|Mallisters and Masters|
|Summary:||Nedra receives a letter from home. Martyn and Mortimer ensure she's given space to deal with it.|
|Related Logs:||None specifically|
|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.|
|Fri Mar 15, 290|
These last few days, Martyn has been moving around with a bit of a thoughtful expression. Some people would say that it was since he received a letter from somewhere, that he's seemed a bit lost. And that's how it is as he walks down from the direction of the Green, heading towards the inn with slow and sure steps now.
Mortimer is not having a great morning. This has nothing to do with the merchants in the markets, or the bandits out in the wilds but instead can quite easilly be traced back to the fact that he has a headache. Not a stinker, not so bad as to justify finding somewhere dark and quiet for a few hours, but enough to be constantly noticable. Exiting the inn, where he's just scrounged a cup of boiling water to add to some willowbark to make a medicinal tea he takes advantage of the square being quiet to sit in the shade infront of the inn on one of the benches placed for just that purpose.
Of those having a Morning of Morning's, Nedra is walking into the square with her maid Shalla on one side and on the other is a lanky fair haired man with a rather lantern-like jaw, prominent beak of a nose and spectacles perched on the tip of his nose. The tall man wears a well tailored tunic embroidered with the colors of House Mallister and, equally important, the crest of Talon Point - marking him as a courier. More specifically.. Nedra's mother's personal courier.
A brief pause as Martyn looks around, and he spots Mortimer, before he continues looking around and notices Nedra and the courier now. Looking a bit curious as he steps over in their general direction now.
Leaning his head back against the wall behind him, Mortimer is more than happy for now to let the approaching nobles do their own thing. They're all well known, bar the tall stranger, but he doesn't seem to be bothering Nedra to the point that he should intervene so for now he can enjoy what he can of the shade and wait for the willowbark to kit in. Thats the plan at least, although it doesn't mean he isn't keeping half an eye on things every now and again.
Nedra's expression is now conveying a measure of mild alarm shaded by wide strokes of wariness as the courier continues to read aloud from a rather lengthy looking letter that Nedra's mother has written - or dictated, depending upon her mood. "But -" is about as far as Nedra has managed to interrupt interject or simply call for a timeout as of yet, and since this little 'walk and recitation' session started in the courtyard and they're nearly to the Inn She tries again when the courier draws breath to continue the next line and is quite calmly talked OVER. Clearly Nedra's mother has more she wants to 'say', so to speak, and the courier is going to keep right on talking until he reaches the end of the letter.
"Cousin." Martyn offers in greeting to Nedra, with a bit of a smile now, before he looks to the courier, shaking his head a little. "Seems like I'm interrupting something? Although I'm not sure such a public place is the right place for such a recital, you know?" Offering a bit of a smile to his cousin now.
Mallisters and Mallister retainers talking over each other is not terribly conducive to peace and quiet and Mortimer groans mentally as the noise only gets closer. Pushing himself slowly to his feet as they approach he offer Nedra a polite bow before squaring his shoulders a little and inclining his head towards the courier. Clearing his throat in an exaggerated manner he asks firmly, "Good morning m'Lady, is this man bothering you?" Not that he's actually itching to arrest the man for breaching the peace, but he nor can he claim that he isn't tempted just to get the noise to stop. Martyn's arrival is greeted with a similar bow to the one offered to Nedra, "m'Lord."
The rather stern looking courier lowers the piece of paper, adjusts the spectacles perched on the end of his nose by nudging them firmly into place using the side of his thumb. "My lady was quite specific, Ser Martyn, that her message be delivered - post haste - barring any form of natural disaster of some sort that would render this message undeliverable by sheer dint of the power of the Seven intervening." He angles pale blue eyes toward Nedra, "I have not glimpsed any such event that would prevent this message from being delivered," making it a remark not exactly a 'question' or 'accusation', blinking those pale blue eyes at Nedra as she turns a faint shade of red and says:
"No, of course not. Pray, continue Master Willem," she is saying a mere moment before Mortimer arrives, aiming a quick smile at the deputy sheriff before her eyes widen subtly, seeing the distinctive signs of Master Willem starting to go aloof in offense. "No, no, of course not. That is, may I introduce you to my mothers courier, Master Willem? Master Willem, this is Master Trevelyan, the deputy Sheriff of Terrick's Roost," she waves one hand lightly from one man to the other and back again.
Raising an eyebrow at the courier's words, Martyn is unable to hold back a bit of a smile as he studies the man for a few moments. "Correct me if I'm wrong, Master Willem, but did she say anything in particular about how the message should be delivered? I mean, you have it written there right in your hand, right?" Gesturing to the piece of paper, before he adds, "And as far as I know, my dear cousin here still knows how to read. Don't you, cousin?" That last part offered to Nedra, with a bit of a grin, probably one of the most amused expression one can remember seeing on Martyn for a while now. "So perhaps you should simply deliver the message in a fashion that would not cause any possible enemies of Lady Nedra to figure out the contents of the message." Looking over to Mortimer, he offers the man a grin as well. "Beside, it would probably keep the good Master Deputy here from mistaking anything from a public disturbance." Yes, he seems a bit amused at the moment.
Mortimer ignores Willem for the moment, directing his response solely to Nedra initially. "Of course m'Lady," he starts with a brief nod, "please though, do not hesitate to let either myself or the Lord Sheriff know if that changes at any point. I know that Lord Ozric is very keen that you not be bothered while here." A touch of dark humour perhaps, or maybe the lngering grump now his head is slowly starting to clear. That last emphasis is most definitely for the courier's benefit and when he turns to the man he gives him a simple nod, "Master." Letting Martyn say his piece he simply offers the man a nod to back up his words before adding his own, "Lord Martyn's right Master, I'm afraid I'm just an uneducated old soldier and if I see anyone talking over the good Lady here then I'm likely to assume that they're being a nuisace."
Master Willem slowly rolls up the sheaf of paper and ties the ribbon around the missive as first Martyn and then Mortimer speak, those pale blue eyes turning a rather icy shade before he speaks again. "Lady Collete was quite clear with her instructions," says he in a tone of voice so polite it could slice ribbons. "However," and a minute tilt of his head, fair hair drifting lightly in the wind, "we shall continue this, Lady Nedra, anon. You will bear in mind that your lady mother and lord father do intend to arrive in five weeks, not a day later," and it sounds like a question but, again, isn't. He then turns those pale eyes to the deputy sheriff and shapes those thin lips into something akin to a smile, or a rather bad facsimile of: "Excellent, Master Trevelyan, this news will certainly put to rest any worries that Lady Collete or ser Arvan were worrying over. Gossip, after all, is more fleet of wings than any raven shall ever be," spoken in that same overly pompous tone of voice that marks the man as a would-be minor functionary with goals of even loftier status, should fate tilt the tumblers his way.
"I do still recall how to discern the shapes of the letters into words," Nedra murmurs toward Martyn in a quieter aside as Willem is speaking - or pontificating - at length. When Willem offers her the letter she takes it and tucks it neatly against the side of her skirt, making no move to open it and peruse the remaining paragraphs. The word Nuisance, and that IS what Willem is - to the core - draws another icy look from Willem and she hastily says: "Master Willem is, as always, most welcome; he is my lady mother's most trusted courier and has served my family for many years. Perhaps, Master Willem, you might wish a cool drink and a bite to eat? I know the road is dusty and the trip from Talon Point to Terrick's Roost is not a short one." She earns another of those cool looks from Willem before he turns, rather smartly on one boot shod heel, makes a polite sketch of a bow and departs toward the Inn. The moment he is out of both sight and sound Nedra makes a sigh of relief, "oh dear and blessed gods."
Martyn nods a little as he listens now, looking between the others as Willem heads to the Inn. "Enjoy your meal, Master Willem. The stew is supposed to be good today." Offered a bit helpfully as he holds back a grin for the moment. Unable to hold back a chuckle as he hears Nedra's sigh of relief, he offers her a grin. "I hope we managed to save your sanity there, cousin," he remarks with a grin now. Another brief pause, before he adds, "I hope your message from home was a bit happier than the one I got this week, though."
"Glad to be able to reassure them then Master," Mortimer replies to Willem, offering a nod as he does so. A nod that at first look might appear deferential but those that are more familiar with his body language would probably note is not his standard. The icy look is entirely ignored, exactly as if it wasn't even seen but the departing bow is returned with a faint nod and a "Morning Master." He watches the man until the inn door closes behind him and then turns back to the two Mallisters. To Nedra he states simply, "I'm sorry m'Lady, but I'm afraid I couldn't resist." Then he glances between the two nobles and raises an eyebrow slightly to silently ask if they'd prefer to be left alone for this conversation.
Nedra is rubbing lightly at the side of her left temple as she shakes her head slowly. "It wasn't bad news, cousin, it's just that my mother has been planning my wedding day since.. well.. since hers, more or less. She has a specific image in mind and she will cram me, whether or not I wish to go along, into this vision. She's included a list of people that I should be inviting, personally, to attend, along with a lengthy list of things I should have already done and so on and so forth. And don't even mention attire," that hand falls to her side, her shoulders drooping slightly for a moment, "for there are moments, cousin, when I think it would be far easier to just sign the marriage contract and call it good and done without needing all the fuss to surround it." She angles a curious look at Mortimer before she feels a small smile form on her face. "I'm awful glad that you didn't resist, Master Trevelyan, he's a rather officious and pushy toad but he's utterly devoted to my lady mother. But the man has this ability to ferret out every single ounce of gossip to be had, anywhere, and relays it verbatim."
"Really, Master Trevelyan? I thought I was the only one who couldn't resist there," Martyn remarks a bit lightly, offering the deputy a grin, before he looks back to Nedra, nodding a bit although there's something in his eyes that seem to go a bit distant at the mention of wedding days. "I'm glad that you didn't get bad news, cousin. One of us getting it this week is enough." Of course, what he considers bad news probably might not be considered that by others, but that's how it goes, right?"
Mortimer has nothing particular to add to Nedra's list of things her mother has been considering on her behalf and so takes those moments to lift a hand to rub gently at his temples. At the mention of gossip he pauses for briefly to glance back towards the inn and asks with a faint grin, "anything you want him to hear before he returns m'Lady?" Turning then to Martyn he offers a faint nod and then a respectful, "I'm sorry to hear you received such m'Lord." He's curious as to what such news might be, especially since the knight seems to be in higher spirits than he's seen in a long time, but equally he knows it's not his place to enquire.
Nedra aims a wry smile at Martyn, "We all do our best to keep from finding convenient ways to spike his wine or put salt instead of sugar in his food," she says, mild humor evident in her tone of voice. "Oh? News?" she wonders before considering Mortimer's words. "It would be convenient if he were to over hear word that Lord Ozric is preparing Terrick's' Roost, just in case it needs to be defended," she muses. "That sort of thing will please my father to no end," said in a wry tone of voice.
"News. It would seem that for once a certain cousin of ours has actually realized if he wants to bring word to me about things, he can actually send me a letter and not just send them to your brother," Martyn replies to Nedra, words probably sounding a little bitter now, before he grimaces a little bit now.
"He'll hear that readily enough m'Lady," Mortimer replies with a slight nod, "there's always a few of the lads who stop by the inn for a drink after we're done up on the Green. They'll set the world to rights over a pint or two so he should get a good earful if he cares to listen." Martyn's change of tone gets another eyebrow raised in the silent question of 'do you wish to discuss that alone?' as he gets the distinct impression that there's more the knight might say were there less ears present.
"Ahh," Nedra says quietly, studying her cousin again for a silent moment before she turns again toward Mortimer, the somber look easing again into a smile. "Thank you, Master Trevelyan, that will do the job rather nicely. Very nicely, in fact. Now," and she crumples the letter slightly, "all I have to do is make everything perfect according to my mother's ideas within the next five weeks. I think I might run away," she suggests in a calm voice, amusement now coloring that same tone. "Perhaps join a traveling group of musicians or artists?"
Martyn just listens for a few moments now, expression a bit more distant than it was earlier. There is a wince as he hears Nedra mention running away, for some reason, before he sighs again. "I should probably get back to my room," he says, finally, looking over in the direction of the Inn again now.
"No need to thank me m'Lady," Mortimer replies, "they'll be there quenching their thirst without any prompt on my part." As Martyn makes to leave he turns to the knight and gives him a respectful bow, "good morning then m'Lord." That done he turns back to Nedra and considers her comments for a moment before replying, "only if you promise to give warning first m'Lady, so the rest of us might have time to ensure we're not near Lord Ozric when he finds out."
"You know.. you're welcome at the castle," Nedra reminds Martyn quietly. "You don't need to stay at the Inn," she adds but doesn't argue over the point. Never pick a fight that can't be won, after all. She aims a sudden grin at Mortimer, "Well, in light of that, I suppose I won't run away. I'd hate to have everyone else in the backlash of that. He might find the notion objectionable," she muses.
"Better at the Inn. Less…" Martyn pauses for a few moments, as what he was about to say doesn't quite work out. "I know…" he finally offers, before he adds, "Perhaps we should speak again later, cousin?"
Mortimer replies to Nedra with a slow, deep nod, it's almost a bow infact, but just not quite. "Most kind m'Lady," he states simply before lifting his hand to rub his temples once more, "I reckon he might aye." There's nothing particular he can add to Martyn's words and he's already offered the required departing obediences to the knight so he leave it at that for now, waiting to see how the conversation evolves.
"Maybe a walk later?" Nedra wonders in return. "I would take a late evening tea with Saffron but she's gone to Seagard to stay until the babies are born. And with Muirenn of course gone, and Kamron is pacing grooves into the floor worrying over Saffron, he isn't good company unless I run to keep pace with his steps." She starts to say more and catches sight of Willem emerging from the Inn, a lit pipe in one hand. "I.. believe I'll head back to the House myself, I think that I'd best finish reading this and write up a reply before much longer. If you'll excuse me?" she asks of both.
"Of course," Martyn offers to both of them now, before he heads off to the Inn as well. Offering a nod and a smile to Willem as he passes the man, before he disappears inside.
Mortimer bows respectfully to Nedra as she states her intention to leave, "good day m'Lady." Straightening once more he is about to offer an escort to Nedra should she wish one but then spots Willem and gives the man a brief nod "Master." As the courier should be able to fulfil that task he simply takes a half pace backwards before turning to return to his seat in the shade.