|Meetings on the Bottom Shelf|
|Summary:||Rowan and Rafferdy Nayland meet up for the first time in about a decade in a seedy Riverrun tavern. Jarod is on hand to make friends.|
|Related Logs:||Part of the Riverrun stuff, but none specifically|
|Seedy Tavern — Riverrun|
|A bar wherein brawls occur.|
|Sun Nov 06, 288|
The dimly lit tavern on the edge of Riverrun is only moderately busy this afternoon. A lot of peasants who have travelled with their nobles for the council packed this place last night, as did some of the servants and hands of the nobility. The council is not in session right now, so the lessers are mostly back tending to their nobles. There's still a lot of mead and food going about, and it's the kind of place that would take very little to end up in a fight at.
This last fact is perhaps most evident by the rather large oaf who is slamming a lithe young man onto the brick floor with a rather unpleasant amount of force. The giant scowls, his face dirty with soot from his work as a blacksmith, and he lifts his meaty fist into the air to punch again. The young man on the floor is small but in rather good shape, though, his left eye is starting to swell and bruise. He winces a bit, and then laughs, "Really? That's all you have?" he manages between breaths. And then the giant fist slams into his face again. The young man laughs again, and spits a little blood from his mouth. "Okay. That was… That hurt a little…" He smiles, "I still say you smell like tulips." The fist is raised again…
Jarod is not attending the Terricks this afternoon, and he took full advantage of the opportunity to escape the castle proper in the company of young Rowan Nayland. He's changed out the house livery he's been wearing since arriving, into a leather jerkin over his tunic, sword still at his hip. Minus Terrick colors he looks like any other middling-successful hedge knight in search of a bit of fun. "Well. This place looks lively," he notes wryly to Rowan as they happen through the doors right in the middle of the fight. He doesn't seem, particularly, put off by it. This is the sort of tavern where brawls occur. Though the sight of the smaller man being shoved into the floor by the larger makes him approach and join the circle that always gathers to gawk at this sort of thing. "What'd he do to earn that?" he asks another looky-look.
"This place? Really?" Rowan is saying as he enters. "This is the place you were told has the best meat pies in the Riverlands? I think someone was having you on, Jar." Without his tabard, he also looks rather non-descript — though he, too, wears a sword. A rather fine one at that. He stops short at the fight in progress, raising his eyebrows. Dark eyes narrow and squint at the fellow who's taking the worst of it. "Ah, fuck," he sighs. "I think that's my brother."
The peasant beside Jarod shrugs, "Not sure really. He was playin' his fiddle a minute ago, and then next thing I know, Ehdger is right all fisticuffs on him."
Rafferdy takes the second punch to the face, and his eyes roll a moment, clearly, he's a little stunned. He forces his head back on center, looking up at the blacksmith once again. He pushes his smile to his face again, "Tulips…" He sniffs, the blood running from his nose down the side of his face. "Uhyup… It's tulips…" The giant growls once more, and his fist raises in the air again.
"It'll let a man breathe after all that time in the castle," Jarod replies to Rowan with a shrug, as to his choice of establishments. Hanging about the Terrick retinue has meant a great deal of enforced time in the company of Lady Evangeline and, though Ser Rivers won't complain outwardly, he was looking for a place there'd be no chance of running into her. "Your brother?" Blink blink. "Ha!" He stares at Rafferdy in plain surprise, and not a small trace of bemused amusement at seeing a Nayland getting his ass beat in a grubby common room. He tilts his head at Rowan. "You like this one? Should I give him a hand?"
"We never thought Rafferdy was going to eat us," Rowan allows. Like is perhaps too strong a word. "I think I might like him better, now. Or that could just be the overwhelming kinship I feel for skinny boys who like to get beat into paste. Oi!" He can't quite get enough breath behind it to make it a proper shout, and winds up coughing. Which makes the already-stressed ribs complain bitterly. "Fuck," he mutters and pats Jarod on the back. "Right. Sic 'em."
The blacksmith rams his fist downward again, but this time, Rafferdy jerks his head to the side, and the giant's fist slams into the brick floor. The oaf howls in pain, rolling to the side, and Rafferdy drags himself across the floor to get out from beneath him. The giant blacksmith's grimace slowly turns red with anger, perparing to give chase.
"Doesn't seem quite a fair fight, does it? All right." And Jarod merrily wades into the fray. He starts by tapping the big smith-like fellow on the shoulder. "Fancy picking on somebody your own size, mate?" he asks with a grin. Not that he is the blacksmith's size, really, but the broad-shouldered knight is somewhat closer to it than Rafferdy. Before actually waiting for an answer to this question, he follows up with a hard-right cross to the man's jaw, when he's got the smith's attention.
The squire grins, watching the bastard knight wade in with admiration that's… just a little more admiring than is strictly masculine. It's fleeting, however, and in the next moment Rowan is making his way over to Rafferdy, gritting his teeth as he hauls his kinsman to his feet. "UPSY-daisy there, Raff…"
The blacksmith stumbles back at the somewhat unexpected punch from Jarod. He scowls, balling his fist once again, "Weasels…" he mutters, and moves to punch Jarod back. Rafferdy looks at the young man that helps him up, "Thanks," he says, clearly not recognizing Rowan. Rowan was only ten when he last saw him, and ten year olds change a lot more in seven years than 15 year olds do, so it's no surprise Rowan recognizes Rafferdy and not the other way. He looks at the bartender, tossing a handful of coins onto the counter and asking, "Cheapest bottle of wine you have please."
Jarod does make an effort not to get punched in the face, at least. Facial bruises might require explanation back at Riverrun. He does take on in the stomach, making an "Umph" sound as it solidly hits, though the padding of his jerkin should absorb the brunt of it. "See, much more sporting this," he grunts. "C'mon, let the lad alone and no hard feelings, eh? I'll even buy you a pint."
"And your best whiskey," asides Rowan, his eye more on the fight than anything. He grimaces slightly at the blow to the solar plexus. "So what did you do to make such a fast friend, eh?" he asks Rafferdy.
Rafferdy shrugs, "He seems to think the law is less important than the opinion of the Terricks concerning Lady Isolde." He nods a thank you to the barkeep as he's handed the bottle. He takes one drink straight from it, "And I said he smelled like flowers." He shrugs, "Ehdger's an odd man." He then casually walks over to the fight, where Ehdger the blacksmith is shaking his head at Jerod.
"No pint ain't makin' this right," Ehdger declares, preparing to punch Jarod again. As he winds his fist back, however, Rafferdy simply slams the bottle over Ehdger's head. The giant wavers a moment as the glass and wine explodes down over him, and then he topples over to the floor, unconscious.
Evangeline leaves, heading towards the TP Rooms [Out].
Jarod pivots back sharply, fist clenched for more punching, and he takes a moment to blink in surprise at the sight of unconscious smith. And bottle-wielding Rafferdy. "Thanks for that," he says to the man. Adding quickly, "We should maybe be leaving before he comes to. Get another bottle, though. I figure you owe me a drink."
Rowan grimaces and sucks in a breath through his teeth. "That's one way to… whatever," he mutters, ruffling a hand through his hair as he squints down at the fallen giant. "Right. Let's have that to go," he amends his order.
Rafferdy furrows his brow at Jarod, "I owe you?" He rolls his eyes, "Whatever, I had it under control." He walks back over and picks up his veille, which is now sitting on the floor. He apparently, still has no idea who these two are.
"If by under control you mean getting your face pounded into brick by a man twice your size, aye, that was being handled admirably," Jarod replies with a snort. "Not going to at least treat your younger brother to something from the middle of the shelf?" He smirks, a rather boyish expression. He can't be referring to himself. He doesn't have a Nayland look about him.
Completely nonplussed by Rafferdy's attitude, then amused and — oddly — apologetic, Rowan shrugs at Jarod. "Right. Sorry. Some of the Nayland apples do fall from the dickish branch of the family tree, as you know." He glances over at the bar. "I don't think this place has a middle shelf."
Rafferdy rolls his eyes yet again, "Believe me, I could have handled him. And you're hardly my younger…" And then, even though they haven't been invented, a little light bulb goes off above his head, and he slowly turns to look at Rowan. "…brother." He goes a little pale, and he takes a moment to wipe the blood from his lip, tilting his head a little. "Huh."
Jarod shrugs to Rowan. "S'all right. Wasn't a bad little fight." He idly flexes the knuckles of his right hand, wincing just a little. He's used to it, but he hits hard, so it's never comfortable post-fight. "Well, this is real warm and all. I'm going to see if the barkeep'll just fill my skin with…whisky, Rowan?" He snorts. "You're too fond of the harder stuff, you know. I like drink that won't get me stupid quite so quick." Nevertheless, that's what he bellies up to the bar to request. He'll let the Nayland siblings chat while he gets that.
The dark-haired lad rolls his eyes at Jarod. "You have the lions share of a poisoned skin and then tell me how you feel about wine, Rivers." Rowan shoves his hands in the pockets of his breeches, blowing out a breath and tuning to face Rafferdy. His smile is wry, but not without warmth. "Oi, Raff." He pauses. "It is Raff, isn't it? And not Raymond?"
Rafferdy slowly smiles, "It is." He clears his throat, "Rowan. I um… I would have worn better clothes if I knew you'd um… be here…" He seems a little nervous, maybe it's just the long time it's been. He looks at Jarod, "Who's your friend?"
"Ale, then, Rowan. Unless you've got some offense to pin on beer of which I'm not aware," Jarod eyerolls in return, in a shout that allows their 'conversation' to carry even though he's having words with the barkeep. "Would you mind beer tonight?" Apart from that, they're still left to non-shouty conversation.
Rowan snerks and can't help grinning a bit at Rafferdy's discomfiture — though it's not unkind. "Oi, Raff — I'm no one of consequence. I'm not even your elder. No need to press your tunic or whatever." Over his shoulder, "Beer's fine!" And there's yet more eye rolling. They must volley the expression back and forth. "That's Ser Jarod Rivers, Captain of the Terrick guard — my best mate and nanny goat. So what're you about, here, then? Ser Rygar and Lord Brother Scary Face hardly seem like your kind of company."
Rafferdy nods, "Rygar isn't. I um… I've actually come to be rather fond of Rutger." He looks over at Jarod, "You sure can pick friends, Ro." He then looks around the room a moment, and nods, "Regardless, it's good to see you." He then steps forward, and unless there's some objection, takes a quick moment to hug Rowan, with a good slap on the back.
Jarod offers Rowan yet one more eyeroll before settling his business with the barkeep. He ends up with a water skin that's extra-full of mead. IT's bottomshelf variety, but there does indeed seem to be only a bottom shelf in this place. That done he turns back around, eyeing the smith who's still occupying the common room floor. The hug he catches draws a grin. Nayland or not.
Rowan grimaces and urks, going pale. "Gently!" he gasps as he's hugged, gingerly returning the embrace. "Good to see you, as well. Sorry. Ribs. Got nearly all of them broke in the melee, couple of weeks back." He ruffles his brother's hair. "Glad you're getting on with Rutger, I guess? Row and me never really — well, we were always pretty sure he was going to eat us. I haven't had the pleasure, as a grown-up — just saw him at the whole… thing." He gestures vaguely out the door. "So, let's all of us find a place to drink where there's not four hundred pounds of vengeance about to regain consciousness at our feet, eh?"
Rafferdy glances at the blacksmith on the floor, then to Jarod. He rubs his sore jaw, wiping a little more blood, and then nods, "I guess a half-Terrick is no worse than that guy." He picks up his Veille from the corner, along with its bow, and then heads towards the door. "Let's go."
"You've a real funny way of thanking a man for saving your ass in a fight," Jarod says, quite firmly attached to this version of the situation. "But I suppose I can't fault a Nayland for ingratitude. Takes ages to break your sort of it." He takes a swig of his to-go mead, only grimacing a little at the taste. "Aye. Let's." And with that, he'll follow the pair of full-Naylands out.
"Oi! With the Terrick-Nayland thing. Must we?" sighs Rowan, pinching the bridge of his nose as they exit the tavern. "Mother of mercy, Raff, I'm practically half Terrick myself — spent about half my life with them, after all. So let's just all get along, or something? Surely we can think of better things to talk about. Like what in the Hells you've been doing with yourself, these years?" He gives his brother's shoulder a playful shove. "I would've thought you'd be Ser Rafferdy, by now."
Rafferdy leads them out and up the street to a nearby inn where they can drink a little more undisturbed. The inn has a small tavern in it, but it's far less crowded. "Ser Rafferdy," he repeats, shaking his head. "Hardly." He sighs, "Guess I'm not the only one who hasn't been home in a while." He looks at Jarod, "Sorry. If Rowan says you're okay, you're okay." He extends his hand. "I'm Rafferdy."
Jarod gulps some more of the mead before offering the skin to Rowan, stretching once he's out in the air of Riverrun. "Might not've been such a good place to pass an afternoon, after all." He clasps Rafferdy's hand in a firm shake, cracking an easy grin. "Ser Jarod Rivers. Though I see Rowan's given my name already. Charmed and all that rot. What was all that about in their, anyhow?" He's only now getting curious about exactly why he was fighting.
"Politics," says Rowan, by way of explaining the fisticuffs. "Who Stonebridge belongs to — same shite as we've been dealing with, but less polite. At the new watering hole, he turns a chair around and straddles it, folding his arms on the back. "And aye, it's been ages since I've been to the Mire. Not since the nigh I left." He shrugs, asking Raff, "So did you run off to be a minstrel, like Row did? I had no idea we'd had such a musical family."
Rafferdy nods at Jarod, and affirms Rowan's explanation of the fight. He shakes his head then to his brother, "Not exactly." He laughs a little, "Well, I'm sure you remember, I left to squire with Ser Walden Frey. I was with him until I was 16. Then I left to fight in the Rebellion." He shrugs, "I was dismissed."
Jarod plops himself down next to Rowan once they've reached the new and the less fight-y drinking hole. He slouches comfortably into his chair, frowning when the Stonebridge matter is mentioned. "The Tullys will decide on that score. Little point in worrying too much over it otherwise now, at least from our level." He likely has more of an opinion than that, but it's not voiced in front of Rafferdy. "You left to fight in the Rebellion?" There's a touch of grudging admiration in his tone. "Good on you. Better than to sit with your thumb up your ass like the Late Lord Frey."
"Just so. Good on you, Raff," Rowan agrees, stoutly. "Someone should've knighted you for that." He shakes his head a little. "I'm sorry you weren't better rewarded for doing the right thing, brother." He grimaces faintly, asking, "And you haven't been home, since?"
Rafferdy shakes his head, "No." He doesn't say more, glancing at Jarod, then at his fiddle. "I write father a lot. He sends word to me from time to time through Rutger or other messenger, but…" He shrugs, "No. I've not been." He looks at Rowan, and then changes the subject, smiling, "But you! Look at you! No longer the sick little boy, a squire!" He laughs, "It's fantastic!"
"Who'd you fight for?" Jarod asks, ordering up another mead from the passing serving wench. Perhaps this one will taste less like bottom-of-shelf. "Your cousin Ser Rygar I know left the Naylands' non-service during the war as well, to take up arms for the Royalists." There's respect in his tone for that, other side though it was. "I was squired to a knight in the Mallister service back then, so I fought for Good King Robert under them." The praise to Rowan draws a rather proud grin. "Aye. Rowan's come up well. Won himself a champion's spot in the joust held at my half-brother Lord Jacsen's wedding tourney, and competed in the melee as well. Weren't any other squires on the melee field that day."
The boy blushes to the roots of his hair and ducks his head, laughing sheepishly at the praise. "Aye, well, there won't be any squires in a knight's melee ever again, after the beating I took. Though I am ever happy to trailblaze new paths in stupidity, that my fellow squires can learn by my example."
Rafferdy smiles at Rowan, "Well, you've come a long way. It's good to see you looking healthy. What about a lady? Is there anyone special in your life, Ro?" He glances at Jarod, "I fought for the Rebellion."
Jarod snorts a chuckle at Rafferdy's question about the ladies to Rowan. Though his aside to Rafferdy himself is serious. "Doubly good on you, then." He raises his new mug, when it's delivered. "To Good King Robert, then. Long may he reign. Pity more Naylands - and Freys with them - didn't take to the field during the Rebellion. More swords in the early battles could've saved us many losses the Trident. Still, done now, and the Seven Kingdoms are better for it."
"To King Bob," Rowan raises an invisible glass, having been too preoccupied with his lost-and-found sibling to've ordered a thing yet. The question about ladies makes him blush anew, and he rolls his eyes. "Right, well, there's ladies and then there's — " He shrugs and tips his head back to flash a pretty smile at one of the serving girls. "Can I get a good, dark beer here, please?" Jarod gets a look, after. Happy? Then, continuing to Raff, "So, there's the lady I'm supposed to marry — Igara Frey. Perfectly nice girl, wish I wasn't going to break her heart — but I am. Can't get married if you're going t'be in the Kingsguard, and that's my aim." He smiles sadly. "Which doesn't leave a lot of room for love, either, aside from marriage."
Rafferdy laughs at Jarod, "To Good King Robert." He drinks, and shrugs, "Igara Frey. Doesn't ring a bell. She pretty?" He smiles, "Kingsguard, huh? How does Father feel about that?"
"Leaves little room for heirs or inheritance, young Nayland. But whatever Jaremy might think, I'd wager there're whores in King's Landing who've known a Kingsguard man a time or several," Jarod says. He gets a chuckle out of the smile Rowan tosses the serving girl, nodding in approval. "Besides, I refuse to believe, in all those tales about unrequited love, a knight and lady didn't bed one another a time or two, even if they didn't wed at the end of it. I taught him everything he knows about women, you know." Pause "Well. He might've picked up a few bits I didn't bargain for."
"And thank Seven for that," Rowan snorts at the bits Jarod didn't bargain for, smirking. "She's pretty enough," he says of Igara. "But truth be told there's someone else — and since, with my ambitions, it's someone I can't ever do right by… well, it's just as well not spoken on. Father," he circles back, sighing, "does know. I think. Seems like Cousin Rygar is father's mouthpiece, more or less, and we made a bargain. I wind a melee and a joust — among knights, of course — in a year's time… he'll consider my pursuit the Kingsguard something… real, and not just a vain fancy. At which point, I'm off the hook. I mean… Gods. I'm the bloody youngest. Who cares what I do?"
Rafferdy laughs, "You're still his son. Everyone cares what you do." He shrugs, "It's kind of our curse." He smirks at Jarod, "Everything he knows, huh?" He laughs, "Well, I hope you taught him well." He smiles widely, and looks back at Rowan, "There IS a someone, huh?" He laughs a little more, "Well, who is she?"
Jarod looks half on-point of objecting to something in Rowan's spiel, frowning, but Rafferdy's question just makes him shut up and take a renewed interest in his mead. Glug glug. He drinks and lets Rowan answer.
"She's…" Rowan chews the inside of his cheek a moment, taking another to place a kiss on the serving girl's knuckles in thanks as his beer's brought by. Having sent the girl off blushing, he drinks, then continues, "Beautiful. Of course. And funny. Sweet. Scandalously well-formed," his smile turns a touch mischievous and lascivious at that. "And loves me. So maybe not the sharpest tool in the shed." He smirks ruefully. "She doesn't — isn't really fully behind what I want to do with me life. And how could she be? Means she can't really be a part of it." He drinks again. "Anyway, wildly ill-advised as our affair is, it… is. And I'm glad. I treasure it. But even to you lot, nameless she remains. If I meant to marry her — that would be one thing. But she's not — father wouldn't approve. And I'll not ruin and shame her."
Rafferdy laughs, "A secret you won't tell." He looks at Jarod, and rolls his eyes, "Must be a Terrick."
Jarod half-smiles at parts of that, but the whole of it just makes him roll his eyes and drink more. "Not a Terrick, no," he replies to Rafferdy, half-smiling again, as if amused. "And I doubt Rowan's description of his mystery girl is all that accurate, in many respects. What about you, slightly-elder-Nayland? You bring yourself a girl to Riverrun, or you just renting what's available here?"
Rafferdy tilts his head, "Wait wait. So," he looks at Rowan, "You can tell him? But not your brother?" He looks at Jarod, "You know who she is?" He returns his gaze to Rowan. "Really?"
Rowan snorts and gives his brother a shove. "There's only one Terrick daughter, and she — fair and flawless as she is — couldn't be further from my reach if she were the moon. And besides, Lord Valentin's courting her — which would be awkward. And when I say awkward, I mean fatal. For me." He smirks and drinks again. "If Jarod here didn't kill me first for pawing his little sister. No." He shakes his head. "It's certainly not Lucienne — and that is all I will say on the matter." He snorts and shakes his head. "Jarod doesn't know. He's just asserting that it's not his sister."
"As he says. I'm, more or less, sure Rowan doesn't have eyes for my little sister," Jarod replies with a snort. "Now that'd be a fine scandal. Interesting marriage alliance the way things stand between the Roost and the Mire now, though, I'll say that." He stops talking again after that, busying himself with finishing his mead.
Rafferdy nods, and looks back at Rowan. "Well…" He takes another drink from his mug, "I guess if you don't trust me, I shouldn't expect you to tell me." He sits his mug down, and looks at Jarod. "No girl. Though, I did meet one last night I'm hoping to pursue again."
"Oh, I've eyes for her, all right. I'm not dead," Rowan counters, merrily. "It's my hands and all the other bits I'm keeping to myself." Rafferdy's sigh makes him laugh. "Oi, Raff, don't be such a woman. If I've not told Jarod — or anyone else — I can assure you it's got nothing to do with trust. It's just — she wouldn't want me to say, aye? And I mean to be true to her in that, at least." He grins at the talk of last night. "Oh? Who is she? And don't be a priss and not tell just because I can't."
"Well, I wish you luck with that," Jarod says, as to Rafferdy's girl. He wants to speak no more of Rowan's. "Quite few fine pieces come to Riverrun with all the lords' representatives. Whatever keeps you distracted. Apart from playing music and starting fights in taverns. Though I figure that's far more entertaining than spending your day with Ser Rygar." He sets his mug down and leaves a few coppers on the table. Enough to cover his drink and Rowan's, though he doesn't make to order another.
Rafferdy grins, "Well, Ser Rygar is rather… tense." He shrugs, "But the girl I met last night? I don't actually know her name, so I can't withhold even if I wanted to. But she was gorgeous." He finishes off his mug, and pushes to his feet. "Well… As good as it is to see you again, Ro, I do need to get back. It's late." He nods at Jarod, "Well met, Ser Jarod." He looks back to his brother, "I'm sure we'll see one another again before the council is over."
Rowan favors his brother with a wide, warm smile. "Good to see you, too, Raff. And you can count on it." He nods, lifting his glass in salute. Then, "Do us a favor, though, and don't mention to Rutger that I called him Lord Scary Face? I think that would be a fairly poor first impression, and if you think he's not so bad…" he smiles sheepishly. "Well, then he's probably not going to eat me, after all."
"Well and interestingly met, Lord Rafferdy," Jarod replies to the slightly-older Nayland in kind. The inter-Nayland banter earns a snorted laugh, but no other real response. "We should be headed back to the castle proper too, soon, Rowan. Lord Tully'll likely want some further word with me on the Tordane letters, since I saw them as Gedeon had them in Stonebridge. Not quite sure when that'll come."
Rafferdy nods, "Be good, fellas," he offers with a smile, and he heads out.