(1866-11-06) Palace Encounter
Palace Encounter
Summary: A Huntress has another unexpected encounter with a former Thorn at the Royal Palace in Sunsreach.
Date: 1866-11-06
Related: A Discussion at the Manse and other Aidric/Adrienne logs.
Adrienne  Aidric  

Sunsreach Castle - Sunsreach - Rivana

The Interior of Sunsreach Castle is gorgeous, pristine and colored an earthly tone. These are regions that the sun has been allowed to touch, and the wood and stonework have faded with time but help give off a lovely glow. There is running water inside which help serve a series of gardens and numerous fountains about the area. A main guardhouse and barracks has been established for the soldiers, and the armory is setup next to a training area and stables for warhorses. A large arena has been setup for jousting and training, as well as a forge.

The castle is setup into three main blocks, with a large central area set off the main gatehouse which serves as the entrance to a grand garden with numerous fountains next to the main barracks. Staircases climb up the heavy, blockish walls to allow access to them as well as interior areas of the castle. High and joyous colors meet as one goes through the inner walls. This is a castle meant to enhance beauty as well as be ready for war. The central villa of the castle off the main gateway is the primary interior, where the administrative center of the kingdom is, as well as the throne room and storehouse.

The primary zones to the east is for living quarters for those who stay in the castle and help maintain them, as well as the inhabitants. Spanning up several stories, it is quite spacious with a network of intricately carved staircases and large central areas for those to gather.

The western zone is a work area, with a large central library and alcove, as well as a chapel for the One Faith within and a sanctuary. This area is also home to both the royal menagerie and the royal museum. The museum is a long vaulted building of two stories and vault below. The leaded glass fills the galleries with light and within various paintings and treasures of Rivana's past can be seen, including the bones of the last dragon. The menagerie, is a garden unto itself with pits holding a handful of rare creatures such as striped horses, lions, and other beasts.

Novembre 6th, 1866

The Royal Wedding was drawing near, and the first members of the Cassomir family had already arrived in the capital, Adrienne being among them. After all, she had agreed to leave the dress she was to wear for the grand event in Princess Clara’s wardrobe, instead of taking it with her to Ironhold and back again. A dress is a delicate thing, a dress of a princess even more so, it is not to be exposed to unnecessary dangers of harm. And besides… the dress matter had been settled, thanks to the generosity of the Tracano Princess. The question of the hairdo still remained to be decided, and as reluctant to contemplate such idle matters, the freckled Cassomir had hoped for more advice and inspiration from the royal, as there was still enough time.

And so it happens, that Adrienne roams the halls of the Royal Palace on this wonderful afternoon, attired in a green dress and wearing her silver necklace with the archer pendant, her hair done in one very plain but so practical single braid, that bounces ever so slightly with every step she takes. As she arrived without an appointment, she is led towards a salon to wait there, while the servant checks for Princess Clara’s availability. The freckled Huntress has a seat on a very elaborately carved chair with very finely embroidered cushions, and she will sit there, her back straight, her hands folded in her lap, the slightly absent expression on her face suggesting she will at least allow her thoughts to travel where she would prefer to be right now - the woods, probably. Quite probable for a Huntress of Ironhold, and especially Adrienne who most certainly prefers nature to the confinement of a courtly waiting room, as she has to endure at this very moment.

Aidric had some final business with the Princess as well, delivering a copy of the song he had helped pen for the celebration. The knight seems in a buoyant mood as enters the waiting room humming faintly to himself. “Darling girl,” he calls expecting the servant to be waiting and not Adrienne. “Can you see if the Princess is free-“ he stops short finding the servant gone and Adrienne sitting there waiting. There is no flinch or curse at this surprising turn of events only the slow spreading of a smile as he puts his hands behind his back, song clasped within their grip. “So, you’re back,” he observes. Aidric looks well, clearly happier now than during his brief exile. He is dressed in a doublet and breeches of pale green which inadvertently matches Adrienne’s own choice of colours. “I’d not expected we’d run into each other this soon. Not that I am complaining, of course.”

"Darling girl?" A brow lifts as Adrienne looks up, drawn from her wistful contemplations of forests far away in Ironhold. And while his next words pretty much explain, which kind of darling girl he must have expected, the implication of the first address still remains. Her skirts rustle as she moves to stand, her green eyes flitting down at the noise of her attire that is clearly not suited for stealthy movement her occupation usually requires. A bit of irritation there in her gaze as she lifts it, caused by the dress or Aidric's appearance, who can tell. Her own hands unclasp and fall down at her sides.

"I am," Adrienne replies, the tone not unfriendly, as irritation fades from her expression and she studies him with a hint of warmth in her gaze. "I thought you had been banned from the palace." Speaking the thought as it crosses her mind, perhaps inspired by that happy expression on his face. "Neither had I," she admits then, her lips curving upwards ever-so-slightly. "I have some wedding business still, I hope, the Princess can help me with…" Her hands move over her skirts, as if to reassure herself she is wearing a dress. She swallows, allowing her gaze once again to drift over his frame, before she admits: "You look well." The faint smile adorning her freckled features deepens a touch.

Caught, Aidric smiles somewhat impishly. “Flirtation is a valuable tool of statecraft,” he explains of the whole ‘darling girl’ business. He steps a little closer to Adrienne then studying her in her irritated state trying to discover its cause. His lips open as if to offer further protestations but he closes it again thinking better of it.

“It was temporary,” Aidric says of his ban. “A slap on the wrist to teach me to mind my manners,” he says before adding “I’ve entirely learned my lesson,” with a touch of irony in his tone. Though there is something about his eyes that suggests that last may be more bravado than truth. The banishment, brief though it was, left it’s mark. The note about him looking well though earns a glance down at his garb and a look back at Adrienne. “Thank you. Though not as well as you,” he says with a fondness in his smile as he meets her eyes. “Though, you look like you would rather be anywhere else, in anything else. Those clothes from the manse included.”

Adrienne nods, a bit of amusement flickering in her green eyes at his explanation of his rather flirtatious pick of address for a handmaiden. "Of course," she smirks, rolling her eyes ever-so-slightly, any previous irritation now vanished from her freckled features. No further protestations necessary, as it would seem.

The Cassomir lady listens, the mirth on her features dimming a little as she offers another incline of the head. "I see. Well… if such a lesson will help to keep your temper in check for the future, in Her Majesty's presence…" She smiles, the expression of slight relief genuine. "I prefer you not being the outcast, you were forced to be for a time." The talk turns to her attire and she looks caught. "Is it really that obvious? Well, I prefer a more functional attire, and this dress here…" She shifts a little in her stance, skirts soon rustling in consequence. "Is so loud. And impractical." Maybe there is a slight coloring of her cheeks at Aidric's last remark, even so, she shoots him a warm glance, perhaps inspired by the memory he conjures with that particular reference. "Oh, sure! Even the attire of…", she lowers her voice and rolls her eyes with a good-natured chuckle, "a former Thorn seems to be preferable."

And no further protestations are coming, Aidric moves on, an amused flicker coming to his eyes as she mentions her preference for him not to be an outcast. "Oh? And why is that? And are there any other preferences I should know about?" he asks, teasing. The talk about the dress earns a nod. "It is that obvious and I agree," he reaches down to ruffle the fabric "It is noisy, which does sort of work against your nature as a huntress, like putting a bell on a cat," he says as he looks up at her, smiling a bit more broadly at her as she blushes at the memory of their last encounter. He remembers it too, fondly, if his expression is any judge. "I'd offer the chance to change into something similar if my manse wasn't being occupied at the moment. Though, arrangements could be made for another time if that might interest you.”

"Well," Adrienne drawls. "I may already get into enough trouble for simply being seen with a former Thorn. But…" Her green eyes glint a little as they meet Aidric's gaze and she tilts her head a little to the side, her lips curling. "You seem to be happier when not being the outcast you were when I came across you at the Golden Dragon Inn." Her smile deepens, not objecting when the Carling knight takes the liberty of demonstrating the noise of her skirts, her own hand moving to fidget with the archer pendant of her necklace. "Oh, it's the fabric, I believe. I have another dress, that doesn't have that problem, alas, it's too old and unfashionable for this palace." A brow lifts, when her eyes lock with his of a lighter shade of green, noting his broad smile which has her blush deepen even more. "Your manse is being occupied? Your family I suppose, here for the Royal Wedding?", she asks, as she lets go of the pendant and lets her hand fall down by her side, brushing his fingers, possibly by accident. "Arrangements to change into your clothes?", the freckled Cassomir inquires, raising a brow, mischief glinting in her green gaze, as she bites her lip. "Or… for another visit to your manse when it is less crowded?"

Aidric’s eyes twinkle at Adrienne’s explanations. “Ah yes, but isn’t my trouble making nature part of my allure?” he teases choosing to ignore the remark about his own happiness. Others having a care for that sort of thing always did make him uncomfortable. He watches her fiddle with her necklace as she speaks about her dress and the noise of the fabric. “Hm, yes my family is here. They seem to have this idea that it is their manse,” he jests lightly before he meets that mischievous gaze with a look of his own. “Well as fetching as you were in my clothes I meant the other,” he clarifies, his fingers wrapping around hers where they brush against one another. He tosses his parchment to one of the chairs. His eyes flick to the doors before he continues, “But before you answer there’s something I would like to do…” He leans in then, seeking a kiss.

"Perhaps…?", Adrienne quips back. "But that would suggest I'd want to get myself in trouble, would it not?" She falls silent then, listening to Aidric's comment about his family, as she shoots him a curious glance. "Their manse? Does that mean they don't allow you to receive your own visitors there, when they happen to be in Sunsreach? How odd." The mirth fades for a moment from her features, she becoming aware suddenly how little she does know of his family. "Your sister is there as well? I hope she didn't mind me using her slippers, when my boots were drying by the fireplace.", the Huntress intones, one corner of her mouth lifting into a slightly awkward lopsided grin when she recalls taking off those slippers later on that eve.

It is then than Aidric clarifies his question, and their fingers entwine. Green Cassomir eyes follow the parchment with their gaze as it is tossed to a chair, then follow with their glance to where Aidric looks, his sudden nervousness about an unexpected interruption of their conversation noted, when Adrienne seems already to anticipate what he may have in mind; not objecting at all, she will raise her chin, her eyes sparkling, her fingers giving his hand another squeeze when their lips meet, while her other hand finds his shoulder, and he can feel her smile as she grants the kiss he was seeking. Eyelids flutter, more blood rushes into those cheeks, another blush blossoming there…

…when a sudden knock to the door has the Huntress flinch and let go of him at once, a proper distance brought between the two of them as she darts a step backwards, her hands folding before her, her gaze lowered just so that the sparkle in her gaze may not be as evident to the intruder; aware of her blush, she turns towards the window, her back to the door, that only her silhouette may be visible to the one entering.

It is the servant. "Princess Clara regrets to inform you that she will be busy for at least the next two hours, m'lady. She asks you to call on her on the morrow, or wait, whatever your preference may be."

“Don’t you?” Aidric counters with a smile. “If you’re trying to be avoid trouble you’re keeping the entirely wrong company.” The remarks about his family are met with a slight frown, “Oh guests would be quite welcome, but female guests might cause a stir. It’s not done in Normont, women visiting a man without a gaggle of escorts, least of all one with my reputation.” Another frown at the mention of his sister. “No, they left her in Normont,” he does seem displeased by that. “Helping run things while my father is absent.” He chuckles then, the frown vanishing. “I pray for our servants.” Clearly, his sister is something of a handful which would explain his fondness for her.

Then thoughts of his family are banished by the kiss, he puts a hand on her hip as their lips meet and seems quite content to take his time with the kiss, clearly looking forward to the chance to do so…

Then there is a noise at the door and Aidric steps back smoothly, “Here let me get the song to show you,” he says turning and moving towards the chair where he tossed the roll of parchment before their kiss. The move covers his own flushed cheeks and amused smile “Do you thin-“ he begins before he turns towards the servant, his expression one of someone mildly perplexed by the intrusion. That expression quickly turns into a flirtatious smile for the serving girl which is coupled with a wink, before he stands silent song in hand while the girl makes her report.

“If Her Highness is busy then can I leave this with you to bring to her?” he asks when she is done holding up the scroll. “It is somewhat important.”

"Oh…", Adrienne nods, the graveness of her expression only in part genuine but in fact marred with a hint of irony, when her current company of quite a reputation he is not shy to reference addresses the problem of female visitors to his family's manse. She chuckles softly, shaking her head. "A lady without a retinue…", a slight eye-roll there, "I am usually not alone, mostly in the company of my Huntress sisters. And even so… I am very much able to defend myself, should the need occur." Her hand moves to where her dagger usually is at her belt - a belt she does not wear at the moment, which brings at once a slight frown to her face. Taking in the information about Aidric's sister then, she shoots him a curious glance. "You like her.", the Cassomir lady states with a smile. That observation another detail that may speak for his character.

It is then that their conversation is treated to a brief enchanting break of a kiss that does not last as long as either of them would have wished. Still, when the interruption occurs, Adrienne cannot help but smile in the direction of the window she is suddenly turned towards, noting Aidric's obfuscating manoeuvre and enjoying it for its ease. Her curiosity gets the best of her, she glancing towards him in the moment he unleashes his charms upon the female servant with effortless skill. It is a display that amuses the Cassomir, makes her hand raise to cover her mouth, as she stifles a chuckle and turns her head back towards the window. Waiting until Aidric has brought forth his request - which is answered with a clearly impressed "Of course, m'lord.", uttered a bit breathlessly perhaps - Adrienne then turns around, the colour of her cheeks by now dimmed sufficiently so as to pass as a merely healthy complexion, and gives the girl an amiable smile.

"I understand. I will follow Princess Clara's advice then, and postpone my visit till tomorrow. Give her my regards, please, and… tell her I admire her perseverance to pursue the many tasks she has to see to at the moment.", the freckled Cassomir intones with a dignity that surprises even herself - a fact that Aidric may notice from the very brief glance she shoots him, issuing a minimal eyeroll there in his direction. "I shall see myself out, thank you."

"I wouldn't quite call it a retinue as chaperones, they're as much to defend the ladies from themselves and whatever wild urges that may over come them than threats your-," he glances down then back to Adrienne. "-absent dagger might be suited to deal with." He shrugs. "What can I say, Normont is a backwards place." The remarks about his sister earn a nod from Aidric. "I do, but then she causes almost as many headaches for my parents as I do, so how can I not like her?" he asks poorly covering his actual affection for his sister with humor.

Aidric may have done the quick recovery trick a time or two in the past and carries on with convincing smile while Adrienne speaks with the servant girl as well and then soon is taking her leave with that little roll of her eyes. Aidric shows no reaction except in his eyes which glint with mirth then he hands over the parchment to the girl. "Deliver it with care," he says before leaning in to whisper "And thank you for your timely arrival," he contrives to roll his eyes. "Cassomirs…" he steps back and then departs shaking his head. Once out of the room, he glances about for Adrienne.

"Ah, yes. Chaperones." Adrienne pronounces the word with a hint of amused fascination. "An institution that really doesn't make sense in Ironhold… I mean, especially for a Huntress." Leaving it at that then, when her cheeks get flushed for apparent reasons and then are allowed to recover. She inclines her head towards the serving girl, and with her piece said, she even manages a curtsey towards the Carling - courtly customs. "My lord." Sparing him hardly a glance as she sweeps towards the door and leaves. Once on the corridor, she will move in the general direction of the entrance hall of the palace at a quite leisurely stroll, slow enough to admire the interior she passes, paintings, tapestries - stuff that draws the eye, even of someone who is more used to admiring trees and animals, and prefers spending time outside. Her progress will indeed be slow enough for Aidric to catch up with her, should he feel so inclined.

“As I said, a backward place,” Aidric says with a shrug about the customs of his home duchy. When Adrienne makes a curtsy to him with her departure, Aidric holds back an amused smile as he bows in return. “My lady,” he says in parting before dealing with the serving girl and exiting into the hall. Seeing her wandering slowly towards the entrance hall taking in the sights he moves in that direction as well, catching up with her. “Seems we are headed in the same direction, my lady,” he remarks with a smile as he keeps up the formal charade as much for his own amusement as anything else. “Though where we’re going, that is the question.”

"Is it?", Adrienne counters, one brow lifting as she turns her head to regard the nobleman appearing at her side, her steps slowing until they come to a halt. A fine smile curls her lips, her green eyes glinting with what could either be a tease or some subdued irritation. "Sir Aidric. You heard what I told the maid. I won't be received today, so I am heading to the exit.", she offers in the matter-of-factly tone she usually displays. "And I believe, with your business dealt with, you'll do the same, to return to your family's manse, who must already quite eager to be reunited with you." A sort of formal charade, mixed with her being oblivious to the place of Aidric's current residence.

Aidric nods as he walks with her. “Well, it does seem that way,” he says while his own thoughts turn to the state of his living arrangements. He did have an invitation to sleep in Tristan’s sitting room when he needed to escape the Carling manse, but that was hardly suitable for what he hoped they both had in mind. After a moment more of thought he comes to an answer. “Well I must attend to some business, but if you are done with the palace for the day, I suggest taking a walk in the gardens. You never know what might come of it,” he suggests in that same conversational tone they’d been using.

"More business, even?", Adrienne inquires, before an amused chuckle escapes her. "You are a busy man, obviously, while I… well, my duties are on hold at the moment, as I await an audience with the Princess." She sighs softly, biting her lip as her gaze goes distant, considering his suggestion. "The gardens… This sounds like a good idea. At least there will be the beauty of nature to behold, the colorful shades of autumn…" Her lips quirk into a smile, when her green gaze focuses once again on the Carling, a slightly curious flicker there.

Aidric contrives to sigh, “There is always something,” he says of his business with a smile. “So enjoy that idleness when it presents itself,” he counsels with a bit of a smile. As they approach the entry hall he glances about, there are a pair of house guard, and a trio of servants moving about the corridor on business but mercifully no others, and indeed none close by, he drops his voice a touch, saying “Take a stroll about the gardens then come meet me at the Golden Dragon.” It was a chancy proposition with the wedding approaching rooms would be hard to come by but still it wasn’t like they had an abundance of options either. His eyes glance towards her own gauging her reaction as he slows their pace and with it their arrival at the entry hall.

Adrienne smiles and nods. "Of course," this commented on his first remark. Her gaze lowers when he addresses his other message to her at a lower volume. There may be a slight moment of hesitation, when her bottom lip is caught by her teeth, before she gives another incline of the head, less pronounced but obvious for Aidric to catch. "A good day to you then, Sir Aidric," the Cassomir lady says then, in a tone of non-committal politeness. "And good luck on finishing your business that you may enjoy the remainder of the day," this she adds with the hint of a smile, a ghost of a wink, and walks past him to the double doors that lead out, leaving him standing where he is.

Aidric doesn't react to the hesitation, but when the nod comes there is some glimmer of recognition in his eyes. He too bows before Adrienne departs, "You as well my lady," he says. Then watches her go.

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