(1874-08-13) An Unexpected Arrival
An Unexpected Arrival
Summary: Viscount Chandus and a small contingent arrive at Keep Candeo.
Date: 2018-08-13
Related: None
NPCs: None
Alia  Chessa  Thomas  

Hellsmouth - Keep Candeo - Keep Grounds
Set on a hilltop is Keep Candeo, passing the earthenworks that look recently dug, one can see two round, barracks-like structures that flank the Keep. On either side the road way leading toward the door are two fenced off areas that make up some kind of training grounds. It would seem the Imperials currently set here, under the command of Princeps Darius, wasted no time in getting settled in. Various legionnaires can be seen carrying both wood and stone about, patching up what needs fixing. If they aren?t tending to area beautification, what spare legionnaires are about are in the training yards drilling this formation or that.

There were few moments in the day when Keep Candeo would be considered to be quiet. With the repairs and fortifications being made well underway, the builders and craftsmen had a steady stream of work, requests, and adjustment to designs that needed to be implemented. Add to that the contingent of soldiers which had been attached to the keep going about their duties, providing security, as well as making use of the relative security of the walls within which to practice? In a word, the Keep was busy.

Alia strode through the yard, hands adjusting a scroll as she made her way through the maze of people, materials, and sundry, heading for a small cluster of soldiers who were appeared to be waiting for her. Her attire had not much changed, in the time since she had arrived the Imperial forces to occupy the keep. She still wore supple leather bots, though the pants had been replaced, black leather, rather than heavy cotton, and she had added a lorrica in very nearly matching black leather. A sword at her hip, and that appeared to complete her attire. She wore neither the shield nor carried one of the crossbows for which the Legion was so famous. Gone native? Partially, but not entirely. Coding at her left shoulder marked her as a Tribune of the XIIIth, as well as indicating her place in the Auxiliary.

An airship had been spotted on the horizon to the west about an hour ago, fairly close by, and landed somewhere in vicinity of the keep, though still a few miles away. As if unwilling to test the safety of the area, the airship then took off, its passengers disgorged on the ground. It's a small group that now approach Candeo keep, no more than half a dozen, their sky chariot visible high above. They are mostly mounted on good, light horses, coursers for the Tarris folk among them. Armour is plain brigandine, with a cart towed by two mules behind them carrying some extra goods. At their head is an unobtrusive but undoubtedly noble man in brigandine, his darkly painted helmet next to him tied to the saddle and shield on his back. He looks more for the road than anything else, but clearly ready for trouble if it comes.

Among this small group is one that is definitely female. She wears leather armor over the dark rose colored riding split skirt, and the hood of her cloak fastened with a headband to keep it from falling back as they ride. She doesn't sit well in the saddle, although it is apparent this isn't her first time. She has the posture of one who has ridden often, and taken lessons, because she has to, not because she finds any joy in it, and therefore has a difficult time becoming attuned to any horse. It may be for this reason that Lady Chessa's natural downward curve at the corner of her lips is even more pronounced as she rides in the middle of the others. There's a new kind of bow at her back, and a quiver of arrows in place of a saddle bag, but she carries no blade. Two other long, leather, tubes have been fastened to her saddle, the opposite side of the quiver.

The alert came as soon as the airship was spotted, the lookouts calling down to the courtyard below, the soldiers who had been practicing, idling, or about other duties coming to alert. Alia, hearing the call, quickened her pace, heading for one of the centurions who seemed to have been waiting for her to join the group. She handed off the scroll, "mark in the new arrivals, if you will, and relieve the soldiers of their duties. Send them on to their new stations in the morning, unless their orders require immediate action." The centurion nodded, taking the scroll, and stepping in to take Alia's place, allowing the woman to turn and make her way towards the gates to, one would imagine, receive their visitors. The keep, being rather on the small side, did not require much work to achieve the gates. The guards there waited, at the ready, but neither openly hostile or at arms. They simply waited for the contingent approaching to come close enough to be hailed.

The small party of Galenthians stops a respectful distance from the gate. Thomas turns his head to both his bodyguard, Serjeant Lawrence Verus, and then to the Lady Chessa Sokar, smiling in a mild manner. "Belies the description as a ruined castle, doesn't it? Quite well. Hmm. I suppose there's really only one way if you don't send a note." He turns back an breathes in deeply, before a much more booming sound flows forth. "The Comes of the Limes Firensis arrives and requests an audience with the Legate!" The language is Imperial, that of a native speaker - though a differing accent than most Imperials, perhaps, and some archaisms in the vocabulary; the voice projects across the land with little problem. A voice of a commander.

Looking up ahead of her after Thomas's words, Chessa's eyes narrow slightly in consideration. "At least not so ruined, now," she replies. When the company stopped, she'd left her position in the middle to ride up alongside of him. She leans one hand on the neck of her mount as she leans forward to ease her seat, and then nods. When Thomas next speaks, she stares at him, and then her frown deepens before she draws in a breath and forces herself to relax her shoulders into their usual, noble, posture. She manages to find a more neutral expression, even with the natural frown her lips usually wear.

Alia moved to step up onto a viewing platform, taking in the heraldry she could see. Whatever she was now, she had been a noble of Aequor for most of her life, and no noble woman, much less an alchemist hoping to sell her wares allowed herself not to know the coats and colours of the noble houses. She, as had many learned such things the way most children learned their letters. Alia cast a glance towards the guards, some of whom were murmuring at the language, more for its arcane usage than for the words themselves. "Let them through. Do not offer aggression unless they initiate." Alia did not bother to see if the men nodded in agreement, she simply expected that her order would be followed, and stepped back down to return to the gate, which drew back wide enough to receive the visitors. Behind her, the soldiers stood to their posts, expressions alert.

Of heraldry, there was none to be seen; no banners were held by the small party, perhaps expecting that they would be let through on their words. It worked, in any case, and they ride through the gates with heads held high but not much to identify them past the cryptic words used moments ago. As he rides through the portcullis, Chandus raises his hand, and continues in Imperial. "Hail to you, Lady of the Empire! I bring greetings to you from the Colonia of Firen!"

This time, Chessa does not ride up beside Thomas, exactly. She stops a half length back to the side of him, as she doesn't speak the language, but looks to the woman he greets, as in this case she has a reasonable idea of what he is saying. Not knowing if she should raise a hand as well, she decides to settle for her own people's way of greeting, nodding graciously, with a lighter curve to her mouth. "Hail, and well met," she says in the standard tongue of their lands.

Alia stood among a small contingent of guards who had come to stand around her, stepping out from their midst as the party finally approached close enough to fall within the walls of the keep and close enough for conversation to be had. She took the time, as they approached, to study each face, perhaps each expression, before she turned her attention towards the man who, having given the call for entry, and now addressed her directly. Her own use of Imperial was more modern, crisp and pristine, the dialect that spoken in the Vir Sidus lands, "Hail to you and yours, Lord of Firen. Welcome to Candeo, in the Colonia of Paras. We are well met here and you are welcome. I am Alia d'Meloni, Tribune of the Legio XIII Asterrea, and commander of this keep. I offer you safe conduct while you reside within these walls." her eyes turned towards the pale-haired woman, her words becoming Common, her accent at its base Aequorian, though sanded down by the inflections more common in Four Corners, "Hail, Lady." She glanced back towards Chandus, "If common would be preferable, and would ease communication, please." A tip of her head, as if to say, 'The choice is yours.'

"Ah, a d'Meloni! I did not know that there were any of your family who remained." Thomas switches to common as soon as the Tribune is done speaking, and smiles broadly. "Well, God be good, I am happy to hear that your noble family is still extant, of course. In truth, I used the term Colonia of Firen because I suspect that not all of the Imperials really know, or care to know, that we're called Galenthia these days." He chuckles. "It doesn't matter. This is the Lady Chessa Sokar, of Dalcen, of course. We thank you for the safe conduct." He switches to Imperial for a moment. "And, as a Vir Militaris," That is, an antique expression for a Military Man, "I commend your soldiers on their excellent turn out, and the smartness of this fortification." He nods gravely to the officers that Alia stands with, but then smiles back at her.

He coughs. "I should probably introduce myself. Viscount Thomas Chandus of Repton March, Brigadier of Eastern Galenthia, at your service" This, in common.

Chess picks up place names, and Alia d'Meloni must be her name, but that's all she can pull out of of what sounds, from tone and cadence, like a traditional greeting. When Alia turns to her, and switches to Common, she smiles, and has a touch of Four Corners in her own Galenthian speech. "Thank you, I would appreciate the use of Common. I apologize that I have not been able to take the time to learn your language before coming. The Viscount unexpectedly offered me the chance to accompany him, and I was happy to travel to a new place." She shifts in her saddle slightly, but maintains an expression of gratitude for the hospitality.

Alia, hearing the identities of the visitors, bowed to each in turn, having no skirts with which to use for a proper curtsy, respect offered where it was due. She continued in Common as the Viscount did, "So far as I know, as those lands have not yet been reclaimed, I am all that remains of the main line, Your Excellency, though there are some lesser members of my house who still reside in Hellmouth City and the surrounds, or so it was when last I had cause to visit there." A smile curled her lips, though she did not look at the men who were still standing behind her, "I suspect they likely did not, but the world has moved on, and we must all, now, learn things we might have preferred to be ignorant of. A moment," She looked away, a hand rising to call over a man dressed in plain Imperial clothing, unarmored and likely a steward of some sort, switching back to Imperial, "Have such good fare as the keep possesses prepared for our guests, and tell the stables to ready space for their horses if they should decide to stay." She spoke quietly, but not so much so that Thomas could not hear what she was saying. Once the man had taken off, she turned back, and returned to Common, "You have had a long journey, if you have come from so far off as Firen. if it suits you, I would welcome offer you such hospitality as we have in the keep. Space will be allotted for your horses and such members of your party as you will keep with you." Not knowing their business, of course, she'd have no way to know how many they would keep with them. "if you aim to ride through to Paras, we will offer you such stores as we ahve to replenish your supplies." Chessa receives a smile in turn, "There is no need to apologize, Lady Sokar. It has been long and long since Imperial was a language that was common currency in Galenthia."

"Then it is you, my lady, that are the last of your line and therefore are heir to it. You are in actuality a Greater Lady of Aequor, should you choose to be. And well met, then." Thomas smiles graciously, speaking only in Common. He dismounts and hands the reins of his horse off to Verus. "Much thanks - Lady Alia is offering us quarters and sustenance. No no, we come not from Firen, but rather from the Sokar Duchy - and for myself, from Tarris, where I started in. In truth, we are here for multiple reasons. If your Lord is in residence here, we may speak to him. If not, we would be happy to move on to Paras, but I would beg you an escort. As you can see," His hand sweeps back, "ours is thin. Such is the problem of travelling in an airship. The space is limited, especially when one brings mounts, but we had little choice in the matter."

There is a certain alacrity in the way that Chessa dismounts that possible suggests she is pleased to be putting her feet on the ground. She nods to Thomas, and then, after a moment's hesitation, she takes the tubes from the saddle, and puts the bow in their place. It is obviously a custom made item, and she chooses to trust that it will remain with her belongings when the horse is lead away. "My thanks, Lady Alia," she adds to Thomas's gratitude, not minding the lack of curtsy, but giving one of her own.

Alia's smile was in equal measure rue and amusement, "A Great Lady I might well be, but of lands which are, now, no longer in possession of either Aequor or the Empire. And so, I think the House shall remain a House of one for some time. Though the Princeps has acknowledged that I have legal claim to those lands. We will see what we will see when the time comes." As she hears news of their departure points, "Still, and all, a long way to come to meet with the Princeps. As for his whereabouts, his movements from moment to moment are difficult to track, as he has many duties which occupy his mind. If you will allow me to escort you to the hall, I will do what I can to seek word of his current location, and give you some answer that will allow you to decide whether you will stay and wait his return to travel on. And I will appoint such guard as you need to offer safe passage to Paras, if that is your choice."

Thomas bows his head to Alia, nodding enthusiastically. "That would be greatly appreciated, my lady. We are in quite a hurry - or at least I am. There is war down south with the Southron lords that I certainly cannot miss." He smiles slyly. "My reputation as a general would be forever tarnished."

With her head tilted slightly to the side, Chessa listens as Alia speaks of her position as being a House without a house. Her eyelids drop slightly as if making mental notes, and then she nods with a smile, her enthusiasm being a little more reserved than Thomas's. With her two leather cases cradled in her arms quite carefully, she steps away from the horse to allow for it to be lead to the stables. At the mention of war she nods, and there's a quirk at one corner of her mouth. "We would not wish to risk your reputation, Viscount," she states solemnly, with perhaps a spark in her eyes.

"Then I will do everything that I can to ensure that you are not delayed from your duties longer than is absolutely necessary. War has returned to the West on many fronts, if the reports we have heard are to be believed. And whether we wish to or not, we cannot spare time for such pleasantries as we might wish." She stepped back, glancing to the cadre of stablehands who had come to take the horses, and to show the men where they would be housed, "If you will walk with me, Your Excellency, Lady Sokar, I will offer you what welcome we can, and allow you to rest from your journey." Should they follow her, she will lead them on into the keep proper.

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