Teveriel (prime)/Inactive Duty

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Teveriel pulled up on the reins of his charger with a soothing, "Easy, Bathron," urging him to a smooth walk as they approached the country estate's stables. The sun had not quite reached its zenith and he wondered if Uniana--ever the late riser--would still be abed at this hour. The elflord swung himself down from his saddle by its pommel and exchanged a polite but cordial greeting with the approaching stablehand before allowing him to lead his mount to the stables. The hand was a young elf who, like all of his recent hires, had only just completed his century of service in the Crimson Legion. Teveriel knew how difficult it could be to reacclimate to civilian life; even now, he thought grimly, he considered himself a soldier first and foremost.

Some part of him wondered if that ever changed.

He found Uniana in the solar as expected, reading her morning letters. She was accompanied by a tray of bread, butter, and fruit on the low table in front of her as well as a teapot with a pair of teacups and the unmistakable scent of turmeric and cardamom, he was glad to note. She looked up with a warm smile as he joined her. "Good morning," she greeted him blithely as he took a seat next to her at the sofa.

Her smile was reflected in his own as he reached for the teapot and poured himself a steaming cup. "You are up remarkably early, considering our eventful night."

Uniana flushed somewhat as one of the servants swept past in the direction of the kitchens. She demurred, "Can you blame me for being so restless? How can you not be equally excited for such an array of guests at the Keep?"

Teveriel breathed a quiet chuckle, nodding his acknowledgment as he raised his cup to his lips. Representatives from each of the elven houses had arrived just last evening and Uniana had spoken at length with the ones from Ta'Nalfein. Lord Legionnaire Commander Jaranzair was in attendance as well, though he remained secretive of his own purpose for being there. "I am *intrigued*," he conceded, leaning into her shoulder briefly. "Particularly by the interest in Lady Malwind, whom I must confess I've found wholly uninteresting since her arrival at court." He paused, reaching for the blunt knife to spread a thin layer of creamy butter over his slice of bread. "Not to be unkind; I understand she only just lost her lord father."

"Mm," Uniana murmured in the way that told him she was feigning interest. "And where have you been this morning? Training?"

"Riding," Teveriel answered. He'd taken to just 'riding' in the morning, occasionally taking his rod and a few fishing lures but far more often of late simply as a way to recollect his thoughts. "Just to Sylvarraend, to see how that new market is getting on."

Uniana furrowed her brow and set down her letters, frowning slightly as she looked at him with some worry. "Unarmored and without your shield? You know how troublesome those bandits have been."

Teveriel raised his hand defensively and shook his head before she even finished the last sentence. "I ran into no trouble. But I have been considering something that Lord Commander Jaranzair said to me last evening." Uniana tilted her head curiously, prompting him to explain further. "Just before he left, he bade me send word if I heard anything unusual from those gathered. He is a cautious man, as befits his position, but it does make me wonder if he has some reason to distrust any of the representatives' intentions." Ponderously, he took a generous bite of his snack and cast a sidelong glance to his left to find Uniana staring at him pensively. He waved his half-eaten bread in a dismissive gesture. "I am likely overthinking."

Uniana's slender eyebrows arched at him meaningfully. "No, your judgment in matters of safety and security have always been exceptionally tuned. And it's a fair observation from any who know him that the Lord Legionnaire Commander would have no interest in idle gossip."

"We are in agreement on that point," Teveriel nodded gravely. The Anduins resumed taking their tea in silence, absorbed in their own thoughts. Finally, Teveriel set his empty cup on the table. "I will speak with Jaranzair at my earliest opportunity, see if I can gain a better understanding of his interest in the Mirror's new guests. At least, what he *can* reveal."

Uniana placed a restraining hand on his arm, gripping his coat sleeve. "Before you ride off at a mad gallop again," she interjected, her tone hushed, "I would counsel that you take the time to observe, and *if* you take note of anything 'unusual' you will have reason to seek further information." Her grip transitioned easily into a soothing stroke as he eased back into a relaxed posture.

He saw the wisdom in her words; time certainly seemed to be something they had in abundance. He found himself echoing Mistress Leisette's parting words. "The coming weeks should be enlightening."