Upon the missive received this day, be it known that the church of Fenia decrees that the marriage of yourself and Lady Lavinia Blackwood be dissolved.
He read the scroll once again, as if the words might change or somehow be different. But that was not going to be.
A final sigh and he scrunched up the scroll, throwing it onto the fire that hissed and spat in the hearth.
An idea came to him. It was time. He turned smartly on his heel ''Grace!'' he called ''Grace! I need a word''. He heard her answered call from the back and strode through the hall to meet her.
''I have decided a trip is in order'', he told her. ''Is that wise Lord?'' her response.
Shaking his head Fallon sighed ''How many times have I told you that there is no need.....'' the rest was left unfinished as Grace's expression made it clear his words were falling on deaf ears. ''Aye, it has been a while, the roads here are safe, the Court protected. And to be honest I could do with some time away''
''You are set on this course then?'' the query came ''Do you know where you head?'' was the quick follow up.
''I think Mistral can have her head. Is time she was let to run some too I think''. Fallon smiled ''Grace, the Court is yours to look after and run until I get back''.
The packing, such as it was took a short time, bedroll, some clothing and some food from the kitchens. He repeated his intentions to those he saw on his way to the stable, gave his orders as to patrols in his absence, saddled the grey mare and slowly rode out of Ashton, past Widu.
At almost each crossroads he let the grey go in whichever way she desired. The few travellers he saw exchanged few words and the creatures of the woods and plain stayed scarce from his view. The nights spawned nothing save what could be considered usual night sounds with nothing showing or proving a threat. If Fallon had not felt it to be a calm before some sort of storm he would have been more peaceable perhaps.
A few days saw him entering a small village, the braiding of his beard and twin blades he wore provoking alternate wary glances, course comments and running away. He slid from Mistral, tied her loosely to a hobbling post and stretched before walking the main throughfare of the village. Some sort of market event was in place and the gay music lightened his mood as he browsed the stall and wares. It did not escape his attention that he was one of the only few to openly wear weapons, not that those that who also had them wore dirks or other such small implements,
A few purchases as smiles and comments as to how fine the goods were saw tacit hostility replaced by something else. The wariness not vanished, but neither so pronounced.
And then he saw the game of cups. Moving to look better at the spectacle, he soon realised what was happening. His mouth curled as he decided that a little fun, or mischief be in order.
Another patron huffed and walked away his pockets lighter and the cupman called ''Roll up, try your luck, just find the stone!!'' As none played he deliberately slowed the cups down as the game was demonstrated. He played to the crowd, pointing to a cup ''This one?!'', ''Nooooooo'' was the response as fingers pointed ''thereeeee!!''. The cupman put his finger on the cup that they all pointed too ''This one you say?'' to a chorus of affirmatives the cup was lifted, the stone produced and he exclaimed ''Now if only someone had played!!''.
Of course after that, one did. And lost. Another did. And lost. And another. Fallon stepped forward ''I will play'' he said and put a few freznics on the table. The cupman's eyes lit up ''As you wish sire!'' he exclaimed as he lifted a cup, placed the stone beneath and began to switch the cups around, slowly at first, then faster and faster ''Round and round and round she goes, but where she stops, would you quite know?'' he finished with a sweep of his arms showing the cups in alignment. A toothy grin came Fallon's way ''Well sire, do you?''.
Fallon stepped nearer the table '' I think so'' he said, placing his hands on the table, then touching a pensive finger to his lips. ''I think it must be under this one'' he said, putting his finger on the leftmost cup ''because these other two do not have it!'' he smiled, flipping the other cups over.
'Well, what do you know folks?!'' the cupman exclaimed ''We have a winner''. He glared malevolently at Fallon '' Congratulations! lady luck has smiled on you this day'' he all but snarled as he handed Fallon some coins, lowering his voice to a bare whisper he hissed ''but tomorrow is another day My Lord'', the intonation making it clear to Fallon that their paths would likely cross again.
Fallon graciously took the coins, smiled at the cupman and turned towards the nearest tavern, fully intent on enjoying a meal and a drink at the cupman's expense.