Page 551: Commoners Tea
Commoners Tea
Summary: The ladies' tea may have been postponed, but that doesn't stop a couple of the Roost's smallfolk catching up over a brew.
Date: 25/Jan/2013
Related Logs: Nothing specific
Nathaniel Mortimer 
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.
Fri Jan 25, 290

Nathaniel has just begun to settle in a chair, while a pudgy young brown-haired barmaid is transferring a bowl, small breadboard, and cup from her tray onto a table toward the back of the room. The appear to be in amiable conversation. "Aye! It has been a few years, but I do remember," Nathaniel says with a nod to her. "I'm glad that your brothers were able to keep the place and run things as they should be run. And now you're here in town. That's a good thing, too." He looks down at the food and nods. "Thank you kindly. If you have time later, please fetch some tea and sit with me for a while. I'm back from business in Highfield and I wouldn't mind hearing the news."

Mortimer has managed another day of having to do very little. Makes a change all things considered and he's not yet entirely bored of it. It had looked briefly like there might be things to keep a close eye on, but then since the noble ladies' tea has been postponed its looking like another quiet weekend at the Roost. Well, as quiet as weekends get once they get past the usual Friday night festivities. Having been no stranger to them in his own youth as part of the garrison, Mortimer is quietly sticking his head into the Rockcliff to ensure that things don't get out of hand when he spots Nathaniel's cloak by the door. Reason enough to stick around and catch up on the news from his travels he figures and so shrugs off his own cloak before his eyes scan the room to look for the courier. Not that hard a task thankfully and he's soon heading towards the younger man's table.

Nathaniel looks up from his mean in time to spot the deputy. Unlike some of the patrons, who become more subdued when they see the law-man, Nathaniel grins. He reaches for the barmaid's arm to stop her. "Unless I miss my guess, the deputy will want a refreshment, some tea at least." He lifts his cup in salute. "Master Trevelyan!" he calls. "I'm glad to see you. If you've time, have a seat." He nods to indicate the chair across from him, and the young barmaid offers a polite curtsey to the deputy and then waits for his order.

Mortimer makes the point of not looking too closely at anyone in particular as he makes his way over towards Nathaniel, if they're not causing trouble or breaking the law then they're welcome to enjoy their drink so far as he's concerned. The Barmaid gets a nod and he pauses to think for a moment as to exactly what he does want before answering with a brief, "aye, tea'll do it Mistress." He reciprocates Nathaniel's greeting in kind as he sits, "good evening MAster Corbitt, it's been a while. The road keeping you well I trust?" Leaning back into the chair makes himself comfortable, seemingly having the time after all.

Nathaniel nods to the deputy. "I'm well enough, and better than many," he answers. While the girl heads for the kitchen to fetch tea, the courier adds, "One of my errands took me to Highfield. Mistress Dorsey was there to help with treating the people at the Flint encampment there." He sighs and shakes his head. "I hope that whatever infected them doesn't come here, or you'll have your hands full with a quarantine." He starts to slice the small loaf and then the cheese that shares the breadboard with it. He gestures and invites, "Help yourself if you haven't eaten" He glances toward the kitchen before he adds, "She's a fine girl, but she brought more than I need." He takes his spoon to stir his thin soup.

Mortimer lifts a hand slightly off the table and shakes his head ever so slightly to decline the offer of the food. "I already ate," he offers by way of explanation, "but thank you for the offer. I'm sure it won't go to waste if you can't finish it." Not the the Roost is in the bad way it once was regarding food, but still, there's pigs if nothing else. He smiles a little as Nathaniel describes the barmaid then asks with faint amusement, "and hows that lass from Heronhurst? They keep her busy looking for Lord Aleister? Seven keep him." That does darken his countenance a little, along with the mention of the Flint sickness. He's heard it was bad but thats about all that's reached his ears. "I'll pray it comes nowhere near us," he offers with a brief nod, "though Mistress Dorsey is well I take it?" He shifts position slightly there, possibly just getting comfortable, or maybe just to get a better view of the courier's features now he's brought the healer into the conversation once more.

Nathaniel shrugs a the question about the 'lass from Heronburst.' "I don't know about her, but I've heard that every able-bodied man in Highfield was looking for the lord and his lady. Some of the guards questioned me about it, too. I had nothing to tell, except to hope that they would learn what happened, and why." He smiles at the breadboard, and assures, "What I don't eat, I'll take to the sept to help them with feeding their patients." When Mortimer asks about Dania, he smiles and nods. "She's fine, at least physically. In spirit, she's weary from working so much. She did say that she has an apprentice now. That should help. He and his wife are with her. A child was born during the plague, and the apprentice's wife is nursing it."

"We increased our own patrols as well," Mortimer offers with a faint nod, "just in case really, although I think that for just this once we might be well out of this one. Were it not for the display with the heads I'd say I suspected the same bandits that took out the Erenford's Young Lord. With the guards as well though we're best keeping an eye for anyone in Ashwood livery we don't recognise though." Such cheery thoughts that are thankfully interrupted by the return of the lass with the drinks. He leans back once more, to give her room to work before nodding his thanks as she turns to depart once more. "I'm glad she is well," he offers, "but I can't say it surprises me that she's worn herself out." Okay, not exactly the other man's words, but he figures it's close enough. The comment about a child gives him pause to think for a moment, but whatever those thoughts are he keeps them to himself for the time being, saying instead, "you here we were due a gathering of Ladies? Word from the keep is that it's been postponed at the last minute, should help keep the peace a little longer." Not that he's expecting trouble from the ladies mind you, their entourages though, thats an entirely different matter.

Nathaniel nods when Mortimer summarizes his plans for tightened security in the wake of the Aleister affair. "Vigilance about strangers never hurts," he agrees. "Mistress Dorsey said that those well enough to leave the camp on their own, and that wee child, were the only ones to survive," he notes solemnly. "The mistress herself took the baby from his mother's body after she died, but he seemed well to a healer's eye." He raises his cup for a sip, and nods to acknowledge the news about the cancelled tea-party. "I heard that the party was moot when I reached here," he clarifies. He nods toward the girl who has just left their table. "She told me that everyone here was disappointed at the news. You know how such events drive customers here."

"Aye," Mortimer agrees with a nod, "it'd have been a good few days for them. Still, I hear it's only postponed, not outright cancelled. I just hope they hadn't put on too much extra supplies for it. Would hate to see it cause problems." Such things he presumes are not at the forefront of the nobles' minds when they make such last minute changes. He seems to be leaving his tea time to steep as he still hasn't touched it when he continues, "any word on the Flints themselves? I know Lord Justin was friends with some of them and wanted one of their men for the search for the children."

Nathaniel purses his lips while he reaches for his tea, which came sooner than Mortimer's and is quite drinkable to one who has spent the day on the road. "I don't know about the nobles, but if the sheriff meant Master Vis, then he needn't worry. I saw him a couple of nights ago. He seems fine, and he should be in good spirits considering that he soon will be taking a lovely young lass as his wife." He sets the cup down without drinking from it. "In fact, they should be arriving here soon for the wedding. Her family lives to the east, and she once served here in the inn." He speaks the words with fondness. "I do hope that they'll be happy together," he adds with a sigh.

"Seems the season for weddings," Mortimer replies with a faint smile, "we had the Young Lord Fenster here yesterday escorting his sister, before they heard the gathering was cancelled. He'd have had a hard ride back to make it to Broadmoor in time for his nuptials had it gone ahead." He nods at the name Vis as well, it evidently rings a bell, "that’s good news at least. He hasn't mentioned it but I reckon the Lord Sheriff has been concerned. It'll be good to be able to set his mind at rest on that at least." He glances to his own drink a moment but decides to leave it a few moments longer. "Does that mean the Master will be staying around these parts then? I heard that Young Lord Anders had departed north once more. Might be worth seeing if his services are going wanting. We need all the good men we can get."

Nathaniel chuckles when Mortimer remarks on the surge in recent weddings. "I'm sorry that I don't know what the master plans," he admits. "When I last saw him, he was quite busy. His beloved said that the wedding would be soon, perhaps in a week. However, if Ser Justin desires it, I would be glad to ride to Highfield to ask the man directly, and offer a position. He is a well-known hunter in that region, and such men are desirable anywhere. The mistress might seek work here as well, although I cannot be sure. As I say, when I last saw them, the time was not good for such leisurely questions."

Mortimer smiles more openly at that and finally decides that his tea is well enough brewed to be worth pouring. "If the man has a wedding imminent then likely he is busy aye." Taking a draft he pauses a moment to simply enjoy it before shrugging slightly, "I can't speak for the Lord Sheriff, but I know he does value the man's skills. If I see either him or Lord Ozric I'll have a word and see what they consider. Let you know when I can." Another sip of the tea and then he asks, "You going to be around for a few days or will you be making the trek to Broadmoor yourself? I know the lad'd be pleased to see you if you've the time. Lady Nedra gave him a kite and he's been showing it off to any that'll spare him a moment."

"A kite?" Nathaniel questions. "From Lady Nedra as well!" He laughs. "Of all ladies, she would do such a thing!" He slaps the table. "I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but I'd be glad to visit. If you'd like, I'll take him to the coast where he'll have room to fly his kite and teach the gulls who owns the sky." Still smiling, he questions, "How is she?" He shakes his head. "If I were born a noble …" he sighs. Then he bites his bottom lip. "Knowing how they bargain, she'll wed to some old ox who won't appreciate the treasure that she is." He eats some more of his soup, and after swallowing the mouthful, he nods to Mortimer. "If you see either, do tell them that I'll be glad to take their message to Master Vis."

Mortimer raises an eyebrow faintly at Nathaniel's response to Lady Nedra's name then shakes his head a little. "I haven;t seen her for a few days I must admit, but I know she has been spending some time with Lord Ozric." Not exactly a warning as such, more a heads up of possibilities. Edging the conversation back he continues, "you know the secrets behind them?" Kites that is. "It's not something I ever learnt how to do so I'm sure he'd appreciate any tips from someone who did." Add another thing to the list of those that the young lad is better than his Dad at. Kite flying, and soon to be writing, if he keeps going the way he is.

Nathaniel smiles when Mortimer mentions Ozric, and he appears quite relieved. "She's a friend, more than most nobles can be. So I'd rejoice to see her with someone like Lord Ozric," he remarks. "I doubt that he would confine her." He sops a piece of the bread in his soup, but quirks his eyebrows. "Do I know the secrets of what, master? Nobles?" he chuckles and shakes his head. Then he grins. "Ah! Kites!" he exclaims. "The lady taught some children about kites on the green," he answers. "I stayed to learn a little, although I'm no expert."

Mortimer ponders that for a moment as he takes another drink, nodding slowly after he sets the cup back down. "I doubt he would either, but then that would leave the question of where Lady Anais fits in." Serious for a moment he rues, "we'd be a lot worse of were it not for her." He drops into silent contemplation for a moment, not that he knows what the various noble deals are mind, or indeed if there is anything beyond friendship between Ozric and Nedra. It is the future of the town though and thus by proxy his son. "Aye, kites," he then confirms with enthusiasm once more returning, "I got as far as run with it into the wind, but beyond that I'm no help to him." He grins a little asa thought occurs to him before sharing it, "I think sometimes he despairs of me, he's at that age."

Nathaniel says, "THen he might benefit from someone else praising you," Nathaniel concludes with a smile. "Boys often see their fathers better through the eyes of another than through their own." He pushes his bowl aside, and his eyes roam the room until he sees the chubby barmaid. He gives her a smile and a nod, and she comes to their table after collecting mugs from another group nearby. "Please, bring me a sack for the rest of this," he asks, gesturing to the bread and cheese that still sits on the breadboard. "And another cup of tea." While she leaves with his empty cup, Nathaniel nods to Mortimer. "I'll be glad to spend the morrow with Young Master Trevelyan, if you wish and if the nobles have no new jobs for me." Then he nods. "Lady Anais has done well for the Roost," he concurs. "As have the Mallisters. So I'm glad that Lady Nedra is spending time here again.""

"THen he might benefit from someone else praising you," Nathaniel concludes with a smile. "Boys often see their fathers better through the eyes of another than through their own." He pushes his bowl aside, and his eyes roam the room until he sees the chubby barmaid. He gives her a smile and a nod, and she comes to their table after collecting mugs from another group nearby. "Please, bring me a sack for the rest of this," he asks, gesturing to the bread and cheese that still sits on the breadboard. "And another cup of tea." While she leaves with his empty cup, Nathaniel nods to Mortimer. "I'll be glad to spend the morrow with Young Master Trevelyan, if you wish and if the nobles have no new jobs for me." Then he nods. "Lady Anais has done well for the Roost," he concurs. "As have the Mallisters. So I'm glad that Lady Nedra is spending time here again."

Mortimer smiles briefly, "I think right now he just wants a father who can fly a kite. It'll be something else next week though, and the week after." He still has plenty of tea, but he takes another sip anyway before adding, "I'm thinking of taking him out into the woods for a day or two at some point, see how he likes that. Out towards Kingsgrove way though, away from the Ashwood border to stop his mother from worrying too much." It's something he can think about again now he has full use of his hand back after all and since things are quiet he can probably afford to slip away for a few days without there being a risk of the area descending into anarchy and chaos.

Nathaniel inclines his head at the idea. "I haven't been there in some time, but I've heard that the hunting is good, especially for deer," he confirms. "A day or two in the woods should be a real treat for him, and a change of pace for you, master." When the girl returns, he takes the sack and tucks the cheese and bread into it. Then he cleans his hands with a cloth and removes a few coins from his pouch. He hands them to the girl, and when she looks at them, he nods. "You've earned every copper," he tells her. Then he shifts his attention back to the deputy, and he asks, "Are you going to Broadmoor for the wedding? I'm sure that we'll have lords and ladies going. They'll need some armed escort."

"I was last out that way when we were looking for the Lady Lucienne," Mortimer replies with a faint frown. Not perhaps the Roost's finest hour and he doesn't even know the worst of it. "Not too far out I reckon, enough to make it seem like it's just us and the trees but close enough so if aught does happen.." The rest doesn't really need to be said does it? He certainly isn’t expecting there to be any trouble or issue. As Broadmoor is raised again he shakes his head, "that's the Captain of the Guard's concern. Likelihood is he'll send a few extra lads from the garrison to keep things in order. If one of Lord Justin's patrols is headed that way then they may go with them to the border I suppose but thats as far as we go. The rest is up to the lads who are still soldiering."

Nathaniel nods and grins when Mortimer describes the effect that the deputy expects from this trip. "It should be a grand adventure," he suggests, "something to fill his head with dreams of great hunts." He peers at his fresh cup of tea, and then sips it after determining that it has sat enough. "I don't envy those who attend the wedding," he confides. "I still remember the name day party for the young Erenford twins." He sighs and shakes his head. "Such a fuss."

"I think my invitation to that one got lost too," Mortimer answers with a smile, "funny how that always seems to happen." Not that he'd have been likely to go to such a party mind, bar under orders as an escort of such like. Much like any one of the spate of noble weddings really. "I'll leave this whole travelling lark to you youngsters, you can go off on your adventures and I'll sit here and listen to your takes when you get back. How does that sound?"

Nathaniel chuckles and lifts his cup again. "That's fair, as long as you understand that for every adventure, we have a hundred rides with nothing to show but callouses." He smiles. "Everyone has a part to play - those who roam abroad and those who stay to ensure that there's a home when we return." He drains the cup and sets it on the table. When the door opens again, he looks toward it. Noting the darkness outside, he sighs and concludes, "Night has come. I should see to my horse, and check for messages to run from the keep."

"Oh don't you worry about it," Mortimer replies in good humour. "I stood enough night's sentry duty in my time to know that the good stories are few and far between. One day though, you really must tell me the one about why you carry so much pennyroyal on you." His eyes follow Nathaniel's to the door and he nods, drawing himself to his feet and then draining the rest of his cup. "And I should be heading home. It'll be time to put the little 'um to bed and he'll be wanting one of the stories Lady Saffron sent him like as not. Still, it's good practice for me, even if there are a couple I know without having to look at the page now." He pauses for a moment then before grinning to the younger man, "you reckon he's aiming high already? Charming the Mallister ladies?"

Nathaniel shrugs, but also grins. "If he's aiming high, he has the right target. Lady Nedra is the friendliest of them from what I've seen, and most kindly to common folk," he opines. "Who knows? Give him a horse, and he might join in our races around the Roost. The lady is quick to challenge any who look as if they could give her Jinx a run." The barmaid returns, and Nathaniel helps her to gather the remains of the meal. He glances to Mortimer, and advises, "I'll come to your house by first light, either to take the boy to the coast, or to tell you where my next ride leads."

"He seemed besotted enough when she let him have the kite," Mortimer admits with amusement, "but don't you go giving him ideas about chasing ladies round town you hear me. He's only six an' he's got plenty of time yet before he figures that one out on his own." Expression turning just a fraction more serious as he then replies, "first light, alright. I shall see you then." Hopefully for the former reason as then he might get a lie in, or, shock-horror, maybe even a lazy morning with his wife.

Nathaniel laughs and shakes his head. "I don't chase the ladies myself, so I'm hardly the one to urge him," he objects, but clearly with amusement. "I'm more likely to warn him to be cautious. Hearts are fragile things. Horses, kites, hunting, and fishing should be enough for him at his age." He waves.