|A Nayland, A Haigh and A Terrick Walk Into a Bar…|
|Summary:||Katrin, Justin and Rafferdy discuss the matter of the duel while getting to know one another.|
|Crane's Crossing Inn|
|While Crane's Crossing is technically an Inn, it caters to the traveling nobility almost exclusively. The floors around the hearth are finely crafted stonework, as are the slate blocks that the firepit is constructed of. The rest of the floor is done in stained oak that matches the few long tables and the chairs. The rest of the main room is furnished with plush couches and seating to entice visitors to delay their leave. A full service kitchen provides food of all kinds as well as high quality ales and wines. Also available are several women to provide hospitality to the lonely or those in need, the quality of them to be beaten by but a few in the Riverlands. A hallway near the kitchen leads off to the rear of the building and several up-scale rooms.|
|Mon 30th April, 289|
The russle of silk, the rich brown fabric accented with gold, turns his head - or perhaps her voice does. Justin looks to Katrin as she takes her seat, his pale eyes at once glancing past her to see where her Septa or handmaiden are .. and they are not apparently in evidence. This causes him to raise a dark brow, though there are plenty of other women presant in the inn. The young Terrick Lord dressed mostly in black but matched with indigo purple accented with golden threads for his house, studies Katrin before the server returns with his ale. Justin accepts it and thanks the server before his baritone asks low, "Are you all right, Lady?"
Katrin's green eyes look up toward Justin and after considering the question for a few moments, she inclines her head. "Yes, of course, my Lord," she replies quietly. "It is just…" She stops and shakes her head. "No, it does not matter."
Justin will leave it to her whether she wishes to speak or keep her silence upon whatever troubles her. He lifts his tankard to taste of his own drink, taking a goodly pull from it after all the blood so direly spilled. And for now, yet again, hopes of his House to regain Stonebridge through a loyal vassel. Dissapointing if not surprising. He frowns, looking off at nothing in particular while the server returns with Katrin's wine.
"I have never seen blood spilt," Katrin says, looking toward Justin. She picks up her wine glass, intaking far more at once than what should be considered appropriate for a lady. "Never seen a man die. Ser Gedeon did not deserve such a fate. No man does."
Justin huffs a breath softly, "All men and women die, Lady. To die for something one believes in is better than many can claim. He made his choice and will be remembered by it." He speaks low in volume, then takes another taste of his ale. Perhaps despite the ill turn, Justin might not think it so bad a fate compared to many.
Rafferdy enters the tavern, still dressed like a commoner. He wears brown leather pants and a matching leather doublet, left sleeveless, allowing his large arms to be free. He walks to the bar, orders an ale, and looks around the room with a sigh.
"Perhaps they die, but… there is a great deal I do not understand about this other world that you men live in," Katrin says, waving a hand around vaguely. "Ser Gedeon was willing to die for his cause, and Ser Rygar was willing to kill for his. Perhaps we all must die one day, but how can we find solace in seeing them die far too young?" She toys with the step of her glass, frowning darkly. "I had spent time speaking with him in this past week. I found myself curious over his motivations. He would have been a good leader. He seemed the type of man worthy of respect."
Justin says, "His enemies take solace in it, Lady Katrin, not I." Justin fingers his cup, gaze flicking over to studying Rafferdy as that man comes in and takes up a position at the bar to order a drink. Then back to Katrin, the third born Terrick son frowns, "Naturally I hoped Ser Gedeon would succeed, though it would not have been easy for him. The odds, and perhaps the Gods themselves, were not in his favour." And not apparently kind to Justin's House this past year either."
Rafferdy takes his ale, and he begins to move towards a table to sit. He ends up at the table next over from Katrin and Justin. He sits, and takes a long drink of his ale, glancing their way, his eyes falling on Katrin for a moment longer than they probably should, eliciting a little, soft, maybe flirtatious grin, before he finishes his drink.
"The worthy causes are never easy, my Lord Terrick," Katrin replies quietly. A faint smile flickers across her lips. "The others of my House would have me rejoice with them that Ser Gedeon is dead. But I find that I cannot. My brother warned me to silence my words for even daring to name him as Tordane or risk his anger. No matter which side walked away the victor, how do people have it within them to be pleased over such a death? Such an awful, gruesome, terrible death?" Her words halt as Rafferdy looks her over and her eyes just drop down to the table in front of her, color marking her cheeks.
Justin frowns, looking at his cup, "It pleases them because it serves their purpose. If I faced an Ironborn who meant to sack my home and carry away our women, slaughtering our children, it would please me to hew him down and keep him from it. The Naylands defend what they think is thier's by right of marriage, and perhaps it is, now. Just as it would have pleased us if Ser Rygar had been slayn, to regain a most valuable vassal we had lost." As of the moment ignoring the other man who makes Katrin blush, Justin asks, "If someone threatened your family you would likely be pleased, or at least relieved, if they be destoyed. If they are not, they may yet come against you again, destroying you and yours." Seeing Katrin's lowered eyes and colored cheeks, Justin's attention then goes to Rafferdy. He might frown.
Rafferdy listens quietly to Justin as he speaks, keeping his eyes away so it's not obvious he's listening. After another minute, he looks at Katrin again. He offers a rather charming smile, and he greets, "Hello, my Lady." He looks at Justin, and nods at him as well, "My Lord."
"You are right, of course," Katrin says, nodding to Justin. "It is just hard to understand or believe it for myself at the moment after having seen what I did. Do people ever grow used to the sight? Or is it hard each and every time?" Bringing her gaze up, she first looks across to Justin and then turns to study Rafferdy, tilting her head slightly to the side. "Good evening," she says politely.
The Terrick Lord studies Rafferdy, trying to place where he's seen that man before. Ah, at another inn, with Jarod and Rowena, and thus remembering Justin also remembers some of the words exchanged between that trio that day. He inclines his head politely to the oddly dressed man who claimed to be Rowena's brother. "I remember you, who claimed to be brother to the Lady Rowena Nayland. But I do not recall you being named?" For the present, Justin doesn't answer Katrin, his attention now focused on this possible Nayland lordling.
Rafferdy was dressed like a noble that day, so it's no wonder he's not immediately recognized. He chuckles, "Claimed?" He smiles, amused, "Lord Terrick, I assure you, I am." He continues to smile, and he bows to Katrin, "My Lady, I am Lord Rafferdy Nayland. It is my pleasure to make your acquaintance."
"My Lord," Katrin amends with a polite smile. "I am Lady Katrin Haigh," she introduces. She looks across to Justin, seemingly more baffled all around. "Have you met Lord Justin Terrick?" she asks, gesturing to the other man.
Justin leans back in his chair and tastes his ale, finishing it off. When he can spot the serving girl, he lifts his left hand to draw her attention to refill his tankard. It only takes her a moment to skip over with a pitcher and top it back up, "Thank you," he tells her. To Katrin, Justin drawls, "We have met, though we were not introduced, Lady."
Rafferdy nods, agreeing with Justin's explanation of their previous encounter. "I assume you were both in town for the debacle on the bridge today." He shakes his head, and takes a drink of his ale. "Ridiculous," he observes.
"I live in Stonebridge," Katrin replies politely. "I was sent here by my father a few months prior." As to the debacle on the bridge, she has no words for it and instead just takes her time in having another sip from her wine glass.
All right, Justin will bite. "Why do /you/ think today's event was ridiculous, Lord Rafferdy?" Whatever he thinks of today's event he keeps to himself.
Rafferdy nods to Katrin's response, and then looks at Justin. "Because lives should matter more than land." He shrugs, "We could all argue till we're blue in the face over who's right, who SHOULD have Stonebridge, but…" He lifts his mug, "At the end of the day, the King made a decision, agree or not. This was a waste. It won't solve anything. Just…" He sighs, and rolls his eyes, "…drags all of this on even longer. It didn't end on that bridge." He takes a long drink of the ale.
"Until House Tordane is completely extinct, it will never completely end," Katrin replies quietly, shaking her head. "It seems strange to hear a Nayland speak with regret for the loss of Ser Gedeon," she muses. "As his death makes the Nayland claim to Stonebridge all the stronger."
Justin is quiet, savouring his ale which is far better here than he can get at back home, currently. He listens to them both before he says, "People without land to feed and house them will very likely not survive, or must be absorbed by others. Therefor many believe that it is worth dying for. Each man or woman has to judge for themselves." He looks into the bottom of his tankard. Justin does not repeat that Gedeon made his own choice, for right or wrong whatever others judge.
Rafferdy shakes his head, "Whether I believe he had rights to Stonebridge, or I think my family should have it are separate feelings to the fact that he was younger than I am, and is dead. Over land." He looks at Justin, "Having land and ruling land are two different things, my Lord."
A soft chuckle actually escapes Katrin's lips as she regards Rafferdy. "You are most likely the only Nayland who will feel that way, My Lord," she murmurs softly. "And I would advice you not speak such words aloud and in the earshot of your family."
Justin simply looks at Rafferdy over his ale, "Is there anything you'd die for? Is dying for something you believe in any more tragic than a perfectly formed, vigorous child dying of illness? The child didn't get to make the choice and died for nothing?" He hasn't really expressed any opinions of his own persay, so much as posed questions or stated possibilities. Maybe Justin's feeling philosophical, being unable to change what happened today or anything else here since he's been gone. Justin finishes off his second ale and setting the cup down, he moves to stand. Looking to Katrin, he inclines himself into a half bow to her, "I must ride, Lady, and bid you farewell."
Rafferdy laughs with Katrin, "I'm not the only one. And I'm pretty sure they know how I feel." He looks at Justin, and he shrugs, "I'm not judging him, Lord Justin. If Ser Gedeon made the choice and felt it was just, that's his business with himself and his gods. It doesn't change that I think it's unfortunate one younger than I is dead." He stands as Justin stands, "Be well, my Lord."
Katrin rises as well, dipping down politely in a bow to Justin. "It was unfortunate that our meeting against would have to come under the shadow of such an unpleasant afternoon," she says gently. "May our next meeting be one of greater joy. Gods watch over your journey home."
Justin says, "I can respect and agree with that, Lord Rafferdy." Justin leaves his now empty tankard on the table. He smiles a little at Katrin, "I thank you and hope so, Lady Katrin. Keep well." He turns and heads on up stairs to the room he had rented to collect his things and put on his armour. There's escort to ride back and bandits upon the road to home."
Rafferdy watches Justin go, and once he's gone, he waits for Katrin to sit once more. When she does, he sits as well, only, he sits at her table. "You live here." He tilts his head, a little smirk of interest on his lips. "Why would your father send you here?"
Katrin sinks back down into her seat, her brows lifting very slightly as Rafferdy sits at her table. "My brother lives in Stonebridge, managing the trading of goods on behalf of our father," she replies. "My sister and I were sent to Stonebridge in an effort to both learn more and to be exposed to society."
"Ah," Rafferdy responds, still grinning. "Were you to leave if we lost the city?"
"That would have been the decision of my Lord Father and brother," Katrin replies. "The decision would not have been mine to make. Though my father is always eager to ingratiate himself to those with influence. Had Ser Gedeon survived and won the right to Stonebridge, my father would not wish to close the door to any possibilities."
Rafferdy nods once more, "Well, then I suppose I'm glad it's still ours." He smiles, a flirtatious little grin that flashes her way, "I'd have hated to miss the opportunity to have made the acquaintance of one as beautiful as yourself, if you don't mind that I speak so, My Lady."
"Is it all Naylands that are so bold with their words, or just the few that I have met?" Katrin queries, studying Rafferdy for a moment. She shakes her head and then provides a light smile that brightens her eyes. "So what is your story then, My Lord?" she asks. "What has brought you to Stonebridge? Do you also call it home?"
Rafferdy laughs a bit, "Depends. Some of the Naylands are so bold because they're two stupid to know better. Some because they're powerful enough that their words make anything so." He shrugs, "I suppose some of us are just confident in our beliefs." He takes a drink from his mug, "My story…" He stares at the fluid in the mug a moment, and then looks back at her, "I don't really have a home. But, I've been mostly in Stonebridge a few months, so, I suppose, for now, maybe it is?" He smiles, "I came here to deliver something, and it just kind of stuck." He sighs.
A server comes by to refill Katrin's wineglass and the Lady Haigh nods slowly. "A transient Nayland," she muses. "How intriguing. What are your plans for the future then, if you have no particular home or destination in mind? If you do not mind my asking. I always find it fascinating to learn of the hopes and desires of those surrounding me."
Rafferdy chuckles, "It's not so intriguing, My Lady." With a little shrug and that dimpled smile, he shakes his head, "The future. Ugh." He leans back in his chair, and he sighs, "I don't know. I'm…" He furrows his brow, deciding, then offers, "Father just told me he's going to betroth me." He lifts his brow then, "So, yeah. Wow. Right?" He shakes his head, and then takes a rather extended drink of the mug.
Genuine amusement fills Katrin's gaze as she regards Rafferdy. "Welcome to the life I lead," she says gently. "I spend my days learning and meeting all kinds of people who come here to Stonebridge, yet at the end of it all, I know a marriage awaits me. Possibly to a man I have absolutely no interest in, or worse, a man I have never even met. But that is the life and duty of a noble lady."
Rafferdy looks at her, a bit of disappointment washing over his face. "You're betrothed." He sighs, "Ugh."
Katrin tilts her head to the side, "I once was," she says. "But my betrothed died over a year ago. I spoke merely in hypotheticals. I know that one day my father will choose a man and that will be that."
Rafferdy's smile returns a bit, "Oh." And the he pushes it away, "I mean… I'm sorry. For your loss." He nods to himself a bit, and takes the final drink of his ale instead of continuing to look like an insensitive jerkface.
"He was a good man," Katrin says with a bittersweet smile. "But ours would have been a marriage for political gain, not for one of love. We both knew that, and we took comfort in knowing that we would at least hold a strong friendship that perhaps could one day bloom in to love."
Rafferdy sits the empty mug down, and he eyes her a moment before nodding. "And so you're here now." He leans back in the chair once more, "You like it? You want to stay?"
"I have found Stonebridge to be an enjoyable place thus far, though marred slightly now by the blood that runs across the bridge I love to stand on in the late afternoons," Katrin replies. "But a part of me would wish for the chance to travel a bit more. See some of the other parts of Westeros. It would be thrilling, though I know most likely beyond my capabilities."
Rafferdy smiles then, "A transient Haigh," he offers, noting her description of him earlier. "I've spent nearly my whole life traveling, starting with when I was a squire. I have to agree with you, there's a wonder to it. It's nice to be not recognized. But, then, sometimes travel is for war, like these last few months. They aren't so pleasant." He shrugs, rapping his finger on the table. "I went back to the Mire for the first time in 8… maybe 9 years?" He shakes his head, "While I wouldn't live THERE, it did make me wish I had a place somewhere that was home."
Katrin looks about her, to the various people that have made their way into the Inn. "I want to do so many things in this lifetime. Ser Gedeon's death was just a reminder that youth does not protect us from the possibility of death. Perhaps we should all take away the understanding that we cannot wait too long for what we desire, but instead must grab hold of it when the first opportunity strikes."
Rafferdy stares at her for a long moment, his eyes locking on hers with a rather raw confidence as she speaks the words that seem to hit some chord within him. He nods a bit, a small grin of perhaps wonder appearing on his lips, before he slowly nods. "Yeah…" He smiles fully then, "Heh, yeah." He scratches the back of his neck, "Well…" He gives her another one of those charismatic smiles, "I should probably get back to the tower. I imagine there's a great deal of… something… going on their this evening." He sits a moment in silence, watching her, before finally rising.
Katrin rises as well, "I should also return home before my family grows worried over my disappearance," she replies. "It was a pleasure to have met you, Lord Rafferdy. Perhaps our paths will cross again while you linger here in Stonebridge."