Page 571: Gifts
Summary: Gifts, of varying types, are offered and considered in the Roost's market.
Date: 14/Feb/2013
Related Logs: None
Dania Mortimer Nathaniel 
Marketplace, Terrick's Roost!
Residents of the town and surrounding area bring their wares to sell here among small tables built upon the slate grey stone flooring of the outdoor expanse. The area is surrounded by thatched roof buildings and shops on all sides with roads and paths winding their way in and out of this thriving part of town. Most of the commercial capacity of Terrick's Roost can be found here with the storefronts attracting the attention of those among all classes.
Thu Feb 14, 290

The afternoon sun is pounding down on the Roost. The market is busy but everyone is wilting in the heat. Dania is no exception to the rule. She is dressed in a simple linen gown and her hair is pinned up underneath a straw hat. Her cheeks a bright rosy color and she is haggling with a merchant. "One copper for those apples they are bruised and I would not be surprised if they had worms."
"Mistress Dorsey! We have only the finest apples here."
"Those two apples are not fine." She picks it up and shows the bruised spot to the vendor.
"One and half?" He counters. "One and I will take them off your hands." She Counters back.

It's not Mortimer's turn to play mousecatcher today but somehow he's found himself in the marketplace anyway. Turns out one of the travelling merchants 'forgot' to settle their bill at the Rockcliff this morning and so he's ensuring that the oversight is set right smoothly and with no additional complications. It all seems to have been resolved peacefully and so it's back out onto the streets to see what comes his way next. To do so though means passing the fruit seller Dania is haggling with so he offers the pair a brief nod in greeting, "Master Palmer, Mistress Dorsey."

Nathaniel leaves another stall where a tailor offers various kinds of patch-work for commoners. He is carrying two large sacks of dyed rough cloth, probably someone's old cloak that the tailor recycled. The stall is near enough to the fruit-monger for him to overhear the barter underway. He looks over to the middle-aged farmer who owns the orchard and runs his stand when he has enough produce. He laughs and calls, "Take her price, Master Palmer. Most of the town knows what the hailstorm did to your trees. They'll bear more fruit and you'll be able to ask for two copper soon enough."

"If there is worms in the apple I will gossip about it until I turn blue!" Dania declares to the vendor. "You know I travel." She points out.
The vendor glares at her.
She glares back just as Mortimer says his greeting. "Deputy! Good Afternoon, what do you say a copper for this fruit?" She asks him. Then she smiles sweetly at the Mr. Palmer.
"Deputy, day to you." The man says with a smile before his gaze goes back to Dania.
Nathaniel when he puts his two cents in is given a frown. "Never interrupt a haggle Master Corbitt." Palmer says as he pulls out a handkerchief and wipes his brow. "Mistress Dorsey that is not fair bringing others into your haggle woman."
He is offered another sweet smile as Dania holds up the bruised fruit for Mortimer's inspection. She looks over her shoulder at Nathaniel. "Good afternoon, how is Kalria doing?"

Mortimer glances briefly to the fruit in question but then just shrugs his shoulders. "I say pay whatever price the pair of you can agree on as fair and if you can't find one that suits, try somewhere else." He's quite firmly on duty after all, so he's keeping things neutral. Nathaniel gets a nod and an "Afternoon Master Corbitt, all well with you I trust?" He eyes the sacks before asking curiously, "Stonebridge?"

Nathaniel laughs and steps closer to the stand. "I'm not a conspirator, Master, if that's your game," he counters with a . wave of his hand, "but I've seen your trees and what the storm did. You know me. You know that I pay you well, and even bring the odd noble, like Lady Nedra, to buy when you have good fruit." He nods to Dania and adds. "She's a healer. You could do well with her as a friend when times are hard." He joins in scavenging among the fruit, apples, pears, and some stone-fruit. When Dania asks about Kalira, he smiles and answers, "She was very good when she left this morning. She should be here before last light. At least, I certainly hope so." He looks up from the bin of fruit and smiles to Mortimer. "Master Deputy," he replies and then looks at the limp, empty sacks. He shakes his head. "Repairs," he explains, although that isn't much of an explanation. "I brought some corn to the miller, but the sacks split."

"Copper and half then but if I pay that then you toss a third apple in?" Dania says to the man and the man agrees. They shake on it and she gets her fruit which she adds to basket. With the fruit in the basket and the copper and half paid Dania turns her full attention onto the others. "That is some bad luck you have had Master Nathaniel with the split bag." She then offers Mortimer a grin. "You are the worse for helping with the barter." She teases.

Mortimer holds both hands up briefly to Dania, "I'm here to make sure there's no trouble," he explains with a faint smile, "not to give the impression I'm using my position to pressure merchants into giving cut price rates to friends and acquaintances." Slippery slope and all that. With the sale seemingly complete he steps a few paces to get himself out of the main thoroughfare and nods to Nathaniel's explanation of the sacks, "decided if you're going yet? To Stonebridge that is, I hear that it should be quite an event."

Nathaniel examines a brown pear that is clearly too soft, and then picks up a peach, which also fails to impress him before he turns from the stall to incline his head to Mortimer. "Kalira and I talked about it, but we won't be sure until the time comes," he admits. "Some time ago, we promised each other a dance, and that debt remains." He looks at Dania, then back to Mortimer before offering, "If either of you would like to go with us, you're certainly welcome." More directly to Mortimer, he adds, "Lady Faline paid me from her own purse to deliver a message, even though I would have carried ti for her as a member of the house. She gave enough for a room at the Crane. I'd be glad to donate it so that you and your family might enjoy some much needed liberty."

Dania gives Nathaniel a look. "No, my answer will not change. If I leave here is it back to Heronhurst I will go." She says firmly. "That is a very kind offer, but the last two dances I have been to were spent in a wine induced haze. I did it to lessen the memory of my brother flirting with Mistress Snow and the other to forget his flirting again and to forget about being slighted." She smiles a little at the last part. "I can drink at home or in a tavern and I do not think my humor or good graces should be put to the test." She looks to Mortimer to see what he is going to say to the proposal.

Mortimer nods to the comments about dances owed then shakes his head at the offer. "Thank you," he replies with a knowing smile, "it's a generous offer, but you know about me and travel." He almost leaves it at that, but in the end can't quite so he explains further. "Besides, we already have plans. Half the miscreants in the Riverlands will be around and about the town that night which means it should be nice and quiet here. The lad is off to his cousins' for the weekend so they can all burn off each other's energy and we," meaning wife and he, "are going to have a quiet night in." Together, without distraction, or responsibilities getting the way.

Nathaniel bows his head slightly to both responses. "I understand," he acknowledges with a warm smile. "At least, allow me to buy you and your wife a full meal from the inn for that night, master. And for you, Dania my friend, I'll bring ginger when I come northward. I know an herbalist in Stonebridge who brings it from Riverrun."

"In other words they will be enjoying each others company." Dania points out with a grin. "Very smart if you ask me." She then looks up at the sky. "On that day, I have no idea what I will do but i will not be in Stonebridge." She then soften. "Nathaniel there is no need for you to do that." She says to him. "I need to be off. I will see you all later." She offers them a bow of her head before she starts to move off.

Mortimer has to shake his head once more to Nathaniel, "We've had time to plan thank you Master Corbitt, but maybe some other time." He offers the man a thankful smile though, to let him know it's appreciated. As Dania moves to head off he offers her a polite nod and a "good day then Mistress. Be well."

Nathaniel bows to Dania. "Be well and safe, then," he bids while Dania turns to leave. Then he sighs and murmurs in a melancholy tone, "No need, perhaps, but some want to show kindness to true friends." He turns to Mortimer, and questions, "She gives a care for so many, but how many give a care for her? I don't have the wisdom of a grandfather, but I can see a tormented heart. Seeing that one tears at my heart, too - a healer who needs healing." He shakes his head and then he looks at the deputy. "I'll expect you to hold me to that, then. I didn't ask for the coins, and I don't need that much to provide for myself or Molly. It's more of a burden than a boon if I can't share it with my friends."

Mortimer watches after Dania for a moment then turns back to Nathaniel as he speaks. "Don't be afraid to keep some of it back for a rainy day," he replies, "we don't exactly live in settled times." Crossing his arms across his chest he adds, on a brighter note, "an' don't forget that there's always the option of spoiling Mistress Valen." The easy part done he turns back to the subject of Dania and has to think for a few moments. "I'm sure there are many as appreciate her skills but aye, I'm not sure how many think beyond that." Not that he has any immediate thoughts on what to do about it either sadly and he can only shake his head slightly before admitting, "I don't rightly know what to add."

Nathaniel nods when Mortimer urges for saving the money, or spending it on Kalira. "I think that either would be a good investment," he agrees. "Kalira isn't one for extravagances, as I'm sure that you've noticed," he considers. "So, surprising her with something more than the hair-combs that I carve might be even better." His eyes drift to the stall where Master Palmer is still trying to sell his hail-bitten fruit. He bites his bottom lip. "The best gift that we can offer is our friendship. For my part, and Kalira's, she has it."

"Nor's Freya," Mortimer answers as he gives the surroundings a quick scan, just in case there is anything untoward going on. "Once in awhile it good to though, when you can." So speaketh the voice of experience, or some such. Satisfied that all is indeed well he turns back to Nathaniel and nods to the comment about friendship. "Aye, and to keep our ears open and listen to her when she needs."

Nathaniel nods respectfully at Mortimer's words. Then a slightly mischievous grin starts to spread over his face. "Kalira will object that she needs nothing of the kind, but I'll find something right for her in Stonebridge," he predicts. "As for Dania and listening, I've done that already more than once. I'll be glad to do it again, as long as she'll talk. Troublesome thoughts are like pus. If you release it, you help the wound to heal." He looks around the market and then notes, "I think that I convinced the stable-master to take on young Master Cooper as a hand, too. He'll be able to help his mother even more soon."

"In Stonebridge?" Mortimer replies straight faced, "you mean that you value the Naylands and their merchants above our own Roost craftsmen and women? On behalf of all of us who work to make our living here I'll say that we're hurt, turly hurt by that." He remains silent at the remarks about talking and listening but the news of the young lad gets a slight raise of the eyebrow, "is that so? An' there was me thinking that Mistress Black would have him." He shrugs then and adds, "he's a decent lad though, he'll do well enough either way."

"That he will," Nathaniel agrees. Then he looks around the market and a smile starts to form on his lips at Mortimer's scolding remark, but he catches the expression and staunches it before it can grow fully. "Is that so?" he questions with feigned surprise. "I've found bits of sea glass on a leather cord for sale here, but I'd like something more … enduring than that, if I can afford it."

Mortimer works hard to keep his expression flat, thankfully though it's something he's had a fair amount of practice at in the past. "Aye, Master Corbitt, that is so. An' I'd thank you to show a little more respect to those of us who make our living here. Just 'cause we don't go gallivanting off round the Riverlands at the drop of a hat doesn't mean we're any less skilled." He tilts his head towards the main body of the market again and finishes with, "Now you get yourself round there and get your girl something that'll make her smile or I'll have you put in the stocks for being an unfaithful servant to the Roost and let Master Palmer there make a pocketful of copper selling his fruit for people to throw."

Nathaniel hadn't expected Mortimer to take that severe, 'strictly business' posture or that harsh tone, but it is there, and the courier winces and frowns at it. Gradually, however, while the deputy speaks, 5n considers the tone and other times when Mortimer has teased him, and a trace of hope stirs. Still, he looks grim. "As I said, master," he replies in a respectful and earnest tone, "I need to find the crafter, man or woman, who sells or makes such things. I'm no noble and I can't afford their finery, but I want Kalira to have something more than a bit of glass or seashell on a string if I can." He casts a quick glance around them, and then he adds, "I know quite a bit about this town, but finding the right gift for someone … very special isn't' a thing that I do on a daily basis." He drops his pretense and looks at the deputy in the way that he might look at an older brother or father. "I suppose that Ser Justin would give his advice, but honestly, I'm not sure that his knowledge in that area far exceeds my own."

Mortimer recognises that look and figures it's probably time to put Nathaniel out of his misery. Slowly breaking into a subtle grin he shakes his head slightly and unfolds his arms and reaches one across to give the younger man a friendly pat on the arm. "Come on then, while it's quiet, lets go find you a craftsman. An' if we can't find one here, we can try up on Roost lane, have a word with the smiths, or the Master leatherworker, I hear his journeyman knows his trade well enough an' all."