(1874-11-18) Questions After Drinks
Questions After Drinks
Summary: Ivo has more questions about vampires and the like.
Date: 18/11/2018
Related: Reasons to Drink
NPCs: None
Ludovic  Ivo  Myrana  

Daemon's Hall and surrounding countryside

The morning after the trip to the church Ludovic makes his way down to the training yard practically before the sun has even started to rise. You have to question if that’s even long enough for the gin to wear off. Yet there he is, stripped down to his waist, pulling his segmented half plate into place as a groom equips a sandy yellow warhorse with comparison and gear.
At about the same time the knight’s hall, where Ivo was no doubt given a bed, starts to stir with movement and the sounds of boisterous men that are still young enough not to feel the creak of chilled bones in the morning. It’s hard to sleep through that.

Ivo doesn't regret the gin, not in the slightest, it was -good- gin, but the morning is a harsh one. He's probably just hanging badly, but it might be the case that the pixies didn't like the apple he left and have decided to make their disfavour know by smashing rocks repeatedly in the inside of his skull. The nose from others doesn’t help either, but thankfully there's a bucket of water left for him to ablute with, so he takes the shortcut to rehydration by placing it on the floor in front of him, kneeling next to it, then submerging his head until he needs to breathe again. "Ugh," he mutters as he pushes himself to his feet again, but he does feel better for it. Running through a quick series of stretches that he uses each morning he takes a drink from his water skin, then refills it from the bucket.
It doesn't take long to find out where Ludovic might be found, and since he's not entirely sure he can trust his stomach with breakfast yet he pulls his cloak on over his shirt, clinches his belts around his waist, and heads for the training yard. It only occurs to him when he's exiting the keep that perhaps he should be making an effort to appear more like the respectable noble he's supposed to be, but by that point he's practically at the yard, so sod it. Besides, Ludovic doesn't strike him as the type that stands on strict ceremony. Spotting the man going about his preparations he strolls over, asking once he gets close enough, "riding out?"

Ludovic is just in the process of lifting his arm so that his squire can move in and tighten a bunch of straps when Ivo shows up. There is a quick grin by way of welcome. The tousled state of his own hair hopefully relieving some of Ivo's concern about his state of morning dress. "Looks like you could use the cook’s special breakfast." He reaches across to gather a broad black sash and starts wrapping it about his waist. "Training. Still trying to work out how to fight with this eye." He looks back to Ivo. "Bet there’s a few things you could teach me."

"About fighting with one eye?" Ivo replies, mildly amused, "not that I'm aware of. Hand canons, moving decks, enclosed spaces, enclosed spaces with moving decks, and moves not commonly found in the swordplay books, they're more my speciality. Oh," he glances conspiratorially at the squire, "improvised weaponry, never under estimate the distraction value of a bar stool.." He smiles broadly, there's happy memories there, but he shakes his head a little at the mention of breakfast, "later perhaps. I doubt I'll be able to face anything solid for a couple of hours at least. I imagine the lack of depth perception causes some interesting difficulties?" he says, not sure how much the squire knows and thus choosing to keep the topic mundane for now, despite the hundreds of questions he has.

"It’s more the fact I." Ludovic starts to say before falling quiet and then glancing at said squire himself. He turns his gaze back to Ivo soon enough. "Asked her what was in the special breakfast once. Wasn't a mistake I've ever repeated. Heck. That woman’s probably more important to the running of this place than anyone else, cept, maybe the head housekeeper. Can't deny the value of a good housekeeper." He lifts a hand to rub at his jaw and then tells the groom. "Go saddle up a horse for Lord Ivo here. Hagan maybe."
"You know." He says as he moves, plants the blunt end of his weapon on the ground and then leans on the provided support. "If it wasn't for the gin I'd suggest we try some shooting but.. yeah.." He offers Ivo an apologetic smile. "can’t say that appeals just now."
He takes a moment to add anything more, seeming happy to take his time and just talk for the moment. "On foot it’s not so bad. Been training Faith" That’s his warhound "To hug my right hand side. Keep my enemies from getting in the blind spot you know?" He flicks his gaze to his horse. "But I’m still trying to work out how to compensate for the fact I can't always see what’s going on by my right stirrup."

"Good household stewards are worth their weight in lightsilver," Ivo agrees with a slow nod, "and the same with a boatswain onboard ship. Your sailing master can be the best in the kingdom, but nothing gets done without the bos'." At the mention of a horse for himself he offers a quick, "thanks," wondering if Hagan is Tempest's brother, or if Ludovic is letting him sample a wide variety of his stable. Time will likely tell. "I concur that perhaps we could save the shooting for later, my cousin is still sleeping, and I wouldn't want to wake her with the noise." Yes, that's his excuse, and he's sticking to it.
The other difficulties in battle are considered carefully, a glance or two going to the right side of the sandy warhorse as he notes, "it wouldn't be easy to have someone riding close there. Too easy to get separated in the chaos. Any kind of shield attached to the harness would restrict your swing too. A conundrum indeed."

Hagan turns out to be a heavyset bay warhorse, much like the one that Ludovic has under harness himself. Given that tempest was a slender thing it’s unlikely they have much in common beyond the colour. Hagan is also not very friendly. It has to be said. The groom has already put a simple caparison in d'korbina colours over the horses shoulders and hind quarters along with a war saddle and the horse is led directly up to Ivo and held still for the Lord to mount.
"I do use a shield." Ludovic tells Ivo, picking up a full-size kite shield in a glorious yellow painted over with his personal arms of a bull (or demon) head framed by two black lightning bolts. "But I'm too old to learn how to use it on my right." He waits until Ivo has mounted and then moves to swing up into the saddle of his own horse. It’s clear the two have a good bond as the horse is patient under Ludovic's hands and a bit of a bastard to the grooms. "Lance is fine. I'm looking where that goes. But when I'm.. moving like this." He nudges his horse until Ivo and he are in the typical mounted combat positions. "Well.. it aint like I can take my eyes off you now is it?" He grins a bit. "I am lucky to have men I can trust on my flanks. But your right." The grin turns into a full blown smirk. "Don't want em close enough for a bit of smooching."

Ivo takes a few moments to introduce himself to Hagan, figuratively at least, before mounting up and taking a firm grip on the reins. Best to let them know who's in charge early and all that. Tilting his head at the shield he replies, "no, I was meaning something built into your armour or saddle, like some of the tournament knights have for jousting, but it's your weapon arm, so would be too restrictive." He himself doesn't use a shield, so he offers nothing more on that front, but instead waits til Ludovic has mounted and then come to a standstill once more. "It's not like you could take your eyes off me no," he agrees, "but I suppose now it's not me who is your main threat, but my friend over here," he holds out his left arm, where another cavalryman would be on a charge. With the d'Korbina apparently ready he brings Hagan round so they are alongside each other, but on Ludovic's left hand side, so they can be seen. "Do you have drills sorted yet" he asks, "or are you still in the process of trial and error?"

"One on one I’d win." Ludovic says with the simple seriousness of a man that really thinks he would. "But my enemies don’t believe in fair fights." His horse snakes its neck out to bite at Hagan as the horse manoeuvres but gets pulled up short. "Thought it was gonna be a huge tragedy when it first happened and I couldn’t hit a damn thing but I've trained that out now. It’s just this.." He considers Ivo's position, turning his head visibly so that he can easily see before looking to the direction Ivo pointed him. "Still working it out. The attack only happened.." he needs to think about it. "Four months back" He huffs a bit, sounding kind of frustrated. "Might be time I give up the cavalry thing entirely."
Ivo and Ludovic are mounted on warhorses in a training field intended for such things. Ludovic's in his half plate albeit without his helm whilst Ivo's more normally attired. Whilst it looks like training might be intended they've obviously not started yet. Instead they are talking.

Ivo is dressed rather lightly for combat training, with no armour on, not even his leather jerkin, just shirt and cloak. Said cloak is wrapped as tightly as being on horseback will allow, and the horse he's been lent is significantly bulkier than any Myrana has likely seen him on before, be he seems well enough at home despite that. "If you'd kill me in a fair fight," Ivo replies with a hint of a smile, "then it's not much of an incentive to fight fair. Don't give up on the horse just yet though," he counsels, "there is more to cavalry than charging into lines. I've fought on horseback before and have never been in that position. If you find yourself with any skill at the hand canon, then smaller, fleeter horses can be used to harry opponents, get around their flanks, attack and then fade away. There are many options available to you, even if they might feel odd in the learning."

A slight figure shuffles out into the early chill. Draped in a heavy cloak lined with thick brindle fur over her warm kirtle, Myrana D'Armaz walks quietly out into the thin building sunshine and into the training field. Something steams in her arms, wrapped up in heavy wool and hugged to her chest.
"How can either of you climb up on a horse this morning?" she asks as she draws up to them, like a mobile mound of bristly green wool and chocolate-brown beaver trim, hugging a tall drinking horn full of something steaming and smelling strongly of ginger root to her breast. There's a mark on her cheek; the faint lines of the brocade-upholstered couch she fell asleep on early last night.

"I'm the viscount" Ludovic points out to Ivo. "I'm the prize in any formation. I really can't rely on not being outnumbered. Besides, half the qatunax can jump into my saddle from a standstill - still don’t know how a man learns to do that." He gives Ivo a warm smile. "You're right though. Most of what I do's on a light horse like Swift and I do know something about powder weapons."
He starts to turn his stallion, spies Myrana and lifts his weapon hand in a wave. "Morning little cat. Had been planning to train but since I'm feeling the worst for wear and you're awake how’s about we ride up to one of the meadows, take a picnic along, and" He glances between Ivo and Myrana. "talk? I've a feeling we've all got things we gotta say." He chuckles. "Myrana's probably wanting to beat me up. Seems I have that effect on her. And my pride would rather nobody was watching."

"One must always have an ambition," Myrana grumbles under her breath to Ludovic's guess at her motives.

Ivo smiles in greeting to his cousin, explaining as he does so, "because it was that or listen to the household knights clattering about the place. That, and I stuck my head in a bucket of cold water, the helped too," and by the damp state of his hair he might not even be pulling her leg there. He makes a face at the news of the qatunax's jumping exploits, but doesn't dwell on them, instead nodding to the comment about a ride out rather than training. "Light and fast," he notes to Ludovic, "in and out before they have chance to reform and counter. Leave the messy work for the brutes in the heavy cavalry." It's a jibe yes, but a good natured one before he crosses his arms on the horn of his saddle and looks down towards his cousin, "you slept well enough I take it? We might need to send to Fiorello for more casks before we do that again."

"I feel like death," she says, and offering the hot ginger tea up to her damp cousin, gives him a wry smile. "But I did sleep."
"May I ride behind you, cousin? If we're leaving. D'Korbina must have serious misgivings about letting me sit behind him." A few white fingers protrude from the folds of her heavy cloak and wiggle at Ludovic. "Most wisely."

"You suggesting I can't muster enough good alcohol?" Ludovic asks with mild, probably feigned, insult. "Insulting my hospitality whilst sitting on my warhorse and dunking your head in my well water.." He leans and gives Myrana a quick wink before chuckling. "You are so right about that." he taps his armoured torso. "I was just working out how best to refuse. Wouldn't be a big deal to get you your own horse though." he nods towards a nearby attendant. "Stables are close."

Ivo's mount has been prepped with a war saddle, so it might not be the most comfortable to share, but he isn't opposed to the idea. "Of course," he replies, shifting forward as much as he can and then offering down an arm to first take the cup, then to offer to help her up. "What’s in this?" he asks, sniffing the tea as if he's of a mind to drink it, "just ginger?" That's mainly what he's getting, but there could be others that are being overpowered as well. Ludovic gets a smile though, "only that we drank all that which I brought for you to try. I am sure that your own cellars contain a fine selection.. although perhaps we could test that hypothesis… later."

Myrana knows when she's about to be thwarted by a Korbina, and it's never a great experience. Cow-herds, in her opinion, should not do this so readily and so often.
So, when Ivo reaches an arm down, she gives a sigh of relief and reaches up, letting him help her into the saddleback and making herself comfortable. Fortunately, she doesn't take up a great deal of space.
"Ginger and lime," she says. "And some honey." A potent stomach-settler. She might be feeling a little worse for the wear than she lets on. The brew is strong, with enough ginger root to burn the belly and sharpen the senses, killing nausea with the sort of delicacy usually reserved for landslides.
"He hasn't got any sort of lambic at all," she says of Ludovic's cellars. "Or if he does, he's too sensitive to tell me about it."

"I'm sure there is at least one barrel of lambic." Ludovic says with a roll of his eyes - eye? "Just never occurred to me to check since there’s a whole bunch of things I’d rather drink." A grimace. "Not that stuff you're drinking though." He gestures towards the road with his shield and then starts his horse down that way at a steady trot. Its only once they are outside the surrounding settlement that he glances across at the two of them again. "So. Can vampires cross running water then?"

Once Myrana is settled Ivo pulls his cloak tighter round himself to it won't get in her way, then eases Hagan into a gentle walk out towards the meadows that Ludovic had indicated. "No lambic?" he replies, eyebrow slightly raised, "I'm sure that's a shame, but the more important judge would be his wine." Then, to the d'Korbina, "please, don't search it out on my account. If my cousin wishes it, then so be it, but I'll take a full-bodied red any day." Kicking off to match the trot his expression sobers as his question from yesterday is repeated, and he turns his head to look at Myrana behind him, waiting to hear her response.

Myrana grins over at Ludovic. "Are you worried that you'll like pink beer, D'Korbina?" She teases. "If I had whiskers like yours I'd be worried about a lovely head of foam." A dramatic sigh, and she strokes her face in mime of a big thatch of beard. "And I'd curl it, like cousin Rico." Smiling, she settles more comfortably, eyes narrowing as her freezing hands start to warm again buried in a fold of Ivo's cloak. "You've got better taste than me, cousin."
"Running water…"
For a while, Myrana seems to consider.
"I don't know," she admits, finally. "I thought, you know, that garlic would help. So in Rikton when we were trapped in the city, I tried to wreathe my windows and door in it. There was no salt- all the food stores in the city were being fought over by the gangs that formed with the sealing of the city. Ramius and I were trapping pigeons on the rooftops." Her blue eyes cloud over, and she rests her forehead briefly on her cousin's back, thinking.
"But while we hunted for the monsters in those months, we never found them. I'm glad, really; I was so weak I could hardly walk for weeks, and it was good that Ramius found me in the marketplace, or I'm sure something terrible would have happened. After the creature came to the walls of the Tarris Manse there and we fought it off, they seemed to hide."
A frustrated sigh, and she lifts her head, warmer now thanks to riding behind Ivo and seeming more at ease. "It is one of the things I want to know. What are their weaknesses? Surely there is only one vampire I've seen in the daylight. And walking into the holy Cathedral in Four Corners. We know so little."

Ludovic strokes his beard in a mime of Myrana's own mime. "I've been thinking of putting bells in. That way I'll always know where I am."
Ivo gets a more serious smile. "If I let you in the wine cellar will you leave some for us?"
Then it’s back to vampires. "The battle wasn't exactly dark. So I doubt light matters that much neither. Maybe as much as it bothered me?" He taps his unhatted head. "Still can’t believe how well I'm doing without my hat. Be nice to wear some good furs instead this winter." He realises he's started to ramble and then looks back at the two seriously, manoeuvring his mount until they are to his right even though that means he has to turn his head in order to truly talk. "I don't get the bit about salt." A frown and then he says. "Is it true what you said about his name being bad to say? And.. did you know.. well it was something he said.. he said that the blood of a woman with child would make him younger." Another pause "That and that he was a god and I should admit to my own mortality."

"Have you only just come to realise that cousin?" Ivo replies with a hint of amusement as his tastes are complimented, and Ludovic is flashed a smile and a shrug that silently say 'maaaaybe'. The joviality doesn’t last though, and as Myrana answers the query he turns his heard back to watch the road ahead, although he does lean into her a little as they share their collective bodyheat a while. He's regretting his lack of layers now, but then he hadn't planned on an extended trip when he dressed.
He listens in silence to the answers given, he still has many, many more questions, but is working on trying to keep them in an ordered and logical pattern, so he doesn't waste time going over unnecessary ground. The mention of the cathedral has him turning his head back towards his cousin, to the left, so as to keep Ludovic in the loop, and he looks like he's about to ask about that when the words 'woman with child' are mentioned and he physically shudders at the very idea of it. Words fail him briefly, and he hunches a little more into his cloak. "So," he starts, swallowing the bile in his throat but keeping his eyes on Hagan's neck, "what does hurt them then?"

"There are a hundred stories of creatures that come when summoned by their name," Myrana says, a little embarrassed at admitting the source of her superstition. "Wouldn't it make sense that something as horrible as the creature who took your eye could sense a thing like that?"
"You've heard about how the city of Rikton was sealed by an invisible wall five years ago?" She directs this to Ivo. It would have been impossible to not hear of this, noble or not. The scions of houses from Galenthia and Aequor and the rest of the Civilized West had gathered there for the Holy Days, only to be trapped for months by some mysterious force. The beginning of the Inquisition's power in modern times, as evidence of dreadful sorcery became so public as to be inescapable, even by the most stolid of non-believers.
Or at least, one would assume. In reality, there are still countless hundreds, thousands, who disbelieve, giving no credit to the stories that emerged.
"During that whole time, it was dark."
She looks back over her shoulder toward the walls disappearing in the distance. "Now we believe it was Him, the Snake who calls himself a god. That vampire, who sealed the city. If vampires were not weaker in the day, why freeze the moons in the sky, and hold the sun away from the city for dark months?"
"I plan to go, and soon, to his manor in Four Corners, and make sure for myself that there are no evil things lurking in hiding there. But I will go with the sun in the sky, and stay not a moment longer than I need to."
Going into a vampire's home? Abandoned or not, that seems… wise.
"Lightsilver," she nods to Ludovic. "Like Ludovic said. And Sidhe-steel. And," she clears her throat. "Sorcery."

"He already pops in whenever he fancies it." Ludovic points out dryly. "I don't think he's going to pop out like the bogeyman just because I mention his name. Heck he said the only reason he came to see me first was that he was in the neighbourhood. Worried he's got something to do with the qatunax, especially since his attack involved them too. I can’t handle another mathis. Not in my back yard."
"Hmm." He says. "You are probably right. It was dark when he visited me." An almost apologetic look is cast to Ivo. "Your cousin here.. the creatures gonna go for her sooner rather than later. You needed to know this." He studies Myrana. "I'll help with that. I hope you know that." he looks to Ivo. "I'll even loan you Judgement. You -can- use a longsword right?"

"I've heard stories," Ivo admits quietly, "some even from those who claim to have been there. The details never quite matched though, beyond what was widely stated, so I never paid too much heed. Stories grow with telling after all." Sadly, he only has his water skin at his belt now, and not its companion of wine like yesterday, or he'd be tempted to drink despite his stomach. "I think then," he continues, still not turning back, "that acquiring a weapon made of either should be my next move. Or perhaps having some made into shot." Most likely a waste, but the idea appeals, not least as it might allow damage to be done without having to be quite so damned close. Ludovic's words draw him back though and he nods once to indicate that yes, he can use heavier swords than his own, then asks simply, "why? Her status, and yours? Because he's attacked her before and she lived? Because you're a.." he bites his lip a moment before he says the word, "sorcerer, and he knows that could hurt him? And is it any type of sorcery, or particular elements?"

"He never touched me at Mathis, or before," says Myrana, guilt creeping into her smoky voice. "Just… you know." She gestures wordlessly to Ludovic.
"The vampire that attacked me, he called Shadow. Said if I didn't tell him where Ramius was hidden, he'd give me back. But Ludovic kept T- the creature off of me; he was too busy with him and Sir Wulfred and the others to pay me any mind."
Straightening, she shakes her head, making her little bell jingle. "Did he look younger to you, Ludovic?" She looks over at him, blue eyes burning with curiosity. "When we fought him at Mathis, it hurt to look at him. Could you see him clearly?"
Myrana nods to Ludovic's offer of help, blue eyes grave. She doesn't want to go into that monster's Four Corners manse alone; nobody would.

"It’s because we tried to kill him." Ludovic tells Ivo plainly. "Not just us. A group. Not all of them sorcerers." He frowns and looks to Myrana again. "You always do say I did more than I actually did in that fight." He looks to Ivo. "First two things I learned were that warhammers don’t do a damn thing to vampires and that he could remove my horses head with a single sword stroke. After that I mostly ended up standing in front of Myrana with my shield because I'd just about pinned myself to the earth trying, and failing, to use my magic. Well.. cept for the one time I -managed- to use it and he caved in my plate." he taps his half plate. "And I'm talking about proper full plate. Not this light stuff."
He gives Ivo a brief smile when he suggests he can use a longsword. "Recommend you try training with one a while. If you do end up fighting with Judgement you'll need to be able to do.. Dang it. You know what?" He looks to Myrana. "When we get back I’ll give you an afternoon to practice with it. Just.. don't let nobody see. I don't want to have to explain why a d'Armaz has hold of a sword I haven't let anyone else use."
The question of Taleko's age makes him go quiet as he considers. "Maybe." he concedes eventually. "But mostly he just looked really healthy. He was pretty exhausted when we cornered him at Mathis." Another long pause and he asks "Do you remember the elementi? The way he glowed? I know they aren't as good if they aren't raised alongside their owners but maybe he should get one anyhow." Another long pause, the overly jovial man now looking very dour. "You heard Wulfred died? You don’t think that HE was involved do you?"

Ivo hadn't quite clocked that there were two creatures being spoken about before, but now he does he just nods slowly. "A grudge then, that's an understandable motive at least." If anything he's a touched relieved by that answer, and not just because of the mark that well hidden under his shirt. "What does lightsilver do to them" he queries, "or sidhe-steel? Do they wound them as steel would wound us, or is it different?" He then tilts his head to Ludovic's sorcerous weapon and asks, "and that? Does that hurt them? If sorcery does, I mean." It's not the most coherent of questions, but he gets it across eventually. There's another nod at the mention of training, and then he tilts his head to ask, "if you don't mind me asking, which is Judgement? Lightsilver? I'm afraid I'm not perhaps as well versed in the ancient weapons of the noble families as I might be. It never seemed that.. relevant."

Myrana doesn't really know what to say; Ludovic telling her that she's about to train with a new weapon takes her surprise and she lapses into thoughtful silence while the two men speak. She seems uncertain, and looks out over the roadside trees evasively. Her own sword, Ardaigh, is a lightsilver cutlass of surpassingly fine make, balanced for the little Armaz's own hand and short enough to be slung tight to her back.
"It was just like steel to it," she says, thinking back to the battle with the vampire called Shadow, up on the wall of the Tarris manse in Rikton. "Like the Berserkers from Whitehall, who only seemed to die when you cut their heads from their shoulders, or when a lord with Sidhe Steel fought them. Perhaps… there is something to the metal, that hates evil things."
"Sir Wulfred died in his sleep, I heard," Myra adds, a little distraught at the thought that old Sir Wulfred might have been killed by Teleko.

"Seems like it burns maybe? The sidhe at least." Ludovic says in answer to the lightsilver question, his eye turning to Myrana as he seeks some kind of confirmation. "I've a feeling Myrana's faced far more creatures than I have. Me.. I've just faced Him, the cardinal, and those undead things. That Shadow creature.. and the berserkers.. that makes her an expert."
He gives Myrana a wry little smile and then gestures for them to turn into a narrow space between two large rocks. Just through the gap there’s a pavilion, a firepit and a grassy meadow surrounded by steep slopes. "There’s drink in the pavilion." He swings down from his saddle and moves to remove the musket and czekan from the saddle. Taking in the look in Myrana's eyes he softens his voice and asks. "Light us a fire Myra? There’s some dried meat and stuff in the pavilion too if you've a hankering to cook."
And then it’s back to Ivo. "Judgement is one of the d'Korbina longswords. Haven't had it that long but it should work." He shrugs his shoulders. "Never thought I'd have hold of the family swords. If I'd known I’d have trained the sword myself despite the fact I’m better suited to this." the czekan gets a pat. "As for the czekans ability to hurt magic creatures. I've honestly got no idea. I've never had the opportunity to try. Actually.. I've never killed anything with it."

Once they're through into the meadow Ivo carefully dismounts, then offers his hand up to Myrana to aid her in doing the same. Once everyone's feet are on the floor, he pulls his cloak around him once more and nods, "a fire, that'd be nice." Then he could sit in front of it and steal all its heat." The additional identification of the 'thing' they're talking about causes him to give Ludovic a piercing look though, "the Cardinal!?" It gives the comment about the cathedral some context at least, but that is clearly troubling news to him. "This great evil creature that's trying to kill you both is the -Cardinal-?" It's clearly going to take a while to sink in as he just stands there, mouth slightly open for quite some seconds. Once he's back in some sort of control he moves silently to sort Hagan, then notes calmly, "it would make sense I suppose, if those metals have some kind of atunement to sorcery, that they would hurt creatures with a weakness to those magics."

Myrana blushes at what might be flattery, if the subject were art or literature or something more respectable than Monsters. But the fact is, she's lived through a great many horrible, strange things.
But she doesn't object, only accepts Ivo's help down. "A Rikton Cardinal," she tells her cousin with a calming hand on his arm, meaning 'not the Cardinal Lucien Ramius, advisor to the Queen of Aequor'. Stepping away, she goes to build the fire, disappearing into the chill of the dark pavilion.

"I doubt he's still a cardinal after Mathis." Ludovic tells Ivo. "But yeah, he was. Didn’t mean to make you think of the Royal Cardinal. Just trying to find a better way to describe him than Him. One that won’t lead to any confusement. Learning that he was a cardinal did more damage to my faith in the church than anything else could. Hard to trust them after that." He gives Ivo a sheepish smile "Well that and the fact they claim I'm committing an unforgivable sin just by breathing."
The blush makes him hide a smile by rubbing at his beard and then moves to his own horse, loosening the bit, and then moving back to settle cross-legged by the firepit. "Lightsilver definitely does have some atonement to sorcery. It’s one of the only metals most sorcerers can use." he taps his own Armor. "Luckily I'm not one of them. Not only that but the imperial fire sorcerers. They can make lightsilver weapons drip fire somehow. Its impressive and painful. Sidhesteel seems good in the same way too but I’ve no real experience of that. There isn’t all that much of it around." Another quick smile. "Sometimes I wonder if the key to making sidhe steel is this." he pats his czekan again. "But if it is, I've no idea what."

"Well that's.. something," Ivo replies, and it is something, because he might not technically be a Cavalier anymore, the state of mind required still runs strong, and such a threat to the Queen would have needed answering. Immediately. As it is though he simply takes a deep breath to steady himself and walks over towards Ludovic at the firepit. "I've no real experience of either," he notes as he takes a seat as well, "but it does sound like I should rectify that." He raises an eyebrow slightly at the mention of weapons dripping fire, not entirely sure if he wants to see that, or if he never wants to see that. Shaking his head once he folds his arms across his chest to keep in the warmth and glances to the czekan again. "You said most sorcerers can channel through those metals, but you can't because of your element? And is that why you can use other metals? Is that connected? As in, some elements can channel, and those that can't can use normal steel as some sort of.. I don't know.. balance? Or is it more complex than that?"

Once inside, Myrana lets the door flap fall closed behind her and crouches down in the dark, feeling for the metal dish of the small pavvy brazier.
It meets her fingers, cold and sooty. Kneeling down next to it, she glances over her shoulder just once to make sure the door has fallen-to neatly, then pulls one glove off with her teeth. Into the dry kindling, delicately, she slips her bare hand, fingers sinking into the wood shavings at the very base of the brazier.
A stirring sound breaks the heavy silence of the canvas half-gloom, where the rising sun has only just begun to penetrate the eastern-facing wall. Heat flows from her hands and catches at the tinder as a growing cloud of charge builds invisibly around them and finally catches. Smoke curls up in growing wisps through her fingers.
By the time she walks back out to the firepit, carrying the now crackling embers in her fingers, it's strong enough to be set into the base of the firepit itself. She kneels down to do so, sliding the metal dish and building around it.

"I can use other metals because my magic doesn't seem to interact with them." Ludovic shrugs at that before evenly, and without any hint of surprise whatsoever, watches Myrana carry the burning kindling out to the firepit. "I mean everyone seems to think stone sorcerers should be able to work with metal." he gives Ivo a sheepish grin. "Everyone’s probably a bit much. I'm talking about the scholars on the subject. There’s likely only three or so. Anyway. It makes sense. I mean." A tap of knuckle to czekan. "This is made from an ore right? Doesn't make that much sense that I can turn it into something like a gem but if you melt and purify it suddenly it’s not doable anymore. Then again. I can't really do anything with worked stone either. Not unless I'm real upset." He stops, gives another awkward smile at the fact he's rambling a bit. "Right. So. A fire sorcerer can’t use steel cos .. well.. they cook themselves. It’s not really anything special. Lightning sorcerers the same, I think. Ice sorcerers give themselves frostbite and.. well I’m sure some of the others have similar problems. But with lightsilver a fire Sorcerer can not only use it without burning himself but he can also push his fire into the weapon in a way that enhances it. Don’t claim to understand it. You'd have to ask an imperial sorcerer. I don’t know of any aequorian ones who can do it. You know they actually have sorcerers in their military?"

Ivo is impressed with the rapid appearance of embers, and offers his cousin a deeply thankful smile as she starts to build a fire around them. It's not warm enough yet to sit in a more relaxed manner though, so he remains somewhat hunched to preserve his own internal heat. "Perhaps it's the impurities you're shaping," he offers to Ludovic, rather than the metal?" Although the comment about stone has him changing that theory, "or maybe it's less 'natural' once worked? Further away from a purer state?" He's speculating wildly, and makes no effort to hide that from his tone. "It's interesting though, how somethings react and others don't." He looks back to the slowly building fire again for a few moments, trying to decide if he actually wants to ask his next question or not, before finally drawing the courage to do so. "I don't want names," he starts, just in case what he's about to ask has them thinking he might actually be a spy, "but I assume from what you say that you know a fire sorcerer, and a lighting one, ice too? If we needed it, to fight those… creatures," he can't bring himself to say the word vampire, not yet, "what could we call on?"

Myrana goes about preparing a light meal for the three of them with the dried provisions kept in the pavilion, and a handful of spices out of her own belt pouch within the heavy drape of her cloak. A curry of potatoes and carrots and dried venison begins to develop slowly in the pot hanging over the fire, heady with ginger and turmeric and spicy dried peppers no bigger than her little finger.
At mention of lightning sorcerers, however, she lifts her head despite herself, unable to keep from reacting. Certainly, she's being quieter than usual. She shoots a look at Ivo, clearly not liking keeping the secret from Ivo. It's one thing to say 'tell no-one', and another when it's a member of your family.

"It’s not just sorcerers that can hurt them." Ludovic points out to Ivo. "If it was then we'd be doomed. A good sword in a skilled hand can kill them just fine." He nods though. "The Imperial Princeps is a fire sorcerer but honestly most of what I know is from those scholars and a rather brilliant lightning sorcerer." He smiles in the vague direction of Myrana or perhaps the cooking pot. One advantage of having an eye that’s just an orb of pale stone and an off-kilter centre of focus is that it makes it a little hard to track his gaze. "When the cardinal was trying to bake us all to death with a crazy lightning storm she reached up and grabbed it. Made me feel rather humble."

If Ivo has noticed his cousin's quietness he makes no mention of it, although as the curry begins to take form he does take in a long, appreciative breath, to catch the aromas. "Hmm," he notes quietly, starting to warm up a little and become more animate. It's Ludovic he speaks to though, raising one eyebrow in question at the descriptions given. "They can do sorcery too? All of them, or just some, like us? Lightning, fire, and stone though, that doesn't sound like a bad start." He risks a quick smile, "still missing a few for a full set mind."

Flattery. Myrana never knows what the hell to do with it, and fumbles the wooden spoon in her hand, dropping it right into the now crackling fire.
"Go'sbreath!" She cusses in the back of her throat, and tries to fish it back out before it comes aflame.

Ludovic leans to get the spoon as well although he gives way when Myrana stuffs her own hand in the fire. "Leave it Myrana." He says softly. "We're not exactly short on spoons. Here." he grabs at a piece of rock, bites briefly at his lip, and then hands her a stone spoon instead. "Never let it be said" He jokes. Clearly having gotten used to using it in such small almost automatic ways over the last couple of months. "my talents are useless." Watching her for a few more moments he says "Never known anyone who manages to be quite as clumsy as your cousin here Ivo. Not whilst also managing to be nimble at the same time. Well.. usually not at the exact same time. You know she almost climbed out the windows in daemon's hall once?"
He pushes himself up to his feet, moves into the pavilion and then comes back with a trio of waterskins. One is tossed to Ivo and the other laid near Myrana's seat. Then he returns to his own seat and says. "I'm actually kinda hoping I might be able to hire a wind or maybe a water sorcerer. You see the qatunax use a lot of fire in their attacks." He gestures for emphasis. "Fire arrows, exploding fire arrows and this weapon that kind of spews a tongue of flame. See I figure if the winds blowing hard back into the qatunax forces then they just won’t be able to use it. Add a water sorcerer and maybe we could make it rain instead or just put stuff out. I dunno. I've not had a good opportunity to investigate it."
This time he does look right at Myrana "What do you think Myrana?"

Ivo can't see what it is that's been dropped into the fire, but Myrana's attempts to rescue it move him to action. He has gloves, and he can steal a little heat from the fire as well. Bonus. He's just leaning in when Ludovic beats him to it, in a far more spectacular manner than he could have managed, and he just watches the stone sorcerer, then the spoon for a moment. Interested, rather than spooked. Settling back he catches the skin as it's tossed, and sets it down between his feet for now, before asking, "wouldn't making rain require a lot of power? The clouds are up there, so there must be water, but they're a long way up." Realising he's skipped the wind bit he quickly doubles back on the conversation and adds, "you might well be right about the wind mind, not that I've ever seen it, but there are tales on the oceans about it being used to fill sails and the like." As Myrana's opinion is requested he looks back to his cousin once more. "You'll have to tell me the daemon hall story some other time cousin, perhaps when we've raided our host's wine cellar," and he's had time to let the idea of vampires settle in and can then move onto daemons as well.

The wine is exactly the sort of thing you'd expect to find in a knight’s saddlebags. It’s not very good.

Myrana snatches her hands back, chastised sufficiently by how quickly both her companions go to snatch the spoon out before she can burn herself, and puts her hands into her lap like someone remembering one of life's basic lessons: FIRE HOT.
The spoon cheers her up a little though, and she accepts it with a sheepish smile.
"If the clouds are there, the sorcerer will feel it," she says, spooning the hot curry into one of the small bowls after admiring the spoon. "I imagine, if they reach for it. And if there are clouds, there can be rain. There's a feeling in the air, right before it rains." Lifting her face, she turns her gaze to the trees and to the sky above, watching the breeze move the pine tops.
"The air feels charged, doesn't it? It's different." She hands a bowl to Ivo, then one to Ludovic. The potatoes and carrots steam prodigiously, saturated with heady spices and rehydrated meat.
"If I were to try to call rain, I'd just hold that smell in my mind," she goes on, serving herself too with the stone spoon, thanking Ludovic for the wine though she has yet to pick it up. "Taste it, you know. Breathe it in, and believe in it."
A beat, and she breaks this reflection up with a rather more morose and mundane: "…I wish I had raisins for this."

"No idea where the water for rain comes from." Ludovic admits with a sheepish grin of his own. "Honestly I was just thinking of water as the opposite of fire." He spreads his hands in a 'so sue me' kind of expression. "Making this stuff up as I go. I've barely worked out half of what /I/ can do. Never mind what the other elements can do. Hell I could swear 'the cardinal' used more than one element. So maybe the very idea we're only limited to one is nonsense too."
He chuckles when Myrana wishes for raisins. "You're expecting a lot from my brunch stash."

Ivo listens carefully to what his cousin has to say, cradling the bowl in his hands until they become over hot and he has to rest it between his knees for a moment or two instead. "Interesting," he replies, low and slow, not quite transfixed, but certainly very focused on what Myrana says, and how she describes shaping the magic. Her comment on the raisins breaks the spell though, and he looks down to the bowl and eats a spoonful or two, letting the warmth flow through him in quiet contemplation. Wine next, obviously, but having taken a swig of that he frowns ever so slightly, before forcing his expression back to the thoughtful one it had been before. "An interesting vintage," he offers across to Ludovic, "local, is it?" Setting the skin down he goes back to eating, asking his cousin between mouthfuls, "so, you've studied all this then? I imagine that can't be easy. I'm no scholar, but I can't imagine many being open with such writings."

Myrana seems content to leave her wineskin alone after seeing Ivo's reaction, laughing behind her bowl with a ducked head. "Ludovic's met a lot of sorcerers," she suggests, trying not to choke. "You'd be a better spy than a cowherd, Ludovic, if you could just stop trusting Imperials."

"Not really." Ludovic tells Ivo with a chuckle. "Don’t grow much around here that’s doesn't have hooves. Why? Is it not up to your standards?" His gaze swivels onto Myrana when Ivo asks her about studying magic but when she tries to pretend Ivo was talking about him, he lets it slide. "Maybe if I could learn how not to fall in with the wrong lovers." he tells her in a jovial way that hides a bit of embarrassment. "And spilling all my secrets during the night." He smirks. "You know people keep telling me I don’t trust the imperials enough. That I'm an idiot for distrusting them. Admittedly.." He gives her a sheepish grin. "This is after the imperial lover who learned all my secrets, an imperial prince stole my city and I tried working with said prince twice. Yeah." he smirks. "I'd make a great spy." A look to Ivo. "See what I meant when I said I’d be found out sooner rather than later huh?"

"They're literally invading at our backs," Myrana says over her spoon, blowing at the steam. "With a professed desire to take Aeqour back into the lap of the Empire." And takes a big bite, waving her empty spoon illustratively over her bowl. "Imaafine ffaht."

"I don't believe," Ivo replies, diplomatically, "that it has travelled well." He notes Myrana's amusement, and grins a little himself, but he doesn't want to seem ungrateful, so he takes another swig from the skin before carrying on with the curry. "Can't claim I trust the Imperials much," he says, "but then, I've not had many dealings with them in person. Sounds as though trying to get some of their knowledge off them might not be a bad plan though. Do they have issues with the same.. creatures? Or have they found a way to defeat them?" Myrana's comment gets a wry sort of smile and he nods, once, in reply. "I'd rather not cousin, but we are a long way from that eventuality yet."

"Darius Firebrand the Whatever-the-howmany-times is a pompous ass." But Ivo's thought is interesting, and she stops eating to consider it with a serious expression.
"…God, that's a good question," she says. "Oh no." This means… talking to them.

"And Nobody Believes me!" Ludovic exclaims to Myrana. "Nobody! It’s like everyone thinks that its some petty vendetta just because they are squatting in my city claiming that I treat my peasants with such disdain that they'd rather sign over to another empire than come back into my care. Instead everyone’s either supporting them at my expense by sending them mercenaries to protect them against my attempt to reclaim my city or they are declaring that I’m sabotaging the aequorians hopes of halting the qatunax or something just because I don’t trust that man to treat me as an ally instead of an underling." He grumbles a bit. "You know? I kinda like Darius. Can’t trust him as far as you can throw him. But I bet he's gonna make a fine king." He looks at Ivo. "Defeat who? The qatunax?"

Ludovic suddenly pushes to his feet. "You know what. Let’s go to Candeo and maybe onto Paras from there." He turns for his horse, evidentially fully expecting them to follow. "You can both see for yourselves."

"The.." Ivo just can't bring himself to say the v word so he plugs in "creatures like those faced in Rikton." So not the Qatunax. The sudden reaction from Ludovic catches him off guard though, and it's a moment before his brain catches up and he pushes himself to his feet as well. Myrana is flashed a quick look, as they'd spoken about going to Paras before, briefly. "Alright then," he says, moving to refill his bowl so he can eat on the ride, "I don't suppose there's time to get some more layers though is there? I didn't dress for a prolonged venture."

"But my curr… my… I made all this…" Myrana flusters. She watches Ludovic get up, then casts a despairing look up at Ivo. A loud whisper as Ludovic charges off to the horses. "I don't have a hat, can he actually kidnap us? He was joking earlier, right??"

"Sure Sure." Ludovic says, waving his hand in a way that suggests it’s a minor detail. "I'll loan you a good, proper, kote and some Armor. We're heading up into the mountains and there’s still Qatunax up there sometimes. Wouldn't do to go unprepared. Besides. I don't wanna take sandstorm. Heck, we might as well stop by Chervaisse," He continues on, sweeping the two D’Armaz' along in his wake like a particularly vibrant mudslide. "and get you that courser we were talking about. I'll loan you one too Myrana. Unless you fancy a new mare. Got one I bet you'd love. Climbs like a goat"

Myrana blanches in horror. In her experience, goats go up cliff-faces in ways extremely worrisome to anybody trying to hang on.

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