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Let’s build some Pendragon characters! (And send them on adventures.)

The morning dawns bright, but the smell of ash fills the air. Apparently the mill was struck by lightening in the early morning and a significant portion of the thatch is still smouldering.

Sir Idres and Rupert, the steward, are down by the river surveying the site.

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I will go down and join them, standing deferentially behind them.
“Sir Idres.”

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Sir Idres half turns, and then notices it is you.

“Dylan, good day to you. Quite the scene, I have most the entire staff out clearing up the damage.”

He smiles broadly.

“How went the hunt?”

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“Yes - it was quite the storm. Was there much other damage to the manor?”
“Unfortunately, I think the storm played havoc with our hunt. We found a few tracks, but then things got washed out. I take it your other team did not fare much better?”

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He shakes his head.

“No trace to our west at all, but if you found indications it makes sense they did not.”

As you are talking, one of the grooms brings forth a rouncy.

“Unfortunately the damage is widespread and must be addressed. A great number of crops may be spoilt without immediate attention. I am sorry to say there will be no commoners diverted to the search today.”

He mounts the horse.

“Excuse me, but I need to survey the rest of the Manor.”

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Dylan will take the opportunity to return to the manor hall and try to find Lady Rowenna.

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Lady Rowenna still appears to be in her room.

The bodyguard, Sol, is still outside, sitting at a low table.

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Dylan will walk up to Sol.
“Good morning. Would you tell Lady Rowenna that I have a message for her?”

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Sol unsheathes a dagger, and begins sharpening it on a small whetstone.

“And what is the message?”

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Dylan shakes his head.
“I’m sorry, but it’s for the Lady’s ears, not yours. It is in regard to her upcoming nuptials.”

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Sols eyes flick upwards, focussing directly on your own. He holds your gaze for close to a minute. All the time his hands move, sharpening the razor edged blade.

“Sir Idres tried that one too. He got the same answer. Even after he reminded me he was a knight of the realm. I reminded him that he was knighted four weeks ago and I’ve been the ladies protector for almost a decade. No private audiences.”

He shakes his head and then raises his voice.

“My lady, a visitor. The squire Dylan requests an audience.”

Rowenna quickly emerges.

Sol continues to stare directly at you as he sharpens a second knife…

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“My lady…”, Dylan tries to put on a warm and friendly demeanor.
“I come to report on the results of the hunt yesterday. Unfortunately, although we did find some tracks, we were unable to locate your lost palfry. The storm yesterday did not help our search and has by now erased what tracks there were.”
“I would like to suggest to you that we move on to Sarum to prepare for your nuptials. I’m sure Sir Idres would be more than willing to provide a suitable new mount for you. And when your palfry does turn up, I will be happy to return and collect it for you.”
In a quieter tone of voice, and with a glance and a respectful nod towards Sol.
“I also grow concerned for your safety. I know your man here will do anything to protect you, and do a superb job of it, but I’m sure Sir Joel would feel much reassured to know you had been brought to Salisbury. I know there are some in Silchester who do not approve of your match, and will do what they can to delay or prevent it.”
Dylan stands back respectfully.

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Rowenna looks at the floor. She looks at the ceiling. Her expression turns black. Clearly she is troubled.

“There is a universal law of this land. It is hospitality. Even when my father lay on his apparent death bed he would raise himself to welcome guests to himself. When hospitality is taken it is a reciprocal arrangement. When you take hospitality you must respect it in turn.”

“When I became lost Sir Idres provides everything. The finest healers, search parties to find my horse and its associated wedding gifts, food and lodgings, even respecting my wishes that my father did not know the fate that befell us.”

She bites her lip.

“Sir Idres made a pledge that such hospitality would be extended until the horse was found.”

“Until the horse was found.”

“He will not give me another horse because he is adamant mine will be found. He does not want me arriving for a paupers wedding, devoid of a dowry.”

“I cannot leave without bringing disrespect on my family and his.”

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“You speak truth, my Lady. And I will do my utmost to make sure your wishes are respected. I will find your horse with all speed.”
After the Lady goes back in to her room, Dylan will speak with Sol.
“You and I are on the same side here - we both want to see the lady safe for her wedding.”
“Something other than mere hospitality is going on here, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Do you know anything that could help me? Is there anything you can tell me, without betraying your lady’s confidence?”

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“I have been here only two days longer than yourself, but I watched this place and it’s routines. How can I help?”

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“Have you seen anything from Sir Idres that leads you to believe he does not want the lady to leave his manor? I feel like they have some kind of past that he is clinging to.”
“I mean to do a more thorough search of the manor lands as well. It might be a coincidence, but we were able to track the lady’s palfrey a little bit, and it either came by itself, or was led back quite close to the lord’s lands.”
“Failing turning something up nearer the manor, Feld and I will do our best to resume a search of the surrounding area to try and turn up something new…All I ask is that you keep your eyes open for anything you’d consider strange, and let me know if you do.”

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Sol stops.

“I detect no malice, his concern is genuine. As children I know they were best of friends, before he was sent to page at the age of five.”

“Under my tenure I only remember them talking at length once, at the funeral of Idres’ mother Lady Bea. It was when he was 15, a great blow for the whole family. Left him and his father bereft. He never has remarried. I only remember it because Idres mentioned how lovely it was to have a lady in residence again.”

He pauses.

“As a knight I know he is very straight, always doing things as he was trained, regularly following the same routine, and the armour, always the armour. He is yet to be granted his own squire, something that I believe displeases him.”

As Sol finishes you notice Feld has entered the hall. He looks better, and is wearing a lovely green woollen jerkin.

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“Thank you, Sol.”
Dylan offers his forearm to Sol to clasp as a sign of solidarity.
“Come on, Feld…we’ve got a horse to find.”
Dylan takes Feld outside to the stable where they gather their horses and Dylan will quiz Feld to see if he has any ideas for where to search (Maybe Feld has a higher hunting than Dylan’s 6 :slight_smile: )
Dylan’s idea is to start by giving the manor grounds a once around - particularly the fields across from the last known tracks (at the number 8, all the way to the church at 2).
If nothing untoward has happened to the horse, then it may seek to return somewhere less wild, like those fields.
After that we will reevaluate and see where it makes sense to start the search in the forest again.

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Sol does not take your hand, but nods respectfully.

“Remember Salisbury, I’m not on your side, I’m on her side.”

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Feld is in good spirits. Apparently he dined with the local priest and visited the church for reflection.

“I think a lovely time was had by all, and he gifted me this fine tunic whilst my clothes were drying.”

(Feld, coming from a religious background has an even worse hunting skill than yourself.)

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