|Flowers for Bad Horse|
|Summary:||Four people meet along the road leading out of Stonebridge and singing follows.|
|Outskirts - Stonebridge|
|The trails are worn and well tended here and the fields on either side are lush and full of wildflowers amidst the lightly scattered trees of the central Cape of Eagles. A few packed dirt trails converge with the main road from outlying hamlets around Stonbridge.|
|Fri May 11, 289|
The morning was clear and warm-ish, considering that it was getting on toward that time of year. It had blue skies, with only a few cloud, and a little gusting of wind from offshore. Downside was that this morning was warm=ish and a little gusting of wind from offshore. As the day slowly approached toward noon there is a heavy feeling in the air as the gusts kicked up slightly more, the humidity starting a rising course. The sky was a sight, small little puffs of white riding low to the ground and slowly starting to build upward. They look to almost me spreading out and rising as bread in an oven but far more roiling with energy as it makes headway into the blue skies. The gusting winds have been from the west almost all day, yet there were intermittent shifts in that breeze to almost from the south-south west. The air itself seems to grow sweet as well, bringing the analogy from bread to cake with its previously mentioned attributes. A cake that could explode into storms, revealing a downpour of filling like a souffle, or turn into a flat bread and simply encompass the sky above in clouds that grow and then fall in on themselves.
The smattering of trees about the fields look lonely and beat up as the wind gusts them ever harder. Their leaves giving free on occasions as their limbs start bending certain direction. The trees are adrift in a sea as they're spread out, a smattering amidst the oceans of wildflowers. Rocks jut out in the fields, creating little islands in the ocean of flowers - land that the trees aren't very near lending itself to the surreal sight of the trees forming the ships sailing between them, or perhaps an island so lush it could be jungle, held by a stick of rocks. The colors of the flowers vary from patches, creating a painter's canvas of hues - yellow, orange, red, purple and the greens of the stems. The flowers all bend to the will of the gusts, showing the wind currents as they move throughout the area in a beautiful motion that could be a coordinated ballet. They dance about in their fits of fancy, all at once yet each one to a different degree, giving an appear of coordination with different levels of aptitude for the dance they all execute. It's amidst all these that small dirt roads cross though, a webbing of brown that breaks up the fields and gives a much more wild idea to the scene, perhaps a spiders web with the trees near the road being captured pray stuck and waiting the home owner to devour it with a fell swoop.
It's on this lovely day that may, or may not, rain in which Daerd begins his way along the road. At the moment, he's wearing his armor and accompanied by a few men - all wearing the surcoats with the colors of house Nayland. "Mooo-ve it!" Daerd calls to the men, pushing them into harder into the forced march. He's at the head of them, on foot, while his horse follows along side the group at an easy canter. He's at a sort of shuffling-jog that would kick up the dust more if the air wasn't so laden with moisture. The other three seem to be falling behind a little, having a difficult time keeping up with the knight in the lead.
They day may be pleasant, the air sweet, the skies clear, but to Desmond, all is dark. Darker than usual. The squire isn't at his typical spot on his particular hill, instead beneath a different grove of trees not far from the road. His chestnut horse grazes lazily nearby as he pushes himself to the limit in terms of training. Though it might be hard to call this training. With his two daggers, he tears into the sack dummy, eventually moving on from it to the poor tree beside it. Then a log that he kicks apart. Then stalks of goldenrod that he slashes at endlessly until he's panting, red-faced. Alas, that lovely canvas of colors around him is decimated. Grimly, he reaches for his horse's lead and heads back through what remains of the serenity of the outskirts, towards the road, only to find Daerd apparently marching with his band of men. Wordlessly, he follows behind.
The day is, indeed, beautiful enough. Ilaria is walking sedately linked arm-in-arm with Septa Shiella and trailed by her handmaiden Heolla; all three women have put off studies to gallivant about the countryside. The young Lady takes a deep breath and exhales slowly, turning glittering hazel eyes toward her Septa accompanied by the quirk of a smile. "It is too lovely to stay inside. Didn't I tell you so?"
The other two women are silent, and Ilaria follows suit as they pursue their own thoughts while enjoying their morning constitutional. Slipping free of her septa, Ilaria skips ahead and skirts around the 'road apples', following in hot pursuit of the group ofknights?marching along. She slows down as she comes up behind Desmond, not yet recognizing the man, and accidentally kicks a piece of days-old dried horse dung up at the squire's backside. "Oh!" she cries out, abashed and with flushed cheeks, covering her mouth. "Good ser, I am so sorry!"
Daerd falls back a little to be more in line with the men that are following him. Giving them a moments reprieve from having to keep up with the man, not that he slows down a lot. No, Daerd keeps up to a slightly faster pace than them and calls, "Line!" The other three push themselves, as the command is still being given, to form a rough line with him. As soon as they create the rough line he calls "Flank right!" To which they all, quickly, change their direction to the right by about forty five degrees off of their original course and continue moving at their accelerated rate.
It's not that the scenery is lost on Daerd, or the men with him, but that they seem to be in the middle of other tasks and so the beauty is dismissed for the time being. Especially now that they're actually moving off of the road and are creating a swathe of destruction into the sea, a wake behind which this line of men move. The flowers at least a little more flattened behind them if not crushed.
Bad Horse (Daerd's horse) stops on the road as the men careen off of it. Then he takes a couple steps off and starts his own path of destruction. "Only the orange ones!" Seems to be the horses motto as he starts to eat some of the wild flowers. The steed removes most of the bud on the flower but still catches some of the stem, however he does not touch the other non-orange star-burst of colors.
Desmond gets a backside of horse droppings, flinching hard and whirling with his hand on a hilt. "Oh," he slumps a bit, vexed by his own heated reaction. "Lady Ilaria. It's all right." Her handmaiden and Septa get a soft nod. "Walk with us," is his simple request, and when Daerd exclaims commands, Desmond is quick to follow along, for whatever reason. Perhaps for something to /do/. He falls in line, still pulling along his horse, managing a very faint smile at the Lady Haigh as he does so. "How are you faring?" he asks, trampling wild flowers.
Ilaria's cheeks turn an even brighter red at the sight of Desmond's expression, and she glances over her shoulder to ward her women back with a 'look'. Septa Shiella's lips purse together in disapproval, but she gestures for Heolla to linger with her upon the road. Turning back to Desmond, Ilaria lifts up the hem of her skirts as they veer off of the path and into the field. The young girl traipses along quickly beside the squire, but it is obvious from her red face that she is not quite used to this much exertion.
"I—goodness, Ser Desmond, are you sure you want company right now? Are you training?" She squints, pausing to glance ahead at the group of men decimating the beautiful meadow landscape. The pause is enough for her to fall behind, and with a loud sigh she scampers to catch up to Desmond again. "You are walking so fast, and you look as if you carry a thundercloud on your brow. What has happened?" Ilaria reaches out to place a hand on Desmond's forearm half in an attempt to slow him and half in an attempt to catch up.
"HOLD!" Daerd says, giving the final command to the mock little assault upon an enemy line that doesn't exist. They all come to a fast halt, their left foot forward and pointed directly into the imaginary line they assaulted with their right foot off at a ninety degree from it and back slightly more than shoulder width. Their weight is evenly distributed and they all have sunk into this stance giving a bend to their knees to absorb the shock of an incoming impact (either weapons or charge). Each one holds their left arm as if holding a shield - though none of them actually hold one. The other three men are panting heavily, and even Daerd is a little short on breath. This holds for another few seconds before his last command to the exercise is given "At ease, take a breather. Water's on Bad Horse."
The other three men immediately put their hands on their knees. They're still panting for breath, holding their back straight and their heads up, but they're definitely not in quite the same shape as the man leading them this day. They ease up, one-by-one and begin to move toward the orange-flower serial killer. Every one of the three guardsmen look tired, with sweat dripping down their faces. Daerd, while still looking solidly winded, just makes his way to the horse when he sees the people on the road - not to mention the man and, a lady?… who've become a tag-a-long on his men's training. He gives both of them a quizzical look, but he seems more intent on getting water before having a conversation. He does, however, give them each a solid bow of the head as a sign of respect until he's able to get his required drink of choice.
One bud, two bud, orange bud, red bu-spit. And a red flower falls out of Bad Horse's mouth and back toward the stem in which it came from.
"I'm not training," Desmond assures, struggling to keep up as well. Finally he just leaves his horse to mill about in the daisies and follows along with the commands, until Daerd makes them break. Ilaria's hand on his arm, he reluctantly turns to face her. "A storm? Truly? I'm sorry." And his solution to this is to force a smile. "I just thought I'd join. He appears to be doing drills and… Well. I've been falling behind the past few days. It's bad to slack off like that, and drift from you routine." A curt nod. "Fret not. It's certainly nice out, isn't it? The flowers couldn't be brighter. If you're thirsty, perhaps the men will get you a drink. I could ask."
Desmond's rambling only serves to confuse Ilaria. She does not reply immediately, instead attempting to catch her breath through heavy, deep glups of air. She strains against the fetters of her corset, leaning on Desmond's arm for support until her head finally ceases swimming. The girl has perspired just a bit along her hair line, and she reaches up to discreetly dab it away with the hem of her sleeve. "What? Water?" Squinting, Ilaria looks toward the men and shakes her head slowly. "They have worked far harder than I. I would be loath to leave a man thirsty."
That isn't the particular kind of thirst the young Haigh needs quenched, in any case. She gazes up at Desmond with the most puzzled expression, only belatedly realizing her hand is still on his arm. Snatching it back, she clasps her hands together quickly and frowns. Rather than pushing the subject, however, she looks back toward Daerd and his men in time to catch the bow of the head. She responds with a warm smile, flushed cheeks, and a nod of her own. "Are these your men? I'm confused. Why are you here? Who is that man?" All of these questions are directed at Desmond despite the fact that Ilaria is staring at Daerd.
Daerd reaches the horse before the rest of his men, his hand reaches out and he strokes it along his side. His fingers, though wearing gloves, gentle upon the horse's side until they reach the leather of the saddle. His fingers then reach for one of the pouches upon it, a large inflated bladder surrounded by leather that appears to be filled with something. He grabs the 2 gallon bag with one hand, the other pulling the strings holding it to the horse's bags. Then he hauls it off the horse, his hand that was on the strings now opening it up as he turns to look back at the two. His eyes start to squint some to keep the sweat from running into the eyes. A hard day's work, and its relief now in sight in the form of the water in his hand.
The other men are lagging behind him, slow to catch up and one of them coughs a bit as he tries to regain his breath. They all go for the opposite side of the horse where presumably more of the water jugs or bladders reside. They drag their feet some, but every single one make it a point to give a bow of their head to the two whom followed them into the field.
Bad Horse lets out a little noises as Daerd touches him, a sort of happy horse noise and he stops eating for a moment. When he stops, his head swings about so that he can keep an eye on the Knight now at his side. He watches him for a long moment until Daerd turns, at which point his head dips back down and he goes back to eating the orange ones.
Desmond nods numbly, rubbing his brow with his forearm. Which is more like rubbing at his hat. At the barrage of questions, his weak smile fades, though he still looks upon her fondly. "These aren't my men, I don't know who they are, or he is," Desmond tilts his head at Daerd, "-for that matter. Though from the colors I'd say Nayland retainers, perhaps knights." With an unsteady exhale, he tugs at the brim of his flatcap. "I don't know why I'm out here. I imagine you haven't heard the news. Ser Garett perisehd at sea," he informs tonelessly.
Ilaria dabs at her brow again, studying Daerd. Her gaze flickers toward the other men as they nod to her, and she offers each a polite smile in return. She is just about to work up the nerve to march right over to Daerd and inquire as to his identity, but at the last moment Desmond drops a tactless boulder upon her. She sways as if stricken, blinking at the squire for a moment as if unsure of what she has heard.
"That is the worst way ever to deliver a death notice to anyone, Ser," she replies in an icy tone rather unlike her usual self. "If I were less a Lady I would hit you. Such a jest is cruel, without taste, and lacking entirely in humor."
Daerd un-stoppers the bladder as his eyes and head tilt back to look toward the sky. His eyes shut then and he pours the water upon himself, covering his face and head with a good splash of water. It runs down over his face and starts to soak the top of his surcoat. It soaks the arming jacket as well, but that's hidden from view under the mail that he wears. After a moment of relaxing, the cool water running through his hair and over his features he leans his head back up and looks once more toward the two conversing now. His feet start to carry him in their direction, crunching through the earth and flowers with a slow purpose. The water is lifted to his lips and his first mouthful is vacated from his mouth almost as quickly - watering the flowers as it were.
Daerd's movements finally come to a halt some ten feet away and he responds after Desmond to the two of them, "I am Ser Nayland Blackarrow, and these are my men. I am second to Ser Bruce, Captain of the Nayland guard… though I am curious whom I address, as you seemed to be partaking in our drills - though that answer can wait till after you've sorted your topic, m'lady and m'lord." The first half was given strong, matter-of-factly and almost order like. The second half, not so much, in fact his brow raises a little, his mouth curves into a smile and he seems genuinely amused by the situation.
The men behind the horse start to laugh and cheer a little, doing similar activities as Daerd and trying to recover from their work out with the Knight. There's a couple slugs to the shoulder over this and that and a general background noise of teasing as the men are truly taking a break from their activities. In fact, the only thing they do that shows they're still on duty is retrieve their shields from the orange-flower-eating horse.
There is a Septon and a Maid on the road - fairly nearby to the group standing about in the field. A horse, dark in color is eating orange flowers with 3 guardsmen nearby drinking water and laughing. Three others are off from them, a lady and two men whom are conversing. Another horse (Desmond's) is in the field as well, merrily having a snack while his owner converses nearby.
Desmond winces at Ilaria's reaction, biting his lip. "I… I'm sorry, m'Lady. This is no jest. Perhaps I should've sent a letter instead. But I just… I haven't had the chance to get around to it." He shakes his head. This may be news to Ilaria but it appears Desmond has had more time to handle the subject in his own way, finding enough will to face Daerd properly. "Ser Bruce… I know of him. Lord Desmond Westerling, and this is Lady Ilaria Haigh. I apologize if I've… thrown off your drill."
"Truly?" Ilaria touches Desmond's forearm again, startled. "I don't—wait, I'm…" She gasps, suddenly, pressing a hand to her chest. "Bri. Bri was supposed to go with him somewhere. She did not mention a ship, but please, is she well? I have not heard from her. Sure I should have heard from someone…" She lets the thought drift away unfinished, instead turning blindly to find Septa Shiella at her elbow.
"Oh, sorry," the young girl mumbles, linking her arm in her Septa's for support. She stares down at her slippers, cheeks flushed and her expression a mass of confusion, while the men in the background cheer and jest about the gods only know what. "I am sorry, ser. He will be greatly missed, I am sure," she offers ratherly lamely to Desmond.
While the first inclination of Kamron's arrival may be the sight of a solitary rider coming from the direction of Stonebridge, that can easily go unremarked. It is more difficult, however, for the drifting words of 'The Bear and the Maiden Fair' to be ignored. They're not shouted as is traditional, but sung in a rather jolly tone usually reserved for early-evening drinking songs, before everyone is too smashed to pick a tune and stick to it. "He smelled the scenet on the summer air, he sniffed and roared and smilled it there, honey on the summer air!" He doesn't have a bad voice, although it's certainly a far cry from the sweetness of a professional singer's. The knight wears a simple grey arming jacket, much battered and much repaired, and carries his axe at his side and his shield slung alongside his saddle. His horse is a hoary old thing, stolid and plain. As he spots the cluster alongside the road, he lets his tune trail off, guiding his mount in their direction.
The bladder is begins to rise once more toward his mouth, but Daerd holds it short for a moment seeming to consider. He seems to take that consideration and agrees with it as he lowers it once more. He, instead of drinking it, holds it out toward the lady with a slight nod of the head as if to in tone 'if you want any'. His head is already moving, looking over toward Desmond as he's addressed. His mouth quirks at the corner, a smirk toward the man as he comments back, "Ah, the Captain is quite the man and no, you've not disrupted it, m'lord, just merely caused a curiosity once it was finished." If the lady refused, the bladder would be offered toward Desmond next.
He looks as if he would say more to this conversation when the jolly tune catches his ears. His brow furrows and the amused expression returns once more, he seems to know this song and it drags up good memories. His foot slides along the ground, shifting his weight to match as he opens up his stance more toward the direction of the road and singer. His torso turns and lastly his head, settling the eyes upon the horsebacked man. He gives the new man the same expression of amused bewilderment at hearing the song he sings to the open air. That song sounds like it's nearly six hours early.
"Lady Briallyn is safe," Desmond quickly follows up. "It's all right. She's in Broadsmoor. I imagine I'll go visit her at some point." He sighs, nodding. "Thank you, m'Lady. Didn't mean to upset you." Graciously taking up Daerd's water, he downs several gulps and belatedly eyes the newcomer. "Ser Kamron," he offers quietly. All of the cheeriness has the knightless squire uneased. Whistling for his horse, he starts to ready the saddle, gazing vacantly in the distance.
Ilaria accepts the water graciously, distracted from the conversation by Daerd's sudden nearness. She blushes, takes a few quick sips from the bladder, and then passes it over to Desmond. "Thank you, ser, for the water. And thank you, Desmond, for the reassurance." The girl falls quiet now, a little relieved to learn her family hasn't died, enought to the point that she even offers another smile to the men goofing about.
Naturally, though, the sound of the popular ribald drinking song catches Ilaria's ears, and she perks up and turns to watch the man approaching. Desmond announces the man before she even has to ask, and she tilts her head to watch Kamron draw nearer.
Kamron nods to Desmond as his horse walks him slowly over to the little group, his brain struggling a moment to connect the face to the appropriate name, "Lord Desmond. A pleasure to see you again." Daerd gets a nod and a little frown of recognition, "Ser Bruce's second, yes? Ser… Daerd." The smile returns to his features as he calls up the name, and then he is turning his attention to Ilaria, offering her a bit of a bow from his saddle, "And I'm afraid I have not had the pleasure of meeting you yet, Lady. I'm Ser Kamron Mallister. A bit of a beautiful day for a ride, isn't it?" Of course, given that he's armed and bearing a shield with him, he's not likely to be out for the view — then again, maybe he is, given the rumors of bandits around; one can't be too careful."
He glances back toward the other two as the water bladder is taken, and he chuckles a little at the sound of the song some more. He turns his head farther to look toward Desmond, catching the name and quite thankful of it as Daerd's memory isn't the best at times. Another look back to the lady and a nod in response to her thanks - little late, but better late than never. It's about then that the man finally gets close enough so as to address them and his attention returns to the armed man.
Daerd makes it a point to close the distance between him and the man on horseback, holding out his hand so as the shake the other man's as he is addressed, "Ser Kamron. I believe I remember you - out the east of Stonebridge, when Ser Bruce and I were taking the levy's out for training, was it not?" He grins toward the man, one that says he remembers that day quite well and probably found it a bit entertaining.
Given the drinking song that started up, the men started to stomp a foot to a beat and one of them started up, a drinking song meant for later in the night:
"Some friends and I in a public house,"
"Was Playing a game of chance one night!"
"When into the inn a townsman ran,"
"His face all chalky white!"
Desmond responds to Kamron's greeting with something that /might/ be considered a grin. The singing seems to make his expression a bit more genuine, if only for a moment. Mounting his horse, he doles out the typical parting gestures to all gathered and excuses himself. "Hate to depart so soon but I've just recalled unfinished tasks. Thank you for the company." And he's back on the road, spurring his horse into a gallop.
So many men, so little time to oogle all of them. Ilaria glances down to her hands as Kamron addresses her, but at the last moment she raises her gaze to his upon a formal introduction. "It is a pleasure to make your acquainting, Ser Kamron Mallister. Lady Ilaria Haigh." She dips a quick curtsey for the mounted man before straightening and dusting stray flower petals from her skirt. The petals are orange, suspiciously so, and she turns to stare at Bad Horse for accusingly for just one moment.
Turning back, she tilts her head to gaze up at Kamron once more, smiling cheerfully. "I thought it a beautiful day for a walk myself, but a ride would do just a nicely." The smile falters a bit as the only familiar male departs, and she watches for a moment as Desmond mopes his way into the distance. She purses her lips but shakes away the gloom, looking back toward Kamron.
Kamron clasps Daerd's hand in return, his horse looking somewhat blankly at the mount of the other man, but not deigning to shift itself to cause problems. Ilaria's words draw a merry laugh from the man even as he raises a hand in farewell to Desmond. Looking back to the lady of Haigh, he dips his head in acknowledgement, "I can indeed see the charm of a walk in so lovely a locale, Lady Ilaria. To be so much closer to so many flowers… quite the delightful passage of time." As Daerd's men take up the second drinking song, Kam chuckles softly, shaking his head, "This cannot end well. I must apologize for starting this sort of thing up."
Daerd shakes firmly, but not in a way that says he's trying to start any sort of competition. Daerd's expression drops a little, his head nodding in a sort of welcome one might expect from an infantryman. After the exchange, he's back to smiling and he turns to look back toward the other two. He's just in time to see the departing of the other man, his brow lowering and his mouth pursing a bit as if in some confusion over the matter. His hand, now free, raises in farewell to the man as he watches him go - though his attention is dragged back to Kamron soon enough as he brings up the comment on his men. A chuckle rises from him, entertained to say the least as he responds to Kamron about his men's behavior "Oh, don't be, Ser. I taught them that one when I was still a Serjeant."
The thoroughbred looks over toward Ilaria, almost at the same moment that she suspiciously gazes upon him. A long moment he looks toward her with his large brown eye, then ducks his head down and chomps an orange flower in defiance - or that's how one could see it anyway.
The men don't stop of course.
"'What's up', says Brown, 'Have you seen a ghost,"
"'Or have you seen your Aunt Mariah?'"
"'Me Aunt Mariah be buggered!', says he,"
"'The bleedin inn 's on fire!'"
Kamron smiles faintly at Daerd's words, "Yes… but it's not the sort of thing most noble Ladies get to hear, Ser Daerd." His grin goes decidedly crooked-wise at that, amusement filtering into his voice. He glances back down the road the way he came, then back to the Lady, "Unfortunately, I have to take my leave. As Lord Desmond said, places to go, things to do." Well, that might not be exactly what the squire said, but close enough, apparently. Kam bows his head to Ilaria, "Hopefully we can find more time to speak at the Twins, Lady Ilaria, if you will be attending the tourney there." And with that, he turns his horse away with the ease of a long-time rider, nodding as well to Daerd, "Ser Daerd. Enjoy the rest of the day." And then he's off.
"I look forward to seeing you there, my lord," Ilaria answers to Kamron as he departs, watching him ride away for a minute or two. She purses her lips in thought, twisting them up into a half-smile - almost rueful. With a sigh, she shakes her head and returns to the present, studying Daerd openly. "Well, good ser, I have done enough to distract you and your men from their work, eh? At least I hope I am not proving too much a distraction." She smiles gently and scuffs the flattened grass with the toe of her slipper. "I had mistakenly assumed Ser Desmond was with you. Oh! Will /you/ be attending the tourney?"
"And there was Brown, upside down,"
"Lappin' up the whiskey on the floor!"
"'Booze! Booze!' The townsmen cried,"
"As they came knocking at the door!"
As they sing about the townsmen who come up to assist putting out the fire and knocking on the door, all three at once clap as if to emphasis the noise. They all, of course, appear to be grinning and having quite the time of it as they start to get their breath back from the rigorous activity they were just part of. As the man singing completed the first chorus, the water is passed to him and another man would pick up singing the next verse through to the chorus.
Daerd lets out another chuckle toward Kamron, his head again shaking. Of course, then he looks toward his men a bit impressed by their ability to keep the beat up as they trade the water jug about. His head shakes again, mirthfully at his men but it's short lived with the departing of the next man. He looks back to him and his head dips into a solid nod of respect to the departing. He says in return, "You as well, Ser Kamron, I'll see you at the tourney if I'm not on shift." A smirk of his lips says that he will probably do his best to make sure that exact thing does not happen. Daerd returns to the lady and starts back toward her in a slow walk, he pulls the water bladder up and gulps down a mouthful of it before once again offering it back to her. Probably not exactly the standard thing a man with Noble birth would do - hence, he's probably not (as if the last name didn't give it away). He nods his head to her as he swallows the water, "I will, m'lady, but do not worry about being a distraction - you were not. I had already ran them from the gates of Stonebridge with various exercises to keep them fresh, you happened along at the end."
If Ilaria is unused to drinking from the same bladder after men, she is polite enough to only offer Daerd a warm smile of gratitude. She accepts the water and takes a few delicate sips, holding onto it for a moment as the water refreshes her. "Good, I am relieved. I would hate to interrupt men at their work." Taking another drink, she wipes her mouth with her sleeve and hands the less full skin of water back to Deard. In the background Septa Shiella clears her throat loudly, having suddenly caught sight of Ilaria drinking after the common men.
The Lady Haigh ignores it, however, with only a backward glance to her Septa to show she is not in the mood. Perhaps the news of Ser Garett's death has affected her after all. She is a behaving a bit more /wild/ than usual. With a sudden laugh, Ilaria leans forward to touch Daerd on the arm while gesturing with her chin toward his merry men. "They are fair good singers, you know. If they are terrible with a sword at least you can be assured they are good with the song!"
"I try to make sure they have some well-rounding to them, m'lady." Daerd responds as he accepts the water back from her. His mouth pulls into a grin, he even looks a little proud of his men. He turns his head, looking back toward them for a moment starting to respond to her previous comment before his head fully makes it back around to look upon her. "I doubt that they would mind if you did, anyway." His tone took a slightly more coy turn of phrase, an eyebrow arching up as he said it to her. Seems he's not exactly against making a bit of a pass at the lady either - even if it might just be in jest.
The next man continues,
"Oh don't let 'em in till it's all drunk up,"
"Sooooomebody shouted MacIntyre!" With that, they all yelled out a second time "MAAACINTYYYYRE!"
"And we all got blue-blind paralytic drunk,"
"As the Old Dun Cow caught fire!"
Daerd shakes his head a little again as they complete the first chorus to the song in the background.
Bad Horse continues going after the orange flowers, leaving a streak of yellow and red behind him as if his trail were a fire amidst the field of wildflowers. He snorts at one, blowing free a fly it seems before that one too disappears.
Ilaria's hazel eyes twinkle with genuine mirth, and she hides a giggle behind her fingers. "Of course, because what man would dislike being interrupted in the midst of his drudgery by a pretty face with a charming smile." As if bowled over by her own daring, Ilaria hides her surprised flush by bending down to scoop up a handful of flowers - red and yellow only, of course. Grasping them together in her hands she raises them to her nose to take in their scent while glancing up at Deard.
"My father's men do enjoy this song quite a bit, too. I hear them singing such things when they practice and drill, although their /favorite/ is of course 'The Bear and the Maiden Fair' but I find that a bit overused. Still, it makes their drinking that much more entertaining." Ilaria lapses into silent musing, swaying to the tune. Suddenly she holds out a yellow flower to Daerd, laughing again. "Here, good ser. It would look quite pretty with your suit."
"'Oh well,' says Brown, 'What a bit of luck.'"
"'Everybody follow me.'"
"'And it's down to the cellar,'"
"'If the fire's not there,'"
"'Then we'll have a grand old spree!'"
The men keep on going, seemingly enjoying the bit of free time they have and what with Kamron getting them going on drinking songs they chose one of their favorites. They really aren't too bad, maybe not as good as an actual bard, but still not too shabby with the fact that they actually keep to the beat and tune.
Daerd's eyes grow a little wider at the response he received from her, a look that almost says 'Oh Really!' as she mentions her own appearance. What he says next though is probably a bit more tactical phrase for her sake as well as some undertones to it, "Well, I have no doubt that the appearance of your maid gave them all a moment pause - though, I would also say you weren't remiss." As if to emphasis this, he grins toward the maid and casts her a quick wink.
Daerd returns his gaze to the lady, listening to the tale. A chuckle is given as she lapses into her muses, finding it an entertaining anecdote. A tilt of his head to the side and another raise of his eyebrows is given in surprise as the flower is offered, "Thank you m'lady, I imagine it will." He takes the offered flower from her gently and laces it carefully into the mail at his shoulder where it won't move nor interfere with his movement. His head turns to consider the flower more directly as he does, intent to not damage it in his process of securing it.
A lesser woman would have taken Daerd's jest for scorn. Ilaria almost misses it entirely as the men launch into another verse. She turns her head, unable to /not/ watch them enjoy their break. "A bit like otters at play, they are," she muses aloud to nobody in particular before looking back to Daerd. "You've seen otters, I'm assuming, anyway." She smiles prettily, and even wider still with a wicked curve to her lips at the fake insult.
"Why I /never/—!" Ilaria shrieks, and one pale hand reaches up to cover her open mouth. "So cruel you are to a lady you've only just met." Ilaria's lips curve down into a pout and she lobs a flower at Daerd as if it were a stone. It drifts sideways and floats down to the ground unharmed. She giggles. Septa Shiella clears her throat a bit loudly, and Ilaria rolls her eyes. "Well, good ser, I shan't keep you any longer from the business of the Naylands. I would not want to be the one held at fault, anyway, should one of them lose their temper. I would be driven insane by the torrent of unyielding passive-aggressive barbs."
Daerd's eyes widen a little more and he starts to chuckle a little at the scene. He quickly tries to suppress it, really trying to take her seriously even as she throws the flower. Whether or not she is doesn't matter as it just wouldn't be quite polite to laugh at a lady. He tries to maintain from laughing more when he responds, "Surely if we were to talk about you, a sonnet would be required." Of course, as he ends that he suppresses another couple laughs - nearly tearing up with effort to stop from laughing. It just struck a funny bone on so many levels, the comment about otters, the smile, then the shriek and her Septa.
"But.. Umm." His chest moves a little as another laugh is suppressed, "Of course, m'lady. I wouldn't want to keep you either - though I shall treasure the flower." The last word comes out almost a little high pitched, a really serious attempt is being made and his face is starting to turn a little red from all the effort he has to put into it.
Aaaaand they just keep singing:
"So we went on down after good ol' Brown,"
"The booze we could not miss!"
"And we hadn't been there ten minutes or more,"
"Tiiill we were all quite piiiiiiiiissed!"
Bad Horse looks up when there's the shriek. He's still chewing away at an orange flower, half of it hanging out of his mouth as his ears rotate then move backward and flatten a little. He watches the lady now, keeping an eye on her as he solidly bites down on the flower, sending a few petals drifting toward the ground. Leaning down he pulls up a few more, non-orange ones, just to spit them back out while watching her.
The rest of the flowers in Ilaria's hands are tossed onto the light breeze right toward Bad Horse. She can see the flattened ears and grim expression from her position, and it makes her laugh outright. With her hands free, Ilaria can scoop up her skirts to keep the hemline from dragging in the pollen and loose dirt. "I am sure I shall see you around Stonebridge, ser," the girl answers, offering him a bob of her head. "Be safe, and of course keep an eye out for bandits." With a saucy little wink, she spins on her heel and flounces back toward the road to meet her Septa and her handmaiden, and the trio turn back toward the town.
With her laugh, he finally feels like he can let some of it out before he bursts himself. His head shakes from side to side and he turns to look toward the horse as well and his laughter actually grows. "Bad Horse!" He calls to him.
The horse looks to Daerd a little and makes a noise of recognition. Bad Horse rears back suddenly, whinnying and stomping upon the flowers he just spit out as if there were a dangerous creature amidst the petals. Once they are sufficiently stepped on and the petals flew, he turns away from them. The horse lets out a snort through his nose and canters away, his tail swishing, his ears more flat. Apparently being laughed at results in the horse throwing a little tantrum.
"Bad Horse! Oh stop it, ya big baby!" Daerd calls to him amidst his laughing. He turns to look back to Ilaria as she scoops up her skirts and he nods to her in return, a bow of the head as he responds in kind, "You as well, m'lady, and if I see and bandits I'll send them your regards before trouncing them." He gives her a bit of a sly smile before his head turns to look back toward his steed once more and lets out a long sigh mixed with a chuckle.
The men started with the chorus once more, about Brown being upside down, the firemen and of course, the ever important shout of: MAAACINTYYYYRE! They seem a little caught up in their singing to notice the lady leaving, but one by one they do and give her a bow of the head amidst laughing, cheering and singing.