Sighing Softly to the River Comes the Loving Breeze...

This forum is for role-playing within settings that influenced Tolkien (non-Middle-earth). Acceptable styles include for Celtic, Norse, Kalevala, Arthurian, and Anglo-Saxon.

Sighing Softly to the River Comes the Loving Breeze...

Postby Martin the Warrior » Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:35 am

Sighing softly to the river comes the breeze,
Setting nature all a quiver, rustling to the trees.
-Pirate's of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan

The tower was tall, the tower was strong, and that was what she needed most. Once upon a time, she had been in love. Once upon a time, that was a laugh. The start of so many fairy tales, and the end of so many dreams, the fresh bruises on her arm stood out muddled and purply-brown to this testament. If she was to tell the story of her own life, it would have started out like this. Once there was a fair lady whom was in love with a lowly stableman. Her father would not hear of it, he had richer grander things in mind for her. So first chance he got, he married her off to the first count who came along, the Count Ardentia, to become his second wife. And ever since it had been a nightmare, it was why this tower had become her asylum, the one place where no matter what he’d done to her, she could hide.

Ever since she’d come to this place, all she had heard about was Wendy, the first wife, her portrait she’d found in the attic, she’d had been beautiful, but a frail thing, and when she had died in child birth (their second child who also died shortly thereafter), the count had never forgiven her. In fact he’d taken it out on all the female’s in the household, most of the servant’s that were still left, those who had not run off, hid in fear when they saw him coming, and would lock themselves in their rooms at night. And she was just another servant to him.

Most night’s he came to bed drunk, most day’s he was drunk, it seemed that unless a church member was in the house he was drunk. And when he was drunk he took it out on her. Was that all she had been reduced to was to a “her”? It was the way she felt, once people who loved her called her Rosamund, now she was for the most bit, her.

Sure the view was lovely through the slits, or crenellations, as father had called them, but were they worth the bruises she tried her best to hide from the world. How many times had she had had a black eye and had to make excuses about how the sun was too bright for her eyes to the point that she had had to wear veils over her face, or long-sleeved dresses in the middle of summer because she was cold. At least the servants had heard her. He had probably been nice when Wendy had been alive, but that was gone now, even after his daughter had gone to live at her Uncle Matthew.
User avatar
Martin the Warrior
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 730
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:44 am
Location: Lost in a parallel world
Top

Postby Lebasi » Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:21 pm

Leif had mourned when the lady had married. Mourned for her freedom and for her sweet, fair spirit. Though he hadn't realized that at the time. A mere child, he had been too young to understand the depths of the sorrow that loveless bindings can bring. Even now he could remember clearly the small grubby boy from the stables who had been watching the wedding ceremony and seen the desolate look that overcame the lady Rosamund's features as she vowed her life into the hands of another. Only for a moment it had glimmered there before it had been lost and the crowds had cheered at the smile on the face of the new husband, the man who had imposed himself upon the lady's life. The slight, overwhelmed child, dug in a sudden sweep from the depths of the older boy's memory, had joined the cheering; for a few moments, he had been convinced by other onlookers that all would end well, yet something about the smile had suddenly chilled him to the bone. As the count had leaned over towards his new wife, the child, caked in horse-muck and confusion, had somehow felt an unexplainable wave of fear.

In the first days after the marriage, he had wept silently in the little room he slept in, attached to the stables. Thinking of that room, Leif''s memory dug deeper, to the even younger boy, caked in mud this time, and in blood, as he had been told, his own blood. Staggering alone, the child had met a beautiful young woman, or girl, as she had been then. Rosamund had taken him, and he had become a servant of that household, given work with the stable master, even offered lodgings in the building. The wretch of Leif's memory, however, had felt more at home in the room he had kept, barely bigger than a stable stall, where he could hear the comforting breathing of the horses. It was there, under the patient watch of the great beasts, that his mourning had began.

His understanding had grown little, for Rosamund would conceal much of her true feelings from most, yet he would see the same desolate face he had seen years ago and, as his years and experience heightened, his interpretation of it had improved. The times he would speak to her, also, she would be distant, the freedom she had had in her own home gone. Though he did not realize it, he understood the lady better than any other, for she would rarely speak to any and not many would perceive her feelings as well as him.

The boy had transformed: a tear streaked child weeping in the stables had begged to be taken as part of the company that the lady Rosamund traveled with and brought to her husband's castle. Sometimes, he would regret it, wonder why he had gone, for his life had been changed for the worse. The stable master that he worked under now was a harsh master, both to the horses and to Leif. In this he was unlike many servants, or so Leif was told, but that didn't affect the way life had changed. Work was long and arduous every day, and when time was left for Leif to mourn dead freedom and spirit, his superior would believe it wasted time, whether or not there was more work to be done. However, if the older boy of the present could find a private space and time, thoughts would pass through his head, and sometimes tears would cleave paths through his muck-streaked face, for the long-stifled spirit of the fair lady, and on seeing the lady, he would know that he had, as a confused child, done the right thing in accompanying her: his life may have been changed for the worse but not, he believed, in the same way that hers had.

During these times, he had seen the lady often, mounting the steps of a tall tower, her fair face blemished by grief. Climbing the tower in the summer, her long, heavy sleeves must have warmed her far too much, her veil protecting her sensitive eyes. Or so she would tell many who asked. Doubts had long been forming in Leif's mind and as the lady Rosamund mounted the tower today, an urge to follow, and help the lady in any way that he could washed over him.
User avatar
Lebasi
Ranger of the North
 
Posts: 1211
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:47 am
Location: Between dreams and conscious thought
Top

Postby Martin the Warrior » Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:00 pm

She smiled as the loving breeze blew in through the open wind. So few things made her smile these days, for the most part she had no reason too, and then she heard him, climbing the stairs, calling her name, trying to act all perfect. Her smile fell; he was in one of his moods where the slightest thing could set him off. She heard the door jangle, she heard the sound of a key enter the lock, she cursed under her breath at the whomever had given him the key. She felt him approach her from behind, the hand that reached her shoulder and spun her sharply around. She could smell the liquor on his breath, the horrible odor of death.

“Didn’t you hear me calling you girly,” he snarled.

“Yes, milord,” she answered breathlessly feeling his nails tearing almost through the sleeve of the dress. “What is milord’s wish?”

“I said, where’s the key to the wine cellar, my guests,” (the gypsy’s the often camped on his land), “need refreshment. You stupid wench when the Lord was handin’ out ears, were you off picking daisy’s!” He struck her hard in the face, sending her to the ground.

“Here it is milord,” she handed it to him out of the pocket in her dress, if she had been a little bit braver she would have tossed out the arrow slit and have said, “There find it now,” but most of the defiance had long gone. And if the window had been bigger at moments like this, she would have flung herself out and dashed herself against the ground below.

He took the key out of her outstretched hand harshly and said, “Good girl, may haps I’ll let you live another day,” like she was a disobedient Cocker spaniel and left her once again to her misery.

Once again alone she started to cry, another bruise, another heart-ache, another day wasted. Her only hope was that the man would drink himself to death, but with her luck, he’d kill her first. Then there was Leif, the last reminder of home, of those people who had truly cared for her. She wished that he'd been there he would never treat any one that way.
User avatar
Martin the Warrior
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 730
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:44 am
Location: Lost in a parallel world
Top

Postby Lebasi » Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:06 pm

He had been on the point of approaching the tower when he had seen the count approaching, his face thunderous and terrible. Leif shrunk back into the shadows, scared to be within any distance of the man in such a mood, and cursing himself for his cowardice: he didn't know what would happen, but whenever he witnessed something like this he feared the worst. Though he had never followed, never made it is business to protect the lady he served and had a duty to. The woman he had always respected

Don't be ridiculous his thoughts overtook him, giving him the advise he wanted, but didn't trust, telling him to do what would be easiest You're the stable boy. You're what, twelve, thirteen. Maybe younger. Fourteen at most. And you think you could stand up to a grown, trained man.

He laughed quietly, humorlessly, at his stupidity, his uselessness "But I'd rather leave a woman to do it alone," he spat, then laughed again, knowing that going up there he would only achieve embarrassing himself, or getting thrown out of the castle "And now I'm talking to myself. The little boy form the stable with no identity, little more to his name than the uniform of a man he fears and hates, who doesn't even know how old he is. Maybe he's going mad. Going mad because of a woman who probably doesn't remember who he is" Another look at the tower gave him only more confusion and he added bitterly "Mad with grief. Or guilt. I only have anything, only have a name at all because of the woman I'm watching hurt from a distance."

"Boy!" his trapped thoughts were cut off as the stable master approached, his face only a little lighter than his master's "There's work to be done. I shouldn't have to come and look for you," Leif turned to follow him back, his regret and sorrow still reeling through his mind, and mutters ahead of him cutting through them "I'd have thought a rich and respectable lady would bring a decent servant... may as well not have come at all..." his bad mood would only deepen and the day would not be pleasant for Leif.
User avatar
Lebasi
Ranger of the North
 
Posts: 1211
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:47 am
Location: Between dreams and conscious thought
Top

Postby Martin the Warrior » Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:46 am

She walked over to the nearby pitcher and poured a bit of the cool clear water into a bowl. She washed her face of the tears, wiping them away with the soft, warm towel left there for such a person. She rang a small servant’s bell, and waited.

“Yes, Ma’am?” one of the several young maids of the castle asked.

“I would like to have my horse bridled and saddled, I plan on going for a ride.” She said this with her back to the girl to hide the fresh marks.

“Will that be all Ma’am?”

“Could you also bring me my white vail? The one with the hand embroidered roses on it, and the matching gloves.”

“Sure thing Ma’am, I’ll get right on it, but wouldn’t the Master be angry to find out you’ve gone?”

“If he asks it was my own idea.”

“Yes Ma’am, it won’t be but a moment.”
User avatar
Martin the Warrior
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 730
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:44 am
Location: Lost in a parallel world
Top

Postby Lebasi » Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:26 am

The Lady's horse had always been a friend to Leif. As long as he had worked in Rosamund's stables her deep, slow, horse's breath had comforted him, and now he was brushing her thick, sleek coat, feeling her calming presence as he worked, savoring the task before he moved onto other, more taxing work.

"Excuse me," he looked up sharply, surprised to hear a soft feminine voice, being used to little more than the stable master's harsh tones, as he rarely spoke to other servants. But his superior was elsewhere and an unfamiliar serving girl stood a few paces away. "The Lady Rosamund would like her horse prepared for riding," so that was why she had come. She looked around, as if checking that Leif was indeed the only person in the stable looked slightly wearily up at the tall beast before continuing "Would you do so and have it brought out ready for her?"

He made a noise somewhere between a grunt and a yes in assent.

"Thank you," perhaps the girl would have said something else, but she stopped and left Leif alone to wonder why the lady would be riding, and whether it had anything to do with the events he had almost witnessed as he began the favourable task that the girl had brought to him.
User avatar
Lebasi
Ranger of the North
 
Posts: 1211
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:47 am
Location: Between dreams and conscious thought
Top

Postby Martin the Warrior » Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:24 pm

A few minutes later the maid entered the room, “Here you are ma’am,” she said leaving the requested items on the table.

“Very good, and the horse,” Rosamund asked.

“I spoke with the stable boy and he’ll be ready shortly,” she replied.

“Thank you that will be all.”

“Yes, ma’am.” With that the maid took her leave leaving Rosamund to her own thoughts.

Rosamund walked over picked up the gloves, and placed them on and then the veil. She then walked slowly down the stairs, her eyes darting back and forth to make sure that the count was nowhere in sight. She was glad that the girl had gone to Leif, and not the stable master, whom would have gone immediately to the count to report her actions. He was just one of the many spies who lived within these walls. Who at a moment’s notice would report what she’d done for an extra piece of gold. It wasn’t that she blamed them, it wasn’t that at all, but it was hard to know exactly who would and who wouldn’t. She probably wouldn’t have guessed the stable master if she hadn’t seen it with her own eyes, when the count and him had thought they’d been alone.
User avatar
Martin the Warrior
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 730
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:44 am
Location: Lost in a parallel world
Top

Postby Lebasi » Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:49 pm

The wind fluttered gently through the horse's mane as he led her out of the stable, the two calming each other. It disturbed his hair too, eddies of it flapping wisps around his face, but he took little notice.

He hadn't been standing there long when the lady arrived, almost all of her skin covered, as usual, in veil, dress and gloves. Pushing his hair out of his eyes, he handed her the reins, bowed, and was about to speak when the wind caught her veil too, carrying it, just for a moment, away from her face. He caught half a glimpse of pale blue eyes in a fair face, but set around the eyes bloomed a dark patch of skin, a bruise spreading beneath the skin. Only for a moment he saw it, then the veil fell back over her eyes, once again covering her face so that he almost didn't believe the glimpse he had caught.

"My lady," he began, then felt stupid, not knowing how to continue "my lady, your -" he almost stopped, too scared of what he would find, of how the lady would respond to continue. He almost simply said your horse, almost walked off, troubling only his own mind, but suddenly strengthened his resolve "my lady, your face, is it hurt?" even then he stopped abruptly, shocked at what he had said and scared of the answer.
User avatar
Lebasi
Ranger of the North
 
Posts: 1211
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:47 am
Location: Between dreams and conscious thought
Top

Postby Martin the Warrior » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:41 am

She felt her face redden, she cleared her throat and said, "It's nothing, I just tripped over my own two feet," another gust of wind blew up her sleeve showing the older bruises. She could see by his eye's he'd scene them. "Actually," and here is where she broke down, she told him everything, she wasn't sure why, she just had had enough of hidding it from everyone. "...it's been like that since day one. You've seen how he's treated the servants, half of them are scared to tell the truth, the others fell like they have to tell him everything. I feel like I'm choking, that's why I requested that my horse be made ready, I feel that if I don't get out even if it's just for a couple minutes in the surrounding countryside, I'll simply wither away to nothing."
User avatar
Martin the Warrior
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 730
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:44 am
Location: Lost in a parallel world
Top

Postby Lebasi » Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:06 am

Shock coursed through him that she had confided in him. That it had happened at all and that it had happened so suddenly; the trapped guilt and frustration that he had carried ever since he had first suspected and done on nothing gripped his heart. Overwhelmed, he didn't know what to say. He had thought that having almost expected that this would be the case would make it easier if he found out it was, but all it did was heighten his guilt, his feeling that he could have done something.

"My lady, I'm sorry. I have watched you, feared for you. For a long time I imagined this, but I never acted. I should have helped." But what use would you have been? You know you couldn't have helped her, that even now you can't. You're too weak, useless. He tried to quell the voice in his head, wishing that he had at least tried, not skulked, scared, in the shadows.
User avatar
Lebasi
Ranger of the North
 
Posts: 1211
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:47 am
Location: Between dreams and conscious thought
Top

Postby Martin the Warrior » Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:49 pm

"It's fine, really it is," But the cracking of her voice revealed otherwise, "I am forced to make it work, after all he's still my husband. But living here is like living in a Masoleum, every where I go I hear of Wendy. How Wendy would never do this, or Wendy would have done that. I am sick of hearing about Wendy. He spends his days either drinking or terrorizing the entire household, you've seen how the various house maids, cooks, and servants run here and there, using the various old passageways and cellars to hide from him. The tower is the one place that I could go and some one even gave him the key to that." She then seemed to realize where she was and what she was saying. "There are also various spies within this place, people who tell him, where I've gone and to whom I've talked to. One such person is your Master in charge of the horses. Would you be willing to be my spy amongst the servants? I can't pay you anything like the Count can, but I can offer you extra food, blankets, whatever it is you need."
User avatar
Martin the Warrior
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 730
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:44 am
Location: Lost in a parallel world
Top

Postby Lebasi » Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:43 pm

"Gladly, I would. I would not give information to your husband, to a man doing such things for any money, even to save myself." His voice trembled slightly as he spoke, hoping that he was telling the truth, and that he would indeed not sell information to something he thought so unjust, for any reason. He knew that at least he would not hesitate to give information that helped the lady, and he would hide what he was doing as well as possible, especially from his own superior. He paused, realising what he, and Rosamund, had said, and how it could be taken, and hoping nobody had heard who would report such things. Hoping also, in a sudden consideration, that the lady was true, and that she would say nothing of their conversation.
User avatar
Lebasi
Ranger of the North
 
Posts: 1211
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:47 am
Location: Between dreams and conscious thought
Top

Postby Martin the Warrior » Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:53 pm

"Thank you, I knew I could count on you. Please if anyone asks, you've just put my horse out to pasture at my request. I should be back within the hour I just need some fresh air away from it all." She took the reigns from his hands, the horse whinnied with happiness, as if he'd been waiting for this moment for years. She turned back at Leif and smiled, and it felt good to smile. "He's anxious to get out there. And I'm more than willing to oblige."
User avatar
Martin the Warrior
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 730
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:44 am
Location: Lost in a parallel world
Top

Postby Lebasi » Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:12 pm

With a nod, he watched the horse and rider leave, then turned to leave. It felt somehow momentous, watching them go, as if all that he lived for were disappearing into the distance: horses, that one horse in particular, and the lady he felt some bond of duty towards. You're getting far too sentimental he told himself, half humourously, half bitterly They'll be riding for less than an hour, they're hardly leaving forever. Or riding to their deaths He shivered at the thought, although he knew it was a ridiculous one, and quickened his pace, preferring to return before the stable master did, to avoid any awkward, difficult explanations of where he had been. Though likely as not he would need to make an explanation anyway, as the horse would be gone for a long time and the horse master would wonder where.
User avatar
Lebasi
Ranger of the North
 
Posts: 1211
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:47 am
Location: Between dreams and conscious thought
Top

Postby Martin the Warrior » Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:42 pm

No one knew how happy she was, just sitting there feeling like she was suspended between the earth and the sky. It was the call of freedom, she wanted to answer, but knew that she would probably pay for this one little ride. She'd almost forgotten how sweet, and tangy fresh air was, how cool and light and airy the wind was. The beautiful sound of the gait of her horse against the ground, better than any minstrel's tune. How blue the sky, how green the grass, and when she had stopped just on top of the nearby hill, she got down and breathed deeply.

But when she stood there she heard the sound that made her blood cringe, it was the sound of drunk men singing at the top of their lungs. And one was her husband, she got back on the horse, rode back, they weren't gone more than fifteen minute's but she felt better than if she'd gone on vacation for a year.
User avatar
Martin the Warrior
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 730
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:44 am
Location: Lost in a parallel world
Top

Postby Lebasi » Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:17 pm

It had been a matter of minutes later that the lady had returned the horse, her face deeply flushed flushed from the ride, and Leif had only just finished settling him back in the stall, full of relief that he would need to make no false excuses, excuses that might have been seen through, for the absence of the horse when the stable master stalked back in from some unknown business.

As if he could read minds, he stalked straight to the lady's horse. He spoke softly, acting as if Leif was a part of the stable wall. "You are a nervous horse," You fool Leif's thoughts once more bombarded him with accusation. The man may not treat the horses hugely kindly, but Leif had forgotten, or overlooked, the fact that he understood them so well. "You're frisky, slightly tired perhaps. I would guess that you have been bearing a rider. Not very heavy, and for a short time, maybe. Perhaps the lady Rosamund has taken you out?"

"No," Leif spoke quietly, knowing he had to say something "I - I've been here all day. I would have seen something..." his voice trailed off, the man fixing him with a frozen stare.

"This horse has been riding," His voice was still soft, but was now laced with a dangerous edge. "That cannot be denied,"

"Nobody could have taken him without me noticing..."

"Then perhaps," the stable master moved closer to Leif now "Perhaps you were involved," the boy began to shake his head, but ice as sharp as knives flashed in his master's eyes. Suddenly, as if seeing that Leif was about to deny it again, he struck out, his hand connecting sharply, forcefully with the boy's face, sending him stumbling against the wall. "You cannot lie," he knew now that it was hopeless, that either he would admit something or have some impressive bruises to explain to anyone who asked, perhaps even some worse damage. Of course, nothing bad enough to stop his work.

Still, he would try. Maybe he could avoid damage and still keep from giving away the news. "I - I let the horse out to run on the pastures. I feared you would be angry that I had done it without consulting you," his voice was only just audible as he said it "but he was restless. He - he needed the exercise."

"The rider." the stable master took half a step, or less, towards Leif "The horse bore somebody,"

"There was no rider"

For a moment, Leif thought the stable master would strike him again, his eyes flashing ice, but there was a pause, then he simply spoke "Perhaps... perhaps I was mistaken," the comment was innocent but an undertone in his voice suggested he thought it unlikely, and as he stalked off, as quickly and silently as he had arrived, his eyes held an odd glint.
User avatar
Lebasi
Ranger of the North
 
Posts: 1211
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:47 am
Location: Between dreams and conscious thought
Top

Postby Martin the Warrior » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:43 am

She heard the conversation between the horse master and Leif. She knew that for his sake not her own she ran down and said, "I was the rider, Leif thought that the horse needed to have a short brisk ride and I was happy to offer my services." The words came out in a flourish without her really thinking about what she was saying. "And perhaps if you had been paying attention to your job, and not trying to find out whether or not the milk maid liked you or not, you would have known that. May be I ought to tell my husband that." She gave a slight wink at Leif, "Now if I catch you trying that again, may be, just may be, we'll have to let you go, and Leif could take your place," she turned her head toward him and said, "Couldn't you?"
User avatar
Martin the Warrior
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 730
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:44 am
Location: Lost in a parallel world
Top

Postby Lebasi » Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:14 pm

As the lady ran into the stable, gratitude swelled in Leif's heart, showing on his face, but also guilt. He wished that he had been able to do the same while she has suffered much worse. You didn't have the means. You would have failed In his shock, the voice in his head that stopped his flow of thoughts seemed detached from him, not his own as it normally was. The words it spoke were now half comforting, half mocking.

Rosamund's words sliced through his thoughts and for a moment he was too surprised to respond. He wondered if she would actually be able to carry out her threats, if her husband would listen to anything she said about servants, or if , as he guessed, she was bluffing. Whatever her reason, the words had the desired effect: the horse master's face appeared composed, but his cold eyes betrayed fear, before narrowing slightly as the lady posed her question. No less surprised than before, Leif silently nodded, though he thought that in truth he would not be able to take up the task so lightly, even if the Count would offer the position to him, or allow his wife to.

"Fair lady, I beg your apologies," the horse master's voice was oiled and just false enough that it carried some veiled and distant threat of its own. "I have been working almost relentlessly all day: looking after many of the horses brought by the guests of your noble husband brings more work, and makes keeping track of all of the horses in my care more difficult," he paused, seeming to decide not to say any more on that subject. "Anyhow, perhaps my lady is tired from the ride? If you wish, take rest, and I will inform your husband of your weariness, that he may care for you the more." He smiled slightly, and subtle changes had come over his face as he spoke. Leif guessed that he was considering whether to tell the count anything, and how much, perhaps thinking about the lady's threats and their meaning.
User avatar
Lebasi
Ranger of the North
 
Posts: 1211
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:47 am
Location: Between dreams and conscious thought
Top

Postby Martin the Warrior » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:56 pm

"That will not be necessary this time, but if I ever find this has happened again I will be forced to. If you need me I'll be up in my tower," She winked again at Leif as she left the scene, she smiled a very wicked little grin as she walked away, that felt good even though she knew whom would be coming soon to her door.

And she was right it was perhaps ten or fifteen minutes later that he, came stumbling up the steps. He reeked of alchol and she could tell that the count whatever he had planned was not good.
User avatar
Martin the Warrior
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 730
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:44 am
Location: Lost in a parallel world
Top

Postby Lebasi » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:22 pm

The horsemaster had left as soon as he could, Leif thought because of his shock at the lady's words, but Leif had stayed to continue work. His mind had been whirling with all that had happened and that, and his work, had exhausted him, though when he finished his work and finally had the chance to sleep, it escaped him. The lady Rosamund caused so many questions to blossom in his mind, questions and worries that troubled him, gnawing at his mind even when it did relax enough to sleep. They jolted him awake in the earliest hours of the morning, before even most of the other servants woke. He thought he may as well start work early, as sleep evaded him and it would give him more time later, but as he did, one phrase echoed in his mind, th question the Lady had asked him the previous day, "Would you be willing to be my spy amongst the servants?"

He gave a bitter laugh, realising how poor he would be as a spy: he barely saw anything more than the stables and talked to almost nobody. At the rate he was going he'd be able to give the Lady no information more useful than the condition of her horses fur. Or possibly the consistency of its waste. But most of the time he needed to stay in the stables anyway, so there was little he could do unless he was to gain information from other people, or somehow leave the stables more often.

A sudden image came into his head of him approaching a maid and asking if she had any interesting information about the count, that he could tell his wife, inducing another of his bitter laughs. Clearly that wouldn't work. You'd do more harm than good for sure if you approached it that way. But possibly more subtly you could do better. Leif doubted that would work either. Having talked so little since he arrived, it would rouse suspicion for him to suddenly ask subtle questions to anyone who passed. He retreated back into thought and work, surprised to see how much he had already done of the latter while concentrating on thinking.

He was shocked out of his thought, however, when a young serving girl walked past the open door on her way to the castle, carrying a large, unwieldy bundle of sheets or clothes. Surprised that somebody was walking that way so early in the morning, he moved quickly to look more closely, and was even more surprised to see that it was the same girl who had spoken to him the previous day. She was also the maid he had envisioned in his thoughts, being the last, and only recent, one he had seen. Perhaps it was this that made him leave the stable, almost impulsively, to talk to her.

"Excuse me," he needed something to say, and seeing her struggling with her bundle, he quickly spoke "Do you need help carrying that?"

She looked up, surprised herself, and nodded slightly, a question in her eyes.

"Take it as an apology if you like," he paused "for not being more forthcoming when we last spoke. I was... preoccupied"

"They told me the stable boy never speaks at all. I expected no more," she smiled slightly.

"I'm often preoccupied." he responded to her smile with one of his own and they continued walking towards the castle, in slightly awkward companionship.
User avatar
Lebasi
Ranger of the North
 
Posts: 1211
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:47 am
Location: Between dreams and conscious thought
Top

Postby Martin the Warrior » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:55 pm

A new day had dawned just the same, although one in which she pretty-much hurt everywhere. It might have been worse if had not been drunk to the point where he couldn't see straight. And as soon as he had fallen asleep she had crept away back up into the tower. There she'd fallen asleep still in the same clothes as yesterday. In the morning a maid had brought her up a clean outer dress, one that didn't have blood on it. She had lamely put it that she'd triped on a step and scraped her face and hands. The maid blindly excepted this, as she wasn't one of the smarter maids.

Now standing in this clean dress with new gloves and veil attached smartly into place, she felt dirty. She had the key once again to the wine cellar, and this time she was the only one with the key to the tower. She'd sneaked it away from him in the middle of the night.

She looked at the key to the wine cellar, "Such a small thing," she thought to herself, "to cause so much pain, and suffering." She did something then that may cause trouble in the long run, but it was impulsive. She threw the key through the slit then thought, "Alas, what have I done." She ran over and ran the bell over and over again, hoping someone would come quickly to her aid.
User avatar
Martin the Warrior
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 730
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:44 am
Location: Lost in a parallel world
Top

Postby Lebasi » Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:11 pm

"I hope I'm not stopping you from doing anything important," the girl broke the awkward silence that they had been walking in "I don't mid if you leave, I'll be able to manage OK,"

"Oh no, it's fine. I woke early so I've done almost everything I need to,"

For a while their speech trailed off again, and the girl deposited her bundle, some clothes and sheets from some of the count's guests that he had agreed to have washed while they stayed with him, in a laundry room to be washed later. The room was near the tower that Leif had often seen the Lady in and as they walked by, he could almost have said that he saw something small flying from one of the slit windows, but dismissed the thought as a trick of the light.

The maid thanked Leif and he began to walk back, but had only been going for a few seconds when the sound of a bell frantically ringing exploded in his mind. He had realised it was from the tower, and was already on his way to the staircase when the serving girl began to follow. She does this regularly. It's her job not yours he told himself, though he still continued mounting the steps, and couldn't have been completely sure that she hadn't turned back.
User avatar
Lebasi
Ranger of the North
 
Posts: 1211
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:47 am
Location: Between dreams and conscious thought
Top


Return to Role Playing: The Green Dragon Inn (Tolkien-Influenced Fantasy)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest