|Summary:||Baneforts commune with the storm, and are joined by Dania.|
|Rocky Cove — Terrick's Roost|
|To the west of the path leading down, the beach extends below a cliff face and takes a turn inland where the terrain above has collapsed down to be claimed by the pounding waters below. It has formed a small, almost private cove with jagged rocks in the water at the cliffs while the ocean has relaimed most of those from the beach. Due to the elevation of the cliffs, the top of the tower to the north is just barely visible despite the relatively short distance.|
|May 1, 289|
Clouds gather on the horizon, dark at the edges, with the coming sunset setting a glow of pink and orange behind them. The wind smells of the rain to come, especially to Anais, who's always had a sense for these things. A sense, and a rather inappropriate fondness for them, at that. It's not as widely known here yet, her tendency to go out when it looks like rain, not with more important things to think about, but those closer to her will know where she can be found. At the first shift in the wind, she packed a saddlebag, changed into an older dress, and rode out to the beach with Kincaid and Nina. Now she's sitting on one of the rocks that just out into the water - one she certainly had to climb a bit to reach - with her hair loose and blowing in the wind.
Tor comes picking his way down the cliff path, his horse remaining at the top to watch over him. The man makes his way down rather nimbly, the uncertainess of the path not a factor for him, apparently. A slight smirk crosses his face as he reaches the bottom and spots his sister. A look around and then he is making for her. "I wouldn't think this was the proper setting for a dress, sister." He calls this out as he reaches the edge of the shore, close to her jutting perch.
"It's not," Anais answers without looking back to the source of the voice, smile curving despite her eyes being closed. "But I certainly wasn't going to get out of the tower in pants without people asking questions. I've another on my saddle," she adds, only then shifting to turn toward him. "I'll change before I go back. Coming to join me, or have you been riding that mutt of yours so long you forgot how to climb?"
Tor snickers at this and hops up to the stone, skipping from perch to perch until he finally lands next to her. He sinks down to a crouch next to the woman. "I can do the oar dance, I can certainly make it out here. Hells, staying on the back of that piss-stain of a horse keeps me working on my balance well enough." He smirks, then looks out to the sea. "How're tidings?"
"Oh, you know," Anais sighs, rolling her eyes. "Grim." Despite her words, she unfolds her legs just enough to kick at him, testing her balance playfully. "Gedeon Tordane accepted a challenge for what was rightfully his and died in the process. Apparently not before marrying Danae /Westerling/, though. Who already claims she's pregnant with his child. Which means no one is going to just move on to something practical. Honestly, can you see Lord Tywin letting this sort of nonsense go on between his vassals? Or even Father?"
"No, the smart move would be to take action immediatly without this horse shit about duels and such," Tor replies with a snort. "Though I suppose the boy did have the King's backing, or something along those lines." He swats at her foot. "It must put them in a bit of a weakened position, though. Constantly having to fend off these claims must be a distraction. Lucky for them there are no real issues at hand."
"We don't have the manpower," Anais wrinkles her nose. "Or the resources right now. The keep itself was secure, but with the watchtowers unmanned, and the coast so peaceful for so long, there wasn't enough warning to get people or supplies to the keep. I barely made it inside the walls, and I was mounted and took to the keep as soon as there was any sign." As she was always told to do, of course. Likely the only reason no one raised a bigger stink about her excursions as a child. "You're right, though. Ideally we'd either take action or let it go and take action somewhere else. There's just so much other…stuff wrapped up in this." She looks over to her brother as the first drops of rain start to fall, spattering dark spots across the stone. "What about you? Ready to run home yet?"
The man hunches a bit as the rain starts to patter on the rocks and the surface of the waves. "I'm ready to get back to work and make some money," Tor replies after a moment of silence. He lets the words hang in the air, melding with the sound of the rain. "Though things seem interesting enough here to keep me entertained, if not enriched." He smirks and breaks his gaze at the sea to look at her. "And you're still settling in nicely?"
"I don't really have a choice, do I?" Anais draws a knee up to her chest, resting her chin on it and turning her face up to the rain. "I got married, Tor. I mean, not just married even. I stuck around and married Jacsen when Jaremy left and I might have backed out. I chose and I chose again. And I stayed, and I fought for it." She pauses then, a faint frown furrowing her brow as she looks back to her brother. "Is Papa unhappy about it?"
"Couldn't tell you," Tor replies to her with a shrug. "I hadn't been home for at least eight moons before the Ironborn struck. Obviously I haven't been home since. I'm sure he is happy enough. He sent you here for a reason. I don't think he'd have wanted you to leave." The man shifts his gaze back to the rain dappled water. "What happened with Jaremy, anyway?"
Anais sighs to that question, holding out a hand to catch a few stray drops. "What I should have expected might happen," she answers. "Jaremy…He had more honor and ideas than he had sense. And he was in love with Isolde Tordane. Things happened in Stonebridge, and he decided to run away from his home, from me, and gather up peasants to rebel against Nayland oppression," she drawls, dry. "That ended poorly for him. He's on the Wall now."
"At least its not his head on a wall. That's what I'd have done if I were the Naylands." Tor reaches a gloved hand up to tug his cowl over his head, the salt stained hood immediatly offering the man shelter from the rain. He shifts a little bit, coming out of his crouch to fully sit there on the rock. "They seem like a sensible bunch. Those I have met anyway. I'm surprised that's not the path they took, ultimately."
"The Naylands? I believe Lady Evangeline made a plea to Ser Rygar," Anais muses, a faint smile touching one corner of her lips when he pulls up his hood. "And whatever the Terricks may say about Ser Rygar, he has his own sort of honor." She brushes her thumb over her lips, pensive. "The whore said they wanted me dead before the wedding. It seemed possible, but if they really wanted that, they chose their instrument poorly. Anyhow, when we got here the heir had just married Isolde Tordane, and none of them had any real prospects. Funny how things change in a few months, isn't it?"
"Well, a good turn of events for Jeremy, anyway," Tor replies to the woman, the hints of a smirk visable under the shadow of his hood. He shifts his gaze to Anais, a brow arching in those shadows as he regards her silently for a moment or two. Then he grunts. "Someone wanted you dead?" His tone is carries a sharp edge with these words.
Anais lifts a hand, waving it from side to side. "There was a whore. Amelia Millen. She claimed that the Naylands asked her to kill me. She killed the man who supposedly carried the order, though, and was hung for it in her turn, so no one really knows the truth of it." Catching the edge to his words, she looks over with a faint smile, unperturbed as the rain starts to fall a little more heavily, pattering down on the stones. "It would have made sense, in a way. Can you imagine Papa making an alliance of any sort with the Terricks if I'd turned up dead?"
"Of course it makes sense," Tor replies to her, his tone still hard. "Thats why it bothers me. My dear little sister is too precious to me," he smirks a little with these words, but that harshness is still in his tone. "That is a special sort of stupid to send a whore to kill you. An especially unreliable one at that, it would seem. Someone buggered that up nicely, hm?" He shakes his head. "The Terricks investigated as they were able, I assume?"
Anais lifts one shoulder. "It met a dead end with Amelia. For what it's worth, I don't think /she/ was lying. Though I suspect if the Naylands /did/ want me dead they'd have chosen someone more capable to do it. And now it's a moot point. They'd do better to make a match with Saffron than to see me dead. Besides," she continues, cheeks flushing slightly as she catches her lower lip between her teeth, "Why kill me when I'm sitting here not providing heirs all on my own?"
Tor smirks at this, reaching out a gloved hand to pat at her knee. "I'm sure you'll be popping them out like puppies soon enough," he replies to her, his eyes looking amused beneath the cowl. "Mother didn't have any issues; I'm surprised you're not working on a litter as we speak." The smirk widens. "Or are you?"
Anais rolls her eyes at that smirk. "Not that I know of. And I'd go into detail on that, but I know how much you like to hear about women things." She leans over to shove at his shoulder, then settles back once more. "That's what I keep telling people, though. Mother had eight of us, and no problems. There's no reason I shouldn't do the same. It just…takes time, is all."
"Might not be you, anyway. These Terricks seem rather ineffectual all around," Tor observes with a snort and a shake of his head. He and Anais are perched on an outjutting rock, surrounded almost completely by water. They had to do some clambering to get out there, for certain. The sky is looking angry; dark clouds rolling in across the water and blotting out the weak sun. A light rain falls, now, splattering lightly on water surface and rock alike. Tor has his cowl pulled up against the rain.
"Tor!" Anais exclaims with a sudden laugh, striking out to punch his arm. "You're awful." And then she settles back with a grin. "That's why you're my favorite, though." A guard and a handmaid wait patiently on shore, along with the horses. All of them have an air of resigned familiarity when it comes to the whole staying out in the rain thing. One might even say they're at peace with it.
"Awfully observant? Yes. Awfully honest? Perhaps. Awfully pleasant?" Tor pauses to consider this one before he nods crisply. "Of course." He snickers. The man glances across the water once more, then looks back to the shore. A little smirk at the sight of Anais' attendants then he is looking back to the woman. "Have you found me a ship yet? Unsold by your husband, I hope," he adds this last part with a shake of his head.
The hunt, takes a tall woman (Dania) with blue eyes and brown hair out into the rain. She has no cloak on but she is dressed in a wool gown and an apron dress. Her long hair has been bound up and is held in place by a bronze comb. Her strides are long and true and she moves like someone who is used to walking everywhere. She pauses when she gets to the shore line. That is when she catches sight of the horses and she raises her hand in greeting while she calls. "Hail! Lovely weather is it not?" The woman's voice is rich and warm and colored with cheerful undertones.
"The Mallisters sent one, but it already has a captain. I haven't had a chance to ask if he brought a spare," Anais replies cheerfully to her brother, twisting at the call from the shore. "Beautiful!" she agrees, smile flashing as she reaches up to pull back her hair, windblown already. Not so much because she's bothered by it or her appearance, but because…Well. There's an image to maintain, isn't there?
"Unsurprising," Tor drawls dryly, another shake of his head given with his words. At the greeting from the shore he turns, leaving his hood in place against the rain and wind for the moment. "Aye, and a lovely day to be waylaid by bandits, traveling alone like." He pushes to his feet and starts plucking his way across the rocks back toward the shore. He leaves Anais where she is, apparently confident in her ability to return to land unaided.
"Great minds think alike!" Her woman's voice remains cheery. "Do you know a Keelin Dorsey? If you do know him tell him that Dania is looking for him." She then those blue eyes of hers come to rest on the man who is now heading over the rocks. "I will be fine, I am not that pretty nor that well dressed, they can have my comb if they are that hard up." The woman's voice rings out. "For that matter I would say you both are more interesting than me."
"Aren't we just, though?" Anais pushes up when Torsten does, dancing her way across the wet rocks with light steps. Lady of the Roost or no, she wears a simple, plain (old) gown, the sort of thing that one wouldn't mind ruining. "I believe there's a Ser Keelin who returned with the men from the war. If I remember correctly, he may be a part of the group looking into said bandit issue. I assume you're Dania?" she asks as she draws closer, smile quirking.
"They're welcome to try and take whatever they would like from me," Tor calls back to the woman, the smirk becoming more evident on his face if she is close enough to see it under the hood. "I'm sure it would be more entertainment than I've had in a bloody long time." He eyes Dania and then gives a shake of his head. "What's in it for us if we do share your little message with him?" He eyes the woman with marked curiosity now that he is close enough to do so.
"I am she, it is a pleasure. And you are?" Dania's tone gets brighter and her smile broader. She is no longer walking towards them, as they are now approaching her. "I would say the only thing you would get from it would my good will, and you could call upon me if you wished. I have some skill. I would rather hope you do not need to call upon me for it. Or you could ask something of Keelin? I am sure he has more to offer than me."
"You might be mistaken about that," Anais smiles crookedly to Dania. "We're a bit flush with knightly sorts looking to be useful around here right now." She casts a sidelong glance to Torsten when the other woman asks after their identity, considering for a moment, before turning back to Dania. "I'm Anais, and this is my brother Torsten," she introduces them. Casual, yes. But if Dania is wary, she may also see the brief calculation behind the choice of words and the dimpled smile.
Tor sets a hand on the pommel of his sword, a casual pose for this man apparently as he looks to be more or less relaxed. A nod as his sister introduces them. His shoulders hunch slightly as larger drops of rain begin to fall from the sky, landing with light plunks on the rocks around them. "What, are you some sort of whore, then?" Tor quirks a brow at this one, looking mildly intrigued below the shadow of the hood.
A boisterous good natured laugh erupts from her. "No that would be too much fun for you, though I do deal a lot in the aftermath if the woman gets with child and carries to term." This is said in a more serious tone after all she is talking of her craft. "I have more than a fair hand with the art of healing. I have to say that is why I hope you never have to call upon my skill. I would rather see person a hale. Mistress Anais, I see your eye and it is one that is calculating. None the less it is a pleasure to meet you both, and in this lovely weather." Her tone is once again cheerful.
"Tor!" Anais exclaims, shoving her brother. "You don't just /ask/ a woman if she's a whore. At least not just because she's out on the beach in the rain." There's a narrow-eyed look for him, though not much heat behind it. "I'm out on the beach in the rain and you'd skewer someone who asked me that. Clearly my brother has some itches he hasn't scratched lately," she adds to Dania, rolling her eyes fondly. "Forgive him?"
"Most women can't claim skills besides whoring, but perhaps some day I will have need to test that theory with your offer," Tor responds to Dania after a moment of thought. He flashes a grin at her from under the cover of his hood and then glances at his sister. "I find the local stock less than inspiring," he comments drly to her. "Though there we go with 'man things' that you're sure as shit not interested to learn more of, I am sure." He continues to grin a bit, and then turns for his horse. "Its been a joy, as always, dear sister. And interesting to meet you as well," he directs this last bit toward Dania before he clambers up onto the back of his ragged mount.
"There is nothing to forgive, Mistress Anais. It is water under the bridge." That smile remains in place and her eyes light with challenge as Dania turns her gaze to Tor. "Find someone who can test your skill and then come and seek me out and you will have an answer. I also find you quiet charming and amusing at the same time. Until we meet again, it has been a pleasure." Her gaze then goes to Anais. "Are you heading back as well?"
"I'll give you skills upside your head!" Anais calls after Torsten, though she's grinning, shaking her head to Dania. "The rain's hardly started. I think it's going to do this for a few hours. Shouldn't come down too hard for a bit." She glances to the guard and the handmaid off to the side, sheltered somewhat by a larger rock, then tilts her head. "Would you care to join me?" she invites. As if it's a parlor and not a sodden beach.
"That is a kind offer and I would love to." Dania's tone is once again warm as the sun and her eyes bright like the sky on a bright sunny day. "How long have you been out in the area?" She asks the woman. "There is just something about the rain, the smell and the taste. It smells the best right before and after. Then when the sun comes out everything just seems brighter and almost jewel like. Now it is my turn to ask for forgiveness."
Anais moves back toward the rocks, picking her way across a few. "I've been here for…about nine months now, I suppose. From the Westerlands originally, though," she answers the other woman's question. "The rain there is a little different. There's not as much…green around it, and there are different smells. Hot, wet stone, instead of dirt and growing things. If that makes any sense. What about you?" she asks, looking over her shoulder. "Are you from this area?"
"City of Riverrun, is where I am from. I am rather fond of water." Dania says to her. "I just arrived and my escort headed home. Then a certain someone was not there to greet me at the inn. There was the call of the beach and the rain that had to be answered for it cannot be ignored, if one is not working. How are you liking it here? I am also sure that it still has that sweet smell in the air. From where you are."
"Lightning. It smells like lightning when it rains at home." Anais stops on a rock that isn't too far out, letting the wind that carries the clouds tug at her skirts and blow her hair away from her face. "I'm settling in all right here, though. I mean, to be fair, the whole invasion thing did sort of put a bump in the road," she adds, smile ruefully crooked. "But here we are all the same. For what it's worth, I did discover that Four Eagles is admirably siege-worthy."
"That is important if you ask me. The invasion thing put more than just a few bumps in the road. I would have to say it more a like a few quagmires." Dania is quiet for a little bit. "Now, no offense but what are your skills?"
For whatever reason, that question makes Anais smile, the corners of her eyes crinkling with humor. "I suppose that depends on who you ask," she answers with a low laugh. "I'm remarkably lacking in some useful skills. Although I can swim, and climb, and fish. Even navigate, a little. I'm dreadful with a needle, though. And I can cook about three things. I can dance, though. And be pleasant with people. And, seven bless me, I'm good with numbers and ordering people around." She arches a brow back at Dania, smile crooked. "And you?"
"Healing is where my skills lie, I should head back towards the inn to see if he has arrived there yet." Dania says as she looks to Anais. "Next rainstorm that comes through here I will see you out. It is always nice to meet a kindred spirit who delights in the rain." She offers her a bow of her head.
"A useful skill indeed," Anais dips her chin to Dania. Her smile curls again with some private amusement, and she raises a hand. "Just ask after Anais. Someone will know where I am." And as the other woman leaves, she steps further out again, turning her face up to the rain.