|A Strange Meeting by the Sea|
|Summary:||After a day of dealing with problems in town, Justin enjoys himself climbing the cliffs. A strange woman appears and finds his sword laying on the beach with his other things.|
|Coastline, Terrick's Roost|
|The Cape of Eagles looms out over Ironman's Bay, a vast, blue ocean inlet, that spreads its watery depths out beyond the horizon. The path that leads down to this coast winds down behind the towers for several hundred meters before arriving at the rocky water's edge. Rather than sand, the coast is covered with innumerable smooth and rounded stones about palm-sized. They stretch up and down the coast in all directions with the battered remnants of driftwood scattered about. Above the beach, one every mile or two, are towers with a large bell and mallet atop them which are to be beaten to warn of an incoming invasion. A small dock is being constructed of thick northern timbers, with mooring space for two large ships, or perhaps a half dozen smaller craft.|
|May 17th, 289|
The afternoon sun is warm and it might even be hot if it weren't for the stiff breeze that whips in from over the water to ruffle the tall grasses that top the bluffs. Big fluffy white clouds drift lazily through the blue sky and below, gulls wheel and cry over the stony beach. Something, or someone, has or is disturbing their nests. The water below sparkles very blue and clear, looking inviting for swimming.
Below the bluff, a man wearing a white tunic shirt and grey trousers works his way up the cliff face from the beach below. A black surcoat, his scabbarded sword, and a bow and quiver of arrows lay upon the pebbly sand below him. With the wind whipping at his dark hair, Justin looks back over his shoulder, pale eyes squinting against the glare before he resumes climbing. He needn't go very far to reach the first gull nests of the colony. A sack is tossed over his shoulder with a strap so that the eggs he gathers from the nest can be gathered into it. White birds swirl up over his head, shrieking their affront at his nest robbing like some rascally boy from the town.
From up the path and toward the lush green, an interloper arrives upon the pebbled mouth of the cove; surefooted, bare toed, slipping between shale and scrub grass and craggy rock like one of the tiny fingerling streams that empty out into the ocean.
Boots carried under one arm, and her ermine cloak absent this warm afternoon, the girl navigates gradually toward the base of the very cliff face that carries Justin to his erstwhile thieving.
Twenty feet away, no more, she pauses. Cocks her head to peer up at the tunic'd and trouser'd young man. Long fingers absently comb pale hair out of her eyes, and she squints into the sun.
Justin is a little occupied with not falling as some of the angry birds wheel and dive rather close to his head - though they aren't sea eagles so he's not paying them much attention. One egg from each nest, leaving at least one behind to raise, is taken and put into his bag. Some nests have one or both hatched out and those he leaves to check for more recently laid. When an egg is found, Justin plucks it up and holds it to the light to see how far along it is so that he might choose whichever he prefers. Therefor he doesn't notice the young woman right off. Eyes for the nests, Justin climbs a bit higher and slightly further aside to check another before he finds his path upwards blocked. He glances around to find another way and that's when he sees her coming down to pause and look at himself, wind whipping her hair about, especially if it's loose. Whoever he is, he studies her then lifts a hand free of the rocks to give a half wave, "Do you need eggs?"
The question seems to strike Evonne as somewhat strange — which, strictly speaking, it is. Her brow creases slightly, though there is perhaps a flicker of amusement in her eyes before it's smoothly replaced by a polite smile. "No," is called back down. Her gaze skirts to one of the birds wheeling uncomfortably close with a skiff of feathers and shrill screeching that cuts through the distant murmurings of tide coming in. Nothing more is said for the nonce; she continues to watch Justin whilst picking her way aimlessly along the stones in no particular hurry. A good way off down the path, back from whence she came, the dim outline of one of the Roost's guards might be spotted taking a piss behind a large rock. His eyes are on her, though he appears unconcerned with how far she's wandered. No Septa, no handmaidens in sight.
Quite unconcerned that she'll bother his things he's left below, even his sword, Justin smiles then climbs a bit further, "If you are in need of meat, I'll be shooting some of them, too." That is, if he can hit any of them! Flighty gulls can be lured in close with bits of stale bread though. While he's reaching for more eggs to check, from somewhere above him a nice wet dropping splatters the shoulder of his tunic. Justin glances up, then looks to his shoulder with a frown, "Great. Thanks." He's a little while at this nest robbing, seeming to enjoy himself climbing about like a monkey as if he's done this many times before. There's a glance now and then to see where the young woman wanders as he finishes up and prepares to start making his way back down to the beach.
On perhaps his third or fourth glance, he might find that she's ceased her wandering entirely. Boots discarded in favour of the young man's sword, the hilt has found its way into her gloved left hand in a heartbeat, while the long fingers of her right run along the edge of the blade. If it's sharp enough, she may be left with a fine trail of blood for her curiosity — a fact that does not seem to trouble her overmuch. The wind picks up with a sharp gust, flushing a few gulls from their hidey holes amongst the cracks and crevices of the cliff face, and briefly whipping the girl's long braid against her cheek and shoulder. "I wish you luck," she replies, her voice unusually strident for a girl, easily reaching Justin. "The gulls are quick, and accustomed to outmaneuvering the hawks." And then, with her eyes still on his sword, "Is this not the huntsmen's job?"
The blade she picks up is odd for the brass eagle headed pommel does not match the rest of the weapon, the crosspiece being of steel and of another design, rather plain. When drawn from the scabbard, the sword is surprising for it is very poor and much pitted with rust pocks. It has been cleaned, honed as sharp as the steel might be and polished until some parts are mirror bright once more. Yet it bares obvious signs of past age and neglect with deep nicks and even a bit of waviness to the steel from past abuses. It is a blade salvaged and at the end of it's worth, still able to be used but far from anything a man would boast of or draw with pride. The pommel has been added recently to replace the original that was missing.
Justin makes no reply until he's safely down from the cliff. He dusts himself off and turns, seeing her with his sword. He stops there, eyes to narrow a fraction as he observes her across the small distance of pebbled beach with the waves rolling in behind her. He lifts his light baritone to carry against the wind to her, "Mayhap, I like to hunt." He glances over the cliff he came down, "Been climbing those rocks since I was little. Why wouldn't it amuse me after a long day of meetings in town?" Justin starts to walk towards her over the rocky beach, the dagger still worn in his belt.
Perhaps she had not quite entirely been aware of picking the thing up — or perhaps it's only Justin's 'sudden' approach along the beach proper that jars the girl from her apparent introspection. Her hand suddenly goes limp, and the sword clatters back to the stones, deflecting off one edge of the hilt before coming to rest with a soft *clang*. Blue-grey eyes flick up to the weapon's owner without an accompanying movement of her head, and the polite smile returns. "Most boys do," she proffers lightly, watching him. A beat, two, then she crouches fluidly to retrieve her boots. Even from this proximity, there is no sign or sigil of house upon her, and yet there have been murmurings of a young ward come to stay at the Roost. A girl approximating her description, and eyes upon her always — the guard who had been taking a piss earlier is still watching her like a hawk from across the beach.
The instant she drops his sword and it clatters to the stones, Justin tenses and raises a hand as if he'd snach it back before it fell - though he's no where close enough to prevent the fall, "Hey!" Anger at once jumps up into his pale eyes, "You should ask a man before you touch this things, and treat them with reasonable respect." His tone has become sharp. Justin strides up the last few steps and bends to pick the blade up, stepping back from her one step to examine it and run his hand over it as if he certainly has some value for it. His gaze lifts back to her before he stoops briefly to pick up the scabbard and sheath the weapon, "You best get back to wherever you belong, lass." Justin looks tempted to swat her backside with the scabbard nice and hard but he refrains, his mouth thinned. Instead he unbuckles his belt to hang his sword off his left hip. When that's done, he leaves his surcoat folded still but picks up his bow and quiver. He no longer looks particularly friendly, the sack of eggs left with his surcoat.
The girl appears oddly unfettered by the shift in Justin's tone, and the way he arms himself not five feet from her. Something not quite amusement, not quite worry, a vague sort of equanimity settles in her countenance as she studies him so boldly. Certainly no Riverrun maiden is she. "I'm sorry." She isn't. "Good hunting, ser." As to the last remark, of where she belongs, perhaps the closest to a flicker of irritation in her as he's likely to get. And she turns and slips past him — well within range of a swat with that sword — on her way back down the path, toward where the guard waits. Barefoot still, boots dangling from her fingers like wilted wildflowers picked in the heat of summer.
Justin watches her go past, "Lord, not Ser." he corrects her. No, he's not going to swat her despite that passing temptation. Whoever she is, common or not, she's oddly dressed yet something is … almost regal about her. Stately, tall and pale haired and certanly defiant. That turns him to watch her go. His narrowed eyes now squinting against the wind, he lifts his chin as well as his voice, "Who are you and where are you from? I'd remember if I'd seen you around here before." Well, Justin hasn't exactly introduced himself because he thought her smallfolk and rude, but now he's not so sure about some of that. So he adds, "I am Lord Justin Terrick." He still looks annoyed with her.
She pauses when corrected on how to address him, and half-turns so as to watch him crosswise. Re-assessments are made, no doubt; she fixes upon his eyes, his jaw, the bulk at his shoulders and then, inexplicably, his sword for a few seconds. "My lord," she amends evenly, voice as soft as silk. To the question: "Ask your father." Her lips twitch. "Or any of the serving girls or men at arms. Good day, my lord. My watchdog awaits." She tips her chin toward the restless guard looking about to come and fetch her, and cast her over his shoulder bodily, at the mouth of the path. And then, without a further word, she turns and drifts away. Some distance off, the belly of the sea churns as the tide begins to roll in.
Well. Blinking some against the wind in his face, Justin watche her and keeps his own silence. He frowns then leans against the wood to bend his bow and string it. He remains to watch her walking along the beach, further away by the moment without stopping her. Justin's gaze then slides to study her watchdog, taking note of what details he might of the man, the house colors he wears, if any. When she and her guard have wandered a distance down the beach he turns and draws an arrow from his quiver. Never having said a word more, Justin sets to seeing if he can't bring down some gulls. Who wants to rush back to lock themselves up inside of the walls?