(1310-07-04) When Sellsword and Vicomte Meet
Summary: A chance meeting at la Cascade leads to talk, wagers and duels.
RL Date: Wed Jul 04, 1310
Related: None
arsene frida 

Le Cascade

Taking a smaller path that splits from the main one, following it through the trees and down a small slope, and a person would find themselves in a large glade at the foot of a waterfall. Entering the glade is like stepping into another world; for no views of the city, or the sea that can be heard in the distance, are possible from here due to the trees that surround it. It's here that the river which has wound its way through the Eisandine fields, tumbles over a fifty foot cliff and into a pool at its base before continuing on its way. Over the centuries the rocks surrounding the pool have worn smooth, and the natural hollows and formations of which they comprise allow for sitting or bathing in the sparkling clear waters, or for stretching alongside the pool in the warmth of the Eisandine summers. Trees around the edge of the glade offer respite for those that prefer to seek shade when the sun is high, and one large flat rock that overhangs the pool is a popular spot from which to dive. %r%rAt some point in history, someone carved a small grotto into one of the rocks behind where the water cascades, and lovers will often place a devotion to Naamah here, asking her for blessings.%r

There's little better after a Long Day than some relative quiet. A big light grey courser is tethered nearby, grazing contentedly. Clothing hangs from a tree, supposedly drying, but the rain has started up again. This causes the small fire to hiss and spit here and there when the droplets hit a rock.

The Skald is in the water, coming up after a dunk to rinse soap out of her hair. Standing about waist deep in the water, she pushes her hair back from her face and uses her hands to squeegee the water off her face.

There are the sounds of footsteps approaching, ones made without any attempt at quiet, no concern whether he is heard or not. Whether they are heard, or pass unnoticed within the relative quiet and the Skald's washing, is unknown. Though the latter is definitely noticed when Arsène comes upon her, bringing his steps to a stop. "I thought a walk in some random place in the middle of rain would prove interesting. But I suppose I'll be content with unexpected." He tilts his head to the side, observing, not a hint of lust in his black eyes, taking in details rather than dwelling on her state of undress. "Does every wild woman in the region make use of these waters for their baths?" he asks, a hint of humour in his voice. Perhaps he's teasing. He doesn't look angry to insult, indeed, he doesn't seem concerned, or care, at all.

The devil's in the details. It isn't just the horse's tack in the pile of leather. There's a sword belt, shield, and brigandine armor. The blonde has a slew of scars scattered across her. Both hands, her chest, and older, more faded scarring. Beneath her skin, she's lean and muscular - not just a lass with the gear for a fight, but a fighter with proper callouses on her hands.

Once she clears the water from her face, she blinks a few times, turning to face Arsene, not overly worried about covering up or sinking into the water until she's had a chance to assess him, size him up. "Some woman do. It is nice place to be." Her d'Angeline broken and thickly accented with the harsh, guttural notes and habits of her native language.

"Ah, literally a wild woman." Arsène notes idly after the words are out of her mouth and the accent revealed. In case the various scars and obvious battle experience wasn't indicative enough that this one was probably not part of the local nobility. The Vicomte, meanwhile, offers both similarities, and differences. He is clothed, for one, clad in fine hues of a blue so dark as to be black, a coat protecting him from the rain, beneath which a fit shirt and tight trousers ensure no loose clothing will get in his way, while not so tight as to prevent swift movement. Black leather boots, and a similarly dark belt set in silver, complete the ensemble. Worth noting, however, is the longsword tied to his belt. It might have been just for show, were it not for the man's hands, exhibiting the clear signs of a swordsman, if his stature wasn't enough. Endless black consider Frida a while longer, before he nods. "Sellsword, I assume, from your equipment over there." he motions towards the horse. "And what brings one of the wildwomen of Skaldia to these lands of ours? I'm curious. Really."

It's natural to size up another fighter. "Money. Find fights, make some coin. Ride some pretty d'Angeline man." This, of course, is followed by an obligatorily lewd motion of hips below the water. And a snort. Making sure there's no soap lingering on her skin, she wades to the shallows towards the small fire. "Have work. Find father. Half Skald…" she chides. Too pretty to be a fullblood Skald, and too rough to be a fullblooded d'Angeline. "I am Frida Gunnvor." Titles of some sort follow, but they're spoken in her native tongue.

The clothing is testing for dryness and found wanting, still damp and made more so by the drizzling rain. "Pretty d'Angeline is hungry?" she asks, grabbing a small pot and filling it with water.

"I've not a clue what you just said, but you don't seem the type that would bother hiding insults in your mother's tongue, so I'll just nod along." Arsène replies with dry amusement. Did the lewd motion scandilize him? No. He barely blinks, in truth, thuogh his lips do curl into a briefly amused smirk. "Admirable family traditions to keep up, by the way. Some wines can be too heady before they're diluted with water. Speaking of, how did your parents meet? And why come here, in search of your father?" he asks, his tone at times amused, other times bored, and sometimes, especially for the last two questions, genuinely curious. "I could use a bite, depending on what you have in mind. Or are willing to share." He doesn't correct her on the Pretty d'Angeline. Possibly to not overburden her savage brain. Or, as his still present smirk shows, it amuses him.

"I do not know. Mother see man, man see mother… thing done." she says with a smirk of her own. The pot of water is nestled into the coals, unmindful of the heat. "Father like wild woman." Laughing, there's a fleeting shadow that is hidden behind the laughter. "Food." As if she has time to learn the d'Angeline words for everything.

Hunkering down, shameless, really, she unwraps a good sized lump of venison, using a sharp blade to cube it up and drop it into the pot. This is followed by some standard starchy root vegetables, a couple of carrots and celery. Salt, a few berries, and some dried herb is added as well. "What is your name? Want be called Pretty d'Angeline?"

"Still weighting my options. I suppose it serves its purpose of broad categorization, does it not? Much like 'food'." Arsène remarks, tilting his head to the side, watching her work. Venison seems to be acceptable to him, for he doesn't turn around at once and walk away. Or she happens to be the sole source of entertainment in the area. "Mm, no, I expect it'd lose its charm within the next five minutes. It's already starting to. I am Arsène de Trevalion, Vicomte de Dreux. The latter part is a title, which may have been what you were trying to tell me earlier. Or perhaps you were sharing your entire ancestral line." he shrugs. "How long have you been here? Long enough to learn of our language. Or did you learn elsewhere?" He begins to walk, steps seemingly idle as they take him in a circle around the area, his gaze moving over their surroundings, sometimes returning to the naked woman, and the food she's preparing.

"All d'Angeline pretty. Not so… special." It takes her a moment to find the right word to toss his way, her grin full of her spicey sense of humor. "Month? More? Not much more." She says, thinking on when she arrived. "Learn some when ride to Marsilikos. Learn more, day by day. d'Angeline way is hard learn. People look at me like know. Not know. Make want to hit. Maybe stab." she says, matter of factly.

Heading back to the edge of the pool, the naked Skald washes her hands off. "You swim? All people swim here. Water is good."

"Yes, my point exactly." Arsène nods to Frida. "Categorization." When she mentions a month, he arches a brow. "Interesting. More swiftly than I would have expected most to learn." He tilts his head to the side, frankly re-evaluating her. "Mm… Maybe not so savage after all." he murmurs. "Look at you like… What?" he asks. "I did not follow you there, sorry to say. Like they know you? Makes you want to hit them?" Clearly, linguistics was never Arsène's forte. "And yes, to answer that last question, I swim. I come from the north, Trevalion lands are coastal, and I spent some time swimming there. Colder waters than here, I imagine. I didn't try these yet. Nor, for that matter, have I any special intention to undress and take a swim for your entertainment, my dear wildling."

"Know Thaddeus Trevalion. Has big boat. Um… shhheeet?" No. Is.." Hmph! "Big boat." Damn words. "Many big boat." She motions to him. "You have big boat?" A loaded question given away by the mischief in her blue eyes and a snicker she can't -quite- hide. Flicking her hands to get most of the water off, she looks at the sky and caves, retrieving the long, damp tunic from the tree and wriggling into it. Not so easy, when she's wet and the fabric is wet - but potentially entertaining to watch. "So swim." she encourages, trying to get some naked buns out of the whole 'got caught swimming' deal. Or at least get on the same social footing.

"Ships." Arsène supplies helpfully. "And I'd be rather concerned if I didn't, else I'd look quite silly with the Trevalion sigil being the way it is. And yes, it posses not only a tall mast, but one of fine girth upon which can be hoisted the proudest of flags." His tone, much like his answer, begins serious, but turns into a mirror of the mischief and snicker by the end. "Alas, I doubt you'll see it. It only stops in wealthy or interesting harbours, and your own… Well, clearly you're not the former, as to the latter, we'll see, I've not made up my mind just yet." he adds. As to swimming, he smirks. "Poor little thing, I'm having far too much fun in this little setting of ours to start being fair with you. No, I'll stay as I am, fully clothed, slightly damp, and entertained, for now, by the naked sellsword cooking venison and so interested in seeing me naked, thank you."

It takes a bit to parse the real meaning hidden in the description of the ship.When it clicks, she laughs, cheeks pinkening faintly. Ironic, considering her own nudity a moment before, mumbling something about 'throw' 'pretty' and 'water'. "Can make man wet, not have big, um…" Well, you use what you have, right? So she motions to the gelding's undercarriage. "Not big horse. Small like rabbit." It's clumsy, but she's laughing, enjoying the banter, at least on her end, but she gets the whooole joke.

Fetching a ladle from the pile of tack, she gives the stew-to-be a stir. "What is girth?" Length she gets, that one? Not so much. "Is like strap for horse?"

"And I could make you wet, dear wildling, but that would be neither a high claim given your current state, nor for that matter the same kind of 'threat', would it?" Arsène smirks. "Stallion to a gelding. My, what cold these waters must bring. And here I thought the southern waters would prove better on a man's constitution." he replies, and still does not undress. It's almost like he enjoys vexing her hopes. "Girth, width. Imagine a tree. From its roots to its hightest branch, length. Yet now wrap your arms around the tree. That distance? It is girth." he explains simplistically. "Not that I think you'd be able to wrap your arms around that particular girth, I'm not so disconnected from reality, but it should give you the idea."

Wait. Waaaaait. Frida turns and eyes the tree, then eyes Arsene's britches. Then the tree and back. "Uh-huh." There's an awful lot of doubt there. "Big like tree? Not! Lie. You lie. Not big like tree, not see." Now it's a game, and it's a fun one compared to the rest of her day. Wagging the ladle at him, she uses her other hand to motion a 'v' of index and middle fingers from her eyes to him, using the ladle to point at his crotch. "If big tree, show."

Arsène utters a long-suffering sigh. "I just said it wasn't— All right. Smaller words. No, not as big as tree. I'm quite sure it'd kill whatever woman I'd happen to want to stick it into. Terribly inconveniant. Wait, that was too big was it? Not big like tree. Big like…" He gives a brief look around, looking for the appropriate metaphor. But clearly, he doesn't find it, for he simply shrugs. "Big enough. And not for ladle-wielding wild women such as yourself. Unless…" He smiles. "I have a deal for you, little widling. Fight me. If I win, you owe me. Something, I assume inspiration will strike eventually. If you win, I'll go take a swim. Was that understood at all or do I need to summarize even further? It's harder than it looks."

Frida laughs, following well enough. "That is good wager. Yes, will fight." she says, not bothering with her armor as she pulls her ruthless sword free of the pile of things and out of the sheath. Broad but short, it suits her size and hand well. Pretending to care, she offers a bow and moves away from the fire. This will be a good story for his grandchildren someday.

"Excellent." And with no further word, Arsène draws his own blade. Longer than the broadsword, yet thinner, it is nonetheless of fine steel, sharp and strong. Its make does not originate from his father's lands, however. Indeed, his d'Aiglemort mother's heritage seem to have had a stronger influence on the blade proper, something it shares with its wielder. Indeed, both move as one, his steps sure as he watches Frida, dark eyes possessing an intensity, something that has awakened only with the duel now open them. Something not entirely… mortal. Something that suddenly moves, and the crash of steel against steel is heard as the duel begins.

<FS3> Frida rolls Body+blades+1: Good Success. (6 3 1 5 1 8 1 8 2 2)

<FS3> Arsene rolls Blades+Body+1: Good Success. (3 6 4 8 4 8 7 5 6 4 3 1 5 5 5)

They dance, she with her bare feet, him with his boots. Steel rings against steel. It's like she knows where he will be, when to turn to avoid a slice, stepping -just- out of reach of a swing and pressing in, moving in tight to make it harder to block and parry.

It becomes clear he outclasses her in skill, but still, she holds her own, the two moving as one, in a way. Instinct and the beat of angel's wings guiding them until she missteps, doesn't trust to her instinct, and his greater skill enables him to land a blow…

The longer they fight, the greater his smile. He enjoys, thrives, in such a test, against an opponent that appears similarly blessed as he. Yet there is the opening, and when he sees it, he strikes. It's not fair. He fully prepared for a fight, she entirely naked. Does he pause to dwell on it? Of course not. He cuts, a slash of red starting from her waist to her lower ribs, a thin wound to join the old scars. Enough to pain, enough to hurt, enough to remember every time she lays down or bends or moves… A reminder of their meeting cut in her flesh, and the wager made. "Not enough." The smile, so eager for the clash of blades, for the shedding of blood, for the thrill of challenge met and vanquished, fades. His voice is a murmur, as if coming out of a trance. "You showed more potential than most, though. We'll have to do this again, with you properly attired. Perhaps with more practice. You could become a distraction worth the time, Frida." The first time he's used her name. The first time he cared enough, respected enough, to name her properly. He smiles, though it shows as much warmth as the naked steel in his hand, where her blood can still be seen, till he has cleaned it with a piece of cloth, and sheathed the blade. "I'll be sure to collect… eventually." And with that, the Vicomte takes his leave with not a look cast behind.

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