07.15.3013: Lutes and Lullabyes
Summary: Bards and soldiers meet in the outdoor Market of the Rovehn caravan.
Date: 15 July 2013
Related: None
Alle Llacheu Rebecca 

The Bottoms — The Caravan, The Vale
Wherever the Caravan of House Rovehn may be, the stretch of plains where they set up their temporary settlement is known as The Bottoms. They favors flatlands where there is plenty of room for each of the large, wheeled caravans to set up comfortably — usually ranging from a one and a half to two square miles of open space. There is an organic way in which the caravans arrange themselves, almost naturally establishing districts and neighborhood blocks with roads of trodden grass winding their way between them. It is exceptionally rare to come across a parked caravan that doesn't have its rampways extended and exterior doors open. When weather allows, most of those caravans with housing units have their windows open, noises of everyday life mingling with the sounds of the plains.

Surrounding The Bottoms are the various horse herds, each of which are looked after by dozens of riders. Destriers, thoroughbreds, and walkers all mix and mingle together into cohesive groups. Hard light fences and paddocks are erected to provide safey and necessary shelters for the herds.

15 July 3013

It isn't often that Llacheu leaves his beloved Arboren woodlands and mountains, but sometimes he may be lured away. The Arboren archer makes his way causually through the caravan, the many gathered vehicles, the happy dogs, laughing children playing tag, and stops when he comes to where a woman is selling … what? Mead perhaps? Some beverage that has an enticing alure. Llac buys a tankard to try it, his lute slung over his back with his bow and quiver. He is healing up from his battle injuries and finally taking an outting. He laughs low at something the saucy older woman says, flirting with one of the Rohevn men. Someone asks Llac if he's here to hunt or track the few hostiles that have escaped.

"Perhaps, if they'll have me. I came though for my last day of leave ere I must return to my duties at home." The drink is good!

Coming along the track is a mid-sized figure in a bright blue shirt, her hair gleaming the same chestnut as one of the horses being led by. She pauses to speak to the man leading the horse, one hand lifting to pat the gleaming arched neck, and smiles, the same hand lifting in a wave as she moves on. As if on cue, a clear, contralto voice lifts above the din; hers, it appears.

"Morning call's an early one! Rise two steps before the sun!
Want more sleep? You shoulda stayed - Far from the Seventh Cav Brigade!
Creaking leather, oiled to shine, manes and tails like silk so fine,
more groomed than a fancy maid: the Seventh Cavalry Brigade!"

Walking as she sings, Alle catches sight of Llacheu, and grins at him, turning to head his way.

Sergeant Rebecca Mordain rides down the track on her trusty steed, Spectre, at a casual pace. The redhead is wearing a simple light linen blouse of dusky blue beneath a brown leather corset and vest. Lambskin breeches cover her legs, and soft boots are on her feet. Her hair has been pulled back on the top and sides to fall in loose curls, kept out of the reach of the baby in the sling around her neck and waist. Little Sophia is sound asleep, mercifully, lulled there by the motion of the horse.

Llacheu isn't certain what he's drinking. Something home brewed, maybe a mead and cider blend. He compliments the brewer and turns his head when he hears the singing. The woodsman cocks his head and catches site of Alle coming his way, as well as her flashed smile. His own mouth eases into a faint lopsided smile in return, "I thought that was a familiar voice." his baritone greets her. "Did you enjoy your site seeing in Arboren?"

The archer turns to better see Alle approach - just in time for a trio of darting, playing children to dash through. One of them bumps hard into Llac, spilling about half of his drink and some of it on himself! "Hey! Little scamps!" In mock anger, he turns to kick up a boot in their direction but makes certain not to make contact. "Rascals."

"They probably did you a favor," Alle grins, coming closer. "That stuff has a kick." She gazes up as the Sergeant rides through, acknowledging the rank even if she doesn't know the woman personally. The vendor looks at her expectantly, and so she bows her head, then lifts it again, her clear voice once again carrying out.

With heads held high and tails swept wide, what better banner for our pride?
The thund'ring charge is -our- parade! The Seventh Cavalry Brigade!
Lances lowered, on we ride…. Beauty aint our -only- pride!
No foe has as yet outweighed the Seventh Cavalry Brigade!

As the vendor grins in reply, Alle leans closer to Llac, explaining, "it's a traditional song, very old. We dont have brigades, any more. More's the pity."

Rebecca reins in Spectre and dismounts with care not to wake her child. The poor 10 month old is teething and miserable, and her mother looks a little worse for wear herself from lack of sleep. The reins are looped over a post as the scout approaches the mead station, carefully sidestepping the hooligans that nearly ran down Llacheu. She dips her head in a nod to him, and Alle, with a faint smile. "You've a lovely voice," she commends the woman.

The Arboren eyes his drink, "But it's pretty good." Llacheu doesn't mind if it's strong. He looks up at the sound of a horse coming and has enough sense to get out of the way, even if Rebecca's mount isn't moving fast. "Not a song I'm familiar with but I think I like it." His own rank and House marks are there, if not blatant. Llac returns Rebecca's nod and he might curl one side of his mouth a little if he's caught her rank in turn. "Good day, ma'am." After another sip, the bowman looks back to Alle, "Mayhap I should find a song we both know so I can play and you can sing."

"Thank you," Alle beams at Rebecca, and sweeps her a bow, before lifting her head one last time.

"Ride until the battle's done: horse and man, we fight as one.
Both among the dead are laid… Their honor: Seventh Cav Brigade.
Our necks bent low and flecked with foam, our tattered banner rides for home.
So ne'er forget the price we paid… The Seventh Cavalry Brigade!"

As she finishes, the last note hanging in the air even above the market noise, a few people applaud, and the mead vendor offers her a mug. She lifts it to Llacheu, takes a drink, then offers the mug to him. "It IS good," the bard smiles. "So, to make up for what you spilled." She looks pleased, and a little intrigued, adding, "I'd like that. Or you could play, and I could make something up."

"If you know any lullabies to soothe a teething child, please, have at it," Rebecca exclaims tiredly. "And the next drink will be on me." She smiles at the pair, sitting on a nearby hay bale and cradling the little girl close as she sleeps.

Alle thinks about this, eyes going distant.

The second tankard isn't refused when Alle pushes it against his chest. Llacheu chuckles and looks around for a place he might set it safely to free up his hands. "All right, I'll see what I can do and you can improvise. Soothing a fussy child isn't my usual line but I'll give it a try, ma'am." His slightly battered old lute (not /that/ old) is taken out of it's case. The Arboren spends a moment to check the tuning and think about something he might try to play, something old and traditional that Alle might know or can easily keep pace with.

Rebecca smiles and listens to the chords with half-lidded eyes. "My husband played, though not as well as you, Sergeant. You're not in the Rovehn military, where do you hail from?" she asks curiously. As the child stirs in her arms then lets out a soft sigh of sleep, she strokes her fingertips through the red curls.

Aw. Children are wonderful things, though he hasn't any of his own. Younger siblings, though. Llac smiles a little at Rebecca, making the 16 strings call forth the old melody. It's one he knows very well as he says softly, "My mother's favourite, thank you." He doesn't wish to interrupt Alle if she picks up the tune and will sing for the sleepy babe, so he keeps his voice low before she starts to sing, "I serve House Arboren, Sergeant. Scout, and archer."

"I serve Rovehn as the same. Sergeant Rebecca Mordain, a pleasure. This is my daughter, Sophia." She smiles and rocks the child a little in time with the music. The mead mistress hands her a small cup for herself.

Alle beams a smile as Llacheu begins to play, letting him get a few bars through before she pitches her voice to match the instrument. Lifting one hand with the first and second fingers up, she sings to his tune, "The bun-ny hops a-cross the plaain, and hopes the sun will shine all day… he's fat all o-o-ver, from the clo-o-ver growing high as his ears." Her hand hops in front of her, hopefully in Sophie's line of vision, and when she sings how he's 'fat all over' she rubs her belly and winks at the little girl.

What a silly song, but cute. Llacheu manages not to laugh and keeps playing while Alle makes her hand motions for the infant. He is slow to give reply, taking his time to play softly while Alle does her best to appease the baby. When the tune dies away, he huffs a breath, "I bet you can dance around if I kicked up a livelier tune. Perhaps we'll find out later." He gives her a wink, then looks back to Rebecca, "Sergeant Llacheu Acanthus, indeed, a pleasure to meet you and your daughter."

A sip is taken of his own fresh drink before the Arboren idly plies the lute strings to keep a melody moving for the child. Something less specific to interfer with conversation but appease children and pass adults a like, one hopes. "I assume you have been involved in recent fighting?"

Sophia watches Alle through sleepy eyes, and it's not long before she's soundly in the land of dreams. Rebecca sips her mead lightly as she listens to the musicians with a content smile. "How does Arboren fare? I read about the ambush there."

As Llac plays through the last chorus, Alle sings softly, so as not to wake the little girl who's just dozed away, "Bun, bun, you silly one, to doze out here where the foxes run… Bun, bun, hop on home, to dream of clover and carrrrrots…." she continues to gaze at the child for a long moment, then tells Rebecca, "she's beautiful. You're blessed." Then she grins over at the archer, adding, "Dance, juggle, make a complete ass of myself… anything for applause."

"We have rid ourselves of our Hostiles with relatively low losses on our side, no losses in the skirmish in which I took part. Possibly the very ambush of which you speak. We are pursuing a few that escaped us and making ready for the next wave, should they get past our ships. Healing up until then, repairing our arms and armour. I hear the Vale stomped your foes into the earth beneath hooves and arrows alike quite soundly, yes? It is a good start, though things may become a good deal more difficult later."

Llac laughs softly, "Will you now?" he asks of Alle, "and for coin, aye? Well, within reasonable moral limits, I hope." She might kick him!

"Your Lieutenant Aelewen helped me track down a pair of scouts in the Forlorn Swamps a few days back. She is amazing with that bow of hers," Rebecca says with a grin. An elderly woman approaches her, and Sophia is handed off to her current nanny with quiet thanks. The woman heads into the Pale Horse caravan with the child. "I'd love to hear something more up tempo, now that my little fire breathing drake is sleeping and headed for her crib."

Alle laughs, grinning over at Rebecca. "I'd love to see her when she's alert and cheerful. I bet she's a hoot." She looks over at Llac, eyeing him up and down, much like she did the first time they met, then lifts her chin haughtily. "It's called performing," she tells him, her tone lofty. Her eyes are dancing with amusement, though; she's not offended at all, everything is good humored.

Llacheu bares his teeth a little in a feral grin at Alle, "Is that what it's called, lass? I'm just a soldier so I wouldn't know, but let's see if you /can/ dance!" Now, let's see if he can remember the words any to this one and not botch it? He's no musician really and plays more for his own pleasure. If his recently healed wounds will allow. The old tune he strikes up is lively enough for it.

"As I was going over the far famed Kerry mountains
I met with captain Farrell and his money he was counting.
I first produced me pistol, and then produced me rapier.
Said stand and deliver, for you are a bold deceiver!"

"Musha ring dumma do damma da
Whack for the daddy 'ol
Whack for the daddy 'ol
there's whiskey in the jar-o!"

"I counted out his money, and it made a pretty penny.
I put it in my pocket and I took it home to Jenny.
She said and she swore, that she never would deceive me,
but the devil take the women, for they never can be easy!"

Llac gives a wink, aiming for that kicking yet perhaps, and enjoying himself.

Rebecca laughs and she claps along with the song merrily. A few of the caravan residents move around in a larger circle to begin dancing themselves.

It's not a tune she knows, but rhythm is something she can pick up easily enough! Alle starts off with a clapandstomp util she has it, then begins to two-step, shuffle, shuffle, kick, stomp, head thrown back and laughter rolling merrily from her. As some of the other residents also begin to dance, she grabs one of the younger lads, and swings him in a sort of do-si-do before handing him off.

I went into my chamber, all for to take a slumber,
I dreamt of gold and jewels and for sure it was no wonder.
But Jenny took my charges and she filled them up with water,
Then sent for captain Farrel to be ready for the slaughter.

It was early in the morning, as I rose up for travel,
The guards were all around me and likewise captain Farrel.
I first produced my pistol, for she stole away my rapier,
But I couldn't shoot the water so a prisoner I was taken.

"Musha ring dumma do damma da!
Whack for the daddy 'ol
Whack for the daddy 'ol
there's whiskey in the jar-o!"

If anyone can aid me, it's my brother in the army,
If I can find his station down in Cork or in Killarney.
And if he'll come and save me, we'll go roving near Kilkenny,
And I swear he'll treat me better than me darling sportling Jenny

Now some men take delight in the drinking and the roving,
But others take delight in the gambling and the smoking.
But I take delight in the juice of the barley,
And courting pretty fair maids in the morning bright and early!"

"Musha ring dumma do damma da!
Whack for the daddy 'ol
Whack for the daddy 'ol
there's whiskey in the jar-o!"

It takes Llacheu a little time to get through this one, taking his time and tapping a foot along with the merry tune. Who knows where it came from, long ago, so many things long forgotten? By the time the upbeat song is coming to it's end, the Arboren is about out of breath. Llac finishes it off with a flare and manages to not mess it up, which pleases him! As soon as it's done though, he lays a hand over his gut and tries to get his breath, still a bit sore from his wounds.

Rebecca gives some money to the mead maker, for Alle and Llacheu's next cups, as she stomps a foot and claps her hands along with the song. She watches the dancers whirl and flit about with a warm smile.

Alle chimes in with Llacheu on the second chorus, as the words are hardly difficult to pick up. There are several people dancing now, swinging from partner to partner, stomping feet and swinging elbows. Even those not dancing seem to have gathered around, applauding and stomping as well. When the Arboren's finished, many applaud, and Alle bounces over to him to congratulate him on a job well done. There's a flash of concern as his hand covers his gut, and she pats him gently, then takes the offered mead gratefully, handing him one with an admonishment to "drink that, it'll cure what ails you."

"Don't strain yourself, Sergeant," Rebecca says with a glimmer of motherly concern in her eyes. "You're too talented to go this young."

Llacheu gets his breath and holds a hand up to fend off the next drink, "I haven't finished this one yet!" he laughs a little and accepts the second drink to set it next to the first two tankards but he'll take his time with them. A few more breathes in good humor, "I think I'm finished. Still mend'n." A flick of his pale grey eyes to Rebecca and he looks amused, "When I go, I hope it won't be from singing! I'd prefer something a bit more heroic."

Another sip though will do him well, as Alle suggested. Good drink.

"Oh please. Singing is QUITE heroic." Alle lifts her chin again (this seems to be a typical position for it!) as she declares this. "Historically, musicians and drummers and whathave you offered morale boosts for troops, getting their blood going as they went into battle!" She grins, though, and shoves a hand through her chestnut hair, sending the little beaded braids clattering. "But yeah. You might end up drunk and fall over your own feet, and that'd be more ignominious than dying of song."

"Thank you both for the lovely entertainment. I need to get back to my home and get a few hours before my next patrol," Rebecca murmurs. She rises and gives the pair each a nod, then takes up Spectre's reins and leads the buckskin to the Pale Horse.

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