06.05.3013: Noodles
Summary: Some have conversation over drinks. Here noodles is the common theme.
Date: June 5, 2013
Related: None
Aidan Ellinor Nikomachos 


Lower Courtyard, Palace Towers - Landing
Up a small incline from the Grand Esplanade, through the portcullis's intricately wrought gates, is the Lower Courtyard of the Palace Towers. It is a large, sprawling space of laid stone walkways and grassy patches of lawn. Stone benches carved with the Sauveur Eagles are scattered throughout the courtyard to provide places to sit and converse. At the center of the courtyard is a baroque-styled fountain carved with a statue effigy of the First King Matthias Sauveur. Cultivated around the fountain is a rose garden where some of the finest blooms in all Haven can be found.

The Courtyard leads to the three major towers of the Sauveur seat. Directly before it, looming with its grace and magnificence is the Royal Tower. It hosts the entire Sauveur family and is also the location of the Grand Hall and Royal Libraries. To the Royal Tower's left is the Embassy Tower which provides housing and comfort for the Paramounts of Haven and their vassal houses. Each floor in the Tower is dedicated to each House, with the Paramount floors being the most grandeur. Opposite of the Embassy Tower is the Senate Tower which is where sessions are held and hosts the senatorial offices and apartments. Skyways are evenly spaced up the two auxillary towers, connecting them to the Royal Tower.

June 5, 3013

Nikomachos has already come and gone from the Royal Towers, delivering the requisite information and now is without immediate task besides standing ready to return to the Vale at need. The drizzle from above is blocked out by electrostatic shields above, leaving a soft sizzle beneath every sound. The light glowing through the patchy clouds has struck the water in the fountain just so, and the Valen crouches alongside it, his digital camera in his hands, trying to get the perfect shot of how the water trickles and bounces over the robes of King Matthias I, catching a clearing in the clouds in the ever-rippling reflection.

Aidan wanders out of the embassy tower. Whether he's done with business or not, he either didn't dress up or already changed back into the much more comforable clothing that appears at home in the wilderness or caverns of Mount Mordune: clothing without fancy embroidery to snag on branches or sharp corners. Which is not to say he doesn't appreciate it when he sees it and he pauses to study Niko crouched by the fountain.

Sir Ellinor Sauveur has just finished having a rather painful discussion with her father, and so she is actually quite thankful for the rain even if all it does is sizzle off the electrostatic shielding. Striding up toward the Royal Tower from the grand esplanade, she is using a pair of chopsticks to gather up slick and flavorful noodles from a bowl. She tilts her head back to deposit the mouthful, slurping the last bit of noodle, before she settles into grumpy munching. It is probably a good thing that Nikomachos tends toward the flamboyant or she would have walked right past him. Instead, she slows to a stop to watch the Valen shutterbug, and when she spies Aidan, she offers the Peake a quick smile and salute with her chopsticks.

Nikomachos shifts his weight from one side to the other, trying to find the perfect angle. Evidently he does, as his fingers move over the camera, and then he rises up to his feet. As he turns to face his audience with a smooth crunch of bootheels on pavers, he raises his eyebrows slightly in question or surprise, "Is there a line for the view now?" He offers a smile up to each of the other nobles, one corner of his mouth lifting a little further for the Sauveur than for the Peake. "Sir… Aidan… wasn't it? We spoke briefly at the end of the Tourney." Nodding a greeting, he looks over to Ellinor, gesturing toward the bowl of noodles with one hand, "Did you bring enough for me too?"

Aidan nods a greeting to Ellinor and returns the smile. When Niko straightens back up and speaks, he looks back over and grins slightly. "Actually, the view from here was quite fine. I was admiring your clothing and how well you wear them. And yes and no, Sir Nikocmachos. Aidan Peake, yes but I am no knight. A pleasure to see you again. And Sir Ellinor, I believe?"

"No," Ellinor says in a clipped, firm tone, though she does offer him a quick smile as she involves herself with another mouthful of noodles. She chews through it before she speaks again. "I just finished talking to Lord Marus Sauveur about the Lady Sophie Sauveur wishing to be assigned to the Shadow of Intent." There is a particular dryness to her words. "Lady Sophie being my eighteen year old sister who hasn't seen a live combat situation, has no knightly training, and will probably get herself killed." She takes another mouthful of noodles, grazing on it despite the personal little stormcloud that metaphorically hangs overhead. Then she smiles toward Aidan, offering a nod. "Guilty as charged."

Nikomachos runs a hand down the front of his jerkin at Aidan's compliment, "My mistake then, Lord Aidan. And thank you. I've always thought that anyone can do a thing, but to do a thing with style is something else entirely." The smile fades a bit at Ellinor's tone, and he winces slightly at the words conveyed by it. "Maid above… a ramship is no place for some knights," since he himself has not volunteered for the duty, "let alone someone with no training at all. I'm sure that you offered up plenty of other suggestions as to what she might do in order to support those of us who will be fighting? Perhaps even noted that someone without the proper training would actually require someone to protect them, lessening the impact of already-limited blades?" He sounds honestly aghast at the prospect, "I cannot imagine what your mother might say, given your own arguments with her to be allowed into the line of fire with your training, Ellie."

Aidan shakes his head as Eillinor explains. "That would be a very bad idea." he agrees. "If you're having a hard time getting her to listen, I'd recommend my aunt speak with her not only as a knight but as someone who will be aboard ship. She's used to youngsters with foolishly romanticized notions and bringing them firmly back to reality."

"I started to… and then she started crying," Ellinor says with a touch of self-directed annoyance. "I don't even know where to begin when she starts to cry, so…" And she grimaces as she stabs at her noodle bowl with her chopsticks a touch aggressively. "So, I said if she could best me in the sparring ring, I would talk to Cedric about an assignment." She starts to shake her head. "I never know how to handle Sophie… I leave that entirely to Lyrienne, or Mother." Then she looks over toward Aidan with a widening of her eyes. "Can she handle crying?"

Nikomachos manages a touch of a grin to Aidan, "Some of us rather like our romanticized notions of life, Lord Aidan." The quiet words, however, have more of the sound of a joke than a true statement. Then again, he is a jouster, not a warrior. His eyebrows rise up at Ellinor's story, chuckling and shaking his head, "Well, that should settle things rather nicely. Does she even have armor?" A smirk twists his lips as he steps over to Ellinor, moving to put a hand on her forearm even as he tucks his camera away, "I know that a single round in the holo-sim with you was enough to convince me I had no place on a ramship, and I had armor."

Aidan actually laughs at Ellinor's question. "She has no patience with crying. Sometimes I suspect she regards it as having done her job right. Tears are better than blood, I've heard her say. Your sister won't stand a chance." Niko gets a grin in return. "Romance is fine in its place, Sir Nikomachos. I know some glades and secluded caverns where it would be perfect. I suspect, though, that its place is not on board a ramship."

"I hope so," Ellinor says to Nikomachos with a slow exhale, gathering up another mouthful of noodles and settling into mix of flavors to comfort her. She glances over toward Aidan once she has swallowed down the mouthful. "I understand why she wants so desperately to be part of this… she doesn't want to sit around idle, she doesn't want to question if she could have done more. I get it, but she doesn't understand what lies ahead of her if she wants to go down that path." She sobers a bit. "Besides… we can't all run into the heat of battle. Some of us have to survive this."

Nikomachos shrugs a little helplessly at Aidan, "I'm more fond of hills above the Plains of Ares, although I'm sure the glades and caverns are lovely." Letting his hand drop from Ellinor's arm, he nods, his smile a little paler, perhaps even sadder than his earlier grins, "Some of those who run into the heat of battle have to survive as well, Ellie." Frowning slightly, he looks down for a moment, then inquires, "Can she ride? Your sister? If she's really dedicated to serving with the military, it might be possible to get her a patrol in the Vale. I could watch out for her a bit, and she wouldn't be in the way of the first wave, at least…"

Aidan shakes his head at what Ellinor says. "She has decades ahead of her to contribute. She can still seek out training if that's what she wants. I fear we're all going to see more fighting than we want and most of us will never set foot on a ship." As Niko makes a suggestion, he says "What would riding a patrol really teach her? Training with my father's men would teach her practical things from the ground up. I'm sure he wouldn't mind, so long as she was serious about it."

Ellinor casts Nikomachos a warmer smile at his words, and she offers him the gentlest nudge of her shoulder to his. "I know… I know that." She then finishes off her noodle bowl with one final bite — just in time, too, as a little trash recepticle comes wheeling past and she drops in the bowl and disposable chopsticks. Then she glances over toward the Valen. "She can write, she can even shoot an arrow…" Then she offers Aidan a bit of a thankful smile. "I tried to tell her that, but she is… impatient." She brushes her hands together idly.

Nikomachos rocks easily under the shoulder bump, but his smile fades as Aidan questions the value of riding with the Valen, "Well, she would learn to ride with a unit, if she's an archer," he gestures over to Ellinor, "She can remain back from the foe, and keep her distance with the aid of her mount. And serving with soldiers, she can learn what soldiering is about, as well as how to defend herself if a Hostile does manage to close." There is a bit of cold courtesy in those words, his lips pursing together.

"Ah, you were offering an actual place and training with a unit and not just riding a patrol." Aidan nods since that was basically what he was as well. "Yes, any actual training starting from the basics would do her well but if she's too imaptient to want to work for it…" He shrugs. "I still recommend my aunt to talk some sense into her. And then maybe she can steer her to where she'd fit the best."

"Ha," Ellinor says after a moment. "I say let your aunt know that the Sauveurs would be quite thankful if she managed to make my sister see some sense. My mother will literally lose years of her life if she has to worry about more than one of her daughters, and Sophie is the baby of the family." She shakes her head as she casts a smile toward Nikomachos. "And you can certainly take her out on some patrols… maybe you'll run across a scout." Because at the moment, running into a scout is far less dangerous than being trapped in tight ship corridors, in space, with dozens of soldiers and priests who are seeking to annihilate you.

Aidan nods. "I'll ask her to seek out Lady Sophie then. Though as I said, she will be on the ship so I can't gaurantee she'll have time before it leaves. Hopefully, she will and can talk some sense in to her." He pauses a moment as he considers something. "She's Awakened, right? I think I saw her at the meeting the other day." The knight with her who announced her presence was a pretty good indicator too.

"She's Awakened," Ellinor offers with a nod of her head. "I get the feeling that some of the things she is dreaming might be playing a part in how she is feeling." She rubs at her upper arms a bit. "It is just another feature of my sister that I don't understand." She offers him a bit of a hopeless smile. "Sophie and I… well… I'm still waiting to be told one of us is adopted."

"The dreams are certainly troubling." Aidan agrees somberly. "I can see how having had them, she'd want to do something. If she never told you about the last one, we saw the attack on the Gauntlet from the point of view of one of our marines. At least if she's had any real training, she wouldn't be completely helpless but still, it's not the place for her."

Nikomachos had been called away by a brief comm-call, and now returns, running one hand back over his hair and leaving it spiked up all the more chaotically than it was before. "Sorry about that." He frowns a little thoughtfully at the mention of the dream involving the Gauntlet, apparently not having heard that one before.

Ellinor blinks at Aidan's news, and she also looks a bit surprised. "Lyrienne was saying something about that… something about the song that Saffron Williams was singing…" She glances toward Nikomachos before she breathes out a sigh. "I can see… why Sophie would want to be part, I really do… but she could die out there."

Aidan nods. "Yes, while we - he - the marine whose eyes we were seeing out of - was rushing to the fight, we could hear the singing. THat's what caused it all during the feast. Williams got to the part where some of us had actually heard the words and all of a sudden, it all clicked into place."

Nikomachos nods his head slowly at Ellinor's words, "I must say that everyone bursting into colors was rather distracting." Once more, there's a lightness to the words that suggests he's making light of the situation. "We will all have to give to the war effort in our own ways. Be it serving as a Marine, riding down Hostiles who make planetfall, or seeing to the protection and morale of the Citizenry. Not everyone is cut out to be a warrior, and if she cannot see that, she really should be kept away from the front."

Ellinor nods gently to Aidan's assessment before she breathes out a steady sigh. She casts Nikomachos a crimson-lipped smile before she reaches out to give his forearm a squeeze. "We will see how it goes…" Then she shakes her head a bit as she starts to step away. "I'm going to go check in with the Ring. Lord Aidan, Niko…" She gives the later another warm smile before she starts toward the Royal Tower.

Aidan seems to be in complete agreement with Niko. "Good luck, Sir Ellinor." As she walks away, he shakes his head. "Not a good situation. Though hopefully one thin girl can't cause too many problems on board even if royal privilege gets her aboard."

Nikomachos crosses his other hand over to put it on top of Ellinor's hand for a moment, offering up a soft smile, "Take care, Ellie, and good hunting." When she steps away, he lets his hands drop back to his side, shrugging at Aidan, "At worst, I would assume she gets too close to a Hostile and gets killed. That would be… rather bad for morale back home, I should think." And then his brow furrows, and he frowns heavily, "I take that back… at worst she could get other people killed trying to protect her… yes, it is a rather unpleasant prospect, but I do understand the impulse on her part."

"They would feel obligated to try to save her." Aidan agrees after a moment. "Maybe I should seek her out myself since I also experienced what she did. If you've never had a prophetic dream yourself, it's hard to imagine. They're not like other dreams where you only remember them hazily. It's like you are actually there."

Nikomachos nods, spreading his hands helplessly, "I don't tend to remember normal dreams all that long, I can't imagine having one haunt you like I've heard Awakened describe." A hint of a smile touches his lips as he looks after Ellinor, shaking his head in amusement, "The image of Ellie trying to comfort her crying sister is rather amusing, really. There are times I think she spent too much time in the Crescent." Because mocking Khounri is hopefully something that an Arborenin and a Valen can agree on.

Aidan laughs at that. "That could explain it I suppose though I don't know either one at all well so I'll take your word for it. Would you like to go get a drink, Sir Nikomachos? I was just going to go find myself a tavern and maybe get something to eat as well. You can tell me about riding across the plains of Ares since I've never had the pleasure."

Nikomachos glances up at the drizzling sky out of reflex, then looks down to his bracelet, checking the time, "I should probably be returning to the Vale, but I would be happy to tell you about it while we walk." He pauses, then forces himself to admit with a wry grin, "I've spent little time in Arboren either, whether it be the Woods or the Mountains. I suppose I just like to see the sky overhead." He half-turns as he talks, starting to meander slowly southward out of the courtyard, "Which may also be the reason I did not volunteer for duty aboard the Navy. Although I would say that is because I am of more use down where I can put a lance through a Hostile's throat, rather than having to hack at them with a sword.

"Are you claustrophobic then?" Aidan asks curiously, moving to walk at Niko's side. "If so, you would not want to visit Khar-Mordune where we have an entire mountain overhead. The lack of sky though is more than made up for in the beauty of the caverns you find there."

Nikomachos laughs easily, "I don't honestly know, Lord Aidan." They pass under the gateway at the south end of the courtyard, moving out onto the Esplanade with the sporadic rain still hissing off energy fields above them. "I have to admit that I haven't ever been anywhere that was particularly claustrophobic. I don't mind diving, which I've heard can set some off, and I have no problems in buildings, at least none that I've noticed yet. Perhaps I just like to be able to see the horizon."

"That could be it." Aidan agrees with a smile. "It certainly makes spotting the enemy easier than in the Spine where you can't turn around without seeing trees long before the horizon. Unless you're on top of a mountain, of course. The view there is spectacular. Never been diving though."

Nikomachos nods his head as he crosses the plaza before the Royal Towers and starts down the Grand Esplanade, "And it's rather difficult to perform a cavalry charge across a mountainside or through a forest." He steps around a slow-moving crawler, leading the way to the right-hand-side pedestrian walkway, "I've heard that diving is a great deal like being underground, although I've always found it to be more like flying. I suppose that's a question of how deep you go."

"Yes, our fighting styles do tend to be specific to the terrain we live in." Aidan agrees. "Which means that if we all fight together, we should have our bases covered I'd hope. We'll have to see how the Hostiles fight. Maube it'll give us some clues to how they live."

Nikomachos laughs again, "Now see, this is where I'm supposed to say something dramatic like 'I don't care how they live, just how they die.'" Shaking his head, he gestures slightly toward a street-side noodle stall, "Do you mind?" Barely waiting for a response, he goes on, "But I suppose I'm just not that person. I don't care if they live or die, so long as they stop attacking us." There's a pause, and then he admits further, "Although I must admit that I am looking forward to seeing just how much of the tilt transfers to an actual cavalry charge.

Aidan changes direction toard the noodle-stall. He did say he was going to get something to eat as well. "Figuring out how they live could help in figuring out why they're attacking us. And if we know why, maybe we can stop it." He shrugs. "I don't know, it just seems like we have a better chance of doing that than killing them all off. Like you said, so long as they stop."

Nikomachos settles into the fast-moving line, waiting with all indications of patience, "I don't disagree that it could be important. I'm just not particularly interested in it myself." As they reach the front of the line, he points out his choice, then runs his bracelet over the reader on the front of the stall to pay for it, "But you said you were interested in the Plains… what can I tell you about them?" He steps aside so that the other nobleman can order as well, "Had you ever heard that Ares was the name of a primitive deity of war? I've no idea why they didn't just call it the Plains of War, but I suppose that — and my name — tell you a good deal about we Valen."

Aidan orders and pays after Niko has, moving aside to make room for the next patron. "No, I hadn't heard that. I wonder if Mordune was named after anything." He shrugs away the idle curiousity. "Oh, nothing in particular really. I've just never been riding there. It could be interesting to gallop along with nothing to stop you for miles and miles."

Nikomachos nods his head, collecting the bowl and chopsticks that are quickly shuffled his way, "I wouldn't doubt it, Lord Aidan." The description of the Plains draws a nod, "There are rivers here and there, but yes, you can definitely get yourself quite lost in the Plains if you're not careful…" And here a smile toys with the corner of his lips, "Which can be quite the point if you're out for a ride with a pretty girl. All the better if you've a campsight already set up. It can be quite the romantic place. I've heard it described to the high seas in some ways, both in the romance and the simple freedom."

Aidan smiles slightly. "I'll have to try it someday." Pause. "The riding, I mean. It should be an interesting experience compared to what I'm used to. I can definitely recommend some mountain climbing or spelunking for you if you've a mind to."

Nikomachos laughs softly, "I think I'll avoid the spelunking until I know whether or not I'm claustrophobic. But I've always been curious about rock climbing…" Gathering up his chopsticks, he stirs the noodles slowly as he starts walking south again, thinking in silence for a long moment before he notes, "Then again, there's not likely to be many chances for rock climbing, camping, or anything like that for a while. I think that may be what I miss most during the war, the simple free time to take time for myself."

"Go while you can." Aidan advises, taking up his food and chopsticks. "It's only going to get more chaotic and it's not going to end for a long time. Though life will go on for the majority of citizens and that includes those who take novice climbers up the side of Mordune." He pauses to eat some noodles then adds "I should read accounts of the last war. I really don't know what to expect. I don't mean the fighting but how much there was, how often, how it affected everyone."

Nikomachos works his way into the noodles, puncturing several of the spice bubbles on the inside of the disposable bowl and then stirring the broth up, "I sincerely hope that you're right, Lord Aidan. If the Hostiles manage to land a large number of those scouts on Imperius, the hinterlands may become unsafe rather quickly." Gathering up a clutch of noodles in his chopsticks, he shrugs, "I suppose we'll have to trust to the Navy, and those brave knights like Ellie who are serving onboard the ramships to protect us from such things, and then trust to rangers and patrols to sweep up any who make it to the ground."

"We're training syeadily for that." Aidan assures Niko. "We're as ready as we're going to get at this point. The bigger worry I have is that we can't remain at this level for the next forty plus years. Boredom and complacency will be a bigger danger I think and then we could be caught off guard. Fighting a defensive battle kind of sucks."

Nikomachos laughs softly at that, "Somehow I doubt that boredom and complacency are going to be too much of an issue while Hostiles are raining on our heads." Shaking that idea off, he nods, though, "I do agree, but at least we're only strategically defensive, not tactically. We can still attack them whenever we find them. I might be in favor of countering the invasion, if we could guarantee that our cavalry would be useful on their planet, and that our own homes would be defended while we attacked." Smirking a little crookedly, he adds, "Father thinks it would be a suicide mission to strike directly at the Fifth World."

"I think your father is right." Aidan agrees. "We don't know enough. Yet. As for Hostiles raining on our head, I hope that's not going to be the case or the next forty years is going to be a bitch. Surely there will be weeks or even months at a time where nothing is happening. They surely can't have so many fighters and ships that they'll be attacking us constantly."

Nikomachos chuckles as he works his way through his bowl of noodles, "I certainly hope he's right. It wouldn't do for the Knight Commander to be mistaken about something as important as that." The follow-up draws a nod, "Good to hear someone else talking sense. I know that several people I've talked to seem to be ascribing gods-like powers to the Hostiles, including arranging for the volcanic eruption in the Crescent. It's good to hear someone else who will not over-estimate them sight unseen."

Aidan shakes his head. "I don't want to underestimate them and I'm certainly not an expert on them or on tactics but I kind of expect them, like us, to be all worked up in the very beginning and blow their wad early. And it'll probably hurt. But at some point, their stockpiles are going to be gone and we'll have killed off a lot of their fighters and they'll need to rebuild and we'll be on edge waiting for it to happen. And that's when the boredom and complacency come in. Not this year. But maybe next decade."

Nikomachos arches his eyebrows slightly, nodding as he sucks down a clutch of noodles, "I honestly hadn't thought about that, waves coming in decades apart. That would almost let us return to normal life between waves." Curious consideration draws his brows down, "Hell, at that point, we might end up with two or three Generations of Vengeance." Letting out a thoughful 'huh' he appears to be thinking about it, "I always thought of us as being it. It's an interesting thought to think that it could be us, a break, our children, a break, and then perhaps even some grandchildren."

"Well, I certainly intend to be there for the final curtain." Aidan declares with a quick grin. "Even if I'm not out leading patrols myself. But I definitely want to look up the old records now of just how the fighting progressed last time. They'll have advanced, of course, just like us but it might give us an idea of what to expect. I bet your father's already done that."

Nikomachos nods his head, "He spent more time looking over those old records than he did playing with me as a child." A smirk paints the Valen's lips, a light chuckle suggesting he doesn't exactly hold it against his father, "He wanted to be Knight Commander from the time he was a squire, and not in the way all knights want to be Knight Commander. And it wasn't like I had a great deal of time to spend with him either, not once I became a squire. And yes, I fully expect to be there at the end myself, looking over a handful of children, and perhaps even a grandchild or two." Laughter sets his gray eyes dancing merrily, "Although I suppose I had better get started on that if I truly want grandchildren."

Aidan chuckles softly. "Yes, I know that feeling. My father keeps threatening to find me a bride but it's difficult to find one willing to settle for a marriage in name only." He shrugs lightly. "I can certainly understand why. I'd prefer to avoid it myself but duty is duty."

Nikomachos tsks, "In name only? If you don't trust your parents to find you a match, you had best find one yourself. There are many charming young women of impecciable breeding spending a great deal of time in Landing, and quite a few who spend their time elsewhere. Myself, I have… several possibilities in mind." There's a hesitation there, as if he were going to say something else and changed his mind at the last moment. "I hadn't really thought about it before, but I do suppose that breeding is a rather important task for all Havenites at the moment. In thirty or fourty years, I doubt I will be quite so spry as to want to leap into the saddle and chase down Hostile scouts."

Aidan finishes the last of his noodles then glances over at Niko. "Yes, there's lots of charming young women with impeccable breeding. And if they'd introduce me to their brothers, I'd be quite happy to meet them. Hence the 'in name only'."

Nikomachos raises his eyebrows, "Ahhhh." Laughter lifts from his lips, and he nods, not seeming to really care one way or the other, "Well then perhaps you should be on the lookout for a Lady of impeccable breeding who is too busy for romance and just wants genetic material to procreate." Shrugging a little, he notes, "My apologies for the assumption, I should know better, considering how many have assumed the same of me."

Aidan shrugs, not at all put out. It is, after all, the default assumption based on just sheer numbers. "Or a Lady of impeccable breeding who is herself looking for a lady herself and also needs to do her duty. There should be a database." he muses with amusement in his voice. "But it seems likely children are aways off for me. You, on the other hand, could easily have one in nine months I suspect."

Nikomachos arches an eyebrow, "You mean there isn't one? I should hire a brilliant programmer to create it. I could make millions for House Cindravale." He tosses the bowl and chopsticks into a nearby trash receptical, then presses his fingers to his chest, "Me? I think I might try to make sure that any children I have are in wedlock, so I think it must needs be at least ten months. That, of course, requires finding a lady of proper name and title who not only interests me, but is interested in me in return." His words are airy and light… perhaps too airy, as if breezing over the subject quite intentionally.

Aidan considers Niko a moment as he tosses his bowl in the receptical as well. And then takes a moment more. "You have a target in your sites, don't you? Is it the Lady Sir Ellinor by chance? You two did seem very easy with each other and you can hardly find a better match politically."

Nikomachos shrugs a little helplessly, "I enjoy Ellie's company, it's very true. But I think she is rather more concerned with defending Haven than repopulating it at the moment, and I cannot blame her in the slightest." As they approach the great plaza of the Ways, he smirks just a little at himself, inquiring, "Is it that obvious, then, Lord Aidan?"

"Not terribly obvious, no but I thought it was more than her noodles you were interested in just from the way you spoke and reacted to each other." Aidan replies. "Ask her." he advises, turning to look directly at Niko. "There is time for both defending Haven and living your lives. And no guarantee either of you will be here tomorrow. Make the most of it and get those children started."

Nikomachos nods his head slowly, "I think that's good advice, Lord Aidan. It does seem a dangerous trade-off, one fighter now for another later, but perhaps it's a necessary one, after this first attack has been blunted." He nods to the Waygate open to the Fortress of Phylon, "That's my 'gate." Holding out his right hand to be clasped, he notes, "It has been a distinct pleasure, Lord Aidan. If there's breathing room and you're ever of a mind to explore the Plains, let me know."

Aidan clasps the hand when offered. "A pleasure indeed, Sir Nikomachos. I'll do that. And let me know if you'd like to come explore Peake, inside or out. Good luck with whatever you decide."

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