(1312-06-23) Ride or Die
Summary: In which nobody rides, and nobody dies. There is however an offer of riding lessons, and there's talk of somebody dying.
RL Date: June 23rd, 2020
Related: None
andrei perpetua perrin philomene 

Stables - Marsilikos

Grand and spacious are the stables of Marsilikos, a flat building built and rebuilt over the years, with windows located further up the walls allowing the rays of the sun to enter during warm summer days. When shutters are drawn in the colder months or when it is too dark outside, a number of oil lamps will shed a cozy and comparatively safe light in the stables. A thick wall runs through the building and divides it into two separate parts, only connected through a portal of double doors that are open during the day and barred at night — and watched by Mereliot palace guards at all times.

The part facing the Rue du Palace has public boxes to use for visiting nobles or merchants, whereas the other part within the walls of the palace is where members of the Mereliot family will keep their horses, with a few boxes spared for visitors lodging in the guest tower.

The ground is covered with straw that is changed out regularly. Buckets of water are provided and refilled by the stable hands, as well as generous sacks of hay and grain, offering appropriate nourishment for even the most excellent and spoiled breeds of horses.

It is already hot with the summer sun only just rising a short time ago. The stables and open paddocks have some amount of shape and are open enough that one could escape the heat of the sun and still be cooled some in the breeze. Those working in the stables to clean stables and exercise the horses are not so furtunate and it is sweaty work. Most of those mucking the stables tend to be commoners while those riding already tend to be the nobles, however a newly filled area of the stables appears to be worked by a noble and his stable man, both cleaning as equals in the work.
Perrin wears a loose linen shirt, tan in color with leggings a few shades darker. He wears no markings of his family, however the servant man tends to say 'm'lord' when others come near so that the noble man might stand up straight and offer a smile and nod to any that come nearby.

A tall, fair-haired man in a dark blue riding coat strolls along with no obvious destination in mind; leaning lightly on a silver-tipped walking stick he draws little attention — the occasional nod from a groom, an indifference from the occasional guard that suggests his face is not unfamiliar. He walks alone with no guard or manservant of his own, suggesting perhaps that he is not of the gentry; and he pauses every so often to watch somebody mount or dismount, or lead a horse somewhere. It is the horses that catch his evaluating eye; the riders he largely ignores and they him.

Perhaps seeing a lord mucking out a stable is not a common sight; at least the fair-haired man pauses a moment to watch, nod politely as one might to someone one is not acquainted with but who obviously wish to be A Man Of the People, and pet the nose of an inquisitive chestnut yearling. Sorry, horsey, he carries no carrots.

New to the city, there are many places that Perpetua has yet to discover. One such place would be the city stables; though why a white rose courtesan should have either the calling or desire to investigate such a place presents quite the mystery. Her attire should really give her pause for thought at the least. Dressed entirely in white silk that appears near translucent where inset with gauzier panels, she drifts into the stables, though the guard who accompanies her halts in the doorway. Her hair and the lower half of her face are swathed in diaphonous white veils, these held in place by a silver filigree headpiece worn high on her head that loses it's sparkle as she moves from the sunlit outdoors to the darkened interior. A pause as she crosses the threshold, though she hesitates for a mere second only before her slim fingers pinch her skirts and lift them an inch from the straw-blemished cobbles, holding them aloft to reveal white-slippered feet as she walks in Perrin's direction. It's a bold move for one of her canon, but it could just be that she's noted Andrei's arrival, and he's already an acquaintence of sorts. "Good morning." No salutations are given beyond that, unsure as she is of Perrin's own standing.

Perrin seems to have turned his labor into a way to further his bond with the animals, as while he works in a empty stall, the horses on either side of him both hve turned and have their long necks over the barrier to playfully nudge the lord as he works, "I know, I know. It is all very new…" He pauses to lean the shovel aside and pet both horses before smiling over at the newcomers that have come near. He greets Perpetua first as she spoke to him, "Good morning. Coming down for a ride this morning?" He inquires before recovering his shovel and moving out of stall he had been working in. Dumping the content of his shovel into a wheel barrel, then grathering some hay to spread on the floor of the stall before seeming to consider that work finished. He admits, "It is a good day for a ride. Running a horse at speed may be the only way too cool down in this heat." Andrei also gets a polite nod, "My lord, good morning to you as well."

"Good morning, mademoiselle," Anghelescu returns the young woman's greeting with a small smile of recognition; and then, when addressed by the man whose acquaintance he has yet to make, he nods with proper deference. "My lord — I fear I do not recognise your coat-of-arms, do forgive my ignorance."

Might be because they're not there. The man speaks with a pronounced accent, readily identifying him as not a native speaker much as he is perfectly understandable. He seems quite content to remain where he is at the moment, patting the yearling's nose and letting her inspect his pockets.

Perpetua appears momentarily flustered at Perrin's assumption. It's a moment before she answers him; a moment in which she takes a breath and assesses the man before her. "Oh no, my lord," she eventually replies, having divined from a thousand different details the nature of Perrin's heritage. "I'm afraid I was never afforded the opportunity to learn the art of horseback riding." A blush suffuses her complexion with that admittance, and her eyes dip away, finding a home, if only briefly, in Andrei. "Monsieur. How lovely to see you again so soon." There's a hint of a smile to be found in her voice, and she lifts a pale hand to stroke the tips of her fingers to the yearling's nose. "Like velvet," she murmurs, perhaps to herself. "I never imagined."

Perrin lifts his hands, revealing his callous palms and showing a ready smile as he says, "Forgive me, I am not dressed to my station I suppose. I am Perrin de Somerville, I only arrived in town such a short while ago that I could account for the time in hours. It is good to meet you, and my parents would have me assure those that I meet for the first time, while I am in the stables, that I clean up respectbly." His gaze returning to Perpetua and his smile growing just a little at her blush, "I can assure you that when I learned, it was not much more than 'hold on tightly'. You go from there, but that is probably the most important part." He goes over to pick up a handful of barley and offers it to the young woman in white, "You can feed them, they are quite gentle…" He does stand directly between her and the large bay stallion which is now behind him. Perhaps making certain that the one less gentle of his horses is not the first one she interacts with. He does admit, "Maybe not the one behind me. He is spirited and rude from time to time."

"The honour is surely ours, my Lord Perrin de Somerville," the foreigner replies, resting both gloved hands on his walking stick in a posture of casual elegance. "Andrei Anghelescu," he adds and watches as the young lady introduces herself to the curious horse. The name is certainly not d'Angeline.

The large bay catches his eye at Perrin's mention and he studies it with the keen eye of somebody who is definitely not an expert horseman but knows what to look for when it comes to finding a sturdy animal for hard labour and poor weather conditions. "You breed horses, my lord?"

<FS3> Perrin rolls Politics: Success. (3 3 7 5 1)

Perpetua's attention is quickly diverted back to Perrin when introductions are made, and her own is quietly given. "Perpetua Rousse nó Rose Blanche, my lord." The words are bourne on a breath that's little more than an exhale of her breath, and that gentle blush so recently birthed, grows duskier as the stems of barley are offered. "Thank you, my lord." It's unlikely that she misses how gallantly he places himself between her and his stallion, and she studiously splits the barley stems in half and offers a portion of them to Andrei. "Monsieur would also like to feed the horses?" She offers up her own retained selection to the yearling, allowing him to lip them up from the palm of her hand.

Despite the sunshine streaming in through the doorway to the stables, there's a definite chill in the air when a certain tall, blonde, rather angular woman's shape casts its shadow. Dressed in what could most kindly be described as 'sensible' clothing, perhaps a good five or ten years behind fashion but well made, hardwearing and well worn in, the woman gives a cordial greeting to one of the stable lads, enquiring after his family and so forth, before moving further in and towards a couple of stalls at the end. With the light no longer behind her, casting her in silhouette, the delicate embroidery on the cuffs and seams of her otherwise unremarkable dark brown riding jacket can be seen, but perhaps more pointedly her distinctive limp becomes apparent. The dread Philomene d'Aiglemort, come to cast doom, inflict curses, turn milk sour, burn in direct sunlight, melt in water, etc., etc.

Perrin spints briefly before his eyes widen with a bit of recognition, perhaps having at least some idea of the Anghelescu name. He tells the other man again, "It is quite good to meet you, my lord." He looks back over his shoulder at the large bay, then back to Andrei before saying, "I do. My father is Cherevin of Kusheth, so I like to think it is in my blood." He gives a small shrug, as if to admit that time will be the judge of that.
His gaze returning to the lovely woman in white as she introduces herself and moves to feed one of the horses. He advises her, "Try and feed them with your palm as open as possible. They are gentle, however the cannot see, so determining where your fingers are is not easy for them. So by opening your palm, you help them and protect yourself." He picks up a cloth and shakes it free of dust before approaching and offering ti to her to wipe her hands, "Would I have something more delicate to offer you, my dear. You are too lovely for such course rags." He looks to Andrei, who is not dressed as poorly as Perrin is, however does not put the other man on the spot. Perhaps just offering the other man a chance to win the girl's attention should he choose. Perrin's easy nature hinting that he is perfectly content to let others shine.
As Philomene moves through the area nearby, he steps aside to allow her to pass. Despite the wake that her presence seems to create, he offers a polite nod, however may wonder if that chill was what caused him to step aside, or just good manners.

Anghelescu seems quite content to remain where he is, hands on his walking stick, watching others fuss about the horses (much to the disappointment of that chestnut yearling who knows for a fact that if a human pretends to be indifferent, then the national carrot harvest surely must be at the bottom of his coat pockets). "Perhaps you should ask his lordship if he will introduce you to the art of riding, mademoiselle? It is a quite pleasant pastime — the countryside here is lovely enough for an excursion on a summer's day."

He seems in no particular rush to monopolise the young woman's attention; turning instead to nod at the blond storm blowing in. "My lady vicomtesse. How does the day greet you? Killed any ambassadors yet?"

"The cloth is perfectly fine, and most welcome, my lord," comes Perpetua's quiet reassurance, a glimmer of amusement revealing itself in her eyes when they lift to meet his. Her fingers snag the cloth from his hand, and she presses it to her palm, whisking away grain dust and a little yearling slobber. "Lessons?" she muses. "Perhaps…" The beginnings of a smile might just be glimpsed when her veil moulds to her lips with a deeply drawn breath, but it'd be true to say it doesn't linger long since her attention is directed Philomene's way with Andrei's bold greeting. Memories of the conversation in the temple baths are quite likely the cause of her falling to silence, and she concentrates on getting the last of the dust from her hands.

"Barely even maimed any yet this morning, Monsieur Anghelescu," comes Philomene's dry reply as she reaches the door to the stall she's been aiming for and there pauses to greet the inquisitive nose of a large and muscular pure black Friesian. "But perhaps after lunch. I shall see if I can fit it in around my existing schedule, but I'm a little busy today. Mademoiselle," she greets the ghostly, veiled figure, paying her considerably more attention than she does Andrei, but then also considerably less than the horse to whom she slips a sugared almond from one of her voluminous pockets. "Is he yours?" she asks, with a nod towards the bay. It makes sense. She's there, and the only other person in with the stallion is some shirtsleeved youngster who must clearly be the groom. "He's rather handsome, isn't he?"

Perrin seems perfectly content that Andrei did not seize the opportunity to gain the young woman's favor, however he does have find himself unable to hide the grin that had been tugging at the corners of his lips for some time now. That fades and is replaces with a serious neutral expression as the foreign lord speaks with the blonde harbinger that had entered the stable. He echoes the other man's greeting and says, "Lady Vicomtesse." He may or may not know what Andrei means regarding the untimely death of some Ambassador that surely slipped in the bath or something. His neutral expression wisely hiding whatever knowledge he does have.
When Perpetua has finished wiping her hands clean, he uses both hands to accept the cloth back and gives the evidently nervous girl's hand a light but reassuring pat before he moves to bring the rag back to its place. As he sets it down he feels the gaze of the lady vicomtesse and his gaze turns to meet hers, "Yes, him and several of the others. Mine seem to get along well enough with yours, and we made sure to keep the stallions only near our own stock." He assures her, knowing well that every horse owner that shares this stable does not care for thoughtless neighbors. He pauses then says, "Forgive me, I talk about horses and forget my manners. I am Perrin de Somerville, and I've brought a sample of our stock to the city to secure trade and with luck, find some suitable breeding partners." The bay she mentioned, "He is one of the two stallions I brought with me, strong and brave, the other is small and swift." He inclines his head to another smaller sorrel stallion across and a little further down.

Anghelescu's gaze follows where the other man directs, coming to rest on the small sorrel. "Horses are not the worst subject of a conversation, my lord. You should speak with Lady Philomène " he indicates the older woman with a nod " who is possibly one of the finest equestrians in the city. I fear that horses are — not what my country is best known for. Ours are small, sturdy animals, suitable for carrying a burden but not so much for a lord who wishes to purport himself with some elegance."

Perpetua folds the cloth in half, then half again, smoothing straight creases into the crumpled fabric before Perrin claims it from her. If the poor girl had blushed before, it's nothing to the colour that claims her cheeks at the pat that's given her hand. Mortified at that touch, she winds her arms around her waist, her hands now lost from sight beneath a plethora of gauze and silk layers. Silence descends upon her shoulders as she wills the colour from her cheeks, her eyes directed downwards to the cobbles between her feet. They're very important cobbles right there.

Philomène gives a low chuckle as she's flattered, arching a brow at Andrei. "This is Eisande, though, not Kusheth or Camlach, so it's not a particularly high bar," she demurs, turning to limp heavily to the next stall and offer greetings and almonds to a smaller but proudly elegant dun mare, who snorts and whickers at the indignity of being second in Philomene's attentions.

"Philomene de Chalasse," she offers over to the young Somerville, although the short, clipped vowels of her accent certainly imply she's from a lot further east than the grain fields of l'Agnace traditionally ruled by the Chalasse family. "The dark gentleman there is Hercule, and this elderly lady is my Hirondelle. And as far as I'm concerned, Lord Perrin, you can talk about horses as long as you like and I'll never be offended. Manners can go hang."

Perrin admits to Andrei that, "The Somerville's are not renown for their horses, nor is L'Angace, however I do hope that my might at least contribute to changing that opinion." He quiets for a moment,, unable to not be charmed by the reaction from the woman in white whom he made blush so furiously. When Pilomene speaks again, his attention is given to her and her mare. He cannot help but smile at her words and he inclines his head in agreement, "I am glad to hear it. I have found that I am better at what I do when I take care of the horses myself, and I was concerned that I would be poorly received here in Marsilikos for it. It is good to find others of a like mind." He asks, "May I?" not approaching the dun unless she gives permission.

"Perhaps our Lord Somerville has a horse gentle enough for Mademoiselle Perpetua to try her hand at riding?" The interest in the Carpathian's voice is genuine enough; he is observant of the interest the younger woman pays to the horses and the way she watches them (and the men, but, well, some things are to be expected). He glances to Philomène and murmurs, "My own plans to purchase one for leisure were derailed, again. I really do need to stop spending so much time in bed. Or put wheels on the bed."

Perpetua catches her lower lip between her teeth, though it'd only be the slight narrowing of her eyes that would give any hint that something doesn't sit quite right in the young woman's world. That's where veils are so useful people. None of that's to be found on her face when she lifts her chin back up however, there's years of training she can call on to school her expression just so. And such an expression it is too, those deep, doe-like eyes landing fully upon Perrin in expectation of whatever his reply to Andrei might be.

Philomène takes a half step aside, inclining her head to allow Perrin closer to her precious mare. "I'm of the opinion that everyone ought to learn to ride, and everyone with the resources to do so should own or at least share in a horse. There's no freedom quite like the ability to stretch out and gallop hard across the fields and hedges, out of the damn city, away from people and in the fresh air. Monsieur Anghelescu, I've said before that you're welcome to come out with me on Hercule, and he'll appreciate the exercise far more than a wheeled bed would." She digs her hand into her pocket again, which is enough to have the mare's interest. "Although if you're once again trying to lure me to your bed, I'm afraid I'm going to once again decline."

Perrin is a horse breeder, so is not able to greet a new horse without giving a treat and lovingly showing affection while still taking a look at the mare's teeth and looking in her ears. He does not step inside to check her hooves, however this sort of action seems so natural to him that he may not even be aware that he is checking the horses health despite it not being his own. He tells Philomene, "She is beautiful, and loved." sounding as if he is paying her the highest compliment. Then offering the dun another treat just to spoil her before he steps back before his gaze returns to Perpetua, "Forgive me. A beauty such as yourself left unattended is a disservice. Would you like to learn to ride? At least the basics, fear not, you will be perfectly safe." He once again lifts his hand to her, offering her his now empty hand. His hands are clean, however they are very callous for a noble man. He seems aware that it may be off-putting to such a delicate woman, so he assures her, "I am also relatively safe." With a smile that is warm, with just a hint of playfulness. It is hard to say for sure if he is fighting a laugh due to the interaction between Andrei and Philomene, however the timing does seem to suggest that the banter is not missed by him.

Anghelescu's thin lips curl into a smile at Philomène's jab and perceived rejection. "Woe is me. How will I ever succeed in my gold digging ways in this city when the most eligible dowager, famous far and wide for her deep and heartfelt love of foreigners and their customs, continues to reject me? Perhaps I need to invest in Flatlandish cheese to win your affections — or at least stir some emotion. The urge to murder is an emotion."

Whatever's going on between those two, there's certainly a level of banter involved that hints of friendship (or possibly being an old married couple, anything is possible). "Also, I am absolutely positive that your big, black, Flatlandish beast there would eat me," he adds, smiling, while watching the younger man approach the veiled woman. Apparently foreigners entertain easily.

Perpetua is a quiet voyeur to Andrei and Philomene's banter, her arms still tightly wrapped about her waist. She's more an observer than a participant, it's part of her nature, and one she's comfortable with especially when people are loud. Perrin's approach to her is watched through lowered lashes, and it's not until he speaks to her directly, that she'll meet him halfway. A blink and a lift of her chin has her eyes on a level with his. There's a warmth to be found in them, along with a hint of a smile. "I believe I might like that. Thank you, my lord." A pause for a breath. "I must go. Duties await me. A letter will find you at the Somerville residence to arrange for a time?"

"Monsieur, given that there are so many more beautiful ladies here, I think I can forgive you," Philomene decides magnanimously, a smile playing at the corner of her lips. "Although I think more than one of those beautiful ladies is being swayed by young Lord Perrin here, so you'll need to up your game. Or I will. I do wonder if I offered to teach Mademoiselle Perpetua to ride whether I might wait with bated breath at home for a letter from her, too?"

<FS3> Perpetua rolls Composure: Success. (1 6 3 8 4 5 3 2 2)

Perpetua glances Philomene's way, a pained expression on her face.

Perrin nods his head to Perpetua and he says, "It will, and I will endeavor to give an appearance more befit of may family when next we meet." The scent of sweat from his labor mix with the scents of freshy laid hay in the stable and the faint scent of apples. He suggests, "When you wish to ride, you may of course dress as you please, however some clothing may be more well suited." He makes no indication of what Philomene is wearing, however he does seem to imply that she will have no issues of fighting a dress while riding. His smile returning once at the banter between Andrei and Philomene. While he has remained outside of their conversation, it would seem that he is charmed by both of them. When Philomene suggests she would like a letter as well, his smile shows for the poor girl before him, "You are quite lovely, so I am sure that you draw many an eye, however it seems your attention is in quite high demand, my dear. I dare say that I would recommend the letter first go to our lady Vicomtesse prior to going to the younger son of a younger daughter such as I." He taps the side of his nose and gives the young woman a easy smile to show that he thinks her problems are of the good sort to have.

"I on the other hand will not offer to teach you to ride, mademoiselle." Anghelescu's blue eyes sparkle with amusement. "Mostly because I am not an equestrian to the extent that our fellow lord and lady here are, and I tend to be unreliable for arrangements at best. Should you decide upon another game of chess some quiet evening, on the other hand, I am often where you found me the last time."

The conversation obviously amuses him though the reason may not be evident. The other man is not that much younger than Anghelescu himself; and yet there is something 'look at the kids' in the way he observes the proceedings — a glance to Philomène, a curl of a lip, a trace, perhaps, of arrogance attempted disguised as courtesy.

"I would question whether the Lady Philomene has the patience to tutor such an utter novice as I," muses Perpetua. The corners of her eyes crinkle lightly with internal amusement. "But I think she means to tease, my lord." It's rather a lot for the quiet young woman to vocalise all at once, but she does allow herself a cant of her head Andrei's way when chess is mentioned. "I would like that. Thank you. Now if you will excuse me." A curtsey is made that encompasses all three, her hands remaining pinched in her skirts to hold them clear of the dirt on the floor as she turns and makes her way out.

Philomène dips her head politely as the young woman makes her way out, that sardonic smile still on her lips. "Is my reputation that bad, I wonder? I'd like to think that I don't lack patience entirely, just for lazy-arsed layabouts with nothing to offer but their own entitlement. I mean, I put up with you, don't I, Monsieur Anghelescu?" She shakes her head in mock bewilderment, turning to pay closer attention to her somewhat demanding horse, patting her and murmuring to her while she unfastens the satchel hanging casually over her shoulder and produces a brush so she can take care of the animal properly. Again, it's not fancy or elegant, but the sort of practical, no-nonsense tool that's seen plenty of use and is built to last.

Perrin cannot help but smile at all the talk around him, and even if he seems to have been unsure of Philomene's intention, he seems to have found it amusing none the less. He watches the young beauty make her way out of the stables, then shakes his head as if marveling at it all. He walks then to resume his work, as he has fallen /far/ behind his helper at this point and does seem to genuinely want to care for his horses himself. He asks Philomene, "Do you ride most mornings? Could I impose to ride along some time? I would like to learn of good trails; and the company of a fellow rider would be welcome, if you would have me." He pauses then assures her, "While I am a breeder and not a competitive rider, I should be able to keep up…" He pauses then adds, "Or at least be humble enough to know my failings should I not." He glances then to Andrei as if considering extending that invitation. With the banter between Andrei and Philomene, it may be a little comical that Perrin just gives the other lord a little shrug like he isn't going to jump on that mine, despite the evident fondness in the way the two verbally spar.

Anghelescu mostly looks amused. "I am positive that if you have failings, my Lord Somerville, the lady will be certain to inform you of them. She has no reservations in such regard." He seems to be quite content to lean on his walking stick, scratch the nose of the chestnut yearling, and absolutely not get on a horse or do barn work. "Myself, I am no great horseman, and I have yet to find a horse here that I could convince myself to purchase. Not because there is anything wrong with the horses but because if I owned it, I'd feel obliged to ride it regularly. I do borrow one, on on occasion."

"If riding is an obligation, you're doing it wrong," Philomene opines cheerfully from behind the flank of the elegant dun mare. "And you'd be welcome to ride with me, Lord Perrin, although more usually you'll find I walk the gardens in the mornings and ride out through the countryside in the afternoons." Yes, she walks. With that limp. Is he going to dare mention it? "I'm not exactly a competitive rider… shh, you," she adds aside to Andrei before he can raise the expected objection to that. "But I like to push the boat out a little. If you're looking for a pleasant ladylike trot around town, you'd be better taking your new White Rose admirer. I was born an Aiglemort and trained as cavalry. I ride."

Perrin nods his head, fully understanding why Anghelescu has chosen not to own his own horse and even relates, "My older sister was of that same mind-set. She did not enjoy riding, so she gave ownership of her horse to me after it had been gifted to her only half a year. Her reasoning was much the same, and I could not find fault in her logic, or yours. Perhaps I will offer to led you some of my family's stock when you meet with the wealthy, so you could brag of where the fine horse came from." Next he will have the poor guy wearing a logo like a midevil race car driver pimping out the stable he is advertis- er riding for. His attention turning once again to Philomene as she talks about when he might meet with her and he tells her, "The afternoons would be preferable for me. I find that I am able to know the health and mood of the horses much better if I put my back to the work." This earns cough and supressed snort from the serving man that has had to do the bulk of the work while Perrin has flirted and dallied with the nobility. This only causes him to smile broadly and just lean into it as he literally leans against an empty stall while watching the serving man work. He pretends to brag, "Some well earned callous from hard work also adds character…" The other man's head finally rises above the stall he is mucking and Perrin breaks into a laugh, "Okay, so I have slacked today, however you can find me here most mornings. In the afternoon I clean up and would enjoy a ride, and no you will not need to hold her back on my account." He assures Philomene. At the mention of cavalry, he glances towards the bay stallion that the noble woman had first noticed. He says nothing, however the association seems to be established.

The smile on Anghelescu's thin lips turn into a small laugh. "My lord, if you wish to advertise your horses to the nobles of Marsilikos, you do not wish to recruit a foreign trader to do so. The d'Angeline are not known to care much for the opinions of foreigners — some of them are known to be remarkably dismissive of foreign customs in fact. Allow me to say that the rider you should be impressing is indeed the vicomtesse." He nods towards the blond woman. "She if any is known here to be a connoisseur of horses.

He strokes the chestnut's soft nose again with a gloved hand. "Myself, I find myself spending too much time laid up with poor health to wish to own anything living."

"He uses poor health as an excuse," Philomene explains solemnly. "Honestly, if he'd just get it over with and cark it already it would clear a lot of time in my schedule. You know, I keep having to plan in 'funeral for the Chowatti idiot' and then you go and improve and I have to cross it out again; it's frankly exhausting."

Perrin inclines his head to Andrei, as if having suspected that it may be the case, however he seemed willing to give the benefit of the doubt. He doesn't have a chance to say anything before Philomene speaks up and he once again has to fight the urge to laugh. He asks, "So is this your first time meeting?" playfully asking to learn more about the two and how they came to know each other so well.

"We have known each other for some time," Anghelescu replies with a small grin. "I had the, ah, luck of meeting the lady as one of the first locals to speak to me when I arrived in the city. And by speak I mean she took a spot at my table after knocking down three sailors in a fist fight. Clearly we were destined to become friends."

"In fairness, they were drunk and would probably have fallen over by themselves without my help," Philomene notes with a laugh. "But I like the way you tell the story. It makes it sound like I didn't get a fat lip and a black eye for my trouble. This idiot," and she gestures with a thumb towards Andrei, "keeps me on my toes. He'll tell the truth, where most of the puffed up windbags of the city will pussy about trying to find a polite but ultimately meaningless turn of phrase. Everyone ought to have a friend who'll tell you straight up when you're being a dickhead."

Perrin looks to Philomene again with a new found respect. He admits, "That is quite the way to meet someone for the first time." with a smile, clearly enjoying the company of these two and finding them both fasinating. When she furthers the explaination of their first meeting and going on to talk about having a friend that will tell you the truth in no uncertain words earns a nod and the comment, "If only more people had people that would them look more clearly at themselves. Despite only just meeting me, I would encourage you both to speak freely with me. I do love to occassional become very proud of myself and without my siblings nearby to keep me in check, I worry that I will become insufferable."

"My lord, I am not a d'Angeline, and I have no interests to protect in d'Angeline politics, nor do I represent my country. No one here cares one bit what I think. This grants me freedom to speak my mind." Anghelescu's statement is blunt but his tone is not discourteous. "I would not advice learning the art of diplomacy from a couple of old soldiers who spend more time drinking and comparing scars than they do actually making themselves useful to anyone."

"I can be diplomatic, you know," Philomene points out, pausing in brushing down her horse so she can peer over the mare's back at the pair. "I just generally choose not to. I'm too damn old to care these days, see? What are you going to do, strip my lands from me? Too late, my daughter runs those. My husband's in his grave, my children are grown, and there's not a damn thing anyone can do to stop me speaking my mind now. I can meddle in my younger daughters' lives, sure, but at the end of the day it's all down to Eleanor now and I'm just some passed over old bat who should have died years ago but was just too damn stubborn to give them the pleasure. It gives one a marvellous sense of freedom."

Perrin pulls a bit of a face at Andrei's honest assessment and he says, "Mores the shame." as he steps out of the stable briefly to lead a pale mare back in front the paddock into the stall he had cleaned some time ago. His serving man has finished cleaning all the other stalls that remained, so he begins brushing the mare and rejoins the conversation as he grooms the horse while she eats her breakfast. He admits, "I suppose I have not earned that sort of freedom from polite society, however I do appreciate a conversation with some candor. One can only describe the beauty of a flower in so many ways before becoming nauseous from the self indulgence of it all." He pauses in his brushing before saying, "I could probably spend more time talking about horses, so perhaps it is just my interests. Regardless, I envy your ability to be informal as you chose. I believe my family would not be well please if I chose the same, at least for now."

"If I had a family to protect I might choose my words with more caution," Anghelescu agrees. "As it happens, I am unwed and have no children, nor immediate living relatives of my name. Nor am I a member of polite society, much as the guards of the palace do not chase me from these stables largely because they've seen me distract Lady Philomène from bothering the real dignitaries. I should bill the Duchesse, truly."

Philomène laughs at that, shrugging. "It is, I think, the one advantage of getting older. There are few enough perks to it, I'm telling you, that we'll grasp at anything we can. When I was your age, Lord Perrin, I too had to mind my tongue. Within reason," she allows with a smirk. "I mean, there's only so much any of us can really change our nature. But I was, what, twenty four when I shipped out to l'Agnace? Not knowing a single soul there, and with a new 'Vicomtesse' title to live up to, a husband I'd barely met, and a sudden and pressing need to learn about agriculture and pigs of all things. I think I've earned the right now to a bit of informality."

Perrin smiles a bit in his work, hearing both of their comments and seeming to heed their advice. He does comment, "And I had a brief hope that all here might be so straight forward. It goes against the nature of our society I suppose, however I did dare to hope for a moment." He looks over the back of the mare he is brushing and comments, "That does sound like quite a lot to live up too. I was educated on the nobility and the history of many families, however I am afraid I do not know much of your time before becoming the Vicomtesse of Chalasse. Where did you grow up before coming to L'Agnace?" Being from the area affording him some history, however he clearly cared more about learning all he could about horses rather than becoming a scholar of nobility and their history.

The Carpathian quirks an eyebrow at Philomène as well. Perhaps he wouldn't particularly mind expanding his knowledge horizon either; one might venture a guess that he may possess a grasp on who's who in the Chowat but given the vast geographical distance, such knowledge is little short of useless in the gentle Mediterranean climate of Marsilikos.

"I was an Aiglemort," Philomene explains, as though that ought to be enough. She eyes the young man for a moment, then finally relents. "We hold the border in Camlach against the Skaldi invaders, and keep the country safe. Monsieur Anghelescu does a similar role in his own lands, hence our mutual friendship I think. Are you married, Lord Perrin?" Yep. Straight to the point. Well, she does have a pair of daughters still single and she's hardly shy about sounding out the market. "And your parents are… which exactly?"

Perrin nods his head, and forces himself not to look down towards her leg, however it does test the limited tact he has needed to display thus far in their meeting. Her limited explanation seems enough for him to understand and he only comments, "I have never been to Aiglemort, however those I have met and the tales I have heard do give me some limited understand how the change must have been to go from that life to learning about pigs and fields…" He does not presume to add to that comment. To her next question he says, "I am the fourth in my family, which is of the line of Lady Nicole, younger sister to the late Baron d'Argentat. I am afraid that I will need to earn a name for myself before I find a match." knowing full well that Philomene's daughters are well above his station.

"You'll do so, my lord, I'm sure." Anghelescu smiles lightly. He is just a few years older than the other man from the looks of him, and having just pronounced himself unwed, perhaps not entirely unsympathetic. And then again, on the other hand, a foreigner to Terre d'Ange might not find it easy to wed in a country where the natives have the literal blood of angels and think little of those who do not. "Love comes easily in this city where no one thinks it strange at all for a man and his wife to each sport their lover and not one another at public affairs. You are a people of curious customs, but not one prone to spinsterhood."

"You don't need a name, just enough cash to inject into a well bred but penniless title somewhere," Philomene notes cynically, her lips pursing for a moment. "There'll be a baronesse somewhere who just needs an acceptable spouse to squeeze out the requisite heirs, who has the bloodline but could do with the readies. Let's not for one instant fool ourselves into thinking a marriage is anything but a political or financial tool."

Perrin inclines his head to Anghelescu, admitting silently that he is right that from the outside, surely they are an odd people. He pat's the mare on the neck, then moves in front of her, ducking down even with her raising her head to allow him to pass. He then starts brushing her other side and saying, "I hope that I will gain the interest of some in the town, however I am acutely aware that I will need to earn their interest with my deeds. In truth, I have found I prefer that. Everything I have been forced to earn has been sweeter than that which was given freely. Perhaps I am just stubborn." Philonmene's assessment is harsh, however he acepts her assessment readily. He comments, "I have met a few already, however I have spent my coin in securing breeding rights for the horses…" 'instead of himself' goes unsaid. He smiles at them as he comments, "I plan to earn a name for myself so that perhaps someday my family will be better off for it, and those that come after me can squander it all away…" He gives a shrug, as if knowing how these things go, but not caring since he would be dead by that time anyway.

"Names are fleeting," the Carpathian says and looks about for something to sit on. "One man wins himself one, his son squanders it, and so on. Heritage is important to some; to others it is a curse. If horses are your passion, one might be tempted to suggest that you should pursue it. You have the means to do so, my lord, unlike a poor man's son."

"Names are everything," Philomene argues, relenting and giving her mare another almond from her pocket if only to stop her continually snuffling about. "When I'm dead, I want people to remember my name. And I want my daughters to be remembered as mine, and that should be enough to stop anyone fucking with them."

Perrin nods his head to Andrei and says, "That is my intention, and it seems that a strong breed is not as easily squandered as coin… However I have heard tale of legacies sold off at a fraction of their value by ignorant. Those breeders names are still known in certain circles though, so there is something that is remembered even if their decendants have forgotten or lack the ambition to build upon what was given to them." He seems to have found some peace in a goal between those two points of view and has to smile a bit as he admits, "Before I worry too much about my legacy, I have a great deal of work to do to build one." His attention going to Philomene and telling her, "I dare say that I suspect they will." Having only just met her, she seems to have made quite the impression.

Anghelescu's lip twitches slightly and he inclines his head to the dowager vicomtesse. "This is a subject that the lady and I will never reach consensus on, I fear. She feels strongly that one should leave a legacy and a name that lasts. I feel strongly that as I am the only living person of my name, I'm entirely entitled to throw it away as I please."

Philomène flings the brush over at Andrei, setting her jaw in frustration. "Then what exactly is it all for, if you leave nothing behind, domnul? I mean, just because you've got a name that sounds like a pigeon mated with a cockerel, and your province sounds like it can only be pronounced with a bad head cold, a mouth full of marbles and a bottle or two of uisghe in you, if you've no pride in either, why bother living at all?"

Perrin comments, "I have little control of the actions of others." He quiets for a moment as if lost in thought before adding, "I have never raised a child, so I am no expert on how well you can teach the youth to continue your legacy. I have seen some families remain strong for generations and met some young lords and ladies that seem destined to disappoint their parents. I venture to guess that a parent could influence that one way or the other depending on their own behavior. I have no doubt even from this brief meeting that our vicomtesse's opinion is true…" His voice fades and a little guarded grin appears as she throws a brunch and insults Andrei again. He gives the mare he was working with a pat, then steps out of the stall and secures it.

Anghelescu catches the brush; he's clearly not unaccustomed to the idea of Philomène throwing things at him. "I live for me. I've spent most of my life fighting for my country. I've done my duty, met my obligations, carried out what service I owed to land and God. Now? I intend to live an easy life of mocking jaded old vicomtesses until my lungs decide to give up. Every man must decide for himself what he wants to do with the spoils of his work, and I have decided to squander mine."

"Every duty but one, Anghelescu," Philomene reminds the man, rolling her eyes at him. "Every duty but one."

Perrin leans against the stall door and lazily pets the mare's nose as the two argue again. He does not inquire about their history, or what they are refering too, however he is attentive and seems learn as they argue.

"Every duty but one," Anghelescu cedes and settles on somebody's feed box. It's a chair now. He needed one, and it's a nearby horisontal surface. Then he winks at the younger man. "What she actually wants is for me to pack up and bugger off back to my own country to find a suitable wife."

Philomène gives her horse a little more petting, pressing her cheek to the animal's with more fondness than she's shown for anything else in her life that Andrei might have seen, including her children. Finally stepping away, that limp ever more pronounced on the uneven footing of straw beneath her that even the mismatched soles of her specifically made tall boots can't mitigate, she closes up the stall behind her and holds her hand up for the brush back. "I just think you ought to go through the frustration of children, too," she insists with a half smile. "Even if you don't have to suffer through bearing the damn things. I don't care if you do that here, in Podshabksa or in Chi'in, but you ought to have to endure the same as the rest of us."

Perrin shrugs a shoulder towards Andrei and comments, "There are worse things to wish on a old friend." His grin showing once again when he claims they are friends, as if he is curious how that will go over. He seems to have fewer words now, and is more content to jut be part of the conversation that is primarily between the other two now.

"My dear, if I were to raise a child I'd follow my family's tradition of largely ignoring the kid until it was old enough to stab me in the back." The Carpathian grins slightly; he too is amused, and perhaps enjoying riling up the older woman a bit. With a glance to Perrin he adds, "If you survive the next five minutes, my lord, you may boast to be the one man in Marsilikos to call the lady a friend of a foreigner and live to talk about it. How fast is your horse?"

"I'm more concerned he called you old, old friend," Philomene points out with an easy smile. "Now will you give me my damn brush back, or do I have to beat it out of you? Hercule is waiting, you know."

Perrin does seem to be slightly lighter on his feet, as if suspecting a horse brush might fly his way after referring to them as friends. He admits to the foreign lord, "Not fast enough to save me from myself, in most situations." When that does not happen, but Philomene moves to regain her brush, he shifts his weight a little as if perhaps knowing he should not rest easy just yet. He tells them both, "It has been a great pleasure to meet you both, but I must go get cleaned up. I hope to meet you for that ride very soon Vicomtesse Philomene."

Anghelescu tosses the brush back. "It's been an honour, my lord. I hope to be here when you return from that ride; if for nothing else then to hear the dressing down you'll get if you somehow failed to meet the lady's standards which I am told require perfection. This might be the other reason I have yet to purchase a horse."

"I don't require perfection," Philomene grumbles as she lets herself into the black gelding's stall and sets about fussing over him. "I merely expect it. I'll see you tomorrow at two, Lord Perrin. If you're late, I'll leave without you. Have a pleasant morning."

Perrin cannot help but smile at the words of the other two and says, "I will endevor to accord myself some semblance of dignity by the end of the ride. Farewell." and with that he heads off, presumably to get cleaned up.

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