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Author Topic: True Colors Beyond Shields  (Read 6837 times)

Gard of Lake-town

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True Colors Beyond Shields
« on: May 11, 2019, 02:44:42 AM »
It just fit for Gard to be the one to travel on any and all Diplomatic calls of duty, as a Lord of the Kingdom of Dale, and without the responsibilities Bain had as heir and prince. Or that was what he told both himself and his cousin who was all but a brother to him. "Supposing they need you. Why, Dain could come down from the mountain and here your da' would be without you present for a very official visit would just look awful", the Nineteen year old lord had grinned at the prince...and next dodged the harmless enough item that was tossed at his head for the jest. Gard knew that Bain knew that he knew he was just pulling stuff out of thin air, and rejoicing that he got the freedom to go!

They were both trying in terms of acting the parts they had had for a while now, but were still two boys from a fishing village at heart.


Of all the horses currently in the stables of Dale, Gard liked Fletcher the best. When the Emblem of Dale had quickly enough become an arrow, the Black Arrow his uncle had killed Smaug with, the name was perhaps not all that original given fletchers, or arrow makers, thought themselves a pretty noble profession; just in case such an arrow as ever needed again.

The horse's grey speckled coat made him a pretty good Official Business Steed too, but none of that was really why Gard liked him. He was just a good tempered horse who did well on trips and had a nice personality. Gard had quickly claimed him as his own horse. This did not mean Tilda and even Sigrid didn't ride him too. Gard still couldn't tell the girls no on anything.

So, he was protective of "his horse" as they entered Rohan, and Edoras, Land of Horses, and felt he might feel shy. "Ok, now don't get intimidated", Gard said, leaning down to pat the horse's neck, "You are just as good, if not better, than every horse in here!".

Still, it was a relief to know the nearby stable attendant knew horses thoroughly and knew what he was doing when entrusted with Fletcher as Gard stopped off at one of the local taverns. He knew those lessons in court manners he'd taken shortly after Dale was rebuilt had paid off too well and, even with his tunic with the Black Arrow of Dale hidden under a cloak, he...just walked and seemed like someone of noble bearing, but tried to recall his humble roots (and never forgot them truthfully in a good way) and entered the tavern as just another traveler, even his entourage of two other nobles of Dale, who's job it was to get him home safe, seeming like two travel companions, and letting Gard order for all three at the bar before they took a corner table.

"Well my...friend...", the one noble had almost lapsed into titling Gard, "...what do you think of Edoras so far?".

Gard smirked behind his pint at how hard this was for his companion, before nodding, "When they said it was naught but rolling fields they didn't jest!", he commented to the land, before glancing around the tavern, which seemed filled with honest, hard-working farmers, and his smile softening, "Still, just add in some fish oil and it could be Lake Town". he admitted, and it was a compliment to the place.

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Re: True Colors Beyond Shields
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2019, 05:34:38 AM »
The young blonde-haired outrider turned around, smiling at the newcomer who had entered the tavern. He smiled at him, squeezing the hand of the broad-shouldered redhead next to him, pulling out a seat for the new man, dark of hair.

"Greetings! I know the tavern is quite full right now, but if you need a place to sit and rest, you are more than welcome to join me here!" Eofor took a swig of his wine, glad to have his newlywed husband, brother-in-arms, and childhood friend Eothain by his side. The two had known each other since they were but boys sparring with wooden swords and axes, and had served together in the same Eored, eventually being promoted to captains. They may have had to split, but then Eothain proposed, and then they married, only a few days ago in fact. The ceremony had been a simple one, for sure, but that was all they had wanted - with friends and family.

A grin covered Eothain's face and he pulled his thick cloak around his husband, squeezing him playfully and smiling.

"I am Eofor, and this is Eothain my newlywed husband. We've both lived here in Edoras our entire lives. A pleasure to meet you."

Gard of Lake-town

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Re: True Colors Beyond Shields
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2019, 01:28:57 AM »
”Oh, pardon”, one of those of Gard’s entourage (though even in technical term, that word sounded presumptuous) who had thought he’d found them a pretty good seat didn’t hold too stingily to his loose claim even when what looked to be an elderly farmer vied for the same space, yet then the three were left in a bit of a bind.

Until another of the patrons spoke up, offering their own table. Their relationship was not apparent enough for Gard’s friends and travel companions to perhaps steer the young noble to another table.

Two men in a relationship of that nature would prompt such thoughts. As if by choices of theirs they were fully compromised morally. Even with the stigma associated with such things, and agreeing moral ground but not extent of prejudice on it, Gard would say that was excessive of a thought.

Not that the relationship wasn’t quickly expounded on and explained, after the three had taken a seat, and Gard had just nodded and thanked them. All three sets of eyebrows rose a bit, partly for the bold openness.

“Married?”, one of Gard’s companions repeated, just taken aback.

“By whom?”

“Is this...typical in Edoras?”

Gard let his companions ask this round of back and forth hushed questions, none of which really came out criticism, while he remained silent and thoughtful for the space of a moment or two, seemed to consider the two. He couldn’t say he agreed sure, but...did that really warrant such a thing as moving tables and shunning? He didn’t think so either.

If he, Gard, a Lord of Dale could not talk to these two...well he had little business being a diplomat of any kind. And after surviving talks with Dain, was anything really worse?

”How do you do”, Gard nodded and greeted back, forgoing commenting directly on what Eofor had said, but by way of greeting him and his...partner, and continuing the conversation, speaking to his two companions that they would see this conversation out, without saying such directly either.

As the king’s nephew, he was in charge for this trip, so the two just turned their attention back to the conversation; which now consisted of Gard deciding if he should give his name.

Well maybe minus the title; for the simplicity of their trip and all. "I'm Gard", he nodded again. His travel companions taking to his example and doing the same. "Alwis". "Del", the other introduced himself, before glancing again to Gard. I'll...uh be right back".

Gard didn't think anything of it at the moment, knowing he was going to check the horses, since they still didn't know the Edoras stable staff, but should have already seen how ill-timed it was.

"Well...", in line with what he'd just told himself, Gard sought a diplomatic continuation to the conversation, "I...applaud your bravery, it really is admirable, to just...admit to your circumstances to strangers. Surely that' you into trouble a time or two?".
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 03:03:06 AM by Gard of Lake-town »

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Re: True Colors Beyond Shields
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2019, 02:41:30 AM »
Eofor couldn't help but frown as he saw the young man's companions leave. Even if they... didn't understand his preferences in bed, per se, couldn't these folk obviously tell a loving relationship from one where there was no love, no affection?

Either way it didn't matter.

The damage had already been done, the blows dealt.

A quiet sigh could be heard from Eothain. "Most of the only trouble that we've dealt with is situations like what just happened. People leaving, that sort of thing. Thankfully, people understand not to start a fight with a King's Guard, but still..." his quiet, rough voice faded. "It just gets frustrating to constantly be dealing with that, y'know?"

He took another long swig of beer, buying another and a round for the rest of the table. None for the companions who left, though. "I'm not saying people need to feel the way that I do, it's just... I'm no different from anyone else because of it."

He glared over at the other two people who had left.

"And no, it's not common, in Edoras." He growled at the other two men, just loud enough for them to hear it.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 02:41:46 AM by Eofor »

Gard of Lake-town

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Re: True Colors Beyond Shields
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2019, 02:59:53 AM »
Gard knew Del didn’t mean his leaving when he did to be insulting, but of course it sent the wrong message. Maybe he’d been wrong to ask his friends to try making it through this talk with him, though he still believed in them both.

They were Men of Dale, and good men like Gardʼs own family.

Not good with new situations; but good men.

Still, he rushed to take care of the misunderstanding.

”Oh Del is just checking on our horses. At the local stables. Heʼs...perhaps making it worse, insulting your fine horse care as well, but please do go easy on us, weʼre from out of town”. Gard grinned what he hoped was an easy grin.

It worked in that Alwis smiled and loosened up. ”Well Iʼm pleased your position can afford some measure of protection, truly”, the other spoke genuinely.

”So”, Gard went on, ”Youʼre of the Kingʼs Guard”. After before, he tried to speak carefully. He then glanced to Alwis, coming to a decision of his own on facts to share, before glancing to the pair again.

”My uncle is King Bard of Dale. I...wasnʼt going to just announce rank, and if there were any from Mordor around; well itʼs not wise, though thatʼs also what Alwis and Del are her for”, Gard still kept his voice low, but let the Black Arrow of Dale emblem on his tunic show from beneath his cloak.

”Not Kingʼs Guard exactly, but close enough”, Alwis added. ”So you can see why I trust none perhaps”. He smirked. Not an apology for being suspicious but an explanation nonetheless.

”My point and question being, the Orcs are bad enough in Dale, coming from Dol Guldur, which has always been too close for comfort", or that was where they were said to have originated. Have they over run Rohan or Edoras yet?”.

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Re: True Colors Beyond Shields
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2019, 04:43:42 AM »
Eofor couldn't help but just nod. Sure, he might have taken things far too personally, but then again, with all the things he had heard - about his marriage, about how he shouldn't be with Eothain, certain people cutting him out of his life - would it be so hard not to take it personally when they left the table? Not to mention insulting the care of the horses - Eofor always cared deeply for the horses, so that was insult to injury, to say the least.

Gard must have thought these were good men.

"Indeed, I am glad to have that protection - though I would add that I can handle myself in a fight should it come to that. And indeed, Eothain and I both are part of the Kingsguard."

Another swig of ale.

"Your uncle is King Bard?" Apologies for the... outburst from earlier. I should not have gotten angry, considering..." his voice grew quieter and trailed off as he spoke. He glanced at the icon beneath the black cloak.

"Indeed, it would seem as though our positions are similar," he nodded, ordering the group another round of ale. He smiled.

"As for the orcs, I have not heard anything of them running over Rohan or Edoras. I do believe we would be sent to investigate, though," he chuckled.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2019, 06:05:50 PM by Eofor »

Gard of Lake-town

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Re: True Colors Beyond Shields
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2019, 01:50:50 AM »
Eofor proved his status as a King's guard, perhaps, by apologizing for his outburst upon learning of Gard's position. More so than the humble young lord would have ever fished for or expected. He smiled and gave a small nod, showing he took no offense. "It's quite alright, and I am not here to judge others business, and am sorry if I have reflected poorly on Dale"

"As am I" Alwis readily nodded, and perhaps, as a guard, was just falling in with what the higher ranking young lord of Dale went with, but Gard could tell his words were genuine. It was just the same with all of them, he felt, and the open boldness when such things were not understood or tolerated had thrown them.

"Sorry, I am back, what did I miss?", Del inquired, coming back to the table, and not aware of his social blunder, and since as a lord of Dale his apology could speak for his companions, Gard let it do such and since Del was unaware anyway.

"Our King's nephew has just informed our guests of his position", Alwis kept his voice still low. Del shot Gard as disbelieving a look as one could their superior and the young lord just smiled beyond his tankard again. "And I was mentioning it to explain why I asked for more information on the Orc situation, which is thankfully not one thus far".

Del nodded, turning back to their companions, and could pick up the feel off his companions for their striving for not stirring the waters, as well as as had caught Alwis' last half apology if they reflected poorly and so fell in with diplomatic keeping that as well. Their young lord had a point, even if he didn't tell it to them, though, and they were ambassadors and should recall it.

"Well, I am glad, and I would count your blessings and keep on watch, they have already grown in number in Dale, but then Dol Guldur spat out a fair number. Hopefully they won't continue South into Rohan and Gondor".

"Sadly it's true", Gard admitted, "But I wouldn't say it's King Thranduil's fault, they've been coming from Mordor as well and that's part of what we came south checking on". Actually, Gard realized this could have been fortuitous and it was good he had run into two of the king's guard of Edoras to spread the slight warning at least. Though he also hated for them to sound so doom and gloom about it all.

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Re: True Colors Beyond Shields
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2019, 12:15:14 AM »
Eofor couldn't help but smile as Bard's nephew forgave him for his transgression. Sure, Eofor himself might not have been nobility, but he should have realized treating the nephew of a king could have profound effects on the relationship between the two kingdoms - namely, some threats could escalate a minor situation to a much worse one.

He finished his drink and got another one with Eothain. The beer might have been weaker than usual, but the mead was good - that and seemingly good company.

"Well, I am glad, and I would count your blessings and keep on watch, they have already grown in number in Dale, but then Dol Guldur spat out a fair number. Hopefully they won't continue South into Rohan and Gondor."

"Sadly it's true, but I wouldn't say it's King Thranduil's fault, they've been coming from Mordor as well and that's part of what we came south checking on."

A single sip of mead, the sweet flavors of honey and fresh fruit lingering on his tongue.

"If you would like me to try and help you all look into what Eothain and I can do to help, I will request permission for he and I to take leave to help you all with the investigation."

Gard of Lake-town

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Re: True Colors Beyond Shields
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2019, 12:15:52 AM »
Was there going to be a true investigation? Though, as he'd said, it was part of the reason of traveling so far south, Gard wasn't sure. He gave a glance to his companions, then back. Current member of the royal family of Dale and thus in charge for this expedition (at least as far as his two companions were concerned) or no, he would still check on their opinions as to best course of action.

Not squandering the voice of the people was half, if not all, of what his uncle's kingship was built upon.

It was just a double checking glance, though, Gard already knew. They weren't quite at so bleak of days just yet...

Of course he had always tried to say such, regardless of what lay ahead, either Dragon or Orcs. As both a child and adult. Well almost adult even now...

"Thank-you", Gard began with, and his smile showing he was not brushing their help aside. He then gave another check to make sure their talk remained discreet. "But I'm not sure about making it a full investigation just yet, if you and Eothain would simply keep your ears and eyes open here and report anything you hear of; either to Dale specifically or we may pass back through".

At any rate working at a network up between the various kingdoms of Men was a start. "Have you heard any if Gondor knows of this news?", Gard asked.

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