(1311-01-15) Of Horses, Futures, and Cheese
Summary: Louna and Tancred run into Oliver and Henri while they are each out riding. A pleasant meeting happens and plans for the future.
RL Date: 1311-01-15
Related: None
louna tancred oliver 

Countryside - Eisande

The road that leads from the city winds its way through lush countryside. Drenched by the sun in summer months, it provides a fertile ground for fruits and crops, with well-tended vineyards that produce some of the finest grapes for summer wines. To the south, a rocky coastline slopes down to the silver sands of beaches, and where coves and inlets are littered with fishing boats that plumb the depths of the sea for the fish and seafood that makes up the traditional Eisandine diet. Small stone buildings crouch in the fields to provide shelter from the sun for those that work the land during the heat of the summer months, and there's an open-fronted wooden stall set back from the road where produce such as melons, peaches and a variety of other fruits might be bought when in season.

Trees line the banks of a river where it cuts along dividing fields towards the end of its journey that started somewhere in the Camaeline mountains. Swallowed by a rocky gorge to the south it disappears from view, though a well-trodden path that follows alongside allows a person to track its course towards the ocean.

It is a winter day. The weather is cold and clear.


"Faster."

Louna is encouraging Tancred. Dressed for the winter weather, she's riding astride, not side saddle and the reigns rest comfortably in her leather glad hands. "You can go faster." She wanted out of the estate, her husband is coming home, already is home and with no Fenris to keep him out of the house, there's been more tense moments if not outright squabbling happening.

Tancred hasn't been born in the saddle. He knows enough of animals from his background, but riding anything other than an ox at slow speed is a new experience. Perched on his courser (that also belongs to Louna), he clenches thighs around the beast, half-standing in his saddle as he struggles to put up speed, still lagging behind Louna. He, himself, wears his maille still, without much in the way of extra layers - apparently more tolerant of the cold.

The young blind lord is out riding his horse as he used to, however the horse is more being lead by another horse with his care taker holding the secondary reigns. They are both wearing warm clothes, the caretaker wearing all black with a thick fur cloak while Oliver is wearing black pants with a blue v-neck tunic. His fur is pure white. His hair is brushed back out of his face as he leisurely rides beside his companion. "It's nice to be back on a horse…"

She's looking behind her, twisted in the saddle to encourage Tancred. "Relax your knee's, hold tighter with your hands, trust your horse." She calls out. Her path, of course, leading them out from the copse of tree's and likely into the path of the blind lord and his companion. She sees them out of the corner of her eye and pulls back on the reigns swiftly to bring her own horse to a quick stop.

Something that may not be destined to go well in truth as she maneuvers but horse objects and rears. She clings though, not toppling and gives a yelp when the horse thuds back down and she's half strewn across her saddle.

This time, it's a good thing Tancred isn't going that fast. He is in no danger of getting hurled out of the saddle when he pulls on his horse's tack to slow down - the main riding skill he seems to have mastered - then halt near lord and retainer. "Are you okay, my lady?" His eyes settle on the lord, but he doesn't recognize him. He does trouble to get himself out of the saddle, as is appropriate, foot almost but not quite tangling in a stirrup.

Oliver tilts his head when he hears other horses approach. Then he hears a horse rear a little and a yelp. He turns on his saddle, halting his horse. "Milady? Are …" Then a voice and he bows his head. His companion watches Tancred with a brow lifted before glancing over to Louna. "Milord, a lady almost fell but she is well and her man servant is helping her. Shall we continue?" Oliver shakes his head. "Can you go make sure she is well?" He is lead via reigns over towards Louna and he is just staring a head of himself. "Milady, milord wants to make sure you are well."

"I am fine" Breathy, hair coming out of it's braid and wisps everywhere. One wisps moves as she breaths out and seems to be trying to orient herself in the saddle. "I'm fine." Totally fine. "Absolutely fine" Which was is up? "companions. Which was is up? Tancred?" She calls out, one foot dangling off as she fishes with her foot for the stirrup. "Keep them from seeing me while I get… fixed…" Vanity.

"Which .. was is up?" Tancred echoes his mistress with some confusion. But her second demand is simple enough to follow. He bows to Oliver quickly, even though that goes unseen, and steps back onto the saddle, guiding his mount several steps to block Louna from their view. Well, at least one person, anyway. He's got a rather blank expression while doing so. "I am well," he helpfully informs, in his thick Skaldic accent. "The lady will be soon ready."

<FS3> Oliver rolls Perception: Success. (4 6 5 8 2 2 5 4 2 5)

Henri clears his throat and shakes his head. He speaks softly. "Milady, my lord is blind so he cannot see anything." He though does give her the courtesy of turning his head away so he cannot see. Oliver though continues to stare right a head of himself. Though his face is mostly neutral, his expression could be read as despondent. Oliver nods his head. "I am glad to hear so, milord." He holds his reigns tightly. "Your accent… I recognize it." He thinks on it a moment. "Skaldia? What are you doing here?"

"He is my guard." Takes her a few moment to get upright. Chin lifting and a swing of her head gets her braid thumping off her shoulder and back behind her shoulders. Hand smooth her skirts, make sure she's presentable. Though there's a pause as what's said really catches up and there's a blush that creeps over her cheeks. "I apologize. I didn't know. Regardless, I am.. presentable again" instead of her ass to the proverbial wind. "My apologies for disrupting your ride."

Though Henri had turned away, that doesn't mean Tancred has budged an inch until the lady announces she is presentable again. And so he takes his place once more, by her left-hand side given his status, brushing off some dirt on his swordsman's glove. "Yes. I am Skaldic," he confirms the lord's assertions in a placid tone, "I am working now for the Baroness's house. I am .. also learning to ride."

The blind lord grins and shakes his head. "No need to apologize milady. I do not wear a sign that reveals it." He bows his head. "I am pleased to hear you are presentable." He tilts his head a little towards Tancred's words. "That is fine work. A …" He blushes and bows his head. "Ah… Baroness. I am so sorry for being so formal." His ears are even turning pink. Henri though sighs quietly and brings a gloved hand to his face a moment before he replies. "Milady, I am trying to get him more acquainted with the saddle. He used to ride very well as a youth but after he lost his vision, he's not ridden a horse and nor can he without a proper guide. Though based off what I was seeing, you both ride well." He smiles brightly, dashingly handsome.

'Tancred has learned very fast. Or improved at least. I quite enjoy a brisk ride, even in the winter." And she's fixated on wisps of hair she can see and is quickly tucking those out of the way, her ears red from the weather and embarrassment. "I'm normally far better than this." She looks from Henri to Ollie. "Baroness Louna Baphinol. My mans name is Tancred. Skaldic he may be, he is a fine man, and I do not know where I would be without him in my household. As indispensable to me as I suppose, your man is to you. That is very wise of you, to get back on a horse."

"I do not think I am that indispensable," Tancred voices in his candor, though as for his improvement, he doesn't deny, deciding it's true no matter which way one looks at it. He tilts up his helm by the nasal so it doesn't obscure his face as much, but otherwise keeps everything on, eyeing his counterpart Henri thoughtfully, then Oliver again. "May I ask? How did the lord come to lose his sight?"

The young blind lord keeps his head bowed. "It's a pleasure to run into you this cold evening, Baroness Louna Baphinol and you Tancred." He lifts his chin and grins warmly. It takes a few seconds before he quickly introduces himself. "I am Lord Oliver Basilisque, youngest brother to Viscomte Sebastien Basilisque and this is Henri. He's been by my side for seven years." He grins a little. "He is a good man though he's a trouble maker too." He nods his head.

Henri smiles happily at that. "I am. Keeping you on your toes milord." Then he turns a little to Tancred. "When he was nine he was out riding and he was bucked off and got kicked in the side of the head. Since that moment he could no longer see." He frowns. "He was nine at the time." Henri reaches his hand out and lightly touches Oliver's shoulder. "On a very sunny day I see very dark blurs. If they move they are … obviously living but I cannot tell if it's a person or animal. In darkness, I see nothing." He grins kindly in front of him. "Milady, I do not fear horses. I…" He bows his head. "The horse that bucked me was a dear sweet creature and did not deserve to be killed because of my injury. I have not ridden as I did not want to risk another horses life."

"If I am trouble, I keep it out of the House," Tancred absently voices with a glance that might be called 'wry' towards Louna, then back away, nodding as he pats the mane of his own mount as if to make sure it isn't about to kick disabilities into more people. "That is sad. It is easy to blame animals for faults of people."

Uhoh. Tancred knows that look that's quickly shuttered behind a politeness, the faint lift of her chin. "Basilisque?" NO sympathy for the horse it would seem. "Are you of relation to a Gregoire Basilisque? Brother to heir of <insert whatever the heck Robert's title will be here>" She queries, attention on Ollie as she's moving the reins and putting herself in more conversational distance to the man. There's a glance for Tancred. "You are never trouble. Never let anyone say such. You are a dear polite man with a workers heart."

Henri tilts his head a little and walks his horse backwards leaving Oliver alone with the woman. "He is my cousin. I do not know him well though. Our fathers are brothers, Baron and Viscomte. Though my father has passed so that title has been moved to my older brother. I don't know of his father. I was kept in … isolation even from family by my mother. After I was blinded I was barely allowed outside unless it was her or my brothers or Henri here and only to the estate grounds." He grins kindly in front of himself. Henri keeps his eyes on Louna as he saw that look too.

Tancred catches the look, for a moment double-checking if his horse is up to moving. It is. He stills it with a light signal of his spurs after there proves to be no interdiction needed. He listens to the lord, then glances at Louna. "I am doubtful that they have the same nature."

"Do you think? I mean, perhaps he could make my nose un-crooked" She banters back to Tancred in turn. Her nose is not crooked. Not unless you look very very hard and even then, subjective. "But then again, my cousins by marriage have never broken my nose. Just the Basilisque's that I marry." She looks to Oliver. 'We are cousins by marriage then, it would seem."

Oliver blinks a few times and tilts his head. He tries to understand what's being said. "I am sorry you have… not had exquisitely distinguished interactions with my family." He chews his bottom lip and takes a deep breath. "It is lovely to meet cousins. Even … out in the wild." He smiles brilliantly. Henri shakes his head and keeps holding those reigns. "You are beautiful, milady, if you do not mind me saying so." Henri chimes in softly. "There is not a single fault on you."

"You do not need an un-crooked nose to make heirs, my lady, only good hips. That is more important for your line," Tancred points out to his mistress in a low voice, but with some easy familiarity. (His expression remains mostly stony, though, despite his tone.) He does absently nod to Henri's claim, any other thoughts on the matter reserved, but he does tell the servant and Oliver both, "I have not met the Baron."

"I married Gregoire Basilisque." And here there's venom lining her voice. She tries to suppress it though, the creak of the saddle leather as she shifts in her seat, the lift of her chin and rustle of clothing at Henri and Ollie's compliments. "I thank you. There are flaws. To be perfect, well, Even Camellia house would state that such a thing is an ever moving finish line. But I shall accept it gracefully none the less and thank you. Shall we ride together? Give me another reason to enjoy a Basilisque's company and so you and Tancred can still practice your rid-"

Hold up. She might have whiplash from looking at Tancred. 'Pardon me?" Eyes wide in horror. "Tancred. We do not talk about the breadth of my -hips- and the ease of them for the sake of birthing in public." She nearly hisses.

Well Henri breaks out laughing before pointing out. "Birthing hips are a good trait milady. It's not an insult." He checks to see if she does have these birthing hips. Oliver looks so very confused as he sits there. He clears his throat. "I am sorry for … them both. Milords, the lady has asked that her private matters not be discussed, can you please respect her enough to follow this?" He bites his bottom lip and still looks confused. "I would enjoy riding with you. Perhaps you can take my reigns and we can ride as cousins while Henri and Tancred can speak and ride together?"

Tancred may be smirking, but it's a little hard to tell. "As you wish, milord." He does, however, wait for his lady's say-so, adding, "I may ride back soon."

"If you have things you need to tend to, I am sure that my cousin here and his man will see me safely home. Minus any broken noses." Hands smooth over those hips, and chin lifts as if it could get any higher. "Would you man show me how to properly lead your horse? Lest I be breaking a Basilisque's nose and not a purpose?"

Henri moves up to the other side of Oliver and holds the reigns out. "It's quite simply milady. Just lead the horse even up to a brisk pace and he holds his reigns and you guide him. You must watch in front of both horses so as not to have his horse run into something. That easy." He grins before releasing the reigns and making his horse trot. Oliver sits happily on his horse. "Oh, if a broken nose were to happen, I would prefer mine." He points out. "I won't ever be married and no one stares at my face anyways." He chuckles.

"As you wish. Take care, my lady. My lord." With that, Tancred sets his horse off into a trot, and then a canter - actually going fast, unlike when Louna had earlier been trying to coach him, pulling his helm firmly into place.

"The dirty liar." Louna watches him go, pursing her lips as she takes the reigns of Oliver's horse in hand. "What game has he been playing me at. He can ride fast perfectly fine." She remarks, a pout in her voice. "Regardless." She's working to gather the reins, get things sorted before they're off with a warning for Oliver before they start to move forward. "Why the desire to get on a horse now though?"

Tancred has left.

Oliver is confused by the comment until she explains. "Oh. Sometimes men enjoy when a woman shows them how to do something even if they know how to do it." He speaks softly. "I've been told it's builds bonds between two and he must admire you a lot." He nods slowly. "Though this is from my mother so… perhaps that is very wrong." He holds his reigns and he is solid on the horse. "I miss it." He speaks softly. "I used to ride all the time. I was also training how to be a soldier for the lines but after the accident it was all taken from me and I became very much grounded and more of an intellectual is not the right term but I was trained in using my brain." He chuckles. "I am not sure that helped." Henri chuckles behind them.

"He may be trying to placate me. Though now, now he'll have to race me the next time we are out." She does as Henri instructed, keeping an eye on the ground in front of them, going fast enough that they can still maintain a conversation but give him just that little bit of speed. Exercise the thighs. Henri's comment draws a laugh from her. "I hid in Tiberium, studying. I did not like my own future and avoided it as much as possible. If I was training, I could not have to return yes?" She looks to Oliver, easy to figure out when she is just by her voice. "I am sorry that they hid you away. You are a delight thus far, unless you hide some vile temper?"

The blind lord smiles happily. "You will win. Between a female and male, males are inherently heavier which weighs the horse down so you have a distinct advantage." He grins. "Unless…he's a child. I found out by experience… children on horses go much faster than angry mothers." He smiles and just stares a head. Though his smile fades slightly. "I don't have a future. Why were you so afraid of yours?" He speaks softly. He bows his head. "Thank you for the compliment. Though I fear I am the way I am because they hid me away. All my older brothers defied our parents. Sebastien refused war. Stephane did go to war but did not come home when asked and Anse because a priest of Elua which was against our fathers wishes." He touches his own chest. "Therefore I was to be the one that listened… until I was blinded and became a disappointment. So my mother hid me from him and I learned economics and philosophy." He shrugs. "I never did end up pleasing him before he died." He speaks softly. "On another note!" He clears his throat. "It's lovely to meet you. I most likely heard of your wedding but was unable to attend for … whatever reason my mother decided."

"Why do you think I was afraid of my future?" After he's done speaking, her attention split between him and the path before them, not wanting to get him injured. Though now and then she looks behind to Henri to make sure she's doing fine.

Henri nods his head when she looks. His bright blue eyes watching them both carefully. Oli takes a moment. "You mentioned not liking your future which is sometimes common but actively avoiding it? I actively avoid things that I'm afraid of." He speaks softly.

'I abhor my husband. I have never liked him. But our mothers are the best of friends and through us they hope to see that bond continue. I had no desire to marry but, when you are bid, you thus follow. Not afraid. Just…" She falls silent, thoughtful.

Oliver thinks about the word. "Highly disappointed." He offers. "I guess I am fortunate in this respect. I will never marry as my signature means nothing. I cannot read a contract and thus sign it." He speaks softly. "Does your husband abuse you or hurt you in any way? I know it might be prying to ask but I ask to discover if my cousin is… should be… " He sighs quietly.

"Oh, no. no. Not at all. He's…" More silence. "We are not compatible. But political marriage rarely are, in personality. He is… we are callous with one another is all. A matched pair of sharp knives that hone our blades against one another till we draw blood"

Oliver frowns a little. "I was always taught that mildness and humility is pleasant company but not so much so that you are walked on." He snerks and gestures to his face. "Didn't say anything about getting kicked in the face." Henri behind them groans at the joke and shakes his head. Oli turns a little and is now facing her. "Henri, that was funny." He says right to her. Blind as a damn bat without sonar.
You will no longer hear messages on channel <Public>.

"Nothing humble about that man at all" Venom's slowly creeping into her voice. Then he's talking to Henri, but looking at her. "He's behind you."

The blind man feels her voice right in front of him and he turns back to face front. "I'm sorry I said that towards you. You would think after being like this a while I would be able to hear better but not yet. I am praying." He frowns at that humble part. "I'm sorry. My brother is like that. It's why he's in Elua and I'm here." He frowns.

"Brothers." Louna commiserates. But then searches for something else, anything else it seems from the tone of perhaps slight desperation. "What do you enjoy doing Lord Oliver?"

Oliver nods his head. Then at her question he thinks. "Talking to you is lovely." He smiles brightly to the space in front of him which is the back of his horses head. Henri speaks up. "Lord Oliver likes eating snacks in front of the fire place and staring off into space." He sits back. Oli frowns a little. "Nothing wrong with snacks in front of a fireplace. It's warm and I'm not fat yet."

"Is it? This is quite enjoyable honestly. A delightful break from tending to peoples ills and my marriage. This is why I enjoy riding." She looks over her shoulder and raises a brow to Henri. "Nothing wrong with snacks in front of the fireplace. I do the same when tending to the sheaves of numbers coming in from the barony. It's a good way to pass time."

Oliver nods his head and grins. "I am glad that I am giving you that break. You are after all attending to me. Henri might have given me a few scares already had you not come along. Childhood friend so he gets away with things." He grins. "Oh my favorite snack is almost melted chocolate or even …" He almost purrs. "Cheese. I love cheese."

'Am I?" She is slightly taken aback and then laughs. "I am. I am indeed." She laughs then, something full bodied and relaxed. "I can agree with cheese, Chocolate, a luxury that I do not indulge in often. But a glass of wine and a plate of cheese and crackers and grapes, it is delightful. You shall have to come visit the Baphinol estates here within the city. See what cheeses we can surprise one another with."

Oliver smiles brightly. "I have tricked you into attending me." He laughs with her. "Have you tried cheese with apple slices? It's delicious because the sweet of the apple pairs beautifully with the strength of the cheese." He sighs happily thinking about it. He smiles and nods. "We can have a cheese party and I will… invite no one as I do not make friends easily."

"Your are not alone in that. Making friends." She's been guiding them back toward the city, an easy path but not direct. "For being a physician you think I would but. No. I am a little… shrill and sharp."
GAME: Save complete.

Oliver lifts a brow and grins. "You don't seem that way. More… disappointed with how your life turned out but not shrill. Sharp maybe… no. Not to me." He speaks softly. "I think you are lovely. If you treat all like you do me, you should have many friends."

"You are far too kind." She re-iterates as she starts to bring the horses to a slow. "The city walls are not far. I apologize, I have patients to attend to and then dealt with my husband. It has been a pleasure to meet another enjoyable Basilisque. Monsieur Henri, a pleasure as well" Holding the reins out for him to take.

The blind lord smiles brightly. "Honesty is not always a kindness. In this case, it's honest." He nods his head. "I understand. You are a busy woman being a physician. While it's none of my business, Basilisque's are best dealt with after dinner and at measured tones but warm tones. That's how I deal with my brother. I am gentle and then he feels guilty for being mean. I have that down to an art." He smiles. "I hope to set up the cheese time with you." He feels the reins move over to Henri as Henri comes up his side. Henri bows his head. "Milady. You did wonderfully." Oliver smiles. "Be well until we speak again?"

"Oh you mistake me. I have no desire to be gentle or kind to him Lord Oliver. Not in the least. This is politics. Not love. Not in the least." There's the venom again.

And then there's a kick of her heels, the sound of the horse getting ready to ease off, the quick few steps as it start to gain speed and with Henri with the reins, she's gone, off like a shot on her horse back toward the city.

Oliver blinks as he hears the horse gallop off and he lifts his finger. "What about cheese time?" He sounds so disappointed not having heard a yes about that. He frowns and then Henri pokes him. "Struck a nerve, milord." He chuckles before lightly shoving Oliver. "Let's go home." Henri chuckles and turns the horses and walks towards the stables.

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