(1312-06-24) Sour Grapes
Summary: Philomène graciously allows Perrin to ride out with her, if he can keep up. (Actually he can.)
RL Date: 24/06/2020
Related: Ride or Die.
philomene perrin 

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.

The Somerville lord had said the previous day that he wanted to go for a ride, so it appears that he learned that she frequently leaves in a particular direction and decided to see if he might find her. He waits for Vicomtesse Philomène not far from the gates of the city. He has with him the pale mare he had been grooming the previous day, and she is hitched to a tree branch loosely enough that she grazes freely in the shade. Perrin is sitting with his back to the tree and it seems that the heat of the day and the lull of the locust rhythmic stridulation along with the gentle breeze has caused his eyes to drift closed and he appears to have found a wonderful spot for a nap. It makes him must less alert looking for who he had intended in meeting, however it does seem like a good use of the moments. There is a high likelihood that he believes he simply went the wrong direction and missed her.

Until, that is, he's rudely awakened by the flinging of a sugared almond towards his chest, which leads to the double indignity of the mare suddenly expressing an interest in snuffling for it somewhere in his lap where it fell.

"If you've fallen off already," comes the amused drawl of the tall blonde on horseback, "then that really doesn't bode well for you. I assume you're coming out for a ride, not just here to enjoy the view?"

Perrin doesn't wake up with the almond hitting him in the chest. Nope, way too light, and he is snoozing. Now when his hoses eats the almond and tugs at his tunic he wakes enough to push her away, "Stop, you don't like shirts." He then jolts upright to hear the voice of the woman he had been doing an incredibly poor job at waiting for. Seeing her, and hearing her words brings a smile to his face. As he gets up and dusts off his back side he says, "The victory is always sweeter when it is earned. If I start out on foot, then crossing the finish line first will be all the better." She does this little eyeshift thing then and shows her his palms as if he is not even buying his own excuse, "It is a nice day for a ride AND a nice day for a nap." He retrieves the leader from the tree and walks towards her with his horse following behind, "I would be glad to join you on a ride, if you'll have me."

"Well, I think having you is a little forward," Philomène points out drily, leaning forward to offer her mare a pat on the nose. "But mount up and you can certainly ride with me. Do you know Le Cascade, the waterfall?" She gives a nod towards the east. "It's a good ride out to there, plenty of jumps on the bottom road, or a safer way if we take the top road. Your choice."

Perrin rubs the back of his head and says, "Too bold then?" with a smile that is both forced as she puts him off guard, and natural that it seems to touch his eyes despite the embarrassment. She puts him back on more even footing when her questions and he answers as he mounts up and walks his mare beside hers. He tells her, "I do not, however it sounds like a good place to ride too. This mare seems the most unsteady of the seven I brought with me, so today I will ask that we let her take the higher road until she seems herself again. Tomorrow, maybe I could convince you to ride with me again and show that I do know how to jump a horse… Until then, I will have to allow you to assume that I do not."

"She's young," Philomène allows, steering away a little to give her a better view to watch Perrin's mare with a fiercely critical eye, taking in her coat, her gait, hooves, neck and temperament. "There's no shame in seeing to your horse's comfort before your own." She even sounds vaguely approving, will wonders never cease. "Hirondelle and I have been together for the best part of sixteen years, and I'm well aware of what she enjoys and what she doesn't, even if we're both getting on a bit now. So," she queries, looking the man over with the same sort of scrutiny she gave the horse. "What brings you to Marsilikos anyway? Looking for a market for your horses, or is there a horrific dirty secret that prompted you to leave the l'Agnace heartlands?"

Perrin smiles and inclines his head deeply as a show of his graditude that she understands his decision. Her assessment of the mare are well taken and he says, "You have a good idea. She is the youngest of the bunch, and I knew it was a risk to bring her such a long way. She perhaps above all others brings me the most pride. She comes from a strong line and she is a thrill to ride, however she can be tempermental and it seems the long journey and strange new home has left her meloncholy." He pats the side of her neck and says, "I think a ride will do her good, and I hope that she'll want to run by the end." He straightens in the saddle and waves a hand dismissively and says, "If I were to begin a horse race on foot, I might seem from time to time as if it would be more of an advantage than my situation… At least through the lense of me as a youth. No, I have come to the city to help my family better their name in the world of the horse trade, make money and if I do exceedingly well, I hope to earn a name for myself. Sadly, no intruige, however I could grow a mustache, I suppose."

"You'd look a twat with a moustache," Philomène opines, ever one to beat about the bush when it comes to giving her tactful opinion. "You'll just have to perfect your evil cackle instead." With a glance to the man's mare, she considers for a moment, then briefly touches her heels to her horse's flanks and launches into an easy canter. He can just keep up.

Perrin just laughs and laughs for a good thirty seconds at her response. He has to dab at his eyes before telling her, "Fair enough, no mustache." He has recovered mostly by the time she steps up to a canter and his mare seems to enjoy trotting along with another horse and seems to move to keep up with no encouragement from her rider. Even with her after a second or two of falling ehind, his proud smile can be seen. He nods his head to her like he doesn't want the children to hear or something. He is a bit ridiculous about it, and after a moment he realizes and gives a shrug as if to admit he is lame, "It may be that there is a run in her today after all."

"Some girls like the chase, and don't like to run alone," Philomène calls over, the wind catching her hair to flatten out a little behind her and the sunlight catching her magnificently sculpted cheekbones and her rare but apparently genuine smile.

Perrin looks over to Philomène and takes a moment to admire her lovely smile. There is something undeniable about good cheek bones. He playfully asks, "Are we still talking about horses?" So deadpanned that he probably sounds like a fool. His smile though shows nothing but good humour. He doesn't let silence linger long, so she can easily ignore his comment. He says, "This one, I will have to hold back some, if she gets too anxious. At least for today." He goes on to explain why, "She barely ate this morning." then adds, "However her spirits seem to be rising, and thing=k both she and I hope that we might ride with you again tomorrow, and we have only just begun today."

"My Lord Perrin, assume I am always talking about horses," Philomène insists, bobbing naturally in the saddle as they run on. For all her awkwardness when limping around on solid ground, on horseback she's a natural. It would appear that Andrei wasn't entirely inaccurate when he called her one of the better equestrians of the city. But then, at her age, she's had plenty of practice. "Have you tried soaking a few oats in beer?" she suggests, brows drawing together at the thought that the mare might be off her feed. "Just a few, to encourage her digestion? Any tenderness about her? Or do you think it's the stress of a new city and new stables?"

Perrin smiles a little at that, but has not learned to read her yet, and proves he is not so bold to push her. Instead he just playfully agrees, "Horses, yes." agreeing to the assumption, however he does glance at her again, perhaps hoping to see her smile once more. To her suggestion he says, "Not yet, I worry about rewarding her sulking. She is spirited and bright. If she believes she could sulk and be babied, I worry that she would limit herself purposefully. So she ate little and I hope the ride will make her energized and hungry enough that she will forget her woes." Her other questions get a, "None that she showed. She nearly stamped her hoof on my foot this morning as she exited her stall, however I could not ellicit the same response again. I believe she misses her old stable, her mother and I think the old gelding that was in the stall next to hers. Change and missing home affects even those horses it seems."

Philomène gives a little laugh at that, turning her horse up the hill when they reach the fork in the path, which prompts a little whicker and a snort from Hirondelle, who is clearly far more used to taking the more perilous route. She crouches in the saddle to stretch forward and pat the horse to ease her without a second thought. "Horses are generally more sensitive than most people," she agrees, then pauses and corrects herself, "with the exception of a number of young lordlings, that is, who are sensitive in the extreme."

Perrin nods his head in agreement, but that is mostly lost in the movement as his mare strides up the hill. He is quiet for a moment before patting her neck and encouraging, "Good girl. It is nice to be out in the wind again isn't it Malta." and remaining leaning slightly forward and giving her a loose rein to see if she will nose ahead competitively with Hirondelle. It does not take long before she begins stretching her legs some, but only just a little. He seems well pleased with this and finally responds to her comment, "Well we do have so many delicate feelings to tend too, and if we do not cry out for attention, how will the world ever know of our plight? It is truly a wonder how a young lordly manages to crawl out of bed some days… With everything all just given to them with no effort at all. It is such a struggle."

Philomène laughs again. "You see? No wonder I have such a monstrous reputation for calling out their hides for being bone idle, when really I just don't understand their pitiful plight, hm?"

Perrin nods his head and says, "It is difficult to understand, so it is forgiveable. Truly, no one understands the heart and mind of a young noble man. Too complex are their feelings…" His voice cracking a little as he is unable to keep a straight face. He admits to her, "I am glad that you have met me in this stage in my life, I am afraid that ten or fifteen years ago, I was just as insuffereble as the next, probably more so… I imagine I will look back in another ten years and realizes that I still am." He gives a small shrug and says, "Milk and honey, I suppose. The more we have, the less we appreciate."

"Ten or fifteen years ago you'd have been waddling about under the care of your nanny, I don't doubt," Philomène points out, keeping a steady pace for the other mare to challenge, but not so fast as to struggle. "I've owned socks older than you."

Perrin laughs and says, "I am not that young, but I am not all that wise in the ways of the world either." He gives a little shrug and a grin, "I certainly hope you do not have socks older than me, and if you do, it is time to move on and retire them. I am nearly thirty, and that is far too long to hold onto even the luckiest of socks… Well, okay, are they lucky? And if so, how lucky? Maybe you could keep them a bit longer." He reains in his mare at the top of the hill and wheels her slowly to look down towards the city, "It doesn't look so bad from up here does it?"

"And it would have been the thirtieth anniversary of our wedding this year," Philomène muses as she draws up and sits high in the saddle, commanding a fine view over the countryside. "That's a terrifying thought. The time does fly by." She shakes her head, barely sparing the city a glance but instead turning to look out over fields and vineyards. "There, Lord Perrin," she points out, gesturing expansively with one hand. "There is the wealth and the heart of Terre d'Ange. A city is just a city, but crops are what keep us alive. It's not very grand, is it? Not glorious. Not something to help you make your name, not like fighting a dozen duels or raising a fine horse, but never forget that without those fields and the hardworking tenants who farm them we'd never be able to support our soldiers, our sailors, scholars, artists and diplomats. I'd gladly take every layabout baron's son up here to show them this, you know. Show them the importance of leading our tenants and supporting them, in arranging trade, shelter, relief… a title is a duty, damn it all, not a reward."

Perrin turns Malta once more and looks towards the amber fields shifting in the breeze before them. He is quiet for a time as he looks over it. The scent of wheat is gentle on the wind and the sound of the fields and nearby trees sound unique, not unlike the ocean, but so much more subtle. The horse lord seems quite content to take it all in and he says, "I could not agree more, however it is a humble thing and a stout people of a different sort. None sing their tales, however if they were to fail, so would we all. My parents made sure I was aware of this, even as a young lordling, however I was a bit insuffereable and had dreams of adventure and possibly some high seas hijynx." He rests his hands on the pummel of his saddle and takes in a deep breath of the country air. He asks, "Did you hate it at first? Going from being a warrior woman on the board to moving to the quiet of my homeland? The fields and pigs was difficult for me to accept as a youth, but I can only imagine that it would have felt like the world had turned on its head for you."

"Detested it," Philomène admits with a wry smile. "I spent my first three years in Gueret raging about the indignity of it all. To be dragged away from everything I knew and loved, everything I'd always assumed I'd do for my whole life, from friends, lovers, family, and carted without a thought to the interior to raise wheat and turn my hand to financing a family and a man I'd never even bloody met before I got there. You know, I'd done everything I was ever asked to do. I trained and I fought, and I fought hard on the border, and my reward for that was to be shipped off like a brood mare and forgotten. Yes. Yes, I hated it at first. But there's a dignity all its own to the farmland, and there's a different battle to fight. Only that one is against blight and drought and god damned locusts, and you don't walk away with a shiny medal if you do well, you just make your farms survive another year."

Perrin nods head head, and say admits, "It is a thankless thing that they do, yet the very backbone of everything." He considers for a moment, "It is a struggle to keep the youth there. While we traded horses primarily with the nobility and the gentry, there were some farmers and ranchers that we would deal with regularly. Even as a boy I noted the lack. The very young and the very old tend most of the farms in our lands while the young men and women seek… well, that is not hard to imagine for either of us I imagine. You with your life before L'Agnace and me with my far flung dreams that were the same as the others. Everyone wants to be somewhere else." He looks to her for a moment, and it seems like he would try to make light and make her smile as he had at other times in their conversation, yet this time he chooses to remain serious.

"And so you come to Marsilikos," Philomène observes, raising a brow. "And what have you found? A city's a city. The accent might change, but people are people. And the more of them you put together, the more utter shitstains you'll find among them. But then, also, the occasional gem. You'll want to present yourself to the Lady of Marsilikos at some point sooner rather than later, Lord Perrin. She's one of the good ones. Who knows, maybe she'll have an interest in buying some of your stock."

Perrin nods his head but does add, "For now. I have overcome my wanderlust and come to the city with purposse in mind, and intention to return whence I came." He considers her further words and takes a deep breath. He seems just a little distressed about the prospect of meeting the Lady of Marsilikos. He rides next to the Victomtesse of his home province, yet he squirms at the thought of meeting someone else. Lordlings, what can you do with them? Thankfully he seems able to pull his head from his ass within short order when he goes where. He turns his hands on the pommel of his saddle and shows her his palms once more, which seems to be an appology for him looking foolish for a moment there. He says, "I think I would like that, and hopefully I can find some favor with her. Does she also ride?"

"Never seen her out riding," Philomène admits gruffly, "but then she wouldn't be the first person to avoid me."

Perrin nods his head, then leaves it as is. He asks, "Should we push on? I'd like to see the waterfall." As they begin moving again he asks, "So you've really come around on the farms and fields. Was it just a gradual realization, or did something happen that changed your mind?"

Philomène laughs quietly, fixing her blue-grey eyes on him as they ride. "Thirty years happened, if that counts? My husband was a good man. Patient. Made friends easily. He was a good counterbalance to me and my temper. I think what changed my mind was seeing the work that goes into it, though. You can't dismiss that. And I got to know some of our tenants very well, in good years and lean ones, and I'd like to think I made a difference. We expanded the pig breeding, relied less on a single crop, and the vicomté is in a far better place for it. And I'm damn proud of our bacon. There's none finer."

Perrin nods his head in agreement, "Damn straight." getting behind the bacon from his home province. He nudges his mare up to a trot once again, but only after being sure he was facing the right direction again. As the youthful mare gets up to a steady speed he shows Philomène a big smile, "She is feeling a bit better, I think. He doesn't completely let her go, however it is the fastest as he has had her run so far on the ride. He calls over, "Do you go back often, or do you spend most of your time here now?"

"I was back there over the winter, for the funeral," Philomène answers him, without the smile in response but with her brows drawn together. "I haven't been back since. Best to stay out of the way for now, let Eleanor — my eldest, and the new Vicomtesse — find her feet. She doesn't need me there judging everything she does, and confusing the tenants."

Perrin nods his head and says, "Of course." chiding himself silently for the foolish question. He rides beside her in silence for a time, but does not seem to swell, but rather finds a the sound of the horses clomping hoove and the creak of leather of the saddles mixing with the sounds and smells of the fields on either side of them to be just fine for a time. As they approach the end of a field he spots some trees in the distance and asks, "The waterfall?"

"Le Cascade," Philomène agrees, expression lightening somewhat. "I usually let Hirondelle graze a bit. On a hot day like this maybe dangle my feet in the water. There's a rock some people like to dive from if you fancy a swim." She slows her horse as they approach, and Hirondelle certainly seems to perk up as she knows exactly where they are. "Did you bring a flask?"

Perrin nods his head and says, "Some food too, if you are of a mind." He stands in the stirups as they get closer, "I can see why you ride out here. Thank you for sharing it with me." He sits down once more and just grins a bit like he is making plans to come out here and do whatever lordlings do… probably brood and stare at his reflection in the water and write bad poetry or something. As they get closer he asks, "If you'd like to linger for a time, I could take their saddles off and you can figure out if I know how to pack food in a saddle bag." He does, however his tone purposefully indicates that he does not.

Philomène snorts a laugh, shaking her head as they approach, the sound of the waterfall meaning she has to raise her voice a little to be heard. "I don't tend to eat during the day, but thank you. I'll have a little refreshing beverage to bolster the spirits and that'll be me, but please do feel free to stuff your pie hole as much as you like. I won't be offended." She runs her tongue over her teeth, deliberately sets that sculpted jaw in place and it's as though she's wearing a mask all of a sudden. Not a trace of expression on her face, frozen in place, while she leans forward and swings her leg over to dismount her horse, the whole movement rather odd and stiff. While her limp might be completely forgotten when riding, the moment she's on firm ground again, it's all too apparent, giving her an awkward, lopsided gait as she moves round to fuss over her horse and free her from her tack.

Perrin snorts with pretended indignation, "Then I shant share my pies with you at all, with that attitude." He is all easy going smile until he sees her expression change and he misreads it. It is not until she dismounts that he seems to recall her limp. He seems unsure how to approach this so sits in his saddle like a dolt for a moment before dismounting and working on removing his horses saddle. He says, "I know you are know delicate flower and do not require any assistance, however I did mark how lovely your smile was earlier and I wonder if there is a way I could offer to help and earn your smile, rather than your ire?" In short order he hefts the saddle over his broad shoulder and says, "You know, it gives men pleasure to do things for a lovely girl; so really you would only be assisting my poor ego in making me feel useful."

"You're right," Philomène insists, tone a little sharper than might usually be considered polite. but maybe it's just because she's having to raise her voice over the sound of the water. Let's give her the benefit of the doubt. "I'm no delicate flower, and I do not require your assistance. Nor do I make a habit of smiling, especially for young men. Did you need assistance?"

Perrin sets his saddle down on a nearby rock, then walks back over to Philomène. He folds his well muscled arms across his chest and comments, "You don't make it easy do you?" then quieting himself, knowing he probably should not have said that. He tilts his head to the side a little and gives her a look as if maybe he understands the strange relationship between her and Andrei a little better now. He goes to lead Malta over to the area where she can safely graze and asks, "It is probably a good idea not to smile too often at young men. It gets their minds all lively and nothing good can come of it. Still, if you were to smile at me more often, I wouldn't tell any of those brats about it."

Philomène nuzzles her horse's nose briefly before drawing back and fixing a narrow stare on Perrin. "From everything I've seen, young man, their minds are lively enough without any need to prompt it." She lifts her chin and one eyebrow. "What exactly do you want?"

Perrin considers that for a moment, as if maybe he isn't completely sure what he wants. He isn't going to say /that/ though! So he hmphs and says, "Let me act a little chivelrous here. You know a man's ego is a frail thing, and having a woman with her feet in the water waiting when you finish unsaddling the horses is enough to stock my ego. I'll even do the Rooster Strut if I need to prove it." He then gives her his profile and does a completely ridiculous strut walks for a few steps where he moves his head back and forth with each steps, like a rooster. If that can't crack the ice, he may be in trouble here! He looks back to her and parlays, "Or not, because we may both wish that I retain some self respect." He does have a disarming smile and he shows it off for her as he says, "Also, I brought grapes. /Grapes/ in a saddle bag. You really should try some of those. Packing them is no easy thing."

"And I give off some sort of damsel in distress aura, do I?" Philomène challenges him bluntly, one hand remaining with her horse and the other tucking the thumb lightly in her swordbelt. "If you want to be chivalrous, you can show me a damn sight more fucking respect than to insinuate that I'm incapable of looking after my own damn horse, Lord Perrin. I'm not here to soothe your fucking ego. I'm here to ride out, give Hirondelle a good run and a fair break, then ride back. I'll tell you where you can shove your grapes, and it's not in a fucking saddlebag."

Perrin snorts and says, "No. Hell, I'm fully aware that you could knock my head off. But I like you and I want to do something nice for you." He holds up a hand to forstall him telling him off again and he says, "I will leave it, but jokes of my ego aside, I hope that you can see a friend can show kindness without it being an insult." He snatches up his saddle bag and walks towards the waterfall, allowing her to do as she pleases. His shoulder hunked like he is having that conversation all over again in his head, but in the imagined arguement he probably fairs much better.

"You've only just met me and I doubt for one instant that you feel the urge to offer kindness to strangers unless you want something," Philomène notes, voice deceptively low. "Or that you want to feel like some kind of charitable saviour, taking pity on an old cripple, is it? Ten years ago I'd have gutted you for even suggesting it, my lord. You're fucking lucky I'm a calm, levelheaded and mellow individual these days. Eat your fucking grapes and don't you fucking dare try to treat me like a pity case again. Ever."

Perrin admits, "Less so now than before…" He grumbles moodily. Taking a seat by the lake and glaring off towards the waterfall for a moment before bursting out in laughter, "Damn it all, look at me, I have turned into the mopy lordly sulking by the waterfall!" He stands and laughs more about that before finally turning back to looking at the woman he has made so furiously angry. He says, "I am sorry. I overstepped, and admit that I simply do not know the correct way to interact with people from time to time. In this case, I have been around horses my whole life and I have strong, capable hands and normally me offering to aid has been welcomed. I did not mean insult, and I foolishly thought that if I pretended it would soothe my own ego, that you would allow me to assist you. It was misguided as I put you in the position of those I have helped in the past and not in my own shoes. I too do not need aid in taking care of my animals, and I might react similiarly… Of course, I am just a bumpkin lordling and not a hardened fighter, so I may not have as much behind my angry words as you do."

Philomène eyes him for a moment longer, then gives a small nod. "Accepted. And that'll be the end of it. If you want to make yourself useful, tell me about your horses," she suggests, hauling the saddle from her mare and setting it down, again with that odd blankness of expression the moment she's called upon to bend or put any additional strain on her awkwardly twisted left leg.

Perrin nods his head, conceding that he won't be pushing that button with her again in the near future. She probably is safe for at least the rest of the afternoon. He takes his boots off along with his socks and then lets his feet soak in the stream. His gaze going to the waterfall for a short time to take it in before looking back towards where the horses are. He tells, "She is two years old and is bred of the sorrel stallion I brought with me and a lovely white mare that I left at home. She got much of her mother's color, and she shows every sign that she has her sires speed and agility. She's temperamental though, and I think that I spoiled her too much as a foal. From her first steps I thought she might be the most excellent horse I had bred to date, so my fondness may have caused a bit too gentle of a hand in her training. Don't get me wrong, she is responsive, but if you ride her it is her nimbleness that leaves that impression, not her quick reaction to the rider leading her." He gives a little shrug, but perhaps chooses wisely to not make comment about temperamental women.

"A shorter rein and a firmer hand, perhaps?" Philomène suggests, watching the filly graze. "Knock some of the princess out of her." Her boots, tall and well worn, remain firmly on, and she makes no move to sit. Having already had her infirmities pointed out to her, she's in no mood to demonstrate them further. "She's a little young to breed yet, I'd say, looking at her, but you might want to consider that next year. See if foaling smoothes down some of her prickles? Tell me about your stallions?"

Perrin nods his head, agreeing with her assessment but saying, "She is an interesting one and I have been expierimenting with trying not to supress that spirit quite so strictly as some, yet not allowing for the complete wildness I have seen some breeders and trainers allow. A firm hand, but I have been trying to encourage greatness… It is not like training a dog, so I will have to let you know in a few years how my method have either succeeded or changed." He opens the bundle with some bread, cheese and grapes open and gives her a 'I already offered, so take it or don't' sort of look before saying, "I brought two stallions with me. One that I quietly like to hope might be a line that could be war horses, however without combat experience myself, it feels like something I can not admit openly. I think I will breed them strong and spriited and train them to be brave and I will leave it to my betters to decide if I have something they can use or not. This has led me to segregating the stable to breed some focused on this goal, while the others like Malta here and her sire are bred for their swiftness. I hope to make some connections here to further those lines, however I want to remain open to what opportunities I find here." He looks to her for a moment before flatly saying, "While, yes, cultivating a friendship with you could potentially find me meeting people I would not have otherwise met from Camlach, however that is not why I asked you to ride today… Nor the other thing."

"The quality you want from a warhorse," Philomène advises, waving off the offer of food and instead reaching to the inside breast pocket of her jacket, from which she pulls a somewhat battered old copper flask, "is unshakeability. A battle is indescribably loud, and confusing. There are blades and arrows all over the place, and the last thing you need is your horse to take fright at a loud clash or a scratch and take off, you along with her. Which is why you usually want mares or geldings. Speed is less important than stamina and strength, but courage and unflappability is more precious than either. They must be reliable." She absently unscrews the lid to her flask, lifting it to her lips to take a few long gulps. It's probably water, right? It's got to be water. "I don't know who I can put you in touch with here, though, to breed warhorses for them. Like I said, it's been thirty years since I was in the mountains of home. These days I ride for pleasure, and to keep my Hirondelle happy."

Perrin nods his head and says, "I've done some tests in attempts to train, however it feels like a child pretending at war. Worse yet, I let another noble man that claimed to have been a veteran of combat and asked his assistance. It did not take me long to regret that decision and realize that I should have seen through his boasterous nature and realized that his notion of combat was no better than my own, and my attempts did not require the soothing the ego of a man who appeared to be living a life based on poorly told lies." Stolen valor is quite the sight to behold, it seems. He makes no judgement about whatever she chooses to drink, and seems to be drinking water, either that or he is a maniac that just sucks down whiskey like he hates himself. Probably water. Regarding the contacts he waes a hand dismissively and says, "I do not to achieve my lifes goal within the first week of my arrival to Marsilikos. It will be fine, and if I hapen to make friends here that know people that aid my goal, then mores the better, however I will chose my friendships based on the character of the person. I truth, you gained my interest because you seem as if you have nothing to gain from befriending me. If I gain nothing in return other than someone to ride with and talk about horses with, then I would be perfectly happy."

"That seems a sensible course of action," Philomène decides, taking another swig from her flask before returning the cap to it and tucking it away. "And I've never any objection to talking or meeting horses. My usual riding companion is not as enamoured as I of our equine friends, and is no doubt bored by my enthusiasm."

Perrin nods his head and says, "In theory at least. Before setting out, I was warned that everyone within the City of Marsilikos wants something. I gave that some thought and decided that the less value I can be to someone, the more likely I am to be seeing their true face." He gives a shrug before admitting, "Would it be so simple, however the principle at least seems to have some merit." To her other comment he nods his head and says, "I may actual be of some value on that. As a horse breeder, I know others and may be able to share the company of some others when they come to town. Even if you are not interested in buying from them, you can feign interest and they will talk your ear off. I've learned some of my best little tricks from some of those rambling conversations. He grins a bit and suggests, "Try putting some apples in the water troth some time. It's funny and the horses seem to be amused by it as well."

"I can see Hercule having no end of fun with that," Philomène admits, finally breaking a small but definite smile. She may be quick to take offence, but it's as quick to soothe her ruffled feathers when it comes to talking horses, and thus the afternoon continues thankfully murder-free, until the pair saddle up once again and ride back out for the city.

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