Author Topic: [RP] A beginning in Lancaster  (Read 4160 times)

(RIP) Aiiane Grey

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[RP] A beginning in Lancaster
« on: 29 May, 2017, 02:41:13 AM »
There was a tidy pile of coins upon the table, glinting in the candle-light.  She'd just finished counting her fortune and a quiet smile gently curved the corners of her lips.  Not that it was a true fortune, but by Aiiane's meager experience, it was more money than she'd ever seen in one place in her entire life.  And, to add to her treasures was a plot of land which had just yielded it's first harvest.  She felt a little wicked to have so much and not be charged for her room at the tavern, but the owner merely shook his head when she'd tried to recompense him for his hospitality, stating it was the policy to assist such newcomers as herself and that, eventually, she would be asked to pay for her lodgings.

Aiiane's fingers ran down her new garments, no more seconds from her mother, although the bedraggled dress she had removed had been cleaned, folded neatly and tucked away.  It and the locket which hung around her neck were the only things of her mother's she owned and she would part with neither.  She sighed with contentment as she put her earnings into a leather pouch and slipped it between the folds of her mother's dress.

A small pot of soup, purchased from the market, had been warming on the hearth and she dipped herself a bowl and placed it where the coins had just stood.  As she ate, she thought of Lord Lancaster.  He was a good man and much of her new-found wealth could be attributed to him.  The money he had fronted her, she considered a loan and was hopeful that she would soon be able to repay him in full.  For now, her plan was to continue to sow and harvest, gather wood and do what jobs as she could find to continue to add to her purse.  Aiiane savored the last spoonful of soup.  Yes, indeed, her prospects were definitely improving and some day, it was to be hoped, she would be an important personage in Lancaster.

(RIP) Aiiane Grey

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Re: [RP] A beginning in Lancaster
« Reply #1 on: 29 May, 2017, 11:56:29 AM »
They bellowed a welcome as she entered their pen, pushing a cartload of hay before her.  The cows began to move forward, looking forward to their meal and Aiiane hurried to pitch the hay onto the ground before they surrounded the cart and she would be unable to remove it from the pen.  Lord Galahad had warned her of this when he'd supplied his instructions on just how she should accomplish her task.  Once they were contentedly munching upon their supper, Aiiane was easily able to exit the pen without any risk of the cows trying to escape.

Many kindly Lancasterians had come to inquire of her and many had offered her jobs.  When she had completed her work for Lord Galahad, she was then going to visit Lord Clydog and he was going to show her the finer point of tailoring.  Aiiane was already a fair hand as a seamstress, for she'd made most of her mother's clothing and kept them well mended, even after they had passed on to her.

As she started up the lane toward town and the tavern so that she might freshen up and have her noon meal before heading out to the tailor shop, Aiiane could not help reflect upon her earlier days in London.  She had found herself in curious circumstances, alone and unprotected in a city unfamiliar to her.  To her relief, London seemed to be safe from whatever miasma had passed through the village where she had spent her life and a number of its citizens had provided succor while she gained her bearings.

When it became apparent that few, if any, from the village would survive the rector, in whom her mother had placed the life and safety of her only daughter before her own demise, determined that they must leave immediately if they were to continue on in this world instead of the next.  It was unfortunate that the man was near as ancient, or at least he seemed so to Aiiane, as the parish he oversaw and thus, as they stood upon a rise that gave them a view of the city in the distance, he collapsed with a final gasp and then breathed no more.  As best she could, Aiiane buried the man where he could ever face the city and the River Thames, glinting in the weak sunlight of the morning.  With supplies low, she hurried towards her destination, uncertain of her future but hopeful that providence would provide a less dismal future than the one she had just departed.

That Aiiane ended up in Lancaster, rather than remain in London, was another story and one upon which she had no time to think as she had reached the tavern and there were more pressing things to consider, such as the stew she could smell as soon as she entered the tavern door.

(RIP) Aiiane Grey

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Re: [RP] A beginning in Lancaster
« Reply #2 on: 30 May, 2017, 02:05:31 PM »
Steaming water poured from the kettle's spout into the small wooden tub near the hearth.  Having consumed her supper and sponging herself clean, Aiiane now tended to her sore and weary feet.  Today she'd had the added chores of milking the cows and while she had been sitting during the milking, there was much leading to and fro the next cow to the milk shed.  While her life in the village had been anything but idle, her shoes had always been previously worn and no one had ever told her that new shoes could leave blisters.

Sitting back in the chair, feet in the tub, Aiiane let her mind drift as the heat worked to soothe away the pain.

Being the youngest and the only daughter, her mother had lavished her with such advantages as she could manage, considering her family was not well-to-do nor well-heeled.  Yet even as a young child, Aiiane had a natural bearing, a nicety of manners and a pleasant voice which set her apart from her siblings and most of the other members of her community.  Only the rector, who was the youngest in a long line of heirs of a local nobleman, carried himself so.   Aiiane's mother, at odds with the opinions of Aiiane's father, had put her under the rector's tutelage, and while the man did not see where such education and training would be needed in the girl's reduced circumstances, he nevertheless humored the mother and taught her daughter the ways of the upper classes for mere pennies per lesson. 

The girl was so apt a pupil and such was his enjoyment in imparting knowledge that was so eagerly absorbed, that the old rector eventually forgot about recompense and instructed Aiiane for the sheer joy of it.  Were that some of his male students so astute and willing to learn. Thus, Aiiane had a somewhat elevated opinion of herself and expected more from life than most inhabitants of her village.  It was with much insight on Aiiane's part that she grew to understand it would be through her diligence and willingness to apply herself that “more” could be attained, although she was positive her education would be of much advantage.

As she turned her mind back to the present, she gave a rueful grin at her last thought and of her aching feet.  Perhaps she should have given a modicum of attention to the more physical aspects of attaining her goals.

The water had cooled and Aiiane dried her feet gingerly before applying the paste of herbs that her mother had used for burns.  The blisters looked much the same and Aiiane prayed the salve would work as well on them as it had for it's original purpose.  She bound her feet in clean rags and hobbled towards her bed.  Snuffing out the candle, she snuggled herself under the covers and slept the well-deserved sleep of the diligent.

(RIP) Aiiane Grey

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Re: [RP] A beginning in Lancaster
« Reply #3 on: 31 May, 2017, 12:33:09 PM »
The days were falling into a comfortable rhythm as Aiiane went about her work.  She was better able to manage her time and felt less panic about failing in her duties to fulfill the contracts she had entered into.  Today, she had a few spare hours with which she could indulge.  If she strolled the lane which fronted the market, she could pass by the mill.  Water from the River Lune had been diverted to turn the wheel and she stood there some moments watching the force of the water make easy work of turning the grinding stone.  It was just one of many differences which compared in stark contrast to the village where she began her life.

As she continued on down the path towards the river, she could not help thinking upon the strange happenstance which had given Aiiane such a new opportunity, had she can only the courage to embrace it.  As events unfolded, it was evident she'd found such spirit.  Her thoughts drifted to the recent past.

While a few London citizens had given her a modicum of guidance and encouragement, a purchase and brief discussion with a vendor at the market resulted in a letter from the Lord of Lancaster with an invitation to travel to that province and become a citizen.  His advice and offer of help overflowed with such generosity as she had not experienced from any in London.  It would be a daresome venture but, to Aiiane's mind, worth the risks she must, of a necessity, take.  At this juncture of her life, now was the time to take such chances if she were ever to gain standing and wealth, something she sorely wished to accomplish.

The trip to Lancaster had not proven to be over arduous, even though she had managed to accrue a goodly number of personal possessions in her short time in London.  Nevertheless, she arrived in fine fettle, if somewhat weary and took her rest in a private room at the tavern, it not seemly that she put herself on display in the common room to be gawked at by the patrons.  It had not been long that the owner tapped upon her door and presented her with a missive from Baron Gorey, welcoming her and letting her know that as soon as he could dispense with business, he would see that she was established with the means to earn a respectable living and contribute to the prosperity of Lancaster.

A tangle of briers, caught in her clothing, brought Aiiane back to the present. “What a age ago that now seems”, she thought and her hand slipped into her pocket to finger the coins resting within.  The purse hidden away in her room was becoming fat, for she was most frugal with her spending, only purchasing those things which were of urgent need.  She was very grateful for the assistance she had received and was positive that the generosity which had been bestowed was the reason for much of her success.

With a happy heart, she turned from the river and strolled past the castle, gawking at the grounds beyond the massive gate which, currently, stood open as a carriage had just passed within.  She circled around to the market and picked up her supper before returning to the tavern and her room.

(RIP) Aiiane Grey

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Re: [RP] A beginning in Lancaster
« Reply #4 on: 01 June, 2017, 02:55:46 PM »
The hoe worked back and forth, almost of it's own accord, so use to the work had Aiiane become.  With the last seed sown, she straightened up and arched her back to ease the tight muscles along her spine.  Now there were two plots of land, fertile and planted.  It had been a busy week, but very fruitful and she was now looking towards a different type of labor.

Late in the day, her mentors suggested that she turn her head back toward her studies for a while and, as she would have to travel to do so, keeping the hectic work schedule she'd embarked upon would not be feasible.  It would be a pleasant change of pace, at least for the short term.

Gathering her tools, Aiiane made her way to the shed where she wiped them down and placed them carefully.  Hopefully they would last her a good long time before she'd need to replace them.  She sat in the doorway for some time looking out over her fields and then past them to the far distant foothills, barely visible in the fading light and haze.  Thoughts of her family crowded in and she could not help but wonder at her good fortune in the midst of such heartache.  How much farther had she come than her parents, but then it was what her mother had always wished for her daughter.  A life better than what she'd had.  Not that she ever complained and if Aiiane were honest, her mother seemed to be completely happy with her lot.  Perhaps it was the way of parents, Aiiane thought, to want better for your children than your own circumstances. 

Grinning, she got up and headed for the tavern and her bed.  She had no children and what Aiiane wanted was better for herself.

(RIP) Aiiane Grey

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Re: [RP] A beginning in Lancaster
« Reply #5 on: 02 June, 2017, 01:34:24 PM »
Luck was with her!  As she struggled along the road to Lancaster, a kindly woman traveling in the same direction stopped and offered assistance.  There was still room in her cart for Aiiane's load of wood, furthermore, the woman was not pulling the cart herself, but was using a massive dog.

As they walked side by side, indulging in the chance to speak with another woman, the two traded bits of news and gossip as they had to offer.  All the while, Aiiane would eye the dog from time to time.  He did not seem to mind his task, nor did it seem to be more than the creature could tolerate.  Eventually, the talk turned to the animal and the woman was more than willing to share her knowledge of the benefits and issues of owning the dog.  To Aiiane's mind, the benefits outweighed the issues and that was the opinion of the woman as well.  She suggested that Aiiane procure a young animal instead of a pup, for it would be months before the pup could be of use and the training was time consuming.  She gave Aiiane the name of a man who bred and trained cart dogs and where he might be found. 

Too soon it was time for them to part ways.  Aiiane gathered her belongings from the cart, bid the woman a fond farewell and thanked her for the help and advice.

Rested as she now was, Aiiane made good time over the short distance remaining before reaching Lancaster.  Stowing the wood and tools in the shed on her property, she was soon on her way to the tailor shop where she trained under the tutelage of Judge Clydog.  All the while her mind digested the information she had gained during the trip home.  Mentally she tallied her wealth and weighed the cost against the benefit.  By the time she entered the shop, her mind was decided.  On the morrow she would make a side trip on the way to York and visit the man with the cart dogs.

(RIP) Aiiane Grey

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Re: [RP] A beginning in Lancaster
« Reply #6 on: 05 June, 2017, 02:26:55 AM »
It had been an instructive day and a fulfilling one.  How odd that she had not realized there was such a void in her life.  For all her memory, Aiiane had been surrounded by family.  She felt their absence greatly and grieved for her loss, but the thought of filling the empty space created by their passing had not surfaced.  Perhaps, looking back it was not strange at all.  She had been kept occupied with the mechanics of her survival; finding food, shelter, and means to earn her keep, but the dog at her side made her realize that an emptiness had been filled.

Once again, as she had all morning, Aiiane let her eyes fall briefly upon the animal, intent upon his task of pulling the cart along the path leading into the forest.  It had taken some good time at the carter's, for he was most careful in pairing Aiiane with the appropriate dog.  He observed both dog and mistress as he presented each of the four which were ready for placement.  The one he eventually chose was an older animal.  To him, the dog immediately seemed to sense Aiiane's youth and vulnerability, moving directly to her side and taking up a protective stance.  For the young woman's part, she'd been visibly pleased, stooping to hug the dog and scratch behind his ears.  He was loathed to part with Crutch, so named because even as a pup he had seemed to prop up his litter mates, for he was of great help in training the other dogs.  Had he not had another as promising in disposition as Crutch, he would not have let him go, but he sensed Mistress Aiiane's need was great and thus parted with his favorite dog.

For his part, Crutch appeared to approve of his change in masters, leaving with the young woman without so much as a backward glance, pulling the lightweight cart with ease.  There had been much instruction on the proper way to hitch the cart to the dog, the needs of the dog (the carter being secretly pleased to notice Aiiane had carried an old chipped bowl and a skin of water with her on the chance her search would be fruitful, but let it appear that such was to be expected that she did so), and how to treat sore paws should rough terrain scrape the pads of the dog's feet.  Eventually the transaction was completed and, although Aiiane's purse was a great deal lighter, she was positive she had made a wise decision.

On the remainder of the trip into York, Aiiane was aware of the presence beside her and how much safer she felt than when she'd traveled alone.  Coming to her favorite spot to gather wood, she loosed Crutch from the cart.  He trotted a ways off and for a moment Aiiane's heart nearly stopped, thinking he was heading back to his home.  But no, he was only about his business and politely doing so a good ways off from her and the cart.  Her heart calmed and a smile full of gladness graced her face as he returned and came directly to her side.  There he remained as she picked up wood and neatly piled it into the cart.

She stopped when she'd gathered as much as she could have pulled herself on the old hide she'd used for the purpose, for she'd not burden the dog with more than she was herself willing to carry.  Once more in his harness, Crutch pulled the cart with as little effort as he had when it was empty and Aiiane was pleased.  On the way home she began humming a tune her mother used to sing when she worked, not even aware that she was doing so.

(RIP) Aiiane Grey

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Re: [RP] A beginning in Lancaster
« Reply #7 on: 07 June, 2017, 02:17:08 PM »
Her hand trembled with excitement as she took the key from her pocket and it clattered briefly against the metal plate as Aiiane pushed it into the keyhole.  Crutch sat alongside, glancing from the door to Aiiane with an expectant look upon his face.  A click and a pull upon the latch and the door swung open on silent hinges.  She examined these before entering, for the hinges on her shed squeaked in protest every time she'd opened the door.  These were well-greased, but Aiiane could not determine with what substance.  However, she though animal fat would work as well and resolved to remedy the issue with the shed door.

Taking a deep breath, she crossed the threshold and entered her new abode.  Where she had dallied, Crutch had rushed in and was now nosing around, as if searching to make sure it was safe, although Aiiane suspected he was checking to see if the last owner had dropped a morsel here or there. 

The Tower, as it was called, stood tall against the morning sky.  The ground floor extension offered a seating area, hearth, and berths along one wall.  Two doors opposite opened into a storeroom and private quarters.  As guardian, these would be her quarters. Wasting no time, Aiiane deposited her personal belongings in her room, to be sorted out later.  Returning to the main room, she laid and lit a fire, tending it until the chill in the room dissipated.  Once satisfied that no stray ember would create a fire where none was wanted, she exited the end of the room through an archway into the tower itself. 

Stone steps, set into the wall, led upward and eventually she poked her head through a hatch in the wooden flooring.  The hatch was secured open, but could be closed so that an inadvertent step would not send one tumbling down the stairs.  Evenly spaced openings in the stonework provided sweeping vistas of the surrounding countryside and with her keen, young eyes Aiiane was able to see a great distance. The room was nearly bare, save a chair next to a small table and a bucket that sat beneath the table.  In times of trouble, Aiiane supposed that someone would be on constant watch, yet she knew it was easy to be lulled into a sense of security when peace fell across the land for long periods of time.  While it would be difficult with her current schedule, Aiiane planned to spend as much time as she was able in the Tower's uppermost level.  Besides keeping an eye out for any trouble, it offered a beautiful view that was afforded no where else Aiiane could name, except perhaps the castle.

A noise caused her to look from the window back into the room.  Crutch, having completed his survey of the floor below had managed to negotiate the stairs and was poking his head through the hatch opening.


(RIP) Aiiane Grey

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Re: [RP] A beginning in Lancaster
« Reply #8 on: 08 June, 2017, 01:11:18 PM »
Thoroughly mortified, that is just what Aiiane felt.  That she could but wish herself to fall through the floor and disappear.  Two bright red splotches marked her cheeks as she discovered that her well-meaning intentions had nearly gotten an innocent man arrested.  'Twas through the good grace of the Almighty that Lord Galahad had arrived and explained that this was the trader, who's arrival had been greatly anticipated by himself and Lord Aidan, and thus prevented any action being taken against him.  Not that anyone was blaming her, but Aiiane lay much blame upon herself.

As quickly as she could, she retreated to the Tower and climbed the stairs to the lookout.  Sitting upon the chair by one of the windows, she lifted up her face to the cooling breeze, letting it wash her shame away.  Crutch, sensing his mistress' upset, had followed her upstairs and now laid his large head in her lap.  Absentmindedly, Aiiane began to stroke his ears as she gazed out over the countryside and found that it had a great calming effect upon her.  Soon she was giving the dog a wry smile, “All's well that ends well, eh Crutch?”  His ears perked up at the sound of his name.  Vowing to be just as vigilant, but not quite as hasty, Aiiane gave the dog's head a final pat.  “Let see about our supper.  The butcher saved a juicy bone for you and it's price was mere pennies.  And you may have what's left of my supper as well.  You do much work and need to be well fed.”  Whether he understood her or not, Crutch hurried to the hatch and down the stairs with Aiiane following more slowly in his wake.

Soon, with both sated, she sat before the fire with a cup of ale and Crutch made himself comfortable upon an old rag rug with his bone near the corner of the hearth.  Tomorrow would be another run to York for training and wood but tonight she'd relax in her own home and enjoy the fruits of her labors.

(RIP) Aiiane Grey

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Re: [RP] A beginning in Lancaster
« Reply #9 on: 11 June, 2017, 11:04:56 PM »
A clatter of hooves upon the paved stonework of the courtyard entrance caused Aiiane to move her focus from the dummy and towards the rider.  Thus she did not duck when the quintain swung round and she took a blow to the back of her head, sending her sprawling into the dirt.  The drill master barked his disgust at her lack of concentration and called a halt to the exercise as the dismounted rider now made his way towards Aiiane.

He delivered unto her a scroll, took his leave, remounted and rode back in the direction whence he had come.  Refusing to rub the back of her head within view of the scowling countenance of the master, but giving it a slight shake to clear the fog from her brain, Aiiane opened the scroll.  A smile curved her lips as she read.  Praise be, she thought, this is good news indeed!  It would seem apparent that plans Lord Aidan and Lord Galahad had made were bearing fruition and they were to begin the building of the church in Lancaster. 

Headache forgotten, Aiiane slipped the scroll into her pocket and once again applied herself to her lessons.  A scant half hour later, with the session at an end and the scowl on the drill master's face replaced by a slightly milder expression, she gathered up her belongings, loaded them into the cart and attached the traces to Crutch.  She did not even take the time to eat at the tavern, but munched upon cheese and bread on the road back to Lancaster.  Crutch she did not worry about as the tavern keeper had given him a hearty portion of the stew that had been left over from last evening for his breakfast.

Several days had past and it was apparent that the completion of the church would not take long, but it was going to be in need of a number of things, some of which only a goldsmith could craft.  As she had not yet settled upon a profession and working with precious metals and gems appealed to her, Aiiane made arrangements to purchase her shop.  Now she must equip it and to do that would require some traveling.  Contacts were sent out and eventually a vendor was located who would sell her the needed gold at a reasonable cost.  The only hitch would be the trip to Cairo to pick it up.  However, providence had it's hand in things and now, not only was she traveling to pick up gold, but she was also bringing much needed items to England's King so that he might continue to compete in the tournament.

The thought was exciting.  She'd be traveling to distant lands and meeting new people.  But the icing upon the cake would be she'd get to see her very first tournament.

(RIP) Aiiane Grey

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Re: [RP] A beginning in Lancaster
« Reply #10 on: 12 June, 2017, 08:26:53 PM »
From the first day she had set foot in Lancaster, her life had seemed to take a pace not of her own making.  Events evolved quickly, more quickly than Aiiane could ever imagine.  She had been bestowed a knighthood, had worked towards erecting Lancaster's first church and decided upon her future profession.  Now she had set out upon a journey which had never been visualized in her wildest dreams.

The first leg of the journey was by ship across the channel.  She spent much time on deck, for her quarters were cramped and Aiiane felt an uneasiness that she could not explain whenever it was needful to occupy the space.  The bellowing sails in the crisp air, pushed the ship forward at a great speed, the flags snapping and popping with it's turbulence.  Crutch did not know what to make of it, but it had been necessary to bring him and the cart along for not only was she upon a personal errand, Aiiane was to deliver much needed armor to England's liege for the tournament.  Much of her time was spent reassuring the dog that all was well with the world, even if it did tilt and bounce beneath his feet.

It did not take long before the coast of Brugge could be seen without the aid of a scope and soon enough they had disembarked and were making their way through Brugge.  The terrain was flat and the temperatures mild, so neither offered hardship for Aiiane or Crutch.  As they passed from town to town, she always stopped at the market squares to peruse the items each had for sale.  However, she did not make any purchases, wanting to hold onto her silver until she had obtained the gold she would need for her workshop.

(RIP) Aiiane Grey

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Re: [RP] A beginning in Lancaster
« Reply #11 on: 14 June, 2017, 02:24:05 PM »
The weather was still fair as she traveled through Pfalz.  She had worried about Crutch pulling the cart with it's load of armor up and over the hills, but he showed no stress.  Instead his ears were cocked forward and his nose was in the air, listening to unfamiliar sounds and new smells.  Aiiane could not suppress a smile.  As much as he did not care for the sea voyage, Crutch appeared of be enjoying the journey.

As they eventually passed through Lombardia, the hills became a bit steeper and Aiiane took their leisure in the various towns to give Crutch a rest from his burdens.  The markets were full of rich and spicy odors, which Aiiane found delightful.  And, even though she had brought her own supply of food, she could not help sampling some of the exotic cuisine offered in some of the stalls. 

A few days later, she found Venezia much the same as Lombardia but the landscape had flattened out once more, making life much easier on her dog.  They rested that evening in town as they would need to take a ship out the next day, bound for Alexandria.

(RIP) Aiiane Grey

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Re: [RP] A beginning in Lancaster
« Reply #12 on: 15 June, 2017, 09:14:27 PM »
The morning began moderately cool but as the day progressed and the further south they sailed, the day became warm and sticky.  Below deck was unbearable, thus Aiiane and Crutch stayed mostly above.  Even then Crutch panted incessantly and Aiiane dabbed at her forehead and throat with her kerchief.  Taking pity upon his passenger, the captain had a chair brought up and placed on the foredeck.  She sat where the breeze lifted the tendrils of her hair that had escaped it's coif, yet with the humidity it did little to cool her.  Crutch mostly stood at the rail but came and laid at her feet from time to time.  Every so often a member of the crew would bring up a cooling drink for her and water for the dog.  Aiiane always rewarded these kindnesses with a smile and a copper coin.

When at last they dock, the land offered no succor either, save for the shade of buildings or occasional tree.  Thankfully, the room she secured for the night faced the sea and once the sun began to set, a much cooler breeze flowed through her open windows.  How would they ever survive crossing Alexandria before reaching Cairo, Aiiane could not begin to imagine.  The proprietress had delivered a shallow wooden tub to Aiiane's room and a young girl, with skin the color of dark copper, filled it half full of water.  Luxuriating in it's coolness, she lost no time in sponging away the sweat and grime of her travels.  Once finished, she even coaxed Crutch into the water.  Once in, he immediately plopped down upon his belly and just lay there for a long while, his head resting upon the rim of the tub, watching his mistress go about her preparations for the next day before taking her rest.

(RIP) Aiiane Grey

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Re: [RP] A beginning in Lancaster
« Reply #13 on: 16 June, 2017, 05:02:57 PM »
Deciding that the best course of action was to travel early in the mornings and later in the afternoon and take a long break during the most grueling heat of the day, Aiiane and Crutch set off just as the sun peeked with faint tangerine hues over the horizon.  The proprietress of the inn had given her good directions and even suggested a place for them to take their ease when it became too hot to travel.  She urged Aiiane to keep her delicate skin covered so that she would suffer no injury from the sun and even loaned Aiiane a head wrap to save her face from the scorching effects of the strong rays.

It was not long into the trip before Aiiane was beginning to feel a bit stifled by the wrap, but the moment she removed it and felt the burn of the sun upon her cheek, she quickly replaced it.  Better to smother than to burn, she thought with a wry grin.  They stopped frequently and took water, Aiiane taking particularly care to see that Crutch had plenty.  She even took some of the burden off his cart to lighten his load.

The establishment where Aiiane had been directed to stop when the temperatures climbed to nearly unbearable heights was, indeed, an oasis of cool from the shimmering waves of heat.  Large canopies were grouped together to offer shade from the sun, regardless of it's direction.  Strange chairs, whose seats stretched out so one might prop one's feet upon it were dotted about along with low tables set next to them.  A seat might be secured for a few coppers and a refreshing drink supplied for a few more.  The mixture was strangely flavored to Aiiane's tongue, but even though no coolness could be felt in the liquid she swallowed, it nonetheless gave the sensation of being cool. 

Crutch, relieved of his harness, lay upon the stones which paved a good bit of the area beneath the canopies near Aiiane's chair, he bowl kept full of water by those who waited upon the customers.  From time to time, some of the customer's would come to Aiiane and the dog.  Attempts to pet the dog was met with no aggression but a definite rebuff which discouraged such actions.  Their voices were thick with an accent that made it difficult for Aiiane to follow the conversation, but she would smile and try to communicate the best she was able.  The passing of time was spent pleasantly enough and left Aiiane and Crutch refreshed.  They both partook of a light meal before once more putting their feet upon the road to Cairo.

(RIP) Pierre Du Vallon

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Re: [RP] A beginning in Lancaster
« Reply #14 on: 16 June, 2017, 08:20:40 PM »
A Note in Cairo [/i]

The Cairo Marketplace: Late Afternoon

Mr. Pierre du Vallon gradually gathered up a few pieces of armor from his market stand.  Having been eliminated from tournament, he had decided to watch a few more matches. Some particular contestants intrigued him; but at the same time he knew that he should be moving on.  He remembered that his smithing business would have requests piling up for when he returned to France, and he had a fair way to travel.  Seeing as how matches were still taking place, Pierre had decided to leave some items on the Cairo market; but to take a few items back in case he stopped by a busy marketplace on his journey home.   The two helpers he had brought to the tournament would stay until the conclusion, and deliver any profit to him at a later date.

Then as he laid a piece of platemail into his wagon, Mr. du Vallon was rather stunned by what he saw.  Strolling through the marketplace was a rather slender and quite attractive lady, with a large dog by her side.  Having never seen her before, he was unsure how best to proceed.  For all he knew this could be a Queen from some distant land who was here to see the tournament.  Yet he would be a fool to pass up an opportunity such as this.  Pausing for a moment, wondering how best to proceed. He finally decided to just go with his gut, but to make it short & sweet because a lengthy conversation would probably be too risky.

Checking to make sure his appearance was presentable, and 'good thing he just had his beard trimmed the other day', he slowly approaching the young woman.  Waiting until he could get her attention.  Then he said

"Milady - I apologize, if this is to forward, but I wanted to tell you that you have the most beautiful eyes.  And also that your smile just now has brought a ray of sunshine to someone's rather lackluster day. My name is Pierre du Vallon, the Baron de la Roche, Constable and Captain of Her Majesties Royal Guards in France.  It is a pleasure to make your aquaintance."

 giving her a slight bow for the sake of formality.

"  If your dog would be interested there is a plate with some meat there.  It is quite good.  I had intended to have it for my midday meal, but getting this wagon ready has taken more time than anticipated.  Again, I did not mean to cause offense only to give a compliment to someone who richly deserves one.  I wish you a pleasant day at the tournament.  Myself, I have business that calls me back home, but my hope is to one day see your beauty again."

With that he gets into his wagon, and slowly begins to drive it out of the marketplace and city proper accompanied by his two assistants.

Once out of the lady's earshot, and eyesight he quickly turned to his men.  Reaching into the wagon he pulled out a couple small leather pouches that he had hidden away for safe keeping.  Handing one to each man he says here is your pay thus far, with a little extra for your professionalism.  One last thing, however, before we separate.  I want you two to quietly find out what you can for me about that woman I spoke with at the market before we departed.  Then with a small chuckle, Mr. du Vallon had a thought. Reaching back into the wagon he took out another small pouch, a bottle, a scrap of parchment, and his writing tools. 
Writing the following quick note on the scrap of paper.

"Whether enjoying a trip abroad, or watching a tournament, it is nice to treat oneself. Please enjoy this fine brandy, as a gift. --- Mr. Pierre du Vallon."

Handing the note, bottle, and pouch off to his men Pierre stated; find out where that lady is staying.  Give these items to the inn's landlady/landlord.  The money in the pouch should cover her stay for at least a couple nights.  Make sure the bottle and its contents along with the letter get sent to her room.  You two have served me well, this matter is of the utmost importance to me.

With that Mr. Pierre du Vallon left his men to their quest and traveled out of the city.