(1874-09-01) Give Me A Ship
Give Me A Ship
Summary: Lillian and Vemmorn catch up at home. Vemmon wants a new thing.
Date: 2018-09-01
Related: None
NPCs: None
Lillian  Vemmorn  

Town and the road through it.

It has been nearly a full two weeks, since Lillian returned to Barjols, and the town seems to have been the better for it. The family have always been very much involved in the care and feeding of the business of the Bordeaux, and more often than not, they can be seen out and about with the commonfolk, working the harvests, handling the business of seeing the product brought in, overseeing the crafting of necessary supplies. Not that the work falters when they're away, of course, but there is something to be said for the atmosphere the family has cultivated; that of working with their folk and not simply overseeing them. A community effort.

As for Lillian, she's just stepping out of the blacksmith's guild, a rolled parchment under her arm, pulling off a pair of heavy leather gloves and handing them to one of the apprentices, before she begins back towards the center of town. She's dressed for work, today, her usual pant, shirt, vest that she would wear at one of the aid stations.

Vemmorn drops down from a nearby wagon onto the road near Lillian with an impish grin. "Lillian!" He's not dressed much differently to her. "Did you hear? Someone wrote a song about me!" He's not been back for long at all himself. Its less than a day since he came in from the city where his ships temporarily at harbour.

The sound of the wagon turns Lillian's head first, the sight of Vemmorn setting her off on an entirely different direction, as she heads to meet him. "I did not hear. I am, however, terribly glad to hear that someone's finally put their talent to good use." She reaches out, to offer a hug, as though that were, for the moment, the most important thing, and not to be forgotten, "You, of course, are going to tell me all about it."

Vemmorn laughs. "Of course I am. Why else would I mention it?" He grins and puts his arm loosely across her shoulders. "The midnight man." he grins widely. "Who steals from the sky and sets maidens heart all aflutter."

Lillian was happy to set them back on the road, keeping one arm loosely around Vemmorn's waist, matching the one he had over her shoulders as they walked, "Well, whomever they are, they do have you pegged. I do think you are the most interesting thing that's come out of the family in generations. Midnight man though? That sounds rather familiar, like a story I heard about you only recently."

"Oh? Gossip? Do tell!" Vemmorn sounds like he might laugh. "Was the songbird a full figured young creature with chestnut hair?"

Lillian glances over, studying her cousin, before she looked back to the road, "In point of fact, I think that would describe her perfectly. She did not mention she'd written about you, but she certainly seemed quite taken with you. She even showed me the token you'd left her."

"Everywhere I go. Birds fall right out of the trees." Vemmorn tells her playfully. "I'd stop but I just dont know how." He glances back to Lillian and smirks. "Don't you wish your beau was more like me? Alas. Theres only the one." That he embellishes by flicking some of his hair back with his fingers. "Its hard being this perfect."

"For most men, Vemm? That would be a gross exaggeration. For you? I don't think it gives you enough credit. The sheer number of hearts you've left in your wake defies even my ability to catalog them." Lillian's laughter was bright, at the comment, "I don't wish. I'm quite happy with the one of you I do have. One should never wish for too much perfection." The laughter fades, but the merriment remains, "So what's brought you back home, then?"

Vemmorn waggles his eyebrows playfully when Lillian talks about the trail of hearts and then laughs along with her at the rest. When she moves onto the question of his homecoming he sighs dramatically. "You have no idea how tedious is it Lillian. All I ever do is sail up the coast then back down and then if its a special day I might get to sail up again. Who would have thought that being the captain would be even more tedious than being crew?"

"I think that it isn't much different than being a knight commanding in the field. You think that you'll end up riding into battle, meeting the enemy head on, and then you come to find out that command really just means telling everyone else what to do, and then watching them doing all of the things you never realized that you missed when you were just a soldier." Lillian did not slow their pace, but the look she offered her cousin was enough to show her concern, "And you have even less control as a naval captain, being beholden to your commanding officers telling you where to go and when. I have always supported your rise, Vemm, but I was never quite sure if it suited you."

"But now your the signora.." Vemmorn leads with. "Maybe I dont have to? Maybe I can doing something more FUN. I'd make an astonishingly handsome pirate."

"You have always had the freedom to do whatever you please, Vemm. My being the Signora only means that you don't have to try to get through either my father or my brothers anymore." A smirk, at the comment, "A very dashing pirate. Is that what you've decided that you want to be then?"

"Hell no." Vemmorn laughs. "Pirates are thieves and murderers who's crews are made up of thugs and ne'er do wells. I've honestly no idea how they became so damn romantic when in truth the lot of them want hanging." He tilts his head to case a smile across at her. "Your father made it quite clear what he wanted me to do Lillian." He starts to go onto something else but stops to look back at her. "It was years ago though and we were at war. I'm a really fine sailor. It would be a shame not to stay at sea."

Lillian actually gave the comment serious consideration, though it might not have been Vemmorn's intention, "I think it is the danger they present, perhaps. The idea that they take what they want when they want. A sharp contrast to either noblemen, who often find themselves tied to family and duty and appearances, and to the common man, who, at least in so far as I know them, spend most of their time and attention tending to their own duties, and land, and families. It is, perhaps, the same reason women tend to swoon in the presence of a knight, even if he or she, might be, in truth no better than the enemy themselves. It is the story, the idea of the thing most women love, and not the reality. And perhaps, as well, the attraction of seeing that thing they cannot have, much like your minstrel and her song."

"I am not my father, Vemm. What do you want?"

"So true." Vemmorn says. "Most knights I know are exactly what their training made them. Which is to say" He cant help but give her a smug smirk. "A thug who thinks with his sword. You have to admire the muscles though." He puts a hand to his forehead, palm outwards, in a mockery of a woman's swoon. Moving onto the serious part without so much as a hiccup he says. "I think if you give me a ship and some starter funds I can make it work. Maybe I'll get a privateers licence. Maybe I'll hunt pirates. Maybe I'll just run bales of herbs up the river." He shrugs. "That was the point though wasnt it? To never be stuck doing the same thing day after day." He gives her a hopeful smile. "So what do you say? Can I? I'll even name her Lillian."

"Too true, though I like to think I was taught to think with more than my sword." Lillian lifted her free arm, "Alas, I have lost the muscles." Well, not entirely, she was still fit as ever, but she had lost some of the sheer bulk she had carried when she had been in the war, softening as women tended to do when they were in less martial circumstances. "But do feel free to swoon on occasion, in memory of what I once was."

She considered the suggestion she offered, her expression thoughtful. Yes, there was that part of Lillian that seemed inclined to allow Vemmorn his head, but, as he said, she was the Signora now. "We have a small fleet of ships now." Bordeaux, being right on the river, did much of its trade and transport by water, rather than overland, "If one of those is to your liking, you may have one. We'll have to replace it with a new one, of course." They could not, really, afford to pull a working ship from the line. "If you'd prefer something else entirely, we can find the funds. We've had a good number of commissions over the years, and with the state of the wars as they are, we can't seem to raise troupes fast enough." Skilled healers were in high demand, it was true, and Bordeaux had made it's reputation and its fortunes on selling the services of some of the best in the western kingdoms.

Vemmorn reaches over to squeeze Lillian's bicep. "I don't know." He takes her hand and puts it on his before flexing his arm. "I think you still win." He's got the wiry musculature of a gymnast. He squeezes hers, flexes his own, squeezes his own. "Yep. Still put to shame by a woman! However shall my pride ever cope!" He grins at her and then puts his arm back across her shoulders. "I would prefer a caravel to one of the merchant vessels but i'll leave it up to you to decide how much to gamble on this. Its all a big gamble." he gives her a bright eyed smile. "But I cant see how fielding our own privateer can be a bad thing!"

Lillian could not hide the grin, as she watched Vemmorn size them up, "I think, Vemm, that your pride has and will survive many more shamings than this." The amusement took some of the thoughtfulness from her expression but not all of it. "It isn't a gamble at all, in my opinion, Vemm. You have always been one of our most talented sailors, certainly one of the best that we've had in recent years. My father recognized that, and he did everything that he could to help you to make the most of your talent. A caravel might be a good options. I suppose it depends on what you see yourself doing. A galley would allow you to ply the waters, but also assist in transport, to take on passengers if that suited you, and to assist in the war effort. It would also give you better service on the ocean, rather than restricting you to mostly river travel."

"The caravel does alright at sea." Vemmorn tells her. "Its just a lot smaller than a galley." He grins. "I certainly wont stop you buying me a four masted ship but I want something fast and versatile without a huge crew. I can see the advantage in a galley with passenger cabins for the healers." He shrugs. "But do you really want to trust my wanderlust to stay put in one place for long? A saint would be to much." He laughs lightly. "Besides there isnt a pirate on the waters who can't outrun one. Yes." He beams. "I've decided i'm going to steal things off pirates. They are going to learn to dread the Red Bear." A grin for her. "Do you like that? The Red Bear?"

"If you have your heart set on the caravel, then I will leave it to you to select the one that you want. And be thankful that it isn't a saint that you're asking for. Our coffers are large, but not that large." In truth, Lillian was no sailor, and she trusted Vemmorn to be the proper judge of what sort of ship he felt would be best for his needs, "Is it a very handsome Bear?" There was concern in her expression, "Just…be mindful of the family, Vemm. And of me. I need my cousin hale and whole for at least a few decades longer."

"Its a very hairy bear." Vemmorn tells her. "I'm sure its very handsome when shaved. Alas. Nobody has ever dared." He quirks an eyebrow at her. "Be mindful? What do you mean?"

Lillian lifted her free hand, lightly cupping Vemmorn's face. He had his ever present scruff, of course, but nowhere near a full beard, "Not as hairy as most bears, to be sure. And quite handsome." She allowed her hand to fall, though her attention was still on Vemmorn, trusting him not to walk them into any obstacles, "Don't get yourself killed, or put in a position where I can't rescue you. I'm not ready to lose you, Vemmorn Bordeaux."

"Im not the red bear Lillian!" Vemmorn laughs at her description. "I just thought it would make a good ship name!" He tends to walk in spurts and for the moment he's not really moving at all. "Of course not! I've no desire to be dead or rescued! But why worry about that? I already survived one wreck and you know that theres no tower that can hold me." He winks at her. "I know how to pick locks."

Lillian laughed, as they walked, nearly to the road that lead to the castle now, the view of it the more impressive for the bright fields of red and violet that spread out on either side, "Oh, and here I thought you were going to call it the 'Lillian'. There's the blow to my ego." There was honest jest in her voice, "And how to talk guards out of just about anything. Particularly the female ones."

"Maybe thats where the hairy red bear came from." Vemmorn retorts before ducking away as if expecting to get smacked. From his new safe distance he grins and says "Come now. I'm not that good. You are going to give me a terrible terrible reputation and all the Lords are going to start hiding their daughters."

Lillian did not, in fact, really try to smack her cousin, though she did move to follow him, "Well, that is true. You have seen me right after I take off my helmet." A real bird's nest of hat awful. "You think that they don't already? You announce you're going to an event, and the doors to the towers start opening."

"Thats not true!" Vemmorn's response has a laugh under it. "There isnt a single noble girl in a three day radius who'd do more than titter at me."

"That's probably because most of them have tried to have their hand at you and been scared off by the 'hairy red bear'." Lillian slipped to the side of the road, reaching down to begin to pick a small bouquet of wildflowers, nothing fancy, only what the greenery on the side of the road had to offer.

Vemmorn gasps. "You chased them all off? No wonder I can't get someone to take me to the ball. I. I." He puts on a pout and manages to actually flounce sideways in a semi circle around her. "Hate you!" He stops once he's got half way around her, actually still for a moment. "Really? You defended my honor?"

Lillian glances up and over, watching Vemmorn move around her, "Yes, I have. And if I thought for a moment that you had had any interest in any of them, or if I thought they wanted anything more from you than your name or your coffers, I might not have done." She rose to her feet, holding the bouquet lightly in her offhand, "I am sure that you do." Lillian did not seem at all distressed by that, "I did not become a knight solely to serve on the battlefield, Vemm. You've already been ill-used once, I won't allow that to happen again." Despite the fact that Lillian treated Elara with all kindness and she was being raised as any other member of the household, indeed that Lillian's own mother had taken a liking to the girl, Lillian knew the girl's true origins.

Who wouldn't love a bonny little blonde five year old anyway? Vemmorn just shakes his head, chuckles a little and shuffles his feet a bit. "Oh come on Lillian. You know I was just joking. I've never once hated you." He gives her a quick smile. "I know I was upset about the whole situation with Alara but i wouldn't say I was ill-used. I was not forced to marry the girl or anything."

"No, you were not. Even father would not have gone so far as to make you do that. But her mother knew the truth of the matter and was duplicitous enough to allow you to take the fault for her own poor judgement. And to leave you with a mark on your honour that was through no fault of your own. I will never say a word against the child, nor have I ever, but for her mother, I have no fair feeling." And then, more gently, "No more than I have ever hated you, Vemm." She even offered the bouquet.

"Flowers for me?" Vemmorn asks as he accepts the bouquet. "Thank you." He takes a moment to sniff at the flowers and fix a displaced petal before looking back at Lillian. "I'd like to know who her father really was. Do you think he even knows?"

"For you." Lillian offered as smile, as she fell back into step, or at east moved to stand at a comfortable distance, to make conversation easier, "I imagine I could find out, if I put my mind to the task. But three possibilities exist. First, that the child is the daughter of a man who was otherwise engaged, an affair or something of the sort, and there was some trouble that prevented him from acknowledging her. Given that relationships and marriage among the common folk are hardly as formalized as they are between the nobility. Second, that he does know, but he chooses not to acknowledge his hand, as she is being better cared for and has a better life than she would ever have had she not been acknowledged. Or third, that she child was unwanted, but they lacked the means to terminate the pregnancy, and so you saved them the trouble by taking it off of their hands. And so far as I know, her own mother does not have much hand in the girl's life or upbringing. And we would not bar her if she showed interest."

"The thing is." Vemmorn says "Even men with love matches cheat. So it really could be a commoner. I doubt it because I think she would throw him on his own sword if she could get away with it. She's complained at me before about the fact that she felt she should have stayed with her daughter." he shifts the flowers from one hand to the other. "Or Four." he adds. "She never even told the father because he would have wanted to acknowledge her but that didnt suit her plans." He shakes his head. "She just wanted the lifestyle. I didn't want her."

"Of that I have no doubt. Though it seems rather a ridiculous thing, to me. If it is purely sex a man is interested in, prostitutes and courtesans are not difficult to arrange, even for the nobility, so long as you have a good relationship with your spouse. Even a consort, if the wife was amiable to it. But the fact that she seemed willing to abandon her own child…yes, possibly. If she knew she could be rid of the girl and that you would not expect anything from her. Though…how could she have? Father would never have allowed you to marry a commoner."

"Really?" Vemmorn gives Lillian a knowing smirk. "So if you found your Galenthian in bed with another woman you would not have any urge, not a one, to cut his balls off and feed them to him in a stew?" He pulls leaves and thorns from stems as he talks, not really paying that much attention to them. "And if a rich man has a lover then surely its normal to expect gifts and care for her wellbeing from him? The funny thing is." He grins at this. "I'm sure her father has more money than I do."

"I think it would depend entirely on the circumstances. I trust Cervantes to tell me, if he felt that he needed to make use of a prostitute or courtesan, and those women are, for the most part, understanding of the role they play in the world. A useful and necessary, in some cases, one. And one built on a business arrangement. If I found him in bed with another woman and he had not already spoken to me of the possibility, then he would no longer be 'my Galenthian'. What use would I have for a lover, betrothed, husband, or otherwise who would treat me with that level of disrespect and betray the trust I placed in him?" Lillian considered the comment, "Has she expected gifts from you? Or for you to support her?"

"Like I said." Vemmorn laughs. "You'd want his balls on a plate." He reaches out to wrap his arm back around her and give her a friendly squeeze. "Don't worry about her Lillian. Worry about what I should name this ship. How about.. the Sea Crow?"

Lillian accepted the squeeze, slipping her arm back around her cousin's waist, "Oh, I don't know about that. I think I would prefer to leave him with them. That way, he could still be in a position to want the thing he could no longer have." Still, she seemed more than happy to shift the conversation back to more amiable things, "Not a bad choice at all. A crow is a powerful symbol."

Vemmorn snickers. "Nice of you." He gives her another squeeze "I need to put these flowers in water and change into something pretty. We can talk about your husband to be later on maybe?"

"I am the picture of generosity." They had finally arrived at the castle, "We can if you like, or you can come back down to the blacksmiths with me and inspect the cups they're making for the wedding." She laughed, as she watched the guards open the door for them to step in, "But I will not say no to seeing you in something pretty."

"For you." Vemmorn gives her a grin. "I'll put flowers in my hair. I'll see you at dinner but, no hugs, you'll smell of smoke and burnt iron, and its really gross." A little wave and then he's off towards the castle.

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