|Flying Arrows and Questions|
|Summary:||Wayland meets Anais while she practices some archery, some questions are answered others…are not.|
|Related Logs:||Grand Melee at Stonebridge|
|Outskirts of Stonebridge|
|The roads are worn and well tended here and the fields on either side are lush and filled with wildflowers. The tournament tent is set up just north of the road and a grand pavilion rests to the central right of it, set with the colors of House Tordane. Knight's tents are being set up everywhere there is room and high ground. They dot the countryside and near the Tordane tent there is a cart of water and food, a small general area for the nobles to greet the hosts and partake in food to ease their journies.|
|July 21st, 288|
With the tournament over, there's been a flurry of activity through the area. Knights and nobles are packing their things and striking their tents, and the people of Stonebridge are doing their best to clean up the aftermath. With archery butts consisting largely of targets draped over bales of hay, however, the archery fields are at the bottom of the list of things to take care of. Yet it seems someone is still interested in using them.
Anais Banefort holds a bow of solid make, her stance apparently practiced, as she faces off against the butts. There are three Banefort men with her, one who appears to be the captain of the group that came with the noble girls, who stands facing out with his arms crossed over his chest. "Are you finished yet?" he asks over his shoulder.
"Not in the least," Anais answers without looking away from the target. "Seven only know when I'll get another chance."
With all those people moving around, with that level of activity, it was bound that the security on the Stonebridge side would be a little higher. Not because there's the expectation of something bad to happen, but because of the need to do things in good order. Because of this, Wayland Frey was sent to walk through the fields, making sure that everything was indeed, in order. It hasn't been long since he got eliminated on the free for all tournament, but he at least had the time to change his armor. Now, he is still wearing Brigadine, but one that it has no visible damage. Sword in it's scabbard attached to his belt on one side and in the other, a simple looking dagger. The chatter of a group of men get his attention and when a female voice answers, he turns his head to look, finding Anais Banefort doing some target practice.
The Knight approches the Banefort men and he nods politely to them "Sers, I trust the day finds you well?" and then he tilts his head looking at Anais "My Lady…" there is a soft smile that forms on his lips and he says "That is a strong looking bow"
Anais looses her arrow before Wayland approaches, and the shaft thunks just a thumb's width to the left of the bulls eye. "You see?" she notes to the guard, reaching for another arrow. "I'm already out of practice." As she's drawing once more, though, Wayland approaches, and that shot goes well wide of the target. Which is probably a good thing, because she's also spinning to face him, her cheeks pink.
"Ah. Yes. Very strong, Ser," she replies, looking down at the bow, then back up to the knight for a moment, smile sheepish. "I was just…" And then the bow is suddenly in her guard's hands, where any startlement is quickly replaced by a long-suffering look of patience. "Playing a bit. Wanted to see what it was like."
As he approaches and that shot goes wide, he smiles a little more and adds "Don't let outside distractions get to you, when you are at practice" he takes a deep breath and shows a gentle smile, followed by a nod. When the guard takes the bow from her hand like that, he narrows his eyes and looks at the man "I beg your pardon, Ser; but, do you not serve the Lady?" He shakes his head at that and adds "The way I see it, that is no way to treat a Lady. If I were you, I would be lucky if she doesn't report of your…attitude" In the meantime, his hand rests on the pommel of his sword. Before the other man can answer, he looks back at her and smiles again "Well, if I may say so, your first shot showed that you do have some skill and enjoy it, I would continue practicing"
"Oh, no, Ser, it's quite all right," Anais assures Wayland, laughing. "Bruce has been in our service since I was a girl. It's half a game." She tils her head to one side then, considering the knight. "I'm sorry, but you look familiar somehow. I'm Lady Anais Banefort," she introduces herself with a twitch of her skirts and the suggestion of a curtsey. "Might I ask your name?"
Wayland listens to her in silence and then looks at the man that took her bow, nodding at him. His attention however, goes back to the young Lady and he says "Very well, my Lady" he offers a polite nod of his head and then places his right fist right below his left shoulder, over his chest. He bows afterwards and says "I am Ser Wayland Frey, it is a pleasure to meet such a beautiful young lady" The man shows a soft smile and stands straight again, moving his hand back to the pommel of his sword, just resting it there. "I do believe you were are the Free-for-All?"
"That's it!" Anais declares, laughing suddenly as a smile breaks across her features. "My younger sister, Gwyneth, thought you might win the melee. She was ready to wager on it, as well. You performed admirably, all the same," she notes, warm. "It was a very close match. And you chose your opponents wisely. Was it the tournament that brought you here, then?"
Wayland chuckles just a little bit and says "Well, I hope your sister was not very disappointed after the outcome" he smiles and then nods "Perhaps in some other tournament, I'll be able to help her win the bet" He nods politely and says "Thank you, my Lady; that is very kind of you to say" The man takes a deep breath and half chuckles again "Well, everyone was so busy hitting eachother, I had to act upon it" Now, to her last question, he shakes his head "No, my Lady. I am a Knight of Stonebridge, I serve the Lady of the House."
"Well, she did sulk off once you were eliminated," Anais notes, amusement in the curve of her lips. "But I think her heart will survive. Ah, a Knight of Stonebridge?" she echoes, pale brows rising as she looks toward Tordane tower in the distance. "And what do you think of what's been happening, then? There's all sorts of uproar over the change in hands, but I've yet to hear it from the perspective of someone who calls this place home."
"Of that, I am glad" offers the Knight with a polite smile on his lips. When she asks of his views about the whole situation that is changing and shifting the ground under everyone's feet, Wayland smiles just a little more and tilts his head "My Lady, I am but a simple Knight, serving in Stonebridge, my duty is to serve, not to share my views with others, whatever the might be" His smile is still there of course and he nods politely "I beg for your forgiveness, for the lack of a perhaps…more suitable answer to your question"
Anais tsks softly, though her smile lingers. "That is a very appropriate answer," she notes, though there lies an unspoken chiding for not saying more behind the words. "Well. I think it would be unlikely to happen in the Westerlands," she opines for herself, taking the bow back from her guard - who doesn't really object - and turning to face the target once more. "Likely because Lord Tywin would send another minstrel to sing The Rains of Castamere to ambitious lesser lords." She nocks an arrow, draws, sites, and releases, this time seeing the arrow to the center of the target, before sighing. "Again."
Wayland listens to her words in silence, just looking into her eyes as he does with everyone. Wayland's eyes portray definite calmness, as if he is constantly in a state of peace. He smiles when she hits the center of the target and he offers "Bravo, most excellent shot my Lady. Where did you learn to work the bow like that? It is certainly not an easy skill to acquire" He nods to this and then he offers on the other topic "I think, human nature dictates that a person will always seek power…anyone, in one way or another. From simple whispers to strong actions" To this, he nods and continues watching.
"The Banefort lies on the shore, the closest lands to Pyke on the mainland," Anais explains, reaching for another arrow. "When my father left to join Lord Tywin's host on the way to King's Landing, during the Rebellion, he had to leave us with a skeleton garrison. So the arms master took on almost anyone to train them in defense, should the Greyjoys take advantage of a chance to come reaving. I insisted that I should be allowed to help," she admits, lips quirking in amusement. "So I started to learn. And then I tried to keep in practice." Another shot is just a finger's width to the left, earning a grimace from the young lady. "Though I still cant left." She turns a sheepish smile on Wayland, shrugging one shoulder. "I know it isn't exactly ladylike."
"It was the wisest thing to do, to ask to be trained as well" says Wayland to her, still looking at how she works with the bow. "Perhaps my views on this are not, the usual you will find but, I think there is great strength in a woman." He nods that and continues "It is shown day by day on their actions to help the household running smoothly. So, if the strength is there, why not exploit it on what they want?" He smiles faintly and adds "I don't think is /not/ ladylike; perhaps it's not the common thing of course but…" he shrugs to this and then changes to the subject of her most recent shot "Practice my Lady, that is all you need. I'm seeing that with every shot, you get better…and when you fail one, it's not for much. You know, minus that particular one in which you almost hit my head" He shows a soft smile and then chuckles "Or maybe it would have been a good one, who knows"
"We had a singer come through once, who told us tales about the women of Dorne," Anais laughs, reluctantly setting the bow aside. "Shortly before my father left, now that you mention it," she adds ruefully. "My head might have been full of stories of Nymeria and the Dornish conquest at the time. And I suspect if the women of Dorne can shoot bows, then there is nothing to stop women of the Westerlands from giving it a try."
"I've heard the stories of Dornish women, strong and powerful, not to play with" says the Knight, smiling a little at that. "Perhaps it was a message from your father, a silent way of helping your spirit." He places his hand in his chest, over his heart "We all have fire here, we just need the courage to find it" The man nods in acceptance to his own words "That is so, there is nothing that would stop the women from Westerlands to try…" he shrugs "And who knows, you might surprise yourself…but if I am correct, I thought you already did" adds Wayland, pointing at the arrow straight in the middle of the target.
"At this distance?" Anais arches a brow playfully, even as one of the Banefort men goes to retrieve the arrows. "I would be an embarassment to the Banefort if I hadn't." Carefully, she brushes her fingers over her skirts, checking to make certain there's no stain or grime left behind. "Were you planning on attending the wedding, then?" she asks, glancing toward the tower once more.
Wayland laughs with some amusement and he says "Well, let it not be said that I didn't try to encourage you" he nods to this with an amused smile on his lips and then he says "Well, I should attend the wedding of course. And then stay for the feast, to make sure that everything is going well." He tilts his head a little and nods to her "It seems you are looking forward to attend, are you not?"
"I'm…not sure," Anais admits, smile faint. "We came to the tourney, but weren't technically invited in the wedding. And I think there are reasons it might be awkward, at best. Not that I'm not curious," she confesses, laughing softly.
"Oh…" says the man, not really knowing what to say next. He clears his throat and offers "I do apologize, my Lady…I am afraid I don't know how is attending" He shows a faint smile now and at the last, he says nothing. Silence! Silence from him! "Where is the rest of your family?" asks the man now, trying to move the subject to some other place at the moment.
"No apologies necessary," Anais waves off the momentary discomfort with an easy smile. "If it's anyone's fault, it's my dear father's for leaving things…in the air, shall we say. Besides, weddings are invariably dull, and this one has enough complications that it would doubtless be a /tangle/ of trying not to step on this person's toes, or offend that person's sensibilities, which usually leads to a very quiet and awkward meal."
The man can't help but to smile at her ideas on a wedding "I wouldn't know my lady, I haven't been to many weddings" he nods to this and takes a deep breath, clearing his throat afterwards. "Perhaps, you would be so kind to invite me to yours, when such time arrives" To this, he smiles a little more, joking of course. "I am certain of one thing, whoever is to be your husband, will definitely be one lucky man, my Lady" a polite nod is offered to her and he says "Perhaps, in time, you could teach that man how to work the bow?"
"Dear Knight, I assure you, I am only going to marry such a paragon of knighthood and virtue that there will simply be nothing left to teach him," Anais declares, though there's a lighter cast to her smile, teasing. "No, I will of course marry whomever my lord father commands me to marry. Though I've confidence he'll choose well, of course. And I see no reason why I shouldn't invite you. Though if it's to be a long way away, I will certainly understand if you are unable to make the trip."
Wayland laughs softly at her words and he nods a couple times "Very well, very well. And yes, I am sure your father will choose wisely, there are many young lords in Westeros, of that I am sure" He takes a deep breath and sighs, nodding afterwards "Perhaps, then I count myself invited and I hope I would be able to attend your wedding; I know it is a very long trip but some events demand for such a trip. I mean, after all, you are here right at this moment."
"Ah, well. A short ship ride, a longer horseback ride," Anais smiles easily, looking around. "And a chance to find matches a little further afield. The Banefort is isolated on our peninsula," she explains. "And my father has four daughters, so I suppose he's decided he must search a little further afield." She tilts her head to one side, arching a brow at the knight. "And you, Ser? Have you a lady wife of your own?"
Wayland nods "True enough, it would definitely be worth the trip" says the man, thinking for a moment about her overall situation. "Four daughters you say? Your father must be a good hunter then" He smiles a bit more and then that smile is followed by a chuckle "Has he been successful in finding matches for your sisters?" When she asks him about a possible wife, the man just shakes his head and offers "I have to admit that, no…I do not have a lady wife." he shows a faint smile and then he says "Perhaps one day"
"My eldest sister was married, but lost her husband to a reaver," Anais answers Wayland, shaking her head. "The rest of us are still hunting. Gwyneth was rather impressed with you," she notes, grin flashing briefly. "She's my younger sister. Sixteen. But he's taken his time. The isolation is something of a complication." The Banefort men have by now tucked the bow and arrows safely away, where no one is likely to connect them to Anais. "Still, I think my father has it easier than Lord Frey," she adds, smile rueful.
"Admittedly, I have an awfully big family, so marriages are…complicated to develop" says Wayland, starting with Anais' last words. This clearly amuses him because he laughs at the idea. He shakes his head "Many wives bring many children and…things expand from there" The man takes a deep breath and offers a soft smile at the mention of her sister "Oh? Well, if that is the case, please let your sister know that I feel quite honored and that perhaps she'll honor me even more with a token, during the next tournament…" he nods to this and adds "Whenever that may be"
"Not soon enough," Anais smiles ruefully. "I'm sorry that I missed the joust. And the other festivities. The last tournament I saw was…I can hardly even remember. I was very young. And with my luck, by the next time I see one, I'll be a married woman and not be able to dance with anyone but my husband. So he'd best be an excellent dancer," she adds, smile flashing once more across her features.
There is a sad smile from Wayland when she says her part; the man takes a deep breath and presses his lips together, trying to better understand her whole scenario. "Well, my Lady…if there was music sounding at the moment, it would be an honor to share a dance with you" He smiles a little more and bows his head "I can't however, say I am an excellent dancer, I think I might be…maybe passable?" he chuckles at that.
Anais tsks softly, shaking her head. "That's very disappointing," she chides, though there's something teasing in her tone. "All Knights should be excellent dancers. Otherwise, all the work we ladies put into dancing well goes to waste." She reaches up to tuck a piece of hair behind her ear, smile rueful. "I love to dance. The last dancing master my father tried to bring to the Banefort, though, declared that there was nothing he could teach me. I was hoping I might have better luck here in the Riverlands."
Wayland laughs and then nods "Well, my lady, I promise I will try to improve my dancing, so when the time comes for me to actually marry, my lady wife won't be disappointed" Now, he nods at her words and he says "Have you tried to talk to one of the other Ladies here at the tournament? Perhaps you all could exchange ideas and dance techniques? People from different places are bound to be familiar with different styles of dance." To that, he nods and then licks his lips.
"I've not had much chance to speak with the ladies here," Anais admits, cheeks flushing slightly. "Which sounds terrible when I say it, doesn't it? But with everything as complicated as it's been…" She trails off, shaking her head. "Well. Perhaps I'll have a chance later. That would be one reason to attend the wedding, should I have the opportunity. I'd like to see and learn some new dances."
"Ah…" gets to say Wayland at first but then continues "Well, that is a true shame of course, I am sure you would bond quickly enough" He nods to this and then shakes his head "Terrible? No, I don't think it sounds terrible. I understand that Ladies and Lords have certain obligations, but when things are not possible, they are not possible" he shrugs at this and offers a soft smile to her. "Well, there you go…./and/, if you do attend the, I will have one dance from you and another from your sister. If you of course agree to it"
Anais grins swiftly, reaching a hand for the knight's forearm. "I would truly appreciate that," she assures him. "And Gwyneth would like it even more, I think. You should probably dance with me first," she adds with a laugh. "That way Gwyneth can feel as though she's stolen you from me and her feelings won't be hurt for the rest of the night."
Wayland doesn't move away when she reaches for her forearm, and then offers her a polite nod "Of course, my lady" When she mentions her evil plans to please her sister, he chuckles a little bit and nods once again "That can be done, I don't see why not" He shakes his head at that, smiling "I of course, wouldn't want your young sister to be hurt" The man moves his fingers over his cheek and rubs it gently; there is a faint shadow beard there, he probably will shave soon enough.
"Now here I have gone on and on about myself, and I know hardly anything about you save your name and your loyalty," Anais declares, drawing back once more and tilting her head to one side with a curious smile. "Would you tell me something interesting about yourself? Not something simple, that anyone would know. The sort of thing one only discovers by accident or by unduly probing questions."
Wayland smiles with some amusement and says "Never say a Knight can't listen" his smile holds there for a moment and he nods his head "Something about myself?" asks the man, pressing his lips afterwards to think. "Well, I don't have anything exciting but…let's see…" and silent again he goes for a moment. Finally, he smiles to something and says "When I was younger, around nineteen years of age, I decided that I wanted to make my own sword, and because of this, I started learning the job with the weaponsmith." He nods to this and continues "But, after a few months I realized that I wasn't really good at it? I mean that it takes years to learn of course but can tell beforehand if you have certain natural skills for it. I lacked them, and it seemed that I was pretty bad at it" he chuckles and smiles "So, I left that aside…"
"Did you keep anything you tried to make?" Anais asks with a swift grin. "As a reminder to yourself? Or because you simply had already spent so long on it that you couldn't bear to part with it?" The smile spreads as she laughs, the corners of her eyes crinkling with mirth. "A twisted dagger that you could carry and make a tremendous tale of, should anyone ask you why it has no proper edge. Perhaps because you use it to dig out the hearts of evil men, so that they have time to repent their sins."
Wayland nods "I did, actually." he smiles and adds "It's not that they were, you know…unusable but, I think I just didn't find myself comfortable while working and…the results were, not the greatest pieces of work." he shrugs at this and then taps on the dagger attached to his belt. "Perhaps, some day…I will try once again, and see if I can get better" he shrugs "Perhaps I was young and dumb, and with an incredible lack of patience" The man definitely smiles at this and laughs at her words "Wouldn't that be something interesting, see if anything like that can strike fear in the hearts of evil men"
"Well, it would be worth a try, at least," Anais declares cheerfully. "One should never underestimate the value of a good story. And thus, a reputation. Speaking of which." Her smile twists crooked, rueful, as she takes a step back. "I think I should count my blessings that I was caught at archery by a Knight who'll not think it a blemish on my reputation, but I fear if I tarry much longer, I'll end up with a reputation of a different sort."
Wayland looks at her as she takes that step back "Truth, truth…we'll see what the future holds on that regard" The man smiles and then shakes his head "You are correct, I do not see anything wrong with a Lady practicing some archery" to this he shrugs and the arches both eyebrows, if even very lightly "Oh, I'm sorry my Lady, I didn't mean to keep you" he bows politely and takes a step back, smiling again "It was certainly refreshing, to meet you…" Right fist goes right below over his left shoulder and he bows "I'll take my leave." A smile to that and then he gets ready to do so.
"It's been a pleasure meeting you, Ser Wayland," Anais curtseys politely to the knight as her men rejoin her side. "And I look forward to seeing you again and claiming that dance," she adds with a quick smile over her shoulder. "Be well!" she calls, waving behind her as the Baneforts make their way back toward the town.