Main Room - Althea's Townhouse
Oak planks form the walls and floor of this townhouse in Broselov Circle. Light streams from two windows on either side of the door. The room is tastefully, though sparsely, furnished with a wood table surrounded by four wood chairs. A wood couch sits against one wall and is strewn with overstuffed pillows and blankets. A footstool and a rocking chair sit next to a fireplace.</b>
There is a muffled knocking upon the door leading to Out.
"I'll open it!" Elymara Threadgoode says, running to the door.
From Broselov Circle, Warlan yells, "Mistress Weaver! I have need to speak with you. Are you in?"
Elymara Threadgoode swings the door open from the inside, holding it open.
Standing over the young woman, Warlan tries to give her a comforting smile. The scar on his face makes that a tricky thing. Giving up, he enters the townhouse, pulling the hood from his head as he goes.
Althea watches as her Prentice opens the door. Seeing Bronze armor and the unmistakable stride of a Horseman, she struggles vainly to stand. "Your Highness," she says breathlessly. She wobbles then falls back into her chair."
Elymara Threadgoode closes the door behind her, against the draft, doing it slowly so that it shuts with a quiet, unobtrusive click. She steps into the room and picks up the measuring tape, winding it into a tight coil
Elymara Threadgoode 's eyes widen, and she bobs down into a curtsey, the coiled tape clutched tightly in her hand
Lotan Elkhorn is standing near Althea's chair, looking over at the figure that arrives. As Althea tries to move, he quickly attempts to reach and try keeping her in her chair. "Althea, you know you're not strong enough for that. Calm down," He says, quietly.
Warlan enters the house rather quietly, a trick for a man his size in full armor. Looking about the small common room to get his bearings, he notes the Weaver and two, who are not known to him. He ignores them and turns his attention to the Weaver, his face turning grave. "What's this Mistress? Are you ill?" He pulls the cloak from his frame and tosses it over a nearby chair. The action reveals the full bronze armor of a Horselord, though forgotten to its wearer at the moment. Approaching the chair he looks Althea over with concern. "Do you require a healer?"
Elymara Threadgoode holds the curtsey for a moment, but then falters, and steadies herself. Her eyes glance from side to side, and she tentatively stands up.
Althea's bright eyes darken, realizing her mistake. 'Ah, Excellency," she says. "You honor my home. Allow me to introduce my friends. This is Master Lotan Elkhorn, of the Duke's guard, and this is Elymara Threadgood my prentice." She gestures to each, sweat beading her forehead. "I am well enough, alive, and that is more than I could say for myself earlier today. But you come at such a late hour. Is there something amiss?" She seems to struggle with emotion, her pale face even paler.
Elymara Threadgoode dips her head politely, and turns towards the cabinet, silently stealing towards it. She places the tape inside, softly closing the door. She reaches for a small piece of paper, and begins folding it, freezing momentarily as it crinkles.
Lotan Elkhorn's eyes, however, widen as he notices the obvious rank that Warlan possesses. Quickly, he falls to his knees before the man, bowing his head. "Ah, Horselord! Lieutenant Elkhorn, Blades Reserves, Vozhdya Garrison," speaks Lotan quickly, keeping his gaze floorward.
Elymara Threadgoode starts as Lotan sinks, and looks back and forth between everyone present, and quickly imitates him, re-sinking into a deeper curtsy than before. The hand with the paper in it awkwardly clutches her skirts as she sinks.
The Horselord takes a moment to look the Weaver in the eye. Shaking his head slightly, he pulls his gauntlets off and lays a hand on her arm. "Nothing that requires your getting up again Mistress. Please allow your friends to take care of you." Standing again, he looks at the others in the room with a critical eye. Apparently coming to a decision, he goes on. "The Horsemaster has sent me looking for the painter called Kalla. He recommended you to me as one who could help in that quest." Now noticing the two companions still down on knees he chuckles, "I thank you for your notice. Now please...up with you and take care of the Mistress, yes?
Elymara Threadgoode bounds up to her feet and exclaims in eager agreement, "Yes!
Lotan Elkhorn reverently rises before Warlan, bowing his to toward him again. "Of course, Sir." He speaks lowly, going back to standing near Althea, looking over her a moment before growing quiet.
Elymara Threadgoode looks sidelong at Lotan and murmurs in a more muted tone, barely above a whisper, "I mean, yes… sir."
Althea is overtaken by a coughing fit and buries her face into the blanket. After a moment, her body stops shaking and she looks up to the Horselord. "Forgive me Excellency," she says. "I took a spin in the river today and am still recovering." She gestures to a chair nearby. "Please sit, have some tea while I try to recall the painter you speak of." Althea rearranges her blanket. "He came a fortnight ago, ostensibly to order a cloak. I've not seen him since but he spun strange tales of a Gold Knight. A man hired to free Dianna from the Keep Dungeon. I contacted His Highness as soon as I was able, troubled by his appearance."
Elymara Threadgoode silently moves over towards the stove, casting a quick peek at the Baron. She takes the lid off of the kettle and peers inside it, shaking it in a circle to check for water. Satisfied, she sets it on the stove.
Warlan pulls a chair close, careful to not block the warmth from reaching the Weaver. "You mean 'on' the river, yes?.. As for the painter, so much the Horsemaster related to me. I am hoping you might fill in some details." He shifts in the chair carefully, aware of his bulk in armor. "Had you seen this man before? Do you, any of you, know that he resides here in Vozhdya for a fact? These things will help my quest."
Elymara Threadgoode looks up from the kettle and shakes her head. She turns back to the stove and looks over the shelves beside it, standing on her toes to look into them. She reaches for a box.
"Sorry, My Liege, I have heard nothing of any of these occurrences, though would be happy to volunteer," Lotan tells Warlan, then grows dutifully silent again.
Elymara Threadgoode takes four cups off of the shelves, setting them in a neat little row along the edge of the stove.
Althea chucklecoughs. "No, Excellency," she says grimly. "I was in a boat on the water one moment, then /in/ the water the next." She shakes her head. "I had never seen Kalla before, Excellency. I only know he was a painter in search of work. He wove strange tales built of half-truths. I thought at first he had mistaken the Prince for this Knight of Gold, but he was adamant that he was not. Then he said something about that to find the Knight, you had to wear a flower on your garb." Whachoo! "I can't say for sure, but I believe perhaps this man and the Knight were one in the same. I will watch for him if he comes to my shop again. You also Elymara. Tell me if a man named Kalla comes for a cape. Do not press him though. Let him leave, or perhaps find out his home, then find Lotan to take care of it.
Elymara Threadgoode nods obediently, casting a sidelong glance at Lotan. She takes the box of tea and pours several spoonfuls into the teaball. Lifting the lid, she drops it into the pot. Suddenly she pipes up, "Should I give him the cape, or tell him its not ready and make him come back for it?"
Warlan listens carefully, nodding to the companions' answers, raising a brow At Althea's story of woe, going grim again as she relates more about the Painter. “Ah, yes, thank you. This is helpful to me Mistress." Turning abruptly at the Apprentices interruption, he never-the-less takes a moment to consider her suggestion. "That...yes. That is a fine idea, you Prentice. Only take great care, if you take that path. This man is likely dangerous, whether or no he is who we suspect." Waving a hand toward Lotan, he adds, "And take care that only your mistress and this Blade know of this, yes?" He follows this with a slight scowl, a calculated one used on his own householders who have skipped their duties. "In all things, take your own safety highly as it concerns this man.
Elymara Threadgoode nods quickly, shrinking back slightly with wide eyes. She hurriedly picks up a cup of tea in each of her little hands, nearly spilling some, but recovering before she does. She walks slowly over to the Baron and holds out a cup in silent offer.
"My Liege," begins Lotan respectfully to Warlan, "If we should locate this man, would you like me to summon up what I can of the Duke's men and handle him or would you prefer me making this a Blades only matter?"
Elymara Threadgoode 's gaze darts sideways to Althea at the sound of the cough, and then uncertainly towards the Baron as she holds the tea out.
Warlan takes the offered cup in his long fingered hand, careful not to bump it against his vambrace edge. Responding to the Blade he shakes his head. "You will do neither, yes? This is not a matter for them. In this, you answer only to me, and I answer only to the Emperor's Brother, you understand Blade Lotan?" Warlan's eyes never leave Lotan as he takes a sip of tea, calm as a sunny afternoon. "If you locate him you will come find me. I will be in Marble Grove."
Elymara Threadgoode withdraws her arm and moves towards Althea with the second cup, offering it to her.
Althea takes the offered cup from her Prentice. 'Thank you, Elymara," she says. "We will be vigilant, Excellency. My friends are very trustworthy and we will do all we can for you and His Highness." She sniffles as she breathes in the warmth from the cup.
Lotan Elkhorn nods quickly at Warlan's words, responding as soon as he is able. "Of course, My Liege. If he is located, I will look for you there.
Elymara Threadgoode dips her head, and makes her way back over to the stove. She picks up the last two cups, and moves to stand by Lotan's side, offering him the third cup.
Warlan looks from face to face, finally settling on Althea's. He rises from his chair, setting the teacup down on a nearby table. Holding her gaze for a long moment, he finally grants a small, strange smile. "The Horsemaster grants you as friend Mistress, and that is something rare and precious. But for that fact, I would not ask any of this from you or your companions. He will not be happy if I have brought you into the path of harm, yes? So you must follow my guidence and take care in this. I will be near, watching." Pulling his gauntlets on again, he makes for the door. "I will bid you a good evening and good health, Mistress, I thank you for your time."
Althea sets her cup aside and sitting up as far as she can manage, bows her head. "I pray I may continue to be of service to you and the Prince, Excellency," she says. "We for our part will do as you ask." She blinks tiredly and falls back into her chair, a coughing fit taking her.
Elymara Threadgoode keeps her gaze modestly lowered as she is gazed upon, only raising it when Althea's coughs rack the room. She hurries to Althea's side, digging into her pocket to pull out a scrap of wool, which she hands to her as a rag. "You should get some rest, Mistress Weaver... shall I leave you to it?"
Lotan Elkhorn remains quiet, looking over at Althea with concern as she coughs. Once Warlan leaves, he moves to her, smiling gently. "Maybe I should crash on the couch while you're like this," Lotan grins at Althea, though, probably not serious.
Althea nods tiredly. "Yes, sleep," she mutters, her eyes closing and relaxing into the chair. "Light keep Lotan, Elymara. Thank you." A last sneeze then a gentle snore.
Elymara looks up at Lotan, "And goodnight to you, Master Elkhorn." She quickly takes the cups and puts them in the washbasin.
"I'll take that as a no," Lotan chuckles, shaking his head and grinning at Elymara. "Let's head out, then. No comfy couch for me." He heads outside.