|Early Morning Starts|
|Summary:||The gathered nobles, and Mortimer, make a start on their mounted search, picking up others along the way|
|Related Logs:||Missing children saga|
|The road out of Terrick's Roost|
|Starting at Eagles way and heading through town and out into the countryside.|
|Sat Dec 08, 289|
Another day, bit of a brisk one since it's still fairly early morning. The traffic along the cobblestone road is relatively sparse with the guards watching from higher up. Walking along the road is a young woman who looks to be approximately in her mid-teens. She walks alone, a large basket in her hands piled with different cloths in varying shades of pink. Heading away from the keep and more towards the town proper, she pauses a moment, places the basket on her feet and sighs, blowing her bangs as she rests from the exertions of toting the basket.
The sounds of horse fist announce the arrival of two men. The two Knights ride side by side, one listening intently while the second speaks in hushed voices. When the speaker finishes the silent one nods "Aye, My Lord, I will return as soon as I find anything," he says before turning his horse about and heading on his way. Perrin watches him depart before he turns back to the road and it's then that he spots the young woman. As he nears he stops his forward travel and leans on the front of the saddle. With a bow of his head "My Lady," he greats. Clad in armor both man and beast looks as if they have had long days together and both look slightly the worse for it.
Alisynn is far, far from a lady, but the horses do get her attention and she watches as the other one departs, then focuses on the remaining one. Dipping into a deep and proper curtsy at the sight of him, blue eyes peer up with curiosity and a friendly smile splays across her lips. "My Lord.." Straightening, she shades her eyes from the morning sun with a hand across her forehead, "My apologies, my lord, I am but a scribe for the Terrick's.." though as soon as the words are out, her smile slips into a frown. "I used to be a scribe for the Terrick's. I am moving my things to the Inn now. I help run the inn." Not really meaning to prattle on and on, but with such a handsome nobleman, she could not seem to stop. "It looks as if you are perhaps weary," the armor and beast both with the long days together. "Would you like some water?" Tucked along the edge of the basket is a skin with fresh water. She lifts it in offering to the Lord.
A half smile graces Perrin's features and seems to catch in his eyes as well. "Well a Lady all the same to my eyes," Perrin responds as he listens to her. "Ahh, you help run the Inn now. I see. I do believe you will run into my sister then. The Lady Ceinlys?" A half statement and a half question it would sound. "And a scribe no less. I would think that you moving to the Inn will be the Terrick's loss then." The shrug he gives about him being weary "It has been a long few days. But rest shall come I am sure." Brows rise as the water is offered "Well, just what I was needing," he tells as he leans in his saddle and takes the offered water. A big drink before he hands it back to her and wipes his mouth with the back of his gauntlet covered hand. "I am in your debt, My Lady." Yes, he still uses the title even though she has made it clear that she is not. He pauses a moment "I do not believe I have caught your name though. How can we talk with just titles?" A chuckle escapes "I am Perrin Haigh of Broadmoor and you are?"
The smile in his eyes is not lost on the former scribe as Alisynn smiles up at him. "I have only heard of Lady Ceinlys through the recent tragedy that has befallen her, and I do wish to offer you both my wishes for a safe return. I pray daily to the Seven for her safety and peace while she is.. out there." Alone. Or worse, in the hands of someone not so nice. "I.. can almost imagine how she must feel. How I would feel were something to happen to my own little daughter." May explain the pink items in the basket. When he drinks the water, she watches him, admiring perhaps just a touch, then accepting the skin back, taking a brief drink herself, before replacing it in the basket. "I am Alisynn Maison, a recent arrival from the Twins where my parents both work for the Freys. It is a pleasure meeting you, Lord Perrin Haigh of Broadmoor. Indeed, well met, my Lord."
The smile that graced Perrin just moments a go slips away at the mention of Hafwen's disappearance. He nods his head "I thank you very much, Mistress Alisynn Maison recently arrived from the Twins," perhaps he is having a bit of a tease with her as he included where she has recently come. "All prayers to the Seven are much appreciated." Another dip of his head "It is well to meet you as well and I am grateful for the water as well." He pauses a moment as he studies the young woman "So you work at the Inn, maybe I could trouble you a bit?"
The teasing brings the smile back to the young woman's face and merriment dancing in her eyes. "If you wish, I would much prefer just Alisynn, or Ali if the mood fits you," offering with a bit of musical laughter accompanying the suggestion. "It is indeed my pleasure, my lord, to be able to offer the only support I can, and that is by praying to the Seven." Though as he mentions the Inn once more, she nods easily, "Of course, I would assist you in anything I am able. Though I admit, I have only recently started there. If there is something I can do for you, consider the answer yes." Within the last two days, as a matter of fact.
Perrin chuckles "You are much prettier when you laugh," he notes "Mistress Alisynn," along with a dip of his head as he uses her preferred name. "And I do wish, I fear that the other name with all that is rather a mouth full." There is another pause "As I mentioned, my sister is staying in the Inn. And as you so rightfully pointed out it is a very trying time for her. I would be much appreciative if you would kindly take a bit of extra care for her. And," his head tilts slightly "perhaps do something for me as well. I have my men running messages to her and she is leaving them for me while we search. Perhaps if either of us is indisposed we could leave said messages with you to ensure that they get to where they should be?" Perrin pauses "Of course it goes with out saying that you shall be paid for your services."
The direct compliment draws a blush to her cheeks and she dips her head somewhat shyly. Only.. curiosity wins out and she is quickly looking back up at him again with a warm expression. "From one mother to another, I would be so very glad to be able to help in any way I can." Though Alisynn is an unwed mother, she never mentions that in casual conversation. "I will make sure extra care is given your sister and every need is fulfilled. As for the messages, we do that anyway, we act as messenger service, even Ser Justin Terrick comes by for them, as well as the courier Master Nathaniel Corbitt and all guest. I would not charge you for something that is already being taken care of, Lord Haigh."
Of course Perrin catches the blush "Now look, I've gone and embarrassed you. I do hope you shall forgive me?" He listens to her being a mother "Well when I get Hafwen back we shall have to introduce your child and my niece." A smile comes to him "I shall be in your debt then, Mistress Alisynn for taking such good care of my sister. I already feel better knowing that there is someone I can count on." But he waves a dismissive hand "No, I shall ensure that you get paid for your services, My Lady," so easily he switches titles to Alisynn, "for you do me a great service as I have said."
Alisynn laughs when he brings her embarrassment to attention, eased out of it by him being quite open with it. "Such compliments are rare Lord Haigh, especially from such a dashing nobleman such as yourself. How could I not forgive you?" In an effort to diffuse her own embarrassment, she turns the compliment back to him. "My daughter Kaicee is only a few months old, though when Lady Hafwen is found, it would be an honor to introduce them. Also, your sisters care will be my top priority and I will let her know as soon as I make it back there, that should she need anything, she is free to send for me, no matter the hour." At his insistence of paying her, she offers another curtsy. "As you wish my lord, though I again remind you it is unnecessary."
Perrin laughs as he holds out his arms and looks down at himself "Dashing? I think not. It's been days since I have been out of these clothes much less taken a bath. Now I wonder," he cuts his eyes at her in a mock serious look "Now I wonder who is toying with whom, My Lady?" Of course he chuckles again "But I thank you for such kind words." There is a pause as he listens to Alisynn's daughter "Well they will have to meet then. I look forward to the day when they do," he tells her about having Hafwen meet her daughter.
The ease in which he quickly diffuses the compliment is appreciated with amusement, the former scribe's lips once again quirk into a smile as she looks up at him atop his horse. "Perhaps there is more charm in a demeanor than there is in appearance. Might I say, my lord, you carry both with ease." Dropping her hand from shading her eyes from the morning sun as she had been looking at him, she looks back down and picks up her basket filled with the varying shades of pink clothes from the cobblestone path. Squinting back up at him, her smile widens. "I look forward to that day as well." With the understanding and unspoken probably mutual knowledge the joyful moment wouldn't be in the meeting, it would be in knowing Lady Hafwen was found, whole and alive. "Be well, my lord, I shall continue my prayers." With basket in hand, she dips into a brief and rather light curtsy.
The two are along the cobblestone path and Alisynn is directed towards the town proper. The Inn, of course, since she and Ciaran have been appointed to run it by Lady Anais herself.
Morning seems to have dawned once more, must mean it's time to search the woods once more. Only today, Mortimer is leading his borrowed horse down from the tower and preparing to ride with the visiting nobility, rather than setting out on foot with Darek as has become habit of late. Still, the news of recent tracks up towards Highfield was well received by the missing maid's family and the search area has narrowed. A good start certainly, here's hoping it remains so. The pair ahead are easy enough to spot and he offers a repectful bow to Perrin first, "m'Lord," then an nod to Alisynn, "Mistress."
"Please feel free to tell my sister that I was not some orge that tried to accost you, Mistress Alisynn. I am sure she thinks the worse of me at the best of times," Perrin tells the scribe with a wink. "And that day shall come, I promise you. Sooner rather than later as well." When he hears another horse Perrin turns in his saddle and spots the Deputy leading his horse. "Ahh, Deputy Trevelyan," he greets. "Please, I think we shall be working a lot together till this has ended. Just Perrin is much preferred than such formal titles. But if you insist on using titles Ser will be just fine."
Mortimer draws to a halt alongside Perrin's horse and offers Alisynn a final nod as she departs. He ponders mounting now, but in the end decides to stay afoot until all the expected nobles have arrived. Wouldn;t do to give the impression he was ready to go only to then have to call the lord back to wait for others after all. Turning to look up as the other man speaks he squints a littl ewith the light but then gives a short sharp nod, "sorry m'Lord. Old habits."
A chuckle and a nod is Perrin's answer to the apology "Well, where shall we start today, Deputy Trevelyan? As I said, I am at your disposal and in seriousness you are the lead in our task. I shall be under your command," His looks reinforce his statement as now that the lass has departed he has gone serious once more. There is a task at hand, right? "Also if there is anything that you may need and it is in my power to provide it all you have to do is ask and it shall be taken care of."
Mortimer lifts his free hand, the one not holding onto the horse's tack, and rubs i over his beard and chin for a moment, thoughtfully. It's something he's been considering since the meeting last night but now it's the final decision time. "I think, m'Lord," he starts glancing up to the mounted Perrin once more, "we'd be best of if you could show where you found your tracks. I know where the young Squire saw his man, and where the woman and her wolves were seen, perhaps knwoing the third location will give a clue."
Looking down at Mortimer as Perrin rests his forearms on the front of his saddle "The tracks I spoke of where on the other side of the Rill. but they kept leading us to the river. This is why I am certain that they once more had crossed." He thinks a moment "But where they crossed and where they went from there is the mystery." REaching into one of his saddle bags he pulls out a rough map "My best guess is that they, it, them crossed somewhere around here," He shows Mortimer and traces a finger to the spot. "I had hoped that we would have picked up their trail on this side but so far this has not proven so."
The group had spoken about leaving first thing in the morning, much too early for Erik usually but this time it involves duty and he will see that his part is done. So after kicking his own squire awake, the younger of the two helps the Jast Knight prepare for the day's affairs. Armored protection is worn in case they run into bandits and his steed is saddled. Riding out from the keep, under the portcullis, Erik sees the Deputy Sheriff as well as the Haigh Lord so he nudges his horse in their direction. It appears that the Jast Knight's squire won't be joining them today.
Mortimer studies the map in silence for a few moments then nods slowly, adding the information to his own mental map of things. "They'll need water," he states thoughtfull, more thinking aloud than addressing anyone in particular, "and the Rill is as good a source as any. Or they might be using it to throw off any dogs that mgith be tracking them." The sounds of Erik's horse approaching breaks his chain of though though and he glances over his shoulder to see who it is before giving the new arrival a brief nod. Then it's back to Perrin again, although he lifts his voice so it should carry to Erik's ears too, "With the rain yesterday I think we try the banks m'Lords, see if there is anything fresh." With the Highfield sheriff along as well then that opens both sides to search simulantiously after all.
One can never be sure if Martyn sleeps far into the day, or if he gets up very early in the morning in normal days. But these aren't normal days, but something far more dire. Having gotten up early and made his way out for this, he now approaches Mortimer and Perrin, looking over at Erik as he approaches as well. Looking around for a few moments now, expression a bit serious at the moment.
Perrin is also with out any of his usual men, where they are is not explained nor even commented on. He looks up from the map even as Mortimer talks having heard the approaching rider. A nod of his head "Ser Erik, good morn," is his greeting before he goes back to the map once more. How many times he has studied this map. How many times he has looked at it and prayed that it would divulge where his niece and now the one named Hunter maybe be found. But those answers are not forth coming from the parchment so it is once more put away "I agree, Deputy, if we can pick up some sign of them at the river we would stand a better chance knowing which direction they may be headed. Then as Martyn makes his appearance he nods to him as well. "Ready for another day, Ser?"
"Rain usually results in soft ground which can yield tracks, perhaps luck will be on our side today." Erik says as he approaches the two men, nodding his head respectfully to both before offering greetings, "Good day, Ser Haigh. Deputy Trevelyan." Since he is not allowed to search the Terrick lands without the Lord Sheriff present or the Deputy, it appears that the Jast Knight is willing to work with the constraints instead of just sitting inside the keep doing nothing. Spotting Marty joining them as well, Erik inclines his head to the Mallister, "Ser Mallister."
With all the expected nobles present, even if they do seem somewhat light on men, Mortimer figures it's as well to get moving, since discussion and conversation can happen just as well on the ride as stood by the roadside. Mounting quickly he's silently glad that it's a horse he's borrowed before and as such, gaining the saddle does not become a contest between man and beast. "Morning m'Lord" he offers briefly to Martyn, not having yet greeted the Mallister man, before he's turning to nod his agreement to both Perrin and Erik, "as was my thinking." Then, specifically to Erik he asks, "will you ride our bank or tkae your own Lord Sheriff?"
"I have to agree with you, Ser Erik. I feel that today maybe we get a break." Of course he has been saying this each day since Hafwen has been taken and his search had started. Once the map is securely put away, Perrin turns his attention to his gloves. Each one carefully tugged into place, with only glances to Mortimer as he addresses Erik. Once both are in place he taps each into the palm of the other to set them in place "There, right," he mutters and takes up the reins of his horse.
Martyn nods a little bit. "Good morning," he offers a bit quietly to the others, before he nods to Perrin's question. "Ready for yet another day, Ser Perrin. We all are, I believe?" Looking between the others, nodding a little bit.
"I will be riding with you, Deputy. Until we find tracks that clearly show the bandits crossing into Ashwood Lands, I will assist with the search here." Which means Erik won't be leaving the Roost unless it is with the Deputy or the Lord Sheriff. He then nods to Martyn, answering the other knight's query, "A day that will hopefully bear fruit."
Leading off at a steady walking back down the road, Mortimer keeps half his attention on the horse and half on the conversation of the nobles until he hears Erik's reply. Glancing between the Ashwood and the Haigh a moment his brow wrinkles slightly in thought, the comments of the pair not seeming to match in his head. "Forgive me m'Lords," he then says, figuring it bes to clear any misunderstanding quickly, "it may just be the early hour, but I thought that the tracks were on the Ashwood bank?"
Perrin has spurred his horse to ride along with Mortimer. "They left Heronhurst with Hafwen before crossing the Rill," he begins to correct "as to which side of some line on some map they ended up I do not know. I have gambled that they have come here, Deputy. I thought that since you have seen them the most they must feel comfortable and in some safety here on your lands." He looks over to Mortimer "I mean no disrespect to you or your lords, far from it. You have done the hard work in rousting them out. But with lands spread so wide there are any number of places that they could have taken shelter."
"Wherever they are hiding, we will find them," Martyn offers a bit quietly, looking around for the moment as he moves Miramis forward with the others. Turning to look at Erik, he offers a momentary smile. "I'm certain you have some groups on your own side of the border, looking around there already?" A brief pause, before he adds, "Someone's been looking where the bandits had brought the ladies earlier this year too, I presume?"
Hearing Perrin's words first, the Ashwood Sworn appears to be nodding his head in agreement, "Coming here, we were hoping both to cut off the bandits and also to ask your Lord for permission to conduct searches on his lands." Neither appearing to be successful just yet, "So we were hoping for either news and positive results on the searches you and your men have conducted so are, Deputy. And if the lands on this side has been searched through and through, then we move our search onto Highfield, perhaps in the direction of where the old Camden ruins reside." There is a pause as Erik turns his gaze on Martyn, "Squire Boldt had searched our lands for the two missing Highfield boys and his search, I believe, brought him here. This was of course before the new developments from Heronhurst. Lord Daryl is heading to Highfield now, no doubt to speak with Lord Aleister."
Mortimer listens carefully as Perrin explains, adjusting his mental map as more details are given before giving a brief nod in understanding. "Thank you m'Lord," he offers in brief reply before expounds for all, "the only sightings have been in or very close to wooded areas. Of which," he admits with a deep exhale, "there are a lot. If they are, as it seems, using the Rill to disgusise their tracks though, then the wooded areas along it's banks seems the place to start." Turning to glance briefly to Martyn he gives the man a nod, both in agreement and confirmation in answer of his question.
Erik's words bring another brief pause for thought though before he offers as a point of information, "your Squire can here at my invite. When we heard that there were missing from Kingsgrove and Highfield we sent word to both offering to share information and resources." Turning to the knight he then asks, "where do the Camden ruins lie in relation to the settlement where plague is rumoured? We've seen them use old stories and legends to scare people off, why not disease. Is there confirmation of an illness yet?"
Perrin rides along, seemingly lost in his own thoughts. It's the words from Erik that shakes him from the inner workings of his own mind. "Yes," he says first to Mortimer "I would agree, lets head to the river banks and see what we may dig up. If they are using the woods to lay up in, and it provides them security, perhaps it be best if we search there." He turns to listen to Erik and his words of plague "Not a place I would like to venture into. But you have a point. If the illness caused by there are not but tales then they would have safe haven there as well." To Martyn "Find them, slay them," he says giving the man a smile.
The sounds of galloping hooves breaks the stillness before first light. Two riders, both in dark clothing and riding swift horses, approach from the east. Both have bows slung on their backs and quivers full of arrows, and if there is enough light, keen eyes might notice that both have red hair, and both are slender and wiry in form. Almost at the same instant, Nathaniel and Kalira slow their steeds when they see the group ahead. Nathaniel's eyes scan the group and then he raises one hand to wave in greeting, although the look on his face is clearly that of a rider on earnest business.
Martyn nods a little bit as he hears what's being said now, pausing for a few moments as he hears Perrin's words. Offering the Haigh knight a bit of a nod, expression a bit grim for the moment. As he hears the sound of the horses, he turns to look at the two riders, pausing for a few moments as he spots Nathaniel.
"I have not returned to Highfield since word of the disease broke out in the Flint camp, but if men are quarantining that area, then it may be true. As for the ruins, it is not far from the settlement. The settlement sits by the coast and the clearing is in between the ruins and the coast." Erik says with what he can go by in his memory as he does not have a map with him. He also nods in agreement with Perrin, "The sooner we start the search, the larger the area we can cover before we must return." The Jast Knight's eyes quickly sweeps to the area where approaching hooves are sounded, eyes narrowing as he tries to see if he recognizes either.
Mortimer recognises Nathaniel and his horse easily enough, hastening his own beast forwards to meet the pair all the sooner. "Master Corbitt, Mistress," he greets with a brief nod, sticking to the more formal terms of address in the presence of the nobles. "You're out early," he notes with a faintly worried expression, "not trouble I hope?" Erik's words are greeted with a brief nod before he turns quickly back to the man as something occurs to him. "The Flints?" he queries, then glancing back to Nathaniel, "does that mean our hopes of borrowing their man are in vain?" Having to tell both Lords Ozric and Justin that he'd failed to gain Master Pariston's services because the man has plague was certainly not on his list of conversations to have.
The on rushing horses bring about a first reaction to Perrin, his hand falls across him to rest on the hilt of his sword. But as the others do not seem to be alerted, he relaxes and watches the pair as he adjust his armor. Yes, that is what he was going to do all along, yep. Maybe. Only the talk of the illness brings him back "I had not heard of this, this illness. I fear that being in Broadmoor has sheltered me from much of this news." A fact that he kicks himself for not hearing of the abducted children before his own niece was taken.
The Erenford Courier Kalira brings her mare to a halt alongside the Terrick Courier, offering a polite and respectful nod that flows into a bow from the saddle, "Good morning Sers," offered in greeting, erring on the side of caution for mode of address. "Not, we hope, to add more to what is currently amiss, no Sers," she explains with a firm shake of her head. "My lord Brennart has search parties scouring Heronhurst lands, we're expanding the search and will continue to do so until Lady Hafwen is found," she aims a second nod toward Lord Perrin. "We are doing everything we can to find your niece, my lord," and in this moment 'your' refers to Lord Perrin and Lord Brennart (in absentia).
Nathaniel focuses for a moment on Martyn and then looks at the rest of the group before he bows to them from horseback. "Lords, master," he greets. Then he focuses his attention on Mortimer, and adds, "I mentioned another tracker to you." He waves to Kalira, who sits on her horse beside him. "This is Mistress Kalira Valen." He nods to the woman beside him with a look of pride in his eyes.
For now, Erik remains silent, only offering a nod to the two commoners that have joined them though his brow does arch up when Nathaniel introduces the woman as a tracker. A smirk appears but the Jast Knight does not question the woman and her tracking abilities.
Mortimer listens to both Kalira and Nathaniel as they speak, obviously relieved that it was not some new twist that had them on the road so early. "Mistress Kalira," he offers as Nathaniel provides her name, then looks to the other Terrick man to ensure he knows he's included in what is about to be said. "We're heading for the banks of the Rill in the hope that yesterday's rains may leave the ground good for impressions. You are welcome to lend your eyes but we really should not be tarrying."
Only the deepening of the crows feet at the corners of Perrin's eyes betrays any emotion of hearing that Lord Brennart has search parties out looking for Hafwen. What that means would be anyone's guess, if they caught it. "This is good news that you bring, Mistress," he says to the woman with just a slight dip of his head. "And what news has been found?" When Nathaniel speaks he looks between the two. "Mistress Valen, a tracker. How good are you then?" he says in greeting, blunt and to the point, or perhaps a test that only he knows if it's a pass or fail, before focusing on the man "And you are with the Erenfords as well?" He does see the reactions of both Martyn and Erik and notes them for later.
When Mortimer speaks Perrin nods in agreement "Already we are slightly behind schedule," but to Nathaniel and Kalira "and you are to join us?" If he thinks it's a good idea or bad, nothing in his visage would betray it. "I, like the Deputy here, welcome those that wish to help."
Martyn studies Kalira for a few moments as she's introduced, then looking to Nathaniel as well now. Then over to the others. "We should be heading out there rather soon, yes," he offers a bit quietly. Otherwise keeping silent for now.
Kalira simply guides her mare to the side, clearing the road so that the search party can ride out, "Trained by the huntsmaster of Heronhurst, my lord," Kalira answers, leaving it at that. "I won't slow you down, my lords, another pair of eyes is all," she adds before nodding at Nathaniel. "I can give you more details as we ride if you'd like, my lord," she offers to Perrin.
"We're ready. Lead on," Nathaniel urges with a nod. Looking to Mortimer, he adds, "How do you want to ride, as a group or with each taking some portion to search?"
And in comes Brennart sitting atop of his horse leading a /small/ group of Erenford men a few knights and some hunters and trackers, not enough to be considered an invading force so no need to arrest… Wait this isn't Stonebridge should be safe. His saddle does appear to be a new one as is the quiver and hunting bow slung off the saddle horn. "Hail there folks." He offers with a wave.
Mortimer has Nathaniel's word that Kalira is up to scratch and that'll do for him, although he does nod briefly in acknowledgement as she provides the details requested by the others. Moving his mount off again along the road states openly to Perrin, "nothing we shouldn't be able to make up on the way m'Lord." At Nathaniel's question he turns back and is about to answer when yet another group arrive along the road. Recognising the livery but not the man he offers a polite bow, or as much of one as his saddle will allow before returning the greeting. "My Lord, if you are here to join the hunt then please, accept my welcome on behalf of House Terrick. We are riding now in the hope of not wasting any more of the day than has already passed so please join us, or continue on to the tower if you wish to announce your arrival more formally first." Glad now that with Nathanial present he'll not be the only Terrick man amongst the swelling ranks of others he sets his eyes on the road ahead once more, eager to have done with the delays.
Making a clicking noise out the side of his mouth, Perrin moves his horse forward. To Kalira and Nathaniel he nods "Glad you are with us then." To Kalira he gives an appraising look "Then welcome, Mistress," he tells her in passing before he turns to Mortimer "Good good, I fear I have been the cause of the delay when I met the scribe. But," he gives the party a look as he turns in his saddle "I am sure we have some good help as well." Perrin wasn't at the wedding and hasn't met the man before, but he has had Brennart described to him and his sister has spoken of him as well. He bows his head "My Lord," he greets but lets the words of the Deputy speak for him as well.
Martyn pauses for a few moments as he sees Brennart's arrival. "Didn't think they'd let out a heir from the safety of the walls anymore," he mutters a bit lightly under his breath, shaking his head a little bit before he offers a grin towards the man. "Lord Brennart. Nice to see you out and about," he offers, with a quiet smile. A brief pause as he seems to consider something, before he offers a chuckle. "Wife's scared you off already?" Spoken quite lightly, it would seem that yes, Martyn knows how to make a joke every now and then.
Nathaniel turns to look over his shoulder when he hears the sounds of seveal more horses approaching, and the clink of armor or weapons. Like Mortimer, he spots the colors and recognizes them. Even more, he recognizes one of the men. He gives as much of a bow as possible from horseback, and greets, "Good day, Lord Brenneart!" However, he says no more. He glances to Kalira with a slight smile, and then he looks to Mortimer to follow the deputy's lead.
Brennart chuckles and shakes his head, "I think she will be quite upset when she realizes I've left Ser Martyn." He nods towards Mortimer, "It was suggested that we start looking where it all began. I'd heard rumor that it'd started at the Roost I was riding to offer the assistance of Erenford but seems you all have already gotten ready to start without us so I'll just lend the support of my men now and formally visit with the tower later. The children are a bit more of a priority right now."
Kalira's head lifts slightly before the small group of Erenford men and accompanying knights even make the turn to this stretch of the road, recognizing the banners and the riders. "Thank you, my lord," Kalira says with another deep nod to Lord Perrin even as she, again, moves out of the line of riders plenty of room to clear the way for Lord Brennart in the search party. She guides her mare back a few more steps, "My Lord," is said quietly with another deep bow from the saddle to Brennart before exchanging a nod with her fellow courier. "Courier Corbitt and I scouted the road between here and Stonebridge, my lords, no new tracks in the soft ground after the rain, save for what we left and animal tracks. We didn't have enough light to scour the countryside."
Doing a quick mental headcount of the newly arrived Erenford's so he knows just how big aparty he now has in hand, Mortimer moves off once again along the road, answering Brennart as he does so. "Thank you m'Lord, we're headed for the banks of the Rill now in the hopes of finding fresh tracks after the rains." That done he figures he'll let the knights and nobles work out for them selves where they wish to ride in relation to the others, although he glances across to Nathaniel in an attempt to snag the man into riding alongside at the front. "We're to ride as one for now," he states, answering the courier's earlier question, "until Ser Justin returns from his patrol. Lord Ozric has decreed that either the Lord Sheriff or myself shoul ride with any search." Although if it's this large a party every day then he might be trying to get other names added to that list too, as Erik was suggesting the night before.
Perrin continues to ride as a smile is given to Kalira. After a moment or two of silence "Deputy Mortimer, perhaps it would be good to have the two trackers," he motions with a hand to Nathaniel and Kalira "to ride up front since this is what they have been trained for?" A suggestion, as he too begins a head count of those involved in this morning's search.
Nathaniel inclines his head with a quick smile to Kalira before he clicks his tongue softly, and twitches the reins slightly while Molly moves forward thtourhg the group, maneuvering slowly toward the front. He eyes the horse that Mortimer has been using quite often. "He's a good choice," he comments. "Considering all of this, you should see if the sheriff can find a permanent mount for you. If not, I know a few locals who suitable have horses near riding age."
Brennart falls in with the rest of the search party, "Men you're to follow the directions this gentleman here." He motions towards Mortimer who seems to be in charge of the search party, "So the Rill it is then." He offers Kalira a nod, "It's like they're being whisked away by magic. The squire from Heronhurst was saying that it wasn't a human nor was their mount a horse… Sounds like we have some mummers around the Riverlands playing quite the show."
Mortimer glances behind to Perrin as the lord makes his suggestion. He's reluctant to lose the one familiar face amongst this ever growing crowd but he has to admit that it's a good idea. He doesn't answer, yet, turning instead to Nathaniel himself to gauge his reaction to the suggestion, confident enough that should he agree, then it shouldn't break Lord Ozric's instructions if the two are acting as outriders to this search as opposed to being a search of their own. At the suggestion of getting his own horse he shakes his head gently, "horses cost, both in time and money, and I have greater need for both elsewhere. The stables do me well enough when I have need."
"Just make sure you get home to her again, my friend," Martyn offers to Brennart, before he adds, "If she still gives you trouble, point out the fact?" Shaking his head now as he looks around. "Ready to go now…" he mutters.
"Aye, ser," Kalira replies and once more guides her mare forward, nodding at Nathaniel before pulling a map from a pocket in her vest, eyeing the terrain in the early morning light. "You've mapped out the areas already search, ser?" she asks of Mortimer. "We can cover more ground if we split up but there's no way to determine if a place already searched is not being used now, regular sweeps would be ideal, sers, but on random interval sweeps to make it more difficult to for the person or persons behind this to predict. We'll scout ahead," she spreads gives the map a small shake to unfold it the rest of the way, taking her read from the road and the map and nudges her mare to a steady walk forward until everyone else is in motion.
Perrin turns and gives a slight smile to Kalira. It's one of those that say much. The bag that hangs on his side is opened and he reaches in and pulls forth a map, rolled tightly, as he slows his horse somewhat. At least till it's beside that of the tracker from Erenford's. Not really looking at her he holds it out to her "Mark your map with what's on this one. But," now he turns and lays a steady gaze on her "I shall have this one back." And then it's offered to Kalira.
Mortimer answers Kalira's question first with a faint smile and then a nod. "I'm no knight Mistress," he explains first then produces his own, unmarked, sketch map for her to glance at. "We've covered a fair bit of the wooded area to the north and east, although by the word brought by the Lords here we many not have been far east enough. Today the plan is to check the woodland along the Rill so concentrate there. We can go into more detail with proper maps back at the keep after we've lost the light." He's bound by Ozric's instructions so far as splitting up goes but he's sure Nathaniel can explain that along the way if needs be.
Nathaniel guides Molly closer to Shadow by a step, and when Perriin approaches from the opposite side, offering another map for reference, he nods and notes, "If there are any caves along the river, those woiud be ideal places to search."
Kalira accepts the offered map from Lord Perrin as she tugs a charcoal stick from another of her pockets and - with a careful glance back and forth - marks off the areas on her map to match the ones on Perrin's map. Back and forth she compares her map to Perrin's before she'll hand it back. "Thank you, my lord," is said quietly, another of those deeply respectful nods given as she folds her copy of her map so that just the terrain that the search party is working - at this given moment - is displayed. "Do the maps indicate any abandoned homesteads? Any places where local legend has stories of some sort that folk would normally avoid? Who ever or what ever is doing this can easily take advantage of places that folk would normally avoid, it'd be easier - I'd imagine - to move from one 'avoided' place to another to prolong the hunt." She nods at Nathaniel, "Aye, caves as well, natural vales, they'll need resouraces, food, water, access to both, they'll need both to care for the children, but also somewhere away enough that none are likely to stumble upon them by chance, isolated like but.. still within reach of water," she muses aloud.
Coming a bit late, but still on his way, is Alric. Upon his horse to join the rest. Coming towards the group. "My lords!" He calls out as he moves towards the nobles are. Riding up to Perrin's side, "Apologies, had some small issues to deal with before leaving." Going to ride along with them, falling a bit silent as to not disturb any talk.
A single nod of his head as Perrin takes the map back and safely puts it away. He doesn't really look at Kalira, except from the corner of his eye. But there lays a smile as he spurs the horse a bit faster and regains his position. "All good points," he mentions to anyone about possible hiding places of their objective.
Martyn keeps quiet for now, remaining where he is and looking around now. Offering a half-nod to Alric as the man appears.
"No particular local legends," Mortimer answers with a slight shake of his head, "but we've got abandoned farms and cottages a plenty since the Ironborn burnt anything they couldn't take." That's not his particular favourite subject though she he wastes little time dwelling on it. "The woman, the one with the wolves, was seen at one a couple of weeks ago, although searches of others have shown nothing that indicates they've been there." He nods at the mention of water, "aye Mistress, hence starting at the Rill. There's woodland along which they seem to favour above all else, and they;ve been taking great care to confuse their tracks in it's vacinity." Or so he's told anyway. At the arrival of Alric he glances over his shoulder and adds another to his mental list of searchers, offering the man a quick nod and "m'Lord" in greeting.
Brennart has settled himself into the group to ride on when they leave to search… Yes small pose but kids are being cute so distracted sorry.
Nathaniel pivots his head to look behind them and see yet another boble approaching. He bows his head as much as possible considering his position astride his horse. "We should go," he urges quietly to Mortimer. "At this rate, any stragglers shouldn't have difficulty with finding us."
Turning to look at Alric Perrin shakes his head "Do not worry, Lord Alric. You have done much to get me this far. I am sure that what ever business detained you it will be well worth it." He continues to ride. But for any that would care to look he seems a bit distracted now as hey make the woods. He looks about as if searching for someone. "Huh," escapes him.
Alric nods to Perrin's words and nods to anyone that greets him. Though he seems to be doing much like Martyn, falling silent and just riding along with all the others. Giving them all a glance.
The search continues. For many mile the party has ridden. Over hill, through stream. Any small abandoned homestead has been searched. Already the sun is high over head and there is still much to cover. Perrin takes a deep breath which is let out slowly "Perhaps this is a good place to break. Let us get something to eat before we continue."
Alric nods as he has been silent through most of the ride. Perhaps having been counting days in his head or something. At least not having seemed to be chatty. As they find a spot to break, he does finally open his mouth, "Sounds good." Moving off his horse and seeing to him before looking to Perrin again, "I think the horses will appreciate it as well."
Pausing for a few moments as he hears Perrin's words, Martyn nods a little bit as he brings Miramis to his stop, dismounting and moving to take care of the horse. Speaking softly to the animal for a little while, before he turns, nodding to the others. "The horses probably need the rest at least as much as we do," he offers.
With the latest of small and abandoned homesteads searched thoroughly from collapsed-in barn and the remains of a fire-scorched house that might have once been a tidy and snug place to live, Kalira catches the remarks from Lord Perrin. She and Master Corbitt, both couriers for their respective houses, have been scouting ahead return to the party: "There's a game trail that cuts across the main road here," the Erenford Courier notes, taking out the charcoal stick of a pencil and marks her map accordingly before tucking it into one pocket again. She stands in the stirrups for a moment, taking advantage of her height to get a longer look around before seating herself once again. "We'd packed some trail rations, the sort of are most couriers carry, it isn't much to share, my lord, but if no one else packed anything we can divide up what we have," she offers. "The well water looks good, we can water the horses," she adds, frowning briefly at the well before swinging down out of the saddle to check the well to see if there's a bucket and lucks out, indeed.
Squinting, Nikolus raised his wineskin to shield away the sun's glare from his eyes while mounted upon his horse and accompanied by his faithful sworn sword Baryl, The Bald and Brawny. Approaching the group pausing for respite, the Groves lord groaned audibly, followed by a much needed belch. The hand holding the reigns touched his stomach in comfort, "Finally…" Baryl had cast a sideglance towards his lord before tugging at the reins, commanding his steed to halt. That's when the Nikolus spoke aloud, "What have we here?"
Perrin arches his back before he swings a leg over and dismounts. Back on the ground he squats for a time, stretching muscles that has seemed to have cramped up long a go and have been put out of mind. As he loosens the girth of the saddle he turns to look at Kalira and nods "I to have trail rations." Then with a smile "Contrary to what most believe, I have eaten my share of food that is taken for long rides. Not always do I get to feast at banquets." He chuckles as he rungs a hand down the neck of his horse and down it. A glance to the well "Good, fresh water will go far for both man and beast," a pause "And woman." A smile and a shrug for his unintended slight. He looks over to Nikolus as he asks his question, his own features seem to be questioning what the question is all about.
Martyn pauses a bit at the mention of food, and turns to get hold of whatever simple food he's brought with him here. "As long as we don't get a mountain of fish, like back during the war," he comments, a bit absently. Looking over at Nikolus at the question. "Woods," he replies.
The search that they've conducted thus far this day has taken this hunting party along the river Rill and the abandoned homesteads, coves, sheltered glens and any other natural formations that might prove handy. The search so far proving more futile and time consuming than not. Kalira fetches a length of rope from the gear fastened to the saddle on her mare and replaces the mostly rotten length of rope attached to the winch and, of course, to the bucket before lowering the bucket into the well. It takes a few turns to clear the dust, accumulated debris, detrius, leaf and bug carcasses and more until the bucket comes up clean. At last. She dumps the first clean buck into the shallow rough nearby to rinse more of the gunk and dirt out of that. "Nothing wrong with a feast or banquet, milord," Kalira offers in return to Lord Perrin before she gives a wry grin in return to his amended statement. When she's done the trough is has a shallow pool of water ready for the horses to use. The newly arriving riders are studied for a moment, listening to the exchanges as she sets the bucket on the edge of the well, "There was a kitchen garden near the southern wall, I'll see if there's anything that survived," she offers, "anything we can add fast to the meal," said a she dusts her hands together and strikes out toward the southern wall of the remains of the house.
While Kalira wanders around the back of the house, Nathaniel dismounts his mare but ties her to a tree to wait. He watches while the other horses quench their thirsts, and when he sees the trough nearing empty, he goes to the well and lowers the bucket to begin replenishing the supply.
Water skin, a few dried bits of beef, hard biscuits, and some hard cheese are what Perrin drags out of his bags. "Well, as I said, it's not Feast material but it has served me well in days past." He grins and wrinkles up his nose "No more fish. I swear I have not had more than a bite or two since." He watches Kalira and Nathaniel as they go about getting drinkable water then when the fill up the troughs he begins to move his horse over so it may drink "My thanks to you both," he tells them.
Martyn grins a bit at Perrin's words, before he goes silent again eating a little bit in quiet for now. Looking around briefly, he moves over to one of the nearby trees, disappearing between the trees for a short while now.
With a rough canvass bag carried in one hand, Kalira returns from her foraging of the remains of the kitchen garden that is found along the south wall of the remains of the home. Taking note of which members of the hunting party are absent and which ones are watering their horses, taking care of the usual rest break needs, Kalira checks first with Lord Brennart and speaks quietly with several of the members of the hunting party he'd brought with him. The canvass bag she'd used to gather from the remains of the kitchen garden proves to hold a handful of tomatoes, a few melons and - harvest on the way back - handfuls of tart raspberries. She sets the spoils of her foraging down near the well, free for all, before reaching for her own trail rations and augmenting it with a handful of the juicy raspberries.
Having been checking on hiis horse earlier Alric finally moves over towards the others, though seeming lost in what is going on around him, or what has been said. Not really listening. Then he looks towards the disappearing Martyn. Raising a brow. Though soon enough looking towards Kalira. Even if he might be hungry he doesn't seem to be going for any food at the moment.
As if out of nowhere Freya Caul emerges bow drawn ready for anything but especially concerned about mailed wolves, wailing women and some weird guy roaming around on a not quite horse. "Mi'Lord," she says to Perrin curtseying as best she can in her formless leather pants. Stealthy though she is a few in the party would have noticed her approach. She scrapes some gunk off the bottom of her boots and looks around. "Stopping for lunch?" she asks as much as observes.
It takes a little while before Martyn returns from the woods, but when he does, he looks like a load has been removed from him. Moving back towards his horse now, looking around for a few moments and noticing Freya now. Shrugging a little bit as he steps over towards Miramis again. "Something like that, I suppose," he comments.
Nathaniel finds a limb that broke from the tree under which he stands, and he lifts it carefully into the branches. Even though they seem to have been picked well enough recently, he starts to target and knock limbs that have fruit still hanging from them, and fells a few applies to the ground. He stops for a moment to watch something in the overgrowth near the house, but he doesn't worry much about it for now. Dropping the improvised harvesting pole, he begins to collect apples and carries them to the offering of food beside the well. Then he returns to dislodge a few more of the ripe fruit. After completing his third circle around the tree, he goes to the other tree where he left Molly, and leads her to the trough for her drink.
Kalira collects her mare from the group of horses gathered by the Erenford contingent and leads her mare in line to the trough as well, idly chewing on a strip of venison jerky, taking her place in line beside Nathaniel. "I found tomatoes, some melons, raspberries on the bushes planted around the western edge of the garden. It isn't much," she remarks in a low voice, a shrug accompanying her words, "but it's a good bit of extra filler."
Nathaniel pages: Freya seems to have this thing about sneaking into a place. But then she seems to have this "thing" about many other things, too.
Freya nods, "Been doing some scouting - didn't know people were foraging else I would have done a bit myself. Didn't we come fully provisioned?" She asks noone in particular raising a golden brow quizzically.
Alric glances towards Freya but doesn't approach her. Finding a spot to sit and relax for a moment. A look given to Martyn as he returns. "Is it just me, or does it feel like we are only being lured along?" He asks. Glancing around at those present.
"It's a fine addition," Nathaniel praises Kalira's find with a nod of his head and a warm smile. "I'm not sure how many of these people plan ahead, as we do, for long stretches on the road without a soul in sight." While he watches their horses slurping the water from the trough, he offers her one of the apples to Kalira. then he looks past her to Freya and urges her, "If you've seen anything worthy of note, mistress, I'm sure that Master Trevelyan will want to hear about it." He nods toward where the deputy is. Then he goes back to the well to draw more water. "This, too, needs doing, ser. Even menial tasks are part of great plans." He totes the heavy bucket to the trough and empties it.
Martyn shrugs a little at Alric's look, offering a momentary smile, before he pauses a bit at the words, "Lured along?" he asks, before he pauses a little bit. "How so?" Looking a bit curious now.
Kalira gladly accepts the offered apple and buffs it lightly against the front of her tunic before offering it to Shadow as soon as her horse is done at the trough. Lord Fenster's remark makes her glance slowly around, back to Lord Brennart and his gathered men before she turns back with a speaking look to her fellow courier - Nathaniel. "I'm sure they packed enough for a day of searching," she murmurs en sotto voice and shakes her head at her horse chomps down on the apple like it's the last one on planet. She also studies Freya for a thoughtful moment, "How did you catch up with our search party?" is wondered as a small frown remains on her face.
Alric shrugs, "We have all been gathered, sort of. The leads we have gotten seem a bit obvious. I don't know, I might be paranoid." He admits. Glancing over towards Kalira as well when she speaks to Freya, "I am sure that either she was sent for by ser Perrin or just being around the area. As far as I know she was suppose to help out." He offers, to try and clear any suspicion. Though he will let Freya explain as well, as he seems a bit curious what it might have been.
Brennart is near his horse with his men as he munches on some of their travel rations as the group came prepared to feed themselves field rations for a few days to not pose a burden on the Roost or it's precious stores at this time.
Freya cants her head, "I go where Ser Perrin goes or tells me to go. I was just behind you. Making sure we were following and not being followed. So I guess I can contest Lord Alric for the title of most paranoid." She shrugs, "Lord Alric here can speak for my character if you think I intend some mischief," Freya says smiling.
Nathaniel grins while Shadow gobbles the apple. Then he looks with raised eyebrows to Alric when the lord suggests that someone might be leading them on a merry chase. Then his gaze shift sot Freya and he queries, "Where is Paul? Bring him up for a drank as well." He nods to the trough, which is, once again, almost empty due to the horses and their seemingly endless thirst.
Martyn looks a bit thoughtful as he hears Alric's words, nodding a little bit. "Well, if you are paranoid, then what would they call me?" Nodding a little at what's being said. "There's too many weird things about this entire thing." A brief pause as he looks around again now.
Kalira fetches the next few buckets of water while discussions of paranoia or tempered caution are being bandied about. A level look is aimed at Freya as she makes the trips to the well and back, "I think that if mischief is intended that no amount of words to the contrary will make a ounce of difference," is all she says to this line of conversation. And, having said it, goes back for another bucket of water and makes sure that all of the men that arrived with Brennart have watered their horses as well.
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Alric nods to Freya, "That's good then." Then it is to Martyn as he nods again. Agreeing with the man. "I think you are right. hopefully we can solve all of this soon. And that all are safe." Just glancing between Kalira and Freya, but only shrugs. Guessing that they will get along fine, when actually needed. Not that they seem hostile, but still.
Once Molly has lifted her head, Nathaniel reaches for her reins and starts to lead her away. "Leave some for the rest," he tells her with a chuckle. He glances to Kalira and, again, his brows rise. He makes a point of leading his mare close enough to her to murmur something to her before he tethers his mare beneath the shade of one of the trees.
Freya frowns seeming to hear something off in the distance. "My horse is tied up in camp over there." Freya says pointing to Paul answering Nathaniel's question. "Best get back to scouting - no rest for the crooked," Freya bows out leaving the unfriendly camp.
Martyn nods a little bit at Alric's words. "Hopefully," he offers after a few moments of pause. "We'll probably need to do this like we did with the bandits who abducted the ladies earlier on, though. Take them out so they, or anyone else, will not attempt anything like this again." It's spoken with a bit of a grim expression now.