. Once they're gone, he looks back to Alysande, his manner shifting to something altogether more relaxed, "I suppose I should clean up properly as well." He leans down and quite unabashedly (not that there's anyone to see save a couple of servants who are well accustomed to private displays of affection between this pair) kisses the Queen, before straightening with a smile, "I will see you shortly, unless you've anything else for me?"

Alysande's grin is positively saucy, complete with arched brow as she notes, "I can think of a few things I might have for you, but I suppose I'll be good and wait until this evening." She grows more serious but a moment later as Queenly duties settle upon her shoulders once more, "But I would like you to attend me this afternoon. If there's even the possibility of having to make war upon the Abara, I want the campaign well-planned by the time we unleash it."

Jaren grins at the first bit, but he too grows serious at the latter, nodding in reply, "Then I will see you this afternoon." He bows, formally once more, "By your leave, Majesty." And then he turns to head out, followed not long after by the Queen and her servants, leaving this particular courtyard quiet once more.

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