|Of Knights and Men|
|Summary:||Riordan runs into Kittridge in the stables. The two converse, albeit briefly.|
|Related Logs:||Current events!|
|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.|
|Mon May 14, 289|
It's a little while after dinnertime. Riordan, having spent some time in the courtyard talking to a particular ward of Jerold Terrick, now wanders into the stables, which had been his intended destination all along. A chance to check in on his horse, and be alone, or mostly, with his thoughts. Still dressed in fine clothes, having recently come from dining at Jerold Terrick's table, the Regent makes his way down the stalls to where his horse is kept, whistling quietly to himself.
The Groves dined with the Terricks and their other, Nayland-er guests as well, though it is by some other path and not via the gardens that Ser Kittridge has made his way to the stables. He is there already when Riordan arrives, checking the stable boy's work on a chestnut courser. He turns as Riordan enters, and inclines his head politely. "Ser Riordan. Preparing to leave even now, or just going for an after-dinner ride?"
"Ser Kittridge," Riordan replies with a similiar inclination of his head, giving a muted, but friendly smile. "Good evening." He glances to the horse that the Groves knight is inspecting, eyeing its lines and build with a professional, and appreciative eye. "Neither. We'll be leaving in the morning, so I'll need to try and get some sleep at some point. But I come here when I need a little breathing space." Yes, to a place that smells like hay and horse dung. "Not here, specifically, of course, but stables in general." He then glances from the horse to Kittridge, asking curiously, "And you? Will you be remaining long here?"
Kittridge lifts a brow as Riordan eyes his horse appraisingly, and inquires, "Well? What's your verdict? I hear you're something of an expert, when it comes to horseflesh." He sends the stable boy on his way with a flick of his hand, and then lifts just one brow this time, "In the morning, truly? That is a very brief trip. Your sister led me to believe you would be here somewhat longer than that."
"A fine beast," Riordan says, though he simply grins at the acknowledgement. Instead, he considers the courser a brief moment longer, before adding, "The coat could use a bit more shine to it. I've a special blend of feed that I use to suppliment the diets at the Tower Stables for my own horses, and those of my family. I can give you the list of ingrediants if you like, even give you some to try out, see if it takes. Just a little added in with regular feed, and you'll see a difference within a few weeks. Might also help with muscle definition a touch, though frankly, can't say you'll need it much for that." Again, he nods in approval to the animal, before turning back to Kittridge. "Hmm? Ah, yes. Well, it all depended on how Lord Terrick made me cool my heels, and how well my meeting with him went. As things progressed, I'm off to Stonebridge, then the Mire, and likely back again before the week is out. And sometime, between it all, I will somehow make it to the Tournament at the Crossing if it is the last thing I do." He grins widely at that, and it is clear that he is truly looking forward to that. "Which reminds me, are you entering? Your sister was not sure when I asked her."
Kittridge listens to Riordan's advice about his horse, and nods, "If you wouldn't mind," he replies, with an easy smile, "I'll give that special feed a try. Thank you." He pats the horse on the shoulder and then listens some more, nodding along. "Quite a lot of traveling," he comments, "Is it really all such a rush? I can't imagine things are likely to change as rapidly as all that, to need so much flying back and forth."
"And I'm considering it," he says of the tourney, "We'll be heading up that way to watch, at least. I'll probably enter, we'll see."
"Probably not. But at least this way, it'll be done and over with, and I can go back to resting on my laurels and playing at Lord," Riordan says, with a return smile. He simply nods in regards to the matter of the feed. Offer given, offer accepted, that's good enough for him. As to the tourney, he nods. "Well, I hope you do. I still owe you a tilt, and it's even more fun when people are betting on us, and our loved ones are cheering us on," he notes with a wink. More pressure!
"It just seems a shame to spend so much time in transit, and your sister as well, when it could be avoided," Kittridge shrugs, "Especially when you might stay and get better acqauinted with the family you're so eager to bind yourselves to. But that's just me, I'm sure you've your reasons." His smile is politely, but then widens as he chuckles, "You're just eager to beat me with an audience. I should warn you now there's little enough glory in it; I'm not much for tourneys, really. I don't mind them, but I'd just as soon watch and bet."
"All I do, I do for my family," Riordan agrees, simply, though he seems in no hurry to explain himself beyond that. He laughs, though, at Kittridge's further comments. "Well, I am a bit of a showoff, it is true. But I suppose your sister would be rather cross with me if I trounced you all over the lists - and mine besides. So perhaps it is just as well." He winks again, before he shakes his head. "Besides, there is little enough true glory in it these days. I do it because I love it, and others still hold it glorious. But it's a remnant of what it was. Back in the days of the Mad King, even with everything he did wrong… ah, but there were such knights then. Your sister's cat, his namesake, is one of the last few of them remaining. But there was also so many others. The Kingsguard alone… The White Bull, the Sword of the Morning, Prince Lewyn Martell of Dorne…" He trails off into silence, lets out a sigh, and simply shakes his head.
"Indeed," Kittridge agrees, good-natured despite talk of getting embarrassingly trounced, "Your sister owes me a ride out, since the one we had planned for tomorrow won't happen now. I think she might be a shade put-out if you broke me." His smile is crooked, and then he snorts softly as Riordan goes on, and shrugs. "All just men, I'm afraid, Ser. Maybe they made them with better nicknames then, but they were still just men all the same. If war shows us anything, it's that."
"No, I don't suppose you are wrong about that," Riordan says in regards to his sister, studying the Groves night briefly, almost similiar to how he was his horse, a moment ago. Then he nods, chuckling, "Oh, of that I'm well aware of, Ser. Trust me, when your lord hosts a tourney and you, the lowly page, have to clean out… well, let me tell you, I know what they are beneath their shiny suits. Heck, I'm one of them, now. But it doesn't change the fact that the turnouts now… the likes of the Mountain, the Kingslayer…" He shrugs. "They've their uses. They just don't quite stand for the Knighthood that Lord Whent showed me, as a boy."
"Having been page and squire myself, ser," Kittridge says a bit dryly, "You don't have to tell me." He grins a bit, and then shrugs. "That knighthood never really existed, I think. And it certainly doesn't now. So just as well if there's nobody standing for it and giving people daft notions about what it really means. Though that's always been as much about stories of past knights as current ones, and they're still good for that, dead and diminished as they might be now we're old enough to know better."
"Perhaps," Riordan muses, shrugging his shoulders. "Perhaps it did exist, and it is easier to think that it didnt, for elsewise we shall have lost it in our lifetimes. Or perhapos it did not, and it has always been an excuse for brave men to go off and die for no damned good reason." He shrugs his shoulders. "Still, nothing wrong with pretty thoughts, regardless of the truth, as long as you don't let them rule your head completely." He looks further down the stables, then says, "Well, I think I shall go see to my horse, Ser Kittridge, and then I am for bed." A pause, before he adds, glancing back to the man, "Oh, before I forget… you may wish to keep an eye on your sister's cat. He upset the hounds in here the other day, and I nearly got myself trampled by my horse for the trouble. I'd hate for it to happen again for someone who does not know how to handle a startled horse in an enclosed area." He doesnt seem upset or anything, just cautious for the poor stablehands who might have to deal with the effects of Barristan's rampages next time.
"Maybe so," Kittridge replies, noncommittal. He inclines his head in farewell, and then lifts a brow in question as Riordan turns back. At his words, he rolls his eyes, and shakes his head. "Barristan is a spoiled menace, always has been. Though I'm surprised the horses minded so much, it's not like the Roost hasn't got plenty of cats of its own. But I'll mention it to her," he offers with a nod. "Good evening, Ser Riordan."
"Well, it was mainly all around bad luck on my part," Riordan says with a laugh. I happened to be in a stall with a horse right next to where the kennels were, at the exact moment that Barristan send them all into a tizzy. So more then likely, the risk is minimal. Still, I doubt anyone wants an accident if it can be avoided." He grins to Kittridge, inclines his head, and then heads off to find his horse and look in on him.