|Men at Arms|
|Summary:||The Captains of the Guard of Terrick and Camden bond over pointy metal objects.|
|Armory — Four Eagles Tower|
|Behind a bolted door lies the Tower's Armory. Stacks of armor line the walls, each placed carefully upon shelves with their helmets. Spears, pikes, axes, and bows line one wall while on the other and also kept on racks in the center are dozens and dozens of swords of all kinds. These are all mostly identical with few variations among them except for design and size as the armory is simply a repository for defense arms. At the front near the door the Guards have their own personal storage space for their more customized gear.|
|Sat Aug 13, 288|
The days are filled with tours of pride and conversation, both serious and light. Food arrives at a seeming though, and drink flows freely during this visit. Indeed, to the Captain of the Guard of the House of Camden, it appears as if no expense has been spared for their small retinue. Dafydd doesn't mind, though it does put him a little on edge; he's well aware of the attitudes of some regarding their inaction during the Rebellion, and while, so far, he's not needed to answer for it, it's not a position he'll enjoy if pressed.
Thankfully, it hasn't yet been the case, and all within the Roost have been nothing but generous. That makes him feel just a little better regarding his niece's placement within the household, and when they depart, he'll not worry overmuch.
To get away from the talks, the debates, the rousing cheer and dancing of which Dafydd can only take so much (there's a reason he likes smithing— quiet but for the horses), he's asked Terrick's Captain of the Guard to show him the armory once again. He's caught it briefly on tour, but now, behind closed doors, he can hear himself think; secure in the knowledge that his brother is safe.
In order to get through the locked doors, however, he has to wait for his colleague's appearance. And that he does easily, a slow, easy pace beside the door, looking at the work of the mortar that holds this particular room in security. His armory at home is sadly wanting in comparison— more bows and barrels of arrow shafting.. and very few swords.
Jarod has had little time to properly speak with the Captain of the Guard from Camden, with all the company in the Roost (the Nayland variety seems to be giving Ser Rivers particular heartburn), but he's been courteous in their passing encounters and looks quite friendly as he jogs up to open the door to the Armory. "Lord Camden, aye?" He bows shortly and extends a hand for proper shaking, before doing anything else. "This castle's a madhouse of late, so forgive my lack of proper introductions. Ser Jarod Rivers, Captain of the Guard in Lord Jerold's House." And Lord Jerold's bastard son, which is fairly common knowledge, though not something he immediately appends to his intro.
With his host's Captain of the Guard on the way down the corridor, Dafydd watches the other man's progress towards him. When close, and the beginnings of a greeting given, Dafydd steps forward for his own greeting, now response; a bow, and a clasping of arm and forearm. "Well met, Ser Jarod." When the greeting is finished, he retrieves his hand and turns slightly to the door.
"No apologies needed here. I can understand the pressing of your time in some of these meetings. I, myself, seek to .. seek some quiet from the constant debates, both from my family," here, he looks upwards; he's meaning the potential of seeing his niece once more, "and on the rightness and wrongness of one action, or another. At least it's comforting to know there is drink before them and things are civil." As far as he's concerned, the moment one will refuse to drink with another, or break bread, is a bad sign…
"No bows to me, please, I'm no lordling," Jarod says with an easy grin, though it's a point he's firm on. The name Rivers marks him quite clearly as a bastard, and all bastards are considered commoners, whoever produced them. Daf's hand, however, is firmly and briskly clasped. "And I know what you mean. Quiet isn't a thing we're rich on here lately. I figured this'd be a chance to escape for good conversation with a fellow man-at-arms, and if we've matters of security to discuss while we're at it, so be it. And if not…" He pats a wineskin that hangs at his belt with a boyish grin. Opposite hip as his sword. "…we'll muddle through. C'mon, I'll show you my pride and joy." Armory is unlocked, on that note, and he holds the door open for Dafydd to enter ahead of him.
Grins are infectious, and meeting Jarod's with one of his own is easy. "Fair enough.. and," Dafydd gestures towards the flask with a soft, barked laugh, "I now feel unprepared for what lies before me. I think you have the right idea; well and properly armed against your guests." He certainly takes no offense in his own words.
Stepping through the heavy door, the Captain of the Guard for Camden moves such that he can be followed. "I can see why this would be named such." The weapons are numerous, all appearing to have the same workmanship.. certainly all more than servicable. "And security is certainly a matter that can be discussed in time— after you divulge the name of your weaponsmith. Or at least one that is comperable for trade." He chuckles, his voice still low, "I am impressed, Ser Jarod, that your stocks are well filled so soon after being pressed for use."
"We're kept in decent steel, particularly our knights and retainers, though I'm hoping we might be able to open up more trade in ore once my brother Young Lord Jaremy marries his Westerlands lady," Jarod says. "The best mines are in the West, though the price comes nearly too high to make it worth doing business that far off. Perhaps the Baneforts can negotiate better rates for us. For the smithing itself, we generally use our castle smithy directly. My lord uncle, Ser Revyn Terrick, hand-picked him when he became master-at-arms. Made the sword I wear now himself…" He pats his hilt with a certain amount of pride. "…and he's never done me wrong. If you'd like him to do some personal work for you while you're here, that can likely be arranged."
Dafydd's crystal blue eyes move to the walls again as the Captain speaks, his head nodding slowly. He's caught the dynamics of the family, or the beginnings, in the words, and to hear them spoken (when all he's heard was rumour and hearsay) is comforting. There is familial affection..
Twisting around to see the sword as it is lovingly patted brings an easy smile back to his face. "Remarkably enough, mine does the work for which it is intended. This," a hand waves almost dismissively to his side, "is nothing but a ceremonial piece. While it will stave off an attack, it is more for show— thanks to your hospitality. We are a Family that dislikes offense." That last bit is offered wryly. No mistake, however, that this Captain has a piece that will do the job for which it is meant a great deal more.. effectively. Just not with him at the moment.
The smile doesn't fade, and if anything lightens a little more at the offer of a personal piece. "I actually seek more for my own armory for the Oak's defense rather than my personal holdings. Mind, we do have stocks that suit us, but.. I hope to have more within that suits me." Lots of arrow shafting, broad-heads, but few swords..
"It is a handsome sword, though.. and looks finely crafted. Something that you can pass to your heirs, along with stories of what it has done for you in your years, yes?"
Jarod draws the sword in a fluid motion, so Dafydd can get a better look at it. "Eighteenth birthday gift from my father. I had an older broadsword after I was first knighted, and it served me well enough, but it wasn't castle-forged steel. That was the end of my first year as a true sworn sword to House Terrick, and he said I should have a sword made in this house to show for it." Though old (and well-used) the edge is kept sharp and the pommel well-polished. He laughs. "I'll have no heirs to anything more than I can earn with this, though I'd not mind showing the use of it to a son one day. A long way off. Long, long way, I pray to the Seven. Do you have a wife back in the Tall Oaks?"
Dafydd hears a silent 'clear!' in the unsheathing of the sword and steps back to watch it depart it's safe haven. The blade takes his attention, though he catches the pride in the telling of its provenance. Knighthood rings in his head; that bit of envy swallowed once more in order to attend to the rest of the history. "He is right. A sword made by your house to carry. Reminder enough, if reminder is needed, of duty."
Watching to see how its held, he holds his hand out in silent request— he'd love to feel the balance of the finely made blade. A laugh comes from the man in the beginning of a response to the question. "Not married, no. No duty required there. My Lord brother has issue, the next as well, of which your House has particular note. There has been no request from parts without for a marriage, as there can really be no benefit diplomatically, which means I am free to marry whom I will. Or, whom I will not." His smile turns a little more sly, "Though I am not without comfort on cold evenings, should I wish it.. and so far, no issue." Thankfully.
Straightening, his brows rise, "Am I to assume the same of you, young Ser? The ladies seem to love and wish to be courted with danger."
Jarod extends the blade (pointy end down, of course), so Dafydd can take it and play with it. A mix of serious, sober pride in the duty the weapon means to him and a kid showing off his very favorite toy. "Aye, the comfort's more fun to find if there's no risk of having to marry into it in the morning, is my opinion. And I'm not sure it's danger they like. At least I try not to bring them any. Spoils the mood. I'm told I'm funny. Girls like jokes. By the by, if you're lonely for company during your stay here, you should venture into town. The inn, Rockcliff, has some of the lovelier girls you'll see in the Riverlands. The whores are clean and as fine and discreet tradespeople in their arts as you'll meet, and the barmaids and other serving girls are very nice to pass the time with if you want to earn it rather than pay for it." He grins.
"Thank you." The passing of the sword should be met with word, certainly. And with a blade that means a great deal, both in workmanship and in meaning?
Taking the grip, Dafydd turns slightly to feel the weight of the blade, bouncing it lightly in hand. There is a low whistle that can be heard as an undertone of his words, "This is a fine blade." Lifting it higher to look down the blade itself, he eyes the run before it is dropped once more. With an easy lift, something just under a toss, he holds the hilt out for its owner once again. "Your heirs, whether you want them to or not, will argue over you for the ownership of the sword."
At the suggestion that perhaps the ladies are after something else, Dafydd laughs, something a bit louder than before. "They'll tell you they wish sweet words, jokes.. whispered tales. But what they want is excitement, a thrill that they are the only ones from a man who faces battle.. and comes to find peace and quiet in their arms. They live for waiting at hearth's edge for your return.. believing they are the ones that fill your thoughts while away." Mind, he's not married…
Inclining his head, the grin has returned, broad and easy. "Not on the tour, but a location I will undoubtedly discover in my free moments." His voice lowers once again, conspiratorially, "My Lord has offered to excuse my absence to visit the vineyards. Perhaps a double visit would suit me." A laugh is barked once again, and he follows it up with, "Of all the meetings, this one is certainly the one that I shall value as practical, valuable, and the most productive. I thank you for that."
Jarod takes the blade back, returning it smoothly to its sheath. As to the bit about what ladies like, he shrugs. "Everybody likes adventure stories, won't deny I've spun a few to get up a girl's skirt, but I still think it's the jokes that make it easier. They don't put in the songs what it's really like, because that'd kill a sweet mood faster than anything." He says it like he assumes Dafydd will know what he's talking about. On that note, he takes the wineskin off his belt and opens it, sipping from it before offering it to the Camden man. The wine inside is a little warm, but it's a decent vintage he probably nipped from the kitchens. Those last words get a laugh from him. "I am nothing if not a practical man, m'Lord. Glad I could be of service. I know little of your family but from what I've met I like them. They seem kind people, and are better company than some we've got in these halls right now, that's for certain."
Dafydd had decided a little while ago that he liked the young knight before him, and there's nothing that could now change his opinion. He laughs loudly once again, the sound genuine as it reaches his eyes easily, relieving some of the sobriety found in the lines. "They do enjoy tracing lines of scars that travel, and will believe any story as to how they were attained." Though, he is right in that there is precious little reality in the songs they like to hear. "I will cede your point," is given with the same lighted grin.
Reaching for the skin, he tastes the wine within and draws a breath in, and holds it before exhaling once more. "They are a kind folk, and most will willingly give their shirts off their backs, and do what they will for peaceful resolution to any ill." Even when it seems bleakest. "Some will say we have no spine, others will say that ideology will mean the loss of our land.." He's one of those, though he doesn't say as much. "And others will call it noble." Another swallow is taken and briefly savoured before he passes the wineskin back, a step backwards taken as he gestures towards the door. "While I do enjoy being locked away in the armory, perhaps we can retire to a tavern? Unless your duties keep you from doing such.. thanks to those that haunt your halls for the moment?" He's thankful for the compliment, and his manner conveys the pleasure in which it's received. "If you wish, I could play the loud guest and give them an earful that they wouldn't expect from our retinue?" Taunting the other guests… now there's a game!
"I should stay in the castle, aye, with the Naylands about the house," Jarod says. "I've canceled leave for my men until Lord Ryker's party is off back to Stonebridge again, and I think they'd stone me if I went off to take more liberty than I allow them. No spine, m'Lord?" He seems surprised to hear such talk, though likely that it's coming from a member of the Camden party than the words themselves. "Nothing I'd ever say about men I barely know. Though I'll admit I know precious little of your family. Save the Lady Liliana, who's done good service for my family these last years. She seems a spirited girl, of which I approve. I figure if one's noble and may one day have to be in charge of smallfolk in some regard, best they have some metal in their spines to watch over them with."
Dafydd is a realist. "Aye.. no spine. As in, would not take up arms on one side or another, instead pleading for an end to armed conflict and negotiate. There comes a time when steel should be used to back up right, and there are those that would complain loudly and bitterly that we did not heed a call for our archers. The word 'cowardice' has never been spoken, and none would dare in my presence, but there are those that would think it." Not a pleasant thought, much less conversation, but his feelings on the matter should be plain, even as less than subtly couched within his words.
"My niece is certainly a spirited girl, and will learn a great deal at your House. As I discover more, the more certain this is the best place for her. She will be a fine match for a young man seeking his way."
There is a moment of disappointment with a measure of pity, though it's not 'pity-pity'. More.. understanding. "You probably should. I shall not lead you astray. However, I will check in on my brother, though I know his safety is assured while within your walls, before I venture out." He inclines his head, "I do thank you for your hospitality, and for your.. delightful practicality. I should, however, check in and see what it is my Lord Camden has said and done so that I will not be surprised when met in the halls."
Jarod shrugs. "I'm told your House prefers to stay out of conflicts, and is sworn to none but the Tullys." His tone is neutral on that point. "I figure all men must guard their lands as they think best. If neutrality keeps the peace where you're at…well, perhaps that's the better course for your smallfolk. Though I would like to learn more of your House, and how you manage to protect it, while you're in residence here. We should talk later. Perhaps over drink in a location where we can find colder wine or beer. And you're invited to join our exercises in the practice yard, if you've a mind to it. I'm near healed from the hurts I took in the tourney at Stonebridge, so I'm up for a good little fight or two. Was good to meet you properly, Lord Dafyyd Camden."
"I may take you up on it, Ser Jarod Rivers. It would be nice to work a sweat and try my hand against others in peace." And Dafydd means it. A little exercise and working out to try different techniques is right up his alley.
"We will talk later, and if I can answer any questions, I shall." Can being the operative term in that he doesn't like to give much away that would aid in the downfall of his home, but it all lies in the telling, certainly. And in the hearing. "And over a drink clinches the matter of our talk. If I do not see you before you begin to extricate yourself, please send word to me and I will do my best to answer the call. If not, I will send word back."
Holding out his hand once more to clasp the others in farewell, Dafydd's smile relights, "It was a pleasure to make your acquaintance, and I look forward to a future of good will between us."