The Gift of Knighthood

Medieval Times

isobel_icon.jpg marius_icon.jpg

The main evening's clientele have departed, the buzz in the main dining area now fallen silent. There are a couple of stragglers in the Entry hall, vampires all as per the wishes of the owner, and they are simply lingering to determine where their paths will lead them next.
Now, when most is quiet, is when the Whip leads his charger out of the stall area, now fully tacked (minus the finery) and seemingly ready for riding. Marius is dressed simply.. his jacket is removed and hung upon the back of a chair in the dining area, leaving him his dark coloured t-shirt, pants and his ever present boots. Bringing him over to a step, he lowers one of the stirrups and pulls himself into the saddle, immediately pulling back on the reins as the beast moves forward, uncaring that his rider is attempting to gain a balanced seat.
"Halt.." The single word barked as a command brings the horse's pacing down.. along with the pressure on the reins. It seems that slowly, perhaps, the pair are learning to work together?
"Gehen wir.."
At the words, the steed moves forward as Marius finds his seat.. back straight, his attention on his own seat as the horse picks up his feet in an almost prancing walk. "Sehr gut.."

The far edge of the arena is filled with a number of artist's easels. Each carrying a canvas of varying size. Sitting behind one of the larger canvasses is the Sheriff.
There are nights, like this one, when she feels the need to unwind. Especially after 'entertaining' an unknown, and unexpected guest while in the midst of her regular duties. With the brush stroking against the canvas and setting it awash in color she hears the hoof beats.
"If he throws you did you wish for me to catch the moment for posterity?" A sly smirk appears upon her face as she peeks out from behind the canvas, princess crown slightly askew.

"I will not be on the ground long enough for you to capture it in oil, my lady," comes the reply from the center. Though he keeps blue eyes forward, Marius' attention is on his riding, the horse, and the presence of Isobel and a hint of humour can be found in his tones.. as his companion can likely find it. Heels down.. "The speed in which I regain my pride is faster than the stroke of your hand, still." That is, regain his feet…
The horse virtually dances around the edge of the arena, in some cases, moving sideways in a lack of desire to actually move forward. There is definitely the thought behind the horse's eyes that perhaps unseating this unwelcome burden is a viable course of action. Marius, of course, has other ideas and learned early on not to allow that head to dip down to get a good buck in. As a result, it looks all the world like.. fancy riding.. A dancing charger and a rider holding the reins, puttng it through its paces. The Whip, however, is also still learning how to seat a horse, so it is actually more a learning process of the pair of them— even if they do hide it well.
"Not even a request for me to remain so would be honoured without.. due and just compensation."

"It has not been that long since I have painted, Marius, I am quite certain that my hand can be very precise in bringing something to fruition as swiftly, or as slowly as I desire it to."
The brush strokes against the canvas again, and if Marius were to actually look over he would see that her attention is more focused on the upper reaches of the arena. One of the birds seems to have gotten free and nested up there.
"I would never request you to humiliate yourself, though there is something I have been meaning to speak with you about." Setting the brush down upon the edge of the easel she rises and slowly advances toward the Whip and his horse. "Regarding August ninth."

The corners of Marius' lips are given leave to rise in a hint of a smile as he moves the horse around the sandy arena. "Traben sie.." From a walk to a bouncy trot, and the Whip manages to keep his seat, looking more equestrian than he had been in previous .. practices. He raises his voice ever so slightly, but certainly a great deal lower than a breather would be able to catch. "Your hand is a talented one, my Lady. Your subjects live or die by it."
It's only a half ring that brings Marius and his horse around, and pulling it to a stop with a soft, "Halt..", it prances a couple of steps but seems to begin to understand that he's not going to get the chance to run free this evening.
"August ninth, Lady?"

"Flattery, my dear Whip…" Isobel shakes her head. A rather human like gesture as she actually smiles. The few she relaxes around should be used to seeing the playfulness in her eyes from time to time, though it is a bit of a rarity these days.
Though she approaches rider and horse, she is good enough to keep her distance as she does not want to spook Abaddon. He may now be used to the presence of his master, but that doesn't mean he is all that well versed with other vampires.
"The date of your birth," she replies simply, watching the duo.

"I speak merely the truth, as I am your sword to command."
Marius leans forward slightly, leaning on his hand before he pats the neck of his horse. One of his few possessions, and one he's growing used to. Should the time come when he must depart, however, Abaddon will find a new master, or mistress.
His brows rise in echo of the human gesture, his mouth opening as if to say something, then closes it again. Once he finds the words, "I had forgotten. Has it come again?" Then, of course, "You have not gone and searched the roles at the Cathedral, have you?" Of course, there'd be his baptismal information, and maybe a record of his death, even if there is nothing to mark his passing in the cemetary. Then again, he'd not gone back. Maybe there is a marker?
"I had honestly forgotten."

There was a hope that Marius would not have really noticed that she had been away for a while. Isobel did try to keep her departure and time outside of her area brief. Therefore, his comment gets a slightly raised eyebrow.
"I have no need to search through centuries old documentation at a Cathedral. I have known you for many years and though the passage of time blurs often these days, important dates are not ones I easily forget." Just as she remembers Valentine's birthday is the twenty-first day in the month of January.
"I see you and Abaddon are finally getting along. This pleases me. What would please me more, however, is to bestow upon you a birthday gift."

Marius had let slip that he, too, tracks important dates.. and apparently the time of his birth is simply not one of those. "One year here and there, my dearest Lady, requires no marking. At the century's passing, we shall have a gathering, should I still live." In another eighty years.
Still, there is no question that the Whip is flattered by the remembrance and he dips his head in acknowledgment. "But, it will be as you wish.. and marked as your whim dictates."
Leaning to pat the horse once more, Marius nods before he sits upright in the saddle once more. "He is turning into a fine beast, though damned he still is." And even better, after finding a trainer, he doesn't have to be the one to offer the calm and gentle treatment. His is to ride. "If you wish a seat," Marius holds a hand out, "say—."
The next words that she speaks, however, brings his words to a standstill, and he stares a moment before, "You are too kind to this, your servant."

"You may live to regret those words," Isobel says with a gentle laugh. Marked as her whim dictates? He will definitely regret those words when he sees what it is she has gotten him.
"There will need to be a ceremony of course, though I do believe I will need Valentine to preside over it to make it binding. I never was one to attend to such things." Knightings were generally only attended by the royal court and nobles, and took place during daylight hours thus truly difficult for her to see the ceremonial side of them.
"Too kind? To offer a gift to a friend, hardly."

"A ceremony?" Is there something along the way he'd missed? Marius sits back in his seat to contemplate what it is that she's telling him, and not telling him, and coming up with nothing.
Standing in the stirrups, the vampire throws his leg over and dismounts, landing easily on his feet on the ground. In the next move, the reins are pulled from over Abaddon's neck and he's got a good hold.
"Something where Valentinus is needed to make binding? Ah.." The Whip is speechless. Well, almost. "You know that I am ever yours to command, but.." Ceremonies? Binding ceremonies at that?
"May I inquire as to what it is that you have planned?"

Much is being told, and much is being kept hidden from him for the time being. The reaction, however, is priceless. Isobel shifts her icy blue gaze toward the horse. There she stays, staring momentarily until she is ready to speak.
"I am gifting you with something that you have deserved for centuries, Marius." Walking away from master and beast, she heads back toward the easels again. There she easily lifts up a large wooden box, expertly carved with pewter hinges. "But for that gift, you will have need of the items within this box."
She is, indeed, still being a tad cryptic.

Marius can't work it out, even with the clues, unless, "Have you planned my final death, then? I am certain that many would say that I have deserved that for centuries." He turns to look at the horse even as Isobel does, and lifts a hand to run it down his charger's neck. "And I will leave my armour to James, even if the—" bastard, "runt is incapable of taking care of it."
The blond Whip is at a distinct disadvantage in that he can't lead Abaddon up and into the dining area in order to follow; well, he could, but it would be difficult to maneuver and more than a little awkward. Instead, then, he waits in the sand. "A stake, then." He's teasing.. mostly.

"I do not have the stomach to send you to your final death." That is something that can be left to Valentine or someone with a destiny of a warrior. Isobel watches him silently as she carries the large box down toward Marius and the horse. "Beyond which I would not make such a big fuss over the day of your birth only to kill you."
Carefully placing the box in front of him, she reaches for the reins. The horse will obey her, or she will attempt to glamour it — even if she is uncertain that it would work.
"I spent a few days in the Hessen area locating these items for you, then several more having them restored as swiftly as possible." She waits for him to open the box which contains a pristine looking sword from his era, along with a shield. "These are the tools of a knight. Something you are more than deserving of."

Marius hands over the reins silently after watching her progress back to him silently, listening to the words. He's speechless, certainly, and allows the natural impassive blankness to rule his visage in exhange for the thoughts that tumble over each other, some of which vie for being spoken, and as a result, nothing is given speech. Instead, he turns his attention to the box once again, and kneeling down, opens the wooden case. Within, the shape of the sword is so very familiar to him.. the size, the shape, and he can imagine the weight in his hand without needing to hold it. But.. when she speaks of visiting Hesse, the surprise is palpable. "When did you—"
That question is ended as quickly as breath is drawn for the next question, and it may be one of the few times in the six centuries of life that he's honestly.. surprised. "A knight? Me? Deserving?" Marius looks up at Isobel as she holds the horse before he sets his gaze back down. "Surely I am not worthy. Not to question your desires, my Lady, but have you spoken to Valentinus?"

A gentle hand reaches for the neck of the horse, a soft whisper to calm it before it balks and attempts to trample her.
"Last week. Surely you noticed my absence a little? The house was undoubtedly quiet of my shrieks." The smile upon Isobel's face is absolutely genuine. Enjoying watching him open the rather heavy case.
"Marius, barring Valentinus himself, you are the most deserving of the title. You have spent centuries as a warrior. Now you spend your days ensuring that both myself, and your King are well guarded and protected at what is undoubtedly a great detriment to yourself." Still holding the reins, she moves forward to place a hand upon Marius' shoulder. "While you may not follow a chivalrous code, you have no qualms with standing up for what you believe is right."
Has she spoken to Valentinus? Perhaps not in person but… "I have."

"My right, my Lady, is hardly what all would consider right." Still, it's never a good thing to contradict a lady, or a Lady, which is why Marius remains low, kneeling on a single knee in front of the now open box. He does allow a hint of a smile, "My gift from you had been remarkably silent the past week." The telephone.. and its texts. "I still possess it." So it's probably not that bad.
There's nothing he can truly say that could convince Isobel that perhaps he isn't the best of candidates for such an honour. She's more than aware of his less than noble birth, less than noble life.. after all, it was she that helped teach him his letters.. a couple hundred years after his turning, give or take.
"Your safety is my utmost of concern, yours and Valentinus. Should anything happen, a great shadow will fall over the city." A threat? Not when spoken by the Whip. "I ask only that you consider, my Lady, without anger at my request. Should you wish to retract, I will still be your servant, and your Man at Arms." Or rather, Captain at Arms. "And should you wish to go forward, ever shall I be your sword, as I have been. Your favour wears like the Knight's chain, binding me to duty."

"Nor is my right what all would consider right." No one's right would be considered right by all, but that of their liege and even then many will not agree with what he believes to be right. In her many years, this is something Isobel has come to understand. "Then I will assume that during my brief absence all was right within the city." The annoyance was locked in the 'guest' room, and therefore nothing else abhorrently awful must have happened.
"I will not retract this gift to you. You have been a knight to me since the moment you took my favor. It is time for others of our kind that still follow the old ways to see exactly where you stand within our society." Gracefully, she leans down to place a chaste kiss upon the top of his head. "Now take your damnable beast, and enjoy your new sword." New in the sense that it is new to him, though it is ancient in its making.

"All was quiet in your City, yes." Now discovering that he's been remiss, Marius makes quick work of that 'report'. "None have entered, none departed." That should cover it.
If he were still breathing, a sigh would have exited the man on knee, but he is not and has not been for some time, and thus— silence surrounds him until he chooses to speak. "You honour me," which obviously is the point. The kiss is given, and nodding he can't resist the urge anymore and reaches into the box to at least feel the weight in hand. Swords as carried by the nobles, and it fits into his hand easily, the weight and balance that of the swords 'of his day'. But this one.. this.. it holds a great deal more. In his hand is grasped a past that he denies not, but rather, celebrates and builds upon. To find that another does the same, and understands such..
It's only a moment, however, that he hefts it— he'll work on swordplay later or on the morrow. For now, a request has come in once more, and that is to retake his damnable beast. Reaching up to take the reins, he closes the box quickly and relatches it. "I will bring him in and make sure he is bedded down for the rest of the night." Then he'll be back for the sword and shield. Gifts fit for a knight.
Sir Marius Schlachter?

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