|Met Along The Road|
|Summary:||Alric's new aide, Petra, finds him along the road back to Highfield. He's understandably suspicious.|
|Related Logs:||None specifically.|
|The Road Between Heronhurst and Highfield|
|It's a road, or maybe not much more than a dirt path. Nothing much to see here.|
|02 Oct, 289 AL|
It's already noon in Heronhurst. The day having become a bit cloudy as it grows on. Alric having been at the keep for a bit. If Petra had come he had not known. He just continues to prepare for his ride home along with his two guards Talbot and Corrin. Making themselves ready to leave. Jumping up on their respective horse. A couple of Erenford guards keeping an eye on them as well. An incline to the guards before he is starting to set off out from the keep.
Just in time to meet the palfrey along the road, or more to the point, making her way through the gate. Though neither the horse, nor the woman riding her seem particularly winded, somehow they both seem to have the same rather put-upon expression on their faces. It's schooled easily enough, once the blonde catches sight of the trio making their way towards her. She's still dressed in her usual attire, though the badge of Highfield is not at her breast. Instead, it sits on one of the bags attached to her saddle.
The eyes of the trio goes to the woman. Though the guards only keeps attention while Alric seem tp he studying her. Themselves having badges of Fenster. Alric having it on his belt. Only spotting the badge of Highfield on her bag as he rides past her. "Excuse me. You on a mission from ser Aleister? A courier?" He asks, studying her more closely now as he comes to a stop.
Petra reins up, allowing a comfortable distance between herself and the trio of men. She looks neither threatening nor cowering. She's just, well, there. The sort of non-descript look and demeanour that couriers all across the kingdoms seem to have perfected. Likely it helps to keep curious eyes away, "After a fashion, Lord Alric. My Lord Aleister has decided that I should be placed in your service, and dispatched me to find you, as you might have need for my services." And that's neutrally said. She's delivering the message, and the Young Lord can accept or deny it at his own whim.
Alric studies her and nods, "I see. And what might you're name be?" He asks, having a small smile for her. Though a bit wary. Knowing that Aleister doesn't seem to like him too much. Perhaps with reason. Though also wary since he can't be sure if she is telling the truth or not. Though he suppose that it can't hurt to have her along. He might have glanced her in Highfield after all. "Tell me a bit about yourself. Since you seem to know me already." He offers in a rather light tone.
"Petra Bennett," is what's offered for the name, as she urges the palfrey back to make room for the trio to move as they seemed inclined to. "I am sorry that I did not meet you sooner, the roads are not so easy as they once were." Whatever wariness Alric might be feeling, it doesn't seem the woman has any of her own. Good servants serve, they don't have feelings about it, "Only by name and description, Lord Alric." A light lift of her shoulders, "There is not so much to tell. I was raised at King's Landing," which one might be able to tell from the soft accent she's never truly gotten rid of, "I have been in Lord Aleister's service since King Robert took the throne there. I have served as his scribe and courier ever since."
There is a nod once in awhile as Alric listens to Petra and her story. "Pleasure meeting you then mistress Petra Bennett." He offers and smiles, gesturing for her to ride along with them. Nodding to her words. "I'm sure we'll get along nicely. I'm uncertain why lord Aleister would put you with me, but such is the case now anyhow." He says and shrugs. Gesturing for her to ride next to him. "I'm not what I should offer now. I guess I could say that I enjoy poetry." He offers and continues to keep a rather light mood.
"I do not presume to know the mind of my Lord, but it would seem to me, that in your duties as a diplomat of your House and of Highfield that you might have need of someone to scribe for you, and to deliver messages that cannot be sent by raven. Especially if the missives must be sent back from or to Highfield. It takes many months and much effort to train a raven to fly, and we have had to make much use of couriers until such times as the riverlands houses can train their ravens to fly to Highfield and ours to fly to the other houses." Petra keeps her palfrey to an easy pace, matching the Young Lord's pace. "I am afraid I have no great skill at writing poetry myself, but if you find you have need of a delicate hand to write it, or to deliver it, I could be persuaded."
Alric chuckles and nods, "I understand. I am sure you have your use. I just wasn't expecting the lord of Highfield so be so kind to offer one to me." He says and looks to her, nodding to her words while smiling. "I see. I usually like to write my own things most of the time. Though I would let you read some of the poetry. If you wish." He offers to her, still trying to get her to loosen up perhaps. Taking her in and just having a kind smile on his lips. "Do you need any rest before riding back towards Highfield?" He asks, not knowing how long she has been on the road. Studying her expression, searching for any hint of weariness he can find.
"It is not kindness, it seems to me, but good sense. You must have the proper tools in order to do what is required of your House and his. He cannot expect you to draw water from a stone, and yet he has not, till now, given you someone who could properly assist you with your work. Highfield is a young House, for all its great lineage, and things take time to be sorted. We do not even have our own Maester, as yet, though I am assured that Oldtown will send one soon." There's a wistfulness in her expression, "Perhaps they will send me to retrieve him, when he is ready. I have never been to Oldtown." even smallfolk have dreams. Petra returns the smile, but lightly. Never let it be said that she doesn't know her place amongst her betters, "As you like, Lord Alric. But no, I am not tired. I have taken much longer journeys than this one, and my mare is well-accustomed to long rides."
Alric smiles and nods. "That I know. I am just surprised since he didn't wish to have me fully in his service and therefore I technically only serve house Charlton of Hollyholt. Though of course I would treat Highfield with the same respect. As I said, technicalities." He offers with a slight shrug. As he see glances in front of them then back to her. Seeing the wistfullness perhaps. "I could ask for you to get to go. I have been there when I traveled around the areas. Only once to Oldtown though. Not too bad a place. Then again, I'm from Tavin's Rest which is a rather small place." He offers and smiles to her. Glad to see her at least seeming to loosen up a little, even if it might not be a lot.
"I understand. If you need any rest to tell. Thought of staying in Highfield a few days before going to the Roost to see if anything is needed. So I think we will be traveling alongside each other for a long time." He tells and makes sure she caught that. Having become much kinder and less ignoring of the smallfolk as of late. "Have you gotten to meet my cousin, Trajan?" He asks, making some smalltalk that Corrin is usually the victim off. Though getting to know a new person in his group is always good.
"If Lord Aleister's feelings have changed, you will have to speak to him to be sure. He does not share such things with me. I was simply bidden to find you and told that I was to be in your service until such time as you dismissed me. If you have no wish or desire for an aide, I will not be offended if you tell him so. I serve at his whim and yours." A light lift of her shoulders, "I would thank you for that. I enjoy traveling and seeing new places. But I do not often have the freedom to go where I will." A laugh, sort, but genuine, "I grew up in a very big place, but I think the reality of it was likely much less appealing than your home. I doubt you can smell your home from half a mile off." A nod, as she accepts the itinerary, such as it is, "I have not been to the Roost for many long weeks. I hear they have been making good use of the alliance between Highfield and Terrick, and that there is another hunt planned." A shake of her head at the question, "I have not. I had heard there was another of your House at Highfield, butthat was all."
Alric smiles and nods, "I understand. Though it is quite alright. I think keeping you around could be fun. Though only if you wish to be along. If you rather serve else where I will not stop you. I mean I am sure that I can be boring at times." He tells her and shrugs. Though he has an almost brilliant playful smile on his lips. Then he nods about enjoying traveling. "As do I. And I will let you ride there if it is quite alright for you to do so. Else I can suggest that I have business there and just bring you along. I need to travel to most houses after all." He says and is happy to hear her at least laugh a bit.
As for the smells, he nods. "I see. Perhaps I will let you see the sights in Tavin's Rest next time I go back there." He offers and shifts a bit in his seat. "The positive things about traveling with me, you at least get to see a thing or two." He says in a playful tone. As for the Roost, he smiles and just nods to the things. Same as for Trajan, though adding, "He might look slightly scary but he is a nice person if you are a nice person in return." He explains. His eyes shift to look west. "And the Roost has indeed been better with the accord. I' sure you'll like seeing it once again. It's always nice getting back to some places."
"I wish to serve as well and as ably as I can. I have few needs outside of that. It is a better life than what I might have had had I remained in King's Landing, and I am grateful to be far and away from it." Petra's hands rest easy on the reins, the mare doing most of the work, having been well trained, it seems. "I think in that way, a common life is so much simpler than that of a noble. A noble woman might look around her and say, "I want a grand castle, and fine dresses, gems and jewels for my hair and my person. I am glad for a roof over my head and a hot meal, and not to have to worry that I will be raped in the night. When you want for little, you can appreciate what you have. But then, I have never been a noblewoman." A nod of her head, considering, "I will go wherever you require, as the needs of your duties allow. "I am not in the habit of being rude to people. But I have not served this long without knowing how to temper my speech and my actions."
There is another smile and nod to Petra's word coming from Alric. "That is good then. And perhaps you do. And stick around me and I will make sure personally that no one touches you. Well, unless you wish for it of course. Not that I doubt your ability to look out for yourself would that be needed." He says and is holding rather loosely on his own reins. His black horse moving calmly along as well. "I think I might been trying to reach to high myself. Of course, I should be glad as well. But I get ignored more times than not." He says and shrugs. "I will just do what I can to serve and prove myself loyal and useful. Despite some rumours that can awhile ago." He adds to things. Then he studies her a bit. Nodding to her words. "I understand. I will let you have freedom as well though. Though it will be nice to have your company. Rides can be long. I do have Corrin and Talbot as well, but the more the merrier." He tells her and gently strokes his horse's mane. "I used to know how to do so, but I think I must learned it anew." A shrug and sigh then.
"All nobles try to reach too high. It is in your nature. A House that does not reach does not succeed, at least as far as I have seen. But what I have also seen is that some Houses can reach more ably than others. A large and more powerful House can reach farther, because of their means, and also of the way in which other Houses regard them. They can be blunt and ham-fisted. A smaller House must find smaller ways to extend themselves. A Giant may take two steps to cross a river, a dwarf half a dozen. But in the end, they are both on the other side. Fenster is a dwarf's House. You must take small steps to get across the river. It is hard for Houses to see that, I think, sometimes because you are raised to think that your House is the best and the most deserving. The trouble is, every House thinks that way of themselves." A smile, as she considers the Lord's words, "It is not in a Lord's nature to temper himself. Lords are men of desire an ego. If you would win a Lord, you must cater to that ego and those desires. Think of it as if you were breaking a horse. If you throw a rope around its neck, it will fight and balk and bite. If you speak softly, if you soothe and coax and entice, it will come more easily. Sometimes being gentle wins through more easily than being fierce and forthright."
Alric smiles and nods to her words. "Thank you. And that is perhaps true. We will just see what happens in the end." He offers to her. Starting to chuckle a bit about each house thinking themselves to be best, knowing it to be true. "It is not in a lord's nature, but sometimes required. I used to be much better at all of that. But I suppose that once in awhile one loses himself in the sea of emotions that each posseses." He offers and shrugs. He does grin at her about soothing though. "True. Though I prefer honesty. Even though it is something that one never get or gain anything by. Which is why I have been trained to lie. I just needs to find that side more again. I think the Mallisters made me soft." He offers playfully with a chuckle and shake of his head. "Too much time in Seagard and the Roost I tell ya." Though it is still ligh and his grin is wide.
"For me, it is all about finding the right words, as I made promise to Lord Aleister that I would never lie to him. The proper words and actions can make the truth more palatable. If, for example, you had a wife, and she had become fat and threatened to put your eye out should the buttons burst on her bodice, she might take offense if you were to say to her, "My Lady wife, is that you in that to tight dress or a dairy cow?" But if you were to say to her, "My lady wife, you become more radiant with every passing day. Let me gift you with an entirely new wardrobe." She might take it more kindly." A shake of her head, "I have seen only a little of Seagard. It is a heavy burden that Lord Patrek bears."
Alric smiles and nods. "Indeed. That is a good way to go about it. I might have offered that it matters little about the dress and that I would like her better out of it anyway and that a new dress will be waiting for her in the morn'. Though I don't know any longer." He sighs and shrugs. Then he laughs and shakes his head, "I suppose I am getting too soft." He says and smiles at Petra.
As for Seagard he nods once, "It is indeed. I wish I could help him somehow. Perhaps I should ask lord Aleister if he wishes for me to speak to him. I do not know though." He says and shrugs. Letting her put in her opinion.
"I only offer my own suggestion. As I am not a man, and have only a certain amount of experience in talking women out of clothing, I will defer to you." A considering look, before she returns her attention to the road, "I do not think Lord Patrek or any of his House would take kindly to your aid. first, because you are of a small House and you have little to offer them that would not damage their pride. A pride for which they are famous. Also, they would look on your with suspicion, because your House calls Frey its liege. No different, perhaps, to how you are suspicious of me, because I am coming to you from Lord Aleister's employ. A dwarf can little aid a giant. Set your sights on a smaller House, Terrick perhaps, where you have both the ability to aid them immediately, and through their betterment, to provide aid to their overlord."
Alric nods and shrugs, "Though I serve not the Frey. I serve the Charltons. Would they ever wish to break from the Freys then so would I. Though until then I will treat the Frey respectful." He says and shrugs. "Though you are right. They would look at me suspiciously. Though I would still want to try and prove myself. I will probably try and aid the Terrick as well. Hence going to the Roost." He says and brushes back his hair. Looking a head for a moment before looking over to the scribe.
"You serve House Frey because the Charltons serve House Frey. There is no true autonomy unless you are of a Lord Paramount's House. That is how Houses have always looked at each other. Did you not see that when the Roost was at first unwilling to treat with Highfield and just as unwilling to trust them? Not because they knew anything about Aleister Charlton and his newly made cadet house, but because they saw a Frey bannerman first and foremost, and the Mallisters are the Frey's bitter rivals. Every action you take reflects on your House first, your liege second, and your overlord third. Your House paints you with its successes and its failures. So too does the opinions people hold of your leige and Lord sway their opinion of you."
Alric listens and nods, "Of course. That I realize. Which is why I wondered of seeking out lord Patrek. Not as myself for house Fenster though as the diplomat, or herald if you prefer, for the Charltons. That would be a choice up to lord Aleister though." As for the opinion on Aleister, he shrugs. "True to some point. But a lot of people find the Charltons to seem greedy and just wanting more land. Which might have affected the Frey as well. I think some houses have gotten scared of house Charlton as well. Even though a lot of what they do is not wrong." He shrugs then. Scratching his head a bit and then tilting his head as he studies her. "Though as you say, it is true that they think the same of me as the Charltons. Just because of one mistake of entering Erenford lands. Which they have tried to change. While the Naylands stood fast at their disrespect to the Charltons. No one seemed to care about that. Except for a Nayland. Ser Tyroan. Although he migh have been lying about disagreeing with his kin." He shrugs a bit again and then smiles a bit. "Though I think lord Aleister will turn things around, and if he would only trust me at some point then I could do much for him. Though I understand. Why would he wish for my help? Especially after a failed visit to Heronhurst before." He sighs and get a bit disappointed with himself.
"I wish I had better advice than what I have already given, Lord Alric. But I am afraid I am only a common woman, and I do not figure into this game the noble Houses play, and know little enough of these events that seem to have shaped much of your interactions with Highfield. I know only how to serve, and I could advice you on that score, as we are both servants in our own way. I am in your service, and you are in the service of Lords Aleister and Andrey. It is not an easy skill to learn. Service. It means setting aside your loves, your hates, your wants and your desires. I will tell you that Lord Aleister does not trust easily. One must earn his trust and his regard. And he is a harsh taskmaster. He would have those who serve him have no Lord before him. Selfless service is the road that leads to his trust."
Alric nods. "It is fine, mistress. You have been of good company so far and I do not doubt that it will be the same in days to come." He tells er and smiles sweetly before nodding to her following words. "That I know. I have been a bit disobediant, which does not fit well with him. But I will do as he say now. I just wished to show him that I didn't want to sit idle. To some degree it seemed to work. I got sent to Heronhurst and now I got you." He offers and chuckles. Be it good or bad.
"And now you have me. Let us hope that it only works to your benefit and to the benefit of the Lord of Highfield." The courier seems content enough in her duties and in the company, and her words are easy, "Disobedience never sits well with my Lord Aleister. But I am certain their will be ways to show him your worth in the days to come."
Alric smiles and nods, "Let us hope. So far it has been nice. Even though we only have been with one another for almost one ride." He grins a bit at that and shrugs. His own words and voice quite light and casual. As for disobediant, he nods. "Let us hope. Also I am sure that the disobediance I showed can be redeemed." He offers and smiles a bit.
"There is always time for redemption, Lord Alric." And for a little while, Petra falls silent, seeming content to enjoy the slower pace of the ride.