Page 280: Clam Hunting
Clam Hunting
Summary: Discussions over clam-digging beneath Four Eagles Keep.
Date: 25 Apr 2012
Related Logs: None
Anais Saffron Kamron Briallyn Desmond Roric 
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.
25 April 289

It's a fine day in Terrick's Roost. The sun is shining, there are just enough clouds in the sky to offer the occasional soft shadow, and a cool breeze comes in off the water, breaking the afternoon heat. On one of the stretches further away from the Roost itself, Anais and a small cadre of townsfolk, handmaids, and guards are engaged in…digging up the beach? No, that can't be right. On closer inspection, however, it may become clear that they are in the process of digging for clams. It may not exactly be a normal activity for the lady of a keep, but Anais seems quite comfortable with it, her hair braided away from her face, in an old linen dress with the sleeves rolled up to her elbows and skirts just short enough to miss the low waves. "Close," she laughs to a boy of around eight, leaning down to show him the clam in her hand. "That one's a bit too small. You'll want to put that one down and look for ones about the size of your hand. Maybe a little bigger."

Stubbornness runs in the Banefort blood — especially with the women. Then again, some would argue all those Westerlander women are nothing but stubborn — its all the mountains. Saffron Banefort has refused to come back in after the earlier ruffle with her guardian. The pair of guards who have been looking out after her — the lanky Timmen and the fat Punbah — have been keeping their distance as she walks along the rocky surf. When she hears the sound of laughter and the familiar voice of her cousin, she balances on the stones to make her way toward the Terrick lady. Her bare feet are dirty, and her boots are held by the despondant Punbah, probably at her bullying request. She brightens as she nears Anais. "Cousin!" She calls as she nears.

Kamron has evidently been busy since his time on the beach earlier today. Now he's changed into loose, light clothing, which he's promptly gotten dirty. Now he's done with whatever got him so dirty, and on his way down to the beach again, wiping off his brow with the sleeve of his shirt — and leaving a stripe of mud across his forehead. The sight of the two Banefort guardsmen draws his attention first, as they're armed men, and then he notices the group of women and children alongside them. Heading over in their direction, he smiles and gives a little wave, but doesn't interrupt the greeting of the cousins.

The Lady Briallyn Haigh and her retinue, including no less than her overbearing, nightmarish Septa, her timid lady's maid, a stoic guardsman, and Lord Desmond Westerling. The procession, striking out on the beach, is mounted with the young Lady leading the way on her over-eager dappled gray mare. The skyline of water and sky is distraction enough to drown out the Septa's lecture, and the young woman cannot be bothered to make note of whatever it is the rotund, dour-faced old hag is rambling at her about this time. Her appearance does not suit the weather, dressed in exquisite dark green and bronze silk, and her fingers idly tug at the reins to keep Arrow from darting across the sand. "Desmond, what are they doing?" She inquires absently as they finally come into sight of Anais and the unfamiliar faces, half-turning in her saddle to glance backward at the squire.

Desmond is ever vigilant as he shadows on foot Briallyn, apparently expecting the absolute worst during this little search. Were it not for the crashing sound of waves, he'd be twitching at every little twig snap. Though the Septa's lecturing would probably drown everything out anyway. "/Would/ you /please/ shut up!" he finally barks, jutting his lip out at the older woman. "Hrm? Oh, hold up, let me find out." And as if running ahead ten feet would help, he squints into the distance only to report: "I don't know."

Roric trails in at some point after Desmond, perhaps having been following him for quite some time or simply here of his own volition. His guardsman, clad in the livery of House Westerling, trails a few steps behind him with his usual blank expression and watchful eyes. Roric pauses for a moment, looking out onto the ocean and closing his eyes with a small smile as he takes a deep breath of the sea air.

"Saffron!" Anais calls back to her cousin, turning toward the approach and raising a hand with a laugh. "You're just in time! We're digging for clams!" She, too, is barefoot, picking her way around the beach in search of something to add a little more flavor to the broths and stews that have become the usual meals around the Roost. Of course, as she turns, she finds both a Mallister and a crew of people in proper garb ahorse, which brings a brief flush of color to her cheeks. Well, there's no changing now, and so instead she turns the smile on all of them alike. "And it seems we have more help than anticipated. Afternoon, all," she calls cheerfully to the rest.

Saffron is in within grip of her cousin, and she takes her arm gingerly. The pink color that comes to Anais' cheeks is commented on in a soft whisper between the two, "You're more lovely in bare feet and dirt than any, Annie." And she winks. The wave from Kamron catches the redhead's sight, and she returns it with a slight grin pulling up at her lips. "Right where you left me, Ser Kamron," she says in a voice that carries easily. She releases her cousin's arm after a moment before she regards the Westerlings and their approach. She gives her cousin a silent, imploring look before she returns her sight on the finely-dressed others.

Kamron glances up at the approach of the horses and riders, and something about their approach causes him to straighten his back and square his shoulders. Rocks shift under his boots, but he bows to Anais, Saffron, and the rest of the little group from the Roost and the Banefort. It is a formal, courtly bow, as one might see in King's Landing itself. "Lady Terrick, Lady Saffron." The address is formal as well, as if to reinforce that even if they are wearing work clothes, they are still nobility. Straightening up, he lets a crooked grin touch one corner of his lips, "And still without your shoes, Lady Saffron." One hand gestures back to himself, "I, however, am a bit the worse for wear." And with that, he turns his attention up to the mounted newcomers, nodding his head in polite greeting of one noble to another, even if he looks like a vagrant laborer.

Pulling up a few yards short of the small group, Briallyn smothers a laugh at the Septa's expression behind a leather gloved hand. "Beg pardon, my Lord? I should think Ser Garett would not approve of your-" The young woman clears her throat. "I'm sure he's deeply apologetic, Septa Darna. If you would excuse us, however, we do have business to attend to," the youth drawls softly, obscuring a fox-like smile at the aged woman. The Lady Haigh smoothly swings down from her saddle to land gingerly on dampened sand with seemingly little effort.

The wind buffets her, and full lips purse while she lifts her hands to adjust her hair so that the long mahogany waves do not whip at her face. "Lady Anais," she greets, eyebrow still lifted as if not sure what to make of their joined styles of dress. Briallyn's moss green eyes shift amongst the assembled natives with unabashed curiosity, intense gaze raking over each in a quick cursory study. The Septa does not appear pleased with the situation, and remains ahorse alongside the timid, mousy woman who is presumably the Lady's maid. The curtsy the young noblewoman offers is short-lived, but graceful, and her elegant fingers remain clutching her skirts to lift them away from the sand for protection.

"Ah! They seem to be… digging," Desmond deducts helpfully, and perhaps a bit too late. "Keep your eyes open, Roric," he mutters, staring at Kamron. When Briallyn dismounts, he rushes forth to guard her side, quite unable to relax in the pleasant sea breeze.

"Hm? For what?" asks Roric of Desmond, utterly oblivious to whatever he's trying to imply as he shrugs and looks out over the sea for a moment longer. Shaking his head, he trails off after his Cousins once more as they approach the other group.

Anais gives Saffron's hand a reassuring squeeze at that imploring look, chin lifting just a bit with Kamron's bow. Pride, at least, is something in which she will never be lacking. "Shoes are a detriment to finding clams, Lord Mallister," she says with a wry smile, a twinkle of humor in her eyes. "Why not leave your own up the beach and join us?" As Briallyn dismounts, she turns her attention to the other lady, casting a speculative glance at the grumpy septa. "Lady Haigh. What an unexpected pleasure. Though I think you may be overdressed for clam-digging," she teases gently. "Although you do seem to have brought some assistants." Roric and Desmond get a grin at that.

The Banefort daughter earnestly arches a brow at the Mallister knight, though she feels her own mannerisms kick in as she straightens in her poise and clasps her hands behind her back. She glances over toward Kamron with a slight tilt of her head, noting quietly, "You could have of course brought me shoes if you were so concerned… I will have one of the maids give you my measurements so you can be better prepared." And she flashes him a quick smile as the ocean breeze catches up her own strawberried locks and pull loose her braids. As Briallyn incites the pleasantries, she also gives a small curtsy in response. Pale, aquamarine eyes pace between the Haigh lady and her amass of escorts. A ways off, Timmen and Punbah adjust their armor as they share a look and they simultaneously plod in closer though they hardly compare to knights and squires—there is a chance that Punbah just finished picking his nose by the nervous way he flicks his fingernails together.

Kamron is skeery. He's got absolutely no weapons visible on him. Then again, he does have the scarred face of a soldier, including the still-pink gash over his right eyebrow. He also has a broad grin on his lips at Anais' words. Gesturing the tall, lanky Banefort guardsman over, he tells Saffron, "I might've, Lady Saffron, but I knew your brave guardsmen would have a pair." Assuming Timmen comes over, Kam puts a hand on his shoulder to brace himself so he can pull off one of his boots and the stocking beneath, "Of course, Lady Terrick. Happy to pitch in." There's a bit of challenge in the glance he gives up toward the mounted men, and his grin grows broader, and more mischievously crooked if that was possible.

"Clam digging?" Her sultry voice is politely quizzical, as is the smile that curls her lips. Turning away from Anais briefly, Briallyn makes a gesture towards the Septa, still mounted upon her fattened pony. "Septa Darna, if you would, I can see the weather doesn't agree with you." It's difficult to discern that, considering the Septa's voice looks staunchly disapproving no matter what. "It isn't the weather that I am concerned about," the Septa retorts sharply, mud brown eyes scanning the assembled group. "I'm not going to molest anybody, Septa. Do, go." Belligerent until the end, the round woman offers one last glare for the young woman before retreating back across the beach.

Some of the tension in the young Lady Haigh's frame relaxes, and she turns to address Anais with no small bit of color in her cheeks. Reaching up, Briallyn gently pinches the bridge of her nose. "My apologies, Lady. Lady Valda has a cruel sense of humor," she remarks dryly. "I do not know what clam digging is, precisely, but if it makes you more amenable to discussions of trade…" Voice trailing off with the offer left unsaid, Briallyn begins to strip her fine leather gloves from slender fingers.

Desmond waves his hand distractedly in Roric's direction. "Shh!" And that's all the Lord gets in response as the squire looks around, hand on the hilt of one of his daggers. Apparently he is expecting an ambush. When it doesn't come, he straightens up and dusts his tunic, regarding Anais with a hesitant smile. Skeery Kamron and Saffron get a quick nod, then he frowns at Briallyn. "…Wait, you're going to dig? Have your horrid Septa do it! Or Adelia! Frankly I prefer scallops."

"Hm, digging for clams, hm?" asks Roric, casually glancing over to the group and offering a polite bow in greeting. "Ah, forgive my lack of pleasantries. Lord Roric Westerling of the Crag, a seeker of trade and opportunity. I thought I'd tag along with my family and…soon-to-be family, quite a nice evening, yes?" nonchalantly queries Roric, looking out back to the sea again as he folds his hands behind his back.

"Me?" Anais' brows rise at Briallyn's words, surprise clear in her features. "My lady, there is absolutely nothing you need do to make me amenable to discussions of trade," she laughs, rueful. "Though I have heard her sense of humor isn't the only cruel thing about Lady Valda." Absently, she brushes her hands off on the back of her skirts, flashing a grin as Kamron takes off his boots. "To be honest, it's a chance to get away from the damage the reavers caused and forget about things for a little bit. It gets the children out into the sun and the fresh air where they can run off some energy, and it brings in something to add a little more heft and flavor to what we have left from our stores. You certainly don't need to join in if you'd rather not. And if you would, then you can tell your septa that that dreadful Lady Anais encouraged you," she dimples with affected innocence. As Roric introduces himself, she sketches a slight curtsey. "There seem to be Westerlings all over the Riverlands these days, my lord. I hope all is well at the Crag?"

"She won' take shoes from us, Sah," Timmen reports in his slightly high pitched voice, and Punbah rumbles some kind of affirmative while simultaneously look on in caution at the firecracker Banefort they somehow got stuck babysitting because the stupid Sterling common knight has to go wander around all of Riverlands when she tolerates him better… Punbah breathes out a heavy sigh that seems to further deflate his shoulders. Though both men look around toward Briallyn at her proclaimation and promise that there will be no molesting today; they quickly look back at each other where its safer.

All Saffron does is cast her guards a speculatively look before she breathes out a sigh that blows her forelocks out of her soft face. Once the Septa is out of earshot — though they do tend to have wildly impressive hearing — Saffron speaks to the Haigh lady with a touch of amusement, "She should meet my guardian Mistress Morla—they would get along like peas and potatoes." She casts the squire a glance at his nod, and she returns it with only the slightest threat of an arched brow. She retains her smile all the same. As one of the strangers introduces himself, it allows her to provide her own introduction. "Well met, Lord Roric… I am Lady Saffron Banefort." She gestures to Kamron. "Have you met Ser Kamron Mallister?"

Kamron pulls off one boot, then switches his lean on Timmen to pull off the other. Once that task is done, the guardsman gets a pat on the chest and the pair of boots, "If you'd put those with Lady Saffron's, I'll make sure she puts her boots on when it's time to leave." Now, that might be a promise he can't keep, but it's one he's willing to make in order to get the help. The introduction brings another grin to his features, and he reaches up to touch his brow with one finger, then nods a little more formally, "Lord Roric. Lady. Lord." For the man who hasn't introduced himself yet. "I'm sure it's a pleasure to meet all of you." In bare feet, dirty pants, and a dirty shirt, with a stripe of dirt across his brow, he doesn't look like much of a knight.

A hint of embarrassment appears upon the sculpted features of the young Lady which results in a prompt and rueful grin that flashes pearly white teeth. Her bronze silk sheathed elbow nudges Desmond sharply in the ribs. "Sorry, it's been a bloody rough day," Briallyn says, waving an open palmed hand in a short sign of surrender. "My manners are usually better." Dark green eyes dart to Desmond's face, a clear warning that he ought not counter /that/. "I am Lady Briallyn Haigh," she says with more formality than the casual intimacy that seems to have come so readily before. She makes a closer study of both Saffron and Kamron, and there is nothing demure in that gaze whatsoever.

"Do not worry, Lady Anais, it's hardly digging about in sand that worries that woman." Fingers, nailed moderately long and well groomed, curl back the snugly fitting sleeves to her elbows. "You're not afraid of a little sand, are you, Des? You don't think crabs will get me? This /is/ where crabs come from, isn't it?" Clearly not a coastal dweller, this Lady.

Desmond doesn't bother introducing himself just yet. He simply stands rigid, stone-faced, trying to look important as his gaze lingers on the scarred knight. He finally parts his lips to say something, and Briallyn nudges him. "Hnn. She's usually /quite/ better about her manners. I don't know what's gotten into her. Lord Desmond Westerling." When Briallyn asks of crabs, he slowly, slowly turns his head to stare at her. "I'm not afraid of /sand/. Do you even know what a crab is, m'Lady? Perhaps the coast isn't the best place for you. Let's conduct our business and get going before a seagull attacks you."
<Spoilers> Valda has connected.

"Yes, the seagulls are quite vicious. They pile up men by the dozens I hear," states Roric matter-of-factly, shaking his head as he nods to Saffron, Anais and Kamron. "A pleasure to meet you all. The Crag is as well as it's always been, I suppose," chuckles the Westerling, shrugging his shoulders. "I far prefer the road these days," he admits, bowing his head to Kamron. "Ser Mallister."

Anais seems amused by Briallyn's question, smile quirking as she tilts her head. "In general, yes," she agrees. "Though only the small ones tend to wander the shore. Mmmm. Which reminds me, we should see about putting out some crab pots. It would be a worth a try, and we could practically make them from the wreckage of…everything." The Roost may have suffered at Ironborn hands, but Anais is focused on ways to improve. "Neither crabs nor seagulls are generally inclined to attack," she adds with wry amusement at the Westerlings, shaking her head. Laughing, she turns toward the group still digging. "Come on, then. I'll be glad to demonstrate for anyone interested."

"Would like to see you try, Sah," Timmen says reproachfully as he takes the Lord knight's boots and trods off to place them with Saffron's. Their Lady is far too busy making nice with the fellow Westerlanders and Lady Briallyn while in dirtied feet, wet skirt hems despite their bustling to notice the exchange between her guards and the Mallister knight. She grins toward Briallyn before she gives Kamron an arched look with silent inquiry, perhaps even referring to earlier conversation on this very beach. Saffron casts a glance to the Mallister before she grins toward her cousin. "Pretend we have not done this before, dear cousin, and show me how its done." After all, that way the men could learn without actually having to be taught—she's seen her mother use this tactic before!

Kamron's eyebrows rise up at the introduction from the Lady of Broadmoor Keep, but he nods his head again, "Lady Briallyn." His eyes turn over to Desmond, "Lord Desmond." He chuckles softly at the questions and comments about crabs and seagulls and other oceanic things. He gives Timmen a pat on the shoulder and a wry shrug. Turning his attention to the other nobles, he steps forward over the fist-sized rocks that make up most of the 'beach,' moving gingerly in his bare feet, "Crabs and seagulls won't trouble you, Lords and Lady, but salt will do a number on fine cloth. Trade, on the other hand, is not bad for anyone."

"Ser Mallister, Lady Saffron," Briallyn says with an absolutely beatific smile… while she's gently brushing past Desmond. Without sudden warning, she lets out a convincing squawk, her shoulder jars against the man, and she steps just slightly to stand beside him. A swift knee slams into his leg, buckling one of his legs so that he can't steady himself against the sharp, sudden shove against both of his shoulders. "Desmond, a seagull!" Of course, there is no sea gull, but Desmond is likely to wind up with a mouth filled with sand unless he catches himself on his hands during his tumble.

The young Lady plays it off rather well, preening while the squire fumbles. Tucking wisps of dark mahogany hair behind her ears, checking to make sure the lavishly carved ivory combs in her hair are still snugly secured. "If the Roost is still interested in what my House has to offer, I may have an agreement of sorts that might interest you. A long term agreement, or at least until the Roost is less…. vulnerable." Dark green eyes cast about herself on the beach, noting the scattering of debris even as Briallyn falls smoothly in line with the rest of the group as if the shoving of Desmond never even occurred. "As for silk, it is a dress, and no matter of life and death, surely."

Desmond fixes a look upon Roric that seems to waver between disbelief and horror. The squawk gets his attention, and he reaches for his daggers to defend against a /bird/ apparently, only to get kneed in the leg and shoved forth into the sand, face first. And there he sprawls, spitting grit, propping himself upright on his palms. Seems he's used to the abuse, as he doesn't snap or puff up. But he does eye the Haigh, possibly waiting until she wanders closer to the water…

Roric can only sigh at the typical antics of Briallyn and Desmond, a sigh telling the story of something seen many times and at this point resulting in a complete lack of surprise. Shaking his head, he turns his attentions over to the others. "Oh, demonstrate you say? I suppose that's more interesting than this," retorts Roric with a pointed look toward Briallyn and Desmond.

"That would be ideal, my lady," Anais smiles warmly to Briallyn, ducking her chin to hide her expression at the stumble. "I can't make promises on behalf of my lord husband or goodfather, of course, but I'd be pleased to bring such an offer to them." There's a warm look to Saffron, a slight nod of understanding, as she moves a little further down the beach. "We're mostly looking for the spots at the edge here," she explains. "Where there's what looks like bubbles. That's from the clams breathing. So you dig around them, and see if you find any." Her smile deepens into a laugh as she looks around at some of the children from the village and the divots in the beach. "Sometimes there's much more digging than finding. Much like trade arrangements, for that matter."

With her eyes on Anais, she did not actually see the incident between Briallyn and Desmond — but she hears it. It incites a strange and sudden instinct that passes through Saffron's frame, and it could almost be confused for a dancer's step if not for the slight defensiveness to it. Though it quickly passes and she regains her noblewoman's poise though there is a slight flush at her ears — embarressed by her reaction, perhaps? She manages a quick smile and she shakes her head a bit. Whatever she may have to say, she is quieted by the words spoken by the Haigh lady. She steps closer to Kamron, casting a small glance to him before she follows the guidance of her cousin through familiar steps of clam digging. She gathers up her bustled skirts, showing off more ankle and calf—Seven forbid! She ducks down to seek the first streamer of bubbles amongst the saturated rocks. She looks up toward the Mallister knight, offering him a spot beside her while the Terrick and Haigh ladies speak.

Kamron blinks at the sudden attack by the Haigh upon the Westerling, his eyebrows once more doing their best to rise up his forehead. "Silk is still costly, of course, Lady Seagull." He doesn't protest beyond that, but apparently even the rich Mallisters have to pinch pennies these days. Turning his attention to the lesson from Anais, he looks where she indicates, then glances over to Saffron as she steps up alongside him, pressing down his bare foot near the streamer, looking to narrow down the exact area and pointing, "Right there, Lady Saffron." He blinks at the flash of pale calf, and then quickly looks away, over to Roric, "I suppose this is normal, Lord Roric?" He nods over to Haigh and the Westerling.

"It is, of course, but unless you're carrying an entire wardrobe, Ser Snark, I haven't much choice. Nobody warned me about such things. Thank you, again, Desmond. You've been /tremendously/ helpful." Throughout it, she maintains a friendly enough demeanor, dulcet tones warm, even playful, but for brightly burning green eyes. Briallyn trails after Anais without even a second glance for poor Desmond, still recovering from the abrupt shove, her own chin thrust slightly upward in some mock defiance. "I see. That doesn't sound /too/ bad," Briallyn muses dubiously. Unfortunately, there is no way to protect the skirts from sand, but she does her best to pull the hem away from it. Beneath the dress, no slippers, but rather a pair of well worn leather boots, knee high and fitted tightly. "Nor can I promise that I've the power to sign it today, as well, but it cannot hurt to speak of it." Her gaze scans the sand beneath her feet, finding nothing. "What I would propose might not hurt your purse so much, certainly in the short term when your House and lands are recovering." As she speaks, her eyes alight upon a patch of sand from which small bubbles seem to be rising to the surface.

"No one help me up, I'm fine," Desmond mumbles, shaking sand from his trousers. He jogs to rejoin the group, mood sour, though with all of that ankle and leg showing, the grumbles don't last long. I mean come on, dat calf. Tossing aside his boots, he moves after the Haigh, glad to let the political talk go over his head as he hunts around for bubbles.

"Ah, sticks," Anais adds belatedly as people start to find potential clams. "Usually, we start the digging with sticks. Easier than going in with your hands, after all." It's only the work of a few moments to find some driftwood to share out among the searchers. She glances to Kamron and Saffron, but as the pair seems to have the process well under control, returns her attention to Briallyn in short order. "What is it you propose, my lady?" she asks with a small smile, pausing to start digging her own stick into the sand.

"Oh, I was going to, but so long as you say so," Roric shrugs toward Desmond as he gets up and mutters, giving a somewhat tired smile to Kamron. "Normal? Yes, yes I suppose it may just be," notes the Westerling, stopping his following up the others as he glances skyward. "Well! It's starting to grow later than I figure. A pleasure meeting you all, of course. Cousin, I'll see you again later. A pleasant day to you all," he speaks with a final bow, moseying off back to town with his guardsman.

Even as she keeps her ears to the conversation between Briallyn and Anais, she steps toward Kamron and drops into a delicate squat so she can begin to rifle up the stones and sand to remove from the trenches a clam about the size of her palm. Her fingers come out saturated in grime, her pale fingers dirtied and nails darkened. "Oh… sticks," she says belatedly with a small wink to Anais. She weighs it in her grip, feeling the mass of the meat within the shell. She smiles over toward the knight and the approaching squire. "That was not hard at all, was it?" She hands over the clam to the Mallister before she goes hunting for another bubble trail. She looks up toward Roric as he begins to make his farewells, and she inclines her head gently. "'Til next we meet, Lord Roric," she says pleasantly even as she is up and moving across the waterlogged stones toward another flood of bubbles.

Kamron touches his brow at the rejoinder from the Haigh, then pats his shirt as if looking for a pocket with a wardrobe in it, "Fresh out of wardrobes, Lady Seagull. I do have a pair of boots over there that might be somewhere near your size." He gestures over to where Timmen and Punbah stand by two pair of boots. Roric's departure occasions a brief wave, and then he's holding out a stick given to him by Anais to Saffron, "Mistress Morla will thank you if you use this instead. Or at least, she'll kill you more quickly, Lady Saffron." He takes the clam in exchange, following along after her as he looks over to Desmond, "I didn't think you would want the help up in front of ladies."

"He'll be fine. He's endured worse," Briallyn remarks, making a small, flippant gesture in Desmond's general direction. "That really /is/ a shame, but fortunately, I haven't a need for boots. You see, I've come well prepared." Another lift of the hem to expose a snug boot. Fortunately, the boot, though well fitted, does not expose skin, unlike Saffron's delicate ankle and smooth calf. Unfortunately, the gesture would still likely have Septa Darna shrieking and rolling in the sand if she were present. With a shrug of her shoulders, Briallyn accepts a stick from Anais with a delicate incline of her head. Hands spread her skirts carefully so she can kneel in the sand near the water line with the minimum amount of silk actually touching the ground.

She isn't a frail, prim thing, it would seem, and she digs into the sand where the bubbles first appeared. Displacing the sand to small mounds on either side of the hole, Briallyn dips a well groomed hand into it to pluck out the quarry. A clam smaller than Saffron's, but the young Lady Haigh seems both delighted and puzzled by it. "Yes, yes, terms," she remarks absently, cradling the small clam in her palm, imprisoned by slender fingers. "I would accept in stead of immediate payment a parcel of your land. The worth of that land would dictate how little or how much those grain barges cost. Over a set duration of time, of course, that can be determined."

Desmond finally just slumps back to lie against some sizable driftwood. "Yes," he replies to Kamron, evenly, "That's why I said /don't/." Pause. "Worse? Far worse." It'd be so easy to just rush over and push Briallyn in. But Desmond refrains, deciding instead to try and make conversation for once. "Ser Kamron is a name I hear rather often. Your triumphs have apparently traveled far and wide."

Anais's brows rise at Briallyn's offer, and she takes a moment to search the sand before she says anything. "I see," she finally muses. "That…is certainly an interesting offer, Lady Briallyn. Were you thinking of a grant in perpetuity, or rather a lease for a set term?" More fishwife than lady, barefoot and in a well-worn and mended dress, she nevertheless maintains her composure. "I would imagine it would be awkward to hold land that doesn't border your family holdings, though, either way."

Everyone is all a flutter over the calf, wait until she shows off the knee! Luckily, all are spared just such a reveal as Saffron keeps her squats ladylike and the bustled skirts done up against her shins. She looks up toward Desmond with a slight quirk of her chin and quick smile, but Kamron grabs some of her attention once more. "Fine… sticks…" And she snatches — with mirth — the stick from the Mallister's hand. "But just remember what you earn when you /help/ the Mistress…" Then her gaze shifts back toward her cousin and the Lady Briallyn as they speak terms. She does not interject — it is not her dealings, though it is her cousin which creates a small conflict of interests. She turns her attention back to Kamron and Desmond. "Triumphs, you say?" She inquires to the squire.

Kamron nods to Saffron, "Indeed, Lady Saffron, I earn goodwill, and avoid her ire." Briallyn's offer draws his attention, and he blinks. He nods to Anais' response, although he adds, "Unless, of course, that piece of property passed into the hands of House Erenford or House Nayland — if they retain Stonebridge." Desmond's words draw a bit of a grimace, "My triumphs, Lord Desmond? Now I'm curious what you've heard. Stories do have a way of being exaggerated in the telling." There's a wariness to his words that is at odds with his usual casual demeanor.

Dark green eyes slip between Kamron and Anais, both, weighing them thoughtfully. "Perpetuity, or else it would be of little use for what I plan to do with it, if I am given leave to do it." Briallyn pauses, looking about her for signs of more clams breathing their little trails of bubbles through the sand. "It is not my intent to hand over Terrick property to Nayland or Erenford. I don't give a fig about what either of those Houses are up to," she remarks crisply, setting about digging upon another patch of sand slowly giving way to tiny air bubbles.

"It does not matter in the long run, I suppose, but if you do desire to know, I would give the land to a Westerling. And I suspect I can get Haigh to agree to the terms because it shames them far less than it would elsewise." Is that a grimace? The twist of her full lips is gone quickly enough, replaced with a more calmed expression, but her eyes seem ever full of tumult beneath the somewhat serene exterior. For the time being, she seems content to let Desmond excitedly swoon over another veteran knight. Garett would be so jealous.

Desmond picks up on that wariness. "Nothing bad, I assure you." He then breaks into a wide grin. "I was told once that Ser Kamron picked up a horse, swung it by its tail and took out nine men. I also heard that he eats goat horns for breakfast. Exaggerations indeed. In all seriousnous… The most notable of your triumphs is Rodrik Greyjoy, of course." Desmond is not /fawning/, but he does admire.

Anais is quiet once more, mulling the idea over. "A Westerling who would answer to whom?" Before Briallyn can answer, though, a rider in Terrick colors joins the beach with an urgent message for the lady of the keep, and Anais sighs softly. "I do hope you'll all forgive me, but it seems I'm needed back at the keep. Lady Briallyn, we'll have to talk in more detail later," she adds with a small smile for the other woman. "Lord Desmond, a pleasure to meet you. Saffron, do be kind to Lord Mallister," she adds, winking to her cousin. And then there is her guard, leading her horse over, and the lady is ahorse in a smooth motion. To work!
DUMP: Danae fell off while riding the database.

A glance is cast to Kamron at his interjection, and she bites softly at her lower lip as she considers the Haigh's response. Another clam is dug up from its bed and placed now in her lap instead of given to Kamron for safe keeping. Her glance drifts from the two negoitating ladies to Desmond as he remarks on Kamron's supposed triumphs and her brows arch high over her pale eyes. "Nine men, Ser Kam? And goat horns for breakfast? Shall I let the cooks know?" Though she does weigh the man's reaction—she is aware that something has been bothering him. At Anais' words, the Banefort turns about to give her cousin a famous and mirthful smile. It dimples pleasantly. "I am always kind to Ser Kamron." She does slowly begin to stand however, and her skirts fall to cover her ankles once more. "If you need help, cousin, just let me know."

Kamron relaxes a little at Desmond's words — and at Briallyn's. As Desmond continues, he nods his head once, "Yes, but it was the mane, and ten men." He glances over to Saffron, his grin going very crooked indeed. "No… too soft. I prefer nails." His humor is back, it seems, although it fades a bit as Desmond gets serious again. "Rodrik Greyjoy was a reaver and an unrighteous bastard, but he was the most ferocious fighter I've ever faced." He looks up as the rider approaches and Anais makes her excuses. Her words to Saffron draw laughter onto his lips, and a wary look to his face, and he shakes his head, bowing slightly to the now-mounted lady of the house, "Lady Terrick." Only then does he look back to Desmond, "The triumph was not all mine, however. I stood nose to —" he pauses, and has to admit "collarbone," after all, Rodrik Greyjoy was famously tall, and Kamron Mallister is very near to average height, "with him for a long while, trading blows, but in the end it took several of us to finally cause him to fall for good."

A flicker of disappointment, but Briallyn inclines her head with a resolute expression. "Of course, Lady Terrick," she replies reflexively. Freeing the second clam, larger than the first, Briallyn hefts them both as she rises gracefully to her feet, letting the long silk skirts brush the sand. She waits until the Lady Anais is receding before she saunters to stand closer to Desmond, hips swaying in spite of slumped shoulders. "Ah, well. That could've gone worse, Des," she murmurs. Green eyes settle on the other two, Kamron and Saffron, thoughtfully. "I cannot think these will do me much good immediately." She settles the two clams with their's, grinning slightly as she brushes gritty sand from her fingers. "Do not fawn over much, Desmond. He isn't your knight, you know." The tease is deliberate, but comes with a certain sense of familiarity. "Even if that is a remarkable feat."

Desmond's smile broadens at Saffron and Kamron's playing along. "My mistake, I'll take note." Then he nods. "Well, yes. I'm aware of the extra help. But you did some remarkable things, and I'm pleased to find that you won't gloat about it. He was ferocious, but not enough, it seems." And of course, Briallyn comes over to throw off his groove. "I'm not fawning!" he sputters, rising to stalk off and find his boots.

"Good to know," Saffron says in a laugh to the Mallister knight before she begins to step toward her reproachful guards and thus her boots. "I think its now time for me to retire to the Keep — " Finally. "Mistress Morla will be expecting me." She looks to Briallyn and Desmond with a small dip of her red head. "Pleasure again to meet you both, and perhaps we will have time to speak more." And then she gives a flourishing curtsey to Kamron before she starts forward to the Keep. Timmen and Punbah immediately fall into stride — but wait, doesn't Timmen still have Kamron's boots? He turns, trots to the Mallister knight, surrenders them, and trots back to fall in stride with his hetero lifemate and fellow guard. "Tol' you he wouldn't get her into 'er boots," he says to Punbah, "she's gonna go walkin' through the courtyard like that, jus' you watch…"

Kamron ends up collecting all the clams, although he passes them quickly out to some of the smaller children in the party, looking back to the other nobles, "Two men may speak of fights won and lost without any fawning going on, Lady Briallyn." He nods to Desmond, "I'm happy to talk about the fight any time, but I'll not take credit for the bravery of other men." Saffron's departure draws a nod, and Timmen's return a grin, and he calls after the redhead, "Lady Saffron…" he holds up his boots, then gestures to the children remaining, "You wouldn't want to set a bad example for these children, now would you? Since we'll have to lead them back to the Roost, and we wouldn't want them to hurt their feet…" And once more, he shakes his boots slightly for emphasis, even as he begins extricating himself from the rocky beach up to the grass where he can put his own boots on. "Lady Briallyn, Lord Desmond, it was a pleasure. I'm sure that Lady Terrick, Lord Terrick, or the Young Lord Terrick will be happy to hear your proposal."

Kamron is afforded a small glare from the redheaded Banefort, and she pauses in her strides long enough to put her feet into boots, causing approving nods from the guards as they look to Kamron. You win this time, Ser Kamron… this time!