|Herd of Horses|
|Summary:||You will now! Tommas and Merel bring a herd of lost horse to the Roost. Rutger and Tiaryn meet up with them in the courtyard.|
|Related Logs:||Bandit Picnic Logs|
|Courtyard — Terricks Roost|
|The Courtyard of Four Eagles Tower is floored with a fine grey stone that match the color and tone of the interior structure of the castle's yard. Plants have been potted and placed around the entrances to add some color, the greenery accompanied by several trellises of flowers that climb the support columns. The most prominent structure in the area is the set of large slab steps that lead up to the great oak doors of the Great Hall. Several hallways and accesses lead off into different sections of Four Eagles which makes this the hub of noble activity when court is not being held.|
|Wed Jun 13, 289|
invading force than a meager riding party, dust kicking up in thick enough clouds that the guards note it from the parapets. There are no banners flown and no swords drawn in that cloud of dust and dirt and hammering rhythm. Instead, two dirty riders lead an unwisely passel of horses, ponied to one another's saddles, in a long line behind them. The grimy, if cheerful, Ser Tommas Belte lifts his hand in greeting to one of the guards and calls out a cheerful hello as they ride into the Roost proper. He looks every bit the Pied Piper with his horse train behind him, easing his dram to a stop and turning to Merel with a smile. "There now, easy on the reigns. Just let 'im slow," he instructs to the wee lass, seated atop one of the borrowed beasts.
<FS3> Tiaryn rolls Artist: Good Success.
Coming fresh from the Tower, but certainly, he does not strike up a welcoming comittee, is Ser Rutger Nayland. There's a pause as the horses and the rather tall knight come through the gates, and to slow within the boundaries of the gates. There's a raise of the Nayland's hand to shield the light from his eyes as he comes further into the yard. "Ser Belte!" That one he recognizes. However he doesn't seem to recognize the lass with him.
Tia is in the courtyard. She has a charcoal thingy and paper, and she's busy sketching away. She's sort of halfway between the stables and the new little garden put in by Lady Muirenn and her captive labour (Mallister knights). And on her page, quite nicely drawn, the short wall, the plants visible from this side of it, and a small grey squirrel chittering atop the wall. At least, until the horses come galumphing in, and the squirrel darts off. Of course, that means Tia's attention is swiftly taken up by the incoming party. She pauses though as Lord Rutger arrives, walking forward curiously, but not saying anything as yet.
Merel is seated on top of one of the horses, sure. Seated comfortably is another matter entirely. The girl sits with a stiff-backed straightness and tenseness that speaks of someone not used to handling an animals such as this. "Easy?" She questions as if she is being easy even as the horse she's on turns its head to give her a bit of a look. But she does manage 'easy' and slows with the rest of the group, mouth set in a tight line. She looks between Rutger and Tommas as the former addresses the latter.
"Don't stick your feet in too hard to the sides, lass," Tommas instructions knowledgeably if…unclearly. Nudging means 'Go' in horse. He offers her an approving smile as she manages it. See, that wasn't so hard. The big knight lifts his head at the call of his name, turning towards Rutger with a short nod and slipping off his horse. "Lord Rutger," he greets in turn, giving his own horse a familiar pat. "I might have someone who belongs to you here, in the herd. If you're familiar with your Lady sister's horse?" As he speaks, he ambles over to Merel and her mount, lifting his arms to help her down if she needs.
"I am enough. I know which she's ridden from the Sevens to the Mire." Rutger states before offering his hand to the grimey man, once he is done petting his beast. "It is good to see you Ser. I hear we may be hunting soon." Offered there. Eyes slide back to Merel, whom the knight seems to be instructing. A faint squint of eyes before he is chuckling softly. "A new page, or squire do you have, Ser Tommas?" a nod given the girl that the giant is reaching for. "She seems small."
Tia's gaze brightens as she hears what is said. "Oh," she cannot help but blurt out. "Did you find the rest of the horses? That is most excellent!" And yes, there's some happiness to be seen on her face, as she comes the rest of the way over. "Lord Rutger," she greets, and then, "Ser Belte." Tia curtseys politely, as she arrives, her blue eyes quite curious and more than a little pleased. "If so, you have just made for quite a few happy women."
Tia does look at the girl as well, but she has no name to greet with, so settles for a nod.
"I'm trying to stay on," Merel replies, misunderstanding the instruction and craning her head to look at her feet. What? The horse stomps its feet, but stays still with the others. Thank goodness for a herd mentality. Tommas's arms are used to help herself down, in that she grabs onto them and swings to the ground with more grace than she lands, legs a little unsteady. She doesn't fall though, and stands back up straight right after. No one saw that. "Hunting?" She questions and then adds, "M'lord." Check out those manners. "Found some of them…" The horses. "…m'lady." That's two for two, right? No? Sorta.
"Good. I'm sure these lads'll appreciate seeing t heir owners again." Tommas offers a short grin for that, accepting offered hand to clasp it briefly with his own. There is no power or intimidation in his grip despite the size of his hand, warm hands calloused with a lifetime of work. He steadies Merel's horse with a hand on the reigns and a soothing word. There. "Will we? Friendlier game than bandits this time, I'd hope. And aye, we did. My lady, I don't know if your own is among them," he says with a smile towards Tiaryn. "Women are at their best with a smile, so I am glad to hear it." The big man seems perfectly comfortable with being used as monkey bars for the small lass. He cups a hand briefly at her elbow until she steadies herself and then pretends as if he did not do so. Nope. Nothing seen. "Ah, neither. This is Merel Atwood, my ward. M'Lord," he answers, giving her a gentle pat on her back for the manners. Good lass.
A nod and Rutger is grinning all the same. "Aye, you will. Lord Kitt, has invited me along, as we have business in Kingsgrove together. He thought we could remain a bit behind and enjoy a hunt and such after business is concluded." Rutger says with a faint grin before he is looking over towards Tiaryn, a brief bow given. "Lady Flint.." He would go on, but he is back to focusing on poor miss Attwood. "Ah, your ward?" Rutger echos with a faint raise of his brows. 'Well, they're never too young to learn how to handle a horse. Good trade in that, if she takes to the skills."
"Not mine," Tia says immediately, without even looking. "Einar and Master Vis found Gethin, along with a couple other horses," she adds, explaining why she's sure. "Mistress Dale's and Lady Muirenn's I believe." She nods her head again to Merel, as she's introduced. "Nice to meet you, Merel Atwood." She's had a difficult time recalling names lately, so she's working on it. "How do you like the horses?" Her voice is warm, as she looks over the animals now, checking to see how they are doing. "A hunt? Is Lord Kittridge intending to let us accompany the hunt and hawk? Or should we try setting up our own day in the woods?" A glance over to Rutger, as Tia asks that question, a hint of mischief showing on her face briefly.
Merel appreciates the help at not falling over, even if she doesn't say anything about it. Because it never happened. She glances at Tommas when he introduces her and nods. Yup. "Uh, nice to meet you, m'lady and m'lord," she says, following it with…what's probably supposed to be a curtsy. She bobs anyway. E for effort. "They're big." The horses. "Don't seem to much care for me, though the ride went alright, I think. Didn't get bit or nothing." High praise.
"I see," Tommas says, looking relieved at the discovery of her horse and the others. That's good. "Well, now that we have them, the only trouble'll be making sure those who own them gets their own back as soon as can be. In time for that hunt, maybe." Eyes bright with amusement, he looks down as his ward as she answers the Lady Flint's questions. "Aye, but you'll get there. You've got good legs under you. The biggest thing is finding your seat in the saddle." Step by step. "There is always riding to be done," he agrees, looking at Rutger with a nod.
Rutger nods over towards Merel. "You've got length in you to grow yet, little miss. Soon enough I bet, you shall be as tall as Ser Tommas, and thus those horses shall give you no trouble." The knigt states with a faint chuckle, before he is moving to look at the horse third in line. "I think…I do think this might be Roslyn's." he says before turning over to look at Ser Belte. "Ser Tommas, I was wondering, if you could help me with something."
Tia grins at Merel's answer as well, though she just nods at what the men say. And then after a moment, she looks directly to the young girl. "If you find that something Ser Belte is teaching you, on how to ride horses, doesn't work, come see me if I'm still around. I might be able to help." Cause sometimes it is good to have another woman's input. Maybe. She'll leave it there though, up to Merel. "Though it does sound like you have an excellent instructor." With that said, she takes a step back as Rutger asks for some assistance. "Should I go back to drawing an invisible squirrel?" she asks, giving the men a sidelong glance.
"I thought a saddle was a seat," Merel comments with a tip of her head, being overly literal. "Didn't fall off, though." Those good legs at work. Might have come close, though. Maybe. "No one's as tall as Tommas," she dismisses with large eyes and a slightly skeptical twist of mouth. "He's practically a tree." Large, climbable, known to have small critters. Tree. "Alright," she nods at Tiaryn, looking serious if not unfriendly, just thoughtful, "Uh, thank you, m'lady, I mean. Of course." With a wrinkle of her nose, she shoots a fond look at Tommas that is at odds with her words as she says, "He's great at a lot've things, but I dunno about being an excellent teacher…" You tried, Tommas, it's okay.
"It's all about the balance," Tommas replies with amused exasperation to Merel's very literal response to his words, lifting a hand to place his palm parallel to the earth. Balance. His eyes track Rutger's movements along the line of horses, nodding as the man reaches the mount that might be his sister's. He taps his nose and gives Merel's ear a light tap for her winning compliments on his skills as a teacher, broad grin creeping up. Oi. Brat. "It'd be good for her to learn to ride proper, m'Lady Flint. If it's no inconvenience? I'm sure it's nothing like that, although I could probably find you a squirrel if you need one?" He looks confused at the idea of an invisible one. Nodding to the lady and the lass, he ambles over to where Rutger stands by Rolsyn's horse. "Aye?"
Rutger nods idly as he listens to Tommas and Tiaryn, though something comes to his mind and he shakes his head. "Oh, Lady Tiaryn, I don't think you need to go else. Just words and all. As for Lord Kitt. I.. I don't know whom all has been invited, so I cannot say." A brief pause as he lets the awkward sit there before-thankfully Tommas comes over. "Ah, yes, I believe this is her gelding. He appears to be a Mire Roan, but I am no good eye for horse flesh. He does seem more-wiry?" a glance before he is leaning in to whisper towards Tommas as the big man is close.
Rutger whispers: "Ser. My aid is not for this horse-but for Lady Rosanna. Please do not tell her, but she was needing help for Ser Kitt's namesday present. She wants it to mean something, but with the banditry she forgot and is now flustered. I know you are a boon man to Kittridge. Could you help her? I think she would appreciate your help, better than my own."
"My apologies, Ser Belte," Tia says, with a soft laugh. She shows her picture, such as it is, and then gestures over to the low garden wall. "The squirrell wasn't invisible earlier. It's just run off to hide." She turns her attention to Merel next, giving the girl a visual inspection, but just a quick one. "I have no objection to helping out, if I can," Tia says. "Though that'll be up to the young miss here." She's not going to push it, since she figures that would be counterproductive. She tilts her head briefly at Rutger's answer. "I shall take the matter up with Lord Kittridge then, thank you."
"Hard to balance when the thing's trying to bounce you right off." That may be an exaggeration. Merel rubs her ear with one stroke of her fingers, wrinkling her nose slightly as she looks up at Tommas. What? She returns the tap by lightly punching him in the arm with a flash of a smile. She did compliment you before disparaging, at least? "I'm sure the squirel'll come back," she comments, then shrugs. "It's alright with me. Not smart to turn down the help when needed, m'lady."
Tommas stares at the rangey build of the horse, tipping his head consideringly as he regards the beast. "Aye. That'd be a Mire sort of build. Least that I've seen." He lifts his brows at Rutger's whispered words, scratching the thick line of his jaw. "Aye. I can do that," he says finally.
Rutger nods once towards Tommas. "Thank you Ser." he states with a smile his hand moving to pat the horse at it's neck. "I'll lead this to the stables, Ser and see it taken care of. Thank you for such a service done to my sister. I will be sure to direct her to you." A slight nod given over as he starts to depart. A glance is given to Merel. "Good luck with your ward, Ser. I pray she takes to horses." or something.
Tia nods to Merel. "Alright then. We'll see what we can do," she says, leaving it there for now. "You let me know when." She chuckles at the comment on the squirrel. "Well, yes. You are likely right, and far easier to draw with a model than without." She inclines her head to Rutger as he appears to be departing. "Good day to you, Lord Rutger." And then her attention returns to Tommas. "Do you need some help with these horses? I'd assume they should all be stabled, fed, watered, and looked at by someone like Mistress Snow?"
"Why's everyone seem to think you need luck with me?" Merel wonders aloud, it quietly. "Will do, m'lady," she replies louder to Tiaryn with a firm nod of her head. Will do. "Suppose that's so." She doesn't know much about drawing. "Tommas could probably find you a squirrel if you need. He's good with animals like that." See? She can compliment too.
"Send your Lady Sister my regards," Tommas says simply in farewell, untying the horse from the train and giving the one behind it a pat. Hello there. He lifts his brows at Rutger's prayers, accepting them with a short nod. It might be of thanks? Turning towards Tiaryn, he smiles, "It would not go unwished, M'Lady. We'll see about quartering them briefly so we can see them to their owners." A low chuckle escapes him with Merel's praise. "I think I might ought manage that, if you be wishing."
Tia blinks both at the compliment and the offer made. She chuckles softly. "I shouldn't mind a squirrel to draw whenever I wanted to," she says. She's not quite sure if they are serious or not, but really, it seems like it would be fun, so she can work with it. She pauses to put her drawing items to one side, where they won't blow away. "I can help," she says, moving up to one of the horses calmly. She's obviously not at all worried about the big beasts.
Merel certainly looks serious about the squirrel, but she's rather prone to even and solemn expressions irregardless. She doesn't say anything to Tiaryn's offer to help, looking to Tommas instead. He's in charge, here.
"Very well," Tommas answers cheerfully. A squirrel it shall be. It is difficult to tell with his natural, easy nature whether he is serious or merely teasing. "Merel, take a lead on Buttercup. The rest of the string'll just follow her," he instructs, setting his ward to his own mild dram and unhooking a group of gentle mares for Tiaryn to take lead of. "Kind of you lady. You seem to like them?" Horses, that is. They'll begin the slow plod towards the stables where the noble horses can be rooted from the more common, household beasts. Rosanna and Day's will be set to their proper places as well.
Tia grins and nods. "Oh yes. I do like horses. They are wonderful animals." She takes the reins passed her way and heads into the stable. As they do, she says, "Gethin - that's my horse now, he's a small bay horse, wide as an ale barrel, but very gentle with his riders. Of course, he doesn't like other horses at all, and I've heard the stable hands calling him a devil horse." She shrugs a bit though, not giving Gethin up to anything short of dire necessity. Like when he dies. Or she does.
"Alright," Merel says with a sharp nod, setting about as ordered promptly. "Hey there," she says to Buttercup and pats the horse's nose before taking the lead, familiar with this horse at least, and having no trouble walking with the lead. "Devil horse doesn't sound gentle," she comments.
"Devil horse makes the lad sound…" Tommas pauses, considering the correct word to not insult the lady of a house. "Spirited." Then he laughs, shaking his head. "Not that I can say I don't like a bit of spirit, mind. Buttercup there used to be a cart horse, if you might believe it, my Lady. Apparently she had a wee bit of a bad habit about kicking merchants." The horse is even larger than its rider, no slight and knightly charger. "I got her off'a him for a miserly rate."
Tia laughs outright. "Oh, Gethin is that. He's mischievous and headstrong. But he will do anything to protect his rider," she says. "And he's mine." There's a bit of protectiveness, since there have been times when folks think he's no fit mount for a lady. "He doesn't push people over either. Just need to give him time to get to know you, and he's usually okay." She eyes Buttercup. "That's quite the steed. She's a lot taller than my Gethin. But then, I suppose you do better with a larger horse." Clearly. "Shall we just pick random stalls for now?"
"Merchants probably had it coming." Merel is…sympathetic. Really. Because horses are known for good judgment in kicking people. "Suppose that's a good thing to have, horse that'll protect you," she says, though it comes with a glance at Tommas. That's right, right? "Think most horses'd spent all their energy just trying to stay on their feet with Tommas riding, otherwise they'd just crawl along instead of walking, m'lady." That's probably an exaggeration.
"It's a good thing to have a horse that'll protect you, aye. They've got their own personalities and can be every bit as fierce as sword," Tommas agrees with a low, warm rumble of laughter. He meets Merel's gaze with a smile. Just so. "Just think of with armor and all. It ain't light, m'Lady." That is mostly an exaggeration, yes. "Seems a plan, I'll have to speak to the Mistress of Horses and see if we can't sort the Terrick group from this lot."
Tia nods her head. "Would be an injustice to have Ser Belte here trying to ride my Gethin, for instance. I think his feet would be dragging along the ground." She might be exaggerating a touch as well, though not too much. As she gets into the stables, she starts finding places for the horses. "We could mark the stalls where we're putting them, so that Mistress Snow knows - well, she probably will anyway. Never mind me."
Merel nods her head shallowly and looks down the lines of horses. "Guess the horse has to fit the rider," she muses, probably meaning more than just sizes. Otherwise it sounds like she's talking about shoes and not living animals with minds of their own. "Someone's gonna get surprised with a lot more horses being here than before."
Tommas stops and scratches his nose, eying the number of stalls and the number of horses. That is a lot of horses. "Aye. I should probably go and see that the Mistress knows about her new, temporary boarders." It wouldn't do good to step on anyone's toes. "Soon as I have this lot stabled." That said, he sets to work getting his group into stalls and free of their tack.