Arton listened closely to Eliane's response to Lord Caradoc's question, trying to discern if she was being truthful. Fundamental with a side of mischief. It was a intriguing combination and was one more reason to keep his eye one his fellow Skaelan. He was not sure that he would be able to withstand a series of questions if she began to investigate his background. Hearing each one of them unified in their mission was a relief to hear and he could feel the bonds of the party tighten ever so slightly. The retort by Galahad's father stung like a small splash of boiling water on the skin. It hurt for a split-second but it quickly washed over him. This vitriol from Gal's father had him dumbfounded and his fantasy image of a parental figure insulted.
His hunger that he had at the start of the meal extinguished as the conversation between the two Caradocs began to explode. When Galahad expressed reservations about returning home, Arton had figured that there was some sort of tension or bad blood with his family. Nothing could have prepared him for how deeply the cracks in their relationship went. The Skaellan rose from his seat after Galahad, ready to spring into action the moment the situation completely broke down. The intensity in his face broke upon hearing Artorias's accusation and his son's reaction. Truth or not the claws of doubt visibly sank into his friend's mind.
The venom left by the echoes of war ran deep in people's blood. Arton was beginning to understand. He could feel a drop of that venom seeping into his veins and for a brief moment his lips parted as it nearly took control of him. Instead, the earlier conversation with Cyth echoed in his mind.
"Lord Caradoc, did you turn us away at the gate? No, you graciously invited our humble party for a shared meal thanks to the wise counsel of Lady Caradoc." Arton turned briefly to the woman in question "A meal that was most welcome after a long journey." His voice adapted to a refined cadence, shedding his countryside mannerisms.
"The moment we sat down at the same table under your roof we became your guests. I can't begin to imagine the scandal that executing four honored guests would bring upon you. I'm truly worried that your legitimacy would be called into question for the killing of your one and only legitimate heir." He twisted the threat with fabricated concern.
"I must humbly concede that you are right. We have taken enough of your generous hospitality and can now set forth properly on our quest now that we have the prestigious Lord Caradoc's blessing. What a beautiful moment of reconciliation between father and son to spread amongst the people." He straightened himself out and took a breath.
Arton was about to leave it at that, but he felt the urge for a final act of insolence "Oh, and if you would be so kind as to pass the gravy to my friend before we leave."
"~He could not take from the forest, what was never meant to leave...~" The instruments faded into the background as her voice carried the final note softly into the aether. Applause erupted from the familiar audience as her lips closed and curled into a warm smile. Her light green eyes scanned the crowd and noticed a new batch of Valheimians amidst her regulars. No doubt that they were fresh from their homeland and wanted to visit the only theatre in Osprey that welcome their kind. Excellent. Her current sources were getting cold and it had been sometime since she heard any juicy information form Valheim.
Ciradyl bowed and curtsied to the crowd as the large, velvet curtain closed and she shifted from one mask to another. She mimicked a sigh "That was a wonderful performance...all of you. I will be in my changing room if anyone should need me." One act ends and the next begins. That was how it was under the brutal and watchful eye of their Valheim oppressors. Ciradyl exchanged smiles and small-talk with the other members of her troupe as she entered her personal room. The cheer in her eyes dropped with her smile as she gazed a mirrored version of herself and sat in the cushioned chair. She cast a few glances around the room and listened carefully for disturbances in the silence before she turned back to the countertop.
Her hand slid underneath and hummed gently with magic and was rewarded with a faint click as a secret compartment slide open. A small envelope fell into her hands. Ciradyl gave it a look over before she sliced the colorful string that bound it. Her fingers flicked it open and eyes darted from line to line. The moment she finished the last word she held it over a lit candle and watched it be consumed by flames before letting it fall to ashes in a small, gold tray. The king of Edren was finally making a move against the blight, going as far to recruit any abled man and woman for his naive hope of finding a magical solution to his problem. Ciradyl scoffed as she sat back in her chair, long nails tapping thoughtfully against her chin. This, perhaps, was an opportunity. There was not a doubt in her minds that one of the parties of adventurers would make their way into Osprey. They could hopefully be convinced to lend a hand here and there in exhcange for some information and protection. Forces were beginning to make their moves and Ciradyl was fully intent on staying ahead of it all.