Page 532: Coping With Loss
Coping With Loss
Summary: While some need solitude, Daryl and Robben has another way to cope with their loss.
Date: 06/01/2013
Related Logs: Happens after A Gruesome Revelation
Daryl Robben Kaelea Pariston Sela Liss Garion Maldred Trajan 
Ash and Oak Inn
From the courtyard before the L shaped inn, the Ash and Oak opens into a sprawling taproom designed to house both commoner and noble alike; dimly light, the atmosphere within is one of intimate privacy, with tables arrayed in such a fashion that they each seem to linger within their own shadow, while the bar itself stands out under the illumination of several brightly burning candles opposite the main door. To the right of the bar, one finds a hallway leading back into a section marked strictly for employees and to the right? The kitchens.
A large hearth sits on the wall to left, lending its warmth and glow before an assortment of benches and its heat is pushed to the rooms for the smallfolk that sit above the stables; small spaces not meant for the claustrophobic. Curling up to the very rooms themselves weaves a staircase, where only two at a time can walk if they don't mind their shoulders touching. On the right, coming off the wall itself rests a wide staircase, leading up to the more lavish rooms designed with a noble's comfort in mind.
Sun Jan 06, 290

There is nothing that can take away the image of what Kaelea had seen and she is in the corner, at a table, a half full pitcher of ale and a full mug on the table before her. Today she does not nurse the hearty liquid, the beverage is disappearing fast, her expression carefully neutral.

Daryl enters the Ash and Oak, eyes glaring daggers that look like they may've been dipped in the fiery pits of hell itself. While it's not too quiet, and probably hearing the commotion outside, all eyes are on the Deputy as he steps inside, glaring throughout the room and smashing a few mugs with a clean sweep of his arm and sending them scattering along the floorboards. With narrowed green hues, Daryl barks out in an intimidating yell, "Everybody get the -FUCK- out. The inn is closed!! If you work here, -stay-. If you live here, get in your -godsdamned- rooms!"
Suddenly the inn is all a twitter, and the murmurs and whisperings of what happened have the patrons leaving in mass. His cold, merciless stare eyes anyone who dare challenge, and indeed there is none. The current barkeep starts filling a pitcher, quickly. No, two, one for each Ashwood. "He..Here you are, M'lord." She meekly offers, stepping back then as Daryl moves for the pitcher, snatching it without word or coin as he sits at the bar, lifting it to his lips without a mug and taking a long few drinks. It comes down with a thunderous thud on the counter top, and some spills over onto his hands. His head bows, his chest quaking some more as it seems his waterworks aren't finished yet. Daryl weeps sorrow from the very pits of his soul.
Should Kaelea try to depart, he'd have given her a sharp shake of his head no.

There's no smiles or something like that on Robben's face as he follows after Daryl. His expression looks like it's been carved from some kind of a rock, except for the eyes, which seem to be filled with despair. Nodding as people are told to get out, he looks to the barkeep as well as the pitchers are readied. Grabbing hold of the one Daryl didn't take, before he drops himself down next to his cousin now, taking a long sip of the drink. One could almost think he's trying to drown himself in it, as he drinks straight from the pitcher.

Not one to openly defy a man so obviously in pain, Kaelea does rise taking her half pitcher with her, moving towards the stairs. When he halts her progress with a sharp shake of his head, she pauses uncertainly. If any other time she would have protested for one to make up their damned mind, today is not the time. Now the question was.. did she leave the Lords to their misery or give them an outlet to release it? Walking over, she steps between the two, her own half pitcher in hand as she leans her back against the counter. Both so defeated she could hardly stand to see such good friends in such complete pain. "I'm sorry.." the words are exhaled in a rush, a mere whisper, impotent words uttered every time there was a loss. Words that offered no comfort at all for the ones left behind after such a massacre.

Soon enough the hunter is returning from the keep. Having been caught up with the Flints and heard word only later on. But news like these travel fast and when he does enter the inn his eyes first spot the redhead before seeing the two men. Heading in their direction. "Condolences." He offers with a deep bow to both. A sad expression staying upon his face and he does move to offer his hand to Kaelea. Eyes staying on the lord and the former lord.

"Bring me some parchment." Daryl mutters through clenched teeth, and the barkeep moves speedily to do just that. Fresh parchment and a writing utensil are set before him. He just stares at it a few moments, salty tears dripping and arching down his cheeks in unchallenged waves. He looks towards his cousin, barely able to, before he reaches to pull the man into a one armed hug…Something very rarely offered from Daryl to another male of his family. "…We will find who did this," he swears under his breath, "And when we do…We will exact a vengeance so great upon them, -so- terrible…That all of Westeros will hear their cries. We are family." His hold tightens, gripping the man close before releasing him, "And we -will-…Endure this." Then Robben is released, letting go of his cousin as his pitcher is lifted for another mighty swig. If Pariston is around, he'd see people fleeing the inn in large quantity, with whispers and murmurings of recent death in the family. A look to Kaelea, and those emerald hues, soaked with tears show a pain that even his recent trials and tribulations can not match. There is no shield in his eyes to mask his terrible sorrow, and they plead a terrible cry for comfort that his lips can not request. Another swig of his pitcher, and he stares at the empty parchment.

And just as rare, Robben reaches out to hug Daryl just as tightly as he's hugged. Nodding a bit at the words. "We will find them, and we need to show the entire world what happens to people who does something like this." Letting go of his cousin now, he looks over to Kaelea, watching her for a few moments, rather wordlessly, before he takes another long swig from his own pitcher. Pariston's words make him pause, as he studies the man rather carefully for a long while, eyes slightly narrowed, before he offers the ghost of a smile. "Thank you," is offered, words barely a whisper.

So much pain it emanated off the two. Feeling tugged in three different directions, Kaelea slips an arm around the two noblemen first, a quick apologetic look given to her hunter. He would understand.. wouldn't he? They needed comfort, to feel alive in a time when their whole world had tilted on its axis and was threatening to dump them into vast nothingness. Drawing them both in to her for a hug, she will simply hold them, her friends, as long as they allow. Lifting her eyes, she meets Daryl's the stark pain in his reflected so clearly. Devastation so deep it was almost bottomless. No words are offered, they would probably not be heard as much as just being here in their time of need.

Pariston does seem understanding for the hug. Watching them all and a hand on each of the men's shoulders. "If there is something I can do, let me know." He says and gives their shoulders a squeeze. Being a hunter could come in handy after all. Waiting for Kaelea to release them from her hug before moving to her.

Daryl accepts the hug from the woman, and she can feel the hurt by his mere grasp alone. Pariston goes unanswered, the Deputy too racked with grief and sorrow to respond. He just offers a quiet nod, stubbornly wiping the tears that have come to a stop from the puffy redness around emerald eyes. He clears his throat then, his face still and emotionless once more as he raises his whole pitcher for a long swig, and he's nearly killed it already. The barkeep moves to refill another one, quickly, eyeing the two Ashwoods with sorrow and fear, almost. The entire inn has emptied, save for the staff, the people in their rooms, and the four at the bar. Daryl and Robben each are drinking from pitchers. With a shaky breath, Daryl begins etching on the parchment, writing careful strokes, despite his state. The first words? 'Grieve, my brother,' Anyones guess to that might be, but Daryl just keeps writing line after line.

Accepting the hugs with no words, there's something in Robben's stony expression that seems to be melting at that hug. And so, like out in the town square before, his tears fall rather freely now. Leaning slightly towards Kaelea at the moment, he nods at Pariston's words as they seem to register in his brain. "Find the fuckers who did this…" he mutters, the profanity coming to the man normally less inclined for profanity. Finally pulling away from Kaelea's hug, he reaches out for his own pitcher now, draining the rest of it as well.

Nothing could compare to losing your family, Kaelea knew first hand and she does not pull back, only offering her silent comfort until they draw enough and separate themselves, the hurt they both feel a very palpable thing. When they do both right themselves, she still says nothing. Sometimes words served more as an irritant than any sort of balm. Reaching for her own drink, she lifts it to her lips, flinching only when Robben breaks the silence, since it was so unlike him to speak like that. Reaching out, she takes his hand, her friendship all she can offer him. A quick glance given to the parchment, a wary look in her green eyes as she looks back at him. Her voice is soft as she finally breaks the silence. One word is whispered. "Daryl…" uncertain where the letter is leading. A quick look is offered Paris.

Pariston nods, "Can do." He offers to Robben's words. "Though I would need to know where they were found." He explains. Having to track and not even sure if it is possible. Looking towards Daryl as he sketches but soon he does look to Kaelea and offering a small nod and a ghost of a smile. Moving over to Kaelea as he isn't sure what to do either. Only offering to stay close to her and look to the two Ashwoods.

"Daryl, we have to get back to the keep! It's almost dark and mother will whoop us if we're late again!"
A haunting flashback of his youth rattles around in Daryl's head, an early evening out in their favorite spot near the river.
"Relax, Miranda…I've already come up with reason why were late. Just one more slide each, promise!"
Daryl closes his eyes tightly, trying to will the memory away. He clutches the writing utensil in his hand almost to the point of snapping, continuing his writing. Kaelea gets a small glance. The hurt is still too deep. Yet it persists.
"You always get me in trouble -with- you," A young Miranda's voice echoes in his mind, clear as day. "Last time she took dessert away for a week!" Obliging, his young sister helps to flatten the grass on the steep hill overlooking the constantly flowing river.
"Yeah, but how much fun would you have without me!" Fun. He was the 'fun' one. Miranda was the one to look after -him- in a lot of ways. The two young Charltons ready themselves, before sprinting down the hill and sliding down the soaked grass in a slip and slide-esqe activity that hurls the two into the water with speed.
Blinking back to reality a moment, the Deputy realizes he had stopped writing this whole time! He tries scratching some more down, but only a few words get noted before he slips back into the agonizing flashback.
Young Daryl -always- went first, speeding down the slick grass and ending into the river with a splash and laugh. He didn't do it because he thought himself better, he did it to make sure there was no rocks at the bottom that could harm his sister. His heart. "Come on, Miranda!" He remembers cheering her on, wading in the water.
His memory won't quit. It remains stubbornly in his mind, overcome with grief and guilt. Miranda slides down into the river and her brother's awaiting arms with a delighted laugh.
As two more pitchers of beer are set before Robben and Daryl, the Deputy takes another swig, blinking away a tear. This letter writing was proving difficult, but he ends it, signing his name at the bottom. A small smile, as his mind wanders back to the past. His sister's face, how scared and thrilled she looked no matter -how- many times she slid down the hill.
"Nice catch, Daryl." His sister teased, "I knew you would. I remember what you said…Your my 'Sword and shield. My protector."
Daryl seals the letter, any sense of smile gone as those words repeat endlessly in his head. As it's sealed, the Ashwood breaks down again, more tears flowing from his eyes as one hand clutches his head, grasping his own hair in pleading frustration. "Gods damn it…I was…I was so cold to her last we spoke…Gods damn it." He wipes away any more tears, refusing to cry any further. His second pitcher is raised for a hefty gulp-gulp-gulp…That's not healthy! Again its slammed down. He failed as her shield. As her protector. No force in Westeros, not the Seven themselves would stop him from being her sword. Her agent of vengeance and fury.

It is somber in the back kitchens of the Ash and Oak. Sela Shale had been preparing for her shift with a small gaggle of barmaids when the news reaches them, and they all went quiet. Certainly there had been some suspicions about what had happened to Lord Ashwood and Lady Miranda, but none really believed them to be dead. The Northern girl had gone cold since she got the news, falling inward on herself to consider the possibilities as she double-knotted her apron to head out into the common room. She does not seem hard pressed to smile like the others, sober in her expression as she nears Daryl and Robben. "Another refill, Lord Robben, Master Daryl?"

Pausing for a few moments as his hand gets taken by Kaelea for now, Robben looks to her, and then over to Daryl, studying him a bit carefully as the man writes his letter and at the next breakdown. A brief moment and he looks back to Pariston. "I… As soon as I can I will try to find out that… I want to see the heads of whoever did this…" A gesture in the general direction of the gatehouse to the keep, before he reaches out for the pitcher in front of him, lifting it to drink from it for as long as he can now. Not minding that some of the liquid misses his mouth entirely. Placing the pitcher down on the counter again, he looks to Sela as he hears her words, studying her carefully for a few moments. "Yes…" Looking back to Daryl again now.

Falling silent, the hunter only stands there and remaining as a guard of sorts. As Sela arrives she is offered a small bow of his head before looking to the newly made young lord and also the former noble. "I will do what I can to help." Pariston replies to Robben's words. Hopefully able to find the guilty. There isn't much more that he can do for them than just being there. Letting the grief continue and having his head lowered. Knowing well enough the pain they feel. The fact that they don't know who did it probably making it worse.

Daryl reaches to empty the rest of the pitcher into his gullet, and slides it Sela's way, wiping again at his eyes with vigor as he folds up the letter and pockets it. "Please," He speaks softly to Sela, looking at the young woman for a moment before shakingly letting the writing utensil get tossed back, and he just takes a few long breaths. He had to calm down, clear his head…The Ale helped. His gaze is almost eerie as he just looks towards the maid, waiting for more of the liquid to be served to him. "Join us in drink, Pariston. Before we drown ourselves." A look to Sela, "Three mugs." An order more than a request.

Sela bobs her head, immediately turning to fetch the pitcher and refill it with the frothy ale. She even heard the request for another mug, and she gathers up all three as well as the pitcher as she returns. She is graceful and precise in her steps, and there is that eerie silence that also accompanies her strides. She sets down the mugs and pitcher before the trio of men before she bobs her head. "May the Seven watch over you," she says quietly.

Robben takes a few moments to wipe away that drink that missed his mouth earlier with the sleeve of his arm. He probably shouldn't do that, but at this particular moment? He doesn't quite care right now. Taking a few moments to look at Daryl again, a bit carefully, before he hears Sela's words, and he offers her a bit of a nod.

Pariston moves to take a seat at the offer from Daryl. Glancing between both men while he is keeping his calm. Nodding to the words and just running his hand through his hair. Letting silence remain and keeping his head low in respect. Not a time for jokes either so he has no real way of trying to cheer them up. Only letting them take it out on the drinks. Though about the drowning part he does look to Daryl. "I will have to carry you then." Trying to sneak in a teasing joke, but it is said in the same tone and not really showing much of the humor.

Daryl finds himself looking at the counter top, only stirred by the sound of more drink being set before them. The Deputy lifts his head then, those green hues set towards the unfamiliar face…He's seen her around, of course but…Never a name to the face. "…Thank you." He returns her wishes, before pouring a mug if it has not been at a forty five degree angle, minimizing the foam crown on top. "…What's your name, lass?" He asks softly. His voice is a touch hoarse from the crying, the fluid's he's lost from the tears, and the ale which further increases his thirst…But he'll have only ale right now, and it shows. His eyes glazed from the amount both he and his cousin has consumed so quickly. But this is not a happy, reckless buzz. It's pained, somber. A long slurp of ale from his mug, his gaze on Sela is piercing, in the sense there's just a display of raw anger and sadness, unable to be released. "…Do you have any siblings?" At Paris' comment, the Deputy turns his head towards him, and there's no amusement on his countenance. A brief quirk of his lips to appreciate the effort, but it is done as soon as it comes, and Daryl slides Paris a mug.

"Sela," the barmaid says at the request of her name. "Sela Shale, Milord." The petite girl does not shy from the steadied gaze, her own brilliant eyes wide and alert. She glances toward the others present around the once-Ashwood Lord. She glances back toward the kitchens as if expecting that soon someone will yell for her to get back to work, but for now, the swinging door is still and the only sound is the cook preparing the evening meal. She shakes her head at his question. "No, Milord… I am my mother's eldest and only."

Robben looks to Sela as well as he hears Daryl ask about her name, before he nods a bit. Taking another long sip from his own mug now, his own gaze quite glazed as well as he looks over to Pariston. "You're a good…" A brief pause now. "A good man," he finishes, a bit quietly.

Pariston listens and drinks along with them. The girl he most likely recognizes. Be it from here or north. But there is no doubt that he has at least seen her around. The quirk at Daryl's lips does gain a nod from Paris before looking to Robben. "Thank you, my lord." He offers and will continue sitting there for now, waiting for his future wife to return.

There's a bit of recognition on his face, and he claims the subject. Holds onto it. Anything to keep his mind from another haunting memory. Another thought of his failure…The ale helps. It always does. "…You are Miss Sedley's friend?…The 'Magical' one? Fated to be together with Ser Darek? Forever and ever?" The way he says it mimics Aylene Sedley's terminology, but there's just no humor to be given there, none in reserve that is so freely given and flaunted with accompanying laughter. He covers his mouth briefly, that pesky mind of his visualizing the gruesome display he had seen earlier. He seems about ready to yack and expel two pitchers of beer everywhere, but he champs it back, -forcing- it out of his mind. Gods…"Consider yourself lucky, Sela." Referencing the siblings. Without hesitation, he just knocks back some more ale.
The inn is deserted, save for the three men at the bar, and Sela serving them across. There is a silent and somber aura about them, and whispers around town of two recent deaths in the family…Daryl's younger sister Miranda, and Robben's older brother and former Lord of Highfield, Aleister. The rumors hint of a gruesome demise.

Sela offers a quirk of a smile at the mention of Aylene, though a very red blush rides up her cheeks at her friend's assessment. "I would be that particular Sela, yes. Though I still try to tell her that it isn't really magic." She adjusts her stance a bit there before the trio, and she shifts her gaze between Pariston and Robben before settling back on Daryl once more. "I often do, Milord… I mean… Master Daryl." She twists her lips thoughtfully. "I'm certain that whoever has done this will be brought to justice."

Liss comes out of the back rooms, her bare feet padding on the wooden floor. She looks like she should be serving the tables, with her rough woolen dress and her well-worn apron, but she moves over, confidently, to take a seat at the bar, as a patron, instead, her small chin lifting, slightly, as if to defy anyone who might question that.

Another pause as Robben nods a little bit as he listens to what's being said now. "It's magic and not magic at the same time…" he remarks, before he nods again at the parts about siblings. "Siblings…" he begins, before he blinks a few times. "Oh no…" he mutters, looking around for a few moments. "Got that writing equipment there?" he finally says, blinking a few times now, as if to clear his head a bit.

There is a nod about being lucky without a sibling. The pain of losing a sibling being one that Pariston can understand all too well. Looking between the men as well as at Sela for her service, a weak smile and a nod to her before he looks between the men again. "To lose someone is never easy. Much less a sibling. I will find who did this." He offers, remaining as calm as he can, even if he does look angry and sad. If not at all as much as the Ashwoods. At the movement at the corner of his eye Pariston looks over to spot Liss, happy to see her in one piece. A small smile forming at that. Though gaze is soon back to the others as he lifts his own to drink.

"Good," Daryl decides of Sela's response, the ever increasingly drunken Ashwood just waving at the title pause again. "Just call me Deputy, or Daryl…I literally couldn't give less of a fuck right now." There's a bit of that anger seething out, but not directed at her. "It's a pleasure to finally meet you, Sela." His words have warmed some, but nothing near his usual charm or confidence. "And right now," He raises his mug to make a point of her serving him, "Your my best friend. Don't let the pitcher run dry." He kills the rest of that mug, and moves to refill again with the pitcher. After he grabs the writing utensil he tossed earlier, he slides it to Robben. "…Aeliana? …Perhaps you should wait until you’re sober. But do as you please." He doesn't talk to him as a superior Lord, rather a cousin who knew his pain all too well. As Liss comes and just sits down at the bar, the Ashwood leans forward to peer down the bar. He had gotten the majority of the inn to leave earlier, but now? He didn't care. He has his ale. Green hues stare her way, filled with a faint anguish and pain. He can only offer her a nod before looking back to Sela. A glance to Paris, "We. We will find out."

Liss glances over and catches Pariston's eye. A grin lights up her small face. "Master Pariston!" she chirps, giving him a little wave. "So good to see you." She nods, deferentially, to Pariston's companions, and waits politely for Sela to finish serving them before attempting to attract the bar maid's attention, herself.

"Of course, Deputy… though perhaps I could also encourage you to eat a bit, as well. A bare stomach makes for an ill place to put too much ale," Sela says with a hopeful note. She hesitates a moment before she offers the disinherited lord a gentle squeeze to his forearm. Then she catches sight of Liss attempting to get her attention, and she bobs a quick curtsey to the men before stepping a few strides down to smile wanly at the girl. "We should be serving dinner soon, if you like, Miss."

"You saw Bastien," Robben offers to Daryl. "He didn't look like he was going to send her a letter very soon…" He nods a bit again at the part about waiting until he's sober. "Maybe…" he says, after a few moments of pause. "I don't know…" Letting out a bit of a sigh. "I fear her reaction, they were quite close…" Grabbing the mug again now, he drains the contents, shaking his head once more.

Pariston is listening to the talk, looking to the one talking. Nodding to some of it and then he hears Liss' call for him and he looks over and nods. About to gesture for her to join them, though a look is given to the two Ashwoods with an asking look, not sure if they would want Liss to join. If they are agreeable then he will gesture for her to join them.

Liss gives Sela a bright, conspiratorial smile. "Oh, whatever's in the staff pot will do for me, for dinner." she assures Sela, showing an intimate knowledge of the workings of an inn. "But could I get a mug of cider, please?" she asks, politely. "After you've served the men, of course." It's clear she's trying to make Sela's life as easy as possible, with her order.

The petite barmaid offers Liss a bit of a thankful smile as the fellow woman offers up her order, and she bobs her head gently. "I think we've got some elk and liver stew going if that'll suit you, and I'll fetch the mug." She glances toward the gathering of men, two of which who are genuinely mourning their losses, and then she heads toward the kitchen doors to fetch the various orders. There is a sober blanket laying over the rest of the common room.

"Write it." Daryl decides for Robben, "It'll be better coming from you." The Deputy clears his throat only to have it filled with ale again, and indeed their pitcher is running low. There's a shake of his head, and the grieving man looks at Sela, "No food for me." Then, rising…He steps away from the group suddenly, reminding, "The pitcher." He steps for the exit, muttering, "I'll be right back." For any who might be entering as he's leaving, his countenance is devoid of emotion, save for his eyes which show a very visible, albeit repressed anguish.

A silhoutte of a tall man, appears in the more or less busy doorframe of the inn. Adjusting his bold smile to a more decent version with regard to the news spreading through the streets of Highfield, Garion wipes a cough of grey dust off his worn but fine, blue doublet. His lute still lingers at his back, it's wood stained with the remains of his rather troublesome travel.
Squinting at the little gathering, he rates the social rank of the little gathering before deciding to greet with a bow and a "Melords, mistresses, masters.". Of course with the appropriately afflicted expression on his face.

Robben nods a little bit as he hears that part. "I will…" A brief pause as he looks down to the writing utensil in front of him, and some parchment, looking a bit unsure about how to begin this particular letter, though. He looks around, glancing to Liss for a few moments now, studying her a bit carefully, for a few moments. And then Daryl heads off, leaving the remaining Ashwood to blink a few times. "Where are you going?" he asks, sounding a bit concerned.

Liss watches the men's table, curiously, after Sela leaves her for the kitchen. Her dark brows draw down, slightly as she observes the generally morose mood of the table. She shoots Pariston a worried and questioning look. Clearly she hasn't heard the news.

Enter an ominous figure for an inauspicious hour. After the sound of a knot of ostlers handling a fresh horse has arisen and subsided, a heavy tread presages the arrival of a youngish, tallish, unimpeachably bitter looking man in maille. Few know him in this parts, but the surcoat he carries may just ring the odd belfry - though its colours and arrangement are curious, it's most definitely a variant on the arms of Frey…the House which is now the direct liege of the Ashwoods…and to whose seat the late Lord Ashwood was journeying, when he and his fair cousin made their trysts with fate.
The stranger knight approaches the inn's board in a few lanky strides - he's not an especially tall man, but long-limbed - and specifies his desires without words, tapping on a dark ale with his left forefinger, signifying the quantity with his right handspan. His cold glance about him does nothing to defray the gloom…except at one point; a wan light passes through his eyes when he sights the minstrel, but, fleet enough, it is gone.

Daryl just moves past Garion, the drunk Ashwood uttering, "Get the fuck out of my way," towards the commoner alone as he moves past and into the dark of the night without response to Robben. What a friendly guy. He's gone for now, but he did say he'd be back soon though, no? Outside, one might hear the smashing of something shatterable. Glass? Hard to tell. It's a little ways off though.

It is just as Daryl shoves past that Sela returns from the kitchens with a fresh pitcher of ale, a hearty bowl of stew, and a mug of cider, all balanced on a tray that is then balanced on her shoulder. She carries it first toward the men's table, setting down the fresh pitcher. She frowns a bit as she notices Daryl has left, and she regards the newest patrons who have entered this gloomy place. At least the fires have been lit, adding a layer of warmth despite the dark of mourning. Sela keeps an eye on the newcomers even as she steps up to Liss, depositing the bowl and mug with a quick smile.

Pariston watching Daryl leave and Robben seemingly a bit lost, and also trying to reach for his cousin with his words. Seeing the worried look from Liss makes him gesturing for her to come over. Perhaps to explain the situation to her. And so that she doesn't worry. Looking between those that remain within the inn but staying silent and downing what is left in his tankard.

Robben doesn't say anything more as Daryl heads outside, although he watches the exit a bit worriedly for a few moments. Looking back to the equipment for writing in front of him, he seems a bit lost about how to start the letter now. Quite probably the hardest letter he's ever tried writing. Leaning forward in his seat a bit, he rests his head in his hands for the moment.

A blow of thin air escapes the Garion's nostrils, as he glowers at the lack of attention he is faced with, this time. Nothing the minstrel is used to, apparently. Mere surprise conquers his face, when he steps the smallest step aside to let the Ashwood walk past him.
One hand strokes through his light, brown hair, the other tries to estimate the weight of his purse unobtrusively. Not entirely satisfied, but decisive enough he addresses the girl, carrying the food and drinks. "Mistress, would you kindly bring a cup of strongwine to all of us here in the room? I guess the darkest hour demands a few shared cups." When his voice has been loud enough for anyone to hear and his cerulean eyes try to meet as much others as possible (adding a bit of a surprised nod, when he meets those of the dark figure in Frey colors), he adds way more quietly. "A small cup."

The thiefette in barmaid's clothes pauses on her way back to the kitchen after passing comments with Liss, and those brilliant, too-blue eyes fall on the minstrel. She hardly has to pause in her strides as she nods her head. "A bit of stew too, Master?" She asks as she sets her tray down on the bar, and drops to talk softly to the girl behind the counter. Already cups are being pulled out, and the fellow barmaid is popping the cork on a fresh bottle of strongwine.

The minstrel's bold and incongruous speech, addressed to the attendant wench but obviously aimed at the whole free house, draws the attention of the knight of Frey back upon him, and he answers low but distinct, "Does it, Master Singer? I prefer black ale for bloody days. Somehow the head on it reminds me of hope…" - airy, he perhaps need not add, and evanescent. When he is brought the tankard he'd requested, still standing, he illustrates the point still further, disposing of the drink's frothing crown with efficiency and thoroughness; then he steps towards the remaining Ashwood present, and past the common bard, his sardonic glance leaning towards the parchment, and the effort…
Then he turns back to Garion. "Such an unfair world, is’t not. Those that die put them that live to shame, and some bandy words carelessly, when others stand in desperate need of them…is't not so?"

As Sela is still occupied preparing the cups of strongwine, it is another of the girls who fetches the mug for the Frey bastard. That makes for at least two noble bastards now in this very room, but one is hiding quite a bit better than the other. Sela puts in the order for several bowls of stew from the back, and chunks of thick bread — perhaps a knowing need to help sop up the wine and ale that is filling everyone's belly at the moment. She glances toward the minstrel and his cold friend as she starts to circulate the cups.

A small time later, Daryl Ashwood reemerges into the inn, closing the door behind him and locking it with a -thunk- before striding some ways back into the tavern, despite the amount of drinks he's had carrying himself without swaying or otherwise appearing drunk, save for the glaze of his eyes. He more or less beelines straight to the bar and moves to take his seat back. "On second thought," He begins to Sela, "I'll have some bread." There's a look towards Robben then, and his parchment. "Well how has it come so far?" He peeks over, intent on the work in front him, and it seems he won't be acknowledging anything else at this point.

Liss flashes a grateful smile at Sela as the barmaid brings her food, but, seeing Pariston's beckon, she takes her mug and moves quietly over to him, bobbing a respectful curtsy. The stew she leaves on the bar, nearby, for now. She glances around the table at the morose faces with worry. The minstrel gets an interested look, but at his words her frown of worry grows deeper. "Master Pariston…" she murmurs. "What has happened?"

"Some bread sounds…" Robben begins, before he looks to Daryl, offering a bit of a sigh. "I'm not really sure on how to begin it…" he admits, glancing around for a few moments now. Gaze pausing on that knight for a few moments, before he looks back to the parchment, and then to Daryl.

And that is why Sela is good at her job. Before the pair of Ashwoods can even finish the word, the basket of bread is being set down in front of them. They are accompanied by the two cups of strongwine as Sela heads off to offer the third cup to the minstrel himself.

Pariston nods to Daryl as he returns but staying out of anyone's way for now. The minstrel does get a nod at his words though and then Pariston is turning towards Liss to whisper explain what has happened, "Lord Aleister and lady Miranda has been killed." Keeping his voice low though. Perhaps mostly for the Ashwoods as they do not need reminders. Gesturing for a refill of his tankard towards Sela as well.

"Stew? Torn in grief about the fate of our poor nobles and the veneration of the barmaid's thriving beauty a man couldn't eat." Garion answers Sela slyly, glancing at both of the girls, and with his hand still leisurely pitying his purse.
"Then ale it is, good Ser, and whatever reminiscence of hope it might offer." the minstrel responds "Ale as bitter some frivolous jest." He raises his own cup, filled with strongwine before swallowing the fierce fluid in a single swig. "I prefer this.", the minstrel explains, holding the cup against his chest. "It's burning on my tongue reminds me of the fact the Stranger still allows a few of is to produce words." While talking to the Frey knight, he makes sure to bring the distance of at least a swordlength between them, slowly moving around a table.

Liss's green eyes widen and her face goes very still and pale. Water wells up in her eyes, which she lowers, quickly. "That is… " she stops and swallows, hard. "That is tragic news." she whispers. "I… I beg your pardon for intruding on your grief." she murmurs, with a deeper curtsy, clearly looking distraught.

The sly response causes a flare of wonderful rose red on the cheeks of one Sela Hill. "But a man can certainly drink. If you find yourself a seat, perhaps I can ensure that your cup does not grow dry." She glances toward Maldred. "And you as well, Ser, if it pleases you."

Daryl frowns a touch as he sees Robben's having some difficulty composing the nasty bit of work. "Well, start it…My Dearest sister,"
My dearest sister. His own words strike him visibly, needing no reminder from Pariston. The Deputy visibly cringes at his own terminology, but continues, uncaring he is speaking this in front of a small crowd, "Tell her you love her, and not too lose hope. To be strong." There's a knock on the locked door, and Daryl just looks pissed. He rises and moves for the entrance door, unlocking and opening it to find a courier in Haigh livery. "The inn is -clos…" Daryl begins before he exchanges a few quiet words between the man and sets coin in his hand, probably for the delivery. He closes and locks the door again and begins to read the message, a frown set on his face, but otherwise emotionless.

In merrier times the caution of his melodious acquaintance, keeping his distance and his courtesy alike, might amuse Maldred Rivers very much, but in the present emergency he can no longer concern himself with the goldenbreathed one's comical blandishments. Indifferent alike to the singer, to Sela, and to the steely portcullis of privacy that fills the air around the Ashwood cousins, the Frey by-blow presses on to their secluded table, his pale glance locked on the one he recognizes.
"Lord Robben, I think? We have met once hitherto. Let me offer you my House's condolences, if my sweet cousin Lady Lyanna has yet to do so…and a word of advice. Get yourself a knighthood as soon as you may…the times ahead will be hard."
Such consolation once delivered, Maldred flashes a look to the second Ashwood at the threshold, pausing long enough to note with mild interest the messenger's tabard of Broadmoor.

Locked out. Perfect. Well rumours about tragic happenings that even the reclusive Fenster would have heard so a certain air of patience is about him when he confronts the locked door to the Inn. A firm knock is delivered to the door from a black gloved hand - the cowled figure that delivers it would be recognizable as a former resident of Highfield. The Jester knight himself.

Robben nods a little bit at Daryl's words, starting to write now, taking some of that bread that's placed in front of him, eating the piece of bread a bit slowly, as if considering something. Looking over at Daryl by the door and his words with the courier. "What news?" he asks quietly, before he looks to Maldred rather carefully for the moment. Studying him rather carefully, although his eyes narrow a bit, but that might just be his normal reaction at such a point. "Ser… Rivers, wasn't it?" A brief pause, before he adds, "Lady Lyanna already did so, but thank you all the same." His eyes narrow a bit more at the mention of a knighthood, but he doesn't say more now. Taking a sip of the strongwine now, before he looks back to the letter again.

Pariston is mostly letting the two Ashwoods be and giving them their time to mourn. Turning towards Liss instead and tilting his head, "I am glad to see you, I thought that I might not get to see you again after what happened in Stonebridge." Not having known how she fared, other than rumours that she might had managed to leave. At the knock his head turns towards the door but not moving to open it.

"Gladly, fair mistress." Garion nods contentedly. Carefully he places his lute next to him and hands the empty cup back to the girl.
As the ale-friends words of consolance cross the table along with mentioning kinship to a lady of house Frey, the minstrel coughs in bare astonishment. Immediately he adjusts his conduct slightly. "Ale this time, fair mistress."
Turning his head to the door after the knock, he joins the attentive but rather motionless look of Pariston.

Liss gives Pariston a rather watery smile. "Oh, I always land on my feet." she assures him, in defiance of her own grief at the news. She glances over at the knock on the door, but she doesn't work here, so she looks curiously to Sela, instead, to see if she will let the unknown traveller in. She turns back to Pariston and his companions, but, not knowing what to say, shrinks back shyly behind the man she knows, her hand resting lightly on his shoulder.

Daryl just rolls his eyes at the other knock and opens the door to see the man. Glazed green eyes stare towards the man and he just shakes his head. "In." He lets the door open and will close it after he enters, not bothering to lock it this time as he speaks to Robben, "Lord Perrin’s condolences."

"Ser Maldred, aye," the knight in question corrects equably. "I shall keep you and your family closely in my thoughts, aye, and prayers…" He finishes that black, black ale with every sign of satisfaction before he goes on, and is most of the way, indeed, to the threshold, before he concludes, "It can be troublesome indeed, for a young House to find itself without, as it were, a head. Good night, my lords of Ashwood."
At that the inn's door opens and shuts again, with all the greased precision of the gates of the Twins themselves.

The room drops several degrees in temperature as the cowled figure enters, "Why thank you Master," he says to Daryl. His voice is cold, even and educated. "Mistress Liss," he says by way of greeting to Analiss, "I don't believe I have met anyone else here. Perhaps that is a good thing…" Plagues, family tragedy and now sociopaths - it was all happening in Highfield.

'When a Frey leaves the room…'
There always has been a well-known saying among the Riverlands. Garion feels the urgent need to mirror the knight's depart. "Good evening, melords, fair mistresses." A bow and he walks through into the evening again, as good or as bad it finally might be.

Daryl ignores Maldred's final partings, slamming the door behind in a manner that shakes the entire framework turning and stepping towards the bar, quite visibly pissed. "Without a head?! Did you hear.." Daryl quakes with fury, moving to his seat and looking at Robben. There's hell in his eyes and he aint afraid to show it.

Robben's eyes narrow a bit further as he hears Maldred's words, and watches the man leave now. Grabbing hold of the closest thing he can find at the moment, the mug he's drained quite a few times already, he starts making a throwing motion, before he stops, dropping the mug to the floor instead. "Bastard…" he mutters, quite possibly not only meaning the word in regards to the man's parentage. Nodding quite a bit at Daryl's words. "I heard. Every single word…" His own expression quite furious now as well, almost looking like he'd want to get to his feet and go after the bastard Frey now.

Trajan is a horror, indeed; his scarred face is like something like a nightmare, poison oozes from his very pores… his reputation for horrors is known far and wide.
Which doesn't really explain why Liss, on hearing his voice, looks up, and with an audible gulp of relief, rushes from the group of morose, but better-reputed men at the bar, and flings herself into his arms. "My lord!" she cries, muffled by his cloak as she buries her face in his chest with a sob.

Pariston raises a brow as Liss races off. As well as ignoring the words from the Frey bastard. Rolling his eyes and just letting it be for now. Eyes on the haunting person. Though as usual Pariston is keeping his calm and seems rather unphased by any of it. Continuing to drink while watching the reunion.

Daryl just shakes his head, takes his pitcher and speaking, "He's the son of our liege Lord. But if I ever catch that man utter another anything like that…" The Deputy shakes his head, watching as Liss and Trajan embrace and just starts walking off again, his visage filled with anguish. "Excuse me." He steps towards the back of the inn.

Trajan wraps a single arm around Liss keeping his taloned hand away from the woman very carefully. Evidently there was some propriety about the half-man. "I missed you too Mistress - good to see you unharmed - with the flux and rumors about murdered nobles. Rumors that I am gathering are true? Lady Miranda and Lord Aleister are the present toll?" Still holding Liss Trajan addresses noone in particular with his query.

Robben nods a little bit as he hears that, before he sighs a little. Finishing up his Strongwine, he gets to his feet, picking up the parchment, the half-written letter. "I think I should head back to the keep, and get some rest before I finish this," he offers, after a few moments, before he sighs a little bit. "Will you be okay, cousin? That is, if any of us can be okay at such a point as this…"

There is no response from Daryl as he steps steadily away, one hand raising to offer a hand up wards as if to say, 'Go.'

Robben looks around at the others present for a few moments, offering them an absent nod before he moves to the exit, moving through it and out to get back to the Keep now.

Pariston looks to Robben, "My lord, I could escort you if you need?" He suggests, seeing as none else seems to be joining the man who is clearly starting to get drunk. Though if he rejects then Paris will stay where he is.

Robben waves a hand dismissively to Pariston. "You've already done enough, my friend," he offers quietly, just as he slips out. To get back to the keep, to rest, hopefully drunk enough to be able to sleep.