|Death Of The Dying Seal|
|Summary:||Benedict Lawson, solitary mercenary of the Stepstones, finds himself a bit less solitary on account of a poncy pirate and a fighting den.|
|Date:||01/05/2012 (OOC Date)|
|The Dying Seal — Stepstones|
|01 May 285|
The Den is not unlike others. Built together of broken ships and stone. It holds the moniker of the Dying Seal, and the stretched out carcass on the door is enough to let you know, you have found the right place. In side this hulk of wreck and humanity, most of the tables for feasting and meetings sit above a slim inner ring, where blood has stained the stones a dull rust red. The room itself is teaming with pirates, men half drunk and drawn out on exotic tastes are content to lay about in their own filth. At the head of a long table, with the best seat over the pit is the Captain of this place.
Moran Mog Doran. A westerosi who tries to style himself as some exotic man from Essos. A forked beard and dyed mustache. He is more ridiculous than he is exotic. But, his savagery is well known.
Benedict Lawson is a contract the the dried blood, the grime of the place and the ostentatious garb of most of its occupants. He's clean and shaven, dressed simply in a black shirt, trousers and boots, and though he most often fashions his greatsword strapped across his back, today he wears it at his hip (perhaps simply because he plans to be armed and sitting at the same time). He knows of Moran Mog Doran well enough, at least, to identify him by his looks. He moves across the filthy floor to stand by the pirate's table, silent, blue-green eyes studying the other man. "I received your missive," he tells the pirate, "and so here I am."
"Good, good! Come, give Moran Mog Doran your hand." The accent in and of itself is a carciture of the Islands. If hand is given it'll will be shook, if not, he is quickly directing the other Westerosi to have a seat. "I know you are one of the finest swords down here. Not many come with castle steel and live as long as you have, Ser Lawson." The tongue rolling the r. There is a brief clap, and soon enough there is movement, as a topless woman, in her forties comes soon enough, shambling with the clinking of shackles and chain at her feet. Sagging breasts displayed, as she pours the wine. S custom Moran drinks first- as if to prove it's not poisoned.
He does not die.
And another clap, and the sound of the gates below being opened are head. Soon enough men will be filing in.
"Tell me, Ser Lawson-What do you know of Emar Carrabas?"
Ser Lawson does not offer his hand, but he does accept the seat, and then the drink. He watches the 'waitress' who delivers the wine, though one cannot say it's with a very lecherous eye. The knight offers no expression as all as the enslaved woman clinks away. He holds the glass up, but only turns it slowly in his fingers, not yet keen to drink. Poisoned, it is not, but one can't exactly call anything available in such a place hygienic. "I know he sails The Salty Wench and has been busy making his fortune by setting his sites on other pirate ships, rather than the merchant vessels. And, I know he's been doing a fairly good job of it. And I would guess, as you've invited me here, he's become a problem for you in some way more directly." Benedict turns his head to peer down into the ring as the gates there lift.
Moran seems not really to look directly to the knight. instead his eyes are on the men who come trundling through. Both covered in thick scars, And once the gates closed, a whistle sounds out, and the men begin fighting. With the carnage going on below Moran turns his attention back towards Benedict. "Yes, that whorish ship. And we have been friends, mind you. Emar and I. But, recently he has begun to build up ah.." And he looks back down as another man squeals, his testicles being mashed into the stone by another's bare foot. A half grin shows as one hand slides to tweak is own nipple.
"Mm…following." And Moran leers ever so slightly at Benedict. "I think he is looking to up root us. Which he may try. I have the finest pit fighters in the Stones here- But, I was thinking of expanding.." And he drinks down more wine, oblivious of any drainage into his mustache. "And I would like- a capable hand.."
Ser Lawson looks down into the pit as the two men appear, though as the actual fighting begins, he looks away to watch his would-be employer instead. his expression remains calm, though he holds his wine goblet a little more tightly as Moran speaks. "A capable hand," Benedict repeats. "Employed to do what, precisely? Are you seeking protection or an assassin?"
"I am seeking a champion. There is another crew going to join him, soon. This I know, the captain of the Manray is a Westerosi.." Like himself. "Like you." Moran spits out, even, as the men below are drug out. And a new pair of fighters are brought it, without much fanfare. "I want his crew, so I shall challenge him in the Westerosi way. It is you I expect to fight him. And if you win, I will gift you his ship as part of my payment. But, it will not end until I have killed Emar and taken, his into mine."
A simple enough plan.
"Tell me, Ser Lawson." Moran asks as he motions down to the pit. "Are you a betting man? A fighting man?"
"I bet my life every time I fight," Benedict answers, his gaze on the circle as the men are exchanged. "I find that is enough."
"I love that." Moran seems to squeal with delight. And one hand is back, allowing for his finger to circle and pinch his exposed nipple again. "Tell me, do you love a good fight? For I could show you a prize amongst us. Why we are feared and respected?" A raise of his brow as one hand raises-the men below halt in their fighting after two blasts of a whistle. "Would you be interested?"
There is only so much disgust at the ways of the Stepstones permissible for those who would be employed by their piratical citizens, and with his quiet, calm words and his lack of expression, Benedict is already walking that fine line. He finally lips the goblet to his lips and takes a swallow before he nods once. "I would see what you should like to show me."
Indeed, and in those times, you may profit, or you may find yourself ever further into the abyss. Balance is key, and clearly Moran Mog Doran, whateever his name was before has lost it. There is a nod then given, as with a swish of his hand, the combatants are pulled out. "Then you will not disappoint." His own hungry grin thrown in. Before he is leans forward.
As down below, three grown men are led in on chain. And from the other end. A young boy, no more than fourteen is shackled to a post, by his neck.
"To the Death!" He declares.. Soon enough, weapons are being placed in the center of the ring. "We start them young.." he intones aside towards Benedict. One hand raising to give the signal.
Benedict watches as the three men come out, and perhaps he was expecting something else. A brute of a man, some lumbering, mindless behemoth or a dothraki impossibly stolen from their distant plains. That it is a child, a boy, makes the knight's eyes widen slightly and then narrow. "I don't see how they live much beyond 'young' if your training protocol is to pit them against a trio of men twice their size."
And to that a squealing bit of laughter is given. "Of course he is." A snort there. "If he doesn't learn now he will die alone." A wave of his hand for the proceedings to start. "He has done well against one man twice his size. He should be able to handle more.." Moran throws off with a careless air. And with the melee about to start the Boy moves, going for the weapons in the center, only to be yanked off his feet by the attached chain. The other men-all still chained together are lumbering quick, And that boy is having to scurry back.
Benedict watches the horrid for a moment more before he says, seems unable to say, "I'll buy him off you. The boy. Or you can reduce my fee by his cost. Either way, I would have him. Stop the fight."
Moran raises one hand, and he looks back towards Benedict, as the man speaks up. A slight pause, before he is raising a brow. "Buy him?" And he is standing ever so slightly. "Buy him No." Moran offers with a laugh. "You do not simply buy a man's property when it is not for sale. No- he will fight and he will die Ser. You must see the seriousness of me.." Moran insists "You must see-this so you know. If you cross me. You will be like him. Alone in ther pit."
Tearing his eyes away from the circle, he leans slowly forward, resting his arms on the grimy table. His sharp gaze settles on the Essos-fashioned man and the knight asks, with a deadly sort of softness, "You would use a child's murder as a means of intimidation? You would threaten me, Moran Mog Doran?"
A sniff and the Pirate brings his hand toward his side. And he snaps. A man, slow to move begins to stir and wake himself up. Still Moran stands where he is. Because drunken pirates are still pirates, and being the lone man in a den of them, gives their Captain-strength. "I would use a child's murder to wet my whores if it means I get my point across." And Moran turns his head. "DOuglass. Sword." he calls. "What will it be, Ser Lawson. The boy, or your own riches?"
Benedict offers Moran, as Douglass is called, a slow, cold smile. Then he stands quickly enough for his chair to go tumbling from the force, and with a whispering hiss, draws his sword in answer.
A ring of steel, And Moran falters there. A swallow, as the combatants have stopped for the most part. And some of the Pirates seem to stir. The tension enough to wake any man from his ale induced slumber. A look goes back to the pit. "KILL!" he almost shreaks with rage, before he's reaching over, a stumbled move to put him towards Douglass. The fighters don't move-they watch. But it appears, that shit did indeed just got real.
Benedict is fast as his moves. Sword lifted and both hands curled around the pommel, he darts towards the pit to leap down into it, striking at any who should try to bar him. Darting across the bloody sand in the pit, he plants himself in front of the chained boy, crouched and ready. "Were I you," he informs the three chained men, "I should run."
The tallest of the three hesitates. One man jerks back, but even now as Moran is fumbling for his sword and the other pirates are rousing themselves, the Tall one merely stares back down the knight, before he is holding out his arms. "Cut my chains!" apparently he doesn't want to be stuck with the other two, when the fighting starts. Because it will start soon.
The Boy hunkers back as already sounds come from below and behind men trying to file out once the gates are raised. And then it happens one Pirate is one his feet with an ill aimed crossbow which catches one man of the three in the throat. That is when the screaming starts.
When things go bad, they go bad fast, and Benedict has lived long enough in the Stepstones to know it. There's a clang and a grunt as he brings his blade down on the man's chains, freeing him from the other other and the corpse. He moves to free the other one if he can, before any of those coming out of the gates move to attack, if they're so inclined.
The boy is coming around the other end of the pole as men come filing out of the gate-though it is in no order, rather random charges of the three kept down there at the time. The big fellow, now freed, hefts up a spear and throws it into the first one to break free, before he is reaching down for an axe. The fellow with the bolt in his throat sputters and is trying to make for the wall to climb up, as other pirates seem focused on hoping down and in.
Among them, Moran Mog Doran and his Douglass.
"Stop moving," Benedict advises the boy, crouching a little, read and waiting. Those that come too close or try to test their mettle against the Westerosi knight are dispatched swiftly, but he keeps his attention on Moran and his weapon.
Moran is tied up at the moment, as the other fighters seem to be working a whirlwind on their former masters. As for the Boy, he simply nods, before he's jerking at the chain his neck is attached too. One of the slavers unfortunate enough to get close to Benedict is dropped and his guts are sent spilling. Even now, more drunk sailors are trying to come down, But, given their state, a fine stroke of sword will put them down as well.
Moran Mog Doran finally puts down the dark skinned fighter, whom was freed before, even as the gurgling one makes it up, he flings himself into a gathering of pirates. He does not last long, though neither do they. It is now the Captain moves for Benedict. His scimitar swung out to catch the knight in the neck, if he is lucky.
Benedict's blade moves swiftly, calmly, and there's a strange shine to his eyes and a faint curl of his lifts as the fighting begins in earnest. Bodies fall and Ser Lawson grunts now against again when those he fight get too close to the mark. And then Mog Doran is before him, swinging his cruel, curved blade. Benedict twitches to the side before returning the swipe with his own sword.
Both men unarmed are quick. And Mog Duran is no different. The boy for his part is trying to free his chain. muscles straining as he leans back and pulls. Douglass is soon cut down by the other fighter left standing as other Pirates swarm in, and fall, before he too is taken down.
Moran hisses, as he turns away, both hands on the hilt of the sword as he steadies himself. And then the blade is held up and high in the 'falconer's form' A more aggressive style of fighting-which has him charging in at Benedict, hacking away.
It's difficult to find a moment, but when one presents itself, Benedict turns to swing his sword at the boy's chain, severing it from the post. Then he look back to the pirate king in time to spy that charge. It offers more power, but less protection, and Benedict stabs the point of his blade into Morag's belly.
It does not take long. The snap of chain and the boy goes rolling. Moran's blade drops in an instant as he is impaled by his own momentum on the greatsword. Slid in and close, his breath smelling of piss wine, and other unsavorable delectables. The boy is up in a flash. His hands wrapped around the pirate's sword as he is yelling. Yelling like a damned fool, or a bird calling out for land in a storm. And he raises the blade-though not for Benedict, but a Man running in behind him.
The rest of the room is chaos since the Pirate Lord fell. Men move, drunk- fighting and fleeing.
Which pretty much means it's time to go. Benedict wrenches his blade free and lets Moran fall into the pit he so enjoyed. He reaches a hand out, grabbing the boy by the arm, so the lad notices they're turning and fighting their way towards the edge of the pit. And then, towards the door. Somewhere in the mayhem, several lanterns are turned over, and the Dying Seal's floors and tables begin to burn.
And like that, he is caught and drug back. His hands and arms moving in madness as if to hit anything close to him. And well Benedict by default. But, Locke isn't complaining. Not one whit as he is drug free. Flames spread easy given the stench of alcohol. Those trapped here below will likely die here. But, such is the fate of those trapped in the stepstones as well. Until someone cuts your chains, you're most likely to die here as well.
Most likely. But, for Benedict and the boy, not today. They burst out of the Dying Seal (suddenly far more aptly named), and Benedict keeps running, hand grasping the boy's arm, away from the smoke and fire and stench and screams. They don't stop until they've made it a mile down the shore and into a small, obscured coastal cave which, judging from the fire pit and the few things scattered about, Benedict has used as a hideaway before.
And there like that He is drug, bloody, singed and spent. Once to this small obscured cave, it seems he is fit to drop there, and sputter. There is a heave of breath as the blade drops free of his fingers, and he turns his head, a look back from where they have come, before he is looking back to his feet. Some blood there, but he had no boots. Or anything really. A sniff, and he's looking back towards Benedict for a moment. Hands then grab up the blade once more as he is skulking closer to the cave opening than the man who rescued him. There are no hellos or thank yous. Merely, stares.
Benedict is breathless, blade still in hand, as he stares back. But, he takes a step to the side to allow the boy to pass. "I won't stop you. Thought you might like a meal, though, before striking out."
"Oh." Locke manages after a moment before he is lowering the massive blade further, before he is finally dropping it. There is a bit of a nod, before he is looking back to the taller, and older man. "I thought you were going to rape me or murder me." Which doesn't make sense, unless you've lived in an utter hell hole for the past some odd years of your small life. A swallow and he looks back into the cave. "I.." a grimace "Can I eat in the light?"
"No," Benedict says simply for the raping and the murdering. He wipes his own blade clean, sheathing it, before he nods. "If you like. I'll start a fire. More light and something to cook over. I'm called Benedict Lawson. Have you a name, lad?" He moves over to the little pit, dropping a few fresh longs in before setting some kindling atop and striking a bit of flint to it.
"I do..I had one they call me. And I had one my mother called me." said easily enough as he watches the other warily, before he is nodding. And then he simply turns to look out to the sea and the light out there. And he draws silent for a bit more. "My name was Lockes. Err. Lockesley." he states finally. "Lockesley Septswood.." And one hand comes up to scratch at his ear. He is filthy, beyond the blood and gore they saw already. "M-most called me Locke."
"Locke," Benedict repeats with a small nod, waiting the thin flame take root and begin to spread before he hangs a pot over it. "How old are you?"
Locke doesn't look back. No, he remains focused on watching the crashing waves outside. And pulls himself in closer. "I don't know." And he is quiet for a moment longer. "Fourteen seasons I would imagine."
Benedict glances up for 'I don't know', but he keeps himself calm as he nods. "How long were you in that place, by your best guess?"
Locke shrugs, "A while." he offers, before nodding at something said-or perhaps thought to have been said. "I'd say two years? Maybe three." A sniff and finally he looks back over his shoulder towards the knight. "Long enough, I imagine."
"Mmm," is the knight's quiet agreement as he roots through a pack, pulling out a skin of water, some dried and salted meat and some seasoning to make something resembling stew. When the ingredients are added to the pot, and there's little more to do than wait, he asks, "Where's your home, Locke?"
"Here." comes the reply, before he is shrugging again. "Fuck-I don't know." A look back towards the knight, and his brows furrow. "Why do you fucking want to know? You going to see if they can give you a better coin? Well they fucking cant. My father's a fisherman. And My mum cleans fucking clothes." And there he's showing tears, which the palm of his hand is quick to move, and stamp out. "Saltpans." admitted finally.
"Better coin for what?" Benedict asks, brows furrowing a little. "I only thought you might want to go home, and I expect it would behoove me to either go and make friends with this Emar Carrabas or otherwise leave the Stepstones for a time." He blinks, though, as the place is named before he barks a sharp laugh and shakes his head. "I can't take you to the Riverlands. I could manage to get you on a ship headed there, though."
"I don't like ships right now. Last one I was on, got me here. An who says anyone here can be fucking trusted." Yes, he has a mouth on him, this one. "I know no Emar Carrabas, save he's probably as poncy as the other." a snuffle, and he's sneezing, into his arm. "An better coin' fer me." Locke opines. "I'm your property now. Isn't that how it works?"
"Probably," Benedict agrees with a shrug, "but he was Moran Mog Doran's foe which means he could be a useful ally just now. There will be those less than pleased with the Dying Seal getting razed. Not the best of times to be a solitary mercenary." He studies the boy before shaking his head. "No. You're no one's property, lad. You're free."
"I'm Free?" And there's a bitter laugh from the other lad, before he is sneezing once more. And there, he stretches his neck. One finger moving to the tattoo placed there. "That says I am not. That says I'm some bloody man's property, an if I am walkin' around as free as you please-then I am likely to be taken and fucked all over again." And eyes narrow for a moment, as if this knight would know any better. "We have his sword." A nod to the scimitar, "Or I do. It'd go a long way with 'im if you had that."
"It says you were," Benedict allows. "You're not, anymore." He considers, scratching at the stubble on his jaw before he suggests, "We could sear it off, I suppose."
"It says, whatever." As for the searing it off, Locke's eyes narrow. "I'll bite your balls off if you try that. I'm not gettin' burned again. Not anymore."
Benedeict laughs, holding a hand up as if to ward off Locke and his ball biting. "Peace, it was only a thought." He scratches at his jaw again, but he offers no further suggestions. Instead, he stirs the soup and, after a time, spoons some into a pair of carved wooden bowls, passing one over to Locke.
Locke takes the offered bowl before he is nodding. One hand cradling it close, before he is looking back to the knight. Quiet-mainly because he is watching- and eating whatever is put in there. Apparently, breathing is not high on his list right now. "I could go with you." he finally states. " My folks likely think I am dead anyway."
It's not a very exciting meal. Just water, dried meat softened with soaking and heat, some herbs to offer more flavor. A thin broth that helps fill the belly better than the meat alone would. But hunger is the best seasoning. Benedict's drinking from his own bowl, though he stops, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, for that proposal. "My life's not one much suited for company. Or longevity, come to that. Can't rightly drag a boy into it."
For this lad, it seems as if he's been gifted something immeasurable. Still he is eating and slurping as if he's never had any manners what so ever. A look back up as juices drip from the side of his face and Locke narrows his eyes. "I was already drug into it, and not by you. You think my life is long?"
Benedict is a significantly more tidy eater, and if he's drinking from the bowl, he's certainly not dibbling. Swallowing down the broth he says, "It could be longer, now."
Locke shrugs. "With what I have had to do, and see, would you want it longer?" A fair question to ask, or so he thinks.
Benedict regards the lad thoughtfully for a long moment, studying him from toe to top in a way more measuring than anything else. "Suppose," he says slowly, "every knight could use a squire."
Locke pauses for a moment. "I didn't know you was a knight." he states and there he lowers his bowl. "I could do that. I don't know it, but I will learn it."
"I don't suppose I'm much of one, anymore, but technically, once you're knighted, it can't be undone. So," Benedict shrugs. "Here, give it over, I'll refill it." He holds his hand out for the boy's bowl.
Locke shrugs. "Well then I'll be a knight like you are. And you can knight me." said simply before he is coming over, carefully. Bowl extended before he is looking back to Benedict. "How'd you get to be knighted? Were you knighted here?" Or back home-but that phrase doesn't seem to fit.
Benedict accepts the bowl, refilling it from the little pot before offering it back. "Not here," is all he says. "Before I came to the Stepstones."
Locke nods. "You fought in the old war then?" he asks, one brow rising up up before he's taking the pot back and curling an arm around it protectively. "I heard everyone got knighted in that war." And he is back to slurping. "That's what my father used to say."
"A lot of people did," Benedict agrees, setting his own bowl down. "I got knighted a bit before that."
Locke nods. "I didn't. I was too young. My father was called up by Lord someone or other. He went and came back without an eye he did." And he is fishing his fingers in to pull out meat. "Will you show me?" he finally asks, looking back down towards the scimitar. "To use that?"
Benedict glances down at the scimitar, and then over to the boy who would wield it. "If you'll follow the chivalric code, even here, and not lift it in betrayal of a knight's vows… then yes."
"The Knight's what? Vows? Eh." And Locke laughs for a moment, as a piece of meat is plucked from his fingers and chewed upon. "Look, I'll do what you tell me." he states before he is setting down his pot. "I owe you my life. And if I am to repay that.." he nods to the scimitar "Then, yeah."
"All right, then," Benedict agrees, following Lock's gaze towards the scimitar. "It'll do."
"All right then." Locke parrots. "An I'll be yer squire." And there goes more broth as eyes swing off the sword. "Done."