Page 165: Enemy Within
Enemy Within
Summary: A group of Roost smallfolk decide to take "justice" into their own hands.
Date: 29/12/288
Related Logs: Among the Pines and Nettles
Raffton Kell Mob 
Courtyard — Four Eagles Tower
The Courtyard of Four Eagles Tower is floored with a fine grey stone that match the color and tone of the interior structure of the castle's yard. Plants have been potted and placed around the entrances to add some color, the greenery accompanied by several trellises of flowers that climb the support columns. The most prominent structure in the area is the set of large slab steps that lead up to the great oak doors of the Great Hall. Several hallways and accesses lead off into different sections of Four Eagles which makes this the hub of noble activity when court is not being held.
29 December 288

The sun has risen a little higher and the clamor of armored men moving about the courtyard and walls, combined with the clang and calls of the ironmen without, have become a little more familiar. Those men at arms that were not wounded in the attack have been put to work fortifying and preparing the walls of the keep. Some of the smallfolk clustered in the entrance hall and the courtyard have been put to work as well, but many more are simply huddled and waiting. Out of the way in the courtyard, and near one of the trellises of climbing flowers that seem strangely out of place as a backdrop for sudden war, a cluster of five men from the village are talking quietly. Sometimes, one lifts his head and looks about. Sometimes, one of them sneers and spits at the ground.

Raffton has been up on the walls since the attack hit the keep, up above the gatehouse then (say a witness or two) and at work with the other men-at-arms since, doing his part working on the fortifications. He descends the stairs now, coming off duty from the looks of it, as much as there is such a thing right now. He tugs at the collar of his livery, and walks slowly across the courtyard. He doesn't appear to have taken any wounds of his own, dusty and a little frayed, but no blood on him to be seen.

It's not all that strange that Raffton tends to have at least one of his fellow household guards around him. After all, they're tending to do the same sort of work. So when Erik, a stocky-built man in his late twenties who has served for quite a few years, trails along down off the wall, it's not all that strange. He's just — also heading off duty.

After a little bit of rest and bandaging, followed up by being conscripted by Muirenn to act as Hedge Muscle for moving wounded men around while she is tending them and then meeting Lord Jacsen as well as Lady Liliana, Kell had a brief meeting with Ser Hardwicke in his chambers. Now with a more suitable task assigned to him, the knight can be seen departing from the Hall of the Keep and takes a look around the courtyard, the familiar sounds of soldiers and arms moving seems to settle the man. Kell sees that most of the smallfolk have been put to work of some sort until his eyes falls on the small cluster of men at the trellises of flowers.

To those who are born and bred natives of the Roost, Raffton, and what he is, is known. Many can still recall the raid that stranded him here, and if none would openly speak out against a Lord of the Roost's decision, plenty of opinions about keeping and Ironman as a pet have been aired in taverns and around dinner tables. After more than a dozen years, most of those complaints have faded to half-hearted mumbles. Or they had. Before today. Now, however, that cluster of men watch as Raffton descends from the wall, and eyes narrow. There is more quiet talking and the tallest fellow, a man with thinning black hair, gestures towards the gatehouse. As a group, theny step away from the trellis and begin to move towards the blond man-at-arms.

Raffton glances around himself a little warily as he moves across the yard, gaze sneaking about here and there, darting over the others going about their various tasks. He keeps his head down but his eyes up, though the direction he is looking is not, at the moment, the direction from which that cluster of men are coming. He keeps along the edge of the yard, the quieter areas, where he's heading not immediately obvious.

Erik is alert enough to the reality of his task that he does catch a glance of the cluster of men. He swallows, keeping his back straight, and trails along to keep in Raffton's general vicinity, at least enough to keep an eye on him.

Kell was not born in the Riverlands and he has just arrived around these parts not too long ago, in fact it was the night of the Masked Ball when he rode into Stonebridge, so the past and intricacies of people's upbringing are unknown to him, not that it matters to the knight when he makes decisions. When the five men that were clustered together begin moving, the knight continues to watch them as they have decided to busy themselves, however when a line is drawn to their destination, Kell's expression turns into a frown and his own steps begins to move as well. The Hedge Knight is now moving towards Raffton and Erik, though the pace he selects will bring him to the pair a few seconds after the group has arrived as he has decided to see what business the men have.

The five men really only have eyes for Raffton, and Erik skulking a ways behind him, and Kell noticing and approaching, haven't really registered. Of the five, the leader seems to be the tallest one with the thinning hair. There's another: younger, shorter, broader, but the similarity of build and face suggest he's a son of the first. The third, closer in age to the leader but with curling brown hair and a crooked nose, looks like he might be a brother. The other two, both broad men, don't look related at all. The first has his brown hair cut short and brown eyes. The second has green eyes and and longer, shaggier hair. It's this last, moppy fellow that speaks when the five have reached Raffton and spread out to form a loose circle around him. "Where you off to, Ironman?" he asks. "Think you could just sneak back over the wall, now that you served them up our homes on a platter?" sneers the son.

Raffton looks up as the men come closer, and attempts to detour, but finds himself encircled. "Not going anywhere," he replies in that characteristic mumble that makes him sound almost like a Riverlander, "Didn't do anything but my duty," he tells them, attempting to push through the circle, "Just looking for some water."

Erik hesitates on the edge of things, watching the group of smallfolk encircle Raffton. His muscles twitch with a preperatory coiling, his path bringing him a bit closer, though he doesn't immediately jump in.

When Kell nears and sees the group of men spreading out around Raffton, the knight easily senses the tension, different than battling the foes outside, filling the immediate area and knows that the men are up to no good. A disappointed sigh is released by the Hedge Knight as he listens to the words that are being spit out by the one who appears to be the group's spoke person. For now Kell remains silent, perhaps willing to let the smallfolk vent their anger and frustration for a little bit as there is cause for anger and resentment to build up with the attack this morning. However, the knight remains close, mainly to the speaker, looking like he would be stepping in very soon if the men are to do more than speak a few words. There is too much to do than to have an extended conversion or worse, a fight inside the walls.

As Raffton moves to push past them, the brother pushes back with the intent to shove him right back into the middle of their little circle. "What's that, ironman? Speak up, couldn't quite hear you." "He said he was doing his duty, Kris," the leader answers, his eyes narrowing to slits as he stares at Raffton. "Oh, his duty," Kris, the brother, replies, nodding slowly in a mockery of understanding. "His duty right above the gatehouse. With the gate that wouldn't close."

Raffton meets wall of shoulders and is shoved back into the middle of the circle, jaw tightening, lips pressing into a thin line. "Didn't have anything to do with that," he says, "Ask anybody up there. Was seeing there weren't climbers, just like we're supposed to," he finishes, before taking a quick step forward, trying to push between them again, this time with a bit less warning.

"Hey now," Erik finally speaks up, moving closer. His hard gaze is locked on the leader. "You want survive this, get back to helping with those walls. The enemy's out /there/." His thumb is unsubtle in its brush against the hilt of his sword.

As the conversation gets a little rough now with a little bit of pushing and shoving, Kell finally shows his voice, a bit louder than he would usually sleep and certainly lacking any nobility in the way he speaks. In fact, it sounds like the man is now rather irritated at what is going on and easier to anger with the Ironborn enemy right there, on the other side of the wall. "Hey! What the hell is going on here. If you five have that much energy to waste, then you will come with me. Ser Hardwicke has asked me to see to it that men with idle arms are put to work, and it looks like I have found my first group of volunteers." There is a pause as Kell glances to Raffton before looking back to the group, ready to raise a hand to defend the lone man who is in trouble, the knight speaks some more, "Now, if you /do/ have evidence that this man is guilty of what you are suggesting, I suggest that you five come with me. Because by the Warrior, if a fist is thrown /inside/ the walls, I will end the fight just as fast." There is almost a growl to the Hedge Knight's last words, to show that his patience is thin right now.

Raffton surges forward and Kris and the son press together to shove him back. They are eager, ready, waiting for that tiny reason, that little spark to tip threats over into fists. The man with the short hair a brown eyes snorts as Kell comes closer. There's five of them, after all, and one of him. "Stay out of this, stranger," he snaps. "This is an old score and one that's needed to be settled a long time." "Find some other 'volunteers', sellsword," the one with the green eyes and shaggy hair adds, "we're busy." It's the leader that addresses Erik as the guard moves closer. "If the enemy was just out there, the bells would have worked and the gate would have closed. There was a spy. We all know who that spy was."

Raffton glances over his shoulder at Kell and Erik, still frowning. "Nothing to settle," he grumbles at his hasslers, "Not looking for trouble, never given you any. Get out of m'way." And he tries, once more, to go on about his business, whatever that is.

"You know nothing but whatever ideas you've got in your head," Erik spits, approaching the leader to try to get a warning hand on his shoulder in a containment move. "You and your friends go make yourselves useful. We're not going to have riots inside our own walls."

There may be only one of Kell and five of them, but the Hedge Knight has been armored in Full Maile for the day as the fighting is not over yet and he has a sword, but one he won't be drawing for this fight. The words by Kris has the knight shake his head in disappointment again but it seems like today, his patience has worn away. "Alright… if you're choosing to ignore orders." At first, it looks like Kell is turning away, then his expression hardens with some anger and he turns back rather quickly as a fist flies at Kris.

The first fist flies, and it really doesn't matter who it belongs to. All of the sudden, the spark is lit and all fists are flying. Most are directed towards Raffton, but a couple lash out toward Kell and Erik.

<COMBAT> Crewcut attacks Raffton with Unarmed but Raffton DODGES!
<COMBAT> Leader attacks Erik with Unarmed - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Son attacks Raffton with Unarmed - ARMOR on Right Hand stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Shaggy attacks Raffton with Unarmed - ARMOR on Left Hand stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Kris attacks Kell with Unarmed - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Erik subdues Leader!
<COMBAT> Raffton passes.
<COMBAT> Kell attacks Kris with Unarmed but Kris DODGES!

Swing and a miss, that is what happens when you fight more with pent up emotions than calculated efficiency, as the recent battle has Kell on edge. The attacks in return though are barely felt as Kris connects with the side of his face which has maile protecting it. Now, instead of swinging again, the Hedge Knight surges forward to attempt a shoulder tackle on Kris.

Raffton is shoved back once again by the combined force of his attackers, both arms struck as he tries to push through them. He takes a blow to the head as well, and though the leather cap/helm he still wears does something to soften the blow, he still stumbles slightly.

There are clinks and clangs, even as fists connect, because armor was made to stop sterner stuff than knuckles. Still, there's too much anger for logic to step in, and while their leader struggles to free himself from the grip Erik has on him, three of the other men see about trying to use their bodies to shove Raffton to the ground. The last, Kris, is busy defending himself against Kell and trying to find a way around the other man's armor.

Successfully getting a good, restraining arm on the leader, Erik swings his head around to snap loudly at the others, his armor protecting him from the occasional attempt at attack. "Break it up! Everyone stand down!"

<COMBAT> Shaggy attacks Raffton with Unarmed but Raffton DODGES!
<COMBAT> Erik continues to subdue Leader.
<COMBAT> Son attacks Raffton with Unarmed - ARMOR on Right Hand stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Leader attempts to escape from Erik but fails!
<COMBAT> Crewcut attacks Raffton with Unarmed - ARMOR on Left Arm stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Kris attacks Kell with Unarmed - ARMOR on Right Hand stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Raffton passes.
<COMBAT> Kell tries to subdue Kris but fails.

The leader strains against Erik's grip, but it holds firm. His voice works, though, and he uses it to bark his own order. "Get 'im!" One leg kicks in another attempt to shove free, and through his companions haven't had much luck, the son, the shaggy-haired fellow and the one with short hair try again to push some damage past Raffton's armor. Kris, after ducking away from Kell's grip (and making little impact with his punches) sneers and gives it another go.

As the smallfolk decide to continue to try to beat up on Raffton, Kell smirks at Kris and feints an attack on the man, hoping it would fool the man into backing up a couple of steps before changing his targets, taking a couple of steps to the group ganging up on Raffton, sending a boot to Crewcut, at least trying to better the odds of the Island born man.

"/Hold/, I said—" Erik snaps out. He keeps his own hold on the leader, but when the men start swarming Raffton, he abandons it to try and and respond.

Raffton stumbles under the blows of his trio of attackers, but still doesn't punch back, just trying doggedly to keep his feet and try to escape the circle.

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Son attacks Raffton with Unarmed - Light Stun wound to Right Leg.
<COMBAT> Leader attempts to escape but is no longer subdued!
<COMBAT> Erik attacks Son with Unarmed - Moderate Stun wound to Left Hand.
<COMBAT> Crewcut attacks Raffton with Unarmed - Light Stun wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Shaggy attacks Raffton with Unarmed and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Kris attacks Kell with Unarmed but Kell DODGES!
<COMBAT> Raffton passes.
<COMBAT> Kell attacks Crewcut with Unarmed and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Imp has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Raffton has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raffton is not out of the fight yet! (Imp)
<COMBAT> You un-KO raffton.

This latest attempt goes even worse than the last: not only is Raffton's escape attempt blocked, but he takes an elbow in the chest and a kick to the knee that, combined, knock him to the ground. He falls with a thump and a crack of armor and bone on stone.

Having abandoned the group's leader to try and help Raffton, Erik manages to knock away the son's hand with a hard blow, though not before Raffton has been knocked to the ground entirely.

The combined attack of three men is more successful this time, with the son getting a good kick to Raffton's knee and the man with the short hair plows and elbow into Raffton's chest, bringing him to the ground. Kell's feign works, in that Kris's swing comes too late to connect, but the hedge knight's own swing falls short and the man with the short hair's untouched. The leader's son grunts as Erik shoves his hand away when he would have tried for another punch. With a glower, the man turns on Erik. "We've had enough of him!" he snaps. "We won't hold, they're outside these gates right now, and it's his fault!" The leader, free to move again, moves towards Raffton to kick the man while he's down. Kris keeps his attention on Kell.

<COMBAT> Leader passes.
<COMBAT> Kris attacks Kell with Unarmed - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Erik attacks Son with Unarmed - Serious Stun wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Crewcut attacks Raffton with Unarmed - Light Stun wound to Right Arm.
<COMBAT> Son attacks Erik with Unarmed but Erik DODGES!
<COMBAT> Shaggy attacks Raffton with Unarmed - Critical Stun wound to Head.
<COMBAT> Raffton passes.
<COMBAT> Kell attacks Crewcut with Unarmed but Crewcut DODGES!

Erik doesn't even try to argue further with the man: he strikes out again at the son, landing a hard elbow to his chest and managing to dodge out of the way of the other man's attack with a spit curse.

Raffton tries to get up, and gets kicked in the head for his trouble, the arm he raises to block the blow not much help. He falls back down with a muffled curse of his own, but is apparently tough-skulled, hauling himself up to try to get away.

Kell swings at the short-haired man again in an attempt to stop the three men determined to beat the tar out off Raffton, but his punch flies as the short-haired man moves forward to kick at Raffton, boot connecting with his arm. The shaggy-haired man has even better luck, his foot clunking into Raffton's head. The son cries out as Erik elbows him in the chest, and he doubles over, gasping and coughing. "Dad…" he pants. The leader looks over and he moves to strike Erik, next, his anger with the ironborn briefly redirected. Kris punches Kell again, grunting as his fist hits metal once more and does nothing.

<COMBAT> Son attacks Raffton with Unarmed and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Leader passes.
<COMBAT> Kris attacks Raffton with Unarmed - Moderate Stun wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Shaggy attacks Raffton with Unarmed - Moderate Stun wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Crewcut attacks Kell with Unarmed - ARMOR on Right Arm stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Erik passes.
<COMBAT> Raffton attacks Leader with Unarmed and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Kell attacks Crewcut with Unarmed but Crewcut DODGES!

Taking a step back, and then another, Erik stumbles back out of the conflict. He watches for the briefest moment, seeing blows connect with the Ironborn. Then he turns to hurry off. Perhaps he is going to find other guards to help, but — it still leaves Raffton behind.

Raffton is repelled once more, wind knocked out of him as he's pummelled in the chest, his own attempt to shove the leader futile. He drops to one knee, glancing over to find Erik abandoning him. Gritting his teeth, he pushes to his feet once more, taking aim at his attackers once more, trying now to fight his way out.

Now that there's blood properly int he water and one man has already run away, they fall on Raffton with renewed fervor. Kell is ignore as kicks and punches rain down on Raffton along with curses, insults, and a couple wads of spit. The hedge knight growls and aims for the leader this time in an attempt to staunch the fight until more help comes.

<COMBAT> Kris attacks Raffton with Unarmed but Raffton DODGES!
<COMBAT> Shaggy attacks Raffton with Unarmed - Light Stun wound to Left Hand.
<COMBAT> Crewcut attacks Raffton with Unarmed - Moderate Stun wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Son attacks Raffton with Unarmed - Light Stun wound to Left Hand.
<COMBAT> Leader attacks Raffton with Unarmed - Serious Stun wound to Head.
<COMBAT> Erik passes.
<COMBAT> Raffton attacks Leader with Unarmed and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Kell attacks Leader with Unarmed - Moderate Stun wound to Abdomen.

Raffton is knocked to the ground once more, and kicked pretty comprehensively. He curls into a ball, struck in the back and arms and head as he weathers the attack in what seems like well-practiced form. He stays still until they stop, and a moment or two longer, waiting for his opportunity before springing quickly to his feet and making a run for it.

The opportunity comes when Kell shoves his shoulder into the leader's gut. He grunts, staggering back and providing a sudden opening in the circle that stays open as the men stare in surprise. The leader coughs, hands on his knees, and lifts his head to find the ironborn running, the hedge-knight glaring and, now, a few of the other men-at-arms coming off duty finally taking notice. "He's getting away!" the son cries. "Let him," the leader says with a shake of his head. "Let him go back to the rest of those sons of whores. He can show them what we'll do to an Ironborn that thinks to fool us." Cough.