(121-05-23) North and South
North and South
Summary: Carolis visits Aevander for a game of cyvasse, as promised. He brings friends.
Date: May 23, 2014
Related: Florent-Redwyne After Party

Carolis has come to play Cyvasse with the Prince, and he's brought Andolin with him. "It wouldn't hurt for you to get to know the right people," he's telling his cousin as they make their way to wherever the servants take them. He's a trusting sort, more or less. "There are a lot of parties this season. You should come with me." Carolis always was the odd Stark out. "Prince Aevander is great. I wish he wasn't leaving, but what can you do?"

The servant leads the two northmen into the parlor, and Ser Aevander appears a few moments later with a cyvasse board tucked under one arm. He's in his usual black garb, though the cut and make are new and a little less fine than one might expect for a Targaryen. "Lord Carolis," he greets with a smile, "and who is your companion? Please, come in, both of you, and be welcome. Would you care for something to drink?"

Andolin was a little difficult to get to come out, not gonna lie - it's largely because he's a little more sore than normal today. But, he eventually relents, and, really, the ride over probably does him some good. Either way, he's still favoring his right leg considerably, though he offers Aevander a bit of a smile. "Andolin Stark," he offers as an introduction, though he seems content to let his cousin take the lead.

"Ser Aevander," Carolis says warmly. He too is dressed a little less finely than he was at the party, though still probably finer than most Starks would on a casual day out, all dark colors. "Lord Andolin is my cousin. He's come down to Oldtown to visit for awhile." Andolin gets a friendly clap on the shoulder. "I don't want to inconvenience you, my lord. Whatever you recommend, though that wine I wore the other night was actually rather good."

"Ah, Lord Andolin," Aevander replies, setting down the cyvasse board and leaving it alone for now. "I believe I've still a decanter of that wine. A red, wasn't it, if I recall the stain correctly? I hope your man received the replacement clothes we sent. The staff wasn't able to get the stains out of the originals." He walks over to the sidebar to pour three goblets of wine, carrying two over to the pair of Starks.

Andolin takes the clap to the shoulder easily enough. "I'm fine with whatever you two decide," he says, and then eyes Carolis sideways - it's both a questioning look and one that's a little amused. "You're not supposed to wear it," he advises, though it's with a bit of a smile.

"It's quite all right," Carolis says. "Tellur's got more clothes than he knows what to do with." He asides to Andolin, "Now, Andy, one has to follow the trends. If wearing it is all the rage, try to find something that goes well with a nice red wine." He follows after Aevander a bit so he doesn't have to walk too far to serve him. "Are you looking forward to King's Landing?" he asks. "I've never been."

"I am," Aevander replies with a too-easy smile, "though I'd be pleased to go most anywhere if it was in service to my king." Sip. He smiles over at Andolin. "The wearing of the wine was incidental, though if you manage to make it fashionable, I would be deeply amused."

Andolin limps after the pair, and he takes the wine with a murmured thanks and a wry smile. "I make no promises," he says soberly, and then nods. "I'd heard you were going. I've never been, either. I hope that your trip goes well."

Carolis keeps pace so that Andolin needn't limp too fast nor far. "That is an honor I can't imagine," he says. "To serve my king." He grins, then raises his wine in a silent toast before he takes a drink. "If I manage to make anything fashionable, I'd be deeply amused," he admits. "Andy, have you ever played Cyvasse?"

"It's a game for two players, so perhaps cyvasse should be best left for another visit? I'd hate to make somebody the odd man out. And please, sit if you like, there's no need to stand." he has another swallow of wine. "It's a bit different, I suppose, when one's king is also one's cousin."

"I haven't," Andy admits, but that should really be no surprise to Carolis, at least. He waves a hand, though, taking a sip of his wine and looking about until he finds a seat to park himself in. "It's fine if you two want to play."

"Does that mean I would have to come visit again?" Carolis says with a broad smile. "I think I could arrange that." He glances to Andy then. "Are you sure? I imagine your amusement value would be in watching me lose." A prospect he seems good-natured enough about. He finds a place to sit and gestures for Andy to come join him. He's not fussing over his limping cousin. Honest. "I'm going to be very presumptuous asking this, but will your duties in Kings Landing be too busy to perhaps exchange letters? There are so many books I want to talk about."

"I sincerely hope they will not," Aevander replies, leaving the cyvasse for now and easing into a seat across from the Starks. "If they do, I may up and run away. But I'd enjoy someone with whom I could converse about books, even if only in letters." With a small smile to Andolin, he assures, "Cyvasse can wait."

Andolin gives Carolis a bit of a Look at the fussing. It's a mild Look, but one all the same. He's a big boy, see. He does sit, though, and settles himself with a bit of a wince before he gets comfortable. "It would," he assures his cousin with a grin at the first.

Once Andolin is settled, Carolis lets it go. For now. "Well, if it means I must come back to see you again," Carolis says with exaggerated 'oh if I must.' Then there is that bright smile when Aevander mentions communicating in letters. "We'll have to coordinate which books we're reading," he says. "Or you must recommend one to me and I to you." He pauses, licks his lips, then says, "I don't mean that you must. I'm, er, not telling you what to do or anything." So smooth. So, so smooth.

"Oh good. For a moment, I felt very threatened," Aevander chides with a smirk. "I'll take recommendations if you will as well. Keep it a fair exchange, you know." He has a slip of wine and leans back, letting his legs stretch out. "What are you reading now? And you, Lord Andolin? Are you a reader, as well?"

Andolin eyes Carolis a little, amused, and takes another drink - Aevander's question, though, pulls his attention 'round. "Me?" No, the other Andolin in the room. "Not— as much, anymore. Sitting around for so long makes me restless."

Carolis grins and shakes his head. Yeah, he knows he's awkward. He knows! He glances down at his goblet, purses his lips to keep the smile in check, and after he clears his throat, he says, "I'm studying the history of the Targaryens actually," he says. "Discussing hatching dragons with Princess Visenya got me curious, and I realized how little I know about our own Royal family." Andolin gets some side-eye. "It's true," he says. "And in battle, he's a terror."

Aevander nods a little as Andolin replies, though his question, when he asks it, may be a touch blunt. "Have you allowed any of the citadel's maesters to look at your weakened leg?" Looking back to Carolis, his brows lift and he laughs. "Did my sister come to you for such advice? I hadn't known. What did you suggest? And.. what have you learned, then, about is Targaryens?"

Andolin snorts a little at Carolis, and just asides toward Aevander: "I'm decent with a bow," and then the next question makes him a bit uncomfortable. "No," he admits, brows furrowing. "But we had some of the best Winterfell could offer, and they thought it healed better than they were expecting."

"I've learned that, prior to your family's arrival in Westeros, there's not very much that's known about them," Carolis says. "Not here, anyway. It makes sense, coming from so far away, and our histories haven't expansive on the subject, particularly as far away as Winterfell. We keep our old lore close, though." He glances to Andolin, and there's compassion in the look. It's not sympathy! "It's true," he says. "They didn't think he'd walk again. Of course he did. I knew he would."

"That may well be so, my lord, but the citadel is a great hub of learning. There are specialists here unlike any you may find elsewhere. It may be you are correct, and nothing more can be done. But if there is a means to alleviate pain or discomfort, why not do yourself the service of finding it?" Aevander queries of Andolin. He nods to Carolis with a small sigh. "Much of that past time is lost even to us, swallowed in the fires of the great doom. It is a shame. I would have liked to have known more of my native country, even if we shall never look upon it."

"It— might be," Andy says, still uncomfortable. This apparently isn't a subject he's particularly come to terms with yet, but at least he doesn't dismiss it entirely. "To tell you the truth, I'm a little tired of having people poke at it." He sighs, taking another drink, and - though he's listening and interested - doesn't have much to add on the lore front.

"You know," Carolis says, "It could be of benefit to the Maesters there, Andy. I know you don't like being poked at, but if they got a look at just how well you did heal, maybe they can learn from it. How many men do you know recover from having their leg shattered?" He takes a drink, thinks a moment, then tells Aevander, "I admit, the great doom sparked my curiosity in light of the Princess' egg and the hatching of it." He then adds with a small shrug "My idea wasn't all that genius. She has that gazebo, yes? With the place in the center for the egg? If you want to get intense, focused heat, create a lens. The gazebo is already designed to hold heat, so just, I don't know, provide it."

"Then I apologize for any discomfort I have caused," Aevander says. "It's an unfortunate truth that we tend to be judged more on our weaknesses than our strengths in this world." He hmms softly for Carolis's answer, a corner of his mouth quirking. "I'm sure she will. May she not burn everything down in the process."

"Don't I know it," Andolin sighs a little moodily, but before he can brood much further, he finishes off his wine and levers to a stand. "I'm sorry for the short visit - it was a pleasure meeting you. I have some business I need to take care of before it gets too late." Which isn't an excuse, because he did warn Carolis about that earlier.

Carolis tells Andolin, "Remember, while you're there, pick up something for Shadwick." Apparently that is supposed to mean something. He then adds, "He didn't mean to vomit on your pillow, you know." He grins at Aevander, then. "May she not burn everything down using my idea. I'd never live it down."

Aevander nods to Andolin as he stands. "A good day to you, my lord." With a glance to Carolis, his brows lift. "This 'Shadwick' sounds a lively fellow…"

Andolin looks strained. "I'm sure he didn't," he grumbles, but it's a good-natured sort've grumble. "It's this cat he brought home," he asides to Aevander. "Take care, both of you." He gives them a bit of a smile, and then heads on out.

Carolis nods solemnly. "Oh, he is, and a ruthless killer. But he's a handsome fellow, so we keep him around." Then Andolin describes the nature of the mysterious Shadwick, and he grins crookedly. "He's a good mouser. Every kitchen needs a good mouser." He watches Andolin take his leave, and as he lifts his goblet for a drink, a small smile plays upon his lips.

Aevander gives a small laugh. "Well, I suppose that's slightly different." His brows lift faintly. "Do they? So long as it doesn't go about leaving hair in the pies, I suppose."

"He's a good cat," Carolis says with confidence. "And the cooks are good about keeping an eye out for his shenanigans." He glances at Aevander, then around. "It's so beautiful here. I could languish forever."

"I'm quite sure that's the point," Aevander agrees, glancing around the place. "If royalty must languish, we ought to do it beautifully."

"It must be a terrible burden," Carolis says wryly. He looks back to the Prince, and that small smile returns. "Tellur likes to remind me that in another life I would be next in line for a crown."

"Oh, it is," Aevander agrees with a theatrical sigh, "trully it is." He smirks, brows lifting faintly. "Does he? Why is that?"

Carolis shakes his head and says, "I don't know. Why does he do anything? Northron pride? To strike fear into my soul? I admire you greatly, Ser Aevander, and I am amazed at all of this largesse, and the richness of Targaryen power, but I don't know that I would want to possess it."

"Well, perhaps you'd feel differently if you were born to it and never given the choice one way or another," Aevander counters. "I could say the same of the Northern lords in their towers of stone an ice. This Tellur Snow seems a troublesome fellow if you cannot understand him and he takes pleasures in stabbing at you. Why do you allow him such liberties?"

Carolis shakes his head and says, "Oh, he's hard around the edges, but you won't find a truer heart. Wolves play rough, Ser Aevander. He plays a little rougher than most, but…" He takes another drink from his goblet. Then he lets his gaze linger upon it. "He is a man who would not think twice about dying for me. On the battlefield, he and Ser Malcolm Storm saved my life, and Tellur took grievous injury for his trouble. He didn't bat an eyelash when he leapt in, and I know full well he wouldn't the next time."

"Well, that is valuable enough, to have men who will bleed for you. But if their loyalty shines only in times of extreme peril, your daily life must be something of, ah…" the prince pauses as he considers his words, "…an adventure?"

Carolis grins lazily and says, "It's eventful. Don't think me some innocent in all this. I know where to poke at him to get a reaction. I don't do it in polite company, because he's quite feral. You know what they say about Northron men." Says the Stark elegantly sipping wine with elegance and poise. "But isn't that what life is about? Adventure?"

"Feral," Aevander repeats. "Don't tell me he lived with actual wolves until you found him." The prince considers, his head canting. "I think many would argue life is about duty. History. The legacy we leave behind."

Carolis laughs. "No. He was born and raised among us. We're more accepting of our bastard kinsmen than most. Are they to be blamed for their parents' transgressions? But Winterfell is a remote place surrounded by wilderness. The winters are long, and the summers not much warmer than your winters." He considers the Prince's words, then nods slowly and says, "Yes, of course, for great men. My brother's duty, the legacy he leaves behind, these are great things for a great man. But I don't think they have to be dreary. On the contrary, most great men don't have the luxury of dreariness."

"No, I agree, but I always thought the term 'adventure' smacked of selfishness," Aevander replies. "It's an 'adventure' when one runs away from home to seek his fortune or eschews family and duty to travel the world simply to see it. 'Adventure' is when one puts their own desire for glory or exploration or whatever it is before the larger need of their people. Well, in my opinion, anyhow. Duty isn't banal, but it does tend to be far less about what one wants for himself. Do not so presume history will skip you by, Carolis Stark, just because you were born a second son."

Carolis nods slowly and concedes, "You're correct, Ser. A poor choice of words. Family is the highest duty, and one that comes so naturally I forget that it is in fact a duty rather than a state of being. I can't imagine abandoning my family for glory, because there is no glory in abandoning one's family. I meant more that an uneventful life feels like a life wasted." He shakes his head, then, and he says, "Third son, Ser. Our brother Rickon was to become Warden of the North, but he was taken from us too early. The truth is I would happily fade into history in the shadow of my brother than assume his place."

"You wish to live in the shadows, and yet you consider an uneventful life to be one wasted?" Aevander queries gently. He has another swallow of wine before he asks, "Can you explain?"

"Oh, my life is very eventful," Carolis says. "I have access to the Citadel and most of its knowledge. I have fought for my brother's cause, and I have killed and I've bled. I am experiencing the richness of Oldtown, an honor few Northrons ever have. I've broken bread with Princes, and I've shared some of the finest company this world could ever know. My man pokes at me relentlessly, and I poke back and it keeps us sharp. I even have a scar from where I was stabbed recently by some men at the docks who tried to escort me off to the gods know where. There are a thousand ways to live richly in the shadows. Some are more enjoyable than others."

Aevander's mouth quirks upwards again. "Those are some very colorful shadows you live in," he approves with a soft laugh. "And what do you wish to avoid by staying there? What's in the light that displeases you?"

Carolis thinks about this, and he looks so /happy/ to be thinking about it, despite that his brow furrows and it's one of the hard questions. Or maybe because. He gets a distant look, and that smile never quite leaves his lips. "The first and practical consideration is that to ascend to my brother's place something would have to happen to my brother, and I would be devastated.

Setting that aside, do you know that at home they call me Shadowcat? In battle, or hunting, I rely on being unseen, unheard. It's where I'm the most effective. The light means exposure, it means that you've got eyes upon you, and when you've got eyes upon you, you've got people seeking to control of overcome." He waves a hand idly. "If they don't notice you, you're free. I can use that freedom to help my brother. To counter the constraints against him for being the figurehead. Maybe that's why the light displeases me. What use would I be to my family then?"

"Cleverness is always useful, and you've that in spades," Aevander replies, finishing his wine and pushing to his feet to refill his goblet. "More?" he asks of Carolis, holding his other hand out for the Stark's cup. "But I think you presume that only the heads of house get much remembered, and I cannot believe that is so. I've read history books too, my lord, as you have. Not every recording is of a leader. Not even most of them."

Carolis offers his goblet to Aevander. "Please. You're too kind to serve me, Ser." He settles back in his chair, and he rubs a finger idly along his lower lip as he thinks. "No, of course, history is about much more than that. I just can't imagine what I would do that would be worth noting outside of 'Carolis Stark was the third son of Brandon Stark and brother to the Lord of Winterfell, who lived to be a hundred and had four dozen sons."

"Gods preserve you if you have four dozen sons, though I'm sure the capacity to spawn an army would certainly be worth noting." Both goblets are refilled and one is returned to Carolis before Aevander sits again. "That's the thing about it, though. We get some inkling that what we do may be important, but we'll never know how much so until the time has already passed. We can't choose how we'll be remembered."

Carolis laughs again, quiet, shoulders shaking. "I meant my brother," he says. "May /he/ live to a hundred and have four hundred sons. He sits up to take the goblet again, and his smile is easy and warm. He's not a shy man about making eye contact, either. "Truth," he says. "Ah, well. If history says anything about me at all, let it say that I lived full and with great passion, among fine people, and that I lived and died in the service of my family, my lord, and my king. What about you, Ser? What do you think history will say of Prince Aevander Targaryen?"

Aevander laughs as he considers, more or less, his own epitaph. "Ser Aevander Targaryen kept very strange company, but probably was the better for it. He thought before he acted, save when he was particularly drunk, and excepting those times he tripped over his own feet and the one incident of throwing up in the gutter, he lived his life with dignity. Faithful to his king, loyal to his family and worthy of his friends, it's a pity he fell down all those steps."

Carolis lets his head fall back as he laughs. It's still a quiet sound, joyful but lacking boisterousness. "I do write, myself, Ser. You must tell me about when you were particularly drunk, tripped over your won feet, and that time you threw up in the gutter. I am sure that your faith, dignity, and worth will be undoubtable." He takes a sip of his win, then winks. "If not your grace."

"If those are the only things remembered about me, as recalled by the Northman with Four Hundred Sons, I have surely erred somewhere," Aevander opines with a dramatic sigh, despite his own smile. "But, the last time I was particularly, ill-advisedly drunk, I got into a duel. Over the Pansy's honor, no less. So, there, my lad, is a lesson in doing your heaviest drinking at home where fewer people can infuriate you."

"Uncle of the Northron with four hundred sons," Carolis clarifies." He then barks a laugh and claps his hand over his mouth, rocking forward in his chair as his shoulders tremble. "Sorry," he says with a rasp in his voice. "I shouldn't laugh. It's terribly disgraceful, and Garvin was so kind to take me in when I first came to Oldtown. It's just." He takes a deep breath, lets it go, and says with a warm mirth, "You know." He gestures with his goblet as he says, "This is the most I've had while I'm in the city. It's when I'm out in the battlefield that I drink like a fish."

"Oh I know," Aevander agrees with raised brows and a slow nod. "You know. Everyone knows. But drunkenly call the man out on it… turns out you'll end up dueling a knight who feels obliged to uphold his lord's honor." Pffft! "Honestly, I'm just impressed we managed to point the swords the right way. We should have accidentally been lopping our own limbs off." Best. Duel. Ever. "Well, I'm afraid I'm rarely out on the battlefield. So I must drink where I can." With a sage nod, he has another hearty swallow to underline the point.

Carolis continues to laugh with utter delight. "Gods, man. What I wouldn't give to have been there." He lets out a gusty sigh, and he regards Aevander with thoughtless warmth. To be fair, the Prince isn't hard on the eyes. He raises his goblet in turn and says, "I will drink with you then so you won't miss out on any of it. Sometimes the drinking is all that makes it bearable when your men are hurt, their spirits flagging, and every inch of ground has come at a profound cost. We held a wake for Tellur's raven, Magwyn. The poor creature was killed by a Wildling. He adored her, and the rest of the camp looked at her as a mascot of sorts. So we drank, and we sang, and he stumbled out of our tents the next day feeling like the Wildlings had ambushed us insider our skulls.

"I wish you had been there, too, you could have helped!" Aevander laughs with a shake of his head. He listens as Carolis speaks of brotherhood and battlefields and booze, sipping a bit of that last as he does so. "And… was the effective? I mean, you weren't impeded when you had to fight again, if you did?"

Carolis shakes his head and says, "No, we knew they were still a ways out. There was a slim chance the call would come, but you learn to fight on no sleep feeling like you're in all the hells. It did help, though. It might seem silly to mourn for a bird, but when you can pour your weariness and grief into something that seems so small in the scope of things, it's easier to manage, I think. You spend most of your time waiting for the call to come, and you get eager for it even though you know someday it'll be your last. It passed the time, and it made us feel better." He raises his goblet. "To Magwyn, a sweet little bird who was more loved than most men."

"Perhaps every battalion should have a sacrificial mascot," Aevander muses. He lifts his goblet. "To Magwyn, and the gift she gave with her death."

Carolis drinks, a much heartier drink than he's been nursing along. In that moment, he does look more the Northron soldier than the pampered lordling. "I fear there are small things enough to mourn after a battle," he says. "So maybe every battalion does. It's why I learn songs, though, and stories, histories and languages, but mostly songs. Duty guides our purpose, but music, passion, these things strengthen our resolve. You have to have some reminder of what it is you fight for."

"Assuming you even know in the first place," Aevander points out wryly. "There is sometimes that problem, as well." And there goes the second glass. 'More?"

Carolis takes another generous swallow. Because that is a great idea. He nods then, and he offers the goblet over. "Ah, I think every man should know what what it is he fights for, and it's the duty of every bard to make sure of it. I didn't sing for a long time, but then we went into battle, and I remembered that it's not an indulgence. There's healing in it." Of course he's told Tellur where he can be found. Something about bodyguards and how Andolin would have to leave midway through his meeting with the Prince. Which he's still pleasantly enjoying, it turns out.

Pleasant chatter, no cyvasse, lots of wine. It's fun, friendly bonding all around. Aevander takes Carolis's goblet and walks over to refill both for the third time. "Ah, you're a romantic. The joys of youth."

Tellur arrives, in clean clothes. Well. For him this is a decent statement. He does, however, have his own form of indulgence with him - a pet barn owl sitting on a scarred piece of leather looped there, a falconer's rest. Perhaps he has realised that Carolis is out without his guards. He looks faintly irritated, but then again, that _is_ a kind of background expression. If servants announce him, he says merely that he is Tellur Snow, sworn of House Stark.

Carolis says with a laugh, "The years don't weight so heavily on yourself, Ser." Ah, Tellur. Your Lord is in his cups. Not so terribly he's staggering, but he's gone and let himself get tipsy, just like he said he never would while in the city. "But yes, I suppose I am romantic. It's not a bad thing."

"No, no," Aevander corrects, "my years may be few, but they weigh very heavily." He smirks as he sips, flopping back down into his seat. "It's not, until it is. Rose glass only survives for so long, I fear."

The servants take a long look at Tellur and a longer look at the owl before exchanging skeptical glances between each other. One darts off to step into the parlor and over to Aevander to whisper in his ear. The prince listens, laughs, and says "Send him in, then, by all means." To Carolis he notes, "It seems your feral wolf is here. And with a replacement for his raven, no less."

Tellur is polite to servants - it is Carolis he gives a ragged eye to. The man regards Carolis with an intently bland expression as he is led in. _Of course_. He still limps a little as he walks, and the owl on his shoulder shifts, back and forth. As Carolis says he is a romantic, Tellur observes mildly "There are worse fatal and deadly flaws to have in the North, my Lord. Though not many." And then he bows, precisely, to Aevander "Your Highness - forgive the intrusion. I fear that Lord Cregan would not see it well if his brother were unguarded while in such a cheery frame of mind."

Carolis raises his glass in turn, unwavering as he says, "I have sung at the funerals of my mother, my father, and my brother, who died the day my cousin who is like a brother to me became crippled, and I have watched my man cut down by unfathomable cruel circumstance, abandoned on his deathbed and forever scarred beyond the wounds on his body, and still I believe in music, poetry, and passion." He takes a drink, then adds, "Perhaps more than ever, just to be contrary." And speak of the mentally scarred man, Carolis looks to Tellur, and he says blandly, "Come now, Tellur, I'm safe as houses. Gods, look at that beast. The owl is pretty though." To Aevander, he says, "Ser Aevander, Tellur Snow. He's actually not my servant anymore. He is Master of Hounds at Weirwood Manse. A prestigious title among Starks." Yet he still calls him his man. Old habits.

Aevander considers the man with his owl, brows lifting. "If you were intruding, the servants would not have seen you in, Master Snow. You have nothing to apologize on that front. I do, however, take some offense at the implication that your lord would be in some sort of danger in the middle of my home, breaking bread with me." Or breaking wine. "Do you not honor the peace of guest and host in the north?" To Carolis he adds, "We've met. At the party. My uncle spilled wine on him." Sip. "Well, I do know a think or two about contrariness, though at least you phrase your poetically."

Tellur says to Aevander "We honour it, but I never underestimate the impressive capability of my Lord to get himself into trouble." His lips quirk, oddly "Or me." And then he glances at Carolis, and he tells him "Have you told the Prince about the docks incident? That still weighs on me. And then there is what happened to Lord Garvin." Paranoid, twitchy, and suddenly saying "My apologies again, for causing offence, Prince, I did not mean to. I don't have pleasant manners, I fear. With humans, in any case." He inclines his head, and then he says "Er, yes, well. I am sorry I. Got angry."

Carolis gives Tellur an eyeroll and a shake of his head. "It isn't your hospitality that concerns him or my brother," he says. "But rather the trip back to Weirwood. Through no fault of my own," and here Tellur gets another Look, "there was the attempted kidnapping at the docks." He takes another drink from his refilled goblet, then he says, "That's right. The clothes. Yes, he has so many, a shirt won't be missed. He has more clothes than I do."

"It was mentioned," Aevander replies, "the docks incident. But I rather think your lord a more capable one than the pansy." He considers a moment. "Well, your apology is accepted, Master Snow, and certainly, considering the incident at the party, you had a right to be angry. I hope we are forgiven as well. Tell me, do you get as hostile when offered wine to drink? If not, you are welcome." He gestures towards the half=filled decanter on the sidebar. With a glance to Carolis, he adds, "I had a replacement set of clothes sent, however many you may have. I hope they arrived safely and in good order."

Tellur shoots Carolis a horrified look at the comment of 'he has more clothes than I do'. As if the man is accusing him of being a dandy "That isn't my fault!" he objects to his Lord Stark "They forced me to go to a tailor with them. I told them that I was happy with what I had - I did! I said so. It was awful." Nosewrinkle. And then he lifts a hand to the owl, and he says, coloured "Ah, no, I quite like wine. And the Lord _is_ capable, but I would surely like to hit a few of the ruffians myself." His eyes widen "Er, yes, they did - they're a little…finer than my usual. Fare. Thankyou most kindly."

"I am capable," he agrees, "But I'm afraid fighting in close quarters isn't my greatest strength. Give me a bow and you'll never see death come for you, but hand to hand." He inclines his head to the Prince and smiles crookedly. "I find myself blinded by the light. Since the incident, Cregan is insisting I improve my swordwork, and I'm hard pressed to disagree with him." Tellur's horror brings a bright sparkle to his eyes. "I did manage to get out of it, though. With words and wit, not weapons."

Aevander is laughing by the end of Tellur's commentary. "Go. Drink. You're doomed unless you get appropriately marinated and quickly. And put your owl… somewhere. You can't sit properly with a beastie on your shoulder." To Carolis he adds, "A skill with a blade is a fine thing to have. People who mean to kill you rarely do it in obliging ways. But words and wit are weapons. Oh, bother, now I sound romantic."

Tellur colours up even more, and he says "She'll be no trouble. She didn't want to be left with…" His voice goes a little lame "…the cat." Yes. The Prince will really care about this. Tellur is quickly acquiring himself a glass of wine, and he says "We're all more archers than knife fighters, at least, this little group, your Highness. Unfortunately, fighting with a sword has terrible side effects, like death." And he adds "I am not romantic."

Carolis laughs again as Aevander says he sounds romantic. "I knew you had it in you, Ser. I could see it." He nods wisely. These things, he knows them. "However, Tellur is not. It's true." He sighs. Not wistfully, honest. He then eyes the owl and says, "Oh, rubbish. Shadwick is a sweetheart. Can you tell Snowy to sit in a branch while she waits, do you think?" He looks around idly.

"Tellur Snow," Aevander replies, still laughing a little, "You cannot in one breath say that you've an owl on your shoulder because she ill prefers the company of the resident cat and in the same breath say you are not romantic. No, I won't have it. You're in the same boat as us poor sots. Resign yourself to your fate." Sip. "Snowy? For a white owl? Really?"

"She can, or a chairback, I'll put her to one side," Tellur says, in a voice that is as close as he gets to agreeable. And he does this, the animal staying where she is put. Owls are not, alas, the world's most intelligent creatures, and this one is remarkably placid. She is watching Carolis rather curiously, though. Tellur says to Aevander quite seriously "I cannot sing nor dance, I fear, nor woo fairly. I am, however, resigned to my fate - yes. Snowy." He sighs heavily "My Lord named her. I told him - owls don't need names. I did. But he said 'Snowy'."

Carolis laughs quietly as Aevander declares Tellur a romantic as well. He nods agreeably though to Tellur's declarations that he cannot sing nor dance nor woo. "At least you're good with beasts," he tells him. He looks to the owl and gives her a small, apologetic shrug. No treats on him today. "Yes, because owls do need names and it drives him mad."

"What has any of that to do with being a romantic? Well, wooing helps, I suppose," Aevander allows after a thoughtful moment. Then he regards Carolis with a slow, disapproving shake of his head. "Snowy. For a white owl. Owned by a northman. Named Snow. Really. I may have judged you too favorably, my lord."

Tellur has his cup of good wine, and he says to Carolis, a little dryly "Yes, I am good with beasts. And I can caper amusingly." They are pretty much of an age, the two of them, and Tellur cannot help but smile, and he says to Aevander "I don't know - isn't romance all mooning around like a great overgrown calf? I'm not sure. Anyway. At _least_ he let me name my own dog. She's called Grace."

Carolis grins in the face of Aevander's disapproval, and he lowers his gaze, though it's a rakish thing rather than modest, and when he looks back up to the Prince, he says, "I was half-asleep at the time and distracted by my fruitless search for information about the great doom. I worked with what I had." He shifts his gaze to the owl. "Maybe she should have a new name. Catbait has a nice ring to it." To Tellur, he admits, "I would've named the dog Catbait, too."

"I think you have an unfair preference to cats," Aevander opines, "likely due to your own nickname." Glancing to Tellur he asks, "You fare well with owls and dogs. How well do you manage shadowcats?” His next swallow kills glass number three, and the prince gives a small shake of his head. "No. Romance is naming your dog Grace and keeping your owl named Snowy because a friend dubbed it thus, poor beast."

"That could be interesting - she'll be the size of a pony when grown," Tellur grins, showing his overlong canine teeth for a moment, and then he waves a hand, casually "You are often half asleep. You stay up late and read late. It shall ruin your eyes." His owl remains silent, and sitting there quiet, before Tellur says, thoughtfully "The true ones or their ambassador here? The true ones, I've never tried - but I think it would be similar to training a normal cat. I could do it - with a young one. Adults, eh. They have their own lives to lead." Then he laughs, "Perhaps? I don't know. I don't have fine manners - unless one is a hound. Then my manners are as delicate as a lady's stocking. But she doesn't mind. Owls are not very smart. They are eyes and ears on wings."

Carolis inclines his head to Aevander and says, "I think you can read me like a book, My Prince." Aevander's comment about managing shadowcats gets a laugh from the lordling. "He tries," he says. He takes another swallow of wine. Even when he's in his cups, he's fairly laid back. Then again he hasn't tried to stand up yet. "You make several compelling points, though. He's as romantic as the rest of us. You should see him in the wilderness, with the cunning he gets about him, and the quiet, knowing way he reads the land. A romantic figure if there ever was one."

"Aren't they? I had always thought they were meant to be very secretive and wise. What a pity," Aevander muses, regarding the owl perched on the chair. He smiles faintly as Tellur scolds Carolis for his habit of reading too much. Looking to Carolis he says with a nod, "There, you see? Set him tracking at sunset with the wind blowing his hair about, I'm sure someone could write a song about him or some maiden could go all aflutter. It's all about context."

If Tellur _had_ long ears, they would probably lay back at Carolis' comments "I am not!" he protests, and then he says, "Besides, anyone can do that, once they start paying attention to everything around them. You do it well, yourself - I've seen you track." He then says to Aevander, "They are meant to be so, yes, but…truth be told, it's not like training a dog, or a horse, who will understand lots of levels of meaning." He has coloured up so awkwardly now "I'm a Bastard, your Highness. We're not really very romantic. Kind of the opposite."

Carolis raises his glass to Tellur and says, "A living embodiment of the untamable North. I think I shall write a novel." He drains the last of his cup and sets it down. "My Prince, you are positively inspiring." Then, "Ooh, a Bastard is even more romantic. Untamable and untouchable. I'll have women fainting with every page." He rises to his feet then, and he says, warmly, "Ser Aevander, I should be getting back, though this has been the most wonderful afternoon I've spent in awhile. If your schedule permits, I would love that Cyvasse lesson before you go."

"Oh, indeed, a bastard with a tragic past and the certainty he shall never love again, until the right maiden touches his heart…" Aevander adds, laughing. "All the ladies would sigh over it. If you wrote a song, every maid would soon be humming it. 'The Frozen Snow', I swear I can see it, now." He nods, standing up as Carolis says he must go. "Of course. Have a good evening, Lord Carolis. Master Snow. I shall keep an afternoon open for cyvasse."

Tellur looks so very droll and dire at all of this. But patient - patient as well. He does, however, reach down for his owl and put it up on his shoulder, before his lips quirk, finally "My allegiance is to my Lord and House, your Highness. That is my true love." SO GRIM. SO VERY GRIM. Mind you? Tellur 'accidentally' steps on Carolis' foot on the way out.

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