(1867-10-20) Unexpected Friendships
Unexpected Friendships
Summary: Evelyn invites Esyld to meet with her.
Date: October 20th
Related: None
Esyld  Evelyn  

Manse — Lonnaire
In scene
Octobre 20th, 1867 IA

Esyld received the following letter:

Greetings Sir Esyld Draven,

First, I wish to congratulate you upon your Knighthood. While I regret not being able to be present and give forth aid to those of Lonnaire, I would like to extend what I can to offer you friendship in the Knighthood. I shall be in Lonnaire for the Masque, and have an extended stay for a few days. I would enjoy meeting with you again.

In these times, we need all the friends and companions as we can find. Our first encounter left me with a favorable impression of you, and your Knighting speaks highly of your quality.

Yours in Friendship,
Evelyn l'Faust

(Included in the sealed letter, an intricate drawing of Esyld's profile in charcoal on a journal page that has been carefully cut out (Great Success)).

Evelyn had invited Esyld over to the manse she'd been staying in to meet the newest knight in Couviere more officially. The woman had, certainly caught Evelyn's attention on a few occasions and she'd come to recognize the woman as watching the Tourneys on many occassions. Perhaps that's what had inspired Evelyn to send Esyld the drawing, too.

Presently, Evelyn is sitting in a greeting room wherein there is two mugs of ale, freshly tapped and poured. Wine, too, along with lemon water and some delicious snacks. Nothing, of course, compared to the spread at Masque, but a lovely spread nevertheless. Near her, a huge Warhound, sitting calmly next to Evelyn. The beast, which Esyld had at least likely seen once or twice at Tourney's, is pure white, and at present, looking quite content to be next to the person he's bonded with. And when the servant announces Esyld, both hound and woman look up and both, curiously, seem to smile at the same time. Thankfully, only Evelyn greets, standing up and gesturing, "Welcome. I had some food set out, in case you're hungry. I am," she admits, "But thought something more quiet might be sensible rather than having a go in town." Her tone is fairly mirthful.

While the whole 'art' of meeting and greeting isn't something Esyld is particularly well-grounded in, she'd never turn down an apparently genuine invitation - particularly from a knight she'd noted well enough to remember the name, thanks to previous tourneys. Evelyn l'Faust, as she recalled, had been the only one to go out of her way to congratulate her on a victory in the Bareknuckle in Sunsreach. When you're a bastard, competing amongst noble peers, that sort of thing sticks in your head. Well, moreso than it might for one used to such niceties, at any rate. So yes, the letter was well-received and now.. here she is.

Attired in her usual simple, understated style, for the rare occasion she has reason to be in anything other than her leathers, the woman has donned a relatively fine longshirt of creamy white linen, worn atop soft leggings of darkest brown suede and tall, tightly laced and well-polished boots. No frocks or finery here. But she's clearly made some effort. As has her host! The smile is returned easily, if still with a touch of uncertainty in her unnaturally blue eyes, as Esyld approaches the table and the indicated chair. "M'Lady." The greeting is politely formal enough, though her voice is a pleasant, warm thing that she doesn't bother to disguise. The same might be said of her approval as she eyes the spread laid out. "Indeed, I think for our first 'proper' meeting that's likely the wise choice.." A former mercenary known for liking her ale? A 'good night' for her probably ends in a bar brawl.

Flitting a glance curiously aside at the large animal seated by the noblewoman, she ventures to remark, "..beautiful creature. Hello." She can't seem to help greeting the warhound, too, hesitating by the chair until invited to sit.

The 'beautiful creature' seems to preen, then, rising up onto all fours and, by all accounts, might seem to pose as if for a drawing, a painting, or just to give an impression of just how beautiful the all-white Warhound is. Blaze chuffs, and then takes a few sure steps towards Esyld, sniffing the girl briefly, before staring up her with odd, intelligent curiousity, like a human might study another creature.

"Blaze," announces Evelyn, raising the stein up - now that her guest is here in toast, "Certainly thinks he is a beautiful creature. But, I assure you, there's no need to further feed his ego." Evelyn looks amusedly at the creature, then addresses Esyld more directly.

"And, please. We're not in court, or in public. Evelyn suits just fine. Besides, I can use a repreive from Courtly etiquette, if only for a little bit. But, help yourself." She sets the stein down, "And make yourself comfortable."

Automatically holding out a hand, palm upturned, toward the massive hound as he approaches, Esyld eases down into the chair with a smile of thanks. Oh look, ale. Glorious. Reaching for her own mug with her free hand, the woman raises it in an answering gesture to Evelyn's toast before taking a sip, swiping froth from her upper lip with a well-practised flick of her tongue. "Mmm. Thank you. And.. heh, thank you again. I'm not particularly comfortable amongst courtiers, I must admit. All the gilded worlds and hidden meanings.. why can't people just say what they mean?" Ahem. That's probably not the best start, even for a permitted casual conversation.

"Thank you for inviting me, m'L.. Evelyn. And for the drawing." Momentarily distracted with a smile down at Blaze - this is plainly a woman who has a soft spot for animals - she now looks back up and across at her noble companion, quirking a brow in obviously quite genuine interest. "..was it your own work? You've certainly a talent there, if so. If perhaps a rather forgiving eye when it comes to my nose." The cautious smile gives way to a slight grin to accompany the jest, a fleeting glimpse of white teeth.

Evelyn exhales, "My father," she tells Esyld, "Is perhaps the most brilliant political mind in all of Couviere. Were it not for my brother Alaric, likely, I would have been raised to that. But my brother chose the role of the negociator and politician over Knighthood. And so it fell to me to take that particular role, amongst our family." This, afterall, is no secret. "And while many of my brethern are nobles, there is not the - subterfuge," she decides, "And intrigue that occurs in Court. I think you will welcome it, once you grow accustom," she offers with a reasonable, friendly air of advice.

Blaze, having satisfied his curiousity, turns 'round and takes a few steps to lay down at Evelyn's feet, letting out a faint chuff, and then half-closing his eyes. Relaxing, but not intending to sleep, just yet.

"I mostly keep my work to myself," Evelyn admits, nodding when asked if the drawing was hers, "It's something to distract me on the battlefield. To record my battles, my triumphs, my failures. Those I've met. And the splendors I've encountered. But thank you, nevertheless." She seems pleased at the praise, adding, "I only draw what I see, be it beauty," she says with an air of warm sincerity towards her guest, "Or visceral. Most never get to see it. It's for me, more than anything."

Esyld nods solemnly as she listens to the insight into the woman's background. She knows of the infamous Manfred l'Faust, of course - who doesn't? But she seems to warm to the conversation, relaxing back a touch in her chair, one hand lingering on the handle of her stein. "I myself grew up in Bloodfield, so the training and camraderie of men - and women - at arms fell to me naturally.. if something of an afterthought in comparison to my elder brother." Ahh, the grim-faced t'Maren heir. Doesn't he seem a bundle of laughs? "It's a different matter entirely, of course, to be recognised as one of them, at last." Yes, there's an undeniable smile playing about her lips. She's proud, and rightfully so. "Most of my adult life, of course, was spent right here in Lonnaire. Truthfully, I consider this my home… and now I must just adjust to the change in role, I suppose. A challenge I look forward to. If with a little trepidation." Well, who would want to let down Gabriel l'Corren, for One's sake?

Crossing her legs at the knee, the brunette tilts her head a little askance as Evelyn speaks of her 'hobby', briefly contemplative. "I've nothing quite like that.. working with horses is my favourite way to pass any free time I might have. That or apologising profusely to whoever my own mount has stamped on, throughout the course of the week." Judging by the shrewd glimmer of amusement, though, she's actually quite amused by the destrier's antics. Pity the stablehands.

Daring a further topic, she asks, after a moment, "..I trust you enjoyed the Masque? Have you attended before?" If she guessed which mask the Lady hid behind, on the night, she makes no mention of it, for now. Likely she's waiting to see how the enquiry is received. See, she does have manners.

"Well, now your mount can trample people purporsefully, should you ever ride it into battle," Evelyn offers, cheerfully. She looks pridefully down at Blaze, "Should we ever fight together, you will get to see something. Blaze is as fierce as a rampaging Ice Bear in battle. And he works in tandem with me." Yes. Evelyn is bragging. But, who wouldn't?

"Still, once you find a mount you understand, connect with, you can forgive them for nearly anything," she agrees. "I love riding, as much as one could love anything. If I can get away with it, I will ride, as opposed to using Fae Gates. It's not often I can, not always practical. But, when I can?" She nods. "And one day, Smoke and I shall win the damnable joust. I swear it," she promises, with a faint chuckle.

As to the question at hand? "I did, quite so. Which," admits Evelyn, after a measure of her own self-reflection, "Surprised me. Despite the rumors one hears, I still thought it would be an overly courtly affair. And in a way, perhaps it was. A different level of intrigue. A different sort of game. Watching people become something else was interesting, to say the least. And I induldged in my own fun, I must admit. Though clearly, some people had far, far more fun than I." Evelyn had not missed the 'activity' some of the alcoves had seen, even if she herself had not visited the infamous places within the confines of the celebrated party.

"Oh, he's done so. Hooves the size of dinner platters." grins Esyld, though she doesn't bother to elaborate on when and where. "To be honest, he's getting a little long in thr tooth now for battle.. though don't tell him I said so." Pausing for another sip of ale, followed by a soft, contented sigh in appreciation of the taste, she adds, "..perhaps if I'm very lucky, Lord Gabriel might allow me to use him at stud. He'd breed well." The t'Marens take pride in their mounts, even if they're not so renowned as those of grander houses in Couviere. "Perhaps we might find opportunity sometime to take in a hunt.. or just a ride with no actual purpose in mind whatsoever. The area is safer now, after the bandits were defeated." And quite resoundingly, by all accounts. Well, depending who you talk to.

Following Evelyn's gaze down to the warhound, the new-raised knight arches her brows, suitably impressed. "I'd heard that of warhounds, though I've never witnessed one in action myself. Would it out of place to say 'I look forward to it'..?" A chuckle rises from low in her throat, the sound a good-natured rumble rather than the tinkling, feigned amusement of more delicate ladies.

Oh, yes. The Masque. Nodding her assent, being a little more familiar with the event herself, Esyld offers the woman opposite another brief grin. "A different game altogether, isn't it. Quite freeing, many think, to be able to enjoy a night away from the expectations and responsibilities. And you can learn much from how they portray themselves, in that newfound freedom. There were some splendid guises, this time." Chuckling into her ale as she sips again - goodness, she does like a drink - the blue-eyed t'Maren has to wait until she swallows, with some effort, before voicing that assent still further. "There's always one or two who get very much into the spirit of things, yes. It amuses me; newcomers always seem to be under one of two impressions: your own, that it's little more than a much-touted party for courtiers.. or that it's a damn orgy. Some, I think, are oft disappointed to find it to be neither."

"I," suggests Evelyn, "Was actually relieved to find it to be neither," she admits with a small laugh, even as Blaze seems to have listened, or determined all he is going to for the present and closes his eyes entirely, resting now. "I rather enjoyed myself, but I do not need to retire to an alcove, or sneak away with another guest to do that. Dancing and drink, and food, quite enough for me," she says, still with that measure of contented humor. "I hope you had as much fun as it sounds like you had? I likely will be attending next year's event as well."

Evelyn signals for a servant who nods from where they'd been watching from afar, and it's not long before two fresh steins of ale are brought forth, and the servant again whisking away to remain out of earshot, but ready to attend should the ladies have need of him.

"I imagine that you likely could convince the man who I heard Knighted you to let you stud him," Evelyn points out with some humor. "Clearly, you've impressed him. And I'm certain he will have keen awareness of your fondness for them." The horses, she means, of course. "Blaze just produced a litter not too long ago," she shares with her friend. "They will sell quickly, and expensively, I've no doubt."

But she has her own inquiries. "Will you be competing in the next Tourney, Esyld? Move from spectator to participant?"

"Dancing, drink and food, certainly of that quality on all counts, ought to be enough to satisfy anyone." laughs the t'Maren, "..but there's always some with eyes bigger than their stomachs. Ah," Handwaving it, apparently not one to blush or snipe over such things, Esyld then tucks back a wayward lock of dark hair behind her ear. "..to each their own. I've heard some women enjoy embroidering cushions. That upsets me far more than anything I've ever seen at a Masque." Still, seeing as her companion asks… "There was one dance that rather caught my attention. But a dance, nothing more. It seems we have that in common.. not needing the excuse of such an event to find contentment." Is she more settled than she seems? She doesn't exactly strike as the 'domesticated' type…

Leaning back politely to ease the way for the servant and the fresh drinks - she even murmurs a thanks, rather than pretending he doesn't exist, as some 'nobles' might - Esyld clasps her hands loosely in her lap, and listens once more. Only to dissolve into a moment of surprised, but evidently pleased, laughter. "Do my ears deceive me, Evelyn, or do I detect a rather wicked sense of humour beneath the propriety and elegance..?" Shaking her head slowly in amusement, the former mercenary nevertheless continues on, refusing to be swayed into even abstract consideration of that quality broodstock. "He did..?" Quirking a brow, Esyld glances thoughtfully down at the now slumbering hound. Beyond her means, no doubt. But she has mentioned the desire for a pup, several times actually. "I've absolutely no doubt they shall. He has such lovely colouring.. is that quite typical of the breed, or more rare..?"

Aha! Tourneys. There's a subject they can both quite easily cover at length. "I should certainly like to… though I would hate to have a poor showing, now that I've earned my spurs at last. It depends, I suppose, on how much time I can dedicate to training. Being decent on a battlefield doesn't require quite the same.. 'aplomb', as on the tourney field." Ahh. She'd look like te poor cousin, is that what troubles her? Against the backdrop of the nobility and all their finery… well, no, she doesn't seem vain, per se. Proud, though.

"It is why my father was insistent, at the last, I learned some courtly etiquette," Evelyn admits, unabashedly. "Or at least, one of the reasons. I have seen too much death, and lived amongst the seriousness of court." She considers, "While I am a Lady, and of one of the most prestigious families in all of Couviere," for, arguably, none is richer than the l'Fausts if the rumors are true, "I am also a Knight, and also responsible for the people my family govern. From the highest noble, to the lowest peasant. And if I cannot relate to them, understand them, how can I lead them? That is, afterall, what my father ultimately wants. But it will not be given to me. I will need to earn it." She pauses, to watch Esyld's eyes to see if the woman understands, or can figure the riddle before a few heartbeats later she answers it herself. "To lead the Lightning Brigade, that is. It is one of the reasons I have fought so tenanaciously at the Tourney's. Certainly, I wish to be a Knight as skilled as Sir Gabriel, or Sir Joffrey. Those men, my friends, I hold in the highest esteem. But, like all good little girls, I want my father to be proud of me."

A wry smile, then, touches Evelyn's face. "Yet, even with all of that? I've learned that life is too short, or could be, for any of us. And to not enjoy it is a crime. So yes. I am, in some circles, considered a trouble-maker," she admits, humored. "But you'll never hear me admit so in public."

"Oh no. Nor I." Esyld responds to that last promptly, and with a smile too winning to be anything but comically feigned. Esyld? Trouble? Never!

The earlier part of the discussion, however, she did indeed follow; with a faint smile tugging at her lips as she nodded and held Evelyn's gaze. "We've had very different paths, for certain. I've had to shoulder none of the burden of noble responsibility… but I've led men into battle, and dealt with both the victories and the defeats. I've spent much of my life around courtiers and politics, yet never been expected to play any part in it. Even now, while I may have earned my spurs, I don't have the same depth of.. moral inheritance as you. In some ways, the life of a bastard is appealing, for its freedom. The downside being the inability to change the world for those around you in any real way." Regarding Evelyn thoughtfully for a long moment over the rim of her stein, as she takes a long pull of the contents, Esyld resurfaces with a vaguely sheepish smirk. "We each have something to prove, though.. and fathers we greatly desire to impress." The mug is hefted toward the other woman, in a second, silent toast.

Almost as an afterthought, perhaps belatedly realising she has failed to mention it aloud, she adds, "..you stand out in tourneys. I remembered you from Sunsreach. Anyone can swing a blade or throw a punch. The trick is to do so memorably, with enough flair to get the crowd on your side. Speaking as a long-time spectator, of course."

Evelyn gladly toasts to her father, and to Esyld's as well. "Both men of honor, valor, and cunning." Each, of course, in their own means. Her father was hardly known for his prowess with a blade. But there are more battles than that of steel and flesh.

The last comment, the praise, is truly unexpected, and it causes Evelyn to briefly look away, and her cheeks to barely pinken. She, clearly, has a very different opinion. Then again, she's also been holding herself up to the standards of the Red Knight for the last few years. The humility is earnest, but the embarassement is not held long. She looks back at her guest, smiles, "I'm pleased. I'd hoped a better showing in the last, given my victory. And considering I was at home. But," she shakes her head, "It was not meant to be. Still, I'm glad I could impress you so. Moreover, if you've the mood, before the next Tourney if indeed you wish to compete, or simple help, I'd be glad to show you a few tips on perhaps the most difficult event - that of the Joust."

She clears her throat, and shifts the subject smoothly, "What is familiar to us is what's comfortable. Breaking those shackles, you, in the light now, me, in Court, that is where we as people are truly challenged. To see if we can weather the onslaught, adapt."

"Eh." Esyld shrugs off the concerns of their combined last showing with a wry smile. "I was fairly trounced myself, in the Bareknuckle. Sometimes it's all down to naught but luck, on the day!" A soft chuckle follows, and she can't help but add. "And yes.. I'm tough to impress. Just ask my brother, or cousin." Setting down her drink, finally, the woman reaches to help herself to some buttered bread and some fruit. "I would appreciate any tips you'd be willing to share, truly. One should ever cease seeking to improve, I think. Anyone who thinks they know it all.. well, pride comes before a fall, as the saying goes. If I'm bested when I've done everything I can, then fair play. Likewise, if you've ever the inclination to spar hand to hand, I'd be more than happy to oblige.."

The conversation drifts on, pleasantly and easily, with this common ground, as Blaze dozes peacefully at the feet of his mistress. Perhaps all it takes to discover new and unexpected friendships is a shared outlook to the days to come.

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