|Mighty Equestrian Frogs|
|Summary:||Riordan and Rosanna bump into each other at Terrick's Roost.|
|Date:||May 13, 2012|
|Related Logs:||Ummm lots of stuff.|
|Stables and Kennels — Four Eagles Tower|
|The Tower's Main Stables are nestled into the corner of the courtyard near the portcullis to facilitate quick, easy exits when required. The rear of the structure is backed right against the interior wall of the castle with the heavy wooden roofing gently sloped down towards the slate out front, the floor of the stables kept to dirt. Thick wooden beams are plunged into the ground and serve as a base for the walls between each stall. Hay serves as most of the flooring in the area with a large stack of it off to the side. Each stall has a thick layer on the ground to serve as bedding, with most of the space dedicated to horses though a few have pens of dogs and hounds. An enclosed structure at the end serves as dry storage for riding equipment and saddles.|
|May 13, 289|
In one of the stables close to the pens where the hounds are kept, Riordan stands with the black gelding that he rode here from Stonebridge. Dressed in court clothes, he has stripped down to his undertunic, his fancy green doublet hanging nearby out of the way, so as to prevent it from getting dirty as he tends to the needs of his steed. Consequently, as the stall hides the lower half and he is facing away from the door, he may well pass for a stablehand - if a well bathed and athletically built one.
It is the cat that arrives first, a sleek thing of fluffy, grey tabbied fur and long, lean muscle. It leaps up to the edge of the hounds pen and then to a higher perch, setting the dogs to howling immediately. The cat seems unbothered by their sudden agitation and begins cleaning his face with efficiently feline movements.
<FS3> Riordan rolls Animal Handling: Good Success.
Riordan does not actually notice, at first, the presence of the fearsome beast newly arrived. Normally a well trained and tempered beast, having been trained by the Regent himself, the black gelding had, until now, tolerated the presence of the hounds quite well. Their agitation, however, has the steed's eyes widening, nostril's flaring, and it begins to move as if it will buck up. Or perhaps it is the presence of the nearby cat. Regardless, the Nayland knight is kept rather occupied by not being flattened, situated as he is inside the stall with a suddenly upset horse. "Woah there, woah," he murmurs, in a firm yet gentle tone, pitched over the horse's own whinny and that noise of the hounds. And, somehow, proper hand placement, nimble avoidance, and the right tone of voice is enough to see the horse calming, slowly. Still, the black beast glances towards the tiny tabby one, or perhaps at the hounds, and lets out a snort of indignation.
Some of the other horses, however, are having similar reactions, especially those near the hounds. Thankfully, Riordan appears to have been the only one unlucky enough to have been in a stall with one at the time.
The tabby blinks large blue eyes at the horse, unruffled by its agitation in the dickish way that cats have. It's then that his lady finally makes an appearance. "Oh, there you are," Rosanna says in a fond tone as she sweeps in, trailed by poor Laurel. With Riordan handling his horse and so easily mistaken for a stablehand at the moment, she doesn't even notice him. "I hope you are instructing the Terrick cats on their hunting skills," she coos up at the cat.
The presence of other people does not at first seem to be noticed by people - however, when he begins hearing female tones, that quickly changes. After all, though no horses seem agitated enough to break out of there stalls - most of them likely being use to the presence and sound of these hounds - all it would take is the wrong move, and then these ladies could be in danger. So Riordan turns, quickly, to exit the stall and ensure the safety of whoever it. Whipping around the corner, still minus his doublet, he comes up short just short of bumping into a familiar looking lady. "Lady Rosanna," Riordan says, before he follows her gaze. Realization dawns on the Regent's expression, and he lets out a laugh, and even gives the cat a small nod. "And this would be Barristan, I presume."
"Oh, Lord Riordan," Rosanna says, startled and then smiling. "I didn't — realize that was you." Her gaze dips only briefly to his undertunic before returning to his face. "Oh, yes, that is Barristan. He isn't being a bother, is he?" Barristan washes behind his ears.
"Well, nearly getting crushed by my own horse aside, which I'm sure he didn't do on purpose, I think the rest is forgivable," Riordan says, with a small laugh. For someone who purportedly just had a near death experience though, the Regent looks utterly at ease as usual. As for the glance to his clothes, he just smirks, and moves off to fetch his doublet and begins to button it on. "My sister mentioned that you and your brother had arrived. I had not known you were planning on a visit to coincide with our own, or I would have invited you all to accompany our own group," he says, as he comes back looking much more presentable.
"Well. You know my brother," Rosanna says cheerfully. "He does things on his own schedule." She seems little concerned for his well-being, because clearly he's unbroken and alive.
"Mmmm," Riordan says, the sound blatantly noncommittal in response to her comment. He eyes her thoughtfully a moment, before he smiles again. "Well, no matter. I suppose it is just as well. I can't say that myself or Lord Justin had much fun starting off as early as we did on no sleep, our bellies full of wine, and our feet sore from dancing. At least my sister had the good sense to pace herself much better then us." He smiles brightly at the memory, then for some reason frowns to himself, and a second later is changing the subject. "It is a shame, though. With both myself, my sister, and now you gone, my brother must surely be lonely."
Rosanna laughs prettily at his worry for his brother. "I am sure Lord Rutger will find enough to entertain himself," she says. "Certainly he was more comfortable staying in Stonebridge than making the journey as you and Lord Justin did."
"Well, one of us needed to come here, and the other needed to remain to run things in Stonebridge. And as I tend to get along with the Terricks a bit better then my brother, well." Riordan grins at Rosanna, studying her again for a moment, before he turns to regard her cat. "You know, I truly hope I get to be there when you and Barristan arrive in the Mire. If this is what he is like with dogs, I can only imagine how he shall be among the frogs." There's a sparkle of amusement in his eyes, as he glances sideways to regard Rosanna with an impish grin.
"If you enjoy your frogs, my lord, you may want to urge me not to bring him," Rosanna tells him, eyes bright with amusement. "He very well might eat them all. He is a very prolific hunter." Above them on the rafters, Barristan stretches luxuriously.
"I do enjoy their song at night, it is true, Lady Rosanna," Riordan returns with a chuckle. "In fact, I've always found it hard to sleep without it. But we've been frog hunting in the Mire for generations, and the frogs still outnumber all out by twenty to one at the least." Continuing to gaze up at the lofty cat, Riordan says, continuing to grin, "And while I am sure that he would certainly put a dent in the frog population, there will still be plenty left to sing me to sleep."
"It is a good thing they cannot ride horses and make alliances, then, or they would swiftly take over," Rosanna teases.
"Not having sat down to actually talk to a frog - at least not since I was five or so, I can neither confirm nor deny their ability to make alliances," Riordan says with a muted smirk. "As to the riding, well… I can actually assure you that I have on more then one occasion, after having left the Mire, found a frog hidden in my saddle bag. Though I have yet to establish for sure if they get there of their own accord, or if Roslyn placed them there as a reminder of childhood pranks."
"I think we can still safely say that the ability to rid in a saddlebag is still far from the ability to ride," Rosanna says with full assurance, in case Riordan was starting to feel threatened.
"Well, we all have to start somewhere," Riordan says, with a small chuckle, though he nods to that. And then, with another glance up at the cat, he adds, "Though perhaps we should not say such in Barristan's hearing, hrm? He mayhaps might take it as a challenge. And I can't see a cat landing atop a horse with claws unsheathed would end well for any of the parties involved, hrm?" He grins at the idea… though is also suddenly giving the cat a wary look. As if he very well just might do it.
"Oh, I'm sure that Barristan would be a wonderful rider," Rosanna says, full of faith for her regal cat. "Wouldn't you, Barristan?" He yawns. Fiercely.
Riordan simply lets out another low chuckle, glancing between Rosanna and the cat for a long moment. Finally, he asks, "Is your brother planning on entering the Tourney at the Twins this coming week's end, Lady Rosanna? When we were at the Sevens together, he mentioned wishing to tilt against me at some point."
Rosanna sighs wistfully. "I hope that we go even if he doesn't," she says, all pining for travel. "I would love to see a tourney. Will you enter, my lord?"
"Wild dragons could not hold me back, my lady," Riordan assures her with a laugh, visibly cheering at the prospect of the Tourney. "It has been far too long since I entered one, and I am still recently recovered from my injuries, so I can only hope I will make a fine enough showing for my house." He smiles brightly at Rosanna, adding, "I hope you will be able to attend too. My sister will likely go as well, so perhaps you can spectate together if you do."
"Will your brother enter as well, do you think?" Rosanna wonders. "Or have you been blessed with all of the jousting talent in the family?" Her smile warms. "Surely if both I and Lady Roslyn are in attendance, we shall spectate together."
"I've no idea if he plans to enter, my lady. You will have to ask him when you see him next," Riordan says, before adding with a smile, "Perhaps if he were offered the favor of a beautiful woman, however, he might be more inclined to do so." And there might just be the slightest hint of a wink added to this, or perhaps it is just something in his eye. "Excellent. I know she enjoys your company," he adds, after, in regards to Rosanna watching the joust with his sister.
"Well, I wouldn't want to see him so easily swayed into an action he would not otherwise take," Rosanna sniffs, unimpressed with this image of Rutger. "Not all knights are tourney sorts."
"My brother will not be swayed as easily as that, Lady Rosanna, if he truly does not wish to be," Riordan says with a small laugh. "I only assumed that you might wish to give him one before another might be inclined to do so. A knight only rides with one token, after all. But I certainly would not wish to see you do something you do not wish to do, either." He smiles, easily enough, before glancing back up to Barristan. "Will you be requiring assistance in getting him down, my lady?"
In unidentifiable contrast to the last time Barristan wandered across some stables, Rosanna doesn't seem worried. "He'll come down when he wants to," she says. Then she reaches up on her toes to brush thumb against fingertip enticingly at the erstwhile cat. "You are always working to impress upon me how many other ladies your brother might be considering, Lord Riordan," she observes.
Riordan simply inclines his head in acceptance of Rosanna's assurances regarding her cat. It is to the other words, then, that he speaks of. "Do I? This would only make twice, I think. I normally only warn once, but I rather like you, Lady Rosanna. You need not fear, though. I shall not bring it up again." He gives her a gentle smile, though his gaze is thoughtful more then anything. Finally, he simply bids her, "Good evening, Lady Rosanna," before he goes to move past her, and head out of the stables.
"I would not want to think you were urging me to anything unseemly, my lord," Rosanna says in an innocent voice as she lures Barristan finally from the upper rafters onto the ground next to her, where he rubs possessively about her ankles.
Riordan pauses a short ways away, glancing back at Rosanna. In a quiet tone, he says, amusement in his voice, "My lady, I find it nigh impossible to envision you doing anything unseemly. I do not tend to urge the impossible." He shakes his head, and if his tone takes on a more serious note for his next words, the rest of him remains at ease and relaxed. "I simply did not want you surprised if events move ahead of us all. They often do, you know." There is a bittersweet note that enters his words at that last, and then he turns back to exit the stables.
Rosanna frowns distinctly at him as he goes. The most unseemly that she gets is not bidding him good day before he's gone.