|Life's a Strange Journey|
|Summary:||Punching, hugging and job offers. It's a lively morning at Crane's Crossing.|
|Related Logs:||Spit Rather Than Swallow probably. Others less directly.|
|Crane's Crossing Inn — Stonebridge|
|While Crane's Crossing is technically an Inn, it caters to the traveling nobility almost exclusively. The floors around the hearth are finely crafted stonework, as are the slate blocks that the firepit is constructed of. The rest of the floor is done in stained oak that matches the few long tables and the chairs. The rest of the main room is furnished with plush couches and seating to entice visitors to delay their leave. A full service kitchen provides food of all kinds as well as high quality ales and wines. Also available are several women to provide hospitality to the lonely or those in need, the quality of them to be beaten by but a few in the Riverlands. A hallway near the kitchen leads off to the rear of the building and several up-scale rooms.|
|Sat Apr 28, 289|
Ser Jarod has found his way to Stonebridge. He's at one of the tables in the Crane's Common room, ordering his breakfast. And being laughed at by a tall, willowy brunette serving maid. "I can't believe you're MARRIED!" she's giggling near-uncontrollably, pointing at him as she laughs. One might think he'd complain about this unprofessional display by the wait-staff, but all he says is a very wry, "Glad things're going well for you, too, Lyla."
Just in time for a midday meal, Ser Bruce Longbough, Stonebridge's current Captain of the Guard, enters the Crane's Crossing Inn. He's had less and less time to visit his house and made taking a meal at the Inn a regular part of his day, in the last week. The man looks tired, though in good spirits and clean clothes. Ser Jarod being the object of attention, Bruce smiles gregariously and heads his way. "Ser Jarod!" He exclaims, loudly.
Miss Lyla smothers her giggling mockery when an actual customer she has to take seriously appears, flouncing a little to one side to flash a winsome smile at Bruce. "Can I fetch you something to drink or eat, Ser?"
Jarod grins broad at the appearance of the Stonebridge Captain of the Guard. Who at least isn't yet laughing at him. "Ser Bruce Longbough! Legend of the Blackwood contingent. In his own mind, at least." He rises, extending a hand for the man to clap.
"I'll have whatever he's having, m'dear, and they're both on me. Since he's a guest in our fine town and all." Bruce asides to Lyla, winking at her before he takes Jarod's hand in a firm clasp. "Well met, Ser. Though the only people to remember any legends of that particular contingent reside in the Vale, or the Blackwood Vale. Mountain folk, no matter where we're from, tend to flock together. So we did at the Trident." He chuckles loudly, dropping into a seat after releasing Jarod's hand and pushing his scabbard out of the way. "So. Tell me, what are these rumours I've heard? I'm sure you're sick of talking of them, but I'd rather ask the man whom they're about."
Jarod shakes Bruce's hand firm, then sits back down. "In that case, m'dear, I'll take a plate of ham and eggs, and a pint of good beer, if you please." Now that someone else paying. She bobs a little nod to the pair of them and flounces off to fetch it, but not before chortling, "HE'S MARRIED" in reply to Bruce's question. Jarod watches her go with a snort, grinning as he says, "First girl I ever lay with, that one. She's grown up a bit mean. But, all women are insane, so I figure she can't be blamed, bless her heart."
"Aye, I know what you're saying. Aleks is really off of the wall lately, but I suspect that has to do with the little creature booting her from the inside than anything I do. Maybe I'm wrong, though." Bruce laughs, settling down quickly. "So then. Are you going to tell me?"
"What's to tell? I've wed my former squire," Jarod replies, unable to keep from chuckling himself. Very ruefully. "Who's a girl, thank you very much! I don't know what rumors you've heard, but at least I can say I've not turned to lads. That's just strange." As opposed to the normalcy of his relationship. "Anyhow. I don't know quite what they're saying about me, but that's it in short. Rowan Nayland was actually Rowenna Rose Nayland, Lord Rickart's daughter. She posed as a boy for years to try and attain the knighthood. My family never knew before she told my lord father. Nor did hers, I will say, and her cousin and brothers and even father saw her face-to-face on the Pyke and other occasions."
"I'm surprised no one knew that she was a girl. I mean, she didn't piss standing up and ble… sorry, I've got to be mindful that I'm talking about your Lady wife." Bruce stops himself from theorizing. From his lack of surprise, he looks like that was what he'd heard in the rumours. "So let me offer my congratulations, Ser Jarod, on being a married man. Didn't think I'd ever see you amongst our ranks." A genuine smile and pat on the shoulder follow. His smile fades some. "There was another rumour, one that I didn't like the sound of." He motions at Jarod's boots.
"People see what they want to see!" Jarod says, a little defensively. "I'm not the only idiot who bought it, and I didn't know for four years myself. You're shown a skinny boy with some odd habits who's probably a bugger, you'll take that as what's there, rather than presuming it's got a pair of tits." The congratulations meet with a touch of surprise. And a big grim. "Thank you, Ser Bruce. Wasn't sure I'd ever be, either. Not sure how I could've done different, though. With what people'd say about her, the way we kept company in the same tent and the like. And besides…I wanted to. She's a fierce, brave, lovely girl. Bit insane, but they all are." Though his own smile droops at the motion to his boots. "Aye. There is that. My lord father didn't take well to the news he'd been lied to. Stripped me of my knightly honors. Armor and spurs and steed. I've kept my sword, at least. And my 'Ser', though I'm not sure quite what it means without all the rest."
Bruce listens attentively as Jarod talks about Lord Rowan cum Lady Rowenna's habits and manner of dress, chuckling. "Aye, well, there's that. I didn't know, but I didn't take much of a look at that. Still, she fought like a madman, and that I /did/ see. Almost puts stock into what those Mormonts do with their women, eh?" As the talk turns to Jarod being seriously stripped, his good humour fades away again. "Ach, it's one thing to dismiss a man from service, but that… well, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I wish I could help make things right. A knight needs armour. Not so sure on the spurs or steed part, but that's the footman in me."
"Damn right she did, Ser!" Jarod says, emphatically, as to Rowan cum Rowenna's fighting. "I thought…fuck me, I don't know. That after the Pyke, after what she'd done on the field, people might think different about her, even knowing who she truly is. She earned the knighthood as much as any man, though perhaps it'd have gone easier for me if I hadn't dubbed her." As for the stripping of his spurs, Jarod shrugs. "I'd lied to him, for near a year, as both my father and my liege lord. And if it allows me to take the disgrace just upon myself, rather than upon my family, I'll consider if a decent price. Just not sure what I'm going to do with myself now. Ser Kamron's offered to take me on as a sort of personal hedge knight for him, to help root out the bandits between here and the Roost. If Lord Patrek consents. Who in seven hells knows how that'll go. I suppose Rowenna and I are off to plead ourselves at Seagard next, though I figured I'd stop here first to…well. To see the matter of Stonebridge settled."
Following on the heels of rumor, Ser Riordan Nayland's path takes him to the Crane's Crossing. He enters the building followed by a single guardsman. With an idle gesture from the Regent (though perhaps for only a few more days), the guard moves to stand by the door, while the lord himself looks about the place. And then, as soon as his eyes lay on Bruce and Jarod, more specifically the latter, the Nayland knight makes his way to the pair, with purpose.
"Aye, it's a shame things had to work out this way. Both for yourself and Stonebridge, but that's the way of the land sometimes. I know you'd never see yourself working alongside me because of my masters, and that's a shame. But understandable. I wish you luck with all that. As for your wife… aye, she fought better than many men out there. But she is a woman, and she can't be a knight. Also, the way of the land." Bruce shrugs earnestly. "Knighthood is over rated, in any case." Every new entrance to the Crossing draws a look from the Captain, and Riordan's is no exception. Just as the pair's food and beer arrives at the table, Ser Bruce is rising from his seat. "M'lord Regent." He dips his head.
The ride over from the Roost was relatively uneventful, something that should be quite good these days, right? And so Martyn makes his way into the Crane's Crossing not too long after the last person to pass through the door. As he looks around a bit carefully, and pausing as he sees the people present, he steps to the side of the door at the moment, as he keeps his attention on the others present for now.
"If Ser Rygar triumphs in the duel…" But Jarod shakes his head. "He'd like as never consent to me working on this land, so there's little point in thinking on that. Ser Gedeon once offered me a place in his house, if he became Lord of Stonebridge. There still might be that. But the Naylands haven't treated Rowenna too poorly since she revealed herself, and that might make trouble. We'll see how it plays." It's only after Bruce's rising that he looks up to notice Riordan. "Oh, fuck me to seven hells…" he mutters into his ham and eggs. Nevertheless, he gets to his feet.
"Ser Bruce," Riordan says, his expression for once blank. The words are off-hand, though, as his attention is utterly caught by Jarod. Stopping in front of the man called Half-Eagle, the Regent just looks into his eyes. And then, in a sudden movement, his fist is flying directly at Jarod's face. Hard.
Now this is a tricky situation. One one hand, a man Bruce has called friend for a year now and fought with in the war. On the other, his liege lord. For now, Bruce watches the carriage wreck in progress play out, so to speak, eyes widening and jaw dropping in surprise.
Jarod pretty much saw that one coming from the Nayland brother. He doesn't particularly try to dodge it or defend himself, though he did try and stand some place where gravity might not propel him directly back into the table. His planning pays off, since Riordan's punch knocks him him back onto the floor, saving his breakfast. "Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck…!" he grimaces, sitting up and cradling his face. That'll leave him a handsome black eye. When he can manage something other than profanity it's a wry, "M'lord Nayland. Fine regent's hospitality your town offers."
Martyn watches the happenings at the moment rather carefully. Without taking his eyes off Riordan and Jarod, he makes his way over in the direction of where he can order himself something to wash away the dust from his throat with. Unable to hold back a chuckle as he hears Jarod's words there, he shakes his head a little.
The Nayland guardsman that Riordan left at the door doesn't seem particularly surprised by his lord's actions, perhaps having caught some of his mood on the way over. The man does look after the sudden violence erupts, but otherwise remains at his post by the door for now.
"I would have offered you bread and salt, but I imagined you might already have ate it without asking permission, as seems your want. Perhaps while pretending it was beer and vinegar," Riordan says, the words a tightly coiled whip as eyes bright with hot anger look down at the fallen knight. And then, he reaches out, and offers Jarod a hand. "Up with you, then."
Bruce seems relieved when it appears that Riordan isn't going to pummel Jarod as he's down. He gives a nod to the Guardsman at the door, looking back down at the two men with his arms crossed. Apparently he hasn't noticed Martyn yet.
"If your family discards bread of worth, that's hardly my fault," Jarod says, eyeing the regent of Stonebridge. Before accepting the hand up. He seems to have no particular inclination to try and hit the man back, even if he's perhaps wary of the hand.
Also looking a bit relieved as he sees there'll be no beating the fallen man, Martyn looks over to the guardsman by the door for a few moments. And then he's a bit distracted as he gets his drink, and pays for it, before he looks back to the others again. Watching in quiet now.
"Enough." Despite his anger, Riordan's voice keeps to an appropriate level as he speaks the word. Still, the tone in which it is said is sharp, hard, and final. "That was owed to you, Ser, for the insult you did my family." Again, he studies the man, keeping firm grasp of the other knight's hand. And in another sudden flurry of movement, he will attempt to yank Jarod forward, perhaps a bit roughly, into a brotherly embrace. "And this is for being my family, whatever the circumstances."
Bruce can't help but snicker at the interplay between Jarod and Riordan, shaking his head a bit in what might be characterized as disbelief.
"Seven hells…" Jarod is far more surprised by the hugging than the punching. Though he's an emotive sort of guy, and he finally claps Riordan's shoulders in a proper bro-hug. "About time one of you did that. You are her elder brothers, after all. I gave Lord Rafferdy a free shot at the Rockcliff, but he didn't take me up on it. Pity. Strikes me he's the the one of you who hits the softest, your sister included."
Martyn is unable to hold back another grin as he sees what's happening now. Raising his glass a bit as he listens and watches, he takes a quiet sip, never taking his gaze off the happenings. Just in case there's any stabbings included in the hugs here or something, of course.
"Well, next to my Lord Father, I'm likely the most forgiving," Riordan says, to Jarod, once the embrace has ended. "At least when family is involved. My sister and brother left us, and at least now I have a sister and brother returned, if not quite as I expected." He shakes his head, looking over his new goodbrother. "For what it is worth, most of the others will come around in time. Whatever dishonor has been done by you and my sister does not overturn the fact that you are family. Honor is important, but not as much as family." He glances around, now, as if only just aware that they are in public. Ignoring most of the other patrons, he looks to Bruce, and offers him a nod and a friendly grin, the anger having faded from his eyes. "Ser Bruce, my apologies for interupting your meal."
"It's alright, Ser Riordan. All in the name of some family bonding and such. And we hadn't started to eat, anyways." Bruce motions to the plates of steaming food. He looks relieved that he didn't have to say or do anything to stop the two men from quarelling. His hands slip from being crossed over his chest to hanging loosely at his sides.
"Your family's not been unkind to us, on the whole," Jarod says, easing himself back into his chair once he's done with the bro-hugging. And, he digs into his eggs. It's not he's a guy who's un-used to taking punches in the face. If anything, he seems more relaxed now. "We just came from the Mire, presenting ourselves before Lord Rickart, and your lady mother. Off to Seagard next. No one else in my lord father's house knew what Rowenna and I were doing, and I'd like to plead at least that our disgrace not fall upon the Terricks. And perhaps see if I can still find a living on lands sworn to the Mallisters, if not in the way I did before." Speaking of Mallisters, he finally notices Martyn. Now that the punching and hugging is done. He offers the man a rather chipper wave of his arm.
"I'm sure he's very happy you did not punch him over the table, Ser Nayland," Martyn comments a little as he hears Riordan's words to Bruce, unable to stay quiet anymore. Offering all three of them a smile and a nod and a lift of his glass. "I hope this is not the common way people are greeted here. Some are far less used to taking punches than Ser Jarod here." Offered quite lightly for now.
"Lots of swearing and crying in turn, was there?" Riordan inquires with a large grin at Jarod's talk of reunion with the Nayland patriarch and matriarch. He nods to Bruce, then, offering, "Well, then I suppose I simply share my sister's penchant for timing." The Nayland knight grins in Jarod's direction at this quip, though it seems offered in harmless fun. He requires very little time for a sore subject to become free for targeting with jokes, it seems. Turning to the third voice, when he hears it, apparently unaware of the Eagle in the room until the now, he offers a slight inclination of his head. "Only for family, I assure you, Ser." However, his attention is once more pulled back to Jarod, as he says, "Well, I would ask you to consider taking your sword with your new family, Ser. Whatever else, we are family now, and more then that, I still owe you my life. Should I retain control of Stonebridge, I would see you set up here. And barring that, my father would not begrudge me a favor, and there would be a place for you at the Sevens." A pause, before ammending, "Well, there might be more swearing. But in the end, I expect he'd agree."
Bruce turns at Jarod's wave. As his sleepy blue eyes settle on Ser Martyn, he dips his head respectfully. "Ser Martyn. Welcome to Stonebridge." As talk turns of employment for Jarod, he coughs and sits down. Looks like it's a good time to start focusing on his meal.
Jarod cracks a grin. The expression is a boyish one, though a little less so with his rapidly swelling eye, and the high amount of rue it contains. The offer from Riordan makes him blink. And he does not reject is as immediately as perhaps one might expect. "If Ser Rygar triumphs in the duel on the morrow…things will have to change, between the Terricks and Naylands. My lord father could never, I don't think, abide be swearing to the Mire. But I spent many of my days in Stonebridge as a boy, and…things'll have to change. I could never be a party to anything that'd harm the Terricks. You understand that, aye?"
Martyn nods a little bit, offering a bit of a grin, "Ah good. Some of us have our good looks to maintain, right?" He moves his way over towards the rest as he hears Bruce's words. "Thank you, Ser Bruce. I hope you've been well since the last time we spoke." A grin at Riordan and Jarod as well, "You two as well, of course."
"You marry into my family, and still you think so little of us," Riordan says, shaking his head. "I suppose I can not be surprised. This feud runs deep. Very well, ser, I give you my word. Should you find yourself sworn to me, I will not give you an order in regards to your family. Any order. I may ask something of you, but you will have permission to refuse." He pauses, before adding, "Though, I gave a promise to your goodsister to send aid, and had also had plans to assist in dealing with the bandit problem. Perhaps, should I still be in power to impliment these tasks, you will agree to aid me in such." Inclining his head to Jarod, he then says to all the men at large, "Well then, gentlemen, I fear I am not able to tarry. I still have much to put in order. Please, enjoy your meal. I will talk with you all again soon, I hope."
Bruce has quickly scarfed his way through half of his meal. When it becomes apparent that Riordan is leaving, he puts down his fork and swallows whatever's in his mouth. A second later, he's no longer in his chair but standing with head dipped. "Gods keep, m'lord."
"I think you a good man, Ser," Jarod says, standing and extending his hand to Riordan, for clasping purposes. "And one I could find some pride in serving. I would be honored to assist in such. If you've time, look in on your sister. She's staying here as well, and it would do her well to see you."
"Of course, Ser," Martyn offers to Riordan, offering a nod and a half-smile to the man, before he looks back to the other two for now, taking another sip from his drink. Staying silent for the moment.
Riordan dips his head to Jarod at the other man's opinion of his character, though responds verbally to the request regarding Rowenna. "Please tell my Lady Sister that I shall pay a visit on her as soon as I am able. I look forward to seeing her in the light of honesty. I have missed her." There seems no dishonesty in that statement, the sentiment heartfelt, as the Nayland knight adds, "And in the meanwhile, please assure her of my love." With a dip of his head to the other two knights, and a brief, "Sers," Riordan departs the Crane's Cross, his guardman following a moment after, with a departing grin to the Captain.
And Riordan does, in fact, clasp arms with Jarod before leaving.
A moment after Riordan steps out, Rafferdy steps in. He's dressed like a peasant, and simply makes his way to the bar where he orders a large mug of ale. He rubs his eyes as he waits for the drink, so far, not noticing the others.
Bruce is finally able to make it down back to his seat without interruption, when Riordan leaves. He doesn't notice the man's brother come in and is instead focused quite handily on the food. "That was interesting." He says to Jarod, in between bites.
"Was at that," Jarod agrees, scarfing some ham once he's worked through a good portion of his eggs. He's seated at a table with Bruce, having breakfast and sporting what's swelling into a very handsome black eye on the right side of his face. "Life is a strange journey, Ser Bruce." He's a philosophical bastard at the moment, it seems. He finally offers a proper greeting to the Mallister, "Ser Martyn. What brings you to Stonebridge? Are you here to witness the contest of arms tomorrow?"
Martyn shrugs a little bit as he hears Jarod's questions. "One of the reasons would be that contest of arms, yes." A brief pause, before he adds, "Planning to speak with a few of the merchants around here as well." He doesn't say anything about exactly why he's planning on that, though. Offering another grin to the man, "So, how's things been since you left the Roost, Ser? Nobody's killed you yet, I see."
Rafferdy gets his mug, and spends a moment flirting with the attractive barmaid. They laugh, and as he does so, his eyes catch the other men, and he sighs, the smile draining from his face. He takes a large drink of the ale, and then makes his way over to them. "Gentlemen," he greets.
When Jarod mentions the fight tomorrow, Bruce frowns. He is not happy about it, to be sure. However, Bruce worries more about his food, and when that's done, drinking his beer. He doesn't interrupt. Again, a noble shows up and Bruce is forced to rise. At least he's finished eating. "M'lord." There is no warmth in his voice. He appears to be going through the motions with Rafferdy, and as soon as his head is lifted from its dip his sleepy blue eyes stare at the Nayland.
"Well, this might get infected," Jarod says to Martyn, in a jolly sort of way, tapping a finger against his swelling eye. He winces, but he was anticipating the pain, so he can't rightly look surprised. "So I'll not say that for cert yet. But things didn't go too poorly with the Naylands. Lord Rickart accepted Rowenna back, though I'm not quite certain what her place is among her kin. But he's letting her keep the Nayland name. Which I suppose does make me Ser Jarod Nayland." He snorts, shaking his head. "We'll see how long that lasts." At Rafferdy's approach he looks up, and flashes his black-eyed grin in that direction. "Fun Nayland. You just missed your elder brother. We were bonding."
Martyn nods a little bit at Jarod's words, "I see…" He offers a bit of a smile. "Glad to hear you're doing okay, at least." He offers a bit of a nod to Rafferdy as the man approaches, "Lord Rafferdy. I hope you are well?" Jarod's words to the man makes him chuckle a bit. "They truly did. In a rather smashing way, I'd say." Another sip of his drink, before he looks over to Bruce again.
Rafferdy smirks, "Ser Nayland," to Jarod. He looks at Bruce, "You're still angry at me? Really?" He seems as if he thinks that's rather ridiculous. "If I apologize, would you be able to forgive me?" He shifts his weight to his other foot as he waits for Bruce to answer.
"Of course, m'lord." Bruce doesn't appear like he's going to elaborate on what exactly he's angry about with Rafferdy, at least not to those in public.
Jarod snorts at Rafferdy's address to him. "That might just stick, too. Though I think I'll keep styling myself Ser Jarod Half-Eagle as much as I can. I took a liking to it on the Isles. Rowenna and I just came from the Mire. Met with your lord father and lady mother. Didn't go near as bad as I expected. Figured we'd stop over in town before heading to Seagard. I wanted to witness the duel between Ser Rygar and Ser Gedeon, though she wants no part in watching it herself."
Martyn looks between Rafferdy and Bruce for a few moments, looking quite curious, before he looks back to Jarod, nodding a bit at the man's words, "Understandable." Going silent again for a few moments, as he looks around the room again.
Rafferdy nods, "Well," He straightens his posture a bit. "I am terribly sorry for having interrupted the secret planning meeting between you and Rygar. I should make a greater effort to ensure I am taking my ladies into rooms that are actually empty before engaging them in the carnal follies. It was quite insensitive of me to do so in front of the two of you. In the future, I give you my word, to take a more mature approach to such things, so that you are no longer subjected to such things." He takes a drink of his ale. "It must have been awful for the two of you to witness the conquest of youthful lust, and be reminded that you both are old and have such comparatively terrible unexciting bedroom lives. I'll not rub my successful triumphs in your faces again, Ser." Then he looks at Jarod, "Ugh. Gedeon and Rygar." He rolls his eyes, "I'm okay with whoever wins. I'll probably spend the day in bed."
Bruce stares at Rafferdy with a blank expression. Once the noble is done, he says dryly, "It's not about you, m'lord. It's about more than you. You're a successful soldier, and excellent in battle. But it seems off the field, you aren't taking the situation with the gravity it deserves. Worse, you sneer in the face of those who are and ridicule them. Well, there you have it. I did not intend to say something like that in a public place, but I won't abide by it either. I apologize, m'lord." He dips his head to Rafferdy. As he's doing so, a silver stag is put on the table for Lyla the serving maid. He nods at both Jarod and Martyn. "Ser Jarod. Ser Martyn. We'll have to speak another time." THen he's going to the door.
Jarod snorts a laugh at Rafferdy's speech about his improprieties, and his conquests. Just when he's taking a swallow of beer, which is a very poor time to laugh. He coughs and sputters, and swallows with a grimace. "Fuck, I think some of that went up my nose. Seven hells, that burns!" He tries to regain his dignity as Bruce rises to leave. As much as he can. "Ahem. Thanks for the meal, Ser Bruce. Perhaps we can do this again sometime."
Martyn nods a little bit as he hears what's being said, raising an eyebrow at Rafferdy's words, and the reply from Bruce. "We will, Ser Bruce. I will be in town for a little while longer, then heading back to the Roost for a bit. I might return here every now and then, though." Draining his drink, now.
Rafferdy smiles at the reaction from Bruce, "I sneer?" He looks at Jarod, "Do I sneer?" Then back at Bruce, "I don't sneer. Ladies find sneers VERY unattractive." He then sits his empty mug down. "Bruce bought your dinner?" He looks at Bruce, "Well, then it's I that should go." He nods and tries to gesture Bruce to not leave. "Please. Stay. I'm sure I have other places I could be equally unapreciated at." He nods, "Be well." And then he goes.
"I have to see to my wife and child, m'lord. She's not been feeling well and I've a dearth of time to be with them. Gods keep." And with that, Bruce is out the door.
"I should be seeing to my wife as well, I suppose," Jarod says, grinning some as he gets to use the word. His plate's been properly cleaned, and he finishes the last few swallows in his mug. "I don't know how long we'll linger in town, Lord Rafferdy, but your sister'd like to see you if you've a moment for it, I'm sure."
Rafferdy pauses long enough to nod at Jarod, "I'l be around. Tell her I'd like that." And then he goes.
Martyn watches the people head out now, and then looks around the room once more. "I guess this is what they call an interesting place…" he offers after a few moments of pause.