|For Her Favor|
|Summary:||Rafferdy challenges Gedeon to a duel! Well, kinda.|
|Related Logs:||Come Back With Your Shield, A Friendly Ear, Because It Must Be Done, Whiskey, Women and Song, The Better Man|
|Crane's Crossing Inn — Stonebridge|
|While Crane's Crossing is technically an Inn, it caters to the traveling nobility almost exclusively. The floors around the hearth are finely crafted stonework, as are the slate blocks that the firepit is constructed of. The rest of the floor is done in stained oak that matches the few long tables and the chairs. The rest of the main room is furnished with plush couches and seating to entice visitors to delay their leave. A full service kitchen provides food of all kinds as well as high quality ales and wines. Also available are several women to provide hospitality to the lonely or those in need, the quality of them to be beaten by but a few in the Riverlands. A hallway near the kitchen leads off to the rear of the building and several up-scale rooms.|
|3 February 289|
With Seagard reclaimed, there are a few odds and ends that Oldstones is obliged to tidy up for themselves in Stonebridge. Tanners that were stranded there for fear of traveling the roads unaccompanied wish to return home and others back at Oldstones wish to come to Stonebridge to sell what they have hunted and skinned while Ironmen occupied the Riverlands. So Gedeon and a few of the more talented archers have been playing guardsmen to traffic coming to and from Oldstones, and just now he's once again at the Crane's Crossing, if only to enjoy a hot meal before setting off again.
Rafferdy has asked around, and gotten wind Ser Gedeon is at the Inn. He steps inside, wearing what is quite unusual for him - noble clothing. The outfit is deep red with gold trim, featuring a broad shouldered doublet. There are no sleeves to the shirt, leaving his muscular archer arms exposed. He looks around, and once spotting the knight, makes his way to his table. "I was hoping to have a moment of your time, Ser Rivers," he says.
Ser Rivers has a tankard halfway lifted to his mouth as Rafferdy approaches, but he lowers it back to the table to offer the other man a faint smile. "Lord Rafferdy Nayland. Of course, my lord. Sit, if you'd like, and my time is yours."
Rafferdy inhales slowly, as if suddenly unsure, but then nods, and he sits. "I need to do something, but first, I need to be clear on the matter. I know that my family and you are in…" He considers his next word, and settles on, "…disagreance over the matter of Stonebridge."
A bit of wariness creeps into Gedeon's interested expression as Rafferdy begins to speak. The knight offers a small nod for the words, however. "Yes," he agrees gently, "that is so."
Rafferdy returns the nod, "I have a personal matter I need to handle with you, and I would like be very clear that it is just that, and is not a family matter. I wish to have your word that it will not add to the disagreement concerning Stonebridge. Increasing tensions over that matter is not my desire, and you have my own word to that end, Ser."
"It is difficult for me to give my word on a matter which has not yet been explained to me," Gedeon replies, brows lifting a little, "but I can offer, at least, that I shall hear you out with an open mind, my lord, and the understanding that you are not attempting a strike at me in the name of your family. What personal matter is this, Lord Rafferdy? I believe we have spoken but once before, and I confess, I cannot fathom what the concern may be."
Rafferdy nods, swallowing. He then lifts his chin just slightly, and very confidently simply says, "I wish to challenge you for the favor of Lady Fray."
Blink. Gedeon clears his throat. "Come again?"
Rafferdy blinks. Uh oh. He clears his throat, and he straightens his posture a bit more noble-like. "You carry Lady Lorna Frey's favor. I want it."
"Oh, her…" Gedeon glances down, opening the pouch at his belt to draw out a folded and embroidered handkerchief. "You're after this, do you mean?"
Rafferdy looks at the handkerchief, then back at the knight. He looks just slightly perplexed, but then he nods a bit, "I suppose if that is the symbol she gave you, then… yes."
"Well. I see," Gedeon murmurs, studying the bit of cloth as if it might hold some as-yet-undiscovered properties. Then he tucks it away and returns his attention to Rafferdy. "I accept your challenge, Lord Nayland. Where and when shall we engage?"
Rafferdy studies Gedeon a moment, and then responds, "And this will not contribute to the Stonebridge situation?"
"We… are not dueling to the death, I presume?" Gedeon queries, one brow lifting.
Rafferdy chuckles, "Not unless you think that handkerchief is worth your life, no." He smiles, "I've challenged you, Ser. You set the challenge and terms."
"Are you so taken with her?" Gedeon asks. "I had not realized the Lady Lorna Frey had such an ardent admirer among the Naylands."
Rafferdy bites his lip a moment, considering. Then he nods, "I am." He then tilts his head a bit, "Are you?"
"I hold great respect and admiration for the lady," Gedeon says, "though I cannot claim that she holds my heart. But, I should not insult her worth by simply returning her favor when I have been so challenged. Tell me, how are you with a blade, my Lord?"
Rafferdy furrows his brow just a bit, "I spent several years squired to Ser Walden Frey, but not long enough. To be quite honest, I am simply adequate with the sword. My strength lies with the bow. I will do what I must, however, and am prepared to face you in whatever manner you select."
Gedeon scratches his jaw slowly as he considers. "A proper duel with swords would no doubt be the more thrilling tale, but I suspect my skill with a sword somewhat exceeds your own, my lord, life having demanded I lived by such a skill for a time. An archery competition, then. You may well have the upper hand, there."
Rafferdy tilts his head once more, just a bit, "I likely would have the upper hand in that. I don't wish to be unfair to either of us. Are you certain?
"Winning the favor of a woman who is more greatly admired by another man does not seem very advantageous," Gedeon replies gently, "nor should I dishonor her or myself by failing to fight as well as I could. But choosing a field in which I may not be the stronger combatant… seems the best way to address all concerns at once."
Rafferdy seems to be understand that, and so he nods. "Very well, then." He smiles, "I accept a challenge of our prowess in archery. If we could resolve this before I leave for the Iron Island invasion, I would be very appreciative, Ser Rivers."
"We shall both be leaving for that invasion, my lord," Gedeon replies, "and I see no reason to wait on this. Tomorrow, in the training field, dawn let's say. Give it at least a little bit of drama."
Rafferdy nods, "So be it." He smiles, and tosses a few coins on the table. "Your next is on me," he notes, gesturing at Gedeon's drink. "Thank you. And, I hope I have not worsened any ill between our families with this." He stands to leave.
"Do what you can to soften any ill will among your own, and you shall not have," Gedeon replies, smirking a little at the coins that are tossed down. "Tomorrow, then."
Rafferdy smiles, "Tomorrow, Ser." He gives an appropriate, small bow, and then departs, with just a little spring in his step.