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Thread: A Small Matter for Consideration - 11/12, After the Tournament, Queen's office - Viv & Assorted Hepburns

  1. #21
    House Hepburn Seamus Hepburn's Avatar  

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    From the conversations they had had, Seamus was not surprised to find out that Aloise knew nothing of her uncle's holdings. She had never given him the impression that such things were discussed in front of her. If any living Peregrine knew about the matter, it would be Veronica, and he suspected that even she did not have any real idea. She was the sort who would have made a play for it by now. Nothing facilitated freedom quite like coin, and unlike Aloise, Seamus suspected that if her cousin could have gotten away, she would do very little to help the Delphia or the younger cousin.

    Looking back to the queen, the knight nodded. "I believe my dispatches bear that fact out, your grace. I tried to be as thorough as possible in my communications to Ser Guy." Seamus was not an overly well spoken or written man, but he took small pains to be as eloquent as he could when in his official capacity.

    Thinking back to how he had stumbled on the girl, Seamus could not help but smile warmly. "During routine patrols one evening, I passed the chambers," he said, but stopped to correct himself. "The room, that Lady Aloise was sleeping in, and heard her in the midst of a nightmare. The guards in the hall seemed unconcerned, but I made a note to return on the following night to check on her." Pausing to take a breath, Seamus gathered his thoughts and then continued. "The following evening, I encountered the same, but this time stepped in to check on the child. She was distressed, covered in sweat and obviously frightened. Her room was devoid of heat, and she had naught but a tattered blanket. The sweats alone would be enough to cause her a fever, and so I brought her firewood and extra blankets, much to the dismay of her watchers."

    Seamus had made a point of trying to keep to the facts, but the queen's urging to speak freely had more effect on him than it had on Aloise. "I admit that it did not take long for me to eschew my duty to observe and not interfere. I moved Lady Peregrine to my rooms, taking care of her rest and diet. I could not stand by and continue to allow her to be left to sickness and undernourishment. The staff was not pleased with me, but made no attempt to challenge me on the matter." For a moment, Seamus hung his head, shaking it and taking a deep breath. When he looked up, there was something along the lines of rage in his eyes. "I confess your grace, that I wish they had."


    @Vivienne Shellten

  2. #22
    House Hepburn Gavin Hepburn's Avatar  

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    Gavin wasn’t the least bit surprised by Grant’s entrance, nor was he taken aback by the Hepburn Lord’s quick and forward command. Grant said nothing more, leaving the Hepburn Dawn to take a step back and out of the way of the incoming bodies, but not move from the room. As always, he could count on his Queen to give him the out he might have needed. "Ser Gavin, you may remain only if it does not mean shirking other responsibilities. The rest of you, please rise.” He glanced at his Queen out of the corner of his eye and gave a small half smile in place of a shrug but he said nothing more, for there were more important matters now before her.

    Gavin’s quiet gaze shifted between his cousins and the young girl that entered in their company. Gavin had met - and he used that word lightly - the girl briefly and he was as struck then by her age as he was now. How could someone so young have been subjected to such atrocity. Murder and rape. He nearly shivered at the thought of what the girl had seen, and cursed himself for not knowing when they had been within the De Angelis castle walls. Had it not been for his cousin…

    And what's more, there is a chance that the crown knowingly turned a blind eye to these crimes. Lady Peregrine and Ser Seamus are here to give testimony to these charges.”

    Gavin’s brows furrowed as his attention was brought back to the conversation at hand. He realized then without a doubt why Grant had wanted him there - a witness. Or collateral. Perhaps both.

    It was a volley match between the two parties, Grant in the lead with Vivienne close behind, though Gavin could have sworn his Queen had prepared almost as much as Grant evidently had. But then Lady Peregrine was called upon and the words that left her lips were enough to unsettle Gavin’s stomach and cause his chest to clench in horror. Once again Gavin looked to his Queen and saw her face, though stoic as it should be, give little hint to similar feelings. He had to clench his jaw to keep from saying a word, but it was difficult, difficult even to lay eyes on the young Peregrine.

    If Grant’s accusation was true, if Cailen knew and yet did nothing… But they could only blame Cailen so much - it was Dastan De Angelis who was to blame. And yet, even as the words cycled through his mind, Gavin could think of only one man - Danush De Angelis.

    Gavin vividly recalled his interaction with Vera in the hallways no less than two months prior, and how unsettling the De Angelis had been. And now, Gavin would have the luxury of facing him in the tournament on the morrow. It was the only thought keeping his need for revenge in check.
    Clenching his jaw once more, Gavin breathed in deeply through his nose and unclenched his fists for they were beginning to ache. What else would come to light, he wondered.

    @Grant Hepburn @Seamus Hepburn @Vivienne Shellten

  3. #23
    House Shellten Vivienne Shellten's Avatar  

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    Vivienne hadn't had much of a chance to collect the Shield's reports from her cousin, but it went on the mental list of things to do in the days to come. She needed to know as much as she could about the situation and the surrounding circumstances - not necessarily because she doubted the word of those stood before her, but because she wanted her understanding of things to be as well-rounded as it could possibly be. There would also need to be a meeting with Cailen, which, if she was honest, she wasn't looking forward to at all. Of course she had to believe he didn't know what Dastan had done to the girls, and the condition he had kept them in, but she couldn't afford to rest on that assumption. She owed it to everyone to be sure.

    Listening to Seamus describe the conditions of Aloise's keeping before he intervened made the queen feel sick, and although she was making significant effort to keep her expression neutral, her disgust was beginning to show. Were the guards that were watching the girl's room keeping her in poor conditions because they simply didn't care, or were they instructed to be neglectful by their lord? In the end it didn't' matter; the Peregrines became Dastan's responsibility the moment he stole their house and kept them in it, and any cruelty they suffered was on him whether he commanded it or not.

    "In this case I'm pleased you stepped outside your duties." Even aside from the trauma she'd been through, it sounded as though the neglect had been an enormous threat to Aloise's survival. Vivienne wasn't necessarily keen on knights acting in her name going against their mandates, but in this case she was glad of it, and she was pleased to know that Seamus had his priorities in the right place. She also couldn't condemn his admission that he'd wished for confrontation; having seen it himself, she could only imagine how satisfying it would have been to be able to mete out some justice himself.

    "If they disapproved of your care of the young Lady Peregrine, I cannot imagine Dastan would have been keen to let you take her away from Welch Run, just as I assume there had to have been similar obstacles that kept you from bringing the other two ladies along with you as well. So tell me, how did you arrange for the girl to come with you to Hebron?"

    ---
    @Seamus Hepburn

  4. #24
    House Hepburn Seamus Hepburn's Avatar  

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    Seamus seemed to be getting more comfortable as the proceedings went on. He didn't know Vivienne well enough to guess her thought process when it came to all of the details that were being relayed. But ever since he had stepped forward to take Aloise's place, it felt a lot less like the trio were being viewed as witnesses, instead of being the ones who were on trial. Perhaps Grant had known what he was doing after all. In fact, if he hadn't been mistaken, the queen had just paid him a compliment.

    The knight couldn't help but straighten at that, though his euphoria would not last long. Seamus couldn't believe that he even had to be asked about the flight from Welch Run. How could he have forgotten to add that account to his previous answers? But he shook off his own foolishness and recovered as quickly as he could. "As it were, your grace, Lord De Angelis was away on business when I discovered and relocated Lady Peregrine. Master Ethan was quite put out, but it wasn't an issue."

    Pausing to consider the rest of it, Seamus shook his head. "Our departure was planned in advance, and we took precautions so as not to alert anyone that we were leaving. Trying to gather the other Peregrine women with us would have been too conspicuous, I'm afraid. I would have liked to manage it, but we only managed to escape because I had taken two horses with me to Welch Run. As it was, we were pursued by Dastan's men. They caught up to us at Colmar Hill on the third day."

    Seamus turned and looked at the other two. It was a breach of protocol, he knew, but the knight was unsure of how to continue. He was concerned that he would get his brother and mother into trouble. But Grant simply nodded at him, and Seamus turned back to the queen with a sigh. "I had written ahead to my brother in Maple Glade. Two dozen of my family's riders appeared to give us aid, or I fear that we would have never made it to the capital, your majesty. As it was, Lady Peregrine was injured in the scuffle. But once Dastan's riders were turned back, the rest of the journey here went without incident."


    @Vivienne Shellten

  5. #25
    House Shellten Vivienne Shellten's Avatar  

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    The Queen did not like the picture that had been painted, and she liked it less and less the more defined that picture got. There was a part of her that couldn't fathom that something like this had happened in the kingdom, and not even terribly far away from the capital! But she knew well enough that people - even people you wanted to believe were good - could do evil things.

    "So," Vivienne began, pressing a finger to the corner of her eye as if to relieve an oncoming headache, "let me see if I have this right, and please tell me if I haven't. You discovered Lady Aloise in dire condition, and took it upon yourself to move her to your quarters to secure better care for her. This was done without permission from Lord De Angelis, but when he learned of it he let the situation continue." She paused briefly to glance down at her notes. "You then removed Lady Aloise entirely from Welch Run, secretly...I presume because you knew Lord Dastan would make a move to stop you? And for that same reason you were forced to leave Lady Veronica and Lady Delphia behind. You were pursued, and attacked? But due to having written of your plans to your brother, you had sufficient forces to see off Lord De Angelis's men and make it to Hebron."

    She recapped, not in an attempt to question his story, but to make sure she had it right. There was a lot to take in, and nuance to everything, each action shaded with right and wrong. Should Seamus have written to the crown instead of to his brother for help? Yes, absolutely. But could she see why he hadn't? Also, yes, and it was likely - although unfortunate - that with everything going on around the Coronation his request would have been delayed, at which point, what would have happened to Aloise? And what was happening now to Victoria and Delphia, if Dastan had been angry enough at losing one Peregrine to risk attacking an agent of the Crown?

    Pulling over a fresh sheet of paper, Vivienne wrote, more neatly than she had in her personal notebook, "Remove Peregrines from De Angelis care, Bring De Angelises in for questioning", so that she would write out the proper orders later. "I have certainly heard enough to begin to take action," she said finally, looking among the four assembled before her. "It is obvious to me that the remaining Peregrines need to be removed from Welch Run, and Lord Dastan will need to be brought before me and given his fair chance to answer these accusations. But what else is it that you seek? What future would you have me grant you?"

    Her gaze lingered on Aloise before finally shifting to Grant, as she expected he would be the one to answer the question. Vivienne knew she could make no promises now, but she needed to know how they wanted this ordeal to end before she could begin orchestrating a process to get as close to it as possible.

    ----

    @Grant Hepburn

  6. #26
    House Hepburn Grant Hepburn's Avatar  
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    Grant watched as Seamus nodded his confirmation to the queen. Her recap was succinct, and while minor details were left out, such as Delaney's involvement and the manner in which Dastan's men were seen off, neither he nor his brother deemed it necessary to interject any further. Everything was unfolding as he knew it must, and both Aloise and Seamus would get what they wanted from this encounter. But to what end, remained to be seen.

    The Lord of Maple Glade waited patiently as the woman worked through her notes and her decision-making process. When she determined that action was necessary, there was a palpable sense of relief from the other two in the room, and Grant had to do his best to not smile. Before he could think about rejoicing, Vivienne was soliciting suggestions for how they should proceed, or rather, how the plaintiffs would like to see her proceed.

    Grant could sense that both the queen, and his companions were looking to him on the matter, and he wasn't sure he wished to go forward with present company. "Your Grace, I can assure you that your decision is a great weight off the minds of my young ward and my brother. I humbly ask your permission for them to be excused at this time, as I believe we might reach a plan of action without putting them through any further stress." Seamus looked at him in disbelief, and for a moment Grant thought he might object. But the older brother shot a look to the Peregrine girl, and the knight seemed to understand. Nodding reluctantly, he moved to wrap an arm around Aloise and steer her out of the room.

    The man was patient as the pair of them departed, and noticed Gavin, but said nothing. He looked back to Vivienne Shellten with a more concerted expression, as though he were ready to get to work. Whether she would want his cousin to overhear exactly what was said was completely up to her. Though Grant would give her an out if she didn't. "I suggest that the first thing you do, your grace, is prevent Danush DeAngelis from communicating with Welch Run. I don't know whether he has been alerted by Dastan as yet, but if he has then he is no doubt reporting what he sees and hears. I would have the Knights of Dawn quarantine him as inconspicuously as possible.


    @Vivienne Shellten

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