... now they must watch their abundance of luxuries fall away, making room for the tools of survival, and witness this time of relative peace wither into the same fears that harper's ballads had warned them about for generations.
 
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 The Beginning of Something New - The Holdless

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Trouble

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PostSubject: The Beginning of Something New - The Holdless   Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:24 am




Flynn strode confidently through the relative chaos that was the normal atmosphere of the camp, her destination clear by her stride. Her bow was slung over her back and her side daggers were in clear view: she'd been working, after all. But work was over for now: there was a much more important matter at hand.

She entered Jorgam's tent and nodded to the others who had already gathered. Jorgam, of course, as the head of their camp, was there. He was a tall, imposing man, missing three fingers off his left hand for who knew what reason. He was flanked by his second in commands, brothers named Konpro and Phanne. They rarely spoke, and then only to voice support for Jorgam. The camp leader got a bit of a bow, though not much of one.

No one bowed fully here after all.

She took her place between two other squad leaders, Nikkel and Fremol. The fourth had yet to arrive. "Has Corrin given us a estimated arrival time?" Nikkel drawled, cleaning his nails with his dagger with a bored expression on his scarred face. "Bad enough we gotta wait for this chit constantly," he jerked his chin at Flynn while she sat down.

"Quiet down, old man," she said with a grin. "You know as well as I do I was out doing _your_ former job, and I'm damn better at it than you were. I don't get to sit around camp on my ass all day like you do." She gave her former mentor a punch in the shoulder, joining in the raucous laughter that followed. The company would have made lesser men shudder, but Flynn considered herself stronger than any man. Life had made it so.

Fremol was head of what passed for the camp's 'guards'... they were honestly just Jorgam's bullies. He was young, though not as young as she, and very hot headed, a trait that showed when he opened his mouth. "Why do we have to even wait for Corrin?" he asked, voice almost a whine. "It's a Gather. Let's attend. It's been Turns since we hit up a Gather."

Jorgam just grunted, giving Fremol a look that silenced him immediately. "We wait for Corrin," was all he said, arms crossed.

Of course, Flynn thought, wait for the head of his killers. She wasn't disillusioned as to where many of their goods came from: they were raiders, and Corrin was among the best and most ruthless. It was no life for a woman with honor, but it was the only life she had access to. Still, though, she accepted the food, the marks, the clothing, even if inside she died a little each time.

Her attention was fixated on her arm bracer, a 'token of esteem' from Jorgam and likely taken off the body of some Lord's guard, when Corrin made his entrance. When he caught her eye she forced herself to smile: Corrin had been in her squad until four months ago. That was when old Sorges had caught himself an arrow in the belly. Jorgam had given him mercy, and then immediately picked Corrin to replace the man. The fact that she was not consulted, nor had she been given any warning that one of her best hunters was interested in changing squads, had left a bitter taste in her mouth. She'd never trusted Corrin, and now she trusted him even less.

"A Gathering, hm?" Corrin said, sitting down and propping his boots up on the table casually. He was in his prime, trim and fit, with a glory of auburn hair that he wore long. Many women in the camp had fallen under his spell... the man had fathered so many children that Jorgam had actually taken him aside and asked him to restrain himself, for the sake of their bloodlines. None of the lines had ever worked on her, though, Flynn thought with a smirk of pride. She had known instinctively to not trust the man upon meeting him.

"We've been good boys for at least eight sevenday," Corrin continued, with a bit of a pout in Jorgam's direction. The man would try his charm on anyone. "And I'm assuming good girls as well?" His icy blue eyes moved to Flynn, and her flesh crawled at the feel of his gaze on her.

"Of course," she said frostily, glad that her arms were already crossed. The man made her feel naked, with the way he looked at her. "We're actually overstocked on wherry meat now... we found a nesting site today." She glanced at Nikkel and winked. "My reason for being late." It delighted her to see the sparkle of amusement in the old man's brown eyes: he'd taught her much of what she knew, and she'd been one of his hunters for Turns before taking over the squad. "It'd be a good opportunity for us to get some of the things we need. Marcella has been on about the stores after all."

That brought a little bit of a grin to Jorgam's face. Marcella had been handling the camps supplies for Turns, and before that it had been her mother. She may have been a trial, overly protective of the supplies and suspicious of all who approached, but the camp never had a shortage or any other crisis as long as anyone could remember. "I think we could all use the day off," Jorgam said at last, and Flynn didn't bother holding back her whoop of excitement. She was joined by all but the personality brothers on either side of Jorgam.

Their leader was laughing at their exuberance, and pulled out a pouch. "And with our current prosperity, I think we can pay wages early." From the larger pouch he pulled four smaller ones, and tossed one to each of the squad leaders. "You'll find a generous bonus for each of your men. And women," he amended, nodding his head with a little smile to Flynn. "And these," he extracted pouches that were close in size to the small ones, but clearly heavier, "can be considered your Turn bonuses."

Flynn caught the second pouch and let out a curse, opening it and finding it filled with an obscene amount of marks. Once again she felt shame rising in herself: what had Jorgam agreed to do to receive such a payment? Her eyes flitted to Corrin. She hadn't missed the glance Jorgam had given Corrin during the out pouring of wealth. Her stomach turned a bit as she wondered how much blood was on these marks.

"See you out on the dance floor, Flynn?" Fremol asked hopefully, an anxious look on his face. He'd been sloppily trying to court her for nearly a Turn, something that had been amusing at first but was now just irritating.

"Perhaps," Flynn promised the man, smiling at him as she slipped out of the command tent. She had preparations to make: this was finally their chance.

* * *

"A GATHER!" Tashin crowed excitedly, bouncing around their tent while his sister gathered their belongings and packed them tightly. "Did I go to a Gather before?" he asked, finally coming to a stop in front of Flynn and flopping to sit in front of her.

"Yes, you did," Flynn told him, smiling tenderly. "You were two Turns, barely toddling about. I held your hand the entire time." She reached out and ruffled his hair, then turned to the multitude of toys. "Which ones do you want to take with you today?"

"These," the nine Turn old answered without missing a beat, pulling at his runner-and-cart and carved Guardsman. He set to crashing the two into each other immediately, making noises that no confrontation between an actual runner, cart, and Guardsman could ever recreate. Flynn grinned and continued packing. Tashin's clothing was easy to pack: he was so small, she worried. Her rise in stature brought them better food, true, but she worried that it may have been too late.

"Alright, I want you to carry this pack today," she said, pushing it towards Tashin. It was light, containing only his clothing. He'd get annoyed carrying anything heavier than that. The rest of his toys went in two separate smaller bags, which conveniently hooked to her larger pack that contained her clothing and possessions. Not that she had much... the clothing for their climate took up little room, and her only possessions were her weapons. She put the two long daggers she usually wore at her sides in the pack with a twinge of regret: it would be far too disconcerting to some of the more conservative Holders to see a woman baring such a blade. Her boot knives were safe, at least. There was nothing she could do about her bow... she wouldn't risk leaving it somewhere it could be stolen. That she strapped to her back as usual.

"Are you ready to go?" she asked finally, situating her pack across her back so that it didn't pinch or pull and then going to help Tashin with his. "It's going to be a hot day, so make sure you stay hydrated. And there's this." Into his palm she pressed four full one marks, a huge grin on her face at being able to give him such an impressive gift. "I want you to buy the most fun thing you can find. Think you can do that?"

Tashin's eyes went huge at the site of the marks, and he clasped them to his chest for a moment. "Thank you Aushie," he said in awe, using his private nickname for his big sister. "I'll buy the most fun thing ever, and then we'll play with it when we get back tonight!"

"Yes, when we get back tonight." Her tone was non-committal: there was a reason they were carrying almost all of their belongings on their backs. If things went as planned they'd never be coming back to this place. At worst, she'd be coming back alone. In a Hold this large, at a Gather this large, she would have no problem finding a master to apprentice her brother.

She only hoped they had room for a girl with the skills of a man.

Despite her better judgement, she had left her hair down long. Kania had helped her pull together an outfit at the last moment. The other girl had been simply scandalized that Flynn had planned to go in her man's clothing.

"You need to dress as a lady," Kania had insisted, helping her drape colorful lengths of fabric about her as a woman of decent means would. "They will not want a guard, they will want a lady." She had tried to protest, but Kania's intense gaze had stopped her. She felt ridiculous in the flowing dress of shifting greens and blues, and all it's tiny and maddening parts, so many things to get in the way if she needed to fight. But the small reflection in Kania's looking glass showed her that she did indeed look lovely. A little gaunt, perhaps, but she didn't look like the typical Holdless.

She patted her pale blonde hair back from her face, using a comb with twinkling clear stones embedded in it (yet another present for a job well done, and another thing she refused to let herself think too hard about) to secure the style. It was nothing but decoration... sometimes she thought Jorgam had given it to her as a taunt. To his other squad leaders he gifted weapons and armor: to her he gifted jewels and dresses. Only the bracer was practical, and even it was overly ornate in her opinion.

"Flynny!" The shout jerked her back to the present, and she looked at Tashin's impatient face. "You did it again."

"Sorry," she apologized immediately, bending down to kiss his forehead. "I promise I'll have a lot more time to concentrate on you soon." Her heart twanged, knowing that she might not see him again after this Gather. But she would do it, to save him from this life. "Let's get going."

Tashin took her hand without a word as they left the tent and joined the group of Holdless that were gathering. Jorgam had decided for the group to descend on mass upon the Gather. No one was to appear threatening, he had declared, but he wanted to make a statement certainly. Flynn thought it a childish display, but her opinion was neither needed nor wanted in the situation.

Finally, after what seemed a lifetime of waiting, they were moving. Flynn half listened to Tashin's excited babble, chiming in when needed, while scanning their surroundings with the other half of her senses. She had kept her ear to the ground but there hadn't been a single whisper of trouble planned for the Gather, something that she could hardly believe. Jorgam enjoyed chaos far too much to pass up such a chance.

Well, she thought as the gates of the Hold loomed before her, after today she would never have to worry about Jorgam again she hoped.

As a squad leader she'd naturally gravitated to the front of the group. It served a second purpose, other than surrounding Jorgam with his leaders. She represented something she didn't want the Holders and Crafters and Weyrs to forget: women, children, the (mostly) innocent. Sure enough, not long after she had come up beside Jorgam with her hands resting gently on Tashin's shoulders, the Guardsmen were waving them through.

The group split almost immediately, with everyone having their own agenda. Perhaps some of them were looking for the same thing she was, employment and a way out of the life of the Shunned. Others... who knew. She squeezed Tashin's hand tightly and crouched to look him in the face. "Got your marks?" she asked, grinning when he patted above his heart, where the sewn in patch in his tunic hide them. "Meet me back here, by this post, when the sun starts to set," she told him sternly, placing one of his hands against the post with her's on top of it. "No exceptions. And what do you do if you run into trouble?"

"Scream fire and run to the nearest Guardsman," Tashin said obediently. "And kick and bite if I have to."

"Exactly," she replied, kissing his forehead. She would keep him at her side at all times, but she needed to be alone when searching for work. "Now go have a good time. Don't make yourself sick on sweets!" The last was shouted at his back, as he took off after a gaggle of children around his age. She envied him: at that age there was no judgement, no preconceptions. He was just a child to him.

But now it was time for her, Flynn the Holdless Woman, to find herself a job. She adjusted her bag and dress and strode confidently in the direction of the nearest drinking area. It was heavily shaded, and she knew she would find someone there who could direct her towards a steward or a headwoman.


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PostSubject: Re: The Beginning of Something New - The Holdless   Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:36 pm

It was a new experience for Drien to attend a gather with an official title, not just the forgotten son of a minor holder. He wore his new shoulder knots with pride and if he wasn’t exactly smiling, he most certainly looked content. But he was again taken off guard when his cousin decided adamantly that he was not wearing his own knots, and refused his usual gather attire as well. And though he made an arguable point on the matter, Drien was wondering what else his cousin would surprise him with in the times to come.

And though he did watch Rihan’s race, he and the others had been told they were to keep their distance from the young Lord. But that didn’t mean he would go unprotected. he would make several passes near his cousin and he knew Toshiro was nearby as well. Drien felt much more comfortable with the Captain around, since his own skills lay in bartering, not defense.

And so bartering he would do. Drien planned to spend most of his day making new connections and renewing old ones with the craftsmen and tradesmen now that he was stepping in as the steward for the soon to be finished Telgar River Hold.

But goods and contracts weren’t the only things things that caught his attention. There was a girl. And it wasn’t his Veil.

Earlier he’d been near the gather’s entrance when a large group of Shunned had made a pointed, if soundless, arrival. It wasn’t her obvious beauty that drew his eye first, but the fact that she walked near the head of the group with an air of authority, but obviously not on anyone’s arm. Of course, she did seem to be caring for the boy at her side, so maybe her husband or lover was there after all. If the child was indeed her own. But as quickly as he’d noticed her, he’d turned and made his way across the grounds, away from the group. The Shunned may have been allowed to join the Gather, but they weren’t the folks he needed to be conversing with.

Between speaking with stall owners and following Veil on her curious side treks, Drien found himself at one of the refreshment areas and more than ready for something cold to drink. Approaching the first stall, he asked for their specialty and leaned casually against the counter as he waited. The Lord of Igen should be proud, he thought as his eyes continued to peruse the area. The banners were gay, the food and drink liberal, the races had gone well, and he could hear at least two different sets of upbeat music from various spot in the grounds. It was evident that the gatherers were enjoying themselves.

Taking the chilled drink in his right hand, Drien’s left was idly scratching the little gold’s neck when he spotted her again. Veil gave a little chirp of question when his hand stilled. There she was, that girl, or rather young woman, who he'd seen earlier. This time she was alone and from what he could tell, looked just bit lost.

What was it that drew him to her? She was beautiful, to be sure, but that wasn’t unique at a Gather of this size. Her dress was lovely, accenting her body and drawing flattering attention as it should. But again, the day was filled with colorful, flowing dresses, some daring, some old fashioned, but all allowing their bearers to be displayed with style. No. It was something else.

Veil chirped again, nuzzling his cheek, snapping him out of his stare. He cleared his throat and glanced around guiltily, hoping no one had noticed him -the new steward at Telgar River Hold- gawking across the way at a Shunned girl, beauty notwithstanding. And a girl with a son? He’d been raised a gentleman, though his three brothers had all the charisma, the gallantry and the golden good looks, he took his role as a holder’s son seriously. And though he’d never hoped to marry high, he had hoped to be married one day to a nice girl. Somehow \he didn’t think she would meet his mother’s definition of that. The Shunned lived hard and wild lives, by all accounts, and besides that, they were Shunned!

Again, none of that seemed to matter today, as Drien had to avert his gaze again, unable to keep his eyes off her. “What do you think, Veil? Do you want to talk to a nice young lady?” he murmured to his queen, trying to decide if he would dare, or trying to build up his confidence, one or the other. He took two steps in her direction and paused. This seemed to come so easily to his brothers and Rihan, his cousin - talking to people that was. Why did it have to be so hard for him.

He closed his eyes for a moment while Veil nearly purred next to his ear, picking up on his distress. “I know, little girl,” he told her, “You’re my biggest fan, aren’t you?” Turning away, he stepped back to the counter and took a deep breath. “Can I have a second one please,” he asked the journeyman and then purposefully carried the drink across the way to the young lady.

With all the determination he could muster, he stepped up beside her and gave his best version of a smile. It only looked slightly out of place on his usually serious face. “Pardon me, milady,” he said, bending at the waist with his best Harper’s bow, “But I couldn’t help but notice that you were in need of something cool to drink.” He held out the glass. “Unless your ah... husband is fetching you one at this very moment,” he added as he looked left and then right. Drien was nothing if not blunt. He wanted nothing to do with insulting her, though he was giving her the benefit of the doubt as he named her a wife.

His warm eyes caught hers and again he found himself staring. There was such life in her eyes. And again a chirp awakened him. “Oh forgive me. This insistent creature is Veil, my queen.” The gold firelizard stretched her head toward the young lady, chirruping in greeting. She loved people and especially people who would give her attention. If this one liked her person, then surely she would give her attention too.
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PostSubject: Re: The Beginning of Something New - The Holdless   Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:55 am




Flynn's grand plan had run into a major snag, one that she had overlooked in her studies: shoulder knots. They made no sense to her. She'd managed to learn some colors meant different crafts, but beyond that... it was like another language that she needed to learn. And one she needed to read at that, she thought flatly. And reading... well, she flat out hated it.

She'd made a purchase or five at the Stalls while she was trying to figure things out. A toy for her brother, of course, and a new set of gloves for herself. Her work usually meant that her fingers were torn to bits. And a cloak... such a cloak, she had never imagined owning. It was far too hot to wear right then, so it was folded neatly and in her pack. But it was a beautiful, rich blue, and would come in handy if they traveled north again.

And it was just so bloody pretty.

Somehow she had ended up in a tent, taking a break from the crowd. So many people, all in one place... it was astounding, and a little overwhelming. At least in the relative shade of the tent there were fewer people.

Which is why she nearly jumped out of her skin when the man approached her. Her hand went immediately to her side, for the knife that was currently in her pack, and stifled a curse. He wasn't threatening her... he was offering her a drink. Or sizing her up: the drink could be drugged, and he could be inquiring as to if she was alone so he could quietly sneak her out...

The firelizard stopped her in her tracks, though. So delicate and lovely, and making such beautiful noises at her. A smile came to her unbidden and she reached out carefully and, as lightly as she could, ran a finger tip across the gold firelizard's muzzle. "Veil," she murmured, completely entranced. "A pleasure to meet you... both of you," she included him, pulling her eyes away to finally look at the man in front of her.

He wasn't much older than her, and had the soft skin of a Holder. And the nervousness... some things were obvious when they weren't being faked. Not to mention if a gold firelizard was willing to spend her time with him, he couldn't be all that bad. She smiled hesitantly, not quite certain what to do. "Thank you," she said, a bit awkwardly, and took the chilled drink. "And I'm by myself... my name is Ashflynna." She made a face at her full name. "But please, call me Flynn."

Her lack of any sort of rank knots made her feel a little out of place, especially as his seemed to be made of finer stuff than most, but she didn't shrink back or hide her shoulder. Yes, she was Holdless, so what of it?


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PostSubject: Re: The Beginning of Something New - The Holdless   Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:25 pm

Briefly, Drien saw what he thought to be a trapped look on the girl’s face and took note of her quick reflexes. He might be nothing of a fighter, but he always recognized it easily in his family.

It was Veil, as usual who came to the rescue. The light that came to the girl's face as she reached for the firelizard made his heart beat a little faster. “She likes you,” he said as his gold leaned into her fingers, appreciating her caress to its fullest.

“Ashflynna,” he repeated, the name bringing the ghost of a smile to his face. “It’s beautiful. You’re beautiful.” He ducked his head and swallowed against a blush. It was easy to see that he wasn’t used to sweet talking women, though his bluntness definitely had pros and cons.

The best news was that she was alone, though he hoped that meant alone-alone, and not just alone for the moment. A part of him still wondered about the boy, but even his directness didn’t impose that question.

“I saw you come in earlier,” he said, thinking of his initial reaction to her while referring to the bold arrival of the Holdless. Before he could stop himself, his current nervousness and usual bluntness got the best of him and he added, “They’re not here to make trouble are they? Are you?” He closed his eyes against that remark and added, “I wanted to ah...” he motioned vaguely toward the entrance, at the stalls nearby, at her dress and finally at the drink in her hand. “Do you like it?”

Veil worked her charisma again. With a bump against his cheek, she stretched her head toward the lady, wings spread slightly for balance. Drien was more than willing to indulge her and extended his elbow so she could get closer. With a soft trill of delight, the little queen stepped along his arm and then wrapped her tail around his bicep for balance, again stretching her head as far as she could.

“Your dress is more beautiful than I’ve ever seen one of them wear. Not that I spend a lot of time…,” he began, but caught himself. “You really do look lovely.” The last statement was delivered quietly, and without eye contact. Drien kept his gaze on Veil as she did her best to charm the young lady.
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PostSubject: Re: The Beginning of Something New - The Holdless   Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:59 pm




Whatever she had been expecting, it wasn't that. She looked up at him suspiciously. This had been pulled on her before... the men of the camp were constantly on her, trying to get her in their tents for the evening. Most used brute strength, but a few had tried to sweet talk her there.

But none of them had looked so flustered, or blushed like that. Her suspicious look faded and a smile took it's place, awkward but pleased. "Thank you," she said, glancing at the ground as she blushed herself. "It's a mouthful... I've gone by Flynn as long as I can remember."

Ah, of course, the Holdless. That made sense, as to why he was speaking to her. He was obviously someone important, by his fine clothing and the quality of his shoulder knots, and he was making sure they were not a threat. "I can assure you that's not the plan," she told him with confidence, nodding her head with her face serious. "Jorgam... our leader, he was making a statement. That's all." Her smile returned and she sipped at the drink. "You saw all of the women and children anyway. We'd never bring them if we were going to cause trouble." Her eyes twinkled at the little poke. "I'd never bring my little brother into danger."

She gave the drink a glance, a tiny smile on her face. "It's not what I'm used to," she admitted. Hard beer, water... that was what she lived on. This concoction was delightful, a treat for the taste buds. But to say these things aloud would be admitting to her ignorance of everything regarding the Holders. "But it's very, very good. I could imagine having this every day."

And then the little gold firelizard came closer, and she gasped in delight. "I've never seen one of you up close," she murmured to Veil, fingers going right to the eye ridges to scratch lightly. "You're as amazing as I always imagined you would be."

His words froze her though, and she looked at him in shock. None of the men of the camp had used _that_ line on her before, and now she was well and truly shocked. The dress was fancy, but lovely... ? And herself lovely... ? The man was obviously insane, she thought. Her skin was brown from the sun, not light and pampered like a ladies would be. And her hands were rough, and she had scars that showed from her life in the wild.

It was the dress, she thought guiltily. It had probably been intended for some Lady, before the raiders had taken their goods. And likely killed them. Suddenly she didn't feel lovely at all. In fact, she felt quite disgusting, as though a billion showers wouldn't wash the blood away.

"I... thank you," she said, her voice hushed and eyes fixed on the drink in her hands. "But the dress isn't really mine... I borrowed it." Close enough to the truth. "You never did tell me... what is your name?" It was an obvious change of topic, but the only one she could think of. "And I can't read your knots I'm afraid. I hope I haven't offended you."


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PostSubject: Re: The Beginning of Something New - The Holdless   Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:18 am


Guiding Eolyn to the counter where drinks were served, he hadn't really given her much of a choice on where they were going, but indeed, this tent was on their way in the direction of the race tracks, so she couldn't fault him for wanting to stop to hydrate them. He took his arm from her, stepping back so that she could order first, "Please, order whatever you'd like, Lady Eolyn. I will cover the charge."

As they'd come in, Rihan had noticed Drien present, but he was at the opposite end of the counter. When he positioned himself so that he could look back toward the man once more, he was intrigued to find his cousin in curious company. Rihan himself had not seen the holdless arrive, and his eyes lingered on Flynn for a second shy of rudely staring. Rihan returned his attention to the counter where he ordered a juice mixed with some sort of alcohol that seemed to be popular with Igen's patrons, bringing a full mark from under his belt to slide across the counter toward the server who would take his pay.

When their drinks had been served, and his change returned, Rihan took his drink into one hand, while gesturing toward a chair for Eolyn, "Are you tired? We can sit, if you'd like?" But then again, he wasn't certain that she would be inclined to sit with him since she saw him as more of a threat to her own reputation. Yes, what ever would her parents do if they found her relaxing comfortably in the presence of a scoundrel like him? Whatever she chose to do, he was already leaned leisurely with one elbow upon the bar, his back to it as he glanced back out over the crowd of others present. With drink in hand, Rihan enjoyed the refreshment and being peacefully in his Lady's company.



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PostSubject: Re: The Beginning of Something New - The Holdless   Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:58 pm


The mystery man was being unfair now, she thought. He was saddened when she had asked to part ways with him. He had to understand her position. She was about to make the best marriage she ever could. Besides he had no claim on her whatsoever, whereas her fiance would be able to tell her what and where they were to go. In their current situation she had power over what they did somewhat.

Once again she thought, this should not have happened, Rihan should be here and she should be falling for him. Eolyn was not someone who would go against her parents, not even for love. She liked her life, she was not going to give it up just because of some man who could not even tell her his name.

As he began to lead them to a tent, he mentioned refreshments. Eolyn figured he was trying to put off the inevitable and it wasn’t as if she really had a choice. If he wanted to stop then they were going to stop. With a disparaging glance at the tent, she continued forward.

The place seemed rather busy and full of different types of people. She could not help if her eyes lingered on those people who were the most curious looking. When she approached the bar she offered up, innocently, “Oh, I’ll have a glass of water, please.” Hopefully they would not charge him anything so she would not owe him anything.

Eolyn looked at him then, “I don’t tire that easily sir.” She might not be a rider but she certainly kept herself fit as she would need to be if she planned on having children. After the words came out she immediately felt bad for the effect they might have. However he had brought it mostly on himself, he really was beginning to push his luck.

Her fear was not that he would keep pushing until she no longer cared nor had the willpower to say no. So far he was making things as hard on her as he could. He wanted to sit here and have a drink with her instead of see her to safety. There were all sorts of people here at this tent, from Holdless to Lords, thieves to Traders. It was probably not the safest place for her to be.

“Why do you stare at that man?” She asked, curiously when he seemed distracted. Eolyn might be trying to distance herself but she could not help herself when she had a question she asked it. Even if it made her look dumb in the process. “You know him?”



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PostSubject: Re: The Beginning of Something New - The Holdless   Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:07 pm




Flynn's eyes kept flitting over to the corner where the couple was. She had felt the man's eyes on her like a hand on her shoulder, and it had set off most of her warning signals. The woman... she was being far too open to have some other motive.

"Are those friends of yours?" she asked Drien casually, leaning away from him slowly. She jerked her head in Rihan's direction and drew her body tight, ready to spring and run if she had to.


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PostSubject: Re: The Beginning of Something New - The Holdless   Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:45 pm



Rihan chuckled quietly under his breath when Eolyn insisted that she was not about to be tired. There were a number of retorts he bit back that he figured she wouldn't find as humourous at the moment as he did, so it was with quiet acceptance that he took her words and the attitude that she was beginning to have toward him.

He noticed some form of concern in her eyes when taking a look about the other patrons of the refreshment tent, and stood thoughtfully by, pondering over her.


“Why do you stare at that man?”...“You know him?”

"I do. I arrived with him this morning. I was sent to race in this morning's competition." Taking pause, he considered the curious woman in green next to his steward, "But I do not know the woman he is with."

When Eolyn was still reluctant to take a seat yet continued to stand next to him, his sensual baritone voiced lowly, tempting her about the people she seemed so curious, even wary of. "This is a gather, dear Lady. No matter where you go, whether it's in here or out there, the same people congregate. That said...I never told you you had to stay here with me. If I make you so uncomfortable, then do as you please. The tracks and stable are not that much further from here. A Lady of the Hold can go there on her own if she is so desirous."

There he went, doing it again -manipulating all of those little heart strings. Indeed, Rihan must have been so maddening to her in that moment! He could only imagine the conflict within her own mind as again, she realized that he was correct.. she had every right to go on her own, and yet he'd pointedly reminded her that the same ruffians she might fear were just as numerous on the streets of the gather as they were in here; the illusion remained, since it was just easier to spot them in here, that they must all be congregated under the same tent. So, either way, she was probably safer with him than venturing out on her own.

With airs of nonchalance, Rihan drank his juice cocktail, continuing to lean on the bar as his eyes returned to Drien momentarily.




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PostSubject: Re: The Beginning of Something New - The Holdless   Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:21 pm




“Flynn then,” Drien said, his gaze coming back to hers for a moment before turning again to watch Veil preen. He nodded as she explained about the group she’d arrived with and may have visibly relaxed when she mentioned that the boy was her brother, not her son.

“it's very, very good. I could imagine having this every day."

He relaxed a little more finding out that she enjoyed her drink and even better, was making quick friends with Veil. He found himself thinking that he’d love to make sure she had access to both on a daily basis. But he wisely kept that thought to himself for the moment. However, when she tried to make light of her appearance, naming the dressed borrowed and having all shades of, what he read as, embarrassment fall across her face, he had to speak up.

He watched her face, waiting for her to look back at him. When her eyes reached his he held them for a moment. “Borrowed, maybe. But the owner could never wear it as you do. You, my dear, do it far more justice.” The possible origin of the dress never crossed his mind, and so neither did any other reason for guilty reticence. “But you would still be as lovely in last year’s cast-offs.” If he had any idea the conditions the Shunned often lived under, he would be shocked. As wide a training his father had hoped to give his children hadn’t reached such topics.

"You never did tell me... what is your name?"

“I... oh...” he stumbled a bit, flustered at forgetting his manners. “Drien, milady,” he said with another bow, as proper as his harper mentor had taught him. “I do apologize. I’m Drien, recently appointed steward at the new Telgar River Hold under Telgar’s heir apparent, Lord Rihan.” It wasn’t a small title, but Drien had repeated it many times that day, making needed connections and it came easily to his lips.

Belatedly he realized that it might be enough to scare the young lady off and quickly added, “Just Drien. I’d be honored if you’d call me Drien.” I’d be honored if she called me anything, he thought. Veil chirped her agreement, bobbing her head.

Drien noticed the change in her stance and, at first, worried that is was due to him. But her question put him at ease.

"Are those friends of yours?"

Turning in the direction she motioned, he immediately saw his cousin and the woman he was certain to be Lady Eolyn. “That is the cousin I was speaking of,” he told Flynn, “and his fiance.” He watched the pair for a moment and wondered if Rihan’s plans had gone as he’d expected. But even his cousin’s schemes couldn’t keep his mind away from the intriguing woman beside him. If his cousin needed anything, he was close by and he would surely let him know.

“Is there anything else I can get for you? Do you want to sit? Might I treat you to a snack, you must be hungry.” The statement was not completely a comment on her holdless state. What he really wanted was an excuse to keep her close so he could stumble his way into learning more about her. “Milady?”
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PostSubject: Re: The Beginning of Something New - The Holdless   Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:57 am




“Borrowed, maybe. But the owner could never wear it as you do. You, my dear, do it far more justice.”[/center]

His words made her blush deepen, and it was noticeable even against her dark skin. No wonder some of the others said Holders were dangerous, she thought, if they all spoke in such a way. A normal woman would have let her guard down long ago. As for her she was pleased, surprised, and a bit embarrassed by his attentions, but she stayed on her guard still.

"Oh, don't worry, I have those in my pack," she quipped in response to his words about last year's cast-offs. It wasn't a good quip, but she didn't really know how to talk to a man who was complimenting her looks. Her archery, her knife work, yes, but never her looks. The Shunned tended to be much more upfront about such things, and she'd been insistent enough with the first few that no one had tried in several Turns.

Her eyes widened in surprise when he gave her his name and title, so much about him explained suddenly. His fine clothing, his gentlemanly speech... he was of high birth. Her heart pounded a little bit harder, her nerves almost getting the best of her. This is what she had been hoping for: someone who could find her a position in a Hold. Even better if he seemed taken with her... she'd do whatever it took to get Toshin to safety, even if it meant selling herself. Who knew how these high born acted, after all?

She was about to answer when she had felt the eyes on them and queried about the man watching. His answer caused her to relax somewhat. But not too much... a Lord. And not just any Lord, the Lord of the man she was speaking to and could possibly find a job with. It was pure luck... an afternoon of nothing and she had just stumbled into possibly the only person at the Gather would truly needed people.

"I'd love to have a seat, m'lord," she said finally, a small smile on her face. "I have the marks to pay for my own food though... please, let me treat you. It's the least I can do for the favor of introducing me to this drink." Her smile was a little shyer. "And for keeping me company."

He was so unlike any man she had met. Holdless men tended to be more forward. There was a reason they had lost their homes, after all, and grudges were carried on for generations. They were a rough lot, it was simply their way of life. But this Drien had a softness about him that she had never encountered before. Such a thing would have been beaten out of a Holdless, but in him she saw someone with truly no motive other than getting to know her.

It was a bit of a heady rush, to be admired and spoken to so sweetly. It made her wary, but also excited. A girlish part of her wanted to forget about finding work and just talk to this intriguing man, but she had to be sensible. They needed a home more than she needed an ego boost.

"So are you from Telgar Hold, m'lord?" she asked, indicating for him to choose one of the tables. She wasn't exactly certain what the protocol was in such a situation, and she hoped her nervousness wasn't showing. "I've never been so far north... we tend to stay in the south."


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PostSubject: Re: The Beginning of Something New - The Holdless   Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:06 am



“I see.” And she knew that was a lie in some way. For whatever reason she found herself questioning the statement, “You are too tall to race runners.” She said matter of factly and looked away from him. For a moment she was unsure of what to say to him. “I do not like being lied to.” And for no real reason, what did she care how or why he knew the other man. She had been curious and that was all.

Now she was feeling tenseness gather around her features. He was making her angry on purpose. All of this was manipulation and as naive as she might be, she was not dumb. Eolyn was a Lady and had spent Turns training whether she seemed that way to most people or not. “I’ve been to many Gathers.” She said by way of making it clear she knew all about the sorts of people that could attend. It did not stop her from wondering about their lives and how very different they were from her own.

She did not like the way the woman looked at them and she did not trust this man to truly protect her if he was now in the presence of two more strangers to her who could be his accomplices. Two could play his little game. So she nodded in agreement. “You are quite right.” She said evenly setting her glass down on the bar. “I will find my own way from here.” Eolyn was sheltered and could not think of any reason why she would really need an escort. If he thought it best they should part ways here then that is what she would do. Courisse would need to be saved from Korvold eventually anyway.

“Thank you for the drink and the companionship. Enjoy the Gather.” Eolyn said to him before turning and heading towards the door. She did not really feel that angry now, instead she felt a little sad yet relieved too. Being escorted by him had simply been her own kindness in allowing him to feel the protector. She was not afraid of any of the people in her Hold and she had no reason to be. After all, everyone knew that Eolyn was a naive girl. No harm could come to her because everyone she knew and saw were truly good on the inside.

Of course, if anything did happen to her now, it would be partly on his conscience.


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PostSubject: Re: The Beginning of Something New - The Holdless   Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:51 am

Rihan



“You are too tall to race runners.”..“I do not like being lied to.”

Rihan cracked a soft smile at her observation, "Perhaps my height becomes a challenge, but that does not keep me from enjoying it. Of course, you may believe what you want."


Eyeing Eolyn's expressions as she seemed to process and justify her own thoughts, Rihan knew all along that he'd simply been acting on the assumption that she might actually fear anything happening to her at her Father's Gather. He had indeed wondered how long she would allow him to entertain those fears to his own benefit, yet it intrigued him no less when she put her foot down on the matter.

“You are quite right.” ... “I will find my own way from here.”

“Thank you for the drink and the companionship. Enjoy the Gather.”



The man's almonde shaped eyes grew a bit wider when she actually turned to walk away, his low voice marking in mild exclamation, "Ooi, oi!" But then, in finishing the rest of his drink, he swallowed any further comment. It was a bit of a well-humoured grimace that came over his expression. Just then, she hadn't acted exactly as he expected, but as he'd said before, he wasn't going to stop her doing as she pleased; and if anything, Rihan was a man of his word.

As soon as she was just out of earshot, Rihan placing his glass back upon the counter, echoing the distaste in her decision to depart from him, "Chi!"




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PostSubject: Re: The Beginning of Something New - The Holdless   Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:43 pm




The corner of Drien’s mouth couldn’t help but respond to the pretty flush that colored her cheeks, quirking up into a little smile. His usual serious expression was being challenged today. But he couldn’t remember the last time someone had affected him like this.

So he was genuinely delighted when she actually agreed to sit with him for awhile. After giving her his name, and then pointing out Telgar’s Heir Apparent, he’d had his doubts as to whether she’d stick around. Her consent also gave him a shot of confidence as he pointed at a table nearby and held out his arm so Veil would step onto it before holding the chair for the lady. There was no reason for her to treat for food. He was raised to be a gentleman and he would do his mother proud, besides, he had Veil to distract Flynn while he took care of things.

It seemed that most people were picking up their food to bring along with them, but his quick eyes spotted an apprentice who was working and in a matter of moments he had summoned, ordered and handed the young man the necessary mark pieces. Satisfied, he turned back to the table and joined Flynn, finally answering the question she’d asked.

“My father hails from Southern Telgar Hold, it’s my uncle who holds Telgar itself.” He enjoyed watching his gold sitting so properly before the girl, almost purring as she virtually begged for scritchings, eyes whirling a very contented blue-green. “But I’ve recently moved to Telgar River Hold with Lord Rihan as I said.” He stopped there, not wanting to continue talking about things that convince her to leave his company.

So he tried to turn the question back to her. “You said you ah... live to the South? Where do you stay?” As was his wont, Drien’s question was more blunt than tactful, but he truly was interested. The few moments that he’d spent with her had intrigued him. Beauty didn't seem to be her only good quality, he could see intelligence in her eyes as well. And something more. Something that made him want to keep her nearby. In that moment he realized that he’d left his gaze on her for an uncomfortable amount of time and quickly dropped his eyes to Veil.
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PostSubject: Re: The Beginning of Something New - The Holdless   Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:32 am

[center]
[center/]

If he was staring, Flynn didn't notice. She was completely enchanted with Veil, scratching under her chin and at her eyeridges with a blissful smile. She tried to protest when he paid, but it was only halfheartedly. The truth was she'd never had a man offer to purchase her food, and it felt nice.

To his question, she just gave a vague shrug. "We spend most of our time within sight of the ocean," she answered, "and we're never away from it for long." The truth was she had only began to pay attention to their movements in the past three Turns, and she'd yet to get a full feel of the land. "My little brother is the only family I have, so it's kind of just us."

She was trying to figure out how to segue from that into seeing if they had need of someone with her skills at Telgar River (she'd never heard of this hold, had no clue where it was, but anywhere was better than the camp) when she saw a familiar movement. Fremol, she thought with disaste, and from the way he was stumbling he'd had far too much to drink.

The man staggered into the tent, several members of his squad with him (also in various states of intoxication), and headed for the bar. His attention was grabbed by Eolyn, though, as she was leaving the tent. "Oi, lovely lady," he called, putting himself between her and the exit. He leered down at her, breath heavy with the cheapest beer that the Gather had to offer. "Leaving already? We just got here!"

Flynn was already on her feet, pulling her bow off her back, and walking towards them when the large man threw his arm around the Lady Eolyn and pulled her to him. "Drinks all around!" the man roared, yanking Eolyn along with him as he moved further into the tent.

Flynn's eyes went instantly to the man who had been watching her, the young woman's fiancee if Drien was to be believed. She gave him a nod, indicating she'd follow his lead. And he better realize what she was doing, she thought gravely. Because there would be no going back to the camp for her if she participated in this.


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PostSubject: Re: The Beginning of Something New - The Holdless   Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:26 am



The young Lady was almost out of the door when an obviously drunk man said something about her leaving. She looked up at him, “Oh, umm, hello.” She wasn’t sure what to really say to him. His breath was putrid and she felt herself cringe a little. “Really? I am sorry but I think it is best if I go.” She resisted verbally but it seemed anything and everything she was saying or going to say would fall on deaf ears.

Eolyn tried to remain calm. She could have screamed when he pulled her in to him. She stood there unable to move and trying not to offend the man although he should never have touched her. “Don’t you think you’ve had enough already?” the young woman said to the man as he ordered more drinks. Again she was pretty sure anything she said was going to be ignored. Eolyn did not think to plead for help as of yet.

She thought she would be able to get him to let her go without any assistance. Squirming in the man’s grasp she thought about where this could possibly go. Obviously drinking with her was not something he had in mind. This was a prelude to something much more inappropriate and she did not want any part of it. Struggling was doing her no good. So she stopped and stood there next to him. Her face had paled considerably and she her body began to tremble uncontrollably.

Having suddenly been gripped by fear, the lady was taken back in time to her brother’s teasing. He would have put her in the arms of someone like this just to watch her squirm with no way of getting out of the situation until she was saved by someone else. She did not like being afraid but she was and there was nothing she could really do about it.

The man was easily twice her size and had an iron grip. Eolyn wished she was somewhere else but still she had not fainted or screamed so she was doing well. At least by her own standards. Keep cool and calm. She told herself as she watched the man start to down another glass.


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PostSubject: Re: The Beginning of Something New - The Holdless   Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:44 pm

(since they’re NPCs, taking some liberties!)


Rihan



All of a sudden very aware of the patrons now entering the tent as one of them took Eolyn under his arm, Rihan's eyes flickered over their numbers, gaging the intent of each one’s eyes briefly. Recognizing the lady in Green from his periphery, the thought crossed his mind, 'what is she doing with a bow out and so many patrons around who could easily be caught in the line of fire?' Namely, his betrothed. But for now, his only focus was to see that Eolyn was out of harm's way -and not in physical contact with another man. Others could deal with the troublemakers as they pleased after he’d escaped with her. As for the woman in Green, he had no past experience with this woman who now held a bow, so he was not about to rely on her for what he needed to do.

Discerning the level of anxiety in his betrothed only served to heighten any sense of protectiveness he felt over her. Rihan was livid. He wasn't sure he'd ever felt his blood run so hot and it took every whit of the discipline instilled in him not to rush rashly into things to free his Lady from the drunkard's arms. He understood however, that the men were just 'enjoying' themselves and had yet to show any intentions of becoming violent, so no need to tip them off to his intentions. Either way however, whether they intended to be violent or not, Rihan wasn't about to negotiate his Lady's safety, and wasn’t going to ask nicely to have her returned to him.

Rihan thanked the drink server behind the bar from over his shoulder, straightening himself to exit the tent. Appearing no more interested in the pleasantly intoxicated gather-goers than anyone else, an inexplicable calm embraced him, like the calm that presides over a vast expanse of ocean; but unseen, was a great furor that grew within him, much like the swell of a tsunami which gives rise to great force without ever being noticed on the surface..until it’s too late. Rihan gave another passing glance over the group to judge his approach and escape route, playing actions through his mind while preparing his body for what he was about to do. While doing so, a flourish of the hand fan as he procured its use from under his belt was in signal to the Captain of the Guard Toshiro, whom he trusted would be somewhere nearby to see it. Though to others it may have seemed no more than a nonchalant if not fanciful display to show of the colours it was painted in as he began fanning himself, Rihan knew all of his Guard's signals and the tactics they were trained to respond with.

Nearing the largest of the men, who'd taken Eolyn under his arm, the fan closed. It that split second, he voiced just loud enough for Eolyn to hear, "Don't move." and coiled muscles sprung, releasing the fury within him. Rihan was fast. Very fast. In that flurry of movement, Rihan's left hand moved across his body, the heel of his palm striking and throwing wide the holdless man’s free arm while simultaneously safeguarding himself in a block. At the same time, Rihan’s right arm extended, issuing an ear-splitting crack, like that of a whip, as the fan opened wide, it's rigid, iron outer edge striking downward across his opponent's clavicle (opposite side of Eolyn's position), breaking the bone. The man's arm was now likely useless, seeing as much of its structural support was destroyed; in the worst case scenario, the bone may have splintered off, puncturing the man's lung. Either way, while the man was distracted from the pain, Rihan took hold of Eolyn's wrist, pulling her to him with that free left hand.

”What a shame it would be for a Lady’s good name to be tarnished by vulgar low-lifes like you. I’ll be her escort from here.” Venom laced his tone as cold, gray eyes dared any of them to pursue him. But after that, there was only focused determination from him to depart from the area. Giving Eolyn no choice in the matter, Rihan's hand still gripped like a vice about her wrist, drawing her with him as he moved in another direction, past Flyn and Drien, hurrying out the other side of the tent. With all luck, they would disappear quickly into the crowds and Toshiro would assist in covering his trail. He would remember to thank the lady in Green later for playing the role of decoy if she intended on doing so with that bow of hers.



On their way, Rihan alerted Igen’s own Guard to the trouble that had started. It was only when Rihan had delivered Eolyn to a quiet and less populated area of the gather, which happened to be in the opposite direction of the Stables, that Rihan slid his hand from her wrist, taking Eolyn’s dainty hand within his own.Quaintly he led her, like in a courtly dance, so that they faced eachother. He looked into her eyes with a measure of sorrow, ”Dear Lady, forgive me for breaking my promise. I stopped you from going on your own...” That thought seemed to be interrupted by another, which he spoke of in turn, ”Are you alright?”

Rihan thought he could feel her hand trembling as he held it, but he dared not comfort her in any way that might infringe upon her personal space and make her feel even more uncomfortable.


===================================================
Toshiro



Toshiro was on the move as soon as Rihan signaled him. He was only supposed to over Rihan’s trail for now, and keep the drunken men from pursuing the Lord Holder as he made his escape -if it was a good day however, maybe these pursuers would decide to be stubborn and put up a good fight. The Captain of the Telgar Guard relished opportunities to involve himself in a fight. Especially a bloody one. That said, Toshiro was also restricted to acting within the boundaries of his orders. Rihan was correct in his direction though; it was certainly more prudent to make an escape instead of putting them -or anyone else- in an unnecessarily dangrous position.
The conflict wasn't just about winning or losing.

The Captain of the Guard made his way around the back side of the tent, hearing the whip-like crack of Rihan's iron edged fan, knowing that someone was on the receiving end of a painful blow. Moments later, he cut across Rihan's path, following closely behind him for a few paces before spinning, and drawing the stick-like Jutte from it’s sheath. While he waited, eyes flashed dangerously, narrowing into slits, doing his best to follow the movements of the drunkards' movements where they were still clamoring about under the refreshment tent. Many people in the refreshment area however, had rushed out of the tent at the sign of trouble, vacating their tables, echoing eachother's screams and shouts...He listened to the commotion, gaging where they were taking their trouble next. No matter which direction they ran however, if the holdless went after Rihan, Toshiro would be the first one to put a halt to their progress once they stepped outside the tent.

Under his breath, he whispered, "If you value your lives, you would stay put and lick your wounds where you are." But in all truth, Toshiro hoped they would choose otherwise.


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PostSubject: Re: The Beginning of Something New - The Holdless   Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:37 pm



No. No. No. She didn’t care for the way the man was looking at her one bit. Nor did she expect that anyone here would do anything about it. Why couldn’t they leave her alone? If she wasn’t badly treated by her brother perhaps this wouldn’t be so scary. When she heard the voice telling her to remain still she did so.

There was no point in her resisting that order. What else could she do?Things were happening quickly, her rescuer fought quickly, effectively and smoothly. He must have been trained very well. She found herself staring at the scene unfolding and was shocked. Her mouth might even have gaped at some point but being as she was a lady, she quickly closed it.

Before she knew what to make of the situation, the mystery man had taken down the large drunkard who had held her captive. Eolyn did not even have time to consider what had happened before she was grabbed and pulled away from the tent. Although his grip on her was tight, she seemed not to notice. She was sort of in shock from the whole event.

No one had ever dared do that to her before, not in her father’s Hold and she had never before feared to walk the Gather Grounds alone. Then she never had done so alone, she was generally with Courisse or the rest of her family at these things.

The trembling of her small form continued as they whizzed past people into a quieter place. When he released her arm to take her hand she knew that the urgency to get her free and clear was why he had held on so tightly. Although her arm was now red from where he had pulled her, she did not seem to notice if there was any pain.

No one seemed to be around except for one or two people, who were not paying attention to her or her rescuer. Thank goodness because she was sure, he was going to do something that would only make her less able to resist him. She was looking into his concerned and sad gray eyes as they walked and wondered if she should be.

He was far too perfect, how could she ever love Rihan knowing this man was out there. She was completely and utterly ruined because she could never look at another as she looked at him now. He had saved her from the worst of things that could happen to a Lady or any woman, if one asked her. When they stopped, she began to process what had happened more.

Mostly she was shocked, she had not believed anything like that could happen to her. Now she knew better and he was blaming himself. Shaking her head, “I made my own decision.” Her eyes holding back the tears of so many emotions coming together, she needed to drain the emotions out with a good cry but she rarely cried in public.

She nodded quickly and just as quickly walked into him, wrapping her arms around him in a hug. The tears did come then as she cried into his shirt. When she had cried enough to calm her emotions she spoke to him thought it was just above a whisper as she was feeling very quiet now.

“Thank you for your kindness. You are my hero.” She lifted her head from is chest, and attempted a smile but all she felt was sad. Even more softly she let the words slip out, “If only you were my fiance.” With that said, she moved away from him to a more proper distance. “Do you mind escorting me to my parents? I’d feel safer if you were with me.” She wiped her red, blotchy wet face with her hand.


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PostSubject: Re: The Beginning of Something New - The Holdless   Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:30 pm




Fremol growled and shoved his way through the crowd after momentarily being stunned at the audacity of the fancy little man. "Hey, I wasn't finished talking to her!" he slurred, staggering after the retreating pair. When Toshiro brought him up short he stopped, confused and not understanding what he was saying. "Wha..?" he asked, blinking and swaying a bit. Then his eyes focused and narrowed, and his hand went to his side for the long, curved knife there.

His hand didn't make it though, and the man went slightly cross eyed before falling to the side like a tipped herdbeast. Flynn flashed Toshiro a bright grin, holding the grip of her bow so it could be used for improved smashing of hard skulls, as she had just proven. "Sorry, I kinda owed him," she said with a wink before jumping back into the chaos behind them.

Because Fremol's reckless shoving, and his already drunken and disorderly men, had resulted in a brawl in it's wake. The Holdless had less restraint than the Holders and Crafters, and she knew who could cause the most damage and aimed for those. She proved that her bow made quite the melee weapon, disarming several men and knocking legs out from under others. Many of them would have headaches and sore legs afterwards, but no blood would be spilled. She heard a few cries of outrage, indicating that she had been identified by a member of the camp.

Well, she was in for it now, she thought. Out of the corner of her eye she searched for Drien, hoping he was staying out of this.


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PostSubject: Re: The Beginning of Something New - The Holdless   Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:40 pm


Yes, she was shaking. At such a time, he couldn't help but want to hold her and keep her near to him until her good spirits returned. Most of all, he wanted to make sure she felt safe.

When Eolyn's arms embraced him, he let her remain there for a few breaths on her own accord before his own arms loosely encompassed her slender shoulders. While she cried, his own breathing normalized and he tried to enjoy being that close to her though he hated that the first time they embraced was in tears over such a dreadful situation.


“Thank you for your kindness. You are my hero.”...“If only you were my fiance.”...“Do you mind escorting me to my parents? I’d feel safer if you were with me.”


The words struck Rihan a bit painfully at first. Indeed, she only made it more difficult to remain anonymous and he could see that more and more, the game he played was causing her more grief than courtship fun. He'd seen enough of it. The confession however, still made him smile. As she looked back up at him, distancing herself again, he was doing just that -smiling tenderly back at her. He was so glad that she liked him for him, not just as a Lord Holder.

"Please,...trust in me. I'd like to stay here for a little longer." Rihan set his left hand upon her shoulder, encouraging her to sit on a bench nearby. He was gentle about his 'encouragement', but was not going to take 'no' for an answer at this time. When they sat, he left ample space between them so that his leg did not brush against hers while she continued to catch her breath. He'd also procured a kerchief from under his wide belt that she might use to dry her tears. If she took any notice, the kerchief was in Telgar colours, red and blue, a primarily white crest having been woven into a motif that repeated across the entire thing.

The baritone of his voice was only soothing as he addressed her again, "Please, don't feel rushed to regain composure. We are safe here. And I need to wait here a while longer. There are two people very dear to me that I left behind, where there must be fighting going on now. They know I came in this direction, so please understand if I remain here to make sure they make it back safely.

"One of those friends is making sure that we were not followed by any of those thugs. That is how I know we are safe. I can imagine we will both want to thank him later; since is not my place to enter into such a conflict, it is because of him that we so easily made our escape. I cannot go back to help them."


Rihan fell silent for a moment, but it was for the very briefest time, before he met her eyes in a way that seemed to be searching for some type of forgiveness. "As for your fiance,... don't be worried. He will know you're safe, and your parents will know, too. Also...Your fiance...I'm certain he could not be displeased by you, after such a display of conviction today."

At some point, Rihan tucked his folding fan back under his belt, but this time at his back side so that unless she'd noticed it previously, she might not inquire about it's being painted in gold leaf. Of course, it would be unlikely that a man who only lived to race runners would be in possession of such a thing. Rihan then continued to remain there with her quietly, glancing back in the direction from where they'd come to see if Drien or Toshiro either one might be on their way to the meeting point.
That, they were not however, because there was still a brawl going on.


======================================================================
When the burly Fremol stood before him, Toshiro's muscles tensed slightly, awaiting the inevitable attack as he reminded the man pointedly, "I don't know who you're talking about. If you wanna go after anyone, it'll be me."

That's right, let him get his knife out! That's just what Toshiro wanted. Seeing as Fremol slumped to the ground instead of attacking him however, Toshiro glanced to the woman with the bow, regarding her with some whit of surprise, before his expression turned sour, "Chi!" As she winked and rushed off to face another opponent, Toshiro was more than happy to face off other holdless who were also trying to give pursuit.

The Captain of the Telgar Guard however, would never allow them to get far. His charge had been to curtail any of their movements beyond this point, and that's exactly what he did. As two more men took off to make their escape from under the tent, Toshiro was only surmising as to where they might be headed, so he caught up to them, landing a blow with his iron weapon to the side of one man's temple, dropping him to the dirt.

Toshiro's form spun, connecting two solid kicks in quick succession to the second man even as he came at him to attack. The second holdless hit the ground where he groaned and then struggled to get back on his feet. The man made little progress for now, and Toshiro had already moved on to defend himself from another attacker who'd come to aid his comrades.

The third man however, didn't share the same tactics of approach and swung at Toshiro with a long-knife of his own. The man's movements were quick. But considering Toshiro's expertise, he man wasn't quick enough to make up for his lack of technique. The Captain of the Guard caught the glinting blade with his Jutte, where it would be lodged between the iron rod and the hooking hand-guard. And as long as the man held onto his knife, Toshiro used his position to angle the man's knife arm downward and away from him. His opposite hand moved to strike his opponent's weak wrist joint, disarming him of the blade, immediately bringing the iron rod in his grasp up to strike across his left collar bone, at least fracturing it before landing a secondary blow to the man's temple as Toshiro's arm came back across. It was the second blow that landed him unconscious in the dirt with his comrades.

Glancing back to the tent where the woman in Green seemed to be holding her own against others, he decided not to intervene unless she or Drien appeared to need assistance otherwise. Toshiro backed a few steps away from where the three holdless men lay at his feet, keeping his eyes peeled for any others who might try to pursue the Holder of Telgar and the Lady Eolyn. After all, that was all he'd been ordered to do. It could only be a show of poor conduct if he looked to involve himself unnecessarily.


While he looked on, holding his position, Toshiro sheathed the weapon in his hand, growing quickly bored. He sighed and moved under a tree where he could lean against it while watching the rest of the fight play out. It wasn't long after he did so, folding his arms over his chest, that Igen's own Guard began rushing in to take control of the situation.


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PostSubject: Re: The Beginning of Something New - The Holdless   Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:33 pm


Eolyn watched his face for a moment, wondering why he was smiling. He did not see how impossible this was. And she really needed not to think about it herself but his happiness was strange to her. Considering the reasons why she thought perhaps he was glad to know she liked him. Although the young woman had thought it was quite obvious. Well, he could be happy about all of this if he wanted to. He was not the one who would be miserable forever.

Maybe she was overreacting. Maybe she was simply attracted and needed to get her head on straight. Eolyn had always believed true love happened all of a sudden and only once. So it was not a jump for her to think and believe that she would never be able to love her fiancé like she should.

There would always be someone else on her mind and here he was. Trying to calm her down and make her feel at ease in light of what had just happened. As he guided her to the bench to sit down and talked about staying for a little while. “I trust you.” She said, sitting down and accepting his handkerchief.

The colors she did notice and it got her thinking that perhaps Rihan had sent this man to watch over her. But then why lie about the racing. If her fiancé was concerned about her, he had every right to have her watched over by his men; especially after what had just happened to her. She thought about this as she finished wiping her trail of tears on her face.

Instantly she felt horrible for being so selfish. Of course there were other people he cared about whom he would need to see. They were good fighters from what little she had seen. If they were anything like him, they were at any rate. “I hope they are safe and unharmed. I have some healing training, should any of them be injured.” She was being quite modest about her healing.

Eolyn knew the Healing Hall had considered taking her, even though she was a woman, on as an apprentice and her parents had vehemently denied them. She was going to be very valuable to her future husband in that way. Her knowledge of poisons however, she planned to keep to herself as long as possible.

“I would like to thank all who defended me.” She said, as she recalled the woman with the bow. Hopefully she was as capable as she had seemed. There was no point in Eolyn pretending she had not sensed wariness about the young woman, she had but that did not mean Eolyn had ever meant to be disrespectful of her position in life. Everyone served a purpose; hers was not nearly as glamorous as it seemed either. When he was silent she reached out and held his hand.

“Yes, they will be worried that I’ve yet to return. I usually rest with Courisse, my lady’s maid, for a couple candlemarks before feasting and dancing in the evening.” She paused, “I don’t know much about Rihan. Other than he has excellent taste in clothing.” She smiled fondly, “However I doubt he’d be pleased with me today. I’ve been… well…I’ve been with someone who isn’t him the entire Gather today and that cannot shed a good light on me.”


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PostSubject: Re: The Beginning of Something New - The Holdless   Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:06 pm

Rihan


Rihan was unwilling to completely smother the soft smile that adorned his olive features with a certain serenity. He listened to her speak with intent focus, glad that she'd decided to trust him.

“I hope they are safe and unharmed. I have some healing training, should any of them be injured.”

Well that was good to know -about her healing training. He doubted they'd have a lot of use for it in a situation like the brawl they'd just come from; but anything could happen unexpectedly. Rihan said nothing in response, but remained attentive to her, giving her hand a light squeeze when she took his own.


“Yes, they will be worried that I’ve yet to return. I usually rest with Courisse, my lady’s maid, for a couple candlemarks before feasting and dancing in the evening.” She paused, “I don’t know much about Rihan. Other than he has excellent taste in clothing.” She smiled fondly, “However I doubt he’d be pleased with me today. I’ve been… well…I’ve been with someone who isn’t him the entire Gather today and that cannot shed a good light on me.”


Rihan's smile broke into a laugh when Eolyn made mention of his own fashion sense. "Excellent taste, you say?" Rihan canted his head aside, considering that momentarily, before lively silvery orbs sought her again. "Lady Eolyn, I dare say that if this Rihan of yours is not pleased with you, then he is more unworthy of your hand in marriage than he realizes. Your exceptional quality is as clearly evident as your beauty."

Looking away from her then, back down the path from where they'd come, his voice lowered, "It is I who have troubled you. It is I who would be unworthy of such a Lady's hand. He is lucky to have you."


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PostSubject: Re: The Beginning of Something New - The Holdless   Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:57 pm

His hand felt so wonderful in her own and it helped her feel secure she had no reason to relinquish it except it was completely improper to do so. With any other person she would never dream of touching their hand except to dance. It seemed there was nothing she could do to distance herself from temptation so she must embrace it with caution.

Holding his hand would be enough for her to remember later on when she spoke with the one person who might understand her. Oh she hoped Courisse would understand and give her sound advice. Now he was laughing, why was he laughing? She decided he must simply find it amusing and perhaps he found how little she knew of her fiancé to be humorous as well.

Of course she knew nothing of him. She knew very little about men in general. When he looked at her she felt compelled to look back. She could get lost there in his eyes if she allowed herself. Instead he spoke how worthy she was of her fiancé. Blushing deeply, “There are Ladies of better quality I am sure and plenty more beautiful than I.” She did not know how else to respond to his compliment of her.

She should not in any way approve his behavior but she could not say he had troubled her. Vexed perhaps however he had not been the one to cause any of it. She was the problem. She should never have spoken to him even if he was talking to her on such a friendly level at the Gather stall. She was the one who had touched him first. “It was never only you causing trouble. I have been too free with you.” She could not smile at this. Eolyn was certain this feeling she had was only going to become stronger over time.

Talking about their situation would not help so she switched to talking specifically about her betrothed. “Do you know Rihan?” She asked, “Your kerchief, it has Telgar’s colors.”


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PostSubject: Re: The Beginning of Something New - The Holdless   Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:56 pm

Rihan


Rihan continued grinning adorably until she asked about him knowing Rihan. Oh, she just wasn't about to make this any easier on him! But he'd brought it all on himself he assumed.

“Do you know Rihan?” She asked, “Your kerchief, it has Telgar’s colors.”

Withdrawing his hand from hers, he stood, again facing in the direction they'd come so that he did not have to meet her gaze. His hands clasped at the small of his back as his reply came in a level tone, "Telgar is a large territory."

At first, he left it at that, allowing her to assume, if she wanted to fill in the blanks, that he had no knowledge of any Rihan. He considered changing the subject back to her needing to go rest with her lady's maid before the feast and dancing however, there would not be much use in it, as they were unable to depart just yet. Rihan struggled with what to say next, before admitting, "You could say that I do know him."

With that, his chin turned back over his shoulder, regarding her with a most impish grin, "After all, he is the Lord Holder's son, and Telgar's Heir. And wouldn't he have my head if he knew I were holding your hand just now?" Now, he was just being mean again, leaving her with only the information that she could make broad assumptions off of. In any case, an educated man should know that much; even if she did mean her question a bit differently.


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PostSubject: Re: The Beginning of Something New - The Holdless   Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:29 pm

There was something about his answer which she was not satisfied with. Actually the entire answer was so vague it was hard not to believe that he was once again attempting to hide something of himself. Why? What would she do if he weren’t from Telgar or if he were? Sadly she wanted to believe what he was saying to her but she did not. Last time she had accused him of lying it had not gone all that well. So she stared at him noting he could not look her in the eyes while he was speaking of Telgar.

“So it is.” She agreed that Telgar was large but she did not feel that answered her question one way or another. “Igen is large too. Few of the inhabitants of this Hold would know me by sight unless they lived right here, in the vicinity of the large metropolis that is Igen Hold’s capitol. Although I’m sure the heir of a Lord would travel to his Minor Holdings and get to know his lands. You would either know him or you would not.” She reasoned, her logic might not be completely sound. Half the people here probably could not recognize her brother either.

Blushing bright pink, “I am surprised you would risk losing your head. If rumors are to be believed, Rihan is an expert swordsman.” Eolyn never put much stock in rumors however when it came to information about her fiancé she simply had to go on what people said about him instead of facts. Besides the point was if this man were really concerned he would not risk it. So either he was not afraid of Rihan or he knew him well enough to know the man would never hurt him.

She knew her brother was prone to violence when it came to people interfering with anything he deemed was his to have. As of yet she had not managed to figure out what woman it was that held such jealous possessiveness, but she did know it made sense for him to be that way. Holders were raised having more and practically whatever they wanted when they wanted it. She could almost wonder if this man weren’t very well off himself. He had horrible manners but that was only where it concerned trying to court an already promised woman. Other than that, he could act very much the gentleman.

“I suppose since Rihan doesn’t know you are safe, for now.”


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