12.29.3013: Promise Me
Summary: Jarek meets Agnes and her returning patrol contingent at the Spikka waygate. He makes her promise him something over dinner.
Date: 30 October 2013
Related: None.
Agnes Jarek 

Spikka Waygate
See Log
29 December 3013

It is near dinner time on Sunday, December 29th, 3013. No one is making dinner, however, as there are soldiers returning home from an extended patrol. Led by Lady Sir Agnes Peake, Spikka's troops have been exploring and scouting the mountain range between the northern coast and the Veldt, routing out Hostile encampments and setting up caches of weapons and supplies in caves. Agnes' mountain expertise has proven very handy. The waygate shimmers, then opens, and she steps out at the head of the contingent, having made their way all the way to Obsidia in their march. She's still in her armor, but the helm is off. She looks tired, as do the rest of the soldiers, but she looks healthy.

Standing before the gate, Jarek is dressed comfortably with much if his attire hidden beneath a long floor length tunic that splits at mid thigh. The well embroidered garment depicting moving drakes circling over his legs and a broodmother writhing on his back. The squared off shoulders and wide double-wrap sword belt with decorative sword help complete the outfit. When Agnes steps through, Jarek's lips part in a bright smile towards her. However, beloved of his or not his duties as the Heir take precedent for just a moment longer.

Addressing the soldiers when they step through, "Welcome home, there's been an approved three days leave before regular patrols resume. You will be mailed with your weekly rosters five days from now, enjoy your time off." that over with, and the men all grining at Jarek's obvious 'delay' in their next assignments, the knight is able to step closer to his betrothed. "You look so beautiful in your armor, I'd sweep you off your feet if I could manage it right now."

Agnes too is all seriousness until the men are dismissed. As they go, some of them clasp wrists with her in a sign of camaraderie and respect. She's really gotten to know them in this lengthy excursion. When they've dispersed though, she breaks into a broad smile and leans in to press her lips to Jarek's in greeting. "I've missed you terribly. Your troops are all good men, but none of them are you, love."

"I would have gone with you, but we need to get used to you being away at war and me being at home. Though, I was not all sedintary… I lead a rescue mission in the Isles. I'll tell you about it later." Jarek places another soft kiss to her lips before offering his arm, "I am quite glad you all got along, it is important that they trust you and it seems they do. I think a lot of a it has to do with your reputation as a great commander, when they heard who was leading them there weren't any objections." a proud smile on his face, "How was it out there? Anything major I should know about?"

"Just a few scouts here and there and a young drake that decided our rations should be his. We cleared out several caves in the mountains and set up supply stores in them, along with equipment to make temporary camps or shelters if people are forced to evacuate the outlying towns and villages. We camouflaged the entrances as well," Agnes explains. She takes his arm and strolls with him, smiling with relief to be back. "I am glad they can respect me, as a commander, and as your bride. Not long now, before the wedding. Nervous?" she asks.

"Ah good, then we won't need to fear over much from that direction… though the house will always be cautious. In all things." Jarek smiles to people on the street who are heading home or just smiles when the odd wife tacklehugs one of the soldiers. "I like to think that the only thing being betrothed to me had to do with the soldiers and their trust, is that they didn't scoff in private about it or come to me with 'concerns'. Your own prowess on the field as a knight and a leader is what earned their respect, that and your willingness to learn Saimhann ways instead of expecting them to know Peake techniques."

Jarek adds after a moment, "Nervous? Not when you're standing with me."

"It's an adjustment, but it's one I'm willing to make for us to be happy," Agnes murmurs. "I suppose your mother has been busy with the wedding arrangements for us?" she asks curiously. Her streamlined, simple tastes are fortunately in line with the Saimhann trends.

"The men will benefit from Peake styles as well, it will help our two houses work together in the future." Jarek says with a slight nod, "And yes, she's been working on arrangements for us. My three days and nights in the Chantry on the eves of the wedding are all set, letters to friends and loved ones will go out inviting them to visit me in private to share words of wisdom, faith, and fortune." a pause, "I think the option is open to you for what your family normally does on the eves of matrimony."

"I've already decided to sit a vigil myself. I think it is a good, strong tradition," Agnes murmurs with a small smile. "It reminds me of my walks down to the pool in the mountain alone, to reflect on things. I'll send out my notices tomorrow morning," she promises. "Have you had dinner? I'm famished."

"I have not eaten, no. There's a restaurant not far up ahead, Nanna Nim makes the best homestyle meals I've tasted thus far. Aside from that one rabbit dish you made outback for us all." Jarek leads down the road, "A vigil will help impress my family. You know how strong our faith runs, and mine is ever more firm these days. We'll have to visit this pool under the mountain sometime." when they reach a small home looking place, Jarek politely knocks on the door. An old woman who's so stooped she has to tilt her head sideways then up to look at them from the corner of her eye, "Ah, Jaffy boy… come in, come in. Dinners just off the heat now." The elder turning and moving into the home.

Agnes steps inside and bows to the elderly woman. "If I may use your restroom to change out of my armor and wash my face and hands, I'll be back right away." She heads in that direction with her pack on her shoulder and emerges some minutes later looking freshened up and in simple breeches and a tunic.

The eldar leads the two through a side door actually, but there's an apparent respect between the heir and the old woman. When Agnes rejoins them, they are shown to the main room. An almost tavern, the bar has been replaced with simple counter for the hostess to store important things. She lifts a thin holocard menu and guides both diners to a wooden table and chairs.

The inside of the main room is large, having enough space for over a dozen two person tables with chairs on either side. There is also a long wooden table and benchs combo against the long wall at the back. The front door is at the top of a set of steps on the street a half level higher than the one they'd been on. The colors of the room are deep wooden browns and golden honey ambers, decorations plain but done by hand in chips of mahogany making hexagon patterns.

"What shall we get started for you my lord and lady." The hostess asks politely, setting the holochip in place.

Agnes settles in, perusing the menu, and smiles. "I would love a cup of your soup to start with. After that, chef's choice for a homey meal after being away for many weeks in the wilderness," she says, letting the woman choose her meal for her.

Jarek replies with the same, and soon bread is brought out with a thick stew. Their orders in, the hostess leaves them to their starters. Jarek picks apart some bread and dips it into the stew, swirling around. "Any thought to the after wedding? As in, honeymoon? I'm not sure if now's really a great time to take one with the war the way it is. I want to, but can we afford to as knight lieutenants?"

Agnes tastes the stew and makes a sound of appreciation. "It might be unwise to take a vacation right now. We'll see how things are after the wedding? We can certainly have some private time at the Drakkholt if nothing else," she murmurs. "I don't need a fancy resort to be happy spending time with my husband."

"I trust resorts at the moment, either… you've been gone, but did you hear in Obsidia what happened on Lazarus Island?" Jarek takes a moment the drink down some of the stew and eat his bread. He looks back up, "I lead a rescue mission, a small one really, to locate the waygate and find any hostages. We found the waygate, damaged and burried in rubble and heavily guarded by hostiles. Thankfully we rescued many trapped there… but the isle is overrun." A shake of his head. "We'll spend plenty of alone time in the Drakholt, and I'll be sure to visit any front you might be fighting just to make sure your tent isn't drafty or too cold." he smiles.

"I did hear a little. I'm glad you were able to save so many," Agnes murmurs between bites of stew-soaked bread. "Maybe for our honeymoon we can push the Hostiles back out of our resorts. A nice fighting vacation," she chuckles.

Jarek chuckles, "Perhaps. Though, that wouldn't be conducive to much alone time… and it might even lead to hospital time. Not sure if you should be getting into the hospital for any more chest wounds." he quirks an eyebrow slightly, but smiles it away. "So, mother and father spoke and think they would like up to host a drake hunt for our reception instead of dinner and dancing."

"That sounds amazing. We can have food and drinks, then continue the party with the hunt?" Agnes asks. Her eyes light up at the idea. "As long as we can provide some safety measures for the guests who aren't combatants?"

"We should be able to do that, I'll check with the house scouts who watch drake movements. It would not be good to go after a broodmother, as much of a good luck for our marriage as that would be, I don't think it's adviseable." a chuckle, "But yes, it will be fun indeed."

Agnes chuckles and she seems truly content to be back in her soon to be home with her soon to be husband. "I look forward to it. And to our main course, this stew is amazing."

The main course arrives not long after, a casserole of sorts. Where the stew was thick and hearty, this dish is filled with veggies and only flavored in a meat sause. The bubbly cheese crackles at the touch of the spoon, a long finger of fried sausage set with some flat bread and all served with wine to compliment it round out this meal. "Nanna Nim is the best cook in Spikka, she's been cooking for seventy years and can't see out one eye." he says with obvious respect.

"She really knows her stuff. This tastes like coming home," Agnes admits as she shovels the casserole into her mouth like it might be taken away at any minute. That's something a few days back home and not on the march should cure her of.

Jarek only smiles as he watches, eating slowly and measured. "Her family has owned this place since Spikka was built, according to her. I've not checked in on that because there's no need to." a light shrug, "I'm glad you like the taste, and there's pie for dessert."

"How do you feel about the war? Honestly. How do you feel about Haven's survival? What are your thoughts on how along the houses do or don't get?"

Agnes pauses in her face stuffing long enough to ponder the questions. "I think that if we don't set aside politics and agendas, and put egos on the back burner, the Hostiles won't need to come back another time," she says quietly.

"I feel the same way. Nikomachos set me a letter recently, he's starting… something. A revolution perhaps? I am not sure, he was not sure either… but he and I could agree on one thing. The nobility has fought itself for far too long. We're not a stronger Haven because of it, we're weaker. We don't fight together like we should, like you and I fight." Jarek starts back into his food.

"We're human. It's a flawed state of existence, but it's also who we are. But we need to come together to win this war," Agnes agrees. "I lost my niece to this vicious cycle."

Stopping midbite, "And I, my humanity…" Jarek lets that hang in the air for a long time as he finishes off the sausage and most of the casserole. He takes a good drink from the wine before looking back up, letting her have a chance to ask the question, if she wants the answer.

"What do you mean, Jarek?" Agnes asks, setting her fork down to look at him with concern.

"That those rumors, that leaked vid on the infosphere… the idea that the hostiles might be human. Doesn't matter to me. That they might have families only makes me hope they suffered and begged for a mercy they never found… and that I wouldn't blink if I faced a patrol of hostile children and cut them down." Jarek's gaze, voice, and hands don't quiver in the slightest as he speaks. "I couldn't care less if they think we abandoned them, if they share our DNA, or if they have emotions for their kind as we do ours. I would turn that planet of theres into the system's second asteroid field if such power was in my hands."

Agnes grimaces. "If a peace could be reached, wouldn't it be worth the Havenites lives saved? This is going to continue happening until we understand why they want us dead. The Gods teach us mercy too, Jarek, don't lose that."

"They lost my mercy when they cut down innocents in cold blood, I was right there, Agnes, right there. I watched as the hostiles focused on the easy victims instead of me, the armored one who could fight back. I've seen what they do to those they capture… " Jarek shakes his head, "The only peace I would ever agree to, now, would be the desolation of their race. They are not human, they might have been fifteen hundred years ago, but no longer. They are hostiles, that is all they will ever be."

"Perhaps this is something you can reflect on in your Vigil," Agnes says quietly. She seems a bit disturbed by his vehemence. "Vengeance doesn't become you. It resolves nothing in the end, and can't bring back those we lost." She pushes her plate aside, appetite gone now.

"I lost my taste for battle, after what happened." Jarek admits, finishing his food as though what he'd spoken of didn't bother him in the slightest. "I tell you, Agnes, because I want to feel again. I need your help to find what made me human, so that I can be once again. The only thing I know is… when I start to feel detached, like I was on this last mission, I have to think about you to keep from slipping away. You're my anchor, you kept me from giving up when I wandered that hell in those woods, and I rely on your insight. Just, don't ever give up on me, no matter what happens."

"I promise, Jarek. I'll never give up on you, or humanity. I don't think it's in my nature to do either," Agnes murmurs, reaching to squeeze his hand. "Now, where is that pie?"

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License