06.06.3013: Combat and Morale
Summary: Nikomachos attempts to persuade Sophie from the front lines.
Date: June 6, 2013
Related: "I'm Going to Regret This..." and My Dinner with Aidan
Sophie Nikomachos 

Private Salon - The Rose Inn, Imperius
Through a pair of wooden doors inlaid with stain-glass lead into the private salon. It maintains the decor theme of the rest of the inn with roses carved into the crown of the wainscotting and bowls of the fresh flowers placed on various surfaces. This room can be arranged to fit a variety of requirements. A large dining table can be set up for a private meal, or comfortable chairs can be arranged for a more casual conversation. There is a modest hearth where a fire can be summoned by compressing the simple button on the mantle. This room prides itself in being sound dampened and complete private.
6 June 3013

Having received an electronic message asking to talk, Nikomachos Cindravale booked the Private Salon at the Rose Inn, letting the young Sauveur know about the location. When she arrives, he rises from his chair, bowing his head slightly and gesturing to the little tray of teacups, a teapot, and a selection of teas and additives in the middle of the table, "Please, come in, My Lady Sophie, have a seat. Would you like something to drink?"

After having heard her meeting with Ellinor was postponed, she decided to send a message to Nikomachos, remaining in the luxurious pink dress she wore before. She cants her head back towards the man upon her arrival, a small smile slipping along her lips, "perhaps something light would be pleasant, I only recently enjoyed a dinner with Lord Aidan Peake." She slips gracefully into the chair across from the Cindravale noble, while Caedmon appears at the entrance to the private salon, leaning casually against a nearby wall. Sophie sighs softly, "you do not have to be so formal with me, Lord Sir Nikomachos. If my memory serves me correctly, you are a good friend of my sister Ellie."

Nikomachos draws out a chair for her, nodding his head… perhaps a little warily at the last point. As he comes back around the table to take his own seat, he adds, "Ellie and I are friends, yes." Shifting a little in his seat, he offers up his smile again, "So I hear, My Lady, that you want to stride out into the teeth of the Hostiles and take them on, woman-to-…" he hesitates there, then shrugs a little, "…thing."

Sophie smiles up at Nikomachos and offers a word of gratitude when helps her into a chair, though that smile might suspiciously widen a bit at the declaration of frienship. Nevertheless, she elicits a light chuckle to his words, "yes, whatever they are. But Ellie will be glad to hear that Lord Aidan has since talked me out of it. No small thanks to your offer to have me trained, of course…"

Nikomachos nods his head, "I'm glad to hear that Lord Aidan…" and then he stops, blinking a moment and tilting his head to one side, "My offer to have you trained, My Lady?" He sounds genuinely confused there. "Ahh, you mean the patrols." That seems to clear up a lot of it for him, "Yes, until the Hostiles make planetfall, patrols across the Plains of Ares should be a relatively safe place to gain enough training to protect yourself in desperation, while still doing some good for Haven."

Sophie blinks back, furrowing her brow in confusion, "yes…the riders, is what he said?" She nods her head slowly at the mention of patrols, deciding they must be the same thing, "perhaps you might place me on patrols with greater risk? I do not wish to be coddled and protected from danger, Lord Nikomachos. If I am to throw myself into the teeth of the Hostiles, which I -still- intend to do eventually, I wish to be as well equipped for the confrontation as I possibly can." She cants her own head to the side, "will you be joining me on some of those patrols? I should mention I plan to join soon, in the next few days if I may. And when I have the time, I will acquire scouting training from the Peake's."

Nikomachos nods his head at the first point, although the request that follows causes him to shake his head, "No, Milady. Unless you are a great deal more skilled with a blade, bludgeon, and spear than a lack of training would suggest, Milady, you should not be anywhere near any concentrations of Hostiles." Resting his hands on the edge of the table, he continues speaking in the same calm, light tone, "I will be riding patrols, as will the rest of the combat-trained Cindravales. My cousin Xenona, for instance, will not be fighting. She will be seeing to the needs of our people, a task which the Citizens of Landing will need done as well."

Sophie frowns at the man, "I may not be professionally talented with a blade, bludgeon, or spear, but I may very well be capable of shooting a bow better than most Knights, Lord Nikomachos." She sighs, "besides, what would you have me do? Stand idle until either the Hostiles are defeated or they walk through my bedroom door? Take me on your patrols, your personal patrols, and I will help you destroy Hostiles wherever they may be. Sir Barrow will come with me, and you will be there anyway, so there should be little cause for concern."

Nikomachos shakes his head at Sophie's words, "Then perhaps you should serve with the archers, Milady. You do know that they are trained to defend themselves in the rather common case that an enemy reaches them, yes?" He looks down to the table, sighing softly, "I'm handling this poorly. I apologize, My Lady." He rises from his seat, pouring out a cup of tea for himself and raising his eyebrow in question to her. Pouring it away if she requests it, he takes a seat again, "But I fear that perhaps you are not understanding the danger we are facing. It is not just on the battlefields that this war will be won. In order for us to survive this war, the populace of the Haven System must be united and confident. Morale will be more important than any individual blade, or bow."

Sophie shrugs her shoulders, if a bit harshly, "perhaps I should serve with the archers, though I do not wish to remain in the back forever. Besides, I have had a few lessons with all the weapons our armies employ. I am not a complete and utter novice to combat, at least." She nods hesitantly when the man silently questions pouring a drink for her, though confidently replies, "there is little I can do to assist with morale, Lord Nikomachos. When I was little, I was afraid and nervous of the people while walking the streets, too shy and anxious to muster much of any reply. Now, I may be more…comprehensible, but I am hardly an orator, I should think…" She licks her lips, "I mean, I could draw inspirational pictures, but I would rather do something more…more immediately satisfying."

Nikomachos shakes his head slowly, "Morale is not an issue of grand gestures much of the time, Milady. Simply being seen, comforting individual people, showing them that House Sauveur cares for them and their troubles… that is valuable indeed." Breathing out slowly, he gathers up his teacup and holds it beneath his face, "But as I said, I can probably arrange to have you ride along with some patrols. I don't arrange them, so I cannot direct which ones you serve with. You should also consider, however, the effect on morale that the death of a non-Knight Sauveur Lady might have…"

Sophie furrows her brow lightly, thoughts whirling in her mind as Nikomachos speaks. She purses her lips and falls silent, idly rolling the steaming tea about its vessel once the liquid is poured, "I…I had not thought of that. To simply comfort individuals…I do believe I am far more proficient on an individual level than orating to the masses…nor had I thought what might happen in the worst of situations." She glances up, still holding the teacup in hand, "I…" She sighs, "I do not know -what- to do anymore…"

Nikomachos watches the change come over the Sauveur, but he doesn't back away from his earlier offer, "I think it would be good for you to learn to defend yourself, and men who have actually seen action are the best people to learn from, Milady." Which wouldn't include him, but he talks a good talk. "The two encounters we have had with the Hostiles thus far, Milady, they have both involved non-combatants. Even if you are not serving with the soldiery, I'm sure that you will find a chance to use the skills you learn, even if you are taking a more wide-ranging role in the war by boosting morale."

Sophie blinks, "you are of course correct, Lord Nikomachos. Those experienced with battle would naturally be the best to learn from…like you, perhaps." Her lips crease upwards, smiling hopefully, a light shining in her amber eyes. She nods her head firmly, "perhaps I shall have myself taught and join the patrols just as I had planned, yet give myself enough time to visit the populace at large and show how much I care. If and when the time comes when I can defeat my sister Ellinor in a duel, I will take the fight to the Hostiles myself."

Nikomachos laughs lightly at the commentary on himself, and he shakes his head, "No Milady… I'm an excellent jouster, and very well-trained, but I haven't seen action myself." He takes a sip of his tea, shrugging a little, "I'm quite happy to do what I can, however, to ensure that they are quite polite while teaching you, and I might even be able to apply a few lessons myself." Chuckling at the mention of dueling, he shakes his head, "Make sure it's in a holosim, Milady, not with actual training blades. Even in the holosim, Ellie left me with quite a few bruises the one time we tangled." Shrugging helplessly, he adds, "Your sister will be very busy, however, Milady Sophie. I would not bother her with too many requests to spar. She will need a good deal of time to rest, given that she plans to be on the front lines of the fight against the Hostiles."

Sophie smirks lightly at the laughter, deciding to take her first gentle sip of her tea. She lets out a soft sigh, "this tea is delicious. I must ask who made it." No matter, she nods her head, "well, I'm sure -you- will have the opportunity to fight them soon, my Lord…but I am grateful that you will allow me on at least a few patrols and have me taught to fight a real battle…eventually." She arches a brow, "she is ruthless in combat then? You make me afraid, my Lord. I intend to spar with her in a holosim soon, though I doubt I will be capable of beating her." Then she glances down at her cup, laughing herself, "it's funny to hear such a thing aloud, that Ellie will be fighting the Hostiles. I admit to jealousy, but also worry and…perhaps a little understanding…" She sighs, "I hope I will join her before long…"

Nikomachos smiles at the compliment toward the tea, "It's a special of the house, Milady. It's not just wines and decor that they do well here." He nods his head at the mention of him seeing combat, "I intend to see combat as soon as I can — so long as it's on good, solid ground. I've trained for more than a decade to fight from horseback, Milady, and I don't intend to miss out on the first large-scale planet-side combat of the Third System War. Until then, of course, I will be seeing to the morale of the people of the Vale." Her laughter draws a wry smile to his lips, "She is quite capable. I'm sure she will be quite safe." There's more than a bit of worry in his voice, although he covers it pretty well.

Sophie grins, "well, if I may, I would be delighted to take some home with me, if at all possible." She takes another wondrous sip of her tea before replying, "I have been foolish, my Lord. I should have trained for this war many years ago. Instead, I have hardly as much skill in battle as you almost certainly do. Granted…I would imagine I could be a highly proficient scout, since Lord Eadric Peake all but raised me as such…" She shakes her head, drowning more thoughts in another drought of her drink, "anyway. You will have to show me how you heighten the morale of the people of the Vale. Lest I return home without knowing the first thing to do with such an act."

Nikomachos gestures to the collection by the teacups, "I don't think they would put those out again, since they've been served once. If you took them, I rather doubt anyone would complain." He takes another sip of his own cup, letting an easy smile spread across his lips, "I just do what feels right, Lady Sophie. I was giving out white roses to ladies in the Gardens a few weeks ago, ensuring that they knew that there were knights out there guarding them. I would imagine that just speaking with the people would suit, Milady, finding out what worries them and trying to assuage those worries."

Sophie smiles conspiratorially, nudging the collection of tea her way, "then I shall take it and enjoy it." She smirks lightly at the mention of what the man recently had done, "now if only I was in the gardens two weeks past…" She sighs, tapping her chin lightly in thought, "what if…what if I held audiences with the people? Do you think they would appreciate it? Were I to help judge between a disagreement, or at least hear the needs of the people. I may not be Regnant, but I think I should have enough wealth to assist the populace, if I am careful with where it is placed."

Nikomachos nods his head, thinking, "That might work for some… what about going to them, though? I mean, sure, some people need money, but don't most of them need reassurance more than money?" Sitting back and setting down his teacup, he nods across the table, "But I think that the general idea is a very good one, Lady Sophie. Just seeing a Sauveur out and about, concerned about them, I would think that that would help morale quite a bit. With Prince Emund shut in and Princess Janelle busy keeping things together," because he's not partisan at all, "have Sauveurs in public can only help."

Sophie nods her head thoughtfully, "it would not be all about giving money, but rather more to do with simply hearing their concerns if brought before me. Still, the act of walking among them might be good as well. I am sure visiting their homes would brighten their days, especially in the coming war." She chuckles softly however, "I do worry what will come of humanity with both reaching for the crown, especially at such a delicate time." She nods her head, slowly setting her cup down and rising from her seat, "but for now, I think you have given me a number of ideas. Thank you for speaking with me, my Lord. I truly do appreciate it. Perhaps you will visit me in the Matthias Towers sometime, and I am excited to receive your lessons in combat." She carefully gathers up the collection of tea into both hands, before canting her head and slowly beginning to move towards the exit.

Nikomachos nods his head, "You will certainly have to come to Phylon to prepare for your patrols as well." Rising as she does and moving around the table to offer his arm to escort her the short distance to the door, "You will have to have your armor, a horse — thoroughbred or destrier — your bow, and whatever hand weapon you would carry with you. I will do what I can to see that whomever you are patrolling with will take the time to teach you a little about the use of hand weapons, lances, riding in combat — if you need the lessons there — and such other issues as might be necessary. It won't be anything like squiring, but hopefully it will be enough that you might defend yourself at need, Lady Sophie. I am glad that I could help, I understand how hard it can feel not to have a purpose, and I am glad that you have found one for yourself."

Sophie smiles and nods her head, gratefully setting a light hand upon his offered arm the moment she can manuever the collections of tea to one side, "a thoroughbred, I think. I nor my armor is hardly heavy enough to require a destrier. But I shall gladly do so. I can easily ride my mare, at least, though less agreeable horses are certainly a challenge to me." Once they reach Caedmon at the door, she hands him the tea and turns towards her host, "again, thank you for providing me with a means to keep me busy." She smiles, "this is farewell then, for now. If you would allow it, I will begin my first patrol in only a few days hence." At that, she begins walking out, her Knight following close beside her.

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