Page 288: Enter Blackwood
Enter Blackwood
Summary: Lord Daemon Blackwood comes to…deal with Stonebridge.
Date: May 3, 2012
Related Logs: That whole Stonebridge mess.
Daemon Justin Bruce Katrin Farrell Riordan Dania Dmitry Kamron Valda Xhou 
Town Square — Stonebridge
The surrounding terrain has several small gullies and streams that feed into the waterfront area just adjacent to the town square, the sails of the boats visible over the tops of the buildings. The square is floored in the same heavy stone that the east docks and castle are constructed of while the buildings are a mix of the stone, wood, and mortar. There are quite a few fish vendors with their fragrant catches for sale among groups of tables which tend to be busy most of the time.
May 3, 289

Word gets around. Even before Lord Daemon Blackwood crossed the stone bridge into the city, talk of his arrival is on the move. The sun is just starting to dip in the sky when his retinue arrives in the Stonebridge Town Square on a slow march towards Tordane Tower. Blackwood is a lean, straight-backed figure in his saddle, his expression set in a certain grim, unamused cast. He is flanked on one side by a lean knight of more common look and arms, as well as his escort's squire. On the other is a rather less martial looking attendant. It is a conservative retinue, best-suited to traveling at a brisker pace than a larger would allow. And it is enhanced, naturally, by whatever additions Stonebridge's Captain of the Guard saw fit to offer on the journey in.

Having just arrived with a group from Terrik's Roost, Justin sits astride his own horse next to Ser Kamron. The young Terrick speaks low with a woman selling wineskins from a cart and buys one to pass around with his small party. Justin takes a drink of the skin first himself before he passes it onto Ser Kamron. He turns his head when Lord Tully's retinue comes, his steal cap off and secured his saddle. The grey gelding stands quietly after the day's ride, one back leg cocked.

Ahorse a small, stout Blackwood Fell pony, Ser Bruce doesn't cut exactly the most knightly figure in the world. Still, he's dressed in all of his martial finery, a painted leather cuirass in House Nayland's colours, a green cloak and a highly shined brass helmet with an orange dyed horsehair plume at the top. Another figure, dressed similarly but with a bit less pomp, is ahorse as well. They trot alongside Lord Daemon's retinue. Bruce is talking with Daemon and the man next to them in a seemingly pleasant manner.

Within the town itself, there are a small number of Guardsmen dressed similarly to Bruce's comrade, in their finery. One of them, Ser Amos, raises the Nayland standard in salute as the party rides in. The men unsheathe their swords and swing in front of their faces in salute. Another man blows a bugle call to alert everyone to those coming in, loud and clearly.

"Look at them," Katrin breathes out excitedly to her Septa as she tries to wiggle through the crowds to get a better look at the entering Tully party. "I would have expected more fanfare upon their arrival." Her Septa is trying to surreptitiously pluck at the back of her charge's gown and pull her back where she will not be wedged in between two rather larger men who clearly make their living as physical laborers.

Eventually, a far less notable and appointed knight by the name of Ser Farrell Keane arrives at a slow walk atop a brown courser of modest but sturdy breeding. They arrive from the direction of Terrick's Roost, a few minutes behind Kamron's group with a rider that looks genuinely surprised at the pomp and fanfare now riding into town. Farrell makes sure to keep him and his horse well out of the way of the retinue, watching them with a calm eye.

Dressed in the colors of House Nayland of Stonebridge, the Harpy and the Crane dancing on the breast of his doublet, the Lord Regent, Riordan Nayland, waits alongside his Castellan, waiting at the tail end of the reception of uniformed guardsmen. Horses wait nearby for the two nobles, so they may ride the rest of the way with the party. But for now, Riordan is on foot, and he will offer a bow as the party approaches. The lowering sun glints off the harpy and crane chain around his shoulders as he does so.

Dania sits astride a patient bay gelding that is about 16.2 hands. He is a broad horse and his appearance speaks a draft or two being in his bloodlines. Her skirts are arranged in such a way where they do cover her boot clad legs. Strapped to her saddle are saddle bags, a rolled up cloak and her bed roll. She is quiet as she sits with the group from Terrick's Roost.

Dmitry is rarely grim and almost never unamused; his quick observer's eye flicks over the arrivals with a curious brilliance, from his vantage leaning against the tall spoke of a stall. From which he has not purchased anything. In amidst the general bustle and noise, he is an eyebrows-up and interested observer in neat leathern gear. It is getting harder to see over people because, you know, he isn't that tall. He might have to move.

Kamron has hidden away the head of his axe in a leather cover and doffed his helmet and gauntlets as token of his peaceful intentions, but he's still armed and armored — after all, the roads are still rife with bandits, and there were women in the party. He takes the wineskin with a nod of thanks, taking a slug and then passing it on to other members of their party. A faint smile touches his lips, "Looks like we made it just in time, Lord Justin." The crowds might cause some horses to prance and step, but Kamron's grey courser stands still and calm, the hoary creature apparently less than awed by the numbers and crowds. The fanfare from the Nayland Guard draws a curt nod from the Mallister man, "They drill well."

The Castellan is class in the hues of House Tordane. Entraps green covers her slim frame, with golden vibes and roses climbing up along her arms and legs, thick along the hemlines and thinning out as they move upward. Her face is neutral, unreadable cerulean eyes watching the procession in silence. Once the Tully representative is nearer, she ships into a smooth curtsey and offers a welcoming, even gracious, smile.

"Aye, we cut it close." Justin gives by way of reply to Kamron, his own gaze upon those gathered or arriving. He rests his hands lightly on his horse's saddle bow, "They do look good." he agrees. Justin glances aside at the Summer Islands man, Xhou, with his multiple bows and quivers.

Xhou was far from used to large crowds. With a face as exotic as his own he could only wonder how long it would take for someone to begin harassing him, and so it became his personal mission to remain as annonymous as possible. Luckily few had seemed to take notice of the Terrick Roost to begin with thanks to the Tullys, but just to make sure the dark skinned huntsman drew up the hood of his cloak and did his best to stand strategically within the shadow of Dania's rather large gelding.

In contrast to Bruce's more pleasant manner, Blackwood is a bit blandly unresponsive. There is a hardness to his jaw beneath the shading of ginger stubble along his cheek. He offers little in the way of response to the crowd as he passes through it, and seems to trust people to get out of his way. It's possible that he's less than thrilled. The retinue finally draws to a halt in front of Riordan and Valda. "Regent," he says in even-voiced greeting. "Lady Tordane." His gaze flickers between them, and there is a vague sense of expectancy in the slight arch of his reddish brows.

Katrin is pulled back by her Septa to a more respectable distance but only for a moment as she goes slinking off to try and find a better position to watch the people. "He's so severe," she comments quietly to her maid who is now working in conjunction with the Septa to keep their lady from running off too far.

Bruce acknowledges the salute with a curt nod to Ser Amos, giving a jerk of his head to his former squire. Still, Bruce isn't going to be put off by the Tully man's demeanour, doing his best to keep his sunny disposition. Meanwhile, Ser Amos lowers the standard and the sound of swords sheathing at once is audible. The men turn and are marched alongside the Blackwood party, providing them with further colourful escort.

When the wine skin makes it round to Dania she takes a swig of it and passes it back around. She looks down at Xhou and she smiles warmly at him as she leans down to mutter something to him.

Dmitry melts through the crowd with a blithe ease common to — well, to Dmitry in social situations; navigating at a sidle, he moves in a winding path through clusters of chattering people. Always chattering people. So it is that he turns up near the rest of the Terrick contingent with a hand tucked in against his vest and his neck craned as he sidles past the horse, giving a wide berth to the dark-skinned man with the bows. He eyeballs him briefly, distracted.

Ser Farrell takes interest in the group that arrived ahead of him, urging his horse to slowly approach on their side as they watch the Tully representative entering Stonebridge. "Evenin', M'lords, Masters, Mistresses," politely greets the man, wearing a friendly smile as he does. "I'm sorry if I'm imposin' on M'lords for speakin' above my station, but I was wonderin' if you knew what all the commotion is all about?" asks Farrell respectfully, awaiting their response with a careful eye.

"Lord Blackwood," Riordan greets, giving the verbal greeting with a gesture of his hand to encompass the town. "Welcome to Stonebridge, my lord." He meets the Lord's expectant gaze with an easy one of his own, and even if the man smile's little, Riordan finds it in himself to bring up a lopsided grin. "I trust your trip was uneventful, my lord? I am sure you are glad to reach your destination, after your travels. Know that you are most welcome to partake of Tordane Tower's hospitality for as long as you shall choose. Shall we retire to that holding, my lord, to discuss the business of the day? Much has happened since you departed Riverrun, and we would inform you while you rest from your journey."

Justin catches sight of Dmirty easing up, a rascal but not a pick pocket. "There you are, cousin. Good of you to join us." Farrell's voice draws Justin's gaze to that man, "Lord Tully has sent a representative to speak to the Stonebridge Regent, Lord Riordan Nayland. As concerns the recent events here… the duel, and likely Lady Danae Tordane's claims." The Terrick studies the new arrival, but will wait to ask for the other man's name for Justin wishes to return his attention to the Tully contingent.

Kamron waves off the wineskin when it comes back. It's one thing to wet his mouth after the ride from the Roost, but it's another to have more than a swallow or two of wine in you in case the envoy wants to speak with you. He adds to Justin, "Their Captain has them fighting well, too." He gestures toward Bruce across the intervening distance, then glances over at Farrell when the man speaks up. Blue-grey eyes study the man for a moment, then he nods his agreement with the Terrick's words, "As soon as the representative has been made aware of the recent events, at least. Unless he's already heard it from his escort. Otherwise, I'm sure he's expecting to meet with Ser Gedeon Tordane."

Xhou exhales slowly, his brow furrowing beneath his hood as he can already feel a few eyes darting his way, and some lingering far longer than is of any great comfort to him. For the most part the man keeps his head bowed, and a light scoff escapes him at the whispered words of the goodwoman on horseback whose side he clings to. The man's knuckles crack audibly as he curls his fingers a few times to relieve them of their tension, while his attention seems to be anywhere but directed at the Tully envoy. He does after a moment or so murmur so that Dania might hear, and a smirk lends some pleasantry to his features.

Valda, for her part, remains silent. Whatever may be whispered about where the true power in Stonebridge lies, the Castellan lets the Regent take the lead. After she is certain he has finished speaking, she adds, "Your rooms have been prepared and super awaits. You must be famished by now, my lord." Her clear voice holds an easy air of authority, as of one who has been in charge so long she cannot entirely turn it off.

"It /is/ good of me, isn't it?" Dmitry says, probably inevitably. He sketches a little bow for his cousin's benefit, and then turns an arched-browed look off across the way toward the envoys. "The Seven know there are certainly a number of happenings to draw a broad array of interests."

"Yes, I've heard much of the happenings that have occurred here," Blackwood replies to Riordan with an icy bite to his words that draw his crank a bit clearer to the surface. "I'm certain I'd much prefer wine to supper. Lead on." His retinue is at least not as cranky as he is.

Dania hold the wine skin down to Xhou when it makes its way back to her. She leans back down to do this and she exchanges a few more words with him and a warm cheerful smile lights up her face as she does this. She then grows quiet as she listens and watches.

Bruce doesn't really have much to say at this point. He holds the reins of his stout pony loosely, the head and plumed helm sweeping left to right, observing the crowd and those around especially.

"Then he'll be quite surprised, M'lord," answers Farrell matter-of-factly to Kamron's reply, bowing his head graciously to Justin for answering him. Another one is reserved for Dmitry as he arrives with the obligatory 'M'lord' in greeting. He stays quiet for now, looking at the interactions between Dania and Xhou for a moment before looking back to the big how-do-ya-do going on in the square.

Riordan shows no visible signs of unnerving in being the recipients of Blackwood's muted ire. When one works so closely with Rygar and Valda, one gets used to constant and quiet disapproval. It is how one knows that the sun is in the sky and that the seasons are long. "Very well, Lord Blackwood," the Regent agrees, simply. Gesturing to the servant with his and Valda's horses, he will then take the time to assist his Castellan in mounting, before he does himself in a quick and fluid movement that even experienced riders might have issue pulling off. With that, he will incline his head to Lord Bruce for the guard to clear the way.

As the crowd seems to be moving back toward Tordane Tower, Katrin frowns. "How intriguing it would have been to actually hear what they had to say," she muses. She looks innocently toward her Septa. "I don't suppose you could be convinced to forgo our return home for a meal at the Inn," she asks hopefully.

Valda inclines her head to the visiting nobleman. "We have that aplenty as well, my lord," she intones softly. Once helped up to her mount, she takes the reins with the ease of one comfortable ahorse. While she waits for the Regent to lead the group back to the Tower, Lady Tordane's gaze moves across Blackwood's contingent with an appraising eye. Still, that inviting, maternal smile never leaves her lips.

"Quickest way to an ambush in my experience…" Xhou replies to Dania, his tone somewhat amused in spite of himself as he reaches out for the wineskin and takes a swig before passing it back to her before wiping clean his chin with a forearm. It was pretty clear he did not want to have to interact with anyone else for the time being at least, though the man's gaze did happen to travel over a few faces now that they had ceased to stare. "I think… I will meet with you later," comes after a second thought. "It is far too thick here for my liking."

"Thank the Seven," Blackwood says in a lower tone. He casts one look at the gathered crowd, looking weary more than anything else, then draws his horse to follow the Regent and Castellan on the final path to Tordane Tower.

Justin turns his head when the wineskin is not yet passed back to himself, checking on it. He overhears some of what Xhou says, "We can retire to the Inn… or make our own camp. I would like yet to speak with you further, hunter Xhou."