Poster: Ellyn Royce
Post # 87
Ellyn was humming a happy tune as she went over a list of things she
wanted to get. Yuletide was coming soon and best to start preparing
gifts or buying what she could afford. She had eaten a good meal
prepared by Hazel (was it ever any different? Always good). A glass of
wine was at hand barely touched. Her attire comfortable in leather,
slacks, vest, boots and a billowy fancy blouse that lent the only
feminine touch aside her hair which was pinned up. Mostly. Quite a few
strands had escaped their confines with practice earlier. She tucked
such behind one ear in an unconscious act as it started to get in her
The evening was proving to be a pleasant enough one. The streets of the
city had changed its colors from the bustling of shopping and trading,
the bright sun and cooling breeze, to that of a calmer, inviting shade
of shadows, those out seeking entertainment in the taverns and
restaurants, and for some, the gaming and ladies that often accompanied
those games. For Bryan, it was to the Thistle he strolled, stepping in
and out of the street lamp lights and the greys between until he made
his chosen destination and made his way within.
The gust of cooler air ruffled the pages of her notebook having her look
up. It took a moment as her thoughts were reeled back followed by a
brilliant smile. She had met Bryan enough to actually distinguish him
from his duplicates. "Bryan, how nice to see you. Wonderful
night," which had been followed by a wonderful day. Sun had graced
the lands even if the temperatures had been cold, or chilly as some
might put it. "Have you eaten?" Glancing to Alex who was at
the bar across from the table nearest it where she presently sat. There
and back to the McAndrews prince.
Bryan stopped long enough to see the door closed, unwrapping the light
weight scarf from around his neck and tossing it to a peg by the door.
His jacket he left on for now as he started toward the bar.
"Evening to you, Ellyn." He glanced to Alex and made a motion
of hand to dismiss any need for food. "Not yet, but I'm not yet
hungry. A glass of sustenance would do me though, Alex, when you are
able. Thank you." He smiled briefly to the tender and then
looked to Ellyn as he hooked a hip to a bar stool and claimed that seat
as his. "You have been well, M'Lady Royce?"
"You're welcome to join me your highness..." teasing tone as
her eyes lit up as well she rose to give a curt curtsey. "I am
doing right as rain and I hope the same.. of you, Bryan." She
waited to see if he would join her at her table and then commence with
Once again only the corners of his lips twitched in what would
eventually be a full smile, but for now, as he stalled at the bar
counter, only that proved his amusement with her invitation. She might
think him declining, as he remained where he was. Alex soon enough had
the glass on the counter though and that glass was soon enough in hand,
the prince easing from his perch. "I am as well, right as
rain." His amusement tinged his tone as he started toward the lady
seated at the table. He didn't sit as yet, just stood where he was, his
hand resting on the back of the chair he stopped behind and tilted his
glass to her. "To the continuation of being so..." The toast
of sorts offered, he bought his glass up and, just before it touched his
lips, he smiled, revealing the creases in his cheeks that the McAndrews
were known for.
One of Bryan's mirror images was making his way down the street toward
the Thistle. Charles was whistling as he walked, lifting a hand to greet
folks here and there. The colder weather suited him and he didn't mind
it in the least. Making his way up the steps, he peered inside the
window, a brow lifting. Now there was a sight to see. His brother and
the lovely Ellyn. He kept whistling as he headed inside, saluting his
brother and Ellyn as he headed for the bar.
This kind of sparring of words in such a pleasant way, had her burst
into a smile again as he joined her. "I'm tempted to hold your
chair for you," but she didn't! Amusement definitely in the tone
that flowed smooth as silk. The whistling saved him as attention was
shifted there along with the gust of colder air. She also recognized
Charles at this point too so that left the last to be Rory. Which had
her looking just beyond before the door was closed off. "Hello
Charles. You're welcome to join us. You look as crisp as the air
outside." There was something to be said for that crisp scent too.
Bryan's gaze lifted from the lady to the brother entering. He offered an
uplift of chin in greeting that ended in a cant and a slight shrug of
shoulder. "Crisp." He chuckled low, watching his older brother
make his way to the bar.
The brow that had smoothed out rose again but he wasn't ready to
interrupt the song, until... "Crisp? Crisp." A soft chuckle
followed as he continued to the bar. "That's something I've not
been called before." And he gave Bryan a look as if daring him to
make a comment. "I'll join you as soon as I have a drink in
She looked between the two and barely managed to keep a straight face.
"Crisp is a good word, wouldn't you say Bryan?" Fueling it to
go further if possible. They could take the teasing and she was sure she
would be teased back. That is when it became a fun game, not anything
vicious, there was a line not to cross.
"Aye, indeed, if one is a pastry, crispy on the outside as my dear
brother appears to be and all soft on the inside." His free hand
lifted and he made a pinching action toward his brother at the bar,
shooting that sibling a twitch of a wink in jest before he brought up
his glass again, eyeing his brother down the length of it.
Had he been drinking he would have sputtered but he just laughed.
"Soft on the inside? Just because I prefer books to bashing
heads." He sighed dramatically then grinned. Whatever he was going
to add was cut off by the need for a drink right then.
"Almost has me tempted to poke a finger to his stomach to see if
you are right." Which was amusing as well. "How have you been
Charles?" Waiting to see if he joined them too at the table. She
was still standing.
Bryan chuckled to himself, watching his brother's every twitch, just in
case. "No, Charles, not because you prefer books to bashing. Just
... because." He fell silent from that point since Ellyn had asked
her question. They were all still standing. So much for the chairs in
"I've been very well. And you, Lady Ellyn?" And he was inching
very, very slowly toward the youngest.
"Please. Gentlemen," with a flowing gesture of her hand to the
chairs where they could sit, "please have a seat." Which she
then promptly sat in hers in case they were standing on formality.
"I've been well as well. Getting ready for the upcoming season.
First we stuff our faces then we empty our pockets.." amusing
little curl at the corners of her lips followed the comment.
As Charles inched closer, Bryan inched around the table. Each step was
matched with a step. They had progressed too far in years for the
younger not to know to do so. Though his retreat might not be noted by
the lady, Charles would, without doubt, recognize it "M'Lady, I
have every intention to stuff my face the entire season as my pockets
are already empty." The first was a truth, the last could be argued
considering the status of the teen.
His lips twitched and though he took one more step, it was to reach for
a chair and sit after Ellyn had. There would be time to deal with Bryan
later. "Aye, we'll be traveling home soon." He would be first
to admit he missed their rather large family though he had hoped to not
be under so much scrutiny here. Alas, Rick was here and took his role as
older brother seriously. "And back and forth I think." He
wasn't sure about that though.
She had missed the subtle goings on between the brothers. At least in
this. For now. Perhaps in time she would recognize them. "What is
your favorite food, Bryan." Then sliding a glance to Charles in the
next breath, "and yours, Charles?" Keeping the conversation
flowing as her glass of Chablis was lifted for a sip. She was watching
them both over the rim for as long as it was up then lowered back to the
table. "I imagine your place is as congested as Falkirk gets."
Both were from very large families. Families that were only growing.
"From which meal?" Bryan remained standing a moment more until
Charles was fully seated, then he eased out the nearest chair and
lowered to it. "For I truly have many favorites as with many
things. Why should we ever limit ourselves to merely one?" The
McAndrews resided in a castle, and even that could seem to burst at the
seams with holiday festivities. He stretched his legs out under the
chair, finishing up the contents of his glass.
"Do you have a favorite amongst all your favorites or do you give
favorites equal justice? Say, perhaps, you like lemon meringue pie over
pumpkin. Or perhaps it is crumble apple.." chin dipped with a peek
Charles' way. Perhaps he was the quiet one.
It depended on his mood and today, yes, he was quiet. Perhaps plotting.
He looked at Bryan, then Ellyn and chuckled. "I think an
appropriate answer would be uh... since I'm not sure who is being
addressed!" He was teasing though he shrugged. "Like Bryan I
have many favorites and a few dislikes."
"Hold that thought," big, sweeping smile that added a dimple.
Rising with her words before she escaped to the back hall that led to
one of the privies.
Bryan turned as Ellyn took her quick leave then looked back to Charles.
"Or dismiss that thought, Brother. For I know what you are
thinking, and I sincerely do not wish to be lapping up the floorboards
of this tavern."
The cold night had turned her cheeks a touch rosy, and even the blush
crept across the tip of her nose. Bundled up for warmth, she had the
thick cloak tightly around her as she pushed through the door. Once
inside, the cloak, along with her gloves were removed. Cloak was left to
hang on the wall, gloves somewhere tucked within, she started for the
bar with a bright eyed smile. Hair in a long braid tonight, she wore
dark shades of grey and blue; pants and a sweater, black boots. Casual
enough. "Good evening," she greeted those inside.
"What thought? I have nothing on my mind but the feasts
ahead." Suuuuureee, he did. He used the entrance of the woman to
look her way and hide the laugh that was close to surfacing. "And
evening to you as well."
There was hesitance as Bryan's eyes averted from Charles to look to the
woman entering. Only after she had taken off her layers and layers did
he smile to himself. "That it is, a good evening indeed."
She glanced from one to the other, still holding onto the friendly
smile. They looked a touch familiar, but then again, she wasn't sure if
she'd met either of them. She pursed her lips, then turned to order
cider for herself. When that was done, she spoke to the two gentlemen.
"You two seem to be in a pleasant mood. Which is a good thing, of
course. I am Gaelle Thorpe, by the way." Her name tossed out
casually as she claimed a seat. Hands lowered to fold against her lap.
"Bryan and Charles McAndrews." He motioned to his brother then
himself, trying to remember if he had met her too. Sometimes it seemed
like they had met everyone but he couldn't always remember. Then again,
being they were mirror images, she might have met the missing third.
She arrived back from the back just in time to catch Charles' words and
note the addition of another female. One she had not met. "Hello
there," cheery tone as well the smile that accompanied it.
"Now, food." Seemed to be a good topic with the McAndrews
brothers. Settling back into her chair with a smile to linger as well
the sparkle to green eyes. "Food for the palate. Food for thought.
Food fights perhaps?"
"The holidays approach, Gaelle, who can not be in a pleasant
mood?" Ellyn's return brought his gaze around to rest on her.
"No food fights, please. No fights at ..." And then his gaze
locked on Charles. "...all." A nod, a smile, and he crossed
his arms over his chest since he was still lounging where he sat, legs
outstretched under the table. Yes he should stand since both ladies had
entered, but maybe they wouldn't notice and also wouldn't take it as a
"It is nice to meet you both. McAndrews, such a well known
name." She grinned to the both of them, then offered that same grin
to Ellyn when she returned. "Good evening, Miss. I think you missed
the introductions. I'm Gaelle." She liked to get those
introductions out of the way quickly! The talk of food had her quieting
for a moment. Simply to listen. This gave her a chance to sip some of
No fights? They were McAndrews. Of course there'd be fights though he'd
save it for on the field tomorrow. Of course, it could go either way
since they were evenly matched, these brothers. "Food... " He
nodded at Ellyn. "It's a good thing, right?" In any form.
Oh, so close was he to mentioning pastries when food continued to be the
topic of conversation. For his own well being, at present, he refrained
and, instead, tapped his fingers where they rested on his arm.
"Nice to meet you Gaelle, I am Ellyn Royce of the Frasier
family." Being the name Royce was less likely to ring a bell by
anyone that knew others in these lands. "I hear they might let us
spar with some men," or younger men, squires probably but she
didn't add that, "on the king's field tomorrow." Was that a
warning to Charles? The last had her laugh, "I'd say it is. There
are some that enjoy eating more than others too."
"Nice to meet you, Ellyn." Easily. "Frasier, also a name
that is well known." She smiled, nodding, then tilted her head at
the mention of the spar. Sounded quite interesting, and no doubt, it
would probably be an interesting sight to see. Her smile turned into a
grin, her gaze panning back to the men to see their reactions.
Now that announcement had brows raising, at least on one McAndrews. He
hadn't heard that. But maybe it was because it would be after the men
had taken their leave and left the field to the females and squires
following. "The best of luck to you then, Ellyn." Bryan
offered her a dip of head after he spoke and his gaze flickered over to
Charles as his brother mentioned the two families.
"I hadn't heard that." He pushed back on the chair, leaning on
the back legs. He knew it wouldn't be the knights or King's Men.
"There are nearly as many Frasiers are there are McAndrews."
The reactions had her chuckling. And she stood after one last sip of her
cider. "It was nice to meet you all, but there is something I must
attend to." With that, she strolled out, after gathering her items
from the wall.
Bryan started to rise as Gaelle prepared to leave, but the woman was
fast and so, he just kept his place.
She certainly was. He blinked and looked at Bryan then laughed.
"Couldn't even lift from the seat, could we?"
Bryan grunted out a laugh. "Just as well, I'm comfortable."
The door opened with a gust of wind, and a small sound of an oooof! from
the equally small thing of a woman, yes, woman standing there. Her wide
brimmed hat tipped forward over pig tails that barely reached her
shoulders. Freckles dotted the bridge of her nose and cheeks, and a pair
of wide blue eyes squinted up from beneath the brim. She shuffled
forward, closed the door and shuddered beneath her cloak. She wore
shades of green, from light to dark, and there was a bodhran attached to
her hip. The three and a half tall, pint sized thing started for the
bar, beaming. "I hope there is stew here. And bread. I'd love some
bread. And stew. And a pint of ale even!" The halfling was rather
He was about to agree but then .... the door opened and he thought that
was a child coming in. At first, then she began chattering and... ale.
"Uh... there's all that here, ma'am, miss, uh.... talk to
Her thoughts had wandered for a few moments. Hopefully only a few
moments but it was something that happened now and then. Luckily it had
not happened on the practice field or she would be called to task.
"Hello there," almost saying little one but the one was not a
child and she managed to still her tongue before such dropped off. She
was tempted to stand to get a better look as she disappeared behind the
high backs of the chairs in her effort to get to the bar. "I'm
Ellyn.." with a blinking glance given the brothers.
She swayed around one chair, then another, in an attempt to get a better
look at the people offering their hellos. In the end, she climbed up a
chair, almost like a monkey, to settle down on her knees (she needed
that extra height to better see over the bar). "Then I would like
some stew, bread, and ale, if you please!" Spoken to Alex in a
cheerful tone. She unlatched the bodhran, set it to the bar top then
twisted a bit to smile at the others. "My name's Poppy. Poppy
Wilde. It is rather nice to meet you!"
Bryan watched the female enter, squinted a passing gaze over her, then
smiled pushing up to stand even as the newly arrived claimed a chair.
"Welcome to you." He offered with a nod her way then looked to
his brother. "Catch you later." Then his attention slid to
Ellyn. "Lady Royce...until next." The introduction allowed no
more and he looked once more to Poppy. "I hope your evening is as
pleasant as mine, Poppy Wilde." He modified a salute, that dip of
chin, a touch of fingers to his temple and he started toward the door
and his scarf that hung on a peg by it. He slid the length of it free
and wrapped it around his neck, glanced only once back to the gathering
and made use of the door.
"Aye, later, Bryan." He would have time to plot a touch of
revenge. "Pleasure to meet you, Miss Poppy." It just seemed
the right title for her.
She had to blink again as Bryan got away with barely a hello to the
newcomer and a goodbye to all. "See you..." to his back as the
door closed. Most likely she would see him again. "He was in a
hurry," an off comment to Charles. "I have yet to meet
Rory." Another comment on the side. "We need another
adventure," anything to hopefully dispel the cobwebs of her mind as
of late. "Nice to meet you Poppy Wilde," quick smile there for
the introduction. "Welcome to the lands."
"Did you see that salute? That was a mighty fine salute....."
She trailed off into silence, rather suddenly. Food was in front of her.
It was like she's nearly fallen into a trance, but her name mentioned
from the others broke that trance and she peeked over to each of them. A
dimpled grin broke free. "Why thank you. Seems like a friendly
place. I wasn't quite so sure about coming into the lands. I lingered
outside for a long time, trying to decide if it was safe or not.
Sometimes you just got to take a chance, though, so that chance I took.
So here I am." Ramble ramble. At least she shut up when she took a
bite from the stew.
"Likely he remembered something." He could tease Bryan and
Rory and threaten them, just as they did to him, but they took their
responsibilities seriously. "Maybe to meet Rick, and aye, we do
need another adventure." He blinked and looked at Poppy and
grinned. "Well, welcome from me too."
Oh, they knew about taking chances as she glanced to Charles then back.
"One needs to take chances or they will never have adventure. Isn't
that right, Charles?" Although she didn't look directly at him, he
would note the curl to the edges of her lips. "It's a friendly
place here, unless you're not friendly but I can tell you are
friendly...." she trailed off or she would be talking as much as
the little one.
"I love adventures. I have been on quite a few. And I survived
them!" She.. did a fist pump, as if surviving each adventure was
her greatest accomplishments. Victory is hers! ..or something. "And
yes, I am friendly, of course." She nodded, sharply, then sent them
both a curious glance. "Are there others like me here?" It was
always nice to meet up with other Halflings in other places. Especially
when they got into trouble--eh, found some. She ate more of her stew
then took a swig of the ale.
He nearly laughed out loud, listening to Ellyn. She was very close to
sounding like Poppy. "Oh, aye, that's right. Friendly place,
friendly people." Oh good lord. He took another drink to keep
"There were at least. I don't know if they have come back. They
were looking for a wife, these," should she say short? "ones.
They tried to woo a woman here as another had put up signs that she was
looking for a mate that was under four feet..." well that was
instead of short! She cleared her throat that had a funny sound to it
like a swallowed laugh. As the story went, the woman was madder than
"Halflings looking for love, eh? I suppose that is not all
surprising. I hope they found what they were looking for! Perhaps one
day, I will settle down myself. I am in no rush though. Why hurry such a
thing?" She waved a hand in the air, wrinkled her nose then
finished off her stew, and her bread. She ate that pretty quickly!
Taking a swig of ale, she turned a little more in her seat; twisting
around a touch on her knees.
"I think the story was that they needed a wife to take care of
them." He chuckled softly, trying to picture that. He wasn't
totally sure. Just heard bits and pieces of the tale. "So, you're
not looking for love but adventure. What kind of adventure?" He
watched her finish her meal and laughed. "Been a while since you
"Two hours." Answering without missing a beat. What? She ate a
lot! To the food question, at least.
Now there was one that enjoyed her food. Which brought back an earlier
discussion which both of the McAndrews men avoided. "That
long?" Teasing but it might well be the truth! It was getting late
as she glanced to the Traugott cuckoo clock hanging over the mantle. She
finished up her drink but lingered a few more minutes.
"And yes, I am looking for adventure. I was sent off in search of
this dragon. I was supposed to bring it down. So off I went, so very
sure of myself. After I arrived at the location that housed the dragon,
I took one look at its ... big-ness and decided that perhaps a
dragon slayer I was not. So I said to myself, I said, Self? You are a
darned fool if you think you can take something that big down with a
club. So I walked away, and decided to try less..dangerous
adventures. I just don't know what I want to do yet. And yes, that
long!!! If I would have waited longer, I would have starved!" Wide
eyed look to Ellyn.
"That was a very wise choice, I'd say." He shook his head,
barely holding back his laughter. He didn't want to be rude. "And
you should involve food in your adventures. It might be safer." He
was serious too. Food should be much safer then a dragon!
"Aye, that was good reasoning and a good choice." Rising from
her seat with a smile to both. "You're welcome to stay here, there
is no cost. Food is great.." but she needed to go, "catch you
tomorrow Charles." Such a grin with a wink added before she was
heading out the door.
"Food is safer. I like that. I might stick with it! Have a good
night, Ellyn. I should be off too. I have some planning to do!"
With that, she picked up her bodhran, climbed down from the chair and
strode out humming some random melody.
And now that he was alone, he picked up his empty mug and headed for the
bar, telling Alex good night. He wasn't ready to go back to the castle,
but a good walk might help to clear his mind before he headed for his