|Page 028: From Frogs to Swords|
|Summary:||Ser Jerod informs Stragen about the aftermath of the incident at the Rockcliff.|
|Date:||09 August 288|
|Related Logs:||The More They Drink, A Tale of Glory|
|Entrance Hall - Four Eagles Tower|
|The Entrance Hall is more than two dozen feet high with ornate columns hefting the fresco ceiling above all. Plush seating is arranged around one side for visiting nobility while the other has less comfortable slab stone or wood benches for the peasantry. Alcoves dot the walls for more private discussions and sworn Guards patrol this hall at all times and especially during court. Several hallways and doorways lead off to different areas of the castle with a spiral staircase carved neatly into one corner that winds its way up.|
|09 August 288|
The Captain of the Guard has not been an easy man to catch in the last days but, now that Rygar Nayland has cleared out of the house and he has a bit of time to sort other matters out, he's come to track down one Stragen Stone. Who's been a 'guest' of somewhat dubious status at Four Eagles Tower since the incident at Rockcliff. Though he's not been tossed in the dungeons, nor has Jarod chosen said dungeons for this talk. "Master Stone." The greeting's polite, and Jarod pairs it with an inclination of his head at the hulking man.
Prior to Jarod's entrance, Stragen was pacing the length of the chamber, apparently beginning to go a bit stir crazy since his forced guest status a day and a half ago. Upon Jarod's entrance and announcement, though, the tall blonde pauses in his pacing and turns to face the noble. "Ser Jarod. I'm most pleased to finally earn your audience. Last time I saw you, we were chasing frogs." A hairline of a smile.
"Ah yes, the Quest of the Amphibian Diaspora," Jarod says, a boyish grin flashing across his face at the memory. "A venture I'm still waiting for the bards to immortalize, I might add. But as to that…will you give me an account of what happened at Rockcliff, in your own words, between you and Lady Camden and the men you quarreled with?"
Stragen lifts his chin slightly as Jarod gets straight to business. It's not a defiant gesture, but a defensive one; his usual wit and joviality is quickly curbed. Lifting a hand, he indicates his temple, where a new scar is on its way to forming. "Lady Camden and I were enjoying a lovely conversation, minding our own business, when three lads who didn't take well to me singing Iron Isles shanties just prior thought to take their drunken aggression out on me. You see, I think they mistook me for an Ironer." Which is not too far-fetched; the man is of mixed heritage, and one of the many rumors about him is that his heritage in at least part Iron Isles raider. The fact that he was singing Ironer shanties probably helped strengthen the rumor. "They drew blades, then shoved the Lady Camden. I responded." He pats his hip where his broadsword would normally be.
"Little love for the Iron Islanders in these lands, Master Stone, I hope you can understand," Jarod says. "Nothing personal, but we're harried by coastal raiding off and on, and a good many men have lost kin or property to them." Of the man's heritage, he doesn't ask. "Still, baring blades over a slight in a bar is uncalled for whatever the quarrel. Matters like that should be settled with fists. Or chairs, on occasion." He goes on. "Where was Lady Camden's retainer at the time? She should have been afforded protection by one of our sworn, so as not to have to seek it from you."
Stragen chuckles lightly. "The poor bastard… er, no offense," he grins. He knew exactly what he was saying. Baastard to bastard. "He was caught unawares, I think. I mean, he was paying attention, don't get me wrong. And when the fight broke out, he was swift to act. But I don't think he was as keen and eager to spill blood as I was. You see, Ser Jarod, I take it personally when someone draws steel on me, but I won't stand for a lady's honor to be sullied. The Lady Camden was in my presence, and by extension, I was defending her honor. Naturally." The liar's silver tongue is likely getting him into more trouble, but it's as if he can't stop the embellishment and the bullshit once it begins. "Not a bad lad. Just a little slow. Maybe he got clunked on the head at the tournament?"
"I'll take offense the term is applied to such a massive cock-up, my kin in the Vale, though I suppose if we're talking cock-ups it applies as well as any," Jarod quips. "Anyhow. I've spoken to the proprietor at Rockcliff, and all agree that it was the men who fought who drew first, and you reacted in kind in defense of yourself and the lady. The men who survived your little encounter will have more to answer from the law, but they're for the sheriff at this point. As for the sworn who was escorting Lady Liliana, I've recommended to my father that he be dismissed. Not a bad lad or no, if he's so not-keen to draw blood he can go find work in a smithy or a learn a trade, as being a sworn *sword* occasionally requires it."
Stragen smirks, perhaps covering the relief he's feeling at the mention of him (likely) being in the clear. "Aye, my lord, self defense. That's exactly what it was." At the mention of the dismissal, Stragen shrugs lightly. "Sounds a bit harsh, but I'm just a common sword. He acted well enough in my opinion, and he got the lady out after I made a hole. I won't argue with my lord Ser if he feels dismissing the lad is necessary. Hopefully you've got another sword lying around to guard the Lady Camden, eh?"
"You did most of the work in terms of getting her out, the way I hear it told," Jarod says. "Which is the second bit I wished to speak with you on. You'll find no trouble with the law in Terrick's Roost from this, though I'm obliged to ask if you'd consider lingering awhile longer. We are going to be short a sworn sword out of this trouble - though I suppose better he was proven incompetent through this than some large quarrel. And you are plainly good with a blade. I'd like to have you for my lord father's service and - if Lady Camden would consent - to act as her guard in the place of the clod she was previously saddled with."
Blink. Blink blink. "Me?" Stragen seems entirely taken by surprise; normally, the man is quick with his wits and sharp with his tongue. "Ser, surely you can't be serious. You must know my reputation. My reputations. I'm not fit to serve any noble anywhere." Which isn't entirely true, for he served the Tordanes before and leading up to the Battle of the Trident. A paid sword, yes, but apparently good enough for the old allies of the Terricks. "Not that I'd be disappointed with serving the Lady Camden, or you, Ser. But… this is a joke. It must be."
"I know you fight, Master Stone, and that the sight of you is a fearsome thing, which are two things my family has need of right now," Jarod says. "I also know you took to the assistance of a lady you had no real obligation to, which speaks well of you in my eyes, dubious as the rest of you is. And I know you did good service to the Tordanes, when you brought Lord Geoffrey and Ser Geonis home. To my mind that speaks *very* high." He bows his head a beat, before looking up at Stragen again. Though he tries not to dwell on the serious. "And you're amusing. No, Master Stone, I joke about many things but never matters which concern the security of this house. So what say you? Your pay and meals shall be regular and I'll keep you in good steel, and if enough time passes the innkeeper at Rockcliff will likely have forgotten he's cross at you, and you can try his ale again."
"I… cannot refuse you, Ser Rivers," Stragen states, quick to use Jarod's surname. Not entirely a secret, of course, but apparently he knows more about Terrick's Roost than he lets on. He's not just a dimwitted half-blooded bastard savage. "I would be honored to serve you and House Terrick… and the Lady Camden. Besides," he says, stroking his beard in an exaggerated attempt to look ironic and contemplative. "By the brief time I know her, the Lady is no shrinking violet. I'm sure I'll have all sorts of opportunities to defend her virtues." His hand going to his side, he grasps at air. "If I had my blade, I'd swear on it, Ser. I'm afraid I've been bereft of my steel since I was made a guest."
"Excellent." Jarod seems to take pride enough in his surname - or, more likely, the 'Ser' attached to it. "You can swear before my father tonight, so I'll fetch your blade and we'll have it done. I leave it to you to offer your services to Lady Camden. I shall give her her pick of retainers for escort, but you'd be my first, so if you two can work it out, less work for me." He grins.
"I'll convey your wishes, Ser." Stragen seems quite suited to taking and acting on a noble's orders. It's a certain change of character for him. Then, straightening up a bit from his usual lackadaisical slouch, he offers: "I won't disappoint you."
"You can't do worse than the bloke you're replacing, Master Stone," Jarod says. Though, looking at the man, his cheeky grin moderates and he nods in a serious manner. "But more seriously, I'll hold that you don't, and I appreciate the word. I hope we won't keep you working too hard, but I get the feeling we'll have the opportunity to knock some heads together. Should be fun." With that, he's off to fetch Stragen's blade, for sword-swearing purposes.
Once Jarod leaves, it's as if the wind suddenly leaves Stragen's sails, as the man exhales and he slumps down into a nearby chair. "Well done, Stragen. Now you're proper fucked," he grumbles to himself.