(1311-08-28) Sweet Mead for the Guard
Summary: Gal and Elin share further conversation about the prisoner.
RL Date: 30/08/2019
Related: Incident at the Palace Plot
gal elin 

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 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.

Gal is not, in any respect, accustomed to visiting the palace and its dome — the third or possibly fourth time he's crossed over into its grounds in the years he's lived here, is all, and still it makes him nervous. Like one of these days someone will decide to keep him here, never to return. It's a nameless, baseless dread, easily suppressed beheath a bracing breath and a hop to his step to work up a bounding, enthusiastic gait to the stairs. Nobody knows him here. At least as anything but Gal, the Guardsman. The Gotlandish ambassador, too. What would she know of his life? She's not a witch, she can't read his spirit in his hair. But now that he's met her, once, he feels comfortable enough to ask for a meeting, and has let enough time pass that he thinks that feelings might have died down. He is guided down a corridor and turns to wait with his back against the wall while he is introduced and admittance for him requested.

Word had reached Elin of a visitor, and so she has let him known that she is available — and agreeable to receiving the guard in her chambers. He has been here before, and so he will recognize the grim looking Gotlander bodyguard that will admit him to the parlor of the suite. Elin looks remarkably regardless of protocol. She wears the rather informal garb of leather tunic and leggings, with riding skirts worn above it all to at least vaguely attempt a proper look. But you know, these foreigners… Blonde hair is not tamed into a do of sorts, but falls about her shoulders in a wild golden mess. "Please," she greets Gal. "Monsieur Guard. You wanted to see me? Is this about the business with the prisoner?" Her voice sounds friendly enough, and her grey eyes glint with curiosity. "Would you like to sit down? I have a bit of mead here, I've brought along from my home country. Do you want a taste? It's tasty. A bit sticky. But delicious."

Gal turns his head, gives a grateful nod to the bodyguard, and follows him in, trailing behind a few respectful paces and letting his long stride dally so as to be sure not to gain on him. There she is. Sunshine and horseback rides. No wonder she knocked him hard about the wits the first time he saw her. He had started to wonder if it had all been in his imagination. Well, at any rate: "Yes, Lady Ambassador, if you don't mind it. I know it's been a little bit, and I'm still really… I really appreciate you coming in at all, it was a big favor for us while we're trying to figure all this out, and… you didn't have to, of course. I feel bad for how she treated you, and wanted to apologize for not having been there myself to help. And to hear if you have any other thoughts about what happened, with the clarity of hindsight." He's edging gradually forward as he speaks, but the invitation to sit makes him look for a chair with his eyes, then sidle on into it. "Thank you. I — uh, sure, yeah, that sounds nice," he answers, to the mead. "I'll try anything once," he enunciates the words as though it were some sort of personal maxim.

"The other ambassador, the prince of the Flatlands, he came here with similar concerns, just a few days ago," Elin declares sweetly. "And so I shall tell you what I told him. That your prisoner is not sane in her head. She… threatened me, and spoke bad about me, even though I wouldn't know why." She reaches for a bottle of clay and removes the stopper to pour them both into clay cups, ornaments on them pointing them out to be from Gotland as well. "I told Lord André that I thought her accent odd, and yet… she spoke Gotlandish. Well… Perhaps this is a small world, and we are subjected to the whims of fate. Here…" She lifts the cup and offers it up to Gal. "Is there anything you have found out about her, apart from this pendant of hers being a symbol of one of our Gods?"

Gal re-adjusts his person in the chair he'd elected, lifting a leg to cross his calf across his other knee in a perpendicular formation of limbs. His hands rest on his ankle and knee, and he moves his head in a slow-bobbing nod of acknowledgement when Elin speaks. "She has had trouble with her memories, she may well be troubled in other ways, too. She's been traumatized by her mother's death, that much is pretty clear, I think. Something about your visit re-opened that wound, I guess?" he glances up, leaning forward to take the cup he's offered in both hands, maybe glancing a contact of finger against finger in doing so, but then taking the cup back in toward himself. "That's about as far as we've gotten. But we're running up close to the trial, now. It may sound weird to say, but I hope all this I've been doing is pretty much meaningless for that. After all, it shouldn't matter where you come from, you know, as to whether you're guilt or innocent."

A smile warms Elin's features, but her eyes look keen and attentive as she studies Gal for a moment. "You feel sorry for her, is it not so?", she observes. "And I understand. She appears troubled and deranged. I am not sure though, that I had any active hand in re-opening that wound?" Lifting the cup to her lips she has a good sip of mead. "However. As far as I know she won't be trialed for of her origins… but for the atrocities she committed, Monsieur."

"I don't mean to find you at fault, Lady Ambassador," Gal keeps the cup near to his chin, his night-time, soulful eyes rising to look at her as he speaks. "Only you never know what sorts of things will hurt a person traumatized like that. She was doing well. Well, she was doing better in confinement. And when you went to visit her she slid back into a very dark place. It could have been any of us, to remind her like that… with a word, or a look, maybe a scent you were wearing… anything she might have found familiar to her situation." He looks down into the mead, and then gives it an experimental sip, closing his eyes for a moment to better devote his taste buds to its experience. "She won't be, directly. But everyone has biases, you know, and it can be hard to put them aside, even when you try." A flutter of lashes brings his eyes up to her again. "Like that… 'atrocities.' We talk about the Skaldi like that. Paint them in that light. If two of our noble Lords were having a duel of honor, and one injured the other in the doing so… it might make tongues wag with disapproval, at most. Nobody would talk about atrocities being committed."

<FS3> Elin rolls Investigation: Success. (7 6 6)

"I have just arrived in this country," Elin counters, lifting her hand that has its fingers curled about the cup. Tilting her head a little to the side, to have blonde curls cascade more over her left shoulder. "I have no idea what the customs are for having a sword fight. Even so… I heard a tale a day ago. About a duel of sorts, between two d'Angeline lords. Another story of violence, of you will, but this… wasn't taken to court, at least to my knowledge. No. Apparently, the survivor of the fight fled from Marsilikos. There must be something off about your legal system here, or perhaps, something in the water, in the food you eat, that leads to encounters often escalating…? I would think… a case of death an 'Atrocity' of sorts. But perhaps, we think differently, because of our different backgrounds and ways of upbringing." It may be a tease, a light jest, and Elin makes it with a soft chuckle of amusement. A momentary lapse, before her features take on a more sober expression. "I'm not sure what to think. I see Skaldi are roaming freely here, and yet there is this open animosity towards them? Is there a chance for a less strict verdict, because your prisoner may not be Skaldi after all?"

"I know the fight you mean," Gal replies with a bob of his head, shoulders slackening in enjoyment of another sip of the mead. "But the duel between them happened before the murder. They fought with swords. I can't say whether one or both of them were wounded in it, but I can only presume so. Both left the duel alive, but then — it's presumed the one ambushed the other in the streets and left him dead, and then left town. Which is an entirely different situation than earlier, in which two people, both armed with blades and ready to fight, agreed to fight with one another with the full knowledge that they might be injured, even severely, if they were outclassed or simply enjoyed worse luck than their opponent. From all I can tell, though the Sarge is really looking into the details of the incident, that's what happened between the prisoner and the Vicomtesse." The tease lands home with him, tickles the corner of his mouth upward a little. "I'm not saying it's a wise custom, but it is one, anyway. Gosh, we even do it for fun, at festivals, watch people ply their skill with blades and lances for sport… and people are injured there, too, and sometimes killed. At any rate, yes. I thought that if I could prove, at least, she wasn't a Skald, it would weigh less heavy for her at court."

"And… like I told you… I'm really hoping her ethnicity doesn't become a large part of the trial against her. Or, if it does, at least that the uncertainty of any Skaldic origin might… might let things go a little more smoothly for her. That's all I can really hope for at this point, for her sake. Really, it's… not in my hands, anyhow," he relents, or tries to. He sips the mead, and, after a moment of consideration, "It'll be for the Duchesse to decide, ultimately. And I can only hope I've done the best I can by her. This is really good, actually," he finally decides, after having sampled a decent amount of the mead and had time to judge it.

She purses her lips a little, looking a bit thoughtful for a moment. "Monsieur Gal, I will be glad to help, if my testimony would help to resolve this mess.", she assures the young guard, and then leans into her chair. "I believe, we will have to trust in Her Grace's wisdom. I am certain you have done all in your might… Oh, please… do you want some more mead, Monsieur Gal?" And not waiting for his response, she already refills his cup.

Monsieur Gal. The words like a comforting blanket, leaving the errant Valais youth feel at home in his commoner's guise — they make him smile, and her assurances, too. "Thank you, Lady Ambassador. And you're right. It's time for the burden of judgement to fall on the shoulders of those whose lot it is to judge." And for commoners like him to have another cup of mead. "Sure — thanks," he agrees while the mead is already pouring, and expresses gratitude in the same breath. "It's made of honey?" he guesses, from… you know, everything about it.

Is it possible, that her smile deepens just a little more, dark grey eyes having their gaze linger on Gal de Valais in obvious appreciation of his subtle reactions and youthful charms? Elin nods her head to his words in vague agreement. Taking care not to spill anything as she tops off his clay cup with mead. "It is.", she confirms with a sweet smile. "Honey is used, as well as water and the juice of apples, and yeast, as far as I know. Do you like the taste? Sweet but… also quite drinkable, is it not?"

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