4564/Visiting the Village

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Visiting the Village
Date of Scene: 18 September 2016
Location: Dun Realtai
Synopsis: When Rhapsody visits the village below Dun Realtai, she's able to release some pent up emotions. While doing so, a new, yet familiar, visitor arrives.
Cast of Characters: 325, 1048, Corona Arclite, Inga, 482

Rhapsody (325) has posed:
    After deciding to stay at Dun Realtai for the last little while, Rhapsody had come to wonder a little about what she had been told about the village below. She remembered the curious looks and wondered about the local lore regarding dragons and if they were awe-inspiring, or the opposite. With a lull in activity about Yunomi, and Ijiwaru seemingly focused on his task, the Izzet Guildmaster decided to actually leave the chambers she'd been provided, clean up a bit, and wander out to the village below.

    With the marketplace abuzz with people, Rhapsody finds a cozy spot out in the open, along a stone wall and simply settles down on top of it in her smaller, far less intimidating, bipedal form, offering a wave to any that pass hoping to strike up a conversation. It isn't until about a half hour or so passes that someone musters the courage to wander over and ask something simple. After another half hour, a small crowd has formed and the Guildmaster actually looks happier in the midst of it than the last few weeks that have passed.

    Somewhere along the way, a musician of sorts had also asked the lady-dragon about her taste in music. The question stirs some nostalgia in her, and spotting the man's instrument, she asks to borrow it for a moment, to which he seems happy to grant. She'd tune it for a few moments before she thinks a little, considering recent events. "This may sound a little sad, but recent times have been that way for myself, so pardon if it is a little less cheerful then our talks have been thus far.." she explains, likely to start in a few moments.

Young Arthur (1048) has posed:
There's a horse and wagon driving hurriedly through the village gate, a young person sitting at the wagon's front, wearing highly decorated linen robes, with an obviously feminine cut. The driver is fairly androgynous, probably in large part due to their obvious youth.

The blonde figure has bandages wrapped around their right arm, thick woolen ones that are red enough to be in obvious need of replacing with fresh bandages. Seeing a commotion, the teenager drives their simple wagon over there, and steps off it to land on the ground. A request comes in some variant of the celtic language, "I need to speak to the lord of this town and dun, for I seek sanctuary from my pursuers."

Corona Arclite has posed:
Corona Arclite was once again ignoring that nagging little voice in the back of her head that tried to claim it was 'common sense'. This was fairly normal for the silver fox. I mean, seriously, how else do you think she works with the Izzet so well?

So instead of listening to that annoying little thought and putting more distance between herself and certain going-ons Corona decided to wander over to where Rhapsody has been distancing herself from certain going-ons and see if she was doing any better.

... By the looks of the crowd she seems to have stumbled across entirely by accident, that might actually be a possibility after who knows how many weeks...

Inga has posed:
It would so happen that Inga was making her rounds in the village just now, basket in hand filled with all the things she usually needs. Clean bandages, salves, medicines...the whole healer's kit. She's dressed in working clothes, which generally means not her best dress. This one is green, a few stains here and there, the hem of the long garment dusty from the road. Her horse, Jodis, is tethered nearby, curiously watching the crowd that gathers.

"Now make sure to keep it clean. Use the salve three times a day and I will check in next week," she says to a woman, who then hands her a sizable hunk of cheese. Inga thanks her, tucks it into her basket, then looks toward the crowd with a raised brow. Being short, she can't see how is in the center from where she is.

Curiosity will have to wait, for it seems there is someone in need of her attention. Inga eyes the wagon as it passes her, calling for it to stop. "Halt! I can help!" she cries, not about to chase the damned thing down. The wagon comes to a stop near the crowd, so Inga sighs and leans on her walking stick, making her way over. "Well, what happened then?" she asks, setting her basket down, beginning to pull out bandages and needles and thread in case stitching is needed. If it is bad enough, she will use her magic, but generally, random strangers are off-put by someone throwing blood at them--even if it does make them feel better.

Sir Bedivere (482) has posed:
  All in all, the steward of Dun Realtai had gotten relatively used to the sight of strange people roaming the dun and its surrounding lands. Having gained such a reputation as neutral ground, even Confederates were inclined to obey that unspoken law -- perhaps because it had nothing for them to gain from attacking it. It's a modest place, aside from the potent magicks that keep its weather liveable.

  The clop of hooves isn't much louder than the buzz of conversation surrounding Rhapsody.

  A huge war horse moseys placidly through the crowd, somehow managing to pick its way through the outermost fringe of Rhapsody's admirers to cross through the square. Rather than saddle or bridle, the horse wears a green caparison bordered with gold, the colour of spring grass. Astride his back is none other than Bedivere himself, dressed in his stately, shining armour; mantled white cloak rippling behind him.

  He pauses, uttering a soft command to the horse, which stops on cue. Aside from being freakishly large, for a horse, there's another clue he's not normal -- his eyes are smoky gold, and aglow enough to cast soft light. His ears swivel forward.

  There's a bundle of something tied on the horse's back behind Bedivere; the plain leather bag looks like it could fit a set of pipes.

  As Bedivere watches Rhapsody from a distance, perhaps contemplating that instrument of hers, the horse raises his head higher, whickering across the distance to Inga. Or perhaps Jodis -- for the small grey answers.

  And then the wagon arrives. The villagers nearest to the androgynous wagon-driver immediately point to the huge black warhorse; the horse grunts, tossing his head toward the villagers and wagon in a disconcertingly human gesture, and Bedivere looks over, brows arching.

  "I am he," he offers, but his response is in Welsh. He frowns, as though listening or recollecting something; when he speaks again, it's in Irish, lilting. A nod is given to Inga -- she can handle the healing -- as he turns his attention back to the wagon-driver. "Sanctuary? I shall grant it, if you ask it; there are those who have come here from time to time in search of such a thing. From what manner of pursuers, pray tell?"

Rhapsody (325) has posed:
    Barely the first note slips from the guitar that she was handed before Rhapsody silences it. The sight of the wagon rushing in and its driver calling for aid causes a fair amount of concern to her. Old habits die hard, and here, where she isn't the Guildmaster or Lord of the land, she still felt a need to help someone that had come into where she was staying. She hadn't even noticed Inga, or Sir Bedivere somehow, showing up along with the small crowd. She nearly goes to hand back the instrument before she realizes that everything seems well in hand. Both of the people that were needed were actually in the area. With half the crowd still looking on expectingly, who was Rhapsody to deny them this small pleasure when the issue was taken care of? "Sorry, let me start over, alright?" a smile, a few accepting nods from the people of Dun Realtai, and the dragon resets her train of thought. Hopefully whomever was in the wagon wouldn't be taken too aback. After all, legends seem to say dragons sing rather well, don't they? The notes start to slip away once more, soft and steady as a matching voice rings out lightly, the lyrics rather somber as she had warned. She could only hope the one she -wanted- to hear them was somewhere around.

Well fortune favors not the young, o/~
Spoken words and songs unsung, right? o/~
I never learned from my mistakes, o/~
I guess I don't have what it takes, right? o/~
I wish that I was strong, that I could walk away, o/~
All this time I've lost, I feel the cost repaid. o/~

So save today, the secrets that you prayed for,
And wait, cause we deserve it so much more, o/~
So save, the secrets that you prayed for, awake,
I'll see you on the other side. o/~

The notes would continue as the Guildmaster collected the second verse in her mind.
( https://youtu.be/Jb6dyGsJfMM for those curious)

Corona Arclite has posed:
Corona Arclite cocks her head a little to one side. Her hearing is exceptionally good so she can pick out all the little nuiances in both the guitar's sound and the singing with little trouble. But that usually just makes music sound more personal to her when she can catch all subtle uniquities in a person's performance. Though, who knew the Izzet Guildmaster could sing? That's definately a new one on her.

Young Arthur (1048) has posed:
"I got in a fight with one of my pursuers." The androgynous person answers, the language is definitely closer to Welsh than Irish. It's Old Brittonic, with an accent native to what would in later days be considered to be Wales. Inga's aid is not turned away, but for so much blood loss the wound is remarkably mild, doesn't need any stitching and only light bandaging.

The other presences seem to make the figure a bit skittish, but the seeker of sanctuary does not flee, instead there's an awkward curtsey, as though they're not used to the motion, towards Bedivere. "Tyrants who seek power that is not theirs, who view me as an uncomfortable obstacle in their pursuits, my lord."

Rhapsody's music is answered with a polite clapping, and a smile. The first since coming into view, clearly the reprieve from more serious matters is appreciated. "That is lovely music."

Inga has posed:
How lucky for Arthur that both Inga and Bedivere happen to be here. Inga would of course, chalk it up to the hands of the gods. She didn't forsee it, but was prepared none the less.

"Well, I can help with that," Inga says, not hesitation to approach Arthur and start to examine the wounds. "The good steward will not mind if you save your curtseys for when you are no long bleeding I assure you, so please have a seat so that I may work," she says. Healers are bossy. It's just a thing. Inga examines the wound, nodding to herself before reaching into her basket for a certain salve. It smells...spicy, and it most certainly stings when she applies it--but lo and behold, the bleeding slows and as moments pass, stops. Next, she rebandages. She's almost a little sorry it doesn't need stitching. She'd just bought some new needles! But she is glad the stranger is alright. "That should do well enough. Keep it clean. If you are to stay, I can look after it. My name is Inga, by the way. Wisewoman," she adds.

At mention of the music, Inga looks up, eyebrows rising. She'd been in the zone and had hardly noticed it. "Yes, it is. A little calming music does not hurt, certainly."

Inga looks back to Arthur, looking him/her over. Given the curtsy, she's inclined to believe she's indeed a lady. But one never knows.

Sir Bedivere (482) has posed:
  Despite paying attention to the newcomer, the steward is still keeping half an ear cocked towards the sound of the music. It's not the kind of rhythm or nuance familiar to him. Music of another world, something unlike his own... but then again, he doesn't often expect to hear music that he's familiar with. It seems to be a minority, especially in the multiverse.

  Bedivere folds his arms. Articulated plates of armour tick softly as his fingertips settle over the opposite arm, tapping softly as he hears out the young driver's tale. His eyes flick back over to her as the wagon-driver applauds, and he half-smiles. "Indeed," he replies, inclining his head to Rhapsody. "Different, perhaps, than what I am accustomed to."

  Right now, though, he's got a problem demanding his attention. Somewhat reluctantly he turns his attention away from the singing dragon. In fact, it's really reluctant. Music is one of his soft spots. It's like a dangly string held in front of a cat; the cat just can't resist the string, and neither can Bedivere resist music. However, this young person has come asking for his help, and so the least he can do is to give them his attention.

  <That is also a great deal of nothingness.> That... that's not Bedivere's voice. It seems to be coming from the black war horse, although the creature's face never moves. Those smoky gold eyes settle on the androgynous driver, and when the horse snorts softly, it issues a plume of sulphurous smoke from its nostrils. <You tell a great deal without telling much, it seems. Try again-->

  It's a púca, if the driver has kept up on their Celtic folklore.

  Bedivere frowns down at the horse. "Behave yourself. This is a guest upon my land, and--"

  <Yes, yes.> The answer is almost sulky; the horse dips its head and flicks its ears back, as though sullen.

  Bedivere settles over the charger's back, then, tilting his head as he regards his visitor. "Unfortunately, as the Black One--" He pats the horse's neck, "--has observed, that is a great deal of vagueness. I am afraid if I am to offer you sanctuary from your pursuers, I would know who they are, that I might recognise them." His smile is bland. "I do not mean to pry; merely to protect a guest of my hall."

  "I will not see a guest of mine submitted to the justice of another jurisdiction, if you will; this land is my responsibility, and so too are its laws, and the administering of them." Bedivere inclines his head. A cursty; a girl, perhaps? Roughly dressed, if so, as though she were trying to hide her identity. Is that a flicker of sympathy from the marshal? Surely it's just the imagination. His tone gentles. "You need not deal with your accusers, if that is not your wish," he adds. "I will turn them away for you if you are not comfortable doing so."

  Poor girl. Maybe she ran away from home. Maybe she was being forced into a marriage she wasn't comfortable with; promised, perhaps, to a political rival in the interest of peace. Could she be someone displaced from Camelot, perhaps? Somewhere on the bordermarches, where Arturia had not spared her knights to patrol so often?

  He reaches up to tug at the red stone stud in his left ear; the stud is the colour of blood, and his expression is a thoughtful frown when he follows through with his unconscious gesture. "Aye, I would heed the Wisewoman's words. Sit, and allow her to work her trade. I am Sir Bedivere, Steward of Dun Realtai; it is on my lands that you have chosen to seek solace. And I am happy to give it, but I fear I must have answers to my questions. Who are you? Why have you come here? And from whom are you fleeing?"

Rhapsody (325) has posed:
    A small smile is given to the light clapping from the first verse. A light nod is given in the direction of the applause before Rhapsody slips into the second verse.

A tortured soul have I become, o/~
It keeps me safe and leaves me numb, right? o/~
Cause in this dream I'm wide awake, o/~
The one I love I did forsake, right? o/~
I wish that I was wrong, that you'll come home again, o/~
All this time I've lost, I'll never find again, o/~

So save today, the secrets that you prayed for, o/~
And wait, cause we deserve it so much more, o/~
So save, the secrets that you prayed for, awake o/~
I'll see you on the other side. o/~

For a few moments the Guildmaster simply lets the song carry itself through the guitar she was handed minutes earlier. As she slips into the end of the song and produces the last few notes, she simply asks one last question along with the melody echoing out.

"Say you can help me now? o/~"

It wasn't how the song actually ended, but with how she felt, that was how it was going to end tonight.

Corona Arclite has posed:
Corona Arclite leans against a convenient wall to listen to the end of the song. Then makes an amused chuffing sound as she adjusts her stetson with one hand. "Ya say that like we weren't already gonna help ya."

Young Arthur (1048) has posed:
"Thank you, Wisewoman." The newcomer rests back when told to relax, and allows Inga to do her work. There's a certain discomfort to it, but not so much. The discomfort of someone who doesn't like others fussing around them.

"Six months ago, the King of Britain died. After his death, the most powerful of his vassals saw opportunity, and now they are preparing to war eachother for the crown. Foremost among their number are Lord Lot of Lothian, Lord Urien of Rheged, and Lord Caradoc of Gwent." The stranger explains, to begin with.

"The King made sure that all would know they were not to inherit the throne, and I believe I have what's necessary to avert bloodshed and reunite Britain under its rightful King." Left unsaid is that he believes to be that rightful king.

"They do not even wish me to try, seeing me as a threat to their ambitions, my lord. It's Lord Caradoc's troops that have been chasing me of late." Then, having explained from whom they are fleeing and why, "I do not know where I am, though I've heard it said I am no longer in Britain, and that this dun is a home to the virtues of knighthood, and hoped I would be able to find sanctuary here." Still not actually answering who they are.

The song gets more gentle applause when it's done, the stranger clearly unwilling to clap so hard to cause physical pain, "It's beautiful. Are you the minstrel of this town?"

Inga has posed:
Well, there is little to be done about being fussed over. Inga is a petite woman, walks with a limp, and she absolutely gives off the impression that she will do unpleasant thing to a person that gets on her bad side. She knows what she is doing, and has the wound clean, no longer bleeding, and well on the way to recovery. "Now just take it easy," she says, taking a step back to clean her hands and listen to what the youth has to say. She blinks several times, then looks to Bedivere, stunned.

What are the chances...?

Sir Bedivere (482) has posed:
  "Aye, her voice is beautiful. I should like to hear more of it some time, milady," Bedivere adds to Rhapsody, inclining his head politely to indicate her. "I have a certain knack for music, or so I have been told."

  As regards his visitor, the pale-haired knight seems to be a cautious man. His expression is impassive as he listens to the tale, but he's paying rapt attention -- having been around Dun Realtai for some time, Inga would recognise that telltale sign in the steward. When he seems least interested, eyes hooded and slightly out of focus, that is when he listens most keenly.

  He frowns, immediately looking to the Wisewoman with a grunt of surprise. His brows arch so sharply that they disappear into the hair that frames his face. Britain? How is this? More accurately, what are the odds of such a thing...?

  Arms still folded, the knight cocks his head very slightly. "You say Britain, and your tongue marks you of Britain, as well." Yet the word Bedivere uses is the old term; 'Prydein.' "And I know too the men of whom you speak... but this king you speak of." Bedivere's gaze settles on the stranger's youthful face, intense as a raptor's as the knight studies him. It's the regard of a man debating its veracity -- but also the regard of a warrior; the sensation of being sized up.

  Bedivere exhales, softly, though his nose, and considers this strange predicament.


  Could it be Uther, then? The man had had tremendous influence in his lifetime, even if his authority had lacked the stamp of chivalry that Arturia would later leave, at least in Bedivere's limited experience. Arturia rarely spoke of her father, and always with the cold hostility of someone who had displeased her--

  Bedivere comes back to the present with a shake of his head. "Lord Caradoc. Aye, I remember him." His gauntleted hand rises to rub at his chin, eyes narrowing in thought. "He was overly fond of wine. That is the man whose troops are searching for you? Lord Caradoc was not popular with them; they followed and served him out of fear more than loyalty... if I remember my vassals of King Uther rightly."

  <Is Caradoc himself in attendance?> The horse pricks its ears, head veering just a little closer to the stranger. Is that mischief in those inhuman and softly glowing eyes? <Oh, please do tell this one that Caradoc himself is in attendance. This one has an idea.>

  Bedivere is looking at the faerie-horse with a sour expression. "Please do not cause a war with your meddling."

  <This one expects that it will find a way to expire of boredom,> the pooka intones in a tone of despair, with a morose sigh.

Rhapsody (325) has posed:
    A smile is given everyone that was listening before Rhapsody slips from the wall, offering the instrument back to its owner. "Thank you," she says to him, and everyone, before stretching. "I think that is about enough for one day. I'll probably visit again. If anyone else has questions, you are free to ask them of me then."

Corona Arclite has posed:
Corona Arclite reachs over to give Rhapsody's shoulder a playful light swat. "Go'on. Yer suppose to be restin' up." It's good to see her feeling better. Corona is pretty sure her sibs will be happy to hear that too. Well, Ryx will be. He'll have to tell Little Miss Mysterious, Corona can never seem to actually see that one.

Young Arthur (1048) has posed:
"I'll do my best." The youngster answers Inga, but then grows quiet and listens. Between Bedivere seeming to know the story, and the fae horse seeming so eager to get into a fight, it's clear that this visitor is thinking they made a mistake in coming here, and the young guest raises their head proudly. "If you would dishonour yourself by tricking someone seeking sanctuary into feeling secure using the magics of the fair folk to mislead them, then get it over with."

"If not, then I would like to have an explanation of how you know of King Uther, how you know of the failings of Lord Caradoc." There's a certain attitude here, that this is how things ought to be, a fervorous believe in the righteousness of honourable behavior, and quite obviously, what's suspected of going on seems to be considered so dishonourable as to be worthy of little other than pure loathing.

As Rhapsody leaves, the guest does do them the favour of politely nodding their head, "I would love to hear you play once more, should I ever have the opportunity to." There's an implied 'if I don't die here today'

Inga has posed:
Yes, Inga is sharing that look. It is /very/ strange. As she will tell, Inga doesn't not really believe in coincidences, which leaves two options. Her first thought is of worry. Can this youth be trusted? Perhaps she is not what she appears...perhaps it is a ploy to gain Bedivere's trust for nefarious purpose. Perhaps, the youth is an assassin. Paranoid, maybe, but it is too uncanny not to consider.

Or...the gods are involved and it is simply fate.

And if it is fate...

Inga can't help herself. Now that a seed of worry has been planted she wants to be sure they are safe. Bedivere is mortal after all... so Inga lets loose the restraints on her Sight and takes a good, hard look at what this youth's wyrd has to show her.

It is a doozy.

Inga gasps quietly, stepping back, nearly stumbling. Shaking, Inga looks to Bedi. She will have to ask Merlin how he does what he does with getting in other people's heads because she would give a great deal to share with Bedivere what she just saw.

Inga looks to Rhapsody. She blinks. Oh, she has seen her before. "That was lovely, yes..." still looking startled. She's tempted to ask for another song. Maybe it would cut the tension. "Perhaps another song? If you feel inclined?" she asks.

Inga swallows hard, looking to Arthur. "You are safe here...indeed you are among peers. Perhaps you might trust us with your name?" she asks.

This is going to be really complicated.

Sir Bedivere (482) has posed:
  "Good eve, then," Bedivere affords to the dragon, along with a faint half-smile. He'll see that she's left alone but for anyone she happens to invite. Giving her a place to put her thoughts in order is the least that he can do.

  His attention turns back to the newcomer, and the more the faerie horse goes on about spoiling for a fight, the more sour his expression seems to turn.

  Apparently he doesn't agree with said faerie's magic.

  "You will not dishonour me before Brehon Law," the knight points out, glaring at the horse under him. "Cease your talk of Lord Caradoc. If he should come here, he too will be welcomed as a guest -- and both you and he shall be protected by those laws."

  A holdover from the times before Christianity had visited their lands, such laws would proclaim a guest safe under a host's roof, and guests could not act against other guests. In an age when political alliances were so mercurial and where warfare could erupt from nothing, meetings citing hospitality were sacrosanct; to meet under the roof of a host was a white flag of truce.

  Bedivere frowns as he considers the youth's words. "No, I would not involve myself in your dispute. As steward of this place, I must consider its safety before I entangle myself with the political matter of an external territory." He shakes his head. "I believe you. And while I may offer you sanctuary, I will not turn him away." Bedivere's face curls into a thin, almost sardonic little smile. "I can, however, buy you time, if you should wish to escape or hide yourself. That is not any breach of Brehon Law."

  A host really just promises to do no harm to his guests. He doesn't promise to be incredibly inconvenient to them under technicality of the law. And if there's one thing Bedivere had come to be very competent at, it's finding the wiggle room between the spirit and the letter of a law, or whether an action is chivalrous or unchivalrous.

  Bedivere cants his head slightly the other way, studying the youth. "I know of King Uther, because that was the king before the one I now serve. I swore my sword long ago to King Arthur Pendragon. If my histories are aught like yours, I know these men, and I know of their character; at least what the bards were paid to remember." His eyes flick back to the road, studying the steep road that winds back down to the base of the mountain. Further on is the warpgate; maybe that's how these people got in. Had to be, unless they went slogging through the tundra beyond Dun Realtai's distant bordering mountains.

  "I would do you no dishonour, nor would I bring such dishonour upon myself." Bedivere answers seriously, with an earnestness that's almost endearing. He takes these matters quite seriously. "My /companion/ was merely amusing himself. And," he adds, eyeing the horse, "he will be forbidden from interfering--"

  <This one is going to /expire of boredom/,> the Black One insists morosely.

  Bedivere ignores the horse-like creature without skipping a beat, "--from whatever matters are between yourself and Lord Caradoc. To the best of my ability, you will be given safe haven, here, as you have asked it, and I am obligated as host to provide it."

  "However, you have still not answered one of my questions." He studies his guest. "By what name are you known, traveller...? Who are you, who has Lord Caradoc so wroth with y--"

  His head whips around as Inga stumbles, and he's beside her at once to offer his arm. "Wisewoman?" That makes him even more wary. What precisely is she seeing that's got her so upset? Oh, such a loaded question, for Inga... one never knows just what she's going to see. And she's seen some doozies.

Young Arthur (1048) has posed:
Arthur blinks when Bedivere mentions he serves Arthur, and there's still a wariness there, but he makes up his mind. "I wish to show you something to prove what I am about to say, if what you tell me is true I have little doubt that you will understand why it proves it."

That said, he pulls out bundle of cloth and rolls it open, revealing a hefty stone, three inch thick, six inch wide and several feet long. Out of one end sticks the holt of a sword. He picks it up like it weighs nothing. "He whosoever pulls this sword" He puts his right hand on the of the hilt, "out of this stone and anvil."

His grip tightens, and the sword begins to glow, "is rightwise born king of all Britain." He pulls it out, and it glows in holy light, the weapon itself nigh impossible to see clad in brilliance as it is. A moment after, he sticks it back in the stone, and the light fades.

"I am Arthur, ward of Lord Hector, of unknown parentage, though I have been suspecting for a few months now that I may be King Uther's son." He folds the stone and sword back into their bundle, and puts them back in the wagon.