|Night on the Town|
|Summary:||As promised, Alise takes Kathryna out to town, and show the Ironborn that they are not as different as she may have thought.|
|Marketplace — Terrick's Roost|
|Residents of the town and surrounding area bring their wares to sell here among small tables built upon the slate grey stone flooring of the outdoor expanse. The area is surrounded by thatched roof buildings and shops on all sides with roads and paths winding their way in and out of this thriving part of town. Most of the commercial capacity of Terrick's Roost can be found here with the storefronts attracting the attention of those among all classes.|
|November 27, 288 AL|
As promised, Alise comes to find Kathryna later in the evening, shortly after dusk. The maid has changed her gown for something more appropriately smallfolk, her white and green cotton dress with a hood and cloak over it. And then they're off down Eagles' Way to the town on foot.
It soon becomes clear why Alise chooses to conduct the tour in the evening: the smallfolk have mostly finished with their chores and work for the day. As they walk, many of the shops are just closing up, and Alise wastes no time showing off the blacksmith's, the leatherworker's shop, and certainly the marketplace. As she promised, there is little of the "softness" found here. Alise stops in front of one particular stall in the market that's not closed yet, where two farmers are loudly arguing the price of a goat.
Kathryna follows alongside of Alise, heavy, long strides in her short, strong frame. Kate easily keeps up, almost sets the pace, but she pauses at everything the woman is showing her. She nods in approval ot the various jobs, the people who do know how to work with their hands and for a living. Kate hasn't changed, still in her leather coat, her long sword, her bodice. She probably draws more than a few unfriendly eyes, but she manages not to stare back too hard. She nods towards everything she's show. "It is good to see some practicality in this land, even if it does not translate entirely to your nobility." She huskily murmurs to the pale woman at her side.
Though they have stopped to watch the farmers haggle and argue, Alise only grins with her rosey-cheeks at Kathryna's observation. "I have only heard rumors of the rugged practicality of the Iron Isles, milady." She offers. "The Riverlands are a very different place. The nobility here must hold themselves to a higher standard than the smallfolk, to inspire and lead the smallfolk under their care. Can you imagine if Lord Terrick himself is too busy haggling over the price of a goat? He will have little time to safeguard the land's borders."
Kathryna gives Alise a long, quiet look as the woman explains such things. Kate just smirks. "Really? Do you -truly- think that? You are out of the trappings of your supposed betters. You can speak freely with me, Miss Alise. I swear I shan't speak it back to those at the Roost. Do you respect a man because he's never haggled for a goat, or would you respect someone who has worked for all he has? Deserves the riches and the glory, wasn't just born to them?" Kate inquires, her voice trying to be quiet so no others might over hear, but she's used to calling across decks, it's a bit hard.
Alise purses her lips and quirks a brow at Kate, but that grin only turns lopsided. "Truly, milady? There is a difference." She turns her gaze back towards the haggling farmers. "Do you see them? I tell you, most of the smallfolk look upon the nobility with awe. When a knight rides by in full armor, or a noble lady in her beautiful gown, the smallfolk can only gape and wonder. They trust the nobility to keep order, to protect them from harm." She lowers her voice and looks back at the Iron Islander. "Truthfully, they also curse the nobility when they collect taxes. When they are raised as levies because the nobles play with war. It's but two sides of a coin, milady."
Kathryna considers that quietly at Alise's comment, her expression darkening just a touch as she thinks about the nobility being raised as gods. She shakes her head, "I… suppose I can see how it works that way. It… it has just never been as such for the Iron Isles. Yes, our nobility is respected. But we know how to sail…" How to pirate? raid? "And command just as well as our lessers do. I have seen families rise to pretty much being nobles just for the strength of their ship, crew and finances. It is rare, but it can happen." Kate sighs, pushing one calloused hand back through her hair. Dammit, she will NOT get home sick. "But, that is not here. Though I will never be like your nobles. I suppose the awe your small folk will have for me will simply be fear."
"I think I will like to see the Iron Isles for myself." Alise tilts her head curiously. "A place where the nobility wins respect by deed and not title… I imagine I could like that." Clearly getting tired of watching the farmers argue, Alise steps to one side, and gestures at the tavern. "Have you been to the Rockcliff? I trust you will find it more to your liking."
Kathryna arches a brow at that comment, tilting her head thoughtfully, "…If your Lady would allow you, perhaps I could take you back with me indeed, as long as all business goes well here. Though I suspect she would not be quite happy with the fact. The offer is there, though." Kate does offer it rather smoothly, with a bittersweet smile to follow. She then looks over to the inn and nods. "Once… not for too long. The bar man was not happy to see my ilk there. Perhaps we should return and I can prove him wrong?"
Alise is all sweet smiles for Kate. "Then he is a poor businessman. If it were me, anyone with coin to spend is my customer. Come, come." She beckons and leads the way to the Rockcliff without further ado.
Rockcliff Inn Terrick's Roost
The Rockcliff Inn is one of the better inns within the town and it shows with the well-lit interior and the relative cleanliness to the other locations in Terrick's Roost. The tables are polished with oils and the floor regularly swept. A set of booths towards a darker rear of the Inn's bottom floor, just beneath the staircase, are where whores generally socialize and eye prospects from when not waiting tables. Signs over the undersized bar area advertise prices for ales and wines as well as several different choices of food to be served at the small eating area by the bar or in the main open area in its comfortable seating. A door behind the bar leads to the kitchen and cellar while another near the staircase leads to a private room that would appear to be off-limits to the 'wait staff' except for food and drink service.
The tavern is already starting to fill up with various smallfolk, a minstrel singing in one corner of the common room while men gather around tables and the bar. Almost as soon as they step in, one fellow, a tall, thin fellow calls towards them. "Alise! Where have you been?" He grins toothily and heads over, and Alise happily gives him a hug. "Dannish, you still haven't taken a bath! Oh, I would like you to meet my new friend, Lady Kath… Lady Kate."
Dannish turns his attention to Kathryna and gives the woman a once over. "Hello Lady Kate." He offers.
Kathryna doesn't entirely stare as the woman is greeted so familiarly, but it does draw a certain interest to her pale features. She just keeps a surprisingly quiet, thoughtful smile upon her full mouth, letting Alise make greetings as she wishes. Kate only steps forward as she is introduced. She offers her hand in a more business like, but friendly, greeting towards the man named Dannish, keeping her nose from wrinkling at the thought of his lacking bath. "Dannish, is it? A pleasure." Her Ironborn accented words offer smoothly.
Dannish narrows his eyes at Kathryna. "You aren't from around here, are you?" He asks, but receives a shove in the chest from a grinning Alise. "Have you learned nothing, you uncouth dog? It's impolite to ask a lady that. Now be a good boy and fetch us some ale." Without waiting for a reply, Alise scoot closer to Kate, hooking one hand in the lady's arm. "Let's find ourselves a good table and sit. There will be much smallfolk entertainment to be had tonight."
Smallfolk entertainment? First, though, Kate grins to Dannish. "Oh, I am certain I can find pleasure at the meeting of you. Whether it will be at your expense or with your company, I have yet to see." She admits warmly, with a good bit of tease in her voice. She's then hooked away by Alise and she blinks, laughing a bit at actually being bodily guided around by the seemingly less muscular woman. "Very well, Miss Alise. You are in charge here. Sitting and drinking sounds quite good.
Alise is most certainly less muscular than Kathryna, yet there is a small amount of wiriness that makes her stronger than her noble counterparts. "Indeed I am, Lady Kate, and I say you are to have fun and enjoy yourself tonight." She offers conspiratorily as she leads towards a table in the corner. Enroute, a gruff, bearded man turns and points in their direction. "I will have a word with you, girl."
Alise is only momentarily taken aback, stopping for a second. "It was a fair trade, Thom. Jon could swear to it. Besides, I have company tonight… let's talk later." Once again, without waiting for a reply, Alise ushers Kate the rest of the way until they get to the table.
Kathryna looks at the large, bearded man, her eyes narrowing a hint and going more icy than they already are, if that's at all possible. She frowns to Alise, a hint of concern behind her face. "if that man has issue with you, bring him over here. You can work him out and I will have your back if he decides to get foolish or violent. It is the least I can do for you showing me all of this." Kate then settles her own toned, wiry form down into the chair, stretching out a bit and attempting to look relaxed, though there's still part of her that is always on edge, always waiting to pounce.
Alise lofts her brows at Kate's offer, but the grin returns soon enough. "The offer is much appreciated, milady. But Thom is…" Before she can even finish, the bearded Thom is actually getting to his feet and lumbering over to the women's table. "I don't care what Jon swears to," He points a finger at Alise, pausing to peer suspicious at Kate. "I want my coins back. Plus two coppers for my trouble."
Alise frowns as she listens and looks up at the burly man. "I must apologize, but all sales are final. Really Thom, can you not see I am here with a friend?"
Kathryna sits back, stretching her legs out, body half relaxed but there is that alertness in her eyes that says she is ready to do something if Thom should even raise a pinky finger in the wrong direction. As he points that finger, however, Kate simply sits a bit straighter and leans forward. She levels a cold, hard look with him, the ironborn looking rather intimidating when she wants to. "Is there an issue… Thom, is it?" She half growls out.
Uh? Even a burly fellow like Thom can be taken aback when an unfamiliar, growling woman sneers at him. "Who are you?" He blurts out. The man may be a little uncertain, but he can't look bad in front of his peers. "This isn't any of your business, woman."
But Alise is quick to jump in, reaching across the table to put a hand on Kate's forearm. "It isn't. But Lady Kate is a guest of Lord Terrick's and an Ironborn. Should you displease her, Lord Terrick may decide to flog your ass in public, if Lady Kate doesn't eat your face for supper first."
That gives Thom even more pause, his face turning red. He's debating whether to cut his losses, or keep pushing it…
"Miss Alise here is my guide for the night, and I am beginning to consider her a friend. So, while she couches this in proper noble terms, I will simply say if you do wrong by her, I will be -personally- offended…and my people aren't exactly known for their understanding, gentle temperments." There is still a most certain growl behind Kate's husky voice, but she lingers close to Alise's side, not moving one inch otherwise. She lets her body language and her words fully speak for her. "And Miss Alise and I were trying to enjoy our night."
Thom blinks, looking from Kate to Alise and back. He's on the verge of running, and Alise helps out by giving him a shooing motion with her free hand. "Run along, Thom."
Eventually, he just makes an unpleasant grunting noise, and turns on his heels to leave. Grinning at his back, Alise turns back to Kate. "I cannot rightly say how other folks find the Ironborn, but I am finding having the company of an Ironborn very agreeable!"
Kathryna turns now just slightly worried eyes over to Alise. "He will not take poor advantage of you when I am not here, the next time, or the time after that, will he? As much as I do enjoy spoiling for a fight in the middle of a tavern, it makes me feel like home, I will not always be here and I worry about leaving you alone with his ilk." Kate might actually care! She certainly seems protective enough. She shrugs at the comment of Ironborn. "Many have had friends, family, things… taken from them by those who raid among my home. I understand their issue. But I did not do it, so why should they hold me accountable?"
"Guilt by association?" Alise supposes, with a shrug of her shoulders. "Folks assume all from the Iron Isles are raiding pirates. It's as untrue as assuming all Riverfolk are soft, yes?" She offers up a wink and a smile. "You need not concern yourself with my welfare, milady. I have survived in places like this since I was a babe, and I will continue to do so till I am old and wrinkled." Her gaze lifts past Kate then, followed by a wave. "Dannish!"
As if on cue, Dannish arrives with a tankard in each hand, which are then dropped on the women's table. "Ale for both ladies!" He announces proudly.
The sight of Dannish, or probably more so, the sight of the ale makes Kate break into a wide, warm grin. She reaches out to claim herself a drink. "Ahh, Dannish, you might be a useful man yet, truthfully! Excellent." And then she logs her ale and looks back towards Alise, her smile softening, just a touch, "Well, my dear. To new friendships… and not being what people expect."
To be continued…?