|Bugging Out Before the Crackdown|
|Summary:||The Haighs are leaving Stonebridge, and the Mallisters, Baneforts, and Westerlings decide it's a good time to go too.|
|Related Logs:||Tensions between the Charltons and Naylands.|
|Stone Walk, Tordane Tower|
|Set at a slight incline, the stone pathway leads up a slight rise northeast out of the town square towards the single tower of House Tordane. Grass grows thick and plush along the side though it is well maintained. Private shops and stables are located up closer to the manor with the family's private stables attached directly to the exterior wall of the small castle.|
|06 June, 289|
Kamron chuckles softly at the query from the amnesiac, "Right… I'd actually forgotten that she was your sister. Happens to the best of us, I guess." He shakes his head, "I actually wasn't trying to dig for information. House Mallister has no stake on either the Charltons or the Naylands. I think I would rather like to get my cousin, Lady Saffron, and the rest of us out of Stonebridge before anything flares up, however. But I suppose that depends on my cousin's health."
"Most people are just names to me." Garett replies. "A name with no face to match them to. I wonder if that makes a bad sibling?" he ponders. "You know, it's hard to have compassion for someone that I don't know. No…that just makes me heartless, it's just…" There's no humor for a moment. "It's not that I don't care, but it's obviously she's done well enough for herself with me gone, probably for the best if it just stays that way. I don't know, it's hard to gauge feelings when it comes to htat." It makes him rub at his scar, as if it pains him.
He doesn't have much time to think about it before there's a "Ser Garett! Ser Garett!" A woman, a tall, waifish and brown-haired thing comes up at a light job, looking a bit hurried, red in the face from the rush. It's Adelia, Briallyn's handmaiden. Coming up to a stop, she tries to catch her breath, curtseying as best as she can. "Ser Garett…have a..message..from Lady…Briallyn."
Rising up to his feet, Garett blinks, thoughts broken up. "Whoa, whoa, Adelia. Catch your wind first then tell me, eh? I'd rather you not pass out in front of us."
Whispering strides hardly announce the arrival of the ghostly-moving Saffron Banefort. Still bruised and scraped up, she has done all she can to brighten her appearance with brushed out red hair and a pale blue dress. She is talking with Mistress Morla, which alone is a surprise because it appears as though they aren't even arguing with one another. They actually look like their conversation is … pleasant. Whatever they are conversing about is however drawn short as the waifish girl goes hurrying across the walk toward Ser Garett and Ser Kamron. Saffron glances to her chaperone before she starts in their direction with purposeful strides, though she tries to not look as though she intends to interrupt.
Kamron shakes his head at Garett's ponderings, "I think you could find out the answers to some of those questions if you just talked with her." Well, that is a relatively direct solution. The arrival of the maid draws a nod from the Mallister, a polite greeting for a woman, even if she is not a lady. "That would certainly start all sorts of rumors, now wouldn't it?" He chuckles softly, but steps back, allowing Garett a bit of privacy to hear the message from his betrothed (or at least her handmaiden). That allows him time to glance around and notice the presence of Saffron and Morla. Once more, the Mallister offers a formal greeting, a bow for the Lady and a nod for the Mistress. A smile begins to build a little at one corner of his mouth, and he gives a wave as well, supplimenting the formality with some rather distinct informality.
It takes a long moment for Adelia to catch herself, and Garett seems paretty easi-going and waiting paticently for what she has to say. Upon finally able to talk without having to take a pause to suck in lungfulls of air, she pushes stray strands of hair behind her ear. "Lady Briallyn wanted me to tell you that she's being sent to the Roost as soon as possible by a letter sent to her by Lord Brynmor." Getting that out of the way, she curtsies to Kamron, but her focus is on the Westerling. "She wanted me to ask you wether or not you intended on coming along with."
Listening, Garett, on his feet, raps his cane thoughtfully against the paved stone walkway. "Lord Brynmor…er.." he pauses for the moment, thinking.
"Her father, Ser." Adelia says softly.
"Right! Her father." Garett catches on quickly. "That's…" he looks at Kamron, as if gauging the other Knight's thoughts. "…odd." Going back to the handmaiden, he idly rubs at his goatee. "The letter didn't happen to say why he wanted her to go to the Roost, did it?" he finally asks her. "Although," his gaze causes him to look up at the tower looming before him, then down in the direction where the Crane sits. "…might be a precaution."
"I don't know, Ser. You would have to ask Lady Briallyn. I was only told to come find you." At Bri's arrival, she blinks and shrinks away, not realizing that the Lady herself was so quick to appear.
The Lady Briallyn is not close on Adelia's heels, especially given that it is remarkably unlady-like to run like that unless one is being pursued by vagrants or fire. She appears minutes later at a more reasonable pace. Her figure is sheathed in a thin woolen travel dustcloak, and from the tilt of her head, she appears to be looking for… something. Spotting the half-lame man, there is a slight addition to her speed to catch up, but nothing approaching even a brisk walk. Briallyn is casual in her manner, as usual, with a distinct sway to her hips as she comes near enough to speak in a normal tone of voice rather than raising it to shout aloud. "Ladies, Lords," she mutters. She's looking more hale today, her rich voice full of its familiar candor. Adelia nearly deflates at her mistress's arrival, and the timid woman shrinks somewhat. "Thank you, Adelia," Briallyn offers, one brow arched at the somewhat disheveled state of the woman, the handmaiden's hair frizzed from the flight and her face still flushed brightly.
Morla casts Saffron a meaningful look, and the Banefort purses her lips a bit with a hint of stubbornness. She meets Kamron within a few strides, and she offers him a bright, dimpling smile. "Good day, Ser Kamron," Saffron greets with an air of propriety, though her pale eyes glimmer with amusement and mischief. She glances toward Garett, though she lingers quietly beside Kamron as she waits for the knight to be delivered the anxious message from the equally anxious girl. As she looks beyond dear Adelia, she spies Briallyn's approach and she tilts her head a bit with a ghost of a smile. At her greeting, she bobs her head in response. "Lady Briallyn," she returns. Then she folds her lips together thoughtfully before she looks to Kamron. "Strange, I was coming to find you, Ser Kamron, with a similar topic…" That is, leaving for the Roost.
"Good day, Lady Saffron." That would probably be enough for Kamron to satisfy propriety, but he just has to turn his crooked, boyish grin on the aged Morla as well, "Good day, Mistress Morla." Because being flirty with that old bat is going to help things somehow. As the lady follows the handmaid, Kam nods slightly toward her for Garett's benefit, bowing more formally as she approaches, "Lady Briallyn, good day." You have to change it up now and then. "It may indeed be a precaution, Ser Garett. And it may tell us something more than we knew before." He smiles over to Saffron again then, "I do believe that Lady Muirenn will be well enough to travel, either this afternoon or tomorrow morning. Once she is prepared, I quite look forward to returning to The Roost, actually."
Watching Adelia fall back to Briallyn's side, only now does Garett have a moment give a slight bow to Saffron and Bri. "Lady Saffron," he greets, but when his eyes fall on the Haigh, they're a bit concerned. "So…" he starts, looking from Adelia then back to Bri. "What exactly is going on?" he asks her. "Your father sent you a letter to head to the Roost? Seems kind of out of the ordinary all of a sudden doesn't it? I mean, why not just ask you to come home to Broadmoor?" A nod is given to Kamron. "If that's the case, then there are things going on in Stonebridge that we really weren't aware of, if parents are pulling their children from the town itself." That thought causes him to frown. "That though doesn't really sit well with me. The implications of it, at least."
"It was not clear, one way or another. My father expects to be obeyed, not argued with," she says wryly, but there is a hint of humor in her expression rather than annoyance or disapproval. "But, I would imagine so. I was fortunate to escape such an incident thus far, but it would appear that the area about Stonebridge is not so safe as my family thought." A notable pause, and dark green eyes slide away from Garett reluctantly, no matter how appreciative of his figure, and settle upon Kamron with a sudden thoughtfulness. "Perhaps it is in the wrong hands, after all. Then again, the Lord Regent has yet to give me cause to believe him competent, no matter what sort of brave charges he takes part in after the fact." There is a certain coolness to each of those words, but she inclines her head in a respectful nod towards the trio of gathered nobility before her. "Likely, I am expected to be atop a horse already, but I refuse to be party to Katrin's recriminations right now. Or her bragging, for that matter. I will wait until they are prepared before I find Arrow."
The Banefort tightens her lips at bit, and she glances toward Mistress Morla with a tilt of her head. "Mistress, if you will trust my company with Lady Briallyn, could you please find Master Punbah to let him know we must be on our way soon." She holds her gaze with the crony minder, though the white-haired woman seems mildly mollified by her charge's tone and suggested company. Morla nods her head firmly, glancing toward the Haigh and her meekish girl before she sweeps off to find the pair of guards. Saffron returns her attention to the pair of knights and fellow lady. "Lady Briallyn, I've been preparing to leave Stonebridge since we were returned." From the bandits. "If you need help, I am happy to offer it."
Kamron nods slightly to Garett's words, a frown settling over his features, "Very disturbing, actually. It suggests the possibility of fighting in the streets. Perhaps not the likelihood of it, but the possibility." And here he is without his axe. Looking back to Briallyn, he shrugs slightly, "The Naylands may have gotten their hands on Stonebridge through underhanded dealings, Lady Briallyn, but they have managed to keep it safe." It's a grudging admission, "Even in the midst of Greyjoy's Rebellion." The mention of recriminations and bragging draws his frown a bit deeper, as well as giving it a puzzled cast, but he shakes that off as he glances over to Saffron, "If you'll allow, Lady Saffron, I'll see if Lady Muirenn feels well enough to move soon. If she does, we might be able to leave within the hour, if that is quickly enough," his eyes slip from Saffron to Briallyn and back, "For the both of you. If it is dangerous enough that House Haigh feels the need to evacuate the town…"
"…I think it might be even less wise for Mallister or Terricks to tarry," a wry grin accompanies the completion of Kamron's words.
"So it wasn't just you, then?" Garett listens to Kamron then looks back at his betrothed. "I'm assuming that Lady Ilaria and Lady Katrin were also sent letters by their fathers as well?" he asks her. "You know I'll go with you, Bri. You don't even need to guess at that. I've been told that my all my things have finally been delievered here. Let's just hope my armor still fits right, eh?" As much as he was about to ask if he had armor to wear, that might just sound a bit silly. "I'll have to make sure to let Desmond know. I'm bringing him along if I have to tear him away. With so many Charltons at the inn, I don't think he's going to have to worry over his sister." That said, he nods at Kamron. "Likewise, I can be ready that quickly, if need be. But if the Haighs are that wary over something happening…I didn't things were so.." he has to pause, rubbing at his scared temple. His eyes are shut tightly for a moment. "I just had oddest sensation. Like I talked about this before."
"Well, that is something I never expected to hear," Briallyn muses at Saffron's words even as Morla is sent away, but the Lady Haigh does not elaborate upon that. Only the touch of a wolfish smile upon her full lips is any hint to how amused by that she is. Her mood, however, grows slowly somber as she listens to both Kamron and Garett intently, nodding her head along in gesture of acknowledgement. "My father is not a paranoid man by any stretch of the imagination, and knows war. It's a wise decision on his part if things have grown as dire as they seem to. I cannot think that yet another contender, however weak her position, for Stonebridge does much for its stability," she says quietly, selecting each word with deliberate care.
Briallyn's lips purse, and she draws down the hood of her cloak to allow a spill of dark mahogany hair to cascade over her wool covered shoulders. "I'm already prepared. In the weeks of your absence—" There is a distinct and pained pause there. "I traveled much between Broadmoor and Stonebridge, and had not yet unpacked more than a few days worth of my belongings." With a small gesture of her hand, Briallyn shoos Adelia gently. "Adelia, do check my room, will you? And see that the grooms have Arrow brushed, fed, and saddled before we return. Make certain it is soon, we are to leave quickly." Inclining her head, the handmaiden is off again and leaving the young noblewoman rather alone.
The hint of amusement from Briallyn is answered with a small wink in her direction before she also sobers up to regard the conversation seriously. "It looks like I should have added more to the raven I sent along to my own father, though I am certain Ser Sterling has already reported to Lady Banefort on the state of Stonebridge." Because what else does Sterling do but spy and report back to the Banefort? She straightens up her spine a bit, shoulders aligning in a neat t-bone. "I admit, I hope we are all overreacting," she confesses quietly, though she thins her smile a bit. "But its best to overreact than under, I suppose."
Kamron shrugs a little helplessly at Garett, "I wish to the gods it was just me." He does not deign to defend the Nayland rule of Stonebridge any further to Briallyn, merely chuckling softly at her carefully-chosen words. Likely, it cost him wo or three bites out of his tongue to even say that much in favor of them. He reaches up to rub at one temple, "I suppose I should get Percy laying out my own armor." Saffron's confession draws a chuckle out of the man, "That's actually quite how crises kick off, My Lady Saffron. Everyone overreacting. Then again, I hardly think that anyone can take offense at Lord Terrick's ward returning to The Roost with friends and protectors."
Garett almost seems lost for a moment, eyes distant, as if he's desperately trying to cling to something in head that he just isn't finding any purchase with. "It's not just you. I feel like…" his tone gets a little awkward, as if he's unsure of the words coming from him, "…like this is something that's been building for some time. This matter with the bandits was nothing but a quiet distraction. Damnit, why do I feel like I've said that before?" He shakes his head, as if trying to mentally shake something off. "I don't think it's over or underrecation. I think it's a smart move on your father's part, Bri. Just. I have this feeling that things are going to get a lot worse before they get better." Then he takes a moment look between the three of them. "Any of you remember when a storm comes through, things get very still? That's what I've been feeling for the past three days. As if I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. About what, I don't know, but I'm inclined to get away now before we find out."
"As am I," Briallyn murmurs, reaching out to lay a hand gently upon Garett's arm. "Truthfully, I have very little investment in Stonebridge itself, but it is very close to my House's home. I will not see bickering spread that far for the sake of greed." As she speaks, voice growing terse, those well groomed nails of her dig lightly into the Westerling knight's arm. Realizing this, Briallyn loosens her grip upon him and squares her shoulders. "And I would have you away from here, my Lord. You were a formidable warrior, but I'll not chance such a thing in your state. It isn't necessarily my sake that I care for. I can take care of myself well enough. Have you seen to your horse since your return? I imagine that you have not remembered him." Giving a rueful shake of her head, Briallyn shifts her attention towards Kamron and Saffron with an appraising look. "My father is sending a contingent of guardsmen with us, if you wish to join us."
As the Banefort bears witness to a bit of affection and quite a lot of care shared between the Westerling and the Haigh, Saffron cannot help but offer the pair a small smile that gently sinks her dimples into place. Then she inhales through her nose, steadying herself as Briallyn turns to speak to them. "It would be an honor, Lady Briallyn… if we are to away, we might as well away together." Saffron glances toward Kamron, holding his gaze a moment. "I should go look in on Mistress Morla and my guardsmen." She then returns her attention to Briallyn and Garett with a somber expression. "Where shall we meet you?"
Aw, cute… Saffron and Kamron are both smiling at Briallyn and Garett. He shakes his head slightly at Garett's words, however, "It was building, but it was building between the late Ser Gedeon and the Naylands before, which maeant the Terricks and the Naylands." The Haigh's offer draws a chuckle from Kamron, "There are half a dozen Terrick and Mallister men here, along with Ser Martyn, myself, and our squires, if you wish to join us." There's no challenge in the words, just subdued laughter. Shaking off any immediate rejoinder, he soothes with, "Travelling together sounds like an admirable idea." There's a momentary bunching of his brow — more Haigh guardsmen means more mouths to feed, after all — but it is smoothed away shortly.
"I guess I don't know all the details." Garett notes. It visually bothers him that he can't recall everything, obviously feeling a bit unease for simply not knowing. Not a person that enjoys guessing at things that he should know. "Maybe." he admits to Kamron. "But something just feels…I dunno…'off'. I wish I could put my finger on what, but…" he shrugs. It's all he can do. "I suppose this just means that me and Bri need to sit down and she can tell me everything that I should know. At least with things pretaining about Stonebridge."
"If there are already men enough, I will dismiss some of the guard that my father suggests. I am sure the Captain will argue, but I can be very persuasive. There is no cause to give people more alarm by having a veritable army marching from Stonebridge." Noting the gazes upon herself and Garett, Briallyn offers the knight one last fond squeeze before removing her hand from his person. Clearing her throat softly, Briallyn offers a more wry and less predatory smile. "My Lord, you may very well be better off asking Ser Kamron here. I am, after all, just a woman and not privy to all of the truth of things." Given the acidity of her normally warm voice, there is a certain humor as to how she regards that line of thinking. "I can tell you what I know, but I doubt it is meaningful beyond what you have already surmised on your own." Pause. "In any case, we can meet upon the stone bridge so that we are not cluttering up the streets and causing alarm."
"I will see to my own then," Saffron says softly as she curtsies simply to the Haigh, Mallister, and Westerling. She is turning from them with a grace of pale skirts as she begins to step across the stone toward the Tower. She pauses, glancing toward Kamron with a lingering gaze and then she turns to her path with confidence.
Propriety takes a side seat to expediency as the young maiden Muirenn is carried down from her room in the tower by one of the guards. The girl's Septa hurries after with a large basket that gives off a distinctly herbal, medicinal scent. What the young girl is garbed in is anyone's guess as she is bundled in a quilt. The high fever and battle with illness have left her weak, though the coughing has eased, the rattle has not receeded yet from her chest.
Simply braided in a massive rope down her back, the teenager is unable to veil her face with her hair to hide the bruises instead looks utterly and completely humiliated. Wriggling she mutters to her guard, "Put me down!! That is a direct order! I am fully capable of walking!", she almost get away with it until the Septa reaches the bottom of the steps and catches them, snapping tartly "Lady Muirenn Jillain Rose Mallister!" Uhoh, it was the full name..Muiri ducks her head, "You are a healer and you would not let a patient of your own exert their lungs at this point. You will do as the maester instructed, and you WILL keep your chin high for you are a Mallister no matter the situation." A heavy sigh "Yes Septa." A moment's thought with her eyes closed and then the leggy girl lifts her chin and regards everyone cooly as she is carried down. The guard mumbling, "I am not sure where the Sers Mallister wish you my6 lady."
Kamron bows his head a bit to Briallyn's first suggestion, "I wouldn't want your father or your captain to worry, Lady Briallyn, but perhaps there's no need for more than a handful of guards? I will personally guarantee your safety on the trip to the Roost if it will make them feel better." Okay, so he's only a few hours out of a sling, but he's got enough bravado to go around. The scathing words that follow cause him to chuckle and hold up his hands defensively — both hands, for a change — "You've been around Stonebridge a good deal more than I, Lady Briallyn, and my views on the matter are… sadly, a bit biased." He returns Saffron's gaze with a bow of his head and a grin, and then he adds to the rest, "I'll see if Lady Muirenn — " Well, that got answered. He nods to the Haigh and Westerling, and hurries toward Muirenn and her companions, "Cousin… I'm sorry to see you moved, but do you feel up to a carriage-ride to The Roost?"
Hugh somes from the direction of the manor, whistling and playing with a stick, until he sees the people grouped there together. He then ditches the stick. He is not a child after all. He comes closer, and gives a lanky bow, but otherwise he remains silent, watching the people, his eyes especially falling on the woman wrapped in the quilt.
"I don't mind biased opinions." Garett utters, voice wry. "As long as the opinion is a rational one." That's probably a joke. Letting Kamron and Saffron go about their buisness, he's able to turn and focus on Briallyn. "I asked for what you thought, Briallyn. Not what anyone else thought. Truth. Peh." he snorts a bit. "Truth is a bit of wistful thing, isn't it? I don't think we're so lucky to get that anyways. But I…trust what you're thinking. Something…well, I'm pretty sure I shared a lot of my thoughts with you. I feel like we've…'discussed' them at length before? Anyways, I value you what you know." That said, he glances at the septa, guard, and Lady Mallister being trotted out. "Huh. That reminds me. Next time I toss you over my shoulder, try not to kick me."
"It does not seem that I have much of a choice and so I will be fine." Muirenn replies with a tight smile. A stray lock of auburn is twirled and tucked behind her ear. Seeming a bit edgy…nervous, she whispers "Promise we will reach Four Eagles safely cousin? The bandits are all gone right? Martyn said one escaped, it wasn't the one with the" fingers reach up and twirl an imaginary moustache, "facial hair was it? He died yes??" The girl seems most anxious on this point.
Kamron glances over to Hugh as the young man approaches, offering up a nod, but his attention is otherwise fully captured by his lady cousin. Stepping close, he reaches out to put a gentle hand on Muirenn's shoulder, just for a moment, "He's dead, cousin. Martyn and I dealt with him ourselves." Well, one of the mustachioed men, at least. "You will be accompanied by three knights, three squires, eight or ten armsmen… I swear to you that you'll be safe. But we should move quickly. Things are getting ever-more tense here in Stonebridge."
"Thank you, Ser Kamron. I have no doubt you are more than able to keep your word," the young Lady says most graciously, and as the Mallister knight is off to deal with family, Briallyn turns her attention to Garett. "If that is what you desire, Garett, that is what you will get," she says quietly, offering the injured knight a rare and intimate smile. "We talked more than anything else, no matter what anyone might think otherwise."
Lady Briallyn does have /some/ decorum, and though she addresses the knight in a lowered voice, she turns her attention towards the unfamiliar and injured woman with unconcealed curiosity. "I imagine she was with Ilaria and Saffron, then?" A fleeting hint of anger passes across the Lady Haigh's sculpted features before settling beneath a carefully composed mask. "Poor woman. I do hope the bastards suffered." Such unladylike language! "Even so, would you care to have help finding your mount, my Lord?"
Hugh cannot hold his tongue for much longer, "Is everyone leaving Stonebridge, then? I have just arrived here. And in what way is it getting tense?" The words tumble out before he has a chance to weigh them and mete them out more carefully. "And you are talking about the kidnappers. Did you kill them all, or did some get away?"
Before Muirienn lets the guard move her into the carriage, she studies her cousin for a long moment and then nods as if reassured. "What is going on? It has been less than a week since we were rescued, why are things so tense?" A slender hand emerges from the quilt to rub at the bridge of her nose, but then whips down and the girl cannot hide a wince as the appendage is still devestatingly tender since the maester had to rebreak it.
Garett nods at Bri. "She was. As far as I know." he replies. "They did, Bri. All of them were slain. Save but one that I believe was tortured for some time. But don't qoute me on that one, eh? Not sure where that poor bastard is now." With such movement of people being moved off and carted around, the Westerling can't help but take an almost defensive posture around the Haigh woman, even if he's using a cane, but at least the splint and brace is off. "Yes. We should. You can reintroduce me to my horse I guess. But we should get a move on. And soon." Gesturing to show Bri down the path, he turns to look past his shoulder. "Ser Kamron. Whenever you're ready, we'll meet you on the stone bridge."
Kamron blinks as Hugh speaks up, turning to study him for a long moment before he responds, "Not everyone. Just a few of us are returning to or visiting The Roost. What's your name, then, that you have so many questions?" He waits for the introduction, then nods, "I'm Ser Kamron Mallister. And there appears to be tension between Naylands and Charltons in the town." He starts counting off responses on his fingers, starting now with three, "Yes, I was talking about the kidnappers, and one was captured alive and one escaped, but he has several men on his trail right now. He won't be troubling anyone else. Now, if you'll excuse me…" And then he's turning back to Muirenn, "There are more than a score of armed Charlton men at the Crane's Crossing. From the feeling in the air, the Naylands aren't too pleased by that. The Haighs have been instructed to visit The Roost post-haste, and I think we should return there as well, Lady Muirenn." Garett's call has him looking back over his shoulder, and he nods sharply.