|A Man of Letters|
|Summary:||Mortimer and Nathaniel meet the morning after Lucienne is returned to the Roost. Some information is exchanged and a request made.|
|Related Logs:||None specific. Happenings at the Roost in general|
|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, tournements, 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.|
|Fri Oct 05, 289|
Having spent two nights away on Justin's search for Jascen, Mortimer is now back in the Roost itself. Word on how that went has probably spread all through the Roost now but for now he isn't so much his issue any more. No, that fun belongs to Justin and the others within the tower. He himself had been able to go home, spend the night with his wife and is now out and about the town once more. He has no destination in particular, more just keeping his eyes and ears open as he walks the streets, making sure it hasn’t all gone to the seven hells since he's been away.
The past 24 hours have been frenetic since Justin's return to the roost, and Nathaniel has made several trips between the tower and town on various errands relating to the various matters that fall under the sheriff's purview. On this occasion, he is riding toward the town on his mare at a leisurely pace, paying equal attention to the landscape around him and the road ahead while they travel. He leans back in the saddle, signaling that the horse should slow, when he sees the deputy ahead. When he is close enough to avoid attracting undue attention, he calls, "Good day, master!"
"Good day Master Nathaniel," Mortimer replies, adding a nod to the greeting as he does so. It being apparent the man is coming from the keep he asks, "How goes it beyond the portcullis?" So far as he is concerned it's now a matter for the Terricks themselves and he has no intention of taking further part unless summoned to do so, but getting an indication on which way the wind is blowing is one of those things that never hurts.
Nathaniel brings his mare to a stop near the deputy. "Lady Anais and Ser Justin both have their hands full, now more than ever," he answers. "The presence of relatives who are nearly strangers does not help that situation, either. I hear rumors, but …" He shrugs. "I prefer to wait until someone speaks with authority before I know what the truth is. I am sure of this much. A darkness has fallen over the tower."
From what he saw, both at Middle March itself and on the ride back, Mortimer is not surprised by that and replies to the news with a grim nod. "I don't envy any of them," he states after a quick glance up the hill, "and with the Young Lord not yet found I reckon it'll be a while yet before they have any peace." Another grim thought. One missing Terrick found, the other not. "I don't suppose you know if Ser Kell has returned yet do you? He took a few men to continue the hunt."
"He might have returned but I have not seen him, master," Nathaniel answers simply. "I should have gone as well, but when I returned to the tower from delivering a message for one of the nobles, Ser Justin and the party had left. i do not flatter myself as a invaluable, but each pair of eyes would be one more to spot a telling sign."
No new news from outside the keep then. Oh well. "Extra eyes and hands for the search at Middle March would not have gone amiss that is certain," Mortimer agrees, "I am wondering if Lord Justin will be wanting to send a group back there or not, either to take it apart until all it's secrets are revealed, or simply to act as guards and caretakers until it is decided what to do with the place." That of course, is all tied up in what happens to Lucienne though, and that really is not in his jurisdiction. Changing topic slightly he asks, "has all been well while we were away?"
Nathaniel chuckles and answers, "Well, but busy. The town has been quiet, but visiting nobles have now taken most of the rooms in the inn. That always means more visits there for messages. I also need to check on Miss Caul again."
Mortimer nods at the mention of Freya, but says nothing about it, preferring to concentrate on the nobles instead. "I take it you're not meaning Lord Jerold's brother and his family? Who else are we playing host to?" WIth instructions now to keep an eye on one of the Fenisters should they be around, he then glances briefly towards the Inn as he waits for the courier's answer.
"You already must know that Lord Alric Fenster has returned," Nathaniel guesses. "Lady Nedra Mallister is here as well, as are Ladies Anathema and Rebecda Nayland, but I believe that the latter two are more often at the tower than in the inn."
Mortimer hadn't actually heard of Alric's return, but since he isn't the Fenster he is to watch for he just nods at that. Although he does file it away as a potential indication that Ser Trajan may be on his way as well. As for the ladies, Rebecca he had been aware of but the others are news to him and his expression reflects that. "Thank you," he says, turning back to the other man, "I'll do what I can to make sure there's no trouble of a night there." Not that he's expecting any mind, but it never hurts to make a showing if a good impression is needing to be made.
Nathaniel bows respectfully, even though he is still on horseback. "I'm glad to help," he answers. "I'm sure that with recent events, all of us will be busier than usual. We will need to be more vigilant as well."
"Aye," Mortimer agrees, "especially with Lod Jascen still unaccounted for. Lord Bolland's arrival should help somewhat, but these are difficult times still." With all he can think about on a business front clarified as much as Nathaniel seems able, he shifts to another topic. "There was something I was going to ask you, if you're inclined to listen," he starts, then asks "I take it, in your line of work, that you're a man of letters?"
"People usually like to talk, master. I usually am inclined to listen, because it usually brings knowledge, about the person at least, if not his topic," Nathaniel answers with a smile and a bob of his head. "As for the rest, I would be a poor courier if I could not write for those who lack either the skill or inclination to do so for themselves." At last, he dismounts, suspecting that the deputy has some matter that might require a longer discussion. He loosens the bridle slightly and removes the bit from the mare's mouth so that she can nibble while they talk. "You would not ask if you had no need, master. How might I help?"
Possibly not too long a discussion, but Mortimer isn't about to complain about now longer having to crick his neck, however little. "Not so much my need as my lad's," he starts. "He's getting to an age now where he should be starting to learn things and I make no secret of the fact that I don't want him to follow me into soldiery. Best chance at that I reckon is a trade, or the church if he's ends up so inclined, but either way knowing his letters is going to help him." Adjusting his stance a little to shift his weight from one leg to the other he continues, "I was going to ask the Maester, but what with him being sent away and no new one arrived yet I've had to look elsewhere."
When Mortimer clarifies that the need is his son, Nathaniel smiles, practically guessing where this might lead. When the man confirms his suspicion, and mentions the maester, the courier inclines his head, but also assures, "If you wish for him to learn, I would be glad to help. I am no maester, but I can read, write, and cipher. Even for soldiers, those are good skills to have. How old is your boy? If you wish, I can teach him to ride as well if he does not know already."
"He's six," Mortimer answers, dealing with the question directly, "born during King Robert's war." At least that makes it easy to remember how old he is. "That is what I'm wanting aye," he confirms readily enough, "I've started him off, but I had to learn what I could by myself only a few years back so I'd rather him not have to rely on only what I can pass on." The offer of riding lessons gets a smile but a gentle shake of the head. "The keep stables know me well enough that they don't mind me borrowing an extra mount from time to time. He's getting the hang of it, slowly. Still more interested in running around in the mud." As is only natural for young lads really.
Nathaniel grins, especially when he hears about the lad wanting to play in the mud rather than ride. "I'll be glad to teach the lad, master," he agrees. "Six is a good age. It's when I learned. When would you like me to start?"
"Whenever you have the time," Mortimer replies, smiling back. In fact, since the topic changed he's been looking a little more carefree, but that’s what kids'll do as opposed to work. "I should be getting on I'm afraid, but I'll find you later and we can make arrangements if that'd suit you? When you'd be wanting him, and what you want in return and such."
Nathaniel inclines his head and shoulders once more and explains, "I usually make four regular runs between tower and inn, at first light, noon, last light, and one just before the nobles retire. We can meet at any time between now and tomorrow, I think." Then he lifts the mare's head and refits the bit in preparation to ride to the town again.