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Thread: The Ten Copper Tour - 11/10, afternoon, Shellten Castle - Vicky/Pippa

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    House Kendrick Victoria Kendrick's Avatar  
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    The Ten Copper Tour - 11/10, afternoon, Shellten Castle - Vicky/Pippa

    Victoria stood and listened to the guide who was leading them about the castle grounds. She wasn't an easy girl to impress, and though things in the Royal Gardens were nice, they weren't markedly better than what they had at Tarreston. There was no beach, like at Eddleton either. The little girl wondered how all of the adults around her managed to look as excited as they did, listening to the droll speech that the groundskeeper was giving them.

    Ser Corran had left her in the hands of Mistress Pippa, and that suited her just fine. The knight was having dinner with Uncle Chase, and though she was curious as to why, she didn't bother to ask. So long as she didn't have to deal with Gress and his grumpiness, she was quite content with the female guard. Vicky was fond of Pippa, and even though she missed Tulliara and Lady Delarose, she was glad for the woman to whom she had grown close in the recent months. "They're just flowers," she sighed to the guard, making it clear that she didn't understand the fuss.

    Victoria was doing her best to be patient, because she knew that the barracks and towers were still ahead on the tour, and she very much wanted to see the knights and jewels that their tour guide had promised they would find in the second half of the trip. Even though Ser Corran was a proper knight, he very rarely dressed in his armor or looked the part while they were at The Beacon. Vicky was interested in meeting the younger, active knights, and figuring out which one she would root for in the upcoming jousts.

    One of the other visitors raised her hand to ask a question that Victoria thought was stupid, and the child raised her hands to her face and huffed. Looking up to Pippa, she frowned and put a little bit of whine into her voice. "Can't we just skip ahead without them? I know where the barracks are," she assured her companion. "This is taking forever!"


    @Philippa Avery

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    Member Philippa Avery's Avatar  
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    If she was being honest, Philippa was about as enthusiastic about this part of the tour as her young charge was. Flowers were lovely, of course, and sure, she could see how a lovely manicured garden would be nice if you were stuck indoors for most of the day, but that had never really been something she could relate to. The guard shifted her weight from one leg to the other and leaned a little more on her polearm. Thankfully, if there was one thing that years of guard duty had gotten her good at, it was standing still for any length of time with a fairly straight face.

    "Yes, but they're flowers someone's clearly very proud of," she said under her breath with a bit of a smirk, careful to make sure only really Victoria could hear her. The girl was getting antsy, but was actually doing quite well. Still, Pippa had come prepared. As Vicky's impatience began to bubble over, the guard just smiled down at her and shook her head. "Gotta stay with the group if you wanna get into the special parts of the castle or have the knights come out to say hello."

    Reaching into a pouch at her hip, Pippa pulled out a waxed paper bag and held it down to the girl. "Here, one of these will help tide us over." It was full of jewel colored sweets, sugared so they didn't stick together, and once Vicky had chosen one Pippa popped one into her own mouth and tucked the bag back away.

    Finally it seemed like their guide had nothing more to say about the rose varieties and was ready to move on, and Pippa couldn't help but be a little relieved. "Where do you think is next?" The guard shifted her grip on her weapon so it was held closer to her body as they started to move, resisting the temptation to use it as something of a ludicrously long walking stick. "Lemme know if you want to ride for awhile. Won't be able to once we get inside." It might not've been conventional for a guard to give their ward a piggyback ride, but Pippa was fond of Victoria, and she wasn't old enough yet that she was a burden to carry.

    ----
    @Victoria Kendrick

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    House Kendrick Victoria Kendrick's Avatar  
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    Whether or not anyone was proud of the flowers was not really the concern of a seven year-old. As far as she was concerned, flowers grew in the spring and died in the fall, and they shouldn't even be here. The fact that someone had managed to cultivate them out of season and arrange them in a colorful and imaginative way was fine, if that sort of thing was of interest to you. But it certainly was not to Victoria.

    The revelation that they had to stay with the tour was one she had expected, but Vicky threw her hands up dramatically just for show. "Can't you pretend to work here," she suggested, as though she might coerce her babysitter to wave her polearm at people so that they could move along. Victoria wasn't sure what the special parts of the castle were, or if she even wanted to go there. But it didn't change the fact that Ser Corran would be disappointed if he found out that the girl had made a scene, and so she did her best to be patient.

    Sweets helped, as always, and Vicky reached up and took the piece of candy from her chaperone and popped it into her mouth, trying not to suck too loudly on it. The girl wasn't sure where Pippa had gotten the candy, or what it even was. But she rolled it carefully on her tongue, trying to keep the edges from getting sharp. From time to time, she considered biting through it, but knew that it would be noisy if she did, and so she just did her best to wait the matter out.

    "The stables," she said hopefully, though she really wasn't certain. It made sense to her, since they were already outdoors, and they would have to pass them to get back inside. Vicky put her hands up at the offer from the woman, and waited for her to bend down before she threw her arms around Pippa's neck. As the woman straightened again, Victoria put her feet up for her to hold and settled her chest against the guard's back as she rested her chin on the older woman's shoulder. "Just go to the stables and maybe people will follow us," she whispered conspiratorially.


    @Philippa Avery

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    Member Philippa Avery's Avatar  
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    Pippa laughed quietly at the idea that she could just bluster her way to the parts of the tour that the girl wanted to see. "I could, but it wouldn't work very well, and it'd probably get us in trouble. And I think Ser Corran would be very angry with us if he had to come from his dinner to collect us from a holding cell." She was kidding about the severity of their punishments - or at least she hoped she was - but the jist was true enough.

    The female guard had already drawn a little attention anyway, and she'd had to remind herself that outside of Eddleton people probably weren't much used to seeing a woman outside the usual contexts. A pretty blonde in guardsmans' leathers, no matter how nice her tunic, didn't seem like something some people were very comfortable with. It didn't bother Pippa, though. She was long past being worried about what other people thought of her, for the most part.

    Standing and adjusting to the girl's weight on her back, Pippa threaded her free arm under Vicky's knees. The swell of her hips meant her sliding down wasn't too much of a concern, but it would keep the girl from squirming too much. "Think if I put a flag on the end of this we could get people to follow us around town?" Pippa wiggled her polearm as if there was a flag on the end instead of a hunk of sharpened, polished metal. "We'd stop at the stables, maybe the barracks, and then hit all the cake shops we could find." Giggling, Pippa turned and made as if she were leaving the main group to set off on their cake tour, but she only took one step before making another quick turn and falling back in line with the others.

    "Did you get to bring Candy with you?" Victoria had been right, and seeing the stables made Pippa realize she didn't remember if the girl's hobby had made the trip to the capital with them. If she had, and this stop of the tour was as long as the one in the gardens, Pippa was half considering ducking in to check on the girl's beloved mare. That would certainly be more entertaining than standing around for another ten minutes, and if she paid attention they'd be able to rejoin the group as soon as they moved on.

    ----
    @Victoria Kendrick

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    House Kendrick Victoria Kendrick's Avatar  
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    "Oh! Do you think we will see the dungeons!?" It was as though Pippa's suggestion was one that interested Vicky more than frightened her. There was something about dungeons that conjured the old fairy tale stories in her mind more than anything else in the castle. Victoria had always had a soft spot for the protagonists that had been imprisoned against their will.

    Victoria had noticed the attention that her escort had been drawing, and had met some of the more curious faces with contemptuous glares. As much as their roles as charge and custodian were clear, Vicky was very protective of the Avery woman, and very much disliked that she thought people would judge her.

    Vicky mad a noise with her tongue and shook her head. "Papa says that if you want people to know you are in charge, you have to convince them with convictions, not banners," the little girl said. "Also, it helps if you stamp your foot." Such had been the way she had so often dealt with Gress, when he hadn't done as she wished. He usually would cave in to her demands, and so it had formed something of a bad habit in the girl. Thankfully, Pippa had always managed to handle Vicky in such a way that things never came to a dispute, and the girl had never had to try the tactic on her current guard.

    The idea of visiting cake shops appealed to the child, though not as much as the other stops on Pippa's itinerary. Nodding, Victoria smiled as she clasped her fingers underneath the woman's chin. "Yes, I did," she said, with something of pride gathering in her voice. "I rode her for a while, but then she was hitched to the carriage. Ser Corran said I would get saddle sores if I rode for too much of the trip." She wasn't sure if that was true, or meant to scare her, but she didn't object to the cushioned bench of the vehicle, and so she hadn't put up a fuss.

    As they approached the stables, and the smell of horses, Vicky began to look a little more interested. The barracks would surely follow, and then she would be in her glory. As much as she loved horses, she loved knights even more. Hopefully she would see some in full armor. As the entered the far end of the tables, the child tapped on the top of Pippa's head, directing her vision towards the large white head of a charger who looked over the door of his stall, as if trying to figure out what was going on.


    @Philippa Avery
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    Member Philippa Avery's Avatar  
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    Philippa didn't know much of Victoria's father; she'd seen him in passing once or twice when he'd come for a visit, but by and large it wasn't her place to ask questions. She had always assumed that he was a member of nobility - Vicky wouldn't be warded with a noble family if he wasn't - with very little other family and a robust business schedule, but how accurate that was she could never really be sure. "With convictions, not banners, eh?" The guard chuckled at the addition the girl made. "Your Papa sounds like quite the wise man." She didn't say so in surprise or to placate the girl, but rather as a simple observation. There was no reason for her to coddle the girl with false praise of her family.

    "And right he was, too. Wouldn't want to show up at the Coronation with sore buns and walking funny from riding too long." Pippa put an exaggerated sway into her step, mimicking the swagger some of the older men at arms had after years of riding all over the country. It was enough to tip Victoria from side to side, but always within the realm of safety; Pippa was more than willing to be silly in public to entertain the girl, but never to the point of risk. "I bet there are plenty of places to go riding around here," she said as she returned her gait to normal and they caught up with the crowd, "If you ever find yourself in need of a riding partner, I'd be happy to go with you!"

    It might not have been the smartest plan - Pippa didn't know her way around Hebron at all, really, and there were just too many things that could go wrong - but it never hurt to offer. If nothing else then she could escort Vicky down to an enclosed ring at some point; anything more than that and she was pretty sure Corran would want to go with Victoria personally.

    The guide was talking as they entered the stables, enlightening the group on the fine bloodlines the horses in the royal stables boasted, but Pippa allowed her attention to be directed by the tap on her head. "Oooh, he's a handsome one, isn't he?" Her voice was kept fairly low, and she sidled over closer to the fringes of the group nearest the charger with as little disruption as she could. She didn't get too close - she'd been bitten by a horse before, and it hadn't been pleasant - but at least now Vicky had a better view of the white beast. "Look," she said, using her polearm to gesture to the back of his stall, "Isn't that the crest of the Knights of Dawn? I wonder whose he is."

    ---
    @Victoria Kendrick

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    House Kendrick Victoria Kendrick's Avatar  
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    Victoria wasn't sure if her father was wise or not. She knew that there were a lot of people who respected him, but she could never figure out if that was because he was a knight, or because he had a lot of money, or because he was actually respectable. She was his father, and that coupled with his own demand for respect from her seemed to keep the child in line. Though it still made her feel good to hear him praised, especially by someone she liked as much as Pippa. "I think he would like you too," she said, from her perch upon the woman's shoulders.

    The child had never actually ridden anywhere long enough that she had experienced soreness from being in her saddle, though she imagined that if one did anything long enough, it would be bad for them. One time when she had made a fuss about eating broccoli, her father had made her sit at the table until she finished it, and she only did so because her back was starting to hurt from the dining hall's chair.

    Vicky hugged Pippa tighter on instinct when the woman offered to take her riding. She was glad that Miss Avery never seemed to consider her a bother, like Gress or some of the others had. After all, it was hardly her fault that she was still little. "I would like that," she said wistfully into Pippa's ear as the tour guide began to tell some story about the royal stables.

    In response to Pippa's question, Victoria straightened and raised her hand, interrupting the man who was speaking without waiting to be called on. "Is that big white horse one of the Knights of Dawn's mount," she asked, pointing at the head of the large charger. The horse, as if just as curious to know, turned to look at the tour guide anxiously.

    The man, caught more off guard than anything else, looked to the horse and then back to Victoria. "Uh, yes, actually." Moving to stand between the onlookers and the horse, so that nobody got the wrong idea about approaching it, he held a hand out. "This is Epsilon, who is the steed of Ser Guy Durand, the Knight of Autumn. Those of you who were in the city for the coronation of King Cailen may recognize him as the horse who was ridden to victory by Ser Guy in the tournament." The horse seemed to realize he was being praised and stomped his right hoof in response, drawing his head up to loftier heights. "Perhaps we shall run into Ser Guy on our next stop, which is the Barracks of Dawn," he said, extending his hand out so that people began to exit the far end of the stable.

    "Oooh, knights," Vicky said in Pippa's ear as she began to move with the crowd. As they passed Epsilon, the horse snorted and almost smiled, and Victoria waived to him enthusiastically. "Goodbye Epsilon! You're very handsome," she said, noting that he was a boy and probably would not like to be called pretty.


    @Philippa Avery

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    Member Philippa Avery's Avatar  
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    Philippa made a note to try and remember to tell Corran about her offer to the girl; not that Victoria wouldn't mention it, but more so he'd know she'd meant it. In fact, she was tempted to talk to him about taking over more fully for Gress. It wasn't that she thought the other man was lacking in ability or anything, but it was no secret that he saw minding Victoria as a chore. Pippa, on the other hand, quite liked the little Lady Kendrick, and would much rather go about with her than sit in one place guarding a door or some such thing.

    The guard cringed a little when Victoria called out her question out of turn, but she could hardly scold the girl, as her question had been the most interesting part of the tour thus far. It seemed the people were just following along like cattle for the most part, and it could've been her imagination, but the guide looked like he was a little chuffed someone had actually taken an interest. As the man moved to stand in front of Epsilon, Pippa made sure to turn her body so Vicky wouldn't have to crane her neck, always mindful of her ward.

    Taking the pause in activity to make a little hop and shift Vicky higher onto her waist again, Pippa waved to the fine white charger as well. "Maybe we'll see him again later if we come back to take Candy out, and we'll be able to ask to properly say hello."

    Back out in the bright sunlight, Pippa smiled, soaking in the warmth. She would have been lying if she'd claimed disinterest in their next stop; she would've loved to have been a knight, and although they were far, far above her now she felt a bit of a kinship to them. Many of them probably started out life doing what she did, and the common starting ground made her secretly feel a little closer to the glory than the average onlooker. "I can't see yet, are there any knights out in the yard?"

    ----
    @Victoria Kendrick

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    House Kendrick Victoria Kendrick's Avatar  
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    If she had done something wrong, or if Pippa had reacted to it, Victoria didn't notice. After all, the tour guide was a servant, and she was a noble. Add to that the fact that the Kendrick girl had paid money for the ability to ask whatever she pleased, and she maintained that she was well within her rights to put forth any queries she might have had.

    Vicky very much liked the big white horse, and was pretty sure that it liked her too. Being on Avery's shoulders meant that she was the only one who was really on eye level with the beast, and the girl imagined that the horse liked that. Pippa did her best to give the girl a good view, and so Victoria took the time to describe whatever it was she saw. It wasn't long before the group was moving again however, and the child sighed a bit of disappointment at having to leave the stables so quickly.

    "I think Candy would like him," Vicky offered with a small nod of her head. "Even if she is much smaller than Epsilon, that doesn't mean they can't be friends. Like us, right? One is bigger and stronger, and one is smaller and cuter," she said, hugging the woman's head tightly to let her know she was only joking.

    As they made their way across the yard, the girl squinted against the sun and held her hand up to shield her eyes. Turning towards the barracks, it was tough for Vicky to answer the question, as she still wasn't sure how to tell a knight from a regular noble or even a soldier. "I think so," she finally said. "There's one, in armor and a purple and gold cloak. He must be a knight for sure. He's so tall," she said, admiring the man from a distance.

    The stuffy tour guide walked right up to the waiting knight, before he turned and looked back at the mass of spectators. "This," he said motioning to the waiting man, "Is Ser Lexington Caldoran, a Knight of Dawn, and personal protector of our queen." There was a few 'oohs' and 'ahhhs' and an awkward round of applause for a moment, before the servant looked back to the knight. "Would you care to say a few words, Ser Lexington?"


    @Lexington Caldoran @Philippa Avery

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    House Caldoran Lexington Caldoran's Avatar  

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    "Would you care to say a few words, Ser Lexington?"

    No. 'No' was the honest answer, but not the one he could give. Percival was around here somewhere, and Lex wasn't entirely sure why it wasn't him doing this, or at very least standing in front of everyone with him, but it couldn't be helped. Whether he was keen on it or not, these tours had been a fairly regular part of his life since he'd become a Dawn, and he knew how the patter went by now.

    "Good afternoon," he greeted the crowd, giving a small bow and a winning smile. He was introduced, and was pleased that this guide had gotten it right - there was one who routinely got the knight's names wrong, and they often had a bit of fun then trying to pretend to be whichever knight they'd been announced as - and waited through the applause that the mention fo the queen got. When he continued, his voice had taken on a bit of an official tone. He'd tried to be more casual about the tour, but he'd found the crowds liked it better if he sounded a little more authoritative.

    "What you see before you is the barracks and training grounds exclusive to the Knights of Dawn and their squires." He gestured to them in turn as he mentioned them, without really turning away from the crowd. "This is where myself and my brothers-in-arms live, eat, and train, so that we can maintain the level of skill our job demands with minimal distraction and maximum efficiency." It wasn't exactly like that, of course - distractions were everywhere, and they certainly weren't confined to these grounds when they weren't on duty - but it wasn't too far from the truth, and people liked the idea of the incredibly dedicated knighthood protecting the crown.

    He paused, as was customary, and his eye was caught by the head of a polearm shining above the crowd. His gaze didn't linger, but he found it odd that he hadn't seen an obvious wielder, and made a note to pay more attention as they left to see if he could spot the man. "Ser Caldoran, could you please tell us a little bit about your Order?"

    "Of course," he replied to the guide, secretly wishing this little charade to be over already. "The Most Noble Order of the Dawn is the highest rank of knighthood available in Tuneric. The Order was established at the Coronation of King Allistair Day, in order to protect the welfare of both the King - or Queen, in our case - and the royal family." This was usually where he started losing people, since not many had the stomach for dry history, but he soldiered on. "At full ranks the Order contains seven knights, although we don't have that right now, and new knights - as well as the knight that will serve as Commander of Dawn - are chosen by the Crown, and we serve until we are dismissed."

    That seemed enough, and the tour guide nodded. "Does anyone have any questions for Ser Caldoran before we move on?"

    ----
    @Victoria Kendrick

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    House Kendrick Victoria Kendrick's Avatar  
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    At first, Victoria was not sure how she felt about Lexington Caldoran. She leaned down and whispered to Pippa conspiratorially. "He's handsome," she said, but not in the kind of tone that implied any kind of awe at him. "And he's wearing the same kind of cloak that Ser Corran keeps in his wardrobe." Vicky had never seen the old knight actually wear the cloak, but it always hung away from the rest of his clothing, as though he had been saving it for something. It was odd to her to see this man wearing it though. Perhaps Ser Corran was related to him or something.

    Vicky listened with only moderate interest as the knight told the story of the Order of Dawn's origins. She wasn't much of a fan of history. At least not the kind of straightforward telling of it that usually accompanied these events. She had dragged Gress on the tower tour and it was pretty awful. He wouldn't let her ride on his back, and she could barely see anything at all. For all she knew, it was the exact same tour guide.

    "Does anyone else...have any questions for Ser Caldoran," the man said, patently ignoring Victoria's waving arm over her head. But when nobody else spoke up, and the guide looked to see that Lexington had noticed the girl, he sighed and massaged the bridge of his nose. "Yes," he asked, not bothering to look up.

    Vicky shifted a little on Pippa's back and tried to rise up so that the knight could see her better. "My friend Ser Corran has a cloak just like yours," she told Caldoran from across the crowd. "I'm not supposed to touch it, but one time Tulliara and I took it down and pretended we were knights." For a moment, she said nothing more, and just stared at the man in armor.

    The tour guide, shook his head in disbelief and finally looked up from his nose pinched position. "That's not a question," he finally said, a bit of annoyance in his voice. Do you have a question for Ser Caldoran," he asked, albeit it through gritted teeth.

    There was an immediate dawning on the child's face when she realized where she went wrong. Her hand came up and rubbed her chin, as though she were mulling it over. "Sorry," she finally said to Lexington. And it appeared to the tour guide that he might just escape this torture without hearing anymore from the girl. But before he could turn away, Vicky cleared her throat. "Did you know that my friend Ser Corran has a cloak just like yours?"

    There was a small giggle from crowd, though Vicky wasn't immediately sure why. The man who was leading the group looked at Lexington helplessly. But before he could speak, another voice came from the doorway to the barracks. "Well," said Percival, stepping out from the shadows. "That time it was a question," he said, looking to his brother in arms and prompting him to answer the query, even though he knew it wouldn't be easy for the other knight.

    Vicky was looking at the newcomer, rather than paying attention to her answer. Something about him looked so familiar. "Who is that," she whispered to Pippa, though she wasn't sure that her guard would know, or if she could even see the man.


    @Philippa Avery @Lexington Caldoran

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    House Caldoran Lexington Caldoran's Avatar  

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    As the exchange between the girl in the crowd and the guide played out, Lexington was surprised to realize that the person holding the polearm he'd noticed was, in fact, holding up the girl in question. Even more surprising was that it was a woman. He hadn't been able to see very well, but the woman had shifted and done a little hop to situate the girl on her back a little better, and he took in as many details as he could while still paying attention to the child's question.

    What seemed most impressive was how easily the woman juggled the girl on her back and the weapon; he almost expected her to nearly drop one or the other with the way the girl had moved to get higher, but neither had looked unsecured at any point. It made him wonder who the woman was, aside from apparently associated somehow with Ser Corran Torgood.

    Hearing the man in question's son beside him, Lex stepped to the side a bit and thought fast. He felt he had to give this girl a decent answer, especially if she really did know Corran, but it was not a straightforward situation to be summing up in front of a crowd. "I didn't know, no," was what he ended up with, and it was truthful enough; of course he'd known Corran had worn the purple and white, but he wasn't familiar enough with the exact circumstances of his leaving the order to know if he'd been allowed to keep it. "I hope you played carefully with it. Only a few people are allowed to have one, so it's a very special thing."

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    Member Philippa Avery's Avatar  
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    In truth, Philippa couldn't see too much of the knight in question. She wasn't tall enough to see over the heads of the crowd ahead of her, and she hadn't pushed forward to the front, but she could catch a glimpse now and then. "He looks tall," she added in a tone which agreed with Vicky's assessment. Working among men meant Pippa had to switch gears in order to really think fo them as attractive, but that didn't mean she couldn't recognize a handsome face when she saw it. It just meant the mere sight of one didn't rile up any strong feelings in her.

    When Victoria went to ask her question, Pippa tried her best to help her get higher, hopping once to bounce her further up her waist and tightening her hold on Vicky's legs to keep her there. It was all done in such a way so as to not jostle her too much, and it worked pretty much as intended.

    If Pippa felt any need to scold the girl on having taken something Corran had told her not to touch, she didn't show it. After all, it was her job to keep victoria safe and out of trouble when she was with her, not to get her in trouble for things she'd done in the past. And, while for a moment she thought about letting Corran know that if he wanted the girls to not touch the cloak he might want to think of putting it somewhere else, it seemed incredibly likely that the story of this tour would get back to him sooner rather than later anyway.

    The arrival of another voice had Pippa paying attention again, and she tried to peer between the people to see who had just arrived. "I'm not sure," she answered, rising on her toes for a moment to gain a little height. "Probably another Dawn, if he came from the barracks, but I don't know which one. Definitely too old to be a squire." She came back down, and gave a little shrug. "Maybe they'll introduce him, too. Or you could always ask."

    ----
    @Victoria Kendrick @Percival Torgood

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    House Torgood Percival Torgood's Avatar  

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    It only took Percival a moment to follow Lexington's eyes to the unusual weapon that was suspended just a few feet from the little girl who was asking the hard questions. But from his angle, he could see more than his compatriot, and it was apparent to him that the wielder was a woman. But before he could catch her glance, it was necessary for him to move closer to the tour, and out of her line of sight. The younger knight needed to sacrifice his curiosity about the weapon, if he wanted to get a better look at the girl who was clearly talking about his father.

    "Ladies and gentlemen, a treat," the tour guide exclaimed. "We have not one, but two of the Knight of Dawn present. Ser Percival Torgood, whom some of you may remember as the hero of King Cailen's Coronation."

    Percy waived reluctantly, and moved closer to Lexington. He disliked these tours enough without the guide calling to attention that two of the already short-handed order were not actively on duty. If someone in the group were more than just a tourist, this information could be dangerous. But Percival attempted to put it out of his head, as he looked into the crowd at the young woman. "Lady Kendrick, would you and your escort step forward please?" Percival knew it had to be the young woman who his father had taken as a ward, but as yet he had never met her. The knight was likely more curious than she was.

    The crowd began to part to let them through, and Percy was immediately sorry he had called attention to them. As much as he wanted to meet the girl, he cringed at the thought that the woman might be embarrassed at having her piggy backing of the child brought to the front and center of the group. As he got a good look at the two of them, he turned to Lexington, trying to gauge his reaction to the woman who was carrying the polearm.

    Folding his arms over his chest, Percival gave the child a stern look that quickly melted away. "I used to put on that same cloak when I was a child," he told her with a smile. "The second I clasped it, I knew I wanted to be a knight like Ser Corran. And now I am. Who knows, maybe you will be someday too."

  15. #15
    House Kendrick Victoria Kendrick's Avatar  
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    The girl craned her neck to see the man who was talking, but soon he said her name and there was a small gasp from her lungs and her knees squeezed tightly against Pippa's ribs. "Uh oh," she said in the guard's ear, immediately sorry that she had said anything at all.

    As they moved closer, and the tour guide leveled his pushiness in the wake of Ser Percival's interest, Victoria couldn't help but think again at how familiar the knight looked. When the official introduced him, Victoria lost her voice. He had the same surname as Ser Corran. And he looked awfully like him. As the man explained about the cloak, it was clear to everyone, including the girl, that he was the older knight's son. Victoria had known he existed, but never believed she would meet the man.

    Listening silently as the man with the two short swords spoke, Victoria studied him carefully. His insinuation about her future made her smile, but she shook her head. "I don't want to be a knight," she said casually. "I'm going to be a spy," she said, rather brazenly and oblivious to the fact that a good spy would never claim to want to be a spy before they eventually became a spy.

    There were some small gasps and giggles from those gathered, but Vicky ignored them. Ser Corran had told her that the opinions of others were a bad indicator of what was possible. In fact, she kept that in mind as she looked from Percy to Lexington. "But Pippa! I mean, Miss Avery, she wants to be a knight. If you are short handed, you should make her a Knight of Dawn," she told the men.

    The giggles had turned to outright laughter, and Victoria was immediately turning to look at the crowd. She hadn't thought that she might have embarrassed her friend, and was becoming angry that people would laugh at her.

    @Philippa Avery @Lexington Caldoran
    Last edited by Victoria Kendrick; 05-22-2017 at 07:53 PM.

  16. #16
    Member Philippa Avery's Avatar  
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    "Ser Percival Torgood, whom some of you may remember as the hero of King Cailen's Coronation."

    Pippa's eyes widened a little as the name sank in, and she realized the knight must be Corran's son. If the man hadn't clearly been a Dawn she might not have been so sure, but that was pretty much the only thing she knew about the younger Torgood, so it left little doubt in her mind. She was compelled to move to get a better look at the man, but as it turned out, he beat her to it.

    Hearing the girl's unease, Pippa gave her leg a squeeze of support as she made her way through the parting crowd. If she felt any embarrassment at carrying her ward on her back she didn't show it, even though she could feel the eyes of the crowd now crawling over her. It was a feeling she was more or less used to, though; the only thing to rile her nerves was the fact that she was approaching two of the elite knights of the kingdom, and one of them happened to be her boss's son.

    When she made it to the front, she bent at the knees a little, curtsying despite the fact that she wasn't dressed at all like a lady. Usually she would have stuck to protocol and bowed, but that was rather impossible without tipping Vicky over; she supposed she probably could have gotten away without doing anything at all, but that would have just felt wrong. Now that she was close, she could absolutely see the resemblance to Corran, but she could see touches of what must have been his mother in his face, too: a softness to the angles of his face, a little more fairness in the coloring of his skin and hair. She smiled at the way Percival spoke to Victoria, pleased he would even consider a girl as a potential knight, and the smile shifted to almost a smirk at Vicky's answer.

    "But Pippa! I mean, Miss Avery, she wants to be a knight. If you are short handed, you should make her a Knight of Dawn."

    Philippa winced, her eyes scrunching closed as the laughter washed over them. She could feel her ears burn, and knew the knights in front of her would be able to clearly see her blush in embarrassment. There was nothing for it, though, and she opened her eyes and gave Sers Caldoran and Torgood a slightly weary smile, as if to indicate that this reaction was one she was quite used to. What else could she do? It wasn't as if Vicky had meant to embarrass her, and she wasn't really ashamed of her aspirations, even though she knew full well that they were out of her reach. All she could hope for now was that the tour would move on quickly, so she could explain to Victoria that the problem was with the people who had laughed, not with the idea of a girl being a knight.

    ----
    @Percival Torgood @Victoria Kendrick

  17. #17
    House Torgood Percival Torgood's Avatar  

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    The crowd's laughter was relatively short lived, as Percival negated it with a rather audible clearing of his throat. Taking a few steps forward, the knight looked at the young girl as she was hoisted on the guard's back. "You are quite the obvious child, aren't you? It's good that you are so outspoken. It is a rare thing anymore that people say what they mean and mean what they say. Hop down now," he said, taking the child by the hand and helping her slide off of Philippa's back. "There's some old portraits of Ser Corran in the barracks proper that I think you would like to see."

    Once the girl was safely on the ground, Percy took a long glance at the weapon in the woman's hand, before glancing back to her. "Pippa, was it?" Leaning in close, the knight lowered his voice to a whisper. "They see the stars reflected in the river, and don't know that it isn't the night sky. You shouldn't concern yourself based on what people believe, when people don't know what they are looking at." He looked over her head at the crowd, and then turned to indicate to Lexington that they were all his again, though Percival doubted the mass of people would remain much longer. When his gaze returned to the woman, he motioned to the child whose hand he was holding. "Vicky and I are going in for tea. We would be honored if you would join us," he said with a smile, as though he were the guardian and she were the passerby.

    The little girl wasn't sure what else would be missed on the tour, but she was looking up to Philippa with pleading eyes. "Can we," she asked the guard hopefully. She was curious about the knight who knew Ser Corran, and had been so nice to them. "We won't stay long, and if Ser Corran complains, I'll tell him that it was my fault and that you tried to make me come along, but I was being stubborn. Please?"

    "Please, Pippa?" Percy echoed the girl playfully, and chuckled softly. "I'm sure Ser Corran won't mind, once you explain it to him." But Percival didn't wait for an answer before he turned with Victoria and started towards the entrance of the compound. The knight smiled to Lex, and waived to the crowd as the three of them cleared the threshold. "Have you been in service to Lady Delarose long, Pippa," he asked, making polite chit chat as he held the door for the pair of them and leaned back to avoid the lowered blade of her weapon.

    @Philippa Avery
    Last edited by Rick; 05-23-2017 at 09:42 AM.

  18. #18
    Member Philippa Avery's Avatar  
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    Philippa moved so Victoria could get down more easily, and nodded to confirm her name. Percival's words were lovely, and very nice to hear; although she'd learned long ago that people were going to doubt her and that there were only a few opinions that really mattered, having that sentiment reinforced never hurt. It may have been more the situation than the actual laughter that had gotten to her, but she couldn't help but feel a glow of pride that an actual Knight of Dawn had stuck up for her.

    During the pause, Pippa looked down to her ward to see how she was feeling about these developments; Percy may have been a Knight of Dawn, and Ser Corran's son at that, but if the girl wasn't comfortable with going with him there was no way Pippa would make her. But the girl's pleas reassured her, and her smile was the only consent she was able to give, as they were soon on their way into the barracks. For a moment Pippa looked over her shoulder back at the crowd, and she noted that the consternation on the tour guide's face at having two of his audience stolen away was somewhat tempered by what looked like relief. The other Dawn looked to have noticed, too, and before he began speaking again he met Pippa's eye and nodded his head to her.

    Stepping into the barracks, Pippa blinked at the sudden darkness, but immediately felt a base level of comfort. There was something about all barracks that felt the same, and it felt akin to home. "You could say I've been working for Lady Delarose for something like four or five years, but I've been at the Beacon for two," she offered, keeping an eye on Victoria as she answered. Controlling a child came less easily to her than controlling her polearm, which, now that they were inside, was kept tucked fairly close in to her body. Keeping it out of the way and safely under control had been her first lessons with it, and by now came as naturally to her as breathing.

    "Thank you, for taking the time to talk to us. I know with so many people in the capital you can't have much down time." Not to mention the fact that she knew at least three of the Dawn were off duty right now, which, if they were already short-handed, left them in a somewhat precarious position.

    ----
    @Percival Torgood @Victoria Kendrick

  19. #19
    House Torgood Percival Torgood's Avatar  

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    Percival wasn't sure exactly what he thought he was doing. He was driven at this point by his own curiosity more than anything. He knew so little of his father, as a father, that he was fascinated at the thought of talking to Victoria about what it was like to have the man actually treat a child like a father. Even if her father was quite alive and well. But the child didn't seem overly interested in hanging around to answer his questions, but rather hurried off to look at some of the items that were hanging in the order's gallery.

    Taking the moment to focus on her guardian, Percy knew that he wouldn't get the woman's full attention. Pippa Avery was mindful of her duty, and paid the exploring child a watchful eye. "Halberd? Unusual on more than one count, Pippa," he said, taking another close look at the weapon. "Do you mind if I call you Pippa," he asked, just then realizing that he had no idea who she really was, or what her station might be. It was unlikely that she was a noble, but there wasn't any reason to assume that she was a maiden. For all Percival knew, the woman could be someone's wife, and he didn't want to be disrespectful.

    Motioning her to a desk, Percy sat in front of it, leaving the chair behind it for her. The room they had entered was well furnished and decorated with all of the order's artifacts, including but unseen, the Ledger or Dawn in the drawer at Pippa's left knee. Victoria was staring at the aforementioned portrait of Corran, hanging next to the recently commissioned painting of Guy Durand, which the Commander of Dawn hated. "He looks like you," the girl said absently.

    Percy smiled, but shook his head. "I look like him," the knight corrected with a chuckle. "But here," he said, holding out a key on a necklace for her. Leaning close, he whispered in the child's ear. "Take this and open the hutch in the corner. In the bottom drawer you'll find a collection of Ser Corran's paintings. He might be surprised to find out you had a chance to see them." Corran had loved to dabble in watercolors when he had time off in the capital. What he didn't know was how many of them had survived.

    Turning back to Pippa, Percy smiled. "No thanks necessary," he said, pouring her a cup of tea from the setting on the desk. "So you have been a guard? Or soldier?" The latter was far less common. Most of the standing armies of individual lords were relegated to ceremony, though a few houses still maintained active cavalry. "Is the girl right, then? You want to be a knight?" There was no mirth or jest in his tone. Percival seemed genuinely curious as the Pippa's motivations.


    @Philippa Avery
    Last edited by Percival Torgood; 05-23-2017 at 08:32 PM.

  20. #20
    Member Philippa Avery's Avatar  
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    "You're not the first to make that observation," Pippa said, looking away from Victoria long enough to flash Percival a grin. When it seemed like Vicky was going to behave herself she let herself relax a little, and she turned a bit more toward him. Giving a small bow with a little flourish, the guard introduced herself. "Philippa Avery, pleased to meet you, Ser. And no, I don't mind at all if you call me Pippa." It was delightful that he'd even asked, and the smile she wore spoke to that.

    Following the knight's cue, Pippa moved around the desk and sat, leaning the halberd on the wall behind her. Vicky's comment made her look up, and she studied the portrait in question for a long moment. One could see how the face in the painting had aged to the face the man wore now, but it was still fascinating to see Corran's youth pinned down on canvas. She supposed seeing people you knew in real life in portraits was probably not as novel for the upper classes, but it was still a little odd for the likes of Pippa.

    "A guard, first for caravans and then at the Beacon. My family's got a history of working for the Costas, which is lucky, since they're a bit more equal minded than most when it comes to what a girl can and can't grow up to be." The reaction of the tour crowd had been an indication of where most people stood on that particular point.

    His further question was asked straight enough that Pippa just looked at him, waiting for the moment when it turned out that he was teasing her. Finally, she took a drink of tea and gave a half shrug. "She's right in that, had I had the chance, I would have loved to be one." Even though her posture gave the impression that she didn't feel strongly about it, there was an energy in her voice which betrayed her a little. "If I could go back in time and find a knight who would take on a short, scrappy girl as a squire I'd do it in a heartbeat, but as it is there are still plenty of ways I can serve, even without the title."

    ----
    @Percival Torgood

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