|Mired in the Mire|
|Summary:||Riordan and Rowenna endeavor to show Jarod and Anais how to hunt frogs within the Mire. On their way to do that, they talk, and have a mud fight.|
|Related Logs:||A Very Mire Family Morning and Expectations|
|Deep Within the Mire — Hag's Mire|
|Prime frog hunting grounds deep within Hag's Mire. Frogs, bugs, bird. And lots and lots of mud and water.|
|Sun May 27, 289|
The small party sets out from the Fortress of Sevens by early afternoon. Those new to the Mire have been provided appropriate clothing as best as could be appropriated. While Rowenna saw to Anais' needs, Riordan helped find something suitable for Jarod, as well as Anais' guardsman who would also be accompanying the party. Food, courtesy of Riordan and Rowenna's sister, has been packed, and the equipment needed for such an endeavour is also brought along. Chiefly, this involves special frog gigged-spears, nets, and special lanterns that house thick candles, kept around should the hunt extend into the evening.
Having taken a shallow-bottomed boat for some of the way, the first leg of the journey ends with Riordan guiding the craft towards a suitable looking protrusion of land. Once in the shallows, he jumps out with a splash, and wades to the front, moving to pull the craft further onto land so it does not drift away - and to allow a more graceful exit for anyone feeling dainty. "Seven, but I've missed this, haven't you, Sister?" he asks Rowenna, looking to his sibling with an incredibally wide smile.
Anais has changed into clothes suitable for a frog hunt, as has her guard. Skirts have been traded for a borrowed pair of trousers and a borrowed shirt, both in dark colors and both rolled up at the hems to make up for being overly long. It's hardly a perfect fit - the trousers are a bit tight at the hips - but it's good enough to get muddy in. Her hair has been braided, the braid pinned in a crown around her head to keep it from dangling and getting caught on anything. And when Riordan jumps out of the boat, before her guard can object, Anais hops right out as well, wading gleefully through the shallows. There might be a little more splashing in the process than is strictly necessary, even.
"I have," says Rowenna, her smile a bit more wistful. Then, with a laugh, "Gods, do you remember how miserable Rowan used to be out here? Every blood-sucker for leagues had it in for him. He was like mosquito candy." She swings her legs out of the boat, advising Anais, "Make sure your trousers stay tucked in your boots, Annie. It's really unpleasant to get home and discover leeches in delicate places."
Jarod has plenty of clothing suitable for dirtier work, though perhaps none specific to the Mire itself. So outfitting him was probably not much of a chore. "Can you swim in the waters here?" he asks Riordan as he hefts himself out of the boat. Eyeing the craft with, perhaps, a touch of skepticism. Still, he gets out ably enough. "I've heard tales of men disappearing into bogs, up to their necks in mud and the like. Your lord father threatened to lose me in one once, and I'm not entirely sure he was joking…leeches?" He grimaces. "Right. No swimming, then."
Riordan laughs lightly when Anais follows him, as ever giving the Lady a warm and bright grin. And, if his eyes occassionally stray towards the way her hips fill out those trousers, well. At least he keeps himself mostly distracted with settling the boat and talking to his sister. "Yes. I remember trying to convince him that mud would work not only in the hunting of frogs, but keeping the bugs off," Riordan says, though the wistful smile that begins with his words ends with a light snort, since one or more of their other siblings had decided that the suggestion meant that Rowan ought to be pushed in head first into a deep mud pit. "There are parts you can, and parts you can't," Riordan says, his smile returning bigger and more immediate as he then glances to Jarod. "It's up to you to figure out which is which though," he adds with a wink, before moving to gather up some of the equipment as the rest get out of the boat.
"They're just leeches, Jarod," Anais says cheerfully, though she does check her boots as she climbs out of the water. "Magnola told me once that some of the highborn ladies in Lannisport use them on the dark circles under their eyes. Supposed to make them look more youthful or some such." Grin flashing, she leans down to splash at Jarod. "Careful! I think there was a leech in that one!" She steps carefully over the muddy bank as she climbs out, watching how far each boot sinks before letting her weight rest on it.
"Not in the marshes, anyhow," Rowenna tells Jarod. "There are places to swim, though. Lakes — deeper water, less brackish." She smirks about her father's threats to her husband's person. "I thought that was maybe a little adorable," she says, leaning over to kiss Jarod's cheek. "You'll find quicksand out here, that's plenty likely. The key is not to fight it. The more you fight, the faster you sink." She glances at Rio and snorts. "Gods, I was so pissed at all of you. Poor Rowan."
Jarod makes a face, as to the idea of ladies with leeches on their eyes. "Would make them look sick and bruised, if the leeches do the same to eyes they do to other parts of you. I prefer girls who're a bit more robust, thanks." He splashes Anais back with a laugh, though it trails off when he looks back at Riordan. Looking at Anais. He looks at his goodbrother. Then Rowenna kisses him, which distracts him. And makes him grin like an idiot.
"The leeches won't hurt you. In fact, Maester Althalos will be thankful if you save any you 'catch'. He uses them in ungents or… something. I've never actually bothered to ask," Riordan says to Jarod, ending the sentance by actually sticking out his tongue at the other man, and winking. "And Rowenna is right. You need to be careful. Use your gig as a guide. Poke the ground before you step, and you shan't go wrong." Even as he speaks, Riordan is preparing his gear. He clips his lantern to a hook attached to his jerkin, keeping it above the waist so as to keep it dry should they need to wade through deep water. His pack with food and supplies is looped over his shoulder, kept high, for the same reason. The net is slung over his shoulder as well, and lastly, he grabs a spear. "Yes, well, it's not like the same wasn't done to the rest of us, Rowenna. I'm not saying some of the others weren't a bit rough on the lad… but you should have seen what Rutger and the others did to me, my first trip." Despite his words, the memory brings a nostalgic smile to his face. He waits while the others prepare, moving up the bank to stand by Anais. "Sure you're ready for this?" he teases. "After all, I'll have ready access to a great number of frogs, shortly." For some reason, he makes the comment a challenge, even as he winks at her.
"Well, it did come from Magnola," Anais shrugs to Jarod. "She'll believe just about anything if you claim it'll keep her pretty." She apparently doesn't catch the looks from Riordan or Jarod, thoroughly occupied with slowly stomping through the mud while supplies are rationed out. She's utterly fascinated by the way the water seeps back into footprints once they're vacated. "We used to go swimming and climbing at the Banefort. Cliff diving, actually," she adds her own memories to the mix. And as she takes a spear, she grins to Riordan. "And then, when Papa left for King's Landing, Saffron's Da taught us how to use spears."
"It wasn't meant cruel, I know," says Rowenna of her younger brother's hazing. "Or rather, I know it now. Still." She scoops up a handful of rich, black mud, smearing it on her forearms, face and neck until she looks far more like a crannog savage than a knight or a lady. "He as mine to protect. Anything that so much as made him sniffle was the enemy." She adjusts her gear, admitting to Riordan, "I suppose I wasn't very fair to you and the others, that way."
"Is this a bit like spear fishing?" Jarod asks as he hefts one of those spears himself, twirling it experimentally. The question's to both Riordan and Rowenna. The idea makes him grin. "Used to go out in little boats with my brothers off the coast and have a go at that. And Rowenna as well while she was at the Roost. I thought her Rowan at the time, of course. Cliff-diving as well." That makes him grin broad at Row, though he's more than a touch wistful as he talks on it. "Plenty of swimming and climbing to be had on the Cape, Anais. You should have a go at it when you return home. Take that spirited ginger cousin of yours along. Make a day of it." He gets a laugh out of Rowenna covering herself with mud. He puts the spear down, so he can start mudding himself. Though the first thing he does isn't swear his own face, but throw his handful in Rowenna's direction. Because he apparently couldn't help himself.
"We were all children Rowenna, for all of the age difference," Riordan says, an easy smile given to his sister. "I was the same way with Roslyn, if you'll remember. Don't tell Rutger or Rafferdy this, as I'd not want to ruin the mystique… but whenever they, and the others would plan a prank on her, I'd always let her know. You remember how they used to swear she was a Mire Witch, how she saw the future and such?" He grins at the memory. Riordan then smiles even more broadly at Anais, merely raising an eyebrow at her procolmation of spear-skills. And even as Jarod begins his own mud-antics, the Nayland knight stoops down, using his free hand to scoop up some mud - and, without so much a by-your-leave, will try and smear a big gob of mud across Anais' cheek and down her neck. "Can't have you being eaten by bugs or alerting the frogs, can we, my lady?" he asks, innocently, laugher plain in his voice.
Anais' smile falters at Jarod's suggestion, though she tries to shore it up. "I'm afraid there's too much to be done at the Roost for me to go haring off on swimming and climbing trips, Jarod," she says quietly. "And I doubt Jacsen would appreciate the reminder." Before she can get too somber, though, Riordan is smearing mud on her face, and she yelps in surprise, jumping back and scooping some of the mud from her neck to fling it back at him with a startled laugh. "That's /cold/," she protests, even as she leans down to reload.
Jarod's mud-missile hits Rowenna's side with a squishy smack, making her laugh and gape at the pure temerity of her husband. She reaches out for his belt to haul him in close, leaning up for a muddy kiss. "You'd better be sure you can finish what you start out here, Riverboy," she purrs — and, with him thus distracted, tries to sneak a handful of mud down the front of his pants.
"I think, my lady goodsister, that you sometimes go out of your way to have as little fun as possible at the Roost, even though no one's asked you to!" Jarod proclaims. Before laughing and allowing himself to be hauled close by Rowenna. He's happy to kiss her, of course. Highly improperly, but they're wed, so whatever. He's getting mud down his pants anyway, so propriety is a doomed concept where they're concerned. "Seven hells!" He's still half got his mouth around hers when he realizes she's doing that. "Have you sense of decorum at all, my lady?" Said before he tries to push her down into the mud. And himself along with her. More propriety doom.
That first glob of mud hits Riordan square in the forehead, and he pauses just long enough to rub his hand across his face, toss aside his spear, and use both hands to scoop up mud. And even while the poor guard that Anais had brought along is forced to watch as the nobles devolve into mud-fighting maniacs, Riordan is launching one mud-ball at the lady by way of distraction, and moving in to smear the other on her other cheek. "It's not that cold," he says, his words barely discernable for all of his laughter.
Full. On. Mud-wrasslin'. Oh, yeah. Rowenna shrieks as she tumbles into the squelchy mud, rolling over with Jarod, grappling legs and arms with a vigor and abandon of the boys they once were. Sort of. It's slippery and ridiculous, the laughter and shouts doubtless frighten off all the frogs for leagues — but it's damn fun. They are teh great chaperons, no?
Anais would object, but there is mud dangerously close to her mouth, and she has no interest in eating it. So instead, she just takes that double handful of mud and dumps it over Riordan's head, ducking her own to try to keep the mud from going down her shirt. There is definitely laughter there, and while the nobles go about smearing each other with mud, Anais' guard - apparently immune to her antics - sets about tying up the boat and checking the supplies.
Jarod is doing more laughing than anything else as he grapples with Rowenna in the mud. They probably didn't do it quite like that when she was a presumed boy. He ends up incapacitated by laughing and still laying in the muck, so presumably she 'won'. He seems to have forgotten about chaperoning. Until he sees Anais playing with Riordan, and gives a long, level look at his goodsister. While propping himself up on his elbow, in mud, after wrassling with a girl. He is perhaps more confident in his ability to mentally scold her about lack of propriety than he should be.
Riordan, for his part, continues to laugh and seems utterly unaware of anything other then doing his utmost to completely cover Anais in mud. Which is probably a bad thing, when you haven't yet fully investigated the ground you're standing on. As Anais backs up, and he manuevers around her to smear mud all over her back, his next step finds not solid ground, but a large mud-hole. As he goes careening over, he instinctively reaches out for something to stop his fall. And as the closest thing to him is Anais, this might end up with both covered in mud.
Rowenna, grinning and laughing breathlessly, as well, follows Jarod's long, level look at Anais. She straddles him and smooshes his face, leaning down to muddy-nuzzle him. "Hey," she murmurs, finger-styling his muddy hair into whimsical spikes. "You're right, she doesn't have enough fun." She tilts her head, requesting gently, "Let her."
<FS3> Anais rolls Reaction: Good Success.
Anais is fleeing when Riordan tries to continue to assault her with mud, until Riordan is suddenly not there. He manages to catch one arm, but apparently all those dancing lessons were good for something, because while she yelps, she doesn't go down with him. She even manages to hold on to his hand, grin a flash of white in her mud-smeared face as she laughs. "The swamp gods disapprove," she informs Riordan with as much sobriety as she can summon up. Whether that means the mud-monster that is Jarod, or some mythical swamp gods that open up mud holes is up for interpretation.
"Funny how easily she finds happiness when that happiness would make someone else unhappy," is Jarod's somewhat terse reply to Rowenna, though he at least keeps his voice low for her. Terse as one can be, when trying not to laugh as their hair is mud-spiked. A chuckle threatens in his throat, before he raises his voice to half-laugh, half-bark disapprovingly. It's a funny, pitchy sort of sound. "I think we should get going to the frogs! Aye. Swamp gods. They're waiting."
Riordan, now a mud-monster himself, blinks up at Anais before once more breaking out in laughter. And at least for the moment, either doesn't hear Jarod, or simply ignores him as he looks up at the Lady Terrick. "They must be related to Rygar. But if Rygar can't stop me, I doubt they can either." His smile grows, and his eyes twinkle, and this and his next words are the only warning Anais will get. "You're still too clean, my lady." And this said, he will use the hand that holds Anais' to pull her in to the mud puddle with him. Because it simply wouldn't be right if they didn't all end up covered in mud, after all.
Rowenna sighs, kissing Jarod once more, softly, before hauling to her feet and reaching down to haul him up, as well. "Righto!" she calls over. "Everyone's mosquito- and marsh-fly proof to the pores, I think. It's time to get frogging!"
"Yes, fro- SHIT!" And with that decidedly unladylike exclamation, Anais splashes down in the mud, the twist that /does/ keep her from landing on Riordan leaving her instead on her back looking up at the leaves and nodding to herself. "Wanna trade, Row?" she calls over. "I promise not to hold Jarod's face down in the mud for longer than he can hold his breath." But she's already pushing herself up on one elbow, wiping a clot of mud from her brow.
Jarod makes a "Hrmph" sound when Rowenna kisses him, though it forestalls anymore muttering. He pushes himself to his feet after her. And then goes over to where Anais and Riordan are also engaged in muddery. Clearing his throat, he offers a hand down to Anais. "Shall we get on?" he asks her simply. If rather pointedly. He keeps his arm proffered to her, whether she needs the hand or not.
Riordan beams over at Anais, now that she is sufficiantly muddy. "I'm sorry," he said, seeming to mean it even as he finds amusement in the look of her. "But I told you I owed you for the knuckles, remember?" He gives her a wink, as he hops to his feet, and about the time that Jarod walks over, he is also offering his hand out to Anais. "Call it evens?"
Anais reaches out to take Jarod's offered hand, meeting his gaze with a challenge of her own that dares him to say 'my brother, your husband' one more time. "No apologies necessary, Lord Riordan," she assures him, flicking a bit of mud off her fingers. "All in good fun, aye? Something I could certainly do at the Roost, where everyone could look at me just like that." There's a gesture to Jarod, and she wipes her hands off on her pants before claiming one of the spears. Though where she was splashing cheerfully through the muck before, now she moves stiffly, spine straight as though she walked through a great hall rather than a swamp.
"You could do it at the Roost, Anais, just in different company," Jarod says. The 'my brother, your husband' part is left unsaid, though it's sort of implied. He is probably getting Looks from his wife at this point, so he releases her to her own devices, and goes to get himself a spear for the frogs.
Whether Jarod is getting looks from Rowenna or not, he is most certainly getting them from Riordan, after he notices the way Anais now holds herself. And, for once, the look holds no humor. "Well, let's be about it, then," he finally says, after reclaiming his spear and his smile both. And, demonstrating to those new to the mire how to check for sink holes - like the one he and Anais just crawled out of - he will lead the way to some of the best frog-hunting ground to be found in Hag's Mire.