07.06.3013: A Squire Blooms In A Garden
Summary: Agnes and Viannea meet in the gardens of Khar-Mordune. Chiron joins them and Agnes may have found a new squire.
Date: 06 July 2013
Related: None
Agnes Chiron Viannea 


Gardens of Night — Khar-Mordune, The Spine
Just outside the graceful entrance to the Nether Keep is the Gardens of Night. It is far from a traditional garden. There are no flowers, shrubs, or lawns to be found, but instead natural cave formations such as flowstone, draperies, and delicate helictites that are covered in bioluminescent algae and moss. There is a constant soft sound of dripping water from the spiky ceiling of stalactites that has been integrated into a natural fountain that cannot be easily compared to the classic, manmade fountains of other castle gardens.

At the back of the gardens is the organic and graceful entrance with a flowing staircase that leads up to a column-flanked archway. More of that delicate helictite formation is used to accent the gateway into the Nether Keep, inviting visitors inward.

06 July 3013

The strange and fanciful gardens of the mountain are something Sir Agnes finds incredibly soothing. Most people not born in Khar-Mordune might find it terrifyingly claustrophobic. She has only recently returned from the hospital in Landings, by way of an archery lesson in Arboren. It has been some time since she was last home and could just relax. She's wearing simple soft leather breeches and a blouse, settled on a bench and looking up at the phosphorescent moss clinging to a stalactite above.

Vi has been out for a good part of the day, paying a visit to the newly-made squire Nitrim at his place of training. Sir Flint was met in the process and, while her visit was short it has left her with a lot to think about. Her footfall is almost quiet as is she, the only sound emitted from her is a quietly hummed tune. It isn't until she's almost at the bench entirely that she notices Agnes' presence which cause her to smile. "Aunt Agnes. I do hope you are well."

Agnes looks over at the voice and gives Viannea a smile. It's warm, if a little weary. "Niece, come sit with me. What's on your mind?" She pats the bench beside her and settles her callused hands in her lap.

Chiron had been feeling particularly adventurous that day. He had always been fascinated with Khar-Mordune, so he had decided to head out and explore. After sightseeing for a few hours he stumbles upon an underground garden. He scratches his head and smiles, pleased with himself for finding something new. It takes him a few minutes of looking around to notice the two women who are also at the gardens. When he does notice he raises his eyebrows as if not expecting to find anyone else here and says, "Oh, I'm sorry. I was just looking around…"

A seat is taken upon that offered spot on the bench. It isn't until then that Viannea speaks again. "I have noticed a trend of Knights taking on squires who are older than the norm," she starts before lifting a shoulder in a slight shrug. "Not that I doubt the Knights' judgement, Aunt Agnes. I am just thinking on the practicalities of it." As another voice sounds she looks up and smiles upon seeing Chiron. "It is alright. Please feel free to take them in. They are spectacular, are they not?"

"It's war, Viannea," Agnes explains. "We need every man and woman capable of defending Haven to be trained to do so. Even the less martial children of nobility are beginning to realize the value of being a knight, or in the navy. Hopefully they'll also begin understanding the urgency in marrying and having babies. The Hostiles were here for forty years last time. Our children will be fighting this war. Their children might be too." She looks over at Chiron and smiles, beckoning him closer. "A visitor to the mountain for the first time?" she asks.

Chiron grins at the two women, he seems rather content. He says to Viannea, "Yes, it is quite the spectacle. I've not seen a garden quite like this before." before turning to Agnes, "Yes, ma'am. I had some time off so I figured I would go delving." He smiles at the two of them again, "My name is Chiron, by the way. Sergeant Chiron, if you wanted to be formal."

There is a slow nod. "True. And I believe the one…" Yes, she is purposefully not naming names although Agnes might be able to figure out who she is referring to without it if she's kept up on rumors about nobility becoming squires recently, "… did say as such." Chiron's smile's infectious and is soon caught by Vi who grins almost ear from ear. "It used to scare me as a child. Father used to tell me I was being silly but the glowing rocks… they looked like ghosts to me." When he introduces himself she offers the gentleman a hand. "Viannea Peake." Titles for herself are forgone for herself but not when she introduces Agnes. "This is Lady Agnes Peake, my aunt."

"Welcome to Khar-Mordune, Sergeant Chiron. And that would be, Lady Sir Viannea Peake." Agnes adds. "My once-squire." She smiles and gestures to the bench across from them for him to sit. "When I was little, I thought they were the spirits of the mountain, protecting us," she notes.

Chiron bows to the two Ladies, "Thank you for the warm welcome, I've lived here all my life and never knew such wonders existed." He takes a seat on one of the rocks opposite of the Ladies. "It is a pleasure to meet the two of you." He still seems distracted by the underground garden. "I can't help but overhearing something about Knights taking older squires, how true is this?"

Viannea tries to avoid titles under casual circumstances but seems Aunt Agnes won't allow for that and she winds up a bit red at the cheeks and across the bridge of her nose when the elder Peake gives her name properly for her. Chiron's question is answered with a nod at first but then she clears her throat and speaks. "I know of two myself, Chiron although that is all I will say on the matter at the moment since I do not wish to gossip."

"Well, I'm aware of one, but that might be more an issue of disciplining and out of control child than anything," Agnes murmurs. She rubs her hands lightly, working at the tired joints and tendons from a day of archery practice. "Either way, I do not see shame in it. I am glad they have decided to protect Haven." She shrugs a little bit. "They call us the old guard for a reason, Viannea. Much of the knighthood is a bit creaky in the knees these days. Myself, Lady Aelewen, Lady Alexis, and so on."

Chiron tilts his head to the side when Agnes mentions an older squire and child, and nods, believing to know who she was referring to. Looking at Viannea he says, "I wasn't aware being a squire past a specific age was something to be ashamed of. As highly unlikely as it would seem, if I was offered the chance to become a knight I would take it, no matter how old I was." He smiles at her, then his eyes light up in shock, "Not that I was implying that anyone should… just that I would jump at the opportunity." He looks to Agnes as he says, "I have found that experience usually trumps brute strength, I would rather have five well seasoned knights fighting beside me then twenty fresh, strong new recruits."

Old guard. That's something Viannea kind of considers herself but that's a product of her aunt's training perhaps. It's definitely not her age as she is into her early-twenties and doesn't fall into the category because of that, at least. "I just hope the new knights will be willing to carry on the traditions we seek to uphold, Aunt Agnes." When Chiron poses another question she answers quickly, not needing to think upon it. "It depends on the circumstance. If one becomes a squire at an age to be considered older than what is considered normal it isn't shameful. But if a squire's older than what one might expect due to being seen as unfit to wear the spurs of one…" The look on her face should serve well to complete the sentence for her.

"Being given leave to enter knighthood for someone of your age rare, but not impossible, nor an indicator of being unfit," Agnes notes to Chiron. "In most cases, it is a noble's child who didn't want to fight as a youth, or a citizen whose parents did not have the connections to find training for their child. How long have you been in service? A good military record would go far to impress a Knight, if that is what you desire." She nudges Vi a little with an elbow, and smiles at her.

"Well, Sir Agnes, I have been serving for about five years now. I actually tried to become a knight a few times growing up, but my parents are Horse Breeders, the very few times I was given a chance it was taken by one of the noble children." Chiron says, he seems almost proud to talk about his service in the military. "When I was around twenty I realized that the only way I could be come a knight was to prove myself in battle. I also needed to get out of the house and I wanted to do something worthwhile."

Viannea blinks at Agnes when she's bumped against, that being what she's not expecting. It takes her a second but she eventually manages to recover and smile at the soldier. "Perhaps we can help with that, if you're interested." A deep breath is taken and then she rubs her nose, her eyes narrowed. "But it'd be tough. Lots of hours training and there are the responsibilities like helping your knight maintain their armor and weapons and taking care of their horses and the tack…" No, she's not trying to talk Chiron out of it. She's just telling it like it is.

"If you are sincere in this desire, Sergeant, have your documentation forwarded to me. I am without a squire at current and, provided you measure up to my standards, I may be willing to take you on. If this would be agreeable to you?" Agnes looks at him steadily as she makes this offer. "Are you good with horses of a," ahem, "headstrong sort? My destrier is a particularly ornery cuss. Any squire of mine will have to handle him."

Chiron nods to Viannea, "I understand, I learned much of what would be required when I grew old enough to think of perusing it. I would gladly tend to armor and grueling training sessions if it meant a better warrior to defend the ones we love." He turns to Agnes, "Sincere doesn't even come close. I can have the paperwork to you in a few days." He gives Agnes an almost defiant smile, "I've lived with horses my whole life, Sir. I've seen my fair share of headstrong."

Viannea laughs and shakes her head, her eyes sparkling. "Aunt… pardon me. Sir Agnes is a wonderful knight but let me tell you, my good man. She is not afraid to put a spur to one's buttocks if she feels you're in need of correction." There's affection in the way Vi teases, the joke made out of love for the very woman she once served.

Agnes chuckles and exchanges a knowing look with Viannea. "You've never met Argent. I don't think there's anyone on Imperius he hasn't tried to bite, kick, or stomp on the foot of. He bit me. Once." She then punched him right in the nose and after that they were buddies for life. "And Viannea speaks true. I am tough on my squires, but it results in the best Knights." She smiles.

"Well, that suits me just fine. I only accept the best." Chiron says doing his best to hide the excitement in his voice. Calming down slightly he continues, "I would be honored to be your squire, Sir Agnes. It is quite humbling to have you seriously consider me. If this happens, I will not let you down."

Argent. Her aunt's horse is someone Vi had a love-hate relationship with. She still bears a scar from when that bugger decided to chomp down on a fleshy bit. She never did tell Agnes about that and has no plans on doing so any damn time soon. "Looks like congradulations are in order," she says with a bow of her head, respect shown to them both.

"If you two lovely young people will excuse me, I need to make some preparations before leaving for Primus. When I return, Sergeant, I'll be looking for those documents," Agnes notes. She stands nearly a half foot taller than the young man. Oh boy, he's in for a heck of a ride as her squire. "Viannea, do take care of this young man. He may be considered family soon."

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