|Summary:||Ser Jarod leads Lady Gwyn on a quest to find her jilted handmaiden. Watch for: an aborted rendition of "Lord Jerold's Lament."|
|Stables and Kennels — Four Eagles Tower|
|The Tower's Main Stables are nestled into the corner of the courtyard near the portcullis to facilitate quick, easy exits when required. The rear of the structure is backed right against the interior wall of the castle with the heavy wooden roofing gently sloped down towards the slate out front, the floor of the stables kept to dirt. Thick wooden beams are plunged into the ground and serve as a base for the walls between each stall. Hay serves as most of the flooring in the area with a large stack of it off to the side. Each stall has a thick layer on the ground to serve as bedding, with most of the space dedicated to horses though a few have pens of dogs and hounds. An enclosed structure at the end serves as dry storage for riding equipment and saddles.|
|Tue Oct 18, 288|
It's getting on toward the end of the day in the Roost, and Ser Jarod Rivers is only now returning to the castle. He's spent the day in town, on some Captain of the Guard business or other. He looks more or less sober as he leads his sturdy brown courser into the stables, so it was probably actual business rather than just a vague excuse to go dice and drink at the Rockcliff. His face is still bruised from - rumor has it - his last night out at said inn, though his eye has faded to a mottled yellow-brown bruise rather than the impressive purple it was a day or so ago. He's whistling, rather tunelessly, or at least the tune wanders so much from one melody to the next it's impossible to place.
Gwyn's own reasons for being in the stables have more to do with ducking her guards and waiting ladies than actual riding. They normally follow her no matter where she goes, but after telling them she wanted to lie down she managed to sneak out in order to get some air to herself. The best place she could think of to do that was the stables. And, also, it tends to be where the handsome and knightly men come and go. Fancy that. Though the tune that Jarod whispers is impossible to place, when Gwyn peaks out from the stall that she has been grooming the pale mare she's fond of riding, she grins. "That doesn't happen to be The Bear and the Maiden Fair, does it?"
"Lord Jerold's Lament, actually," Jarod replies with a boyish grin, not bothering to look at who he's replying to. Gwyn's voice isn't familiar enough to place right away, but she's clearly a girl, so he's all of friendly. He from the stall while chats while getting his own mount settled, though he'll leave the main task of rubbing him down and feeding him to a willing page. "Have you heard it? It's about me! And some other sods, but those parts're far less entertaining, so it's true to life."
With an impish grin to match Jarod's, Gwyn gently places the brush she was using on the horse down and puts a hand on the wooden partition separating the stall she is in to the next. "Is that so? I may not have heard all the verses, truth be told. Though the tune sounds a familiar one." And she is one for remembering tunes. "You'll have to sing a few bars for me to help me remember." Unlike Jarod, she does know who she's talking to. With a teasing tone, she adds, "Just so I'll know which sod you are in the song. You're not Lord Jerold, I'm almost sure."
Jarod will happily sing a few verses as he puts up his saddle. He doesn't have a bad voice, all things considered, though his jaunty baritone is more suited to drinking or marching songs than anything of actual lyrical quality. This qualifies as the former, however, so it sounds decent enough for what it is. "The bastard was raised to be Sword of the Tower, Sword of the Tower, Sword of the Tower…" He winds his way out of the stall as he performs, so he can take advantage of the acoustics. The pages and stablehands working nearby snicker, and having a multiple-person audience just gets him going further. "…You'll find him out whoring at any odd…" Blink, blink. He cuts himself off as he passes Gwyn's stall, and sees who he's actually singing to. He promptly turns a very dark shade of red. "Huh. Uh. Lady Banefort. Good…afternoon."
With a bright and grin, Gwyn can't help but hide a giggle behind her hand. Then, she schools her expression as best she can, but there's still the mischievous glint behind her eyes. There is no blushing at the lyrics, instead she certainly seems to be enjoying them. "Good afternoon. Please, don't stop. I was quite enjoying your singing. You have a lovely voice, Ser Jarod." She rests her head against the wooden siding and beams. "I've been attempting to learn this song, but no one seems to remember the lyrics whenever I ask them. Perhaps you'd be kind enough to instruct me? My good sister has asked me to sing a song for her wedding if I find a time appropriate and the mood strikes me. This could be quite the crowd pleaser."
"I forget the rest myself, come to it. Something about walls. It's best forgotten, really." Jarod's somewhat bruised face is still red as he flourishes her a quick bow. "And I don't think my lord brother or your lady sister would enjoy dancing to that one. Maybe something more traditional. About…flowers. Or whatever. Crowds love flowers."
At the quick bow, Gwyn automatically returns it with a bit of a curtsey. It's something she barely thinks about doing. The red haired woman shoots a grin at the stablehands and pages. "I've heard tell the Lannisters enjoy the Rains of Castamere at their celebrations. Why not Lord Jerold's Lament? for the Terrick's? I've been to a wedding or two. There are certainly a fair share of bawdy tunes when it comes time for the bedding."
"The bit about Jaremy being fickle and reckless and Jacsen raised up to replace him wouldn't go over too well," Jarod says with a wry smirk. "Hit a bit close to home, given the circumstances. And I'm quite sure Lady Terrick would take my bit of that song less-than-kindly." He's still a bit red around the ears. "So, best find another tune. How about that Rains of Wherever one you just mentioned. I'm not sure I've heard it before."
"The Rains of Castamere? It's about how the Lannisters completely wiped out House Reyne. I believe it has something to do with them always paying their debts. Also, possibly, not the appropriate song for a wedding unless you're a Lion." Gwyn pouts a little. "See, and now you're making me feel cruel. I didn't know about that part of the song. This is why people should have allowed me to learn the lyrics." With a lean forward, she raises an eyebrow. "May I ask what happened to your eye, Ser Jarod? Also, you may stop blushing. I'm not offended by tawdry lyrics about bastards or whoring. And I promise not to tell my sister about this. After all, I'd get in as much trouble as you, I'm sure."
"You'd get in a good bit more, m'lady, which is the pointy end of it. Uh. In a manner of speaking. Where're your handmaidens?" Jarod looks left, and right, like they might be hiding under a haystack. He's apparently just noticed their absence. "Oh, this?" He gestures a thumb at his bruised right eye. "I…walked into a door down at the Rockcliff." A fist-shaped door, from the look of him. "Dangerous place, that inn. Lucky I escaped with my life. I'd rather not discuss it. The trauma is still too fresh, you understand."
Raising an eyebrow, Gwyn crosses her arms. "Up in the tower, I presume. I came out for a breath of air. There's plenty of people to watch after me without them." She flicks her eyes to those very same pages and stablehands that were goading Jarod to sing louder. "It's such a bother sometimes. And with all the hustle and bustle, it's nice to just get away sometimes." As opposed to walking into a door, it's clear that she doesn't believe that story. "I see. I will respect your trauma, though it seems like the door certainly had it out for you. You seem such a gentleman it's hard to believe what you've done to cause it to attack you so."
"Aye, it was a real asshole of a door," Jarod quips. Though he quickly adds, "Err, pardon my language, m'lady. Let's go find your handmaidens! It'll be like a quest. For…propriety. You've had enough alone time, aye? Aye! Boy!" He yells at a page who's tending to his horse. "Come with us. We're going on a quest." The boy looks confused, but he jogs over to tag along with the Ser as directed.
The swear gets a snicker. Gwyn, however, sighs and allows herself to be beckoned along with the page boy. "Perhaps this will be fodder for the new song I will write for the wedding. Ser Jarod and the Quest for Propriety. I think it has bit of a ring to it, don't you?" With a shrug sly grin, she starts forward. "Lead on, good ser knight. If you're to rescue me from such a dire position you'll have to be bold."
"All right then! Let's be off." And off Ser Jarod goes, motioning for the page boy to jog along between them. The boy continues to look confused, and the knight offers him absolutely no explanation as to why his presence is required. "You'd best not let folk know you're dodging your handmaidens, m'lady. My lord father would take it poorly, if he thought you were opening yourself up malicious gossip while in his house. And Lady Terrick would be *most* cross with you." From his tone, he considers Lady Terrick's displeasure the more serious of those to incur.
"No more cross than mine own father and sisters." Gwyn jogs along with Jarod. She seems to know what dodging her handmaidens means. "It's not a habit. I was doing nothing more malicious than grooming my horse. It gets hard to think with everyone around you all the time. And then I found myself in your company. We're to be kin through marriage of my sister and your brother…nothing improprietous. I mean no disrespect to the household."
"Goodbrother and goodsister. Aye," Jarod says with a little smirk, more conversational and less tense as they go along to track down Gwyn's handmaiden. Though he moderates his pace so the page can, still haplessly, putter along between them. "Or good half-brother and good half-sister, at any rate. How many sisters do you have again, anyhow? I can never *quite* be sure I've got the lot of you straight."
"Exactly. And what harm could befall me while in the care of good Ser Jarod, my soon-to-be Goodbrother. Or half-goodbrother. Good-half-brother? I'm not sure which to call you." Gwyn grins whens he realizes that Jarod is finally becoming more conversational in her company. It's a circuitous route through the Roost as her handmaidens are most likely somewhere near the guest rooms. "Three sisters and four brothers. As long as you remember me and Anais, you'll be remembering the important ones. Oh, and I guess Quenten, as he's to be heir, if you're counting brothers. But, truly, me and Anais. And possibly not Anais."
"I'm not your kin by blood, though, which is rather the point. I am a strange knight and you are a young lady of virtue. And you can just call me Ser Jarod. Or Ser Rivers, whichever you prefer. I am looking forward to meeting your brother Quenten." Jarod strides through the halls toward the guest chambers without paying much real attention to where he's going. He knows the way well, and he seems to know where he *thinks* Gwyn's minders should be. "You figure he'll compete in the tourney? It won't be as large an affair as Stonebridge's for the Nayland-Tordane wedding, but it should be a decent opportunity to knock some heads with the finer blades in the Riverlands and Westerlands. Good fun all around."
Gwyn sighs and rolls her eyes at the rather good point that Jarod makes. "I guess you're right." She will be only to glad to call him Ser Jarod, or Ser Rivers whichever, but she follows along willingly enough through the chambers and halls. "Anais said that Father said he was planning on coming for the tournament. He doesn't think much of them, I must say, though. He's not exactly one for 'fun'. Much like Father, he's all about serious war and serious times and being serious. A terrible bore, if you ask me, but I guess that is what is required of Banefort heirs. I'm certainly looking forward to it."
"I can understand the notion. Play war seems rather a waste when you've seen the real thing. And Lady Anais tells me Banefort gets far more than its share of trouble from Ironborn reavers. In any case, I'd like to share a pint or two with him, talk about the defense of the coasts now that our lord fathers' Houses are to be joined." Jarod makes a turn down a hallway and asks, "Will you be returning to Banefort, m'lady? After the wedding."
"That's what Anais thinks, too." It's not that Gwyn doesn't understand that, it's that she doesn't really have the time to. In her world it's all songs and lore and dancing. Even back home, she rarely thought about what could happen to her family. An optimist and a dreamer, she just always assumed it a romantic clash of swords and then they would come home. "I'm sure he'd be quite happy to talk defenses and coasts. That's all he ever seems to want to talk about." As for the question, she merely shrugs. "It hasn't been discussed. I'd prefer to stay here, truth be told."
"Lady Anais seems to like it here. Recent…uh…things aside." By 'things' Jarod probably means the whole 'Jaremy jilting her' thing, though he chokes on actually saying it. "We aren't troubled by Ironman at the Roost directly very often, though we get them up and down the coast fair frequently enough. Usually." Something in what he just said makes him frown, though he dismisses whatever he's thinking with a shrug. "This where they've got you staying?" He knocks on the guest chamber door he seems to think will have the object of his quest behind it. "Umm…hullo? Miss…handmaiden lady? You in there?"
As for the recent 'things', Gwyn actually gives a frown. It's a short lived one, however. "Yes, I believe she does. All things considered, even." She won't quite say it out loud either. "We get them far too often, which is partially why we are all here." To make a good match. "You may or may not be seeing more soon, depending." Depending on if their home needs better defending. Though, she opens her mouth to question whatever it is that seems to be making him melancholy - or at least troubled - the door opens and Gwyn smirks at Jarod's greeting. The moment's passed. "Afternoon Tais." With a curtsey to Jarod, she smiles again. "Thank you for leading the successful quest, Ser Jarod." She curtseys again to the page that helped chaperone before moving for the open door.
"I am nothing if not a practiced quester, m'lady. Always happy to be of service." With that, Jarod drops into another flourishy bow (he must practice those things in a mirror), pivots, and leaves Gwyn to her lady-in-waiting.