|Summary:||Another hunt returns empty handed to the Roost to be met by Ser Ozric and then joined by Freya Caul.|
|Related Logs:||Missing Children saga in general.|
|Town Square, Terrick's Roost|
|The town square of Terrick's Roost was once considered well-kept. The stone streets run right up to the building fronts around the edge and the locals have kept the spaces between free of grass and weeds that might otherwise sprung up between them, although dark streaks of stubborn soot have crawled in between the stones. There are several homes and shops located here which show the scars and cinders of the sacking of the town at Ironborn hands. The ruin of the town's Sept can also be seen from here with its ornate stone front rising above the surrounding structures just down the cobblestone road.|
|Mon Dec 03, 289|
The Evening has come and already the small folk are quickly heading in. Only those out this night seem to be men standing watch oe'r their families. Even the Inn itself doesn't seem to be bustling. Just the silence of lights left lit-and in some cases hidden so that a woman cannot come and creep away with a child. As it is, in the main square is filled. Not with sailors, but men down from the keep. A small party of armsmen, and the two squires of the Knight in their lead. Dressed down-though still martial in some aspects-the heir has made his presence known down here in the roost. Perhaps it gives the smallfolk a measure of security. Or maybe it shows that Ser Ozric and his father take this threat seriously. Still armed and lightly armored, the knight remains astride on his horse. Careful-with his lone eye watching the road. Others in a light patrol formation amongst the stalls and building's out croppings.
Haveing kept searching until the light started to fail them, the now daily search party that consists of Keenan's ten loaned sailors, the squire from Highfield, and Mortimer finally makes it way back into the Roost. Without the missing maid it seems. Nor any of the other children reported missing. Feet and men are tired, and morale is not as high as it had been days before, but there's still determination there. As most of them file past the party in the square to make for their own beds, the Deputy Sheriff pauses a moment then steps away from his party and towards the other, hoping for an exchange of tidings.
"Master Trevelyan." Ozric calls out, as he nudges his horse out a little further, deciding to remain in the saddle as opposed to sliding off to greet the deputy. A sharp eye on the man and his compatriots-the others given a curt nod, before the knight's sole focus is on the man who is making for him and his. "How did your hunt fare?" Though given the lack of a woman in chains, and the looks on the other men's faces it is enough to tell him not in the exact positive. Still, Ozric does wait for a report from the other man. "And is my cousin still out in the field?"
"M'Lord," Mortimer replies once he's close enough to not have to call, adding a slight bow to complete the obediences. Straightening again he turns his head to watch his dispersing party for a moment the shakes his head in answer. "Nothing new I'm afraid," he then offers, doing his best to hide the wearyness he feels. "I'm beginning to think they're long gone from here, and the rumours from out East that are trickling in suggest we may well be looking in the wrong place entirely. We'll keep looking though, until we find 'em, or someone else does." As for Justin's whereabouts, that he has to think on for a moment before he offers a rather unsatisfactory, "I'm afraid I'm not sure if the Lord Sheriff is back or not m'Lord. He's been concentrating on the roads and picking up news and rumours there, while we've been in the woods."
Ozric offers a small frown to that news. "If that were not the damnedest news. However it is familiar news. None of those I have sent out in the direction of Highfield or the King's Grove have come back with any information. No tracks that would denote something is out there.." he adds with a faint frown. There's a glance back to the other man and he nods. "Aye, as I have heard as well. This whole area is plagued by something unnatural-or someone. Seven help their souls." A flourish of an armgesture made. A sign of the Seven pointed star in quick repeated fashion-as one after prayer. Religious? Aye the knight is. But-supperstitious he is not overtly. "If he reports in, please tell him he is to speak with me before he is going out again." a simple request, is it not? "Do these new rumors match those of what we've seen here and with our neighbors?"
"I'll tell him, when I see him next m'Lord," Mortimer states simply, with added nod to show he understands. At the mention of unnatural though he shakes his heada little, "Squire over from Highfield swears it Children of the Forest, but all I saw was a deeply troubled woman with a few trained wolves." All he saw. As if four trained wolves wasn't enough. Good job for him they had been trained though or like as not he'd not be standing here right now. Getting on with the report though he continues, "We've heard precious little from Kinsgrove, although the body I found was one of their's who's now been collected for burial. Word from further is sketchy as of yet though I'm afraid. I heard of two lads, but I'm told there's also talk of a young lass gone and a Septa dead. Beyond that, I couldn't rightly say I'm afraid."
"It fits an odd pattern don't you think?" Ozric asks, as he shifts, but little in his saddle. "These hunters in the night going after those that would be percieved as weak. Much like a wolf does with a flock of sheep or goat." There's a turn at some noise in the darkness. A scream or cry, but the knight does not flinch. He merely rumbles his throat and turns his head to spit. "Vixen." he comments before glancing back over at Mortimer. "I think we should send Master Corbitt east once he returns from his errands and tell him to collect news. I'd like you to speak either with our Maester or Septon. Someone learned that can decipher if there is indeed a pattern beyond the strong seeking the weak in the night. It might provide us some clues." Though which ones he does not entirely know. "Have you spoken with Master Auberon?"
Mortimer turns his head to the cry, but comes to the same conclusion as to it's origins. "I'll speak with the Septon in the morning," he offers, he is still calling by the Sept to get his bandages changed before heading out each day after all. "Master Corbitt is currently in Stonebridge m'Lord, aiming to entreat with their Maester to come see to Mistress Dorsey, since we have not been sent a replacement one yet." Or at least he was this morning, he may have returned during the day of course. "Shall I pass word for him to seek you out as well?"
"Really?" No replacement. That brings a frown to the man's face. "It must have been a reeve then I spied in black the other day. No matter." The Septon shall work. "And how is Mistress Dorsey? Is she staying..in the same condition or has she worsened?" He does care, even if he doesn't know everyone by face and name just yet. The knight grimaces for a moment-before he nods all the same. "Yes, I would have you do that. I have a few parcels for him to carry out as well." Still that matter is not as important as the current crisis. "What is your assessment, Master Trevelyan, of our response to this?" An odd question to ask, but it is given all the same.
"Not yet m'Lord," Mortimer replies with a faint shake of his head before glancing up in the vague direction of the Sept and it's infirmary. "I'm not sure," he confesses, shaking his head slightly as he does so, "she's no better, and even I can smell the infection, but she's still lucid at times." At the direct question he turns back, rubbing one hand over the top half of his face as he thinks. "Last I heard, Master Auberon was still recovering from that altercation a while back, but without him, or any other specalist tracker, Lord Justin had been hoping for the Flint man, I'm not sure what more we could have done m'Lord. There's an arguement that we could ahve brought the dogs in sooner, but we've gone back to leaving them behind again as they like as not scared away anything long before we would have were it just us on foot."
It's late and Freya is walking in the direction of town from the Keep. She is dressed in a lovely gown and completely clean - one that would be the envy of even the nobility in the Roost. Unmanacled and clean to the present company she might not even be recognisable. She bears a Haigh insignia. As she approaches the Terrick heir and Mortimer she curtseys deeply, "Master Trevelyan, Lord Ozric - I had been looking for one or the other of you…" Even her voice has changed slightly with less of the thieves cant - the result of a half a hundred cuffs on the back of the head from a Septa who had taken an interest in educating her in Broadmoor.
"Damned and a half. You'd think a body would mend quicker." Though if infection set in, as did with Mistress Dorsey that can take one's strength and a heck of a time to clear out as well. "I'd say send in our master of Hounds or whoemver he would think would be his top hunter…" A quick clipped statement that before he is nodding. "We could send to Highfield for them. I think that is where the flints would be massing, given that their Lord had a babe none to long ago there." Northmen invading the Riverlands-Still he shan't beg an choose when it comes to this. "It's too late for dogs, I'll agree there…"There is a pause in their talk though as Freya seeminly comes in the direction of town and holding, walking bold in a gown and in this time of night. There's a brief raise of his brow as the woman comes and curtseies and begins with the pleasantries. There's no word to continue, but still the knight is listening.
It's dark, and he's tired, so Mortimer can probably be forgiven the moment or two it takes for him to place Freya. The dress does not help the matter and in the end it's her voice that gives it away, well, that and her face. "Mistress Caul," he offers with a brief nod, tiredness out-doing surprise in the battle to control his tone of voice. Brain not fully up to dealing with said surprise without a few moments longer to take it all in, he turns instead to Ozric once more. "Perhaps it could be added to Master Corbitt's list?" he asks, not really wanting to lose a man from his search team if he can avoid it, Highfield is not as close as Kingsgrove after all.
Freya nods, "Not used to being recognised in this getup Master Trevelyan…" Freya says smiling, "I was sent to just give the Terricks fair warning that Lord Perrin Haigh was coming to talk with them with respect to trade. I have a document or two to pass along. Not sure when he is coming exactly but it would be soon - unless trouble has held him up. Heard you have had some trouble hereabouts? Missing child?" Freya knew a bit more about the matter from her conversations in town but had yet to talk to Mortimer or Ozric about it.
"I'd rather use Master Corbitt, for that." Ozric agrees. "I have no plans in removing anyone from your party, Master Trevelyan-adding to it, I wish I could. Perhaps some local lads would be good enough to help canvas. Maybe some enticement can be made so as to overcome whatever fear there might be." A shrug-before he is looking back towards Freya as she speaks back up. "Young Lord Perrin?" Ozric repeats, as a smirk hits his face "And fair warning. I would hope that such a statement would be, that he would indeed like to talk to us-but fair warning leaves much to be desired." a glance is given over towards Mortimer before he is offering a half sigh. "Very well, we've been fairly warned, mistress." And the knight will make a mental note about letting his father and siblings know. "I believe many have had troubles of that nature. We are not alone in it, Mistress."
"It's the accent," Mortimer replies, you can take a kid out of Mosedale after all, but it's hard to erase all traces that they were ever there. He lets Ozric deal with Freya's message, that's definitely noble business and since there's a noble here, none of his concern. As the talk turns once again to the missing he gives a simply nod, "Aye, m'Lord. Two from Kingsgrove who're both dead and buried now, one from here, two from Highfield and no word of two or three from Heronhurst." He then tilts his head slightly towards Freya, having noted the Haigh badge, "any such from Broadmoor?" He hasn't heard of any, but that only means that no news has yet reached his ear, not that there is no news to tell.
Freya passes a letter on to Ozric and says, "That should explain everything - if there is any message Lord Ser Bolland wishes to pass on to Lord Perrin then I can take it for him." Courier, scout and interference runner - the Haighs were making good use of the former thief. "Broadmoor has yet to be touched by the strange disappearances Master Sherrif - Here's to hoping it never is," Freya says. "I'd offer my aid in the matter here but I have responsabilities elsewhere alas," Freya does seem to genuinely regret this - the Roost used to be her home - and she was a pretty handy tracker.
The knight leans down and with a leather gauntleted hand he takes the letter, and with his lone eye looks over it, before pocketing in his belt. There's a brief shake of his head. "I assume my Lord Father, would like the Young Lord to know that he is most welcome here at the Roost, and that I would be the one he can meet with." Though whether he will be the only one has yet to be known or said. There is a brief glance from the Deputy Sheriff, and the young woman before the knight coughs-softly. "Indeed, Alas." With that said and one, he looks back over towards Mortimer. "Interesting choices. Hard to really pick a pattern by the way they have gone. Though, nothing in Broadmoor, and nothing in Stonebridge?" Ozric asks, making sure he has his numbers right.
Mortimer nods in agreement to that. He may never have been to Broadmoor, and likely never will, but he's not about to wish disappearing kids on anyone. Well, save maybe the Ironborn. He continues to keep out of the noble business but offers another small nod at the sort-of offer. The thought is appreciated. Back to Ozric once more and he shakes his head again, "I've heard nothing from Stonebridge, although since word is through from Heronhurst I reckon we can assume that means they've not lost any." He thinks for a moment, then asks, how's Heronhurst for woods? We have some, as does Highfield and Kingsgrove, yet not Stonebridge as I recall." He's only been there three times mind, passing through it to and on teh way back from Robert's war and then again when the Ironborn came. A glance to Freya and he asks, "Broadmoor?" He really does have no idea of the lay of the land that far out from the Roost. But using woods for cover strikes him has a reason why some have been hit and others not. Assuming Heronhurst has woods that is.
"I'll pass that along Lord Ozric," Freya says smiling winsomely. Even when she wasn't being useful she still retained some ornamental value. "There are woods around Heronhurst," she clarifies for Mortimer, "travelled through them when I had to deliver a message to Lady Nedra. Was bleeding fun tracking her down."
"Thank you, Mistress." the knight states before he is looking back towards Mortimer. "Woods.." repeated softly, before he is nodding once more. "There could be our connection-and perhaps these unnatural attacks are not so unnatrual at all." Well beyond the whole murdering children part. Still the knight offers a brief nod to Mortimer. "Keep up the work Master trevelyan, and keep me apprised. We are taking this seriously here." After all, one of their small folk was taken. That is one too many. And with a nod he is leading his horse back, to his men-and then back on to the keep without further announcement.
"Interesting," Mortimer offers in reply to the fact that Heronhurst has woods, then says firmly to Ozric, "Ain't nothing unnatural about the way that wolf bleed m'Lord, nor t'other one's teeth. Best guess if we have a grieving woman who's become addled and some twisted bastard, if you'll excuse me, who's minipulating her for his own ends." As the Young Lord makes to leave he offers another polite bow, "I will m'Lord, and I speak to the Septon in the morning."
"I am going to the Sept now to look in upon mistress Dorsey if you would care to join me Master Trevelyan? After all it is unsafe for young ladies to be roaming about without escort," Freya referrring to herself as a lady is a bit rich.
Mortimer would vastly prefer to just go home and sleep, but since he has business in that part of town anyway he gives a brief nod of assent. "When I saw her this morning she was not much improved," he offers regretfully, where not much in this case equates to not at all, "I need to go let the lass' family know the results of the day though, and they live not far from there, so aye, I can offer you escort that far if you're wanting." Much as the 'lady' part might be pushing it, it is dark and that brings it's own issues.
"How have you been old man?" Freya asks politely, "You look rushed off your feet?" She treads alongside Mortimer awkwardly lifting her skirts slightly as to not get them dirty.
"Aye Mistress," Mortimer replies, not enitely sure how to take the 'old man' part and so choosing to ignore it entirely, "that about sums it up." Noting her faintly awkward step he slows a little, even if that does mean the walk will be longer. "Will you be wanting an escort back to your chamber?" he then asks, unsure if she's staying in the inn or keep, "I can have one of the lads from the square wait for you at the sept if there's a need."
"You're going to love this. The Haighs have me tracking down all the bandits between Broadmoor and Stonebridge as part of an initiative to make them feared by the criminal community. A bit of a switch no?" Or a logical exploitation of Freya's skills and inside knowledge. "Don't worry about escorting me - unmanacled I am slippery enough to get out of most trouble. I usually travel alone," no small boast in these palarous times.
Mortimer raises an eyebrow slightly at that, partially for the obvious reason and partially because he hadn't been aware that there was bandit trouble that far east. At the decline of an additional escort he simply nods though, then runs a hand over the top of his face again. Good job the place is quiet for he'd be the worst escort ever if someone or something decided to jump out of the shadows now. "A tad risky?" he queries, given the last time he travelled alone he nearly got eaten, "all the way from Broadmoor?"
Freya smiles at him, "As I said - I'm slippery. It's easier alone for me - don't have to worry about anybody else that way. Besides I came all the way from King's Landing alone a couple of years back. A quick jaunt across the cape is hardly more dangerous than that." Freya had travelled quite extensively. "You ever miss Mosedale?"
Mortimer has been to King's Landing once, by way of the Battle of the Trident, and reckons he got his fill of it then. He just shrugs to her reply though, he's offered and that's about all he can do. As for Mosedale he shakes his head a little, "still go back sometimes, visit family and the like." It's not his home any more though, hasn't been for years, but the odd occasion, big namedays and such.
"How many children did you have Master Travalyan? I remember your wife from Mosedale but not much else about you…" Freya doesn't look at the man as she talks instead focusing on their destination.
Mortimer eyes Freya briefly at the mention of his wife, she's a Roost native after all, and they'd not been married more than seven years. As that moment passes though he figures he might have taken her to a family even before they were wed, that or Freya is simply making polite conversation. Then he's left to ponder the exact phrasing of her question and in the end goes for answering a subtly different one for ease. "I have a son," he states simply, keeping his own eyes moving around the surroundings, just in case
"I have a common knight courting me at the moment - it is a strange experience. I always did things differently. I laid with whatever man or woman I fancied we took what we wanted from eachother and parted ways. Part of growing up I guess to move beyond that. Did you take any lovers before you got married?" Freya prys perhaps a bit too deeply - adding the revelation of her own flexible sexuality.
It's fair to say that having been a soldier in his youth, Mortimer was no stranger to all the various delights of the Rockcliff on a payday evening. It's equally fair to say though that it's another topic he feel no particular urge to dwell on, especially when he's this close to home, his wife and his bed. Instead he once again answers a subtly different question, "Never since."
"You are difficult to interrogate Master Travalyan…" Freya japes. "At least that implies you might have had some fun at some stage in your life," Freya teases. "No more fun for me - I am now officially a law abiding subject. And a sworn house retainer much like yourself. Growing up is never easy." Except for Freya who having avoided the noose as a bandit stepped right into a priveledged job with wonderful perks.
"Not much room for fun when there's nutter about abducting children," he offers with a faint sigh. His days now consisting of rising early, spending the daylight hours searching through the woods before returning home in the dark and grabbing what sleep he can before it starts all over again. Glancing forward again he notes they're close to the Sept, "I'm glad you found yourself a place Mistress," he offers and he draws himself to a halt, "good evening."