|Late Night Stories|
|Summary:||Dania arrives back in the Roost with yet more troubling rumours.|
|Related Logs:||Missing Maid saga|
|Town Square, Terrick's Roost|
|The town square of Terrick's Roost was once considered well-kept. The stone streets run right up to the building fronts around the edge and the locals have kept the spaces between free of grass and weeds that might otherwise sprung up between them, although dark streaks of stubborn soot have crawled in between the stones. There are several homes and shops located here which show the scars and cinders of the sacking of the town at Ironborn hands. The ruin of the town's Sept can also be seen from here with its ornate stone front rising above the surrounding structures just down the cobblestone road.|
|Sat Nov 17, 289|
The night is warm and the sun has long since set and the first stars are winking into existence when a long rider comes into town. The horse is tall and in the shifting shadows of the night the sex and birth right of the rider is hard to make out. The fight from lamps and torches causes long shadows to come alive in the night. No child can be seen on the streets this night and there is a sense of tension in the air.
Mortimer is finally heading home for the night, for all that Lady Anais sent someone to find Kain, he's wanted to look himself as well, not having been comfortable with just doing nothing for the evening hours. Now though the light is too bad to look for anyone who is neither at home nor in the inn. He's crossing the square as the sound of hooves on the road attracts his attention and he turns towards the new arrival. It doesn't seem to be a wailing woman in the woods so he calls out a standard greeting, "Good evening, you're about late. If you're after stabling for the night then the inn should have room still."
"Good, and thank you." The woman responds back to him. "How are you doing this evening?" She asks as she draws her horse closer to him. She is cloaked and she her voice is weary. She pats her horse's neck. "Warm night, but pleasant," she brings her horse to a halt and dismounts. "Deputy is it?" She recognizes his voice.
Mortimer tilts his head slightly at the initial reply, there's something familiar about that voice but for now he doesn't seem to be able to place it. As the horse steps closer though he recognises the beast and offers its rider a tired smile. "Good evening Mistress Dorsey," he greets as he steps forward to take the horse's bridal, "welcome back to the Roost. I trust your ride was free from trouble?"
"Yes it was, interesting rumours have been following me." Dania tells him as she runs up her stirrups and loosens her horse's girth. "How is your son and how are you doing with your headaches?" She asks him as she moves to lean against her horses shoulder. "It has been a while, how is the Roost doing and am I still welcome? I will not be staying long, I am here to visit one of the nobles of House Mallister and I will be gone." She tells him.
"You wouldn't happen to have come through Highfield of late would you?" Mortimer asks, wondering if the Gods would be that kind to him. "The Roost progresses," he answers, before frowning at Dania for a moment, "do you have reason to doubt your welcome? I've certainly heard nothing to indicate that you should." Shifting his right hand from his belt to rub his beard a moment it possibly just about visible in the light to note that his knuckles are scratched and scuffed. As his arm drops once more he remembers her earlier queries and answers quickly, "he is well, although he'll have been asleep a good while already I hope." There's a faint guilty look there, but sometimes his work does keep him out later than he'd like.
"That is interesting and good to hear. I do promise I will not tarry too long. What happen to your hands?" She asks him first before she answers his question. "Nay from Heronshurst, I have been travelling between the outlying farms and the forest in this area. Stories of a woman who killed her children and is taking the lives of others is what I have been greeted with they are panicked. A shade or ghost, but I think it is something that is more human." She tells him. "Would you like for me to head in that direction after I am done here? what is happening up over at Highfield?"
Now that does get Mortimer attention and he falls silent as he listens, brow furrowing into a serious and concerned expression. "Are there children missing from Heronhurst?" he asks quickly, his tone reflecting his change in expression. "We're sending either raven or rider," he replies in response to the Highfield question, "there is word of a dead babe there in the woods and we have a missing maid. Some have said they may be related but we know little of the case." Its only then, once he's imparted what he wanted in relation to the issue at hand, that he actually registers the query over his hand. It catches him a little off guard a moment and he glances down to the offending digits then back to Dania. "My hand?" he says semi-distractedly, mind still on the news from Heronhurst, "nothin' really. Had an argument with a wall."
"No in Heronshurst they have tales of a hunter, a hunter seeking children. It is an old tale." Dania tells him. "Personally I think is just one of the woodman. Or one that has moved from one territory and into another." she points out. "As for your hand why did you have an argument with the wall?" She asks him. "I do need to head into the Groves as I heard about the woman and the dead child found in the tree roots." She tells him.
"It was easier," although possibly less satisfying, "than having an argument with someone's face," Mortimer answers, flexing the hand almost reflexively as he does. The clarification of no actual missing in Heronhurst is greeted with a relieved nod and a relaxation of his shoulders that he hadn't realised had tensed. It doesn't last long though and quickly returns at the news from Kinsgrove. "There too?" he asks, reaching up this time to rub his forehead for a few moments. "I think, perhaps," he states tiredly, "that I'm going to need to hear these rumours from you in full."
"You sound tired, rest first and in the morning I can fill you in. If I have to leave before first light I will leave you a letter that explains everything." Dania tells him. She smiles a little bit. "Be at ease I am certain none will go missing tonight." She says this gently to him. "Wash your hands with soap and put honey on the abrasions." She advises.
Mortimer shakes his head a moment and explains, "I'm meeting with Master Audron at first light, trying to track the maid I mentioned." Thinking it over for a moment he then nods towards the Rockcliff, "should be quietening for the night, but they won't begrudge a quiet table for a short time." There should still be a lad up who can stable her horse for her so he turns to lead the way.