Page 338: Loyal Dogs
Loyal Dogs
Summary: Kittridge and Saffron discuss fealty and dogs. Tommas just plays with Bear.
Date: 23/06/2012
Related Logs: Meleeing at Seagard, Even Moar Melee at Seagard, and the Groves surplus logs.
Kittridge Tommas Bear Saffron 
Groves Campsite — Seagard
Camp as heck!
Sat Jun 23, 289

The Groves campsite, like many others, is a relatively peaceful place today, the major competitions more or less completed. Some travel into Seagard to shop, some sleep in late, some attend to cleaning up after the batterings of the last week. Kittridge lounges in a low chair, feet propped up on a stool in front of him, half in sun and half in shadow beneath a tent near the main pavilion. Its sides have been all rolled up and tied out of the way to let the light and fresh air in, and the lord looks like he may have been enjoying them enough to doze off, a glass of chilled wine still in one hand.

"Enjoying your team's victory in comfort, I see M'Lord Kitt," comments the large shadow that creeps in through one of those open tent flats and crosses over Kittridge's feet. It could only belong to the Groves giant himself. Hair damp and leaving droplets on his shirt, Tommas flashes Kittridge a wide grin.

Kittridge blinks a bit, picking his head up slowly and shading his eyes with a hand to peer up at Tommas. "Letting the sun bake these bruises out," he says, flashing Tommas a grin before noting, "Though it seems my sun has moved while I wasn't paying attention." He rubs at the side of his face and sits up a bit, moving just a little stiffly the day after the melee. He lifts his wine for a long drink and then asks, "Want some? It's cold. There's a pitcher…" he looks around, and frowns, "Somewhere."
GAME: Dump complete. Time in.

Tommas laughs. "I haven't never heard of the sun being able to manage that, although it's as good an escapes as I've ever heard to have a bit of a layabout," he says wryly, a smile crinkling the corners of his eyes. "I would. Thanks." He looks around, lifting his brows before finally catching sight of the pitcher tucked safely to the side as if someone was hoping the idea of out-of-sigh-out-of-mind would set in. "There it is. You need a refill?" The offer is made easily as the big man moves carefully across the tent, still a bit stiff from bruising himself.

"It helps!" Kittridge insists, "Soaks some of the stiffness out or something. Or it's just nice being in the sun. Whichever." He waves a hand vaguely, and then grins at Tommas finds the wine, saying, "Well done. Yes, I'll take a refill, thanks." He holds out his cup, saying, "Managed not to crack anything, except maybe a finger," he holds it up (it looks ugly), "So that's something. Would've been bloody embarrassing to come out with anything worse after you and Nic managed just fine."

"My ma'd say that's horseshit, my Lord. Course she had this thing where she'd put a bag of beans and heat'em for the muscle aches. So there might be sommat to the heat?" Tommas opines informatively, drawing on the wisdom of his mother and gathering Kittridge's cup as he does. "Finger's are ugly." A look at Kitt's finer makes him grimace in sympathy. Yes, just like that. "That bloody Mallister was half out to kill me, you'd think a duel breaker wouldn't be half so arsed about a bit of banter," he says, pouring the wine. "Got a good bruise out of that. Your brother showed…well." Any praise of Nicodemus is grudging at best.

"See?" Kittridge replies, "I remember that remedy of your mother's. I can't see why the sun wouldn't help in the same way, if it's warm enough." Which it may just be, in the sun at this time of day. "Real ugly," he agrees of his finger, it and the one next to it purple and battered and splinted. They stick out straight as he wraps his others around the cup and drinks. And then grimaces, "I saw him come after you, and then after Nic, too. What'd you say to him?"

It is hot and sunny day. Tommas nods and gives Kittridge's finger another look before taking a draught of his wine. "I'm sure Day'll see it set right. Least it doesn't impede your drinking any," he says easily, confident in the Septa's skills. He snags a camp chair, gently unfolding it and taking a seat. "Nothing vile, honest to the Seven. He was boasting a bit how he was then man that saw that Greyjoy fall, only to add that he was one of the six that brought him down…bit of a side to the Western fellow." Scratching lightly at his jaw, Tommas pauses and lifts his shoulders in a shrug. "All I said was with hits weak as that first he gave me, no wonder it took of 'em." He takes a drink. "He didn't like that much."

"So long as it doesn't impair my drinking, I'll live," Kittridge agrees with a grin, and then drinks again just to make sure. He settles back in his chair once more, propping up his feet, he and Tommas seated outside near the main pavilion, under a separate tent that's just a roof at present, the sides tied out of the way. He snorts at something the big retainer says. "Sensitive fellow, to take that personally. Way he went after Nic looked personal, too," he says, shaking his head, "And they wonder why we're not on great terms." He drinks some more, and lets his head loll against the chair back, soaking up the summer sun.

A walking flame of wildfire graces her way into the Groves campsite. Saffron had intended to visit with Rosanna some time ago, but if everyone is quite honest with themselves, obviously a freshly announced betrothal is enough to cause a re-organization of priorities. Now the Banefort lady has come to see in on the Groves with a small wicker basket of flowers and a couple jars of something in one hand. Bounding behind her is the wee Reach corgi pup, his mouth full of a strange fishie-mouse toy — and the more he's chewed on it, the more the actual animal the toy is suppose to represent becomes more and more obscured. There is a long braid of leather attached to his collar and her belt, so the monster cannot run too far from her side. She is definitely looking around, hoping to spy Rosanna.

"Good. The drinking is important for the proper healing of things." Tommas grins back, honoring the statement with another draught of his own chilled wine. The — compartively to his bulk — small chair creaks a little as he leans back, crossing a foot over his knee. "Aye. I thought it odd, even with his retort that the Greyjoy took down Lord Mallister, Seven keep 'em. It's not like we weren't there to see it," he offers. "Can't take a bloody comment." That's the real issue.

"What's that got to do with anything you said?" Kittridge asks, frowning, "Serious trouble following the plot sometimes, these people. Any excuse to blame us for something." He drinks, and then looks over at the arrival of first the Banefort and then the puppy. "Hello, Lady Saffron," he greets her, "If you're looking for my sister, I'm afraid she's not about at the moment."

The sound of Kittridge's voice draws her around, and Saffron brightens with a gentle show of dimples. She starts in toward the pair, though at a leisure pace that also allows Bear's very short legs to bounce about behind her without falling too far behind her longer strides. "Damn the luck, Ser Kittridge," she says in a mix of mirth and disappointment. "I was hoping to reconnect with her after the incident at the nighttime picnic." She offers both a gentle curtsey, and Bear comes peeking around her skirts to growl playfully around his toy at the pair; his butt wags with happy excitement. Play?

"Damned if I know," Tommas reflies with genuine confusion. The big man shakes his head, taking another drink and then following Kittridge's gaze towards the lady and the puppy. Motions a touch stiff from his recent batterning, the large knight rises to his feet to offer a careful bow at the arrival of the noblewoman. While his Lord attends to pleasantries, his gaze locks on the bright eyed pup and a warm smile spreading across his face. He bends down to lay knee to earth, setting his wine cup atop the chair, offering his mitt of a palm to the playful puppy so it might sniff. Hello there.

"Sorry to disappoint you," Kittridge replies to Saffron with a friendly smile. He stands as she approaches, bowing somewhat stiffly in return before he sits back down and smile faintly, tightly, "Ah, yes, the picnic. Rosanna assures me that she has apologized profusely already, but please accept my apology as well for what happened. Would you care to join us?" he offers. There are a couple other chairs near the table, and cups waiting for additional drinkers upon it, "I suspect Tommas and your fuzzy chaperone may be some time getting acquainted."

Play! Bear actually draws Saffron closer with a sharp tug of the leash to investigate this offered hand that could probably palm him easily. It takes him a few moments to realize he can't really sniff at Tommas and keep his toy in his mouth, so he abandons the latter between his paws. "Gentle," Saffron instructs the puppy, as if Tommas couldn't handle those tiny puppy teeth but Master Kain has told her to be consistent with him. Bear sniffs at the offered fingers, and even tries to find a way to nip playfully at the giant's fingertips. His mostly tailless butt continues to wag with excitement. The Lady looks back to Kittridge, and she shakes her head gently with a smile on her lips. She unfastens the leash so bear has some freedom and so she can take a seat. "Thank you," she says before continuing, "I believe there is no apology needed. It was an accident through and through. I wanted to assure Rosanna that no one is holding her responsible."

"Sorry, my Lord," Tommas says somewhat sheepishly, looking over at Kittridge and Saffron with a delighted grin. His voice rumbles with a chuckle as the puppy nips at his fingers, tapping Bear gently on the nose in playful reprimand. For a man as large as he, the touch is delicate and his opposite hand reaches out to ruffle the exhuberant puppy's ears before giving its belly a scratch. Puppy! "He is a sweet lad though, isn't he? Congratulations on your bethrothal, if you'll accept them, Lady Banefort."

"Ser Tommas has a particular fondness for small animals," Kittridge informs Saffron. He pours her some wine and offers it over, watching the knight and the puppy. "I'm glad to hear it," he says of the accident's forgiveness, "Though I don't think my sister will be attending anymore picnics anytime soon," he adds dryly. He wets his throat with wine, and then says, "And yes, congratulations, Lady Saffron. I get the feeling this was a happy surprise."

Bear has totally found a new friend. He flops over onto his back and accepts the belly scratches with joy and playful growls. "Thank you, Ser — they are well accepted." She offers him a bright smile. "You fought quite well at the competition. I was obligated to cheer for the knight who held my favor, but you showed beautifully." And since Saffron can be earnest to a fault, there's no doubting her genuine tone. She glances back toward Kittridge, and even grins to him. "As did you, Ser Kittridge. It was good seeing you fight alongside Ser Kell. The Mallisters and their bannermen have done very well." Then she offers Kittridge a light laugh. "Yes. Quite a surprise." She has to smirk. "I've learned that I found friends with exceptional secret keepers. That is perhaps a positive point when I have secrets to keep, but quite an irritation when they have secrets to keep from me."

"To be fair, Lord Kitt. When you're my size most of the animals are smaller than you," Tommas admits with a laugh. Isn't that right, Bear? The big man settles himself in a better position to offer the puppy all the belly scratches his little heart could desire. "Thank you, M'Lady. Your knight certainly earned that favor." He lifts a hand as the other two speak, retrieving his wine from the seat behind him and taking a sip.

"Thank you, lady," Kittridge replies, "That's kind of you to say. Though I couldn't help noticing your betrothed making an especial point of taking out Ser Tommas here and my brother as well, in that melee. Is there a grudge I should be aware of?" It's asked lightly, with a half-teasing smile over the rim of his cup, and then he nods, "Well, friends who keep secrets is different from friends who keep surprises secret. I'm sure they just thought you'd enjoy it more, announced as it was."

"And true, Tommas," he adds with a chuckle, "Most of them are, with the expection of a couple extremely large horses and perhaps the elephants in the East."

Saffron grins to her wee monster, who is debating between remaining prone for scritches and trying to wrassle with the giant's hand. So far, the former is winning out — but give him time to work out his battle plan. "I don't think Bear even quite realizes his own size, Ser Tommas. He has the heart of a giant, but I suppose all smaller dogs do." Saffron looks toward Kittridge at his inquiry, and she tilts her head a bit as she takes up her own cup. "I would not say a grudge, Ser Kittridge," Saffron says with a small loss to her smile. "You must understand, Ser Kamron has been at the Roost for sometime now, and there is suffering there. Lady Anais was fortunate that her Lord father would not see her new family starve, but there is little else to give the smallfolks who are growing thin and weak with hunger. Your grain would have done a lot more for the Roost than it will for Stonebridge." She folds her fingers gently around the cup. "In terms of business, we all understand that you did what was the best for the Kingsgrove — and yes, the Terricks did not move in haste to meet your offer. If you believe Ser Kamron's actions on the field were based around a personal outlet, I believe that plays quite a large part."

Wiggly fingers do make for tempting targets for rambunctious monster puppies, especially after they scamper across fuzzy bellies as Tommas's do. "He'll be good this one, would probably take down a lion for you, Lady. Bright eyes. You can always see it in the eyes with dogs." The Groves Knight falls silent as the Lady Saffron speaks of the Mallister's ire and how it is placed, lifting his brows at Kittridge. He'll…be here. Playing with the puppy.

"Puppies always think they're huge, I think," Kittridge smiles as he watches Bear, "We had a hound pup in our kennels who used to stare down plowhorses, convinced he could take them on." He sips his wine and listens as Saffron speaks, and then smiles crookedly, expression more resigned than displeased. "Lady, it was the responsibility of the Terricks to come and buy our grain, if they needed it so badly. Instead we had to go to them, and make them offers, and court their attention, and endure their slights, and wait out their disinterest and even that wasn't enough to to get them to see the thing done. It was their responsibility, not ours, and even so we did all we could to accommodate them short of lying down and letting them take what they pleased. If Ser Kamron would like to vent his frustration with the starvation of the Roost's people on someone, perhaps he should find a Terrick to hit."

"Trust me, My Lord," Saffron says in response to Kittridge, raising a hand as if in some unnecessary surrender. "I am fully aware that much of the blame for the loss of the grain falls not on your shoulders. The Terricks have been ill-fated with grief and sickness, but you cannot cook that into a stew and feed it to your people." There is a slightly wry twist to her smile. "It may be too soon to begin to apologizing on Ser Kamron's behalf, but I apologize that he has continued to nurse what could become a grudge and quarrel. The Terricks and Groves both are sworn to the Mallisters, and Ser Kamron has spoken at great length that fealty goes both ways. As a woman who has spent her life as a bannerhouse to the Lannisters, I have seen the strength that comes from the support of a proud liege house."

While Safforn is talking all seriousness, Bear has decided to initiate his wrassling attempt with Tommas's hand. He snatches at his hand with his paws, and twists his head to try to chomp at the giant's fingers with a playful growl.

Tommas tries very hard to maintain his visage of being a serious knight in deference for the seriousness of the conversation, however difficult that is while wrassling with Bear. He proves himself a practiced opponent at this game, rolling the puppy gentle between his hands to gently bat away grappling paws and catching at his muzzle between nips. Worthy for the most noble of puppies.

"Much?" Kittridge laughs, and shakes his head, and lets out a breath in a sigh still tinged with laughter. "Ah, Lady Saffron. You are lucky I have had my fill of trying to get anyone associated with House Terrick to admit the fault is theirs. Perhaps not theirs alone - no, there is some for the Ironborn as well, of course, and House Nayland for offering us so much gold to begin with, and the house that will be yours for not making an offer on the surplus themselves if they wanted it so badly. Fealty does go both ways, as you say. I don't believe House Groves has ever failed to give anything but our best service to Seagard, whether they see it or not. But I don't truly believe I'll change your mind, or Ser Kamron's from afar," he says with a twist of a crooked smile, "So let's talk on something else. Where did you get this fellow," he gestures at the puppy, "Bear, you said his name was?"

"Ser Kittridge," Saffron says with a ghost of a smile. "I believe I've been misunderstood. I do hold the fault of the loss of grain to the Terricks, with some perhaps on the shoulders of fate and bad luck — and I have equal faith that the Groves have always served Seagard well. I was not speaking that against your House. Even if you had not had your fill, I would not be one you would need to persuade to your side on these things. Consider that we are allies in that regard." And she even offers him one of her genuine smiles. Then she glances down at the puppy as he tries to best a hand attached to a far larger man. "Yes, Bear." She laughs. "He has a heart of one. He was a betrothal gift from Ser Kamron. I say he hopes that Bear will keep me company when duty calls."

Still silent, Tommas offers his Lord a somber nod of support — for all that it may go unseen with his attention occupied by the subject of fealty. The edge of a smile quirks his mouth as Bear manages to grip a fingertip between his teeth causing him to whisper a soft, "Hey now," to the pup. He taps Bear on the nose. None of that. "I've hunted a fair few bear, M'Lady. Most aren't quite this happy to get their bellies rubbed, even if they tend to be a more chipper sort than boar."

Kittridge inclines his head politely to Saffron, replying, tone polite and smile easy, "Then I apologize, Lady Saffron, if I mistook your meaning. I appreciate your understanding. Though I would not underestimate your ability to persuade. I imagine you must have some sway over Ser Kamron," he says with a bit of a grin, "And should you turn it to soothing his temper on this matter, well. I would not make it a requirement of friendship between us, that would be crass, but I would be in your debt. I had thought he and I might be friends, before this roused his ire against me and mine. I still have some hopes for the future, vain though they might be." He shrugs, "We'll see, I suppose. That's how these things go. Bear does seem a fitting name. Fuzzy and growly as he is. Do you know where Ser Kamron got him? I feel like Ser Tommas will be wanting to know, won't you Tom?"

Bear looks a bit surprised at the bop to his nose, flopping his head back into the grass with a small, maybe apologetic arf. He resigns to panting as he wags his butt against the grass. Perhaps the giant will think he is harmless — and then he will strike! Saffron laughs quite brightly to Kittridge, and she inclines her head with a small blush. "I will see what I can do, Ser Kittridge. There is no need for there to be feuding. Let Stonebridge be the source of rumors and scandal." And she offers the noble knight a full smile before she looks back down at the little Reach dog who wags his tail — or lack there of. "Here at Seagard, truth be told. He is a Reach corgi — or dwarf dog. They use them to herd. I believe, if I remember correct, Ser Kamron found the litter with the Redwynes." She smiles fondly to the wee monster and Ser Tommas.

Tommas smiles kindly down at the little dog, retracting his hand slowly at that apologetic bark. See? "See? That's a good lad," he says to Bear. This is a gambit that is likely going to end with him pinned to the ground by a puppy. "Seagard, you say? You know I've heard this thing about those Reach dogs that —" What follows is a excited and likely half-true explanation of the miniature breeds of Westeros and leads to a very amiable discussion of animals in Westeros. Not a bad way to spend a sunny afternoon with some chilled wine.