Page 453: Children of Mosedale
Children of Mosedale
Summary: They may hail from the same village, but it seems Freya and Mortimer have vastly different outlooks on life.
Date: 19/Oct/2012
Related Logs: None specifically
Freya Mortimer 
Leatherworker, Terrick's Roost
The local tanner's shop is a well-lit enclosure that might seem welcoming to some with its scents and plush comforts for some of the finer wares available. Leather dusters and riding coats are available as well as thick leather armor and even some kinds of furniture coverings. It would seem almost anything conceivable in leather could be requested. Saddles are advertised on the wall, also, but appear to only be made by request. Much of the work area is hidden behind a thinner wall and doorway that goes into the rear behind a short counter.
Fri Oct 19, 289

Freya Caul is cleaning up. One of the few things she is good at at the leatherworkers. That and doing inventories. It is late afternoon and nearing closing time so business has slowed down. Freya quietly smiles at the ground in a sickly sweet manner. So many things had happened recently - none of them as best she could figure by her own design. But things were looking up - a little. She looks at the door almost expecting someone to come through. The Leatherworker is in the back with his family so she is for the moment alone.

Things may be up in the air at the tower, but in town at least, Mortimer is glad to see that everyday life seems to be continuing. In the progress of his rounds so far he's heard mostly the usual grumbles, but then if there are those who dislike the change of power at the top, they’d be unlikely to be sharing it with him, or so he figures anyway. Importantly though no matter what people's private feelings, there's been no trouble and that is his main concern. Not too much further down that list though is checking to see that all is well at the leatherworker's and that's what brings him down this particular street and to this particular shop. He doesn't enter fully, merely step across the threshold and stop, before giving the briefest of nods in recognition of Freya's presence, "the master or his journeyman in?" is his enquiry, after all they're the ones who can best keep him up to date.

Freya nods, "In the back working master Sheriff - shall I summon them?" Freya is awfully polite today - and clean despite her day of work. Lighter duties since that incident the other day where she 'saved' the leatherworkers daughter from falling from the roof. Freya beams at Mortimer innocently - though she suspected he knew better. "Do you remember these Master Treveylan…" She pulls a half completed spinning drum toy - popular amongst the children of Mosedale, "Been building it - thought Master Bannon's children might like it."

Mortimer isn't really much in the mood for small talk, he'd far rather get what he needs to do done and go home to his family, but as Freya seems to actually be making an effort he figures it's probably better to reciprocate rather than just brush it off. A glance to the toy gains her another faint nod and a confession of "I do," before he shifts position slightly to lean against the door frame.

"Remember the spring festival - and the harvest mead?" She says smiling to herself. "Where did all that go? Is it still there - or did it get wiped away by the Ironborn?" She is a little bitter. "Seems like the only people who remember my family now is you and me…" she puts the toy back. "And I doubt you think of them fondly… or me for that matter." After a pause, "I'm leaving this place when I get my manacles off."

"Hard to," Mortimer answers flatly, "given the trouble they caused the rest of us." He manages to keep the anger those thoughts and memory evoke out of his voice, but he makes no effort to add any other form of feeling. There is however, the faintest hint of satisfaction in his voice at her last piece of news though, it'll make his life easier after all, one less headache to worry about. "Good," he answers after a moment, followed then by "where will you go?" Not so much that he's curious for her sake, but more trying to work out if she's staying within Terrick lands or heading further afield.

Freya cants her head as she usually does - smirking darkly at Mortimer - examining him for once. "Sent on my way with the purest of contempt from the one person left alive who new me from when I was a little girl. I can see it's the right decision now," She is hurt - resentful even. But quietly, "Really does it matter?" a question for a question.

"I'm not sending you anywhere Miss Caul," comes Mortimer's calm answer, "the Lord Sheriff and I have done what we can to secure you an /honest/ job once your time here is up, but if you choose to try your luck elsewhere then you are free to do so." Folding his arms across his chest he smiles slightly, seemingly faintly amused at something before adding, "and I wouldn't say I'm the only one left alive who remembers the troubles you caused and were part of, merely the only one here. I bet if you went home you'd find others." Others who may not be entirely happy to see such a ghost from the past.

"I didn't kill anyone Master Treveylan. And I was barely a child when I left Mosedale. You speak of other peoples actions - family maybe. But we don't get to choose who we are related to." Pause, "should I kiss the boot you have on my neck because you press it down so very lightly?" Freya says to Mortimer in relation to the 'honest' profession remark. "Anyway it’s all moot," she says waving her hand dismissively, "The Lord Sheriff is quite done with me it seems having problems of his own - I am sure he will cut me loose pretty soon and then I am no longer your problem. If I ever come back - it will be short - and I'll make sure you don't see me if I do." Leaving home is a big deal for Freya no matter how much of a relief it is for Mortimer - she is wrestling with the reality of not belonging anywhere really once again.

"I don't remember anyone claiming you did Miss Caul, just theft. I hate to break it you but you are not being persecuted for anything, simply being punished for a crime of which you are guilty." It's a level response, and one which is taking a fair amount of Mortimer's patience to keep so. "It's exactly the same as those squires. They broke the law and they are being punished for it too. You are not special. If you choose to see the Lord's justice as a boot aimed at your own neck then I am not sure what else we can say or do to prove otherwise. The job at the inn is there if you want it, if not," he shrugs almost absently, "then as I said, you're free to go where you will. We will know though, if you return, but you need to understand that the law will only care if you give it reason to." Unless of course Justin banishes her, but so far as he knows that isn't the plan.

"Guilt by association with bandits was my crime I believe - so I transferred from being their captive pretty much to being yours. Not much of an improvement - moving from lustful bullies to stern paternal types like yourself master Treveylan. The law just adds another level of hypocrisy to it all. If I am not special then why didn't the Lord Sheriff choose to hang me? Weakness for a pretty face perhaps?" She might have Mortimer there - pretty plainly an exception was made for her. "And these squires - have you arrested them? Where are they?"

Not wanting to get dragged off topic, Mortimer answers her last queries first, "Yes I did arrest them and they are up at the keep." That dealt with he wastes no time in switching back. "I think perhaps I was not quite clear," or maybe she willfully misinterpreted what he said. Either way, he figures he loses nothing by assuming the fault is his own, "I was trying to point out to you that the Law is not singling you out for cruel or unusual punishment. It is not out to get you and the example you just gave is a good one. I won't claim to know the Lord Sheriff's mind but maybe he thought you'd be able to turn yourself around and decided to take a chance and let you try. Maybe thats why he ensured there'd be a job waiting for you once your sentence is complete. He was in no way obligated to do that you understand, he's just trying to ensure you don't fall back into old habits through lack of choice. He's tried to help you Miss Caul, but it's up to you in the end."

Freya nods at Mortimer's statement about the squires, "I haven't seen them so how do you know it's them?" She asks, "And what will happen to them anyway?" Sitting up on the bench Freya says, "I know the Lord Sheriffs mind a little from what he said outside my cell to Lady Anais - just that he thought I was a scared kid - needed a shot somewhere. I'm not questioning his leniency - I just have too many enemies hereabouts - squires and nobles who think that I escaped proper punishment. It's not safe - better for me to be somewhere where nobody knows me. Maybe with a different name." And then the question, 'What about you master Deputy Sheriff? WOuld you have hanged me?"

"Your descriptions, and one of them decided he didn't want to get in more trouble and so he spilled his guts." The question about what will happen meets only a shrug from Mortimer and, "Thats for the Lord Sheriff to decide." Sucks to be Justin it seems. As for her final question, at that he tilts his head slightly and studies her for a moment before responding honestly but without malice, "Probably, but it's wasn't my decision and if the Lord Sheriff says that wasn't the appropriate sentence then that wasn't the appropriate sentence."

Freya laughs incredulously at Mortimer's statement. "You'd have hanged me?" Shaking her head, "You must know we are not enemies Master Trevelyan? If all you had to worry about was me in this town you could sleep very soundly at night." Sighing, "You have no mercy in you. Were the shoe on the other foot and you were at my mercy - even now you would fare much better than I would under yours. And this boot on my neck doesn't exist you say?"

"Mercy is not mine to give or take Miss Caul," Mortimer responds, seemingly unmoved either way by her reactions, "that's up to the Lord Sheriff, or the Lord Terrick himself. He choose in your case to offer it and I accept his wisdom in that, there is nothing more to it." He shifts stance ever so slightly, lifting one arm to absently scratch at his forehead for a moment. "The enemies I have are those that threaten his Lordship's peace and thus the peace and well being of these lands and their people. If you revert back to your old ways then you will be my enemy, if not then I shall do nothing but wish you well in your endeavours."

Freya scoffs, "There's always power in the agents of the law - they choose whether to arrest or let someone go when commands are vague. And that power can be administered cruelly or with leniency - but never impartially." On the subject of the Lord's peace, "And if the lord passed a law that required all blonde people in his lands to be executed would you carry that out as well? Me being inherently then in breach of the Lord's peace?"

Mortimer frowns a little then replies, the faintest hint of cold in his voice, "I went to war to stop Lords like that, something I don't recall any of your brood doing." His hand drops again, returning to it's previous position before he continues, tone also reverting back. "I think perhaps you overestimate my role in the grand scheme of things. It is not my place to start second guessing what the Lord Sheriff does or does not want. The things you talk of are his responsibility, I just aid him where I can."

Freya smiles at Mortimer and says quietly without any cold in her voice, "If it is the Ironborn invasion you mean - then none of my brood were left to fight anyone. My brothers had their throats cut. My mother raped and murdered - all in front of me. And I could not have aided you being in chains and destined to be the saltwife of the Ironborn who had killed my family." Freya has seen great darkness in her time it is true. "They were scum to you - and I understand your position. But family is family and after I escaped and spent a turn as a camp follower in the King's counter attack they wouldn't even let me into the Sept to light a candle for them. One that I'd bought with my very last copper. Thought I was too dirty - the house that welcome all did not welcome me - and so they went unmourned. Never set foot in a Sept after that. You couldn't drag me into one with all of your guardsmen. So pardon me if us Cauls were all too busy being murdered and enslaved to help fight your war." She wipes away a solitary tear. "Thought I was over that…" she remarks more to herself. "Anyway you have business with Master Bannon - and we can't have you keeping /low/ company - people may talk."

"Once again you put that word in my mouth" Mortimer remarks, "I find that strange since it's not one I've used myself." A pause, and a faint shrug before he continues, "but no, that is not the war I was meaning. You're not so young as to not remember the Mad King, even though you'd wouldn't have seen or heard half of what some of us did." There's a reason, several infact, why he was called the Mad King. "The throne is in the hands of House Baratheon now though, and while I'm sure both you and I would be among the first to not that the kingdom isn't perfect, take it from one who can remember, it's far better than it was."

"And plenty of fine souls who were royalists too Master Trevelyan," Freya snaps as she stands and gets ready to retrieve the Master. "I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have to force you to admit that. Weren't they just following the retainers policy of obedience as virtue? Isn't that what you have been advocating?" Arched golden brow as she peers through the back room to see if the Master is busy.

"People die in war Miss Caul," is Mortimer's measured response, "it is the nature of the beast. Good and bad men alike, soldiers, knights, lords, women, children, good and bad alike. Most of them made a choice though," the obvious exceptions being the civilians that always get caught up in such things. "Some chose well, others less so, but where there is war there will always be death." He stops himself there, knowing only too well where that train of conversation leads. Following her gaze through to the backroom though he stands up straight from the doorway and starts in that direction. As he passes her, Freya gets a brief nod, the same as when he entered, and a brief, neutral, "Good day Miss Caul."