Poster: Simon Marshall
Post # 34
Vincent was still wet from his swim but had taken up a fishing pole as
ones were left to be used in general. A low fire still burned in the pit
someone had been here earlier so that was already taken care of. He only
needed to get out a few snags in the line, then bait it. There was a
container that held minnows that were caught for ones to use in this
small tank set off to the side. He was planning on a fish dinner but he
had a small basket of food just in case his luck bottom out.
Lately Simon had been finishing his days by heading to the Lake, and
today was no different. He had gone to find where the wild horses ran
and hadn't been disappointed. It took some time to find his way back to
the main road but once he did, his horse, Lamorak, was as eager to go
there as his rider. He was pleased to see Simon there and as Lamorak
headed for the lake to quench his thirst, Simon moved over to join
Vincent after grabbing a pole himself.
"Between the two of us we should catch a good many, sauteed them up
in lemon juice and seasoning." He was making himself hungry so
stopped talking on food as he got a bite anyway and was soon reeling in
a good size bass. Lots of bass in this lake he was told.
"Three of us," Thane would correct Vincent quietly as he
stepped from seemingly nowhere to join the two. A smile quirked his lips
as he reached for a pole of his own and then some bait. "If I may
"Sounds good." He had taken a lunch with him but that had been
eaten some time ago, and he was beginning to feel the first pangs of
hunger. He was about to comment when Vincent caught his first fish and
then Thane appeared. "The more, the merrier as they say." And
then he too was reeling in a bass of a good size.
"Ah, good. Thane. Yes, three of us so grab a pole. You have brought
your appetite with you I hope?" He shifted from where he stood as
he grabbed up the fish he landed and took it over to a small trough
filled with water. It was then he noticed the canoes turned over down a
bit along the shore and the idea of going out in one plagued his
thoughts even if not this night.
"Aye, I've not yet eaten today." Which was unfortunately, not
usual for him. Either he forgot his meals or elected not to take them in
favor of his long rambles. So he had good reason to be motivated for
some fishing. Securing the bait on the hook, a strong arm cast, the line
soaring out till landing with a muted plunk in the water.
Once he had his hook baited again, he moved down a ways to give both
Simon and Thane room so they were not crossing lines or worse getting
tangled with each other. "I think we hit a good time for them to be
biting." The cast was long and he would reel in a bit at a time,
stop, a bit more and continued that way of lurking the fish to his bait.
"It seems so." He took the fish over to the trough and
released it into the water before he was back to cast his line again.
"Good way to end the day too."
Thane found himself a spot a suitable distance away, settling in to wait
for a nibble on his hook. Or not. The man had a patience that bordered
on aggravating for those with shorter attention spans.
It wasn't long before he was reeling in another good size fish and going
through the same process but he would start cleaning and cooking them.
"You keep on fishing, I'll get this started." Using some old
papers and a stump he gutted the first fish, cutting off behind the gill
and up so far from the fin. Slicing open the belly to remove the innards
then carefully drawing the flesh from the bones. Adding lemon and herbs
to the pan he tossed the meat in with a sizzle and the scent of cooking
fish soon filled the air.
If that didn't set their stomach's to growling, nothing would. He added
another fish to the water, grinned at Vincent and headed back to try for
another. Two that quick ... maybe it was the luck of the Fae?
It would only be a few minutes before his own line began to dance, and
he reeled it in swiftly, a fine looking trout soon surfacing with the
hook. Thane lifted it by its gill flap, sliding the hook out of its
mouth then stepping over to throw it in the bucket near Vince. "If
these taste half as good as they smell, we'll have a fine meal."
"Aye, we'll be having a fine meal." He already had the second
gutted and cleaned and added to the large iron frying pan over the
coals. Checking on the first filet as it was turned over and coated with
the lemon and herbs glaze. Then he added some wild potatoes and turnips
on the side he gathered earlier.
A few more would be all they'd need so he kept fishing. It was a good
way to relax and none of them could be sure how many more of these
leisurely days they had left.
None of them were saying much of anything, including Thane, which was
normal for him... but that was alright. It was a companionable silence
they kept, Thane re-baiting his hook to cast it out on the water once
more. Indeed it was a relaxing endeavor and a welcome one at that.
The fall of heavy hooves probably disrupted the otherwise quiet evening
at the lake as Kristina came riding up the wake as if demons were on her
heels. As well those of the black stallion she was riding, bent low to
his neck and reins held tight as she became as one in the long muscular
stride of the beast. Mane and tail flying as well the length of her hair
left loose and wild. There was something about this night that had such
a calling. Clad in a brown tweed riding outfit with a ruffle shirt of
pale yellow under a fitted jacket. She didn't have to encourage the
beast she rode but a call came as she saw the glint of a fishing line
and reared the stallion up so abruptly, as he was that well trained, the
forelegs were up into the air clawing at nothing to keep his balance and
tossing his rider into the water.
Thane was lost in his own thoughts but tugged quickly to reality by the
rather dramatic arrival of an unknown lady. Thane reacted swiftly to
that, dropping his rod altogether and wading out into the water.
Hopefully no fish would take his hook in these moments or the rod could
be lost in the lake. Reaching Kristina's side quickly, he put a hand
beneath her elbow to help her stand. "Are you alright?"
Vincent watched from where he was preparing and cooking the fish as it
didn't seem he was needed. Although he wondered on Simon as he didn't
seem to react at all. "Where's that reaction time, Simon?"
Certainly the two could go at it later all in fun.
Vincent could tease all he wanted but Simon was getting out of the way
of that horse's hooves, his rod dropped. Once he was back on his feet he
caught the reins of the horse since Thane was already to the rescue of
the fair damsel in distress.
She was struggling to her feet with help, unharmed but certainly
surprised. Dark eyes were very expressive as well the brows arched up.
Wet hair in a tumble of curling waves was brushed back from her face as
she did her best in recovering her composure. Except she noticed his
pole being dragged into the water. "OH.. look.." and darting
there to try and stop it but it was getting away fast.
Thane was looking Kristina up and down, but not because she was a pretty
woman in clothes that were wet and sticking to her frame... he did so in
order to discern whether she'd taken any wounds. He blinked at her
words, following her gaze but by then she was darting after his runaway
rod. And he would join her, splashing through the water gracelessly and
then when his feet no longer touched, started on a strong swim after the
pole which had seemed to come to life.
He stood from where he'd been crouched by the fire and pan, turning to
watch with a turner in one hand and ready to help if needed. "Are
you all right miss?" But she was off along with Thane to chase his
She stopped where it would be waist high as the man went after the pole,
she turned and started in only to see another abandoned pole start into
the water. At least with this one she could head it off, figuring it
must belong to one of the two men left on shore. She caught it in the
shallow area but whatever had gotten hooked was having her falling,
rolling and still holding onto the rod. "Halp, Halp," ended up
with a mouthful of water to then be spit out.
The horse was fine and he was laughing at Thane but there went his pole
and the lass was in trouble. He ran into the water, splashing until he
reached her. One strong arm went around her waist and pulled her up and
the other reached for the rod. He set her on her feet while he held on
then he began playing the line until he finally brought in a large
channel cat. It still had some fight left too. "Need help getting
to shore?" He grinned at the woman then looked to see if Thane had
caught his pole.
He swam several strokes, stopped, swam another way, stopped... as the
rod zigzagged at a crazy pace and speed across the lake. He stopped
again when he heard Kristina's cry behind him, and looked back quickly,
but Simon was there to help her. Even in that brief interlude, whatever
fish was on the end of his hook had gained momentum, and the rod became
smaller and smaller in the vast lake. Thane tread water there a moment,
watching it disappear, then had nothing left to do but to turn and swim
back to shore. Where he emerged, soaking wet and looking wry.
When that strong arm went around her waist it was just after another
mouthful was taken that then squirted out like a dolphin on a fountain.
Give her a moment to catch her breath but grateful the man had taken
over the pole. Finally to her feet she had that moment to regain her
composure or so hoped nothing else came along to lose it with again.
"Oh dear, I think he has lost his pole."
He could offer the one he used but they had enough fish as it were.
"Come have something to eat." Looking between his comrades and
then the lass, "if you are hungry Miss, you are welcome to share in
our small feast. I am Vincent and these are my comrades, Simon and
Thane," indicating each with a slight gesture of hand so she knew
which was which.
She had rolled the mass of hair to the side and was wringing it out by
twisting it around like one did a towel. Dark eyes shifted between the
three as they were introduced while sloshing steps took her to shore.
She noticed her steed was grazing a few feet away and content. "I
am sorry if Twilight and myself had anything to do with the lost pole. I
will replace it." Contritely spoken as she was soon trying to wring
out the ends of her blouse that had worked free from the waist of the
riding cut pants. "I am Kristina Frasier, a pleasure to meet you
all." That's when she smiled, the light chasing away the gloom
He chuckled as he followed her back to shore. "Hadn't quite planned
on a swim," he murmured to Thane then smiled at the lass.
"Pleasure to meet you as well, Kristina. Might as well join us. The
fire might help dry us all off." At least it was still warm
even as night began to descend.
"That is not necessary, miss." Thane intoned, dipping his head
in a nod towards the lady as if they were being formally introduced at
some ball... rather than standing and sopping wet on a lakeshore. He
stripped out of his vest at least, leaving it to dry over a bush before
moving on to wring out the bottom of his poet's shirt.
"A little rain never hurt anyone nor a dip in the lake especially
on such a hot night as this one. I was riding to catch the wind.."
there came her smile again as she wandered over to the fire pit.
"Although I think we may dry on the spot." There was a
nice breeze and she was finally feeling somewhat cooled off. She
caught sight of Thane stripping of his vest as the perusal lasted only a
second before dark lashes dipped with her glance away in case he should
strip more. She might find the second soaked man doing the same.
He chuckled under his breath as he dished out portions of fish onto
small plates, shaped more like wooden saucers. He added a couple of wild
potatoes and bits of turnip that were all seasoned in the same as the
Since Vincent had been doing all the cooking, he took care of cleaning
and preparing the catfish. If they were filled up, he'd wrap the cooked
fish up and take it back to the barracks. He was tempted to pull off his
shirt but didn't want to cause her to become flustered. It was only the
bottom of it that was so he pulled it loose before adding the catfish to
one of the now empty pans to cook. "Smells great, Vincent."
Indeed it would have been improper to remove his shirt in the company of
a lady, so he would simply have to remain in that sticky wet cloth for
now. Venturing forward closer to the fire, he flicked a long strand of
wet black hair from his eyes and shook his hands free of water.
One plate to Simon, another to Thane, and yet another to Kristina in a
sort of peace offering. "Water is great tonight." If it had
been a few months earlier they would need to be wrapped up in towels and
gotten into dry clothing.
She peeked up with that tip of her head and such a sweet smile up at
Thane, "thank you for helping me," then slanting that same
look and smile Simon's way, "and thank you for helping me,"
last but not in the least as she took the plate, "thank you for the
food, it smells delicious. Are you three from around here?" Trying
to strike up polite conversation to chase away the awkward feeling she
was picking up upon, although not certain of its source.
"Thanks." He nodded to Vincent as he took the plate then
smiled at Kristina. "You're very welcome. We're from Kildare,
knights serving King Leoric and here with him while he visits his
family. What of you, or are you from Ballicastle, like many of the
Frasiers?" He had recognized the last name.
She sat on one of the larger stones surrounding the pit. Setting her
plate off to her side after taking a taste of the fish and one small
potato before taking off the short, wet, riding boots. Each she turned
over to allow the water to run out and set in the pit near the coals to
dry, not on them nor too close. Once that was done she stretched out her
legs and wiggled her toes into the soft grass while answering Simon's
question. "I stay at Falkirk in Ballicastle but I have come here to
see about getting a position in the art museum. My sister use to work in
the Gallery but she has moved away with her husband so I might see if
they still need another to take over the position, or help in any way.
Move here most likely if they do."
Thane looked over to Kristina, mildly surprised at the way she smiled
and thanked him. "No trouble at all, miss," he murmured this
then fell silent to allow for the conversation that followed. A
nod of thanks given to Vince when he received his plate, and Thane took
up a seat on one of the logs that formed a loose ring around the
campfire. Using the small knife he kept in his belt to begin slicing off
bites of the delicious smelling meal. He was listening though despite
"Haven't been to Ballicastle yet but maybe if we visit again."
He smiled before he started to dig in, and all the while he kept an eye
on the catfish. "Are you an artist?" Well, he could keep the
conversation going too, so long as he didn't talk with his mouth full.
"Yes I am, or trying to be. Can't say how well my work will be
received but I'm driven." Which was usually the case for an artist,
like a disease they could not shake. She also wasn't one to talk much on
herself and so changed the topic. "So, you are all knights from
Kildare under King Leoric, the Queen of these lands son. It is an honor.
I hear Kildare is fairly wild, is this true?" Looking from each
He started in on cooking up the catfish so it could be then wrapped and
brought up, wouldn't spoil on the way. So he left the talking to his
comrades for a change. All ears but the scent of cooking started up
"It is," he nodded agreement, glancing at his friends though
he knew they agreed, "And yes, parts of Kildare are still quite
wild. Some of it's unexplored and there are rumors of all types of
creatures in the forests." He smiled slightly, "so it's a
place one should not explore just yet."
Thane was eating, and listening, and minding his own business... as
Cue the dreamy look her features took on as he spoke. There she stood in
the wild forests of Kildare with strange mythical beasts all around that
she was drawing already in her mind. "I hope to see it
sometime," the faraway look drawing back to be quickly replaced by
a sheepish one, indicating she knew she got that look about her.. been
told about it before. She set to eating her fish and bits before it got
cold and leaving them to do the same.
He watched her a moment then grinned before he turned to finish his
meal. Quiet for a few moments while he ate, but then the others were
too. Finally he sighed and stood to carry the plate to the water to
clean it up. "It's safe to travel, as long as you come by coach or
with an escort and stay on the main road. There are bandits but they're
slowly getting under control as we get more men. Ship is safe too."
If either of the frying pans were empty, he'd take care of those too.
Thane added onto Simon's words in a quiet, serious tone. "Even so,
it is nowhere to visit unless you must, miss." Perhaps he sounded
grim but he wanted to discourage any thoughts she might be having about
taking a holiday in the forests of Kildare. He'd gotten the sense that
she was imagining it already, from that look in her eye.
She looked from one to other taking both comments in even if Thane's
would have her stay away, precautions man. She listened but if she got
it into her head to go, then go she would. She was that kind of
adventurous. "Thank you for the comments."
He was going to say more but instead he just smiled and went back to
finishing his task. Sometimes it was better to say nothing rather than
add more fuel to the fire. "So, what kind of artist do you do?
Drawings, painting, sculpture? Or do you do them all?"
Which only made her feel like maybe she overstayed her welcome.
Fidgeting some as she finished up then stood to bring her plate over to
be washed at the edge of the lake before she was back. "Drawing and
painting mostly. My sister sculpt, she did lot of the animals for the
zoo museum. Perhaps they would like some murals done on the walls or
Indeed,Thane was thinking the same as Simon, that silence was wiser than
speech. Though for a moment, he regarded Kristina with a lifted brow,
then went back to his meal.
He finished up the cat fish and once it was cool enough, wrapped it up
in paper to put inside the basket he had brought.
"I've seen those. They're very well done." He grinned at her.
"You know where else they might appreciate murals? The orphanage.
They're doing a lot of improvements to it. Princess Henna is in charge.
There are a few large rooms, like the dining hall, that could use some
brightening up." So, he spent time visiting those places too. They
didn't know when they'd be back and he wanted to give a donation to the
"I could get any of the children with talent, or even without, to
help. Thank you Simon, that is a wonderful idea. Perhaps I will find
plenty of work to carve my own path than living off the Frasier family
at Falkirk." Her cheeks immediately turning a soft shade of pink as
she realized she let that out.. her inner feeling of wanting to support
herself exposed. Although she was getting odd vibes from Thane as she
turned a glance there to catch the lifted brows. "You wish to
comment on something?" Getting brave and a touch sassy.
It was all too true... Thane was looking at Kristina, with a gaze so
intense he barely blinked... but she might correctly guess that he
wasn't really looking at her. No, his thoughts were quite far
away, for her mention of drawing and painting had reminded him of
something, a memory that was still sharp along the edges. With a blink,
he pulled himself from it, and shook his head, lowering his eyes away
from Kristina. "No, miss, I did not mean to seem rude. I
"I thought maybe you were finding fault with me," words
lowered and the touch of hurt to lace them, something in the past as she
really didn't know any of the three. "I should be on my way, I hope
you all stay safe in Kildare and it finds the peace and harmony these
lands have." Words were sincere a she was over to collect Twilight,
running a hand down his nose before swinging up into the saddle. Thane
would find a pole waiting for him at the castle, figuring that would be
where they would be staying in these lands.
"No, not at all, I.." and then she was saying her farewells
and riding away. And, that was pretty much how it usually went for him
with women. Silence reigned after her departure, uncomfortable on
Thane's end at least.
"Are you returning to Ballicastle, or staying at the Thistle? If
you wish, I would escort you back." As fast as she had been riding
before, he doubted she'd find trouble but it was nighttime and he would
make the offer. "Or we can, if my comrades are also ready to
return to the castle."
She had said her farewells and she had mounted her horse but she hadn't
rode off just yet. "I will be staying at the Thistle for it would
be the most convenient and not getting in anyone's way." If her
sister were still here, she would stay with her even if it was at the
Graveyard Manor. A grave look over Thane but then her smile burst forth,
"if you are traveling up that way I would not mind the company at
all." The last being her answer to Simon as he had offered.
"Do they have schools for men of our age in etiquette or the
like?" Words came low by Thane that none others could hear but him.
He was really struggling this time. Although he didn't struggle too much
with the stain glass maker.
Part of Thane wished they did have such classes.... he had always
floundered in this area. His glance flicked to Vince wryly before he
took it upon himself to speak up, perhaps make amends in a small way.
"We would be pleased to accompany you, I'm sure." And he had
struggled some with the stained glass maker.... at least he had been
tongue-tied for the few brief moments they had spoken together.
"Aye, but we have come on foot, so you should ride and I'll take
the horses lead reins." They could carry on a conversation as he
picked up her boots she nearly left behind. They were mostly dry in the
least! All the dishes were cleaned up, the iron pot which would be left
there for anyone else in need of it to cook on the pit. Basket over his arm
as he was over to take the reins and lead the horse as they walked
beside her. Well, he would walk in front while Simon and Thane walked
They could always sit in with the squires. He smiled and inclined his
head slightly. "Then, speaking for myself and my companions, we
would be honored to accompany you." He whistled for Lamorak and
once again, the well trained warhorse followed behind, though he did
pause occasionally to enjoy a bite of a leaf or blade of grass here and
there. He was trying to not laugh at the sound of his boots making
Her smile warmed upon all three, "I feel like some kind of Fairy
Princess being escorted by gallant knights." Fanciful but she was
barefoot and all she needed was a gossamer gown. Accepting the boots she
tucked them by the horn as she would need to put them on later, or
perhaps not, once they reached the tavern.
After collecting his vest (still damp) and tucking it beneath his arm
for the trip back. He fell into step on Kristina's left side, or the
left side of her horse, more specifically. The Knight was feeling
decidedly sheepish but this hardly felt the time or the place to explain
himself, amongst this company. And besides... he was not the sort to
explain himself ordinarily, much less to a stranger. So he would be
mostly quiet for their walk back to town.