05.14.3013: Flower Knight
Summary: Nikomachos does his part for morale, and then chats with Ellinor and Ariston.
Date: 14 May 2013
Related: Tales of Drakes and Toy Horses
Nikomachos Ellinor Ariston 

Gardens of Erkwin, Landing
While the Arborenin may like their greenery wild and lush, the Gardens of Erkwin are carefully and precisely manicured, even if they are no less green for all the attention they have received at the clippers of gardening drones. Broad expanses of grass are trimmed to exactly the same height, grown to exactly the same verdant shade. Hedges are neatly clipped back into exacting shapes. Some form mythical creatures, others living statues of famous historical figures, and one section even rises in geometric patterns to create a hedge maze. Between the hedges and lining paths of crushed gravel are beds full of flowers from all over Imperius — and before that, from all over Old Earth.

As beautiful as the gardens are, however, all of the paths lead through them toward the stadium on the water's edge. A final parade of flags draws the attention of most onlookers up toward the bulbous blue shape of the stadium's half-roof, which is lit from within by the glow of the lights when a tournament is taking place or a soccer game being played.

14 May 3013

Nikomachos is out and about, meeting and greeting. He's actually taken it upon himself to wander through the Gardens of Erkin, speaking with the common people and reassuring them that they are well defended, and that there is nothing to fear. It helps that he's mostly speaking to young women, he's handing out white roses, and he's smiling a lot. Giving out a series of quick hugs to a trio of young Citizens, and handing out three white roses from a container his squire is carrying, he smiles and waves them off, turning back to his squire to count the number of remaining rose blossoms.

The Drakefire Knight of the Sauveurs is striding with purposeful and dedicated steps across the gardens. Her boots are covered with the dust of Primus, and she is nervously rolling the interconnected polygon of the Six in her palm as she walks. She starts to slowly take notice that there are a lot of individuals with white roses in their paws, and she frowns a bit as she looks around to figure out what might be the origins of this. Then her pale green eyes alight on Nikomachos and Ellinor smirks without hesitation. She starts to adjust her strides toward him, closing her fist around the rosary.

Ariston's presence in the gardens lacks the flair displayed by his fellow Knight and Valen, the gardens sought out, perhaps, for other reasons as the man walks the perfectly maintained paths. The giggles that spring up from one small group of young women that have received white roses tugs his attenion Nikomachos' way. Brow furrowing slightly, it is a moment before the pieces of extravagant clothing and bright smile come together in recognition of a family member. His idle trek through the gardens gaining purpose as he makes his way in Nikomachos' direction, unaware as yet that another has determined a similar course.

Nikomachos spots the Sauveur before he spots his kinsman, a broad grin splitting his face as he beckons to his squire for another flower. Carefully composing his features, he turns toward the female knight, offering out the flower on the fingers of both of his hands. His usually crisp tenor is flattened out to a breathy whisper and he greets her, "We just want you to know, beautiful lady, that the knights and soldiers of Haven are here to protect you, whatever the danger." He can't hold his flat look any longer than that, and begins laughing aloud, only then noticing Ariston and offering up a distracted wave.

Ellinor arches up a brow as Nikomachos turns to her and offers out the rose. She instinctively takes it, though it is given a bit of a smirk even as she sniffs at the bloom. "Well, the rose is quite beautiful, as is the sentiment, but I really don't have anything to offer you so you know that the knights and soldiers of Haven are here to protect you, too." She does offer him a bit of a smile before she notes the wave, turning her head in the direction, and thus spying Ariston. "Someone you know?"

Another white rose, another young woman, though this one appears both familiar and unlike the recipients up to this point. The laughter draws him up short, but at the wave he closes the final few paces that separate him from Nikomachos and Ellinor. His own hand comes up in acknowledgement of his kinsman, "Sir Niko," he says, the small formality added with the presence of the unknown companion. His gaze briefly assesses Ellinor and her state of dress before an eyebrow raises in Nikomachos' direction, a prompt, perhaps, for an introduction.

Nikomachos shrugs helplessly, spreading his hands palm-up at his sides. "Just trying to raise spirits and morale, Ellie." Looking over to Ariston, he offers up a crooked smile, "Coz." Gesturing across to Ellinor, he adds, "Sir Ellinor Sauveur, Sir Ariston Cindravale, my cousin." He frowns thoughtfully a moment, amending, "Some sort of cousin. Second cousin, first cousin once removed, something like that. You know how it goes. Ariston, Sir Drakefire, one of our noble defenders from the House of the Double-Eagle. And now the recipient of a morale-boosting rose."

Ellinor's eyes drop to the rosary still twisted up in her hand, and she gently shoves it into her pocket so she may instead hope to find comfort in the rose instead. She looks down at the petals, admiring the white velvet curls before she lifts her gaze up toward Nikomachos and Ariston once more. She inclines her head respectfully — brother in arms, after all. "Sir Ariston… good to meet you." Then she pauses a moment, brow wrinkling. "So… that makes you the Sir Kallista's… son?" She appears to be genuinely trying to puzzle that together.

Ariston offers a faint grimace at 'coz', but it clears quickly as actual introductions are made, the corners of his mouth tugging up slightly as Nikomachos places him… somewhere in the family tree. To Ellinor, he dips his head, smiling more fully, "Sir Ellinor, it is a pleasure to meet you as well." At her guess, he gives a nod, "Right in one. I'm Solon's older brother," he offers, hoping that might settle his placement in her mind.

Nikomachos turns his shrug to Ariston this time at the grimace, "Yes, yes… but I only get away with 'Coz' once every couple of weeks. But it's been what… a week and a half? And you know how I like to push my luck." Turning that smile from Ariston to Ellinor he adds, "If you can't remember, Ariston, then I'm sure that Ellie can tell you. I was foolish enough to take her on with a sword. And she was foolish enough to ask me for a drink."

"Older," Ellinor says with a meaningful arching of her brows. "Right… I remember now." She casts him a small grin that warms her green eyes a bit. "It is a pleasure, and absolutely wonderful to see another Valen hanging around Nikomachos… puts him into a better perspective." And she glances toward the other Valen before she gives the white rose a bit of a twirl. "I was rather foolish because he's yet to ask me for a drink in return." She rolls her shoulders a bit, breathing out an exhale.

"Just in unknown company, Niko. Appearances are important, right?" Ariston gestures, the motion encompassing both Nikomachos' squire and the remaining white roses, a grin on his lips. The grin widens at Ellinor's arching brows, "I make a better knight than heir. Mother understands the hazards, but I think my life would be a bit less eventful if the line was depending on me. So it's a win-win, yeah? And I'm sure once he gets over the shock of the bout, a request to join him for drinks will be incoming." A hand drops down to the pommel of his sword, idly fiddling with it before addressing Nikomachos, "I'm sure it was good practice for the tournament. I know the jousting is where the glory is at, but we can't be ignoring the fundamentals, can we?"

Nikomachos arches his eyebrows at Ellinor, "Oh? You don't count getting away from Lulu's meddling claws," that could have been sarcastic or mean-spirited from another man, but from Niko, it's nearly laughing, "as asking you out for a drink?" Snorting softly at Ariston's words, he shakes his head, "I'll be avoiding the melee, thank-you-very-much. I know where my strengths are, and where my weaknesses are. I'll stick to the tilt and be quite happy about it." Reaching back to pluck up a flower, he offers it out wordlessly to his cousin with a crooked smirk, then casts sidelong to Ellinor, "Would you like to join me for dinner and drinks this evening, Ellie? You can tell me why you were on Primus then, if you'd like." See, he did notice.

"No… you used it as an escape," Ellinor says wryly, rolling her eyes toward Ariston. "He apparently is quite afraid of the Lady Lucretia… I find her quite endearing actually." Probably because it seems like Nikomachos is afraid of her. She then casts a glance toward Ariston. "Now I will get a spontaneous offer to go out for another round of drinks," she replies calmly with a quirk of a smile. Then she glances toward Nikomachos at his invite and she mouths to the Cindravale. 'Told you.' Then she smiles broadly. "Well, Sir Nikomachos… since you asked."

"Aunt's been on you too, has she?" Ariston's query is more long-suffering than Niko's more sanguine tone, but it too lacks malevolence. He accepts the rose from Nikomachos with a wry grin, making a 'for me' gesture before snapping off most of the stem and placing the flower in his vest's pocket on his right side, the white petals reflected in the shimmer of silver. Ellinor's quip gets a soft laugh, "She has an intense interest in the private lives of certain male kin that can be hard to escape from, but yes, she can be quite charming in her way." To the mouthed aside, he gives a nod, "He's dependable in this, at least."

Nikomachos laughs softly at Ellinor's words, "Well, if you want to go talk to her about a betrothal after one date," Well, now he's calling it a date, "I'm sure she would be quite happy to pick out your wedding dress. Personally, I would much rather enjoy a few dinners, drinks, that sort of thing." And then his brain catches up with his mouth, and he clears his throat, flushing along his cheekbones, "I mean… uh… shit."

"No betrothal," Ellinor says firmly. "I don't need to think about that while I'm also trying to prepare for the Hostiles." There is something a bit honest, lost, and heavy-hearted there. Someone has been really thinking about this. She breathes in deeply, straightening out her shoulders once more. "Lets stick with dinner and drinks for now." She casts Ariston a bit of an apologetic smile. "Enough about that… there's a tournament coming up, is there not? That's a nice topic to discuss, yes?"

Ariston laughs loudly, shaking his head, "Niko, I won't tell Aunt about this, but you owe me one." The laughter fades at the mention of the Hostiles, however, his hand once more idly fiddling with his blade's pommel. He lets the moment fade away for the moment as Ellinor pushes past the threat of tomorrow, "Indeed. You'll see me in the melee and on my ass in the joust. Will you be entering as well, Sir Ellinor?"

Nikomachos shakes his head at Ariston, "Get your marker somewhere else. She already proposed the idea." The frown and darkness from the Sauveur causes him to frown as well, waving off his squire to take the remaining flowers off elsewhere. "And dancing." The addition is spoken under his breath, and then he allows the subject to shift away, "What Valen knight would pass up the opportunity to join in on this tournament in some manner? Although I'm sure you'll both have to watch out for Khourni in the melee, they'll do most anything to stay away from a horse."

"Do Valens know how to pass up any tournaments?" Ellinor asks with a bit of a smirk. She shakes her head a bit before her wrist communicator gives a little chirp. She releases a sigh as she looks down at it, tapping at it to flash her caller identifier. "It is Lyrienne… I should take this. I haven't checked in on her yet today." She looks between the pair. "Sirs… if you will excuse me. Sir Ariston… it is a pleasure to meet you in person. Keep this one" And she nods her head at Niko. "out of trouble."

"Damn, I thought it'd definitely pan out this time," Ariston responds with a insincere sigh. "The Khourni spend too much time in melee, but perhaps they feel they must represent in some way? It certainly isn't jousting." He puts on an innocent air at that comment before smiling at Ellinor, "I think we know how in technical terms, as we must continuously advise our Khourni friends how to avoid embarrassment, but you have the right of it. We ourselves would not miss one." As Ellinor receives a call, and then moves to excuse herself, he nods, "The same, Sir Ellinor. Though I fear there is no one that can keep Niko completely free of trouble, I shall endeavor to do my utmost."

Nikomachos shakes his head at Ellinor, "It's a magnetic attraction. Most keep it tuned only toward Tournaments, of course." Winking briefly, he nods to Ariston, smiling guilelessly, "Did I mention that Ellinor's father is Crescent-born?" Laughing lightly, he nods to the Sauveur, "I'll drop by the Towers say…. eight-ish for a late dinner and drinks?" Turning away after he gets — or doesn't get — a response, he looks to his cousin again, "She claims she'll be entering both joust and melee as well. Help me pass out the rest of the flowers? Two glamorous knights is better than one, after all."

Ariston coughs at the mention of Ellinor's father's heritage, but the inbound comm call saves him from any explanation, "I don't hold it against her?" He's unable to quite reach Niko's level of guileless facade, but he makes a valiant effort regardless. "Perhaps she will not recall the slight long enough for us to team up a bit in the melee," he comments, even as he moves to fall into step beside Niko, "I suppose I could accompany you on your journey to bolster the… morale of the young women of Landing."

Nikomachos sighs dramatically, "Such a difficult job, but someone has to do it, even though it only pays in smiles." Breaking the somber facade, he laughs aloud, gesturing his cousin on as he leads the way after his squire. "Come on, it won't take long. There aren't many left."

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