|Common House, Common Talk|
|Summary:||In which Farrell helps Catryn get a better feel for the land.|
|Common House, Stonebridge|
|The Common House, located at the intersection of the docks and the town proper, provides a roof and more for travelers that arrive via land or water. The warm interior is kept so by a large hearth at one end of the room, the subtle hint of peat at the edges of the smells within. The main room is large and provides for long tables and benches over the planked wooden floor. Clay pitchers stand ready to serve the customers with multiple kinds of refreshment. A few whores work as waitresses for the visitors, providing companionship at the rear of the building where the more well-off visitors stay. Those of the lower classes are welcome to sleep on the benches or on the floor near the hearth.|
|Jul 25, 289|
Amidst the chaos of the Common House sits the calm Ser Farrell Keane, the hedge knight situated in a chair before the house's hearth. He's comfortably settled in, having sunk into the chair about as much as he can while he rests his booted feet up on a sideways bar stool that serves just fine for him as an ottoman. Lacking any food or drink, the man soon to advance on middle age merely watches the fire.
When the door swings inward, it's a tall chit that fills it brushed an scrubbed an polished squeaky clean, blond of hair, blue of eye; with a runners long legs clad in leather beneath the hem of her dress and a pair of boots that appear to be the nicest thing she owns. Walkin' boots. A discerning eye might note the hint of something tucked into the side of either. At the moment though… "No, Stupid. Ah said Stay. Stay!" Where the gangly mutt at her feet's given a nudge back out the door where it tried to follow her in, before it's shut with a brisk thump as she gives her eyes a minute to adjust an tromps towards the hearth.
The knight's eyes shift from the fire to the approaching girl, an understated grin at the corner of his lips. A deep, somewhat raspy chuckle sounds from his throat, as if it were dry and these are the first things he's sounded in quite awhile. "Hm, you're one for causin' a scene, aren't ya?" he chides, eyes going back toward the fire. "If you've come to sleep, I'd appreciate it if you did it away from my view. Somethin' about looking at a fire and seein' a snorin' drunk instead that kind of ruins it."
"Somebody leave a mirror too close?" The cat queried, with a cheeky grin an a pointed sniff in his direction, before one hand hitches in her skirts, which climb to her knees as she steps over his legs an across the makeshift ottoman to a chair on the other side. "Cause ah juss know ye'd no be callin' me a'drunk yet. Aint even had a drink."
Another chuckle rises from Farrell's throat, a careless shrug of his shoulders coming afterward. "Oh? I just tend to assume. Anyone with sense sleeps against the wall so they won't get filched." With a tired grunt, Farrell lowers his legs and sits up straighter in his chair, a few bones cracking as he stretches up his arms to loosen up. "Ser Farrell Keane, free lance. I suppose I shouldn't bother askin' if you had any work for me."
"Well fuck me," halfway to her seat, the minx pauses, faces him proper and drops a curtsy, "Ah didna take ye fer a Ser, beggin' ye pardon. Don't reckon I've any work fer ye either, Ser Keane. My pa's been lookin' fer a'spot o'it 'imself." The accent's off, just a little. Distant, like one who's employed another tongue more often than common. "Heard tell from an Erenford feller last night though, bout some folks in tha Roost lookin' fer good hunters, if'n you'd a mind."
Farrell seems amused by that curtsy, even giving the girl a few claps in applause. "Hah! That won't be necessary, even the house knights with the same or worse blood than me like to sniff at the grubby, honorless hedge knight. Don't have to worry about gettin' me upset over propriety or whichever the nobles like hollarin' about." Farrell sits straighter in his seat, at least, finally seeming to settle in that way as he props up his chin between his hand and elbow on the chair's armrest. "Hm, you'd think Stonebridge'd be better at that. I was a sellsword for nine years until I was lucky enough to save some Bolton's hide in the Rebellion, and now I just do the same thing for better jobs. Huntin', tho'…I can track, but I can only bag small game. My shot ain't the best. What about you, girl? You live here?"
Cats grin was crooked, with his response, showin' well tended teeth. "Ain't nothin' wrong with makin' a livin' by whutcho know. S'what paw does. We's out on Pyke last, before the bastard who who'd hired 'im own dropped his clean, after he'd promised tha possibility o'takin' 'im on. Piss sorry lot it was," the girl grumbled, stretchin' out much as he'd been, long legs stretched to prop booted heels against the 'ottoman' that wasn't. "Traded over in Lannisport, gone 'peaceful' he says, an it'll last bout as long as it takes some more o'them hobknobs pissin' an moanin' an startin' a new fight. Peace'll starve a man t'death, I tell ye." Cat complained with a shake of her head, before a hand rose up to flag down one of the waitresses, though those bright eyes might have lingered a moment too long on her chest, before she glanced back at her company, "Share a flaggon o'wine?" Though in wake of the question, she added, "Naw. Used too, back when I's a runt," as if she didn't look like one who stayed tone and lean from walkin' a lifetime on the edge of starvation. A tone muscle on her, no softness, an a sight less curves than most women possess for the same reason. "Been over'n Essos, past nine years er so. Old man decided it were time t'come home." A roll of her eyes said how well she thought of it.
"Hm, probably safer over here for you, after the Ironborn have been put down. Banditry's the only problem we got here, but the things goin' on in the East make them look like a buncha angry puppies. They're enough to scare the merchants into hirin' me, tho', so I can't complain," Farrell explains, waving a hand dismissively at Catryn. "Costs too much. Hm, if you're lookin' for work that doesn't involve spreadin' your legs or losin' your hands, the Roost is run down but busy. Plenty of folk passin' through, even found a Lady who said she might have her Charlton husband hire me on. That's about as good as it gets. Lots of bored nobility wantin' to do a kind turn for the locals, opportunity's ripe."
"I'ma pretend you didna just imply that I've been spreadin' my legs, onna account as ye dun seem tha kind t'go makin' insinuations, Ser," tha girl replied, an for a moment there was the tiniest bit of an edge to her tone. "Or more, that I'ma thief." So said, her attention left him for the moment, an with his decline, she ordered a but a glass instead. Lettin' the quiet settle until after the woman had gone. "Busy place, aye, though from what I heard they can't feed they're own. Might be work, but fuck, pay out every drop ye made just ta eat. Er get confused for a bandit by some do well. An if its as ye say an they're wantin' to do a kind turn, let'em feed them as takes a knee fer 'em first."
"Father's out of work, and you're a young girl in a well off market town. Forgive an old man if those alternatives never happened before, and tell'em the mystical fairy land where it don't happen - so I avoid goin' there, sounds terrible for business," Farrell retorts, his voice initially annoyed but eventually growing amused as he flashes another grin at the girl and another chuckle escapes his lips. "So touchy, M'lady. Y'sure you should be wanderin' 'round without yer handmaidens? They'll start spreadin' rumors…relax, girl. If I thought you wanted to do either of those things, I'd have told you where the good marks were or recommended a nice brothel t'take you in, 'stead of tellin' you specifically where you'd go if you didn't want either of'em. Use yer head before you get all prickly next time, aye?"
That lecture over, Farrell shakes his head and sinks back in his chair, looking back toward the fire. "Not if you sign on with the nobles. They're all eatin' quite well, no matter what the locals're doin'. I bet you that."
"Lookin' fer somethin' as pays better, don't mean aint got nothin' now," the cat corrected with a twitch of her nose, scratched at by her thumb. "We're merchants, of a sort at tha moment. Brought some goods wit us ta trade. Ah help 'im barter, as it 'appens, an piddle a'bit wit herbs. Aint useless, juss settlin'." Her tongue peeked between her teeth then, stuck out with a smug taunt in his direction. "Though I'm touched, I am, that you should be so concerned about my well bein', Ser," her tone cleaned up, polished as a riverstone, her eyes dancing with humor. "Suppose that means there'll be no cuddlin' fer us. Pity too, as yer such a 'andsome fellow." Cat ran her fingers through her hair then, an barked a laugh in regards to his statement on the nobles, "Sign an then yer sworn t'stay. Er worse some skirt decides t'make me 'er pet project." The snort that followed that said exactly what she thought of the notion, too.
"A pity indeed. I prefer my women about twice your age with a gigantic, heaving dowry. Maybe a noble's spinster and a parcel of land to watch over. But, we all have our dreams," the hedge knight replies, his amused grin only wavering slightly afterward. "Hah, sworn to stay! I'd like to see that contract, same for every other free lance in the Seven Kingdoms. That's how it is with us. You're a hedge knight, a sworn sword, then a hedge knight again when the coffers run dry. Repeat as many times as you please."
Farrell breathes a sigh, then, eyes heading back to the fire. "And I filched a few things in my day, back when I was half your age, up in the Fingers. Pastries, mostly. Grabbed a sweetroll every mornin' from the same baker. He knew I was comin', too, but every scheme of his failed. Except the last one…that's where havin' your dad in the guard came in handy, tho' sometimes I wish I'd gotten the dungeons instead."
Cat laughed then, a light easy sound that came without any guile at all, "S'funny how it werks sometimes, all the little boys dream o'growin' up an fightin', makin' a name an all old men dream o'layin' down the sword an settlin'. What is it yall dream about in tha middle then, when it aint one er tha other?" There was some thought behind it too, as coin an wine traded hands with deft ease.
"Borrowed a pastry in mah time. Borrowed..more'n that too, once. Weren't a big village we were at, mind, but tha man who swung the flogger…," it left her shuddering at the memory. "Swear I'da rather lost a hand than that, fer all the welts got infected'n nearly killed me. Pa'd been laid up sick, ma'd begged mercy'n more, as I was s'young. Branded her instead, so I keen whatcho mean." But it were enough that she downed the wine in a single long go, before wipin' her mouth with the back of her hand.
"Y'learn it's stupid to dream, then y'learn it's stupid not to," comes Farrell's answer, glancing over to Catryn and sounding a guffaw as she downs the drink. "Yer gonna end up topplin' over in record time if you keep that up. It'll be a good laugh, tho'. Some things never stop bein' funny." And with that, Farrell reluctantly rises from his chair, stretching his arms into the air and then checking all his gear afterward. "I should be hittin' the road, maile repair ain't gonna pay for itself."
"S'fair," she agrees with a nod of her head, even if she snorts at his surmise of her drinkin'. "Takes more'n at t'make me hit tha floor," came the counter, a proud grin flirtin' about her lips. "S'been nice havin' a chat though. An g'luck with'n ye werk."