Page 420: A Moment Unmasked
A Moment Unmasked
Summary: 'Dramdel the Dreadhame' is seen through by the last person he would have guessed…
Date: 14/09/2012
Related Logs: Swimming in a Pack Captain Bastard and the Mystery Merc
Hoekenn Maldred 
Stonebridge, Town Square
Some buildings recently burnt down
14th September, 289

It would seem that the town of Stonebridge is getting ready for an attack at any moment. Even Hoekenn seem to have been readying himself. Mail armor and a sword carried around with him. His knife still at his side as well. Walking around a bit hurried perhaps. The rather grown teenager making his way around the area until he finally stops in the square. Looking around a bit and sighing.

That sigh catches a sneering look from a passing sellsword who has overheard it; not quite as tall as the strapping squire, but fearsome looking none the less, sinewy, loping along in the partial maile associated with the reavers of the Ironmen, and heavily bearded in a russet hue. But when the mercenary notices exactly which squire he is mocking, he draws back slightly as if in minor shock, and passes on with a quick stride, towards the ruins of the houses recently razed in the suspicious fire, whose smoke yet clusters in the air and stings the nostrils.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Hoekenn=alertness Vs Maldred=disguise
< Hoekenn: Good Success Maldred: Failure
< Net Result: Hoekenn wins - Solid Victory

The sellsword is spotted soon enough but not recognized right away. Keeping his eyes on the man for a moment until he notices that the man starts in another direction. Though the walk and that look right before he had turned away. Those were quite enough to give him an idea of who it might be. Even if he would br wrong he trusts his instinct enough. Moving towards the man. Even if he has no idea about why he is dressed up, he is guessing that it is for a reason. Moving over to the man and trying to move and stand before him. If possible. "Ser… Mal-.. Mill? Ah. Maldred." Keeping his voice low though. Not quite sure why he is hiding.

The boy's long legs, and surprisingly keen intuition, have brought him quickly both alongside the physical position of 'Dramdel the Dreadhame', the new Nayland sworn sword, …and to the real identity of a man he has seen quite a few times and once, even, swimming unclothed, the Frey bastard, Ser Maldred Rivers.

Whirling about to face this unlooked for hindrance of a situation, his rivery greenish eyes flashing in unusual ire, Maldred as yet speaks no word, but draws closer in turn…before motioning into the ruins of a burnt out cottage. When he marches smartly into its acrid interior, it is obvious that squire Stenhammar is supposed to follow him into this relative privacy.

Perhaps all of their previous meetings, especially those less clothed ones, all gave the information of detail that Hoekenn needs to recognize he man. Watching as he moves along and then following the man. Looking around a bit. Perhaps slightly wary. He doesn't speak. At least not yet.

Once 'sellsword' and squire are safely bestowed in the noissome shelter of the ruin, their view of each other shrouded by coils of dying black smoke, 'Dramdel' not only speaks, but acts, clapping his hands on Hoekenn's shoulders, his touch light enough but still fierce in its swiftness, and so quite menacing.

"Well, this is a jape," he hisses. "What am I to do with you now? I know the quickest and surest way to purchase silence…but that would be one fewer swords to defend Stonebridge. Perhaps two fewer, even, were you as fortunate as you have been thus far. The gods surely smile on simpletons."

His voice is quiet, but angry, angered as Hoekenn has never perhaps quite heard it, and he easily assumes that whatever the result of the potential confrontation he refers to, it would end the boy's days. For now, he goes on in a more muted, if still harrassed and bitter tone.

"Purely so that you may kill Charltons, you shall live this time, boy, as long as you are silent. You must understand, instead. House Frey has not yet taken sides in this war; but I have, and so I must go abroad in secrecy. I am not Maldred, I am Dramdel. Dramdel the Dreadhame." The bastard releases the lad as he self-mockingly traces a finger about the dirty leather mask he wears. "Remember that, for both our sakes."

If the man would indeed come out victorious is hard to say, but Hoekenn won't argue the words. If he even heard them. Just tilting his head a bit. "Why are you disguised? I think two reasons. To hurt Stonebridge. Or to hide from. Those you are supposed to serve." Confirming the other man's words. "Dramdel. How can I trust you?" He asks. Choosing to respect the man's wish. Then there is a nod though. "Perhaps we should spar." Perhaps his arrogant acting did cause the boy to react. Or he just trusts in Maldred's abilities enough that he wish to improve his own.

"So hungry for a bout of play-fighting? You'll get one soon enough, but in earnest," is his acquaintance's answer. Maldred sounds weary, even disgusted, and he takes a pace back, he does what he has not in days, and throws back first his coif of mail, then the grubbily dark leather mask; revealing his yellowish hair, now pallid and greased with long pressure and sweat.

"Fool of a boy," the Frey by-blow growls, "if I meant to hurt your town, I'd be out there with its besiegers. I am no creeping spy, but a sworn knight. Only the necessity of hiding my acts from my…" he almost sneers viciously again, "…lord father obliges me to prolong this…masque. Your paltry garrison shall have my sword for sure, and my own benefit is uncertain. Do you not see…?"

Again this is close to a snarl, and Maldred turns aside, pauses, and gulps before he presses on in a low voice. "I remember our follies, you, me, the other squire and the Taken girl. I am…attached…to this dump of a place, and perhaps I shall yet die for that lurking affection…"

Hoekenn shrugs, about play fight. He isn't quite the one who wants an actual battle. But that way he could be prepared. He then listens and nods. Taking the man's word for it. "If you harm anyone." That he cares for. But he won't say that. "Then I will make you pay." Seeing as he has yet to take a life, and don't like killing, it makes quite a threat. At least if one knows his abilities. Then he nods and offers his hand. "Hi Dramdel. I'm Ken."

Another feature of the nearly-Frey Hoekenn will recall is his laugh, light and harsh at the same time, soft but sardonic. "Aye, lad. We'll both keep our harming for the hollyhocks, then." Already his voice is undergoing a metamorphosis, its accent streaming north-eastwards by the syllable; now, his mask and coif replaced firmly, he extends his long right arm - not his sword-arm - to glasp young Stenhammar's own beefy grip. "Dramdel called Dreadhame, aye. And lookin' for'ard to bleedin' beside ye, squire, oh, and makin' the sons of the mistletoe spill their guts, that too. Now let's scram this wreck ere we reek o' smoking stink."

He swivels in his characteristically sinuous manner, and leads the way out.

Hoekenn nods. Gripping the arm and then heading out along with him. Though perhaps some of the grim talk are a bit disgusting to him, but he tries not to show any of it. "Dreadhame…" He mutters to himself, as if trying to remember that. Just following along the man like a good soldier. Even though if anyone were to be looking when they exit the ruins it might seem slightly suspicious. Luckily everyone around seem quite busy.

Before he has fully reassumed his old swaggering sellsword guise of indifference to the boy, Maldred murmurs rapidly out of the corner of his mouth, "Good luck to you, …Ken. I hope the other lad, the Asterholm sprig, got out when they recalled Ser Riordan to the Mire, d'ye know? It would give me more peace of mind, to concentrate on laying low the enemy…"

Hoekenn listens and nods, "You too." As for Hugh, he shakes his head. "I don't know. I haven't seem him. Though, I don't know." He offers wondering how his fellow squire will fare. "You've meet, mistress Taken? I still owe her thanks." He explains. "So I can't fall yet." Smiling at that. Though giving a look that says that if he would fall he would want Maldred to send forward that thanks. "She gave me salves and bandages." He explains to clearify.

After that brisk but quite risky softening, Maldred has snapped right back into the 'Dramdel' guise now, and begins to turn curtly aside, answering in a voice of contempt. "Travellin' tinker folk…them corbies'll flutter before any carrion field, don't waste thy thoughts on 'em." But a glint of a lupine smile behind that beard indicates he did take the deeper message on board…before he barges some levy fighters out of his way, and lopes off to mingle with some other unsavoury looking mercenary heavies, without further word of departure.