(1311-08-13) Asking a Favour
Summary: The newly arrived Gotlandish emissary receives her first visitors at the guest tower.
RL Date: Thu Aug 08, 2019
Related: Incident Plot
andre elin gal 

Gotland Suite — Guest Tower

Reflections of the resident's home country are more subtle touches to the interior. Such as the fur-lined cloak of a more grounded style tossed over the back of a chair, good craftsmanship in the garment and fine embroideries that are more simplistic in the ornaments used; the bow and quiver of leather, the latter carved with Norse symbols, hanging at the wall; the garments of good workmanship and simple elegance that fill the wardrobe of cherry wood, as opposed to the more daring and playful d'Angeline styles.

Furniture and curtains at the windows are of the splendid grandeur as befits the chambers at the guest tower on the palace grounds. Timber of reddish hue has been used to craft the three chairs, the table, the desk in the study and also the four poster bed in the adjoining bedroom. Walls are covered with light green damask, and the dark wooden floor has a few carpets from Alba and even Ephesium to provide a certain comfortable and elegant air. Bed sheets and pillows are of white linen, all orderly arranged, beneath a fine woven rug showing a scene of Gotlandish myths and legends.

Morning is already progress towards the later hours. Outside, the weather is looking warm and fair. The windows have been opened to admit some of that warm summer air, and Elin has just emerged from her bedroom, attired in a gown that looks rather plain when compared to d'Angeline standards. The fabric is of a finely woven quality, though, and there are details, fine embroideries of the more archaic northern style. Her hair is held loosely gathered, tied with a ribbon at the nape of her neck, letting the wealth of blonde hair cascade down over her back, between her shoulders. She is seated at the table, enjoying some sort of breakfast. But anyone wishing to enter will be admitted, even if slightly grudgingly, by her guard Einar at the door.

The visitor in question being the next-door neighbour in the Guest Tower who noticed the arrival of the lady from Gotland. Andre has dressed up nicely for the occasion, his clothes in the colours of House Brabant. "My apologies for disturbing you, Mylady.", he greets politely and bows, waiting to see if he'll be invited closer or chucked out.

Elin raises a brow as she considers the intruder. There is mild curiosity in her gaze, and maybe, she looks a bit intigued at the interruption. Setting her goblet of watered wine down to the table, she moves to stand. "No need to apologize," she responds in slightly accented d'Angeline. "I am not offended. Who are you that you… wish to pay me a visit, my lord?" She is taller than the average d'Angeline woman, but not overly tall. She may still have to raise her gaze a little to meet the look of André's eyes. "You don't look d'Angeline… so maybe you're a visitor, just like I am?"

"I am indeed, Mylady.", Andre confirms with a smile, "I'm a visitor from the Flatlands, Andre van Westerlo of House Brabant. We are neighbours, so I thought it only polite to say gott dag och hjärtlig välkommen." It may sound rough, but it is decent Gotlandish.

"Snälla du," Elin counters with a wink. "But you see me surprised. Do you speak my tongue?" They did sound rough, those words that were pronounced by the Flatlander, but she looks somewhat pleased at the gesture. Even if she does stick to d'Angeline, for now. "I am Elin Asbjornsdottir, my father is the Jarl of Kalmar, my lord. I have been sent here to represent Gotland at the upcoming Great Exhibition. You came here for the very same reason?", she wonders lightly, dark grey eyes glittering as she considers André. "Maybe, you'd like to share some of my breakfast with me, my lord?", she gestures towards the table and a vacant seat. "I can send Gunilla to fetch you a goblet of some of the red wine, watered down a little."

"A little.", Andre replies and takes the seat he's being offered. "My sister is betrothed to the prince of Jutland and their tongue is similar to yours and I've worked on trade deals with Gotlanders." He pauses to accept a drink for now, if not food and smiles again. "I did not come here voluntarily - my ship sank in a shore and the sea carried me to these shores, where I have been enjoying the Duchesse's hospitality. And now that I'm here, I may as well represent the Flatlands at the Great Exhibition, yes. So perhaps we can be helpful to each other?"

Elin sits down, brushing over her skirts to adjust them in a gesture that looks awkward enough to suggest she does not wear these gowns often. She even tilts her head a little to the side, considering André as he presents his tragic tale. "Ah, I am sorry to hear that! I have been more fortunate, as my ship didn't sink." Her maid returns with a goblet of watered wine — no one heard André object to the offer — and Elin reclaims her own to have another sip. "Helpful, hmm?", she repeats, making it sound a bit ominous. "How do you mean?"

"Yes, I am aware of how reliable and sturdy Gotlandish ships are, it's rather impressive.", Andre acknowledges and accepts the wine with a grateful nod. When she questions his suggestion, he shrugs a little. "I… don't know? Suggestions on how to set up stalls, what to offer, what kind of events to run and how to run them…?"

"Hmmm," Elin makes, and there is amusement there in the look she gives him. "I have some goods of my home country with me to advertise here. As for the kind of event, I have to consider yet what to do." She pauses for a moment, digesting a thought. "Perhaps… perhaps I could hold a tour of our ship. It is sturdy. D'Angelines might be interested in the craftmanship."

"Do your people have some sort of… contests? Games they like to play?", Andre wonders, "I am going to host a pole-jumping contest, the way we do in the Flatlands. Perhaps you have something similar with easy rules that would entertain these southerners?"

"Like… axe throwing?", Elin muses with a soft laugh. "I can't throw any axes. I would be pretty useless to host such a contest, my lord." She empties her goblet and holds it out to her maid for a refill, grey eyes lingering on André, before they flick pointedly to a bow and quiver hanging at the wall. "Archery, perhaps? Maybe that could be something," she suggests. "Pole jumping…? How does one go about it?" The daughter of Jarl Asbjorn leans back in her seat, and her features of cool Northern beauty warm in a smile.

"Well you will not throw an axe yourself, Mylady. I have no intention to climb a pole either. I'll be sitting back and judging the locals' attempts to do so, so you can do the same, watching brawny D'Angelinas throw axes." He takes a sip of wine to consider a reasonable explanation. "It's easy. You stick a pole in the middle of a canal.", He finally explains and steals a slice of bread from her plate to figure as the canal, then jabs a knife into the middle of it. "Now you start running from one side… jump onto the pole and climb as high as you can while gravity makes the pole lean over towards the other side. There you jump." He demonstrates with his fingers as legs that cling around the knife as it leans sideways.

"Hmm, this looks interesting, and it will be fun to watch," Elin decides, watching André's attempts at visualising the process of pole jumping, his fingers that curl around the knife's handle. "But a canal…? I don't know if they have anything like that here. Perhaps… a river… no, a brook?" She tries to find the right words, pausing here and there, before she nods, happy that she somehow managed. "As for the axes, I'll think about it. It could be an idea." She reaches out to snatch a piece of the bread from the table, putting it in front of herself on the table, before she gets out a knife of her own to cut a slice off the cheese. "You've been here already, for a while?", the blonde Gotlander lady wonders, fixing him with her gaze. "What are these d'Angelines like? Are they as hospitable as they seem? I've heard some mad tales about them. I wonder if they are all true."

"I've already found a little stream perfectly suited for the competition.", Andre replies brightly, "I've been… testing things with a local friend. Well, not local. From Azzalle.", he corrects himself quickly as if this is important. Perhaps it is. The Flatlander's blue eyes hold her gaze, though they seem to cloud over slightly at the last question. "You'll want to tread carefully as a foreigner.", he finally says quietly, "They do like to think of themselves as rather special and above all suspicion here."

"I don't think I will do anything of the kind," Elin responds brightly. "I shall be myself, because… how would d'Angelines know what defines my people, when I try to deny who I am?" A bit of ignorance is evident in her words, and some pride as well. "I am a jarl's daughter. They better treat me with respect, or I will bring word home to my family in Gotland. To the king as well. I am after all here as an emissary, an ambassador for our culture." How did she get that emotional? There is a bit of sharpness in her tone, but it dims a little as she shakes her head and laughs. "I'm curious to meet the d'Angelines, and get to know them. So far, they have been kind and provided me with these fine quarters…"

"Some of them are kind. Others… not so much.", Andre says diplomatically. "I'll say for the Duchesse herself that she extended great help and hospitality to me." He pauses as a thought strikes him and he tilts his head slightly at the Gotlander. "Would it be presumptous of me to ask you for a favour, Mylady?"

She lifts her goblet to her lips for another sip of the watered wine. "It's something that could be said for my own home country as well, my lord. And yours too, I suppose," Elin Asbjornsdottir muses lightly. At the mention of the Duchesse, she lifts her head. "I have yet to meet her myself. Some matters were keeping her, or so I heard. But I look forward to meeting Her Grace, and those other nobles as well, whether they're kind or less so." The Flatlander's request has her lean forward and give him a curious look. "A favour, my lord? What kind of favour?"

"I suppose you are right, Mylady.", Andre acknowledges and takes the slice of bread, he had earlier mangled with the knife during his demonstration, so he can push little pieces into his mouth bit by bit. Between chews he collects his thoughts again. "There is currently an incident concerning a foreigner under investigation. She has suffered some mental damage and memory loss and does not remember her origin. She does have a pendant though, which people initially thought was Skaldic, but is not. It may be Gotlandish. Seeing as you are the expert -" Here he offers a bigger smile at her, before becoming serious again: "Would you be willing to take a look?"

Elin hasn't heard of the incident, apparently, if one can tell from the rather surprised look she gives André. "Of course," she tells him. "This sounds interesting. Intriguing. Gotlandish, you say?" At his bigger smile, she allows herself to look a touch affected by his charms, only for a moment, before her demeanor becomes more serious again. "This pendant… Do you have it with you?", she wonders.

"I do not.", Andre sighs and his brows knit in a frown. "A guard at the Citadel, who's as pretty as he's dim, is in possession of it and refused to hand it to me. Though I'll say in his favour that he has been making inquiries. I will send him to you with the pendant, if you don't mind?", he asks, the smile returning.

"A pretty d'Angeline guard?", Elin counters, giving André a look. "Prettier than you?" Yes, she can play the charmer's game as well. "Certainly. Send him to me. It will be interesting, I'd wager. In more than one regard!"

Andre isn't immune to compliments and although his cheeks colour a little, he grins. "No, not prettier than me, of course.", he replies deadpan, before he, too, becomes serious again. "Thank you, Mylady. I will send him a note. I appreciate your willingness to help, even though you have only just arrived here. Is there anything I could possibly help you with?", he asks then.

"Hmmmm." Elin ponders the question for a moment, with her fingers tapping lightly on the table. "Perhaps you can show me some of Marsilikos. Are there any exciting places to go? You have quarters here as well. If I recall correctly, what you said earlier? There must be some courtly occasions, where one can mingle with the… d'Angeline courtiers. I wonder what they'll make of me."

"As it is summer, there aren't that many events now. We missed the early summer season of weddings and now I believe the season will not pick up until after the Exhibition.", Andre replies and thinks. "There -are- a few rather nice places though. I've become fond of a newly opened place offering kahve from Ephesium." He doesn't mention the semi-dressed dancing girls there. "You might also be interested in the local establishments. They do serve some good wines there. Do you like the outdoors, Mylady? We could go riding perhaps."

Elin gives a low snort at the mention of weddings and shakes her head, making some of her blonde hair tumble from the loosely tied ribbon. "I can't say I am fond of wedding festivities, my lord," she informs him. "I'm interested in seeing what places there are, where the locals mingle. As for outdoors…" She perks up visibly. "I love riding out and being in the woods. There are woods near Marsilikos? I would like to explore them, and go hunting… If Her Grace permits." The latter added in an afterthought.

"There are woods around the cities, hills and mountain ranges and beaches…", Andre replies and proceeds to tell Elin more about the local sights in the city itself and its surroundings - as far as he has explored them. From there he will move on to compare them with his own home of Brabant (much nicer of course!) and ask questions about Gotland… until another visitor is announced.

Gal gets the summons he'd been waiting for, and, after a dash to the barracks, he emerges once more, changed into his (one) nice button-down shirt with the bloused front, aside from that a long guardsman's jacket which has to scorch in the summertime, his utulitarian hide trousers with the armor plating and boots, likewise. The pendant, wrapped in the red fabric he'd been keeping it in, is carefully kept in an inside pocket and his thick dark-leather baldrick is set at a jaunty angle at his hips. He presents himself at the Palace's own guest tower and takes a deep breath, puffing out his cheeks bracingly on the exhale and swatting his slightly sweaty palms against the sides of his coat in between presenting himself and being admitted, giving a smart click of his heels before stepping across the threshold and being led to the Gotland Ambassador's suite. On being announced there, he enters a short way, then performs a short bow and maintains a position like a loose-armed attention, feet at shoulder-width. "My Lady Ambassador."

It seems like Elin is in for a treat. Not only has she the pleasure of enjoying the company of the handsome Flatlandish Prince of Brabant, to whose explanations she listens with rapt attention, no, the d'Angeline guard announced as 'handsome' and 'dim', is about to join their belated little breakfast of watered wine and a bit of bread and cheese, to go along with it. Her grey eyes take in the appearance of the d'Angeline, noble descent perhaps visible in his handsomely chiselled features, that air that only those of the land of angels can call their own. Like she did for André when he arrived, Elin rises to her feet and takes a step forward to greet this other visitor as well. "My… umm….", the blonde lady seems at a loss for a moment. "Monsieur guard," she settles for an address finally, letting her eyes feast on the young d'Angeline youth. She herself doesn't look older than her early twenties. "I am Elin Asbjornsdottir. Pleased to make your acquaintance."

"Monsieur Gal, wasn't it?", Andre supplies the name of the newcomer and perhaps to make his presence known. "Thank you for coming so quickly. The Ambassador is willing to look at the pendant to see if it may be of Gotlandish origin." He hasn't risen from his seat, nor does he intend to, being quite comfortable with his wine and bits of cheese to nibble on.

If Gal had any hope of convincing Elin against Andre's denigration of his mental capacities, it's waning by the moment as the ambassador approaches him, her bearing as impressive as her foreign, healthful beauty. By the time she's actually talking to him he may have completely forgotten what he was standing here for, only holding his dark, soulful eyes on her face, his lips just slightly parted. Thankfully, Andre is there to prompt him, and he recovers himself from his sudden attack of teenage d'Angeline libido with a subtle cough. "Yes, my Lord, and thank you, my Lady Asbjornsdottir." He definitely practiced that over the last few days— for sure. "I mean, for agreeing to help with the pendant. It's a matter related to an open investigation, or else I would have sent the pendant ahead," he half-apologizes for sullying her with his presence, a bashful, sweet pink claiming just the tips of his ears.

"Monsieur Gal," Elin echoes the address provided by the most helpful André. There may be a subtle charm in the way she utters the name, in an accent speaking of a tongue used to pronounce other languages rather than d'Angeline. She smiles, especially when she notes the blush. "Forgive me, I didn't mean to…", Elin begins, before she falls silent and the young guard regathers his composure. "Lord André here told me of a pendant, yes," she confirms then. "If I can be of any help to you…" Said as she moves back to reclaim her seat from before, joining André again at the table. Dark grey eyes look towards Gal, expectantly. "Might I see it?"

Andre is content to take a backseat for now, watching the appearance of the pendant and awaiting the lady's answer.

Gal meets that expectant gaze with a half-settled flutter, only when prompted to present the item realizing what she was waiting for: "Right, of course," he flips th fore of his jacket open, reaching into the internal breast pocket and drawing out the red cloth, stepping tableside, "I really appreciate your taking the time to help," he keeps his eyes on the cloth as he lays it out and then unfolds it, leaving the pebble exposed and nudging it with his finger until the arrow sigil is fully exposed. A glance to Andre, "And the Ambassador's help in gaining an audience on my behalf."

<FS3> Elin rolls Composure: Success. (1 6 8 1 2 4)

For a moment, Elin's breath seems to hitch as she sees the pendant in question being laid out on the red cloth before her. That smile on her face fades completely as she stares at the thing. Before she inhales, and with a flutter of eyelids turns her gaze towards Gal. "May I?", she asks, reaching out to pick up the pendant that looks like it is shaped like an arrowhead of sorts, with a sign engraved upon it.

Andre just looks on curiously.

<FS3> Gal rolls Perception: Good Success. (1 7 1 6 6 2 2 6 7)
<FS3> Gal rolls Composure: Success. (8 6 6 5)

Gal saw that hitch; more than that, he doesn't immediately jump on it or even react to it further than a slight draw of his brows and curious narrowing of his eyes. "… sure, go ahead," he can answer casually enough by the time she asks, if perhaps with a hiccup of hesitation prior.

Elin takes the pendant in her hand and turns it before her eyes a she examines it. Whatever indication there was of a reaction to the view of the pendant, it fades as her vague smile returns. Her gaze is attentive though, her brows wrinkling just so. "This looks Gotlandish," the woman from the north declares after a moment, with a glance towards Gal. "The rune is one of ours. It stands for Tyr. Or the letter 'T', if you will." She turns the pendant between her fingers for a little bit longer before she places it back onto the red cloth. "Where did you get this?", she wonders. "Lord André mentioned a foreigner?"

Andre exhales deeply, as if with relief, when he hears Elin's verdict on the pendant's origin and reaches for his wine. But he remains silent, leaving Gal to explain things.

Gal gets a tickle at the back of his neck as in anticipation of a strike of lightning in the moments before the item's heritage is confirmed… or, perhaps not so much confirmed, but at least heavily corroborated. "That's amazing," he breathes out, "So the runes are, like… your alphabet? Would it be an initial or something?" he wonders. "There is one, yeah. She got into a fight with a Vicomtesse and wounded her pretty badly. But she has amnesia and doesn't remember where she's from— she thought that this pendant would be a clue and asked us to look into it."

"Maybe," Elin allows. "It could be an initial, as you say. Or… it is the symbol. The meaning of the rune itself. Týr is the God of war and justice." Her voice shows a faint trace of sarcasm, as she adds, "Which would make sense. As you say, this woman who had it got into a fight?" She pauses, and her gaze returns towards the pendant. "She doesn't remember where she's from?" Elin remarks, echoing the words, Gal had uttered, and turning them into a half-question. "Maybe she is from Gotland. Or maybe she's someone who was in Gotland at some point and brought this back as some sort of war bounty."

Andre listens with rapt attention to Elin's explanations, his eyes resting on the pendant in her hand. "She considers herself a warrior, so allegiance to the God of War makes sense.", he says thoughtfully and can't resist a little smile. "Considering how she handled the Vicomtesse, I tend to believe her." He pauses again, as if perhaps gearing up for something, then looks up at Elin: "Would be willing to meet her?"

"She doesn't remember much of anything," Gal affirms when asked his question back— he similarly keeps his attention on the pendant, lips twisted to one side in a thoughtful expression. Then Andre invites the Ambassador to come visit the dungeon, and he looks to him, first, then her, adding, with a low thread of a plea behind it, "It might be very helpful, if you think you can manage it. She has a lot of marquing which you might or might not recognize… and she speaks a language none of us know."

Elin tilts her head a little to the side, as she looks from André to Gal, a smile slowly and tentatively blossoming at the request. "Are you inviting me into the dungeons?", the Gotlandish woman inquires with a sweet smile, but the amusement in her voice does not manage to gloss over the fact that she seems intrigued. "I am not sure I know what you are referring to as 'marquing', Monsieur Gal. But I would like to come and see for myself. She is dangerous?", the latter added in afterthought, and with a glance towards Einar, her guard who enters the room after a brief knock to the door.

Andre can't help laughing out loud. "I'm sorry, Lady Elin. You probably thought, people would invite you out to the finest restaurants of this city first and instead you're being invited to the dungeons. I'll make it up to you later, I promise.", he continues and soon becomes serious again. "She trusts me and I think, Monsieur Gal as well. She'll behave when we are with you. Not to mention that she is safe behind bars."

Gal looks down to the table, half-hiding a smile at the Ambassador's amusement. He might usually make some sort of reply of his own, but, wisely, no doubt, he holds his peace with a long blink and a half-huff of a laugh of air just from his nostrils, which tides him over until the conversation comes 'round serious again. "I haven't had any trouble with her, My Lady Ambassador, but I also never go within arm's length. She won't be able to hurt you from her cell, though, no, as long as you stay back away from the bars."

Elin nods her head to this, both to Gal's assurance of her safety, and André's promise. "Now, how could I possibly refuse such a request?", she remarks smoothly. To her guard, she adds a few words in a foreign language, Gotlandish most probably. From the tone of her words, and her gesturing for her maid to provide her with a cloak, they might be able to deduce that she has announced the intention to depart from her chambers. "When would be a good time?", Elin wonders, towards Gal and André. "Right now?"

"Well, the girl isn't going anywhere.", Andre replies dryly to Elin's question, but looks at Gal for the final say on this. He's the guard after all. "We could bring some refreshments for her. She appreciated those I brought.", he adds and manages a little smile for Gal. "Thank you for making good on your promise."

Gal tips his head to take in whatever of the Gotlandish he has the opportunity to witness. It definitely doesn't sound like whatever Kalisha was speaking, and that's… a disappointment. This golden slipper is still looking for a heel that doesn't bleed. But hope springs eternal for someone so green in years, and he can only pursue this new lead through to its end. "Right now is fine," he pipes up, straightening expectantly. "If it's OK with you," he adds. Andre's thanks draw up a half-shrug of his shoulder. "I told you I would," is a non-commital enough you're-welcome.

Elin smiles and fastens the cloak, pulling it about her shoulders, but it is the guard that speaks, his demeanor grave, as he gives her his message. His words makes her enthusiasm dim a little, and she pauses to shoot him a glance. "Einar here tells me, that I can't go out right now… Apparently, Her Grace has finally time to receive me, and I doubt it is adequate to decline such an opportunity.", the blonde Northern lady declares with a soft sigh. "So, it looks like I can't oblige you right now. But perhaps… sometime soon? In a few days, when I happen to be at leisure? I could go and visit the dungeons. Where are they to be found?"

"Of course, Mylady.", Andre says politely and gets to his feet as their little meeting is over. "I would like to be present for it, if possible.", he adds, though he leaves the explanation of the fine details to Gal as it's his job.

Gal nods his head quietly when the Ambassador has to put off the visit. "The dungeon entrance is on top of the Citadel. If you go to the markets by the port you'll see the stairs to the top, it's a little bit of a hike, but— if nothing else, the view is totally worth it. And maybe you can help us solve a mystery on top of that," he twists an effortful smile at the end, there, eyes still full of care and concern over the case. "And thank you for your time." Once he gets the pendant wrapped and pocketed again, he clicks his heels and takes his leave.

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