|Hedging Your Bets|
|Summary:||Kamron and Jarod talk about employment and Stonebridge.|
|Related Logs:||Stonebridge in general|
|Rockcliff Inn, The 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.|
|May 15, 289|
There was a time when the Rockcliff was one of the busier inns in this corner of the Riverlands, where strong drink and soft whores could always be found. It's owners had more coin than most, so the rebuilding of it has gone faster than most of the rest of the town. Still, the mood inside hasn't yet returned to the easy merriment it knew during better times at the Roost. So the crowd isn't too heavy as Ser Jarod Rivers sits at a table near the middle of the room tonight. He's nursing an ale and waiting for Ser Kamron, who he invited out for a drink after dinner at Four Eagles. An often uncomfortable dinner for him, at least. His 'homecoming' to the Roost has been met less-than-warmly by many at the tower, even if the lord of it still allowed him to be a guest there.
Kamron has forgone arming jacket and working clothes for the more standard mourning for this trip down into the Roost. He nods to one of the 'serving maids,' waving her off as he spots Jarod and moves in that direction. Nodding to him as well, he lets his characteristic crooked grin slip onto his features, "Jarod. Evening." He pulls a chair out and drops down into in, grimacing a little as he does so and working his leg a bit beneath the table.
Jarod eyes the lady of the evening Kamron passes. He's not really oogling her, though there is some habitual lingering on certain bits. "That's a new one. Was a time I knew the freckles of every girl who worked the Rockcliff. The squids took a good many of them for thralls, though." He shrugs. That was a less than merry beginning. "Good eve. Thanks for coming. Wanted to talk a bit before I left Four Eagles. Which I figure'll be on the morrow. Lord Riordan's set to return to Stonebridge then."
Kamron shakes his head, a grin twisting his lips once more, "Is she? I haven't sampled their delights." A faint frown touches his lips, "I thought most of them were returned." He lets that fall, however, grunting and nodding, "And you're returning with him. Just about the only place to get paid, I suppose." His lips purse tightly, but he nods, "I'm sorry I haven't been able to get any word to Lord Mallister yet."
"You should give it a go while you're here, though I can't speak for that one in particular," Jarod says. "Support the tax base of Segard's vassals and all that." Though at the rest of it, he nods. Seemingly glad Kamron said it before he had to. "Even if Lord Mallister was all right with it, I'm not sure my lord father would be comfortable with me working so near his house. I don't think he'd disallow it precisely but…things're strange right now between the pair of us. I hope they won't be always but…" He drinks. "…bit too raw now. Didn't realize how much so for both of us until I was back at Four Eagles."
Kamron chuckles softly at the first comment, "If I had the coin I might. I've been trying not to strain the resources of Seagard, Talon Point, or Four Eagles." He nods his understanding at the point about Lord Terrick, "I actually talked to Ser Hardwicke about it. Figured I would get a local opinion. From what he said, I think you're quite right." There's a long pause, and then he adds, "Do you know where in the hells this feud comes from? Besides our own," he gestures to himself now, making sure that he's clear he's talking about the Mallisters, "argument with the Freys, of course."
Jarod shakes his head. "When I was a boy, I figured it was just one of those old fights that everyone had forgotten the beginning of. Like you get with Houses who share close borders and little goodwill. And the struggle between the Twins and Seagard, of course. Just the way things were. Now though…it does seem personal between Lord Jerold and Lord Rickart. Lady Anais asked my lord father about it, and he gave her the strangest answer." He frowns. "Lord Jerold said Lord Rickart tried to 'take his child.'"
Kamron nods his head slowly as the explanation rolls out, frowning in thought at the final point. "Tried to take his child?" There's a pause as he does some counting, "And the feud started before Jeramy. And none of the rest of the children have been taken away by anyone, have they?" Confusion reigns in his voice, although it only shows on his features in a somewhat knotted brow. "That would make it rather personal though."
"Aye. It couldn't have meant Jaremy. Or me, I suppose my lord father might reckon now." Jarod snorts. "Not that I've ever heard. Just makes the whole matter even stranger than it was before." He drinks of his beer. "Perhaps I'll ask Lord Rickart if he doesn't lop my head off the next time I see him. Would be interesting to hear how he'd tell the tale, though I'm not sure I'd believe it. Anyhow. I am headed back to Stonebridge. Lord Riordan's offered me a place at Tordane Tower. I don't think there're many other real options that allow me to serve in this part of the Riverlands. I did want to tell you myself, though. It's not that I'd rather not bend knee to the Mallisters. Perhaps some day my reputation'll be repaired enough that I'll be able to. After these last few days I figure that's a ways off, though."
Kamron nods his head, "Maybe it's best not to know." There's a long pause at the other man's announcement, even if he made the connection himself earlier. "Hopefully nothing unpleasant comes of these negotiations then. Although I suppose the situation puts you quite firmly on the side of the Naylands trying to patch things up while they're ahead." There isn't actually any malice in the words, just a flat sort of acceptance. A grimace flashes across his face, and he adds, "I don't know that Lord Mallister would take you into his service yet anyhow, Jarod. He holds his own view of honor very tight."
Jarod nods to that, slouching back in his chair some. "I might just be better off taking Rowenna to Farimarket and myself, truth be told. My mother's father's a merchant there, and has good relations with the ruling knight. I just…don't feel like I can leave yet. Though it means swearing to the Naylands." He frowns, at himself mostly. "I tell my Lord Riordan isn't Lord Rickart. He seems to want to work with the Terricks, mend fences some. Perhaps I can help with that. He's told me that, if he did take me on, I'd not ever be ordered to raise my sword against my blood. I don't…I'm not naive enough to think it'll be that simple, though."
Kamron shrugs one shoulder, "I understand. You have to make your way for you and your wife." A chuckle rises to his lips despite the serious subject matter, "And that… is why I plan to avoid getting married for as long as I can." Getting back to the somber subject, however, he nods his head slightly, "He's not. If you listen to the rumors, he's also quite good at getting young ladies in trouble." He tilts his head slightly to one side, "Which may mean he isn't quite so different from his father after all."
"He told me he lay with Lady Danae. Acts like a love-sick puppy about her, poor sod," Jarod says. "Not sure what to believe on that. It's very convenient. But, then, so is her claiming to be with child after…what? A night with Ser Gedeon? What do you make of her, anyhow? The Lady Who Claims to be the Widow Tordane?"
Kamron nods his head, "Claims to have lain with Lady Tordane," he uses the term definitively, "and is spending a great deal of time with Lady Terrick and several other ladies if rumors are to be believed." Still, he purses his lips into another frown, "Not that I believe that she can know she's pregnant yet. But she's definitely Lady Tordane, whether she's pregnant or not." He sits back in his chair slowly, resting his left elbow on the table and his cheek on his fingers, "She's also shown no inclination toward reaffirming Ser Gedeon's promise to swear to House Terrick."
"She hasn't." Jarod drinks some more. "I've already people calling me a Nayland turncoat, so there's little I can say on the matter. Save that I saw a good many swords in her camp, and none wearing Terrick purple-and-gold. All in black. Ser Gedeon was…" He trails off, like he's not sure what he wants to say at all. "…he was my friend. And he knew his lord father would've wanted Stonebridge back to the Terricks. His widow witnessed his oath here, when she was just Lady Westerling, yet she's made no move to reaffirm her friendship with my lord father's house. The last I'll say on her is this. Rowenna, and myself, were offered a place in her guard. And I could not bring myself to do it, not her, and not her cause. Given what House I'll likely end up in, make of that what you shall of my opinion on the lady."
Kamron arches his eyebrows slightly, "Oh, I know she's getting support from somewhere, it's certainly not the Terricks or the Mallisters, and it's probably not the Naylands, considering she's mortally afraid of the Naylands." He taps the fingers of his right hand on his thigh idly, "If she has a son, however, he would be heir to Stonebridge." There's a pause, and he adds, "If it's not Ser Riordan's, of course."
Jarod chuckles. "Little way to tell on that, so far as I know. A man has to claim his children, a woman's are always her own. Can't imagine why the Naylands would want to muddy their own claim to the town. The Westerlings, perhaps. But I can't imagine Lord Tully would want Westerlands folk that involved in running a town on Riverlands soil. Perhaps that's why she's being secretive about it." He shrugs. "Just be careful of the whole mess, and aid my lord father in dealing with her if you can. He trusts the Mallister men." That seems to jog something in his mind. "You seen the Groves folk? Heard they arrived at the Roost a day or so ago."
Kamron chuckles softly, "I'm on the outs with my own Lord. I don't know that I'm the best person to try telling your Lord father what to do, Jarod. Not that I won't try, of course." His right hand gestures generally back up toward the Keep, "Ser Kittridge is here. I know Lord Terrick wants to meet with him. I'm glad he finally came, even if we — " he blinks a moment, chuckling a little ruefully, " — even if -House Terrick- can't match whatever the Naylands offered."
Jarod shrugs. "Not in gold, certainly, but the Ser Kittridge wouldn't have come here if it was only about money. Might do to have words with him while he's here, see if the Mallisters could…I don't know. Leverage anything that might sweeten what my lord father can offer. I figure Lord Patrek would prefer he work with the Terricks rather than the Naylands." He cracks a grin. "Besides, you're not nearly so on the outs with Seagard as I am with the Roost. Take me as measure of how lucky you are."
Kamron nods his head, "Probably land. Everyone seems to want a piece of the Terricks' land." Tilting his head one side, he adds in, "I wonder if House Mallister might help some in that regard. I might mention that to Lord Terrick at some point. It might be time to put our anger at House Groves to rest." The grinning commentary from the new hedge knight draws a chortle from Kam, and he nods, "Point. I guess there's always someone worse off. No offense, of course."
"I live to be a cautionary example, my lord," Jarod says, though he says it merrily enough. If he's unhappy about how he's leaving things with the Roost, his mood isn't overly black apart from it. As for the Groves, "Perhaps. Never hurts to ask. Want another pint? I think I might head back to the tower myself. I left a few odds and ends there. I should pack them this time."
Kamron shakes his head in amusement, "May you provide said example for generations, Jarod." He chuckles softly, "But really. Call me Kamron or Kam." His nose wrinkles a moment, "I don't like the 'my lords.'" He waves off the offer, "I'll be heading out onto the roads in the morning. I don't want to do that with a hangover."
"Aye, Kam. See you about. I hope we can still drink as proper friends in Stonebridge, wherever I'm working while I'm there." Jarod stands on that note, setting a few coins on the table. And he offers a parting grin to one of the whores. For old time's sake. He will depart by himself and without spending any copper on the ladies, however.
Kamron snorts softly, "Stonebridge. We'll have to meet in the middle." He rises himself, pushing his chair in and heading out himself.