(1310-12-13) Journey to City of Elua Pt 3
Summary: The other traveling with the entourage arrives, and all get settled in for the evening to await pushing off dock come morning.
RL Date: December 17, 2018
Related: [http://marsilikos.wikidot.com/log:1310-12-13-journey-to-city-of-elua-pt-2].
drake philomene rajiya 

On the banks of the river outside Avignon

A clearing near the banks of the river, a boat at dock.

The small troop has trundled into Avignon on the banks of the Rhone River, where they were to meet up with Philomene. The river boat bearing the Rousse crest is already at anchor and servants are beginning to transfer trunks and other baggage from the carts to the boat. Jelene is harrassing their captain, giving Drake a chance to take a breather. The locals have already taken advantage of the fact that nobility is using their port to start the upriver journey to Elua and set up stalls with snacks and beverages. With two cups of hot mulled wine in hand, Drake goes in search of Rajiya.

Standing over where her tent had been standing, Rajiya is speaking with the guards in black that have followed her. The conversation is somewhat animated as the females look to the boat back to the princess, a few of them wearing expressions that clearly say - you expect us to ride that thing now?? But, with a few more words, she has them nodding their heads and preparing the last of her things for transport over to the boat.

As Drake's party left Marsilikos considerably before Philomene, one might expect that there would be a day or so here waiting for her to catch up. One would be wrong, it would appear, judging by the appearance of the older woman within hours of the carts beginning to be unloaded. Flushed pink with the cold, but bright eyed and somehow appearing a good ten years younger than usual, Philomene canters up on a frisky looking dun mare, her horsemanship lending her an athleticism she's unable to replicate when walking, even with the well worn sword hanging at her hip and tapping the horse's flank every step. It's not the same mare she left Marsilikos on, and one can only assume that she's been riding hard, changing horses, and following up at an astounding pace, alone. With the clatter of hooves on stone, she draws up to a halt over by the dockside, scanning over the various people gathered there.

Drake has been awkward around Rajiya. But he manages a warm smile when he approaches, holding back until she's sent her servants off. "Here… for a bit of warmth.", he offers her one of the wine cups, "Will you be quite alright with the boat?", he then asks, a little worried, "I know it's not exactly a royal barge, but it should be comfortable enough for all of us, including the horses. If the Lady Philomene and her party arrives before nightfall, we can be off on the high tide tomorrow morning." And right on cue there's the sound of hooves. Drake blinks when he realizes that the lady has come… alone?

Turning, Rajiya accepts the cup of mulled wine from the young lord, a smile of thanks given to him, "I will be fine. A few of my guards.." Well, there may be a few that end up over the side paying dues to the river. "It can be no worse than the ship during a storm on my way here." That, was bad. Speaking of the lady and her arrival, she looks up as well when hooves are heard, smiling a little more, "I believe that is her, is it not?" A gesture is made towards Phiomene, also taking in the fact that the lady travels alone.

"Your highness! Lord Rousse!" Philomene calls over as she spies the pair, easing her horse with a quiet harrumph over towards them. She's looking really rather smug, if we're honest. Self satisfied if we're to be kind. "Are you only just arrived? I thought you'd have been here days ago!"

Drake opens his mouth to say something, then claps it shut again. Then opens it again. "We should talk some time.", he murmurs to Rajiya without really looking at her, as his eyes are already focusing on Philomene. "It is her indeed.", he confirms and lifts a hand to signal he's seen her. "We arrived a few hours ago.", he replies to her question, "It's slow-going with these heavy carts. Have you come all alone, Mylady? No… guards? Servants? Baggage?"

Rajiya arches a brow upwards at the comment aside from Drake, "As you wish, milord." With the lady's confirmation, she too, lifts a hand upwards to wave, though letting Drake answer, "I think he's being polite. I rode horseback for a while, and it is not what I am accustomed to. They likely all had to go slower because of me." A wry smile touches her lips at that, though she seems as equally curious as to where Philomene's guards and servants might be!

Philomene gestures vaguely to the lean saddle bags tucked in behind her, lifting a shoulder in an easy shrug. "I've enough to get on with, and I've never been one for guards as well you know, young man," she insists, lips curving up into a smile of absolute contentment. "They would have had to keep up, for a start. I can't describe how glorious it's been to be able to just ride. If I had the horses, I'd turn down your generous offer, although it's no slight to you, my lord, and ride the rest of the way, too."

"Well, I suppose it shall fall upon me then to guard you.", Drake grins at Philomene, "And let one of our grooms take care of your horse, I'm sure the poor thing is exhausted. Do you want some wine or other refreshments? Or would you both like a tour of the boat?", he asks, looking from Philo to Rajiya.

Rajiya listens to the lady speak about the fun of going alone, of just riding off on her mare. Quiet is she, and yet there's a thoughtful look upon her face that's caught by her head guard, one stern Chetana, who says a few words in Bhodistan to the princess who soon sighs and shakes her head. Seems someone nipped /that/ idea right in the bud! "A tour would be lovely." She instead, answers Drake.

"You couldn't guard a cheese sandwich," Philomene retorts good naturedly, shifting her weight in the saddle then sliding down from the horse. In a matter of moments she goes from fresh faced and athletic to the polite yet strained demeanour of the seasoned woman, awkwardly limping as she hands over the reins to the groom in question with a few murmured, serious words for the mare's care and wellbeing. Those ten years she'd lost pile back on with a vengeance the moment she hits the ground. "What're the chances of a glass of something and a tour, my dear boy?"

"Well, no, cheese sandwichs are delicious.", Drake grumps at Philomene. He eyes his own cup still half-full of mulled wine and Rajiya's, probably similarly full unless she's knocked it back in a hurry. Sigh. "Sure, Mylady, one second…" It's going on 500 seconds when he finally returns with another cup of mulled wine for Philomene, his own cup by now nearly dry. "Well, let us go then.", he says and heads towards the boat. The back half is covered by what looks like a low wooden house, there's an open deck in the middle and a make-shift stable for horses, goats and chicken in the front. Because no pleasure cruise is complete without the aroma of livestock on board.

Rajiya doesn't say anything. Nope, she is standing actually trying not to giggle at Philomene's comment. With Drake leaving to fetch the drink for the older woman, the princess waits for her to dismount, then asks, "Did you take the roads, or other ways to get here?" Curious is she about this trip on the back of a horse! Unlike many D'Angeline's, she doesn't seem to even note the limp in the woman's walk once she's on the ground. "I can hope to get as comfortable on the back of a horse as you are." It is one of those failings of the princess'. With Drake's return with the glass of mulled wine, and the escort to the boat proper, she follows after with only Chetana coming for the moment.

"Mostly the roads," Philomene admits. "With the occasional foray across field or meadow. The road is by far the fastest way, and I knew I'd have the deuce of a time catching up with you. Was your journey eventful? Ah, thank you," she adds with genuine gratitude and warmth towards Drake. "I really do appreciate your offer to let me join you for this second part of the journey, you know. I hope I'm able to repay the favour in future."

Drake blushes a bit when Philomene asks whether the journey was eventful. Damn the near translucent skin of a ginger! He hurries to step across the gangway first, so his back is to the chatting women for a bit, until he's reached the deck. Then he holds out his hand to help them both into the boat. "When the weather is nice, we can sit outside here and enjoy the view.", he explains, "Of course that's much nicer in summer, but perhaps we'll have a few hours of sunshine."

"It was quite nice until I got sore and had to move into the carriage." Rajiya answers Philomene, chuckling at herself. "I dare say he was glad of that so things could speed up." The tease is there as they reach the boat and Drake hurries across. Allowing Philomene to go first, the princess finishes off her mulled wine, the now empty glass handed off to a servant before she might take Drake's hand for the help across to the boat. "And how many days will the boat take us?" She questions, knowing it's been said, but forgetting.

"I hope you're recovered now, your highness?" Philomene queries, happy to ignore Drake's reddened cheeks and continue the polite line of inquiry as she steps across the gangway into the boat. "A hot bath is the answer, if you have the facilities to take one." She glances upwards for a moment, critically eyeing the clouds, the sun, and the direction of the wind. "It'll be cold the next few days, but should be dry," she pronounces. "Looks like easterlies. I'm no sailor, though, so I've no idea if that's the wind we want for travel."

"It's a river, not the open seas.", Drake points out to Philomene with a faint grin, "Our bigger problem is having to travel upstream, so we must hope for the right wind and failing that, pay to have horses draw our boat along. But it is possible now as the river is low. Come spring and the snow melting, it's impossible to travel upriver. It should take three or four days.", he turns to answer Rajiyas question like a good travel guide. "Then another day by road to reach the Seine and then another day or two to reach Elua. But as we'll be sailing downstream then, it will be faster. And I'm afraid no hot baths on the boat, Mylady.", he dashes Philo's hopes as he walks towards the wooden hut in the back, "Fire has to be very limited aboard for obvious reasons. Only the cook is allowed to light one."

"I am fine now, though I will certainly enjoy a hot bath once we reach Elua." Rajiya answers quietly, "A quick massage helped." No doubt one of her servants saw to that while on the carriage. Listening as the way is discussed, she hmms, nodding a few times as she checks out the small wooden structure and then the area set aside for the livestock. "It shall be very cozy.."

Philomene nods slightly, allowing the point. "I suppose given that the alternative is to burn alive, I shan't be too upset at forgoing a bath for the next few days. I admit, I've never taken a boat before and I hadn't even considered it as a shortcoming."

"There may be time for a bath on the stretch of road travel between the rivers.", Drake tries to cheer up Philomene, "And perhaps, as the princess suggests, a massage might help with saddle soreness?" He looks at Rajiya for a long moment as if to hint at something, then clears his throat. "Cozy indeed. Please follow me inside…" The "hut" isn't much - there is a somewhat large room at the back with a table for dining and a few nooks and crannies to curls up in with a book or something. Three cabins on either side - one for Jelene, one for Drake, one for Rajiya and one for Philomene, the other two for the servants to somehow fit themselves in. Each cabin hardly big enough to swing a cat in.

Catching the look given in her direction, Rajiya blushes a little before turning away. While she may not show too much curiosity about the hut, Chetana does. One can be certain that whichever cabin the princess ends up in, there will be a black-clad guard seated outside the door at night! "I am looking forwards to the trip…" She finally does murmur, turning about in the small living area.

Philomene lets her glance flicker between the pair, quirking an amused smile. "I hope you shan't think me poor company for the journey if I spend the greater part of it admiring the boat and the scenery, your highness, Lord Rousse. Perhaps you might forgive me if I leave you to your own devices very often?"

"Well, I believe that it will be hard to avoid each other's company in the close confines of the boat.", Drake smiles once they're all crammed into the main cabin and he gestures for them to take a seat at the table if they so wish. "But you are welcome to do whatever you choose. If you need anything, our own Rousse servants will be at your service. Also tell your servants, if they need anything, the servants and the sailors will be happy to help.", he tells Rajiya with a smile that's warming several degrees when looking at her. "Would either of you like to withdraw to her cabin to freshen up or rest?"

Rajiya shakes her head at Philomene's comment, "I would not think less of anyone who might enjoy quiet company." That said, she moves off to the side ot stand near the table, not taking a seat just yet, "They are nearly done loading things, yes? We'll be leaving shortly?" That is asked of Drake, perhaps curious to watch that with the daylight remaining. "I will be sure to let them know to speak to the servants and sailors." She won't want for much. Maybe.

"That sounds like a marvellous plan, Lord Rousse," Philomene agrees placidly. "Which room is my berth? Perhaps a little rest before I dress for dinner..?" There's a question there. I mean, one assumes that dressing for dinner is required, but one never knows with the quaint customs of the river, or the foreign customs of the Bhodistani, what the appropriate etiquette really is.

It's not the Queen Mary! "Yes, I can imagine that you'd like a little rest after the ride.", Drake agrees pleasantly, "I'll have a servant bring you some warm water to wash. Enjoy the warm water while it can be heated on an open fire on the shore.", he adds in case she questions the sudden provenance of warm water. "I don't think we'll be leaving before dawn tomorrow morning, but the captain will want everyone and everything aboard before nightfall, so we won't attract brigands to anything left on the shore."

There's a quiet ah of understanding as to why they might spend the evening onthe boat. "I will take advantage of that later." The warm water, that is. Likely after the evening meal. As for dressing for dinner, she glances to Drake, for this is all new to the princess as well. Her customs may not translate to here in Terre d'Ange!

"If it's required, I'm sure I can help ensure the boat is loaded," Philomene offers, straightening a little to her full height. "Warm water can wait until the work is done, certainly."

Drake eyes Philomene for a long time. "You, Mylady, are a guest, enjoying the hospitality of House Rousse.", he declares as primly as he manages, "You shall not lug parcels aboard like a common sailor." He turns to Rajiya then, "I shall give orders to have warm water prepared for you, too. And please don't worry about dressing. I'm sure you look breathtaking as always.", he assures the princess.

Rajiya could help, but she has servants to do the heavy lifting. She is a product of her upbringing to some degree! "Is there a place on deck that is out of the way to watch as they finish? Or would it be best to simply go into our rooms for the while?" She'd enjoy watching, but doesn't wish to be in the way. That wouldn't do for her at all.

Philomene returns Drake's look with an equally reproachful one. "If I am to abuse your hospitality, the least I can do is assist in making the less tolerable parts as brief as possible, no? But no, I shall adhere to your command, today at least. If there is anything, however..?"

"If there is anything, I shall let you know.", Drake reassures Philomene, then hums. "I suppose we can go back on deck to watch a while. We might get shouted at.", he warns Rajiya with a light chuckle, "But let's enjoy light and fresh air while we can. We shall be cooped up here long enough when it rains. I hope you two enjoy a good card game?"

Rajiya smiles all the more when it is decided that they might go back outside to watch. Always curious is the princess. "I have been learning some of the games played here.." She admits, chuckling, "Mama taught a few, though there seems to be others that are popular than when she was my age." Card games come and go, do they not?

"Whist or vingt-et-un?" Philomene suggests, arching a brow. "I'm not familiar with many others."

"For example", Drake agrees with Philo on heir suggestions of cards, "It sounds like we will be able to keep busy. Come -" He begins to shoo them out of the claustrophobic cabin back into the fresh air. Progress has been made with nearly everything stowed aboard. Dusk is already falling beyond the hills to the east. Drake goes to talk to the captain for a while, then comes back to inform them they will indeed be leaving at the crack of dawn. Lessening the risk to crash into obstacles like rocks on the river in the dark. There'll be a fire soon on land to heat water and cook dinner. The joys of a pleasure cruise! Certainly for Drake who finds himself standing rather close to Rajiya on deck. Well, the foreign princess might be cold!

"It has been a while since I have played either of those." Rajiya offers to Philomene, but she is more than ready to be retaught the rules! Escaping back outside, she stands at the railing, watching as the last few things are loaded on the boat. Her own guards will find a place to bed down on the shore for the night, keeping themselves between whatever might attack from shore, and the gangplank. Only Chetana will remain with the princess on the boat itself. Glancing to Drake as the young lord stands close by, she wonders, "Have you made the trip to Elua often?"

A dragon radiates heat! It's good to stand beside one! "Never.", Drake admits freely when Rajiya asks, then chuckles, "I just asked a lot of questions at home and studied the potential routes. I figure, if I want to find my way around Chi'in later, working my way around Terre d'Ange is a good way to start. And I'm rather excited about the journey… travelling with you."

"Then it would seem you have done well in this first trip." Rajiya says with some respect. "As for Chi'in, I have written to my father for information that you could use. It might take a while for his reply to get here.." Weeks on a boat either way to and from Bhodistan. "I still hope to run into some of my mother's family while we're there." The Sommervilles.

"I would love to meet some of your family.", Drake assures Rajiya, "Whether in Elua or… in Bhodistan. Some day. Perhaps." He shuts up before he gets into waffling and watches sailors and servants at work for a while, because that's how nobles roll! But when his sister suddenly demands his attention, the younger brother has to jump. "If you'll excuse me for a moment…", he murmurs and bows deeply to both Rajiya and Philo, before he departs.

"Perhaps.." Rajiya offers to Drake with a nod of her head, smiling to him quietly. As he falls quiet, watching the come and go of the servants, her attention is turned in that direction as well. That is, until Jelene speaks up needing his assistance. Turning slightly to him, she dips her head, "Of course. Until later, if nothing else." She'll remain there for a while before finally stepping in to freshen up and prepare for the evening meal.

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