Page 587: A Knight Returns
A Knight Returns
Summary: The Roost receives a welcome returnee.
Date: 02/Mar/2013
Related Logs: Nothing specific
Mortimer Kell 
The Green, Terrick's Roost
The Green is a large field of deep green grass, nearly flat, that runs along the base of the towers. The road into town runs along the far edge, hemming it in neatly to a confined area where beyond a line of trees serves as a subtle windbreak. This area is most often used for drilling or practice for the guards but also serves as home for festivals, tournaments, and another other gathering that might require the space for a large number of the local residents. A well-trodden path winds around the side of the wall and moves towards the coastline. Another heads southwest, toward Kingsgrove.
Sat Mar 02, 290

It's a warm afternoon, but at least it's dry and there's a reasonable breeze. There's not a huge amount of traffic on the road up to the tower, just a couple of off duty guards heading into town, the leatherworker's journeyman delivering an order to the tower and the Deputy Sheriff making his rounds. Nothing seems to be striking him as off though as Mortimer simply pauses briefly near the archery butts, has a quick scan round, then starts to head back down towards town again. Must be a slow day.

Not exactly off or cause for alarm but there is a new rider bearing Terrick's colors riding up from the main town up the main path that leads to the Four Eagles Keep. A face that perhaps not ever Terrick may recognize but Mortimer surely would. The knight is in armor as he has been traveling, not taking any chances in his own safety, and over his chainmail is the visible Terrick surcoat. He should've been in a better mood with his return, after being away for so long, but it appears that on his way towards the Roost, rumors have been circulating about the place and not for the better either. Especially rumors surrounding the status of Lady Anais.

Mortimer hasn't changed much since Kell left, although he does now wear a sword on his belt rather than the small dirk he had before. The sound of hooves draw his attention to the road and he studies the approaching knight for a moment until he can make out the familiar features. Breaking into a smile he raises a hand in greeting and calls over when close enough, "welcome home Ser Drakmoor, it is good to see you again!"

The familiar face of Mortimer does bring a smile to Kell's face, replacing the somewhat worried mask he was wearing as he rode through the town proper. Slowing his steed to a stop, the Terrick Knight dismounts before walking the rest of the distance between the two men, his free arm outstretched to grasp the other man's, "Glad to be home, Deputy Sheriff. It is still Deputy Sheriff, isn't it?" There is a brief look around the area, "On my way back, I have heard a lot of… rumors. Ones I hope are just that, rumors."

Mortimer reaches out to take the offered hand gladly, "Aye Ser, it is. Lord Justin is still Lord Sheriff, although he spends most of his time out patrolling the roads these days. We're still having the odd trouble with bandits and the Ashwoods lost a couple of their's a little over a month ago." Not that he's entirely convinced that was bandits mind, but now is not the time for such details, those can come later. "All sorts of rumours about these days," he continues, "some truer than others. You listen to some people and they'd tell you the sky is green if they thought you'd believe them."

That Kell had heard and it was actually one of the rumors that he was glad was true, at least one of those that had lost their lives. It wasn't a secret that there was little love between Aleister and the Hedge Knight, stemming from the days on the Iron Isles. "The ones I am worried about are the ones that concerns the Roost, Deputy… I was hoping that when I have returned, things would have settled down in these parts. Now there is also talk of possible war again, so soon after our last against those reavers?"

Mortimer nods in understanding at that then shrugs, "If you'd returned a fortnight ago I'd have told you all had settled down Ser. It's been quiet for months now but aye, Lord Tully has summoned the all the House Heads to Riverrun and we've yet to learn precisely why. Only that the Naylands have been kicked out of Stonebridge and that a party of Tully armsmen are marching. Now, I assume thats to Stonebridge to hold it as the Naylands will take their own back to the Mire with them no doubt, but where they'll go from there?" He shrugs again "anyone's guess. Needless to say, we're drilling again and so are the Ashwoods. I dare say the Captain of the Guard will welcome you back with open arms, otherwise all he has to work with are old men like me."

When Kell hears that the region's Overlord is stepping in, there is a frown that appears as when nobles are involved, things could get dicey, when the top nobles are involved… things will definitely get dicey. "The Tullys? I wonder what brings them all the way up here…" That is definitely something to think about later today, for now the Terrick Knight will have to get settled back in, to gather more information about what's been happening. "I'll speak to the Captain of the Guard, to let him know that another sword has returned to the Roost. Then will send word to Lord Ozric about my return, I am sure he has been busy with his Lord Father's absence to Riverrun." There is a pause, obviously more questions on his mind but he does look about the Green, "Should we continue these questions at the Inn later, or elsewhere?" No doubt Kell will be asking about all the different rumors that surrounds the lands that he had called home, it is up to Mortimer to decide if the Inn is an appropriate place to discuss them.

"No idea Ser," Mortimer offers in regards to the Tullys, "but from what we've heard it's not just the heads from round here, it's all of 'em, so they may be flexing their muscles across the region but we've only had news from Stonebridge as it's so close." Pure speculation mind, but it's entirely possible that if there's been intervention here then there has been elsewhere too. "Aye, Lord Ozric is indeed busy, but I've no doubt he'll want to speak with you when he can." He ponders the idea of the inn for a moment then glances to Kell, "if you're wanting a full rundown then the inn might not be the place, unless the back room is free. Lots of wagging ears about right now and not all of 'em are ours. That or I'm not exactly rushed off my feet right now, I could tell you what I can while you see to your horse if you'd prefer?"

For now, Kell nods his head in agreement with Mortimer's assessment as he himself has no idea how the nobles conduct themselves when it comes to Overlords and their Vassals. As for walking with him to the stables, the knight appears to be contemplating before shaking his head, "I prefer the full rundown but I think it may require us to be seated so we can discuss at length. If you don't mind, I can secure us a temporary room at the Rockcliff and we can have dinner?" The Terrick Sworn does not want to be distracted with getting his horse settled in while discussing the issues at hand with Mortimer.

"I'll be eating with the wife and son Ser," Mortimer replies with a relaxed smile, "but that shouldn't stop you." He thinks through timings for a few moments then offers, "I'll see you down there at dusk? Should give us both plenty of time to get done what we need to and I'll have a word about keeping the back room free on my way down now."

Private Room - Rockcliff Inn, Terrick's Roost
The door and walls are thick enough to keep all but shouted conversations private. Inside, the wooden floors are kept much more clean and the elongated table with its high-backed chairs kept polished. The Terrick House banner hangs centered at the long end of the room behind the chair at the head of the table (although, should one draw it aside, they will find a large Kraken crudely carved into the wall). Racks are provided for both armor and arms alike, the wooden supports standing by the door.

Having spoken to whoever was in charge at the Keep these days to try to claim a room, Kell had unpacked his stuff after seeing to his horse. A note was also given to a messenger to be passed to Lord Ozric when he was accepting messages. Then the common knight begins making his way to the Rockcliff where he asked for a free room for a meal. And that is where one would find Kell now, if asked they would be directed to this room where the man is finishing up his meal. A stew with bread and leg of some avian creature. At the plate's side is a tankard of ale as well to wash the food down with.

Since their meeting on the green, Mortimer has finished up his work for the day, been home, spent some time with his family and is now back at the Rockcliff once more. A quick enquiry at the bar has him pointed in the right direction and he goes to join the newly returned knight. "Evenin' Ser," he offers with a nod as he enters the room, taking a moment to shed his cloak and dump it over the back of an unoccupied chair before he takes a seat opposite Kell. "Stew any good?"

"Come in, Deputy. Feel free to take a seat." Kell says as he gestures across the small table before nodding his head at the question when Mortimer joins him, "Better than road fare, that's for sure. The differences a pinch of spices can make to a meal." The leg of the avian has already been picked clean and the knight is cleaning up the stew in the bowl, mopping up the last bits with a piece of bread. "How is the family, Master Trevelyan?"

Mortimer takes a moment to get comfortable and stretch out a few kinks before he leans back in his chosen chair nod nods at Kell's answer. "Aye, the fare has been constantly improving these last few months. I won't claim we're quite back to where we used to be, but we're pretty damn close now." That's said with a smile which doesn't diminish as he then answers the knight's question. "They're well thank you Ser, as I left Jerold, the lad, was just finishing off the homework Master Corbitt set him last time he was in town. He's getting good at that now, when he doesn’t get distracted by kites, or mud, or the beach."

"I'm glad to hear that, I'm glad to hear that the Roost is still in recovery. They were some grim times we had to live through." Times that were uncertain whether the Roost would fall or live. As for the news of his son, Kell can't help but grin at the update, "Boys will be boys, I remember those younger days, mischievous ones. At least he is still interested in those things and not in girls yet."

Mortimer grins back at that, "I reckon we've got a few years yet before we have to start worrying about that. Mind you," he adds in a mock conspiratorial manner, "the way he's been charming the Mallister ladies I reckon he's planning on aiming high." Taking a moment to stretch his legs out he then asks, "and yourself? You;ve been away a good while now. Any exciting tales to tell? News to share."

"The Mallisters, eh? Aiming high for sure." Kell says with a laugh of amusement as he pushes the now empty dishes away before he lifts his tankard of ale, draining the rest of it. With the meal out of the way, he is able to more focus on the conversation at hand, "The Mountain Clan are some fierce fucking warriors, primitive and not that well armed, luckily, but they are a fierce lot. Ran into a group once but that is more than enough."

"Mountain clan?" Mortimer repeats, raising an eyebrow slightly as he does so, "so it was hilly then?" While the first question was vaguely serious, the second is quite clearly not and he then nods up in the vague direction of the tower. "You went to go see where our new Lords and Ladies resided? Find anything interesting?"

A smirk appears when Mortimer asks if the terrain was hilly, "Yeah, a little bit. And the Mountain Clan, they are an independent lot, not submitting to the authority of those in the Vale, or our realm. More barbaric than the Ironborn, if you can believe that." As for the Four Eagles Tower, Kell shakes his head, "Didn't see any of the new Lords or Ladies, though I was busy. I did sent a message to Lord Ozric to let him know I have returned, so I am not surprised if I do end up receiving a summons today if he frees himself from his duties. I would like to know more of what has been happening here at the Roost before meeting him though, so I don't step into it blind."

Mortimer had actually meant in the Vale, but he just shrugs off the misunderstanding as he takes a moment to figure out what is likely to be of use for the knight to know. There's a faint grimace as the Ironborn are mentioned but then he starts "In general, as I said, it's been quiet these past months. We had a bit of an incident tail-end of last year when a few kids from here, Kingsgrove and Highfield went missing. Turns out it was a couple of Ironborn who'd been stranded and gone nuts but we got most of the kids back alive and well." More details can of course be supplied if Kell wants, but the deputy is working on just giving an overview for now. "Rebuilding is continuing, the docks still aren't done but then there's been other priorities. We've still got craftsmen out at Highfield and probably will do until next harvest unless these recent rumblings get worse." He pauses there a moment to have another think then shrugs once more, "Lord Ozric seems a decent man, he gives a shit about the smallfolk," which is possibly more than can be said for some of the new Terricks, "and seems to genuinely want the Roost to flourish. If you're open and honest with him I don't see you having any issues."

The incident with the missing children does bring forth a frown again, as children were too innocent to be involved unless it was slavers, to hear that it was Ironborn causes Kell to scowl. "Damn reavers, I'm not surprised some turned to banditry or slavery, I'm sure we did not drive all of them back across the seas." As for the update on the town itself, that gets a nod of head from the Terrick Knight, as does the bit about Lord Ozric, "I see… sounds like a sensible Lord then." Though there is a pause there as the subject can now transition further, "I heard there was a marriage bann announced for Lord Ozric." And not one to Lady Terrick which was expected.

"Aye, a sensible Lord, we could do far worse than him," such as say, Keenan perhaps. But Mortimer doesn't vocalise that last bit, and not just because it wouldn't make any sense to Kell. At the mention of wedding banns though he takes a deep breath then lets it out slowly, nodding as he does so. "Aye, Lord Ozric and Lady Nedra Mallister. No one is quite sure if Lord Patrek and Lord Bolland have been planning it for a while or if it was negotiated as they rode to Riverrun to answer Lord Tully's summons. First anyone here heard though was the announcements themselves an' that includes the nobles. Cause quite a stir as I'm sure you can imagine. Looks like Lord Patrek wants to keep these new Terricks close."

There is a wince as the marriage bann is confirmed, Kell only nodding his head as he can definitely see the uproar that it would have caused, especially for Lady Anais and those who are close to her. "And Lady Anais, how is she? Is she to marry one of Lord Ozric's brothers?" What the nobles plan though, the knight does not question as it is not his place.

Mortimer nods silent as Kell winces, taking a punt on what the knight is thinking. He starts as if to speak then pauses again, deciding to take a moment longer to frame his thoughts before then stating, "Lady Anais is upset. She was in town when the news broke, possibly even in the Sept when they were read. It came.. it came as a shock to her." He stops then, taking a moment to rub his chin. "I can't claim to have been about the keep much, and have only seen her once since then, and that was a few days after, she seemed calmer then though. You'll probably get a better idea than me if you're staying up there though." The best answer he can give to the final question is a shrug, "there's rumours a plently. Marry her to Lord Brogan, marry her to Lord Justin, let her marry for love, give her Middlewood to run, make her Castellion of the Tower, you name it it's been muttered in the common room out there and in the streets. I've heard of no official answer, but as I said, I haven't been round the tower much of late."

"All positions that are less than she deserves…" Kell says quietly, a view he is willing to share with Mortimer as he has been here since the siege, fighting alongside the Terricks since the day the Ironborn appeared. He shakes his head slightly, "I am glad that the Lady is taking this news very well, it appears to have taken everyone by surprise then." A sigh is released as it is nothing they can do, or they should do as it is noble's business. "Hopefully it does not erupt to something bigger down the line. I also heard about the news of possible war as well, is that true?"

Mortimer is not entirely sure that 'well' is the word he would have used, but so as not to risk bogging the conversation down on a technicality he moves onto the topic of war. "That seems to spring from Lord Tully's summons, general feeling being why summoned the heads of all your banners for anything else? Course the news his emissary is in Stonebridge and has summarily kicked out the Nayland Steward and that there are men marching from Riverrun, doesn't help much. We've nothing solid, but once again there are rumours all over the place. The Ashwoods have all their smallfolk drilling, although thankfully they've had the sense to not try and conscript our craftsmen into their ranks. Lord Ozric has the garrison and all those of us who used to serve doing extra drills, and I suppose there a chance he might extend that to the rest of the smallfolk. There's also possible plans for a drill for the town, to help work out the best ways to get people to the keep quickly in case trouble does come. Avoid the panic and rush of the Ironborn." Although that wasn’t helped by the fact the warning bells were sabotaged of course. "Everyone's jittery but there's nothing solid yet I think is the best way to put it."

"Hopefully something solid finally comes through. Dealing with unknowns is never a good thing, people assume and bad things happen when you assume, especially when it comes to war." Kell had rode past Stonebridge and saw that the Naylands were no longer in control, he did not stay long enough to find out more, not wanting to cause trouble in case Terricks were not allowed to be there. "Staying prepared is always safe. War is never a good thing and I doubt Lord Patrek nor the Tullys would have one of their vassals attacked without reason."

"That's in part why everyone is edgy," Mortimer admits with a slow nod, "everything points to war, but no one can figure out a why. Course it might solve some of our problems if they give the town back to us to control, less tariffs and all, but I'm not convinced that that's the plan, not unless there's a whole lot more going on than we know." It'd also give another option for Anais of course, running Stonebridge, but he's not going to mention that as it's simply a fanciful thought. "Oh, we're also getting some form of warning bell in the town square, since we currently have nothing to alert of an attack from the land," he adds, "like we have along the coast."

Shaking his head, Kell doesn't seem to believe that Stonebridge is coming back to them, "I see no reason why they would, not for the Tullys to get involved." When there is the mention of a warning bell, the knight can't help but arch a brow, "Well, that is a pleasant surprise, will certainly work instead of having people raise their voices. Plus, the bell could be rung if there was an accident, like a fire."

Mortimer nods in agreement with Kell's assessment, it isn't likely at all. Would be nice though. Still, no point dwelling on such things and so he moves onto the topic of the bell again. "Aye, thats the basic plan. It'd be nice to have something along the road too, give a bit more warning, but bells are expensive and it's require a lot of men to run. Still, one in the square is better than none as I'm sure if any sizable force was coming then we'd have runnings going to us from the surrounding villages in advance."

"That would definitely be wishful thinking… as long as patrols are running, we should get enough early warning with a rider coming back." Then the bell would ring and it would have served its purpose. "It's too soon for another war though, the Roost is just recovering. Hopefully we receive word from the Mallisters soon, I'm sure they would know sooner than we would. Wouldn't be surprised if orders came from Lord Patrek himself."

"I don't think you'll find anyone itching for a fight," Mortimer confirms with a nod, "but theres a load itching to not be caught out if one comes, 'specially with Highfield drilling an' all." He nods at the comment about the Mallisters too, "Lady Saffron has gone back to Seagard to aid in the birth of her children, Lord Kamron remains, although I believe he's visiting the Groves at the moment which leaves us with Lady Nedra who is staying at the tower and Lord Martyn who is staying here at the Inn." He looks faintly unhappy at the mention of Martyn though and warns Kell, "I know you know him from the war, but Lord Martyn is a much changed man. He's taken to drink in a bad way and spends much of his time in drunken melancholy."

As more updates are given, Kell remains silent and listens, a small smile appearing when he hears that Saffron's pregnancy is going rather well, well enough that she had to return to Seagard. "I pray for her health and that of her babes." Then when the conversation drifts to Martyn, the Sworn Knight winces again, shaking his head, "I had hoped that he had recovered from what happened on the Iron Isles, but it sounds like it has only gotten worse. To be always deep in the cups…" Not very becoming of a lord or a knight.

Mortimer nods in agreement to the sentiments about Saffron and the upcoming little ones, "I think we all do Ser, and I can only hope Lord Kamron can cope well enough with the separation. We'll need his cool head in the weeks to come." There's an unspoken 'since we won't have Lord Martyn's' in there as he shakes his head slightly. "It does not appear that he has, and word is there's a Lady involved somewhere too, although given the swing he took at Lord Alric Fenster yesterday am not going to start trying to push him for a detailed explanation." Besides, it's none of his business really.

"That's a good idea, Deputy. Best to leave those nobles be, especially when they are in a mood. No reason to get involved." Kell would make a mental note to do the same, not wanting to get involved with any troubled nobles. He also wasn't surprised when Mortimer mentions that a lady may be involved, half the time there was trouble with nobles, a lady was involved.

"Aye, so long as they aren't intent on breaching the peace, at that point it's my job to get involved. Or Lord Justin's of course, if he's not on patrol somewhere." Mortimer's tone should leave Kell in no doubt that he'd be far happier for Justin to deal with such events given the choice, but sadly that is not always an option. "Or of course if they set to in the tower, then it's the Captain of the Guard's problem." Hmm, maybe he should find a way to move Martyn to the keep.

A smirk appears as Kell shakes his head, "Let's hope that Ser Martyn is able to maintain some decorum, and that he would not embarrass the Mallisters. There's already some issues involving the one that is betrothed, mainly due to the surprise of the announcement." They are vassals to the Mallisters, to have any discontent would be a step backwards to what is being attempted by the marriage.

"I’d say I’d drink to that," Mortimer replies with a faint grin, "but I’m not sure if it’d count as ironic or not." That and he doesn’t have a drink with him, which might be a bigger practical issue. Shifting position in his chair again to get comfy he looks thoughtfully at Kell a moment then asks, "So, what made you come back now then? Missing the sea air?"

Leaning back in his seat, Kell shakes his head, "I guess it was time, and I was able to throw some thoughts around in my mind. In the end, me heading off was selfish, duty is duty. My duty is still to this House, no matter what happens to those under the roof of the Four Eagles Keep. My being away was not helping matters… and also I heard word of some stirrings in the Riverland so I made my way back."

Mortimer nods as that answer is given, seeming to approve well enough. "Well it's good to have you back Ser, and I'm sure Lord Ozric will say as much as well. I should probably be getting back home though, unless there was anything else you wanted to ask? I'm not as young as I used to be and drill on top of a day's work is wearing me out."

"Nothing else, Deputy, do get some rest, Seven knows you've more than earned it. And thank you for updating me on what's been happening. This way when Lord Ozric summons me to speak with him, I have a better idea of what's been going on." Kell says with a nod of his head, rising to his feet from his seat, "I owe you a drink next time though."

Mortimer rises to his feet as well, it being a rather important part of the leaving process. Giving Kell a nod and a smile he replies, "I'm sure there'll be plenty of time for that Ser. Have a good evening, and pass on my regards to Lady Anais if you do see her would you?" That said he's stooping a moment to collect his cloak and is then off out the door and away.