|Good Times & Good Company|
|Summary:||Despite the threat of war that hangs in the air, it's still possible to find a little joy in the world.|
|Rockcliff Inn, Terrick's Roost|
|The Rockcliff Inn is one of the better inns within the town and it shows with the well-lit interior and the relative cleanliness to the other locations in Terrick's Roost. The tables are polished with oils and the floor regularly swept. A set of booths towards a darker rear of the Inn's bottom floor, just beneath the staircase, are where whores generally socialize and eye prospects from when not waiting tables. Signs over the undersized bar area advertise prices for ales and wines as well as several different choices of food to be served at the small eating area by the bar or in the main open area in its comfortable seating. A door behind the bar leads to the kitchen and cellar while another near the staircase leads to a private room that would appear to be off-limits to the 'wait staff' except for food and drink service.|
|Thu Sep 13, 289|
"Your liege may find himself at the wrong end of the stick. Harold's wife means nothing, though she may be a Frey, she still does not know how her Lord Father thinks. I have a feeling that the game pieces are about to shift and history is about to be written but the question is by whom and in whos favor?" Firth says to Alric. "I have a feeling you may need to get more clever and never forget that Charltons pay homage to the Freys." She adds before she takes another sip of wine that is said in a serious tone. She is seated with both Justin and Alric.
She then looks at Justin. "I applaud you as I was starting to worry about what they teach you young men these days." Her tone is teasing when she says young men. "That aside, it sounds like intresting work to me."
As his first ale has now expired, Justin waves to get Katie's attention. The little blonde barmaid comes out to give him a refill and to see if either of the other two want for anything. While she's doing that, the Terrick Sheriff props both of his spurred boots up onto a nearby chair to get himself comfortable.
"Yes, I'm stuffy like that, lady Firth. I saw several merchants set up stalls in the town square today. We can't be having that. They are likely refugees come from Stonebridge. They must have permits and while spaces are yet available in the market, they need to set up there. Rather than block the street. How are wagons to pass through if people are gathered to buy ribbons? It's all right for a festival day but it won't do from day to day." Yes, is he boring her yet? Justin doesn't look as interested as she is, for it's his work he tends to every day. "But, it will await tomorrow. I'm seriously tempted to go swimming."
Alric grins and shrugs. "If by my liege you mean, lord Keegan. Than perhaps. But if you mean ser Aleister, he is not my liege lord. Even if he is in the same family. I will respect and do as he says. I will support him. As possible." He says, studying Firth a bit, before he shrugs. "That they do. Though you do not know what I think or plan. Or anything about me really. Just as I know little about you. But I do know how to read people" He offers and offers a kind smile. If he is bothered by any of what is said then nothing of that shows upon him. "I know where the Charlton's stand as well. Although the Erenfords stands right below the Freys. As far as I know connections between them and Mallisters are made. So do not think too much into that. Besides, I do what is best for my house and my liege. I have not actually courted any. At all that is." He clearifies to her. "It is all just idle talk." Then he falls silent to drink from his ale, that has just been refille. Though a soft chuckle does leave him as she speaks to Justin. Grinning a bit as he hears the sheriff's words.
"Common sense should have told the Merchants that the permits would be needed, many of them do travel or have traveled and should know. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. A simple inquiry to the inn or others at the common marketplace should have given them the idea. The refugee's I would imagine are going to be a drain on your new found supplies unless of course you took into account that they would come this way." Firth says to Justin between sips.
"Power that is given to vassal can be taken away, there are ways, keep that in mind when you deal with Ser Aleister. That is exactly whom I met. You are right that you do not know anything about me and good luck reading me." She adds with a bright and charming smile. She now grows quiet as she finishes her drink.
Justin sits up and gives Firth a look, "Lady Firth, you do not need to instruct me upon my duties. They are my own concern and what the Stonebridge refugees do are none of yours. You seem very intent to come in here and lecture us both this evening. I suggest you have a glass of wine." He gives her a chiding look, then tastes his ale and setting it aside, rolls his folio to tie it off.
"Lord Alric, if you will excuse me, I will get back to you on your offer unto me. For now, I think I've finished my duties for the day." He moves to stand and fish out a few coppers to pay for his two drinks, and for Ser Martyn's as well.
"Did you -see- that?!" Aeliana's voice floated as the door to the Inn was pushed open by the curve of a delicate hand. The Lady Aeliana Charlton in the lead, with her Septa Myrth, who'd no sense of humor at least in public, trailing directly behind.
"Yes and I wish that you hadn't!" The old Septa barked a gruff frown on her face. "I have never in all my days."
"Not even once, Septa?" Amusement was in the Lady's tone, her eyes glimmering in amusement.
"Well I have!" This, from the handmaid who trailed behind, flanked by two guards who were doing their very best to keep their expressions straight as could be and empty as a frozen pond in winter.
"Mistress Rayleen!" That was Myrth again, this time frowning at the handmaiden.
The Lady Aeliana promptly burst into a fit of giggles, her head half hidden by the curve of the fan that dangled on her wrist; dark eyes sweeping the room and noticing the Terrick Lord as he stood. "My Lord Terrick!" The Lady exclaimed, "Sheriff!" Another little amused twitter. "You should…"
Aeliana never got to finish, it was Septa Myrth who charged forward; her portly stature cutting a line through the tavern as a ship parting waves and being given wide birth. "My Lord!" The woman exclaimed, begging a moment of his time and trying to catch her breath from that -almost- little run at the same time. "There is..outside. A man. He…" Myrth can't even finish it outloud. She looks like she's torn between invading his space for a moment and her propriety and then, leans in to whisper against his ear.
Aeliana was going to try and -warn- the Sheriff about Myrth but bless her, she had the sense not to stand in front of something that could plow her down!
Alric nods to her words, "Ser Justin and myself were just speaking of such things." He explains to Firth before nodding as Justin moves to leave. Though rising to his feet to offer a proper bow. "Of course. And do be well, ser Justin." Then he sits down into his seat as well.
Alric's attention shifts to Firth as he nods, "True enough, lady Firth. Though as far as I know lord Keegan seem fond of my house still. And ser Aleister likes me too much to get rid of me. And if he is the one that might be stripped, then that is terrible." He says and studies her a bit. Having a wry grin. About to speak when a familiar voice somehow echoes through the sound of talk already going on inside of the inn. The fact that she adresses Justin makes it easier to spot her. Rising to his feet again. Smiling brightly to the Charlton lady and her septa. Talbot, his guard, doing the same. Glancing between those talking. Not interupting but he will offer a nod to the lady and her entourage if they look his way.
"There is no need I will leave. Thank you for letting me join you despite it being brief. The talk has been interesting to say the least." Firth then also puts money down on the table to play. She gathers up her cane and moves to leave and head upstairs. Aeliana is given a bow of her head before she turns to leave.
Ehm, well. At that moment, several things happen rather quickly all at once. Justin doesn't look the least bit alarmed by the rather large woman barreling her way across the room looking very distressed, and pushing at once into his personal space to whisper at him urgently. His gaze flicks to Aeliana and her handmaiden, to Firth standing up insulted by his words and departing abruptly, to Alric's unruffled feathers - and back again to lady Aeliana's slightly portly Septa, "I see."
Whatever was said to him, Justin now looks amused, "I will go and attend to it, Septa. Likely it is my own horse and Steadfast will kick him, and it is already rectified. However, in the interest of general decency, I shall go forth and see that the … eh, man so accosting the beast isn't frightening any women or children further."
"Yes, my lord," the profusely red faced Septa replies, like a mother hen who's feathers are only slowly starting to relax after someone's tried to steal one of her chicks. "Yes, it is most inappropriate. Most." Myrth huffed; fussing about graying strands of hair and trying to look dignified. Rayleen was still laughing behind her hand, the guards meanwhile, had offered Alric and Talbot polite nods of their heads and were currently on their way over to take a table near the Charlton vassal.
Aeliana was giving Justin the most apologetic look that you've ever seen, if…one discounted the fact that the poor girl looked like she was about to cry she was trying so very hard not to laugh. Her shoulders shaking in silent amusement, her lips twisting between an attempt to be straight faced and just outright grinning.
'I am so SO sorry,' the Lady mouths the words over the distance, afraid to speak them aloud least she earn Myrth's fierce glower as a result; though a glance was given to see just where the guards had wandered and her eyes caught upon Alric as well, "Lord Fenster!" Aeliana haled him, "A good evening to you my young lord!" Though there was a hint of curiosity for Firth's departing figure however, "Oh I do hope our little scene hasn't scared away your company!" Meanwhile, Rayleen was trying, carefully, to disengage the Septa from Justin's side with promises of a drink and something sweet for her palate.
Alric blinks and looks to Firth, offering a bow to the lady. "Be well." Though then he looks to the Charlton entourage and the sheriff again. Grinning at the words from Justin. Looking to the Charltons about to laugh as well, shaking his head a bit. Then Alric inclines his head to Aeliana as she greets him. "And the same to you, my lady. It is a pleasant surprise to see you here."
There is a flicker of his gaze back to Aeliana back there, but Justin's smoothly rolling right along with the Septa, "I will take care of it, thank you for informing me." The Terrick Sheriff has tucked his rolled up folio into his belt which he now draws out as though he were going to walk out and swat an ill favoured puppy for peeing on the new carpets. Stiff backed, he struts out the door to go and DO HIS DUTY. And thus, he's gone from the inn for a few minutes. Probably to go and use the privy himself.
At any rate, in only a couple of minutes, Justin is walking back into the inn without his folio and returned to a perfectly normal stride without the imperious, comical posture. He has his hands clasped loosely behind his back, a hint of a sly smile, and mischief within his eyes. "The rascal has been vanquished, dear ladies. No horses were unduly harmed, nor as far as I can see, not even profaned. He was thankfully not a Nayland."
Nedra's sense of humor is appalling, at times, this being one of those times, perchance, and she's fighting back a laugh as she and her Septa Anathe along with one of her guards (Petyr) are passing through the door into the Inn's common room. Septa Anathe looks more resigned than horrified, Nedra looks amused beyond reasonable measure and her guard, Petyr, has a look of stoic indifference. Dressed for the warm weather and in a deliberate bid to be cheerful, Nedra's is wearing a pale blue and silver gown that, at the moment, seems to have survived the walk from the keep and the potential messy field day activities taking place outside the inn.
Back again? It's almost as if Ilaria had never left the Roost to begin with. Closely following behind Nedra and her entourage, the young Haigh is linked arm-in-arm with Septa Shiella, her sole chaperone for the time. The girl's cheeks are flushed with embarassment, while her Septa looks fit to burst into cackles at any moment. The pair pause past the threshold to survey the common room before picking their way to an empty pair of seats. She casts a glance toward Justin and the others, but refrains from forcing herself into their gathering. For now.
The Charlton party has now joined that of the Fenster, with her guards sitting opposite at a table adjacent; and the women across from them. Myrth was promised cake. Between that and the Sheriff's promises, she's quietly appeased. Aeliana is wiping little tears from the corners of her eyes, because they had indeed fallen while she had struggled not to laugh at the Terrick lord's sense of humor. That failed completely upon his return.
It took a few minute for the girl to get her giggling under control. "Our Hero!" Ae cheers, rising to her feet to clap; a merry bit of colour to her cheeks. "Ladies," the youngest Charlton inclines that same warm and inviting smile towards the two newest to enter the inn, "You must join us, surely, a toast to celebrate the brave Sheriff's vanquishing! Rayleen," the girl's head turned towards her handmaid, fey struck hair dancing wildly about her head. No matter how Aeliana tried, it always appeared to be windswept with a mind of its own, that did not consult with -hers-, "Be a dear and get us a," a pause, a quick headcount, ladies and handmaids not to be left out, the occasionally indulgent septa.. "Couple of bottles of wine, would you?"
Alric watches Justin leave and return and with it sees Nedra entering. Offering a smile and a nod to the lady, would she look his way. Gesturing for them to come over. Even Ilaria, who he might not know as good. But he might be able to make a qualified guess. Then his attention shifts to Aeliana. Chuckling as she addresses Justin. Continuing to drink from his ale as he let everyone get comfortable. Falling silent for the time being.
Ah, Seven forgive him, but it's been a very, very long time since Justin got to have a bit of silly fun. He tries not to laugh at Aeliana's proposing a toast for his 'successful' vanquishing of the ravishing villian, offering instead, "He was only misguided in marking his territory, misthinking this for Stonebridge. All is well." Ah, there's Ilaria, and Nedra to join them! Justin smoothly offers each of the ladies a partial bow, "Good evening and welcome. Pleased to have you either still with us, or returned unto us, lady Ilaria."
Ah yes, the company in the room has become vastly improved. To the point that he now hesitates, "And here I was about to slip away and go swim. Mayhap I should instead stay?" Do they care to vote on it?
Nedra pauses near the entrance, the amused look on her face blossoms into a grin that is chased by a breath of laughter as she returns Justin's partial bow with a small curtsy of her own. "Lady Ilaria," she says in greeting, smiling at the Haigh lady nearest her even as she aims the same smile toward Lady Aeliana - who she hasn't actually met, though remembers from the wedding reception and being able to losely put name to face - before her gaze lands on Lord Alric and the same smile is returned. "Vanquishing most certainly calls for a victory toast!" she agrees in return, another laugh following her words as she steps forward, her Septa at her side though the gray haired woman moves to the adjacent table even as Petyr steps away to make a circuit of the room.
Ilaria and Septa Shiella both pause, the former turning her head to blink rapidly at the Aeliana's unfamiliar face. Still, she offers a tentative smile at being included in the invitation despite the lack of introduction, and without further delibration changes course to arrive at the busy table. Her gaze bounces to Alric, and she offers the man a less hesitant smile and full curtsey. Lastly, when addressed by Justin, she arches her eyebrows and offers him, too, a curtsey. "Just returned, and safely too despite gallavanting all over the Riverlands. I'm starting to seriously consider matrimony if it means I'll get to stay in one place for longer than a few weeks. Ah, Lady Nedra!" Following Nedra to the table, she pauses while her Septa adds two chairs to the gathering before they both settle down in their seats.
"Fantastic!" Aeliana beams, returning Nedra's smile with an easy one of her own as she dips into a polite little curtsy with the greeting; the same courtsey is extended the duly proclaimed Lady Ilaria. "To new friends," that warm smile landed on both the ladies, "And good wine and…," those dark eyes slid in Justin's direction, "To brave lords, who after vanquishing villians, do not turn and run from a gathering of ladies. My Lord, whatever would they say of your reputation then?" She teased, "Besides, I need someone to introduce me and if I should have to beg Lord Alric for it then I'm afraid I would owe him a favor. Come come," she bids, gesturing to his still empty seat; just as the barmaid arrives with two bottles of wine and enough glasses to see that everyone had one.
Talbot leans to Alric before a nod from the young lord makes the guard move to take a seat along with the Charlton guards. Making some room for all the newly arrived people. A chuckle escapes Alric as he listens to Justin. "You do as you please. But if you leave then I will be left alone with all these kind and pretty ladies." Then a nod and raising his tankard. About the toasting part. Grinning wide at Aeliana's teasing words to Justin. Though as he is included he raises a brow to the lady, "Lady Aeliana, I think I already owe you one. So this would make up for it." He offers with a playful wink. Then, already standing, he looks to them all. Waiting to see what Justin decides to do.
Oh, well, in that case he's not even booed out the door but is treated like a conquering hero! Yes, much better! Justin flashes a smile, "What? Tuck my tail between my legs and retreat? For shame, no. Especially not from such fine company as has presented themselves. Seven bless." Though his boots and his spurs have dried mud upon them, Justin will accept a seat though he's in no way going to drink any toasts made to himself. That is exceptionally bad manners, though he'll accept a glass and wait to taste of it.
Instead of sitting down into his chosen chair, the Terrick rests a hand upon it and inclines his head. "Of course. Please allow me to introduce Lady Aeliana Charlton, sister to Lord Ser Aleister Charlton and niece of Lord Ser Keegan Charlton." And thusly he begins the introductions, "Ladies, this is the Young Lord, Alric Fenster, honored vassal to House Charlton." Justin slightly turns, "This is lady Nedra Mallister, of my own leige Lord's House, sister to my dear friend, Ser Kamron and cousin to Ser Martyn. And lastly, this is the lovely lady Ilaria of House Haigh, sister to lady Katrin Haigh."
That all said, Justin moves to take his seat, "And you all know myself. Please do make yourselves comfortable."
"It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance at last, Lady Aeliana," Nedra says as she sinks into a curtsy, tilting her head as well in a warm nod of greeting and rises while saying, "and to see you again as well, Lady Ilaria. I trust that your trip from Seagard was pleasant and untroubled by bad weather or ill company along the road?" she asks the question of both ladies, glancing from Ilaria to Aeliana and back as she moves to take one of the open seats. Justin's words make her smile again, "Sister, cousin, it's really a sort of two-step dance to untangle which Mallister is which, isn't it, my lord?" she remarks before her gaze sweeps back to Lord Alric, catching the playful wink that he aims at Lady Aeliana and shakes her head subtly in amusement. "Oh the horror and the agony of being trapped in our company, my lord, how will you ever survive?"
Listening intently, Ilaria's gaze darts from face to face as Justin makes the proper introductions. Naturally, her attention lingers on Aeliana, and the mention of her relationship with Lord Ser Aleister causes the girl's eyebrows to dart upward in surprise. She exchanges a glance with her Septa, but when her attention returns to the Charlton lady, she offers a warm smile and a polite bob of her head. (The curtsey has already been made, you recall.) "A pleasure, my lady," the diminutive girl murmurs quietly. Perhaps the ebullient group is bringing out her shyness, but she casts a glance to Nedra and answers the query with a silent nod.
"Oh but my lord," Ae muses at Alric, "I am in no mood yet to forgive your debt, you see, I prefer to collect them. One day I shall have need however and when I do…," the girl dropped a single shoulder in a half hearted shrug, "There you shall be!" Amusement kept her smile bright, her eyes merry as they swept on to Justin, the back of her hand helping school the giggle that threatened when he bemoaned his fate. "Seven indeed," she teases instead, though her head dips in a bow of apprecation for the neat work he makes of things and there's a glimmer of approval before those dark eyes dance on towards Nedra.
"I saw you at the wedding, did I not? I specifically remember fussing at my brother for not keeping me up to date on the ever changing fashions this side of the Green Fork," a little pout threatened then, a tragic sigh with a shake of her head, "Alas, I shall simply have to beg the secrets of you instead," she jests and accepts the wine when it's passed out amongst them; settling back comfortably in her seat. "But of the journey? It was as long and tangled a venture as sorting Mallisters," she teases, following the lady's humor with a measure of her own. "But I survived it!"
Yet Ilaria's expression, that so obvious flicker of surprise brings out a good natured laugh from the girl, "A pleasure indeed, I hope you'll find." She ventured, before lofting up her glass, "To good company," she toasts, "And finding the joys of life even in its darkest hours."
Alric listens to the introductions and just nods to it all. As for the last words from Justin, he chuckles and nods. "Indeed! You are the brave sheriff. The hero of the Roost!" He offers and just keeps smiling.
Offering a bow to all the ladies though. "And it is also quite a pleasure to get to meet you all." Then he turns to listen to Nedra's words with a grin and a shrug. "You know me, I always find a way." Then a smaller and more comforting smile to Ilaria.
As Aeliana addresses him he grins and nods, "Of course, my lady. You know me. When have I ever gone back on my word or so. I even kept my word when I told you that I would get you that slice of cake when we were younger, back in Hollyholt." Finally taking a cup of wine as well as he settles into his seat. "Indeed, to good company." He offers in a cheerful tone.
Having grown quiet since he took his seat and allowing the others to make what they will of the introductions, Justin then lifts up his own glass passed onto him, "Aye, we've had far too many dark hours and too little joy." He'll drink to that, and once he has, Justin's baritone muses low:
"Kind friends and companions, come join me in rhyme,
Come lift up your voices in chorus with mine,
Let us drink and be merry, all grief to refrain,
For we may and might never all meet here again."
Alas, he may not try to sing it but he quotes the opening words, nonetheless to one of his favourite old Riverlands songs. The next lines go on about his lass, but has he has no woman, it's just as well if it's left to lay. Justin watches the others and listens to them, more subdued now.
"At the risk of cook fiercely weilding that spoon!" Aeliana laughs whole heartedly at the memory, "I recall you cradled your hand for a week, trying to make she and I both feel guilty every time we saw you. Still," her laughter found itself muffled into the depths of her wine as she lifted her glass to take another small drink, "It was a gallant thing to do," she mused once she'd swallowed; her tongue catching any excess from the corner of her lips.
Yet Justin is spared his worry over finishing the song, for Aeliana pitches her voice to carry counter, a soft soprano:
"So here's a health to the company and one to my lass
Let's drink and be merry all out of one glass
Let's drink and be merry, all grief to refrain
For we may and might never all meet here again."
It sounds safer, coming from a woman's lips at any rate, and there is a sense of appreciation for it as well, that has her dipping her head in his direction.
Nedra turns a friendly smile at Lady Ilaria, even adding a small wave of her hand to the empty seat at the table nearest to where Nedra is seated in welcome. "That's good to hear, my lady," she says quietly in turn, sensing the shyness and offering a smile of encouragement to Ilaria. "We sailed from Seagard to the Roost, and it was a lovely trip," she adds with a fond smile at the memory before she laughs at Aeliana's words, "I can't rightly say that I'll be any help, I must confess. But I can give you the name of one of the most talented sempstresses that I've had the good fortune to encounter in a long time. I hope she's made it safely to here from Stonebridge, in fact, and if she has, it's a boon to all of us in residence." She grins at Aeliana's remarks about the journey, "Tangled and confusing, that should be added to Mallister family trait alongside 'stubborn' and 'argumentative' and a few other choice words." She lifts her glass of wine to toast in return, "To cherishing the moment," she interjects before taking a sip from her own glass. She aims a smile at Alric over her glass and nods, "You do, indeed, my lord, that is one of your finer qualities, that is - your ability to perservere under even the most daunting of challenges, such as the presence of such fine ladies as Lady Aeliana, Lady Ilaria and my poor self as well," and she's fighting back a laugh. She falls silent to listen to Justin's sing in that rich baritone of his and applauds softly when he's done, "Brava, my lord," she says quietly.
Ilaria has been listening to the conversations for the past ten minutes, all the while staring down into her cup of wine. This she raises when the toast is made and sips from carefully, although she makes no particular effort to join in the talk. A genuine smile is offered to those with whom she makes brief eye contact, but before long her attention is drawn toward Justin and his singing—or rather, his song-quoting/chanting accompanied by Aeliana's delightful voice. "Lovely words," she offers, although her opinion may be lost entirely to the louder group. Despite her reluctance to speak, she seems at her ease; Septa Shiella, however, appears to be dozing in her chair.
"I shall take her name," Aeliana muses, offering a quick and ready smile in Nedra's direction, "And perhaps your help at exploring some of the shops here, if you should find yourself with time to fill and don't mind by mundane company," she teases, before laughing in amusement at those 'family traits'. "Beloved, I would add. For I have yet to meet a Mallister that did not stir devotion from those whom they chose to befriend," she offers in compliment, before glancing to Ilaria, "Perhaps," she invites, "If I can canjoil the Lady Nedra to join me for an outing into the shops, you'd join us?"
Oh my, Aeliana surprises him for she knows the words! Justin lifts both of his brows slightly, watching her and listening as she sings the next lines so elegantly. The words of the ladies pleases him and he smiles more warmly than he has in quite some time, quoting further:
"Here's a health to the dear lass that I love so well
Her style and her beauty, sure none can excell
There's a smile upon her countenance as she sits on my knee
Sure there's no one in in this wide world as happy as we."
Ah, if only he had such a lass, but Ser Kamron does. Justin's mood instantly restored, he lifts his glass, "Let us also drink to … Ser Kamron and lady Saffron Mallister. A happier bride and groom I think must be a rare thing indeed. I wish them long life, happiness, and many children."
Alric chuckles and nods as he listens to Aeliana. "Hey, I just wanted someone to cuddle with." He offers playfully about trying to make them feel guilty. Then he shrugs. "I am glad for that hug though." Although who gave him a hug he doesn't say.
Smiling and seeming in quite high spirits. "Why thank you." He offers at her last words before she starts singing. Listening but not singing along. Nedra's words making him chuckle a bit as well. "Why thank you. I do try my best after all. I feel a bit overwhelmed as to having such fine company." He offers.
Then he tips his cup of wine to Ilaria, speaking a bit lower and calmer. "I hope everything has been treating you well, my lady. I am not sure if I got to meet you once or twice before perhaps." Making a bit small talk to include her as well.
Then comes the cheer for ser Kamron and lady Saffron, as to which he takes a sip for as well. Having fallen a bit silent. He might have gotten quite a bit to drink even before they all showed up after all.
Oh, she has been addressed. Ilaria looks up to Aeliana at the invitation, and she answers it first with a cheerful smile. Her posture perks up as a result, and she leans forward in her seat so as to be heard above the general din of the common room. "Oh, of course, my lady, I would love to. My sister and I have tried much to direct our patronage to the skilled craftsmen of the Roost, and I promise your coin could not be spent more wisely." With that, she offers a firm nod and appears to retreat within herself.
Or, rather, Ilaria would have except that she must turn in her chair to face Alric now. "Oh yes, quite well, although I am not feeling — wholly myself lately. I believe the frequent traveling has left me somewhat drained, but I am sure in a few days all will be put to rights." She pauses to moisten her lips with her wine before nodding to the man slowly. "Once, perhaps? I am almost sure we were acquainted, albeit very briefly, at the—dance in Seagard? After the tournament. I think that is it, anyway. Either that, or the dance at Stonebridge…"
While those dark eyes danced with amusement to Alric's words, there's no offer of reply, instead the lady finds perhaps quiet challenge to the lords words and so, as before answers with verse and song and poetic liscense.
"Our ship lies in anchor, she is ready to sail
I wish her save travel, with none to derail
And if ever I should meet you by land or by sea
I will always remember your kindness to me."
Tis only when it's finished that she'll drink to his toast, a quiet smile on her face, before more animation touches her face. "Then I shall trust your guidance, Lady Ilaria and be most grateful for your presence!"
Nedra inclines her head in a nod toward Aeliana, "Your words are most gracious and kind, thank you," is said softly in return, another glimpse of a warm smile forming on her face. She glances from Aeliana to Justin and back, enjoying the exchange of verses while saying, "I'd be happy to, and please do," she turns the same smile toward Ilaria again. "It would be most fun. Perhaps we could cajole my cousin Muirenn and my new goodsister Saffron to join us a well, make a true outing of it," she suggests.
Ah, very nice. Justin slightly lifts his glass then to lady Aeliana herself, for her completing the lyrics, her singing quite pleasing unto him. The Terrick knight drinks off the last of his glass but makes no move to take refill. His gaze lingers on her for a breath or two, then he's pushing his chair back out to stand.
"A thousand pardons. I would much like to stay and linger away the evening, but I have yet a few duties I need to see to. I will bid you all stay and enjoy yourselves, and thank you for having me." Justin pushes in his chair and twists his mouth, "I need to check on my horse anyway, lest someone offend him." He gives a wink and turns to head on out.
Alric smiles and nods to Ilaria's words. As well as her mentioning their meeting. "Something like that perhaps. Either way, it's nice to meet you agian." He offers with a kind smile before looking over to the singers. Grinning and shaking his head a bit. Not a singer himself even if he might be a poet. And since Aeliana doesn't reply to him he just grins at her, silent answer. So to speak.
His eyes soon turn towards Nedra instead before a hand run through his hair. Listening to her, but for now not saying anything to her. Soon enough downing what is left from his cup of wine.
Ilaria offers the ladies a knowing smile as the plans develop, and before long their outing seems to have turned into a complete ladies' party. "Well, if we are all inviting someone, then I shall be sure to encourage Lady Katrin to accompany us. I was just telling her that she could use some new gowns. Some of hers are starting to look a little threadbare." She takes another sip of her wine, but her drink is interrupted by a particularly loud snore from Septa Shiella. Heaving a sigh, the Haigh sets her cup aside and reaches out to shake her Septa carefully while offering those still gathered an apologetic smile. "I am sorry to depart so soon after arriving, but I am afraid it is time for us to retire. Lady Nedra, do write to me as soon as you pick a date for the shopping. Lady Aeliana, it has been a pleasure to make your acquaintance, and I do look forward to getting to know you better. I bid you ladies both goodnight, and you too, Lord Alric. Seven keep you." With that, she assits the older Septa out of her chair and the two advance - not toward the door - but rather toward the stairs to ascend to their quarters.
Aeliana'd demured her head beneath the Lord's compliment, hiding for a moment behind her glass, though she's quick enough to excuse him when he makes to withdraw; understanding in the depths of her eyes and a soft bark of amusement when he makes mention of checking on his horse. But her eyes float on soon aftwards and settle upon Ladies Nedra and Ilaria, "But no less true," she offers to the former, in response of thanks, before brightening at the notion, "The more the merrier! I'd the privledge of meeting the Lady Saffron most recently at her wedding and confess, er I'm honest, that I was more than just a little delighted at seeing a match made from genuine care for one another, rather than simply politics." A closet romantic perhaps?
It matters little when there's good wine to be had, though a glance was spared towards Myrth, with an amused shake of her head for the over indulgence. A third slice? Really? Oh my. And Ilaria seems so positively delightful when she's more engaged in the conversation. "I had heard that she was staying in Highfield was she…," the snoring Septa earned a giggle and Aeliana gave a dispairing little shake of her head. One gourging, one sleeping, "And they're to set examples for us," she bemoans with amused sigh in lady Ilaria's direction, "Yet I fear they would be lost without us. It has been quite the pleasure though, Lady Ilaria and I quite look forward to when next we met. Rest well!"
And then, towards Nedra once the pair are on their way, "Charming girl," though a sigh followed it, "I suppose twas a hint that we should scatter as well. And my wine seems to have gone." Pout.
"The more the merrier indeed," Nedra agrees with a laugh, eyeing the Septa's with amusement before she rises to her feet, a sigh of regret escaping her. "I'm sorry to have to depart as well, I've promised to tea with my cousin before the evening is out and I must see to it before the hour grows later. I do hope that you'll be staying here in the Roost, Lady Aeliana," she adds as she smooths her skirts with her hands, "I think that, especially now, laughter is the best medicine of all." She gives another curtsy, "Good eve to you, my lady, my lord," is added toward Alric along with another smile before she collects her septa and her guard and departs.
Alric offers a dip of his head to Justin as he makes to depart. The same to Ilaria. Though Justin's words does cause a slight grin. "Sleep well, lady Ilaria." Since it seemed a bit late to do so to Justin without yelling, he refrains from doing so. A glance is offered to the septa's though, grinning as he hears Aeliana's words. "Oh, lady Aeliana. It might be wise. If you drink too much while I am around I fear what your brother might do to me. This is not Hollyholt after all." He offers in a teasing tone before. bows to Nedra, "Of course, my lady. I am sure that I will get to see you soon again." He does glance back to Aeliana though, "And you? Will you be staying in the Roost a longer time? Oh, and you missed my cousin Trajan. I am sure you remember him. Most do. He has an unique apperance after all."
With a sigh for the fleeing company, Ilaria and Nedra aren't the only two who rise, for Lady Aeliana does as well; slim fingers dipping into her coin purse to see that the evenings indulgences have been properly covered. "My Lord Alric, do you please refrain from such jests about my person. We may be friends, but even I don't like to be referred to as one of easy virtue." There was a hint of a frown at that, because he'd accused her of being a lush, when she'd never once been seen drunk in public and more, that she might do something with him.
Still, she doesn't depart right away, but rather strokes a hand down her skirt fussing over imagined wrinkles, "I am a guest of the Four Eagles," she replies, "And have been for some days now, so perhaps I shall see you around again. Though I can not say that I remember your cousin off the top of my head. It's been a long day," and she did look somewhat sleepy.
Alric shakes his head, "I understand. I did not mean like that. I just meant that your brother doesn't really have high thoughts of me at the moment. If I were to let his younger sister get hurt while I was present. I do not think it would end well. I am sorry if I offende you. I suppose I have had a drink too much perhaps. I apoligze. I know that you are not easy my lady. Nor would I want anyone to think so." He offers a dip of his head. "You know that I would never want to hurt anyones name." Then as she goes on he does nod to her. Standing up as well, "Again, I'm sorry. I could offer my escort back there as well, if you wish."
Aeliana's smile turns kindly then, at his first utterance of apology and by the time he reaches his second, she lifts a hand to gently still his words. "Be at east, my lord, and breath. I am not my brother to discount your first apology nor so quick to judge. One apology is enough, I assure you." Where her smile suggested that it was meant, "All I ask is that perhaps you have a care with your words. What passes for an acceptable jest in private, may well do more harm than good in public, is all." Ae smiled, "But all is well. And I am honored and touched both that you would offer your escort, dear friend, but I've men plenty and women to spare, I shall be fine, I promise."
Alric smiles and nods. "I understand. I suppose that the wine and ale makes my tongue slip. I've been in here without moment to breath for most of the day after all. Each time I am about to leave someone new comes. I suppose that is the way for me as a diplomat though. Work while drinking." He chuckles with that. Though then he nods as she goes on. And also at the end. "Alright. Do take care. It is good to see you again. It have been too long. And I was quite pleasantly surprised to see you at the wedding. Even if it might not have shown." He then offers a bow. "Until next time I suppose."