(121-01-20) Royal Blue
Details for Royal Blue
Summary: The Hightower Family and some of the Household arrange a hunting trip for the Hightower Girls so that Lynesse can be presented with her male kestrel, Royal Blue.
Date: 01-20-121
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The outing has been planned for nearly a month and by the time the small group gets out Spring is really starting to call upon the life hidden within the earth. As green buds spring out upon various limbs that have been bare for so long the adjustment to warmer temperatures means dresses and light linens versus the wools that have kept Eiris covered. It means something new and the soft spring-like green she wears pulls her same color from her eyes. She rides astride instead of side saddle so there is a swath of skin shown as she rides Petyr.

He's a sturdy and steady horse, one that keeps himself even keel beneath her. As she brings his head about, she knows full well that the covered cage that is being brought along with will be a great surprise for Lynesse. Her eyes look over those in attendance and then she moves ahead, her thick ginger braid bouncing down her back.

When the Hightowers go out, it's always quite the ordeal, even a small hunt planned and there's a wagon rolling along after them in the background where the children are in tow. Only the girls are old enough to ride but the boys really wanted to come so all of them are in the wagon to keep it from getting trashed but they have their horses being lead along with the wagon that is quite luxurious and like a medieval R.V. than a simple wagon.

They have finally arrived at the spot where there's a nice big agriculture field close to a little wood, perfect for hunting with the smaller game. Ormund rides over to the back of the wagon and uses his foot to kick down the steps and then open up the door. "We're here. Girls…" He offers them the reins he unties as they step out and mount onto their horses.

Lynesse has a black mare and she is sleek and gorgeous, her mane has been cut short and looks like that of a zebra, "Here we go Diamond!" Lynesse exclaims as she mounts up. There is a long few moments where Ormund just watches Lynesse. She's been such a sad little girl since their mother died. So the excitement and joy she's found in hunting is something her father is extremely grateful for. Which is probably why he arranged a very expensive, extremely well trained, champion bred Kestrel for her.

Arana's horse looks like it could be (and is) related to Dawn, but he is a palomino that is extremely fair he could be mistaken for while. Butter is the name of the gelding and he looks about a perfect match for Arana, haughty and bitter. While the eldest of his children's attitude has improved greatly, it's not exactly all sweet nothings. Instead of cruelty, she treats the baseborn bastard with great indifference. The moment she is on the horse she is aghast at how Eiris is riding her own horse. But she clamps down on her bottom lip to keep from saying anything or to distract her with the slight bit of pain to keep herself from rolling her eyes.

Lynesse reaches towards the wagon to scoop up Marty who's next to come out, but Ormund intercepts. "I've got him. You go see your mentor." The girl seems a bit disappointed and more so curious as to why she can't snuggle with Marty while she watches the adults with their falcons. But she obeys her father with a smile and the smile grows as she rides closer to Eiris. "It's a lovely day. Nice and overcast. Do you think we'll get a nice fat rabbit?"

Lyonel clings to his father's back as he does his best to look like he can ride all on his own, like a dignified mini-Ormund. Not surprising, Marty is sleepy and is already curling up inside of his father's coat, tucked in and dozing off already.

Eiris has given up on trying to win Arana over but still shows the eldest Hightower child respect with a dip of her head, "My lady," she says. As Petyr is brought around she watches Ormund tend to his boys, the soft smile on her lips lingers with a great depth of fondness as she seeks to make eye contact with him. There is a stomp and side step from Petyr as the gelding grows impatient and more excited as the other horses start to sport riders. Something is afoot!

Lynesse is given a full smile and she hesitates, giving a glance towards their hunting area and nods, "Its warm, they will be out and not in their burrows. Food is plentiful now for them so many creatures will seeking to fatten themselves up. So yes I Suppose we will but…I think you might have a very good chance. My lady…" she notes Ormund is settled and starts to turn Petyr. "Come to the front of the line.There is something for you."

Eiris presses Petyr forward, guiding the young lady with her to a covered large object that appears to be a rectangle, tall and sitting in another smaller wagon at the head.The other birds are being tended to their cages brought out and set down. Eiris positions herself and hands off Petyr's reins so she can slowly lower herself to the ground. Her skirts settle back around her legs and she pushes wild strands of red hair from her face. She reaches out then and grasps the cloth.

She waits for the others. "Lady Lynesse, this is for you." She tugs the cloth,letting it fall free of the cage and the beautiful kestrel is revealed within, proud, curious and tilting his head once he is given his sight.

Where Arana has not a hair out of place and is poised to perfection on her side saddle, skirts folded to perfection, the greatest artists couldn't paint her any more picture perfect there is Eiris who straddles a saddle, wild wind blown hair and just as perfect in her own right. In the middle is little Lynesse. She is side saddle, but she looks unafraid to throw a leg over and straddle if the hunt got exciting. A Hightower lady she has a noble quality about her, just so much more approachable than her big sister. It's that genuineness that comes out when she puts her hands up to clasp her face that is round and wide with shock.

"Oh is he really!? Oh Eiris, thank you so much. He is beautiful. Look at those feathers he's a royal blue. Oh! I think that's what I will call him. Royal Blue." Lynesse remembers to calm herself for the good of her etiquette and also for the bird. She doesn't want to spook him and lose and trust right off the perch.

Her father has caught up and to the side of her simply produces a custom made leather falconers glove that is white padded leather and red piping and an LH in embroidery where the ring on a finger would be. The noble girl leans over to take the glove kiss her father's cheek and slide the thing on. It fits perfectly and she then leans the other way to carefully open the cage.

Her eyes often going to Eiris to make sure she's doing things right as she loops the jess around her fingers as taught and then she makes a little kiss noise at him. "Roy. Up." She encourages him from the perch up onto her wrist. "He is so beautiful. He's mine? Really mine?" Martyn might be a little grateful, Lynesse will now how something else to baby and coddle.

"I am not the only one to thank, you Lady Lynesse proved yourself worthy of your own raptor," Eiris points and then looks to Ormund, her expression softening before she turns her attention to fully watch the young Hightower lady, to be certain Lynesse shall not put a foot wrong with her new charge.

The simple dress she wears looks nothing so rich as the ladies, even Lynesse but the Flowers does not mind nor does she seem bothered by the difference. The pale green gives her hair life and the linen was chosen with care by her motherto have small red flowers running in relief along it. Red for Hightower. Green for Flowers. Her mother is attempting to accept what is happening.

"Good, well done my lady. You must spend time with him daily, feeding, talking, letting him get to know you and your smell. He is an exceptional companion, my lady. As long as you give him the respect he is due he will cleave to you."

She nods and then turns her head, going to her saddle to pull on her own thick, wron basic brown leather glove with its years of wear and patches. It slides on comfortably and she motions for Lyness to proceed after her as the Hunt Master's daughter leads the way to a clear area for the first flight of the Kestral. "Here, my lady. When you are ready you will give him the order and perhaps he will scare up something for us for lunch."

Ormund has perhaps been overly minding his manners, perhaps even a small bit distant. It's their first time truly going out in public and he is making sure, perhaps too sure, that there is nothing that can be construed by the public as anything but professional respect and admiration. But seeing his daughter so happy has loosened him up and he murmurs to Eiris, "Preferably not a boar this time." He teases her and there is in that moment an open book of affection. "I whissshh to kill a boar Faffer!" The call from directly behind him quickly reminds Ormund that they are not alone and he schools his expression and turns Dawn to move a bit away from Eiris to better face his daughter and her new falcon. When they make eye contact he angles his eyes and points his finger to indicate her towards a thicket along the edge of the wood that is prime rabbit home.

"Can I keep him in my chamber Father, please?" Lynesse is too dignified to beg, but she gets darn close with the way she is looking at Ormund.

"Let us see how you do today and depending on your grade from Mistress Eiris, we'll see." This brokerage of a deal has the girl eve more focused and driven as she works with the Kestrel. It's not a magical instant relationships. She starts hints when he flaps his wings to gain balance because she's tilting her hand a bit.

"I promise, no boards. Not one sign of one anyways to show a great lord on his pursuit of a bet," Eiris says to him. But when he changes her own expression is quick to change, her attention focusing razor sharp on Lynessse. Best to have a distraction and those hazel eyes do not seek him again. She's not a daft girl.

As they near the opening, ready for the young lady to test her mettle, she turns back about and moves around Lynesse when the avian lists ot the side. Her sure and steady hands are firm when they press into the lady's shoulder and then sets her arm just right, showing the bed in her elbow to her as Royal Blue looks at the situation when he finally has a proper hold. "Here, your strength must come from your shoulders and back. He will grow heavier the longer you hold him so you must focus. He must trust you," she says. "You a tree, easily swayed but not one to bend and break. Look here," she tracers her bare fingers along the bent angle of the inner elbow. "You will find relief, never lock this up or you will drop him given time. NEver bring him close to your face, no matter how friendly he seems. But let him know you are working together by giving him a firm perch. Now lets go..its just ahead and you will have a chance to work with him."

That being said, Eiris attention still remains on the lady, on the copse avoiding eye contact with Ormund. Her red hair glows when the sun hits it and it makes her stand out amongst the greenery like some strange wild gem. "Here," she says and brings Lynesse center amidst the dancing leaves of aspens.

Lynesse has absolute concentration face on. She looks a lot like her father with that face, her brows pucker and her own chestnut highlights glow in the sun like her mind is on fire from how hard she is thinking and listening. Following directions as close to exact as any excited child her age can she nods while listening. She looks absolutely heartbroken that she can't nuzzle the bird like her heart so desires. But to comfort herself she tides herself with carefully stroking the back of her free hand down his little chest and smiles when he doesn't seem to mind. "I love him already." She confesses to Eiris in a little shy whisper.

One of Arana's attendants does all of the carrying and handling of her Peregrine. He rides close to her so that when the time comes the bird can be given to her so that it can just launch off of her to give her the Hunting experience without any of the actual hunting.

While the girls are hunting on their horses, Ormund has gotten down with the boys and they are exploring the poop in the fields. Boy stuff! Ormund squats and Lyonel squats, Ormund stands with one hand rested behind his back, something he often does with his bad arm since it was healing but weak, but it covers that weakness up and makes him look even more dignified while standing at ease. But no matter how he is standing or why, he has a little shadow in Lyonel that is doing the exact same thing as his father. The over protective nanny that is Martyns has come over to remove the lordling from his father's jacket to wrap him up in blankets and place him in a chair in the camp now that it's been erected.

While Lyonel is all about the poop his father was explaining that came from a creature that came from over there — he is distracted and trails off, enchanted by the sight of the Huntress acting the wonderful role-model to his daughter in the picturesque moment. He stands and walks with his little shadow closer to them and rubs and greets Petyr's face when he comes to the horses head. Just listening and watching the exchange. He does have the wherewithal enough to scoop his son up onto a hip when his sleeve is tugged so that Lyonel and have a little snuggle and chat with the Gelding's face too.

Petyr may not be the stuff of Kings or have the grave of Dawn but his temperament makes him suited for children. He's a devoted horse and though his coat is still losing its winter shag he is rather soft. Eiris does her best not to look at Ormund but movement is hard to miss especially when Petyr gives his head and make huffs out a breath of enjoyment at the two. Ormund smells oh so familiar and Lionel, as his son is much the same. Eyes have gone green look upon the Lord, a faint smile briefly playing across her features for him. She knows. She dips her head and as Lynesse takes a moment to herself, Eiris leans to speak to the little lordling. "My lord," she greets him, her smile growing ever so slightly. "Petyr loves carrots, there are a few in my saddle bags if your lord father would help you get them. He will be forever your friend."

That said, she straightens up and looks to Lynesse. "My lady I think we are close at hand. There is plenty of scat and burrows up ahead, I think you should let him loose and see if he can't scare something up." A slow nod of her head is given and then her head turns to look at the others who are waiting. Her own falcon is still caged not wanting to have too many raptors fighting over prizes. "Let me know he is ready and then give him a strong lift into the air, he will do the rest." The breeze pulls at her brilliant hair and the Flowers huntress tucks it back behind her ear as she focuses on Lynesse and her form.

"Cah-wuts pwease Faffa?" Ormund steps around to the side of the saddle and he opens up the saddlebags to allow his son to search for the carrots. Ice-Blue eyes glance about and when assured the coast is clear and that Petyr and his position beside Petyr will block all views his free hand reaches down just a bit to massage at her ankle of her bad foot and make sure her foot is comfortably in the custom-made stirrup he gifted her without any fanfare. It was just on her saddle in the morning before the trip. Despite the affectionate message, chest up he looks like he's simply paying attention to his son. He does step away when the carrots are found so they can give Petyr the treat.

Lynesse looks momentarily worried. What if she lets him go and he never returns to her!? But she whispers, "We have this Roy. Please come back. We're going to be very good friends I promise. I'll make sure you get a nice fresh pinkie." She then tells Eiris, "Okay, I think he's ready…" After a moment of stealing her courage, she lifts up her hand and releases the falcon and gives the little creature a peppy, "Hunt!"

Eiris blinks, the reaction small as her chin dips and the hand resting upon her thigh slides down a little. She may not actually touch him but he will see the way her fingers move as if she longed to. She smiles though, the rise of her lips is true and heartfelt with how it causes her green eyes to sparkle. She must focus elsewhere though, giving Lynesse a slow nod of support.

As the Kestral takes to the air, there really is little they can do but give him the room and ability to hunt as he does. "Well done..he will come back. He is trained not some wild bird. He once was," But not now her tone seems to imply. Some wild creature but now gilded, trained and made beautiful on display. Something causes her smile to falter but soon enough it rallies again and she motions for the lady to follow the movement. "There…he's circling..may have found something."

Some crying from camp has got Lynesse distracted. Torn between going to Martyn or staying and hunting. This is clearly on her face as she looks bereft between Eiris and Ormund.

"I'll go make sure Martyn is fine. Go, you've been waiting months for this. Go be with Roy." He pats Diamond's rump and she clops off to try to catch up with Royal Blue. Ormund scoops up Lyonel and puts him up onto his shoulder. A kind and happy smile are offered up to Eiris and then he goes towards the camp. "Be waiting for you there. Rabbit stew pot boiling." He then lifts his voice as the distance grows. "Don't worry, I'm not cooking!" He laughs a little at his own joke, but more it's the memory of the first time he tried his hand at camp cooking for them both.

Eiris lingers, holding them up when she notices how Lynesse is caught and the huntress gives her a soft smile. "Your father will settle him. This is your time," she wants to tell here there will be time for children. Likely many of her own she will care for as she gets older. Her eyes look back over her shoulder to the retreating camp and smiles for the lord of Hightower. "We will return with healthy appetites then." She shares in his humor before heeling Petyr and urging them on towards the circling.

The way is not rough, in fact its rather beautiful with the way the sun falls through the trees and patterns the ground. The air is balmy - at least considering what temperatures it had been not long ago. Her green eyes sweep upwards, trying to find Royal Blue, then spotting his wing she leans over towards Lynesse and points upwards. "There, you take the lead, my lady, I will be right here." For its her first hunt, she should take the lead. Not to mention the guards that are with them. But as they get closer, she waves off the guards so that the lady can have her moment.

The best laid plans are destroyed in a flurry of feathers and fur. Royal Blue is buffeted and nearly caught up in the talons of a much larger Peregrine Falcon as it swoops down on the prey that Royal Blue was going for. Stunned some but at least visibly uninjured Royal Blue hops about on the ground some in a daze as Lynesse shrieks and almost cries in the terror of watching her beloved bird nearly get killed right before her eyes. She leaps off of her horse saying, "Roy." Over and over again as she goes to scoop the kestrel up onto her glove and check him over.

Meanwhile the Peregrine brings it's prey to the glove that loosed it. The rabbit is quickly dropped to the ground at the feet of her attendant to handle and Arana strokes the back of the birds wing and then like nothing happened she smiles at Eiris proudly and then she gives the bird over to the attendant and turns about on Butter to ride him back to camp. "Better luck next time." She says over her shoulder.

The look that Arana gets is not one that she has likely ever seen from Eiris - even when the Flowers KNEW that the stepping on of her foot was intentional. Her green eyes narrow and it is the most disapproving stare that she can muster before her attention shifts back to Lynesse. Dismounting quicklys he moves to join the little lady. "My lady, he will be okay. I promise." She tries to soothe them both. "Just steady him, make your voice soft and soothing. He can hear your worry itmakes him nervous. You must always be steady with your kestrel…give him the support he needs with both your hand and your voice."

She doesn't look back now, trying to help Lynesse work through the mishap. "Good..good. See he's just fine, Just a little bit ruffled. I think the next time we come out, we will go with just a few of us and no others. But this was good. See, my lady, he is already calmer, thanks to you. I am so very proud of you." There is a warm smile offered to the young girl, gentle, encouraging as she reaches out to touch her arm. "Come, let us take him back, he will be glad of a rest. You both did very well."

"She's just jealous. That I have a mom again and she doesn't." Lynesse sniffle sobs as she tries to regain her composure and is failing a little. But for Royal Blue she takes a deep breath. "We're okay Roy. We're okay. Yes. Next time it will be just us and the rude little lion wanna-be will be stuck at home in her tower lamenting going bald…" It sounds like the little sister has her revenge planned out already. Lynesse gives a tiny momentary lean against Eiris after she's stood back up. "Thank you." She appreciates the praise from her mentor. The girl is doing well to remember the no face close instruction because she really wants to nuzzle her new best friend. Taking deep calming breaths she mounts up again and lets Roy perch on her saddle as they return to camp for a couple bowls of Hare Stew and after learning what happened it is clear that Ormund will in fact be disciplining his eldest once again.

Eiris looks at Lynesse in momentarily mild surprise, her lips parting but she really as nothing she can do that will not come awkward. "You must wish such things on your sister. You only have one. One day she will know the pain of being less sure of herself,"she tells Lynesse. She gives her a soft smile and tentatively lifts her hand to rub at the lady's back. The guards are watching and so the Flowers helps everyone up and guides Lynesse back slowly.

"You are a natural at this, before you know it you will not have need of me to be here with you. You will be so capable." Its encouragement. "What the bird needs from you is understanding and patience. If you are passionate he will listen.

It will not be Eiris that speaks of Arana, just say ther was a mishap with the birds and the larger won. Royal is fine and Eiris will take her. Soup beside the newest huntress, offering her words of encouragement before they all pack up and head back. Ormund receives a few smiles but otherwise she plays the role she was born to carry.

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