|Summary:||Brennart and Otto are considering helping the Roost, Nedra knows them, now they know Anais!|
|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.|
|July 2, 289|
There was a good bit of laughter and ruckus coming from the Rockcliff Inn as the door opened and Otto staggered out, a full flaggon of wine in hand. The young knight had been drinking heavily for most of the evening, and while the night was still young, he was almost done for. Still wearing some of his armor, the chain he usually wore under the coat of plates of his brigandine, Otto glanced about. His hand and a half sword was slung over his shoulder, which almost tripped him up as it snagged on the sign outside the inn. "Damned wenches," he says with a laugh as he fumbles with his tunic a moment before stopping to relieve himself of a few ounces of wine on the side of the road. It definitely wasn't the most appropriate of behavior for a knight, but he was too drunk to care. There were perks though to being a noble, even a minor one, it was easy to get real wine even here in the Roost. Of course it helped that he'd brought a few small casks with him on his trip to the tourney.
Brennart's in the town square, his sleeves rolled up and is helping some of the locals moving debris or rebuilding or just cleaning something which is quite odd as he's not from around here and the spurs definately puts him out of place for helping but he doesn't seem to mind getting dirty… And then the drunken knight stumbles out of the Inn and Brennart shakes his head, "Cousin… I do hope by the sounds going on from inside the inn you shared your wine with them… But if you are capable." He pauses and looks the man over, "Nevermind on that one."
The hour is later than considered for polite company, but the weather is clear and the breeze almost perfect for those who have a yen for fishing. Now, Nedra just happens to have a couple of guards who think that fishing is the best way to spend a quiet afternoon. A pair of small barrels are lashed to a pack horse that is being escorted into town, the barrels sloshing quietly with each step that the horse takes. Nedra, with a fishing pole of her own, is riding in the center of the group when they draw to a halt in front of the inn.
When food supplies are increasingly low, how does Anais keep spirits up among the townsfolk? There's certainly no feeding everyone, but every few nights, the Lady of the Roost has taken to bringing a meal to share with one of the families in the town. They're simple meals, but it's a show of solidarity at least, and it's helped her to get to know the people of the town. At the moment, she's just stepping out of one of the repaired houses, all smiles as she balances a toddler on her hip. "You're gonna help your Momma, aren't you?" she laughs, dropping a kiss to the top of the little girl's head before passing her back to her mother. "Your home is lovely," she assures said mother. "And you know you can come to the Roost if you have any problems, yes? We'll be glad to listen."
"Course I shared, don't do no good drinkin' alone," Otto says with a smile as he puts wipes his hand on his tunic and takes a sip from the flaggon. "Only took one sip of the swill they're servin' before I had my squire fetch my stash. Had to do something to lighten the mood in there," he says with a stupid grin as he walks over. He wasn't walking straight, but he wasn't falling down drunk either. "I'll give ya a hand, cousin, if you need it." Once again, he adjusted his mail and tunic as he walked over. "By the way, you seen that good for nothing squire of mine? I'm thinking of sending him to Herronhurst on a booze run. We're out of wine and they're going back to drinking that watered down water in there. Maybe even have him bring a side of beef. Doubt the Naylands would stop an Erenford squire from bringing his knight supplies for a party. I'm sure we can come up with some kind of excuse," he adds as he draws near Brennart. "Sad state of affairs here, and makes me question the politics of the region."
Brennart nods, "Please feel free to help out and I think that wouldn't be a bad idea might send mine back as well maybe tell father I'm throwing a party for something I'm sure I'll figure out a good reason before we send the squires." He grins and sets back to work letting one of the townfolk direct him to whatever needs to be done at the moment.
It isn't much, granted, but the edge of a fishing net is draped along the back of more than one horse and the barrel's appear to be full. Nedra dismounts in front of the Inn, one hand resting on her horses neck, patting the mare fondly as she settles her skirts around her legs and tucks the end of the fishing pole into a loop along the back of the saddle that is conveniently just the right angle to keep the pole in place. Her guards are unfastening the barrel's from the pack horse and carrying them into the Inn while Nedra waits for her Septa to dismount as well, the older woman grumbling in a good natured sort of way.
As she turns away from the home, Anais catches a hint of Otto's words, her smile fading for just a moment. A deep breath sees the smile back in place, though, and she turns toward the Inn only to see Nedra with barrels. "Lady Nedra," she calls over, head tilting curiously as she moves toward the other woman, her guard and handmaid trailing behind her. "You look like you've had a busy afternoon," she laughs, taking in the fishing pole as well now that she's closer. She shoots a glance toward the knights, but doesn't approach for the moment. Never know if breeches got properly relaxed, after all.
Breeches were properly, or at least mostly laced, and Otto was working to help Brennart move some of the heavier items. "See, now that's using your head cousin. We make up some kind of excuse to bring in provisions, and then just have our feast and invite the locals. I don't have the kind of money uncle does, and you're definitely more prone to getting a better assortment of meats, but I have quite the stash of reds and sours left over from my uncle's cellars," he says trying to smile as best he could as he helped his fellow Erenford with some heavy lifting. Otto had never had a problem with hard work, he'd earned his title as any man should, starting as a page and working his way up for a knight that believed in hard work building a true man, not a frump in a suit of plate.
Brennart chuckles and nods, his breeches completely laced and this knight is stone cold sober as he works, "Very true but we also don't want to ruffle feathers the people here have been through enough without us adding insult to injury…" He nods towards Lady Nedra and the fish, "And it looks like they're making due with what they have I'd almost want to see about getting my father to send grains that would lend itself to breads, porriage and an assortment of other uses where meat is well just meat. But definately could see about some more casks of ale and wine being sent to the inn don't want to run them out of business."
Nedra turns around swiftly at the sound of Lady Anais's voice, a look of surprise on her face before she laughs, a bit sheepishly. "We thought that with all this shore line there had to be a good spot to fish, and my guards," and there's a tone of old familiarity there, something that says more than guards and more like family than not, "had the thought that if they used the right kind of net in the shallows we'd be able to bring in enough to fill the barrels. It isn't much," she hastily adds, "but it'll add a few meals. And it was a great way to spend the day," she turns toward Anathe who is dismantling one of the fishing rods and packing it away in a case buckled to the other side of the saddle.
"Thank you," Anais replies to Nedra with a warm smile, adding a grateful look for the guards. "We've been trying to do the same, but the closer shorelines are running thin, and with everyone trying to rebuild here, it's hard to get people out on a regular basis. I for one am not too proud to take help if it means fewer people go hungry. The miller and his wife just added another mouth, I'm told. A healthy baby boy. They're worried about business, though. I was hoping there might be a way to convert some of the mill usage for lumber rather than grain, at least in the short term, but I don't know a damned thing about how mills work." It's rambling, and she stops herself after a moment, smile rueful. "Forgive me. You and your brother have been godsends. I don't know what I'd do without you." Glancing toward the men, she steps a little closer to Nedra, lowering her voice. "I don't suppose you're familiar with those knights?"
Nedra glances towards Otto and Brennart before she nods, her voice quiet in return as she replies: "I do," and makes a small tilt of her head to indicate each of the knights in turn. "Lord's Elrick and Brennart Erenford," she names for Anais. "If you'd like, I can introduce you, Lady Anais," she offers, another glimpse of a smile. "They're both terribly polite and perfect gentlemen," she adds, having NOT seen Otto's wine-returning skills in the form of watering the shrubbery. "And you know we're glad to help," she adds, reaching out one hand to Lady Anais, "Kamron is awful good at building things, with proper supervision that is," a brief hint of impish amusement in her eyes. "And it may not be the best tasting, but fish soup can go a long way, and I have a few recipes that the cook at the Inn might find useful. Mother always keeps recipes on hand just in case," she adds with a small shrug of her shoulders.
Otto grunts as he helps his cousin lift something else, spilling what was left of his flaggon of wine when he tried to hold it in his mouth to free up his hand. "Dammit," he mutters as he watches it fall to the ground, the blood red nectar of the gods splashes out and is almost instantly absorbed into the ground at his feet. "That was the last of it too," he says, looking to Brennart. "We're sending the squires tonight, if I go a fortnight drinking what they have here, I'll wither, I swear I will," he says as he continues to work. Always the joker, he worked hard beside Brennart, glancing over to the ladies and the fish. "You know, Brenn, we could hit the river with some spears, show the locals why a heron is the best fisher," he says with a wink to his fellow knight. "I'd be willing to bet you still can't beat me with the spear. Never could," he adds, chiding his cousin along. "Ten silvers says I get more than you, and loser also has to clean them while the squires go rob the cellars at Heronhurst."
Brennart nods, "I know that I'm not as good with the spear as you but I'll take your bet on who gets the most fish…" He glances back at Lady Nedra and her net and grins, "How much time for the bet though?"
"An introduction would be welcome," Anais murmurs to Nedra, smile flickering as she gives the other woman's hand a squeeze. "As for recipes, I'm sure everyone would be glad for a few new ways to eat fish stew. I think we've tried every recipe in the Roost and half of the ones from the Banefort," she laughs, rueful.
By now Nedra's guards have returned from the Inn, both barrel's now empty, and are attaching the empty barrel's to the pack horse again. The oldest of the guards stops on the other side of the horse where Anathe is standing and there's a quiet discussion beginning as to whether or not they'll head back out to try to fill the barrel's again, depending on the tide.
"It's fish stew," Nedra says quietly, a quick laugh escaping her, "there really isn't much that can be done, it's all about spice and making sure it doesn't over-stew," she says in a wry tone of voice. She rests nods towards the Erenford knights and murmurs, "Shall we?" before setting course for where the Erenford's are helping lend a hand to some work that needs to be done.
Otto keeps glancing down at his flaggon, mostly filled with dirt now and sighs. "That was the last of it, cousin. I mean, I could have had more, but I decided to share. I don't regret it, but I am gonna miss it," he adds before taking a step back after they finished moving one of the heavier objects out of the way. Stretching a bit his eyes venture towards Nedra and Anais and he taps his cousin on the shoulder, leaning in. "Incoming, and I believe it's my turn for the pretty one this time, you got dibs at Stonebridge," he says with a wink, trying to seem like he was being discreet while speaking just loud enough for his voice to be heard by the women. After all, what fun was life without a bit of fun at his noble cousin's expense.
Brennart chuckles and just shakes his head as he stands up dusting his hands off on his pants, "Cousin you really are too much aren't you?" He smirks as he nods towards the folks that he's helping, "This should only take a moment and I appologize if me stepping away slows down progress too much."
Anais follows next to Nedra, a wry smile curving at Otto's words. "As a married woman, I think I'll withdraw from possible consideration as a pretty one, Ser," she laughs, sinking into a graceful curtsey. "Though I was hoping Lady Nedra would introduce me to both of you, either way." And then she waits for said introduction. Who said she was too forward?!
Nedra's curtsey is offered at the shadow of the graceful one that Lady Anais offers, rising after a moment as she tilts her head back - the best way to be able to make introductions when both Erenford men are nearly a foot taller than she in height. "As I said, my lady, the epitome of gentlemanly conduct and manners," she murmurs as she shakes her head subtly. "My lords Brennart and Elrick Otto Erenford," she indicates each with a small gesture with one hand from Brenn to Otto, "it is my pleasure to introduce you to Lady Anais Terrick, Lady of the Roost and wife of Lord Jascen Terrick."
Otto chuckles and offers a bow towards Anais. "My apologies m'lady," he says with a smile. "Was merely trying to make my cousin blush a bit. Why, were I forced to choose, it would be quite difficult as the both of you are quite beautiful," he says, raising back up. "Ser Elrick Otto Erenford at your service," he says, giving another, deeper bow. "But please, I truly do not mind dispensing with the Elrick, Elrick was my uncle, I'm simply Otto." He then motions towards his cousin, "And this strapping, and elligible if you have any sisters, young knight is my cousin, and might I add, in the line of succession to the lands of Heronhurst," he adds with a wink.
Brennart offers a bow to Lady Anais, "I appologize for my cousin he's been lifting the spirits of the patrons of the inn by sharing his wine, perhaps a bit too freely." He jabs an elbow at his cousin on his way up, "And as Lady Nedra and my cousin here informed you I'm Ser Brennart Erenford." He glances around the town square, "We stopped by after the tourney and the Charlton incident to see what aid we could lend in the reconstruction efforts." The whole bidding block he was just put onto by his cousin glossed over as best possible.
"Two sisters, actually," Anais laughs easily to Otto. "And my cousin Lady Saffron has two more. Though I begin to wonder if the Riverlands haven't had their fill of Banefort girls. It is a pleasure to meet you, Ser Otto, Lord Brennart. And…" She looks between them, smile crooked. "I can't tell you how it warms my heart to hear your offers of help. We do need some assistance, though the Roost is a proud place. Perhaps we could set up a meeting to discuss the opportunities when there's been a little less drinking?" she teases, amused.
"Oh, my cousin is the talker, and I don't believe he's had a drop," Otto says with a grin, patting Brennart on the shoulder. "Me, well I'm the fun one, as fun is not very befitting of my cousins. Succession to the lands don't much allow for it," he adds with a wink, trying his best to rile up Brennart a bit. "Besides, I had several casks of wine and just couldn't stand to see people drinking the stuff they were in the inn, so I shared, and well those I shared with couldn't help but toast me over and over as they filled their mugs." He smirks a bit and then looks back to where he'd dropped his own flaggon, sighing a bit as he realizes that someone had stepped on it, flattening out one side.
Nedra glances toward Otto, humor reflecting easily in her eyes before glancing back to Brennart, that amusement aimed at Brennart at this point, though it's kindly intended. Decidedly impish, yes, but not in any mean or ill favor. "Lord Brennart, your cousin seems eager to help you find your future betrothed," she says, laughter - barely contained - colors her tone of voice. "If it helps, I have several cousins as well, all equally lovely as our Lady Anais," she adds, eyes sparkling at this point.
Brennart chuckles and just shakes his head at Otto and then at Nedra, "I promise when I'm in the market for a bride I'm sure my father will make all the arrangements and show me who she is on my wedding day…" He frowns a bit at that then nods, "As Ser Otto stated I've not had a drop to drink but I can't make any promises for the house I can just bring my recommendations home to my father and pray he views this the same way I do."
"Oh, the Mallister ladies are rather easy on the eyes as well," Anais chuckles with a flash of a smile toward Nedra. "But there does seem to be a greater number of young ladies in search of a match than young lords interested in the same. That's always how it is, though, isn't it?" She dips her chin to Brennart, smile easy. "Of course, my lord. But we would be grateful for that, or even just another view of things. Sometimes all it takes is another set of eyes." She turns a rueful look to the tavern at Otto's news then, smile slipping crooked. "So I should expect repairs to be underway a little later in the morning tomorrow, is what you're saying?"
Brennart chuckles and nods, "I've met a few of the Mallister ladies and at least one of the Haigh ladies, and Ser Otto here was discussing with me the idea of sending our squires back to Heronhurst to gather up some more wine and foods to throw a feast here in town although I was more thinking of having them just bring back sacks of grain it'd go a lot further for feeding the population than a couple of slabs of beef and boar." He glances over at Otto and smirks, "Although since I'm not the heir I do think I've got a bit more say in who I marry than my older brother…"
"I bet, since we're pretty much bannermen to the Naylands, they wouldn't mind us having a nice hunt on their lands. Maybe we could sack a few boars. It would be quite an adventure and feel quite fun to hunt Nayland game to feed Terrick commoners," he adds with a chuckle, that sense of mischief in his eyes.
"It is the thing to do, is it not, my Lady?" Nedra says with a glance sidelong toward Anais that is just full of amusement. "I'd blame it on the weather or the season or some such, but it seems to be as vital to some young ladies as the very air that they must draw to breathe," she murmurs with another glimpse of amusement. Her attention shifts back to Otto and the gleam of mischief in his eye, a trace of speculation in hers before she glances back toward Anais, letting the suggestion rest in her court.
"I am going to pretend I didn't hear that," Anais murmurs to the talk of hunting on Nayland lands, glancing away in an abortive attempt at hiding a smile. "Because I doubt it would go over terribly well. A hunt, though, wouldn't go amiss. I believe Lord Kittridge Groves was talking about holding one, and I suspect Lady Liliana Camden, who is here as a ward of Lord Jerold, would be willing to grant permission to hunt along the borders of Tall Oaks. Since the keep itself fell, I don't think there have been many smallfolk who lingered."
Brennart just shakes his head at his cousin, "I don't feel like riding that far to go hunt when there's plenty of lands around here we could hunt on…" He nods as Anais suggests local hunts, "That could be interesting, haven't hunted out here before… Haven't much stayed on this side of the river much either." He glances at the sun then back at the men he was helping, then back at the ladies, "Pardon me a second." He steps back to the men he was working with, "It looks like it's getting a bit late here if you gents would like to pick it back up in the morning first light I'll see if I can't keep my cousin sober enough to actually be more help than harm…"
Otto looks to the women and gives them a bow. "Please forgive my tongue, I fear the wine has loosened it more than it should have. Perhaps it would be best if I leave you in the care of my wiser and more sober cousin and retreat to my room at the inn." He bows deeply towards both Anais and Nedra, so deeply that it takes him a moment to regain his balance and not fall over. It was a miracle that the large sword strapped to his back hadn't slid out of its scabbard and knocked him in the back of the head. "Wake me in the morning, cousin, just not too early when the sun is still bright as it breaches the horizon," he says towards Brenn before smiling once more to the ladies and begins walking off towards the inn."
Nedra takes a long look at the position of the sun, or rather where it was before it set, taking a longer look around to really see how late it is. "Where did the time go?" she wonders, rhetorically, and offers a nod to Otto and Brenn, "It was a pleasure seeing both of you again, my lords Erenford. Have a restful evening," she offers before turning back to where her guards and Septa are. "I believe I'll turn in as well, my lady, we have a hunch that if we set the nets early enough in the morning we can bring in several barrel fulls per day," she adds in a quieter voice before taking the reins of her horse, resting her free hand on the mares neck again, a thoughtful look as the rest of her party mounts up and prepares to ride to the castle. "Would you care to accompany us, my lady?" she asks of Anais.
"I think I will, thank you," Anais nods to Nedra, even as her guard brings her horse back out. "Since it's getting dark. My lords, it has been a pleasure to meet you," she says with a warm smile to the men, sketching another elegant curtsey. "And thank you for the introduction," she adds with another flash of a smile toward Nedra, cheeks dimpling briefly. In short order, she's mounted once more, and ready to return to Four Eagles.
Brennart offers a bow to the ladies as they've mounted to ride into the castle, "It's been a pleasure meeting you Lady Anais and a pleasure talking with you again Lady Nedra, safe trip up into the castle and if there's any need to call on myself or my cousin we've taken up rooms in the Inn for the time being." And another bow a he starts to head over to the inn.