|Summary:||Two Rivers and a Terrick have a night on the town.|
|Related Logs:||None, directly.|
|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.|
|23 August 288|
Wine, women, song. That was the suggestion, and damn if they hadn't settled upon just that.
The Rockcliff Inn is never very quiet, especially not when the sun has gone down, with honest men turned from the day's work to their distractions, and dishonest men emerging from their daytime nests to prey upon those with more virtue or less sense. Boisterous laughter and bawdy song fill the air both within the establishment and without, men and a few women coming and going with the ebb and flow of the evening.
Some space was made when the evening's most notable guests decided to make their presence, two half-blooded knights and one half-mobile lord, and claim one of the tables that commanded the best view of the Inn. While some men amongst the crowds received more attention than others, none could command the service of that table, with drink and food flowing across with ease.
Some men came by sober, and others drunk, to either welcome Jacsen back to the Roost, or tell Gedeon that they thought him rightful heir to Stonebridge. Even one came by to tell Jarod that he was 'damn good a man as any Terrick!' which seemed to garner a healthy note of approval from more in the group.
One who thought to start up that song about Lord Jerold and his boys, well, he found himself at the business end of a swung mug, one of the maids that served in the Inn taking no small displeasure to such 'bullshit hidin as song'. She got cheers of her own.
"I'm telling you, Ged…" Jacsen leans over, and elbows his friend as he points at one of the women known to work at the establishment, all brown curls and cute enough face, with green eyes and a smattering of freckles, "She can't keep her eyes off you. I think if you were a damned leg of chicken, she'd have long eaten you by now…" He laughs to himself, and leans back in his chair, mug of ale in hand. "Come on, Jar! Back me up here…"
"Hey, they stopped!" Jarod says, half in offense when the Terrick Brothers Hymn is stalled before it starts. "Pity, that. I'm fairly sure that one's going to help me with the girls." He flashes a quick, boyish grin, though he does spare a glance at Jacsen as he comments on the tune. Ser Rivers of Terrick was in somewhat lower spirits than normal when they descended on the inn, though by now he's joking and laughing easily. He gulps from his ale mug. "The one with the nice tits, you mean?" His description is shorter than the one Jacsen uses. His eyes shift, to glance in that direction. "She does seem like she's giving you the eye, Ser Rivers. Might be meant for me, of course, but then, who could blame her?"
Gedeon seems a bit more at ease amid the sounds and sights of a rollicking pub than he tends to look in the middle of a Lord's fine and formal hall. He leans back in his chair, he laughs a little and offers his thanks to those smallfolks who would award him Stonebridge and he tilts his head jus a little to peer at the brown curls, green eyes and freckles Jacsen has pointed out to him. "Better to be a crab leg," he tells Jacsen with a laugh, "and get sucked clean." He pauses to have a generous swallow from his own mug, "Too many Ser Rivers's at this table, the girls will never get it straight." But for the song, Jarod's part of it, and the halting, he laughs again. "Oh, aye, Jarod. The best way to woo a lass is to point out how many others you've buried yourself in, in the last week."
Jacsen laughs at that astute observation on Gedeon's part, leaning over the table to tear off a piece of a gnarled, dark loaf of bread that's seen little love as the ale has continued to flow. "You're rather a dolt, my good brother," he decides with a smirk, biting down into his piece of hearty bread. With the rest of it still in his hand, the younger of Jerold's sons gestures back at the girl with the 'nice tits'. "Maybe you should ask her to do just that, and you can be called Ser Celtigar for the night?"
"I think you and me are easy enough to tell apart, my kinsman in Stonebridge," Jarod replies to Gedeon with a chuckle. The 'kinsman' part an old Rivers 'family' joke. "And it's an exaggeration. Obviously. I mean, not that I've not had my share of women - I damn well have! - but…" He trails off. Caught somewhere between defending his reputation and claiming a smaller number of supposed conquests, there is no good road to take. So he just has more beer. "Though I was thinking, Jace. What I figure we should do about that damn thing is - when things are a little more settled between Jaremy and us all, I mean - is come down here as a trio and sing the fucking thing. I mean, fuck them, right? The world wants to have a laugh at you, you get there first, and then the joke's not at your expense anymore."
For Jarod's getting caught between one bad confession and another, Gedeon snickers, shaking his head and taking another swallow of ale. He sets the mug down to tear off a piece of bread, so in can soak up a bit of the drink and he tears off a bite with his teeth, chews and swallows. "I'm not sure I'd say the Terrick Brothers Three, singing their parts in the middle of the Rockcliff Inn, would exactly make the whole thing less funny," he notes, squinting a little as he tries to imagine it. "Your bit's not so bad, Jarod, nor yours, Jack, but Jaremy's…" he winces a little, "The heir seemed to get beaten the hardest by the lyrics, you ask me."
The lame-legged of the three companions shakes his head at Gedeon's observation. "No, truly, my brother's reveling in a moment of genius… you'd have to have Jaremy sing his part the loudest, with the both of us to sing out our own. How could a man use it to sting you, when you've already laughed at yourself, and at it?" Jacsen slaps a hand on the table. "Yes, I think it a fine idea, once all these matters are come to a close." He reaches for his mug, and lifts it to both sides one at a time, toasting the men that share his table. "To the Terrick Brothers Three!" he declares.
Jarod beams, reaching over to clap Jacsen on the shoulder. "That's the idea precisely! Jokes you make yourself can't hurt you, I figure, even if they are damn funny. And don't sound so surprised by my moment of genius. I have them all the time. The world just doesn't appreciate them." He raises his mug, toasting. "To idiots and lechers and cripples we be, at least the bards agree we're damn pretty."
"I'll be happy enough to stay out of song, thanks," Gedeon says as he lifts his mug to clink t against the other two, "but I'll come to watch your grand performance, if you let me know when it'll actually be." He has another swallow from his mug, which drains it. The empty glass is sent down, and promptly gets swept up and replaced with a fresh one by one of the serving girls.
Jacsen laughs at his brother's rhyme, leaning back into his seat with his mug of ale safe in hand. "So, Ged? You going to say hello to the Lady of Freckles and Tits over there, or what?" he wonders, peering at Gedeon over the tankard's rim. "Else I think we both know Jarod here has some reputation to keep up. There's a /song/ about it, you know…"
"Finally immortalized in the dirty limerick I've always wanted," Jarod laughs. "But, aye! Go chat her up a bit, mate." He claps Gedeon on the shoulder in an encouraging sort of way. Perhaps harder than is strictly necessary, but it's all in bro-y fun. "Unless you're keeping your virtue true for something you aren't telling us about." He partakes in more ale, on that note.
"In a while, perhaps," Gedeon muses, glancing over again at the girl in question as he gathers his new mug closer, "It's early, yet. I don't think I'm drunk enough to be charming." There are a couple blinks as he's patted rather hard on the back, but he offers Jarod a smile for the gesture as he has another gulp. "How about you, Jacsen. You're so eager to see us matched up, who'd you like to take to bed yourself, mmm?"
Jacsen shakes his head, and pops another mouthful of bread in betwixt his jaws, chewing thoughtfully. "I'm not /that/ eager to be rid of you, Ged, not just yet," he assures the knight, "Just see the puppy eyes she's turning your way… poor thing probably fancies herself a shoe in for Lady Stonebridge if she manages to bag you…" His lips quirk over something unsaid, and he seems about to take a sip of ale rather than share whatever it is that amuses him so. But at the last moment he pauses and adds, dryly, "Can't be any worse than Lady Valda, after all." And at that, well, he finally takes a long sip.
"Can we not talk about Lady Valda and bedding in the same conversation ever?" Jarod implores with a shudder, waving for a passing barmaid to refill his mug. "I mean, I'm not saying she's a bad looking woman. She's not. She's held up pretty well for an older girl, actually, though I bet once you get her smallclothes off some of the parts have started to sag by now. But still. Evil. I bet there are teeth and claws waiting for a man down there."
"Not making it better, Jarod," Gedeon points out with a wince. "And I think anyone making eyes at me for Stonebridge has hauled their cart a few too many leaps before the horse. I'm just a Rivers, may always be just a Rivers. No shame in that, just…" he shrugs, leaving his own sentence unfinished. He has another bite of bread, chasing it down with several large swallows of beer.
"Just?" Jacsen prompts, all sorts of interested at what the Oldstones sworn knight does not say at that. "Besides, a woman of her prospects can probably afford to be a bit ambitious, gamble a little, wouldn't you say?" he asks of his brother. "I can't think the rest of the women in the place would think of anything else, did they get so lucky as to spend some time tending to little Ser Celtigar you're carrying around there…" He grins at that last.
"We aren't the sort to seduce if a woman's digging for gold or property, this is fact," Jarod says lightly enough, as to Rivers, though Jacsen's words do earn a chuckle. "I get by on my aforementioned genius. My genius is very much appreciated by the area tavern maids. Anyway. I'm deeply disappointed in the pair of you. You've been back in the Roost for a good stretch now, and I've yet to be regaled with tales of the fierce fights, grand riches, and exotic women of the barbarian East. And what about you, little brother? I remember Seagard being a place to create a few good stories, and I suspect the docks are even livlier now than when I was a squire. Or, at least, you found better places to squandor your fine Terrick virtue than we managed as boys of sixteen."
Gedeon seems happy enough to drink from his mug and let that 'just' be swallow up by Jarod's speech. "I might have a tale or two of battle and barbaric women I could dredge up," he allows with a grin, "If Jacsen agrees to to give us one from Seagard, and you agree to tell us of an adventure you've had since we left. For all the time we've been back at The Roost, I agree we've had little enough time to properly catch back up."
Jacsen stabs an accusing tankard in Gedeon's direction. "Oh, fuck you, Ser Gedeon Rivers. /You/ don't get to vanish from the face of the world as known to the Seven, only to return what, five years later… with all this talk of the East," he declares, equal parts serious and barely holding in his laughter, "… and hold your stories hostage to tales of my brother bedding the village whores while I barely made time to see a pair of tits in Seaguard. Oh, no. We'll have a tale of your travels, Ged. Or ten, Seven help me."
"Dead bodies keep turning up and spoiling the chance for good conversation," Jarod says. It's a joke, except it kind of isn't. Drink. "I'll spin a few stories, though I figure my adventures'll be of the mundane sort compared to what you two've managed. I love the Roost, but this is hardly the most exotic piece of country in the Seven Kingdoms, and we don't exactly get ships from far-off parts often. Though I do figure Gedeon will have the best ones. So let's make him go first." This line of conversation seems to bring him to mind something, and he glances between the pair of them. "So…my well-traveled kin. I'm curious. How close are the pair of you to making the eight?"
"Oh, for the love of… Jarod, is that all you think about? The day I find out I have eight bastards, is the day I'll ask you to run me through. Quick and clean, please, I'd prefer a fast death." Gedeon puffs out a soft breath and examines his tankard thoughtfully. "Of course my stories will be best, doesn't mean I don't enjoy hearing a tale or two that does come from my own mouth. But let me see…" He leans back in his chair. "Lord Valentin and I spent several years in the Disputed Lands, it was the best place to find work, really, if your skill was with a sword. This one campaign, the side we fought for had an honest to gods elephant, sharpened tusks and all. Never seen a beast so big in all my life, and never hope to again. Feet the size of a man's torso and twice as tall. And on top of him… a girl, came up barely to my shoulder when she stood on the ground. Outdrank half the men, too. Course, I never did determine exactly where she was from, but I don't think it was Westeros, so she couldn't have counted towards the eight, anyhow."
Jarod's brother is shaking his head along with Gedeon's rebuff to the question of making the eight, and takes a long sip from his ale before he comments, "Seven help us, but what exactly would you do if you ever did make the eight, Jarod? Duty alone cannot serve a man, and without this quest at your heart, I fear for you…" Jacsen's commentary quiets as he listens to the tale about the elephant and its girl-beastmaster. "How'd you know about the drinking? Was it one of those matters of switching sides for coin, after you got to know her? I heard that happens a lot in wars like you talk about," he mentions, though clearly he just wants to hear more about the story.
"Doesn't count, no," Jarod affirms, as to Gedeon's elephant girl. "So if we're leaving out the exotic cavarly beauties across the Narrow Sea, I'm just going to assume your answer is…one." He flashes a quick, cheeky grin. Then a short nod to Jacsen. "One for you as well, then. Or…well, I'll be generous and grant you two. I have a hazy recollection of a couple of Westerlands merchant's daughters we managed to chat up in the Seagard marketplace. If her sister was any guide, you'd have had to be a eunuch not to have closed that particular deal. Anyway. Aye. What's the nature of war in the East, Gedeon? Do the rulers there hold any standing armies at all, or is it just sell swords? Beautiful, elephant-mounted sell swords…" He says it like he's creating a mental picture and rather enjoying it. He's seated at one of the better tables in the common room with Jacsen and Gedeon. Drinking is being done.
Wymund has partially disconnected.
"Oh, no, she was on our side from the beginning of that one," Gedeon corrects Jacsen. "Though I think, during another later on, she may have been on the other side, we were too far back to see properly. I knew about the drinking, because we won that one and had to celebrate that night. The elephant drank, too, though I didn't invite it to join us in the tent, after." Glancing at Jarod, Gedeon continues, "Wars are… not, in the Disputed Lands. Not exactly. There's no start or end to them, it's not organized. It's just all the free cities grabbing and clawing for inches in one direction or another. Some of them have trained men, but most hire as many swords as they raise up, and battle is such a constant that men raise their sons to be hired mercenaries. Easier to hire an army and disband it than it is to find a place to house one."
"But the coin… that's good, I take it?" Jacsen asks, leaning forward on the table and reaching for a bit more of that gnarled loaf of bread. "I mean, you and Lord Anton spent, what, four years there fighting for one side or another?" he wonders, tearing into the bit of bread and chewing it slowly. "What's the strangest thing you saw in all your time there?"
Wymund opens the door and steps quietly into the room, dressed in his 'civvies' tonight. The man heads for the bar where he taps twice before an ale shows up without a word being exchanged. Only coin. The older, newly minted Ser keeps himself occupied with his drink, even to the point of smiling and shaking his head in silent dismissal at the whore that siddles up to him.
"Sounds like good money for a mercenary, though I bet it makes for short life-spans," Jarod says, breaking off some bread himself to go with his beer. "What sort of men did you fight for, anyhow? I've heard both you and Lord Ser Anton speak of learning something of swordsmanship from the Braavosi. Did you venture farther into the Eastern Continent than the Free Cities? Ever see an Ashai witchwoman, or a sea of Dothraki horses thundering across the plains or…anything. Everything. You've managed to travel more in the past four years than most men born in the Riverlands do in a lifetime." He's sitting so he's facing the bar, and notes Wymund entering. The knight gets a wave and good-spirited, "Ser Telyr! Oi and good eve!" from the younger knight.
"The coin's good enough," Gedeon agrees with a nod. "It won't make you wealthy, but if you're smart and careful enough, you can live comfortably on what you earn. It was enough for armor and a horse, when I was ready to be knighted. But, the strangest thing?" Gedeon scratches at his jaw as he considers before taking a deep swallow of ale. "Suppose the very strangest was a sword and fire eater, believe it or not. Skinny, little fellow who could gulp a blade down to the hilt and belch flames from his mouth." He shrugs a little for that. "We stayed mostly in Braavos and the Disputed Lands, though I did once see a group of Dothraki fight, and that was a sight to make you believe in gods, and no mistake. We ride horses. Dothraki become them, I've never seen anything like. No witch women, though, and not much of the interior of the East. We stayed where we were most likely to find another job and keep our skins, and that was near the Free Cities." Gedeon glances over as Jarod calls to the man at the bar, but as the face is unfamiliar, he only offers a polite nod.
"I've heard tales of the Dothraki… heard they spend their whole lives on horseback, never getting off even to sleep… Don't know how true that is," Jacsen concedes, though he is rather interested in the talk of the sights that Gedeon has witnessed. "And how… how the hell does someone swallow a blade? It must've been dulled or something, right?" He shakes his head a bit, just marveling at the strange tales of distant lands. He looks up when another of the girls that work the Inn drifts by, this one a raven-haired lass with brown eyes and soft-seeming skin. It's enough that it draws Jacsen's attention away from his brother and Gedeon alike.
"I've heard the horse warriors wear no armor," Jarod says, as to the Dothraki. "I can't even imagine it, fighting naked steel with nothing but your skin to keep you whole. If I can keep a good suit of maile, I think I can live without becoming a horse. Are there even any men left alive on the battlefield after forces like that go at each other?" He glances aside at Jacsen as he chats about the fighting techniques of horse lords, but if he's got something to ask his half-brother it's left unsaid for now. He does attempt to swipe a chunk of the bread Jacsen's gotten for himself. The bit Jarod claimed has been wolfed by now. This gives him the opportunity to follow Jacsen's gaze to the raven-haired girl, a low-whistle escaping his lips. "Wonder what she'd look like atop an elephant…" He speculates with a grin.
"I believe it," Gedeon says of the Dothraki sleeping on their horses. His brows lift and he smiles a little as he watches Jacsen watch the dark-haired woman. "Nice," he approves before looking back to Jarod. "No armor," he agrees, they never get off their horses, and the ones they ride are too slim and swift to handle armor. And it would slow the movement of the warriors. How many men live depends on the terms of the battle, who yields and when. Sometimes, the casualties are surprisingly few. Sometimes, the survivors were." He studies his mug and finishes off with a harsh breath out after he swallows. Once again, he barely sets the empty mug down before it's replaced by one of the girls. The blond knight gives a surprised little laugh. "What service."
Jacsen's eyes follow the woman, who is doubtless aware of his scrutiny, while he asides to his brother with a sly sort of smile, "Come peek on us later, and you can see exactly what she looks like on an elephant." He laughs at the end of that, glancing at his brother and lifting his mug of ale in salute. "So… exotic women, battle, coin, self-determination… What ended up bringing you both back here to the Riverlands? I mean, it is no mystery that Lord Anton's hold is at Oldstones, but he'd already left it so long…"
"Don't get away too quick, sweetling, I'm feeling the need for a refill, myself," Jarod says, gulping what's left in his mug and passing it off to Gedeon's attentive serving girl. "Ale again, though if you could dip into that vat you got shipped up from Fairmarket, I'd be appreciative. It's got a lemon-y kind of bite to it I rather like." At Jacsen, he snorts. "I'll leave you two alone, I think. Like I said, I do not poach my little brother's quarries. Anyhow, I think Miss Lyla Carrity's working tonight, and she remembers me kindly enough not to make me pay for it." He tries to catch the eye of the minx-ish brunette barmaid he's talking about, though she's working the actual bar currently. "First girl I ever had, I tell you that, Gedeon? Deflowered me of my innocence just before we left to squire with the Mallister men. She and I kind of went off each other a couple years ago, after I sprained my leg in this hunting accident and she took up with this slack-jawed blacksmith while I was recovering. I've forgiven her, however."
"Shameful for a whore to take up with multiple men like that," Gedeon opines, keeping his face carefully solemn. "You're a good man to take her back into your arms after that." He has a sip from his refreshed mug before looking in Jacsen's direction. "His father, Lord Cyric, died. We came home when there was no other Lord of Oldstones, and when he saw how little his father had done since he'd been granted the title, Lord Anton decided it was time to stay home and see if he could make Oldstones more than just some half-forgotten name."
"Damn, Jarod, I'm so sorry…" Jacsen remarks with a feigned concern at the adulterous nature his brother ascribes to one Miss Lyla Carrity, shaking his head in a mock disgust. "She sounds like a real wh-" He stops short of finishing the joke, laughter overcoming him, strong enough to cause his shoulders to shake. "Oh but I don't mean to make light of you, Jar," he insists, through laughs, "But only you…" He shakes his head, and cannot seem to finish that thought either, but for the laughing.
"To seven hells with the pair of you. Lyla's not a whore. Just serves drinks," Jarod says, quick to the defense of the honor of his wandering barmaid. "And I did not pay for my first time. Might not pay for it tonight, either." He takes his fresh beer, though he's still speculating on the brunette at the bar. "I'm going to finish this real quick so I've got an excuse to go up and buy another, I think. I wonder if she's heard my ballad yet…?" Jacsen receives an elbow for his laughter, though it's not *too* pointed. "How did Lord Cyric die, anyhow? I remember him a little. Common knight with the Mallisters, so I think my Ser Vernon knew him well enough."
"His heart gave out, unexpectedly," Gedeon replies, a bit more somberly. "He was young enough, it was a surprise to get the letter." For Lyla, and her status, the Oldstones knight only smirks. "So she might not charge you, since she's probably not a whore. I see. Well, here then, incentive for you to chase your lady fair. Call it a race." And by race, Gedeon seems to mean downing a tankard of ale in one, long drink.
He's party to the race betwixt the men to down their mugs of ale, but Jacsen is not the first to finish. Like as not, he is not the second either, but a respectable distance behind the second man to finish. He grins, and wipes his mouth with the back of his hand all the same, and reaches for his cane. "Well if you're off to discuss your relationship with the barmaid," he tells his brother, "I think I'm going to leave Ged here to the Lady of Freckles and Tits." He nods towards his brunette with the pretty brown eyes, whom has an otherwise plain look to her creamy-skinned face, "I think I've some business to discuss with a new friend…"
"Might not bed me, was my meaning, so I may have to see if any of the proper working girls are free tonight when you lads're occupying those two. Hard to tell which of the town men Fair Lyla's fancying at a given time. But I'm confident I can be charming and comely enough to win her affections tonight. You're on!" Jarod is, predictably, totally up for beer chugging. Glug, glug, glug, glug, glug, glug. He'll definitely get it all down in one go, whether or not he's victorious in the 'racing' aspect of the drinking.
In the end, it doesn't much matter who wins, as all three mugs come down empty and Gedeon gives a little shake of his head. "Oof, now I think I am ready for freckles and tits." He blinks a couple more times and gives his head a final shake for good measure. "Gentlemen, to battle. And may we meet again, victorious in our conquests." He snickers, easing his chair back as he glances around for those pretty green eyes, those freckles and, well, those rather nice tits.