When blood is nipt, and ways be foul

AW :: Arthur returns home

POSTED: Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:43 am

oo-de-lally

February. Winter. A time when the land was buried beneath the washed-out blanket of powdery ice. A time when the snow swallowed all sound and the chill slowed the very bones in one’s core so that the very land seemed to be dead. Or perhaps not quite dead but just trapped in the unforgiving grip of time. One of these days that palm might fail to open upon Spring and keep the world trapped forever in its timeless, icy clutches. Would it be so bad of an end to be stuck like this, frozen fast when youth was still a thing that could be remembered, before middle age turned both the body and heart to a frigid sliver to… Yes, this was good, there was poetry in this somewhere. Unrefined poetry for sure, but some wee lass would surely gobble it up if he could ruminate for another hour or so.

Some might say it was insanity to venture out during a season like this and undertake such a journey in the most wretched month. Arthur simply figured it was smart hunting and all around good business. After all--

"We’re here, Sir," a voice called up from behind him. "I’ll not go further than this border if ye please."

Arthur’s dust specked ears perked up as he reined in his stallion Noble. Blinking rapidly to rid his cobalt eyes of the last trace of his daydreaming he turned to peer over his shoulder, catching sight of Ignacio, the ugly servant he hired. Surely Arthur was not in the habit of hiring such help on the daily, but there had been a small store of goods he wanted to bring back to Casa di Cavalieri with him from the Outpost with the express intent to impress his kin and he surely couldn’t do it alone. An unpleasant mange-ridden mutt of a creature was Ignacio, and Arthur was able to exploit the man’s condition to his benefit; while otherwise healthy, the man was in sore need of good pelts and garments to cover the many-and-growing bald patches on his body. Arthur outfitted him with good clothing in order to stave off what was left of the winter in exchange for his and his donkey’s service in transporting the items to the pack. But Ignacio was a suspicious man and would go no further into the lands of the warriors even with Arthur’s word that he would be looked after as his guest.

"No, it’s all right," Arthur volleyed. "I remember our agreement." Some time passed as the two sorted out the business of transferring the goods from the donkey to Noble. Arthur would walk from here and between his own back and the steed they could trudge on into the Fort with the goods. After this chore was done Arthur bestowed several pelts upon his assistant and in a great show of charity and to appease his sudden and fleeting affection for his manservant as he was about to depart, he handed the man his personal whiskey flask as well. "To warm the blood on your journey back." he said with a tilt of the head, then bid his servant farewell.

Arthur took not three steps into his homeland when he suddenly remembered something and spun, thrusting a hand out as he bellowed, "Ignacio wait!" and he spoke with such sudden fervency that it seemed he would ask the manservant to remain here forevermore… and then he said, "Where is the cow?"

"Here, Sir," the man replied gruffly with no warmth whatsoever as he reached up to the donkey’s blanket and shoved black-and-white ball off of it, then Ignacio turned and trudged off with his donkey without looking back.

An indignant cat stood there in the snow where the donkey had once been, shocked and horrified at the sudden coldness on her paws. Arthur hurried over to her and reached for her but hesitated for just a moment, wondering if she had caught the man’s mange when he touched her just now. To hell with it, The Cow was too important to care and Casa di Cavalieri had adept healers in any case. He scooped her up into his arms and stroked her back as he carried her over to Noble and set her down on the warm spot at his shoulders. He gave the creature a final sidelong glance as he took Noble’s lead in his hand and began to pick their way through the snow toward Fort Kingsbury.

ooc The NPC will depart for good at the end of this post but Arthur is also with his horse Noble and a long haired white-and-black cat that looks something like this. All welcome. Arthur would be up for a warm drink, food, and someone fussing over him, but he doesn't have to get his wish. | 748[wc — ??] template by hilli
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