(1867-08-02) A Debt Still Owed
A Debt Still Owed
Summary: A brief discussion in the l'Saigner family tower
Date: 08-02-1867 IA
Related: None
Alina  Corvin  Esyld  

Family Tower, Highwater Castle - Lonnaire

The small dining and sitting area in the family tower of Highwater Castle is quite well-furnished. The mid-sized room on the second floor hosts a carved oaken table that can seat eight comfortably, twelve if pushed; a pair of butler tables to hold whatever has come up from the kitchens on, and a large carved hutch that matches the table and chairs elegantly that holds a variety of dishes to make serving and eating food a quicker process when needed, on the half of the room nearest the heavy doubled doors.

The back half of the room held a large stone fireplace with a large stone mantle, a set of fainting couches, three comfortable chairs, and a smattering of small side tables for ease of setting a wineglass down. A small table with a well-worn chess board is flanked by two chairs like the ones at the dining table, the chessboard set for a new game, one side's pieces lapis lazuli with gold and silver sunbursts, the other side onyx with golden wyverns.

Outside the main sitting area, there are stairs leading up to the family suites and bedrooms.

IC date of RP

Life has been fairly good and rather unexciting for the l'Saigner these past couple of months. Alina and Gabriel's children continue to grow and thrive (especially little Arthur, who is more sizeable than his brothers were at his age). The two catlords that "own" the castle, Wraith and Rogue, are entirely too pleased with themselves after the recent visit from Rivana, Lady Emilia Cassomir.

In fact, the l'Saigner managed to host the Huntress without any bloodshed. That is no mean feat, given the bad blood between the Wraiths and the Huntresses after the 30 Years War. Lucas had been her primary host, leading to some small gossip around Hightower that it might be possible Duke James was considering marrying him to the young Rivanan Huntress… but would he stay within the family or leave for the southern kingdom? Speciulation on both sides of that was rampant, and neither Duke James nor his heir Alina did much to curb it. And if they weren't bothering to curb the notion, either it suited them for the rumors to fly or they didn't care. Either notion might be something strange enough, with as tight-lipped as the family usually was regarding their private affairs.

The late afternoon sun shines through the open windows in the main room of the family tower. A light snack has been put out, mostly cheeses and bread with watered wine and water with sliced strawberries in it— last of the season as summer was fading and soon would be autumn. Lady Alina l'Saigner relaxes on the couch, drinking the strawberried water and idly flipping through a book sent south to Hightower from the Grand Library in Garfana. Lounging in that liquid way cats do behind her on the couch is Wraith, the male catlord. Grey ears flicking every so often is the only movement coming from the feline. A single eye is slitted open, watching the room as he lazes.

Lord Gabriel is likely out in the courtyard either keeping his knightly skills sharp or training in the ways of fighting with bare hands that the Wraiths are experts at. The lack of loud cracks and booms from the area made it clear he was not, as he was many afternoons, practicing with his hand cannons.

It does perhaps speak well of the newest addition - still - to the Lady's guard that she returned so swiftly from the celebrations surrounding her elder brother's union. Even better that she doesn't seem the worse for wear. But it's perfectly reasonable to assume, too, that Esyld simply had little interest in the whole thing. Not really her forte, all the etiquette and courtly niceties.. and she'd rather have been downing strongwine with the household Knights than forced to sit all prim and proper in a dress. Bloody repulsive notion.

And so it is that she returns, without fanfare, to the seat of the l'Saigner family; trotting that damnable destrier of hers into the courtyard and seeing him well settled and doused, as is her habit. Though weary, and still with the dust of travel clinging to her leathers, the raven-haired former mercenary hands off her tack to be diligently cleaned and oiled by a waiting stablehand, before strolling out to the afternoon sun. If one didn't know better, they might think she was glad to be 'home'. Is Bloodfield no longer considered such?

Either by way of a brief exchange with the chivalrous Lord Gabriel, or a query made of a passing servant, Esyld regardless establishes the whereabouts of her mistress and, without further ado, makes her way to the tower to find her. The recent happenings around Highwater have, of late, kept Draven busy to say the least. But she, too, has remained mum on the matter of Lucas and that Rivanan. Not her place to have an opinion. Save behind closed doors, perhaps. No, her priority remains the safety of the family itself.. and Alina's in particular.

Clearing her throat, resting one hand on the pommel evident at her hip, Esyld quiets and softens her step, shortening her rangy stride, as she enters the main room; making her presence subtly known without seeking to intrude, if it should be ignored. The catlord, however, is given a contemplative look. Tricky creatures.

However good the l'Saigner have had it these past months, there has been no particular increase nor decrease in the traffic of Wraiths both within Lonnaire's borders and without. In fact, "without" has been where Corvin Fremont has been for nearly a month, though he returned just a couple of days ago in relative secrecy (albeit not to Alina) and promptly hid away to recover from gatesickness. What business kept him for so long remains a matter of idle speculation among those left behind, but it isn't nearly so glamorous as one might expect. It seems the downside of having killed Cardinal Lucien Ramius is that the King now has a tendency to ask after certain Wraith-ly parties when rumors of lingering Cardinal's Guardsmen crop up. Most such rumors fail to pan out (and this one was no different), for the Wraiths and Cavaliers and others of the Kingdom were quite thorough in rooting out Lucien Ramius' lackeys and collaborators. Still, Corvin would be the first to admit that it's unlikely they got ALL of them.

In any case, he finally emerges after a normal recovery period, freshly bathed and dressed, though for the moment having kept the several days' worth of beard he acquired while out and about. He makes his way down from his quarters above, unhesitating in his entry to the room, and leaning down to give Alina a brief, somewhat upside-down peck on the forehead in greeting.

"Sister." He notes, smiling a touch, and it fades not a bit when he glances towards the figure in the opposite doorway. "Enjoy the Wedding, Esyld?" He grins in his usual sardonic fashion, "Can't say that was one I was too upset over missing." He and the groom aren't exactly each others' favorite people.

Remaining on the threshold at first, though relenting from her formal stance enough to fold her arms comfortably across her midsection, Esyld offers a wry smirk toward the Wraith for his enquiry.. though there's warmth in the depths of her glacial eyes. A month is a long absence, no matter how hardened one becomes to such necessities. "It was a highly-orchestrated and relatively well-attended affair." she replies, in the deliberately idle, monotonous manner of one reciting the expected rather than having any real feeling on the matter. "Perhaps my expectations have, against all the odds, become rather high, given the standards of those whom I serve." The twist across her lips curves slowly wider to a smile, just for a moment, as she regards the Wraith's features - and more pointedly the scruff adorning his jawline. No, he and Jon don't exactly see eye to eye. Little wonder. But perhaps the important business of keeping his new bride entertained will keep the t'Maren heir's nose out of the business of his younger half-sister. "There wasn't much to miss, truthfully. I trust your own endeavours were more suitably interesting than a single cup of wine and tedious gossip-mongering?" Well, even the dullest day as Corvin Fremont tends to surpass the most scintillating of other, less formidable creatures. "You might be in need of a shave, though. Not that that isn't a fetching look."

Shifting her attention once more, inevitably, to the Lady Alina following this uncharacteristically warm exchange, Esyld smoothes her expression back to practiced neutrality in a heartbeat. The warning is never forgotten, when it comes to the heiress' half-sibling, and the t'Maren by blood doesn't stray too far beyond the bounds of propriety in the undeniably intimidating noblewoman's presence, lest it rouse her ire. Besides, Draven's not exactly the sort for effusive displays of affection. More approachable than the aforementioned groom, yes. But that's not saying much. A lightning-struck tree is more sociable, oft-times.

Alina greets both the mercenary guard and her half-brother appropriately… with a nod for Esyld and a peck on the cheek for Corvin. "I see you've both returned. I hope the wedding was at least enjoyable for you, Esyld. And brother… what is that on your face? Don't let Gabriel see it or he'll want to inflict one on me too." She sits up, placing the book aside.

Corvin reaches up and rubs the scruff on his chin, grinning a bit, "I chose to prioritize moving over shaving, I fear, and it was still a bit chilly in a few of the places I ranged." He glances back to Esyld and shakes his head, "Not terribly enjoyable. A lot of hunting with nothing to show for it. Another goose chase." He moves over to pour himself some of that water, noting, "Next time I'll send Lucas, but he had entertaining of his own to do, I hear."

He chuckles as he moves to seat himself on a nearby bench, "Of course, that likely means Lucas would end up on a hunt that wasn't fruitless."

"It was perfectly tolerable, m'Lady." is the diplomatic answer Esyld settles on, in the end. Bloodfield is hardly renowned for social gathering of much lustre… and generally, that's the way she likes it. Venturing to draw a little closer to the pair, seeing as her presence is recognised, the tall brunette clasps her hands loosely behind her back and looks toward the window, through which the afternoon sunlight streams, eyeing the rugged horizon and smiling vaguely to herself as Alina, too, notes the difference in the Wraith's appearance. He's rather outnumbered.

Letting her vivid gaze drift back to Corvin, Esyld permits herself the softest of sighs; sympathy fleetingly apparent in her expression. Another waste of time? How irksome.

"I'd rather a goose chase and nothing to show for it, than it being someone and them slipping away," Alina replies with a wince. "The last of those creatures have likely gone to ground. We'll find them."

"True enough." Corvin assents to Alina's sentiment. "And yes, we will." He relaxes and gulps down a bit of the water before noting, "There may be a few clever ones among the dregs that weren't a priority in the sweeps, it's true. But yes…we'll find them." Corvin's smile is nothing if not a touch menacing, though it effortlessly shifts to something warmer just a moment later, even as he beckons towards the empty patch of bench next to him, glancing towards Esyld as he does.

On the matter of Lucas, whom she's reasonably fond of, there's little doubt Esyld has her own opinions. Whether they stretch to approval of late is an entirely different matter. To be honest, she's no more enthralled with the Huntresses than the Wraiths are, on principle. But.. well, seeing as it brought no trouble to the l'Saigners - /yet/ - perhaps she may as well cast it from her thoughts. Politics aren't her game. Having come to a halt, initially, as she listens to the discussion - matters outwith the duties of the Foxes, alas, or her current station unless Alina deems it fit - Draven catches the inviting gesture from the Wraith Commander. There's only a flicker of hesitation before she relents, crossing unhurriedly to the bench and easing down to the seat beside him. Usually, in less elegant company, she'd no doubt lounge with a booted foot atop opposite knee. But not here. She settles back subtly, with a faint creak of protest from her leathers, folding her hands in her lap.

A flit of a glance aside conveys gratitude to Corvin for the offer of a perch.. but it's to Alina that her gaze moves, of course; along with a nod of assent. "Quite so. Or, in the most ideal of imaginings, it would be pleasant to find /and/ successfully eliminate them. All in due course, of that I have litle doubt." A rare compliment to the skills of the Wraiths, there. Actually, it's not often Esyld would venture an opinion at all.. but the conversation seems casual enough to risk it.

"Speaking of hunting down the dregs of society," Alina says, "have you given any consideration towards bandits of late? I may even be able to stir my husband to accompany you if you sought such sport." Alina's grey-blue eyes twinkle mischieviously. "And I am sure a certain band of them you still might owe a visit to, if you were inclined. I understand that they've been eluding the King's guards for some time now."

"The King's guards haven't been completely useless. Or at least the Cavaliers haven't. One of my contacts among them has been…with the King's consent of course…sending me reports on what they've found. Or more accurately where they haven't found anything. It's tightening the noose, so to speak. I think we're close to narrowing down where they're hiding out." Corvin grins, "So yes, I've given some consideration. And I'll be sure to involve all the necessary and interested party when I'm sure it won't be a wild chase."

Esyld can't help the shadow that crosses her expression, glancing aside toward the Wraith in the wake of the Lady's teasing.. but the expression gradually gives way to a smirk, as she considers the 'sport'. Bad enough that /she/ was bested.. but for both of them to be?? Unheard of! And something that ought to be rectified sooner rather than later. "I find myself /very/ much inclined, m'Lady.." Though quietly-uttered, her words bear the trace of a growl within the ever low timbre of her voice. Shifting her weight a fraction, she rearranges her arms to comfortably drape across her midsection, those striking blue eyes narrowing as the possibilities are turned over in her mind. With such different training, the differences between she and the Commander are hardly surprising. But it's the temperament that is often the bigger contrast. She's the infuriated rage to Corvin's cold indifference. Her reactions can be read like a book, while his are nigh impossible to discern. Well, for most. Likely not for his half-sibling.

It's with a mildly disgruntled expression that she listens to Corvin's response, though. Yes, yes, of course it makes sense to narrow down the area before expending effort. But patience is not exactly her favored virtue. So says the faint twist of displeasure that plays across her lips. But even still, she concedes - at least right this minute- with a nod of acceptance.

"Well I do hope that the noose tightens soon," Alina says calmly. "After all, we owe them an outstanding debt."

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