|A Most Welcome Distraction|
|Summary:||A belated breakfast's tension is relieved by a song and an ensuing conversation with a minstrel - and the arrival of a dear relative.|
|Rockcliff Inn, Terrick's Roost|
|The Rockcliff Inn is one of the better inns within the town and it shows with the well-lit interior and the relative cleanliness to the other locations in Terrick's Roost. The tables are polished with oils and the floor regularly swept. A set of booths towards a darker rear of the Inn's bottom floor, just beneath the staircase, are where whores generally socialize and eye prospects from when not waiting tables. Signs over the undersized bar area advertise prices for ales and wines as well as several different choices of food to be served at the small eating area by the bar or in the main open area in its comfortable seating. A door behind the bar leads to the kitchen and cellar while another near the staircase leads to a private room that would appear to be off-limits to the 'wait staff' except for food and drink service.|
|17th September, 289|
The early afternoon sheds golden sunlight through the windows of the Rockcliff's Inn. The smell of crusty bread mixes with the scent of the oiled desks and the first poured ales. Since most of the city's inhabitants are still busy at this hour of the day, only a few desks are filled with people, small gatherings of merchants, who already sold their goods or even a few wealthy women, who chose to visit this place to share some news.
In a corner of the room, a well sunlit corner of course, the fingers of a handsome man wander lively over the strings of an old lute. Garion's hair is well ungroomed, his cerulean eyes seem to carry a constant smile, his mouth isn't able to keep, since so often it is busy with quicksilvery words or even tunes. And indeed, this time seems to be one of his busy moments, since a cheery melody caresses his honeyed voice as he sings a popular song of a brave warrior called 'Half Harrol'.
And with a blow as swift as light,
The rain got thick and red so bright,
The sword sank down from head to neck
From neck to spine to horse and back….
Sitting at one of the tables in the Rockcliff Inn is a young lady of House Frey, judging from the colours of her elegant yet practical dress and the colours the guard standing behind the chair she is seated on wears. Opposite of her at the table sits a woman in her early forties, clad in the significant white robe of a septa. Both women seem to be completely focussed on eating their meal, consisting of a loaf of bread, still warm from the oven, some cheese and a cup of ale.
No word is uttered, no smile exchanged. Just now Lyanna raises her gaze to meet that of her septa. Anyone close by will be surprised to see an irritated glare in the lady's deep blue eyes. She shakes her head and opens her mouth, just about to break the silence when that special verse is performed by the bard in the corner. The song and its most skillful delivery are enough to distract the young lady from whatever has caused her anger. Lyanna's face lightens up with an amused smile. And forgetting what she was about to say a moment ago she remarks to her septa: "How sweet melodies and beautiful voices can deceive you. That minstrel wants to make us forget the horrible things he is singing about, coating the bloodshed in sugar and honey."
Soon Garion's tunes dry up, answered by an amused applause of two older men, sitting with their cups of mead right next to the singer. His eyes skim the room, to get to the source of the few sentence, he has heard about his singing, the source of a female voice, which is usually a good sign. Meeting the eyes of a young lady, he seems to be pleased indeed.
"I'm sure if Harrol met one of you brave fellows, I'd rather sing another song, for he had been only a quarter of an Harrol or so.. ", he suggests with one of his bold smiles now on his lips. Dipping his head to the men, he wanders over to the lady's desk, where he mimics one of the bows, he has seen so often among the nobles.
"Oh, isn't this, what life is about, my fair lady? Making the best out of bloody streams and beauteous melodies out of the shattering swords? Swords shatter and men get hurt, that's what they do, but a certain song and the presence of a maiden like you are sometimes able to soothe our hearts. I'm not sure wether you liked this martial tune, but I hope to serve you with another one, if you wish, my lady. ".
The septa nods gravely to Lyanna's remark. "Aye, bloodshed is a reality we would not dare to face, would we, Lady Lyanna?" Her eyes narrow slightly as the bard finishes his song and approaches their table. "The minstrel…How dare he…" she whispers, giving the musician a displeased frown, as her eyes dart from Garion to Lyanna and back to Garion again.
Lyanna, however, seems to be pleased by the most welcome distraction. "Oh, I do not mind you singing about gore and bloodshed and such, young minstrel." she replies with a smile. "And how could I, if it is so skillfully presented?"
As the maiden speaks so gently, Garion can't surpress a small chuckle. "Oh, my, beauteous lady, I see your words adorn you as well as your lovely figure, for you are flattering me, when it should rather be the other way around." Bowing yet another time, though certainly not half as trained as a knight would be able to, he introduces himself. "My name is Garion of Fairmarket, often called Garion Goldenbreath and it is an honour to meet you…" now he stops for an instance to share another of his bold smiles with the septa " and your peaceable, pious company. And what might your precious name be? If I might ask in all my humbleness, of course."
-A humbleness shown by one of his hands stroking through his hair and his chin held high up, it is, Garion is speaking of.
Garion's flattery does not go unnoticed. Lyanna's cheeks assume a rosy colour as she starts to introduce herself. "I am pleased to make your acquaintance, Garion of Fairmarket. I am Lyanna of House Frey. One of Lord Walder's many granddaughters. And this is my Septa, Mariah."
Septa Mariah gives a rather doubtful "Ha!" at Garion's praise of his own humbleness. Her eyes seem to pierce through the bard's oily facade - at least they try. "Humbleness… Sincere humbleness is what you are lacking, lad. I would advise you to go visit the Sept instead of charming young ladies of repute!" And she gives Garion a cold stare.
Heavy foot slow but steady footsteps are what bring Firth into the room as she walks with a cane. She does not have to weave her way through the crowd it just seems to part around her. Respectfully she offers a nod and a smile to those that do seem to move for her. She pauses in the center of the room before her green eyes fall on her niece. She looks amused as she catches sight of the look on the Septa's face. She shakes her head and moves toward her niece and the tall man who is talking to her. "If all were as devout as you there would be no need, beside his rakish comment to cause you to say that Septa must have been good." She does not have a guard with her or a handmaiden but by her presence and the way she addresses the septa in good humor. She might be more than she appears. "Child your septa's hair is going to turn white." She teases both Lyanna and Septa. "You good Master what be your name and what did you say that the good gentle Septa such a look and have her declare you rakish."
"Lady Lyanna of House Frey.", Garion says, tasting the sound of the word on his tongue, before turning with a mischievous wink to the septa again. "The sept… indeed, sometimes one enjoys the peace of prayers and the septon's recitals, but, as I've been wandering around a lot, I have the luck to be blessed with a certain knowledge. The Seven show their wisdom in several ways, the Warrior is present, whenever a knight defends the honour of a defenceless woman, whenever one of these women soothes her crying child, the Mother smiles upon us and -ah- whenever this child grows up to be a maiden as fair as Lady Lyanna, you can't deny the Maiden herself is blessing us with a gentle touch of spring. ", he suggests carrying the wink over to the noble lady, he is speaking of.
As he catches the sight of the new arrival, he mimics yet another bow. "And another time we are blessed, as it seems, for another fair lady joins our… humble" he says this word with a bold emphasis "company. Garion of Fairmarket is my name, m'lady." He hesitates, as he recognizes, he has used the more bourgeois pronounciation "Mylady. It is an honour again." He corrects himself. "And this gentle-hearted septa simply seems to have taken another way of praying."
The septa seems to relax as she becomes aware of Firth's presence. The hard look on her face from a moment before is softened by - a smile to the older Frey lady, as both she and Lyanna rise to greet her with a curtsey.
Lyanna seems to be pleased to see her aunt as well. "Aunt Firth. What a pleasure to see you again." she greets. "My septa was a bit worried that I would be overwhelmed by this young man's flattery… For as capable as he is in performing beautiful songs he seems quite skillful with words as well."
Garion's reply however seems to please both Lyanna and her septa, and the reference to the Maiden earns him a little wink in return - from the maiden in question of course, her face turned slightly to the side that her septa will not see it.
Warm laughter is what Firth offers Garion. "It is a pleasure to see you again, and your name? Forgive me but in my old age I seem to be bad with names. Or perhaps it was never given." Her smile turns a bit charming and playful like she is enjoying the play of words.
Her Niece is offered a warm smile as she offers her a bow of her head in return. "May I join you? Now as for silver tongued young men I would have to say that this young man has golden one instead. His will not be tarnished I think. How are you doing Septa and my dear Niece."
"Good Master from what I have heard I like your wit, gold tongued. I think that should be your new name good Master." She says to him as she looks towards him.
"And another time a lady is flattering me -you can't deny, good Septa, today I'm indeed blessed by the Maiden herself." Garion says. "Goldentongue? Ah, as it seems people aren't that wrong, when they call me 'Garion Goldenbreath' , for my breath is indeed stroking this tongue of mine, before spreading my words. And you, mylady, I'm sure the sound of your name is as pleasant as you are." He asks. Between all his smiles and winks -especially the one, he returns again as Lyanna granted him one of hers- he begins to look every now and then at the cups and maybe even the food on the desk, the ladies are sitting at. A look that indicates a certain hunger, that can't be soothed with words and flattery.
As Firth takes a seat by the table Lyanna and her septa resume theirs. There is a pleasant chuckle on the young lady's part before she gives the answer to her aunt's inquiry. "Oh, we are well enough…" There is a quick glance in the direction of the Septa, before Lyanna continues: "Especially now that we are blessed with such company for our belated breakfast".
Lyanna leans back in her seat and listens to Garion's artfully formed sentences, obviously enjoying their structure and exquisite phrasing. The young minstrel's glance on their plates does not escape her notice however, and with a light shrug she offers him a seat at the table. "Will you not join us for a little while, good Garion? You have been on the road recently? What news have you for us?"
Firth had not yet taken a seat. When she does she goes to hang her cane on the edge of the table. She smiles. "As my niece said come and join us. Break your fast with us this morning," She smiles. "Goldbreath it is."
"Lyanna you are sweet and kind but I should go and see about my guard and horse." She moves to pick up her cane again. "It is a pleasure to see you both again." She tells them with a smile.
"Farewell, then.", the minstrel says to the leaving lady, offering her a last smile. "Of course, if today is my last day, I will even die with a smile, after such a sweet offer, my dear lady." Garion answers Lyanna as he sits down between the two ladies. " But for all I know, it won't be, no worries. News…", he says with a sigh "I accompanied two women out of the city, before swords were about to shatter -a knightly feature I tried to live up too, the travel seemed to be a peaceful one untill bandits tried to rob us. I had nothing but my very lute in my hands, when one of them faced me with ferocious eyes, eyes filled with the flames of greed and anger. I must admit, I was a bit scared, since I'm quite experienced with singing about battles, but finding myself right in the middle of one…" he continues. "Not knowing what else to do, I began to play a cheery little tune and hummed a song, my dear mother taught me, when I was young. I wished they would dance away, like they would have in the tales I know, tales of lucky men- but though they didn't dance, I was lucky, for they laughed so hard, the women were able to escape unharmed and since I don't own much to rob, they let me go as well.", he tells her. "And surely you have to offer a few news as well? Tell me about the lovely wall of the castle, where you walk in your grace every day."
Lyanna's deep blue eyes follow her aunt on her way out. Then they are back on the minstrel. "My aunt forgot to introduce herself to you. She is Lady Firth of House Frey." she says with an apologetic smile. With another shrug she hands Garion her plate. "Please help yourself. I am not hungry anyway."
Lyanna listens to Garion's tale, her eyes wide with wonder. "You were almost robbed? And which city is it you mentioned leaving? I… wonder, did you come about others of my House on your travels? A lady, older than aunt Firth, a… demanding presence, I'd say." There is a slight urgency to her voice as Lyanna hands him her cup of ale as well, awaiting the minstrel's reply. The septa's mouth is almost a thin line now, the frown on her face obvious. She remains silent however, although her silence is that of clear disapproval.
Although he is apparently very pleased about the next offer, he eats slowly and shakes his head, before answering. "No, mylady, I fear I haven't met another member of your family. I came from Stonebridge and the streets were save enough, for laughing bandit's aren't the most evil sort of things to stumble upon, so I guess her guards could have taken them down easily, in case she was somewhere around on her journey."
But only a few heartbeats of chewing, and the conversation gets interrupted by a young boy, rushing into the Inn. "Master Garion, your horse…"
"My horse?" , he asks surprised, then concerned, "Well, I have to look after that. My apologies.", he says, dipping his head as he leaves. "And my deepest thanks. I will let you know, whenever a Frey will cross my path, though I hope it will be your precious presence itself, soon enough. Farewell, comely one." He wishes, before he departs not without a piece of ham of the plate, of course.