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Thread: Playing the Part (Poorly)- 11/22 Dawntown Castle, early afternoon - (Cora/Jed)

  1. #1
    House Calloway Jedrek Calloway's Avatar  
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    Playing the Part (Poorly)- 11/22 Dawntown Castle, early afternoon - (Cora/Jed)

    Jedrek untied the cravat at his throat and groaned, waving off the help of his steward before attempting to retie it himself. A quick survey in the looking glass proved that while it looked better, there was still something.. off center about it. His doublet was newly embroidered and perfectly pressed, with not a thread loose or out of place. His shoes shone brightly in the sunlight that filtered through the window, the polishing to point. And his hair, for once, fell exactly as he wanted it to, keeping free from his eyes, and parted perfectly off center to minimize what he considered to be his large forehead.

    But his damned cravat.

    It wouldn’t matter, he reasoned irritably. His people would either hate him, or love him, regardless of the state of his cravat.
    Right on time, Jedrek appeared in the castle’s great hall, where a table had been set before a scaled down throne. A seat had been set for his steward on his left, and his four guards stood at perfect attention on either side a few feet out from the table. Jedrek did not expect trouble but this was his first public affair. He wanted to be careful.

    Sharing a glance with his steward, Jedrek reached out and placed his hands on the high back of Lord Elston’s old chair. He looked down at the setup, remembering how it looked when he was not the ruling Lord over Chatlawn.

    And then he took a deep breath and nodded to his men. ”Let them in,” he ordered, and watched as they stepped forward to open the doors. Jedrek could only hope for minor grievances and a swift solution for each. The last thing he wanted was to be stuck behind the desk all day, wasting time when he could be dealing with the other at hand. As a good 20 people filed in with relatively quiet steps, Coralie Marcari’s entrance was not lost on Jedrek, for he easily caught her from the corner of his eye, stepping in from a side door. His chin rose a bit higher, and he stood a bit straighter beside the chair, waiting…

    Once the last straggler and his leashed goat was in the building, his steward stepped forward.

    ”I present before you today, Lord Jedrek Calloway, Second of his Name and Lord of Chatlawn Hills, by decree of his Majesty, King Lochlan Farrhand-Calhoun. Long Live the King!”

    The room returned the chant in unison, their voices loudly reverberating through the high ceilings.

    ”I welcome you, my people, into my home. May you lay your grievances at my feet, and I shall hear them with an open ear and open mind. My judgement shall be just, and shall be given as though given straight from your King.”

    He might have messed that up but he couldn’t be sure. It sounded okay and he could almost hear Lord Elston’s voice echoing the tradition.

    With a nod to his steward, Jedrek settled into his chair. And it began.

    *****

    The first five bore gifts - a fruits basket, a calf, a set of steel weapons in honor of his military history, and a rather large gem that had been discovered in the river - or so the man had said. Jedrek thanked them all and his steward received the gifts before handing them off to the correct servant.

    The sixth in line asked for permission for an engagement, to which Jedrek approved, much to the man’s happiness. He had Jed smiling too as he left with the writ his steward wrote up. The woman’s name was Rosalind, and Jed received the entire story of their relationship while his man prepared the document.

    The seventh had a small dispute; coyotes had attacked his farm, killing three of his livestock. Jedrek did not hesitate in replacing them, requesting the payment back in the form of three calves that would one day be born to the farmer. That went over well.

    And so it went on and on, until the last pair of men stepped forward. It was a land dispute. The river had flooded, and in the process changed course, one of them said. The river, which was the agreed upon border between their two plots, now ate through nearly half of his land, including his growing fields. Due to that, he had lost his lively hood, and yet his neighbor would not come to another boundary agreement, for if he did, it would mean losing access to the river.

    After questioning both men, Jedrek found himself at a standstill. Taking a sip of wine from the goblet his servant had recently poured for him, Jedrek sat back in his seat and surveyed both men quietly for a moment.

    ”If this river was indeed the boundary that these plots were drawn by, then by law, there is nothing I can do for you,” he informed the farmer carefully. ”It is no secret that a river is allowed to change its course, and by agreeing to said boundary in writing, you agreed to this fact. Perhaps it is time to plant new fields, or carry on with the time honored tradition of accepting the river’s bounties.”

    The man who’s land was taken from him turned beet red and it was obvious he did not care for the answer. ”My great grandfather sowed the soil himself, with his bare hands,” the man argued through clenched teeth.

    ”And you, too, will sow the soil you have, and reap the river’s bounty,” Jedrek replied calmly, though his patience was running thin. ”The original land writ,”

    ”I don’ give a rats ass about the original writ, I demand my land is returned to me!” The man yelled, stepping forward aggressively which only caused Jed’s men to push forward in retaliation. Holding his hand up, Jed stopped them.

    And after a moment of silence, he lowered it, though his gaze never waved from the serf.

    ”If indeed your great grandfather sowed the land himself, than he was present when the late Lord Yarwood, first of this land, penned the very writ we are bound to this day. It was no secret to our ancestors, as it is no secret to us, that the rivers of this land are as finicky and easily redirected as a woman is. It should come at no surprise, then, that such an occurrence happened, and there is no law in this realm that could move the river’s path back and return your land to you. The ruling stands.”

    The man’s gaze threw blades in Jedrek’s direction. For a man of middle age, a decade his senior, Jedrek was not surprised by the hatred he saw in return. But it was the man’s words that caused Jedrek’s blood to pump.

    ”Curse you, Calloway. I was goin’ give you a chance, the wife said to. But, King be damned, you are not my Lord ’nd never will be.”

    The newly appointed Lord’s jaw clenched but he said nothing for a brief moment. Those left in the room sank into a quiet hush, while faces peered over the shoulders of their peers to get a better glance.

    ”I should not need to remind you that to insult your King is punishable by death,” Jedrek finally said, as he stood from his chair, towering at his full height over the crowd and his subject.

    @Coralie Macari

  2. #2
    Junior Member Coralie Macari's Avatar  
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    She'd changed her clothing since her walk in the woods, not only did she feel crummy after walking through the dirt but part of her wanted to dress to impress. Her hair was pinned up in curls, only two strands fell free, both bounced freely on the left side of her face. Her dress was long, wine red, and made of silk. The accents were stitched in a golden color that matched the trim on her belled sleeves. Her final touches were a delicate necklace and a red stain to her lips. The sunlight from the windows illuminated her hair, as if to give her a halo, and she snorted at the sight.

    The widow Macari was only to grieve for a short amount of time, it was by her own decree that she did not look the greatest in black, of course she would not say so out loud. If anyone questioned her she would simply tell them that her husband would not wish her to mourn, but to live. It was a good thought to be sure but she truly didn't care that her husband now rotted in the ground and she was glad to be rid of him. She would mourn for her child, but it was not public knowledge, and it never truly lived anyway.

    She walked down the hallway, her black heels were the only noise to be heard, and descended the staircase to the hall. As the door opened to allow her inside, she could see that people were already filtering in from the main doors. She stood, to Jedrek's left, at the end of the table, and allowed a young lady from southern Chatlawn to stand beside her. They exchanged warm wishes but their conversation was cut short by the beginning of the meeting.

    All seemed to be going well for the new Lord of their little spit of land. He was able to be gracious to each of the visitors, it wasn't long after Coralie wondered how long his good fortune would last that a cold snap rushed into the room.

    The farmer's complaints were not without challenge, and she could see that Jedrek had his work cut out for him. This was a difficult case and she couldn't help but feel a slight twinge of sympathy for the man who sat at the head of the room. The situation couldn't be blamed on anything other than the weather, and it would be hard to please both parties in this case. The Lord listened to the problem at hand and she watched him think before speaking finally on the matter. It was to be as expected, this was their lives he was dictating over, but it got a little more heated than Coralie could ever imagine.

    It was when the farmers began to curse both Jedrek's name and the Kings that Cora's eyes grew wide. She almost questioned how the situation could get worse until the Lord opened his mouth and reminded him that death could be imminent to those who would be insubordinate. This was not going well and the crowd around them started to hum. Whispers from person to person about the possible outcomes danced around Coralie's ears.

    Something had to be done.

    "Gentlemen, please." She could hardly believe it was her own voice that rang out through the hall. She was stepping forward from the wall and toward the two farmers before the crowd could turn to her. She hovered close to the table, to Jedrek, but closed the distance between she and the common pair with grace. "One cannot blame Lord Calloway for the weather no more than we should be damning the King for the changing of the rivers." She squared her shoulders with the farmers before saying what needed to be said, they needed to repair what was done here today. "Long live the King!" She stated the room repeated her statement, she glared at the farmers to make sure they each did the same. There would be no meeting hall safe if King Lochlan heard that his name had been spoken in such a way.

    The men and women around the edges of the room were shushing each other and some other edged in closer to hear her words. She was not a loud woman, by any means, but she knew her voice was clear enough. She could only assume they were hoping to catch a front row seat of her being reprimanded for speaking out of turn. They all knew who she was, and more to the point, who she wasn't.

    "You two are neighbors, and I'm sure you were once dearest of friends." They looked at each other and nodded but their expressions of anger did not fade. "Sharing an ale after a long day's work, complaining about the wives." She added a joke and it did get a response, some quiet laughter rolled through the room, and she continued with confidence. "Your fortunes have changed, no one can be blamed, as Lord Calloway stated that the borders are near to written in stone. This cannot be helped." She gestured the loss with both palms up turned and a shrug.

    "What can be helped is your response to this. I see opportunity." A deep breath to calm her nerves and she continued as strong as ever. "Your fortunes have changed for the better and yours for the worse." She gestured to the appropriate man when the moment called for identification. "I see an opportunity for charity." She turned to the man who had gained more land from this ordeal and smiled kindly. "Your neighbor is in need, and has the knowledge to help you with all of your newly acquired lands. If you had thought it was a long day before, now it shall be worse!" Another wave of light hearted laughter from the crowd, these farmers were surrounded by those who knew their struggle and they understood what was to come.

    "A hired hand who knows the land you work and could now use spare coin can be found standing right beside you. What better company to work beside than a friend?" She turned knowingly to the man who'd lost most of his land and gave him a sorrowful look. "This, as we have already determined, cannot be helped. But our fortunes change every day." She took his hands in hers and he fumbled to hold hers in turn. "It is in these times that we must search for comfort in our friends and family, we cannot lay blame with those who love and care for us and expect our fortunes to not suffer further."

    She was chastising their horrid behavior in the room without outwardly doing so. Coralie knew the men understood her words well enough.

    "It is up to you two to make the best of this bad situation. For there is only so much we can ask of others to do for us. Once in a while, we must do for ourselves and for our neighbors. Charity is all we have to save our souls. The charity to help those in need and the charity to grant our understanding when a Lord's hands, even when they want to give, are tied."


    @Jedrek Calloway
    Last edited by Coralie Macari; 06-05-2017 at 12:29 PM.

  3. #3
    House Calloway Jedrek Calloway's Avatar  
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    "Gentlemen, please.”

    The voice was unmistakeable. Jedrek turned from his serf to find that the Lady Macari had weaved herself through the crowd and now stood before his charges. Part of him wanted to groan that she had the gall to interrupt him, and yet he found himself almost interested in what she could possibly have to add to the conversation. So, he held his tongue out of curiosity.

    "One cannot blame Lord Calloway for the weather no more than we should be damning the King for the changing of the rivers. Long live the King!” Jedrek too echoed the affirmation with a small, barely visible grin tugging at the corner of his lips.

    And then she continued on, prattling about teamwork and chances. There was little response from the men in the crowd, though quite a few of the women seemed caught up in the little speech. And to her credit, though boring and far too idealistic for Jedrek’s taste, it seemed to have the very much desired, calming affect he knew she was going for.

    Unfortunately, the tables turned at her last statement. ”Charity is all we have to save our souls. The charity to help those in need and the charity to grant our understanding when a Lord's hands, even when they want to give, are tied.”

    [/b]”Ye wish for me to give up my land in exchange for charity. The very land I have toiled over since birth? I shall not let this bastard take it and cheat me from it [and have me work it lass… No, no, no that is not how that works. Charity! Ha!”[/b] The farmer shook his head as his voice raised, and quickly his anger exploded. With his voice now booming and echoing through the vaulted ceilings, he yelled, ”I’ll show you how good charity can be!” as he took a few quick steps forward, arm raised in retaliation against her.

    But he didn't make it half a step before Jedrek leaped over the table, seemingly with ease and put himself between the attacker and Lady Macari. Gasps filled the room and a few people scurried out of the way, as his large frame formed a unwavering wall before her. Simultaneously, Jedrek Calloway’s hand wrapped around the farmer’s raised arm and wretched the thin boney cluster to the side, putting their faces only a few breaths apart.

    ”I believe,” Jed began, his voice low but poised, ”my eyes have deceived me, sir, for I could have sworn you were about to raise your hand against a Lady.” He leaned in closer and his arm showed no sign of tiring from its tight grip around the farmer’s struggle. ”Now, you may not have known, but Lady Macari is a special guest of mine, under direct order of our King. Not only is it an crime to strike a lady of high birth, but she is a woman under your Lord and King’s protection… I could have you hung, right now. and no one would bat an eye.”

    In the flicker of the man’s eye, Jedrek saw what he needed to. Fear. Considering Jed stood at least a full foot taller than the man, and outweighed him with pure muscle by more than 6 stones, it was not difficult to imagine why he saw the flash of fear. But it was enough.

    ”Alas, that could not have been the case, though, could it?” Slowly, Jedrek released his grasp on the man’s arm and took a step back. He was nearly touching Lady Macari, his back firmly protecting her from any further harm.

    But it wasn’t needed, for the moment Jedrek released the farmer’s arm, his guards apprehended him, one on each arm to immobilize him.

    Clearing his throat, Jedrek’s dark gaze swept the hall, settling upon face after face before he raised his voice once more so that they all may hear. ”I know I have a large pair of boots to fill, that Lord Elston was much loved by his people.” Turning, Jedrek raised an arm and pointed towards the door that Lady Macari had entered from. ”I stood in that corner every day…watching, learning… as he stood before you… here.” His hand lowered to point at the floor and he managed a small, pained smile as he shook his head. For theatrics.

    ”He was a father to me. His daughter, my late wife, meant the world to me. But they were taken, and I am here to carry on the legacy they left behind. Our King found me worthy, and now I stand before you and ask you to open your minds, and give me the chance to prove my loyalty to you, my people.”

    A murmur swept through the crowd and Jed saw a few smiles and bobbing heads in response. But his main intent wasn’t winning them over. It was making his captive look like more of a fool than he already did.

    ”You will find, I hope, that your new liege can be lenient, as well. Instead of death by hanging, Sir Caldwell, I sentence you to one night in the stocks for your insult of your Lord, three nights for the insult of your King, and two nights for your threat to harm a highborn Lady of Balfour. On the morning of the 7th day, we will revisit your case. And should you find that your heart is changed, perhaps my ruling will as well.”

    With a nod to his guards, the man was hauled away with little struggle. Finally, he had lost his tongue.

    ”Long Live The King!” Jedrek bellowed, drawing the visitation to a close. After one last refrain from his people, they began filing out, voices raised in excited chatter.

    Jedrek had not dared to glance at Lady Macari again. The adrenaline that pumped through his veins now had transformed to a simmering anger. And he wanted nothing more than to retreat to his chamber and stew.

    @Coralie Marcari

  4. #4
    Junior Member Coralie Macari's Avatar  
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    ”Ye wish for me to give up my land in exchange for charity. The very land I have toiled over since birth? I shall not let this bastard take it and cheat me from it and have me work it lass… No, no, no that is not how that works. Charity! Ha! I’ll show you how good charity can be!”

    He took his hands from hers and raised his arm to strike her. There was no warning, at one moment the docile farmer went from nodding in agreement with her to brimming with hatred and anger. Coralie took a step back from the man but she was sure she would have never escaped his reach in time to avoid being struck. With her step backward, her rear hit the edge of the table she had been standing before, and her palms instinctively grabbed it to brace for her attacker's intended assault.

    In an instant, Jedrek was before her, his back was to her and he'd grabbed the farmer's wrist to stop him. As the Lord of Chatlawn wrenched the man's arm, gasps made their way through the crowd but they were quickly silenced by his voice. Her second instinct was to stand up straight and attempt to recover some ground that she had lost but there was no way she could. Petrified would be the only way she could describe her current state of mind.

    Lord Calloway continued to reprimand the man who attempted to attack her before the eyes of Chatlawn's masses and as his voice, low and strong, continued on it had a strange affect on her. It somehow, calmed her nerves, though she still gripped the table's edge tight as if she let go that she'd float away. When Jedrek stepped back, so close to her that she was only an inch from his back, that she snapped out of her trance and slowly released her grip upon the table. She took this moment to, at the very least, straighten her spine and regain some form of dignity.

    The guards had rushed forward and gathered up the farmer, while the other stepped backward in quite the hurry. The pair looked at one another for a moment and then back to the man who was being dragged away. The Lord of Chatlawn's voice, raised above the crowd, and their response was to nod. They were following him, they could believe in him, and with this show of force he may encourage more support than she'd thought possible.

    Seven days in the stocks, and they would bring the matter up once more. Coralie almost wished Jedrek would hang the fool and give his remaining lands to the other farmer. That would have earned a fair and humorous result. Alas, he seemed to have a kind spine after all, she just hoped it wouldn't be the death of him. As the man was hauled away she raised her voice to repeat the salute to the King and watched as no one gave her a second glance as they filtered from the room.

    She heard the steward, along with attendants, leave the room but did not turn to look to them. Now Coralie was left alone, in the hall, with the man who stood not even an inch away from her.

    Great.


    @Jedrek Calloway

  5. #5
    House Calloway Jedrek Calloway's Avatar  
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    Jedrek watched quietly as the room slowly emptied. His two remaining guards, and old friends, left with his clerk and steward, chatting quietly amongst themselves. As the large wooden door closed behind them with a bang, Jedrek was fully aware that he and Coraline were the only two souls left in the grand hall.

    Still, he said nothing. He could hear her breathing and feel her warmth from where he stood. In fact, if he just rocked back on his heels, Jed was sure he would knock her down. And the silence was quickly becoming unbearable… awkward even.

    Yes, awkward. Swallowing the Calloway took the few steps available for him to escape to the table with and scooped up his wine goblet. Tipping it back quickly, he downed what was left in one long gulp.

    ”Lady Macari,” he began slowly, pulling the now empty goblet from his lips. He didn’t speak again until he’d discarded the glass onto the table once more and filled his lungs to their capacity. ”It may come as a surprise to you that I have no explanation for your distaste of me, though if I had any doubts of such, your spectacle this afternoon would have put them to rest.”

    The wine wasn’t working quickly enough, which was neither a bonus or a inconvenience for the moment.

    Slowly he turned and for the first time since the event, his bright blue gaze took her in. ”For better or worse, this is our home now. I have placed no restrictions on your comfort, have endeavored to give you the solitude you require… while still unaware of the reasons for your residence. Furthermore, I have not stepped out of my way to bother you for those answers, have I?”

    He took a step closer, his back straight and his voice commanding once more. It was not difficult now to imagine him on the battlefield, leading one of the most successful attacks of the war. But this now, this wasn’t the King’s war - it was his own battle for control.

    ”But while you remain my guest, this room and all that transpires within these walls is none of your concern and you will not again insert yourself into the middle of my business and my rule, do you understand?

    ”Perhaps in time, you will begin to understand my capabilities. I highly doubt that you will agree with every decision I make, but your quiet opinion is none of my concern and should remain just that, yours and quietly considered.”

    His eyes met hers and held them. ”Now that we have a better… understanding of each other, are you alright?”

    @Coralie Macari

  6. #6
    Junior Member Coralie Macari's Avatar  
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    Jedrek stepped forward as he lectured her, after emptying the glass that was upon the table, and she could only feel the anger burning brighter in the pit of her stomach. She had been attempting to quell an uprising in the hall, since the Lord only saw fit to threaten the men with his title and commands. The farmer was obviously out of his mind and, she had to remind herself, the situation wouldn't have been different no matter what was done.

    She didn't answer any of his questions, until he finally made eye contact with her. He was quite a bit taller than she and she did her best to stand tall herself. Taking in a deep breath, she waited for just a moment to collect herself before answering him.

    "I am fine, thank you." Her voice was firm and her words were quick. She acted as if someone had not just threatened her in front of the whole of Chatlawn Hills upperclass society. With a quick curtsy, she turned on her heels and left the room, intent on retiring back to her room.

    She did not look back to him as she pushed the door open and closed it behind her. She just walked away as if it were any other day. If he thought that his lecture would garner any extra information from the Macari woman, he was sorely mistaken.

    @Jedrek Calloway

  7. #7
    House Calloway Jedrek Calloway's Avatar  
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    Now that his climax of anger began to subside, Jedrek easily saw how afraid she truly was. Though her back was straight, her chin lifted, and her gaze challenged his, he still saw it thinly veiled in her eyes. Jed had to give Lady Macari credit though, for she had enough strength to at least fake her security, especially after what had unfolded and his rational temper.

    Although he’d been justified in his reaction, Jedrek found himself almost feeling sorry for the outburst as he looked down at the woman in his charge. He had asked for none of this, and somehow found himself back in command of a group that beyond a doubt, did not care for him. But Lady Macari had not asked for this either - a point of which she made perfectly clear and he could not fault a woman for her lesser temperament.

    Looking over the lady’s head, Jedrek considered his options. He could apologize and appear soft, the very opposite of what he wanted to portray. Or he could hold firm…

    "I am fine, thank you.”

    Her voice woke him from his train of thought and he couldn’t help but marvel at the equal parts of composure and shortness portrayed. His brows furrowed as his gaze snapped back to her face, only to be greeted by a blur of motion and the back of her head as she retreated without a care.

    He was dumbfounded as she disappeared through the door which she had come from, leaving him alone with an empty goblet. All Jed could do was stand and watch the closed passageway as the silence settled in, until the only sound in the grand hall was a scoff that left his lips.

    ”Why does she keep doing that?” He asked the air with an incredulous shake of his head.

    @Coralie Macari

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