|Summary:||Everyone gathers to view the sentencing of captured Bandits on the Green before Four Eagles Tower. They expect an execution.|
|Related Logs:||All of the bandit logs in general.|
|The Green, Terrick's Roost|
|The Green is a large field of deep green grass, nearly flat, that runs along the base of the towers. The road into town runs along the far edge, hemming it in neatly to a confined area where beyond a line of trees serves as a subtle windbreak. This area is most often used for drilling or practice for the guards but also serves as home for festivals, tournements, and another other gathering that might require the space for a large number of the local residents. A well-trodden path winds around the side of the wall and moves towards the coastline. Another heads southwest, toward Kingsgrove. (With a temporary Gallows erected.)|
|Friday the 13th, 289|
With the oncoming evening a good many people are gathering upon the Green to witness the judgment of the captured bandits. Most in attendance are smallfolk coming from the Roost and the surrounding areas. Several of the knights who serve Four Eagles Tower are present to keep the peace and to show the strength of their Lord. Nobility who have an interest in viewing the sentencing are also present, directed to the tournament stands rather than having to mingle with the smallfolk on the Green. A gallows has been erected, the simple platform fitted with two trap doors and a heavy beam over top. Incase anyone was wondering if there would be a bloody beheading for executions, the presence of two hangman's nooses already hung may be disappointing.
Justin is on the platform with another two men, seeing to the final preparations. He double checks the ropes even though they were tested earlier. The other two men see to the filling of two large leather sacks with heavy stones while two guards flank the steps up. One of each sack of stones is already in place on the trapdoors with additional lengths of rope. In the crowd or along the edges some locals pawn their wares to see if they can sell to those who gather, though there seems to be an absense of food on offer.
In the stands where the nobles sit, Devra's arranged herself near the bottom end—front row seating with the main clutch of Terrick natives. On the rise just behind her, Nilna, her oft put-upon handmaiden, and the dour sept usually in their company whisper quietly to each other. The young Lady Paege sits with hands neatly folded in her lap, eyes sharply on her cousin attending the gallows.
Among those locals who are attending the proceedings, a group of nobles from Stonebridge have also found there way here. Riordan Nayland, the Lord Regent, is among them. "Ser Charlton, my ladies, if you'll excuse me for a moment, I need to give greetings to the Sheriff but briefly. I will find my seat with you in a moment." He looks to Hugh, directing his squire wordlessly to accompany his cousin, Jocelyn, for the moment, and then strides off purposefully to the platform. "Ser Justin," he greets the Terrick lordling, inclining his head to him.
Amidst the crowds, Katrin arrives with Martyn, leaning over to speak quietly in his ear. "If you have duties you must attend to, I will be alright on my own," she says quietly. "I am sure that I can find /someone/ amidst this chaos to sit with." She frowns, looking around uneasily. "There are so many people…"
Hugh takes a breath and turns to Jocelyn, extending his arm to her. "Where would you like to sit, My Lady?" The young man, except for some road dust, looks well put together today and is even wearing new boots. He looks up to the stands. "Do you /want/ a good view?"
To the Lord Regent's words, the Lady Serica offers a polite bow of her head and an encouraging smile that seems to forgive his abscence with ease. Though her arm remains linked neatly with her husband's own and she content enough, with the crowds to remain in the comfort of his shadow. Their setting will be upon his direction. Though when she sparts Ser Martyn in the crowd, her head dips and a smile of acknowledgement offered to both he and the woman who is with him.
Martyn looks to the platform at the front for a few moments, frowning a little bit as he sees that it is indeed a gallow that's been erected. "Lucky bastards…" he mutters under his breath, before he turns to Katrin. "I don't have any duties to attend to," he replies, a bit quietly. "So why don't you find us somewhere to sit, hmm?" Looking around at the other people present for a few moments. Offering a bit of a nod in return as he sees Serica's nod.
Tia is … well, she's around, but she's by no means looking for a front row seat. Her guard and maid are with her, but she's looking more than a little bit as if she might just turn and leave.
Brennart walks up into the Green and allows himself to be directed over to the tourney stands he moves to find himself a seat that has a view but might be near somebody he'd actually want to talk to but knowing his luck with things he'll be stuck next to the worst conversationalist.
The ropes quite secure, the trapdoors already tested, Justin walks over to check the filling of the leather sacks. Each of them must have at least 100 lbs of stone or more. He nods and motions for them to be tied closed and the ropes affixed to, "Make certain the ropes are secure to the bags." Dressed in a summer weight black surcoat over dark shirt and pants, Justin looks somber enough for the part. His silver spurs chime softly with his boot steps as he walks a few steps aside to survey the crowd gathering, his hands clasped lightly behind his back. He gives a nod to one of the two men at the foot of the steps, "Tell them to escort out the prisoners." The guard nods and relays the message to send a rider.
By the steps, Justin focuses his attention to the man who calls his name. He inclines his head politely back to the Nayland knight, "Lord Regent, welcome." Not far from where Justin stands is a lever with a chock in place to lock it. Likely it is to release the trap doors when the time is right.
Lady Luci is here - the macabre Terrick girl wouldn't miss an execution. She's surrounded by most of her regular staff, including her obnoxious number of Terrick-sworn guards, seated in the stands. They all look grim.
Though he's up in the stands, Inigo Vance is lingering at the back where he isn't blocking anyone's view since he insists on standing during the 'sentencing' (executions). Both his clothing and his expression is more somber than usual, though he's still impeccably dressed even if it's not so colorful or decorated. He is apparently trying to appear respectful and serious.
Ser Harold greeted Riordan's departure with a companionable dip of his head, before making for the stands and securing them some decent enough seats. His page and his squire followed in tow, both of gentle birth, too. Once he'd found his seat, he sat there in silence, watching the proceedings with a look of some interest, both what was happening on the center stage, and the people's reaction to it.
The Lady Danae Tordane lingers at the Lady Lucienne's side, arms linked with the dark haired maiden as they stand amid the crowd. Her sworn stand near at guard as well, expressions appropriate to such an event.
Accompanied by her usually cheerful Septa Anathe, though both Nedra and her Septa are very solemn at this moment, Nedra is weaving her way through the crowd toward the stands. She spots several family members of course, nodding a greeting to those she recognizes - and who might recognize her - as she searches for room to sit from a vantage point that won't be to entirely close to the actual platform itself. In her reluctance to take a front row seat Nedra spots Lord Brennart and climbs the stands toward where he is seated, "Lord Brennart, may we join you?" is asked quietly, gesturing to herself and Anathe.
The Haigh girl is grim-faced as she nods to Martyn and starts to look for a seat mostly out of the way. As she looks up towards the gallows, her expression darkens even more on seeing Riordan. Katrin takes a few steps in his direction without even realizing it at first and she shakes her head. "I believe I see your Lady cousin, Ser Martyn," she says, dipping her head in Nedra's direction. "Perhaps we might join her?"
Hardwicke is among those knights of the Roost seeing to the guarding of the execution, lest the masses becoming — unruly. He strides down the line in front of the scaffold, perhaps even more grim-faced than usual as he keeps his attention on the crowd.
Riordan's eyes survey the construction, and he doesn't bother to disguise the unsatisfied look that is produced by whatever he sees. "Thank you," he murmurs to Justin, eyes finding the other man's once more. Continuing to speak in a low voice, he asks, "I suppose it would be a waste of breath for me to try and urge you away from being so merciful with the men who risked our kinswomen so?" Gesturing to the gallows in general.
Devra spares a glance at the fellow noblefolk sitting nearer to her, then a glance to those still filling in the surrounding risers. If she catches their eye, she nods a greeting to what few people she's had the dubious pleasure of conversing with; Brennart, Martyn, Tiaryn, perhaps a few others. Whether or not those previous interactions encourage a returned acknowledgement is another matter all together.
Martyn pauses for a few moments as he sees Katrin take those few steps in Riordan's direction, blinking a few times, before he nods a little bit. "If you don't mind spending this moment in the company of two Mallisters, of course." That part is offered a bit lightly, before he starts leading the way over in Nedra's direction, offering her a bit of a nod. "Cousin. Mind if we join you?"
Tiaryn does incline her head, acknowledging Devra's nod, but she does not move anywhere near the other woman, prefering to stay in her own space. She's been somewhat scarce of late. Quiet.
The young Ser Nevan Erenford weaves his way through the crowds to eventually locate his brother Brennart, wherever he may be. He gives a quick grin to his kin as he nears, reaching to pat him fondly on the back as he nears. "There you are, Brother! Did I miss anything?" he greets cheerfully, peering up at the gallows.
Ser Harold craned his neck slightly, listening to something his Lady Wife was softly whispering. At first his only response was a guttural grunt, and a slight shake of his had. After a moment, though, he leaned in closer to offer her a bit more wordy reply.
Kittridge and his sister Rosanna are present to witness the executions, along with several attendants and guards in Groves colors. They seem to be keeping to themselves at the moment, watching from a vantage near the other nobles.
"Two Mallisters that I actually like," Katrin replies with a faint smile and follows Martyn along. She shakes her head and gives Nedra a smile. "Lady Nedra, a pleasure. I have not seen you since Seagard."
The crowd of commoners on the green is itself a restless sea. Some people greet each other. Some gossip. Some who probably helped to bulls the scaffold now offer their comments on the structure with gestures and pointing toward various features. A young man with long auburn hair bound by a simple thong at his neck, is talking to a quite ancient woman near the edge of the throng. After bowing respectfully to the old crone, Nathaniel shoulders his way toward the edge of the crowd, where he stands, with his arms crossed over his chest, a deep, solemn expression, and with steely gray eyes watching the grim proceedings.
He's not here on professional terms, as yet, but Faulon's mucking it down here with the main force of commoners. He's somewhere near the front of that mass. Considering the event, the bard's exchanged his usually loud clothing for more muted shades of green and brown; he's still sporting those ostentatiously embroidered boots, though. And no doubt, somewhere under that voluminous tawny cloak lurks an instrument of some kind. Just in case.
A path through the gathered crowed clears as the pair of men, gaunt and pale from lack of a sunlight are marched towards the gallows. Their manacled hands and feet rattle with each set. Jeers and cries ring out from the thick press of crowd: for the prisoners, for the nobility, cries for blood, and cries for mercy lifting into the air in a cavalcade of voices. Still, Jensen and Rolf march slowly. The latter has already begun his blubbering, chin quivering and coated with scraggly hairs that are thin as a boy's, while the former just looks solemn.
Brennart nods to Lady Nedra and stands as her and her entourage takes a seat and then waves to his brother, "Ser Nevan, good to see that you could make it. May I introduce you to Lady Nedra Mallister?" He motions towards Nedra, "Lady Nedra this is my brother Lord Nevan Erenford."
Justin's face bears no particular expression as he listens to Riordan, "I am newly appointed Sheriff, Ser. It is my duty to see our criminals are caught and brought for sentencing, but it is my Lord Father's place to decide how they are to be punished, if he so wishes. He is not a man who favours more bloodshed than strictly needful to see justice served." Justin turns his head to look towards the tower to see if the prisoners are visible yet that he ordered brought out.
Nedra turns slightly, one hand going out to rest on her Septa's arm - mindful of her balance - as she catches Martyn's voice and then Lady Katrin's, a warm smile forming on her face as she nods while saying: "By all means, please do." She glances back at Brennart, "If Lord Brennart doesn't mind more company of course," said before she turns back to Katrin and returns Katrin's smile with her own, "It's a pleasure to see you as well, Lady Katrin. I would wish it were on a more joyous occasion, of course, but alas," and she gives a small sigh and a wary glance at the platform and back toward Brennart even as Anathe tugs on Nedra's elbow this time and draws her to the first empty seat (of which there are several) near Brenn.
At Seri Harold's side, the Lady looks young enough to be his daughter and not his wife, a knight near to middling years, a girl flush in youth. But her head dips towards his words regardless, her expression somber; her eyes flickering between disappointment and resolution.
Nedra pauses mid-motion and offers a graceful curtsy - again ever mindful of her balance on the steps that lead to the seats in the tourney stands, "A pleasure to meet you, Lord Nevan," is said quite formally and then she takes her seat.
The march of the prisoners is slow, but they are easily visible as the crowd parts for their passage. Jensen lifts his gaze from the ground in front of him, meeting Justin's eyes as they move closer to the gallows. They will be climbing its steps in a few minutes.
The unsatisfied look on Ser Riordan's face grows briefly more intense, but he does not seem terribly surprised by Justin's words. "Very well," he says, simply. "I shall leave you to your duty then, Ser. I hope we may speak afterward, perhaps over drinks. I've yet to congratulate you on your knighthood." However, for once the thought of a celebration does not bring an easy smile to Riordan's features, and he'll just dip his head to Justin, and remove himself back to the stands. His steps slow, however, as the prisoners approach, and his jaw sets a little firmer as he inspects them.
"Good that there are some of us like that," Martyn offers to Katrin, before he nods at Nedra's words. Turning to look over at Nevan as well for a few moments, but he doesn't introduce himself yet. Moving for one of those seats near Nedra, he gestures for Katrin to take the seat next to him. Eyes going to the prisoners rather carefully, narrowing a little bit as he watches them. Shaking his head a little bit, for a few moments.
Faulon moves as the crowd around him does. The men have yet to reach this far, yet, but the hivemind of anticipation puts the people in motion ahead of time. His voice doesn't rise with theirs, though. Arms cross, a sigh heaves, and the mastersinger watches the two prisoners make that last, long walk towards fate.
At her Cousins request, Jocelyn and Hugh step towards the stands, following behind Ser Harold and Lady Serica. The seats that are choosen give Jocelyn a good view as to what will happen during the sentencing. She sits first and settles next to Serica, allowing Hugh to save room her Riordan when he finally joins them. Lacking a smile due to the surroundings, a grim Jocelyn turns her head one way and then the other, seeing who has come and who is arriving.
Katrin sits next to Martyn in general silence, shaking her head. "I agree that it would have been far better to meet under better circumstances, Lady Nedra," she replies. "Perhaps we might be able to meet for tea some day soon and speak only of happy things." She watches grimly as the men are brought forward. "They should look more fierce for the crimes they committed," she comments quietly in the Mallister knight's ear. "It does not seem right that they do not look that way."
Tia simply finds a seat and sits, making sure she is out of the way. She does have a fiew of the prisoners as they walk in, and she finds herself watching them, her own expression darkening, and hr fingers tightening into fists at her side.
"My Lady," Nevan speaks in greeting to Nedra, offering her a polite bow even if she does not take much notice of his brother's introduction of him. He leans in near Brennart, gesturing to the 'stage' as it were. "What's all this arguing going on?" he queries of Brennart.
Justin adds for Riordan's benefit, "Most of them have already been put to the sword, Lord Regent. Let there be blood enough in that, to those who did not yield themselves." Ah, there they are, Rolf and Jensen. Justin meets Jensen's eyes easily, his own gaze cool. Jensen's three young children are not made to be present to have to view this event. Justin refocuses his attention on Riordan, stepping out of the way to give the guards room to bring up the two prisoners onto the platform, "Certainly I can be available if you wish to speak with me later, Lord Regent. Thank you." He returns Riordan's half bow with one of his own before Justin gestures to the prisoners, "Bring them up and we shall begin."
Nilna leans over to tap her lady's shoulder, which seems to shake Devra out of a locked stare on the shackled men over there. Something's murmured quietly to the young Paege girl's ear. Whatever it is prompts a louder response, though the jeers of the people muffle it to an extent, "Don't be ridiculous, we're showing /support/. I'm /hardly/ the only lady of my age in attendance, anyway." The handmaiden whispers something else, looking quite urgent, and it prompts another acidic response: "If you /do/, I'll tell her you've been sneaking moments with a certain someone." Well, true or not, that shuts the girl up and leaves Devra to continue directing her baleful gaze at the former bandits' progress.
Hardwicke bristles distinctly as Riordan approaches the scaffold and instructs the sherrif on how to do his job, but, as befitting his place, he offers no argument beyond the glare that, after all, is certainly not uncommon for him. His gaze slides next to the prisoners as they begin their march out.
Rosanna stands with her brother, for once not particularly full of smiles or laughs. Her expression is intent as she watches the two men on their journey to the scaffold.
Brennart shrugs, "Couple of bandits that appear to be walking to their deaths. I'm just here to socialize and then watch a couple of bandits swing."
Silence met Justin's words to Riordan, and now the Lord Regent makes his way through the crowd, not lingering overlong to look at the prisoners. When he returns to the stands and his companions, Ser Riordan wordlessly greets Harold and Serica with a polite dip of his head, then will take his seat beside Jocelyn. After a moment, his hand finds his Lady Cousin's, offering a discreet but meaningful squeeze.
"The firece ones were the ones we… The ones that were taken down on that day," Martyn offers quietly to Katrin. "After all, one of them just ran away." He goes quiet again now, studying the other noblefolk present for a few moments, then back to the front.
"I didn't think you were so violent, Brother," retorts Nevan in a teasing tone of voice, snickering gently afterward as he folds his arms and draws his eyes up to Justin as he begins the proceedings. "Banditry's been preying in greater numbers since the Rebellion, this should help discourage the profession."
Ser Harold returned Riordan's courtesy with like measure. "Have you ever seen a hanging before, young squire?" He asked after a moment of Hugh, flicking a brief glance in the lad's direction before he was once more looking at the event playing out.
Nedra offers a glimpse of a smile toward Lord Nevan, trying to come up with something that qualifies as small talk while trying - equally - not to let her nerves get the better of her, "Your younger brother, Lord Brennart? Well, it would appear that between yourself, your cousin and your brother here, the Erenford family is well represented," she offers with a nod to both Erenford's before turning slightly toward Katrin. "Tea would be lovely, especially when this is over, I find it settles the nerves rather nicely," is said in a murmur to Lady Katrin as she folds her hands together in her lap, fingers twisting together briefly as her attention is drawn toward the bandits again and again. The look on her face is a mix of pity at the fate that awaits these men and quiet resolve to witness what ever unfolds.
As the prisoners are brought out, Jocelyn's eyes find them, watching each step and movement they are told to make. Transfixed to the point of not even seeing that Riordan has finally joined them or that she has starts to shake slightly. The warm hand set on her chilled hand is the only thing that seems to break this trans. Her head turns up to look at her cousin and offers just a ghost of a smile, before turns back towards the platform.
"I'm surprised they're not being sent to the wall," Kittridge comments aside to Rosanna, voice kept fairly low, "I guess Ser Jerold was swayed since his own daughter was taken."
Serica's head inclined in the Lord Regent's direction; a measured smile offered that seemed at odds to the event. The girl had seen hangings before, though she didn't approve of the method. Though the glance puts her worried gaze on Jocelyn for a moment and a frown as soon replaced her smile. Strange though it might be however, her eyes don't track the prisoners but rather, move across the crowd itself, whenever her attention itself shifts beyond their immedient group.
Katrin's expression shadows as she listens to Martyn's words and nods. "What will they do with them once they are dead?" she asks. "Bury them? Throw them out to sea? Place their heads on spikes to warn off any others who might try a similar thing?" She frowns, eyes narrowing slightly. "It all seems so pointless."
Brennart nods slightly, "I'm not a violent man for the most part but there's some things that dont' sit well with me and banditry is one of them. And yes m'lady the Erenfords are well represented out here although I'll be heading home in the morning."
Lucienne clings to Danae, cocooned by their retainers. As the condemned are brought forward, she scowls deeply, and murmurs some foreboding words to her friend: "This will be ill done, in front of the smallfolk." She glances aside to Lady Devra and the commotion with her handmaid.
"They don't deserve the mercy," Rosanna sniffs to her brother, something fierce in her dark eyes. "They deserve a hanging."
Hugh makes room for Riordan as he returns to teh stand. He had been taking in the exchange between his Knight and Justin, only occasionally distracted by the appearance of the bard and the presense of so many different faces. But he remains quiet, occasionally picking at a loose thread on his trousers, and he listens and watches.
The prisoners are brought to ascend the steps of the scaffold, each step heavy as they rise to face their crime. Finally, they stand before Justin and before their nooses. Their presence on the gallowed platform brings a hush to the peasant portions of the crowd, tension hanging on each bated breath.
Martyn shakes his head a little bit as he hears that question. There's a bit of a sigh before he replies. "I don't know. And it's a waste, that's true. But they brought it on themselves, even though one could understand the desperation with how things were." He sighs once more, looking forward again.
Tiaryn's fisted hands are starting to white knuckle, as she stays where she is, simply staring as she watches. Her guard and maid look perhaps a little bit askance, but there's nothing obviously wrong with Tia, so there's nothing they can do.
"Just make sure you and Marvish don't kill eachother when you take your proposal to Father. Being born this late means I shouldn't have had /any/ chance at being the heir, it would be incredibly inconvenient," sarcastically complains Nevan, a slight smirk at the corner of his lips further belying his meaning as he nods over to Nedra. "Quite a few of us, and we're the friendly ones. So! Are you what's dragged my brother away from home? Perhaps Otto and I were being a little too cruel about how fast you were before," further teases Nevan of his brother, giving him a light elbow and a wide grin that shows how much he's enjoying it.
Riordan remains a silent presence beside Jocelyn, his hand kept in hers, occassionally giving it another squeeze if he sees her unfocused again. And, otherwise, he contents himself to gazing at the platform, the unsatisfied look of before still held in his features as he watches the prisoners walk to their sentancing.
Once the two prisoners are brought up, Justin motions where he wants them made to stand that they face the crowd and can be clearly seen. When ready, the Sheriff gives a nod to a man to sound a horn to draw everyone's attention and quiet the crowd. The long, loud note wails to carry well over the Green and when it dims to quiet, Justin raises his baritone to carry, "We have gathered here to sentence these two men, Jensen Arcres and Rolf Creek, for the following crimes; riding with known bandits and participation in banditry, abduction, theft, intent to sell stolen goods, endangerment both to the lives and honor of noblewomen, Septas and handmaidens of various Houses of the Cape, horse theft, and the slaughtering and eating of a Noblewoman's horse, resisting arrest, and in Jensen's case fleeing the law." Justin reads this off of a parchment which he then rolls up, "It is the decision of House Terrick that the evidence proves these men guilty of these crimes. Therefore, both Jensen Arcres and Rolf Creek are here by sentenced to hang by the neck until dead, their bodies to be displayed to discourage future banditry." He has more to say, but Justin stops there for this to be absorbed.
Hugh looks back over to Harold, his question finally sinking in. He nods, "Yes, I have. Not many. But a couple." He gives a shrug. "They deserve it, don't they?" Then he falls quiet to listen.
As the prisoners shuffle closer, those around the already quiet Faulon grow deathly silent. The feeling in this crowd is that of a string pulled tight enough to break. The bard melts back from the front and picks a slow and careful path through the people to a spot somewhere near that line drawn between peasant masses and seated nobles. It's a noticable move for any rare eyes not fixed on the scaffolding as very few others are bothering to shift from the spots they've claimed here on the grounds. Faulon's not watching the gallows, though, like the rest are. He's watching the people around him down here, and, up there in the stands.
Murmurs ripple through the ocean of commoners, and most of them turn, as if in unison, toward the aisle when the ill-fated bandits shuffle in their chains toward the scaffold. Many people sway from one side to the other, straining for a glimpse of the criminals. Some men hoist young children on shoulders for a better view of the captives. Jeers and taunts begin to swell from the mostly unwashed masses. Others are eerily quiet, glaring at the two thieves. Nathaniel bite shis bottom lip and he clenches his fists.
Nedra nods, her hands continuing to quietly twist together in her lap, "I understand that what they did was something that cannot be countenanced," she says in a quiet voice to Brennart in return, "and from what my cousin Muirenn tells me, they most certainly deserve what ever fate awaits them. I just cannot help wonder what madness, what sheer desperation, drove them to the end that brought them here," Nedra murmurs quietly. Nevan's words make Nedra's eyes widen, and quite noticeably widen in fact, and she turns a look toward Brennart that must be comical in it's confusion. "I?" is said, followed by a gulp of what is almost laughter, "certainly not," she says, her lips twitching with the attempt to fight off the smile that is threatening to form, despite the proceedings. Her expression is a mingled glimpse of baffled amusement that turns somber at the sentence that is handed down before her face drains entirely of color and she falls silent.
Brennart just shakes his head, "I'd left home to try and attend the tourney at Seagard and got sidetracked… But no Lady Nedra has been a boon to my sanity… And.." Then the laughter from Nedra, "I guess that answers that question brother." He just grins and shakes his head, "Looks like I'm now the brunt of multiple jokes although at least my falcon didn't attack a guard in the face."
Of the three in their company, only Devra's watching the proceedings with a direct gaze. A grimace sets a firm line to her mouth and the furrow of her brow does nothing to prevent future wrinklys, so deeply drawn into sharp angles as they are. She sits still enough to be a statue: rigid, unyielding as the person next to her shifts and accidently pushes against her arm. Behind her, Nilna and the septa distract themselves by discussing something else entirely. The irregular seam on the shoulder of that one lady's gown, perhaps. Anything but what's actually going on.
"They deserve their fates, but are we the ones that should judge them? We who are so very biased by our own hatreds and pains?" Katrin replies to Nedra, shaking her head. "Is there ever any sense in wasting a life?" Her gaze looks down before she forces it up to watch with a grim determination.
A slow deep breath is taken in and then just as slowly exhaled. Jocelyn listens carefully to Justins words as she watches the men standing there. The murmurs of of the others around her seem to go unnoticed. But as if she can feel Serica's eyes on her, her other hand is extended and reaches to grasp her friends hand. Skin cool to the touch with ramble trembles that rumble through her body.
It is not to Ser Harold and Squire Hugh that Seri has her ears attuned, but rather, the sound of other voices, those both above them in the stands and those below. The whisper of retainers and women, men alike, all filtering with broken words and glimpses of intriging sentences. There are two, however, there upon the green with the rest upon whom her eyes both alight and then, linger. One who's teeth sink sharp into his lip and another…another who seems to be looking up as well. And it's the latter at whom she winks. Whatever else danced in those eyes is quickly gone, however, with Jocelyn's simple reach, the movement attracting her attention and so Serica takes her friends hand, as a worried mother might and gives a gentle squeeze of reassurance in an attempt to help calm her nerves.
Tia makes one little sound, the first out of all that's happened. She is watching with big blue eyes, recognizing Jensen and Rolf. She can't say they didn't do it, but well, even so, this is somewhat payback. No need for any further night terrors, though she has a feeling they're not going to vanish so easily.
As their sentence is laid to air, that pathetic, slobbering quiver to Rolf's lowerlip seems to melt as the man's knees give out. The guard behind him scruffs him by the collar, jerking him to a standing position. "Please, m'Lord. I was good. Wasn't I? Gave you all the answers, even 'elped you with finding this one," he begs, pointing at Jensen without even a hint of shame.
Martyn frowns a bit as he listens now. "That's a question I've asked myself very many times lately, Lady Katrin," he offers to the part about if there ever is any sense in wasting a life. "What scares me the most is that I have no idea if there's a good answer to the question." That answer given rather quietly now. Frowning as he looks to Rolf now. "Should have defenestrated him," he mutters, meant for only himself, although it's probably a bit louder than he intended.
"As expected. The kingdoms will be better with them gone, and I have no doubt they'd be jeering for the same thing of anyone who'd kidnapped their wives. Murderers and rapists should face the consequences," answers Nevan confidently once the verdict is handed down, not seeming to mind the mood whiplash of him suddenly grinning at the result of his teasing. "That's just what she wants you to think, Brother! Women are confounding beings, you should know this," Nevan assures further.
Anais has been here all along, silent and impassive as she watches. There's no fear, no guilt, nothing but silent, cold judgement.
Standing beside the blubbering Rolf on the gallows platform, Jensen, gaunt and pale, appears to be doing his best to maintain his composure. When Justin reads out the sentence, though, his expression crumples, and he sways briefly on his feet, but remains upright. "Please, Ser, my lord," he says when Justin pauses, voice quavering, but loud enough to carry to the crowd, "Please, have mercy, Ser! I was just out to make a bit of a coin to feed my family, I never wanted to take those ladies! You have to believe me, Ser, please! I never would've hurt 'em! I fought with your brothers, ser! Both wars! Please have mercy, let me take the black and serve at the Wall. Let me go to the Wall ser, please!" He swallows hard, trembling, and looks at Justin imploringly.
"While I am glad to have been a boon to your sanity, Lord Brennart, I dare say I am not fascinating enough to have kept you from returning home," Nedra murmurs, glancing from Brennart to his brother Nevan and back, a small shake of her head accompanying her words. "Lord Brennart and your cousin Otto were kind enough to help with some of the building and repairs that are taking place here at the Roost," she explains before Nevan's words make her color faintly and glance away toward Katrin before reaching out one hand and rests is lightly on Katrin's elbow, "If not us, then who?" she asks in a quiet voice. "I do not defend nor argue this action, as it is not my wrong to right, but if it must happen, then the least we can all do is bear witness." She falls abruptly silent as one of the men sentenced begins to beg for his life.
Kittridge doesn't argue with his sister, just setting a comforting hand on her arm and watching in silence. Assuming she's not still so angry with him that it outweighs the whole execution of her kidnappers thing, even.
"Aye, they deserve it," Ser Harold told Hugh, and there was not an ounce of doubt in his voice when he prounced it such. As he listened to the bandits plead, not an ounce of sympathy showed on his weathered features, his mouth a thin hard line that yielded no sign it even knew what mercy was. And yet his right hand crossed to the other side unassumingly, the rough texture of his palm settling down onto the top of the sunburnished hand his young wife had been keeping upon his supporting arm. No squeeze, not so much a hint of a caress or a stroke of those old and murdering pads. It just lay there, warm and steady, while his eyes were upon the condemned.
There is a pause and Justin's watching the crowd. He ignores the begging of the prisoners aside from a brief, distasteful glance. There is no placement of the nooses around each man's neck, not yet. If there is any outcry for or against the sentence just passed, Justin waits for it to die down before he raises his voice again.
"My Lord father, Ser Jerold Terrick and myself, are not unaware of the difficulties our people face, smallfolk and nobility alike. We know their children hunger, as we feel the pinch ourselves of the Ironborn's siege upon our lands. While we work to rebuild and to seek loans and food shipments through negotiation with other Houses, it is my father's wish that our people know that we are aware of your plight that might urge the desperate to banditry. Think again, for bandits will be put to death in our lands and will not go unpunished."
Justin looks both men over, then looks to the crowd, "Jensen has those who have come forward to plead to his good character previous to the this event, as well as three small children. Rolf is young and aided us with information without need of forcing it from him on how to locate Jensen in hiding, and to recover some of the ladies' stolen horses. Both men gave themselves up. Therefore it is my father's wish that Jensen be given a choice - hang now, or take the Black. It is my decision to offer the same to Rolf." Lowering his voice slightly, Justin adds, "Know you that taking the Black is a serious oath, punishable by death and dishonor should you break it. If you choose it, you will be bound in service upon the Wall for the rest of your lives, be they long or short, never to return here. As the Seven are your witness, which do you choose before Gods and men?"
Serica looks moderately surprised at the presence of her husband's hand against her own, the look of it rising up so that she can peer at the profile of his face. Does he think her one of those that needs comforting? A hint of insult flickered in her gaze, for she sat watching yet; her gaze drifting from Jocelyn and back to the crowd, mildly ruffled that he thinks her such a wilting flower as that. Before she's a quiet word at his ear.
At Justin's offer, Anais' jaw sets slightly, the only indication that she was neither warned about this beforehand, nor agrees with the option. Otherwise, she remains as cold and implacable as the Wall they may choose to spend the rest of their lives guarding.
Further into the throng it's not as easy to hear every word said from the main event. Back along this track, though, are a few murmurs and bold comments among the commoners. Faulon overhears one man say to his bearded companion, "S'pity they won't send 'em to the Wall. Even murderers get th'wall." To which the companion shrugs and says, "Yeah, sometimes. Y'never know with these types." The bard keeps moving, slowly, with his gaze shifting carefully. Does he notice a wink from the crowd of nobles? Whether or not it's meant for him is hard to tell, but a knowing smirk curves one corner of his mouth. Lord Justin's offer sounds out over the crowds and those around him gasp collectively. The smirk on Faulon's face fades.
The common rabble remains silent, and many strain to hear every word of the sentence. They are still silent afterward, until Jensen pleas for the wall. A general murmur rolls through the crowd and people begin to discuss and debate this idea. In a few places, the debates rise to the beginnings of fights, with one commoner pushing another. Someone near Nathaniel speaks to him and he shakes his head vigorously, looking quite perplexed. He waves toward the scaffold, and then shakes his head again. The others around him form a tight circle as if they are talking among themselves, but the auburn-haired youth frowns and moves away from them and toward the front of the crowd.
"Anyone who does not thirst for blood in vengeance," Katrin replies to Nedra. As Justin speaks again, she looks back at the gallows and breathes out a soft sigh. "Ser Justin and Lord Jerold are wise and just," she says quietly. "Every night my sister was gone was a torment and a hell beyond any that I have ever experienced, but death should not come to any man like that," she says, gesturing to the two men. "At least the Wall gives them the chance to pay back the debt they owe the ladies, and keeps them far from any who they might harm."
Riordan glances over at Hugh, and seems about to murmur something to him, when his eyes are drawn back to the platform at Justin's pronouncement. True and utter shock takes over, his eyes widening, his mouth working wordlessly. So far, he seems capable of doing little other then staring with his mouth slightly open, though a faint red flush begins to creep over his neck. Finally, he closes his mouth and clenches his jaw, the sound of his teeth finally clicking shut perhaps a bit loud.
Conflicted cries rise from the crowd as the Sheriff speaks his judgement; some more bloodthirsty battle to be heard above the growing din of support for Jensen and Rolf. "We're all hungry!" One father yelps, thrusting his fist into the air whilst the skinny child upon his shoulder does the same. "He has children," a mother cries. "Think of the children!" Without food to spare for throwing, men being to spit and stomp, the growing noise threatening to muffle the bandits' responses.
Rosanna frowns. "What is he doing?" she says insistently to Kittridge as Justin offers the men the chance to take the Black.
"The Wall, hm? Interesting. Probably the better option - I don't imagine they'll last very long anyway, may as well do some good. Keeping them alive and not having their bodies to display would significantly lessen the persuasive impact," mulls over Nevan aloud, stroking his light beard as he ponders the situation. "The question becomes whether they're worth more as symbols or fodder - I would argue the former." He glances around cautiously as things start to get…rowdy. "…hm. I don't like the looks of this, Brother."
Hugh pulls back from Riordan a little, seeing his reaction to the choice given the prisoners. The cry of a commoner touches his ears and he nods and says quietly in agreement. "Most people in desperate situations still don't stoop to stealing and kidnapping, right?"
Is that relief that finally relaxes Devra's tense posture? Her shoulders resume their usual slouch as her cousin's provisional judgement is made. "Oh, they'll take the Black, I'm sure of it," she mentions back to her companions with all the airs of someone quite used to scenes like these. "Who wouldn't?" But the crowd of peasants shouting this and that earn a supsicious, pointed look.
Hardwicke 's gaze is intent and quelling on the crowd, not yet moving to quiet them, but providing a rather wall-like presence to try and warn against violence.
Brennart hmmms, "That's a better offer and a good way to work off the debt of their crimes. It would impact the persuasive impact but it'll still show that they take a hard stance against banditry. Death or the wall."
Martyn pauses for a few moments at the announcement. "Now that's interesting. Good choice to at least give them the offer, though." He goes quiet again for now, looking rather thoughtful at the moment. "Might be an unpopular choice in many's eyes, though."
Looming there at the back of the stands still, Inigo watches the two men being sentenced on the platform, with their blubbering and pleading. His mouth is pressed in a flat line, watching the proceedings without any observable signs of mercy, but also without any visible vengeance darkening his features. His brows do raise a touch, his jaw clenching briefly as Justin offers the men the option of taking the black and going to the wall, but there's little indication of his opinion.
Tia isn't really aware of the crowd, but her guard is, and in fact, as the talk of the wall starts, Jacob reaches forward to touch Tia on the shoulder. She startles obviously, and then gives him a lost look. He whispers to her something, and she simply gets to her feet, making her way out, heading towards the coastline, maid and guard in tow.
"Sending them to the Wall," Kittridge replies to his sister. He hesitates a moment before adding, "I'm not surprised Lord Jerold made the offer; Ser Jaremy should've been executed for treason, but he got to take the black."
Justin has a rather closed expression as he awaits the answer of each man. His mouth thinned, he half watches the crowd as they await the choices to be made. Quick and clean, or slow and cold.
"Please m'lord!" Jensen doesn't stop as Justin begins to speak again, "Please, Ser! I served your family all my life, I done nothing but serve and I had to feed the little ones somehow! We was only supposed to steal some jewelry or something! All that pretty picnic food!" It WAS a delicious spread. As Justin gets to talking he listens, chewing on a chapped, ragged lip, and then slumping in relief at the offer. He's silent for a moment, collecting himself, and then nods. "I'll go to the Wall, ser," he says, since it's not like it's a tough choice, "And serve the Night's Watch."
"But they're supposed to hang," Rosanna insists to her brother.
"Their deaths here and now or later, at the wall - or on the way to the wall - will not help their families gain so much as a morsel more of food," Nedra says quietly, once again curling her hands together in her lap as she listens - and watches more intently - the way the crowd is reacting.
Tears stream unbidden down Rolf's face, his mouth quivering as he struggles to keep silent whilst Ser Justin speaks. He hasn't the presence to look abashed as he is offered the small reprieve, snot collecting on his upper lip as he falls to his knees again. "M-m-milord," he blubbers, hands joined in grateful (manacled) prayer as the guard yanks him back to his feet with a clanking of chains. "The Wall, m-m-milord, a-a-aye!"
Hugh puts his feet on the seat in front of him in the stands, and he steals a glance at Riordan to see who he is taking this.
When the offer is laid upon to the two prisoners, Jocelyn stares unblinkingly, breath held, waiting for them to make their choice. Knowing what they'll pick before the words are even spoken. But the words had to be spoken nonetheless. When the words are spoken and the two prisoners choose, the hands that were being held by both Riordan and Serica loosen, losing her grip on them. Eye slowly draw away from the platform and look downward. Taking a single breath that is released in a sigh. A whispered voice says, "They live." a pause. "They won." After a moment longer, she stands, "There is nothing left to see." moving to leave the stands.
The people are pressed together so much now, Faulon can't shift a path through them without a modicum of force. It's a wise decision to stay put, especially now that the prisoners both submit to the Wall which gives the crowd a chance to take this in with mixed reactions. The expression on the singer's face darkens angrily, only briefly, and when that moment passes he finds composure somewhere just short of neutrality.
Riordan's expression seems more and more to be waxing to anger, at least at first. But, as awareness of the rest of the situation sinks in, his eyes move from the supposed gallows, to the crowd. "Get ready to escort the ladies from the stands if it comes to it," he finally murmurs to Hugh. The anger is still there, simmering below the surface, but right now he seems more concerned with gauging the anger coming from the smallfolk. His free hand silently goes to his sword, reassuring himself as to its presence, but for now remains otherwise still, and gives Jocelyn's hand a squeeze. or tries to, before she frees herself and moves to stand. Riordan simply nods, moving to rise himself, then glances to Harold, gesturing with his eyes to see if he'll be joining them in their departure.
"Instead they'll freeze to death or get killed by Wildlings, thousands of miles from anything they've ever known," Kittridge replies to Rosanna, "Hanging's ugly, but the Wall's not much better."
"It's what they want," Rosanna argues, glaring at the weeping prisoners. "Or they wouldn't pick it."
He neither looks pleased nor disappointed in their choices. Justin raises his voice, "The prisoners choose…" he waits a pause to make certain people are quieting to try and hear, "To take the Black and go to the Wall, to serve out the length of their lives in the Night's Watch." Justin takes a slow breath before he adds somewhat lower, "We really do not have the men to spare to escort you on the long journey north, but now I must send them. If it had not been for my father's wishes, I would likely have hung you. Be grateful, and know that I have a brother who serves in the Night's Watch. It is your last chance to redeem yourselves." Before the crowd might get too unruly, Justin motions for the guards to take the prisoners back to the dungeon until their escort can be made ready.
Dmitry is doing a pretty good neutral face from his vantage point. Pretty good. He's done better ones.
"They can at least guard the Wall and protect the Seven Kingdoms from what lurks to the north," Katrin points out quietly to Nedra. "Make them work to better and protect the lives they could have extinguished in their desperation, Lady Nedra. "Who knows what exists up there. And if nothing else, it will be a far crueler existence than the quick mercy of death." Her eyes are cold. She is certainly not sympathizing with the bandits.
Hugh scrambles to take part in the Nayland exodus, trying to get to Jocelyn's other side without tripping down the stands.
Kittridge shrugs at Rosanna, and says, "They'd probably pick being slowly nibbled to death by squirrels if it meant they died later instead of today. And it's not up to us."
Making his way through the crowd is a bearded commoner, watching the proceedings with everyone else, interested. Leeam tilts his his head beneath his hood, surprised by the talk of the wall. He sniffs, wipes his dirty hands across his nose, and shakes his head. He leans over to nearest person, which happens to be Katrin, and he mumbles, "There's too much honor in the wall. They deserve less." If she looks his way, he offers her a little smile, perhaps kind of creepy from such a dusty peasant.
Anais' hand tightens in the fabric of her skirt, a muscle in her jaw twitching once more. As much as she'd like to speak, now is not the time. Or at least that's what she's telling herself. Repeatedly.
With the climatic moment passed, Devra has time to reflect momentarily on the entire event. What was relief edges into a slightly annoyed exasperation. All that tension and energy wasted on preparing herself to witness a hanging; all for naught. "/Well/," she starts, turning back to her handmaiden and septa, "That really was rather disappointing. All that bother and building and coming /all/ the way out here, only so we could watch a few men cry like babies?" She sniffs primly, "It doesn't seem like much in the way of justice has been done."
Of all the ladies present who were taken by the two condemned, Lucienne probably looks the least dissatisfied with the proceedings. She lifts her chin primly, hanging the mildest look of approval upon her lord brother on the platform, and them dips a curt nod, sharing a murmured exchange of words with Danae at her side.
"It may not give their families more food, but at least it's two mouths less to feed," Martyn offers a bit quietly. Nodding a bit at Katrin's words, "Hanging would have been too good for them, anyway." Glancing around for a few moments, he notices Leeam, but doesn't pay much attention to the man, at least not at the moment. Shaking his head a little bit as he watches the crowds, in case things start to go wrong now.
"I'm sure that's true," Nedra quietly replies to Katrin, "but who helps take care of their families now?" she wonders. "Who will help them bring in the harvest or repair their homes or any of the work that the men of the family do that needs be done? True, death would take them - equally - from their families." She then shakes her head, "In the absence of a clear right or wrong decision, I feel unqualified to see or know the right path here," this said in a tone of voice that is very carefully kept in a murmur.
Ser Harold snorted at something Serica had whispered to him. "We'll see," was his response. Then he felt Jocelyn rise beside his wife, causing a frown to touch his stern counterance. He met Riordan's gaze for a moment, then offered a small nod in response. "My Lady. It seems our companions desire to leave, and the matter here seems done in any event," he suggested to his wife, his tall frame lifting from its seat with a smooth motion. A jerk of his head caught the attentions of his squire and page, both of whom had lingered at the very edge of noble's section. They started to move in to meet their master halfway.
"Lady Devra," Anais speaks softly, and likely more because of her inability to say anything about what's going on on the gallows than anything Devra /actually/ said. "I understand it may be difficult, but perhaps you could consider not disapproving of something /out loud/ for a few minutes. If you can manage it. Please."
Brennart shrugs, "They've chosen death. Either way thats the end result but in taking the black they can at least redeem their wrongs by guarding this kingdom from the enemies out of the north."
There is a smile of consideration that is passed towards the Lord Regent at his mention of consideration, and another nod given to her husband, though her lips had twitched a half grin at his expression. Whatever she thinks of what's been given to the prisoners, it's not showing on her face. Instead, her gaze are on the crowd again, seeking out one face in particular, as if from a distance things might be conveyed without word. Such as the fact that she'd like one. Her back is to Harold as she moves with the rest of their little grouping at any rate, so it's not an expression he'll see at least.
At Lucienne's whispered words, Danae nods her head then lifts her chin to look to the raised platform that was meant to be a gallows. She nods in quiet approval as well, giving her friend's arm a squeeze. Yes.
Whatever location was the original target in Faulon's mid-sentence crawl through the crowd, it's a good position to be in as the nobles begin to depart in their assigned clusters. He doesn't seem to have any intent behind this advantageous postion amongst the commoners. That it affords a good view of who is who is fine enough.
Katrin startles as all of a sudden a dusty peasant is talking to her. She stares at the man for perhaps a beat too long but she shakes her head, wrinkling her nose and leaning away, and back to her conversation with Nedra. "This is why I believe that none of us could make such a decision," she replies. "But death is the ultimate waste of a life. Whether it be hard labor in servitude or taking the black, there will always be a better way of paying." She clears her throat. "I should return and give the news to Ilaria," she adds abruptly. "It was best that she did not come."
Rosanna is just short of stomping her foot, but she manages to restrain herself. "It's not fair," she whines.
Justin mutters under his breath, "If they make it to the wall alive, I'll be surprised." There's certainly enough anger in /some/ of the crowd, but there is also relief with many as well. Rather than continue standing up here where everyone can stare at him, Justin motions to the others and they start down off of the platform as well. "Now would be a good time for a bloody distraction to entertain those who game for a show." As if he had one to give them.
Nevan chuckles at Justin's words, glancing over to Nedra and Brennart. "Maybe the Lord Sheriff knows how to juggle? That would distract them well, I'd wager," he asides.
Martyn sighs a little bit as he listens to the others now. "Death is also the only certain thing in life," he offers a bit quietly. He pauses a bit at Katrin's words, "Do you want me to escort you over there?" he offers, after a few moments of pause.
Leeam watches as the crowd begins to break up, and he sighs, shaking his head once more. "Just stupid." He grumbles, and then turns, making his way out as many others in the crowd also take their leave.
Feeling the movement around her rather than seeing it, Jocelyn continues her way out of the stands, weaving and making her way through people. She wanted out of this area. Frown set on her face, only glancing back to see if the others are behind her or not. Either way she will be leaving.
The crowd press together as one, turning their ears and their eyes to Justin's pronouncement in what amounts to a rather loud hush. An overwhelming number of them seem satisfied with the outcome, though there are enough dissenters to create a bit of a patchy ruckus as the guards clear a path to escort the prisoners back to the dungeons. The cry goes up from the very back of those gathered: "Vigilant and Just! Vigilant and JUST!"
Nedra expression conveys a measure of relief that the crowd - at large - is not going to be witness to a public execution, and while it still plagues her with doubts she simply nods to Katrin, this time keeping her thoughts quietly to herself. Lord Nevan's words make her smile faintly, "I dare say the Lord Sheriff was not selected for his post based on his jocular activities or dexterity in juggling," she replies, subtly shaking her head.
Every so slowly, Lady Devra turns her head like it's on a crank to find from what direction came Lady Anais's reproach. She blinks. Her septa-handmaiden pair lean back as far as they can to distance themselves from the Paege daughter's reaction. Indeed, the young woman's jaw clenches in a set line. She does her level best, however, to grit out a moderated response: "I ask your pardon. I suppose I was encouraged to speak my mind by all those around us doing much the same."
A gentle smile is offered to Martyn and she shakes her head, "No, it is not a long walk back and my Septa, maid and guard await me down below. I will speak with you again soon, Ser Martyn," Katrin promises. She rises and carefully begins to make her way down, trying to slide through the crowds back in the direction of the town.
Riordan keeps to Jocelyn's side where possible, and his hand never strays too far from his sword - though for now, he refrains from touching it, lest he provoke any of the volatile elements that linger amongst the crowd. He keeps his eyes on the crowd, never lingering too long in one place for now as he and the others make their retreat.
All right, back on real earth. Even if it means he's down with the crowd where violence might break out, Justin sees to his job, following the two prisoners being escorted back towards the tower. He says a quiet, encouraging word to the men who are guarding and escorting, then glances up as the mood of the crowd seems to shift. And they begin to call out - his House's motto. Justin might for an instant look surprised.
Martyn nods a little bit as he hears that. "I'll be looking forward to it," he offers, with a bit of a quiet smile, watching Katrin leave. Eyes following her for as long as he can see her, he sighs a bit before looking back to the others nearby now. Not saying much more for the moment.
Hugh doesn't know what to say to Jocelyn. He remains quiet, but covers her other side, trying to mirror Riordan's actions. He is tall enough to see well through the crowd at least.
"I wasn't aware you needed encouragement, Lady Devra," Anais replies with a brief, forced smile before she moves to stand as people start calling out. Her guard behind her, she steps down to move toward the noisiest part of the crowd, chin high and shoulders square.
Seeing that both Hugh and Riordan were beside her, Jocelyn turns back forward. Placing her hands in front of her to ward off any that might get pushed back towards her in the way and movement of the crowd. Squeezing by where needed in order to leave the Green.
Ser Otto Erenford rides onto the green, keeping a good distance from the crowd while on his large black and white warhorse. Even at the distance he was close enough. Executions were definitely not his favorite thing, and he was fortunate that it wasn't his duty to perform such things. Facing a man on the battlefield was one thing, assaulting a bound man was an entirely different thing.
"Such a lofty motto, far loftier than us. 'With the Current'. That makes it sound like we get pushed around, or just go where everyone else goes. That's hardly majestic. Which crotchety grandfather of ours thought that up?" asks Nevan aloud with a sigh and a shrug, grinning over at Nedra afterward. "Well! Show's over. I suppose if you really wanted to do something for the Terricks, you could volunteer to take the place of the men they're losing. Or supplement their men with yours until theirs return."
Martyn looks a bit thoughtful now. Offering a bit of a nod in Nevan's direction. "I don't think we've been introduced?" he offers, before he adds, "Ser Martyn Mallister. A pleasure to meet you."
In the wake of Anais's departure, Devra is left with little choice but to open and close her mouth with impotent protest. Whatever smile her handmaiden might harbor behind a hand is disguised by a cough when the dark-haired lady turns to take it out on them, instead. "/Well/? What are you two waiting for, a bell tolling? Let's /go/."
After Justin announces the decisions and the crowds begin to disburse, Nathaniel unfolds his from across his chest and they drop to his sides. He nods once, and sighs heavily while he watches the crowd slowly disbursing. Many of the observers will go to the inn, some to celebrate and some to debate. He threads his way to an unobtrusive spot where he can wait quietly for the green to clear before he decides on his own course.
Nedra looks briefly taken aback by Lord Nevan's words, "I should not think that ladies were welcome as members of the Watch," she says quietly before turning slightly toward Martyn and making the introductions, "cousin, this is Lord Nevan Erenford, younger brother of Lord Brennart." A glance back at Nevan before adding, "Perhaps I will, at that. In fact," she rises to her feet, mindful of those seated nearest her and smooths her dress with both hands, "I believe I'll go see what I can determine as to the fate that is set to befall the families of these men."
There was no rush in Ser Harold's movements as he followed after Jocelyn, Riordan and Hugh, his wife besides him and his own little entourage following close by. His gaze had a way of roaving over their surroundings, taking in the crowd, both nobles and commoners, and if the latter came too close to his or his wife's person, it grew steely. At this points his fingertips would lightly touch the hilt of his well worn sword, and that tended to persuade people that their personal space was not to be violated.
Anais walks directly to one of the noisier men at the edge of the group, reaching out to tap a finger to his shoulder. "Lewys, isn't Sara waiting for you at home with the baby?" she asks with a small smile, starting to make similar motions through the group. It seems through all the rebuilding, she's made significant progress in knowing the minute details of the villager's lives. Or at least broad enough strokes to remind them that there are more important things than getting rowdy.
When the prisoner escort reaches the edge of the crowd and is free to depart back towards the tower, Justin stops. He turns to wait for a House retainer who brings him his horse. The grey is saddled and the Terrick moves to mount, though he does not ride away but lingers to keep an eye on things as others depart.
Kittridge shrugs at Rosanna, and as things finish up and break down, he gives his sister's elbow a tug. "Come on," he says, "We should go."
Hugh shakes his head and finally adds a comment, albeit not particularly pithy, "It was a long way to come just to see that," he sighs. "I don't get it."
As they pass by the edge of one of the noisier pockets, and Riordan's gaze passes over the men to gauge their mood, his steps slow a bit when he sees a familiar blonde woman authoritatively calming people down. Despite the anger still held coiled in him, he manages a small smile in Anais' direction. It does not linger too long, however, as the rest of the group continue on, and then so does he. Glancing to Hugh, he simply shakes his head. "Focus on getting the ladies to the Inn, for now, Hugh." He clearly seems to share some of the lad's sentiment, but for now, he's staying focused. Mostly.
The crowd does indeed start to disperse as directed, those approached by Lady Anais flushing with embarrassment at her not-so-subtle direction. The guards handle most of it, breaking up a few arguments and urging on a few stragglers as needed, until there are only a scant few left dawdling behind to gawp peacefully at the unused gallows.
Brennart hmmms, "You know that's not a terrible idea brother. Of course I'd have to run it past father or Marvish first but I don't see why they'd object toooo much." He chuckles before he moves to stand, "But lets retire back to the Inn I'm sure Ser Otto has plenty of alcohol to drink."
"Yes, Ser," says Hugh, and he continues to shield Jocelyn from the crowds, 'encouraging' folks to get out of the way. But Riordan said Ladies. Ladies? Oh, yes. Serica. He looks over and sees that she seems well taken care of.
"Ah, that's right. I saw you in the courtyard, I'm - " Nevan pauses as Nedra takes care of the introductions, bowing his head to her in thanks before looking back to Martyn and offering a hand in greeting, "…I'm him. Do you suppose that's viable, Ser Martyn? My brother wishes our house to extend some aide to the Terricks - do you think they'd accept an offer of men to supplement their escorts until their return or - perhaps - even a knight or two?"
At Brennart's words, Nevan gives a nod. "I considered making a big scene about it, too. 'Lord Sheriff! I, Ser Nevan Erenford, would volunteer to take the place of your missing men until their return!'. It would've been quite the thing for the ladies to titter about, no doubt. Unfortunately I imagine Marvish would tear out my spine," laments the youngest Erenford.
Anais lets out a slow breath as the trouble disperses, pausing near one of the guards. "Please see that those are taken down quickly," she requests, softening it with the faintest smile before turning to look around at those who remain, searching for any further signs of impending chaos.
Otto keeps his distance, sitting upon his horse. He watches the crowd begin to dispurse. For the largest of the three Erenfords present, it was well past the time for a drink. He turns the black horse with the white mane, tail, and feet towards the road and begins a slow trot towards the inn.
You paged Nevan with 'But very heroic.'
Ser Harold moved there with the rest; ensuring that such distance that was needed was kept, before his head dipped once to his wife offering a quiet word before he straightened; carefully released her arm and stepped closer to the Lord Regent for a moment, "Business calls," came his quiet rumble, "If you'd be so kind as to see my wife escorted," and with that, the elder knight seemed to blend away into the crowd.
Lady Serica, meanwhile, was left staring rather flatly at the sudden absence by her side, filled quick enough with the presence of a handmaid that she loathed; and rocked up on her tiptoes to walk for a moment, hoping to better see.
Martyn nods a lirtle bit as the introductions are taken care of, shaking the offered hand. "I'm not sure. You should probably talk with Ser Justin there," gesturing towards the man, before he sighs a bit. "I have a few things I need to take care of, I fear. So if you all will excuse me." And off he goes, down from the stands, and heading over in the direction of the coastline, curiously enough.
<FS3> Justin rolls Alertness: Good Success.
Nedra brushes one hand against Martyn's arm as she passes, "I'll see you soon, cousin," she murmurs and offers a polite nod first to Brenn then his brother Nevan before she and Anathe step down out of the stands in Martyn's wake. It would appear, however, that Nedra has a specific agenda and she slides through the crowd at a swift pace - not really pausing to do more than nod again at those she recognizes, but having spotted Lord Justin she hastens in his direction, sending one of her guards on ahead to request that he tarry a moment so that Nedra may speak with him.
Riordan raises an eyebrow briefly at Harold's words, but gives an easy nod of his course. "Of course, Ser Harold, we will see your lady wife is safely settled at the Inn with us," he tells the Charlton knight. He glances over at the Lady Serica, and does his best to fall back so he can keep an eye on both his cousin and the Charlton nee Frey lady. He is not, however, nearly as talkative or easy going as he was on the ride over — rather, he seems more inclined to silence right now, as their small group makes their way down the lane, to the inn.
Between Terrick Lords' decisions of mercy, the strong arm of the guards, and choice words from Lady Anais, the crowd settles as it disperses. The air of tension rolling away with them, although there are utterences of disagreement with the choice — among the peasants at least — they are the minority.
Faulon isn't exactly loitering. The crowd around him moves rather slowly, and thus his own steps are rather lingering. He's just on the edge of a knot of peasants awaiting the passage of several more important members of the immediate society. There's a little conversation to be made with the man directly next to him; it seems from the way they point and nod, they talk about the finer details of the boots the bard wears. Even so, Faulon makes a careful practice of glancing around while talking.
As it happens, Justin now mounted can more easily see those who are moving to dispurse, or in this case, a woman who gets left behind alone and hesitates. He gently turns his horse and starts to make his way back to the woman who by her elegant if simple attire, somehow does not look to be smallfolk. Justin pauses his horse and leans slightly in the saddle to better see Serica, "Excuse me, do you require escort? I can send for someone if you wish." The Terrick Sheriff glances aside when one of Lady Nedra's guards come up to speak a word to himself.
There's plenty of people between Devra and Anais now, but even so, she pitches her voice low as she continues to mutter indistinct displeasures about the whole ordeal. There's a guard awaiting her appearance at his side now that they've made it past the main arrangement of seating. Despite what her mother's been warning her about for years, it's unlikely she'll be in danger of rape here.
In the midst of her searching, Anais catches sight of Faulon, pausing to chew at her lower lip a moment before approaching the bard. "Master bard?" she says as she draws closer, offering a friendly smile. "Might you have a moment to entertain the possibility of a favor?"
Riordan looks up in surprise as Justin rides over, quirking an eyebrow at the man. "She is well escorted, Ser Justin, I assure you," he tells the man, a bit dryly. Since that is what he's been doing since Serica's husband asked him to.
Oh my goodness, well, there is the Lord Regent, yes and there is a..oh, the Sherrif it seems, who's appearance earns a somewhat grateful smile from the lady with the way his horse creates a nice distance between them and those who'd press too close. A smile is afforded the Lord Regent for his answer and that same smile is in turn, offered to the Sherrif, before she, still balancing on tiptoe offers a very quiet murmur.
Serica whispers: I shall say yes, if you but give me some sign that you'd like an excuse to be away from the crowd after that showing my Lord, one that wouldn't lessen the greatness of your stature by stepping away.
Nedra and Anathe arrive a few moments later, fast on the heels of the captain of her guard who'd reached Lord Justin in advance of their arrival. Nedra pauses for a moment, glad of all the years she's spent keeping up with those with much longer legs than hers, and offers a quick shade of a curtsy before saying, "Lord Justin, if I may have a moment of your time?" is asked before she casts a quick glance toward her Septa, the middle-aged woman fanning the side of her face with a kerchief before stepping settling into place at Nedra's elbow.
Hugh is not all that far from Serica and has noticed, with a bit of a double take, like Riord an, than Harold has left. Justin's approach and the interaction between him and Riordan is noted with a touch of curiosity. He offers his arm to Jocelyn, "Lady Cousin?"
Most of the nobles, and enough of the commoners, have now left. So Nathaniel follows toward the road. He pauses for a moment when he sees Justin, Riordan, and Serica ahead of him. He hesitates dutifully for a moment in case the Terrick calls.
Faulon's not entirely surprised to be approached by one of those higher-ups milling about, but the fact that it's Lady Anais registers a small amount of amusement in his dark eyes. He manages a respectful bow even though those still milling about bump into him and each other, "You may of course, at any time, my Lady Terrick. A favor for you," he stands properly and flashes a large grin, "Is an honor for me."
Justin inclines his head politely to both woman and Riordan, "My apology, I only saw a woman separated in the crowd for a moment. Very good, Lord Regent." He looks about to ease his horse aside and see that everyone else is departing in fine order when Serica comes close and stands on her tip toes to say something low to himself. Justin lifts a brow at the woman whom he doesn't know in the least, "It is my duty to see everyone departs safely… though it would appear you have due escort already, and I am both mistaken, and requested here." He looks to the new women who arrive, "Certainly, Lady Nedra."
Having been only looking forward and not back, Jocelyn pressed on into the crowd, doing as she wanted, to get out of this group of people and to the Inn. Soon enough, she finds herself a bit lost in the crowd, looking around, frowning and in her short stature somewhat disappears.
Anais' lips quirk slightly at Faulon's words with an answering amusement. "You are kind to say so," she says with a grateful dip of her chin. "I imagine you'll be performing tonight in town, perhaps? I hope you'll forgive me," she adds, smile deepening to a dimple at one corner of her lips. "I'm not terribly familiar with the habits of /actual/ bards, as opposed to bards from stories. Few enough made their way to the Banefort."
Brennart chuckles, "I could see the gossip from that one brother but I'll bring it up when I get home maybe make it a short trip and return as soon as possible and hopefully with some assistance." He shrugs and points towards the inn, "You want to stay and watch the insanity continue or shall we head back to the inn?"
The flash of, had that been sympathy? Doesn't leave the Serica's eyes entirely, but she settles, drawing back with a faint curtsy into the Lord Regent's keeping. Though by now she'd lost sight of her mark, as well, bloody hell. Still, the smile that finds itself 'pon her lips is one that's twisted with wry amusement as she steps away, in time to see her handmaid shooing Harold's page along at a decent pace from his distraction some distance away. Her head tips of course towards Lord Riordan.
Nedra is mindful of the crowd that is jostling it's way away from the stands and the viewing platform as she tilts her head back to look up into Lord Justin's face when she speaks. "My lord," is begun in a polite voice, pitched just enough to carry over the general noise of the crowd, "I would wonder as to the fate of the families of the men who will be heading north to the wall. If such a thing may be spoken of, of course."
"My apologies, my Lady Serica, it is just…" Riordan begins to say, but more words are forestalled as he realizes Jocelyn has gone missing. "Hugh, please see Lady Serica safely to the Inn," he says, a little tersely, gesturing as well to the Stonebridge guardsman that have finally caught up. Serica thusly well looked after, Riordan and another guard move off into the crowd to go find his wayward cousin.
Faulon trains his eyes on the Lady Anais, though a glance momentarily sneaks past her to check the throng of moving people carefully. "Ah, yes, m'lady. Events such as things often need the soothing tones of a dulcet voice to soften hearts and minds. Or encourage them, in whatever direction is best," he hints with a leading lilt to his voice and a knowing smile on his lips.
Hugh looks at Jocelyn as she plows ahead. Startled at her speed, he calls, "Lady Cousin! Wait! You'll…" But he doesn't finish as he trips over a commoner child in the crowd. He doesn't go down, but he makes a very nice piroette. "Get out of the way!" he gripes, but Jocelyn has vanished. He looks up and over to Riodan, nods and accompanies the lady he /can/ find. "Please take my arm, My Lady!"
Ah. There aren't nearly as many people here now, most of them having left the Green already or doing so now. Justin dismounts, stepping down from his grey-white gelding to better speak with the Mallister. It is not right that a member of his liege lord's house must crane her neck to look up at him. "Lady Nedra, the young man, Rolf, has no family. By his own words. Jensen's wife seems to be deceased. All three of his children are quite young and were taken to the Sept for care. Other members of his family are being sought. If none come forward, they will be placed in homes."
"Just that I am but a leaf, to be buffeted about by the stream, passing from rock to bramble, only to tangle and be free again," Serica finishes on a rather mournful if somewhat playful enough note, that may or may not have been heard as she was passed from one hand to the next. And that was a kind analogy, compared to the one in her head. "Oh good heavens, yes, Squire Hugh, I should be lost forever without someone to hang onto me." Of course, Jocelyn /was/ lost so that might not have been the best joke. "Very well," her arm loops in his, "Do please lead us to safety."
Justin adds quietly, "There are a number of families in the Roost who lost their children to the Ironborn, who have offered to take orphans."
"To the inn!" agrees Nevan to Brennart, patting his brother on the back and making his way through the dwindling crowds back toward the Inn.
Nedra is grateful for Justin's courtesy, glad to not need to tilt her head so or - to be more accurate - have to stay back a pace in order to be able to speak to him comfortably. She follows his words with a thoughtful expression upon her face before giving a small but measured nod. "I See. I would volunteer to take their eldest daughter, if they have such, as a ladies maid in training. The young maid sent by my mother has been quite struck with homesickness and yearns to return to her home and family."
Hugh sighs and nods. Physical custody of the escorted prisoner….errr lady…accomplished. He smiles at her. "A leaf?" Then his brow furrows, "No, don't go missing. I'm probably in trouble now anyway. Come to the inn."
The corners of Anais' eyes crinkle with a sheepish smile. "Yes. That," she admits, laughing softly. "Subtle is not my best gift. But I was hoping you might be willing to…steer things toward keeping people a little calmer, and happier. I would be very grateful for it, though I wish I could offer more than that." She seems to mean the last, looking wistfully at the bard. "When we first came to the Riverlands, I thought there were bards and minstrels everywhere."
Justin gives a nod to Nedra's request, "If no family claims her, you may put forth the question to the child herself. If family does come for her, likely they would be pleased if you wished to ask the same of them on her behalf, Lady Nedra."
"Oh shush, you are not to be blamed for the sometimes foolish decisions made by women, who wander off without escort," Serica murmurs, offering a comforting pat to Hugh's hand there at her arm. A meaningful look however, is tossed in the bard's direction as they pass, following in the same direction as most of the others.
"I shall do so," Nedra replies with a nod of her own. "If you would, kindly, keep me appraised of the arrangements made for this child, I would be most grateful. It pains me to think that these children - any of these children so affected by the discord that has plagued this land - would be furthered harmed by the decisions made today. I know it isn't much, but I'm glad to help if I may."
The grey gelding chews on his bit, one back foot cocked. Justin holds the reins idly, "It is very generous of you, Lady Nedra. I will let the Septon know to seek you. Word of what was done here today will spread and if there is family to hear, they will."
The smile on Faulon's face gentles. He even laughs, albeit with a twist of wryness that's not all together amusing. "Indeed, that is a regrettable shame for you, m'lady. However, lucky enough for me that I find so few competitors in the area. It's a heavy burden upon my laden shoulders," the amusement returns to his crooked smile, "But I shall endeavor to make up for all that you have lacked in the way of music in the countryside. I can play four instruments at once, so there you have it—four bards in one."
"Can you really?" The prospect of someone playing more than one instrument at once seems much more interesting to Anais than the whole process of keeping people from getting too upset. "I'll have to see that some time." But for all she'd like to linger, she glances over her shoulder toward the keep. "But for now, I think Jacsen will want to hear how this has gone, so I should probably head back to Four Eagles. Perhaps you might join us for a meal some time? If you're not on your way soon?"
"Thank you, Lord Justin," Nedra replies, another small curtsy is given to accompany her words, "I appreciate your assistance in this endeavor. Should no family members step forward nor open hearts and homes found in the community, please to let me know and I will speak with my Lord father and Lady mother, perhaps there's something further they could do in a broader effort." She straightens slightly, smiles at the grey gelding that is patiently chewing on the bit, "I had best take my leave, my lord, before your noble steed gets to comfortable."
Justin smiles, then reaches a hand over to lightly poke his horse in the ribs with a single finger. The grey suddenly lifts and turns his head as if to say 'hey, what was that?' Justin looks amused, "I have my ways of making him pay attention when wanted. Skim a hand under his belly and he'll lift his back and square up his feet pretty quickly." Tension of the previous duties easing, Justin strokes the horse's shoulder, then moves to step back up into the saddle. His ribs don't seem to be giving him too much trouble now, "I will see what we can do about the children. I will not see them go hungry, unwanted. We lost too many already." He inclines his head politely to the Mallister woman, then turns his horse to return to the tower himself.
Nedra relieved smile conveys the sentiment without having to voice it, and her amused laugh at the antics of Justin's horse has her shaking her head before she turns as well and makes her way away from the green.